In Wishes Made on Stars/Just a Small Town Girl, Just a City Girl
August 4, 2003
The night sky is clear, music plays softly in the background, the only noise besides that of the light conversation off in the distance between adults. Santana sits on a log with a branch in her hand, holding it ever so carefully and watches with intense concentration as she roasts the marshmallow on the other end over the tiny fire.
Quinn sits on the log just next to her own, holding onto a branch similar to hers with the same idea on her mind as she licks her lips, just ready to feast on the gooey deliciousness. Brittany, who is huddled up next to Santana, watches on as her friend's patiently wait to enjoy their dessert while she nibbles on squares of chocolate.
"Are you girl's having fun?" It's Aunt Linda who is making her way over towards the girl's, and the three of them nod, confirming the 'fun' being had. "Don't put it so much into the flame Santana." The older woman warns, resting her hand gently onto her nieces, and lifts the branch up a little.
"I can do it myself." Santana grumbles, but allows her aunt to adjust the marshmallow just the same.
"I told you." Brittany murmurs with a giggle, getting a nudge in the shoulder from the dark haired girl who rolls her eyes and huffs.
"See," Aunt Linda points when she finally releases her loose grip on Santana's hand, and takes a seat on the other log beside the young girls. "Now it won't get all burnt up and you won't have to start all over again." She explains, a pretty smile gracing her lips as she glances into the multicolored flames in front of her.
"Miss Linda," Quinn speaks up, letting her hazel eyes flitter to the older woman, trusting her marshmallow won't fall to the fate that her last one had. "Is it true that if you make a wish on a shooting star, that it, like, has to come true?" The little blonde girl asks, her head tilts to the side and she blinks innocently at the woman. Linda grins, glancing at the other two girl's beside her who wait for her to respond, obviously just as eager to hear the answer.
"Well," She clears her throat and shifts into a more comfortable position on her log. "I always believed that a wish on any star can come true." The older Latina informs the young girls, all of them looking back at her in wide eyed amazement.
"But," Santana interrupts, a small pout graces her lips and she tilts her head in confusion. "Then that means every wish that anyone makes comes true." She reasons, not quite believing that what her aunt says is fact. Aunt Linda hums out a smile, lets her eyes land on each of the three girls, and then shakes her head slowly.
"Not necessarily Tana," She shakes her finger in the air before leaning forward to rest her elbow onto her knee and gaze into the fire. "See, the stars above are the hopes and dreams that we wish to come true." She begins, and points to her chest with her other hand and looks over at the girls. "The ones that matter the most, the ones that will forever change our lives and make us who we are." She tries her best to explain for the youngsters and she crosses her leg over her knee. "In order for your wish to come true, you must make the right wish on the right star." She watches as each girl's forehead crinkles, nose twitch and lips part in thought.
"You mean," Quinn chimes in, gaining everyone's attention. "Like, if you wish for happiness, you need to wish on the happiness star?" The blonde asks, her voice full of uncertainty, but feels better when Linda smiles and nods back at her.
"Exactly." Linda softly replies, delighted that Quinn has understood her.
"And if you wish for love, you have to wish on the love star?" Santana asks, needing further confirmation in her friend's assessment.
"Yes sweetheart." Aunt Linda reaches out to adoringly squeeze her niece's knee, getting a proud smile out of the girl at her understanding. "But," She interrupts again, before they start wishing away. "The wish is not granted straight away." She explains, pointing at each of the girls. "You have to prove yourself in order for your wish to come true."
"Prove yourself?" Brittany finally joins in on the conversation, her voice squeaks a bit and makes Aunt Linda chuckle.
"Yes Britt-Britt." The older woman nods, leaning more forward to look at the young blonde. "To get happiness, if that's what your wish is, you need to be kind." She tells them. "If you are not, then you don't deserve happiness, do you?" The girls slowly shake their heads.
"Well, what about love?" Quinn wonders aloud, pulling her marshmallow from the flame and pulls at it with her fingers.
"Love," She sighs out, blinks away the light behind her lids from the fire and looks up to the sky. "For love, you must allow yourself to be open to anything and everything. The silly," She leans over and tickles Santana's sides, only stopping when her niece giggles and bats her hands away. "The serious," She makes a straight face, once again receiving giggles but from all the girls. "The hurt," She lets out a little softer, a tiny sadness coming to her eyes. "All of it." Her hand waves in the air for emphasis. "And there's one person out there, that even with the silly, the serious and the hurt and all the other stuff, it almost doesn't matter." Linda's shoulders shrug and she smirks at the tiny ones around her.
"Love hurts?" Brittany asks, after a few short moments of silence, her eyes flicker over to Santana's fingers pulling the marshmallow from the end of the branch.
"Sometimes." Linda responds simply.
"That sucks." Santana sighs in disappointment.
"But that's what makes it worth it." Her aunt points out.
"That doesn't make any sense." The girl with the hazel eyes blurts out, her mouth filled with the gooey treat.
"Well, you girls are friends, right?" She asks, looking between the three who pretty much all give her the same bewildered look, but nod nonetheless.
"Duh." Santana says.
"Yeah, bests." Quinn agrees, licking her fingers clean.
"Would you ever stop being friends?" She questions, getting a horrified look from the three, and she does her best to hold in her chuckle.
"Never." Brittany tells her, getting a 'yeah' from Quinn.
"Even if you got into a fight?" Linda delves in a little deeper, wanting the girl's to feel as though they got answers after this conversation. They all shrug and nod their heads. "That's kind of like love. That even if it hurts, it doesn't." She says. "Because no matter what, you're your happiest with that one person, the most comfortable and…" She pauses, and looks over at how Santana is letting Brittany try some of the marshmallow that is stuck to her fingers and she grins. "You'll know it when you find it." She tells them softly, finally letting the silent hums of the girls enjoying their dessert dance around her, and she closes her eyes lifting her head up to the sky.
"What's with you?" Aunt Linda asks as she walks by and playfully slaps the back of Santana's head.
"Hey." The young girl greets her with a tired voice, half of her body is leaning over her Math text book as she lazily watches her fingers roll the pen in her hand.
"Busy day at school?" The older woman wonders, making her way over to the refrigerator, pulling out things for dinner tonight.
"Something like that." Santana mumbles, sitting upright in her chair and finally drops the pen to her blank notebook.
Her lips twist as she thinks about this morning and how she was in such a good mood and then Brittany said that. She's trying not to over think it, but what does it all mean? Shit, Brittany even said, 'I don't know what that means'. Santana lets out a sigh, tilts her head and thumbs the pages of her textbook. It probably doesn't mean anything, obviously just Brittany being her friendly, bubbly self, as always.
Shaking her head free of the thoughts for what feels like the millionth time today, she pushes her chair back, closes her books and picks them up to retreat into her room. She nods to her aunt and grunts to express her departure, and when she gets to her bedroom door she leans her back into it to open, seeing her arms are full. When she turns to face her room, her eyes widen and she drops her books to the floor.
"What the…!" She practically shouts, jumping back a few feet and brings her hand to her chest. "Britt, you scared the shit out of me." She heaves out, leaning forward with her hands on her knees, trying her best to catch her breath. The blonde giggles from where she is leaning against the sill of Santana's open bedroom window.
"We used to sneak into each other's rooms all the time." Brittany interrupts Santana's mini heart attack, pushes herself from the window and taps on the glass with an amused grin on her lips. "I'm sorry." She offers an apology, but Santana smirks and shakes her head, waving it off immediately.
"No, it's fine, just…" She stands up and lets out a long breath. "Don't be all quiet and sneaky about it." She laughs out, getting a nod and a grin from the blonde.
"What's the fun in that?" Brittany counters with a raised eyebrow, getting an eye roll out of Santana. "Anyway," She skips towards Santana's bed and plops herself onto the mattress, turning herself onto her side. "I was wondering if you wanted to drive down to Carmel's." She explains the reason for her appearing in Santana's bedroom, propping her head up into her hand as she watches her friend place her books onto her desk.
"Umm," She stands there, looking down at her books and adjusts them a few times on her desk before turning around to face the blonde. "Shakes?" Santana inquires with a tilt of her head and a quirked eyebrow.
"Please." Brittany waves her off before pushing herself up from the bed. "Like we'd ever go to Carmel's and not get milkshakes?" She incredulously stares at her friend, who finally gives in a chuckles with a shake of her head.
"Alright, let's go then." She motions them over to her bedroom door.
"Uh, one thing." Brittany interrupts their exit, turning around to face Santana and holds her hand out. "I tricked you." She smirks and raises an eyebrow, finally opening her hand to let the keys to her truck dangle from her fingers. "I said I was wondering if you wanted to drive." She winks and places the keys into Santana's not so willing hands and spins around triumphantly.
"Brittany, when did you get here?" Aunt Linda asks as she walks out of the kitchen, nearly running into the bouncing blonde.
"Oh, hey Miss Linda." She waves, smile on her lips and tosses a glance over her shoulder to find Santana right behind her with a raised eyebrow. "Just dropped in." Linda smirks when she sees that glint in Brittany's eye, the one that looks so similar to the one she'd have back when the girls were younger and up to something.
"I see." The older woman comments, looking over the cheerleader and to her niece, who gives her a shoulder shrug. "Well, I was just about to…"
"Actually," Santana jumps in before her aunt can sucker the blonde into some sort of 'family bonding' ritual she's most likely going to make up on the spot. "Britts and I were on our way out." She jingles the blonde's keys for emphasis.
"Yeah," Brittany giggles out as she whips her hair to one side. "I'm giving Santana here some pointers on how to not break your truck." She explains with amusement, getting a quirked eyebrow in response from the older Lopez.
"In that case," Linda moves aside and motions for them to continue on their way out. "By all means, take her with you." The two share a laugh and Santana crinkles her nose at the interaction, but follows her friend through the hall and towards the front door. "Will you be home for dinner?" Aunt Linda calls out before they step outside, getting the girls to stop.
"Uh…" Santana turns to Brittany, unsure of how long the girl planned on keeping them out.
"Well, I was actually gonna see if you wanted to grab a burger afterwards." The blonde tells her friend, quietly, just between them but obviously Aunt Linda hears this.
"Oh," The dark haired girl drawls out, nodding slowly at the offer. "Sure, I guess. I mean," She looks back to her aunt. "Is it cool?" Aunt Linda half jerks her head back and half tilts it, seeing as this is the first time since Santana has been here that she is asking if something is 'cool' for her to do.
"I'll see you later Santana." She waves them off once more, watching them giggle and smile their way out of the house leaving her to wonder if coming to Knox is actually doing things for her brother's daughter.
"So," Santana says once they are inside of Brittany's pick-up, rests one hand onto the steering wheel, while she guides the key into the ignition with the other. "We hittin' up Carmel's for shakes now and burgers later?" She asks, figuring this is Brittany's game plan. "Because they're probably gonna think we're fat asses." She comments with a laugh, getting a small giggle from the blonde beside her.
"Honestly," The dancer lets out as Santana pulls out onto the south service road from Aunt Linda's driveway. "I just kind of made that part about the burgers up." She grins when she receives a confused look from the girl driving.
"Wait, so, I'm not getting food?" She questions in mock disapproval and shock, making Brittany shake her head with laughter.
"No, I mean," The blonde stammers, tucking some hair behind her ears and watching on proudly as Santana correctly shifts gears. "We can totally get burgers if you want." She assures the shorter girl that she fully intends of providing her with food. "I just, your aunt wanted to know if you'd be home for dinner and, well, I just ," She fiddles with the ring on her middle finger and turns her head, letting her eyes fall to the space between them. "This morning, what I said on the way to school…"
"No need to explain." Santana waves her off as she fidgets in her seat, there's so much uncertainty in Brittany's tone that it's kind of making the Latina uncomfortable with what may come next.
"But I want to, because, I feel like I didn't say what I wanted to." The blonde pushes, finally lifting her eyes to watch Santana try to focus on the road, and judging from the other girl's silence, Brittany decides to continue. "I know that you just want to go home." The cheerleader says straight forwardly. "But, I want you to stay here." She admits quietly and her hand falls to the tiny space separating their bodies. "You were, like," She breathes out a bashful giggle. "My favorite part of summer." Her hand lifts from the bench seat and up to cover her face when Santana sends her a quirked eyebrow and a smirk. The blonde's smile, however, slowly fades, leaving a tiny sadness in her eyes. "I know you didn't plan your last year of high school to be spent here, and if you had a choice you'd go back, but," Brittany shrugs her shoulders and thoughtfully chews on her bottom lip. "I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm happy you're here." She grins, once again with a tad of happiness to her voice and she looks right at Santana. "That you finally came back."
Santana finds herself smiling, it's soft, but it's still there and she glances over to the blonde who has just expressed herself. Turning onto Marlboro, the dark haired girl can't help but wonder how the cheerleader can allow herself to be so vulnerable, especially to someone like her. Brittany's right, if she were given the opportunity to go back to Boston right this second, she'd hop on the first flight, train or automobile.
Yet, here is Brittany, the girl from up the road also in her last year of high school in a town she's known her whole life, with people that she's seen pretty much every day. But, here she is, showing Santana how to properly drive a stick shift, while on the way to Carmel's to get burgers and shakes.
"You know," Santana clears her throat. "I think I'm finally getting the hang of this." And just as she makes this announcement, the truck jerks and squeaks making the shorter girls cheeks burn a crimson red and the blonde to let out tickling laughter.
It's lunchtime at school and Santana finds herself in the company of Quinn, which is really nothing new. Kurt has joined them and along with him comes girl Asian who she met the other night at Stars Lake. As the trio discusses the party and various upcoming events dealing with everything football and cheerleading, Santana silently listens and looks around the quad at the rest of the student body.
With an apple in her hand, she considers her time spent here and how much longer she's got. It's only been about a month or so since she arrived here in the Pleasantville-esque town of Knox City but it most definitely feels longer. At least, she thinks, Thanksgiving is coming up soon and perhaps she'll be seeing the wonderful lights and smell the dingy scent of her hometown for the holiday. It's most certainly something to look forward to. Knox City, she is beginning to feel, is a place that can only be endured in small doses. Sure, it was a blasty blast back when she was a kid and didn't understand the concept of time. But, being forced to become one of these picture perfect, cookie cutter kids is not something she is ready or willing to turn in to.
"Hey Fabgay," A guys voice comes from a few feet away and the table of four outcasts look over to find Finn Hudson and a few of his jock friends smirking as they walk on by. "The one woman welcoming committee." One of the football guys says and gets a bunch of laughs from Finn and his teammates. "I'm sure she gave you the whole tour new girl." He winks over at Santana and judging by the tone of his voice, she gathers that this is supposed to be some kind of sexual innuendo, and horrible one at that.
"That doesn't make any sense." Kurt shakes his head, joining in with the furrowed brow look with the other girls at the lunch table.
"Probably 'cause you're a big gay-mo there Hummel." One of the beefier guys steps forward and limps his wrist after he speaks, setting the rest of his stupid group of meat heads into a frenzy.
"Get lost Karofsky." Quinn spits out with a crinkle of her nose. The boys actually do what they are told, but not without dispensing a few high fives between one another and laughing even louder as they walk away. Santana watches on, her face reading not only disgust but slight confusion, as the boys walk away. If she is going to do something worth anything while she is here in Knox, it's going to be putting one Finn Hudson in his place.
"Hey guys." Brittany greets, getting the group of kids to lift their attention towards the other end of the table and over at the head cheerleader standing there.
"Uh," Santana looks from the blonde and to the rest of the group before settling her gaze back onto the girl standing beside her. "Hey, Britt." She smiles back. The other kids continue to stare back at the girl whose smile makes the sun look dim, all wondering what has driven Brittany to grace them with her presence.
"Mind if I join you?" The tall blonde asks with a tilt of her head, her gaze flickering over the half dozen pair of eyes staring back at her. "Figured we could talk about this weekend." She explains, slowly taking the spot beside Santana who has shuffled over to make room. "Ya know, April's Rhodehouse." They all 'oh' and nod, remembering their impending plans for this upcoming weekend.
"Well, Quinn's gonna drive me, and Tina and Mike are gonna take their own truck." Kurt tells the newest edition to their lunch table.
"Yeah," Mike chimes in, joining the group and taking a spot behind Tina so he is straddling the bench. "So we both got room for one more, you two," He points between Brittany and Santana. "Could each hop into our trucks." He offers, getting a sweet smile from his girlfriend Tina, obviously adoring his process of elimination and problem solving skills.
"Oh," Brittany nods, taking in all of this information slowly as she unscrews the cap to her water bottle. "Well," She shrugs, sipping a little bit of water. "How's 'bout I just drive me and Santana." She suggests. "I mean, it's just out on the other side of Knox, right?" She gets a few nods and 'yeah' from Kurt and Quinn. "Doesn't make sense for ya'll to come out to south service just to pick us up and then have to drive us all the way back home." Everyone seems to agree with the blonde's thinking and are quick to nod.
"Sounds perfect." Quinn notes as she leans forward to point over at Kurt. "You're gonna sleep over after right?" She asks him and is answered with a huge smile from the boy. "Good, last time your dad gave me a sobriety test." Santana and Brittany snicker at this information, while Tina laughs out loud, even throwing her head back for emphasis at the ridiculousness.
"Wait a second," Santana interrupts after realization of a possible dry night out this may turn into. "Are all of you 'good Christian folk' refraining from alcohol consumption on our night out?" She asks with a quirked eyebrow and glances over at the Asian twins and then Kurt. "I mean, less for you the more for me." She shrugs and crosses her arms loosely over her chest.
"Actually Santana," Tina breaks the background chit chat of fellow classmates walking by their table. "Mike and I usually set up some cocktails in the parking lot at April's." She explains getting a semi interested head tilt from the dark haired girl who gets a nudge from Brittany.
"Yea, I mean," Mike adds. "April's is actually pretty loose with I.D. and stuff. It's super easy to get your drink on there." She wriggles his eyebrows and the rest of the group of usual April's Rhodehouse guests nod along with his statement.
"That's cool." Brittany again softly digs her elbow into Santana's arm and smiles at the girl.
"This way, you get to have a good time." Quinn gently interjects and then shrugs her shoulders. "You dance your ass off."
"And the booze is out by the time you leave." Kurt claps with a bright grin getting an affirming nod from his cousin.
"Fan-fucking-tastic." Santana smiles giving them all an approving nod. She sure as shit wasn't planning on finally getting a good night out and not being able to get a little bit of liquor in her system.
The day goes on as it usually has for the past month or so. Go to school, get through the day and try hard not to punch some of these hick town kids in the junk. Santana must admit, she feels slightly proud of herself for having not jumped Finn Hudson as he makes his way out of his Math class. His class is right across from her History class and she just knows that if she got him at the right angle, she could wipe that stupid smug right off of his stupid, pudgy face.
She even shared this information with her social worker, the ever antibacterial hand sanitizer scented Miss Pillsbury. Though, the older woman did not seem as impressed with her control over physical abuse towards the boy and rather went on to question her 'bad thoughts'. Yesterday was the day Santana decided that some things were meant to be kept inside her own little mind.
Before she knows it, it's April's Rhodehouse night, or as Brittany has been putting it, 'Lebanese night'. But regardless, as she prepares her outfit for the evening she is finally given a good enough reason for having packed her black fedora. She smirks as she pulls it off of her desk, brushes away nonexistent dust and sets it perfectly onto her bed. She seriously has the perfect skin tight dress to go with this, but, as she turns to the indent in the wall also known as a closet, there is a knock at her door.
"Here." Aunt Linda holds her hand out, something new and shiny, instantly peaking Santana's interest and away from the world's smallest closet.
"What's this?" The younger girl asks with a quirked eyebrow as she takes the object from her aunt. Her fingers play with the plastic casing that she can tell is at least in the shape of a cell phone. A very outdated, but apparently new cell phone.
"A motorcycle." Linda deadpans, placing her hands on her hips, staring blankly at her niece.
"Sarcasm does not suit you Aunt Lee." Santana mocks with a chuckle as she shakes her head and flips the cell phone open to gaze upon the unused buttons and unscratched screen.
"I put my number in there, to the house and of course Sherriff Hummel's direct line." She explains to the girl, tapping the phone with the tip of her finger while Santana continues to stare down at it. "I don't like the idea of you being out and having no way to get in touch." She adds, pulling her hand back and loosely crosses her arms over her chest. Santana nods, bites on her bottom lip and smiles up at her aunt.
"You're not, like," Santana eyes her aunt up for a few seconds and sighs. "Gonna be checking up on me every five minutes, right?" She inquires, wondering if this is just some ploy for the woman to keep a tight leash on her whenever she leaves the house. Linda chuckles and waves her niece off.
"Please, I have better things to do than to worry about my favorite niece." She laughs out softly, and before she turns back to the kitchen she winks at Santana. "Have a good time sweetheart." Linda calls out as she walks towards the sink.
Santana stares down at the Motorola circa 2002 and half smiles. As she walks back over to her bed and tosses the new yet not so new cellular device beside her fedora, she thinks back to when her mom gave her a cell phone. It was the typical post divorce gift that parents give their kids in order to out-do the other parent. She was fourteen and her father had just given her her first pair of Jimmy Choos, despite her mother's vehement protests.
It was actually one of those no-frills kind of cell phone. In fact, it was a flip phone just like the one Aunt Linda has just given her. But, Santana soon realized the way her parents were quick to up the ante when she wanted something. Soon enough, Santana had a Blackberry and a Sidekick3 in her hands as she walked down the streets in her Jimmy Choos.
She is taken out of her self induced flashback at the sound of the device ringing some obnoxious ring. With a roll of her eyes, she motions to grab it from her bed, figuring its Aunt Linda wanting to make sure it works. But, she is actually surprised when another familiar name appears across the screen.
"He…hello?" Santana says into the mouth piece after quickly flipping it open to answer. An airy giggle greets her and she can't fight the smile that graces her lips.
"Don't pretend like you didn't see my name come up on your retro phone." It's Brittany's playful voice and it's kind of hard not to giggle along with her. "I saw your aunt at the store when she got it for you." She explains easily enough and Santana nods. "I practically set up the whole thing for her, or, well, for you." She stammers. "There's something to be said about some people and electronics." Santana smirks, bites her lip and slowly walks over towards her bedroom door to close it.
"So, are we gonna become those friends who don't see one another anymore?" She jokes. "Now that we can be lazy and talk on the phone." Both girls laugh, and the feeling and sound of their laughs mixing together is so comfortable that Santana falls to her bed.
"Like that ever stopped us before." Brittany points out causing Santana to pause in her laughter.
"We didn't have cell phones back then B." She reminds the blonde, and then blushes a bit when she realizes how she has just called Brittany by one of her many nicknames.
"Don't tell me you forgot." Brittany sighs, her words coming out so softly and Santana thinks she can detect a hint of disappointment. She shuts her eyes tightly, brings her first to her forehead and then smiles wildly into the phone.
"I'm pretty sure that mine is still hidden somewhere in here." She tells the blonde, sitting straight up in the bed and looks around the room curiously. Brittany laughs and Santana is sure she can hear some movement on the other side of the line, making her wonder if her friend is looking for hers as well. "Unless Aunt Lee found it and disposed of it like she did with everything that was cool."
That last part was a lie because Aunt Linda was actually the one who picked up the coolest thing ever. When Santana was about eight years old, Linda greeted the Lopez's out by the driveway just as she did every summer. But this time she had a very special gift for her favorite little niece. It was the greatest thing that Santana had ever seen and the best part about it was that it came in a pair. It was a walkie talkie and her aunt made sure to sneak one to the little blonde girl next door so that when they weren't together they could still be close and tell their stories.
"Best gift ever." Brittany breathes out and Santana nods in agreement.
"Yeah." She verbalizes and then shakes her head back to the present. "So, uh, you ready for tonight?"
"Totally." Santana can tell by the way her friend says this that she is completely beaming.
"What'd you tell Mrs. Mayor?" She asks, figuring that being Brittany, she's probably told everyone and her mother where she is planning on going tonight.
"I don't tell my parents everywhere I go." Brittany assures her, but there's something in the way she says it that makes Santana believe otherwise.
"Right, well," The dark haired girl picks up the hat still sitting on her bed and turns it around in her hands and smiles. "I should probably start getting ready."
"We aren't leaving for another hour and a half." The blonde points out with a chuckle.
"I know it may seem as though I wake up lookin' this smoking," Santana states factually but with a little smirk on her lips. "And I do, but sometimes you gotta put in a little effort." She winks and then turns a shade of red when she realizes she's just winked at someone who can't even see her. "Yeah, so," She clears her throat and stands up from the bed in a way to distract her from this random embarrassed feeling. "I'm gonna shower and stuff."
She pretty much hangs up the phone before Brittany can even respond, but in that moment, she's kind of okay with that. Tossing the phone onto her bed she turns and grabs her towel that is hanging on the back of her bedroom door and makes her way towards the bathroom. There's a definite possibility that tonight is going to be a great escape from the life she has been living thus far in Texas, away from the south service road, Aunt Linda's overly watchful eye, and complete and utter boredom.
Two hours later and a text message on her not so new cell phone from the blonde next door, Santana is slowly walking her way up the Pierce's mostly paved driveway. It was Brittany's request and suggestion that whenever Santana was ready that she just come on over and then they'd go. Not seeing anything wrong with the idea, Santana beautified herself, tossed on her black vest with no shirt underneath and topped off her wonderful look with her fedora. Something about a hot smokin' woman with a little mystery she always thought was a super easy way to get some very much needed attention. Particularly, attention between her legs.
But, here she is now, walking towards Brittany's powder blue truck in the dim light of the evening wondering if she is supposed to wait outside or ring the doorbell. Something about going up the Pierce porch and ringing the doorbell doesn't have the same feel as it did when they were little girls, calling one another out to play. Being a teenager and calling on someone via knock, doorbell or even car horn, usually descends into more adult and more romantic material.
These thoughts make her roll her eyes at even herself. It's not like she and her childhood buddy are going out on some extravagant date and she has to suck up the courage to put on fake smiles for the parental units. In fact, she is pretty certain she hasn't even been on an actual date, not just this super friends only kind of get together so these sudden 'insecurities' are kind of moot.
With a deep breath and short slew of expletives aimed at herself, she stalks over towards the steps and reaches a hand out to the screen door leading to the Pierce porch. But, as she pulls it open, the front door to Brittany's house opens and the blonde herself appears with a bright and amused smile on her face.
"I was wondering how long you were gonna stand out here." She laughs out and then fully steps onto the porch to close the door behind her. "Wow." Brittany says with surprise and a raised eyebrow. Santana can see her blue eyes, even in the barely there light thanks to the lanterns on the porch, as they scan her body up and down. "You look…"
"Yeah well," Santana steps down and pulls the screen door open for Brittany, trying to look at anything and everything but the lingering stare from the girl next door. "You, uh, I keep forgetting that you own regular clothes." She comments in a smaller voice, letting her eyes graze over the taller girl's body as she walks down the steps.
"I got the directions from Quinn." The cheerleader informs her friend who is walking slightly behind her. "I told her we'd meet them there." She says over her shoulder and Santana nods, making her way to the passenger side of Brittany's truck. Right when she revs the engine, the passenger side visor flips up and she can see in the dark Santana rummaging through her purse. "Need light?"
"Yeah." Santana hums out and then sighs out in triumph as she brings up her lip gloss into the shimmering light shining inside the cabin of the powder blue pickup truck. "Never leave the house without it." She notes, sending a wink in the blonde's direction before turning her attention back towards her own reflection in the visors small mirror.
"You have nice lips." Brittany practically breathes out. Santana's hand stops moving, she quirks an eyebrow but all of that only lasts a hot second. She's pretty much used to people staring at her and telling her that she has lovely assets. Though, truth be told it was usually in the middle of hooking up, but a compliment is a still a compliment she reasons.
"Uh," She blushes, only a little bit, shakes her head and chuckles. "Well, this is actually a lip plumping gloss." She explains, holding the applicator out for Brittany to see. "It would totally make your lips look all hot and sultry too." She tells the blonde, turning herself a little more towards the driver's seat. "Here, try it." Brittany immediately takes the offered lip gloss and pulls her visor down, a wide smile on her face just like she used to have as a kid when she got candy. "It's feel a little weird but it will make your lips look, like, super kissable." Brittany smacks her lips together and slowly twists the cap back on, a smaller smile gracing her lips.
"Thanks." She says, and hands the lip gloss over the dark haired girl beside her. "How does it look?" The cheerleader wonders as she flips her head in Santana's direction making her blonde hair flip behind her. Santana laughs a little because she notices how Brittany's lips pout when some of her blonde hair sticks to her lips.
"Ah," She shuffles closer, lifting her arm up and resting her elbow on the back of the bench seat in the blonde's truck. "Happens to me all the time." Santana winks as she slowly lowers a finger down towards Brittany's lips to help her remove the hair sticking to her mouth. Brown eyes watch carefully as a tanned finger hooks a few stray strands of hair, unaware of the sparkling blue eyes watching the way her lips pout in a smile as she removes the offending hairs.
Half behind a sheer white curtain stands Annie Pierce, to her full height of five foot seven, holding the curtain back ever so slightly with one hand and her cell phone in the other. In the background, Mr. Pierce sits comfortably in his arm chair enjoying a sports game, cheering on as the Ole Miss football teams scores a touchdown. The cabin of her daughters powder blue pickup is lit up perfectly for her to see the scene of her daughter and her neighbor's niece in a rather compromising position. Her lips purse, her eyes squint and she simply continues to stare.
"What do we know about her?" She asks in an all too serious tone, but one her husband has grown very accustom to over the years. She watches as the girls giggle, so it seems, and the shorter girl shimmy back to her respective side of the bench seat. The lights turn off, leaving her in the dark of anymore movements and facial expressions going on between them. "I asked a question." She says in a louder voice, giving up on her spying and spins around to find her husband staring at her in confusion.
"I'm sorry dear, did you say something?" Joe Pierce inquires, sending his wife a polite smile. Mrs. Pierce rolls her eyes, ever so gracefully, and moves away from the window.
"The Lopez girl." Annie repeats in short.
"Oh, Santana." Joe smiles as he says her name. He still thinks of her as the little dark haired girl making mud pies with his daughter. "Must be nice for Linda to have her staying with her." He comments before sipping some scotch and water.
"I wonder why she's staying with her." Annie notes, taking a seat on the couch beside her husband's arm chair and lifts her cell phone to open her phone book. "A seventeen year old girl moves in with her aunt during her senior year just cause?" She shakes her head and opens up a new text message under Terri, her assistant's name. "Doesn't make much sense." She says the last part to herself because she already knows she has lost Joe's interest once the game returns back from commercials.
After a twenty five minute drive, small talk here and there and some singing to the radio, Santana picks up Brittany's cell phone to get the rest of the directions Quinn had texted her. She scrolls through what they have already done and finally gets up to where they are now and then she points to the right.
"Turn right here." She tells the blonde. "According to Q's direction, it should be up here on the right after the first light." She explains and then glances up to find the first light blinking ahead of them.
"What the hell is this place?" Santana blurts out, eyes wide and jaw slacken as they pull into a secluded parking lot. But, it's not really secluded, not in the least.
"April's Rhodehouse." Brittany answers, saying it as though it's the fanciest place ever in existence. She glances over to see a smile of appreciation come over Santana's face and she nods to herself. "This is amazing." She comments, her own eyes also wide, sparkling with the blinking lights of the bars sign flickering.
"Look who finally showed up." Mike nudges Quinn as he hands a red solo cup to Tina. The blonde turns her head and sees Brittany's truck pull up and into a spot a few spots over.
"Guess they got started without us." Santana points out, noticing the red cups in the hands of Asian fusion, Quinn and her cousin, Liza with a 'K'. "Good thing I always come prepared." She announces before happily pulling out the rest of the vodka she had bought when she first rolled into town. Santana shows it off as though it's a prized possession and Brittany playfully rolls her eyes and giggles with a shake of her head. "Quick sip?" She raises an eyebrow and smirks. "And by sip I mean chug a little." She winks getting yet another laugh out of the blonde. "And by a little I mean a lot."
"You're a little party girl aren't you?" The cheerleader wonders with amusement as she turns the ignition off. Santana shrugs, unscrews the cap and brings the bottle to her lips. "Hey." Brittany loudly calls out and reaches for the bottle just as Santana is in mid tilt. "Ladies first, no?" She winks and easily brings the bottle to her lips, taking a decent swig. Santana's eyebrows raise and her jaw drops.
"Wow, country girl knows how to drink eh?" She says with a laugh. Brittany nods with a smile as she lowers the bottle, making a tiny face as the vodka burns all the way down. "Color me impressed Britt Britt." She cheers and reaches for the bottle for a sip for herself.
"Ugh." Brittany shivers and sticks her tongue out, trying to ride out the potent taste of alcohol dancing around her mouth which only makes Santana laugh through her drinking.
"Stop." The dark haired girl whines as she lifts her hand to wipe her chin where some vodka had dribbled out. "You're gonna make it come out of my nose." She nudges the blonde's arm and the two simply giggle at the possibility of liquor coming out of Santana's nose. A knock at the passenger side window interrupts their little world and they both turn to find a smiling Quinn wave and mouth 'hey'.
"I thought you guys got lost." Quinn admits as she opens the door wider for Santana.
"No," Brittany says as she comes around the back end of the truck to meet her two friends on the other side. "This one just took a day and a half getting ready." She points over at Santana as they walk over towards the back of Mike's truck where a little amateur bartending is going on. The dark haired girl rolls her eyes as she hands over her less than half filled bottle of vodka over the football player for him to make her some delicious cocktail.
"Hey," Santana starts, flipping her hair in the process. "This is my first night out since I got here and I needs to get me some." She explains and reaches out for her newly filled red cup, garnering an amused eyebrow raise and smirk from Quinn.
As she sips her drink her eyes scan over the very full parking lot. There are pickup trucks as far as the eye can see and just like she and her temporary posse, there are groups of twinks in their skinny jeans and fashionable scarves. Just beyond the group of Justin Beibers is a small collection of big, broody guys who keep calling each other 'girlfriend' and playing with one another's beards. If there is one thing she appreciates in Texas, it's the way the bears and their cubs don't wear fishnet tank tops like they do at the bars back at home. Something about all that hair, though a nice reminder as to why she loves the smoothness of a woman's naked body, always seemed to curb her appetite.
She can hear Brittany, Quinn and Kurt talking amongst themselves behind and next to her. Along with Asian fusion being all cute and talking about getting their dance on, she seems rather intrigued at the scene of the parking lot at April's Rhodehouse. Back in Boston, especially at the places she spent most of her nights; it wasn't uncommon to see to guys making out against the back of their expansive car, two girls sneaking off into the backseat of said car or even just a little puppy love hand hold between a same sex couple.
But, she realizes that since she's been here in Knox, minus Kurt of course, she has yet to actually see anything like this since her arrival. It's not to say that back in Boston, it's all same sex couples walking up and down the street manhandling one another, but it's most definitely a lot more diverse. She supposes it makes sense though. The six of them have just driven twenty five minutes out to the middle of nowhere, which says a lot since they drove from the middle of nowhere. And now, they are standing in a parking lot with over three dozen strangers, in the most secluded place Santana is sure she has ever been in and there is this diverse community. Well, diverse in the fact that it's completely the opposite of Knox City's Main Street.
"Are we doing seconds, or just heading in?" Mike breaks her inner, self conversation and she glances down into her almost empty cup. With a breath, she tosses the rest of her drink back handing over her now very empty red cup.
"How about we all take a shot?" She grins and reaches around him for the liquor bottle standing up right in the back of his truck.
"I think you better count me out." Brittany shakes her head and waves her hands after Santana takes her shot and tries to hand the bottle her way. The dark haired girl swallows, arches an eyebrow and smirks.
"And you call me uptight." She chuckles, but Brittany just brushes it off easily and smiles.
"Well, I don't think your aunt would be too happy if I was driving you around intoxicated." The blonde points out and watches Santana hand the bottle over the Kurt.
"Hey, it's cool." Santana shrugs and sends her an innocent wink. "More for me." Quinn passes up on the extra shot as well, for which Santana takes both of theirs and that's what finishes up the bottle.
Along with a few of the others from the parking lot, the random group of misfits from Knox City makes their way towards the front entrance of April's Rhodehouse. The sign outside hangs high above the front door in big, bright, neon purple letters. They wait on line, about ten people back, behind boy and boy, man with man, two women, a young college aged guy with his hag and a straight couple. The bouncer at the door is a big, burly man with a huge smile on his face as he greets various patrons who Santana can only assume are regulars.
"Hey guys." The man at the door greets the group of teenagers. "Glad to see you back so soon." He waves Quinn, Kurt, Mike and Tina in. Quinn tells him that Santana and Brittany are with her and he nods with a smile telling them to enjoy.
When they walk over the threshold of the bar, Santana can't faintly hear the bouncer greeting a couple that must have been behind them with such enthusiasm and she suddenly feels right at home. She remembers the places back home and how everyone at the gay bar by her knew her name. It was so easy for her to cut the line and walk right in. But, there were definitely different reasons for her getting the V.I.P. treatment. She made sure she got to know the bouncer, her girlfriend, the bartender, his girlfriend the DJ and of course the owner in her own little special way.
Colored lights are streaming the dance floor, strobe lights are going off in the corner and music is bumping all around. Couples are cuddling up to one another by the bar, against the wall by the DJ booth and dancing everywhere. Friends are dancing in tight knit circles, bartenders on both sides are pouring drinks, doing shots with customers and drag queens are walking around trying to sell shots in test tubes.
"So," Kurt sidles up beside Santana, claps his hands joyfully and looks out to the wonderfulness that is April's Rhodehouse. "What do you think?" Santana raises an eyebrow, glances around and smirks.
"It smells like," Her nose crinkles and she looks over at the boy next to her. "Marlboro Lights and wine coolers in here." He chuckles and gives her a golf clap.
"Really?" Brittany comes up on her other side, bright smile on her face as her eyes dance around the bar. "I think it smells like glitter and grape soda." She tells her friends who eye her up curiously, only she is cheering a group of guys dancing a few feet away to pay them any mind.
Santana and Kurt share quizzical stares, but can't help but laugh when Brittany lets out a big cheer for the dancers before her. She instantly runs over to Mike and Tina and pulls them onto the dance floor. Quinn steps in between Kurt and Santana, letting her arms drape around both of their shoulders and squeezes.
"Let's dance kids." She tells the both of them. Kurt eagerly allows himself to be dragged out and join the masses of rhythmically gifted bodies, but Santana steps away from the blonde's grasp.
"Actually, I'm gonna walk around." The dark haired girl says over the pumping music and motions over towards the bar on the left side of the place. "Maybe get a drink." Quinn and Kurt shrug and nod, waving their friend off as she turns to head in the direction she pointed.
This place may be a little farther than she would like, but it's got its charm, and that's more than enough reason for Santana to take inventory. Maybe she can find some calm in her boring day to day life back over at Aunt Linda's. If possible, she may even be able to make this some kind of weekly occurrence for her to actually stay sane while she's here.
With her flirt smirk in place, she turns towards the bar and leans seductively onto it. She quirks an eyebrow over at the bartender who has her April's Rhodehouse, way too tight tank top on and the girl smiles with a head nod that she'll be right over. As she waits, she turns her body ever so slightly and scans over the dance floor. It seems that gay bars in Texas are just the same as the ones back home, safe for the cowboy boots and flannel shirts.
On the far side of the dance floor she spots Quinn and Kurt vogueing to some Nicki Minaj song, while Tina, Mike and Brittany seem to be in some impromptu dance off with a small gang of gym obsessed gay guys. A small smile tugs at the corners of her mouth as she watches Brittany move effortlessly to the music. She remembers when she was younger and she would spend hours upon hours watching from her bedroom window simply watching the blonde gracefully move around her bedroom. How she could hear the faint sound of music, whether it was something classical, something rock or anything hip hop, Brittany could move to anything with a beat. And apparently, she still can.
"What can I get you beautiful?" The brunette from behind the bar asks, her southern accent cuts through her flashback and brings her back to the present. She turns herself back towards the bar and purses her lips to their full plumpness.
"I was thinking a beer." Santana tells the girl, leaning back a little from the bar as though she is mulling over the options available to her.
"How's 'bout a beer and a shot? On me?" The girl winks and turns to grab a bottle before Santana can even give her that surprised but knowing grin. "You're new here." The bartender says and Santana has to lean forward to hear her.
"Is it that obvious?" Santana asks with slight curiosity. She was pretty sure she dressed the part perfectly for this event. "What's your name?" She inquires as she watches the girl on the other side of the bar set down her beer and two shot glasses.
"Hope." She tells the dark haired girl with the cute fedora on. Santana smiles and reaches for the full shot beside her beer.
"Santana." She offers her name even though Hope has yet to ask for it. They grin at one another, lift their shot glasses and press them together. "Cheers." With a wink, she tosses back her shot of what she can taste if a healthy helping of Jack Daniels. She fights the urge to make a face, seeing as she still has nightmares of her past relationship with the beverage. "Thanks." She smiles gratefully, sets down the now empty shot glass and takes a swig of her beer.
"So, Santana." Hope says her name in a lower octave and leans over the bar so she doesn't have to shout so much to be heard. "What's a pretty girl like you doing in a place like this all alone?" She raises an eyebrow and giggles when Santana smirks at her.
"Who says I'm alone?" Santana fakes offense and peels at the label of her Budweiser bottle. Hope glances down at the bottle in the other girl's hand, chuckles slightly and then looks back up to those brown eyes.
"I can tell by your sexy accent that you're not from Texas sweetheart." Hope begins to explain. "By the way your fingers are tearin' apart that beer label, I can sense your need for," She bites her lower lip and leans a little closer. "Some extracurricular activities." Santana grins and her eyebrows rise a bit. She didn't realize how hot and naughty these Texas chicks could be.
"Do you flirt with all of your customers?" Santana wonders aloud, letting her bottom lip play with the rim of her beer bottle.
"Only the sexy ones." Hope says hotly and Santana is sure she just felt her warm breath hit her face.
"Hey Hope!" A guys voice from all the way down the end of the bar calls and they both look over to see him hanging over the bar waving her down.
"Better get back to work." Santana winks and cheers her drink in the air towards the bartender. Hope blows a kiss through the air towards Santana and heads on down to the guy who is flagging her down.
There's really nothing like a free drink no matter where it comes from Santana thinks. As she sucks down her beer she turns around to look for the group she came with. Three songs or so have passed since she came up to the bar, but all of those kids are still out there doing their own thing. Quinn and Kurt seemed to have joined in with Mike and Tina having their own little dance circle, but she notices she can't spot the other blonde she came with.
"Hey ya'll." A tiny, slightly high pitched voice comes through the speakers and over the dance heavy music. "Welcome to another Saturday night here at April's Rhodehouse!" The woman announces and the crowd cheers excitedly. "April here," She makes herself known and Santana is actually impressed that there is an actual 'April' to go along with April's Rhodehouse. "How are ya'll doin' tonight?" April asks the crowd and everyone goes wild, cheering her on as though she is the best thing in the world. Santana reasons that to most of them, this April character probably is the best thing to happen to their gay Texas lifestyle. "Don't forget to give our ladies with the jell-o shots some love and our fellas with the body shots some tongue." Boys and men all around the room go wild for the last comment and Santana snorts at the openness and acceptance that is April's. "Now let's get our 80's dance party on. DJ!" As her voice cuts out, a dance style of Whitney Houston's 'I Wanna Dance with Somebody' comes busting through the speakers and everyone and anyone on the dance floor goes wild. Even a bunch of people from the bar drag their friends, significant others and even strangers out to dance beneath the giant, sequined, shiny shoe dangling from the ceiling.
A flash of blonde from the corner of her eye causes Santana to turn her attention. She finally finds Brittany, who apparently went to the ladies room, and is now being approached by some scary looking woman with a 1988 mullet and a thick flannel shirt on. She watches on as Brittany smiles politely at the woman who grabs her hand and points out to the dance floor. In all honesty, Santana's seen that type of woman back at the bars in Boston. She's dubbed the scary older lesbian who probably lives with her cats, only owns husky jeans and is not up on current women's hairstyles. This woman is also the kind of woman that preys on the young, lipstick lesbians and is more often than not turned down.
To her surprise, Brittany nods and brightly smiles back at the woman who then leads her cheerleading friend back out to the dance floor. Her head jerks back because never in her entire history of lesbianism has she ever seen the eighteen wheeler, mullet, cat loving lesbian snag a dance or even a smile from someone as beautiful as Brittany. She's actually considering that Disney has nothing on Texas and that April's Rhodehouse is the happiest place on earth. Her head shakes in surprise as she notices that Brittany is even holding back her awesome dance moves seeing as her dance partner lacks the ability to move to any kind of rhythm.
"There you are." A voice breaks her staring and she turns her head to find Quinn making her way over. "Are you gonna come and dance at all tonight?" The blonde asks as she turns to the other bartender behind the bar and signals for some water.
"Actually," Santana starts and completely forgets about Brittany and her dancing mullet friend. "I think the bartender is two seconds away from giving me her first born." She tells her friend and winks over in Hopes direction when the dark haired girl looks her way.
"Oh really?" Quinn arches one of her perfectly shaped eyebrows and smirks back at Santana. "So that's your type?" Santana swallows the rest of her beer, shakes her head and sets the bottle back down.
"I have only one type Fabray." She says, holding up one finger to emphasize what she is about to say. "And it's only gonna be about sex anyway." She shrugs her shoulders and puts on a bright smile for Hope when she heads back over to replenish Santana's now empty beer with a new one. "Cheers." She clinks her fresh beer bottle against her friend's plastic cup filled with water and takes a quick sip.
"Did you even pay for that?" Quinn asks in confusion.
"Please." Santana laughs out and wipes her lips with her thumb. "When you look this hot you don't pay for anything." She explains as though it should be common knowledge.
Quinn chuckles with a shake of her head, finishes off her water and motions back to the dance floor. Santana nods in understanding and turns her focus back to where she had seen Brittany dancing with the very manly, commercial truck driving woman earlier. She can't seem to find the dancing cheerleader anywhere but she is taken out of her search when there is a tap on her shoulder. Hope is standing beside her with a smile on her face.
"I thought you were here alone?" The slightly taller bartender asks and loosely crosses her arms over her chest as she leans against the bar. Santana tilts her head in question, but then figures that the girl must have seen her talking to Quinn.
"Oh," She motions with her hand over to where Quinn had been standing only moments ago. "I came with a group of friends, that blonde was one of them." She tells Hope who grins and then quirks an eyebrow. "She's straight though."
"What about the blonde who's been staring at your for the last fifteen minutes?" Hope juts her chin a little to the right and Santana follows her gaze finally finding where Brittany had gone off to. She catches the blonde's blue eyes, but only for a few short seconds before the cheerleader looks away and carries on her dance move contest with Mike.
"Oh, Brittany?" Santana asks with amusement and shakes her head as she turns to face the bartender. "Totally just a friend." She tells Hope, letting her body turn fully towards the brunette. "And totally straight."
"Ahh," Hope nods along with a cute smile. "If you say so." She winks at Santana and steps closer.
"So, you've been keeping an eye on me tonight?" She arches an eyebrow and licks her lips, the sure way to let Hope know she is completely and shamelessly flirting back.
"Maybe both." The bartender tilts her head and brings her index finger to Santana's collarbone and runs it over her tanned skin. "How much longer do I have to subtlely throw myself at you before you give me your number?" She asks in a low voice.
"This is you being subtle?" Santana playfully and flirtatiously giggles out. Hope bites her bottom lip, nods and hands over a napkin with her phone number on it along with her name.
"Not really." She leans forward so her lips are ghosting Santana's ear and she breathes out. "Call me sometime Santana, and I'll show you around town." She leans back and winks before spinning around and heading back to her post behind the bar.
With a triumphant smile, Santana finishes the rest of her beer, folds the napkin up neatly and tucks it into her bra. This trip to April's Rhodehouse seems to be just what she needed. If Hope's insanely obvious flirting and number stashed perfectly between Santana's breasts, this night is most definitely not a bust. In fact, the dark haired girl is pretty sure that Hope didn't mean she would show Santana around Texas.
Since she's got a decent buzz on, digits in her cleavage and the beautiful sound of some old school hip hop bumping from the speakers, Santana moseys her way on down the steps of the bar and towards the group of randoms she came here with. They all cheer when she arrives and Kurt even grabs her hands and pulls her towards him for some upbeat dancing.
For the first time since dancing around in the garage at Pierce Parts and Tires, Santana finds herself letting go along with the music. Her eyes close and she imagines that she is back home at some party in a lot with Puck and feels the alcohol dance along with her. But she's not in Boston in some back alley party where the music is coming through the speakers of someone's Escalade. The sound of Quinn's laugh over the music enters her ears, the way Kurt cheers them all on as they dance along the beer and liquor coated floor and the smell of Brittany's shampoo invades her senses. For the first time since dancing around in the garage at Pierce Parts and tires, she finds herself really smiling.
It's two in the morning when the group decides to call it a night. Quinn, Brittany and Mike have all sobered up and taken turns going to the bathroom after flushing their system with four cups of water each. Santana, Kurt and Tina wait patiently outside by the trucks as the other three make their way over. A familiar voice saying 'hello' causes Santana to open her eyes in curiosity. She smiles through her still semi drunken haze when she finds that the voice belongs to that of the hot, brunette bartender.
"Hey there." Santana greets the girl and pushes herself away from Mike's black pickup.
"You better call me for our date." Hope reminds the Latina before waving goodbye and heading off in the opposite direction.
"Date?" Kurt asks with a raised eyebrow in surprise. Santana rolls her eyes and crosses her arms loosely over her chest in her most non-threatening way.
"I don't do 'dates' Porcelain." She explains with disdain. "I'm more of a hit and quit it kind of chick." She tells him, giving her fingernails a quick once over with admiration of her daily filing.
"So then what was that?" Tina chimes in with a goofy, drunken smile on her face.
"What was what?" Brittany's voice comes from behind them and they turn around to see that Quinn and Mike are right there along with her.
"Santana's got a date with the cute bartender." Tina tells them as she moves closer to Mike and nuzzles into him.
"I thought you didn't date?" Quinn's head jerks back as she recalls the conversation she had with Santana back at Pierce Parts and Tires on the whole dating situation. With yet another eye roll and a sigh, Santana's arms fall to her sides and she looks over at Quinn.
"You're going on a date?" Brittany then jumps into the conversation. Santana's attention snaps to the tall blonde and watches as her head tilts in confusion with the question and how her fingers fumble around the keys on her key ring.
"Look," Santana makes eye contact with all of them, the best she can seeing as she can still taste the last shot of Jack she did with the bartender. "I don't go on dates. I go out with women and get my mack on if you all must know."
"So you're kind of a tramp?" Kurt says in a very non-insulting way and Santana nods and shrugs.
"I don't do labels either Rainbow Brite." Quinn, Tina and Mike laugh along with Santana at her little jab at Kurt while Brittany forces a tiny smile and heads towards her powder blue truck.
They say their goodnights and thank one another for a fun night out down at April's Rhodehouse, already planning to make a return next week. Quinn pulls out first, with Mike behind her and then Brittany's pickup behind his. The roads are empty seeing as it's late into the night, or early into the morning.
Santana rests her head against the passenger side window and closes her eyes with the faint sound of soft rock playing in the cabin of Brittany's truck. Most of the ride is silent, except for the random comments made by the blonde about how much fun the bar was and the random questions about the bartender that Santana pretty much leaves unanswered. The only sounds that come from the dark haired girl are grunts and hums to let Brittany know that she is listening and hears her but is not at all going to join in any kind of conversation.
When she opens her eyes, Santana can tell that they are on the south service road and about two minutes away from their houses. She sits up straight and removes her fedora, setting it in her lap and pops in a piece of gum for good measure. Hopefully Aunt Linda will be too tired and sleepy to try and give Santana a hard time and make her touch her nose with her fingers her breath out into her nose.
"Just pull into your driveway, I'll walk home." Santana tells the blonde as they come up to the Pierce's driveway.
"You sure?" Brittany asks as she presses on the gas, ready to do exactly what her friend said.
"Yeah." She nods and pulls her bag up to her lap. "The extra fresh air will wash away the smell of man on man action and the Cosmo some bitch spilled on my legs." Brittany lets out a light chuckle and nods as she turns ever so carefully into her driveway. She opens the door as soon as the truck comes to a halt and Brittany kills the engine. "Thanks, for, driving and shit." She glances over to the blonde who smiles back at her and nods.
"Of course." They grin back at one another and then Santana rolls her eyes at the awkward silent staring they are doing.
"Well, okay, goodnight Britt." She hops out of the car and waits for the soft 'goodnight' from the blonde before shutting the door and heads towards her aunt's house.
Still sitting in the driver's seat, Brittany turns her head and watches through the window as Santana slowly walks down her paved driveway and down to the dirt sidewalk until she vanishes behind the bushes. She lets out a sigh and then twists her lips as she pulls the keys from the ignition and jumps out of her truck.
Terri Del Monaco makes her way up the steps of the Knox City Town Hall building and purposefully pushes the glass doors open. Her hands are filled with manila folders and multi colored files with a few choice post-its perfectly placed. She made sure to copy all of the papers and label them the exact way that Emma Pillsbury had. Her high heels click and clack against the marble floor of the town hall building as she makes her way towards the elevator and has to adjust the paper work to one arm to press the button. Within seconds the doors open and she eagerly enters, pressing the button that will take her up to the fourth floor and into the Mayor's office hallway.
She knows she's late, but she didn't really have a choice. Emma Pillsbury had taken a much shorter lunch break, which is rather unusual seeing as the super, freakishly germaphobic woman takes about an hour or so to simply clean her afternoon snacks. But regardless, once Terri gets a request from the Mayor, it's as good as done if she wants to keep her job. Adjusting the bag hanging from her shoulder the best she can without dropping anything, she tries to tilt her wrist to check the time.
"You're late." The frigid voice of Annie Pierce comes to her ears before the doors even fully open.
"I'm sorry." Terri tries and quickly hands over the requested material when she sees the Mayor's hands reach out expectantly. "The neat freak must have changed her 'normal' routine." She rolls her eyes at the fact that the towns resident OCD citizen has gotten her on the Mayor's bad side.
"Is this everything?" The taller blonde questions while quickly thumbing through all of the papers in the files for a once over and then looks to the woman before her.
"Umm," Terri glances at the files and folders, recalling everything she saw that had 'Lopez, Santana' written. "Everything I could find." She nods, smiles and then follows Annie Pierce down a short hallway when the older woman spins on her heels and stalks towards her office. "If you don't mind me asking, Mrs. Mayor," Terri is hot on Mrs. Pierce's tail, eager to be in on whatever this new project is. "What's the scandal with this Lopez girl?" She innocently inquires as they enter the Mayor's office. "I mean, she just seems like a city girl who got shipped off to live with her aunt in the middle of nowhere for a few months. Almost like rehab." She thinks out loud even though it's mostly a thought to herself. "But a lot less Amy Winehouse and a little more Lindsay Lohan." She smirks at her talent for making offhanded pop culture references, but the stern, unamused look she receives from Mrs. Pierce changes her tune.
"It's a personal matter." Annie Pierce vaguely explains, getting a few small head nods from Terri and then a confused head tilt. "Are these all of Pillsbury's notes?" She asks, rifling quickly through the pages.
"Not all of them, most are just copies of her records sent from Boston." The assistant points out. "Linda Lopez is her aunt." Terri states but almost with a questioning air to it. Mrs. Pierce nods as she sets the folders and files perfectly on her desk. "Well then, she lives next door to you Mayor Pierce. Couldn't you just do some investigating the old fashion way?" Annie quirks an eyebrow, pauses her hands on the pages and glances up to the woman standing across from her desk.
"I would, but it seems my daughter has taken a liking to her." The Mayor points out with distaste.
"Well, Brittany is a good judge of character." The younger woman states. "I mean, she stopped hanging around the Fabray girl when she got in trouble a few years back." Mrs. Pierce chuckles and shakes her head as her eyes scan over a page in her hand.
"My daughter thinks there is good in everyone." Annie Pierce sighs out as though it is the most awful thing she could ever think or say about her own daughter.
"Isn't that, like, a good thing?" Terri wonders. "A very Christian way of thinking." She adds on a smile, proud of her responses in this conversation thus far.
"It's a foolish way of thinking." Her eyes squint as she reads the Social Workers perfect handwriting and sighs. "And this Santana Lopez has no place in my daughter's life." She says as she firmly places the piece of paper down.
Santana is standing just outside the market, not so patiently waiting for Aunt Linda to finish up inside and most likely shove heavy shopping bags into her hands. She adjusts the sunglasses she is ever so thankful for remembering during her frantic pack for Knox, and crosses her arms over her chest as she looks down the street. Her eyes roll and she narrows her stare at the group of boys with Knox City High School letterman jackets on, pushing and shoving one another, in some lame attempt to prove their 'manhood' or whatever reason guys do those things.
One in particular really makes her blood boil, he simply rubs her the wrong way, always has and she figures he always will. Luckily, before enough energy can conjure to the point where she can actually shoot lasers through her eyes, she senses someone behind her and a not so very welcoming 'hello'. Spinning around, she is pretty surprised to find Mrs. Pierce standing there with the fakest half smile she has ever seen.
"Umm," Santana tosses one more hate filled glance over her shoulder before turning her attention back to her new next door neighbor. "Hello?" She remembers Mrs. Pierce. Anyone who has ever met the woman would never forget her. That icy stare and that cold hard look in those blue eyes that were the complete opposite of her warm and uber charming daughter.
"What are you doing out here?" The blonde woman asks, looking up at the market sign above the shop that they are standing under. Brushing off her complete confusion, Santana sighs and points at the doors and she shakes her head.
"Aunt Linda's dragged me here to be her bag boy." She explains with disdain, though she does have to admit that Aunt Linda is one hell of a cook, so she really doesn't mind having to carry a few bags to the truck and into the house.
"How lovely of you." Mrs. Pierce's fakeness is so thick, Santana is sure she could cut it up and serve it with a big healthy cup of 'shut the fuck up'.
"Yeah, well, I try." She forces out, trying her best at a pleasant faux smile to match the one directed at her.
"I see you're all grown up." Annie points out and Santana can see the quirked eyebrow twitch, telling her this is conversation is going to be going in a whole other direction than she thought.
"Sure am." Bitch smile in full effect. This woman is playing some kind of game, Santana can smell that much. It's when Mrs. Pierce steps a little closer to her does she actually realize what the woman's angle is.
"You're good." Mayor Pierce notes, smile still completely intact, but the ice in her eyes as cold as ever. "The whole sweet girl thing you're trying to pull here." Santana's eyebrows furrow and her nose crinkles because, 'sweet girl', as if. "But see, I've read up on you." The older woman tilts her head and watches as confusion rakes over the smaller girls face.
"You don't know what you're talking about lady." Santana defends and when she tries to step back, the Mayor only steps forward.
"Brittany is a good girl." The older woman states.
"Yeah, she is." Santana agrees instantly.
"I'd like to keep it that way."
"Annie." Aunt Linda's voice comes out of nowhere, but Santana can't thank her enough for intruding for the first time in ever. "Oh, sorry, I mean Mayor." Linda jokes and Annie Pierce steps away from Santana, chuckling along with her neighbor.
"How are things?" The icy blonde asks as though she actually cares.
"Fine. Got stuck with this one for a school year." Linda hands her grocery bags to Santana and playfully wraps her arm over her shoulder.
"Yes, I was just telling Santana how wonderful it is to see her in Knox again." Annie lies through her teeth making Santana jerk her head back, completely insulted by this charade. But when the tall blonde flashes her once pearly whites at her, she merely bites her tongue and nods.
"Yeah, Mrs. Pierce," Santana chimes in with a smirk. "The one woman welcoming committee."
"Yes, well, I have to go." Mrs. Pierce interrupts their not so interesting conversation and points ahead of her towards her office building. "Meetings and such."
"Bye bye." Linda waves her off and quickly spins her and Santana in the opposite direction. "Ugh," Aunt Linda groans. "That woman grates on my nerves." The younger Latina grins and nods, agreeing with her aunt entirely. "It's a wonder that a girl like Brittany could come from a person like Annie Pierce."
"Word Aunt Lee." Santana adds her two cents. "Word."
"We're having meatloaf for dinner." Aunt Linda tells her niece.
"As fantastic as that sounds, I will not be home for dinner." She says as she shifts the bags in her hands to one side of her arms.
"Is that so?" The older woman questions with suspicion.
"Very much so." Santana nods and gives her aunt a sideways look. There's no way she can get away without telling her aunt where she's going or who she is going wherever with. And something tells her that even though she can usually be very blunt with her aunt, telling the woman that she going to be missing dinner to have a one night stand with some bartender she just met wouldn't really fly. "I'm going on a date." She lies innocently. It could totally be seen as a date from an outsider's perspective.
"A date?" Aunt Linda asks with surprise. "With who?"
"Well, I met this girl. I got her number. And we're going out." She gives the short hand version figuring that less is more. They continue to walk in silence for a few more minutes and Santana glances out of the corner of her eye wondering what is going on in her aunt's head.
"Just make sure you bring my truck back in one piece." The older Lopez tells the younger as they get up to the old beat up automobile in question. Santana comes to a halt, completely thrown off at the fact that she didn't just have to beg to borrow the truck. "And make sure you fill her up." She glances over her shoulder when she realizes Santana is no longer beside her and sighs, shaking her head. "The truck, not the girl. Get your head out of the gutter."
Santana gets back from her date pretty early. She had an alright time, the girl was nice but, truthfully not her type. She told Hope, the girl, she'd call her, but those chances are pretty slim. She was pretty sure this 'date' situation was going to go in a particularly naked direction, but it turned out that the cute, way too tight tank top wearing bartender was all talk and no bite. Literally. Hope apparently really meant she was going to show Santana around town and for the majority of their get together made the Bostonian drive around to random places in her hometown of Carter. To say it was boring would be an understatement. To say it was a complete let down would be extremely accurate.
It's nine already, which means Aunt Linda is most likely passed out on the couch with the television blaring. But, when she opens the door and is greeted by the sound of the nightly repeat of some game show, she chuckles. Her aunt is so predictable.
She quietly places the keys to the truck onto the table and tip toes her way to the living room with the plan of waking Aunt Linda up and help her to bed. However, she is stopped in her tracks before even entering the room when she hears the all too familiar sound of giggling, which does not belong to Aunt Linda. Her brow furrows, head tilts to the side and she no longer is standing on her toes with the intentions of being super quiet.
Peeking her head around the corner of the living room, she finds Brittany sitting on the floor, across from Aunt Linda, playing scrabble. Her head jerks back when her aunt laughs out and playfully taps the blonde's hand telling her that whatever she put down is not a real word. Unbeknownst to her mind, her body moves and she gets the attention of the woman quickly.
"Hey Tana," Aunt Linda smiles, still laughing a bit and she leans back into the couch. "How was your hot date?" She asks and Brittany's head snaps around to see Santana who is eyeing her back with confusion.
"Ummm…" Her head tilts to the side again, her hands reach up to remove her jacket and she clears her throat. "Great." She lies. "It went great." Adding a smile for good measure, out of the corner of her eyes she sees Brittany's head turn back to the game, shifting around in her spot on the floor. Aunt Linda glances over to Brittany for a moment, before she eyes her niece curiously.
"Well," The older Lopez slaps her hands on her thighs before she pushes herself up from the couch. "I'm going to bed. Make sure you turn the lights off." She points to Santana who nods back and watches as her aunt vanishes in the dim light of the hallway.
"Goodnight Miss Linda, thanks for letting me hangout." Brittany calls out as she smiles at Linda's retreating figure.
"Anytime," Linda replies, turning back to face the other end of the hallway as she comes to her bedroom door. "Goodnight girls." Santana's eyes return to the couch, to find Brittany has moved from her spot on the ground to take a more comfortable seat.
"So," The blonde starts, moving over so Santana can take the spot beside her. "Are you going to see her again?" Brittany asks, finally breaking the silence that has fallen between them.
"I don't know," Santana breathes out, trying her best to find a comfortable position on the couch. "Maybe." She can't fight that strange feeling at how awkward this conversation feels. "Probably not." She honestly answers this time and looks over at the blonde who half smiles as she stares at her own hands in her lap. "Britt?" The cheerleader lifts her head and turns to look back at the girl beside her. "I'm sorry, but, what are you doing here?"
"I was playing scrabble with Miss Linda, and now, I'm talking to you… duh." Brittany smirks, stating the obvious and this gets a laugh out of Santana who can't help but grin.
"Right, well," She rolls her eyes at how innocent Brittany can truly be sometimes. "Do you wanna, watch a movie?" Santana leans forward to grab the remote.
"Oh… I, I'm sure you're exhausted after your date." Brittany shifts uncomfortably, making it seem like she's getting up, and the disappointment in the way she says 'date' does not go unnoticed by Santana.
"Exhausted from how boring it was." Santana groans. "Chick was stale." She finally admits out loud. "Besides," She shrugs her shoulders and looks over at Brittany. "I'm never too tired to hang out with you." She winks, even though she instantly regrets the corny gesture, but it gets a laugh from the blonde, which she reasons is worth it.
"Great." Brittany gets comfortable again and takes the remote from Santana. "There's a 'Sex and the City' marathon on."
About three episodes in and two glasses of lemonade later, the girl's continue pulling apart the impossibilities of the lives of the four single ladies living in New York City. They stay quiet when the sex scenes come on, shifting awkwardly beside one another any and every time Samantha Jones graces the screen with her current bedtime pal. Santana's never been shy when it comes to sex, but there's something about the girl sitting next to her makes her feel like that seven year old girl all over again. Before the trials and tribulations of first kisses, second base, and sex. When everything was about running in the rain, swinging on the tire swing outside and making up fairy tales until she isn't afraid of the dark anymore.
"Are you a virgin?" Santana breaks the silence, turns her head from the television and over in the blonde's direction.
"No." Brittany replies instantly, getting a chuckle from her friend. "I just… never had a boyfriend." She adds as an afterthought not even fazed at the randomness of the conversation.
"Yeah," Santana sighs, nods her head and leans back into the couch. "Me neither." She shrugs her shoulders before taking a sip of her drink.
"Well, duh, because you're a lesbian." The blonde blurts out bluntly, causing Santana to lift her hand to her mouth to stifle a laugh, not wanting to spew her lemonade all over herself.
"True." She says with a nod after swallowing her drink.
"Have you had girlfriends?" Brittany asks as she reaches for her own glass and glances down at the way the condensation has made the coaster stick to the bottom. Santana purses her lips together, glances down at the coaster attached to the blonde's glass and slowly shakes her head. "Why not?"
"I don't do relationships." She states factually, letting her eyes flicker from piercing blue ones over to the chatter going on in the current episode they are 'watching'. "'Feelings' or whatever," She shrugs. "It changes people… and not for the better." She grumbles and when she feels the stare from Brittany penetrating her skin, she clears her throat and leans forward to put her drink back down to the table. "Why haven't you had a boyfriend?" She counters and when she looks over she sees Brittany shrug.
"I guess," Brittany starts, moving her head from side to side as she thinks of the right words to convey her thoughts. "I haven't felt 'it'." She decides on, figuring that this explanation makes the most sense, but when she sees the confusion on her friend's face, her shoulders slump.
"Felt what?" Santana counters, eyebrows furrow as she tries to understand the blonde. Brittany turns to face Santana, brings her hand up to rest her cheek into her palm and looks down at the space separating them.
"I don't know." She answers, so simply and innocently, and shrugs her shoulders when she meets those brown eyes. They stare at one another for a few, but long minutes, both unsure of what to say in response to Brittany's declaration of never feeling 'it', and then not knowing exactly what 'it' even is. "Why are you so against relationships?" Brittany finally asks out loud. "You say love is bogus and that relationships are pretty much a waste of time," Her head shakes and tilts to the side, as though trying to figure Santana out by staring at her. "But, you never really say why exactly." The Latina lightly clenches her jaw, breaks eye contact with Brittany and lets out a long sigh.
"I was fourteen," Santana begins, looking down at her hands clasping together in her lap. "And I realized that things were never gonna go back to the way they were." Her shoulders shrug and she gives Brittany a pointed look. "That my dad wasn't going to be coming home, the home we all lived in together. He wasn't gonna be sitting at the dining room table for dinner or breakfast ever again." Her eyes flicker off to somewhere in the distance, not on anything in particular. "Because he was moving out, 'cause, ya know, he and my mom weren't going to be together anymore." She breathes out her nose, licks her lips and lowers her eyes.
"I didn't get it." She continues. "They were married for so long and had two kids. We had barbeques, went camping and had family vacations." The dark haired girl explains, her head shaking all the while she speaks and thinks. "So," She finally looks over at Brittany. "How does it fade? You know, love." Her eyes squint, as though in deep concentration as well as difficulty with the subject at hand. "I always thought it was something that grew bigger and brighter, but," She chuckles at her naivety and glances back down to her hands. "I guess that's only true in fairytales. And this life is most definitely not a fairytale."
The conversation seems to end there, with Brittany not really having any kind of answer or reasons against why Santana shouldn't think this way. She is sure there is an argument here, but, she figures if she thinks about it long enough she can come up with a great explanation for her friend and then maybe she will reconsider the better side of love.
"Can I ask you a question?" Santana interrupts breaks the silence again, catching the blonde's attention quickly. "Your mom," She almost hesitates to ask, but in all honesty, ever since Mrs. Pierce's near threat to her the earlier in the day, she can't help but wonder what the woman actually said to her daughter to get her to stop being friends with Quinn Fabray. "With the Quinn thing, what happened?" Brittany lowers her eyes, bites her lower lip and nods a few times, she was sure this was going to be asked eventually.
"Long story short?" She offers with a sweet smile, although, topic considering it's kind of hard to be upbeat.
"Yes please." Santana chuckles, figuring long story short is better than no story at all.
"My mom said," Brittany begins, her voice barely above a whisper and she lifts her hand up to brush some blonde hair from her eyes. "If I didn't stop hanging out with her, then she'd force my dad to fire Mr. Fabray from Pierce Parts and Tires." The blonde admits, her eyes downcast, clearly ashamed. "And, jobs aren't exactly easy to come by, especially for guys with families." She adds, clears her throat and then brushes the tip of her nose with the back of her hand. "So, I didn't really have a choice." Her eyes lift to find that Santana is staring back at her, clearly invested in each and every word she speaks.
"I…" Santana drawls out, her head shakes in disbelief, eyes widen and she blinks rapidly a few times. "I don't know what to say." She is shock and, if she could speak and express it at all, in complete awe of the blonde before her. "So, wait," Her eyebrows knit together as her thoughts get tangled up in one another. "How come you've never told Quinn this?" Brittany shrugs her shoulders and gnaws on her top lip as her eyes scan the living room.
"I guess," She sighs out. "Well, I didn't want her to be afraid of the possibility that her father's job even hung in the balance." She turns her head, ensuring that she will avoid Santana's eyes, at least for a few moments. "I figured it'd be better if she hated me instead." The blonde muses, letting her eyes fall down to the couch pillow that Santana is playing with.
"She," Santana shakes her head, rests the pillow onto her lap and rests her hands on top of it. "She doesn't hate you, Brittany. In fact, she still cares about you." She nods. "Told me so herself."
"I don't know why she would, I was awful." Brittany grumbles and shakes her head at herself. "I left her when she needed me most."
"Maybe because she knows you better than you think she does." Santana offers, leaning over to nudge the blonde with her shoulder. "She knows you have a method to your madness." She chuckles when she finally starts to see a small smile forming on Brittany's lips. "You two were inseparable, once upon a time."
A knock at the door catches the attention of the Lopez women who are standing in the kitchen cleaning up after dinner. It's a little past six thirty and besides the mailman or even Miss Pillsbury, both stare curiously until another set of knocks come. Aunt Linda looks over at her niece giving her the 'I have my hands full you get it' stare down. With a huff, roll of the eyes and tossing a dish towel on the counter, Santana makes her way over to the door and grins slightly as she notices the familiar figure of Brittany outside the screen door.
"Hey there." Santana greets as she opens the door and leans against the doorframe.
"Hi." The tall blonde replies softly and adds a smile which only adds to her sweetness.
"What's up?" The shorter girl asks, comfortably crossing her arms over her chest and tilts her head to the side with wonder as to this random visit in the evening. Brittany grins wider and raises her hand which has her keys dangling from her finger and she shakes them.
"You're still a little weak getting into third gear." She points out matter of factly. Santana's eyebrows furrow, her mouth opens a bit and she breaths out a small huff. "Come on, before the sun goes completely down. I promise, I will try not to make fun of you when you stall." Brittany says in silky smooth way that wins almost everyone over. Santana swiftly grabs the keys from the cheerleaders hand and gives her a fake, but amused smirk.
"Aunt Lee, Brittany's taking me out to break her truck." Santana calls out and as she steps onto the porch she hears her aunt laughing, telling Brittany to take it easy on her.
Brittany takes Santana up and down the south service road, showing her how to smoothly transition from gear to gear. She only stalled once and Brittany barely laughed. Barely. But after a few hours of good hard teaching and some silent listening on Santana's part, they are now back on their way towards the Pierce's nicely paved driveway.
"You're getting better." Brittany tells Santana, pressing her finger into the small dimple in the tanned girl's cheek as she tries to fight her smile. "Pretty soon you won't need me anymore." She sighs in defeat. Santana gives her a sideways glance and then shakes her head.
"Never." She says under her breath.
Santana pulls the powder blue pick-up truck into Pierce driveway, putting it into park just behind Mr. Pierce's fancy new truck. When she shuts the engine off, the inside of the vehicle is draped with a silence, the comforting kind with only the hint of crickets off in the distance. The blonde leans forward from the passenger side as she unbuckles her seatbelt, ducking her head just so, allowing herself to look up at the stars through the windshield. The Latina grins at the child like look in her friends eyes, a tiny chuckle escaping her lips and she lets herself lean forward to take a peek at the night's sky.
"Wow." Santana breathes out, eyes widen and her mouth hangs open for a few seconds. "I forgot how clear the sky is out here." She muses, her head tilts to the sky some more, taking in the glow of the stars, that back in Boston are dimmer out by the city lights. A giggle from beside her catches her attention however. "What?"
"You've been here for over a month," Brittany points out, amusement painted all over her features as she looks over to Santana. "And you haven't even looked at the sky?" She asks, somewhat in shock. Santana simply shrugs and turns her focus back to the night's sky.
"I was busy." Santana mutters sheepishly.
"To open your eyes and see something that's been right in front of you the whole time?" The blonde counters, still giggling as she curiously waits for a response. The Latina's eyebrows raise and she chances a quick glance over at Brittany who still has eyes for the sky. "Well," The cheerleader pulls the lever on the door and pushes it open, and turns to glance at her friend. "Goodnight, Santana." She smiles that perfect smile, reaches for the keys in Santana's hands, and then hops out of the truck.
The other girl does the same, the sound of the driver's side door echoes into the air around them and she calls out a soft 'g'night' to the blonde already walking away from the truck. Slowly, she drags her feet across the pebbles and half paved part of the Pierce driveway, hands shoved into her jean short pockets and her head held up high as she continues to admire the stars and moon above. But before she comes to the end of the driveway where the dirt path sidewalk begins, she stops and spins around cautiously, aware of the quietness.
"I called you, you know." Santana says once they both are a few feet closer to their respective houses. She's already turned around to face Brittany, who has stopped walking as soon as she heard Santana speak. "The first summer we didn't come back here. Your mom answered." She laughs with a shake of her head. "I guess she didn't give you the message." She adds and watches as the blonde turns around to look back at her, a sad yet surprised sparkle in her eye. "I called to wish you a happy birthday."
Brittany nods, letting Santana know she's heard her as well as understands. The shorter girl bites on her bottom lip and bounces on the balls of her feet while her fingers that are hidden within the depths of her pocket, dig into her thighs. The blonde waves, an angelic and light hearted giggle pops from her pinks lips before she spins around and carefully jogs up to the steps of her front porch.
Santana stands there, watching on as the image of the blonde fades behind the weathered screen door that surrounds the Pierce's front porch. The door slowly closes, claps against the wood frame and then shuts entirely, and Brittany vanishes behind the front door of the house. The shorter girl hums out a sigh, unaware of the small smile that's formed on her lips as she stared at the girl next door bounce step to step. She turns on her heels and finishes her journey back to Aunt Linda's, where she finds the porch light on and the woman of the house sitting comfortably on a rocking chair beside the door.
"Have fun?" Aunt Linda asks as Santana comes to the last stair on the porch. The young girl nods, glancing down at the pile of newspapers her aunt's gathered to put out for trash the next day.
"You need help?" She questions, kicking the already tied up stack by the banister. Aunt Linda looks up from the group of papers she's currently fighting with and quirks an eyebrow.
"Yeah," Linda drawls out and then points over to the basket of magazines and clipper mags. "Gather those up." She motions with her hands and then goes back to her pile once again.
Santana pulls her hands from her pockets and kneels down to grab the stack of magazines and starts going through them, letting the sound of papers rustling and crumpling become their background noise. Aunt Linda continues to sort her papers out, every now and again glancing up from her ministrations to look to her niece. They sit there, together in silence, stacking papers and magazines, tying them up and setting them close to the edge of the porch.