Chapter 78

"I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire. Cause I am a champion and you're gonna hear me roar. Louder, louder than a -"

"Enough!" Quinn stabs the stereo system's power button and plunges the house in silence. "How many times are you gonna play that damn song? You were supposed to be bathing her!"

Santana continues to dance around the living room with Kelly in her arms. "I'm teaching her not to take shi - cra - stuff from people. To stand up for herself." Kelly's little hands wave and her legs kick as she makes it known that she wants more dancing. "See." Santana says as she bounces Kelly around. "I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through -"


Santana glares at her uptight friend. "Fine. I'll play something else."

"Thank you."

"Your mama is so rude." Santana presses another button and slowly raises the volume until Rihanna's voice is blasting through the house. "Come here rude boy, boy can you get it up. Come here rude boy, boy is you big -"


"Take it, take it!"

"Santa -" Quinn throws her hands up and stalks back to the kitchen, just as the front door opens and Brittany walks in.

Santana crooks her finger in a come hither motion, and gyrates her hips as she dances forward. "Come here Rude boy, boy, can you get it up. Come here Rude boy, boy is you -" She stops wide eyed as Emily and Skye both walk in.

"Sorry." Brittany giggles at her adorable wife who was trying to appear salacious while balancing an infant on her hip. She leads the other women into the living room. "I brought some visitors."

Skye pulls Emily into her side and waits for the fireworks she assumes will happen since they are uninvited guests and just walked in on something they probably weren't supposed to see.

"I see that." Santana blushes with embarrassment as she shuts off the stereo.

"FINALLY!" yells Quinn from the kitchen.

Santana mentally flips her off and extends her hand to Emily. "It's great to see you again." Then to Skye, "Hi, I'm Santana."

Skye shakes her hand, holding it much longer than etiquette calls for. "Nice to meet you. I'm Skye."

Kelly reaches out for Emily and she responds with a little wave, her eyes sparkling with delight. In a high pitched voice, Santana asks Kelly, "Do you wanna go to Aunty Emily?" Kelly kicks her legs and pushes off of her dance partner. "Okay, okay, hold your horses." She passes the infant over and Emily immediately smells her head. Santana laughs out loud. "Doesn't she smell great?"

Relieved that Santana is alright with their last minute visitors, Brittany excuses herself to the kitchen to talk to Quinn. "Hey Quinnie. Something smells good."

"Salmon. You're home early."

"Yeah. Emily and her girlfriend stopped by the studio. They wanna take San and I to dinner, but I didn't realize you already cooked."

Quinn waves her hand dismissively. "Go. It's fine. We can eat this tomorrow."

"Are you sure?"

"I could use a quiet night in." Quinn rubs her fingers against her temples to alleviate the throbbing headache. "Your wife drove me crazy. I had to ask your mom to get the kids from school."

Brittany shoots her a placating smile, as if to say, "I'm sure she wasn't that bad." But, when one perfectly manicured eyebrow arches in challenge, Brittany laughs and raises a hand in surrender. "Sorry. I owe you one."

"I'd like lunch, just the two of us, at Le Cirque."

"Deal." Brittany tugs on Quinn's arm. "Come on, I want you to meet them." The girls walk out to the living room where they find Emily and Santana on the floor with Kelly, and Skye on the couch, looking uncomfortable and annoyed. "Hey guys, I want you to meet our best friend, Quinn. She lives here, too."

Skye scoots to the edge of the couch cushion and blatantly checks Quinn out. Quinn steps closer, hand extended, and Skye jumps up to introduce herself. They exchange pleasantries until Quinn turns her attention to Emily and smiles warmly. "I saw your text response to Britt's question. Anyone who quotes Peter Pan is already one of us. It's nice to finally meet you."

Emily returns the smile. "Your daughter is beautiful."

"Speaking of good looking kids," Brittany grins toothily, "What time are ours coming home?"

"They should be home any minute." Santana stands and rests Kelly on her hip. "I should probably bathe her before dinner."

"That's okay, S. I'll do it." Quinn takes Kelly and Santana frowns in confusion so she explains, "You guys are going out to dinner."

"We are?"

Brittany wraps both arms around her wife's waist from the side and rest her chin on Santana's shoulder. "Skye and Emily wanna take us to dinner." She feels Santana tense at the unexpected plans and quickly adds, "But, if you aren't up to it, then I can just go."

Here it comes, Skye thinks, as she practically salivates over the growing tension. I bet Santana is gonna ask to speak to Brittany in the kitchen. To her disappointment, Santana smiles and shakes her head.

"No, I'm good. Where are we going?"


Santana buzzes with excitement, but does her best not to make a fool of herself in front of their guests again. After excusing themselves to get ready, the girls head upstairs. "Babe? How come you didn't tell me they were coming?"

Brittany strips off her clothes and climbs into the shower. "I tried to but you and Quinn were too busy arguing."

"Oh sorry." Santana removes her clothes and tries to climb in behind her wife, but Brittany gives her a look that stops her dead in her tracks. "What? I need to shower, too,"

"Just a shower. No funny business. We have guests downstairs."

Santana smirks and holds her hands out, beckoning her wife closer as she climbs into the tub. "Come here Rude boy, boy, can you get it up. Come here -" She laughs when Brittany slaps her on the arm. "Okay, okay, I'll behave."

As Brittany lathers up and scrubs her body she says, "Quinn says I owe her lunch at Le Cirque for taking care of you today. You must've been extra obnoxious."

"Noooo," Santana playfully fibs. "We had fun."


Finally making it upstairs from the basement, Santana is stretched out on the white living room carpet, her right arm folded under her head and the other extended with the remote aimed at the television, trying to survive the pounding in her head while lazily searching for something decent to watch. Beside her, Kelly fists her ruby red tank top and pulls herself closer with one hand while grabbing the knotted tie of her aunt's black sweatpants with the other. With tie in hand, she beams triumphantly and shoves it into her mouth, happily gumming the end of it. To their left, Quinn is in the armchair with her feet propped up on the coffee table, tugging on the hem of the I'm Magically Delicious T-shirt she borrowed from Brittany, and her own well worn Cheerio's shorts. "I don't understand why you made me wear this," she grumbles.

"Because this isn't the 50's and you should be comfy."

"My clothes are comfortable."

"But now you look comfortable. Plus, you look hot." Santana side eyes her and scrunches her nose. "I think you'd look hotter if you were in long pants."

"I don't need to look ho-" Quinn stops abruptly and narrows her eyes. "What's wrong with my legs?"

Santana quickly returns to channel surfing. "Nuthin'."


"Weeeeeell... they're a liiiittle thick."

"Thick?" Quinn swings her legs to the carpet and slaps her hands against her thighs. "I am not fat."

"Fat? Who said fat?" Santana turns to Kelly, "Did you hear me say fat? Because I didn't hear anything like that." When she feels Quinn's eyes boring into her, she shrugs it off. "I'm not saying anything you don't already know. Your knees are a little pudgy is all. Pants make you look slimmer."

"PUDGY?" Quinn defensively covers her knees. "They are not!"

Giggling at how riled up her best friend is getting, Santana shakes her head dismissively. "Fine, they're not." Quinn huffs and stalks off to her room, and Santana leans over to whisper to Kelly. "Ten bucks says she comes back wearing a long dress to hide her pudgy knees." Kelly's tiny hand slaps at her face, and Santana grins. "Sorry, didn't mean to diss your mommy."


"Fun, huh?" Brittany eyes her skeptically. "When you're ready to tell the truth, let me know."

Santana laughs and changes the subject. "Soooo, Skye is pretty hot. The security uniform we saw her in definitely didn't do her body justice."

Brittany hums a noncommittal response, climbs out of the tub, and dries off. "What are you wearing to dinner?"

"How about," Santana pauses, eyes sparkling with mischief. "I dress you, and you dress me?"

A slow smile forms as Brittany's mind reels with the possibilities. "Anything I want?"



"NOOOOO!" Santana jolts forward, the seat belt strap digging into her neck as she strains to get a better view of the boarded up restaurant. "What the hell happened? There wasn't even any warning." Santana faces her wife, eyes watering as she whips the fedora off her head and slams it to her lap. "I still have unused gift certificates! ¡Esto no es justo! (This isn't fair!)Why didn't they call me? I'm on the VIP mailing list for fuck's sake!"

Brittany kills the engine and watches helplessly as Santana jumps out of the car and rushes towards the restaurant - arms flailing and obscenities flying. "I can't believe it's closed." While Satana's obsession with Breadstix was due in large part to the food, Brittany's affection for the restaurant was for the memories it held. She trudges up to one of the windows where the artificial snow has been scraped away, and cups her hands against the glass to peer in, her eyes immediately falling on their booth. The booth that held so many incredible memories, but none as special as their many, many dates - playing footsie for the first time, holding hands under that damn napkin, being fed shrimp cocktail by her best friend turned lover turned wife. She wipes the moisture from her eyes and Santana slides up beside her, somber, hands thrust into her pockets, but before she can say anything, Skye and Emily are beside them. After briefly explaining Santana's love of breadsticks, the girls pose for pictures in front of the boarded doors, and climb back into their car to lead the way to a nearby diner, The Gravy Train.

"I can't believe Breadstix closed." Santana pouts and drops her head against the window. "This night is gonna suck, you know that right? It's doomed."

"Honey," Brittany coos, "You do know there are other Breadstix locations, right? Maybe the one in Columbus is still open."

Santana rolls her eyes at her naieve wife and shakes her head. "Do you seriously think I'm upset about not eating there any more?" When Brittany appears confused, Santana continues, "I'm gonna miss what that place meant to us, Britt."

Brittany smiles warmly and reaches over to hold her wife's hand. "I'm sorry. I thought you were just lamenting the loss of your warm breadsticks."

Santana sighs. "I was at first, but then I realized this place was so much more than that."

"We'll always have the memories, babe."

"I guess," Santana says through a pout. "I still think this night is doomed."

Brittany stops at a red light and faces her wife. "Please promise me you'll try and be in a good mood." Santana sighs loudly, but nods and Brittany knows that's as good a response as she's going to get. "This is going to be a long night."

Skye holds the door for everyone as they enter the restaurant that is an actual train dining car with booths along the side walls. As they wait for the hostess, she hooks a thumb toward the Wait to be Seated sign. "What happened to the 'please'? Don't these signs come standard with a cursive please at the top? You'd think even a dive like this could afford another six letters."

Grateful that Skye just gave her a reason to let out some of her snark, Santana adds, "I know, right? Now it's all rude and ordering us to wait. It may as well say, 'Don't move a fricken muscle!'" The two share a laugh while the other two women look at each other in amusement.

To Brittany, Emily says, "It's like they're long lost twins."

The hostess arrives and leads them to their booth. Santana and Skye both wait at the edge, still locked in animated conversation, while the other women slide in. Brittany whispers, "Isn't it a bit ironic that they're discussing the decline of social pleasantries while swearing and calling people idiots?" Emily giggles, but says nothing. Brittany pauses before opening her menu. "You have to try the poutine. It's the best I've ever had."

"What's poutine?"

"French fries, with cheese curd and homemade brown gravy." When Emily cringes, Brittany continues, "Trust me. It sounds gross, but it's the best thing ever."

"I'll taste yours. I'm thinking prime burger, with grilled onions, mushrooms, and provolone cheese. I didn't realize how hungry I am."

"Ooh that sounds good. I'll have that, too." Brittany turns to ask Santana what she's having, but she's too busy talking about a bar down the road that has billiards and ten year old scotch. Instead she asks Emily, "So, you're coming this weekend, right?"

"I think so."

Brittany wants to ask Emily why she isn't sure, but before she can say anything, the waitress appears at their table dressed in a black and red uniform top that resembles a train conductor, cat eye glasses complete with chain, and a pleated skirt. "I'm Alice and I'll be your waitress. Can I start you off with something to drink?"

Skye says water, and Santana adds, "With lemon, please."

As the waitress walks off, Skye shoots Santana a sardonic smile. "Such good manners."

Santana laughs, opens her menu and leans into her wife. "Baby are we sharing the poutine? Cuz I wanna get the chicken with mushroom gravy, too." Brittany nods, her eyes crinkling at the corners with an affectionate smile because Santana's foul mood has lifted. Alice returns with their water and takes Santana and Brittany's order before turning to the other women.

Emily opens her mouth, but Skye interrupts. "She'll have the spinach salad, and I'll get the turkey dinner."

Brittany asks, "I thought you were getting the prime burger?"

Skye says, "Nah, she always gets a salad. She's watching her weight."

Nodding sheepishly, Emily adds, "Yeah. I may want a burger, but a salad is the better choice."

Brittany thinks she's afraid to be indulgent in front of them, and tries to convince her to get what she really wants. Emily looks to her girlfriend and receives a shrug, but knows better than to disagree with Skye. "Thanks, but I'll stick to the salad."

"Okay, hon," replies Alice. She gathers the menus, flips one over and shows them mouthwatering photos of homemade desserts. "That means you'll have plenty of room for one of these."

Wanting to show Emily that there's no need to hold back in front of them, Brittany orders a chocolate shake. Skye raises an eyebrow and looks to Santana, expecting a reprimanding response, but Santana says, "You're sharing that with me, right?"


As dinner is served, the girls fall into comfortable conversation with explanations over who fell for who first (Brittany easily admits that she fell in love with Santana first, while neither Skye nor Emily know who was first in their relationship), children (Skye is emphatically against the rugrats) and pets. "We have a kitten. Her name is Sir Teeny Tiny Tigger."

"Sir?" asks Skye while at the same time Emily asks, "You have a cat?"

"Yeah," nods Brittany. "She must've been hiding. You'll meet her this weekend."

Emily skips that last comment and her eyes brighten with hope. "What kind of cat is it?" Skye turns to her with a deep frown etched on her forehead as she wonders what her girlfriend is up to. Emily quickly explains, "You weren't sneezing. We were there for almost an hour, but you didn't sneeze once. Maybe you're not allergic to this breed."

Skye rolls her eyes at her girlfriend's naivete, but says nothing. Santana studies the woman as she sips her wine and it's clear that Skye made up the allergy so she wouldn't have to put up with a cat. Brittany starts to explain all she knows about Tigger, but Santana interrupts her, hoping to save Emily from the embarrassing realization. "Hon, do you have any motrin?"

"Yeah, it's in the car. I'll get it." Santana stands to let Brittany out of the booth. When Brittany returns, the topic has changed to puppies and she is asked if she likes dogs. Once again seated, Brittany explains that she loves all living creatures and hopes to one day live on a farm, much to her wife's displeasure.

"What about you, Santana," Emily says. "Do you like dogs?"

Santana sips her water. "I did when I was younger."

"What changed your mind?"


"...98, 99, 100. Ready or not, here I come!" Pushing herself off the tree, Santana scans the park in search of what Brittany would consider the perfect hiding place. As soon as she spots the castle style jungle gym with a twisty slide and tall turrets she knows Brittany is there. Running over at top speed, she jumps onto the slide and yells "GOTCHA!" To her surprise, the blonde isn't laying there. Santana scans the park. Two trees, a garbage can, two seesaws and a set of swings. This castle is the only viable option. She climbs up the slide, sits at the top, scrunches her nose in disgust at the stench and quickly looks around her for the source. "I can't believe she talked me into this. We could be in my car getting my mack on instead of running around this godforsaken playground. BRIIIIIIITTTTTTTTT! Come out!" Brittany's giggle reverberates around her and Santana spins expecting to see her friend behind her, but she doesn't.

"For you, I would."

"Shit!" Santana looks up and sees Brittany hovering far above her. "How the hell are you staying up there?"

Brittany drops down beside her best friend with a whispered thud. "Magic."

Santana pinches her nose, "Oh my god! You stiiiink."

Brittany shrugs. "I slipped and fell in poop."

"Disgusting." Santana holds Brittany at arms length when the blonde tries to hug her. "What did you mean, 'For you I would'?"

"You said, 'Come out.' I'm saying I would come out for you, if you were ready."

Santana's eyebrows pinch into a frown. "Let's go eat. We're gonna have to drive through somewhere cuz noone is gonna want your stinky ass in their restaurant."

"What happened to making out?" Brittany says with a pout.

Santana scoots forward and down the slide. From the bottom she yells, "Your horrific odor has successfully quelled my desire to get my mack on."

"Stop exaggerating. It's not that bad." Brittany leaps from the top of the slide and lands beside her with a feline grace. Within seconds she has Santana wrapped in her arms. The smaller girl screeches and tries to get away but Brittany holds tight. "I was serious about coming out for you, you know?"

"I know B. I want to - just not yet, okay? We're gonna be on top as seniors and I'd like to revel in that for a bit before I come out and get kicked down the social ladder." Brittany purses her lips together in thought and Santana lifts her chin then cups her cheek. "I'm sorry. That was lame." Santana sighs heavily. "I'm afraid to tell my parents. I've been practicing all summer but it isn't perfect yet. I promise after I tell them, we'll come out at school, okay? Just... please let me do it in my own time."

Brittany nods and smiles proudly. "And then you'll dance with me?"

"And then I'll dance with you." Santana leans in for a kiss but pulls back and shakes her head violently. "God B, what'd you do - smear the shit all over you?"

"It's not that bad!" Brittany laughs then gasps when she sees a small dog quivering under the slide. She kneels down and holds her hand out but the dog backs away."He looks hungry. Do you have any food?"

Santana pats her pockets and comes up with a roll of certs. "No, sorry. He must be starving. Let's run to the store and get him something."

Brittany nods but then stops as they pass the garbage can and rummages through it. Santana gags as Brittany pulls out a half eaten sandwich. The blonde races back to the dog and holds it out.

"Just toss it, B."

"No, he's scared." Holding the sandwich out, Brittany coos "Come on little guy. Come on." Slowly, the mangey mutt walks out from under the jungle gym - his wet matted fur caked with dirt and god only knows what else. He sniffs then grabs the sandwich greedily.

Santana yelps and pulls Brittany back - thinking the dog is lunging to bite her best friend. The girls fall backwards in a heap and the mutt leaps on them and licks them both vigorously.

"Oh my god Britt get him off! GET HIM OFF!" The dog continues undeterred and Santana screams, "MmmmmMMmm!" She kicks her legs and Brittany finally lifts the dog off. Santana jumps up and spits several times into the grass. She yanks the hem of her shirt up and frantically wipes her face, ear and tongue. "He fucking frenched me!"

Brittany is soothing the frightened dog. "He's scared San."

"Shit B! His gross slimy slobber is in my hair!" Santana whines and she has to control herself from tearing the mutt from Brittany's arms and drop kicking the little bastard. "We're leaving." Brittany starts to pick up the stray but Santana spits out, "NO. That thing is not coming with us."

Brittany's hands shoot up to cover the dogs ears. "Santana! You'll hurt his feelings."

Santana rolls her eyes. "Brittany Susan Pierce that dog is not setting one paw in my car."

Brittany's lip juts out. "Why?"

"Because I said so." Santana crosses her arms and sets her jaw. "Pout all you want, but I'm not changing my mind."

Brittany's lip quivers and her eyes water.

"Fuck Britt, stop it. I said NO."

Brittany sniffles.


"Fine!" Brittany huffs. "Then we'll walk home."


"Well?" asks Skye.

"Huh?" Santana snaps out of her daydream right before her past self gave in and allowed the damn dog into her car. She scrunches her nose remembering that every time she turned on the AC her car was filled with the stench of shit, wet dog and garbage. It had taken her several trips to get the car detailed before it finally smelled like her leather upholstery again. Santana looks back and forth between the women, their eyes full of curiosity, but this story just isn't one she can share with people she just met. "I just don't."

Brittany sips her wine and inebriatedly smirks."She prefers a cute pussy."

"This night just got good!" Skye laughs out loud, then flicks the rim of her wine glass. "We need better drinks."

Skye grabs a cue stick off the wall of the Breakers Billiard Hall and joins Brittany and Emily at the booth as she chalks up the cue. "You're not gonna play?"

Brittany shakes her head and pulls out a twenty dollar bill, slapping it to the table in front of Emily. "I bet my wife beats the pants off your woman."

Emily laughs and plays along, slamming her twenty on top of the other. "You're on. Go get 'em babe."

"I'll need a kiss for good luck." Skye leans down and steals an awkward kiss.

Brittany laughs and says, "You've never seen San play. You're gonna need a helluva lot more luck than that."

Santana arrives at the table and distributes the drinks. "What'd I miss?"

Brittany hooks a thumb at Emily. "I just bet twenty bucks on you."

"Or we could make it interesting." Skye downs half her beer before she continues. "Winner gets to kiss the other woman. I win, and I get a kiss from Britt here. And, if you win, -

Santana steps forward with a menacing smile. "Your lips go anywhere near hers and I will go all Lima Heights on you." Skye throws her hands up in apology, one still clutching the pool stick. She turns to Emily and asks for quarters for the pool table while Brittany tugs on her wife's arm, pulling Santana to squat beside her. She leans over and whispers something, causing Santana to blush for the second time that night, before kissing her and strutting off with a cocky bounce in her step.

Emily leans forward, eyes sparkling with curiosity. "What'd you say to her?"

"Nothin'." Brittany raises her cosmo, scrunches her nose, and giggles. "I gotta ask, how come you didn't tell me you were coming tonight?"

If Emily is taken aback by the question she doesn't show it. "I'm sorry, it all happened so fast. I told Skye that you invited me for the weekend and she wasn't thrilled. She said I didn't know you from Eve and that I had no idea what your intentions might be, and something about a third wheel crush, but I told her I barely even knew Santana, and that the two of you were very happily married. She wanted to be sure that no funny business was going to happen, and I think that's why she tried to up the stakes on the bet. She wanted to see if Santana would go for it or not."

"San would never, not anymore."

"Not anymore?"

"I don't know if she'd want me telling you this, but in high school we made the rounds. We kissed more than our fair share of guys and girls - spin the bottle, dares, or to get free drinks. But, neither of us have done anything like that since high school."

"Well, I think you guys are an incredibly attractive couple and you compliment each other really well."

"Thanks." Brittany slowly turns her glass in her hand. Her eyes dart to Skye and then back to Emily before she asks, "Are you coming this weekend?"

Emily turns to look at her girlfriend for a few seconds, smiling at the way she and Santana are trying to psych each other out. "This is the most relaxed I've ever seen her. When we first meet new people she gets really nervous and socially awkward. I find it kind of endearing. I call her my little butch. All of a sudden I'm 'her' girl and..." Emily shakes her head as she laughs at how different her girlfriend is around new people. Turning back to Brittany, she sips her drink. "I know, she can be a bit… much sometimes. Insecure. Her dad cheated on her mom, her mom cheated on her stepdad, and her last two girlfriends cheated on her so she's a little overbearing at times. We're still figuring each other out, and I know you picked up on that. I see how you look at us. The way you're reading our body language, the awkwardness, wondering if I'm in an abusive relationship."

Brittany clasps her hand around Emily's wrist. "No, I didn't think abusive. I just… you're different around her, that's all."

"Yeah, I am, I know. She likes to be in charge. Sometimes it bugs me, but most of the time, it doesn't. I mean, it's nice to just give over the decisions and not worry about the little things. She's a really great person, Britt. I mean, yeah, she has her faults - like taking the car to meet her friends and leaving me stranded - but, most of the time, she's good to me, and puts up with me. I can be really whiny and irritating, and I forget stuff that she likes or wanted me to do, it annoys her, 'cause she's very organized. But, you know, we balance out. And, I know it may not look like it, but it's a good relationship. Okay?"

Brittany chuckles, trying to make light of the sudden serious conversation. "All I asked was if you were coming over this weekend."

Emily leans forward, her elbows on the table. "No. You asked if I was escaping her this weekend."

Brittany's eyes rise to meet Emily's and she finds herself slowly nodding. "You're right, I'm sorry. I didn't realize I was so transparent."

"It's okay. I get it." Emily laughs. "She's been through a lot and doesn't trust easily. Dysfunctional doesn't even begin to describe her childhood. It's easy to misunderstand her, but she's not a bad person. Sometimes I wonder how suited we really are to each other, but then I go home and fall into her arms, and everything else disappears. Anyway, if anything ever happens, I promise you'll be the first call I make, okay?" Finishing her drink, Emily chuckles at herself and lowers her head in shame. "God, I'm sorry, I get way too serious when I drink. I know this isn't the playful Emily you're used to."

"No, it's not, but I like it. I'm getting to know you both better and so far, I like it. I'm not all rainbows and unicorns either." When Emily quirks an eyebrow, Brittany laughs. "What? I have a serious side."

"You? Now that, I have to see."

Brittany smiles and slides out of the booth. "You will, but first, we need more drinks. I'll be back."

AN: Please review. :0)