A/N: Brittana Christmas fluff. It's a day late, so I hope everyone isn't sick of Christmas already. Also, a WARNING: there are mild spoilers (I guess?) because there is some information that you would only know from Pottermore, so read on at your own risk.
"Good haul this year," Quinn said, leaning back on her elbows and admiring the pile of unwrapped presents below their little Christmas tree. "Judy did good work."
"Yeah, definitely," said Puck, aiming his new toy gun at a second-year who was sitting in the corner of the common room. A ball of slime shot from the barrel and lodged itself in her hair, climbing deftly through the strands. The girl began to absentmindedly swipe at the back of her head, as though she were trying to swat a fly.
"Stop doing that," Quinn said in disgust. "I can't believe your parents would send you that. Do they think you're five?"
"Probably," Puck said, taking aim at Santana next. She was flipping through a book that she had gotten from her brother, and when the slime hit the page, she looked up at Puck with a glare.
"Seriously?" she asked as she peeled it off and dropped it to the ground, where it promptly disappeared.
"Gotta pay attention next time," Puck said with a shrug, cocking the gun again. "Aren't you guys glad we decided to stay here for Christmas this year? And the party hasn't even started yet."
"Speaking of which, you're taking care of the stuff, right?" Quinn asked quietly. Puck nodded, looking slightly offended.
"Of course," he said. "I'm on it. Hudson is making a Hogsmeade run as we speak."
"Nice," Quinn said. She looked over at Santana, whose eyes had gone back to her book. "What's up, S?" she asked. "You're acting kinda quiet."
"Huh? Nothing," Santana said, closing her book. She shifted her weight and she could feel the small package in the pocket of her robe as she did so. Biting her lip, she looked at Quinn and Puck's curious faces.
"Come on, it's Christmas," Puck said. "Cheer up. Do you want some eggnog?"
"Is it some of your special eggnog?" Quinn asked. "Because if it is, I think it's a little too early for that."
"If by 'special' you mean 'super fucking tasty' then yes, it is," Puck replied.
"I'm gonna go out for a minute, actually," Santana said suddenly, pulling herself to her feet. "I'm, uh, gonna send an owl to my family."
Quinn looked at her with some concern. "Okay," she said. "Come back soon, though."
"I will," Santana promised. "I'll be right back." She turned quickly and headed towards the common room door, trying to act as normal as possible. When she was out in the dungeon, she reached into her pocket and fingered the small gift, making sure it was still there. Then she turned and headed towards the passage that would lead her not to the Owlry, but to the kitchens.
Ever since they'd finished opening presents, she'd been nervous, knowing that she would eventually have to deliver the one that was hiding in her robe. It was just something she'd bought on a whim at Hogsmeade last week, and the more she thought about it, the more she thought she should just hide it under a pillow and return it as soon as possible. It was too much, she reasoned, and she didn't even know if Brittany would like it. Even if she did, she might not appreciate the gesture. What if Santana had misread the situation, and had wrongly assumed that they were the kind of friends who exchanged gifts on Christmas?
Halfway there, she realized that she was still wearing her pajamas and her bathrobe, but she knew she couldn't go back to change. Puck and Quinn would become even more suspicious than they already were, and Santana really didn't need their input in this already embarrassing situation. As far as they knew, Brittany was a Hufflepuff in their year who Santana had hooked up with a few times under the heavy influence of firewhiskey. They didn't know that Santana and Brittany had hung out a couple of times, nor that Santana was developing a fairly strong crush on her. She would rather eat dragon dung than admit that she liked someone and was too scared to do anything about it. Puck would laugh at her and Quinn would try to orchestrate some elaborate matchmaking scheme that would end in embarrassment for the everyone. No, telling her friends was out of the question, meaning that Santana was going to have to deliver the gift in her pajamas and pray that Brittany would let her leave the room before laughing at her.
Santana walked into the kitchen corridor and walked over to the stack of barrels, behind which the Hufflepuff common room was located. She stopped suddenly, realizing that she didn't know how to get in. She'd visited in the past, but she'd always been with Quinn, who had long ago learned how to get in since she used to secretly visit her then-boyfriend Finn Hudson. Santana had seen Quinn tapping on the barrels to make the lid swing open, but she had never paid close attention to the pattern of tapping. It hadn't seemed important, but now that Santana looked at the barrels in front of her, she realized that she had no idea how to enter the room. She supposed she could knock, but if someone besides Brittany came to the door, she didn't know what she would say. "Hi, I'm here to deliver a present to the girl I'm crushing on, mind letting me in?" No. Her pride wouldn't let her do that.
She stepped closer to the barrels and closed her eyes, trying to remember what Quinn had done. It had definitely been a certain number of taps on one barrel. She wasn't sure which if it mattered which barrel, or how many taps, or both. Opening her eyes, she reached for the one closest to her. It couldn't hurt to try, could it? She lifted her hand and tapped it firmly, three times.
Santana barely registered the sight of the lid opening before a cold liquid shot out and hit her right in the face. Her eyes burned as the sharp smell of vinegar engulfed her and she fell to her knees, holding her hands over her face. She could feel the liquid dripping from her hair onto her skin, burning everywhere it touched and ruining her clothes. Tears sprung to her eyes as she tried to open them but could not—the pain was too great and her vision was completely blurry. "Shit," she moaned, cradling her head in her hand. With the other, she reached around blindly, trying to find something clean so that she could get the burning sensation out of her eyes. As she did, she realized that she had left her wand in her room. More tears began to spill from her eyes and Santana let them flow, knowing that they were the only thing that could clean out the vinegar. Swear words poured out of her mouth as she rocked back and forth, and as a result, she did not hear the sound of the common room opening until the sound of laughter reached her ears.
"It's just that Slytherin," a girl said. "Something Lopez."
"I think she's really hurt," another voice said, this time a boy. "She's crying."
'I'm not crying!' Santana wanted to say, but the tears flowing from her eyes revealed otherwise, and she stayed bent double on the ground, hoping that they would just go away. The girl seemed to be on her side, for she said, "Leave her here. She was trying to break in, anyway."
"We shouldn't leave her," the boy said, and suddenly she heard the sound of someone coming closer to her. "Santana, right?" His voice came from right by her ear. "Are you okay?"
"She's friends with Britt," the girl said, now sounding annoyed. "She's inside, I'll get her. Britt!"
"No," Santana choked out suddenly, forcing her eyes open. Her vision was blurred and her eyes were in agony, but there was no way that she was going to let Brittany see her like this. "I'm fine, seriously, I'm gonna go back." She pulled herself shakily to her feet and swayed on the spot. The boy next to her, who looked like he was a second- or third-year, looked at her doubtfully.
"What's wrong?" came a voice suddenly from within one of the barrels. A moment later, Brittany was crawling out, surveying the scene before her. Santana groaned and dragged the sleeve of her robe across her eyes. "Santana? Is that you?"
"Come on," the other girl said quietly, and a moment later, the other two Hufflepuffs were gone. More tears streamed down Santana's face as her eyes finally began to clear up. She saw Brittany looking at her in concern.
"Did you try to come in to the common room?" she asked. Santana nodded. "Yeah, it does that," she said. "Personally, I think it's kind of rude, but," she shrugged, "it keeps some creeps out, I guess. Not that you're a creep," she added quickly.
"I should go," Santana said in a scratchy voice, wiping her face again. The arm of her robe was also wet with vinegar, and it streaked across her face.
"Here, let me help you," Brittany said, and before Santana could do anything, Brittany strode forward and began wiping Santana's face with her own sleeve.
"Stop," Santana said, "you'll get your clothes dirty."
"I can wash them," Brittany said, reaching her other hand around the back of Santana's neck to hold her head in place while she wiped Santana's cheeks gently. "You need something clean or you'll never get the sting off."
"Thanks," Santana said quietly, holding still as Brittany cleaned her carefully. As pain stopped becoming her primary concern, she was mortified. This was no way to deliver a present on Christmas. Brittany had hooked up with her at some parties before because she was confident and sexy. But right now, she was acting like a helpless child. Not to mention, being covered in vinegar probably wasn't much of a turn-on.
"There," Brittany said, pulling away. "You'll still need to shower to get it out of your hair, but at least it probably doesn't hurt so much anymore."
"Yeah," Santana said with a nod. "Thanks."
"Why were you trying to break in, anyway?" Brittany asked. Santana hesitated. She had been hoping that she could just sneak away, but now that Brittany had caught her, the small box in her pocket began to feel as heavy as lead. She knew she should just give it to her—it was silly not to, really, especially after Brittany had just been so kind to her. Santana reached into her pocket and pulled the present out slowly. It had suffered a little bit from the vinegar attack, and the red shiny paper was wet and peeling. She thrust it ashamedly into Brittany's hands.
"Here" she said. "This is for you."
Brittany looked at the package in delight. "For me?" she asked. "Thank you!" she said, pulling the wrapping paper off with the excitement of a five-year-old. There was a small white box underneath, and Brittany pulled it open. Her mouth fell open in shock and Santana's stomach clenched.
"Do you like it?" she asked nervously.
"It's beautiful," Brittany said, reaching in gingerly and pulling out the small silver chain.
"It's a charm bracelet," Santana explained. "So you can collect charms for it. I got you a few already." Brittany turned the bracelet over in her hands, looking at the charms on it. There was a B for Brittany and a tiny broomstick, since Brittany was on the Quidditch team. Brittany's fingers lingered on the other charm, a tiny heart. "That one came with it," Santana lied quickly.
Brittany looked up, and Santana realized the two of them were still standing very close. "Thank you," she said. "I...I didn't get you anything." She looked so sad about it that Santana reached out and placed a hand on her shoulder.
"Don't worry about it," Santana said. "Seriously. I just thought you might like this and..." she shrugged. "No expectations."
"No, but I want to get you something," Brittany said, looking around as though a present might suddenly appear out of midair. She turned back to Santana. "Oh wait, I know. Close your eyes."
"Okay," Santana said, closing her eyes. When she felt soft lips press against her own, her eyes flew back open in shock. Brittany pulled away.
"Close your eyes!" she said again. Santana, still incredulous, did what she was told. Brittany's hands cradled her cheeks as she leaned back in for another kiss, more passionate this time. Santana parted her lips and slid her arms around Brittany's waist, pulling her closer. She was vaguely aware of the vinegar on her clothes that were probably on Brittany now, but it didn't matter—this kiss was better than any they'd ever shared while drunk, better than any kiss she'd had with anyone, ever. She moaned and rocked into Brittany but Brittany pulled away, looking at Santana with a devilish smirk. "Sorry I couldn't wrap it," she said.
"H-how do you know that's even what I asked Santa for?" Santana asked, her head still spinning. Brittany raised an eyebrow and looked at her like she was stupid, which was somewhat ironic.
"Please. It's so obvious," Brittany said.
Santana went pale. "What?"
Brittany just shrugged. "Don't worry about it. Go shower."
"No," Santana said. "Tell me. What's obvious?"
"Nothing," Brittany said, laughing as she backed away. "Go take a shower and then get back here!"
"I have to know!" Santana demanded. "If Quinn and Puck-"
"The feeling is mutual, so why does it matter?"
"-they'll make fun of me forever!" Suddenly, Santana froze. "Wait, what?"
"I said I feel the same way," Brittany said. "And please go wash the vinegar off of yourself so that I can cuddle with you without wanting to throw up."
Santana looked at Brittany wide eyes. Brittany wanted her to come back? They were going to cuddle? Her crush on Brittany wasn't completely one-sided? "Um," Santana said. "I'll be right back."
Brittany chuckled. "That's all I wanted to hear." As Santana turned on her heel and began to practically sprint back down the corridor, Brittany shouted, "Merry Christmas!"
Santana smiled widely as she turned the corner, not caring if anyone saw her running around like a crazy person in her dirty pajamas. It looked like it was going to be a very Merry Christmas, indeed.