Everyone been amazing here and on Tumblr. Thank you. (Thank you to Erica and Nic for the beta'ing, as usual.)
You might be interested in the Fic Commentary tag on my Tumblr, by the way. I answered some very interesting questions regarding scenes, characters, etc.
On with the story.
Brittany is eating her bowl of milk and cereal; Rachel eats her balanced, nutritious shake of something green. It's early morning; Brittany's hair is up in a messy bun and she's wearing her softest pajamas.
Someone rings the bell – did they even have a bell? Their friends were the type to just burst the door open.
"Maybe it's the landlord," Rachel says with a frown.
Brittany puts her spoon down and goes to the door.
A tall man is there – thick black hair graying on the edges, broad shoulders, dressed in a black suit – and he's holding a big pink box in his hands.
"Tony!" she says, smiling. "You're so tall."
He laughs, his deep voice echoing on the hallway. "That I am," he agrees with a nod. "You know, I don't generally do delivery. But I decided doing a little favor wouldn't hurt."
"Is this for me?" Brittany asks, taking a step closer.
"It is. Santana sends her regards." He gives the box to Brittany. "I need to go now. Have a good day, Miss."
"You too, Tony!" Brittany waves goodbye as he leaves. She closes the door.
Rachel is sitting by the table; she gestures for Brittany to sit. "Who is Tony? What's in the box?"
"He's the driver." Brittany shrugs, sitting by Rachel's side and placing the box on the table. "Someone's driver. I don't even know."
She bites her lower lip and takes a deep breath before opening the box.
There are twenty cupcakes – exact copies of the one she had given Santana such a long time ago, when they had just started dating. Brittany smiles, taking the handwritten note in her hand.
You gave me a cupcake once when I needed something sweet and colorful, so I decided to return the favor. Thank you for yesterday.
Brittany bites back her own smile, reading the note for the second and third and fourth time.
"Santana knows her way to a woman's heart." Rachel says as she takes her first bite. "She's a smart one."
Brittany looks around, checking if she's on the right street. Taking a few steps, she sees the bright red sign for Leo's Pizza Place standing out in the dark. Perfect.
She's about to enter when she sees Santana sitting on the steps to the next building, focused on turning around a ring on her finger. Brittany smiles softly and goes to her.
Santana seems to wake from her trance. Her eyes widen a bit when she sees Brittany. "You're here," she says as she stands up at once – Brittany wonders if Santana's expression would be one of surprise.
Santana pats her jeans a few times to take off the dust, fretting with her clothes and mumbling something Brittany can't understand.
"Of course I'm here," Brittany says, taking a step closer and looking to Santana.
Santana hesitates for a moment. Brittany, however, doesn't expect a reply – she is not going to let them be awkward and tentative around each other. She joins their lips, wrapping her arms around Santana. Santana lets out a long sigh; her hands settle on Brittany's collarbone, grasping her shirt.
Brittany tilts her head at the same time Santana parts her lips, slowly, snuggling against Brittany a little more – Brittany takes the cue and deepens the kiss, her tongue meeting Santana's, warm and wet.
Santana whines in Brittany's mouth, her hands moving up to Brittany's neck. Brittany pulls her closer, palming Santana's back.
"You do know we're in the middle of street, right?" Santana asks between kisses, smiling. She scratches the back of Brittany's neck, taking Brittany's lower lip between her own.
"I'm not the one who decided to wait outside," Brittany answers, her lips a breath away from Santana's.
"I didn't want to be that girl sitting by herself at a table in the corner," Santana says, her eyes still closed, "drinking wine and waiting for her date to show up."
There are times Santana is so honest Brittany doesn't know what to do with her.
"Oh, darling," she says, cupping Santana's face and kissing her again.
Brittany is decisive. "Pepperoni. And a regular coke."
Santana smiles and nods to the waitress, who takes the order and leaves.
"So how do we do this?" Santana asks, running her thumb on Brittany's palm. "Should I show you my CV or should I start with my earliest childhood memory?"
She seems to realize something. "Or maybe," she continues, taking a card out of her wallet and placing it on the table, "I can give you my real card, instead of the blank one with just my name and phone number I gave you when we first met."
Brittany places her own hand on top of the card. "Mind if I try something first?" She puts it in her pocket without looking at the information.
Santana looks at her with her little confused frown.
"I think I have a pretty good idea of what you do."
"Do tell," Santana says, the corners of her mouth lifting in a smile.
"Well, there were clues. Quinn's job, first," she says, stopping to let the waitress serve them their Coke.
"You, in front of City Hall," she sips her drink, "when accusations of corruption in public office was the talk of the week," her heart races and paces and drums.
Santana lifts one eyebrow, but says nothing.
"You went to a gala," Brittany continues, licking her own lips. Santana scratches the back of her hand, body leaning towards Brittany. "And the New York Times the next day had a piece on the gala for Women's Leaders," she puts her arm on the back of Santana's chair, pulling her close. "The Mayor held a speech there."
Santana nods. It's exhilarating to have Santana's attention so completely, so intensely.
Brittany clears her throat. "I wake up and you're screaming in front of a news channel on how something got out. Funny, isn't it? How you're always the one with the politicians and their speeches, and news and parties and things like that?"
Santana rests her head on the palm of her hand, looking at Brittany. "You're a genius."
"So I thought: politicians need someone to take care of their image," Brittany says, looking down to hide her own smile. "You seem to be around the Mayor a lot, and Quinn is a political liaison at one of the biggest law firms in this town… Makes sense she would be the one to manage the Mayor's account."
"Wow," Santana says, playing with Brittany's fingers. "How long have you known this? Why didn't you tell me?"
"You told me you liked to think you were more than your job," Brittany explains, her heart finally slowing down. It's simple. "You are."
Brittany takes another eager bite. "I love this pizza so much I could write a poem to it."
"Me too. Quinn and I used to come here all the time when we were in college." Santana smiles at her, eating her own slice, her hands covered in flour. "They had beer and pizza, and they closed late – it was everything we could ask for."
The smell of cheese and pepperoni is wonderful and the fact that Santana's getting messy is so adorable Brittany has to smile.
"It was before office work and dressing formally," Santana explains, cleaning the corner of her mouth with a napkin. "I had style. Leather jackets, worn out jeans, Raybans."
"That's hot," Brittany says, already imagining Santana's outfit, "rock star hot."
"Maybe you'll see it one day," Santana says right before stealing a greasy kiss. "If you're lucky."
Brittany steals another kiss right back, her greasy fingertips touching Santana's jaw on purpose. Santana makes a high pitched sound and tries to get away, but Brittany just pulls her closer and deepens the kiss. Her fingertips slide on Santana's face, but Santana doesn't seem to mind; she parts her lips to Brittany and welcomes her tongue with her own, smiling into the kiss.
"You're gross," Brittany tells her as she goes back to her own pizza.
Santana places her hand on Brittany's cheek; it's sticky and smelly and greasy. "No, you are."
"You didn't just do that."
"I did," is the answer, followed by a crooked grin when Santana's finger traces Brittany's jawline. Santana gets up as Brittany stares dumbly. "I'm going to wash myself, so excuse me," she says, before walking towards the bathroom.
Brittany locks the door behind her; she watches Santana's stupid grin.
"You don't play fair," Brittany says, the grease and the flour sticking to her skin.
Santana shrugs, her hands white with the soap. "You started it," she says and runs her hands on her face in the hope of cleaning herself.
Brittany presses her front to Santana's back, not missing the small pleasant sigh Santana makes. Santana reaches for the towel and Brittany reaches for the faucet, trapping Santana to the sink as she washes her hands and then runs a wet palm on her cheeks.
Small droplets fall on Santana's shoulder and pool on her collarbone before falling between her breasts.
Santana turns around and dries Brittany with the soft white towel – her cheeks, her jawline, her neck, until it's clear all she wants to do is to keep on touching Brittany.
Brittany closes her eyes, basking in the moment; her hands grab Santana's waist to make sure they're flush against each other. The towel stops moving and disappears to be replaced with Santana's fingertips.
She still has her eyes closed when she feels Santana's breath and leans in, searching for Santana's lips.
Her phone rings because of course her phone rings. Santana's got her pressed against the wall with her tongue drawing wonderful patterns on Brittany's neck, and Brittany's phone is ringing.
She reaches for her back pocket. "It's Kurt," she announces; Santana hums into her ear and places an open mouthed kiss that gets Brittany gasping.
"Hey Britt!" Kurt greets when she takes the call, "So I was leaving the movies with Blaine and I heard you had cupcakes at your house."
Lips closing on Brittany's pulse point, Santana sucks slowly.
Brittany makes a sound between a yes and a groan.
"We came straight over with martinis and you're not here," Kurt continues, oblivious, "and that will not do! We must drink and eat. You should call Mike and Tina."
The tips of Santana's fingers grasp so hard to Brittany's hip they must be bruised by now; with her lips parted, she can't bring herself to care. "But I'm with Santana," she manages to say, feeling Santana smile against her skin.
"Wonderful. Bring her over!"
"But Kurt told me to bring you over," Brittany pouts, standing in front of her building.
Santana's arms are wrapped loosely around her waist, and she steal a chaste kiss that makes Brittany feel all kinds of light headed.
"You should have a fun night with your friends. I know how much a girlfriend or boyfriend can ruin the mood," Santana says softly, "and I do have to work tomorrow."
"But Blaine and Kurt are together, and Mike and Tina, and so are we and I want you there," Brittany tries her best pout again.
"No pouting," Santana warns her, kissing the pout away once more.
Kurt's and Blaine's heads pop out the window.
"I knew I had heard them!" Kurt says and claps excitedly. "Hurry up!"
How did they get drunk so easily?
Santana waves to Kurt before turning to Brittany. "Do you really want me there?"
"Of course, silly," Brittany answers, beaming with the realization she had just won this negotiation.
"Let's go, then," Santana takes her by the hand, "but I can't stay for long."
Tina gives them a glass and a cupcake as soon as they go through the door. "Rachel and Kurt are obsessed with board games, if I were you—"
"Britt! Santana! You have finally arrived!" Rachel cuts in and hugs them both briefly. "I was beginning to feel bad about having those exquisite cupcakes without the both of you here."
Santana's arm around her waist feels cozy and Brittany's more amused than frustrated, so she just nods.
"Kurt and I thought Pictionary would be the best thing for this party," Rachel promptly begins to explain, "every person who guesses the drawing correctly gets a cupcake, and if no one does it within a previously agreed time limit, the person in charge of the drawing must finish her drink."
Brittany frowns a little as she tries to make sense of their game.
"I told you," Tina whispers as she goes to the couch.
Santana plays with Brittany's shirt as she asks Rachel, "Did you just make that up?"
"Well, I'd have you know—"
"Yes!" Kurt says, and by Brittany's calculations he must be third-drink tipsy.
Santana doesn't drink much, because she has to work, but Mike's strong and Blaine and Kurt are not stopping.
Brittany, Tina and Rachel share tipsy giggles every once in a while.
Brittany is sitting on the couch's armrest, so she can be by Santana's side. Santana has her arm draped over Brittany's legs, her hand caressing Brittany's knee.
It's really different, Brittany thinks. Santana's quieter in this big group interaction, nodding and laughing but not really speaking. She never raises her hand to be the next one drawing. "Are you okay?" she whispers in Santana's ear when Rachel tries to draw something and banter with Kurt.
"I am," Santana assures her, squeezing her knee. "You friends are fun."
Brittany nurtures her drink with one hand and runs the other on Santana's hair. "You don't have to stay if you don't want to," she tries, even though she doesn't mean that and she wants Santana to be there.
"I want to stay with you," Santana answers immediately, pulling Brittany into her lap. "It'll just take me a while to fit in."
"Oh," Brittany says dumbly. "I'm sorry, I hadn't thought—" She's known them for a decade; Santana hasn't.
"Ssh," Santana assures her, taking Brittany's lower lip between her own.
Brittany lets out a long satisfied breath, her hands on Santana's shoulders, when Rachel interrupts them.
"Making out is strictly forbidden! You must pay the price and make more drinks for everyone!"
Santana breaks the kiss. "You play with them. I'll make their drinks, okay?"
Brittany nods, feeling her heart drum in her chest.
Santana is also, apparently, a skilled bartender: she fixes the mess in the kitchen, washes the dishes and makes everyone cocktails in record time.
Or maybe it's just because they are really drunk and really willing to praise anyone who gives them alcohol.
Santana gives them each a glass, saving Brittany for last. She has both their drinks in her hands; she tries to hand Brittany one; Brittany shakes her head and pats her lap.
Santana smiles a little, and complies. She crosses her legs elegantly as Brittany takes her glass and sips it, looking at Santana. Santana settles against Brittany, one arm around her neck, and she's so warm and pretty Brittany has to kiss her jaw.
"I like us better like this," Santana says so just Brittany can hear.
There's a beautiful feeling in the way Brittany's heart races to that; she nods – barely – before she says, "Me too; everything – it's been amazing."
"I'm trying," Santana says, even though she doesn't have to because Brittany knows, "I'm trying."
Santana is in the kitchen making drinks – again – when Rachel and Kurt sit by Brittany's side.
Kurt lets out a dreamy sigh. "You girls are adorable."
"When I first saw Santana," Rachel admits, slurring a bit with her words, "I didn't think she was capable of being cute, I must admit. She's like this sexy black panther in high heels and she's scary—"
Kurt, on the other hand, is very communicative when he drinks. "Santana, sitting on your lap and running the back of her hand on your face, looking at you like you're Dior's newest collection…"
"She makes exquisite cocktails, too, and even with my clouded judgment—"
Kurt doesn't wait for Rachel to finish. "It's so romantic!"
Mike clears his throat, interrupting the concurrent monologues. "Does she make you happy?"
Brittany doesn't need to think about that. "She does."
"Can we keep her?" Kurt asks.
Rachel nods solemnly – she tries to, at least.
Brittany smiles, taking Rachel's and Kurt's hands into her own. "You guys are only saying that because of the cupcakes."
"Well, I'll let you know it was merely a marginal influence," Rachel tries to defend herself, but Santana comes back with a tray of martini glasses and everyone has to make their best poker faces and change the subject.
"I don't feel so well" Blaine says; he's hugging the toilet and whining in pain.
Kurt is asleep on the floor and Mike and Tina went home a while ago; it's just Brittany, washing the dishes, a drunken Rachel taking out the garbage, and Santana, in the bathroom with Blaine.
"There you go," she says softly, wrapping an arm around him to support his weight. His feet are wobbly but she manages to take him to the couch and make him sit. "Don't lie down, okay?"
Blaine nods, his eyes half closed.
Santana goes to the kitchen and takes the tea she had prepared; she offers the warm mug to Blaine.
"It'll make your stomach feel better," she promises, rubbing the back of his neck as he sips slowly.
Brittany feels equally parts guilty for having Santana take care of her drunken friends and fascinated to watch Santana care for someone else.
"You are the best," Blaine slurs between sips. "And I love your shoes."
Brittany stands by Santana's side and reaches for her hand. Santana intertwines their fingers slowly, still watching Blaine's small frown.
"I'll take them both home," she says quietly. "There is no space for them here and they shouldn't be left to their own devices right now."
Brittany smiles prettily. "That's really sweet of you."
"Your friends are my friends," Santana says, squeezing Brittany's hand.
Brittany bites her lip, trying not to think about how charming Santana can be sometimes.
Later she watches, leaning on her door frame, the three of them leave. Santana supports Blaine's weight on her shoulders and Kurt holds on to the walls so he won't fall.
"Are you and Santana okay now? Better, at least?" Rachel asks from behind her, resting her head on Brittany's shoulder.
"We are, I think," Brittany answers quietly. "We will be."
"I'm glad. We were worried about you," Rachel admits before she seems to realize what she just said. She stops for a moment before continuing, "just don't tell Mike I said that. We were not supposed to stick our noses into your relationship or whatever."
Brittany grins, looking at Rachel. "Okay."
Rachel yawns. "It's the martini speaking, really."
Brittany giggles, nudging Rachel with her shoulder. "Mhmm," she fake agrees.
Rachel tries to look indignant, but she fails. Brittany closes the door.