"Santana?"

Brittany's head shifts where it rests on the pillow in Santana's lap and she'd be sure she's been caught staring if it wasn't for the fact that Brittany's been biting back a smile for the last twenty minutes.

Her hand drifts to press against the top of Brittany's head, the smile she's been wearing since she realized Brittany had caught her never wavering. Instead, it widens as Brittany turns her head to look at her. There's a warm, pink glow in her cheeks and Santana takes a moment to work out if she can bend down to kiss one without disturbing their comfort.

"I want to talk to you about something," Brittany says and she'd be lying if those words didn't set her on edge a little. She tries not to let panic rise to her cheeks or her smile falter. Brittany turns over, away from the TV, to look at her properly. "It's..." she starts after a moment. "Have you ever had a Valentine?"

It's almost ridiculous how quickly her heart starts thumping in her chest. For a split second, she's sure it's going to burst from her chest with the anticipation.

It's almost just as ridiculous how suddenly words fail her. She takes a deep breath and shakes her head.

Brittany's hand reaches up and plucks at the fabric of her t-shirt. Santana watches as she worries her lip between her teeth, working up the courage to say whatever she has to say.

Her fingers tangle in Santana's shirt as she looks up at her and Santana's breath hitches when she sees how blue and clear her eyes are.

"Will you be mine?" Brittany whispers and Santana hadn't realized how much she'd wanted to be asked that until she barely hears the words.

She nods quickly and manages to let out a "yeah". She wishes she could say something else, that Brittany wouldn't take her breath away so often, but she guesses that the look on her face probably says all the things her mouth can't.

Brittany grins and pulls herself up level to Santana with the hand fisted in her shirt.

"Awesome," she whispers as she leans in and Santana's words of agreement get lost against her smile.

/

Like most things, she decides to let Brittany take the lead. She waits for her to mention this Valentine's thing again before she does anything, but as the day gets closer and she doesn't, Santana starts to worry.

But then Brittany walks up to her carrying her damn computer and the worry dissipates, quickly replacing itself with confusion. She doesn't get the romance of it.

That's until Brittany explains and her damn computer becomes the most romantic thing she's ever seen. It makes the panic-bought rose sat in her nearby locker feel like a good idea.

She has every intention of giving it to Brittany once they've kissed, but then Figgins interrupts them and she forgets it. She huffs out in annoyance because she hasn't kissed Brittany today and she really wants to.

And she regrets not ignoring him and kissing her anyway when he tells them they can't anymore. She storms out of his office and heads for her locker, fully expecting Brittany to follow her.

Except, she gets to her locker and Brittany's not behind her. She frowns in confusion and opens her locker, closes it again when she sees the rose. She kicks her feet against the metal and folds her arms in a sulk, glad when the light tapping of footsteps sounds in her ears.

Brittany's arm wraps around her shoulder and her hand cups her cheek. She feels Brittany's thumb wiping at the curve of it and that's when she realizes she's crying.

"I'll fix it," Brittany promises. "I'll make a new school law or something that says people can kiss whoever they want."

Santana buries her head in Brittany's shoulder. "It's not fair."

"I know."

"I just want to kiss you between classes," she whispers. "I just want... I just want to be treated with the same decency as everyone else."

Brittany pulls back and takes her face in her hands. Kisses, soft and reverent, press against her cheeks as Brittany takes the tears away.

Santana pulls back when she leans in to kiss her on the mouth, disregarding these new rules, but Brittany's insistent as she pulls their mouths together. Soft, gentle pecks press against her lips until she starts kissing back.

"They're just jealous," Brittany whispers. Coming from anyone else, Santana would think that they're empty words, but Brittany says them with so much reassurance she can't disagree.

She kisses her again and doesn't care about chemistry class. She stands in the hallway kissing and hugging Brittany until small, secret smiles are pulled from her lips.

"I got you something," she whispers against Brittany's mouth.

Brittany's smile grows against hers. "You did?"

"Mmhm."

"For Valentine's Day?"

"Yup."

Brittany laughs. "Can I have it?"

Santana cocks her head to the side. "It's in my locker."

Brittany releases her gently, still holding her hand as she reaches with the other to open Santana's locker. She peers back at Santana when she sees it, a smirk growing on her face. As she leans in to retrieve it, she also leans back to Santana, pressing a sloppy kiss on her cheek.

"You got me a rose?" she whispers against her skin.

Santana shrugs. "That's what you do, right?" She thinks that Brittany's the person that would understand that she's equal parts teasing, equal parts serious about the question. "Get your Valentine a rose. I'm sure it's not the first one someone's given you."

Brittany shakes her head. "No," she shakes her head. "It isn't. Artie got me one and it died within a day because he forgot to give it water."

Santana wraps an arm around her waist. "Well, you've got not problem of that happening with this one. It's not real so it won't die. You can keep it forever."

Brittany kisses her temple, grins against it. "Can I keep you forever, too?"

Santana laughs but nods at the same time, lips parting as Brittany leans in to kiss her. She doesn't give a crap if anyone sees. Screw their rules.

/

She didn't exactly plan on demanding the God Squad sing a song for Brittany, but once she's shoved her ten bucks at the kid with the hair and stormed away, she starts realizing how awesome it would actually be.

Her heart sinks at the thought of them refusing.

She's pretty crappy at this whole Valentine's Day thing.

"You okay?" Brittany whispers from beside her as they listen to Mr. Martinez talk about Spanish. She turns to her and nods softly. She's been trying to think of something romantic to do for the past two classes but can't think of anything that would quite match up to if she managed to convince the God Squad to sing.

She jumps a little when Brittany's hand reaches for hers over the desk. Their fingers tease together and Santana forgets everything as she watches them tangle. She has no idea how long she's been staring at their hands when Brittany nudges her, pushing a piece of paper towards her. She reads the words scribbled on it in and feels her breath hitch.

I love you, Valentine :)

She looks at Brittany and leans in to her, desperate to kiss her, but pulling back when she remembers where they are. She looks at the page of notes in front of her and looks at it sadly. She hates this. She hates that she can't even lean over and kiss Brittany on the cheek without people watching them. She hates even more that those people might even ruin her first Valentine's Day.

Brittany nudges her again, pushing the same piece of paper back towards her. She taps it pointedly and Santana pulls it towards her curiously.

Brittany's kiss tally: I

You owe me a kiss.

Santana's smile hurts her face. She pulls the paper closer and picks up her pen, writes on it, before pushing it back to Brittany.

She looks over Brittany's shoulder as she reads.

Santana's kiss tally: I

So do you.

/

They take to marking each other with how many kisses they're owed. Santana doesn't care so much about the smudges of ink that cover her hand when each one counts for a kiss that Brittany will gladly give her once they're out of school.

They listen to Rory sing "Home" and Brittany takes her hand from her pocket, just so she can snuggle up to her and hold it. And she can't help but watch her as she bobs her head to the music, as her foot taps in time with it. She turns Brittany's palm over and makes one, two marks against her palm beside the other five written in pen.

Brittany turns to her at the touch and smirks at her, smile growing with recognition of what she's doing.

Just because the smile is so beautiful, Santana makes another mark.

They spend the rest of the song drawing lines against each other's hands, ignoring everyone around them.

Santana tries to count them all so she can remember to give each kiss to Brittany later but loses count.

She's pretty sure Brittany likes that better.

/

"Do you think he's going to do it?" Santana asks Quinn as they sit in the cafeteria together.

Her uneaten lunch sits in front of her, waiting for Brittany when she gets here from doing something for Student Council. Quinn smirks at her when she looks around for any sign of her for the fourth time before she speaks.

"You've got to give him some time, Santana," she says around a chuckle. "He's never been in such a diverse environment as this and he has to think about it."

Santana snorts. "That's not what I asked," she says. "I asked if you think he's going to do it."

Quinn shrugs and tries to steal some of the fries in front of her until Santana slaps her away. She rolls her eyes again.

"I don't know," she shrugs. "He's a good guy. I think he'll do whatever he thinks is best."

"Real helpful, Fabray," she mutters and opens her mouth to ask another question when two hands land on her shoulders. Brittany leans over her until she's almost close enough to kiss. Santana flails a moment, wondering if she heard what they were talking about. "Hey, how was your meeting?"

Out of the corner of her eye, she sees Quinn reaching for the fries again.

"Boring," Brittany shakes her head. "Miss me?"

Santana smiles. "Always."

Santana's really glad that Quinn starts to gag on the fry in her mouth.

"You guys are disgusting amounts of sweet."

/

"So, what's happening tonight?" she asks as she's driving them to Brittany's after school. Brittany's hand rests warm in hers over the console and she doesn't care how sloppily she's driving, just that there's about twenty kisses marked on her hand and about forty on Brittany's and she wants to cash them in ASAP.

Brittany squeezes her hand. "Well, you're going to drop me off," she starts and Santana's face falls because that's not normally how the days go. She doesn't drop Brittany off. She hasn't just dropped Brittany off in weeks. Brittany squeezes her hand comfortingly. "You're going to drop me off and then I'm going to make myself pretty for you and then you're going to pick me up, and then we're gonna go to BreadstiX earlier than we're meant to and we're going to eat dinner, and then we're going to party with our friends and then..." she draws out the last syllable until it's torture.

"What?" Santana says, trying to keep her excitement under control.

Brittany brings her hand to her mouth and kisses the back of it. "If you ask your mom and she says it's okay you can stay over tonight."

Her eyes widen comically. "Really?"

"Mmhm," Brittany nods as they pull up outside her house. "And, as it's a special day," she says and Santana wants to stop her as she unfastens her seat belt. She's about to grab her and stop her when Brittany surprises her and climbs over the console into her lap. The first kiss catches her off guard after a whole day without them. "You can kiss me as many times as you want."

Santana smirks against her lips, hands circling around Brittany's waist to pull her closer.

"Ditto," she whispers against Brittany's mouth as she takes all the kisses Brittany gives her, full of promise and need. It doesn't take long until Santana's pulled Brittany's hair from it's tie, her hands tangling in it as she holds her against her. She pulls away quickly when Brittany manages to slip her hand against the strip of skin between her top and skirt. "Crap, you need to go. You need to go or I'm going to follow you in there and we'll never get anywhere."

Brittany hums out her laugh, pressing her further into the seat and kissing her even more slowly than before. Santana pulls away when Brittany shamelessly cops a feel.

"Screw it," she shakes her head. "I'm coming in."

That seems to make something in Brittany snap with realization. "No," she says, frantically shaking her head and untangling their bodies. "You're going home and you're going to get dressed up and you're going to convince your mom to let you stay over so we can – " She leans back in to peck at Santana's lips. "Do this – " She does it again. "All night, if you want us to."

Santana sucks in her bottom lip and the taste of Brittany. "Promise?"

Brittany nods. "You have to go get your stuff together first, though," she whispers. Santana weighs her options together before sighing and nodding in agreement. "I'll see you in a while," Brittany kisses the apple of her cheek. "I love you, Valentine."

Santana smiles as Brittany jumps out of the car. "Love you, too," she calls and loves the way that it makes Brittany stagger backwards up the path to her house with a smile on her face.

/

It's pretty embarrassing how quickly she gets herself ready. She showers and wanders around in her towel as she packs her overnight bag, wondering if putting on her sexiest underwear would be too much of a presumption. Brittany's parents are going to be home, after all.

Still.

Screw it, she thinks and sheds her towel, pulling them up her legs and forgoing wearing a bra to instead pull on her dress.

She's struggling with the zipper when her mom gets home, pulling her shirt from the waistband of her skirt as she passes the room on the way to her own.

"Need a hand with that?" she calls over the music and Santana jumps, turning it down to hear her better. Her mother looks at her curiously. "Is there a reason you're listening to the Monster Mash?"

Santana flushes as her mother steps in behind her and tugs up the zipper on her dress. "It's... Brittany made me a playlist for Valentine's Day," she tells her softly, still nervous – always nervous – of talking about this stuff with her mother.

She's glad when her mom laughs a little and pats her on the side to let her know she's done. "That's sweet," she tells her. "What did you get her?"

Santana opens her mouth. "Uh, I got her a rose."

Her mother looks at her like she's waiting for her to go on. When Santana shrugs and doesn't say anything else, her mom's eyes widen. "Oh, okay..."

"I... I paid this group of kids at school to sing her a song, too, but... they've not done it yet because they..."

"What?" her mother asks when she trails off.

"Because she's a girl," Santana shrugs. "Because they're a Christian group and it's gay... I don't know."

Her mom puts both hands on her shoulders. She squeezes and she's got that confused look on her face like she's not sure what she's meant to say. "Do you... want me to talk to somebody? Your principal?"

She shakes her head frantically, not sure if she wants to tell her mother that he already knows and that it's his fault that she angrily asked them to sing a song for Brittany.

Her mom clicks her tongue and reaches into her purse, still slung over her shoulder. She pulls out her wallet, checking inside of it and taking out all money inside. She holds it out to her.

"What's that for?" she asks, not taking it.

Her mother sighs and grabs her hand and shoves the money inside. "Take Brittany out for dinner, buy her a gift, I don't care, just..." He mother shakes her head only to reach up and stroke her fingers over Santana's cheek. "I like how happy she makes you." Santana's cheeks pink as she laughs awkwardly. "So, like, go treat the poor girl to the best night ever. I don't know whatever it is you lady lovers do."

Santana smirks and looks at the money. She has money; it's just that she has no idea what to do with it. Still, she's not one to miss an opportunity and she sees one right now in front of her.

"Uh, can I sleep over at her place tonight instead?" she asks, trying to shove the money back. Her mother laughs at her instantly, knowing what she's doing. Santana grins innocently.

Her mother just shoves the money back towards her. "Keep the money," her mother rolls her eyes, backing away. "Stay at Brittany's. Just behave yourself."

Her mother leaves but then, as Santana's shoving the money into her dress for safekeeping, she steps back.

"Oh, and sweetheart?" Santana snaps to her mother as she lingers in the doorway. "Have a good time, okay?"

/

"Why hello there, Santana," Mr. Pierce teases when he opens the door. She giggles at the shocked look on his face. "What are you all dressed up for? Special date tonight?"

Brittany's mom pretty much hip-checks him out of the way so she can get to her. She takes Santana's hands in hers.

"You look gorgeous," she croons and Santana can't help the blush that creeps onto her cheeks.

She giggles, uncomfortable with the attention. She's glad when Brittany thunders down the stairs.

"Hi," she says when she sees her, all dressed up.

Brittany grins at her and grabs her purse. "Hey," she says, taking her money and keys from inside of it, holding them in her hands. "You look pretty. Are you ready to go?"

Santana reaches down to the duffle that sits at her feet. "I just have to put this in your room first," she says, taking a step forward.

Brittany's mom quickly intercepts her and grabs the bag. "I'll deal with that," she says, shooting Brittany a pointed look. "You girls go have a good night."

"Keep safe," Brittany's dad says as she gives him a hug.

"We will," she nods, moving to kiss her mom on the cheek. "You guys have a good time, too."

Brittany's mom nods. "We'll see you tomorrow."

"Yup," Brittany smiles and then she's grabbing Santana and tugging her out the door. It's not until they're sat in the car that Santana gets a chance to say anything.

"Wait," she says as Brittany slips her keys into the glove compartment for safekeeping. "Tomorrow? Why will you see them tomorrow? Won't we see them when we get back?"

Brittany laughs and puts the money in her hand in the folds of the scarf around her head. She gives Santana this look that makes her feel silly and confused except she knows she's right for being confused. Ever since they started venturing out after dark, the Pierces have always waited up for them to make sure they get home safe.

"Nope," Brittany shakes her head softly. "It's their thirtieth Valentine's Day together so they're going to a hotel for the night. My little sister is staying at a friend's house and I asked Mom where I was going and she said that I'm old enough to stay home alone."

Santana's eyes bug out of her head. "And they said I could stay over?" Brittany nods. "We probably shouldn't tell my mom that," she laughs. "She might ask for the hundred bucks she shoved at me earlier back and I have every intention of buying you dinner with it."

Brittany looks at her as she pulls away from the house and her eyes narrow as she takes Santana's hand over the console.

"What?" she asks curiously.

Brittany's smile grows. "You'll have to fight me for the check first."

/

They put them on one of the smaller tables and Santana quickly realizes how much better it is than sitting in one of the booths. It barely takes Brittany a second to take her hand and tangle their fingers together as her ankle hooks around Santana's beneath the table.

When Brittany kisses her knuckles and smiles at her, Santana vows never to sit in a booth ever again if it means that they get to eat together like this.

"What are you having?" Brittany asks as she pulls one of the menus between them so they can both look at it. Santana's not sure why; they've pretty much had the menu memorized for years now. "You can have whatever you want."

Santana smirks. "I think you mean that you can have whatever you want."

"No," Brittany says as she pushes the menu more towards her. "I definitely mean you."

"I'm pretty sure you mean you."

"No..." Brittany laughs. "I mean that you can have whatever you want because I am paying."

"No, you're not."

"Yeah, I am," Brittany says and she leans forward to kiss Santana on the forehead.

Santana giggles at the feel of it and lets their foreheads fall together, smiling widely. "Britt Britt," she whines. "Let me buy you dinner on Valentine's Day." Their eyes catch and Santana pouts softly, hoping it'll sell it for her. It does. Brittany's lips purse a little as she starts to give in. "I really want to."

Brittany's pout mirrors hers and, for a second, Santana's not sure if she's going to kiss her or get upset. But then she smiles and shakes herself out of it.

"Okay," she nods. "Whatever you want."

/

"Do you want to split dessert?" she asks Brittany softly when the restaurant has started to fill up with their classmates.

Brittany smiles at her warmly.

"Depends," she says around it. "What do you want?

The way that Brittany's lips curve up into a smirk makes her feel like she wants ice cream to cool down the insistent warmth it makes ooze through her body like hot chocolate fudge sauce. Her eyes flicker down to Brittany's lips and she smiles at her, swiping her thumb over the back of Brittany's palm.

"I don't know," she whispers. "What do you feel like?"

Brittany giggles at whatever expression there is on her face and leans in to kiss her on the cheek. Her eyes flutter closed at the feel of it.

"I think I want cheesecake," Brittany whispers. "Or maybe ice cream. I don't know. I think Sugar's only serving nice things."

Santana's eyes flick back to her lips again because, right now, kissing Brittany is the only nice thing she can think of. "You wanna wait?" she asks but she feels like she's asking more than she says.

Brittany can tell and her lips quirk as she leans in to kiss Santana's cheek again. Her kisses litter over the apple of her cheek, along her jaw, until Santana takes a breath at the feel of one being pressed to the corner of her mouth.

"Wait here," Brittany says as she untangles their fingers, pushing back her chair. Santana looks up at her, confused, only to have Brittany lean back and press a kiss to her forehead. "I'll be back in a sec."

Santana nods and watches her leave. The second turns out to take longer than she thought it would and Santana sits uncomfortably alone in the middle of BreadstiX as the rest of her friends and classmates fill in around her. She says hello to Tina, Mike and Artie and they sit on the table in front of her. For a minute she thinks that maybe they're sitting next to her because they think she's alone but then they ask her where Brittany's got to and she feels a better knowing that they expect them to be together. Quinn arrives with the rest of the God Squad and Santana wants to stop her and ask her if she should be running out to get Brittany something else for Valentine's, but then Brittany's giggle sounds in her ears.

Santana's face brightens as she slips back into her seat, putting down a box of chocolates on the table.

"Where did you get those?"

"Sugar," is all Brittany says as she opens up the box to reveal layers of decadent-looking sweets. "I managed to convince her to give me a box. They're like... party favors or something. There's tons of them out the back."

"How did you get out the back?"

Brittany smirks. "Secret," she giggles as she reaches in and takes one out, holding at Santana's mouth. "Here."

/

They're pretty good chocolates. She's kind of glad that they're probably going to get to sake some more home with them later because all she knows is that she wants more and that it looks like Brittany does too.

"Last one," Brittany says as they peer into the box. "Here, you can have it," she says, pushing the box towards her.

Santana shakes her head and thinks about the stupid rose and the song Brittany probably isn't going to get sung to her. She thinks about all the effort Brittany obviously put into making that playlist and the cover and shakes her head. "No," she shakes her head again. "You can have it."

"I got them for you," Brittany says with a smile.

"I want you to have it," she says and, before Brittany can argue, she's lifting it to her mouth with a smile and offering it to her.

When Brittany bites into it, she grins triumphantly but stops instantly when Brittany reaches to take the other half of the chocolate and quickly guides it to Santana's own mouth.

"We can share," she whispers sweetly and the look Santana gives her at that gets lost in the roar of applause as Sugar gets on stage and grabs everyone's attention.

Santana doesn't really listen to what she's saying until she welcomes the God Squad out on stage. She didn't think that they would be performing and it makes something bubble nervously in her stomach as the microphone gets passed to the new kid before he heads towards their table.

She forgets about Brittany as he talks, too worried to look at her in case he's choosing to turn down her request in front of everyone, but then he smiles and says "absolutely" and she can't help but turn to Brittany to see her reaction because she's so damn relieved that she actually managed to do something good for Brittany on Valentine's Day.

She makes a silent promise to do better than a rose and silly song next year.

But then she looks at Brittany and she doesn't think Brittany's ever looked at her like this before. It makes the butterflies in her stomach start and she shrugs her shoulder softly at the disbelief in Brittany's eyes. Brittany laughs at that and Santana grabs her hands, just because she needs to, and kisses her knuckles affectionately.

The whole thing starts to feel a lot bigger than she intended it to be and a smile ruthlessly overtakes her face as pride starts warming in her chest.

As Brittany's softened face peers at her over their hands, she starts to think that maybe this is a better Valentine's than she'd planned for it to be. It makes jumping to her feet and pulling Brittany up with her to dance a lot easier. She couldn't give a crap about what anyone else thinks when Brittany's pulling her in close and wrapping her arms around her as they sway to the music. The staring eyes of everyone around them doesn't make her feel scared or angry; it feels like her chance to prove to everyone that they're as much, if not more, in love as everyone else, that it's their right as much as anyone else's to want to kiss each other in public.

But when it comes to it, and Brittany's still got that same sappy look of adoration and disbelief on her face when the song ends, she doesn't give a crap who's looking. Brittany shakes her head at her and she leans in close.

"I can't believe you did that," she whispers and Santana's whole body slows and buzzes with the look in her eye. The warmth and pride in Brittany's eyes is better than any she could possibly feel herself. It makes her melt, her head hopelessly tilting to the side as she gives herself completely over to Brittany, offering her a kiss that she can take if she wants. When Brittany's nose brushes her top lip and she feels her smiling into the kiss, Santana's never felt more loved or wanted in her life.

"I love you," she whispers when they pull apart.

Brittany smiles against her mouth and pecks another kiss against her lips. "I love you, too."

She pulls her back to the table, intent on maybe sneaking kisses over a slice of celebratory cheesecake, but Brittany's jumping up the second that Blaine's dedicating his song to all the lovers in the room.

"What are you doing?" she pouts as Brittany's fingers leave hers. It's wiped away a second later when Brittany leans back in to kiss a smile onto her lips.

"I promised Sugar I'd help Blaine with his performance," she grins against her mouth. "How do you think I got those chocolates?"

/

Brittany finds her through the crowd once she's shoved her microphone at Blaine. Arms wrap around Santana's waist as her own wind around Brittany's neck.

Santana kisses her without even thinking about it, pressing their mouths together until she's forced to draw back for breath, Brittany's mouth following her retreat.

"I need the bathroom," she whispers, except she doesn't. She grabs Brittany's hand, grazing her fingers over her back and along her arm until she can lock their fingers together. "Come with me," she whispers and Brittany's still too dizzied by the proximity of their lips to argue.

She's still like that when Santana pulls open the door to the disabled person's bathroom instead of the ladies'. She doesn't realize what's happening until the door is closing and Santana's pulling them back against it.

Their mouths meet in a hurry, kissing smiles against smiles. Santana melts at the way that Brittany's hand curls around her neck, the other around her waist to bring her closer, as she tugs them deeper into the bathroom. Her own hands just clutch redundantly at the back of Brittany's dress as she tries to stop her legs from buckling underneath her.

"Here," Brittany says and it's like she weighs nothing as Brittany picks her up and lifts her onto a nearby counter. She fits herself between Santana's legs and tugs at her hips until their bodies lock together, a grunt leaving Santana's body at the feeling. Lips slip from her own as Brittany kisses over her cheeks, working her way down Santana's neck.

"What's gotten into you?" Santana breathes as Brittany's mouth takes full advantage of the low neckline of her dress.

Brittany laughs against her skin. "I can't..." she starts but then, as usual, she manages to find the freckle on Santana's shoulder and loses track of what she's doing, kissing it until Santana scratches her nails at the base of her neck. She practically purrs at the feeling and looks up at Santana in a daze.

"You asked them to sing me a love song," Brittany mumbles. Sporadic kisses press over her chin, moving upwards until Brittany can suck softly on her bottom lip. "You asked them to sing me a love song and then we danced in front of everyone and then we kissed."

Santana pulls Brittany's mouth from her skin and cups her cheek. She smiles warmly but still can't help being confused. "So?" she shrugs.

"So, I made you a stupid playlist and you made all my dreams come true and nothing I can do from now on could ever beat that and I'm just mad at myself because I wanted to give you the best Valentine's Day ever." She speaks in one breath and Santana struggles to keep up with with what she's saying. Brittany huffs and pouts, arms wrapping around her. "You should have let me pay for dinner."

Santana frowns, not sure if she understands. She brushes the pad of her thumb over Brittany's cheek and narrows her eyes. "What?" she stutters out.

Brittany's cheeks pink and she leans into her, forcing Santana to pull her hand away from her face as she buries her head into Santana's neck. "You deserve an awesome Valentine's Day and I was a crappy Valentine," Brittany whispers into the skin behind her ear. "I didn't do anything you'll remember."

Santana scoffs at her words and pushes her back until she can kiss her, just once, on the tip of her nose. "Don't be silly," she whispers. "You're the best Valentine I could have asked for." Her lips skirt down to kiss her deeply, lips parting and tongues exploring for long moments until Santana pulls back breathlessly. "You're the only Valentine I want."

"But, I..."

Santana kisses her again to cut her off. Brittany melts into it, her body falling into Santana's as her hands reach out to brace herself at the counter either side of her hips.

"I finally got to spend Valentine's with the girl I love," Santana whispers when they part. Her shoulders shrug gently. "I didn't need anything else."

Brittany doesn't look too sure until Santana smiles at her as wide as she can. She mirrors it instantly and doesn't argue when Santana pulls her back in for another kiss. Santana wouldn't care. She's sure Brittany doesn't actually know how addictive her kisses are and they're at least five hours behind on catching up on them.

That's probably why they crackle with heat quicker than they usually do. It barely takes any time at all before they're rocking into the kiss, mouths opening as tiny noises of appreciation escape both of their mouths. Brittany fingers tease up her thigh, beneath the hem of her dress, and anticipation for more tingles all over her body. Her own arms wrap around Brittany's shoulders, holding her as close as possible as her hands tease under the neck of Brittany's dress, her nails scratching at her back where no one can see. It drives Brittany crazy, her body arching into Santana's.

They're on a fast journey to going too far but neither of them cares. They're too busy riding the high of all these new things, these new ways of living, and they can't stop for anything.

Except the opening of the door.

Santana turns her head but Brittany doesn't. She must not have heard it open because, as Santana stares wide-eyed at Artie who sits shocked in the doorway, Brittany chooses to instead press open-mouthed kisses down her neck.

"Britt," she whispers and Santana hopes to God that Artie doesn't hear the things that Brittany's whispering against her. She taps at her back and nudges her head to the side. "Britt Britt," she tries again because she's kind of worried about how Artie's kind of just frozen there. She's really glad when Brittany pulls herself out of her kiss-induced stupor and listens to her. She takes a moment before she turns to where Santana's looking. By that point, Santana's more concerned about the fact that Artie still hasn't moved. "Artie?" she tries carefully.

He doesn't respond.

After several, long moments he still doesn't respond Santana turns to Brittany worriedly, silently questioning whether they should check if he's still breathing.

"Artie?" Brittany tries carefully, untangling herself from Santana and stepping towards him. "Are you okay?"

Her hand on his jolts him from his reverie. "Sorry," he gasps, looking at her. "I should... I should..."

He makes to leave but Santana laughs, jumping off the counter with shaky legs and slipping back on the shoe she must have lost at some point.

"It's cool," she says and she reaches for Brittany's hand. "We should probably be heading... somewhere."

Brittany giggles and nods. "Yeah, I've got to get this one home before she turns into a pumpkin," Brittany mutters and Santana grins at her.

They push him into the bathroom and wave to him as the door closes behind him, trying not to laugh at how he looks like someone just showed him the best thing ever. Santana doesn't feel too bad about him leering at them. He's looked like someone stole his puppy all night, so she's glad they could brighten up his night a little.

"You wanna get out of here?" Brittany asks, the blush in her cheeks the sweetest thing in the room.

Santana looks around at the party still going on. "Do you think we've stayed long enough without looking rude?" she asks.

Brittany giggles. "I don't care," she shrugs. "I don't want to be here anymore."

And as far as reasons go, Santana guesses that's a pretty good one.

/

It takes them a while, especially when talks of a BreadstiX lock-in for just the Glee kids buzzes around, the reassurance that Sugar's dad has dealt with the logistics of it a promise that it's something they can't really miss.

But Santana knows, as Brittany's hand clasps too-warm but still wanted in her own, that there will be other opportunities to have fun with their friends. There have already been opportunities, but this thing Brittany's tight grip promises will never happen again. The prospect of a brand new, perfect memory, just for the both of them, tugs at her desires more than spending a night with her friends.

So, she declines gently and Sugar smiles respectfully, telling them to put their money away when they try to pay their check.

"Tonight's on me," she says, grinning widely. She guides them over to the corner, where more boxes of chocolates sit and hands them one each before giving Brittany another. "Have a good night," she nods and Santana makes a mental note to tease her less.

/

"Don't forget your keys," Santana says as they're getting out of the car. Brittany instantly swings back to grab them from the glove compartment with a sheepish smirk. Santana laughs at her and grabs the chocolate boxes from the back seat, clutching them in her arms as Brittany bounds to the front door.

It's quiet inside and Santana's not really used to it. There's always some sort of noise in this house, be it Brittany's little sister playing in the den or her dad snoring all night.

She looks around at Brittany for guidance and finds her locking the door behind her, slipping on the chain lock and the dead bolt.

"Where's Irish staying tonight?" she asks sheepishly.

Brittany turns to her and shrugs her shoulders. "Somewhere else," she whispers and then she's disappearing towards the kitchen without another word.

Santana questions following her but something feels off, different to their normal sleepovers. Other than the fact that they're never alone, they almost always never plan what they're going to do. And as far she's been told, that's the same tonight, except she knows that Brittany's done something. She knows that she's up to something and it makes her uncomfortable because she doesn't know what she's meant to do.

"You okay?" Brittany asks her as she walks back carrying four bottles of water in her hands. She rests them on the nearby bureau before taking the chocolates from Santana and putting them down too.

She looks at Santana softly, patiently, waiting for her to respond, grinning when she nods reassuringly that she is.

Brittany helps her take her jacket off after that, throws it onto a coat hook before covering it with her own.

"What's going on, Britt Britt?" she asks and she hates how shaky her voice is. Brittany bends down to help her out of her shoes and when she stands back up she's a lot closer than Santana remembers. She's also a lot taller.

"I..." Brittany grins and her shoulders wriggle with excitement. "Nothing," she shrugs. "I just need you to wait here a second while I go upstairs, okay?" Santana pauses but she could never deny Brittany anything anymore, so she nods. It earns her a quick kiss before Brittany's pulling away and picking up the water and the chocolates. "I won't be long."

She really isn't long at all, a few minutes at the most, but soon Santana hears tell-tale signs of music and it makes her heart race. After that, she's not sure if she's nervous or terrified.

But then Brittany's there and she's standing at the bottom step and reaching for her and her feet are moving without her knowledge until Brittany can grab her hand.

"You're shaking," Brittany whispers as she pulls Santana up the stairs behind her. She stops them halfway up just to kiss the back of Santana's trembling hand. "Why are you shaking?"

Santana shrugs her shoulders, glad when Brittany wraps an arm around her waist. "You're up to something and it's making me nervous," she admits and Brittany smiles softly.

"You don't have to be nervous," she whispers gently, except Santana does because she's more than sure that Brittany's about to do something that'll make her a million times more perfect and she's not sure if she can handle it.

Her heart pounds all the way up the stairs and all the way to the closed door of Brittany's bedroom. Santana looks at the glow that emanates through the cracks like it's going to burn her if it gets any brighter and pulls back as Brittany tugs her so she's standing in front of her, their bodies pressed together.

"It's okay," Brittany says and pacifying kisses press to her bare shoulder as an arm wraps around her waist. Brittany kisses her way up from her shoulder to her jaw, a perfect curve up her neck until she can make her way to Santana's mouth. She kisses her slowly, so slowly that Santana's sure they start to disappear.

When Brittany pulls away and her eyes open, she realizes that the door is open and that she's been urged forward. She looks at Brittany for a second before she turns into her bedroom, curiously going with Brittany as she urges her further into the room.

When she sees it, her breath hitches in her throat and her eyes start to water. She turns her head to Brittany and it's just like she thought: she's too perfect, so perfect it sometimes physically hurts Santana to think about it. She forces her mouth against Brittany's, unable to help herself, lets her body fall back into Brittany's arms, as she tries to let the butterflies settle inside of her.

"I was trying to think of something romantic," Brittany whispers nervously. "I wanted tonight to be romantic and I thought about rose petals and candles but it didn't feel right. It didn't feel like us."

Santana can't bear to take her eyes off Brittany but she does, just because she needs to understand what Brittany's trying to say with this gesture, how it makes it them.

Her eyes dart back to the corner of the room, to the pile of blankets and comforters that form a mattress on the floor. She looks at them, their layers and their miss-match mix of color that clashes and complements at the same time. She looks at the dozens of cushions and pillows that surround the space, acting like a barrier from everything else as two bed sheets, one pale blue and one polka dot, form a canopy over the top of it, draping down and bunching at the floor. From where she stands, she can see the hundreds of twinkling fairy lights hidden beneath it, bursting light through the fabric.

The softness, the gentleness of this most delicate of gestures, makes Santana's heart seize in her chest.

"It's a fort," she whispers stupidly, turning back to Brittany and wiping the tears from her cheeks. "You made us a fort."

Brittany grins and searches her face. "Yeah," she says, her own hand reaching to wipe the tears away too. "I thought it would be special. I didn't want to be like everyone else..."

And Santana gets it then. They're not like everyone else and for the first time she doesn't care. For the first time, she understands that "not like everyone else" doesn't have to be bad. It can be good. It can mean better. It can mean perfect.

"Is it okay?" Brittany asks, her voice tiny. Santana tears her eyes from the fort in an instant, spinning in Brittany's arms until she can kiss her properly, her hands cupping Brittany's cheeks to bring her in closer.

"It's beautiful," she whispers against her mouth. "You're beautiful."

Brittany rests their foreheads together and kisses her again, just once. "It's all for you."

More tears escape from her eyes as she pulls Brittany back to her. She kisses her because a year ago she couldn't. A year ago, she was sat alone in a restaurant while Brittany loved someone else. A year ago, she went home and had never felt lonelier as she cried herself to sleep wishing she could be braver. So many things felt impossible back then, being in love and happy at the same time felt impossible. But here she is, with Brittany's arms wrapped around her, her lips against her own, more than sure that her heart has never beaten more loudly than it is right now.

Without Brittany, she's not sure it would even know how.

/

Brittany undresses them both as Santana kisses her.

Their lips move together as Brittany starts with their earrings, carefully removing her own and then Santana's before placing them on her dresser. They sway to the music as they kiss and undress, as Brittany loosens the scarf from her hair and all the pins holding it in place until Santana can reach up to tangle her fingers in it. Brittany lowers the zipper on her dress as gently as she can, careful not to catch hair or skin as it moves down her body. She pushes fabric down Santana's body until she's stood there in nothing but her underwear with it pooled at her feet.

"Is this okay?" Brittany asks and Santana almost laughs at the question because it's more than alright. Brittany does laugh a little at the smile that grows on her face. "I mean, are you okay? You don't need a minute or..." she trails off. "I don't know what I'm saying."

Santana shakes her head and her hands reach for the hem of Brittany's dress to pull it up but Brittany stops her. She pulls back, confused when Brittany steps back away from her and leans down to slip off her shoes and then her knee-high socks. Santana looks down and waits for the moment when she always scrunches her toes into the plush of the carpet, following the line of her legs upwards. Brittany watches her and starts revealing more skin for her to look at, pulling her dress up her body and over her head.

And here's the thing that nobody knows. Well, maybe Brittany's figured it out, but Santana doesn't really care about that. But the thing is, Santana loves it when Brittany's naked but she loves it even more when she's only wearing her underwear. She loves it because she likes that there's this special place underneath that only the two of them touch. As much as that, she likes seeing what ridiculous pair of underwear Brittany's wearing. She seems to have so many cute and adorable pairs (ones with animals and shapes and patterns, all different colors and sizes and fabrics, so many different types) that Santana likes to try and guess which ones she's wearing before Brittany allows her to see.

She's almost never right. Brittany somehow always manages to surprise her with what she's wearing and that's no different tonight. Santana watches as the dress moves up her body and follows it as Brittany reveals black fabric that covers from the tops of her thighs to under her belly button. She reaches out shamelessly, desperate to touch the soft silk panel at the front that covers the most intimate part of her, needing to see if the see-through mesh fabric feels as rough as it looks.

It isn't rough, of course. It's as soft as the silk and she follows the expanse of it, from the seam of the silk around the curve of Brittany's hip, expecting to find a second panel of silks at the back. Her mouth opens when she finds no such thing, just more, see-through black mesh. Brittany smiles at her secretly as she peers around to check.

"Your underwear's see-through," she whispers and part of her wants to be sure that Brittany knows this.

But Brittany smiles and grips at Santana's hand where it lingers on her backside, holding it there. "I know," she whispers and then her kiss teases between Santana's lips, tongue dipping into her mouth. "I wanted you to have something sexy for Valentine's Day. It didn't seem fair."

"Fair because what?" Santana asks and her other hand comes to reach the other side, curling around her ass to see how it feels under the delicate fabric.

"Fair because I have you," Brittany says, pushing Santana's hair over her shoulder to get to her neck. "And you're the sexiest thing in the world."

Santana scoffs. "You need to look in a mirror."

"Maybe," Brittany nods in agreement. "But you're the only person after my mom who cares about whether I'm wearing underwear or not." Santana bursts out laughing. "For slightly different reasons but, I don't care... I saw them and thought you might like em."

"I do," Santana tells her. "I really do."

It makes Brittany grin proudly. "And I really think that they're the perfect outfit to wear in our fort," she nods. "Just like these..." She flourishes her comment with a finger, teasing around the waistband of Santana's own, purple lacy panties. "Come on."

/

"This is really pretty," Santana says as they lay in the fort staring up at the lights, holding hands in the space between them.

Santana likes the times like these. She likes it when they lay together, clothes disregarded but the need to touch each other not burning through them like a fireball. She thinks that, sometimes, it's about more than that. Brittany's naked body isn't always about sex and desperation, it isn't about release. Sometimes, it's about warmth and comfort, it's about stripping everything away and just being together.

"What gave you the idea?" she asks when Brittany doesn't say anything. Her head turns on the pillow to look at blue eyes, the lights above reflecting in them like stars on the ocean.

Brittany takes a deep breath. "I used to make a fort sometimes," she admits. "When I wanted to be alone, when I wanted to think about secret things without anyone bothering me, when I wanted to cry and be left alone." She takes a deep breath. "Sometimes, I used to make a fort because I wanted to think about you." Santana feels her heart in her throat. "I knew that I wasn't supposed to think about you like I did, so I told myself that if I built a fort and thought about you there it didn't count." She smiles up at the lights and shakes her head. "I used to lay in there for hours just thinking about how much I wanted to kiss you."

Her words trail off into a gentle laugh. Santana rolls away from looking at the lights to look at Brittany. Brittany turns to her and Santana's eyes flutter closed at the love in her expression.

"I always wanted to be your Valentine," Santana admits in a whisper. Brittany turns to her then, close enough that her nose presses against Santana's.

"You are my Valentine," Brittany whispers, her breath warming Santana's mouth.

Santana barely has to move to close the gap between them. She tilts her head and Brittany sighs at the movement, meeting her halfway as they kiss slowly and gently. Their cheeks press against the same pillow and Brittany raises her hands to stroke the backs of her knuckles over Santana's jaw, down the curve of her neck and over the contours of her body. Her hand grips at Santana's hip and pulls her closer until their bodies are flush against each other, warm skin melting together like chocolate on a summer day.

Santana gasps at the sensation of it, always has and always will. Somehow, something deep inside of her manages to make her forget it and she thinks that it's because there's something invigorating at how alive the burn of Brittany's body against hers makes her feel. Whenever Brittany's body touches hers it reminds her that she's really here.

Her kisses do that sometimes do. They take her breath away and remind her that her lungs work. She kisses Brittany slowly, now, because sometimes that's all she needs. She doesn't need the throb between her thighs or the slow pull of climax in the hollow of her pelvis. Sometimes she just needs Brittany there to anchor her back to the ground and remind her that this isn't all a dream, it's really happening and she's not imagining it. Some days, like the past few days, when people tell her that she shouldn't be allowed to kiss Brittany whenever she wants, all she wants to do is kiss her for as long as she can just to remind herself that they're wrong.

But there are days like today, special days, full of excitement, when she needs every single part of Brittany to be hers. She needs to indulge herself in pulling everything from this body that protects the heart that keeps both her and Brittany alive. It isn't one of those frantic days when her need for Brittany overcomes everything else, when she's desperate for Brittany to beg for her, just because she needs to be reminded of how much Brittany wants her.

Today is one of those slow days, where everything creeps to a crawl, moves like the lapping of the ocean against the shore on a calm day. Their want is already there, the knowledge that they love and need each other is already there, and that's all they want. It's a reverent day, a day to worship all that's been given to them. Santana wants to bask in Brittany, to take what's hers because she can and she kisses Brittany as many times as she wants for as long as she can and Brittany does the same.

There's no need to say anything; they already know. Santana doesn't need to tell Brittany that she needs her touch. Brittany's hand just traces over her body, urges her underwear down her legs, and then slips her fingers to where Santana needs them without thinking about it. She strokes slowly, knowing Santana's body better than she knows her own, remembering what Santana needs with every kind of memory she has. Her fingers skirt around Santana's clit and she waits for Santana when she pulls away with a gasp, knowing that she'll want to kiss her again in a minute. She takes the moment to tell her that she loves her, whispering it against her open mouth as she skirts her fingers lower, inside of her, and starts moving more slowly.

And it's the days like these, the moments like these, when there's no struggle for power. Brittany doesn't argue when Santana gasps against her cheek and teases her fingers beneath the fabric of her underwear to push them down around her thighs. She just sighs and helps her, pushes them lower until she can kick them from her legs. There's no struggle for control when Santana slips her fingers between Brittany's legs and mirrors her movements. It isn't a search to see who can make who snap first; Brittany slows her movements between Santana's legs until they can find an even rhythm together, mirroring and paralleling each other like no other knows how.

It's just kissing and touching and taking the day for all it's worth, basking in this love they have for each other that they don't even understand the depth of sometimes.

And when they break, Santana first (nearly, ashamedly-except-not, always Santana first), it doesn't mean that the moment is over.

(Brittany once said that it's a waste, to discard all those feelings you get when you come by stopping; you should just keep going until the you can't anymore, drawing out every bit of pleasure until it becomes the first twitching signs of pain.)

Santana comes and Brittany pushes her back into the pillows, using the leverage of her body to help them both. Santana doesn't argue, still searching for the release inside of Brittany, and cants her hips into Brittany's movements, not stopping when Brittany falters as she finds her own release. She takes the reins of her body until Brittany wants them back, until she starts to move faster inside of her because the reminder that she can make Santana look like she does when she comes is addictive.

Santana understands that because she feels the same way. Watching Brittany shatter against her touch still makes her feel strong and weak at the same time. Everything gets faster and becomes less reverent and gentle then, it verges on desperate, but that's okay.

"I love you," Brittany whispers against her mouth and Santana smiles.

She kisses her, flicks her tongue in Brittany's mouth and nods. "I know," she says around a whine of a moan that means she's close but not close enough. "I love you, too."

The sound of her voice makes Brittany grin and she grunts with her own need, as she reaches out to stroke her thumb back around Santana's clit, nudging her nose at Santana's lip to get her to tilt her head so she can kiss her again.

"You're my Valentine," Brittany whispers in disbelief and Santana comes hard a second later, body quaking and driving her own fingers deeper until she hits a spot deep inside Brittany that makes her orgasm shiver through her in response.

She pulls her hand from between Brittany's legs, more content to kiss her. "I know," she whispers and Brittany doesn't argue when she pushes her onto her back, needing to see the lights above them twinkle in blue eyes.

/

Santana draws tiny hearts on Brittany's stomach, continues to stroke lines onto the palm of the hand that clutches her wrist when she wants a kiss. She scribbles her name in bold letters between the valley of her breasts. All the while, she thinks about Brittany.

She doesn't think that has anything to do with the fort though.

"Why did you build a fort for us?" she whispers against Brittany's shoulder. "Why did you build a fort for us if this is the place where things don't count?"

Brittany's tired eyes turn down from where they still watch the lights sparkle. She takes in a deep breath. "Don't you get it?" she asks softly and the words aren't unkind, they're curious. She shrugs her shoulder. "It counted. Every single kiss I thought about giving you in those forts counted, even when I told myself they didn't. I told myself they didn't count to stop myself from remembering that they're the only thing that mattered."

Santana kisses her way up Brittany's neck until she can squash her nose against Brittany's cheek. "I think you're trying to make a point here."

Brittany smiles and turns her head so their noses press together. "Even if nobody sees or hears or knows, it still counts."

Santana thinks she gets it but she isn't sure. Brittany starts drawing lines onto her shoulder and more into her palm. It makes her melt all over again as it sinks in.

"I know it makes you sad that people get mad at us for kissing," she whispers. "It makes me sad, too." She shrugs. "But I never really cared about kissing in front of people," she admits.

Santana searches her eyes. "No?"

"No," she shakes her head. "I cared about people knowing that you wanted to kiss me. I cared about knowing that you wanted to kiss me back. That's what matters."

Santana sighs and her hand leaves Brittany's to stroke up her cheek. She feels herself slowly slumping into sleep.

"You're my best thing," she admits.

Brittany smiles and leans in to kiss her. "You're my best thing, too."

Santana's smile grows and she strokes her thumb over Brittany's lip with a smile. "I love you, Valentine," she smirks as she commandeers Brittany's phrase.

Brittany doesn't seem to care. She grins at it and bites her tongue, tilting her head back to kiss Santana's nose until it scrunches.

"I love you, too," she sighs hopelessly against her.

Her nose brushes Santana's lip delicately and, when Santana tilts her head to the side, Brittany closes the space between them to punctuate the words with a kiss.

Like all their kisses, it counts.