Title: The Sex Has Made Me Stupid
Author: Misty Flores
Pairing: Santana/Quinn, Brittany/Santana inferred
Teaser: A hair cut in New York and hanging out because they're both too bored to remember they hate each other doesn't an epic friendship make.
Rating: Hard R
Notes: Needed to get back on the wagon to get some people their auction fic. Consider this me breaking in my training wheels with a little ficlet.
Love's an excuse to get hurt
- 'Lover I Don't Have to Love' by Bright Eyes
It's 2PM and sweltering hot on one of those blistering summer days that all seem to run together.
Santana is one big sweaty disgusting limp mess.
Quinn's window is open, but the tiny fan that Quinn's using to counter the heat only churns noisily, blasting hot air against her. It feels like a tease and just pisses her off.
"God-dammit," Santana mutters, and opens her eyes as she peels herself off of Quinn's ironically uncomfortable comforter with scratchy thread. "Tell me again why we can't turn on the Damn AC?"
Quinn Fabray sits at her vanity, perfect bare feet perched prettily against the edge of the bed as she paints her toenails with the kind of focused precision that Quinn does everything. She's not immune to the heat. Beads of sweat form on her upper lip, and when a pink tongue darts out to mop at them, Santana's closet lesbian rears its flannel-clad head as she follows the movement with interest.
She catches herself and looks away, snorting in self-disgust and a little mortification.
"Because," Quinn says, in that same bossy, unaffected tone that's always driven Santana slightly insane. "Now that it's just Mom and me we have to watch the bills. The AC is expensive."
"God, don't tell me you're like, poor now."
Quinn's brushing falters, and her head lifts. The glare she gives Santana is thrilling in a petty sorta way.
But the devious, mean smirk on her face fades when Quinn recovers, resinserts her brush back into the bottle for another dose of color and replies calmly, "Not all of us Divorced Kids have Weekend Daddies who show their affection with their credit card, Santana."
Sometimes she really hates that Quinn actually knows stuff.
At least my Dad actually gives a shit, she wants to say, and almost does, before Quinn's short bangs fall into her face, and in the process of wiping them away, Santana gets a flash of an incredibly human expression, the kind she used to see all the time when they were in middle school and called each other best friends and almost sorta meant it.
Her teeth grind together, but she says nothing.
Quinn's got some emo version of an Abba song playing, and this shrieky chick fills the silence by wailing on and on about wanting to know the name of the game.
It sounds like Brittany's cat is being tortured, and in Quinn's room, it's hot enough to be stifling.
Suddenly Santana's just really annoyed and pretty sure she's going to die from heat exhaustion.
"Fuck it," she decides, and reaches for her sweaty tank top. She peels it up and off, and it's not much of a relief, but at least it's something.
Quinn reacts like she's gone and turned on a porno.
"What are you doing?" she hisses, spasming in such a way that nail polish goes flying and the bottle nearly teeters off of Quinn's desk.
It'd actually be funny if Santana gave a damn about anything but trying to get even one degree cooler.
"What does it look like I'm doing?" Reaching behind herself, she arches up her hips and fumbles with her bra clasp. "You're trying to suffocate me because you're a cheap ass."
"Are you crazy?" Quinn's voice actually squeaks, and God – Santana forgot how much of a prude Quinn used to be.
"Oh come on. We've seen each other naked like, a million times," she points out, because it's true.
"In the locker rooms at SCHOOL," Quinn grits.
"Oh, same fucking thing," she mumbles, even though it's kind of not, and it doesn't matter anyway. She snaps the clasp and the bra comes loose.
Quinn actually curses. "Santana, put your clothes back on right now."
"If my mother comes in here, she's going to-"
"She's not home," she points out helpfully, and lets the bra drop next to her shirt.
"But what?" She makes nimble work of the button on her shorts.
She looks up pointedly, but falters when she realizes that Quinn isn't looking at her face, but at her chest, and she's got some frozen, panicked look, like some alien monster just crawled out of Santana's boobs.
Head jerking up, Quinn's eyes finally meet hers. They go wide, and with a flush on her cheeks, Quinn jerks away, facing the computer. "She'll get the wrong idea," she mumbles.
"It's not like she's never seen us undress in front of each other." It happened often enough when they used to hang out, trying on outfits and twirling in front of Mrs. Fabray like a mini fashion show.
"It's not the same."
"Why?" she asks, and when Quinn doesn't respond, the answer suddenly dawns on her.
Because Santana is some unspoken lesbo dyke or whatever, and Quinn's flattered, but just not into that.
A flush of something, annoyance and humiliation and that same crippling fear burns through Santana for just a second, long enough for her to feel somewhat ridiculous, lying half naked on Quinn's bed with her shorts unbuttoned.
Her shoulders roll in a huff. "Do me a favor and get over yourself," she snarls, and shoves her shorts down past her hips, kicking them off the bed. "You're not exactly my type either, Q."
Quinn's playlist has moved over to Gavin McGraw, and he's crooning 'In Love With A Girl', making a damn mockery of her entire life.
"Just keep your underwear on." Quinn's whisper sounds resigned. "Please," she adds.
With her fingers fisting the fabric of the comforter, forming fists, she finally looks.
Quinn's focus is back on her nails, and it's like nothing happened.
With an uncomfortably fast heartbeat, and a sour feeling in her stomach, Santana clutches at the comforter and resists the urge to reach for her cell phone and search for a text message she knows won't be there.
"Mother fucker," she mutters in bad, mottled Spanish, and falls back against the itchy comforter, wondering why the fuck she's here at all.
The sun blazes down against her skin, and this time, she's largely okay with it, because she's got her hottest bikini on, and is slathered in tanning lotion.
Not that she needs it. Thanks to her Puerto Rican heritage, Santana tans like an Aztec Goddess.
In a raft floating quietly beside her, Quinn reads a book.
They're not much for conversation nowadays, and Santana's still not sure if she really trusts her, but she guesses that habit exists for a reason, because without Brittany, she reverts to form and texts Quinn to tell her she's at her Dad's for the weekend and he's working all day, so they have full use of the pool.
She's pretty sure that Quinn probably didn't have any other offers, so it probably doesn't mean much of anything, but she's here, beside her, wearing a two piece that's skimpier than Santana's used to seeing on her.
Quinn's getting her figure back, and just like the cocky bitch Santana knows she can be, she wants Santana to notice.
Santana isn't really up for giving her the satisfaction. She hasn't really looked at Quinn since the moment she opened the door to her in nothing but her own two-piece and wandered off in the direction of the pool.
She wonders idly if there was ever a time where there was actual friendship between them instead of this fucked up sort of competition, with pockets of genuine commiseration nestled in between.
Maybe Quinn's thinking the same thing, because she suddenly interrupts the afternoon tanning with an odd question.
"Do you remember when we were freshman, and we snuck in here one night when your dad was out and we all went skinny dipping?"
An unwilling smile pulls on her lips, because Santana does remember. Flashes of the night suddenly surface, of newly minted Cheerios, high off their first excruciating week of cheer camp, ripping off uniforms and diving into the pool.
Of course, back then Quinn was the self proclaimed Chastity Queen, and she had been dutifully scandalized at the porn-ish turn of events. There was a lot of lectures and scoldings, until Santana had had enough and ordered Brittany and Puck to just throw her in and 'get her wet'.
"Yeah." The lazy grin grows wider. "The housekeeper nearly called the cops on us until I threatened to get her fired."
The sigh she hears can easily be mistaken for bittersweet. "Yeah." The raft floats easily, and relaxed and content for the first time in forever, Santana's eyes flutter sleepily. "You know, when we were all naked… I saw you looking."
It's like Quinn took a bucket of water, poured a shitload of ice in it, and threw it all in her face. Santana feels like she's sputtering, as Quinn continues.
"At me. And Brittany."
Fucking God-Dammit. "Quinn-"
"-Is that how you knew?"
She's light headed now; dizzy, because even though Quinn's pretty much made it clear that she knows, it's not like they've had any sort of real conversation about it.
"Knew what?" she asks, and it's meant to sound threatening, like if Quinn keeps pushing the subject she's going to fucking die, cause she's from Lima Heights Adjacent, and shit, but all she manages is to sound breathless and kind of squeaky.
"That you like girls, Santana," comes the hard, annoyed response. "If you're going to make me say it."
"Why are you talking to me about this?"
"I just want to know."
The sun is just too fucking hot, and there are no words left in Santana. She pushes onto her side, and let's the raft tilt over, until she's capsized it and her body is sinking into the cool, chlorine-scented water.
Fully submerged, she holds her breath and pulls her glasses off, eyes opening to discover the blue stillness around her.
Above her is a wavy and distorted image – Quinn Fabray, leaning over her raft and staring down at her with her beautiful, dangerous expression.
She stays under until she feels her lungs burning, and then she kicks with powerful legs and breaks through the surface of the water, heading for the shallow end.
Wet fingers grab hold of scratchy concrete, and with a deep breath in, Santana hauls herself up, until she's balanced against the edge like a seal, or some sort of mermaid.
Her mascara is probably blurring, and her hair is dripping wet, tainted with chlorine that she'll have to rinse out thoroughly. For once, she can't bring herself to care.
She's half in the pool, half out of it, and Quinn's behind her, asking questions she's not ready to answer, and there's no Brittany here, to tell her what to do.
She snaps. "It's none of your damn business, okay Q?" It's a harsh snarl, like a lion scratching with its claws.
She waits to hear Quinn's response.
"Forget it," Quinn says, and Santana's eyes shut with relief. "I just thought maybe you needed someone to talk to."
The idea is laughable. "And why would I talk to you, Teen Mom?"
But Quinn isn't biting.
As Santana sinks into the water and kicks out her legs, keeping her place at the edge of the pool, she only sees Quinn's calm, bittersweet expression, that looks at her like she fucking knows her.
"Because you and I both know there is no one else." Santana's insides quiver, but she says nothing. Quinn's smile is sad. "And you can trust me."
It's in Quinn's eyes. The way she looks so desperately sincere, like she's trying so damn hard, and fuck why? WHY?
It's all such bullshit.
Turning violently, Santana hauls herself up out of the water, and pads to the extra large, fluffy beach towel waiting for her on the deck chair.
Hours later, Santana sits in her dark room alone. Some god-awful movie is playing on Netflix, but she doesn't pay attention.
She's thinking about Brittany.
She thinks about Brittany all the damn time.
It's comfortable and familiar, even when it hurts, so Santana never pushes those thoughts away.
It's comforting, to think of Brittany on vacation in Australia. She pictures the suntan she's probably getting, and thinks about the freckles that are forming on Brittany's nose – the kind she always gets when she spends too much time in the sun and forgets to put on sunscreen.
She knows when she gets back, and Brittany launches into her arms and gives her that beautiful, carefree smile, that Santana's going to look at those freckles and it's going to be torture not to try and kiss each and every one.
That's how she knows she loves Brittany. Because no matter how hard she tries, Santana can't get her out of her mind. It's the most real thing she has ever really known.
She knows it's real.
What's going on with Quinn? It can't be real.
A hair cut in New York and hanging out because they're both too bored to remember they hate each other doesn't an epic friendship make.
Quinn doesn't really care about her. They've done things to each other that goes beyond forgiveness, and yeah, maybe Brittany has a point about the Glee Club being a family, but it's not like that with her and Quinn.
It's that insane insecurity that makes her give in to herself and press buttons on her phone until Quinn's phone is ringing. She's breathing heavy, worked up and annoyed as all hell, but determined to get to the bottom of this.
"Santana." The hesitant way Quinn answers brings a morbid smile to Santana's lips.
The bitter amusement fades. "What the fuck are you doing?"
"Hold on. I need to shut the door." Lips bite down in pure frustration, as Santana is forced to wait while Quinn does whatever the hell she does and settles her pretty pretty princess ass down. "Back."
"I'm just trying to be a friend, Santana."
And that's when Santana knows this is bullshit, because Quinn never justtries to do anything. Quinn always has some plan. Some agenda. She's never done something just for the sake of doing it
Santana's learned that the hard way.
"You're so full of shit."
"You STINK of dogshit, Q."
"Believe what you want," Quinn snaps, because apparently being accused of stinking like dogshit is her limit. "The only reason I'm trying so hard is because you were there for me when no one else gave a damn and I know you didn't have to be." Santana swallows hard, and tries not to think about the sight of Quinn, so damn SAD and looking so fucking alone. "So just shut up and let me do the same for you."
So what, now Santana is just some charity case? Does she look that pathetic?
"I don't need you."
"Yes." Quinn's tone is bossy and firm, like back when she was head cheerleader and Santana had no choice but to listen to her. "You do."
She isn't aware she's crying until she feels the moisture on her cheeks. Santana hitches in a breath in surprise, and maybe Quinn hears it.
"Look," Quinn says, softer and gentler than before. "As far as I'm concerned, the stuff we did to each other? It's stupid and it doesn't matter anymore. You reminded me what it meant to be a friend, and that's what I want to be. To you. The friend that we should have been to each other years ago."
"I'm not exactly into rehashing life stories, Quinn."
"Then maybe understand that it's not all about you. I need a friend too."
Santana's eyes open. A ragged breath exhales. That, she can understand. Quinn is bargaining for friendship, and there is no one else.
Her former bestie Mercedes is all up in Sam's Trouty-Mouthed' grill, and that love/hate/whatever-the-fuck-it-is she has with Rachel is trashed because Rachel's back to clinging onto Finn leg like she's Jack and it's a bean stalk.
An exhalation of breath rushes out of her lips, and with it, flies her anger. "Fuck you, Fabray," she says, but there's no anger in it.
"I'm sorry I told Sue about your summer surgery," Quinn blurts, and it makes her laugh in a harsh, painful way.
"I'm not sorry I kicked your ass for it," she points out, and Quinn snorts. "But…" she shifts uncomfortably, because apologies are so not her thing. "I guess I'm sorta sorry I went and gave you mono. And that I told Sam you cheated on him with Finn, and then went and started dating him behind your back. Though you did kinda bring that one on yourself," she points out helpfully. "Because really? With Finn? Again? With his custard nipples?"
She's finally rendered Quinn speechless, because all she gets for a while is a breathless little hack that somehow mumbles into Quinn saying without malice, "God, you are SUCH a bitch."
It's her label, and she owns it, but she's smiling when she says, "Come over tomorrow. We'll hang in the pool."
"Okay," Quinn answers. "Sure."
"Cool," Santana says, when the silence becomes awkward. "Wear the red bikini."
"You look hot in it," she says without thinking. When Quinn stays silent, Santana finds herself flushing horribly. She didn't mean it to come out so friggin' lesbian. "You know what I mean," she snaps. "Stop it."
"Right," answers the other girl warily. "Thanks."
Being antagonistic bitches to each other is a hard habit to break, and Santana's cheeks are still flaming, so she rushes into a hurried end. "Yeah," she stammers, "So goodnight."
She hangs up the phone.
It made sense to be best friends with Quinn. It was a tactical move. That's how it started, because when they met, Santana already had a best friend – Brittany, who did everything she said and loved her no matter what.
But Brittany never understood what it meant to become a Cheerio, or how important it was to be seen with just the right boy. Brittany liked to wear funny hats and talked endlessly about her cat, and didn't really care about being popular. When they got to high school, Santana knew she'd get ripped apart.
Quinn was the perfect means to an end. Jaw-droppingly beautiful and kind of a bitch, she understood what it took to be popular. She had a plan, and she made it easy for Santana and Brittany to hop on board her popularity train and ride it with her.
She needed them, because three hot girls together would get way more attention than just one, and it didn't hurt that Brittany was the best dancer on the freshman Cheerios, and Santana wasn't too far behind.
Maybe Quinn didn't feel threatened by Santana at first, but even back then, Santana knew that they were playing a part. Quinn was a means to an end for her and Brittany, and being friends with her was just them biding their time.
She isn't sure when she actually started to like her, or when Quinn developed the actual power to hurt her, but it fucking happened. It happened over and over again, and each time it did, Santana felt like a bigger fool.
She'd get suckered in, over and over again, keeping Quinn's secrets while Quinn went about stabbing her in the back whenever Santana was dumb enough to let slip one of her own, and it just proved to her that she was a bigger idiot than everyone thought Brittany was.
Maybe it's the lesbian thing – Quinn is so fucking BEAUTIFUL, and Santana may be in love with Brittany, but she's not blind, and she thinks maybe that's why she keeps falling for Quinn's shit.
Maybe she's just like a dude, thinking with her virtual boner.
But she doesn't want to think about that, because if she does, then she has to think about the fact that some part of her wants to bone Quinn, and THAT isn't something she's thinking about. Not now.
Not when Quinn's lying on her bed, bare feet crossed and swinging, as she flips through a fashion magazine, fiddles with her remote, and offers her a smile. It's been three weeks, and even Santana's surprised that this tentative truce has stood.
It's fucking with her head, because the last blonde that's rested that comfortably in her bed was Brittany, and the last time she was in it, the sheets were damp and smelled like sex.
Now, Santana knows they're going to smell like Quinn's perfume.
She wonders if it's wrong to objectify a friend by imagining fucking them senseless while getting herself off with a vibrator later that night.
"Hey." A nudge against her shoulder brings her back to the present, and Santana feels an uncomfortable shudder develop when Quinn stares at her expectantly.
"What?" she asks, because she's sure Quinn may have said something, but she's also damn sure she didn't hear it.
"This one?" Quinn asks, rolling her eyes in slight frustration. She points with Santana's remote to a movie description, queued up on Netflix.
"Elena Undone," Santana reads, and frowns immediately. "This is a lesbian movie."
A faint blush has started to burn into Quinn's cheeks, as she glances back at the screen. "It was in YOUR Netflix queue."
"That's because there's two naked women on the cover, Quinn."
Quinn's eyes go once again to the screen, like this is brand new information. She considers it, and after a moment, shrugs. "So let's watch it."
If it's one thing Santana isn't into, is watching an erotic movie with a friend she was just considering using for masturbation material.
"I've seen it."
"I haven't. Oh stop," Quinn snaps, when Santana's eyes narrow. "I'm just trying to be … you know… supportive and stuff."
Santana doesn't try to hide her skeptism. "By watching pseudo lesbo porn with me?"
"It's porn?" Quinn squeaks, and jerks her eyes back to the television, looking horrified.
That reaction is quite possibly the single funniest thing Santana has seen in a while, so she reaches for the remote and presses 'Play'.
'Elena Undone' isn't a porn movie, but in Santana's opinion, it might as well be. The movie is erotic, but slow moving.
But it does have its merits, and a big one is that five minute make out scene between the repressed housewife and the lesbian, and all the hot sex that comes after that.
Santana doesn't expect Quinn to last nearly that long. She's pretty damn sure that the minute Elena pushes her lesbian against the wall and finally gets her mack on after forty minutes of struggling with the gay or not gay issue, Quinn's gonna freak out and make her watch some Sandra Bullock movie instead.
But she doesn't. Quinn doesn't say a fucking word. She just watches, and when the making out escalates to grinding on the couch, and there's lingering close-ups of deep tonguing, Santana finds herself incredibly aware of the brush of Quinn's shoulder, the uneven breath of her.
It's fucking distracting, and Santana isn't immune. Her chest feels constricted, her body gets flushed, and when Quinn brushes against her again, she's the one that loses it.
"We're done," she announces, and fumbles for the remote.
Colored eyes lift up to seek hers. "Is it really that soft?" Quinn asks breathlessly.
A sharp flash of sensation spikes straight to Santana's groin. It's maddening.
"What?" she asks dumbly.
Quinn isn't easily deterred. "Kissing a girl."
It'd be easier to answer the question if Quinn wasn't staring straight at her lips as she asked it. The remote's in her hand, but Santana doesn't quite remember how to use it, not with the full effect of Quinn's stare focused intently on her mouth.
"Well, it's a helluva lot better than cutting up your face on all that stubble," she admits. "Stop staring at me."
Quinn doesn't stop staring. "But does it feel that different?"
Santana knows it does. It's how she knows she's a lesbian, even if she's hooked up with half the football team. It does feel that different .
With Brittany, if it's deep enough, intense enough, it feels like her damn soul shatters.
"I guess," she admits carefully, focusing on her fingers, tangling her digits hard against each other. "It depends on who you're kissing."
That makes sense, right?
Quinn doesn't respond, and Santana figures that maybe it's safe to look up.
When she does, her world is knocked newly askew, as Quinn launches forward and presses her mouth hard against her.
The panic hits Santana so quickly she doesn't even enjoy it. Rearing back, she shoves hard, nearly losing her footing as she stumbles off the bed.
"What the hell was that?" she shrieks. Her heart hammers wildly, and Santana finds herself so flustered, she has a severe urge to tackle Quinn and … kill her or fuck her.
It's the indecision as to which one she would actually do that keeps her off the bed.
A dazed look overtakes Quinn's face, a stupid expression, that quickly fades away for one of pure fright.
"Sorry," Quinn whispers, and never looked so small. "I just wanted to see."
The adrenaline has a hold of her, and Santana prowls around the bed like an angry cat.
"You wanted to see what? How long it would take for me to kick your ass?"
In lieu of an answer, Quinn just looks at her miserably, eyes growing suddenly wet. She pushes to her knees, and cradles them against her, looking so much like a lost, lonely child, Santana doesn't know what to do.
"I slept with Finn," she announces suddenly. Her forehead falls against her knees, and she exhales raggedly. "I didn't like it."
In Santana's panicked, overwrought senses, the statement doesn't seem to fit with Quinn's actions, not at first.
And then it does.
"So what?" she asks, half in disbelief. "You think you're gay now?"
The shrug Quinn gives her is pathetic, but her friend looks so damn lost and alone, Santana finds the fight going out of her.
Still, she sinks down on the bed beside Quinn once again, and this time, Brittany's not on the other side of her, to brush Quinn's hair away and offer her the physical comfort she so desperately needs.
"Look," she begins, voice firm and quiet. "You didn't like it because Finn is horrible in bed, Quinn, not because you're gay." Tear-streaked eyes stare up at her beseechingly, and Santana finds herself reaching up to comb a strand of blonde away from a structured, smooth cheek. "He humps like a chihuahua on speed and he finishes twice as fast." Her reward for her wit is a trembling smile from Quinn, and it's one she returns. "You could have asked me. It would have saved you the trouble."
The tentative smile holds, then falters. Quinn shakes her head. "I didn't like it with Puck either," she admits.
"That's because it always SUCKS the first time."
Quinn looks at her like she wants to believe her, but the tentative smile falters, and suddenly Quinn folds, warm body shifting in against her. There's a lingering scent of fading perfume, but it's the tears in Quinn's voice that distracts Santana. "What if there's something wrong with me?"
The question, the familiar way she says it, breaks Santana, in the worst way.
There has never been much intimacy with Quinn. That type of sweetness has always been reserved for Brittany.
But Brittany is in Australia, and Quinn is here now, looking so lost and broken. It reminds Santana of where she has been, and how far she's come, even if she's still halfway in a closet.
Hesitantly, she reaches, until her arm smoothes down Quinn's shoulder, and the other girl is cradled into her completely. Quinn comes willingly. A soft sigh expels from Quinn's mouth. She feels the tuft of it against her throat.
"There's nothing wrong with you," she admits. Her eyes lift, and focus on a picture she keeps on her mirror. Brittany smiles at her, and Santana remembers her last night with Brittany, the smile on her face, the way her body arched underneath as she bucked against these exact same sheets. "It's just better with feelings," she whispers, echoing Brittany's words to her.
"But I loved him, Santana."
It's a blatant lie. Santana doesn't respect it. "No, you didn't."
Offended, Quinn's head jerks off her shoulder. "Yes, I did," she insists. "You don't know that."
"Yes, I do." Santana's eyes roll with impatience. "Finn was just part of that twisted fantasy you have about having a perfect life, because you don't think you're good enough to make it on your own."
The startled expression on Quinn's face cements the truth in Santana's statement, and Santana shakes her head a little at the reminder that maybe they actually do know each other.
Quinn doesn't keep insisting. The gleam in her eyes fade, and then she suddenly loses her strength, laughing in that hurt, terrible way before crumpling against Santana.
They stop talking and just breathe together.
It's just the two of them, on this bed, cuddled close. The movie plays on and as Santana closes her eyes and strokes Quinn's nape, she realizes that for the first time in a while, she's really okay with it.
Her phone rings at three am. Driven out of a deep sleep, Santana slaps at it on her dresser, and inadvertently causes it to tumble off of it and bury itself under the edge of her bed. She nearly falls off the bed fumbling for it.
"Hello?" she rasps, when she finally has it, but it's too late. The call's gone to voicemail, and the number is unlisted.
Santana's insides sink, and when the 'new voicemail' message pops up, she punches in her code with shaky fingers and listens to Brittany's bright, bubbly voice, telling her how amazing Australia is and how hot the guys are and how much she wishes Santana could be with her to see it.
Brittany asks her questions like she can answer them, a million at a time, before the call is cut off by the voice of Brittany's dad, yelling in the background about cellphone bills and international rates, and Brittany hastily tells her that her father is taking her phone back.
Before he cuts her off, Brittany shouts into the receiver that she loves her.
Santana listens to the message over and over again.
She spends the rest of the night sleepless and miserable.
"I heard from Brittany." The cool water of her Daddy's pool laps against her toes, as she keeps her eyes closed, sinking deeper into the raft.
She feels the brush of Quinn beside her as she floats on by. "Oh yeah? How is she?"
"Fantastic," she drawls sarcastically. "Petting kangaroos and chasing down Aborigines and nearly killing things with boomerangs."
She's gotten lazy, too lazy, because there's something in the way she says it that keeps Quinn from answering right away.
Santana hears the water ripple; Quinn dipping into it. "You miss her."
When Santana's head jerks, she discovers an immobile Quinn, who lies back on her borrowed raft with her sunglasses on, and her pouty lips smirking like some God-damn know-it-all.
"Look," she begins hastily. "Whatever you're thinking, it's not like that." Her throat bobs with a hard swallow. "We're not… like that."
"But you'd like to be." Santana doesn't answer. She closes her eyes and lies stiffly on her raft.
"You don't?" Quinn splashes a bit, like she's shifting. "Santana, you'd have to be blind not to-"
"She's my best friend," she snaps. "She's the best friend I have in the whole damn world. And she's the only person I trust."
She doesn't care if Quinn takes exception to that.
"Okay," Quinn says after a moment, quietly and heavily. "So what's the problem?"
Santana doesn't want to talk about it. Just thinking about it makes her eyes water and her mouth tremble, and it's just… not in front of Quinn.
She's not ready for that.
Still, the tears pool underneath the glasses, and she takes a breath and can't help herself. "That's all she wants to be. She told me. Before she left."
Right after they had sex … no – the first time they made love, like the way Brittany wanted, for the first time since Santana told her she loved her.
She remembers the night vividly, but it's overshadowed by the morning after. The way Brittany's eyes moved in any direction but straight at her as she explained that she loves her too much to mess this up with more sex. The way Brittany looked at her and broke her heart because Brittany wants to be her best friend forever and she claimed she couldn't handle it if she and Santana ever broke up. Because Brittany loves her more than she loves anything in this world and that somehow means NOT wanting to be with her for Santana's own fucking good.
"I'm not saying never," Brittany told her. "Just not now. We need time."
"Oh," Quinn says, and Santana snorts, wiping quickly at her tears and shaking her head in defeated rage.
"Yeah. Oh," she mimics.
Maybe Quinn does sorta know her, because instead of telling her how sorry she is, Quinn asks her if she's going to Kurt's birthday party.
It's the best thing she could have done.
Kurt's birthday party is infested with Warblers and like, ten minutes into it, they start fucking SINGING. It's cool at first, but then they don't stop.
It's the gay Karoake Bar from hell, with none of the hot dancer boys that makes it all palatable, because for some reason, these dorks showed up in their school uniforms.
The New Directions kids all get bored enough to start making out.
As she watches Sam and Mercedes deep throat each other, Santana realizes she's in the world's grossest orgy, and worse still, it's to the soundtrack of Blaine Warbler screeching out the high notes of 'Let's Hear it for the Boy'.
And she can't even get buzzed enough to deal with this shit, because it's her damn turn to be the designated driver.
When Mike and Tina start getting their mack on right next to her, and Tina accidentally starts fisting her thigh, thinking its Mike's dick, Santana's had enough.
She finds Quinn in the corner, massaging the bottleneck of her beer and staring in half-mesmerized horror at the sight of Rachel Berry scrambling all over Finn Hudson like a midget humping a giraffe.
This month of friendship has done something, because even though Santana's a bitch, and she thinks Quinn's an idiot for mooning over someone as worthless as Finn Hudson, she's not heartless.
"Hey," she says, snapping her fingers in front of Quinn's face and peeling her fingers off the bottle. "That shit's like Medusa, you stare straight at it long enough, you're going to turn to stone. Or a pillar of salt. Or something."
Quinn whirls on her, nearly sloshing beer all over her shirt. "Can we get out of here?" she pleads, and her eyes are so wide and wet and fucking human, Santana finds herself struck breathless.
"Sure," she says, gentler than she expects. She offers her hand on instinct, and it's surprising how Quinn latches on, tangling her fingers and gripping with such desperation Santana grimaces with pain.
Leading them through the throng is like trying to make it through some gay wonderland obstacle course. Santana practically has to knee a salivating Warbler in the balls just to get to the door.
Quinn holds her hand the entire way.
In the car, Quinn is no less clingy. She's clutching on for dear life, and Santana has to actually pry her fingers back just to loosen the grip enough to turn the ignition key.
Santana's not exactly a grief counselor, and to be frank, she's got her own shit to deal with at the moment anyway. Quinn's doesn't have a license on broken hearts.
But it's easier, to focus on Quinn looking so pathetic than to focus on herself. Normally, Santana would do what she did before, and just snap at the mess that Quinn was that she needs to get the fuck over it, because Finn's not worth it, but there's something in the way Quinn looks out the window, like she's dead inside, that tells Santana it won't do any good.
Love is a fucking bitch, and if she really did love someone like Finn Hudson, than Quinn was a helluva lot worse off than she was.
"Want some music?" she asks, and doesn't wait for an answer. Untangling her fingers, she presses the AUX button on her radio. The cabin fills with sound as she pulls out of her parking space and starts the drive to Quinn's place.
"Finn is such a douche, you know?"
Santana's head swivels, but Quinn just looks exhausted, staring out the window like she didn't say anything at all.
"And Rachel is just so pathetic," she adds.
Santana's grip stiffens on the wheel and her eyes go back to the road.
"He only wants her because he couldn't have her. And in a month he's going to get bored and break up with her all over again."
"Preaching to the choir, Mama," she snorts, because it's true. "You know he's not worth it, right? He's a dork and a douche and you're beautiful." She's just being honest, keeping it real, but as the words fade into silence, she realizes that she's never actually told Quinn that. She's never told her she was beautiful.
The heat of Quinn's stare pierces her, causing her cheeks to flame, and her body to react in a way it really, really shouldn't. "That's not me hitting on you, okay?" she stammers. "It's just the truth, so take the fucking compliment."
An already heated body jolts unexpectedly when fingers curve deliberately against her palm, pulling lightly, but firmly.
It figures that that's the moment that the song playing from the speakers grows suddenly erotic.
"Your hands on me, I'm pressing hard against your jeans. Your tongue in my mouth-"
Quinn's fingers smooth against hers, tangling them in a way that only Brittany's ever done – with possession and intent.
"I want a lover I don't have to love, I want a girl who's too sad to give a fuck-"
Santana's eyes stay on the road, but she is only aware of her hand, and the way Quinn molests it, smoothing a light touch up against her inner wrist and scratching softly against the inside of her palm.
Her free hand clenches the steering wheel, and she sucks in a harsh breath.
"Quinn," she begins.
"It's late," Quinn says, and her voice is low and rough, eerily calm. "Stay the night."
Santana's known Quinn way too long to know it's anything but a request. Quinn doesn't ask for things. She demands them. Like a friggin Queen.
Santana isn't stupid. Her heart hammers, and her breath catches, because she really isn't lying. Quinn is heart-stoppingly beautiful.
Brittany floods her mind – beautiful Brittany, who's smile shatters her, who loves her, who made love to her for the first time, and broke her in the process.
But Brittany just wants to be friends, and Quinn is here, and willing, and Santana's body betrays her. Her tentative friendship with Quinn dissolves in favor of lust, and it's for that reason that she nods, returning Quinn's harsh grip and stepping on the accelerator.
Sex for Santana has always been mechanical – her one exception has always been Brittany.
Brittany has been an exception in so many ways, but at this exact moment, the most important one is that she's been the only girl.
Now, as she follows Quinn through a dark house, her eyes rove with intent, lingering over soft curves and a straight back.
This is Quinn, who dragged her to Sunday School, who sat with her while the pastor quoted passages from the Bible about homosexuality, who glared at her and Brittany everytime they sat too closely or lingered too long. Who hinted more than once what it would do to their Cheerios reputation.
Santana guesses that this is the point, though. They're not Cheerios anymore, and Brittany isn't here.
Shit just got fucking real, and it's then that Santana's lust fades, and she remembers, for a moment, who they are.
"Where's your mom?" she asks, as Quinn steps through her doorway and lights up her bedroom.
Quinn's short hair bobs as she heads for her bed, shrugging off her jacket on the way and letting it fall to the floor.
"On some blind date she met through a Christian Singles website," the other girl answers. She turns easily, and settles down on the bed. Colored eyes seem dark as they settle on Santana. "Come here."
The look that pins Santana is undisguised want, and it escalates her insecurity to sudden panic.
It makes her want to turn and run, and that fear morphs quickly into anger, because Santana never knows where she stands with Quinn – from friends to fucking in two seconds flat, like it's that easy.
It used to be that fucking easy.
"What are you doing?"
Quinn sighs. Her mouth purses. "What does it look like I'm doing? Come here, Santana."
When she feels stung, Santana realizes it's because she's hurt. Suddenly and immeasurably hurt.
"Just because you know I'm into girls doesn't mean I'm a fucking vibrator, Quinn."
It's that honesty that suddenly reaches past the Fembot façade. Quinn absorbs her words, looks at Santana and the way she's standing so stiffly, with fisted arms and blazing eyes.
Long fingers wrinkle against the comforter, as Quinn's determined expression falters in favor of a trembling mouth, and watery eyes.
"I just don't want to be alone tonight, Santana," she whispers.
Santana doesn't want to splinter. She doesn't want to look at Quinn and suddenly understand her.
She doesn't want to stare at her and suddenly FEEL something, something like that pull that she only feels with Brittany.
It's confusing and it hurts, and she's stuck in a perpetual hell, frozen between wanting badly to move forward, and wanting just as badly to run away.
She can only stand, and in her hesitation and confusion, she reverts to the only thing she knows – how to be a bitch.
A sneer curls on her lips. "So what? You want me to pity fuck you?"
The flinch on Quinn's face isn't satisfying in the way it should be.
"If that's what you want to call it," Quinn allows. A tense smile eases onto her face as her eyes lock against hers. "I'd like to think of it as a friend helping another friend feel a little less alone."
It's just words. Words that lead to the same act. "That's pathetic, Quinn."
Quinn's eyes narrow. Her chin comes up. "Tell me you don't want it," she snaps, cutting and quick and straight to the point. "Tell me that you're not STARVED for it." Santana can't. Not when she's staring so blatantly, eyes roving over the sight of Quinn, so open and blatant in what she wants. "You're sure as hell not getting it from Brittany, and something tells me you'd rather be skinned alive than sleep with Karofsky."
She forgot that Quinn can give as good as she gets. Her words take the wind out of her, and lost in sensation, Santana has no response. Santana has no words. All she's aware of is the rushing blood in her ears, the excitement of her body that causes her to breath in and out deeply; the choke in her throat when Quinn rises and begins to fumble with determined fingers at the buttons on her dress.
"God-dammit, Quinn-" she breathes, trying like hell to keep some sort of perspective. "Don't-"
The dress floats down. Quinn stands, unashamed, in nothing but a virginal white bra, and cotton panties.
The sight is so achingly human, and it's captivating in the most dangerous way. Santana is frozen, locked in place by round colored eyes on a beautiful girl who claims to be her friend and now wants one more thing.
Quinn comes closer, until she's pressed intimately against Santana.
"I know," Quinn whispers, and Santana's eyes flutter as soft hands smooth up against her cheek, palming her with possession and compassion. "I know you're lonely. I'm here, Santana. I want you. Maybe we don't love each other, but for tonight, can't it just be enough?"
It used to be. The Santana of six months ago would have fucked Quinn without a second thought, and then used it to screw her over, because that's what their friendship was – fake smiles and stabs to the back.
She isn't sure how or when it changed, but when she keens into Quinn's touch, when she exhales with the relief of someone who has just given in, there isn't any malice behind it.
When she looks at her, Quinn just knows. They kiss with parted lips – no gentle nudges or sensitive first kisses. Overtaken, Santana is all tongue, swiping against Quinn's welcoming groan and driving deeply, tasting the intimacy and shuddering at the implication behind it.
Quinn clutches at her, desperate and wanton, pressing against her with her full body, giving her everything.
It's electrifying. Santana sucks in a harsh breath, feels nothing but searing heat, when Quinn mumbles something against her lips. Santana tears away. "What?" she asks, even as her hands palm up Quinn's back, seeking the clasp of her bra.
Quinn's eyes are wide, her cheeks are flushed, but she palms Santana's cheeks gently, sliding against her skin. "Smooth," she repeats, with a giddy smile on her face. "It's so smooth."
"And you're complaining?" she asks, incredulous. Quinn shakes her head violently, and grabs hold of her ears, pulling hard, mashing their lips back together.
There's a thigh grinding against hers, and Santana nearly stumbles as Quinn awkwardly tries to step backward at the same time, moving them to the bed.
Her kisses are wet and deep, and she tastes like beer.
It's a small distraction, but it's enough for Santana to pull back slightly, head tilting against Quinn's cheek as she breathes, "How drunk are you?"
Quinn, mouth running against the curve of Santana's jaw, stills. A small, dry laugh spills from her lips.
The dread begins to set in. "Quinn-"
"You're the first person who ever cared enough to ask me that," she whispers quietly. A haunted gaze flits up to meet hers, giving Santana time to absorb that, before Quinn shakes her head swiftly, and brings their lips back together, opening her mouth against hers. "Thank you," she mumbles against her lips. "But don't you dare try to stop this under some sort of misguided chivalry."
"It's not!" she snaps, jerking back. "I'm just not into that date rape shi-"
Quinn kisses her again boldly, wetly. "I'm fine," she promises. "Now shut up and fuck me."
Those words, coming from Quinn's lips – it's damn kryptonite, and Santana's control splinters.
Thirty minutes later, the naked, sweaty form of Quinn's body splays against a bed that's been long since stripped of the scratchy comforter.
The europhoric feeling that's taken over Santana feels like the high that only comes from drugs, as she focuses on the swollen flesh beneath her, fingers flexing against Quinn, feeling muscles clamp down in response.
"Santana," Quinn whispers, and Santana tells herself not to look. She won't look. Instead, she sucks in a harsh breath, and clamps her wet mouth against Quinn's clit, pulsing with her tongue.
She's rewarded with a spastic arch, one that makes Santana nearly lose contact. Fingers flatten against Quinn's stomach, and she shoves down, keeping her in place.
"Stay," she mumbles against the taste, and then shudders as strong thighs clamp against her head as Quinn grinds into her mouth.
She tastes … different…
She fucks… different.
Santana can't pretend she's someone else.
Fingers pull at her hair. "Santana." Digits tangle, pull again – it hurts.
Santana shakes her head desperately and sucks hard. A flood of wetness coats her chin, and her fingers swivel in deeper, curving up.
Quinn comes violently, clamping down on her so hard that Santana actually winces.
She doesn't look. She tells herself NOT to look.
She concentrates instead on licking tenderly against Quinn's sex, skirting the clit to give Quinn time to release her.
There's a body beneath her, naked and abused with Santana's marks – her teeth and her tongue and her strong grip.
Where Santana wants to imagine defined abs, there's only a flat stomach with the hint of stretchmarks.
Exhausted, Santana gathers her strength and pushes up. Strong hands that feel different pull with her, and Santana loses herself, falling against a heaving chest. Quinn's breasts are smaller than Brittany's, with small dusty nipples and it's different.
The way Quinn smells invades her, and she can hear the furious beating of Quinn's heart against her cheek, daring her to even try to imagine anyone else in her place.
Where fingers pulled and hurt, they now thread lightly, smoothing against her scalp with a gentleness that's distracting.
"Santana," she hears, and battles against it. "Look at me."
Beaten, Santana has no choice but to raise her head, and encounter gorgeous, shining eyes, a beautiful face that is filled with such worry and tenderness, it's like discovering Quinn all over again.
This beautiful stranger, who's looking at her like she just realized she loves her.
Quinn kisses her intensely.
It's better with feelings, she hears, a phantom ghost in her mind, and suddenly a torrent of emotion comes forth and Santana begins to sob; loud heartbroken cries that sound like she's breaking inside.
Quinn's arms slide around her, pulling her into her, and she has no defense. Naked, tangled so intricately she can't pull away, the smell of sex so pungent between them, Santana can only hold on.
Quinn never lets go.
It's the middle of the night, and even then, the heat of the summer gives her no respite.
Santana lies naked on Quinn's bed, turned on her side, eyeing the sliver of the moon that shines down on her through the open window of Quinn's bedroom.
The press of Quinn is warm and heavy. Breasts push against her back, and breath puffs against the back of her neck. Fingers clutch at Santana's, tangled together at Santana's chest.
Quinn snores when she sleeps.
And they're fucking spooning.
"Don't think," Quinn told her, right before she drifted off. "We've got all summer to figure this out. Just stay the night and get some sleep."
Santana knows there's a thousand reasons why Quinn started this – starting with the fact that she's kind of desperate, and ending with the fact that she's lonely too.
But there's another part of this, a part that nags into Santana's head and leaves her sleepless, that tells her that just now, she's discovering a part of Quinn that she's never seen, and it's pulled her in too deep.
Santana wants to leave.
She doesn't, and that's the problem.
Somewhere in Australia, Brittany is laughing.
In this dark room in Ohio, Santana thinks of her. She always thinks of Brittany.
But Quinn stirs against her, sinks deeper against her, and Santana's heart shudders.
She wonders now, if this is what Brittany meant when she said that she loved Artie too.
It's a sudden and terrifying thought, and as she lies sleepless on Quinn's bed, her insides throb and she wonders why the fuck she's here at all.
She tightens her hold on Quinn, and she doesn't leave.