LbN: For Kiarcheo, who gave me the "surprise" idea. :)


"I didn't say 'nothing'. I said we're going to dinner and a show," Rachel clarified, smiling into the phone.

"Right, it's just…normally you have something up your sleeve."

"Santana, honey, when was the last time any of my surprises worked?"

Santana chuckled. "Right…well I'll see you in a few hours then."

"Okay. Love you!"

"Love you too, Hobbit."

Rachel smiled and hung up. It was, by now, a well established fact that she could not surprise Santana. Oh, there had been a few plans that had almost worked…and Santana was always a great sport, acting surprised and whatnot. Still, Rachel knew. And Santana knew that Rachel knew. It was just one of the many fun quirks to their relationship. Every year, Santana would ask what they were doing for their anniversary, and Rachel would say, "It's a surprise." Santana always figured it out.

This year was different. This year, Rachel had a surprise planned that was 100% Santana proof. Grinning, she grabbed a bottle of water from the fridge and went to make another phone call.

Santana didn't want to be at work—especially if she had to fire people that day. "Rich, you know I'm usually fine with doing this, but…."

"What?" her boss asked.

"I don't want to have to fire people on my anniversary," she said. She knew she was whining, but didn't care. "It seems a bit heartless that I'm taking away someone's living, just to go and live it up with my wife later."

"It's part of the job, Santana."

"I know. And have I ever complained? Have I ever argued with a client and tried to keep a guy around? No. I'm not saying don't fire the guy. Just…send Menkin or someone else today."

Her boss huffed. "Fine," he said, waving her away. "But you're on double duty next week."

"Got it. Thanks, Rich." Santana walked out of the office, breathing a sigh of relief. She wasn't sure how she'd gotten into the "Professional Termination Specialist" but she was good at it. Some days it was way too much though. She returned to her office to find a pile of paperwork. "Seekins?" she called to her secretary. "What is this?"

"All of the files from last month's firing spree," he answered, peeking in. "Apparently there were not one, but two suicides, so the higher ups want you lot to go through all your notes and make sure we have our asses covered."

"Great…when do I have to have this finished by?"

"Time allotted: two weeks," he said, reading the memo.

"Thanks Seekins."

"Hard day?" Rachel asked as she and Santana sat down to eat. They'd decided on their favorite Italian restaurant because, according to Santana, it was almost as good as Breadstix.

"Tedious day," Santana said. "So," she said, smiling. "What show are we going to see?"

"I thought about adding to our Wicked count—"

"Which would make it 16 times that we've seen it…."

"Don't worry, I decided to branch out," Rachel said, laughing. "It's a dance show. Smaller theater, so we'll be supporting our fellow up and coming stars."

"Always down for that. No surprises this year, huh?"

"As adorable as I find your 'Babe, I'm sooo surprised!' face, no. I think at this point we've firmly established that you are both a master sleuth and a master at getting information out of me."

"Well it's not that hard," Santana countered, smirking. "All I have to do is—"

"Honey, we're in public," Rachel reminded her.

Santana laughed. "Tell me about this show, though. What's it like?"

"It's supposed to be like Cirque de Solei meets Stomp the Yard. At least, that's what the program said."

"That sounds equal parts awesome and petrifying. I can't wait."

"Yes, I remembered your affinity for torturing yourself and me with clowns. This sounded like a good opportunity to get you your yearly clown fix without having to get up close and personal like last time," Rachel laughed.

"Oh come on…. Circus Gothica wasn't that bad."

"I didn't sleep for three weeks, Santana. I thought the batchildren were going to seek vengeance on my soul."

"Still better off than me and Kurt."

"Told you not to anger the Hellephant…."

The lights went down in the theater and a man dressed in a lime green catsuit did back flips across the small stage. He stopped just on the edge and raised the curtain to reveal….

"Clowns," Rachel whispered with a shudder.

Santana took her hand. "No worries, babe, I'll protect you."

"Superheroes fighting evil clowns? This is seriously one of the best anniversary presents ever," Santana said. They were in line for ice cream during intermission, and Santana was basically bouncing off the walls.

"Who knew you could tell a decent action story through interpretive dance and minimal dialogue," Rachel said.

"You're smiling."

"I'm happy," Rachel said. "It's our anniversary, and despite the abundance of clowns, I'm having a good time."

"It's not an 'I'm happy' smile…it's an 'I'm plotting something' smile. Should I be worried?"

"I'm not plotting anything. Two strawberry, please," she told the man at the booth.

"Sure you're not…." Santana said as they made their way back to their seats.

The second half of the show was interactive. Shooting Nerf guns at the oncoming hoard of clowns was oddly satisfying. All of a sudden, one of the larger, more menacing dancing clowns pointed up. The other clowns shrank away in fear and the superheroes rejoiced as another superhero descended from the ceiling.

"Wait…BRITTANY?" Santana yelped. It was drowned out by the cheering of the audience though.

Rachel laughed and cheered as Brittany launched an interpretive dance ass-whooping on the clowns.

Santana just stared.

"Surprise!" Rachel said as the final curtain fell.

"Seriously?" Santana squeaked.

"The show was going to be our anniversary outing anyway, but then Brittany called last week and said she was doing a guest appearance. We decided to surprise you. She's doing interviews with the kids from a few dance schools tonight after the show, but she promised to call tomorrow so we can hang out."

Santana laughed. "Wow, okay…you finally got me on one."

"I'm already planning how to top this next year."

"Oh god…."

The two of them waved as Brittany took a bow on stage.