Santana walked the winding confusing halls on the lot of Big Beiste Productions hoping that she hadn't somehow gotten lost between the check-in gate and her destination. She hoped even more that she wouldn't run into Rachel.
This was her first time visiting her girlfriend at work, even though Brittany had been working on set for several months now, and she was more than a little afraid of committing some faux pas. After asking a few grumpy-looking gentlemen moving an enormous set of lights where the costuming area was, she finally ended up on the right track and arrived in front of a relatively small structure set up next to what she assumed was the studio the movie was being filmed in. She gave a light knock and heard a quick, 'Come in.' filter out to her.
Cautiously, she opened the door to find Brittany hard at work over a drawing table, alone amongst the countless racks of clothes. It was a little surprising because Santana had always pictured dozens of other people with her when she worked from the way she describe her average work day.
She cleared her throat, causing Brittany to turn around, and immediately she knew Brittany wasn't there.
"Felicia? I thought Brittany handled work?"
The blonde stood smiling broadly, "You know, one of the things I love most about you is your ability to tell us apart instantly." She said pulling off her glasses and tossing them to the table.
It was then that Santana noticed a rather horrific looking wound on her wrist and she gasped rushing to her side, "What happened?"
Felicia frowned and looked at her wrist, "Oh, I was hanging out with Tina in the makeup department, she does awesome special effects work." She added with a chuckle.
Letting out a relieved sigh, Santana sat in the chair Felicia had previously occupied, "Alright, that's two major shocks in under a minute, is this what movie making is all about?" she asked lightly.
"Is it really so shocking to see me?" Felicia pouted.
"No, it's just Brittany made it clear that she really loves her job and I was worried that something might have happened to force you out… That didn't happen, did it?"
Felicia shook her head as she leaned against the edge of the table, "We're doing a costume set for about three hundred uniformed actors of varying ages, so I'm calculating the amount of fabric we'd need."
Santana looked surprised, "And Brittany asked you to do that? She switched on purpose?"
Grabbing a napkin Felicia began to wipe the grisly wound off her wrist, "Not really. I mean, she did sort of ask me to, but she didn't know how to get me to come forward. As you know I'm not really into math, but she fell asleep trying to figure out how much suede to order, so I decided to cut her a break."
"Speaking of breaks, I have to assume I've arrived conveniently at lunch time."
Felicia beamed, "You have, meaning you have the honor of taking me to lunch. There are a ton of places nearby."
Hesitating, Santana stood and hung back, "I kind of wanted to take you and Brittany out to eat."
Tilting her head slightly the blonde frowned before looking at her feet, "So I was planning to talk to you about this over food, but I guess we need to do it here." She said and Santana felt a rush of fear.
Without answering Felicia grabbed a chair from somewhere within the mass of clothing in the room and pulled it so close their knees were touching. Santana felt tense; Felicia had never been the one to have a serious talk with her, leading her to think that this must be incredibly important.
"So you know we saw Shane a few weeks ago?" She started.
Santana did know. As far as she was aware their meetings had mainly focused on Felicia and Brittany's relationship with their parents for quite some time now.
"I do." She said nervously.
"I had a pretty major breakthrough with Lori. Though I don't feel like calling her mom anytime soon, I managed to find it in myself not to hate her." Santana smiled briefly at the news, happy that it happened but wondering why telling her required such a somber delivery, "That was a month or so ago."
She frowned, "Brittany didn't say anything about it."
"I asked her not to, because I forgave the woman but I needed some time for those feelings to settle before anyone else knew. What we've been dealing with the last few months since then is us." She said, stressing 'us' to indicate all three of them.
"What about us?"
"Brittany and I have had to negotiate some changes and one of them is about how to be with you. Right now if you want to tell us something, you tell Brittany and hope I get the message; you never talk to me directly about big decisions. Like when you asked us to move in with you, you asked her. The two of you worked it out and, yes, you did leave the final decision to me but how in the hell could I say no at that point? Brittany was out of her mind excited and you clearly wanted it badly-"
"You didn't want to move in with me?" Santana asked worriedly.
"No, baby, you aren't hearing me, I did want to. I'm very happy being with you, but what I'm saying is whenever something happens the two of you discuss it and I get to weigh in at the end after you've hammered out all the details."
"I… I mean you could make your own suggestions."
She shook her head, "Hardly. Brittany and I walk a tightrope with every single thing we do and her hearing that I've changed the deal would fuck things up. And I don't want to do that over some minor adjustment."
"What do you want to change?"
"Nothing." Felicia said exasperatedly, "There is nothing now I want to change. This isn't about that specifically, this is about the fact that I had to watch on the sidelines while you two planned for the future and then dropped in a quick 'Oh, by the way Felicia, is it cool with you?'."
"I didn't mean to, I thought… I thought it was okay." She said sadly, wishing she had seen this coming in time to correct it.
"I'm not mad or blaming you for not knowing, as far as you knew it was fine with me. But you two have arguments and move on to makeup sex before I even get a chance to say if I'm over what happened. This isn't me saying that I don't forgive you for something, I'm telling you that the way my feelings have never come into account on things like that has been an issue."
Santana had no idea what to do about the problem and at the moment it was her deepest wish to know the right thing to say, "I'm sorry." she said, since it was the only thing she could think of.
Felicia only smiled and shook her head, "Don't be sorry, like I said you didn't know and neither did Brittany. That's what we've been dealing with when we see Shane… that and some other stuff, but one thing at a time. There is no easy solution that doesn't make me feel like I'm being placated and I know you are such an awesome girlfriend you'll do everything humanly possible to keep that from happening. So what we concluded was that whenever possible, provided I discuss it with Brittany first, I be the one to introduce big changes to our relationship. And that's kind of what I want to do now, not just because of therapy but because it was my idea."
"And what is that?"
"I want to discuss marriage."
Santana's eyes widened, "Marriage." She repeated wondering if she heard wrong.
"I want to marry you. We both do and I know you want to talk it over with Brittany first, I mean we've come a long way but that is a huge step and we need to keep them small, but I want to let you know that it's what's been dancing around up here for a while." She said tapping her forehead.
"And Brittany really wants to as well?"
"I've only been authorized to tell you she's interested, not her degree of interest." Felicia chuckled.
"I must confess interest as well." She was more than interested, but she was also stunned and a little nervous.
A smile bloomed across Felicia's features, "Perfect! Then everyone's interested. I mean, I know we still need to meet each other's parents and figure out how a wedding with three brides works... or if we would even do both at the same time. Not to mention once we work out the details I plan to propose properly with a big ass diamond ring and everything."
Suddenly a painful thought hit Santana and she couldn't help but voice it, "But the goal of therapy is still to merge you and Brittany together, right?"
Her smile faded and she looked at the floor, "Yes."
"And there is still the chance that if that happens Brittany may not want to be with me anymore for one reason or another."
"That's also true."
"So doesn't this seem… I don't think I could handle a divorce from her on top of all that change."
"But it's only a possibility and not a likely one, plus we are still a long ways off from Shane even trying to make us be one person again. Plus divorce is just as likely for a regular marriage."
"I want to marry you." She said and there was such emotion in her voice Santana felt her heart break for the woman in front of her, "Santana, I don't know what I am, not really. Maybe I'm some crazy figment of Brittany's imagination, maybe I'm a soul trapped in a body with her. I'm half of her but I don't know how. All my life I've been alone in her head fighting to have my own way while staying hidden and all I did was screw us both up. Until I knew you I'd never even considered love or marriage and when you first met me I was just starting to learn what being responsible meant. But now I want you for real, not to have known you and disappear having never been anything more than a temporary extra in your relationship with her."
"I will be. I'll be the woman you miss; the residual of myself in Brittany will make you smile and remember me fondly, but I don't want to be that. I don't want to be remembered as a side effect of a mental illness, I want to be your wife. Even if it only lasts a little while."
She wiped away tears threatening to spill over and Santana found she had to do the same, "I don't know if I can get a separate marriage license for you and Brittany."
Shrugging Felicia rubbed her eyes dry, "I'll get Puck to fake one. I'm really only concerned with how you'll remember me, not the state."
"I will remember you and not as a person I once knew who is gone. I'll always love you and Brittany with all my heart." The next words were a deep-rooted fear that choked out of her as she struggled to say them, "Even if you don't love me anymore one day."
Santana was used to being the comforting one when things got serious, but when the first tears actually did fall down her face, the taller woman scooped her up into her arms.
"I am allowed to tell you that we are both worried about what could happen to us in the future. All I know is I want to marry you, because I don't want what we have to disappear without a trace, and Brittany feels the same. She's just as afraid of losing herself in the transition."
It was a little distressing to hear that Felicia still felt so forgettable, "I understand, and I definitely want to talk more about it with you and Brittany." She said wishing that the woman didn't feel like she needed to give her a ring to be remembered by.
Smiling, Felicia leaned forward and kissed her passionately, a kiss that went from Santana's lips to her neck where she felt the other woman making her mark. She wondered if it was an unconscious thing or a prearranged agreement that Felicia always marked the right side of her and Brittany usually went for the left. She wondered that until a particularly hard suck on her pulse point shot an incredible sensation straight between her legs and suddenly every touch and kiss was charged with lust.
"Oh!" They both stopped and turned to the door where an Asian woman stood looking shocked, "S-sorry I w-was looking f-for, uh… bye." She said dashing back out the door and closing it behind her.
"Aaand that would be Tina." Felicia said stepping back with a chuckle.
"Must have given her quite a scare, does she not know about us?"
"She knows Brittany doesn't let up about you. That's just how Tina is. Whenever the director comes running all upset about something they both get to stuttering and I swear it's the cutest thing. He can't even get mad at them."
"Good to know."
"And by the way that reminds me," She said kissing the bruise that Santana knew had to be forming on her neck, "there is this other thing we've been going over with Shane."
"Uh, Felicia, I still need to talk with Brittany about this and I don't know if I'm ready for another big emotional talk before that." She said and honestly she wasn't, her heart was still trying to recover from thinking of marrying Felicia and Brittany only to wake up one morning to find she had lost both.
"It isn't a big thing. Well, it is a big thing, just not a big emotional thing."
"Okay." She said warily.
"Sex. We need to change up the sex a bit."
Santana frowned, "In what way?"
"It's a part of the ongoing thing Brittany and I have with trying to comfortably be more like each other and this is one of those things. Our approaches to sex are totally different, as you are aware, and I need to learn to go a little slower, while Brittany needs to learn to pick up the pace."
"But wouldn't that mean you just switch? And I love you both the way you are."
"Hey, we aren't abandoning what we're best at, we're just learning how to do both. I can't tell you what she hopes to get from it, but I can say that I want to have a little of what she has with you. To get to know your body better, what makes you tick." Felicia said, slowly tracing a finger along her jaw and down her neck.
She couldn't pretend that having Felicia trying to learn all of her personal erogenous zones didn't make the hairs on the back of her neck stand up.
"You two don't have to do that."
"We know, but we want to. I do kind of run at it a little too fast." She said with a half-smile and Santana knew she was recalling the conversation she'd had with Brittany all those months ago.
"You know I wasn't complaining about how you do your thing right?"
"I'm aware that I'm a sex goddess," A glint flashed in Felicia's eyes as she kissed Santana again, "but after you said that, I began to want more than hot sex and hard fucking. But, and Brittany requested I ask you about this as well, you're going to need to guide both of us along the way because this will be uncharted territory."
Now she was thinking of teaching Brittany to be rougher and Felicia to be more tender, "How long until you're off work?"
Felicia giggled and gave her a quick peck on the lips, "Slow down tiger, we've got four hours left on the clock and then there is still campaign to get to."
"We can skip campaign."
"I'll think of something, but we can't skip out and you know it, Sam would be devastated."
It was true, tonight was the start of a new campaign story and the first night that Mercedes would finally join them, and in a weird twist so would Sugar. Once the woman found out Santana knew the Mercedes Jones it became an instant issue that she somehow allow them to meet. As such, her interest in Santana's pastime saw a 10,000% spike when she discovered that the internationally acclaimed diva was opening her home to friends playing the game. And sure Sugar wasn't a friend, or an acquaintance for that matter, but she figured since she knew Santana it would work.
So after hopping on her private jet and flying back to L.A. from New York, Santana's longtime friend was back in town and due to meet her that night. Santana often wondered what the woman would say if she found out she also knew Rachel Berry, but she wasn't sure if the NDA had some sort of long-standing clause about that, so she just kept it to herself.
A belabored sigh escaped her and she rested her head on Felicia's shoulder, "Then let me take you out to lunch, just us and after work I take Brittany out to dinner. Would that be alright?"
"That would be perfect."
There was a small bar and grill not too far from the lot where Santana got them a couple of sandwiches and they ate outside in front of the building, enjoying the noonday sun.
Santana watched Felicia eat with the most pleased smile on her face, "What's so funny?" she asked, almost laughing herself from the other woman's mirth.
"Nothing, I'm just happy."
"Are you?" she asked seriously, hoping the woman wasn't trying to fake it for her sake.
"I really am. I mean, I could think about all the bad things that could happen, but it wouldn't solve anything and would ruin how glad I am that you're here with me now."
She nodded, understanding, "I think I should do the same. It's hard not to get caught up in what could happen to us instead of enjoying the present."
"Whenever I worry about the end I think of you when you came to me by the window." She said with a weak smile, "I really thought I was being shipped off to die and then you came and held me and made me feel like a real person. Not just an accident created by fear, but an honest to goodness person who meant something to someone. I don't think you know how much it meant to me to have that, to have someone know who and what I was and still care about me. It kept me strong when I saw Shane, even though for the longest time I though of him as an executioner. So even if knowing you leads to my demise, there is always that; there will always be that moment where I knew someone cared about me and whatever happens it was worth it to have felt this way."
Santana fiddled with her food unable to stare down such honesty, "I can't be the only one. I'm sure Puck would miss you."
"You don't know Puck. He wouldn't know anything had happened to me unless you told him and if you explained I was an alternate personality of Brittany he'd probably be like 'Whoa, wild.' and go on about his day."
"If you put in some time with Sam and the others they would love you as well. Right now they only know you as Brittany's other half, but when they see what I see they won't do that any more."
"And what do you see?" she asked, taking a bite of her sandwich.
Santana had to think, there was something in both Brittany and Felicia that had caught her attention and she wasn't sure how to phrase it.
"Something unique." She offered simply.
Felicia snorted, "Obviously."
"Beyond the split personalities. You both are extremely unique in a captivating way."
Nodding in understanding, the blonde finished her food and tossed her plate into a nearby trashcan, "Break's over in an hour." She said allowing Santana only one more bite before tossing her plate as well.
"It takes like five minutes to walk back." Santana whined, watching her sandwich fly into the trash.
Felicia smirked and Santana had a sneaking suspicion why the other woman wanted to return so early. When they made it back to the small building and she found herself pinned against the wall she knew she had been absolutely right.
They kissed heatedly for a moment before Felicia was already trying to pull her skirt up around her waist.
Gently, Santana halted her hand and gave her a few more short kisses, "Maybe now would be a good time for a lesson in going slow."
"On the clock at Brittany's job in her workspace? No, I think we can start that later, this is a quickie situation." She said trying again to lift Santana's skirt, but the smaller woman kept it firmly in place.
"It won't take more than an hour and you'll love it, I promise."
Grudgingly, Felicia released the skirt and allowed Santana to kiss her again, even more slowly this time. She let her mouth slowly explore Felicia's skin, unable to keep from marveling at how all the little things that drove Brittany wild didn't get the same reaction from her alter. She did discover new ways to please her, like when she kissed the soft skin behind her ear it made her shudder and when she raked her teeth over the same area it elicited a sound she had never heard from Felicia.
The blonde was quick to locate the area behind Santana's knee that made both her legs weak, but Felicia found that knowing where it was like Brittany did didn't mean she knew how to work it. Her amateur efforts took their toll though and soon Santana couldn't stand anymore, making Felicia push her over to a table covered in fabric and unfinished costumes. She easily lifted Santana up and onto the table before leaping on top of her.
As Santana sank back into onto the pile she couldn't help but ask, "Is this really okay?"
"I'll have them washed." Felicia said evasively before kissing Santana's neck.
"There, the spot you kissed earlier."
Without any more direction Felicia found the mark she had made, attached her lips to it and sucked so hard it made Santana arch her back and stifle a moan, instantly soaking her underwear. Noticing the reaction she got the blonde did it again and found that exact spot behind her knee, finishing the move by giving her clit a firm press, making her come apart on the table fully clothed.
"You're right, I do like this." She said, her eyes taking on that familiar predatory glint.
"You cheated. You still have a lot to learn missy, this can be done without going between the legs." Santana replied rolling them over and pulling off Felicia's shirt.
She resumed her exploration, testing the sensitivity of the familiar body, finding even fewer similarities here than on her neck . Brittany loved breasts, to handle them and to have hers touched, but Felicia was no more or less sensitive than the average woman. However, in an odd discovery, she found if she kissed or nipped at her armpits or even the skin around them she could easily make the other woman achieve climax and she did, multiple times, until Felicia had to pull her away from her newfound playground.
"Can we get to the real sex now please? Because I'm ruining my pants." She panted, lust and love in her eyes.
Nodding Santana removed her clothes chuckling while Felicia scrambled out of hers before their bodies met again. Though, she still wouldn't let Felicia go at her usual pace. Santana kissed her again, forcing her to calm down, the blonde's right hand clasped in her own, while she slowly pushed their centers together. It was Felicia's natural instinct to buck into her lover, but Santana placed a strong hand on her hip and guided her into a lazy, gentle pace that built up slowly.
The blonde was panting heavily clearly wanting to take control, but Santana had a firm hold on her. Even when she leaned forward and nipped the tender area behind her ear making Felicia whine loudly and writhe below her.
"I want to marry you." She said quietly between gentle nips to the sensitive flesh, "I want us all to talk and work this out but you have to know that I will never forget you." A light pinch of teeth made blue eyes roll in pleasure, "You are someone who matters, but that's not all, you are someone I love so very much. And you need to know there is no way I will ever forget how I feel about you."
A small whimper left Felicia's lips before she came and the moment she did, she latched onto the magnificent bruise on Santana's neck making the smaller woman muffle screams of pleasure in the pile cloth and clothes.
Breathless, they laid next to each other before Felicia leaned over and kissed her one more time offering an exhausted smile, "I love you too." she said, nuzzling her neck.
Santana returned the gesture before saying, "I'm sure you have plenty of time before your break is over, but I better go before you get the energy to go again. You've got a lot of writing to do."
Felicia sat back and laughed, "You know me too well."
Brittany sat at the table of a fancy restaurant reading the novel Felicia had left behind.
Apparently there was a lot to cover and for most of it she was grateful that her other self had breached certain topics in her honor because there was no way on earth she would have gotten through the subject of marriage without sparking a panic attack on the first word. It took the majority of her anxiety on the issue away when she read that Santana was open to the idea, but a bit came back when she read the part about Felicia admitting their fear of vanishing.
She had forgotten about that. She had ignored the possibility on purpose, because Dr. Tinsley said it was so unlikely, but it was still a real concern. She read on about their day, the requests of the director and how Tina had caught her and Santana in a compromising position. The last part made her blush, as did Felicia's report that Santana had been incredibly receptive to the idea of sex tutoring, with them getting in one lesson before the end of lunch.
Looking up she saw Santana chewing lightly on a breadstick while reading something on her phone.
"Santana." She said quietly.
Turning off her phone and swallowing her mouthful of bread she gave Brittany her undivided attention, "Yes?"
"Felicia… she told you that I felt the same as her right? About the possibility of me vanishing as well?"
"Yeah, she did."
"Well I want to tell you myself, I love you and no matter what happens, the me that's here now always will. Whatever sort of messed up thing my brain might do in the future, I love you so much. But if it's too much, if marrying me is too much of a risk, we don't have to have an official ceremony, at least not between us. Felicia is the one who is scared of leaving nothing behind to be remembered by; I only worry about what happens to you after, because I know how much you love me and I know it would break your heart."
"Britt, it's only a possible outcome, a possible outcome years in the future by Dr. Tinsley's estimate, so we shouldn't say our goodbyes. I'm planning to have you in my life forever, I'm not ready to prepare for the end. I never will be. I want our relationship to go as far as it can. I already told you I don't want us shortchanging ourselves because something may go wrong later."
Brittany placed the stack of papers back in her satchel as she remembered the time Santana came to her apartment to return it. She ran her fingers along the edges slowly while also thinking on the countless days she had spent dreaming of simply having a conversation with her boss. And now here they were, planning their forever together.
They finished dinner, and after Santana paid the bill they got in her car and drove Mercedes discussing all the ways the night would be amusing. When they finally pulled into the long driveway already full with cars Brittany waited to leave the car, instead turning to Santana eager to ask what was on her mind.
"Why are you so good to me?" She asked with a small laugh.
"Because I know how lucky I am to have you. I almost messed up beyond repair once."
"You didn't mess up. Neither of us were prepared for what was happening."
"When I told you what I knew, I messed up, and I don't want to ever see you hurt like that again." She said brushing Brittany's hair back and rubbing that same pattern on her cheek.
Brittany smiled and moved closer giving Santana a sound kiss that may have become something more if a loud banging at the window hadn't broken it up.
"Twice in one day!" Santana snapped as she turned her eyes on the intruder.
This time it was Sugar who was standing outside the window impatiently making the 'roll down the window' gesture.
Grumbling Santana lowered the glass barricade, "What?"
"You have to come in with me or it'll seem weird. Wait, is Mercedes even here yet?"
Pinching the bridge of her nose Santana sighed, "We just go here and were having a private moment. But yes, I would assume she's here since this is her house."
"Well, wrap it up, I need to get in there."
Brittany knew Santana was more than a little irritated, but after finding that the small woman was a major part of the reason they were together at all, she had always been inclined to try and help her out whenever possible. She had convinced Santana to allow Sugar to join them and now she got out of the car causing Santana to automatically follow.
"So is Mercedes really into this crap or can I fake it?" Sugar asked Santana as Brittany knocked on the door.
"You fake Asperger's, your singing career and having a soul, so I don't know why you couldn't fake this."
"Your ever present sarcasm aside you're right, I'm a pro at this."
The door swung open and there stood Rory with a wide smile on his face, his eyes skimmed over the new arrivals but the moment they landed on Sugar they lit up.
"Why hello there." He said smoothly leaning against the doorframe.
"Out of the way, Potato Peeler." Santana said pushing past him and taking Brittany with her.
Brittany giggled at the look Sugar was giving Rory as he continued to try to chat her up at the door. Her girlfriend pulled them into the living room where everyone else sat waiting, they greeted the group and she took a seat on the couch between Santana and a slightly disgruntled Mercedes.
"So he finally got you to join in."
"It's going down in my living room, I can hardly escape."
"You were the one that didn't want the paparazzi finding out that you were in a comic book store." Sam said laughing.
At that moment Sugar stormed in looking irate, but the look evaporated when she spotted Mercedes. Her demeanor changed to one of pleasant politeness and she sat down on the other side of the singer.
The bright smile on her face did dim when Rory perched himself on the arm of the couch next to her but it didn't stop her from introducing herself, "Hello, I'm Sugar Motta, the best friend of the ever rude Santana Lopez who neglected to introduce me."
"Mercedes Jones." She said extending her hand.
Sugar took it excitedly, "Oh, I know exactly who you are." She said waving her hand airily.
"Let's get started." Santana said cutting off anything else Sugar might say.
It was clear after the first few minutes that this wasn't going to be an easy transition for their new additions. Mercedes was having a hard time distinguishing in-game dialogue from regular conversation, which almost resulted in Mike getting smacked when his mage made a disparaging remark about her dark elf. Sugar got the dialogue fine, but seemed to be having trouble grasping why her character couldn't buy better armor; the idea that she or any character she controlled could be poor didn't quite translate.
However an hour later, after Mercedes killed an evil warlord and Sugar made some cash stealing from Rory, everything started getting better.
Brittany merely delighted in being able to share her favorite hobby with Santana and Sam at the same time. It never got old, because she still remembered the woman she used to be, the one who was scared to even mention that she played the game at all. For a while she sat quietly, only speaking up when it was her turn to, but was unable to be truly emerged in the gameplay as she was still thinking about the future. She wondered if Felicia's disinterest in comics and fantasy would change her love of it, and if so what that would do to her and Sam. Sure, he would always be her friend, but they had formed a special connection through their shared interest. She worried about Patches and what some recombined version of herself might do to him, like throw him in the trash or shove him in a box for storage.
Suddenly everything wasn't alright. The future wasn't hopeful, it was terrifying. Sitting up, she tried to look normal and think of a reason to excuse herself but as always Santana was one step ahead. Her arm went around Brittany's waist, pulled them back together and discreetly she put her lips by her ear, echoing her words from months ago.
"We're going to be fine."
Brittany was still tense against her as she nodded slightly, "Are you a mind reader?" She chuckled humorlessly.
Santana shook her head, "You've been getting less and less relaxed over the past few minutes. You should be having fun and you're clearly stressing." Her voice was low so only Brittany heard.
"There's no way to be sure everything will be fine." She mumbled.
"There isn't, but I know it will just the same." Santana took her hand and interlaced their fingers, pulling Brittany's arm around her.
Artie seemed to have noticed the private moment and looked like he was about to comment when Sugar cut across the group with a sharp "Time out!".
All talking ceased as she dug into her purse coming out with a stack of hundred dollar bills, "If I give you this, can I just change my stats? It's too hard to work for the upgrades."
Sam looked at the cash, then down at his own prepared notes, "That seems reasonable." He said taking the money.
Artie's mouth fell open and he looked scandalized, "You can't just let her do that! What about everyone else?"
Sam fanned himself with his newfound wealth, "Pay me two grand and you too can have a spontaneous level up."
"There isn't even a story-relevant reason for her to have gained power at level one!"
"A magical fairy appears before the party and blesses Sugar with the power of stat changing."
"Hey, calm down Artie and show some respect for the lady." Rory challenged from his perch.
Sugar seemed unperturbed since she was busy erasing her old stats and writing in new numbers. Mercedes started to do the same making Sam sit up in his chair.
"Whoa! 'Cedes, no cheating!"
"If Sugar's doing it I am too."
"She paid me!" he protested.
"How about this, either let me change the fake numbers or I start withholding real sex."
"Proceed." He said easily leaning back in his seat.
"What the fuck man!" Artie snapped.
Sam shrugged, "You could offer to withhold sex too, but I think you'd have better luck using Sugar's plan."
"Who even is this chick? Did we invite her?" Artie raged glaring at the rule breaker.
"Leave her alone, I said." Rory said again looking puffed up and ready for a fight.
"No need to get all rowdy, I'm not even changing them that much." Sugar said simply.
"It's the principle of the thing, Artie just doesn't know how to treat a woman of your fine stature." He said and placed a hand on her shoulder.
Sugar looked at the hand and then up to him before taking her pencil and pushing it off.
"Look," she started and Brittany already knew this was going to be bad, apparently so did Santana because she was already chuckling, "Ronald is it?"
"I don't care. You have been hitting on me since I came in the door, but I need to make it clear here that I am out of your league. Well out of your league. As a matter of fact, if your league were to explode I wouldn't hear the sound for another three days. So please, please give up."
Mercedes burst out laughing and turned to Santana, "I see why you two hang out now."
Brittany thought the most amusing part was that Rory seemed hardly deterred.
They were able to finish the rest of the campaign in relative peace and by the time it was over Sugar and Mercedes were already Facebook friends and Rory had gotten Sugar's number. Not from Sugar of course, Santana had given it to him saying her friend deserved it for 'pulling that stunt on Lucile'. Whatever the stunt was Brittany didn't know, but she was sure it must have been bad.
It was almost two am when they got into the car to head home. Brittany was tired and ready to go to sleep, but then Santana spoke and her voice pulled the blonde back into consciousness.
"On our third date I think… I think that might have been when I fell in love with you. It's a hard thing to pinpoint but I'm pretty sure that was it."
The statement caught her off guard and made her frown a little as she pieced the meaning of the sentence together. On their third date she didn't remember being particularly charming, she recalled accepting that Santana would probably break it off with her so she had merely relaxed and enjoyed their time together. Afterwards when she had been asked for another date, it had totally shocked her, but she readily accepted.
"But that was before we started dating."
"I know. I was still dealing with trying to figure Felicia out, and I thought what I felt was pure curiosity about you possibly being her. Looking back now, I think that was it. Where it started."
"I'm glad I was able to charm you." She chuckled.
Santana laughed as well, "What I mean by all this is that's how I know we'll be fine."
"Because of our third date?" she said.
It was clear that Santana was trying to phrase her thought better, "When we were walking on the pier and you were relaxed and just being yourself you were so beautiful. And I don't only mean in a physical kind of way, you radiated something beautiful and it made me ask you out again."
"I don't know about all that." She said blushing, "Inside I'm pretty broken."
"That's what's happened to you in life, not who you are. You are something so special, even split in two you're still amazing and I can't in my wildest dreams imagine how two parts of someone so exceptional can be anything less when put together."
"You know I hate being pessimistic, but we really can't just ignore the bad options." Brittany replied sadly.
Santana was quiet until they reached a red light to turn and look at her, "I'm not, I'm just telling you that I don't see how there can be two of you who love me so much changing into one of you who doesn't. Maybe I'm being unrealistic but I don't care, the woman on the pier is the same one in the car with me now and I know if she doesn't want to lose me, she won't."
"That makes sense, a lot more than the idea of me forgetting my feelings one day. You know all the talks I've had with Dr. Tinsley and he never managed to put it quite like that."
"I can't take full credit. Felicia was the one who made me think about it, she found something about us that she would never regret no matter what happened, and I did the same. Falling in love with you is something I'll never regret. And the way it happened, what I felt that day, what I feel every time I see you, has to mean something. I know love can't keep bad things at bay, but I think this time it will."
"Do you sit at home when I'm not around and practice sweet things to say?"
"From time to time." Santana said, kissing her right as they were bathed in green light.
Santana took the wheel again and drove them the rest of the way home. The car was silent, but it was a pleasant silence, one that was hopeful and comforting.
When they arrived home she dressed for bed in the same silence, each woman merely enjoying the other's presence. Before they went to get into bed Santana moved Patches from his perch on their pillows and placed him on the dresser, in the center of all the other stuffed animals, next to her duck bank, one of his arms draped around it. The sight made her smile widely and Santana couldn't help but smile back.
Once the lights were off and Brittany had curled up comfortably next to the smaller woman she finally allowed herself to really believe the words that Santana had been assuring her of since they had gotten back together.
That they were going to be just fine, for a long time.
A/N: Woot! Done. Gonna use my next lunch break to actually eat XD Though I will miss trying to down a granola bar and a mountain dew while typing... sorta.
Okay to answer story related questions.
Why out of all Marvel and DC characters did you pick Felicia Hardy? She looks nothing like Brittany, why not pick someone like Karen Starr?
Looks weren't an issue given the origin, when choosing these were the requirements, 1) Female 2) Must be an antihero 3) I have to actually like the character (Karen is a textbook hero and I hate her).
That narrowed it down to Selina Kyle and Felicia Hardy (Catwoman and Black Cat) however even though I like Catwoman more, I am more of a Marvel fan and if you've ever read Glimpse or Random Glimpses you'd know why choosing the name Selina would be a bad idea.
Wait! Does Brittany ever become whole?
It was never my intention to have her end this story as a single entity because in order to do that (assuming I wanted to) I would have to jump way into the future, ignoring all the interesting dramatic milestones that would come with it. I would potentially want to revisit this universe and if Brittany were whole now the sequel would be a Brittana story with none of the elements that made the original so captivating.
How was chapter 14 supposed to play out/ Where can I read the original?
In the grand scheme of things Brittany and Santana just weren't ready to be together before she got therapy so Santana's mistake, though a heavy one, was reasonable in that the situation was far from normal and therefore could be worked with. So when Brittany returned they would have to deal with it and the plan there was to deal with Felicia's mirrored issues. Where Brittany is afraid of sexual intimacy Felicia is (though not to the same degree) afraid of verbal intimacy. She loves to talk and be charming but fears rejection in the sense that people who come to know her will only think of her as an illness not a person, so she guarded her thoughts on things like love and tended to air Brittany's most personal thoughts to compensate. Slowly she began to express herself, the first time was in Santana's office, she couldn't express her true feelings all the way and only spoke in vague indefinite terms about their relationship though it was her best attempt at expressing how deep her love ran. At the window before they left for Georgia she was finally able to open up and say what she'd been hiding and by this chapter she can easily tell Santana her worries. The aftermath of chapter 14 would have dealt more extensively with that, Felicia's dependance on sex for communication and Brittany reforming a trusting relationship with Felicia and Santana.
If you want to read what was taken out it's here:
/post/24490379531/the-lost-chapter-14-insert (all one line no spaces)
Where can I find more info on DID?
Um okay this is a hard question, because I don't want to list something and have to explain that the book isn't the final word on DID, you have to read and draw your own conclusions. One book will tell you that what it says IS the way things work while another will state the opposite and both will have compelling arguments. I recommend "Dissociative Identity Disorder in Adults, Third Revision" from The Journal of Trauma & Dissociation for a relatively easy breakdown of DID, cures, causes and misconceptions ect. Even though the main goal of treatment is integration there are equally convincing accounts stating that isn't necessarily the best option.
For the sake of this fic I did fact checking with medical journals to make sure my knowledge of the disorder was up to date but I have read a lot of books (like real life physical text) on the subject, some fictional, some clinical, some damn near unreadable because of the terminology. I can't remember every one I read as my initial research was from high school but I can shoot off the popular text I always remember like Sybil, Sybil In Her Own Words, Three Faces of Eve, When Rabbit Howls, Nobody Nowhere, A Fractured Mind and Multiple Personality Disorder from the Inside Out. I won't turn this into a reference page but you can PM me if you want me to give a better list ^.^
Wikipedia isn't terrible but please remember it is Wikipedia and you get what you pay for... and it's free.
However if there is only one thing you remember about DID it should be this; DID isn't a disorder that has people acting out in extreme fashions the disorders, and/or trauma that usually accompany it are. There are individuals with multiple personalities that live happy productive lives and do not lament their lot in life.
Maybe if Glee doesn't piss me off so bad I quit the fandom forever. This story followed a pretty basic format as far as DID stories go, as in discovery, diagnosis, recovery (though I do think I managed to spice it up a bit) but if I did pick this up again I would deal with all the things that I set up to be continued but left seemingly resolved just in case I don't come back to it.
Thanks again to chombric for the beta assist and to you for all the reviews and support and please know it's never too late to leave one :)
Plan to have one of Ella's shorts up on my tumblr before the weekend's out so visit or follow me there. I can't promise a sequel but put me on author alert if you want to keep an ear out.