A/N: Just a one-shot to try and work through my feelings regarding 404…

My thoughts alone and no one else's...My take on how things could go ;)


Disclaimer: I do not own Glee :(

The sound of a car honking shook me out of my daydreams. Again. I swallowed the perpetual lump in my throat and turned onto the road that would take me back to Louisville.


I hadn't lied to Britt. I really did enjoy it. Sure, cheering was brutal and took up a ridiculous amount of my time, but…

I fought back a sob, doing my best to focus on the road ahead of me and blinking tears away that threatened to blur my vision.

It hurt. Fuck, it hurt. I kept telling myself that it was for the best, that I was setting her free. I didn't want to. Jesus, it was honestly the last thing I wanted. I loved her so much. The most. Ever. Always. Singing to her had kind of achieved its purpose, but seeing that devastated look on her face and watching those tears roll down her gorgeous freckled cheeks, I wanted Snixx to slap the stupid out of me and just bite the fucking bullet.

It was an argument I had been having with myself since I'd dropped Britt off at home after the whole Breadstix Left Behind Fucked Up Crazy Committee meeting thing.

"You left me behind."

I know I take top prize for the worst girlfriend ever. Britt had a major meltdown during Britney week and where had I been? Too busy being a fucking college student and wrapped up in classes and cheerleading to realise that my girlfriend, the love of my fucking life, needed me.

I was at a college that she'd gotten me a full ride to. One that was only a few hours away because we didn't want to be far apart. Because we missed each other and loved each other. It was only for a year, right?

Wrong. I was a chicken shit coward. I was the same chicken shit coward that was running away from a problem. First it was bearding with Karofsky. Then it was holding hands under napkins. Then, blinded by my fear of the future, I proclaimed that I would do anything to be famous. Who saved me every time? Brittany Pierce.

She always knew what to say, where to be, what to do and sometimes what not to do. She knew me – knows me – better than anyone else on this planet. That's why she didn't fight it. She just let me break her heart because she knows that I'm a coward. I would never cheat on her. Never. Not ever. I couldn't even think about it. The energy exchange with Virginia Woolf's number one fan had been so fleeting. Why had I read so much into it? If I saw her again on campus, I could pretty much guarantee that I would walk past without a second glance. I acknowledged the exchange because I missed Britt. I missed being with her and holding her and kissing her. And hell, I'm still Santana Lopez. I need warmth. That lizard shtick in junior year wasn't total embellishment.

After all this had rolled around in my head that night – yeah, sleep and I were on polar opposites – I knew that Brittany deserved to be happy. And very clearly, as was evident by her hurt comment, she wasn't happy. She wasn't happy because of me. Because I'm a shitty girlfriend.

I knew I couldn't break up with her for good. I mean, she's Brittany and I'm Santana. We've always been together, even if the label on our relationship was different.

An unofficial break up.

It had sounded a lot smarter in my head. But in my lame attempt to explain it, I had only made it worse and I was pretty sure that Brittany was convinced that I wasn't coming back.

Was I? I mean, did I even have the right to? I came home to do laundry because I wanted to see her. That honestly was the only reason. If I came home every three weeks to do laundry and I didn't see Britt…I don't even know. It would feel like those days in sophomore year when she wouldn't smile at me in Glee. That feeling like I'm dying inside.

Kinda like what I've been feeling ever since I walked out of that choir room leaving the love of my life behind me in tears.

I felt my chest start to constrict and I hastily pulled over, letting my shoulder shake with uninhibited sobs, tears streaming down my face. It all seemed endless. It felt like I would never stop hurting.

You're an idiot, Santana Lopez.

Yup, that's me. First class fucking douche bag asshole.

I spent four years defending Brittany from anyone hurting her and I forgot about protecting her from the one person who could hurt her the most.


It was late when I finally pulled into the parking lot behind my dorm. I was so tired. My body was exhausted. I felt like a ten ton truck had run over me, then back up and done it another five hundred times.

The last time I'd felt like this was when I'd confessed my love for Brittany. To this day, I still chalk that up to be the bravest thing I've done. Not even coming out to my parents or Abuela could beat the turmoil I'd fought against to muster up the courage to say those three magic words.

I pulled out my phone and stared at the background picture. Me and Britt, lying in bed. It had been taken during the summer. I remembered the morning clearly.


I scrunched my nose into the pillow as the familiar sweet voice brought me out of my slumber.


I huffed, still half asleep and buried my head under the pillow. I felt soft kisses running across my naked back and I smiled, still hidden under the pillow.

"Sanny, baby, come on."

I could hear that pout. That damn pout that would make my knees go weak and my heart flutter and I'd do absolutely anything that she asked. And she knew it.

I groaned in denial. "I'm sleeping," I mumbled, my voice muffled.

A giggle. God, I loved that giggle. "No, you're not cos only Lord Tubbington talks in his sleep. You're talking so you must be awake."

I found myself chuckling. Suddenly, there was a great weight on my back. My eyes flew open as I felt Brittany bare breasts against my back. Immediately, my toes curled.

It was actually embarrassing how easily Brittany turned me on. I shut my eyes and tried to calm the intense desire to ravage her right then and there. We'd gone four rounds the previous night though. I was sore.

"Sanny, I have a present for you. You gotta turn around if you want it, though."

Yeah, I'm whipped. I've dealt with it.

I started wiggling around and felt Brittany push herself off my body so that I had space to turn onto my back. I tossed the pillow I'd been hiding under onto the floor. I felt a butterfly kiss on my eyes.

"Good morning," Brittany whispered.

I blinked and let my eyes adjust to the new light. A smile crossed my face when they focused on the best sight in the world – Brittany's face.

"Good morning, love," I replied, my voice still thickly coated with sleep.

Brittany smiled and leaned in for a kiss. As always, this took about five minutes. One kiss was seldom enough with us. Our bodies were flush together and my hands were tracing shapes across the soft skin on her back.

"I want to capture this moment," Brittany whispered. "I want us to remember everything about being together now so that we won't forget when you have to go away."

I swallowed. "Britt, I'm not going to be far. And I'm gonna come home as much as I can. I'm definitely going to need to see your beautiful face as much as possible."

Brittany pecked me and leaned over to grab my phone from next to my bed. I nuzzled her exposed armpit and she giggled.

"In a bit, Sanny," she said, cuddling into my side.

I put my arms around her and pulled her close. I closed my eyes and pressed my lips against her cheekbone. I heard the camera go off and I opened my eyes again. Brittany showed me the picture and I smiled. It was definitely going to be a favourite of mine.

I wiped a few tears that had escaped and, with shaking fingers, I opened up a new message tab. It took me ten minutes to figure out what to say and a further fifteen to actually press send.

Britt. I love you. I miss you. This is for the best. You deserve to happy. Always, Sanny xxxx

By the time I'd gotten all my bags up to my dorm room (thank fuck I'd managed to get a single) and had flopped onto my bed, the true feeling of exhaustion washed over me. I'd had just gone through two of the moment draining days I probably ever would. I hated this feeling. I hated how empty I felt.

I hated myself.

My phone vibrated in my pocket and I almost wanted to ignore, for fear of what she'd said. Curiosity eventually got the best of me and I opened up Britt's reply.

I just wish that I was enough for you. I miss you all the time and now I'm just going to miss you more. I love you, Santana. That will never change. You make me happiest. Remember the moments over the summer… I love you. B.

Somehow, it made me feel even worse.

Back in high school, any time Britt and I had fought, I would go to Puck or some other meathead's place and pretend that I was feeling something as they concentrated on getting themselves off more than worrying about me. Thing is, it never came close to what it was like with her. Not even in the same country.

She was right – with feelings, it was better. So much better. With feelings, everything also became a lot more real. I struggled with that for a while, but she waited for me to sort my thoughts out. It was during that time that I realised that my love for Brittany was endless. It would always grow. And most importantly, it would never stop or lessen. If the roles had been reversed and she'd broken up with me, I would be hurt and sad, but my love would never cease. She'd told me on several occasions that she was going to love me forever. When I looked into her eyes as she said those things, I absolutely believed her because I felt the same way.

I mulled over it for two weeks after leaving Lima and it got me wondering…

What the hell was the point in breaking up, officially or not, if I was never going to love anyone else the way I love her?

Santana Lopez, you are a fucking idiot.

I really didn't want to go home for Thanksgiving. I hadn't been home for over a month and I was avoiding it like the fucking plague.

I hadn't heard from her, not that I'd expected to. What I hadn't expected was to get an email from Blaine Anderson of all people. He felt that I deserved a heads up if I ever went back to Lima.

Brittany was dating Sam.

I hadn't felt pain like that…ever. I knew she loved me. I knew it. I think that's what made the truth even harder to bear. She loved me but she was with Sam. Fucking Trouty Mouth. Never did trust someone with a trap so huge; I wouldn't be surprised if he turned out to be the one responsible for sinking the Titanic.

I got drunk that night. Motherless, in fact. I do remember refusing four advances, three of them from girls. I don't remember how I got back to my dorm, though.

My mother wasn't taking no for an answer, so I begrudgingly drove back to Lima on the Thursday afternoon of Thanksgiving weekend. I'd planned it so that I'd arrive home so late that I could just go straight to bed and worry about a whole three and half days in Lima when I woke up.

Yeah, you've never met my mother. Or my family. They like parties. They take any excuse to celebrate. Apparently me coming home for Thanksgiving was celebration material.

Ten pm. I rolled into my parents' driveway and found the party in full swing. Fake smile in full effect, I played the gracious hostess (my mother was on her sixth or tenth glass of chardonnay, thus completely useless) and listened to stories about when I was young. Of course, they were riveting. It wasn't like I'd actually been there to experience them or anything. Ugh. Drunk people are irritating.

I finally managed to slip away at about one and I gratefully locked myself in my room. Within five minutes I was under my covers and out like a light.

My goal was to stay invisible for that weekend if I ventured anywhere outside my house. Friday I spent helping my mother prepare the turkey and salads and make a list of stuff we'd need to get the next day at the market. I was trying my best to find something else to do that would give me a reason not to go with her, but my mother knows me too well. So that idea was shot to shit.

I breathed a sigh of relief as I climbed into bed on Friday night and watched the clocked tick over to twelve am.

One day down, two and a half to go.


You'd think a list meant that we'd be done quickly. You've also never gone shopping with my mother. After about two minutes, the list goes out the window and all manner of items end up in the cart. I huffed dramatically and, aware that I was acting like a petulant child, nagged her to get done.

We eventually got out and I hurriedly packed the groceries in the trunk, desperate to get behind the safety of my mom's tinted windows. We were on our way home and I made the mistake of lifting my eyes from where they'd been fixed on my lap.

They were walking out of the Lima Bean, laughing, hand-in-hand. My stomach jerked painfully and my chest squeezed out any air that I had.

"Hmmm, do you feel like some coffee, mija?" my mother asked, oblivious to my little breakdown.

I shook my head furiously, hoping she'd get the message without me having to actually breathe. I squeezed my eyes shut and hated myself even more that I did already. Everything that I was feeling was my own fault. My own fucking stupid fault. I couldn't blame her. She'd done what I had asked her to. Be happy. The last time I'd come down, I'd only seen her smile a handful of times, nothing like the Brittany I know and love.

"I'm going to get some," my mother decided.

Great, mami. Prolong my torture. Thanks.

She pulled into the parking lot and I slumped down in my seat. When I saw a bill being waved in front of my face, I looked at her pleadingly.

"Skinny latte," she said. "Extra foam."

"That kinda defeats the purpose of a skinny, Mom," I grumbled. The look on her face meant that I had no hope of winning this battle. Which meant she had seen them. And now she felt the need to punish me. Dramatic? Perhaps. But that's what it felt like.

I pulled my huge sunglasses over my face and pulled up the hood (I was going for an inconspicuous look, ok?) of my Louisville hoodie, shoving my hands deep in the pockets as I walked towards the entrance. I had hoped that they were far enough away to miss me, but trust Sugar fucking Motta's big mouth to ruin my stealthy coffee mission.

"Oh em gee! Santana Lopez! Wow, you look like shit. Sorry! Aspergers."

I huffed, but had little energy to do much else. "Hey, Richie Bitch." She was blocking my path and I really didn't want her to attract any more attention to me than she already had. 'Any chance I could get past? My mom's about to go Hulk if she doesn't get some skinny foam up in her grill."

"I'll get the waitress to get it for you," Sugar said in a determined voice. She snapped her fingers and I mumbled my order to the irritated waitress who appeared out of nowhere.

"So, tell me everything!" Sugar said, sitting down at an outside table.

Jesus, not outside! If anything, it's easier to hide inside!

"Um, fine," I muttered. "Look, Sugar, I've got shit in the car and we've got Thanksgiving to prepare for. Um, I don't really have time for-"


Oh, sweet Jesus. Kill me now. You may as well. I feel like I'm about to die anyway.

I forced myself to look up at her. She looked perfect, surprise, surprise.

"Hey, Britt," I eventually breathed out. I sounded exhausted. Funny, I felt like I'd just run a marathon.

"Um, how are you?" she asked.

"Fine," I replied shortly.

How long does it take to make a cup of coffee?

Was I being unfair? I mean, I'd broken up with her. She had every right to be mad at me. I couldn't help feeling a little betrayed, though. It hadn't even been six weeks and she was with someone else already. That hurt. It felt like she hadn't needed any time to grieve or get over me.

Maybe she didn't. Maybe she'd fallen out of love with me a long time ago and was trying to convince herself that she still did.

Oh, God. This is not going the way I planned.

I tried desperately to blink away the tears that were rapidly building in my eyes.

"Santana-" Brittany began in that soft, soothing voice that always made me feel better.

"One skinny latte, extra foam."

"Yup, that's me," I choked out, my voice belying my struggle. I handed the waitress the money. "Thanks. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone."

I turned and practically ran back to my mother's car.


No, no, no. Almost there.

I stopped. I had to. I was being unfair. I kept my head down, not moving until a shadow was in front of me.

"Could you look at me, please?" Brittany pleaded.

My stomach was churning and I felt like I was about to get sick, but I did as she asked. I knew that I looked like a mess. My cheeks were probably red from trying (unsuccessfully) not to cry, my eyes were probably puffy and there were most likely tears stains running down my cheeks.

"Wha…" her voice trailed off as she took in my appearance.

God, she's so beautiful.

"San, what's wrong?" she asked.

I sniffed and broke eye contact. "Um, guess I'm just coming down with flu or something," I said lamely.

"That's a lie,"

It was. Duh.

"B? The movie's gonna start soon."

I visibly winced at the sound of Trouty's mouth close behind me.

"I gotta go," I mumbled, stepping around her.

"Wait." She grabbed my arm and I almost dropped the coffee at the tingles it sent all though my body. "Can I see you? Before you go back?"


"I don't know," I said quietly. "It's Thanksgiving and stuff and…" I took a deep breath as the little pieces of my heart broke a little more, "and you have plans."

She didn't say anything, but let go of my arm. I quickly turned around and walked to my mother. Her eyes were fixed on me and I could see an element of regret in them. She had seen Brittany. She'd set the whole thing up. I slid inside and wordlessly handed my mother her coffee, keeping my head down as tears rolled down my face and my shoulders shook with barely contained sobs.

"I'm sorry, mi amor," she said quietly. "I didn't know."

I didn't reply. I had nothing to say. I had lost Brittany.

I left to go back to Louisville early on Monday morning. My mother didn't try and convince me otherwise. Saturday had been spent crying on my bed. She'd come in and sat with me for a bit, but we hadn't said anything. I think she just knew.

I tried really hard to be happy on Thanksgiving. The whole family came around again and I wanted so badly just to be swept up in the festivities. But all I could think about what how this time last year, Brittany had been by my side, sharing a leg of turkey. She'd whispered in my ear that she was eternally grateful for me.

Even though I was hurting, I made a silent thanks. I would always be grateful for Brittany S. Pierce, no matter how far away she was.

I sniffed, brushing away tears as I climbed into my car. It was becoming second nature these days – tears would fall at random and I'd brush them away before anyone could see them. I scrolled through my iPod and shook my head to myself at the cheesy sad playlist I'd created. Regardless, I pushed play. I squeezed my eyes closed as the opening chords for Adele's Someone Like You started playing. It was scary how appropriate the lyrics are. Even more scary was that I remembered singing this song like it was yesterday.

Giving myself a stern pep talk, I started the car and backed down the driveway. After a few minutes of driving, with Adele crooning, I saw her. She was jogging and she spotted my car almost immediately. It took everything I had not to look at her, even though I could see her waving at me in my peripheral vision.

I knew I was being mean and unfair and probably childish. But, fuck. I was hurting badly. I couldn't even rectify the situation because Brittany was now with Sam and I wouldn't wreck another of her relationships. I wouldn't cause her more hurt than I already had. This little pearl of wisdom had hit me around two am Sunday morning.

I had no right to ask anything of her. I still loved her so much, but I had ended it (unofficial my ass. Santana Lopez, you are an idiot) and therefore, Brittany was absolved of any wrongdoing.

This was on me.

My phone rang and my heart constricted when her picture came up. I couldn't. I ignored the call and just focused on getting out of Lima.

Only when I got back to my dorm did I pick up my phone again. She'd tried calling me twice more and had left a voicemail. All I knew was that it was probably going to kill me to listen to it. So I did what every other masochistic ex-girlfriend would do. I put the phone to my ear and listened.

"Santana, please stop driving! Shit, I know you're not going to get this until you're too far away." I heard her take a deep breath. "I know I should have told you. Blaine mentioned that he may have sent you an email. I'm sorry that you found out that way. I…San, I don't know what to do! I miss you so much and I think about you all the time, but when I'm with Sam, he makes some of that hurt go away. And I really don't like the hurt. I don't like that I'm sad all the time. You're the only one that can make it go away completely, though. Sam…he tries and sometimes he gets it right, but I still miss you and think about you a lot. I just…San…I'm sorry. I love you."

Yeah, I balled like a baby for about a full half hour.

I was lucky enough to escape any sight or sound of Brittany over Christmas break. How the hell I'd managed that when I was home for a full week, I'll never know. Maybe she'd gone away. Maybe Trouty Mouth had gone with her. The thought made my stomach curl.

My parents got me a new laptop for Christmas, which actually really brightened my mood. No one but Britt knows that I'm a closet techno geek. Like way, way deep in the closet. Like Narnia depths. I love technology, though. So I spent the two days after Christmas holed up in my room setting up my new laptop.

"Mija, are you staying for New Years?"

I froze. New Years. That meant a New Years kiss. Brittany had been my New Years kiss every year since we were twelve. I hated knowing that she was going to be suffocating under Guppy Lips' monstrous fish impersonations.

Yeah, I know. I was totally being childish with the name-calling. In high school, it had given me an edge. People knew not to mess with me because I would, as Britt put it, slash them with my vicious, vicious words. With no one to fire off insults to (college was surprisingly uninspiring), I was left to tear people down in my head. Or myself. I was becoming a pro at that.

"I think I'm going to get a head start on next semester's reading," I said quietly.

"All right, Santana."

I knew she was at a loss. I wasn't anything like the Santana she was used to. I had lost my sass, my fire. I'd become like a shell.

I left Lima three days before New Years. I knew that campus would be like a ghost town, which meant peace and quiet. Which could be a good thing. Or a really bad thing.

I stopped at a gas station in Lima to fill up before heading back and I ran into someone I really didn't expect to.

"Girl Chang?"

"Oh! Hi, Santana," Tina replied with a smile. "Nice to see you back in Lima."

"Um, I'm actually just leaving."

"Oh. Well, that's a pity. Brittany's throwing a huge New Years Eve party."

Cue splinters in the heart.

"Great," I said, mustering up enthusiasm, but failing dismally.

"Santana, I don't mean to pry, but is everything ok between you and Brittany?"

My eyes shot up. "Seriously? You're honestly asking me that? Of course things aren't fucking ok. I made the biggest mistake of my life by breaking up with her. But it doesn't matter that I still love her because she found a new boy toy pretty quickly."

I didn't realise that I was yelling until Tina put a hand on my arm and told me to calm down.

"Why haven't you spoken to her?"

I scoffed. "Because she's happy now. I wasn't treating her right. I wasn't good for her. He…Sam's a good guy. He'll treat her the way she deserves to be treated."

Tina pursed her lips and raised an eyebrow. "What she actually deserves is someone who loves every single thing about her, someone who knows exactly what she means when she opens her mouth, someone who makes her eyes sparkle. That's you, Santana."

I shook my head. "That used to be me. I lost that chance."

"Are you sure about that?"

"Sam makes it easier for her. He takes away her hurt. I…" my voice choked, "I h-h-hurt her and that's just unacceptable. She should never be hurt. She's too…precious to hurt."

The tears overwhelmed me and I couldn't brush them all away in time. I felt like I had a lifeline. "Tina, please could you do something for me?"

She nodded.

"Could you let me know how she's doing? You know, like in school and stuff? And if anyone's bothering her?"

I knew I was asking for trouble. Keeping tabs on her was like dangling her in front of me, always just out of reach.

"Sure," Tina replied. "I know she's not doing too badly in most of her classes, but I'll talk to her and let you know."

"Ok, but don't tell her, ok?"

She frowned. "Why not?"

"Please, just don't," I requested quietly.

She looked at me and, after a while, simply nodded.

"Thanks. Happy Holidays, Tina. I hope you have a great New Years."

Before she could say anything else, I turned back to my car and sped off.

True to her word, Tina sent me fortnightly updates on Brittany. I wish that it didn't hurt to see her name in print every time it was typed out. She was doing ok. Not great, but ok. She was on track to graduating, which made me happy. I still couldn't believe that she'd never told me she was failing so hopelessly last year. Maybe we wouldn't be where we are now if I'd known.

Or maybe I should've paid more attention. Maybe I'd been a bad girlfriend long before I left for Louisville.

The idea sat with me for days. I analysed every aspect of our relationship and a list started forming in my mind of everything I'd done wrong. I eventually had to stop because I couldn't remember all of my mistakes and the list was already so long I'd forgotten half of them.

How could Brittany have loved me? I treated her like garbage for most of our lives. I used her for so long, denied my feelings and hurting her in the process. I hid her, basically telling her that I was ashamed of her, when really, I was just ashamed of myself. When that stupid commercial came out, the focus was on me. Everyone forgot about Britt. Even I did. I was so scared of what was going to happen to me. It had always been about me. All the rules were set by me. What I said went. Brittany followed me. I didn't follow Brittany. Even after we were out at school, I still controlled the relationship.


Had Brittany just chosen not to see any of this? Had she not even realised it? I found that hard to believe. Everyone may think that Britt's a little slow, but she's not. She's actually really smart. People just don't know how to teach her because her mind doesn't work the same as everyone else's. It took me a while to figure out how she worked. And for most of our lives together, I was the only one who understood her. Then Artie came along, but he didn't understand every aspect of her. But he didn't treat her like an idiot and for that I was always thankful to him. Not that I ever told him or anything.

I vowed that I would always be there for her. I promised her that I'd never leave. And what had I done? That exact fucking thing.

No wonder she was so upset. No wonder she'd become so unhappy.

I'd been completely blind.

Surprisingly enough, I got an email from Tina on Valentine's Day. I figured she'd be off with Boy Chang or whoever she's dating now, but when I saw the message, two thoughts popped into my head.

First, I'm going to fucking kill that guppy fresh face and cut off his lips to use as bait for the Kraken, then offer him up as a sacrifice.

Extreme? Nah.

Second, She's alone. Who's there for her?

I chewed on my bottom lip. I had a crossroads in front of me. When Brittany was hurting, I knew what to do. The only time I'd ever walked out on a crying Brittany was the day I'd broken her heart. On the other hand, talking to her, seeing her…would I even be able to handle that?

I'd have to be her friend. Only her friend.

Britt and I haven't been only friends since we were thirteen.

I fired off a quick thank you email to Tina before picking up my phone and staring at it. No, I hadn't changed the picture. Masochist, remember? Just as I lifted my thumb, my phone vibrated with an incoming message. A message from Britt. I took a deep breath and opened it.

I miss you so much. I hate that it hurts. I don't know what to do.

I did. I let the natural instinct that I'd had for years take over. Protect Brittany at all costs.

Yeah, I know. I kinda forgot that little mantra when I decided to trample her heart.


"Hi, Britt-Britt."

Ok, good, My voice was semi-ok.

"Sanny, it hurts."

Shit. She was crying. Fuck.

"Britt, are you lying on your bed?"

There was silence. I guessed she was nodding.

"Ok, where's Lord Tubbs?"

"He's got a date with a cat from two houses down," Brittany sniffled.

"Well, he's not a very good cat when his best friend is hurting."

She sniffed. "It's ok. He needs the distraction. He got kicked out of the gang he was in."

It was like old times, talking about LT's ridiculously awesome adventures. I'd never admit it to anyone – not even Britt – but I actually damn near loved that humungous fur ball.

"They probably couldn't handle his badassery," I continued. "Ok, how about we watch some Sweet Valley High? Or how about One Tree Hill?"

"They all have couples," she muttered.

Shit. Good point. Lopez, you're slacking on your game here. Pick it up!

In the back of my mind, I was faintly aware that this was the longest conversation I'd had with her since October and as much as my heart still ached, a little lone butterfly was quite happy in my tummy. I was rooting for the butterfly.

"Whatever, those couples don't even know what real life is like," I started, trying to sound nonchalant.

"What is real life?" She sounded interested.

Ok, so it looked like I was the entertainment for the night.

"Um, well I guess it's when not everything has a happy ending."

Oh, brilliant. Way to stay away from the difficult topic of Oh, I broke your heart and then got really crazy jealous when you tried to put it back together with someone else and now I'm the one consoling you when he broke up with you.

"Why can't there be a happy ending?" Brittany asked. She sounded like she was gearing up for a fight, probably expecting me to disagree with anything she had to say.

Well, I guess we were both in for a surprise, cos I thought that's what I was going to do too.

"There are sometimes," I conceded. "You just have to work really hard to find them. And they don't always happen immediately. A happy ending happens at the end, just like it says."

"Then how can it be a happy ending if it's the end?" She sounded frustrated. I had to agree. It was a little confusing.

"I guess it's like an oxymoron," I mused, more to myself.

"They're confusing," Brittany agreed.

Wait a second.

"Britt, you know what an oxymoron is?"

"Yeah, we did it in English two weeks ago. That old guy who writes plays used them a lot."

I couldn't help the chuckled that escaped my throat. "Shakespeare?"


It hit me suddenly. I hadn't laughed in months. Like an actual, genuine laugh. Not even when the girl at the top of the pyramid lost her balance and landed on the waterboy (yes, waterboy. For cheerleaders. Pure wankiness) in a very…intimate position. I didn't even cracked a smile.

"He wasn't sure whether he was Arthur or Martha," I said with a small grin.

"Wasn't his name William?"

"Yeah, Britt. It was."

There was silence for a few moments and I was kicking myself with trying to think of topics to talk about. I'd never had this problem with Britt before.

"You've been checking up on me."

I blinked and my throat went dry. Girl Chang was dead. Like deader than Asian cheerleader zombie dead.


"She didn't tell me. She didn't have to," Brittany said. "I found it strange that she suddenly started taking an interest in my grades and how I was doing after a years of pretty much just acknowledging me. I knew there was only one person who couldn't, for whatever reason, ask me herself."

Wow. Her Britt was all growed up.

"Are you mad?" I asked quietly.

I heard her take a deep breath and exhale it. "A little, I think. I just don't understand why us breaking up meant that our friendship went away too."

A valid point, Detective Pierce.

"Yeah, I know," I murmured. Now or never. "Look, Britt, I know that I fucked things up with us. And I'm not just talking about breaking up with you or ignoring you or being a bad girlfriend. I've come to realise that I was a terrible person to you for a lot longer than I'd like to admit."

Brittany didn't respond, which kinda only cemented those thoughts about her being very aware of what I was doing, but ignoring them.

"Why did you let me hurt you like that?" I blurted out.

"Because I love you."

And there it was. Ladies and gents, the answer to life. Simple, and yet the most powerful words ever to come out of her sexy little mouth.

"I love you, Santana, and I know that everything that you said or did was a defence mechanism. It wasn't to hurt me. You were just so scared that you built these walls up. But I have the password for all the hidden doors in those walls, which is why I never doubted you."

I sniffed. Crap, crying again. I swear a day didn't go by without me fucking crying.

"But, Britt, how can you still love me? I hurt you. I ignored you and you even said it – I left you behind."

"And who's fault was that?" Brittany asked. "Mine. Sanny, it was never your job to make me graduate. At some point I needed to take responsibility for myself. I loved that you were always there to help me and take care of me, but when you went off to college and I didn't, I suddenly realised that I was alone."

I couldn't respond to that. She was right. I'd left her alone.

"I'm so sorry, Britt," I whispered. "I regret ever saying anything. You're so strong. You don't even know how smart you are. You're gonna go places so far that they'll have to name a planet after you or something."

A giggle. Jesus, that sound would be the death of me.

"As long as you come and live with me, San. It'd be way too lonely all by myself."

"We'll see, Britt."

We spoke for hours, just catching up on the last five months. She wisely skipped over Sam and I, well, I didn't really have anything to skip over other than the amount of tissues I'd gone through because of my many crying sessions. Yeah, she didn't need to know about those.

When I heard her yawn, I suggested that we say goodnight, but she didn't want to. I promised that we'd text the next day.

"And the day after that?'

"Sure, Britt."

"And next week?"

"If you want me to?"

"I'll always want you to."

She said things like that and my heart absolutely took flight. She had a unique and completely honest way of expressing her feelings and I had taken that for granted for so long. She'd told me many times when we were younger that she loved me and I had brushed it off. Yet another example of me hurting her.

Regardless of Britt's response to that, it didn't change the fact that I had hurt her. I didn't deserve her love. I didn't deserve her even wanting to talk to me.


"Yeah, sorry."

"Are we gonna say goodnight now?"

"Yeah, we should. I've got class early tomorrow."

"Ok." She paused. "Thank you for calling me. I really wasn't sure if you would."

"Well, I actually was going to just before I got your message," I confessed.

"You were?" I wasn't sure whether the surprise in her voice was a good or a bad thing,

"Uh, yeah. Tina told me that S-um…that you were sad and I just…I needed to be sure that you were ok."

"Well, I wasn't. But I am now. So thank you, Sanny."

"Um, sure. No problem, Britt."


"Good night, Britt. Sleep tight and don't let the bed bugs bite."

"They won't. I've got my secret superhero to fight them off when I sleep."

She still has that?

When we were eleven, we thought we'd be smartasses and watch a scary movie that was rated R for a very good reason. Neither Britt nor I had finished the movie and we didn't sleep at all that night. Britt said she was afraid of the monsters in her bed – the bed bugs – who were invisible and would eat all her skin when she was asleep. So when I wasn't there to sleep with her and keep the bed bugs away, I made a little doll that looked like me for her to put on top of her bed and fight the bed bugs in my absence. She'd modified the me-doll and put on a cape and a mask. I have to say that it looked pretty badass.

"Well, I'm glad someone's there to watch over you," I said quietly, swallowing the lump in my throat.

"I wish you were instead," Brittany mumbled.

Ok! Time to say goodbye. Treading too close to future stuff here.

"We'll talk tomorrow, ok?"


"Bye, Britt."

"Bye, Sanny."

I slept pretty well that night.

True to my word, we texted each other the rest of the week. Little things, like what we were doing, not really delving into anything too serious.

Mr. Schue and Finn are rapping. Should I ask Blaine to issue a decree that bans them from doing that?

I laughed out loud and my professor gave me a stern look. I flushed guiltily and slid my phone away, focusing on the presentation for the rest of the class. Thing is, I take my studies seriously – I always have. I'm a total boss at multitasking. Texting and doing homework was probably my best skill.

As soon as class was over, I whipped out my phone to reply.

Got the evil eye from Dr. X. Sorry. I think you only need to worry if Lumps the Clown starts wearing vests and using excessive amounts of hair gel.

I walked back to my dorm room as we texted back and forth. I was thankful that it was Friday. That weekend was going to be spent catching up on my not-so-secret Real Housewives of New Jersey addiction. I had a whole stack of episodes to catch up on and come on – would doesn't love some good trashy reality TV. My phone buzzed.

What are you doing now?

Just walking back to my dorm. My laptop and I are going to get some serious quality time in this weekend. You?

Sounds fun. I'm just sitting and waiting.

For what?


I had just entered my building and I raced up the stairs as I read the last message. Did she mean that figuratively? Like she was waiting for me to make a move or something? Or did she mean literally? Like she was actually here in Louisville?

I skidded around the corner and a smile crossed my face. Definitely literally.

I ran up to her and before I could think about what I was doing, I threw my arms around her neck. She eagerly reciprocated. I'm not sure how long we stood there just holding each other, but eventually I figured I should get a little explanation.

I pulled away and unlocked my door. "Not that it isn't great to see you, B, but what are you doing here?"

She shrugged and picked up her bag. Wait. Bag. She wasn't…? Oh, crap. Was she planning to stay here? With me? In my three-quarter bed?

"I miss you, Sanny." She followed me inside and took a few seconds to let her eyes roam around the room. It wasn't big, but I didn't mind that because I got my own space. And my own bathroom – believe me when I say heaven sent.

"Um, ok." I dropped my bag onto my chair and sat down on my bed.

"Well, I just figured that now we're talking again, why can't I come visit you? You always came back to Lima those first few times. I figured that it would only be fair."

My heart fluttered. She's so sweet and so thoughtful.

"That's really nice of you, Britt-Britt," I said with a smile. "Um, I don't really have space for both of us here."

"Oh, are we not at that stage yet?" Brittany asked nervously.

"What stage?"

"The having sleepovers stage."

"Oh, um. Well, yeah, I guess we could. Um. I'll have to check with my RA about getting an inflatable mattress or something. You're welcome to take my bed and-"

"Santana, don't be ridiculous."

Oh. Brittany now has backbone. Ouch. That sounded so bitchy. Bad Lopez.

I swallowed. "W-What do you suggest, then?"

Brittany dropped her bag down at the end of the bed and sat down next to me. "Well, I think that we're both mature enough to maintain our integrity if we sleep in the same bed."

Ok, I knew that she was going to suggest that, but that doesn't mean that I'm ready to hear it or process it. Ugh. Why did she have to ambush me like this?

"Um, this isn't nearly as big as the beds we've slept in before, Britt." Jeez, I've become pro at the lamest excuses ever.

Brittany rolled her eyes. "Sanny, deal with it. We're sleeping in the same bed."

I sighed. "Ok. Um, did you just come to hang out? How did you even get here without me knowing?"

"Well, first, I came here to see you. So I don't mind what we do. And second, I took a bus this morning. It seems I came down with a terrible case of food poisoning last night and could barely even walk five steps without emptying my stomach contents." She smirked.

I made a face, and couldn't help but be half impressed at Brittany's slick story or a little intimidated because that sounded like something straight of my handbook.

"My Britt-Britt's all grown up," I mused quietly.

"Am I still yours?"

Shit! She heard me? Damage control!

"Um, are you hungry?" I diverted lamely.



"How about I give you a tour of the campus?"





"Why won't you answer the question?"

I sighed. Because the truth hurts?

"You don't belong to me, Britt. You don't belong to anyone. You're your own person. No one should own you."

"I never asked if you owned me or if I belonged to you, Santana," Brittany replied, her face completely serious. "I asked if I'm still yours."

I swallowed. "I'm yours," I answered instead. "It's your decision if you want to be mine."

She scooted closer. "And if I do?"

I looked down, petrified of what I'd see if I met her eyes. They could always see right into my soul. I couldn't hide from Brittany's eyes.

Instead, I shrugged.

Her finger rested underneath my chin and my skin was suddenly on fire. She forced my gaze up and I took a sharp breath when I met them. They were so blue. And they were shining. I remember she used to look at me like that so many times. Like…like I was her whole world. It was completely disarming.

"I'm not good for you, Britt," I finally murmured. "I hurt you, I left you behind, I ignored you. People who are in love don't do things like that."

"Well, I don't know about people, but I know you, Santana. And I know that you love me. Sometimes you're not sure of how to show it. Yes, the distance is difficult. We both have lives that move at different speeds, but at the end of the day, if you love me and I love you and if we want to be together, then we'll make it work."

She ran her finger that was still resting on my chin along my jaw until she was cupping my cheek. I've always loved it when she did that. Purely out of habit, I pressed my cheek into her palm, closing my eyes at the calming sensation. You wouldn't say so with my heart racing at a million miles an hour, though.

"Our relationship hasn't ever really been easy, Sanny," Brittany continued, moving even closer so that out knees were touching. "From the get go you were scared and you pushed your feelings away." She held her finger to my lips when I tried to protest. "Let me finish, ok?"

I nodded mutely. Her hand dropped from my lips and found my own nervous hands. Yeah, heart rate cranked up to about five million now.

"I accept that's part of how we work. Feelings have always been so difficult for you to understand. You get an idea of how things should be in your head and you won't budge on that."

Yeah…I guess that's kinda true.

"When we were younger, you convinced yourself that you weren't allowed to love me. I did what I could to show you that it was ok, but you refused to hear it. I knew that I'd have to wait for you to understand and accept your feelings before we were able to progress. It took you almost three years, but you got there. And I know that I hurt you when I told you that I couldn't break up with Artie. We have spoken about this before, but I feel like I just need to remind you of what we overcame to be together." She took a deep breath and I struggled with my emotions. "I told you that I couldn't be with you at that stage because I needed to be sure that you had accepted yourself. I loved that you finally came out and told me you loved me. It meant the world to me. But when I rejected you," I saw her swallow and her blue eyes shimmered, "you went straight back into the closet. I knew you weren't ready."

I opened my mouth to say something, but the words died on my tongue. It felt like nothing I said could ever compare to Brittany's heartfelt speeches. My words felt so empty. She must have seen my frustrated frown because she leaned forward and kissed my cheek.

I think I may have died a little. Just a little. The sensation of her lips sent a wave of heat throughout my body. They always had.

"Don't worry about saying the right thing, ok?" she whispered, her breath fluttering across my face. "Just say what you're thinking."

"I promised that I would never hurt you," I started. Ok, I was winging it. Awesome. This could be an utter disaster. "But I did, Britt. So many times. I've told you this before – you don't deserve to be hurt. You don't deserve to be ignored. You deserve to be treated like the most amazing girl in the world because that's what you are. You're so amazing, Britt. When you first told me that you loved me, I pretended that I hadn't heard you. But in fact, my heart started racing so fast. Kinda like this." I took her hand and put it against my chest. You couldn't even discern when the beats came and went because they were going so fast they kind of just blurred.

"It feels like your heart is humming," she said with a smile. "My Sanny's got a hummingbird heart."

I blushed and kept my hand over hers over my heart as I continued. "I feel like I took the easy way out. After everything we've been through together, I thought that I was doing what I figured would be best for you, but in actual fact, I was just running away again.

"I've been so selfish. Our entire relationship, even back when we were thirteen, has been about me. I only focused on what I was feeling and how I would react and what my parents would like or how people at school would treat me differently. It was always about me. I was so insecure about who I was and I ignored the one person who truly saw me. The one person who saw the real me and loved the real me. And that should have always been enough."

Brittany smiled at me and linked the fingers on our other hand together.

"Britt, I'm scared," I confessed quietly. "I want you so much that it physically hurts me. I know that a day hasn't gone by where I haven't ached for you and wished that I could take it all back. I know that my love for you is endless. It can grow exponentially and still not be enough. I know that I've woken up every morning wishing that you'd be there next to me. But when I thought I was protecting you, I ended up just making things worse. I broke your heart, Britt, and that's unforgivable."

Brittany moved even closer to me, our shoulders brushing each other. Even after we'd hugged for like five minutes, this still felt a hundred times more intimate.

"What if you fixed it?" she asked in a soft voice.

"Fixed what?" I asked, meeting her piercing gaze.

"My heart. If you fixed it, it wouldn't be broken anymore and you wouldn't need to be forgiven."

I frowned. "Britt, it doesn't work like that."

"How do you know how it works? Is there a manual? Is there a Dummies Guide to Fixing Broken Hearts?" There probably was. "Have you mended a broken heart before? Do you know what works and what doesn't?"

She took a breath and leaned closer still. "Could you just trust me on this, San? Please?"

I searched her eyes, her expression and her set jaw. Subconsciously, I lifted my hand that was covering hers over my heart and trailed it along the hard line of her jaw. Almost immediately, it relaxed.

Was I really considering this? Brittany's argument did make sense – they always did. It was the beauty of how she looked at the world.

"How do I fix your heart?" I whispered, my eyes following my finger as it traced the lines of her face.

She smiled brightly and my self-minded finger (I seriously had no control over it), immediately wandered to that perfect mouth with those kissable lips.

"Simple, Santana," she said, kissing the finger that was tracing over her lips. "Be with me."

"Is it that simple?" I asked in wonder. I felt like I was high on Brittany, on touching her and feeling her again, but also on how I felt about her.

Her love is my drug.

That pretty much summed it up, I guess.

"Ok, I'll go first," Brittany said, grabbing both my hands and entwining the fingers. She held my gaze steadily. "Santana, I love you. I love you more than I could ever and would ever love anyone else on this planet. Things have been hard for us and we reached a point where we felt like we couldn't make it work anymore. So we broke up. It sucked." My heart hurt. "I missed you even more when we weren't together because I knew that even if I did see you, I couldn't run up to you and kiss you and tell you how much I love you and worship your amazing body and-"

"Britt," I interrupted softly. "Getting a little off point, aren't we?" I pretended that I hadn't heard the comment about my body. It was...difficult.

Brittany swallowed and nodded. "Sorry. I used Sam as a distraction and it worked, for a little while, but I remembered what you told me that day in the choir room. You said that you'll always love me most. At first I thought that you were kind of insulting me, but then, when I was with Sam, I started to think about it a little more and I understood what you meant. Well, what I think you meant. I don't think that I was in love with Sam and I think he knew that I probably never would be, which is why he broke up with me. I don't blame him. Anyway, I couldn't ever love Sam because I would always love you most. I could fall in love with fifty other people but none of it would matter because I would still always love you most. No one would ever compare. So why bother?

"So, Santana Lopez, now that we know what it's like to be apart from each other and not be together, I think I can confidently say that it sucked ass and I don't want to do it anymore or ever again. I accept that we've got a lot of work ahead of us and I know that it's gonna be tough. But I'm graduating in four months and wherever you are, that's where I'll be."

My eyes were prickling, but Britt had my hands in a tight lock, so the tears were left to fall down my face. She leaned forward and kissed them off my cheeks. I closed my eyes and savoured her closeness.

When she pulled away, she looked at me expectantly. Ok, this was it, then. It was time to bite the bullet.

"Britt-Britt," I began. "My Britt-Britt, simply put, you are the love of my life. You have no idea how happy you made me when I heard you figure out what I meant when I said that I'll always love you most. As you know, I'm not so good with speaking the words as I am when I'm singing the words. So to borrow a line from that song, you're the best thing that's ever been mine. That line was pretty much the reason why I chose that song. It explained everything that I felt. It still does." I took a breath. "The last thing I want to do is hurt you more than I already have, and I'm absolutely terrified of doing that. I hate that I already broke your heart once and I'm so scared that my own insecurities are going to drive us apart. Again. A few months ago, I tried to do a mental count of how many times my insecurities caused problems. I, uh, had to stop because there were too many and I was becoming even more depressed than I had been.

"Britt, I want more than anything to be with you again, but what if I hurt you? I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I do."

"Sanny, I want to ask you something," she said softly. "Do you plan on hurting me?"

I shook my head fervently. "But-"

"Uh uh,' Brittany said, cutting me off with a look. "Do you see a future for us? Like a long future?"

I nodded confidently. I really did. The whole nine yards. I wanted everything with her.

"So you see a future for us, and you don't want to hurt me, right?"

I nodded, slower this time. I wasn't sure where she was going with this.

"So then don't hurt me, Santana. If you don't want to hurt me, then make sure that you don't. Think about what choices you make and if you're uncertain about something then talk to me." She punctuated the last three words by bouncing our joined hands in her lap in time with every word. "You need to talk to me. We've never done this. Never sat down and had an honest-to-God heart-to-heart. We've spoken about things briefly but never to this degree and maybe that's why things got to the point that they did. Listen to me. I believe you when you say that you don't want to hurt me. And I believe that you won't. You need to believe that you won't."

I nodded, allowing her words to wash over me. She made sense. Duh. Could it really be that simple? It seemed…too easy. After all the hurt and the pain, it felt like the solution should be a lot more complex.

"As easy as that," Brittany whispered, smiling that beautiful smile that made my knees go weak. We were sitting cross-legged on the bed, but I'm pretty sure they still went weak.

As easy as that.

"Brittany?" I asked, holding her fingers tightly.

"Yes, Sanny?"

"Would you be my girlfriend again?"


I kinda forgot what it felt like for a bit there. Now that it was back in the form of the sexiest blonde in the world (me being the sexiest brunette, of course), I couldn't help the smile etched onto my face.

Britt was singing in the shower whilst I was checking my emails. A message from Tina telling me that Britt had come down with a bad case of food poisoning and that she'd investigate and let me know what she finds. I chuckled and typed out a reply.

To: Girl Chang

From: Santana Lopez

Subject: Update: Food poisoning!


Don't stress about Britt. She's fine. She's actually here with me. Weird, I know. But things are good. Really good, actually.

I want to thank you for keeping tabs on her for me. She figured it out, though, but she knew that you were doing it at my request. We're talking now, so you don't have to continue with your Chang, Girl Chang spy gig.

I do appreciate you helping me out – you may have even changed my life…

But don't tell anyone I said that. In fact, you should probably delete this email as soon as you read it, Mission Impossible style.

Have a good weekend.


I was about to click send when I felt wet hair against my neck and moist lips trailing kisses down my skin.

"Britt," I said in a strangled voice.

"Hmmm?" she replied, her kisses becoming more adventurous.

"B, come on, didn't we agree? No f-funny business until…oh…"

Her tongue had started an upward journey and I knew she was headed for my ear. She was evil like that. My weak spot was my ear lobe. She wouldn't think twice about using it to her advantage.

"Graduation!" I squeaked loudly.

Brittany halted and sighed. "Are you sure, Sanny?"

I nodded, not trusting myself to turn around. Knowing Brittany's seduction techniques, she'd probably be naked, in a barely there towel or in super skimpy pjs.

All three were deadly. Britt's body was a weapon and she definitely knew how to wield it.

"I'm decent," she called after a while.

I breathed a sigh of relief and saw her snuggled under the covers of my bed.

"We can watch a movie or something?" she suggested with a smile.

I matched it and nodded. "You go through my collection and see if there's anything on there you wanna watch. I'm going to clean up."

Brittany mumbled something and I didn't ask her to repeat it, almost positive that it would make the ache between my legs even worse.

I showered in record time and pulled on my pjs. Like a clever girl, I'd take them into the bathroom with me. Brittany's looks, much like her body, were dangerous. One tossed in my direction and I'd be putty in her hands.

I exited the bathroom, tossing my dirty clothes in the overflowing hamper. Laundry. I'd been going to this really crappy laundromat about ten minutes from campus. It was fiendishly expensive and the machines were so small that I ended up spending a small fortune to wash my clothes.

Now I had a reason to go back to Lima and do it again. And I was going to ensure that I was home every second weekend. Even if it meant that I would sleep for three hours every night to have that time off, I would.

"What are you smiling about?" Brittany asked curiously.

I grinned and jumped onto the bed, pulling back the covers and snuggled into her. "Just how I'm making a pact with myself that I'm going to come back to Lima every two weeks to do my laundry."

"Two weeks, huh?" Brittany asked, pulling me closer to her. "That's quite a promise to make, Miss Lopez. Think you can handle it?"

"Oh, yeah," I grinned. "I'm determined if anything. I don't want to go more than two weeks without seeing your beautiful face. As it is, that's way too long."

She blushed and my grin widened. I did love making her blush. "We'll make it work, Sanny."

I pushed up onto my elbow and kissed her soundly. "I know we will."

I burrowed back into her side and she started the movie, one arm keeping me close. I loved that I was surrounded by her smell again. It was completely intoxicating for me. I could live on it. Yup, I could live on Brittany, Easy as pie.


Fucking hate that word. Worst word ever. I had to say goodbye in Glee when I graduated and she didn't. I had to say goodbye when she went off to cheer camp and I didn't. I had to say goodbye when I left Lima to come and study here and it sucked.


My eyes snapped back from their trip down memory lane.

"What's wrong, Sanny?"

I sighed. We were lying on my bed, her head resting on my shoulder. I was going to drive Britt to the bus stop, but we still had a while before we left. We'd had the perfect weekend. Most of it was just spent in bed, watching stuff on my laptop and just talking.

"Sorry, Britt. Just hate that we're saying goodbye. I wish we didn't."

"Me too," Brittany replied wistfully. "But two weeks will be here faster than we can blink."

"You reckon, huh?" I asked with a smile.

"Yeah, and until then, we've got Skype and texts and phone calls."

I nodded. "We're gonna make this work. I'm not gonna lose you again."

"You won't." She said it with such clarity and certainty that I almost felt the urge to go down on one knee and pledge my undying fealty to her. Which, you know, I would never do cos that's nerdy. And I'm not a nerd. Unless it was role-play. Now that would be interesting…

I started humming to her as the minutes wound down to our departure time. I felt her smile and her arm went around me holding on tightly, her head resting right in the crook of my neck.


Great word.

"Text me when you're home, ok?" I asked for the millionth time.

A giggle. "I will. Study hard."

I nodded. "Super hard so that I can come and see you."

She smiled and leaned in for a sweet, lingering kiss. "I love you."

"I love you, too. Be safe, Britt. You're not allowed to leave me just when I got you back."

"I promise."

She kissed me again and I reluctantly let her go. Our hands stayed joined until our arms had stretched out. Eventually her fingers disappeared from mine and I sighed in disappointment.

The bus started up and I watched Britt take a window seat. She stood up and fiddled with the window.

"Hey, Lopez!" she called with a smirk. "You left something in my bag."

I did?

She tossed something at me and I caught it, my cheeks immediately going red once I realised what it was. My eyes lifted to hers and she winked mischievously, blowing me a kiss before sitting down.

I was frozen to the spot, Brittany's sexy underwear fisted tightly in my hand. God, I loved that girl.

I bit my lip as the doors to the school burst open and students started filing out. I quickly checked my outfit over for about the two hundredth time, but I was nervous. It was graduation weekend and she was only expecting me on Saturday, the day of the ceremony. It was Thursday and I'd set up a getaway for the two of us.

I hadn't seen her in a month because of finals. My study load had been brutal. Brittany had been so understanding. My final exam was supposed to be tomorrow, but I managed to convince my professor to let me do it early under his supervision, in his office that morning. I'd left straight after.

Things were so great between us. Obviously, we missed each other like crazy, but I had kept my promise of fortnightly visits up until finals started. It was probably a good thing too cos Britt had finals to study for too. She'd done really well, much better than any of the teachers had expected. I was so proud of her.

I was especially proud of her A in Spanish.

I may have been a little helpful in that department.

Blonde hair caught my eye. I smiled and adopted my cool stance – arms folded, leaning against my car. So what. She loved it, ok?

She was talking to Girl Chang and Unique. I thought that guy (girl?) was totally awesome. And brave.

I stared at her, knowing that she'd soon feel it. Sure enough, her eyes flickered over the parking lot. When they met mine, her smile multiplied ten fold and she started running.

She threw herself into my waiting arms and I swung around, keeping her tight against me.

"What are you doing here?" she asked happily, burying her face in my neck and inhaling deeply.

"Surprise, baby. You and I are going away until Saturday morning," I told her with a smile.

"We are?" she squealed. "Just us?"

"Just us," I confirmed.

"Where are we going?"

"It's a surprise."

As expected, the pout was on full patrol.

"Nah uh, that isn't gonna work today, Britt-Britt," I chuckled. I kissed her and released her. "Now get your sweet little keester in this car so we can get going."

Brittany grabbed my hand before I walked around to the driver's side and pulled me to her, our lips meeting automatically in a more heated kiss.

"I missed you," she whispered once she'd pulled away.

"Hmmm, I missed you too."

I copped a feel before jumping out of the way of her batting hand and giggled at her disapproving stare. It disappeared the minute I blew her a kiss. Oh, yeah. This weekend was gonna rock.

And rock it did. I'd secured a small cabin by a lake on the outskirts of Lima. We went swimming and finally made love. It was, in short, amazing. And even better than I remembered. Four months certainly built up an appetite. We definitely needed those two days to make up for lost time.

Also, I had some news for her. And I wanted it to be at the right time. So I guess us lying naked tangled up in sheets and each other counted, right?

"Britt-Britt?" I ventured.

I was resting on my elbow, my finger tracing lines between the freckles on her back. She was lying on her stomach, the sheets bunched at her waist, her eyes closed as she relaxed and enjoyed me adoring her body.

"Hmmm?" she murmured, cracking an eye open.

"I know that this is something we haven't really spoken about, but since you got accepted to Julliard, it's something that's been continuously running through my mind."

Brittany rested her cheek on her folded hands, her eyes alert and giving me her full attention. I leaned forward and kissed her bare shoulder for strength.

"I'm coming to New York with you," I said firmly. "I know I'm going to lose my scholarship and I know that I have you to thank for getting it in the first place, B, but I can't bear us being even farther away than we are now. You told me once that I shouldn't give up going to New York. I told you that I was happy being close to you. And now you're going to New York so why not follow that dream now?"

Brittany just smiled at me. "Are you going to transfer?"

I nodded. "Yeah, I figure I might as well get my degree. I mean, I am enjoying the actually studying part of college, so why not? I was thinking NYU. They have a very similar structure to Louisville."

"Have you spoken to your parents?"

"Yup. My mom's totally psyched and my dad just wants to know where we'll be staying, if it's safe or whatever." I rolled my eyes and smiled.

Brittany shifted, draping one of her arms around my waist and pulling me to her. I was now lying half on her back. Neither of us minded though. I rested my lips against her soft skin.

"So, what do you think, Britt-Britt?"

"Hmmm. I think that I'm going to be the luckiest girl in New York because I'll be coming home to you every night."

I grinned and leaned down to meet her lips.

"How did I get so lucky?" I whispered after we'd exchanged a few languid kisses.

"Not lucky, babe," Brittany replied, giving me that loving look. "You're worth every ounce of my love."


A/N: Ok, so please bear in mind that this is merely an interpretation of how I processed the whole scene. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and this just happens to be mine :)

This'll stay as a one-shot. Would love to hear your thoughts.