A/N 1: As always, I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who's reading, reviewing, and doing their thing with the favourites and follows. I really do appreciate it, so thank you :)
A/N 2: Brittana is Love. Stay strong and ship it. And never let assholes destroy your dreams. They're yours. Keep believing in them.
You feel her against you before you're fully awake.
Like a dream which seeps through to reality, you're aware of nothing but her. You've been aware of nothing but her for hours now; before sleep and inside of sleep, she's all that you have space for. She made your spaces hers.
Because you've done this kind of thing before. You've done this and then some and you've fashioned the shirt, but…
Not like this you haven't. Not ever like this. When you'd danced her to your bed and dipped down above her, you'd assumed that your way would be the way that you'd go… That you'd lead her through twirls and swirls of delight, that you'd deserve her until the ends of the earth, and then she would deserve you right back. Yet;
Not quite. Not wholly. That wasn't exactly the way that you led her through the dance.
Your fingers had tripped light, you were mapping each moment, and then…
…Touch me, Britt…
She led you. Not touch me here, or here; but there. Her hand had taken yours.
She'd slid both your fingers through her wetness together, and once she'd shown you the way back inside, she brought her wetness to yours. And you gasped at that sensation; at her, touching you, touching her. Like a song and a dance and a perfect symphony, where you saved time, and then you made time, and then she showered you with minutes.
And hours. You think, all of the seconds. And the thirds. And multiples thereof.
And you feel her against you now. You feel her lips and her tongue, tasting traces across your back. You don't remember falling asleep on your tummy, you don't remember falling asleep at all, yet your stomach faces the sheets and her tongue is touching you awake, and…
You moan, and you mean good morning.
Not that the light in the room is saying morning. It tells you instead it's still dark outside, it tells you she's only awake to take more of your minutes; to extend your night out through infinity, to…
"Brittany…" she whispers into the dip of your back, and you feel the warm shiver pass through you. "…Are you awake?" she asks.
"Hmmm," you say, because, really… Who ever knows for sure?
If it feels like a dream and it looks like a dream…
And she kisses you, lower. You feel the sheet ghosting a caress across your ass as she pulls it down to trace your thighs, and again you shiver. Not cold, but hot. Because her lips draw satisfaction from the skin on your hips, and her hands ease your legs apart, and your hands.
You grip them into your pillow, because you've felt her tongue on you so many times tonight and you know what to expect; yet… Her mouth travels upwards and her words find your ear.
"I was waiting for you to wake up," she says.
And she finds you with her fingers. And you've felt her hard and you've felt her soft, and you've danced to the beat of her quick, quick, slow, yet so gently she touches you now. So slightly she runs her fingertips across you, like a tickle, or a tease, or just gentle because she's taken you. Over and over.
And you're not sore, you don't ache in a bad way, but you are tender.
And she's tender.
Like, "Is this okay, Britt?" she asks, and your body answers for you.
Your hips rise hi to guide her inside you, and your muscles hold tight, and she whispers; "I missed you already..."
Her mouth right next to your ear, her words turning your head to find her lips. Like an awkward angle, or the perfect angle, because she's moving her body against yours with a lumbering slowness, and her tongue touches yours, and you strain to kiss her, and she takes you tender.
Or she loves you tender.
Because the one says the same as the other.
You move beneath her, through her slow in and out. You hear yourself moan beneath her when fingers which aren't holding you inside, move forward to press against you outside. And you press against her. Your hips grind down hard to seek the new source of friction, and she flutters you through the slow wake and bake, through the long drawn out drive towards pleasure.
She treasures you.
She kisses you. She whispers words just pretty to your ear;
Because, "God, you feel so good, Britt…
And, beautiful, and more words, different words which stroke tones in a different tongue, which you can feel even though you don't comprehend, and;
Just Brittany she says, when you moan a different moan, when your body tenses taut and made for breaking, and she kisses you. She stills you. She carries you slowly over the edge and she cradles you through the fall.
And Brittany, she breathes into your ear, and I…
Like Aye Karumba you think, as you ride out the wave.
Or the eye of the storm.
I love you, you know when her eyes meet yours; when she falls by your side and gathers you up in her gaze. Just as gentle as she touched you; just as intimate.
And hey, you say.
And she looks at you.
And, I love you, you think, and you lean forward and kiss her. You kiss her slow and deep. You kiss her like you mean to keep her. Yet she keeps her silence when you pull back. She keeps the words locked away and she keeps you inside of her gaze; and it's more than enough to hold you certain. It's enough to lift your lips up on a smile as you make your way towards her again. And, kiss, and…
"Can I keep you forever?" you whisper, still soft and gentle.
"What would you do with me forever, Britt?"
"Do you need a specific plan, or should I just-"
"Kiss me again?"
"…Sure, I'd kiss you a lot, but I'd make time to-"
"No, Britt; kiss me."
And you dip, and you do. And you smile a lot more.
"How am I supposed to tell you, if you just keep making me kiss you?" you ask when she lifts up her lips, but she only smiles back at you. She lifts her lips again.
And San you say, teasing yourself away from her, and making her mock up a sigh;
"Fine, I'm listening; what would you do with me?"
She pouts her lips large like the perfect pucker, and this time it's you who interrupts your own words. It makes her smirk as you kiss her once again.
And you want to tell her the dream; you want to say to her that you'd take her away from all of this, that you'd sail the seven seas with her until you found that place you could both call home. That you'd love her forever there. That you'll love her forever here. Yet;
"I think I'll be happy just keeping you, Santana; what we do with the forever part isn't so important."
"Not really; I mean, if you were thinking about dropping it all and joining the circus, I might have a few reservations. Lord Tubbington doesn't do so well around other animals, and, I don't know… all the sad clowns are kinda creepy…"
And she's looking at you like you're something kinda awesome.
"I wasn't considering the circus," she assures you, and you ask her;
"What were you considering?"
And she considers.
Her gaze drifts about your face; it trips light across your features before she rests back on your eyes. She looks between them, back and forth. She settles.
"It's seems weird just thinking about a future," she tells you, and you smile easy.
"Well, the future is weird. Like, it's us, but it's then, but it's still us from now though, you know?"
"That's kinda deep, Britt."
"It's true though. If you could build a time machine, you could visit yourself; like, your future self, right now, because the future already exists and it's already happening. That's weird, right?"
She deepens her dimples. She nudges her nose against yours. "If I could build a time machine," she tells you, her lips brushing light against your lips, "I'd still stay right here."
And she kisses you. And her hand touches your stomach, and her fingers lead her down, and again she makes more time for you.
Time that stretches until your alarm sounds loud.
Time that's taken away by the first rays of sunlight that stream through your blinds to darken your day. Because… No. You want to pout it, you want to shout it.
And her lips downturn the same as yours do.
"I guess that means it's morning," you sigh, silencing your alarm.
"I guess," she answers, sighing the same
You have to guess because you weren't sleeping, and your night was a place that touched on forever, and…
"I don't want you to go," you tell her, and your heart hurts already.
And she hurts. You can see it in her eyes.
She looks at you brave though; she looks strong.
"I don't think it's time for forever yet, Britt," she says, and it's like you feel the opposite of strength. Yet you're by her side, and you're going to fight for her.
"I have some awesome theories on forever as well…" you say, because you do. They're kind of complicated though, and they're thoughts not really made for words, but still, "…Because if it's us in the future, San, and it's the same us now, that kind of means that forever is always, so…"
You trail off because of the way she watches you. Or the way she slowly closes her eyes and breathes in deep. And you ache, and;
"I have to go back," she says, and for this now you know that it's final. She makes the now less though, she offers you more; "It won't be like it was though, Britt."
"It can't be. I can't be."
She pulls herself up to sitting and she rolls her eyes. "God, that actually sounded more dramatic than Berry on a bad day. I mean it though; I'm done being everyone's whipping boy. I'm so sick of this shit."
You smile at the look on her face; the indignation and the low-simmering anger that twists her eyebrows down into a perturbed frown. You smile and you run your fingers lightly up her thigh. You shift your body closer to hers and you lift your head to place your lips to her skin, dropping the slightest of kisses to the curve of her hip. It changes her expression, it has her looking down at you from her place of sitting with more of a smile than a scowl marking her mouth, and you lean forward to kiss her again.
"Brittany," she whispers, and you wiggle your eyebrows, you touch your tongue to her skin and you tease a sensation, and you feel her breathe in and you feel her hold the breath. And,
She sighs a reply, or her reply is a sigh, and you giggle against her. Because it hurts and you hate that you have to let her go, but you don't have to let her go right now. You still have your morning to make before work, and you want to make your morning with her. It lifts your body to sitting beside her, it stops your teasing touches long enough for you to tease her with your words instead. And you do.
You tell her you need to take a shower. You pull yourself up from the bed.
And her eyes don't leave you.
She bites her lip.
You want her to follow you, and so you wait; you wait while her gaze travels your body from your very tip, all the way down to your toes… You let her take that leisurely stroll and you pose before her. You stretch out a long yawn that becomes a sigh, that carries your arms above your head and twists your back from side to side. And then,
Because your fingers blaze a trail back down across the skin of your stomach, and her gaze is like a laser and you take one step back.
She pulls herself up from the bed.
"Going somewhere?" you ask, your hand hovering dangerously close to putting on a show before you lead her to the shower. And she doesn't answer, because she's on you. Faster than your thoughts can comprehend she smashes you back into the wood of your door and she attacks your neck with her lips and her hands grab your hands and they're up above your head again, and Jesus-fucking-Christ, Britt, she growls - she growls - into your ear, and her one hand holds your two hands and her other hand rushes to rough at your breast with a pinch that primes you to arch up into her, and,
She can't get enough.
She tells you harsh as her lips leave your neck, she tells you she wants you again and again before she wraps her mouth tight around your nipple and sucks you hard into her mouth. And god… You can't even…
You throw your head back against the door and you lift your leg to wrap tight around her, and her fingers are on you and you're so wet still, you're so damn ready for her to just fuck you into an oblivion where no other world exists. Because it hurts…
And the pain of her leaving is nothing as she pounds her way inside you. Like she's pushing home the point of every way she's touched you, like she's forcing each flourish of her fingers to imprint inside you and mark you hers beyond the moment. And it's so desperate, and you're so desperate, and you cling to her. You dig your hands into her back, you tense the muscle in your leg that holds her to you, and you tell her words… You howl words, about harder and more and yes, and fuck, San… And you bite your lip, and your head hit's the door.
And more and more.
Like frustration. As if she's pouring everything inside of you inside of her touch and she's scared she won't be able to fill you, that you won't feel her or you won't believe when she's gone how much she was here. So she gives and she gives, and your legs buckle and you take it; you claw at her back with nails bit to the quick, and your teeth touch her shoulder and you bite down,
Hard. And harder she takes you.
And it hurts. Less than her leaving. It hurts like you want her inside you forever.
You say it. You break your lips from their bite, you bring them roughly to her ear, and you pant out exaltations to places far beyond infinity. Like nonsense words and sighs and moans that break her pattern and disturb her rhythm, and you say it…
Your voice guttural and grabbing at timid truths, because you love the way she's touching you and fucking you hers, and you say;
And she hitches inside you.
…The way… You say …you're fucking me…
And she pitches forward, her body pushing against her hand and her hand pushing against you, harder and more so and;
"Say it again…" she says, she commands in a tone as gutter-bound as your own, and you say it and you say it and she fucks hard inside you. Beyond all of her tentative touches and loving touches she fills you with her lust for you and her longing for you, and you take it all, and you want it all, and when you bite hard on her shoulder again and her fingers curl one last time to hit the spot that makes you scream, you give her your all and your everything after.
And you slump. And she slumps.
And you think it still hurts.
Within the warmth of the shower she tried to kiss you better. She soaped her touch across you like a loving caress, and she called you close with words like baby, spoken soft into your skin and pressed softer against your lips. And you told her you love all the ways that she touches you. And she touches you until the water runs cold and your skin sticks to her prune-like and wrinkled, like an image of your future self pressed together in the now.
She shares her towel around you when you step out to face the cold, and while you dress yourself in the bedroom with clothes for the day, she settles herself in the kitchen and calls new words like coffee, and Jesus, Britt, your god damned cat!
It pauses you in front of the mirror. It makes a smile where your sad face was sitting.
When you make your way to find her she's sat in what you now think of as her spot, and Lord Tubbington, your god damned cat, is sat in front of her on the breakfast bar, purring loudly while she pets at his fur. It gives you another pause and a higher smile. It gives you affirmations for everything you already know. You say hey. She grimaces in your direction.
You sit opposite her and you lift your pre-prepared coffee to your lips. You lower it down and you try really, really hard not to giggle at her cuteness. She just…
"He's making me do it."
"First he tripped me up while I was trying to get dressed, then he pounces on me as soon as I sit down…" she pauses for a moment and looks from you to Lord Tubbington; "How the heck does he even jump that high, Britt?"
She looks genuinely intrigued, and you quite genuinely answer her;
"He choreographed a lot of my dance routines when I was younger, San; he's a lot more agile than he looks."
"No shit, 'cause looks about as agile as a beached whale."
She doesn't stop stroking him though, and you don't stop smiling at her. It's like, you love those spaces between what she says and what she does and what that tells you about who she really is and…
You sigh. Kind of happy. Kind of sad. Kind of stuck in the spaces in between.
She lifts her eyes from scowling faces at your cat, and she softens her brow, "What you thinking about, BrittBritt?" she asks, and you tell her;
"Yeah, pretty much. I actually can't remember what I used to think about before I thought about you."
Lord Tubbington makes a sound of displeasure beneath a strangled meow, and you're not sure if it's because Santana's stopped stroking him, or because he knows what you used to think about before she started stroking you and it included a whole lot more of him.
It makes you lean across to pet his head.
"I think about you too, Britt," she says, and your nose scrunches with your smile.
You catch her eye across your cat, and you lose yourself to her look.
She really does have the most beautiful eyes you've ever seen; like, they're brown, and brown is just brown, but on her it's so much more. You can see the depth of every different shade and beneath the shade you see her. Maybe that's the beautiful part…
You sigh again because you need some space to place that feeling, and her hand comes down to yours. She strokes Lord Tubbington's fur with your fingers and then she lifts your hand away. She leans forward to kiss your fingers; you lean towards her and curl your toes.
"I already ordered a cab," she tells you quietly.
And the room goes black.
Or you close your eyes.
"Okay," you say. And you pause.
Because all morning you've been chasing away this moment. Beneath every second she touched you and took you and buried herself inside you, you've been running from the realisation of all that's not yet possible. And you open your eyes, and you look at her, and,
"I don't have a plan," she tells you, and all you can say is honey.
"I know what I need to do, but…" She stops and she doesn't look as if she has a single clue what she's supposed to do, or where she's supposed to start, or what she can call an end.
You squeeze your fingers tight around hers. You think and you think, and you bend your mind beyond possibilities and impossibilities and the words people use when they don't know the answers. "I guess," you eventually say, and she listens intently, "that we still need to break things down a bit. I'm working with Quinn all day today, so…"
You shrug tentative and await her reaction.
She drops her eyes from you, she brings them back;
"Are you worried?" she asks, and you can't help but smile. A small smile, just,
"No." You shake your head to confirm it, you lift your shoulders again in another small shrug; "Besides everything, we actually work kinda well together, and today is all about work. If she says something I'll just… I don't know, confuse her with my cunning wit and get Sam to point a camera in her face; she always smiles for the camera."
It lifts her lips and rolls her eyes, and you ask her what she's going to do about Quinn; what she wants to do about Quinn.
"No plan, remember?"
"Has she tried calling you?" you ask next, and she shakes her head.
"Honestly Britt, the things I said to her the other night, I doubt she'll try calling for a long while."
"Which is… good?"
She drops her eyes again and you wait for what she wants to say, or for what she doesn't want to say. "I don't know," is all she eventually manages, and you ask for a little more. You ask what she means and you wait for her to tell you.
"Just, it's still complicated. I know what she is, okay, and I'm not saying I want to be besties or something stupid like that, but… I've got you, and I get a chance of something better… Yet…"
You know she's asking what Quinn gets, and a large part of you wants to say exactly what she deserves.
That word, again.
With those big scales and those moral judgements, and those weights too heavy for you to measure against your conscience. You want to condemn Russell; you can't quite fathom Quinn. You can fathom enough to know that if she dares to hurt Santana again, if she dares to even think about a scenario where Santana is hurt and you hear her thoughts, then you will circumnavigate your conscience to kick her ass so hard she never forgets. But…
It's hard to have knowledge and not know what to do with it. It's hard to have your fury for her doused by secrets of something which you still can't imagine. It's like…
Santana has a point.
Because, in a way, your empathy leads you to find patterns in the fabric.
Like stolen pasts and stolen futures. And loss. And loss.
You're not on the losing team and neither is Santana, because your empty arms stretch backwards and not forwards, and the sober knowledge that Quinn stands that side of the line on her own, tempers a lot of your less kind thoughts. It tempers your jealousy, and it tempers your scowl.
You don't let it temper your good sense nor your caution.
"Are you going to call her?" you ask, and when she doesn't answer, you don't push her. You believe that she doesn't have a plan and you believe that she has a lot to think through, and you also believe that she'll make her decisions with you in mind; that she'll be as cautious as you are when dealing with Quinn.
When you change direction to ask her about her family, her face hardens. Her lips draw themselves into a straight line, and she takes a deep breath in as she squares her shoulders against the storm. She answers you in Spanish, yet you don't ask for elaboration; not only do you understand her simple words, she gives you meaning all on her own.
Said hard. Hurting harder.
And you want to touch her again. You want to trace that look from her face and bring her between your legs and lose her again in a place called love until you're sure that she'll feel it forever.
"My father's away pretty much full time between now and the election; that just leaves abuela and me to fight it out at home…" You see her bite her lip and you know the nonchalant bravado doesn't taste as true as she speaks it. "…It'll be fine Britt. At the end of the day, what can she really do?"
You think, nothing.
You don't know. Perhaps, physically not so much. But then, you're not sure that it's ever been about a physical bind when it comes to Santana and her ties to her grandmother. When she pulls her hand away from yours and looks to the clock on the cooker, you know exactly what she's thinking and you ask her, how long?
Like a death sentence, or a bad diagnosis, or words which don't want to be said.
She doesn't say them.
You don't ask again.
You just hurt.
More so when she's stood in front of you before the door to the outside, and she looks so small and she holds her suitcase in her hand, and;
You bite your lip. You don't want to be sad in this instant.
You don't want every moment that's happened, every touch and every kiss and every word wrung from wanting lips, to be lost inside of a moment where you cry for what you can't have instead of praising what you do have. Yet she looks so sad too.
And it hurts.
And you swallow.
She says Britt, so soft, so needing, and you close your eyes.
And she's on you. The suitcase is dropped from her hand and her hands are on your face and her lips are on your lips; and she kisses you. And she kisses you.
And you try not to think goodbye.
When you pick up Sam your smile is different, and by the time you arrive at the campaign offices to liaise with Quinn, you still haven't quite managed to make the words to tell him why. You feel like you've swallowed a whole world inside of yourself, and even though Sam has known you forever and seen you through all the good and all of the bad, you can't speak it to him. You can't simplify things which don't have the words to describe them.
It leaves only work to wonder him with, and you focus on that at every turn in the road and at every red stoplight. You talk about your day's plans, you discuss it in great detail until you're sure that he's sure of your every minute and every meeting.
First you're taking Quinn for another shot on MTV News, then you're whisking her down to the studio where your guest spot will be filmed for this week's slot on another show, then you have a promotional shoot at one of the many places that'll be a polling station on election day, and then, you hope, you'll be free from Quinn for the day and set to take part in a meeting with Holly, Sam and your opposing team to discuss the possibility of some rival group activity, and then.
And on. And on.
He doesn't stop you once and he listens to your every word, and when you pause at the door to the campaign office, he tugs you back and slings an arm across your shoulder;
"Mercedes asked me to drag you over for dinner tonight. We can sink a few beers, put paid to the longest day at work I think we've ever faced."
"Is it strong beer?" you ask, and he rolls his eyes. "Seriously Sam, I'm gonna need more than a Miller Lite to get me through this day."
"That bad, huh?"
"Probably." Because you miss Santana already, and before you now lies Quinn.
When he nudges your shoulder, you attempt the first of the day's faked smiles, and you carry it through the door when Sam reaches across you to pull it open. You say thanks; your eyes scan the room.
And you see her.
She's sat at the same desk as before and she's talking into the same phone, and you even imagine that she's saying exactly the same words as you listened to her repeat over and over the last time you were here. You see her differently though. You make fresh calculations as you look her over, and you come up with a whole new set of answers. Or questions.
And Quinn, you say, when she hangs up the phone, and she looks at you, and she looks. You take a step towards her, you fashion your tone into that zone called neutral and you make the words roll from your tongue as you ask how she is, how her flight was on Sunday, if she's ready for your really long day today. It's like a monologue without meaning, and she answers you the same. Her smile looks wan, almost wary, and when she drops her head into her arms on the desk in front of her, you think she looks worse than she looked all the times you've seen her hungover and fragile.
You don't ask. You give her a moment.
The phone ringing at her side seems to startle her enough for her to lift her head, but she ignores the call. She pats her hands to her hair to fuss at her short ponytail and then she stands up before you. "How many weeks now until we're done with this?" she asks, but you know that she knows just how lengthy your schedule is.
You still answer; or Sam answers. He tells you both five weeks, and while you keep your sigh on the inside, Quinn actually groans out loud; "I swear this better all be worth it in the long run," she says, and you agree with her sentiments entirely.
Or almost entirely. Because you know what you're getting out of it… You fight the smile that tells you with tingles what you've already gotten out of it, and you consider.
You tilt your head to the sound of her words, and you ask; "Beating Rachel, right?"
"Of course, Brittany, what else is there?"
She smiles another of her practised smiles, yet something touches her eyes, something which you look to see, and you tilt your head the other way. Because it's still all so high school, and you know now how much deeper this goes than high school. You know the marks you've made against names on your own card, and you wonder again at the marks on hers.
Which of her scars cut the deepest and who wielded the knife.
And she looks at you. And you look at her.
"Shall we?" she says, raising her eyebrow, and you lead her towards the door.
Everything about the day has so far turned out fine. You suspect that's because you've all been far too busy to take time out and actually converse beyond the work environment, but as far as you're concerned, you really are fine with that. You've observed Quinn; you've been taking even more notes than normal when it comes to studying her actions and reactions to what scant words you do say, but mostly you're keeping your distance. Not just in the physical sense, but emotionally too.
You know yourself. You know how you soften when you see someone's hardship, and you've seen Quinn's… Yet you don't want to soften, because you only have to think for half a second how much you miss Santana already, and you're immediately reminded why you're keeping your distance from those who would seek to slide distance between you.
During your filming for MTV News, you'd been forced to stand as close as you could manage, and just as before you'd faked your way through an exemplary performance of friendship; you'd talked up your slot on last week's FashionistarZ, you insisted that Quinn is all sorts of ace when it comes to letting loose and kicking up a spring-break style plethora of fun, and when questioned further, you'd raised your eyebrows, slid home a wink, and said you were certain that the conservative girls were the ones to watch, because it's always the quiet ones that take you by surprise.
At your side, Quinn had flirted and skirted around everything asked of her. She'd giggled quite shamelessly when you suggested spring break, and when you'd winked into the camera, her hand had fallen on your arm and her fingers squeezed lightly. "I owe it all to Brittany," she'd insisted, widening her eyes and seducing America, "she's been showing me the liberal side of life, and, well…"
She'd trailed off on the perfect innuendo and the interviewer had laughed along gaily, and you'd cocked your eyebrow as if leading conservative girls astray was your order of business, and a wrap had been called and you'd stiffened beside her. Or she'd stiffened beside you.
It was a stiffness which had delivered you to your next appointment, literally one floor up on another level, where tomorrow morning you'd be sitting with Quinn and choosing your top ten awesome tunes for the current election season. It's not anything near as exciting as you managed to hijack last week, but it's still exposure and it's still all going to count towards having you finishing first. Normally they have pretty big stars in to spin their top tens, so you're actually pretty lucky that you managed to book this slot at such short notice and with only Quinn to offer them.
And you had offered her to them. You'd introduced her to the floor manager and the lead camera man, you'd visited wardrobe and chosen what outfit Quinn wished to wear, and you'd sat through a quick session with hair and make-up as you talked about song choices with the producer and got everything lined up and in place for the morning.
Everything is going fine and you don't have far to go.
You're on your way in the van to your final destination with Quinn for the day, and once you're finished there you can drop her back at the campaign office, before you head back to Colorado Avenue and your final date with Holly and the others. Sam is driving; he insisted you relinquish the wheel back to him, and you're sat in the middle with Quinn to your side.
The radio is on and no one is speaking and no one is singing, and you can't help but compare the oppressive atmosphere of the here and now to the one you created just a couple of days ago with Santana and Sam in attendance instead. It makes you sigh.
It makes you wish you could just whip out your phone now and call Santana, and just say hi.
You've text, of course you've text, but your spare minutes have been few and far between and you haven't had time to hear her voice since she left you this morning. And you miss her.
You miss knowing that today you won't be going home to her.
You sigh again.
And Quinn speaks at your side.
"I know what I have to hate about today, yet I'm not half as close to morose as you are. Is there something wrong?"
Her tone isn't light and airy, it's low and lacklustre and you ask before you think;
"Why are you hating on today?"
She leans back against the window and she turns her head the required distance to appraise you with her eyes. She lifts her brow before she turns away from you and you assume you're not getting an answer. She does speak though; more to the outside scenery than to you inside the van, and you turn to her to listen;
"My mother is giving a presentation to Families United tonight; my father's away and therefore I'm the designated family. My company's somewhat demanded, no matter my own plans."
"Oh," you say, and you shrug your shoulder. You try and keep it to that, you try your hardest to back away from the personal and just leave it be, yet; "What's Families United?" you ask.
"Exactly what it says it is. The conservative backbone of America rising up to protect our greatest institution," she looks at you and you dip your brow.
"Disney World?" you ask half serious, and she dips hers in return.
"No Brittany, nothing as important as that. We're protecting marriage; something about the last line of defence against sinners and…"
She doesn't answer and Sam takes the moment to speak up from your other side; "I'd personally much rather they worried about Disney World; I'm sure when two people love each other, the marriages can take care of themselves."
You look to him and back to Quinn. You watch her shrug her shoulder before she speaks;
"And there's the beauty of democracy. I'm fairly certain we won't be waking up the day after election night to any great gains for a conservative California."
Her lips lift a little at the corners and again she shrugs her shoulder.
"You don't think your dad's going to win?"
It Sam who keeps on speaking; you just keep on listening.
You study her eyes and her mouth and the twitch of her nose. You watch as she considers the question for a whole lot longer than you think is necessary; "That would be incredibly disloyal of me to admit," she says, bypassing you to rest her eyes on Sam, "I'm not stupid though; I'm a political science major at Yale and I'm top in each of my classes. When the writing's on the wall, it's the fool who ignores it."
"And the writing says he's losing?"
"The writing says he doesn't stand a chance against Berry."
She doesn't look particularly upset by the notion, and you wonder if it really is because she's more concerned about besting a Berry of her own. You almost ask; you're actually just running your tongue across your lips to find the moisture to make words, when once again Sam slides in first; "Why bother then?"
And you look at him, and you look at Quinn and you don't understand the question. It seems neither did Quinn because she asks him to elaborate, and when you pull up at the next set of lights, he turns again and asks; "The United Families stuff, and all this, like, rocking the vote and all; it doesn't take a genius to see you don't dig it so much. Why bother if it's all for nothing?"
He's smiling his most genuine Sam shaped smile and you can't help but grin up at him in return before turning your attention back to your right. Quinn has paused, quite literally, her lip between her teeth and her eyes glazing over for just a second before she answers; "I never do something for nothing, Sam."
And she shrugs, and her façade flicks on her brightest smile, and you think again of high school. You imagine the poses she pulled in front of her locker and the way she had students clamouring beneath her with a flick of her wrist and just a hint of that smile.
It reminds you of caution.
It makes you happier than anything when Sam pulls into the parking lot of the library you're overtaking with your makeshift Rock the Vote booth, and the conversation comes to an end. It's nothing too hectic; you're going to be signing some autographs and promoting the voting, while an Entertainment Weekly crew take pictures for their special feature in this week's magazine. You receive the minimal attention to your hair and makeup, it really is quite a casual shoot, and you and Quinn both don the special t-shirts they've had made up in your honour.
They say Team Fabray and you feel quite sick wearing it.
You still fake out a smile just as wide as Quinn's as your picture is taken over and over. And you smile entirely genuinely when the woman photographer takes you aside afterwards and asks if there's a chance she can get your number. And she's cute, and she makes you blush just a little, and you dip your head before you answer; not shy, but, kinda coy like, kinda…
"That's real nice…" you say, and you really mean it. She's pretty, and she was really good at her job, and she seems a whole lot less air headed than your usual admirers, yet still; "…But someone else already has my number and I don't think they'd like it too much if I shared it with you, so,"
She smiles and she rolls her eyes and she tells you that you can't blame a girl for trying;
"I should've known I wouldn't stand a chance with Brittany S Pierce."
She turns and she walks away and for just a moment you primp.
You're sure that if Sam was by your side he'd dust off your shoulder and make some joke about pimping, but he isn't and he doesn't, so you smile to yourself. You smile not just because of the attention, but for the reason you turned it down.
And Santana, you think.
And you think. And you smile.
Because for a moment it's not about missing her, it's all about having her.
Like memories cascading and invading your brain, and you think, and you think…
And she's really not all that different when you look at her now. You can see the calculating Quinn in her eyes, yet you don't stop smiling, not straight away. Not when your mind was just so momentarily taken by all the ways you've been taken over the last two days.
So you smile. Then you bite your lip.
"What's up, Quinn?" you ask, and it's not at all exhausted.
"Oh, nothing's up, not at all." She puts her hand on your arm, and leads you over to some chairs and tables amongst the books and shelves. When she sits, you sit, and you rest your gaze on her with your eyebrow raised, waiting for her words.
"We just haven't had a chance to talk today; just us, and…"
You don't say anything. You don't change the blank expression you know your face is sporting. You let her words hang and you make her work for them.
She tilts her head just a fraction to the side and she leans in towards you, "…I was thinking," she carries on, "about what happened in Fairfield, and I believe maybe I owe you an apology."
Again, you just look.
You dip your eyebrow downwards… A touch of confusion.
"At the bar, Brittany? The things I said about you to Santana."
You see. And you keep your face blank. Maybe hinting towards enquiry when you tilt your head the same way as hers. "I kind of don't know what you're talking about."
"Come on, you honestly expect me to believe that you weren't watching for longer than you let on?"
You shake your head. Slowly, side to side, as if maybe you think she's a little crazy.
She tilts her head the other way. Her eyes narrow.
"Look, I trust you Brittany; I've practically opened up my life to you here… I only expect you to trust me in return. How much did you really see?"
The question is direct and you take just a second to craft an answer. You shrug your shoulders and tight line your smile; "Honestly Quinn, I walked out and you and Santana were… I don't know, whatever you were doing, and then my phone rang."
You shrug again, just your left shoulder, like an after thought, and she leans back in her chair. You don't know if she believes you, you're not sure if that's relief in her eyes, or if she's just thinking through ways to change up her tactics. You don't wait for her. You smile, your really easy and wide Brittany Pierce smile, and you ask;
"What did you say about me, then? To Santana?"
"You wanted to apologise; I just figured…" You trail away the words and she shifts a little in her seat. She looks down, she looks up, she looks off to the side. She looks just a little uncomfortable.
"It was nothing, Brittany, really, I can assure you of that."
You smile. You nod.
"Cool. I accept your apology then."
You hold your fist out for her to bump, for no other reason than you are kind of messing with her a little here. You don't even necessarily mean to be toying, you just… It's easy to forget all of your earlier softening when she's being her same bad self right in front of you. And you've seen how that bad self works; you feel a little like you have her number, and you didn't even have to ask for it.
So you hold your fist out, just the same as you would to Sam.
And she looks at you.
"Like a high-five," you say, "but better."
She brings up her hand and you knock your knuckles against it. And again she looks at you, and she smiles. And you grin. And you take it all in. You're just about to say something else when Sam splits your periphery and slots into the space between yours and Quinn's chair;
"Whoa, we're initiating Quinn into our secret fist-bump club, why the honour?"
He asks and he laughs, and you poke him in the side.
Quinn also laughs, like a tinkle of a trace of a giggle, and she shakes her head as if to dismiss the moment; "Can you believe, in all my twenty-one years, I've never bumped a fist before?"
"No way?" says Sam.
"I'm being completely serious; Brittany's my first."
And Sam lifts his hand and fashions a fist and he bumps it against hers too;
"There, now you're official."
And you say awesome. And Quinn says wonderful.
And all of the wheels are still turning.
When you drop Quinn back to the campaign office, you leave her with a smile. She thanks you and Sam both for another good day, and before she leaves, she leans across and makes a big deal about bumping fists again. And you go with it.
You're as happy as you can be after a day spent with Quinn; you've been through the confusing array of emotions befitting a situation where on the one hand you feel for her and all of her ordeals, yet, on the other hand… It's still Quinn, and you don't trust her, not for one moment. You feel like you have the upper hand though, and that's enough to let you play it all away as fun and frolics and a great day at work.
A great day that continues onwards.
A day that breaks for Santana.
Because you figure you have three minutes spare between using the bathroom and making your way up to Holly's office to convene with Mike and Tina and Sam, and to make more plans for merry mayhem. And sure, three minutes may not seem like a lot, but you know the things that Santana is capable of doing with three minutes and you know she'll make the most of them.
And so you call, and you smile, and when she answers you light up like Christmas.
Just the way she says your name… It's a memory, and a moment, and;
"San…" you say, "…I miss you so much."
Not sad, but insistent, and you hear her laughter down the line.
"Already Britt? But it's only been like, 8 hours and 32 minutes and… 46 seconds. That's nothing, right?"
Yet her words tell you everything, and you wrap wistful around your sigh. You ask her what she's doing, you tell her you only have a minute, or two, and her sigh is more soulful;
"I'm not doing anything; I've just been thinking."
"A little, maybe. You're still the upside though, Britt, and that's still a whole lot better than my downside."
You bite your lip and you breathe in the sentiment, and you aim to smile her through your last lingering minute; "I'm the upside to your downside?" you ask, and she tells you yeah. And you say wow, you linger a moment longer before you tell her more;
"If that's not an invite to be the top to your bottom, then I really don't know what is…"
And you find her silence, and then she laughs. She really laughs.
"God, Britt, I was being serious."
"Oh, so was I Santana."
Because you were. Because you've spent so much time on your back beneath her - the best time of your life, without a shadow of any doubt - but still… Aside from the moment when she led you back inside her and you made time together, all of the minutes that stretched out after were minutes she spent taking you. A lot.
And a lot.
And you bite your lip again.
"I kind of want to be the top to your bottom," you say, and it strays close to a whisper and it plays close to a tease. "I think you'd really like it San."
And you have to do more than bite your lip at the sound she produces to answer your words. It's like a whine, but a moan, and a deep groan of wanting. And you want her so much.
Yet your time is up.
Like a tease that can't be answered. Not right now, anyhow.
You fashion something like a moan of your own when you tell her you have to get going, and when she tells you she at least has some new material to think about now, you smile at all you've achieved in your three minute time frame. Goodbye is hard, and it takes three minutes more, yet you've added the pep back to your step and you march with a smile into Holly's office. You greet your colleagues and friends and you take a seat, and your lips lift higher as you all begin to converse.
It's fun because for once you're winning and it's you who gets to be all yay in front of Tina and Mike. Not that you boss it about too much, you're not an ass, but you do give them a hearty thumbs up when Holly relays the latest figures from the online polls, and you fist bump them both when they offer their lacklustre congratulations.
"Friendly rivalry; now that's what I like to see!" Holly insists from her place across the desk, and you give her a thumbs up too. "Enough of the nicely, nicely though; the network's insisting it wants an injection of spice… Ideas people, what do we got?"
You all look at each other, eyes rolling, used to the way Holly shines her spotlight down searching out immediate results. Sam is first to speak, and you smile smug in Team Chang's direction; "Spice? How about a curry eating contest? We can see which candidate can really take the heat."
He hoists his palm for a high five, and you oblige him. "Genius," you insist as you make the slap, and he nods along to your wisdom.
Sadly Holly isn't sharing your glee.
"Hmm, not risqué enough guys… I'm thinking, wrestling ring, oil, bikinis…"
"I like your thinking," you say, because you really do, yet, "I don't think Quinn will be down for that though; her dad definitely won't approve it."
You shrug and Holly looks disappointed, but Mike enters in to pick up the slack with a useless idea of his own. You all sit there for ages bandying about suggestions, each one getting more and more ridiculous, until Holly bangs her hand down on the desk and calls you all back to order;
"Okay, guys, your enthusiasm is admirable, but nothing is getting done here. Let's say you go home and get them pointy little thinking caps on, and we meet back here in the morning? Does 8am suit everyone?"
Everyone groans, yet everyone agrees, and before you leave you make plans with Mike for dancing on Thursday, and you assure him that you'll be there this weekend to help more with the choreography for his uncle's Christmas concert. You hug Tina and agree that you all need to get together for dinner soon, and then your day is almost done.
You take a moment. Not a long one, just a breath between breaks while you wait for Sam to get his stuff together and you can head on home. A part of you regrets agreeing so easily to dinner tonight, because you are just beat and you would kinda like to go home and sink into the bath and hang with Lord T and speak more to Santana. You want to ask her about her day for real, you want to know what happened with her family and if she's okay. You did agree though, and Sam smiles so large when he greets you by the van, that you don't have the heart to break off your plans.
And it's nice being between him and Mercedes. It's like every comfort of home mixed in with every comfort of your best friends mixed in with love and laughter and everything nice. Even when Mercedes trains her eyes on you post eating, and you know exactly what's coming, you don't lose the warm glow that lights you from inside. You sit back in your chair, you bite your lip in preparation, and you raise your eyebrow.
"Don't give me that look," she says, "Sam's already filled me in on big details, I just want the little one; fess up, girl, what's going on?"
You blush a little, because you feel roughly close to junior high again, caught beneath both of their gazes; but they are gazes you trust and you do want to let some of the feeling out, and;
"She's so awesome Mercedes, like, she's the most awesome girl I've ever met."
Your cheeks ache from how much you're smiling and she smiles straight back at you. Sam also smiles and he also speaks; "She is pretty awesome from what I've seen so far; she sure knows how to make our Britt smile, anyway, and that goes a whole long way towards marking me impressed."
For a moment they speak as if you're not there and now you feel as if you're sat in front of your parents on the couch and they're deciding upon your future; if the girl's good enough for you to date, if they give their seal of approval. It makes you laugh. It makes you throw a cushion at both of their heads as they carry on without you.
"Excuse me," you say, holding your beer aloft and demanding attention, "as the one who gets to see all of Santana's awesome, don't you think I should be included in this discussion?"
Mercedes hushes you, and Sam throws the cushion back.
"If you've really seen all her awesome," Mercedes says, wagging a finger your way, "then I'm offended you haven't brought her by for dinner yet; since when do you get serious without asking advice?"
"When do I ever get serious?"
"Exactly! I'm offended."
Again you laugh and again you launch a missile in her direction. It does lead you down the way of serious conversation though. You do tell them a little more of the situation; you explain Santana's family, you tell them how when her mom died she got so super sad she forgot who she was for a really long while. When Mercedes asks if you're reminding her, you stop and you think and you smile for a while.
You wonder if that's what you're doing.
You wonder a moment at her. All of her.
And she's yours.
And… "Maybe? I just…"
You shrug your shoulders. She presses one of her hands to her heart and uses the other one to grab at Sam's hand and clasp them both together. "Can you believe it?" she asks, dramatising the obvious, "our little Britt has only gone and fallen in love."
And you flush, and you blush, and you shrug your shoulders.
You catch a cab back to yours, not too late and not too tipsy, and you sink into a bath and you spend time fussing on your cat, and you wait. You text Santana a few times while you were at Sam's and the last one you received back stated that she would call you just as soon as she was free.
You don't mind the wait; you have so many things fizzing through your mind that a moment to meander through them isn't a bad moment at all. You think through work things and you think briefly about Quinn, yet there's nothing in any of that which can distract your thoughts for too long from laying where they wish, and they wish to lay next to Santana.
Like, your bed is half empty now without her in it, and the space seems too big and your place feels too small. It makes you wrap your arms a little tighter around yourself as you snuggle inside of her favourite sweater and you bury your face in her pillow to search out her scent.
You sigh. You finger the distance that wasn't there last night. And you miss her.
It's not even a sense of missing you can explain… You can't quite understand how strong it seems to hit you. Like, sure, before, you've missed things, and you've missed people… But, just… you miss her. Like you have no doubt that every single thing in your world would be perfect if only you could see her and hold her and touch her right now. Yet your phone rings and your fantasy fades and you sigh a hello instead of smiling it.
And you say you miss her and it is now dejected. Because it's night time and it's bedtime, and you really, really just want to go to bed with her.
She says Brittany and she sounds sad too.
Even as she tells you about her day, even as she insists it really wasn't that bad and she really isn't that fazed by what's ahead if it all stays as quiet as today has been, she still sounds sad.
She sighs and you sigh.
You ask her about her tomorrow.
"Much of the same, I imagine. What about you, Britt?"
"Less of the same. I have an early meet with Holly, I'm shooting with Quinn, then I hopefully have time for a get together with my Fondue crew in the afternoon. It's actually a pretty light day compared to this one."
"It was long, huh?"
She pauses and you know what she wants to ask. You'd want to ask the same in her position, and so you tell her without making her puzzle out her query.
"Quinn was okay," you say, and you hear her deep breath, "like, she tried to pin me down about what I saw in the alleyway, but she didn't really say much else. She seemed kinda…"
"I don't know. It was odd; she's kinda odd."
You wait a moment and then you ask if she's heard from her, or if she's thought anymore about what to do. "…Whatever you decide," you say, "I've totally got your back."
And she says right.
She tells you that maybe she'll call Quinn tomorrow; "…I'll just feel better," she says, "if I can keep an eye on what she's planning."
It makes you think hard for a minute, it makes you remember another part of your day.
"Do you ever wonder…" you begin slowly, your mouth trying to piece together what your mind is insisting, "…If like, there's not some great big master plan?"
"With Quinn; I don't know, I just… Sometimes I wonder if it really is all about Rachel."
"Oh, it's all about Rachel, believe me, I lived through every act. It's an obsession, not at all healthy… especially when you consider it's all over Finn."
And you wonder;
If maybe Santana isn't too close to the middle to catch a glance from the outside. Because her thread is all twisted up in the story and she can't yank one way without yanking herself the other; yet you. Maybe you can see the threads a little clearer; maybe you can yank and see what unravels.
You hmmm your agreement at all of her insistence, and you leave all the talk of work far behind. You tell Santana that as much as you love your job, you love other stuff a whole lot more, and you want to talk now about other stuff.
"Other stuff, huh? Is that a euphemism for something wanky?"
"That all depends on what a euphemism is; if it's a reference to how hard you fucked me this morning, then I guess it's kind of wanky."
It rolls off your tongue as easy as you rolled off of hers, and you don't miss the intake of breath from her end. You don't miss the opportunity to make her breathe harder;
"I can still feel all the places you touched me," you tell her quiet, "like I'm actually still throbbing… I think I'm still really wet…"
"You want me to check?"
You imagine the expression on her face and you know you're still wet, and the throb that you feel hasn't eased once all day. It's a frustration that won't be cured from talking it through, and when she whispers a harshly breathed Britt, you sigh into the empty spaces of your bedroom.
You say nothing and neither does she.
You just ache.
And she speaks it before you do;
"This isn't going to work."
"It isn't," you agree.
You roll onto your back and you look up at the ceiling, and if you believed it was that simple, you'd pray for a solution. As it is, you think, in circles and triangles and all other shapes that lead you back to the same spot.
"Ask me again," she says, and you're so far inside of your mind-mapped geometry that you forget what you asked her in the first place. You say huh?
"Ask me what I'm doing tomorrow."
"Oh… okay, crazy girl; what are you doing tomorrow?"
You smile around crazy girl because you just love her crazy.
And you smile because you know. Because you know where her thoughts lead, and when she speaks she confirms it.
"Well, Brittany S Pierce, hotshot TV superstar, if you're free tomorrow evening, I thought, I don't know… Maybe I can bust out of this asylum and we could make some awesome friend time together?"
"You're getting really good at this making time, Santana."
"Maybe I've found something worth making time for."
"They must be someone kind of cool, if you're going to all this effort."
"They're very deserving."
"Yeah? That's awesome, I'm really happy for you, San."
She laughs and she sounds really happy too. Beyond the ache and beyond even the other stuff, she just sounds really happy. "Thanks Britt, it means a lot to know I've got you behind me."
"I'm sure we agreed on top."
"You agreed; I didn't agree to anything."
"Once I'm on top, you'll agree to everything."
"How do you know you're gonna make it there, Britt?"
And you laugh, really happy, and you tell her how it is;
"Assignment Eleven, Santana; how to be a gracious bottom… I think you're ready to get to grips with it."
Because you do, you think, and she doesn't disagree.
And you tease her more, and you ease each other, and you count really hard on that time called tomorrow.