Authors Note: This is a future AU fiction that contains discussion about and acts of domestic discipline and adult consensual spanking. Rated Mature.

Chapter 8 A Love Like Ours Comes Once In a Lifetime

Santana slowly woke up and looked around in confusion. Her head was pounding and her mouth was dry and she couldn't remember how she got home.

When her eyes actually focused she noticed some aspirin and a bottle of water on the nightstand, she also noticed she was back in the spare room. That was not a good sign; it meant Britt was in disciplinarian mode.

Sitting up she cracked open the water and swallowed some aspirin hoping she would feel human again soon. The Latina was filled with dread at the thought of facing Brittany. She had really fucked up badly in the last few days and desperately needed to make amends but even more desperately needed absolution.

Her guilt was eating her alive and it was not just the fifth of Patrón Añejo she had consumed that was making her nauseous. She was torn as to whether to shower first or go talk to her wife first. It was an uncomfortable feeling not knowing instinctively what to do. With Brittany it seemed she always knew what to do but not so this morning or was it afternoon?

Making her way shakily to her feet she decided to talk to Brittany first so she headed out to the living room. Brittany sat on the couch with a mug in her hand staring blankly out the picture window. Santana could see her strong profile and once again her wife's beauty and grace took her breath away.

"Hey." Santana said quietly as not to startle her wife.

Brittany turned her head slowly and looked at her disheveled Latina who looked like a lost little girl in her tee shirt and pajama pants with her hair tossed every which way and her heart melted just a little as she fell more in love with Santana if that was even possible, "Hey yourself." She cocked her head to the side and smiled sweetly, "How are you feeling?"

"Ok, not great." She amended when she saw Brittany frown just a little at her quick white lie. They both knew she was not ok after the alcohol she had consumed and the emotional breakdown she had at Rachel and Quinn's home.

Brittany just nodded and got up from the couch and headed into the kitchen, "Why don't you go grab a nice hot shower and when you're finished I'll make you a cup of coffee and some toast. Did you take the aspirin I left?"

"I did, thanks for that by the way." Santana hated the stilted way they were talking to each other, it was too polite and too formal for the lifelong lovers and it made her uncomfortable but she let Britt take the lead.

"Go take your shower, then come back out and when you're ready we can talk."

Santana headed off to shower knowing the hot pounding water would make the aspirin work faster and would help her get her head together, something she really needed before this upcoming conversation.

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Brittany heard the hair dryer shut off and got up to turn on the coffee pot and throw some toast in the toaster. She let her fingers brush the side of the ancient toaster that Santana had gifted her with so many years ago when they were mere children really and felt heaviness in her chest.

She dreaded this conversation and what it could potentially mean to their relationship but she needed to know where they stood with each other and in this marriage.

The lithe blonde sat back down at the table and waited for her soul mate to come out and join her. She put her head in her hands and roughly ran her fingers through her long hair in an unconscious nervous gesture.

She knew she was not a rocket scientist about anything except two things; dancing and Santana Maria Lopez. Yet this time, the Latina's behavior had mystified her. San had always accepted her dominance in the disciplinary role and had never run from a punishment. When she had found Santana gone this morning she was furious at first but now she was confused and afraid of what it meant in the long run.

If Santana had lost confidence in her as a loving disciplinarian then Brittany had lost control of the situation and an out of control Santana Lopez was dangerous to herself and others. Brittany had lived through that pain of watching the dark haired beauty veer headlong out of control in high school; it was how this whole domestic discipline arrangement had started.

If she had lost Santana's trust and confidence she was afraid she would eventually lose her wife. The dancer didn't think she could bear that. What was her life without Santana Lopez? It was an endless dark abyss of empty days and forever nights.

They had to find a way to fix things for both their sakes.

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Santana came into the kitchen and gratefully accepted a cup of coffee. She physically felt much more normal than she did an hour earlier. The Latina pushed the toast away with a grimace, "I'm sorry Britt, I just don't think I can eat anything just now."

"You can't take aspirin and drink coffee on an empty stomach, at least take a few bites." Brittany said sternly.

Britt took it as a good sign when her wife obediently picked up the toast and nibbled a few bites off the end. She let it go when San finally pushed the plate away after finishing half a piece of the toast.

She looked at Brittany in despair and said sadly, "Please, Britt can we just talk now?"

Brittany sighed and took the seat next to her wife. "I need to know why you left last night Santana, the early bedtime was a punishment and you basically ran away, I know that you have trouble submitting and I understand that but to completely defy me? You've never done that before, ever and I need to know if you have lost your trust in me and this arrangement, in our marriage?" She finished sadly.

Santana's dark eyes looked up abruptly clearly confused as she looked into the crystal blue eyes of the woman she adored, "Is that what you think?"

"I don't know what to think Santana but whatever the truth is or how difficult it might be to hear I NEED to hear it from you."

Santana stood up and violently pushed the chair against the table and started pacing around the kitchen muttering in Spanish.

Brittany sat still and gave her wife the space she needed to work out what she was feeling.

After a minute of two Santana stopped and looked at her wife with unshed tears glistening in her eyes, "You didn't punish me Britt, you seemed like you couldn't. You stopped. It's always been that punishment was about absolution, about redemption and when you didn't or couldn't punish me I thought…" she stopped talking, her chest heaving with emotion.

"You thought what, babe?" Brittany encouraged gently.

"I thought what I did, what I said, was unforgivable." She finished in a pained whisper, "That you felt I wasn't worth punishing anymore, so I panicked and I ran away."

Brittany immediately stood up and cupped the Latina's tanned cheek with the palm of her hand and let the pad of her thumb gently rub Santana's face in a comforting gesture, "Oh baby, you are the world to me and worth so much more than you will probably ever know."

Brittany took Santana's hands in both of her own warm hands and squeezed gently, "Look at me baby, let me try to explain."

Santana looked up with such trust that Brittany felt like she had been stabbed in the heart, "I was wrong to have stopped the punishment like that and send you to bed alone without an explanation. I was hurt and confused myself and feeling emotional and needed time to think but I should have told you that instead of sending you away from me."

"Being the disciplinarian, the top, whatever you want to call it is almost as hard as submitting to the discipline."

Santana quirked an eyebrow skeptically as Britt smiled gently, "I said ALMOST as hard smart aleck, understand?" Santana smiled back and nodded.

"I can't spank you for something if I am not sure exactly what the punishment is for or why the behavior happened in the first place and I know you have not been honest with me at all about what happened the other morning, or what has been going on with you lately at all. I am starting to wonder if you have even been honest with yourself about it."

Brittany saw the guilt and shame in Santana's eyes and knew she was on the right track. Turning away she grabbed the notepad and the pen from the counter near the phone and set it gently in front of her wife.

"Write it out San, all of it, everything that happened, what you did, why you did it, what you said, how you felt, everything you think needs to be corrected and we will go from there. You need to be completely honest with yourself and with me, no matter how painful it is. I am going to work on a piece for the show in the studio. Come get me when you are finished." Britt started down the hallway to the stairs that led to the dance studio they had installed, "Oh San, be thorough, I know more than you think I do." She finished cryptically.

Santana thought back to everything that had happened lately and started writing with tears streaming down her face.

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Brittany had lost herself in the choreography and music she was working on and was a little startled to see Santana leaning in the doorway watching her work, "how long have you been there?" She asked a little self-consciously.

"Just a moment or two, I can't get enough of watching you dance. Oh, here, I think I'm finished." She held up the notepad and waved it.

Brittany grabbed a towel and wiped her face and pulled her hair out of her ponytail, "Alright then, let's talk about this."

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Brittany listened patiently to Santana as she talked about her list. It was clear to Brittany though that Santana was still hedging around the issue of her crystal candle holder and using the word stupid. She decided just to address it directly, "Santana, clearly you put a lot of thought into this list and I am proud of you but we need to address the real reasons you broke my crystal candleholder and why you said my idea was stupid when you know how that word affects me?"

Santana closed her eyes and just nodded her head almost like she was having her own private conversation in her head, "I wanted to hurt you like you hurt me." She said quietly.

It was what Brittany had thought was the reason all along but they needed to have it out in the open and deal with it or it could never heal.

"We have spent our whole lives sharing everything with Q and more than half our lives sharing everything with Q and her Hobbit but this part of our life was private, it was something only you and I shared. You never even asked me how I felt about talking about it with Q, or talked about it with me, or considered my feelings at all. You demanded it of me and it felt like you used that position of authority I let you have over me in a bad way, not like abusive or anything but not in a loving way either."

Santana stopped talking and swallowed hard, "It was humiliating to talk to Q about all this and I didn't get time to prepare or think it out and she laughed at me, at us, at our relationship."

Brittany just nodded solemnly, "go on babe, and tell me the rest."

"I felt like you didn't trust me to love Q and Rachel enough to do the right thing, to love you enough to do what you wanted me to do, you demanded it of me with a hint of punishment if I didn't do what you wanted and it was unfair of you and it hurt me. Damnit Brittany this was important, we should have discussed it as a couple and made a decision together, it was not yours to make alone. It wasn't like we were discussing what to have for dinner. " Her chocolate brown eyes flashed with pain and humiliation, "It hurt me so much to feel like you didn't trust me and I saw the crystal and I knew breaking it would hurt you and I regretted it the minute I threw it, I have never wanted to hurt you ever, not once."

"But then I never gave you a reason to want to hurt me before but this time I did, didn't I?" Brittany said sadly, "And saying my idea was stupid? What about that?"

Santana laid her head on her arms on the table and started to sob uncontrollably, "Please forgive me, please, it was so awful and I didn't mean it at all I was just so fucking hurt and angry, it's the worst part of my personality and I swore I would never ever use it against you and I broke my word, I said it at our wedding in my vows, I broke my vows. I broke us." The broken Latina couldn't even look at her wife so deep was her pain and regret.

"No baby, you broke a thing and yes it was a thing I loved but things can be replaced. You and me, we cannot be replaced, what we have, can never be replaced." Brittany reached over and rubbed Santana's back gently, "Hey look at me sweetie, you didn't say I was stupid, you said my idea was stupid. It hurt my feelings but you didn't break us. I mean it baby, we aren't broken. I mean I've thought some of your ideas were stupid." Britt said mischievously.

Santana's sobs broke off into sniffles and heaves as she looked at Brittany in surprise, "You have? Like which ones?"

"Like thinking you could beat Lauren Zises in a fist fight, that was pretty stupid, or thinking Coach wouldn't notice you got a boob job, or thinking you and Puck could buy a bar together and become millionaires or…"

"Ok, ok, fine I get that some of my ideas have not been altogether brilliant, we don't need to list each one." The Latina said huffily. Brittany giggled sweetly at her feisty Latina.

Growing serious again Brittany leaned close to Santana and wiped her tears away, "The difference is I have not used the word stupid with you because I knew it would hurt you. You did it out of anger to hurt me and your anger is the problem here and I have let it get out of control again. It's not just me you have lashed out at lately is it?"

Santana looked down and shook her head sadly, "No, everything has been so stressful lately. It feels like this Broadway show has totally consumed our lives and Rachel's behavior has consumed our lives and I just feel…" she stopped feeling ashamed of herself again.

"You feel neglected." Brittany said kindly. Santana looked into nonjudgmental love filled beautiful blue eyes and realized how foolish she had been.

"Why can't I ever just talk about this stuff when it's bothering me instead of when I am about to get my ass beat for it?" She huffed as Brittany rolled her eyes at her beautiful Latina.

"Do you feel you need to be punished for this Santana?" Brittany asked seriously. Santana just stared at her wife, this was new, and Brittany had never asked her opinion about punishment before. It was just a given she broke the rules she was punished.

"The reason I am asking San is that I feel like a lot of your behavior was because I didn't talk to you about what was going on and if I punish you for something that you don't think is fair it could lead to you feeling more anger and hurt and I love you so much. I want to hear what you think is fair."

"No Britt, my behavior was because I didn't talk to you about how I felt, I did what I always do, and I got angry and reacted and ran away from my feelings. I deserve to be punished. I know that you were just being loving and supportive towards Rachel and Q and if I had talked to you the other morning instead of fighting I know you would have listened to me, you always do. It was me who broke all the rules in this relationship again."

"Alright babe but I promise I will be more careful in the future to include you in any big decisions. I love you and I trust you and I always will Santana, you are my past, my present and my future. You are my heart and I do trust you to do the right thing always. Sometimes you just need a little help figuring out what the right thing is." She reached out and pulled the beautiful raven haired lawyer into her arms and they held each other feeling things start to shift back to normal.

"Stand in the corner Santana until I call for you!" Britt said becoming all business.

Santana nodded and went over meekly to the corner, feeling that her universe was back in order again. She didn't ever want to be punished but she knew she deserved it and longed for the feeling of rightness that came after she had been spanked and been totally forgiven.

She hated this part of the ritual, it was humiliating and she tried not to fidget. She knew Brittany expected her to be thinking about what she had done wrong and she didn't want to disappoint her. She could hear the dancer moving around the house quietly so she stood as still as she was able.

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Brittany called Santana over to where she was sitting on their low backed kitchen chair. Santana noticed the wooden handled bathroom brush on the counter and started to panic a little.

Brittany didn't even ask Santana to go over her lap, that had never happened once voluntarily and she knew it wasn't defiance but pride on the part of her Latina. She grabbed her wrist and pulled her down onto her lap.

She adjusted Santana forward again into the same awkward position as the other night and Santana had to put both hands on the floor to steady herself. She felt Brittany pull down her sweats and panties to the back of knees and tensed up.

"Relax Santana; I believe we have already talked enough about why this needs to happen, do you agree?" Santana nodded. Brittany's empty hand descended on bare flesh firmly and Santana jumped, "Yes Ma'am I agree!" She said quickly.

Brittany quickly moved into a good old fashioned spanking skipping right over the warm-up Santana was expecting, applying a steady stream of firm spanks onto her lovers tanned toned backside. It was quiet except for the unmistakable sound of an over the knee bare-bottom spanking. Santana was trying to remain still over Brittany's lap but the blonde had clearly decided a lesson needed to be learned and she was sticking adamantly to her task.

Santana was feeling the fire igniting on her bare ass and Brittany just kept pouring it on. Spank upon spank descended on Santana's rapidly reddening rear and she started to sniffle and sob quietly. Brittany raised her right knee and moved her attention to Santana's tender sit spot and the Latina started to wriggle and kick. She didn't know how much more she could take and couldn't believe she was coming undone over a simple hand spanking.

Brittany applied two very hard smacks to the back of Santana's thighs, "Quit kicking little girl!" Santana jerked in surprise and quickly brought an end to any and all kicking.

Brittany stopped spanking abruptly and helped Santana to her feet, around to the back of the kitchen chair and helped her bend over it, "This will be the last part Santana."

Santana hated bending over the chair like this, she hated losing the connected feeling she got from being over Brittany's lap. She felt exposed and vulnerable but was grateful she had the chair to hold onto. She had only one other experience with that awful wooden bathroom brush when she had been drinking and hit a friend of Brittany's out of jealousy.

It was not an experience she had ever wanted to repeat but here she was again. She could feel the low backed chair pressing into her diaphragm and she tried to will the butterflies in her belly away.

She knew what was coming so she held on tightly to the chair back and tried to breath.

"You have been punished for your anger and temper many times before Santana and this time I intend for you to learn your lesson. I know you are human and mistakes happen. I know it's part of your temperament to react first but you need to learn to think first and then speak and then act."

With those words Santana wanted to get up and run but reason returned in a flash when she remembered this was Brittany, her love, her life and she trusted her to make it all right again.

Brittany pickup up the wooden handled brush and gently put her hand on Santana's lower back and guided her head down lower so her bare red ass was in proper position, "Why are you in this position again Santana?" Brittany inquired firmly.

"I got angry and yelled at you instead of talking about what was bothering me." The brush descended firmly with a loud thwap. Santana jerked and sobbed out, "I called Rachel and Quinn terrible names and blamed them for everything." Santana stifled a groan as another stroke descended, "I kept yelling even after you warned me to stop."

A loud pained "Ow" escaped Santana's lips as the brush landed on the back of her right thigh.

"I ran away from my early bedtime punishment and got drunk and went to Rachel's house and threatened to kill her!" Santana sobbed like a little girl.

Brittany had to stifle a grin at Santana's description of trying to kill Rachel and brought the brush down with a little less force on her left thigh.

Santana jerked but didn't cry out.

"I was a total dick to Christian at work for the last two weeks at least; I mean more of a dick than usual." Brittany rolled her eyes and brought the brush down again.

"I threw the crystal candle holder you loved at the bathroom door and broke it out of spite just to hurt you!"

Brittany nodded and pulled her arm back and brought the brush down swiftly and firmly twice all the while keeping her hand on the Latina's back to keep her in place over the chair. Santana cried out as the brush landed on her red hot painful flesh as her feet danced a little in her attempt to stay in position over the chair.

She tried to let go and stand up to escape the wrath of that brush, she could feel the deep burning ache in her muscles and the fire on the surface of her skin was almost unbearable.

"Is there anything else you need to be punished for Santana?" Brittany gently prodded as she firmly held Santana in place.

Santana was sorely tempted to say there was nothing else and she knew if she did Brittany most likely would stop but she desperately wanted her clean slate and this was the only way she knew to get it.

"I said your idea was stupid, I picked that word on purpose, I knew it was the one word that would hurt you the most, oh God, Britt I am so sorry." She sobbed as she desperately tried to catch her breath.

Brittany could see Santana was close to her limit but she knew her wife needed forgiveness and she really wanted this lesson on anger and temper to stick for a long time. She quickly delivered the three hardest strokes of the punishment and felt tears come to her eyes as Santana let go of the chair back and sunk to her knees holding her backside in both hands and sobbing in complete surrender.

Santana felt her guilt break like a dam as she cried out her apologies to the love of her life, "I'm sorry, I am so so sorry."

Brittany dropped the brush and gently reached down and pulled Santana up and into her strong arms. She smoothed the dark hair out of her wife's beautiful face and kissed her forehead gently as the other arm rubbed her back, "It's all over baby, it's all done, all is forgiven baby."

She gently rocked her girl gently as she hummed sweetly as Santana tried to calm down and catch her breath.

"Come on sweetheart, it's been a long few days, let's go to our room and lay down for a while ok?" She murmured gently into Santana's hair. She reached down pull Santana's pants back up and the Latina started to cry again, "Please Britt, just take them off, it hurts too badly to wear them."

Brittany quickly pulled the sweats and panties off of Santana and stood up quickly leading her to their bedroom. Santana had quieted and was in her own space responding to Brittany's gentle commands to lie down on her stomach.

She quickly assessed the dusky hue of the Latina's bottom and knew this was a punishment she would not soon forget. She gently covered her wife with the covers and quickly crawled in next to Santana, grinning lovingly when Santana immediately turned to her side to allow Brittany to spoon her.

After a punishment was the only time Santana allowed herself to be in that position and she needed the strong protective arms lovingly around her as much as she needed them to previously punish her.

She sighed in contentment as she scooted as far back to Brittany's stomach as she could without actually touching her as she was still in too much pain for physical contact on her bare ass.

Brittany could feel the white hot heat radiating off Santana's backside so she wrapped her arms around her wife and cradled her as close as she could whispering words of love and forgiveness.

She would tend Santana's physical needs later but right now she needed to tend to her girl's emotional needs. She stroked the beautiful black hair gently as Santana drifted off to sleep feeling loved, forgiven, and safe once again.

Epilogue to follow... thanks for reading