This story is entirely Mistiec's fault. I was looking for a writing exercise and she gave me the prompt for this, which was basically to have Santana with her own little fangirl army gone wildly out of control following her around on a road trip, resulting in jealous, possessive Brittany. This is what became of it, and I had a lot of fun writing it. She posted it on tumblr a little while back, but here it is again with an actual author attached to it. lol

And speaking of prompts, if anyone wants to give me prompts or a wish list for things they might want to see in No Excuses, now would be the time to tell me, either as a review or a message or something. Smutty prompts, something in particular that just has to be in there (I already have a list of my own, but it can always be expanded). I can't make any promises, but I have fun with prompts and I'm open to good ideas.

And I really hope you enjoy this one too, especially if you haven't seen it before. It's one of my favorite fanfic ideas I've ever played with.


"Oh, come on." I scoff, feet propped up against the side of the table with my ankles crossed, "There's no way that would actually work."

She giggles, but shakes her head frantically. "It really does. I know it sounds ridiculous…"

"Where did you even come up with that?"

"My Dad told me about it."

I roll my eyes, because I so should have known that was coming.

"Which one, Lucy or Ethel?"

Rachel rolls her eyes but doesn't stop smiling.

"They like to read up on useful beauty tips to share with me. My therapist says it's part of healthy familial bonding practices."

There are just way too many ways to go with that, I wouldn't even know where to begin. "Of course it is." On the other hand, bonding in my family usually means getting together to insult someone else instead of each other, so I guess I shouldn't judge. "But glue? Really?"

"Elmer's glue." She nods solemnly. "It removes the polish without damaging your nails with chemicals."

I frown down at my nails. They have a clear coat today, but I was planning on going with red to match my uniform before we left tomorrow. Even though our winning streak was broken last year, our presence at Nationals will probably still bring at least a few sports reporters and cameras there to hover around Sue. I want to look my best. And if there's anyone who can understand that need on a gut level, it's the girl sitting in front of me with her hands settled primly into her lap like she's unconsciously practicing poses for the candid photo shoot that might be taken of her at some point in the future. I'm expecting a hair toss any second now.

Yep, there it is. One strategic flip as she takes another bite of her salad.

I look down toward my nails again, wondering if it's worth giving the ridiculous a try for the sake of better cuticle health.

"Whatcha doin?" I smile immediately as Brittany comes bouncing up behind me and settles her hands on my shoulders. I turn my smile up toward her and am rewarded with a quick kiss, which makes my grin grow to epically sappy proportions.

Apparently not able to help herself, Rachel jumps in to answer. "I was telling Santana about a tip my Dad told me about removing nail polish more effectively by using Elmer's glue instead of alcohol-based products." She nods along with the words, her eyes wide and earnest. I chuckle again.

Brittany's hands are still on my shoulders, squeezing softly. She stares at Rachel for what becomes a long, uncomfortable moment and then looks down at me. "Did you know they, like, ground up old, sick horses to make that glue?" Rachel's eyes nearly pop out of her head as she gasps and sputters dramatically. Brittany shrugs, glancing up at her with only a hint of a smirk around the edges of her lips. "It's kind of gross. I mean, poor Elmer."

I try really hard not to laugh. It winds up a muffled chuckle anyway.

Brittany nudges my legs until my feet drop to the floor and then perches on the edge of my lap with her back to Rachel.

"I talked to my Mom, she said it's totally cool if I stay over tonight." I glance up in surprise, because our parents have been kind of sickeningly strict about the no sleepovers policy since we've been officially dating. Apparently there's some kind of Cheerio-trip-induced loophole she's taken advantage of. That's my girl.

The fact that we have to get up and make it to the bus by five am probably has something to do with it. Brittany doesn't exactly excel at being quiet as she's getting ready for a trip like this. She'll be up at least an hour or two early and ready to bounce off the walls with excitement and energy that I couldn't match by mainlining Red Bull.

"Did you tell her that my folks are out of town? Because we probably need to actually sleep at some point tonight."

Her eyes sparkle a little bit more devilishly than most people would ever give her credit for and she puts a finger up to her mouth and makes a hushing sound. I chuckle and wrap my arms lightly around her waist, thinking that it's probably a good thing we'll get a chance to nap on the bus.

"Oh, did I tell you about the techniques for overcoming sleep deprivation I was reading about?" Rachel slid to the edge of her seat with excitement. "It's supposed to be all the rage among college students and even performers with grueling touring schedules."

I open my mouth to answer, but before I can, Brittany half-turns on my lap to face her. "You were reading about Uppers?" She looks at me and frowns. "Do we need to have an invitation or something?"

I bite my lip to keep from laughing again. "It's intervention, Britt. And I think we'll be okay just keeping an eye on her." I give Rachel a little wink even as she gives a good-natured but exasperated sigh.

Brittany frowns again, but turns to glance at Rachel suspiciously.

Surprisingly, we do actually get to sleep for a couple of hours, largely because Brittany basically jumps me the minute we get in the door. And I can't help but pass out somewhere between the fourth and fifth round. I wake up at around three to the sounds of Brittany in the shower, singing an energetic rendition of My Cup. The bathroom door's open and I can see her bopping around through the steamed up glass.

I slide onto my back with a few sleepy grumbles, eventually rolling out of bed and heading for my laptop to make sure I haven't missed any important e-mails from my parents or if there have been any new spoilers on the Real Housewives boards. Not finding any, I give a quick glance at my Twitter and Facebook pages before I hear the shower shut off and power it down.

Brittany is practically vibrating with energy and bounds toward me when she sees I'm awake, jumping up on the bed to straddle my lap so quickly I barely have time to push my laptop out of the line of fire.

"You're up!"

I chuckle. "I'm up." I agree with a smile.

"Why didn't you join me in the shower?" She squirms her damp hands up under my shirt. "You could have made sure I didn't miss any spots." Her hair slides down over her face as she pouts slightly.

I wonder for a moment if it's possible to get a stupidly happy smile permanently stuck on my face. "I'm sure you did fine, Britt. And I need to actually be able to walk today. Sue will kill us both if my legs start wobbling at the top of the pyramid."

She pouts even harder but nods in agreement. But then her eyes light up hopefully again, "Did you find out about the hotel rooms?"

I smirk, "I'm pretty sure Becky's evil little glare means she and I are supposed to be bunking up. There's no way I can sneak out without her happily ratting me out."

Brittany chews her lip thoughtfully for a minute, "Maybe we can sneak over to her house and cut the power so she oversleeps and misses the bus!" I shake my head, largely because I would have simply gone for slashing her tires. But I know Sue would never leave without her little pet.

"I'll try and figure something out." She brightens up quickly at my reassurance and bounces a few times on my lap in way that's entirely distracting.

I grin and start to slide my hand up the inside of her thigh. She gives a little squeal but doesn't move away.

"I thought you said we couldn't?"

"I said I couldn't." I bat my lashes up at her and enjoy the naughty giggle I get in response. "But you could run a marathon and still be rock steady through the whole routine." I squeeze the thick muscles in her thighs to emphasize my point.

For a moment her eyes grow wide with alarm, "But I don't want to run. I want to stay here with you."

I kiss her, because how I could I not, while sliding one arm around her waist while the other resumes its path back up her thigh. I always try to make sure Brittany gets whatever she wants.

We're only a couple of minutes late for the bus, which is actually a minor miracle. Sue glowers at us from her perch in the first row of seats, if I didn't know better, I'd say she looks a little bit relieved that we showed up. Like she was worried our being back on the Cheerios was all some elaborate scheme meant to leave her in the lurch without her heavy hitters again. I'm not really surprised, that's the type of thing she would probably do to someone, and she knows I'm certainly not above it. But Brittany is. She's so far above it, I doubt it would ever even occur to her something like that could happen. I smile and wrap my arms around her from behind as she threads her way through the mass of luggage and half-asleep Cheerios toward our usual seats at the back of the bus.

"Try not to get too handsy there, Dimples. I'm only letting you sit back there next to the exit so in case of an emergency we can all use your chest as a floatation device."

Brittany stops suddenly, causing me to bump into her, but she's got a little scowl on her face when she turns toward Sue. I blink in surprise, and it seems Sue does as well because she's got no response for Brittany's glare. She clears her throat, squares her shoulders and turns back toward the driver. Brittany's scowl doesn't go away, though. Instead she runs it slowly over every wide-eyed girl surrounding us. I nudge her forward after a moment and wait until we run off the sophomores who were stupid enough to try and take our seats before I lean over and ask quietly if she's okay.

She nods, her scowl now turning into more of a pout.

"I don't care if there's an accident or not, they better not try to touch your boobs." Brittany says quietly and I can only stare at her for a moment before I start to laugh.

The scowl threatens to come back and I quickly respond, "Baby, no one is going to be touching me. This is a Brittany-only Zone." I motion toward my chest and her eyes stay locked there for long enough to bring a little flush to my cheeks.

Her eyes flutter up to mine. "You promise?"

"Absolutely." I say, letting her see the sincerity in my face. The only exception to that rule these days is Lord Tubbs, who has developed a rather disturbing habit of using my chest like a pillow whenever I happen to fall asleep in Brittany's bed. I wrap an arm around her shoulder, tugging her close until she's nestled into my side, already contemplating ways I can get back at Sue for making Brittany worry about this. I consider dosing her master cleanse recipe, but can't think of anything worse than the crap she already puts in there. Before I can come up with anything more creative, I'm surprised to feel one hand come up and brush against my breast almost shyly. I suck in a breath, unintentionally shoving my boob further into her hand and she responds by groping me a lot less timidly.

I squeeze my eyes shut, forcing back the helpless groan and reach out to grab her wrist and yank it down into my lap, trapping her wandering hand there as firmly as I can.

When I finally force my eyes open and turn toward her with a warning look, Brittany's got a mischievous glint in her eyes. Her hand relaxes in mine and I loosen my grip, but don't let go entirely. She snuggles further into my shoulder, leaning in to give the side of my breast a quick kiss before closing her eyes and letting the motion of the bus lull her into a light sleep. I settle back to rest my head against Brittany's, enjoying the way she squirms a little bit closer and unconsciously tucks one of her hands down between my thighs. It is familiar and soothing and I let myself doze off for a while, not completely sure whether I'm having a really good dream or Brittany really is feeling me up in my sleep.

We arrive at the MGM Grand in Detroit well before noon, because whatever else is true about Coach Sue, she is awesome at getting us the best rooms.

I notice a small group of girls hanging out near the entrance and wonder if another cheerleading squad managed to score rooms here too. When they start pointing in our direction, I figure that must be it.

It's then that I see rainbow posters that for some reason have my picture in the middle of them. And a banner that says, of all things, 'Marry Me Santana'.

Oh dear sweet fucking god.

When I freeze, this time it's Brittany who runs into my back. She asks me what's wrong but then leans over to look out the window for herself. I have an overwhelming urge to bury my face in her neck and hide. Because, seriously, what the hell?

Sue peaks her head back into the bus. "Gosh, Santana, did you order a make your own harem starter kit online? I didn't realize those were legal over here yet."

I drop my face into my hands, groaning.

"Because hey, if they're your concubines or something, we can always use them to carry our bags up."

I drop my hands and glare at Sue in a way that seems to actually shock her.

The girls are moving closer to the bus like a small cluster of ants descending on a picnic. They surround the departing Cheerios, a few of whom turn and point toward the bus. I duck down in one of the seats, hoping that they haven't actually seen me. Brittany looks around at me in confusion and I slide further into the seat and pull her down next to me, hiding behind her shoulder and not caring at all that I look like an idiot.

"What would.. I mean why in the hell…" I sputter, "How would they even know I was here?" I ask Sue, ducking down even further. "There are like a million hotels in Detroit! You know this is all your stupid fault in the first place!"

Sue purses her lips and looks from the groupies to me and then back again, having the conscience to at least look a little bit guilty. I have an overwhelming urge to strangle her.

"Okay," she sighs, "stay in here, I'll try and distract them."

With that, Sue vanishes out the door once again and strides purposefully toward the small, swarming crowd.

I slide down almost completely into the seat and tug Brittany down further with me, even though she's now staring intently out the window.

"Um… Santana?"

Groaning again, I twist my body around and bury my face in her side, offering a muffled, "Hmm?"

"I'm kind of confused."

I wrap an arm around her body and mash my face even harder into her coat.

"Who are those girls? Why do they want you to marry them?"

I pull back enough to peek up over the window again, watching Sue holding court in front of the bus. Partly, I'm just buying time, because I have no idea how to answer that. . Though a part of me kind of wants to see what Sue is going to do. If she flashes them or something, I might want to tape it so I can save the horrified reactions for posterity in case someone actually faints.

"Is this, like, the bachelorette for lesbians or something? Because I don't see them holding any roses. And besides, those relationships never really work out anyway."

"It's nothing like that, Britt." I blow out a deep sigh of annoyance. "They're just.. they saw the horrible ad that pizza guy was running about me…. "

Before I can think of a way to explain, Becky's face appears through the doorway.

"Coach says to tell you to make a run for it."

I rattle off every curse word I know in two languages.

"Okay Britt, come on. Let's just get inside and I'll try to explain."

Brittany looks like she wants to argue, but stands up with me and doesn't say anything when I grab her hand and start to maneuver my way into the aisle and toward the door as quickly as I can. I peak my head out the door to find the girls all facing the other direction, where Sue stands in front of them throwing her arms about wildly. Thankfully, she's still fully clothed.

I take a deep breath, clutch Brittany's hand as hard as I can, and bolt for the hotel door.

And yeah, okay, I feel a little ridiculous running from a bunch of girls like this, but at the moment I just need to be somewhere that is not here and wrap my brain around all this. We power through the large glass doors and heading straight for the wide eyed receptionist, who thankfully understands a blurted explanation of "Cheerios" and hands me a key card, pointing toward the elevators. There is a commotion behind us and without even turning to look, I drag Brittany toward the elevators.

Once inside, I lean against the wall with a heavy sigh, closing my eyes and muttering curses.

Brittany stands quietly beside me, looking decidedly unhappy. When the doors open again, she follows me quietly down the hallway and toward the room I'm supposed to share with Sue's little lap dog, because this day just keeps getting better.

I drop the card on the table and collapse on the closest of the two full sized beds face first, pounding my forehead against the mattress a few times, like I could knock myself unconscious and wake up to find this is all a freakin' nightmare. The mattress shifts beside me and I turn my head to see Brittany sitting there, staring down at the floor.

"I'm so sorry, Britt." I lift my head so my voice isn't muffled by the blanket. "I swear I had no idea this was even possible."

Her brow is deeply furrowed when she looks toward me.

"Who are those girls, Santana?"

I take a breath to answer, then realize I still don't know how to explain. Finally I sit up, pulling out my phone and bringing up my Twitter account before handing it to her with a defeated sigh. She gives me another confused look.

"They follow me."

"Yeah, I sort of got that."

"No, Britt." I sit up and scoot over to lean against her shoulder, pointing toward the small screen. "I mean, online. They found out who I was when that jackass kept airing the ad about Sue's lesbian cheerleader captain. Even though it didn't say my name, somehow they found out and started, I don't know, being curious about me like I'm some kind of stupid internet celebrity or something. Just what I always wanted, to be, like, literally the gay girl's poster child." I sigh, banging my forehead against her shoulder gently. "And now apparently they've upgraded to stalking me in real life. I swear, I try not to pay attention to them, I had no idea they had reached this level of crazy."

There is a knock on the door and I get up and move toward it warily. "Who is it?" I call out, trying not to sound as worried as I am about what the response will be."

"Stand down, celebutante, it's just us."

I don't think I've ever been happier to see Sue Sylvester in my life, and her little dog too. And just having that thought creeps me out a little, but she cures me of it quickly by launching into a small tirade about distractions during the competition that I barely pay attention to, since I keep glancing over at Brittany, her face eerily still except for the way her eyes move as they scan the screen of my phone.

I finally cut off Sue, mid-rant, "Do you want me to drop out of the competition? Because I will totally do that if you think it will help. I can hide here or you can buy me a damn plane ticket back to Lima."

Her eyes nearly bug out at the suggesting in a very satisfying way. But she recovers quickly.

"Oh, come off it. Those man-made mountains on your chest tell me that you love attention in whatever form you can get it, so don't pretend you hate the idea of having your own little fangirl legion out there waiting with bated breath."

"I don't have to pretend. I do hate it. I never signed up to be, like, the lesbian poster child of the Midwest! I only kept the account in the first place because I get like this crazy sweet posts from girls who want to talk about trying to come out. I try very hard to ignore the just straight up crazy of the rest of it, and I was doing a good job of it before they somehow found out where we were staying!"

Sue's eyes narrow as she glares at me. "I hope you're not suggesting I had something to do with that."

I wasn't, but now that she mentions it... Though really, she looks offended by the thought so I try my best to push my suspicions aside.

"Why don't you just go say hi to them?" Becky throws in from her duly appointed spot half-way up Sue's ass. "It's not a big deal and they can come and cheer for us in the crowd."

I roll my eyes toward her. But I sigh, wondering if I'm making this a bigger problem than it needs to be. Maybe if I just go and wave at them, they'll be happy. It's not like I'm a real person to most of them anyway. I'm just like some face that exists on the internet and they wanted to come see it in person for whatever wanky thrill it gives them.

Turning back, I find Brittany still scanning the posts, now working on a full on frown. I decide more than anything I need to get her attention away from that damn thing. And then maybe throw it out the window.

"Baby?" I move over and kneel down in front of her, putting a hand on her knee to get her attention, "Are you okay?"

She looks up at me with the frown still on her face, like she's been oblivious to the entire conversation. "This one says, 'I just want to bury myself in that all night long.'"

"What?!" I tilt the phone toward me to read the message, then groan and push it away again. "See, now that is just wanky. Seriously."

"And there was another one that said, 'Those lips are like God's gift to women.'" She looks back toward the phone, still frowning as she scrolled down the screen. "And some of them were writing poems about your butt."

"My…" Seriously, what?

"One of them was called, 'A Double Dip of Paradise.'"

Okay, ew. I grab my phone and stare incredulously down at the screen. They have also apparently been engaging in a furious debate over which kind of fruit my ass most resembles.

"Do you think the girl that wrote that is down there?" Brittany asks quietly, looking toward the window. Her forehead scrunched down to an almost scary level.

"I don't know.. I mean, ew, I really hope not." I turn back to Sue, "I am not going down there."

Sue throws her hands up in the air. "What do you want me to do, Santana? Send out every Cheerio in a black wig all at once so they can imitate you Harry Potter-style and throw them off the trail? Just put on your big girl pants and deal with it, already." She glances at Brittany. "If you're that worried about it, let Brittany go in front of you. I'm pretty sure that glower could cut the Red Sea."

I jump up quickly. "Oh, hell to the no! There is no way I'm letting them have a free shot at Britt. It's bad enough that I've got to deal with all this stuff, I don't want them anywhere near her. Do you know that my parents have had to change their phone number three times because we still get calls from reporters and insane Bible thumpers?" I start to pace around the room. "They already know I have a girlfriend. If they find out who it is, I might as well be outing her too and signing her up for all this crazy and seriously, screw that." I take a deep breath, making a quick decision. "Okay, fine. I'll go down there and make my way through them as fast as I can as long as you get Brittany out of here and make sure they don't notice her."

Smirking, Sue crosses her arms over her chest. "I think I can manage that."

"Fine." I look at Brittany who is looking back at me unhappily and have to fight off the urge to crawl into her lap and bury my head in her shoulder until all of this just goes away. But then I think about the other messages I get online, the ones from people who say every hateful thing they can think of about me and my sexuality and I know there's no way in hell I can let anything like that get directed at Brittany. Not if there's anything I can do about it. "Fine." I repeat, trying to convince myself.

"Santana?" I turn toward Brittany who is standing up and looking like she's well on her way to getting angry. I've only ever really seen Brittany get angry a couple of times in all the years I've known her and it's not really something I care to experience again. "I think I should be going down there with you."

"No, Britt." I take her hands, stroking my thumbs over them lightly. "It'll be okay. You get to the bus with Coach and I'll distract them, you shouldn't have to worry about all this mess."

"But.." Her frown grows even deeper, "I'm your girlfriend and they're, like, all here because they're so hot for you and stuff."

"Oh, relax Portia." Sue strides over and takes hold of her arm, urging her toward the door, pulling our hands apart even though she's still looking back and reaching for me. "She's just going to go down there and throw them a couple of pairs of underwear that they can dive on like rabid bridesmaids going for a bouquet. If all else fails, she can use the enormous cups of her bra like a parasail as we drag her behind the bus. Either way, all this nonsense will be over before you know it."

And then they are out of the door and I'm left alone in the room. I pace around a few more times, making sure they get a good head start and giving the whole parasail thing much more serious thought than I actually should. Then I take a deep breath, grab my keycard and march toward what will hopefully not be my doom.

I can hear them before I see them, nearing the first of the double doors. They are milling around, full of excited giggles and looking like just a random bunch of girls. The posters and banners are not being held over their heads anymore, and I try to convince myself that maybe they've gotten rid of them or something. Maybe this won't be so bad. I'll just wave and move quickly and it'll be over so fast I'll feel stupid for making such a big deal about it.

But when all their eyes turn toward me at once the minute I start to open the door, it makes me freeze. It looks like some kind of damn hundred-eyed blob monster moving toward me, filled with loud squeals and I want to hold the door shut and hide behind it like a shield. Over the top of them I can see the yellow of our bus and I know Brittany is there on it and I know I'd do whatever I had to do in order to get to her. She was the one who wanted to be back on the Cheerios in the first place, bouncing excitedly on my bed this summer, long before the idea of sex between us was even an issue again and I knew that I could never let her go back by herself to be at Sue's mercy just so she could be able to cheer again. Because, damn, for all I knew Sue would drop her out of a plane this time and I wasn't going to let that happen. So we jumped back in this pile of crazy together and I knew if I was willing to put up with Sue's insanity for her, the small ocean of tweeny-bopper girls standing between us shouldn't be a problem.

I straighten my shoulders and push out the door, cringing as I'm immediately surrounded and people are touching me in places that better god damn well be accidental.

There are camera phones in my face and pens shoved toward my hands by girls literally quivering with excitement.

I try to keep moving as best I can, the crowd moving with me as I sign rainbow posters and pictures of myself that look only vaguely familiar. The girls are yelling things at me about marrying them and some of them are even crying and it feels like it takes me an hour until I get near enough to the bus for the doors to open enough for me to make a dash inside. Someone's hand reaches out to grab at my ass hard enough for me to jump and yelp before the doors can close behind me.

Breathing heavily I look up toward the see of amused faces to find one who is decidedly less than amused. Brittany is sitting about half way back on the bus. Or, more accurately, she's shoved into a seat with three other Cheerios sitting on top of her and blocking her in. One of their uniforms has a tear at the shoulder and another looks like someone has been yanking on her ponytail.

Once they realize I'm securely on the bus, they jump up almost as one and dive into the nearest seats. One of them covers her head like she's waiting for a bomb to go off.

I gulp and look back at Brittany, who is on her feet as soon as she's no longer being held down.

"Thank God, Lopez!" Sue nearly shouts, and I realize she's been in the seat in front of Brittany. "Do you think you could have taken any longer?"

"What the hell did you do to her?" I shout, scrambling over and around everyone as quickly as I can. Brittany's hair is a tangled mess, one arm is out of her uniform and she's panting like she's spent an hour on a treadmill. Her eyes are a little wild and a lot angry as I finally get to her, looking over her quickly for injuries.

"They wouldn't let me go." Brittany says, looking upset and confused, her eyes a little bit wild. I think my own eyes were probably a little wild too as I looked at her.

"I'm okay." I said softly, reaching out to brush at her hair.

"But those girls were, like, pawing at you."

"It's okay, no one hurt me or anything. They were just a little too excited, I guess?" I move around so I can tug out her ponytail. "Someone get me a brush." When no one moves right away, I added, "Now!" smiling when a half dozen brushes appeared in front of my face. We sat down in together as the bus creaked to life, spending the short bus ride to our venue fixing Brittany's hair and straightening out her uniform.

Brittany is quiet during the ride, turning her head when I ask her to, lifting her arm so I can slide her top back into place. I wish we were alone, so I could get her to talk to me. Better yet, I wish we had never left Lima this morning. We could have stayed in bed together all day long and never had to deal with any of this.

She's still quiet when we start to get off the bus, but she keeps a firm grip on my arm and presses up against me like she's afraid I'm going to disappear on her. My groupies happily either haven't arrived yet or didn't know the right entrance to find me at. I breathe a sigh of relief as we make our way inside, passing by squad after brightly colored, ponytailed squad as we make our way toward our dressing room with me still feeling like I'm in a daze. Brittany stays pressed up against my back or my side the whole time, the death grip she's got on my hand is almost painful.

I finally pry her hands away when I set us both down on a bench in the changing rooms, seating her next to me so I can fix my own hair and makeup before touching up Brittany's, trying to get her to look at me so I can try to figure out if she's okay or not.

I have almost convinced myself that it's all over with when a short, dark haired woman in a grey suit makes her way through the door. From the track shoes she's wearing beneath the tailored skirt to her pancaked makeup, she couldn't look any more like a reporter if she tried. I turn back toward Brittany, deciding that at least Sue will have something to distract herself with now. She puffs up in anticipation of her interview and I debate whether or not I can pull Brittany into the nearest bathroom and get her to talk to me.

And then I feel like an idiot, because the reporter has barely started talking to Sue when both of their gazes turn toward me. I squeeze my eyes shut, feeling the ridiculous urge to cry.

Brittany seems to come out of her funk when she sees my reaction, she tenses and turns around quickly, like she's expecting an invasion. The reporter and Sue are making their way toward me now, and Sue's got that sickeningly sweet, and entirely fake, smile she reserves for only the most outrageous of her schemes.

I look from one to the other, and before they can even speak, I say, "No."

"San.."

"No!" I repeat, a little more loudly.

"Can I just talk to my Captain for a moment?" Sue says in a sugary voice, emphasizing the last word. "I'm sure she doesn't want to downplay the significance of being offered an interview with ESPN." Her eyebrows raise meaningfully and she nudges me.

"Hell. No." I say, throwing down my eyebrow pencil and standing up. Brittany stands also, edging closer like she's trying to shield me with her body.

"Please, just hear me out, Ms. Lopez." The reporter decides to try her own luck. "I want to give you a featured interview. We could talk about the struggles of being an out teenager in the Midwest. You can't even imagine how many young men and women would benefit from hearing your story."

"Look, lady. No offense, but I'm really, really not interested." I say the words slowly and distinctly, in case she's particularly slow on the uptake. Which of course she is.

"But…"

"She said no." We're all a little surprised at the forcefulness of Brittany's tone as she cuts in. The reporter actually blinks, like she's just now noticing her, but soon is eyeing her speculatively.

"There's no reason it has to just be about one person. A story about young love in…"

"What part of 'absolutely fucking no' is difficult to grasp?" It's me that cuts in this time, because I don't like at all where this is heading.

"I don't think you understand what an important story this could be." She says, earnest and almost pleading. I take a breath trying to think of a response.

"I think if you could stop staring at Santana's boobs long enough to listen to her answer, maybe you wouldn't be so confused." Brittany's voice is calm and matter of fact, but the reporter actually gasps at her words. I reflexively hide behind Brittany. Because c'mon, haven't enough people been leering at me today? Before I can think of anything to add to that, Brittany edges more fully in front of me and continues. "So, I dunno, if you're so worried about closets, come out of your own. Or maybe talk to the girls out there, because half of them were staring at Santana's butt on the way in here. I'm sure there's someone who wants to talk about it." She turns to look at me with wide eyes. "Well, I mean, not Santana's butt, but liking girl butts in general. Enough people already think too much about Santana and her butt already. It's someone else's turn now." She crosses her arms and puffs out her chest like a bodyguard, and I am both shocked and amazingly turned on.

Sue looks annoyed, but finally says with a little resignation, "You heard the ladies. And now, if you don't mind, we have a performance to get ready for." She gives us what's probably supposed to be a threatening look, but honestly, I'd run wind sprints for an hour right now if it meant no one wanted to advertise or discuss my sexuality anymore.

The reporter looks like she wants to try again, but she catches another eyeful of Brittany's glare and seems to decide against it. I nearly collapse against her back in relief, burying my face between her shoulder blades and wrapping my arms around her waist. I can feel the tension still radiating out of her and peek over her shoulder as the reporter is ushered to the door.

"You were exaggerating about the girls staring at my ass, right?" I mumble against her shoulder.

Her muscles actually get even more tense and I realize with wide eyes that she wasn't. Well, crap. I rub my face against her back, feeling a little like I can understand why Lord Tubbs like to do this so much. It's soothing and it's not until Sue tells me off for ruining my make up by rubbing it all over Brittany's top that I sigh and pull myself away.

One emergency uniform replacement and another application of make up later, it's time for us to perform and I feel like the entire squad flanks around me and Brittany like a tank as we make our way toward the stage for our performance. I'm not entirely sure if they are trying to protect me or if they are worried Brittany is going to lunge at someone. Either way, I'm grateful for it.

Our performance is awesome and Brittany springs and bounces across the stage like a bunny on steroids. She ends the routine with an unscripted double back flip across the stage that brings a screaming ovation from the crowd and I can only beam at her. I jog over to give her a hug and she lifts me up and spins me around, my legs flailing wildly as we both laugh. It's not until she puts me down that I see the reporter talking to Sue again. Becky is standing next to them and I take Brittany's hand and pull her off on the other side of the stage. I don't think I can trust Sue not to sell me out. I'm positive I can't trust Becky. But at least I can be sure that she can't actually legally agree to anything without my consent, or so my Dad's lawyer told us, so for now I settle for just trying to get away.

We make our way back to the locker room and grab our bags, Brittany not even questioning why we aren't sticking around for the award ceremony. Because c'mon, we totally won. Instead we head out toward the bus, relieved that the area is still groupie-free and ignoring the bus driver's annoyance at having his nap interrupted, we make our way all the way into our seats in the back and sit down. I feel like it's the first time since this morning that I'm not caught in some kind of crazy world.

Brittany settles down next to me without a word. I hesitate for only a moment before I lean over and press myself against her side, my face into her neck as I just do my best to shut out the rest of the crazy-ass world for a little while.

"I'm really sorry." I say quietly. "Honestly, Brittany, if I'd had the slightest idea this could happen, I probably would have stayed at home and just let you come and be awesome without having to deal with all this because of me." She doesn't say anything right away, and the silence suddenly feels kind of heavy around us, so I can't help but go on, "And I still don't know how they even knew where to find me or why in the world anyone would even care, I mean, this is all just so ridiculous. But I know you really wanted to be on the Cheerios and I'm really sorry if I ruined your trip or anything like that. You should be having fun with everyone and celebrating, not hiding in here with me just because I needed a little bit of quiet. I'm just…"

"Santana." Her voice is soft and sweet and it makes me melt into her side a little bit further. "I love being on the squad and everything about cheering, but I wouldn't want to be here without you. And.. I don't know, sometimes I almost feel like all of this is my fault." I frown, pulling back to look at her face in the moving shadows of the bus. "I mean, I'm the one who wanted you to come out so badly. It's like I put it out there and then, like, people are putting your face on TV and your grandmother won't talk to you and now you've got people following you around. It's like, bad Kafka or something."

"Oh, honey no." I sit up, alarmed at the tears I see forming in her eyes. I swing my leg over her lap and take her face into my hands. "No." I kiss her softly. "You wanted me to come out and be honest about myself, because you knew I would be so much happier if I did. And you were completely right. Everything hasn't been perfect, but honestly, these last few months, being out at school, being with you, it's worth everything, even all the crazy, just to be able to have that. Because every time I can walk down the hallway and hold your hand, or just give you a kiss, it's like the best moment ever. And I get to experience it over and over, as many times as I want. That's like, a kind of happiness I never even let myself believe in. Okay?"

She looks up at me, her eyes dyed a deep purple in the darkness. But there's a glimmer in them of something besides the sadness and I smile, and kiss her again, just because I can. She wraps her arms around me tightly and buries her face in my chest. I smile and rest my cheek against the top of her head with a sigh of contentment.

"Oh, will you two break it up? This vehicle does not come equipped with barf bags and I'm really not sure how much of that I can take." I turn around to glare at Sue, carrying the huge trophy on her hip like an infant, also conveniently blocking the aisle so that none of the other girls can step up into the bus until she moves.

I sigh again, and slide myself off of Brittany's lap, but stay pressed against her side with a look toward Sue to let her know it's the best she's going to get.

She and her trophy settle in for the ride back to the hotel, where I'm sure she's booked the honeymoon suite so that they can get better acquainted. That thought makes me sad against all of a sudden, when I remember that I'm stuck with the little troll instead of Brittany tonight. I was supposed to do something about that. God, the never-ending suck of this day is just epic.

I spend the ride back to the hotel contemplating whether I can get away with booking my own room for us for the night. It's not until I feel Brittany tense up next to me again that it occurs to me that my fan club has returned to their prime stalking position at the hotel. This time there are no looks or comments. Everyone seems to gather their backs and scamper off the bus as quickly as they can, until only Brittany and I, Sue and Becky still remain.

I'm in the middle of bracing myself for another sprint into the hotel when Brittany's soft voice begins, "Hey, Becky?"

I see her turn around in her seat to look at us.

"What?"

"Do you remember when I used to come over and play at your house when we were super little?"

"Um, yeah." She turns completely toward us, leaning over the back of the seat. Sue and I look at Brittany in confusion also.

"You had that little stuffed elephant you loved so much, Mr. Snufflepants."

Becky doesn't respond with more than a shrug and Sue huffs loudly and starts to stand up, "As much fun as a trip down memory lane…"

"I just thought it was kind of funny that the person who told everyone where Santana's hotel room was went by the name Mrs. Snufflepants. Isn't that weird?"

Brittany cocked her head, looking deceptively calm while the three of us all seemed to freeze for a long moment. That little shit!

"Becky?" Sue's voice has that same type of tone.

It didn't take her more than a few seconds to break.

"I just thought that it would bring more attention and give us more people to cheer for us. All the newsletters and articles were talking about how we weren't the favorites any more. You always said that we should use everything to our advantage, Coach."

I'm halfway out of the seat heading for her when Brittany grabs me from behind and holds me back, speaking again before I get a chance to.

"I just think Santana's been through a lot today, and since you have that bad snoring problem and everything, maybe it would be good if you went to stay in another room so that she can get her rest."

I turn around and stare at Brittany, my anger vanishing so quickly it's hard not to start laughing. Sue has no such qualms, she lets out a loud guffaw, looking at Brittany with something like admiration. "Well played, Girl Wonder. Becky can go stay with the other seniors." I bite my lip, thinking it's a good thing they aren't here to hear that, or else they would be busily plotting our doom. "And you two…" she points toward us, "I don't want to be hearing any noise complaints or about the destruction of any property, you hear me?"

We both nod quickly with wide eyes, still a little bit shocked when the two of them make their way off the bus, leaving us alone with our victory.

"Have I mentioned lately that you are the most awesome girlfriend ever?" I ask quietly.

"I don't think so." She says with a smile. I giggle and give her a kiss, suddenly not even caring if we have to run the gauntlet, because it'll all be worth it once we get back upstairs.

I pause by the door. "Do you want to go first. They were taking pictures and I don't want you to have to deal with this kind of stuff because of me." Brittany looks at me like I've just said the stupidest thing she's ever heard. "Okay, okay." I hold up my hands before she gets upset again. "I'm just saying… oh, nevermind. Come on."

We make our way down the steps to find ourselves surrounded immediately by what looks like pretty much the same throng of girls. Brittany presses herself slightly in front of me, but it doesn't take them long to flank us and start tapping my shoulders from the back to get my attention, begging me to sign things and take pictures. At least with Brittany by my side, they don't seem to be grabbing at me quite as much.

When we near the door, one of the more persistent girls, short and carrying a few extra pounds that all seem to have landed in her cleavage, thrusts a pen in my hands and pulls down the collar of her shirt, a wicked glimmer in her eyes as she says, "Sign here!"

"Ummm.."

Before I can get over my shock, the girls eyes move to my right and the smile and gleam in them dies instantly, replaced with something that looks a lot like being scared shitless. I turn my head to see the look that Brittany is giving her and suddenly understand. And damn, I have a feeling I'll probably spend the rest of my life doing everything I can to avoid that look as much as humanly possible. I remember suddenly the way people were holding her down in the bus earlier. And, um.. crap.

I make a grab for Brittany before she can make any moves toward the girl, knowing I'm completely screwed because Brittany is so much stronger than I am, I don't have a chance in hell of holding her back. Instead I do the only thing I can think of to distract her. I yank her around to face me and mash our lips together firmly.

There is a collective gasp of surprise from the crowd, followed by what I'm sure are many, many pictures and videos being taken. And I'm sure there are many good reasons I should care about that, but Brittany's hands circle around my waist and her tongue slides deeply into my mouth and I can't really think of any of them. My last coherent thought is to toss the pen back in the direction of cleavage-girl and motion behind my back for her to make a run for it. But it doesn't really matter if she understood or not. Brittany is walking me backwards through the doors, we stumble slightly and burst into giggles at the crowd of shocked faces and cameras pointed toward us before taking off for the elevator. We pass by one old, well dressed couple giving us disapproving stares before sliding past them into the empty elevator. They take one look at us and decide to wait for the next one. Before the doors even close, Brittany has me pressed up against the wall, its rail digging into the small of my back as she more or less mauls my mouth with her own.

I pull back just enough to blindly search for the button to our floor before I wrap my arms around her neck and try to keep up with her kisses. Her hands move from my back, down to squeeze at my ass so roughly I yelp and pull back from the kiss to catch my breath.

"Britt.." I'm not even sure what I was about to say, because my brain short-circuits when one of her hands reaching forward to press against my crotch. "Fuck!"

The door opens and we practically fall out into the hallway. Before I can get my bearings, Brittany bends forward bracing my hip against her shoulder and easily picks me up, stalking toward our room with one hand still possessively braced against my ass, holding me in place. By the startled noises, I'm sure we must pass at least a few people along the way. She fumbles with the lock for a minute after I hand her the keycard, finally letting me down to unlock the door before rushing us both inside the minute it's open. She spins me around, and before I can think to respond, my back is pressed against the door this time, her hands prowling boldly around my ass for just long enough to grab hold of my spanx and panties and jerk them both down.

She kneels quickly to knock off my shoes and untangle them from around my ankles, and then, just as quickly lifts my left leg to her shoulder and buries her face beneath my skirt. "I….Jeeez…. Fuck, Brittany." Her only response is to bury her tongue inside of me without any warning. My thighs quiver almost immediately and she leans forward, bracing us both against the door as she keeps me in place and I've never before completely understood what the word ravish actually means, but I'm pretty sure it describes what she's doing to me now. Because her tongue is just fucking everywhere at once, licking and teasing and it's all I can do to just hang on and let the waves crash over me. I scream and it might be kind of loud, but with the rushing in my ears it's hard to be sure.

When she stands up again, I start to sink toward the floor until she catches me, wrapping both arms around my waist to hoist me up until I wrap my shaking legs around her instinctively. She carries me toward the bed, toppling us both down on top of it with her hips planted firmly against mine. I reach up to clutch at the annoying polyester we spend way too much of our lives in.

"Off." She leans back, her eyes still a little wild. "Please?" I add hopefully and she kisses me one more time before sitting up and starting to strip off her own clothes. I claw at my own, flinging my top and bra off the bed quickly, and squirming away far enough to unzip my skirt and launch it across the room as well. I look up just as she's stood up on the bed long enough to kick off her own panties before bouncing down between my legs again, planting her hands on either side of my chest and burying her tongue in my mouth once again. She kisses over my jaw, down my neck and I feel her sucking insistently against my skin so hard it makes me squirm. Because, oh, that's so going to leave a mark.

And oh, I really don't think I care.

Brittany might though, because the way she pulls back, her eyes dark as she plants one last kiss over the bruise she leaves on my skin makes me pretty sure she did it on purpose.

She kisses her way back up to my ear, tonguing it sloppily for a moment before I feel her hot breath. "Mine." She whispers the word and it makes my whole body shiver and arch into her. "Tell me." She says, riding the wave of my body easily. "Tell me you're mine."

I groan, arching again and loving the feel of her chest mashed against me. It's not until she pulls back that I really register what she's said, or the hot insistence in her eyes as she waits for my response. Licking my suddenly dry lips, I pant softly, "Okay," I grin, "you're mine."

Her eyes flash and she bites down hard enough on my neck to leave teeth marks. My whole body spasms beneath her. I grab the sides of her face and pull her back just enough to catch my breath for a moment, making sure that she looks into my eyes. "And I am completely yours." She pauses, and then there are tears swimming in her eyes. "God, Britt, I've always been yours. You know that, don't you?"

She stares at me, searching my whole face over and over again for the longest moment, and then she's kissing me again. There is less of a frenzy to this kiss. She lets me kiss her back rather than just trying to sweep me away, and I take advantage of it. This kind of kissing, I think this was my favorite discovery when it came to making love to Brittany. All the times we had sex, when I was too drunk or desperate to be able to hold back my desires any more, this is the type of thing I would never let myself feel. This is what she would try to tease out of me, practically pleading sometimes, because she understood this is what we could have so very long before I did.

So now, I kiss her with everything I can, with every ounce of emotion I can muster. She sinks down into me, meeting every bit of passion with her own. Our hips are moving together before either of us really realizes it, and it feels too good to stop. She surprises me when she shifts one of her legs up over my hip, tilting my other leg upward to find the right angle and then we are pressed together completely. The high whimper that falls from her chest sounds like music to me, her graceful body finding the right rhythm, the perfect motion, waiting patiently for me to match it, one hand clamped firmly on my ass to guide me where she needs to be. We rock and grind together, swallowing each other's cries and moans. Doing this the way we should have been doing it all along. She builds us up slowly, our bodies slick with sweat by the time I feel the climax and let my hips chase after it. She finds hers first, jerking almost roughly into me and sending a blinding flash of wonderful pulsing through my body.

I collapse beneath her, panting and boneless, loving the feel of her weight pressed against me. Brittany's not still for long, though. Soon she's kissing down my neck again and I honestly am not sure I am up for another round, I roll away slightly, hoping I can entice her into some cuddling. But she takes the motion of my body and presses my chest down into the bed instead. I feel her straddling my hips, and oh holy crap she's just insanely wet where she's pressed against my butt. Like, wetter than I've ever felt her before, and my hips jerk toward her automatically. She twitches and groans, her hands pressing into my back to balance herself as she starts to move against me. And I really wish I could see her right now, to see what she looks like when she's riding me like this, but somehow it's almost hotter that I can only imagine it. I try to find her rhythm again, clenching and pressing up into her as hard as I can, loving the deep, hungry sounds she makes and the way her hands clutch at my sweaty skin.

She leans down, now grinding so harshly against me I'm sure my skin is going to be red tomorrow, nipping at the back of my neck in a way that makes me feel like we're two animals going at it. I reach back, grabbing her hip and pulling her into me even harder. She actually fucking growls into my ear and it's so hot I come softly just from the sound of it. I come again a little harder when she grinds one last time and practically paints my skin when she lets go. When she collapses on me this time, she's the one who can't move.

I let myself enjoy the feeling of her weight against me for a while before lifting up enough to urge her onto her side and then onto her back. Because it's definitely cuddle time and I think we've earned a whole night of it.

We've also definitely earned a shower, though, and I make a mental note to take one before we call down for something crazy expensive from room service that we can charge to Sue.

It's not until we're sitting around small table in fluffy robes, with Brittany enthusiastically devouring a lobster, that I start searching around the room for where my phone might have disappeared to. I finally find it half-way underneath the bed and tap out a quick message to my parents, letting them know we won and hoping they are enjoying their trip to Miami. I've got messages from Rachel, Quinn, Mercedes, Sam and even one from Kurt congratulating us on our win, a few of them also mentioning some twitter madness. I can't help but notice that my twitter timeline is a little bit crazy. There are pictures of the two of us kissing posted over and over again and I can't even bring myself to be annoyed. I show Brittany and she shrugs, still eyeing the device suspiciously.

I look at her for a long moment and start to scroll back quickly through my tweets, back for a few months when all this really began.

"You know," I clear my throat, my voice still rough from all the shouting, "No matter how many times I said I had a girlfriend, they didn't want to believe me. Do you know why?"

She looks up at me and frowns a little bit, shaking her head. I smile and stand up, moving around to settle onto her lap, holding my phone up where she can see it too.

"The very first time someone asked if I was looking for a girlfriend, this is what I wrote," I pulled up the message and tilted the phone toward her, "The answer is no. I already have the most beautiful, sweetest, most geniusly awesome girlfriend in the world. Sorry ya'll. Completely off the market." She stares at the words for a long time, her eyes a little misty when they look up toward me again. "I wouldn't ever post any pictures of you, because that would pretty much be outing you like what happened to me. And that wasn't fair. But they all decided that just sounded too perfect and you couldn't possibly be real."

She gives me a watery smile and I lean down to kiss her again, tasting the butter from the lobster that's smeared on her lips.

"But just so you know, if they start stalking you now? I'm going to hunt them all down and kick their asses."