Chapter 18 – Holly Holliday

"We need to ask Sam"

"Maybe it would be better if you asked him, I'm not sure how he'd react seeing me again"

You grunt in frustration. You know she's right. It's 6:30am on Saturday morning; you're leaving for Tennessee early so you can get there in time and settle in. You're so excited and stoked, no work for a whole two weeks and Brittany for company. It's honestly like all your Christmases came at once. You've both packed almost everything you need and flung your suitcases over the sofa. Lucy decides it's a nice looking place to lie and sprawls herself over them, she's got her whole sad droopy dog eyes thing going on.

"She thinks we're leaving without her," Brittany whispers into your ear.

You smile at the fact Brittany felt the need to whisper that to you like she was trying to conceal the fact from the dog but also the tingly sensation it sends down your arm.

It's cold here in NYC but Brittany reliably informed you it's going to be at least ninety degrees down south so she's dressed accordingly, so fucking accordingly that you've found it hard to think all morning. She's got a black cat woman tee on with blue denim shorts that just beg for you to ogle her long legs and well toned thighs. She's thrown on some black converses and has aviators resting on her head to complete the look. You kind of hate how effortlessly she threw herself together so early in the morning. She took a quick shower, applied some light foundation and stuck her hair up in a lazy bun. She was ready in less than twenty minutes. She honestly just doesn't care what she looks like and as a result she just ends up looking hot as hell. You hate her. You also love her.

The morning hasn't ran as smoothly as Brittany's dress routine however, the car she was supposed to rent got stolen and they won't let her rent another one before 11am when they open again for business. She threw all the hypothetical money at them over the phone but to no avail. Another detail you store about Brittany in your memory bank just for things about her – she's assertive as hell over the phone, especially if she doesn't get her own way. If you were on the receiving end of that call you would have personally drove whatever car she wanted over here free of charge and made her breakfast. Possibly do other things for her too.

Regardless neither of you want to leave that late in the morning, so now you're both stuck without a car to get there, yours won't do because there's nowhere to put Brittany's bike or Lucy.

"Why exactly do you need your bike again? Aren't motocross bikes different from regular bikes?"

"Yeah," she sighs, her shoulders slumping in disappointment as she leans against the living room wall looking entirely bothered by your current situation, "they provide the racing bikes down there, for a fee, but I wanted to bring mine because I promised I'd teach you how to ride" she says with a pout.

Your lips twitch and cheeks burn a little. Brittany riding things just destroys all comprehensible thoughts you have, when she rides her bike…you…

She could ride a damn bull and you'd still find it sexy.

You cough into your hand awkwardly trying to clear your thoughts, "Well that last time you tried to teach me I ended up having an orgasm"

She sucks in her lips, a complacent smirk tugging up on the corner of them. "I promise that won't happen again"

"Me having an orgasm?" you tease her.

She rolls her eyes playfully, "You know what I mean, I want you to try new things, riding Santana is one of them"

You blink at her. You remember her saying she wanted to call her bike Santana, but that was way back when you first met and you thought she was just mocking you. "You're not actually going to call it Santana, are you?" you ask with a stupid laugh because she cannot be serious.

"She's already called Santana, christened her and everything," she says with the largest grin and smuggest shrug of a shoulder.

"Huh? When did you chri-"

You stop yourself and realize exactly when this "christening" took place. You must pull a face because she's giggling at you and it still does funny things to your stomach every time you hear the sound.

Another thing you note about Brittany – she simply loves toying with you.

"Alright, alright," you groan, playfulness around your smile. "I need to get ready, what should I wear?"

She purses her lips and blows making a bored sound, but you know she isn't bored, you can see the excitement in her eyes, like she's visualizing you in various outfits. "Something skimpy," she says eventually with a smirk, "as little as I'm wearing, trust me it's hot down there and the car, if we can get one, will get stuffy"

Being stuck in a hot stuffy car with her for hours sounds like heaven but then you remember Lucy's coming along and suddenly it doesn't seem like a scene from an erotic novel.

"No fancy clothes while we're there either, we'll be spending two weeks in the mud"

You frown confused, "I thought this place was a five star resort"

"Oh it is, but the events takes place out on the field where the tracks are. It's awesome there's rodeo shows, country music concerts, fishing, mud slides, museums, tent camping, canoeing, wranglers camp – sure the scenery and log cabins are nice but that's not where the action is"

You find yourself smiling, you have to reluctantly admit it sounds like fun but as infectious as her excitement is you're also now dreading it.

"Hold up," you raise your hand and quirk an eyebrow at her, "Santana Lopez does not do gross things like fishing and mud"

"Yeah?" Brittany says like a challenge as she pushes herself off the wall and comes walking till she's in front of you. "Santana Lopez will have to deal with it" she says a smirk on her face and an amused shine in her eyes.

"It all sounds so…southern" you say, cringing at your own words.

You don't mean to sound offensive it's just that you've never been outdoorsy and with your experience of the south most people are in one way or another outdoorsy, you're also wary of the people there for several reasons and maybe a brand new reason now you're with Brittany.

"Well it is Loretta Lynn's Ranch," she explains.

The name sounds familiar but you shake your head not understanding.

"The Loretta Lynn, she's a country star?" Brittany says, her eyes wide in disbelief. Her blue eyes narrow yet look amused at your ignorance.

It's not your thing at all.

"S'not all bad you'll get ta meet all mah southern' friends, y'all will have a great time" she says in a drawn out, exaggerated southern accent.

You stare at her. The woman in front of you is putting on an accent and you burst out laughing, your heart swelling delightfully behind your chest. She's so cute. You can't deal with her.

She wraps her arms around your waist and sways you both on the spot a little, you falter at how naturally she's come to touch you after so long of restraining herself.

"It's just," you begin, trying and failing to quell a giddy laugh and you hesitate, "my only experience of Tennessee is at the ranch, we always went to the small town ten minutes away and people used to look at me sometimes, do double takes, one guy even asked Sam what he was doing with me and if it was an arranged marriage" you say rolling your eyes, "I'm fucking Hispanic not an alien," you snort, "then you want us to…you know…" you trail and look into her eyes.

She can probably see the worry in your own. She wants you to be out; out of the closet you're pretending so hard you're not even in.

"You're being so close-minded Santana, trust me, this place is huge, there's so many people and fans from all walks of life there, this isn't some place that's stuck back in the fifties"

"Have you ever took someone there?" you ask, and by took someone you mean another woman.

"Well no-"

"People will stare at us, I know it and I feel sick thinking about it," you blurt out and feel your throat tighten.

"But you don't know it Santana, you just think you do" she says sounding slightly exasperated letting go of your hips and crossing her arms in front of her. "OK, so what if people see us walking next to one another, what if I even hold your hand, what do you think is going to happen?" she asks and this suddenly feels like you're in room 47.

"I-" you start but falter. You honestly don't know what would happen. "I don't know"

"If you saw two women or men holding hands would you stop your daily life and just stare? Would you ask them questions?" she urges and you begin to feel both uncomfortable and like you're finally reaching a conversation that should have happened a long time ago.

"N-no"

"Why not?"

"Well," you say slowly trying to think of an honest answer, "I wouldn't want to seem rude"

"Exactly, it's unrealistic to assume the best in everyone but it's equally if not more unrealistic to assume the worst, you can't assume the worst case scenario is going to happen at every turn. If people see us holding hands they're going to think nothing of it, they might just assume we're super best buddies anyway, but the point is Santana, it's going to enter their mind for the two seconds they see us and then they're going to get on with the rest of their lives. Nobody is going to talk about us hours later, days later, years later. Nobody is whispering behind your back, pointing and staring at you. You're not a freak Santana and you're definitely not alone, you think we're going to be the only same sex couple there? Anywhere? Do you think when you walk to work every morning that you've not bypassed someone who's just like you, maybe once even had the same fears? Of course not, your self-confidence and depression and something else is making you feel like you're alone in this world but you're not, you're really not and most of all I'm here Santana. I'm here. I want to be your girlfriend, I am your girlfriend and that sometimes might mean holding your hand outside or kissing you in the rain. You're getting worried and stressed over hypothetical problems, imaginary problems, problems that aren't there. You worry so much about what other people, strangers mostly, think about you and that doesn't make any sense whatsoever. You should only care about what you think of you…and me…definitely me and what I think about you because I think the world of you Santana"

The back of your eyes are stinging with tears, you think one's already escaped making its way down your cheek. You have a lump in your throat and you're honestly a split second away from turning into a blubbering mess. Goddamn it, you hate that she gets at you so easily, you hate how well she knows you and you hate that you don't really hate it at all.

She just called you out on all of your greatest fears, every single one of them, every one you've ever had since you were a teenager, since you can remember. The feeling of being alone, the fear of people looking at you, talking about you behind your back. How you've become consumed by your own insecurities. Getting worked up over problems that aren't real, aren't even there, only existent in your head. She also thinks the world of you and simply wants to hold your hand because she's so fucking proud to be with you and your heart beats the hardest it ever has because you're so in love with her and you feel like a monster for not being able to give her that. A wave of what feels like determination and maybe sheer stubbornness washes over you.

"You're completely right, about everything, everything you just said," you say wiping away your tears and nodding your head firmly. "I'll hold your hand Britt, I'll cheer you on, I've let this…social paranoia… affect me for too long"

You don't know if social paranoia is even a thing but it's the closest way to describe what you feel. If you take your pills and take a giant leap of faith everything should work out fine on this trip, and maybe she's right, maybe people won't be looking at you or even think you're a couple anyway. You're beginning to question why you even care so much.

Brittany tilts her head and gives you a sorrowful look. She steps forward again, wraps her arms back around your waist and pulls you into a hug. "I didn't mean to be a meanie and lay all that out on you", she laughs softly into the nape of your neck and you shudder a little as she breathes you in hard. "I'm sorry if you're not ready then I'll wait"

She places soft tickly kisses on your neck and shoulder and you begin to feel like your heart is getting lighter.

You wrap your arms around her neck and give a wry laugh back, sniffing back the remaining tears you can't let show. "You were right, I just, I think I needed to hear all that, you've made me feel silly but feel better because of it so thank you. Thank you so much," you say sincerely and lean your head into hers feeling the usual warmth and comfort generate from her body.

"I'll always be here for you, I hope you know that" Brittany breathes back quietly and you close your eyes suddenly feeling relieved.

"I'll always be there for you too Britt," you promise. "And I'm more than ready"

You pull away from her reluctantly and feel better already, you scarcely cried at all and that's an improvement you think. You're also beginning to realize you should stop thinking and worrying about things all the time, maybe you should just let your life happen, just like you let her happen to you. Brittany happening to you is the best thing that's ever happened to you so why not take the same approach with everything else? Things just make sense when you take her advice, things just click in your brain and everything works. She's the best counselor and girlfriend anyone could ask for.

"OK so I'm going to go find something skimpy to wear," you smirk and poke her arm playfully.

You feel a tickle on the back of your neck as you walk away into the bedroom, you feel her gaze on you and you so want to make her proud. You so want to hold her hand and tell her that you love her. You so want to be her girlfriend, maybe the one you never truly were to Sam.

After a shower you decide to don your black denim shorts, high-heeled boots and dark-red flannel shirt. You've made sure to leave the first few buttons open so the top of your cleavage is visible. It's funny, you laugh nostalgically at memories of yourself in high school, you used to dress to impress the boys but you were never ever interested in them, you were always just with Sam. You felt safe with him. Nobody else ever interested you, boy or girl. At least you think, looking back maybe you were attracted to girls and didn't even realize it. You shake your head; those are thoughts for a different day, and long in the past too.

You go into the bathroom to fetch your toothbrush and anti-depressants. You hold the bottle in your hand and shake it a little. It's decidedly emptier than it should be and you chew your lip in worry. These two weeks were supposed to be one-pill days but ever since Brittany said she wanted you to be out with her you felt like they would turn into four-pill days. You definitely don't have enough left in your prescription for every day to be a four-pill day. Oddly, you find yourself smiling, after what Brittany just said you think maybe one-day pills will do just fine.

You're running out though and someone's going to notice when you go to get more, your doctor or worse, Brittany.

"Hey Britt," you call out walking back into the living room, trying to remain as casual as possible. "What happens when I run out, like, do I ask for more of these?" you ask and rattle the bottle at her.

"Yeah, just go ask the doctor for another prescription, you don't need another appointment usually, just talk to the receptionist and she'll ok it with your doctor," she informs you then sighs, "half the time they don't care though, it's become a culture nowadays to hand out anti-depressants like they're candy" she says with an annoyed look on her face.

You make an awkward noise that was supposed to be a laugh and you feel suddenly relieved and guilty at the same time. You'll deal with it when you get back from Tennessee, right now you have enough for just the one a day you should be taking and you hope it's enough. She's made you believe it's enough.

She's about to say something else when her eyes drop to your outfit like she's just seen you enter the room and she stares, chewing the side of her lip slightly.

"So," you say with a smirk, "we have to borrow Sam's pick up truck?" you ask knowing she isn't listening at all.

She swallows thickly looking at your chest area then dark blue eyes fall slowly down your legs all the way to your feet, she's nodding slowly but you don't think she even heard you. You'd be so grossed out and offended if it were anyone else, but you just find her leering cute as hell.

"So we just need to murder Sam then?" you ask, chuckling in amusement.

Her eyes have found their way back up to your chest and she nods slowly again, "Uh yeah, that will be fine," she mumbles.

"Brittany," you say in a faux-stern manner, crossing your arms across your chest.

"Yeah!" she says a little too loudly and she's out of her trance and her eyes are back looking into your own, suddenly not seeming as shadowy. "Sam…yeah…" she says nodding.

You groan a little, "I feel like a major asshole, first I ruin his life and now I'm just going to go round there again like hey let me steal your favorite vehicle too with my new girlfriend, you know, the woman I left you for" you say and shake your head with disgust. "Isn't there some other way?"

She bounces on her feet a little while shaking her head, "Nope," she says and readjusts the aviators on her head, "that truck is pretty perfect actually, lots of room in the backseat for our stuff and Lucy, then you have the back which can hold my bike, plus if we leave any later then we won't get there till midnight"

"Won't the bike fall off when we're riding?"

"No silly," she giggles a little, "I have supportive belts. I can strap it on"

You swallow thickly and you feel hot blood rise throughout your face.

Strap. It. On.

"Strap…it…on?" you ask, your cheeks burning, your voice sounding not at all like your own. You never had this many sexual thoughts when you were with Sam but now you're with Brittany it's like they enter your head on a daily basis, there's just a lot you want to do with her in so many ways, inside and outside the bedroom. You want to know her inside out. You plan on one day kissing every inch of her body, literally, even if it takes you hours, you want to worship her and show her how much you love her since you're too much of a weakling to say it.

"Yeah strap it on," she says frowning like she doesn't understand your question. "I could use two maybe three belts, strap them on real hard, nice and tight at the ends so-"

She suddenly stops talking and you watch in delight as a rosy color dusts itself on her cheeks. She gets the innuendo.

You slowly sit down on the side of the armchair and smirk at her, "you have great hands, I'd love to see you strap things on"

She looks at you and the blush on her cheeks now spreads to the tip of her ears. "I…didn't mean…uh" she stutters.

She's actually stumbling over her words. You've got Brittany Pierce acting like putty; you're both proud and aroused at the sight before you.

"You're so adorable," you say quietly and bat your lashes at her. She turns further red and starts making a coy circle with the tip of her sneaker on the floor, the floor that she's now staring at.

Ugh. You get up and stride over to her, you don't give her time to react before you're wrapping your arms around her neck and crashing your lips onto hers. She makes a moan and stumbles back, taken by surprise. The heat that had been flourishing on your cheeks is now burning on your lips as you stroke your tongue hungrily over her mouth. She wraps her arms around your waist and lifts you up a little so your feet leave the ground, kissing you back eagerly.

You squeal a little and smile against her lips. She sucks and nips back, a slight desperation about the clashes off your breaths, that is until there's knocking throughout the apartment and her lips leave yours.

Brittany blinks slowly like she's trying to remember where she is, "Again?" she asks and her voice sounds all sexy and scratchy.

You giggle and kiss her lips tenderly, you love the feeling of your own cushioning hers, you love how soft her skin and her lips are, and you love how you can taste her morning coffee on them. You pull away and smile dreamily at her closed eyes and the contented look on her face. "I would say ignore them but we do need to leave soon so we don't really have time to…do anything…" you say reluctantly, "put me down" you ask her and nudge your nose into hers.

She opens her eyes and grins happily at you, someone is still knocking at the door but she just shakes her head in the same manner a defiant cheeky child would their mother. "You're so tiny Santana," she says and squeezes her arms around your waist tighter, "you're like a tiny teddy bear, let's go see who's at the door"

"Brittany don't" you laugh and she's actually carrying you through the hall and toward the door. You're kind of pissed because yet again she's carrying you and you don't feel like your usual bad ass self, you're almost ashamed to admit your pride is hurt that she can lift you so easily like you weigh nothing. You try kicking your feet at her gently but she doesn't seem bothered in the slightest. You slump in defeat and hold on around her neck tighter as she clasps her hand around the door handle and opens it.

You're relieved and confused when you see Quinn standing at the door, Beth around under her arm, tucked into her waist. She has that same 'you cannot be serious' look on her face; her blonde eyebrows rose like she's not impressed with your behavior at all. The smirk on her face tells you otherwise and you grin at her.

"Sup Q, come to say farewell?"

"Come in," Brittany smiles and kicks the door further open.

"I have one child in my arms and you clearly have another in yours," Quinn smirks to Brittany and rolls her eyes at you.

Brittany plops you down and shuts the door, you miss the contact already but you follow Quinn through to the living room, curious as to why she's here.

The blonde turns around, her long tan jacket twirling around her knees and she looks at you sadly, "I have come to say farewell Santana actually, this is the longest we'll be away from each other"

You blink at her then realize she's perfectly right. You and Quinn have been inseparable since high school, and since you and Sam's only real vacations involved going to the ranch for the weekend you've never really been away from Quinn for so long. Now you're going to be gone for two weeks and you pout, realizing just how much you'll miss her.

You hear Brittany come in and take a little intake of breath as she moves toward Beth in wonder, "Well lookey here, who's this pretty little lady?" she asks in her cute baby-talk voice and she's holding Beth's hand in hers.

Of course Beth's only response is to start giggling like mad with wide bright eyes gawking right at Brittany. There's no other human way possible to respond to Brittany other than falling completely, utterly in love with her.

"Beth," you smile your heart thrashing wonderfully in your chest at the sight. God fucking damn it you need to get a grip.

"Ah so this is Beth," she coos and kisses the back of her tiny palm, "your mommy talked about you so much"

Quinn smiles looking impressed with Brittany's demeanor and looks back to you, the same despondent darkness around her hazel eyes. You stare back at her and feel like you're having a silent conversation, you've both helped each other through many things over the years but you helped her over Pucks death by just being there, even if you were your sarky self, you were just there. You realize Quinn's going to be alone for the first time since he passed and maybe she's scared. You both have other friends but they're honesty distant ones that you mainly talk to on Facebook, none that you have a mutual understanding with. None like Quinn.

Brittany, as responsive and intuitive as you've come to know her to be, looks between you both and seems to understand almost immediately. "If you want Quinn, you can come with us?"

Quinn snaps her gaze back to Brittany with wide eyes and a redder quality to her cheeks. You've never seen Quinn blush. "Oh, I honestly couldn't I mean…you two…are going away you'll probably want to be alone and-"

"It's a great place with state of the art log cabins to rent, you can bring Beth too and have the place to yourselves. There will be playgroups and other things for her to do, you can leave her at the group or with me if you want to be alone for a while, it's a great break away and the weather's supposed to be awesome so, I mean, I'd love you to come. It's rather expensive for the whole two weeks but if you want to come that long I'll pay for everything-"

"No," Quinn interjects and simply looks dumbfounded, "that's such…a…wow" Quinn struggles, running the hand that's not holding Beth along her temple like she's debating the matter in her mind. "That's so kind, I don't think I've ever been offered such a generous…but I can't I have work"

"You've never taken a day off work in years" you state, looking between Brittany and Quinn. "C'mon you deserve a break"

"You're coming," Brittany folds her arms and nods, "I've decided you are and that's that"

"I…wow…" Quinn continues to stutter words without making much sense, which is pretty fucking rare because Quinn always makes sense. Her face is positively red when she looks at Brittany and says "thank you," bowing her head in modest appreciation.

"I hope you don't mind sharing the backseat with the dog though" Brittany smirks and points at Lucy who's still fast asleep on the pile of suitcases.

"I knew there had to be a catch"

The morning is stressful as Quinn had to cancel her baby sitter for the next two weeks and call in "sick" for work. You and Brittany get a laugh at how much she was stressing out about it. You go over to Sam's quickly, whilst Brittany gets everything else packed, including some food and buying an icebox. You ask Sam to borrow the truck and he still looks the same from the last time you saw him, here merely grunts, disappears and reappears throwing the keys at your chest and slamming the door in your face. You guess you're thankful you didn't have to make pleasantries; you wouldn't have had the time anyway. You feel so bad that you shove four of your pills down your throat, you guess it's a good boost for the trip, but you'll only take one every day once you're there, you have to because you're running out but also because that Brittany's made you believe it's more than enough. This was just a precaution.

Quinn and Brittany put suitcases and other things underneath the back seats in the truck. Quinn had to do some last minute packing but Brittany reassured her she'd buy her anything she needed or forgotten. Brittany eventually lifts her bike up onto the back and straps it on, wrapping the ends around at the sides. She shuts the flap at the back of the truck and stares, probably wondering if it's safe or not.

"Did Sam get this thing serviced like I told you to?" Brittany asks, patting the side of the truck.

You nod, smiling faintly at the memory of Brittany fixing the engine.

"Good, It's just I need to tuck my baby in nice and safe" Brittany grins

"And I need to tuck my baby in nice and safe" Quinn laughs back as she straps Beth into a baby chair in the back. "Do you think a fourteen hour journey is good for her?"

"We'll stop at a motel if we have to" Brittany smiles and Quinn can do nothing but look thankful.

The road trip is long. Really long. Your legs and arms get numb because you've been buckled onto this damn chair for so long crossing states through sunshine and rain. You open the window once it's sunny again and let your hand drift through the warm wind, the remnants of the summer blowing hotly throughout the car. You stop and eat a McDonald's around 5:00pm. Quinn and Brittany, still a little hostile toward each other have been taking jabs at each other all day.

"So if you're paying for this trip, I can order two meals right?" Quinn asks, not entirely serious.

"Eat all you want Quinn, your ass needs filling out anyway" Brittany says, smirking at her in the rear mirror.

You've lost count but you think Brittany's won the majority of their exchanges.

You and Quinn go to the restroom and you end up throwing it back up in the toilet, without feeling any nausea beforehand. You wipe the back of your hand and frown, Quinn's already heard so you can't lie to her.

"You ok?" Quinn asks with a worried, furrowed brow.

"Yeah," you sigh feeling your stomach turn. In all honesty you suddenly feel nervous, you don't know what about, you have no thoughts in your head right now, not even negative ones but your stomach is telling you it's nervous. Something isn't right. "Yeah can you not tell Brittany about this?"

Quinn narrows her eyes and crosses her arms, "why?"

"No reason," you try shrugging casually, "if she thinks I'm sick she'll worry and this race is important to her so, I don't want her to worry over nothing"

You don't know what worries you more, how quickly you came up with the lie or how goddamn convincing you sounded.

You listen to Brittany talk for a while in the car and how she can't wait to compete again, about how huge a deal the AMA finals are and about the fact she's apparently she's the favourite to win. Of course she is. You fall asleep again and will the horrible feeling growing in the pit of your stomach to go away. Once you wake up an hour later you think it has and you sigh in relief. Brittany occasionally throws you a smile and you grin like an idiot at her.

She can completely dismantle you with a look.

She holds out a wrapper of mint candy to you, one hand still on the wheel and you go to take one but she pulls away. A simple offer turns into a silly hand game, your eyes meeting playfully throughout like you're having secret, private conversations.

"You two are unbearable," Quinn groans from the back seat.

"Hey, it's either us up here or you driving with us in the back seat and trust me, you don't want to leave me with Santana in the backseat," Brittany smirks back to Quinn.

"Why what would you do with me?" you husk, trailing a finger up and down her bicep, feeling the muscle contract at your touch.

You smirk at each other as Quinn makes gagging sounds.

"Seriously I'm going to throw up if you two don't stop it"

Quinn makes a stop to change Beth and give her some food, after a while you're back on the road and the sky burns amber, you've been drifting in and out of sleep by the time you hit traffic in Knoxville.

"Hey so you always check up on people's police records?" Brittany asks Quinn, her eyes darting to the rearview mirror again.

"You always sleep with your patients?" Quinn retorts.

You tense until, much to your shock, they both burst out laughing and smile at each other. Like, full on genuine smile. Somewhere along the way, whilst you were sleeping, their banter got friendly.

They're sassing each other like old friends.

You have a warm feeling in your heart and decide not to sleep again in case you miss anything else. A while later Brittany cranks up the radio when her favourite Dolly Parton song comes on.

New York City ain't no kind of place
For a country girl with a friendly face
If you smile people look at you funny, they take it wrong
The greenest state in the land of the free
And the home of the Grand Ole Opry
Is calling me back to my Smoky Mountain home

Brittany's drumming her fingers against the wheel, singing out loud to every word like she knows it off by heart.

I wish I had my old fishin' pole
And was sitting on the banks of the fishing hole
Eating green apples and waiting for the fish to bite
Life ain't as simple as it used to be
Just since the big apple took a bite out of me
And Lord, I'm so Tennessee homesick that I could die

You then burst out laughing because she's yodelling, the woman you love is actually yodelling along to a Dolly Parton song.

But I ain't been home in I don't know when
If I had it all to do over again
Tonight I'd sleep in my old feather bed
What I wouldn't give for a little bitty taste
Of Mama's homemade chocolate cake
Tennessee homesick blues is running through my head
Mama you can fluff my feather bed
Just as soon as I can I'm gonna head
Back to the Tennessee hills and it better be soon
Daddy you can load the rifles up
We're gonna load them dogs on the pickup truck
And head up to Calhoun Country and catch us a coon

You feel like the only sane person in the car because Brittany's singing madly at the top of her lungs, and even Quinn joins in from the back when the chorus kicks back in. You stare at Beth in her chair and she's fast asleep, as is the dog lying on Quinn's lap. How in the hell?

But I ain't been home in I don't know when
If I had it all to do over again
Tonight I'd sleep in my old feather bed
Eatin' grits and gravy and country ham
Go to church on Sunday with dinner on the grounds
Tennessee homesick blues are runnin' through my head

And I ain't been home in I don't know when
If I had it all to do over again
Tonight I'd sleep in my old feather bed
Good Lord, have mercy on a country girl
Tryin' to make a living in a rhinestone world
It's hard to be a diamond in a rhinestone world
With Tennessee homesick blues are runnin' through my head
I've got those Tennessee homesick blues runnin' through my head
Tennessee homesick blues

Once the song is over Brittany sighs happily, her eyes dancing over your face, "it is hard to make a living in a rhinestone world though"

All three of you Burst out laughing and you're not sure what you find so funny about Brittany's statement, maybe the fuel from the truck or lack of sleep has gone to all your heads but everything's funnier and you're suddenly loving this trip. It's coming to an end soon and you're kind of sad about it but at least on the way back you can make more of an effort with it, that, and you need to stop off at the Evan's Ranch. You gulp thinking about how they'll react to you and Brittany but shake the thoughts from your mind, there's no point in worrying about that now.

It's dark, 10:13pm by the time you're in Nashville.

"But seriously, nobody should be allowed to be as pretty as you Quinn" Brittany sighs, chewing gum and popping it out.

You hear Quinn giggle.

Like actually fucking giggle, you've never made her giggle.

"Uh, guys? What the hell I'm right here," you say, motioning a hand to yourself.

"You're not pretty Santana" Brittany chuckles like you said the most ridiculous thing.

You blink at her, "just what every girlfriend wants to hear" you deadpan.

"No," she says sighing and rolling her eyes like she's impatient you can't keep up with her. "You…you're not pretty…pretty's just pretty. You're much more than pretty you're beautiful, gorgeous, sexy…oh you're just..." she trails and blows out a heavy breathe between her lips.

She doesn't have a word for what you are.

"Better" You smirk feeling a blush burn your cheeks.

"Suddenly I feel like pretty isn't a compliment" Quinn quips from the back.

You try to stay awake but it doesn't last long and you find yourself leaning against the window and falling asleep.

You have the weirdest dream about a giant sheep.

"Hey we're here" a voice calls out to you after a while.

Brittany gently rouses you from your sleep and you open your eyes groggily. You feel the truck tires rumble across the stone road and it's almost pitch dark outside. You look down at your phone screen to see it's 11:03pm, damn you just want to go to bed. Once you feel awake enough you turn to see Quinn's awake and gently stroking Beth's face whose fast asleep despite the rocking of the car. You smile and turn back looking out your window. There's an opening in the road with a large wooden sign at the side.

Loretta Lynn

Dude Ranch

Hurricane Hills

Brittany drives past and comes to a car park by what looks like the main reception building. The trucks stops and your legs feel really numb from sitting for so long, you don't think you can stand. You roll your window up and get out the car, willing the feeling to come back into your legs, the cold night wind is also welcome feeling. You look around and feel instantly comfortable. The place is basically an entire forest, high pine and oak trees surround the place and it's basically a secret-looking little town situated in the middle of a forest. There are rows and rows of large and impressive looking log cabins, it almost looks like a housing estate hidden in the middle of a forest. You also see gift shops, food joints, a museum and rows and rows of motorbikes chained to bars. There are winding roads that lead to the racing tracks you can just make out in the distance; other paths lead into the surrounding forest. It's kind of beautiful. A few of the occupants are still awake, people of all ages and creeds. There's fat bearded bikers walking around with plastic cups full of what's likely alcoholic content, there's a few kids chasing each other around a large fire pit outside one of the cabins. Your eyes fall to a few TV camera crew vans.

FOX Sports 1

NBCSN

FUEL TV

Brittany wasn't exaggerating; this is a pretty big deal.

"My leg's are cramping and it hurts, I swear I'm about to give birth again" Quinn groans coming up beside you to take in the view. Beth's got her little arms wrapped around her neck and is sleeping on the blondes shoulder. "This place looks great," she adds.

Even Quinn is excited.

Lucy shows her excitement by running out of the car and peeing on the lawn.

You all enter the main reception area feeling exhausted after finally heaving in everyone's luggage. You keep Quinn company as she rents out a log cabin to stay in, you tell her to make sure the one next to her is free. You're waiting on Brittany because she's outside chaining her bike up so it won't get stolen. There's only the receptionist and another tall lady in here; she has short blonde hair and a black tracksuit on with the name 'Sue Sylvester' stitched on as a name tag on the front.

The tracksuit lady, with her hands firmly clasped behind her back comes strolling over to you. "Excuse me ladies," she interrupts you and Quinn rudely and her narrowed eyes are darting between you with suspicion, "are either of you here racing in the AMA Motocross finals on Friday, hosted by yours truly?" she practically bellows like some strange announcer.

"Uh no," you and Quinn both say in unison.

You point your thumb over your shoulders toward the main doors, "Oh! But my-"

Crap.

Girlfriend, just say it.

Brittany's your girlfriend so just call her that.

"-uh…friend is, she'll be here shortly" you chicken out.

"What is your friends name?" Sue asks.

"Brittany Pierce"

"Ah," she bellows again and shakes her head, "ladies I cannot express my disgust at the AMA favourite showing up last to this ranch"

She's talking about Brittany, "Wait, it's not her fault it was a freakin' 14 hour journey down here"

Her eyes hone in on you and damn she is scary, not many people scare you but she does. She's probably about to shout at you when Brittany comes bursting through the front entrance, rusting Lucy's hair with one hand playfully.

"Sup" Brittany nods her head at Sue.

You're guessing that Sue's in charge of this place, or at least the motocross event and Brittany definitely doesn't know.

"Pierce, come here," Sue clicks her fingers and points to the floor in front of her.

Oh crap.

Brittany looks confused as she walks and stops in front of Sue, Lucy sitting at her heel beside her and panting.

"Pierce!" Sue bellows

"Yes ma'am?" Brittany pouts looking scared.

"This fine specimen you're looking at is in charge of this event and I'm required to read out to you several rules and regulations regarding this event and you will stand there and listen, got it kid!?"

Brittany nods frantically.

Great, this better not take long.

"I'm going to my cabin, Beth needs to settle, my cabin is number 46, I here 47 is free" Quinn says with a soft laugh and slips quietly out.

You want to laugh but you're afraid that Sylvester woman will kill you.

"NUMBER ONE!" she states loudly and brings up her forefinger in front of Brittany's face. "All persons wanting access to the motocross track are required to sign a liability release form. All persons under the age of 18 need a parent or legal guardian to sign on their behalf. If you do not comply you will not be permitted access to the motocross track. Understand?"

Brittany nods.

"Number two! All riders are required to wear a u.s.d.o.t. Certified and/or Snell certified off-road motorcycle helmet, goggles and/or eye protection, a long-sleeved jersey, preferably cotton, riding gloves, knee cups and boots. If you are caught riding without the appropriate safety gear, you will be assessed a rule violation and you will not be allowed to continue riding on the motocross tracks or participate in the AMA championships, do you understand?"

Brittany nods.

"Number three! All riders are required to ride well-maintained machinery. Any motorcycle that fails a random inspection, and trust me lady there will be many; will not be permitted on the track. See Burt that-a-way," she says and points in some direction north, "he is our hired mechanic for this event and will have the appropriate parts or service you require if your bike is broken, do you understand?"

Brittany nods again and begins shuffling on her feet looking bored, like she knows these rules off by heart.

"Number Four!" Sue hollers and brings four fingers up in front of Brittany's face. "No play riding in the pits! Ride slowly and cautiously to and from the tracks. If you are caught play riding or speeding in a parking or pit area you will be assessed a rule violation and asked to leave the Loretta Lynn facility. People who injure somebody else on this property by this rule will be banned from the ranch indefinitely, do you understand?"

You just about doze off when she gets to rule number twelve and for a moment you find it funny because she's ran out of fingers to use.

"Number Fourteen!" Sue bellows again and you snap up, you realize you had fallen asleep leaning down on the counter, the receptionist by the booking area shoots you a small sympathetic smile and you smile back.

"Vending and/or merchandising, of any kind, without permission is prohibited. If you are caught selling anything without a valid permit you will be asked to leave the facility, do you understand?"

"Yes" Brittany groans sounding exasperated.

"NUMBER FIFTEEN!" Sue shouts over her. "Track rules! There is no double riding on the motocross tracks. There is no riding backwards on the motocross tracks, against the oncoming traffic, which is riding in a counter clockwise direction at all times! If you are not jumping the jumps, stay at least one meter to the side in order to allow other riders easier access to the jumps, do you understand?"

Brittany nods and yawns.

She looks so tired and cute.

"LASTLY!" Sue bellows.

Fucking finally.

"No pets allowed near the tracks, do you understand?" Sue asks and narrows her eyes, glaring down at Lucy whose all but fell asleep on the floor around Brittany's feet, despite Sue's shouting. "I am also inclined to inform you that swimming pools, gift shops, museums, hiking tours, walking groups are included within the booking price and are free at the point of use for your pleasure. After the AMA finals on Friday, several other, less civilized activities will take place over the weekend including mudslides and various rock concerts. Please enjoy your stay" Sue says through gritted teeth.

"Can I go now?" Brittany grumbles.

"You are dismissed!"

After you rent out cabin number 47, you and Brittany groan carrying your suitcases all the way there, even Lucy walks lazily beside you seeming exhausted. You arrive at number 47 and somehow find the energy to grin. It's a huge log cabin with a thick chimney and a porch at the front with pretty flowers and some old-time rocking chair by the window. You enter and feel the comforting warmth of the classic stone fireplace, there are brown and maroons around the living room, puffy big sofas and a state of the art flat screen TV on the wall. There are beams across the ceiling with old-fashioned patterned drapes hanging over them. It smells life firewood and flowery potpourri. God, you could live here. The kitchen and bathroom are the only two modern rooms in the house and they are state of the art with a large fancy bath, and the largest fridge you've ever seen situated in the kitchen. When you walked by, it said hello. Lucy finds a new resting spot by the fire and has already fallen fast asleep.

You and Brittany just lazily dump down your suitcases beside the king-size bed and crawl into it with your clothes still on.

"I'm…sleeping…now" she says through yawns and snuggles into your side.

You're already slipping into slumber.

Brittany wakes you up at 5:30am, like an excited kid on Christmas morning. There's one thing you learn watching her prepare for a day of practicing – her routine is meticulous, she's serious about this, very serious and if you didn't know before you know now, this is very important to her. She eats cheerios then works out on the living room floor doing sit-ups and press-ups; she then irons her motocross outfit and checks every nook and cranny of her gear. She times herself doing every little thing while chomping doing on a granola bar. You shove on a purple hoodie over your tank top and leggings, you're only here to watch her practice, the real vacation won't start till Brittany's got more time after the main race on Friday, until then you can watch her practice, meet her friends or you and Quinn could hang out.

"Come help me put on my gear," she says motioning her hand to you.

You get up from the sofa from where you were watching the news and smile at her, she's so bright and cute and it's too early for all these feelings.

"Red bull is your sponsor?" you ask stunned looking down at the graphics on her outfit.

"No big deal," Brittany shrugs, "they sponsor a lot of amateur racers, but hey the annual thousand dollar cheque is nice" she smiles at you.

You will yourself to stop staring as she strips down to her underwear and you help her into the cotton outfit. You zip her up at the back and she turns around. The suit is mostly cotton and fits her snuggly. The design is mostly white but there's thick black and grey stripes coming down from the shoulders and across the chest and arms with the bright red 'Red Bull' logo on the front. She's got an icon of the red bull on both arms and in one of the kneecaps and she looks, for lack of a better word, fucking cool. She puts on her matching clunky black riding boots, kneecap protectors and elbow pads. You lift up her white body armor from the floor and almost drop it because Jesus fuck it's heavy, it actually feels like protective armor you'd find in the military or something. It feels both plastic and metal and you can't decide which. You carefully put it on over her head and strap it securely on at the sides.

"I feel like a gorilla," Brittany grins, banging her fists against her body armor with loud thuds. "Ouch" she says looking down at her knuckles after the third bang, yes apparently that shit is made of heavy metal; you're kind of worried about how she's going to ride with that on.

Brittany stands up straight, feet together and with broadened shoulders, looking to you with a playful glint in her eye, like she's ready for inspection. "Uhm…how do I really look though?" she asks, a nervous tension around her voice. She's actually nervous and wants your approval.

So fucking hot and bad ass.

"You look more like a knight, a white knight" you grin instead, trying not to project your own unwarranted nerves onto her.

"Knight in shinning armor," she mumbles then licks her lips, "I'll save you any day miss Lopez"

You really can do nothing but blush at that.

Brittany leaves Lucy in the cabin when it's ready to leave, "Aww, I'm sorry Lucy, no pets allowed near the tracks but you'll be ok here for a few hours right?" she asks clapping around the golden retrievers ears, "I've left you fresh water and food and I brought your favorite snuggly," she says laying down a chew toy in the shape of a caterpillar at her wayside, "I promise I'll take you a long walk tomorrow morning and we can play and then you can pee on Sue Sylvester's car, ok?"

Lucy gives a happy bark and you laugh thinking she just might be serious.

You both leave and are hit by the chilly cold morning air but still, it's such a nice morning; there's leaves sprawled carelessly along the grass, the first signs of fall. The morning dew is making the air humid and heavy, also the grass fresh but squelchy. You see other people leave their cabins, set up fire camps; some are even cooking things over theirs. There's a smell of fuel, grass and cooked meat in the air as you bypass a fast-food caravan flipping burgers and frying bacon for the early morning arrivals. The small wind is tempting the trees to rustle and blowing seamlessly through the golden locks in front of you. You're following Brittany somewhere but you're too engrossed in her and your surroundings that you don't much care where you're headed, as long as this place continues to make you feel awesome for some reason and as long as you're with her.

You can't stop checking Brittany out though. You follow her to somewhere, she told you where you were both going but you were too distracted to form her words to something coherent and understandable. She's almost got her full kit on, only her helmet, gloves and goggles strapped to the seat of her motocross bike. A bike that's a little smaller than her usual bike, it's got different wheels, gears and even a different seat. Brittany's pulling the bike along so casually like she's did this a million times before. You then realize she probably has, but still, you've never seen her in her element and it's both impressing you and turning you on. Her biker boots thud against the grass heavily and your eyes travel upwards, wishing you could see through cotton until you get to her ass which is swaying casually, deliciously, almost arrogantly from side to side with every step she takes.

"This is it, won't take long hopefully" she says over her shoulder, bringing you out of your stupor.

You come to a building that looks more like a glorified shed and at the top of it there's a hand-painted sign that says 'Burt's Supplies'. There are motorbikes parked outside and lots of people exiting with spare parts and tires. It's a makeshift garage, you figure it makes sense; nobody would actually set up shop in the middle of this field considering the races are only on a few times a year. There's also a few food and memorabilia stalls nearby and the place is buzzing with people but in a subdued early-morning way. You wonder if you should go check on Quinn and ask her to hang out but you almost forget it's a quarter past six in the morning and she's probably enjoying a rare lie-in.

"Mhmm," Brittany hums in thought as she comes to a stop by the giant fire pit outside the garage entrance. It's not lit but there are long strips of wood and bark forming a large, almost bonfire-like fireplace. There's improvised seats set around it in a half-circle made of tree's chopped in half then embedded into the ground. "Let's wait here till it gets a little less busy, I don't want to trouble Burt" she says, resting her bike down on it's side by the pit and placing her helmet and other gear there.

"You know Burt?" you ask and you sit down beside her on the wooded seats. You close your eyes and breathe in the morning air feeling the comforting warmth glowing on your back from the morning sun rising behind you.

She smiles and nods at you, "thanks for coming here with me" she says and pokes the side of your leg bashfully.

You chew your lip and giggle shyly at her.

You'd go anywhere with her.

A voice suddenly interrupts you both, "Well, well. Bout' time my blonde bombshell showed up"

From the top of your vision you see black leather boots with intrinsic patters on them and shiny silver studs sticking out of the sides get closer and closer till they stop. You look up and an older blonde woman is smiling down at Brittany. She's sporting a dull grey tee with 'the clash' logo on the front underneath an authentic looking leather jacket and tight leather pants. She must be a biker.

"Holly!" Brittany pounces up and hugs the other woman.

You stand up sensing introductions are in order.

There are small yet distinguishing age lines wrinkling the edge of her grey greenish eyes, she has to be at least ten years older than you. She's hot though; you can already tell she has an air of confidence about her that reminds you of another blonde you know.

Wait. Hot?

You shake your head and look between them exchanging pleasantries.

"Oh! I forgot!" Brittany exclaims throwing a palm over her face, "Holly, this is Santana Lopez my girlfriend, Santana this is Holly Holliday"

"Hey there hot stuff" she smirks at you and offers you her hand.

You're temporarily blind sighted because Brittany just called you her girlfriend, out loud, in public. You're panicked but also relieved because this woman doesn't seem to care and the world didn't end, at least no hole has appeared on the ground and swallowed you up yet. Brittany said it so casually, so naturally, you wonder if she even realizes what's she's done.

"Uh…hi" you say shaking her hand back.

Her hand is cold yet she shakes yours firmly and assuredly.

This woman seems cool as hell to be honest so you muster your bravado that's been nothing but timid so far. "Holly Holliday?" you snort and smirk back at her. "You're either a porn star or c list actress, which are both basically the same thing"

"Yeah yeah laugh it up chica, my mother blessed me with the name, she's dead now, I killed her because of it" she says with a straight face.

You feel your own face pale and then her and Brittany burst out laughing at your reaction.

"Just kidding hot stuff," she winks, "I'd make a pretty ace killer though you gotta admit"

"Oh, you're certainly a killer something" you mumble, eyeing her up and down. You laugh nervously and feel yourself blush in her presence. You feel flattered by the looks she's throwing your way but also nervous because you want to be cool like her. You want to impress this stranger already. You probably look really lame right now.

"Girlfriend huh?" Holly says with a knowing look to Brittany and she too blushes under Holly's stare, they're looking at each other like they're in on a joke you're not privy too. "Damn, why do you always get the hot ones" Holly sighs looking you up and down, she's talking about you like you aren't even here.

You shift awkwardly on your feet, secretly hoping you've got her approval.

"You never have partners and you've never brought someone here Brittany, must be serious"

"Holly," Brittany grumbles under hear breath, her face and ears growing pink, "you're embarrassing me" she says with a slight nudge of the head toward your direction.

You laugh at her failed attempted to be subtle because you just find it so damn cute.

Your mind is kind of blown because Holly reminds you so much of Brittany, it's like you're looking at a future Brittany with only some personality differences, actually she has a lot of sass so in many ways she's like a blend of you both.

"So what's the story morning glory? How did ya's meet?" Holly asks looking between you.

Oh god – that's such a couple question.

"She's uh…my…I'm her therapist" Brittany says and you sense how uncomfortable she was saying that.

It's only really now that it hits you, of how wrong that sounds.

"Duuuuude" Holly drags out looking at Brittany astonished, "Isn't that like illegal or something? Because I am like crazy informed about these things and that is all sorts of messed up"

"Not technically illegal no" Brittany huffs crossing her arms, "you don't know our situation ok? Back off"

Holly holds up her hands in surrender, "hey, I'm just sayin' that's all, it's none of my business. Love is love and all that jazz."

Love. You try not latch onto any deeper meaning from her statement.

"Sorry," Brittany skews her mouth and scratches her eyebrow, "it's just…complicated. Anyways tell me about the race this year, what am I looking out for?"

"Oh so now you want my opinion," she says and kicks her boot into the side of Brittany's leg, a friendly jostle between familiar friends. "You want the down-lo', give me some sugar and I'll tell you" she says making a pouty kissing shape with her lips.

"For the last time I'm not sleeping with you" Brittany chuckles

"Can't blame me for trying baby"

You scowl at her not out of jealousy per say but because she can call Brittany that so freely yet it's something you struggle with. You wish you were as cool as her.

"Alright listen up," Holly continues clapping her hands together once, "so you've more or less got the same competition from last year but there's a few new faces you oughta be careful about. There's this Chinese woman called Dandan, she's small but speedy, you can't miss her though, only Asian here-"

You and Brittany both laugh.

"-There's also this blonde chick from Lima called Kitty, I shit you not that's her name, seems like a dirty player, would crash into your bike to get ahead of you."

"Ok," Brittany nods, putting her hands in her biker pant pockets and looking slightly nervous, "thanks Holly, I'll see you around, we can catch up later, if that's OK?"

"You know it. See you too hot stuff" Holly winks at you

"Not if I see you first!"

She laughs and turns, walking off toward a group of male bikers by one of the stalls, they pat her on the back roughly when she re-enters the group, like she's one of the guys.

Not if I see you first? What the fuck was that Lopez?

You turn to Brittany half-expecting her to call you lame but she's sank back down on the wooden seat, her shoulders slumped and her head bowed. She's quiet.

"What's wrong?" you ask sitting back down beside her.

"Just her reaction to you being my patient," she sighs and scuffs her boots against the mud, "brought me back to reality is all, I'll need to resign soon"

"Wait, what? Resign?" you ask confused. "Look I know it isn't conventional but our relationship works, I don't see the big deal, I'm sure we're not the first patient and counselor to fall in-"

Shit.

You cut yourself off and stare at her, naively hoping she didn't hear you but the look on her face tells you she did. You can feel yourself burn red. An awkward feeling runs down your spine, making you physically retort as if you heard nails drag painfully down a chalkboard and suddenly you feel like you're sweating buckets. She looks at you, her mouth open a little, her cheeks and the tips of her ears pink in embarrassment. Or flattery, god you hope its flattery.

"I uh," she starts, like she's trying to quickly divert from the awkwardness, "you don't understand Santana there's rules and laws about this thing. Our relationship is illegal in some states, not our state but still, with good reason. Because I'm in a position of power over you, us having a relationship would be treated as seriously as a doctor and patient or teacher and student. It's unethical."

"Oh," you breathe out feeling guilty. You thought there was just some unspoken rule about this thing but now you're only aware of your ignorance, you have no idea about rules regarding this. You didn't care enough to ask or look into it.

"Wait so, you're going to lose your job?"

"It's inevitable," she says quietly, looking down and playing with her hands. "Sooner or later someone, possibly a colleague will see us together and that's that."

"There's nothing wrong with us been seen together"

"There is though," she smiles wryly, "even us sitting here now together outside of our professional relationship is wrong and more than enough to get me fired, never mind the fact that I came onto you and we're now engaged in a sexual relationship. The truth is when you told me Sam's parents owned the ranch I should have shipped you off to a different counselor because then technically we would be related and counsellors aren't allowed to counsel friends, relatives or anyone with any sort of connection, no matter how small, even if it's the woman that serves you coffee every day you've never spoken to."

You watch as she digs her nails into the back of her knuckles, she looks so uncomfortable and guilty talking about this you almost want to change the subject.

"But then if I sent you to someone else, I'd only get to see you at the ranch once a month and that just wasn't enough for me. There's also a two-year rule where after the sessions have finished you can regain contact and be friends after two years. God," she laughs and shakes her head, "I guess I'm breaking that rule with Quinn. I've pretty much broken at least ten code of conduct violations with you alone, one with Quinn and-"

She puts her hand over her face falling silent.

You keep quiet sensing she wants to talk about it more but you can already tell she's disgusted with herself, but in your mind she shouldn't be.

"Still, our circumstances were circumstantial when we first met Santana, but it was that night in the blue note, when I touched you under the table, that's when I crossed the line and could never come back from it. That could easily be deemed sexual exploitation or even sexual abuse. That night I realized many things and I decided that my career was living on borrowed time. I also wanted to help you out with counselling anyway so decided to keep seeing you in room 47 for as long as I possibly could before ultimately being fired and having my license revoked. I mean, technically a complaint would need to come from you for that to happen but still us been seen together is enough for me to loose my job, but I decided months ago that this was the price for my feelings toward you. I'll deal with it once we get back to New York but I can't keep chancing this, keep being your counselor and your girlfriend, it's just better for everyone that I quit before I get caught."

You gulp realizing just how much she's risked and thrown away to be with you, you feel touched and guilty, yet utterly confused at her actions. "This is insane, your job is your life, and you love it and studied hard to get where you are. I'm not worth loosing your job over Britt"

She drops her hand from her temple, the life returns to her face and she giggles like you just said the silliest thing, "Yes you are. To me you are"

You stare at her. She must be crazy. Crazy about you.

"It's either that or I continue on being a counselor, refer you to another therapist and we split up then resume where we left off two years from now, could you do that Santana? Could you go two years without seeing me at all?"

You gulp then snort at your own embarrassing memory, "Britt, remember I couldn't go two days without you never mind two years, I drove all the way down here from NYC just because I freakin' missed you"

That seems to cheer her up and you both laugh softly exchanging knowing, shy glances.

"You came on really strong considering the regulations, I'm not judging you or anything," you assure her quickly, "just putting it out there" you smirk.

This woman bravely or stupidly, you can't decide which, basically risked her career on a whim.

She laughs a little, "Yeah, still the craziest thing I've done"

"Crazier than this motocross stuff?" you tease her

"Definitely," she nods, "With us, I thought at first it was just a physical attraction, I told myself that you were straight and just being friendly but the counselor side of my brain could tell you were struggling with your sexual identity, and looking back," she pauses giving a heavy remorseful sigh, "I exploited that"

"Britt," you say softly, reaching out to rest your hand on her knee. There are people around and you're touching her knee, you feel pleased with yourself for a moment. "I didn't exactly stop you, in fact I encouraged you, I couldn't keep away from you, this wasn't all some one-sided thing, I kissed you first, remember?" you laugh a little. "It's all irrelevant now anyway, if you hadn't have come onto me I would have made the move eventually," you pause and your eyes take in her features. She doesn't look as sad and is watching you with those forbearing, attentive, calm cerulean blue eyes you've fallen in love with over and over again, endlessly.

"We are inevitable Brittany" you say with certainty and squeeze her knee in your hand, unable to look away from her striking eyes.

She smiles, bashful, modestly. "Thanks Santana," she whispers and lays her hand down over the back of yours, "but you don't need to worry about me or this situation, it was my actions and I'll deal with the consequences, for now let's just have an awesome vacation"

"You bet" you grin at her.

After a while people start spreading out, there's a few people with bikes who have the same idea of practicing on the tracks like Brittany. Other people have dogs to walk, canoes under their arms, some are clearly going hitch-hiking while others are going fishing. This feels so much bigger than just a community event and you figure by the time Friday gets here this place is going to be jam-packed. You follow Brittany over to Burt's and stand outside the entrance.

"Hey Burt!" Brittany says as she goes toward the makeshift garage and knocks gently on the door.

"Hey there Britt" he says, his accent notable, "c'mon in, I said I'd show you how to service your own air filter, right?"

"Right!" She nods enthusiastically.

"I'll just wait out here," you mumble.

Brittany throws you a questioning look but then shrugs, you don't know how well Brittany knows this Burt guy but you're a judgemental bitch and right now your subconscious is noting the olive trucker cap on his bald head, the stains on his dull brown t-shirt and the red chequered shirt that looks way too big for him flung haphazardly over him. A small town guy. But most of all you note the golden chain around his neck, a crucifix with a little mini Jesus on it. You realize you're jumping to all sorts of conclusions but if you're really going to be out with Brittany on this trip you want to be smart about it, so you're keeping the hell away from this guy, no matter how well Brittany knows him.

You watch them work away on her bike for a while until you catch Holly from the corner of your eye come up to the garage entrance, she leans against the metal hanger wall casually looking between you and Brittany.

"You like her a lot huh?" she asks.

You nod, "more than like"

"She has that effect on people" Holly sighs and you hope she isn't speaking from experience.

"What effect?" you ask anyway.

"You know, she just has one of those faces, that presence. Like if you're gonna be stuck with a stranger in a dark alleyway you'd want it to be her, you know?"

You laugh softly and nod your head, "Yeah I know" you agree.

You look at Brittany and she's laughing away and patting Burt on the shoulder for some reason. There are many things you love about Brittany, like the way she has to have her bread cut into triangles or she won't eat it, like how she always has to spend at least ten dollars in any one shop otherwise she's not "contributing to the economy", and how she loves the smell of citrus so much you changed your shampoo accordingly. She also loves engines; she looks so damn happy with a piece of seemingly useless metal in her hands.

"Well I'll see ya around kiddo, I really hope we can do something together Santana" Holly says, leaving her suggestion open to interpretation and saunters away.

You nod vaguely and go inside.

"Burt, this is Santana I've been telling you about"

He holds out a hand covered in a clean cloth so he doesn't stain you, you shake it and smile politely. "I've heard a lot about you" he grins and goes back to doing something on the faraway counter. Brittany brings her motocross bike out the front and plops it down, it looks shinier with better, firmer wheels too. She nestles it between her legs, her hips swaying from side to side and your heart stops when she's batting her lashes at you.

The sway of her hips in those cotton pants.

Fuck.

She's a smirk away from being smug with that stupid grin on her face, she's begging for you to look her way, to give her attention. She's trying to impress you. She knows she looks hot and she's using it against you.

"You look bad ass and I can't wait to see you ride Britt" you sigh at her, putting your hands on your hips.

"Thanks," she beams, "but I'm kinda nervous about you watching, can you like…maybe…not watch me today?"

Oh god she's adorable, how can she switch from confident to insecure like that? You don't understand her.

"But I want to see you ride!" you laugh.

"OK well at least let me get a feel for the track again, after dinner I'll come out and you can watch me practice then, ok?"

"Fine" you sigh finding humour in her bashfulness.

Burt comes out and taps Brittany on the arm, "hey can you man the store for a few minutes? I gotta deliver this break to a guy up in the cabins"

"Sure no problem! C'mon Santana let's go inside it's kinda cold out here"

You go into the store and really it's just a garage with shelves full of scrap metal and other engine parts with a cashier on a wobbly counter at the back.

You walk aimlessly up to the back of the room, looking around, playing with a bobble-head by the cashier.

Once Burt is away and out of earshot Brittany turns to you, devilishness in the way she spins on her heel so quickly. You feel your body get heavier under the look she's giving you now, maybe heavier than that damn piece of armor she's wearing. You rest your palm on the counter, feigning nonchalance.

"You were flirting with Holly," she states, her thin lips curling up into a smirk.

She seems…amused.

"I wasn't really I just-"

Your voice dies because she's walking slowly toward you, her palm sliding along the counter, advancing closer and closer to yours. You feel like the smallest person in the world, so small she could swallow you whole and the glint in her eyes tells you she just might be thinking about it. You slowly back away from her until your back meets the wall; you've now entrapped yourself between the fire extinguisher on your right and the counter on your left. There's no way out now.

You gulp when Brittany's boots hit your own, she's already right in front of you. "It's fine Santana," she breathes lowly looking somewhere beneath your neck. You stiffen because you feel her breath ghost your collarbone. "A reminder though that this-" she hisses wantonly and suddenly her hand is cupping in-between your legs. "This is mine"

You gasp. Gasp at the contact, at how her warm palm is now nestled between your thighs, cupping your sex in her palm possessively and you feel yourself moisten.

She's pressed against you, gripping between your legs so firmly that you almost have to stand on your tiptoes. Your heart is beating all around your body. Murky blue eyes turn a shade lighter, as the aroused smirk from her lips falls less poised and you catch in your vision her swallowing like she's suddenly tense.

She withdraws her hand from between your legs and slowly, gingerly, slides it up your front; smoothing over your abdomen that your stomach muscles tighten and your eyes flutter shut for the briefest of moments. She's shifting your tank top up a little and then glides up the valley between your breasts and she's now touching your skin, eventually resting a soft palm over exactly where your heart is.

God.

The touch is so gentle and sweet your breath catches in your throat. You feel your face burn when you realize she can probably feel how crazily your heart is beating against the palm of her hand.

"And this," she says, her voice much quieter than before. Her eyes are on you, nervous, confused, a little overwhelmed. You can see a mixture of emotion swirl in her pupils and etch themselves on her beautiful face. Her usual nonchalance, her apathy, her confidence that was there a second ago is nowhere to bee seen, she's unable to muster any of it and you watch her fascinated. Your heart drums against her palm, beating only for her - she could so easily rip it out in this moment. Instead you hope your heartbeat vibrates against her palm and travels all the way up the veins in her arm to her own.

"This," she says again, her pointer finger gently tapping over your heart. Once. Twice. Three times and your knees feel weak. "This is definitely mine," she says softly, her voice shaking, uncharacteristically uncertain of itself.

She smiles at you not with her lips but with her eyes and you find yourself drowning in blue and nodding dumbly at her in a blissful near-death haze.

Her gaze is intense, like she's trying to tell you something without words. You panic a little, a blissful panic. There's a deliberate glint in her eye and her hand is over your heart. Your heart.

Did she take your earlier slip up seriously? Does she know? Does she know that you're in love with her?

The smile in her eyes drops down and forms on her lips; she's beaming so much at you, bringing sunshine into a damp, dark workshop and into a once dark, damp heart

No. She'd tell you if she loved you, she wouldn't hesitate. She's not a coward like you.

But she is falling in love with you and that's more than ok, you just hope she never stops.

In all honesty you didn't even realize you were flirting with Holly, you're flirting without realizing, which is the definition of doing something that comes natural to you, and apparently you've learned today it's in your nature to flirt with woman. You tuck and hide that realization to the back of your mind. The very back of your mind, the dark corners you plan on not exploring for a while, if at all.

Burt eventually comes back and Brittany walks you back to the cabin.

"Burt and his wife invited us to dinner next week at one of the diners here" she tells you on the way.

You don't bother voicing your fears to her and simply nod.

Eventually she's off heading toward the tracks and you invite Quinn and Beth into your cabin. Brittany comes back for lunch and is off again soon after looking beat, you spend most of the day catching up on sleep you missed out on and spending time with Quinn.

Later on in the evening Brittany heads back out toward the tracks when it's quieter and this time you follow her. She's got her gear all ready again and you notice the grass and dirt marks already on her cotton suit and protective armor. She's led you to a large track and you think it's the second biggest here. You watch her as she takes out her gloves that she had stashed under her arm and puts them on. Blue eyes are still darting toward you like she's very aware that you're here and you find it cute.

A large, burly man with mousey brown hair suddenly knocks his bike into Brittany's front wheel as he walks by with his in a very deliberate manner. He looks at Brittany in disgust, he doesn't even need to utter a word, you know exactly what he's thinking - Brittany's a woman, and has no place here riding a bike.

"Sorry," he spits at her rolling his eyes.

It's the least sincere apology you've ever heard.

"Oh, don't worry, it was probably my fault!" Brittany chirps and gives a little wave at him as he walks away. He just looks even more annoyed at her.

You take a mental note of the name on the back of his body gear - Karofsky.

"Hey man tits" you snarl at him and he turns back around glaring at you, "you better apologize to the pretty blonde here right now or I will seriously go to that scary ass Sylvester woman about my genuine concern regarding your body weight and whether your fat ass is even qualified to ride a bike without fucking breaking it in half"

He turns almost as red as the helmet sitting on his bike seat, you can't tell if he's really angry or just really embarrassed. He points his finger at you before scowling and turning away. He still didn't apologize and normally you'd pursue the matter further but you don't want to cause a scene.

Your gaze flickers back to cerulean blue and she's looking at you with great interest. There's a slight surprised expression embedded in her features but she's also tilting her head like she's confused. She's looking at you wanting an explanation, she seems more curious than anything else.

"What?" you shrug at her defensively. There's no fucking way you're apologizing for defending her against a douchebag.

To your surprise Brittany's lashes flutter a little and her cheeks turn red. She chews her lip like she wants to say something but you beat her to it.

"This is why we're perfect together Britt" you sigh happily and grin at her, "you're too nice, you want to see the good in everyone or probably do some counselor shit to try work out why they're such an asshole, me on the other hand? I just accept that an asshole is an asshole and should be treated like one. You're a big giant balloon of awesomeness but you need someone to keep a firm hold of your string so you don't fly too far away from the ground. That's what I'm here for, to hold your string" you say firmly, looking out across the distance and placing your hands behind your back, "well that, and also to keep the assholes at bay" you finish with a smirk.

You watch in delight again as the red flushing her cheeks trickles and climbs it's way to the tip of her ears and you can see her chest rising and falling faster and how she swallows more harshly.

She sweeps some loose blonde hair to the back of her pony and scrunches her face up as the sun hits it perfectly. Her eyes are narrow but open soon enough when she raises her hand to shield the sunlight. Blue eyes lurking in the shadows look at you with nothing but genuine wonder. "We're perfect together, huh?" she asks all breathless and awed.

She's looking at you like you're special. Like she's in love with you.

You gulp and give a shy nod, "I think we are," you admit quietly.

The sides of her thin pink lips twitch and spread themselves into a beautiful smile against her ghost white, freckled face. Your heart pounds in your chest at how even her expressions leave you feeling breathless. She grins at you like she's never been happier, "I think we're perfect together too," she says like she's so glad you agree with her and it's too cute for you to handle. "Thanks for defending my honor" she says, her smile falling into an amused smirk.

"I'd defend your anything Brittany," you shrug honestly and smile back. "Now go kick some ass! Or whatever it is you bikers say…"

She nods with determination and walks off toward the track dragging her bike along with her, a happier spring in her step.

You learn a whole lot watching her do practice laps around the track. A whole damn lot. You thought that this would be a simple race around a track on a motorbike but now you realize by watching her ride the complexity of it and the sheer amount of physical strength needed for this. The track is muddy yet grainy at the same time, the amount of sharp bends simply makes you dizzy and the track is ten times larger than you thought, you can't even see the other side of it because it's so far away. This is only the practice track too; it's a mini-version of the main larger track that's a little further away beyond a large section of forest.

There's one or two other racers practicing too but you watch Brittany as she zooms around corners, and you hold your breath watching her because unlike the other racers who casually go around in large curves she takes sharp turns on the inside of the bends so she's turning a lot sooner and driving around corners a whole lot faster. She's going so fast and expertly it almost looks like she's cutting the corners entirely. It looks uncomfortable yet effortless on her part, you know how much her gear weighs so you worry when she bends and twists her whole body weight to one side of the bike at every corner she takes, and there's a lot of corners. Her knee's almost skim the ground and you gasp in worry every time because it looks like she's about to topple off entirely but soon enough she's sitting back up straight and getting ready for the next corner.

Her jumps also put the current riders to shame, and now you know what she meant when she told you she wanted to come down fast off her jumps and gain muscle weight in her legs. She's going so fast that the slowest part of the whole thing is when she's in the air, but even then it's a flash of a second before she's back on the ground and zooming off again. Her weaving in and out of corners, up and down off jumps and skidding around edges is almost making you dizzy. When it comes to the jumps on the track the others seem to linger casually in the air for much longer, almost like they can't get down, Brittany however as soon as both wheels leave the dirt she's bent forward and her thighs are squeezing and pressing down onto her bike so she's falling almost as soon as she's rising. You're scared and stressed watching her frankly but you're also impressed, really impressed. She clearly knows what she's doing and if her practice partners today are what she's going to race against on Friday you now know why she's the favorite. She looks like a pro.

"Sup' hot stuff" comes a casually urbane voice behind you.

Holly comes up and stops beside you, you watch from the corner of your eye as she lifts her shades off and rests them above her head. You watch Brittany land from a jump and muck splutter out her back wheel as she zooms onwards, accelerating up a steep looking hill and you feel exhausted just looking at her.

"Hey," you smile up at Holly because she's much taller and she simply winks back before looking back out at Brittany. You quickly do the same. You blush a little and will yourself not to act like a total looser around her this time, she's so damn cool and you don't want her to think you're a wimp or anything. "If you're racing against Britt on Friday you may as well go home now," you say, crossing your arms and smirking out at the track as Brittany goes zooming by you at just that moment. You guess she's doing another lap.

"Ha ha chica," Holly says dryly and you don't need to look at her to know she's rolling her eyes, "as much as I'd love to teach you kids, those over thirty-five, in motocross terms, are veterans. We have our own veteran race"

"Oh," you sigh finding that kind of sad. "That sucks" you shrug, "thirty-five seems really young to be classed veteran"

"In sports it's old" she says casually and doesn't seem to be bothered at all being "old" in sports terms.

You turn slowly to her once Brittany is out of sight at the far end of the track again, you look to Holly and smirk, "sooooo," you drawl out slowly, "what age are you then grandma?"

"Forty-two, and call me that again I'll wipe the floor with you," she says with a raised eyebrow. You both stand in silence for a while until Brittany's zooming past again. Again? She must be doing another lap.

"I hope she doesn't push herself too hard," you mumble almost thoughtlessly, "she's going around again and is it just me or does she seem slower?"

"Yep," Holly nods jauntily like the situation doesn't bother her in the least. "She's probably cramping which means she needs more practice so she's gonna be in a whole lot of pain tonight, and then she's gonna come back out tomorrow and do this all day, all over again because she's stubborn and needs to be perfect. She's gonna be out here every day till Friday, exhausted as hell, until then no pussy for you Lopez"

You stare at her feeling heat creep up on your face. "I…uh…you don't know that," you argue feebly, "besides I don't care about that, we can have sex whenever, this means a lot to her"

Does she seriously think all you want from Brittany is sex?

"She's also gonna get some serious Arm-pump gripping like that too, she should be squeezing and twisting the accelerator as gently as she squeezes your tits but the girl is nervous"

You ignore her tits comment, "Arm-pump?"

"Mhmm," Holly nods, "She's grippin' onto the bike so hard that the bloods draining from her forearms. Which is gonna hurt like a bitch tomorrow."

"Really? You can tell all that from here?" you ask, dubious, looking back out to Brittany who looks just fine from here.

"Sure can J. Lo," she says with all the nonchalance in the world. Her and Brittany must seriously be related you think. "Well," she yawns sounding bored with everything before bringing her shades down in front of her eyes and you feel a little intimidated because you can't see them. Her shades are just glowering down at you and you have nothing to gauge other than the smirk on her lips. "If you do get horny and she's too near deaths door, just gimme a call sweet cheeks," she says so utterly casually to you before punching you in the arm playfully.

You don't want to show weakness in front of her so you don't bother rubbing it even though you want to because damn that was sore.

"Pfft, you wish" you say rolling your eyes and dismissing her with your hand.

She walks away but suddenly grabs your wrist from behind and you freeze rooted to the spot. "I do actually," she whispers before she lets go and you hear her boots thudding against the grass walking further and further away until you can't hear her at all. You don't bother turning around to check.

You shake your head at yourself; you don't know why you're freaking out. She's probably just doing this to somehow get at Brittany. She's another woman hitting on you and it's the first since Brittany did, you're just not used to it that's all. Besides, you think she's just winding you up anyway, her offer not at all a serious one. It's an offer you wouldn't take anyway, but still, you feel excitement tickle your spine. You're so proud that you seem interesting or at least attractive enough to gain attention from another woman, another hot, experienced older woman. Your ego feels ten times larger than it was yesterday.

You were sometimes flattered but ultimately always annoyed at men's advances yet getting hit on by a woman just seems to make you feel so good and boost your confidence ten fold. The feeling is completely different from what you're used to. Maybe you need to seriously start thinking about what you've been burying to the back of your mind.

Maybe you are…

You're distracted when Brittany comes swerving around to the starting line, stops, kills the engine and keels over on her bike, almost all in one motion. She tumbles and hits the ground on her side but then turns around lying on her back, her chest plate heaving frantically up and down. She's breathing way too fast.

"Brittany!" you call out and run toward her, your voice strangled with worry, the dread trickling horribly down your spine till you feel sick.

Holy shit.

For a second you assume the worst.

You reach her and drop to the ground beside her, not caring that your knees are plunged into the dirt.

"I-I'm fine" she splutters out defiantly sounding utterly winded, you swear hadn't she spoke you'd think she was having a heart attack. You can't even see her; she's got her now foggy goggles over her eyes and her helmet securely on her head. You wince a little looking down at that heavy chest piece that's on her, it's probably restricting her breathing.

You're only a little relieved than she can actually speak.

"Can you move?" you ask, your hands skimming over her chest, looking to do something to help but you're unsure what.

"Yep" Brittany chokes out, her chest still rising and falling at an alarming rate. She makes no move to prove that she can actually move though. She's not even moving her hands. You look over at the bike that's lying on it's side on the ground and look back down to her.

You shake your head at her stubbornness, "I'm going to take your helmet and armor off" you inform her.

She makes some sound of protest but it's lost in her breathlessness.

You unclasp the bottom of her helmet strap just under her chin and she's gasping for breath frantically through her mouth, almost like she's drowning. You slowly raise her head and take the helmet off putting it to one side. Her blonde hair is no longer in a bobble; it's almost soaking, sticking to her head and back of her neck in sweat. You take her goggles off and lethargic blue eyes look up to you giving silent thanks.

"Can you sit up so I can get this thing off?" you ask gently, putting your arms around her back ready to lift her up.

She nods sluggishly so you sit her up slowly at first until she whines and groans like you just stabbed her in the chest. You remember what Holly told you.

"Holly said you'd be cramping because you've not practised enough, she also said you have something called Arm-pump"

Brittany grumbles in pain, "Holly" she moans and rolls her eyes.

"So you're telling me you're not in pain?" you ask skeptically, wondering why she's being so stupid and proud.

"I'm fine," she says but the hiss that comes out afterwards does nothing to convince you. "I can wear this thing for a few more minutes too". You poke her gently in the ribs through the gap at the side of her armor. "Argh what the hell Santana" she practically howls like some injured pup.

"Fine my ass. All right tough guy, let's get you to bed, can you stand?" you ask sensing she won't let you touch her anymore or even help her at all.

"Yes" she says shortly, "and I need my ice bath first"

"I'm sorry but I don't see what sitting in a tub of ice does to help you right now" you say as you stand her up and she sways on the spot. You grip her arm tighter.

"I do it all the time when I race, it induces sleep, repairs muscles and keeps them limber and even prevents injury. I know what I'm doing I just need to sit in one for ten minutes and I'll be good as new. Promise."

You narrow your eyes unconvinced, especially when she was struggling to even say that sentence without taking large gulps of air after every three words or so.

"I'm out of practice," she says in a frustration you've never seen from her before and she even punches herself in the thigh, which just causes her to whelp again. "I should've come here sooner, I should've been more prepared, and did you see how long my airtime was today? Not good enough. Also my timing on the whoops was pathetic!"

"Airtime? You mean how long you were in the air coming off your jumps? Britt you were amazing you were like the freakin' flash! Also I have no idea what a whooper is-"

"Whoops" she corrects you irritably and retracts her arm hastily from you looking in a mood, "The part of the track that had the mini jumps all knitted together, ten of them at least and you need to jump them and have perfect timing and I didn't!"

She seems really upset and annoyed at herself and she's taking it out on you. "Brittany I thought you killed it-"

"You don't know what you're talking about," she grumbles. "I need to be better. I can't loose this," she says in a huff as she refuses your help and retrieves her bike.

She ignores you so you just follow her back to the cabin in an awkward silence. You don't want to upset her more so you deliberately walk slowly behind her even though she's practically limping back, dragging her bike at her wayside looking in pain. She's like a near-death Jesus Christ carrying that damn heavy crucifix to some faraway place, but she's determined to get there, alone it seems. It takes thirty minutes longer to get back than it did to get to the track earlier, because Brittany's walking that wounded and slow. She's probably more stubborn than you and that's saying something.

Once back at the cabin you help Brittany remove her gear and her motocross suit. You lay them over the armchair next to the crackling fire you just lit, trying to warm the place up and make it as relaxing as possible for her. You watch, and ogle a little as Brittany takes her bra, underwear and socks off. She can barely walk in a straight line and winces a little as she takes bags of ice out the icebox.

"Here let me," you insist, gently tugging the bags of ice out of her hand. She just nods slowly, tiredly, her blue eyes giving you both a thankful and apologetic look. "I'll run your bath, just sit down for a moment you look like you're going to die" you jest trying to lighten the mood.

She kind of does look like she's going to die though.

"Cold water" she says weakly.

"I know"

You fill it almost to the brim with the coldest possible water that comes out the tap; you then look down at the ten ice bags on the floor with uncertainty. "All of them?" you frown up at her; she's simply been standing in the bathroom watching you in silence.

She nods.

"Your funeral" you sigh as you rip the tops off of each bag and topple all the ice cube chunks into the bath, each one making a plopping sound as it enters the water, plunging downwards and making it icier. Once all the bags are in it's just a tub of freezing water with chunks of ice floating around the surface. You try not to glance at Brittany and the fact she's butt naked at your side right now. Not that you objectify her a lot but she's the most naturally beautiful woman you've ever seen and you'd honestly stare at her naked form for hours if you could. You'd then do other things to it for hours.

"Thanks" Brittany says quietly as she scoots by you her arms crossed over her chest like she's already cold merely by looking at the water. You place a clock on the table next to the bath as per her instructions. Brittany stands for a moment inspecting your work then apparently deciding it's acceptable enough she quickly puts one foot in front of the other and steps into the bath.

"Mrrmmmmmmpppprrrrrhhhhh oh god, oh god" Brittany stutters out as she bends down, her body getting lower and lower until she's completely submerged in the icy water that reaches above her shoulders, the surface swishing around her neck.

You blush a little and clear your throat because the sounds she's making now is gratifyingly familiar to you. You clear your mind and drag the little footstool beside the toilet to the side of the bath, sit down on it and just watch her.

She seems to be focusing forward on the wall tiles as her head jitters around madly, her arms shivering intensely at her sides. You want to hug her but she seems to be coping with this fine, you know this isn't the first time she's did this but you sort of admire her, there's no way you could put a finger in that water never mind your whole damn body.

Your eyes meet her face again and you give a small smile, the work she puts into this is admirable if not a little excessive.

"W-w-w-w-w-w-w-why y-y-you s-s-t-t-t-t-a-ring" she stammers out, her voice inhibited by the cold, evidence of the likely plummeting temperature of her body. Her face is expressionless although her eyes are inquisitive; you think she's too near frozen to move a muscle on her face anyway.

"This means a lot to you" you state with no real question in mind to ask her.

Her eyes meet yours at their sides and she just nods.

"S-s-s-s-sorry for sn-a-a-apping a-a-a-t y-y-o-ou" she apologizes; her eyes now completely on you like she's conveying her seriousness with them because she can't really do anything else with the rest of her body.

You smile softly, shaking your head like it's nothing. "You want to win this, I get it. I was only trying to help"

She nods again agreeing with you.

"Holly's been flirtin' with me some more" you smirk taking great pleasure in the fact she cannot physically react to that statement.

Her eyes go wide then the smallest of creases appear on her brow, she's frowning, or at least trying to frown and it's the cutest thing ever. You giggle at her and she gets that you're trying to get a rise out of her. A deep disapproving groan comes from the back of her throat and she simply rolls her eyes.

"I know you're not in this for the money, or fame or even the competitiveness really so…why do you want to win this race so badly?" you ask her.

She puffs out a breath like the answer is a more complicated one than she can physically give you right now. "T-t-t-they might be watching," she says in the steadiest voice she can assemble.

It takes you a second to realize that she's talking about her parents, but they're long dead and can't be watching, not in a literal sense anyway. You're curious and want to ask more but you also know that her past, her parents especially, are sensitive topics and you don't want to cross a line.

"Ok," you say simply instead and smile.

Maybe a conversation for another time.

You feel your heart rise when the smallest of smiles twitch her freezing lips, a small vibration of happiness, a tremor to show she approves of you. It makes your heart beat with pride. You watch her for a few more minutes in silence as her body practically convulses on the spot. Her eyes are tightly shut like she's trying to concentrate really hard.

"T-t-towels th-th-th-en b-bed" she says, her eyes darting to the clock then you.

"Right," you nod knowing what she wants. She needs you to wrap her in towels then put her in bed so she can warm up then fall asleep. You run back into the bedroom and rummage through the toiletries bag, taking two large towels out until body lotion catches your eye. You smile, an idea coming to you and you go back into the bathroom.

"I've got an idea," you say giggling a little, unable to contain your giddiness.

She raises a blonde eyebrow.

"Your muscles are sore and probably knotted, I can give you a mean massage, I mean you're going to be naked and falling asleep anyway I may as well take advantage" you smirk.

You can see she's trying to bite back a grin. "N-n-never had someb-b-b-ody here w-with me to g-g-g-g-give me h-h-help w-w-with this s-t-tuff"

You smile, feeling proud that you're not only the first person she's been in a real relationship with but also she's including you in things that are important to her. You want to help her in any way you can, especially if it distracts her from her feelings of guilt over her job and your relationship in general.

The clock beside the bath starts ringing, signaling that ten minutes has passed.

You slam it off, "do you need help getting out?" you ask and stand up holding your arms out ready for her.

She nods frantically as she steadies her grip on both sides of the bath and she stands up shaking like a leaf, ice cold water cascading down from her body as she emerges.

Once you empty the bath and get her to the bedroom she's still shaking uncontrollably, you wrap another towel around her and pull back the comforter. "Get into bed, do you honestly feel better?" you ask and eye her suspiciously.

She nods and lies down on the bed, her arms wrapped around herself, two towels hugging her body tightly. "My legs and arms aren't sore anymore. B-b-body heat is the q-q-quickest way to heat up" she says and shoots you a cheeky smile.

You go through to the living room to make sure the fire is still somewhat burning, once you see that it is you stroll back through to the bedroom and get changed into your pajamas. You wear a tank top with loose grey pajama bottoms, in all honesty you're roasting but you need the place to be warm for Brittany.

The blonde is still shivering on the spot slightly but nowhere near as much as she was, in the tub especially. You cover her feet with the comforter then bend down and retrieve the body lotion from the bag beside the bed. You put it to one side and decide to rub your hands frantically over the towel, trying to get some heat into her whilst also drying her. Once your hands reach her wayside she giggles a little and the noise makes your heart flutter.

"Oh, you tickly huh?" you tease her, rubbing and pinching her sides just above her hips.

She laughs madly, the cutest fucking sound you've ever heard and tries to squirm away from you and out the towels, which is useless because she's cocooned herself in them. "S-stop it!" she squeals, her eyes wide with delight.

Your own laughter dies down and you straddle her, showing a little mercy. "Uh, it's probably best I unwrap the towels from you and you turn onto your stomach. Where are you sore and tense?" you ask.

Her giggles die and she looks at you, you watch the muscles in her neck contract as she swallows slowly, her eyelids falling just a fraction heavier. She doesn't answer you but she brings her arms out and unwraps the towel revealing her naked body to you.

Your eyes drop to her very pink and very hard nipples, you also catch the still slightly wet ab muscles on her stomach.

"Sit up so I can turn over" she says, wearing the smallest of smirks. "And I'm sore everywhere, so you're going to have to rub everywhere"

You make a sound that was supposed to be an 'ok' but just came out as a pathetic whimper. She giggles ever so quietly as she spins and lies down on her stomach. You wonder how to sit back on her but she gives you the answer before you can ask.

"Sit on the back of my thighs, my back's too sore to take even your scrawny weight"

You straddle the back of her thighs.

She's freezing.

"Hey! I have muscles…kind of…" you grin in defense and jab her ass playfully, which is also stone cold. "Jesus you're like a corpse"

You hear her laugh into the pillow. She's got her arms under and is now turning her head to one side so she can still speak to you. You gently tuck her hair to the opposite side and your fingers gently linger on her neck for a moment longer, you smile when you feel her tense under you.

"Alright," you sigh taking the lotion bottle in one hand and upturning your other palm, "I think this stuff is a little chilly but hey I doubt you'll notice"

You squeeze the liquid out and rub both your hands together to get an even spread; you then carefully rest them on the small of her back, one hand at each side and your thumbs resting at the base of her spine. She stiffens a little and you're still surprised at how cold she feels. You begin gently rubbing small, intricate circles over the base of her spine with your thumbs. Slowly you begin leaning your palms down onto her back, applying little pressure and you rub your hands up her back slowly, massaging her skin in circular motions. Once you reach her shoulder blades you put more lotion on and grasp them firmly, kneading into the muscles with deeper more penetrating ministrations. Your thumbs dig deep into the knots in her muscles, loosening them with every movement.

"Ugghhh…yeah…" Brittany breathes out, her voice hoarse and lower than usual.

You stop for a second feeling your cheeks burn and something stir in your lower stomach. You roll your eyes and resume massaging her, taking her shoulder blades and squeezing, kneading them with your fingers and palms.

"You're so tight," you whisper, breathless from how much pressure you're having to use.

Your face reddens even more once you realize what you said.

The lowest of giggles escapes her mouth.

You continue manipulating her back, watching the side of her face contort between small signs of pain to sighs of relief. Your small circles turn into larger circles, becoming more and more adventurous as your hands skim around her sides. You move from the bottom back up and the tips of your fingers skim along the side of her small breasts pressed against the bed. You both gasp and you quickly move back up to her shoulders to recover.

You swear you heard the smallest of moans.

Jesus, you'd be able to do this properly if she'd stop making those sounds.

Her neck's too far away from you so you lean up into her more, you part your legs over her ass and swallow thickly when between your legs rubs against it. You close your eyes for a second trying not to perv on her, or worse, rock yourself into her ass so you concentrate on massaging the back of her neck.

You spread your fingers, sticky and wet from the lotion around her neck, spreading the thick warmth over her skin and she shudders. You apply a little more pressure with every circle, slowly pressing harder and harder. You watch as goosebumps erect themselves over her skin, trickling down from her neck to her shoulders.

"Feels so good," she mumbles groggily, arching her back up slightly.

Fuck.

Deciding that was a bad idea you go back to making circular patterns over her back, loosening the muscles there and under her shoulder blades. "Am I going too fast? Too slow? Too hard?" you ask quietly, your throat suddenly dry.

It's not entirely a surprise since there's only one part of your body that feels remotely wet right now.

She makes a humming, contented sigh, "no just perfect, don't stop"

God.

It's your turn to stutter, "T-turn around so I can uh…get at the rest of you…"

You lift yourself and kneel over her for a second she slowly turns around. You loose your breath as dark, almost indigo blue eyes are staring back up at you, her blonde hair sprawled lazy across the pillow. Your eyes travel downwards over her breasts to between her legs. You snap your eyes back up toward hers and gently sit back down on top of her.

"Ugh," you involuntarily breathe out because you're straddling her waist and she feels so good, there's a buzzing feeling in the small hot air separating you from her sex. God, you could do to her what she did to you when she was in this position last but you know she's tired so you try ignoring your raging hormones. You're not sure you'd even know how to do that anyway.

"Are you ok?" she whispers, a knowing glint in her eye.

"Just fantastic," you mumble and begin to run your hands over her abs.

Your throat tightens and your cheeks burn when you feel her breathing hitch at your touch. You watch her breasts heave and feel her abdominal muscles quiver under your touch; she's practically squirming with every new area of skin you stroke over. You massage her smooth soft skin higher and higher till you reach her breasts; you cup around them on the outer side, sliding and bypassing them till you're at her collarbone.

You feel yourself shake when you meet her eyes and they're the darkest you've seen them. You avert your eyes down and put pressure around her neck area, pressing your thumb down onto certain parts that feel particularly tense. You run your hands down her arms, pressing into her biceps to which she winces then sighs. Your hands feel dry again so you squirt some of the lotion onto her navel and she gasps looking up at you, her face flushed a little. You don't give her time to think on it as you spread the lotion along her stomach again and work her over.

Eventually you scoot down so you can massage her thighs, which feel the tightest. You dig your fingers and manipulate her hamstring, you run your hands slowly down to her calf then all the way back up again, your skin tingling and burning just touching her. Between your legs and your stomach are getting so easily excited you almost feel ashamed.

You work over a particularly tight knot on top of her thigh and your eyes catch Brittany sucking in her bottom lip, her eyes fluttering shut. "Higher…god higher…" she rasps.

Jesus Christ.

She has to be doing this on purpose, right?

You move higher but she interrupts you.

"Higher," she breathes, "higher and further in…"

You gulp. You know exactly what's higher and further in.

Sure enough though when you're at the top part of her leg and she spreads her legs a little to accommodate, she gives a shaky sigh when you start massaging a part of her inner-thigh, dangerously close to her sex. You wonder if you're just imagining how wet she looks. You refocus your eyes where they should be and you knead and knead, relentlessly to the point your forehead is sweating, in small circular motions until you feel the muscles loosening beneath the pads of your fingers.

"Oh god, right there, so tight" she moans.

Her legs shakes a little after a while like her limb is having a damn orgasm and for a second you think maybe she did. Eventually she lets out a giant low breath from her mouth and you still your movements, looking up at her to see the color return to her face, and more color than usual on her cheeks.

"Uhm…that was…helpful" she says looking shy and embarrassed.

You smirk, "you feel better?"

She just nods chewing her lips still looking shy. "I'm exhausted, and still a little cold, come lie over me please"

She's suddenly so sweet and cute it causes you to chuckle, you grab the bed covers, drag them up with you and lie right over her naked body wrapping you both in it, you feel the coldness emanate from her. Your sweaty, sticky hands find her cold ones and you hold both of them, intertwining your fingers, feeling the cold between each one.

"Good night Britt" you smile down at her.

You find this odd yet nice, she's normally the one draped over you. You hug her tighter, wanting her to get warmer.

She nods lethargically, her blue eyes roaming over your facial features dreamily, like you're special.

Maybe you are.

"Santana," she whispers, her breath tickling your neck.

"Mhmm?" you smile down at her. You have no intention of sleeping any time soon, you couldn't if you wanted to but still, you want to watch her fall asleep.

"After the race on Friday, you should take an ice bath"

You laugh a little, a deep sound from the back of your dry throat, "why would I wanna do a crazy thing like that?" you smirk down at her.

"Cause I want to return the favour"

"You can give me a massage any time Britt, without the ice bath"

"Maybe," she hums and leans up a little placing a sloppy kiss on your chin, she rests her head back down and her eyes flicker between your own and your lips, "but…" she drags out slowly, "I want you to take an ice bath till you can hardly feel anything at all, I want you to be so cold that I bring you back to life with every touch. I want to touch you everywhere, warm you up everywhere, and feel your blood warm beneath me. But before all that I want you to be numb, so numb that you barely even feel me touching you, feeling how wet you are between your legs until, like a giant shock to your fucking system I'm inside you. My warm fingers, suddenly inside you and it's literally all you can feel, one, two, three, maybe four fingers all in and you'll grip onto them so hard and tight. You'll be so numb and firm yet you'll love it, I bet you'll love it because it'll be the only warm thing inside you, I'll be the only thing inside you and it's all you'll be able to feel and think about for hours"

"Jesus fuck," you breathe rapidly over her, your heart going crazy and between your legs pounding the same erratic rhythm.

That sounds like both the single scariest and most tempting offer you've ever received.

Holy shit.

She shrugs and smiles back up at you, "Sweet dreams"

Yes, she's very much doing this on purpose.

She's being Brittany on purpose and it's driving you mad.

So wonderfully mad.