I'm back! I'm so sorry it's been so long since my last update, but I've been so busy with school stuff and I'm almost never at home. I didn't forget about the story though and I will finish it, you can be sure of it! Enjoy the chapter ;)

Baby steps

"So she said she wanted you to keep holding her?" Santana asked surprised. Quinn was telling her and Brittany all about her interactions with Emily from the day before and the Latina thought she might have heard something wrong coming from her best friend's mouth. When did Quinn get touchy with Emily?

"Her words were something like 'what I need is for you to keep hugging me'." Quinn said excited. The blonde had spent the whole night thinking about how magic it was to have Emily in her embrace for such a long period of time, considering that the girl just let go when the brunette in her arms fell asleep.

"That's a good sign!" Brittany exclaimed with so much happiness in her voice it made Santana amused "Right?"

"I guess it could be. It must be." Quinn said still excited "What do you think, Santana?"

Santana thought for a little while before answering the shorter blonde's question. Emily asking Quinn to hold her in a moment where the girl was fragile and weak could mean just nothing. Who doesn't need a hug in difficult times?

On the other hand, Emily seemed way too conflicted and it was making Santana believe in Quinn's hypothesis about the girl. What if her cousin was hiding something big? What if she really was a completely different person from her mom? What if she liked Quinn for real? What if she saw that as something bigger than simple friendship but was terrified to admit it to herself and the world? There were so many what ifs! They could weirdly fit the situation, mean nothing or everything. Santana didn't even know for sure what Brittany meant by comparing Emily's request to a 'good sign'.

"I don't know." Santana said sincerely and tried to avoid Quinn's insistent glare.

"What? That's it?" Quinn asked almost incredulously. She needed Santana's opinion, she needed to know what her friend was thinking about "You always have something to say and right now it's the time to say it!"

"Quinn, you have to understand we don't even know what's happening. I mean, Britt said Emily asking you to hug her was a good sign, but let's just think about it for a second. It was a good sign for what exactly? People hug each other when they're sad, it doesn't have to mean the world." Santana could see in Quinn's eyes how hurt she was for hearing those words from her, but she wasn't gonna lie to her best friend. If Quinn wanted her opinion, she was gonna give the blonde her true opinion.

"It wasn't nothing, Santana. I felt so much in that hug!" Quinn's mind took Santana's words in and decided they were the absolute truth, but her heart was reluctant. Her heart knew better. There was something between her and Emily and it wasn't just simple affection. Quinn's mind was screaming she was crazy, but not her heart. And, yes, her heart absolutely knew better.

"That's because you're falling for Emily! You felt something, I'm not denying that. Just don't go all sappy about it right away when you still don't know how she feels. God, you don't even know who she is for real! You don't even know what's scaring her so much and why she hides behind her mom. You know nothing and I want you to be careful or you're gonna get seriously hurt." Santana sounded very worried and Quinn knew the brunette was just trying to protect her. She didn't want her best friend to have her heart broken.

"I thought Emily was scared because she didn't want her mother to know she's gay." Brittany commented innocently like she had just said the most ordinary sentence in the world. Santana and Quinn looked at her with expressions that were a mixture of shock and confusion "Why are you two looking at me like that? Do I have something on my face?"

"Brittany, what makes you affirm Emily's gay?" Quinn asked still looking at the blonde like she was crazy.

"She's not? 'Cause when we were talking to Callie and Arizona the other night I assumed she was. Then yesterday, when we were talking in the morning, I was sure about it." Brittany said and the other two girls just waited for her to continue "Quinnie, you said there was no way Emily liked girls, but then Sanny said she could like, but would never go for it because of Pamela. Well, yesterday you never stopped saying how Emily does everything her mother wants because she's afraid of showing her who she truly is and stuff like that. Then you said you needed to find out what she was hiding and when I thought about everything together later, I just was even more certain of my suspicions. You know, like, duh. The girl is all about rainbows, I can guarantee you."

Santana and Quinn had their mouths wide opened. What Brittany said made so much sense and nobody even considerate that.

"Why didn't you say any of this before, Brittany?" Quinn asked with an unsure smile ghosting her lips. How come Brittany figured the puzzle who was Emily Fields so easily when she's been struggling with so much possibilities and doubts?

"I thought everybody knew. I just had to put all the information together. You see, if it was obvious for me…" Santana didn't let Brittany finish her sentence. The Latina kissed her girlfriend passionately and when the two girls pulled away from each other, they both had huge smiles spread across their faces.

"You're a genius, Britt! So, so, so smart!" Santana said cheerfully "Damn, I'm ridiculously proud to be your girlfriend."

"I love you." Brittany's cheeks were slightly red because of Santana's compliments. She loves when the brunette tells her she's a genius. It makes Brittany really feels like one.

"I love you too." Santana said and pulled Brittany into another kiss.

"Can you two just stop with the grossness a little bit?" Quinn said annoyed making Brittany and Santana stop kissing and look at her "Geez, am I the only one here who feels the need to discuss Brittany's brilliant conclusion? I mean, it makes total sense! It fits so perfectly that I'm feeling like the most stupid person on earth for not having thought about that before."

Quinn's mind was racing and she didn't want it to stop. Emily being gay would explain everything! That whole thing about her being afraid of Pamela hating her for who she truly was? It was so obvious why, right?

"Quinn, you just need her to tell you if she really is gay. That's all. You finally know what you are looking for, so now you just need to push her a little bit." Santana said like it was the easiest thing on earth.

"But what exactly do I do? And what if even it looking so clear right now, Em is not gay? She could be hiding other things, I mean, we can't be one-hundred percent certain. What if I push her and end up screwing things up more?" Yes, Emily being gay fits everywhere, but Quinn couldn't really affirm anything. There were always other situations and other issues.

"I guess you're right." Santana said and then put her left hand on her chin, assuming a thoughtful expression "What if you just start bringing the subject to Emily?"

"How so?" Quinn asked with interest.

"Tell her about your own sexuality. Try to talk to her about homosexuality and see how she behaves when the subject is on. She'll probably be a nerve wreck and start biting her nails. Which is a good sign." Santana said naturally but suddenly a smirk showed up on her face. She totally just had a freakin' amazing idea and Quinn knew that very well "Quinn, why don't you seduce her?"

"WHAT!?" Quinn asked shocked and Brittany laughed. Santana ended up laughing as well.

"I'm serious. Look, you could change clothes in front of her, touch her more, flirt and intoxicate her with your perfect smiles and giggles. It's genius!" Santana said excited "If she's really gay, that's gonna affect her, like, a lot."

"I'm not doing that, Santana. She's going through a rough time, she can't even talk about her problems without breaking down. She needs patience and time, just like she asked me." Quinn said calmly, but Santana just shook her head.

"Hell no, Quinn. She needs a push." Santana knew what she was talking about, she knew what coming out was like. She believed every scared closet gay needed a little push to come out and nobody ever proved it to be different.

"And what if she likes you, Quinnie? That would make sense too, right?" Brittany said with shining eyes. She loved the idea of a romance coming up.

Quinn thought about Brittany's words. Would that make sense? Could Emily really be gay and liking Quinn? That was way too much information for a simple morning conversation between best friends.

"That's crazy. Guys, let's face it, these are just speculations. Nothing's confirmed and…" Suddenly Brittany's quick hands covered Quinn's mouth making her shut up. The taller blonde was now behind her best friend while Santana approached Quinn's face to look her right into her eyes.

"Then stop whining, stop making excuses and go confirm the facts." Santana said without taking her eyes away from Quinn's "Do something, Lucy Quinn Fabray!"

Brittany slowly took her hands out of Quinn's mouth and went to stand beside Santana. The couple was staring at Quinn in silence, waiting for her to say something.

"I guess it's time to be a freakin' prince charming." Quinn said with a serious voice and Brittany giggled "And, Santana?"

"Yes?" The Latina answered with a big grin across her face.

"Call me Lucy again and I'll ends you." Quinn said trying to sound like Santana did when she used that same expression.

"I'd love to see you try, Fabray." Santana laughed "I'd really love to see you try."

The morning flew by as Santana, Brittany and Quinn spent most of their times just hanging out in the couple's bedroom or talking about Emily. No one could get tired of the subject, especially Quinn.

"I wanna go ride horses." Brittany suddenly blurted out, getting the other two girls attention "Sofia wants it too. I even said to her yesterday that we should try it today. Can we go?"

Santana and Quinn looked at each other and shrugged shoulders.

"I guess it'll be fun." Santana said making Brittany open up a huge smile. Of course the brunette reattributed. How couldn't she?

The three girls then got out of the bedroom and started looking for Sofia. They found her with Arizona at the playground closer to the main house.

"Hey, Sofia! Arizona!" Quinn, Santana and Brittany greeted almost in unison.

"Hey, girls!" Arizona replied and Sofia smiled before going straight to Brittany. The blonde opened up her arms and the little girl jumped into her embrace.

"Why don't Quinn and I win hugs just like Britt's? We're gonna be sad and think you like her better than us." Santana said jokingly and Quinn and her put on crying faces. Sofia hurried to go give each girl a bear hug.

"You're just jealous!" Brittany protested when Sofia left her arms.

"There's no need for jealously. I like Quinnie, Sanny and Britty the same way. And it's a lot, okay?" Sofia's words melted the trio's hearts and made Arizona smile hard.

"That's my girl." Arizona said proudly "But just let me take advantage of the subject jealously and ask if mommy here won't get her hug as well?"

The girls laughed and Sofia ran towards her mom to give her the super tight hug she loved so much.

"So, guess what, Sofia?" Brittany said playfully bringing the child's attention to herself "San, Quinn and I were going to the stables right now to get some horses and go for a ride. Would you like to come with us?"

Sofia's eyes shinned and she started to repeat 'yes' without stopping and to jump excitedly.

"It's okay for her to go with us, Arizona?" Quinn asked and Arizona pretended she was thinking hard about her answer. Sofia's attention turned to her mother.

"Please, mommy! Let me go with them! Pretty please!" Sofia begged looking at her mother with Shrek's Puss in Boots' pleading eyes. It was the cutest thing ever.

"Fine. You can go with them." Arizona said smiling and Sofia hurried to give her mom another tight hug.

"Thanks, mommy!" Sofia said cheerfully.

"You're welcome, sweetheart. But don't forget to behave yourself, ok?" Sofia nodded and Arizona mouthed a 'please, watch her' for the three girls standing in front of her.

"Now that we are good, let's go have some fun!" Brittany said and the girls started to walk away with Sofia following close behind. They didn't manage to go very far before Arizona suddenly showed up jogging to catch them.

"Sorry, guys, I don't wanna mess up with your plans, but I'd really love to have a little chat with you, Santana. I promise I'll be quick." Arizona said smiling.

"You guys go and tell someone to set a horse for me, okay? I'll be right there." Santana said signing for Quinn, Brittany and Sofia to go on without her. The trio nodded and walked away "So, what do you wanna talk to me about?"

"Well, let's have a seat." Arizona said and walked with Santana to a bench near the playground they were previously at.

"What's up?" Santana insisted after sitting down next to Arizona. She tried not to sound annoyed, it was just a quick talk after all.

"I'm familiar with the fact that we don't know each other for a long time, which kind of implies we don't have a lot of intimacy. We didn't even have time to develop a friendship yet. But the thing is I really like you. And that's why I need to both thank you and advice you about what happened yesterday." Arizona said with a serious expression. She had her eyes on Santana's all the time.

"I really like you too, and you don't need to thank me. I know you'd have done the same thing for me. But I have to say I'm kinda confused about the advice stuff." Santana didn't actually like people telling her things, and she could sense Arizona was up for something serious. The Latina simply couldn't figure out what it was yet.

"Look, Santana, I'm older than you and I've experienced a lot more, so you can't deny I know more about the world and people around it than you do." Arizona started to talk and Santana kept her attention on the blonde "There will always be some bad situations in our lives and we need to know how to react to them. You were right yesterday, but lost your reason by using violence."

"That's what this is about." Santana concluded rolling her eyes.

"Hey, I'm not trying to lecture you. The thing is you can't react like that because of something a douchebag said. First, it's not worth it, and second, you can't solve your problems by being aggressive." Arizona said calmly, but firmly. Santana was still reluctant.

"It's easy just to say that, Arizona, but those two dicks were disrespecting my family, my girlfriend and acting like they were fuckin' Gods. I don't have cold blood, you know?" Now Santana definitely sounded annoyed. Deep inside, she knew Arizona was one-hundred percent right, but just in theory. When things actually happen in front of us, reactions are unexpected and Santana believed in that.

"I used to be just like you when I was younger. I was only sixteen when I came out, so I had to deal with plenty of mean people during high school. At first I got into a lot of trouble because I'd normally try to solve everything by kicking some buts." Arizona laughed a little remembering her teenage days "One day I realized my attitude only made things worst. I was becoming someone I never wanted to be and was pulling people who could really like me away from me. So I stopped fighting my battles with violence and started to fight them with smartness."

"How so?" Santana asked curiously.

"Well, first I started to be nicer and that brought some really good people to my side. I had very supportive friends in high school, but I'm aware you have that too." Arizona was smiling and Santana couldn't just not smile too. It was not only because of the remembrance of her friends, but because even not being a big fan of people telling her what to do, Santana could feel Arizona wasn't fighting with her, or pushing her. The older woman was just trying to help Santana and she was being so nice and so sweet. Arizona was definitely one of the good ones and Santana was extremely happy Callie has found her.

"Yeah, I have some pretty amazing friends. They're like family, actually." Santana said proudly and Arizona smiled at her again "So, what did you do after getting some buddies?"

"I started sort of a club at school. I called it 'Pride' and it had the intention of helping gay students who were afraid of coming out, advise them, try to find answers for their doubts and, most important, make them have contact with others like them or who supported them no matter what." Santana was just amazed by Arizona right now. High school was already a bitch, and being gay usually only made things harder. The blonde's club must've helped a lot of people by allowing them to be who they really were. It reminded Santana of Glee Club.

"That's pretty cool." Santana said and Arizona noticed how amazed the girl was.

"I united a lot of people and started showing in my school that being gay was ok. Other kids eventually came out and others started to speak up like supporters of my initiative. I even had my first girlfriend because of the club and I remember that gave me strength to come out to my parents. Well, not that they didn't knew already, I was pretty obvious, but I guess bringing someone home named Joanne wasn't something I was planning to do at sixteen." Arizona smiled with so many memories. Santana wasn't pissed off anymore; she understood Arizona's preoccupation towards her and understood that the blonde just wanted her to be a better person.

"Thanks, Arizona. For telling me this and for wanting to help me. I'm so used to being the head bitch that can take on everything and everyone, but deep inside I know it's kind of a bad attitude. I'll really try to behave." Santana said sincerely and Arizona was happy the Latina wasn't mad at her and actually understood what she was trying to accomplish with the conversation.

"You're welcome, sweetheart. And you can still be a badass, you know? This is who you are, Santana. You just have to know when to stop. You have to learn to have some control, that's all. Life's hard and we're not always prepared for what comes for us, but we have to manage the best way possible." Santana nodded and both women smiled at each other "Now go. I don't want you to lose all the fun. Keep an eye on Sofia."

"Will do, Arizona." Santana said standing up from the bench "Oh, and just so you know, some friendships don't need a lot of time to develop. Sometimes all it takes is a couple of days."

"I'm glad to hear that." Both women smiled to each other again before Santana walked away.

Emily wasn't feeling very well. She didn't wanna face Quinn after her last night's breakdown, but at the same time she desperately wanted to spend time with the girl. But Quinn was always around Santana and Brittany, and Pamela would never approve her daughter spending her time with a lesbian couple. It's kind of ironic and almost funny. Almost.

If Emily couldn't have the company she wanted, then she'd rather be alone. She was sick and tired of being around her mom and aunt Lucia, having to hear their absurd conversations and being forced to agree with their insane double standards. So Emily decided to stay out of everyone's sign. Of course the universe played a trick on her.

Emily had decided to climb at some tree near to the stables and read something, enjoying the peace and silence. She had chosen to read Romeo and Juliet just because it was her favorite. At first, everything was indeed quiet, but not for so long.

"Can I ride the white one?" Sofia's excited voice was very easy for Emily to recognize. She turned around on the branch she was sit at and watched as Sofia approached the stables with Brittany and Quinn next to her. They seemed really happy and Emily couldn't help but feel kind of jealous.

"Of course you can, little one." Quinn smiled affectingly at Sofia, who smiled back with as much affection as the smile she received "Come on! Let's get the horses ready for the ride!"

The three girls got inside the stables and Emily wasn't able to see them for a little while. It didn't take long for them to show up mounted in their horses though. Sofia was horseback riding a beautiful white stallion that looked a little too big for her, although she seemed to be managing well. Brittany chose a smaller piebald mare for herself and Quinn decided to go with an appaloosa mare.

Emily couldn't take her eyes off Quinn. The blonde just distracted her so much! Emily was coming to the realization that she would never find anyone as flawless as Quinn and that the girl was gonna be the end of her.

Some time passed until Santana joined the girls riding a big and shinny all black stallion. Emily wondered why her cousin wasn't there before, but decided it was none of her business.

Instead of putting her attention back to her novel, Emily just stood on the branch, quiet, watching the four girls in front of her interacting and having lots of fun. There was the jealousy again. She knew it was almost impossible for anyone to notice her up on the tree, because of the large leaves and of how high she was, so she just kept looking and wondering how fine it would be to be riding horses with Quinn, Santana, Brittany and Sofia. Especially with Quinn.

"You know you can be around them, right?" Wayne's voice coming out of nowhere almost made Emily have a heart attack and fall from the branch. She looked down and found her father resting his back against the large trunk of the tree she was currently at.

"How did you find me?"Emily asked trying to change the subject.

"Father's instincts." Wayne answered laughing a little bit. Emily knew he was lying.

"The truth?" She asked laughing a little bit as well.

"I might or might not have been asking about you for every single employee that I find." He said with a playfully voice that suddenly turned into a concerned one "I'm worried about you, Emily."

"And why's that?" Emily asked with a low voice, but she knew her father could hear her.

"You're unhappy, sweetie. And you seem so afraid. I don't know if there's some specific reason, but you seem afraid all the time. I want you to do the things you like and I want you to be who you are. I don't want you to be afraid of anything, Ems." Wayne's got a lot of affection in his voice, and worry. Emily knows, deep inside, that her father would support her with any decision she'd make or anything she'd be, because he's a fair man and he loves her more than anything else in the world, but she can't open herself, she can't give this too big step right now. She need baby steps, she needs to accomplish things slowly and learn how not to be afraid of life.

"There's just so much going on right now. I don't know what to do." Emily feels a sudden urge to cry, but she holds her tears inside. She doesn't need another breakdown. She needs to put herself together.

"You can talk to me, baby. About anything. You know that, right?" Emily knows. Of course she knows. But she really can't right now.

"I'll come around eventually, dad." She said only and the two of them stayed in silence for a little while.

It's a comfortable silence and gives time for Emily to recompose herself. Wayne's the one who ends their pause.

"You know I think your mother is an excellent mom. And she loves you so much and wants what's best for you, but that doesn't mean you have to be like her, Ems. You can have your own opinions and likings. You can choose your friends and with whom you spend time with." Emily knows her father's talking about Santana and the others, which brings them back to the beginning of their conversation.

"I don't have what mom has against Callie, or Santana or anyone else whose support them. They're not bad people because they love differently. Being gay's not a terrible thing, daddy." Emily said trying hard not to get too emotional. She doesn't want her father to know how much the subject affects her, at least not yet.

"So you should hang out with them. If you wanna spend time with Santana, Brittany, Callie or whoever else, you should! Your mom can't define you, sweetie, that's not her call." Wayne said calmly and Emily decides to go back to the ground because she desperately wants to hug her father.

Father and daughter hug for a little while before pulling apart and looking each others in the eye.

"Mom will be so mad if she sees me with Santana or Callie." Emily said a little worried and Wayne just nods. He knows Pamela will be pretty pissed off if Emily starts to hang out with the 'enemy'.

"I'll handle her, baby. Don't worry about that." Wayne said smiling while pulling a little bit of Emily's hair behind her ear "I just don't wanna see you so down and if spending time with your cousins and stop listening to your mother's nonsense all the time will make that happen, than everything's fine."

Emily can't help the big smile that comes automatically to her face. Wayne smiles too.

"See? You're already smiling!" He says and Emily's smile somehow grows wider "Now enough with the loneliness. Come on! Let's go back to the house and get you some good company. Or you prefer getting a horse and joining your cousin and the other girls?"

"I think I'll talk to them later. You know I'm not a big fan of horse riding." Emily said sticking her tongue out to her father. She really wasn't a big horse fan. They always scared her a little bit.

"As you wish, Ems." Wayne said and started walking toward the big house followed close by Emily.

"Can I ask you something, dad?" Emily asked without stopping to walk.

"Sure." Wayne answered signing for Emily to go on with her question.

"What's your… Well, opinion? Yeah, opinion! What's your opinion about gay people? I mean, what do you think about them?" Emily was quite nervous. She needed to know what her father thought about gay people if she had the slightest will to tell him one day about herself.

"It's like you said, baby, being gay doesn't make you a bad person. I'm not gonna say I understand, but I respect people who are like this. Every single human being is different from each other and we need to learn how to deal with these differences. Homosexuality is not a crime and I'm no one to judge anything in this world. That's why I don't agree with how your mother is dealing with this situation and that's why I want you to spend time with your gay relatives if you like." Emily felt relief and proud at the same time after Wayne's little speech. Her father would accept her not just because he loved her, but because he didn't have anything against gay people. She was so proud to be his daughter and now strongly believed he would still be proud to be her father after he knew the truth about her.

"You're awesome, daddy. I love you very much." She said wrapping an arm around her dad. He reattributed the gesture.

"I love you too, Ems. More than you can imagine."

I wish I could say when I'm gonna update again, but unfortunately I have no idea. The only thing I know it's that I'll be back eventually with more of this story, so stick around guys, and feel free to send me suggestions and my beloved reviews. Hope you liked this chapter! See you as soon as possible!