Authors note: Another week, another update. Enjoy.

Chapter 18

It's been three weeks since that day and we're still slowly recovering from it.

We buried Mike two and a half weeks ago in a quiet service. I had debated over telling Cody or not, and in the end Santana and I had decided on no. He'd had enough to cope with without knowing that Mike was dead too. I wanted to protect him from this life as much as possible because of things like this, and well this was one thing I could do.

Two days later we buried Noah.

It was a day of tears, but strangely also of laughter as Noah had some pretty wacky requests in his will such as a bouncy house for kids, and lime green jello shots for adults at his wake. Absolutely no wearing of the color black by anyone on the day, in fact only the colors blue, pink, and for some strange reason orange were allowed to be worn which made for some wacky looking outfits.

The day after the service Quinn and Beth moved downstairs, although we still saw them every day, and started making a habit of eating at least one meal together. It was nice though to have a little more privacy, and time to ourselves. Especially when at the end of that week we had a service for Raul Lopez.

I know its kind of weird to have a service for him especially as Santana was responsible for his death, although I guess he was the one primarily responsible for it actually.

A fact that we didn't make widely known.

Instead Santana had a few of the key business leaders invited along, and the word went around that it was an Irish mob hit on her father while he was coming to visit us and meet his grandson. I didn't want Cody or myself in the spotlight, but it was inevitable that we would be.

God the service made me feel like I was in a fucking glass case being stared at. It was a lot like how it first felt when Santana and I got together, everyone had to see us together; everyone wanted to talk to me, maybe find out what all the fuss was about? I don't know. All I know is that when all those men started looking at me I got frightened, and eventually Santana got pissed off and told them to stop looking if they wanted to keep their testicles attached to their body.

That worked, and finally I felt like I could breathe again.

After that service was over we started trying to put that day behind us. We would have quiet time as a family learning about each other. I adored watching Santana and Cody build a strong relationship, she was so patient and just all around wonderful with him.

There was a day about a week ago when it was just Cody and I alone together. I was giving him a bath and playing with all the bathtub toys when he looked up at me with those light brown eyes and said. "Mommy Tana my mama?" I nodded my head at him, and he grinned at me "I love her." He said and went back to playing with his toys.

And after I stopped feeling like I might cry, I just grinned back at him, ruffled his hair and said "She loves you too baby." And I thought that was it.

But later that day Cody, Santana and myself were lying on the bed watching a movie, Cody was cuddled between us, and he turned to Santana and said, "I love you mama." And then turned back to the movie. I watched as Santana's jaw just sort of dropped, her eyes were wide and she looked shocked. I could see her take a deep breath and then she looked at me with a 'is this really real' look on her face and I leant over our son so I could kiss her lips quickly, and smiled at her.

"I love you too Cody." Santana said and pressed a kiss to the top of his head. "Wow." I heard her sigh the last word and giggled at her. Cody's love was a pretty awesome thing.

Then we all went back to watching the movie, although I think life felt a little bit brighter.

Anyway today is a special day.

Cody turns three today, and I'm not sure who's more excited, him, Santana, or me. I think it's probably me as I'm the only one awake right now. Cody is still sleeping in his own bed; he's doing very well in it and loves the room that we are starting to decorate for him. We try and use it every day to play in right now so that it feels familiar to him when it's time for him to sleep there.

I'm curled up next to Santana.

In the past few weeks my body has started to heal. The soft cast came off my arm a few days ago, and although I'm not even close to being able to pick Cody up which still upsets me, I can at least pick up a few little things…and itch my forearm which feels fucking magnificent I'm not going to lie. My ribs are feeling good, and it doesn't hurt to move much anymore. It's just my leg left to go, and Doctor Pillsbury says another two weeks or so for that, of course then I'll have physical therapy so I'm not sure if I should be happy about that or not.

Well my leg…and um my head to go.

Fuck I'm so messed up.

I feel a like I'm going a little crazy. I want Santana close to me, I really do. But then we get a little close and I freeze and have to push her away. I think it's driving us both nuts although she's being nice enough not to say anything to me about it. Quinn says to give myself time. God she doesn't get it. We take showers together, sleep together, we've even slow danced together, although that was more swaying than dancing, and there are times when holy shit do we make out. But then it's like sometimes something just reminds me and I can't shake it off.

Like last night. We were lying in bed and I started to kiss her. Really kiss her. And it felt good. So fucking good. God I actually wanted her to touch me, to do more than touch me, and we were kissing so deep. But then she rolled us over so that she was on top and that was it. I just couldn't'. I froze, and she quickly stopped and apologized.

It kills me that she apologizes.

I want it to be easy again.

I want her to be the only thing I can think about.

I don't want to be scared any more.

Carefully I untangle myself from Santana's arms and climb out of bed. Normally if I was this confused or angry, fuck am I angry? Yes I guess I am. Normally I'd dance. Do something, anything to take my mind off things. Instead because of my leg I am forced to do something easier and in the end to decide that I really need to do some activity at least so I'm going to go and swim.

I change quickly into a pale blue bathing suit, and throw on a large baggy t-shirt over the top of it. The ground should still be cool enough that I won't burn the bottom of my feet outside being barefoot so I quietly tiptoe out of the room. Jake Puckerman is standing guard a few steps outside the door and he frowns when he sees me by myself.

"I need to swim." I say quietly, and he just nods before talking into his radio and demanding that someone escort me to the pool. I think he really wanted to stop me from going, or at least find out if Santana knew I was, but I didn't have the patience to wait. Instead I quickly made my way downstairs, and outside. A man in a suit wearing sunglasses acted as my shadow as I made my way to the pool. I tried my best to ignore his presence, especially as I slipped off the baggy t-shirt I was wearing and then dove into the pool.

The water was cool, and felt great on my skin. I gave myself a few seconds to get used to it before I started to swim. Easy at first before I swam faster, and faster. Soon my arms were burning, and my breath was coming in rapid pants but I didn't stop. I needed this, just so I could forget for one moment.

I don't know how long I was swimming or how many laps I had done when I suddenly crashed into something that shouldn't have been there. It took me a second to realize that it was Santana's body. She was shouting at me, but my heart was hammering in my ears too loudly for me to make it out. Her hands were on my shoulders and I think she was shaking me, either that or my body was shaking and she was trying to keep me still.

"…You can't fucking do that Brittany, you can't just disappear." Santana shouted at me.

"Don't tell me what I can and can't do." I snapped back, feeling instantly angry again as I put my hands on her shoulders and tried to push away from her.

"Stop." Santana demanded and pulled me into her body. "Just please stop." Her voice broke over the last few words and I realized she was crying.


I was messing everything up so badly.

I wrapped my arms around her body and held her close to me. I could feel her shaking and my anger evaporated.

"I'm sorry." I said quietly into the crook of her neck. "I'm really sorry Santana." And just like that I was the one that started crying, and Santana was suddenly comforting me.

I don't know how long we stood in the pool clinging to each other and crying. I know it was long enough for me to feel really cold, and my muscles were starting to tense up and hurt.

"How about we move to the hot tub?" Santana asked as a shiver went through my body. I quickly nodded and we reluctantly parted just enough to be able to walk towards the steps and climb out of the pool. I noticed that Santana was wearing her pajamas and felt guilty for making her obviously worry and come to find me. I should have left a note, or even better woken her up and let her know. She gave me a wry smile when she noticed my expression. "At least Jake knew where you were and had Ryder watching you." She said trying to make it a joke, "It could have been worse."

We stepped down into the soothing water of the hot tub and I sighed happily feeling instantly warmer. Santana sat down in one of the corners and before I could think about where to sit she pulled me onto her lap. We both sat in silence for a few minutes just taking the time to try and relax. I let my body sink into Santana's, my fingers stroking back and forth along her forearms where she held me around my waist.

"Will you tell me why?" Santana asked, her voice quiet and encouraging, and I sighed happily at the kiss I felt pressed against the side of my neck.

Of course the smile disappeared as I thought about how to answer. When I felt her muscles start to become tense underneath me I knew I had to start talking. "I was angry." I said sounding a little embarrassed at the confession. "Not at first, at first I woke up excited because it's Cody's birthday. But then my brain wouldn't relax, and I always seem to drift to the bad place in my mind, like I can't escape it." Another kiss was placed to my shoulder and her arms gave me a little squeeze. "I want sex."

I heard her inhale sharply at that and then she squirmed a little underneath me.

"I really, really want to make love to you. But as much as the idea excites me, it's terrifying too." The last words were barely a whisper. I took a deep breath to calm myself down because I know I was getting tense, and continued. "I'm fed of up of feeling this way Santana. I just really needed a moment when I was in control of how I made my body feel."

"First of all, wanky." Santana said and I giggled, any tension that had built up in me melted. "And second of all I think I have an idea on how to help." These words were practically purred into my ear, and I bit my bottom lip at how hearing them made me feel. "We can talk about that more tonight. Because as much as I'd love to talk about it right now, we should probably go and wake our son up with his birthday breakfast." The last part was said almost regretfully, and then another kiss was placed on my shoulder.

Before we could stand up I spun carefully around in Santana's lap, took her face in my hands and kissed her. After a few seconds I pulled away, smiling at the dazed look on her face, and loving that I put it there. Before carefully standing up and holding my hand out to her. "Let's go then." I said with a teasing grin, and waited for her to join me.

Back at the house we quickly grabbed the tray of food that chef had prepared, and made our way upstairs. My leg was starting to hurt and I limped ever so slightly knowing that I had already overdone it for the day, maybe with a little rest this morning it would all be ok again soon? Either way I wasn't going to take painkillers today and risk sleeping away Cody's birthday.

I think we both breathed a sigh of relief when we found Cody still sleeping. I would have hated him to wake up all alone, and be afraid. The thought gave me a flickering of shame for making Santana feel like that, before squashing it down because it was Cody's birthday and damn it I was going to try really hard to be happy the whole day…or because I've already failed at that, how about the whole time he's awake?

We quickly hurried to the bathroom to get dry and slip on some pajamas, and then I sat down on the side of Cody's bed and started to gently stroke through his hair. It made me smile when his nose wrinkled up and his eyes started to blink open at my touch. When his eyes finally focused on me he grinned showing of his toothy smile, I simply grinned right back.

"Happy birthday baby." I said, and leant down pressing a kiss on the tip of his nose, making him giggle.

"Yay. Thanks mommy." Cody said still giggling as I pulled funny faces at him.

Santana sat down beside me on the bed and quickly pressed her own kiss to Cody's face. "Happy birthday Cody." She said and ruffled his hair giving him a big smile of her own.

Looked like the good mood was infectious.

We had a wonderful breakfast on the balcony in the sunshine. Just the three of us. Lots of laughter and the best company ever. Cody loved it. I could tell. His eyes were huge, and his smile didn't leave his face once.

Santana and I had discussed presents for Cody for the past week or so, I didn't want her to go overboard, he wasn't used to it, and I really didn't want him to be spoilt. But Santana argued that she had time to make up for. I simply argued back that she couldn't buy her son, and then her face had gone dark and she had left the room for about an hour. When she came back she smelt of gunpowder residue and sweat, she had a single white rose in her hand which she handed me, gave me a kiss, and said I was right.

Of course being right didn't stop Cody's eyes from bugging out of his head when Santana carried in his presents.

"Mine?" He asked with a frown on his face even as he clapped his hands together at the brightly wrapped packages.

"Yes all of them." I smiled indulgently and laced my fingers together with Santana's as we watched Cody carefully peel open tape and remove the paper.

"Actually I have a present for you too." Santana whispered into my ear, and then pressed a kiss to my temple.

I turned to face her and she smiled and gave me a little shrug.

"I wanted to get something special for you too, as you gave me my son on this day three years ago." She said, a faint blush highlighting her cheeks.

I was torn away from my staring, because fuck she is just so perfect, by Cody's shout of "Mommy, mama look!" As he held up a wooden train set.

"Oh that looks so much fun baby." I said when he ran over with it in his hands to show me.

"We play?" He asked looking excitedly between Santana and myself.

"Of course." Santana said. "But don't you want to see what else you got?"

"Yay." Cody shouted as he ran back to open the rest of his gifts.

I pressed myself into Santana's side, sighing happily when her arm came around me and pulled me a little closer to her. We watched as a very excited Cody opened up Lego building blocks, a scooter, several storybooks, and a Tonka truck. With each present he opened he would come back and show it to us before running back to open the next one. Then when they were all opened I could see the indecision on his face on what to play with first, and just smiled harder because it's hard not to when he is just so happy.

"Thank you mommy. Thank you mama." Cody shouted and ran over to hug us both.

"You're welcome baby." I said giving him another hug and kiss. I'd missed being able to do this without it hurting.

Cody decided to play with his gifts in the order he opened them in and Santana and I helped him assemble the wooden train track so that he could play. When he was finally happily pushing his train around the oval making adorable little train noises Santana pulled me back into her arms and kissed me. "Don't you want your present?" She said her mouth so close to me that her breath tickled my ear.

"Uh, y-yeah." I managed to stutter out feeling my face heat up in a blush at my less than eloquent answer.

"Ok, close your eyes."

I did, although I had to clench my hands into fists to stop them shaking when I heard noises around me.

"Open them." Santana said quietly.

And I did.


Ok so I was not expecting to see this.

Santana was on crouched down in front of me, dangling a key chain in her hand that held a shiny silver and black key.

A new car.

By the emblem on the key fob I was the owner of another Audi.

"You don't like it." Santana said after a few seconds of me simply staring at her.

"It's too much." I said simply, because it was. We had a discussion about how she couldn't spoil Cody for his birthday but then she went ahead and bought me a forty thousand plus dollar car. I know I had one in the past, but I guess I am in no way used to living like this again.

"I know you got rid of the last one." Santana spoke slowly and calmly, her eyes gazing into mine. "I also know you loved that car. I wanted to get you something that you'd love."

"You could have given me flowers and I would have been happy." I said honestly. "I love you."

"I love you too." She replied and then looked disappointed. "Does this mean I have to take the car back?" Her lower lip pouted out, and she honest to God batted her eyes at me.

My head tilted back and I laughed.

She's just too adorable for words.