Santana knows that if you visit your folks in Lima, even if it's just for the weekend, you will run into at least one person you knew in high school. She also knows that the number of high school people you will meet while you're in town is exponentially proportional to the amount of time you spend in Lima proper during your visit, so that if you stay one day, you'll meet one person, but if you stay for a week, you'll meet like twenty.
("Thems are the rules," Brittany agrees, winking. "Er, actually, the law.")
(Pierce's Law of Lima Losertivity, postulated and proven December 2014, to be exact.)
Santana and Brittany already ran into one of the girls from their senior cheerleading squad while they were walking around Schoonover Park yesterday. Since they've only been in Lima two days in total so far, Santana really wasn't expecting to see anyone else she knew so soon—and especially not to have him stumble upon her by chance while she was sitting on one of the decorative fixtures at the Lima Hills Mall.
She holds her wife's purse along with her own purse, crowding the plastic fern at her back, sipping from a mostly empty soda cup through a bent straw, Brittany nowhere in sight. It takes her brain a half-second longer than it should to recognize him amidst so many strangers, and especially when she didn't expect to see him here.
"Mike!" she almost yelps, setting down her soda cup, sitting up straight, waving to him over the crowd in a desperate, childish kind of way, like she saved a place for him at the lunch table on their first day back to school after summer vacation.
Even over so much mall babble, Mike perks up at the sound of his name, turning immediately towards the sound of Santana's voice. He glances past her at least three times before his eyes finally settle upon where she sits.
When he first sees her, he smiles.
When he really sees her, he starts, but then grins.
"Oh my god! Santana!" he crows, gesturing at her to remain seated as he weaves through the human traffic, swerving like a bike messenger through a New York taxi traffic jam, expertly and in liquid form, squeezing anywhere he can fit and avoiding anywhere that he can't. "I can't believe you're—! I just—!" He gestures emphatically at her, waving his hands to indicate her whole body as he fumbles for words. He gestures round, he gestures wide, he gestures soft. Finally, he slaps his hands to his sides, overcome. "You're just so—!"
"Pregnant," she supplies, her hand moving instinctually from where it rests on Brittany's purse to stroke over the new slight round of her belly. "Eighteen weeks pregnant," she amends, after a second.
"Wow," Mike says reverently. Then, "Congratulations." And, "You're back in Lima for Thanksgiving, huh?" He frowns, "Are you here by yourself or—?"
"Brittany's in the ladies' room," she says quickly. "We're visiting our folks and Brittany's mom is throwing this shower thing."
She tries to roll her eyes about the notion, but can't keep the excitement out of her voice. Santana has never had a baby shower thrown in her honor before and even just a few years ago she never would have imagined that she ever would have one. The fact that she is having one—a baby shower, a baby—kind of blows her mind. It's difficult not to smile about it, thinking back on things.
Mike nods. "That's awesome," he says. "There are actually a couple of us in town right now. Tina's here and Mercedes and I think maybe Finn and Puck? Kurt might try to make it if he doesn't have to go back to work right away. We were all going to go out for drinks on Friday, but we could change it to dessert or something, if you and Britt wanted to come along, too."
Santana pouts out her lip. "I wish we could," she says truthfully, "but we're heading to Columbus tonight to stay at Brittany's grandparents' house. That's where we're having Thanksgiving and the shower deal. We've gotta leave as soon as Brittany and I get back to her house—if she ever comes back from the ladies' room, Jesus fucking Christ."
"She's probably carving your names on one of the stall doors," Mike says approvingly.
Santana hadn't even noticed Brittany walking up behind her and jumps a little at the sound of Brittany's voice. "Jesus!" Santana says, drawing a hand to her heart.
(Something twitches inside of her, low, startled because she's startled.)
Brittany sets a gentling hand on her shoulder. "You found Mike," Brittany says placidly, as if Santana did it on purpose. "Did you tell him about the baby?"
Both Santana and Mike laugh because, well.
"Yes, I told him about the baby," Santana says, giving the new curve of her belly another low stroke.
"You guys didn't make a Facebook announcement, did you?" Mike asks, "Because if you did, I somehow missed it."
"Nobody uses Facebook anymore, Boy Chang," Santana scoffs.
He quirks an eyebrow, "So does anybody else from the glee club know?"
"A few," Brittany says, sitting down on the decorative fixture at Santana's side. "We haven't made like an official announcement, though."
Mike nods. "So when I get drinks with everyone, I should keep it on the down low?"
(When she was younger, Santana used to think that her feelings for Brittany were entirely private. Only after she came out did she realize that it's impossible to keep something that big a secret.)
"No, you can tell people," Santana says, surprised with herself for how much she actually wants to share her good news, even with people she hasn't seen much of since high school. "In fact," she decides, "get out your phone. You get to deliver our official announcement to the glee club."
For a second, Mike looks confused, but then recognition blooms on his face. As he fumbles in his pocket for his smartphone, Santana shares a look with Brittany, silently checking that she's read the situation correctly. Brittany grins because of course she has.
By the time Mike is ready to take the picture, Santana and Brittany have laced their hands together into one of their favorite I-love-you-so-much knots. They turn towards each other on the fixture. Santana takes Brittany by the shoulders and Brittany's left hand migrates to Santana's baby bump, cradling it. Mike takes a few steps back to get them both in the frame. He counts out one, two, three and Brittany and Santana lean in for a kiss.
The shutter sound on his smartphone plays just as their lips meet and it's sort of stupid to feel so incredibly romantic and grateful and at peace in the dumpiest mall in Lima, Santana knows, but she can't help herself.
(Sometimes wishes do come true.)
(And she just does and she just does and she just does.)
"What should I caption it?" Mike asks, leaning in to show them his handiwork.
"How about just 'Happy Thanksgiving'?" Brittany says and Santana nods her approval.
Mike enters in the text at warp speed, his fingers moving so quickly across the keypad that Santana can barely even follow his movements. "Do you want me to tell them anything?" he offers.
"Yeah," Santana smiles. "Just tell them we're really happy."