Previously on Dandelion: Everything happened.
"So now what?" I asked, placing the last box in the kitchen on the counter. Justine had moved out the week before, and everything was barren except for a few things I hadn't taken down yet.
"I guess we ride off into the sunset or something," Santana said, winking at me.
I rolled my eyes. "That's just irresponsible."
"Says the girl who did nothing with her Master's in neuroscience," Santana giggled with a wink.
If it were anyone else, I would have bristled at the jab. But it was Santana, and she was kidding. She loved that I'd taken my own path.
Standing there, breathing heavily from dozens of trips up and down my stairs, she had a light sheen of sweat and smudge of something on the side of her nose. Her ponytail had a shark fin on the right side and her necklace was stuck lopsided to the sweat on her chest.
She was a mess, and I loved her for it.
"Ride off into the sunset, huh?" I said, stepping towards her.
She grinned her sunshine grin with sarcastic enthusiasm.
I threaded my arms around her waist and kissed her cheek and then the dust smudge on her nose.
"Okay," I said.
I felt her melt a little. But rather than swooning myself, that sway in her foundation, however lovely, made me nervous. It reminded me how temporary everything is.
"Just… promise me you'll still be here after the sun has gone down and we're wondering why we thought it was a good idea to get on a horse at this hour and ride far away without food or lodging planned out."
Santana giggled, then calmed, resting her head on my shoulder. "I'll still be here."
I held her closer and hushed circles against her back with my hands. "Good." I held her until we were both soothed and breathing steadily.
I closed my eyes again, relishing Santana's warm body against mine, soaking it up in this moment of closeness. Every moment with her like this is to be treasured, because sometimes good things are fleeting.
But then again, sometimes they're not.
I opened my eyes, readying to begin the long process of unpacking our belongings and figuring out how they fit together in our new apartment across town. My gaze landed on the refrigerator, which was bare, save for my acceptance letter to the UCSF Master's in Public Health program. Holding it to the fridge was a magnet Justine had left. I'd seen it hundreds of times before, but I took it in as though for the first time.
When you have come to the edge of all that you know
And are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown
Faith is knowing one of two things will happen:
There will be something solid to stand on,
Or you will be taught to fly
A/N: Thank you so, so much to everyone who has followed this story with me. It's been a very personal journey for me, one that I wouldn't have taken without all of you. Writing has been a truly transformative experience on every level for me. Thank you for giving me that gift.
I need to say a huge THANK YOU to JJ for her wonderful editing and cheerleading work. She really is the best at what she does, and she made this project so much more fun and rewarding. Her generosity, creativity, and enthusiasm never fail to surprise me. She is a marvelous teacher and friend.
I have several rough plans for future projects. One of those projects is an original YA novel I began in November, featuring an interracial female relationship set in a fairytale kingdom. That project will not be published as Brittana fanfiction. I also have tentative plans for a historical fiction piece set in 1910's New York City. For updates on where and how you can read those projects, follow my Tumblr page (specifically look under the link that says "I write a lot"). I have also created a FictionPress account (lilyrmason) which I may utilize at some point in the future, so follow that if you like. Once Glee comes back, if I am so inspired, I will be writing and posting oneshots and short pieces.
Thank you all!