Flash forward and we're taking on the world together,
And there's a drawer of my things at your place.
You learn my secrets and you figure out why I'm guarded,
You say we'll never make my parents' mistakes.
But we got bills to pay,
We got nothing figured out,
When it was hard to take,
Yes, yes, this is what I thought about.
"Hey, Santana, I still can't find tho- uh oh."
The 'uh oh' is out of my mouth before I can stop it, but it sums up the situation pretty well, even so. I can't see your face, since your back is to me, but I can see the tight line of your shoulders, and the way your right hand is clutching the lip of my dresser drawer so tight your pretty brown skin has turned a little white around the knuckles. I'm guessing you were looking for my favorite socks too when you found out my secret. Surprise. Nervously, I take a couple steps closer. I've been meaning to explain that drawer to you, I swear.
"Um, so...about that. I was gonna tell you, I just didn't know how to do it without making you mad or scared or making me sound like a total creeper..." I joke. You don't chuckle like I hoped you would. You don't even move. Crap, I must have screwed up even more than I thought.
"Santana? I...I'm sorry I didn't...I shoulda told you or something...Or asked you, I guess...You don't have to-"
"These are my things."
Your quiet interruption startles me. Your voice is low, but steady. I can't tell if you're mad or not, except that you still haven't moved or relaxed or looked at me. Please don't be mad, Santana.
Not sure why you're repeating yourself, I just nod again until I realize you can't see me. Duh, Brittany. I don't know where you're going with this, but it's making me feel guiltier by the second. "Yeah, they are. Look, Santana, I didn't-"
You whirl around so quickly it scares me. I stumble back a couple steps and start to lose my balance, when suddenly your hands are on my shoulders, steadying me. I grab onto your waist for support, but I can't really meet your eyes yet. I'm afraid to.
Your fingers tighten around my shoulders.
"Brittany, have you been...did you clear out a drawer in your dresser so you could put my stuff in it, without telling me?"
I nod again and try not to sniffle. I can feel the tears stinging my eyes, but I don't want them to fall. Not when you're so close.
The question isn't sharp or angry like I expected it would be, but I keep my eyes down, glued to my cold toes.
"I thought," I break off my words to clear my throat. It sounds like I'm talking underwater or through an old radio, all weak and wobbly. Everything in my chest feels tight and wrong. "I thought, you know, because you stay here sometimes..." A lot, actually. You've been at my place almost as much as yours this week. I'm pretty sure last week, too. Your fingers squeeze shortly, I think to get me to keep explaining. I clear my throat again. Still tight. A tear escapes my eyelashes and I let go of your waist for a second to brush it away, but you catch my hand with one of yours before I can.
I look up finally to see your face. You're not mad, or upset, or even afraid like I thought you might get. In fact, you're not really anything, except watching me. It's a little weird, but I guess it could be worse. At least you're letting me explain.
"Anyways, I just um, I just thought it might be a good idea for you to have some stuff here for like, in case of emergencies or whatever. 'Cause, you know, sometimes you forget your bag or you don't bring it but end up staying anyways, and then you have to borrow my clothes. Which is fine! I swear, it's totally cool," I'm quick to reassure you. The last thing I want is for you to think it's not okay for you to wear my clothes. Because if I'm honest, seeing you in my clothes, especially my jammies, it's kind of the best.
"So," you say slowly, "you started stealing my stuff and squirreling it away in your dresser instead?"
I can feel my mouth drop open, but I'm in too much shock to actually do anything about it.
"I did not steal!" My words come out in a hiss, which only happens when I get mad, which makes it that much more confusing when you start giggling. Okay, I know I should have asked your permission first, but now you're laughing at me? Rude.
I knock your hand off my shoulder and free the other one, taking a couple more steps back as I cross my arms over my chest. I'm trying not to pout, but seriously, Santana, you're laughing really hard now and I don't even know what about this all is funny.
"Oh God, Britt, I'm sorry. I don't know what happened there, I just...your face- You just looked so offended. It's not funny, I'm sorry. It's not funny." It takes you a couple more minutes before you finally stop chuckling, and then you meet my eyes, and suddenly everything is serious again.
"Britt...Are you...? Do you...?" You huff loudly, I think annoyed that you can't say whatever seems to be on your mind. "Is this your way of asking me to move in with you?" Your eyes are big and round and I can spy your fingers twisting tightly around each other at the edges of my sight. That usually only happens right before you start to freak out over something. Like, for instance, the idea of moving in with me, apparently. I panic, thinking that maybe you're going to assume I'm trying to push you into something too soon.
You flinch a little at my yell, and immediately I feel bad. I don't want you to think I don't want you to, because that's not how I feel at all. I take a few steps until I'm right in front of you. Your hands feel limp and tiny when I take them in mine, like they might break if I hold them too tightly.
"What I mean is, no that wasn't what I was trying to do at all. I just wanted you to know that it was okay for you to leave some stuff here for when you sleep over, because I like when you sleep over. Heck, I love when you sleep over. I dunno, I thought maybe it'd be easier this way because then you wouldn't have to leave right away in the morning if you didn't remember to bring clothes with you the night before. I even made some space in the closet in case you wanna hang stuff up or whatever."
You nod, but you don't say anything else, and it's making me nervous again. I think now I should lay it all out for you, because it's clear I'm not doing this right. I tug you over to my bed so we can sit on the edge of it. When you try to pull your hands away, I hang on to 'em. I can feel you start to close up again, and I know it's because I accidentally yelled at you and now you think I don't want to live with you. Which is so not true. Not even a little bit. You're just scared, that's all.
"I honestly didn't mean anything more by it, San, but if you want to know the truth..." I wait for you to look up from your lap to me before I continue. Deep breath - now or never, Pierce. "If you want to know the truth, I've wanted you to move in, or me to move in with you, or whatever, since practically our first date, but I know you like to take things slow, so I was trying to be sneaky about it. Like, maybe if you got used to having a drawer here, you'd get used to staying the night with me more, and if you got used to staying the night with me more and decided you liked it, then maybe you'd start thinking about doing it all the time. But I never wanted to push you into it. You're so...everything has to be just so for you, and that's okay. I just...I was trying to be just so for you too."
You stare at me silently for what feels like forever, before your face starts to change. Your eyelashes flutter a little, your cheeks get a little rounder, until finally, finally your lips begin to curve up into a smile.
I love all of your smiles, Santana, honestly. But this one? I know this one is special. It's your just-realized-something-that-makes-you-so-happy-yo u-just-can't-hold-it-in smile, and it's perfect.
It seeps into your expression so slowly, the way batter spreads across a waffle iron until it covers every bump and fills every crack. Your face is the same way, when you smile this smile. It gets softer and softer and brighter and brighter, sinking into your full, pouty lips, your dimpled cheeks, your gorgeous dark eyes, your crinkly little nose, and even your perfectly round ears (they get pink, Santana. Pink.) Until finally, every bit of you is filled with your smile.
It's kinda breathtaking, actually.
Um, what? "Huh?"
"Ask me if I'll move in with you." Your smile gets even bigger, and suddenly it feels like my heart is going to explode right out of my chest.
"Ask you..." You nod furiously, expression never changing. Oh my God. "Uh, Santana?"
Your smile turns into a smirk and my tummy starts turning and flipping like it's in the Olympics.
"Would you like to move in with me?"
At first you don't move, I and I start to wonder if maybe this is all just a dream and now is the part where I wake up and realize none of it was real. Before I can get too sad at the thought though, you lean in, pulling at my hands so that I lean in too, and you kiss me. It's not a very hot kiss, as our kisses go, but it's so soft and gentle and sweet that I swear my heart almost breaks from being so full. It's the best kiss, really.
When you pull away, your smile is still in place, although now your eyes are closed. I can't help myself, so I lean even further to kiss the tip of your nose. Your eyelids slide back open slowly, like they're revealing some secret treasure hidden from the world. With the way your eyes sparkle and melt all at the same time, maybe they are.
We get stuck just watching each other for a few minutes until I remember with a start that you never actually answered my question. I mean, I'm pretty sure I know what your answer is, especially if that kiss was anything to go by, but still.
"Soooo...Is that a no, or..." I joke. Mostly I'm joking, anyhow.
You laugh a little and your nose crinkles, then you kiss me again, soundly. Your lips leave mine with a loud smacking sound that always makes me wanna giggle 'cause it sounds like a cartoon kiss. "No, Brittany, that was not a 'no'. I would like very much to move in with you, if you would have me."
I can't help myself. I shriek and launch myself at you, tackling you backwards onto the bed. We make out a little, but it keeps getting interrupted by my laughing. I feel kinda bad about it, but I'm just so happy I could burst.
Finally, you shove me onto my back and lay yourself on top of me. You probably don't know it, but this is my absolute favorite way to be with you - even if it's not for sexytimes and we're just lying here with our clothes on. It's like I have my very own little Santana blanket. You're all warm and soft and even though you're tiny and adorable, you fit my body just perfect.
Your hands come up to fold under your chin across my chest, and I loop my fingers behind my head so I can stare at you, staring at me. As I watch, something in your face kind of flickers, like when a plane flies directly in front of the sun. The shine is still there, but it's blocked for a minute.
"What is it?"
You look at me in that way that makes my heart pound, like you're looking at the most important thing you've ever seen.
You smile again, but this time it's faded a bit. "Sorry, just thinking."
A thought occurs to me that makes that tight feeling come back to my chest. "If you think you're not ready, we don't...I don't want you to feel like you have to move in, you know? I'm okay with keeping things the way they are, if you want." I'm not really, now that we've actually talked about it, but I'm more not okay with making you feel like you're trapped or being forced.
"No, Britt-Britt, I want to move in with you. I really do, I just...I feel bad." I start to protest, but you trap the words in my mouth with a quick kiss before settling back on my chest. "Hush, you. I just feel bad because here you are, being perfect and doing all these ridiculously thoughtful and sweet things to make me feel comfortable and safe, and I don't even have the common decency to tell you why I am...the way I am, I guess."
"Sweetie, you don't have to-"
You cut me off with another kiss, this time letting just the tip of your tongue graze over my lips. It gives me shivers all up and down my body and makes me forget what I was going to say completely. You don't fight fair, Santana.
You grin at me when you drop your head back down on your knuckles - my face must look pretty dopey after that.
"I have to say, if that's gonna happen every time I talk when you don't want me to, I don't think I'm ever gonna stop trying." I wink at you and feel my cheeks start to ache with how big my smile is after you giggle.
"You are positively devious, Brittany S. Pierce. Some kind of brilliant evil mastermind."
I don't know why, but every time you say something like that, my whole face goes red. I think it's because no one has ever accused me of being brilliant before you came along. It's...I'm not really sure what it is, but I think I really kind of like it.
"Now be good and hush, this is important." Your smile drops, but I can still see a tiny little glimmer of something in your eyes. Even so, I try to pull myself together. If this is something important to you, then it's something important to me too.
"So, my parents got together when they were really young. Younger than us, even." I frown a little bit now, not really sure of where this is going or even where it's coming from. "They moved in together straight out of high school, got married six months later, and then year after that, they had me." I smile a little at that, but it fades when I see the sadness in your expression.
"They...as far as I know, everything was fine between them when I was a little kid. It wasn't until around the time I turned ten that the arguing started. My dad started coming home way too late, there were fights about money all the time...I didn't know until a lot later that it was because he'd developed a gambling addiction. He kept yelling about how he felt tied down, how they were already old even though they were barely 30. But anytime she tried to sit down and have an actual conversation with him about it, he'd just get up and walk out. Sometimes we wouldn't see him again for like, three days. He apparently had like, three girlfriends on the side, and he'd just go to one of them. Almost as much of our money went to them as it did casinos and backroom poker games. They got divorced a week before my eleventh birthday. My dad didn't...he didn't even fight for me. He just...left."
Your face is so still as you tell me all this, but I know it's just so you don't start crying. Your eyes always get tight around the edges when you're trying not to. It breaks my heart every time, I can't help it. I guess since you're not crying, my body decided to do it for you, because I can feel the sting in my eyes, and the way my eyelashes feel heavy with tears. You're not really looking at me anymore, so I don't think you've noticed yet, which is probably a good thing. I want to wipe my eyes, but then you start talking again and I know I need to just be still and let you finish.
"I remember, in high school, my mom hated anyone I brought home. She was always so suspicious - she would tell me constantly not to get into anything serious until I was way older, until I was ready. She didn't want me to end up like her, I guess. Or God, maybe she was afraid of me ending up like him. I do have his temper, so I guess that makes sense.. At first, I didn't really care because it was more for appearances than anything else. I knew I was gay, but..I don't know, I guess I thought maybe I could fuck my way to straight or something. But then, I met this girl. I fell totally head over heels for her, and it seemed like she wanted me back, so I just went with it. I didn't tell my mom or introduce them, because I didn't want this girl getting the same treatment all my 'boyfriends' had.
We fought a lot about everything else too, because she was always stressed, and I was angry and bitter about everything under the sun - especially my dad. Finally, one night, we got into this huge fight and I told her I was going to run away with my girlfriend if she didn't back off and...basically she kicked me out. I could never figure out if it was the gay thing, or the following in her footsteps thing, or maybe both, but either way, she gave me two days to get all my shit together and find somewhere else to live.
When I told my girlfriend, she freaked and told me that it was never that serious, that we were just having fun, and then she dumped my ass for one of the varsity boy's basketball players. I ended up having to stay with one of the school counselors until I graduated. Fortunately, I had a full ride to NYU, so I busted outta town the second I got my diploma. How's that for a sob story, huh?"
I don't mean for it to happen, honestly. It's just that sometimes when I cry, I get the hiccups. Your eyes focus on me immediately, getting huge when they spot the wetness all over my cheeks.
Before you can say anything else, I grab your shoulders and haul you up so we're face to face and I can kiss you properly. It doesn't feel like enough, though, so I roll us over too. Half of me is afraid that I'm gonna crush your little bitty body, but the other half of me just needs you as close as possible. When your arm finally come around to brace against my back, pulling me down even harder into you, I give up worrying altogether and just concentrate on kissing you as hard and as much as I can until my lips fall off.
Eventually, our kisses slow down, become softer, become slower, until this sort of lazy feeling spreads over my whole body. I can still feel the tears drying on my face, and the sadness inside is starting to dry up too. After one last long kiss, I pull back, separating our lips with a loud smack that makes me giggle a little.
You stare up at me with a dazed look in your eyes, like you're not quite sure what's happening, but you're happy to go with it.
"Damn, Britt-Britt, that was...wow. Remind me to tell you more about myself from now on, especially if that's how you're gonna respond." You grin up at me, and I can see it's a real smile, with real happiness, so I can't help but laugh again.
I don't really know what to say to that, but it turns out it doesn't really matter, because you do.
"Listen Britt, in all seriousness, I didn't tell you that to make you feel bad for me or as some kind of excuse or whatever. I just, I want you know where I'm coming from, that's all. You're always so careful to make sure that I'm comfortable and that I don't feel pressured, when you don't really even know why I'm so uptight in the first place. So I thought it was only fair that I tell you. I-I love you, Brittany, I really do. You take such good care of me and you never push, even when it's something I can tell you really want, and that means so much to me. Sometimes I feel like I don't have anything to give you in return…"
"Santana! That's ridiculous! You give me everything!"
You roll your eyes, and I can tell you don't believe me. I'll just have to convince you.
"Santana, this isn't...that's not how relationships work. If all that stuff you just told me is really the case, then the fact that you're willing to move in with me, even though we've only been together for a year, that's everything. I know you're afraid, but you wanna do it anyways. Do you know how special that makes me feel? I thought it was gonna be months before I could even bring up the idea of us living together, but here you are, telling me you want to already. I just...that's everything to me, Santana. Just everything."
I can't help but gasp a little when I see tears starting to leak out of the corners of your eyes as you stare up at me, but you're giving me that special smile again, the one that makes me feel like flying, so all I can really do is kiss the tears away and smile back at you.
"Well," you whisper as you lean up. Your lips are barely touching mine, brushing the words into my skin, making goosebumps pop up all across the back of my neck, "That's good then, because you're everything to me too, roomie."