Author notes: These are a set of unrelated fics having to do with the Kurtcheltana gang with Dani sometimes thrown in. I own nothing.

Late night TV

It had become one of those hours where it was unclear whether it was still late evening or had become early morning, a suspended time in between days when even the city noise seemed to have soften into barely more than a background buzz, and the muted volume of the television and the soft, even breathing of the woman curled against her side had become much more prominent to Santana's hearing. Santana wasn't tired, exactly, but she was very comfortable, her eyes heavy and only half open where she leaned into Dani's shoulder, Dani's cheek resting on top of her own head. Dani's arm was wound around her waist, her fingers lightly stroking in rhythmic up and down movement over Santana's side, and Santana had her own hand resting on Dani's upper thigh, her own fingers slowly caressing over the material of Dani's jeans.

It was an entirely too domestic scene, Santana knew distantly, especially considering that she had only known Dani for a few weeks, been dating her for an even lesser period of time. But then, she herself was getting entirely too "tame" if she thought about it, which she basically tried not to, because the thought of her life now with Kurt Hummel and Rachel Berry, of all people, was enough to cause her to either roll her eyes and groan with disbelief, shaking her head with something between dismay and reluctant amusement, or if she was honest, to try and fail to hide a smile. Three years ago, even two years ago, no one could have possibly convinced her that it was even remotely conceivable that she would willingly tolerate being in the company of Kurt "Lady Hummel" or Rachel "Man Hands" for more than ten minutes. If she had been informed that she would not only live with them, but actually enjoy being around them, that she would not only get along with them, but consider them her best friends, even her family, she would have gone all Lima Heights on someone's ass for even making such a ridiculous statement. And for someone to tell her that the words "love" would not only cross her mind, but also leave her lips, in reference to the two of them…well, she probably would have just burst into hysterical laughter.

But it was true, all of it. It was true that she had gotten to the point where she actually tuned out the sound of Rachel practicing her vocal scales at the ungodly hour of six am in the shower, and she no longer batted an eye at the other girl's extensive nightly ritual to prepare for bed, nor towards Kurt's large assortment of hair care products or moisturizer taking up precious space in their bathroom. She almost didn't notice when Rachel's voice started to climb the scale in volume and intensity when she got excited or when Kurt's voice cracked when he got pissed, and she actually sort of liked what she had once declared was Rachel's "disgusting pet food shit" and that some of Kurt's stupid fashion and cooking shows actually weren't that bad. She only pretended consternation when they forced her into playing roommate game nights together, and she got just as into winning rounds of Apples to Apples or Trivial Pursuit or Scene it, if not more so, than either of her very competitive roommates. And their musical nights that Rachel had insisted on, where they watched a musical on subtitles and each had to sing parts? She wouldn't dare admit it to them or anyone else, but she actually looked forward to them.

Obviously, living with Kurt and Rachel had blunted a lot of edges that Santana couldn't really say she was entirely unhappy about having smoothed down, at least in her own thoughts. She had almost feared what Dani would think, the first time she ever came home with her and saw their own weird little triage outside of work, the way too geeky and familiar way they operated with each other. Moreover, she had dreaded how the all-too-interested-and-invasive Kurt and Rachel would drink in her every word, action, and look towards Dani, and Dani's towards her, not-so-subtly trying to push Dani even further towards "falling for" her, and ready to pounce with gleeful observations the second she headed out the door.

It wasn't that she didn't appreciate their support and interest, in a distant, leave me the hell alone sort of way. It was just that they could be really mortifying- especially when Dani smiled back at them like she was totally on their side and didn't mind mocking Santana too.

She had to give them at least some credit though, they had been relatively quiet and casual when they passed by to prepare for bed tonight and saw that Santana and Dani had claimed the couch for themselves, and not in a distant, we-have-amble-personal-space kind of way. At least, as quiet and casual as Rachel and Kurt ever could manage to be about possible romantic interests that were more than just a one night stand on her or anyone's part. They had managed to restrain themselves into simply sharing a huge grin between them and announcing with unnecessary emphasis that they were very tired and would head off to bed to leave the two of them alone, accompanied by a big wink on Rachel's part towards Santana, as though Dani was oblivious enough not to notice, or else assume she had a rather obvious tic in her eye. Or actually, when Santana stopped to think about it, it was more than possible that the wink had been intended towards Dani, who never seemed to miss a chance to tease Santana in return.

They had made good on their word to leave them alone, however, and the evening had passed in relatively private snuggling, with several brief kisses that only the thought of Rachel and Kurt, no doubt listening with rapt attention behind their curtain dividends, had stopped from becoming more. As Santana's eyes closed a little further, her slow stroking of Dani's thigh almost stopping entirely, she almost didn't notice the sitcom rerun on the television giving out to the commercials. It wasn't like she was interested in buying a new car or washing machine, Prozac or-

But then her ears took in the sound of an all too familiar voice on the television, and on instinct she bolted up, the top of her head knocking hard against Dani's cheek in her haste. As Dani made a startled, pained noise in response, straightening up too and lifting a hand to touch her stinging cheekbone, Santana's eyes darted over the surface of the couch, floor closest to it, and the coffee table as she looked with near panic for the remote control. If she didn't change the channel, and immediately, well, the embarrassment she had thought Kurt and Rachel capable of providing her with in Dani's presence had just been exponentially multiplied without them having to say or do anything at all.

"Santana, what are you doing?" Dani was staring at her, hand still held against her cheek, eyebrows raised as Santana's hands roamed over the couch, feeling in between the cushions and then bending over to look beneath it as well. Then her eyes drifted up towards the television screen, and she gave a soft gasp, one hand touching Santana's back from where the other girl was still bent over, long hair brushing the floor as she continued to search, almost frantic, for the missing remote control.

"That commercial- Santana, is that YOU?"

"No," Santana ground out through her teeth, but even as she straightened up and pulled away from Dani, deliberately keeping her face turned from her as she swept a hand uselessly over the coffee table, knowing the remote clearly wasn't resting on it, she could feel her face growing hot.

She knew the commercial was stupid and over the top, of course it was. It wasn't exactly what she'd pick as the first stepping stone of a career. But nevertheless she had been proud to be in a commercial at all, even if it did happen to be one for yeast infection medication. Rachel had understood her excitement and been genuinely happy for her without any mocking at all, but Dani, Santana wasn't sure would be able to hold back the teasing, and it was from Dani that it would be genuinely embarrassing.

"Yes it is!" Dani's voice sounded much too awake now, much too excited- and much too amused. Santana's long fingernails unconsciously bit into her palms, and she felt the flushing of her cheeks spread down over her neck and chest as well as Dani gave her shoulder a little affectionate shove, leaning forward eagerly towards the television. "Santana, you're on tv! Why didn't you tell me?!"

"Dani, don't watch that," Santana almost pleaded, and she reached out to cover Dani's eyes with one hand, unsurprised when Dani knocked her hand aside with little effort, then took the hand and pinned it in her lap, squeezing her fingers- all the while never letting her eyes swerve from the screen for a second. "Where's the friggin' remote?"

"This remote?" Dani grinned, holding up the missing remote with the hand not holding down Santana's, even giving it a little wave in the air for emphasis- even as her eyes remained on the screen and she held the remote at an ample distance away from Santana. "I don't see any need for it when something so interesting is on. I mean, what better to watch than an ad about…did they call that thing YEAST-I-STAT?!"

The only thing Santana could be grateful for at the moment was that Rachel and Kurt seemed to be asleep, because she could only imagine the amount of giggling that would have erupted from behind the curtains at this if they weren't. Lunging across Dani's back on the couch, she tried to grab at the remote, but Dani shoved her back from her again, then wrapped a surprisingly strong arm around her waist, laughing and keeping Santana's arms partly pinned down against her as she continued to watch. It was too late to even bother trying to fight her anymore; too much damage had been done, and the commercial only had a few more seconds left as it was. Santana gave up, slumping into Dani's side, knowing very well how very red her face still must be as the last refrains of her own voice, announcing "I'm free!" in apparent ecstasy ended the commercial. For Dani, at least, this seemed to be the final straw.

"You're…free?" she turned towards Santana, seeming to be at least attempting to keep a straight face, even as her lips quirked and twitched and her eyes shone with her amusement. "Free of your…yeast? You mean…it went scat? With Yeast-i-stat?"

She burst out laughing then, dropping the remote as she wrapped both arms around Santana, leaning her head against the side of the other girl's as she continued to snicker, hugging her loosely in a manner that was conveying almost as much reassurance as playfulness.

"Yeast in your bagel…but not in your MUFFIN?!"

She broke out into laughter all over again, as Santana only half-heartedly attempted to shrug her off, not really minding or wanting to get out of the hug, and tried to scowl at her, but it was hard to be too embarrassed with Dani's arms around her.

"Yeah, yeah, I spoke the lines, didn't write the script," she muttered, but she was starting to smile back in spite of herself.

Especially when Dani put a hand to her face, turning her back towards her by the chin, and with a more serious expression, leaned in to gently kiss her lips before pulling back, her hand still resting with gentle affection on her face.

"Hey, that's amazing though, Santana. I'm proud of you."

Santana's efforts at a glare died immediately then, and her face softened into a smile that was almost shy as she looked back at Dani, seeing the genuineness of her words. Sliding her arm around Dani's waist, she leaned in to kiss her back, her hand gently rubbing over Dani's side.

It was a nice moment…at least until Dani pulled back and grinned all over again, wiggling her eyebrows mischievously.

"So if muffins are bad, how do you feel about whipped cream and apple pie? Or should we stick with donut holes?"

"Go with the donut holes, there's less mess and clean up!" came a shout from behind Kurt's curtain, and as Dani broke into even louder laughter than before, a second reply came from Rachel's.

"Actually, isn't cherry pie more strongly related to sexual innuendo of some nature, due to the usage of cherry as a synonym for female virginity?"

"If you two say one more word or step one foot out from behind those curtains, you're gonna find the sharpest heel of my tallest boots stuffed up both your asses and there ain't gonna be no sexual innuendo about it," Santana called back to them, but even then, even with her face about as red as the cherry pie filling Rachel had mentioned, even with both her roommates and her girlfriend laughing at her, she found herself accepting Dani's kiss, and even returning it; she even sort of enjoyed what it felt like, for the other girl to still be laughing as she covered her lips with her own.

So maybe letting herself be the butt of a joke at the hands of three people, two of them being Kurt and Rachel, of all people, made her whipped and soft as…well, whipped cream wasn't too far off the mark there. But she guessed when it came down to it, maybe it wasn't all that bad a thing to be.