Title: Auntie Snixx Comes Back to Town
Pair: background Kadam, Santana/Brittany friends with benefits, Kurt/Santana friendship
(Not necessary for reading, but this fic also takes Team Bruce, Team Ellen into canon
Not so Blaine friendly
Summary: After Mr. Schuester’s wedding, Kurt tries to talk to Santana about how she’s feeling, but Santana is preoccupied with something else. After Kurt takes her and Brittany to meet the lesbian mentors, things get a little unpredictable.
As Santana looked on her former teacher kissing the love of his life and celebrating their happy ending, there was no bitterness in her. Yeah, he could be a condescending douche, and he should’ve been voted most likely to ignore student red flags-- But he had been waiting for this. And Santana could see how much better Mrs. Emma Schuester was doing right now. That brief moment during the performance, when she’d offered food out of one of her pristine containers, with no plastic gloves in sight... She was getting better. So nothing but happiness for them. Good on her.
“Hey, honey,” Kurt’s high phone-voice peeped through Santana’s thoughts.
She sniffed and wiped her eyes again. She was happy to be leaning on Brittany right now, her arm hanging around Brittany’s neck, the two of them holding one another up. Today had been emotionally exhausting for the both of them.
“Calm down, calm down! It’s only been a couple of days... Yes, yes, but you know how Broadway judges are. Look at Carmen! She shamed you during your audition, and you did get in. And when I sang at the Winter Showcase, I thought she had a bunch of lemons up in her turban to suck on. Bitch is a stone cold Carter.” He snapped his fingers. “You can’t tell what judges are going to decide.”
Santana raised a brow, then pressed a kiss to Brittany’s hair. He was talking Rachel down from a diva freakout. Santana was honestly glad to be out of the apartment right now, even if Brittany’s distress had caused it.
“Bottom line, honey: getting this callback in itself is amazing. You’re too young for the part, and you’ve been in New York for less than a year. It should be completely impossible for you to be on your final callback, but you are.” Kurt paused, shaking his head. “Okay. Look, call Adam and tell him to come over and make you some of his magic cookies. Santana and I will be back in the city in a few days. Everything’s gonna be okay.”
Across the room, Blaine watched Kurt, his eyes shifting around, ferret-like. Santana’s lips drew together like a purse-string. He’d been weirdly clingy all night. Ever since Santana gotten into town, actually. It was making her Mexican third-eye tingle. Something was up.
The night Santana had flown in, practically the moment her ass hit the couch, Blaine was going on and on about marriage equality. Kurt hadn’t even pocketed his keys yet. He’d given her a smile and disappeared to make “tea,” but but she could hear Blaine as he followed Kurt into the kitchen, telling Kurt how he just had to come with him to Breadstix tonight. How important it was. How he needed Kurt’s support.
“Well. It sounds worthwhile if they’re that nice. I’ll ask Santana if she’s hungry-”
“No! I mean...”
“Well, don’t you think she’d want to go? We have the Misters Berry, at least. She didn’t really have anyone growing up in this town.”
“She lives in New York. She’ll find someone.” Blaine’s voice sounded sulky.
“I live in New York. And I work at Vogue and go to a musical theatre school. Plus, I have my dad.”
“Kurt-” The classic trademark Blanderson whine came full blast. “I really need your support on this. Aren’t we friends?”
“Of course. You know I want to still be friends. I’ve been trying really hard...”
“This has been hard for me, too. I mean, I did transfer schools for you, and now I’m at McKinley all alone.”
“That’s not true. You have a lot of friends at McKinley, don’t you?”
“That’s not what’s important. What’s important is that we have gay mentors to look up to. This is the first time in history when we can really look to the future and say that we’ll be able to do everything our friends do!”
“Fine. Fine, I’ll go. Just let me get ready. I can meet you there? I need to be back by nine, though. I promised my dad to spend time with him before I leave, and I’ll be with you guys almost all day Saturday for Regionals.”
Kurt had returned with no tea, apologizing for abandoning Santana for the evening and promising to get her dinner later in the week, even though she had already told him she’d be spending the evening taking care of Brittany. But he’d promised to be on call anyway, in case she needed him, and it was probably one of those things. He knew she’d returned to Lima because something was wrong with Brittany, so it might upset her, and she might need something from someone. And they were kind of on their own here, when their friends weren’t also visiting, aside from what they were willing to share with their parents. But Mercedes was back in town, too, and Santana could handle herself, no matter what. So she wasn’t worried about being abandoned.
Santana waved Kurt off and watched the both of them carefully. Blaine kept looking over at Kurt expectantly, and then followed Kurt upstairs. The door slammed before Blaine reached the top, and Santana had leaned forward, grinning wickedly. Kurt had just said he was going to change. They’d just agreed that Kurt would drive himself. What, had Blaine been planning on going in the room with him?
Eventually, Blaine stopped dawdling and left, presumably to go home and change himself.
And Santana looked on.
Before Regionals, Blaine had been trying to stand beside Kurt, who kept moving as though he didn’t see Blaine there, and talking with his friends. He seemed to follow him around the choir room, and once it had looked like he was going to follow him to the bathroom. Then, after the win, as the wedding was beginning, Blaine had slipped in beside Kurt. Santana wasn’t even sure if Kurt had noticed. She’d surely missed some things, as she was emotionally preoccupied herself, but Blaine was just being so blatantly weird.
Kurt was noticing now, though. His eyes flickered across the room to where Blaine was, and Blaine started towards him. Kurt pocketed his phone and moved towards Mercedes and Mike. Santana squeezed Brittany’s hand and kissed her cheek.
“I’m gonna go help Kurt out.”
“Oh...! My unicorn’s here?” Brittany’s eyes rounded and she scanned the faces of the New Directions members. “When did he get here?”
“He’s in the suit there, with Mercedes.” Santana pointed, and Brittany frowned. “His hair is swept up, with gaylights, and he’s lost even more weight, but that’s him. I room with him. I know.”
“Huh.” Brittany pressed a hand just below her chest and tilted her head to the side thoughtfully. “He looks different. Not just on the outside.”
“Remember, I’m coming over tonight, before you leave for MIT and we go back to New York,” Santana said.
“That I won’t forget,” Brittany replied with a soft smile. Her fingertips brushed over her lips.
Santana strode through the crowd, keeping her eye on Blaine. She could see him chomping on the bit for Kurt to stop talking to Mercedes. He was hiding something behind his back. Santana crossed her arms and swiveled her head. Should she just approach him? He caught her eye and blinked a little in confusion.
Apparently Lips McGee hadn’t passed on the info to his best friend to watch out for her.
Santana turned her head to see Kurt beside her. He drew some hair away from her face gently and smiled.
“Are you okay?”
Santana blinked. “Am I okay?”
“That’s the gist of what I asked, yeah.” Kurt lifted his chin, and his brow creased. “Can we talk in the hall for a minute?”
“Yes,” Santana said without hesitation. Her eagerness seemed to surprise Kurt a little, but he took her arm and led her away from the others.
It was quiet in the hallway. Kurt let out a tense breath and leaned against the lockers.
“Kind of rough night for you, hm?”
Santana rolled her eyes. Why did he have to start this? Didn’t he know he was the one who needed to talk? “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“You and Brittany.” He chuckled. “I should’ve known she was a genius. Never did understand anything she said.”
Santana broke, just a little, and smiled. “I always told her so. I never... I never knew that it was like that, though. I feel bad for that. I only saw the way she looked at the world, and how she put things together that were wise and true. I knew she was smart in a way other people didn’t understand. I never knew she could do MIT. Or that she’d want to.”
“Why would you? She’s never even talked about liking math.” Kurt shrugged his head to the side. “Maybe because our teachers at this school are terrible.”
“That’s a distinct possibility,” Santana drawled. “I knew she wanted to make it to college, though. Because people have always acted like it wasn’t ever a possibility for her.”
“Well, we don’t have the best guidance at this school, either. Or we wouldn’t be handing each other application materials for schools and programs. Don’t tell the bride I said so. But Massachusetts, that’s closer, right? Definitely closer than Lima.”
Santana steeled her jaw. “I know you’re tryin’ to be cute and fuzzy or whatever, but I don’t want to talk about this right now.”
“Okay. But... if you do, and Rachel is, shall we say, distracted by her own drama, know you can come to me when you do want to.” Kurt leaned closer. “Will you?”
“I will. If you tell me what the hell’s going on with you and the littlest gel monster.”
Kurt furrowed his brow. “I’m not really sure, actually. I mean, you know what happened at the last wedding-”
“Wanky,” Santana confirmed with a nod.
“Yeah, and I told Blaine at the time, repeatedly, that we were just friends-”
Santana slit her eyes at him. “Just friends who bone? That sounds like you.”
“I figured, if anyone can do a meaningless hookup, it’s Blaine,” Kurt shot back.
Santana’s mouth dropped open. Oh, he went there. This was progress. “Nice burn. You given that one to him, yet?”
“No.” He looked towards the door to the choir room. “Anyway, since then, I’ve tried to give clear signals. Or, clearer. After... you know.”
He looked at her, and she flattened her lips with a nod.
“He agreed with me all day at the wedding that this didn’t mean anything, and we were just friends... and after... he told me that he wouldn’t let me deny what it meant and that it was destiny, and we’d be together no matter what I said-”
Santana’s brows shot up. “Creepy.”
“I’m paraphrasing badly.” Kurt crossed his arms. “This was over a month ago.”
“That doesn’t negate the creepy. You said, we’re just friends, and he said, okay, and then the weird continued?”
“He said it’s just “bros helping bros,” and that’s a quote. And afterward he said, “I won’t let you minimize this”- meaning the sex-”
“I got that. So basically...” Santana curled her lip up. If she’d known this, she’d have spent less time torturing Kurt for hooking up with his ex. “Okay, once more. You said, just friends, and he agreed, but he was just saying that to get in your pants.”
Kurt’s expression went blank. Then one hand covered his mouth. Santana’s face was growing warm.
“Anyway.” His voice had grown softer. “I get here now, and it’s clearer for me. I was a little confused at the time of the wedding. I saw him, and all these old feelings... But this time, it isn’t like that. I just don’t feel as much when I look at him... I don’t feel much at all.” He paused, sucking in his lower lip. “Honestly, Adam going so slow with me has helped. But it seems like... Okay, one minute Blaine is agreeing that we’re just friends, and then he’s saying something inappropriately sexual over coffee, and one minute he’s fine and then he’s trying to touch me or grab my hand or give me these looks, that I don’t know what they mean. I keep reenforcing that ‘just friends’ message, and he’ll repeat it, but I’m not sure if he doesn’t hear it, or if he’s just feeling something because I’m in the vicinity and he doesn’t mean to be so weird. He’s been trying to get me alone since the end of the ceremony.”
Kurt paused for a long moment, then admitted, “It’s really uncomfortable.”
“Well, didn’t you go to dinner with him?” Santana prodded. “Isn’t that a mixed signal? Maybe the hobbit got confused and thinks he can snake his feelers out at will.”
She wiggled her fingers at him like eager tentacles, but he swatted her hand away.
“Well... No. Because we said it wasn’t a date, and he only asked me to go because he’d met these two older lesbians who wanted to talk, or mentor him... or so he said. And I had to be there for some reason. I’m not sure what it was. I did try to figure out what they wanted... but I wanted to help him... Anyway, we had coffee, and cake, and then Jan proposed to Liz in the booth, and it was really sweet.” Kurt tightened his crossed arms and looked down. “But I kept getting the feeling that he was sharing looks with Jan about something, and they were acting kind of odd...
The hair on the back of Santana’s neck started to prickle. She looked towards the choir room door, and sure enough, Blaine was looking out at them through the window. His eyes bulged as he saw her, and his face disappeared.
“Weirdness aside, I was wondering if you’d want to go meet them. I thought it might be helpful for you to talk to someone further down the road to their happily ever after.”
Santana rolled her eyes. “You’re such a sap.”
“Yes, darling, I am, but they were talking about how they met in high school, and they broke up twice, but supported each other through college...” Kurt let his arms drop from his chest and reached for her hand.
It was weird how she was getting used to these casual touches with him. But it sucked how her eyes were getting misty, because she knew exactly what he was getting at.
“Whatever happens with you and Brittany, here are two women who have loved each other for thirty years. While I was there, all I could think was how you should meet them, and how they might be you and Britt one day... y’know.” He smirked. “When you’re both old and saggy.”
Santana laughed softly. “I’ll have work done.”
“Yeah? Well, give me the guy’s number.” Kurt smoothed his fingertips along his eyebrow and lifting his chin as though posing. “You know how particular I am about my face.”
Santana pulled Kurt’s hand up and, on a whim, kissed his knuckles. “Do Auntie Snixx a favor.”
Kurt rested his head against the locker and tented his eyebrows as he looked into her eyes. It was a new expression, softer than Santana was used to getting from him. There was so much snark and bite between them, a lot of playing with the claws out. That had lessened since she’d moved in with them. And especially since she’d started willingly clocking hours with the show tune singin’, booty wagglin’ English muffin. He wasn’t as annoying as she’d first thought. Didn’t hurt that he was a good cook.
“Okay,” Kurt agreed.
“Don’t you spend any time alone with Warbles the Clown. Don’t give him any reason to think that you want anything more than awkward, platonic sharing of caffeinated beverages. You’ve said over and over what you want, and he ain’t listenin’. I mean, even looking at him in the choir room just now, you could tell he was up to something.”
Kurt shrugged and crinkled the bridge of his nose. “But it’s just Blaine.”
“Doesn’t really matter. If he can’t take no for an answer...” She trailed off as a strange look crossed Kurt’s face. “What?”
He blinked and looked down, taking a deep breath. His face had gone a little pale.
“Nothing. So, um. Okay. Like in a horror movie. Stay with the group,” Kurt joked stiffly. He swallowed and shook his head. Then, quieter, “He’ll forget about me when I leave. It’s just Blaine.”
“Yeah, maybe. Just protect yourself, okay? He doesn’t get to make you feel this way.” Santana squeezed Kurt’s hand hard, eliciting a raised brow. “He’s not allowed.”
Kurt looked away, his forehead scrunching up as he thought this over. He was going to agree with her. But getting him to flat out tell Blanderson that he was crossing a line would be a hard proposition. As far as she knew, Kurt hadn’t even really had it out with the guy yet. Not much more than breaking up, and limiting contact.
Kurt didn’t handle anger well. Like maybe he didn’t think he was permitted the negative emotions other people had. Or he thought if he let himself have them, bad things would happen. But he wasn’t like his British pastry-puff of a boyfriend. All cookies and back rubs and rainbows. Kurt had anger, and he wasn’t overly optimistic about people... even if he seemed to forgive them a ridiculous amount and hide even the worst of the crap he got with a positive mask that fooled a surprising amount of stupid people.
But Santana was not stupid.
“Kurt,” Santana said, with emphasis.
Kurt cocked his head slightly and pinched his lips together. “That serious, hm? Things are so dire you’re using my actual name?”
She bumped her shoulder against his. “Is it a crime to worry about you or something? This break-up is turning into the beginning of a Lifetime movie.”
“I’ll be okay,” Kurt promised. “But I will be careful, too.”
Santana nodded and smoothed a hand down her immaculately tailored dress. “Once more into the choir room, Bootylicious.”
Kurt launched himself from the lockers and walked with her, hands still intertwined.
Santana was wickedly pleased with herself for Kurt-blocking Blaine for the rest of the night.
With Santana still in her fabulously tailored dress and Brittany still in her performance outfit, the two of them entered Breadstix, pinkies locked. She could see from Kurt’s face that he was suspicious of her motives for wanting to meet Liz and Jan right that evening, but he went along with it, and he and Brittany had shared an interesting nonstop non-sequitur babblefest as he drove them all over in his father’s car.
“They’re over there.” Kurt pointed to one of the booths in the middle of the restaurant, and then led the way, taking Brittany on one arm and Santana on the other.
“Oh! I thought you’d be with that sweet little boyfriend of yours,” Jan said.
Kurt waited for Santana and Brittany to slide into the booth before seating himself. “Again, Blaine and I are not a couple.”
Jan smiled in a noncommittal way, and Liz looked at Santana and Brittany.
“These were the friends I was talking about. Brittany and Santana. They’re both leaving town tomorrow, so tonight was really the only time we could do this,” Kurt explained.
Brittany pulled all the breadsticks out of the middle of the table and started building something.
“Brittany’s on her way to MIT,” Santana said, eyeing both of the older women carefully. They were both giving Brittany an odd look.
“Oh, MIT. You must be very...” Liz watched the breadstick construction for a moment. “Ah, very good with math and science.”
Brittany didn’t answer.
“She’s a genius,” Santana supplied, narrowing her eyes viciously at the women across from them as they shared a dubious look at Brittany’s expense.
“And you two are... dating?” Jan asked.
“Not right now. We’re taking a break,” Santana explained. “Because of the distance.”
She shot Kurt a hard look. Not that she didn’t have her own agenda, but these two biddies didn’t have the right to look at Brittany that way.
Brittany added another level to her construction with their forks. It was perfectly balanced. She still did not speak.
Santana couldn’t say why sometimes Brittany engaged people in conversation, and then would sometimes go for weeks at a time not wanting to talk to anyone. She hoped the stress of the move wouldn’t tax her too much. It seemed like when she had extra stress, sometimes she turned inward, or sometimes she just modeled dysfunctional behavior (like Britney Spears or Rachel Berry) to let people know she was upset.
“So, how’d you meet the Blainers, anyway?” Santana said, narrowing her eyes. “Tina said that she met you in the jewelry store, and you thought she and Blaine were a couple.”
The surprised look on Kurt’s face told Santana that the meanness of just dropping this on the table and watching the explosion was worth it. She hadn’t been that close with Tina anyway.
“I thought you said you met in the food court?” Kurt asked.
“Oh, dear,” Jan said. “I can’t remember that kind of detail. Maybe we went from the store to the Chinese place. I usually get lunch there when I go to the mall.”
“This one and her memory.” Liz patted her hand.
Kurt frowned. When the waiter came around, Santana ordered for her and Brittany, then continued to prod the women for their stories. They were sweet, just like Kurt had said, and did like to go on and on. And on. It wasn’t that she didn’t appreciate where they’d been, but she could’ve used this kind of help when she’d been outed her senior year or when her grandmother had kicked her out of the house. It was less than helpful to hear old people telling her how much harder they’d had it than her, when they didn’t know where she’d been.
“So, okay. You’re like adorable old lesbians.” Santana shrugged and rolled her eyes upward. “Why did you want to talk to Kurt and Blaine here?”
“Well, he just seemed to be so excited to talk to a gay person with some experience,” Jan said.
“We’re very interested in helping the gay youth,” Liz added. “It’s good to see all of you so close together. We didn’t have that kind of thing in our day.”
“Yeah, we still don’t. They won’t let us start a club at McKinley. We all met in show choir. Anyway, you just decided that was the night to propose?” Santana asked.
“It was just in the spirit of the moment.” Jan spread her hands and shrugged.
“Did you get your ring from your store?” Brittany said, suddenly. She had lifted her eyes from her creation for the first time and was now looking at the two women in a disengaged way.
Santana could see the wheels turning.
“I’m sorry, dear?” Jan said.
“You run the jewelry store in the mall, right? The squiggly marks on your wallet match the squiggly marks on the front of the store. And they say a lesbian couple runs the store and you’re a lesbian couple. And that’s where you ran into Tina and Blaine, and thought they were a couple looking at jewelry together,” Brittany said. She picked up a piece of spaghetti with her fingers and sucked it into her lips.
“Well, I suppose that was it.” Jan shrugged again.
“Did he buy the ring from you?” Brittany flicked her sculpture and the structure came toppling over.
No one said anything for a moment.
“What ring, Britt?” Kurt asked.
“The one Blaine was holding all night while he was stalking you around the room.” Brittany rested her chin on her hand and looked around at other booths. “It was a ring box. There’s probably a ring inside. Either that or gum wrappers or something.”
Santana curved her lips to the side and looked at the women expectantly.
“Oh. Well, I didn’t know he was planning on doing it so soon,” Jan admitted.
“Doing what?” Kurt looked between the two of them in disbelief.
“Hon, I know that at your age everything seems so dramatic and like such a big deal, but when you’ve been together as long as we have, you learn to just let things go,” Jan said with a wave of the hand.
“Blaine’s such a sweet boy,” Liz added. “I can tell he means a lot to you. Why else would you have gone to dinner with him? You obviously still care about him. Honey, there’s no shame in admitting you were wrong and taking him back. If he hasn’t proposed yet, then you could always go find him and apologize before he gets the wrong idea or finds someone else.”
“If you don’t mind my saying so, you were acting a little cold the other night. Bless that poor boy.” Jan shook her head. “He’s trying so hard! You could stand to try a little, too.”
As the seconds ticked by and Kurt stared at them, it was so uncomfortably tense that when the waiter came by and she quickly veered in another direction.
Then Kurt got up and walked quickly for the door.
Santana licked her lips slowly, folding her napkin, and then said in a sugary sweet voice, “Blaine fucked someone else. And he was a terrible boyfriend on top of that. You have no right to butt your way into this and tell Kurt anything.”
She tossed her napkin on the table and stood up. “C’mon, Britt.”
“We were just trying to help!” Jan protested.
“Don’t!” Santana snapped, taking Brittany’s hand.
“I hope you take returns,” Brittany said offhandedly.
She gave a little skip as Santana led her out of the restaurant.
Outside, Kurt sat on the pavement. While Santana was trying to decide what to say, in a way that wouldn’t just have Kurt crawling further inside of himself or lashing out at her, Brittany let go of her hand. She sat next to Kurt on the curb and wrapped her arms around him in a big hug.
“It’s just not fair, okay, that I didn’t get a hug goodbye from you before,” she said.
Santana smiled and stepped closer.
“I thought I’d done something to make you mad,” Kurt replied quietly. “I do that. I know I can be kind of... distant, sometimes. And condescending.” He paused, then reframed, “Superior and jerky.”
“I know what condescending means,” Brittany said with a smile.
“And there we have our example.” Kurt ducked his head down a little.
“I only looked it up because of that time Mr. Schue tried to teach me how to turn my video camera off, and...” She looked off to the side. “I wanted to like, bust that out on him if he ever did it again.”
Kurt leaned over further and covered his mouth.
“Yeah. I’d only been doing the show for a year.” Brittany laid her head on Kurt’s shoulder. “It’s okay that you’re so different now that I don’t recognize you. That’s how we are. You were like, before... we had these trees that were cramped in the garden, and they were small and kind of sad looking, because they had no room to grow.”
“I’m a tree,” Kurt murmured.
“If you don’t make room, the tree bends over, and gets all deformed,” Brittany continued. “And it can die. Or parts of it will. Our trees died. But give it love and room and sunshine, and the dead parts will fall off-” Her arms shot in the air. “-and the branches and the roots just spread out all over.”
She looked up at Santana. Santana touched her hand and went to sit on Kurt’s other side.
“We’re all, all over,” Brittany said. “I always thought that’s why you stood up by the window, looking out. You were reaching for the sunshine.”
Kurt looked at her with a mixture of confusion and barely veiled emotion. Santana had never been gladder to have Brittany along. What could she have said that would get Kurt looking as open as he did right now? But Adam could, and that softness and sweetness in him was exactly what Brittany had given to her... and now to Kurt, apparently.
“Don’t be sad,” Brittany whispered.
Santana leaned forward to see the shining of Kurt’s eyes. Funny how he’d thought meeting these wannabe mentors would be a moment for her. She took his free hand and watched his face moving through sadness and confusion, and then steeling into anger.
“He lied to me. And they lied for him. He was trying to manipulate me. I knew it. I knew he was trying to do something with these two, and how they kept mistaking us for a couple even after I’d said...”
In a sudden, almost violent motion, Kurt stood and exploded, “It wasn’t my fault! The breakup wasn’t my fault!”
Santana swallowed, stole a glance to Brittany, and then took her hand as she listened.
“He was the one who told me to go, and he was the one who pulled away first. He stopped having sex with me- y’know, hardly ever, and talking with me, and he flirted with other guys, and- and if he was upset that we weren’t connecting enough or that I wasn’t there for him, or I was too wrapped up in my job, why the ever-loving fuck didn’t he just tell me?”
Santana’s mouth open slowly as her brows raised up. Brittany lifted her other hand up and made a quiet clapping motion.
“And he cheated. And it didn’t mean anything to him.” Kurt crossed his arms over himself and struggled to breath through the tears closing his throat and strangling his voice. “I don’t mean anything.”
Santana stood and put her hands firmly on his shoulders. “You do. And that’s why you’re not giving him the time of day. You mean something, Kurt. You matter.”
She saw something flickering in his eyes as he blinked away his tears. So she gave a firm nod. “Whatever he’s thinking with this, no matter how he tries to manipulate you, in the end, it’s not gonna work, because you broke it off for a really good reason. Look, Britt and I have had guys we did wrong, and we’re not about to beg for them to take us back. First, because I love the rug, a’right?”
Kurt chuckled and wiped his eyes.
“But also because you don’t treat someone that way if you love them. It’s one thing to make a mistake, especially if you have confusing feelings or multiple personalities or something. But that wasn’t why he dipped his dumbstick in someone else’s meat pocket, okay? And you know that.” Santana pulled her head back slightly to look over Kurt’s face. “The level of his cray cray doesn’t change how you feel about this. And it’s entirely up to you what happens next. You get to decide. He broke your heart, and you get to call the shots on whether you have a relationship or not.”
Kurt nodded, taking in a slow, deliberative breath. “You’re right.”
He nodded again and crossed his arms once more, leaning over as though he were wounded. “You’re right.”
“‘Course Auntie Snixx is right,” Santana declared, snapping her fingers in the air.
Kurt smiled again, sadly, then licked his lips and sucked the bottom lip in.
“This just isn’t going to work,” he said after a long moment. “We can’t be friends.”
Santana’s eyes widened, and she moved her hand off of Kurt’s shoulder. Brittany came up behind her, circled her arms around Santana’s waist, and hooked her chin on Santana’s shoulder. Santana looked at her for a second, noting the complete lack of surprise in Brittany’s eyes at that statement.
“We can’t be friends,” Kurt repeated. “We’re over.”
The next morning, Santana hadn’t wanted to leave Brittany’s arms. But as nice as the night had been, reuniting and reacquainting themselves with one another’s bodies and reliving that amazing connection they’d so far only found with each other, it had to end. Brittany had to give this college thing a shot, at a school where hopefully they had someone to help her really put her gifts to use. They’d better, after seeking her out the way they had. As for Santana, she would have to try to find her way on her own.
Well, not completely on her own. They’d already schedule times of the week to talk, and Santana would ask for a weekend off soon to check in on Brittany. She would need the familiarity as much as Santana just needed to hear her voice.
She wished they were flying together, though. Santana wasn’t ready to leave her just yet. They’d had to say their goodbyes in the area before the security check-point. Brittany took a step back and watched, wiping her eyes, as Maribel held Santana tightly and made her promise to spend more time with her mother next time she visited, and how proud she was of Santana for striking out on her own.
Maribel gave Brittany a hug, too, and kissed her cheek. Then she covered her mouth and blew them both a kiss before making her way out and giving Brittany moment alone with Santana.
It was a little awkward. They were choked up like they wouldn’t see each other for a long, long time, but that wasn’t true. They were still close. Other people would lose their friendships, but they never would. That much was unchanging. It was something to grip onto.
Even if Brittany was super busy at school, Santana wouldn’t let herself be selfish or angry about it. Britt deserved the time to acclimate herself. This was a big, big step for her. It was a big step for anyone.
Santana swept a glance around, recognized the security woman just before the checkpoint was watching them, and gave Brittany a peck on the lips and another hug before letting her go.
“Call me tonight, when you’re in your dorm, okay?” Santana gave Brittany a serious look.
“Mom’s coming with me. She’ll make sure I find it. Don’t worry. MIT’s not gonna spend all that money on me to just let me get lost,” Brittany said. “That’s just dumb.”
“Yeah. I know. I just... I want to hear all about it.” Santana nodded, then swallowed and waved as she got in line. “I love you, sweetie.”
“I love you, too!” Brittany bounced in place and waved back.
Santana fixed her eyes on her shoes, trying to calm herself a little. When she looked up, she saw another tearful goodbye in progress.
Kurt was openly sobbing and clinging to his father. Even Finn was there, standing to the side with his mother awkwardly. But when Burt let him go, Kurt gave hugs to Finn and Carole, too.
She hadn’t been at the Hudmel house the night before. Kurt had dropped them both off at Brittany’s. But she’d gotten the heads up from Sam that there had been a blow up when Kurt had gotten home to find Blaine staying the night. Blow up as in atomic bomb. First between Kurt and Blaine, and then Kurt at his father when Burt let slip that he’d known what Blaine had been planning.
Anger, tears, Kurt locking himself in his room. She’d called Adam at one point that night, but his phone was busy. Hopefully that meant he and Kurt had talked.
She waited on the other side of the check-point for Kurt to make it through. When she spotted him fussing with his outfit, which he’d been forced to disassemble to get through security, she smiled and came up to grab his shoes and jerked her head towards the bench where she’d been waiting.
His red, puffy eyes blinked at her, grew watery, and threatened to spill over again, just from the reminder that he’d been crying. She didn’t comment on it and led the way over to the bench. If he was paying attention, her eyes were just as bloodshot, and she’d gotten just as little sleep, even if it was for entirely different reasons.
“Too bad you didn’t bring Bruce for the plane,” she said as Kurt sat to get himself in order.
“I left him with Adam. I didn’t want him to be lonely. Or Rachel to mess with him.”
Santana grinned. “Rachel had better leave Ellen be. She’s a one-woman pillow.”
Kurt forced a smile. Even his hands were shaking as he tried to tie his shoes. God, he had really gone completely critical, hadn’t he? Had she been witnessing him and his father making up?
Auntie Snixx was kind of proud.
“I can’t talk about it without dehydrating.” He looked around at his bag and his pilot case, taking inventory of everything he had brought with him.
Santana took his hand and slipped her bag onto her shoulder. “Then let’s get a drink before the flight.”
Kurt stood, a little wobbly. “I really can’t-”
“Me neither.” She motioned to her eyes with a smile.
Kurt leaned over and kissed her temple.
They linked arms and walked over to get smoothies together.
So far away from her happily ever after, Santana was beginning to feel like her heart would break every time she tried to come back home. Everything that had once been secure there had unraveled so quickly that it was obvious that it hadn’t been real security at all. Everything so unsettled, and so unfinished. Most of her friends had dispersed elsewhere. Her father and grandmother didn’t care enough to want to see her. She didn’t even know what she was doing in New York, except it had been such a place of opportunity for everyone else who had gone there. And now her problems were coming up in the air with her, and she would be trying once again not to plan her life around visiting Brittany at MIT.
There was a fine line between support and one-sided obsession. She had to do better this time. Because Britt would be okay in the end, and she wouldn’t want Santana to crumble under the weight of what could have been, or what might be in a few years.
At least the adorable lesbian old people had showed her one thing, and that was perspective, and how long their stories might really be, in the end. Not these short bursts of drama, but decades.
Maybe one day she and Brittany could meddle in some kids lives.
Then again, they kind of had yesterday.
“I’m really happy to have another stone cold bitch on this trip with me,” she said as she walked up to the terminal with Kurt. Kurt raised a brow and looked at her certainly. “Oh, c’mon. You know that coming from me that’s a complement.”
“I don’t want to be cold. Disconnected from everything.” He shrugged. “But I don’t wanna feel like this, either.”
“Whatever. You try to take care of everybody. You forgive people who threatened your life. You even worry about me.” Santana pointed her straw at him. “Don’t deny, Sassypants. No one in the world can say you don’t care about people.” She sipped her Mango Madness smoothie. “But sometimes, you just have to go all shields up, y’know? People will suck. You. Dry. You have to protect yourself.”
Kurt dropped his bag to the floor and sat down. “Yeah.”
Santana sat beside him and offered him her smoothie. He offered her his, and they sipped from one another’s straws.
“I’m gonna steal some of the little bottles from the stewardess,” she said.
Kurt smirked slyly. “We can slip them in the smoothies.”
“Yeah, yeah?” Santana grinned and bobbed her head. It was nice to drag Kurt into her delinquency. He didn’t usually drink.
“Rum is good with fruit. Also, Diet Coke.”
“Yes. Bitches on a plane.” Santana slapped his palm and snapped her fingers. “Is Doctor Who gonna be home when we get there?”
“There’s a good chance he’s already fired up the TARDIS. And our oven,” Kurt said.
“Incoming, New York,” Santana sang.