Who cooks normally?
Cooking was supposed to be one of those things that just “got done,” without a lot of effort. In the back of Santana’s mind, she supposes she always just assumed an apartment would come with a personal chef and/or live-in Jimmy Johns employee.
When it turned out that the options were “learn to cook or starve to death,” she was admittedly annoyed—but things have a way of working themselves out, and it turns out that she’s actually kind of good at making food. And making food well. Not that she’ll admit to liking it or anything, it’s just that…there’s something awesome about being in the middle of their war-torn kitchen. She loves the heat of the steam, listening to the burble of water on the stove, throwing spices every which way.
There’s something even more awesome about being out in the world, where no one leans through your wind and shanks you for dipping something in butter.
(Sometimes, she still has nightmares about Sylvester’s old diet plan.)
The best part of all of it, though, has to be the way Brittany’s face contorts in pleasure as she’s wolfing down her third helping of dinner. Santana never knew food could be orgasmic, but watching Brittany’s eyes close and her shoulders slump against the chair back…
Just another talent to put on her Resume of Sexy.
How often do they fight?
Back in high school—ignoring that whole bit where they both struggled through her raging coming out process, at least—they never fought. Words were chosen carefully, or not at all, and Santana always took a certain pride from that. Watching Finn and Rachel tear into each other in the middle of a classroom gave her an especially delighted tingle at knowing the truth:
She and Brittany were made for each other, a long, long time ago—and they are better than everyone else.
Moving into the apartment didn’t change the first part of that truth, of course, and it didn’t change the second, either…but she has to admit the original crux of their perfection—the not fighting ever thing—has kind of…warped over time. Close proximity, adult responsibilities…things happen.
They kind of fight a lot now.
Not about the kind of stuff Finn and Rachel always used to abuse each other over, though. They’re still better than that petty shit. Fights now are condensed into mini-explosions over toilet paper failures and frustration. And that one time Santana didn’t get home from the library until three A.M. Brittany didn’t like that much.
But even though they fight, their fights make sense. They fight about the important stuff: where the keys are, or who last cleaned the toilet. It’s never about being a “rock star,” or not feeling “special” enough, or who cheated on whom.
Those fights are for idiots.
And even if they fight every single day, Santana will always believe, when Brittany’s forehead smooths out and that tired little smile begins, that they are perfect.
What do they do when they’re away from each other?
Santana hates it when Brittany goes home—to Lima, that is; sometimes, it’s still crazy, trying to wrap her mind around the idea that this is home now—without her. She hates it, because the apartment that has always been such a perfect fit for the two of them somehow manages to expand to nine times its natural size without Brittany pirouetting from room to room. And also because it somehow always gets twenty degrees colder without Brittany there to warm the place up.
Brittany’s kind of a natural space heater, truth be told.
It doesn’t happen often, Brittany leaving without her: one of the perks of being from the same hometown is always having someone to visit the ‘rents with. But every once in a while, Brittany’s mom will call for some “long-overdue Britt-Britt time,” and Santana will have something she just can’t get out of. A massive term paper, or an exam that can’t be skipped.
Biting her lip apologetically, Brittany will nuzzle her goodbye for the weekend, promising to text as soon as she’s within Lima limits. And Santana will be left. Alone.
She swears she can just about see her breath.
Without Brittany, the place sucks. She paces from room to room, fingers dancing across each wall slowly as she counts backwards from ten-thousand. She turns the TV off, suffers through twelve minutes of Jersey Shore, and snaps it right back off again. She catches herself debating for the third time this week why they even have a TV, since they never use it, and winds up firing Nerf darts at Snooki’s face from behind the coffee table.
The apartment without Brittany really, really blows. She can’t wait for Monday.
Nicknames for each other?
They don’t do nicknames—or so Santana claims to her friends. Nicknames are for pansy-asses. Nicknames mean you’re whipped.
They totally don’t do nicknames.
Except maybe babe. But only when one of them wants something really, really badly and can’t remember how to work their own legs to get it. Usually after sex.
And maybe, sometimes, honey works its way into conversation. Always from Brittany’s lips. And it almost always leads to a shared shower.
And she admittedly has heard—once or twice; tell no one—the word pookie. But that’s a joke. From RENT. Most times.
Nicknames are stupid. They don’t do nicknames.
(Why should they have to? Brittany knows how to draw out the San part of her God-given name like no one else on earth, anyway.)
Who is more likely to pay for dinner?
Brittany has this bizarre obsession with dates. Which Santana doesn’t mind, because dates with her girl are awesome: going out on the town, dressing fancy, showing off the prize no one else can ever touch. She likes date nights a lot.
What confuses her is how much Brittany likes springing dates on her. It’s been happening for weeks now, and she never seems to see it coming. They’ll be out somewhere—the supermarket, or a movie, or Pizza Hut—and all of a sudden, Brittany will be ripping her wallet out of her hands and jamming it back into her purse. All of a sudden, Brittany’s holding doors and grinning like she’s got a secret, and Santana knows:
They’ll be arguing over the check again tonight.
Brittany seems to think it’s cute, this thing she does where she abruptly begins paying for food and films without running it by Santana first. She seems to think she’s being adorable, with that little head shake and that smug smirk whenever Santana tries to pull out a few dollars to foot the tip. Brittany is—
Okay, yeah, she’s fairly adorable, but that doesn’t make this any less grating. The whole point of their relationship is to be on equal ground, not for Brittany to start behaving like a wealthy heiress at random. Santana doesn’t do being taken care of.
Or, at least, not where green is concerned.
But Brittany seems to think it’s cute. And every once in a while—not often at all, just often enough to make Brittany grin that crazy-wide grin—Santana will let her do her thing. Sometimes. Because dates really are nice…even if she didn’t know she was on one until the very end.
Who gives the most gifts?
Brittany’s a giver by nature in all respects (all respects), and Santana loves her for it—especially because the gifts she’s giving are almost always homemade.
And homemade crap, though she will never go on record saying so, is really fucking cute.
The whole habit started years ago, when they were kids and Brittany was just learning how to do crafty things. Santana would be sitting on her bike in the Pierce driveway, her eyes blocked by Brittany’s favorite scarf, and all of a sudden, long fingers would be tying a yarn bracelet around her wrist. Or pinning a bedazzled barrette into her hair. Or tucking a wreath of barely-woven flowers around her handlebars.
Brittany loves doing crap like that, even now, and Santana is glad for it. Nothing warms up a day faster than coming home to a newly fashioned trinket waiting on her pillow.
As for Santana, she’s not much for the craft-type stuff. She settles for leaving little post-it notes around the house—tacked to mirrors, or the fridge, or Brittany’s toothbrush—with scrawled messages of love. It’s not as good as a bracelet or a pin, but it reminds Brittany that Santana is here, loving her, always.
And she knows it makes Brittany’s day.
Who steals the covers at night?
Santana’s a cover hog; she knows it, and so does anyone who has ever had the privilege of sharing her bed. She needs blankets to survive, needs them tucked under her feet and around her shoulders, hiked over her head to block out intruding daylight. Santana Lopez is unabashedly in love with blankets.
Lucky for her, Brittany glows with a heat all her own. Brittany doesn’t need blankets like lesser mortals; in fact, she spends much of the night kicking them violently away, so that every morning comes with a five-minute “find the sheets” routine. She doesn’t really mind, therefore, that Santana needs to be covered in order to survive.
Even better, Brittany has learned over the years to transform herself into a sort of blanket. She wraps Santana up at bedtime, arms and legs bent comfortably around Santana’s smaller frame, and sighs contentedly—perfectly happy to stay in this position for eight hours at a time. She holds tight, her deep, even breathing ruffling Santana’s hair on every exhale, and Santana falls asleep with a smile on her lips.
This is one cover she would never share, not for all the toasty blankets in the world.
Which one apologizes more often?
They aren’t really the apologizing type, exactly. When something goes really, really wrong, sure—when Santana has snapped and said something structured specifically to punch Brittany’s buttons, or when Brittany has been uncharacteristically brutal after a sleepless night rehearsing. But, normally, they don’t do things like that. Normally, their fights are sane.
Which means, normally, no one apologizes.
Fights, for them, tend to have layers (“Like a really sad cake,” Brittany chirped one night, her head pillowed on Santana’s stomach). There’s the slowly boiling over layer, where they dance around each other pretending a fight isn’t brewing on the horizon. There’s the shit fucking explodes layer, where one of them snipes at the other, and things snowball ridiculously downhill. Which is usually followed by the stomp angrily and/or tearfully around the apartment layer, each pretending the other can’t see.
After that, things always cool down, and they reach the cautiously shuffling back into a pattern layer. This is usually the part where sheepish smiles are fired across the kitchen table, or where Brittany doodles a duck hugging a lizard on their whiteboard. It’s usually the part where they both know they’ve fucked up, but also that they’re okay now. There’s no real point in beating the horse to death.
Then again, half the time, they wind up skipping that stage in favor of the growl in frustration and pin your girlfriend against a wall for aggressive sexytimes layer. Which Santana infinitely prefers to the cautious thing. For…reasons.
Either way, it’s a hell of a lot more beneficial than just muttering apologies.
What would they get each other for gifts?
Holidays drive Santana nuts. She’s known Brittany her whole life—and loved her pretty much that full span of time—and yet, somehow, gift-giving is…
To say the least.
Brittany never seems to have this problem. She always knows what to get Santana—or make for Santana—regardless of how many holidays they go through together. Whereas Santana…
Never has a fuckin’ idea anymore.
She usually settles for one of two options: adorable stuffed critters or ridiculously nostalgic concepts. Brittany, consequently, now owns an entire zoo—two otters, a zebra, six ducks, an elephant, four different breeds of dog, and a water buffalo, just to scrape the surface—as well as their entire life story. In scrapbook form.
The amount of scrapbooking she has done for that girl is…staggering. Which Brittany seems to enjoy, but sometimes, Santana feels like a jerk for always doing the same things. She just can’t help it.
Gift-giving is fucking hard.
Who kissed who first?
Their first kiss came at age seven and a half, when Noah Puckerman told Brittany no boy wants to marry a gross girl who gets scared of thunderstorms, and Santana belligerently retorted with, “Why would she want to marry an ugly fucking boy, anyway?” At which point Brittany leapt off the swing she’d been silently sniffling on, her mouth crashing clumsily against Santana’s while Noah’s eyes bugged out of his stupid head.
Their real first kiss—the one that actually counted for something more than just Santana standing up for her best friend—happened five years later, when a twelve-year-old Brittany admitted to being totally freaked out about the upcoming school dance. Santana still remembers the way she leaned forward on that tire swing, eyebrow arched.
"Why freaked? You’re an awesome dancer, Britt."
"I know," Brittany conceded, "but you’ve seen the movies. You know what happens at dances." Her voice dropped to a furtive whisper, eyes darting left and right. "K-I-S-S-I-N-G."
"Your spelling is getting a lot better," Santana said cheerfully. When Brittany didn’t smile, she sighed. "Britt, it’ll be okay. You don’t have to kiss anybody at the dance. Hell, you don’t even have to have a date—”
Brittany’s eyes grew huge, her mouth falling open. “What? No way! I can’t go alone!”
"You won’t be alone.” Santana sighed. “You’ll be with—here. How’s this. I’ll be your date. You can dance with me all night, and show everyone how fucking boss you are. Okay?”
Brittany considered this, her toes digging into the woodchips beneath the swing. “And…the kissing part?”
Santana remembers the way she laughed to mask her anxiety, how she had pumped endless bravado into that moment. “You want to worry about kissing? Here. I’ll show you kissing.”
Looking back, Santana spends a lot of time dreaming up ways to kick her younger self in the butt—but this isn’t one of them. This was the moment that changed everything, all without meaning to. This one ridiculous little thing set everything into motion—and she had no friggin’ idea.
How could she have known that a moment of stupid adolescent bravery could have led to a whole beautiful future?
Who made the first move?
The first move, so to speak, was Santana’s—the first kiss, the first time they danced in public together (girls being girls, she thought at the time), even the first time they had sex. All Santana. All without measuring out exactly how important these things would be in the long run.
The first move was Santana’s, but the first move toward a real relationship—buoyed by exclusivity and everything that comes with—was entirely Brittany’s doing. That afternoon of making out at 17, culminating in a simple request for a duet…that was the ball that came damn close to squashing Santana flat. That ball damn near killed her.
It was also the ball that propelled her out of the closet.
And gave her the grace to admit love for the first time.
And led to dates, and duets, and dances with the one person she’s wanted her entire life.
She hated it a little at the time, the fact that Brittany couldn’t leave things they way they were. She hated that Brittany was so driven to push them into something they weren’t, something she was terrified of opening up to. At the time, she was so damn mad at Brittany for not being comfortable hiding with her in the dark, tucked safely away from the cold, blistering world.
At the time, it was the worst thing in the world. But now…all these years later, which Brittany curled up against her chest on this couch, snoring softly into her neck as Notting Hill plays on TV…Santana understands why it had to happen. Why Brittany couldn’t just be content anymore with the lie they’d been living.
If things hadn’t changed, they wouldn’t be here now: so in love, they can’t imagine life apart. Life wouldn’t be half as magnificent as it is without that one insane step.
Brittany made the first move because she knew Santana never would have…and Santana wants to thank her for it every single day.
Who remembers things?
Santana remembers things—sometimes too many things, sometimes with regrettable accuracy—like it’s her job. She remembers their anniversary date (May 24th), and what Brittany pretends to be allergic to so she doesn’t have to eat it (pickles, mushrooms, red velvet cake), and whose turn it is to pick up milk (Brittany. It’s almost always Brittany’s turn). She remembers when bills are due, and where she left her wallet (usually), and when the last time was they had sex.
(Three hours and fifty four minutes ago, to be precise.)
Santana remembers things, and Brittany feels things. That’s their dynamic: Santana makes the lists and checks the clocks, and Brittany…is Brittany. Santana may keep their lives running smoothly according to social convention, but Brittany is the one who keeps their sanity intact. Brittany, who knows exactly when to stop her in the middle of a rant with a long, languid kiss. Brittany, who pulls her down on the couch when she’s stressing over a big test, nails tracking rhythmically across her scalp. Brittany, who leaves smiles marked into fogged-up mirrors, and who kisses her awake when it’s time for work, and who never, ever fails to text her an I love you when they’re apart.
Santana remembers things, and Brittany remembers to keep her going, even when she’s not sure all the organization in the world could do the trick. Brittany’s sort of amazing that way.
Who started the relationship?
Santana finds it a little hard to pin down the very start of their relationship. The relationship—with the dating and the snuggling in front of the world—began in junior year, of course, but the rest of it…
It gets fuzzy.
Who started the relationship? Well…technically, Brittany was the one who started following her around in first grade, her thumb tucked between her teeth. Brittany hero-worshiped her that year, entranced by the scars on her elbows from the skateboard her brother didn’t know she borrowed. Brittany thought she was the coolest.
Santana couldn’t blame her.
Brittany followed her around, but it was Santana who first invited Brittany to a birthday party. And it was Santana who begged her mom to set up a playdate in the summer, when she spotted Brittany with her dad and little sister at Blockbuster. But, then again, it was Brittany who first coined the term best friend while staring Santana in the face.
Really, it’s hard to pin down the start of them, because Santana feels like they have always been. Always friends. Always together. Always—like it or not—in love. They’re the best kind of always, the kind that never requires question or debate. Not anymore, at least.
That considered, she guesses the beginning doesn’t really matter.
Who cusses more?
Santana is a swearer. Always has been, always will be. Brittany always used to hate it, but now…
She’s sort of rubbed off in more ways than one, to put it mildly.
Santana’s favorite word since she was seven years old has been fuck—or, really, fucking fuckers fucking, because it just sort of rolls off the tongue in this majestic way—but Brittany never swore, not once, until they were fourteen. She spent seven long years, wincing whenever Santana opened her mouth, clamping both hands over Santana’s lips to prevent her mother overhearing. Seven long years without a single spin off the road of clean phrasing…
"God fucking dammit, Jesus son of a whore, that fucking hurt!” Brittany howls from the bathroom. Santana saunters to the door and pokes her head in.
"Fucking burned myself with the fucking shit-ass dryer," Brittany grumbles, sucking on her thumb. "How does that even fucking—ow.”
Doing her best not to laugh, Santana closes a hand around the wounded digit, pulling it into her mouth. The tension seeps from Brittany’s shoulders, her head lolling forward tiredly.
"Y’know, when we have kids, you’re gonna have to reign that sailor’s mouth of yours in," Santana teases, releasing the thumb with a wet little pop. Brittany’s eyes narrow.
"You’ve got to be fucking kidding me."
Santana cackles all the way to the bedroom.
What would they do if the other was hurt?
Anyone who hurts Brittany gets hurt: that has been Santana’s rule for as long as she can remember. Nobody hurts Brittany and gets away with it.
Of course, if it happens to be a hilarious incident on the staircase outside their apartment, that’s a different matter entirely. Especially when Brittany manages to drop their clean laundry basket into a bush in the process.
But overall, she doesn’t stand for Brittany getting hurt. She never has. She can’t imagine a time when Brittany could get damaged without her being able to do something about it, because she has always been there to protect her girl. Always.
Sometimes, she remains awake at night, long after Brittany has drifted off, and she thinks about it. What she would do if something were ever to happen: cancer, or a broken bone, something outside of her control. She watches an episode of Grey’s Anatomy one evening and spends the rest of the week entertaining horrible notions of car crashes, wondering what she would do if she had to sit at Brittany’s bedside and watch her fighting for her life. If she could do nothing but watch, with no weapons and no knowledge of what to do.
She doesn’t like to think about it. A stubbed toe on the staircase is one thing, but something like that…something that big…the idea scares her more than she can explain. And while some injuries would be okay—nursing Brittany’s broken ankle back to health, or applying a cold compress to a bump on her head—some are…unfathomable.
She prays she’ll never have to worry about things like that. She prays that Brittany will stay safe and lucky forever, that no accident or disease will ever slip in when she’s not looking. Because Santana has always been strong where Brittany’s concerned.
She really doesn’t think she could keep that strength without her.