olaf47: (Santana)
[personal profile] olaf47
Title: Someone Told Me Once of Neutral Angels
Fandom: Glee
Characters/Pairing: Quinn Fabray, Santana Lopez, Brittany Pierce, side Brittany/Santana
Rating: R for marijuana use
Spoilers: Vague. One for season three premiere.
Summary: The first time Santana and Brittany visit Quinn at UC Santa Barbara is perhaps the best weekend ever.
Disclaimer: The characters aren't mine. The words are.
A/N: Written for the prompt: Unholy Trinity: helium, feathers, beach. Was supposed to only be a drabble. Ended up about 4,000 words. Title from this poem.





The first time Santana and Brittany visit Quinn at UC Santa Barbara is perhaps the best weekend ever.

She picks them up at the airport Thursday morning. Santana’s dad offered to pay for a rental car, but she’s been paying her own way ever since she got a job as a researcher for a professor at NYU (a huge deal for a freshman, Brittany—not Santana—brags as the brunette pretends she’s not blushing). Instead, Quinn leaves her French class fifteen minutes early so she can be at the curbside when they come out with their bags. Her car’s a beat up station wagon, red paint faded almost pink. Santana never says she missed Quinn, but the way she makes fun of her car the entire way back to the dorm makes it obvious.

Quinn gives them a quick tour of the campus. All the important spots anyway, like the tree whose shade she sits in to do most of her reading. They mostly skip the academic buildings, since Santana insists that she doesn’t care if UCSB is the headquarters for the writings of Thoreau or anything else (the brunette does perk up, though, when she hears about the NanoSystems Institute). As they walk, Santana and Brittany hold hands whenever they’re within arm’s reach, only letting go so Brittany can climb a tree or do deboulés across the quad. At first, Quinn beams at this new development, but after the fifteenth time Brittany reaches her hand and, without so much as a glance, finds Santana’s, Quinn rolls her eyes.

She takes them to her favorite restaurant for lunch, a cute little Mexican place she only found because she spends Saturday mornings on long, ambling walks. She didn’t realize what Mexican food really was until she moved to southern California. Now, her mouth literally waters at the thought of their lime chicken enchiladas, loaded with gooey melted cheese and black beans with a kick of cayenne pepper.

Brittany bats her eyes at the waiter when she orders a margarita for each girl, and he just grins and writes it down.

“Santana must be rubbing off on you,” Quinn says once the waiter’s out of earshot.

“I mean, sometimes,” Brittany says, “but she doesn’t like it when I talk about our sex life.”

Quinn’s mouth opens and closes twice before Santana bursts out laughing. It’s her infectious cackle, the laugh that means she’s really, truly happy, and the blondes can’t help but join in.

They eat too much and talk too loudly and giggle so hard Quinn’s sides hurt—though it’s not clear if the giggling is due to the enormous margaritas or the joy of reunion.

---

The first night feels like their middle school sleepovers.

Back then, they felt so cool staying up til three watching movies that Santana would have to sneak into Quinn’s house because her parents never let her own them. After the movies they’d tumble into Quinn’s bed, a queen, easily big enough to fit all of them. They’d giggle about boys who liked them, or who they liked, but it didn’t have that urgency and drama it would gain in high school. (Quinn realizes now that maybe it did have a lot of drama, for Santana at least.) Everything just seemed easier then.

And it does again. They still stay up until three, though there are no movies this time. Instead, there’s breathless talk of New York and California and dance and potential majors. Brittany’s bright smile gets Quinn to admit her crush on a junior in her lit class. She gushes about his brown eyes and how he’s just so, so smart for a good ten minutes before Santana starts making gagging noises.

“As if you two haven’t been sickeningly cute this whole time,” Quinn snaps, but it’s with a laugh.

The other two blush and smile shyly and fuck if it’s not even cuter.

They finally decide to call it a night when Santana can’t stop yawning and Brittany’s eyes keep fluttering closed. There’s no queen bed for them this time, but Quinn’s roommate went home early for the weekend, so Brittany and Santana curl together in her bed. Even as they profess their exhaustion, Quinn knows them well enough that she’ll be sure to wash her roommate’s sheets after they leave.

---

Morning classes seemed like such a good idea when Quinn signed up for them. She could get all of them out of the way and have totally free afternoons. The next day, though, she groans when her alarm goes off, quickly presses snooze so she doesn’t wake Brittany and Santana.

But Brittany’s up then, forever bright-eyed, asking where they’re going to breakfast. Quinn opens one eye at her but immediately closes it.

“God, Brittany, can you put on some clothes?” she says.

There’s a chuckle, still scratchy with sleep, from the other bed.

“Thought you were a morning person, Q,” Santana says. “But here you are, taking the Lord’s name in vain and everything.”

“Your girlfriend’s boobs are all over the place.”

Santana doesn’t reply, but Quinn would put money on the likelihood of a lazy smile stretching across her face, both at the word girlfriend and at the thought of Brittany’s boobs.

“Britts, at least put on a bra, okay?” Santana doesn’t really sound like she means it. “If you get dressed, we can make Quinn buy us breakfast.” (She definitely means that part.)

Quinn does buy them breakfast, swipes them in to the cafeteria with extra points she has on her meal card. She and Santana split the newspaper, giving the crossword to Brittany, who scribbles in answers as she eats Lucky Charms. She reads aloud particularly hard clues to see if the other two can help. Quinn’s never finished a Friday crossword in her life; Brittany is done with it before she’s done with her cereal.

Quinn has class right up until lunch, but then she’ll be done and ready for the weekend with her two best friends. She leaves them under her favorite tree, the one she showed them earlier. It’s not too hot yet, but it will be. She promises they’ll want the shade.

When she comes back hours later, eyes heavy and mind full and pretty sure she never wants to go to class on only four hours of sleep ever again, they’re still under the tree. Quinn takes a moment to observe them before she’s noticed. Santana has her back against the trunk, legs straight out in front of her. Brittany’s head is in her lap, and as the brunette reads, holding the book with one hand, she brushes the other through Brittany’s hair. The rest of the dancer’s body sprawls in a way that makes Quinn think she’s probably catching up on her sleep. One arm wraps around Santana’s lower legs, fingers gripping at her ankle.

In high school, Quinn would have been jealous of a moment like this. Even while they were pretending they weren’t in love, they had a closeness Quinn always wanted with someone. She glared at them the most whenever they were the happiest. Now, though, she heads over, drops her bag gently into the grass, and curls up beside Brittany. Santana just gives her a grin, and Britt murmurs a hello and rolls sideways so they can spoon and Quinn can have her head in Santana’s lap, too. Right before she drifts off, Quinn’s aware of fingers stroking through her hair.

---

It’s not that she doesn’t have best friends at school, because she does, but there’s something different about Santana and Brittany. She can decide what people out here know about her—that she got a nose job, that she had a baby, that her attempt at the rebellious phase involved pink hair and lasted all of a week.

Santana and Britt, though, they just know.

They know all of that. They know how scared she can get, sometimes, about other people’s expectations. They know how she still occasionally reverts to closed off silence instead of risk vulnerability. And they know the good stuff, too, like her favorite color and how she takes her coffee or tea and how once they got past all the shit in high school, she became fiercely loyal. They know which TV shows she is always up for a marathon of and what Hogwarts house she’d want to be in. It’s just different, with them. There’s something about friends who’ve known you since you were twelve.

---

Another thing they know about her that no one at school does: she’d rather get high than drunk.

She has to really know people to be comfortable around them intoxicated. So to everyone at school, she’s just the fun sober kid who is down to be a designated driver pretty much all the time. It’s actually fun, most of the time, and it means she’s always sure her friends get home safely, so it’s worth it.

“Wait, so you live in stoner central and you haven’t been high yet?” Santana scoffs at her. “Please tell me you at least know where we can get weed. God, did you not even unpack Barbershop?”

Barbershop is her bowl. They named it the first time they smoked out of it and thought it looked like a barbershop pole. It wasn’t until the next day that Quinn realized the stripes were red and black, not red and white, and they had just been super high. The name stuck anyway.

“I unpacked him. And I can get us weed.”

Brittany squeals.

This is going to be a good night.

---

They go to a party first, half because that’s where Quinn has to meet Tyler to get the weed, and half because Brittany wants to play beer pong. Quinn finds Tyler and is about to pull him into the laundry room, or anywhere really, to pay him, but Brittany beams at him.

“How about we make a game of it?”

She touches his arm when she says it, and Santana looks away, but even she is grinning. Tyler doesn’t realize it, but Quinn’s pretty sure he’s about to get screwed.

“It’s good herb,” he says. “What kind of game are we suppose to be playing?”

“If I make all ten cups without missing one, we get it free.”

Quinn raises her eyebrows. Surely, Brittany can’t guarantee that.

“Hell, if you can make all ten cups without missing one, I’ll give you the whole eighth.”

Brittany’s eyes light up and Santana presses her lips together to hide a smile. Quinn’s not sure how, but she knows they’re getting free weed.

Brittany cuts the line for the pong table, but when she explains that as soon as she misses a cup her game will be over, people stop grumbling. In fact, she gets a crowd. No one believes this girl is really going to make ten cups in a row.

“Five bucks says you can’t do it,” someone says from across the room.

Quinn looks over and it’s Santana, sitting on a stool and holding a Solo cup by its rim, looking completely unimpressed. Brittany doesn’t maintain eye contact, doesn’t smile, just shrugs and says, “You’re on.”

“Yeah,” says someone else. “I’d put five bucks on that, too.”

Within thirty seconds, there’s not only an eighth of weed riding on the game, there’s forty bucks, not counting Santana’s five. Quinn wonders how often her best friends pull this ruse.

Tyler stands behind his filled cups with his arms crossed and a smirk on his face. Quinn hovers at Brittany’s side, picking at her fingernails. Santana’s still on the stool, pretending like she doesn’t know this girl, but Quinn catches her smiling at Brittany more than once.

Everyone goes quiet when Brittany grabs one of the ping-pong balls out of her water cup.

One.

It sinks in the beer of the closest cup to her. She barely waits for Tyler to pull the cup before she shoots with the next ball, this time making the back left corner of the triangle of cups.

A murmur goes through the spectators, but Brittany doesn’t even crack a smile. Tyler doesn’t either, as he rinses the balls and sends them back across the table to her.

Brittany is methodical about her shots. Standing with her body perpendicular to the table, she lifts her arm, hand holding the ball between her eyes and the cups, shakes out her shoulders, and takes the shot. She is in her element here; it might as well be a performance, a dance. She seems to have choreographed the order of the cups she hits, too—takes out the three corners before moving in toward the center.

With every cup, the crowd’s response gets a little louder.

Six.

Tyler says something rude under his breath, and Santana hasn’t stopped smirking.

The last cup Brittany leaves was originally the center cup. Finally, she breaks her routine. It only takes one glance at Santana to get the brunette off the stool and by her side. Brittany holds the ping-pong ball up to her.

“Will you blow on my ball for luck?” she giggles.

Santana rolls her eyes but does what she’s asked. Brittany brushes a kiss to her cheek and Santana flips off the guy who catcalls them for it.

Arm lifts. Shoulders shake.

Ten.

There’s a lot of screaming and high fives from strangers and Brittany picks up first Santana, then Quinn, to spin them around in a hug. As soon as her feet hit the ground, Santana starts collecting on the bets. Quinn sidles over to Tyler, only half sympathetic.

“How is that even possible?” he grumbles. “Who is that girl?”

“Someone you learn pretty quickly not to doubt,” she says, taking the baggie from him and quickly putting it in her purse.

Brittany appears at her side, tugging Santana by the arm. The brunette holds a wad of cash but looks halfway to going Lima Heights on someone.

“We have to go before San punches someone.”

Tyler gives Quinn a look that clearly says her friends are crazy, but she wasn’t lying when she said you learn quickly not to doubt Brittany, so she leads the way toward the door, Brittany still pulling Santana along behind her. The dancer explains once they get away from the party that someone was hitting on her.

“It was that douche that cat called us,” Santana snaps. “He told Britt it was his birthday and he had a helium tank to fill balloons—if she’d just come up to his bedroom, he’d show her.”

Brittany strokes her hand down Santana’s arm. Quinn is used to the way it makes her visibly relax. She shifts closer to Santana on the other side and tangles their fingers together.

“Stop being a downer. Let’s get high.”

That definitely stops Santana’s complaining.

---

Santana has an oral fixation that just gets worse when she’s high.

Even sober, she licks at her lips and chews on ice cubes. When she gets high, though, she chews on the pads of her fingers and her munchies aren’t dictated so much by what would taste good as by what would feel good in her mouth (That’s literally how she explained it one time, and Quinn and Brittany fell off of the bed laughing).

After the party, they head toward the beach. Quinn leads them the back way that campus security never patrols so they can smoke a bowl as they walk. They’re barely finished before Santana’s oral fixation kicks in and she starts trying to sneakily kiss Brittany. Except they seem incapable of kissing for less than ten seconds, so Quinn always catches them.

The third time it happens, she lets out a frustrated groan.

“Sorry, Quinn. I just—” Santana starts but Brittany cuts in.

“Here,” she says, and tilts the other blonde’s chin up to kiss her.

Theirs is quick, only a touch of tongue (in other words: the complete opposite of Brittany and Santana’s), but Quinn still can’t quite talk when Brittany pulls away.

“I figured you were feeling left out,” she says. “And it’s not San’s fault. You know about her oral fixation and all.”

In high school, Santana always went out of her way to make sure Brittany’s schoolwork was about something she was interested in. When they had to do a research paper for European history, she half-joked that Britt should do it on Freud, so she could understand Santana’s oral fixation. Brittany ran with it. Not only did she get an A on the assignment, but she spouted facts about Freud for months. Any time Santana was manipulative or immature, Brittany would blame it on her oral fixation. Santana had gone so far as to research all the criticisms of Freud to prove her wrong, but Brittany kept teasing, winking at Quinn behind Santana’s back each time.

“I won’t even yell at you about the oral fixation comment if you kiss me again,” Santana says.

Brittany does as she’s told and Quinn rolls her eyes but grins at the same time.

They make it to the beach eventually. Brittany disentangles herself from Santana’s grip to run full speed at the water. The other two just laugh at her.

“It’s probably cold,” Quinn says. Though, one time in high school, they went to an open cheer competition in Boston in March. Brittany went swimming then, too. “Remember trying to stop her that time in Boston? I swear she’s got like, hidden muscles or something.”

Santana snorts. “Yeah she does.”

“I did not need to know that.”

“Whatever. She just kissed you. You can’t act like you don’t know things about her hidden muscles.”

Quinn can’t help but giggle.

Brittany plays in the waves for a while. Any time she ventures out farther than knee-deep, Santana tenses, biting her lip. Quinn giggles again.

“She’s fine,” she says.

“It’s night and she’s high.” Santana’s voice has a whine in it that isn’t usually there.

“Yeah, but she knows that you’d freak if she actually went swimming,” Quinn says. “Honestly, if she were in danger you’d probably become like one of those mothers who gets super strength and can suddenly, like, lift cars to save their children.”

The brunette looks proud of that, which isn’t all that surprising.

Quinn’s bored and the wind off the water is chilly. There was a little alcove where they came down to the beach, protected by rocks on both sides. She finds it again and huddles on the sand, knees pulled up to her chest. She can still see Brittany from where she is, and when Santana realizes that, she comes over and drops down on the sand next to her.

Santana watches Brittany and Quinn watches Santana and tries not to laugh. The brunette doesn’t even seem to notice she’s doing it, but she bites her lips and wraps her hair around her fingers, occasionally tugging the ends toward her mouth to chew on.

Quinn can only watch for so long before she says, “C’mere.”

Santana turns to her, wide-eyed. “Why?”

“I’ll kiss you so your mouth stops freaking out.”

“My mouth’s not freaking out,” she says, except she’s talking around her thumb, which is firmly between her teeth.

“Just kiss me, you loser.”

“Brittany and I are together.”

Quinn rolls her eyes. “As though that isn’t obvious. Stop being an idiot. I’m not hitting on you. I’m helping you.”

“So it’s okay to kiss your friends? According to who?”

Santana is being such a baby about this.

“According to me. Fuck what anyone else says. I’m like a relationship libertarian or something. Just kiss me before you bite your thumb off.”

Santana releases her thumb and is halfway to making fun of Quinn for calling herself a relationship libertarian when the blonde just leans over and kisses her. She loses the insult poised on her tongue, and Quinn smirks into her mouth at the way Santana’s whole body droops like it’s losing all its tension. Santana has hidden muscles, too, it seems, but Quinn doesn’t want to think about that. She just wants to focus on the soft glide of their tongues against each other. Maybe she has an oral fixation too, or something, because she’s thrumming all over. (Or maybe she’s just really high.)

“Jesus, Q,” Santana says when they break apart.

“She’s a good kisser, right?” Brittany says.

Santana quickly pulls back from Quinn, but Brittany’s beaming. Quinn doesn’t quite notice any of this because she’s trying to capture the way her body feels, all warm and heavy, like a cup of hot chocolate.

“There were feathers on the beach,” Brittany starts, “and I thought about collecting them, but they weren’t the kind people put in their hair, which was what I wanted. Also, do you think if we went back to the party we could sneak up into that guy’s room to get the helium tank so our voices could sound funny?”

With that, she sits next to Santana, who immediately leans in for a kiss.

Quinn chuckles, still pleasantly warm. “Sometimes, Britt, you change subjects faster than Rachel Berry volunteers herself for solos.”

“Oh, speaking of Rachel,” Brittany says and Santana pulls away suddenly from kissing her neck. “This place is kind of like if San and Rachel had a kid. Santa Barbara. Like it’s part of Santana and then Rachel’s middle name.”

Santana groans. “Britts, I do not want to be thinking of Rachel Berry. I want to be getting my mack on.”

Brittany laughs and kisses her again. Just when Quinn is thinking about punching one of them to make them stop, Brittany pulls away from Santana.

“I need dry clothes.”

“Or you could just take them off,” Santana suggests.

Quinn shakes her head. “Getting arrested for public nudity is not something I had planned for this weekend. We’ll go back to my dorm.”

--

They smoke another bowl on the way, and by the time Brittany is in dry clothes, Quinn is draped across her bed, staring at the ceiling. Santana spent the entire time Brittany was changing biting her bottom lip and occasionally lifting a hand like she was going to reach for the dancer, before remembering Quinn was in the room.

When she’s dressed again, though, Santana can’t stop herself. Brittany is gentle and can’t stop smiling and Quinn blinks and wonders if she ever, ever says no to Santana. She only opens her eyes when someone pushes at her shoulder.

It’s Brittany, wearing dry clothes and a smile. “Scooch,” she says.

Quinn does, or at least starts to—pulls all her limbs in from their various extended positions, but Santana crawls into the bed between her and the wall. There’s not much room for Quinn to scooch any more.

But Brittany pushes at her shoulder again until she is on her side, Santana curled behind her. The dancer climbs in, too, then, slides her body alongside Quinn’s. She just—she just feels tingly, everywhere, but she can’t find the words to describe it. She’s crunchy, like snow under a boot. Like it’s the type of weather where you actually need three people snuggled in a bed to keep warm. Instead, it’s hot, and when Santana licks at her neck, she probably tastes salty.

“Sorry,” the brunette murmurs. “Oral fixation, you know?”

“You can be by Britt, if you want,” Quinn says. She may roll her eyes and groan at them all the time, but she likes them being happy more than she cares about herself not being frustrated.

“Shh,” Brittany says. “We both wanna be by you.”

Maybe it’s better in this weather, Quinn thinks. She likes knowing that, yeah, she can get by without Brittany and Santana. She just doesn’t want to.




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January 2013

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