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The Heart Is A Bloom

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The Heart Is A Bloom

The heart is a bloom,
Shoots up through the stony ground.
There's no room,
No space to rent in this town.
~Beautiful Day, U2


Santana is whipped, and not in the fun way. Med school is kicking her ass, and she's still half frozen from the shittiest winter ever, but the sun finally crept back to do its job earlier this month, and today it's warm enough to actually feel like spring. Of course, Rachel had been eager to drag Quinn out of the apartment they share to enjoy the beautiful day, and since Quinn is whipped—also not in the fun way—out they'd gone, dragging their friends right along with them. Okay, so Santana wasn't exactly protesting very loudly when Lucy Q had called her up and asked her to meet them in the park for a picnic. The offer of a free, homemade meal would have been enough to get her there, but then Quinn had mentioned that Josie Deveraux had ventured down from Boston for a visit, and Santana wasn't about to pass up the added incentive. What can she say? Josie is hot.

So she trudges down from Morningside Heights, quietly grumbling with every step about all the prime picnic real estate in the North Meadow, but Rachel has some kind of weird, romantic lady boner for Cherry Hill, so that's where Santana has been instructed to meet them. She didn't think it would go over very well to remind Quinn that good old Finnept had dragged Rachel off to the same general vicinity once upon another lifetime before he'd blown their chances at Nationals that year with his determination to win her back. She wouldn't be surprised if Rachel has managed to replace the memory with the ones that she and Quinn have been making all over this damned park for the last two years. They'd probably even found a few secluded spots to get their freak on now that they're disgustingly in love. Then again, Quinn is still kind of a prude about that stuff.

Speaking of which, Santana finds them pretty easily, camped out on a red, plaid blanket under a tree and looking out over the lake. Quinn is dutifully unpacking plates from one of two oversized baskets like a good, little housewife should while Rachel's mouth is in constant motion to Kurt and—damn, what is the new guy's name again? Seth disappeared last month, which is too bad because Santana had actually sort of liked him. He was so fucking polite, and he even got her a free membership to his gym. But whatever—it's not her love life. She's far more interested in the gorgeous redhead lounging next to Quinn.

Santana grins as she slips off the pathway into the grass and climbs up the gentle slope to her friends, who have managed to lay claim to a pretty flat area with some nice shade. Quinn smiles and lifts a hand to wave. Her affable, "Hi, Santana," is immediately echoed by Rachel and Kurt. What's-his-name just smiles, and Josie's lips quirk just a little while her eyebrows arch noticeably underneath her sunglasses.

Santana slides gracefully onto the blanket next to her with a smirk. "What's new, pussycat?"

"Every time," Josie mutters under her breath, shaking her head. "Do you see any cat ears or a tail on me?"

"Depends what you mean by tail," Santana drawls, raking her eyes over Josie's delectable curves. She's wearing a pair of khaki Capris with about a dozen pockets and a Red Sox t-shirt, both of which hug every single one of those curves to perfection.

"Don't start," Quinn warns mildly, lightly tossing a paper plate at Santana's chest like a Frisbee. Santana catches it easily and shoots her a glare.

"Why do you greet her like that anyway?" Rachel asks, scooting over on the blanket because that one inch of space that separates her from Quinn's body is apparently too much for her to bear.

"She thinks she's being cute," Josie answers easily, no doubt rolling her eyes behind those shaded lenses.

Santana ignores her for the moment, gaping at Rachel's genuinely curious expression. "Seriously? A redhead named Josie?" She gestures to said redhead with a dramatic flourish. "And she even plays the guitar."

Rachel's eyes flash with sudden awareness as they dart back to Josie. "You play the guitar? Why did I not know this?" She turns to Quinn with an accusatory frown. "Why didn't you tell me that she's musically inclined? This opens up so many additional possibilities for future group activities when she comes to visit."

"No, it really doesn't," Quinn disagrees.

Kurt leans forward, grinning wickedly as he mock shouts, "Run, Josie, run. Get in your car and drive like mad," before Rachel turns and punches him in the arm.

"Not funny, Kurt," she pouts.

"Actually, I think you're onto something, Berry," Santana interrupts with a sly smile. "We could start a band," she proposes with mock excitement. "Q can play the drums, and we can call ourselves…oh, I don't know…how about…the Pussycats?"

Kurt and his boy-toy both chuckle while Quinn does her best to keep a straight face, and even Josie cracks a smile, but Rachel just looks perplexed. "That's a terrible name for a band," she says, still completely oblivious. Her frown deepens when everyone laughs. "What's so funny?" she demands irritably.

Quinn wraps an arm around her shoulder and tugs her closer, rubbing a hand over her biceps as she whispers, "I'll explain it later," against her ear, and Rachel's pout turns into a tiny, placated grin.

"You're not missing anything important, Rachel," Josie promises with a reassuring smile. "And I haven't picked up a guitar in years. I think Quinn heard me play maybe once back in college," she directs her attention back to Santana, her smile turning into a thoughtful frown, "and I have no idea why you even know that."

Santana smirks. "I have my ways."

Quinn rolls her eyes. "She saw a picture of you with your guitar on my Facebook page once, and unfortunately for all of us, she tends to have a photographic memory when it comes to collecting potentially embarrassing details about people that she can use for her own gain."

"It's a talent," Santana agrees with a shrug.

"Along with creating an endless supply of colorful insults and making people cry," Kurt adds helpfully.

Santana whips the empty plate that she was holding at his head, but he's not nearly as quick as she was, and it harmlessly bounces off his over-styled hair and into the grass to the sound of an outraged, "Hey!"

"With those qualities, maybe you should have gone to law school instead of medical school," Josie observes sardonically.

"Tell me about it," Santana mutters. Tearing people down in a courtroom has to be less stressful than cutting them open on a table. What in the hell had she been thinking anyway? Then her eyes land on Quinn, smiling and carefree and alive in the afternoon sun, and she remembers why she'd chosen this path. Well, fuck worrying about her next clinical rotation and passing her exams—she's going to enjoy her damned day off to the fullest.

Santana slides down lower on the blanket next to Josie, propping her chin on her fist and sporting her best sexy grin. "Actually," she purrs, "why don't you tell Auntie Tana all about big, bad law school? How has life been treating you up in Boston, Red?"

Josie sighs, shaking her head as she finally lifts her sunglasses up and settles them on top of her head. "Can you ever use my name like a normal person?"

Quinn snickers, loosening her hold on Rachel just a little. "This is normal for her."

"At least your nicknames are slightly more flattering than the ones she gives everyone else," Kurt informs Josie. "I don't even think she actually knew that my real name wasn't Teen Gay for the first three years of our acquaintanceship."

"Hey, that's not true," Santana argues. She'd known his name—she'd just preferred to call him other things. "Those nicknames are a sign of affection."

"Pretty Pony, Porcelain, Prancy Smurf, Lady Elaine Fairchilde?" Kurt recites, ticking off the old names with his fingers as he goes.

"See. Affectionate," Santana reiterates. Lady Elaine kicks ass, and who doesn't love the Smurfs?

"Yentl, Dwarf, Midget, Hobbit, GayBerry," Rachel adds huffily.

"That last one is just the truth now," Santana points out.

"Tubbers, Stretchmarks, Queen Bitch, Q-Tip, Lucy Q," Quinn tosses at her with a stony expression.

Santana sits up straight, frowning at her so-called friends suddenly turning on her en masse. "Oh, come on. Lucy Q is your actual name."

"Why are you guys friends with her anyway?" Josie asks them laughingly.

"Damned if I know," Quinn answers at the same time that Rachel says, "Quinn made me," and Kurt chimes in with, "Not a clue."

"Wow, I feel so loved," Santana mutters flatly, mollified only by the teasing grins on all of their faces. That's right. They love her. She's Santana fucking Lopez. How can they not?

Kurt's lap-warmer smiles at her and says, "I like you. You're funny."

Santana stares at him for a good thirty seconds, wondering what he's been smoking, before she realizes that he looks about eighteen. What the hell? "Who are you again?"

"I'm Harry," he answers simply, mindless of Kurt's indignant huff.

Santana eyes him closely. She can't find a speck of hair on the guy that isn't on top of his head—not even a tiny bit of peach fuzz on his chin. "I'll take your word for it."

"Really, Santana! I told you about him last week," Kurt hisses, affronted. "He's on the swim team at Fordham."

Well, at least that explains the full body wax.

"You guys blew BU out of the water last fall," Josie complains good-naturedly.

"And we will again this fall."

"How's your breaststroke?" Santana asks with a smirk, hoping for Kurt's sake that the guy is legal and wondering where the hell he managed to pick up a college boy.

"Kind of weak, to be honest," Harry answers with a grin. "At least, that's what my high school girlfriend claimed." Santana's eyebrows lift at the self-deprecating joke—maybe this Harry guy isn't so bad after all. "But no one can beat me at freestyle," he boasts with a wink.

"That's so true," Kurt sighs appreciatively, and Santana wrinkles her nose in disgust.

"So, who's hungry?" Rachel cuts in, reaching over Quinn's lap and into one of the baskets to pull out a little bowl of something green, covered with saran wrap—Santana is hoping that it's Quinn's avocado dip.

"Please, is that a real question?" she fires back, pleased to see the tortilla chips come out next. "Let's get our eats on, Berrylicious," she commands, snagging a chip and scooping a generous helping of dip onto it before popping it into her mouth. She reaches for another, but Quinn slaps her hand away.

"Save some for everyone else," she scolds before she goes back to helping Rachel lay out their picnic.

Santana grunts, swallowing her mouthful and settling back down next to Josie. "I hope you brought actual food and not just that vegan crap that Rachel manages to exist on."

Rachel scowls at her. "It wouldn't hurt you to try some healthier options, Santana."

"Excuse me? Med student here," she reminds them testily, raking a hand over her very fit body. "I'm a fucking model for healthy. I just happen to enjoy this little thing called flavor in my meals…not to mention a nice big chunk of meat from time to time."

Kurt snickers to his boyfriend. "That's what she said."

Quinn rolls her eyes and reaches into the basket again. "Don't worry, Santana. Club sandwiches for us," she announces, pulling out one seriously fine looking, neatly wrapped sandwich and placing it on a plate just out of Santana's reach. "California veggie sandwiches for Rachel and Josie," she adds, taking out two more wrapped sandwiches that look like someone scraped all the algae off the surface of the Hudson River and tossed it between two slices of bread—oh, and added a tomato. Gross.

Santana turns to Josie in mock disappointment. "Not you, too."

Josie laughs lightly, confirming that she's, "Vegetarian," with a smile. "So I've got my eye on that potato salad," she reveals conspiratorially, nodding to the container that's now sitting prettily in the middle of the blanket.

Santana can get on board with that. She leans forward and steals the container right out from under Rachel's nose, ignoring her protest. "What the lady wants, the lady gets," Santana flirts, presenting the bowl to Josie.

Josie laughs again, shaking her head. "My hero," she drawls.

"More like a sneaky, salad thief," Rachel mutters with a scowl while she continues to help Quinn unpack their lunch.

Once all the food is spread across the blanket, they all load up their (flimsy) paper plates with a little of everything. It doesn't take long for Santana to realize that all the vegan containers are color-coded so Rachel will easily know what's safe to eat. "Well, at least your obsessive compulsive tendencies make it easier to avoid the rabbit food," she comments offhandedly. The avocado dip is an obvious exception to Santana's quest for meat and dairy.

"Actually, it was Quinn's brilliant idea to pack everything that way," Rachel tells her, gazing adoringly at Quinn, who grins and blushes at the acknowledgment.

Santana snickers. "Well, aren't you little Lucy Homemaker these days?"

Quinn flashes a familiar saccharine smile. "You know, your attempt at mocking me might be more effective if you weren't constantly stuffing your face with the food I make that you happily mooch right out of my kitchen at every opportunity."

"Your food. Your kitchen," Santana taunts. "So freaking domesticated. I bet you have an apron too."

"I do not," Quinn denies hotly.

Rachel turns to her with a frown. "But, Quinn, baby, I got you that…"

"I don't," Quinn quickly cuts her off before stubbornly focusing her full attention on her sandwich. Santana chuckles. Totally busted. She bets it even has a ruffle.

After that, the conversation jumps around from subject to subject—Quinn's job, the end of Rachel's show, Kurt's designs—before Harry and Kurt branch off into a discussion of closeted athletes, and Rachel starts yapping about squeezing another shelf into the apartment so that she can reorganize Quinn's books, which leads to a boring discussion about housekeeping that Santana mostly tunes out. Instead, she turns her attention back to Josie, who is finishing off a second helping of potato salad while her amused gaze darts back and forth between Rachel and Quinn as they playfully bicker about their apartment. Kudos to her for managing to look fascinated by it.

Santana sets her empty plate aside, inching a little closer to Josie until those curious, blue eyes are trained on her. "So, how is school going?" she asks again, more seriously than her earlier attempt. She knows through Quinn that Josie had primarily decided on the law school at Boston University because her family lives in the area, and she'd wanted to be closer to her grandmother, who'd been ill at the time and passed away early last year. When Santana thinks about her own abuela, no matter how shaky their current relationship might be, she totally gets why Josie would have made that choice. "It's your last year, right?"

"Yeah," Josie confirms on a sigh. "I just have a few more weeks and exams to get through, and, assuming that all goes well, and I graduate on schedule, I'll start a fellowship next month while I attempt to pass the bar exam." She sets aside her own empty plate before leaning back on her palms and stretching out her legs, smiling wryly. "Which is why I really needed to get away for a few days to decompress."

"I know the feeling." Santana wishes she could get away for more than a day, but there will be no significant breaks for her for the next year. If she's lucky, she'll get to take her two week vacation sometime before the weather turns to shit again, although at this rate, she might just spend the entirety of it sleeping. "You know, I could help you out with the decompressing," she offers flirtatiously.

Josie chuckles, grinning at her. "Oh, I'm sure you could, but it's not going to happen."

Santana pretty much knows from their limited past encounters that Josie isn't just playing hard to get, but, "Can't blame a girl for trying. I mean, we'd be seriously hot together."

"Probably," Josie agrees easily. "But I'm past the stage of wanting casual flings just because it feels good, and," she pauses, tilting her head slightly as she gazes at Santana with a knowing look in her eyes, "you're not. And there's nothing wrong with that," she adds with a shrug. "But we'd end up having a few days of mind-blowing sex before I'd go back to Boston, and you'd go back to picking up willing bed partners, and Quinn would bitch at you for fucking with her friend…literally," she points out with a wicked grin, "and it would be a whole lot of awkward that we don't need whenever I come to visit her."

"Mind-blowing sex, huh?" Santana questions, helpless to keep her imagination from running wild with the possibilities despite knowing that Josie is right about all of it. With their crazy schedules, they wouldn't even have time to be long distance fuck buddies, let alone fall disgustingly in love like Quinn and Rachel, so nothing could really come from them falling into bed except a few mutual orgasms. Josie wants (and deserves) more than that, and Santana just isn't the person to give it to her.

"Of course that's the part you focus on," Josie teases.

"You're the one that elevated our theoretical sex to mind-blowing," Santana reminds her with a smirk. "I mean, it's obvious that it would be, because it's me," she brags.

Josie shakes her head, battling her grin as she tears her gaze away from Santana. "You're incorrigible."

"I'm freaking adorable."

Josie sighs, her attention suddenly captured by something else, and she tips her chin up with a soft smile playing on her lips. "Not as adorable as they are."

Santana turns her head to see what put that look on Josie's face, and she gets an eyeful of Quinn, wearing her goofy, love-struck expression, as she carefully holds a fresh strawberry speared on the end of her fork up to Rachel's mouth, cupping her free hand under it so none of the juice dribbles. Rachel, gazing back at Quinn with adoration like she just hung the fucking sun in the sky, takes her sweet old time closing her lips around the berry. Dios, did it just get hotter out here, or—? Shaking that thought off quickly—because best friend(s) over there—she picks up the cherry tomato that escaped off her plate earlier (from that summer salad that she'd had a generous helping of despite the vegan friendly container) and, with an appropriately disgusted snort of, "Oh, gross," tosses it at Rachel. Her aim is just bad enough to have it bouncing off Rachel's shoulder instead of her forehead.

"Hey!" Quinn growls, aiming a deadly glare at Santana.

"I think Berry can feed herself, Q," she points out. "Even if she is the size of a toddler."

Rachel narrows her eyes. "We're practically the same height!"

"I've told you before…an inch can make all the difference," Santana reminds her with a wicked grin before looking over to a pink-cheeked Quinn. "Isn't that right, Q?"

Kurt momentarily pauses from drooling over Hairless Harry to tsk, "Don't be vulgar, Santana."

"You're the one with his mind in the gutter," she counters, shrugging and leaning back on her palms as she smiles innocently. "I'm just talking about the fact that Rachel can't reach her favorite mug on the top shelf in Quinn's kitchen, and I can."

Rachel squeaks in indignation and points an accusatory finger at Santana. "You're the one that keeps putting it up there? I thought it was Quinn!"

Quinn chuckles quietly, rubbing Rachel's thigh in silent comfort. "I told you I never put it up there, sweetie," she soothes before breaking into a wide smile. "Although, you are pretty cute when you try to jump for it."

Rachel pouts and crosses her arms, but Quinn leans over and presses her lips to Rachel's cheek, and just like that, Rachel melts, grinning at Quinn and lifting a hand to gently stroke her jaw. "I should have realized that it only happens after Santana's been over. I'm sorry for doubting you, baby," she apologizes before capturing Quinn's lips in a soft kiss.

"Ugh!" Santana grunts, rolling her eyes at the sap-fest. "Get a room. Or a bush. Maybe go do it under a bridge somewhere. There are enough of them around here." She doesn't make any of the obvious troll jokes—and not just because Quinn is kind of touchy about them these days.

Rachel breaks the kiss and turns to Santana with a calculating glint in her eyes. "Maybe we will."

"Rachel," Quinn admonishes, blushing again.

"I meant the room, Quinn," Rachel clarifies. "Although, Santana is technically correct," she reasons thoughtfully. "There are, in fact, a number of secluded spots in the park where we might successfully attempt a romantic assignation."

Quinn groans and drops her forehead onto Rachel's shoulder. "Please stop encouraging her," she mumbles, and Santana honestly doesn't know if she's talking to Rachel or to her, but either way, it's pretty damn amusing.

"Well, someone is freakier than I gave her credit for," she muses, smirking at Rachel. "Just watch out for the poison ivy."

Quinn's head snaps up, and even with the red face, she manages to pull off the old, Head Bitch scowl pretty convincingly. "Okay, we're not talking about this anymore."

Rachel ducks her head in contrition, entwining the fingers of her left hand with Quinn's right as she snuggles into her side. "Sorry, baby. I'll make it up to you later," she promises quietly.

Quinn's face softens, and she sighs, nodding in acceptance before she brushes her lips over Rachel's once again.

"Aaannd, here come the cavities," Santana grumbles, watching them act all sugary sweet again. "I haven't even had my dessert yet."

"Oh," Rachel gasps, suddenly pulling away from Quinn with a wide smile. "Quinn made the most amazing strawberry lime cupcakes," she announces, reaching into the nearby basket.

"Oh," Kurt echoes, reaching out an eager hand. "Pass a couple over here."

Rachel pulls out a little plastic container that looks like it came right from a bakery and carefully lifts the lid off, gingerly urging two pink frosted cupcakes out of the container and passing them to Kurt before she frees a third one and offers it to, "Santana?"

Santana leans forward, examining the confection with a critical eye. There's a little sliver of strawberry neatly positioned on top of the icing and painstaking styled into, "A little heart? Really?" she scoffs, but still reaches out to take the treat as she lifts her mocking gaze to Quinn.

"Rachel decorated them," Quinn explains with a shrug.

"Why am I not surprised? You're both so disgustingly loved-up; it makes me sick," she spits at them before peeling away the lime green paper wrapper and taking a generous bite out of the cupcake. The sweet and sour flavor explodes on her tongue, and she can't help the cake-muffled hum of appreciation that escapes. "These are good, Q," she grudgingly mumbles around her mouthful.

She doesn't miss the sly smile on Quinn's face as she shares a knowing look with Rachel. "They're vegan," she reveals with a smirk.

Santana stares at the rest of her cupcake in indecision for all three seconds before she shrugs and takes another bite. It's mostly fruit anyway—it's not like that really counts as vegan. She can hear the collective snickers from everyone around her, but she just brushes them off, challenging them all with a glare.

Rachel passes a cupcake to Josie before she gives one to Quinn and keeps the last one for herself. Santana shakes her head at them as she finishes her own dessert. Josie giggles beside her, and Santana turns to her with a puzzled, "What?"

Josie nudges her shoulder, stifling her laughter. "You've got icing on your chin, tough girl," she points out, gesturing at the offending area.

Santana feels her cheeks heat—must be the sun—and grabs a napkin to wipe her face. As she does, she notices Quinn lift her hand and run the pad of her finger across Rachel's lip, coming away with a bit of frosting that she makes a show of removing with her tongue. Rachel's eyes glaze over as she stares at Quinn's mouth.

"Oh, come on," Santana complains, crumbling up her napkin and tossing it at Quinn's head. "There are napkins for that!" Quinn barely spares her an annoyed glace before she returns her attention to Rachel with a smirk and proceeds to slowly, teasingly lick all of the frosting off her own cupcake for Rachel's viewing pleasure.

Santana's too, if she's being completely honest. She drags her eyes away from the free, soft-porn and smiles wryly at Josie. "You'd think someone who turns into a tomato when we talk about her sex life wouldn't be so obvious with the PDA."

Josie shrugs, gazing at the couple with a wistful expression. "They're in love."

Well, yeah, but, "They're annoying."

"I want that," Josie admits quietly before thoughtfully biting into her lip.

The way Josie is looking at them is just a little too reminiscent of the way that Quinn used to look at Rachel back when she was pining away in silence, so Santana is only half-joking when she says, "You'd better be talking in general, 'cause hot as you are, I will beat you if you've suddenly realized that you're in love with Quinn."

Josie turns to Santana in surprise, but she schools her features quickly and takes an odd, little breath. "Why do you assume it would be Quinn?" she challenges seriously.

Santana frowns at that, narrowing her eyes on Josie. She knows about the kiss and the kind-of-date back in college—those couple of weeks when Quinn and Josie might have been something before Josie shut it down—which is why she's fairly certain that it wouldn't be Quinn. She runs through the handful of interactions between Josie and Rachel that she's witnessed, but she can't think of a single thing to suggest that Josie is actually into her. "That better be rhetorical," she growls lowly. You can take a Lopez out of Lima Heights Adjacent, but you can't take the Lima Heights Adjacent out of a Lopez.

Josie's expression doesn't change for a moment, but then her lips twitch, and she laughs and shakes her head. "Okay, I think I get why they keep you around now," she decides, smiling at Santana.

"Funny," Santana mutters, breathing just a little easier.

"Seriously, we're on the same team, Santana," Josie assures her. "We're both happy that Quinn is happy." She glances at the couple again, smiling fondly. "But I can admit that I covet what they've managed to find with one another. I hope that I'm lucky enough to experience that kind of connection with someone someday."

Santana breathes out a quiet, "Yeah," not quite comfortable with voicing how much she also wants that someday. Like, years away, someday—after she has her medical license and is raking in some serious dough and maybe has more than a couple of hours every other week to spend with her future Missus Doctor Lopez. "I have to say, you've got a hell of a poker face," she comments with unmasked admiration. For a minute, she'd really thought that Josie might have a thing for one of their friends. "We should play sometime."

Josie laughs again. "I'd clean you out."

"Strip poker then?" Santana prompts with a wicked grin, arching an eyebrow.

"As attractive as you are," Josie rakes her eyes over Santana's body with unconcealed appreciation, "I'll have to pass."

"What about dancing?" Santana suggests. "Fully clothed…with music," she clarifies. "Maybe even a few drinks." The mind-blowing sex might be off the table, but that doesn't mean they can't have a good time together while Josie is in New York, and Santana hasn't been out to a club in so long. She's sure that she'll pay for it tomorrow, but right now, it feels like the best idea in the world. "We can even bring Lesbian Betty and Veronica along as chaperones if you want," she offers.

Josie chuckles. "Who's going to chaperone them?" she asks, pointing at their friends.

Santana turns her head to see that Rachel is now sitting between Quinn's legs and leaning back against her body with a content smile. Quinn is holding her loosely from behind, and Rachel's fingers are lightly gliding back and forth over Quinn's wrists and forearm as they whisper to one another between soft, awkward kisses. "Oh, for...can't take them anywhere anymore," Santana mutters, rolling her eyes. On a whim, she reaches into her pocket and frees her phone, switching it over to the camera before she lifts it and snaps a series of pictures of them in flagrant coupledom.

"What did you do that for?" Josie asks, perplexed.

"Evidence," Santana replies before pointing her phone at Kurt and snapping a few pictures of him cuddling with his (hopefully not really) jailbait. "Potential blackmail material." She glances down at her phone, quickly scrolling through the images that she just captured, pleased with how they turned out. "A target to practice throwing darts at," she adds nonchalantly.

"I'm sure that's why," Josie responds knowingly.

Santana lifts her phone again, grinning as she captures a picture of Josie in all her glory. "I just want to be able to tease Quinn about her public indecency the next time she gets all prissy," she defends.

Josie doesn't look at all convinced. "I think you're a closet softie, Santana Lopez."

Santana scoffs. "I haven't seen the inside of a closet since high school. Shame too. I'm really good in dark, tight spaces."

Josie laughs. "I'm sure you are, but I'm still not having sex with you," she vows, dropping her sunglasses back over her eyes before she gracefully slides down on the blanket until she's lying comfortably on her back.

Santana shuffles closer, shifting around to lie down on her side. She props herself up on her elbow and leans over Josie. "But the dancing is a possibility?" she pushes, really wanting to go out tonight and get her groove on for few hours. Today is too fucking nice to end any time before three a.m. tomorrow.

"Maybe," Josie hedges.

"That's not a no."

"It's not a no," Josie confirms, before she points out that, "It's not a yes either."

Santana nods, grinning down at her. "I can work with that." She just needs to get Rachel and Quinn on board with the excursion, which shouldn't be too hard if Santana pushes the right buttons. She's good at pushing buttons, and she figures her friends aren't really going to object to the chance to grind all over each other on the dance floor. She glances over at them again, still lost in their own little world, and she silently admits that—yeah, they are pretty fucking adorable.

She surreptitiously pulls up the most flattering of the pictures she just snapped and sends it to Quinn. Santana can hear the muffled ringtone that signals a new text, but Quinn doesn't make a move to check her messages. She doesn't even flinch, and Santana wonders if she's fallen so deep into Rachel that she didn't even notice it. But then, Quinn fell a long time ago.

So freaking whipped.

But maybe—just maybe—it's in a good way. Santana smiles to herself, slipping her phone back into her pocket and settling down fully onto the blanket next to Josie. She closes her eyes, feeling the sun on her face as her body relaxes, and all of the stress that she's been feeling lately just seems to melt into the ground. Maybe she won't be getting lucky tonight, but right now, surrounded by these people, it kind of feels like she already did.