Title: Rest Assured (That All My Love's For You)
Pairing: Santana Lopez/Brittany Pierce
Disclaimer: Nothing owned, no profit gained.
Spoilers: Through Heart. Because it broke me.
Summary: She remembers the very first time like it’s today.
A/N: Title from Green Day's "Last Night On Earth."
The first time still sends tingles zipping up and down her arms, traveling like sharp, warm currents of electricity beneath her skin. First times are meant to be so nerve-wracking, so awkward—maybe even a little gross—but she doesn’t remember it that way. It remains in her mind in every moment after, clean as a new brand, the vivid ink of a fresh tattoo. She can’t banish it, and, though there may have been moments when she’d have liked to, she wouldn’t dream of it now. It’s too important, too beautiful.
She remembers like it’s happening now, in this moment, bright and hot and gorgeous.
She remembers hands: smaller, then, rough from time outdoors. There was a time, not so long ago, when they lived outside, perfectly at home in trees and backyards. Hands back then were small, pale, dotted with light freckles—freckles she’d never have noticed if not for how close they come on this day, close enough to count each and every one. Fingertips trickle across the planes of her round face—thumb skirting around the little scratch on her nose, the scab on one cheek left over from a bike accident last week. Her eyes are closed, letting it happen, letting those hands—thin, shaky—travel where they will. Exploring. Soft, the slightest bit sticky—always sticky back then, from melted candy and traces of bright blue ice cream—prowling across her cheekbones, thumbing the skin beneath her eyelashes. She lets them go, feeling her own breath coming and going in hitches—like running too fast to get here, to this moment.
The hands pause against flushed cheeks, palms tilted to cup either side of her jaw. One thumb sweeps left, halting an inch before it can reach her lips. Her tongue flicks out, instinctive. She doesn’t think it about it; it’s just something to do, a natural reaction to this brave new sense of someone so close to what has always been hers. Only hers.
She’s never shared something like this before. It’s striking, how brave she feels, doing it now.
She remembers sunlight, gentle and insistent as it patters down upon her loose hair. Shadows dance behind trembling eyelids, twirling and sparking with anticipation. It’s like dessert, waiting on the kitchen counter, like that endless moment stretching on and on before her hands come loose from the swing chains and she lets her body soar. She imagines she can feel each new freckle bursting to life upon the hands cradling her face. Her feet in their scuffed sneakers are excited, twisting around one another in the rain-drunk grass—puppies tumbling over and over with abandon. She can’t stand it much longer, this moment of just waiting.
It must show on her face, this soaring feeling inside that prays for time to tick faster. It must be etched into each line of her face, every fluttering eyelash, each crack in chapped, plump lips. She remembers wondering if it can be read in the shine of her hair, or the curl-tuck of her fingers as they rub against the denim shorts that scratch her thighs. She wonders if the whole world can sense her impatience, if it’s grinning at her the way Dad does as she squirms on Christmas morning.
This is a thousand Christmas mornings, bundled up tight with bright red string and the promise of always. This is a squirming she’s never known before, her toes angling into the muddy ground, propelling her skyward. She wants to leap, to fly, but—but—
She remembers feeling so mature in that moment, keeping her desperation in check with that discipline her father had been instilling for months. She remembers feeling so in control, and it makes her laugh to think of it now, to have ever imagined such a thing—when, really, it may have been the least control she’d ever had up to that point. Control comes later, but for now…
She recalls the way her eyes flickered open, breaking a silent vow to herself: the promise that she wouldn’t look, wouldn’t push. They’d agreed to this, of course, and done so together, but all the same—it’s supposed to happen with eyes clenched shut. She’d promised herself that.
But her eyes are open now, and she knows there's no way she can look anywhere else. Not with how blue the gaze burning back is. She’s never realized before how blue blue can be, how brazenly this color can reflect the sky, the sea, the racing beat of her heart, trembling like a newborn kitten beneath her rock-n-roll t-shirt. She’s looked a thousand times into these eyes, but she feels now that she really sees them—and, though it’s maybe a little terrifying, they see her right back. Deep and clear, shining with the summer sun, as cloudless as a dream. She looks, and her lips pull in a mad grin, unbidden.
She remembers feeling insane just then, realizing for the first time just how deep this thread might run under her skin. This feeling, her feet pushing off from the soft ground, her teeth betraying the biggest, wildest smile she’s ever been capable of—this is the soul of madness, the core of what it means to lose control.
And to kind of love that feeling, like leaping on her bike from a curb that’s just a little bit higher than expected.
The eyes are drawing closer, and now, suddenly, it all comes together: thumbs tracing shivery little patterns into her cheeks, fingers almost awkwardly braced against her face, the radiation of the sun’s warmth above them. Her sneakers punch the ground again, and she’s up, up, her nose bumbling out of place, and she knows she should be embarrassed—
--except it feels so nice, so unexpectedly glorious, to rub the tip of her nose against one a little longer, a little paler. It feels nice, so she presses in harder, listening for that first gasp, the quick intake of air that reminds her where they are, what they’re doing. She drags her nose left to right, drinking in the scent of sweat and sugar, wondering all the while if freckles have a smell all their own or if this is just—well…
The name lights up in the very middle of her brain, glowing neon as the signs littering New York. It bursts into full color, tendrils sneaking down through every artery, pumping the bump of that B into her bloodstream, the gentle curl of the Y coursing free. The name explodes, and her stomach drops—the half-flying, half-falling sensation of exploding off that curb into the air—and still she keeps stretching up, following its whispers until they’re flush together. Until her fingers are curling against Brittany’s shoulders, twining in the bright yellow cotton of that Tweety Bird t-shirt. Her hands clench firmly, fisting around the material until the tendons in her hands yelp with discomfort.
Everything falls away with the first cautious sweep of Brittany’s lips against her own. The grass beneath her feet fades into fog, the sunlight all but vanishing as she scrunches her eyes again and melts. Brittany’s got her in a clumsy half-hug, one arm looped around her middle, her palm tap-tap-tapping against the small of her back like it can’t decide if it’s all right to settle there. Her free hand is still pressed to a blushing cheek, fingers bending just behind her ear, pushing slowly, uncertainly into thick dark hair. Brittany’s got her, strong and nervous and almost laughing against her mouth with how crazy this all feels. She gets that. She’s never felt anything like it, either.
She remembers how long it took to progress from that point. The standstill is so awkward in her mind, so hilarious: Brittany’s mouth stills above her own, frozen, her nose crushed there like she’s scared to move it. Like now is the moment everything could come apart.
She remembers how certain she was that something like that couldn’t be allowed to happen.
Her mouth slips once, twice, nearly falling away, nearly landing on Brittany’s chin. Determined, she shuffles up an inch or two, angles her head—and goes for it. Someone’s got to, someone has to be brave first, and she’s always been so good at leading Brittany. So good at showing Brittany how awesome the scary things can be.
She goes for it, doing her best not to giggle, and opens her mouth. Brittany makes a little noise, sort of strangled and helpless, her hand seizing against the hem of that old Styx t-shirt. The tips of her small fingers accidentally brush exposed skin, and she makes that sound again, her body surging forward. Her lips part, accepting the chapped, hopeful kiss that flows between them, until one lower lip is caught, both of them forgetting what belongs to whom. Her tongue skates clumsily up to catch the tip of Santana’s upper lip, and darts immediately away again. Santana remembers laughing out loud then, the sound disappearing into Brittany’s mouth even as her own tongue nudged its way inside to taste, to stroke out a new adventure. She remembers how fantastic the buzzing in her head had grown, how it bounded in an excited tizzy between her burning ears.
She remembers Brittany dragging her nearer, laughing with her until they could kiss no longer. She can still feel the sensation of soft lips falling away, landing on her shoulder, Brittany’s face buried in dark blue material as she snorted in hysteria. Her hands tighten at Santana’s back, thumbs doodling lazy circles unwittingly into the skin above her shorts. She remembers how it felt, that warm fist clenching in the pit of her stomach for the first time.
It’s hard to forget. She still feels it today.
She still feels all of it, every bashful, blissful beat of that first summer dance. Each time she sees Brittany’s ears burn bright crimson with want, with every teasing pass Brittany’s palm makes over her bare knee, every time Brittany’s startling blue eyes capture hers in a crowded room—every moment they spend together follows the old tempo, holding fast to that same beautiful rhythm. She remembers like it’s happening now, because it is—and because, as far as she can tell, it’s never-ending. The moments bleed together, past and present, impossible to tug one loose from the other. It’s eternal, a band that winds around and around for all of time.
She feels it each night in bed, her arms sandwiching a pillow as Brittany climbs in behind her, lips brushing the back of her neck.
She feels it as she reclines against Brittany’s chest in the hallway, head rolling with laughter upon Brittany’s slim, strong shoulder.
She feels it in the choir room as their friends croon, hands clasping reflexively between them until she has trouble determining which fingers are meant to be hers.
She feels it on Valentine’s Day, in the middle of the “Sugar Shack,” in that black dress with Brittany’s hands smoothing down her back, spinning in slow circles on the dance floor.
She feels it when Brittany forgets herself, forgets everything that has ever gone wrong in their lives, and pulls her close, crushing their chests together, beaming into an adoring kiss.
She feels it when they graduate, fingers bound tight on the tabletop at dinner, silently admiring this new look into an exciting future.
She feels it every day, in every moment, every time Brittany’s smile lights up a room, or those blue-blue eyes gleam with pride and love.
She remembers, forever, that very first kiss, and the promise it drew up on an innocent summer afternoon. She could never forget.