Bad day. Can we watch one of the disney princesses tonight? It’s a fairly innocuous text. Why wouldn’t her girlfriend want to watch something sweet and cute, where the girl sings her songs and gets her prince, if she’s had a bad day? Brittany smiles at her phone.
sure. i’ll pick up dinner on my way home. i’ll take care of everything. Message sent, Brittany tucks her phone away and refocuses on the article she’s supposed to be writing.
Brittany juggles her bags and keys until she can get the door unlocked and opened. “Hey, sweetie, I’m home,” she calls, dropping keys and purse by the door and carrying the bag with their dinner into the kitchen. “Do you want to help me get dinner ready?”
Brittany just manages to set the bag on the counter before Quinn wraps herself around Brittany from behind.
“I love you.” The words are muffled by the fact that Quinn’s pressing her face between Brittany’s shoulders, which can’t feel good, but Brittany knows what she said anyway.
“I love you, too.” Brittany gently detaches Quinn from around her waist and pats the counter to get her to perch on the edge. “Hop up and help.”
Quinn’s ‘help’ on evenings like this usually involves watching Brittany transfer food from takeout containers to plates and set the table. Brittany keeps one eye on Quinn while she gets everything set up; she’s starting to relax enough to swing her legs, gently bumping her heels against the cabinets.
“No kicking, please,” Brittany admonishes mildly. “Time for dinner anyway. Hop down and wash your hands.”
Dinner is quiet with Brittany trying to get a handle on how the evening will play out and Quinn eating just enough to get by without worrying Brittany; by now, Brittany’s almost certain that Quinn’s parents made her clean her plate as a kid. Quinn doesn’t ever seem to be a defined age when they do this, she just wants to be cared for and cuddled. Brittany clears the table and sends Quinn off to pick their movie while she cleans up and changes into more comfortable clothes.
Brittany finds Quinn scowling comically at Sleeping Beauty and The Little Mermaid. “Can’t decide?” she asks quietly.
Quinn spins around, holding out both movies. “Can we watch both?” she pleads, smiling prettily.
Brittany makes a show of frowning at the clock and sighing before answering. “If you get ready for bed right now, we can watch both.”
Quinn drops the movies on the coffee table and flings her arms around Brittany before darting out of the room.
Brittany mutes the sound of The Little Mermaid’s main menu and heads back to their bedroom to find Quinn; it shouldn’t take her this long to change into pajamas. Quinn is sitting on their bed, frowning down at her lap.
“Sweetheart, what’s taking so long?” Brittany sits next to her on the bed and slides an arm around Quinn’s shoulders.
Quinn buries her face against Brittany’s neck and opens her hand to let Brittany see a button.
“The button’s broken?” Brittany asks, rubbing circles on Quinn’s back when she nods. “I bet we can fix it.”
Quinn pulls back enough to meet Brittany’s eyes. “You’re not mad?”
Brittany shrugs. “It’s just a button. And if we go back to the the living room, I can do it while you watch Ariel.”
“You’re the best.” Quinn throws her arms around Brittany’s neck and bounces to her feet. Quinn disappears towards the living room and Brittany shakes her head at the button lying in her palm. She’d expected a movie and cuddling before bedtime, not sewing. Quinn’s actually much better at replacing buttons, but that’s not going to happen tonight.
Brittany settles down on the couch with the sewing kit and pauses the movie; of course Quinn started without her.
“I need your shirt in my lap so I can put the button on,” Brittany explains carefully. “I can do it while you’re still wearing it, if you don’t want to take it off.” Brittany waits patiently while Quinn makes her decision. Quinn’s never been a fan of casual nudity, not even for something as innocent as this. Quinn finally slips her pajama top off and tosses it at Brittany; she doesn’t look at Brittany as she tucks a blanket around herself and unpauses the movie.
“Thank you,” Brittany says quietly, already threading the needle.
Brittany finishes attaching the button quickly and takes a moment to watch Quinn. She’s half-curled on her side, using the armrest as a pillow, staring raptly at the TV, and twirling a lock of hair around her finger. Quinn’s feet stick out from under the blanket and show the cuff of her pajama pants, blue with brown polka dots.
“All done,” Brittany says brightly. Quinn sits up too fast and the blanket slips from around her shoulders; she blushes and tries to cover herself back up, but the blanket is trapped between her and the couch. “It’s okay, Quinn. Hold still.” Brittany kneels in front of Quinn and holds out the top. “Arm.” Quinn obediently slides her arm into the sleeve and leans forward so Brittany can get the top around her back. “Arm.” Quinn giggles softly as she slides her other arm into the sleeve. “Let me button it,” Brittany says, taking a little extra care with the freshly attached button. “There we go.” Brittany sits back on her heels and smiles at Quinn. “Cuter than puppies.”
Quinn catches her bottom lip with her teeth and looks at Brittany through her lashes. “Can I sit with you now?”
“Of course, sweetie.” Brittany props her back against the armrest and waits while Quinn settles between her legs.
Quinn relaxes slowly as Brittany hums along to the songs and cards her fingers through Quinn’s hair. By the time the movie’s over, Quinn has squirmed around until she can press her ear against Brittany’s chest, still twirling her hair absently.
“Comfy?” Brittany asks quietly as the credits start to roll.
Quinn hums and nods, head still firmly between Brittany’s breasts. “I like your heartbeat.”
Brittany chuckles. “I know.” Quinn typically sleeps with one hand pressed against Brittany’s chest to feel her heart beating. “Do you still want to watch Sleeping Beauty?”
Quinn tenses, but doesn’t move. “Yes, please,” she answers quietly. “I’m sorry about the button. It was an accident.”
“I know, sweetie.” Brittany tilts Quinn’s face toward hers. “And we fixed it, didn’t we?” Brittany taps the button in question, earning a giggle from Quinn. “Can I get up to change the movie, or do you want to do it?”
“I can!” Brittany smiles indulgently when Quinn is extra careful to put the DVD back in the case and on the shelf before getting Sleeping Beauty out.
Quinn crawls back into Brittany’s lap and snuggles down, pulling the blanket over their legs.
“I love you,” Quinn whispers.
“I love you, too.” Brittany squeezes Quinn briefly. “Bedtime after the movie?”
“Okay,” Quinn agrees easily, squirming on top of Brittany until she’s perfectly comfortable before starting the movie.
Quinn falls asleep not fifteen minutes into the Sleeping Beauty: limp, heavy, and impossibly sweet. Brittany just watches the movie and lets her sleep.
Quinn blinks awake just before the end of the movie, nuzzling into Brittany’s breasts and sitting up.
“Hey,” she says, smiling a little warily at Brittany.
“Feeling better?” Brittany asks, recognizing that look as ending playtime. Quinn is always a little unsure about coming back, like she’s afraid of Brittany’s reaction.
Quinn nods and stretches over to turn off the movie entirely. “Much. Thank you.”
Brittany tugs Quinn back down on top of her. “You’re welcome.”
Quinn shifts to straddle Brittany’s legs, leaning in to kiss her. “Best. girlfriend. ever.” She punctuates each word with a kiss.
“I know,” Brittany says smugly. “And tomorrow’s Saturday, so...”
“Yes, I will make pancakes for you,” Quinn laughs. “I’m going to bed. I don’t think I can watch the news tonight.”
“I’m right behind you,” Brittany says, letting Quinn climb off the couch.
Brittany knows Quinn loves her. It’s the sort of knowledge that hits her when she’s at the grocery store and the list says things like “eggs, white, large” and “milk, the red top.” Quinn never teases Brittany about the way her brain works; she accommodates it without comment.
What makes Brittany’s heart beat faster and her head spin isn’t the fact that Quinn loves her; it’s the fact that Quinn trusts her. Quinn trusts Brittany enough to tell her when she needs to be coddled like a child; she trusts Brittany not to hurt her, no matter what they’re doing. And when Brittany walks into their bedroom to find Quinn smiling fondly down at the button on her pajama top, Brittany’s heart feels like it’s about to burst.