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Jumping Straight Into a Black Hole

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Quinn is over men. Yet she hates how she misses the smell of pipe tobacco smoke that always hung onto Cameron’s clothes. Cameron - Dr. Hughes to the rest of Quinn’s classmates - had made her feel special when she first went to his office hours. He was interested in what she had to say, making her shoulders relax from the anxiety of proving herself to a prestigious Yale professor. Cameron was younger than most of her professors, fresh out of his Ph.D. program at Princeton, but happy to be back at his undergrad stomping grounds of Yale’s campus. He was 35 but still looked barely over 25, his fresh shaven face and shaggy brown hair usually in an untidy state, sticking up where he repeatedly ran his fingers through it.

She barely acknowledged the understated silver band on his ring finger during those first few meetings, closed up in his office discussing his lectures and her fascination with the reading he assigned. Cameron would sit close to her, a chair next to hers instead of behind his large desk, sipping on cold coffee - he preferred it cold and day-old rather than scalding and fresh, the way she loved hers.

Before she knew it, she was accepting his invitation for dinner, still naive that his intentions could possibly be more than academically driven. Things escalated and she walked back to her dorm late that night, both ashamed and elated about how the evening had played out.

It was an easy rabbit hole to fall into, particularly in those first few months of the semester, still a stranger alone on the east coast, far away from everything she knew. Popularity didn’t matter at Yale the way it had at McKinley and it was taking her a while to find her stride, happy to fade into the crowd for once. Cameron made her feel like she stood apart - singled out for his secret affection hidden in his office or in quiet corners of New Haven, away from prying eyes. He told her about his wife, a woman that had barely done more than lie next to him in the same bed at night for the past few years. She spent her days living off of her extensive family wealth, volunteering at charity events and shopping, all the while never understanding why Cameron worked so hard, spending late hours in his office every day of the week. Cameron had come from practically nothing from rural Pennsylvania, and had earned his place at Yale on his intelligence and not legacy. His wife, wealthy by birth, never understood why he wasn’t happy with a lavish lifestyle that involved very little work. Quinn related to him in ways that she doubted his wife ever had, thinking about her 35-week pregnant belly as she stayed up past midnight in her bedroom studying for physics tests and writing English papers, Beth kicking and turning and making her need to pee every half hour, the hours in the hospital bed hoping to feel her feet as she studied for her AP exams, knowing that her brain was the only surefire way to escape from Ohio for good.

Being back in Lima for Thanksgiving had turned her life upside down again. Memories flooded back as soon as she stepped through those double doors, striding down the hall without a Cheerio uniform, but turning heads nonetheless. She had it out with Santana in the choir room, her own self-righteousness playing out on Santana. Anybody in the vicinity could see how much Santana hated her new life in Kentucky, where cheerleading continued to define her entire existence. Santana always managed to break up her hardened facade of confidence, cutting down deep into the flesh to where Quinn kept her insecurities tightly locked up.

The comments about Cameron don’t bother her - she didn’t expect anybody to understand that twisted situation. She knew Cameron would never actually leave his wife for her, nor did she really want him to. He was a great distraction in the meantime, and she wasn’t going to deprive herself of that pleasure.

However, Santana goes right for her jugular when she brings up Beth. It kills her that Puck is still living in town, seeing Beth once a week, taking their little girl to the park or the movies, while she’s in Connecticut with nothing but some photos that Shelby had emailed her hanging up on her wall.

By winter break, she and Cameron were done - her decision, not his. Yet he didn’t seem to notice the way she stopped answering his late night text messages or how she avoided his gaze in class. He gave her the A she deserved for the class - from hard work, not the illicit affair. He smiled at her, his grin lopsided, forming a dimple in his left cheek, as she handed in her final on the last day of class. She didn’t blush like a schoolgirl at him anymore, but returned the smile anyway, giving him the last bit of affection that she held for him.

Quinn barely talks to the Glee kids after Thanksgiving, instead throwing herself into her new life at Yale. She forces herself to branch out and meet people, forging friendships with people she probably wouldn’t have even glanced at in high school. The only chink in her armor is a trip to New York when Kurt contacts her, worried about Rachel.

She and Santana are unstoppable when they’re actually on the same side, Quinn realizes as soon as they stage their intervention on Rachel’s topless scene ambitions. They talk Rachel down off the precipice of making horrible career choices. Quinn gets Rachel’s desire for instant success, but Rachel is so much more than her body. Thankfully, Rachel sees their side and she ends up having a good weekend with her old friends. Yet as soon as she’s on the train, heading up the Metro North rail line, she pushes them to the back of her mind again.

The invitation to Mr. Schue’s wedding stayed pinned to the bulletin board above her desk, a constant reminder that she should reconnect with the people that always supported her. Finally she RSVP’d and booked a flight to Ohio. She only told Rachel that she was going during their weekly phone call, and Rachel had squealed happily at the big reunion of their friends.

On the flight home, Quinn is filled with nervous energy. She knows that Santana, Kurt, and Rachel are arriving from New York together, the three of them being the best of friends these days. Her own flight gets in later than theirs, so she knows she won’t see them until the actual wedding.

It’s Puck that picks her up from the airport, his bomber jacket looking tight on his muscled arms from where he stands on the sidewalks, hands shoved in his pockets and a sheepish smile playing at his lips.

Quinn knows she’ll always love Puck. He gave her Beth and proved to her that he’d always be a good dad, despite his immaturity and poor decisions in high school. She doesn’t hold any of it against him anymore. Wasn’t she immature when she let Finn believe that her baby was his for months, guilting him every second to prove to her that he was capable of taking care of her? They both had grown up since tenth grade, the bitterness fading from the memories of those horrid nine months and the resulting aftermath of giving up their perfect little girl.

Puck is looking like a man these days, and Quinn loves the feeling of his strong arms wrapped around her in greeting. She doesn’t want male companionship - it’s not something she craves like she had for so long - but she enjoys the ride back to Lima with Puck nonetheless. Their laughter comes easily as he tells her about Beth’s latest antics, the impish way that she takes after him. But he also reminds her how smart their little girl is, the way she’s already trying to read the words in her picture books and how she’s always asking how things work. It warms Quinn’s heart to know that Beth is thriving under Shelby’s care, and she’s grateful that the older woman is giving Beth everything that she always hoped for her baby. It’s a new feeling, one that finally doesn’t have an undertone of jealousy that she’s not Beth’s everyday mom. She figures this is what it means to love someone unconditionally.

Puck drops her at the front steps of Quinn’s mom’s new house, a far cry from her big childhood house. It’s a tiny two-story structure on the other side of town, not too far from where Rachel grew up. Quinn feels the familiar pang in her chest of the life she had once known as she walks up the pathway to a place that doesn’t feel like home.

Her mom isn’t home - she works a lot these days, finally having pursued a career after the divorce and Quinn’s departure to Yale. Quinn appreciates the way her mom manages to deposit some money in her account every month with little tagged notes saying that it’s for her books or a new Christmas outfit. For once, she feels loved, and she feels a rush of affection for her mom when she sees the note on the counter welcoming her and telling her that there’s a plate in the fridge for her in case she gets hungry.

The little house has three bedrooms - the Master for her mom, an intricately decorated guest room, and one that Judy had told Quinn was hers for as long as she wanted. Very little had been transferred from Quinn’s bedroom besides her bookcases stuffed full of novels. The walls are a pale blue and the comforter she had picked out online is laid out over the full sized bed. It isn’t home, but she appreciates the effort and the fresh start that her new bedroom affords her in a town filled with memories.

Quinn gets dressed for the wedding in her bedroom, her mom wandering in and out, offering to help with her hair or lend her a necklace that would look perfect. Judy compliments Quinn’s dress choice, telling her that she’s looking thin again and questions if she’s eating enough at college. Judy even offers to drive Quinn to the wedding, knowing her daughter’s dislike for driving since the accident last year, but Quinn declines and borrows her mom’s car for the night instead.

She’s early - Sue Sylvester has instilled a deep rooted fear of being late to anything - so she stands on the steps of the church, scrolling through Instagram on her cell phone until others start to show up. People stream past her, mostly family members of Miss Pillsbury’s, all with shocking red hair, but some of the glee club kids as well, stopping for a quick hug and a promise to catch up at the reception before they slip inside.

Quinn looks up to see Santana’s gaze fixed on Brittany, who is still in the parking lot, Sam holding her hand tightly. She walks toward Santana and nonchalantly suggests that they sit together for the service. Santana seems to release the breath she was holding and nods curtly, following Quinn into the church.

They file in shortly after Brittany and Sam, who seem to not notice them standing off to the side. Santana picks a pew a few rows behind them and waves when they turn and see her like it doesn’t bother her, though Quinn can feel otherwise.

Santana’s emotion toward Brittany is palpable in the space between them; she’s practically seething that her ex has chosen Sam so quickly instead of pining over Santana. Somehow Santana doesn’t seem to recall that she had once chosen Sam as well. Instead, Santana acts annoyed at even being at the wedding in the first place, surrounded by Miss Pillsbury’s clan of redheads and their old glee pals.

Quinn doesn’t push Santana on her reason for her bad mood, knowing that nothing good can come out of pissing Santana off within minutes of the wedding beginning. She shrugs off Santana’s mild insult about being stuck in her presence, knowing that her friend is actually grateful that someone is also alone today.

They chat idly instead, reflecting on Quinn’s new desire to not bother with men, regardless of maturity level. Santana seems taken aback - Quinn can’t blame her when most of Quinn’s life had revolved around boys since high school began. Cameron is far from the forefront of her mind these days; Quinn hasn’t even seen him around campus since the spring semester had started a month ago. She sees the smile that Santana tries to squash over Quinn’s rant about men being pigs, though Quinn doesn’t know what to think about it, so she shrugs it off, settling in as best she can on the hard wooden pew, waiting for the ceremony to finally begin.

The ceremony never does start - Miss Pillsbury has run away, leaving Mr. Schue to make the decision to let everybody enjoy the reception anyway before disappearing, distraught and embarrassed. Santana mumbles under her breath about her lack of surprise that their old guidance counselor would run away like a scared little girl, but hops in the passenger seat of Judy’s sedan, turning the radio up as Quinn steers them down the road to the reception hall.

People are already dancing when they enter, even though the music is lame as hell. They join mildly, trying to get in the mood for a party, but it doesn’t take long for Santana to steer her in the direction of the bar. The tuxedoed bartender immediately asked them for ID and they both don’t even hesitate before slipping fake IDs out of their bras, presenting them with a nonchalant air of confidence.

It’s crazy how simple it is to lie, playing off Santana’s charismatic nature. The bartender barely takes a glance at the IDs, though she figures he doubts that a 25 year-old girl from Alaska would be besties with a barely legal girl hailing from Hawaii. She doesn’t even take offense to Santana’s quip about Cameron’s interest in young women, her heart feeling too light with the simplicity of hanging out with Santana, no drama dragging them down.

Quinn accepts her glass of white wine, turning back to the crowd, still immersed in Santana’s presence beside her. Santana looks great, her muscles less prominent than in her cheerleading days, yet lean and slim with curvy hips and her chest filling out her tight red dress perfectly. It would be easy to be jealous of Santana’s body in all of its perfection compared to her own lingering stretchmarks from pregnancy and the angry red scars that had barely faded since her accident almost a year ago.

Santana keeps up the conversation, but Quinn’s eyes are still studying her friend, for once not comparing herself to Santana, choosing instead to admire the features on prominent display.

“You are killing it in that dress,” Quinn finally says, averting her eyes as the words slip out easily, her fingers grazing along Santana’s upper arm.

She’s not sure where her boldness erupts from, but she feels her heart speed up in her chest at Santana’s shock over her compliment. Quinn sips at her wine, surveying the dance floor, pretending that Santana’s attention all afternoon hasn’t been a welcome change in her life.

Quinn isn’t sure that she’s actually flirting with Santana, despite the fact that she has flashes of wanting to know what Santana’s lip gloss tastes like mixed with the sweet wine that she’s drinking. It’s not the first time she’s thought something similar and she wonders what it would feel like to actually kiss a girl. She remembers the nights of lying in her sleeping bag, listening to Santana and Brittany’s whispered giggles in between rounds of wet sounds and quiet moans.

She means the compliment, but she’s not sure if Santana will think of it as more than genuine friendship. It’s different than the lewd, forthright compliments that guys always gave her when they wanted her to know they were interested. But she doesn’t push it, not wanting awkwardness to fill in the space between her and Santana when the evening has been so pleasant.

They stand near the bar, talking idly, sharing observations of the crowd that fill the dance floor for a while, draining glasses of wine in time with one another. A decent song finally comes on and Santana makes a move, taking Quinn’s arm and pulling her insistently into the middle of the crowd on the dance floor.

Quinn is giddy with excitement at the warmth of Santana’s hand in hers. Santana doesn’t release it when they reach a spot with a little room, and Quinn makes sure to not let her own grip falter, instead choosing to pull Santana a bit closer to her as they find the rhythm of the song. Quinn feels Santana’s eyes studying her intently, mapping out the features of her face in the dim light of the dance floor. Quinn adjusts their grip, her fingers slipping into the spaces between Santana’s, locking them together. She can feel the burn from her cheeks, a mix of her buzz from the wine and the embarrassment at how shamelessly she’s letting herself get wrapped up in Santana.

A few songs in, the girls sweaty from dancing, empty wine glasses abandoned on a nearby table, Rachel takes the microphone the band winding down with her until Quinn realizes that couples all around them are draping over one another, pacing slowly back and forth as Rachel begins to sing.

Quinn makes a spur of the moment decision, her fingers unclasping Santana’s and immediately wandering up Santana’s arm. She feels the goosebumps erupt on Santana’s skin under her touch and she settles her hands around Santana’s neck against the warm flesh under Santana’s long, shiny black hair.

Santana’s hands find Quinn’s waist, gripping her with a sense of ownership that Quinn has only ever felt from Finn or Puck as they made their claim of her as their girlfriend known. Despite the similarity, Quinn likes this kind of attention from Santana and she presses her cheek against Santana’s. They sway to the music, the awkward fumbling of dancing with boys at school dances completely absent, and she feels safe and happy in Santana’s protective arms.

“I’ve never slow danced with a girl before,” Quinn admits, though she figures Santana is acutely aware of this fact already. She feels Santana shrug as they hold one another, showing that it doesn’t matter. Quinn pulls back from Santana slightly so she can look Santana in the eye. Her heart pounds heavily in her chest. “I like it,” she tells Santana, tone serious, but unable to hide her smile.

Santana squints at her, a hint of realization settling into her features. She smiles back at Quinn, not bothering to hide her pleasure in Quinn’s confession. Quinn tightens her hands again, forcing Santana to be pressed against her, their warm bodies buzzing with excitement. A line seems to be have been crossed, though neither of them directly acknowledge it, choosing instead to live in the moment. Rachel is belting out the lyrics, her eyes focused on Finn as they harmonize, but Quinn doesn’t even have it in her to care that Rachel is probably going to make a huge mistake tonight because Santana is here with her, no longer seeking out Brittany over Quinn’s shoulder at every available moment.

The song ends and Quinn sighs, her breath rippling into Santana’s hair. They break apart as the music speeds up again, though Quinn craves Santana’s touch and seeks it out, slipping her hand around Santana’s waist and pressing her back toward the bar through the crowd of people.

As soon as their glasses are empty again, Quinn decides that she’s had enough of the party. She’s not tired - in fact, she’s never felt so awake. She leans into Santana, her lips practically brushing against the lobe of Santana’s ear.

“Feel like getting out of here?” she says quietly, her voice deeper than usual.

Santana pulls back and squints at her again, still seemingly unsure of Quinn’s intentions, but she follows happily, slipping her hand into Quinn’s as they head into the lobby of the hotel. The wine is hitting them both harder now and they can’t stop giggling as they stumble and prance upstairs to the rented hotel room.

It takes Quinn a few swipes of the card to get the door to unlock, but soon she’s inside, Santana close behind her.

As soon as the door snaps shut, Quinn takes hold of her chance. She steps into Santana, her hand on the other girl’s cheek. She inhales before closing the short distance between their mouths, her exhale immediate when her stomach twists at how soft Santana’s lips are against hers.

Santana stumbles backward as Quinn kisses her more forcefully, which pries Quinn’s mouth from her for a moment. They both laugh again, cheerful, giddy giggles erupting in the space between them. Santana pulls off her heels and tosses them into the corner of the room. She eyes Quinn until Quinn does the same, leaning on Santana’s shoulder for balance as she undoes the buckle.

Her tired feet press against the shabby carpet of the hotel room, as Santana moves from her grip to turn the light on, bathing them both in dim light from the overhead lamp. Quinn’s heart lurches again in her chest as Santana reaches for her, locking a hand behind Quinn’s neck and pulling them together in a rush of passion displayed through hard, wet kisses.

Quinn doesn’t even try to hold back her moan from the feeling of Santana’s rough, impatient mouth against hers. She lets Santana’s tongue explore her, drinking her in, and she tries to focus on every sensation as it rushes through her body. Kissing Cameron - or any of the McKinley boys for that matter - didn’t make her tingle on every inch of her body, her skin crawling with goosebumps.

She pushes back against Santana, hoping that the girl’s body is responding just as much as she is to this makeout session, her own tongue reaching out to tease against Santana’s, her teeth pressing lightly against Santana’s lower lip before biting down harder.

“Fuck, Q,” Santana groans against her, which only makes Quinn hold onto her lip for a second longer, tugging it a bit before soothing the bite with her tongue. Quinn stumbles back from Santana pushing her toward the bed, their lips still together in bumpy, sloppy kisses.

A few long moments later, Quinn’s lower legs make contact with the side of the bed and she pulls away from Santana, putting a few centimeters between their chapped lips. Her chest heaves slightly as she tries to catch her breath in the seconds they’re apart. Her eyes are heavy from wine and exhaustion, yet her body feels more awake than ever before

Quinn’s eyes follow closely, however, as Santana’s hand disappears behind her back. She hears the faint sound of the zipper in the quiet room and watches as the fabric begins to slacken against Santana’s slim frame. Her gaze stays on Santana, trying to memorize the sexiness of it all as more tan skin is slowly exposed.

Santana is almost smirking in front of her, but her confidence doesn’t bother Quinn today, not when it’s about how incredibly gorgeous she is. She’s undressing for Quinn this time - not for any of the boys, not for Brittany. Santana is here with Quinn, only Quinn, away from prying eyes, far enough away for Quinn to know Santana isn’t doing it for the attention of someone else. She sucks in her bottom lip, its chapped surface brushing against her teeth, as the dress slides slowly down past Santana’s hips until it’s in a pile around her ankles, leaving Santana in just her underwear - a perfectly matching set with a lacy strapless bra and an equally lacy thong that sits high on her hips.

The breath leaves Quinn’s chest in one, long exhale. She hadn’t even realized that she was holding it until she can’t pull her eyes away from the plane of Santana’s abs, her bra giving her the perfect amount of cleavage on her chest. Quinn knows they’re fake - she’s the one that exposed Santana’s summer surgery in the first place - but she can’t help but admire the work.

Santana smirks at her, lips hinting at playful as she moves back into Quinn, fingers locking around the fabric of Quinn’s jacket. Quinn knows that she’s radiating heat, her whole body is burning up from excitement and desire. She keeps her eyes trained on Santana’s, willing her wordlessly to finish what Santana is obviously so desperate to start.

The jacket scratches down her arms as Santana removes it, somewhat clumsily. Yet the smirk never leaves her face and Quinn exhales again, this time softer as the jacket passes her wrists and falls unceremoniously to the carpet.

Quinn stays still, her body tingling with anticipation for the next move. Santana takes another small step closer, their bare arms brushing together. Her arm embraces Quinn, her face falling into the crevice of Quinn’s neck. Quinn’s skin erupts in goosebumps as lips trail along her neck softly. Santana’s fingers are on the zipper of her dress, hesitatingly slightly before pulling it down slowly like she’s giving Quinn an opportunity to back out.

A whimper escapes from Quinn’s mouth and her head falls back slightly, giving Santana more skin of her neck to kiss. The dress slides down Quinn’s shoulders, catching slightly on her hips. She wiggles a bit as Santana’s hands guide it away from her body, her warm fingers against the outside of Quinn’s thighs.

Finally the dress hits the ground and Santana’s mouth becomes more focused, moving down to tease Quinn’s collarbone. Quinn’s hands hold onto Santana’s shoulders, her newly manicured nails digging slightly into flesh.

“Bed?” Santana mumbles, still kissing Quinn’s neck and shoulders, face buried against the skin. Quinn’s head nods rather enthusiastically, her chin brushing the top of Santana’s head as she does so. Santana’s giggle vibrates against her neck and she shivers slightly at the tickle.

Santana nudges her back, pressing her until she falls onto the mattress with a thud. Quinn watches Santana’s eyes rake her body, and she fights to swallow the insecurity that typically accompanies this type of attention. After a long moment, Santana’s gaze lands on her face, their eyes locked intently on one another.

Quinn feels calm and terrified simultaneously, her heart beating fast in her chest but eyelashes fluttering as she combats the effects of the wine on her limbs. Santana slides onto the bed as well, choosing to settle at Quinn’s side instead. Quinn’s hand settles softly on Santana’s side, fingers tracing the outline of her ribs, face leaning in closer to Santana’s.

Their lips meet, moving softly and slowly, though Quinn is antsy and wants to feel more. The intermingling of their respective lip glosses and the underlying aftertaste of the wine is all she can taste, and Quinn drinks it in hungrily, silently wondering what the rest of Santana will taste like when she can finally explore the expanse of bare skin presented to her.

Santana is tense beside her - Quinn instinctively notices Santana’s clenched hands that stay firmly at her side. She’s seen Santana do the same many times before, typically in order to hold down a rage that was willing to burst forth. Quinn doesn’t believe it’s rage that makes Santana’s muscles contract, knuckles white from pressing her hands into fists. But she knows Santana is trying to control herself, which is exactly the opposite of what Quinn wants right now.

It dawns on Quinn as she presses her body against Santana that the other girl is trying to be respectful, figuring that this has to be Quinn’s first time with a girl considering she hadn’t even slow danced with one until a couple of hours ago. It’s nearly laughable, the idea that Santana is straining so hard in order to be a lady, to take it slow and make every moment special for Quinn. Yet it’s also endearing, and it draws Quinn even more into Santana, desperate to let them both lose themselves to the moment.

So Quinn pushes for the upper hand - something that comes so naturally in the presence of Santana - and she thinks Santana gives up the fight rather quickly. Their kisses get more rough and a little sloppy, the harshness of clashing in sharp constrast to the soft, tender wisps of kisses they had been sharing only a moment before.

Quinn rolls her body fully into Santana, feels the other girl give in easily as Santana’s shoulders make contact with the mattress. She fumbles for a moment, hovering over Santana before sliding her knees to the outside of Santana’s thighs and letting her weight fall slowly onto Santana.

She keeps her head up, just out of the reach of Santana’s red lips, her blonde hair falling messily around her face and half blocking her view of Santana beneath her. Santana’s intent gaze is enough to allow the surge of insecurity to creep its way into her veins, but she refuses to pull back, to hide her scars and imperfections under ashamed hands. Instead, she lowers her mouth to Santana’s, goosebumps erupting on her arms when she feels Santana’s breathy exhale against her mouth.

Quinn wants more, plain and simple. Her hands wander as they kiss, rubbing along the side of Santana’s ribs, cupping her chin, tracing a path down her jawline and scraping lightly along Santana’s neck. She stays to mostly neutral territory, tormenting herself with the slow burn of feeling Santana’s warm skin under her touch.

Santana is docile from her pinned position under Quinn, the least combative that Quinn has ever seen her. Santana’s hands have loosened from their clenched fists and come to rest respectfully on Quinn’s hips, fingers splayed onto Quinn’s lower back. They’re cool compared to the rest of Santana, and they make Quinn shiver slightly. She moves off of Santana’s lips and kisses Santana’s jaw, watching as the girl’s neck stretches back slightly, silently urging her on.

Quinn’s hands move up Santana’s ribs again, this time running along her collarbone before moving south again, cupping Santana’s breasts through the fabric of her bra. Her hands are focused, determined to explore without seeming incompetent, though she’s sure that both she and Santana are acutely aware of her inexperience in this field. Santana’s nipples strain through the fabric and she pinches them lightly, feeling Santana arch up off the bed, pressing herself more into Quinn’s busy hands.

Santana nudges Quinn’s face back until they’re kissing again, tongues moving against one another, breathing growing more labored as they don’t break apart for sufficient oxygen. Quinn’s hands don’t stop, though she can tell by the way Santana’s hips are wiggling beneath her that the touch through the fabric just isn’t enough for Santana.

Quinn barely notices Santana’s left hand leave her waist, tickling its way up her spine until the clasp of her bra is pinched between Santana’s fingers. She gets it open without any fumbling, and Quinn feels the material slacken between their bodies, the layer desperate to be pulled away to bring them that much closer to one another.

She sits up, balancing on her heels, trying to not let all of her weight rest on Santana’s thighs. Santana is focused on her as Quinn peels the bra away entirely, tossing it onto the floor where her dress lays forgotten. Without meeting Santana’s eyes, she uses her hands to pull Santana’s shoulders off of the bed, sliding one behind Santana and fighting with the clasp for a moment with hasty motions before it falls open. Santana still watches her as Quinn discards the bra with her own.

Quinn resettles, her weight falling against Santana, their bare chests rubbing against one another. A surge runs through Quinn as Santana moans, her own mouth swallowing the delicious sound as she reconnects them. She pushes her hand between their bodies, feeling Santana’s breasts against her palm, the nipples hard against it. Santana seems content to let Quinn explore at her own pace, so she does, taking the time to gauge each of Santana’s reaction to her touch, studying the girl intently as she dips down for small pecks in between Santana’s breathy gasps.

Her patience wanes, and she wants more than just her fingers against taut nipples. Tucking her hair behind her ears, Quinn dips her face again, only this time she goes directly for Santana’s jawline, nipping at it slightly as she moves down onto her neck. She revels in the salty skin she finds there - evidence of their dancing earlier and the one they’re currently engaged in. Quinn manages to shift slightly, her abdomen sliding along Santana’s until she’s kissing along the prominent collarbones, tasting the skin of the middle of Santana’s chest, drawing a straight line down her breastbone with only the tip of her tongue.

She slows her movements, takes each centimeter of skin more seriously as she kisses up the side of Santana’s breast until her lips are encircling a stiff nipple. Quinn is rewarded with Santana moaning as she gives the nipple all of her attention, running her tongue over it and sucking on it slightly. Santana’s hands find her waist again, though this time fingernails dig into her flesh, pressing Quinn on wordlessly. Quinn appreciates that Santana doesn’t distract her with her own set of wandering hands, instead letting it be Quinn’s time for exploration, as slow and torturous as it may be.

Quinn moves to Santana’s other nipple, dragging her hand up Santana’s abs to play with the other slick one. Santana’s hips grow impatient as they press up into Quinn’s stomach, obviously hoping for a little more relief than Quinn’s slow ministrations are currently providing. Involuntarily, Quinn giggles. It pierces the air around them, allowing some of her nervousness to escape from her.

That seems to spur Santana. Her hands start moving along Quinn’s skin, running up her sides and brushing softly along the ridges of Quinn’s ribs. Quinn dislodges her mouth from Santana’s nipple and she rests her slightly sweaty forehead against Santana’s chest, her breaths leaving her more rapidly.

There’s no hesitation in Santana’s movements, and soon her hands are pressing up the plane of Quinn’s breasts, fingers searching for her nipples. Quinn’s body begins trembling, overwhelmed from the sensation of being touched, feeling like she’s never felt someone else’s hands on her. She can’t hold in the whimpers that make their way up her throat as Santana rolls her nipples with deft precision. She doesn’t want to anyway; Santana deserves to know exactly how she’s making Quinn feel.

Eventually it becomes too much and she slides back up Santana’s body until she can kiss her again. Her whole body is humming, wanting to press on and discover how much Santana can really make her feel. It’s soothing to melt into Santana, their bodies pressed together as her weight settles on top of Santana again. Santana seems serene, even with her fingers pressed in between their bodies, pinching Quinn’s nipples mildly.

Quinn keeps her terror at bay, trying to focus only on living in the moment, on the fact that Santana looks like a goddess and wants nothing but to be wrapped up in this hotel room with her, despite Brittany being in the vicinity. It’s just them, best friends and sometimes enemies, coming together in a tender, deep way that she had never even let herself imagine to be a possibility.

She pulls away from Santana and rolls off of her, landing softly on the bed beside her. She doesn’t want to wait anymore for what might be. She doesn’t know if she’ll ever have another opportunity to feel the way Santana is making her feel right now. She refuses to waste this night.

Fingers find Santana’s thong. They’re not trembling. Quinn is determined and steadfast in her motions, pulling the fabric away from Santana’s hips and down her tanned legs, her eyes following the inches of progress until they’re unhooked from Santana’s ankles and fall to the floor below. She admires Santana, from the random little freckles she had never been close enough to notice, to the sweat that coats the valley of Santana’s breasts, lingering on the obvious wetness gathering at the apex of Santana’s thighs, hidden slightly by the way Santana keeps her legs pressed together.

Cheerios had given her years of comparing her body to Santana’s, finding her flaws repeatedly while Santana always seemed to be too perfect, like porcelain kept on a high shelf where it couldn’t get knocked off and break, leaving spindly cracks along the surface. Quinn’s own skin showed years of injuries - scarred knees from soccer games as a kid, stretchmarks from pregnancy, splotches of skin that never healed quite right after a bad sunburn, the bright scars from the car accident that left her temporarily paralyzed.

Santana is so patient and it’s surreal; Quinn feels like she’s discovering an entirely new person that has been locked inside Santana. Her hands stay still, brushing Quinn’s skin but not pushing anything. Quinn takes her time, grateful for Santana’s patience in lying next to her, unmoving, unpressing.

Quinn can’t remember if she ever took the time to admire someone so much, particularly while they were naked and inches away from her. With Puck, she hadn’t even removed all of her clothes. Puck had hiked up her Cheerio skirt and stripped her of her spanks. There was little admiring as things progressed from sloppy kisses to him asking if it was okay to enter her, his hard dick already pressing against her inner thigh through his boxer shorts.

Even with Cameron, a man that she admired intellectually as well as physically, didn’t receive this kind of attention from her. She couldn’t even remember what color his eyes were anymore. The others were all distractions from something else going on in Quinn’s life. None of them ever got to be on the forefront of her mind, worthy of her focus and admiration.
Quinn doesn’t miss the way that Santana’s gaze stays fixed on her face, looking almost reverently at her from her place against the mattress. It’s disarming to see Santana so open and vulnerable, tough skin peeled away and exposing the girl that Quinn always knew was buried deep within her friend.

“God, you’re beautiful,” Quinn whispers before she can even think about the words leaving her mouth. She reaches out and lets her fingers brush against Santana’s hipbone. Santana’s gaze leaves her face, hiding behind closed lids. Quinn watches Santana swallow hard, like she’s fighting some internal demon. She doesn’t push it - Santana will come back to her. For some reason, there’s no doubt that Santana wants this moment just as much as she does, no insecurity about Quinn not being enough.

Santana’s eyes slide open again, slowly with an iota of hesitation. Quinn is taking in her face, looking for any sign that Santana is regretting how far this evening has progressed. Santana locks in on her and they share a silent moment, reassuring one another that things are perfect.

Quinn takes it a a cue and she shifts, pulling her own underwear down, keeping her eyes locked on Santana’s, watching the pupils dilate simply from Santana’s peripheral view of her naked body. Santana smiles involuntarily, her eyes pulling away to get to explore Quinn.

Santana reaches for her almost immediately, pulling her back down on top of her. Quinn feels a chill fly up her spine as Santana’s hand grab at her ass with a giggle against Quinn’s lips when Quinn responds with a tiny surprised squeak. They’re kissing again, the tentativeness of getting undressed behind them and the train moving full speed ahead. Hands wander, looking for any bit of flesh that sparks a moan or a whimper - Quinn going straight for scratching her nails down Santana’s neck and pinching her nipples, Santana lightly tugging at Quinn’s messy hair, nails scratching down the length of Quinn’s back as she hovers above Santana.

It doesn’t surprise Quinn that eventually Santana gets antsy at being on the bottom. She resists a little bit, mostly just to tease Santana, from her perch above, but eventually Quinn follows Santana’s insistent pushes and rolls off to the side. She’s working on catching her breath when Santana reaches for the blankets, pulling them loose and gesturing for Quinn to move beneath them.

Suddenly, Quinn has relinquished all control. Santana’s leg presses against her ankles, forcing her legs apart. She moves with grace, with practiced precision, and Quinn gasps when Santana lowers herself, Santana’s thigh pressing between her legs and into the apex of her thighs. Quinn feels a twinge of embarrassment at how wet she is as it coats Santana’s leg. Santana doesn’t seem to mind at all, however, as she rocks into Quinn’s core, the pressure ebbing and building with her calculated movements.

Quinn wants to sit up, to grab Santana’s face and drown her mind in Santana’s lips against hers. Santana’s arms circle her head, elbows pressed into the mattress by her ears where Santana’s is balancing her weight. Their faces are close, Santana’s hovering inches above Quinn’s. Quinn can feel the hot air of Santana’s exhales tickle her nose as her eyes slip closed, unable to focus on anything besides how Santana feels against her.

Every sense is ignited. Quinn can smell the remnants of the perfume Santana sprayed before the ceremony mixed with the salty sweat. She feels Santana’s silky skin every place that it touches her - abdomen, between her legs, Santana’s foot draped over her ankle. Santana’s breath is hot on her face, her lips sporadically grazing Quinn’s hairline in delicate kisses that Quinn might be imagining. She hears Santana’s breathing above her, her own little whimpers that escape when Santana’s thigh hits on her clit directly. A spring in the hotel bed creaks under Santana’s knee whenever she thrusts a little harder into Quinn. Her own mouth holds onto the lingering taste of Santana’s. She aches to kiss Santana again, to press her kiss-chapped lips against Santana’s swollen ones over and over.

One of the arms by Quinn’s head shifts and warm fingers slide along the plane of Quinn’s neck and collarbone. The hand glides over her breast, palm pressing into her stiff nipple. Nails drag along the side of her stomach, tickle along her hipbone, and then move inward. Santana’s thigh pulls away, but is instantly replaced by a petite, delicate hand cupping her. The hand feels cool against Quinn’s burning skin, fingers instantly covered in Quinn’s juices.

Santana’s hand stalls, having reached its destination. Quinn exhales loudly and Santana’s fingers move slightly, running softly along the wet folds as though she has all the time in the world. When she brushes along the outside of Quinn’s clit, Quinn releases a gasp and her body instinctively grinds into Santana’s hand, searching out more friction.

She can practically feel Santana grinning from above her, knowing exactly how she’s driving her completely insane. Her hands reach out for Santana, making contact with strong, muscled shoulders. Quinn’s fingernails dig into the smooth flesh, urging Santana on wordlessly. She wants to feel all of Santana, to know what kind of pleasure Santana is really capable of if this is how she can make her feel when blatantly teasing her.

Santana’s fingers circle slowly around her sex, always touching but not enough. Eventually she comes to rest at Quinn’s entrance. Suddenly she’s a statute, her hand stiff and paused, fingertip barely touching Quinn. It’s the most frustrated Quinn has ever felt and she has a momentary urge to slap Santana - it’s the way she normally deals with her frustration, after all. But Santana is unmoving, her patience unbreakable by Quinn’s little needy whimpers.

Quinn opens her eyes, expecting to see Santana grinning evilly, pleased with herself for making Quinn putty in her hands. It’s not what she gets though. Santana is biting her lip almost nervously, her eyes focused on Quinn’s face, searching for permission, for validation that everything is going to be okay.

“What are you waiting for?” Quinn asks breathlessly, rocking her hips in an attempt to get Santana’s hand moving again. A breath hisses through Santana’s gritted teeth, the muscles of her shoulders relaxing slightly under Quinn’s grip.

“Always the romantic, Fabray,” Santana volleys back with an accompanying eye roll. It’s a defense mechanism, Quinn knows that. Santana is holding back, hiding behind using Quinn’s last name instead, much like the football guys always did to one another. The eye roll is exaggerated, unnatural from the rest of Santana’s body language. She’s trying too hard. It causes Quinn to soften, realizing that Santana is actually worried that this night is not going to go well, that somehow she’s going to manage to let Quinn down. It’s a quick realization - Santana cares enough about Quinn to not want this to feel like a quick, dirty one-night stand.

Quinn watches her closely, feeling the movement regain itself in Santana’s hand. The heel of Santana’s palm rests on her mound as one finger slowly makes its way inside her. She wants to cry with relief, even though it’s still not nearly enough. She groans, staring deep into Santana’s eyes. They’re nearly black, all pupil and no iris in the dim light of the hotel room. Santana’s hand is trembling ever so slightly and Quinn’s body squeezes at Santana’s finger, urging her on.

Santana starts to pick up a rhythm, moving in and out slowly until Quinn’s eyes finally close again, focused on the pleasure. Another finger joins the first, Quinn’s body stretching to accommodate it. It’s tight, but not unpleasant and she sighs as Santana’s pushes past her knuckles, fingertips dragging along her inside wall.

Santana has done this before - Quinn is sure of that from the amount of times she was in the same room while Santana and Brittany fooled around in their sleeping bags. But she never realized how much she’d appreciate someone with experience touching her until Santana’s fingers were curling into her, finding all of the most sensitive places with every thrust of her hand. She speeds up, spurred on by the noises that Quinn can’t keep inside any longer. Her hands find the sheet beside her and she grips at them, balling the fabric in her fists.

It all feels like too much - too much sensation, too much running through her head, too much wondering what happens after tonight. But the pleasure overrules everything else, her body responding to Santana’s frantic hand pressed into her most intimate spot. It’s too much, too intense, and Quinn isn’t sure that she can take it much longer.

It’s impossible to forget that it’s Santana hovering above her. Santana, her best friend, two fingers buried inside of her making her feel more than she even imagined was possible. Santana with trembling hands and tentative kisses to Quinn’s hair. Quinn has no idea how this happened - she hadn’t gone into the night thinking about seducing Santana, despite her curiosity about being with a woman. But she’s glad, ecstatic really, that it’s Santana with her like this for the first time. She’s safe. She’s happy.

Just when Quinn doesn’t think like she could feel better if her life depended on it, Santana’s lips are making a wet trail down the center of Quinn’s fading abs, stopping at her hipbone to tease the bony flesh with a flick of her tongue. She moves along until her breath is cool against Quinn’s hot thighs, Santana’s mouth so close to where her hand is thrusting. She feels Santana lick her, tasting Quinn’s pleasure and humming pleasantly against Quinn’s skin. Santana’s lips make contact with Quinn’s clit at the same moment that she thrusts in again, filling Quinn as much as possible.

“Fuuuck,” Quinn groans, exhaling hard with the only word that her brain can even form.

Santana’s tongue slips from between her lips, pressing against Quinn’s clit, the tip running over its surface. She wants to touch Santana and she grasps at whatever she can find, which ends up being Santana’s thick hair, her fingers lacing through the dark strands. Her leg wraps around Santana’s waist, begging her silently to not move.

She’s so fucking close that she’s actually spots behind her eyelids. Her hips are moving of their own accord, grinding into Santana’s mouth, pushing up off of the bed, her leg muscles tightening and shaking. And suddenly it hits her and her whole body is convulsing, completely out of her control, overtaken by a huge wave of pleasure.

“Fuck, Santana,” Quinn mumbles, the expletive much louder than Santana’s name through her strangled moan. She’s embarrassed at the cliche of yelling the girl’s name during sex, but Santana seems spurred on by it, her mouth moving fast, drawing out every last wave of pleasure. It grows to be too much and Quinn has to physically shove Santana away from her by her shoulder.

Santana doesn’t fight her, choosing instead to move out from between Quinn’s legs and sidles up her side, purposely not touching the hypersensitive skin besides planting a small kiss on the underside of Quinn’s jaw before settling back onto the pillow beside Quinn.

Quinn focuses on trying to catch her breath, chest expanding and contracting with big gulps of air. She watches Santana in her peripheral, studying the quiet girl, wondering if her reaction to Santana’s ministrations were sufficient enough for Santana’s rather large ego.

The girl looks so peaceful, head plopped on the hotel pillow, long hair fanned out around her face. She’s naked, but there’s not a hint of self-consciousness as she lays there, the blanket only covering her calves and ankles. Quinn almost doesn’t want to disturb her, but the idea of not returning that amazing favor is simply impossible.

They don’t cuddle - Quinn figures that would be too much like an actual relationship for Santana - and she’s okay with it, despite how much she loves the warmth of Santana against her. Space is the one thing they can maintain, a line they don’t need to cross during a night of uninhibited fun.

She yearns to touch Santana, to feel the closeness, so she does the next best thing. If she’s not going to cuddle with the girl, she’s going to exhaust her instead.

Quinn lets a hand lazily trace a path along Santana’s abs, fingertips barely grazing the skin until she reaches the protruding hipbone. She grabs it and pulls herself up into a sitting position so that she can actually watch Santana’s reactions. She continues moving lower, Santana’s skin hot beneath her fingers, the muscles twitching slightly. She had almost forgot how easy Santana is to to tickle, the memories of Brittany finding her waist and squeezing, causing Santana to jump and squeal in mock annoyance finding its way into her mind.

She’s careful not to tickle her, adding a little pressure as she trails down onto Santana’s thigh. Santana’s legs part instinctually, which makes Quinn release a little giggle. She pauses for only a minute, hyper aware of her own breathing, eyes fixed on the apex of Santana’s glistening thighs. Her own body acutely remembers Santana’s touch on her. She wants Santana to feel that and more. It’s what pushes her past any realm of doubt and hesitation, moving deeper into the warm and wetness of Santana’s inner legs.

It’s a little easier with Santana’s legs already spread for her. She can see where she should touch, grateful that she has the same parts. The idea of fumbling teenage boys trying to figure this out makes her want to laugh. Puck hadn’t even bothered trying to find her clit - the only thing that mattered to him was getting inside of her.

God, how wrong he was. Touching the outside of Santana’s labia, spreading the folds to let her finger drag along Santana’s slit sends sparks through her entire body. The girl is so wet, Quinn’s fingers are already wet and slippery from it. It could be their taboo connection - the idea of breaking the unspoken bond that the Unholy Trinity had, Quinn always being the third wheel to her friends’ romance.

But tonight it’s just her and Santana, tucked away into this hotel room. This was never supposed to be her role, but she’s here. Here, alone with Santana, who is wet because of her. She gauges Santana’s responses to her fingers obsessively, watching for every little twitch of pleasure, any wince of discomfort or frustration. Santana still looks so peaceful, sprawled out on the bed, legs spread, arms resting calmly at her sides.

She knows the exact moment that she hits Santana’s clit, judging by Santana’s surprised expression of pleasure. However, she doesn’t stay there, choosing to explore all of the warm flesh instead and clearly driving Santana out of her mind. It’s exhilarating, having this kind of control over Santana’s reactions. She can feel the surges of wetness that coat her fingers every time she brushes against Santana’s clit. To be honest, she didn’t even know it was possible for a girl to get as wet as Santana currently was.

Santana quickly loses her patience with Quinn’s slow moving hands, her hips jumping up off the bed, begging for more contact. Quinn gives in and finds Santana’s opening easily, two fingers slipping inside. Her thumb lines up with Santana’s clit and she circles it as her fingers begin to move in and out of Santana.

“Fuck, Q,” Santana moans, which goes right to Quinn’s head. Despite having never touched a girl beside herself - and even that was rarer than she was likely to admit - Quinn knew that it was working perfectly well on Santana.

Her orgasm hits hard, catching Quinn off guard. While her own builds up slow, hanging her on the edge before release, Santana seems to explode like a firework with a short fuse. Quinn is pleased with herself, a confident smile playing at her lips and she hangs on despite Santana’s bucking hips, fingers buried with her, thumb pressed down hard on Santana’s clit.

Her name comes out multiple times with Santana’s low moans, which only causes a fire to start burning again inside her, wanting even more than the night has already offered. Finally Santana collapses back against the bed, her chest heaving and sweat dripping off of her forehead, curling the hair by her temples with the moisture.

Quinn fights to keep herself from curling up against Santana’s body, choosing instead to move to the side, sitting up against the headboard, pulling the sheets up. She hadn’t realized how cold the room actually was. Exhaustion is starting to set in a bit, her eyes heavier as the wine buzz wears down.

Santana, thankfully, settles near the end of the bed, pulling the comforter up over her breasts, tucking it under her armpits, head resting on her hand as she looks at Quinn.

“So that’s why college girls experiment,” Quinn says to her, filling the void of silence. It’s not the main thought in her mind, but it’s the most innocent for sure. She’s not sure about everything she’s feeling, how being with Santana has definitely changed her forever. But she’s glad that she’s out of Lima, in the big world where experimentation and being herself is actually accepted.

“And thank God they do,” Santana responds. She looks happier than Quinn remembers seeing her friend in months. She figures a good orgasm can do that to a person - she hadn’t really known that until tonight.

“You know, it was fun, and I always wondered what it would be like to be with a woman,” Quinn tells her friend, trying for once to not keep all of her thoughts inside, destructing her from the inside. Santana seems to perk up minutely, and Quinn loses her nerve in an instant. “But, uh, I don’t know. I think for me it was more of a one-time thing.”

“Look, you don’t have to worry. I’m not gonna show up at your house with a U-Haul.”

Santana’s response is too quick, like she knew that Quinn was going to deny herself any chance of repeated pleasure-filled sessions like this one. She’s back to normal Santana, using humor to hide from any real conversation. However, Quinn’s own guilt creeps in - she’s not exactly being honest either.

She had never let herself really dream about what it would be like to feel a girl naked against her, how their lips would be so soft against hers. But now that she has experienced it, she can’t help but compare to all of the mediocre times she had been with boys. Even Cameron, nearly double her age and with plenty of experience, had never been able to make her fall apart the way Santana had managed.

“So what happens next?” Quinn asks. It’s almost a challenge - she’s actually hoping that Santana will push her past whatever boundaries are quickly building between them.

“Well…” Santana muses for a moment. “You could walk out first.” Quinn feels her heart plummet in her chest and nearly curses at herself under her breath. Of course Santana wouldn’t want to spend the night next to her - this is just sex, not a cuddly sleepover. She takes a sip of water from the bottle on the nightstand, not meeting Santana’s eyes. “Or we could make it a two-time thing?”

She had hardly been listening, lost in her own frustration with the games she was playing. Did Santana say she wanted to stay for a while?

A two-time thing. Twice in one night still constitutes a one-night stand, Quinn reasons. That’s all this is. That’s all this can be. Just her and Santana, finding one another amidst their loneliness on the night of a failed wedding.

She smiles almost deviously and beckons to Santana. There’s no way she’s going to let this night be filled with missed opportunity.


Quinn wakes slowly, the bed shifting next to her. There’s a warm body tangled with hers. After everything, they end up in one another’s arms. That’s probably not typical one-night stand protocol, but Quinn is definitely not an expert. Puck left as soon as he cleaned himself up and zipped his pants. Cameron went home to his sexless marriage every night. There were no morning afters in Quinn’s life.

She keeps her eyes closed, reveling in how soft Santana is against her. They’re both still naked, the top sheet tangled around Quinn’s feet. Santana shifts slightly, sliding out from Quinn’s arm. Quinn misses the warmth immediately, but doesn’t want to wake up yet. She hears the shuffling of papers and then Santana is ordering breakfast. Then she’s back, moving as quietly as possible in an attempt to not disturb Quinn.

Despite the morning sunlight and the lack of alcohol, she snuggles into Quinn. They start to doze off again, Santana’s even breaths tickling the bare skin of Quinn’s shoulder.

There’s a knock on the door a little while later and Quinn feels groggy as Santana jumps up to answer it. Of course, the food is probably here.

She pulls herself up to sit against the headboard, which is oddly reminiscent of their short break between rounds last night, but this time the room is bathed in February sunlight coming in from the open curtains.

Santana rounds the corner from the door in tiny shorts and an oversized red McKinley baseball sweatshirt that she probably stole from Matt years ago. Quinn suddenly gets nervous, being naked while Santana is clothed, no longer hidden by the dark room and the haze of alcohol clouding everything. The sheet is pulled up over her shoulders from where she sits against the headboard.

The tray thuds on the surface of the desk and Quinn watches Santana move toward her. She crawls on her knees up from the foot of the bed until she’s on Quinn’s lap. She leans down to kiss her, but Quinn is acutely aware of her morning breath and turns her face. Santana’s lips catch the corner of her mouth instead.

“I haven’t even brushed my teeth yet, Santana,” Quinn tells her, trying to erase the hurt that is evident on Santana’s face. It wasn’t meant to be harsh, but she’s not used to any of this . She nudges Santana, who rolls off to her side of the bed again, a sigh escaping as she does so.

Quinn’s bag isn’t obvious upon first glances around the room. Finally she sees it in the far corner, tucked where she had left it before the reception. It’s the other side of the room, no way to grab it from her place on the bed where the sheets are keeping her covered.

“It’s not like I haven’t seen you naked before, Q,” Santana teases. Quinn knows that she’s probably being ridiculous, but the sunlight has changed everything in an instant, the air much more tense and filled with memories of last night, wondering whether Santana feels the way she does - a latent desire to pull the sweatshirt off and see what it’s like in the morning to see Santana writhe beneath her.

Yet her eyes still yearn for her bag to be nearer so that she can cover herself up comfortably. She feels awkward and gawky, the sheets pulled tight around her while Santana looks so relaxed. Santana takes pity on her and gets off of the bed and rummages through Quinn’s bag, tossing her a t-shirt, sweatpants, and underwear wordlessly.

Santana turns her back to stare at the wall, the way Quinn used to order her friends to do at sleepovers in middle school, embarrassed by her pudge around all of her skinny friends. She takes the opportunity to dart into the bathroom, locking the door behind her.

She turns on the tap in the shower and waits for the water to get warm, surveying herself in the mirror. Her skin is free of ugly hickies or other obvious signs of last night’s adventure. Yet she looks so different, older somehow. Her reflection stares back at her blankly, devoid of the answers to questions she’s too scared to even ask.

The shower does nothing to clear her mind, but she feels better by the time she turns off the faucet anyway, her hair smelling of hotel shampoo. She uses the complimentary toothbrush next to the sink instead of heading to her bag for her own. She towel dries her hair and it hangs loosely over her shoulders, wavy and still a little knotted, but clean.

With a deep breath, she opens the bathroom door, unsure of what she’ll find on the other side. The room is neater, last night’s clothes picked up from their pile on the floor next to the bed. Santana’s aren’t anywhere to be seen, but her own dress and jacket are slung carefully over the armrest of the chair by her bag.

Santana has made the bed - not neatly, but it’s better, and two plates of pancakes and a bottle of syrup are balanced on the comforter next to where Santana is sitting. Quinn sits down on the other side of the set up and begins to cut her pancakes into neat little squares. She pours a tiny bit of syrup over the surface, fighting down her old problems with food. She would never pick pancakes, even these days when she doesn’t have a Cheerio diet to worry about. Syrup is a luxury that she hasn’t allowed herself in years, choosing instead to stick to fruit for her dose of sweetness with breakfast.

“Thanks for breakfast,” she tells Santana quietly after swallowing her first little square of pancake. She doesn’t know what else to say, to make them fall back into their typical banter like they were before the ceremony yesterday afternoon.

“We really don’t have to do this awkward crap,” Santana informs her, the expert on all things involving morning-after experiences. “We hooked up, I rocked your world multiple times, and we’re still friends.” Santana is trying to be nonchalant, but her facade isn’t flawless. Quinn knows that it’s not as simple as Santana is making it out to be.

Yet her own face turns red, embarrassed that her own lack of experience is making this whole situation uncomfortable. She doesn’t want it to be that way - she already misses her friendship with Santana that was devoid of these sexual complications. So she jumps into her old self as quickly as possible.

“Do you typically buy your one-night stands breakfast?” she shoots back and Santana, pushing away her mostly uneaten pancakes and dropping her fork onto it, syrup still clinging to it.

“No, it’s usually them bringing me breakfast,” Santana confesses, amusement creeping into her voice. “But you’re pretty much a princess, so I figured I’d go hungry if I didn’t take initiative.”

Quinn frowns, glancing at her now cold breakfast. She doesn’t want to be a pillow princess, a girl that is so spoiled that Santana feels the need to cater to her just to make the morning go smoothly before they walk through that door. They could have gone to the continental breakfast in the lobby, meeting up with their friends, escaped from this tension by laughing about the reception, about how well their fake IDs work on a pathetic hotel bartender.

“Quinn, please don’t do this,” Santana pleads softly. Quinn is surprised to hear Santana so vulnerable.

“Do what?” Quinn responds, feeling defensive instantly.

“You’re shutting me out. You already said it’s a one time thing. But we had fun and it doesn’t have to be more than that. We don’t even have to ever talk about it after we leave this hotel room if you don’t want to. But I’m not going to let you sit here and wallow in regret over letting yourself have one night of carefree pleasure.”

“I’m not wallowing,” Quinn retorts. Santana couldn’t be more off base. If anything, she was just down about the fact that she had no excuse to make it a two-time thing. She was straight - a college girl that experimented. But now the experimentation was over and she was left with the memory of Santana coming undone from her hands and nothing else. Santana raises an eyebrow at Quinn. She doesn’t believe her. “I’m not!”

“Well, you’re refusing to even look at me. So yeah, you’re wallowing and you’re acting like you are completely ashamed of what happened between us.”

For a moment, Quinn wonders about Santana’s hypersensitivity to it all. Sure, she had Brittany had spent years fooling around, ignoring whatever blossoming feelings were under the surface. But they were just friends. Santana wasn’t in love with her - if anything, based on how Santana’s eyes kept torturing herself with the sight of Brittany in Sam’s arms on the dance floor, Santana still loved Brittany. She chews on her bottom lip, thinking it over. Why would Santana be so offended by her reactions this morning over something that she knew was just Quinn’s first experimentation?

“I’m not ashamed of sleeping with you, Santana.” She lets her eyes find Santana’s, despite not knowing what she’ll find there. She felt so confused, so lost in the meaning of their actions. Did it have to mean more? Was it supposed to? Was it wrong to just want to try again, to see if the way she felt with Santana was just a fluke?

Quinn surges forward, the syrup container shaking violently, threatening to spill all over the comforter. But she doesn’t care, she pushes past, closing the distance between herself and Santana until their lips collide painfully. It’s bruising and the farthest thing from a quiet romantic morning. But she needs this, she needs Santana moaning against her mouth again. If they haven’t left the room yet, it still counts as a one time thing. It doesn’t have to mean anything if they’re just living, just experimenting, just living.