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The Trick Is To Keep Breathing.

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Quinn is furious when she gets home, ranting about people with names Santana vaguely recognises and complaining about the Old Boys Network and the ridiculous outfits she has to wear to be seen as professional enough to trust to do her job but not bitchy and feminist enough (i.e. sexy enough) to not be a threat in order to work round the men. She's bitching about the weather - its been endless rain for days and Quinn's stockings are wet from stepping on a loose paving slab and ending up in a puddle for her efforts - and insane taxi drivers who don't care about things like friction and how much more likely it is to get in an accident when the streets are slick with rain water.

Several long minutes are spent complaining about their friends who expect them to suddenly be available for their every début or their unexpected visits to the city as if they don't have lives and performances and days in court to juggle. This in turn collapses into a rant, drawn out between bites of the sandwich Santana has watched Quinn make while she talks, about how fucking useless cops are with paperwork and about court officials who can't manage to organise a shopping spree in a mall let alone a trial in a courthouse. After this Quinn is pretty much just rehashing earlier grievances and Santana lets her for a minute or two, before rising from the couch where she had been watching old reruns of Gossip Girl and painting her nails, and walking over to her.

"Do you need quiet time?" Santana asks softly, smiling at her wife and Quinn's eyes go wide, her voice stutters and then goes quiet. She nods and Santana smiles, leaning forward and brushing a kiss against Quinn's mouth. "What's the word?" Santana checks.

Quinn hesitates then states softly, "Meryl".

Santana takes Quinn's hand in hers and leads her to the bedroom, flicking on the lamp rather than the overhead light, bathing the room in pale light.

Slowly, carefully she unties the belt on Quinn's trench coat, unbuttons it and takes it off. She turns Quinn round, Quinn is quiet and pliant in her hands, does what she's told without Santana having to say anything. Once Quinn's back is to her she quickly picks apart the braid holding Quinn's hair hostage, lets it fall in loose waves against her neck before Santana unzips Quinn's dress and pushes it from her shoulders. It slithers to the floor beside the wardrobe and the pile of shoes still waiting there in a disorganised heap. Quinn shivers slightly in the cool air and Santana presses a kiss to her shoulder, a hand to her breast. She kneels down in front of Quinn and lifts first one foot, removes her shoe, and then the other, before peeling the thick tights from Quinn's legs. She stands again, looks in Quinn's eyes and smiles, before reaching for the clasp of Quinn's bra. The satin slides smoothly from her skin, just as the matching panties do when she pushes them down. Quinn is naked.

Santana takes Quinn's hand, leads her to the bed and pulls the cover from the bed. She places it on the floor and strips the bed of pillows too, adding them to the pile. Santana looks at Quinn, wondering what she wants, but when Quinn doesn't make a decision she makes it for her. Quinn lets Santana push her onto the bed, leans against the headboard when requested, and watches Santana as she crosses over to the dresser and into the bottom drawer.

The fabric Santana pulls out is a vibrant pink but in the dull light is muted. Quinn says nothing as Santana walks back to her, places the fabric on the bed, lying each piece out so that Quinn can look at it, can see what is coming, at least for now, can object if she wants to.

She doesn't want to.

The blindfold goes on first. It always does. Its black on the inside and smooth, soft against Quinn's skin. The outside is pink and Santana likes how it looks against Quinn's pale skin, has always liked her in pink just as Quinn likes Santana in red. A strand Quinn's golden hair falls against the blindfold and Santana smiles at the memory of the pink streaks Quinn had in her hair during college back before they were a them, but not back far enough that Santana wasn't half way to in love with her.

The wrist restraints go on next. They are also pink, lined with soft black fabric like the blindfold because Santana had chosen them and she likes things that matched. She fixes one cuff to Quinn's right hand that pulls her arm up so Santana can hooks them round the centre bar of the headboard before cuffing Quinn's left wrist. With her arms above her head like this Quinn's breasts stand out proudly before her and Santana cannot resist a soft drag of her hand down the arm, along her arm pit and across to the breast. Santana watches Quinn squirm at the sensation, knows it tickles her, knows more that the move annoys Quinn because it reminds her of Dirty Dancing and Quinn detests that movie.

Santana stands, leaves Quinn on the bed, and walks out of the room, switching off the light but leaving the door ajar. She needs to be able to hear if Quinn says the word, calls for her. Crossing to the coffee table Santana picks up the remote control, turns off the TV plunging the apartment into silence, and picks up a novel to read while she lets Quinn unwind.