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Breathe (2 AM)

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“When in the hell did I fall in love with Kurt freaking Hummel??”

Santana gets the panicked phone call at two o’clock in the morning. She’s only been in bed for an hour, and she wants to be irritated - she mostly is, forget ‘wants to be’ - but there’s still a part of her that’s just amused with her poor, poor Puckerman.

“Sometime around Regionals of senior year,” she answers, smiling at the resultant spluttering.

Eventually he calms down enough to ask, “Why didn’t you tell me?”

Santana yawns. “Mainly because you wouldn’t have believed me. Also because it’s funny to watch you fumble.”

“Thanks,” he says, all wounded pride.

“No problem. Can I go now? I have class in five hours.”

Puck snorts on the other end. “Your fault for picking morning classes.”

She shrugs, though she knows he can’t see her. “I’ve got better things to do than be in class all afternoon. Speaking of those better things...”

“Yeah,” he answers, a little reluctantly. “Later.”

“Later.” Santana hangs up and double checks that the alarm on the cell phone is set, then lets it clatter to the nightstand and rolls over onto her side, arm coming up to wrap around the still, sleepy body before her. Her hand burrows under a sleep shirt to rest against warm skin. “Adopted brother,” she mutters, in response to the questioning murmur she gets. “Being an idiot.”

Her name is Cindy, and she’s about as different from Brittany as she can possibly be. Where Brittany was quiet and reserved, Cindy is loud and brash. Britt used to do this thing when someone complimented her: she’d look down, blush, a smile would bloom and then she’d say ‘thank you’. Cindy says ‘I know’.

It should be infuriating, to meet a woman who really is as confident and self assured as Santana has always played at being. It’s not. It’s refreshing, exciting and actually kind of a challenge. Boys have always been so easy, San has always been able to get exactly what she wants out of them, but Cindy? Cindy makes her work for it.

And that should drive her even more nuts, especially considering Cindy is the one who pursued her in the beginning. They met when Santana made the decision to drop cheerleading and go out for cross-country instead. Cindy is a junior, so she was already on the team, helping to run the try outs. After everybody had been dismissed, Cindy came up to her, blatantly checked her out and then asked her if she was hungry.

It’s only now that Santana knows that when Cindy asks if she was hungry in that tone of voice, she isn’t talking about food.

Santana brushes her lips over the nape of a neck and inhales the faint chocolate scent of warm cocoa butter. It’s only been a few months, but she’s already comfortably (scarily) used to this. She doesn’t know why it scares her, and Kurt is refusing to tell her this time.

In fact, the last time she called him to panic about it, he’d bitten her head off and told her to grow up and enjoy the fact that somebody, for some crazy, unknown reason, actually wanted her for her.

For the record, Santana should be allowed a pass for forgetting that even though it was only eleven PM on the west coast, it was two in the morning in New York. She was feeling a little strained, and she always takes his phone calls, no matter what time it is.

Unless sex is involved, at which point he has to wait.

Oh, well. Christmas is coming up, and they’ll see each other in a few weeks. Kurt doesn’t know it yet, but he’s going to have to set aside a day for her. She can only rattle around her house and do homework for so long before she’ll need to get out and do something - even if it’s just a visit to his house to mainline television shows on dvd and bitch about life in person.

Puck’s already got her first Saturday back reserved for himself. He’s still in Lima, working around town as he tries to figure out what he’s going to do with his life. He works six days a week, and his only days off are Saturday, so she’ll be crawling into bed with him on Friday night. He’ll probably spend all night talking her ear off about how he doesn’t know what to do about Kurt and she’ll probably tell him to man up and ask the guy out and they’ll fall asleep to the sounds of Metallica on low.

It’s a good thing she made the cross-country team, because Puck’s specialty is fudge during the holidays, and he’ll probably wake her up with waffles, or, oooh, cinnamon rolls. She’ll have to remember to ask.

It’s going to be a damned good holiday, is all she has to say about her plans, especially the ones that involve the three of them getting together (possibly with other people, they haven’t decided yet) on New Year’s Eve.

Hell, maybe she’ll get a front-row seat to fireworks that aren’t set in the sky. The only person she’s gonna want to kiss is planning to stay here - Cindy’s family lives just an hour south of here and her grandmother is coming up to visit - so as far as Santana’s concerned, the least the boys can do is entertain her while she’s there. She’s sure they’ll see it her way.

But until then, Santana’s first class isn’t until nine, it is cold outside and so very warm in her bed, and she’s planning to wake Cindy up later in all the best ways. Two AM’s not so bad.