“I’m not trying to pick up lesbians, Santana,” Sam sighs, shoving it back in his drawer. “I already have you.”
A/N: So you know how JJ and I have a ridiculous amount of Samtana bro feelings on any given day? We sort of wrote a fic together about them. We had a ridiculous amount of fun writing this; we hope you have fun reading it!
She’s lying on Brittany’s bed pretending to read a book but actually just watching Brittany study when Sam comes in and face plants on the bed, knocking her feet out of the way, and all he says is, “Girls suck.”
It’s half muffled by the covers, and when she kicks him with her foot he rolls over to look at her with this helpless expression on his face. “The girl from the pizza place? She gave me a fake number! A fake number,” he says, sounding so scandalized that Santana almost considers not teasing him about it.
“Well, what did you expect after that god-awful Bob Dylan impression?” Santana says, still paying more attention to Brittany than to Sam.
“That’s one of my best impressions,” Sam says earnestly, like he’s actually more insulted by the fact she disagrees than that the girl gave him a fake number. “You told me it was awesome when we were at that party.”
“I think that was probably the tequila talking,” Santana shoots back, snapping her book shut and tossing it on to the bedside table. “Besides, the girl from the pizza place was eighteen years old. It’s not like she even knows who Bob Dylan is anyway.” She pauses, thoughtful. “You really need to stop hitting on freshman chicks, Sammy.”
“But I’m a freshman,” Sam points out and Santana rolls her eyes.
“Well that’s your problem right there,” she nudges him with her foot again and watches him grimace and try to roll away.
“I thought you liked freshman girls,” Brittany says chipperly, looking up from her homework. She flashes Santana a cheeky grin.
“I like a freshman girl,” Santana corrects, folding her arms across her chest stubbornly. “It’s not like I’m hitting on them is it?”
“You better not,” Brittany says, little bit of a warning in her voice, and Santana shivers at the sound of it.
“Right,” she says, trying to sound casual, and ignores the way Sam looks at her, like he’s about to laugh but thought better of it, just at the last second. He settles for miming a whipping motion and Santana just rolls her eyes.
“Watch it, Trouty, or I might change my mind about helping you,” she warns.
“Yeah,” Santana says smugly, like it’s the most obvious thing in the world. “Since you’ve proven you can’t get a girl on your own, it’s only right that I step up and offer you my years of experience.”
“What experience?” Brittany puts in from her seat at the desk, smile tugging at the corners of her mouth.
Santana ignores her and the way Sam snorts into his hand. “We’re gonna go to that bar by the stadium and we’re not leaving until you have three phone numbers—all of them real.”
Sam glances between Santana and Brittany, suddenly wary. “Are you sure—,” he pauses, choosing his next words carefully. “Are you sure that you want to help me pick up chicks since you, uh, have a girlfriend and all?”
Santana absolutely does not look over at Brittany before she answers, and she definitely does not wait for Brittany to nod before she says anything. “It’s cool,” she coughs a little, casual. “You need help, right?”
“Right,” Sam says, still wary.
“It’s cool,” Brittany agrees, maybe a bit too readily. When Sam quirks an eyebrow at her, Brittany just shrugs. “It’s not like she has any game anyway.”
Santana’s mouth actually hangs open for a second before she answers. “I have lots of game!”
“Sure,” Brittany agrees, eyes scanning the pages of her book again. “Whatever you say.”
“I got you didn’t I?” Santana huffs, ignoring the way Sam is shaking with silent laughter at the end of the bed.
Brittany leans forward on her chair, pressing a quick kiss to the tip of Santana’s nose. “Of course you did, babe. You and Sammy have fun at the bar. I’ve got a physics test to study for. We can catch up later tonight?”
Santana just huffs as Brittany stands up from the desk, gathering her books. She refuses to look either Sam or Brittany in the face.
“Don’t get too crazy,” Brittany teases, grabbing up her jacket from the chair and leaning down to press a kiss to the top of Santana’s head. “Good luck,” Brittany says to Sam, low and earnest, almost like she doesn’t want Santana to hear, and snatches her keys up from the dresser. “And good luck,” she says, louder now, throwing a wink at Santana as she steps out the door.
Sam smirks at her, and she throws a pillow from behind her head at him, a little harder than strictly necessary, just to get him to stop.
“You can’t wear that,” Santana says when the door opens to reveal Sam grinning at her in a pair of scruffy jeans and a Captain America t-shirt, and his whole face falls like he’s the kid who just dropped his ice cream cone.
“Why not?” he asks, opening the door and stepping aside to allow her into his dorm room. He tugs at his shirt and peers down at it, trying to get a better look and work out why she finds it so offensive.
“Because,” Santana explains patiently, “You look like a dork. And you don’t want the girls to know you’re a dork until after you do the whole ‘Prince Charming’ thing and they fall for your cute guppy face.” She reaches over to pinch his cheeks to emphasise her point and he swats her away. “Go change, Trouty.”
And though Sam looks like he wants to argue, he dutifully—and shamelessly—sheds his shirt, winking at her and posing for a second, just because.
She rolls her eyes and pushes him towards the dresser in the corner, “Go on, stud.”
He rifles through the middle drawer for a minute before producing another tee, this one black. Santana doesn’t even have to watch him unfold it to know what it is.
“And no Batman either,” she says preemptively.
“Batman is cool!” Sam protests, “They sell these shirts at Forever 21!”
“No,” Santana says again, fixing him with a stern look. “If it was Batwoman we could talk maybe.”
“I’m not trying to pick up lesbians, Santana,” Sam sighs, shoving it back in his drawer. “I already have you.”
“Clearly,” Santana snipes. “Because you are way too shirtless and way too male for that.”
“Whatever,” Sam says, still looking through his clothes, “You love it.” He gives up rummaging through that drawer and pulls the one above it open instead. “How about this shirt?” he asks, and Santana snorts when she sees the plaid fabric in his hands.
“I thought you said you weren’t trying to pick up lesbians.”
He looks at her for a long moment, almost like he wants to say something, before he sighs and goes back to his t-shirt drawer, and Santana has to fight hard to hide her grin. He burrows his hands through his shirts for a minute longer, searching through his options before finally settling on a plain blue t-shirt and a hoodie.
“Better?” he asks, holding up his choices for Santana’s approval.
“Much,” Santana smirks. “Now you won’t look half as dorky as you actually are.”
Sam frowns a little, like he isn’t sure of himself. “You said three girls’ phone numbers?”
Santana nods. “Yup. Hurry up and get dressed, lady-killer.”
She’s pretty sure she hears him murmur, “I’ve got a bad feeling about this,” as he tugs the shirt over his head and thinks she isn’t listening.
“Are you sure you know where you’re going?” Sam asks for the third time, as Santana steers them into yet another parking lot to turn around. “I mean, we could ask somebody for directions.”
Santana shakes her head. “Are you actually a girl?” she asks. “I’m sure it’s down this street. I mean, it’s the stadium bar. It has to be by the stadium.”
Sam doesn’t quite seem convinced. “You’ve been here before, right?”
“Right,” Santana says. “Brittany’s sorority did some pledging here once.” And, thankfully, just then, she spots the neon bar marquee shining at the end of the street. “See? It’s right there.”
As Santana snags a parking spot along the sidewalk, Sam glances at her in the rearview mirror. “So you have, like, met girls here, right?”
“Why would I need to?” Santana asks, reaching for her purse and climbing out of the car. “I have Brittany.”
“Um,” Sam says, scrambling to follow her, and she pretends she can’t hear his protests all the way across the street.
Santana orders him a beer and a shot of tequila, forcing the latter into his hand and glaring at him until he drinks it, pulling a face as he slams the empty glass down on to the bar.
“I’m not drinking for you too, you know,” he says, but she just leans over the bar and flags the bartender over again, flashing a grin and waving her money at him until he pours another shot.
“The key to flirting is confidence, Sammy,” Santana says breezily, waiting for him to drink the tequila. “Confidence and not being a wuss,” she adds when he opens his mouth to say something and watches him snap it shut again.
He stares for a second, and she smirks, waiting for him to recover. “Well, if you’re so confident, why don’t you show me how it’s done?” Sam ribs her. He raises his eyebrows, challenging her.
Santana just scoffs. “Watch and learn, Sammy Boy,” she says, eyeing the people around them until she spots a sufficiently drunk-looking frat boy. “Wait here,” she says, running a hand through her hair and tugging her dress down a little, smacking Sam when his eyes flick down to her chest and the skin she’s revealed.
Just as Santana suspected, flirting with the frat boy is too easy.
All she has to do is ask him if he’s on the football team—he isn’t now, but he was in high school—and simper when he talks about the finer points of the game and how their university’s team is set to win it big this year.
She leans into him a little when she laughs, and brushes her hand against his arm, and then she has two more shots of tequila and he’s looking confused as she walks back to Sam, triumphantly handing him the liquor with a smirk. “Told you,” she says, as he sets the shots on the bar like he hopes she won’t notice.
“Very nice,” he says, nodding to her and offering up a small golf clap for her efforts. “But, in case you haven’t noticed, I’m not trying to pick up the quarterback. I need help flirting with girls, Santana. Why don’t you show me how to do that?”
If Santana didn’t know any better, she would say he sounded smug. Maybe the tequila has made her Sammy Boy a bit more confident after all.
Unfortunately, Santana has not had any tequila and, looking around the room, she doesn’t feel very confident. This isn’t a gay bar and, plaid or not, there aren’t any blinking signs telling her where to find sympathetic ladies. What are the chances that she’ll even find a girl who would be down for flirting? She swallows and casts a glance at the tequila shot on the bar by Sam’s elbow, wishing she’d had the good sense not to drive.
She doesn’t even know where to start, looking for a girl who’s not Brittany.
Sam’s still looking at her kind of expectantly, so she runs a hand through her hair and rolls her eyes, poking him in the side with her finger. “There’s a little thing called heterosexual privilege, Sammy, and in case you forgot I don’t have it. I can’t just go up to any girl in here and expect her to be into me.” She pauses for a second and grins, “Although, who wouldn’t be, right?”
“Stop trying to get out of it with queer theory,” Sam says, fixing her with a look. “Taking that Women’s Studies class is the worst thing you ever did.”
“Only cuz you were in it too,” she shoots back, watching him laugh.
He shakes his head and takes her by the shoulders, turning her around to face the rest of the bar. “It’s not like you have to come back with a phone number, Santana. Just go talk to a girl and chat her up. It’s all about confidence, remember?”
He glances around the bar, eyes passing over the sorority sisters standing around watching the frat boys play pool before finally falling on a girl sitting alone down the bar, pulling her cellphone out of her purse to check at intervals. He waggles his eyebrows at Santana.
“She looks like she could use a friend,” he says, sounding kinder than before.
Santana follows his gaze, and the girl isn’t Brittany or anything, but maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if she went to talk to her. Whatever. “That girl at the end of the bar?” She says, just to hold off the moment a little longer, and then Sam nods and gives her a push towards her.
“Go get her, lady-killer,” Sam grins, and when he flashes Santana a thumbs up, she has no choice but to start walking towards the girl.
So the thing is, maybe she’s never actually hit on a girl in a bar before because it’s not like she’s ever had any need to, and now that it comes down to it she finds that she has no idea how to actually say something to a girl in a bar that doesn’t sound completely lame.
For a second, Santana contemplates going over to the girl and asking her in a hushed tone if maybe she could help her out because she’s trying to win a bet with her friend, but then she doesn’t know what she’d even ask the girl to do. Laugh at her jokes? Caress her arm?
She wonders briefly if Sam would believe she spoke to the girl if she just stood next to her and then wrote a fake number on her own hand
She’s so busy trying to come up with some kind of line that she doesn’t even realise her feet have carried her all the way to the end of the bar, and when she blinks the girl is looking up at her, confused expression on her face. “Can I help you?” She asks, and Santana feels her cheeks heat.
The girl’s just sort of staring at her, and when she opens her mouth the first thing that comes out is, “You have nicer legs than an Isosceles triangle.”
“Sorry?” the girl says, and Santana blushes even more, remembering another night when Brittany had got bored of her math homework and ended up whispering things into her ear until they both forgot about studying.
(Santana will never admit to anyone—and especially not Sam—that Brittany managed to get into her pants using math puns.)
“Um,” Santana mumbles, coughing a little like she has something stuck in her throat. “It’s a joke… because Isosceles triangles have like the two long… sides?” She gestures helplessly, only to realize that she’s making the international sign for scissors.
If the girl didn’t realize that Santana is gay before, she will soon.
Suddenly, Santana wishes she could sink into the grimy bar floor and never come up from it again. The girl can probably see how red Santana’s cheeks are, even under the low lights. Santana quickly weighs the pros and cons between continuing her conversation with the girl or retreating back to Sam in defeat.
“I’m sorry. I’m just gonna…,” Santana starts, not even finishing her sentence before fleeing back down the bar towards Sam, who waits for her wearing a funny, crooked expression, like he doesn’t quite know what to make of what he’s just seen.
“You okay, slugger?” he asks, and he doesn’t entirely sound like an ass when he says it.
“You didn’t see that,” Santana hisses, pulling him around so she can hide behind him before peering back down the bar again. “She was probably straight anyway,” she says, like that excuses it, and watches Sam try and fail to hide his smile.
“Right,” he agrees, and even though his expression is carefully blank, she smacks him in the arm, just because. “We could maybe try one together?” he suggests gently. “You could be my wingman.”
“Wingwoman,” Santana amends.
“Wingperson,” Sam shrugs. “It’s gender-inclusive.”
Santana rolls her eyes. “Well, Samuel,” she stretches the syllables out a little longer than necessary, “Do you see any non-gender specific individuals in this general vicinity who happen to catch your interests as potential life partners?”
Sam’s face blanks a little. “Now you’re just making my head hurt. You have to go slow around me, remember?”
Santana scoffs. “Whatever, Mr. I-Teach-Myself-to-Speak-Made-Up-Alien-Languages-for-Fun. Just pick a girl already, okay?”
Sam colors a little, and glances around the bar casually. Santana waits, watching his eyes flick back a couple of times to a pretty brunette in the corner. She has a few friends around her, but doesn’t seem attached to anyone in particular. Sam’s eyes keep sliding back to her and eventually Santana just sighs and gives him a shove, “Brunette chick in the corner, I see her. Come on, stud.”
Santana doesn’t feel quite so out of place knowing that Sam’s the one who will put himself out there instead of her. After all, she has had plenty of practice watching Sam make a fool of himself in front of girls before, from Quinn and Mercedes in high school to a handful of chicks at college parties since he first started school with her last semester. All she has to do now is just hang back and keep Sam from talking too much about comic books, if she can stop him. It should be easy.
(It isn’t easy.)
Sam braces himself for just a moment when they get close, swallowing some of his beer and twisting the bottle nervously in his hands for a second. Santana almost feels sorry for him now, knowing how much courage it takes to approach a stranger in a bar. He takes a breath and steps forward until he’s in the girl’s line of vision and the first thing he says is, “My heat vision must be malfunctioning because you’re smokin’.”
Santana’s eyes go wide and she’s pretty sure her mouth drops open too. Any pity she felt for Sam before dissipates. “I thought I told you no superhero stuff!” she scolds, smacking him on the shoulder on reflex.
Sam rubs his shoulder and glares at her as the girl looks between them in confusion. Santana shoves him aside and steps closer, smiling as wide as she can. “Hi,” she says, deciding to take charge of the situation, “I’m Santana and this is Sam.”
Sam waves sort of sheepishly.
“Okay?” the girls says, confusion still evident on her face.
“May we sit down?” Sam asks, like some sort of boy scout, gesturing to the open spots at her table.
The girl glances over her shoulder, checking to see that her friends are still close to her. She shrugs her shoulders. “I guess,” she says warily.
Sam pulls out a chair for Santana before taking a seat himself, and Santana just rolls her eyes, torn between ribbing him with more Women’s Studies jokes and feeling pleased that he’s showing off his good manners. His superhero references might be the lamest thing in the world, but if Sammy Evans has something going for him, it’s his charm. Santana smiles across the table at the girl to make sure she caught Sam’s politeness.
“So,” says Santana, suddenly wishing that she had a drink to nurse or at least something to do with her hands. She worries her fingers together, running her thumbs over her skin and wishing that Brittany was around to still her nervous tics. “Do you go to school here? What’s your major?”
Immediately, she cringes. Could she have asked a more obvious question? She tries to keep an even face, owning it. After all, playing the game is all about confidence.
“Yeah,” the girl says slowly. “I’m in the dietetics program.”
Santana sees Sam glance at her out of the corner of her eye. He opens his mouth and then shuts it, like he wants to say something but doesn’t know how, and Santana prays it’s not what she thinks it is.
“What’s that?” Sam picks at the label on his beer bottle, like he doesn’t want to actually look at either of them when he asks.
Santana laughs loudly as though that might take the question back. “Sam!” she wraps her arm around his shoulders and slides her hand up to ruffle his hair. “Well, at least he’s pretty, right?”
“I haven’t declared a major yet,” Sam says helpfully.
“So are you a freshman?” the girl asks.
Sam nods and smiles his dopey straight-from-a-1950’s-sitcom earnest smile, and Santana thinks that might be a start, at least.
“Could we maybe buy you a drink?” Sam asks, swirling the beer around the bottle. Santana knows he says “we” because it’s safest for them to use her ID and his money to make the transaction, but the girl doesn’t know that and raises an eyebrow, uncertain.
“Look,” the girl says slowly, casting another glance back over her shoulder at her friends, who mill around a pool table and some of those arcade basketball games, as if checking for back up. “You two seem—,” she hovers, waiting on a word to come to her, “—nice, but I’m not looking to get in on a—,” she pauses again, gesturing between the three of them in a triangle shape, “— anytime soon. Or ever, really.” She blushes furiously and looks down at the table.
Santana’s eyes widen and she splutters. Sam almost chokes on his beer.
“What?” Sam stammers.
Santana waves her arms like she can somehow clear away the misunderstanding, talking over the top of Sam. “Oh, no, no! It’s not like—! Just, no. We didn’t—we don’t. He’s the one who wanted to talk to you, I’m just here for moral support! I’m his wingperson!” she finishes desperately, trying to get her to understand.
The girl looks confused. “So, wait, you two aren’t dating?”
Santana has never heard anything more ridiculous in her life. “God, no! Gross!”
At her word, the girl’s eyes dart to Sam, checking him for defects. “Wait, what’s gross about him?” she asks, looking at Sam the same way someone might look at a sick person or a mess on the floor.
“Nothing’s wrong with him,” Santana answers quickly. “I mean, he’s okay for a boy, I guess. He kinda has girl lips—”
“She’s gay,” Sam offers quickly, as if that will clarify everything. “It’s just that she has a girlfriend.”
“I do!” Santana agrees, clinging on to his words like they’re a life preserver and nodding furiously. “I have a girlfriend! A really smart, beautiful girlfriend who’s off studying for a quantum physics test that she is totally going to ace. We’re high school sweethearts. Actually, we’ve been together since we were five, really.”
“They’re adorable,” Sam says earnestly.
And Santana might imagine it, but the girl seems to relax somewhat for his assurance. She shrugs, laughing a little. “That’s all right,” she says. “I don’t want to sleep with you two, either.”
Santana’s cheeks burn, and Sam actually smirks a little in a way that makes her want to smack him again. “I didn’t mean—,” Santana protests in a tiny voice, eyes fixed on the table like it might actually reveal the secret of how to get out of this situation. “I was just saying…”
Is it too late for her to crawl under the table and disappear forever? She hardly pays attention to it when the girl asks Sam how he’s liking college life so far and which classes he’s taking this semester and Sam answers amiably. Instead, she fidgets, running her fingernails over the table woodgrain and glancing around at all the other bar-goers, hoping that no one else has paid any attention to this trainwreck of a conversation.
“…Santana?” Sam says.
Apparently, she missed a question.
“I just wanted to know when you and your girlfriend graduated from high school,” the girl says.
“Oh,” Santana says, grateful for the easy question. “Uh, I graduated two years ago and Britt graduated last year.”
The girl’s face screws up in confusion. “Oh I thought you guys were the same age?”
“We are,” Santana says, not understanding.
“But you weren’t in the same graduating class?”
Sam’s hand inches onto Santana’s arm and rests there, on impulse, almost like he’s remembering all those times in high school when he had to hold Santana back from clawing out Rachel Berry’s throat or flipping her shit on whatever teacher dared to make a comment about Brittany’s intelligence.
“She repeated senior year,” Santana says slowly, like that’s the whole story, hoping the girl will get the hint and stop asking her about it.
“She repeated her senior year?” the girl asks incredulously. “I thought you said she’s taking physics—”
Santana can almost hear her pulse in her ears, but when she speaks, her voice sounds smooth, even. “Oh, I’m sorry. Did I say Brittany was taking physics? I meant to say that she’s acing physics. Also, she thought about applying to the dietetics program but thought it wouldn’t challenge her enough, so you know how it is.”
Sam’s hand squeezes on her arm. “Santana,” he says, warningly.
“At least I got through high school in four years,” the girl says, ignoring Sam and glaring at Santana in earnest now. “Your girlfriend can’t be that smart.”
“I’d tell you her IQ, but you can’t count that high anyway,” Santana snaps back, feeling the blood pounding in her temples now. She starts to stand up, her heartbeat war-drum fast, the way it always was in high school before a big cat fight. She readies herself to lunge and Sam shifts in his chair, scrambling to catch her before she can attack.
“Santana!” he says again, looping an arm around her waist and pulling her back.
“Step off, Trouty!” Santana warns, squirming to free herself from his hold, her elbow knocking against his arm. Sam stumbles behind her, reaching for the table to steady himself. His hand smacks into his beer bottle on the way down, flinging it across the table toward the girl, spilling a trail of foam like a comet tail after it. A spray of beer hits the girl’s shirt as the bottle skids to a stop in front of her. She recoils and stands up, scandalized. Sam couldn’t be any redder if he were to put on all the blush in Santana’s compact at once.
“I’m sorry!” he says immediately, still struggling to hold Santana back as she squirms in his arms. “That was totally an accident.”
“Lucky accident,” Santana amends, just loudly enough for the girl to hear, not bothering to hide the smirk on her face.
“You guys are asses,” the girl snarls, trying and failing to wipe some of the beer off her dress.
By this point, all of the commotion has caught her friends’ attention. One of them—a tall guy in a college jersey—sets down his pool stick and steps up to the table.
“What the hell is going on?” he says, glaring at Sam and Santana as he looks between them and the beer splattered all over the girl’s shirt.
Santana opens her mouth to say something about how the girl was being a bitch but Sam tugs her back and beats her to it, “Just an accident, dude, I got it.” He smiles his charming smile, like that might help calm everyone down.
The guy reaches across the table and Sam only has enough time to let go of Santana before the guy shoves Sam roughly in the chest.
“Were you hitting on my girlfriend?” the guy bellows, his face screwed up with jealousy.
“You have a boyfriend?” Sam asks the girl dumbly, and then the guy swings for him again. Sam pushes Santana behind him and takes a step backwards, eyes widening. “Whoa, dude.”
The guy looks like he’s about to deck Sam a good one, and Santana feels something give way inside her. A tide of Spanish rises to her tongue and she flares up, feeling bigger than she actually is.
“¡No lo toques!” she shouts at the guy, waving him away from Sam at the same time she grabs Sam’s shirt and starts leading him away from the table. “Ya estamos dejando tu y esa tu novia fea en paz. Jesucristo. Dios”
The boyfriend’s eyes widen and he shrinks away from Santana, putting an arm protectively in front of his girlfriend’s waist. Santana pulls Sam along with her back toward the bar until they can’t see the guy and his girlfriend anymore.
“You okay, Trouty?” she asks, her voice surprisingly even. When Sam nods, looking at Santana with a strange mixture of awe, fear, and gratitude written all over his face, Santana offers him a smile. “Good,” she says firmly, clapping him on the back. “I’m gonna go straighten up,” she says. “Messed up my lipstick.”
She hopes he can’t tell that she’s shaking as she steps away from him, toward the bathroom. She can already feel the tears stinging at the corners of her eyes as she weaves her way through the people, and she blinks quickly, willing them away. She hasn’t had to yell at anybody like that since high school and she’s not used to the adrenaline rush anymore—or the deflation that comes afterwards. She forces herself to take a breath and let it out slowly, pushing the bathroom door open and finding it mercifully empty.
She pulls her phone out of her purse and calls Brittany blindly, jabbing her thumb against the numbers on the screen without really seeing them. She tries to ignore the way her hand shakes as she listens to the rings and waits for her to pick up.
“Hey, sexy lady,” Brittany says when she answers, and Santana can hear the smile on her face when she speaks again, “Replaced me yet?”
“No,” Santana sniffles, her voice coming out a lot more pathetic than she intended.
She hears Brittany giggle, “Damn, and I had my eye on that girl down the hall too.”
Santana sniffs again, and even though she knows Brittany is joking she can’t help the whimper that escapes her. “This whole night is a disaster,” she confesses, rubbing at her eyes in an attempt to stop the tears before they fall. “A guy just nearly punched Sam, and I told a girl she looked like a triangle and—”
“You told a girl she looked like a triangle?” Santana can almost picture the way her face looks, her nose scrunched up in confusion.
“That’s the part you heard?” Santana asks, frustrated, and slumps against the sinks.
“Baby,” Brittany says flatly, “You know you were never good at this, right? Like, this was just bravado for Sam’s sake and you always knew you had no game?”
“I have game,” Santana says, voice tiny, wiping at her eyes again.
“No,” Brittany assures her, “You don’t.” Santana sniffs into the silence before Brittany speaks again. “It’s one of the things I love best about you, okay?”
“Okay,” Santana murmurs softly, hearing the sincerity in her voice and feeling a little bit better. “But what am I going to do about Sam?”
“Just have a good time, forget about the girls, and come home soon because I miss you,” Brittany says, and it suddenly is as simple as that.
She wishes she could stay on the line with Brittany forever, asking her how the studying is going and making promises for when she gets home, but she knows Sam is waiting for her so she just says, “I love you, Britty,” into the phone, her voice coming out softer than she intended in the silence of the room.
“I love you too,” Brittany replies through what Santana is sure is a grin, “Now go have fun with your boy, okay?” She pauses for a second. “You know you’re the sexiest triangle I know, right, babe?” she teases.
(Santana will never tell Sam about Brittany’s math jokes—ever.)
Santana laughs, ducking her head, “I know,” she says quickly, feeling herself blush. She looks around the bathroom again, even though she knows there’s no one there. “Honey, you’re sweeter than pi,” she says smoothly, grinning when Brittany laughs into the receiver in response.
Really, flirting is all about confidence.
When Santana emerges from the bathroom, she finds Sam sitting at the bar beside a girl.
“Oh no,” she says, shaking her head. “Oh, god, no.”
She tries to remember how long she was in the bathroom talking to Brittany and wonders how many superhero jokes Sam could have possibly told this girl in the five minutes she was gone. Hopefully, he’s still on Superman and hasn’t moved on to Captain America yet. She still remembers when she asked him one question about the Captain America movie and got a twenty minute lecture in response. She hopes the girl he’s talking to has the good sense to keep her mouth shut.
As Santana draws closer, she braces herself to hear Sam giving a detailed comparison between H.Y.D.R.A.’s weapons manufacturing and S.H.I.E.L.D.’s, but that isn’t what she hears.
Instead, she hears singing.
Sam singing the theme song to Charles in Charge—a show nobody their age has heard of except for her—in the nasally, rustic voice of Bob Dylan—who also outdates their whole generation by twenty or maybe thirty years. Hearing the impersonation doesn’t surprise her because she knows Sam has been dying to try it out again, ever since it failed him at the pizza parlor, but seeing the girl’s reaction to it does.
The girl is actually laughing, and not just politely. She’s full-on cracking up at Sam, who mimes like he has a harmonica and croons, “Oh I want Charles in charge of me! I want Charles in charge of me!” his voice gravelly over the rises and falls of the song, folksy and so perfectly Dylan that it should be on a record. He mimes strumming an imaginary guitar kind of sloppily, and Santana watches his fingers move, sure that he’s such a dork that he’s actually holding the right chord shapes and everything.
She waits until Sam finishes the song and the girl honest-to-god claps for him before she sidles up beside him. “Hey, Mr. Voice of Protest,” she says warmly. “Care to introduce me to your new friend?”
“I still can’t believe she knew who Bob Dylan was,” Santana says when they’re on the way home, as Sam grins at her proudly from the passenger seat.
“It’s because my impression was so good,” Sam grins when Santana laughs and shakes her head.
“It’s because you found the only girl in that bar dorkier than you are,” Santana shoots back quickly as she pulls into the parking lot by Brittany’s building and kills the engine.
“Whatever. I already have you,” Sam teases, waiting for Santana to gather up her purse and remove her keys from the ignition. She waits to hit him until they get out of the car and he only pouts a little in response to it, knowing he deserves the reprimand.
“Well,” he says after a moment, suddenly sneaky, “If you’re not dorky I guess I won’t need to pick you up on the way to the comic book store tomorrow then.”
“Try it, Trouty,” Santana swipes at him again. “Batwoman is out tomorrow.”
“Right. You’re totally not a dork,” Sam teases as they step up to the doors to the dorms, wearing a smug grin under the lights in the hallway.
Santana just rolls her eyes and buzzes for Brittany to let them in. She only holds back from smacking him again because she figures he’ll need his arm for driving tomorrow or something. And carrying her comic books for her, Women’s Studies be damned. She taps her foot against the concrete and peers through the glass until she sees Brittany round the corner to the lobby, wearing pink fuzzy socks, with a pencil tucked behind her ear. Santana’s whole body relaxes at the sight of her.
(Brittany is the most beautiful triangle Santana has ever seen.)
Brittany opens the door to them, glancing first to Santana’s face, then to Sam’s. “How’d it go, you guys?” she asks, like she doesn’t already know from Santana’s phone call, and Santana loves her just a little bit more for pretending that the whole “Santana crying in the bathroom” thing didn’t happen in front of Sam.
“Not too good,” Santana starts to say at the same time Sam grins and says, “I got a girl’s number!” and she gapes a little, her words trailing off.
“Wait, what?” she says, wondering when on earth that happened because she definitely doesn’t remember it, and watches Sam’s grin get wider.
“When you were in the bathroom,” he explains, looking between them and shrugging like it’s no big thing. “She liked my impressions.”
“You go, Sammy,” Brittany nudges Santana, still standing there with her mouth hanging open. “I guess you were no help then.”
“Yeah, no thanks to your girlfriend,” Sam says, rolling his eyes, but Santana can’t tell if he’s teasing her or if he actually means it.
“I wasn’t that bad!” Santana defends, even though maybe she was.
“No, seriously,” Sam says, taking Brittany by the shoulders. “How did Santana ever woo a girl as cool and put-together as you are—?”
“—I didn’t use the word woo for starters—,” Santana grouses.
“—because, I swear, she’s absolutely—”
“Hopeless?” Brittany offers helpfully, opening her dorm door to allow Santana inside, with Sam stopping at the threshold. “Totally. Did you know we dated for like five months before she even realized that we were dating? And, like, I had to tell her that we were together. While we were on a date together. While she was paying.”
“More like four months,” Santana says helplessly.
Sam just grins at her like the comic shipment came in early.
“Shut up,” Santana snaps.
“I didn’t say anything,” Sam says innocently, all helpful, while Brittany hides a smile behind her hand.
“I just wanted to be sure,” Santana mumbles, looking at her shoes.
“I’ve been sure since I was five,” Brittany says, pulling her into a clumsy sideways hug and pressing a kiss to Santana’s cheek. Santana squirms in her arms and tries to get away, but she’s laughing, and after pretending to struggle for a second she turns into Brittany and kisses her, feeling Brittany smile against her lips.
“So I think that’s my signal to leave,” Sam says, a little louder than strictly necessary, and Santana just reaches out blindly to push at his chest, still kissing Brittany.
“Bye, Sam,” Brittany mumbles, her words lost against Santana’s mouth, her fingers starting to tangle into Santana’s hair at the base of her skull.
She kicks the door shut once Sam steps out of the way and hears him shout, “Goodnight, then,” sarcastically from the other side.
Santana ignores him, focusing instead on the press of Brittany’s lips against hers and the way that she finally feels like she’s exactly where she’s supposed to be for the first time all night. Brittany guides her toward her bed and they both flop down on it on their sides. They sigh on impact, their feet bumping together, hanging off the mattress.
“Did you have fun?” Brittany asks sweetly, pulling away from their kiss just long enough to speak.
Santana shakes her head, curling closer to Brittany, even though she did have fun, maybe. “No,” she says stubbornly. “You weren’t there and boys suck and girls suck and I have no game.” She buries her head against Brittany’s shoulder and sneaks a glance up at her.
Brittany laughs at her a little, but still holds her close, humoring her. “I love you even though you have no game,” Brittany says for the second time tonight, then amends, “I love you especially because you have no game.”
“Don’t ever leave me,” Santana whines into her neck, wrapping her arms a little tighter around her, just by reflex.
“Oh honey,” Brittany murmurs, tilting her head up so she’s looking into her eyes. Her thumb rubs against Santana’s cheekbone comfortingly. “You know I’m not going anywhere.”
“Promise?” Santana whispers.
“Pinky promise,” Brittany says solemnly, pulling her hand away to hold her little finger up where Santana can see it.
Santana nods and reaches her hand up so she can curl her pinky finger around Brittany’s. “Okay,” she murmurs softly, so soft she’s not even sure if Brittany hears it.
“Okay,” Brittany echoes, and leans forward to kiss her again.
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