The next morning, Santana and Brittany are seated side by side in one of Santana's favorite cafés. Santana's stuffing her face with pancakes like she hasn't eaten in days while Brittany tries to wrap her head around everything Santana has told her about the heist.
When the waitress comes around with Brittany's hot chocolate and a top-up of Santana's coffee, Brittany smoothly pulls a flask from her jacket and twists off the lid.
Santana watches as she pours a splash of peppermint schnapps into her mug and starts to stir before concealing the flask again.
"That's new," Santana comments with a chuckle, "Did you develop a drinking problem while I was away?"
Brittany rolls her eyes, "No, but I might if you insist on starting every morning like this."
"Like what?" Santana smiles sweetly, "With breakfast and the pleasure of my company?"
Brittany squints and goes to correct her, "With you tricking me into having breakfast with you so you can bombard me with your dastardly plans on the way here."
"Admit it, Britt," Santana says smugly as she sticks her fork through a bite of pancakes, "You've missed this. You've missed me and all the fun we use to have. Tell me you're not the least bit interested now that you've heard everything."
Brittany sighs and goes to take a long sip of her hot chocolate.
Santana watches and waits, but Brittany remains quiet. It makes Santana smirk deviously.
"That's what I thought," Santana gives her a triumphant grin, "You can't resist a good thing. You so want this, just say it."
Brittany scoffs. If she didn't find Santana's confidence so damn attractive, she'd roll her eyes at it for the millionth time that morning.
"Okay, so you want to rob a museum…" Brittany clarifies hesitantly after taking another sip.
Santana shakes her head, "Not the museum, just someone in it."
"That's right," Brittany nods, "You want to rob Rachel Berry."
"Oh my God, Britt!" Santana hushes and eyes around them to see if anyone heard. When the coast is clear she turns back to Brittany with her voice lowered, "Could you be any louder? Who knows who's listening, she's like the biggest star right now."
"I don't know why," Brittany scoffs, "You know she pays the paparazzi to follow her around, right?"
"Yeah, it's ridiculous but so is she," Santana shrugs, "She's always causing a scene to get her name on the front page. Remember that one scandal involving a panty raid?"
"How could I forget! She was caught red-handed," Brittany laughs before her tone grows serious, "Rumor has it that she once ate a bull testicle too."
Santana frowns in disgust and pauses before taking another bite, "Can you not? I'm eating…"
"That's her claim to fame, Santana, eating a bull testicle…like singular she didn't even eat both of them!" Brittany says while she waves her hand around, "It's such a waste."
"Well the key words here are rumor has it," Santana jokes, "Who knows what the hell goes on with her. And besides, why would anyone want to eat a fucking bull testicle in the first place? That's gross."
"It's a delicacy in some places," Brittany mumbles which earns her a quizzical glare from Santana, "So I've heard. People do strange things for fame."
"Clearly," Santana replies, "We all know Rachel Berry sucks but she's the one hosting the Met Gala this year so it's kind of out of my hands. She's our mark by like…default."
"Right," Brittany nods and goes back to piecing everything together. Her face is cutely screwed up in deep concentration and Santana's sure Brittany's about to say that she's the biggest pain in her ass which Santana's totally use to hearing by now.
To her surprise, Brittany just let's out an exhausted sigh.
"There's no way we'd be able to pull this off with just the two of us," She says, "There's too many moving parts, we'd need like a group of 11 to 13 people – "
"Oddly specific," Santana points out around a mouthful of pancakes while Brittany rambles on.
" – At the very least and like a whole bunch of money which neither of us has," Brittany gives her a look, "So how's that going to work out?"
"Well for starters, we'd only need a team of seven and just a few grand," Santana answers proudly, "That's where the credit line I asked about comes into play."
"Oh, just a few grand? Is that all?" Brittany quips, "You think money grows on trees or something? It doesn't, I tried. Remember?"
"Yes, yes I remember. The pay-off is going to be big," Santana jokes back as her voice dips down into a flirty tone, "And I'm sure you can work out something. Give yourself some credit, you can be very persuasive when you want."
"Well one of us has to be judging by your failed attempt to seduce me yesterday," Brittany smirks.
"Please. If I was going to seduce you, you'd know it."
"I'm sure," Brittany lets out a laugh before getting serious again, "Even if I could manage to get what you need, we're working with such a tight schedule. We'd need to acquire a whole team like now. It's crazy talk."
"No, it's genius," Santana corrects her while Brittany takes a sip, "You have got to admit that this is some of my best work, Britt."
She's not wrong, it really is a great plan. It's just that Brittany doesn't want Santana to get herself locked up again, she doesn't think she could last that long without having her around, but you only get locked up if you get caught and that has never happened when she and Brittany are together.
It really gets Brittany thinking though, what's the hurry other than the obvious? Why does it have to be the Met Gala? What isn't Santana telling her?
"Why do you need to do this?" Brittany asks suddenly and there's this seriousness in her tone, "Tell me the reason and maybe I'll consider it."
Santana's answer comes easily as she smirks, "Because it's what I'm good at."
"Babe, you're good at a lot of things. Trust me on that, but this?" Brittany shakes her head, "I don't have a good feeling about this," Brittany says earnestly.
The old term of endearment falls so easily that Brittany doesn't realize she says it. They've always playfully called each other names like that for years so it's not big deal, even if Brittany sometimes gets a fluttery feeling in the pit of her stomach.
Santana lets out a long sigh and lowers her tone too, "There's nothing to worry about. I have gone over this thing thousands of times, literally. It's all I thought about when I was away and I have it perfected. If we get into a bind – which we won't, probably – I can get us out. It might've taken me like three years to get it just right, but it'll run like clockwork now. I promise."
What surprises Brittany is the fact that Santana holds out her pinky to her.
"No. Don't do that," Brittany scoffs and points at Santana's hand, "Pinky promises are reserved for promises that you can keep."
"I know," Santana replies and inches closer, "Why do you think I'm doing this?"
Brittany's slow to answer and instead just stares down at her mug.
"Listen," Santana adds in this husky tone and puts down her fork altogether to give Brittany her full attention. She has her serious voice on now too when she says, "I need you with me, B."
Brittany bites her lip to keep from smiling as she peeks up at Santana. The brunette is staring back with these pleading big, brown eyes and Brittany struggles against the pull. She can feel herself caving the longer she stares back though, because feeling needed? By Santana? That's Brittany's kryptonite.
But Santana knows that too and Brittany can't give into her so easily.
"Why can't you find someone else if it's so important for you to do?" Brittany asks but again Santana is too quick to answer.
"It has to be you and me leading this thing. That's the only way this will work."
"You're just saying that," Brittany brushes off with the shake of her head. She tries to make light of the situation, "You've found someone else before. That's how Dani came into the picture, right? You can do it again. Maybe the next person will have green hair this time?"
Brittany sees that she has struck a nerve with the way Santana takes a sharp inhale at the blow, but the brunette remains persistent despite the waver.
"I can't do this with anyone else," Santana says simply, "There's no one like you, Britt."
Her words and her tone has Brittany's playful smirk falling and the blonde looks to Santana almost in wonderment. Those words Santana said, she rarely hers them. Or rather, she rarely believes them but when they come from Santana it means something different altogether.
Brittany trusts her – well, they trust each other – and that's rare in their industry. Con artists don't trust anyone and they can't be trusted either. That's just how it is, but it's always been different for them.
"Don't you want out of the bootlegging biz?" Santana asks to fill the silence.
Brittany's smirk returns, "That's not what it's called anymore…"
"Whatever, you know what I mean," Santana shrugs and finds Brittany's eyes, "You're better than that watered down shit, that I know. Don't waste your talents on it, Britt. Do this thing with me instead. Please."
It takes Brittany a moment for Santana's words to sink in, but then she's letting out a telltale sigh of defeat. She doesn't even have to say anything, Santana just knows she has won this round.
"Alright, I'll do it," Brittany finally agrees aloud and takes Santana's pinky in hers, "You happy now? You've successfully corrupted me."
"Don't pin that on me! You were like that before I even met you," Santana grins, "But yes, I'm very happy."
Brittany keeps her pinky curled around Santana's for a second longer as she says, "Good, but just know I'm only agreeing to this because I like how you sound when you say please."
"I know you do," Santana winks. She pauses there for a second, admiring the way Brittany's cat-like eyes darken in a way that occasionally has one of them being dragged off to a bathroom stall. Santana stays focused though and goes to pick up her fork again before offering a bite to Brittany, "Now taste this before it gets cold."
"But I'm not hungry."
"Liar," Santana accuses playfully, "You're always hungry."
"Yeah, but not for pancakes."
Brittany gives Santana a proud smirk to which Santana rolls her eyes, "Just take a bite."
Brittany looks down at the offered fork warily then back into Santana's hopeful eyes. She rocks the fork from side to side like she's trying entice her with it. Ultimately Brittany rolls her eyes and succumbs to Santana yet again. She lets Santana guide the small bite into her mouth and hums almost instantly at the taste.
"Tastes like clouds," Brittany's in awe and goes to grab her own fork.
"Told you," Santana smirks and slides her plate closer so that Brittany can help herself.
"So this team you're talking about," Brittany mumbles with her mouth full, "Got anyone in mind?"
Santana bobs her head from side to side, "Possibly. That's what I'll need your help with first, partner."
Brittany smiles deviously at her new title, "Let's hurry up and get to work then!"
They're back at the loft and have cleared off the dining table so that it's now covered in headshots and resumes. Santana and Brittany have been rifling through the paperwork for hours now trying to select the perfect person for job.
"What about this one?" Santana suggests and pushes the fashion designer's details across the table towards Brittany.
Brittany pushes her laptop out of the way and goes to take a look at the profile. After once glance, she quickly shakes her head and throws the paper off to the side with a, "Nope."
Santana gasps and goes to pick it up, "Why not? She's young, she's well-known, she's – "
"Got a record," Brittany fills in.
"Don't we all?" Santana smirks.
Brittany narrows her eyes, "Not the kind of record you want around this type of job. Holly Holliday is a flight risk. She rarely completes a job. I don't want us to worry about whether or not she'll stick around long enough to see this through."
"Well, there's millions of dollars in it for her if she does," Santana replies sarcastically.
Brittany gives her a look, "It's a big if, Santana. We can find someone better."
"Okay, okay. We'll keep looking," Santana sighs and goes back to searching.
"Ah, how about him?" Brittany suggests a moment later and reveals a picture of world-renowned designer Kurt Hummel.
Santana waves him off, "No. No boys allowed."
"Not even a gay one?" Brittany asks and goes to frown at the picture, "He'd be perfect for this. Impressive portfolio, easily intimidated yet highly motivated by the potential pay-off. Just look at his porcelain face."
"Porcelain cracks with enough pressure," Santana replies matter-of-factly, "If he someone gets picked up, we need to make sure he doesn't start singing and with a face like that? I'm sure he'd sing his ass off."
"True," Brittany pouts at his picture, "I bet he gives really facials though."
Santana fakes a gag, "Gross, Britt."
"What? I was talking about skin care. See?"
Santana glances up to find Brittany looking genuine as she holds up his picture. She smiles apologetically and shakes her head, "It's still a no. I'm going for all-girl here. We can't have a guy in the group, even if his face does look baby-butt smooth. Besides, he's rich already. We need someone who needs us."
"Alright," Brittany shrugs and sets down the picture.
A few moments later Santana plucks another profile from the stack and shows it to Brittany, "What about this one? Pretty sure we've worked with her before actually…"
Brittany reads the name April Rhodes and starts to chuckle, "I remember her! She got caught trying to smuggle a whole butterball turkey out from this banquet dinner…between her legs. "
"Stuffing and all," Santana recalls and goes to read the profile again, "She's down for anything and she's a talker too. Perfect for what we need. Now she's apparently into fashion?"
"More like rehab," Brittany corrects after doing a quick search on her laptop. She turns the screen to Santana, "Been in there now for six weeks."
"Damn it! Third time's the charm I guess," Santana shrugs, "We'll keep looking."
A few more failed attempts later, Brittany starts to giggle to herself. Santana wonders how late it is and if Brittany is starting to get a little delirious.
"What?" Santana asks.
"I'm beginning to think you have a type," Brittany teases while she taps away on her laptop.
"Mhmm," Brittany hums without looking up.
Santana frowns, "I don't have a type."
"All your suggestions have been blonde and blue-eyed," Brittany points out, "Hate to break it to you, honey, but you have a type."
"My ex has blue hair, blue. That totally cancels out your theory."
"But she was blonde when you met her," Brittany grins and peeks over the screen of her laptop, "Admitting you have a type is the first step to recovery."
"Oh is it?" Santana quirks her brow, trying to brush it off, "You sure that's not addiction?"
Santana shakes her head, "Let's just focus here."
Although now that Brittany has mentioned, she's become really aware of the last four people she has suggested. She didn't know she was doing it – obviously – but now that Brittany's pointed it out, she'll just have to be more observant.
She doesn't have a type, she just has standards and coincidentally those standards have been met by people who just so happened to be blonde and blue-eyed.
Does that mean she has a type? Of course not.
That's when her eyes catch a profile she hasn't suggested yet. She plucks up the paper and skims the details. Her smile grows the more she reads.
"She's the one," Santana mumbles and turns the paper to show Brittany, "This is our fashion designer and look, she isn't blonde."
Brittany scans the information and Santana watches her smile grow too.
"Let's go get her."
Brittany manages to gain her and Santana entry into the designer's next fashion show which just so happens to be the worst hour and a half they have experienced in a long time. Santana actually feels sorry for the models because any outfit that consists of a gigantic, floppy bow tied around your neck paired with a buttoned-up cardigan that is the same color as mashed up peas and carrots is just a travesty.
"I don't know, Britt," Santana whispers as another model walks by, "I'm having second thoughts. This is horrible, just look at that one's shoes."
Brittany glances over just in time to see Santana cringe. She does her best to stifle her laugh as she whispers back, "She doesn't have to appeal to us, remember? She has to appeal to Rachel Berry, the same Rachel Berry who coined the term Sexy Librarian Chic."
Santana nods, "You're right. We need someone with just as horrible taste as her."
"Exactly," Brittany smiles down at Santana encouragingly, "We've found our designer for sure."
It's hard for Santana and Brittany to sit through the entire show without screwing their faces up in disgust, but they manage to pull through and once the show ends they go off to find their designer.
It doesn't take long though. When they find who they're looking for, she's huddled up in a corner surrounded by used disinfectant wipes. She's in the middle of furiously scrubbing a high heel while she recovers from sobbing when Santana and Brittany walk up.
"Hi. Are you Emma?" Brittany asks softly, "Emma Pillsbury?"
The designer looks absolutely wrecked with her mascara running down her cheeks and this panicked look in her eye. It kind of freaks Santana out at first glance.
The red-haired woman hiccups as she looks to them, "Yes?"
"Awesome," Brittany shows off that infectious, mega-watt grin and takes another step closer, "We're big fans of your work."
"You are?" Emma doesn't look too sure.
"Of course," Brittany shrugs casually and kicks away some of the used wipes so that she can perch herself on an upturned crate near the woman, "I would've never thought to pair a lime green cardi with mustard yellow loafers."
"That's because you have taste," Santana jokes purely because she can't help herself.
Brittany shoots her a glare and quickly tries to do some damage control before Emma starts to hyperventilate again, "You're a fashion icon, Emma."
"Tell that to the debt collectors," Emma frowns, "I'm a failure. There's no way I can come back from this. I put everything I had left into this show. It's only a matter of time before everything's taken from me."
Brittany softens at Emma becoming increasingly distressed. Deep down, she feels a little bad for the woman. She seems like a nice person, genuine enough, and completely broke.
She's the perfect person for the job.
"What if we told you that we can make this all go away?" Santana speaks up when she finds Brittany getting swept up in her feelings.
Emma blinks and glances between the two women skeptically, "I wouldn't believe you."
"Well start believing because we can," Santana says through her smirk.
"What do you have in mind?" Emma questions.
Santana glances to Brittany and gives her a nod, almost as if she's passing the mic.
"Dress Rachel Berry for the Met Gala," Brittany supplies quietly so that only the three of them can hear.
Emma spurts out a disbelieving laugh, "You can't be serious."
Santana and Brittany remain stoic and it has Emma's smile falling instantly.
"You're serious," Emma says gravely.
"We are," Santana nods.
"Rachel Berry?" Emma pushes the idea away, "She's…I've never dressed anyone with her kind of star power. How would I even be an option for her?"
"Come with us and we'll explain everything," Brittany offers.
Emma looks a little like a frightened doe but she stands regardless and agrees to follow them out to their car. It's actually really concerning how little effort they had to use in order to get Emma to agree to a meeting, but they aren't complaining too much.
Once they get back to the loft, Brittany pulls up a picture of the most blingiest bling that ever blinged: the Toussaint. Emma's eyes go wide at that size of the diamonds encased in the necklace while Santana gives a vague rundown of how Rachel Berry, the Toussaint, and Emma all play an important role in the outcome of this heist.
Unlike Brittany, Emma only needs to hear the parts of the plan that she's directly involved with so it doesn't take as long for the designer to get her head wrapped around the opportunity.
"I still don't understand how you expect me to get a hold of this necklace," Emma says a bit later, "And frankly, I think it's too gaudy for the work I'm known for."
"Known for? That's a reach," Santana teases lowly but plasters on an encouraging smile as she turns to face her again, "This necklace has history. It's perfect for this year's theme and if it's Rachel Berry we're talking about…the bigger the bling, the better. They'll lend it out if it's for her."
Emma sighs but ultimately lets Santana sway her, "Okay, I can do this."
"Yeah you can!" Brittany cheers before glancing to Santana and sending her a wink.
Santana ignores how her stomach flips at the sight and goes back to explaining what they need Emma to do first.
Later that night, Santana and Brittany are back on the hunt again for their next recruit. Brittany's eyes are starting to do that thing where they sting whenever she blinks, so she looks over to Santana who is fully immersed in her search.
"Can we take a break?" Brittany asks, "I'm getting snacky."
"You're always snacky," Santana chuckles as Brittany goes to stand. She doesn't even notice Brittany rounding the table until her warm hands squeeze tenderly at her shoulders. She feels Brittany's thumbs dig into her tight muscles, working out the tension there, and she can't help but moan at the sensation.
"Come on. Take a break," Brittany husks as her hands continue to work, "We've been going at it all day."
Santana can practically hear the smugness in her tone for that innuendo; Brittany can be the biggest tease sometimes and that's coming from her.
She stays focused on the task at hand though, "I'm close, Britt. I can feel it."
"I haven't heard that in awhile," Brittany chuckles darkly as she withdraws her hands and goes looking for a snack.
Santana raises a brow, "I find that hard to believe."
"You're right," Brittany says as she goes to lean against the kitchen counter with an apple in hand. She looks back at Santana with this mischievous glint in her eye, "What I meant to say was that I haven't heard that from you in awhile."
Santana lets out a laugh but Brittany just takes a bite of her apple, never breaking eye contact. In fact, her smug grin grows as she chews.
"And I'm sure you want to change that?" Santana asks as her voice dips into that deliciously raspy-hot-as-hell tone of hers, "Don't you?"
"Is that an invitation?" Brittany practically purrs after wiping her mouth with the back of her hand.
"You find me a hacker and we'll see where your luck takes you."
Brittany sinks her teeth into the apple then snatches up a bag of chips and a beer before retuning to the search with a renewed enthusiasm. It takes her all of twenty minutes before she's stumbling upon someone promising.
"Can I borrow your car?" Santana asks the next day while Brittany is busy at work trying to sift through potential people needed for other roles in the heist.
The blonde shrugs, "Sure. Where're you going? Paying another friend a visit?"
Santana smirks, "Something like that."
Brittany gives her a questioning look before going to grab the keys, "Can I come?"
"Not yet," Santana answers, "But I'll need your help a little later."
"Sure," Brittany shuffles through the mix for Santana's favorite and tosses them over to her, "I just filled that one up too."
Santana smiles sweetly and comes over to press a chaste kiss to Brittany's cheek in thanks, "I'll see you later. Don't get into any trouble while I'm out."
"Speak for yourself," Brittany chuckles although she can feel a blush blossoming at the feel of Santana's lip on her skin. God, she's so sex-deprived. If just a little kiss on the cheek gets her going, who knows what'll happen if Santana leaves one on her lips next.
The brunette gives her one last wave of her fingers before she heads out, leaving Brittany to distract her wandering thought by looking up that possible hacker's details and setting up a meeting.
Awhile later, Santana finds herself standing across the street from a jeweler she once tagged along with her father to when she was younger. Her father and the shop owner were close friends back in the day, and judging by her father's reputation, she's sure the shop owner must've dabbled into the business as well otherwise, why would they be so close?
Santana remembers playing with the owner's daughter every once in awhile though when she and her father would come by. Word on the street is that the daughter took over the business after the owner's passing, so it's only natural that Santana returns now.
They both have followed in their fathers' footsteps in a way and she's sure they could be of use to each other.
Santana waits for the jeweler in the window to notice her watching from across the way. When she finally does, she quickly speaks to her colleague before making her exit.
Santana smiles politely as the other woman nears, she looks like she has barely aged since the last time she saw her.
"Hey Tina," Santana greets.
"Santana, Hi!" Tina replies happily, "God, it's been a long time. I haven't seen you since the funeral."
"Yeah, I've been busy," Santana says vaguely, "How's business?"
"It's okay," Tina shrugs as her smile falls, "We're going through a little rough patch at the moment, but we'll be okay. What brings you out this way?"
"Well, I kind of need your help with something," Santana tells her.
Tina's voice lowers, "Is everything okay? I heard you were in jail…"
"Yeah, I was," Santana answers with a chuckle and goes to check her watch, "You got time for a walk? I can explain everything."
Tina glances over at the shop for a moment before she nods, "Yeah, of course. What do you need help with?"
Santana breezes into the loft awhile later with the biggest of grins on her face.
"Got a jeweler!" She says proudly as she shrugs out of her blazer. When she doesn't hear a reply she ventures in deeper and calls out, "Britt? You here?"
"Yeah!" Brittany answers back and Santana follows the sound of her voice around the corner.
She finds the blonde seated next to a woman she recognizes from Brittany's pile of suggestions but she still has questions. The two of them are squeezed in on a loveseat that Santana totally forgot about and they're both staring down as the woman's fingers type furiously at her laptop.
"What's going on here? Who the hell are you?" Santana asks, but her tone comes out way more aggressive than she intended.
Brittany looks up questioningly upon hearing the snap, "This is Mercedes. She's our new hacker."
"I didn't agree to anything yet," Mercedes corrects her.
Santana's brow rises as she looks from the woman to Brittany, "You chose someone named after a car?"
Mercedes gives Santana a look, the first time she's torn her eyes away from the screen, but Brittany cuts in before anything happens.
"She's really great, Santana," Brittany tells her and goes to pat her thigh, "Come sit, she's already infiltrated the museum's security system."
"What?" Santana gasps and quickly comes in close, foregoing Brittany's lap so she can see the screen. Sure enough, it's all there: access to every camera in the entire building.
"Is this what you're looking for?" Mercedes asks casually.
"Yup," Brittany beamed and looked to Santana who was now pressed up against her shoulder, "What do you think?"
"Anyone can hack into some cameras," Santana waves off as she pushes away from Brittany to stand, "What else can you-"
Suddenly all the lights in the loft went out and the three of them were plunged into darkness for a few seconds until the sound of a mouse click turned them back on.
Mercedes smirks at the dumbfounded look on Santana's face, "It took me a matter of seconds to run this place. Whoever is in charge of your busted ass security system here should be fired."
When Santana's only reply is a dropped jaw, Brittany takes that as all the approval she needs and enlists Mercedes on the spot.
Once Mercedes heads out, Santana and Brittany set off on their next task for the day. This one is something Brittany's been organizing while Santana was off meeting with Tina, so she fills Santana in on the way to the restaurant where they're meant to meet Emma.
Brittany takes the lead on this one, telling the designer that the mission here is to make Rachel Berry as jealous as possible so that she'll stop at nothing to nab Emma Pillsbury as her fashion designer for the Gala. Emma's not so sure she's following along, but Brittany tells her not to worry about it and just do what they talked about earlier while Santana was away.
Emma nods resolutely and heads inside while Santana and Brittany hang by the car.
"Who's she meeting with?" Santana asks.
"You'll see," Brittany answers, "You aren't the only one who has a few tricks up her sleeve."
Santana tilts her head to the side in wonder, but Brittany just leans against the car with her arms crossed and rests her head back to soak in the warm sunlight.
Santana watches with awe, the way sunrays halo her makes Brittany look almost angelic. Santana knows that couldn't be further from the truth though and the thought makes her smirk.
They stand there a moment longer somewhat watching from the window as Rachel Berry's biggest rival, Sunshine Corazon, enters the restaurant and walks over to the table where Emma is seated. The singer and designer talk excitedly while Brittany pulls a camera from the car and pops off the lens cover.
"Hold this," She directs and passes it to Santana before walking over to snap a couple pictures of the two carrying on. Santana watches curiously until Brittany returns to her side, "You know how much we can get for pictures like these? Could easily pay for nice meal and a few drinks."
"Is that your way of asking me on a date?" Santana snickers as she passes Brittany the lens cap.
"Date?" Brittany feigns surprise, "You don't date. At least that's what you told me before you started dating Dani."
Santana let's out a deep sigh at another one of Brittany's Dani-related jabs, "You're never going to let that go, huh?"
"Nope," Brittany grins, "Especially because she got you arrested once."
"Not funny," Santana huffs and goes to cross her arms.
Brittany's quick to slip her hand between them though and slides down Santana's forearm so that her pinky locks with the brunette's, "I'm sorry. Don't be mad."
Santana rolls her eyes at the sickeningly sweet tone but she can't help the smile that forms. When it comes to Brittany, sometimes she really can't help herself. She's like putty in her hands, but that goes both ways at times too.
"Oh look, Emma's coming out now," Brittany points out as she drops Santana's pinky and goes to stow away the camera.
Santana hates how she already misses the closeness but pushes away the feeling and gets back into the car along with Brittany and Emma.
When the pictures of Emma's lunch with Sunshine Corazon are released to the public it only takes a matter of minutes before Rachel Berry's manager is calling to book Emma for the Gala.
"Mission accomplished," Brittany smirks and pumps her fist in the air, "And I got a couple hundred bucks for the pictures!"
"Big money," Santana teases.
Brittany continues to smirk as she closes the distance between them, "What'd you say we blow this popsicle stand and grab a drink?"
"Tempting," Santana says as Brittany's eyes linger on Santana's lips, "But I've got work to do."
Brittany let's out a sigh and turns away, "You're no fun."
"Okay so here me out," Brittany begins as she and Santana walk down a crowded street, "This girl is a little out there but she's got the best hands I've ever seen."
Santana quirks a brow, "I'm offended."
"Hey, it's been awhile," Brittany replies with a wink, "You might need to refresh my memory."
"Yeah, you'd love that would you?" Santana laughs.
"You have no idea. Come on," Brittany smirks then grabs onto Santana's wrist to pulls her through a crowd surrounding a busker.
It's a tight fit so Santana hooks her fingers into Brittany's belt loops and practically molds herself to the blonde's back – you know, so they don't get separated.
Brittany loves every minute of it of course.
Santana also doesn't mind the closeness too much either.
"She's there," Brittany points out to the girl doing some trick with a few red solo cups.
Santana rolls to the tips of her toes to get a better look which makes Brittany chuckle.
"Come here, shorty," She teases and pulls the girl around to stand in front of her instead. Her hands linger on Santana's hips, "Can you see now?"
"Yeah," Santana mumbles and watches the girl in front of them work her magic on some tourist.
She's quick with her hands and just as charismatic as Brittany too but there's something about her that's a little too flashy. Maybe it's the hot pink, furry vest she wears or the heart-shaped sunglasses sitting atop her head. Santana has no idea, but the girl's swift nab of the man's watch without him knowing has her interests piqued.
"See what I mean?" Brittany nudges Santana.
"She's good," Santana agrees and as the crowd starts to disperse she and Brittany head over.
"Hey hotties," The girl greets and does a quick nod so that her sunglasses fall over her eyes. She points over to Santana's watch, "That's nice."
"Don't even think about it," Santana smirks.
The girl tilts her head to the side and looks between them, "You 5-0?"
Santana and Brittany look to each other and laugh wholeheartedly.
"Yeah, no way!" Brittany adds too, "What's your name, kid?"
"Sugar," The girl supplies and Santana's sure the girl is lying, "Why?"
"Well Sugar, we were just admiring your special talents," Santana says smoothly, "Got time for a chat?"
"Time is money," Sugar replies looking skeptic, "So unless there's something in it for me, the answer is no."
"Oh, there's definitely going to be something in it for you," Brittany tells her with a grin, "Come take a walk."
Sugar eyes the two warily, "I'll go…but only if you buy me a bubble tea."
"A what?" Santana frowns.
"It's a drink," Brittany chuckles, "You've never had it?"
"Have you been living under a rock?" Sugar gasps.
"No, I've been in jail."
"San," Brittany hushes, not wanting to scare the girl off but to both of their surprise Sugar looks even more interested than ever before.
"What'd you do?" Sugar asks as her smile widens.
"You don't just ask people that," Santana scoffs, "That's exactly how you get shanked."
"Do you have a shank?"
"Can I see it?"
"Anyway!" Brittany claps to get both of their attention, "So bubble tea, we need to get you one asap!" Brittany answers as she licks her slips. The movement of her tongue catches Santana's eye which has her watching very, very closely, "I'm getting thirsty just thinking about it."
"Yeah, imagine how I feel. I've been lifting things off tourists all day in this heat," Sugar pulls out a wad of ones and starts to fan herself with it.
"Heat? It's barely 70 degrees out," Santana laughs, "Maybe if you'd lose that ridiculous vest-"
"The thirst is still real!" Sugar tells them then glances to Santana with a smirk, "I'm sure you know something about it judging by the way you just eye-fucked blondie here."
Brittany's brows shoot up as she turns to Santana. She presses her hand to her chest in surprise, "You did what now?"
Santana ignores Brittany's teasing and narrows her eyes on the girl, "Fine. We'll get you your dumb drink and then we'll talk."
Sugar beams, "Perfect."
Later that night, Santana and Brittany are lounging on the couch with their feet propped up on the coffee table. They've both had the longest day ever so far and can barely keep their eyes open long enough to scarf down dinner. They have the tv on but Santana isn't really watching, her head is too full of scattered thoughts and schemes to focus on anything else.
Brittany seems to notice and goes to turn down the volume.
"You don't stop, do you?" She asks Santana.
The brunette is slow to answer but Brittany's not sure if that's because she's so deep in thought or just exhausted. When she lets out a yawn, Brittany gets her answer.
"There's only one more person that we need," Santana tells her like Brittany doesn't know, "One more and that's the whole team."
"Yeah, I get that but you didn't answer my question," Brittany replies softly. She moves to brush Santana's hair behind her ear then keeps her hand pressed against Santana's cheek, "You're gonna burn out if you keep at it like this."
Santana smiles apologetically and overlaps Brittany's hand with hers, "I won't. We're almost there. Once the team is complete then we can breathe a little. I know what I'm doing, Britt, you don't have to worry about me."
"Hard not to," Brittany shrugs as she pulls her hand out from underneath Santana's.
Santana watches as her features harden a little and she wonders why that is.
Their dynamic has always been a little unconventional, especially when the casual sex became a thing, and maybe once upon a time they could've really been something but nothing ever happened. Santana doesn't date – not really – and Brittany never voiced her feelings if she had them so here they are: just a couple of friends who are gay and do crime.
Is it a dangerous combo considering their past and the crazy amount of sexual chemistry?
Probably, but it works for them.
"Can I borrow a car again tomorrow?" Santana asks, wanting to fill the heavy silence.
"You know, you don't have to ask every time right?" Brittany says with her head cocked to the side, "As long as you don't crash any of them, I don't care."
"I was just checking," Santana nods as Brittany turns back to the tv screen, "I'm going upstate tomorrow."
"Let me guess," Brittany replies, "To see a friend?"
"And you don't want me to come."
Santana sighs, "It's not that I don't want you to. There's things to be done here and I don't want both of us to be away if it's not needed. We're on such a tight schedule."
"I know," Brittany reaches over to squeeze Santana's knee, "I just wish you weren't so cryptic all the time. You're my best friend, my partner-in-crime. You should tell me things."
Santana bites her lip. Sometimes Brittany makes things sound so easy, so simple.
"I'm sorry, Britt. I didn't realize…"
"It's fine," Brittany says earnestly, "I'm not mad. It's just something I've noticed lately."
"Yeah," Santana mumbles as she starts to get lost in her thoughts.
"I'm gonna head to bed," Brittany says a moment later and gives Santana's knee one more squeeze as she stands, "Night, Santana."
"Goodnight Britt," Santana says back and watches the blonde make her way up the stairs. She feels a sudden heaviness but she isn't what caused it. Instead, she just chalks it up to being tired and heads off to bed a little while later too.
Santana leaves at the crack of dawn the next day in hopes of beating the traffic. Brittany isn't even awake yet, but she feels weird leaving the loft without saying anything so she scribbles down a quick note and slides the piece of paper under Brittany's bedroom door before heading off:
Off to see that 'friend' I'll be home before dinner. Have a good morning! Xo
As Santana follows the winding road through a neighborhood of massive, cookie-cutter houses, she can't help but roll her eyes at how basic it all is. If it weren't for a familiar SUV parked in the driveway, Santana would've driven right pass her intended destination.
She parks her car a little ways down the road and walks up, already dialing the number.
It rings once, twice, three times but on the fourth someone finally answers.
"Hey Q," Santana smirks at the surprise she hears. She doesn't think she'll ever get over it, "How are you these days?"
"And the kid?"
"Are you calling just to ask how I am? Because that's very odd and completely unlike you."
"Checking in on one of my oldest friends is unlike me?" Santana answers as she walks up the woman's driveway and easily unlocks the side gate.
"Uh, yeah. It is."
"No, it's accurate. I thought you were in jail."
"I was. Got out on good behavior."
"Well, congrats. Now, what do you really want?
Santana wanders into her garage, "For you to come out for a chat."
The woman laughs down the line, "I don't even know where you live anymore, Santana."
"That's fine," Santana says, "I've come to you."
"I'm in your garage, Fabray."
Santana soon hears a door leading into the garage open and someone call out, "Mommy will be right back, Beth!" Then it closes and fast footsteps approach until the blonde rounds on Santana. She flinches as the surprise, "What the hell, Lopez!"
"Hey Quinn," Santana grins as she hangs up the phone and slips it into her pocket.
Quinn shakes her head and laughs, "What the hell are you doing in my garage?"
"Like I said," Santana shrugs while her eyes go to roam all of the expensive appliances surrounding the room, "I'm here for a chat."
After knowing Santana almost as long as Brittany has, Quinn knows exactly what that means and goes to cross her arms, "I'm retired."
Santana rolls her eyes, "People come out of retirement all the time and after you hear what I've got up my sleeve you'll do the same."
"No, no," Quinn waves off, "I don't want to hear what you have to say, Santana. I have to think about my – "
"Family because you're a mother, " Santana fills in sarcastically, "I know, I was there when you gave birth for some odd reason."
"You and Brittany offered!"
"I was just being nice, I didn't actually want to go," Santana replies, "That shit scarred me for life! Like, is your vagina okay now?"
Quinn gives her a tired look, "You did not just ask me that."
"I'm just saying," Santana holds up her hands in defense, "That was the most fucked up thing I've ever se-"
"Mommy!" A small person suddenly cries out as the garage door slams open. The sudden sound has Quinn shoving Santana to the side out of her daughter's sight, "I'm hungry!"
"Okay baby, I'll fix you a snack in just a second," Quinn calls out. She catches Santana mimicking her and slaps her shoulder, "Are you going to tell me why you're here or not?"
"I need a Fence," Santana says simply, "I've got something big going here and you're the best of the best."
"That might be the nicest thing you've ever said to me," Quinn eyes her curiously, "But I'm not doing it. Like I said, I'm retired. "
"Bullshit," Santana scoffs as she looks around at all the stolen goods, "You're bored with the whole Suzy Homemaker front because if you weren't you wouldn't have all this crap hiding in your garage."
Quinn softens and eyes Santana analytically, "How much are we talking?"
"A lot," Santana smirks and leans in to whisper Quinn's proposed cut.
Quinn's jaw drops at the sound of the amount.
"Sound good to you?"
Quinn sputters out a laugh, "Uh yeah, sounds very good."
"Excellent," Santana beams and calls over her shoulder as she turns to leave, "Team meeting is on Monday. Don't be late."
"Wait, you have a whole team?"
Santana smirks, "I do now."
A/N - I really appreciate all the luv last chapter and everyone sharing the hell out of my post on Tumblr. Very cool of you so thanks!