A/N - So I was kind inspired by the song Miss Americana and the Heartbreak Prince hence the title LOL. Enjoy!
Once Brittany taped up the last box and set it aside for the movers to take, she took the rare moment she had alone and reminisced. She knew this day was bound to come. Since her father's passing earlier in the year, Brittany's mother – Whitney – had begun making the arrangements to move closer to Brittany's grandparents in Ohio. Aside from a handful of friends, they didn't really have anyone else close by and with Brittany's little brother – Pete – still too young to stay home alone and Brittany busy with school, Whitney needed the extra help.
The move made sense, but Brittany dreaded it in silence. She was going into her Senior year and being the new kid at school wasn't how she planned on spending it. She kept her feelings in check though as she boxed up her whole life and said goodbye.
Brittany didn't want to make things harder by digging in her heels, so she put on a brave face for the sake of her family and finished her Junior year without making any complaints. Instead, Brittany did everything she could to help make the transition a little easier.
With a light knock on Brittany's door, Whitney made her presence known.
"You ready to go, Britt?" Whitney asked gently.
Brittany could feel her throat tightening. Was she ready? The answer was obvious and deep down, Whitney knew that. She closed the distance and gave her daughter a hug.
"I'm sorry, kiddo," Whitney whispered.
Brittany just nodded and held on tighter.
It had been a long drive and it seemed like everything started to look a little greener the further they got from the coast. Even the trees changed from the bushy palms Brittany grew up with to tall oaks, but after what felt like a million hours the Pierce Family finally made it to their destination.
"It's a good looking house, right kids?" Whitney asked cheerfully as the family stretched their achy limbs in front of their new home.
It wasn't anything special, just a typical three bedroom, two bath. The siding was white, the shutters were blue and the wooden fence looked relatively knew. At a quick glance, the house looked like any other on the block. Brittany didn't have any complaints though and when she glanced down at Pete, neither did he.
"It's cute," Brittany agreed with a smile then nudged her brother, "What do you think, Petey?"
"I like the windows," Pete pointed up at the shutters, "Blue's my favorite color."
"Mine too," Brittany winked.
"Well, go pick your rooms," Whitney instructed.
She didn't get a chance to tell them that they were the exact same size, one just faces the backyard and the other faces the front. The two took off towards the house giggling the whole way while Whitney just shook her head and trailed after them.
It took them a couple weeks to settle into their new place with the help of Brittany's grandparents, but it was finally starting to feel like home even if she felt like something was missing.
Or rather, someone.
Some nights she could hear the soft whimpers coming from her mother's room and some nights Petey makes his way into Brittany's bed because the dreams keep him up at night. Everyone misses him and that makes the transition a little harder. The nights are usually hard for everyone, but they manage to get by together.
It's better during the day when it's light out and there's less time to overthink things. An Ohio summer has nothing on a Florida one, but Brittany doesn't complain about that either. She can catch a tan wherever the sun shines, so she does just that.
She and Pete find a park within walking distance of their house and visit often while Whitney is out job hunting. Most days, Pete has more energy than Brittany can keep up with so the park really comes in handy. On the rare occasion, Pete sometimes would rather sit with Brittany on a blanket under one of the big trees there and color.
Sometimes, Brittany joins him because as Pete would say, "You're never too old for coloring."
One day while they're at the park, Brittany spots a couple of guys that look to be around her age. They're a little ways away, tossing a football back and forth. She can just barely hear their voices, but they're muffled and mix with the sound of her music playing from her phone.
"How's this look, Britt?" Pete asks as he holds up his coloring book.
Brittany nods, "Excellent color choice for the hair."
"I thought so too," Pete grins and goes back to his scribbling while Brittany lazily flips through the latest issue of Sports Illustrated.
She switches from reading articles to watching the guys play. She notes their form and posture and she can't help but critique them. Their throws are pretty average, but they aren't too bad and she goes back to reading.
"Watch out!" Brittany hears one of the guys yell. She braces herself and holds out a protective arm over Pete's head. Soon a football bounces down just a couple feet away from her blanket and rolls to a wobbly stop beside her.
"Way to go, Sam! You almost hit them," The lean guy yells back to the shaggy-haired blonde.
"I thought you had that!"
"It was overthrown! Do you think I'm seven feet tall?"
"You could've jumped."
"This is why you're third string when we don't even have a second."
"Whatever Mike, I'm just having an off day," The blonde grumbles as he trails his friend.
"You always say that," Mike shakes his head and starts to jog over to Brittany and Pete, "Sorry about that!"
"That's alright," Brittany smiles as she reaches for the ball and pushes to stand. The leather feels familiar in her hands and it's just now that she realizes she hasn't picked up a ball in so long. Her fingers automatically slide into position between the laces though like they're magnets being drawn together.
Brittany sets her eyes on Mike and draws her arm back to throw a perfect spiral.
The pass connects with the intended target – obviously – but the looks on both of the guys' faces is priceless. Brittany smiles proudly as they whoop and holler. She didn't realize she kind of misses that.
"Show off," Pete teases though he matches her proud smile.
"That was an awesome throw!" Mike applauds as he rushes over, "Like Woah! Sorry, I'm Mike. That's my friend, Sam."
Sam's still a little ways away but he waves as he jogs over, his blonde shaggy hair bouncing with every step. He kind of reminds Brittany of a golden retriever, eager and a little dorky.
"I'm Brittany," Brittany greets and pats Pete's head, "This is my brother, Pete. We just moved here."
"Oh, I think we're neighbors!" Mike grins, "The house with the blue shutters?"
"Yeah, that's us."
Sam finally joins the group, "Great throw! Can you do that again?"
Brittany shrugs casually, "Yeah. Probably."
Mike and Sam drop their jaws in disbelief.
"My sister's a quarterback," Pete informs them, "She's the best at school."
"I was the best at our old school," Brittany corrects and ruffles up his blonde hair.
"You were a," Sam blinks, "I've never met a girl quarterback."
Brittany tries to keep from gritting her teeth at the way he says girl. She knows he didn't mean any disrespect, but it still makes her skin crawl. She forgets that some places aren't as progressive as her old school, so she keeps the polite smile on her face.
"You have to try out," Sam insists, "You're better than half of those guys and no girl has ever tried out before. It would be so cool!"
"You saw me throw one time," Brittany chuckles.
"Exactly, that's how much we suck!"
"Hey!" Mike shakes his head and gives Brittany an encouraging smile, "You'd be great on the team."
Mike seems genuine enough, they both do, but Brittany's unsure of how she'll be received here. She's already going to be the new kid in school, she didn't really want to add on to that by being the first girl to try out for the team.
"I don't know," Brittany looks unsure and glances down at Pete, "I wasn't planning on playing this year."
"You've got to," Mike adds, "You have a killer arm."
"Would totally bench Hudson," Sam jokes with Mike.
Mike nods, "Without a doubt."
"Is Hudson your current QB?" Brittany wonders.
"Yeah, for three years and we haven't made a single playoffs appearance," Sam answers with the shake of his head.
"Sam was going to try and play him for the starting position," Mike explains, "Clearly he needs some work though."
Sam scoffs and punches at Mike's shoulder.
"Clearly," Brittany chuckled. She liked these guys. They were kind of dorks but harmless and they seemed friendly.
"Well, we don't want to pressure you if you don't want to play," Mike says a little more seriously, "But if you change your mind, try-outs are next Tuesday at William McKinley High at noon. See Coach Beiste."
"I'll keep that in mind," Brittany replies, "Thanks."
"Cool. Well, how about one more for the road?" Mike suggests and holds out the ball to Brittany.
Brittany was happy to oblige and slaps her palm against the leather, "Go long."
The guys took off running, playfully shoving at each other as Brittany took her stance and got into position. She let them get a few more yards further before drawing back and letting the ball fly.
Again, it was a perfect throw.
When Sam caught it this time, Mike cheered while Sam did a celebratory dance. It wasn't the smoothest thing Brittany had ever seen, but it was the funniest and it had her and Pete laughing harder than they had in awhile.
That night at the dinner table with Whitney, Pete talked animatedly about his and Brittany's day. Brittany always loved how excited he got about the smallest things and he always told stories with so much detail. They were worried that it would fade with their dad's passing but Pete was still so full of love and light.
"We made friends at the park today too!" Pete said which piqued Whitney's interest.
"Oh really?" Whitney smiled and looked to Brittany, "Making friends already?"
"I wouldn't call them that," Brittany chuckled as she picked mindlessly at her plate, "A couple guys from the high school here were playing catch. Apparently one of them is our neighbor too."
"Mike!" Pete clarified.
"Yeah, Mike and Sam. They tried talking me into trying out for the football team," Brittany explained, "I don't think I'm going to play this year though."
"What? Why not?" Whitney asked worriedly, "You've played every year since middle school."
"I know, but I want to be able to help out here if you need me to," Brittany reasons and glances over at Pete, "I don't want to get stuck with football like I always do."
"You love it, Britt, and you're good at it," Whitney tells her, "You should try out."
"What about Pete?" Brittany questions, "No one will be home when he finishes school."
"Gran will pick him up," Whitney suggests easily.
"But – "
"No buts," Whitney gives her a stern look, "It's your Senior year and you love the game. If you want to play, you should. Isn't that what your dad always said?"
Brittany feels something clench in the pit of her stomach and she isn't sure if it's a good feeling or a bad one. She can still hear her dad's voice gently guiding her and maybe that's what helps her decide this time too.
"Okay yeah, I'll try out," Brittany announces and it's the first time she finally feels like herself again since moving to Ohio.
It's a muggy Summer's day when Brittany arrives at her new school for try-outs. She can already feel all eyes on her as she walks through the gate and joins the others on the field. She spots Mike and Sam with a few others and they wave at her while the others give her curious looks. Brittany gives them a nod but stays focused. It feels like it's a hundred degrees there, but she's use to the heat after growing up in Florida. She stands tall with her chin held high as she makes her way over to the Coach.
She's pleasantly surprised when she finds that the Coach is also a woman.
"Cheerios try-outs are held in the gym," The woman tells her without a second glance.
Brittany bites her lip and tries to shake the nerves, "I'm not here for a cereal ad, Coach. I want to try-out for the team."
The woman pauses and eyes Brittany curiously as she says, "This is football try-outs."
"I know," Brittany nods resolutely, "I've played before."
Coach looks impressed, "What string?"
Brittany smirks, "I was the starter."
The woman blinks and it's similar to the look Sam gave her.
"What's your name, kid?"
"Brittany. Brittany S. Pierce."
"You just move here or something?" Beiste asks as she jots down Brittany's name on the clipboard, "I haven't seen you around."
"Yes," Brittany nods, "I just moved here from Florida."
"Alright. Well, you won't get any special treatment on my field," Beiste tells her sternly, "You'll run the drills, same as everyone else and I'll see how you go. You throw up, it's an automatic out."
"Of course," Brittany grins, "I don't want it any other way."
It's no surprise to Brittany when she aces try-outs. She's always been pretty athletic and she starts every morning with a run so she's in tip-top shape and breezes through the drills. Even the team's resident quarterback – Finn Hudson – struggles to keep up with the others. Brittany notes how uncoordinated his movements are and starts to understand why the team hasn't made a playoff appearance.
Finn's saving grace though is that he has a pretty good arm, but Brittany is confident that hers is better. Actually, she knows it is. If they're going to compare stats, Brittany has him beat in every category but she lets her talent speak for itself. No one likes a cocky new kid on the block.
"You're promising, Pierce," Coach Beiste tells her after the third day of try-outs, "Between you and me, you can run circles around Hudson and I have no doubt you can outshine him."
"I appreciate that, Coach."
"But, he's been our starter for nearly three years now. He's got the team's respect and trust," Coach Beiste reasons.
Brittany nods. She hates how she has to start from scratch here. At her old school, she didn't have to prove anything to anyone, they just knew she was talented because they grew up with her. Here, they don't know anything about her and that puts her at a real disadvantage.
"You can't just come in like a bat outta hell and snatch it from him," Coach continues, "You're going to have to play for it; prove yourself to me and the team that you can do a better job. You've got to really earn this."
Brittany saw that coming too so she nods, "I understand."
"I took a look at your record. I hope you don't mind," Coach Beiste says, "It's very impressive, Pierce. I haven't seen talent like yours in awhile around here. I almost forgot what it was like to see stats like yours."
"Thank you. I've been playing for a long time."
"I can tell, so this is what I'm going to do. There's a pre-season game coming up," Beiste tells her, "I want to put you in, see what you can do. If I like what I see, you might just be able to nudge Hudson out. There are a lot of Seniors on this team, I know they'd love to see the Championships and I think you can get them there."
"I know I can," Brittany says without a second thought.
Coach pats her hard on the shoulder pad, "That's what I like to hear. Go get cleaned up."
While Brittany gets packed up a little while later, she feels someone standing close by. She waits for some off-handed comment – she's heard a few of the guys mumble them under their breath – but it never comes. She figures it's either Mike or Sam but when she turns, it's neither of them.
"Hi," The guy greets. His voice is meek, almost angelic and it takes Brittany by surprise.
"Hi," Brittany smiles back though as she stands.
"I'm Kurt," He says and does a showy kick, "I'm the kicker."
Brittany notes his small stature compared to the other guys. There's not an ounce of muscle on him it looks like, typical for someone on special teams.
"I'm Brittany," She replies, "Not sure what I am just yet."
"I hope you're going to be our knew QB," Kurt grins and takes a seat next to Brittany's duffle as she continues packing up, "I'm rooting for you. I know there are a few others that are too, they just don't want you to know about it. I don't really understand the point, we all want to win."
"Sure," Kurt nods and starts to admire Brittany's keychain, "Oh! We play for the same team."
"Obviously or this would be pretty embarrassing," Brittany says with a straight face.
"No, I meant – "
Brittany grins slyly as she watches his face turn red. She glances down at her rainbow unicorn keychain in his hand and meets his gaze, "I know what you meant."
Kurt laughs it off awkwardly and tries to recover, "It's nice to finally have someone to talk to on the team."
Brittany can hear just a hint of sadness in his tone and looks up, "They don't talk to you?"
"They do, but it's not the same. We don't have much in common. All they want to talk about are video games and hot chicks," Kurt scrunches his nose like there's a bad taste in his mouth but then he looks at Brittany and relaxes, "Then again, you might be able to relate with that last one."
Brittany chuckles as she reties up her hair, "You think so?"
Kurt eyes her and nods to the keychain again, "I don't know many female quarterbacks that are straight. Actually, I don't know any female quarterbacks." Kurt ponders for a moment then looks to Brittany apologetically, "I'm sorry, that was intrusive. I apologize."
Brittany gives him a pat on the knee as she stands. She pulls up her heavy duffle and adjusts the strap on her shoulder, "You're not wrong, but I'm here to play football. Not drool over girls, no matter how pretty they are."
Kurt smiles, "Good to hear. It would be nice to win for a change."
"I'll do my best," Brittany tells him, "I'll see you at practice."
Whitney and Pete are in the stands along with Brittany's grandparents on the day of the game against Crawford County Day. Brittany's been sitting on the bench for a whole quarter and her knees are bouncing at the opportunity to get on the field.
She watches her team in action and it's almost embarrassing how ununified they are. It's like no one's taking charge – no one's leading – and it hurts to watch.
"Blitz! Blitz!" Coach yells, "Watch the blitz!"
Brittany can see it coming, but Finn doesn't change plays.
The ball is hiked and Finn hands it off to their Running Back – Noah Puckerman – but the defense slips through from all sides. Puckerman is swallowed up in an instant.
It's a loss of three yards, third down.
Brittany glances over at Coach and her face is beet red.
The next play is even worse. It's meant to be a simple slant pass, but the lack of communication between Finn and the receivers – Mike and Sam – has everyone on different pages. When Finn drops back, no one is open and the pocket collapses in on him for a sack.
Brittany cringes at the hard hit and shakes her head.
"Damn it, Hudson!" Coach snaps and throws her hat on the ground.
The Titans finish the half down by 13 points.
It's the longest twenty-minute halftime Brittany has ever endured. Coach just tears into the team for being so sloppy. Apparently Crawford County Day is meant to be one of the easiest teams on their roster so the fact that the Titans are behind already isn't really a good sign.
"Good thing this is just a scrimmage!" Beiste yells, "I've never seen so many poorly executed plays in my entire career. What the hell was that out there?"
"They've gotten better, Coach."
Brittany presses her lips tight together to keep from laughing at Finn's excuse.
"I am captain of the U.S.S. Kick Ass, not the U.S.S. Back Talk," Beiste said pointedly and looked at Brittany, "Pierce, your starting."
"Wait, Coach!" Finn argued, "You can't start her, she's…she's –"
Brittany arched her brow at him, waiting for a lame insult to come tumbling out.
"She's gunning for your job, Hudson," Beiste cut in.
"You can't be serious!" Finn crossed his arms, "We don't even know if she can play."
"You just keep your eyes on me then," Brittany smirked as she pulled on her helmet, "I'll show you how it's done."
"Woah!" Sam cheered and high fived Mike.
"Shut up," Puck shoved at them both, "Have some respect."
"You're one to talk," Kurt replied meekly.
Puck rounded on him, "What was that, Hummel?"
Kurt just lifted a dainty hand and admired his nails quietly.
Brittany just smirked. Maybe she didn't have the entire team on her side yet, but she liked her odds so far.
At first, things were a little rocky. It seemed that the offense wasn't use to someone taking charge – they weren't use to her taking charge – but Brittany kept at it and it started to pay off.
Once she got into her groove, she could read the defense so easily and adjust accordingly. She'd hear the grunts of disbelief whenever she'd call an audible, but by the last quarter she felt like she had finally made ground and gained some of the team's trust.
Because by the last quarter, the Titans were up by 3 points.
She could play it safe with just seconds to go, but this was just a scrimmage and she wanted to make a lasting impression. She didn't just want to win with a field goal attempt, she was confident that she could put more points on the board before the final.
Brittany straightened up and motioned for a timeout. The ref blew the whistle and Brittany gathered the team for a huddle. She took out her mouthguard and looked around at her teammates.
"I want to try Blue 80," Brittany tells them.
"You're ballsy, Pierce!" Matt Rutherford – the Tight End – said but it came out as a compliment.
Mike and Sam looked between each other before Mike spoke up, "We've never made a completion with this play."
"Guess we should change that," Brittany shrugged.
"You really want to blow the lead?" Dave Karofsky – the Right Guard – mocked.
"It's the last play of the game," Sam defended, "The worse that could happen is it gets intercepted and they run it all the way –"
"Shut up, Evans!" Azimio – the Left Guard – snapped, "Don't jinx us."
"It's all or nothing," Brittany reasoned, "Scared QBs don't make plays and I think we can put more points on the board. You with me?"
She held out her gloved fist and waited for the other's to join her.
Puck was the first to hold out his fist, "You pull this off, Pierce, and I'll tell Finn myself that you're the better QB."
"You're on," Brittany smirked and watched as the rest of the team joined her, "Titans on three. One…two…three!"
"Titans!" They yelled out in unison. Brittany was impressed, she was already making them a more cohesive team.
Everyone got into their positions, what looked to be a simple running play. The defense fell right for it and adjusted accordingly. When the ball was snapped, Brittany faked the hand off to Puck and swiftly dropped back, watching as the other team went after him instead of realizing she still had the ball in her possession.
Meanwhile, Mike and Sam broke away from their defenders and jetted up the field. Both were wide open, but Mike crossed into the endzone just before Sam did. While the pocket still held, Brittany made her decision and let the ball fly before it could collapse in on her.
She hoped and wished and prayed to anyone who was listening that Mike would catch this thing. So much was riding on this; the team's trust, their respect, solidifying her position as the new quarterback. Mike needed to catch this.
The relief she felt when he did was unmatched!
The crowd roared and Brittany's chest swelled with pride. She glanced up at the sky and smiled, her dad would've loved that play.
Soon she was swarmed by her new team and they hoisted her up on their shoulders as they chanted her name, "Pierce! Pierce! Pierce!"
"Hate to say it, bro," Puck said as they carried Brittany off to the sideline where Finn was close to throwing a tantrum, "But the girl's got mad skill. She's got my vote."
"Who cares about a vote. That's not how we do things," Finn scoffs, "It's up to Coach."
"Easy, Hudson, you could learn a lot from her. Kid's on fire," Coach Beiste smiled proudly and patted Brittany on her helmet, "You got the job, Pierce. Titans, your new quarterback."
"Thanks, Coach!" Brittany grinned while most of the team cheered.
After the game once everyone had changed out of their uniforms, Brittany was surprised to see Puck approach her with an interesting offer.
"Yo Pierce! Wait up," He called after her.
"Hey," Brittany nodded.
"I'm throwing a party this weekend before school starts up again," He says, "I wasn't going to invite you because didn't know if you were cool yet."
Brittany gives him an unbelieving look but it goes over his head.
"The whole team's going and considering you're our QB now I figured it was only right that I let you in on it," Puck then gave her a sly grin, "Lots of hot babes will be there if that's your thing. Is it your thing?"
Brittany chose to ignore the question, "Thanks for the invite. I'll try to swing by if I can."
"Not to brag, but my parties are usually pretty awesome," Puck flaunted, "If you want to start off on the right foot at this school – being the new kid and all – you're gonna want to show up."
She couldn't decide if that was meant to be a threat or that he just sucks at persuading, but Brittany shrugged it off. She was beginning to get the impression that Lima might live up to the stereotype of being a small town.
Brittany didn't waver though, "I'll keep that in mind, Puck. I'll see you around."
As a Cheerios Co-Captain, Santana Lopez knew that there were certain social obligations that she had to keep up with. One of those obligations being the End of Summer party Puck always threw. Only the top dogs of McKinley were allowed to attend and if you didn't it was basically social suicide.
With everything that happened last year, Santana couldn't afford to miss it no matter how much she hated going. It was like her reputation had been in freefall and she was barely holding on. She couldn't have that – not for her Senior year – so she sucked it up and told her parents she was sleeping over her best friend's house.
Quinn Fabray – the other Co-Captain of the Cheerios – was the only person it seemed like that kept Santana sane. They considered themselves the hottest bitches McKinley had to offer and most of the student body couldn't help but agree. They had the looks, the smarts, the snark; they were the perfect duo and were set on ruling the school.
Santana hoped that last year was just a minor blip in their legacy. She had high hopes coming into Senior year, she already felt like she had hit rock bottom and she was over feeling sorry for herself.
The best way to feel on top again? Attend Puck's party.
Of course, it was easier said than done.
The music is loud and there are people everywhere. Honestly, Santana has no idea how these things have never been shut down. She thinks maybe the dopes down at the Lima Police Department are just too swamped with real crime-fighting to deal with Puck and his shenanigans for the millionth time.
That's obviously a joke. Nothing interesting ever happens in Lima, the LPD are just a bunch of lazy fucks who apparently don't care about a couple dozen kids drinking underage.
Santana sits with Quinn at the edge of Puck's pool and they just people-watch as they dangle their feet in the cool water. It's a hot night and there are already a couple drunken idiots wading in the shallow end, singing along to the music at the top of their lungs.
She looks down at her red solo cup and swirls the amber liquid. She barely has a buzz so she takes another gulp in hopes that she'll catch up and finally start enjoying the party.
Quinn watches her wearily but does the same. Neither of them want to be there but appearances are important, especially to them.
Speaking of appearances, Santana spots a leggy blonde across the way through the glass double-doors. She's dressed casually in cut-off jean shorts and a white t-shirt. Santana raises her brow; she wishes she could show up to a party looking like that. It took her an hour alone to do her make up, let alone pick out the right outfit.
Santana continues to watch her – though she feels a little weird for it. She's never seen the girl around here before and decides that's the reason why she can't take her eyes off of her – she's just curious. A little piece of her deep down inside calls her out for lying.
Still, Santana just assumes the blonde came with one of the football players since that's who she seems to gravitate to. She notices the familiar faces from the football team – Sam Evans in particular – and watches as he hands the blonde a red cup.
The girl smiles in return and wow, Santana's a little star-struck by its brilliance. Sam must've said something dorky because now the girl's laughing and shaking her head at him. Santana's never seen someone so effortlessly beautiful and she has to bite her cheek to keep from smiling too. This girl, she has one of those infection kind of smiles and it's trouble.
Mike Chang walks up next and clinks his cup against the girl's and together they begin to chat.
Santana quickly glances to Quinn to catch her reaction. Mike and Quinn aren't exactly official, but it's obvious they have a thing for each other.
Quinn's not looking though and Santana feels a little relief. She can't deal with a jealous Quinn tonight, and a little part of her doesn't want this new girl to have to deal with that either.
When Santana glances back, she recognizes Sugar Motta – McKinley's resident Richie Bitch – pulling the blonde girl in to dance and suddenly Santana's watching a little too closely.
This girl can clearly dance and the way she moves with Sugar is so graceful. Sugar on the other hand isn't as fluid, but their hands smooth over each other teasingly. When the blonde's hands land on Sugar's hips, they start to sway together and Santana can just tell that the blonde's the one leading now.
Santana can feel this coil within her tightening the longer she watches, her mouth getting drier at the way she takes control.
Then the song changes and the two laugh and carry on so carefreely as if nothing happened. Their moves mimic the steady rhythm and they start to bounce with their fists pumping at the air in time to the pounding bass.
Santana frowns at the slight pang of jealousy; she used to be like that, so uncaring and full of life. She danced with whoever she wanted – boy or girl – and it didn't matter, but now…now it does.
"Who's she?" Quinn asks, her gazing lining up with the blonde talking to Sugar.
"Should I ask around?"
"No!" Santana blurts and Quinn eyes her suspiciously. Santana adjusts, "No. I'm sure we'll find out sooner or later. She's hanging around Sugar and you know she can't keep her mouth shut for more than two seconds."
Quinn smirks, "True."
When Puck finally rears his ugly mug, Santana's surprised they were able to dodge him for so long.
"Hey ladies," He greets with his signature smirk, "I'm not interrupting, am I?"
There are beer stains on his open button-down and Santana can smell the tanning oil on him from where she sits. He's got a nice body or whatever, but that doesn't mean he needs to strut around basted in Hawaiian Tropic. She can't really talk though, she and Quinn have both made out with him at some point in time.
"Scram, Puckerman," Santana replies with a roll of her eyes, "I'm not drunk enough to deal with your lame ass."
"Is that any way to talk to the host?" Puck mocks and squeezes in to sit between the Co-Captains.
Santana groans and shuffles away from him, but he throws a heavy arm around her and Quinn's shoulders. She can smell something stronger than beer on his breath and scoffs as she gets out from underneath his arm, "You're gross."
"Whatever. I'm not here for you anyway," Puck brushes off and leans heavily against Quinn instead, "I know you're not on the menu anymore or has that changed?"
Santana's taken aback but her heart begins to pound wildly at the accusation.
"Choose your next words carefully," Santana warns.
"What?" Puck laughs, "You still trying to hold out on me?"
"Puck," Quinn snaps and shrugs out from under him too.
He's too drunk and wrapped up in his own bullshit to notice that he's crossed a line, but his voice grabs the attention of those surrounding them.
Santana suddenly feels small, trapped even. It feels like everyone's staring now and listening to Puck's drunken words.
"All I wanna know is if that phase is over with now?" He says and it's like the final blow for Santana.
She shrinks back and her vicious words that use to come so easily for her die on her tongue. There's a crowd gathering now and she notices the blonde girl from before eyeing them too.
"It's not a phase, asshole," Quinn snaps and surprises everyone watching by pushing him into the pool.
Santana's eyes go wide as she sees the big splash. She's never been so thankful to have Quinn as her best friend.
"What the hell, Quinn!" Puck grumbles as he resurfaces, "I had my phone on me still!"
"Shouldn't have been a dick then," Quinn shrugs and hooks her arm with Santana's, "Let's go, the beer's flat here anyway."
Santana finally kicks into gear and nods, "Yeah. I'm not trying to be hungover for practice tomorrow."
Santana doesn't know why, but as they turn to leave she looks around for the mysterious blonde. To her disappointment, she's nowhere to be found.
They make their way to the street and begin the short walk home in silence. Santana's heart is still racing even though they're so far away now that she can't even hear the low thrum of the music emanating from Puck's place. She hopes that no one saw her choke on her words, maybe they'll be too distracted by Quinn's actions to remember.
It's not until another ten minutes later when they've arrived at Quinn's house that Santana finally finds her voice again.
"Thanks Q," She says quietly. She knows she doesn't need to elaborate and she's thankful for that too.
Quinn only lifts her shoulder in a lazy shrug, "You would've done the same for me."
The first day of school rolls around quickly for Brittany, but despite being the new kid she makes friends relatively easy. Kurt's in her first class and she's honestly so relieved to see a familiar face.
He takes it upon himself to show her around and introduce Brittany to his friends. So far, Brittany's met a Tonya or Taylor – she's not very good with names – but she's nice. There's also Mercedes – she remembers that name – who Brittany met in her Astronomy class and alongside Kurt guide, they guide Brittany through McKinley High.
It's a total Mean Girls moment and Brittany finds herself laughing at how eager they are to show her around.
When they get to lunch, she notices that everyone is pretty cliquey which is something she isn't use to. At her old school, everyone mingled with everyone. It didn't matter if you played sports or if you were considered cool, people just hung out with whoever they wanted.
At McKinley High, that's clearly not the case.
All the football players sit together but instead of joining them, Kurt leads Brittany and Mercedes to a different table close by. They get a couple of curious looks, but all Brittany can focus on is what they're wearing.
"Why have they got on their letterman jackets?" Brittany questions with a laugh, "It's so hot outside, they have to be melting."
"How else do expect them to establish dominance?" Kurt says sarcastically, "I only wear mine on game days. You don't have one yet, right?"
"No," Brittany answers, "But I do have my own number now."
"Oh good," Kurt grins, "It's official now."
Kurt and Mercedes are still trying to give her the rundown, but Brittany's starting to reach her peak when it comes to taking in all the new info. Whatever they're saying now is kind of going in one ear and out the other, the only thing that brings her back is spotting the familiar brunette she saw at Puck's party.
Even if Brittany drank a little more than she anticipated, she was still sober enough to remember the saddest looking girl at the party.
"And those are the Cheerios," Mercedes tells Brittany as if she could read her mind, "McKinley's cheerleading squad and top of the social food chain."
"I haven't seen them at any of the games," Brittany looks to Kurt for an explanation.
"They don't bother with pre-season," Kurt answers, "They're basically the only ones here winning any titles. Coach Sylvester practically lets them get away with murder."
Brittany notes all the high ponies and uniforms, everyone's make up is on point and there's not a single hair out of place. They all look immaculate, but Brittany focuses on the two that she's most familiar with.
"Who are they?" She asks.
"The blonde one is Quinn Fabray," Kurt informs her in a hushed tone, "She's Co-Captain along with the brunette – Santana Lopez – and both of their families are loaded. They've been best friends since ever, you rarely see one without the other. Quinn's kind of a prude and Santana's – "
"A complete bitch for no reason most of the time," Mercedes finishes for him.
Kurt shakes his head, "She has a reason."
His cryptic words interest Brittany. Hell, she's been interested ever since she saw Quinn push Puckerman into the pool.
"Doesn't give her an excuse to terrorize us," Mercedes reasons, "The girl is trouble."
Kurt bobbles his head from side to side and looks back at Brittany, "It's best if you stay out of her way, Brittany. It'll make your life a whole lot easier."
"You think?" Mercedes asks, "She's on the football team, the quarterback even. You think Santana will mess with her?"
Kurt shrugs, "She still messes with me doesn't, she?"
"That's true," Mercedes frowns.
Brittany just nods, but that doesn't extinguish the curiosity that has blossomed within her.
And maybe someone above is testing her, because when Brittany arrives to her final class of the day she finds the exact person Kurt and Mercedes have been warning her against interacting with: Santana Lopez.
And to make matters even worse, the only available seat left in the room just so happens to be the one right next to her. Brittany shakes her head and glances at the board to double check she's in the right place.
Creative Writing – Miss Holliday Room 215
Brittany's definitely in the right place and lets out a sigh.
Might as well bite the bullet, Brittany thinks as musters all the confidence she has left and she approaches the table. She's been rushed at by guys ten times the brunette's size moving at full speed on the football field and yet, she can't help but feel a little nervous when she comes to stand before the Co-Captain.
"Hi," Brittany greets with a polite smile, "Can I sit here?"
Santana glances up at her like she can't believe the audacity Brittany has. She eyes her up and down then goes back to filing her nails, "No."
Brittany nods, so Kurt and Mercedes might've been right.
"There aren't any other seats left," Brittany adds.
Santana doesn't even look up this time, "Sounds like a personal problem to me."
Brittany has to bite her cheek to keep from laughing. This girl is something else but Brittany's never been one to back down.
Unfortunately her teacher – Miss Holliday – approaches, "Are you seriously starting off the year by being a pain in my ass, Lopez? Don't give the new kid a hard time. Move over."
"Fine," Santana rolls her eyes and slides her books closer to her side of the table.
Brittany looks back at the teacher and smiles, "Thanks."
"All good," The woman says casually. She's young and reminds Brittany of one of her favorite teachers at her old school, "Have a seat, Sweet Cheeks."
Brittany does as she's told and gets settled next to Santana. She can feel the tension radiating off the Cheerio, but tries to ease it by introducing herself.
"I'm Brittany," She tells the brunette and adds a friendly smile for emphasis. If she's going to be stuck sitting next to her for the rest of the year, they can at least be civil. Right?
"I didn't ask," Santana retorts and spends the rest of class giving Brittany the cold shoulder.
For some reason though, that only makes Brittany want to get to know Santana even more.
Afterall, she loves a challenge.
It's the last Cheerios practice indoors and Santana and Quinn soak up the privilege of conditioning in a space with A.C. There are many reasons why Santana dreads having to join football team outdoors for practice, one being that it's hot as hell still during this time of year and also she can't stand the cat-calling.
With Coach Beiste as the acting head coach now, the guys are a lot more tame but Santana still hates how she feels like she's being watched all the time. Some of the other girls on the squad don't mind it too much though, they're all about teasing and the pleasing apparently.
"How's your schedule this year?" Quinn asks between stretches.
"It's alright," Santana shrugs, "Super easy. I got Holliday and Schuester again."
"Lucky!" Quinn says, "I got Hagberg. I wish she would just retire already."
Santana agrees then she remembers her last class of the day and how the mysterious blonde from Puck's party now has a name, "Hey. Remember that girl we saw at Puck's?"
"The blonde one?"
"Yeah, her. Brittany," Santana murmurs the name, "I have a class with her."
"Oh! Is she cool or something?" Quinn's intrigued, "She's pretty and she's got some moves. We could get her on the squad?"
Pretty, Santana thinks it's an understatement now that she's seen her up close. She's never seen eyes so damn blue and that smile – again, wow.
Quinn catches her swept up in her thoughts and quickly plays it off, "Hell no."
"Really? Why not?"
"She's just…," Santana racks her brain for an excuse but she's blanking, "She's just not Cheerios material."
Quinn calls her bluff, "How would you know?"
"I just do," Santana scoffs and continues to struggle for a reason, "There's something different about her, okay?"
"Different is good though, right? We could use that."
"God Quinn, just drop it alright?" Santana snaps and walks off.
Quinn just laughs in disbelief, "You're the one that brought her up!"
The rest of the week is a little of the same. Santana goes through the motions of her day although a hidden piece of her longs for her last class with Brittany. She still ignores the blonde's attempts to make conversation, but it doesn't seem like the girl is giving up anytime soon.
Quinn still presses for Brittany to join the squad, but Santana's not having any of that either.
Quinn can't understand why Santana's being so adamant about the decision. Santana doesn't know why either. In fact, there are a lot of things Santana doesn't understand when it comes to Brittany, but she's not exactly ready to unpack any of that.
If anything, she's afraid of what it all could mean.
It isn't until Friday night that things begin to get a little clearer for them all.
It's the first regular season game which means it's the first game the Cheerios make an appearance in. The Titans are pumped but Santana isn't sure what's gotten into them, they never win so cheering for them always feels like a waste of time. There's a different air about the team this year though, but Santana doesn't think much of it as the game kicks off.
Santana and Quinn and the rest of the Cheerios do what they do best and breathe life into the crowd like always, but they find that they don't need to work as hard to keep morale up because the Titans are actually winning for a change.
In fact, Santana has to check the score twice to make sure she's reading it correctly.
Home: 9 Away: 0
"What the hell?" Santana bumps Quinn with her pompom, "We're winning?"
"Weird, right?" Quinn replies and nods over to the Titans' bench, "Wonder if it has anything to do with that?"
Santana blinks, "Is that Finnocence?"
"Yeah, it is."
Santana snaps back to the field, "Then who's out there?"
"Sam?" Quinn questions but they know he's #6 and #6 is on the other side of the field catching a perfectly thrown pass.
They both look to the quarterback and Santana asks, "Who's #12?"
"No idea," Quinn shrugs, "But he's killing it!"
Santana doesn't know much about football but she does know a lot about winning and whatever this guy is doing seems to be working.
Santana and Quinn spend the rest of the game trying to figure out who's beneath #12's helmet, but decide that someone already on the team must've been given a new number with the promotion to quarterback.
There's really no other explanation.
All that though is quickly forgotten as the game ends and the Titans come away with their first win of the regular season. It's practically unheard of considering their losing streak. The stands erupt in applause and Santana watches as the Titans go wild too. Sam and Mike hoist #12 onto their shoulders as the quarterback pulls of his helmet.
When Santana sees long blonde hair cascade out from underneath it, she just about faints because the Titans' new quarterback isn't some random guy: it's Brittany.
"Well," Quinn's equally surprised and bumps Santana with her shoulder, "Looks like you were right about her being different."
A/N - If you've been following me on Tumblr, you'll know that I've been wanting to do a QB!Britt verse for awhile now so I thought I should get this going while it's still football season (and while my Steelers are still undefeated!) Most of my knowledge of HS football comes from my experience in high school so don't get weird if I make a mistake LOL.