A/N: Your eyes do not deceive you! This is a real update. Yay!

A/N2: While this is Pezberry, and will be Pezberry endgame, please don't expect it happening anytime soon. Both girls are certainly nowhere close to being ready for it yet. Just thought I should point that out. Okay? Okay!


Leading the way into her basement, unsurprised in the least that everyone started craning their heads and looking around, obviously hoping to catch sight of something they'd missed during the catastrophe that had been Rachel's one and only party, Rachel smiled as she flicked the lights on. She stopped in front of the closed closet doors near the washing machine.

"The pool in there?" Brittany asked, tilting her head. Rachel wondered if she remembered riding the washing machine in her …unique… outfit, or if the blonde had already been extremely drunk by the time that had happened.

"Hey, yeah, wasn't that locked at your party?" Mike piped up. He looked like he was trying his best to push through the cloud that most of them held from that night; Rachel, for her part, was amazed her physiology had handled her constant state of inebriation as well as it had. As it was, her secondary systems had been sick for weeks afterward.

Nodding, Rachel opened the doors and, showing a normal enough looking laundry closet, headed for the right back corner. "Though it was unlikely any of you would venture inside here, I had made the executive decision to just bring that likelihood down to zero. Normally we wouldn't bother."

"Wow… What an amazing… Closet," Santana drawled, purposefully stepping in front of Brittany before she could take first point behind Rachel.

Lifting the corners of her lips up in a slightly amused smile, Rachel spread out the fingers of her right hand, pressing each fingertip onto a specific raised set of squares on the wall above the second shelf, almost blind to the naked eye. Keeping the pressure up, she waited a beat, offered, "Just wait and see…" and dramatically stepped back, pulling her hand back with a flourish.

The second she did, five low clicks sounded, and, with a small hiss, the back of the closet popped back a few inches before disappearing into the wall to the left. Already stepping forward, not waiting for the lights that automatically burst into life above the small set of stairs that lead down to their "real" basement, Rachel took the first two steps. "Watch your step," she cautioned, "Though our wicking system should be working, it might be a little slippery. My dad tends to not bother drying off completely before coming back up. He's impatient like that."

Almost expecting some kind of snide response from Santana, Rachel paused, looking back when she realized no one was following her. "Guys?"

Crowded at the entrance to the stairwell, Santana in the front with Brittany practically plastered to her back, her head jutted eagerly over her shoulder, Mike and Tina a more respectful step back, the four's eyes were wide and scanning over every inch of what was before them. "Guys?" Rachel tried again. She retook the first two steps. "What's the matter?"

"San, moooooove," Brittany pushed against the shorter cheerleader's shoulders, Santana barely budging, "She's waiting on us."

"Nuh uh, no, not gonna let you walk into some kind of alien trap." Santana pushed back, her elbow against Brittany's side and herding her while making way for Mike and Tina, "I'll let the Asian Fusion Twins do that."

Throwing Santana a sharp look, Mike, still, set a hand onto his girlfriend's waist, gently drawing Tina to his side. "Uhm, Rachel, I hate to ask this, but…"

Tina gave Rachel an apologetic look, "It's safe… Right?"

Rachel's hearts fell, and her eager anticipation at sharing this with her friends took a hit.

"I-it just looks a little…" Tina hastened to placate.

"Foreboding," Mike supplied.

"Right." Tina flashed a quick smile, "Foreboding."

Rachel looked around the entranceway. "It's just some stairs…" She should have expected something like this, shouldn't she have?

"Oh god, Casper, it's not just some stairs." Snapping, Santana rolled her eyes, crossing her arms. "Are you serious right now? Look at it. It's a stairway down to god knows what in a fucking alien's freaky lair!"

Okay, that one hurt too.

Taking the opportunity to duck under Santana's arms, Brittany eagerly loped forward, "She said it was an indoor pool," coming to a stop at Rachel's side. "C'mon!" Looping her arm through Rachel's, she started to tug her down, "I want to go swimming! We can swim in it, right?" At Rachel's eep! and struggle to catch up with her, the blonde loosened her grip, stopping after a few stairs to peer up at her quizzically. "Should I let you go?" she asked in her curious monotone, "Is your arm going to come off again?"

Throwing a quick glance behind her shoulder at the three teens still standing at the top of the stairs, and taking in San's almost panicked, "Britt!", Rachel made a split second decision: They could follow if they wanted to.

So, pushing down her remaining feelings of being let down in favor of the pleasure from Brittany's easy acceptance, she plastered a smile on her face, turning back to the waiting girl. "No, no," she fell into step with Brittany, leading her down to the short hallway that quickly opened up into their more than decent sized swimming pool, "I should be fine for a bit." She had just taken an injection about an hour ago, after all. "And, sure, you can swim if you want to. If you don't mind getting wet, uhm, o-or your clothes wet. Oh, it might be a bit cold, though. It's not heated." Definitely not, she thought, knowing it was actually cooled.

"Do you swim naked?"

"What?" Rachel snapped her head to look at Brittany. Behind her, just as they were coming upon the pool room proper, she could hear the clatter of several pairs of feet starting down the stairs, along with muttered, "For fuck's sake that girl has no sense of self preservation," and "It should be fine," and, "I hope so. I'm kind of really curious to see this now."

"Naked." Brittany nodded, her steps speeding up until she'd led Rachel to the end of the pool, taking in the blue-green water lapping at the side. "Oh, neat. It is as big as I'd hoped. Almost the size of your complete floor plan, right?"

"I… Yes." The pool was, various pillars holding up the ceiling and foundation spread throughout the water, casting interesting looking reflections and shadows on the surface. Though there were parts you could swim a straight line and not meet a support, Rachel had always viewed the array as almost a forest of silver trees, helped by the low wisps of fog that always played at the surface, caused by the cold temperature of the water meeting the warmth of the heat seeping in from above. When she was younger, she'd even believed they were alive, having been made out of what she'd believed must have been remains of the Berræ-dan Worlds Traveler. (They weren't, of course, that ship having been dismantled and lost many centuries ago, but then Rachel had always been a romantic being.) "But, wait, why naked?"

"Hmm? Isn't it obvious?" Already having shucked off her Cheerio jacket and just curling her fingers in the bottom of her Cheerio top, revealing fit abs and a black sports bra as she pulled it up, Brittany made quick work of her skirt as well, Rachel finally having the state of mind to look away when she reached for her spanx next, "You're a siren, aren't you? Why would you need a bathing suit? That's silly."

Rachel physically rocked back, her whole system jolting. She spun on her foot, turning back just as Brittany whooped, cannonballing into the water with a large slap. Wanting to immediately press the subject with the blonde when she surfaced, Rachel dropped to her knees at the edge, pointlessly reaching out a hand as if to pluck the other girl up.

That was how Santana, Mike, and Tina found her a second later, their sounds of surprise and awe echoing in the empty space. Normally Rachel would have been avidly watching them, wanting to see their reactions for herself, all the while bursting with pride and smugness, but this time instead she was hovering over the water, perfectly able to watch as Brittany darted and swum through and around the pillars; idly, a part of Rachel's mind figured she should have known the blonde would be a good swimmer with that body of hers.

"Where the hell is she?"

Knocked out of her focus, Rachel turned, looking up into burning dark eyes. She blinked. "What?"

"Brittany!" Holding up a pile of clothes that included, to Rachel's shocked recognition, Brittany's sports bra and underwear, Santana shook it at Rachel. "Did you unlock that Mork jaw of yours and swallow her? Where is she?"

"Santana." Placing a hand onto Santana's forearm, the girl flinching and pulling it away before Mike could lower it, Mike shook his head, "Come on. Calm down."

Tina nodded, stepping up next to him. "Yeah, Rachel wouldn't do that. You heard her earlier. She's probably swimming."

Glaring at the two but lowering her hackles, Santana moved her attention back to Rachel, almost cradling Brittany's clothes to her chest. "Fine. Where is she?"

Still frazzled and unsure she could trust her voice, Rachel took only a second to find the blonde, already on her way back over. She pointed.

And of course Brittany took that time to surface, slicking back her ponytail and smiling broadly, only shivering a little as her skin was noticeably goosebumped. Somehow, and Rachel wasn't sure how, she kept her naked chest below the water as she bobbed up and down. "Come in! It's great! It's like swimming at the North Pole. Rache, you should really get some penguins in here. Do you think your dads would let you? I know where we can get some, if you want to go smuggle them out with me. I even figured out how to do it this time so we wouldn't get caught." Then, focusing on Santana, she frowned, cocking her head. "S? What are you doing with my clothes? Put them down and come have fun with me. Just don't swallow the water or open your eyes." She made a face. "It burns."

"That's the salt…" Rachel explained helpfully. She gave Santana a skittery smile, somewhat mollified when Santana's expression eased a little instead of adopting another glare.

Still, shooting Rachel one more sharp look before sighing and shaking her head, Santana turned to the blonde still treading water, her shoulders relaxing. "That's all right, B," she smiled affectionately, "I don't feel like swimming right now. Who knows what's down there? So's be careful, kay? I am not going to ruin my weave saving your sorry ass."

Wilting in disappointment, Brittany gave a shuddering sigh. "You just don't want to get wet around Rachel," she pouted petulantly.

"Brittany!" Practically shrieking, her jaw working, Santana whirled and stomped over to the side where a pool chair sat waiting to be filled, her back rigid as she obviously refused to look at anyone. Rachel, fighting an embarrassed blush – because oh my – watched her grab one of the towels hanging up behind it, placing it onto the pool chair before huffing and sitting, depositing Brittany's clothes next to her. The cheerleader then forcibly pulled her phone out, making a show out of ignoring everyone and everyone's reaction.

"What?" Completely nonchalant, Brittany waded over towards where Mike and Tina were still standing near Rachel's shoulder. "You two?"

Smiling at her but already rubbing her arms from the chill in the air, Tina regretfully shook her head. "It's, er, probably a little cold for me." She glanced at Rachel, "Sorry."

Rachel lifted her shoulders, shaking her head. "Don't worry about it. It is cold." Well, for most humans, she thought sardonically. Then, chewing on her lower lip while being extremely careful about it, she sighed, standing up straight. She could wait to bring up what Brittany had said. Later. When they were alone. Still, her hearts thumped solidly in her chest every time the blonde's words floated in front of her eyes. How could she…?

"Whew!" Whistling as he flicked the water off his fingers from where he'd dipped them in, Mike stood and shook his head as well. "Sorry, Brittany. It's too cold for me too."

Sinking until her chin was below the water, Brittany turned large eyes towards Rachel.

Opening her mouth to immediately refuse, Rachel paused. Her skin was itching a little, and it had been a while since she'd indulged… She swallowed. Could she really…? It would be the first time she had an audience, after all and one not all too… She couldn't help but glance at Santana again, her stomach sinking again, all too welcoming. But still…

As if sensing her indecision, Brittany swam closer. As she did so, she must have forgotten (or not cared) about her nakedness, and, with a squeak, Tina slapped a hand over Mike's eyes, pushing him over towards Santana and the pool chairs. "Have fun, Brittany!" she called back through a smile of all teeth, only letting Mike go when they were at a foot of a chair, then pushed him down so she could take a seat on his lap. Rachel could hear Santana's dry remark from where she stood, forcefully keeping her eyes above Brittany's chin.

Brittany cocked her head. She met Rachel's eyes directly. "You could even be all natural and stuff."

Behind her, Tina and Mike were now talking to Santana about her immediate jumping onto Rachel's back, and a hot flush crawled up her spine; she didn't need to hear that conversation. And that meant… Casting a quick glance at the three before looking down at Brittany, Rachel gave a short nod, the anticipatory feeling in her chest that came every time right before she entered the water rolling out through her body, warming her.

Yes. It wouldn't – shouldn't – hurt.

Only… Why couldn't Rachel shake the feeling that she was forgetting something?