agentb81 (agentb81) wrote,
agentb81
agentb81

Fic: Empire State of Mind – Chapter 2: Hustle and Bustle

Title:  Empire State of Mind – Chapter 2: Hustle and Bustle
Author: agentb81
Fandom: Glee
Pairing: Brittany/Santana
Rating: generally 15 – R (may reach NC-17 in some chapters)
Word Count: 5600
Disclaimer: Glee is copyrighted and belongs to the creators and Fox. As this work is an interpretation of the original material and not for-profit, it constitutes fair use. Use of other personalities is not a reflection of their real lives and is completely fictional. Title taken from Jay-Z and Alicia Keys’ Empire State of Mind, this fiction does not use any other material from the song.
Summary:  AU Two very different young women find themselves in the big city of New York about to embark on the biggest career moves of their lives.
Spoilers: None.

Previous Chapters: Prologue / Chapter 1: Sweat and Tears
 

Lost in her own thoughts, she was oblivious to the hustle and bustle surrounding her. So seldom had she a moment to herself, although when she did, her mind wondered. She had worked incredibly hard to get to where she was today. The past few weeks could not have been written, it had been everything she expected and more. Not one to shy away from hard work, she relished the opportunity that was offered her and she utilised to her full ability. However, she found herself in a contemplative mood, during a rare respite.

Hustle.

The steady stream of customers through the door had not relented since the opening night. Santana had ultimately succeeded in presenting a bright new vibrant menu that appealed to the patrons and visitors of New York City. The whole team had been stretched to the point of Quinn deciding to take on new staff. It may have been premature in premise, however, the blonde restaurant manager was appointed for this very reason. She was astute business woman with a flare for observing trends in hospitality service. She was very good at her job and in partnership with a young talented head chef, it was a match made in profit heaven.

The sound of feet clattering against the hardwood floor, clinking of glasses, cutlery tapping against porcelain echoed with a muffled silence through her mind as images and words swam across her thoughts. Occasionally someone would hurry by, bumping her hip, knocking her back. Usually the fiery Latina would retaliate with an insult, yet she remained silent, her elbows propped up at the end of the bar, her head feeling heavy in her hands as she blindly watched the world go by.

"Penny for your thoughts." A voice danced over her ear. The brunette jumped slightly at the sudden interruption.

"Huh?" was all she could manage.

"Arh." Came the response of realisation. "Thinking of a certain blonde?"

"What?" she replied coyly, a slight blush forming on her cheeks. "No." she choked out unconvincingly.

"Aha, I knew it." Kurt smiled in triumph, he leaned casually against the bar beside the chef. "So, have you seen Brittany since . . ." he asked, voice trailing off.

"Brittany?" she asked suddenly, her eyes widening in shock at her own faux pas. Kurt's face momentarily mimicked that of the brunette.

"If it wasn't Brittany you were thinking about, who wa . . ." His eyes widened further, his mouth hung open in shock. "Quinn?" he winced as he said it.

"What? No!" Santana was quick to defend. "No." she shook her head for emphasis.

"Ohmygod." he said quickly. "You like Quinn?"

"No!" Santana repeated quickly.

"You do!" he accused excitedly.

"I don't." She huffed. "I thought I did, at first, but I don't." Santana concluded.

"You don't sound so sure." Kurt replied.

"Look," began the brunette, "I have one rule, no relationships at work. Besides, she's with Sam, not to mention straight."

"Hmm, I've always wondered about that last part." Kurt pondered out loud. Santana narrowed her eyes, waiting for an explanation that never arrived. "Soooo," the Matre D drawled out, "what are you going to do?"

"Nothing." Santana shrugged. "It's nothing."

"Brittany?" Kurt asked with trepidation.

"What about her Kurt?" the chef was becoming impatient. "She bought me a drink, we shared a cab, I asked her if I would see her again, she told me she knew where I worked indicating that yes she would come visit and she hasn't been in since."

"She may be busy." Kurt offered with a small nervous smile.

"I know when I'm being blown off Kurt, besides, she's straight too."

"Rachel!" Kurt yelled across Santana, the brunette winced at the shrill voice that hit her side on. The waitress bounced over to where they were stood with enthusiasm, Santana shot Kurt a look of disdain. "Rachel," Kurt began, "tell me what life as a Broadway star is like." The girl's face lit up first with confusion, quickly to be overtaken with excitement.

"Well Kurt it is well documented that the life of a Broadway star is exceptionally busy, yet highly fulfilling." she paused, "I would imagine. The hours are not normal social hours as you can probably guess, much like ours." she stated.

"Do you know anything about Brittany Pierce?" Kurt asked.

"Sure, she's the new darling of Broadway, she has been interviewed in several industry magazines, on local radio and in newspapers, the internet is alive with information about her. It's like she's become famous overnight. To say I'm a little envious is an understatement, but she deserves it, I heard when she's not performing, she's either in the dance studio or having vocal coaching to strengthen her singing voice."

"See." Kurt said triumphantly. "She works as tirelessly as you do." he nodded toward the chef.

"She has of course found time to grace us with her presence." Rachel said proudly.

"Wait, what?" Santana asked, startled. "When?"

"I didn't know you were such a fan, I would have told you she was here." The waitress pondered aloud.

"I'm surprised you didn't organise a parade." Kurt muttered to which the chef smirked before returning her attention to the shorter girl.

"Seriously, when?" the chef asked with eagerness.

"Once last week and once the week before." Rachel recalled, "Of course she could have come here more frequently, but well, I don't work every day."

"So maybe she wasn't blowing you off." Kurt smiled.

"She really loves your menu Santana, she said she would frequent more often should she have the time. She seemed to hit it off with Artie quite well too." Rachel added thoughtfully earning a scowl from the chef.

"Ok, thank you Rachel." Kurt said abruptly, placing his hands on her shoulders and guiding her toward the tables. "Work to do." she dutifully followed her orders having relished the opportunity to discuss Broadway gossip on an impromptu break. "So you see." began Kurt, returning his attention to his new friend, "She has been back." he concluded with a wink.

"Then why didn't she ask to see me?" Santana asked sadly. Kurt shrugged, taking in the melancholy on the brunette's face.

"I don't know." he answered quietly. "But hey," he said, placing his forefinger beneath the chef's chin and lifting it, forcing her to pay attention to him, "it's Valentine's Day, one of our busiest days of the year. You need to go back in there," he said, his arm outstretched and he pointed towards the kitchen, "and make all of these lovely couples happier than they already are."

"Sucks." Santana muttered under her breath. She stood tall, stretching out the kinks in her back.

"You and me." the Matre D stated, "After work drinks, we'll be each other's Valentine's date." he smiled. The brunette smirked before bringing both hands up and clamping them either side of Kurt's head.

"Watch the hair." he squealed. His eyes widened as Santana drew closer, he clamped them shut, moments before her lips made contact with his forehead.

"Thank you Kurt." she said as she pulled back. "You've probably been the nicest person to me since I got to New York."

"Besides Brittany." he stated. Santana rolled her eyes, unwilling to get into an argument over the blonde Broadway star.

"Listen," Santana began, "I'm a bitch ok, and for whatever reason we seem to have propelled toward one another."

"I'm a bitch too." Kurt stated. "But I have more style." he concluded with a cheeky wink and made a beeline for a fresh couple stepping over the threshold, leaving a pondering chef in his wake.

Bustle.

Sitting silently in the plush pull down seats, Brittany contemplated the last several weeks. They had rushed by in a whirlwind, the show had taken Broadway by storm, it was the new 'must see', something the blonde had trouble comprehending. Every night the girl would be immersed in a little world of her own, dancing freely, singing like there was no tomorrow, Brittany was in her element. She was living the dream and for every intent and purpose, she kept herself as busy as she could. It was moments like these, sat with her own thoughts for company that the smallest elements of doubt would creep into her mind. To the outside world, to her friends and family, Brittany was a 'happy go lucky' type of person, full of positivity and optimism and for the most part she was, however, very occasionally she would question herself and it was usually when she felt a small pang of loneliness.

Brittany felt like she was thousands of miles from home, should she actually consult a map the reality would seem so much worse. However, having lived in Europe for several years, New York should seem less harsh. Here she was in a new city, with new people, the blonde was easily adaptable, made friends easily, but somehow, here in New York it seemed different. It had felt different since one night in particular. Opening night had been one to remember for a number of reasons. The performance had been overwhelming, Brittany felt a huge sense of pride and achievement when she left the stage and made her way to her dressing room where her parents met her following the show. Mr and Mrs Pierce had been another attribute for her current state. Brittany loved her parents dearly, they had provided her with everything she could have ever asked for, yet there was a niggling voice in the back of her mind, belonging to her mother. The way Valerie had expected Brittany to settle down and marry a guy just did not sit well with the blonde. On numerous occasions she had explained to her parents that she would follow heart and she herself had no expectations of who she would fall in love with. Valerie's comment that night had felt like another blow, that however hard she tried to live with Brittany's persuasion, she ultimately would never accept it, and it made the blonde sad. They had moved passed the conversation quickly and carried on as normal.

The restaurant had shown Brittany just how important Broadway was in the big city. She had immediately become a star, people recognised her, she was receiving special treatment and she had found a new favourite place to eat and hangout. Following her visit to Empire State of Mind, the dancer vowed to visit often, however, as fate would have it, Brittany had only been able to visit twice since. She found herself pondering this, thinking about the fantastic atmosphere, the amazing food and the friendly staff. One staff member in particular stood out in the forefront of her mind. One staff member in particular had graced her dreams and constantly occupied her thoughts. The moment Brittany stepped out of that cab and onto the sidewalk that night, she could not stop thinking about Santana Lopez. Upon her return visits, Brittany had not chanced a meeting with the brunette, wondering if poor timing had caused her to visit on the chef's days off. She longed to eat at Empire State of Mind more often, however with her show being new and popular, she found herself constantly in a tug of war within the media realm, practising with her vocal coach and dancing leaving her little time for anything else. Whenever she thought of the brunette and pleading look in her eyes in the back of the cab as she asked that question, 'will I see you again?' she felt her heart constrict in a way she had never experienced before and felt eternally guilty for not staying true to her word.

"Hey, you shouldn't do that you know." A familiar deep voice said from beside her. She glanced left with a questioning look on her face. "Thinking. I heard it can damage your brain cells or something."

"Well you wouldn't know would you Puckerman? Because you have to have some in the first place." she smirked, earning a feigned look of anger.

"Ouch." he replied before breaking out into a smile. "Hey, you want to get some food after the show?" he asked hopefully. The blonde rolled her eyes and sighed, her head dropped to the side and she pursed her lips.

"I've told you before Puck, I'm not interested." the tall, dark haired guy beside her smirked causing Brittany to smile. It was one thing she liked about Noah Puckerman, his notorious smirk.

"I know, I got the message when you got me in the headlock and threatened to castrate me." he laughed. Having tried several times to date the blonde she had always knocked him back, that last time had earned the dancer a whole new level of respect. "As a friend. You look like you could do with one." Brittany pondered the invitation for several seconds, letting the awkward silence linger a little longer.

"Ok." she agreed. "But no touching and no coming on to me."

"I wouldn't dare." Noah stated. "Whoever's got you tied up in knots must be pretty special." he observed as he stood to leave.

"I'm not sure yet." Brittany pondered thoughtfully. Puck frowned at the blonde's choice of words.

"If I know one thing for sure," he began, "you certainly are."

"What?" the blonde asked with a frown.

"Special."

"You need to stop hitting on me." Brittany warned. She playfully swatted at her colleague. Puck smirked once again, ran a hand through his short hair and shrugged.

"I can't help it."

"I get it, you've made your moves on every girl in this city and I'm new meat." she accused, watching the rehearsal take place on the stage before her.

"Busted." Puck replied. "But seriously, you look like you could do with a friend and I know how lonely it can be on Valentine's Day, so I'm just offering my company, no strings attached." he stated with an earnest sincerity. "I promise." he added, his hand over his heart. Brittany's eyes glanced sideways, and narrowed her gaze.

"It's Valentine's Day?"

"Sure it is." Puck began in disbelief, "Have you like been walking around the city with your eyes closed? There's hearts and pink and red everywhere, it's like cupid threw up or something." he said with venom.

"Not a Valentine's Day fan?" Brittany asked.

"Dude, the Puckster does not need V Day to woo a hot piece of ass." Brittany rolled her eyes before making a gagging motion with her fingers.

"You're disgusting."

"Yet here you are still talking to me." he said jumping up from his seat, "And I'm your date for Valentine's." he laughed and bolted before the blonde could retaliate.

xxx

It was late, service had ceased, the last order having passed through the kitchen fifteen minutes ago. Having spent the majority of the day in the kitchen, Santana was satisfied her kitchen staff could handle cleaning the kitchen for the following day. She pushed through the doors of the locker room and sauntered tiredly onto the restaurant floor. Subconsciously, today the brunette had made an effort with her attire, jeans, knee high boots, shirt and blazer her ensemble of choice. Having changed out of her whites, Kurt offered her an appreciative eye and approving nod as she approached him at the bar. "I approve." he said with a nod. "Much better than the sweats you like to hide that beautiful figure with." Santana frowned before offering a shrug.

"They're comfortable." she explained.

"And today's choice of clothing?" the Matre D enquired. The chef shrugged again.

"Felt like a change." she offered as she hoisted herself up onto a stool beside her colleague.

"Really." it was a statement more than a question. Sam placed a bottle of Santana's favourite beer before her, her fingers leaving an instant impression in the cool condensation of the brown glass bottle. She sighed appreciatively taking her first couple of sips. Kurt motioned with his head beyond Santana's shoulder. She spun around, almost choking on the ale as she spotted what Kurt so pensively had his eyes trained on.

"Shit." Santana said, holding her free hand up beneath her chin, catching any stray drips.

"Classy." Kurt said nonchalantly as he casually handed her a napkin. Choice timing caused the object of their stares to turn, looking in the direction of the bar causing Santana to spin back to face the other direction.

"Oh look, it's my oh so attractive friend Santana Lopez." Quinn mocked as she waltzed passed them and to the bar. "What has you in a tiz?" the blonde manager followed Kurt's line of sight. "Oh." came a short gasp of realisation. "I love your work Lopez." she smirked, earning a look of pure evil from the brunette.

xx

Brittany sat nervously in her seat, she had felt several pairs of eyes on her throughout her meal. Not only from the patrons, but from the staff also. It irked her somewhat that she was unable to sit through a meal without feeling paranoid or uncomfortable. Only when her eyes met a certain pair of brown ones, did she relax somewhat, offering a small smile at whatever commotion was abound at the bar. Having realised the Latina had inadvertently 'missed her mouth' with the beer in her hand, she smiled adoringly before turning back to Puck who was demanding her attention.

"Dude everyone thinks we're on a date. This is so awesome." Puck grinned, stuffing the remains of a bread roll in his mouth. Brittany winced with disgust as she watched the dough tumble in his mouth.

"Dude?" she mimicked, "Close your mouth. And you know this isn't a date. It's not a date." she repeated adamantly, at which point their waiter swooped in to clear the empty plates.

"Was everything to your satisfaction ma'am?" Artie asked with a small smile.

"Company excluded." she shot a look at Puck who feigned hurt and clutched dramatically at his chest. Brittany rolled her eyes in response. "Yes, thank you very much Artie."

"Can I get you any coffee or deserts?" As Puckerman opened his mouth to speak, the dancer cut in.

"No, thank you, just the cheque."

"Certainly ma'am." Artie obliged and returned the plates to the kitchen.

"It's Valentine's Day, I should be allowed desert." Puck sulked into his beer. Brittany glanced over to the bar once again, she had other ideas, ones she was not planning on sharing with her dinner date. However Puck noticed and glanced over his shoulder.

"Ok, what's the deal?" he asked. "I knew there was a reason you keep raving about this place, I mean the food is good, great even, but you keep looking over there." his eyes narrowed, determined to get his friend to speak. He could see the emotions crossing the dancers face, settling on apprehension and uncertainty. He placed his hand over hers in a warm, friendly gesture. "You can tell me."

"I . . ." she began, her eyes lifted and glanced at Santana who was slouched on her stool. Brittany's heart broke a little at the deflated body language of the chef. She knew the brunette was lonely, having discovered the blonde was the only person who did not work at the restaurant that Santana had conversed with. Although that may well have changed over the past several weeks, but Brittany could not help think that she was the only one deemed special enough to garner the Latina's attention.

"Your special someone is over there." Puck deduced as he watched Brittany intently. The blonde sighed in defeat. He may be a guy, and he may be Noah Puckerman, the infamous lethario, but the guy was fairly astute.

"Yes." she admitted with a deep breath. Puck's eyes lit up like a Christmas tree.

"Is it the blonde dude behind the bar?"

"No." Brittany replied.

"Good, because he's prettier than you and keeps making googly eyes at the other blonde, are they like lesbians or something?" Puck asked, earning a soft giggle from the other blonde beside him. "Arh there it is." he beamed in triumph.

"Dude, it's not our waiter is it? Because he's a bit of a douche."

"No, not the waiter."

"The Maitre D? Because I'm pretty sure he bats for the other team."

"Wrong again Puckerman." Puck frowned looking around.

"Well that only leaves . . . ." he began, his eyes landing on the attractive Latina propping up the bar. "Damn."

"Yep." Brittany replied, avoiding eye contact with her colleague.

"She's smoking hot Britt." Puck approved.

"But how do you know if . . ." he trailed off, shrugging his shoulders questioningly.

"I don't. And I don't really have any friends and we just clicked, you know?" she replied wistfully.

"What if she's not?"

"I'm not befriending her for the sole purpose of seducing her." Brittany answered. "Friendship first, it seems like it's what we both need."

"So you've like spoken to her and stuff?"

"Yeah." Brittany replied. "Opening night, I bought her drink and we talked. It was nice."

"Chicks are so weird." Puck muttered. "But if that's what you want, go for it."

"Don't hit on her." Brittany blasted abruptly. Puck put his hands up in defence.

"Off limits, I get it." he stated, "A guy can dream though right?" he asked with a playful smirk.

xx

"I think she's on a date." Sam stated from his position behind the bar, whilst polishing wine glasses.

"Yes thank you for your input oh wise one." Santana spat. Kurt laid a hand on Santana's thigh and shot her a warning 'play nice' glance. Quinn eyed the exchange with interest before referring to the situation at hand.

"Are you jealous?" the brunette froze in place. On the one hand she had reacted in spite to Sam who was dating Quinn, on the other she was somewhat disappointed to see Brittany seemingly on a date, in her restaurant, on Valentine's Day. "I think you like her." Quinn teased, she was rewarded with a scowl.

"Cut it out Quinn." interrupted Kurt.

"Since when did you back down from a good tease?"

"Since I'm sensitive to people's feelings."

"Oh per-lease." Quinn snarled. She spared a glance at a glum looking Santana, her heart tugged a little at the loneliness she saw there, "Hey, if it's any consolation, she keeps looking over." the blonde offered an olive branch.

"Guys, I like met her once, what is the big deal here?" Santana snapped. "I'm not interested in her 'like that'." she elaborated. Her colleagues began looking at one another, at everyone other than Santana in the uncomfortable silence. "Let's get a few things straight here." Quinn and Kurt suppressed a giggle. "Number one, my personal life, or lack of, is not up for discussion. Number two, just because I am gay does not mean I am interested in her. Number three," Santana continued with a stern frown, "she seems nice, we got a long well, is it completely beyond the realms of possibility for me to make friends? Really?" she hissed. Eyes widened, mouths flapped unceremoniously like ocean creatures.

"No." Kurt said, placing a reassuring hand on the brunette's shoulder. "You're very much entitled to and capable of making friends as much as anyone."

"Thank you Kurt." Santana over pronounced for dramatic effect.

"She's not dating him." Artie said as he cut in and swiped a credit card through the till. All pairs of eyes landed on the waiter, lips remained closed as they waited for him to elaborate. However, the explanation never came and Artie walked back over to Brittany and her 'date'.

...

"This drink was the worst idea ever Hummel." Santana groaned as she let her head drop into the crook of her elbow which lay upon the bar. Quinn and Sam had occupied themselves with preparing the bar for closing and were now safely out of earshot.

"I don't think it was." Kurt said, sliding off his stool.

"Really Kurt? I've had nothing but grief since I left the damn kitchen, I worked my ass off on Valentine's Day and have no date, Quinn's giving me shit about Brittany and . . ."

"What about Brittany?" Santana's muffled voice was cut off by a clear and concise one, new to the conversation. The brunette frowned and gingerly lifted her head from the bar, turning to look at the bearer of the sweet voice.

"Oh hey." the chef offered with an embarrassed blush. "Err, I'm sorry about that, I thought I was talking to Kurt." she replied, looking around for her friend.

"He went that way." Brittany pointed toward the kitchen.

"Of course he did." Santana muttered. The dancer watched Santana intently, who appeared deflated somewhat.

"I did come back." the blonde stated quickly, a pang of guilt had settled in her chest. The chef looked at her questioningly. "After I said I would." the brunette smiled. "I didn't see you."

"It's ok." Santana replied, she straightened herself, feeling a little more confident and took a swig from her bottle.

"I didn't want you to think that I didn't, I stay true to my word." Santana continued to smile at the honesty radiating from the blue eyes before her.

"I appreciate that." Santana replied, "Can I get you a drink?"

"I'd like that." Brittany said, taking her cue to perch on the stool beside the Latina. The blonde placed her order and was promptly served by the blonde barman, a drink and a smile, perfect customer service.

"Where's your date?" Santana asked, less than enthused, it was said without interest, yet without malice also. Santana had no right to be jealous and she knew it. She had only met the girl once and she would admit that Brittany had left a lasting impression on the Latina as she did with most people she came across, the blonde was a force of nature. Brittany laughed sweetly and swatted at Santana's arm. Brown eyes followed the movements of the dancer's hand before meeting her mesmerising eyes once again. She could not help but smile, everything about the blonde exuded sunshine, rainbows and waves of positivity.

"Puck is not my date, he's in the show and felt sorry for me. I didn't even know it was Valentine's day." Santana laughed softly, at her own invalid assumption above the fact the blonde had almost bypassed one of the biggest days on the Hallmark calendar.

"I guess when you're performing as much as you do all the days kind of run into one another." the chef mused.

"Yes, totally." Agreed the dancer.

"It can be like that here, but occasions like today stick out."

"I imagine it's days like today that guarantee you business." Brittany pondered before bringing her glass to her lips and taking a sip. She let the warm liquid lubricate her throat, the sensation causing a feeling of satisfaction. The blonde tilted her head back slightly and closed her eyes, enjoying the moment. Santana took the opportunity to really look at the other woman. It was like she was seeing her for the first time. She knew the blonde was attractive, but with a raised eyebrow and an appreciative smirk, Santana noticed the dancer's true beauty. "Are you ok?" Brittany asked, her eyes suddenly trained questioningly on the Latina.

"Huh?" Santana shook her head, clearing her thoughts, yet she couldn't help the blush creeping up her neck and across her cheeks. "Yeah, sorry, just tired I guess."

"So where's your date this evening?" the blonde asked, somewhat interested in the brunette's answer, yet being the Broadway star she was, was able to hide the eagerness that plagued her.

"I don't have one." she replied simply. "Well," she began, "Kurt was kind of it, but we're not each other's type." she smiled. Brittany thought for a moment, heading the brunette's words, not quite sure if she understood them the way she was meant to. Deciding not to push it so early in the friendship, the blonde swiftly changed topic.

"So I feel bad for not seeing you before now." Brittany said.

"Hey no!" Santana began, however, the blonde continued.

"I was thinking as you're new in town I could show you around a bit." the blonde stated with apprehension. She waited patiently, watching the thoughts cross the chef's eyes.

"You know your way around this place?" Santana asked.

"Sure." Brittany shrugged nonchalantly.

"Sure, that sounds great, I've been meaning to explore the City." the brunette replied with excitement. "You're not too busy are you?" she asked as an afterthought. Brittany smiled at the concern in the warm brown eyes before her.

"I have days off Santana." Brittany replied, "Besides, I'd make time for you." she said quietly with a sweet smile earning a light blush from the chef.

"Why?" Santana asked curiously. Brittany tilted her head to the side and thought for a moment, formulating the right words before opening her mouth to speak.

"You just see me as a regular person." the blonde stated. Santana frowned, processing the words. "In the short time we've spent together, you've treated me like Brittany Pierce from Lima, Ohio, not Brittany Pierce, West End and Broadway star. You know, I do love my job and I appreciate the fans, but I do it because I love to perform, I'm not really used to being the centre of attention and being recognised, it creeps me out." she sighed. "And you kinda get that without even knowing it."

"You are Brittany from Ohio to me. You don't scream and shout about your talent, it's refreshing around here." Santana said with a smile. "I mean, your job doesn't define you." the blonde laughed at the chef's choice of words. Santana smiled widely, the happiness infectious. "What?" she asked with a slight sense of self consciousness.

"Doesn't it?" Brittany asked. "Does your job define you?"

"There's more to me than just chef whites." she smiled as she placed the head of the beer bottle to her lips.

"I can see that." the blonde swept her eyes over Santana's clothing. The Latina narrowed her eyes. "I like you." Brittany stated. "I think we could be great friends."

"You might change your mind." Santana replied nervously.

"Hmm," pondered the blonde, "I guess we'll just have to hang out and see." she mused.

"Thank you Brittany." the Latina stated with an air of seriousness.

"You're welcome?" Brittany asked confused. Santana smiled at the frown lines forming on the dancer's pale features.

"It's not easy for me to make friends." the brunette stated sadly. Brittany placed a reassuring hand on Santana's shoulder.

"Something tells me you don't trust very easily." Santana laughed nervously at her companion's accurate assessment. "And that it's a story for another time." the brunette nodded her agreement, keen to avoid such a heavy topic on what would be only their second meeting. Yet the brunette felt comfortable around Brittany, she felt like she could trust her and to some extent it scared her. "I'm done." the blonde said. She placed her glass heavily onto the bar. "Want to share a cab?" she asked. Santana smiled, it may scare her, but it also excited her that someone like Brittany actually wanted to spend time with her. She nodded in agreement before downing the rest of her beer. "Happy Valentine's Day." the blonde added with a wink.

"Didn't turn out so bad after all."

xx

Whilst the hustle and bustle of New York lived on through the night, two women lay in their big lonely beds where both fell peacefully asleep happier than when they had woken up. They found themselves on a path excited to explore. Neither had expected to find one another, to become friends so quickly and easily as New York had initially been all about career. Whilst work had proven a great success for both of them so far, their social standings were beginning to look up also. For one woman, it was naturally difficult to connect with people on a personal level and make friends, for the other, her charm and easy going nature had people falling at her feet, however, due to her success it was time for her to be choosy. She had fallen into the trap and been hurt before by fame and fortune seekers. People she could generally rely on, were those already in the business, so when she found someone so detached from the stage and seemed genuinely interested in her as a person, she vowed to pursue a friendship with this woman, although it appeared she did not have to pursue as much as she thought as the other woman too had formed an instant attachment to her. With smiles on their slumber filled faces, both slept soundly with dreams of what tomorrow may bring.

Tags: brittana, brittany/santana, esom, fanfiction, glee
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