Rating: generally 15 – R (may reach NC-17 in some chapters)
Word Count: 6500
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.
A/N: Thank you to the amazing lizzylizbian my beta who never complains, is so quick and always delivers :)
Previous Chapters: Prologue / Chapter 1: Sweat and Tears / Chapter 2: Hustle and Bustle / Chapter 3: Will and Hope / Chapter 4: Tiptoe / Chapter 5: Entwined
Startled, she awoke in a foreign place. The soft pink cotton bed sheets, the magnolia walls, the flowery curtains, it was all . . . different. Santana squeezed her eyes shut having exposing them to light far too quickly, the pounding in her head suggested she had in fact put her brain through some sort of trauma, but was almost positive alcohol was not involved. Turning, she bumped something, or someone; gently prying open her eyes, she was met with a familiar streak of golden locks. A momentary frown quickly turned into a tooth bearing grin as she came to the realisation she was in Brittany's bed. Brittany, the one person she had dreamt of having this very moment with. Reaching out tentatively, she ran her fingers through the silken hair and sighed contentedly when the blonde stretched out to hug her. Santana pulled the dancer closer to her body, thankful for the way Brittany had cared for her the previous day. "Thank you, Britt Britt." She said quietly, her hand still gliding through blonde hair. She felt at ease, happy even, more so than she had when she was home in Los Angeles. New York had been different, an upheaval, but worth it in order to pursue her dream of climbing the career ladder. Brittany had been the first and only person to take an active interest in Santana the civilian, the person, the human being, instead of the talented and highly rated chef. However, the Latina had little time to socialise outside of the restaurant. The blonde cuddled up in her arms was her saviour in so many ways.
With a big sigh, she contemplated what the day would bring. They had talked late into the night, and the only real thing she learnt was how Brittany felt the same for her as she did for the dancer. It was progress. She could not help feel a little guilty for holding them both back in the pursuit of a relationship. But it was still early. It was all very new. They had been friends for barely a few months, making the transition to lovers may require some adjustment and a little time. However, right now, she was content to just lay there, enjoying the steady rise and fall of Brittany's chest against her body and the tickle of her breath against her neck. She closed her eyes again, her hand never leaving the soft muss of hair. It was new. This whole feeling of belonging, of being able to open up wholly and not have any negative repercussions. Santana had never been able to handle her own heart. Giving it to someone else was something she never thought possible. Yet with Brittany, she was learning to accept that she had a lot of love to give, and that keeping it bottled up and locked away was unhealthy. No one had ever given Santana a reason to trust, until Brittany. She was different, wholesome, a breath of fresh air. But most of all, she truly cared for Santana. Brittany didn't want to be with the chef because of her looks or to gain social standing or to eat fancy food whenever she felt like it.
Santana Lopez was a human being, just like everybody else. The innate craving for love and feeling wanted was as prevalent in Santana as anyone. Yet through nurture and uncontrollable actions of other people, she was terribly protective of herself and afraid to let herself love and be loved. However, Brittany was new; her ideals and personality were fresh which is what Santana found so endearing and attractive about the blonde. It was also what scared her.
She was gently coaxed into a state of awareness as she felt gentle fingers threading through her hair, occasionally grazing her scalp causing her heart to flutter. Already conscious of her bedmate, she reached out and snuggled closer to the Latina. Santana was comfortable, more so than a pillow or cushion. She radiated warmth and safety, something Brittany felt she had been missing for so long. The chef had easily made an impression on the blonde. They had become friends with little effort and it would have taken all the will in the world for Brittany not to develop romantic feeling for the other woman. She encapsulated her like no one ever had before. The time she spent with Santana had always left her wanting more. The woman was full of intrigue and mystery, always holding back that little bit. Undeterred, Brittany had put her plan into action. Dropping casual and occasional hints, cranking up the level of flirting, and to ram the message home, she tried being overtly bold. They had been at a stalemate for several weeks, wanting more but reluctant to take a step forward. Brittany was used to being the one that was pursued, with her outgoing and friendly nature, she had an overwhelming number of offers; however, she always brushed them off. Although the dancer was often oblivious to the attention she garnered and would waltz through life picking up the odd date here and there, fleeting relationships lasting no greater than several months. She found herself never really settling down due to her passion for dancing, her drive within her career and the constant moving around. Brittany had been in one serious relationship that lasted through the latter years of high school and suffered at the hands of a long distance relationship when college and dancing separated the young lovers. Eventually the romance ran its course. The two drifting apart after a year, both figuratively and literally. The mutual decision was welcomed and the blonde was able to move on with her life. However, her mother, Valerie, was rather attached to Daniel.
Brittany snuggled closer to Santana. The Latina had laid her heart on the line the previous evening, it was a conversation the blonde had never expected to have, yet she was grateful Santana trusted her enough to share it. Being an extremely guarded person, the dancer was aware at how difficult it was for Santana to bare her soul in such a raw and emotional way. Granted, it had been the result of an unfortunate set of circumstances, but it was that bad luck that propelled them forward. Enjoying the feel of the soft fingers through her hair, Brittany further stirred, her body and mind awakening, finally ready to face the world, the day, with the girl in her bed whom she had grown so fond of. This was just the beginning. Brittany could barely contain her excitement as she lifted her head, stilling Santana's motions, and greeted her bedmate with a sweet, brief kiss on the lips.
"G'morning beautiful." she slurred, drunk on happiness.
Santana smiled shyly as the words of endearment danced over her ears. She was content to just lay and stare into sparkling blue eyes. Brittany was happy, and the brunette knew that she was the cause of that happiness. It made her blush furiously, and she mentally chastised herself for being so over emotional. Last night had been exhausting - mentally draining, as she had exposed herself to Brittany, showing her fears and vulnerability. Yet the blonde was still there. She had woken up to the most beautiful girl she had ever laid eyes upon. Dreams were made of this. With slight trepidation she leaned closer to the other woman, her eyes never wavering from Brittany's as she gently captured her lips. It was sweet, tender and full of promise. Gently pulling away, she buried her head into Brittany's neck and hugged her waist furiously, hoping with all might her gratitude was conveyed.
"Morning." she replied with a coy grin. Mimicking Santana's earlier motions, Brittany began to thread her fingers through Santana's hair. "It's a beautiful day." the brunette stated with a breathy sigh. The dancer frowned slightly, her eyes travelling to the curtains, unaware of what the world looked like outside her window. Brittany decided that it did not matter what was happening beyond the brick, mortar and glass; she had everything she needed right there, laying in her arms.
"How do you know?" she asked quietly.
"Because I woke up to you and I get to do this." Santana shifted and raised her head, planting a lazy kiss on the blonde's soft, inviting lips. Brittany smiled as the Latina pulled away. Fingers softly danced across the blonde's slightly exposed stomach, releasing a magnitude of butterflies within the dancer. Her breath hitched and she caught the amused expression in the humoured brown eyes before her.
"I could get used to this." Brittany revealed with a smirk, her confidence returning following a minor falter. Santana continued with her ministrations, enjoying the feel of Brittany's soft skin beneath the pads of her fingers. The dancer froze momentarily as she felt the rough bandaged material of the injured hand. "Your hand." Brittany stated. "How's your hand?" she asked with gentle concern. Santana shrugged. "San?" Brittany said with stern warning.
"Hurts a little, but it's ok." the chef replied after a beat. Stubborn as ever. The blonde shifted to get up; however, she found herself pinned to the bed. "Stay." husked the brunette, her voice shattering any coherent thought Brittany had. Santana's eyelids grew heavy the longer she stared into the hypnotising ocean blue orbs of the blonde. Taking charge once again, she leaned in, her lips naturally gravitating towards Brittany's. It had been a long time since Santana had felt anything near the elation that consumed her in the presence of this incredible being, and now all feelings were finally out in the open. She could not help but take advantage of that. Brittany returned the kiss with gusto, a vigour that the brunette never knew existed within the other girl.
Santana fought to gain control, her own velvet tongue stroking Brittany’s, fighting for dominance. Brittany twisted slightly. She pinned Santana to the mattress beneath her, her body half covering the brunette's. The kiss deepened, causing both women to moan into the other’s mouth. The moment heated up when Brittany straddled her bed partner. The dancer's hands idly played with the loose raven locks, her breasts pushing roughly against Santana’s, whilst the friction between their t-shirts caused the fabric to rise. Giving in, Brittany laid back down on the beautiful brunette below her, causing Santana to moan with pure pleasure as she felt the skin of the blonde's taut stomach move against her own.
The dancer placed a hand on Santana's smooth stomach whilst continuing her assault on the brunette’s mouth. Brittany's hand slowly inched up the chef’s torso as Santana’s wrapped tightly around the blonde, holding her as close as possible. Gone were the fears from the previous night. And gone was any trepidation Santana felt. Opening her heart had never felt so liberating and trusting Brittany had proved easier than she ever thought. She was lost in the moment with her head firmly in the clouds. Brittany's tongue was dancing, swirling and stroking, claiming Santana's mouth as her own. She felt the blonde’s fingers brush against her breast. The dancer slowly broke away, kissing Santana’s jaw line allowing her to breath for what felt like the first time. The Latina gasped as Brittany’s lips, tongue and teeth continued to attack her skin - her neck the object of the blonde’s assault. The chef was almost disbelieving of reality. It was like a dream and all too cautiously she looked down at the blonde, aware she had fantasised about a moment like this many a time. She was brought to her senses by an incessant beeping. Afraid she had indeed been dreaming, she painfully opened her eyes. The blonde was still wrapped around her seemingly lost in the moment, enjoying the feel of Santana beneath her weight. The alarm was now blaring, clearly indicating Brittany was usually a deep sleeper for it only became louder. "Britt." Santana breathed into the ear that hovered near her lips. "Britt." she rasped louder, this time gaining the blonde's attention. Brittany looked up at the brunette, her lips swollen from her oral assault on the Latina, her hair mussed and wild, eyes as bright as stars. Santana's breath hitched. The dancer looked incredibly sexy and wanted nothing more than to ravish her. "Alarm." Santana choked out.
"Huh?" Brittany breathed, still in a Santana fuelled haze, oblivious to the fact she had forgotten to re-set the thing with a new time the previous night.
"Alarm, your alarm." Santana explained with little wording, unable to formulate a sentence. The dancer's body was warm against her own, the gentle pressure of her weight felt like it belonged. Smiling sheepishly with guilt and apology, Brittany leaned the whole way across the bed and swiped her hand over the clock relaxing immediately and landing upon the brunette, their faces millimetres apart. "Hey." Santana said with a sweet smile.
"Hey yourself." Brittany replied, brushing loose strands of the Latina's hair from her face. “I guess I forgot it was set.” Brittany closed the gap again, her lips skimming across Santana's with a ghost of a kiss, leaving the brunette wanting more. The blonde smirked as Santana flipped her, reversing their positions. The blonde's back collided with a soft bounce upon the mattress and she hissed as Santana's knee inadvertently hit her centre. Almost simultaneously, Santana cried out.
"Fuck Brittany!" she all but yelled. The blonde's immediate reaction was to smirk with pride.
"I didn't even do anything yet." Brittany replied.
"Britt, move." Santana ordered, panic evident in her voice. The dancer's eyes widened with worry, noticing the contorted pain on the brunette's features. "Get up." Santana tried again, tears stinging the corners of her eyes. The blonde wriggled, causing the brunette to yelp. "My hand." Santana cried weakly. "Fuck, fuck, fuck." she chanted. Brittany jumped up as quickly as humanly possible, not wanting to cause her friend further pain. Kneeling on the bed beside Santana, she looked at the space she had recently occupied, seeing the injured hand laying motionless against the sheets. The dancer's heart plummeted at the realisation she had again caused the brunette physical pain. She turned her attention to Santana whose eyes were closed, teeth gritted together, pain etched on her face.
"San." Brittany said moving closer to the other girl. "I'm so sorry." she could feel the tears in her own eyes threatening to spill.
"It's ok." Santana gasped. "I'm ok." she reassured gingerly opening her eyes with a tight smile. Seeing the worry and guilt clouding Brittany's face, she reached up with her good hand, her fingers tracing over the soft warm skin. "It was an accident."
"But," began the blonde. Santana cut her off with a swift kiss.
"No buts." the Latina ordered, her breathing slowly returning to normal. "Can you get my meds please?" she asked gingerly.
"Of course." Brittany replied and hurried off the bed, disappearing from the room.
Santana lay on her back, her eyes tracing the faint pattern on the ceiling, willing the pain to dissipate. The initial shot of hurt through her whole body was a tremendous shock, the pressure of both Brittany's and her own weight upon the injury was too much and consequently she suffered. Ever so carefully, Santana picked up her injured hand and placed it on her stomach.
The feelings she was experiencing now were a far cry from the ones mere minutes ago, with Brittany on top of her, pleasing her every last nerve with the gentle touch of her fingers and her tongue, uniting them both like they never had before. She knew they could have something special. The way they had formed a bond with each other, like with no one else she had before. It was instant, the blonde had intrigued her, and even though she felt an affinity for Quinn, that quickly fizzled out the more time she spent with either of them. It was Brittany she felt more akin to. It was Brittany who was always at the forefront of her mind, during her waking day and gracing her nightly dreams. It had been a blessing that they developed a relationship as friends first. Both being new to the big city, progressing careers, travelling pasts, they had a lot in common. Add to the fact they both felt so at ease in each other's company, it was no great surprise they developed a sexual chemistry with one another. Santana sighed. Whilst so far their budding romance had been calamitous, she would not have changed it for the world. She wanted to take it slowly, build a steady, solid and albeit lasting relationship with Brittany. She had learnt to trust her, even after having been hurt and mistrusting in the past. She had met and dated other woman, but her commitment and trust issues had been major factors in communication and relationship breakdowns. The move from Los Angeles to New York was an opportunity for Santana to start again, begin her life anew. She was determined to remain focused on her career, to be the best chef she could be. Little did she know that on her opening night she would meet someone who would teach her the true meaning of a new beginning.
Having made the journey across town to her apartment, the Latina quickly changed, stubbornly declining Brittany's assistance, "I promise I won't look." came the assurance from the blonde. "I can manage." was the reply from the patient. The result was mismatched buttons in the wrong holes on the brunette's shirt. Brittany gazed at her adoringly as Santana struggled with the arms of her blazer. "I can manage." Santana repeated upon witnessing the dancer's raised eyebrows. Brittany pointed to the shirt, "Your buttons." she said, smirking at a pouting brunette. "Let me." reluctantly, Santana accepted.
They now found themselves in Empire State of Mind, where it had all begun, enjoying a light brunch before Brittany had to depart for the theatre for a matinee performance. Enjoying each other's company, the two spoke quietly, sometimes laughing and stealing the occasional touch. To the outside world, they were two good friends catching up over a meal. To them, this was another treasured moment, their first real date as Brittany had insisted on calling it, an attempt to make up for causing the brunette so much physical and emotional agony over the past few days. Santana could not say no to the blonde, despite her resolute stance that the dancer was not at fault.
"Last night," Brittany began, Santana placed her fork down on the plate and picked up the glass of juice, taking a sip, wondering where this new topic of conversation was headed. "was crazy right?" the blonde asked. Santana nodded mutely encouraging Brittany to continue. “Crazy good.” She emphasised, "But, we haven't talked about it yet." Brittany said. Santana sighed, knowing they would have to have a talk about the talk at some point.
"You don't think we talked enough last night?" the chef asked defensively, sitting back in her chair.
"I think," Brittany took a moment and chewed her lip whilst thinking carefully about her words, "that, we made a lot of progress last night and I wouldn't change that." she answered. "Right now, I know we like each other a lot and I don't know much else." she explained.
"What do you mean?" Santana asked, her eyes narrowing. "We're dating right?" she asked nervously.
"Yeah." Brittany replied breezily, her hand reaching out to take Santana's in her own. "Are we together, like exclusive? Because what you said last night makes me think we are, but I'm not sure." she asked. Santana smiled, leaning forward she squeezed Brittany's warm hand.
"I don't want to be with anyone but you Brittany. I want to be with Brittany from Lima, Ohio who just so happens to be this amazing dancer and performer" Santana replied, earning a dazzling grin from her girl. "I meant it when I said that I just want to be with you." she stated.
"But slow right?" the blonde asked, seeking confirmation. She was aware of the brunette's fears and insecurities.
"Slow." Santana repeated, "I need to learn how to love again and so far," she paused, gazing into Brittany's captivating eyes, "you're an excellent teacher." she smiled shyly. If it was possible, Brittany's blue orbs sparkled even brighter. Santana had never come across a more expressive pair of eyes than the blonde's, but then, rarely had she the inclination to become lost in a pair of eyes like she did now.
"Ahem." came the clearing of a throat beside them. Santana chanced a glance up, a threatening scowl adorning her features in an attempt to ward off their intruder. "Not going to work on me honey." came the response.
"You're kind of interrupting Kurt." Santana spat. The Matre D cocked his head to the side.
"Oh really?" he asked, pulling up a seat beside the two women. Santana stared at him incredulously and Brittany laughed at the interaction. "I take it you two sorted out your little problem?" he asked, before either could answer, he spoke again, "Where did you get to last night? You left me hanging." he accused.
"Sorry Kurt, I," Began the blonde, Santana held up a hand to stop her.
"No Britt." she stated, then turned her attention to her colleague. "I had some things I needed to work out, I thought you'd understand." Santana replied.
"Of course." Kurt said, "I'm just messing with you. Looks like it went well?" he enquired.
"Kurt?" Santana said, pulling the napkin from her lap and placing it on the table, "I'm in a better place than I was yesterday and that's all you need to know." she said with an air of mysticism. The aspiring star rose to his feet dramatically.
"Oh you're no fun." he answered and spun on his heel, making a beeline to the front door. Santana turned her attention back to Brittany who was looking at her questioningly.
"I'll tell him, just, let me enjoy having you to myself for a bit first." she smiled, knowing how interfering the guy could be. "Is this ok?" she asked suddenly, causing the dancer to frown.
"What do you mean?" asked Brittany.
"When it comes out that we're together, what impact will it have on your career?" she asked with concern.
"San, half the people in this business are gay." she laughed before casually taking a strawberry and popping it into her mouth.
"Isn't that a slight exaggeration?" the Latina asked suspiciously. Brittany shrugged in response.
"You worry too much." The dancer stated nonchalantly, she leant across the table, placing a swift, sweet kiss on Santana's cheek, followed by a reassuring wink.
"I knew it!" came a shriek from across the restaurant. Santana rolled her eyes at the second interruption from Kurt. It had been such an innocent act on the blonde’s part. With a sigh, the brunette returned her full attention to the woman before her and watched Brittany carefully. The blonde was right; she really did worry too much. Being with such a carefree person was going to be an education. She smiled, hoping the blonde's relaxed attitude would eventually influence herself. She nodded her head slowly, conceding that Brittany knew what she was doing and she should trust her.
"But there's something you should know." Brittany blurted. Santana sat with wide eyes, unsure if she was going to like the next words to leave the blonde's mouth. "It's Easter next week." she stated. Santana frowned before raising an eyebrow. She placed her elbows on the table and leaned closer to her companion.
"I am aware of that." the brunette confirmed with a nod.
"My folks will be in town." continued the dancer, this time picking up the remainder of her coffee and downing the tepid brown liquid. She snarled in response, disappointed she had let it cool. Looking up, she tried to gage Santana's reaction.
"And it's my birthday. Same as Jesus." she smiled triumphantly. Santana did a double take, unsure if she had heard the blonde correctly. Her mouth opened to speak but no words were emitted. "And the Easter Bunny." Brittany confirmed with a nod.
"You're too cute." Santana breathed with a chuckle, "But Britt, Jesus' birthday is at Christmas."
"Oh I know." she replied with a shrug, "Easter's like his second birthday, he rose again. You know, that's like being born again right?" Santana was dumbfounded, she found herself nodding involuntarily in agreement.
"Yeah, I guess." The chef sat in silence for a short while, trying to absorb the mountain of information that she had just been bombarded with, trying to pick out the significant details. "It's your birthday next week."
"And your parents are in town."
"That's right." Brittany replied, "But you don't have to meet them, I mean I understand if it's too soon."
"Are you asking me to meet your parents?" Santana asked, confused. She lay her arms down on the table, her thumbs idly twirling around one another.
"We're having dinner on Sunday for my birthday and I'd love for you to be there, but if you can't handle it, I understand." Brittany replied, stilling Santana's hands with one of her own placed over the top. Her eyes conveyed a world of adoration and understanding. Ultimately, she knew they were in the very early stages of their relationship, and only wanted for the brunette to be comfortable. The blonde watched as the cogs turned in Santana's head, a magnitude of thoughts barraging through. It was lucky the blonde was patient. Santana voicing her inner emotions was not an instant process.
"How long have we known each other?" The brunette finally spoke, the question throwing the dancer off guard. Brittany opened the palm of her free hand and started counting down with her fingers, mouthing the words as she did so. She paused, looking at her hand. With resolution she looked up to the brunette with her answer.
"About four months." she replied. Santana nodded with an adoring smile.
"Friends meet parents all the time right?" the brunette asked, earning a nod from the blonde. "Then it's ok. We were friends first. I can deal with it." Brittany eyed her with scepticism. "I'll learn to deal with it." Santana corrected with a small smile.
The girls were stood at the bar having paid their food bill, chatting animatedly with Santana's colleagues. The chef leant against the wood, head propped up on her good hand, smiling wistfully as she gazed at the adorable blonde. Her smouldering eyes raked the length of the dancer's body, from the tips of her leather boot clad toes, up the denim legs that seemed to go on forever, over the loose fitting Tinkerbelle sweater, up to the cascades of blonde silken locks. The sparkle in Brittany’s eyes when she laughed, oh that musical sound; Santana was in a daze, enjoying the show that was Brittany.
"You seem happy." the voice caressed her ear out of nowhere, shaking her from her thoughts. Santana turned to see Quinn leaning over the bar from the other side, her eyes twinkling with mischief, causing the chef to blush. She straightened, briefly stretching out the kinks in her back. She was unable to prevent the grin that spread across her face.
"I am." she stated with simplicity.
"Good." Quinn replied with an honest smile. "How long are you out of action?" she asked, eliciting a blush from the Latina, realising the underlying meaning of her words. Widening her eyes to comic proportions, the blonde back peddled quickly. "Out of the kitchen. I meant how long will you be away from work?" she said clearing her throat in an effort to compose herself. Santana shrugged. An air of confidence radiated from her and she cocked her head to the side, deciding to have a little fun with the restaurant manager.
"You know my girl is banging hot." she said, "It's going to be hard keeping my hands off her." Santana smirked as she watched a blush creep up Quinn's neck and into her cheeks. "Although it didn't stop us this morning . . ." she trailed off.
"Actually it did San," Brittany chimed in. Santana rolled her eyes again, disappointed with the dancer for ending her brief reign of terror on her colleague.
"It's a good job you're adorable." Santana swooned, leaning into the blonde and resting her head upon the taller girl's shoulder. Brittany wrapped her arm around the Latina, hugging her closely and placed a protective kiss atop Santana's head.
"Really guys, how can you go from sexy to cute in milliseconds?" Kurt asked, now standing beside his manager who spared a sideways glance. Santana's head sprung up, eyes bulging with disbelief.
"That's how we roll." Brittany answered monotone with a trademark shrug. She caught Santana's expression and continued, "And you're not allowed to call Santana cute." she replied, earning a warm smile from her companion, "She'll totally go badass on you."
"So is it official, are you guys together? Because you're totally behaving like a couple, not that you didn't before, because you did, but it's just, well, you're more handsy and intimate than before."
"Really Berry? Who invited you into this private conversation?" Santana asked.
"I was your waitress and I've been standing here the whole time." she argued.
"Then maybe you should hurry along and do what you're paid to." the Latina chastised condescendingly. The petite brunette dropped her head and began to skulk away, however, Brittany stopped her by placing a hand on her arm.
"Rachel?" the performer said, Rachel's eyes lit up like Times Square upon hearing the Broadway Star address by her first name. "I'm sorry about Santana." the blonde turned and glared at her girlfriend, earning a confused, questioning look, "I think she's horny." Santana's eyes bulged in sheer disbelief.
"Britt." she sighed with exasperation, "too much!" the chef warned. Her voice an octave higher than usual. Several pairs of embarrassed eyes diverted away from the new couple. "Stop being so, so, honest." Santana said quietly. "And cute and hot." she added with a mutter, catching the smirk that appeared on Brittany's face, matching the humour and intrigue in the bright blue eyes before her. "We need to go." Santana announced loudly, needing to get away from her work place. "Quinn, I'll be back midweek, light duties. Finn can handle it all. He's proved he is more than capable."
"He'll be happy to hear that Santana." Quinn answered with a genuine smile.
"I mean it, you guys are great, I love working with you guys." Santana admitted. There were a few confused expressions and questioning looks as the unusual words left the notorious stoic chef's mouth. "Britt, you ready to go?" she took a hold of the blonde's hand as the two said their goodbye's and approached the exit. Upon disappearing through the glass doors, Quinn turned to Kurt, a look of puzzlement remained.
"What sort of magical power does Brittany hold?" she asked.
"Hmm, I'm not sure, but she's tamed the lion." he replied.
"A new Santana Lopez." Quinn stated. She looked at Kurt who returned her gaze.
"I like it." they both said in unison before bursting with laughter.
It had started whilst they were in the safe confines of the restaurant, cocooned within the four walls. Santana stood huddled under the canopy with Brittany, daring to step out into the heavily cascading water. It was about two blocks to the theatre where Brittany had a matinee performance. Traffic was gridlock and their only option was to make a dart for it in the torrential rain. Preparing themselves, as if for an Olympic long distance run, they spared one last glance at each other before dashing along the sidewalk. Hand in hand, they dodged obstacles in human, dog and inanimate form. The occasional squeal emanated from the blonde when she received an unwelcome dose of splash back. Santana was focused, the route mapped out in her mind, determination set on her features, her brow furrowed in concentration. Objective: to get girlfriend to theatre quickly, but safely. Rain was just another of those obstacles that could be overcome. One more corner turned and Santana had her sights on the stage door at the side of the building. Both bodies ground to a halt as they reached the door, hearts pounding, breaths heavy and uneven. Santana stood hunched, hands on her knees as she caught her breath. Noticing Brittany making no attempt to move, she straightened, her eyes questioning and gazing at the mischievous ocean blue depths facing her.
"Britt, open the door." she breathed hurriedly.
"No." Brittany stated, a small smirk playing at her lips, she started to twist her upper body back and forth, imitating a young girl in a candy store.
"What? Britt it's pouring with rain, open the door!" demanded the chef, the rain having drenched her once perfect locks which were now plastered and flat against her head.
"Kiss me." the blonde stated, her young face appeared fresh and innocent, wet strands of hair framed her natural beauty. Santana felt the world shrink away from around her, sirens silenced, the hustle calmed, the rain just a mere prop in the romantic story that was unfolding before her. She gazed longingly into the stark confident eyes of the dancer, that were the bluest she had ever seen them. Unable to resist and not having to be asked twice, she stepped forward unabashedly, claiming Brittany's lips with her own. Brittany's arms immediately snaked around the brunette's lithe waist, whilst Santana's hands found refuge on the blonde's shoulders, wet ringlets of hair tickled the backs of her hands. The chef sighed heavily with content, taking in as much of her companion as possible, allowing Brittany to seek entrance to her mouth with her warm, probing tongue. Returning the compliment, Santana massaged the blonde's tongue with her own, both enduring a playful dual. Moving her hands to gently cup Brittany's face. Eyelids remained heavy with desire and lips remained puckered with longing, until they slowly parted seeking breath. Still within each other's breathing space, the blonde gently rested her forehead against Santana's and her hands remained clasped at the small of the Latina's back. "I always wanted to kiss in the rain." she stated, so simply. Santana opened her eyes, witness to the sweetest smile playing upon the dancer's features. She could not possibly think of a moment in her life that felt so right, so compelling, so exciting and so peaceful all at once. It was exhilarating. Leaning in, she placed a quick kiss to Brittany's lips before pulling back entirely. Clasping her good hand into the blonde's, she smiled broadly, the dimples Brittany loved so much indicating the Latina was thrilled. Scrunching her nose at the cuteness, the dancer tugged Santana closer to the door. "That was totally worth getting wet for." she stated with innocence. Santana smirked at the unintentional innuendo before Brittany continued. "Now I'll open the door." she said, pulling it wide and allowing her girlfriend to be swallowed by the darkness first, her hand not once loosening its grip on the other woman.
She did not battle. She did not fight with her inner turmoil as she watched the beauty glide seamlessly across the stage. It was different. Less than twenty four hours ago she was so consumed by her emotions, it hurt her head, it hurt her heart. The fog had lifted and this time, upon watching Brittany on the stage, her feelings for the dancer were clear. Brittany was her girl and was on stage doing her job, drawing in the audience and creating another world for a couple of hours. Santana smiled as she took in her surroundings. She was watching the show from the side of the stage, surrounded by the melee of backstage theatre. People were dashing from one place to another, costume changes were in abundance and dancers stretched and warmed up before taking to the stage. The blonde was nearing the end of the show and Santana was aware she would be exiting the stage very shortly. Just then a gush of cool wind rushed passed her, caused by the tens of dancers rushing towards the stage. The brunette closed her eyes until she was engulfed in the warmth of the theatre lights. Opening her eyes, she almost melted when she was met with heart warming, gentle blue rays of light. "Hey." Brittany whispered, taking Santana's hands in her own. "I have to go back out for the encore." she stated, earning a sweet smile and a nod from the brunette.
"You're not going anywhere?" the blonde asked, like every other time she had during the show when she was about to re-enter the stage. This time the chef shook her head.
"Never." she confirmed communicating from her heart through her shining brown orbs. It was enough for the dancer who beamed before she turned and skipped back onto the stage.
As Brittany belted out the encore with her co-star Will Schuester, Santana watched in awe and wonderment, recognising the talent the dancer oozed. She understood the attention Brittany had garnered, why Rachel Berry was insistent on singing the dancer's praises. A sense of pride washed over the Latina, she stood tall, absorbing the atmosphere of the theatre. Just as Brittany found herself absorbed in her own world whilst on stage, Santana was also entranced. Her sole focus was the blonde. As the music drew to an end, the audience erupted. The heavy crimson velvet curtain dropped and Santana's heart swelled as she heard the cheers and whoops and shouts of Brittany's name. Feeling a presence beside her, she looked up, recognising the blonde's co-star, Noah Puckerman.
"She's great isn't she?" he asked with a sly smirk, grinning further when Santana nodded with a shy smile. "They all love her." he said. Leaning closer he spoke quietly as Santana watched Brittany slowly approach her. "But it only takes one to win her heart." snapping her head sideways, the tall, dark performer had disappeared into the shadows. The brunette returned her focus to the blonde waltzing towards her. She was beautiful. She stole Santana's breath, her heart restricting in her chest at the very sight of the other woman. Butterflies swarmed her stomach. Her knees weakened and hands shook. She had heard stories about this. The spotlight continued to follow Brittany, creating a halo effect around her, reminiscent of her performance the previous evening. Only this time is was different. It was new. It was the beginning. She knew.