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Fic: Empire State of Mind - Chapter 7: Two Become One - Part 1

Title:  Empire State of Mind – Chapter 7: Two Become One
Author: agentb81 & lizzylizbian
Fandom: Glee
Pairing: Brittany/Santana
Rating: NC-17
Word Count: 10900
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.
A/N: Words just cannot do justice for what I want to say to [info]lizzylizbian  who agreed to co-write this chapter with me. None of this fic would be what it is without her and I wanted to thank her by inviting her to write on this chapter. It's both our favourite chapter so far and I hope you agree. She's really added something special to this fic and I can't thank her enough. Also, Lizzy, this is for you, a belated birthday gift, even if you did write a chunk of it :)

Previous Chapters: Prologue / Chapter 1: Sweat and Tears / Chapter 2: Hustle and Bustle / Chapter 3: Will and Hope / Chapter 4: Tiptoe / Chapter 5: Entwined / Chapter 6: New Beginning


Two

Two days she had been back at work, overseeing the kitchen as her Sous Chef took some deserved time off. Two days and she had felt like she had not been away at all. It was the same craziness it was before; however this time, she looked at it from a different perspective. Santana was able to remain on light duties, her hand was healing nicely, she had considerately more mobility, the pain was now just the odd tingle and she only dressed it for work. This had made her moments with Brittany very interesting indeed. She sighed contentedly as she whisked a sauce on the stove, a smirk tugging at her lips as the blonde danced through her thoughts.

Glancing at the clock, she had two hours left of her shift. An early finish with a special date night to prepare for once she returned to her apartment. She had made a deal her girlfriend several weeks ago and she was not one go back on her word. Tonight she would cook Brittany the meal she had promised. It was her special birthday meal for the blonde. However, there was one thing the dancer wasn't quite yet expecting. They would be cooking the meal together.

Brittany had admitted on several occasions she was less than competent in the kitchen. In fact, the blonde's speciality was a sandwich, but a 'real darn good' sandwich she reiterated. Santana had smiled and watched her girlfriend adoringly as she demonstrated these skills one lunch time whilst the chef was out of action. The brunette was first to admit she had been wrong about her trepidation and instantly hummed with approval the moment she took a bite of Brittany's gourmet dish. She was met with bright eyes and a dashing smile, enough to melt even the coldest of hearts. Brittany had won Santana's approval over a simple thing such as a sandwich, but as food was the chef's domain, the blonde took great pride in receiving her girlfriend's praise.

Two hours. Those two hours would be the longest of Santana's life. She had never had a reason to clock watch before, but with the anticipation of spending time with her girlfriend, the time could not pass by quick enough.

"Is that supposed to look like that?" a voice appeared from over her shoulder. Shaking the brunette from her reverie, she looked down with wide eyes at the bubbling foam in the pan below her. "I don't think that's supposed to look like that," the voice cooed again with mild amusement. Santana rolled her eyes before turning down the heat on the stove. "Concentration San." they proceeded with a laugh. Santana rushed the pan over to the sink, disposing of the contents before turning to her intruder, a scowl firmlyset in response to a cocky gleam. "We're not in the business of wastage Santana. I suggest you work on that." If Santana's eyebrows could become any closer, they did. They met in the middle with fury; it was time to retaliate.

"Get out of my kitchen Quinn!" she all but screamed, a firm finger pointing toward the door. Used to outbursts from the fiery chef, the blonde held up her hands in mock defeat and cocked her head to the side.

"Ok, ok." she said quietly, "but could you at least stop thinking about your girlfriend for five minutes and concentrate on work?" the restaurateur asked softly. When a tea towel hit her head, she knew she had gone too far with the teasing and smiled in triumph. Quinn knew exactly which of the chef's buttons to press. "I'm gone." she replied, pulling the cloth from her hair and straightening out her locks. "I think that's round one to me." she smirked with wink, carrying herself with glory to the kitchen door. Santana huffed. She hated the blonde being right and lately that happened more often than not. The brunette really needed to up her game.

One

One more show to get through and then she could start her birthday celebrations. One day away was her birthday. She was beyond excited. This year would easily top any birthday she had celebrated before. Firstly, her career had hit new heights; she was on the path to achieving her dreams. Secondly, was Santana. Brittany was so elated that the brunette returned her affection and felt the same way. Since the moment she met the chef, she felt an overwhelming urge to get to know her better. She felt an instant attraction to the girl that was unlike anyone she had met before. Beyond that, Santana was oblivious to Brittany's growing popularity on the Broadway circuit and to the dancer it was a welcome respite from the adoration she garnered.

It was Saturday afternoon, a matinee performance which she enjoyed the most and welcomed families to the theatre. The Arts had been important to her as a child and she was willing to do anything to help with educating young people on the sector. It was another of her dreams to open a performance academy for under privileged kids, yet that was something to plan in the future. Right now she had neither the ways nor the means and wanted to establish herself as a respectable name in the business. That way, sponsorship deals and bursaries would be more accessible.

More than anything, Brittany was excited for the evening. Tonight she was finally going to be privy to Santana's cooking on a personal basis, as the brunette was cooking her a birthday meal. The blonde was giddy. She was looking forward to the evening with her girlfriend, more than she was her actual birthday. They had spent plenty of time with one another during the week in Brittany's down time. The dancer helping Santana with household chores, keeping her company and ultimately entertaining the other woman. The brunette was by no means an easy patient. Yet it seemed Brittany was all Santana needed to be happy and that in itself was reward enough for the blonde.

The show was over as quickly as it started. The blonde blinked as the curtain descended. She was well rehearsed in the shows which had become routine and so it had rushed by. Approaching Tina with a furrowed brow, the other girl smiled warmly at her. "Another great show Brittany. They love you." she had half expected to be told about a step she missed or a mistimed jump, but it seemed
her performance was as exemplary as ever. She smiled sweetly at the brunette, thankful for the encouraging praise and took the towel that was proffered. "Don't forget the meeting in half an hour." Tina reminded her. Brittany offered a weak nod - a meeting she could really do without today of all days - and wiped her brow as she headed toward her dressing room.

Sitting at the mirror, she shot a quick text message to Santana, expressing her anticipation for the evening. Watching the sent message pop up she smiled widely as a knock at the door startled her. Without turning, she shouted out for the intruder to enter, not once glancing up as she gazed at the picture of herself and Santana on her cell phone. "Brittany, sweetheart?" a familiar voice washed over the room. Frowning, she looked up, gazing at the reflections in the mirror. Her eyes bulged with disbelief before spinning around in her chair. "Well, aren't you going to give us a hug?"

"Dad!" she said as she jumped up and became engulfed in a huge, warm, bear hug.

"You're early. Your flight was booked for this evening." Brittany stated, unsure of the sudden change of plans. She pulled away from her father and went to repeat the action with her mother.

"We got tickets to the show." Ray replied by way of explanation.

"We wanted to see you perform again Brittany. You were so good the last time. You've improved too. You were so much stronger." Valerie stated.

"Thanks Mom." replied the chuffed blonde. "What are you going to do now? I mean, I have to be in a meeting in half an hour and I have plans this evening so I can't . . ."

"It's ok pumpkin." Ray said, "We'll entertain ourselves."

"That's right sweetheart, we'll keep the plans as they were before and meet for Mass and then lunch tomorrow."

"Mass? Do I have to go?" Brittany asked, looking hopefully at Ray who only shrugged.

"I think you should honey." Valerie stated.

"Fine." the blonde sighed in defeat, receiving no help from her father. "I'll meet you there."

"Good." replied a very satisfied older blonde. "We'll be going now. Don't be late and tell your friend to meet us at the restaurant. I'll text you the details." she concluded. Brittany cringed at the mention of her girlfriend. Tomorrow was going to be very interesting indeed.

xx

The sauce incident propelled Santana into a busy period in the kitchen, people were leaving matinee performances and scurrying into the restaurant for a meal. The chef also surmised that with it being Easter weekend, the City was busier and people were willing to dig deep into their pockets and treat themselves. Every time the kitchen door burst open, she heard the chatter of the patrons, the clashing of glasses and the sound of scraping cutlery against plates. It was one of her favourite sounds in the world. "Santana!" That, however was not. She cowered every time the wait staff would enter the kitchen and yell her name, for fear of a complaint. However, it was a rare occurrence. She turned to her friend who had hurried into the kitchen on a mission.

"Kurt?" she replied, waiting for the Matre D to speak. She was back on sauce duty, a tea towel slung over her shoulder, her levels of concentration higher than they had been previously.

"There's a request." he answered cryptically.

"For?" she asked with an exasperated shrug, looking up from the saucepan.

"You." Kurt smirked.

"Elaborate sweet cheeks. I would play twenty questions, but I'm not in kindergarten anymore."

"Your patience is admirable." Kurt said with a wink, earning a raised eyebrow from the chef. "Right, well, there's a gentleman outside requesting to meet with the chef."

"And you told him I was busy right? And you'd
pass on your compliments and blah blah blah." Santana responded, her
eyes back on the task at hand.

"He was rather insistent." Kurt emphasised. The colour immediately drained from the Latina's cheeks.

"Oh fuck, it's a complaint isn't it?" she asked.

"No, no." the Matre D quickly reassured. He knew of the chef's distaste for dealing with complaints. She usually kicked proverbial ass in dealing with them, but the preamble is what she dreaded the most. "He does want to compliment, but I think you kinda blew him off before." Santana sighed, if there was one thing she disliked, it was pushy people.

"I can't Kurt, get chuckles over there to do it." she nodded toward a more serious member of the kitchen staff, so stern and concentrated on his efforts.

"I can't, Mr Pierce," he emphasised the surname, "would like to speak with the chef." The brunette's head immediately snapped back up, her eyes wide with a mixture of surprise and trepidation.

"Is, err, is Britt here?" she asked nervously.

"No, Mr and Mrs Pierce are flying solo, or duo, or together . . ." Kurt's ramblings drifted off into a deep thinking process. "Like a pair of
doves." he concluded wistfully.

"Kurt?" she snapped his attention back to her. "What do I say?" she asked nervously.

"Go be the amazing chef you are." he stated placing both hands on Santana's shoulders. "This is your realm, your place. Be confident; be Chef Lopez."

"You'd make a lousy sports coach." Santana mused with a smile. "But you're a good friend." she concluded.

"Do they know about you and Brittany?"

"No." she said vehemently shaking her head.

"Then you'll be fine." he stated reassuringly, dropping his hands to his sides. "And don't worry about anyone saying anything, it's mostly newbies serving this afternoon."

"Ok. I can do this." she removed the cloth from her shoulder and straightened out her apron. Setting her shoulders back, she made her way out of the kitchen and into the lion's den.

With an overwhelming wave of nerves, Santana found herself travelling torturously toward the table. With one last deep breath, she
stepped up acknowledging the patrons with a nod before greeting them.

"Mr and Mrs Pierce, I'm Santana Lopez, the head chef." She held out her hand, Ray took it and shook enthusiastically.

"It's an honour to meet you Ms Lopez. We're a big fan of your food and the restaurant." he stated with a wide grin. Santana nodded again, taking in the words.

"Thank you Mr Pierce, I appreciate that." she said with a smile. "Was the steak to your liking?" she asked, having been
prepped by Kurt on her way out of the kitchen. Ray kissed his fingers and flicked the air, Italian style.

"Perfect." he beamed. "My daughter raves about you and the food all the time, you've made quite an impression on her." Santana instantly blushed, her eyes met her feet, to hide her flush.

"Yes, Brittany says she likes to eat here a lot and that you're very friendly and accommodating." Valerie chimed. Santana smiled coyly, reading beyond the words that were spoken. Picking her words carefully, the brunette responded.

"Brittany is a valued customer and has become a great friend." she stated. The Latina could schmooze with the best of them, she had seen her parents, the experts, at work. Her nerves were long gone, based on the looks of pride and wonderment on the faces before her, she had them in the palm of her hand.

"You're friends?" Valerie enquired. "Well I guess that's no surprise, Brittany can befriend almost anyone. But a chef? That's so
exciting, I've been telling her she should socialise outside of the theatre. All those drama queens can be a bit too flamboyant at times.
Our Brittany is a homely girl at heart." Santana suppressed a chuckle. Brittany's mother really was something. "Now if she'd only find a boyfriend and settle down." she muttered as an afterthought. Santana stilled. Her heart dropped and as she was about to open her mouth; however, Kurt swooped in to her rescue.

"Emergency, kitchen." he stated sharply. "Sorry to tear her away." he said apologetically to the Pierce's.

"Not a problem." Ray replied with a wave. "Thank you for your time Ms Lopez. Maybe we will meet again soon."

"Santana, please, and I'm sure we will." she stated knowingly before she was whisked off.

Kurt stood against a work top as he carefully watched Santana who was leaning over the sink, heeding the words she had heard moments ago. As the silence prolonged, the Matre D became fidgety, wondering exactly what was going through the chef's head. "Are you going to say something?" Kurt asked hopefully. He watched as Santana raised her head, her eyes bore through him, causing the guy to jump back startled a little. "Ok, so you're not going to say anything." he concluded. The Latina turned around and rested against the sink, crossing her arms firmly over her chest. "But you know, she doesn't know you and Brittany are dating so what she said was kinda fair game." he reasoned, at the risk of Santana's wrath. The brunette thought back to those early encounters with Brittany, and remembered one thing she had stated, that her Mom had tried to marry her off, much to the dancer's disdain. It was
the reason Brittany found herself drinking alone that night and starting conversation with Santana. The brunette nodded slowly, the
pieces beginning to form a picture in her head. "You're still not going to say anything are you?" Kurt asked. When he received no response, he huffed dramatically and stormed out of the kitchen, eliciting a trademark smirk from the chef.

xx

Santana was situated to the side, watching Brittany as she struggled to mix the bowl with a spoon. The brunette smiled fondly. Observing the blonde was a favourite past time of hers. Brittany had kicked off her stiletto shoes and was barefoot in the tiled kitchen. Her lean, toned calves were tanned and smooth. Santana's eyes raked over the short black dress, the effort Brittany had gone to was not unnoticed by the brunette. Santana smirked as her eyes hovered on Brittany's behind, causing her mouth to gape slightly, as her breathing, along with her eyelids became heavy with desire. Her girlfriend was hot, insanely so and she had trouble cooling her thoughts. "I can't do this." huffed Brittany, struggling to work the mixture. Santana shook her head, her mind suddenly very much back in the room.

"Huh?" she asked, clearing her throat. Brittany turned to look at her, confusion adorning her careful features. "Oh right." Santana stated and took a step closer. She placed a kissed on the blonde's forehead, kissing away the lines. Brittany smiled sweetly and
moved away from the bowl. "Don't move." Santana said, as she swooped in beside the dancer and took her hands in her own, guiding them into the bowl. "Here," she said, "like this." and she began to work the mixture with both hers and Brittany's fingers. The texture of the food and the feel of Brittany's fingers interlaced with her own was overwhelming. Here she was combining her two favourite things in the world, Brittany and food. She rested her head on the blonde's shoulder, watching as their fingers worked in unison. "I met your parents today." Santana said casually, trying not to make a big deal of it. Brittany froze, her hands stilled, without looking she replied to the brunette.

"I err, yeah, they flew in early to see the show and surprise me." The blonde stated. "They went to the restaurant?" Santana nodded her head in confirmation, studying Brittany's features closely. "And?"

"And they loved the food." Santana shrugged. "And your Mom wishes you would get a boyfriend and settle down." Brittany laughed nervously and swiftly avoided the statement, working her hands back into the mixture.

"There's a reason why you're so good at this and why I shouldn't even step into a kitchen." Brittany said.

"Oh I don't know," Santana started, aware of the blonde's diversion tactics, "you make an awesome sandwich." she smiled, placing a kiss to Brittany's neck, "besides, you look super cute in an apron." the blonde sniggered.

"I bet you look super cute in just an apron." Santana smiled at Brittany's words, just as her stomach somersaulted. She took
her hands from the bowl and turned to the dancer, placing her arms over Brittany's shoulders, careful not to get food all over her date.
Brittany too faced Santana, her arms winding around the brunette's slim waist, clasping at the back. "I think," Brittany continued, barely above a whisper, "You would look even better naked." Santana smirked before she crashed her lips against the blonde's, as Brittany pulled the chef closer to her body. The contact was a result of the yearning and desperation she harboured by needing to claim Brittany as her own. Santana was determined to show the blonde that she was all she needed and desired. Brittany's mother's wishes were just a distant misguided dream. Santana sought entrance to the blonde's mouth with her tongue, sweeping it gently across the dancer's lips. Obliging, Brittany opened her mouth, allowing her mate access. A warm welcome awaited as Santana's
velvet tongue probed further. The dual was intense, yet conveyed a soft, loving message - Brittany was her girl and Santana wanted to show her that. The brunette sighed with satisfaction as a pleasured moan emanated from the dancer. Gently pulling away, a soft pop echoed as their lips parted. Their breaths mingled and drew heavily from their heaving chests. Brittany was the first to open her eyes - she looked down, Santana's cleavage on full show. The blonde smirked with pride. Santana was hers, all hers and whilst it was her attitude and personality that drew her to the feisty brunette, it was a bonus that she was so physically attractive also. Brittany leant forward and kissed Santana lightly on the lips, causing the brunette's eyes to slowly flutter open. "Hey." Brittany said.

"Hey." Replied the Latina.

"We have a dinner to cook." the blonde stated. "Plenty of time for sweet lady kisses later." she smiled sweetly. Santana reluctantly pulled away, extracting herself with care as her hands were still caked in the tortellini filling.

"Let's get our cook on." she announced, attacking the bowl with fervour.

Dinner was a quiet affair, basking in each other's company by candle light. Feet stroked against calves. There were shy, coy glances, soft caresses, fingers upon forearms, tickling palms and gentle hand holding. The intimacy was incredibly overpowering, and heightened the senses of both women. They were content to just be, having eaten a beautiful meal prepared and cooked by not one chef, but two women, creating a single delight. They were now tackling desert, sharing one plate of wonderful tiramisu, in keeping with the Italian theme. "Mmm, I love Greek food." Brittany had said, earning a sweet smile and kiss from the brunette.

"It's Italian babe." Santana corrected, "But close." she reassured, securing a smile from the blonde.

"This tiramisu is amazing San." she spoke with her mouth full, unable to contain her delight. "I mean, you're like a goddess, the Pope would approve."

"Erm, thanks." Santana replied with a confused smile. She could see how Brittany had linked the two, but was perplexing
nonetheless.

"Mm, oh yeah." the blonde continued. "Mom wants to go to the Easter service at Saint Patrick's tomorrow."

"Britt that place is going to be packed."

"I know right?" the blonde responded with an exaggerated nod, taking another spoonful of dessert. "They got tickets or something. I think they're like friends with someone important or something, but not the Pope or Jesus or anything." she stated. Santana nodded in agreement, the Chianti relaxing her thoughts. "Mom wants me to go." Santana's eyes snapped up to meet the sparkling blues gazing back at her. The brunette's hand reached out to the stem of her wine glass and lifted it from the table, giving it a gentle swirl before placing it against her lips. She took a small sip and momentarily closed her eyes, feeling the warm claret liquid slip smoothly and warmly down her throat.

"Do you believe in God?" she asked, aware of the blonde having been raised Catholic. She too had a similar upbringing, but was now out of practice.  Brittany shrugged and pondered the question for a moment whilst chewing her lip. Santana rested her head on her hand, propped up by her elbow on the table, and watched the blonde as she thought about it.

"I guess, I believe in like a nice, happy God. Like one you can talk to like a best friend. Someone who will always be there for you and will forgive nice people for doing bad things by accident if you say sorry." she said with a nod, happy with her answer.

"I like that." Santana said with an adoring smile, with her other hand she picked up Brittany's in her own and stroked her thumb over the blonde's soft skin.

"Mom doesn't think so." The blonde stated sadly. "She thinks he is like this big mean man in the sky who is unforgiving and angry."

"Why?" the Latina reacted immediately with a frown, yet her thumb remained steadily comforting the young dancer.

"I don't know." the blonde shrugged again, "I guess because her parents were like that."

"What about your Dad?"

"His Mom and Dad died when he was young." she paused, "He goes to mass and stuff with Mum, but he doesn't really talk about it."

"I'm sorry about your Grandparents Britt Britt." Santana offered, squeezing her girlfriend's hand.

"I'm not with you to spite her you know." The blonde said suddenly. The Latina shook her head, knowing the words to be true. "She's difficult, she knows that I like girls too, but she's convinced I will fall in love with Prince Charming, have a family and live happily ever after. She tries to understand and I know she loves me, but I don't think she can handle the truth."

"I understand, my Dad was a little like that to start with, but I guess I was lucky that he came around. Now we're closer than ever." Santana explained hopefully.

"That's sweet, but I somehow don't think my Mother will turn into an advocate overnight." she laughed bitterly.

"Hey, you're amazing, you know that?" Santana stated. Her eyes bore into Brittany's, conveying every feeling that was swirling around inside of her. "I love you Brittany." the brunette admitted. She felt it. She had felt it for days, since it hit her like an emotional brick tumbling from the sky. She had known the moment Brittany began to walk towards her following her performance the previous week when Santana had watched from the sidelines. The Latina had been able to distinguish between Brittany and her character and she loved everything that made the blonde who she was. All the minute things, all the medial things and all the marvellous things. Her heart beat with every thought of the other woman. It swelled with every touch. Her life had become Brittany and she did not want to shy away from it anymore.

"You love me." Brittany stated, since meeting Santana she knew it was inevitable they would fall in love with one another, yet she always thought she would be the one to declare it first, when she felt Santana was ready. Before she could say anything, the brunette continued to speak.

"You put up with the stuff that even frustrates the hell out of me Britt." Santana began with brutal honesty, "you've seen me at my worst, my bitchiest, my tiredest . . ."

"They sort of all fall under the same blanket San." Brittany teased earning a weak smile from her girlfriend, squeezing the hand in her own, urging the other girl to continue.

"You've seen me at my weakest." she paused and looked longingly at the blonde sat in front of her, "it's just, you have this amazing patience which I think we've established is needed to put up with my shit." Brittany moved her chair around so she was now sitting next to the brunette and put a loving arm around her, urging the other woman to hug her side.

"Emotions aren't shit San. Everyone has a thing." she pulled the girl in her arms closer, placing a sweet kiss on top of the brunette's head. "You just needed a little guidance in that department."

"There you go again." Santana sighed contentedly, "You're like the smartest person I know."

"Woah," Brittany giggled, "Don't go overboard honey." Santana lifted her head up, needing so much to look into those eyes again, wanting to convey with every fibre of her being what she was feeling.

"I mean it," she emphasised, "It's like your humility and empathy is amazing. You should totally replace Angelina Jolie in the United Nations." she joked with a playful smirk and nudge in Brittany's ribs.

"I haven't seen that movie." Brittany replied wistfully. She thought with care. "I thought I had seen all her movies." she concluded with a shrug. Santana smiled adoringly at her girlfriend and leaned up for a kiss.

"I really do love you Britt." having been repeated, the words were sinking in to the blonde, her mind clearer than it had ever been.

"And I'm totally in love with you Santana."

In awe that someone so special could actually love her, Santana repeated, "you're...in love with me." However, her voice cracked, making it come out as a question. Taking Santana's hands in her own, Brittany paused. She didn't want Santana to think she was just saying it; she didn't want her to question the sincerity. No. She wanted the woman she loved to see it, feel it, and know it; she wanted her words to stand on their own. Silently, she led the willing chef towards the couch. Seated knee to knee in front of the roaring fire, Brittany tucked a loose piece of dark, silken hair behind Santana's ear, letting her fingertips map the soft skin underneath. There was no rush to say the words while her hands were saying it for her. Finally, when dark eyes looked up at her, Brittany cupped Santana's cheek. Softly, yet determined, she stated, "I love you, Santana. I'm..." happy tears began to pool, making her blue eyes shimmer like sunlight on the ocean, "...I'm in love with you."

In her heart of hearts, Santana knew that the dancer wasn't just parroting her sentiment. They weren't empty promises. She could tell that Brittany meant those words with every fiber of her being. Hearing them said with so much honesty, from the only person she'd ever truly wanted to hear say them, filled Santana's heart with unimaginable joy. That supposedly useless muscle she had thought atrophied, swelled to the point she worried it'd burst. It pushed against her ribs, cutting off her air. It made her head light. She felt punch-drunk with happiness. Only Brittany's steady, loving gaze grounded her. Like gravity, it kept her rooted to the moment.

Over the months, they had taken things slow, neither willing to rush anything. This special night was no different. However, lit by the warm glow of the fire and wrapped in each other's love, both women were buzzing with anticipation. Though it hadn't been discussed, there was an understanding of what the night held - of what it meant for their relationship. Every bashful look, every tentative touch, every cherished moment had paved the way. And yet, they still had so much journey left to share. It was that thought that propelled Santana irrevocably forward. Ignoring her racing heart, ever so slowly, she closed the expanse. Needing to feel - needing to touch
Brittany's skin, she ran the pads of her fingers over the dancer's face. It was astounding how simply touching Brittany set her body aflame. The roaring fire was no match; Brittany burned a thousand times brighter.

Unable to remain idle, the blonde mimicked the tender caress. It was a silent statement that Santana wasn't alone; that she wasn't just a passenger; they were in this together. As their lips were about to meet, like an endless highway, the moment stretched out for eternity. Knowing it wasn't just any kiss, but the start of something more, their eyes connected one final time. That's exactly what it felt like: a connection. In that brief flicker of blue and brown lay an unspoken understanding. They knew their destination, but there was still so far to go - so much left to experience together.

Replacing the charged air, Santana finally closed the infinitesimal distance. As skin tenderly brushed skin, a simple spark danced between their lips. It started slow. But like any spark, when given the right conditions, ignited. Filled with promise, that kiss set fire to the moment. Tangling her fingers into the chef's satin locks, Brittany shifted closer. Impossibly close. Close enough to share the same air, the same breath. Close enough that her senses were overwhelmed with everything Santana. Their earlier admissions of love played like a silent soundtrack. Even though it was the first time, Brittany's body recognized the beat. Like a steady drum, her heart kept rhythm. It pounded through her body, her fingers twitching with motion. Before she even realized what she was doing, she found herself crawling on top of Santana. As her weight settled over the woman she loved, her hips pressed down tentatively. The breathy gasp she received made her burn with need.

When a toned thigh brushed between her legs, Brittany couldn't help moaning against the chef's pouty lips. At hearing the sound, it took all Santana's willpower not to take the dancer right there. It'd be so easy to just raise her leg a little higher. It'd be so easy to just tilt her hips up and pull Brittany down. However, she needed more. She needed Brittany completely. But more so, she needed to give herself completely and that was nearly impossible to do clothed on the couch. When Brittany's lips began a teasing path over her cheek and towards her neck, Santana used the opportunity to make her desires known. "Come with me," she husked in
the dancer's ear as she smoothly pushed the blonde up and off. Brittany shivered as the words washed over her. Though she didn't want to stop, Santana's loaded request was a promise of so much more. Entwining their fingers, she let the chef lead her to the bedroom.

Unwilling to lose contact, Brittany wrapped her arms tightly around her girlfriend as Santana lit the candles by the bedside. She never let go. Even when Santana spun around, even when the chef's hands worked her zipper down, even when her little black dress was lifted inch by inch, Brittany held tight. Only when Santana asked, "please, can I see you?" did she release her vice-lock grip. It almost felt as if it was Santana's silky skin dancing across her body, up her thighs, over her stomach, grazing her breasts. Lost in the feel of the material coasting over her, Brittany shut her eyes. Santana took a step back as she pulled the black fabric free. Unable to tear her gaze away, she admired the woman before her. The blonde's body was muscular but wonderfully feminine. Years of dance were mapped on Brittany's toned abs and her pert breasts stood proudly against her lithe frame. She was a goddess; a sculpture, chiseled from the finest marble. In awe, Santana admitted, "God, you're beautiful," gaining the blonde's attention. Brittany caught the unabashedly lustful stare. Watching those dark eyes lasciviously rake over her body fueled her burning flame. Needing to see the still fully clothed Latina, she begged, "San."

One simple word - nothing more than her name - made Santana's body flush hot. She'd heard Brittany say it countless times,
but never like that. Never with such love, adoration, and desperation. It reverberated through her, settling at her core. Knowing what the
blonde wanted, the chef slowly removed her own clothes. As Brittany crawled backwards up the bed, she commented coyly, "best birthday present ever." The Latina shook her head, her long dark hair swishing back and forth. Before Brittany could get too used to the view, she climbed onto the bed. Like a lioness, her shoulder blades flexed as she crawled on her hands and knees up Brittany's prone body, rendering the dancer speechless. Thankfully she didn't have to talk because Santana's lips sought her out in a heated kiss. There was nothing subtle about it; it screamed, 'I want you.'

In the dimly lit room, Santana worked her way back down leaving a hot trail of kisses. Though her pulse raced knowing what lay ahead, she was unwilling to rush anything. Taking her sweet time, she lovingly teased and toyed with her girlfriend's breasts and ever hardening nipples. They fit perfectly in her cupped hands. It was like she was meant to hold them, play with them, tease them, kiss
them. However, when she felt the body below her shift for more contact, Santana knew what she needed to do. Hooking her fingers into her girlfriend's last remaining item of clothing, she slid the black thong down, making sure to caress every inch of skin with her fingers. She whispered, "this is your birthday present," as she settled herself underneath Brittany's bent knees. Chancing a glance up, blue eyes met hers. They were aflame with need. Without hesitating another second, the chef lovingly kissed the inside of the dancer's sculpted thigh. She continued her path, switching legs every so often, working her way closer to her goal. As her hands snaked around, settling on Brittany's toned stomach, Santana could feel her girlfriend's breathing grow irregular. Slowly she kissed her way ever closer. When she finally reached Brittany's center, she could smell the blonde's arousal. The heady scent made her mouth water. It was dizzying - a maddening mix of flowers and earth and undeniably Brittany. Letting her cheek brush against the silky skin of the blonde's inner thigh, she finally kissed the woman she loved where she so desperately needed.

Like their earlier kiss, Brittany felt a spark when Santana's mouth touched her. It was electric. Hot and wet. It made her back arch and toes curl. Desperately searching for more contact - more of everything - her hips canted up. Taking the cue, the chef ran the flat of her tongue over the dancer, reveling in her taste. It was heavenly. More delicious than the finest dish. More scrumptious than the most decadent dessert. Unable to get enough, she greedily lapped at the velvety folds. Brittany was wet. Wet for her. That knowledge was almost as intoxicating as how the dancer was gyrating her hips slowly. After running her hand up toned abs, she ghosted her palm over Brittany's nipple. It pebbled instantly. When she started rolling the hardened nub between her fingers, Brittany's back arched further off the bed.

Having Santana kissing between her thighs, her hands teasing her, was overwhelming. It was an exhilarating combination. Every nerve in her body was awakened and receptive. It felt like the chef was everywhere at once. With every lick, she could feel Santana drag her pouty bottom lip over her folds, could feel the tip of her tongue flutter against her clit, could feel the hot breath and soft moans vibrate against her. Within several short minutes, the telltale signs of her impending orgasm consumed her. She wanted it to last forever. However, when Santana gently grazed a digit over her, Brittany knew she was done.

The symphony of moans grew irregular and shallow, and Santana knew her girlfriend was close. Wanting to make it perfect, needing to make it amazing, she gave it everything. Every ounce of love and desire she had for the blonde went into her soft caresses. She poured passion into ever lick and flick. Tentatively dipping her finger into Brittany's heat drew out a heady gasp. Attaching her lips,
she suckled her girlfriend's clit and curled her finger inside. Keeping a slow pumping motion, she matched the rhythm with her mouth. Brittany's body reacted in kind; like when she danced, she lost herself.

The slow burn was all consuming. It spread out, up her stomach, tingling her nipples, gripping her heart. On the precipice, she was barely moving; and yet, it felt like she was flying. And just as she was about to fall, she felt her girlfriend's steady hand shift to her stomach. Such a subtle gesture, but one filled with love and care. She found it wholly reassuring, comforting. Instead of crashing recklessly headfirst, wrapped against her lover, Brittany floated down, slowly riding out her pleasure.

Santana watched in awe as the woman she loved came undone. Even though her thoughts had once been black with doubt, her
blossoming friendship with the bewitching blonde had given her a flicker of hope. Hearing those three words further illuminated the darkness. But it was their intimate act that sealed their fate, casting her heart fully into the light. Needing to kiss the still shuddering blonde, she crawled back up. Face to face, she whispered, "happy birthday, my love." Instantly, strong hands pulled her down. "Careful, or I'll squish you." Instead of arguing, Brittany attacked the chef's lips. When she tasted herself on them, she let out a guttural moan. It reignited the flame inside her. Surreptitiously, her hands snuck around the Latina's flawless back and quickly unsnapped the lace lingerie. Even though Santana's body ached for the blonde's touch, she objected, "it's your night, baby." Not hearing it, Brittany all but growled, "it is my birthday. So aren't you going to give me what I want? Because, I want you. I want you as my present." Unable to deny the dancer anything, Santana let the straps of her bra fall. A tiny gasp made her look up. Brittany had her bottom lip pulled between her teeth before her eyes flickered lower. "I want all of you."

As Brittany watched her present unwrap excruciatingly slow, her pulse raced. Never once did she look away from the tantalizing show. Never in her life had she had seen anything so beautiful or want anything as much as in that moment. All those months of imaging what was hidden under the chef's coat paled in comparison to the real thing. Like her heart, Santana hid her true beauty. When there was nothing separating the two women, Santana laid down.

Side by side, Brittany mapped every inch of the chef's olive skin. She let her fingers coast over her girlfriend's neck, over the swell of heaving breasts, and across the hardened points. Feeling Brittany's fingers dance over her was almost too much. She'd barely been
touched, and yet, she could feel her arousal pooling between her thighs. Crashing their lips together, she kissed her girlfriend soundly, lightly biting at the blonde's pearlescent bottom lip. Santana could feel the smirk as their tongues tangled and before she knew what was happened, she was on her back.

Straddling her lover, Brittany slipped a leg between the Latina's toned thighs. Their two bodies moved as one. Neither woman was willing to rush it though - better to take their time and enjoy the scenery. Where they connected, it was like they melted into each other. Slowly grinding herself against Santana, the dancer fell into an easy rhythm. It was carnal and sensual. It was undeniably the best dance of her life.

Arching her back, Brittany pulled back slightly to gaze into Santana's eyes. The shift in position caused her thigh to press harder against the chef. After a surprised gasp, Santana's eyes reflexively shut. Taking advantage of the new angle, Brittany continued her slow gyrations. Still sensitive from her previous orgasm, she knew it wouldn't take long; however, she desperately wanted to come together. Deep down, that's all she wanted for her birthday. With her new goal, she worked her hand between their bodies. Dark eyes shot open when she circled Santana's clit with her fingers. The Latina knew she'd orgasm in seconds from the intimate touch. Wanting to come undone at the same time, she shifted the blonde off her. Again, side by side, their eyes locked. As hands loving mapped their most sensitive places, their kisses and caresses echoed their earlier declarations of love.

They were so different. Dancer and chef. Blonde and brunette. Easy going and fiery. Despite the vast differences, they shared a common secret. Both women had wholeheartedly believed they were good at one thing and one thing alone. Though Santana was born to cook and Brittany was born to perform, moving as one they discovered a new truth; they were also born for each other. Loving
Brittany came as naturally to Santana as her sinfully succulent soufflés. And loving Santana came as naturally to Brittany as executing a point perfect pirouette. They were made to be together.

At the exact moment that Santana worked a finger inside her, Brittany did the same. Connected in the most intimate ways - never once breaking contact, never once looking away - their pleasure soared to unsustainable heights. In those sweet, dark hours, time stopped. In perfect sync, they became one. The world dropped away and the only thing that existed was the physical manifestation of their earlier words. Simultaneously, they cried out, "I love you," as both women submitted to the moment. Lunging forward, Brittany captured Santana's lips as their bodies shook with release.

Still quivering, still staring deeply into her lover's eyes, Santana searched for the words, "that was..." When nothing came out, Brittany kissed her sweetly. A wide smile graced her perfect features as she replied, "I know."

Just as sleep overtook her, Santana mumbled into golden locks, "happy birthday."

xx

Continue to Part 2






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