L is for Learning to Love

Disclaimer: I do not own the characters on the show, nor am I affiliated with any of them.

Rating: PG-13 for some language and sexual implications

Author's Note: This story is AU.

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Long, Lazy Afternoon

Shane McCutcheon was bored.

Only one person had made an appointment that afternoon, and that person had either lost her watch or had no decency to call and cancel, something that Shane hated the most about her job—if there were no appointments, she had absolutely nothing to do but bum around. She would have ditched an hour ago if only Chase hadn't gotten back early and told her to stay in case the client showed up later or there were any walk-ins—as if there would be any walk-ins with her luck that day. Then, he had to remind her that she had to be at the party tonight, which was enough to elicit another series of groans from the hairdresser.

It wasn't that the parties there were boring—in fact, they were anything but, but they just weren't a special thing when it came to Wax anymore. Chase threw one practically once or twice a week at least and they were mostly the same, with the same crowd ninety percent of the time—Shane had pretty much gone through most of the girls there, if you know what I mean. The only remaining ones were either straight or off-limits (girlfriends of her co-workers), which is why you can't really blame her lack of enthusiasm. But Chase had only been too eager to use the guilt card on her, and so there she was, without a choice but to go to the party, and to wait around until then.

And because of that, Shane had been lounging on the couch for the last three hours, mindlessly flipping through the channels, unable to find anything good to watch. It was about another fifteen minutes later when she turned off the television and tossed the remote to the side. Pissed off and not being able to think of anything else to do, she grabbed one of the skateboards lying around headed outside to blow off some steam.

\//\\//\\//\\//\

She bent her knees a little more, with her brows furrowed in concentration as she skated back and forth across the ramp, trying to shut out the world around her. She tried to skate a bit higher, closing her eyes for a brief moment as a small gush of wind blew by, combing her wild, uneven hair backwards.

"Hey."

A voice startled her out of her thoughts, causing her eyes to snap open in surprise. Without thinking, she turned around to see the owner of the voice, and, in the process of doing so, fell off the skateboard and landed on her butt.

"Ouch. Are you okay?"

"Great, just great," she mumbled, ignoring the slight hint of amusement in the stranger's voice, but she took the extended hand to help herself up anyway. She hastily brushed the dirt from the back of her jeans, wincing at the throbbing pain that was starting to spread and scowling at the thought of a bruise on that was undoubtedly forming. With an irritated sigh, she turned to look at the person, and her mood did a complete one-eighty.

Before she knew it, she was quirking an eyebrow appreciatively at the sight in front of her, a small smile tugging at the corner of her lips as the person's—the woman's—features registered in her eyes. The woman, most probably of Spanish descent, stood just a few inches shorter than her, with a petite frame, tanned skin, perfect curves, and most importantly, the most alluring smile Shane had ever laid eyes on—shy, yet seductive.

Not bad. Not bad at all.

"Are you okay?" the woman finally asked, breaking the brief silence that had formed earlier. A small blush began to form on her cheeks as she noticed Shane's gaze on her, and she averted her gaze downwards. Upon looking down to see that they hadn't let go of each other's hand, she turned an even deeper shade of red, but she kept her hold on it nevertheless. Shane felt her trademark smirk making its way across her face.

"So… can I help you?" she asked nonchalantly, stuffing her free hand into her jacket pocket.

"Wh-what?" came a breathless response as both women continued to engage themselves in a staring match. Shane shrugged and rephrased her earlier question.

"I don't know. You don't look like a skater, so… do you need your hair done or something?"

"Oh, you must be Shane," the woman replied as her face lit up in realization, a bright smile gracing her face. Shane, whose confident demeanor was abruptly replaced with confusion, stared blankly at her.

Fuck, how does she know my name? I didn't already sleep with—no, I couldn't have. Well, it's possible, of course, but then she just realized who I was… so that can't be it.

The woman took her silence as a cue to keep talking.

"You're the new hairdresser, right? Chase told me to look for you if he wasn't back by the time I got here. I'm the DJ for tonight's party… I just need to make sure you have all the right equipment."

You bet I have the right equipment—no, shut up. Okay, so I've never met her before… but she's definitely interested. Well, at least she looks interested. Just tell her Chase isn't around and you can find out for yourself.

"Actually, Chase is—"

"Hey, you're here!"

Both women turned to see Chase jogging towards them.

Asshole.

Shane glared at her friend, mentally calling him all the worst names she could possibly think of as the woman quickly let go of her hand and stepped aside to let herself be hugged.

Great, leave it to Chase to salt my game—not that he'd be interested in the girl, or any girl, but he just HAD to walk out right now, didn't he? After all, he's responsible for such a great day I'm having, so why not make it even better?

After what felt like eternity, Chase released her, and they began to chat away, momentarily forgetting about Shane, who was standing there, feeling a bit out of place. She was about to turn around and leave when she heard her name being mentioned.

"…Shane will be here if you need anything, you know where everything is. I have a few more errands to run, so I'll see you later, right?"

He hugged the woman again and turned around to walk away, but not before winking noticeably at Shane and wiggling his eyebrows at her. Shane rolled her eyes and turned to the woman, who was now making her way inside. Then, a sudden realization hit her, and she called out to the woman.

"Hey… I didn't get your name." The woman turned and grinned at her cheekily.

"I didn't give it," she teased. Shane raised her eyebrows at the clichéd answer, and the woman shrugged her shoulders.

"Sorry, couldn't resist," she admitted, and Shane gave another shrug in response.

"So, you gonna tell me, or what?"

"Maybe."

And with that, she turned back and resumed walking, her hips swaying a little more visibly than before, stopping only once more to look back at her.

"You coming?"

Suddenly unable to think of a witty response, Shane had no choice but to nod and follow the woman inside.

\//\\//\\//\\//\

"So, what do you do when you're not cutting hair?"

"Uhmmm… I don't know, not much… hang out?" Shane replied, stuffing her hands into her jacket pockets and leaning against the wall, watching the woman in front of her. "What do you do when you're not working?"

"Well, I deejay at nights… and during the daytime I'm a PA, so I'm usually off running errands… other than that, not much, too," she replied absent-mindedly, pressing a set of earphones against one ear.

"Wow, you lead a busy life."

The woman shrugged and continued what testing out the equipment.

"So… why do you need to work two jobs?" Shane continued.

The woman put down the earphones and paused, as if thinking about the question.

"Well, other than the fact that I have rent to pay for… I love being a DJ, but it's not exactly what you call a 'stable job'. Some days you get gigs, and some days, you don't. I do get more now, but my day job's not so bad. I got it a year ago when I was having an 'off-month'… well; couple of months, actually, and my boss has been really great so I guess I just never left. I guess things are starting to look up now, I mean, Chase helped me get a couple of gigs, and I guess I must have done a pretty good job because I was called back for other parties and—sorry, I'm rambling, aren't I? It's just something I do when I'm nervous."

Shane found herself smirking again at the last line.

"So I make you nervous?" She asked innocently, looking intently into the woman's eyes.

The woman blushed again, staring back at her as her hands blindly reached for the earphones once more. After a few attempts which led her to grabbing nothing but air, she tore her gaze away and looked down, finally grabbing the earphones.

"Fuck you," she mumbled, unconsciously playing with the earphones.

"Okay," the hairdresser replied with a confident shrug as the woman looked up at her again, "if you want."

The woman raised her eyebrows curiously, and for a moment Shane panicked, wondering if she had misread the signs.

Fuck, she's not… straight, is she? I'm gonna kill Chase—

Then she noticed that smile starting to play across the woman's lips again, the one she saw when they first locked eyes earlier, the one that was enough to send her into a small daze as she watched the woman drop her earphones and walk over to her. The next thing she knew, there was a hand on her left hip, slightly tugging her forward, and she watched as the woman's other hand traveled up to play with her short locks of unruly hair for a bit before resting on her neck. Then, the woman leaned forward, gently pulling her down so she could whisper in her ear.

"Oh, believe me, I do want to fuck you," she murmured, and she moved back to grin at her for a quick second, all traces of shyness suddenly erased from her features. Before Shane had a chance to react or look surprised, she felt herself being pulled forward roughly as a set of lips crashed into hers.

\//\\//\\//\\//\

Shane felt a small smile tugging at her lips as she watched the woman in front of her frantically looking for her last missing item of clothing. She crossed her arms, her eyes wandering down to the woman's bare backside as she bent down to pick up her bra. Sensing her gaze, the woman turned around and grinned at her, walking over to her and drawing her in for another kiss, but just as Shane began to respond to it, the woman pulled back, leaning towards her ear again, as if to tell her another secret.

"Carmen de la pica Morales," she whispered, her voice sending a shiver down the taller woman's spine, "I'll see you at the party later."

And with a wink and a gentle squeeze of her hand, the woman walked away to get dressed, leaving a stunned Shane staring at the place where she was standing just a few seconds ago.

When she finally snapped out of it, Shane realized that there was something in her hand. She looked down to find the article of clothing that the woman must have placed in her hand when she squeezed it, and with a small smile to herself, she stuffed it in her pocket.

Carmen.

All of a sudden Shane found herself looking forward to the party that night.