A/N: Well, here it guys . . . in honour of the Glee finale tonight, here's a little finale of my own. Yes, it's the last chapter of The World is a Stage. I have to say a massive thank you to everyone who has read, reviewed and subscribed to this series and I truly hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have. It literally has been a massive part of my life and I'm happy to have shared it with you. This isn't the end of my Brittana adventure though, I have another series in the works, so expect to see that very soon. Again, thank you to you all! :)
"Brit, the car's here!" Santana called up the stairs as she fixed her loose earring. The brunette took a moment to check herself out in the floor to ceiling mirror situated in her hallway. It had been intended as a design feature rather than a vanity one, yet the Latina could not help herself, especially when she was on her way out to one of the most important events of the year. She smoothed her hands over the silky fabric of her gown, checked the back was all fastened up and hung how it should and let out a large sigh. The stylist and the hair and makeup artist had left moments ago, having been busy attending to both women. No expense was spared on this special evening. She waited patiently for Brittany, upon hearing the bedroom door open at the top of the stairs, she momentarily froze, the nerves began to kick in and she could feel her body tingling. The blonde appeared at the top of the staircase. Santana gasped at the sight before, never had she seen Brittany look so elegant and defined.
"Close your mouth San, it's so unattractive." A whisper caressed her ear. She felt the softest of touches upon her chin, gently forcing her mouth closed. Brittany had somehow appeared beside her, in her haze, she had missed the blonde glide down the stairs.
"I can't . . . you just . . ." Santana Lopez was at a loss for words. Simply put, Brittany looked stunning. "You look like a movie star." The brunette whispered. The dancer was dressed in a simple very pale pink full length gown, with a plunging neckline, her hair hung loosely over her shoulders. Her makeup was subtle, yet emphasised her bone structure and the intense blueness of her eyes.
"It's couture." Brittany stated proudly. "And hey," she poked Santana playfully in the ribs, "I'm a movie star's better half." Santana laughed heartily.
"I don't know about movie star, but you're definitely my better half." The brunette grinned.
"You're a movie star San, you know it, I know it, your bank manager knows it, the fans know it and Vogue magazine knows it. Soon enough, the Academy Awards will know it too." Brittany smiled with pride, slipping her hand into Santana's. The actress blushed and bowed her head slightly. "San, the car's here." Brittany laughed and gently pulled the Latina toward the front door. "Come on, we don't want to be late." She cooed.
Bulbs flashed incessantly, the throng of people were meandering around everywhere, there was a loud buzz of chatter and laughter drifting up and down the red carpet. Brittany clung to Santana, scared for being carried away in a crowd of people should she let go. This was her first major event, and it was the first of the Awards season. Santana had been waiting for this evening with an earnest angst and nervous excitement. She had been nominated for outstanding lead actress in a drama series for her role as Jen Ramirez in her primetime TV show, The Precinct. She had firmly established herself in the first season as a fan favourite and her second season had won her critical acclaim for her acting abilities. She had achieved quite a lot in a short space of time, however, it was the huge popularity of the show that had catapulted her into the spotlight and for that she was truly grateful. She had concluded filming her second feature film several months previous, a musical drama that was already causing a stir in Hollywood. The premiere a week later was eagerly anticipated and so the hectic life of Santana Lopez continued.
Santana, Brittany and Quinn had talked at length about the actress and the dancer's relationship and how the most effective way to handle it was. In the absence of a public relations agent – Santana had been adamant that any decisions regarding her personal life would indeed be just that, personal and her own choice - they had agreed that whilst Brittany's divorce was being finalised, they kept public displays of affection to a minimum. However, if asked they would deny nothing, they wouldn't lie, yet they were not about to host a coming out party either. Then it happened, the divorce was finalised, and an elaborate celebration ensued with many of the ladies friends and family present. This, as Brittany described it, was their 'coming back out' party, much to Santana's bemusement.
Tonight was their first outing to an official event as a couple and with the press presence, the women knew they would face a deluge of questions. There had always been a public hint of uncertainty about Santana's sexuality since she first hit the screen though she had never hidden who she was. The actress had somewhat managed to mostly stay out of the limelight as she had not endured a relationship that lasted past several dates for anyone to raise any serious questions. It was who she was. Everyone she came into contact with would always be compared to Brittany, and in the Latina's eyes, no one ever came anywhere close.
"Santana!" A voice called from nearby, she felt herself being ushered toward a camera and a guy with a microphone. Scowl firmly in place she turned to see the PR representative the TV network had provided her with for the evening. They wanted the brunette to talk to specific mainstream media and had been briefed earlier in the day on the do's and don'ts. The Latina sighed in defeat and with Brittany firmly at her side was guided towards the reporter. She fixed a smile on her face and prepared herself for the questions.
"Santana Lopez, welcome, how are you this evening?" the tall eager reporter asked.
"I'm very well thank you, excited to be here." She answered politely.
"Congratulations on your nomination."
"Thank you so much."
"You're looking very beautiful tonight, who are you wearing?" Santana felt Brittany squeeze her arm and glanced over to see a proud beaming smile plastered across the blonde's face.
"Vera Wang." She replied as she turned back to the reporter.
"And your friend?" the guy pointed the microphone towards Brittany. The blonde bit her lip nervously as Santana watched intently and gave her a small nod of encouragement.
"Same, Vera Wang." The blonde stated.
"We come as a pair." Santana laughed.
"Santana is this beautiful woman your date for this evening?" The reporter fished.
"Yes, Brittany is my date, tonight and for always, she's my girl." The Latina smiled glancing sideways, meeting the bluest of eyes.
"Your fans will be sad to hear you're off the market Santana." The reporter laughed. The Latina shrugged and smiled widely.
"What can I say?" she laughed. "I'm sure they'll appreciate that I'm happy."
"They also appreciate how talented you are. What can we expect during this third season of The Precinct?" he asked.
"Hmm. I'm not sure I can tell you." She joked.
"Give us something, please? Anything on the romance front?"
"There may be something on the horizon." Santana answered coyly, "You'll see Jen working through her emotions and maybe even acting upon some of the flirtations she's encountered."
"She's quite a popular character in the squad, we recently saw a couple of cops fighting over her . . ."
"Yeah she's quite the attention grabber." Santana said with a smirk.
"I'd date her." Brittany chimed. Santana laughed and squeezed the blonde's hand, momentarily placing her head on the dancer's shoulder. "She's hot." Brittany concluded with a nonchalant shrug.
"I can't disagree with that." The reporter stated. "Well good luck tonight Santana and with the rest of the season."
"Thank you so much."
"You're welcome, it was great to meet you."
"And you too." Santana concluded with nod and slowly moved away into the gathering crowds. The Latina turned to Brittany with an amused grin.
"What? What is it?" the blonde panicked, her hand covered her chest in dismay, "Did I say something wrong? Because I've never done this be. . . ." She was cut off from her ramble with a quick, soft kiss. Santana smiled against the blonde's lips before pulling away, grin firmly set.
"No, you were perfect." She was rewarded with a glowing grin from her golden girl.
Having spent a good proportion of an hour schmoozing on the red carpet, the two women made their way inside and found their seats with the rest of Santana's cast and crew colleagues. Brittany had met them on several occasions having visited the set when the Latina had resumed filming on the TV series. The blonde sat impossibly close to the actress, Santana was sat on the end of the row, her eyes wondered up and down the gangway, watching people arrive and take their seats. Her leg started to jig up and down, her nerves creeping in, etching further into her being every time another TV star walked passed. She felt a firm, comforting hand on her knee and turned shyly to look at the loving crystal clear blue eyes staring back at her with love and awe.
"You'll be fine, they love you, you are so talented and hot and whatever happens, I love you so much and you'll always be a winner to me." She sealed it with a delicate sweet kiss. Santana's heart melted at the love and sincerity radiating from the blonde. Brittany was right, no matter what happened that evening, she'll always be a winner, because she got to go home with the beautiful blonde beside her.
Throughout the ceremony, Santana's grip on Brittany's hand became tighter, time seemed to drag as category after category was announced and not one of them hers. Finally, she let out a huge breath as the title for her category was announced. She looked at the presenters, her eyes never wavering from the pair, although in the corner of her eye she could see a camera pointed directly at her. She tried with all her might to ignore it, Brittany's hand in hers squeezed with reassurance as the Latina's name was called with the other nominees. She smiled shyly, now very aware of the camera as it came closer to her. Once the names had been called Santana shifted uncomfortably in her seat, each second felt like a minute, the silence and anticipation was agony. All of a sudden there was a loud burst of clapping and whooping, people were on their feet, her cast members were scrambling to get closer to her, she felt a tug on her arm pulling her up. The Latina was dazed and confused, she glanced at Brittany, the mixture of smile and tears and pride in her eyes had the actress questioning the blonde. Brittany cupped Santana's face with her soft hands before whispering in her ear, the warm breath and stark reality of the blonde's words sent shivers coursing through Santana's body.
"You did it baby, you won." The words bounced around the actress' head, still disbelieving. She felt Brittany's lips press against her own and closed her eyes momentarily. It was true, she had won and she hadn't even heard her own name. She flung her arms around the dancer and hugged her close, life possibly could not get any sweeter than it was right now she thought. She let her hands glide down Brittany's back and planted them on the blonde's hips. The dancer broke the kiss and gazed lovingly into the brunette's eyes, the two of them lost in each other. A shove in Brittany's back caused the two women to stumble into the walkway, hands grasping one another's.
"You have an Emmy to collect San." Brittany said with a small giggle.
"Right, I should do something about that." Santana said, returning the blonde's gaping smile. She began to walk backwards, her eyes not wavering from the blonde, their arms extending, not wanting to let go. Their fingers slid gently over one another as Santana departed, the crowd still clapping and on their feet. The brunette gasped the moment her fingers lost contact with the blonde's and offered a wink before turning and walking up the aisle and up the steps to the stage.
She stood at the microphone, starring at the statue in her hands, her mouth agape slightly, willing her brain to kick into gear.
"I, wow, this." She began, shaking the award in her hands, "This is inconceivable, I really wasn't expecting this, it was incredible to even get nominated but this, I really can't thank you enough, honestly, I'm so blown away. Firstly I have to say how much I am inspired by the other women in this category, I'm a huge fan of all of you, seriously. I go to work each day and I think, how would so and so do this? Because I really believe the inspiration of others goes a long way into who you become, so thank you ladies for being brilliant. Thank you to the network for giving me a chance and for the opportunity to run around and have fun all day. To the best cast and crew a girl can ask for, I love working with you guys. A huge thank you to the writers, this character you have created is a joy to play, despite all the agony and heart ache you put her through. I have to thank the Academy for voting for me, I truly appreciate that. I have a few more people to thank, so here goes, Quinn, Puck and Beth for always being there, my high school glee club for teaching me about acceptance, my whole family, especially my Mom and Dad and my Grandparents. And most of all, I have to thank my girl Brittany, my biggest inspiration. If I've forgotten anyone I'm so sorry, but you're all in my heart and made me who I am today, so thank you."
Brittany watched in awe, she had sat down with the rest of the audience, her eyes never wavering from her girlfriend that stood on the stage. She looked so tiny, and that award looked so huge. The blonde subconsciously rested one hand against her heart, feeling every single word spoken by the Latina. She could feel tears of pride and happiness sting her eyes and although she hadn't been with Santana during the filming of the previous season and refused to watch it, the blonde had caught up on both seasons during an epic marathon. She had explained to Santana that it was her Emmy Awards prep and had to at least know what it was that Santana had been nominated for. What she hadn't been prepared for was just how talented an actress Santana really was. She had read and heard about all the hype and knew there must be some truth to what she was being told, however she also knew how attractive and beautiful Santana was and thought that would be a contributing factor. Santana had laughed and joked about her looks getting her noticed and the acting wasn't that big of a deal, it was just a job. However when Brittany watched her lover onscreen, she knew differently. It was as if all the years of heartbreak Santana had endured, she bottled up then released into her vocation and from it came this complex character that looked like Santana, sounded like Santana, yet wasn't Santana, but was extremely convincing.
As Santana reeled off the names, Brittany gasped with surprise and joy when she heard her name, she thought maybe she would get a small mention, just her name, but she had not been prepared to be described as Santana's girl and biggest inspiration. It was like hearing Santana say 'I love you' for the first time all over again and Brittany vowed she would show Santana just how much she appreciated that at their own private after party. Before she knew it Santana had returned to her seat beside her. It was a commercial break and a number of patrons were milling around, wondering up to the brunette and congratulating her on her award.
"Santana." A distinctive voice caught her attention through the myriad of well dressed people.
"Oh Ellen, hey! Great to see you again." Santana said.
"You too and congratulations, I knew you could do it."
"Thank you so much, it means a lot coming from you I mean you're like, the coolest person on TV." Santana gushed, the fan inside her revealing itself.
"Thank you and you're one of my favourite guests I've had on the show." Ellen replied, "So, this is your Brittany?" Santana blushed, remembering the discussion she had had during the interview.
"Yeah," Santana began, "It was complicated back then, but I got the girl." She laughed.
"Well congratulations on that too, you both look very happy."
"We are, thank you." Santana replied.
"I have to go, but we'll catch up soon, I want to hear about your new movie."
"Sure, that will be great." The brunette smiled before the presenter disappeared into the crowd. Santana sighed, the whole situation had become overwhelming, she was speaking to people she had only dreamed of meeting when she was younger, people who had graced her television screen for years and a twinge of guilt tugged at her heart. Santana was new to this business and here she was picking up awards already. She felt a beautiful sensation of soft skin upon her arm, rubbing it gently and reassuringly. Santana turned and gave the blonde the biggest hug she could muster, followed by a chaste kiss to the lips.
"I am so proud of you Santana Lopez and thank you so much." Brittany said with a twinkle in her eye.
"Why are you thanking me?" the brunette asked.
"Because of what you said about me, you didn't have to."
"I know." Santana shrugged, "But you're my girl and I want the whole world to know."
"Every time you say something like that you make me love you more and I didn't think it was possible." The blonde stated with a naked truth.
"There's always room for improvement Brit." Santana laughed. "Academy Award for me next!" she wiggled her eyebrows in jest.
"You shouldn't joke, you can totally get one." Brittany agreed, "Who knows, it could be the year of the girl who likes girls." She smiled. Santana threw her head back with a heartily laugh, causing Brittany to widen her grin in adoration.
"Girl, Brit, and not like, love. I love you. So, so much."
"You can show me later." Brittany winked as the lights dimmed for the next part of the show.
"Oh I plan on it babe, just you, me, a bottle of Champagne, and our new little friend here." Santana smiled with a whisper.
"Promise?" Brittany asked.
"Always." Santana replied, "But it's just you and me, together forever." Her lips crashed with Brittany's, the whole world slipping away, leaving the two women together in the moment.
Brittany awoke to singing birds and a stream of sunlight breaking through the gap in the swaying voile curtains. She smiled happily as the warm breeze caressed her naked form. The nude body beside her shifted slightly, the arm strewn across Brittany's stomach pulled the blonde closer as she tried to focus on her surroundings, her vision blurred by the tiredness and almighty hangover that consumed her.
"Shit." She muttered, her body protesting against the light and the movement she felt compelled to make yet was paralysed by aches and pains.
"You weren't complaining last night." Came a muffled voice from against her chest.
"It's because of last night I feel like this." Brittany mumbled. "You outdid yourself San, that was seriously the best sex of my life."
"It wasn't just sex though . . ." Santana wistfully responded.
"No." Brittany agreed. "It was everything, I've never felt so alive and loved."
"Who knew you could have a love hangover." Santana grinned, not able to move any other muscles.
"I'm pretty sure the Champagne helped with the pain in my head, but everything else, every single muscle that aches was all you." Brittany surmised. Santana continued to grin proudly.
"I feel exactly the same." The Latina concurred. "And guess what?" she asked without waiting for a reply. "No work today which means we can stay here in our love shack all day." Brittany giggled lazily at the actresses words.
"I can't actually move." The blonde stated, having tried to roll over.
"No need," Santana said, "I've got all I need right here."
"Oh yeah?" Brittany asked with a devilish grin.
"Oh yeah, you. You're all I need. I'm drunk on you." Santana managed to lift her head and gaze into Brittany's compelling blue eyes. "I'm a Britaholic." She grinned. "And I don't want to be cured."
"Me too." Brittany breathed, "Except I'm a Sanaholic, not a Britaholic, that would be weird." Santana chuckled and leaned in for a sweet electrifying kiss. It was a kiss full of promise and want, it felt like they were kissing each other for the first time and as if it would be the last. They had learnt not to take one another for granted and to appreciate the love they shared. The past had taught them a lot and shaped their future. They had vowed that this was it, they would be together for as long as humanly possible and would do whatever it took to keep it that way. Santana broke the kiss for breath and took in the pure adoration adorning the blonde's features.
"There's a new movie." Santana said lazily through hooded eyelids, "It's called Forever and you and I are the stars." Brittany's brow creased in thought, whilst the idea was sweet one, it was far too sickly to be coming from Santana's mouth. The blonde raised an eyebrow before mustering all her strength to flip Santana over. She held the brunette's wrists above her head and straddled her naked body, leaning over, ensuring she had the Latina's attention. The warm, glistening brown eyes indicated that she had indeed captured Santana's full attention, she was poised, waiting for Brittany to proceed.
"Don't ever say anything like that again." Brittany threatened. Confusion reigned over the brunette's features, her gaze glazed slightly. The blonde leaned down and kissed the frown from Santana's face. "It's not you." She stated. "And," she began once again, placing another kiss, this time to Santana's inviting lips, "I don't ever want this to end. Movies end."
"Thank you." Santana stated, her gaze lost in the blueness of the eyes before her.
"I don't ever want to have to do it again." Brittany concluded covering the Latina's body with her own and sealing it with a searing kiss.
Fade to black.