NA: This came out during a plane trip and it just kinda wrote itself. I should be writing Fate's Hands, but. You know.

The narrative is built a bit differently from FH, more fast-paced and unreflective, and I hope it'll be of your liking. I shall await for inputs in your reviews, as I'm still not sure whether I'll continue this or not. Hopefully you'll say it is worth a shot.

EDIT: A BIG thank you to Jax, who beta'ed the first chapters of this and convinced me to adop the quotations mark.


01

Santana paints. She had began after a few months of dating a painter, her first introduction to the world of arts. It didn't work out, as it would be expected, but at least she took something out of it: the ability to express herself. She's not good with words, or gestures. She can sing, of course, she could always sing, but she has troubles dealing with other people, and painting implies solitude.

The painter was a beautiful woman: tall, sleek, with long black hair and an impressive talent. She loved cocaine more than she loved Santana, however, and it had come to an end. Santana shouldn't be the one to wash away other people's sins, so she left the messy studio they shared without regrets. She had learned enough to stand on her own two feet.

She went on to another relationship, a woman who happened to be the painter's ex. Santana needs a warm body beneath her and she couldn't help but be attracted to the ex, who was as fierce as Santana and loved to think of herself as a struggling artist. It was a nice break from her previous circles of acquaintances of hopeless waitresses, exhausted teachers and untalented wannabe-actresses, and a way to keep in touch with interesting people.

She doesn't know why exactly she decided to move to New York without a plan to follow. She needed so badly to leave her ridiculously small hometown she managed to pull an offer to work as a Spanish teacher, even with her short temper and lack of patience. And there she was, mingling with the up and coming, promising artists of her generation. Not so bad.

The first time someone sees her work, it's her girlfriend's brother – not the ex, another, a sweet girl from Spain with a deep, rich voice – and he just stands there and looks. He's a painter and he already managed to get three pieces into big exhibitions and two found their way into galleries, so he's beginning to make some money out of it. He's 31, and he places a hand on her shoulder to tell her she should show it to people. She shrugs, faking indifference, and answers she does it mostly as a need to express herself and she has no ambitions.

It triggers something, though. Weeks later, when she and her Spanish girlfriend just had sex and the sheets are a mess, she stares at a canvas resting on the wall and she asks – in Spanish, of course, because is there anything sexier than speaking that language after sex? – for an honest opinion. Her answer is what she wants to hear. She has something that draws people to her work, a certainty about each brush that betrays a desperation in getting her message out there. Her girlfriend asks her what message is that, but Santana doesn't respond.

Maybe this painting business is good, because it gives her a purpose, something to look forward to, and breaks a circle of endless days and nights just working and eating and fucking and drinking and passing time until something big falls down on her lap. She was never one for formal education and she has no prospect of a career. She doesn't want a career, too, for she likes to think of herself as a free spirit.

The fifth one to warm her bed after the Spanish girl is the daughter of a photographer, a sexy 28 year old without the remotest trace of talent but with the backbone to run a business and make it grand. Santana likes this one, especially because she had been painting for two years and not getting anywhere when the girl's father comes to visit and actually likes what he sees. He has the means and Santana has the will, and she decides she will make this happen. She is tired of gags and counting nickels.

The girl actually lasts, which is surprising, but Santana likes the way she always paints her nails in impossibly bright colors, the way she looks ravishing without even putting any effort into it, and even more the way she takes none of Santana's shit and always has the sharpest tongue – after Santana's, obviously. It doesn't take much time to charm her father and put some gears into action. He gives her canvas as a gift to some handpicked people, manages to sneak in an invite or two for the right parties, and Santana's smoking hot body and enticing smile do the rest.

She gets home one day, a bottle of champagne in hand, to proudly announce she was chosen as one of the young artists in an upcoming exhibition. Her girlfriend is being fucked on all fours on the couch by some black chick. She yells and throws everything on the ground, on the walls, punches the unknown chick when she tries to react and makes the biggest scene New York has ever witnessed, because no one cheats on Santana Lopez, the hottest piece of ass in the fucking country.

She gets over it with a bottle of José Cuervo and Quinn Fabray, best friend extraordinaire. The escape plan from Ohio had been originally hers, Santana had to give her that. After an unexpected teenage pregnancy and giving up her baby for adoption, the blonde had given up the Christian Girl act and set her goal in leaving everything behind as soon as she could. Her family couldn't wait to get rid of their sinful daughter, and Quinn still wanted so hard to please her daddy she got into Law School in NYU. Not so bad, Santana thinks. Such an overachiever.

Quinn tells her she doesn't need to take no woman's shit and they toast 9 times to that and 5 times to being a fucking badass artist and then she stops counting, because how do you do math anyway after so many shots, so it's no surprise when she wakes up in Quinn's dorm with the blonde sleeping – both of them fully clothed, thank god – on top of her. Literally, so she decides not to move until the other girl wakes up. Quinn's roommate looks at them with a smile. She's a cool girl, too straight for her own good but very fun to be around, nearly graduating in Film. The good thing about the impromptu sleepover? Santana gets invited to a party.

A week later, Santana tries to think how on Earth she ended up surrounded by artists as she enters the party. Makes no sense, really, and she sure never planned it. Oh well. The place is grand, as it seems the girl throwing the party sleeps with the all right people. Luckily, she also happens to be a friend of Quinn's roommate. They manage to sneak in, because pretty girls always manage to sneak in, and the house is full and there's two dance floors and neon lights and damn, finally someone can throw a decent party.

Santana holds her drink as she watches people dance as the party develops in front of her eyes. The electronic beat is hypnotizing and entrancing and the alcohol is just beginning to kick in. Life is good. Her eyes find a tall blonde, drop dead gorgeous type of girl, and she freezes for a moment because what is that girl doing with her body and can anyone really be that flexible and gracious and Santana makes a mental note she has got to sleep with a dancer, soon.

She doesn't realize she's staring for too long until the girl actually comes to her. Hi, she says, and Santana grins mischievously as she says hi right back. Do you want to dance? She asks, not even bothering with introductions and formalities and Santana likes her already. Of course, she says, putting her drink down and letting the blonde bombshell lead her to the floor.

The blonde touches Santana like she owns her and they dance facing each other, bodies close, lips closer and Santana thanks God she has sneaked into clubs from the tender age of 14 and learned how to move her body. She presses a hand to the small of the other woman's back as their hips swing together and they go down, down, down, down and then up, up, up, up. Long, white arms are wrapped loosely around her shoulders, she's almost kissing this stranger after a few minutes and where is Quinn at a moment like that, to serve as a witness to the whole shenanigan and reassure her later this isn't a dream?

Santana handles the blonde so that she turns around, and of course that goddess throws her head back to rest on Santana's shoulders and presses her back to Santana's front. Santana wraps her left arm around the girl, the other hand running on her arm and lips brushing on that temptation of a neck. They're starting to draw attention, as two gorgeous lesbians always do, and Santana rolls her eyes. So predictable.

"Let's get a drink," the blonde interrupts after half an hour of that foreplay disguised as dancing. Santana nods, trying not to look as eager and horny as she actually feels – damn, the girl had been rubbing all up on her and she kinda has a thing for people who can dance – and before she knows she has a vodka in one hand and they're at a balcony and she's being sandwiched between cherry bomb blonde and aforementioned balcony.

This is going fast, but Santana doesn't want to hold back. That blonde stallion smiles and lets her lips linger as close as possible from Santana's without actually touching, and Santana closes the gap. The blonde sighs and places a hand on Santana's neck, nipping at her lips and pulling at her lower lip for some time before demanding an entrance promptly granted. She tastes like tequila and something else and she is in no rush. The way she explores Santana's mouth is careful, slow, as if there's nothing else but Santana, as if they have all time in the world. This isn't usual for Santana, who is at all times a top, but she lets the blonde dictate the pace. The kiss, excruciatingly slow, makes her head spin and – not that she'll ever admit that – gives her a strange feeling of being special.

Santana whimpers when the other woman breaks the kiss. A cellphone is ringing, but the blonde doesn't bother to take the call after looking at the screen. "You're delicious," she says, "but I have to go." And then, just like that, she goes, leaving behind a Santana who can can barely tell right from left or up from down. Santana asks herself is that is a woman or a hurricane. Jesus Christ. And she doesn't even know her name.