A/N: Hi. This will be short I promise. I apologize for taking forever to update. To tell you the truth, this chapter has been done since early December, but I've been hesitant to post it because it hasn't been read by anyone else. Along with that, school is really draining me away, but being able to write for your guys truly does make things a little brighter. I just wish I had more time to do so. I want to thank everyone who has left a comment or have sent a message. Latte Girl has reached over 1,000 comments! That's absolutely incredible. I'm thrilled to know that you all have enjoyed reading as much as I have enjoyed writing this story. I truly am thankful.
Please don't be surprised if nothing gets posted in a while after this… life has just been crazy. I apologize in advanced for those still following this story. It's been a little difficult answering questions in every chapter, so please PM me if you have any questions related to the fic or would simply like to chat. Also a special shout out to sarake_leeg and chwang42 for always having my back. Love ya ladies.
This chapter is betaless so all grammar errors are my own (if anyone is still interested in betaing please PM me and I'll fill you in).
I've missed this, I truly have... Hope everyone feels the Heya love in this one! Enjoy!
(Total Side Note: I don't have a tumblr, but I found the most adorable poster for The Latte Girl by ohvalerievalerie (ohvalerievalerie . tumblr . com) and fell in love. Just wanted to give a shout out to you too darlin'! Everyone should check this out!)
Disclaimer: This fic is RPF! I do not own anything, this is a complete work of fiction. I DO NOT know either of these women nor am I affiliated with Glee or its creators. I also do not own the song "Taylor, The Latte Boy," by Kristin Chenoweth which this fic is loosely based on. These two are not a couple… unfortunately.
The Latte Girl
Part 2: Chapter 17
After Naya took Heather home last night, the tiny brunette insisted on playing chef knowing the hard-working barista was exhausted from her two jobs. Naya was disbelieving when Heather revealed her instant Mac-N-Cheese based diet, but she found the confession was true after investigating Heather's pantry to find what she could work with. She decided on improvising her own healthier version of Mac-N-Cheese which didn't involve using a microwave. When Heather watched Naya zoom around the kitchen it was like seeing her through a new pair of glasses. Naya's lips were in a constant smile as she would make conversation with Heather all the while multi-tasking a simmering sauce pan and dicing vegetables. She wondered if this is how Naya felt when she watched Heather make lattes. Heather would try to be of some sort of assistance, but whatever her task she would end up making a mess and Naya would poke fun at her. She would never admit it to her, but she loved it when Naya got bossy.
Ashley more than welcomed a little late night snack and Heather could never say no to more time with Naya. She made a fantastic meal basically out of thin air. It didn't surprise Heather though. She thought Naya was awesome at everything she did.
"See? We match. You make us dessert and I cook us dinner," Naya hummed in Heather's ear after they had finished eating. Heather was in charge of cleanup which turned out to be harder than she thought with Naya pressed so close to her. The blonde tried her hardest to wash dishes without breaking any of them. Heather smiled at her goofily.
"What?" Naya giggled, hugging Heather from behind. "It's a win, win for everyone."
"Amen to that," Ashley chipped in, peeling the paper liner off of another one of Heather's second place lemon muffins.
Naya laughed while Heather just rolled her eyes.
Heather knew that she could never make quite a meal like Naya. After Naya left to go home, the wide-awake blonde forced Ashley to stay up with her to brainstorm the perfect first date. However, Ashley's food coma state was proving to slow the process down.
"Could you at least pretend to sound interested in what I'm talking about right now?" Heather asked her friend who was falling asleep on her bed.
"Heather… it's freaking 1:30 in the morning… why can't we just do this later?" she mumbled into a pillow. "I thought you already had your first date? When you two got all kinky with the baking that one night at the café and then you forced me to stay awake to tell me all about it…"
Then she added, "I swear I'm having like déjà vu right now…"
"It was different back then… we're finally both on the same page."
"I think it still counts. So we good? Sleepy time?" Ashley yawned.
"If you don't wake up, I'll sit Zack on your face," Heather told her seriously.
Ashley rolled over on her back with a groan. Her arms and legs sprawled out over the majority of the bed while her eyes stared up at the ceiling.
"You're… so… cruel…" she whimpered and Heather rolled her eyes from the small corner that she was forced to move to on her mattress.
"Come on, Ash. You know this is a big deal. I want it to be intimate… but… you know, not too intimate?" Heather told her timidly as she smoothed over Zack's sleek fur. He purred softly in his sleep.
"What's wrong with intimate?"
"Nothing… I don't want to scare her off with something like super romantic or cheesy or anything. If I give her the wrong idea of moving things faster, what if she starts thinking I'm just using her? Or that I'm just another fan-girling Gleek who's going to propose to her after the next date? Small steps," Heather rambled.
Ashley rolled her head over to look at her and squinted her eyes at her.
"What?" Heather asked innocently.
The brunette clunked her head back down on the pillow and closed her eyes before answering, "You think too much… It just sounds like you're the one who might be scared of a little bit of 'intimacy'."
She raised her arms up to do a quick little air quote when she said intimacy.
"What are you even talking about?"
"I really don't think Naya will bite if you get too close. Or she could be into that sort of thing. You know her better than I do," Ashley snorted at her own joke.
"I was serious about Zack and you know what he's like when I wake him up."
"Okay, okay… Calm your tits down. Just take her out to dinner or go see a movie or something. You know? Like what normal people do. She looks like a gal who would like a normal night out with her girlfriend," Ashley told her observationally.
Heather blushed at the term.
"That all just sounds too easy…"
"Well, to me it just sounds like you're trying to make my life miserable by not making a decision," Ashley complained. Heather ignored her.
"I still want it to be special. Dinner and a movie just sounds so…" Heather's thought wandered. Then it suddenly clicked. "You're a genius, Ash."
"Mhm… tell me something that I don't know."
"We still have that thing this weekend right?"
Ashley turned her head back to Heather and looked at her again, except this time curiously.
"Yes…" she said slowly, "But you said you didn't want to go?"
"Well, there has just been a change in plans," Heather said in a giddy voice, scratching Zack behind his ears.
Ashley simply chuckled knowingly as she curled up on Heather's bed.
"Good, glad we took care of that. Now sleepy Ashley is sleepy…" she mumbled and let her eyes droop shut. Heather frowned at her roommate asleep on her bed. It was her room after all.
Heather was waiting until she thought of something that would match the pace of their relationship. She figured that it was intimate, but not too intimate; just as she wanted. Nothing could bottle up her excitement. She couldn't wait to ask Naya and she hoped she would say yes… She strode into the Black Horse Café for the early prep before opening the next day, a lopsided closed lipped smile on her face. Her emotions radiated off her body as Heather hummed that tune from Singin' in the Rain. She couldn't get it out of her head.
"Well, I don't need to say good morning to you, Heather," Reese chuckled brightly. He smiled as he watched the bubbly blonde rock on the balls of her feet while tying her apron on with ease. He raised his brow inquisitively and looked over to Kaitlyn.
"I'm the one that needs a 'good morning'…" Kaitlyn grumbled from the corner as she rubbed at her tired eyes.
"Yah, I think a wake-me-up song would do you some good," Cody sniggered, attempting to put one of his blaring iPod buds into her ears. She grimaced and smacked him away.
Heather continued to hum happily, tossing a towel over her shoulder. She let her eyes settle on the three amazing people before her. They had no idea how much she loved them.
She walked to where Reese was organizing the new stock and gave him a big hug from behind. He let out a little surprised "oh" before relaxing into Heather's embrace in appreciation. Reese leaned against the side of the storage room doorframe and watched his second barista give his son a similar treatment. Cody stopped trying to annoy Kaitlyn when Heather ruffled at his shaggy hair and engulfed him in a warm hug. When she parted from him he stood there with a dopey grin on his wide mouth. Kaitlyn rolled her eyes before snagging his iPod and cranking the volume all the way up. Cody yelped and was forced to pluck out his other ear bud.
Heather giggled at Kaitlyn and Cody's playfulness, the teenager frowning at Kaitlyn and rubbing his ear. She leaned in close to Kaitlyn's side and gave her a fond kiss on the cheek. Heather knew for such a tough-girl, she truly was a softy. It was her way of telling her friend to never change. The pixie-hair cut brunette scrunched her eyebrows at her, not knowing at all where this affection was coming from. Heather's three Black Horse Café co-workers stared at her curiously as she spun around, gracefully picking up a package of paper cups and a clean empty coffee cup. While she danced out the room they all looked to each other and sighed.
Kaitlyn was the first to look down at her shoes.
"She's got it worse than I thought," Reese said, breaking the knowing silence amongst the three of them.
"I, for one, told you my personal feelings about the new customer. It's all her fault really. I think Heather could do better," Cody replied protectively.
"Oh shut up," Kaitlyn scolded. "You don't know anything. That girl has been giving us the best business we've had in years. Besides she makes her happy…"
"It's more than that though," Reese told Kaitlyn specifically. "You even said so…"
Kaitlyn didn't say anything. She didn't want things to change, but she did want the best for Heather. Was it selfish of her to feel so protective?
"You know it's time, right?" Reese told them solemnly.
"I don't want to…" Cody whined sadly.
"I don't either. But she needs this," Kaitlyn said simply.
They all knew. Kaitlyn was right.
Just as Heather danced around the kitchen floors of the Black Horse Café, Naya was singing quietly along with her iPod as she walked through the Paramount lot. Her early morning voice gave her notes an extra rasp as she strode with a slight bounce in her step. Naya's bright and very unfamiliar mood at this time of day caught several eyes. But her mind was somewhere else, thinking of someone else that made her lips curve upwards slightly. She didn't know why, but she was playing all of her Michael Bublé songs on loop. There was something in his songs that made her turn up the volume a bit louder… It wasn't only what he was singing about, but how he sang it. And she sang back to him, almost as if they were singing a duet. Singing a song with Michael Bublé would definitely be a pretty awesome goal to check off on her bucket list…
"Morning, bee," Kevin called out to her as he passed. She simply mussed her hand in his hair too absorbed in singing back to Mr. Bublé's silky voice to stop and chat. Kevin furrowed his brow at her, standing a little stunned as he watched her continue her path to her trailer.
Dianna was sipping on her tea as she too just made her way on to set that morning. She stopped when she caught Kevin's befuddled look.
She gave a small chuckle.
"Cute look, Kev," she said flattening down his hair with her sweater covered hand. "Trying to bring in yet another new trend?"
"Something's up there…" he nodded over in Naya's direction. Dianna turned just in time to spot Naya whisking in to her trailer, catching a few husky notes of a familiar love song. Dianna raised an eyebrow at the odd image of Naya so cheerful in the morning. Her face was immediately replaced with a soft, knowing smile as hummed out the familiar tune finishing Naya's notes.
All you have to do is touch my hand
And show me you understand
And that something happens to me…
Kevin looked at her funny. She sipped her tea contentedly as she spoke the last lyric aloud:
"Yeah… some kind of wonderful."
The two followed Naya's voice up to her trailer. They politely knocked, but got no response. Dianna rolled her eyes and let herself in, peeking her head around the corner of the door.
"You better be decent!" she shouted. She caught Naya simply brushing her hair in front of her dresser. She let Kevin and herself fully in before shutting the door behind them. Naya saw the two of them in her mirror and smiled brightly at her Glee mates, singing the next song on her Michael Bublé playlist even louder. If Dianna were able to get over how absolutely adorable Naya looked, she would have been able to give more appreciation to her amazing take on the Bublé song. It was more of a thick, sultry and soulful vibe that Michael Bublé could never add to the song himself. She truly was an artist… When it came to understanding and interpreting a song, Dianna always secretly thought Naya was best at it. She had a way in making it her own, especially this sort of genre. Unfortunately, this confession would always have to remain a secret when your roommate was Lea Michele…
I'm not surprised, not everything lasts
I've broken my heart so many times, I stopped keeping track
Talk myself in, I talk myself out
I get all worked up, then I let myself down…
Naya sang into her brush towards Dianna and Kevin. Kevin threw himself onto her couch, snuggling up into it sleepily.
"I think she's officially lost it…" he told Dianna blandly as he watched Naya's little performance. The blonde smacked at Kevin's butt so she could squeeze in beside him, giving Naya a proper audience as she continued to get ready for the day's shoot whilst singing naturally.
I tried so very hard not to lose it.
Dianna laughed ironically as Naya sang in Kevin's direction.
I came up with a million excuses
I thought, I thought of every possibility
Naya tossed her microphone acting brush at the pair in her trailer as she moved towards her closet to fetch her costume pieces; luckily Dianna caught it with the hand not holding her tea. They rolled their eyes as they willingly sang backup for the chorus for their friend.
And I know someday that it'll all turn out
You'll make me work, so we can work to work it out
And I promise you, kid, that I give so much more than I get
I just haven't met you yet
Naya hummed gently to the melody as she laid out her usual Cheerios uniform, but she was forced to pause and smile at the next few words. Naya recalled the wise advice that encouraged her to effortlessly fall for the girl behind the Black Horse Café counter, and whenever she thought it she always had to mentally thank Dianna. Naya believed in silly things like "love at first sight" and "soul mates". Sometimes it took longer than others to find them, but Naya knew that one person made for her was out there, as ridiculous as it sounded... It was the blonde with the wide, hazel eyes who had to remind her of that. She looked over appreciatively to her best friend.
I might have to wait, I'll never give up
I guess it's half timing, and the other half's luck
Naya tickled Dianna on the nose with a makeup brush. She scrunched it in response.
Wherever you are, whenever it's right
You'll come out of nowhere and into my life
The brunette spun back around to meddle with Kevin's glasses jokingly. Dianna, on the other hand, propped her chin in her palm and watched Naya intently. She wished she could memorize this. There was nothing more wonderful than seeing those who you most cared about fall in love… And Naya, most of all, deserved that above anyone.
When Kevin won his glasses back, Naya plucked one of her ear buds out.
"Morning, bee," she husked in a mocking voice.
"Someone totally got laid last night," he replied back and Naya surprisingly didn't respond with anything cheeky.
"On the contrary, and I actually don't mind keeping it PG at all. You and I both know that relationships are not all about sex," Naya lectured as she rubbed moisturizer over her lids and under her eyes.
"Hey, well don't blame me for assuming so. You're totally doing your 'I got laid' dance."
"This is definitely not her 'I got laid' dance," Dianna told him softly as she continued to listen to Naya hum while sifting through the script she found next to her seat. She thought aloud, "You really like highlighting don't you?"
Naya only chuckled as she glanced through her mirror back at Dianna. When fanning through the pages it looked like a whirl of color. Heather, being so observant, noticed Naya's obsession with highlighting and adding notes to her script after spending a couple afternoons with her in Naya's trailer. One ordinary day, Heather brought her one of the Black Horse Café's paper cups filled with an entire rainbow's spectrum of highlighters to add to Naya's collection. Naya made an effort to use every single one of them. Heather always had a magical way to make any ordinary day so much more special…
She made a side glance at the gift that remained on a corner of her messy dresser. She smiled at the cup adorned with Heather's handwriting all over it. Notes of encouragement, inside jokes, and comments that made her blush were scattered in perfectly curved scrawl.
"Believe me. It helps in so many more ways than you can imagine," Naya replied to Dianna's quiet comment. Dianna lifted her eyes back up, raising an eyebrow curiously.
Kevin shook his head, "Stop getting off topic Dianna. I'm telling ya, she's lying. She totally got laid last night."
"How was the date last night by the way?" Dianna smoothed over Kevin's comment.
"Again, Dianna… it wasn't a date. We just hung out, cooked dinner, had dessert… the usual," Naya corrected her casually. Dianna arched that brow impossibly higher, examining her friend over the papers of the multi-colored script.
"Dessert is codename for sex, just in case you needed translation, Di," Kevin snickered hugging one of Naya's couch pillows. Dianna could see Naya roll her eyes in the mirror as she applied her fake lashes.
"Your definition of a date is certainly different from mine then…" the blonde sung.
"Her roommate was there," Naya noted and she turned around to face her two friends. "I quote that we were being 'so adorably, coupley that it was making her sick.' She basically kicked me out before anything could happen. Besides, if I went by your definition of a date then you and I should be practically married by now…"
Dianna laughed. She had a point.
"Nah, definition of a real date is if you get it on afterwards. And end discussion," Kevin interrupted.
"That definitely does not classify a true date, Kevin," Dianna lectured. "Aside from the point though. When are you planning for this 'official date' to happen? Because to me, you guys are already official."
"We don't like putting a status on anything. I like where we are and so does she. That's all that matters to me," Naya answered with a shrug.
"So no romantic first date?" Dianna huffed.
"It'll happen… eventually."
"And what exactly are you waiting for?" Kevin asked. "You waitin' for her to ask you because she's got the pants the relationship?"
"Oh, shut up."
"I'm totally right," Kevin nudged at Dianna with his foot.
"I honestly haven't really thought about it. Besides, if I recall from the first time I tried to ask her out, it kind of fell through the floor," she said glaring at Dianna, referring to the time the other girl forced her to call the Latte Girl and ask her out to one of their promotional events.
"Hey, it all worked out in the end didn't it?"
"Point being, I don't think she's into the whole black dress, cocktail, spotlight thing…" Naya concluded.
"Well, I never said you need to impress her with some fancy event, Naya. I'm pretty sure she'd be happy just spending time with you."
Naya sat down in her rolling chair and began to spin around in thought.
"I say do something fun," Kevin chirped in.
"No, I was thinking of taking her out on a really boring date, bee…"
Kevin sat up, "What I mean is that you should do something spontaneous."
Naya's ears perked at the words as Heather's voice rang out from a distant memory on a particular rainy night:
Well, normally espresso drinkers are the type of people who are rather unpredictable…
"Please do give us examples," Dianna asked, sipping her tea quietly.
"I took Jenna up to the roof of sound stage 3 because she wanted to go star gazing. Even though you can't really see all too many stars in L.A., I'd say she was still pretty impressed with me."
"Whoa…." Naya said, stopping in mid-spin.
"Really?" Dianna asked in slight disbelief.
"Wow, you guys act so surprised… I know how to swoon a lady if need be," he chuckled, but then continued seriously, "And it seemed to work out pretty well for the both of us."
Naya smiled softly, "How in the world did you manage to get up there?"
"I've got connections, bee," he said with a smug face.
"Well, doubt I can top that…" she sighed, continuing to spin around slowly.
"Not that it isn't romantic, Kevin. I truly am impressed, but I do think you should just take her somewhere where the two of you can just be yourselves… Somewhere where you guys can relax, where you don't have to put up an act."
Naya stopped in mid-spin for the second time, when a thought hit her.
"Somewhere spontaneous… somewhere we can just laugh at ourselves," she said with a bright smile on her lips.
She sprung from her seat and gave both her bee and Lady Di a giant hug.
"You two are the best."
"Glad to help?" Dianna replied, looking at Kevin slightly confused. He simply shrugged.
"Okay, now get out so I can put Santana together," she snapped back into her usual self, turning back to her wardrobe.
The two of them shook their heads at each other and got up to leave.
"I hope this never changes," Kevin whispered to Dianna as he slipped out the door.
Dianna took a second glance back at the actress, who had a glow about her face that looked anything but Santana-like. She hummed happily through smiling lips.
"Yeah, me neither."
It all started with a polite "Hey, Heather… I think we need to have a Black Horse family meeting." It wasn't anything out of the ordinary to have a little chat amongst the four of them. They used to have them at the start of every week for that matter. She didn't think anything of it. That was before they all sat around the island in the kitchen and five minutes had passed by in complete silence. She looked to her three friends and colleagues. None of them wanted to start speaking, nor did they want to make eye contact with her. It made her fidget in her seat nervously. She felt like she was in trouble… Heather thought back on the past few days, frantically trying to remember if she had done something to upset any of them. True, it has been a little difficult matching up to her hours to still be qualified as at least part-time. No one had mentioned anything, so she figured they had managed to work it all out. She just promised to work more weekends, which of course wasn't the greatest, but it was necessary. Other than that, she's recalled being cheery and helpful to all her customers, on time to her shifts, and cleaned up properly when she had to close... The only thing she could think of was when Naya and her made a bit of a wreck in the storage room during their little make-out, make up session a while back. She couldn't see why Kaitlyn would rat her out, but she may have let it slip on accident.
"Uh… if this is because of that mess I left in the storage room last week, I can totally explain," she said breaking the silence.
"Mess in the storage room?" Reese questioned, finally meeting Heather's gaze. Kaitlyn coughed uncomfortably and shook her head frantically at Heather.
"Um, sorry what?" Heather quickly tried to cover miserably and Kaitlyn smacked her palm over her forehead.
Reese smiled weakly and waved his hand dismissively, "Don't worry about that. It can be no worse than Cody making a disaster with our inventory."
"Hey!" the teen called out defensively.
"I was actually trying to figure out a good time for all of us to all sit down and talk together… but it's been a little hard to do that lately with everyone's schedules."
"Yeah, Zach has got me working the oddest times… I can do my best to pick up a couple more shifts in the early mornings if needed. I'm sure he'll understand—"
"No need for that, Hemo. It's not exactly about your hours… You see, we've all discussed it and we all agree that it's amazing that your involvement on Glee has grown. We're so proud of you…" Reese told her truthfully, a soft glint in his eyes.
Heather blushed and bashfully tucked a strand of hair behind her ear.
"Well, I couldn't have done any of it without any of you guys. I've learned so much being here. It's the best job I can ask for."
"That's what we wanted to talk to you about today."
Heather furrowed her brow and Reese continued.
"While I'm glad you have gotten a lot out of this job, all of us agree that it's no one's first occupational choice."
Heather tried to crack a smile, "Oh come on. People underestimate how much we do to keep the place running. It takes a lot to deal with people screaming at you for forgetting to add whipped cream in their mochas or something like that. I love it here."
Reese smiled back appreciatively and nodded, "That's not what we mean Heather. I'm glad that you've enjoyed your time here..."
Heather was starting to notice how Reese was speaking too much in the past tense for her liking. She swallowed thickly.
"But, we think this is all holding you back."
There's a particular feeling people get when something absolutely miserable happens. Commonly, your face starts to feel all numb and your head goes a little hazy, and if it's something extremely bad, then you get this nauseated churning feeling in the pit of your stomach. Everything just aches and you're not quite sure how to respond for a good five minutes because your brain is having a hard time processing all that has just happened. That's what was happening to Heather as she sat small in the Black Horse Café's kitchen.
"Are… are you firing me?" she said barely audible.
"I voted against this," Cody mumbled and Reese put his hand up to quiet him.
"No, we're not firing you Heather."
"But you want me to leave?" she reasoned as she looked at him and then over to Kaitlyn who was still staring at the tiled floor in silence. "All of you?"
"Of course not, of course not," Reese consoled taking Heather's hand across the island counter. "If I could, I would want you to work here forever, Hemo. You may not know, but before you came, business was plummeting… we almost couldn't pay for the lease the month before I hired you. The Mrs. and I were ambivalent of hiring anyone with having so many loans, but when you came in asking for an application, I couldn't help but hire you on the spot. I've never regretted that choice, and I have to give some credit to you Heather."
Heather lifted her eyes to his honest grey ones.
"Ever since you came around, business had never been better. Things suddenly began working together so efficiently. You completed this little family we had."
She could feel her throat tighten as he spoke. Heather couldn't imagine not being a barista at the Black Horse Café.
"I can quit ya know? After the tour is done, I can come straight back and start working full time again. I promise I will… I—"
"Stop," Kaitlyn suddenly said sharply from her corner. Heather's mouth snapped shut when she heard her speak.
"Don't you get it? You're better than working at some café, Heather; no offense Reese."
"All of us knew that you were meant for something greater than making lattes all morning long. You have no idea how confused I was when I was training you… sure you made good coffee, but you didn't really belong. I thought you would last a month. One month and you'd be back out there doing whatever dancers do to make money. But you didn't leave… and I got too comfortable with you being around. Even still, all of us could see how you weren't completely happy," Kaitlyn explained.
"You're one of the most talented individuals I've ever met. You know me, and I don't admit shit like this to anyone. You've just been granted the opportunity of a lifetime. I know you've been dreaming of this and now you're saying you're going to throw it all away just to come back here? That's got to be a joke," she ended her rant weakly and then tried to calm herself down by apologizing, "I'm sorry. I just can't sit here and watch you throw it all away…"
Heather looked to her sadly.
"You're good at making coffee, Heather. But just because you're good at something doesn't mean that's what you're supposed to do for the rest of your life," she ended quietly.
"As selfish as we want to be, we have to give you up to better things. I think of you and Kaitlyn as the daughters I never had," Reese told her trying to compensate for Kaitlyn's outburst.
"I don't understand why everyone is hating on me right now…" Cody mumbled under his breath and Kaitlyn nudged him quietly, offering a soft smile while rolling her eyes.
"Both of you have put so much love and care into this place. You've really helped it grow, even before the recent customer that's bringing in the extra crowd," Reese commented on Naya. "But I knew both of you weren't going to stay here forever. You both have dreams and future's that go way beyond coffee and tea making. I know Kaitlyn is eventually going to graduate from college and get an amazing job and I know you're going to have an amazing career as a dancer. I never expected you to stay here forever, Hemo. Did you?"
Heather sat quietly for a moment as she felt the weight of the question. She remembered back to the promise she made to herself when she first got the job at the Black Horse Café. She told herself when the time was right she would make her way back to dancing, back to the one thing that was always constant. Somewhere in the middle she got lost in all the coffee grinds and sharpie scribbled cups. She had found herself a home here, too afraid of going back thinking it would only lead to the same results. But, now the time was right. She had all the cards in her hands, but she was unsure of which to lay down on the table.
"I… I don't know. I was just thankful to have gotten a job to begin with. I never thought that far into the future. I'm comfortable here."
"And we'll always be here. We've made a name for ourselves with your help and I can't see this place going anywhere anytime soon," Reese said, trying to brighten the mood. "You should be happy with whatever decision you make. Know that we will support you either way. You can leave whenever you're ready and come back whenever you like. You are always welcome here."
"So… what happens next?"
"I'm not kicking you out, Heather," he chuckled as he observed her expression of slight panic. "I'm going to be posting around that we have an opening. We've needed an extra pair of hands around here anyways. Just be prepared when I do find someone to help train them. And I expect all three of you to be welcoming to the newcomer," he glared at Cody and Kaitlyn who both huffed at the thought.
Heather nodded quietly knowing what all of this meant.
She took a shaky, deep breath in and wiped away a stray tear that leaked from her blurry eyes. She laughed a little at how emotional she was being.
"I just can't imagine leaving you guys. I love you all so much. I love this place too much."
"Heather, I think there's way more to love where you're going," Kaitlyn spoke wisely, her normally glaring eyes going soft. Heather smiled lightly, looking down bashfully.
With everything that just happened, she felt like she wasn't all too sure of this new place she was going to. But what Kaitlyn said was one fact that she could trust.
Walking through the Paramount lot felt surreal after everything that had happened in the past few hours that morning. Reese let her off her shift a little earlier than normal because she was making Kaitlyn emotionally incomprehensible. The normally stern barista was making their early morning customers uncomfortable with her monotone greetings. Heather didn't know quite what to think or how to feel. Half empty? Half full? She wasn't sure… She was more than appreciative that her coworkers were so supportive of her dreams. Heather had no idea how much their relationships had evolved to what they had now. They were like family, and that made it so much harder for Heather to let go. It was home.
After they had talked, all four of them held each other in silence in the middle of the kitchen for a decent ten minutes. It wasn't until there was a persistent knock on the front door from impatient customers waiting for the shop to open when they broke apart. Reese and Cody went ahead to open up for the morning rush while the two girls lingered back for a few more moments. Heather could still feel Kaitlyn's whispered words against her cheek:
"I hate that you're leaving me here. I hate that you have to be so god damn special, you know that? Going off and becoming some famous choreographer… making Britney Spears' newest music video or some shit like that…"
Heather chuckled sadly, "You're making this all sound like I'm never going to see you again."
"I know, I know… I'm being overdramatic. I just think sometimes, Hemo, you don't realize how much of an effect you have on people. You can really make a difference. With this job that you've got, you can really do something great… way bigger than making people smile when you sneak them extra whipped cream or espresso shots, which I never ratted you out on even though it's against policy."
Heather looked to the floor bashfully, not quite sure what to say back to such words coming from her friend who had always been so critical. Kaitlyn embraced her again and sighed.
"Make the right choice, Heather. You can do all that and you can do it all with the girl that fell in love with you in some little coffee shop. Make the right choice…"
That girl that fell in love with her in a coffee shop… That girl that was really the reason that got her dancing again. That girl that made things look a little brighter and made the world a little more bearable. That girl that caused Heather to smile her lopsided grin constantly.
Heather rapped lightly on the door to Naya's trailer. Her wandering feet must of have led her there unknowingly. She could hear that husky voice singing lightly from the inside. A lopsided, dopey smile immediately spread on her lips. Naya swung the door open, her fingers toying with placing in her earring. Heather smiled even wider as she looked at Naya in her Cheerios costume. After finding out how quirky Naya truly was, it was a little unfitting seeing her as a popular cheerleader. Heather recalled Naya telling her how she had always wanted to be a cheerleader in high school, but wasn't "cool enough" to get on the squad. The actress then chastised herself for wanting things in high school that seemed so obsolete now… Heather of course made her feel better by admitting some of her embarrassing moments during high school. The two laughed at how the world had turned full circle and Naya had finally gotten her wish, six years after the matter.
Naya returned Heather's smile, her dimples more evident than ever.
Yah, that girl that fell in love with her in a coffee shop would always be the right choice… Heather thought.
Naya plucked her iPod headphones from her ears and leaned on the doorframe. She swung her headphones in a circle as she eyed Heather up and down.
"Why isn't this certainly one of the best morning surprises," she said in that low voice, her bright smile quirked to the side.
Definitely the right choice…
"Your surprise also comes bearing coffee," Heather replied quietly, offering Naya the single cup she was holding in her hand. She had no idea that it may be one of the last.
"Even better," she said taking the cup from Heather with one hand and quickly intertwining their fingers together with the other. She tugged her in to follow, the door clicking shut behind them.
Naya went back in front of her dresser mirror to finish up readying herself for a day's worth of filming. Heather watched the actress's remedy for a few seconds by the door. Her hair was pulled up in a messy bun and she wasn't wearing any shoes. She looked so beautiful today. Not that she was ever not beautiful, but today she was exceptionally so.
"I was just thinking about you," Naya told her as she looked at her through the mirror. Heather snapped out of her stupor and walked over to sit up on some empty counter space so she could watch Naya more properly. She soaked up every inch of her. Heather began handing Naya various moisturizers, foundations, and liners to help her get ready. She couldn't believe the amount of makeup they required actors to wear on screen. If she had it her way she would roll out of bed without doing much more than brushing her hair and teeth.
"Yeah? What about?"
"I was thinking of the night I first kissed you," Naya told her straight out. Heather blushed as a flood of memories of them together at the café invaded her mind.
"Which time?" she joked.
Naya rolled her eyes, "The time the two of us got stuck in the rain when I took you home. I ran after you to tell you something, but I had forgotten what it was."
"Yeah, I remember…" Heather reminisced as she swung her legs back and forth. Her lips quivered slightly at the thought of never having late nights at the café with Naya like that one again.
"I felt like such an idiot after…"
Heather cocked her head to the side, "For what?"
"For not kissing you properly."
Naya watched as Heather smiled to herself. Naya had a feeling she had already known what she just told her. She turned to fully face the blonde, her fingers teasing over her knee.
"That's the reason I ran after you. I didn't really have anything to say, I just wanted to kiss you."
She said it so matter-of-factly that it made Heather's heart swoon even more.
"Well, I guess I don't feel so bad for totally checking you out that night then…" Heather joked causing Naya to raise an eyebrow. Then Heather said softly, blue eyes looking to her sincerely, "If I had known, I would have told you that I had wanted to know what it would feel like to kiss you since the moment I met you. The first time."
That's all it took for Naya to toss her lip gloss back onto the dresser and walk the two steps up to Heather, leaning up and capturing her lips fully. It was short and sweet, but it was a wonderful hello. Naya nudged her nose against hers as they pressed their foreheads together. Her hands rested on her thighs.
"If I had things my way we'd be kissing all the time," Naya giggled happily as Heather squeezed at her waist.
"Fine by me. Lips are meant for kissing after all, aren't they?"
"Couldn't agree more," Naya smiled. "Not that I'm at all disappointed you're here, but I thought you weren't coming in till later for when we film the dance number? And you get to watch me get my jiggle on."
Naya shook her arm out. The dancer smiled at her, shaking her head.
"Yeah, uh… Reese let me off my morning shift a little early. Said I should take a break… so I thought I'd try to catch you before you go film," Heather tried to rid of the sadness in her voice by quickly asking a question, "Which I'm assuming is soon? I'm sorry if I'm stealing time away from you getting ready."
Heather could tell Naya saw right through her act as her eyes bounced around her face curiously.
"You're not stealing any time at all. They could wait. Besides, Chris always takes like ten more minutes than everyone else because of the ridiculous amount of layers that go with his outfits."
The blonde smiled appreciatively before looking down at her hands. Naya raised her brows worriedly as she tried to seek out Heather's eyes again.
"Hey," she said softly, lifting the other girl's chin up, "Talk to me."
"W-Why do you like me?" Heather rushed out weakly.
The question took Naya slightly aback, but she answered honestly.
"I really don't know where I would begin… Would it be cheesy of me to say everything?"
"Absolutely everything?" Heather asked nervously.
"Yes, Heather," she replied seriously, becoming equally worried. "I wouldn't want to change anything about you. I think that everything about you is wonderful…"
Heather sighed picking at her fingers. This was what she was afraid of. Things were going to change and they were going to change fast… she didn't want this to be the stupid reason their relationship wouldn't work. Naya worried her brow, frowning deeply. She grasped at Heather's fidgeting hands.
"Did I say something wrong?"
"No, no… you always say everything right. It's just… Would you still like me if I wasn't your Latte Girl anymore?"
Naya cracked a smile, "Heather, of course. Is that what you're worried about? That I would stop liking you if you couldn't bring me free coffees every morning? You know I couldn't care less about that. Sure I need my coffee in the morning, but I can get it myself too."
"That's… that's not entirely what I mean."
"Then what is it, Heather?" she asked. Heather opened her mouth, but all she could do was a let out a long breath. It was as if Heather had said it anyways, and the actress immediately turned angry, "Oh my god, did they fire you?"
"What? No, they didn't fire me. Well… not technically," Heather tried to explain.
"I swear if they fired you because they think you're not working hard enough, I seriously will go over there and—"
"No, Naya, you don't have to do anything like that," Heather smiled at the notion, taking Naya's hands in hers. She couldn't imagine the sweet Naya she knew doing anything all too threatening anyways, "I actually couldn't ask them to be any more supportive than they already are. They are all so excited for me. Normally, bosses and coworkers get all stressed out when they find out one of their employees is leaving. But they took it so well. I mean, I should be happy… right?"
Naya smiled softly, understanding her concerns, "It's not a transition where you can snap your fingers and everything is going to feel exactly how it was before. Yes, you should be happy that they were understanding, but it's okay to feel this way, Heather. You aren't just leaving coworkers, you're leaving some of your closest friends. New beginnings like this are always bittersweet."
"Of course I'm sad that I'm not going to see them as much as I used to, but I know here I have another family waiting."
"Exactly, we all love you here too, Heather," Naya confirmed.
"It's gonna sound so lame, but… the Black Horse Café brought us together. What I have with you is the best thing that could have ever possibly happened to me. Sometimes I can't really believe it's all real… and that I'm going to wake up tomorrow morning finding out it was all just a dream," Heather told her and Naya smiled at her honesty. "This all happened because of that place. All those nights we stayed there just to learn silly facts about each other, early mornings at that corner table to start the days right, that night in the rain, the first and second time we really kissed… It all wouldn't have happened if I hadn't been your Latte Girl. What happens now that I'm not?"
Naya's smile widened the more Heather spoke. Oh, the way she worried and the things she worried about…
"Heather, first off that's adorable, not lame. And I believe it too. But you want know what else I believe?"
Naya thought Dianna's voice:
Fate has laid a hand on you two.
"I think all those things would have happened in one form or another, regardless if you were a coffee barista or not. I honestly couldn't care less what your job was. You could have been a McDonald's server or con-artist by night for all I care," that made Heather crack a smile. "I would have found my way to you somehow. And I always will."
Heather too had felt that they had some sort of magical way of finding each other, but hearing Naya's words made it true. It made her feel half-full…No, more than half-full. With Naya everything felt more complete. This was the girl that she fell in love with at a coffee shop. But coffee shop or no coffee shop… things like this don't just happen by chance.
"Bottom line is, Hemo," Naya continued, looking at her seriously. "They don't want to push you into anything you're not ready for, they just want you to follow your dreams."
Heather could tell how much Naya struggled with saying "they" instead of "I". But she didn't need to say it because, like always, Naya seemed to read her mind. Heather could swear she saw her tanned cheeks turn a slight shade of pink before she averted her gaze bashfully. The brunette cleared her throat.
"Just don't let anyone else influence your decision, okay?"
"Even if you're a big deciding factor?"
"Yes, especially me…" Naya replied back softly.
She kissed Naya's nose in appreciation, for just being her incredible self. The shorter girl scrunched her nose under her lips in response.
"How do you always know the perfect things to say?" Heather told her, Naya's warm cheek pressed against her own.
"Normally, I'm the worst at advice, but you seem to inspire the best in me."
Heather shook her head smiling, "No, I think you're always the best at words."
Naya smiled wide looking up at Heather, palms still stroking up and down her thighs.
"Matter of fact, I think anything you do with your lips is pretty awesome," Heather told her boldly. Naya quirked her brow.
"Do you now?" she asked, leaning up and kissing Heather's lips softly. The blonde just nodded wordlessly, a big dopey grin on her lips. She happily leaned forward for more. She felt Naya's tongue tentatively brush against her lower lip, tasting her. Naya couldn't resist emitting a quiet, contented sigh at the feel of Heather's lips. Heather pulled on Naya's hips forcing the shorter girl to stand up on her tiptoes. Their lips melded together wonderfully and for a second Heather realized she wasn't chewing any gum. The one time I forget… she cursed in her mind. The thought quickly escaped her mind when Naya's tongue danced with her own. Teasing hands wandered up and down her thighs, making Heather's heart beat faster and her tummy twist in tight knots. The actress was the first to break away to take a breath.
"Heather…" Naya mumbled, feathering kisses on the corners of Heather's mouth, on her chin, her nose, and her cheeks. Heather smiled.
"God, I'm so in love…" Heather started breathlessly, but the words immediately caught on the tip of her tongue. Her cheeks suddenly felt twice as hot and her eyes widened.
Naya leaned back slightly, catching sparkly blue eyes. Her lips were curved upwards in a curious, mesmerized smile.
"With your lips," Heather choked. It was the first thing that came to her mind. She mentally reprimanded herself. Well, at least it was true. "They're like the softest, most delicious things I've ever kissed before," she made up slightly disoriented with everything that just transpired.
Naya smiled knowingly. She seemed to always know…
"I'm in love with your lips too…"
And without further question, her lips were back on Heathers. This time it was hungrier, like Naya needed her more than air; like she was trying to tell Heather her last dying wish. And she kissed her back with a tenderness that drove Naya mad. Naya's fingers kept drawing patterns over Heather's jean-clad thighs making her heart race faster and faster. Her body was on edge and her skin buzzed with the warm sensation of Naya pressed so close. It was like they were going down a twisting highway, and Naya was driving insanely. She wasn't too sure how much she would be able to tolerate before yanking Naya up on that counter with her. It was when those warm fingertips brushed ever so slightly under the hem of her shirt when Heather just about lost it.
"Nay…" Heather pleaded against her lips. Naya smiled wickedly, loving when Heather shortened her name like that. She backed up, Heather trying to follow her lips hazily, catching the tip of her nose. Naya chuckled. When she opened her eyes she noticed that Naya's had gone a shade darker. She wondered if her eyes had done the same.
Naya swallowed thickly and spoke out in a raspy voice, "You have no idea how much I want you right now."
Heather's eyes widened and a wave of warmth crashed over her entire body, an icy chill shortly following down her spine. It flushed across her already tingling skin. The trailer seemed so much smaller and the air much thicker. It almost felt as thick as the time they had baked éclairs that night in the Black Horse Café kitchen.
Naya was so honest. Then again, she couldn't recall a time when she hadn't been honest. Heather wasn't used to it. She was used to having to search for nuances in voice pitch through a phone line for the past few years trying to figure out what Taylor wanted. But right now, everything was so simple, so bare. It was as if she had been suddenly told the truth on what love was supposed to be like with Naya by her side. It was so easy…
Heather didn't reply. She just cupped Naya's flushed cheeks in her palms and brought her lips back to hers. Heather could hear Naya's breath catch just before she kissed her again, gently. She loved it when Naya got all flustered. Heather's hands moved to her waist and her fingers began dancing across the enflamed skin of Naya's flat stomach. It made the shorter girl's knees shaky. Naya had never wanted something so much, but there was a nagging in the back of her mind that was left forgotten.
"B-Before… before we keep going…" Naya stuttered against Heather's soft lips. "I actually wanted to ask you if you wanted to—"
There was an abrupt knocking on the trailer door. Both of them groaned as real life smacked them in the face.
"For the first time ever, I wish we were somewhere else…" Heather mumbled into Naya's neck, breathing her in deeply. She dropped one last kiss to Naya's bare shoulder.
"Ditto," Naya replied in agreement and frustration.
The two distanced themselves from each other, giving a little room to cool off. Heather cocked her head to the side.
"What… what did you wanna ask me?" she breathed out still in a daze.
"I—" the banging on the door grew insistent and Heather frowned, realizing she was probably keeping the actress.
"I'm getting you in trouble."
"Don't worry about it," Naya waved off. She opened her mouth, but Telly's panicked voice echoing from outside replaced her own. She huffed. Heather kissed her cheek lightly acknowledging that it was okay. Naya squeezed her hand before yanking the door open. She was ready to unsnap Telly's little fanny pack and smack him in the head with it. But before she could even start reprimanding him, he talked over her in a fluster.
"We've got drama on set. You better hurry," the normally goofy PA told her seriously. Naya furrowed her brow at this.
"They'll explain everything once they have everyone together," he said and then in his typical Telly voice added, "Why the fuck is it like one hundred degrees in here? It smells like coffee and…"
His words drifted when he noticed Heather quickly jump off Naya's dresser. He raised his eyebrow and clicked his tongue at Naya. The actress blushed and quickly tried to recover.
"You were saying there was some sort of emergency?"
Telly snapped out of his suspicious glare, "Right. Good thing you're here too, Heather. Zach may need your help… I swear the man looks so lost, he just needs someone to hold his hand right now."
Both girls looked to each other quizzically. Naya finished getting ready in record time and they quickly followed Telly who was speaking to them a mile a minute. All Heather kept thinking was whatever trouble that was happening on set better be worth what may have happened in Naya's trailer.
I want to spread the word that one of our very own is trying to make it to the big leagues! That's right, Brittana writer MGMK is co-writing a script for an indie film. Check out this link to what it's all about: www. indiegogo projects/bawlin-a-short-film/x/2336139?c=home