Title: The Pieces Don't Fit Anymore
Pairings & Characters: Naya/Heather, Dianna/Lea and mentions of the rest of the Glee cast
Summary: Sometimes, walking away is the best thing to do.
Word Count: Near 13k.
Disclaimer: I own nothing, it's a RPF and unfortunately I don't have the pleasure of knowing any of the cast.
A/N: AU. This never happened, and I apologise as it is an angsty fic. I was feeling a bit down, and started reading through some HeYa fics, as well as thinking about the last few months in terms of Naya and Heather's relationship and felt like writing this. I've never written one like this, and you'll understand what I mean when I get to the end. Oh, and yeah, this stems from my Golden Globes feelings. Enjoy.
A/N two: The title comes from a song by James Morrison, called The Pieces Don't Fit Anymore. Do give it a listen whilst reading; I feel it enhances the experience!
Some things never turn out the way they're supposed too.
It's depressing and doleful, but Naya's learnt it to be true over time.
She's always been a realist, even when her siblings had just called her a pessimist; she's always viewed things as they really are. She knows that most of the time, the glass is in fact half empty. She knows that everything happens for a reason, whether it is bad or good, and she sure as hell knows that you can't always get what you want – no matter how hard you try or beg.
Sometimes, there isn't light at the end of the tunnel.
Sometimes, the bridge just has to be left to burn.
And sometimes, no matter how grievous or painful, walking away is the best thing to do.
Meeting Heather Morris was without doubt the best and worst thing that ever happened to Naya Rivera.
Heather was just supposed to be a pretty face, a spur of the moment audition by Zach, Glee's choreographer, and Naya's fake on-screen best friend. Nothing more.
Zach had said: "She's been on tour with Beyoncé, and since she taught Chris and Jenna the Single Ladies dance, we thought she could star in a few episodes as a kind of thank-you" and Naya just nodded along with Kevin, Lea and Dianna, who she'd grown pretty close to over the past month, not thinking anything more about this mysterious blonde.
It wasn't until the day of their first scene that they actually met, which was pretty strange to start with anyway.
It'd been a pretty normal day for Naya. Starbucks with Dianna at 7am, traffic filled drive to Paramount Pictures with Dashboard Confessional and memories of Valentines Day's filled with puffy eyes and blotchy cheeks playing in her mind, and then a quick make-up and hair session with the shows stylist to finish it off at 9am.
All morning, she'd been listening to Dianna going on about this new blonde dancer, whose legs stretched for days and eyes brighter than sapphires and so entrancing, that if you looked at them for more than a second, you wouldn't have a chance. She was too tired to nudge Dianna in the shoulder and say that she didn't actually care all that much, but as she swung out the make-up trailer, face flushed and cold latte in hand, as she somehow managed to run late for the first scene of the day, she was pretty glad she hadn't said it.
Dianna was totally right.
Heather really did have entrancing eyes that were brighter than the sun. Her legs really did go on for days. Naya definitely stared too long at them because minutes passed without a single word passing between them, just wide eyes and a half-open mouth as she was sucked into those ocean pools. Truth be told, Naya was kind of disappointed in Dianna - since her description of the blonde dancer was definitely lacking and underrated. Then again, this blonde was more beautiful than words could describe.
"I'm late" is how it started, as Naya had realised she'd been staring for a good three minutes and suddenly found every other word in the dictionary hitching in her throat."
"And I'm Heather" the blonde had replied, grinning widely and revealing a perfect set of white teeth that looked cosmetically altered, but weren't.
It'd started with a narrow of dark brown eyes, a cocked head, a curious smile and an "I like you."
And then their first meeting ended with an "I like you too" and a grateful grin to the sky.
Because even from then, Naya knew that fate had laid a hand, and that she had found her missing puzzle piece.
Two and a half years later, Naya's madly in love with her best friend, and she has been for almost as long as she's known Heather.
But there's always been a crux in their relationship.
And that crux has a name.
Naya's always been a good person. She's always been one of those people that puts others feelings before hers, especially the people closest to her and rather have herself suffer than them. Her brother had always said it was a bad thing, but she never really thought it was.
Not until Dianna pointed it out, anyway.
She turns down the opportunity to go out for a drink with Lea, Dianna and Mark because Heather promised to come over after having dinner with Taylor. And now she's just waiting outside the Tin Shed, foot planted against the wall as she stares expectantly at her phone, impatiently drumming the fingertips on her free hand against the metal she's leaning on.
Noticing Dianna's presence and frown from the entrance of the Tin Shed, Naya raises an eyebrow, her eyes never straying from the cell in her hand as she asks, "What?"
Dianna shakes her head, "Nothing.
"No, come on Di, what?"
Dianna purses her lips. "Why do you do it?"
Confused, Naya looks away from her phone to the blonde now beside her. "Do what?"
Dianna narrows her eyes, "Let her walk all over you," she clarifies, jutting her chin down towards Naya's phone, where it's patiently waiting for a text or a call.
Naya looks away, knowing the answer but still needing clarification. "Let who walk all over me?"
"Heather," Dianna starts, punctuating with a heavy exhale, "You let her walk all over you just because you want to keep her happy."
"She's my best friend," Naya shrugs, "Of course I want to keep her happy."
"Really? You're gonna play that game?"
Naya rolls her eyes. "I'm just waiting for her to come back from dinner so she can collect her car."
"And you have to guard her car, do you?" Dianna asks, crossing her arms and leaning in the space beside the brunette.
"Because you know this is a locked down car-park. Even though we come here every day, we still have to show ID to prove there we're not imposters," Dianna gives her the you know I'm right look.
"Yeah, but it's not the same."
"No," Dianna pushes off the wall and stands in front of her, "It's not the same. But it's none of your concern."
"She's my best friend."
Naya hates this conversation, because she knows Dianna's right. One of the most incredibly annoying things about Dianna Agron is that she is always fucking right. It's so obnoxiously irritating, that sometimes Naya just wants to put the blondes head through one of the walls on set, just so she doesn't have to look at that half-smug I know you expression, which makes her stomach churn and jaw clench.
Dianna steps forward, placing one arm onto Naya's bicep and squeezing gently. "I'm not having a go at you, sweetie. I just don't want you to get hurt."
It's not exactly a secret that Naya has a thing for Heather, well, not for Dianna and Lea, anyway. Probably something to do with their concealed gaydars, since they have it so bad for each other it's actually exhausting just watch them interacting.
"I'm not going to get hurt," Naya lets out, sharper than intended.
Dianna's eyes plead with Naya to listen to what she's saying. "Listen, Nay, I know it's tough, but Heather is with Taylor. She's been with him since they were in their teens. This whole thing is just getting out of hand."
Anger bubbling in the pit of her stomach, Naya bares her teeth. "I know what I'm doing, Di. I won't get hurt."
On cue, Naya's phone buzzes and she sees Heather's face flash up on screen, her eyes wide and tongue stuck out in a playful manner. After their first ever scene together, Heather grabbed Naya's phone, taken the photo, stuck her number in and said "we should hang out some time" – little did Naya know that this woman would change her life. Stupid camera phone.
Not wanting to spare a glance at Dianna, Naya picks up the phone hastily and smiles as she talks. "Hey."
"Hey," there's some shuffling down the end of the phone, and a car door opening, maybe? Even though her car's here… "I was just calling to see where you are."
"I'm still at Paramount."
Naya hesitates, eyes darting from side to side, "Just with Di."
"Right," Heather goes silent, and all Naya can hear is the revving of a car in the background. "Um, yeah, I've got some bad news."
Naya's heart drops and she bites her bottom lip to fight back the expression, feeling Dianna's eyes on her. "You can't come over tonight." It's supposed to be a question, but it comes out as a statement and she flexes her bicep as her grip tightens around the phone. She's not going to cry.
"I'm really sorry Naya, Tay arranged for us to stay the night in a hotel and it sounds amazing. He's really excited and I just couldn't turn him down."
Heather's voice sounds so ecstatically happy that Naya almost feels guilty for thinking but you can turn me down. She kicks her converse along the gravel under foot and watches the stones flicker out in front of her. "Sounds great, Hemo," she tries to sound as convincing as possible, but suddenly with Dianna watching her, she doubts her acting skills.
"Yeah, such a nice surprise, Nay. He's been really kind-"
"Actually, Heather, I've gotta go." Naya interrupts, her best friend's full name rolling off her tongue, suddenly feeling incredibly foreign. She doesn't want to hear what her best friend has to say, since the clenching in her heart is almost getting too much already. Images of Heather and Taylor pass through her mind, enhancing the pain lingering in the crevices of her heart. She remembers seeing the pictures of them, on New Year's Eve two years ago in Newport, and feels her bottom lip quiver in night was spent with a bottle of Smirnoff's finest and a never-ending supply of tears.
"What's wrong?" Heather's voice is full of concern, and the words wind around Naya's heart, applying a considerable amount of pressure.
Naya's body loses all capability to hold back the shaky, disappointed sigh and her hand almost cups her mouth as if it'll turn back time. Dianna's staring at her with a half-apologetic, half-sympathetic expression and she has to look away, glancing at the moon peeking out from behind the clouds in the sky like it's going to take her away.
"Nothing, I'm fine," she says quietly, trying to put a smile into her tone.
"Honey, come on, what's wrong?"
Naya steps away from the wall, tucking one arm underneath the other. "Hemo, I'm fine, honestly."
"Naya, please, don't block me out."
Breath hitching in her throat, Naya swallows and blinks back the sudden heat behind her eyes. "I've gotta go."
"I'll talk to you tomorrow," a tear threatens to escape and she wipes it away quickly, her back turned to Dianna. "Bye, Heather."
Naya hangs up, not being able to bear listening to her best friend pleading. She feels Dianna step towards her, and doesn't know whether she hears the sound of the blondes lips popping open like she's about to say something. Just in case anyway, she holds her hand up, keeping the other hand tucked underneath her arm and sucks in a deep breath.
"Please, don't Dianna. I'm fine. I know what I'm doing," she's not entirely sure whether she's trying to convince Dianna or herself.
This whole thing with Heather really wasn't supposed to happen. Naya was planning on being cast on Glee, making a few friends, earning a name for herself and then move onto bigger things. She never thought two years in she'd never want to leave Glee, never want to see the end of Santana and Brittany and their epic love story, and never want to say goodbye to fake world of what she wants to be reality.
Because Santana and Brittany got a chance, but her and Heather never did.
A hand presses on her right shoulder and she twists her head slightly, making sure not to make eye contact with Dianna as she prepares herself for a lecture. But the lecture doesn't come.
"The thing is," the blonde starts, her voice low, "I don't even think you believe yourself."
Naya heads home, heart heavy and tears threatening.
Dianna's right, she's in way too deep.
And the worst part is, she can't get out without losing in one way or another, whilst others win.
If she tells Heather, she loses, and Taylor wins.
If she doesn't tell Heather, she loses, and Taylor still wins.
Either way, she won't win.
As soon as Heather walks onto the set on Monday morning, Naya can tell something happened.
It's been two days since they last talked, since Dianna walked away from Naya with lingering words that looped in her mind a thousand times over throughout the course of the weekend and since Naya finally realised how much deep shit she's in.
Heather glides through the set entrance, iced coffee Frappuccino in one hand, iPhone in the other and a Cheshire grin pasted widely across her face. But instantly, Naya notices how the toothy white smile doesn't reflect in her sparkling, blue eyes – it's way too wide to be real. It almost pastes fake onto every face it's aimed at.
Naya's practically been on an aggressive stint all morning, which is strange for her since most people, well, Kevin, would say she's the most kind-hearted person to walk this set. Bar Amber and Chris, who can literally do no wrong.
The first person to catch the whiplash of her anger was the hair stylist, who made a remark about a few split ends. Naya had instantly snapped, whipping her hair around and perfecting the Santana scowl towards the young intern who quaked in her boots. She can't speak Spanish for shit, but the stylist didn't know that. She's pretty sure she said something about yellow watermelons.
The second person to receive the next spurt of fury was the make-up team, who pointed out the dark bags underneath her usually bright eyes and said jheeze, who died? Like it was supposed to be funny. Naya of course, allowed Santana's version of Snix to come out and practically bit the poor woman's head off, leaving the mascara wand wielded female with watery eyes and a pale face.
However the third person to walk into Naya's path of destruction was Dianna. Dianna who didn't back down like the other two women, but instead decided it would be a good idea to yell back – like it wouldn't attract the attention of Cory, Lea, Jenna and Chord.
The argument started with a "what crawled up your ass" and ended with "you're practically turning into Santana." Dianna knew that would touch a nerve and it sure as hell did. Naya bit her quivering bottom lip and sucked in a sharp inhale, knowing the words stung deeper than she liked to show. Sometimes she thanked God she was an actress. Then, Dianna smirked and her eyes flitted momentarily towards the set entrance, where Naya's blonde walked, effectively dissolving every inch of anger flowing through her.
She hates what Heather does to her sometimes.
"Hey Nay-Nay," Heather's arms snake around Naya's waist, pulling their bodies flush against each other and any remnants of fury completely disappears. Yeah, she definitely hates what effect Heather has on her sometimes.
"I missed you," Heather sing-songs into Naya's ear, her voice more heavenly than before. Cell phones definitely don't do her voice any justice. "Hey, Di."
Dianna smile way too sweetly at Heather, and then shoots Naya an apologetic glance, "Hey, Hemo. I'm gonna go get some coffee."
Naya can practically read the mayday, mayday call streaming from Dianna's thoughts as she backs away slowly, her eyes knowing and yet still understanding as they flicker between the two women. She hates this. It was fine before Dianna said anything. She could handle it. She didn't twist and turn in her bed, looking at the space beside her, just hoping Heather would use her spare key to sneak in and curl into her side. She didn't feel like she was twisting and turning in a space that was too small, just waiting and watching everything preparing to fall.
"Didn't you miss me?" Heather asks, lightly, but there's a serious undertone.
Naya's hands find the blondes, settling on top as she slowly tears them away, spinning her body in the process to face her best friend. "Of course I did."
"Naya." Heather's eyes drop to the floor, as her fingers thread through Naya's. "I've got something to tell you."
She can feel the heartache coming; she can feel the walls around her heart putting every ounce of strength she has behind them, as if her body's going to be able to support what's coming. But the fall, the breaking of her heart is inevitable. No matter what she tries to do to prepare herself.
Naya's breathing becomes shallow, and her eyes hood like they're trying to block out the painful sight of her best friend staring deeply into her eyes. There's something lingering behind Heather's eyes, something dark and chilling, and immediately her body sets into panic mode.
"I'mmovinginwithtaylor." Heather's words jumble up so it sounds like one quickly-spoken word, and it's pretty obvious it was just as hard to say as it was to hear.
Their relationship has always been so easy… So simple. It was like breathing. It just came naturally, even from day one. Like every piece between them just fit together, clicked like a carefully crafted puzzle. Even their bodies seemed to mould into one another, like Naya had never known.
But recently, it's like each piece has expanded, or curved, so the space waiting is too small, to crowded fit every piece perfectly. A square peg and a round hole. That's how Naya would describe their relationship now - even if she got that phrase from Rufus Sewell in The Holiday. Sometimes, to really understand a film, you have to go through a similar experience, and Naya only started realising that when she got to the second season of Glee. Brittany and Santana's relationship was just getting too real, and it became scary how the line between the fictional characters life and Naya's life seemed to dissolve, episode by episode.
"I'm…" Naya searches her brain, but it's like she's looking for a needle in a haystack – the words just aren't going to be there. Especially when there's a glimmer of hope in Heather's eyes that swells Naya's heart to double its size, but at the same time cracks it into half the size it was. "I'm happy for you," she finished with a forced smile, one that she even she didn't think her acting skills could summon. "That's great, Hemo."
The fingers through hers loosen the grip slightly, and Naya almost falters and blurts everything out when Heather's eyes drop to the floor, focusing on the slither of skin between Naya's jeans and tank top.
"Yeah," Heather breathes, no longer sounded ecstatic, "Great."
But the space around Naya's heart is slowly closing in, as she watches their relationship slowly fade, slowly fall apart as Heather drops their intertwined hands, gives her a sad smile and walks away – shoulders hunched.
Her birthday's pretty uneventful. She shoots a few scenes, receives a few presents and a birthday phone call from her family.
Twitter's filled with adoring fans sending her birthday wishes, and she writes out a tweet saying a general thanks since time prevents her from replying to every single one.
Heather's all smiles and rainbows, and Naya hugs her, kisses her on the cheek and tells her that she's looking particularly beautiful today – which of course just causes heat to form behind her eyes, which she'll later let out when she's crying onto her pillow.
Dianna calls to tell her that next weekend their going to Vegas to celebrate with her mom and brother.
None of the cast can make it. They all have other priorities.
Truthfully, though, she doesn't care all that much – there's only one person she wanted to be by her side when she blew out the ridiculous Glee cake she gets every year. And that person won't be there.
For once, Naya's not excited.
Naya's climbing the stairs to her trailer when the voice calls her. Standing behind her, when she turns, is the writer, Matthew Hodgson, looking up at her with wide, sparkling eyes. It's 7pm on a Friday, which technically means Naya shouldn't be here now seeing as it's after hours, and she isn't filming, but she forgot her necklace after shooting the We Found Love in the pool. The one Heather gave her for her last birthday.
"Hey," he repeats, shuffling closer as Naya takes a step down, coming to his eye level. "I was wondering if you, um," he clears his throat awkwardly, "wantedtogoutforadrinksometime."
Naya blinks and almost laughs. Did he just ask her out? "Excuse me?"
Matt stands taller, buffing out his broad shoulders and locking eyes with her. "I was wondering if you wanted," his voice is still shaky, but there's an undertone of confidence that almost astounds Naya. Sure, they've tweeted and talked a few times, but they've never really engaged in a full on conversation, mostly because he seemed like he was about to pass out whenever she threw him a smile, "to go out with me… For like, a drink, or something."
There's no reason why she should say no, but there's still a tugging in the back of her mind that screams for her to respond no. Except that she can just imagine Dianna looking at her, mouthing yes and saying that it's for the better. She does need to get over this thing. Dianna's right, Heather is with Taylor and it's way beyond the point of 'out of hand'. It's so far past that point that it's virtually non-existent.
"Sure," she nods, lifting one side of her mouth, "sounds good."
Matthew's face lights up and a wide grin spreads across it. "Cool, so what are you doing tonight?"
Naya thinks back, like she might actually have plans. "What day is it?"
Naya nods. "Sure, sounds good."
They exchange numbers, and Naya knows she's going to have to hide all the damage that's been done. It's the better thing to do, and there's no point in surrendering to the one person that's slowly tearing her apart.
But still, she gets her necklace.
"Disneyland?" Naya hops up onto the counter, her heels banging against the cabinets below. "You're not going to the Golden Globes, because you're going to Disneyland?"
Heather brings the wooden spoon up to her lips, tentatively sipping at the tomato soup on the end. She winces and then shrugs. "Brittany asked me if I wanted to go."
The blonde turns and nods whilst grabbing the salt and tipping it gently so a few crystals fall into the boiling red liquid, "Not my character Brittany, silly. My dancing friend Britt-"
"No," Naya interrupts, hooking her ankles together as they bang against the counter, "No, I know who you mean," she bites the inside of her cheek, trying to hide her sadness. Why wasn't she invited?
Heather grins and grabs the wooden spoon with her other hand, whilst manoeuvring herself over to Naya. Her spare hand goes to the brunette's knee, gripping it and spreading it so she can stand in between Naya's legs, with each one bracketing her sides. Naya's heart skips a beat and her stomach flips.
They've always been touchy feely, however recently it's had to be behind the comforts of Naya's apartment as Taylor had said since the Brittana storyline was developed, it seemed unnecessary to be so close all the time – which of course pissed Naya off, but hey, what could she do? Since Heather had just nodded, smiled and cuddled closer to his side – even though the smile didn't reach her eyes.
"What are you doing?" Naya asks, her eyes locking with bright blue eyes.
Heather grins and shuffles closer, sliding her hand up to the brunette's hip to pull their bodies together, so the hem of the crotch of Naya's jeans brushes against the blonde's abs delicately.
"Open up," she says, bringing the wooden spoon with some of the soup up, hovering before Naya's lips. "Come on, Nay."
Naya locks eyes with Heather, staring deeply into the ocean pools as her lips part, awaiting the spoonful of liquid. As soon as the spoon nears her mouth, Heather's eyes break from Naya's and lock on the piece of cutlery sliding in between her lips. The moment seems to intense, especially considering it's just her trying some soup, and she swallows the liquid, along with the moan that's fighting to escape.
Slowly, the spoons withdrawn from her mouth and Heather seems to be pressing closer as her breath blankets Naya's cheeks. Instinctively, she draws her tongue out, flicking it against the end of the wooden spoon to catch the last drop of tomato soup, and inwardly grins as Heather cocks an eyebrow and lets out a throaty groan, whilst her face reddens as Naya runs her tongue along the outside of her own lips.
If it's anything to go by, she's pretty sure she just turned Heather on.
"Uh, Hemo?" Naya says, her lips curled slightly. Heather seems dazed for a few seconds, the spoon now clutch in her hand, which is slowly descending to rest on Naya's thigh, and her eyes are still locked intently on Naya's lips. "Are you alright?"
Shaking herself out of it, Heather's wide eyes dart back to Naya's and she takes a long step back towards the stove, "Yeah. Fine."
Naya's body tingles with the lack of contact, it's seems so strange to feels the cold air hit their bodies, since apparently they were closer than they thought.
"Anyway," Heather drops the spoon back into the soup pan and begins to stir. "Was that okay?"
Naya narrows her eyes. "The soup," she starts, wondering if Heather's asking about the soup or that weirdly intense moment they just had, "Was good."
"Why'd you say it like that?" Heather's eyes never leave the small whirlpool being created with the stir of the spoon.
"You said, the soup," Heather confirms, reaching over to switch the gas off. "Like I meant something else."
Naya slips off the counter, keeping her thighs pressed to the cabinets below as she slides to the right, becoming more confident as her side presses up against Heather's arm. "Did you mean something else?"
Heather's mouth drops open to say 'no' but Naya cocks an eyebrow and then it seems like no words can follow. Naya notices just how close they are and gulps, it's really not a good idea to be within in proximity of the woman she's madly in love with, who also happens to be her best friend and who's just moved in with her boyfriend. This is a terrible idea. Except she can't seem to stop staring into her best friend's big blue eyes. It's like the first time they met - Dianna said Heather's eyes were entrancing, and that if she looked into them for more than a second she'd completely lose herself. So since the first time, she's pretty much tried not to look into Heather's eyes whilst she's around people.
It's not like she avoids Heather's gaze when she's around other people. It's just that it's better not to become completely hypnotized by her eyes since it's pretty much the same as puking rainbows and revealing her Sapphic urges for her best friend. Ones that run deep and show just how stupidly in love she is with Heather.
Grudgingly, and using all the strength of the Incredible Hulk, Naya tears herself away, even though every nerve in her body is trying to pull her back. But there's something anchoring her, it's like a burning hot pan on her skin. She turns around, trying to find the heat source, when her eyes lock onto a pale hand gripping onto her tanned forearm. Okay, the burning hot pan is Heather.
"Did you want me to mean something else?" Heather asks, her tone laced with confidence and her eyes searching Naya's like the answer's flashing behind them.
Naya's mouth drops open, just like Heather's did a second ago and suddenly she understands how no words can come out. There's literally nothing rolling on her tongue. Literally sweet F.A. The palm touching her skin is like a flame, but it's like she doesn't care that it's burning her. Soup is long forgotten, and Naya's eyes dart to the steaming pan which is practically a blur in the background.
Square peg, round hole. That's what they are. They'll never work. They can't work. This is such a bad idea that it makes pop-up ads look good. Stupid comparison, but it's the only one Naya can think of at the moment.
Heather's staring at Naya like she's about two seconds away from leaning in and pressing their lips together, and Naya knows if she doesn't do something about it – she'll succumb to the daze and in about a minute of two, they'll be rolling about on the kitchen island, frantically tearing each other's clothes off whilst their tongues, teeth and lips clash together messily.
It seems like one of those cliché movie moments when some soft, violin music should slowly come into the background, softening the tense atmosphere and urging on the need to be closer to each other. But Naya can't let that happen. That's not her. She may be a lot of things, but mistress? She is not.
"Stop," Naya says, so softly she'll probably wonder later if she actually said it. "Stop it."
Heather moves in front of Naya, her body pressing closer as she brings one hand up to brush a piece of dark brown hair behind Naya's ear. Fear spreads across Naya's face, she can feel it slowly crawling across her skin and suddenly the door seems to be beckoning her, yelling like she's in a world war two movie to retreat and basically, get the hell out of there. The small of her back hits the lip of the countertop, and if it wasn't for the intensity of this moment, she'd probably be rubbing away the sharp ache which is possibly going to result in a bruise.
But Heather's hands cup Naya's cheeks, keeping her steady as her breath fails to do so. It's like the world is caving in, and the image of two opposite puzzle trying to be forced together pops into her mind. She knows this isn't working, but that thought seems to slide out her mind when Heather's front presses against hers, breasts pushing into her chest like they do click together perfectly - because physically, they definitely fit together. Two years of friendships with intimate touches, close contact and endless nights of snuggling, sure as hell proves that.
But emotionally. No. They don't fit. At all.
All her senses heightens, and suddenly the heat of Heather's hands on her cheeks becomes too much, the light scent of coconut wafting up from Heather's skin seems too intoxicating and the deep stare of darkened blue eyes becomes too heavy on her melted chocolate ones. The moment seems to static, like their skin is crackling and hissing as their bodies press closer, and noses brush against one another.
The fingers on her right cheek start caressing lightly, lingering at the corner of her bottom lip like Heather never wants this moment to end, so she's indulging in every second she gets. This isn't fair. Sure, Heather may want this, but Naya's going to be the one in bed, sobbing and whimpering as memories wind around her organs and clench tightly, up to the point where she can barely function or breathe.
Their lips are so close Naya can taste Heather's breath invading her mouth, taking over all the taste buds until her eyes involuntarily flutter shut. For two and a half years, she's wanted this. For two and a half years, she's imagined this a thousand of times over. For two and a half years, she's imagined all the possibilities that their first 'HeYa' kiss could lead too. But never once, did she ever expect the next two words to come out her mouth as Heather's lips ghost over her own, almost touching but not really.
Heather backs up abruptly, her hands dropping from Naya's face like a flame just licked her skin. Her blue eyes are wide and panicked, and the distance between them seems like miles and miles. Like Naya's in Australia and Heather's in England. They're staring at each other with confusion written across both their faces, but there's something more in Heather's eyes. Something dark, something twisted, something… Jealous?
Naya clears her throat, and tries to steady herself as her palms press against the countertop behind her. "I'm going on a date with Matt."
"Matt?" Heather repeats, the name rolling off her tongue like she just said Hitler. "As in, the writer, Matt?"
Naya clenches her jaw. Heather can't judge her for who she dates. "Yeah, Matty."
"Matty? What is he? A mutt?"
Naya raises an eyebrow and looks towards the door, still screaming for her to walk through, and then back at Heather. "No, he's a nice guy, who offered to take me out."
Heather's fists clench by her side, and Naya's eyes dart to the knuckles whitening against the pale skin. "When was this?"
Heather looks wary as her eyes bore into Naya's. "After work?"
"I was on set."
Naya narrows her eyes. "Why does it matter?"
Heather shakes her head from side to side, breaking the intense glare and stalking towards the pan filled with soup where she grabs it and thrusts it towards the kitchen island, where two bowls are waiting. Both of them know the soup's most likely cold, but it doesn't seem to bother Heather as her face is scrunched, like she's trying to find an answer.
"Well?" Naya presses, crossing her arms as she steps behind her best friend. "Why does it matter?"
Heather hesitates, "It doesn't," she growls, tipping the pan and watching the liquid, lacking steam, pour into two white ceramic bowls.
Naya almost laughs, but then the sound of the front door opening catches her attention and she looks back over her shoulder at the intruder. Well, intruder's the wrong word to be using. Co-owner of the apartment would be more fitting. Heather follows her gaze and Naya's pretty sure she sees the blonde grit her teeth at the man, carrying two large grocery bags, walking into their conversation.
"Hey, baby! I'm home." Taylor yells, kicking the door shut with his foot as she walks towards the kitchen. Naya knows Heather hates that, it's one of those domestic things that Naya discovered the first time they had a Santana and Britt-Britt night – which now come to think of it, does sound kind of strange. It's not like they spent the night making out. Snuggling? Yes. Kissing? No. Even if she was secretly wishing that were true.
When Taylor enters the kitchen, and notices Naya's presence, his whole body tenses and his eyes dart from Heather to Naya, like he knows he just walked into something. "Oh, um, hi Naya."
"Taylor." Naya says, her voice an octave too high to be genuine. "I've gotta go," Naya hastily turns, ignoring Heather's pleading gaze and grabs her bag. With a quick smile thrown at both the kitchen occupants, she reaches the door and turns the knob – only to pause when she hears a small "bye". Eyes downcast, and body reluctant, she looks back and sees Taylor hugging Heather close, his large arms curled around her body as her face buries into his neck, nuzzling affectionately.
She hates that. Heather pulls her under, so that she has to give in – and then two seconds later she's back to hugging her live-in boyfriend and forcing Naya to hide all the feelings she has.
So Naya walks away, because it's the better thing to do.
The one thing Naya's come to hate about being a celebrity is that she can no longer head off to a sleazy bar, jut her chin towards the lone bottle of vodka sitting on the shelf behind the bar, and just drink away her sorrows. She actually has to keep up appearances and care what she looks like most of the day.
However, Malibu is somewhere she can go. Sure, it may be on the other side of California, and an hour long journey, but it's so far that paparazzi won't bother her, and people won't expect her since why would a celebrity travel an hour away for a drink? Logical, Naya thinks. However, it's not so far that she can't call a cab to take her back to her apartment in West Hollywood.
So that explains why she slides intoSpruzzo, baseball cap pulled low over her eyes and dress so casual that she blends into the crowd. Most people expect her to constantly be dolled up, sparkly dress, diamond earrings and all that jazz – but really, she just loves jeans, a baggy t-shirt and a pair of Vans or Converses. Outside of public events, that's how she rolls.
Waiting to be served, she whips open her phone and checks her Twitter. Her thumb allows her to scroll through the thousands of mentions and down towards the feed where she finds several updates from her cast. Apparently Harry's a 49ers fan, Chord's working on a scene with Amber and Jenna's hitting the gym. Everyone's pretty busy apart from her.
The bartender is young, no older than 21 and grins at her with slight recognition, but then loses it as she grunts out an order of a double vodka on the rocks. She guesses celebs usually go with something fancier like an Appletini or a Woo Woo. But no, tonight is for drinking, to get drunk and to forget her earlier encounter with Heather. That's it.
And two hours later, that's exactly what she's achieved.
She forgets she was supposed to have plans tonight.
It's the day of the Golden Globes, and suddenly Naya wishes she didn't go out and get drunk last night. Especially considering she has absolutely no idea how she got back here.
"You're up," a voice comes from behind the couch, and Naya stretches, popping her bones back into place as her sofa is really not comfortable enough to sleep on. "It's 8am, already."
Naya's hand slides up the back of the leather sofa, gripping the edge as she hauls herself into a sitting position, propping her back against the arm and searching for the source of the voice. Sure enough, there's Lea, sitting on the kitchen island stool, grinning widely as she shovels in a spoonful of what looks like chopped up cardboard. Muesli.
"And you've gotta get going soon. It's not like you had any beauty sleep." Lea continues, dropping her spoon into the bowl with a clang and shoving it into the centre of the island.
Naya frowns, "Lea, not that I don't love you and all, but why are you here?"
"You were pretty out of it last night."
"Last night?" Naya's mind flashes back to the burn she felt as copious shots of vodka sank down her throat with such ease that she almost scared herself. "How do you know?"
Lea slides off the stool, her legs revealed from small, workout shorts as she heads towards the sofa, tucking one leg underneath her as she barges Naya's legs out the way. "Di called me."
"You called her last night, apparently all drunk and stuff, and she was out of town, visiting her aunt, so she asked me to come get you."
Naya pauses, her face filling with shame as Lea reaches across and grabs a packet of aspirin and the glass of water, sitting idly on the small coffee table. "Here, "she hands them to Naya, who takes them despite having her muscles reject the movement, "Take these and drink that."
She does so, swallowing two aspirin and glugging the water she didn't know she needed. It feels like she's been living in the Sahara desert for three days. Head pounding, muscles aching and mouth drier than a camel in the damn desert. If she weren't so hung over, she could probably come up with a better simile.
"Thanks," she says sheepishly, hoping the other woman isn't going to question last night's actions, "for coming to get me too."
Lea flashes a small smile. "It's what friends do, hon. Now," she slaps her hands down onto her thighs, "Do you wanna talk about it or shall we get you going?"
"Where am I going?"
Lea stands, offering her hand out to help Naya up. "Your stylist, make-up team and hairdresser are going to be arriving in about an hour – and honey, you need to shower. You smell of something, and it ain't roses."
Naya lets out a small laugh, and then winces as it racks her brain. "Shut up, Safarti."
"Come on," Lea pulls Naya up and then squeezes her hands quickly, before letting go and ushering her towards her bedroom. "Go shower. I need to get going though."
Naya squints as she sunlight hits her pupils, her hand raises in defence as she turns to Lea and immediately engulfs her into a tight embrace. "Thank you," she murmurs into the other woman's hair, suddenly grateful that someone cares about her. "Thank you for coming to get me."
Lea rubs her back quickly, and then pulls away, flashing her a sympathetic smile. "It's fine. I'm always here to help you."
"Yeah, with like…" her voice trails off knowingly, and although Lea's a good actress, Naya's better. So she sees it when there's a quick decision to alter the words lingering in Lea's mind. "Just if you need any help."
Naya inhales deeply and nods appreciatively, before heading towards her bedroom – trying not to think about the apologetic expression on Lea's face because she didn't get the girl – and Lea did.
Turns out, Naya really didn't want to come to the Golden Globes tonight. It only dawned on her when the stylist tapped her on the shoulder and said "open your eyes" to reveal the grey Vera Wang number she was wearing. It's funny how the colour seems to reflect her mood. God really seems to have it in for her today.
So it's only when she leans into her Jason's ear, her PR, and announces that she really doesn't want to walk the red carpet, that she realises just why she doesn't want to be here.
Last year, thousands of pictures of her and Heather were taken; just smiling adoringly into each other's eyes like nothing in the world could ever tear them apart. Last year, Taylor and Heather weren't living together, and were on a break. Last year, Naya was the top of Heather's list and there wasn't more than a minute where they were separated. Her hand was practically glued to Heather's side the entire night as they stared at all the celebrities surrounding them, like it was a dream.
Because it did feel like a dream, with Heather by her side at one of the most renound award ceremonies, acting like they were each other's dates.
Kevin texted her about a minute ago, saying he was already inside which kind of put her at ease. She needs her bee, she needs Kevin. They instantly made a connection and are practically siblings. It sucked when the whole Bartie fiasco went on in Season 2, because Naya had to pretend like she hated him – which was pretty hard since he always makes her laugh. Not to mention the whole dodge ball game this season. God, she felt so bad. Hitting Kevin in the face with a ball, considerably hard, and pretending like she was proud of it.
So not wanting to wait any longer, she ducks her head as she gets out the limo, barely making eye contact with the screaming crowd and hastily makes her way towards the red carpet. Per her requests, she stands in front of the cameras for about thirty seconds before having Jason whip her away, like she needs to be interviewed.
That's what she strictly demanded. Considering the recent months, and rumours flurrying around on the internet about her dating life, the last thing she needs is freaking Ryan Seacrest asking questions about her stance on the whole Brittana relationship and who she wants to see tonight. Small chat for a stupid YouTube clip is something she doesn't want to do tonight. She thinks she's forgetting something, but when Ryan waves her over, it completely slips her mind and she practically breaks into a sprint to get to her seat.
Around 8pm, when the awards are over, she's sitting at the bar of the after party the Glee cast are at and her thoughts return to the thing she's been fighting not to think about. Something blonde, blue-eyed and really fucking gorgeous.
"Bee," Kevin greets, sliding into the stool next to Naya and throwing an arm around her shoulder. "How you holding up?"
Naya takes in a deep breath and puffs her cheeks as she exhales. "I'm good Bee, and you?"
"I'm good," his head bobs as he sips on the lager he has in his hand. Two seconds later, he turns back and purses his lips, placing the beer glass onto the bar top. "And now really, how you holding up?"
She shakes her head, throwing the bartender a look and mouthing Appletini towards him – now she has to be proper and live up to celebrity status. "I'm fine, honestly."
Kevin inspects her for a few seconds, before leaning over and pressing a kiss to her cheek. "Try to cheer up, Nay."
Naya nods and then Kevin walks away. About a minute later, she reaches into her bra, where she's keeping her phone and takes it out. Seeing as Kevin's now talking animatedly with Jenna, who come to think of it, would actually be a really good match for him, she doesn't have much to do.
Twitter is full of mentions saying how beautiful she looks in her Vera Wang dress, and then of course there are some people who say she'll make the worst dressed list – but truthfully she doesn't even care. She scrolls down, seeing all her fan's links and smile as most of them link to a Tumblr, revealing their adoration and devotion towards her. Naya really does love her fans – and if she could, she'd totally respond to every tweet.
Everything's all smiles and joy, until she sees a certain tweet with a link to it. Curiosity overrules her, and about two seconds over her thumb hovering over the address, she presses down and it brings up the internet, re-directing towards whatever's on the other end of the link.
She doesn't even need to read the caption before her head starts spinning and vision starts blurring. Surely enough, there on the screen is a picture of Heather and Taylor in Disneyland on some ride, faces distorted due to the G force of the rollercoaster.
Being an actress, she's used to the dramatization of scenes, with non-diegetic music slowly creeping into the scene and the cinematography slowing down as the emotions sink into the actress. And it kind of feels like some stupid, angsty scene that should be filmed between Brittany and Santana after an epic break up, and she can just imagine all the added sound and lighting that'd enhance the viewer's read on it.
But no. There's nothing but the image of Taylor and Heather on her screen, staring up at her and mocking her like she's a complete joke.
Well, that's until she starts swaying on her stool and can't seem to see straight.
"Naya?" It's Dianna, Naya can tell from the voice, even if she can't physically see her. "Naya, are you alright?"
A fuzzy image of red and blonde comes into view and Naya tries to blink away the blue to focus on the other woman. A second later, a fuzzy image of grey and brown joins and Naya knows just by the colours that it's Lea. A hand presses against her bicep and she feels the room spinning as her iPhone slowly slips out her hand.
"Kevin!" Lea shouts, "Get a paramedic!"
Naya's cheeks flush with embarrassment. She can just imagine this going down well in the papers, and can practically hear the future groan that's going to escape her mouth when she wakes up tomorrow evening with stupid reasons why she's feeling like this. She suspects there'll be pregnancy rumours, possibly anorexia or bulimia reasons, or maybe even the real reason. Not that it'll ever be confirmed.
"Honey," Dianna coos into her ear, and Naya can tell that she's seen the picture on screen, "I thought she told you."
Anger, shock, betrayal, heartache and everything that associates with those emotions flow through her. Great, she's the last one to know Taylor was going with Heather to Disneyland.
The paramedic comes rushing over, giving her an 'I'm going to touch you in a non-sexual way' kind of smile and then proceeds to check her pulse, temperature and so on. It's pretty much a blur as the whole Glee cast practically surround her, checking in and seeing what's going on whilst trying to push away the few journalists scribbling furiously into their little notebooks by standing in front of them.
Of course, wishing this wouldn't be on the internet is just wishful thinking, and she knows as soon as she gets home no doubt, will there be a tweet or something on one of the many gossip sites about her 'medical emergency.' A little spell of dizziness hardly counts as an emergency – but hey, journalists never get promotions from saying "oh yeah, Naya just swayed a little" – so she kind of understands.
All she can focus on is the sinking feeling deep inside her chest and the heat pricking at her eyelids.
Apparently two aspirin and tap water will do the trick.
But being at an after-party and not drinking alcohol doesn't exactly scream exciting.
So with a click of her phone her PR calls back the car she arrived in and she's heading home. Kevin insisted on coming with her, but she refused, and then did the same for Dianna and Lea since they weren't prepared to separate. They're caring, and she really does appreciate it – but right now she just needs to get in some alone time with a bottle of Jack and some stupid reality TV show.
That sounds so much more appealing than a stupid after-party.
"Alone time" ends up being a tub of really unhealthy ice cream, with little marshmallows and copious amounts of caramel sauce, The Notebook (because it's the film she watches when she's missing Heather), some tissues for her streaming tears, and her body buried beneath mounds of pillows.
She text Dianna to let her know she's home and immediately shrugs out her dress, no longer caring for the $2000 outfit, unpins her hair and lets her hair flow loosely around her shoulders. Events are definitely one of her favourite things about acting, she loves meeting the new people, even if she does make a complete fool of herself by grinning and giving a small wave like she was a shy kid back in Kindergarten – flashback to meeting Britney Spears – but dressing up sometimes is just so irritating.
Ryan Gosling's on screen, yelling at Rachel McAdams, and Naya just tilts her head to the side, the spoon slipping out her mouth with a plop as tears continue to stream out her eyes.
"It's not about keeping your promises, and it's not about following your heart. It's about security."
There was a time when she thought there was a freaky parallel between the lives of Noah and Allie, and the lives of her and Heather. That quote always struck a chord with Naya. Sure, Noah might be referring to Allie's apparent need for money, but she can't help but put it against her own life. Allie being Heather, Noah being Naya and Taylor being that stuck up ass Lon or whatever his name is - because there are definitely similarities between them.
That time, where she thought the freaky parallel between the Notebook world and reality, actually existed, she believed that Heather was only with Taylor for security – to make sure Elizabeth, Heather's mom, was happy. Naya thought Heather didn't actually feel the way she said she did for Taylor, but had to pretend because it gave her security, it made sure her life was simple and easy.
"What easy way? There is no easy way, no matter what I do, somebody gets hurt."
Naya can just imagine it now, as she scoops another portion of good ol' Ben & Jerry's, Heather standing in front of her, hair wild, eyes wide, scared and head completely blown with confusion. It's not like it's passed her mind, admittedly, Naya's thought about confronting Heather and demanding to know what the hell's going on – but she knows she can never do it. She's not willing to put Heather in that position.
Knowing if she watches anymore, she's going to fall apart, she flicks off the TV and discards a melting tub of ice cream on the side table next to her bed – not even bothering to put it back in the freezer. Her muscles are rejecting the movement of stretching across the bed, let alone dragging herself out and actually walking to the fridge – that just seems like a ridiculously long journey right now.
With a quick flick of her finger, the table lamp's off and she settles into bed. Sleep is calling her and all she wants to do is just forget the stupid film, stupid Heather, stupid Taylor and stupid Disneyland.
Fuck Walt Disney.
Naya jolts from her sleep when she feels the bed dip behind her. Her first instinct is to grab the baseball bat she's hiding under the bed and show this intruder how Snix does it in the ghetto. (Wow, that was lame.) Then she feels an arm snake around her waist and reluctantly, she relaxes. That touch is too soft and caring to be just anyone.
"It's just me," Heather whispers, her front pressing into Naya's back as their bare legs tangle together. "No need to bring out Snix."
Naya lets out a small laugh, too exhausted to do anything more and pushes her head further into the pillow. "What are you doing here?" She asks, even though it comes out muffled as she desperately tries to wipe away the mascara tracks and dried tears she suspects are evident on her cheeks.
Heather doesn't reply for a long while, and suspicion burns through her. Why the hell is Heather here? Wasn't she supposed to be in Disneyland with lover/sloth boy? Slowly, Naya turns in the embrace, making sure she brushes the back of her hand over her cheeks just to make sure there's no remnants of mascara and slides her hand up to Heather's waist.
She fucking hates that Heather makes her just drop everything burning with fury inside of her, how Heather can walk out of Naya's life and then straight back in again with a bubble-gum smile, acting like everything's alright. But the one thing she hates more than both of those things combined, is the fact that she doesn't even try to fight it anymore.
"Hemo?" Naya coos, her thumb rubbing circles on her best friend's protruding hipbone. "What's up?"
Heather's blue eyes are shaded with something dark, something that chills Naya to the very core. She's seen that look before… The moving in announcement, just a few days ago. Surely, nothing could've happened in that miniscule space… Right?
"I love you, you know that right?" Heather swallows, fighting back the tears.
Even though Naya knows it's not the right type of love, she nods and breathes out, shuffling closer until their noses brush against each other. Every breath that Heather takes is like a sledgehammer to the frail walls of Naya's heart, the longing pain crawls up the back of her throat, threatening her supply of oxygen and she can't do anything but feel it.
She squeezes her eyes shut and just listens to their ragged breathes mixing in the small space between them. It's settling, it's comforting, like an Asian meditation track or something.
"Taylor asked me to marry him."
Casually, which turns out not to be casual at all, Naya sucks in a sharp breath and scrunches her face up like it'll make this horrible feeling in the pit of her stomach go away. A hand brushes across her forehead, trying to smooth out the crinkles but Naya feels like she needs to get away, away from Glee, away from West Hollywood, away from this stupid apartment filled with memories, and more importantly, away from Heather.
It hurts, like really fucking hurts, because she knows she wants the best for Heather, but she also wants something - literally anything - for herself that might provide even the smallest glimpse of happiness.
"What did you say?" It wasn't meant to come out, because she doesn't really want to know. She's forced herself not to look down to Heather's hands, to get the answer for herself, because she's not entirely sure if that'll hurt more.
"I said I didn't know."
And because that's enough to sate her for the night, because she doesn't want to ask why, she closes her eyes and lets the sleep devour her. That's enough for her.
Naya knows this week is going to suck for two reasons.
One, she hasn't asked Heather why there wasn't an acceptance straight after the proposal – so there's still an awkward uncertainty hanging between them.
And two, they just happen to be filming the Valentines episode. Which means major Brittana time.
She spends the majority of the first half, soaking herself up in the feeling of actually getting what she wants, even if it's not really her, it's Santana. She indulges in the small touches Santana can give Brittany, she loves how whenever Brittany looks at Santana, there's a brightness that just pastes love around the room, even though paper hearts are already there – and she just lets herself fall into Santana's character, because the dream is better than reality.
Then there's the second half of the week, where Taylor comes to visit on set. They're supposed to be filming a kiss, and that jerk insisted on being there, in case Mark made another crude suggestion about how they should; "totally do that off screen" and turn it into an R-rated film. Sometimes it's hard to distinguish Puck from Mark.
Maybe that's true for other people and their characters, though. So she doesn't comment.
It gives Naya a glimpse into what could've been, what should've been, and what would've been if she had just said something. The feeling ten folds when Santana's slowly leaning into Brittany, taking in every inch of the beautiful blondes face, those tiny freckles on her nose that only come out when the sun shines, the way her blue eyes glint in the dim light of the set and how her hands quiver slightly at their placement on Santana's cheek.
That's not Brittany and Santana, though. That quiver, that's Naya and Heather.
But Naya doesn't know that.
Heather becomes more distant after the several takes of the scene.
Ryan said it wasn't appropriate for Brittany to curl her hand around Santana's neck to pull their bodies flush against each other until they were practically dry-humping up against the lockers – even if they did that in private. Naya repeated that Ryan meant Brittany and Santana, obviously, not her and Heather.
Taylor's always hanging onto Heather, either with his armed wrapped around her waist, or his fingers laced through hers, and she sometimes wishes she was oblivious to such movements, well, second to her wishing she was in his position.
She's pretty sure it's evident to everyone what's going on – since there's quiet whispers and sharp intakes of breath whenever Ryan calls out their names for a scene.
It doesn't matter though, they don't know anything.
"Honey, you need to stop doing this to yourself."
Naya doesn't look towards her trailer door when the advice duo comes in, Lea trailing behind Dianna.
"He proposed," She manages to form those two excruciating words through the floods of tears, "he proposed," she repeats, her forehead rolling against her kneecaps as her legs are tucked under her chin.
"We know," Lea speaks, her voice sad and sympathetic - annoyingly so, "She told us."
The sofa dips beside her, Dianna strokes her hand over Naya's forearm. "What are you going to do?"
This time, Naya does look up. "Nothing," she says, the tears blurring her vision. "I have nothing to do."
"You're kidding, right?"
Naya wishes she were kidding. "No," her voice is weak and frail, she guesses the words are coming from her heart, "I'm happy for her."
Dianna and Lea don't respond, but she can feel their apologetic expressions as she lays her head onto Dianna's lap.
"I'm happy for her," she repeats, like repetition will make it come true.
Even her birthday celebration doesn't cheer her up.
The majority of it is spent trying to ignore the way she wishes it were Heather staring at her, instead of Matthew. Mychal and her mom are there, smiling, hugging her and trying to pretend that there isn't an innate sadness in her eyes whenever someone calls "where's Heather?" even though each time the name changes between the various missing actors/actresses.
Photographers take a number of pictures of her, in her purple gown like dress, smiling and grinning like she doesn't have a care in the world. But she does. They're just hidden.
See? There are perks of being an actress.
Dianna leaves early; apparently she and Lea are fighting over some stupid internet rumour about her 'sneaking into the party and being bitchy towards the security' – despite Naya inviting her, and knowing Dianna's sweeter than cotton candy. She doesn't want someone else to be unhappy, so she just nods with a smile and tells her blonde friend she doesn't mind if she leaves.
The internet really doesn't do any justice for anyone.
Sleeping with Matthew probably wasn't the best thing to do. No, scratch that, it definitely wasn't the best thing to do.
Every time his hand glides down her ribcage, trying to gentle as his caresses her caramel skin, all she can imagine is pale hands doing it, but with a softer touch. When wet kisses press to her collarbone, and suck roughly at the skin of her neck, she imagines perfect, pale lips doing the same, and it makes the situation feel slightly easier.
But when he enters her, her eyes widen and a gasp escapes her lips, because she knows it's not what she wants. Every thrust is just another confirmation that what she wants would have a gentler touch, softer lips, silkier skin.
What she wants is back in California, cuddled up with a man who doesn't deserve her and who won't treat her the way she's supposed to be treated. Like a queen.
And later, when she falls asleep, she won't remember the way he whispered "I've wanted you for such a long time" into her ear. She won't remember the way sparks exploded behind her eyelids when he pushed especially deep, and whispered "you're so beautiful", and she definitely won't remember the way he pulled her close, breathing in the smell of sex and sweat on her skin, and told her just how lucky he is.
Because those things were only possible, because she imagined someone else doing them.
It's the only way she could make it bearable.
Naya watches when Heather and Taylor walk into set, announcing their engagement like it's not going to ruin her life.
Taylor's grinning and beaming, like he just found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, and Heather's smiling too – but only Naya can tell it doesn't reach her eyes. The rest of the cast bound over to them, clapping and bouncing in their step, excited for their dancing colleague as a few cheers echo the room.
Jenna's grabbing Heather's hand, examining the diamond rock on her finger, which would probably make Naya scoff if her world wasn't crashing around her, with Amber and Vanessa joining in. Cory, Harry, Chord and Mark are all taking turns to fist-bump Taylor, or pat him on the back, whilst they talk about something that involves the words wedding night and rock her world – which just makes her want to hurl. Dianna and Lea are standing slightly off to the side, Dianna's arm wrapped around Lea's waist as they nod at Taylor and give Heather a congratulatory smile. Even Matthew, Ryan, Brad and Ali are there, congratulating the happy couple with hugs and cliché questions like how did he do it? Or did he get down on one knee?
Then Naya's still in the far corner, sitting on her designated chair with an expressionless mask, a forgotten Starbucks coffee in hand and the world crumbling around her, piece by piece, brick by brick. It's breaking everything good inside of her to watch Heather grinning and bouncing like the proposal was the best thing that ever happened to her. Heather's happy, Heather's got what she wanted and that's what Naya wants for her. She only wants what Heather wants, because she's a good person.
She fucking hates that.
It's like Beetlejuice - like Naya thought Heather's name too much, because Heather glances around, her smile instantly fading as her eyes lock with Naya.
And then it's like the puzzle pieces are laid out in front of them, discarded and being slowly forgotten because they just don't fit anymore. There's no point in trying to twist them, force them, push them, carve them, basically do whatever they can to try and put them back to their perfect state, because it's just not possible anymore. The pieces don't fit and Naya knows there's nothing either of them can do about it.
Her once perfect puzzle piece isn't so perfect anymore.
So Naya does the only thing she can think of to do.
She slides off her chair, placing her coffee cup on the floor and slowly walks towards the crowd, feeling their "what is she doing?" and "oh God, what's happening?" piercing through her skin like razor sharp arrows. Heather's eyes never leave her as she approaches Taylor, her heart beating deafeningly loud in her ears and legs feeling heavier than an 18 wheeler.
She offers her hand out, and glances up at the luckiest man in the world. "Congratulations, Taylor. You're a lucky man."
Taylor smiles, revealing a set of white teeth and there's nothing but pure joy flickering behind his eyes, like he knows just how lucky he is. And then next, much to her own surprise, he slips his hand into hers, shaking gently like they're agreeing to sign over a possession. In some ways, it is like Naya's signing away something of hers, because Heather's holding her heart, and now she's taking it with her as she marries this man. It's a double whammy.
She slides her palm out of his and turns to Heather, gulping but making sure her features stay the way they were. Blue eyes are penetrating her soul and it takes everything she has not to break down right there in front of everyone, and just blurt out everything.
Her hands clasp in front of her, and she makes a point to keep her emotions in check. There'll be no handshake, no touching, she's not ready for that. She smiles sadly at her once best friend and blinks slowly, forcing the prickling heat back behind her eyelids.
"Congratulations, Heather," Naya lets out, her voice confident, "Your dreams are coming true."
Heather's eyes well up, and Naya steps back, reading the embrace she's about to receive just in time to prevent it. Up till now she's been keeping herself steady, but she's pretty sure if she touches Heather, everything will crumble and she'll turn into the pathetic mess she knows she is. Heather flinches, her brows twitching like she's hurt by the movement and Naya can only give her a 'you know why I'm doing this' smile before sucking in a deep breath and bracing herself for what she's about to do next.
And Heather does know why Naya's doing this - Heather knows better than anyone else because this, right now, is Naya is about to walk away. This is Naya giving up, letting the bridge burn and finally acknowledging that with Heather, there is no light at the end of the tunnel.
And with those lingering words, and a smile, so sad it could break SpongeBob's bubble - Naya turns away, fighting the tears as her legs lead her out the set, towards her car and then out of Paramount pictures.
"Enough," she whispers as the car peels away from the parking spot, "That's enough."
Because sometimes, walking away is the only thing left to do.