A/N: Slightly AU in that I'm ignoring that Quinn is going to Yale and all things that happened in the Season 3 Winter Finale.


January

Brittany looked out the window of the cab, watching the New York scenery fly by. It had been three months since she last saw the sprawling New York skyline. This time the tall buildings bring her hope with an added anxiousness that hadn't been there before. As the cab enters the tunnel she can't help but chuckle at herself, she's been in her own dark tunnel for three months and hopes that once she emerges from the actual one she's in, she'll feel a sense of release. Or at least assurance that she's doing the right thing.

The cab drops her off at her tiny midtown apartment. It really belongs to her professor, but she's been looking for a long term sub letter. Brittany doesn't care that it's a fourth floor walk up, or that it's actually smaller than her dorm room. She's in New York and she has a job. Well, a job and a mission.

The job is easy. Associate choreographer for a new musical, and then a teaching job at a major dance studio in the city. The dancing she can do in her sleep. Something she's actually done. Her roommate never let her forget about it, she has the video to prove it. She took an early graduation option so she could move to New York early. It didn't hurt that everyone at Carnegie Mellon loved her.

The mission is a little harder. Brittany's never had to apologize to Santana. Not really. Whenever she did something, she could usually pout her way out of it. Not this time.

She stares at the furniture in the apartment and then back at her two overstuffed bags. Unpacking can wait. She's been cooped up inside a plane all day and needs to walk around. She buttons up her coat and makes her way down to the street. The last time she was here, the trees had just shed the last of their leaves. Now, a blanket of snow covers everything.

An hour later Brittany finds herself in the East Village. She thinks it must be habit. Whenever she came to visit Santana, she would wander around and wait for her to get out of class. She's sort of hoping that since she's in the area, she'll run into her. If her schedule is still the same, she should be getting out of class soon.

Brittany sits down at a small café to warm herself. She needs to come up with a plan that goes beyond; I'm sorry, please forgive me, I love you, I'm an asshole. The last one being her newest addition. She thinks back to the last time she was here. She had accused Santana of sleeping with one of her fellow music majors. Brittany's still not sure why she had convinced herself Santana was cheating. She wants to blame the distance, but really it's the lingering doubt that's sat at the back of her mind. That Santana would get scared again and crawl back into the closet now that they were so far apart. Every time they talked, she heard Santana talk about how amazing this guy was. And how much he was helping her with her senior project. Brittany was jealous. Even though Santana kept reassuring her that nothing had or would happen. On her last visit, she met him. Edward. All he did was stare at Santana's ass. Brittany did not like him.

The cold mid October air followed them into the large apartment Quinn and Santana shared. Santana threw her coat onto her bed while she was trying to make Brittany see reason.

"Britt, he's just a friend. A really talented friend who's been helping me."

"He was staring at your ass. The whole time."

"You stare at my ass all the time."

"I'm your girlfriend. I'm allowed." Brittany sighed as she pulled her gloves off, "I just don't like the way he looks at you."

"Babe, he knows I'm in a relationship. I remind him all the time."

"Why do you have to remind him?" Brittany was starting to get angry.

"It's just harmless flirting. He's helping me out." She waved her hand to emphasize her point.

"Have you slept with him?" Brittany's eyes locked onto Santana's.

"What?"

"You heard me."

"Yeah, I heard you. But, seriously? Why would I do that?"

"I don't know. You tell me. You're the one here in the big city that's flirting with some guy to help you out. It's not like you didn't do stuff like that in high school. He's tall, blonde, blue eyes. Santana, he's the guy version of me."

"You don't trust me?" Santana sounded hurt. She had never given Brittany a reason to doubt her. They skyped almost every night and tried to visit each other half way through each semester. They had made college work. Brittany being at Carnegie Mellon to dance and Santana at NYU for music. They had made it work. Until now.

"I don't know Santana. All you ever talk about is how great he is. Why wouldn't you just go back to the way you were in high school? All you need is a warm body."

Santana recoiled at Brittany's anger and deflated. Her voice quiet as she pleaded with Brittany to see reason. "I came out. Remember? You were there. I told my family. Half of them don't speak to me anymore. Why would I go back to lying to everyone, to myself, after all of that?"

Santana's words echo in her head as she stares down at her coffee. She left that night and hadn't looked back. Santana had pleaded with her, tears running down her face. And Brittany let her fear and pride stand in the way. It had taken three months of being miserable to finally work up the courage to apologize to Santana. She didn't care how much she had to beg, or how hard she had to work. She was going to get Santana back.

She stares out of the café window, eye's unfocussed as she thinks of ways to apologize. It's only when someone bumps her chair that she focuses her eyes and spots Santana and Quinn across the street. Brittany stands and buttons her coat, leaving her coffee untouched as she runs across the street to catch up with them. Only when she's a few paces behind does she realize that she still doesn't have a plan. What if Santana's moved on? What if she hates her? She pushes her fears aside as she strains to listen to their conversation. It doesn't really surprise her that they're arguing.

"Quinn, I swear to god I am fine. Stop coddling me."

"Yeah, but the doctor said to take it easy. You're working and studying too much. And she said it was my job to make you take it easy. So please, please, do not take that shift tonight. You need to rest."

"Rent ain't gonna pay itself. And since House of Lopez is no longer paying the bills –"

Quinn sighed. Arguing with Santana was like arguing with a wall. Brittany smiled as she listened to the two of them. Some things never changed. Quinn's comments on the other hand worried her. Was Santana sick? Why weren't her parents paying her rent? What had happened in three months? Guilt and regret rushed over her. What had she missed? She was so close, she could reach out and stroke her hair. Tell her that she was sorry. That she was wrong. That she was here for her.

"Stop scowling Santana."

"I am not scowling. I'm glaring. There's a difference."

"Your first sentence is going to be, 'Stop scowling Mama.' I swear I'm going to teach it that." Quinn bent down and was talking to Santana's stomach.

"Don't you dare!" She turned to smack Quinn's shoulder when saw she saw Brittany standing behind her. Santana's eyes went wide with shock. She pulled her coat tight around herself and broke into a run down the street.

"San, what the - Oh shit. Brittany, what are you doing here?" Quinn turned to see if she could find Santana in the sea of people. When she couldn't, she turned to face Brittany.