A/N: Once again, a story with new and old work mixed together. Not sure where this is going (or how long it'll be) yet but if you all like it, I'll keep going. Or it may work as an open-ended one shot. Let me know.
Brittany had been up since 5 a.m. and she was exhausted. Her senior year at college was turning out to be a lot more hectic than she thought. She had so much on her plate already and the last thing she needed was being handed another huge project.
She already had two short films due for her advanced filmmaking class, an editing project, agreed to direct some videos for the school and a 10 page English paper.
So when her film professor and advisor, Holly Holliday, had asked her to help organize some sort of animal adoption event, Brittany didn't think much about it and had agreed.
When she singed up to join the University of Los Angeles's Animal Lover's League she thought she'd just be helping clean up litter boxes and walking dogs. Instead she somehow found herself as one of the ones in charge of organizing and setting up one of the biggest adoption fairs this school had ever seen.
Many of ULA's major investors were animal lovers and the university thought it would be a great idea to show just how much they too loved animals by hosting a Super Duper Adoption Fair.
"Come on Britts!" Holly told her, "You do love those cats. I know you want to find them homes."
"I do, I do," Brittany told her, "But what if I mess up? This is huge."
"Girl, you'll do fine," Holly said, "There are 10 other students helping and some faculty. And you got me, your favorite film teacher, helping you out. It's your senior year and in a couple of months you'll be out there making movies with Spielberg and thanking me in your Oscar speeches."
"Ms. Brittany," Holly continued, "If you don't think you can help organize a simple adoption event, how the hell are you going to produce and direct Hollywood movies?"
That was all the motivation Brittany needed. Holly was right. If she was freaking out about organizing this event, how was she ever going to make it producing and directing Hollywood blockbusters.
"I can do this!" Brittany said, determination in her voice.
"That's my girl," Holly said, "But first, I'm going to need to to do me a super, huge favor."
"Sure, anything," Brittany said, eagerly.
"I forgot I signed up to attend this boring literature lecture tonight by the daughter of some millionaire or something and I can't go. Can you go in my place and just listen to her ramble or whatever then introduce yourself as a rep for our department."
"Umm, yeah sure," Brittany said even though sitting through a speech about books sounded boring, "But what does literature have to do with the film department?"
"Well, this chick loves movies," Holly said, "She's a student here and her family has money to spare. Her fam is going to donate to the English department, natch, but they are also going to donate some funds to another department and I'm hoping that's us."
"Oh, umm wow," Brittany managed to say, "But if this is so important, meeting her, why are you sending me? You're the head of the department, shouldn't you go?"
"There you go again doubting yourself," Holly said shaking her head, "You can do this. All you have to do is meet her, turn on the Britts charm and suggest she donate to the film department."
"And if she doesn't?"
"Then she doesn't," Holly said shrugging her shoulders, "No big."
Brittany took a deep breath, "OK, I'll go."
The alarm didn't go off.
Santana jumped out of bed and headed straight for the bathroom.
"Fuck! Stupid alarm clock! I'm going to be so fucking late."
Today was not starting out the way she needed it to start. It was going to be a very busy day for the head cheerleader. She had a student council meeting first thing, followed by several cheerleader auditions to determine which new students deserved the last spots on the squad, lunch with her girlfriend Kate, interviewing candidates for head cheerleader, another student council meeting, and finally attending a boring speech being given by the daughter of one of the top donors of the school.
Santana had tried everything possible to get out of attending, but the head of the English department, William Schuester, said that her attending would really seal the deal. It did help that Santana already knew the speaker. They were friends. Sort of.
"Well, wouldn't it make a better impression if you attended Will?" Santana had asked.
"Probably, but I can't make it. And this is a speech about literature and books. Who better to send than the top student of the English department," Shue told her.
"Come on, Shue. Susan Davidson knows nothing about literature. The only reason she's even speaking is because her father is generous with his money. Plus, she's been trying to worm her way into the English assistant teaching position here for months, a position she's not qualified for may I add. And a position that should be given to me once I graduate," Santana argued.
"Santana, just go and pretend you care. For the school? The Davidson family is set to donate another round of the family fortune in about two weeks and we need that funding."
"Shit." Santana said under breath.
This was not a good day to start out late.
Santana showered and dressed at what was sure a new personal record. Already, 30 minutes behind, Santana headed out the door of her studio apartment.
As she ran to her car, she realized that she had forgotten her car keys on the kitchen table.
"Arrgh! Fuck!" she grunted, "Are you kidding me?"
Santana quickly went back inside, garbed her keys and went back out to her car. As she was pulling out of the parking lot, the phone rang.
"Here we go," she muttered, putting her speaker, "Hi, Kurt. Yes, yes I know. My fucking alarm clock didn't go off... I don't know, I think I set the damn thing up to p.m. instead of a.m... yeah, tell the council I got stuck in traffic. I'm almost there." Santana ended the call.
Finally, Santana arrived at ULA, but as she neared her parking spot, she saw that someone was already parked there.
"You've got to be fucking kidding me!" Santana said frustrated.
She picked up her cell and made a call.
"Kurt! Some fucking asshole is parked in my spot. Can you call the parking people and have them tow and ticket this asshole."
Santana had no choice but to park in the student parking lot. One of the many perks of being the head cheerleader of an award winning renown squad was getting reserved parking. No one dared touch that spot.
After what seemed like an eternity, Santana made it to the student conference room.
"Sorry I'm late, traffic was a nightmare." Santana said as she entered with a huge fake smile on her face.
Brittany tried desperately to keep her eyes open. If this class wasn't a requirement she would have never had signed up for it. American Contemporary Literature II was not in the least bit interesting to her. But she had to push on and force herself to pay attention.
She had managed to get through the class with the help of her friend Mercedes, who was sitting beside her taking notes like a madwoman as the teacher spoke. Brittany, as usual, would just get the notes from Mercedes later.
Brittany had thanked her lucky stars she had met Mercedes freshman year. Without her, Brittany was sure she would have flunked all of her English classes. Math, science and film were the only classes she really loved and had an easy time passing. But for some reason, literature and English were tough. Sometimes things meant something else, which really confused her.
Brittany felt like her eyes were made out of led. She felt as they slowly closed. She was so tired. If she could just close them for one minute….
"Brittany!" Mercedes whispered and hit her arm, "Wake up!"
Brittany snapped her eyes open and sat up straight, "I'm up," she said.
She looked at the clock. Ten more minutes and the class would be over.
An hour later, Santana headed to the football field.
"Hey Santana, your first auditions are here," Kurt said, then added, "They've been here for 15 minutes already."
Santana tried not to snap at Kurt. Her late start was pushing all her appointments behind.
Kurt Hummel was one of Santana's closest friends. He was the squad's assistant.
"OK, fine. How many students do I have to see again?" she asked.
"OK, I need to make up some time, so I'm going to try to audition a bunch at once."
"Oh, and Kate called and told me, quote, 'You better not cancel our lunch date' and she'll be here at 12:30 sharp." Kurt said, "Also, I'm not your personal assistant Santana. Tell your girlfriend to stop calling me and setting up your dates. I only assist with cheerleading stuff."
"I know that, sorry," Santana said, "I'll tell her. Look let's get this started. Send the first girls to the audition area," Santana said, "Oh, and did you call the parking people?"
"Yeah, the car is probably being towed as we speak," Kurt said, "And again, that sounds like a personal problem, not cheerleading."
"It is cheerleading business," Santana said, "I was late here because of that jerk."
"Fine," Kurt said, "Anyway the tow truck is probably already there."
"Good! Fucking people have no respect for a reserved parking spot." Santana said as she headed the the audition area.
Ten minutes later Santana watched as a new batch of girls tried out to join the ULA cheerleading squad.
I hate this, Santana thought.
Well, not all of it. Santana did love watching these barely dressed girls dance and do cartwheels for her, but she hated this whole audition process.
Santana had gotten a cheerleading scholarship to ULA her senior year of high school. A full ride. But now in her senior year, she was more than ready to hand off all her cheer duties to the next girl.
Santana hated cheerleading. She hated being the campus celebrity. She hated going to football games. But she put up with it because it was the only way she would be able to study what she really loved. English and art.
"Let's go!" Santana yelled at the girls, "This isn't high school anymore!"
When she first came to the university it had been quite the social scandal that one of ULA's top cheerleaders was just a big book nerd, but Santana didn't care. She knew cheerleading was only a means to and end. So she put up with it. It did have it's perks, though. You were treated like a star, got invited to the best parties and got to look at hot girls all day. Discreetly of course.
Santana had realized she was gay halfway through her senior year of high school. Her parents knew and apparently had always known and were just waiting for Santana to admit it to herself. Her friends in high school knew too.
Apparently everyone and their grandmother knew Santana was gay before she did. At least that's how Santana saw it.
The ULA squad was OK with it, no one really cared. In fact, there were a couple of girls who also preferred the company of other girls. Santana had slept with both of them.
Now though, she had actually managed to just date one girl. She had been dating Kate for about four months. They had fun together but Santana didn't see it lasting more than just a few months. Kate was great but with graduation coming up, her studies were what was really important to Santana.
She dismissed the first batch of girls and made a note of who to cut.
It was now mid morning but Santana felt like it was late afternoon. OK, she thought, if I cut down the auditions by about 5 or 10 minutes I should be back on schedule. Suddenly her first solo audition appeared.
"Santana Lopez! I'm so excited about this audition, you will not be disappointed with my routine, I have been inspired and you'll see that it has affected my dance in a positive way, I'm perfect for the team...…"
Santana stopped listening. This girl was talking a mile a minute and every time Santana tried to cut her off, she started on again about how inspired she was. She couldn't take anymore.
"Hey!" Santana cut her off, "How about less talking and more cheerleading."
The girl was startled. She quickly fumbled with getting into place and soon began her routine.
Santana knew in the first five seconds this girl was not going to pass to the next phase.
After the third of her six solo auditions ended, Santana looked at the clock. 12:00. Three auditions to go.
After the latest girl left she had a small window to take a break. She went to the nearby bench as sat down to take a breath.
"Damn! What a fucking day and I can't even relax after school. Fuck." she said out loud. I really don't want to go to this speech, she thought.
Just then, Santana looked up and saw Susan Davidson walk towards her.
"Santana, how are you?"
Fucking great, just what I need.
Forcing a smile, Santana greeted her guest.
"Susan, how are you?"
"Great. A little nervous about my speech this evening, but I'm doing great." Susan said, "I heard you were attending and I can't tell you how glad I was to hear that. Maybe we can meet for drinks after, you know, to talk about literature and the school," Susan said in a somewhat flirty voice.
"Uh, maybe. I might just have to leave right away, I have a big paper due soon," Santana said quickly.
Santana had met Susan during her sophomore year. They were both on the same career path and it seemed like both were going after the same job. There was no way to avoid Susan. And it didn't help that Susan was always trying to get in her pants.
Santana thought she was pretty but very annoying.
"Are you still dating that girl who wants to be an actress?" Susan asked.
"Yes, I'm dating 'that actress,'" Santana replied.
"Well, feel free to bring a guest to my speech if you'd like," Susan said, her voice now sounding a little angry.
"Thanks Susan. I'm sorry, but I have girls coming in any second now for an audition, so I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask you to leave. We can talk more this evening. I'll be there early and we can talk more," Santana said in her sweetest voice.
She hated she had to be nice to this annoying gnat.
"Of course, I'll let you get back to work," Susan said turning to leave. "So, how many for tonight? You and a guest, then?"
"OK, see you tonight, Santana," Susan said.
As soon as Susan was off the field, Santana let out a sigh. She was aware that Susan was after her.
This is going to suck, Santana thought.
She looked at her watch. It was getting so late. She took out her phone and called Kate to cancel their lunch date. As expected, Kate was pissed.
Brittany spent the rest of her day editing and had managed to finish one of her projects. She had been so concentrated on her project she lost track of time and had to go to the speech from school. She didn't even have time to go home but she did manage to make it early to the lecture.
Brittany took a deep breath and entered the small lecture hall and looked around. Everyone looked so academic and a bit intimidating. To Brittany, everyone seemed dressed like some strict librarian and she wondered if she should have dressed differently.
Brittany looked down at her white slacks with suspenders hanging down, light purple top and a tie with baby ducks on them and wondered if they'd kick her out for not following the dress code.
Fuck it, Brittany thought.
She looked up at the stage and saw a podium where she assumed the rich lady would speak. Brittany now wished she had brought her iPod. Her boyfriend Jesse had offered to come with her, but she had told him he didn't have to. Now she wished she had taken him up on the offer if only to help her stay awake.
She needed caffeine if she was going to survive this. She headed out the door went searching for a vending machine.
Santana opted for simple black jeans with a navy striped shirt. No way in hell she was dressing to the nines for this shit. But Santana had to admit that she made a simple outfit more than just simple. Wow, I'm arrogant, she thought with a smile.
Santana had told Susan she would be there early so they could chat. Ha! No way that was happening. Traffic to the lecture was a nightmare but Santana made it just five minutes before the start of the speech. The room was filled with white chairs, all facing a small stage with a podium. There was a huge banner that said, "Davidson Family presents A Night of Literature."
How original, Santana thought.
The place was packed. Santana couldn't help but smirk. She was convinced that all these people were only here because they wanted money. That's why she was here. Since she had gotten there late, Santana had to sit in the back row, the second furthest seat from the aisle. There was an empty seat one row in front of her, but Santana wanted to sit as close to the exit as possible. Everyone was quiet and waiting for the event to start. As a tall man with a white mustache went to the podium, Santana heard a small commotion near the aisle.
"Excuse me, excuse me. I'm sorry, did I step on you?" Brittany said as she tried to get to the one empty seat.
She had gotten distracted looking for a vending machine or store that she lost track of time. When she finally realized the time she rushed back to the hall and saw the packed room.
When she looked around she saw that there was one seat left on the second to last row at the far end near the wall.
I'm already screwing up, she thought.
Santana watched as a tall blond with a duck tie made her way down the row and finally settled in the seat in front of her. Her long hair was covering her face as she looked down, probably to make sure she didn't step on anyone's foot, so Santana couldn't see who she was.
Who the hell wears a duck tie to a lecture, Santana thought.
The lights dimmed a little and Susan came up on stage.
"Here we go!" Santana said to herself.
"Welcome, all. My name is Susan Davidson and I want to talk to you about what books mean..." Susan went on about how we interpret literature, how it impacts us and other nonsense. It was clear that she had just read a bunch of books and was regurgitating passages.
Jesus. It's like she read 'Literature for Dummies' or something, Santana thought.
Brittany stopped listening pretty early on. The speaker's monotone voice, boring subject and the fact that Brittany was utterly exhausted were working against her. She took a deep breath and closed her eyes for just a second.
Santana looked at her watch and wondered how much longer Susan would talk for about a subject she knew nothing about. Santana knew she should be the one up there giving this speech. Santana looked in front of her and saw that the blond with the duck tie had leaned her head against the wall.
Santana wondered if Susan had put this poor girl to sleep. Santana leaned forward a bit and managed to see that the girl did have her eyes closed.
Santana couldn't help but smile. She didn't blame the girl, Susan was boring as fuck. Santana tried to get a better look at the sleeping girl but the girl's head was facing down and Santana could only really see her closed eyes.
Oh well, whatever, Santana thought leaning back in her chair.
For the rest of the speech, Santana would occasionally glance at the girl in front of her to see if she was still asleep. She was. The speech went on for about 40 minutes, but Santana didn't even notice the time pass. She had made a sort of game guessing if the girl would wake up.
After Susan finished her speech, the crowed clapped. Santana saw that the girl still didn't wake up. People were getting up to leave and making lots of noise, yet the girl with the duck tie didn't stir. Santana didn't want to leave until the girl woke up. She wanted to finish the mental game she had created about this girl. Finally, after more than half of the audience had left, she woke up.
"Oh shit! Did I fall asleep?" she asked no one in particular, her voice sleepy.
"Yeah, you did," Santana said.
Brittany snapped her head up and looked behind her. Any residual sleepiness she felt quickly went away. Standing there looking down at her was Santana Lopez.
She had never met Santana but had seen her on TV and in posters all over school. She was practically royalty at ULA. Every student was a fan of Santana Lopez, she was the resident celebrity. Everyone had a crush on Santana, including Brittany.
Brittany had been dragged to a football game by Mercedes about two years ago when her then football player boyfriend had gotten her tickets right in the first row by the cheerleaders.
Brittany had spent almost the whole game watching Santana.
"Stay away from that one," Mercedes had said, when she caught Brittany staring, "She's a heartbreaker and besides you do still have a boyfriend last time I checked."
Brittany ignored Mercedes and continued to watch Santana. Brittany never hid the fact she was Bisexual to anyone. She had known she was attracted to boys and girls at the young age of 13. It was just normal to her. Her parents being the hippies, super liberal people they are, actually congratulated her on being so evolved. Brittany didn't understand what they meant and had simply just nodded.
Brittany had continued to watch Santana and at one point was sure that Santana had caught her. So Brittany looked away.
Ever since then, Brittany had become a fan of Santana and despite going to the same school, had never seen her outside of going to a football game.
Santana was glad to finally get a chance to really see what the sleeping duck tie girl looked like. The first word that came to Santana's mind was "cute". The girl looked sort of familiar but not really. Santana was sure she had never met her, she would have remembered, but she couldn't shake the feeling she somehow had seen her before.
"I didn't drool?" Brittany asked horrified at the possibility that she did drool and at the fact she had just asked Santana that question.
"No," Santana said with as small laugh, "No drool."
Brittany's extreme embarrassment was soon forgotten when she realized she had indeed missed the whole speech. Holly was going to kill her. Actually, no she wasn't but Brittany hated that she may have somehow let her down and the film department wouldn't get this money.
"Oh man, I missed the speech," Brittany said looking at Santana with still sleepy eyes.
"It was one of the best speeches I've ever attended." Santana joked.
As the last of the attendees was leaving, Santana saw Susan approach. Shit, she saw me!
"Santana! I was waiting for you earlier, you'd said we could chat before the speech," Susan said in a flirty voice. Seeing Brittany, Susan let out an audible "Oh!"
Brittany stood up when she recognized the speaker and prayed that Susan Davidson hadn't seen her sleep through the whole speech.
"Sorry," Susan said looking at Brittany, "Are you Santana's plus one?"
"Huh?" Brittany asked confused, "Umm no. I'm not a plus anything."
Santana let out a small laugh.
"Don't be rude Susan," Santana said, "Introduce yourself."
Santana knew that once Susan found out the duck tie girl wasn't a friend of Santana's, Susan would dismiss her and for some reason, Santana hated that thought. Plus, this was a great way to put a name to the sleepy girl.
Susan put on her best fake smile, "Of course, I'm sorry. I'm Susan Davidson."
Brittany took Susan's stretched out hand and shook it, "I'm Brittany S. Pierce."
Santana racked her brain trying to remember if she knew any Brittanys. She didn't.
"And I'm Santana Lopez," Santana said stretching out her hand to Brittany.
Brittany felt her mouth go incredibly dry. For so long she had only seen Santana on TV or at football games that she almost didn't seem real. But here she was offering her hand and introducing herself.
"Brittany," she said her name again, shaking her hand.
"I got it the first time you said it," Santana teased with a smile.
Brittany wanted to crawl under these chairs and just die from embarrassment.
"Oh so you two don't know each other?" Susan asked seeming relieved.
"Nope," Santana said looking at Brittany, "Well we do now. Right Brittany?"
"Uh yeah," Brittany said softly.
Santana realized that she hadn't stopped smiling since the second the duck tie girl had woken up. There was something really sweet about this girl that Santana liked.
"Wait, Brittany," Susan said suddenly, "You're here for Holly!"
"Yes," Brittany said, glad that she could focus on Susan and not Santana, "She, uh, she couldn't make it and sent me."
"Holly is great," Susan said, admiration in her voice, "I'm sorry she couldn't make it. Are you in film too?"
"Yes," Brittany said, her eyes lighting up, "I am. Holly's my teacher and advisor."
"I love movies," Susan said, "Well, while I'm sorry Holly couldn't be here, I'm glad she felt my speech was important enough to send someone. I greatly appreciate that."
Santana just rolled her eyes.
"She'll be sad she missed it," Brittany lied, "It was a great speech. I was riveted through the whole thing."
"Well thank you," Susan said, throwing Santana an odd look, "I'm glad you enjoyed it."
Brittany looked at Santana and saw that she had her hand covering her mouth, trying to hide a smile.
"Tell Holly," Susan went on, "That my family is highly considering donating the second grant to the film department."
"Oh, great!" Brittany said, excited, "That's awesome. Yeah, I'll tell her. We could really use some new editing equipment."
"So you're a film major?" Santana asked.
Brittany just nodded.
"Sophomore? Junior?" Santana asked, wanting more information.
"Senior," Brittany said.
"Really?" Santana asked surprised.
"Well," Susan said clapping her hands together, "Santana you promised to hang out and since you were late how about we do that now?"
"No excuses," Susan instead, "One quick drink."
Brittany took that as her cue to leave.
"I'll leave you two to your drink," Brittany said, grabbing her purse from the seat, "Again, great speech Susan and I'll tell Holly you said hello."
"Great," Susan said, "Nice to meet you Brittany."
"You too," Brittany said moving down the row.
Santana watched as Brittany made her was down the row and found it sort of rude she hadn't said anything to her before she left.
Brittany got to the aisle and turned to Santana, "Nice to meet you too Santana."
"Same," Santana said as she watched Brittany exit.
"Now," Susan said, "What shall we drink."
Santana turned her attention from the exit and looked at Susan, "Anything is fine."
"Come on," Susan said, "Let's get out of here. We could go to a bar but you'd have to drive. My car was towed at your school today. So annoying. Just because I parked at a reserved spot."
Santana smiled at the small victory.
She followed Susan out the door and to the parking lot and scanned the area to see if she could spot Brittany again.
She didn't see her.