Title: Even The Sun Sets In Paradise [1/3]
People: Heather Morris, Naya Rivera, Dianna Agron, Kevin McHale, side minor Taylor Hubbell, Matt Hodgson
Rating: Hard R
Summary: She doesn't find out the way she should.
Notes: Unbeta'd so all mistakes are my own. Title from Maroon 5's Payphone. Found this lurking around my LJ so decided to put it here.
She doesn't find out the way she should.
The news of the engagement doesn't come to her through Heather, or Dianna, or even Telly – who always seems to know everything. No. Instead, it's brought to her attention by Twitter. A small trend, starting with a hash and ending with 'NayaRiveraStopTheWedding,' and then that's it. She knows.
At first, before she finds out, she's curious. Well, curious is probably a mild statement, but curious none-the-less. She swipes down her Twitter feed with the pad of her thumb, seeing a few of her colleagues tweets; Kevin saying something about his dog chewing up his favorite pair of glasses, Lea saying something about Amsterdam and Cory being his dorky self and replying about being there with her or something, and she smiles.
It's only been over a month and she's finding herself missing these people so, so much; even though she's seen the majority of them at random times. But that's what happens when you go from spending everyday with people to seeing them maybe, once a week; you just start to miss them.
And she knows that feeling better than most, actually.
But anyway, she's scrolling down her feed, and then she—purely out of curiosity—goes onto her mentions and checks what stupid rumor is going round about her at the moment. A few weeks back there was the whole uproar about going to Mexico with Heather, and then the same amount of attention on the few pictures some sneaky pap caught of her and Matt together, and it kind of entertains her to be honest; hence why she's checking now.
Then she sees the trend.
It's small, and on every three tweets with her name tagged onto the end of it, but she sees it and intrigue shoots through her. She doesn't even register the name of the person, nor the compliment about her 'amazing body' tacked onto the end of it. She doesn't register how Matt's calling to her from the shower, or how there's that thin whistle of the kettle coming from downstairs that she was pretty sure only existed in movies.
No. All she registers is the hash tag.
Heather engaged? #NayaRiveraStopTheWedding
That's all it says, and being in the spotlight for a while now, she knows that rumors are rumors. Most of the time, they're fake and made up by people who clearly have nothing better to do that make something up about someone else's life, purely because they've got nothing going on in their own lives. But there's something about this—about the trend, the way it's phrased and the strange sense of sympathy she seems to be getting from it—that really makes her panic.
Shaking her head, she quickly goes back to the list of mentions and begins to frantically search through them. It takes about thirty seconds, and like, a hundred tweets, but eventually she finds it and her heart jumps into her throat. Because there, underneath her trend and underneath a generic statement about Heather, is a small link to Instagram.
And her heart jumps back down from her throat. Jumps back down, goes straight through her chest and falls out into a pathetic mess on the floor as she clicks on the link and the picture comes up.
Now, she's met Taylor, more than a few times and despite him actually kind of being a lovely guy, she just never seemed to get along with him. There was also that possessiveness about him when he was around Heather; but she guesses that has something to do with having a celebrity as a girlfriend and decidedly not being a celebrity himself. Having a celebrity girlfriend—craved for by thousands of men and woman—and seeing her at events, surrounded by hundreds of other talented, rich and smoking hot celebrities, that would make a guy worry and so she understands his possessive stance and hold on Heather whenever he's near.
But for some reason, she never thought that was the reason whenever she was around. Something about his eyes, and how he'd always be studying her and Heather's interactions instead of watching idly. It was always that little part that made her think that he was somehow jealousof her and Heather. Jealous, despite being the one that got to hold her in his arms at night, and kiss her good morning.
Stupid, really, but she understood. After Santana and Brittany happened in the world of Glee, she understood.
The picture comes up, full screen on her phone, and she's pretty sure there's no worse feeling than the one she's feeling now.
She's had it before admittedly; the day she came onto set after weeks of shameless flirting with Heather back in the earlier years, and walked into her trailer to find a broad shouldered guy sitting on the couch, arms stretched along the back and a goofy grin on his face. Seconds later, also finding out that this was Taylor, Heather's boyfriend of four years at the time, and watching as fear and shame etched it's way across Heather's features as she came into the trailer with two cups of coffee in hand and found Naya sitting in the kitchen with tear filled eyes. All because there'd been lingering touches, almost kisses and play fights that ended in up close and personal tickles and intimately brushing locks of hair back in the few months leading up to that moment.
She's had it another time, too. Two hours before the premiere of Glee Live! In Concert! when she unlocked her phone to find five words come up on screen in a short text from Heather saying, "Taylor's coming. I'm so sorry."
Actually, she's had this feeling a lot of times, come to think of it. All of them whenever reality came knocking and she realized that fairytales don't come true and no matter how much you want something, or need it, it doesn't always happen. When reality came knocking and she was kicked – face first – out of her little Heather bubble and it sunk in that Heather was still in a relationship with her college baseball playing boyfriend, and she still had her reputation to live up to.
But none, none of those times was this feeling amplified like this. Amplified to the point where she's wishing that the longer she looks at this picture, the longer it won't be real. Because sometimes that happens. When you stare at something long enough, the lines become blurry and the image becomes fuzzy and it no longer looks like what it is. That's what she's wishing right now, because if this picture isn't real, if it is fake, then she'll be okay.
If it isn't though...
If it is real...
She doesn't quite know what's going to happen. To her, to her heart, to her mind. To her life.
Taking in a deep, shaky breath, she reaches up with her free hand to pinch the screen, and zooms in until the pixels become large squares on her screen and the image before her becomes really real. And when it does, when it's there, she freezes and can't seem to tear herself away from this picture before her.
"Babe?" Matt calls, but she doesn't look up.
She's still entirely focused on the picture, and her mind is running wildly. She wants to cry. God, she wants to cry right now, but she can't. That would mean blurring her vision to the one thing that's so very real to her right now, and she just can't. If everything around her is fading away and making the room feel like it's spinning, and this damn picture is the only thing staying still, she has to keep focused on it.
In the picture, there's Heather smack bang in the center. She's peering into some reflective glass of some sort—a statue, Naya thinks—and Taylor's brother is standing beside her, peering at the camera. It's a black and white picture, and there are a few more people in the background, their bottom half distorted by the mirrored statue, but the one thing that's capturing her eye the most—the one thing curling around Naya's lungs and tightening until she's sure she can't breathe—is the little glimpse of the thin band wrapped around Heather's ring finger.
And that... That's how Naya finds out Heather's getting married.
A couple of days later, she wishes she could go back in time and just punch herself in the head for the tweet she typed out in reaction.
It's like a well known fact that you should think before you speak, and the same goes for Twitter. Especially because of how many retweets she gets for something she says, even if it's about a damn smoothie she made. But, she didn't think—another outcome was that her PR yelled her ears off—and so as soon as she kick started her mind into action again, and as soon as she flinched away from Matt's touch like he was an open flame to her skin when he tried to bring her out her frozen reverie, she was typing out a tweet and pressing send.
I just love it when Twitter tells me things before 'friends' do.
Of course, about a minute after she refreshed her page and it came up, she got a call from her PR telling her to take the damn thing down because clearly it was dripping with sarcasm and indirectly directed at someone, but it didn't matter. Tumblr blew up, and so did Twitter, many screen caps of her tweet popping up with her name on the end, and that was that. People knew and there was no way she could make them un-know.
But now, she's sitting at home, blanket wrapped around her legs as she flicks through the many TiVo'd programs on her TV. Matt hasn't talked to her in days—which she finds understandable because she refused to give him an explanation to her tweet and to the trend—and Dianna's been busy, doing her thing and sparing a few moments to text her and explain how confused the majority of the cast is after her tweet, but she's gone past the point of caring.
She hasn't even bothered to check her texts past Dianna and her mom. She doesn't think she should have to explain it to them because they've been with her throughout the whole her and Heather thing. They watched it stem from 'I like you' and 'I like you too' to 'we promised forever' and 'forever doesn't exist.' They've seen the highs and the lows and know that there's at least a few songs on her upcoming album that describe bright blue eyes and hair like the sun. They fucking knowand yet they're still bugging her and all she wants to do—despite loving them to bits—is ask for some peace.
So she just doesn't reply to any of them. Doesn't pick up her house phone and is just waiting to notanswer the door when they come knocking. It'll only be a matter of time.
Her house phone starts ringing, again, and she's broken from her wandering thoughts of white dresses, tears and broken promises. She wipes at her eyes, finding moisture there and takes in a deep breath as she climbs to her feet. Halfway to the phone, though, she remembers she doesn't want to pick up and stands there in the middle of her living room, focusing on the silver handset by the TV and watching the screen flash up with the caller ID that tells her Kevin's calling. Instantly, she feels bad and is about to head over when the ringing cuts off and the sound of her own voice flows through the room.
"Hi, it's Naya. Leave a message after the beep."
"Uhm, hey Bee. Just checking in on you. Haven't heard from you in a while and your phone's off. Hope everything's alright and get back to me when you have the chance. Thanks... It's little Bee by the way."
Naya chuckles and rolls her eyes, despite no-one being able to see her and then proceeds to chuckle a little more because of that. Her heart sinks as she looks around the house, remembering just how much she paid for this place and how upstairs she has three unused, empty bedrooms that she had some weird hope would be filled when she moved in. Something about being able to have her friends stay at her house, which was kind of ridiculous because they've all got their relationships and their things to do. Not that she doesn't have Matt, but it's not the same.
She looks around and feels the cold chill of loneliness creep down her spine as she heads back to the sofa and settles down once more, but not before an unstoppable memory flushes through her.
"Google! Google now!" She exclaimed, jumping over the back of the sofa and plopping down next to Heather who was sitting cross legged with her laptop.
Confused, Heather slid her eyes to the left and said, "What?"
"I got an alert that we've been tagged in a video together," she leaned across her best friend, shoulder resting against another as she practically sat on Heather's lap to reach the keyboard. Heather only shuffled, removing her grip from the laptop to Naya's waist and hoisted until her best friend was in between her legs, sitting comfortably with their legs propped up on the coffee table, Naya's back to Heather's chest.
"So?" Heather wrapped her arms around Naya's waist, resting her chin on a shoulder to peer at the screen. "We get tagged all the time when people make fan videos of us."
Naya turned, only enough to look into blue eyes. "You're such a troll it's unreal."
Heather laughed in response.
Typing furiously into Google, she managed to find the link she was looking for and clicked on it. YouTube popped up with her name and the words Bandslam Premiere. She felt Heather giggle into the crook of her neck behind her and shivered, desperately trying to ignore the way her heart flipped when lips brushed against the skin there.
"You're going to watch yourself on YouTube?" Heather asked with playful skepticism. "Could you get any further up your own ass?"
Naya narrowed her eyes, lifting one arm to slap at the hands on her stomach as she giggled. "Shut up. We're going to watch us. I just found this video first."
"Uh huh," Heather pressed her lips into a thin line, hiding the smile that tugged at them. "Sure."
"Just watch," Naya clicked play and then leant back, watching the screen flicker with the beginning image of her and Heather come up on screen – both wearing white. It was their interview from Maximo TV, and when she exhaled, she heard Heather suck in a sharp gasp.
Strange, but whatever.
It was about five seconds in when Heather said something. "You look super weird, tall."
Naya smiled, half-insulted, half-amused. "Uhm, thanks?"
"It's just weird," Heather tightened her arms around her midsection, reaching up to grab at caramel hands until their fingers could lace together. Naya sucked in a deep inhale when Heather's fingers slid between her own and then tried not to focus on how uncontrollably her abs were twitching when their intertwined hands rest on her stomach. "I'm supposed to be the tall one."
"Should've worn heels then, shouldn't you?" She quipped, turning her head until her lips were hovering dangerously close to Heather's jawline. "Then you would've towered over me."
"But I like being the same height as you," she continued, shrugging. "I've always been the small one."
Heather scrunched up her face, adorably. Just when she thought the blonde couldn't get any cuter, Naya was proved wrong. Jheeze.
"5"2 isn't that small."
"That's small for a teenager, Hemo," she replied, arching a brow. "Let alone an adult."
Heather squeezed her midsection. "Well I think it's cute."
"Yeah, cute is definitely what I want to be."
"Well cute is what you are." Heather stated, smiling down at her with sincerity. "Without cute, you wouldn't be you. Then I wouldn't love you."
Heather was always affectionate, always outspoken when it came to feelings, and always intimate and touchy. But the way she said those three little words made Naya's heart flip uncontrollably because it never quite sounded like how Heather usually said it. Smiling up at her best friend, Naya shook herself from the irrational wanderings of her mind and turned her head, settling back again with eyes on the screen.
"Meh," she shrugged as the grunt came out her mouth and hovered over the touch pad to click play on the video again.
They both said their names on screen, giggling and laughing at each other, but then something caught Naya's eye and she felt herself leaning closer towards the screen to examine properly.
"Recently I rocked out to Metro Station's Twist. And this girl..."
"I rocked out to Metric's new song, Hammer."
Heather let out a small chuckle, burying her face into the crook of Naya's neck. Confused, and intrigued, Naya turned her head, brows furrowing because she didn't actually find that amusing. Then again, she was kind of distracted by the way the blonde girl was staring at her in the video; with a distant gaze and cloudy blue eyes. She let out a long sigh, because she knew she's looked at Heather like that before; but that was during a time where she thought she liked her best friend.
She bit back the bitter chuckle that tickled up her throat at the memory.
Glancing back towards the screen, she studied the Heather on screen for a few moments, watching her as she watched the on screen Naya. She remembered the time she thought she liked Heather. How she found herself staring on set constantly and giggling like a thirteen year old girl whenever Heather made a slightly funny joke. That was a weird time but she couldn't quite place how she felt because it was all too confusing for her. Too many new things were happening at once, like Glee and moving into a new apartment, and she just didn't want to think about why she would find herself gazing at Heather like a lost puppy, or why her heart flipped whenever Heather touched her.
"Whatcha thinking about?"
Snapping herself out her thoughts, she met quizzical sapphire orbs. "What were you laughing at?"
Heather grinned, ignoring the sudden change in conversation. "You know that Metric don't have a song called Hammer, right?"
"They do so!" Naya half-yelled, blood rushing up to her face. Even when that interview was being conducted, she remembers freaking out because she wasn't entirely sure if that was the correct title of the song. She just went with the first line of the song she could think of. Which happened to be something that belonged in a tool box.
"Honey," Heather murmured. "The song's called Help I'm Alive."
Feeling like she just got caught red-handed, she twisted her body, legs strewn over Heather's lap so her ribs met her best friends front and buried her face into loose blonde locks. She purposely ignored the hitch she heard in the other girl's throat when she ran her nose up the muscle in Heather's neck, knowing if she started thinking about things like that she wouldn't stop.
"Well that's embarrassing." It came out as a muffle against fabric. Heather laughed.
"Sweetie, you totally don't have to worry. You look so gorgeous that everyone would just totally fall in love with you in this video if they hadn't already."
Naya felt her heart flip rapidly. "Really?"
"Of course." Fingers ran through her hair, tugging gently until she was looking up at her best friend as she said, "Worked for me."
She blushed, head ducking again. "You're just saying that."
Naya didn't have time to answer before Heather's shifting her onto the spare space on the couch, and grabbing the laptop to pull into her lap. She typed away furiously for a few seconds, then hovered with the mouse pad and clicked down. From her angle, Naya could see the screen flash white and then go back to the page again, as if it was refreshed. Confusion rung through her as she tried to figure out what was going on.
"What did you do?"
Heather smiled and shrugged. "Just told everyone how damn gorgeous you are and how in love with you I am."
The thing was with Heather was that when she said things, it usually either had connotations pointing towards other things, or meant something else entirely. Like the time when she told Naya her pussy was wet. Whereas Naya's mouth gaped open and she just looked entirely gob smacked because she had absolutely no idea what to say to that, Heather just shrugged and said, "Zach went out in the rain."
So it was times like that, when Heather said something that could make Naya the luckiest person in the entire world, or the most foolish, she kind of hated that Brittany stemmed from Heather as a real person. It was just confusing and it wasn't even like she could ask one of the writers for a translation, so she just stayed there, basking in her own confusion.
"You might wanna remove that, HeMo." Naya said, lowly, swinging her legs off the couch and standing. "PR will be all over our ass' and read that totally wrong."
Heather shrugged. "I don't care. It's true."
Naya eyed her suspiciously as she turned, tugging her bottom lip between her teeth. "Now you've written that you know that's going to be there forever, right? People take screen caps of that kind of stuff."
"So you're okay with that being there forever?"
Heather stood and held out her hand wordlessly, urging a tanned one into her own. Naya obliged, and instantly fingers slid through the gaps of her own as she continued to stare at her best friend, waiting for an answer she wasn't sure she was going to get. But then blue eyes sparkled down at her – the breath ripping straight from her lungs – and Heather smiled at her and made her heart just skipped an unhealthy amount of beats.
"Well I'll promise you I mean what I said forever and then it won't matter," the blonde girl said and ended her sentence by leaning forward to press a promising kiss to Naya's forehead and then pulling her into a hug.
Naya just grinned and closed her eyes. Forever sounded good when it was in Heather's arms.
It's weird, because despite Hollywood being home to the rich and the famous, she's never run into like, Bruce Willis or Halle Berry in the street after they've come out of a hair salon or the gym.
Yet somehow, some-fucking-how after she grabs her morning coffee from Starbucks, and heads outside, she runs right into the one person she really doesn't want to see right now. The one person that makes her chest seize, vision waver and heart ache as she awkwardly turns away with the hope that maybe, just maybe she wasn't seen. She quickly plucks her sunglasses from down on top of her head, shading her bloodshot eyes and begins to head in the complete opposite direction to her car when she bumbles into a crowd of tourists who glare at her for a split second before their heads tilt in recognition.
Seriously, God must fucking hate her today because then someone yells her name and all the tourists begin to smile and a few—the few that probably watch Glee—clap their hands and then buzz around excitedly, and begin to ask her for an autograph. Don't get her wrong, she loves her fans, but with her mood and the risk that she might have been seen by that person, she just doesn't want to do this right now.
But then someone grabs her wrist, and she whips her head around because never has a fan got handsy with her. A narrowed glare—one she uses for Santana—crosses her face but as soon as it's there, it buckles and falters and then she's staring into soft blue eyes. Because Heather's there, wearing knee length sweatpants, a loose grey tank top and looking so incredibly gorgeous that the beauty actually reaches inside Naya's chest and fists her heart, fingers tightening until she's sure she's about to pass out.
They stare at each other in silence for long moments, eyes searching eyes. Heather looks at her pleadingly, and it takes a minute to realize that the finger's curled around her wrist have moved south and lightly wrapped around her own fingers. A few more seconds later, and she remembers the people surrounding them and how it barely takes a minute for photos to find their way onto the internet and anger slices through her, mixing with the lingering pain and creating an excruciating concoction.
"Can we talk?" Heather whispers. "Please."
But Naya sets her jaw in a determined manner and shakes her head, slowly, letting her shoulders slump with the lack of fight. "About what?" She mutters, defeated, hoping no-one is recording this conversation.
Heather's eyes dart around nervously, then she swallows heavily. "Just... can we?" She responds, eyes glossing over.
Naya's mouth opens to splutter out something along the lines of don't marry him and you picked the wrong person but then Heather twists her hand nervously and something sparkles against the sunlight, capturing Naya's vision. Instantly, she tears her hand away, and feels the blonde girl's entire body flinch as she ducks past her and begins walking back to her car, speedily, struggling to hold back the heat prickling at her eyelids and cheeks from the sudden reminder.
Fumbling with her keys inside her pocket, she unlocks her car and practically breaks into a sprint to reach the drivers side door. She yanks it open and slides in, shoving her coffee cup into the holder by the radio panel before pushing the key into the ignition, wanting nothing more than to get out of here and away from Heather.
But then she hears a tap on the window and sees Heather standing right outside, surrounded by people and flashes and she's suddenly incredibly glad for her tinted windows. It hits her in the stomach like a punch when her eyes lock with blue ones, because they're full of hope and because it's Heather, because it's always Heather, she reaches down to the button on the center console of her car and is about a millisecond from unlocking the door when something over Heather's shoulder catches her eye.
She freezes, hand hovering in the air and suddenly the pressure comes crashing down on her. They've barely even spoken a few words and yet a whole conversation has traded between them, and now this whole car and standing outside surrounded by swarming fans feels like some crappy metaphor to something so much bigger. Swallowing against her thickening throat, she pulls her hand back and sees Heather tilt her head to the side and narrow her eyes, hurt and rejection flashing across her face.
"No..." she whispers to herself, but the blonde girl sees the lip movement and her entire body deflates, and Naya clamps her jaw together to hold back the tears filling her eyes. "It's okay."
Heather just looks at her, begging for an explanation with her eyes and Naya shakes her head, knowing she'll never be able to give one for what she's doing. Because how can you tell someone that you can't be around them anymore? That you can't see them or be their friend because it hurts too goddamn much? How the fuck is she supposed to turn around and tell Heather—the woman she's madly, deeply, and heart-breakingly in love with—that after everything they've been through, that she's okay with what they are. With what they're not.
She can't, and so she's doing the only thing she can do, and walk away.
"Naya," Heather says and lifts her fist to rap on the window one more time when an arm slings around her shoulder and recognition and realization slaps her across the face. Her entire expression drops, and Naya clenches her jaw as she takes the handbrake off and peels away from the curb, begging her body not to give into the tears desperately trying to escape.
She shoots up at the sound of someone hammering on her door. Grunting to herself, she gets herself upright and stumbles her way out the living room, through the hallway and towards the front door, pulling the blanket with her as she squints and rubs away the ache from the back of her eyes.
Last night, she spent a good five hours crying over her aching heart with a tub of Ben & Jerry's and Love Actually playing on TV, and so now she can feel the swollen bags beneath her eyes and how dry they are and most probably, bloodshot, and knows that all hope of not looking like she was dragged through a hedge backwards has shot straight out the window. The tears and heart ache were so damn much that she actually cried herself to sleep on the damn sofa, and now, thanks to that, she has a crick in her neck and is in a foul mood. But, whatever, she doesn't even care. Not like she wasn't in a foul mood already.
As soon as she opens the door, someone barges past and she spins around in time to find Dianna staring at her with a cocked brow, narrowed hazel eyes and pursed lips. Whatever's happened is so not good and judging by the glare she's receiving, she's done something to make her friend look like that. Great. Just what she needs.
"Hello, Dianna Please, do come into my home," she says sarcastically, turning back to close the front door. God only knows the paps would just love to catch a half-asleep Naya Rivera, days after finding out about her once best friend's engagement and leaving said best friend on the side of the road with her stupid fiancee.
"Naya, what are you doing?"
She twists around again, arms crossing over her chest. "Well I was asleep," she responds, pushing her way past her friend and back into the living room. "But then you woke me up so..."
"Not with that you idiot," Dianna chides. "With this," she throws down a magazine onto the cushion next to Naya and Naya lowers her vision to the object.
Gingerly, she picks it up; a sudden rush of fear shooting through her for what she's to see and she thinks it's stupid until she peels it open and realizes the fear was completely rational. On the front of there's a picture of Heather standing by the side of the road, Taylor by her side looking off in the distance to where she knows is her car, and it's utterly heartbreaking to see the expression on Heather's face.
Her expression is sad, but not sad in the sad usually means, like a child that just had it's toy taken away from it. No, her face is sad in the I just lost everything I ever wanted and I'm lost way and it slices straight through Naya's feelings until she's raw and the dull thud of her aching heart is the only thing she can hear.
Dianna sees it as it hits her, and she manages to keep it together for all of about five seconds before there's a rumbling in the back of her throat and she's whimpering broken sobs. Arms wrap around her body, pulling her into the warmth of a body and it's almost shameful how must she needs that right now; of how much she fucking needs it.
Soft "it's okay"s and "I'm here for you"s are hushed into her hair and it only makes her cling tighter to her friend, nails biting into Dianna's skin because no, it's not okay. Nothing is okay and she feels like she's underwater, struggling to swim to the surface and trying to breathe at the same time she's reaching for things she just can't get a hand on. Everything's so screwed up and before she could deal with it. Before she was strong enough to, but now she can't. She just fucking can't anymore.
It's been too long without Heather. It's been too long since she last smiled and actually felt the smile in her chest. Sure, people make her smile – Dianna's her strength, and takes her out for coffee and lays her shit down on the line and is basically one of the best friends anyone could ask for. Kevin's her little bee; he's gorgeous and funny and always manages to get a laugh out of her even on the darkest of days. And hell, even Matt's good to her.
She has a lot of people that are wonderful to her; she's surrounded by people that care and by people that will always be there for her... But it's just not the same.
Since Heather's been gone—well, since everything got so damn complicated after the tour—she's just felt so damn alone. She's not weak; she's never been weak, but Heather gave her strength she didn't know she needed and since it's been gone, she hasn't been entirely sure of anything, really.
But there was still that little spark inside of her. That tiny little beacon of hope that maybe, somehow, the past would rewrite itself and one day she'd open her door to Heather standing there, pleading with her eyes and giving her heart wholly. Because that was one of the main reasons they couldn't ever be together in the first place; there were always outstanding factors including boyfriends, family, fame and all the bullshit that follows and over time they had to come to accept it. They had to because there wasn't anything else left for them. Everything around them would have crumbled into tiny little shards of glass because that's how damn fragile they were and Naya guesses, still are to this day.
She just thought after everything that happened between them—after all the late night calls and texts, after the initial "I like you" and "I like you too" and then after they progressed onto the fluttering stomachs and eventual kisses and touches—after all of that, she just thought that Heather would have the decency and respect to tell her about getting engaged to a guy that doesn't deserve her. That yes, makes her relatively happy and is the better choice for a husband—if you want the whole white-picket-fence-golden-Labrador-Volvo-dealership-down-the-road-and-a-baby-in-the-crib-thing—but still won't love Heather and treat her the way she should be treated.
Not that she's saying she could do that.
But she didn't even get a chance to try.
Fingers brush back the hair fallen across her face, and she sniffs in her tears at the same time Dianna speaks. "Naya, you need to talk to her."
Her heart sinks and she swallows against the thickness building in her throat. She nods shakily, her lower lip still quivering as she wipes the tears from her face. "I can't," she replies, suddenly hating the sadness in her own voice. "I just can't."
She doesn't get a response; instead, Dianna just pulls her closer and leans back against the sofa as a wave of fresh tears crashes over her.
She never meant for her life to become one huge damn cliché.
She never meant to be the person that had the fame, the fortune, the looks and everything anyone could ever want but lack the one thing that she freaking needed.
She never even fucking meant to give into the stereotypical stigma of falling in love with her best friend either, but it was just hard for all it not to happen when it was Heather; because it was and still is, Heather.There's nothing about that girl that could repel anyone, and it's kind of hard to believe the entire world isn't just head over heels in love with Heather, really.
But then again, Naya supposes she never saw it coming herself. And since she was freaking blindsided by the sudden realization of just how imperfectly perfect Heather is, it'll only be a matter of time before the entire world does the same as her and is undeniably and irrevocably in love with someone she they can't ever have.
It was one of those days where they were just doing nothing. They had the weekend off and somehow Heather coming over for a pizza and a movie on Friday night turned into spending the entire weekend together. But, Naya didn't mind. She never did.
They were sitting on the sofa; Heather lying width ways with her long legs resting over Naya's thighs, whose feet were propped up on the coffee table as she read through the last few chapters of her book, and the TV was blaring some reality show that Heather wanted to watch. There was nothing especially significant about this day, and it wasn't like really even like one of those shocking moments where Naya saw the light and was utterly gobsmacked by the realization of her true feelings.
It was just a single moment, where something funny happened on TV and Heather let out her heavenly laughter, and her face cracked into a toothy grin, her cat like eyes narrowed and nose wrinkled slightly, and Naya just felt right there, in the left side of her chest. Felt it in her chest and smiled at the way the warmth of that feeling that'd been lingering within her since she'd met Heather, spread over her body as she glanced away from her book, nudged her glasses further up her nose and just stared at her best friend.
And then it just kind of came out. Completely unplanned and unexpected and she couldn't even stop herself.
"I think I'm in love with you."
The most shocking thing about it was, was probably the fact that Heather barely looked away from the screen as she offered a teasing smile and an arched brow, "You think you are?" She grinned. "I'm almost offended."
Naya just narrowed her eyes and then they flickered around as if she was looking for someone else in the room to ask did that just happen? Of all the things she was expecting as a reply to that, the one she got was certainly not on the list. She told her best friend she might be in love with her and all Heather could do was smile and fucking mock her. What the hell?
"You're not freaked out?"
Heather pressed her lips together and twisted her head to look at her. She sighed, shook her head whilst a small smile played at her mouth and then said, "You really don't know, do you?"
"About us," Heather gestured between them and pulled her legs up to her own body, shuffling her ass forward until she was basically sitting on top of Naya, legs strewn across legs.
Incredibly confused, Naya shook her head and squinted because frankly she didn't know what the fuck was going on. She just blurted that she thought she was in love, and Heather's talking to her like they're discussing what they're going to have for dinner tonight.
"You're gonna have to spell this out for me, Hemo," she said, trying not to catch her breath at how her best friend was leaning in closer towards her.
It failed, though, because Heather came so close that she could count every freckle that ran along the top of the cheeks and over the bridge of her nose, and saw that little sparkle in her bright blue eyes that made Naya's insides melt because it was
her sparkle. The one that only happened when Heather looked at her.
Heather smiled, and looked away, almost embarrassed, before glancing back towards her hand, tracing aimless patterns along the dip of Naya's collarbones. "Fate laid a hand," she whispered, her finger moving up the column of a tanned throat and blue eyes flicking up to meet expectant brown ones when Naya's pulse point jumped operatically underneath her touch. "You said that, yourself."
"So, I thought you knew since then."
Naya sucked in a shaky breath, ignoring the way her heart was thudding impossibly loud against her chest. So loud, that she was scared Heather could feel it. At that time, she didn't know what was running through her mind; fear, adoration, love, anger, confusion—all of the above, and all she wanted to know was that what she felt was felt back. That's all she needed but there was this thickness inside her throat and hard coating around her heart that was stopping her from doing that.
So instead, she tugged her bottom lip between her teeth and murmured, "Heather, I'm confused," because that's the only thing she could say.
No response followed though, and feeling defeated and like one word could break her, Naya allowed her eyes to flutter shut. If only she'd just kept her mouth shut then they wouldn't be having this conversation and Heather wouldn't be breathing irregularly a few centimeters away from her face. There wouldn't be this awkwardness between them and uncertainty of where she stood in Heather's life—because there was the boyfriend problem a few weeks back and who knew what was going on between Taylor and Heather now—and she wouldn't be thinking that she'd just ruined the best thing that ever happened to her. The best thing that fate had ever and could ever bring her.
Well, those were the thoughts running through her mind before she felt a thumb and a forefinger lightly pinch her chin and tilt up until warm lips brushed against her own; catching on her bottom lip and sucking gently. She was pretty sure her heart stopped beating and mind sizzled out right then and there because fuck, Heather was fucking kissing her. And not in the platonic peck on the lips between friends kiss; like, full on, I want you type kissing with a tongue grazing over her bottom lip and then slipping into her mouth and curling around her teeth.
That kiss wasn't friendly. It was as far from friendly as freaking possible and when she managed to kick start her brain into kissing back, a moan vibrated into her mouth and everything went blank again. So, knowing she had zero chance in even trying to pull away and question Heather—because she was still pretty confused as to what they were and to how Heather felt in return—she just kissed back with as much passion as she could, her hands finding slim hips and tugging until a knee was digging either side of her hips and Heather was straddling her and cupping her cheeks to keep their mouths together.
And when they became breathless, and were forced to break the kiss, when the need for oxygen became to much and they had to pull apart, a forehead tilted against her own and clear blue eyes bore straight past her eyes and into her soul and she couldn't help but smile into the soft barely kiss Heather pressed against her lips.
Because that... That was the first time Naya was one hundred percent sure Heather Morris loved her back.
Naya sighs as her tired body is shifted, letting the memory wash through her unwanted and painful.
She closes her stinging eyes, resting her head back against the sofa cushions as a soft kiss is pressed to her forehead and Dianna whispers, "get some sleep, honey. I'll be back tomorrow," before heading out the front door and closing it quietly behind her.
Naya doesn't know when things got so damn complicated.
She doesn't know how things went from being so fucking easy to being the hardest thing ever.
But she needs to know.
She has to, because whilst she may be okay with Heather and Taylor – she's almost starting to believe herself – she needs to know why she wasn't worthy of the news that would break her. Why Heather didn't respect her enough to fucking tell her that she was engaged and instead she had to find out through fucking Twitter. A site that even Heather herself won't join because of the way news spreads through social networking.
She needs to know.
So she's going to find out.
"Yeah, yeah, Di," Naya joked, winking towards her friend. "We'll just see who's hotter on the red carpet, tonight."
Dianna laughed and rolled her eyes as Naya skipped across her living room floor to retrieve her phone. It'd been buzzing for the past five minutes but due to Dianna's unplanned visit, she wasn't able to get to it.
Although, it would only take thirty seconds and a text to realize how badly she should have picked up.
"What do you think then?" Dianna followed her into the living room and threw herself down on the sofa. "Spiky or flat?"
"Don't you have like, a stylist for that?" Naya responded as she spotted her phone on the arm chair by the front window. Her eyes caught the time on the clock above the fireplace and she continued with, "And you're leaving it pretty damn late, Di. You've got two hours to get ready."
"I don't need time to look gorgeous, Nay-Nay," the blonde flipped her off, playfully. "And you just got your hair done ridiculously early."
Naya chuckled as she clutched her phone and ran her thumb over the screen, quickly punching in her code and opening the text there. If she'd looked at the locked screen previously, she wouldn't have been so surprised to read the text that made her heart ache and lip quiver. But she didn't and so instead she was entirely focused on how she woke up two hours earlier than usual to open her front door to her hair stylist and stylist, and then sat down as they worked around her; clipping in extensions and curling the tips perfectly.
Then she read the text and it took a few minutes to register exactly what those five words meant because it only meant one thing. Heather and Taylor were officially back together. They'd been on the rocks for a while and as much as she felt guilty, she loved that fact.
But then the text came and everything good, happy and hopeful drained straight out of her.
Taylor's coming. I'm so sorry, it says, and she suddenly hated that she was going tonight. Because going tonight meant going alone.
That was the second time Heather ever broke her.
And so she's standing outside Heather's house, now.
What if she doesn't open the door? She thinks, fiddling with her keys as she heads up the steps towards the front door.
Her heart sinks at the mere thought, and she almost turns around right then and there, knowing she doesn't have the strength to do this. Barely a few hours ago she was curled up against Dianna, sobbing to her heart's content because the woman she had been trying not to be in love with, was marrying a guy that Naya, on several occasions had said was actually pretty decent—she still hates that—and now she's standing outside Heather's fucking house, staring at the door with no idea as to why she's really here.
The entire journey was filled with small rants and her fists flexing against the steering wheel as she tried to decide what to say. There were many things. Like, hundreds, but now she's here, actually about to say them, they all seem to have disappeared from her mind. Even if she's been waiting for a moment like this for years, and has been saving up all the memories of her and Heather together, and remembered the times that her heart was aching because of Heather just for this moment. Yet, now that it's actually here... She has nothing.
She thinks she's been thinking so damn hard that her mind's gone into overload and burnt out, kind of like a computer does when too much happens at once. It's given out and so now she's just standing on Heather's stoop and staring up at the door with no idea as to what to do.
The sun is setting, leaving the sky to be a dull orange that'll soon twist into a dark blue, and she knows that if she's recognized right now, if someone freaking tweets that they saw 'Santana from Glee' standing outside someone's door, no doubt the paparazzi would be down here in a shot and have a fucking field day. Which leads her to the conclusion that if she's going to do this, she needs to do it pronto. Her body, her heart and her mind can't wait, and no doubt that couple that's walking past can't wait to tell someone they've seen 'that Latina actress' and so she really needs to hurry the hell up.
So, taking in a large, shaky breath and ridding the thoughts of random couples and the paparazzi, she reaches up to let a single finger hover over the door bell. Her eyes wander over the door of the panel as she encourages herself to proceed. To just press down and ring the damn bell because it's not like she hasn't been here before and rang this damn bell a thousand times; it's just that she's never rang the bell and had to spill her heart out to Heather after doing so.
At the last second, she backs out and kicks her feet out quickly, shaking her rambling thoughts as she substitutes the bell for three short raps on the center panel of the door with her knuckles. She does it a little harder than necessary, and if it wasn't for the rapid pace of her heartbeat, or the adrenaline coursing through her body, she'd probably be wincing at the sting in her hand.
But before she can really even think anymore about that, the door swings open and then Heather's standing there, eyes red and blood shot and a tissue clutched in her right hand as she crosses her arms over her chest. She's wearing baggy sweatpants, rolled a little at her hips and a baggy red t-shirt with Louisiana scribbled across the upper half.
And if she weren't panicking before, she certainly fucking is now.
Coming here was such a stupid fucking idea. Coming here to demand answers has definitely got to be one of the most idiotic things she's ever done – and Christ, she thought it would be a good idea to go on a TV show and freaking pole dance just so it could come back and bite her in the ass.
It's not a good idea—God it really isn't—because this isn't just Heather's house. It's fucking Heather and Taylor's and she's just come here without even considering the fact that Taylor could have opened the door and fuck, she really should have thought this through. Heather's even wearing Taylor's damn college t-shirt and it's just another reminder that Heather isn't hers. Heather isn't hers and never really has been because she wasn't the better choice. Taylor was and now Taylor has what she should have had. What she would have had if they were in a different world, a different life.
"Naya?" Heather sniffs, breaking the silence and Naya's thoughts. "What are you—what are you doing here?"
Naya snaps her head up, and the frozen cold panic seeps through her veins, making her legs burn with the urge to run back to her car and forget she ever came here in the first place. But then there's Heather staring at her with slightly swollen eyes and it occurs to Naya that Heather's already been crying, and that maybe she really shouldn't have come here because Heather's already upset and she doesn't fucking need Naya telling her all this shit she's been keeping back for the past few years. So Naya can't do that now. Not with Heather already upset.
That's what her mind tells her, anyway.
But apparently her heart has other ideas and before she knows it, the words just pour out.
"You chose the wrong person."
Heather's head jerks back a little in shock, then she squints like she can't quite believe what she heard and says, "What?"
Naya tugs her bottom lip between her teeth and chews nervously at the same time her feet move forward and the confidence surges through her. "It should have been me," she whispers, honestly, praying that the urge to vomit fades away pronto. "You should have chosen me."
Heather's eyes drown in sadness and confusion and she shakes her head, brows pulling together. Naya knows that looks, she knows the way Heather's face crumples before she's going to cry and reject Naya because it's happened so many damn times before. So many times that luckily, Naya can catch it before the words spill out.
"No," she interjects, stepping back in instinct when the blonde girl steps forward onto the stoop with her. "No, Heather," she continues, waving with her hand to stop Heather as she moves back onto the top step, her eyes shutting as she wills herself to say what she needs to. What she came here to and what she has to. "Just let me say this. I've been thinking this for a long time and I just need—I just need to get this out," she gets out the words quickly, stuttering over herself and trying to calm her nerves by pinching the skin between her eyebrows and massaging gently.
The thing is—
It's just that—
Fuck. Even though she knows she pretty much has to do this, she's not sure she can. At some point in her life, she's going to have to let go of things that can't be to move onto things that can be. She doesn't want Heather to be something that can never be hers, but that's just how everything's turned out. Never can it be doubted that fate laid a hand, because she knows, Heather knows, damn, fucking everyone knows that it was invisible forces and twisted events that brought them together. So many opportunities should have kept them apart, and though some of the things that happened were bad that brought them together, they still ended up in each others lives.
Although, Naya thinks that maybe even if it weren't for those events, they'd still have met, because sometimes two people are just supposed to meet. It happened to John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale in Serendipty, so why the hell shouldn't it happen to her?
Her mind tells her the answer: Serendipity was just a movie and shit like that doesn't happen in real life. Not to her, anyway.
Getting back to the point, she's not sure she can do it because of that. Never before has she ever had a conversation that could quite possibly ruin them; ruin their friendship, or relationship, or whatever the hell they had. And yet she's standing here, with only pain and hurt as her fuel, about to delve into a conversation that she knows has the potential to ruin fucking everything.
Then again, everything's pretty much ruined already, so she might not have anything to lose.
(Apart from the one thing she's ever been one hundred percent sure about.)
"I know what we had is over," she starts, the nerves creeping through her body and making her stomach churn. "I know it is and I know it was for the best," she winces and tries to ignore the way Heather shakes her head like she's disagreeing. That just hurts. More than she thought it would.
"I've come to accept that over time and I guess—" she pauses to suck in a deep breath through her nose and lets her eyes flutter shut; wondering whether these words are true or whether she's just trying to convince herself they are. "I guess that I understand why you chose Taylor," she says, eyes slowly opening just in time to catch the way Heather's mouth drops open to protest. Fear pulses through her and she shifts forward, fingernails biting into the skin of her wrist to try and quell some of it. "I get that you chose him because he was the easier choice. And as much as that sucks," the lower half of her face falters and lips quiver. She's not entirely sure she can get through this because even she doesn't believe herself and Heather knows her better than she knows herself.
"I know you're happier with him, Heather," Naya's voice is soft and understanding, but there's an underlying level of sadness that she sees reflect in blue eyes and her heart suddenly feels a hell of a lot heavier than it did a second ago. "I know you are... but you could have told me yourself." Heather stares at her and clamps her jaw shut. "You could have told me instead of me finding out through Twitter."
The anger burns inside of her and Heather gulps and looks down, clearly ashamed. Naya feels a bittersweet thread of satisfaction burn through her and tilts her head up a little as if she's showing the feeling. Heather's shoulders deflate in reaction and then guilt floods over the satisfaction until Naya wonders if there's some procedure to remove feelings; everything would be so fucking easy.
"I didn't deserve that," she says, her voice strengthening a little as her legs lead her backwards. It's almost like some weird type of sign to show Heather that she's giving up. That she's drifting away because she can't take it anymore. Not any of it; the waiting, the wondering, the feelings. She's just had enough.
"I didn't deserve all that hurt and humiliation that I felt because everyone knew before me," she waves her arm around to the space beside her as if gesturing to the world and Heather flinches. "Fucking everyone knew, Heather, and that just wasn't fair."
Tears prick at her eyelids, the heat creeping upon her cheeks as she swallows against an ever thickening throat. For endless days she's been spending her time thinking about this; about Heather and Taylor, about how fucking miserable she is and when the hell her life turned into this.
"And I just thought—"
"Naya..." Heather tries to cut in, her voice dipping and too-sad eyes begging her to stop.
But Naya holds strong and shakes her head, squeezing her eyes shut and scrunching her face like she's trying to block out the blonde girl's words. There have been too many times before where she's got that look and something inside of her has held back the words she's needed to say. Too many times and this just can't be one of them. All of the time they've known each other, she's had this little inkling that their friendship would come to a crux; would come to something final. Like this conversation.
Honestly, she thought it would take a little longer. Honestly, after their thing finished she thought she'd be feeling something different when she came to the finale of their relationship. Because instead of feeling like a rapidly wilting flower, where her heart sinks and everything bright and beautiful fades away, she feels anger. She feels anger and betrayal and disappointment because after all this fucking time—after all those slow, lazy kisses, lingering touches, heart felt conversations and all that time spent with Heather—she thought that after all that, Heather could respect her enough to tell her about her damn engagement. That's the least she deserved, and yet Heather couldn't even fucking give her that.
It's just not fucking fair.
"You could've told me," Naya sobs, her chest wracking and delving into infuriated tears. She swipes the small drops at the corner of her eyes with her sleeves and shakes her head again, stepping closer.
Heather doesn't move, just whimpers a little when she reaches out and Naya steps away again, pulling her hand back like it touched an open flame. But Naya doesn't want to feel that pull inside of her chest; that heart wrenching, throat clawing pull that makes her feel bad for hurting Heather like that. For reaction to her touch like that. But then there's that other pull, further north, inside her head which is screaming how ridiculous that is, because it's nothing in comparison to what Heather's done to her.
"After everything between us," Naya whispers as blue eyes sting with tears and memories. "After everything we've been through, I thought you could—" she swallows a shaky gasp and evens out her voice. "I thought you could at least give me that."
It's almost surprising to hear her own voice, because she can hear how tired and low it is. But it's not tired from lack of sleep, it's tired from heartache, and wishing that things could be different when they never will be.
Heather shifts, crossing her arms over her body and hugging herself as she stares at Naya, mouth popping open to speak but Naya knows she can't hear it. She can't hear an explanation, or an attempt at an explanation because realistically speaking there isn't one. Everything that happened has happened and nothing can be taken back, but that's not what hurts the most, Naya thinks. What hurts the most is that they're so close to each other right now, so damn close and yet it feels like there's miles between them because some things just don't work out the way you want them too, no matter how hard you wish or try.
And that's why Naya shakes her head when she realizes Heather's not even going to try. She's not even going to try and save them and that really fucking hurts. It hits her in the gut like a punch and a small, bitter laugh bubbles through her lips as the silence between them grows.
So, with disappointment, pain, irritation and heartache surging through her, Naya turns away and leaves, feeling blue eyes burn into her back as she climbs in her car and peels away from the curb; tears streaming down her face and the space between the left side of her ribs aching impossibly so.