" Alright everyone take five!" The dance instructor shouted above the sound of panting dancers and loud music. " Don't forget to drink a lot of water and stretch out before our next go."
With her hands on her hips Brittany walked in a few small circles trying to return to a resting heart rate. The piece hadn't been too difficult , but she found herself a little extra winded today. She sat by her bag next to the window where the warm summer sun of Venus Beach shone through the window.
California was everything she had hoped it would be and more. She rented a small room from a nice elderly couple who lived just a few blocks away from the strip where a cute little dance studio sat with a perfect view of the ocean. People walking by would peer at the dancers in the window and clap for anyone who did well. It was everything Brittany had ever dreamed about and more , but still something was missing.
Brittany folded her legs and pulled out a water bottle taking several large gulps and whipping the sweat from her brow.
" That looks pretty painful."
Brittany looked up at her dance instructor who had taken a seat next to her. She looked down and saw the top of her scar was exposed. She quickly pulled up her shirt and gave a small shrug.
" I had a heart transplant about a year ago,but I'm fine now."
She had learned her lesson about hiding the truth. The tall handsome man smiled, but didn't make any sort of comment about her ability to perform.
"Well I'm glad you're okay. I came over her though to ask you about your experience. The way you move is -" He looked as though he were at a loss for words. " You're so graceful and able to communicate such feeling through every movement. I was wondering where you learned to dance like that."
Brittany blushed and looked away. She had always just danced her feelings, but no one ever told her that they could tell by her dancing.
" I'm not sure. I've always wanted to dance growing up. I took a few beginner level classes here and there , but as I grew older I had to stop because my heart wasn't strong enough. "
" That must have been very hard, but someone who dances like you must have known love at some point. I can see the hurt in the way you move. Did you just break up with someone?"
Brittany gave a sad smile. No matter where she went it seemed as though she would never be able to truly move on.
" It's a really long story. I don't think you want to hear the whole thing."
The dance teacher laughed and shook his head.
" We have more then enough time."
He stretched out his legs and waited patiently for Brittany to begin.
" Well, it all started a few months ago. I was at the Zoo with my best friend and..."
Sue pulled on her coat and walked into the dinning area where Angelo , Marty, and Will all sat silently. Since Brittany had left the life had seemed to drain from the small corner restaurant. They all missed her, even Sue, and the challenges Brittany had faced made them all appreciate things just a little more.
" Who's walking me home" Sue asked in her usual surly tone. Marty,but Will put his hand on his old friends shoulder.
"I'll take her." He said softly. Sue was more then a little surprised. She could hardly get William to give her the time of day let alone offer to walk her home. The elderly man stood and ushered her out the front door.
The night air was warm on her old bones. She wondered if she should just tell her old friend how she really felt. Brittany had kept a secrete and lost the best thing to happen to any of them. She took a good look at Will's sad expression and decided tonight wasn't the night.
The quiet street was disrupted by the sound of a mustang rumbling toward the restaurant.
" Hey isn't that Santana's car?"
" Yes, Back inside! Go!" Sue said shooing her date back into O'Riley's.
"What are you both doing back? " Angelo asked looking puzzled.
"Santana's out side. Quick act natural." Will hissed.
The old men started bickering about who was better 'Frank Sinatra or Bing Crosby ' the moment Santana opened the door.
The young women approached quietly with deep bags under her eyes from crying herself to sleep each night.
" She isn't here. " Marty said quickly. " She left for California about a week ago. I'm not sure she'll be coming back."
Sue watched as the young women swallowed hard and looked down at her hands.
"Oh. I see. "
The room was quiet for a long moment before Santana spoke up again.
" The dedication of Sidney's enclosure is next week and it means so much to me—to Mackenzie. We worked our whole lives for this and I know where ever she is that she's going to be proud that I completed her work. I miss Mackenzie. I'm always going to miss her. She was my first love and there wont ever be anyone else like her, but I can't live with out Brittany. I ache for her."
Santana took a moment to compose herself.
" I don't know if I can-if she can-..."
" She can." Sue reassured Santana that they would find a way around this hurt that had drove them so far apart. Santana looked at the old women and offered a soft knowing smile.
" Let me tell you somethin' dear. "Brittany's grandfather began. " I know it's goin' to take you sometime to figure this whole mess out, but I want you to know that ever since Brittany got sick I prayed for the lord to bless us with a heart for her. I knew deep down that whoever it came from had to be an offley special person if it were going to feel at home inside Brittany. I believe that when she met you it was the first time her heart truly began to beat. Maybe it was always yours from the start , but I can tell you that there wont be another person who can care for that heart the way that Brittany can and if you let her, she can care for yours too."
No one spoke after those words,there was nothing else to say. Santana simply nodded and took a seat at the table and nodded when Angelo offered her a drink. Sue couldn't imagine the strength it took for Santana to show up that night. It was the kind of love she dreamed of having , but had never found.
Brittany /May 2012
"Wow. That is quite a story." the dance instructor whispered with aw.
" Do you still love her?"
Brittany looked down at the floor unsure of how to answer
" Everyday. This heart belongs to her , I'm just keeping it safe" She said softly glancing up at the other students who had gathered around to hear her story. Brittany's cheeks turned pink.
" I think that's a beautiful story and I hope it finds a happy ending."
Brittany scoffed at her teachers foolishness. Santana was half way across the country focused on bringing her wife's dream to life and Brittany was in California they weren't living in some fantasy world.
" Thanks I hope so too." She said packing her things into her dance bag.
" That's all for today guys, we'll pick up where we left off tomorrow."
Brittany stepped out onto the beach. It was hot out and she was all sweaty from giving her all during class. She walked down the boardwalk perusing all the different shops until she spotted a small ice cream stand that sounded delicious. Patiently she stood waiting in line as the other costumers got their order. Finally it was Brittany's turn.
" Hi, I'd like two scoops of Strawberry and Vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce on top please." She said with her usual big bright smile.
" That'll be $2.50 please."
Brittany rummaged through her bag trying to find her wallet underneath all her dance gear.
"Here, I've got it." Came a familiar voice from behind.
Brittany looked up to see a tan arm stretched out to hand the vendor the money. Brittany's heart raced faster than when she had danced her hardest. She whipped around to see a pair of dark sunglasses and a cocky smile.
" Hey beautiful."
" S-Santana! What are you doing here? You came all the way to California?" Brittany stammered stepping out of the line hardly able to believe what she was seeing.
She half wondered if the heat was getting to her or if she had suddenly died of a stroke. Santana nodded and pulled her into a tight hug.
" I came all the way to California." she echoed. " Quinn told me where to find you."
" But why? The dedication is in a week!" Brittany couldn't think straight , but Santana put a finger to her lips to silence her.
" I need you Brittany. I've always needed you."
Brittany couldn't hold herself back any longer as she pressed her lips to Santana's. Her heart hummed in her chest feeling happier and more alive then she could ever remember feeling.
Santana/One week later.
Santana stood at the podium looking down at all the smiling faces. This was the moment she had been working towards for several years.
" Good afternoon everyone and welcome. I'd like to start out the dedication by thanking those who have put so much of their own time and money into making this event today. A big thank you to my crew for putting up with me at my worst, I know I can be a bit of a demon, and I'd like to thank The World Wildlife Fund, Conservation International, and The Wildlife Conservation Society for their generous contributions over these last few years.
However, that is not why we've gathered here this afternoon. My late Wife Mackenzie was an amazing women. She dedicated her life to teaching Sidney sign language among so many other things, which lead to ground breaking discoveries with these beautiful creatures. More importantly, it was because of her passion that we stand outside the steps of this marvelous enclosed together today. Sadly she was taken from this world too soon and will never get to see her dream realized , but her legacy will live on here with Sidney, his children , and his children's children for the rest of the time to come.
Ladies and gentlemen without further ado, I'd like to dedicate this wonderful habitat in loving memory of Mackenzie Lopez; wonderful wife and caring activist."
The crowd of people stood and clapped as Sidney was released into his new home. Santana stifled a small tear and looked out into the crowd to see Brittany clapping proudly for her. Her girlfriend made a small heart with her hands and Santana blew her a kiss.
Epilogue: One year later.
The crowed inside O'Riley's murmured and gossiped loudly.
" Okay okay everyone get ready the newly weds are coming." Angelo shouted above the noise.
The front door opened and the room clapped and cheered as Will and Sue walked through the door in their Sunday best.
Brittany giggled and put her head on Santana's shoulder as the darker women held her from behind.
"They look so happy" She said with a giddy smile.
" Yea they do." Santana agreed giving Brittany a small squeeze.
Quinn waved from across the room and nudged her way through the sea of people to greet her favorite couple.
"Hey B, do you think you and Santana could come over and watch the boys next week. Noah and I need to get out of the house."
" Sure we'd love to." Brittany said unable to shake her happy grin. She always loved weddings. Santana kissed Brittany's cheek.
" How's the flower shop going?"
" Really good. I take care of things when Britt's at dance class or sometimes I just close early so I can go watch."
Quinn rolled her eyes.
" You two are so cute it's disgusting. Like , I might have just thrown up in my mouth a little bit. where is Noah with the champagne when you need him?"
Brittany giggled some more and just shrugged.
" What can I say, my heart belongs to her." She glanced up at Santana who just smiled back at her.
" Alright everyone it's time for the bride to throw the bouquet. All the unwed ladies would please gather round." Marty shouted to the room.
" Go B." Santana whispered into Brittany's ear with a small push.
She smiled and skipped off the join the group. Sue tossed the flowers into the air, but since Brittany was taller then most of the other girls she snatched them without a problem. The room clapped and cheered for her as Santana made her way over to Brittany.
" Well it's about time." Brittany heard Quinn say.
Santana grabbed the blond by the waist and dipped her down into a deep kiss causing several whistles and many sighs.
" Alright, that's enough of that. You aren't married yet." Brittany's grandfather heckled.
" Aw leave them alone Marty. They're having fun." Angelo chided.
Brittany smiled like an idiot against Santana's soft lips.
" Care to dance Britt?" Santana asked softly coming out of the dip.
" I thought you'd never ask." She smiled scrunching her nose.
Santana took Brittany by the hand and lead her out onto the dance floor. The two girls stood holding each other tight, their hearts beating together another as one. Both finally happy to have returned home to one another.
*A/n- I'm sorry this chapter took so long, I just couldn't bare to bring it to an end. I hope you're all happy with it. I stuck close to the movie just like with all the other chapters. Thank you to all my readers. You've been so great. You've made me feel so special and loved. I will defiantly be writing another story like this sometime in the near future. I'm super proud of this fic and I hope to give you guys more good stories in the future. If there is a movie you'd like me to do please feel free to send me suggestions. I'd love to hear back from you.