With a steady finger, she traces the rim of her coffee mug, slowly and thoughtfully.
She hears something soft in the back of her mind. It's calling to her. Calling. Calling.
She stops tracing her cup.
That voice; someone's singing to her. Teasing her? They're trying to get her attention, maybe.
"You're coffee is getting cold."
"No it's not," she responds offhandedly; it's an immediate answer. Her coffee is still hot. She knows this because of the steam, the heat of the moisture rising from her cup.
"I'm just trying to get your attention," Quinn sighs, the corners of her lips twitching upward as she takes a sip of her tea.
Brittany blinks. "You have my attention."
Quinn shakes her head; she knows when she's being ignored. "I've been sitting here calling your name for five minutes now."
A tired shrug bounces off Brittany's shoulders. "I wasn't ignoring you," she insists, continuing to trace the rim of her cup; around and around we go. "I thought it was something else speaking to me."
Quinn considers this. "Should I be worried?"
"No," Brittany answers, cracking a smile at the table. "I'm fine."
Quinn still thinks she should be worried. She studies her best friend carefully. "You met someone," she guesses, her eyes widening at the smirk on pink lips.
Brittany giggles to herself, but it's one of those you couldn't be more off giggles. "I did meet someone," she confesses, "But then I lost them."
Quinn's shoulders deflate. Brittany has an knack for losing things, but this kind of thing is a different kind of thing.
Brittany's one of those people.
(She's one of those people who believe everyone is born at a certain point and time in space where the stars and planets align perfectly in the atmosphere, where unicorns and angels make a pact that each and every person on this earth have someone just for them, where anything is possible as long as you ignore all the bad shit in the world and only pay attention to the good shit, because the good shit is what's important.
It's the good shit that's going to get you places in life, because if you spend all of your time thinking about the bad shit, you'll just end up alone and sad and depressed. But, if you pay attention and believe in all the good shit that people swear is a myth, like unicorns and love and fairytales, then you'll end up just like Brittany, who's alone, sure, but she still believes in the good shit, and that's what keeps her going.)
Brittany blows on her coffee and stares at it. "Quinn," she begins, leaning forward on her elbow. "I'm twenty-eight years old." She turned twenty-eight about five months ago, but today, for some reason, it's really starting to kick in.
(She's one of those people who believe in romance and serendipity and love at first sight and fate and hope and soul mates and all that fancy, good shit. Sure, she's probably wasting her time, but as long as you have the good shit, nothing can go wrong. At least, that's what she thinks.)
Quinn nods in confusion. "I know," she responds softly, her eyes dipping in concern. "So am I."
"But you're married and you have kids. So it's different," Brittany sighs, lowering her head the more and more depressed she feels. "I'm running out of time. My eggs and uterus are going to dry up into nothingness soon."
"There's always adoption." She's only half-joking.
Brittany stares forward in contemplation. "That takes too long. And I want a spouse and my own little baby."
"Then take my advice," Quinn begins, sitting up straight in her seat. She licks her lips and re-stacks the sugar packets on the table.
Brittany continues to stare and wait, because surely this advice ought to be compelling if it's coming from none other than Quinn Fabray.
Quinn takes another moment to bite the inside of her cheek and flip her blonde hair to the side. Her hair just flips back in front of her eyes anyway, like a boomerang, so she blows it out of her face with pursed lips. Her hair flies up in the air before floating back into her hazel eyes and-
"Quinn," Brittany calls, knitting her eyebrows. "Advice."
"Oh, right," Quinn laughs to herself and tucks the unruly strand of hair behind her ear. "Look at that door." She points to the entrance of the coffee shop where tired people shuffle in and out every now and then.
"I'm looking," Brittany says, waiting patiently.
"Your soulmate isn't going to walk through those doors, get down on one knee and ask for your hand in marriage."
"Duh..." Brittany waves this off with a giggle. "Because that's ridiculous."
"Ridiculous?" Quinn leans forward, pursing her lips challengingly. "Your soulmate isn't going to walk in here with a cute puppy, drop a unicorn keychain in front of you while whistling Oops I Did It Again either-"
"Maybe not today."
"Maybe not ever," Quinn adds. "Sam and I sure didn't meet like that."
"I'm not like you and Sam. And soul mates exist, I know it." Brittany sips on her coffee thoughtfully. "My soulmate is going to find me."
"Why can't you go out and find them?"
Squeezing the bridge of her nose, Brittany shakes her head and says, "Because that's not how it works."
"Please," Quinn scoffs, resting her chin in the palm of her hand. "Tell me how it works."
Brittany cocks her head to the side. "Love, it's..." she trails off with a wistful smile. "It's...you can't force it or it'll end up all wrong."
"Like," Quinn presses her lips together. "In what way?"
"A bunch of ways. There's too many to name," Brittany exasperates, ripping open a sugar packet and pouring it into her lukewarm cup. "Soul mates can't meet off of eHarmony or dates set up by their friends. They meet by chance. And that's what makes it romantic."
Quinn narrows her eyes skeptically, yet she doesn't say anything. If Brittany wants to wait around her whole life for something that doesn't exist, what is she suppose to say?
But on the other hand...
Quinn sighs; Brittany's her best friend. And no matter how much she should let her handle her own shit, she can't. She just can't.
"So, you don't like dates set up by your friends?" Quinn asks, just to make sure.
Brittany nods. "That's right."
"What if it's set up by your best friend?"
Quinn hums under her breath, tapping her fingers on the table. "What if I said I know this drop dead gorgeous woman who works on the same floor as me?"
Brittany smirks knowingly and shrugs a shoulder. "Then I'd say you have a pretty nice view."
"I do," Quinn agrees. "And you could too."
"Unless this woman walks in at this very moment and trips into my lap, she's off limits."
"Oh, you'd like that, wouldn't you?" Quinn teases, twirling a strand of hair around her finger. "If she were to fall into your lap and dance around a little bit. All nice and slow-like."
Brittany thinks she's just entered the twilight zone. "Shut up, Q."
Quinn smiles. "You know," she begins thoughtfully, eyeing the customers on line waiting for their order. "The more I consider it, the more I think you two would look great together."
Brittany shakes her head and rips open another sugar packet before adding it to her cup; she's not going to crack under the pressure.
"Her name's Santana."
"We worked on a case together last year."
"She's really witty when it comes to the courtroom," Quinn recalls with a smirk. "Other than that, she's pretty shy."
"Sometimes, when we all go out for lunch, she tags along. But she's usually always quiet and keeps to herself," Quinn tells her, folding her hands on top of the table. "It's kinda cute in a mysterious way."
"Quinn," Brittany huffs, pushing away from the table and grabbing her bag. "She sounds awesome, really. Like, the most awesome person ever-"
"She's smart, too."
"Then maybe you should date her," Brittany suggests, quickly standing up from her seat.
"I have a picture of her," Quinn calls after the blonde, grabbing her stuff as well and following Brittany out of the coffee shop.
Brittany stops short, Quinn almost bumping into her. She turns on her friend with a quirked eyebrow. "What are you, a stalker now?"
Quinn shrugs. "We're friends on Facebook."
Brittany rolls her eyes and keeps walking. "I know that look in your eyes, Quinn. And my answer is no."
"Don't play dumb. That's my job," Brittany says, adjusting her bag on her other shoulder. "If the universe wants me to meet this Santana person, then we'll meet. End of discussion."
Quinn raises an eyebrow and falls back a step. Street walkers continue to push their way past her, but Quinn comes to a slow stop and considers her friend's retreating form.
"Well then, I guess my new name is universe."
"Hello?" Brittany answers her phone, expecting it to be her very needy boss.
"Um, is this Brittany?"
Except, it's not her boss.
Brittany arches a brow, balancing a bag of clothing in her hand and her boss' coffee order in the other while holding her cellphone between her ear and shoulder.
"Who wants to know?" She thinks it's a valid response. It could be the CIA calling her for all she knows.
"Quinn gave me this number," the woman on the other line rushes to say, her raspy voice a little shaky. "We work together?"
Brittany leans her weight to the left as she pauses in the lobby of her building. "You don't seem so sure," she teases, taking a sip of her boss' drink and forgetting it's her boss' drink in the process.
The woman laughs; it sounds like a musical about charcoal. (That's how Brittany would describe it, at least.)
"I'm not actually," she says with a nervous chuckle. There's a short pause, some shuffling in the background, and then, "Look, I never do the blind date thing. Like, ever. But Quinn showed me a picture of you, and I have to say, I totally do the blonde date thing."
Brittany's eyebrows meet her hairline. She smiles in amusement at the woman's cheesiness as she continues to walk, almost forgetting she's suppose to be at work right about now. Her boss is going to kill her. Especially since she just drank most of her latte.
"I'm sorry, who is this again?" Brittany asks in a high-pitched tone, entering an elevator and watching as the silver doors close.
"Santana," the woman says, clearing her throat awkwardly. "Quinn didn't tell you about me?"
Brittany knits her eyebrows together in confusion until it hits her like a ton of bricks. And not the plushy soft kind her sister's children play with when she babysits them.
"Santana," she repeats in a monotone, watching blankly as the numbers in the elevator go up. "Oh..."
She didn't mean to sound so bored and uninterested, but she totally recalls telling Quinn to drop the Santana thing about a week ago. It seems Quinn didn't drop it. Instead, she lifted it. Right on top of Brittany's head. Then dropped it.
"I'm going to kill Quinn," she hears muttered into the phone, along with some other unintelligible expletives about what Santana wants to do to Quinn.
(And no, they're not sexual.)
"Violence is not the answer," Brittany says as she steps out of the elevator. All she receives is silence in response, and she wonders if Santana is still there until she hears the woman breathing through the line. "Anyway, I do know who you are. Kinda. Quinn said you're cute in a mysterious way. That's about all I know."
There's more silence.
Again, all Brittany can hear is some mouth breathing coming from the speaker. Seriously, is this woman Darth Vader or something?
Momentarily forgetting she's on the phone, Brittany winks in Kurt's direction as she passes the reception desk and heads toward her boss' office.
"So, yeah," Santana mumbles eventually; Brittany almost forgot she was on the phone. "About that date I'm totally not desperate for..."
"That was a joke. I wasn't being sarcastic," Santana blurts out, trying not to sound too hopeless, and Brittany snorts into her hand once she drops the bag of clothing on her boss' couch. "So, dinner and a movie? Friday?"
Brittany pouts; this woman sounds so hopeful. The last thing she wants to do is shoot her down for no particular reason. But this set up goes against everything she's ever believed about fate and soul mates.
If Santana doesn't kill her first, Quinn is so dead.
"I think I'm gonna have to get back to you," Brittany mumbles unsurely, biting her thumbnail and wincing in the process. Her blue eyes bounce around her boss' empty office for a worthy excuse. "It's just...work and everything. I never know what time I get off. I mean, my schedule is crazy. And my boss thinks I'm a robot, so-"
"I heard that."
Rachel enters her office and grabs her coffee cup from off the desk. She stares at the Styrofoam cup; it's oddly light for a full cup of coffee.
"Whoops! Speak of the devil," Brittany feigns surprised, averting her eyes when Rachel takes a sip of her coffee and comes up empty. "I gotta go, but I'll definitely get back to you later."
"Okay, that's cool," Santana says, her voice a little higher than before as she tries not to sound too defeated. Brittany frowns at the sad tone and hopes it's not her who caused it, which more than likely it probably is. "It was nice talking to you, Brittany."
"Likewise," Brittany says easily, still ignoring Rachel's annoyed looks from the corner of her eye. "Bye."
She hangs up before she hears a response, knowing the longer she stays on the phone, the more irritated Rachel becomes.
Standing up from the couch and holding the bag of clothes out to Rachel, Brittany smiles and says, "Morning, boss lady."
"Sometimes, I pick up my cat and pretend he's Simba from The Lion King."
"Do you sing the song?"
Brittany rakes her teeth over her bottom lip. "What song?"
"Nants ingonyama bagithi baba," Kurt sings offhandedly, placing a piece of paper under the copy machine.
Brittany squints her eyes in confusion as she messes with a stapler. "I don't know what you're talking about, Kurt."
"Welcome to my world."
Brittany sighs, loud and forlorn. She leans against the wall, looks up at the ceiling and crosses her arms. "Do you think I'm wasting my time believing in fate?"
Kurt gasps, grabbing a stack of papers and walking out of the copy room. "Of course not."
"Quinn thinks I am," Brittany informs him, following Kurt past the offices and back to his desk.
"I'm pretty sure something crawled up Quinn's ass a long time ago and died there."
Brittany thinks about this for a moment. "That's gross," she deadpans, leaning over Kurt's desk with a pout. "Quinn's trying to set me up on a date."
"Oh, I think that's wonderful," Kurt admits, sitting daintily in his swivel chair. "Maybe it'll get you away from that cat of yours."
"There's nothing wrong with Lord Tubbington."
"I didn't say there was something wrong with him. You on the other hand..." He trails off, buffing his nails against his jacket. Brittany sends him a look; Kurt fabulously ignores it. "All I'm saying is one date wouldn't hurt."
"But, but..." Brittany tries to reason, but comes up with no reasons. "What about serendipity and fate?"
Kurt looks at his laptop screen in thought, watching Brittany from the corner of his eye as she chews on the edges of her hair. That's definitely going to cause split ends.
"Well," he begins, crossing his legs and looking up at the blonde. "Look on the bright side. Maybe it's fate that this woman works with Quinn. If Quinn didn't know her, then the two of you could never meet in the first place."
"Quinn's known her for over a year," Brittany points out, sitting on the edge of Kurt's desk. "They've worked together on cases and stuff. Basically, she's just some random woman Quinn's setting me up with. No one special."
"I think we're all special in our own way."
"Like Lord Tubbington," Brittany nods in agreement.
"Actually," Kurt murmurs, narrowing his eyes on his colleague. "I was thinking more along the lines of humans."
"It's not cool to leave species out, Kurt. That's hurtful."
Kurt shuts his laptop to give Brittany his full attention because he's pretty sure he just lost whatever topic they're on now. "So, are you going on this date or not?"
Brittany sucks in her lips and thinks. The woman did seem really nice over the phone; albeit a little bit nervous and boring, and definitely not soulmate worthy, but Brittany's twenty-eight for fuck's sake; if she doesn't get married soon, she's a total loser and her mom and older sister will never let her live it down.
"Yeah," Brittany sighs, shrugging a careless shoulder. "I guess I'm going on the damn date."
She goes on the damn date, but not before punching Quinn in the boob for putting her in this position in the first place.
To start things off, her date is late to dinner, which, to Brittany, is already strike one. Her soulmate would have definitely been on time.
The restaurant Santana picked out for their date isn't one Brittany would've chosen herself. She understands Santana's just trying to impress her, but as she looks down at the menu, all she can do is squint her eyes in confusion, because she's never learned French. Or any other languages for that matter.
"Hi..." A low, raspy voice startles her from behind. "You must be Brittany."
Brittany turns her head and stands up to greet her date, but as she's getting out of her seat, she almost falls right back down, because damn, Quinn said this woman was drop dead gorgeous, but she never said how drop dead.
"That's me," Brittany says once she's standing up straight. "And you must be Santana."
Santana nods awkwardly, shifting her eyes back and forth from Brittany's body to her face. Brittany has to admit, Santana's anxiety over this date is maybe a little adorable. Chuckling nervously, Santana tugs her dress down. "You look nice," she says sweetly, gesturing to Brittany's outfit.
"Thanks." Brittany smiles, flattered. "And you're totally wearing that dress like a model."
(To be honest, it looks like her gay male best friend dressed her for this occasion going by the amount of cleavage popping out, but not everyone works for a fashion company like she does, so Brittany can't really judge.)
Offering the beautiful woman a smile to calm her down, Brittany goes in for a hug, but the whole movement just makes things even more awkward when Santana thrusts her hand forward at the same time and ends up karate chopping Brittany in the stomach.
Santana utters an apology, her whole face blushing red, if that's even possible with her skin tone. Brittany waves it off with a smile as they take their seats across from each other.
If Brittany thought their greeting was awkward, then the rest of the date is just plain uncomfortable. Santana isn't a pervert or a social outcast or anything, but everything after the karate chop seems to go wrong, from awkward silences to bad jokes to confusing sarcasm to spilled drinks.
And it's such a shame too, because Brittany can tell the woman's trying really hard to impress and charm her. Maybe even too hard at times.
Since Brittany can't read the menu, which she easily admits to, Santana takes it upon herself to order for them both. When the food arrives, it smells amazing, but maybe Brittany should have mentioned she's allergic to paprika, because after her first bite, she can't breathe correctly for the rest of the night and opts out of going to the movie part of the date in favor of seeing a doctor instead.
When they say their goodbyes in the parking lot, Brittany's expecting a goodnight kiss, because if this woman was her soulmate, she'd totally just plant one on her without a second thought.
Brittany's always loved kissing anyway, so she totally wouldn't mind a nice kiss at the end of a date, but instead, Santana kind of just nervously hovers in front of her with a lopsided smile, her eyes shifting around the parking lot at everything but Brittany.
Brittany would probably think her breath wreaks or something, but that's impossible, because she barely ate anything in the first place.
Right when she gets her hopes up and it looks like Santana's leaning in for that kiss she's been waiting for, the woman trips over a pebble on the ground, barrels into Brittany's shoulder, and almost sends them both to their doom.
If it wasn't for Brittany's strength and equally good balance, they'd both be heading to the emergency room by now, but luckily, Brittany catches Santana at the last minute and steadies her before giving the woman a light peck on the cheek. Brittany smiles at the way her date's face heats up, finding it a bit endearing, but overall, she hopes this night can just be over now.
But that would just be too easy.
"I had a really great time tonight," Santana tells her, tugging her dress down again; it seems to be a nervous habit. Either that, or she's just not used to wearing dresses; she's probably more of a dress pants or leggings type of gal. "Maybe we can do this again sometime?"
Brittany has to clench her jaw tight in order to keep in a sigh of exasperation, because was she the only one who noticed how disastrous this date was? She has a wet lap from spilled wine and a sore throat from her allergic reaction as proof.
(Sure, this hasn't exactly been the worse date of her life; she's dated a lot of douches in the past who made her pay at the end of the night.)
Although Santana's not very smooth, her jokes are trivial and hard to understand, and she's clumsier than a toddler learning how to take their first steps, she's really sweet, has a beautiful smile, good intentions, and is absolutely drop dead gorgeous. The only problem is that she's not Brittany's soulmate, and that just won't do.
"Tonight was...interesting," Brittany settles on, smiling hesitantly at the hopeful glow in Santana's brown eyes. She's never exactly been good at letting people down, choosing to be blunt and just get it over with, but Brittany can't stand to see this woman sad for some reason, so instead of telling the truth and saying this date sucked, she says, "You're really sweet, Santana, and funny when I can understand what you're talking about..."
(Let's land this plane nice and easy. Nice and easy.)
"But I don't think we should do this again," Brittany concludes gently, toeing the ground as if she's squishing a bug. "I'd totally love it if we could be friends though."
The look on Santana's face is nothing what Brittany expects to see. Instead of anger or sadness or confusion, Santana just nods in understanding with a small smile before saying, "Friends sounds nice."
Brittany would be lying if she said she wasn't taken aback by this response, but she lets it go in favor of hugging Santana, and surprisingly, the hug is actually a success; no snagging of fabric, karate chopping or tripping this time.
They bid each other fair well after the hug and go their separate ways. When Brittany sits behind her steering wheel, she lets out a sigh of relief and whispers, "Thank god that's over."
"Was it that bad?" Quinn asks in disbelief, scratching the side of her shaggy hair as they jog through the park.
"She was fifteen minutes late, punched me in the stomach, spilled wine on my dress, fed me paprika, and tried to tackle me to the ground in the parking lot," Brittany huffs out all in one breath, slowing down to stretch on a wooden bench. "Yeah, I'd say it was pretty bad."
"She was probably just nervous," Quinn plops tiredly against the park bench and takes a swig of her water. "You can be pretty intimidating, B."
"Intimidating?" Pulling out her earphones, Brittany puts her iPod on pause and gives Quinn an incredulous look. "I'm the nicest person alive. Just ask Kurt."
Quinn rolls her eyes, leaning forward to stretch out her hamstring. "I know you, B, and you were probably looking for all the negatives the moment the date started."
"That's so not true," Brittany insists, snatching the water bottle out of Quinn's hand. "I noticed a bunch of nice stuff about Santana."
"She has a very nice smile. Her hair is incredibly shiny," Brittany lists off her fingers, her hip cocked to the side haughtily. "And her eyelashes are super duper long."
"Britt," Quinn huffs, leaning her elbows on her thighs and peering up at her naïve friend. "Not just physical appearances. I meant more along the lines of personality or what she likes to do. Actually, I happen to know Santana's really funny."
"I couldn't understand her jokes," Brittany admits, wiping a film of sweat off her forehead with her forearm. "All I know is that she seems really bitter about her grandma. Most of the jokes were focused on her."
"Well," Quinn sighs, shrugging her shoulders, because what is she suppose to say to that? "Is that all you guys talked about last night? Her grandma?"
Brittany takes a seat next to Quinn and leans against the armrest. "She mentioned some law stuff I didn't quite get," she mentions offhandedly, scrolling through the workout playlist on her iPod. "Oh, and her favorite singer is some dude named Eddie James or something."
"Yeah, that's it," Brittany nods in remembrance, blatantly ignoring Quinn's eye roll. "See, this just proves we're not meant for each other. Santana was really sweet and everything, but she met none of my soulmate requirements. The universe just wasn't in our fav-"
Brittany's words get caught off and she freezes when the sound of whistling catches her attention. Quinn gives her a weird look and asks her something, but Brittany shuts her out and stands up, her eyes darting around the small park suspiciously.
It's still early in the morning; there aren't many people out here other than some runners and folks walking their dogs, so when Brittany really concentrates and hears the clear sound of someone whistling her favorite Britney Spears tune, she stops everything she's doing in favor of finding this person who's pulling on her heartstrings.
After another moment of searching and ignoring Quinn as the shorter blonde tries to get her attention, Brittany finally discovers where the whistling is coming from. The sound gets louder and louder as the person singing through pursed lips approaches. To Brittany, it sounds like a beautiful bird serenading her on a Sunday morning, but when Brittany's blue eyes meet brown, all she can do is stop and stare.
The woman she just saw not even eight hours ago continues to whistle as she walks past their bench, her attention more on the cute little Beagle tugging on the end of her leash than her surroundings. And if that doesn't throw Brittany for a loop and have her questioning the universe's motives, the unicorn dog-tag hooked around the puppy's collar sure does.
Standing next to Brittany, Quinn looks after the brunette as she continues to whistle obliviously. "Was that..." she trails off unsurely, pointing a finger down the path.
"Santana," Brittany whispers under her breath, staring after the woman and even taking a few slow steps in the direction she just went.
"The universe has spoken," Quinn mutters, slapping Brittany hard on the shoulder to snap her friend out of the daze she's in, but it doesn't work.
Her blue eyes continue to follow after Santana until she's out of sight, a lopsided smile forming on her pink lips.
Should I write more?