Hope everyone who was celebrating had a wonderful holiday... Actually, we hope you had a fantastic December and 2013! It's crazy to think that it's almost over! Enjoy the last few days of the year and stay safe bringing in 2014!
Our apologies that the first attempt of posting this chapter was messed up!
There's another A/N at the bottom as well. Thanks! - R&J
I wake up in the morning to natural light shining through my half curtained window and there's unmistakable warmth lying beneath me.
Not as though I'm not fully aware of whom I'm laying on. I don't need to see her to know.
I can smell her. Brightly playful and subtle divine, with the perfect hint of sexy and everything that Brittany has always been.
I can hear her. The way her heart beats out a melody beneath where my palm rests on her chest; completely nonconforming to anything but Brittany's own desires in the same way that she herself has always marched.
I can taste her. She lingers there on the edge of my breath and the tip of my tongue, delightfully honey sweet and fresh watermelon, it is something that has never failed to enchant me.
I can feel her. Velvet soft and marble smooth. The little path that my fingertips glide across traces the freckles on her body that I don't need to see to know the map to.
There's always something distinctly Brittany that lingers in some little part of my brain at any given moment of the day.
The gentle sound and feel of Brittany breathing below me tempts me to succumb to sleep once again, but my mind is already awake and it's unlikely to rest at this point. So, I make the only logical decision I can in this moment and carefully lift my head from Brittany's chest.
After blinking my eyes open, it takes a few seconds for them to adjust to my surroundings.
But when I see her, my heart does its own gymnastics routine at the exquisiteness before me. Even if Brittany is free of make-up and her hair is tangled beyond repair, her striking beauty, in all its wonderful naked glory, is more breathtaking than ever.
She stirs and I hold my breath, if she opens those eyes, those gorgeous captivatingly blue eyes, I know I won't give a second thought to climbing out of bed. As much as I don't want to do that, I do have to go pee and I should probably start us some breakfast. Brittany airs out the sweetest sigh and her body relaxes back into slumber as she curls further into the covers of my bed, and for a second I can breathe again.
I wait a moment before I shift forward just enough to press my lips against her own as if I'm not even there, careful as ever to both be felt and go unnoticed. I linger in the kiss for a moment before pulling back the tiniest centimeter until our lips are only a breath away.
"I love you Brittany." I whisper before I manage to extract myself from the comforts of my bed and the warmth of her embrace. I'm quick and quiet as I pick up a few of my sleep clothes and pull them onto my body. I allow myself one more glance in the direction of the amazing woman that rests peacefully in my bed, a smile still etched across her lips, before I slip out of my room and tiptoe to the kitchen.
My first line of business after a quick detour to the bathroom is fixing Brittany her favorite breakfast. There are numerous reasons, my logic claims, why this may be an ill-advised decision, but there are many more reasons that my heart insists it is the correct, and only decision.
The movements I make occur almost completely on autopilot. I grab the mixing bowl from the cupboard, the whisk from the drawer, the measuring cups from their cubby in the corner of the kitchen. I'm thankful that I'd purchased groceries a few days ago for myself, and I can make Brittany a genuine omelet with the free-range eggs, milk, and cheese that is stocked in the fridge.
Opening the crisper, I grab out the bell peppers, tomatoes, an onion and ham. I always go all out for Brittany's omelets. She's always said she likes it when she gets different pops of flavor in her mouth at any given time.
The vegetables are diced quickly and placed into small dishes. The frying pan is set on the stove. Again my actions are automatic and precise, I hardly recognize the sound of the egg cracking, or the way the milk and eggs are whisked and beaten together or how they sizzle in the pan when I pour the mixture into it. The rest of the ingredients are added without a second thought.
I'm setting the first omelet on a plate when I feel a warm presence behind me, and seconds later Brittany's long slender arms encircle my waist. She peppers kisses across the skin exposed by my tank top until her lips run up the side of my neck. My body shivers in natural reaction, tingles erupting all over, as I take a deep breathe and do my best to keep my composure.
"Morning." She mumbles, her voice still thick with sleep.
I instinctively lean further into her embrace as she squeezes me tighter, "Good morning."
The omelet mixture continues to sizzle in the pan and I throw the rest of the ingredients into the glob like appearance, feeling the way Brittany's lips stretch into a smile where they're pressed into the skin of my neck.
"You're making omelets?" I nod and step back slightly as I get ready to flip the concoction in the pan. Brittany giggles delightedly as the omelet is flipped perfectly and lands still held together to cook on the other side for just a little while. Even as I slide that finished product onto another plate, move the pan off the burner, and turn the stovetop off, Brittany's arms are still wrapped around me.
I'm beginning to think that she might have fallen back asleep and is now simply using my body as leverage to hold her up. Until she releases a deep and content sigh, and her lips brush against my ear.
"You're amazing Santana."
The shivers are even more prevalent at her lowly husked words. I know she's still sleepy and tired and probably not at all trying to be provocative, but sometimes a sleepy, happy, recently sated Brittany is the most dangerous weapon.
I turn in her arms intent on making light of the whole situation, and expelling the nervousness that's resting in my gut at the impending conversation I know we're going to have, when Brittany's hand is sliding up the ledge of my jaw until she's tilting my chin up and fusing our lips together.
The kiss packs a bigger punch than that one time I let Lauren Zizes throw me around the lockers. It's a lot more rewarding than that time as well, and I'm helpless to resist it. The only thing that disturbs our blissful connection is the sound of one Kurt Hummel arguing with Rachel Berry over her using his moisturizer and not putting the lid back on properly.
Brittany's lips part from mine on instinct and I watch as that withdrawing look crosses her face, but I reach out and grab her, my hands gripping at her waist and my eyes staring unblinkingly into her eyes. I offer her a soft smile and a subtle shake of my head.
She needs to know that no matter what I don't regret what happened last night, and I'm not about to pretend that I don't want this, or force her to hide her feelings. I did that once, and I promised myself I'd never do it again.
I lean in and gently graze my lips against the corner of her mouth, inwardly elated at the way that same corner tugs up after the touch.
"Oh!" a soft exclaim is heard from the edge of the kitchen and after ensuring that Brittany knows my feelings about everything, I finally pull my eyes away from hers and glance towards a stunned looking Rachel.
Kurt walks past her seconds later, barely offering us a surprised glance, "Please Rachel, you can't tell me you didn't know this would happen. Especially after we both heard the noises that were coming from Santana's bedroom last night." He says very dryly and I'd frown at his delivery if my body wasn't warming at the context of his words.
Suddenly, no one is making eye contact, but then all too sudden again, I really don't care what anyone thinks.
"Don't be jealous that Brittany and I have been able to reconnect and find some happiness."
I don't have to see Brittany smile to know that she is.
"We're very happy for you both." Rachel says and Kurt nods his agreement.
"We just hope that you remember what you're getting into."
Without another word, both Kurt and Rachel exit the loft chatting away about the rehearsals they have to attend, and with one sentence and an unexpected bout of silence, reality comes crashing down on Brittany and I as we somehow pull apart and take a step back from each other.
I take a chance and glance towards her, she's nervous and uneasy biting her lip and wringing her hands in front of her, eyes downcast to the floor of the loft.
But no, I remind myself, this was never supposed to be a sad occasion. I reach out and gently take her hand squeezing it in reassurance. She smiles back at me.
"I guess we should probably have that talk." Brittany nods at my words, a silent and confirming agreement that this is all about to become that much more real.
"First," I start before things get too tense and border awkward, "let's sit down and enjoy breakfast?"
Brittany nods and I carry both of our plates to the table. Even though she eats it with less enthusiasm than normal, I still see her face crack into tiny smiles at different intervals of the omelet and she still offers me a warm look as she finishes. As she finishes, and I come to the realization that I've eaten just about as much as I can eat, she pushes her plate back and sits back crossing one leg over the other.
That's when I notice she's wearing my pajamas, the rainbow ones she gave me for Christmas our senior year. Brittany always looks amazing in anything, but seeing her in my clothes like that just brings up so many feelings. Her hand slides out and cups mine that rests on the table, she smiles warmly and kindly at me, just like she always has.
Patient and understanding. Considerate and non-demanding.
"You can start wherever you need Santana. I just want to understand what you were feeling before, what you're feeling now, and what you want so we can figure out where to go from here."
I take a shaky breath, Brittany's words lighting the fuse that ignites the emotions that have rested dormant in my heart since Brittany hasn't been around to evoke them.
The next thing I know, I'm telling her everything I can think of, "At first I was upset… You were my first girlfriend, Britt. You were the woman I learned all about love with. I never thought there'd be a time when we weren't together and still happy, and even though at times it hurt to be apart, I wouldn't regret those moments because you were my first girlfriend."
I can see the tears well up in Brittany's eyes as they begin to transpire in my own as well.
"Some people may call it unrealistic or improbable to fall in love with your high school sweetheart, but I did. And I know more than ever before that I will always want to be yours."
She lets out a tiny gurgled laugh, the sound partially choked by the emotions swelling in her own heart and soul and mind. She manages to speak coherently though as she asks, "Well you remember what we've always said Santana? Even back when we were kids and didn't really know any better?"
I'm smiling even as my head bobs up and down in agreement and there are silent tears running down my cheeks. Even now, those memories are still just as vivid as every other one I've ever shared with Brittany.
"Remember when we were little kids playing in your abuela's room?" Brittany then asks.
I nod because how could I ever forget that day, "Yeah and I told you to be careful because mi abuela se pondría muy triste si perdiéramos alguna de sus reliquias. (My abuela would be sad if we lost her stuff.)"
"And I giggled even though I knew it wasn't supposed to be funny because you've always sounded so amazing and adorable when you speak Spanish." Brittany adds, a present time giggle also escaping from her lips.
"Then I blushed because no one has ever been able to compliment me and get away with it quite like you Britt." I say with a laugh of my own, trying to starve off the very real blush that I feel painting my cheeks.
Brittany tilts her head and gazes at me through her long eyelashes, her eyes regarding me in wonder and amazement, just like they always have, and she smiles, "Do you remember what you did?"
The blush intensifies on my cheeks as I vividly recall that memory, "I picked up that diadem my abuela had in her jewelry box, the one that had been buried under her pearls and other jewelry and I turned back to you."
I watch as Brittany nods in encouragement for me to continue, squeezing my hand with the one she's holding on to it with before her other hand reaches over and covers our joined ones.
"I took your hand," I say, taking the time to squeeze her hand back as I glance down at it, "and I said, 'Britt, you're my best friend and the most special thing in the world to me so I want you to have this very special crown'."
"And then it was my turn to blush," Brittany responds, and my heart flips at the way her cheeks instantly pink, "and say 'Only princesses and unicorns get sparkly crowns'."
I lick my lips and lean towards Brittany, my heart thumping that rhythm that always matches hers, "then I pressed a kiss to your cheek," I whisper as I press my lips to the pink covering her left cheek, "and I said 'Good, because you are the most special princess unicorn I've ever met.' And I promised that one day I would make sure you had a crown even better than that one." I look into Brittany's eyes, the vivid memory of what I said next reflecting back in the same mesmerizing blue I fell in love with as an innocent 8-year-old girl. "Then I said that you would always be my princess…"
"And you would always love me…" Brittany adds as the flecks of gold lining each iris of her blue eyes shine so brightly I swear they'd outshine the jewels on any crown.
"…the most." I whisper so low that I'm not sure if Brittany could hear it. But a smile that makes her eyes crinkle, one that could light up an entire New York City block, spreads across her face. And I'm more thankful than ever that my words have somehow made her a fraction as happy as just seeing her smile makes me.
We sit in silence for a few minutes, basking in the happy memories. I remember how my abuela found Brittany, still wearing the crown, and I that day. How she pulled us aside and told us that we were the most beautiful princesses she'd ever seen.
I'm not sure where that all encompassing belief in the eventuality of 'us' went, or why I couldn't see the big picture while we were both dating other people, but I know for a fact I never want to lose that hope again.
"You know, I'm still waiting on that crown." Brittany lightly runs her fingertips across my forehead— her way of getting rid of my 'worry monster'— and then tilts my chin up to look into her eyes again.
I smile, reaching out to lace the fingers of her top hand with my free one, "And I have no intention of breaking my promise. Someday you'll get your crown Britt."
There are more seconds of silence that follow. I spend the time thinking more and more about my abuela's diadem and how I'd hoped to have it when she passed away. She was never able to see Brittany and I grow up and actually fall in love and end up together, but something about the way she always looked at us makes me think she always knew we would.
"So," Brittany speaks up, briefly interrupting my thoughts. I let my eyes trail a path from the freckles on her wrist to the ones that litter her nose before I gaze into her eyes, "What exactly are we going to do? How should be go about all of this? Where do we even start? You already know what I want Santana, but we need to be on the same page this time."
I nod, she's absolutely right. Whatever we decide to do this time around, I know my heart wants the same things as hers does, has to be done with us working towards the same end in both of our minds.
I take a deep breath, "If you think about it, it's sort of the same situation that broke us apart last time. I can't do anything to make us both completely happy, but I don't want to hurt anyone. Especially not you Brittany, I always promised you that I was done with that, and I want to stand by my words. It all comes back to you, me and anyone else out there that might try to vie for our attention."
"And one of those current people vying for your attention is Bevin."
I barely manage to conceal the slight wince that crosses my face, I know that Brittany and I have briefly touched on this, and I know Bevin and I have, but after what happened last night I kind of figured that anyone but Brittany was out of the picture for me.
"Bevin likes me, and she's a good person but Brittany, she's not-"
"Does she make you happy?" she interrupts before I can finish my sentence and I know she's testing everything. Making sure no stone goes unturned this time around. If we decide to try again but there's still the distance, then we know our options. There are no lingering looks that cause ridiculous, and idiotically coined 'energy exchanges' that might happen and derail our efforts.
I'm also determined to not lie about anything to Brittany. We both know the possible outcomes of our choices, we've been there before, and I want to make sure that we choose the one that's actually best for us. Thus considering all of our options.
Or all of my thoughts or feelings.
"She makes me feel something. Something that I haven't felt for a long time, but I know that no matter what she makes me feel right now, it doesn't compare to what you've always made me feel. She's not you and she's never going to be."
"She doesn't have to be me Santana, you don't need her to be me. What we had, what we have, is something that can't be replicated, but that doesn't mean you can't find something similar and just as wonderful."
"I know that last night we said we'd figure all of this out this morning, and I know that I was the one most hesitant about how it could potentially change so much, but now I know what I want Brittany, and you're telling me that you think I should date Bevin?"
"I'm saying that whether I want that or not, it's not right of me to tell you not to because right now I can't give either of us what we really want, and I don't think you can either." Brittany says, her hand falling to my bare thigh, she's got that longing look in her eyes again. "San, you know that last night means everything to me, to be that close to you again…it's the only thing I think about, that I dream about, on a daily basis. But you're the one who's been saying it's not fair to either of us, and I think you're right."
I nod chewing over Brittany's words. They're almost verbatim the words I've been saying since she showed back up in my life, only a day ago, and they still hold more truth than ever. As much as last night was amazing and perfect and everything I've been thinking and dreaming about since May, the fact remains that essentially it hasn't changed anything between us.
Because that same truth continues to make an appearance the truth that always seems to make the biggest difference to us, the distance between us. As I'm still here in New York and she's still in school in Cambridge.
It's time that we give each other a chance to enjoy what's in our lives right now, but I still need her to know that whatever happens next, she's still a part of me and always will be.
"I want to be with you Brittany, so much and so bad sometimes that it hurts, but hurting ourselves isn't a good solution. We've tried long distance and it hasn't exactly been the best option for us. I can't ask you to walk away from your dreams at MIT, because it's the most amazing thing to see you there doing something you enjoy, something you deserve to do, somewhere that you are recognized for the genius I've always known you are."
Brittany smiles at that and it's genuine, then she leans in to press her lips softly against my own and it makes my heart flutter around like a dule of doves flying away to freedom. But all too soon she is pulling back with a sad smile on her face.
"And you're not about to leave New York."
She's right. The only place I've ever felt this at home is in Brittany's arms.
"I love it here, it's just…me."
"I know. It's perfect for you, and I would never ask you to leave either. Which is why I'm saying that for now maybe it's best that we allow each other to let go for now, holding on is only holding us back, and if we ever want to be together in the future, there's a lot of things about us at present that we need to live through and discover."
"You know it's funny, Bevin said that severing ties doesn't mean that you forget, it means that you remember. You remember all the wonderful amazing things and you live those things and try to be happy, and sometime down the line you make new memories. Whether or not it's with that first person you hold so dear is up to you and your unclouded judgment…or something like that. She's better at explaining things."
"Do you believe her?"
"Yeah, I think she has a really good point." I say, and there's that lingering edge to the end of the sentence, Brittany immediately picks up on it.
I smile, forever thankful that we know each other so well, "But," I start, stepping sliding my chair closer to her until our legs are touching and she's a breath away, "I don't want what happened before to happen again. I don't want to tell you it's okay for us to be with other people, I know that's a part of life sometimes and at one point in my life I might have believed I could try to be happy with someone else, but I've tried that and it still doesn't hold a flame to the way I feel about you and how I feel when I'm with you."
She smiles knowingly at me and reaches forward to take my hands, "There's always been one thing for sure with us Santana, that even fate wouldn't be able to mess things up because in the end it all comes back to the fact that we were made for each other. We're two halves of a whole even if sometimes those halves have to find another way to be happy."
Sometimes her logic, though exceptionally optimistic at times, seems to make the most since. But sometimes, even then, I still have a particular thought process.
I've learned a lot of things through the years, especially in regards to Brittany. I know that once a long time ago I might have lived or died based on whether or not she smiled at me at any given time, I thought I couldn't live without her.
As the years progressed and we both took a larger look at the world around us, spent time apart, spent time with others, things developed. Not necessarily a change, because there will always be a part of me that's made for her, but we learned to live independently from each other. It's not my first choice but I know now that I can live without her.
Realistically my body would survive. But even then it'd be little more than a shell because no matter who else came in and tried to fill the void, nothing and no one can compare to the person I am when Brittany is by my side. I'm simply not me without her. So yeah I could survive in the sense of the word, I could muster up the strength to find some semblance of happiness, but the truth remains so very clear to me now.
"You're still the one that would make me happiest."
Brittany smiles in that way that tells me she understands more than just the words I've said. She always has been able to grasp the deeper meaning. She leans forward again and shifts our foreheads together, her breathing is even but strained as she closes her eyes and parts her lips.
"And you'll always be the one that I can be the happiest with. But if that day never comes we have to promise each other we'll at least try to find happiness elsewhere. At least for the sake of each other."
Even though she doesn't precisely voice it, there's certain finality to her words. Either a do or a don't, but no in between. Something about them makes my heart speed up in nervous hesitation, I'm not ready to make that decision but of course time is not on my side. I tilt back slightly to get a better look at her.
"Maybe we can have dinner again tonight and really talk out the details?" I ask with an uneven quality. Brittany nods, the smile never leaving her face, and leans in to peck my lips.
"We'll figure it out Santana."
I don't know why I don't register everything about that sentence when she utters it to me, but it probably has something to do with the fact that I'm so split about everything I have to tackle today that nothing registers until it's too late.
Brittany stands with me and waits until I get ready before walking me to the door where she gives me another peck on the lips and wishes me a great day at work, whispering again that she loves me before I take off towards the rest of my day.
I'm thankful that Bevin has the superb ability to detect when I just straight up really need to be left alone because the whole time at work she doesn't bother discussing anything. Maybe she can see it in my eyes, in my stance, or hear it in my tone of voice. Everything's Brittany and yet I don't utter her name once out loud.
My shift ends without excitement and I tell Bevin goodbye for the evening, she came in a few hours after me and will be there until close, and make my way back to the loft. I'm turning over more thoughts and feelings in my mind, trying to select the ones that will have the most meaning and impact when discussing them with Brittany, as I make it to the loft door. But then suddenly, something doesn't feel right.
In fact it all feels very wrong, as if something is distressing my gut and hollowing my heart.
Like something really important is missing.
As I step through the loft door, it becomes obvious what that something is.
She is definitely very much gone from the apartment.
I close my eyes and count to ten, hoping that she'll appear from my bedroom that carefree smile on her face, dressed in my pajamas and letting me know that it's really comfy in my bed, but it'd be comfier with me. But when I open my eyes, that same Brittanyless void remains.
My heart sinks. I thought we'd agreed to really solidify things a lot more.
I briefly consider that maybe she's had as much discussing as she can take and she simply wants to figure out where to go from here on her own.
With that singular dark thought clouding my mind, I drag my feet towards my bedroom. Only when my eyes fall to an envelop with my name accentuated on the top in Brittany's swirly print do I realize that I haven't been breathing properly since I walked into the loft. I suck in a breath and walk slowly towards the bed to lift the envelop from the duvet.
I find a note, not surprised at the words that adhere the tiny slip of paper. But the Polaroid picture that falls out from the envelope is a little more unanticipated. Especially when I lift the photo to view the image ingrained in the instant film.
It's a picture of Brittany and I, sometime on the day of my thirteenth birthday, with me wearing my abuela Garcia's priceless crown— the very same one that Brittany and I had been playing with so many years before.
With the picture held to my chest and my mind reading over the words in the note again and again, bringing back all of those memories back to the surface, I managed to stumble my way back to the sofa where I slump to the cushions and curl up into my own emotions.
Thirty minutes later when Rachel returns to the loft from her evening rehearsal, she finds me still curled up on the sofa with tear-reddened eyes, tissues surrounding my limp figure, and the crinkled piece of paper held loosely in my hand.
"Santana?" I can't even manage to respond to her by acknowledgement, the sadness still too fresh, the longing still too painful.
She takes a seat next to me and delicately reaches out to take the letter from my hands, something inside of me lets her succeed, something else makes me allow her to read what I, at this point, already know by heart.
It's nothing long, or too drawn out, Brittany never needed to say more than a few words to truly get her thoughts across to me. But even if the words are fewer, they are no less powerful or emotionally inducing.
If we remember where we started, we'll always know where we will go. Just remember that our fairytale is one of a kind and no matter what happens I will always be your princess unicorn and you will always be mine.
"When did she leave?"
I shrug at Rachel's question, unsure of how much time has elapsed since she started reading the note to when she finished and actually posed it. Does it even matter?
Rachel of course takes this as a sign to continue her inquisition.
"I thought you two were figuring things out…it sure sounded like it…last night." My eyes glare in her direction. "I didn't mean it like that! I just, you two have come so far it seems since you were broken apart and torn up back in Lima."
I nod because she has a point. We really have come a long way. Which is why this is so confusing. "I just don't get it, I thought that we had worked things out and decided that we did want to try."
"Did either of you actually say that?"
"Of course we…" I pause as I consider the words that were spoken this morning. We never actually agreed that we would be together and try, but I was under the assumption that was what we were leaning towards, or at the very least going to solidify in a talk when I got home. "I guess we never really said that but I was still under the impression that's what we were both thinking."
"But you never said it."
"What's your point Berry?" my irritation always grows when Berry questions me, even more so when she questions anything concerning me and Brittany.
She raises her hands defensively, "I'm not accusing or anything Santana," she states, calmly, "I just mean that neither of you are mind readers. Maybe Brittany is assuming just as much as you but she didn't want to say anything just in case?"
That would actually…make a lot of sense. It often seems like the most important things we feel about each other, often go unsaid. Go figure. But they say that the person who really gets you is the one you don't have to explain yourself to.
For me, that's always been Brittany.
"I still wish that she would have stayed long enough for me to know just exactly what she was thinking."
Rachel nods and pats my hand, I let it slide for the time being as she passes the note back to me, "I'm sure she knows Santana, but hasn't Brittany always been one to really try to figure things out before she makes any solid decisions?"
I nod because normally, yes. But in terms of us, I thought we were done with the whole 'choosing' game.
I sigh, "I guess I'll just have to wait and find out."
A few moments go by where Rachel and I just sit in silence, until her phone dings and she glances at me apologetically.
"I have to get this." She says, standing from the couch. Before she steps off into the semi-privacy of her room she looks back in my direction. "You know, you could always call her and tell her that this time you don't want to wait to know. You can make the decision here too Santana."
I don't acknowledge Rachel but her words do rattle something inside of me.
It's always been the truth that I've come back to Brittany, admittedly at times when she's really less than available, but it seems like I was only fighting for her when I thought I couldn't have her. The times that she fought for me, I was always available in the romantic sense, but not the emotional sense.
She's always been so patient and understanding with me. But I think we're both tired of waiting.
My mind made up, I pull my phone out and send her a sentence of nine words, knowing that she'll understand them, hoping that she'll consider them.
And with that, I do the only thing I can now, the thing that I ultimately owe her. Patience and understanding, I will wait for her now.
Brittany's just sitting down on the bar stool when her phone alerts her of an incoming text. She's already sure of whom the text is from, now she just has to figure out if she has the strength yet to read it.
Before she gets the chance to properly make a decision, a voice from behind the bar interrupts her thoughts.
"Oh wow, you're the second Cheerio that I've ever met in my life."
Glancing up, Brittany notices a man, mid thirties brown hair and dull blue eyes staring back at her, or more accurately reading the script that's written across the chest of her hoodie. She hadn't really thought about the fact that the first thing she grabbed out of Santana's room before she left was the old Cheerios sweatshirt that they always used to share in high school.
They'd traded off with it so many times, Brittany's not sure that either of them know who it originally belonged to. This last time Santana had it a sufficient amount of time that her scent lingers in the material, something the Brittany tries not to feel creepy about being grateful for.
She's about to say something offhanded to the bartender, not entirely wishing to have any sort of conversations right now, when she realizes what the man originally said to her.
"Wait, second Cheerio? Who was the first?"
The bartender chuckles a little and smiles, turning around to grab a glass from the back bar area before placing it in front of Brittany, "One of my old bartenders, Santana. You know her?" he asks before he turns around again and grabs a bottle that Brittany notices has angel wings etched into the glass, off one of the higher shelves on the wall before turning back around to her.
Smooth amber like liquid is poured into the glass in front of Brittany as she responds, "Santana Lopez? I know her. We kind of go…way back."
The bartender returns the bottle to its spot on the shelf before he turns back around and gives Brittany a quick up and down glance, his eyes widen a little in realization.
"Wait, blonde hair, blue eyes and a dancers body. You're Brittany aren't you?"
Somewhere between feeling slightly creeped out by his description and the fact that he knows her name, and also irrationally intrigued by the notion, Brittany's next words get moderately blurted from her lips, "You know who I am?"
"I should, I heard about you every day for four months." The bartender responds and pauses. Brittany realizes her must see the look of confusion that passes his face because he proceeds to elaborate, "Your girl, Santana, she talked about you non stop."
She blushes slightly at the fact that this stranger has just referred to Santana as her girl, while also feeling a sense of pride well up in her chest before she clears her throat, "Did she, did she…was she ever seeing anyone else while she talked about me?"
"She dated a few people, but they never lasted for very long, and she always had that longing look in her eyes. Only a fool wouldn't be able to see she was waiting for something better. She was searching for something she knew she'd never find."
"Searching for something?"
"Yeah, she said that it'd be impossible for her to ever find it again, even if she tried because she'd already found it with…well you."
As though that is the one great piece of wisdom this bartender will ever instill to anyone, he gives her a smile and a nod before moving down the bar to greet new patron arrivals. Brittany takes a moment to chew over her thoughts before she reaches down for her phone and swipes her finger across the screen to bring up her text messages.
The one from Santana shines up brightly from the screen, and the words hit something deep inside Brittany's heart.
In a matter of seconds, she has an epiphany about her future with Santana and how much she's not quite ready to leave it up to fate. Not all of it at least. There are still a few things she can manipulate in her favor, and if Santana goes through with things on her side, it won't be too hard to work things out and be happy separately until they can be happy together.
With that thought in mind, Brittany throws her money down on the bar and grabs her things, quickly turning and exiting from the bar and walking down and over several blocks until she gets to another familiar place of business. Her heart races a little as she considers who she's going to see in the small homey shop, but she knows her chances are slim of running into anyone she doesn't want to see right now.
In a matter of seconds she finds the person she's looking for, and notices the way their eyes widen the closer she gets. Without any other preamble, Brittany stops directly in front of the individual, the firmest look of determination set on her face.
"I don't really know exactly how else to approach this, but I really need to talk to you about something. Something that could affect both of our futures."
We hope you enjoyed this chapter and everything going on! Only two more chapters left! Thank you all again!
Lauren H 91: It's a wonderful thing to have that kind of support from you! We are very excited that you liked the chapter so much (and impressed that you read it so early!) You are so very flattering saying such a thing about Brittana's reconnection and the way we wrote it, and you literally touched on everything that we were attempting to put into our writing and that scene! Your interpretations of our Brittana are always so delightful to hear! Thank you, thank you, thank you! And we hope that you are able to handle the rest of what we do with one of the greatest OTP's ever!
Guest #1 (11/30): Thank you so much! We are forever grateful to hear that and we hope that you continue to enjoy it! Although everyone has their own opinions you make a valid point about the word 'gorgeous' and that it is subjective.
Mab: At the very least, the two of them most certainly need to be in the same place! Hopefully you will like our way of redesigning what Glee didn't do! They really do need to begin their lives as adults, and together seems like the better option! Thank you for your support and taking the time to leave your thoughts!
Gleek114: You know it! Brittana forever! Thank you so much and we hope you enjoyed the update!
Guest #2 (11/30): While it's true that for some individuals, sex too soon can ruin future chances and shatter things that should have been built, however, it's our firm belief that Brittana, as a couple especially, do not fall under that case. The way they have always reacted with each other, has always proven they have a deeper understanding of things then others. Especially an understanding of each other. Their time in the bedroom actually served as a catalyst for their talk, and as a way for them both to realize that they could work things out, that they wanted to, because they still want that more than anything. We really do appreciate your thoughts! And thank you for taking the time to share them!
luceroadorada: We're so glad that you enjoyed it, especially that you used the word 'organic' to describe their time together because that's definitely what we were attempting to convey. Thank you so much for your continued support and very kind and insightful words!
LeighKelly: It's still so absolutely fantastic that you always catch the little things that we put in the chapters! You always find just the parts we were hoping would be noticed because those are the ones that truly explain Brittana's love for each other, at least in our vision! Your thoughts and feedback are tremendously appreciated! Hopefully the talk that they had was not too nerve wrecking for you and you're still enjoying where we're taking this! To have your support and trust with this story is truly wonderful! Thank you so very much!
Blueskkies: Despite Santana's desires, she still has lingering fears about things, but we can promise that she'll at least try to work through them! Especially since Brittany really knows how to calm her girl and bury those doubts! Thank you as always for your wonderful thoughts!
Guest #3 (11/30): Hopefully you enjoyed what happened the next morning! And we appreciate that you thought them jumping back into bed was not too soon! We can guarantee that good things are planned for the girls! Thank you so much for taking the time to read and review!
StephaniieC: Why thank you! They are definitely getting closer and closer to getting around to enjoying the moment! Thank you again for your sweet words! See you soon indeed!
Chuckleshan: You never fail to amaze us with your extremely kind words and spot on feedback! I (R) am definitely glad that you enjoyed how this particular chapter, and Brittana's rekindling turned out! I can say, for myself at least, that this collaboration has been a truly awesome experience and I personally don't think I could have written anything like this without the combined thought of J! And you are right, Brittana has always spoken better non-verbally and they are most certainly endgame!
Jenny0821: Thank you! That's really super awesome of you to say that, and we appreciate it so much! No question is ever stupid, I (this is R) never really thought of our initials that way but it's pretty brilliant! Our pleasure to update, thank you so much for reading, reviewing, and enjoying!
Fruith: You're amazing for reading and reviewing it all in one go! Thank you so much, we are humbled and honored by your words! We hope that you continue to enjoy the story and what we do with it!