A couple weeks have gone by since Brittany and Sugar have returned to Lima. Word has gotten around their small town about their Cupcake Battles win and business at Batter Up Cupcakes has never been better. In fact, business is so good that Baking Dreams Come True has had to relocate to another city because no one wanted the distinct taste of loser in their baked goods.
Tough break for Blaine and Tina, oh well.
As Sugar would say, "Sucks to suck."
Life has pretty much gone back to normal for the most part and really she should be so proud of her accomplishments and how well the business is doing, but Brittany hasn't felt completely like herself ever since leaving L.A.
Sugar's picked up on it too – of course – and tries her hardest to comfort her best friend with night's out on the town and other activities that always cheered Brittany up.
Nothing seems to work though and that worries Sugar.
Brittany never did find Santana again that night.
Sugar got an anonymous tip from someone – cough Kurt Hummel cough – that Santana had been invited to an after party along with the other guests at her table and that they were possibly trying to score her for a guest judge appearance for another show. Sugar offered to pull out all the stops and find a way in, whether that be to flirt relentlessly or bribe, but Brittany decided against.
She didn't want to crash a party she hadn't been invited to just to see Santana again, that was too much and she wasn't the desperate type.
Instead, she took it as a sign.
A sign that whatever was going on between them was just a one time thing and Brittany needed to let it go and begin to move on.
So Brittany filled Sugar in on the vague details of her time spent with Santana at the bar and how she thought that they were really hitting it off, but ultimately she wasn't going to pursue it any further. She just wanted to spend their last hours in L.A. living it up with her best friend before returning to the daily grind back in Lima.
Sugar looked ready to smack some sense into her, but she took a steadying breath instead and proceeded to go along with anything Brittany had planned. At the end of the day, Brittany's a big girl and she can make her own decisions – even if Sugar thinks they're completely ridiculous and that's coming from her, someone that once stole a police car, went for a joy ride while blasting N.W.A., got arrested, and got the charges dropped all in one night.
It pays to be a Motta; Brittany still isn't sure whether Sugar's dad is in the mafia or not but she knows not to ask too many questions when he's around.
"Did you get her number at least?" Sugar asks, twisting a little in her seat to see Brittany's reaction.
It makes the little card in Brittany's bra – her dress didn't come with pockets – burn a little but she shakes her head anyway which causes Sugar to throw up her hands in defeat. The tops of her hands hit the roof of the cab and the driver sends her a glare through the rearview mirror.
"Britt!" She groans, but Brittany just bites her lip and stares out the window, "Since when do you leave a conversation with a hot person without getting their number? Who are you?"
"What's meant to be will be and apparently we weren't meant to be," Brittany shrugs and it's like she's trying to convince herself of that too.
There's just one little piece of information that she might've left out and it begs to be noticed the longer she keeps quiet about it. It's really only a matter of time before Sugar does what she does and figures it all out.
They're at their bakery hard at work trying to keep up with the sudden rush of orders now that their episode of Cupcake Battles has aired when Sugar finds it.
"Britt," Sugar says and there's this sternness to her tone that has Brittany feeling like she's about to be told off for something.
Did she mix up the order dates again or forget to close the fridge door?
Brittany turns away from the cupcakes she's filling to find Sugar dangling a familiar card between her fingers. Blue eyes go wide and her mind begins to work at coming up with an excuse in hopes of copping the least amount of sass.
She has a feeling that it isn't going to help her this time though.
"What. The. Hell. Is. This?"
"I don't know," Brittany dismisses but tries cover up her obvious guilt with a nervous laugh, "Kind of looks like the business card Santana gave me."
"Yeah," Sugar says sarcastically, "It sure does, doesn't it! And look, there's a freaking phone number on it!"
"No way, you're kidding!" Brittany feigns surprise.
It doesn't go over well with Sugar though.
"You've had this the whole time?" She just about yells, "I had to suffer through weeks of you moping around because we couldn't find Santana after the benefit and yet you've had this the whole time?! You told me you didn't get her number! I should've known better, you never leave without getting a number!"
Brittany cringes as Sugar gets even more worked up, "Sugar.. can you just – "
Sugar continues though, "You could've called her that night and you could've gone out and made sweet, sweet lady love or whatever it is you want to do with her!"
Brittany looks down guiltily, "Well when you put it that way…"
Sugar shakes her head and starts to stalk towards Brittany and she looks pissed.
Brittany's eyes widen and she quickly grabs for the closest thing to her which happens to be an offset spatula and braces herself.
"Put that down," Sugar rolls her eyes and reaches for Brittany's phone, "You're going to call this woman right now."
"No," Brittany sets her jaw, "I won't."
Brittany groans and goes to lie, "Because I don't want to."
"Yeah right," Sugar laughs sarcastically.
"I don't get it. You're into her. She's into you," Sugar argues, "Why don't you get into each other?"
Brittany chooses to ignore the inuendo, "Because we have a ton of work to do here and we don't have time to play matchmaker right now."
"When has that ever stopped us before?"
Brittany lets out a tired sigh, "What am I going to say to her? Hey Santana, I think you're really hot and we should maybe date?"
"I mean, it needs some work but if that's the best that you can do then sure!"
"I'm not going to do that," Brittany grumbles with the shake of her head, "I spent all of eight hours with her at the most, that's all. Besides, we don't exactly live anywhere near each other." Then Brittany gets lost in her thoughts for a moment, "Maybe if I put the business on hold and got back to working on my teleportation device, we might have something here but I don't see what's meant to come of this."
Sugar contemplates Brittany's words, really thinks about everything she has said before she's narrowing her eyes and tilting up her chin defiantly.
Brittany gasps, "That's the worst kind of shit."
"Exactly so call her," Sugar urges with Brittany's phone in her hand then her smile turns mischievous, "Or I'll call her for you."
Brittany's eyes widen, "You wouldn't."
"No?" Sugar questions, "You know I've been practicing my Brittany voice."
Sugar twirls on the spot and whips her hair, "It's Brittany bitch."
"I don't sound like that!"
Sugar ignores her and starts to tap out Santana's number, "San-TAAAN-ah! Okay, nailed it that time. I sound just like you. You've got to admit it."
"Sugar, give me my phone!"
Brittany squeals and soon they're struggling to gain control of the phone while Sugar recites all her Brittany-isms, not bothering to stay clear of the cupcakes Brittany had been working on. There's frosting coating their arms and powdered sugar in their hair, but the fight goes on until the chimes of the front door ring out like it's marking the end of round one in a prize fight.
Sugar and Brittany freeze like a couple of deer caught in the headlights and look to the door.
It's the local news reporter, Jacob Ben Israel, and he's looking at the two bakers with a disgusted yet intrigued look on his face. Brittany pushes away from Sugar before he starts creating some story about whatever he thinks he just walked in on.
"Hi Jacob," Brittany greets and snatches her phone back before wiping the frosting off of her arms with the end of her apron, "What can I help you with?"
"I'm here to pick up an order for the station," He says, still eyeing them warily.
"Right," Brittany nods and looks to Sugar, "Can you get his order?"
Sugar narrows her eyes before ultimately relenting, "Fine." Then her voice lowers, "But once he's out of here, you're making the call."
"Just get the –"
"Woah," Jacob gasps and Brittany looks up to find that he's staring out the front window, "Nice ride!"
Brittany looks around his giant cloud of hair and spots an old school, blacked-out Corvette Stingray pulling to stop in front of the shop. She watches with confusion because this is a small town and she would definitely remember if someone drove a car like that around here.
Sugar soon joins Brittany's side again, "Here's the dumb ord – woah! Did Will buy a new car again?"
"Doubt it," Brittany snorts and they all stare in anticipation for the driver to exit.
When the beginning of a brunette head pokes up, Brittany's breath hitches because she knows exactly who it is.
"Oh my God, it's Santana Lopez!" Jacob squeals and he's already reaching for his phone to snap some pictures, "I can't believe she's in Lima!"
Brittany can't either, she's pretty sure her jaw is somewhere lying on the floor below her.
Santana's dressed simply in skin-tight leather pants and a button-up blouse beneath her blazer while the wind breezes through her long dark locks and sunlight bounces off her aviator lenses.
Even in casual wear, Santana is gorgeous and Brittany can't stop staring.
Jacob is quick to open the door once she gets closer and manages to say a meek, "Hello Miss Lopez, huge fan."
Santana pulls down the shades and it's like everything is moving in slow motion as she tucks the arm into her blouse, the weight of the sunglasses dragging down the neckline to give just a tantalizing peek at her cleavage. Santana doesn't say anything to Jacob, just smiles politely before she looks up to Brittany.
Once those brown eyes land on her, Brittany feels the earth move under her feet.
Then Santana smiles and there's just a hint of smugness in the way she says, "Brittany."
Brittany swallows dryly and goes to speak but Jacob is quick to approach Santana first, his nosey reporter side on full display, "Miss Lopez, could I ask you a coup – "
"Read the room, Jacob! Jesus!" Sugar groans and shoves the box of cupcakes into his arms harshly. She starts to push him out the door although he struggles to still ask Santana questions. Sugar manages to get him out easily and says, "Thank you and buh-bye."
Santana looks over her shoulder at Sugar and smiles in gratitude before turning back to Brittany. She continues the short walk over and every step seems to be in time with the steady pounding of Brittany's heart.
Brittany wonders if this is what having a stroke feels like because wow.
"Hi," Santana finally greets and the familiar warmth rushes off of her in waves.
It takes Brittany's breath away but she stays rooted and gives her a casual, "Hey Santana."
"So…you never called," Santana says simply after a pause.
Brittany's cheeks flush and she tries to laugh it off, "Yeah…about that. Would you believe I lost my phone?"
Santana narrows her eyes playfully and nods to the counter, "Is that it right there? With the unicorn sticker?"
Brittany covers it with her piping bag, "No."
"Yes," Sugar pipes up.
Brittany shoots Sugar a glare for her comment as Sugar rounds the counter again but she just sticks her tongue out.
When Santana chuckles, Brittany's attention is back on her because that laugh…it's intoxicating and she has kind of missed it.
Okay, so she has missed it a lot.
"What brings you to Lima?" Brittany asks as if she doesn't know the answer.
"Other than the call that never came?" Santana teases again.
Brittany smiles apologetically, "I'm sorry."
Santana lifts her shoulder casually, "Make it up to me then?"
Brittany quirks a brow.
"Let me take you out," Santana says smoothly.
"Yes!" Sugar beams and suddenly she's pressed against Brittany's side, "A thousand times yes!"
Santana side-eyes Sugar, "I wasn't asking you."
"Oh, I know!" Sugar replies and nods to Brittany, "I'm saying yes for her."
"Don't you have something to do?" Brittany asks Sugar, "Like out the back or somewhere far away?"
"I can take a hint," Sugar grumbles although she remains in her spot.
"I don't think you can," Santana quips while looking at Sugar but then the alluring smile returns as she glances back to Brittany, "What do you say?"
Brittany hesitates and asks, "Shouldn't I be the one taking you out if I'm meant to be making it up to you?"
"I really don't mind either way," Santana replies with an angelic giggle, "I'll take what I can get. Have you had lunch yet?"
It's a simple question but Brittany drags her feet in answering.
In reality, she'd love to go out with Santana but the implications of what that means and the possibility that she'll forever be hooked without it going anywhere is too great. She's not sure if her heart can handle getting just a taste of what it's like to be around Santana again so maybe it's best that she continues to distance herself.
"I…no," Brittany stammers and goes to pick up her piping bag, "Now isn't really the best time."
"Okay," Santana nods, "When is?"
"Uhhh…" Brittany hums. She wasn't anticipating Santana to be so persistent. It really makes it harder to stand her ground. Especially when she looks like that.
"Go out Britt," Sugar interrupts again, "I can handle it here for a while. It's fine."
Brittany shakes her head, "We're swamped with orders, Sugar, and we're already so behind. I'm sorry, Santana. Maybe another time?"
Brittany!" Sugar chastises and gives her a look that screams what the hell are you doing?
But Santana doesn't seem to be deterred, "You're going to make me work for this one, huh?"
Brittany cocks her head to the sight of Santana sliding off her blazer in one swift motion. She plucks off the shades and sets them on the counter too.
"What are you doing?" Brittany asks.
"Helping," Santana shrugs as she begins to roll up her sleeves before moving on to tie up her hair, "I came all this way because I wanted to see you again and maybe go out somewhere with you. If I have to get my hands a little dirty to make that happen then I don't mind."
Brittany fails to stifle her laugh, "Santana, you don't have to – "
"When are you going to realize that you can't tell me what to do?" Santana smirks already coming around the counter, "Where do you want me?"
Sugar's looking between the two with an excited smile before she's reaching for the spare apron and passing it to Santana without uttering a word which is a real feat for Sugar.
Brittany gives her a look like she has just betrayed her though, but it doesn't last long because Santana slides the apron over her head and adjusts the straps around her waist and now their logo is being worn proudly on her chest.
A very nice chest at that, Brittany thinks, a chest that Brittany wouldn't mind spending some real quality time with but then she pulls herself together to just admire how Santana looks. Santana looks good in anything, but seeing her in Batter Up Cupcakes colors just does something to her.
Brittany's heart swells at the sight and races faster than ever before. Santana's messy bun and the rolled up sleeves of most likely expensive blouse, coupled with the hopeful smile Santana wears is enough to have Brittany relinquishing all the fight left in her.
Maybe this is the real sign she was waiting for, not the one back at the benefit?
"You're not going to give up, are you?" Brittany asks through a smile.
Santana shakes her head, "I'm taking a page from your book here and going all or nothing."
Brittany chuckles at the sound of the words she once told Santana and lets out a sigh, "Alright then, maybe start with this? I've got quite a few cupcakes that need filling."
"Those cupcakes aren't the only ones," Sugar quips and nudges Santana with her elbow, smiling suggestively.
"If you weren't my best friend and business partner," Brittany grumbles lowly, "I'd fire you."
"Wanky," Santana just laughs and the three of them set off to finish up the day's orders.
After a few hours, they're about finished and the three of them set off to tidy up. It was actually really fun working with Santana in the kitchen like that with the music pumping in the background and the friendly banter. Brittany think she and Sugar have become quite the pair and listening to Santana comment on the chaotic stories Sugar tells is something she didn't know she needed.
The day's work seemed to breeze by with Santana's help and for the first time in a long time, Brittany felt like herself again.
Brittany and Santana are cleaning up in the kitchen when Sugar comes toddling out with a giant box in her arms.
"Where are you going with that?" Brittany questions as she scrubs at the counter.
"Delivery," Sugar answers simply, "The last order of the day."
"What?" Brittany looks over to the clock on the wall, "We don't have anymore deliveries today."
"Yes we do," Sugar says and taps the box which sounds uncharacteristically hollow, "Why else would I be holding a giant box filled with numerous cupcakes?"
"Do you want me to answer that?" Brittany smirks.
Sugar narrows her eyes playfully, "I'm gonna run this one and head home from there. It was nice to see you again, Santana."
Santana smiles knowingly, "You too, Sugar."
Brittany remains staring at her best friend though, "You're not going to come back and help pack down?"
"Nope," Sugar grins and starts to walk away with her box, "Santana's here, take advantage of the extra hands."
"Wow, she really has no filter," Santana snorts.
"You two have fun with that!" Sugar teases from over her shoulder, "Byeeee!"
"Sugar!" Brittany calls out but she's already out the door. She shakes her head at that, "I can't believe her. That box was definitely empty."
"Definitely," Santana chuckles but continues to wipe down her section of counterspace.
With it just being her and Santana now, Brittany becomes acutely aware that they're alone for the first time. She tries to be cool about it though and makes a little small talk, "So…this was fun."
"It was," Santana nods, "I'm not in the kitchen as much as I use to be now so this was really cool."
"I really appreciate your help," Brittany adds, "I just can't believe you're here, like Santana Lopez is in my kitchen. That's so crazy."
"You make me sound like I'm some A-list celebrity," Santana chuckles.
Brittany laughs too, "You kind of are."
"I'm really not."
"So does this mean I can't ask for a signed picture of you?" Brittany jokes, "I was going to frame it."
"I mean…if you want," Santana says, not picking up on Brittany's sarcasm as she steals a piece of paper from the counter, "Will this menu do for now?"
Brittany moves without thinking and reaches over to touch the back of Santana's hand to get her attention. Cliché sparks fly at the feel but she doesn't move, not until Santana looks to her.
"I wasn't meaning it as Santana Lopez is in my kitchen," Brittany explains with a lopsided grin, "I meant it as Santana Lopez is in my kitchen."
"Uhm.." Santana tilts her head to the side in question.
"I meant it like…" Brittany pauses to consider if she really wants to be this truthful but the words come out anyway, "Like I'm glad you're here. I'm glad I got to see you again."
Santana doesn't say a word and Brittany nervously goes back to cleaning.
"I – I've kind of missed you I think," Brittany admits quietly.
It's then that Santana sends Brittany a look that has the blonde's movements coming to a halt. It's unreadable, but not in the cold way she had experienced in the arena. The warmth is still there but she can't decipher what Santana's thinking or what this look means.
"What?" Brittany smiles nervously under Santana's heated gaze.
Has she said too much? Did she totally misinterpret Santana being here?
Then it comes out simple as anything, "I like you, Britt."
Brittany blinks and giggles timidly as she says the first thought that comes to mind, "Yeah. I've gathered that much with the whole road trip over here just to see me."
Santana shakes her head, "I couldn't help myself."
Brittany softens, "I know what you mean."
"I've…kind of liked you from the moment we met. I didn't think that was possible because we barely spoke to one another and this whole thing seems so – I don't know – like serendipitous? Which I can't believe I just said that because that's so not me, I'm not someone who believes in love at first sight – NOT THAT I LOVE YOU OR ANYTHING – I just… Can you tell I don't usually do this," Santana admits with a sigh.
"You're doing great," Brittany says encouragingly.
"Thanks," Santana chuckles and Brittany's words seem to ease her a little as she continues, "I don't pursue anything with contestants. I usually have a strict policy when it comes to that, but there's just something about you that I can't seem to shake. Then with everything that happened at the benefit, I just…I had to make an exception. I had to come out here and see if you felt something too."
"I do," Brittany replies and she can't stop the smile from forming, "I feel a lot of things and I don't know how that's going to work with you in L.A. and me here. We're from different worlds almost but I haven't been able to get you out of my head either."
"We're not so different, Britt, and I don't know how any of this is going to work either," There's a quick swipe of Santana's tongue along her bottom lip as she takes a step forward. Her eyes are hooded as she speaks, "But we at least have to try, right?"
It's not the answer she was expecting but it's the answer she was hoping for and right now that's all she wants to think about.
"Okay," Brittany mumbles and she moves in quickly to close the distance between them. She moves on instinct as her hand comes up to rest against Santana's cheek, guiding her closer and closer until their lips finally meet.
It's like We Are The Champions and confetti cannons all over again as Brittany's head becomes cloudy and she's all a daze.
She likes Santana and Santana likes her, maybe Sugar was right? It really is that simple sometimes.
Never in a million years would she have ever thought she would be kissing Santana Lopez in her kitchen, yet here she is doing just that and it's so much better than she has ever imagined.
Santana's lips are soft and full and she tastes like cherries and peppermint. Brittany thinks kissing Santana might just be her new favorite thing which is saying something because she doesn't usually like picking favorites but she just can't get enough of her.
When she feels Santana's fingers press against the back of her neck to deepen the kiss, she thinks that this is it: this is the moment she realizes she has fallen head over feet for Santana and all it took was one kiss to make sure.
"My offer still stands by the way," Santana mumbles against Brittany's lips. She hovers there and presses another peck that leaves Brittany struggling to concentrate.
"Well…," Santana hums as she pulls back a little, "We've missed out on lunch, but dinner is just starting. What do you say?"
Brittany bites her lip but ultimately relents, "I know the perfect place we can go. How do you feel about breadsticks?"
"Kind of my weakness," Santana beams as her hands fall to Brittany's hips, "Amongst other things."
"Awesome," Brittany grins.
"Maybe if you're lucky," Santana says suggestively, "I'll throw in breakfast tomorrow morning too."
Brittany feels goosebumps all over but she keeps her voice steady, "Already lining yourself up for a second date? Bold of you, but you know how I feel about breakfast."
Santana's eyes glimmer at the playfulness but her voice dips lower and takes on a huskier tone as she leans in close to whisper in Brittany's ear, "I bet I can change your mind."
Brittany's brows shoot up at the sound of that implication, but instead of giggling away like a school girl it comes out hoarse and gravely, "I'd love to see you try."
And try Santana does…all over Brittany's apartment and once in the car ride over.
It's safe to say that Santana has done wonders with changing Brittany's mind and now breakfast just so happens to be Brittany's favorite meal of the day. In fact, Brittany can't imagine having it with anyone else ever again and the best thing about that is neither can Santana.
A/N - And there you have it, endgame Brittana in every universe lol. Check out the super sweet (pun intended) cover art Nicole (aka yourstreetserenade) made for me on Tumblr it's very awesome! I will now return to writing Two Ghosts.