Those precious couple of hours before opening were Brittany's favorite time of day. Time felt like it was stilled in those moments when there was nobody but her and her thoughts there. The bar was her pride and joy, so the girl always took her time in making sure everything was perfect for her treasured patrons each day. The Unicorn Barn was its name. It had been her mother's passion project since Brittany was born, and a quarter of a century later was known among its patrons as being a haven for everyone who stepped through the threshold. Brittany always liked to think of it like the Room of Requirement in Harry Potter. It would only show up for those who needed it the most and could be whatever they wanted it to be. A rare sight, for people who felt rarely seen.

When she turned eighteen, Brittany had begged her mom to let her pick up some shifts behind the bar, having spent so long watching her impact so many people's lives just by serving them drinks, she wanted to follow those footsteps. Her mom would spend hours consoling people after break-ups and divorces, would throw impromptu parties for her regulars' birthdays, and would make sure everyone felt listened to and safe inside the walls of the Barn for at least a few hours. Brittany will never forget before her very first shift, her mother reminding her "Sweetie, if people have found their way here, it's because they have something they want to ignore, just for one night. It's our job to grant that wish. We're their unicorns."

That sentiment had stayed with Brittany in her heart ever since. Especially after her mother had to give up almost all bar maintenance after she got sick, it was Brittany's job to be the unicorn for them both.

As usual, the blonde had connected her phone up to the bars sound system as she twirled and floated her way in between tables, sweeping and wiping surfaces down as she went.

What am I now? What am I now?

What if I'm someone I don't want around?

I'm falling again, I'm falling again, I'm fallin'

In her own little world, Brittany danced around her broom as if it were simply just a prop in her routine. She gracefully dipped herself down against it before extending her right leg to the sky as she slowly ascended. The broom was then pushed away from herself as she spun forward in circles after it before it made it to the ground.

What if I'm down? What if I'm out?

What if I'm someone you won't talk about?

I'm falling again, I'm falling again, I'm fallin'

This is exactly why Brittany had to begin the opening shop process two hours before because this happened every time. Besides the bar, dancing was her passion. The original plan had been to save up for a few years through her shifts and go to Julliard to pursue things legitimately, but having her mom now be almost bedridden had made that a non-starter. Her mom gave her every little thing in her life, and that was especially apparent when her dad left them. The least Brittany could do was do what she could to give back and look after her in return.

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One hour later and Brittany had finally completed her sweeping-up duties. Now having moved on to taking stock for the night and was tucked under the bar making sure all the glassware for clean and stocked up for use when a sudden voice startled her.

"Daddy's home!"

Brittany whipped her head up and smiled brightly as Sam, walked in the door with his cheeky grin and arms stretched out wide. However, after registering his words, she couldn't help but frown.

"Sam, no…he's in Arizona. He's lived there with his new wife since I was five, I thought I told you this story before when our cats got into that DUI?"

Sam was not only Brittany's favorite co-worker; he was also her best friend. The two blondes had met in high school and hit it off right away. Brittany was convinced they were actually siblings who got separated at birth. Which made it awkward when half of the school thought they were dating in Junior year… Both of them had actually vomited at even the thought of it.

Sam had been there for her through everything that happened with her mom. Ms. Pierce always thought of Sam as a son since he started working there – two years before Brittany. He started when he was sixteen because Sam's parents were desperate. They were about to lose their home and the boy wanted to do something to help. So, Ms. Pierce allowed him to pick up a few shifts a week cleaning up tables and washing up. It had saved the family from ruin, so the older woman meant a lot to Sam. After Brittany had told him about her diagnosis, Sam would bring over groceries when they needed it, was available at all hours of the night when something went wrong, and happily offered to cover for Brittany when she needed to stay home. They became each other's family and Brittany will forever treasure the guy. It was also great because he was practically the only other person who understood how her brain worked and just went along with it without a second thought.

"No, yeah Britt I remember that because Lord Tubbington tried to frame Lady Tubbington for kidnapping to get out of charges. Which she's still not gotten over, by the way."

Brittany waved her hand at him dismissively, used to Lady T's stubborn grudge against her precious prince's 'alleged' and 'multiple' issues. It's a good thing she liked Sam, otherwise the queen bitch would be rightfully banned from her apartment.

"Don't get me started on her, or we'll end up not talking to each other all shift again and then I'll get horribly sad cause I miss my best friend," Brittany pouted.

"Don't act like you'll be any sort of sad tonight. Not when your crush is coming in tonight, and you know I'm not talking about Kurt."

Brittany avoided all eye contact with her best friend and made a beeline for the other side of the room and began vigorously wiping down non-existent dirt from one of the tables.

"I have no idea what you are talking about. I plead the right to remain silent. Legally you can't make me say anymore. I learned that from Law & Order."

Sam knew exactly what Brittany was doing, and she could tell. If his smug face was anything to go off.

"Britt…you can't spend forever in denial of your own feelings. Because one day, Santana will come in here with a girl on her arm, or might not even come back at all – and then what? You'll be miserable and kicking yourself for not realizing things sooner. Just talk to her some more, warm her up a bit. How do you think I got Quinn? Seven months ago, she asked me for a Long Island Iced Tea. I complimented her and got to know her over just a couple weeks and then bam. Now we're like the hottest couple on the East Coast."

"I don't know, I think those stray dogs that hang around our dumpsters have something going on between them that could rival you guys…."

"Hey, stop deflecting. I'm serious. I'm your best friend, I can tell when you like someone. It wouldn't be so bad though, she's cute and you're a total catch." Sam wrapped his arm around Brittany's shoulders and pulled her towards him.

"I really don't know what you mean, Sam. I don't have a crush on Santana. Sure she's cute and my favorite days are always when she comes in, but I barely know her…"

"We've been serving her for like two years already... But alright then, if you can make it to the end of the week and still think you have no feelings for her whatsoever, I'll give you ten bucks. If you don't make it, you owe me ten bucks."

"Okay, you're on Evans," Brittany spoke with a lack of confidence in her voice. Screw Sam for bringing it up. Now it was all she could think about.

XXXXXXXXXXXX

As usual for a weeknight, the work pace was somewhat slow. Those were actually the nights Brittany preferred. It felt more intimate, more special when there were just handfuls of people in on the secrets of the night.

While the blonde handed over the change to her last customer, she looked at her Donald Duck watch and noticed it had just gone past seven, which meant any second now…

"I swear, if you ask me to come with you to that Hobbit's show one more time, I am going to come into your room at night and cut all your hair off." The sound was like a sweet melody to Brittany's ear. That sharp tongue could only belong to one patron. Santana. The Santana she absolutely, definitely didn't like in that way.

"You wouldn't dare, Satan!" And there was her squabbling sidekick, Kurt. As always, gasping at the empty threats spilling from his friend's mouth.

"Oh, but I would. Poor little Porcelain with no quaff to sculpt? You'll be powerless and maybe I'll get some peace and quiet."

"But Blaine's favorite part of me is my hair. Why would you jeopardize my relationship like that?"

"Your hair is your boyfriend's favorite part of you? Jesus, your sex life must be a blip if that's all it takes to get him off."

"Will you stop making up rumours about my private life? Anyway, hey Britt! Can we get our usual's please?" Kurt and Santana continued to have a glare off as Brittany laughed at their antics and got to work making their drinks. She presented Kurt's to him with a wide grin and pouted comically as Santana's was pushed towards her.

"One Cosmo with extra sparkle, and one Margarita with zero sparkle." When you have a bar called The Unicorn Barn, you couldn't just have regular boring drinks. Edible cocktail glitter had become a staple for every drink. It added to the appeal of the place. Well, for everyone except Santana who refused the sparkle every single time.

"You know that request hurts my heart every time, Santana. The unicorn gods might take the bar away from me if I hand out one more non-sparkle drink. Can you live with that?" The girl in question just huffed and shrugged her shoulders. However, Brittany managed to catch the small smile that the brunette tried to hide behind her hand.

Despite coming to the bar for almost two years, Santana still wasn't up for much of a conversation with Brittany. Even Sam had gotten a few insults his way, but Brittany just got smiles and the occasional 'hey' or 'thanks'. It never bothered her though. So what if the brunette hadn't warmed up to her – Brittany was stubbornly persistent. Plus, it helped that Brittany had a tendency to completely monologue off the cuff, regardless of if the other person was responsive or not.

"An okay day for you both I assume? Because there was no request for doubles, so I'm guessing Rachel is still adhering to the extremely aggressive threat of 'if you sing one more syllable in this apartment, I will go all Lima Heights and make it so you can never sing again,'" Brittany's brow furrowed as she tried to do her best Santana impression which made the girl gasp and cross her arms across her chest.

"I don't know why you're offended. That's exactly what you said. It was a pretty good impression too," Kurt smugly offered as he reached up to high-five the bartender. All it did though was cause Santana to scoff and pout.

"Awww come on Sanny. I'm just kidding around. Stop putting on that adorable pout, you're gonna kill me here," Brittany stuck out her tongue and lightly poked Santana on her forearm. The statement wasn't a complete lie either. Seeing Santana pout made her stomach feel weird. It was probably just because she hated seeing anyone remotely upset…

"Oh shut up Britt," Santana giggled which caused Brittany to jump up in glee.

"Sam quick, catch me before I pass out! I got nicknamed finally. We're moving too fast." The other blonde across the bar roared with laughter and threw a lime at his friend and her dumbass actions. Brittany could pretend all she wanted about how she had no sort of crush on the brown-eyed girl, but Sam knew her little cutesy comments had way more truth to them than she would admit.

Santana just sat with her head bowed, very clearly trying to hide the blush which was forming on her face, and nudged Kurt with her elbow to stop his laughter over the announcement.

"Well to save Santana's ego and icy exterior from crumbling, I think we better take these to our usual booth. Get Sam to bring our top-ups in ten?"

"Will do. See you later Kurt. Bye Santana," Brittany grinned and went about serving some more customers. Okay maybe it was fun to be borderline flirty with Santana, and maybe a slight building crush was to blame. Even Brittany couldn't deny the butterflies in her stomach when she called her Britt.

"I'm so going home with an extra ten bucks in my pocket tonight," Sam smirked as he walked past and smacked her face with the towel in his hands, pulling her from her staring contest with Santana's retreating figure.

XXXXXXXXXXXX

At the end of the night, Brittany was ushering out the stragglers and sauntered her way over to her two favorite patrons and tried her best to put on a glare towards them.

"Right you two troublemakers, time to leave or I'll have to throw you out. I need to get home sharp to try and finally catch evidence of Lord Tubbington hosting mob activity in my apartment."

"Nice try Brittany, but you can't try to be intimidating then say something ridiculous like that right after."

Brittany furrowed her brows at Kurt's statement. Ridiculous? It was nothing but the truth. Even her mom had heard multiple sources of meowing in their kitchen at night and she had to figure out how the hell other cats were making their way in to fraternise with her Tub.

Santana seemed to notice, however, and nudged Kurt hard in the ribs before she blurted out, "No, of course, we'll get out your hair. Let us know if he um, ever needs me to give a Lima Heights intervention to scare him straight or whatever."

Brittany couldn't help the bright smile that stretched across her face. Santana didn't laugh at her like most people did when she spoke of Lord T's antics. She defended her and just went with it.

Once the two had left the bar, Brittany sighed and reached into her backpack to pull out a ten-dollar bill for Sam.

"Don't even try to say anything," She mumbled with a blush creeping across her cheeks and shoved her grinning co-worker out the door so she could lock the place up and get home.

So, she had a crush on Santana and was finally able to admit it. What was that going to change? Most of the time Santana didn't even like to look her in the eye. Tonight was the first night she had spoken more than one sentence to her. If she could just get her to open up to her, just a little bit. Maybe they could at least become friends.

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A/N: Hey lovelies! Well, here it is…my very first fic! I hope you guys are excited and intrigued by this wee idea I had. I really would appreciate any and all feedback as I go forward to help my newbie self grow and improve in my writing. Also, I know there wasn't a lot of Santana this chapter, but next chapter we will see this same day from more of Santana's POV and you'll get a little hint as to why exactly she has chosen to try and distance herself from Brittany specifically (and it's definitely not what you think). Again, I hope you've enjoyed the beginning of this mad journey!

Have a wonderful day!