Chapter 2 – Lucy
"Sooooo, what did you think?" Quinn asks you with a smirk the following day over your usual Starbucks lunchtime meeting.
"She's…" you begin but really can't find a word to describe Brittany at all.
"Quirky?" Quinn offers.
"I guess," you sigh. "She wasn't what I expected at all"
"But you're still going to keep seeing her, right?" Quinn asks like she would be disappointed if you didn't.
"Yeah," you say slowly. "I suppose"
You sip on coffee, as Quinn seems more interested in the newspaper in front of her. You actually haven't been able to stop thinking about Brittany since meeting her yesterday. She confused and scared the hell out of you but at the same time she made you feel kind of giddy and strangely optimistic, you guess that's her job but...the way she was looking at you sometimes…
You just really like how she makes you feel.
You're sort of bummed you don't see her till tomorrow again.
Later on in your apartment, you've made Sam his favourite meal, enchiladas with side salad, the recipe originally coming from your mother. You like it too but it isn't you're favourite meal. It's strange you live in one of the most vibrant cities in the world and you and Sam have never gone out to a fancy restaurant and tried something new.
"Hey, did I tell you about my folks good news?" Sam asks over the small dinning table.
You shake your head as you take a sip of wine.
"They found a buyer for the ranch" he grins.
"That's great. I wasn't really expecting anyone to buy that place though" you say surprised.
The Evans family owns a ranch down in Tennessee, you and Sam sometimes go there at the weekend. You're very much a city girl but you like going there because it always seems to be sunny and you're always treated well there by the rest of the family.
"The new owner even said they were gonna come down every few weeks and help out with labor"
You narrow your eyes. "That seems too good to be true, first of all this person buys the ranch for what, half a million dollars? Then allows your family to stay there as long as they pay rent AND wants to help maintain the crops and animals?"
You make an uncertain noise. "I don't want your family to get ripped off. Just tell them to double check the paperwork"
"Yeah, yeah…" Sam grumbles.
Sam isn't the smartest of men, neither are his brothers or parents who live and work on that ranch. You love them though; you don't want them to get ripped off, or worse, be left homeless all because they didn't understand the basic terms and conditions.
You remember the time when you first met his parents. They looked at you like you were some sort of alien, that ranch is out in the middle of nowhere, it was probably the first time they had seen a person who wasn't white. You spent like 10 minutes explaining your ethnicity and they still looked confused. At first they seemed to think you were one of those snobbish city people, but in time they grew accustomed to your standoffishness and sarky sense of humor. You're now one of the family and really, they feel more like family than your own parents do.
"Uh, maybe we should go there this weekend?" Sam asks in a way that seems he doesn't want to bother you.
You smile at his thoughtfulness. "No, that's fine, I could do with topping up my tan" you smirk at him.
"How's your counselling going? I mean I know you've only went once but…"
"Fine" you say quickly, for some reason not really wanting to discuss it with him, or anyone in fact. "I mean I had a pretty decent sleep last night so, progress?" you joke.
"Yeah I guess but it won't work overnight or anything though Santana"
"I know" you say in understanding.
Come Thursday you are practically bouncing in your office chair and looking constantly at the clock for lunchtime to come. For some reason you're nervous again but you're also a little…excited?
You don't know why but your stomach is doing flips as you cross the street again, your strides are longer and faster, you just want to get there. You just want to see her again. Just to confirm that your first meeting wasn't some strange dream you had.
The elevator stops at the seventh floor yet again and opens with the same binging noise. You walk forward and come to Kurt's desk.
"Hello miss Lopez" Kurt greets you again. Today's he's wearing a strange cream jumper that cuts half way off from the bottom and a red paper boy cap. You try really hard not to laugh.
"Please, call me Santana" you smirk at him holding your hand up in insistence.
"Only if you call me Kurt" he winks back at you.
"Can…can I just go through?" you ask, pointing your thumb over your shoulder toward where you know room 47 is.
"Actually if you don't mind, Brittany's running a little late, just take a seat, she should be here any moment" he says apologetically.
"OK," you say as your eyebrows rise. How did someone so unprofessional manage to get a job like this?
You wait and wait and it's not until 15 minutes later the elevator door opens and a flustered looking Brittany comes out and toward Kurt's desk. You don't think she's seen you yet.
You stare because you didn't think the woman could be any more bizarrely dressed. She has socks and flip-flops on, short denim shorts and a snuggly looking cream woollen sweater that has a large picture of a duck on it. It looks like one of those home made sweaters that grandmother's stitch for their grandchildren as a gift for Christmas. You press a finger to your lips to stop from laughing once again. Was it a requirement to dress wacky here?
Her long hair was down and slightly wavy today. She really was pretty in the most natural way. You kind of envy her and yet at the same time you just like how pretty she is.
"Sorry Kurt," Brittany says looking slightly out of breath, flinging her bag onto the desk. "I got distracted again, I was twiddling some knobs and got all greasy and before I knew it…well…you know how I am with time. I haven't even took Lucy out today" she says and gives a cute pout.
Kurt laughs softly at her. You wonder how she became so special to just light up a room and everyone in it just by walking in.
"Not to worry, I can go get Lucy and bring her here after work, if you want" Kurt says. "You've only got Christopher and Santana left today, after that you can get back to your grease monkey work"
Blue eyes seem to suddenly widen when her eyes flicker to the side and she sees you. Shock quickly turns to friendliness.
"Hey there gorgeous, sorry I'm late" she smirks at you, fumbling around her bag for something.
You open your mouth to say something but all you feel is your stomach dropping lower than where it should be and the blood rushing to your cheeks. You don't know how she does that or what this even is you're feeling, but you can't help but eventually grin back.
It's actually not fine because you're paying for these sessions and you'll probably be late back for work but it's Brittany, and when she's looking at you like that, who cares?
"Here they are," Brittany says bringing out keys. "OK Kurt, if anyone phones tell them I'll call them back tomorrow morning" she says pointing at Kurt as she begging to walk down the corridor.
"Will do" Kurt says turning back to his computer.
"C'mon you" Brittany says lowly as she walks by you.
Your body just seems to follow even though your legs suddenly don't feel as confident as they did crossing the street.
Brittany unlocks the room door and you just stand idly behind her. Your eyes trail down the back of her legs and she looks really toned, you wonder what exercises she does, if any.
"I don't go the gym if that's what you're wondering" Brittany suddenly says as she opens the door and turns back at you with a smirk.
"I…I….what?" you try to play dumb and yet again the blood creeps up to your face and she's scaring the hell out of you.
"Most people stare at my legs when they're on display," the blonde shrugs, and somehow it doesn't seem smug or arrogant, more like just a statement of fact. "I'm assuming you were just looking at my legs…or ass…" she says like it was obvious even though you're pretty fucking sure she had her head facing forward the whole time and there's no way she could have seen the split second your eyes fell.
"N-n-no…I…uh wasn't looking" you splutter out, just standing at the doorway like an idiot.
"Oh," Brittany breathes and seems to buy it. She seems a little disappointed. "Oh well, come in" she says, her polite smile quickly returning to her face.
You nod as you walk in and bypass her. She smells like sugary cakes and metal. You wonder what on earth this woman does outside of work. You also wonder why you keep taking mental notes of what she smells like. You sit down on the leather sofa yet again and she sits opposite you, crossing her legs on the chair and blowing out a puff of air that makes a lock of her blonde hair blow up and away from her face. She really is all kinds of adorable. You don't know why you keep thinking all these great things about her, she's nice but you don't even know her.
Maybe you want to know her though.
"What did you mean before, something about knobs?" you smile in amusement. You really want to know something about her. Anything.
"Oh," she smiles and for the first time she glances away looking bashful and you actually feel smug that the tables have briefly turned.
You really like how she makes you feel. You wonder how you make her feel. Maybe she wants to be your friend? You instantly curse yourself because you're already reading way too much into everything, she's supposed to be friendly. It's her job to pull you out of your rut.
"That was nothing, it's just I do motocross races and through that I've learned a lot about mechanics so in my free time I like to fix stuff, mostly cars"
You're eyebrows shoot up as a laugh escapes your lips.
"What?" Brittany asks, her head tilting and her smile widening.
Your heart is beating a little faster beneath your skin and you don't know why. It's every time she smiles or laughs…or looks at you…
"It's just, you're never quite what I expect," you say honestly, trying to sound as light-hearted as possible.
She doesn't say anything to that and instead goes straight to business. "Tell me Santana, what is it you do in your free time?" she smiles at you.
You shrug. "Nothing really, I mean Sam likes to go to ice hockey games and-"
"I asked what you liked to do, not Sam" Brittany says, her smile loosening and her voice sounding a fraction more impatient. Her change in demeanour is so slight that you feel you really need to concentrate to pick up on it.
"Well that's what I'm saying, we usually go see ice hockey games together, apart from that nothing really, I like shopping and watching TV and movies, you know, the usual" you shrug. You feel like every word you say is a puzzle piece for her to use to build a picture about you. It's intimating.
"Maybe it's time you found a new hobby," Brittany says and yet again it doesn't sound rude, it just sounds like a suggestion.
"Why?" you ask.
"Doing a hobby that interests us is the best way of improving ones mood, that and exercise. Maybe getting a hobby would open new doors for you"
Open new doors?
She must've sensed your confusion because she elaborates. "For example you want to sing right?"
"Yeah but it's not actually something-"
"Then you should maybe go to a jazz bar and just watch someone else sing" she interrupts you.
"I dunno" you say uncertainly looking down at your hands. "I don't think Sam would be into that"
"Then take a friend or go by yourself," Brittany says.
You can't help but smile. "You make everything sound so simple, you know that?"
She laughs a little then looks you right in the eye. "The world is simple, it's us human beings that complicate things"
You actually sigh at her and just smile faintly. She makes you think anything is possible. Maybe you could go to a bar and watch other people who sing for a living? Maybe one day you'd even have the balls to sing yourself.
"Then one thing could lead to another and you could maybe give it a try yourself, but you don't have to, it's just something for you to do that you're actually interested in, because let me be blunt but you don't strike me as the biggest ice hockey fan" she says smirking.
You blink at her and laugh a little nervously. She's in your damn head again.
"I don't have a lot of friends," you admit quietly.
She tilts her head and you swear you see some emotion flash before her eyes.
"Add that to the mounting reasons of why you should take up this new hobby then" she smiles calmly.
"Yeah" you sigh and you actually can't believe you're thinking about it.
Maybe you could?
"I'm sorry our meetings going to have to be short today Santana, it's my fault I was running late, you don't have to pay for this session"
"Oh," you breathe and you don't even bother hiding your disappointment. You just got here. You're not going to see her again till Tuesday and that's like 5 days away. The pit of your stomach feels heavy.
She seems to sense your disappointment. "But tell me something Santana, in the meantime I want to ask you this – if there's one thing in your life right now that's troubling you, more than most, what would you say it is?"
You swallow and think about it.
You look up at her and she's sitting there serenely on the chair, legs crossed and a small smile on her face. Her eyes are so blue and calming. You feel you could tell her anything and she wouldn't think any less of you, or think you're being stupid. That thick sweater she's wearing looks so snug against her, you kind of want to hug her and see how it would feel, how she would feel.
You swallow again because you're having all these feelings for a complete stranger, feelings that you've never felt as strongly before even with Sam and at the same time completely new feelings all together. She's your counselor and a woman. Have you become obsessed with her or something? Was that what this is? Was this what counselling was supposed to do to people?
You try not to think about your feelings or any implication they might have. You just really like Brittany and feel like bearing a little of your soul simply because she deserves it.
"I guess lately I've been feeling like life is moving too fast you know?"
Brittany nods and allows you to continue.
"I mean, I'm 25, and I'm already getting married, I've pretty much reached the top of my career ladder since, realistically, I can't see myself going higher being a) I'm a woman b) I'm a woman of color. Fucking bureaucracy and sexism in the office work place is a pain in the ass"
Brittany giggles a little and it makes your stomach flutter just like it did on Tuesday.
"I feel like I'm always disappointing my parents, the only thing they seem to be proud about with me is that fact that I'm marrying Sam. I just feel trapped, you know? There's nothing good going on in my life apart from Sam, but even then I feel like I'm living his life not mine. We share friends and his family is my family. I just don't know who I am any more. This isn't how I imagined things panning out or anything, I feel like I should be happy but…"
"You just aren't" Brittany says softly, finishing for you.
You clench your stomach muscles and blink away tears that are stinging the back of your eyes.
"Well," the blonde begins, tucking some hair behind her ear and looking at you, not with pity, but something else you can't place. You're trying really hard not to cry in front of her. "I want you to think about that in our time apart Santana. I mean really think about it. Think about what is making you unhappy and think about things you could possibly do to make your situation better. I mean really think outside the box, nothing is off limits, OK?"
You nod feeling a little better. She's definitely given you food for thought.
"Can I leave now?" you ask pathetically. "It's just I'm probably late for work"
"Sure you can" she smiles as she stands up to see you out the door. "Thanks for coming"
You sigh, still trying to fight away the tears, your eyes probably look glossy. You wonder if she knows you're close to crying, then again she's a counselor, she probably does. You both reach the threshold and you turn around to leave.
"One more thing Santana" Brittany says softly and leans forward grabbing your forearm.
You turn back around a little and blink down at her touching you. Again that weird feeling takes over you, her hand is so soft and warm and for some reason you feel like running the hell away but your legs don't appear to be listening to your brain.
"I get the feeling you feel that life is passing you by?"
You nod. She's right yet again. You wonder if you'll ever witness her being wrong.
"We'll touch more on that on Tuesday, but for now, I just want you to know – It's never too late to be who you are"
You really don't want to cry and now she's stroking her thumb along your arm and it's making you feel light-headed. You need to get out of here.
"Goodbye Santana" Brittany says softly.
The door to room 47 is shut behind you once more and your arm is feeling kind of tingly where she was touching it.
You make your way back to work, the tears you had been holding in finally falling from your eyes. You'll need to fix your make-up. This is all Quinn's fault you think grimly. You don't know why you're feeling this way; you were excited to see her but when you got there you just wanted to get the hell away. Something tells you you'll be going through this all over again on Tuesday.
Several hours later you're leaving your work office building, the evening sky setting over the city. You don't live that far from here so you usually get the sub home, it turned out to be less expensive than driving a car in the city, plus you get a five minute walk. When you're about to turn and walk away though something catches your eye across the street.
It is definitely Brittany because it was that building she left and nobody else would leave the house wearing what she was. She's leaving the office building and walking away from you down the opposite street. You stand rooted to the spot wondering what to do. Should you even do anything? You kind of want to say hi though. Maybe you should follow her.
Yep. You are definitely a fucking stalker you think as you start walking toward her and away form your usual route home. It's not until you get closer you realize Brittany is in the company of another blonde, one that reaches Brittany's knees. A golden retriever dog is prodding along happily beside the blonde; it's tail wagging and hitting the back of her legs.
You find yourself smiling.
You're not stalking her for more than 5 minutes before you come to the local park. Of course, she's just taking her dog to the park. You half expected something wonderful to happen when watching her, like she was secretly magic and would open a portal to her secret, wonderful world.
You're really starting to become fucking stupid.
So stupid in fact that you follow her into the park. What the fuck is wrong with you? Just go up and say hi. What's the worst that could happen? Well. The dog could fucking attack you for starters.
You stand by a tree and watch her for a while. Brittany managed to talk to a complete stranger and ask for bread to throw in the pond for the ducks. You just stare at her in awe. She's one of those people who can strike up a conversation with a complete stranger. Fuck it. You need to talk to her.
You walk briskly, your heels digging into the stone pathway until you're just behind her. The elderly man she was talking to was now sitting on a bench a bit further away.
"Hi!" you say a little too eagerly.
Brittany jumps a little and turns around, her dog following suit.
She looks surprised but happy to see you.
"Santana? Hi, what're you doing here?" she asks, bringing her woolly sweater up to her red cheeks and rubbing them.
She's so damn cute.
"I uh," you swallow and now you realize you didn't have enough time to come up with a lie. Fuck it. You don't think you want to ever lie to her anyway. "I saw you come out the building and I uh…"
"Followed me all the way here?" Brittany finishes, giggling.
"Yeah," you say awkwardly rubbing the back of your neck.
"Where are your manners Lucy? Say hello to Santana!" the blonde says in mock anger to the dog beside her.
The golden retriever wags it's tail and holds up its paw at you.
She's so damn cute, just like her owner. Smart too.
You chuckle as you take its fluffy paw and shake it. It's almost as special as touching Brittany. Almost.
"She's very cute" you chuckle more as the dog drops it's paw and looks up at Brittany. You can tell it obeys and respects its master.
"So cute" Brittany sighs and gives you a pointed look.
Your insides squirm a little.
"Lucy, go get Santana a present, go fetch" she says patting the dog's head.
The dog is off running toward the far distance where there is a group of trees; it goes around one and is out of sight.
"A present?" you smirk, amused.
Brittany nods bouncing on her feet a little.
It's kind of odd to see her out of room 47. It makes her seem more real. Which is fucking stupid because of course she's real. You look bashfully at one another as a brief silence consumes you. You're not good at making conversation because most of the time you don't want to. But you want to with her.
"I like your sweater" you say.
"Thanks," Brittany beams, her eyes falling to your lips briefly then back up to your eyes. "I made it myself"
You chuckle because of course.
"You want me to make you one?" Brittany asks excitedly.
You laugh again because she's so innocent and childlike yet has the grace of a woman.
"I wouldn't be caught fucking dead in one of those things," you say.
You watch her face fall, as her eyes look a duller shade of blue.
You know from that moment on that you never want to disappoint her again. "Well," you smirk "that's what I'd usually say, but for you? I think I could manage wearing one"
You hope she gets your sense of humour.
The light returns to her eyes and her lips spread out in a smile. "OK, I'll make you one, I need your favourite animal so I know what to put on it though"
"Mhmm," you look up in thought. "A lizard I guess?"
Brittany snorts. "A lizard? Really Santana?"
"Yeah really" you smirk. "What's wrong with lizards?"
The blonde rolls her eyes and shakes her head, some blonde hair falling in front of her face. "Fine" she concedes.
You really don't want this conversation to end so you keep talking. "Got any exciting plans for the weekend?"
Brittany runs her tongue along her lower lip and let's out a popping noise with her lips. "Kinda" she says nodding. "I bought property out of state in Tennessee so I need to go and arrange a few things"
You feel the blood leave your face and she must notice because she gives you a puzzled look. It can't be, can it?
"Y-you? You bought the Evans Ranch?" you ask in disbelief.
"Wow, how do you know that?" she asks in awe, her blue eyes wide with surprise.
"Evans…my fiancé is Sam, Sam Evans, his family own that place, and I've been going there for years," you say.
You cannot fucking believe this.
"Me and Sam are actually going this weekend too, although our main reason for going was to make sure the new buyer was legit," you say laughing because you don't even need to worry about that any more.
Brittany wouldn't hurt a fly never mind a person.
Brittany giggles a little then sighs. "I guess I'm meeting your future mother in law then?" she asks quietly. The sparkle is gone from her eyes and yet again you get the feeling you disappointed her. You never want to disappoint her and you already hate that look.
"Yeah," you sigh and both of you are plunged into an awkward silence.
You both look out at the little pond and listen to ducks quack and flutter against the water. You wonder how she got the money to buy that place, or why she's even buying it in the first place. Is she moving away? You really hope not. You go to ask but you close your mouth. She's the one that's supposed to ask you the questions, not the other way around.
Lucy comes running back after a while and nudges Brittany's hand. She's brought back a stick. She gives a single bark and Brittany claps around her floppy ears.
You're kind of jealous and again you don't know why, or at least, you don't want to think about why.
"Here," Brittany says smiling giving you the stick. Brittany puts a hand up to her mouth so she's talking away from Lucy. She leans closer to you so she's practically whispering in your ear, "please don't throw away the stick until you're out of the park, Lucy might take it personally if you don't like her stick"
You feel a giggle come up because you don't think she's being serious but then she leans back away from you and looking at you, the brightness back in her eyes a little. You think she's being serious, or at least you think that she thinks there's some truth to that statement. You don't even have the heart to mock her; you just chuckle and nod your head.
She's so fucking cute.
"Oh well, we should be getting home" Brittany sighs and begins to walk away, Lucy following obediently along at her side. "I guess we'll be seeing each other sooner than we thought, huh?" she smirks back at you.
With a whip of her head, she turns back away from you and walks toward the exit.
You just watch her leave and try to ignore the flutter in your stomach. You also try to ignore that your eyes fell to her legs and yeah this time her ass.
You don't want to feel like this, yet you do because it's such a good feeling, you think you're already hooked to how she makes you feel. You went to her in hope that you'd feel saner but again you leave her company feeling insane.
Well, you must be fucking crazy because you carried that damn stick all the way home.