"you wanted to be in love, and he just happened to get in the way." - richard siken


She was skeptical, at first. Very much so. The idea of going to a party where all of her friends are going to be hooking up, leaving her in the dust, wasn't exactly something Santana was eager to do. But she went anyway, because her best friend begged her to, and she couldn't say no when it was a chance to get out of their stuffy apartment they shared.

It wasn't five minutes before her friend had been tugged away, the lips of someone Santana wasn't familiar with kissing her roughly up against a wall. She shivered as her friend started responding, walking away with her arms crossed. Plopping in front of the bar, she notified the bartender to hook her up with some vodka, and he brings it to her quickly, a grin on his face.

"What're you smirking about, Twink?" She snaps, downing some alcohol and closing her eyes in frustration.

"You look like you're not here by choice," He replies easily. "I get a lot of people like that here. Not many people are fond of night clubs with flashing lights and constant public sex."

She cocks her head to the side a little. "Good guess. My friend, Rachel," She nods at the tiny brunette grabbing at a guy she suspects to be a prostitute. "She said we'd have fun here. Looks like she was right about herself." The bartender laughs, another smile gracing his face.

"Sorry about that." He leans over the counter and refills her glass, pouring one for himself. "Your drink's on me."

"I don't want your pity, asshole." She replies bitingly, and he winks at her.

"What, I can't buy a girl a drink?" He throws up his hands sarcastically, and she laughs a little, despite herself. "Besides, I only want your name."

"Santana Lopez." She says-or shouts, rather, because the music turns loud at that point. He grabs her hand and squeezes it in a friendly manner.

"Sebastian Smythe. Say, how about we blow this joint and grab a coffee or something? I'm sure this bar isn't doing any favors for either of us. Besides, I know a place not far from here that's much quieter." He offers, and Santana looks over for her roommate, who suddenly disappeared. Figures.

"As long as you're still paying," She replies, smirking at him.

"Sounds fine. I'll be right there." He darts behind the bar, and a few moments later appears again, and she notes that he's lean, with a decent sense of fashion. He shrugs on his jacket and then extends his arm for her to walk in front of him. She opens the door and steps out into the cold New York City air with a shiver.

"This way," Sebastian says while walking in the opposite direction, and she runs after him only to fall into step beside him as they walk the empty streets of the city at midnight. "So, Santana Lopez, are you from New York originally?"

"Nope. I was born and raised in Ohio." She answers, shoving her hands into the pockets of her long jacket.

"Really?" He asks, eyeing her quickly. "I figured you'd be a Boston girl, or at least someone from a big city. You look so...comfortable here. It suits you." They keep walking in silence for a moment or two before she breaks the silence.

"What about you, Mister Smythe? You seem like you know your way around here. Are you a New York City native?"

"Nah. Born and raised in Paris."

"France?"

"No, New Jersey. Of course, Paris, France." He replies sarcastically, and she whacks him playfully in the arm. "Hey! You're spouting snide remarks, so why can't I?" She shakes her head, a smile on her face, and then he's grabbing her arm and tugging her towards a small coffee shop on a street corner. Molly's, she reads. It's small, and as they step inside, it smells like baking bread and coffee, two of her favorites. They sit down at one of the few window booths, and he orders two coffees with a smile. As they're waiting, he crosses his arms on the table and looks at her with a glint in his eyes.

"What are you looking at, Craigslist?" She snaps playfully, and he shakes his head, out of the reverie he appeared to be in.

"Nothing. So. This 'Rachel' you mentioned; your roommate?" He inquires, and she nods, rolling her eyes.

"She and I sped out of Lima as soon as we graduated, because we wanted, you know, to be free. The city spoke to both of us-she's just handling it differently, I guess." Santana thinks back to the prostitute she saw with her and cringes. He had looked like bad news.

"Mmm? How long have you been here?"

"Why do you want to know?" She replies, wondering why the hell she was talking to a stranger about all of this.

"I'm usually good at reading faces when it comes to meeting new people. But you're...different. I don't know how, but you're not an open book like everyone else. I just wanna try and map you out a little bit." He responds calmly. Their coffee arrives at that moment, and Santana is so drawn in by his personality, his cool exterior, that she almost completely forgets the time, and talks with him for almost an hour before she gets a text from Rachel, asking where she is.

"Fuck," She hisses, replying quickly with an "i'll be back in 20 minutes" and then slipping her phone into her pocket.

"What?" Sebastian asks, raising an eyebrow at her sudden rush.

"I totally forgot about the time, and if I'm not home soon, Rachel is gonna be so pissed off." She scoots out of the booth and grabs her purse. "Thank you for the coffee, Seb. It was cool meeting you."

"You too. Hey-" He says, grabbing her wrist gently and tugging her closer to him for a moment. She makes a startled noise, but doesn't move away as he gets up, putting his money down and picking up his jacket. "How about I walk you home or something? It's pretty late to be out alone for anybody."

"Sure," She finds herself saying, and by the time they're halfway there, she's got her arm looped in Sebastian's. He feels warm.

"I had fun." He says, looking down at her with a small smile. "You're different for a girl from Ohio. Pretty." The last word is breathed, so soft that she's not even sure if that's what he said.

"Me too," She replies, squeezing his arm. "Thanks for getting me away from Rachel and her 'paid-friend'." She giggles, and then it's quiet again, except for the sound of their heels hitting the sidewalk in unison. By the time they've reached her complex, she's exhausted and wants nothing more than to curl up in bed and sleep for a while. She dislodges herself from him and gives him a tired smile, approaching the front door.

"Hey," He says suddenly, and walks up close to her. There's barely two inches of space between them, and she feels lightheaded at how close he is to her. He leans down and kisses her cheek, and she blushes when he stands upright again. "I'll text you, okay?" He says, his voice husky, and she just nods, looking down at her phone. She looks up, and he's walking back to wherever he lives.

"Later, Seb," She calls after him, but her voice is hoarse from anticipation. Her phone buzzes.

It's a text from Sebastian.

we should do that again