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New Found Grace

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Santana couldn't believe that she had been fucking stood up.

Again.

She had never been one for second chances, or for even giving anyone she didn't deem worthy the time of day. And yet, somehow, she'd been dragged back for a third, a forth, a fifth chance, as Dani apologised time and time again and promised it wouldn't happen again. She was busy in work, she'd say, the subway was slow, she'd say, Santana needed to stop being such a jealous bitch and why had she just broken her brand new fresh-from-IKEA lamp, she'd say. And, like a pathetic boomerang, Santana came back again and again, thinking that obviously Dani, with her colourful hair and her ironic tattoos and her ability to make Santana feel butterflies inside, couldn't be the problem. That obviously it was Santana, with her closet case issues and inability to make friends, that was driving her girlfriend away, and not the other way around. Still, it didn't do anything to cushion the blow of rejection.

Santana picked at her freshly manicured nails, glancing around the restaurant and wondering how long it was customary to pretend her date was still coming. The restaurant itself was small and dimly lit, the kind of place that practically screamed romance and expense. There was a candle on each expensive oak table, plush chairs designed purely for the customer's pleasure, and light, easy listening music played from the hidden speakers scattered around the room, so no diner would have to miss out on hearing Michael Bublé's warbling. The whole thing was mushy and romantic and special, and Santana hated it all. It only seemed to remind her just how lonely she was.

From buried deep in her Chanel purse, Santana's phone vibrated, and she pulled it out already knowing what the message would be. It was Dani, sending her biggest apologies and reminding Santana just how sorry she was to have to cancel again , but the traffic was just awful and there was no way she could make it. The whole thing was scattered with colourful emojis and 'xxx's, like there was nothing out of the ordinary, and Santana wasn't sat alone in a restaurant on the verge of tears. She pressed the off button angrily, then attempted to calm herself down, refusing to smudge her eye makeup from her stupid tears no matter how much of a bitch her girlfriend was. Throwing her phone back into her bag, she pursed her lips and clasped her hands together in her lap, trying to give off her usual don't care vibe that tended to scare unwanted people away. Obviously, Dani didn't want to cancel on her. I mean, look at her. She was hot. She'd worn that tight, red dress that skimmed her curves and revealed more than enough cleavage and leg, and that she knew Dani liked. Underneath was brand new and barely there lingerie, purchased with the money her parents had given her for Christmas. On her feet were matching sky high cranberry stilettos that pinched her feet and gave her blisters but that made her legs go on for eons . Her hair was pulled back into a complicated updo of curls and pins, and her makeup was dramatic and thick, with her lipstick another complimenting shade of scarlet. The whole thing had looked good in her bathroom mirror, and looked just as good in the restaurant's dim lighting. She knew this, of course, because there had been eyes on her since the moment she stepped out of her car, and there were even more eyes on her now that she was inside. There were a few too many guys who were paying more attention to her than they were to their girlfriends, and none of the said girlfriends looked pleased about that. Obviously, there was no way Dani would give all that up because of a few red lights. No, it had to be important, obviously. Obviously.

Drumming her nails on the table, Santana pretended to study the menu. Most of it seemed to be in French, but her Hispanic upbringing had prepared her for this much, and she could understand enough to realise that most of it sounded disgusting. The idea of this made her smirk a little at the audacity of it all, but a sudden voice pulled her out of her thoughts.

"Um, sorry, what?" she asked, turning to look up at the speaker. It was one of the waitresses, a blonde, peppy twenty year old that had greeted Santana when she had walked in.

"I said, are you okay? You look sad." the girl said. She had a trace of a Southern accent. Of course. Her entire persona, from her grin to her long legs, screamed Southern belle. However, her question wasn't one Santana had ever encountered from a staff member, especially one who looked far too young to work at a place that served alcohol.

"No, no, I'm fine." Santana nodded smoothly, crossing one leg over another in an attempt to look casual. "I was just observing your menu."

The girl smiled, showing rows of perfect teeth. Santana wished they had name tags in fancy restaurants.

"Do you see anything you like? I can get you some wine to start-" she had started pulling out her pad and pencil when Santana placed a hand on hers and stopped her. The girl didn't move her hand away, but continued to look at Santana until her gaze made the Latina blush and move back.

"Um, no, thank you. I was just leaving, actually." Santana said, standing up and grabbing her purse. "But thank you for your service. You've been a delight, er, um.."

"Brittany." the girl corrected, big smile on her face. Oh, yeah, she was definitely Southern. "And why? You haven't even eaten yet!"

Brittany was only just shorter than Santana, even with the latter in her huge heels. It meant that Santana was able to make direct eye contact with her while standing, and the idea of staring directly into those blue eyes did something funny to her insides. Santana ignored this.

"I, um," the brunette pushed a lock of hair behind her hair as she searched for the right way to phrase it. In the end, she decided to come directly out with it. "My date didn't show. She, um.. she stood me up." Santana gave a short, sharp laugh at the end of that to cover the sob she was surely going to make otherwise.

Brittany's brow furrowed. Then she turned and walked around the table, before pulling out the chair opposite from where Santana had been sitting and plopping her lanky body down. Seeing Santana's confused expression, she gestured for the other woman to sit down too, and Santana followed the order more out of curiosity than anything.

"Your date is an idiot." Brittany said seriously, and Santana couldn't help but laugh. "No, seriously, she is. You're super hot."

"Thank you." Santana grinned, avoiding direct eye contact. "I'm Santana, by the way. Santana Lopez."

Brittany's eyes widened until they were the size of saucers.

"I knew it! I knew I'd seen you before! You were a backing singer for Mercedes, right? I saw you when you came to New York! It was amazing! You were so good."

"I was a backing singer, Britt - you couldn't even hear me." she couldn't help but smile at this girl's enthusiasm. Santana wasn't exactly famous, but she was at least in the public eye. She had performed as back up for Mercedes Jones on her tour of the East Coast, and she had earned enough from that to support herself for a few months of unemployment.

" I could." Brittany said. "You were amazing. Some of my friends were dancers on that tour, and they said that you should have had a solo all to yourself because you were, like, Amy Winehouse and JLo combined, but better."

Santana shook her head.

"Not exactly, but tell them I said thanks. Do you have many dancer friends? I might know some of them." she asked, trying to stimulate conversation that wasn't just about Santana. For some reason, she was intrigued to know more about Brittany and her incredible hearing.

"Actually, most of my friends are dancers. I'm a dancer too, see. I moved here from Austin a couple years back to open a studio, and I've been teaching and choreographing for loads of different performances."

Santana nodded. It makes sense, really, that she would be a dancer. Her long limbs are toned, her stomach under her white t-shirt totally flat. In fact, the waitress uniform of white shirt and black shorts makes Brittany's body look very good. Very, very good.

Santana chewed her lip and tried to jolt herself back to reality. She is not allowed to think those kind of things about a random waitress she's known for three minutes. It's not fair on her poor heart.

"I bet you're really good, aren't you?" she smiled, and Brittany shrugged in a way that made them both laugh. Then the blonde suddenly goes serious again and Santana stopped mid-giggle.

"This date you're having.. was she a singer too? With Mercedes?"

Santana shook her head.

"No, she's an artist. One of those indie painters SoHo's full of." she shrugs. "But I can't really call her my date when she didn't even show."

"She's just some stupid woman, then." Brittany grinned. "And you, Santana Lopez, are far too good for a woman who won't even show up to see you in that dress."

Was the lack of food making Santana's vision funny, or did Brittany just check her out?

"I-I should probably be going. I'm working the bar tomorrow night and I should get to sleep early and-"

Brittany had placed her hand on top of Santana's.

"You know, I'm free now, if you wanted to have that date." she murmured, running her thumb over the side of Santana's hand and sending chills down her spine.

"You want to go on a date at your workplace?" Santana whispered, not quite able to think.

"With you, I'd go anywhere." Brittany smiled.