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Their relationship was first (accidentally) mentioned in the mid-season finale of season one, but remained mostly subtext or shown as a friends-with-benefits type of relationship until episode 15 of season 2 when Santana admitted her love for Brittany out loud. At that time Brittany was dating Artie Abrams, and turned Santana down. Brittany breaks up with Artie in episode 19 of season two and asks Santana to prom, only to be turned down in return because Santana is not ready to come out of the closet.
Santana and Brittany appear to be a couple from the beginning of season 3 but it isn't confirmed that they're dating until episode 4 when Santana asks Brittany if they are, in fact, dating. They remain a couple throughout season 3. Though the couple had it's highs and lows throughout the coming seasons of Glee they did eventual be married in the sixth and final season.
The Brittana fandom is somewhat well known for it's work in making the ship the first femslash couple ever willed into canon by the activism of fans. io9 wrote about Brittana's effect on femslash and fandom in general:
In 2009 femslash exploded rapidly. Glee was on the air, and was promising lots of queer representation—only it was primarily guys getting their gay on. The Brittany and Santana relationship, that would come to dominate much of the Glee fandom conversation, was born out of one throwaway line about two featured extras and a group of women’s yearning to see themselves on TV.
It was fandom willing a pairing into canon.
And fandom’s reason? Queer women deserve representation.
The cry for representation wasn’t new, but Glee fans had, at the time, unprecedented access to the creators of their show. They didn’t have to mount letter campaigns, or ship hot sauce to a studio. They could bombard Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk directly via Twitter, and they could bombard them constantly.
It wasn’t a campaign, as much as an irate and well-meaning mob shouting through the ethers. And it worked. Murphy and Falchuk saw the the Twitter trends and the Tumblr hashtags, and acquiesced. “Brittana” went from a “crack” ship to a major narrative driving force of the show.
A key reason, besides young fans’ ability to bombard the Glee cast and crew with tweets, was that they had a very noble cause beyond wanting to see some genital grinding. For the first time, the majority of the fans begging for a couple to be canon were actual members of the community they wanted represented. Their call for expanded LBGTQ representation carried with it not just fans’ desire to see fictional people get together, but sincere social activism.
As of March 2013, there are nearly 7,000 Brittana fanfics on FF.net only. Some fics are simultaneously posted on AO3, and there are also a lot of drabbles and ficlets on Tumblr and Livejournal. Many of the longer Brittana fics are set in the future, focusing on the girls' post-high school lives in a more or less AU setting. Other popular themes are high school AU fics where one of them (usually Santana) is geeky and/or low on the social ladder.
The Brittana story "Taking The Long Way" by Lingering Lilies has been rewritten as original fiction and published on Amazon in the fall of 2012. The author has sold over 3,000 copies as of March 2013.
Here is a list of some the most favorited novel-length stories.
- Influence by Sappho's Ghost
- I'll Teach You To Dance by Monochromeheartbeat
- If Only You Could See What I See by FrogsRCool
- 2859 by Halfrobotchicken
- Color and Music Box by EverShadow
- Taking The Long Way and Me And You And Daisies by Lingering Lilies
- Clockwork and I Need A Medic by Gorshenin
- shine by mushroom, NSFW art for the Porn Battle.
- There is a Tumblr called Glee-art that is dedicated to femslash Glee fanart. It has a specific Brittana category.
- Luckypressure is one of the most well-known Glee fanartists, but she's not solely focused on Brittana.
- A Brittana/Faberry fanvideo without a name.
- brittana community on LiveJournal
- Brittany/Santana fanworks on AO3
- Brittany/Santana podfics on Audiofic Archive
- brittana tag on Tumblr