Author's note: This is it. This is the final chapter of Memories of Yesterday. I really hope you enjoyed reading it.
Santana was amused. Quinn was pacing back and forth in her room, waiting for when someone would come in and lead her towards her future. Her nervousness showed plainly on her face as she sat down, stood up immediately and repeated the same action several times within the course of 5 minutes. Santana leaned back, her turquoise satin dress shimmering in the chandelier's light.
"You know, grip that bouquet any harder and it's going to die before you get a chance to throw it." Santana remarked.
"Shut up, Lopez." Quinn snapped but she loosened her grip on the flowers. Santana cocked an eyebrow. She distinctly remembered a similar, though reversed situation.
"You know, a certain someone was making fun of me for being terrified on my wedding day a couple of years ago." Santana remarked. Quinn shot her the dirtiest glare she'd ever given anyone and Santana merely smirked triumphantly. It felt so good getting Quinn back, not that she'd had any doubt that Quinn was going to be just as nervous as she was when she married Brittany. She knew Quinn's personality. She knew the thought of being committed was terrifying. To be honest, she didn't blame the woman. After what Puck did to her, after Sam's crazy proposal in the middle of high school, not to mention all the sleezebags she dated in college, it wasn't hard to imagine that she had commitment issues.
Quinn heaved a sigh and sat back down again. Santana walked over and put an arm around her comfortingly. She squeezed her shoulders and smiled.
"Hey, it's going to be ok." She reassured.
"I know. I'm just trying to block out the thought that he'll run away with some crazy tattooed woman like my father did." Quinn replied.
"He won't. If he does, I'll be sure to do the job right and castrate him good and proper, ok?" Santana said. Quinn offered a faint smile.
"So how are you and Brittany?" She asked. Santana let out a small breath.
"We're good. Not great, but we're getting there."
"I haven't seen you two in a while, what with all the planning for this wedding." Quinn said with an apologetic tone. Santana grinned.
"Don't worry about it, Fabray, oops, excuse me, soon to be Highland." Santana teased. At hearing her new last name, Quinn blanched and leaned back. Santana rushed to comfort her. "Hey, you can come over to our place any time you need a break, ok? Just let us know so that you're not walking in on us when we're doing it on the counter." Quinn burst into laughter and then restrained herself. She turned a bright red.
"Oh my God, Santana, that happened once! How was I supposed to know that you two were going to go at it so quickly?" Santana's eyes softened at the memory.
It had been months since that night. After the confrontation at the dance studio, Brittany had opened the door and Santana couldn't restrain herself any more. She grabbed Brittany on either side of her face and kissed her. Brittany seized her hands and kissed her back, pulling each other so close as if trying to make up for all the time that they had been apart.
"I love you." Santana said over and over, kissing her after each one.
"I love you too." Brittany said. Both of them were giggling, nervous and in tears of relief. The storm raged on overhead and Brittany got just as wet as Santana in a matter of seconds. But neither one of them cared. They kept kissing each other and whispering, "It's going to be ok" and "I know."
They made their way back to the apartment, holding hands the entire way there. Santana couldn't remember anything feeling so good, with Brittany's fingers intertwined with hers. When they got back to the apartment, they stood in the kitchen for a very long time even though their clothes were dripping onto the floor. Santana was the one who broke the silence.
"We should change...huh?" She asked.
"Yeah." Brittany replied.
Almost as if they both had the same thought, they simultaneously reached for each other, hands touching everywhere, mouths melded together. Santana pushed Brittany onto the kitchen counter, all but ripping off her shirt. Brittany's eyes glimmered through her half lidded eyes as she gazed down at the brunette. Santana noted several red marks on Brittany's pale skin and for a moment, anger welled up inside her knowing those marks came from David.
David...who had touched her wife. David, who had slept with Brittany.
But Santana pushed that thought to the back of her mind. If she didn't try to ignore it, if she didn't move past it, she was only confirming Brittany's belief that she'd be forever haunted by what Brittany had done with him. But Brittany sensed Santana's hesitance and quickly grabbed her shirt, covering up.
"No." Santana whispered. "No, I'm ok."
"You're not ok." Brittany replied. Santana cupped her face and stared into her eyes.
"Ok, maybe I'm not. But I will be now that I have you." She grabbed Brittany's shirt and discarded it on the floor, kissing a trail along her neck.
"Promise?" Brittany asked quietly.
"Yes." Santana murmured against her skin. Brittany helped Santana out of her shirt and it was like they were in high school all over again, blushing like adolescents doing it for the first time. Brittany's eyes kept glancing over Santana's body and a shy, scared smile crept to her ears. She'd seen it before, when she undressed Santana to put on her sleepwear but in this situation, it took on a whole new perspective. Meanwhile Santana took in what she had been missing for so long.
"You're beautiful, you know that?" Santana whispered. To hide her own embarrassment, Brittany quickly pulled Santana in for another kiss.
It was really their first time all over again. Brittany had no idea what to do and Santana, even though she had experience, wasn't sure if it was still the same. They fumbled around, mumbling more "sorry's" than "I love you's". But the intimacy was there. It wasn't desperate, like it had been with David, but it did seem like a long awaited thing, this time, on both their parts. Rather than rush through it, Santana took it slow, pausing every now and again to check to see if Brittany was ok. And Brittany was, she was more ok than she'd ever been since waking up in the hospital with no recollection of how she'd gotten there.
Even though there was a hint of sadness in both of their eyes, a reminder that despite this, they needed a lot of work to get through everything, there was also an unspoken amount of undying love there too. Brittany took the initiative to try and voice her feelings.
"I love you." Brittany gasped against Santana's lips and Santana echoed the words, her eyes locked on Brittany's.
The morning came and Brittany found herself wrapped in Santana's arms, naked and lying on the couch.
"SANTANA!" The door burst open and Quinn rushed in. The two of them, without even a blanket to cover themselves, sat up. All three of them turned almost a purplish red. Brittany got up and ran into the bedroom while Santana grabbed a few pillows and hid herself.
"Knocking, Fabray, helps avoid situations like this." She said angrily. Quinn turned around.
"Locking your door, Lopez, would also help." She retorted.
"What do you want?" Santana demanded.
"Nevermind, clothe yourself and we'll talk."
What Quinn wanted was to reveal her engagement and ask Santana if she would be her maid of honor. Santana found that out after she'd slipped into sleepwear, kissed Brittany on the cheek and assured her that they would talk later.
Santana walked back into the living room, the wedding photos were still scattered everywhere, serving to reaffirm that there was still a lot of healing to do and a lot of trust that needed to be regained on both their parts. Santana regarded the previous night as a bittersweet conclusion to the lie she'd perpetuated.
"So you told her?" Quinn asked.
"It's a long story." Santana said, not really in the mood to rehash something so recent that it still hurt a little thinking about the look in Brittany's eyes when she got home. "So, you're engaged." Quinn showed off her ring and smiled.
"Yeah, he did it last night."
"That's a long drive. What if you rejected him?" Santana commented. The tone in her voice was still tired and Quinn couldn't tell if it was physically or emotionally.
"You alright there?" The blond woman asked. Santana caught a glimpse of their marriage certificate, sitting on the floor under the coffee table. She smiled at it.
"Yeah, I will be."
Santana returned from work that day and sat down with Brittany, pouring out Brittany's entire history, recalling everything that she could. After a few hours of her rehashing their past, how they met, their first kiss, the boys and girls they'd both dated, Brittany nodded, signalling that she needed time to process all of it. Santana stopped and watched her with a concerned expression as Brittany took it all in.
"You ok?" She asked. Brittany reached over and squeezed Santana's hand. She offered a small smile in return.
"I still love you." She answered. "But let's go to bed. I'm kinda tired." Hands still clasped in each other's, they went into the bedroom. Santana made a move to get in but Brittany stopped her.
"You're still clothed." She noted. Santana looked down at her sleepwear.
"Yeah?" She said. Brittany wordlessly bent down removed Santana's nightgown. Santana's eyes widened a little, her entire body tensing. "Wha..."
"Now that I've seen all of you and felt all of you, I can't go back." Brittany said. The words made Santana's heart leap. They curled together and fell asleep, warm skin touching warm skin. Much of their life was still imperfect, with Brittany's imperfect memory and Santana's imperfect personality. But they'd been both stripped bare, physically and emotionally, and there was only going forward from there.
It was the following day also, that David announced it was no longer going to be teaching at the dance studio. He handed over the keys and the rights to Brittany, saying that he was going to pursue his love of dancing in the outside world. Both Brittany and Santana knew the real reason that he was leaving. He couldn't take being around what he couldn't have. Santana couldn't say she was sorry to see him go, after what he had did, taking advantage of Brittany, exposing the marriage, etc. She said directly to his face,
"I'm glad you're leaving you son of a..."
"I'm sorry." He cut her off. "What I did was wrong. And I'm sorry. But I really, really loved her."
"I don't care you bastard." She snapped, only to be shut up by Brittany who grabbed Santana's shoulders. The blond regarded the wounded man with a sad expression.
"Good luck." She said simply. David smiled sadly and opened his arms for a hug. Brittany shook her head and David dropped his arms and nodded. He didn't expect Brittany to forgive him. The fact that she even spoke to him was a sign of how kind she was. Then he remembered something troubling.
"When we...when..." He glanced at Santana whose jaw tightened. "When we were together...I never used any protection. Are you...?" Brittany blinked, then shook he head.
"No. As soon as I got back, Santana had me start up the birth control I had." David hung his head in shame. He didn't mean to forget but he knew that subconsciously, he must've reasoned that if Brittany had gotten pregnant, there was no way she was going to leave him. It disgusted him a little, now that his head was a little clearer, that he was willing to go that far to make Brittany his.
"Oh." He replied. Santana showed an inhuman amount of restraint. "Well, it figures." He let out a breath that could've been mistaken for a broken laugh. "Santana's always protecting you." He then walked out the door and the next time either of them saw him, it was as a back up dancer. He looked happy enough.
"Earth to Santana." Quinn waved her hand in front of Santana's face, bringing her back to the present. Santana shook her head though the memory still lingered. "What are you off in space about? Ew...don't tell me..."
"Just thinking about all that we've been through." Santana replied. Quinn's expression softened and she grasped Santana's hand with her gloved one.
"Everything turned out pretty ok, right?" She asked. Santana nodded.
"Yeah. It did." The door opened and Quinn's mother walked in.
"It's time, sweetie." She said calmly. Quinn stood up in a flash and Santana followed suit. The three of them walked out, the music having started already. Santana walked down the aisle first. From the crowd, familiar and unfamiliar faces looked up at her. She saw Glee club members, those that weren't groomsmen or bridesmaids smile.
It had been an extensive process explaining to them what had happened to Brittany. Many took it initially as a joke but when they met her again for the rehearsal dinner, it became apparent that it was not a joke. Somberly, each of her old friends reintroduced themselves, usually asking the question, "is it permanent?" to which Santana had no answer. And when they got together and reminisced about the old times, even if it didn't show on Brittany's face, Santana could tell that it pained her not to remember the same things that they did.
But Santana was there for her, and that was the important thing. And she looked up at the line of bridesmaids already standing at the front and saw Brittany smiling at her. She mouthed the words,
"You're pretty" and Santana blushed, mouthing a quick,
"You too" before taking her place beside her. As Quinn walked down the aisle, holding her mom's arm, Santana took Brittany's hand in hers. From across the small stretch of carpet, Kurt looked down at their linked hands and winked approvingly at them, causing the two to break into a satisfied grin.
"I love you." Brittany whispered into Santana's ear. In response, Santana squeezed her hand firmly as Quinn took the arm of her groom and the two proceeded to the altar.
The reception was held on a beach with the warm fall sun illuminating the sand. The Glee members sang, everyone danced and it was a beautiful moment for all. When Quinn turned her back to the bridesmaids and tossed the bouquet, it seemed predestined to fall into Brittany's arms. When her hands securely held the flowers, everyone clapped and she glanced at Santana shyly.
The two danced together for a couple of songs but mostly opted to sit along the water's edge. Brittany rested her head against Santana's shoulder and the two reflected quietly.
"This was fun. I liked getting to meet everyone again." Brittany remarked. Santana put her arms around her.
"Not sure I particularly like Puckerman though." She commented. Santana snorted.
"Probably because we dated." She replied.
"I guess." Brittany leaned over and kissed Santana's cheek. They sat in silence, looking over the rolling waves while the band played behind them. It was a clear day and they could see for miles to the horizon.
"You were what brought me back, you know." Santana said. Brittany lifted her head to look at her.
"What do you mean?"
"That night..." Santana didn't even have to specify which night, Brittany instantly knew. "I thought about giving up. I thought I'd hurt you too much and you deserved better. The wedding video was still rolling and...and you'd taped something after the reception. It was the first day of our honeymoon and you taped this speech to me."
"What did I say?" Brittany asked.
"Just that you loved me." Santana said with a shrug. "And that...you didn't have a favorite memory of me. You were more excited about the future than the past." Brittany rested her head down again and smiled. The wind blew through their hair and Santana reached up to comb it down.
"I was right, you know." Brittany remarked. "I am more excited about the future with you."
"Brittany! Santana! It's time for more photos!" Mercedes called out to them. The two stood up, dusting their dresses off.
"Coming!" Santana shouted back and looked at Brittany. The blond was staring towards the ground though not at it. She was lost in her thoughts and her eyebrows furrowed in confusion.
"What's wrong?" She asked. Brittany looked up at Santana and blinked several times.
"Hey." She said. "Do you remember when Tina dumped that cup of punch on Artie's lap when he was flirting with a bridesmaid?" Brittany asked. Santana smiled at the memory.
"He deserved it." She remarked before stopping dead. She thought back to the wedding tape. That moment hadn't been caught at all and Santana had only remembered it now. It was such a small moment, a hilarious one, but otherwise forgettable.
And Brittany had recalled it.
Santana looked at Brittany with wide eyes and the blond stared back, a small but scared smile forming on her lips.
The Glee members were singing an old favorite of theirs in the distance. The wind carried the notes down the coast. The sun glinted off of the water, sparkling like a thousand pin pricks of light. People danced and laughed and took pictures to commemorate the reception.
It was just another fall day.