Disclaimer: Characters belong to Ryan Murphy, I'm just borrowing them so they can do my bidding for a while.
A/N: This is the third Christmas story I started for these two. This is the only one I could finish. How sad is that? :\ I'm not like… 100% with it, mostly because I literally sat down and forced it out because I wanted to post SOMETHING for Christmas, but here it is. I literally just sat down and wrote this, and I just finished so it isn't beta read or anything - I hope there aren't too many mistakes. I hope you enjoy it. Merry Christmas!
The Christmas lights twinkled brightly, spreading a faint glow through the otherwise dark room. A handful of presents had been wrapped and set beneath the tree, practically bursting with the silent anticipation of being opened. It was some time past two and soon enough a squealing toddler would be pulling her bleary-eyed parents down the stairs by their pant legs, pure undiluted excitement replacing the blood in her veins.
Two figures lay sprawled on the couch, one with their back pressed against the cushions, the other's wedged between a warm body and the backrest, blanketed by the darkness and pressed close to one another. Dark hair spilled over the shorter woman's shoulder and lay gently across the blonde's chest. Their breathing was even, in sync, and they lay so still that to a casual observer they would have appeared to be sleeping, but their eyes, though heavy lidded, were open. And it was only on further inspection that someone would have noticed the fingers of the brunette's hand, resting in the center of other's chest, were moving; tracing an endless pattern over the material of the pyjama shirt she was wearing.
"Brooke?" The fingers stalled briefly as the owner of them spoke, breaking the silence for the first time in a small eternity. The blonde shifted slightly against the cushions beneath her, lifting the arm she had around the other woman and running long fingers through dark, silky hair. Brown eyes fluttered closed at the contact and a quiet sound of acknowledgment left Brooke. "Are you happy?" The soothing motion stopped instantly.
"Of course I am, Sammie." Brooke moved her hand to brush Sam's hair back out of her face and tilted her head so she could meet her eyes. "Why wouldn't I be?" She felt Sam shrug beside her and watched as she moved her head to rest her chin on the blonde's chest. Brooke smiled at her. "I'm home for the holidays, Christmas presents are all wrapped and under the tree, I get to spend tomorrow watching my baby sister open all her gifts, and I have the most perfect girlfriend in all of existence." Her tone was teasing and playful, but none the less heartfelt and it made Sam grin wide enough to show all of her teeth. She rolled her eyes, but took the compliment, and lay her head back against Brooke's shoulder.
"Just checking." They lapsed back into silence for a while, just listening to the faint humming sound coming from the Christmas tree lights and feeling completely contented.
"We should head to bed." Brooke finally said, lifting her free arm to rub at her eyes with her fingers. "We're probably going to be up in a few hours, after being woken by Mac launching herself onto our bed." Sam let out a noise that was somewhere between a chuckle and a grunt, and she rolled her head into the gap between their bodies.
"Don't wanna. Comfy." The blonde giggled, reaching around and slipping a hand beneath her girlfriend's shirt to tickle the skin just below her ribs. Sam laughed and reluctantly pushed herself into a half-sitting position. Brooke grinned wryly at her and leaned up to place a soft kiss against Sam's lips.
"You can go right back to lying all over me once we're in bed." She promised, but Sam didn't respond. The brunette had become suddenly quiet in the wake of the kiss, her eyes had opened fully and she was staring at Brooke. It unnerved her a little. "Why are you looking at me like that?" Sam didn't reply at first. She ran her tongue across her bottom lip and then ran it thoughtfully along the inside of her cheek, a slight frown creasing her forehead.
"I've been lying here for the last hour trying to think of the right way to say it, but the words aren't there." And then they were both frowning. Sam shifted to brace her weight against her left arm so she could look down at Brooke and pursed her lips. "At least, I can't find them anyway. So I figure the best thing I can do is just come out and say it, right?" Confused, and a little unsure, Brooke nodded, keeping her eyes fixed on Sam's twinkling brown ones. Sam held her gaze, and the connection was so intense that Brooke suddenly found it had become a little harder to breath. "I love you, you know that right?" And even if Brooke hadn't, the way Sam said it at that moment, the quiet passion in her voice, would have convinced her. The blonde smiled, lifting a hand to brush the pad of her thumb across Sam's cheek.
"I love you too." Sam turned her head enough so that she could press a light kiss against Brooke's thumb.
"When we first started…" She paused, a light blush colouring her cheeks. "When she first got together, I never imagined that things would work out like this. That it would fall into place so well. With my mom and your dad and Mac, and everyone… I didn't think we'd end up here. That everything would be okay. I mean, I'd hoped it would be, but I was so afraid that it…." Sam cut herself off, feeling the slight prickling of tears behind her eyes and she rolled them at herself.
"I know." Brooke smiled, running her fingers through Sam's hair again. "Me too." Sam returned the smile, watery eyes seeming somehow deeper in the darkness.
"And lately I've been thinking about that a lot. How terrified I was that I'd somehow mess everything up, because we both know I do that so well." Brooke chuckled, slapping Sam's cheek gently with the palm of her hand in an attempt to scold her. "That I'd lose you." She dropped her gaze, took a deep breath, and Brooke realised somewhere in the back of her mind that she was steadying herself, trying to stop her emotions from overwhelming her. She felt her heartstrings being firmly tugged and an overwhelming need to reassure her girlfriend that there was no danger of that happening.
"You won't ever lose me, Sammie." Glimmering brown eyes rose once more, pinning Brooke with a look the blonde couldn't quite place.
"And I want to make sure I don't. Because you're my everything, Brooke." Sam twisted, and Brooke watched as she shoved a small hand into the space between the sofa cushions. And pulled out a tiny, red velvet box. And she felt her heart stop. "And it seems to corny to do this at Christmas time, but way less corny than if I were to do it on Valentine's Day, and I just… I couldn't wait any longer." She placed the box, still closed, on Brooke's chest and said no more. Hazel eyes had slipped from her and were fixed firmly, widely, on the box. For a second, everything was still. And then suddenly Brooke was moving, kicking her legs to move her into a sitting position and forcing Sam to move against her until Brooke was sat with her back against the armrest and Sam was positioned opposite her.
"You are so not supposed to be the one asking questions right now." The brunette teased, though her smile was nervous. "Just… open it, okay?" And Brooke complied, lifting the box that had fallen into her lap with trembling fingers and running her thumb over the indent where the lid met the bottom. Without realising, she took a steadying breath of her own and then used her thumb to push the top of the box up. Sitting inside, on its own cushion of bright white silk, was a ring so simple and beautiful just the sight of it made Brooke want to cry. It was a silver band with a single diamond in the center, and all the blonde could do was stare at it to make sure it was real. "Marry me." And it was barely more than a whisper, but the words shattered everything Brooke had ever known, ever thought would happen, and when they reformed; though it all appeared the same, everything was different. The shock wore off the very same instant a huge, brilliant smile spread across the blonde's face and, with the ring box clutched tightly in her hand, she launched herself forward at the other woman, wrapping her arms around her and practically crawling into her lap.
And then the words Sam had tried so hard to find didn't seem at all important anymore. Words themselves didn't seem to have a place in that moment. Neither of them spoke, not even when they pulled apart and Brooke gently pried the ring out of its holding. She didn't use words to instruct Sam to take it, and her hand, and slide the ring onto her finger. And when both their eyes filled as they stared down at Brooke hand, which at the same time looked identical to how it had minutes previous and yet so very different, they didn't need words then either. Instead, they laughed and grinned and kissed, and lay back down to admire that forever changed hand until their eyes slid shut and sleep consumed them.