A/N: Minor change made from the version posted on tumblr, but yeah. This is, as Hester (jugstheclown) put it, "nauseatingly sweet" fluff. You've been warned.
It's been twenty years.
They're sitting together at the kitchen table, reading the paper in sections and drinking coffee. It's Tuesday. Santana flips through the business section, her brows furrowed in heavy concentration. Brittany reads the comics and smiles to herself. Neither says a word, and when they're both finished, they switch. Santana lets out a small snort at "Non Sequitur", while Brittany runs her finger along each word of an article on economic growth in the automotive sector.
Twenty years of arguing about bills and mortgage payments and new jobs and new cities.
Santana takes a sluggish sip of lukewarm coffee and checks her watch. She sighs, the heavy sigh of a woman who doesn't want to go to work. She's comfortable in her midlevel advertising agency, having worked her way through school and the dregs of mailrooms and administrative assistant positions before finally making partner the year before. But it's Tuesday, and she's already tired. She's feeling fatigued earlier and earlier every week.
Brittany, for her part, still bounces energetically in the seat next to her. Her leg warmers cover muscular calves, and her slouching, ripped sweatshirt means that she has another day at the studio ahead of her. A single cup of coffee will keep her running all day, and she's forever grateful for that. It takes a lot to round up rambunctious children into formation and hold their attention long enough to show them proper technique, but she wouldn't have it any other way.
Twenty years of apartments and condos and houses and nurseries and big-kid beds and soccer practice and ballet rehearsals and cello lessons.
Clumsy feet clamor across hardwood floors, with a small, yapping Jack Russell terrier speeding closely behind. Santana lifts her gaze from the paper, pushing her glasses down her nose. Her failing vision is the only sign of her age. She'd been forced into corrective lenses after college, when years of late night term papers in dim library lighting had ruined her eyes. Brittany had told her she looked like a sexy librarian, and after that it hadn't seemed so bad.
A gangly body flops into a chair across the table, immediately digging into the plate of food that has been waiting for him for nearly ten minutes. Santana watches as his mop of dark, curly hair hangs around his eyes, which sparkle blue. He tries to discreetly feed the dog bacon under the table, but a wary glance from his mother and he sheepishly flashes her an innocent smile, his teeth still clad in thousands of dollars worth of orthodontic gear. Another year, when he's fourteen, and they'll come off. Santana secretly blames Brittany for those teeth, but she never says as much. Santana can take the blame for other aspects of his personality, including his penchant for mischief and troublemaking. Luckily for them, though, he's not the cruel child she had been in her adolescent years. Everything he does is for the sake of making someone laugh. Brittany has a hard time punishing him for that.
Twenty years of routines and broken promises and new resolutions and desperate apologies and nights spent on the couch.
A second body lands gracefully into the seat next to her brother, long limbs anything but gangly. She carries herself with the ease of someone much older than her sixteen years, and someone much wiser. She takes Brittany's coffee and brings it to her lips, sipping nonchalantly, even though she knows how her mothers disapprove of her drinking the stuff. She pets the dog and then her brother, giggling as he swipes her hand away playfully.
The four of them sit in silence like this, the familiarity of it so comfortable that none of them need to say anything. Brittany looks up from her newspaper when her coffee isn't where she left it, and clicks her tongue at her daughter, taking the mug from her. She reaches out and swipes a strand of blonde hair from her forehead and tucks it behind her ear, the palm of her hand cupping a porcelain cheek for just a moment, silently recognizing so much of both herself and Santana in the young woman before her. She has Santana's brains; everything comes so easy to her. She has Brittany's figure, her long legs making her the most accomplished dancer in the area. They've already planned a trip to New York in the summer, so she can take a tour of Juilliard.
The two children get up gather their backpacks when the clock on the wall chimes the hour. School will start in fifteen minutes, and even though they only live a block away, Santana insists they leave in time to be early, rather than just "on time." They kiss each of their parents in turn, taking the money Santana hands them for lunch, and closing the front door behind them as they leave.
Twenty years since Brittany got down on both knees, because she thought that getting down on one wasn't good enough. Because when you ask someone to marry you, she had said, you were begging them to give you everything they had and it just wasn't enough to take all of that on your shoulders and only be on one knee. Because that's what she wanted: to beg for everything Santana had, for the rest of their lives.
Twenty years since Santana got down on both knees in response, and begged for everything from Brittany right back.
Santana cranes her neck over her paper to watch them round the corner through the kitchen window, making sure her daughter has her scarf and her son hasn't left his shoes untied again. When they disappear, she settles back into her seat, flipping the page of her newspaper. She lays her hand on the table, palm up, stretching out her aging muscles and yawning. She's nearly forty-five, and though she doesn't show it in her face, she feels it everywhere.
A warm hand slides into hers, and she looks up. Brittany is still staring at her paper, coffee mug in hand and one leg curled underneath her, but she's smiling. She squeezes Santana's hand without looking up, letting her know that it's okay to worry about the kids, but to relax a bit. Brittany's pinky hooks around hers as she leans back in her chair. Santana grins and takes a sip of her coffee before returning her gaze to her paper, squeezing back with a contented sigh.
It's been twenty years, and nothing between them has changed. Or maybe everything has changed. But neither of them would trade a day of it for anything in the world.