Title: Sit With Me Tonight
Disclaimer: None of the Glee characters belong to me; I'm just borrowing them for a bit.
Summary: [Set after 2x20 - Brittany returns home from a prom after-party to find Santana waiting for her] - ...but the words she so desperately wants to say, the simple truth of 'it hurt watching you dance at prom with people that weren't me' are trapped in the back of her throat, failing to claw their way out...
It's not all darkness
It's not all light
You don't have to fix this
Just sit with me tonight
- Garrison Starr - 'Sit With Me Tonight'
It's a little past midnight when Santana flicks her eyes up from their resting place on the ground to see the shadowed figure she's been patiently waiting for finally approaching.
She'd left prom (gratefully) unnoticed – wanting to be alone and utterly exhausted from the night's drama – soon after her and Mercedes had finished their duet. Brittany had been busy dancing with Artie, smiling brightly and letting her body ebb and flow to the beat of the music, looking so carefree and happy that Santana was unable to do anything more than merely watch them sadly for a moment before turning on her heel and making her silent retreat.
She'd planned to go home, get out of her damn prom dress and curl up in bed while grieving the epic fail that her junior prom had been; another moment of 'wasted opportunity' she could add to her growing list, all overshadowed by her own cowardice and fear. But there was a voice in her head that kept repeating 'I believe in you, Santana' and somehow her feet had led her in the opposite direction of her own home and to a house she was no less familiar with after all these years.
The lights to the house were all off, leaving it blanketed in a still darkness that Santana would have found a little creepy if it hadn't been for the exception of the single beam of brightness coming from the porch light. She hadn't even considered knocking, knowing that Brittany's parents would already be asleep, and instead took comfort that she could see Brittany's bedroom curtains still open, meaning that she hadn't completely missed her chance just yet; so, seating herself quietly on the porch step, Santana waited.
She draws in a shaky, anxious breath as Brittany emerges out from the shadows and under the sliver of light from the streetlamp, and offers a tentative smile as a greeting.
Surprisingly, Brittany doesn't stumble or falter in her step when she sees Santana, her eyes don't widen in shock like Santana expects them to, instead Santana registers the way Brittany's lips purse together in a tight, tired half-smile as if she expected all along to return home to find Santana sitting outside her house.
"Hey," Brittany murmurs as she makes her way up the driveway, stopping just a few steps away from Santana.
Santana can't help the way her eyes trail up Brittany's body, taking in the coloured flush of Brittany's normally pale cheeks – probably from all the dancing, she notes absentmindedly – before finally coming to rest on Brittany's soft blue eyes.
"Hey," Santana echoes back lamely.
"So," Brittany starts when she doesn't say more, moving to take a seat next to Santana on the porch stoop. "I looked for you at prom but Dave said he'd seen you sneak off after you sang."
Santana nods, trying to ignore the way Brittany's bare arm is brushing against her own as Brittany shuffles subconsciously closer to her, says, "I'd had enough of prom for one year," and turning her head to catch Brittany's eye, adds with a playful smirk, "Besides, I was sick of Dave trampling over his big old ogre feet and crushing mine."
Brittany looks at her for a long moment before muttering a disappointed, "Oh."
Santana knows she's messing up again, but the words she so desperately wants to say, the simple truth of 'it hurt watching you dance at prom with people that weren't me' are trapped in the back of her throat, failing to claw their way out and ease Brittany's hurt.
Brittany's gaze is never judgemental, but Santana feels herself burning beneath it nonetheless and quickly drops her eyes down to where her hands are resting in her lap. She's so pathetically spineless in this moment that she almost regrets being there, at Brittany's house, on Brittany's porch with Brittany, who is so understanding it's unbearable at times.
Santana's drawn from her thoughts as nimble fingertips skate over her wrist, trailing down until long fingers are entwined with her own; a gentle thumb delicately caressing the back of her hand as Brittany speaks, "You're cold."
She studies the way their hands look together, their contrasting skin tones that seem to just blend together and fit, before tilting her head back to look at Brittany. Santana hears the unspoken question, the one that asks 'what are you really doing here?' but would never be so blunt as to leave Brittany's mouth.
"Yeah," Santana agrees, pausing to lick at the dryness of her lips. "I've been waiting awhile here to see you."
Something in Brittany's eyes flashes, something that looks a lot like hope and as a result a beautiful smile graces Brittany's face, lighting her up. "I went to an after-party with Mike and Tina," Brittany explains. "You should have called, I would have come."
"I know you would," Santana nods affectionately, getting lost in Brittany's gaze. "But you deserved to enjoy the rest of your prom, so I didn't mind waiting."
The smile Brittany gives her in return is a mixture of grateful and concerned, and Santana can see the way Brittany's brow is tightening in contemplation as to what Santana is waiting to do or say now that Brittany's actually there.
"I wanted to thank you," Santana rushes out, stuttering nervously, refusing to let anymore time between them be wasted.
Brittany's eyebrows knit together tightly as she asks, "For what? I didn't do anything for you."
Santana shakes her head resolutely, giving Brittany's hand an appreciative squeeze. "No, you did, Britt. You not only voted for me for prom queen, but you told me you believed in me. I mean, everything is so damned complicated between us right now and yet you still believe in me... you're the only person who ever really has."
"Of course I believe in you Santana, you're the most awesomest girl I've ever known," Brittany replies instinctively, like it's just that easy for her.
Santana feels the burn and the tears leak from her eyes even as she screws them shut, shaking her head in sheer disagreement. "But how can you still believe in me when all I keep doing is letting you down and hurting you."
She feels Brittany's body shift next to her, and then the sudden presence of a warm palm cupping her cheek, as a thumb deftly wipes at her fallen tears. The gentleness of Brittany's touch forces Santana's eyes back open and when she sees the adoring intensity in Brittany's blue eyes Santana feels her breath catch.
"Because I see you, Santana," Brittany murmurs, smiling lovingly. "All of you; even the parts you don't like so much right now, because they're a part of what makes up who you are. And I love who you are; I love you."
Santana releases a broken sob, grasping to clasp at Brittany's arm, keeping her hand in place against where it rests on Santana's cheek.
"I love you," Santana mumbles thickly through her tears.
"I know you do," Brittany assures her confidently, leaning to rest her forehead against Santana's own and closing her eyes as she allows Santana the moment she needs to settle back down.
It's Santana who pulls back first this time, looking up at Brittany shyly through her eyelashes as she says, "I thought you were going to kiss me tonight, when we were in the classroom and you said what you said... I thought you were going to kiss me."
"I thought about it," Brittany responds instantly, a smile lingering on her lips as she recalls the moment. "You looked so beautiful tonight..."
"Why didn't you?" Santana questions, interrupting Brittany's memory, and ducking her eyes away as she adds, "I wanted you to kiss me, Britt, so badly."
"Because," Brittany begins, curling her fingers under Santana's chin and forcing their eyes to meet. "You weren't ready for me to kiss you tonight, Santana."
"I was," Santana objects, even though she knows what Brittany's saying is the truth. She'd been vulnerable and inexplicably angry at the world, it wouldn't have been right at all.
"Santana," Brittany breathes, emphasising her point by shaking her head. "I wanted to kiss you tonight, and I could have kissed you because I'm okay with kissing you and accepting what that means for us. But you're not ready to kiss me yet, and that's okay too. I just don't want us to go back to the way things were because that wasn't right either."
"I know," Santana agrees, her heart aching in her chest. "And I promise you that I'm working on getting there, Britt. Soon, okay? I'll try harder."
"You don't need to try harder, honey," Brittany returns softly. "I'll happen. I'm already so proud of you, you know."
Santana sees it again, the belief Brittany has in her, its written clearly over Brittany's face, and etched so deeply, so unchangeably in those blue eyes that Santana falls in love with her all over again.
"Britts, can I stay here tonight?" Santana whispers pleadingly into the small space between them. "I don't want to be on my own."
Brittany wordlessly nods her head and stands, her hand never leaving Santana's as she tugs her to her feet and leads her into the house and up to her bedroom.
They're lying in the darkness – having changed out of their prom dresses and into pairs of Brittany's old baggy t-shirts – nestled beneath the warmth of the duvet, Brittany's body curled around Santana's and spooning her from behind, when Santana feels the ghosting of a kiss being brushed against the nape of her neck.
Santana releases a contented sigh, and closes her eyes as she listens to Brittany's soft, even breathing as she drifts into sleep, and the hammering of Brittany's heart thrumming against her back; its rhythm a constant steady reminder that Brittany believes in her, and in them.