Brittany smiles down at her plate as she twirls the spaghetti with her fork.
Munching on her breadstick, Santana tilts her head as she watches Brittany, a small grin tugging at her lips. "Hey, Britt?" she whispers.
Brittany looks up from her food to meet Santana's twinkling eyes. "Yeah?"
"Whatcha smiling at?" Santana takes another bite of her breadstick.
Brittany shrugs, glancing around the restaurant. "Just…I can't believe we're finally here."
"We come here all the time," Santana says.
"Yeah, but…" Brittany furrows her eyebrows in frustration. "You know what I mean, Santana."
Santana chuckles. "I know, I know."
"Anyway, how are your breadsticks?"
"Excellent," Santana replies with a smirk.
"Are you sure you don't want to order actual food?"
"Yes, I'm sure." Santana takes a sip of water, eyeing Brittany's spaghetti and meatballs. "Besides, now I get to share with you." Santana rests her chin on her hand and watches Brittany, as if her eating spaghetti were the most beautiful sight in the world.
Brittany snorts under Santana's typically charming gaze. "Yeah, yeah."
"How's your spaghetti?" Santana asks slyly.
"Great." Brittany glances up at Santana and the meaningful look in her eyes. Failing to hold a smile in, Brittany scoops up another forkful of spaghetti and holds it across the table to Santana's mouth.
"Hmm," Santana hums, slurping down the pasta.
Brittany returns to her food, watching Santana out of the corner of her eye.
"You're my favorite, you know that, Britt?" Santana says all of a sudden.
Brittany quickly stops scarfing down her spaghetti and wipes her mouth with her napkin. "Am I?" she asks.
Santana nods. "Uh huh. You've always been my favorite."
Brittany grins at this. "You think you're smooth, don't you?"
"No," Santana says with a smile, "just honest."
The smirk disappears from Brittany's face as she takes in Santana's sincere confession. "You're my favorite, too, San," she admits.
Santana smiles, sliding her hand across the table to hold onto Brittany's. She rubs the back of Brittany's hand with her thumb for a moment before pulling it to her lips and planting a long kiss there. "Can you get more perfect?"
Brittany blushes and looks away, retrieving her hand to continue jabbing at her spaghetti. "San…," she whines softly.
Santana just watches in amusement. "What?"
"You're being all corny and making me blush."
"I'm just telling the truth."
Brittany glances up and catches Santana's smirk. She immediately responds with a smug grin of her own. It's as if they both know they are blessed with something that very few people have.
And that something is love.
"Thank you," Brittany says to their waiter as she reaches for the check, but Santana grabs it before Brittany's even close. "What are you doing, Santana?"
Santana scans the bill before taking out her credit card. "Paying," she replies offhandedly.
"But I'm supposed to pay."
Santana raises an eyebrow at Brittany. "Who says?"
"Well, we're here for the bet, aren't we? And I lost."
Santana smiles at the charmingly honest Brittany. "Britt…"
"That was the bet: I fall in love with you, and I buy you dinner."
"Well, yes," Santana admits, "but I'm in love with you, too, so…"
"But I fell in love with you first," Brittany insists.
Santana chuckles at this. "Britt," she begins, "I've been thinking about this a lot, and you know what I realized?"
"I realized that I've been in love with you longer than I can remember. Maybe since those sleepovers in middle school. Or those play dates in elementary school. Or maybe since we met for the first time in kindergarten. Remember when I kissed you on the cheek?" Santana smiles at the memory. "I didn't even know why I did it. I was five years old." She shrugs. "I just know that I'm in love with you and that I've felt this way for a very long time."
Brittany chews on her lip. "Well, you're not the only one who's been in love for so long. I mean-"
"This isn't some kind of competition."
"We'll split the check."
Brittany thinks about this for a moment, then nods. "Okay."
Santana smiles at her. "Okay?"
For the first time, they leave Breadstix with their hands clasped in one another's. They walk over to Santana's car and get in, but Santana doesn't drive Brittany home just yet. Instead, she brings Brittany to the Lima Aquarium, somewhere that Brittany has, strangely enough, not requested that Santana bring her to yet in their many years of friendship.
"Wow," Brittany breathes out in awe, pressing her hands against the floor-length glass panel separating her from dozens of sea creatures.
Santana grins, studying Brittany's glimmering eyes and gaping mouth. "It's pretty cool, isn't it?"
"It's awesome," Brittany says, her eyes trailing the path of a stingray. "Santana, look! It's huge."
Santana glances at the stingray and nods. "Yeah, it is."
Brittany giggles, eyes still scanning the aquarium in fascination. Finally, she pauses, having found something more marvelous than the previous creatures. "Santana…"
Santana tilts her head, trying to follow Brittany's line of sight.
"Dolphins," Brittany tells her.
Santana chuckles. "And they're just gay sharks."
Brittany pulls her eyes away from the tank and gazes at Santana, smitten, lovestruck, and head over heels. "And they're just gay sharks," she repeats quietly.
Santana notices the change in Brittany's expression and falters for a moment. Her eyes flick down toward Brittany's pink lips, and, without even knowing it, she's leaning in, inch by inch…
Until she suddenly remembers that Eskimo kisses was all the action she was getting for the next five years, and she stops. She glances warily up at Brittany. "Can I…?" she asks nervously.
Brittany smiles. "Of course you can."
And so she cups Brittany's cheek with one hand and pushes her lips into Brittany's.
"Mommy," Santana hears a small voice say. She breaks away from Brittany and looks down to see a boy not too far from her tugging on his mother's sleeve. "What are gay sharks?" he asks.
The mother frowns. "What are you talking about?"
The boy gestures at Santana and Brittany and says, "They were talking about gay sharks."
His mother glances over and notices Santana and Brittany's joined hands, immediately grimacing in disapproval.
And Santana isn't about to let it go. "Do you have a problem, Miss?" she asks loudly. Brittany tugs at her hand, urging her to stop, but Santana ignores it. "Huh?" she adds when the woman doesn't respond.
The woman just shakes her head and leads her son away.
Santana scoffs, turning back to Brittany with her eyebrows scrunched in anger. "Britt, did you see that? What is wrong with people these days?"
"It's okay, San," Brittany assures her.
But Santana will have none of it. "Have they looked at you? You're a hot piece of ass. They should be jealous of me, not judging me like that."
Brittany smiles a little at this. "I know, Santana, but some people are just more narrow-minded than others. It's okay. We don't have to flaunt it in their faces-"
"But I want to flaunt it in their faces. I want everyone to know that I'm with the most…" Santana takes a deep breath, searching for the right words to say. "The most…beautiful, loving, kindhearted girl in the world."
A wide smile takes over Brittany's face as the words tumble from Santana's mouth. She nods, pulling Santana's face toward hers, and kisses her. "Let's flaunt it, then," she says. "Let's flaunt it all the time."
Santana smirks at Brittany, tightening her hold on Brittany's hand as they continue strolling through the aquarium.
"Wait, look at this one, San!" Brittany points to a small clownfish and grins at Santana. "It's Nemo."
Santana nods through her quiet laugh, wrapping her arm around Brittany's waist. "You found him."
"You're like the Nemo to my Dory, San," Brittany says.
Santana mulls over that comparison for a second, smiling inwardly at the aptness of it. Brittany does resemble Dory in some odd ways…
"And I've finally found you," Brittany adds softly.
Santana practically feels her heart clench at that moment. "Britt-Britt," she starts, shaking her head in disbelief.
"Hmm?" Brittany hums.
She gazes straight into Brittany's blue eyes and smiles. "You know I'm gonna marry you, right?"
"One day," Santana says, ambling along again. "One day, I'll marry you, Brittany."
Author's Note: Well, here's the end. Thank you so much for following this story. I had a lot of fun, and I hope you did, too.