In honor of it being Brittana Day, I thought I'd post the last chapter. Thanks to everyone for reading! Fingers crossed for a kiss.
Santana has taken to asking Brittany for permission to kiss her.
"Can I kiss you, Britt?" Santana says, balancing unevenly on her tiptoes, hands clasped nervously in front of her, as though Brittany would ever tell her no.
When Brittany nods or says sure, Santana grins—her big, real Santana smile—and leans forward, still on tiptoe, holding her breath like she's making a wish.
The kisses feel like summertime and rollercoaster drops and heat and dance and just about every good thing Brittany can think of. They feel like coming home to a place Brittany didn't even realize she had left.
Secretly, Brittany thinks it's funny that Santana acts so nervous about kissing, considering that, ever since prom, she and Brittany have more-than-kissed actually kind of a lot. They still aren't together-together, of course, but things are getting better. Santana doesn't seem quite as scared as she did before, and somehow everything feels brighter, like someone turned a light on above them.
On the airplane ride home from New York, they held hands under a blanket as they fell asleep; they woke up shivering under the open air duct with their fingers intertwined, thirty-thousand feet in the air, the blanket at their feet on the floor.
Santana didn't even flinch.
She held Brittany's hand until they touched down on the tarmac in Fort Wayne.
"We're home, BrittBritt," she said when they had to stand up to get their carry-on luggage out of the overhead bins.
Brittany felt warm all over. She didn't have to say anything back.
Brittany knows that Santana thinks that everything went wrong for her this year. She was supposed to be head cheerleader, supposed to become prom queen, supposed be the most popular girl in school, supposed to win it big at Nationals with the glee club in New York.
She was supposed to get her girl.
Nothing really turned out quite like Santana had planned.
Brittany would never wish anything bad on Santana, but since bad things happened to Santana anyway, Brittany chooses to think of them as a chance for Santana to learn something important—like that you can't plan for everything, and especially not the really important stuff.
That's what Brittany thinks about as they pull into Santana's driveway after the last glee club meeting for the year, Santana in the driver's seat with her shoplifted, oversized sunglasses on, Brittany riding shotgun, her knees folded up against the dash. Brittany hums and thinks about what happened at the lockers today, about how she and Santana walked into the choir room pinky-in-pinky for the first time in forever.
Brittany gets so lost in her thoughts that she doesn't notice it when Santana pulls her sunglasses off and sets them on the console, unbuckling her seatbelt and shifting where she sits. She doesn't notice it when Santana's breath catches. She only turns her head when Santana speaks.
"Can I kiss you, Britt?"
Santana sounds a little breathless, a little tight-throated, and somehow even flightier than usual. And Brittany? She feels something stretch inside her chest. Just the question—just the thought—brings back that low, sweet warmth to her, a little bit different but just enough the same every time she feels it.
Brittany smiles and unbuckles her seatbelt. She turns to Santana, grinning. "Totally," she says.
Santana grips the edge of her seat and leans forward across the console, barely breathing. She tilts her head just so and touches her lips to Brittany's and at first it feels like "thank you," but then it shifts to something sweet and almost familiar, something like a song Brittany thinks she might know.
After just a few seconds, Santana breaks the kiss. She looks at Brittany like she's just figured something out, their foreheads all but touching; they're so close.
"Can I tell you something, Britt?"
Her voice is almost a whisper.
This time, Brittany just nods yes, afraid to look away from Santana, even for a second. This feels like something important already.
Santana leans in even closer, so close that when she speaks Brittany feels her breath on her lips.
"I love you."
And then, another kiss, this one deeper and yet somehow softer than before. She whispers again against Brittany's lips, "I love you," and then pulls away, waiting.
Brittany knows that hearts can break with sadness—like her heart broke all the times Santana pretended that what they had together didn't matter, like Santana's heart broke when Brittany chose to stay with Artie, like both their hearts broke so many times this year with every little look and glance that meant "I just want you, but…" and all of that—but until now she never knew that hearts can break with happiness, too.
She leans back on her seat and closes her eyes; she wants to memorize this moment, the way it looks, and tastes, and feels: the air conditioning, the sunlight, the print of Santana's kisses still buzzing on her lips. She almost forgets Santana is waiting for her to say something.
Brittany opens her eyes and grins. She can feel her ears go pink.
"Can I tell you something, San?"
A small, hopeful smile appears at the corners of Santana's mouth. She nods. "Uh-huh."
"I love you, too."
Santana reaches across the console for Brittany's hand and their fingers slide together. Perfect fit. Brittany grins and Santana follows her lead; they're both smiling because it's summer and because they have each other and because, because, because, because—