Title: If It Hurts This Much (Then It Must Be Love) [Chapter Thirty – Part Two]
Summary: They've been friends since childhood, and best friends for even longer. But what happens when Santana and Brittany stumble into serious romantic territory? G!P entails.
Disclaimer: This story is completely fictional and set in an Alternate Universe. I don't own anything to do with Glee. Or any parts to do with Brown Sugar!
Word Count: 15.1k
Notes: I can't even begin to thank my beta for helping me with this story! She's been amazing and you guys should be SERIOUSLY jealous. Not only have I gained a beta through this story, but I've also gained a friend and that's pretty awesome. So thank you beta, you know who you are, and you've been so wonderful I can't even put it into words! HUGS HUGS HUGS!
The last time she smoked was at New Years, and that was only because she couldn't handle seeing Brittany and Mike together, looking happier than ever she's ever seen her. Santana even went as far as to buy half a pack off some random guy at Quinn's party and smoke all of them consecutively, just so she could focus on the burning in her throat instead of the one in her heart.
But now isn't like that. Although it kind of is. Instead of needing to forget about heartache, she needs to forget about anger and the only thing within buying distance is a cigarette, so that'll just have to do. Brittany will kill her though if she ever finds out.
(She's so whipped.)
She steps into the shop, almost tripping over the folded welcome rug, and grunts as she heads up to the cigarette counter. The cashier immediately looks over the old lady he's serving, looking at Santana like she just stepped in with a gun but quickly removes his gaze from her direction. She can only assume it's because of her expression right now, because even when she's not trying her scowl is pretty frightening, but now that she's actually putting effort into it she's almost shocked the guy hasn't run off crying. Yet.
"That'll be ten dollars and fifty two cents," the cashier drones, holding his hand out towards the old lady.
The old lady, however, doesn't seem ready to pay and obviously has to debate the total cost of her items because they're not priced the way they were back when she was a kid - which is probably the middle ages or something - and Santana almost decides then and there to just say screw the cigarettes and walk out. Almost.
Burying her hands deep into her jacket pocket, Santana closes her eyes and breathes in deeply, trying to calm herself before her fingers are twitching with the need for a cigarette and her throat is aching for one too. She moves her thoughts onto other things, things that don't include shoving the old woman over, because let's be honest, she'd probably pop her hip out and then Santana would feel all kinds of bad, and begins to tap her foot along to the beat of the dimmed music in the background.
Today was supposed to be perfect; perfect morning, perfect afternoon and then a perfect evening, topped off with a nice, shiny proposal and a yes that would make both of their lives. But no, of course not. Because nothing ever just happens like that and so now Santana's ending her mostly perfect day with a cigarette and the knowledge that a possible argument might arise later this evening when Brittany hugs her and smells smoke. No matter how much perfume she puts on, her girlfriend always seems to smell it; she's like a freaking bloodhound.
"...No, not in my days. This would have been less than a dollar," the old lady continues.
Santana feels frustration bubble in the pit of her stomach as she listens. She's trying to tell herself that punching an old woman wouldn't make her look like the best person on the world, but she's just in that kind of mood where she doesn't really give a crap.
Stretching her neck from side to side, she feels her bones crack and pop into place and rolls her head. It's been a long day and she's pretty damn tired. This morning and her early present to Brittany probably has something to do with that – because her body is still kind of aching like she's done a four hour work out (which is basically equivalent to an hour of sex with Brittany) – but she definitely wouldn't take that back if she could. Spending an afternoon with the Pierces has worn her out too, and tonight she's got to entertain the most nauseating couple in the whole world.
Oh, the joys of having friends.
Santana turns her attention back to the woman in front of her, clenching her jaw and narrowing her eyes. In about three seconds she's gonna snap and just step barge the woman out the way. This is just ridiculous and Quinn's probably waiting outside with an impatient cab driver whilst this stupid old woman–
It's small. It's barely even there really but as she rambles on in her mind she twists her head to look at her friend and she sees it. She's pretty sure her feelings towards this woman have gone from intense hatred to blossoming love because if it wasn't for her spending a million minutes talking to the cashier Santana wouldn't have turned around, and she wouldn't have seen that little store down the alley, across the street.
Not to mention she won't get her ass kicked for smoking now, because she didn't even get as far as buying a pack.
Santana's out the market store and grabbing Quinn's elbow before her mind tells her to. She didn't even know she could move this damn fast and is now risking both their lives by pointedly not looking for traffic as she crosses the road. She's so focused on getting to this damn store that not even a two ton car slamming into her side could stop her.
"Whoah, Santana!" Her friend screeches, struggling to remove her arm from Santana's grip. "What the fuck are you doing!?"
Santana ignores her though, and keeps tugging her across the road.
"Seriously? Are you trying to get us killed?" Quinn continues, finally able to yank her wrist free when Santana loosens her grip a little. The blonde wraps her hand around her wrist, and rubs over it a few times like movie stars do in films when handcuffs are removed.
"Well if you hurried your fat ass up then I wouldn't have had to drag you across the road," Santana quips, still moving at an inhuman pace towards her destination. Her heart's beating loudly and there's a little lightness growing in her chest that wasn't there before. She has a good feeling about this store; it's not like it's let her down before.
"You just freaking grabbed me. Didn't even have the decency to tell me where we're going. Which," Quinn has to break into a jog to catch up with her. "You still haven't told me."
The store is about five meters away when Santana points to it, and Quinn furrows her brows, confused for a split second before she follows her hand and glances at said destination. Hazel eyes narrow, then relax back and flicker Santana's way quizzically. So Santana just shakes her head and continues towards the store until she's pressing a palm to the handle and pushing it open, holding for Quinn to come through behind her.
It's exactly the same as it was before. Memories wash over her from the year before and she breathes out with a smile as her eyes take in the several different glass displays in the window, filled with various glass and ceramic objects like vases and plates. There's a few shot glasses too, like there were last time, and then as her memory serves her well, she glances to the far left and sees the line of jewellery on a black velvet covered table.
It's slightly tacky, mostly because it looks like a magicians tent at a circus, but it doesn't matter. Something feels good about this place. Something just feels so right.
"What is this place?" Quinn asks at the same time a redheaded woman steps out from the back with wide eyes and an innocent smile.
Santana ignores her friend in favor for the shop owner and takes a step towards her, offering a slightly weary smile. The shop must have hundreds of customers and it's been a good amount of time since she was here last, so she's not expecting the redhead to remember her.
That conclusion is quickly erased when the red-headed woman steps up behind the counter and a spark of recognition crosses her face and brightens her eyes. She offers a smile to Santana, but not a store owners smile, instead it's a smile that makes Santana feel like they've been friends for years and even though they haven't, it kind of feels like it. After all, this woman – even if she doesn't know – helped the journey towards the happy ending Santana got.
"Hi," Santana starts, moving towards the counter, racking through her mind for the woman's name. Emma, if she remembers correctly. "I don't know if you remember me bu–"
Emma's lips press together and curl at the edge slightly. "I do remember you," she cuts in, gracefully. "You bought a purple vase last December with your..." she narrows her eyes, clasping her hands together and resting them on the top. "Your blonde friend."
"Yeah," Santana nods, shocked and slightly flattered. Why would this woman remember her? "You have a good memory."
"No, not usually," Emma slides out from behind the counter, revealing her dark green knee length skirt and white purple blouse, neatly tucked in at the waist. "But you tend to remember seeing two people who were so in love with each other and didn't even know it."
A soft smile graces Santana's lips, and she ducks her head, a little embarrassed.
"And you nearly destroyed half my shop with your rendition of the Single Ladies dance."
This time, Santana ducks her chin to her chest, hiding the blush that creeps high on her cheekbones. She remembers how things were back then and gets this strange twinge of nostalgia. Not because she misses it, but because everything was so different back then. She was still horribly in denial of the way she felt about Brittany and yet she was so willing to make an absolute fool of herself in the middle of a store just to make her smile.
If that isn't love, she doesn't know what is.
"Santana Lopez did a rendition of the Single Ladies dance?" Quinn pops up beside her, an amused smile on her face and arms crossed.
Santana's eyes flash to her in a glare. "Shut up, Fabitch. It was for Brittany."
"Awh," her friend coos, sarcastically. "How sweet."
Rolling her eyes, Santana turns her attention back to the Emma and smiles softly, realizing that the store owner has been looking between the women with absolutely no idea what to say. Friendship isn't usually as teasing or rude as theirs is, yet here they are, cursing at each other, if only in small doses.
"Sorry," she starts, realizing she hasn't done introductions. "This is my friend, Quinn," she sweeps her hand in a gesture to said woman. "And Quinn, this is Emma."
Quinn smiles at the Emma who smiles in return. "Lovely to meet you."
"You too, Quinn. So," Emma glances at Santana. "So is this your new... friend?"
It takes a second or two to get what the woman means but then Santana drops her mouth into an 'o' shape, widens her eyes as large as they can go and proceeds to shake her head furiously.
"Oh dear God no," she says, stepping away from Quinn with a slight disgusted curl to her lip. "I'm with Brittany, still," Emma squints in confusion. "You know, my friend from before. She's actually my girlfriend now," she announces triumphantly, ignoring the way her stomach still flutters whenever she says that. She doesn't think she'll ever get tired of it.
Emma claps her hand together, face lighting up in excitement. "How lovely!"
"Yeah," Santana nods, grinning like an idiot and loving the way even a stranger adores their relationship. That reminds her, shit, the ring. "That's um, actually why I'm here."
Quinn chuckles behind her and she kicks out blindly, hitting something hard and feeling a wave of satisfaction wash over her when a groan follows it. Santana smiles, a little too forced, and then brings her hand up to rub at the back of her neck, suddenly feeling a hell of a lot more nervous than she did the other fourteen times she's announced to someone she's getting engaged.
"I'm..." she trails off and breathes in deeply, shaking off the nerves pulsing through her body. "I'm going to ask Brittany to marry me and I need a ring."
Narrowing her eyes, Emma reaches up and taps her chin, a slow smirk crossing her face the more she looks at Santana. It's clear she's thinking about something, and Santana feels slightly uneasy at this woman just staring at her but then there's a glint in her eyes and she drops her hands, a wide smile growing across her face as she leans over the counter and retrieves something. A small set of keys, Santana finds out as Emma mutters come with me and leads her and Quinn into the back of the shop, bypassing the set of jewelry on show.
It's a little weird, because surely the things you would like to sell, or want to sell for that matter, would be out the front of the jewellery shop, yet something as special is this is concealed in the back? Where no-one would know to ask for it because out on show there's a few toe rings and earrings, but nothing as big as an engagement ring? Slightly odd, but Santana's not one to fuss.
Quinn leans over to her as they pass a small room that's way too tidy to be used. "This woman... She's not like, crazy or anything is she?"
"No," she respond, eyes darting towards the woman leading them through a thin hallway. "Well, not that I know of anyway."
Quinn doesn't reply, instead just gulps comically loud and falls into step beside her.
A few minutes later, they come to this dark room in the back. And it's like one of the rooms out of a film because when Emma switches on the light it flickers several times before creating this continuous buzzing sound as it illuminates the room. Clear from the doorway, there's a sheet covering something box shaped and Santana can only assume there's a safe under there because people don't usually hide cardboard boxes.
Emma holds her hand back, gesturing for Santana and Quinn to stop and they do so, slightly puzzled as to what they're supposed to do right now. There's a click, and then another few metal clinks, but then the sound of a doorway comes through and Santana holds her breath as Emma picks out a little box, obviously knowing what she wanted from inside the safe, and turns around to hold it out to Santana.
"Here," the redhead says, in a loud whisper. "Take a look at this one."
Santana, a little wary of the whole situation, pinches the box and brings it to her chest, hands shaking with nerves and heat creeping along her collar. It feels heavier than she thought it would, but that could just be because of how damn anxious she's feeling to see inside the box. This is how she feels when she opens presents in front of people. She hates that she might not like the gift, and feels pressured into saying she likes it even if she doesn't, and that's definitely what's going on right now.
Except there's something a little more to it. It's not so much that she won't like it; it's more that she's scared that if she doesn't like it, she won't know where to go from there. This shop, this tiny damn stop, tucked away down an alley, is her last shining beacon of hope and she's just wishing so damn hard that when she opens this box she'll instantly fall in love with this ring.
And as she pinches the lid, peels it back and sees the silver band sitting inside the box, she does.
Walking back to the park, knowing there's a six thousand dollar ring in the bottom of her jacket pocket, could quite possibly be one of the most terrifying things Santana's ever done. Every tree is taller than it was when she was here merely hours before, and for some reason the brushes and foliage make her feel like a ninja or a thug is about to jump out on her and steal away the red velvet covered box beneath her sweating palm. It's ridiculous, and she knows it, but she's still making sure at least one finger is edging around the lid of the small box the entire way back.
After minutes of panicking and pumping her leg muscles a little faster just so she can get back to Central Park, Santana arrives, and the Pierce family in the small clearing by the tall oak tree comes into view. A sigh of relief escapes her lips, and she swallows the thickness coating the inside of her throat as she heads up to them and smiles at Brittany when blue eyes slide to meet her brown ones.
Brittany wastes no time in bouncing on over to her and throwing her arms around Santana's neck, their mouths coming together instantly and a moan escaping both of them as the warmth of reunion floods through their bodies and warms their hearts. Santana smiles into the kiss and circles her arms around a slim waist to pull them closer together; she only becomes remotely aware that family is around when someone makes a retching sound and she pulls back to find Emily sticking to fingers down her throat mockingly.
"You guys are kinda gross," the youngest blonde says. "Do you ever like, take a break from making out?"
Santana cocks a brow and releases Brittany, but keeps her close with an arm around her waist.
"Just because you don't have a boyfriend doesn't mean you can bum out every other couple."
It's a low blow, but Emily's face falls into an expression of absolutely zero amusement and Santana grins triumphantly. That'll stop the insults and commentary from the youngest Pierce for a while. And after Emily turns away and Santana thinks she sees a middle finger aimed her way, Brittany cups her cheek and twists her neck again to press their lips together in a soft, slow kiss that makes Santana's head dizzy a little.
"Hey," she breathes out, the words tracing along the curve of Brittany's bottom lip.
Brittany kisses her again and reaches up to twine her fingers through the fine dark hair at the base of Santana's neck. "Hi," she replies, sweetly. "You were gone a while."
Santana nods and slides her hands down to her girlfriend's hips, squeezing gently. "Yeah, sorry about that. Quinn's kind of picky."
"I can see that."
"Yeah," she says through a chuckle, bumping their noses together. "We found one in the end, though."
Brittany smiles, bright white teeth shining brilliantly. "You did? Is it nice?"
Santana thinks about the ring. She thinks about the three diamonds encrusted in the white gold band and how when Emma peeled the box open and showed it to her, it was like Brittany was in front of her right then and there, nodding and grinning and crying tears of joy as she accepted her proposal. It was one of the scariest moments of Santana's life because she could see the yes. She could see the house in the suburbs, the kids running around in the front yard, the Volvo dealership down the road and the white picket fence before her very eyes. Yeah, it was scary, but it was scary in the good way, like when you find out your life's about to really start and you're heading for bigger and better things. It's change, but it's knowing that it will be a good change.
And now that Brittany's within kissing distance right in front of her face, eyes wide and so, so blue, asking her if it was nice - maybe not the ring specifically, but only Santana knows what they're really talking about - she can definitely say it was more than nice.
"It was wonderful."
Brittany's smile stretches wider a second before she leans forward and kisses Santana. Santana, for her part, closes her eyes and inhales as she lowers her hands down to the dimples in Brittany's spine and applies pressure to mold their bodies as close together as they'll go without melting into one another. Although, she definitely wouldn't mind that.
It's about ten seconds of kissing before they decide they have plenty of time for that later, and so they head back over to the rug spread over the grass. Santana looks towards Neil and instantly feels his eyes pierce into hers, almost like he can sense where she went and what she bought, and she gulps heavily. It's a silly thought, if she thinks about it, because there's no way in hell Neil could know, and yet she's basically standing here, quaking in her boots at the mere thought that he might suspect something.
And that's when it strikes her that she wanted this to be perfect in every way possible, which means she has to do it the old fashioned way.
Luckily, it's at that moment that Anna decides to stand and asks Brittany to help her clear up their rubbish. Santana almost volunteers – after all these years it's still an instant reaction – but then remembers that she can't because there's a more pressing issue which she needs to attend to. So slumping her shoulders and clamping her mouth shut, she waits. She waits until Brittany comes over and presses a kiss to her forehead before skipping off with her mom. She waits until they're out of earshot and waits through the way her hands are shaking before addressing Neil with a strong voice she didn't know she could muster.
Clearing her throat, she lifts her head high. "Um, Neil?"
Neil looks her way and smiles, all white teeth, golden hair and sapphire eyes, and she has to admit, for a middle aged guy he's rather handsome. He's clearly not her type, but a man that's aging well none-the-less, despite all his hard battles against his disease. "Yes?"
Santana wrings her hands nervously in front of her and sits up, back straight like she's being called to attention by a commanding officer. "I-I need to ask you... something. If that's okay."
"It's always okay," Neil agrees, softly and reassures her with a blink and a soft smile. "What is it?"
"Well... Um..." she stutters and feels the light coating of sweat form across her brow. She's seen this part in old movies, where the guy asks the girl's father for her hand in marriage, and it's all upon the father to decide whether their happiness is suitable and should be allowed to continue and fuck, it's nerve racking to say the least. And damn, she feels like this and she's basically already a part of the Pierce family; she just feels for all the people who've done this and haven't been so close to their soon-to-be-fiance's family.
She glances up through her lashes and swallows, licking her lips and breathing out in a forced slow rhythm to ensure her body doesn't go into panic mode. "I love Brittany," she starts, thinking that's the best place to. "I love her more than life itself."
Neil nods at her in a duh kind of way and she's glad, it lightens the situation.
"And I haven't done a lot of things right in the past," she admits, unwanted memories flushing through her. "But now that I'm lucky enough to call your daughter mine," she breathes in deeply, knowing it's about to come out and squeezes her eyes shut as she continues with, "I want to make every second count, and make sure I do right by her for the rest of our lives."
Reaching into her pocket, she gingerly fingers the edge of the box before curling them around it and pulling it out softly. Neil's reaction is instant; his eyes widen and jaw goes a little slack, and Santana does a quick take of the people around her to make sure Brittany's not there before continuing.
"So if you'll give me your blessing, I'm going to ask Brittany to marry me."
For a split second Neil hesitates. His eyes shift down to the box and then back up to Santana's eyes, and for that split second, she panics. Fear pulses through her and her throat tightens as she stares at the man she hopes one day she'll be able to call her father-in-law. But then the mood completely changes and Neil's mood flips to ecstatically happy. His eyes glisten over and a grin stretches across his face, skin wrinkling at the corner of his eyes and Santana can't even begin to explain how amazing that rush of relief that washes over her, is.
"Yes," Neil says, wiping at his eyes. "Of course you can. You can ask Brittany to marry you."
If it weren't slightly suspicious to Brittany – because Santana knows there's always one eye on her if not both – she would throw herself into Neil's arms. But knowing she has to keep a relatively normal reaction, despite everything inside of her wanting to do the complete opposite, she smiles and reaches forward, grabbing at his hand and squeezing gratefully.
"You have no idea how happy you've just made me, Neil," she whispers and feels heat prick at her eyelids. Fuck. She's gonna start crying soon. "Thank you. Thank you so much."
Neil smiles at her, rubbing away the tears furiously and Santana glances over to Brittany, knowing her life is going to start tonight.
Brittany comes over to her around five minutes later, taking a seat in her lap and looping her arms round Santana's neck. Neil flashes a grin and stands, muttering something about 'leaving you two lovebirds alone' before he joins Emily and Anna in a game of Frisbee.
"What was that about?"
"What was what about?"
"You and my dad," the blonde continues, nudging her head against Santana's then towards Neil. "You looked really intense."
Santana slips her arms around her girlfriend's waist, burying her nose into her shoulder. The lies comes quickly and she sends a mental prayer to the gods above for that one. "Nothing, baby. We were just talking about your dad's life."
Brittany seems hesitant. She reaches down and lightly pinches Santana's chin between her thumb and forefinger, raising it until their eyes lock and blue ones are searching brown for a lie. But Santana's got pretty good at concealing something huge to Brittany. Hell, she did it for so long when she was trying to pretend like she wasn't in love with the girl, and then she was pretty convincing so this should be on the same level. Which, really, isn't a good thing, but it's not like she's ever going to use it for anything but hiding the engagement, so for now she'll just go with the flow and use it to her advantage.
"Are you lying to me?" Brittany asks suspiciously, and Santana knows how she reacts next will either make or break the surprise proposal.
"No, Britt. I'm not. We were just talking about the treatment and your dad got a little emotional," she keeps a soft smile on her face and arches a brow when blue eyes continue to examine her. "So I tried to comfort him."
"Hmmm... I'm not sure I believe you."
A small spark of panic surges through Santana but she keeps her cool. This is something she wants, proposing to Brittany, and she'll do absolutely anything to keep it a secret until the opportune moment comes, even if that means lying to Brittany and focusing entirely on the lying, she'll do it. The end result will override the current circumstances so she just has to focus on that.
It doesn't stop the slight guilt that pangs in her chest, though.
"Baby, you can go and ask your dad if you want to," she murmurs and slips one hand up to cup a pale cheek. "If you honestly don't believe me go and talk to him. He'll tell you the exact same thing," her eyes dart between blue ones and she takes a deep breath. "I'm not lying to you."
It's quite possibly one of the hardest things she's ever had to lie about, with Brittany being in such close proximity of her. But she knows it's worked as soon as Brittany's face twitches and a smile breaks across her face, ridding the suspicious glare she was sending out before.
"Okay," her girlfriend replies, cheerfully, pressing their lips together quickly. But when she pulls back, she narrows her eyes and grins. "But I've got my eye on you, Lopez."
Santana smiles back and licks her lips, leaning in. "I wouldn't have it any other way," she murmurs a second before kissing her soon-to-be-fiancée.
There are so many ways to propose.
Like, Santana's been thinking about it and now she's kind of confused as to what to do. She knows Brittany, and knows that whatever way she proposed she'd find it romantic, but that kind of puts more pressure on her, doesn't it?
They could go to a Knicks game and wait for halftime before taking Brittany's hand, kneeling on the most probably beer covered floor and asking for her hand in marriage whilst the entire thing is projected to everyone in the stadium via the big screen, but that's just so cliché. And who knows, if Brittany's anything like her mom, she might think that's cheap and tacky.
Then there's also sky-writing... But Brittany can get embarrassed really easily and the last thing Santana would want is for people to be snapping photos of the woman who not only got proposed to through sky-writing, but who also managed to turn into a human tomato in the process. Plus, she's not so sure it would come out right and how awful would it be if it spelt out something unreadable and Brittany had to actually ask Santana what it really said. That would just ruin the whole point of it.
There's always the ring in the bottle of the champagne glass as a restaurant, but that still carries the same cliché and Santana wants something different. Brittany deserves something unique.
Damn. Santana really needs to think about it.
Chewing on her lip and pondering to herself which one of the thousands of possibilities is the right one to propose to her girlfriend with, Santana feels her phone buzz in her pocket and is momentarily broken from the trance. She reaches into her jeans and fishes it out, quickly punching in the passcode and opening the text she can see is from Rachel. What does she want?
Quinn just told me your plan and can I just I love it! Cannot wait to attend the ceremony! Good luck, Santana! I'm rooting for you! - Rachel
Santana's just about to blow a fuse because fuck, can't Quinn keep her mouth shut? When her phone buzzes again and there's another text message. Except it's from Quinn.
Shit, S, I'm sorry. Rachel got it out of me. She can be strangely persuasive at times – Santana just about vomits at the thought of how Rachel got it out of Quinn – but just a quick heads up, Rach and I were thinking and we remembered that last year Mike proposed on Brittany's birthday. Just in case you didn't remember, thought you should know - Q
And Santana's face drops. She can feel the blood drain from it and her stomach sinks. The one thing she was thinking was how special and individual proposing to Brittany would be, only to be told that Mike Chang did the exact same thing a year ago, today. Now it's not so freaking special, and Santana's confidence – for some odd reason – has just been shot to bits. Fucking brilliant.
Across the picnic rug, Neil gives her a look. She doesn't know what it means, but she's sure it runs along the lines of you okay? She just ducks her head and shakes it, the little box in her pocket gaining like a million tonnes.
She won't be proposing today, then.
The sun soon begins to set and Anna tells Brittany that they should be setting off home now, since apparently Emily has school tomorrow. Emily, of course, growls and throws a miniature tantrum, in which Santana pokes her in the arm and tells her how childish that is. Emily just scowls at her until they leave.
She hugs Neil and Anna, and feels a lump grow in her throat when Emily finally rolls her eyes and hugs her, whispering 'you're still an ass, but you're marrying my sister, so I guess you can't be that bad' and then walks away with the rest of the Pierces, grinning and clearly expecting a phone call later to hear the confirmed big news.
Brittany almost cries when they say goodbye, so Santana gravitates towards her and wraps her arms around her girlfriend from behind to comfort her and keep those tears in, and it works because fingers slide through her own and they stare at the retreating form of the three other Pierces as they disappear into the distance.
From there, Santana and Brittany head home, threading their fingers together and leisurely strolling the long way round because New York City is at its best at this time of day. When they get back to Brittany's apartment – which is technically Santana's too 'cause she hasn't been home in like, months – they kick off their shoes and collapse on the sofa, Santana with her head on Brittany's lap and Brittany's fingers raking through her hair.
They haven't really talked since Brittany asked about her and Neil's conversation, and Santana's hoping that her girlfriend isn't too suspicious about it because she doesn't think she has it in her to lie anymore than she already has. Luckily though, blue eyes roam around her face and gaze down at her, but there's no hint of concern or worry shading behind them so Santana reckons she's in the clear.
"I love you," Brittany suddenly announces, breaking the silence.
Santana grins and scrunches up her nose. "I love you too, baby," she replies, closing her eyes when her girlfriend leans down at an awkward angle and kisses her.
Brittany pulls back but Santana realizes that she hasn't kissed her enough today and swivels, getting to her knees and bringing their mouths back together as she pushes the blonde back down onto the sofa. Brittany giggles and Santana does too, but soon enough their hips are rocking together and all the blood is rushing down to Santana's groin, making her press up against the zip of her jeans. Her hand drifts down to Brittany's thigh, and she shuffles, straddling one of her girlfriend's thighs whilst she hooks the other one up and urges it around her lower back, pulling them even closer together
Santana breaks the kiss to breathe but Brittany tips her head up and catches her bottom lip, sucking it lightly and coaxing her into another kiss, and who would Santana be to deny the birthday girl such a thing? She kisses her back, groaning loudly and not feeling the slightest bit embarrassed by the volume of it, and runs her hands underneath her girlfriend's shirt, coasting across tight abs and up along the smooth skin covering Brittany's ribs.
This time it's Brittany that moans and Santana begins to kiss down the long slope of a pale neck, sucking and licking at the points she knows make her girlfriend's toes curl. Nails scratch along her back, and she's learned that that's the silent way of telling her to get on with the orgasms, so she grins and sucks Brittany's pulse point one more time before shifting and sitting back on her knees. Dark blue eyes gaze up at her and she's momentarily distracted by how hot Brittany looks, hair all tousled and lips dark pink and swallows.
"You're so hot," she breathes and pushes Brittany's top up, following the trail with her lips and feeling the muscles beneath her lips twitch with anticipation. Her fingers hook into Brittany's leggings and she glances up against her body, locking eyes with her girlfriend as she urges the clothing down, bringing Brittany's panties with it. She has to shift and wiggle a little to remove them completely, but then she leans back down and kisses her way up Brittany's chest, her fingers drifting up the inside of strong thighs as Brittany's body squirms and small whispers escape her lips.
She mutes them with kisses, dipping her tongue into Brittany's mouth and curling around sharp teeth as her fingers dance up the crease in her girlfriend's thigh. Brittany's chest is heaving and her eyes are hooded and dark, and Santana knows it's her birthday, and so the teasing really shouldn't be happening, but she just can't help it. Her fingers shift, and instead of diving straight into it she allows her thumb to drift down until she's circling around Brittany's clit. It makes her girlfriend jolt and Santana presses her hips down on instinct, kissing over Brittany's jaw and neck.
"San..." Brittany moans. "Please."
Pressing their lips together, Santana smiles into the kiss and twists her hand, moaning at the feel of how ready her girlfriend is for her. She slides her fingers through hot flesh, rolling the pad of her thumb across the hardened nub at the top before dipping down and sliding in with two fingers, curling them and listening to the way Brittany's breath hitches in her throat as her head snaps back against the sofa cushion. Wanting to keep her girlfriend in this state, Santana works her fingers harder and faster and licks over Brittany's pulse point, knowing exactly how Brittany likes it and what will make her climax faster.
She twists and curls, and allows her thumb to wander north until Brittany's shaking beneath her, tightening around her fingers and moaning breathlessly into her ear. It's so hot, and Santana can feel the heavy pressure on the inside of her jeans but there's a part in the back of her mind that just keeps chanting it's her birthday and so after Brittany's orgasm has washed over her, Santana withdraws her fingers and begins kissing down her body, ready to follow with a second orgasm.
Except apparently Brittany doesn't have the same idea and tugs Santana up, bringing their mouths together and sliding her hand down the front of her jeans. Santana's hips jerk immediately, needing more contact and as she begins to rock into her girlfriend's talented wrist's movements, she feels the other hand move down and unzip her jeans. What the–
"I want you inside me," Brittany murmurs into her ear, voice raspy and full of arousal. "I want to feel you inside me."
And Santana's sure she just came.
Eyes widening, Santana nods furiously and kisses Brittany hard, hands working at her jeans and boxers until she's kicking her jeans off down the other end of the couch and she's just as pantsless as her girlfriend is. Heat blossoms over her skin and she moans when the tip of her cock brushes against the inside of a pale thigh. She's so ready for this it's unreal; it's like they haven't had sex in years, not hours.
Brittany smirks at her when she pulls back from the kiss, and she looks down between their bodies, watching slender fingers reach down and rub at her, before positioning the tip at a glistening core. And Santana has to wonder, will it always be like this? Will she ever get tired of wanting Brittany in every way possible? No. She doesn't think so. Tipping her head up, she catches Brittany's bottom lip and sucks gently as her hips press forward, the underside of her cock bumping against her girlfriend's already sensitive clit. Brittany whimpers against her mouth and Santana knows they're good to go.
She's a second away from pushing into her girlfriend, and feeling wet heat encompass her length when the fucking door bell rings, and it suddenly hits her that shit, Quinn and Rachel were supposed to come over for Chinese.
Groaning loudly, she drops her forehead to Brittany's shoulder and closes her eyes. Great fucking timing.
"Quinn and Rachel are here." It's muffled against the fabric of Brittany's shirt.
"It's okay, babe," Brittany whispers and kisses her temple, but her voice is still thick with arousal. She might want to sort that out before greeting their guests. "Get dressed and I'll open the door."
Santana mumbles something about a cold shower under her breath but does as she's told, thoroughly pissed off with the two women waiting outside their front door. She sits up and reaches over the side of the sofa, picking up her jeans and boxers and sliding them up her legs, whilst Brittany's already dressed and readjusting her hair in the mirror by the door.
At the sound of Santana's jeans buckling up, Brittany lifts both eyebrows in a silent 'ready?' and Santana nods. Well, she's not ready, she's got a raging hard on and could really do with a good ten minutes to have sex with her amazingly hot girlfriend, but she's as ready as she'll ever be in terms of tonight.
The door swings open and Santana immediately hears the annoying sound of Rachel fucking Berry singing Happy Birthday, and Quinn's small voice joining in in the background and can't help but laugh; there's nothing better than the sound of Rachel Berry singing to replace a cold shower.
Pushing up from the sofa, and reaching down the front of her jeans to adjust herself – the last thing she needs is Quinn to eye up her crotch – she heads into the kitchen and grabs the six pack of beer from the fridge. Peering over her shoulder she quickly takes the ring out her jeans, suddenly remembering it's there and having a mild panic attack because shit, if Quinn and Rachel hadn't interrupted Brittany could have found the damn thing, and makes a quick diversion, darting into her bedroom and opening the drawer to her side table, slipping the box inside.
The weight lifting off her shoulders a little, Santana shifts the six pack of beer underneath her arm and moves towards the kitchen again. She grabs a bottle, pops one open and begins to glug it down, walking back to the living room in time to see Rachel take her seat in the armchair. She swears to the heavens that one day she's going to take the dwarf out.
But she tells herself to keep it cool and to not tear Berry a new one just because it's Brittany's birthday. A trip to A&E would definitely make it memorable, but for all the wrong reasons.
"Hey, S," Quinn greets and walks over to her, pecking her on the cheek quickly and stealing a beer at the same time.
"Hey," she replies then looks towards Rachel and nods. "Berry."
"Hello, Santana," the short brunette smiles back and taps the arm of the chair, ushering Quinn towards it.
Being the whipped little bitch she is, not that can Santana can really say anything, Quinn heads over and does as she's told, wrapping an arm around Rachel's shoulders and kissing her on the forehead. Santana just laughs and shakes her head, before joining Brittany on the sofa and leaning back against the arm, pulling her girlfriend down until they're cuddling.
Rachel examines them for a few moments, the way they snuggle and the way Santana presses her lips into blonde hair, inhaling and whispering indecipherable things. Santana doesn't even notice though, too entrapped in the way Brittany's hand is resting just that little bit too high on her thigh. Clearly she hasn't quite got over her lady boner, yet.
"You two look mighty happy," Rachel says, reaching for the bottle of wine she must have brought with her. "Any reason as to why?"
Santana grins and looks down at Brittany at the same time Brittany tilts her head back. "Could say that," she grins, kissing the underside of Santana's jaw before turning back. "But I would've been happier if you'd left us another five or ten minutes."
Quinn gets it immediately, but Rachel tilts her head to the side, pulling her brows together. Two and a half minutes later, and two and a half minutes of Santana choking on her beer because the fact that Berry doesn't get it is just too funny, Rachel's mouth pops open and her eyes nearly bug out her head.
Brittany just chuckles and leans up to kiss Santana on the cheek before standing and grabbing the phone on the way to the kitchen. "I'll just order dinner then," she murmurs and Rachel jumps up immediately, following her in a blushing haste.
"You two are such horn dogs," Quinn comments when the other two are out of earshot.
Santana shrugs in response, a smile playing at her lips.
"Guessing the sex was in preparation, then?"
Santana's face drops and she swallows, eyebrows twitching and jaw clenching. "No. It wasn't, and we didn't even get to having sex 'cause you and your hobbit waddled in."
Quinn's eyes flash to the kitchen before coming back to Santana. She ignores the insult, leans in and rests her forearms on the tops of her thighs, beer bottle dangling out of her left hand. "You're not gonna do it tonight?"
"No," Santana hisses. "You fucking ruined it by telling me about George Takei."
Quinn squints. "George Takei is Japanese, you racist. Mike's Chinese. And you should've remembered."
"It's not exactly a moment I want to remember, Fabray," she spits back, eyes narrowing into a glare.
Quinn raises a brow. "Don't get all shitty with my just 'cause you've got crappy memory. And who cares if Mike proposed on her birthday, anyway? That was back then and this is now–"
"Well done, Sherlock."
"–Shut up. Anyway, I'm just saying," Quinn's voice is soft and Santana kind of hates that. "Brittany won't care if you propose on the same day Mike did. All she'll care about is that you're freaking proposing, Lopez," she leans back in her chair. "So grow a pair and just do it." She takes a swig of her beer and then drops her arm back down. "You know she's just gonna get more suspicious and there's no way in hell you dragged me across the entire city for nothing."
"I don't know. I mean, I will do it," Santana says, lowly, suddenly very conscious Brittany can hear. "I just... I want it to be perfect and now knowing that Mike did it on the same day just makes it less... special."
"Less special?" Quinn parrots but her face is disbelieving. "Santana, I'm gonna be honest with you here and you know I don't do the sentimental bullshit, but seriously? You and Brittany are fucking soulmates, and I honestly can say that I don't know two people who are meant to be together more than you two are." Santana glances up and feels warmth around her heart. Her eyes flicker to the kitchen and they catch Brittany's staring straight back at her. "That alone makes it special and it doesn't matter whether you dive out a plane and land on one knee at Brittany's feet, or whether you crap out the damn ring, it will be special."
Santana worries her bottom lip between her teeth and ponders upon her friends words. But she doesn't get to do that for long before Rachel comes twirling into the room asking if they can order Vegetable Chow Mein instead of Chicken Chow Mein because of her 'vegan status' and Santana has to grip onto the arms of the chair to make sure she doesn't launch herself towards Verne Troyer and throttle her.
It's a few hours later and there's cartons of Chinese food and bottles of wine and beer spread all over the place.
Santana and Brittany are now on the armchair, after Santana may or may not have gone off on one about how Rachel always steal her freaking chair, and Brittany's sitting sideways with her legs thrown over the arm of the chair and face tucked into Santana's neck, whilst tanned arms are stroking up and down long legs.
Quinn and Rachel are on the sofa, and unusually, Quinn's got her head in Rachel's lap with Rachel's fingers running through short golden locks. It's only unusual because Quinn's normally the one sitting up and Rachel's normally the one with her head in her lap, but whatever, it's too late to even care.
The Break-Up been playing on TV for a while now, but Santana hasn't been paying much attention to it because her girlfriend has been running her nose up the muscle in her neck, and even if Brittany's asleep, it's incredibly distracting. And to be honest, she's more than content to just sit in silence, listening to Brittany's light snores and the incoherent string of words that only come out her mouth when she's asleep.
Anyway, the film gets to the bit where Jennifer Aniston wanders around the apartment naked to get Vince Vaughn's attention when Santana realizes Quinn's asleep. She peers at her friend and thinks about how work and recording for her album must be getting to her because she's never known Quinn to fall asleep at someone else's house.
"She must be tired."
Santana scowls, fearing Rachel might have woken Brittany up. "Keep it down, Berry."
"Sorry," Rachel smiles apologetically.
Santana breathes in and turns her head pressing a kiss to her girlfriend's forehead a second before she twists and nuzzles further into her. Good, Brittany's still asleep. "What's up with Q, anyway?" She asks, softly. "Why is she so tired?"
"She's just been panicking about the album release," Rachel sighs and stares down at her girlfriend. "She hasn't got much sleep recently and it's worrying me."
Santana wants to roll her eyes, but she doesn't. Way to make it about yourself, Berry. "She doesn't need to worry. The album will be awesome and everyone's going to love it. Always Attract shot up to number one in a matter of days."
"I know," Rachel agrees. "I have faith in her. She just needs to have it in herself."
"Well there's no need for her to panic or stress about it. Everything will work out fine.
Brown eyes flicker towards her. "I could say the same about you."
Santana tenses at the other girl's words. She knows she shouldn't really panic because there's no doubt in her mind that Brittany's going to say yes. It's just that they've been through so much together that it this proposal needs to be perfect. It needs to be special and whilst yes, Quinn did make a good point earlier, it still doesn't and won't change the fact that Mike proposed today a year ago, and if Santana does too then it's sort of like she's copying. It's unoriginal and won't be as special.
Her mouth drops open to respond when Brittany shuffles and murmurs something into her neck. Brown eyes grow wide and Santana glances at Rachel who's frozen with the sudden fear that Brittany might have heard what she said. But Santana knows that when Brittany's asleep, it takes either five minutes of back rubs or seventeen kisses to wake her up, so she'll be good for now.
"Hold on, let me just put Britt to bed," she says and begins to maneuver herself.
She shuffles on her butt to the edge of the armchair and cradles her girlfriend's body in her arms. Brittany's never weighed much, and so Santana doesn't struggle when she stands and carries her through the living room, across the kitchen and down the hallway to their bedroom where she places her down on the right hand side of the bed. She strips her down to her underwear before urging a wriggling Brittany beneath the covers, and presses a firm kiss to her forehead at the same time the blonde rolls and reaches for the empty side of the bed. Giggling, Santana grabs her pillow and gently pushes it into her girlfriend's arms, who instantly curls up into it and buries her nose into it. At least the pillow smells of her. That'll do for an hour or two.
Santana heads back to the living room, rubbing the back of her neck and rolling it to the side. That armchair has never been especially comfy, and she knows sitting in it for more than an hour always seems to do something weird to her neck, but Brittany was asleep and she didn't want to wake her.
Jesus. She called Quinn a whipped little bitch.
Rachel's sitting in the same position as before, but Quinn's turned her head and buried it into the brunette's stomach, nuzzling lightly. There's a slight blush covering Rachel's cheeks and Santana has to bite back the comment rolling off her tongue because, well, she has to admit, Rachel isn't that bad.
So that's probably why she says this, "We've got a spare bedroom if you wanna stay over."
Rachel couldn't be more surprised if you'd slapped her with a wet fish and told her Barbra Streisand was dead. "Really?"
Santana smiles and rolls her eyes. She can't help it. "I guess you're not that bad, Berry."
"That would be greatly appreciated, Santana." Rachel grins so widely Santana fears it might break her face. "I think I'll put this one to bed, too."
Nodding, she takes a seat on the sofa and props her feet up on the coffee table. Rachel leans down and murmurs something unintelligible into Quinn's ear, who shifts and rolls, almost straight off the couch before groggily climbing to her feet. An arm is thrown around her shoulder and Santana watches as the two head through the kitchen, and disappear out of sight. But then she remembers something and heads after them, finding them already in the room when she gets there.
She holds onto the door frame and half-leans into the room, scared she might see something she doesn't want to. "There's some spare pajamas in the dresser, if you want them. They probably won't fit but you're welcome to them."
Rachel peers over her shoulder from where she's lying Quinn down and smiles gratefully. "Thank you. Night, Santana."
Santana nods and backs away, taking one last look into her bedroom to see Brittany spread out across the mattress before closing the door and heading back into the living room.
There's always tomorrow.
A few minutes later when she's cracking open her fourth beer, footsteps pad down the hallway and Santana prepares herself for a sleepy Brittany.
Except when she looks up, it's not her. It's Rachel.
"Thought you were going to bed?"
Rachel sheepishly takes a seat on the coffee table, wearing one of Brittany's old college t-shirts. "I was going to but then I thought of something I'd like to ask you."
Taking a long pull of her beer, Santana says, "Okay. Go ahead."
"Why–" Rachel pauses and looks over her shoulder to check if anyone's there. There isn't. "Why didn't you do it today?"
Santana shakes her head and ducks her chin to her chest, eyes falling to the label she's peeling off her beer bottle. It should feel weird to have someone like Berry ask her this, and it should make her want to chortle and snort and walk away, leaving the other girl with no answer, but it doesn't. Instead, the truth just comes out.
"I just want it to be perfect and I don't know how to make it like that."
Rachel's quiet for a second, and Santana swallows nervously, still focused on picking the glue off her bottle. Then a hand comes over and presses against her forearm, and she slowly lifts her vision to stare at Rachel who's got her lips pinched up at the side, almost into a small smile.
"You are aware you're all that Brittany's ever going to want, don't you?" She asks, and Santana's eyebrow lifts. "You're all she wants for now and forever?"
Santana waits a few seconds before that same idiotic smile, that always comes whenever she talks about forever with Brittany, creeps upon her lips and she nods. "Yeah. And she's all I'm ever going to want, too."
"Then that's perfection," Rachel pulls back and smiles.
Santana stares at the girl but doesn't say anything.
"You two are soulmates, Santana," Rachel tells her. "You two are meant to be and you two don't need anything else but each other to be perfect. I know you're hesitant about–" she looks both sides of her and ducks her head and whispers "–proposing, but I can assure you, you don't need to be."
Santana swallows. "Berry, I'm gonna be honest here with you–" Rachel's eyes beam up like a child at Christmas "–I'm terrified."
Rachel's eyebrows pull together, confused. "Of what?"
Santana growls angrily to herself and throws her body back onto the couch, bringing one hand up to press against her forehead. "About everything. About the past, the present, the future. I'm scared that one day Brittany's going to realize that she's so much better than me and deserves so much more. I'm scared she's going to find someone who can give her everything I can't," she sighs and sits forward again, resting both elbows on her knees and burying her face into her hands. "I'm scared and I need her to know exactly how I feel about her. I need her to know I'm going to cherish her forever and never let her go to sleep mad. I need her to know this and I need to tell her through my actions."
She finally looks up.
"I need this proposal to be perfection with a hot air balloon and two thousand dollar dresses. I need this proposal to be everything she could ever want with a hundred dollar bottle of champagne because that's what she deserves. It's the least she deserves and Berry, I just want to give it to her because it's what she needs."
Rachel stays silent for a long moment, just sitting there with her hands tucked between her knees and her eyes narrowing the longer they stay on Santana. And it only manages to frustrate Santana more. It pisses her off because the silence means she's right and she needs this whole elaborate proposal to make Brittany happy. It just proves everything she says and–
"No, Santana. You're wrong."
Santana's mouth pops open and anger flares across her skin. How dare Rachel say that. Who's the one that's known Brittany the longest? Is it Rachel? Erm, nope. Maybe she just needs to shut the hell up.
"All she needs?" Rachel leans forward and places her hand over Santana's. "Is you."
Without saying anything more, the shorter girl stands, smile at her and then heads back towards the bedroom, leaving Santana to slump back against the sofa and mull over her words.
2am approaches and Santana rubs her hands over her face, the tired ache forming at the back of her eyes. Switching off the television, she clears away the majority of the bottles and Chinese cartons and then heads to bed, wanting nothing more than to curl up with her girlfriend and just sleep.
She bypasses the bedroom and heads to the bathroom, slipping out of her jeans and t-shirt and deciding she just can't be bothered to change into sleep shorts and a top, so boxers and a bra it'll be. She brushes her teeth, takes off her make-up and finally makes her way towards the bedroom, where she slowly pushes open the door to find her girlfriend, spread across the bed like a star fish. It's always something that makes her chuckle because Brittany only ever steals the sheet, never the entire bed, when Santana's in it.
Climbing into bed, her mind begins to replay all the things people have said to her today. All the things Neil, Anna, Emily, Quinn and Rachel have said about proposing; how she and Brittany are soul mates and how when she proposes, it doesn't need to be all candles and champagne because all they need is each other. That's the way it's always been.
Pressing a soft kiss to a pale shoulder, Santana throws her arm over Brittany's waist and moves into the position of the big spoon. But as always, her girlfriend begins to stir and turns over, tucking into her neck and breathing her in.
"Sorry, baby," Santana murmurs, stroking up and down her bare back. "Didn't mean to wake you."
"S'fine. W'time s'it?"
Santana figures it's been a good half hour since she checked the time last and goes with that. "Around 2:30. Go back to sleep, Britt. I'll still be here in the morning." She says that, but she still strokes a hand over the soft skin of Brittany's cheek to keep her away.
Brittany pulls back, knowing there's more than meets the eye. "What's wrong?" She asks, still sleepy but more alert than before.
Brushing back a lock of hair, Santana breathes out a smile. "Nothing, baby. I just wanted to see your eyes."
Blue eyes soften and Brittany sighs lovingly. "I love you." For some odd reason, the words make Santana blush and duck her head, and Brittany, despite being still half-asleep can't help but notice. "Thought you said nothing was wrong?"
"Nothing is wrong," Santana feels heat prickle at her skin and swallows, shifting down the bed until their noses are squashes together. "I just was thinking."
Santana takes in a deep breath and brings her hand up to her girlfriend's jaw, cupping it gently whilst her thumb rubs over a pink bottom lip. "Just when we were younger and stuff... Like, all those times we did such like couple-y things, you know?" Brittany smiles but there's a hesitation in her eyes. "Like, those times where I just should've known. Where I did know," she corrects herself.
"Where you knew what, San?" Brittany asks, pulling her brows together and mirroring Santana's hand placement.
Santana gazes at her girlfriend and the words flow out before she can even tell her mouth to speak, "Where I knew you were the one."
They were nine years old, and Santana had just pushed that mean ogre, Finn Hudson over. He called Brittany stupid and now they were sitting outside the principal's office.
And Santana was scared. She'd heard so many scary stories from other children about what happened inside the room with the big purple door. Brittany had always said the door was purple so obviously whatever behind it wasn't going to be scary because purple wasn't a mean color. If it was black then yes, Santana could worry, but she shouldn't be frightened then.
Still, it didn't mean that she wasn't though.
Her small legs were kicking out nervously, her heels thudding against the legs of the chair she was sitting on, and Brittany was staring at her from the side. The only reason Brittany was here was because she'd told the teacher that it was her idea, and even though it wasn't, it meant that she and Santana would face whatever was behind the purple door, together.
And even though she was sitting there, knees bouncing nervously and teeth tugged between her bottom lip, she couldn't fight the knowledge that Brittany being here did help. It helped a lot, and even when the door opened and the big scary principal stepped out, crossing his arms over his huge chest and glaring down at them, Brittany was still there, sitting by her side and reaching out for her hand, tangling their small fingers together.
"Don't worry, San," Brittany whispered, leaning over. "I'm here."
And from that moment on, Santana knew that where she was, Brittany would be too. And neither of them would have to worry about anything else as long as they were near each other.
It was Christmas morning, and they were eleven years old. For the past years that they'd known each other, Brittany had always cycled down the street to Santana's house, and Santana would always be waiting by the window, sitting on the ledge for her.
This particular Christmas, Santana had only got three presents. Considering she usually got like at least twenty, she was a little down, but she figured it probably had to do with her mom and the empty bottles of whiskey she kept finding in the trash. After all, her dad had left and apparently all that was needed was a drink at the end of the night.
She'd made a comment about something she'd read about on the internet – alcoholic, she recalls – but that had ended with a red cheek and a mark in the shape of her mom's hand., so doing that again wouldn't help anybody.
Anyway, she was sitting there as always and she knew that at any moment Brittany would be coming towards her house. And right on queue, she was. Brittany, wrapped up in a thick scarf that covered the lower half of her face, a big puffer jacket that made her look huge and big fluffy ear muffs, was barreling towards her on her bicycle.
Jumping up from her seat, Santana ran towards the door and threw it open, not caring if her mother was shouting for her and jumped down the stairs and into her best friends arms. Her small arms went around Brittany's neck, and thin arms wound around her waist and they just hugged. They hugged until Santana wasn't aware of anything except her best friends scent, the way her coat crinkled beneath her fingertips and how Brittany's cheeks were warmer than anything else.
She pulled back and they both headed inside wordlessly, Santana's hand grasping Brittany's gloved one. Climbing the stairs, they made their way to Santana's room and immediately jumped onto the bed, crossing their legs and sitting opposite each other, their kneecaps touching and hands still connected between them.
"I bought you a present," Brittany beamed and released one hand to take her scarf and woolly hat off.
Santana grinned and nodded. "Me too."
Brittany's nose scrunched and head tilted. "You bought yourself a present on Christmas?"
"No, B. I meant I bought you a present," she chuckled back. "Can we do them now?"
The other girl nodded but then her face twisted into a frown and bottom lip stuck out into a pout. "Yeah, but I've got to go to my granny's today so I've got to leave straight after."
The news was sad, but Santana accepted that she couldn't spend every second of the day with Brittany. One day she could, but back then it just wasn't possible.
"Okay..." she drew out, reaching over the side of the bed to grab at the badly wrapped present. It was only a small thing, but it was still a present. "Here," she held it out and watched the excitement etch across her best friend's face.
Brittany reached for the present, but then stopped with her hands poised over the ribbon that Santana had tried to tie into a bow – she failed – and glanced up. She studied her best friend for a moment before reaching inside her jacket pocket and taking out an equally sized present, just as badly wrapped as Santana's. They grinned at each other, staring at the box with this weird sense of familiarity and then delved into the presents, tearing off the paper and finding they both had the same box inside.
"Did we buy each other the same thing?" Brittany said, and Santana bit her lip to hide the laughter.
"I don't know, Britt. Let's see."
At the same time, they pinched the lids and opened it up. Inside were two bracelets, silver with a silver heart charm dangling off one of the loops. Santana began to giggle and then peered over into Brittany's box, making sure that yes, they bought each other the same bracelets. Blue eyes flickered up to meet brown, and they stared for three seconds before bursting into laughter and toppling over, landing on their sides way too close to each other. The boxes rested between them and the tips of their noses touched from the proximity they were in, but neither of them seemed to mind.
When the laughter died down, Brittany looked down between them and grabbed Santana's bracelet out the box, lifting it to a tanned arm and fastening it until the cool metal pressed against the inside of Santana's wrist. She thought the contrast in temperature between her skin and the silver made her shudder, but it would only be a couple of years before she realized that no, it wasn't.
Wanting Brittany to wear hers too, Santana reached for the girl's bracelet and did the same thing, buckling it onto Brittany's right arm and allowing her fingertips to trace down the inside of her best friend's wrist as her eyes fixated on the metal. She gazed at it for long moments, before glancing between her own bracelet and the one on Brittany's wrist and felt her stomach do this weird little flip flop thing.
Brittany grinned at her and shuffled forward, pressing every protruding facial features of theirs together. Santana held her breath and warmth spread out across every inch of her body.
"At least we've got matching bracelets, now," the blonde girl said and the grin on her face only widened.
Santana nodded and absently began to toy with the heart charm dangling off Brittany's bracelet. "Yeah, Britt-Britt. At least we've got matching bracelets."
Sparing one final glance into blue eyes, Santana shut her own. It was only a moment later that warm lips pressed to the skin of her cheek and then Brittany jumped up from the bed, eyes glazed and wide, and bounded out the room shouting 'Merry Christmas, bestie!'
Santana cupped her own cheek and felt the skin tingle from where her best friend had just kissed her.
They were sixteen, and Brittany was away in Holland visiting family for a month whilst Santana was stuck on her own, with nothing to do. She did have other friends obviously, but she just didn't feel like going out with them because it was a constant reminder that they weren't Brittany. It sucked and so Santana spent an entire month of her summer cooped up inside, searching the internet for ways to make enough money to fly to Amsterdam and back, and how to do so without her mother finding out.
Apparently no such thing existed on the internet.
Anyway, it was in the early hours of the morning on a Sunday night, the day before Brittany was due back when her phone rang. The sound of Rihanna singing 'We Found Love' flowed from her phone and she frantically leaped for it from across the other side of the room, fearing she'd woken her mother and answered it.
"Britt?" She whispered, covering the piece and her mouth with her hand to make sure she couldn't be heard. "What's wrong?"
"I'm coming home tomorrow!" Brittany sang and Santana walked towards her bed, flopping down on it with a grin on her face.
"I know you are, B," she sighed and felt the left side of her chest thump unevenly.
Ever since Brittany had left her heart had been doing this weird thing where it would thump once, stutter and then thump again. For the first few hours of it, she'd been worried and convinced herself that she was suffering from some sort of heart disorder, but then her phone rang and Brittany was on the other end, telling her she'd landed in Holland and all the people smelt funny there, and Santana's heartbeat regulated to it's normal thumpthumpthump.
"I've missed you."
"I've missed you too, San," her best friend's voice was softer, and there was a distinct layer of sadness in it. "I can't wait to see you."
They went on like that for a while, telling each other stories about their day because it'd only been about fourteen hours since their last phone call – Brittany rang every single night she was away – and Santana laughed when she heard that 7 year old Emily had walked into a sex shop and grabbed a toy that her young eyes really shouldn't have seen, before yelling really loudly ''this is what the thing in boy's pants look like.'
Fair to say the entire shop and Brittany's mother was mortified. But damn, that must have been funny as hell.
But the hours crept by and before she knew it, Brittany was yawning and telling her that she was going to fall asleep and didn't want to be rude so she was going to go. Santana just chuckled and shuffled up the bed until her head hit the pillow, where she sighed and listened to the sound of Brittany's breathing down the line. It was comforting in a way she didn't know it could be and closed her eyes, suddenly feeling incredibly tired herself.
"You're coming home tomorrow," she mumbled, mostly to herself but Brittany heard.
"I am. And the first thing I'm doing is coming to see you," her best friend replied and yawned again. And Santana curled up at the image of her best friend rubbing at her eyes because somehow it was always ridiculously cute. "Night, San." A long pause. "Love you."
Santana smiled softly to herself and rolled onto her side, one hand pillowing her head. "Love you too, Britt. See you tomorrow."
Despite the goodbyes neither of them hung up and both fell asleep to the sound of each other breathing.
The next day, Santana opened the door so fast it was like her life depended on it, and Brittany jumped into her arms right away, muttering how much she missed her and how she'd never go away for that long again. Santana stroked her best friend's hair and had absolutely no intention of letting Brittany go, and so for an entire five minutes, she didn't.
They just stood in the doorway of her house, the summer air blowing in through the house and for the first time in an entire month, Santana's heart was beating correctly.
Santana's heart does that clenching thing and she closes her eyes, thinking about how stupid she was for ever thinking she wasn't in love with Brittany. It's been so clear and yet somehow, she was just so blind to it. She turns to her girlfriend, who's staring at her with questioning blue eyes and lets out a long sigh.
"Do you remember that day?" She asks, breathing out steadily. "The day after you came back from Holland?"
Brittany's brows crinkle, but she nods. "Yes..."
"And you jumped into my arms as soon as I opened the door?"
"We were sixteen," her girlfriend adds and Santana's heart flutters because Brittany remembers. Even after all this time. "And I had never been away from you for more than a day, and this vacation was a month long."
The sides of Santana's lips droop, her body recalling the way it felt back then. She remembers feeling so empty. So lonely. And no amount of distractions could take her attention away from the fact when she looked to her left, there was nobody there. No toothy smile. No shimmering blonde hair. No bright blue eyes that were like freaking oceans. Nothing.
Just an empty space.
Santana sucks in a deep breath and exhales slowly, ridding the thoughts from her mind. "I had missed you so much and when you were back it was just like everything was..." She trails off, and a hand comes up to stroke across her temple, fingers dancing down her cheekbone. Blue eyes lock onto hers, and she forgets what she was saying for a second. "...Complete again. Like I was complete."
Brittany smiles and it's that fifth smile that never fails to make Santana's heart expand to the point where it could possibly burst through her chest.
"I asked my mom about that, that night you know," she tells her. "I asked my mum why I felt so complete now you were back.
Brittany face lights up and a grin crosses her face. "I did too," she giggles. "I asked my mom why I'd missed you so much and didn't wanna be away from you ever again, and she just smiled at me and told me I'd find out soon."
Santana ducks her head, knowing she couldn't be more in love with this woman if she tried and presses their lips together softly. They stay like that for a long moment, just kissing until she pulls back and all she can see is blue and something she can only describe as intense, everlasting love.
And then it hits her.
She doesn't need a fancy proposal. She doesn't need to get on one knee at a Knicks game or hire a yacht and sail out to the seas to ask for Brittany's hand in marriage. She doesn't need a booking at Le Bernardin – one of New York's most expensive and greatest restaurants around – and a four hundred dollar bottle of champagne. All she needs is this. Her and Brittany, alone together.
"Baby?" Brittany calls, softly. "Are you okay?"
Reaching down, Santana grabs at Brittany's left hand and brings it to her face, dusting kisses across her knuckles. This is it. This is the moment. She smiles and lets her eyes close, nodding softly whilst her mind prepares the speech.
"You know," she takes in a deep breath. "Sometimes I hate myself, because I feel like I've wasted so much time with you," she glances up and sees Brittany's eyebrows pull together. "But when I really think about it... I realize we've been together ever since we met when we were younger."
Santana pauses and feels her heart pick up. She can't believe she's actually going to do this. The fingers on Brittany's right hand come up and brush lightly over her jaw, encouraging her to continue.
"None of–" the breath catches in her throat and she coughs, clearing it before starting again. "None of these moments I've had with you have been a waste because they've led to this moment," she licks her lips and sucks them in, looking up through her lashes. "Where I have to keep pinching myself to make sure this is real because I'm in love with my best friend."
Brittany lets out this long sigh, and it sounds a hell of a lot like a declaration of love, but Santana can't dwell on that and lean forward like she wants to, kissing Brittany like she wants to, because that'll break her focus. This feels a lot like it did all those months ago when she was standing on Brittany's stoop in the rain, putting her heart out on the line and wishing and hoping that Brittany loved her back.
She purses her lips into an 'o' shape, trying to hold back the way her hands are quaking lightly and blows out gently. She needs to keep her cool for fuck sake.
"Britt, you're beautiful. You're kind. You're funny. You're everything I could ever hope to be in love with, and I mean," she smiles to herself and glances away, shy. But Brittany's hand is right there, tipping her head up and trying to maintain their eye contact. "I still get butterflies in my stomach whenever you're around, and when I kiss you it's like I could take off. It's just so surreal to me to know that you're mine."
Brittany's head presses further into the pillow, and Santana knows if she were standing she'd be tilting her head to the side in that ridiculously adorable way she always does. It makes her smile and a wave of calm washes over her. Why is she so nervous about this? There's not even a single part of her that thinks Brittany's not going to say yes, and to be honest, they're all each other are ever going to need.
Laughing to herself, she shakes her head slightly whilst a soft smile tugs at her lips. "I don't know," she starts again, licking her lips and feeling her heart thud loudly against her ribcage. "Maybe this is crazy, but, when I think about the future and where I want to be, all I can think of is being just this–" she emphasize by waving her free hand down the length of their bodies, pressed together. "Just lying next to my best friend and telling her that I love her and kissing her to sleep. And I know that'll never change ever change because," she swallows and lock eyes with Brittany. "Because I know I'll love you until the day I die."
Brittany's eyes begin to brighten and Santana thinks she might know where this is going. But it doesn't deter her, instead it fuels it and she smiles, exhaling sharply through her nose before she shifts, props herself up on her elbow and releases her girlfriend's hand, bringing it up to brush over her forehead and push a lock of hair behind her ear.
"Britt, you've always been the biggest part of my life and I think for all the happiness you've given me, the least I could do is promise to love you completely, from now and forever."
As her hand drifts down Brittany's jaw and down the side of her neck, she swears she can feel the racing pulse beneath her fingertips. Taking in a deep breath, she takes this moment to twist, and reach behind her to the top drawer of her side table. The ring sits in the center and she can't stop the massive smile that graces her face when she takes the small box in her hand and turns back.
And she swears she's never seen Brittany's eyes grow wider. In fact, her girlfriend just stops breathing all together and her jaw falls slack, mouth opening in complete shock. Soon after, a pale hand comes up and Brittany covers her smiling mouth, her eyebrows up by her hairline and her eyes completely fixated on Santana's face. Santana tugs her lower lip between her teeth and puts the box between them, twisting it to face Brittany and settling her fingers on the lid as she continues.
"So, I guess what I'm asking," she slowly opens the box and Brittany's eyes sparkle like never before as the ring comes into her view. And Santana's heart begins to race so fast she's sure it could burst straight out her chest. This is it. This is the moment and she can't contain the excitement in her tone as she says, "Is if you'll make me the happiest woman in the world, and do me the honor of marrying me?"
She doesn't even register what Brittany's answer is before Brittany's rolling on top of her, nodding furiously and pressing their mouths together in a clumsy kiss that she immediately responds to. Hands tangle in her hair, securing their faces and deepening the kiss and if Santana wasn't so damn occupied with the happiness buzzing through her and Brittany's tongue sliding into her mouth, she would have just realized that yes, Brittany just fucking said yes and that makes her her fiancée. Santana's fucking fiancée and that means they're going to get married and fuck, Santana doesn't think she's ever been so fucking happy in her whole entire life.
They kiss and kiss, and Santana's hands glide over the skin of her fiancée's – fuck, that feels good to think – back whilst their legs tangle further down the bed. It takes her long moments of Brittany kissing her to kick start her brain and think about the six thousand dollar ring that's somewhere on the bed, but she manages to and breaks away, which Brittany takes as a sign to begin kissing down her throat.
But Santana, being Santana, wants to do this right and laughs, because she's just that fucking happy, and squirms, coming up to cup Brittany's cheeks until the blonde girl is forced to take her lips away from a tanned neck and stares her in the eye.
She's panting, but she still manages to get out the question, "Is that a yes?" even though she's one hundred percent sure she already knows the answer. Tears are forming in Brittany's eyes and Santana almost falters, but then she registers the grin and can't stop the way her entire body is buzzing; buzzing with happiness, with joy, with every fucking positive emotion there possibly is.
Then Brittany nods her head furiously, sniffling as the first teardrop trails down her cheek and Santana's heart explodes inside her chest. "Yes, I'll marry you, Santana," the blonde girl says, breathless, already leaning down and kissing Santana again whilst still mumbling, "Yes, I will. A million times, yes," into her mouth.
And that's the moment Santana realizes that everything she's ever wanted has come true.
Because life's a lottery, and somehow she was lucky enough to draw the winning ticket.
Oh my God, I can't even begin to explain how amazing all of you have been. This has been truly an honor to write and I will be going back over the chapters to rewrite parts that don't make sense and to correct all the grammatical and normal errors.
Thank you so much for reading this and sticking with my through the entire thing if you have! I love you guys and hope you will stick with me as an author. If not, thanks for sailing this ship and see ya later!