A/N: Just mindless fluff with Brittana feels. Happy Valentine's Day. Sorry if there are a lot of mistakes but beta and I didn't have a lot of time to go over this before posting. Classes and Brittana kisses and all.
To say that Santana was nervous was an understatement. Well, she was excited, too, but her nerves were beginning to overtake her. All she could think about was the misery that she had felt this time last year - memories of a lonely dinner at Breadsticks and those cruel lines sung in her direction still kept her up some nights. She shifted on the lunch table bench and glanced sidelong at Brittany who sat next to her. Her girlfriend.
Sometimes she still couldn't believe it, but there she was, pale hand resting warmly on her thigh underneath the table, drawing patterns on the bare skin beneath Santana's Cheerios skirt like there was no other care in the world. And Santana wouldn't have it any other way. No, she wasn't nervous because of the hand holding and the stolen kisses. Santana was nervous for the same reason she was nervous at Christmas, and the same reason she had been nervous at New Year's.
They had been friends for what felt like forever, then they had been friends with benefits, and then there had been nothing. For the entirety of last year, Santana had been alone on every holiday they had shared for most of their lives. Nothing had made Santana realize how much she was missing more than spending Christmas Eve alone, watching her best friend kiss someone that wasn't her on New Year's and having Blaine sing that she would never be loved while the girl she belonged with sat across the way, holding onto a boy.
This holiday season, Santana knows she has to make it special. She knows how it feels to not have Brittany and she never wants to go back. This is their first holiday season together. Santana knows that technically Valentine's Day isn't really part of the traditional holiday season, but she'll let it slide. This Valentine's Day will be the first one with Brittany as her girlfriend and she needs to make sure it's the best ever.
But that's part of the problem. They used to spend Christmas Eve together all the time and they used to go to New Year's parties together. But not Valentine's Day. That one had always been off limits. The implications were too strong and Santana had made sure to always have some boy on her arm during the Hallmark holiday. But this year is different and Santana wants nothing more than to have Brittany as her Valentine, suddenly finding the whole thing rather serious. She has to make it perfect, hence the nerves.
"You okay, babe?" Brittany had leaned over and whispered in her ear while she had been musing. Santana can't help the shiver she feels from Brittany's breath hitting the side of her face.
Santana turns and looks around the table they were sitting at. McKinley was all decked out for the approaching day-of-love, the cafeteria being the worst offender. But she doesn't mind and she even allows a small smile to form on her face as she takes in her friends around her.
Mike and Tina are still annoyingly sweet; Mercedes and Sam stare at each other with puppy eyes and even Quinn looks happy joking with Mercedes' cousin. She doesn't even mind Artie trying to woo Sugar, because, just gross, or Rachel and Finn. It'sa major accomplishment and Santana can't help but smile at their friends.
"Baby?" Brittany asks again, pulling back to look at Santana in the eyes and at that moment, Santana can't help herself. She leans forward and presses their lips together in a chaste but sweet kiss. Brittany's eyes are glowing when she pulls back.
"Never better," she says with a grin, reaching to twine their fingers together and resting them in her lap. She winks at Brittany before turning back to face their friends again. She can't let Brittany know how nervous she is for the approaching holiday.
When she realizes she needs to talk to someone about everything, it takes her a while before she broaches the subject. But it's more because she doesn't know how the other girl will react and they haven't been as close as they used to be this school year. But if there is one girl in glee, or even in Lima, for that matter, that Santana trusts other than Brittany, it's Quinn. So she takes a deep breath and pushes down her insecurities as she approaches the short-haired blonde.
"Q, hey, wait up," she calls to the girl as she catches up with her outside of A.P. History. Brittany is on the other side of the building, just getting out of art class and this will probably be the only time Santana can talk to someone without her girlfriend overhearing.
"Santana," Quinn greets with a smile. Santana likes this Quinn. She reminds her of the happy Quinn from before Glee club and baby drama. It's like the girl in front of her has finally found herself. "What's up?"
"I need to uh… ask you something," Santana says as she feels her cheeks grow hot from her obvious nervousness.
"Santana," Quinn sighs with a giggle, "I already told you, I'm not that into that… and while I'm sure Brittany is very 'adventurous' in bed, I'm not sure she'd be into that idea either."
"Wait… what?" Santana stops moving and watches Quinn's short hair bob slightly in front of her before the other girl stops and turns to face her in the crowded hallway. "NO! I mean… wait, what makes you think she won't be into that?"
Quinn raises an eyebrow at her and she shakes her head to clear the thought that was now planted there. "Damn it, Quinn, no. Not that type of question."
Quinn rolls her eyes and flicks her head in the direction of the choir room and they start walking again. "I'm just kidding, S. So what's up?"
"I uh…" Santana stutters and she curses at herself. Santana never stutters. "I need your help."
"With?" Quinn sends a smile her way as they continue to walk down the hallway.
"Look," Santana reaches out and grips at Quinn's arm, stopping the other girl. "This is our first Valentine's Day together. Like, as a couple," she explains and Quinn nods her head in understanding. "And I just… I don't know what I should get her. It has to be perfect."
Quinn smiles at her and it makes Santana feel loved. "Why do you have to get her anything, Santana? It's just a stupid Hallmark holiday. Your words, not mine," she adds when Santana feels her mouth open slightly.
"It's just," she starts, stopping soon after to try and organize her thoughts.
"It suddenly means something?" Quinn asks and Santana can't help but nod her head sheepishly. "I understand."
"So, I need to do something special. I need it to be perfect."
"Well she already knows you love her," Quinn muses. "And you're already going to the dance together, right?" Santana nods her head yes and Quinn continues, "So what do you need? I'm sure it will be perfect no matter what you do."
Santana slumps her shoulders in defeat. "I know, it's just… I want to get her something special. Make that day special. For her, you know?"
Quinn sighs and looks at her, deep in thought. "I don't know why you're asking me, I'm not exactly known for my successful romantic relationships."
Santana worried her bottom lip into her mouth, her eyes searching the green ones in front of her.
"This is really bothering you, isn't it?" Quinn asks softly. Santana nods her head yes, because yes it has been bothering her. "Well, do you have anything planned already?"
She takes an unsteady breath and shakes her head so-so before turning and continuing their stroll down the now dwindling hallway. "Kind of. I mean, I really want to take her to dinner. And I know it's lame and totally cliché but I feel like taking her to Breadstix has special roots in our relationship," she explains and Quinn nods. "I just… want to get her something special."
Quinn walks quietly next to her for a few moments and Santana knows what she's thinking, so she keeps her mouth shut. "Well what about jewelry? Like a necklace… or new earrings," she paused for a second before continuing, "Or a ring?"
Santana snaps her head up and looks at Quinn, the small smile playing on the blonde's lips tells her she must look like a deer caught in the headlights of a speeding car. The truth was, she had thought about getting Brittany a ring. Heck, she had been thinking about it for Christmas, too. She had even kept her mouth more shut than usual at Rachel's sudden confession about being engaged to her high school sweet heart. As gross as the idea of Rachel marrying Finn was, she couldn't bring herself to make fun of them. After all, if Brittany proposed to her tomorrow, Santana knows her answer would be a definite yes. So the idea of getting Brittany a ring and proposing herself was definitely something she had considered.
But she had decided against it. Not because she was scared or nervous about making that commitment but because it seemed almost expected. Santana had seen too many commercials to count where some guy gives his girlfriend a ring or some hideous looking heart necklace that's mass-produced and just tacky. Brittany is too special for something like that. If Santana was going to propose to Brittany, it was going to be special, perfect and totally unique. Just like her.
So she shakes her head no before answering the other blonde walking next to her. "No, I thought of that."
"Really?" Quinn asks but she doesn't actually sound surprised, more like giddy at having Santana confess what she just did. Like it was a precious secret she's been entrusted with. "And you don't want to?"
Santana smiles because yes, she does want to. "No, I do. Just… not yet. That would be so… typical and boring."
"I… I see your point," Quinn says, coming to a stop outside of the choir room. Santana looks in and catches Brittany's eyes and smiles at her girlfriend. "Well in that case… why don't you get her something that reminds you of her, of how special she is."
Santana is almost too busy staring at Brittany from where she is happily chatting with Rory in the choir room to hear what Quinn says, but she manages to process it a few seconds later.
"Yeah, I like that idea," she answers before walking though the doorway to sit next to her beautiful girlfriend.
It still takes her a few days before she gets an idea. It comes to her as she's flipping through old family photo albums. She doesn't like it at first, but as she looks at photos of her grandmother, it blossoms in her and suddenly she can't think of anything better. It brings a flood of memories of her and her grandmother, happy memories from before everything that happened this year. She still loved her grandmother and she would keep those memories with her for the rest of her life and hope that eventually they would be able to make more.
Her hand traces over one particular picture of the two of them from her first cheerleading competition and a small smile forms on her lips. She snaps the album shut and immediately pulls her laptop from where it was sitting on the coffee table of the living room. It may not be the most original idea ever, but Santana was sure as hell certain she was going to find the best one, even if she had to travel to every antique store in western Ohio in order to find it. And she only has a few days to find the perfect piece, so she has to get started right away.
Her palms are sweaty as they take a seat in their booth at Breadstix. Brittany looks beautiful as usual and Santana can't help but melt under her smile. But she's still nervous. She's nervous that Brittany will think her gift is silly. That maybe she should have gotten her something she can eat or maybe something she could wear and then have Santana take off later. Brittany definitely would have enjoyed a gift like that.
"Santana," Brittany calls her out of her trance and she looks up to meet shining blue eyes. Brittany slides her hand over the small table to offer it to Santana and she gladly takes it. No more napkin.
"Thank you for bringing me here," the blonde across from her speaks softly and Santana gives her girlfriend a little shrug, like this isn't a big deal for her at all. Brittany laughs and shakes her head. She totally knows this is a big deal for Santana and it makes her love the blonde even more. "Relax, okay? I love you."
Santana blinks and gives Brittany's hand a little squeeze. "I love you too, Britt-Britt. I'm okay, though. Totally relaxed. Perfect, even."
"Santana…" Brittany says in her knowing tone.
Santana is about to defend herself when their waitress shows up asking for their order. Santana takes the liberty of ordering for both of them, the way she knows Brittany secretly loves and making a point to ask for all of the blonde's favorites.
Once their waitress walks away, however, Santana is back to playing nervously with the box she has hidden in her bag under the table. There has to be a certain timing to giving your girlfriend a gift over a dinner date. Do you do it before you get your food? Between courses or during desert? Santana doesn't know and she's still uncertain as to whether Brittany will like it or not.
"Why are you nervous?" Brittany asks.
"What? I'm not nervous, I'm totally good," Santana brushes off, looking around at the decorations scattered throughout the restaurant.
"Santana," Brittany whines in that absolutely adorable pout and Santana can't help the smile that plays on her lips.
"I just… I can't believe I'm here with you this year. I thought," Santana paused and allowed her mind to briefly drift back to Valentine's Day last year. She frowns slightly before continuing, "I thought I'd never get to be here with you. On V-day and all."
Brittany smiles at that but it's almost as though the blonde knows she's not being completely honest. It is true, what she's told Brittany, but that's not what's making her nervous. In fact, that idea has made her so inexplicably happy that she has to keep from grinning like an idiot, standing on the table and shouting to the entire facility that the girl sitting across from her is her girlfriend.
"Babe," Brittany smiles that knowing smile and Santana can't help the heat that rises in her ears.
She takes a deep breath and then, fuck it. She can do this. She's Santana Lopez. And the soft, reassuring smile Brittany sends her from across the table sends shivers down her spine.
"I uh… I got you something," she admits to the girl across from her, dipping her head and pawing through her purse until her hand grasps the small wooden box.
Brittany perks up at Santana's words and is suddenly a lot more giddy than she was a second ago.
Santana pulls the box out of her bag and holds it in her lap for a while. The box is a gift in itself. She wanted to find the perfect little package for Brittany's gift and she had found this one at one of the numerous little shops she had traveled to. It was hand-carved and elegant and it fit perfectly with the gift it held within. Santana takes a deep breath and raises her head to look at her girlfriend.
Brittany's eyes glistened in excitement, the pale flicker of candle light dancing in her brilliant blue orbs. The look she was giving Santana was so full of love, she felt her heart swell. Santana took a deep breath and slowly raised the wooden box and placing it on the table.
"I uh… this is for you, Britt-Britt," Santana says, cursing herself for not coming up with some elegant speech to present Brittany with. She had been too busy worrying about whether or not Brittany was going to like her gift. She sighs in defeat and gently slides the box into Brittany's waiting hands.
"Oh, San… it's beautiful," Brittany says as she traces the floral carvings on the box.
Santana rolls her eyes and can't help the small giggle that escapes, "It's inside the box, you goof." Santana can't help but smile when Brittany looks up and gives her a shy smile. "But you can keep the box too, of course."
"Good, cause its beau…" Brittany starts as she slowly opens the lid of the box, only to cut short when she sees what's inside. She's quiet for a while as Santana watches her inspect the box's contents. After a few seconds pass with no response, Santana begins to fidget nervously.
"Beautiful. Oh San, it's beautiful," Brittany says, bringing her other hand up to lift the bracelet from the box and Santana lets the breath that she had been holding captive in her lungs.
Santana never liked the idea of getting Brittany jewelry for Valentine's Day. She had always used the holiday as an excuse for boys to buy her expensive but useless bling and Santana didn't want to bring Brittany into that consumer frenzy. But this was different. This bracelet was unique. This bracelet had a story. But most of all, this bracelet would be the beginning of their own story.
"Do… do you like it?" Santana asks hesitantly.
Brittany looks up at her with one of the brightest smiles she's ever seen and before she has time to realize what's happening, Brittany has clambered around the table and crawled into her side of the booth. She takes the kiss she gives her as a definite yes.
"Mmmm, yes," Brittany mumbles against her lips. "Will you put it on me?"
Santana pulls back and puts just enough space between them to allow her space to move. She looks down at the silver chain in Brittany's fingers and watches as the blonde inspects every link until coming to the lone charm on the bracelet. She looks up at Santana with questioning eyes. Santana knows she's expecting an explanation and she leans forward to place another kiss on her lips before starting.
"My grandmother has a bracelet, much like this one," she begins, moving her hand up to trace the piece of jewelry Brittany still had in her hands. "And it has all these little charms on it. I used to love playing with them when I was little. Each time I went over I would always find myself looking at all the different charms until one day she saw me looking at one in particular and she started telling me a story."
She paused and looked up at her girlfriend who was looking back at her with warm and inviting eyes. "It turns out," she started again, "That it had been a gift from mi abuelo and each charm had its own special story. Over the years, he would give her different charms to add to it until it was cluttered with little snap-shots of their life together.
"So I know that we've just started dating, like for-reals dating and all, but I can't wait to build our own unique story together," Santana confesses, dropping her eyes to her hands where she nervously played with them. "I love you, Britt."
She feels Brittany's hand on her chin, gently pulling her head up and she can't help but look up into blue eyes. "I love you, Santana," Brittany speaks softly, tracing the contours of Santana's face as she does so. She leans forward and presses their lips together again. They're doing that a lot lately, kissing in public, and Santana couldn't care less. She kisses Brittany back with fervor.
"So what's the story behind this one?" Brittany asks as she pulls away.
Santana smiles and pulls the bracelet from between Brittany's finger, just to unlatch it and pull Brittany's wrist into her lap. She gently closes the latch on the chain before adjusting the bracelet to look at the lone charm it possessed.
"It's a songbird," Santana explains, playing with the charm between her fingers. It was simple; a little silver bird with a heart in its beak. "And this is my heart."
Santana looks up at Brittany and smiles under her smile. "It's just… this year has been crazy. We've come so far. I still can't believe that this time last year you were with him." Sure it had taken a while, but Santana didn't hate Artie anymore. Brittany was with her now anyway so she had been able to let her hard feelings go. But the memories still hurt on occasion so she couldn't help the harsh tone at which she said the three letter word.
"You were with him and I thought I had lost you forever. I know it took me long enough to realize everything and I'm sorry for ever hurting you, Britt. But I hope you know that I'm yours now. So much has happened this year and I wouldn't change any part of it. I love you, Brittany S. Pierce and this is me giving you my heart. I am entirely and forever yours and I can't wait to share my future with you." She finishes her story and brings a finger up to brush away the small tear that had formed in the corner of her eye. She takes a ragged breath before adding one last thing. "And I hope that you will remember this moment and every moment prior whenever you look at this charm."
Brittany reaches up and brushes a second tear from Santana's eye and Santana looks up at the blonde in front of her. She felt her heart ache as she saw tears forming in Brittany's eyes.
"Oh Britt-Britt, please don't cry," she shuffles closer to her girlfriend and brings their foreheads together.
Brittany shakes her head slowly against Santana's, "It's just… it's perfect, Santana. You're perfect."
Santana lets out a chuckle but feels her heart swell. Brittany liked her gift.
"And I give you my own heart, Santana Lopez. I love you, always," Brittany says airily, her breath hitting Santana's lips in warm puffs.
Their kissing again by the time their food comes, but Santana doesn't care. She's content to spend the entire night in Brittany's arms, their lips pressed against each other without a care in the worlds. And when she feels the warm metal of Brittany's bracelet brush against her collar bone, she's certain she will be content to spend the rest of her life loving Brittany.