"but did she have to do it in front of the whole glee club?"
"remember when she called glee club the best part of her day? you guys are her family too and i think it was so brave of her."
"It just seems really crass of her, Brittany. She knows I’m still struggling with my break-up with Blaine, and this is what she does, she kicks people when they’re down, remember-“
"No, I’m going to stop you right there Kurt Hummel, that’s actually not who she is at all. That’s what you’ve all made her out to be. Not who she really is, and you know it. Think about it, really, just for a minute. Who was the first one who tried to get you back in this school when Dave was bullying you?”
"Her, but-" Brittany shakes her head and holds up a hand.
"Who went after Sebastian when he almost blinded Blaine Warbler?"
"Who was the one who tried to protect Rachel when she was with that my sized Ken Doll?"
"Her." Kurt slumps his shoulders dejectedly.
"Yeah. Exactly. She’s the best kind of person, Kurt. She cares so much about you. Do you know that she cried, because of the way you acted? Not only because you turned one of the most important moments of our life into something negative, but because she feels bad that you were hurt. It wasn’t supposed to be about you. It was supposed to be about me, and her, our love.” The sparkling tears in Brittany’s eyes are evident, and she rubs her thumb over the inside of the band on her left ring finger.
Kurt doesn’t speak for a few long moments.
"Look, I know things have been hard for you with Blaine and Karofsky, but sometimes things happen in relationships. Things you don’t expect and things that at the time seem like the worst possible outcome. But you can’t give up and you can’t stand still." Her eyes flick down at the ring again and back up. "Kurt.”
He looks up at her finally, tears in his eyes.
"Don’t give up. I never did."
"It’s hard. Almost impossible hard." His voice is hardly above a whisper. "Was it this hard for you too? Where you felt like you couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep, couldn’t even think straight anymore?"
"I’m not sure if you were ever thinking straight.” Brittany jokes a little, and she sees the slightest hint of a smile on his face. “But yeah, it was. The breakup hurt, but when I got a text from her that told me she’d started seeing Dani, it was like someone hit me in the chest with a baseball bat. I cried for like four days.”
"Yeah, really. It didn’t matter that I’d dated someone first. She’s my person, you know? My one true love, and even though I had faith that we’d find our way to each other again, it didn’t mean that I wanted to think about her with someone else. And not even the sexy stuff, just holding her hand, kissing her forehead, making her breakfast, sending her dumb texts. That hurt most. I know people don’t always give me credit, but I’m really good at understanding, and I’ve been there, so…"
"But Karofsky? Really? He terrorized me in high school, how could he…”
"We both know people change," she interrupts, glancing at the ring again and thinking back to Santana sophomore year. How she snapped at Rachel after Landslide. How she looked that day in front of the lockers. He’s just a stupid boy. “Karofsky was scared too back then, remember? Just have faith, I have a feeling it’s going to work out and Santana says I’ve got ESPN about these sort of things. He’ll catch up, you know?”
Kurt nods and sniffles loudly, swiping at his nose. ”I’m sorry I ruined it earlier. You’re right, today was about you two and I should have seen that.” He reaches out to squeeze her hand with a watery smile.
"You didn’t ruin it, I promise. Nothing could have possibly ruined it. Ever." She can’t help the grin that splits from ear-to-ear. Her fiance.
"I’m really happy for you, Brittany. For both of you."
"Thanks, Kurt. And I think you owe my fiance an apology."
"I know. I am proud of her, you know. I lived with her for months, and never once saw her as honest and open as she was during that speech. You bring out the best in her."
"No." Brittany shakes her head, a soft smile on her lips as she thinks of unicorns, and the MIT encouragement, and the nights on their tour where she’d come into bed bone tired, and Santana would remind her of what an amazing dancer she was, of all the great she’d accomplish. "We bring out the best in each other."
"Yeah, I guess that’s true. So where is she now? And do you think you could come with me? She won’t murder me in front of you."
"She’s at the Lima Bean. I was giving her some time to herself, to get her head together and stuff. We’re talking about maybe going to see her abuela before we go back home.” Brittany’s voice is quiet, serious, and Kurt realizes that she’s trusting him enough to share something so personal, so important.
As soon as they step foot into the Lima Bean, Brittany finds Santana on instinct. She’s alone at a table by the far window, nursing a mug of steaming coffee looking like she’s not quite all there.
"Hey, space cadet," Brittany greets, kissing her on the cheek.
"Hey, baby." Her expression softens immediately at the sight of Brittany but narrows her eyes when she notices Kurt. "And if it isn’t Mr. Ungrateful himself. Didn’t you already do enough damage today, Hummel? Swing away."
"I owe you an apology, Santana." That gets her attention. "I was wrong to behave the way I did in that choir room. I was hurt and lashed out and should have realized that this was your moment. Yours and Brittany’s and I tried to take that from you. I’m hurting, but that’s no excuse. I just wanted you to know that I’m truly sorry." Santana’s scowl turns progressively to a soft smile. "And also, I’m really proud of you, Santana."
With that, her eyes get misty and Brittany reaches to squeeze her hand from across the table. Because I voted for you. I believe in you, Santana.
"I love you guys," Kurt whispers, laying his hand over both of theirs.
"We love you too, Lady Hummel," Santana begrudges, rolling her eyes and leaning over to press a kiss to Brittany’s lips.