It wasn't much later when Chloe emerged from the bathroom, clad in fresh clothes and a rejuvenated smile that played on her lips. She quietly approached Beca from behind, the Dj blissfully unaware as she stood in front of the sink, various cans and bottles dripping with soap on either side.
The older woman watched with enthrallment as Beca hummed to herself and gently swayed to the tune.
"What are you doing?" The redhead queried innocently.
Beca jumped and her fist slammed on the countertop in habitual defence,
"Jesus!" the Dj hissed as her head turned sharply to Chloe, "how long have you been there?!"
Chloe giggled, "Only a few seconds..."
"I bet it was longer..." Came the muttered reply before Beca said aloud ",It's not like I would know anyway, you move so damn quietly."
Chloe rolled her eyes good naturedly "You say that like it's a bad thing"
Beca simply smirked and turned back to the sink. She grabbed a can, pulled the tab and then tipped it upside down, the brownish liquid it contained splashing carelessly into the basin and down the drain with a satisfying fizz. Once the last few drops fell, she placed it into the adjacent second basin filled with dishwater and sloshed it around. Whilst she was doing this, the brunette mused "Well, everything has its bad side."
Chloe nodded in agreement then took a step closer. Beca handed her the can, wet with soapy water and Chloe dried it with a towel, letting it join the rest.
The older woman hadn't noticed before how much alcohol she had actually brought. Now, with it all piled up and the severity of her problem confronting her, she found herself breathless. Her fingers lightly curled into fists and her eyes flickered with intensity, remorse and mostly, shock. It was pitiful and the limp hang to her head that brought her gaze to the floor was a reaction that Beca had somewhat expected, considering that the woman's demons were staring at her straight in the eye.
The brunette lifted her hands from the sink and shook the water free before she dried them courteously on her jeans. Then, with a little step to the side (for her arms weren't long enough), she embraced Chloe and held her tightly.
"It's...It's okay." Beca mumbled, "It's hard seeing all of this, right?"
"Yeah," Chloe replied stiffly.
The redhead pulled away from the hug and claimed a garbage bag from a cupboard. The Dj simply watched with admiration as Chloe stared at the various empty cans before she gave a determined nod and swiped her arm across the countertop. The bottles and cans clattered loudly as they were discarded into the bag but it only lasted a second. Then there was peaceful quiet, in which Chloe looked into the blackness of the bag and then to Beca with a prided smile. Her eyes glistened, in that oh so perfectly way they did and Beca couldn't help but smile back.
"It feels good..." Chloe admits in an exhaled breath, her grip tight around the garbage bag.
Beca nodded understandingly, "I guessed it would..."
There was a brief silence.
"What now?" Beca queried, looking to Chloe questioningly.
"I'll go put this in the dumpster that's outside by the entrance and then we can plan what we'll do today." The redhead replied with a dutiful nod.
Beca shook her head at Chloe's premise, "I'll take it to the dumpster, don't worry." The Dj grinned quickly, took the garbage bag as the redhead offered it and hurried out of the door. The various cans and bottled clattered with each of Beca's steps and the sound itself seemed to curve around Chloe's field of hearing as Beca walked outside towards the dumpster. There was a moment when the noise was replaced by hinges creaking and a small grunt of effort followed by a thud; then quick footsteps that led back around the cabin towards the door where Beca reappeared, a slight flush to her cheeks.
"Jeez, that lid is heavy." She groaned, dusting her hands together.
Chloe chuckled, commenting "Well, I did offer to take it."
Beca rolled her eyes good naturedly before she slumped of the couch and looked up to Chloe, questioning look burning into the redhead's eyes.
"So, what are we gonna do today?" Beca questioned. The brunette saw the thoughtful look that Chloe adorned and so she took to biting her nails passively as the older woman slowly fashioned a plan of action.
"Why don't we go back to the waterfall?" Chloe suggested, her tone somewhat chipper and reminiscent.
Beca's eyebrows knitted together as she thought back to the previous day (turning a blind eye at its ending and instead skipping to the parts she enjoyed) and a rush of warmth flushed her body; the scowl dropped, instead a gentle, fond smile decorated her features.
The Dj exhaled, lip caught between teeth to hide the growing grin, "Yeah..."
Beca's mind had turned aloof all of a sudden, to some special place between thankfulness and downright despair. Thankful for getting a second chance of telling Chloe how she felt as she reckoned that waterfall was the only place beautiful enough to do such a thing, but despair as it seemed almost inappropriate, considering the difficult evening/morning the two had just endured. Though, in another light, Beca figured having feelings out in the open meant she could simply care more and drop her hesitant edge she constantly held around the redhead for fear of going too far...
"Beca? Hello?" Chloe called.
The older woman waved her hand in front of Beca's blank expression, which elicited a jump from the Dj and then a defiant shake of the head.
"What? Yes! No. I mean. Yeah, the waterfall sounds great!" Beca rambled, ending on a wide grin to which Chloe chuckled.
"What?!" The brunette scoffed, her expression playful.
"You're such a weirdo." Chloe commented.
"I've been told." and Beca winked.
After a short while and a debate about bathing suits,
("Beca, you can't wear swim shorts!"
"Because I'm sure only guys wear them..."
"Hey! I might have a dick, how would you know?"
"I went into your shower, Beca."
"...Oh, yeah." )
The twosome found themselves back in the woods. They followed the few footprints left by them the day before and it took literal minutes (as opposed to an hour, as it did previously) for them to find their way.
The canopied trees opened into the sun basked haven, as picturesque as they had left it. The waterfall crashed down noisily and disrupted the surface of the pool which rippled in large rings before dispersing as they hit the rocks. Both Beca and Chloe stood for a moment and stared out into their enclosed hideaway.
"It's beautiful." The red head breathed out.
Beca turned her head to Chloe, smiling fondly. "Yeah, it is."
The older woman then lifted her shirt, revealing toned stomach and breasts clad in a red bikini. It took all of Beca's strength for her eyes to avoid wandering but even so the DJ managed a sneaky look at Chloe's abs before she turned away and removed her own shirt, which revealed her slim but disappointingly un-athletic build.
When Beca turned back around, she met a intrigued stare and glistening iris's, that by far outranked the other impressive aesthetics the redhead possessed. They twinkled like the stars and captivated the brunette so dearly that Chloe's delicate figure wasn’t even on her mind in that moment.
"What are you staring at?" Beca asked with a small grin.
Chloe returned the expression, and then her finger delicately traced the tattoo that covered much of Beca's shoulder, sending shivers down the younger woman's back.
"Your tattoos, I forgot about them," Chloe stated, admiring the art work before her hand slowly (and reluctantly) fell back to her side. Her smile went lopsided, as if she wished for the touch to stay but felt against it.
Beca sensed the mild angst and so she grabbed Chloe's arm, much to the other woman's surprise and extended it. The Dj looked intently; the corner of her lips turned upwards upon finding the small ladybug that cutely sat on Chloe's forearm
"I'd never forget about this" Beca teased lightly before she added, " maybe I should get a cricket and we could match." sarcasm and appropriate smirk only adding to the comedic effect of her words.
Chloe giggled, "Maybe you should," and her expression seemed serious for a second. In reply, Beca looked at Chloe with an acknowledging smile "Fine then, I will."
The redhead frowned disbelievingly, "What? Really?"
"Yeah, why not? Always wanted a bug tattoo anyway..."
Chloe's frown lightened as she chuckled again, a muttered breath of "weirdo" escaping into the air, which elicited a smirk from Beca and an agreeing nod of the head.
Then, the older woman turned away and faced the water. Her body tensed for a second, relaxing as she drew a large breath. Head down, eyes shut, breathing steadied.
Beca watched, largely bemused by Chloe's abrupt calmness, eyes narrowing as she caught eyelids flicker and a smirk expand on the redhead's lips.
"Chlo, what are you-"
"LAST ONE IN HAS A TONER FOR BUMPER!" Chloe's voice exploded in front of Beca's.
The redhead's grin widened wildly as she eyed Beca's visible shock from the outburst. Her light footed steps then brought her to the water's edge, away from where the brunette had only just caught on and pursued.
"Hell fucking no!" Came the yelped cry from Beca as she levelled with Chloe. The Dj's arm reached out and hooked around the older woman's front and pushed her back but her cunning trick was without success. Beca's awful footing and general clumsiness was at her disadvantage here, evident as when the younger Bella tripped, arms still wrapped around Chloe, and stumbled head first into the water pool.
Laughter mixed with the gargling of water as the twosome splashed broke the peaceful serenity and the flutter of birds flying away, presumably disturbed from their shrieks was heard in the distance, though went unnoticed by the two women who were in the middle of wrestling (though, it could've been considered more intimate than that).
When they broke apart, Chloe wiped the water from her eyes and ran her hands through the now ruined ginger locks which had flattened to the side of her head.
"I was sort of aiming to not get my pants wet this time, that was the whole point of wearing my bikini underneath..." she muttered, but her eyes twinkled and she found it impossible to be angry at Beca, who simply smirked and gave a quick wink before she thoughtlessly retorted, "Doesn't matter what you're wearing, you'd be wet around me anyway." ,
The redhead's eyes widened at the comment, as did Beca's. The Dj's face flushed an impossibly deep shade of red and her hands flew up to disguise it. "Oh my god, I'm so sorry I wasn't thinking!" She cried.
Beca's mortified expression was then distorted by water as the brunette broke into a front crawl stroke and swam away hastily.
She took refuge behind the waterfall where she cursed blindly to herself for her own idiocy for a moment. Even after she had finished, she remained, too embarrassed to even consider going back out. Her blush had now subsided, but her cheeks still felt like they were burning and her heart raced at the very remembrance of her words.
With her back turned and being too wrapped up in containing her frustration, Chloe's sly entrance had gone unnoticed and she stood behind Beca. Her finger then gently prodded the younger woman's back.
Beca tensed and jumped. She turned around sharply and scowled but the expression she adorned fell to a calculating confusion as Chloe's sweet smile filled her vision.
"I'm sorry Chlo'," Beca reiterated and Chloe merely shrugged passively,
"It's fine, you're adorable when you're flustered."
At that second, in accordance to Chloe's words, the blush returned. Beca's lips pursed as she felt it crawl up her face and despite the defiant shake of her head, there was no escaping it.
"I'm not adorable." Beca muttered.
"Of course you are, Becs!" Chloe replied chipper with a prod of Beca's flushed cheek.
"Aw c'mon, why aren't you adorable?"
"Because I can't be adorable."
"We're going in circles here..." Chloe sighed, and then she glanced at Beca closely.
The younger woman had become reclusive. Hands nervously fiddled at her sides and eye line was directed towards the dappled light that reflected in the water of the alcove the twosome resided in; they blinked often and when they looked up (which wasn't often), it included a sense of childlike innocence or nervousness, seldom seen in the alt girl's expression.
Defeated by that devilishly deflated look, Chloe eventually queried, "Okay, why can't you be adorable?"
Beca's eyes then shut for a second. When they opened, they jolted towards Chloe, a storm raging behind the gaped expression Beca now adorned. The brunette was frozen to the spot, her hand twitching slightly as if she were to anchor herself by reaching for Chloe but was inexplicably unable to do. The confusion that creased in Chloe's brow was now almost intimidating and Beca had to remind herself to breathe under its mild scrutiny.
It was fortunate, as the oxygen somewhat calmed Beca's screaming lungs and rapid heart but it was unfortunate, as didn't stop them enough to distract from the constant thump of her heart break that played like a drum in her ear.
Both were silenced. Chloe with the questions she hoped Beca would answer and Beca with the answer she couldn't seem to congregate into a palatable sentence.
Until suddenly, she did.
Thoughts tied together in a seamless line as the two's eyes met during the silence and it all just...clicked.
Voice choked and shaky but recognisable as Beca's own,
"I can't be adorable, because you're the most adorable thing I've ever seen," Then an added whisper of " You're perfect." were the words that echoed into the empty cavern. What followed was Beca's light up curl of her lips as she took Chloe's hand and repeated herself. "You're perfect, Chloe Beale."
It felt good. Unexplainably good. Beca imagined this is what Chloe felt when those cans fell away into the garbage bag and were disposed of. A sort of nervous energy that coursed her veins. She felt sick yet ecstatic and though she couldn't quite read Chloe's face right because of this, she was oddly okay with that.
She couldn't help herself anymore. It had been said once, twice and now for a third time, Beca iterated, "You're perfect and I want to look after you."
Chloe bit her lip.
"I want to care for you," said the brunette.
Tears formed in the redhead's eyes.
"I want to love you." The final confession was revealed in a hushed whisper, Beca's hope hung on a single thread of dignity.
"Oh, Beca." Chloe murmured, her voice gently caressing the Dj's name. She took the grip which the younger woman initiated and tightened it, their bodies now pressed closer as their hands intertwined.
"Why did you never say anything?" She asked softly, her voice tickling Beca's face in an oddly seductive fashion.
"I...I was scared." Beca mumbled pathetically.
"Oh Beca." Chloe chuckled softly and she guided her hands away from Beca's and up to cup the younger woman's delicately curved face. "Don't be..." and then she whispered, "Because I want to love you too." before she pulled Beca in, their lips barely brushing in a soft kiss before they separated again.
Beca stared, dumbfounded. She was happy, undeniably. Though, she couldn't shake the slight worry that resulted from the graze of their lips.
"Are you sure?"
Chloe nodded, her smile empathetic of the Dj's doubt.
"But what about...past experiences?" The brunette asked quietly, afraid of the very words themselves.
Chloe's smile that succeeded the question was knowing, wise and comforting to Beca's inner conflict. The words that rolled from the other woman's mouth however, were a much better argument that helped in the resolve.
"You're not like him Beca, I want to feel your body against mine; the gentle hitch of your breath when I touch you in return." and with that, Chloe connected their lips once more.