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when you've been fighting for it all your life

Chapter Text

Shrill laughter and bubbly giggles followed the sound of scuffling feet as children ran around the padded playground. The carefree noise of second grade recess rang through the field as the last ten minutes of break time counted down.

Away from all the noise and screams and dirt sticking to cartoon printed clothing was the heavy little bubble of seven year old angst. Hidden inside a dusty, dented little tunnel were two little girls, a blond pouting near the entrance with her chubby little arms crossed over her overalls and the other huddled in the corner.

 “No!” the slightly toned, pale little seven year old yelled defiantly, hands pushing the headphones over her ears even closer. She couldn’t concentrate on keeping the noise away if her best friend kept yelling at her. Cold blue hardened into a glare as the brunette frowned at the dirt by her feet, trying to block out all the noise as best as she could.

“Beca!” the pouting girl whined, voice tiny and shaky as the blond choked on her words. She just wanted her best friend. Why was she being so difficult? Honey brown eyes stung as the little girl tried to keep her lips from trembling.

The rebellious brunette shook her head, grip tightening around the big black sound-proofers on her head as she stayed resolute. “No! I don’t like Alexis Dean!”

“But Alexis Dean is so cool!”

“I don’t care!” Beca shot up to her feet, grimacing at the noise but pushing through as she grabbed the blond by her shoulders and shook her lightly (but the blond still winced and yelled). “Stacie Conrad is the bestest friend I have and I don’t want to play with anyone else but her!”

The blond burst into tears, grabbing the brunette by surprise as she pulled her in for a hug (it was awkward and gross and little Beca didn’t move an inch as she let her friend cry. She’d only known the girl for two years and she’d never had to deal with her crying (because she avoided it like the plague)), careful not to move or tug on Beca’s headphones. “Do you really mean it?”

The brunette grunted in response, letting the blond cry her eyes out before pulling away as fast as she could and pulling the damp part of her shirt away from her shoulder. Beca grimaced as the blond hastily wiped her tears away with a shaky smile.

“You really want to play with me?” the blond sniffed, Beca nodding firmly in reply.

“Of course, Stace,” Beca shrugged, making the blond brighten with a grin before honey brown orbs darkened into an earthy tone and strawberry blond curls straightened into warm brown. It only took two blinks before Stacie stood before the girl, long skinny legs and scrawny arms dangling at her sides as her once chubby features turned sharp and smooth. Beca smiled at the sight of the girl she practically saw as her sister. “Alexis Dean is dumb, anyways.”

“Beca!” the taller, skinny brunette chastised half-heartedly, grin growing as she looped their arms together.

Beca shrugged with her free arm as she let Stacie pull her out the tunnel and back towards the playground, happy to have her best friend back. Cold blue squinted into a glare as they moved towards the playground, the shorter brunette cupping her headphone closer with her free hand. “She thinks you can get a donut tree if you plant a Cheerio.”

“Would the donuts be flavored if you plant Fruit Loops?” Stacie’s smile turned mischievous as Beca rolled her eyes in reply.

Shrill laughter and bubbly giggles surrounded the pair as they neared the sound of scuffling feet as children ran around the padded playground. The carefree noise of second grade recess rang through the field as the last few minutes of break time counted down.

Stacie squeezed Beca’s arm just as the bell rang. The smaller brunette turned to the girl with a raised brow, and Stacie replied with a grateful smile before bringing her free hand to her lips and letting it drop forward, palm up, facing her friend.

Beca smirked and shrugged in reply. She meant it. Stacie Conrad was the bestest friend she had.