A crackling static rings out, effectively breaking the morning silence in her bedroom.
The noise signals an incoming transmission from the walkie-talkie that’s had a permanent residence on the window sill since high school.
The two met in middle school when Chloe moved in next door, Beca didn’t stand a chance against the redhead’s charms. However, when high school came around Chloe’s parents felt it’d be in Chloe’s best interest to enroll in the local private school to increase her GPA. Ever the quick thinker, the day after Chloe told Beca the news and before the reclusive brunette had time to wallow, Chloe had shown up on her doorstep with the walkies.
Beca had pointed out that the walkies were pointless since they both had phones and lived next to each other, but Chloe insisted it would add something special to their friendship. Not wanting to dash Chloe’s happiness, Beca had agreed.
“Rise and shine!”
Beca flips her middle finger at the walkie, at the same time burying her head under her pillow.
“Aw, don’t be like that. It’s the start of another beautiful summer.”
Beca regrets not putting down the blinds to her window the night before, as it now serves as giving the voice on the radio a clear view into her bedroom and easier access to Beca.
“Wakey, wakey!” The overly cheerful voice sing-songs. “You know I can do this all day.”
Beca stumbles out of bed and grumpily snatches the walkie from its charger. Pressing the button on the side, she doesn’t care for how gruff her words sound, “And you wonder why I stayed away for so long.”
“Very funny. Morning, neighbor. Cute pajamas by the way.”
Beca rolls her eyes, not at all ashamed at the Batman pajama bottoms she’s rocking with her white V-neck t-shirt. Leaning against the window, Beca squints at the playful redhead. Who, Beca notices with a slight irritation, still possesses the ability to look flawlessly beautiful at such an early hour.
“You win, Beale. You got me out of bed. Can I go back to a peaceful slumber?”
“As if. I refuse to let you sleep away the summer, especially since we haven’t seen each other in years.” Chloe can be seen laying out her clothes for the day.
“One year, Chloe.”
“Well, it felt longer. We barely had a chance to talk during the year too. Your schedule sucked.”
“Chloe, it’s 10:00am!”
Chloe pauses, has the nerve to look Beca in the eyes before shrugging. “And it’s 1:00pm in New York.”
“Don’t deprive me of my sleep just because your internal clock hasn’t reset itself.”
Beca’s attention is pulled away at the sound of knocking on her bedroom door, followed shortly by her father calling her name.
“Great. They know I’m up. Hope you’re happy with yourself.”
Chloe does indeed seem pleased. “Text you later and we can catch up?”
“You could have done that in the first place.”
“But Beca, this is our thing. I did try to text you, but I forgot how much of a deep sleeper you are. Over and out.”
“I’m not leaving you alone until you say it. You know it doesn’t count until you do.”
“You’re so weird, Beale.” Beca sighs, “Over and out.”
“I missed you!”
Beca has just enough time to take the coffee out of Chloe’s hands, and place it on her desk before Chloe’s arms capture her in a fierce hug.
Beca gasps out a similar sentiment, or as much as she can manage with the wind being squeezed out of her. She’d forgotten how crushing Chloe’s hugs were.
“I told you, I had a gig on campus. And you stayed there during spring break for your stupid choir group.”
“It’s an acapella group. We make a lot of authentic music with our mouths.”
“…still weird when you describe it that way.”
“I remember you had your gig and it’s great that you had that opportunity, but I’m allowed to miss you too.”
Beca rolls her eyes but playfully messes with Chloe’s hair. It was her tried and true tactic whenever feelings were being presented so freely between them.
“I can’t wait to hear what else you’ve been working on. You have a talent, I kept listening to your mixes and I’m convinced that they got me through finals.”
Beca wouldn’t say she was smiling proudly but she always felt a little taller and a little more confident whenever Chloe complimented her music.
“What are you up to tonight?”
Beca doesn’t bother to throw out some other ideas, knowing it’s a trap. “Hanging out with you.”
“It was the only answer.” Years of friendship had taught her this.
“7 o’clock? My parents want me to do some errands beforehand. I’ll pick up the pizza if you’ll supply the Netflix and popcorn?”
Squealing happily, Chloe hugs Beca and kisses her cheek quickly. “Totes excited.”
“Me too, weirdo.”
“Beca Mitchell, are you actually on time?”
“I have my moments. Plus, it’d be sad if I was late when we live right next door.”
Chloe takes the already prepped popcorn from Beca’s hands and in exchange hands her a plate of pizza.
“You ordered a pizza with half pesto, artichokes, and tomatoes. You remembered!”
“Of course, I’ve never come across anyone with such a weird taste in pizza.”
“I’m telling you, you’re missing out on something truly orgasmic.”
If Beca hadn’t closed her eyes at that moment to savor her first bite of the pizza, she may have caught the look of desire that flashed through Chloe’s eyes at that moment.
“My loss.” Chloe clears her throat, voice a little higher than usual. “How was your first year?”
Beca groans, “Really? I already went through this earlier today.”
“I’m not your dad, Beca.”
“Thank God for that.” Beca finishes her first slice and puts the plate down, momentarily forgetting about her second slice. “I did a lot of introspection and I think I’m going to transfer before next year starts.”
“What? I thought you enjoyed being in Los Angeles?”
“I do, but right now the classes and the electives aren’t providing me with the right opportunities to focus on my music.”
“Have you looked into any other colleges?”
“I have. There’s one with a radio station on campus that could open some doors to internships with some of the local labels, if I’m able to get my music on the air.”
“Which they’d be stupid not to use.”
Beca grins at Chloe’s ever-steady confidence in her.
“Which college did you choose?”
“Beca!” Chloe lightly smacks Beca’s arm, “We could have been on the same campus this entire time? We could have been roommates!”
Stepping out of Chloe’s reach, Beca grabs her plate and finishes her last slice. “I needed to see what was out there for me in Los Angeles, and now I know where I should be.”
“This is just the best news! And you can finally meet my friend Aubrey.”
“She’s not that bad.”
“As long as she doesn’t puke on me. Anyway, enough about me. What about you? How’s the quest to become a Marketing prodigy coming along?”
“It’s not. I’m considering switching my focus to musical therapy. I just want to give back and share how beautiful music can be.”
If it had been anyone else, it would have sounded either extremely fake or incredibly forced. But knowing how kind Chloe Beale was, Beca wasn’t at all surprised by Chloe’s reasoning.
“You’re going to do great things, Chloe. You already made an impact on me.”
Chloe smiles, takes the empty plate from Beca’s hands and puts it on her desk. “Charmer.”
Beca smirks and walks towards Chloe’s bed, putting the popcorn bag on the chair in the corner of Chloe’s room before sitting down and propping herself up against Chloe’s pillows.
Grabbing the remote, Chloe hands it off to Beca as she lays to the right of Beca.
Beca, half-heartedly, resists Chloe’s demand for cuddling for a few moments before she relents. Allowing Chloe to maneuver her arm up so Chloe could rest her head against Beca’s shoulder. It’s during this repositioning that Beca catches sight of something. “You kept these up?”
Chloe smiles up at the glow-in-the dark stars that adorn her ceiling.
“Of course, it’s one of my favorite gifts from you.”
“Be proud, Beale. Nobody inspires such corniness from me like you do. ‘Your smile lights up the night sky brighter than any star’? And a $10 bag of glow-in the dark stars?” Beca glosses over how long she actually scoured to find the right amount of stars. She hadn’t anticipated glow-in the dark stars to be a rare commodity in toy stores these days.
“It’s the thought you put into it, not the amount you spent, that meant the most.” Chloe reminds, snuggling closer to Beca.
“Alright, well, have you put some thought into what we’re going to marathon this time?”
Chloe’s eyes glint mischievously, “We still haven’t finished Dawson’s Creek.”
“You’re killing me smalls.” Beca objects slightly but dutifully queues up the show, ignoring the triumphant smile Chloe’s not so subtly sporting.
“I’d rather not talk about it, if that’s cool.” Is Beca’s greeting as soon as she clicks her walkie on.
Chloe, Beca sees, nods and pulls her chair closer to the window.
Even though they would both fiddle around in their room, for the most part they spoke sitting at their windows and looking at each other. At times Beca still felt it was ridiculous, but over time she had grown to appreciate that it was ‘their thing’.
“What’s the latest and greatest mix you’re working on?”
“I’m actually hitting a creative block.”
“That’s not like you. You’re like a hits machine.”
“Yeah, well, my ego took a few hits in LA. They told me my sound was,” Beca pauses, eyes narrowing for a moment, “Generic.”
“A lot of people were telling me that.”
“There are always going to be critics and haters.”
“Thanks, but you’re my best friend, you’re kind of obligated to patch up and inflate my ego.”
“Beca, you listen to me right now.” Chloe’s voice becomes almost as stern as the look she give Beca. “You are incredible and the way you manipulate and blend music is astounding. The music world is going to be so lucky to have you contribute and boost it up with your contributions. You were meant for great things with your talents.”
Beca’s face flushes, embarrassed at Chloe’s compliments.
“And me?” Chloe sits back, batting her eyelashes at Beca. “What about me is amazing to you?”
Beca turns away for a moment, suddenly shy.
Not because she didn’t know why Chloe was amazing but because she didn’t have a filter on her words or emotions when it came to Chloe. Years of suppressing her emotions had taught her how to reign it in, but going to college had opened her eyes to just how strongly she felt for Chloe.
“How you see through people. You just get me, Chloe. Even back then when we probably should have been enemies per the social pecking order. You didn’t think I was such a freak and you’re probably just as weird as I am. But hotter. You’re incredible and I’m amazed that you even noticed me or gave me the time of day. I’ve never met someone with such a kind and openly loving heart.”
“Thank you, Beca. That was really sweet.”
“Oh shit, you’re not going to cry, are you? I will close the curtains on you again if you do.” Beca jokes.
Chloe is about to radio back to her but notices Beca is now looking off towards the left, where her bedroom door is.
“Sorry.” Beca turns back with a shrug, “My dad just called up to me, said there was someone at the door for me.”
“Are you expecting anyone?”
“Not that I know of. Actually, most of my college friends don’t know where I live. It never came up.”
Beca supplies the last part before Chloe can go into a firm discussion on the importance of socializing in college and how Beca needs to open herself up to having more friends.
Due to the placement of Beca’s window, Chloe has a limited view into Beca’s bedroom, so Chloe is almost as shocked as Beca when a pair of arms suddenly wrap around from behind Beca. Arms that belong to, Chloe is unenthusiastic to admit, a strikingly stunning woman.
Chloe is completely caught off guard when the unknown woman spins Beca around and plants a kiss on her.
“Did you miss me, Beca?” Laura, a blonde Beca had met by chance in study hall, purrs into her ear.
Beca glances out her window, she had briefly forgotten that she had been speaking to Chloe.
“Am I interrupting?” Laura stands to her full height and glances between Beca and Chloe’s window.
“I wasn’t expecting you.”
“I thought I would surprise you.”
“Well, you sure succeeded.” Removing Laura’s hands from her body, Beca pushes herself away from the taller woman. “Can I meet you downstairs?”
Laura nods but kisses Beca one more time before exiting, not once glancing back at the flabbergasted redhead who had been watching the entire exchange.
Bracing herself, Beca turns around to face Chloe.
“A little louder, please. I don’t think Hawaii heard you.”
“Beca, this is huge!”
“Only if you make it out to be.” Beca rubs the back of her neck self-consciously.
“I didn’t mean…” Chloe’s explanation trails off as Beca stands, the brunette’s face a mask of indifference.
A part of Chloe’s heart breaks at the wall Beca’s visibly putting up.
“Beca, I swear I’m not upset that you’re gay.”
“Look, I’ve got to go. Laura’s waiting downstairs.”
“Okay. I’m sorry, Beca. Over an-“
Chloe’s goodbye is cut off by Beca turning the power off to her walkie and closing the blinds to her window.
Chloe has never felt so effectively pushed out from Beca in her entire life. She knows she pushed Beca to that point with her reaction but she can't help her own feelings of hurt from Beca shutting her out.
Beca finds Laura inspecting the family photos adorning the mantle above the fireplace in the living room.
“What the hell are you doing here, Laura?” Beca pauses, tilting her head to the side as something occurs to her. “Better yet, how did you know where I lived?”
“Jesse told me.”
Beca rubs her forehead, willing her oncoming headache to stay away. Of course Jesse, her well-meaning but often not the brightest when it came to a pretty girl best friend, had supplied the information.
“Aren’t you happy to see me?”
“A heads up would have been nice.”
“Why? Because of your friend? I thought you were out.”
“I said I’m not afraid to be out, not that I’m actively telling people.” Beca corrects, not caring that she didn’t acknowledge Chloe being mentioned.
“I thought we could spend some time together this summer. Now that we don’t have any other commitments...”
“And by that you mean the girlfriend you forgot to mention to me when we were sleeping with each other.”
Laura doesn’t seem at all apologetic about having been caught less than 2 weeks ago when her girlfriend walked in on them.
Even though Beca had been in the dark about the situation, she still felt guilty for being part of the reason for breaking up Laura and her girlfriend.
“Look, what’s done is done but I have no interest in pursuing anything further with you. I think it’d be best for you to leave and lose my number.”
“And people call me the bitch.”
“Among a whole slew of other things I’m sure.”
Beca doesn’t even bat an eyelash as Laura storms out of the living room and slams the front door on her way out.
“You’re killing my buzz.” Chloe slurs, doing her best to walk up the stairs.
When Beca arrived at Tom’s house, who had been Chloe’s on and off fling through high school, the party had pretty much winded down. Beca had recognized several of their former classmates, but most of those passed out or too drunk to go home were new faces. It didn’t take Beca long to find Chloe, who had been slouched against the wall at the end of Tom’s stairwell.
Beca had rejected Tom’s offer to help get Chloe to Beca’s car. It was nothing against Tom, he was probably one of the nicer guys Chloe had hooked up with, but Beca had never been a fan.
“Hey, you text’d me, remember?”
“I did? Oh.”
Beca sighs, guiding Chloe as best as she can into the bedroom.
“Come on, the sooner you sleep off your ‘jiggle juice’ the better.”
Chloe huffs and snatches her night clothes out of Beca’s hands.
Beca blinks, confused at the sudden attitude change and decides to call Chloe out on it. “What’s with you?”
“You’re just trying to rush back to Lauren.”
Beca chuckles, and turns to give Chloe some privacy as she changes. “Laura. And no, I’m not. I’d be surprised if I saw her again.”
“Oh?” Chloe’s current state of insobriety prevents her from sounding anything but enthused.
Beca catches it but lets it go. “I broke it off with her earlier today.”
“And you didn’t tell me?” Chloe shoves Beca’s shoulder, which Beca takes as Chloe’s finished. “We tell each other everything.”
“Hey, don’t you even dare begin to pout.” Beca taps Chloe on the nose gently, “You refused to answer my calls and then ran off to a party. Plus, I have a right to choose when and how I tell you things that pertain to me.”
Chloe nods, “You do have a choice. I wasn’t mad that you didn’t tell me. It hurt that you thought you couldn’t come to me about it.”
“Chloe,” Beca guides them to Chloe’s bed and underneath the covers, “I wanted to tell you but I thought it’d be best in person. I wanted to tell you face to face. We already told each other so much through text or Skype during the year.”
“I understand, it’s not the same.”
Chloe scoots herself closer to Beca and practically lays on top of Beca. Angling her body to compensate for Beca’s short stature, Chloe rests her chin on Beca’s chest as her hands sneak underneath Beca’s shirt, resting on Beca’s sides.
Beca stills for a moment, focusing on her breathing and hoping her heart doesn’t sound as loud to Chloe as it does to her ears.
For several minutes they just lay there in the dark, listening to each other’s breathing.
Finally, Chloe raises her head, enough so she can stare into Beca’s eyes. “Beca?”
“I’m glad you broke up with her. You didn’t seem happy.” Chloe looks away for a moment, seems to come to a decision and looks back at Beca. “You deserve to be happy.”
“Same goes for you, Ladybug.”
“I am happy. Especially when I’m with you.”
Beca gulps, the tension in the air seems to be stealing the air from her very lungs. Mentally she tries to tell herself that this conversation was not going the route she hoped it would.
Chloe continues, unaware of Beca’s growing anxiety, and her fingers trace small patterns on Beca’s chest. “You being gay wasn’t what surprised me, not entirely. I was surprised because…” Chloe bites her lip to stop it from quivering, “Because it meant that I had a chance after all.”
Beca holds her breathe, waits for Chloe to take it back.
As the seconds stretch into minutes and with Chloe staring at her expectantly, Beca begins to hope.
Deciding to punctuate her point, Chloe leans forward so their noses are touching. “You can pull away if you want,” Chloe whispers against Beca’s lips, which part as Chloe’s words seem to dance their way in. “But I really hope that you don’t.”
Closing the distance, Chloe’s lips press against Beca’s with determined fervor.
Gripping Chloe a little tighter, Beca responds equally passionate until she notices Chloe’s enthusiasm has begun to dwindle.
Gently maneuvering Chloe beside her again, Beca wraps her arm over Chloe’s shoulders so the other woman can snuggle into her. Chloe lets out a content sigh before she succumbs to unconsciousness. The night of drinking finally taking a toll on the redhead.
Sighing, Beca strokes Chloe’s hair and gently kisses the top of her head. “Looks like we’ve both been keeping things from each other.”
For once Beca wakes before Chloe.
To be fair, Beca suspects Chloe drank enough to equal the amount to subdue a small bear.
Being the sober one meant she clearly remembered the revelation from last night, and Beca had found it difficult to fall asleep. She was anxious, a weird mix of feeling like it was Christmas Eve and like she was dragging her feet to the Principal’s Office.
“Ungh.” Chloe groaned beside her, signaling her unfortunate welcoming back into reality.
Ever the smart ass, Beca can’t help the cheerful“wakey, wakey” she greets Chloe with.
Rarer than Beca being up first, it was uncommon for Beca to be the jovial one and Chloe to be the grouch. Chloe gives Beca her best withering glare before sliding underneath her duvet.
“Nuh-uh.” Beca pulls the covers down until Chloe’s upper body is revealed. “You chose your path. This will help.” Beca hands over the glass of water she filled when she first woke up, and holds out two Advil pills with her other hand.
Reluctantly Chloe takes the pills, knocks them back, and chugs the water.
As soon as Beca takes the empty glass out of Chloe’s hands, the redhead grabs the covers and buries herself yet again underneath. “Are you happy now? Can I die in peace?”
Beca rolls her eyes, “I think Aubrey’s flare for dramatics rubbed off on you. I haven’t seen you that wasted in years.”
Chloe peeks out, “Oh no, what did I do?”
Beca pauses for a moment, weighing the options but Chloe’s pleading look says it all. “It was more what you said…”
Chloe sits up slowly at this, confused. “What I said?”
Beca gives her a pointed look, and waits for it to sink in.
The moment it does Chloe buries her face in her hands, her heart sinking in mortification. “I told you.”
“All of it?”
“Hardly, but you said enough.”
“And you’re actually here, talking to me about it? You’re not about to run off and freak out?”
“I may be allergic to full heart open surgery feelings type of talks, but you’ve always been special.”
“What does that even mean?”
“It means that this doesn’t have to become this huge complicated discussion.”
Beca moves the water glass she’d placed earlier towards Chloe, and opens her left hand to reveal two pills. “We can do this two ways: One, we can stay in and binge on whatever Netflix tantalizes us with, like old times and we let whatever this is pass.”
Chloe can’t help cringing at that suggestion.
Beca leans forward and gently places her hand on Chloe’s hands, which had been nervously fisting her duvet. “Or two: you take a shower and I’ll come back later, and then we’ll go out.” Beca’s fingers coax Chloe’s into relaxing, enough so their fingers intertwine.
“We can continue to talk about whatever this is or could be, but hopefully whatever happens we can consider that it’s a date and not a hang out.”
Chloe blinks several times, trying to make sure she wasn’t dreaming.
Beca leans back on Chloe’s bed, signaling that Chloe has the floor.
Chloe looks at Beca contemplatively. “Okay.”
“I’m going to go shower.”
“Okay.” Beca’s shoulders sag a little in relief; the easy smile that only Chloe seems to bring out of her begins to break out.
A/N #4—Feedback feeds the muse and is always appreciated!
Discliamer--As always, the characters in this story do not belong to me and this story was intended for creative fun