Actions

Work Header

Handcuffs, Hijinks and Other Adventures: The Collection

Chapter Text

Table of Contents

  1. The Ultimate Bellas Scavenger Hunt -- The Bellas go on a scavenger hunt around town, in the name of "team building and bonding time." It wouldn't be the Bellas though, without a bit of craziness.

  2. Cake -- Beca and her daughter Anna bake a cake for Chloe's birthday.

  3. Trolls -- Anna Mitchell discovers the magic that is the Trolls movies.
  1. The Best Day In the Studio -- Beca takes her daughter Anna to the recording studio to record a song.
  1. The Girlfriend Tag -- Beca and Chloe decide to do the 'Girlfriend Tag' on YouTube
  1. Bellas Night Out -- The Bella's are bored. So they decide to go to an art museum and roller skating. Beca is prepared to hate every minute it.
  1. The Football Game -- Beca and Chloe place bets on the Super Bowl.
  1. Why Can’t You See? (You Belong With Me) -- Prompt from tiptaptop: Chloe and Aubrey both like Beca and they fight for her but Beca ends up with Stacie.
  1. Bourbon Street High School -- The Bella's love any excuse to party. Especially Chloe. However, Beca does not.
  1. Can’t Turn Back Now (Haunted) -- Beca and Chloe go on a date to a haunted house 
  1. Crush (ed) It -- Beca and Chloe go to National Pumpkin Destruction Day
  1. I Like You A Latte -- My version of the stereotypical ‘Coffee Shop AU’ fic that everyone does.
  1. Thankful or Whatever -- The Bellas do Thanksgiving and Beca has to make a speech.
  1. Christmas Wishes -- The Mitchell family visits Santa Clause
  1. What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve (Parts 1-3) Beca is used to being alone. In fact, she liked it that way, prefered it even. It wasn't until Chloe Beale came into her life, that she realized how much she actually hated being alone.
  1. Freaky Friday -- Beca and Chloe pretend to switch bodies and be each other after watching the movie Freaky Friday, and drive all of the Bellas nuts. 
  1. The GRAMMYs -- Beca and Chloe go to the GRAMMY Awards
  1. The Start of Something New -- This is my take of Pitch Perfect meets High School Musical.
  1. Kiss Me I’m (Not) Irish -- Beca and Chloe celebrate Saint Patrick's Day
  1. PRIDE – Bechloe + Pride
  1. Hey Ms. DJ -- There's a hot new DJ in town, and Chloe wants Beca to come with her to check them out.
  1. This Is The New Year -- Emily and Benji take on the New Year
  1. Red Panda Ranger (Parts 1-3 out of 6*) -- Beca Mitchell discovers a new career path on the internet: becoming a Red Panda Ranger

    **In Progress
  1. Something -- There's something about the redhead and her dog that is incredibly attractive to Beca

 




 

I know you were all expecting a story for this chapter and I'm sorry that it isn't. I just wanted to add a bit more than the description box would allow me to do. So I apologize if I mislead you, but I would like to welcome you to my new story, Handcuffs, Hijinks and Other Adventures: The Collection!

This story will follow Beca, Chloe the Bellas and the Mitchell family. It will also include other pairings if that is something you as readers request.  I am always accepting prompts, so send them my way!

There is no particular timeline to this story, because they can all be read as stand alone fics. I do have a timeline in my head, but I do kind of bounce around during the "Handcuffs" series, since it's a collection of one shots. 

I'm tentatively placing "Stuck With You" in October, because of the interview with Anna Kendrick that she did on Ellen on October 26th. I began writing that story that same night, and it was published on October 27th 2016. I decided Beca was at the beginning of her sophomore year during "Stuck With You" but I probably have a few inconsistencies in there. I'm going to keep some of the PP2 and PP3 references in, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything.

Some of these one-shots are longer than others, and some are going to be very short. Also, some of these one-shots are definitely better than others, so please stick with it and hopefully you can enjoy other parts of the collection, since these are all one-shots and have nothing to do with each other. 

If you don't like all of them, that's fine, but please don't stop reading because of one bad chapter. If there is something you particularly dislike or love, make sure to leave a comment so I can improve my writing. I'm new to all of this, so any and all feedback is appreciated.

I will be the first to admit that my updates have absolutely no structure whatsoever, and I tend to write when I have the inspiration and the free time--and it's rare when both happen at the same time, so please make sure you follow/check back for new updates.

 

Now, on with the show!

Happy reading!

 

Chapter Text

The Ultimate Bellas Scavenger Hunt

 

A few weeks after the Bellas raided the Treblemaker’s house looking for the keys to unlock Beca and Chloe, the girls decided they wanted to go on another scavenger hunt. Everyone was excited and Aubrey was always game for team-building, quality Bellas bonding time.

 

First, the Bellas begrudgingly established some ground rules, per General Posen’s insistence. For the picture tasks, every member of the group must pose with the listed item and have a picture taken, to prove they actually did it. They could ask someone to take the photo for them, but in case they couldn’t find someone, each team would be given a selfie stick to help fulfill this task. Photos with multiple tasks being completed at the same time, were acceptable. For example, if they needed to find a person with pink hair and also an umbrella, a photo of a person with pink hair holding an umbrella was fine. If it’s an object that they were supposed to bring back, the Bellas could only take things that they either already owned, could easily return or replace if they couldn’t. If it was something they were not able to easily pick up and carry by themselves, or public property it was off limits.

 

The girls would both start and finish at the Bellas house. Everyone was expected to be back at the house by the time the 2 ½ hours were up. If one person in the group was not back in time, their whole team would be disqualified. The first team to arrive back with all 20 tasks completed wins the scavenger hunt. If at the end of the time limit, nobody finished all of the tasks, the team that properly completed the most would win.

 

The Bellas decided that whichever group won, would be able to skip their mandatory cardio practice, so everyone was very highly motivated to win. They could use the Internet as a resource for information, their phone’s GPS for navigation, and get help from strangers, but they couldn’t text their friends or get anyone else they knew, to do anything for them.

 

On the off chance that any groups were caught cheating, they would be eliminated, and have extra cardio to do, so it was a good incentive to not fail. Fat Amy was quick to point out that her participation in the campus wide scavenger hunt should be considered cardio anyway, but Aubrey largely ignored her pleas.


Once the ground rules were explained, it was time to make the list. This time though, instead of everyone searching for one thing (the keys to the handcuffs), they decided to work together to make the most outlandish list possible. Each of the 9 Bellas each wrote 3 things down, and put them in a box.  

 

Everything was considered fair game, although there were some limits that were put in place. Anything suggested came with the knowledge that it could be vetoed. Nothing illegal or anything that required breaking in anywhere, and absolutely no nudity. One would think that was common sense, but when it comes to the Bellas, sometimes explicitly stated boundaries are necessary.

 

Once everyone finished writing their ideas down, Aubrey who liked to be in charge, took all of the Bella’s suggestions, threw out repeats and bad ideas and finally came up with a typed list of 20 things, compiled from all the crazy concepts that the girls came up with. Aubrey printed off the list and handed it out to the groups.

The Photos List:

Take a picture with a dog

Take a picture of a team member in a shopping cart

Take a picture outside Stanley’s

Take a picture next to the Bellas trophy case

Take a picture with a guy wearing a Hawaiian shirt

Take a picture with a pineapple

Take a picture on a motorcycle

Take a picture with a pink flamingo

Take a picture with a garden gnome

Take a picture with the Barden Knight Statue’s sword

 

The List of Things to Collect:

Collect a copy of a biology textbook

Collect a fortune from a fortune cookie

Collect a copy of an old school picture or yearbook

Collect an essay with an F grade

Collect a pen or pencil with the school logo on it

Collect a parking ticket

Collect a Barden University athletic jersey

Collect an old coffee cup

Collect a movie ticket stub

Collect the left shoe of 2 different pairs of shoes

After receiving their lists, the girls divided themselves up into 3 teams. Cynthia Rose, Fat Amy and Stacie were in one group, and Jessica, Ashley and Lily were in the second group. Much to Beca’s dismay, that left Aubrey, Chloe and Beca as the third group. The girls were given 2 ½ hours to complete as many of the tasks on the list as possible.

 

Within the group of three, the Bellas each then designated a navigator, a collector and a photographer. The navigator’s job would be to get them to each destination, the collector would keep track of the objects, and the photographer would use the selfie stick to take the pictures to show the Bellas when they all regrouped at the end. Throughout the night, if the members wanted, they could switch positions, but everyone had to participate.

 

A timer for 5 minutes was set, to give each group time to make a plan of action, and suddenly the living room was filled with excited buzz and chatter for the fun filled night ahead.

 


            “Babe, we are totes gonna rock this,” Chloe stated confidently, as she looked over the list.

 

“Assuming Aubrey lets me do anything, it’s a possibility,” Beca replied, looking less than enthused about being on the same team as the devil incarnate, who had disappeared into the kitchen as soon as she found out who all was in her group.

 

“Oh, stop. You’re just as valuable as any other member of this team,” Chloe encouraged.

 

“If I’m even still on the team by the end of the night,” Beca stated bluntly. “Aubrey just went into the kitchen, probably to grab a knife to kill me with.”

 

“Stop. You’re being dramatic, Beca,” chided Chloe.

 

Beca scoffed lightly and said, “There’s 3 of us. You two have been best friends for years, and we all know she likes you way more than me. Haven’t you ever heard of third wheeling?”

 

“We may be best friends, but I’m not dating Aubrey. I’m dating you, which should tell you right there, that if anyone is going to be third wheeling on this scavenger hunt, it won’t be you.”

 

As Chloe continued to present her argument, Aubrey returned from the kitchen with a cooking timer. “Ok ladies,” she said, addressing Beca and Chloe. “Here’s what’s going to happen. We have 150 minutes to find and complete 20 tasks. That leaves us 7 minutes for each task, plus 10 minutes to come back to the Bellas house by 8pm before the timer is up. I think—.”

            “Can you just shut up and let it be fun, for once?” Beca interrupted rudely.

 

            Aubrey, to her credit, did nothing physical to the brunette, but if looks could kill, they’d be down a team member, and Chloe would not have a girlfriend anymore.

 

            Chloe, forever playing peacemaker, tried to come up with a great idea that would hopefully appease both her best friend and her girlfriend. “How about we start scouring our rooms and the Bellas house for easy items, then go and get the location photos for the majority of the time. While we’re out on location, we can just grab any other items we find along the way.”

 

            “That’s not the worst idea in the world,” Aubrey said, still a bit peeved at Beca, but liking Chloe’s suggestion.

 

“Yeah. I like that Chlo. Great job,” Beca complimented. “Knew I kept you around for a reason…”

 

“Oh? Is the sex not enough of a reason?” Chloe teased, knowing full well they hadn’t reached that step yet, but loving the effects it left on her tiny girlfriends face.

 

“Well, I uh… You see… Umm…” Beca began to sputter, flushing the color of a lobster. “You can’t just go around saying shit like that Chloe!” she concluded firmly, after stuttering a bit more.

 

Aubrey, looking a bit pale with a tint of green, just took a deep breath and said, “I don’t care, or even want to know what you do or don’t do in bed with the Hobbit, so long as I don’t have to hear it or hear about it ever again. Can we please just  focus on our strategy instead of the raging toners you have for each other?”

 

For once, Beca agreed with Aubrey. “Yes, lets,” she said hurriedly. “I know I have a bunch of ticket stubs from different things Jesse has dragged me to.  Just last week, Jesse dragged me to go see La La Land. Apparently we HAD to go on it’s limited theater release date because it’s ‘cinematic gold’. You know, he’s hoping the soundtrack will win a couple Oscars for Best Original Score, and Best Original Song, and why do I know that or care…?” Beca trailed off, placing her head in hands and shaking her head as she quietly groaned.

 

            “Okay, moving on,” Chloe said, placing a gentle hand on her girlfriend’s shoulder. “Beca has the ticket stub. I know I have at least 5 essays with an F grade from Russian Lit, so that will be no problem. I’ll have to check the closet and see if I still have any of Mike’s jerseys in there…”

 

            As Chloe got lost in her mental visualization tour of their upstairs closet, Aubrey interjected, “I have an old molecular biology textbook at the apartment, which is close to Stanley’s. We can swing by there on the way. And I have a bunch of pens in my bag. Let me go check and see if any of them have a school logo on them.” With that, the blonde rushed out of the room and over to the door.

 

            “You’ve got a bunch of shoes, Chlo, can we grab 2 of those?” Beca asked turning to face her girlfriend as Aubrey left.

 

            “Sure. And I know you’ve got a bunch of old coffee cups on the floor of your car, what with the amount of coffee you drink and doing coffee runs for your co-workers at Residual Heat,” Chloe continued, “because I always have to toss them in the back seat when I ride in the car with you…”

 

            Beca just glared at Chloe, and resumed looking down their list for things to check off. “I’m pretty sure I’ve also got a parking ticket from Residual Heat because Dax was being an airhead of a dick and forgot to plug the parking meter when we went on our lunch break. I don’t know if I kept it or not though…”

 

“You didn’t… Luckily for you, I did. It was in the trash, but I saw it when I accidentally threw something away, and I picked it out. By the way, you owe me $35 for that parking meter violation,” Chloe chided.

 

“What?” Beca exclaimed, “Do not…”

 

“Yes you do, Rebeca,” Chloe insisted, “You’re lucky I paid it when I did because if it had been after 14 days, the ticket jumps to $70.” Beca stared at her girlfriend in disbelief that Chloe had memorized the cost to park on the streets of Atlanta.

 

“And if you STILL didn’t get it paid after 45 days, it’s $95,” Chloe continued on, oblivious to the fact that her girlfriend had long since tuned out her ramblings, and was now wondering how many other random facts Chloe knew.

 

At this point in time, Aubrey had returned with her bag and was rifling through it, pulling out various items in her quest for a pen with the school logo. Beca was just about to cut Chloe off of her spewing various snippets of information, when a high pitched shriek did it for her. “Found one!” Aubrey exclaimed triumphantly, holding a pen with the in the air.

 

“Chloe, Hobbit, did you gather your items yet? Or did you spend all of this time just talking? We’re running out of time,” Aubrey said.

 

Beca and Chloe exchanged a look, and Beca replied, “Calm your tits Posen, it’s only been like, 10 minutes.”

 

“Exactly!” stressed Aubrey, “I only allotted 7 minutes per item.”

 

“Bree, it’s okay,” soothed Chloe, “We haven’t collected the items yet, but we were figuring what all we had in our rooms, and are on our way right now. RIGHT BECA?

“Umm. Errr. Yes. Yes we are,” said Beca, not super convincingly, yet immediately agreeing with Chloe lest she have to sleep on the floor that night.

 

“We’ve got like, 6 of the items so far, 8 once you grab your bio textbook and if I find one of Mike’s jerseys in the closet,” Chloe informed proudly, catching the blonde up to speed. “That’s like at least ½ an hours worth of work, so we’re okay.”

 

“Well, you should go get it all now, so we can leave. What do we have left to collect? I can look for some or see if I have any at my apartment when we go get my biology book.” Aubrey said sharply. It seemed to Beca, like she was trying to refuse to look impressed, but she did let a small smile form on her face before quickly disguising it.

 

“We are doing so aca-awesome that there’s not much left. Just a fortune from a fortune cookie and an old school picture. It can be a yearbook too,” Chloe said proudly. “It’s mostly just traveling to different places and taking pictures now!”

 

When Aubrey found nothing negative to say to that, she said, “Good job Chloe!” When Chloe gave her a pointed state, she sighed reluctantly and said, “You too, I guess,” glancing briefly in Beca’s direction.

 

When Chloe then turned to look at Beca, giving her a non-verbal prompt, Beca responded, “Thanks. Or whatever,” as she turned to go upstairs, not liking how she was being forced to be amicable with her least favorite person.

 

Chloe quickly followed, with Aubrey bring up the rear. Once they were in the “Bechloe Bedroom” as the Bellas so fondly named it, Chloe and Beca got right to work, scouring their room for all the objects on the list. Beca actually began to get excited for the evening. Beca was a more sedentary person by nature, but she was also slightly competitive. Plus, she kind of wanted to impress Chloe, and make her happy, so if that meant getting along with Aubrey for the evening, she’d at least try. Maybe.

 

Chloe’s muffled words came from somewhere in the back of the closet. “EyIfundit!” The ginger emerged, face almost as red as her hair, which was slightly mussed from being surrounded by all the clothes hanging up in the closet. She was holding an athletic jersey in one hand, and grinning proudly. In her other hand, she clutched 2 left shoes.

 

“Hey Becs, how are you coming along with finding all of your things?” Chloe asked Beca, slightly out of breath from her hunt.

 

“Good! I found the parking ticket you left on my desk. and guess what else I found?” Beca responded, standing near her desk chair.

 

“What?” Chloe exclaimed excitedly, bouncing over to her tiny girlfriend, and wrapping her arms around her, resting her head on the shorter (by only 2 inches Chloe) girl’s shoulders.

 

“A fortune that was pinned to my bulletin board, from one of the Chinese places Jesse ordered food from for one of our movie nights!”

 

It was a well known fact that Beca Mitchell HATED movies. She hated Bella Bonding Movie nights, but tolerated them because she got to snuggle with Chloe. But she almost always detested her moviecations with Jesse. Some, she would admit, weren’t the worst, but Beca could think of many more things she’d rather be doing than listening to Jesse talk through the whole damn thing. The only way to placate the small brunette was to feed her, and feed her frequently. Chloe always kept some sort of snack in her purse for this exact reason. A hangry Beca was not a Beca most people wanted to be around.

 

Aubrey snorted. “YOU keep fortunes from fortune cookies? That’s so stupid.”

 

Chloe shot her best friend a glare that said ‘be nice or else’ and took a closer look at the small scrap of paper that Beca was holding. It only had 2 words on it. “No way.” Chloe burst out laughing, and Beca smirked at Aubrey, as she added, “On the back, it teaches you the Chinese word for ‘broccoli.”

 

“Way to go baby!” Chloe said proudly, giving Beca a quick kiss on the lips as a reward.

 

“That is such a Beca fortune…” Aubrey said, as she groaned at the minor display of PDA. “Okay. Good job. Can we go now?”

 

“Yep!” Chloe said cheerfully, throwing all of their items in a small bag, and grabbing Beca’s hand. “You’re driving Bree,” she added.

 

“As if I’d ever let the alt-girl drive my car,” Aubrey muttered under her breath.


After arriving at Aubrey’s apartment, the blonde scurried in to grab her textbook with a sharp, “Touch anything and you die” directed towards the brunette. Chloe flopped down on the couch and started reading a magazine that was left on the coffee table, while Beca took the time to look around the tiny apartment. Even though as a grad student, Aubrey had an apartment off campus, she still hung around at the Bellas house most of the time anyway. She even had a room there.

 

Because of this, Beca had never actually been to Aubrey’s apartment before, and decided that while it was simple, it was admittedly quite tastefully decorated.

Beca had walked around the small living room twice, when she noticed something off.  

“Chlo?” she asked.

 

“Yeah babe?” replied Chloe, looking up at Beca over the top of her magazine.

 

“Why doesn’t Aubrey have any pictures of her family up? All she has is pictures of the two of you, and group photos with the Bellas. Even I’M in some of these, and she hates me.”

 

“Beca,” Chloe said. “We’ve been over this. Bree doesn’t hate you. At least not anymore. She just doesn’t do feelings very easily. Kind of like you,” she added as an afterthought. “Except, while you mostly pretend like you don’t care, and shut everyone out; Aubrey tells you exactly what she feels, and basically makes you not want to get close enough to have to be shut out in the first place.”

 

“But… WHY?” Beca continued. “She’s always talking about her father and his weird sayings.”

 

“Well. For one, Bree’s dad’s teaching methods are actually why she’s so uptight in the first place. But besides her dad, have you ever heard Aubrey talk about the rest of her family?”

 

“No. I make it a goal to never listen to her,” Beca joked. She quickly sobered up at Chloe’s expression, which made Beca pause for a moment. After a beat, Beca slowly said, “I guess not.”

 

“That’s because the rest of her family doesn’t talk to her anymore. They basically disowned her after she decided to go to grad school, instead of get married to one of sons of one of her mother’s friends in CWA.”

 

“What? That’s a lie,” Beca said, scoffing at the absurd notion.

 

“Not a lie,” Chloe said. “The Posens are well rooted in OLD South Carolina values and they’re super big  with the whole ‘women don’t need to be career people, if they marry and have kids’ shit.”

 

“How ridiculous. So, they basically said because Aubrey went to grad school instead of getting married, she’s not in their family anymore? I thought her mom was a lawyer? Talk about a double standard…”

 

“Well, her mother also got married and had a kid straight out of high school and then Aubrey 4 years later once she finished her undergrad. She didn’t go to law school or take the bar exam until after Aubrey and her sister were in school themselves.”

 

“Aubrey has a sister?!” Beca said, eyes bulging slightly.

 

“Yeah, her name is Sarah,” Chloe said. “They honestly could be twins the way the look so much alike.”

 

“There’s TWO Posens I have to watch out for?”

 

“Well, her sister got married, so Sarah’s a ‘Newlin’ now and not a ‘Posen’, but yeah. I guess you better be on your best behavior.”

 

“Oh god. Please kill me now,” Beca dramatically flopped over the back of the couch so she could sit down next to her girlfriend.

 

“You’re fine, you big baby,” Chloe said. “But ever since Sarah got married and even more now that she’s pregnant, Aubrey has kind of been cast aside,” she said sadly.

 

“How come I didn’t know any of this?” Beca demanded.

 

“Do you want the whole world knowing about your family problems?” Chloe shot back.

 

“No…” Beca said. “But I guess her behavior does make a bit more sense now.”

 

“Yeah. She just wants her family, especially her father, to see she can still be successful without a husband and a baby.”

 

“Maybe I’ll be a bit nicer to her,” Beca mused quietly, thinking about her own issues with her father, and not realizing that Chloe could hear her.

 

Chloe, to her credit, didn’t say anything to Beca, but just kissed her softly and smiled at her.

 

“What was that for?” Beca said, as they broke apart.

 

“Just cause,” Chloe said, heart swelling at Beca’s inadvertent admission of sympathy. Beca grinned, and pulled Chloe in a bit closer.

 

Just then, Aubrey returned, clutching her biology text book and a frame. “Can you two keep it in your pants for once in your lives?” she said exasperatedly.

 

Beca, surprising everyone, ignored Aubrey’s words, and was instead focused on her arms. “What’s in the frame?”

 

“It’s my senior year school photo!” Aubrey said, smiling down at it. “I figured we could use it as our last collected item. But if anything happens to it, I’ll rip your vocal cords out.”

 

Beca so very desperately wanted to say, “I thought the wolves were supposed to do that, not you” but refrained for the second time in less than a minute.

 

“You look nice in that picture, Posen,” Beca said instead, and headed to the door, not liking how it felt having to rein in her snarky retorts.

 

Aubrey seemed stunned at Beca’s out-of-character behavior and glanced at Chloe looking like she didn’t exactly know what to do. Chloe returned it with a shrug, so Aubrey choose to follow Chloe to the door after the confusing alt-girl.

 

Once the three girls had piled back into Aubrey’s car, there was an awkward silence, finally broken by Chloe, updating the group with the status of the items they have found so far for their scavenger hunt. “We found all of the things on our ‘collect’ list! Now we’ve only got to find 10 things to take a picture with!”

 

“Let’s swing by campus, since we’re so close,” Beca suggested helpfully, now thoroughly invested in the scavenger hunt. “That way we can get the picture with the sword from the Barden knight statue and the Bella’s trophy case near the auditorium in the Rialto center.”

 

Beca was one of the types of people who wasn’t competitive until she was, and then once she was hooked, anything and anyone in her way must move or die.

 

“Yeah,” Aubrey agreed, looking surprised at Beca’s actually useful input, “and then we can go to the Target over in the Edgewood Retail District, since it’s the closest one to campus. They will most likely have a lot of, if not all of the things on the list!”

 

“Aca-awesome! Let’s go!” Chloe squealed, as Aubrey put the car in reverse to head over to the Rialto.

 


When they arrived at the Rialto, the girls quickly scurried over to the wall where all of the Barden fine and performing arts trophy cases were located. On the way, they ran into another group goofing off in front of the Bellas case. Stacie was currently posing very provocatively in front of the trophy case while Cynthia Rose pretended to snap photos as if on a red carpet accompanied by Fat Amy’s loud commentary that you could hear all the way down the hall way.

 

Aubrey, thankfully, did NOT vomit, but she looked quite distraught over the fact that the honorable Bellas trophies were being subjected to the likes of Stacie, Fat Amy and CR.

 

“Keep it in your pants maybe,” Beca said to Stacie, announcing their presence. “Can you like, move so we can take a quick photo?” she requested.

 

“Hey Becs!” purred Stacie, her voice dripping with sex appeal. “Wanna join?”

 

Flushing, Beca muttered, “Chloe would kill me, so no.”

 

Chloe laughed and said, “Maybe next time we’ll both join.”

 

Beca raised her eyebrows at that comment, but ignored it. “Yeah, I’m gonna go with not. But right now, we need our photo.”

 

Chloe took a slightly politer approach and asked, “May we please interrupt and get a picture? I promise we’ll be quick. We’ll be in and out so fast, you won’t even notice.”

 

“You can continue your Playboy shoot after we leave,” Beca teased.

 

“Okay,” Cynthia Rose said, standing up from her crouched position, where she had been taking photos of Stacie, as if Stacie was a model or Cynthia Rose was a paparazzi. “My legs could use a break.”

 

“And I could use a snack,” interjected Fat Amy. “I’ll be right back guys,” she said, as she headed over to the vending machine at the end of the hall.

 

“How many do you have so far?” inquired Stacie, in her normal voice.

 

“We’ve gotten a lot, but still have quite a ways to go,” snapped Aubrey, irritated that this conversation was taking up so much time. “If you move, we’ll have even more.”

 

“Ok, calm down General,” said Stacie with her hands up defensively. “It was just a question.”

 

“Okay, Beca, do you want to take the photo?” Aubrey asked, looking exasperated at Stacie’s antics.

 

“Who even is in charge of the photos?” Beca asked randomly.

 

“I don’t know. We are all kind of working together on everything,” Chloe said, “except the driving. That’s all Bree. So how about we rotate taking the photos too!”

 

“Sounds good to me,” Beca said, taking the selfie stick.

 

Beca quickly snapped a photo of the trio next to the trophy case, all victoriously pointing to the trophy and holding up their index finger to show ‘number 1’.

 

“Ok, we’re leaving now, good luck girls,” Chloe said, “but not too much!”

 

As they were leaving, they ran into Amy returning from the vending machine, arms loaded down with snacks. Seeing all the food in the Australian’s possession, Beca’s stomach growled as she moaned out loud. “Dude… I’m hungry.”

 

“Here captain,” Fat Amy said, tossing Beca a bag of ranch Doritos. “I don’t like this flavor.”

 

“Thanks,” said Beca, catching the bag. “But why did you get them if you don’t like them?” she asked curiously.

 

“The one I wanted was behind it,” Fat Amy grumbled. “Stupid wankers can’t properly stock and sort out the machines…”

 

“Oh. Okay, well, see you back at the house soon!” said Chloe, noticing the annoyed look on Aubrey’s face and wanting to get back on schedule.

 

“Bye DJ, ginger, general,” Amy said, nodding to each of the girls, and headed back down the hall.

 

As Fat Amy’s figure retreated down the hall stopping every so often to pick up a fallen snack from her overloaded hands, Aubrey turned to Beca and Chloe and said, “Let’s go to the statue in the quad quickly, and then we can go to Target.”

 

Beca and Chloe both agreed with that, and so they started the short walk from the Rialto over to the student union, where a big bronze statue of the school mascot was located. Once there, Beca couldn’t help but pretend like she was getting impaled on the sword, as Chloe snapped the groups photo.

 

“Whoo hoo!” Chloe squealed, as she looked at the photo. “We’re over halfway done! Let’s head to Target!”

 


When the girls arrived at the store, Beca quickly turned to Chloe and said, “hand me your purse. We’re not here to shop this time.”

 

Chloe pouted, but Beca stayed true. “Don’t give me that face. You know you can’t leave Target without spending at least $50.”

 

Reluctantly, Chloe handed over her bag, but not before sighing loudly.

 

“I’ll let you push the cart,” Beca placated, “as long as you don’t actually put anything IN it to buy.”

 

“Can I push you in it?” Chloe said, eyes lighting up in amusement, as she remembered that one of the photo ops was to take a picture of a team member in a shopping cart.

 

“Only because I love you,” Beca said, as she turned to climb into one of the giant red shopping carts near the front of the store.

 

Beca struggled for a bit, before Chloe gently picked her up and placed her in the main compartment of the cart. When Beca opened her mouth indignantly, Chloe quickly said, “While I’m sure you could do it on your own, I don’t think you’d appreciate everyone who is currently staring at us, so let’s just go.”

 

Noticing that they were indeed blocking the entrance to the building, so they quickly wheeled the cart a few feet over to the Starbucks, where Aubrey got out the selfie stick.

 

“Aubrey, do you want to take this one, since Chloe’s pushing me, and I’m in the cart?” Beca asked.

 

“Okay,” Aubrey said, still pleasantly surprised with how easily she was getting along with Beca when she wasn’t constantly fighting her for control.

 

Aubrey got out the selfie stick, and framed the picture, getting the 3 girls, the whole cart, and part of the Starbucks sign in the background. “Say ‘Bellas’ on 3… 1, 2, 3!”

“Bellas!” Chloe and Beca said, albeit the later one said it much less enthusiastically. However, once they looked at the photo, they all liked it, and discovered that Aubrey even captured Beca even giving a small smile, mostly because Beca was thinking about how happy Chloe seemed in that moment.

 

As they wandered the aisles, the spotted a statue of Bullseye, the bull terrier mascot of the store. The dog was on a bench, with enough room for a person to sit by the dog, and was surrounded by a giant photo frame with the hashtag #TargetDog written across it in big bold red letters.

 

“Does this count as a dog?” Beca asked Aubrey, wanting to know if they could cross it off their list.

 

“I’m going to use my creative license on this one, and say yes. Everything can be up to the groups interpretation and I think it’s fine,” Aubrey said firmly.

 

“Awww,” Chloe said, slightly heartbroken that there would be no live dog for her to be able to cuddle and pet in order to accomplish the task.

 

“Perfect. I’m wearing my favorite black skinny jeans, and I don’t want them to get dirty and get fur on them from a real animal,” said Beca, as the girls all gathered around the statue. “Click” went the camera and just like that, the girls had completed another one.

 

“Six left!” said Beca, standing on her tiptoes looking over Chloe’s shoulder at the list. “All we have to get is Stanleys, a dude wearing a Hawaiian shirt, a pineapple, a motorcycle, a pink flamingo and a garden gnome!”

 
“Well, lets head to the seasonal aisle, and see what they’ve got,” Aubrey said.

           

“We can check out the market on the way there, and swing by the home and gardening center on the way out,” added Chloe. “And of course the dollar section.”

 

“Why the dollar section? Chlo, I told you, NO shopping,” Beca reminded.

 

“Sometimes they have random shit there, and it could be on our list,” Chloe defended. “They also have stuff on the ends of the aisles too, so make sure you’re checking for that too!”

 

“Damn Chlo, do you have a map of the whole layout of Target permanently engraved in your brain or something?” Beca inquired, slightly impressed at Chloe’s efficiency.

 

“No. I just come here a lot.”

 

“Obviously.”

 

“Okay, if we’re headed towards the market, we have to turn right,” said Aubrey, as she looked at the signs on the ceiling and pointed over in the direction to the food.

 

Chloe quickly swung the cart around, and Beca let out a very unusual high pitched squeal at the sudden movement. The girls set off towards the produce section, and Beca shouted, “Hey! I see a pineapple!”

 

When they reached the bin with the pineapples in it, Beca couldn’t resist plucking out one of the sharp green leaves from the top, and poking her girlfriend in the arm with the spike, eliciting a yelp from the readhead.

 

“Would you two cut it out? We need to hurry. It’s already 7:15, we’re not done, and we still have to drive to Stanley’s AND back to the Bellas house by 8!

 

“Chillax, dude,” Beca said, handing Chloe the selfie stick, “we’re doing fine.”

 

Chloe took the picture, and they headed off to the home and garden center. On the way, they passed the music and entertainment displays, and had Beca not been in a cart, she would’ve been there until the store closed.

 

“Chloe, let me out!” Beca demanded, shifting in the cart so she could watch them roll farther and farther away from the electronics.

 

“No,” Chloe said. “We’re not here to buy anything, remember?” she added teasingly.

 

“But I wasn’t going to buy anything. I just wanna look.”

 

As Beca and Chloe argued, Aubrey, turned around exasperatedly and said, “Hobbbit, if you get out of this cart, you won’t be participating in the rest of this hunt and so help me you will get extra cardio.” Aubrey had her serious face on, so Beca reluctantly turned around and slouched down in the cart.

 

Satisfied, Aubrey turned away and began making her way down the aisle, as Beca flipped her off.

 

“I saw that,” she said.

 

“Whaaa?” Beca was puzzled. “Does she have eyes in the back of her head or something?” she asked Chloe in a whisper.

 

“No,” Chloe said, “She just knew you’d do something like that. You’re kind of predictable sometimes.”

 

“I am not,” Beca retorted. “What am I gonna do next? Huh?”

 

“Don’t be mad, it’s cute.”

 

“I’m not cute, I’m --” Beca began.

 

“A badass,” Chloe finished. “Yes, baby, we know.”

 

“That doesn’t mean anything,” Beca said, as they arrived next to Aubrey, who was looking over their selection of garden gnomes.

 

“Here, Beca,” Aubrey said, handing her a giant gnome with a frown on his face. “This one looks just like you.”

 

“Watch it Posen,” Beca snapped, looking around the display for a different gnome. “Or that one is gonna be you.” Beca pointed to a gnome that was cut in half, meant to lay on the ground looking like they were burrowed in the ground.

 

Chloe sighed, knowing the unofficial truce wouldn’t last long, but pleasantly surprised at how long it actually did. Interrupting the two, Chloe asked, “Can we just take a picture and go? We still have some things to find.”

 

“Oh right,” Aubrey said, getting the selfie stick out. “Everyone look at me.”

 

With that, the girls decided it would be best to move on to the rest of the items, so they could make it back to the Bellas house on time.

 

“Beside Stanley’s, these last few are going to be hard to find…” Chloe said, consulting their mostly crossed off list.

 

“I have no idea where we’re going to find a flamingo without going to the zoo. Or a guy in a Hawaiian shirt and a motorcycle. Maybe in the parking lot at Stanley’s?” she mused aloud.

 

Chloe lead the group over to the cart return, and help Beca get out of the cart. Just as they were turning to leave, Beca spotted something pink out of the corner of her eye. She mentally cursed herself as she saw where it was located.

 

“STOP!” she yelled. “We gotta go to the dollar section.”

 

“Beca, I thought you didn’t want to go to the dollar section,” Chloe said, a bit confused.

 

Ignoring her, Beca kept walking towards a bin. “Look,” she said.

 

Inside the wire bin, were a dozen or so inflatable flamingos surrounded by beach balls, ducks, frogs and other random shapes. Beca assumed they were designed to be blown up for a child’s swimming pool or a bath, but it works.

 

“Hey Posen,” she said, “Creative license?”

 

“I suppose,” Aubrey replied, secretly glad that Beca had found it.

 

The girls all crowded around the mini flamingo, and took a picture.

 

“Let’s roll Bellas!” Chloe said, and once again, they headed out to the car.


            When they arrived at 7:45 to Stanley’s, they were saddened to see that they had just missed the dinner rush. The main parking lot was empty, save for about 10 or so cars in the side lot, that looked like they all belonged to employees. However, they got their picture outside of the building, and decided that they needed to head to the Bellas house, so they would make it in time. Each of them were hoping that none of the other girls were able to get a picture with a guy wearing a Hawaiian shirt or on a motorcycle, because aside from those two, the trio had found everything else on the list.

 

            The girls got to the house at 7:50, and they found Jessica, Ashley and Lily already sitting on the couches in the living room. At 7:59, of course, Cynthia Rose and Stacie came bursting through the doorway, and about a minute later, right at 8pm, Fat Amy strolled in behind them.

 

            “Damn it,” Cynthia Rose said, “We’re last.”

 

            “Hey,” defended Stacie glaring at Amy. “At least we got here. I wasn’t so sure we’d even survive at some points.”

 

            “Yeah. We made it, and that’s all you should care about,” Fat Amy responded cheekily. “Besides, we did have fun, yeah?” she asked, with a grin on her face, looking at her teammates.

 

            From the look that Stacie and Cynthia Rose exchanged, the rest of the room could tell that Fat Amy’s definition of fun was much different than everyone else’s.

 

 “Okay girls,” Aubrey said. “It’s time to compare lists!”

 

Jessica, Ashley and Lily procured their slightly worn out looking list. Only a few things were crossed off and they were mostly all items on the “collect” part of the list.

 

“We didn’t get very many,” Ashley began, “Since Lily ran off somewhere about 15 minutes in to the scavenger hunt, so we couldn’t do any group photos, until she joined us again. Which was at the very end of the hunt time.”

 

“We didn’t ask any questions, and spent most of our time trying to find Lily instead of finding the things, but gave up and collected a couple of objects just so we’d have something. We only got back like, about 5 or 10 minutes before you arrived,” finished Jessica.

 

When Aubrey heard that they had barely been beaten, she turned to glare at Beca, as if it were her fault they weren’t the first ones back.

 

“Hey,” Beca defended, with her hands up, “It’s not my fault you drive like a Grandma. Speed limits are mostly guidelines anyways. I could’ve gotten us here way faster.”

 

“My father is a police officer.  He would be so disappointed if I got a ticket.”

 

“OOOH Posen. Just wait til your father hears about this,” Beca teased in a British accent.

 

“Shut up Mitchell. Chloe, control your girlfriend please,” Aubrey responded.

 

To everyone’s surprise, based off the reactions Stacie and Cynthia Rose had to Fat Amy’s comments, they completed the same number of items as Beca, Chloe and Aubrey even though they were different things, and with less pictures.

 

It was especially surprising to Beca, Chloe and Aubrey because they had seen the team at work first hand and they were in slight disbelief at how proficient Amy could be when she was threatened with any sort of physical activity.

 

Stacie, surprisingly being the cleverest out of the bunch, managed to fit 2 or even 3 of the things on checklist, in one picture. The two items that Fat Amy, Cynthia Rose and Stacie didn’t get were a pen or pencil with the school logo on it and an essay with the F letter grade.

 

They didn’t get the first one, because Stacie uses glittery gel pens for her papers, while Cynthia Rose and Fat Amy had both pens and pencils but not with the school logo on it.

 

Over the years, Fat Amy had collected many items with the school logo on it. She got most of it at the back to school fair where different local businesses and various clubs and organizations on campus handed out free promotional goodies.

 

Fat Amy never bothered to pick up any pens or pencils while attending them though, because she always just borrowed -stole-them from someone near her or off a random empty desk that someone had left behind.

 

However, the second one was slightly surprising to the rest of the group. While the Bellas knew that Cynthia Rose was decent at school, and Fat Amy never turned in essays in the first place, they were slightly shocked to find out that Stacie had never received a grade lower than an A minus.

 

The girls all knew Stacie was super smart, but they all secretly wondered if Stacie’s physical appearance also played a small part in adding to her already highly proficient intellectual abilities.

 

The pictures were hilarious to look at, mostly because of Fat Amy’s shenanigans, but Stacie had a few good ones in there too. She was posing sexily in an oversized Barden Athletics jersey and basically pretending to be giving the Barden Knight’s sword a blow job. 

 

The girls had also found quite a bit of the items, thanks to Cynthia Rose’s penchant for being a pack rat border lining on becoming a hoarder.

 

However, the girls all decided that Aubrey, Chloe and Beca won, and as Aubrey and Chloe cheered and hopped around in a circle holding hands, Beca stood stoically, pretending not to care and maintain her badass image.

 

That was, until Chloe pulled her close and swung her tiny girlfriend around in a circle, planting a big kiss on her lips as soon as she was back on the ground.

 

It was only when Beca saw how all the girls were genuinely happy for the winners, and commenting on how fun it was even though they had lost, and the look on Chloe’s face that she caved in and truly started to enjoy the win.

 


Once everyone had settled down a bit, Aubrey cleared her throat and stood up to speak, looking at all the Bellas scattered throughout the living room.

 

“Even though some of you had a less traditional approach to this bonding activity, I am pleased at your effort. The rule said whoever lost had to do cardio. Jessica, Ashley, Lilly—you didn’t get very many activities checked off, but you were the first ones back, which counts for something. Stacie, Fat Amy, and Cynthia Rose tied with my group, and used less photos to do it, but they came in after we arrived. That being said, no one has to do any cardio.”

 

“Thank the Aca-Gods and doughnuts!” proclaimed Fat Amy, dramatically sinking to her knees and throwing her hands up to the sky in praise.

 

“Honestly, I’m just glad you didn’t do anything that got you arrested,” Aubrey replied, looking slightly amused at the Australian currently kissing the floor.

 

“Well….” began Fat Amy, as Stacie and Cynthia Rose shared another glance.

 

“I don’t wanna hear about it, or ever find out about it later” Aubrey said cutting Fat Amy off, as she turned and walked away. “Don’t make me add back your cardio,” she threatened, looking back over her shoulder.

 

“Everything was fine and nothing was even border line,” Amy responded quickly, making gestures to both Cynthia Rose and Stacie to stay quiet.

 


After everyone had mostly cleared the area, Beca and Chloe were left in the living room, cuddled up on the sofa, exhausted from their busy evening.

 

“Whew! That was absolutely nuts!” exclaimed Chloe looking at Beca with her bright blue eyes sparkling, clearly still feeling her adrenaline rush from winning.

 

“It was alright I guess. I’m just glad we didn’t lose. Posen would’ve been insufferable.”

 

“Thank you for making an effort tonight, it means a lot to me,” Chloe said softly, kissing Beca softly.

 

“ARE YOU FOR SERIOUS? DO YOU TWO EVER STOP?” Aubrey said, as she walked past the living room, to head upstairs.

 

“Dixie Chicks serious,” Beca retorted with a smirk.

 

            Aubrey just groaned, and stomped up the stairs.

 

“Beca. I thought you were going to try and be nicer to her,” Chloe said sighing.

 

“Keyword: try to be nicer,” Beca reiterated. “Every new skill requires a lot of practice.”

 

“Okay, I’ll give you that. Rome wasn’t built in a day,” Chloe relented.

 

“Are you insinuating I can’t do it?”

 

“You said it yourself.”

 

“I said it’d take time, not that it wouldn’t happen,” Beca corrected.

 

“Really?”

 

“Yeah. She’s your best friend. Even if we never become best friends, I can try and at least get to the point of tolerating her.”

 

“Awww. That’s so sweet,” Chloe cooed, grabbing Beca’s face and smushing it up.

 

“Get off me. I’m not cute I’m—”

 

“Badass. I know. You’re the most caring badass I know.”

 

“Oh just shut up and kiss me,” Beca demanded blushing again.

 

“Gladly,” Chloe replied, leaning in and kissing her again.

 

Chapter Text

Cake:

 

One Friday, after Beca had picked up Anna from school, the little girl proudly waved around a piece of paper.

 

“What’s that baby?” asked Beca, trying to figure out what the colorful blur in front of her face was.

 

“It’s a birthday card for Mommy!” Anna stated, “Lookie! Isn’t it aca-some?”

 

“Aca-awesome,” Beca corrected, mentally chastising herself for even caring enough to correct her daughter on something that started way back when she was 18 years old and a freshman at Barden.

 

“Yeah, aca-some!” Anna repeated, showing Beca the card that she had made for Chloe.

 

Beca squinted at all the squiggles on the piece of construction that was covered in stickers and glitter. “It’s so pretty! Tell me about your picture,” Beca requested, since she had no idea what to make of it all.

 

“This is me, and you, and Mama and Bitty,” Anna explained, pointing to each stick figure on the paper.

 

When Brittany was first born, Anna thought that her little sister was a doll. She had doll that looked like her, and some Bitty Babies. When Chloe and Beca would talk to Brittany, sometimes they called her Britt, which Anna misheard as Bitt. Connecting her Bitty baby dolls to her doll like little sister, Brittany became Bitty. Now, Anna fully knows how to say her sisters proper name, but sometimes she still called Brittany “Bitty” as a nickname.

 

Once each of the characters were defined, Beca could actually appreciate what she was looking at more. It turns out, Anna paid a lot of attention to details, but just didn’t have the super defined fine motor skills to accurately portray those abilities. Plus, in Anna’s defense, it was drawn in crayon, which is hard to color in detail with in the first place.

 

Beca identified the red scribbles as Chloe’s hair, and all the random X’s on her personal stick figure as the squares on her plaid shirts she always wore. When Beca looked at Anna and Brittany’s figures, her heart melted a bit. Her 2 daughters were in between their moms and there was a rainbow heart surrounding the entire family.

 

On the back of the paper were the words:

Happy Birthday Mommy

Love,

Anna

 

“Oh, yes! I love it Anna Banana. You did such a wonderful job. I’m sure Mommy will love this,” Beca said genuinely.

 

“Thanks! But Mama, what did you get Mommy?”

 

Beca froze at that. She had yet to get Chloe anything except a bouquet of flowers. She had ordered a customized bracelet, but it hadn’t arrived yet. Beca is fully aware that she can’t put things off, but did it anyways. The thing about ordering online though, is that if it ships in 10-14 business days, you could have to wait up to 2 whole weeks before you get your package, assuming it’s delivered on time. Beca much preferred Amazon Prime because of it’s 2 day shipping, for that exact reason. She had intended to get a second gift to supplement it anyway, but ran out of time to go before she had to pick Anna up from school. Since Beca was a high ranking music producer, her schedule was a bit more flexible than Chloe’s. However, it was Chloe’s birthday, and she at least wanted to do something special for her.

 

Thinking on the fly, Beca said, “I’m giving Mommy the night off.”

 

“What does that mean?” asked Anna. “Where’s she going to go?”

 

“She’s not going to have to do anything when she gets home from work today.”

 

Chloe worked part time as a vocal music teacher, and ran an outreach community program for underprivileged kids the rest of the time. Right now, Chloe was working on getting her community program ready for the transition to add an after school session, in addition to being open on Saturdays. She had been applying for grants and putting a lot of extra time and hours in, so that her dreams could become a reality.

 


 

Beca Mitchell, 13 time Grammy Award winning music producer and DJ extraordinaire was many things. But a stereotypical housewife she was not, seeing as Beca was not a very domestic person by nature. She was constantly leaving clothes on the floor instead of the hamper, dirty dishes in the sink, and all sorts of other things laying all over the house, but if you left her to fend for herself, she could survive.

 

Even so, what Beca lacked in cleanliness, she definitely made up for in other ways. Beca was good at taking care of her family, and she could also cook. She usually didn’t, because Chloe enjoyed it so much, and sometimes she worked late nights at the studio, but she understood the basic concepts. She attributed that to the fact that her mom was frequently away on business and her dad was out of the picture.

 

            “I’m going to make Mommy dinner and a birthday cake!” Beca said. “Then I’m going to let her watch a movie with you, while I clean everything up.”

 

            “I want to do it!” Anna exclaimed excitedly. “I know how to read so I can do it.”

Beca shuddered at the thought of her daughter baking a cake, but decided to let her help anyway. Anna was 5 now, and all about helping her Mama and Mommy (for the time being).

 

“How about you be my sous-chef?” Beca placated.

 

“What’s a shoe-chef?” Anna questioned, intrigued by the foreign word.

 

“SOUS,” Beca corrected gently. “It’s French, and it means you’ll be my little helper.”

 

“No. I’m 5 now, so I am your big helper,” Anna replied, grinning broadly.

 

“Okay big girl, you can help. But be careful, okay?” conceded Beca, slightly wishing that time would stop and her baby would stay little forever.

 

“YAY!” Anna screamed, as she hugged Beca’s legs.

 

“First we’re going to make some chicken fettuccini alfredo and salads, and then we’ll bake the cake, Beca planned out. “Does that sound good?”

 


Boiling the noodles, making the sauce and putting together salads did not take long at all, and soon it was time to bake Chloe’s birthday cake. Anna helped Beca gather the flour, sugar, baking powder, butter, eggs, vanilla and milk.  She found the measuring spoons and cups, mixer and spatula. Then she scooted her step stool over to the island in the middle of the kitchen and watched intently as Beca laid out all of the ingredients in front of Anna. Beca was inconspicuously helping Anna out, by lining up the ingredients in the order they needed to be used, and putting the correct measuring units besides the ingredients.

 

It started with Anna handing Beca the things she needed, and Beca doing most of the work. However, once they started baking, Beca realized Anna was totally competent in the kitchen and she became less and less involved, stepping back to watch her daughter do her thing. Anna was staring intently at the recipe and only asked a few questions like “What does ‘Sif-ted’ mean?”

 

            Anna only really needed help holding the measuring cups and spoons because doing things one handed was still a bit hard for her. Beca learned that the hard way, when Anna ended up dumping about half a bag of flour and a few eggs on the floor. Beca was totally entranced watching her mini-me moving about, scooting her step stool around the kitchen and giggling every time it made a sound against the tile flooring. Once the cake batter was made, Beca intervened and poured the batter into the cake pans. It was definitely a lot messier and it took a lot longer than it would have if Beca had just done it herself, but for some reason, Beca didn’t seem to mind it at all. As Beca slid the pans into the oven, she thought about how fast Anna was growing up.

 

The one-on-one bonding time with Anna was something she had missed, especially since Brittany had arrived. Yes, Beca picked up Anna after school, and occasionally took her places like ice cream or to the studio, but they hadn’t had a whole afternoon just having some uninterrupted quality time with just each other in a while. Beca made a mental note to intentionally set aside some time every week, to spend with Anna, even if it meant leaving work early. Beca didn’t mind that part anyway, because that’s what her assistants and interns were for. She had her whole life to work, but Anna would only be a kid for so long. Work is always there and she was grateful for her work, because that meant she was able to support her family. But in Beca’s mind, there was no point in working long hours to support her family, if she couldn’t spend time with her family. Coming from a household where she grew up with absent parents, getting fun opportunities to spend with her family were incredibly important to Beca. Once her kids got a bit older, she couldn’t wait to take them to places like Disney Land and the Grammys (because that’s totally the same type of thing, right?)

 

“Hey baby bear, I have a question for ya,” Beca said, not sure if she really wanted to know the answer, but knowing she also didn’t want to not know.

 

“What Mama?” was the reply.

 

“Do you ever think I don’t spend enough time with you?” Beca held her breath, hoping that her daughter didn’t feel the same way Beca did her entire life.

 

Anna paused, as she collected her thoughts and the words she wanted to say. Beca was nervous that Anna was going to be mad, but instead, she was blown away with what the small child said.

 

“Well… No, not really. Sometimes, when you leave for work, I miss you. And Brittany always needs stuff.  But I know you love me and I love spending time with you.”

 

Beca just stared at her daughter, and wondered what the hell had just come out of her mouth. Beca knew Anna was more advanced than the average 5 year old, but the eloquently given response totally caught her off guard.

 

Trying to keep the tears at bay, Beca swooped down, grabbed Anna in her arms and hugged her. The amount of relief she felt was indescribable, and she wanted to make sure her daughter knew as much. “Anna, I love you so much, and I’m going to try and make sure we always get to do things like this, hopefully at least a couple times a month. Maybe about once a week or so. Does that sound fun?”

 

“We get to bake a cake every week?”

 

“Well, maybe not every week, but we can definitely try and do something every week. How does that work?”

 

“I love it! And I love you! And I can’t wait til next Friday!” Anna yelled, running around the kitchen island in excitement. Anna was still running around the kitchen when the timer on the oven went off. She skidded to a stop in her socked feet in a move that could’ve been straight out of the movie Risky Business.

 

“Timer means food!” she exclaimed happily, showing just how much of Beca’s traits she had inherited. She started over to the oven, but Beca stopped her in her tracks.

 

“Not so fast little missy, you could get burned. Let me do this part, okay?”

 

Anna huffed and stuck out her bottom lip in a very Chloe like pout, but allowed Beca to take the cake out of the over, and set it on a rack to cool.

 

“How long do we have to wait now?” Anna asked impatiently.

 

“We have to wait until the cake is cool, because it’s not safe to touch it when it is this hot. Also, if you try and decorate the cake right now, all of the frosting and sprinkles will melt! All your hard work will be ruined, and the cake will look messy.”

 

Anna’s eyes bulged slightly at this, wanting this cake to be perfect for her Mommy. Unlike Beca as a child (and sometimes even now, depending on the project), Anna was a kid who took her work very seriously and both wanted and expected the best results every time.

 

“I’ll wait. I want this to be the best cake ever.”

 

Beca chuckled and said, “Why don’t you go play, and I’ll call you when it’s ready to decorate?”

 

“’Kay kay,” said Anna as she ran off to the living room. “I’m gonna watch Annie.”

 

Anna had recently discovered the musical and was currently obsessed with it. She almost threw a fit when she couldn’t convince Beca and Chloe to call her ‘Annie’ instead of Anna. They also had a bit of an issue when Anna tried to find her own ‘Daddy Warbucks’. Anna claimed that it wasn’t fair that she had 2 moms and no dad, even though Chloe and Beca knew she was just saying that to get what she wanted.

 

Beca got pregnant via IVF  first, during a time when she took a year and a half long break between producing records. Chloe also wanted to add to their family, resulting in baby Brittany arriving a few years later. Anna was well aware of how babies were made, thanks to Aunt Stacie, and also accepted the fact that nobody knew who her dad was, just that it was ‘sperm donor 2247’.  All Anna really had to say about the matter when anyone asked, was that it was super cool that she and Brittany had the same donor for their dad, and both her Mommy and Mama got to have them.

 

Beca began cleaning up the kitchen, listening to Anna sing in her sweet voice. As she was finishing loading the dishwasher, it seemed that Anna was finishing up her song too, because all of a sudden, “The sun will come out tomorrow. So you got to hang on til tomorrow, come what maaaaay! Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love you, tomorrow. You’re always a daaaaaay aaaaaaa waaaaaaay,” came drifting through the house, as Anna belted the ending lines. Beca made a mental note to let Anna do some recording samples for a fun bonding activity the next time they went to the studio. Beca did have her own studio at home, but that was mostly for mixing and demos. All of her professional equipment was at the record label.

 

After the dishes were done, Beca checked on Anna to make sure she was still okay. The girl was dancing around the living room, so Beca took that as a sign that she was in fact, fine. As she went around picking up the house and straightening the things that were out of place, Beca came to a realization of just how much Chloe must do around the house to make it look the way it did. Making another mental note to try and be more helpful, Beca moved on to the second floor. Picking up all the discarded clothes, she stripped the bed and started a load of laundry. As she re-made the bed with new sheets and folded and put away the freshly washed clothes, she honestly began to get a bit tired. “I’ve really got to start to do more cardio…” she thought to herself.

 

As Beca was walking down the stairs, she wiped off a couple of beads of sweat off her forehead. She walked in to the kitchen and examined the cake. It was cool enough to frost, so she gathered up all of the things needed to decorate a cake, and called out to her oldest daughter.

 

“Honey, are you ready to help me decorate Mommy’s cake?”

 

“YEAH! Let’s do this!” Anna hollered as she ran in to the kitchen.

 


 

The two spent the next 20 or so minutes frosting and decorating the cake. A lot of the frosting and sprinkles did get on the cake, but a fair amount also ended up on Anna’s tiny fingers and all over the counter. Beca looked at the creation, and while it was very beautiful, she shuddered at the thought of how much sugar Anna would be ingesting that night, combined with the ice cream.

 

Beca looked at the clock and gasped when she saw that Chloe was due home in about half an hour. “Okay banana. We gotta clean this up and get ready for Mommy to come back,” Beca said. “Want to help?”

 

“Can I lick out the frosting bowl?” Anna bargained.

 

“Sure, but you also have to clean off the counter too.”

 

“Okay,” was the far too innocent reply.

 

Beca smiled, and turned around to put the decorations away in the pantry. When she returned, Beca let out a chuckle.  Anna was bent over the island, licking the counter clean with her tongue.

 

“Not like that you weirdo,” Beca said, handing her daughter a dish rag. “Use this, on the counter please.” Anna took it, giggling madly.

 

“Then clean your hands and face off with this one,” Beca continued, handing Anna a damp cloth.

 

“You’re no fun,” Anna pouted, trying to hide the smile that was spreading across her face at the same time.

 

“Yeah, whatever,” Beca said as they finished cleaning the kitchen and walked over to the couch in the living room. “Guess that means I can’t take you to see Aunt Tay Tay at the studio next week.”

 

Usually when Beca went to the studio and brought Anna along, she just sat in a spinning chair and listened as her mom worked. Beca only brought Anna with her when she was working with an artist whom Beca knew would be okay with a child being in the studio as they worked. Anna loved her ‘Aunt Tay Tay’ the most. Even though Beca no longer worked directly with Taylor, she did get to see her from time to time, since Beca still worked for the same company and would pop over to Republic Records when they wanted Beca’s assistance with a song.

 

“You wouldn’t,” Anna glared, looking quite betrayed.

 

“No, you’re right,” Beca said, smiling. “And, I think Aunt Tay Tay has something for you that she brought back from her tour!”

 

Anna squealed and hugged Beca tightly, bouncing up and down on the couch in excitement. “I’ll be super good, I promise.”

 

Beca laughed, patting Anna on the back, and looking down at the tiny girl who had settled down in her lap after launching herself into her arms. “I know you will, because Taylor said if you weren’t she would give Mommy, Brittany and me our presents and not you.”

 

The worried look on Anna’s face made Beca feel a bit bad, “Just be yourself and there shouldn’t be any problems.”

 

“I’m a Mitchell,” she said proudly, “Even if there was a problem, you have people for that.”

 

Beca wanted to be shocked, but knew that she had said those same words to Chloe more than once.

 

“Dude, look. It’s okay. It’s being taken care of…”

 

“Chloe it’s gonna be fine, chill. I’ll just get someone to fix it…”

 

“Babe, relax, they’re already on it…”

 

“Chloe, don’t worry about it, I have people for that…”

 

“Just because I say that doesn’t mean that you get to use it as an excuse to be rude,” Beca scolded lightly. “I have people who help me when I don’t know how to fix a problem. I try not to have them fix ALL of my problems.”

 

“Mmmhmm. Okay,” Anna said sarcastically, showing exactly whose daughter she really was.

 

“Well, most of them,” Beca acquiesced. “Sometimes, I am just lazy. But shhhh. Don’t tell Mommy.”

 

“Don’t tell Mommy what?” came a voice from behind Beca and Anna.

 

The two turned around to see Chloe standing in the hallway, holding Brittany on her hip.

 

“Mama is lazy,” Anna tattled. Beca lightly smacked Anna’s leg, as she stood up to greet her wife with a kiss.

 

“Oh, I could’ve told you that,” Chloe giggled against Beca’s lips as she returned the kiss.

 

“Rude,” Beca said, as she turned to kiss Brittany on the forehead.

 

Brittany stretched out her arms towards her Mama and Beca took her from Chloe’s arms. As she gently swayed from side to side, she turned back to Chloe.

 

“Hi love, how was your day?” Beca asked.

 

“It was good, but I’m glad to be home,” Chloe responded, walking over to the couch and wrapping her arms around Anna for a hug.

 

“And how was your day at daycare?” Beca said to Brittany, not expecting an answer, but asking anyway. Brittany gurgled in response and nuzzled into Beca’s shoulder.

 

“That’s great!” Beca said, as if she understood what Brittany was saying.

 

“Oh. And Chloe, Anna and I have some birthday surprises for you, whenever you’re ready!”

 

“Great! Let me just get changed and I’ll start on dinner,” Chloe said.

 

“Dinner is already made,” Beca said proudly, “So while you get changed, I’ll get it set up.”

 

“Oh, Becs,” Chloe said, “Really? That’s so sweet of you.”

 

“Really. Now go,” Beca commanded, giving Chloe another kiss and a smack to the butt.

 

“I’m going, I’m going!” Chloe said, hands up in the air, as she headed towards the stairs.

 

Anna set the table as Beca took the pasta out of the warming oven and retrieved the salad from the fridge.

 


 

As Beca finished putting everything on the table, Chloe came down the stairs. She was dressed in an old band t-shirt of Beca’s and some yoga pants, with her hair tied up in a messy bun and her glasses on. The thing about Chloe, in Beca’s opinion, was that she always looked beautiful, no matter if they were going to an awards ceremony or just hanging out at home.

 

“Ohhh. Something smells delicious,” Chloe said, walking into the dining room. “Looks great too!”

 

“Only the best, for you my dear. Happy birthday baby,” Beca said, as she handed Chloe some flowers.

 

“Aww. Thanks babe. I love you.”

 

“I love you too,” Beca said quickly, not wanting to ruin the moment, but also wanting to eat.

 

“I’m hungry,” Anna announced, “Can we please eat now?”

 

Beca and Chloe laughed, and turned to sit down at the table. “Of course, munchkin. You worked hard today too.”

 

“Oh really?” Chloe asked, her interest peaked. “What did you do, Anna?”

 

“I made you a card at school!” Anna started to get up to grab it, but decided against it.

 

“I’ll show you after dinner. I don’t want you to get food on it,” Anna explained, as she sat back down. “So hurry up.”

 

“Sounds like a plan,” said Chloe, chuckling at how different Anna and Beca were sometimes.

 

“You’ll have to wait a bit longer, if you want to have dessert,” Beca said, smirking at her girls.

 

“Oh yeah. You will get it, but not ‘til cake,” Anna declared. “I made it myself.”

 

“Is that so?” Chloe asked, looking to Beca for confirmation.

 

“She did most of it,” Beca said. “Except the dangerous parts,” she added quickly, not wanting to sound like a bad mother.

 

“Awesome. I can’t wait to try it,” Chloe said.

 

Once dinner was done, it was time to get the cake out. Chloe took one look at the sugary coated cake and smiled. “Anna, I think you’ve got a career in baking,” she said. Anna beamed and said, “I did that part too,” pointing to the decorations.

 

“I can tell,” Chloe said, nodding in appreciation, “You did a great job.”

 

Beca added some candles and lit them up. Anna and Beca began to sing, and Brittany squealed in her high chair, contributing to the performance as best she could. When they finished, Chloe locked eyes with Beca and blew out her candles.

 

Beca got out the ice cream as Chloe cut into her cake. “Birthday wishes and birthday kisses,” Beca said, as she kissed Chloe and handed her some plates for everyone.

 

“TIME FOR PRESENTS!” Anna shouted, thrusting her card in Chloe’s hand. Chloe took the card, and admired Anna’s handiwork.

 

Anna was practically radiating with pride. “That’s our family!”

 

“I know! It’s beautiful,” Chloe said. “I love the details you added to each of us.”

 

“Of course,” Beca thought, recalling her need for an explanation of the picture and wondering why Chloe didn’t need one. “She works with kids for a living.”

 


After dinner, Anna went outside to play, for a bit before it was time for her bath and bedtime. When it came to actually going to sleep, Anna surprisingly went without a fuss, satisfied that her Mommy liked her present. Both Beca and Chloe were worried the sugar would keep her hyper but apparently Anna must have gotten it out of her system when she was outdoors.

 

As the two were relaxing in the living room sipping glasses of wine and finishing their slices of cake, Beca turned to address Chloe. “I bought you a few things, but they haven’t arrived yet. But the rest of your gifts should be coming within the next day or so,” she finished. “I hope.”

 

“Becs, you didn’t need to get me anything. You know that,” Chloe said softly.

 

“I know, but you deserve it,” Beca said, annoyed with herself and all around lack of planning.

 

“Having the night off to just spend with you and the girls was so nice. I love spending time with you, and that’s the best present ever,” Chloe commented. “And don’t think I didn’t notice all the work you did around the house. That will leave us with so much time to do other things that are way more fun tomorrow.”

 

“Anna has a playdate with the neighbors tomorrow, but other than that I don’t think we have any plans,” Beca said, as she mentally checked her calendar.

 

“Well, good,” Chloe whispered huskily into Beca’s ear. “Because if you did, I’d make you cancel them, because my plans for you tonight will keep you incredibly busy way into tomorrow.”

 

Beca looked torn, between finishing her cake and ripping off all of Chloe’s clothes. After a moment’s hesitation too long, Chloe decided to take matters into her own hands.

 

            “Race ya to the bedroom!” Chloe said childishly. “Last one naked is the loser.”

 

            “Chlo, really?” Beca responded, shaking her head. “I think we’re both going to be winners tonight.”

 

            As Beca shoved the last bite of cake into her mouth, and chased Chloe up the stairs, she couldn’t help but agree. Life was pretty good.

Chapter Text

Trolls

Anna Mitchell LOVED the movie Trolls. It had just come out on DVD, and so the return of the furry creatures had come back with a vengeance. Beca and Chloe hadn’t taken Anna to see it in theaters, but she was aware that it existed. Ever since her eyes landed on a hot pink pillow covered in Troll hair in the middle of Target around Christmas time, she had been hooked, and now, since the release of the DVD, it was quickly becoming one of Anna’s new favorite movies.

 

To Beca’s amusement (since she beat out JT for favorite character), it seemed like everyone’s favorite Troll was Poppy, because it was rare to find any of the other characters on novelty items, unless it was as a group. Beca tried to steer her towards other things, but to no avail. Anna was obsessed with anything and everything to do with the little creatures. She sang along with the songs in the car on the way to school, in the shower, at the store and anywhere else she felt like needed to have a bit more happiness—which was apparently everywhere.

 

Brittany liked Trolls too, but not to the same extent as her sister. Brittany was content to just watch the brightly colored pictures and wiggle her diaper covered butt to the music. Anna liked Branch, Cooper, Guy Diamond, Biggie and all the other Trolls, but she liked DJ Suki the best, after Poppy of course.

 

One day, after watching movie for what felt like the 50th time, the family of 4 was relaxing in the living room. Chloe and Beca were cuddled together on the couch with Brittany between them, and Anna was playing on the floor with her Troll dolls.

 

When Beca asked Anna why she loved Poppy and DJ Suki the best, Anna replied, “They both remind me of you!”

 

“What do you mean? I’m nothing like a Troll,” Beca said, slightly defensively, having been compared to Hobbits and Trolls a few too many times in her life.

 

“Well, DJ Suki is a DJ like you are, Mama. And Poppy makes me happy, just like you do!”

 

Beca didn’t know what to say to that. But it did leave her with another question.

 

Do I tell her that I’m Poppy?” Beca wondered to herself.

 


 

To be completely honest, Beca was surprised that her extremely observant daughter hadn’t connected the dots between her name being on all of the promotional posters, DVD covers and beginning credits of the movie and her actually being IN the movie. She supposed Anna just didn’t care, because she saw her mother’s name everywhere. Having a famous mom didn’t really register to Anna, because Beca and Chloe worked very hard to make sure to keep their children away from the spotlight and the Hollywood culture in general.

 

Before Chloe and Beca had kids, she was always working on one kind of project or another, working her way up the ladder to become a senior executive level music producer but after having Anna, and especially after Brittany arrived, she had cut back her hours and workload in order to focus on her family. While she still maintained her position, she only really do things if she wanted to, seeing as she had many junior producers, a few assistants and some interns under her guidance.

 

Looking at Chloe, they had a wordless conversation. Back when Beca first signed on to the project, Anna hadn’t been born yet, and they weren’t even sure if it would actually get made. It had already been cast, but when DreamWorks got all the rights for the Trolls franchise, it got totally revamped and re-casted. Beca was the first to sign on to the eventual final movie, 4 years after the initial idea. It took another 2 years to hit theaters. By the time Beca went on the press tour, it had been 6 years from the story line to the release date.

 

Chloe shrugged, and slightly tilted her head, as if to say, “It’s up to you, I’m with you either way.”

 

Beca decided not to lie to her daughter and said, “You wanna know something cool?”

 

Anna was always game for new cool facts from her Mama and nodded her head up and down excitedly.

 

“There’s probably a reason you think that Poppy and DJ Suki remind you of me,” Beca started to say, her voice laced with suspense. “And it’s because…”

 

“Are you friends with them in real life?!” Anna shrieked, interrupting her mom.

 

Beca laughed and shook her head. “No, but you’re kind of close.”

 

“Then what?” an impatient Anna demanded.

 

“I worked on this movie. DJ Suki is based off of me, and I play Poppy,” Beca revealed.

 

“No you don’t,” Anna said bluntly. “You’re not cool enough to play Poppy.”

 

“Ouch, kid,” Beca said, although she wasn’t really hurt by the statement.

 

“Prove it,” Anna shot back, head spinning from this new information.

 

Beca sighed, and began to sing Anna’s favorite song, “Get Back Up Again” in her Poppy voice.

 

Anna stared at Beca in awe and admiration. Brittany just stared at Beca as if she was a Bergen who ate her favorite Troll, her eyes very distrusting and even a bit afraid. Chloe had to suppress a giggle at the two totally different reactions her daughters had to the revelation that their goofy Mama was actually Princess Poppy.

 

“No way. Are you for real?!” Anna screeched. “My friends are going to go nuts when I tell them at school.”

 

“Yes, I really am. I’m going to be the voice of Poppy in Trolls 2, as well. That movie will come out in a few years from now.”

 

“You. Are. The. Coolest. Mom. Ever.” Anna said, obviously taking back her last statement.

 

Beca chuckled at Anna’s declaration, and turned to Chloe. “See? I told you I’m the cool one.”

 

Chloe stuck out her tongue and said, “Well, that may be, but I’ve got the hair and a voice to rival Ariel, and she’s a princess too.”

 

Acknowledging the very accurate statement that Chloe is pretty much the human embodiment of Ariel the Little Mermaid, Beca looked around her living room and smiled fondly at her wife and daughters. Thinking about her little family that she and Chloe made together, Beca said, “Well, lucky for me, I’ve got a bunch of princesses in my life, and we’re all going to live happily ever after.”

Chapter Text

The Best Day In the Studio


Beca Mitchell is not the biggest fan of working in general, but she is aware that in order to be able to provide her family with the life she wants them to live, she at least has to put in a little effort from time to time. Back when Beca and Chloe first started dating, being a DJ and a music producer was just a dream. By the time they got married, Beca was a household name.

 

When Beca made it big, she never forgot where she came from and who was by her side. When Beca started gaining popularity, many people in her life came crawling out of the woodwork, wanting to be associated with Billboard Magazine’s Hottest Rising Star. Beca didn’t pay any attention to them though, and somehow has managed to continue to be her true awkward self, despite the new attention.

 

Even though Beca is constantly invited to various award shows, premieres, and asked to do interviews on the radio and television, she prefers to be out of the limelight and instead spend her time with her family. If Beca had to do some promotional work for an album or movie she had coming out, she would make an appearance, but she no longer stayed out for the after party or went on long press tours if she could help it.

 

Beca’s second favorite place in the world was the studio (after anywhere her wife and kids were). As a senior executive level music producer, she had a large office on the top floor of the studio with a wonderful view of the city. She also had her own personal recording studio where her artists recorded, which helped when she made her own music, because she didn’t have to share the space with anyone else.

 

After hearing Anna singing along to the musical Annie in their living room one day, Beca had made a mental note to herself that she needed to bring her along to the studio sometime. It just so happened that Taylor Swift was coming in to the studio that week fresh off her latest tour, so Beca had texted the blonde asking if she wanted to stop by her studio sometime to catch up. Taylor, of course said yes, so Beca sent another text if she’d be cool with Anna coming too. The affirmative response came quickly and it was accompanied with a follow up message that said she would be bringing presents for the Mitchell family.

 

Beca decided to take Anna out of school for the day, because Taylor was only going to be at the studio in the morning. Beca was not the type of parent who usually would do such a thing, but there is always room for exceptions. When Beca went to wake up Anna that morning, she had a hard time concealing her grin. Beca knew her daughter loved her Aunt Tay-Tay and would be excited to see her again.

 

“Anna, wake up…” Beca said softly, walking into Anna’s room. Anna just groaned and rolled over, not wanting to wake up. Anna and Beca were exactly the same in many ways, including getting up in the mornings. However, Beca was sure Anna would be wide awake with her next statement.

 

“Anna, get up. I have a surprise for you.”

 

“I am up.” Anna murmured, still laying on her bed with her eyes shut.

 

“You don’t look like you’re up at all. But that’s okay. I’ll just tell Aunt Tay-Tay you’re too tired to see her today,” Beca replied, smirking at her tiny daughter’s form under the blankets.

 

Suddenly the covers were thrown off, and a mound of sleep-tousled brown hair quickly popped up. “I’m not too tired! I’m awake! Please don’t call her!”

 

“Okay, then stinker. Let’s get ready. We’re going to the studio in an hour.”

 

Shortly thereafter, the little bed-headed child was quickly running around in a blur throwing things out of drawers and rifling through closets to find some clothes. Beca had never seen her daughter get ready so fast. Anna was standing next to the door less than 30 minutes later, tapping her foot impatiently as Beca finished getting herself ready. Anna didn’t look quite as put together as if either Beca or Chloe had dressed her, but Beca didn’t feel like arguing with her.

 

“OM-ACA-GEE Mama, let’s GO! I’m gonna be dead by the time you finally get ready,” Anna hollered at Beca from the front entryway.

 

“Anna, I understand you are excited, and that is great. I am excited to see Aunt Tay-Tay too. However, you do NOT get to talk to me like that, ever. If you talk to me that way again there will be consequences, do you understand?” Beca scolded, coming around the corner, to see her daughter dramatically laying on the floor.

 

“Yes Mama, I understand. I’m sorry,” Anna said, displaying her best Chloe-inspired puppy dog eyes.

 

“Ok good. Come on then kid, let’s go.”


Once they arrived, everyone treated Beca and Anna like royalty as they walked by, something Anna got a huge kick out of every time she visited the studio. To Anna, Beca wasn’t one of the music industry’s biggest names. Instead, Beca was her goofy Mama who just happened to be on magazines and billboards from time to time. Even Beca’s occasional forays into the entertainment industry with a few movies here and there didn’t really change Anna’s view of her mother. In Anna’s opinion, it was actually kind of annoying, because sometimes they couldn’t do things as a family without someone coming up to them and interrupting wanting an autograph or a photo.

 

When they reached Beca’s top floor studio, Beca’s receptionist informed her that Taylor was already inside and waiting for them to arrive.

 

Anna let go of Beca’s hand and ran to her mother’s door. As Beca quickly punched in the passcode on the keypad by the door, Anna squealed excitedly and was practically bouncing up and down like a kangaroo.

 

“Hey Taylor,” Beca said, greeting the blonde singer with a smile.

 

“Hey Bec-oof,” she responded, as Anna slammed into her side with a big hug.

 

“And hello to you too, banana,” Taylor finished, looking down fondly at the little girl.

 

“Hi Aunt Tay-Tay!” Anna exclaimed. “Mama said I could watch you guys work today,” she stated enthusiastically.

 

“Did she now?” Taylor asked, shooting Beca a knowing grin, as she picked Anna up. “Did she tell you what your surprise was?

 

“YOU!” Anna said, looking at her aunt. “Right?”

 

“Do you wanna tell her, or should I?” Beca asked Taylor, gesturing to Anna, who was snuggled into Taylor’s neck.

 

“I’ll tell her,” Taylor said, chuckling at the girl clutching her shirt. “Anna, we’re going to record some songs together today.”

 

“I know. I’ll be quiet, and I won’t touch anything, I promise,” said Anna seriously.

 

“No,” Taylor said, “I mean you will. Your Mama is going to record you. And if you want to, I will sing a couple of songs with you too.”

 

“I’m in! What are we going to sing?”

 

“Whatever you want, baby girl,” Beca said.

 

“I want to sing everything,” was the girls reply.


The next few hours were dedicated to Anna and Taylor singing songs together and cheering each other on from outside the booth when they did solos.

 

Beca’s heart melted when Anna and Taylor sang “The Best Day” together. Taylor changed some of the lyrics so it fit Anna and Beca definitely noticed. She tried to keep her badass professional musical producer persona intact, but she was struggling as she heard her daughter’s beautiful voice coming in through the studio speakers.

 

Anna: I'm five years old, it's getting cold. I've got my big coat on. I hear your laugh, and look up smiling at you, I run and run past the pumpkin patch and the tractor rides. Look now, the sky is gold. I hug your legs and fall asleep on the way home. I don't know why all the trees change in the fall. But I know you're not scared of anything at all. Don't know if Snow White's house is near or far away. But I know I had the best day with you today.

 

Taylor: I'm thirteen now, and don't know how my friends could be so mean. I come home crying and you hold me tight and grab the keys. And we drive and drive until we find a town far enough away. And we talk and window shop ‘till I forgotten all their names. I don't know who I'm gonna talk to now at school, but I know I'm laughing on the car ride home with you. Don't know how long it's gonna take to feel okay, but I know I had the best day with you today.

 

Anna: I have an excellent mother, her strength is making me stronger. God smiles on my little sister, inside and out she's better than I am. I grew up in a pretty house, and I've got space to run and hide, and I had the best days with you…

 

Taylor: There is a video I found, from back when I was three. You set up a paint set in the kitchen and you're talking to me. It's the age of princesses and pirate ships and the seven dwarfs. And Mommy’s smart and you're the prettiest lady in the whole wide world.

 

Anna and Taylor: And now I know why the all the trees change in the fall. I know you were on my side, even when I was wrong. And I love you for giving me your eyes, staying back and watching me shine. And, I didn't know if you knew, so I'm taking this chance to say, that I had the best day with you today.

 

When they finished, Anna bounded out of the studio and ran to her Mama, who was misty eyed. “Are you okay Mama? Don’t cry,” Anna pleaded. “It’s a happy song! I sang it because I love you.”

 

“Oh Anna, I love you so much it’s not even funny.” Turning to Taylor, she gave her a huge hug and said, “Thanks so much for doing this with her today. It means more than you’ll ever know.”

 

“The pleasure was all mine,” Taylor said, “I gotta go now though.  I hope you like your presents. You can open them when you get home. See ya later squirt!” as she bent down to hug Anna as well.

 

“Bye! Thank you!” Anna responded, “I love you Aunt Tay-Tay!”

 

“Love you too. Be good for your mama’s.”

 

“No promises,” Anna said cheekily.


Later that night, the family of 4 were all sitting in the living room, Anna on Beca’s lap and Brittany on Chloe’s. They were relaxing in the silence, when suddenly Anna said, “Mama, can we let Mommy listen to what I did today?”

 

Beca gulped. She hadn’t exactly cleared pulling Anna out of school for the day with Chloe, but didn’t think it would be too big of a deal. Hopefully.

 

“Sure babe. It’s on your flash-drive.” Anna darted up the stairs while Beca hollered after her. “Be careful in my studio!”

 

Anna ran into the living room a few minutes later, and handed Beca the pink and purple flash-drive with Poppy from the movie Trolls on it. Beca got Anna her own special flash-drive so she could have them all in one place and they didn’t accidentally get mixed up with her clients.

 

“What did you do today, bug?” asked Chloe, curiously.

 

“I went to the studio with Mama and saw Aunt Tay-Tay! And we recorded songs!”

 

“Did you now?” Chloe said, shooting Beca a look that clearly said ‘We’ll talk about this later’.

 

“Uh huh. It was awesome. Listen!”

 

Beca plugged the USB drive into the home sound system and Anna’s voice came pouring out. Anna was clearly enjoying being the center of attention, and was dancing around to herself singing on the speakers. Selections ranging from musicals to Disney movies to television theme songs came on, one after another, until the last song played.

 

Once “The Best Day” finished playing, Beca turned to Chloe and whispered, “Are you mad?”

 

Chloe whispered back, “No. Not really. I wish you had asked first, but it was actually really sweet.”

 

Beca smiled and said, “Any day with you guys is the best day for me.”

 

Chapter Text

The Girlfriend Tag
 

 

“Hi!” a bubbly Chloe said, looking at her web camera, “It’s Chloe! And…” she trailed off, obviously waiting for the next person to finish her sentence.

 

“And Beca,” came a voice off screen, slightly grumbly.

 

Chloe’s bright smile faltered for a millisecond but she recovered quickly and said “and today we’re going to do the girlfriend tag!”

 

Beca could be heard groaning in the background. Chloe turned to her girlfriend who was dramatically sprawled across the bed and fiercely whispered to her, “Well, it’s either this or handcuffs again. You chose this, so deal.”

 

“You’re going to edit this later. Can’t you just do some VFX and edit me in?”

 

“No. Now sit up and join me.”

 

“You’re lucky you’re that pretty,” was the only thing Chloe got in response.

 

“Thanks. Now get your cute ass up here and ask me questions!”

 

“Okay, ummm,” Beca began, “Am I a coffee or a tea person?”

 

“I’m tea, you’re coffee,” Chloe replied quickly.

 

“Yep,” Beca agreed, “Except you do love celebratory frappuccinos.”

 

“True,” Chloe agreed. “Okay my turn. “Am I a glass-half-full or glass-half-empty person?”

 

“You’re so optimistic it’s annoying,” Beca said. “I mean, it’s great, but not me.”

 

“You’re getting better though,” Chloe murmured, kissing Beca on the cheek.

 

Am I a morning or an evening person?” Beca said.

 

“You’re an ‘afternoon, but I still need a nap’ type of person,” Chloe said giggling.

 

“Shut up,” Beca said, hitting Chloe gently with a pillow.

 

“You’re not necessarily a morning person because you do love to party with your jiggle juice at night, but when we have to be up early, you’re tolerable.” Beca said.

 

“How sweet,” Chloe said sarcastically.

 

How did we meet?” Beca stated, blushing. “Yeah, I’m gonna skip that one. Here’s one. How old was I when I had my first kiss?”

 

“Well, I kissed a boy once when I was 12, but my first real kiss was on the back of a pickup truck in a field,” Chloe said.

 

“DUDE! I was also 12! Except mine was at bible camp. I had no idea how to French, but I eventually figured it out,” Beca said, slightly more invested in the whole thing.

 

“You sure did,” Chloe said teasingly. “Amongst other things…”

 

“Whatever. How old were you when you, ya know, did it?” Beca asked curiously.

 

“Um, like, high school—ish,” Chloe said. “I didn’t know what I was doing either. What about you?”

 

 “I was 19, and I got all my moves from a book.”

 

“Remind me that we need to test it out and thank that book later then,” Chloe said with a wink.

 

“Oh my god. You dirty little bird,” Beca exclaimed.

 

***

 

The girls went back and forth for another 15 minutes or so, until they reached the bottom of the list, skipping the ones they didn’t like, while adding in their own questions here and there.

 

“Okay. Here’s the last one,” Beca said, selecting her words very carefully. “Who said ‘I love you’ first?”

 

“Um… Becs, we say that all the time. How am I supposed to remember that?” Chloe asked, slightly confused.

 

“No, not like that, Beale,” Beca said, slightly frustrated at her inability to articulate what she wanted to say. “Like, ‘I LOVE you, I love you.”

 

“We haven’t really said it in that kind of way, yet…” Chloe said, “You know that.”

 

“Well Beale, now we have, because I LOVE you.”

 

“You do?”

 

“Yes. I do.” Beca said. “There are many things I don’t get or understand, but I do know that I love you.”

 

“I love you too,” Chloe said, capturing Beca’s lips in for a kiss, and gently leaning her down across the bed they were sitting on.

 

 

Needless to say, that video did NOT get put on YouTube after all.

 

Chapter Text

Bella's Night Out

 

It’s late on a Sunday morning, and the Bellas are all in the middle of enjoying a nice 3-day weekend off of school for Martin Luther King Day. They are gathered around the dining room table having just finished a nice brunch, before heading off to do their own things.

           

            “I’m kind of bored,” Ashley said.

 

            “Me too,” said Cynthia Rose.

 

            “Well, how about we all go do something fun today!” Chloe suggested.

 

            “Like what?” Jessica asked.

           

            “We could go to an art museum and look at some beautiful masterpieces,” Chloe responded, ever the lover of the fine arts.

 

            “Why would you go to an art museum when you’ve got a beautiful masterpiece right here?” demanded Fat Amy.

 

            “Um. Amy. We’ve gone over this. I’m the hot one,” Stacie interjected, as Cynthia Rose looked her over, nodding in agreement.

 

            “We can dingo wrestle over it later, legs. But seriously Chloe,” Amy said, “What’s so cool about it?”

 

            “They have all kinds of art, like sculptures and paintings and some abstract art as well,” Chloe said earnestly, trying to convince her fellow Bellas that it was a good idea. “We can go later this afternoon. Oooh. And after we grab some food for dinner, then we can go roller skating afterwards,” she continued.

 

“Wait, what? We’re going roller skating now too? Ugh,” Beca commented for the first time since the conversation began.

 

            “It’ll be fun!”

 

“No. Not going to happen, you weirdo.”

 

            “Oh hush. Please?” wheedled Chloe, making her puppy dog pout.

 

            “Okay fine. BUT,” Beca held up a hand, “Only if everyone else goes and gets tortured with me.”

 

            “We’re game,” Ashley and Jessica said together.

 

            “Sure, why not?” Stacie added, while Lily nodded in agreement.

 

            “Think of all the beautiful specimen I can objectify,” Fat Amy said, her mind obviously going somewhere nobody wanted to know.

 

            “Amy, if we go you HAVE to behave,” Chloe said sternly. “No messing around.”

 

            “No promises, but I’ll try Captain!” Fat Amy said with a salute.

 

            “Sounds dope to me,” Cynthia Rose said, “I think the roller skating part will be more fun though.”

 

They all turned to Beca to see her response.

 

“Here lies Beca. Date of death: January 15th 2017. Cause of death: Chloe Beale,” Beca said dramatically, but flashing her signature smirk to let her know she wasn’t totally serious.

 

            *Whipped* coughed Fat Amy, while Stacie smiled at her tiny friend.

 

            “Let’s do this!” Chloe said, happy she got everyone on board. “Meet back here around 2:00 pm, ok everyone?”

 

            All the Bellas agreed, and they dispersed to do whatever they wanted until it was time to get ready to go.


When the Bellas all entered the High Museum of Art around 2:30pm, they were instantly amazed. Even Beca ‘the fun hater’ had to admit it was very interesting. When she eventually got bored though—which was inevitable, she started messing around on Snapchat and Instagram, imitating the art she saw and commenting on them as if she were a connoisseur of the art world.

 

Chloe, who was quite happy seeing Beca enjoy herself, decided to join in the fun. “Oooh Becs. Stand by this one. It looks like you,” she called out.

 

Beca looked over to where Chloe was standing and saw a lady wearing total black and giving off a pretty good resting bitch face. She had a black hat sitting on top of her brown hair, blue eyes, a necklace, a black dress and an expression that said the woman was thoroughly unimpressed with the world. Kind of like Beca.

 

“She’s really had it,” Beca said, feeling like the woman in the picture. “So have I. Can we go soon?”

 

Looking at her watch, Chloe saw that it was almost 5pm. “Sure. We’ve been here for awhile and the museum is going to close soon anyway.”

 

“How long have we been here?” Beca questioned.

 

“About 2 and a half hours,” came the reply.

 

“That’s probably why I’m dying,” Beca said, slouching on one of the black cushioned benches that were sporadically placed around the gallery.

 

“Do you want to go eat dinner now? Would that make you happier?” placated Chloe, knowing that a tired and hungry Beca was not fun to be around.

 

“YES,” was the firm, yet muffled response from the tiny brunette.

 

“Okay. Let’s go round up the others and then we can go.”

 

“You do it, I’ll stay right here,” Beca tried to bargain with Chloe.

 

“Nope, you’re coming with me. With your sense of direction and ability to fall asleep anywhere, you’d probably get locked in here over night,” Chloe said, pulling on Beca’s arm.

 

Shuddering at the thought of being left in the art museum, Beca quickly followed the redhead to find the rest of the Bellas.


After dinner, the girls took an Uber to the Cascade Family Roller Skating Rink. They sang along to songs in the car, and Beca was actually enjoying herself until she remembered exactly where the Uber was taking her. Once they arrived, Beca dragged her feet as they walked up to the skate rental desk.

 

Complaining about how countless other people’s ‘nasty ass feet’ had been in the skates before hers, Beca reluctantly put them on. When she stood up, her feet flew out from underneath her body and all 5’2” of Beca’s tiny body was immediately on the ground. Luckily she fell on her rear end and didn’t break anything. Not getting off to a very good start made Beca frustrated and a bit embarrassed as she wasn’t able to portray her usual badass persona.

 

“C’mon Beca! Let’s skate!” cheered Chloe excitedly as she whizzed past, spinning to a stop in front of the girl who was still clutching on to the side rail as if her life depended on it.

 

“I’m good here, thanks,” muttered Beca.

 

“Don’t be silly, here. I’ll help you,” offered Chloe with a smile.

 

“If I fall, you’re coming down with me Beale,” warned Beca, reaching out to gingerly take the other girls outstretched hand.

 

When they made contact, Beca felt a tingle of electricity rushing through her body, but she played it off as just a side effect as her hand resumed it’s regular circulation of blood flow from her knuckle-tight grip on the bar to keep from falling.

 

“I won’t let you fall, okay?” whispered Chloe in Beca’s ear as she pulled her close. “I promise.” And somehow, Beca believed her.

 


As the night progressed, Beca grew more confident and was eventually able to move away from the wall and skate without holding hands with Chloe for support. She had to admit that it was nice, to be able to skate independently but she did miss Chloe’s soft touch. She never ventured out of the slow lane, but she managed to make it around the rink a few times without falling, which Beca counted as a win. The Bellas of course, all took multiple pictures and videos throughout the night and posted them on social media. They even got Beca to smile for some of them. In Beca’s opinion, it kind of looked like a Spice Girls poster from the 90’s, but she didn’t say anything, lest she have to listen to “Wannabe” the entire ride back home.

 

While Beca took a short breather, she watched Stacie participated in the limbo contest, Cynthia Rose win the 4 corners dice game and even saw Fat Amy sneaking off with the resident DJ. Not surprisingly, Lily was upright on her skates, but skating so fast she was a total blur to Beca. Jessica and Ashley were playing games at the attached arcade and Chloe was talking to some friends she ran into. Beca considered returning to the rink to skate, but didn’t want to do it with a bunch of random strangers.

 

It was getting close to 10pm, and she heard the DJ, slightly breathlessly announce, “Alright everybody. It’s the last song of the night, and you know what that means. It’s couples skate time! So grab your partner by the hand and skate away into the night. If you don’t have a partner, either find somebody or vacate the rink please.”

 

All of a sudden, there was a flourish of red hair in front of her, almost making Beca spill her water. “Come skate with me!” Chloe demanded, pulling Beca from her seat on the bench.

 

“But—we’re not—I—okay,” Beca sputtered, being tugged back onto the rink.

 

The music started to play and the overhead lights went off as the two of them skated around under the colored disco ball. Beca could vaguely hear the Bellas whooping as they skated past, but as she flipped them the bird, she found that she didn’t really mind that much. There was something mesmerizing about the moment, where everyone and everything seemed to fade away and it was just Beca and Chloe and it was perfect.

 

“Chloe, I…” Beca started to say, when all too soon, the lights came back on and the DJ could be heard saying “…and don’t forget to return your skates. Have a good night everybody.”

 

As the pair walked to the desk to return their skates, Chloe asked, “What were you going to say?”

 

“Oh. Umm. I was just going to say I had fun today.” Beca frowned internally, mad at herself for missing the moment, but smiled at Chloe and continued, “I didn’t think I would, but you surprised me. You always do.”

 

“I’m glad you liked it!” Chloe said happily, proud of herself for getting Beca to go with her.

 

“I like a lot of the things we do together,” replied Beca honestly, while internally thinking ‘but I like you more.’

 

As the Bellas piled into the car to go home, they were all chattering quietly with each other, tired from a long night of skating. Beca rested her head on Chloe’s shoulder and sighed heavily. “Thank you.”

 

“For what?” came Chloe’s sleepy response.

 

“For being you.”

 

Chapter Text

The Football Game

 

Beca was working on a mix in her bedroom when a flurry of fiery red hair burst through the door. She was in the middle of figuring out how to make the bass line mix with the bridge between two songs when Chloe’s mouth started moving animatedly.

 

“Tom invited me to go to the Knights vs. Tigers football game with him and his buddies on Saturday, since we couldn’t go to the movies a while back!” she said excitedly, although her words were slightly muffled due to the music.

 

            “Yay. Good for you,” Beca said absentmindedly, as she concentrated on her laptop. Since she couldn’t really hear what Chloe was saying over her Beats headphones, she didn’t exactly know what she had said but Chloe looked happy, so Beca assumed it was fine.

 

            “Really?” asked Chloe skeptically. “You’re fine with that?”

 

            “Um. Sure,” Beca said, saving her mix and finally pulling off her headphones to rest around her neck.

 

“Well, if you’re positive it’s alright with you, I guess I’ll text him back and say yes.”

 

“Wait. Hold up,” Beca said, suddenly very invested in the conversation. “Who are you texting and where are you going with him?”

 

“Tom… and to the football game on Saturday that he invited me to,” Chloe said slowly.

 

“But. Why?” Beca asked bluntly, confused and a secretly little jealous. “I thought you two were over.”

 

“We are. But we’re still friends.”

 

“Okay, like that’s a thing that happens,” Beca scoffed.

 

“If it’s going to upset you, I won’t go,” Chloe said. “Or you could come too,” she suggested.

 

“No, it’s fine,” Beca said hurriedly, feeling a bit like a dick for being rude to Chloe. “You can go. I hate sports.”

 

“Playing them or watching them?” Chloe asked.

 

“Both. You know how much I hate exercise and get bored easily. But regardless, I don’t really know anything about football anyway,” Beca returned.

 

“Even more reason to join! I’ll text Tom to get an extra ticket for you,” Chloe said, choosing to ignore the bewildered expression Beca was shooting her for blatantly ignoring her previous statement. Even with seeing the less than thrilled look on Beca’s face, Chloe plowed on, committed to getting her girlfriend to join. “You won’t have to sit by him or talk to anyone or do anything if you don’t want to. And there’s food. And alcohol. And you can judge everyone around you for looking super ridiculous.”

 

Beca started to look interested, so Chloe kept on trying to sell it. “You get to yell and cuss at bad plays too.”

 

“Okay, I guess,” Beca said reluctantly. “You’ve convinced me. Where are the seats? I don’t want smelly bodies touching mine.”

 

“We’ll be in actual seats, not in the student section, so you don’t have to worry about people in your space. Or not being able to see anything,” she teased, not being able to resist.

 

“Hey!” Beca interjected. “No short jokes, Beale.”


          Saturday came all too fast for Beca’s liking, but Chloe was excited, so she tried her best to not let her bad mood project onto her.

 

            “You ready for this Becs?” asked Chloe, as she painted on some black streaks underneath her eyes. She was wearing a Barden Knights jersey tied in a knot at the side, and a pair of some of the shortest shorts Beca had ever seen. Chloe’s wavy hair was pulled back into 2 low pony tails and she was wearing a trucker hat backwards with a pair of black sunglasses perched on top. Personally, Beca thought she looked very hot, but refrained from comment. As for Beca, she was wearing her usual black pants and a low cut tank top with her flannel tied around her waist. She also had a pair of sunglasses on, and looked a few shades whiter than usual due to the copious amount of sunscreen she had applied.

 

            “Born ready,” Beca replied sarcastically. “Remind me again why it’s 10am and we’re leaving the house already when the football game isn’t until 5pm?”

 

            “We’re going tailgating, silly!”

 

            “Oh, yeah. That. Sounds fun?” Beca said, voice raising up at the end like it was more of a question than a statement.

 

            “You’ll love it. Trust me,” Chloe said.


To say Beca enjoyed it, would be a major understatement. By the time the people attending the game starting to file in, Beca was quite the happy little camper, probably due to the free food and drinks they had and the good music that was playing. She actually socialized a little bit with the other people in the group, even Tom. However, Beca still stayed glued close to Chloe’s side the whole day. To Chloe’s credit, she didn’t say anything or really seem to mind a clingy Beca, who usually shied away from all forms of human contact. As they walked into the stadium, Beca started to feel excited, as if the energy of the crowd was infusing itself in her body. By the time the group reached their seats, Beca was practically buzzing.

 

            When the football game began, Beca originally tried to understand what Chloe was talking about. The words ‘first down’, ‘field goal’, ‘touch down’, ‘sack’, ‘safety’, ‘false start’ and ‘off-sides’, all jumbled up in her mind, no matter how attentively she listened, so she gave up quite quickly. Because of this, Beca had no idea what was happening, so she decided to just go along with the flow of the crowd. Instead of making a fool of herself, she copied her surroundings. When the people wearing her school colors cheered, she did too, and when they booed, she got inexplicably mad as well. During one particularly bad call, Beca got so mad she actually stood up and shouted something nobody was able to understand due to everyone yelling around her. Chloe looked at her girlfriend becoming so invested at something she didn’t even understand and just laughed.

 

            When halftime came and everybody started to get up, Beca said, “Well that was fun. Ready to go home?”

 

            Chloe pulled Beca back down and said, “It’s halftime. We still have 2 more quarters to go.”

 

            “Seriously? Jesus fuck. This thing has gone on forever,” Beca scowled, “I’m hungry.”

 

            “Here’s $20, go get something to eat.”

 

            “Thanks MOM,” Beca joked.

 

            Chloe smacked Beca’s butt as she walked away, and Beca flipped her the bird as she maneuvered her way through the various crowds of people. When she returned, she had balanced a large pile of food in her arms and was carrying a large soda pop in her hand.

 

            “Can I get a little help here Chlo?” she said, nodding her head to everything she was currently in possession of.

 

            “Damn Beca. Did you buy out the whole concession stand?”

 

            “Ha ha. Very funny. But no, I just couldn’t make up my mind so I got a bit of everything that looked good. I figured we could share.”

 

            “How sweet, thanks!” Chloe cooed, pecking Beca on the lips.

 

            Although she was blushing furiously, Beca looked quite proud of herself. As they ate their food, Chloe turned and talked to the other friends who had come with them to the game. Seeing that her girlfriend was occupied, Beca chose to look up a very basic crash course about football on her phone. She still didn’t quite get everything, but at least she knew a bit more than she did. She found being able to read the principles of football was easier than trying to hear someone yelling to be heard over the crowd and trying to explain about a play after it already happened.

 

When “Thunderstruck” by AC/DC sounded to signal the start of the second half, Beca put her phone away, and was prepared to watch the game with a slightly better understanding of the logistics. Her research paid off when the opposing Tigers made a late hit on one of the BU Knights who was passing the ball to a teammate. There was a flag on the play and for the first time since the game started, Beca thought she understood what was going on.

 

“That’s unnecessary roughness. 15 yard penalty and automatic first down,” Beca muttered to herself quietly. Apparently it wasn’t quite quiet enough though, because somehow even amidst all the atmospheric noise Chloe could hear—or at least see—her speaking something.

 

“What’d you say Beca?”

 

“Umm. Isn’t that a penalty?” Beca replied, feeling less confident in her response. “And uh, it’s called unnecessary roughness, right?”

 

Chloe opened her mouth to respond when she was interrupted with a loud whistle. Just then, the referee’s voice boomed across the stadium, “Personal foul. Defense number 47. 15 yard penalty. Repeat first down.” Chloe looked at her girlfriend with a shocked expression. Beca could only give a sheepish smile in response.

 

“Wow Mitchell, I’m impressed. I thought you didn’t know football.”

 

“I did some research during half-time,” the brunette admitted, not wanting to make it sound like she put any effort or thought into the act, lest she lose her ‘I don’t give a shit about anything’ badass points.

 

Chloe looked at her girlfriend fondly and said, “Well, you did good. I’m proud of you.”

 

 Beca returned the smile, and they both turned to continue watching the game. There were a few close calls, but the Knights held on to win the game, 43-36. As the girls said their goodbyes and began their walk back to the Bellas house, Beca couldn’t help but admit to herself that she actually had a good time.

 

“Well,” Chloe began carefully. “How awful was it?”

 

“Not too bad. Better than I expected anyway,” Beca began, “but I’m a bit mad.”

 

“Why?” asked Chloe. “We won and you looked like you were having at least a little fun.”

 

“Yeah,” Beca said. “But it was very loud there, and my ears are still ringing. I think I’m probably gonna go deaf and I need my ears to mix, so if you messed that up for me…” she trailed off, pretending to be mad.

 

“Oh stop. You had fun,” Chloe chided.

 

“Yeah, I guess it was okay. It would’ve sucked more if you weren’t there.”

 

“Aww. You’re cute,” Chloe said, trying to pinch Beca’s cheek.

 

“I’m not cute. I’m badass. How many times do I have to tell you?” Beca said exasperatedly, as she squirmed away out of Chloe’s reach. Chloe just laughed and grabbed Beca’s hand, swinging their joined between the two of them.

 

Beca was exhausted by the time they reached the Bellas house. Don’t get her wrong, it was fun. But a person can only handle so much. Especially for someone who prefers the solitude of her room and who’s best friend (aside from Chloe) was her computer. Beca couldn’t help but think there was something magical about the time she had spent with the ginger that day, but she couldn’t quite pinpoint what it was. Maybe it was the alcohol. Maybe it was the game. Maybe it was heat stroke. Maybe it was just the intoxicating effect of Chloe. Yeah, it was probably Chloe. But whatever it was, Beca found she didn’t want the night to end. As they climbed up the porch stairs, she turned to Chloe and said, “Thanks for inviting me. I had a lot of fun with you today. And I don’t hate sports… as much.”

 

            “Thanks for coming,” Chloe said. “I know you don’t always like the things I drag you to, so I’m glad you had fun.”

 

            “I don’t always like what we do, but I always enjoy the time we get to spend together.”

 

            “You’re sweet,” Chloe said as she unlocked the front door and they walked inside the house. That’s how Chloe knew Beca was really tired. Beca was usually never that honest or mushy when she was totally alert. “Now get some rest. You look like you’re about to pass out.” Once the two girls finished their nightly routines in their shared room, they both climbed into Beca’s bed to cuddle before bed. Granted, they did have their own respective beds, but almost inevitably one of them would end up in the other’s beds and they no longer questioned it. Even before they started dating, they were always close. As they lay together in the dark, Beca thought about how lucky she was to have such an understanding and caring girlfriend who knew just how far to push her out of her comfort zone so she could explore new things, but not to the point that she would get upset.

 

“Goodnight Chlo,” Beca said sleepily, hugging the ginger a bit closer to her chest.

 

            “Night Becs. Sleep well,” Chloe returned, planting a kiss on Beca’s forehead.

 


“Hey babe,” Chloe said a few months later, looking up from her phone at her girlfriend. My brother Mike is holding a Super Bowl watch party. Wanna go?”

 

Beca’s eyes lit up excitedly. Since attending her first football game with Chloe at the beginning of the fall semester, she had attended every game that she could for the rest of the season. The BU Knights didn’t make it to the championship round, but they put in a good effort and Beca found herself being able to follow along easier as each game went by. By the end of the season, she was right up there with the best of the best when it came to calling plays.

 

Beca had even been known to argue with a few frat boys who didn’t think a 5’2” girl would know anything about football. Beca knew her girlfriend would be mad if she punched someone, so she instead fought her battles with logic. When Beca turned out to be right, which was usually always, she would simply laugh in their faces before turning around with a victorious smile.

 

“Sure!” said Beca, looking very happy. “As long as they’ll have food and booze. ‘Cuz, you know, I love food. And booze.”

 

“I’m sure there will be,” assured Chloe. “It’s a Super Bowl party hosted by my brother. Why wouldn’t it?” To say Michael Beale’s football watch parties were legendary would be a huge understatement.

 

“Wanna place any bets?”

 

“Sure. I think the Patriots are gonna stomp all over your Falcons,” Beca said viciously.

 

“Why? What makes you think that?” asked Chloe.

 

“Um. Because I’m from Maine. Gotta represent New England. Duh.”

 

“Well, we live in Georgia, so I think we should cheer on our home team,” said Chloe stubbornly.

 

“Do what you want, but when they lose, you have to do my share of the Bellas housework for a week,” stated Beca.

 

“Well, when I win,” Chloe confidently stated, “You have to go on an outing of my choice with me. No complaints or whining.”

 

“Whatever. Me and Tom are gonna enjoy our break from chores.”

 

“Tom?” asked Chloe curiously.

 

“Brady. He’s the quarterback. He’s been in 7 Super Bowls and he’s why your Falcons are gonna lose,” Beca said, while Chloe just stared at her girlfriend.

 

“You follow NFL stats now? Who are you and what have you done with my girlfriend?”

 

“I’m still me, I just know more. Which is why I know the Falcons are going to lose.”

 

“The Falcons have to be good if they made the playoffs,” Chloe said, not so sure she should’ve made the bet against Beca.

 

“Well, yeah. But the Patriots are just better at everything. The Falcons have never won a Super Bowl and they’re not going to win this time either. Besides that, the Patriots have a better winning record over all this season,” said Beca casually.

 

“We’ll see about that,” said Chloe, still shocked at her girlfriends seemingly extensive knowledge of the sport.


The Beale household was divided. With a 21-3 halftime lead, Chloe was feeling pretty confident and turned to Beca. “Better get ready to be dragged all over town next week,” she said.

 

            “It’s not over ‘til it’s over,” was Beca’s reply.

 

            Beca, was once again right about football. The Patriots managed to overcome a 25 point deficit midway through the third quarter. Then after getting a few touch downs and a two point conversion, it was tied 28-28 and so the game was going into overtime. The Patriots called heads and won the call. Beca was sitting on the couch with her arms tucked under her chin saying, “choose the ball, choose the ball.” As play resumed, Beca had no idea how she would handle the next 15 minutes of play time. Beca could feel herself starting to get stressed out, but didn’t know why. She wasn’t the one playing, and all she had to do if she lost was go on a date with Chloe. Nothing to lose, really.

 

But as it turns out, Beca had nothing to stress about. About 4 minutes into overtime, the Patriots were on a second and goal and somehow a player got through Atlanta’s defense to score. As a result, partly due to close calls and some bad plays from both sides, the New England Patriots held on to win Super Bowl LI 34-28 in overtime.

 

“YES!” screeched Beca excitedly as she danced around the living room. “James White is my hero! Way to go #28!” Chloe was just as excited at the amazing Super Bowl ending as Beca was. Even though Chloe technically lost the bet, she was happy because her girlfriend was happy. After all, having a happy, social and fun loving Beca was pretty much one of Chloe’s main goals in life. Even if that meant emptying the trash and doing the dishes for a week

Chapter Text

Why Can’t You See? (You Belong With Me)

 

            Stacie sighs as she watches Beca leaving the house with Chloe. She almost doesn’t notice Aubrey sulking in the corner on the other side of the living room. Stacie is vaguely concerned as to what’s bothering the uptight blonde, but then again, it could be any number of things so she doesn’t really pay her much attention. What she DOES pay attention to, is the fact that Beca has gone out more times in the last 14 days than she did for pretty much the past 4 months. 

 

Lately Stacie has noticed, that Beca is spending a lot of time with their two co-captains. Both individually and as a trio. When Stacie points it out, Beca says its because they want to spend time with her before they graduate. ‘Funny’ Stacie thinks. ‘They don’t seem to want to do that with any of the rest of us…

 

As time goes on, Stacie becomes even more aware and focused on the little things that the two senior girls were doing. During rehearsals Chloe and Aubrey are always quietly arguing with each other and constantly asking Beca’s opinion on seemingly random matters. When Beca agrees with one of them, their expressions look as if Beca was handing out Olympic medals. One proudly standing victorious over the other. It’s been like this for the past 2 and a half weeks, and frankly, Stacie is sick of it. It’s throwing off the rest of the group and to be truthful, very annoying.

 

The thing that makes her the most sick, is Beca herself. Poor, oblivious, awkward Beca, who needs things explained to her like a child first learning to do things independently. Beca doesn’t seem to see what Stacie sees. But Stacie isn’t stupid. She knows that predatory look in both of her co-captains eyes. They’re fighting alright. But not over the Bellas. No. They’re fighting over Beca.


Stacie and Beca are catching up on the quad one Friday afternoon. It’s a warm and sunny day, but not too hot, with the occasional slight breeze. They’re talking quietly and secretly judging their classmates as they walk past their spot on the blanket.

 

Stacie is propped up against a tree, and Beca’s head is resting on Stacie’s long, tanned legs. Stacie is absentmindedly running her hand through Beca’s hair and for once, Beca doesn’t seem to be complaining. She of course has her headphones with her, but they’re not on her head for a change, instead hanging loosely around her neck. The faint sound of Beca’s mixes can be heard pouring through the cups of the headphones, but that’s not the main focus at the moment. Between daily Bellas rehearsals, Beca constantly working at the radio station and making mixes, and Stacie devoting pretty much all of her free time in the science lab, they haven’t really gotten a chance to just spend time together in quite a while. Beca got the chance to rant about everything she hated in life, and Stacie in return told her all about what was happening in hers. They didn’t have to say much, they just got it.

 

Out of all of the Bellas, Stacie was the closest thing she had to a best friend. Not even Chloe knew her story as well as Stacie. Chloe was the popular girl, and one Beca never thought she’d ever be friends with. They understood each other in a way Beca had never really had with a friend before. Stacie had been there from the beginning of Beca’s career at Barden, and they had gone through a lot together over the time they had known each other. Stacie had been there when Beca had broken up with Jesse, and when she failed her philosophy test and thought her dad would kill her. Stacie knew how Beca dreamed of eventually going to LA, but how her dreams had changed slightly and how she now wanted to finish at Barden before going off on her own to fake being an adult trying to break into the music business.

 

“This is really quite nice actually…” Stacie began. “It’s nice to spend time with you.”

 

“Dude, you spend time with me every day,” scoffs Beca, not understanding what Stacie meant. “We even live together, you nerd.”

 

“Yeah, but I never see you anymore. I feel like I don’t even know you or what you’ve been doing lately.”

 

“Seriously Stace? I literally just told you. Were you not listening to anything I just said? I’ve been doing the same as always,” Beca replied, “Work, school, Bellas and trying to not kill my father and the stepmonster every time I have to go over there. The only new thing is that I’m spending some extra time learning what to do when I take over for the Bellas next year.”

 

“Yeah, I’ve been listening. And don’t think I’ve noticed that you’ve been seeing a lot of Aubrey and Chloe lately,” teased Stacie, as a way of trying to keep her jealousy in check. “I thought you couldn’t stand Aubrey. She totally doesn’t get your humor or listen to the same kind of music you do. She’s like, eternally stuck in the previous century.”

 

“She’s not that bad when she’s not running Bellas practices. But I mean yeah, taking over the Bellas is going to be a challenge, and I guess I do have a lot to learn. They said they really want to prepare me for being in charge of the Bellas once they graduate,” Beca stated.

 

“Oh yeah?” Stacie said. “What do you guys do?”

 

“We go to get coffee or eat lunch together between classes. And other times we just chill out and talk in Chloe’s or Aubrey’s room. When one of them can’t make it, we just do whatever we want. It’s kinda fun, if I’m being honest,” Beca said. “Like, we haven’t done much stuff actually related to the Bellas, but they said the first part to becoming a Bella captain is to bond with the past captains.”

 

 “Bellas bonding time my ass,” Stacie said with a slight edge to her voice as she sat up a bit straighter, accidentally jostling Beca a bit in her lap. “I call bullshit. If it was Bellas bonding time we’d all be there.”

 

“Stacie, what’s your problem? They’re just being nice,” Beca said, suddenly getting defensive.

 

By this point, Stacie had had enough. “Beca. You know they’re just trying to get in your pants, right?” she said firmly, her voice filled with malice.

 

“What? Dude. No way. That’s—“ Beca sputtered sitting up as well. “You’re wrong. They don’t…”

 

“Really? You don’t believe me? Becs, I’m your best friend. Trust me when I say they are both fighting over you,” Stacie said.

 

“I can’t believe you’d say that,” Beca said, finally, after sitting quietly for a few moments. “That is ridiculous. I can’t even begin to explain how insane you sound right now.”

 

“Beca, come on, don’t be like this,” Stacie said, getting frustrated.

 

“You know, if I didn’t know any better, I’d think you were jealous of how much time I’m spending with them and not you,” Beca shot back.

 

When Stacie looked down and didn’t say anything for a while, Beca gasped and clamped a hand over her mouth.

 

“Wait… What?” Beca looked conflicted.

 

“Surprise,” said Stacie weakly. “Now you know.”

 

When Beca still didn’t respond, Stacie sighed and stood up. “I- I’m sorry. I have to go.”

 


As Stacie quickly walked past the people in the crowd, a lone tear streaked its way down her cheek.

 

A distant shout of something that sounded like her name could be heard, but Stacie didn’t care.

 

“Holy shit,” came an out of breath voice. “Dude, if you were any shorter, I would’ve lost you in the crowd.”

 

“Yeah, well, that was kind of the point.”

 

Beca just sighed, as she tried to regain her breathing. “Damn. Remind me to take those cardio sessions more seriously.” Stacie just looked at her.

 

“What are you doing here, Beca?” asked Stacie finally. “Go home.”

 

“You know what? No. I chased you all the way from the quad after I asked you to stay. So no. Not without you.”

 

“Well, I’m not going home for a while, so you’ll just have to wait then.”

 

Beca shook her head and smiled. “I’ve been waiting to hear you say that ever since our Bellas initiation.”

 

“Why?”

 

“Because I wanted to, but didn’t know how.”

 

“Really?” asked Stacie, a hint of a smile reappearing on her face. “You mean that?”

 

“Yeah. I do. And just to make myself clear if I didn’t before. I’m not going home. I’m going big.”

            “Huh?”

 

“Go big or go home, right?” Beca asked, right before standing on her tiptoes to kiss her best friend.

 

“Mmmm. Yeah. Definitely don’t go home,” Stacie muttered against Beca’s lips. “Or at least not without me.”

Chapter Text

Bourbon Street High School

 

            “But Chloeeee,” Beca groaned. “It’s not even Halloween! Why are we dressing up for a stupid costume party?”

 

            “Because it’s fun! Don’t you just love parties?” chirped Chloe.

 

“I mean, yeah,” Beca began. “Who doesn’t love any excuse to dance to good music, eat junk food and get drunk? But c’mon, really? It’s back to school party, and school already started.”

 

“It’s still kinda back to school season. After all, it’s only the beginning of the semester, Miss Grumpy Gills.”

 

“Whatever. Close enough,” said Beca, not at all interested in the exact specifics of the date.

 

“Oh live a little Beca,” sighed Chloe, getting a bit annoyed at her friend. “All the Bellas are going, and the Trebles are too. Get out of the house. Socialize. Have fun. It won’t kill you.”

 

“I hardly even go to classes at our real school, let alone a party for going back to a school that doesn’t even exist. And what’s more, is that it’s not even college; it’s a high school. Man, I can’t wait till school is actually almost over instead over just starting,” whined Beca. “Besides, what am I even supposed to wear?”

 

Suddenly, Chloe got a glint in her eye and a grin a mile wide appeared on her face.

 

“No. Ohhhhh no no no no no. I know that look,” Beca said, suddenly very wary of her best friend. “Whatever you’re thinking about Beale, you can stop.”

 

“Ooooh Becs, you’re gonna love this idea. How about we—“

 


            And that’s how Beca Effin’ Mitchell found herself standing at the bottom of the staircase at the Bellas house in red suspenders and glasses taped up in the middle. She had a mustard yellow cardigan on and high waisted black shorts that were combined with grey thigh high socks. She felt absolutely ridiculous and incredibly self-conscious looking like a nerd, but all of that went away when she heard clunking down the stairs.

 

            Beca looked up and her jaw about dropped to the floor at what she saw. There stood Chloe, in Beca’s lace up combat boots, wearing skin tight black pants, dark red lipstick and a flowy top with a raccoon on it. She had red nail polish on, and two Love Is Louder bracelets around her left wrist. To top it all off, Chloe had also borrowed Beca’s leather jacket and had the hood of her shirt up, making her look like a true rebel.

 

            “Damn Beale. You kinda look like an older, hotter version of me at age 14,” Beca complimented awkwardly.

 

            “Sup, nerd?” said Chloe, in a grungy sort of way. Beca was slightly taken aback at the totally different sound coming from her friend’s mouth. Instead of sounding like the happy-go-lucky voice Chloe usually talked in, she sounded like someone who could totally do some serious screamo punk music. ‘Must be her nodes’ Beca attributed it to, as she continued to stare in shock at Chloe’s complete transformation.

 

            “Well,” said Chloe, voice suddenly back to normal, “Are you ready?”

 

            “As ready as I’ll ever be,” was the reply.


Walking into the Trebles house, Beca made a bee line to the snack table and immediately filled up two plates. As she brought Chloe’s plate back to her, Beca took a moment to look around at the rest of the people at the party. She saw Jessica and Ashley, Flo, Fat Amy and even Lily there. Between the Bellas and the Trebles, there was basically every stereotype represented. Jocks, cheerleaders, nerds, skaters and even some who were dressed as something Beca couldn’t easily identify. On her way back, however, Beca was cornered by a very large, and very drunk boy who was dressed as a football player.

 

            “Well, well, well, what do we have here?” slurred the Treble, as he closed the distance between them. “A little nerd.”

 

            Beca, as badass as she may be, was actually a bit nervous. This guy had at least 100 pounds on her and was probably a whole foot taller than she was too. In addition to being pure muscle, he also looked like he could do some serious damage to her, if she tried to fight back.

 

“Hi,” Beca squeaked. “Umm, excuse me, I need to go now.”

 

            “Why? You don’t look like you’re having a good time yet. But don’t worry. I can fix that.”

 

            Just then, Chloe approached the two. She had been waiting for Beca to return with their food, and when she didn’t return, Chloe got a bit worried, so she went to search for her tiny friend. When she finally found her, Chloe’s blood immediately started to boil. There was Beca, trapped against a wall looking like she wanted to be anywhere else but where she was at the present moment. When Beca looked over his shoulder and saw Chloe, she let out a sigh of relief. Beca knew Chloe wouldn’t let anything bad happen to her. Unfortunately, the drunk Treble was at least aware enough to track Beca’s gaze, and his eyes fell upon Chloe, who was rapidly approaching the pair.

 

“Heyyy. Look who it is,” the over confident boy said, abandoning Beca for a second and turning to face Chloe. “Wanna join us? We were just getting started.” He gestured to Beca who had scooted a bit away from him so she was out of his reach.

 

“You may have just been getting started, but I’m ending it,” Chloe snarled, and she punched the Treble in the face. As the intoxicated boy wobbled from the hit, Chloe turned it up a notch, and kicked him in the balls. “Don’t mess with my best friend, you big bully.”

 

Once the girls had decided the threat was neutralized, they went into the kitchen, seeing as Chloe was going to need some ice for her hand after the punch she had packed.

 

“Wow Chloe. You really lived up to the badass rebel costume you picked out for tonight,” Beca said, once they were alone. “Thank you for coming to save me. I don’t really know what I would’ve done if you hadn’t,” she added sincerely.

 

“Don’t mention it,” Chloe said, brushing it off. “You would’ve done the same thing if it were me in that situation. That’s just what friends do.”

 

With those words, Beca decided that she had had enough mushiness for a while, and said, “Well, what do you say we go back to the party? We’ve wasted enough time already.”

 

“Wait. Is Beca Mitchell willingly going to be with other people?” Chloe said sarcastically. “Never thought I’d see the day.”

 

“Well, sometimes things, and people in life will surprise you,” Beca replied.


After that night, aside from that one incident, Beca decided that she did like costume  themed parties after all, and was very thankful to Chloe for having dragged her out of the house. The Bellas continued to have epic shindigs throughout the school year, in addition to actual Halloween. They had luau themed party, a safari party, and even a 90’s party. Beca and Chloe consistently had great costumes. Despite the many themed parties the Bellas had, sometimes they would also just wear costumes and onesies for fun. Chloe seemed to enjoy sticking to animals, choosing to dress up as a bumble bee, a mouse and a monkey, just to name a few. Beca on the other hand, preferred to mix it up a bit, electing to go as things like Indiana Jones, a jedi from Star Wars and even Ariel from the Little Mermaid.

 

When the Bellas had their ‘Awkward Family Reunion party’, Beca was so into it, she went all out as ‘Martha the crazy cat lady who does crafts’, while Chloe embraced her party girl side as ‘drunk cougar Aunt Sharon’. By this time, it actually was nearing the end of the school year. What once Beca couldn’t wait for, was rapidly approaching, and she found herself actually wanting time to slow down. Beca wouldn’t admit it, but she was going to miss all of her awesome nerds over the summer. School and parties may end, but by putting herself out there, the memories that Beca made while attending Barden have been totally worth it, and she is finally realizing it. ‘However’, Beca thought as she looked at all the pictures from the photo booth arranged on her cork board, ‘at least I have concrete evidence of how weird all of my friends are’.

Chapter Text

Can’t Turn Back Now (Haunted)

 

Chloe walked into the Bellas kitchen after she got finished with her Friday afternoon classes to see her girlfriend giggling uncontrollably on the sofa. She was watching something on her laptop, and screams of terror could be heard coming from the speakers.

 

“Hey babe. What on EARTH are you doing?” she asked.

 

“I’m watching Ellen,” was Beca’s simple response, not looking away from the screen.

 

“What is Ellen doing? Killing people?”

 

“No,” Beca said, finally pausing the video and shooting an annoyed look at Chloe for interrupting her. “She sent some of her staff members through a haunted house and filmed the whole thing.”

 

“That actually sounds hilarious. Can I watch with you?” Chloe asked, sounding intrigued.

 

“Sure!” Beca scooted over a bit on the sofa and started the video from the beginning. The current one they were watching was when Ellen sent her Executive Producer Andy and his assistant Jacqueline to a haunted house. They were going through a Dracula maze, and losing their minds after every few feet. Soon after, Beca and Chloe got sucked into watching Andy go through various haunted houses with different people. Suddenly Chloe jumped up.

 

“We should go to one Becs!”

 

“What? Why?” Beca asked, slightly startled at the redhead’s enthusiasm.

 

“Because it looks fun!”

 

“Chloe, you got scared last week because the wind blew a leaf on you, and you thought it was a ghost.”

 

“That’s not fair. It’s Lily’s fault for telling ghost stories at our last Bellas bonding night,” Chloe defended herself empathetically.

 

“No, it’s your fault for believing her,” Beca corrected, with an amused grin.

 

            “Oh whatever. Do you want to go or not?” Chloe restated, trying to get the topic off her minor freak-out.

 

            “Sure,” Beca replied. “I’ve never been to one, but I guess it could be fun.”

 

            “Yay!” Chloe said. “But you may have to hold my hand.”

 

            “Don’t worry babe. It’ll be fine,” Beca said confidently, while trying to convince herself at the same time. Beca wasn’t big on the idea of going to haunted houses and paying money to purposefully get the shit scared out of you, but she wasn’t about to tell Chloe that. After all, she had a reputation to uphold.

 

            “I’m so excited. This’ll be great,” Chloe gushed enthusiastically, grabbing Beca’s laptop from her and opening a new window.

 

“Hey!” Beca shouted. “Be careful with my baby!” As a DJ, Beca’s laptop meant everything to her, and since she had all her mixes saved on there, she was very protective of it. If anyone else besides Chloe had tried to touch her laptop or headphones, they’d be dead. Chloe felt very privileged to be the one exception to basically all Beca’s rules. Chloe took one look at the boundaries and walls that the girl had in place and just knocked them all over.

 

“I thought I was your baby,” Chloe pouted, making her blue eyes as big as she could.

 

“Shut up,” Beca blushed, still as awkward as ever about feelings. “You know what I meant.”

 

 

After a bit of research on Google, they finally settled on going to Netherworld, and going through Mr. Grendel’s 3-D Fun House of Horrors.

 

“Beca! Listen to this!” Chloe said, reading a description from the website. Beca turned to look at the redhead, who was looking down at her laptop.

 

         “Please Don’t Feed the Clowns!” Chloe began dramatically. Beca smirked, but gestured for her silly girlfriend to continue reading.

“Come one, come all to Mr. Grendel’s 3D Funhouse of Horrors! Put on your 3D Glasses and see crazy clowns, scary monsters and weird aliens! If you are lucky, go back stage at the attraction where Mr. Grendel butchers and eats his victims! Some will even get to travel to the strange world that Mr. Grendel and his pals come from and never return! Truly a fun adventure for the whole family!”

 

“Oh look! There’s even a video clip of it!” Chloe added, as she clicked on a short YouTube clip featuring the exhibit, showing it to Beca. They watched it together and then Chloe read some more about it from the website.

 

 “What you have just heard is an excerpt from the audio playing outside the clown themed haunted house that has just opened on the outskirts of town. It seems harmless enough until you dig deeply into the cold case files. After exhaustive research we have discovered that every few decades some sort of amusement ride or fun house style attraction pops up with the name “GRENDEL” somewhere in the title. They always are a bit different from each other with clowns and haunted house walkthroughs and rides some of the more common types, although they have shown up as mine rides, tunnels of love and once, a traveling barbeque truck. The unusual thing about these GRENDEL attractions is that everywhere they appear, there are numerous disappearances. It starts with the pets and the livestock, then it spreads to loners and out of towners no one will miss. Finally entire families will vanish, especially those with young children. When local law enforcement begins to suspect the GRENDEL attraction, they arrive only to find it gone without a trace in the dead of night.

We have come to strongly suspect that a dangerous malevolent entity of unknown origin is at the center of this mystery. It seems to have supernatural abilities of a high level, including projecting visual and auditory illusions to conceal its true form. Some think it even has dangerous dimensional warping skills although there is no clear evidence to confirm this. What we do believe strongly however is that a physical creature of immense age and power is associated with this phenomena. A creature that to put it bluntly, eats people. LOTS of people.

Whatever it is, the thing is aggressive, highly intelligent and seems to enjoy toying with its victims. It also has a bit of an ego – always using the same name was sure to draw our attention eventually.

The fact that it goes by GRENDEL a legendary flesh eating monster from the Beowulf legends is not to be taken lightly. Proceed with the utmost caution… Since we do not know exactly what we are dealing with, we are not sure how to eliminate this threat. Good Luck.”

 

Chloe read the whole thing in her best scary voice and when she finished, she lightly scraped her nails against Beca’s thigh. Beca shivered as she shoved Chloe's hand away and stood up.

 

“You’re absolutely ridiculous.”

 

“Yeah, but you love me so…”

 

“Not always sure why, but yes, I do,” Beca said looking down and rolling her eyes at her girlfriend as she planted a sweet kiss on Chloe’s forehead.

 

“Okay, so when are we doing this thing?” Beca asked.

 

“Well, they’re open from 7 til midnight today and Saturday. Otherwise we may have to wait til next weekend to go. I’m free this evening, are you? We could get dinner at Stanley’s and then go, if you aren’t working at the station tonight.”

 

Beca occasionally got to take over WBUJ on Friday evenings at, that allowed her to work on her mixes and simultaneously play her “sick beats” as Luke calls them. Beca was slightly wishing she did have to work tonight, but she wasn’t about to lie.

 

“Nope, I’m all yours,” Beca said, smiling at Chloe. “Wanna chill out for a bit and then go eat?”

 

“Yeah, sounds good. I want to get into something more comfortable though,” Chloe added, and she went upstairs to change and grab her laptop.

 


 

For the next few hours the two girls watched some Halloween episodes from their favorite TV shows. They were just finishing up the “Meet ‘n’ Greet” episode of Parks and Recreation as the last of the Bellas came rolling in the front door.

 

“Okay Bellas!” Fat Amy hollered as she threw open the door, “What’s the plan for tonight? I’m here, so the fun can begin!”

 

The Bellas started to state their plans for the evening, as Fat Amy curiously looked around at her housemates.

 

“Ash and I are going to the school play” Jessica said.

 

“I’ve got game night with my girlfriend,” Cynthia Rose stated.

 

“You already know what my plans are,” Stacie added suggestively, throwing a wink in Beca’s direction, making the awkward DJ squirm.

 

Lily muttered something unintelligible and then disappeared from the room.

 

“Ah. Alright then. That’s fine. I’ll just call up Bumper,” Amy said. “Oh wait. Have you got any plans Shawshank? That maybe include you not being here? If you know what I mean…”

 

Beca quickly replied, “Yeah, no, I’m going to a haunted house with Chlo.” Beca wasn’t a fan of the idea of going to haunted houses, but she was even less of a fan of being sexiled by Amy and Bumper.

 

“Okay. So is everyone also leaving for dinner? Because I’m hungry and what I want to eat right now I’m not sharing,” Fat Amy not so subtly hinted. Immediately, everyone got the hint, and started making alternative dinner plans.

 

“B and I are going to Stanley’s before our date, if anyone wants to join us,” Chloe offered, before Beca could say anything about it.

 

And that’s where 45 minutes later, most the Bellas could be found squeezing themselves into a booth made for 4 people. They were chattering away while munching on their food and loving every minute of it. That was the nice thing about the Bellas, even though they all lived together, they genuinely liked each other and enjoyed hanging out, both as a squad, and in various combinations of small groups.

 

Once it neared 7, the girls all split off. Jessica and Ashley went to the local production of A Little Night Music, and Cynthia Rose went to her girlfriends to play some non-gambling games. Stacie headed back to the house to get ready for the frat party she was invited to, and Beca and Chloe got ready to go to the haunted house.

 


 

“OhmygodBecaLook!” Chloe said, as she gripped the tiny brunette’s arm. They had arrived at Netherworld, and were immediately surrounded by clowns. “It’s like Pennywise had a family reunion!”

 

“Mhm,” Beca said, looking around apprehensively at all the fun house creatures surrounding them. “Let’s just get in line.” Beca was not looking forward to going in at all, but it was better than just being surrounded by people dressed up in creepy looking attire and just roaming and moaning about. While they waited, Chloe was bouncing up and down on the balls of her feet. Beca grabbed her hand and squeezed it tight, kissing their joined hands.

 

“Don’t worry Chlo, I got you,” Beca reassured her, as the two slowly worked their way to the front.

 

“Thanks Becs. I know I’ll be fine with you!” she said, pecking Beca on the cheek.

 

Finally, the girls got to the front. They received their 3-D glasses and were instructed on what they could and could not do. The biggest rules were not to touch the actors and to keep moving. Once they entered the haunted house, Beca quickly lost her confidence and immediately wanted to break every single rule. In Beca’s world, rules were more like guidelines, and if it was a stupid rule, Beca would either bend it to fit her needs or just pretend like it didn’t exist all together.

 

The actors were not allowed to make any physical contact with them, but Beca’s fight or flight instincts were mostly to fight. Beca had to control every single urge she had, not to sock them like she did to the Tonehangers after one of the Acapella competitions during her freshman year at Barden. Instead, she just loudly cursed her way through room after room, while Chloe occasionally buried her head in Beca’s shoulder, making muffled noises and jerky movements.

 

Beca lead them through the house quickly, just wanting to get it over with as fast as she could, while still not looking like a giant baby. It started off tame, with the Very Scary Tales and the Red Membrane Chasm. But the further in to the house they got, the harder it got for Beca to continue moving on.

 

“What the hell, you fucker?” She screamed, as they entered the Gore Zone and she saw someone getting by a carnivorous clown. As they went through the terror tilt and got spun around in a tube with lights, all she could do was pray she didn’t fall and get attacked by the random things flying around in the air above them. They had just gone by the monsters and the alien invasion, and she was already ready to leave through one of the emergency exits. At that point, Beca had just flat out refused to move any further. That’s when Chloe had to take control. She knew that once Beca didn’t want to do something anymore, it was pretty much impossible to make her change her mind. Chloe pulled Beca into a corner by the door and grabbed her face.

 

“Do we need to leave?”

 

“What? No. I just need a break,” Beca said, trying to play it cool. “I’m fine, really.”

 

“Uh huh, sure,” Chloe teased lightly, “You look like you’re about to have an aneurysm.”

 

“Whatever,” Beca spat, “Let’s just go.”

 

After about a minute of no movement whatsoever on the brunette’s part, Chloe lightly poked Beca. Beca about jumped a foot in the air and shrieked loudly. When she recovered, Beca crossed her arms and glared at Chloe, who simply said, “You need to actually move if we’re going to go anywhere.” Beca still didn’t make any attempt to advance forwards, and Chloe had had enough. She turned in front of Beca and said, “Ok, I’ll help you, but you gotta work with me. C’mon babe.” Beca looked at Chloe reproachfully, but nodded her head, and on they went. Slowly.

 

When they passed the ripped in half guy and the flying jesters, Beca got even worse, while Chloe tried her best to pull her along. By the time they made their way out of the glow maze, Beca had been screaming so much, that her throat hurt and all she could do was whimper pathetically.

 

As Beca and Chloe neared the exit, Beca moved in front of Chloe once more and actually started to sprint to the end, totally ignoring everything in her surroundings and inadvertently leaving her girlfriend behind to fend for herself. Beca burst through the end of the haunted house and leaned against the guard rail, trying to catch her breath. She scolded herself for still not taking cardio seriously, even after all her warnings to do so. Beca went to turn to Chloe and complain, when she realized that Chloe was still in the haunted house.

 

“Oh shit!” Beca exclaimed, and started to walk back towards the exit. As she made her way back, she caught sight of her girlfriend, calmly exiting the building, looking around for Beca. When Chloe spotted her, her face lit up, and she began walking over to a certain frazzled looking DJ.

 

“Well, hello there!” Chloe said happily, giving Beca a hug. “I wondered if you made it out alive,” she teased.

 

“Yeah, I did. Sorry about ditching you, by the way,” Beca sheepishly added.

 

“Oh you’re fine. I actually liked getting to see everything,” Chloe grinned, “It was fun.”

 

“What? You hid your head in my shoulder for the first like, half of the house!” Beca said indignantly.

 

“I was trying not to laugh at your reaction,” Chloe replied, “You’re pretty cute when you’re trying to be brave.”

 

“Seriously?” Beca exclaimed. “You enjoyed this?”

 

“Yeah, my brother and I love this kind of stuff,” Chloe responded, laughing. “When we were younger I wanted to do everything with him. One year, when I was about 11 or 12, he and a few of his buddies were going to a haunted house and I wanted to go with him. He let me, only because he thought I would hate it and leave him alone. But I ended up loving it. He started letting me come with him every year after that.”

 

“Well I hated it and I’m never going again,” Beca retorted stubbornly.

 

“Yes you will,” Chloe said, “Because I go every year, and as long as we’re together, we’ll be going.”

 

“I’m breaking up with you right now then,” Beca muttered, although she wasn’t serious.

 

“You don’t mean that, and you know it. Besides, I’m sure you will want to do things that I’ll hate too.”

 

“That’s not a thing, Beale. You love everything.”

 

“Ok true, but still. If you really don’t like something, you need to tell me,” Chloe said softly. “You don’t always have to be the brave one. I know you don’t like admitting that stuff, but its me. I will love you regardless.”

 

“Ok,” Beca said, “I’ll work on it. BUT in my defense, I didn’t know I wouldn’t like it.”

 

“Fair point. Should we go do something you like now, to make up for it?” Chloe offered.

 

“I like pretty much everything I do with you. Except this. Obviously.”

 

“So, I guess we’re going to the coffee shop to listen to some people at open mic night?”

 

“You know me so well.”

 

Chloe gave Beca a smile and they turned to walk back to their car.

 


 

A few days later, Chloe got an email from Netherworld, with an access code to view photos from their night at the House of Horrors. As she clicked on the button, she began to smile. There on her screen was a picture focused on her tiny, badass girlfriend screaming her head off and looking like she was about to karate chop an animatronic alien. She looked closer and she saw herself, smiling and holding on to Beca’s shoulder. The next photo was of one where you could barely make out a second figure cowering behind Chloe. The only thing that alerted the viewer there was even another person, was the tightly clenched hand connected with Chloe's. As Chloe looked through the rest of the shots, she realized how lucky she was, to have scored a girlfriend as awesome as Beca. Beca hated the haunted house, but went through it, because Chloe wanted to. The last one was her favorite though. It was Beca glaring at an actor and flipping them off while Chloe was laughing and looking fondly at Beca.

 

Chloe saved the photos to her phone, and sent them to Beca as well. A few minutes later, Chloe's phone chimed with a response from Beca. Chloe was expecting something rude or snarky, about the photos, but what she read instead made her laugh. It simply said:

 

You’re lucky you’re that pretty.”

Chapter Text

The month of October had just ended, and Beca was ready for a break from both school and people in general. Chloe had gone all out during Halloweekend, dragging Beca to different parties on Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. Beca thought she’d be done after that, but Chloe had other ideas. As co-captain, Chloe had taken the liberty of signing the two of them up to perform some spooky Halloween themed tunes along with the rest of the Bellas at a family friendly event for kids and their parents on Sunday afternoon.

 

“Chloe, Sunday is the Lords day, and God is all about resting. We need to observe this holy day.” Beca had pleaded that Sunday morning, after waking up with her 3rd hangover. ‘Is it possible to get a hangover when you’re still kind of drunk from the night before?’ she thought to herself.

 

“Oh just get up Becs,” was the response, as Chloe pulled open the curtains and let the sun shine through the window. “You don’t even go to church, so you can’t use that as an excuse.”

 

Beca just rolled over and covered her head with a pillow. She was still trying to think of ways to get out of singing ‘Monster Mash’ and ‘Ghostbusters’ when the covers suddenly got yanked off and was forcefully pulled out of bed.

 

“You’ve got 1 hour. Use it wisely,” Chloe stated firmly. And that was the end of the discussion.


 

Thankfully, Beca got Monday off because Chloe had to go to a study group that evening, but it wasn’t really much of a reprieve, because it was still a Monday after all. By the time actual Halloween rolled around on Tuesday, Beca was definitely over the whole holiday. Chloe demanded that Beca help pass out candy to the trick-or-treaters, in yet another costume, and scolded her every time she caught Beca trying to sneak some candy. At least Beca was able to convince Chloe they didn’t need to be in a couple’s costume in order to dole out the sweets that she wasn’t allowed to consume.

 

Beca’s could tolerate costumes to an extent, but her least favorite thing about Halloween, was being scared all the time. Sure, she loved pulling pranks herself, but Beca wasn’t a fan of being pranked in return. Beca was not particular keen on never knowing when or where something would pop out at her, and felt like she was set on high alert for the entire month of October. It also probably didn’t help that Jesse had made her watch thriller movies at every chance he got.

 

The Bellas residence had been decked out in its usual skeletons, bats, fake cobwebs and black cats, like every year, but it was slowly getting taken down in pieces, making room for the more universal festive fall items that would soon be taking its place. There was still a witch hat on the coat tree, and a giant wooden candy corn hanging on the front door of the house, but for the most part they were moving on, just like the days of the year themselves.

 

To be honest, the whole ‘changing décor with the seasons’ routine was almost comforting to Beca, but if you asked her, she’d deny it. As much as she complained about the sometimes-tacky appearance of her home due to her roommates’ exuberance, it was kind of fun. The change of scenery helped Beca stay in the present while also giving her a bit of variety at the same time. Beca was a creature of habit, and would get so invested with various projects and lost in her own world, that she would sometimes lose touch with current events and keeping up with her friends and relationships. Beca’s scheduled routine wasn’t that difficult, but that didn’t mean she was okay with someone just coming through and changing things up or telling her what to do.

 

Bellas. School. Work at the station. Internship. Socialize as necessary. Eat. Sleep. Repeat.

 

Chloe, on the other hand, was the queen of unpredictability. Dating Chloe meant that every day was a different wild adventure, but somehow Beca was okay with that. Chloe was the one exception to almost all her rules. Even before they started dating, Chloe was very persistent and determined to get to know the brunette. Once the walls came down, Chloe began working on helping Beca experience things that normal contributing members of society had been doing their whole lives. That being said, Beca never knew what kind of spontaneity to expect, especially around the holidays.

 

There were exactly 39 days between Thanksgiving 2017 and January 1st, but Beca knew better than to only anticipate one month of madness. Chloe bounced from each holiday to the next with the energy of a 5-year-old hopped up on candy, but without the inevitable sugar crash. The second they shut the door and turned off their porch light, having run out of the mountain of candy Chloe bought, the redhead’s infamous Christmas music playlist was blaring around the living room. Beca almost wished they had gotten a few more kids to postpone the cheery tunes.

 

Needless to say, Beca was exhausted, and wanted nothing more than a short period to recover before Chloe went into mega holiday mode for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. Alas, there was no time to unwind at all. As soon as Beca walked in to the house after her Wednesday classes, she almost wanted to turn around and walk right back out. The Bellas house looked like it had transformed into an autumn wonderland. There were gold leaves and fake pumpkins scattered all over on the floor. There was even a small stuffed scarecrow and fake food in a cornucopia by the corner of the living room. If Beca was being completely honest, she would describe it as ‘HGTV on steroids’ meets ‘Pinterest come to life’.

 

Rolling her eyes, Beca moved a banner that said, ‘Happy Fall Y’All!’ so that she could plop down on the couch without squishing it, while giving a small sigh of annoyance at the sight of all the glitter left behind.

 

“Come help me decorate!” came Chloe's bubbly voice from somewhere in the storage closet. “I’ve got some fun new things for us to put up this year!”

 

“Hard pass,” came Beca’s response from the sparkly couch where she was currently laying upside down. “You’ll just re-do everything I do anyway.”

 

It was fairly difficult to motivate Beca to accomplish anything, especially if she didn’t want to do it in the first place. Making her start a project was like pulling teeth, but getting her to finish it was even harder. Most of the time she half-assed it anyway, knowing that if she did a bad enough job, eventually people would just stop asking for her assistance to do things. Beca was a procrastinator through and through, but she was also just plain lazy, and those two things combined were not the most helpful qualities in the world.


Because Beca had been so preoccupied with all the Halloween chaos, November rolled around much faster than she had anticipated. The leaves were changing colors and some of them were even beginning to fall off the trees. The crisp fall air was a welcome change from the sweltering heat earlier on in the school year, and Beca appreciated not sweating her ass off all the time. She had totally forgotten that it was a new month until she wrote the date at the top of her paper, and had to try to change the number 10 into an 11.

 

It was a few days after all the madness, and things were finally starting to settle down and get back to normal, for which Beca couldn’t be more grateful. Beca had woken up early, with some inspiration for a song, and after she laid down a preliminary track, she went outside to enjoy her coffee. She was currently relaxing in one of the hammocks that the girls had strung in the back yard of the house, taking advantage of the peaceful morning. Beca’s eyes were closed, and the 2017 Grammy nominees’ album played softly through her trusty headphones. She had been listening to it a lot recently, hoping to get even more ideas for future tunes and maybe even being on the album in the future. Beca was totally relaxed when suddenly, her hammock went swinging. Beca’s eyes flew open and she yelped as she tried with all her might to not tip out. As she recovered, less gracefully than she had hoped, she caught sight of a giggling Chloe.

 

“BECA!” Chloe squealed. “LET’S GO TO NATIONAL PUMPKIN DESTRUCTION DAY!”

 

“Um. Come again?” Beca said, pulling off her headphones, and staring at her girlfriend.

 

“National. Pumpkin. Destruction. Day.” Chloe repeated, annunciating each syllable slowly, as if Beca were stupid. “It’s today only, and we should go!”

 

“What the hell is that?” Beca asked, very confused, and incredibly displeased at being interrupted from her almost-nap. “That sounds so stupid.”

 

“But it’s not, Becs. You’d probably really like it. It’s a whole day where you get to destroy pumpkins left over from Halloween or whatever. Here, just look. If you don’t think it sounds fun, we don’t have to go, but I think you will,” Chloe explained, handing her phone to Beca.

 

“Bash it, smash it, chunk it, drop it off a 40 foot lift…” Beca recited, interest peaking the more she read. “This actually sounds fun. Way better than the haunted house you made us go to the other week,” Beca admitted.

 

The website she was reading from listed a bunch of ways to obliterate left over pumpkins. They had pumpkin-bombing airplanes, archery, pumpkin cannons, pumpkin bowling, hammers to smash them with and even monster truck demolition. By the time Beca got to the list of other attractions the ranch offered, she had made up her mind.

 

“Dude, Chlo, you can basically annihilate them any way you want. And they have a bunch of other stuff too. Let’s do it.”

 

Chloe looked quite pleased with herself, and she literally bounced back into the Bellas house, leaving an amused Beca behind her, trying to decide whether she should get out of the hammock and follow her girlfriend, or to lay back down and gather up enough energy to go be around people yet again.

 

“Babe, if you don’t get your cute ass in the house right now, I’m going to destroy the Batman pumpkin you carved before we even get to the pumpkin patch,” Chloe hollered from the house.

 

Well, that settles that debate,’ Beca thought, as she hauled herself out of the hammock to save her pumpkin. “Don’t you dare touch Bruce,” she threatened, “I’m coming.”


A few hours later, Beca found herself surrounded by tiny humans running around, all wanting to destruct literally thousands of gourds at the Rock Ranch. She kind of wanted to smack the 2 children who just knocked into her, but she resisted the urge when she looked over at Chloe who was beaming, the soft Georgia sun hitting her just right. Beca subtly pulled out her phone and snapped a photo of Chloe, as she looked off into the distance. When Beca checked the result, she was quite pleased. It was a lovely candid shot Chloe who was surveying the whole ranch, with a lens flare halo around her. Beca quickly made it her new home screen, already knowing that she would be taking her phone out multiple times a day to stare at the picture. As she put her phone away, Chloe turned towards Beca, having decided where they should go first.

 

“Okay,” Chloe began, “I see the destruction zone, but I also a bunch of other activities and a bandshell.” I think we should go to the destruction zone first, so they don’t run out of pumpkins and then we can go listen to music while we get a snack and then decide if we want to do anything else…” Chloe had apparently picked up on some of her strategic planning tactics from Aubrey.

 

“Whatever you want Chlo,” Beca said, slightly overwhelmed by all the activity around her.

 

“YAY! Let’s go to the Aerial Bomb show first. Then we can just make our way around the demo zone. I really want to go to the bowling and darts area too. It looks like fun!” Chloe cheered. “Is there anywhere specifically that you want to go to?”

 

“All I really want to see is the Crusher and the Blaster,” Beca admitted. “But the Drop of Doom also sounds fun,” she said, referring to the monster truck demo, the cannon and dropping pumpkins off of a 40 foot high boom lift.

 

“Sounds good. Let’s go!” she said, heading off towards the airplanes, with Beca scurrying after her.

 

 

After a long morning of destroying pumpkins, followed by a brief pumpkin gut throwing fight, the two girls sat at a picnic table, eating a late lunch and deciding if they wanted to do anything else or just go home.

 

“How about we just walk around and see if something catches our eye. If not, we can leave,” Beca suggested, silently hoping nothing else caught Chloe's eye. She was tired and wanted to leave, but wasn’t about to make her girlfriend leave just because she didn’t want to be there anymore.

 

“I like that idea. Let’s do it,” Chloe replied, standing up and gathering their trash to throw away.

 

They had almost made it back to their car, when Beca was quite forcefully jerked back. “Beca,” Chloe breathed. “Look.” She pointed over to the right, and Beca grumbled internally. It was a petting zoo, and Chloe NEVER passes up an opportunity to see animals. Especially if they were baby animals. Beca felt incredibly awkward seeing as the small petting zoo was probably designed for people more than half her age, but Chloe seemed to be having the time of her life. An extra 45 minutes and about 100 photos later, they were finally in the car and headed back home. 


 

When they arrived at the house, both girls took a shower to get all the pumpkin guts off of them, and were relaxing on the couch looking through the photos from the day’s activities. They had just reached the end of the photos taken that day, and were both laughing at a photo of Beca. The brunette was making a very disgruntled face at a goat chewing the laces of her favorite black Converse shoes. The next photo they flipped to was of Chloe with a baby cow, smiling at the camera as she was getting her face licked. The very last photo was a selfie of the two of them, grinning brightly at the camera, as they sat on top of a hay bale near the exit of the ranch. All in all, it had been a pretty good day for both of them.

 

“Thanks for coming with me to the ranch,” Chloe said, “And thanks for tolerating the petting zoo. I know it wasn’t your favorite.”

 

Beca just grinned and said, “Yeah, I actually had a lot of fun, and I really liked destroying things. Like, the petting zoo wasn’t my favorite thing there, but it was cute watching you with all the baby animals.” Chloe kissed the side of Beca’s head as Beca continued, “Your ability to love at least something about everyone and everything, no matter how big or small, is one the main things that made me attracted me to you.”

 

“Aww. Babe,” Chloe cooed, as Beca blushed, wanting to take back her confession. “You had a crush on me? That’s embarrassing.”

 

“Well, obviously,” Beca said with a slight smirk. “We’re dating, aren’t we?”

 

“Still…” Chloe said, with a smirk of her own. “But, for the record, I kinda, maybe have a teeny tiny crush on you too. I had to fight off both the boys and the girls to get you,” she joked, miming some defensive karate looking moves.

 

“I can’t help it that I’m popular,” Beca sarcastically with a hair flip, quoting one of Chloe's favorite movies.

 

“Well, Miss. Popular, you’re all mine, and you better not forget it,” Chloe stated possessively.

 

“And if I do?” Beca countered.

 

“You know I would never let you,” Chloe shot back.

 

“Yeah, no I get it. If we broke up, you would probably be about as ‘crushed’ as the pumpkins we destroyed today!” Beca teased.

 

Chloe groaned. “Why am I dating you again?”

Chapter Text

‘Thud.’ Beca’s head connected with the oak table she was currently sitting at, headphones knocked askew, and papers now slightly crinkled from where she smushed her face onto the surface. She let out a groan and looked at her watch. The lime green LED display flashed the time brightly back at her. She blinked a few times to clear her vision, as she blearily tried to make out the numbers on the face of her watch. 9:45pm. The coffee shop she was currently at would be closing in 15 minutes. She took a quick scan around at her surroundings and stretched, yawning loudly. Random bones cracked and popped from being hunched over a laptop for so long, but it felt so good to Beca. When she removed her noise cancelling headphones, it seemed as if the quiet place was suddenly as loud as a freight train. Beca’s ears were slightly flattened from having it on so long, and her head was hurting from where they had been pressing her ear monstrosities against her skull.

 

Scattered amongst Beca’s booth next to a large coffee cup with music notes on it, were hastily scribbled in composition notebooks and a few jump drives with some demos on it that she was supposed to go through. Working as an executive producer for Universal Music Group had its perks for sure, but it also meant a lot of late nights alone in front of a laptop, be it in the studio or somewhere else. However, to Beca, it was worth it, because she got to do what she loved. She was good at her job, and people were finally starting to see that. Beca chose this particular coffee shop for a few reasons, with the most logical reason being the location. It was only a few minutes away from her house, and it was never too crowded. The convenience combined with the fact that she only had to have minimal interactions with other people made it very appealing.

 

Other things working in the small shop’s favor was the coffee itself, and the staff.  She wasn’t really a fan of chain stores, and she definitely wasn’t a fan of overly chatty employees. There was just something calming about the local business that put Beca at ease. The quality of the coffee wasn’t the world’s greatest, but she didn’t have a complicated order, and it was still far superior to anything Starbucks offered. However, it was the staff at The Magic Bean that really tipped the scale in the shops favor. Aside from one of the girls hitting on her the first time she set foot into the building, they mostly left her alone while still making sure she was taken care of properly. Beca had even become friends with the girl who had tried to proposition her, as well as with the rest of the staff.

 

At first, Aubrey, the manager, thought that Beca was about to smack the tall, long legged girl. Instead, Beca just snorted at Stacie’s terrible pick-up lines and gestured to herself replying, “You wouldn’t be able to handle all of this.” Ever since that fateful first day, that Beca had stumbled across the shop almost 2 years ago, she had become a regular.

 

Beca wasn’t the most social person on the planet, but she at least knew everyone who worked there, and they knew who she was too. One time, last winter, Beca had gotten sick and didn’t come in for 4 days in a row. Aubrey actually called Beca’s work to make sure everything was okay. At first, Beca thought it was weird, but when Jesse explained that they were just concerned about her wellbeing, she was truly kind of touched. Nobody had really cared about her or how she was doing in a very long time, and she had almost forgotten what it felt like. Everyone at The Magic Bean loved Beca, and Beca had grown to love them as well. They were like a little family, and looked out for each other. They were there in the bad times, and always celebrated each other’s successes too.

 

When Benji got a slot at the local theater to do his magic tricks, they all went to see him perform. When Aubrey’s boyfriend broke up with her, they burned all of his things and then went out for drinks. When Fat Amy returned home from an extended trip to Australia, they had a welcome back party that lasted almost a week. And, when Beca was nominated for (and won) 2 Grammy’s the same winter that she had been sick, they even had a watch party.


Beca frequented The Magic Bean almost every day of the week, and would sometimes swing by multiple times in a single day if she really needed it or was just bored. Since she was always there, Beca had a usual spot in the coffee shop, and she always ordered the same thing. Black dark roast coffee. No cream. No sugar. Extra strong in the morning, decaf if it was after about 1pm. As much as Beca needed her caffeine to function, she also needed sleep, and if she drank too much caffeine, she would be up until 4am, totally wired and unable to sleep.

 

If it was in the summer, it changed from hot coffee to an iced cold brew drip coffee, but that was the only difference. The staff knew to always have a carafe set aside specifically for Beca if she wanted it, but not to bother her or try and engage in conversations with her when she got up for refills if she looked especially like she was in the zone. Sometimes the staff would even put the container directly on Beca’s table so she didn’t have to get up at all. For those reasons, a very grateful Beca left a hefty tip every time.

 

On this particular Monday, Beca had been there over 8 hours. She had already consumed multiple cups of coffee, but was still powering on through. Her shift at the recording studio had ended at noon, and she had arrived right after she had a quick lunch with Jesse, who worked in the same studio as she did, but as a film scorer. Her stomach growled as she realized just how hungry she was. Beca loved food, and right now her belly was very displeased. Beca was so engrossed in her work that she had forgotten to eat dinner. Beca wasn’t sure which was more shocking to her; the fact that she was working so hard that she forgot to eat, or that she had worked that hard in the first place.

 

            As Beca finished stretching and looked around the mostly deserted coffee shop, she made eye contact with Benji, who worked the night shift. He smiled gently at her, and went on to do some pre-close cleaning around the coffee since the building was pretty much empty. Having decided that she had worked enough for the night, Beca moved to pack up her things and go home, vowing to stop at Taco Bell on the way home so she wouldn’t starve to death.

 

            “Have a good night!” Benji said, as he swept up, giving Beca a wave as she headed towards the door. Beca tiredly gave another slight tilt of her head in acknowledgement, and disappeared into the darkness.


          The first time that Beca noticed something was different was 2 weeks later. Instead of Stacie greeting her as she walked in that afternoon, there was a new employee standing behind the counter. She had striking blue eyes and flaming red hair. Beca was instantly mesmerized by the woman who was saying something she was apparently supposed to be listening to.

 

            “I’m sorry, what now?” Beca said, still frozen in the doorway to the shop.

 

            “I said, welcome to The Magic Bean, what can I get you today?” the ginger repeated, smiling happily.

 

            “Oh, um. Just my usual, and keep it coming,” Beca replied, handing her a $10 bill and heading over to her spot. As she placed her things down on the table, she glanced towards the back counter where her coffee was usually kept at, expecting to see it coming. What she saw instead puzzled her. The woman had made absolutely no attempt to move, and was staring at Beca very intently.

 

            “What?” Beca asked, feeling annoyed. “Did it not get made today? Because if it didn’t I swear to god I’m going to kill Stacie. It’s not that hard…”

 

            “I, um. I’m sorry,” the girl began apologetically as her face fell a bit. “Stacie isn’t here yet, but she’ll be here later. It’s my first day, so I don’t know if it got made today or not.” Beca just continued to stare, wishing that she could just have her coffee already, and silently scolding herself for forgetting that Stacie told her she had changed shifts. The tall girl had mentioned that there would be a different staffing rotation, but Beca apparently didn’t realize that it could possibly include new people.

 

“I don’t know what your usual is,” she said sheepishly. “But if you tell me what you like, I can make it for you.”

 

            Beca mentally face-palmed, and could feel her cheeks flush in embarrassment. Of course she didn’t know what Beca’s usual order was. Since Beca had never seen the poor woman before in her life, it was a pretty safe bet to assume that the barista had probably never seen Beca either. How could she be expected to know a total strangers’ coffee order?

 

“Oh right. Sorry. You probably don’t know,” Beca said. “Just give me an Arabica dark roast coffee. Extra strong, but you’ll probably need to start a decaf pot too. I have a feeling I’ll be here a while.

 

            “Any cream or sugar?”

 

            “Neither.”

 

The girl regarded Beca for a moment, and then her face broke out into a huge grin of recognition. “You must be Beca!”

 

“Yes…” Beca replied slowly. “And you are…?”

 

“I’m Chloe! Stacie said you’d probably be coming by.”

 

“Did she now?” Beca said, curiously. “And what did she say about me?”

 

“She said that a tiny antisocial brunette with ear spikes would be here in the afternoon and to have an entire pot set aside just for you or you’d walk right back out and leave a bad Yelp review.”

 

Beca sniggered at her friend’s antics, and said, “Yeah, that sounds about right.”

 

“I kinda wondered why there was a carafe with a skull and crossbones sign on it on the back counter. It said, ‘Touch it and Die’ on it, so I definitely didn’t touch it,” Chloe reassured her, seeing the expression on Beca’s face.

 

“Well, I appreciate that,” Beca said awkwardly, trying her hardest to act like a normal person. “I didn’t know that was a thing… I’m sorry. Stacie is such a weirdo,” she added apologetically. Beca didn’t particularly want to have the reputation of being such a high-maintenance asshole that it would warrant the skull and crossbones sign with a warning of imminent death on her coffee pot. Especially since it was her first impression in front of this girl.

 

Chloe, to her credit, didn’t say anything and just kept smiling at her. “One cup of coffee coming right up,” she chirped joyfully and turned to grab the pitcher to pour some for Beca.

 

“I’ll be at my usual table,” Beca said, gesturing towards the aforementioned location. “It’s the blue and white booth in the back corner.” Beca’s booth always seemed to remain reserved, whether she was there or not.

 

Beca had just set out her laptop and was writing in her notebook when she caught sight of a spark of red in the corner of her eye. Chloe had brought Beca’s coffee by, and quietly placed it on the corner of the table.

 

            “Thanks,” Beca muttered, grabbing the mug but not looking up.

 

             “No problem Becs. Holler if you need anything!” Chloe said.

 

Becs?’ Beca wondered, as she stared bewildered after the girl who had just left. ‘She has a nickname for me already?”

 

            Shaking her head to clear her mind and focus herself, she settled in for a long afternoon of mixing.


 

In no time at all, Chloe seamlessly became part of the staff, and fit in perfectly with the routine they had sort of fell into. Aubrey opened the coffee shop and worked from 6am to 2pm. Chloe came in at 10am and stayed until 4pm. Stacie’s shift began when Aubrey left at 2pm, and she stayed until 8. Benji would come in to take over at 4 when Chloe left and closed up shop at 10pm. Jessica, Ashley, Fat Amy and Cynthia Rose worked the same shifts, but on the weekends. In fact, Beca had almost forgotten that Kori had even worked there before Chloe had replaced her.

 

It was around 4:00pm in afternoon on a Saturday 2 months later, and for once Beca didn’t have any work that needed to be completed. Even though she had no reason to go there, and could just have easily made something at home for free, she decided to go and grab a quick snack at The Magic Bean before meeting up with Stacie that evening. Beca found herself going to The Magic Bean almost every day of the week anyway, so why not?

 

When she walked in, a bubbly voice greeted her said “Hi Becs!”

 

            Not expecting to see Chloe working on a Saturday, Beca smiled and waved.

 

“Hey Chloe. I wasn’t expecting to see you here today.”

 

“CR is sick, so I picked up her shift,” Chloe explained. “It should be a pretty easy night though. Not many people come in to a coffee shop on a Saturday night. They’re usually doing something a bit more fun.”

 

“I come in on Saturday nights sometimes,” Beca said.

 

“You’re different. You’re such a workaholic, you even fall asleep here sometimes. Plus, you come in so often you practically live here,” Chloe teased.

 

“I do not. I do other things too,” replied Beca.

 

“Like what, Miss “I Hate People”? Chloe shot back.

 

“I go out… sometimes. Like, not very often, but I do!” Beca said defensively.

 

“Well, you don’t have your work stuff with you tonight so I guess it’s possible. I like that outfit, by the way,” Chloe added. “You look great.”

 

Beca looked down at what she was wearing. It was slightly nicer than usual, but still something she would normally wear. She didn’t really see the big deal about this particular choice in clothing, but for some unexplained reason she was incredibly happy Chloe approved of it.

 

“Thanks. I dressed myself today,” Beca said, trying to play it cool.

 

“I’m assuming you want the usual?”

 

“When don’t I?” Beca said sarcastically. “But yeah, my usual would be great, thanks,” Beca said smiling at her friend. “Make it a decaf please, though. Oh, and gimme one of those cheese danishes. I want a snack before dinner.”

 

Laughing at Beca’s comment, Chloe went to grab Beca’s usual mug, but before she could pour any coffee in it, Beca stopped her.

 

“Actually, can I have it in a to-go cup, please? I’m getting together with someone in a bit.”

 

 “Oooh. You look fancy and you want a to-go cup. Got a hot date tonight or something?” Chloe joked.

 

“Something like that,” Beca said, thinking of how unattractive her night with Stacie would be, but not really realizing the way it could be interpreted.

 

“Oh really?”

 

“Yeah, you could say so,” Beca answered vaguely, while looking at the rest of the items in the pastry case with interest.

 

“Hmm,” Chloe said, turning quickly so Beca couldn’t see the look of disappointment on her face. Chloe didn’t know why she was feeling like that. For some reason, she didn’t like the idea of Beca going on a date. Chloe didn’t own Beca, and the girl could pursue a relationship whomever she wanted. She just wished she was the one dating Beca. Quite early on into their friendship, Chloe had decided she was going to become best friends with the secretly soft girl, but somewhere within the last month or so, she had begun to develop deeper feelings. She hadn’t said anything yet, still trying to get a feel of possible returned feelings, but with Beca’s comments, her hopes had just been slightly dashed.

 

“Here you go,” Chloe said smiling, handing Beca a to-go cup of coffee and her cheese danish in a bag with slightly less enthusiasm than before.

 

Beca didn’t notice the subtle change, but accepted the coffee and handed Chloe a $20 bill. “Keep the change.”

 

“Thanks!” the redhead replied, as she put the cash in the tip jar.

 

Beca nodded, and headed out the door, while Chloe wistfully watched her go.


Beep beep.’ Beca looked up from her phone.

 

“Hey hot stuff,” came a flirty voice from inside a convertible. Beca hauled herself up off the steps of her house that she was sitting on, and smiled. After she had gotten her snack and coffee, she had gone home and did some light cleaning because she knew she wouldn’t be getting around to it for the rest of the weekend.

 

“Hey Conrad.”

 

“Ready for ‘dinner and dish night’?” the girl asked. “I’ve got a lot of gossip to catch you up on.”

 

“Sounds good. I’m starving,” Beca replied. “Let’s go.”

 

 ‘Dinner and dish night’ was when Beca and Stacie would get together and catch up with each other’s lives while eating like pigs and getting drunk. They got to complain and confess things, and nothing was off limits or judged. Stacie wanted to call it ‘girls night’ because fundamentally, that was what it was, but Beca had put her foot down on that.

 

Stace, you know I don’t do girly shit like ‘girls night ’or whatever,” when Stacie had originally approached her with the idea. After they compromised, and re-named it to Beca’s liking, she reluctantly agreed. “Okay fine. We can hang out. But absolutely no sleepovers. Even if I happen to fall asleep, it does NOT count as a sleepover. We’re not 12.” Beca had said firmly, sticking out her tongue as any mature adult would. “Thus, ‘Dinner and Dish night’ was born.


On this particular ‘Dish’ night, they went to a nice Italian restaurant for dinner, because Beca had been craving pasta all week. Stacie informed Beca of all the new celebrity news she had missed as well as her personal sexual conquests. In return, Beca bitched to Stacie about her dad, and talked about what she was working on with some of the clients she had at the studio. They got some weird looks, especially when Stacie would loudly exclaim “Oh my God, no way?” every time Beca mentioned an artist she liked.

 

 Then they went back to Stacie’s place, and ate junk food, got drunk, and binge-watched season 2 of Stranger Things on Netflix until they passed out. They would take turns picking the restaurant and what to watch and who’s place to have it at. It was something that they had been regularly doing almost every month and they both looked forward to the event.

 

It was cathartic to Beca to have people like Stacie in her life, that she could go to if she needed. She didn’t realize how much she appreciated her friends, until Jesse pointed it out to her one day. Beca didn’t do feelings, but made a mental note to try and verbalize (or at least show some other way) how much she valued them, regardless of how painful it may be to do so. Beca had gone from the ‘loner alt-girl’ in high school, to a successful music producer with a small, but solid group of friends. Beca had even added Chloe into that circle, even though she had only known the girl for a very short amount of time. The second day of knowing Beca, Chloe had announced to the whole coffee shop that they would be best friends from then on, and as skeptical as Beca was initially at that fact, it was turning out to be true. 

 

 

Over the last few months, Chloe and Beca had become closer, far more quickly than any other person Beca had ever met. Beca and Stacie weren’t even really friends for a good 6 months or so after meeting. That was mostly Beca’s doing though, seeing as she didn’t really converse with people when she was working on producing her music tracks or coming up with ideas for new songs. Stacie and Beca would catch up and talk occasionally when she came in to the shop, but they would mostly only had standing plans to hang out during Dinner and Dish night. Until Beca met the one and only Chloe Beale, socializing with people was something she had only really ever done with Stacie and Jesse. When Beca hung out with either Stacie or Jesse, it was mostly because they decided she had been antisocial enough and asked her to go do something with them. Jesse and Stacie understood her need for space, and for the most part, they respected it. Chloe however, did not seem to understand the concept of space. And because of that, had wormed her way into Beca’s life so quickly that Beca didn’t even realize it. Beca had never allowed Jesse and Stacie in quite as far as the redhead so quickly. Stacie knew quite a lot, but that took almost a whole year of friendship and many drinks. Jesse knew what he needed to know, but Beca was working on opening up more with him too. In fact, if anything important happened to Beca while she was at work, Jesse was often the first to know, since he worked in the same building as her. And sure, she was friendly with the rest of the staff at The Magic Bean, but when they hung out, it was usually as a group.

 

Chloe on the other hand, was a totally different story. She was not about to let Beca slide with the whole ‘antisocial and broody’ act. See, Chloe had a unique tactic when it came to approaching a friendship. When Chloe brought Beca a fresh cup of coffee the second day of working at The Magic Bean, instead of just placing it on the table and leaving, she pushed some of Beca’s materials aside, and plopped herself down in the booth next to her, demanding to know what the tiny musician was occupied with. The next day, Chloe brought over a bear claw for the workaholic and told Beca that she wouldn’t get to eat it unless she let her listen to the song she was working on. Every hour or so, Chloe would even look over to Beca in her booth, and check for the tell-tale signal that Beca’s mug was empty. If Beca didn’t have a container of coffee to refill her cup with on her own, she would subconsciously push her mug towards the edge of the booth, and Chloe took that as a cue to come fill it up again.

 

Whenever the coffee shop wasn’t busy, Chloe would physically go check on her favorite customer. She’d sit in the booth and chat with Beca about random things and only ever got up if someone came in or needed something. Chloe was slightly distracting to the music producer, and Beca was nowhere near as productive as she used to be before Chloe started working at the coffee shop, but she never really minded or told Chloe to leave.

 

And that’s how it began. Chloe knew more about Beca and her life in a week, than Stacie and Jesse did in months. While Beca, Jesse and Stacie did spend time together, it was nowhere near as often as Beca hung out Chloe. Chloe would frequently ask the music producer to hang out outside of the coffee shop, and after realizing she wasn’t going to stop bugging her, Beca relented. They were constantly going to movies and out to eat and to various other social activities the redhead dragged her to. Chloe also texted Beca multiple times a day, even while she was standing 10 feet away from where Beca was working.

 

Beca told Chloe what she was doing in the studio and let her listen to some of her latest mixes and ideas. Chloe gave Beca some valued insight, and loved telling her funny things that happened at the coffee shop as well. The Magic Bean attracted many different types of people, and both Beca and Chloe loved watching all the customers that came through. On the days Beca had off, or when she didn’t have anything she had to work on and Chloe wasn’t needed, they were busy observing all the patrons.  First dates were especially fun to creep on. Their favorite thing to do though, was to make up background stories about the customers that came through.

 

‘I bet that guy is going to get written up at work for being late,’ Beca, the pessimist said one morning, as she watched a frazzled business man running out the door after quickly grabbing his coffee.

 

‘I bet that girl is going to cure cancer someday,’ Chloe, the optimist, replied one afternoon, pointing towards a college-aged looking girl who was furiously working away in the corner, surrounded by science textbooks and a well-worn looking laptop.

 

‘I bet that a certain ginger won’t have a job if she doesn’t get back to work…’ said Aubrey, as she walked past the two, over hearing their conversation.


When Beca walked in that following Monday, Chloe was behind the counter, cleaning the espresso machine. When Beca approached the front, Chloe wordlessly handed her a mug of coffee and resumed her cleaning. Slightly bewildered, Beca retreated to her normal booth and began working. When Chloe didn’t come sit with Beca on her break or bring her a fresh cup of coffee when she ran out, she started to get worried.

 

Beca waited until there were only a few customers in the shop and then slowly approached the counter. Beca hated confrontation, and wanted as small of an audience as possible in case something went wrong. Chloe was obviously ignoring her, and as far as Beca knew, she hadn’t done anything to warrant the unusual cold shoulder. She wasn’t as well versed about friends as most, but Beca knew enough to know that was not normal behavior.

 

“Hey Chloe, umm…” Beca began hesitantly. “Can I get a refill please?”

 

“You know where the pot is,” came the reply.

 

At this point, after 2 years of frequenting the shop Beca was pretty much considered an honorary employee. Beca even knew how to make some of the simpler drinks. She could go behind the counter and get her coffee and whatever she wanted to eat whenever she wanted, so long as she didn’t make a mess or get in the way of whoever was working.

 

Still perplexed, Beca moved to go behind the counter to get it, but before she could get all the way there, the pot appeared in front of her, and the swinging door remained shut. At that point, Beca had had enough. Looking around to make sure the coffee shop was still relatively empty, she drew in a deep breath and mentally prepared herself to address the girl. She had never been upset with Chloe before, and didn’t know how to be mad at her without feeling like she kicked a puppy.

 

“Okay. What is your problem Chloe? Are you okay? You’ve been acting weird all day, and I don’t like it,” Beca said looking as confused as she felt. “Did I do something to upset you?”

 

            “Mmmm? Oh no, I’m fine. You’re fine. Everything is fine. I’m sorry,” Chloe affirmed evasively. “It’s just been one of those days. Super busy and whatnot. You understand.”

 

            The place was not busy at all. There were 4 other people in the shop, and there hadn’t been a new customer that came in for over 20 minutes.

 

Beca chose not to point out that fact, and instead asked, “How was your weekend?”

 

“It was good. How was your date?” Chloe looked interested, but this time, Beca could see something else in between the lines. It looked an awful lot like jealousy, and Beca thought it was funny. The green monster was making an appearance, and Beca was not having it all, so she decided to mess Chloe a bit, to pay her back for the way she had been treating Beca the whole afternoon.

 

“It was great. We talked and ate some awesome food at this really nice Italian place. And afterwards, I went back to their place, had some booze and ‘Netflix and chilled’ if you know what I mean,” She teased, with a wink.

 

“How nice,” Chloe stated, in a tone that implied it was not nice at all.

 

“I had such a good time, I even spent the night.”

 

Chloe looked a bit upset, but tried to save it by saying, “Good for you. You never mentioned being involved with anyone, but I’d love to meet this boyfriend of yours sometime. Make sure he’s good enough for you and all.”

 

“I’m not involved with anyone. And since I don’t have a boyfriend you can’t meet him.”

 

Chloe, obviously thinking Beca just had a one-night stand, looked kind of miserable at this point, so Beca decided to give her a break.

 

“Oh, lighten up Red,” Beca said, “It was nothing. Why do you look so upset?”

 

Chloe didn’t look convinced. “I’m not…”

 

Scoffing, Beca said, “Yeah, okay. Whatever you say.”

 

“I’m really not upset, Beca. I’m glad you had a good time on your date,” Chloe said, lying through her teeth.

 

Finally, having decided she had messed with Chloe enough, Beca decided to take pity on her. “It wasn’t a date. And it wasn’t even with a boy.”

 

Chloe stared at Beca. Now it was her turn to be confused. “I don’t… What are you saying?”

 

“It was essentially girls night with Stacie. We do it about once a month. We drink and watch Netflix til we pass out and then spend all of Sunday recovering from our hangovers,” Beca explained, smirking at Chloe's reaction to this bit of information. Chloe blushed even more seeing Beca’s face. Beca, already knowing the answer, decided to get one last rise out of the girl.

 

“Why did you care so much Beale? Were you… Jealous?” Beca taunted.

 

“What? No. I—“ Chloe began.

 

“Yes, she was,” came Aubrey’s voice from the back room. “I had to hear about it all weekend.”

 

Chloe blushed even more, and sheepishly looked at Beca. “Okay… Maybe just a little bit.”

 

“Why?” Beca asked.

 

“Because Beca,” Chloe said, slightly exasperatedly. “I didn’t like the idea of you on a date.”

 

“Oh.” It was Beca’s turn to blush. With Chloe's new admission of feelings, Beca began to become acutely aware of her own possibly reciprocated ones. She had just written it off as Chloe being Chloe, but now she was starting to get that it was NOT normal for people who are ‘just friends’ to have the types of feelings about each other that Beca had for Chloe. Not to mention all of the physical contact that happened between the two girls. Chloe gave Beca hugs and kisses on a daily basis, sometimes more if she was feeling particularly affectionate and Beca had just learned to anticipate it. In fact, she kind of missed them, if she hadn’t been hugged in a while.

 

Beca definitely didn’t allow Stacie or Jesse hug or kiss her. Or at least willingly. Stacie always enjoyed suffocating Beca with her boobs, but usually only hugged her to mess with her or if the situation was serious enough to warrant one. One time, Jesse pretended to try and kiss her to see how she would react, and he ended up with a broken nose. Beca was not used to emotions like this, and suddenly, everything began to hit her full force. Beca started to feel very awkward and couldn’t stand to be at the counter any longer.

 

“Um. I’m just… gonna go back to my booth,” Beca said, quickly spinning on her heels, forgetting her mug in the process.

 

A few minutes later, Chloe came up to Beca’s booth, holding 2 mugs. One was Beca’s usual mug, and one was Chloe's.

 

Beca looked up, to see a bashful looking Chloe standing by her booth.

 

“Mind if I sit?”

 

“It’s never stopped you before,” Beca said with a smile, moving some of her things over to make room for Chloe.

 

 “True,” Chloe said, as she sat down. “So, you do girls night with Stacie?”

 

“It’s not called girls night,” Beca insisted. “But basically yes.”

 

“Whatever helps you sleep at night,” Chloe replied smirking, taking a sip of her latte.

 

“I don’t know how you can drink that shit,” Beca said, referring to Chloe's sweet latte.

 

“I like lattes,” was the answer.

 

“Well, I like you a latte,” Beca blurted suddenly, hand flying over her mouth as she processed what she had just said.

 

Chloe, just laughed and replied, “I like you a latte too. Wanna go on a date with me?”

 

“Sure.”

 

“Maybe we can have our own kind of ‘girls night’,” Chloe said suggestively.

 

“I’d like that,” replied Beca with a grin.

Chapter Text

“Beca come on!” Chloe shouted as she bounced an 18 month old Brittany on her hip. “We’re going to be late.”

 

“I’m hurrying. Anna is ready, and I’m almost done too,” came the reply from somewhere upstairs.

 

Beca was in the master bedroom putting on the last bit of her makeup, and glancing in the mirror at her oldest daughter bouncing up and down on the bed. “Anna, why don’t you go downstairs and go to your Mama and Bitty? You can show them your pretty hair.”

 

“Kay,” Anna replied, as she did a less than graceful dismount, and ran out of the room.

 

When Beca finished up and descended the stairs, she caught sight of her 3 favorite people in the world; her wife and 2 children.

 

Chloe was standing by the door in a dark royal blue dress with a white cardigan over top. She was holding Brittany, and Anna was standing impatiently by her side. Both Brittany and Anna were in matching outfits, wearing a black dress with a white bow and sash covered in sparkles. Beca rounded out the whole thing, with her deep purple blouse and black dress pants.

 

“Are you ready to go to Aubrey’s?” Chloe asked, upon the arrival of Beca in the entryway. Jesse and Aubrey were hosting Thanksgiving this year, a fact that Beca was immensely thankful for.

 

The Mitchell’s, the Swanson’s and the Applebaum’s all lived in LA, and would regularly get together, but it was only about once a year when the whole group could meet up. Because this year, the girls were unable to take their yearly trip to Barden, everyone was going to LA for the holidays. Everyone being all the original Bellas, plus their significant others and children.

 

The usual LA crew of Emily, Benji, Beca, Chloe, Anna and Brittany were all attending. Cynthia Rose was flying in from Maine with her wife Renay and their 4 year old daughter Ester. Fat Amy and Bumper were road tripping up from Tulsa, Oklahoma with their 7 year old son Bumper Junior. Jessica and Ashley were coming from Washington DC with their respective boyfriends, and Lily and Stacie who both lived in other parts of California were arriving solo. Flo wasn’t able to get to America, but they would be Skyping with her in Guatemala later as well.

 

 

“Yup, lemme just grab the pie and we can go,” Beca replied while she headed to the kitchen.

 

“Okay great. We need to get going if we’re going to be on time.”

 

“Why does it matter when we get there? It’s 8 am. The food isn’t served til 1pm anyway,” Beca grumbled. “Besides, when have we ever been on time to things in the last 6 years?”

 

“A few times…” Chloe responded, racking her brain for a recent example of an all family outing where they were on time to the event. It was hard to come up with one. After adding Anna to their family, and especially after the birth of Brittany, the Mitchell clan was tardy to the party fairly often. It’s not as if they didn’t try, but getting places on time with 2 kids was tough. They did manage it, of course, but for the majority of the time, if they were traveling somewhere as a whole unit, they tended to arrive at the very last minute.

 

“So in other words, we should probably make an effort,” Chloe said, having failed coming up with an answer, and taking that as a sign that they needed to work on their time management skills. “Besides, I promised Bree I’d help her cook. The Thanksgiving meal needs to be perfect this year. There’s going to be so many more people than usual.”

 

“The Bellas don’t care. We’re the same hot messes that we were when we were in college. We just have added to the mess by procreating,” Beca began, before trailing off at Chloe's look.

 

“Beca, it’s our family. Plus, some of the girls have traveled a long way to see you. Don’t you want to spend as much time with them as possible?” Chloe scolded.

 

“Yeah I suppose. I do miss those awesome nerds,” Beca conceded. “But know it’s true though. Just be glad that this year we’re not flying to Tampa to be with your family or Maine to be with mine,” Beca added. “Our Barden family is all way more relaxed about that kind of shit than our actual relatives.”

 

Silently agreeing, Chloe just shooed them out the door and towards the car. The usually short drive took over 45 minutes with the LA Thanksgiving traffic but they finally made it to Jesse and Aubrey’s house.


            While Beca unloaded the kids from the car, Chloe took the pie and rang the doorbell to the Swanson’s home. Aubrey answered it quickly, while holding baby Sarah. Jesse and Aubrey had a baby about 1 year after Brittany was born. The 7 month old’s eyes lit up at the sight of her ginger godmother and she stretched out her arms to be held. Chloe and Aubrey traded a pie for a baby and immediately started talking, even though they had seen each other for coffee last week.

 

            “Where’s your not so better half?” asked Aubrey as they walked into the kitchen so Aubrey could put the pie with the rest of the food she had begun preparing.

 

            “She’s getting the kids,” Chloe replied. “She’s probably mentally preparing herself for the chaos too.”

 

            Just then Beca walked in with Anna, while also keeping a close eye on Brittany who was toddling as fast as she could towards Aubrey. “What about chaos?” Beca asked, over hearing the last bit of their conversation.

 

            “Oh, just about how this place will be a mad house in a few hours,” Aubrey replied. “Thanks again for coming early to help out Chloe.”

 

            “Oh it’s no problem at all!” Chloe said excitedly. “I’m so ready.”

 

            “Awesome, let’s get started then. Beca, Jesse is in the basement. Will you please take Sarah down to him?” Aubrey asked.

 

            “Sure. I’ll take all 3 of them down to the kids’ room,” Beca responded, heading towards the stairs. Aubrey had converted one of the downstairs guest rooms into an area for Anna and Brittany (and for when any other kids came over) to store all the games, toys and puzzles and stuffed animals they kept there whenever the Swanson’s babysat or they stayed the night. It was like walking into a F.A.O. Schwarz store.

 

            As Beca and the girls went to the basement, they heard Chloe and Aubrey start banging around the kitchen to get some more food started.

 

            “Hey Bec, Happy Thanksgiving!” Jesse greeted, while looking up from the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade that he was watching on TV. “Did you get kicked out of the kitchen too?”

 

            “Hey dude,” Beca answered, “No. I just didn’t feel like being yelled at by Posen for being in the way this early in the morning. How are you?”

 

Before Jesse could reply, he was interrupted. “Hi Uncle Jesse!” Anna screeched, launching herself into Jesse’s lap and giving him a big hug. “Look at my face!” she demanded, as she pulled her lip down and pointed to show Jesse where she wanted him to look.

 

Anna, who was 6, just lost her first tooth and loved nothing more than to go around and show people the hole in her mouth.

 

            “Hey Banana,” Jesse said, hugging her back. “That’s so cool! Did the tooth fairy bring you any money? And hello to you too squirt,” he added, poking Brittany in the tummy. Brittany just giggled and grabbed on to Jesse’s leg. As Anna told Jesse about how the tooth fairy system worked, Beca went about getting Brittany situated on the floor while still trying not to drop Sarah. Having a bit of difficulty, she turned to her friend.

 

            “I’m supposed to give you your spawn,” Beca said, holding Sarah out so her father could grab her.

 

            “That’s a very nice thing to call your godchild,” Jesse said sarcastically, as he extended his left arm to get Sara, while still balancing Anna on his lap.

 

            “She’s Chloe's goddaughter, but whatever. Can we watch the parade with you?” Beca said, ignoring Jesse’s comment. “The kids all look interested.”

 

            “But you’re married to her. So she’s technically yours too,” Jesse replied. “And sure, you can watch, but you can’t comment on how stupid you think some of the parade is.”

 

            For the next 2 hours or so, Anna and Brittany watched the colorful balloons and floats in the parade, interspersed with dancing and musical performances. Sarah napped in her Rock-n-Play while Beca and Jesse talked about music and what ideas she had for new projects.

 

When the parade was over, Jesse flipped it over to the Vikings vs. Lions football pregame show. Anna and Brittany quickly grew bored of watching the adults talk on TV, so they went to play in their room. Beca and Jesse continued to talk and periodically checked in on the girls to make sure they hadn’t killed each other.


As time passed by, Ester and Bumper Jr. both came downstairs to play with Anna and Brittany. Bumper plopped himself down next to Jesse on the couch to watch football, and was quickly joined by Jessica and Ashley’s boyfriends. The men all started to talk sports and Beca took that as her cue to go upstairs. She looked at her watch and saw that it was a bit past 11am already.

 

Beca decided to head upstairs to see how everything was going, while Jesse and the rest of the males stayed downstairs with the kids. As she reached the top of the stairs she passed by Benji, the only other male in attendance who was not already in the basement.

 

“Hey Beca, I was just coming to find you. Emily wants to see you. She’s got some more questions for you!” Benji and Emily were expecting their first child, and Emily was constantly consulting with Beca about various pregnancy related topics.

 

“Cool. I was just on my way up there right now. I can’t believe how fast time went by,” Beca said. “I’ll bet Anna and Brittany will want to see everyone too. Let me go back downstairs and grab the girls and then I’ll go say hi to everyone.” Beca turned towards the stairwell and hollered down to the play room. “Anna, do you want to come say hello to all of your aunties?”

 

“Coming,” was the quick reply. About 10 seconds later, Anna appeared at the bottom of the stairs with Brittany close behind her. “Sweetie, can you help Brit up the stairs please?” Beca asked, trying to avoid going back downstairs if she could help it.

 

“Uh huh,” Anna said, as she grabbed Brittany’s hand and began to basically drag her up the stairs.

 

“Gently please,” Beca reminded.

 

“Oops. Sorry Bitty,” Anna said looking at her little sister apologetically, while helping her up the stairs more carefully. The rest of the stairs were climbed without incident, and the 3 headed towards the main floor where all the Bellas were gathered.

 

Beca looked around and saw that the 2 rooms that people were mainly in were the kitchen and the living room. Peeking into the kitchen, she saw Chloe, Aubrey, Jessica, Ashley and Renay hard at work cooking. Not wanting to deal with all that crazy, she opted towards the living room, where Lily, Fat Amy, Stacie, Cynthia Rose, and Emily were seated. Upon seeing her aunts, Anna ran around the room greeting them all and passing out as many hugs as possible. Anna’s lack of personal boundaries and love for physical displays of affection obviously did not come from Beca.

 

“Hey stranger, we were wondering when you’d come up,” teased Stacie as she received her death squeeze from Anna.

 

“Yeah, Shortstack,” Fat Amy said, “Did you really not want to see us that much?”

 

Lily shot Beca a look that said, “Tell the truth or I’ll get it out a different way.”

 

“Sorry. I just lost track of time. Jesse and I were talking about work and I didn’t realize how late it had gotten,” Beca explained, feeling a bit nervous. Even after all these years, she still found Lily to be a bit scary.

 

“It’s fine,” Emily consoled, sensing Beca’s apprehension. “You’re here now!”

 

“So how have you been B?” Cynthia Rose asked, as she allowed Brittany to squirm her way onto her lap.

 

“Good. Anna is loving school, thankfully, and Brit is doing fine at daycare. As for me, it’s pretty much the same old stuff. You probably already know what Chloe's been up to,” Beca said, knowing her wife was much better at socializing, or at the very least acknowledging someone’s presence.

 

“Sounds like it’s all good,” Cynthia Rose said.

 

“Yeah, it is. How about you?”


The girls all caught up with one another for a few more hours until they heard a commanding yell from the kitchen.

 

“EVERYONE NEEDS TO PLEASE COME TO THE DINING ROOM IMMEDIATELY.” Aubrey commanded, in the same voice Beca remembered from back in the day when Aubrey was in charge of the Bellas

 

Within 3 minutes, all 19 ½ people were gathered in the large dining room. There was a long table set up, and a shorter, smaller one connected to the end for the kids. It had been agreed upon that the adults would all take turns sitting at the kids table to make sure everything was okay.

 

As everyone went to sit down in their respective seats, Chloe snuck an arm around Beca’s waist and gave her a light kiss.

 

“Hey,” Chloe whispered softly. “Haven’t seen you all morning. How were the girls?”

 

“They were fine,” Beca responded. “Anna has been especially good today,” she said, slightly amazed.

 

“I’m glad to hear that,” Chloe answered, “Guess we’ll be going to the store before we go home. I promised her that if she was good today, we’d stop and get a treat of her choice.”

 

“You’re bribing our kid for good behavior?” Beca said smirking.

 

“Don’t ask like you don’t.”

 

“Fair point,” Beca relented. “Let’s go get our seats. We can talk about this later.”

 

 

Once everyone was seated, Aubrey, who was sitting at the head of the table began to speak.  “I just wanted to say thank you to all of you for making the trip out here for Thanksgiving. I’m so glad you were able to make it. Before we eat, I would like us all to go about the table and say something you’re thankful for. I’m thankful for Sarah, Jesse and for the Bellas for bringing us all together. Chloe, Why don’t you go next?”

 

“Sure!” Chloe beamed, excited to be chosen to start off the others. “I’m thankful for my superb job, my amazing family and for everyone who is present at the table right now. I love you all, and am incredibly blessed to know you.”

 

“Excellent. Who’s next?” Aubrey asked. One by one, everyone said what they were thankful for, even the kids. Beca stayed silent, hoping that by the time 18 people went, they would forget that she hadn’t gone and just start eating. Beca was so busy thinking of something to say in case they did remember, that she didn’t realize everyone else had finished and that it was indeed, her turn.

 

“I’m thankful that Jesse had to host this year and not me, and also for food. Especially since I didn’t have to make it. Let’s eat,” Beca said, reaching for the mashed potatoes.

 

“Beca. Really?” Chloe chided.

 

“Ugh. You know I don’t do feelings.” Chloe shot Beca a glare, which caused Beca to continue.

 

“Okay fine. Umm. I’m thankful for Chloe, Anna and Brittany,” Beca began. “And for all of you guys too I guess. Life would kinda suck without you weirdos in it, and I’m glad we could all get together. But seriously. This meal looks delicious, and it has been wonderful getting to see everyone today. I’ve enjoyed catching up on your lives in person, and not just through a screen. With that being said, I guess the main thing I’m thankful for is the fact that no matter how far away we all are now, or how long we may go without talking, I know you’re always going to be there and that we’re family forever. I love you awesome nerds,” Beca finished sincerely.

 

When Beca stopped speaking, she looked around the table, and saw everyone staring at her. “So yeah. That’s what I’m thankful for or whatever. Don’t make it weird.”

 

 

Chapter Text

 

“MAMA. For serious. Are you ready yet?” Anna shouted impatiently by the foyer.

 

“Yeah. Let’s go!” piped up Brittany, her ginger curls bouncing up and down as she nodded in agreement with her big sister.

 

“I’m here, calm down, geeze,” Beca said, picking up Brittany and holding Anna’s hand as she walked up behind her daughters. “Chlo, you good?” she called towards the office.

 

“Yep, I’m just grabbing the girls’ lists. Which they should have gotten themselves,” Chloe added, with a pointed look at the kids as she joined her family clutching 2 sticker and glitter covered envelopes addressed to the North Pole in her hand. The other day Anna and Brittany sat down and wrote out their Christmas wish lists for Santa, and today the Mitchell family was going to the Grove to see the big man himself.

 

Brittany’s Christmas list was fairly simple; mostly comprised of wishes for baby dolls and dress up clothes. Anna’s list on the other hand, was originally 4 pages long, but Chloe managed to get it down to 1 and a half. Anna had many toys on her list, as well as an entire page dedicated to books and craft supplies.

 

As much as Beca and Chloe tried not to spoil their kids, they knew their kids had more than most, so instead they made an effort to at least make the things the girls had were either educational or useful. When the girls didn’t play with something for a while or started to run out of space in their play room, they went through a toy purge and donated all the ones in good condition to various programs in the community that helped the less fortunate.

 

Obviously, they had some toys that were just for fun, and they did keep many toys simply for sentimental reasons, but most of them served a purpose. Chloe was adamant that her kids would not grow up in front of a screen, and instead would use their imaginations and actually learn to interact with others. Case in point, whenever the girls would get in trouble, they would be sent to sit on the couch and think about why they were there instead of simply going to their room or the playroom, where their books, games, toys and puzzles were. Not many 6 year olds get grounded from reading.

 

Both Brittany and Anna were quite interested in how things worked and making their own inventions, which Chloe and Beca strongly encouraged. The girls were currently in obsessed with building all sorts of different creations but didn’t ask for any of that type of stuff for Christmas, because they already had quite literally hundreds of Legos, building blocks and various kits from their Aunt Stacie.

 

Since Stacie majored in engineering, she was the go-to aunt when it came to science, math, technology and other creative things. Uncle Benji was also a go-to guy when it came to imagination and nerdy stuff. Aunt Emily helped the kids with the fine arts, like music and dance and writing. Aunt Aubrey provided books out the wazoo for her goddaughters, determined to make them well rounded, but also as an attempt to balance out Jesse’s movie education efforts.

 

The other original Bellas and the newly extended family members also were wonderful influences on the Bechloe kids, and it made Beca realize that it really DOES take a village to raise a child, let alone 2. Beca and Chloe were very fortunate to have so many friends with such diverse talents to help them raise their kids, and even more fortunate to still have many of their friends living so close to them.

 

 

One of Beca’s favorite and least favorite things about moving from Georgia to Los Angeles was the people. LA was just so much bigger. Both in size and the amount of activity. They say that New York is the ‘city that never sleeps’ but Beca was pretty sure LA would be a close second. The biggest thing Beca hated about LA though, was the traffic, and having to interact with the general public.

 

“Okay Banana, go get in the car please,” said Chloe as she opened the garage door. “I’ll be there in a second.”

 

Anna dashed over to the car and clambered into her seat, with Beca and Brittany close behind. Chloe on the other hand, locked up the house and set the alarm before joining her family. Once Brittany was strapped into her car seat and everyone else was settled, Chloe drove them to the Grove.

 

The nice thing about Beca’s job, was that it allowed for a lot of flexibility and she was able to attend many things with Anna and Brittany. As for Chloe, as the co-founder of the Mitchell Music Foundation, she didn’t really have to work at all if she didn’t want to since Beca’s job more than provided for their whole family. They had established their foundation enough to hire full time staff and volunteers to run the program, but Chloe would frequently pop by her old home where the foundation was located, to see how everything was going just for fun. However, to maintain the social interactions that Chloe craved, and to keep herself occupied, Chloe still taught part time at the private school that Anna now attended.


 

The Mitchell family decided to go visit Santa because as creepy as Beca found the whole idea “He watches people like a stalker, and breaks into their houses and eats their food, Chloe. How in the hell is that socially acceptable?” she knew her girls would love it. It was actually Beca’s idea to go, because she was determined to make her daughters’ childhoods full of the happy memories and positive experiences she never had as a child.

 

When the Mitchell’s arrived, there was a line, which was to be expected, but Beca was seemingly more upset about it than the kids. Beca was a fairly impatient person when it came to waiting, and being 5’2”, she didn’t particularly like large crowds of people that were taller than her (or people in general) –especially around the holidays. So, obviously, if you combine waiting in line with a large crowd of people doing their Christmas shopping and visiting Santa, you don’t get a very happy Beca. On the other hand, Anna and Brittany were very fascinated with all of hustle and bustle that was happening at the Grove. The lights and sounds were simply mesmerizing to the girls and they were content to just be held by their parents and look around. At first, Chloe wasn’t going to pick Anna up, but once she pleaded her case (“Mama is too short for me to be able to see anything when she holds me”), Chloe relented and hoisted her older daughter on her shoulders to give her a better vantage point. Brittany however, was totally content to snuggle into her Mama’s chest and look around from there. Out of the 2 girls, Brittany was the one that took a while to warm up to new situations, especially when there were many unfamiliar faces involved. However, once she was comfortable, you couldn’t get her to stop.

 

 

            After about 15 minutes of waiting, it was Anna and Brittany’s turn to see the big man himself. Brittany had been talking quietly to Beca the entire time they were standing in line about what she wanted to tell Santa, but when it came time to actually do it, Brittany would just NOT let go of Beca. Anna had already scrambled down from Chloe's shoulders and was currently plopped in the fat man’s lap, reading him the letter she wrote along with her wish list.

 

            “Come on, Britt. Come give Santa your letter!” Anna encouraged her little sister.

 

            Brittany just burrowed closer to Beca and grabbed a fist full of Beca’s shirt with her little balled up hands. The photographer who was dressed as an elf clearly did not appreciate Brittany holding up the line, and let out a completely non-subtle sigh. Internally rolling her eyes at how absolutely unprofessional the worker was, Beca tried to set Brittany down.

 

Attempting to place her youngest daughter in to the arms of a strange man dressed in red with a lot of facial hair however, was not the best idea Beca had ever had in the world. Especially since the only men that Brittany was ever around were mostly the significant others of the Bellas or her grandfather. Brittany actually let out a whimper and her mini-Chloe like face scrunched up and started to turn red. Quickly trying to salvage the situation, aware of everyone in line watching, Beca took a deep breath and looked at Brittany.

 

            “Do you want me to go with you?” she asked, silently hoping Brittany would suddenly grow some lady balls and do it by herself, even though she already knew the answer.

 

            “Ohtay,” Brittany mumbled into Beca’s boobs.

 

            With a determined look, Beca crossed the threshold and joined a now very annoyed Anna by Santa’s large chair.

 

            “Finally,” Anna said, “Are you gonna take a picture with Santa and Britt, Mama?”

 

            “Yep!” Beca said, trying to make her voice sound convincingly excited, while in reality she was anything but. Glaring at her wife who was giggling her ass off, Beca put Brittany down and grabbed her hand to lead her over to where her sister was.


 

Beca was fine with the idea of Santa for her girls, she really was. But while Beca definitely wanted Brittany and Anna to experience everything she didn’t get to as a child, sometimes she couldn’t help but be a bit jealous of her girls. Beca’s dad had told her Santa didn’t exist when she was 7. And a few years later, he walked out on Beca and her mom. Once the divorce was finalized, the holidays stopped being something to celebrate, and instead something Beca grew to hate.

 

It wasn’t until she met Chloe and the rest of the Bellas did the holidays become something special again. After all the time that had passed, between Beca’s childhood and beyond college, Beca had thought she had gotten over most of it, but apparently, not everything. It’s hard to make yourself believe in something you spent your whole life being told wasn’t true.

 

Shaking her head to clear her thoughts, Beca returned her attention to Brittany who finally decided that if her sister was talking to the man and hadn’t had anything bad happen to her, that he was probably okay. The little redhead was currently finishing up telling Santa about what she wanted, while still maintaining a firm grip on Beca’s hand.

 

“Okay, now let’s take the photo. I want all of you to look right at the bell on top of my hat and give me your biggest smiles. Okay? The photographer threw on a fake smile of her own, and went to take the photo when all of a sudden Anna shrieked at the worker elf to stop.

 

            “MOMMY! Come join us!”

 

            Beca looked over to her left, where Chloe was standing outside of the gate and filming the whole exchange. Shocked, Chloe said, “No, I’m good over here baby. Grownups aren’t supposed to be in the photo. Just you!”

 

“Mama is a grownup and she’s here,” Anna shot back.

 

“Mama is there because Brittany needs her,” Chloe responded.

 

“Well I need you too, so come here.”

 

Chloe began to try to think of a reason she couldn’t, but came up with nothing. Soon, Brittany added in her pleas for her mommy to come join. Beca though, was the final drop that tipped the bucket.

 

“Don’t be a Scrooge, Chlo. Come join us. It can be our family photo for this year.”

 

            Having watched A Christmas Carol with Anna a few nights previous, Anna’s eyes got big.

 

            “Mommy don’t be a Scrooge! Nobody likes him!” Anna honestly looked so sad at the prospect of someone not liking her mommy that Chloe finally gave in.

 

“Oh alright. Hold on,” Chloe said, as she walked past the line and into Santa’s Workshop.

 

Once the 4 finally got settled, the worker elf who had totally had enough of the Mitchell family by now, quickly took the photo and rattled off a spiel about how to get copies of the photo and promptly shoved them out of the workshop so she could deal with the next family in line.

 

“Oooh, look Mama! Snow globes! And ornaments! And oooh a keychain,” the girls went running around looking at all of the objects they could get their faces plastered on.

 

Beca looked at the digital photo on the screen, quite pleased with how well it turned out. “Look how cute the girls are!” she said to Chloe, who came over to the computer monitor to see for herself.

 

“Definitely going in this year’s Christmas cards!” Chloe agreed with a smile. “We made some great looking kids,” she added. 


 

After buying their photos, the Mitchells walked around the Grove for a while. They ate lunch at Maggiano’s Little Italy, where the girls couldn’t stop talking about their time with Santa, and then decided to returned home. The girls both went to take their afternoon naps after their busy morning, and Beca and Chloe curled up on the couch together.

 

“Thank you for doing this with the girls. I know it’s still not your favorite thing in the world, but it means the world to me that you do it anyway,” Chloe said. “Seeing the kids so happy telling Santa all of their wishes made my heart melt.”

 

“Yeah well, that’s the holidays for ya, I guess,” Beca said, trying not to get sappy.

 

“What did you tell Santa you wished for?” Chloe asked, nudging Beca’s side.

 

“Wishes don’t work like that, Beale.”

 

“It’s Mitchell to you, missy,” Chloe said. “Now tell me!”

 

“Whatever. If you must know, I wished for a puppy.”

“Seriously Becs?” Chloe asked, surprised at her wife’s wish.

 

“Yeah. I think it’d be fun!”

 

“Beca. Animals are a big responsibility. You have to feed them, and give them water and love, and walk them and…”

 

“Oh my god ‘mom’, I know!” Beca said, sarcastically. “I was just saying. But to be totally honest, it wasn’t a puppy that I wished for, even though I do want one. My real Christmas wish was you.” When Chloe started to look emotional, Beca immediately went to put a damper on it.

 

“Baby all I want for Christmas is yoooooou,” she sang, in her best Mariah Carey impression.

 

“That wish already came true. It will always BE true. Because I love you, and I’m never going to stop.”

 

“You’re okay I guess.”

 

Chapter Text

            It was December 30th. Beca was sulking around the Bella house, by herself. All the rest of the Bellas had gone home for the break, but Beca wasn’t going anywhere. She would’ve gone home to see her mother, but getting to Portland, Maine from Atlanta, Georgia right before Christmas would’ve cost the brunette $560 to fly on United and over $600 on Delta. Beca loved her mom, but she was also a broke college kid. However, she would much rather be alone, than entertain the idea of going to be with her father and step-monster.

 

            As each of the Bellas left the house after final exams were completed, they all said goodbye to one another with warm wishes for the new year. Chloe was the last to leave, on the morning of December 23rd. Chloe only had to go to Tampa, Florida, which was about half a day’s drive away. Chloe hated leaving Beca alone, but seeing as she had skipped going home during both fall break and Thanksgiving break, she figured she should at least go home for Christmas.

 

            Chloe had invited Beca to come with her, but Beca declined, citing her desire to make extra money at the radio station, and working on her mixes. That was a partial lie. Yes, she’d be working more hours, but there was a high probability that no one would be listening to the campus radio seeing as almost all the student body most likely went home. Secretly, Beca would’ve loved nothing more to spend the holidays with Chloe, but she didn’t want to seem clingy or dependent. She was a bad ass and bad asses don’t need cuddle buddies.

 

            The next 7 days without the Bellas in the house went by the same way. Beca got up around 8:30 am, ate a late breakfast, and lounged around the house. She then watched some random things on Netflix, ate lunch and then went to the station around 12 pm. There, she spent the next 6 or so hours running the booth and making mixes. Every mix Beca made lately, seemed to remind her of a certain redhead. After she had successfully made a new mix or got hungry enough to quit (whichever came first), Beca would lock up the station and go back to the Bellas. There, she would make a quick and easy meal, and then return to her permanent residence on the couch that she usually shared with Chloe during Bella bonding nights.

 

 

            The morning of the 31st started out just like all the other days since the Bellas had gone home. Little did Beca know, that it would NOT end the same. Beca moped around the house, kind of sad that she had nobody to talk to. Chloe had been sending her texts and funny snaps all week, but today she hadn’t gotten anything. No pictures of what outfits Chloe was deciding between to wear. No Facebook status informing the world of Chloe's plans for the day. No Instagram notifications of whatever food Chloe was consuming at the moment. Not even her usual good morning text filled with emojis and excessive punctuation marks. Nothing at all, anywhere. She was even silent in the Bellas group chat.

 

At first, Beca hated the group chat, because any time anything happened, her phone would blow up. But then she realized how much she loved the girls and began to actually read the messages, instead of just opening the conversation to get rid of the little notification button. She was overwhelmed at the multiple threads happening at the same time, but it was fun to see how all of her friends were spending their holiday. Beca was a rare contributor to the conversation, but decided to send out a very generic ‘Good morning Bellas. Hope everyone’s holiday breaks are going well, looking forward for you to come back to Barden soon’ type of thing. Immediately, she got back a bunch of messages from the girls.

 

“Beca! Break is going great, but I can’t wait to come back to school! I miss you!” –Emily

 

“Happy holidays to you too, hobbit.” –Aubrey

 

“Sup B? Christmas was awesome. Happy holla-dayz.” –Cynthia Rose

 

“Hope you’re doing well too! We’re having a great break. See you soon.” –Jessica (and Ashley)

 

“Hey Shawshank! You’re alive! I would’ve thought you’d die being in the Bella house all by yourself.” –Fat Amy

 

“The hunter and I have had a very wonderful break, if you know what I mean ;)” –Stacie

 

“I lit a Christmas tree on fire.” –Lily

 

They asked Beca how campus was, all deserted, and everyone talked about the presents they had received. They complained about some of their relatives, and talked about some fun ideas for the Bellas to do when they all got back next semester. All the responses that poured in to Beca’s rare text made her smile, but it faded a bit, when she realized one person still hadn’t messaged her back. The only one, if Beca was being honest, that she really wanted to hear from. The same person who had been radio silent all day. Beca was super tempted to text the group chat to see if anyone had heard from Chloe when she realized she was just being ridiculous. ‘I’m sure Chloe is fine, she’s probably just busy with her family.’ Beca rationalized, while also considering how creepy it was that she knew Chloe's schedule and got notifications whenever the ginger posted about something.

 

Eventually, Beca couldn’t stand to be in the empty house any longer, so she made her way over to the radio station. Beca immediately because engrossed in her mixes and had queued up enough music for 4 hours, so that there were no interruptions to her creative process. The blasting music in her earphones made it so that she didn’t realize the door to the studio had opened and there was a large hooded figure looming over her, just watching. The person was observing Beca closely, fascinated by the way the equalizer bars jumped up and down on the screen, and silently laughing at Beca’s concentration face that could be seen through the reflection of the glass windows surrounding the studio booth.

 

When Beca turned her head to adjust a level, she caught a glimpse of the person who had been looking at her so intently. She let out a loud screech, knocking over a pile of stacked CD’s and falling off her chair in the process. Beca’s head immediately jerked back, because when she fell, she was still wearing her headphones and they hadn’t been disconnected. At first, Beca only saw the hooded figure and thought she was going to die. Then she looked a bit closer, and breathed a sigh of relief. As her heart rate slowly returned to normal, Beca let out a shaky laugh and smiled. The hoodie was hers, and the totally bundled up person who was wearing it was none other than the one and only Chloe Beale.


 

Beca just sat on the floor, stunned by her best friend’s sudden presence.

 

“Hey Becs,” Chloe said, when she realized Beca wasn’t going to respond any time soon.

 

“Whaa… You’re… how?” Beca tried her best to string together a sentence, but was having trouble concentrating.

 

“Surprise?” Chloe said somewhat worried, thinking she broke her best friend.

 

As it sunk in that Chloe was actually here, Beca got mad. “What the actual fuck Chloe Anne? What are you doing here?! Why aren’t you in Tampa with your family? Why did you come back? What is wrong with you? Is everything okay?”

 

Chloe looked at Beca slightly dumbfounded, obviously not expecting this reaction from the tiny brunette.

 

“I thought you’d be happy to see me. Obviously you’re not though, so I can just lea—“ Chloe trailed off, looking slightly wounded.

 

“Of course I’m happy that you’re here, weirdo. It’s just that... Well... I…” Beca started to look less angry and started to look more frustrated (and maybe even scared) with her inability to convey how she truly felt at the moment. If Beca was being honest, she wasn’t entirely sure of all the feelings she was currently experiencing anyway.

 

Chloe, to her credit, just stood there, staring at her best friend who was still sitting on the floor, in the same position from where she fell a few minutes ago. Chloe knew that sometimes Beca just needed time to get her thoughts in order, and interrupting or pushing her before she was ready is not the way to go about it.

 

“I thought you were mad at me. Or dead. Or at least that something really bad happened to you that made you in capable of communicating in some form or another…” Beca said softly, as she slowly rose to her feet.

 

“Why?” Chloe asked curiously, wanting to laugh, but knowing that it would make Beca totally shut down.

 

“I haven’t heard from you all day. I was worried that maybe you were ignoring me,” Beca began, “because you always send me a ‘good morning’ text. At first I brushed it off as you probably just being busy, but then you didn’t even respond to the group chat or anything. Plus, I didn’t see any posts from you anywhere, when you usually always have posted at least 3 things by like, 9 am,” Beca continued, before she sort of just stopped talking, embarrassed at how stalker-ish she sounded.

 

“Aww. Becs. I would never ignore you. You’re too important to me. I’m sorry I didn’t text you ‘good morning’ today. I was running around my house packing so I could drive here to surprise you. It’s only about a 6 ½ hour drive, and I would’ve been here sooner but I had to stop and get gas a few times and pee and eat. But I’m here now!” Chloe concluded, summarizing her chaotic morning and drive to Georgia. She paused and then added, “do my good morning text really mean that much to you?”

 

Blushing, Beca nodded, and sheepishly whispered “it makes me feel special. Like I’m important enough in your life to, ya know, think of.”

 

“I told you, didn’t I – that we were gonna be fast friends? I could just tell, right away that you would change my life, and it’s true. You are one of the most amazing people I’ve ever met Beca,” Chloe stated sincerely. Beca flushed even more red if that were possible and looked away.

 

“But I’m pretty sure that I’m not the only one who feels this way,” Chloe went on. “Don’t think I forgot what you said earlier about you being all concerned for my well being either. I wouldn’t have thought ‘Badass Beca’ cared that much about people.”

 

“Only about you,” Beca muttered, less quietly than she had intended. Chloe heard what she said, but decided not to tease her about it. Instead, she gave Beca a bone-crushing hug that lifted the girl off of her feet. Gently releasing her, Chloe looked around at the deserted station and said, “Well, now that I’m here, what do you wanna do? Are you hungry? It’s almost 7 pm.”

 

““Yeah, I could go for some food. You better cook though, if you actually want anything edible that’s not from a box,” Beca said, laughing.

 

As Beca locked up the station, and the girls began walking back to the Bellas house, Chloe grabbed Beca’s hand and swung it gently between them. While they strolled the empty campus, Chloe told Beca all about the things she did for Christmas, and how her drive back to Barden was. Apparently, the new mixes that Beca had given Chloe as her Christmas present, combined with all the mixes she had been given previously, lasted about the same amount of time that it took Chloe to get home. 


 

As they sat on the couch at the Bellas house eating their food, Beca had a nagging question, burning a hole in the back of her mind.

 

“You never answered my question earlier, Beale,” Beca said randomly, between bites of her chicken teriyaki.

 

“Question about what?” Chloe asked, slightly confused.

 

“Why did you come back?” Beca asked, wanting to know why someone would willingly leave a group of people who loved them unconditionally. Beca herself had never had a big happy family, but thought it would be nice to experience, at least until she hit the maximum limit of her people interaction abilities.

 

Chloe reached over and grabbed Beca’s hand. “I missed you,” she said, simply.

 

“But don’t you miss your family too? You hardly got to see them this year,” Beca said, slightly concerned that the Beale’s would hate her for taking their daughter away from them, because she was a needy, insecure little thing.

 

“There’s a thing called ‘too much family’ as I’m sure you’re aware of. But while I loved getting to see my family and catching up with everyone, I wasn’t as happy as I could’ve been because you weren’t there. They apparently could tell too, so they told me I could come back early, as long as I promised that the next time I go home that I needed to be happier, and that I brought you along with me. So now you’ve got plans for spring break,” she said with a wink.

 

“Oh.” Beca didn’t really know what to say to that. The thought of meeting all the Beale’s was initially overwhelming, but the more she thought about it, if they were anything like Chloe, she had nothing to worry about. Except maybe when she took a shower or something.

 

Looking back at Chloe's face, she could tell the ginger was lightly teasing, but also had an underlying look of worry. “Alright, if you’re sure,” Beca said. “It could be fun. I mean, spring break in Florida has got to be one of the most stereotypical college events ever,” she added, jokingly.

 

“YAY!” Chloe clapped her hands excitedly and squealed like a child. “This is so exciting! There’s so many things I want to do with you…” Chloe rambled on, but Beca stopped hearing what she said, and instead just looked at her best friend in amusement.

 

“We may need more than a week, if we’re planning on doing all of that,” Beca said smiling at Chloe's enthusiasm. It was slightly infectious, and Beca could feel herself already looking forward to March.

 

“It’s going to be amazing. But enough about my break and our future plans. How was yours? What did you do here for a week all by yourself?”

 

“Oh, you know…” Beca said, trying her best not to sound like a complete loser. In reality, the majority of the socializing the brunette did was either due to various Bella activities or Chloe. “I worked at the station and made a few mixes. Caught up on some shows, slept a lot. Just the usual, I guess. It was pretty boring but relaxing too. And I didn’t burn the house down,” she added with a smirk.

 

“I’m so proud of you for not turning our home into a repeat of the convention center performance,” Chloe said, leaning over to hug the girl she was squished on the couch with. The exact same couch Beca had spent the most of her free time laying on.

 

            “Hey,” Beca said, “That was NOT my fault.”

 

            Chloe decided to let it go, and instead, cuddled up to the brunette, who was still defensively going on about how ‘something insane is always bound to happen when all the girls get together’ and ‘just because she was co-captain it didn’t make it automatically her fault’ and that if it was, Chloe, as the other co-captain, would then be just as much to blame as her.

 

            “Beca. Beca. BECA!” Chloe tried to get the rambling girl’s attention. “It’s in the past. Forget about it. Focus on the New Year that’s about to begin!” Chloe said positively. “What are you doing for New Year’s Eve?”

 

            “Um. Spending it with you?” Beca said, although it came out as more of a question.

 

“Well, I know that, silly. But I meant, do you have plans for tonight? What do you usually do?”

 

“Yeah. About that. I don’t really do much for New Year’s. It’s dumb. Everywhere you go there are drunk people sucking face with each other. And the glitter. So much glitter. Everywhere. Yuck.” Beca said, making a face of disgust when she thought about all of the past New Year’s Eve holiday parties she had been forced to go to. “Plus, if I’m going to be staying up til midnight, it’s not because I wanna see a ball drop from the sky. And what about those New Year’s resolutions people always make?” Beca continued on her rant. “We all know you’re not gonna keep them up past like, January 15th…”

 

            “Oh Beca, you’re so cute when you get mad.”

 

            “I’m not cute, I’m a—“

 

            “A badass, I know,” Chloe replied. “But a very cute badass.”

 

            Beca just rolled her eyes. “Why do you like New Year’s so much, anyways?” she asked.

 

            “Well, for starters, I just love love. It’s amazing how you feel when the person you want to spend forever with, wants to do the same with you. Secondly, staying up til midnight is fun, especially when it’s because you’re having too much fun with the people you’re with to go to bed. Also, I love new beginnings. Even if the people who make their resolutions aren’t successful, they at least made an effort or wanted to change. Which is a start. And for those who are successful at keeping their resolutions or people who help them keep their resolutions, they are a better version of themselves. I think that better people are exactly what the world needs right now.” Chloe finished, eyes sparkling brightly as she explained why all the things Beca hated, were actually great. “Oh, and by the way, glitter is amazing. Don’t hate on glitter.”

 

            “I still think New Year’s is stupid,” Beca said, stubbornly, although she was trying to see Chloe's view point.

 

            “Well, maybe this year will be different,” Chloe said cryptically. “You’ve never spent New Year’s with me.”


 

For the next few hours, the girls just sat on the couch and talked. As it got closer and closer to midnight, the two girls steadily made their way through a bottle of wine. Neither one was drunk, but they were definitely more relaxed than they were at the beginning of the night. Turns out, a slightly inebriated Beca was a very honest and less guarded Beca.

 

Chloe told Beca her favorite parts of the past year. To her surprise, Beca was either directly involved with or at least remembered the majority of Chloe's favorite moments. It was truly a revelation to Beca that she was such an integral part of Chloe's life. She knew Chloe cared about her, because Chloe cared about everything, but this was on a whole new level. This was beyond Chloe's naturally loving nature. This was specific to Beca, and only Beca.

 

Beca had to think a bit harder, but eventually was able to come up with some memorable events of her own. Beca was not at all surprised though, at the extent of just how involved Chloe was in hers. Sure, the Bellas were grouped in for a lot of the memories, but many of Beca’s favorites, were just the two of them hanging out on their own. Neither one actively doing anything out of the ordinary, but simply spending time with each other.

 

There was the time that Chloe and Beca tried to make cookies and ended up just eating the dough and getting stomach aches from eating so much.

 

There was the time they pretended to switch bodies and be each other after watching the movie Freaky Friday and drove all of the Bellas nuts.

 

There was the time that Beca and Chloe tried to decorate the Christmas tree and Beca ended up stringing the Christmas lights up on the wall like in Stranger Things, claiming that she was from the upside down.

 

There were many memories of when one of them had a bad day and the other brought over junk food and they watched reality TV to remind themselves how much better they were than the people on the screen.

 

But as she thought about it, most of Beca’s favorite memories weren’t even all that memorable, it was just how they were together. They didn’t need fancy or adventurous, although they did that too. They could be hanging out doing nothing, and it wouldn’t matter.

 

When Beca teasingly commented that ‘all our best memories are of us together,’ Chloe smiled.

 

“That’s because it’s true. I love all the Bellas, but I am especially thankful that you came into my life. You’ve made this year so special,” Chloe admitted truthfully. “I can’t imagine ringing in the New Year without you by my side.”

 

            Beca knew that Chloe was important to her, but didn’t realize how much she meant to her, until Chloe said that. “I guess ringing in the New Year with you won’t be totally terrible.”

 

            “Way to make it sound like a chore, Mitchell.”

 

            “No, but really. Thanks for being here. It means a lot to me that you care enough to want to be with me, especially when you could’ve been spending it with your family,” Beca said sincerely, trying to convey how much the kind gesture actually affected her, without seeming too mushy. “It got kind of lonely being here by myself,” she admitted.

 

            “Nobody should be by themselves, let alone on a holiday. They should be surrounded by love,” Chloe replied. “Speaking of love, have you got your eye on anyone lately?”

 

            “Hahaha, nice try Chlo,” Beca responded.

 

Chloe waited for a response, and when she got none, she gave the brunette a pointed look.

 

“Not that it’s any of your business, but yes,” Beca relented.

 

“REALLY? Who? Do I know this person? Why didn’t you tell me?” Chloe rapid fired off many questions. “Have you told them yet?

 

“If I did, I wouldn’t be single now, would I?” Beca teased. “But honestly, it’s because I am not brave enough to tell this person how I really feel about them. I don’t want to ruin what we have.”

 

“Ugh, you’re no fun. But you should tell them some day. It’s okay to be scared. The important thing is to do it anyway,” Chloe said, trying to sound encouraging, but also a bit disappointed thinking Beca liked someone else. “Don’t live your life full of regrets, Beca.”

 

            “We’ll see,” Beca said, trying to gauge Chloe's response to Beca’s words. She looked at her best friend carefully, analyzing her facial expression. She looked as happy and sunny as ever, but was that maybe a hint of longing in her eyes?

 

“Maybe just text it to them, if you can’t say it out loud,” Chloe suggested.

 

Beca thought about it for a while. As she pondered everything she had and hadn’t done, she kept circling back to one thing –her relationship with Chloe and how she wanted more. It took her a while to acknowledge the fact, and even longer to accept it, but she was in love with her best friend.

 

It took sharing their favorite memories of the year with each other to really push her past the breaking point though. The fact that Chloe made up so many of her positive memories was scary, for a person who was so used to being alone. Secretly she had always known that she had more than purely platonic feelings for Chloe, but when Beca thought about what Chloe had said about the amazing feeling you get when the person you want to spend forever with, wants to do the same with you, she decided she wanted to know how that felt.

 

“I just want to see you happy,” Chloe said softly.

 

“You and the Bellas make me happy, Beale,” Beca said. “I don’t need anyone else.”

 

“Stop stalling and get to texting.”

 

Taking a deep breath, she decided to take a chance. Beca finally picked up her phone and said, “Okay.”

 

*Ding* 11:54pm 1 message from Beca

 

“Hi.”

 

*Ding* 11:54pm 1 message from Chloe

 

 “Hi…?”

 

“Beca why are you texting me, I told you to text—“ Chloe said.

 

Beca continued to stare at her phone, her hands slightly shaking, not daring to look up.

 

*Ding* 11:55pm 3 messages from Beca

 

“I love you.

 

“I mean, like, you don’t totally suck.”

 

“I guess.”

 

*Ding* 11:56 pm 1 message from Chloe

 

 “Okay, thanks? I love you too Becs. You know that though.”

 

A loud huff could be heard escaping the brunette. Three little bubbles kept popping up and disappearing. Chloe could tell Beca was trying to type out something so she tried to wait patiently, even though the suspense was killing her.

 

*Ding* 11:58 pm 1 message from Beca

 

“No you nerd, I mean, like. I LOVE love you.”

 

Beca looked at Chloe who gasped and dropped her phone. “Beca, that’s not funny.”

 

Beca just looked at Chloe, with a nervous smile on her face. “I wouldn’t joke about this. Besides, you’re the one who told me to not live life with regrets.”

 

Chloe just sat there stunned. Beca cleared her throat.

 

“So anyway, that’s how I feel. Maybe you could say something now?”

 

Instead, Chloe picked up her phone.

 

*Ding* 11:59 pm 1 message from Chloe

 

“You know, I’ve never had a New Year’s Kiss, before. Have you?”

 

*Ding* 11:59 pm 1 message from Beca

 

“No…”

 

*Ding* 12:00am 1 message from Chloe

 

“Want to fix that fact?”

 

*Ding* 12:00 am 1 message from Beca

 

“Okay.”

 

Upon receiving Beca’s response, Chloe looked up at her best friend, knowing that what happened next would change everything. When she only got a steady, confident look in return, she knew what she had to do. ‘Lord knows Beca probably won’t do it’ she thought to herself.

 

Chloe watched as Beca’s eyes slowly flickered up and down from her face to her mouth and back again. She saw Beca’s tongue poke out slightly to wet her lips and heard a small intake of breath, right before she closed the distance between them. It was a short, sweet kiss, but it left promises of many more to come.

 

As they slowly broke apart, Chloe looked at the time. 12:02 pm. “Beca, you made it to midnight!” Beca smiled at Chloe, and said, “I guess I did, didn’t I?”

 

“Have you made any New Year’s resolutions now that it’s 2018?”

 

“Yeah,” Beca said, kissing Chloe again. “It’s to do a lot more of that.”

 

“Well, that is one resolution I’d be more than happy to help you keep. Happy New Year Becs.”

 

“Happy New Year Chlo.”


 

January 1st 2018

7:47am

 

            Beca woke up cold. She rolled over and reached for her covers, but instead of feeling her covers, her hand felt something else. In her sleep induced haze, she wasn’t sure what exactly it was, but it was warm and soft and it smelled good and oh dear god, it just moved. Not only was it something that was not usually in her bed, it was a person.

 

Even though she wasn’t as bad as before, Beca still wasn’t used to being so physically close to someone for such a prolonged amount of time. Somehow though, even without knowing quite for sure who her bed buddy was, she was not afraid, and surprisingly didn’t feel uncomfortable either. Beca blearily opened her eyes and caught sight of a messy mop of fiery red hair. It was Chloe.

 

‘Ahh, that makes sense’ Beca thought to herself. Chloe would be the only one to get away with hogging all of Beca’s covers. But what was she doing there? Suddenly the recollections of last night came rushing back to her. Beca didn’t quite remember everything that transpired directly after her confession to Chloe. That’s not to say that she didn’t remember it at all, but she’s pretty sure she blacked out for a bit as soon as Chloe kissed her. Oh right. That was a thing now, wasn’t it?

 

She, Beca Mitchell, had kissed Chloe Beale.

 

Just remembering that moment made Beca smile and look over at her bedmate. Seeing Chloe made Beca think back to how she and Chloe stayed up all the way until midnight talking about their favorite memories of the previous year.

 

How Beca finally sacked up and told Chloe how she felt.

 

How Chloe told her that she felt the same way.

 

How they had kissed, a lot.

 

How somewhere in the middle of all of that kissing, they had made it up to Beca’s bed.

 

How they promptly fell asleep not even half an hour afterwards.

 

How they started off a New Year together, just the two of them.

 

How she had already made what was for sure going to be one of her favorite memories of the new year.

 

Beca glanced at the clock. It was still early enough that she could go back to sleep, so she let out a contented sigh, turned her body towards Chloe's back and made herself the big spoon. Beca moved as carefully as she could, as to not disturb Chloe. She gently wrapped an arm around Chloe's toned stomach and intertwined their legs. Chloe was still sound asleep, although she did shift a bit when Beca gently bumped into her. With a satisfied hum, Beca closed her eyes again. Responsibilities could wait a bit longer.


Chloe stirred slightly at the feeling of Beca snuggling into her, but as soon as she felt Beca drape herself around Chloe like a koala she was wide awake. She tried not to tense up, lest Beca feel it and pull away. However, within a matter of seconds, Chloe was able to relax again, and enjoy the feeling of her girlfriends embrace.

 

Wait. Were they girlfriends now? Chloe reflected on the facts and events that transpired and decided that yes, they were girlfriends. Because what they did together last night is not something you would do with just any old friend. They weren’t friends anymore. Not after what had happened between them. There was just no way to take it back and pretend like nothing was different, but Chloe wouldn’t want to anyways. Chloe decided that waking up next to Beca was her new favorite thing. Next to kissing Beca. And just spending time hanging out with Beca. So really, anything having to do with Beca at all.

 

            Chloe considered the girl she met at the activities fair, who was very anti-everything, including any and all types of physical affection, and compared it to the Beca who was currently sleeping next to her. Freshman Beca wouldn’t be caught dead spooning anyone. Freshman Beca would probably book it out of there so fast, you wouldn’t have even known she was present in the first place.

 

She thought about how much Beca had changed over the time Chloe had known her, and how she seemed to be the exception to all of Beca’s rules, even when they first met. She supposed that it may have to do with the fact that they saw each other naked in the shower, but she would like to think there’s more to it than that.

 

Beca would tolerate Chloe's hugs and cuddles, all the while still pretending that she hated it. Eventually though, she dropped the façade and was even known to approach the older Bella for a hug if she was having a particularly bad day. The ginger knew Beca still had a fortress of walls up, and that there were multiple layers of Beca’s personality to get through, but Chloe was steadily breaking through them like Miley Cyrus on her wrecking ball.

 

Beca, the hater of people, deep down really had a heart of gold. While she wasn’t the type of person who lets just anyone in, Beca would go to the ends of the earth for those she cared about. Beca would literally fight anyone who tried to hurt someone important to her –and her rap sheet proved it. Chloe considered herself blessed to be on the short list of Beca’s list of people she actually loved, instead of just someone she tolerates.

 

            Rolling over to look at Beca, Chloe began to really examine the tiny alt-girl’s face. The stress lines were nowhere to be seen, and without her ear monstrosities and heavy make up on, Beca looked much calmer and more serene than her badass persona would make you believe she was. After a while, Chloe began to realize how creepy it probably was, to be staring at someone as they slept, and she started to try and slip out of Beca’s grasp. Beca whined a bit at the loss of contact, and blindly reached out towards where she thought Chloe's body was. Upon connecting with the redhead’s torso, Beca sleepily scooted over to Chloe and murmured a soft, “Stay.”

 

            “I’m just going to go to the bathroom, Becs. I’ll be right back,” Chloe said, still trying to disentangle herself from Beca. Beca however, was having none of it.

 

            “Don’t go,” Beca pleaded, eyes slightly fluttering open, a frown making its way onto her face.

 

            Chloe had rarely seen the brunette this needy, but supposed it had to do something with the fact Beca never wanted to seem vulnerable. However, this almost child-like state of dependency reminded Chloe of another conversation they had had, shortly after Beca’s confession of love for Chloe.

 

            ‘Please don’t make me regret telling you this, Chloe. Because I love you. I love you so much it’s insane, and it’s been driving me crazy not being able to tell you. But I need to tell you something else. I kind of hate you, for making me fall in love with you. And I especially hate that you didn’t even have to try to make me fall in love with you.

 

I don’t want to love you, like even a little bit. I didn’t want to love you at all, but I do and it’s terrifying. It’s terrifying because I’m so scared you’re going to walk out on me. Everyone always does eventually. The worst part though, is that I was fine being alone. I really was. But then you came along and changed everything. And you make me not want to be alone. So please, don’t leave me. I don’t know what I’d do with myself without you in my life.”

 

“Shhhh,” Chloe said, as she readjusted herself, giving up on the prospect of getting out of bed. “You’re okay. I’m not leaving you.” As Chloe listened to Beca’s breathing settle back down, she made another resolution. This one, was to stay by Beca’s side forever, in whatever capacity the tiny brunette would allow. “You’ll never be alone again Beca, I promise you that.” 

Chapter Text

“Hey Chloe. You know what would be funny?” Beca said one day out of the blue.

 

“What?” Chloe asked, as she pulled on one of Beca’s hoodies that she stole from the younger girl.

 

“We should pull a prank on the Bellas,” Beca replied as she sat on Chloe’s bed, swinging her legs freely.

 

“And how do you propose we do that? You aren’t particularly known for your subtlety. You’d probably give it away before we even got to pull the prank!” Chloe said, trying not to dash Beca’s hopes, but also trying to be reasonable.

 

Beca turned to her best friend. “Remember that movie you made me watch the other day?”

 

Chloe stared at Beca. “I make you watch a lot of movies, Becs. You’re gonna have to be more specific.”

 

“You know, the one where the girl and the mom switch bodies? Um. Something like, ‘weird day’ or whatever.”

 

“Freaky Friday?” Chloe supplied.

 

“YES! That’s it,” Beca said, tapping her nose with her finger and then pointing to Chloe. “We should pretend to do that, and see what the Bellas do.”

 

“But Beca, we get along just fine,” Chloe said. “The whole point of that movie was to see if the mom and the girl could find a way to relate with each other somehow. We’re just about as close as 2 people can be.”

 

“I agree. For example, if you think I didn’t notice you stole my hoodie, you’d be totally wrong,” Beca said, with a pointed stare.

 

“It’s comfy! And it smells like you!” Chloe protested. “All besties share clothes.”

 

“Well, yeah, but I don’t want to wear half the clothes you have,” Beca replied with a frown, thinking of all the dresses and multi colored clothes in various prints and styles that Chloe owned. She compared it to her own closet, comprised of mostly black, red and grey flannels, low cut tank tops and skinny jeans. There were a few other pieces, but for the most part, Beca was a creature of habit and stuck with what she knew she liked. Beca wanted to be annoyed with Chloe for having basically 2 wardrobes, but acquiesced, saying “even if I said no to you and took it back, you’d probably steal it again anyway.”

 

Chloe just shrugged, and smiled, knowing that she had won this particular battle. “That’s your choice. I personally think you’d look great in pink.”

 

“Okay, moving on,” Beca said, trying to get them back on track and also trying to derail any potential future plans Chloe may have to get her to wear bubble gum pink clothing. There were not many things Beca wouldn’t do for Chloe, but changing her total badass appearance that she worked so hard to maintain was one of them.

 

“I don’t mean like, to do it as a bonding activity. We obviously do that enough. I just meant like, you pretend to be me, and I pretend to be you. Think of it like an acting exercise,” Beca said, knowing Chloe was enjoying her ‘Theater and Film Studies’ class that she was currently taking.

 

Chloe still looked skeptical, so Beca plowed on, trying to get the ginger to see her point. “I think we’d be great at it because, as you pointed out, we already know each other so well.”

 

“Ohhh, okay. I get it now,” Chloe said, at last understanding what Beca was saying. “I, Chloe, will pretend to be you, Beca. And you are going to pretend to be me. But we’re just faking it, to drive the Bellas crazy.”

 

“Finally! She gets it!” Beca said sarcastically.

 

“That sounds fun!” Chloe exclaimed, totally on board now that the plan made sense to her.

“Wanna do it tomorrow?” Beca asked.

 

“Sure. We should make a plan though,” Chloe said. “I want 100% commitment and laser focus. If we’re going to do this, we’re going to do this right. Starting with our personalities.”

 

“Ugh. Chloe, why do you have to be so bubbly and cheery all the time?” Beca said, realizing how hard tomorrow was going to be for her.

 

“Well, it’s going to be easy to pretend to be you, Beca. I’ll just suck the fun out of everything.”

“I do not suck the fun out of everything,” Beca objected, lunging for the ginger.

 

“Fun-sucker,” Chloe giggled, darting out of Beca’s reach.

 

“It’s not my fault that pretty much everything is stupid and boring,” Beca countered, still trying to catch her best friend and tickle Chloe into submission.

 

“Okay, but seriously. You’ve really got to sell it. You’ve got to BE me,” Chloe said, trying to get Beca to see how dedicated she was to this new plan.

 

“Meaning…?” asked Beca wearily. She knew that face. She knew all of Chloe's different facial expressions, but she hated this face in particular. It was Chloe's “I’ve-got-an-idea-and-you’re-probably-not-going-to-like-it-but-you’ll-do-it-anyway-because-I’m-me” face. Which was usually followed by Chloe's patented puppy dog face. Which Beca also hated.

 

 

AHHHHH!” A loud and quite shrill scream woke up the entire Bella household.

 

WHAT THE HELL?!” Came another piercing yell from the third floor.

 

Doors could be heard opening and 8 pairs of feet came thundering up the stairs to see what was wrong with the two owners of the noise. Stacie, Fat Amy, Cynthia Rose, Emily, Flo, Lily, Jessica and Ashley all looked at each other. There, standing in the middle of the hallway, were Beca and Chloe. But they didn’t look like Beca and Chloe. Something was off.

 

The Bellas all murmured various phrases of concern, staring with  puzzled expressions at the sight before them. Chloe was clad in a blue colored graphic t-shirt with Batman on it and solid black basketball shorts. Beca on the other hand was wearing a matching pink and purple swirled pajama set with fluffy white clouds on top of it. The two girls were in a locked stare with one another, taking in each other’s appearance and looking down, randomly touching various parts of their bodies.

 

Chloe, acting as Beca, grabbed her boobs. “These aren’t mine.”

 

Beca, pretending to be Chloe, felt her earrings, and examined her various tattoos. “These aren’t mine either…”

 

Slowly, they looked up at each other and screamed again. The two girls continued with their charade for another minute or so, when they pretended to finally take notice of their housemates.

 

Upon seeing the girls Beca chirped out an energized, “Good morning guys!

 

Chloe just grunted, and scratched the back of her head. “Wassup?” she asked tiredly after a minute, as she turned and looked at the girls who at this point were very confused.

 

“Am I supposed to follow this?” asked Stacie, looking very alarmed.

 

Could you, like, chill for a sec?” Chloe said rudely.

 

“Chloe, don’t be so impolite. A simple, ‘can you hold on just a moment please?’ would suffice.” Beca chided, in her best Chloe impression, throwing a mega-watt smile at the 8 girls looking at her like she belonged in an insane asylum.

 

Channeling her inner Beca, Chloe said, “Ugh, whatever. It’s too early for this shit,” and retreated to Beca’s room, slamming the door.

 

Beca, not even bothering to suppress a smile, greeted each Bella individually before retreating to her room, softly closing the door to Chloe's bedroom behind her.

 

“Okay. What the hell just happened?” asked Cynthia Rose, looking at all the girls surrounding her, as they all stared at the closed doors of the rooms that Beca and Chloe had entered. It did not escape any of them, that they went to each other’s rooms.

 

“Is it just me, or are they being weirder than usual?” Jessica asked, as Ashley nodded her head in agreement.

 

“They’re being weird alright. Even more so than usual,” Emily said, looking incredibly concerned for the 2 Bellas that she considered to be her makeshift parental figures.

 

“In my country, odd behavior means that you are probably infected with Malaria, and you’ve only got a little bit to live unless you get medicine,” Flo supplied unhelpfully.

 

“Either that or they got bewitched by an angry aboriginal,” Fat Amy added.

 

“I know how to make people turn into animals,” Lily whispered.

 

 

 

            Chloe and Beca somehow managed to keep up the façade for the entire day. It was a testament to just how well the girls knew each other, because they didn’t even have to think about how the other person would react. Chloe thought it was the best improve acting practice she’d ever had.

 

Beca would say something totally out of character for her, but it would be something Chloe would totally do, and Chloe got to tap in to her ‘dark and twisty’ side. The only problem Beca had, was enduring hugs. Beca was still Beca, despite pretending to be Chloe, and she was NOT a fan of any type of physical contact.

 

The hardest part on Chloe's end, was having to tone down the volume and the affection. She had to pretend to not get excited any time that something happened, which was especially difficult when the Bellas saw a puppy on the quad.

 

By the time evening rolled around, all of the Bellas were truly annoyed, and still as clueless as to why the two co-captains were acting so weird. When it was brought up at the dinner table, Beca and Chloe both feigned ignorance.

 

What are you talking about, you weirdo?” asked Chloe.

 

Yeah, I’m with Chloe. I don’t think I really know what you’re talking about. Everything is fine. Do you feel okay?” Beca said, trying not to break out in laughter at the expressions on all of the people staring back at her.

 

“Okay Shawshank, cut the shit. What’s going on?” Fat Amy finally demanded.

 

“It’s nothing,” Chloe and Beca said at the same time.

 

“Doesn’t seem like ‘nothing’ to me,” Stacie said, narrowing her eyes. “Now spill.”

 

Really, everything is normal. I don’t get why everyone is acting so weird today,” Beca said.

 

“You just seem, different, that’s all. Did something happen to you, that we don’t know about?” asked Emily carefully as to not piss anyone off.

 

Trust me, you don’t wanna know,” Chloe said in her moodiest voice.

 

The Bellas all voiced their disagreement to that statement, claiming that ‘yes they actually DID want to know’ but Beca and Chloe would not give in. They kept it going all the way until movie night. The Bellas waited with baited breath, thinking that Beca would surely crack. To their surprise, not only did Beca make the popcorn so it was ready for movie night, she also asked to pick out the movie, something that Chloe usually did. The two girls then proceeded to sit on their usual couch, but on opposite sides than normal. Then, Beca curled up next to Chloe, who tried to shove Beca off of her. “What are you doing, nerd?” she demanded.

 

Oh hush, you love it,” Beca said, planting a kiss on Chloe's cheek with a loud smack. “Will you pass me some popcorn?”

 

The Bellas all just stared.

 

Quit staring at us. The movie is starting,” announced Chloe. “The sooner this thing is over, the better. I could be making mixes right now…”

 

            The girls all just turned their attention to the television, not even bothering to question the odd behavior that Beca and Chloe were displaying. Once the movie finished, Chloe bolted upstairs, claiming that ‘the stupid movie was a waste of time’, and that she had to immediately make up for it by making a mix in her room and not to disturb her if you valued your life.

 

Beca stayed behind, cleaning up all of the snacks and putting all of the dirty dishes in the sink to be washed later. When she completed her tasks, she bade each Bella goodnight, distributed the classic ‘Chloe hug’ and retreated up the stairs. Once Beca got upstairs, she went into her bedroom, where Chloe was waiting for her. Chloe was situated at Beca’s desk, looking intently at her computer, with Beca’s headphones planted firmly on top of her head. She was humming quietly, and nodding her head to the music coming through the speakers.

 

Beca walked up behind her best friend and wrapped her arms around Chloe’s shoulders. She sighed, and nuzzled into Chloe's neck. “Hey,” she whispered, after she gently removed her headphones off of her best friends head.

 

“Hey loser,” Chloe said, teasingly as she turned to face Beca. “You know we don’t have to pretend to be each other anymore. The day is over, and there are no Bellas around.”

 

“I know,” Beca said, “I just wanted to hug you.”

 

“Who are you, and what have you done to Beca Mitchell?” Chloe demanded.

 

“She’s still here. Maybe just a bit nicer,” was the reply.

 

“You’ve always been a softie at heart,” Chloe agreed.

 

“Shut your face, Beale,” Beca snapped. “I’m a badass.”

 

“And she’s back,” chuckled Chloe as she grabbed Beca and pulled her in for a hug.

 

 

The next morning at breakfast Jessica, Ashley, Cynthia Rose, Fat Amy, Stacie, Emily, Flo and Lily all woke up early, curious to see what would happen that day. When they got to the kitchen, they found that Chloe was already up, eating a bowl of cereal and reading the paper. She was dressed in her normal clothes, and had her hair in its usual wavy curls.

 

“Good morning guys!” Chloe said happily, “how did you all sleep?”

 

The girls all looked at her like she was crazy, but didn’t say anything. Finally, after a few seconds of uncomfortable silence, Jessica replied. “Umm. Fine. How did you sleep?”

 

As Chloe was about to respond, a sleepy brunette stumbled her way into the kitchen. She didn’t even acknowledge the other people in the room, solely focused on getting as much caffeine that she could, put in to her body as fast as possible. Once she had her beverage and breathed in the scent of her freshly brewed coffee, she let out a satisfied sigh. Looking up, she saw 18 eyes staring at her. 

 

“What? Do I have something on my shirt again? I swear, this one was clean…” Beca said, looking down at her red and black striped t-shirt.

 

The Bellas were completely thrown for a loop. Did no-one else notice their odd behaviors yesterday but them?

 

“Beca?” asked Stacie hesitantly.

 

“What do you want, Legs?” Beca asked bluntly.

 

“Nothing. Just checking to see that it was you.”

 

“You’re being ridiculous, Stace. Who else would I be?” Beca asked, pretending like nothing had happened the previous day that would make her behavior do a complete 180.

 

“Hey Red?” tried Cynthia Rose. “You good?”

 

“Of course! I always am, aren’t I?” responded Chloe, also pretending like nothing was out of the ordinary.

 

“Did you get whacked on the head yesterday? ‘Cuz I swear to god, something was weird with you two,” demanded Fat Amy, not one to beat around the bush.

 

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” denied Beca, as Chloe voiced her agreement to Beca’s statement.

 

“Yeah guys, we’re totes fine. Are you sure you’re okay? You all are acting really strange,” said Chloe.

 

“Yeah, cut it out, ya weirdos. You’re creeping me out,” added Beca.

 

“Well, yesterday…” The Bellas all started talking at once, claiming that Beca and Chloe were being the insane ones, and that they had no idea what was going on. After about 5 minutes of presented evidence, the Bellas still didn’t know up from down, but in fact, were even more confused than they were already.

 

“That’s absurd,” Beca said, referring to Ashley’s claim that someone put a spell on them. “There is no way in hell that could happen.”

 

“Exactly,” Chloe chimed in, “Nobody is bewitched or anything. I think you all just need to calm down and get real for a second.”

 

“But Beca hugged me,” Emily protested to Chloe. “She would never do that in her right mind. She only hugs you, and that’s because you hug her first. It’s like she was you!”

 

Chloe shrugged, “Stranger things have been known to happen.”

 

“Well, whatever it was, I think we all just need to move on. You can’t seriously think that I was Chloe, can you?” Beca asked. “And don’t think I didn’t notice all of you were acting strangely yesterday either.”

 

While only Beca and Chloe knew the truth, the Bellas could all agree that it was a freaky day.

Chapter Text

November 28th 2017

 

Beca and Chloe were smushed on the couch and staring attentively at the TV. It was 5:30 am and for once in her life, Beca had become a morning person. It was the morning of the announcements of the nominations for the 60th annual GRAMMY Awards. When Chloe had first woken her up at 5, to make sure she was able to watch the nominations, Beca had literally kicked her wife. Not intentionally, of course, but that’s what you get for pulling off the covers and tickling Beca’s feet to wake her up.

 

“Can’t you watch it, and tell me at a normal time?” Beca had whined. “It’s too early.”

 

“Oh my poor baby. Sucks to be a famous music producer, doesn’t it?” Chloe said, not the slightest bit sympathetic.

 

            So here they were, half an hour later, with Beca still in pajamas and messy hair, but looking slightly more awake, tucked in next to her wife under a blanket and nursing her mug of coffee. The two girls were intently watching Andra Day announce the nominees, and from what Beca could process in her sleep-deprived brain, there was sure to be some tough competitions.

 

The first couple of albums Beca worked on were good, and definitely got her noticed, but none of them were good enough to be nominated for a GRAMMY. This time though, it was different. Beca had collaborated with Jay-Z to produce his new album 4:44. Even with the tough competition talks, both the album as well as the song “The Story of O.J.” were getting quite a lot of buzz.

 

Chloe wanted to be front and center for it all and actually had a camera set up in a way that captured both the TV and the couch, to record the whole thing. Beca was secretly a bit excited as well but didn’t want to get her hopes up. There were a lot of good albums and producers out there, who are just as deserving, if not more, of a nomination as she was.

 

As they listened to Andra announce the different categories, the two of them would occasionally voice their opinions on the nominees, but they were mostly waiting to hear her announce the ‘Big 4’. The ‘Big 4’, were for the best new artist, the record of the year, the song of the year, and album of the year.

 

Jay-Z was not new to the music scene, so he was obviously out of the running for the Best New Artist category, but he was eligible for all of the rest, thereby making Beca, as a producer, part of the nominations.

 

Beca was currently spacing out, thinking of all of the work she’d done over the years, and how crazy it was to even be watching the nominees be announced, when she felt herself getting smacked in the arm from a frantic redhead. She was brought back to earth just in time to hear Andra say, “The nominees for Record of the Year are…”

 

Chloe squealed and grabbed for Beca’s hand, jostling Beca’s hold on her coffee mug and almost causing her to spill. “Watch it woman,” Beca said, teasingly. “If I have to go to the hospital with a burn and cause you to miss the nominations, you’ll be sorry.”

 

“The nominees for the Record of the Year are: “Redbone”, by Childish Gambino. “Despacito”, by Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee Featuring Justin Bieber. “The Story of O.J.”, by Jay-Z. “HUMBLE”, by Kendrick Lamar. “24K Magic”, by Bruno Mars.”

 

Chloe gasped loudly and screamed, “Becs. Did you hear that?!”

 

“YES!” Beca said happily, forgetting that it was barely 6am and that they had 2 small children who were by some miracle, still sleeping. She didn’t forget for too long though because a loud wail could suddenly be heard from the second floor. It was Brittany.

 

“Mama. Mama. MAMA!”

 

Shortly thereafter a grumble came from her older child, “Ugh. Mom, make her stop!”

 

Beca groaned. It was going to be a long day if their kids were up that early. Even though Brittany was calling out for Beca, Chloe stood up and said, “I got her. It’s my fault she woke up early anyway. You watch the TV.”

 

Happy that she didn’t have to move from her comfortable position, Beca braced herself for two tiny humans who were about to grace her with their presence. Beca could hear Chloe babbling to Brittany on the baby monitor, and also heard Anna’s heavy footsteps on the stairs, signifying that the girl was not pleased at being woken up this early.

 

Rubbing her eyes, a very tired Anna, with bed head to rival her Mama’s, climbed on Beca’s lap and snuggled in to her side. “Whaddawatchin?” she mumbled sleepily, pointing lazily at the TV screen. Beca tried to think of how to explain how important being considered to win something, but not necessarily be guaranteed to win anything was to a kindergartener. “Well…”

 

Just then, Chloe came down the stairs with Brittany, and luckily intervened, purposely glazing over a few technicalities. “Mama worked really hard and now we’re seeing if she gets a prize for any of it!”

 

“Oh,” Anna looked confused. “Why wouldn’t she get a prize?”

 

“You’re sweet,” Chloe said, smiling at Anna as Beca chuckled and squeezed her daughter closer. “But now we have to be quiet, so we can hear what they’re saying.”

 

“Okay,” Anna said, turning to Brittany who was making random cooing noises as she chewed a clump of Chloe's hair. “Britt, stop. We gotta be quiet!”

 

A few more categories were announced, and then Andra could be heard saying “In the category for Best Rap Album, we have “DAMN.” by Kendrick Lamar. “Culture,” by Migos. “Laila’s Wisdom,” by Rapsody. “Flower Boy,” by Tyler, the Creator. “4:44,” by Jay-Z.

 

At that, Beca was thrilled that the album she put so much time into was dominating so many of the important categories. She allowed herself to relax and celebrate a bit. She wasn’t quite as enthusiastic as Chloe was, but she was getting there.

 

By the time “Album of the Year, came up, the Mitchell house was buzzing with excitement. When it ended up that 4:44 was being nominated along with Childish Gambino, Kendrick Lamar, Lorde and Bruno Mars, Chloe and Beca both jumped off the couch and started shouting. All together Jay-Z scored eight nominations, which was the most out of all the nominees for the year.

 

Anna didn’t understand why her parents were so being so loud, especially because she didn’t hear her mother’s name being called, but she squealed none the less, wanting to feel included. Beca held Brittany in her arms and cheered, as Chloe and Anna danced around the living room in celebration of the GRAMMY nominations.

 

After a few minutes, they settled back on the couch and Beca let out a deep breath. “Whew. What a way to start a Tuesday!”

 

“I think this is cause for a Family Day!” Chloe chirped.

 

“Yeah!  Family Day!” Anna screamed.

 

            Family Day was when the Mitchell’s went and did something special to celebrate an award or a big accomplishment. This time, “Family Day” turned in to “Family Mini-Vacation” and when the family of 4 arrived home from their week in Palm Springs, Beca found herself busier than ever. While Beca was away, she found out she was also nominated for Producer of the Year, non-classical.

             

            Being nominated for working on an album that has gotten so much recognition meant that Beca was not only basically obligated to go, but that she had to go find an outfit for the occasion as well. There weren’t many things that Beca really hated but attending red carpet events and clothes shopping for special occasions were 2 of them. Beca much preferred staying out of the limelight and at home with her family. She didn’t make music because she wanted to be famous, she did it because she loved it. The fame just came with the job.

 

            That’s how she found herself standing in front of a store window with Stacie, who came to L.A. to help Beca pick out something to wear. Beca did have a stylist, which she still couldn’t wrap her head around, but preferred Stacie’s help over pretty much everyone else but Chloe.

 

            “Do you think she’ll like it?” Beca asked, as she spun around in front of the mirror.

 

            “Like it? She’s going to die. You’re going to be the only thing every man, woman and child in America will be looking at. And probably even the world.

 

            “That’s not terrifying at all,” Beca said with a shudder, as she turned towards the dressing rooms to go change back in to her street clothes.

 


 

January 28th 2018

 

Chloe and Beca had arrived in New York mid morning the day before the GRAMMYs and it had been go, go, go ever since. As soon as they had checked in to the Whitby hotel and put down their bags, they were shuttled off to the GRAMMYs rehearsal, as well as the pre-GRAMMY brunch.

 

They returned back to their hotel later that evening totally exhausted, but Beca was un-able to wind down, due to all of her nervous energy. Eventually she was able to fall asleep after FaceTiming with Anna and Brittany, but she was still a bundle of nerves.

 

The entire weekend would’ve just been even more chaotic trying to travel with 2 small children and making sure they were taken care of, so the girls had been sent to Aunt Aubrey and Uncle Jesse’s for an extended sleepover.

 

The flight to New York was fairly painless, even though Beca still hated flying. Since Beca owned the plane, they got to relax in a spacious main cabin instead of having to fly surrounded by the general public. However, that was the last bit of relaxing the Beca and Chloe would have for a while.

 

It was the day of the GRAMMYs and Beca was in full on panic mode. The brunette was no stranger to stress, but she got anxious whenever there was a lot going on, and there was definitely a massive amount of activity happening all at the same time. the Pre-Telecast Ceremony, interviews and pictures on the red carpet, dinner, the actual awards ceremony, and then of course, all the after parties.

 

Beca hated the red carpet and interview portion of awards shows, and was very tempted to skip it, but her publicist insisted that she do a few, because her appearance at the GRAMMYs was rare. She would much rather bypass the whole thing and go straight to the tables, but it wasn’t an option this time. Beca made her displeasure be known, before reluctantly agreeing. Fortunately, they didn’t ask her to do as many interviews as a producer, than they did the actual artists themselves. Most of the interview requests were due to Beca’s foray into the music world as a DJ and for her roles in various movies.

 

By the time Beca was expected to walk the red carpet, she had already taken 2 Xanax pills and stress ate pretty much an entire column of the Taco Bell drive thru menu, which she unwittingly disclosed on national television while talking to Josh Horowitz from MTV.  Luckily, Josh took it in stride, and mentioned that he once did an interview with Jennifer Lawrence who stuffed 10 marshmallows into her mouth for a chubby bunny contest who then revealed an embarrassing dating story from when she was 16. As the Xanax kicked in, Beca was starting to actually have fun walking the red carpet with Chloe. They posed for pictures, and Chloe kept telling Beca funny things to keep her calm, and even smile every once and a while.

 

Beca’s least favorite question during interviews, wasn’t one that had to do with her music at all though. It was the dreaded “what are you wearing tonight?” question. Beca didn’t really see the point in asking what she was wearing (clothes, duh) and most of the time, she forgot who designed it anyway. However, tonight she was all anyone could talk about. She wore a very stylish black Band of Outsiders pantsuit. Her cleavage was out for the world to see, and she probably would’ve accidentally flashed the world, had it not been for some very strategically placed tape.

 

Chloe on the hand, was rocking the red carpet in a black strapless A-line dress, with a sheer black polka-dot overlay. She wouldn’t be Chloe though, if she didn’t have some sort of accessory for her outfit, so she brought a pink clutch for a pop of color.

 

When they finally got to their seats, Beca was much more relaxed than she was earlier on in the day. It helped that the venue provided copious amounts of alcohol pretty much everywhere you looked too. Beca and Chloe sat at table 19, with the rest of the people who worked on Jay-Z’s album 4:44, to eat dinner. Beca and Jay-Z caught up after not seeing each other since the album finished, and Chloe talked about raising kids with Beyoncé. Blue Ivy was the same age as Anna, and the twins, Rumi and Sir, were only about 1 year younger than Brittany. By the time the main meal arrived, Chloe had already set up a play date for Blue and Anna.

 

“Please take your seats, the show is about to begin,” a disembodied voice announced, and all of the attendees wrapped up their conversations slowly began to make their way back to their designated places. Beca suddenly found herself getting nervous again. She reached out for Chloe's hand, and thankfully, Chloe was a step ahead of her, and already had moved her hand towards her wife, giving it a soft squeeze of reassurance.

 

All of the categories had some very impressive artists, but everyone at Beca and Chloe’s table was focused on Jay-Z’s multiple nominations, as well as Beca’s potential producer award. At the Pre-Telecast, Jay-Z picked up GRAMMYs for Best Rap Performance, Best Rap/Sung Performance and Best Music Video. Jay-Z was also nominated for Best Rap Album, Best Rap Song, Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Album of the Year which would be announced during the ceremony. The Producer of the Year award that Beca was up for would be announced during the ceremony as well.

 

The show seemed to go by slowly, as the categories were revealed, and the presenters said some short funny monologues said nice things about the nominees. Beca pretty much tuned out, just like when they watched the nominations at home, until she felt a sharp pain in her side, from where Chloe had elbowed her in the ribs.

 

“… Rap Album goes to,” Camilla Cabello, the presenter said, “Jay-Z, 4:44.”

 

The entire table cheered, as Jay-Z kissed his wife, stood up and quickly made his way towards the stage. “Congrats on your first GRAMMY babe,” Chloe said, as she clapped for Jay-Z who had reached the stairs. Since Beca worked as a producer on the album and was credited, she got to receive a GRAMMY as well. Beca just smiled back, slightly stunned. As he walked on stage to give his acceptance speech, it was announced that he also won for Best Rap Song.

 

The night went on in a similar fashion, broken up with short breaks, for when they aired commercials on the televisions. About midway through the night, the moment Beca had been waiting for, arrived.

 

“Here to present the Producer of the Year - Non Classical, award, is P!nk,” the host, James Corden said, as P!nk walked out onto the stage, wearing a beautiful red dress to announce the category.

 

At that, Beca sat up straight in her chair, suddenly VERY alert. She glanced around the table at everyone, who all gave her supporting nods and smiles. Beca felt a bit better. These people were here for her, no matter what. And even if she didn’t win, she knew she did her best with what she had, and that is all you can ask for. (But if you asked Beca, she would say she did a pretty damn good job.)

 

“To be a great producer, music has to be a big part of your soul, and these next 6 people have some of the biggest souls out there. The nominees are: Calvin Harris, Beca Mitchell, No I.D., Blake Mills, Greg Kurstin, and The Stereotypes.” As it had the entire night, the camera cut to each person as their name was announced, and when it came to Beca she tried to mask her nerves, and gave a shaky wave.

 

“And the winner is,” P!nk opened the envelope, paused, for dramatic effect, and then announced, “Beca Mitchell, for 4:44.”

 

 

Beca sat there stunned as Chloe screamed beside her, and the rest of the table stood up to applaud her. Pulling Beca to her feet, Chloe said, “Bec, you gotta go on stage now.”

 

Oh right. That was a thing. Beca had totally forgot that she would have to give a speech if she won. She was so sure she wouldn’t, that she didn’t have anything to say. To her, it was just an honor to be nominated. A panicked look went across Beca’s face but was quickly erased when Chloe softly kissed her. “You can do it, just speak from your heart. Now go,” Chloe encouraged, as if she was able to read Beca’s mind.

 

Beca made her way towards the stage, the short walk feeling like miles. When she reached the stairs, she sent a silent prayer up to the music gods that she wouldn’t trip or mess it up by dropping her award, and before she knew it, she was being handed a statuette and standing in front of a microphone that was slightly taller than she was.

 

“Wow. Um, okay. I wasn’t expecting this at all. I don’t really have anything prepared, ‘cuz I didn’t think I would win so…” she trailed off.  “I am just so stoked to be here. Sorry. I don’t say stuff like that. That was bad. Um. I don’t really know what to say. I’m bad at words and feelings, especially under pressure, and this is a lot. Uh, anyway… I’m just really so happy to be here with all of you tonight. It has been so amazing and I can’t thank everyone enough, but I’ll try.

 

First, let me say thank you to the Recording Academy, for this tremendous honor and to Jay-Z for letting me work on this album with him. Thank you for taking a chance on this scrappy little nobody. They say when you do what you love, it never feels like work, and I can honestly say, I have loved collaborating on this with you, Jay-Z. To my amazing friends and family, thank you for being so supportive and understanding and loving. You weirdos are the best, and my life is better with you in it. To my daughters, Anna and Brittany, this award is dedicated for the two of you. This is proof that if you work hard and follow your dreams, you can do pretty much anything you put your mind to. And lastly, I’d like to thank my wife Chloe. I love you. I’ll always be the rain cloud to your sunshine.”

 

Holding up her award, Beca looks at it and said, “All I can say is thanks, really. I feel like I’ve said thank you so many times it doesn’t even sound like a word anymore, but it’s true. This award means the world to me, and I love you awesome nerds. Beca out.”

 

            Beca was escorted off the stage with P!nk and shuttled in to the press room where she was immediately bombarded with flashes of light and voices asking her questions. Beca answered as fast as she could, just wanting to get back to Chloe's side. When she finally was free to go, she made a bee-line towards her wife, and got back just in time to hear Jennifer Lopez announce the Best New Artist award to Alessia Cara.

 

            The night ended up with Jay-Z making a clean sweep, and everyone was going to the Roc Nation after party, hosted by the label’s distributor company, Universal Music Group, but Beca and Chloe only wanted to go back to their hotel and celebrate in their own way.

 

            As the two laid in bed afterwards, Beca could not stop remembering the journey it took to get to where she is today, the good and the bad. All the stress and late nights and early mornings and time away from her loved ones was worth it. All the fun times in the studio and just having jam sessions was worth it. Everything happened for a reason, and it all ended up in a GRAMMY.

 

            “I can hear you thinking,” Chloe said, “Stop over analyzing life, and just be happy.”

 

            “Oh, I’m happy, trust me,” Beca replied. “I would’ve been happy even if I didn’t win any GRAMMYs, because I have you. That’s one thing I can always count on to be there for me. You and music.”

 

            “You’ll always have me, my little rain cloud. But now, if you don’t mind, this sunshine is going to bed. Chloe out,” she teased.

 

            “Oh God, I can’t believe I said that on TV,” Beca groaned, as she rolled over on to her back, throwing an arm over her forehead dramatically.

 

 

            When Beca and Chloe arrived home Anna and Brittany were very excited. As soon as Beca and Chloe walked through the door they spotted their daughters. Anna ran over to Chloe and screeched loudly.  “MOMMY! I WATCHED YOU AND MAMA ON TV! I saw them take lots of pictures of you on that red strip. Uncle Jesse said Mama looked nice, but Aunt Aubrey said she forgot her shirt.”

 

            At that, Beca glared at Aubrey, who sent Beca a smirk to rival her own.

 

            “Really? What else did you see on TV?” Chloe asked, slightly amused at her excitement.

 

            “I watched Mama make a speech! You said my name on TV!” Anna continued excitedly, turning to Beca who had picked up Brittany and was making funny faces at her. “You told a whole room of strangers about me and Brittany and that the shiny bell was for us!  I’m gonna work hard so I can be like you.”

 

            Beca’s heart swelled with pride and she was reminded yet again of how she had the best family on the planet.

 

GRAMMY or no GRAMMY, Beca was a winner in their books, which was all that mattered.

 

Chapter Text

DECEMBER 31st

THE LODGE AT FALLEN LEAVES SKI RESORT

THE MITCHELL HOTEL ROOM

"Beca, it's New Year's Eve, enough reading," Mr. Mitchell said, attempting to take Beca's book.

"But dad, I'm almost done and…" Beca said, not looking up from her book.

"The teen party?" he reminded. "I've laid out your best clothes. Come get ready."

"Fine," Beca grumbled, "Can I at least have my book back?"

"I suppose. Now go. Put yourself out there. Make some memories." Mr. Mitchell replied, handing back Beca's worn out copy of her favorite book.

"Thank you," Beca mumbled, as she got off the sofa to reluctantly change into something more suitable for a New Year's Eve party.


THE LODGE GYM

"Keep working on hitting that left side Chlo," Coach Beale said to his daughter, who was practicing her serves. The father/daughter duo would've continued all night, had Mrs. Beale not entered they gym and put a stop to it.

"Excuse me you two, but did we really fly all this way to play more volleyball?" she asked.

Chloe looked at her dad, and in unison, they both nodded their heads and said "Yeah."

"Well, can you wrap it up please? It's the last night of vacation. The party, remember?" she reprimanded.

"Right, the party. The party. New Year's Eve," Coach Beale said, obviously forgetting that that he had said he would go.

Turning to her daughter, Mrs. Beale continued, "Chloe, they have a kids party downstairs in the Freestyle club."

"Kids party?!" Chloe replied incredulously.

"Young adults," Mrs. Beale clarified. "Now go, shower up."

Chloe took the ball from her father and bounces it once, before spinning it around in the palm of her hand. "Come on, one more."

Mrs. Beale let out a loud heavy sigh, showing her displeasure.

"Last one," Chloe bargained.

"Real quick," Coach Beale added.

Mrs. Beale just gestured in a 'go-ahead' motion, knowing she lost the battle.

Chloe grinned, and went to the serving line. As she had before, she nailed the serve to the back left corner of the court.

"Whoo! There we go. That's the way to end it!" Chloe cheered, jumping up and down, high-fiving her father in celebration.


FREESTYLE CLUB 

YOUNG ADULTS PARTY

Beca entered the lounge, looking around skeptically, before finding a couch to sit on and opening her book again. At the same time, a freshly showered Chloe made her way through the crowd. She heard some people singing karaoke and was drawn towards the stage to hear better.

I WANNA BE YOUR EVERYTHING

BE MY SHINING STAR

TOGETHER WE CAN BE THE EVERYTHING

NO MATTER WHERE WE ARE

I WANNA BE YOUR EVERYTHING

DEEP WITHIN YOUR HEART…

The redhead was standing near the stage watching the people sing, when the MC for the night asked, "Who's gonna rock the house next?"

All of a sudden Chloe found herself being blinded by a spotlight. Where had that come from, and what did it mean? Beca also found herself in a similar situation, the light making it difficult to read her book.

When it dawned upon Chloe that she was meant to sing, she tried to get out of it. "I can't sing. No, you go," she pleaded to the person next to her. Beca on the other hand was way too confused to even resist. The host hauled Beca and Chloe up on stage and said, "Hey, you know what? Someday you guys might thank me for this," and handed them each microphones.

The techno opening notes of Titanium poured out from the speakers, as the words appeared on screen. The two looked very uncomfortable up there, especially Beca as she assumed a rigid position with her arms across her chest that showed that she wasn't too pleased at being forced up there and away from her book.

YOU SHOUT IT OUT, BUT I CAN'T HEAR A WORD YOU SAY.

I'M TALKING LOUD NOT SAYING MUCH.

I'M CRITICIZED BUT ALL YOUR BULLETS RICOCHET.

YOU SHOOT ME DOWN, BUT I GET UP.

Chloe started off singing softly, and when her part was over, she turned to leave the stage but stopped when she heard a crisp alto voice.

THIS TIME BABY, I'LL BE, BULLETPROOF.

THIS TIME BABY, I'LL BE, BULLETPROOF.

Chloe stopped in her tracks, looking over at the tiny brunette with the scary ear spikes. Okay, that is NOT what the words were. She spun around, looked at the girl with a confused look. The girl only gestured for her to continue her song, so she did.

I'M BULLETPROOF, NOTHING TO LOSE.

FIRE AWAY, FIRE AWAY.

RICOCHET, YOU TAKE YOUR AIM.

FIRE AWAY, FIRE AWAY.

YOU SHOOT ME DOWN, BUT I WON'T FALL (I'LL BE BULLETPROOF)

I AM TITANIUM.

YOU SHOOT ME DOWN, BUT I WON'T FALL (THIS TIME BABY, I'LL BE BULLETPROOF)

I AM TITANIUM… (THIS TIME BABY I'LL BE, BULLET PROOF)

I AM TITANIUM… (THIS TIME BABY I'LL BE, BULLET PROOF)

As the song built into the chorus, the girls stopped looking at the screen and instead, looked at each other as they sang. Beca continued to mix in Bulletproof, while Chloe continued to sing Titanium.

Beca launched into the next few verses of Bulletproof as Chloe stood in awe of how well the two songs mashed up together. Once it was Chloe's turn to sing again, Beca nodded her head, as if to say, 'go'. The two harmonized the next bit together.

THIS TIME BABY, I'LL BE BULLET PROOF (I AM TITANIUM)

THIS TIME BABY, I'LL BE BULLET PROOF (I AM TITANIUM)

SHOOT ME DOWN, SHOOT ME, SHOOT ME DOWN (THIS TIME)

SHOOT ME DOWN, SHOOT ME, SHOOT ME DOWN (THIS TIME)

I AM TITANIUM

THIS TIME BABY, I'LL BE BULLET PROOF (I AM TITANIUM)

As the song ended, Chloe and Beca turned to each other, and introduced themselves.

"Beca," Beca said, holding out her hand for Chloe to shake.

"Chloe," she replied, shaking the outstretched hand.


As the two walked out on the balcony with some cups of hot chocolate, Chloe couldn't stop talking to her (hopefully) new best friend. "That thing you did back there, with the songs? That was so cool!"

"Thanks, I guess," Beca said, not used to being praised for her mixes.

"But seriously, you have some real musical talent. And an amazing voice. You're a singer too, right?"

"Just church choir, and only because my dad made me."

"Well, you should sing more often," Chloe encouraged.

"Really? Why is that?" Beca asked Chloe skeptically.

"Because you've got a great voice!" Chloe replied.

"Yeah sure. My showerhead is very impressed with me," Beca said sarcastically.

Just then, the crowd at the ski lodge started counting down to the new year.

"10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1!"

Cheering and party horns could be heard blaring in the background and fireworks were going off, but all Chloe and Beca could do was stare at each other.

"I guess I better go find my dad and wish him a happy new year," Beca said reluctantly.

"Yeah, me too. I mean, not your dad. My dad... and mom. Uh... I'll call you. I'll call you tomorrow. Here, put your number in," Chloe said, handing Beca her phone and reaching out for the other girl to do the same.

They exchange numbers, and Chloe takes a picture of herself with Beca's phone, saving it in the contacts.

When Chloe got her own phone back, she quickly snapped a photo of Beca and added it to Beca's information that she had just put in.

Chloe grabbed Beca's hands and pulled her in close. "I think we're going to be fast friends," she declared.

"Well, we did sing together, so…" Beca trailed off, ending with a wink.

Beca and Chloe looked at each other for awhile, not really knowing what to say before Chloe breaks it, by saying, "Just so you know, singing with you is the most fun I've had on this entire vacation."

"Same," Beca replied softly, as they both turned to look out over the mountains. After a while, Chloe noticed Beca was starting to shiver, so Chloe suggested they go back inside. The party was winding down, now that midnight had arrived, and everyone was headed back to their rooms.

"I'll text you, yeah?" Chloe said, although it seemed more of a question asked.

"Yeah."

As Beca reached her room and flopped on to her bed, her phone dinged.

1 new message from Chloe

"It was nice meeting you! I enjoyed singing with you! Goodnight! Sweet dreams! :))"

Beca smiled at her new friend and her excessive use of emojis and punctuation marks. She thought about what Chloe had said earlier, about them becoming fast friends, and couldn't help but agree, that it could be the start of something new.

Chapter Text

"Oi Chloe!" Fat Amy called from across the Treble's backyard. "Happy Ginger Day!"

"Whaaa?" an inebriated Chloe shouted back to the Australian, from where she and Beca were dancing together with Emily and Benji. "Is that even a thing?" she asked, as she swayed slightly.

"Eh. If it isn't it should be," Fat Amy said, downing the rest of her Guinness in one large swig. "Alright, I'm off to find Bumper. He promised to let me pick the Netflix part of 'Netflix and chill'.

"It's not Ginger Day, it's Saint Patrick's Day," Beca corrected, as she grabbed Chloe's arm to steady her. "And make sure the Netflix part is loud so the whole party doesn't have to listen to you and Bumper "chill".

"No promises, my little leprechaun," said Fat Amy, as she left the two.

"Fight me," Beca hollered at her friend's retreating form.

Turning back to Chloe, Beca took in her girlfriend's current state and asked, "Are you sure you're okay?"

"I'm aca-awesome," the girl replied.

"Are you sure? Can you pass a sobriety test right now?" Beca inquired, lightly pushing on her girlfriend's chest to see if she was capable of standing on her own.

Every time they went to a social gathering, the Bellas rotated through the group as to who was staying sober, so they could take care of each other and make sure all the girls got back to the house in one piece. Everyone took a turn, even the non-maternal-by-nature Beca, who happened to be the designated person for this particular acapella party.

It started when Aubrey had had one too many times of looking after everyone's drunk asses and put her foot down. Nobody had originally forced Aubrey to take on the role of chaperone, but Aubrey refused to let the Bellas disgrace themselves so she chose to stay sober and got her revenge on them the next morning by doing her best impersonation of a drill sargent when they all had hangovers. However, after Beca's freshman year, Aubrey was working on being less stressed, which included letting her hair down once and a while. Turns out the blonde can really hold her liquor and could give Fat Amy a run for her money.

"Stop," Chloe whined, swatting Beca's hand away. "I'm not drunk, you're just blurry."

"Ok, that means yes you are and that you should get to bed."

"Booo, you're no fun. I wanna stay at the party," Chloe said frowning at Beca as she leaned forward to whisper in Beca's ear.

Beca turned towards Chloe and almost collided with her face, not expecting Chloe to be that close to her.

Just then, Stacie walked by them with her latest conquest, "OH, get it girl!" she hooted.

"Get what?" Beca asked the leggy brunette, thoroughly confused.

"You've found your pot of gold! Or should I say, pot of red," Stacie replied.

"What does that have to do with anything?"

"Beca, aren't redheads like, supposed to be Irish and lucky or something like that?"

"I don't know Stace," Beca sighed, as she rubbed her head. "You're like, one of the smartest Bellas, shouldn't you know that?"

Rolling her eyes, Stacie pulled the boy's hand she had been holding on to and said, "I'll let you two figure that out, I'm busy."

"Oh look, there's Aubrey! Let's ask her!" Chloe said excitedly.

"Yeah, I don't know about the lucky bit or not. You're mostly just insane," Beca said, but followed Chloe over to the bench by the makeshift bar where Aubrey and Jesse were sitting.

"Aubs! I need to ask you something. It's important," Chloe said, waving her hands wildly in front of her. Upon Beca and Chloe's arrival, Jesse stood up and said, "I'll catch you later, ok?" to Aubrey.

Aubrey stared at her friend, slightly frustrated at the bubbly girl who didn't always catch social cues. "Chloe Anne. Did you not see that I was talking?"

"Ooops," Chloe's eyes got big, and sad. "I'm sorry. Are you mad at me?"

Aubrey sighed and looked up at the air. "It's fine." Being mad at Chloe was like kicking a puppy. You just can't. "What was so important, anyway?"

"Umm. Uh… Oh yeah!" Chloe said, her alcohol induced fog making her memory a bit hazy. "What do you know about Saint Patrick's Day?"

"Saint Patrick wasn't actually Irish, he was from somewhere in England, probably Scotland or Wales. He supposedly drove out all the snakes from Ireland though, and we celebrate Saint Patrick's day on March 17th, because that's the day he died," Aubrey rattled off. She continued to go in to the back story of Patrick, but Beca cut her off, not wanting to become too bored by Catholic theology.

"Damn General, how do you know all this?" said Beca, impressed yet again, by the blonde's vast array of random facts.

"Because I read books, Hobbit."

"Ugh, enough with the short jokes already!" cried Beca exasperatedly. "What do you know about how redheads are related to the holiday?" she added, seeing as Chloe was obviously not currently focusing on the topic at hand, and instead solely directing all of her attention on staying upright.

"Oooh! I'm a redhead!" Chloe chimed in, suddenly inserting herself back in the conversation.

"Yes, sweetie we know," Aubrey placated. "And you're lucky, because this is basically YOUR holiday."

"I still don't get the correlation between redheads and Saint Patrick's Day…" Beca interjected.

"Aca-scuse me, but I was getting there, before I was so rudely interrupted."

Beca rolled her eyes but gestured for Aubrey to continue.

"As I was about to say, it's because of the connection between red heads and Ireland, and therefore Saint Patrick's Day. There is a genetic marker mostly found in northwestern Europe. 10-30 percent of the population of Ireland has red hair, even though redheads only make up 2 percent of the global population. Either way though, having red hair doesn't necessarily mean you're Irish, and just because you're Irish, doesn't guarantee you'll have red hair. It's all a stereotype."

"Holy fuck, you sound like a Wikipedia page," Beca stated.

"Again, Hobbit. I read. Maybe you should try it. And if anything, it would be a text book. Wikipedia is entirely too unreliable to be a credible source," Aubrey finished.

"Well, what about the whole 'pinching people because they're not wearing green' thing or rainbows and pots of gold and finding four-leaf clovers and leprechauns?" Chloe asked excitedly, once again interested in the conversation.

"That's all just more stupid traditions, myths and stereotypes," Aubrey said, not realizing how much damage could be done in one sentence.

The smile on Chloe's face quickly disappeared and her eyes dropped to the floor. "Oh."

"Way to go," Beca snapped. Beca was already kind of mad at Aubrey for insinuating that she couldn't read, but thanks to Aubrey, she also now had a drunk and sad Chloe to care for, which she was not pleased about. "Thanks a lot Posen."

Beca led Chloe over to the side of the pool, where the two sat, kicking their feet back and forth in the cool water and talking as Chloe sobered up a bit.

"Ya know, even though a lot of the things you asked Aubrey about really are just for fun, I can think of at least 2 of my favorite Irish traditions that you forgot," Beca mused.

"Hmmm?"

"May the sun shine all day long, everything go right and nothing wrong. May those you love bring love back to you and may all the wishes you wish come true." Beca said.

When Chloe smiled, Beca knew she had done a good job at cheering her girlfriend up.

"It's an Irish blessing my grandmother used to say," she explained. "Blessing people is a favorite tradition of many Irish families.

"I like that one. What's the other one?"

"You're supposed to kiss pretty Irish girls, to bring you luck."

"But I'm not Irish, Bec," Chloe said, confused.

"You're not, but I am," Beca said, as she leaned over to kiss Chloe softly.

Chapter Text

The month of June is pride month, and Chloe thought it would be the perfect time to tell Beca about the feelings she had been harboring ever since their shared moment in the shower back at the beginning of Beca’s freshman year.

 

To Chloe, love is pretty simple. She loved completely and fully with every fiber of her being. Whether it be a picture of a puppy, a delicious smoothie or a person—male or female—she loved them all with the same amount of passion. The object of her desires though, was a different story all together.

 

Beca wasn’t incapable of feelings, nor was she oblivious or stupid. She just didn’t always know what to do when she felt things, so she pretended that she didn’t feel them at all. All the Bellas knew about Beca’s not so subtle toner for Chloe, except for maybe Beca herself. Admitting that she had feelings meant that she was vulnerable, and Beca was not about to be seen as anything but a badass.

 

Chloe had been developing a plan for the best way to tell Beca that she has like liked her for almost an entire year. Now that the Bellas caught wind of it, they insisted upon being a part of this proclamation as well.

 

The Bellas loved any excuse to party. They also liked to celebrate and support their fellow sisters. Ever since the girls recently had an 80’s movie marathon, they were all about the big, grand gestures that usually happened at the end of a film. The majority of the time, in all the movies that matter to the Bellas at least, the guy always gets the girl and there’s a happy ending. The fact that there are hardly any same-sex couples in the movies is something that they all thought needs to be fixed, but they appreciated the sentiments none the less.

 

The Bellas didn’t do anything subtle, or with dignity very often, but they were going to do their best to get their co-captains together, without ruining the surprise.

 

 

“BECAW!” Jesse greeted Beca at the radio station one day. “I’m supposed to tell you, that Benji told me, that Emily told him to tell you that you need to be back at the house by 12 pm, because she wants to work on some songs with you before Bellas practice starts.”

 

“What?” Beca asked, shooting her goofy coworker a confused stare.

 

“I. Am. Supposed. To. Tell. You…” Jesse began slowly and loudly, as if Beca was an elderly woman who was hard of hearing.

 

“Skip to the point, Jess. Is something is happening at noon?”

 

“Go home in 20 minutes,” Jesse said, giving up.

 

“Why?”

 

“Because Benji told me that Emily told him to tell you to,” replied the boy, as if that was enough of a reason to do anything.

 

“But…” Beca said, gesturing to all the work she had left to do. “I’m nowhere near being done.”

 

“I got it covered, don’t worry about it.”

 

When Beca still looked skeptical, Jesse started to get annoyed. “Don’t ask questions, Bec. Just do it.”

 

“Alright. Geeze. I’ll do it,” never one to pass up the opportunity to leave work early.

 

***

 

When Beca arrived home, she should’ve known something was up the minute she walked in the door. It was quiet. TOO quiet. And the house was clean. Which were 2 clues right away, that something was not right.

 

Assuming the girls were about to do something, like attack her with nerf guns which they did last Sunday, she called out to them.

 

“Em? You there? Jess said you wanted to see me.” There was no response.

 

“Emily? Guys? Ok, I’m coming upstairs, please don’t shoot me.”

 

Then all of a sudden, she heard quiet whispers and giggles on the stairs.

 

Ah,” Beca thought to herself. “That’s more like it.”

 

“Ok seriously, I’m here and it isn’t funny. You can all come out now.” The owners of the whispers and giggles made their way down the stairs, but to Beca’s surprise, only Stacie and Fat Amy appeared at the bottom.

 

“Is it just you two?” Beca inquired.

 

When Stacie and Fat Amy nodded, she asked, “Did you need anything?”

 

“Nope. Just wanted to talk.”

 

“Okay, well, why were you hiding? You could’ve just waited for me in the living room.”

 

“Because we know it drives you nuts. Besides, Flo just cleaned it and threatened to hurt us if we made it dirty.”

 

            “Can you get to the point please? Emily and I were supposed to meet up soon and I also want to take a nap.”

 

            “You can nap later. Right now, you need to put this on, and come with us,” Stacie said, handing Beca a rainbow colored sparkly bandana.

 

            “Why?”

 

            “Because we’re meeting up with the girls.”

 

            “All of them?”

 

“No, a few of the girls will meet up with us later. Now come on. We’re already late. Are you gonna come on your own or does Fat Amy need to carry you?

 

            “Fine. I’ll come with you, but there’s no way in hell I’m wearing that.” Beca bargained. It was a testament to how much Beca had grown over the year as a person, that she now trusted her fellow Bellas (to some degree) to take her somewhere without telling her the final destination.

 

            Surprised that Beca agreed so easily, Fat Amy hoisted Beca over her shoulder and began to walk out the door, Stacie following close behind.

 

            “Amy! I said I’d go! Put me down!”

 

            “Sometimes people say one thing but do another. You’ll get used to it.”

 

            “Don’t I know it…” Beca sighed, not even putting up a fight as the blindfold was tied around her eyes and she was shoved in a car.

 

***

            Stacie drove the girls to the heart of Atlanta, headed towards the Civic Center MARTA Station. As they got closer Beca could hear a lot of shouting and loud music but none of it was distinct enough for her to make out.

 

            When they came to a stop, Stacie and Amy made Beca wait in the car while they talked to someone. Suddenly the car started moving again, and Beca was once again disoriented. When she was finally let out of the car, she saw that she was surrounded by rainbows and shirtless people and a whole bunch of people roaming the streets. It didn’t take long for her to realize she was smack dab in the middle of a parade. A pride parade no less.

 

Beca fully supported the LGBT community, and in fact, had many friends who identified somewhere on the spectrum. Hell, there were even a few girls in the Bellas! For Beca though, her own personal sexuality was different. It still wasn’t a big deal, but she also didn’t like drawing attention to it. Mostly because of the negative stereotypes she was aware of that unfortunately still existed.

 

She realized she was ‘less than straight’ when she was in high school, and if you asked her about it, she’d tell the truth, but she wasn’t really ‘out of the closet’ per se. She liked boys, and had only had boyfriends in the past, so aside from the occasional obvious lingering glances and not so subtle comments, you’d have no reason to believe she was anything but. Even so, the thought of being with another girl wasn’t totally repulsive, and if asked to think of a girl to date right off the top of her head, Beca would immediately be able to list at least 3 or more.

 

This however, was on a whole new level. This was just short of someone shoving their barely covered tits in your face and screaming nonsense words.  

 

As Beca looked around at her surroundings and took it all in, she didn’t notice Stacie and Fat Amy slipping away. When she did, she about had a panic attack in the middle of 10th street. Suddenly, she felt her phone buzz in her pocket. It was a text from Stacie. She pulled it out, and read the message.

 

 “Sorry. Amy ran off, and I went to chase her down. Go to Piedmont Park and sit by the Charles Allen Dr. gate. I’ll meet you there.”

 

            Beca leisurely strolled down the street, following the parade, until she arrived at the park. On her way, she passed many happy people and snuggly couples. Even though Beca was NOT a touchy-feely person, or a major fan of PDA, she did get slightly jealous of those who were in a relationship.

 

Ever since her failed one with Jesse where they realized they were better as friends, she had been single. Beca didn’t mind being single, but she did like certain aspects of dating, that you just can’t get from your friends. The only person that ever came that close, was Chloe. Beca let her mind wander down that path for a fleeting moment before she shut the door on it. “She doesn’t even like you that way, so stop,” she told herself.

 

Expecting to see her friends, she was a bit disappointed when she didn’t see them right away. But then suddenly, as if on cue, her phone vibrated again.

 

Change of plans, meet us by the promenade. It’s less crowded over there.

 

So, Beca made her way over to the promenade. As she got closer, she saw a large crowd gathered around one end. Still not seeing her friends, Beca decided to check it out as she waited. When she got to the front though, she gasped. It was all the Bellas on the stage, in various rainbow pride outfits. “She’s here!” Cynthia Rose shouted.

 

Beca began to approach the stage to join, assuming they were performing a song, slightly frustrated, and a bit annoyed that nobody told her what was going on. However, she was quickly grabbed by a strange man and shoved in a chair, strategically set up in the middle. She was tired of being manhandled but followed directions anyway.

 

The girls all spun around and quickly got in their places, as the girls started to hum. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, Chloe appeared, shooting Beca a wink, and began to sing.

 

 

Jesse is a friend, yeah
I know he's been a good friend of mine
But lately something's changed that ain't hard to define
Jesse's got himself a girl and I want to make her mine

 

And she's watching him with those eyes
And she's loving him with that body, I just know it
Yeah 'n' he's holding her in his arms late, late at night

 

You know I wish that I had Jesse's girl
I wish that I had Jesse's girl
Where can I find a woman like that

 

            Chloe began wiggling her hips and dancing around the stage, all while remaining eye contact with Beca.

 

I play along with the charade
There doesn't seem to be a reason to change
You know, I feel so dirty when they start talking cute
I wanna tell her that I love her
But the point is probably moot

'Cause she's watching him with those eyes
And she's loving him with that body, I just know it
And he's holding her in his arms late, late at night

 

You know I wish that I had Jesse's girl
I wish that I had Jesse's girl
Where can I find a woman like that

Like Jesse's girl
I wish that I had Jesse's girl
Where can I find a woman
Where can I find a woman like that

 

And I'm looking in the mirror all the time
Wondering what she don't see in me
I've been funny, I've been cool with the lines
Ain't that the way love supposed to be

Tell me, where can I find a woman like that

 

You know, I wish that I had Jesse's girl
I wish that I had Jesse's girl
I want Jesse's girl
Where can I find a woman like that
Like Jesse's girl
I wish that I had Jesse's girl
I want, I want Jesse's girl!

 

            As the Bellas finished their song, and everyone around them clapped, a slightly out of breath Chloe walked over to Beca.

 

Blushing furiously, Beca looked up at her best friend from her seat and asked, “what is all this about?”

 

“Did you not listen to the song at all?”

 

            “Yeah, I did. Kinda hard not to Beale,” Beca smiled. “But you know I’m not with Jesse.”

 

            “I know but singing “I want Jesse’s ex girl” just didn’t flow right.”

 

            “So what does this mean?”

 

            “It means I want you. If you’ll have me,” Chloe explained. “I know this might be kind of out of the blue, but I like you. I like like you, and I have ever since I ambushed you in the shower. You don’t have to like me back, but I’d be really happy if you do.”

 

            “I do.” Beca said quickly.

 

            “Awesome. To quote the great Avril, ‘Hey hey, you you, I could be your girlfriend. Hey hey, you you, I know that you like me. No way, no way, no its not a secret. Hey hey, you you, I want to be your girlfriend.”

 

            Beca rolled her eyes. “Really?”

 

            “Really. So. Will you be my girlfriend then?”

 

            “Whatever weirdo. I guess so.”

           

            The rest of the afternoon, was spent celebrating with thousands of other Atlanta residents who loved and supported them, making the new couple’s relationship even that much better.

Chapter Text

Chloe stood in front of the mirror, examining her outfit of choice and contemplating what to do with her hair. She and the Bellas were going out to a new club called Residual Heat, and word on the street was that there was a new house DJ, that nobody had ever seen, but everyone had heard about. She had tried her hardest to get Beca to come check it out with her, but the tiny brunette refused.

 

            “Come on, Becs. Don’t you wanna go hear some other great DJ’s? Maybe you guys could meet up and you could spin as a guest for him some night or something!” said Chloe excitedly.

 

            “Chloe, I just don’t want to. You know how I get sometimes…”

 

            Chloe did know. As much as she loved Beca, she knew that it could be a struggle getting the stubborn girl to do something she didn’t want to. “Okay, well if you’re sure. I’ll try and get his info for you, in case you want to contact him.”

 

            “Contact him?”

 

            “Yeah, so you can make music together. Or you know, something else,” Chloe winked suggestively with a hint of suggestiveness in her voice.

 

            “Um. Wow. Okay, I guess. Thanks Chloe,” Beca said, surprised at how persistent the girl was being. “Why does this matter so much to you anyway?” she asked.

 

            “It could be your big break!” the redhead said excitedly grabbing hold of both Beca’s hands and pulling her close. “I think this could really change your life, and I wanna be able to say I was there before you were famous.”

 

            “You’ve changed my life already…” Beca muttered.

 

            “What was that?” asked Chloe, not quite catching what Beca said.

 

            “Nothing. Just that you’ve already done so much for me,” Beca said truthfully.

 

“And?” Chloe said. “What’s your point?”

 

“I just. I don’t understand why. How you have so much faith in me…” Beca trailed off.

 

“Because. It’s what best friends do,” stated Chloe matter of factly.

 

“Well, I appreciate it. It’s been awhile since anyone’s cared about what’s important to me.”

 

“I’ll always care about the things that you care about, because I care about you.” Chloe said.

 

Beca didn’t know what to say in response to that, so she shot the ginger a small smile, and looked at her watch. “I also know you care about being on time. So, you better finish getting ready,” said Beca, changing the subject.

 

“Do you think I look okay?” Chloe asked.

 

“You look great, Chlo. You always do,” Beca replied. “Now go meet up with the girls. I’ll see you later,” Beca said, as she left the room.

 



            A few hours later, Chloe and the Bellas were having a wonderful time, and were really enjoying the open bar that Fat Amy had somehow swung for them. Chloe would periodically snapchat Beca videos and pictures of the girls, some with funny filters, and others with such blurry camera work you couldn’t tell exactly what was happening. However, much to Chloe's disappointment, Beca wasn’t responding. Chloe didn’t think anything was too wrong though, because Beca frequently had her phone on silent or was so invested in her mixes or something, she wouldn’t check it regularly. Either that, or she was asleep.

 

Chloe didn’t think any of the other Bella’s noticed but recently Beca had been coming home really late in the evening and sometimes even super early in the morning. She would collapse on the couch, too tired to climb the stairs to her room, and would pass out until woken up by the Bellas chattering away in the kitchen while they ate together for breakfast. She would also stay holed up in her room for hours, which wasn’t too unlike her, but lately she was in there more often than usual.

           

            After a few drinks of the ginger’s favorite jiggle juice, Chloe spotted the DJ and sauntered up to the small turntables in the corner of the bar. From afar, he looked very intense and elusive, and if Chloe hadn’t had her heart already spoken for, she definitely would’ve considered pursuing him. However, her only goal at the moment was to get some of her favorite tunes going, so she could use all of her best moves and really get things going.

 

            “HI!” Chloe all but screamed at the man. He smiled in return and moved one of his headphones off his ear so he could hear better.

 

            “What’s up, hottie?” the DJ responded.

 

            “Can you play Titanium?” she asked loudly, leaning in closer to the makeshift stage so she could be heard over the music.

 

            “Huh?” came the reply. “I don’t think I know that one.”

 

            Shocked that the DJ didn’t know what she had requested, Chloe repeated in hopes that he just didn’t hear her correctly.

 

            “Titanium. You know… By David Guetta?”

 

            “Yeah, he’s cool,” the DJ replied, obviously not piecing the two together.

 

            “O-M-Aca-Gee,” Chloe gasped, shaking her head. “And you call yourself a DJ...”

 

            “DJ. Yep. That’s me,” the guy smiled proudly, as he breathed hot air onto Chloe's face. He smelled like a combination of sweat and alcohol, and Chloe couldn’t get away fast enough. She went to the bar, grabbed a napkin, took her pink sparkly pen out of her purse and wrote a quick note, handing it over to the no-longer attractive DJ.

 

            PLEASE PLAY TITANIUM BY DAVID GUETTA. -C

 

            “I’m sorry pretty lady, but it’s almost 11. I’m off the clock. But maybe the next DJ will.”

 

            Rolling her eyes, Chloe began to push her way through the crowd and return to the Bellas booth, ready to complain about the experience she had had. On her way back, she pulled out her phone to send a text to Beca. She was so focused on texting, she didn’t notice the new DJ take over.

 

  Beca.

The new DJ sucks. He didn’t even know David Guetta!

He obviously lives under a rock or something.

I didn’t even bother asking for his number.

You’d have nothing in common, and he wasn’t even that attractive either.

XOXO

Chlo

 

            Having finally making her way through the much more crowded club, she plopped down next to Fat Amy, defeated. As she began to gripe about what a sin it is to not know chart toppers and call yourself a DJ, she heard the most amazing sounds pour out from the sound system. It was a massive mashup of 6 different songs.

 

As the music switched from ‘Shape of You’ to ‘Despacito’ and then ‘Attention’, it made Chloe think of her favorite person on the planet, who was apparently missing out on one of the possibly hottest new DJ’s on the Atlanta circuit. Chloe made a mental note to herself to drag Beca out the next time they went, because there was no way she should be allowed to skip out on this eargasm. For Chloe, music was a lot like breathing, and different types of music made her feel different things. In this case, it gave her physical goosebumps to think of the creator.

 

When ‘There’s Nothing Holding Me Back’ turned in to ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ followed by ‘That’s What I Like’, Chloe had had enough. Only a musical genius could combine Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift together with Shawn Mendes, Charlie Puth and Justin Bieber. There was only one person that Chloe knew would enjoy the mix, probably more than anybody in the room, and she wasn’t even there.

 

Chloe pulled out her phone to make yet another video to send to Beca, when she about dropped her phone on the sticky floor of the club. Chloe knew it was probably impossible, but it almost felt like there was stranger staring directly at her, watching her as she filmed her friends dancing and singing along to the music.

 

After the mashup ended, the songs switched to some remixes of popular songs, but every now and then a song would play that she didn’t recognize. Chloe forgot about pretty much everything in the world, losing herself in the music, surrounded by her friends and thinking about the glue that held them all together.

 

All of a sudden, the opening chords to ‘Titanium’ began to wash over the club and Chloe let out a screech. “THIS SONG IS MY JAM!” Chloe ran over to the corner where she had seen the last DJ but found nobody in sight. She did however, see the remnants of her song request wadded up, seemingly used to wipe up some spilled beer.

 

She looked around the room to see if she could find out where the music was coming from. The bouncer stared at her with an amused smile on his face, as she gazed around the room. “Do you…?” she began, nodding her head over at the abandoned turntables, as if to supply more information to her question.

 

The bouncer pointed up in the air, and Chloe's eyes followed his meaty finger to what looked to be the second floor.  The REALDJ was apparently stationed in a booth above the club, obviously the person who Chloe had interacted with was not the main event –thank god—she thought to herself. The window in the booth was fairly dark, but Chloe was still able to make out a silhouette of a person, who seemed to be surveying the crowd.

 

“Hey, ummm. Nick?” Chloe asked the bouncer, referring to the man whose nametag said ‘Nick on it. “Do you know the DJ who’s playing this?”

 

“Um. Yeah, it’s B22. I don’t really know them that well -- this B22’s first night headlining live, but they are already really popular.”

 

 “Does B22 take requests?”

 

Nick just stared at her. “Most DJ’s do, but not B. Very secretive, that one. Nobody was allowed in the booth for an hour before or after the set. I don’t think even half the staff has met her, when she’s been here the past couple of weeks.”

 

“Wait. HER?” Is the DJ actually named Beca by any chance? About 5’2”? With brown hair and a permanent scowl on her face?” Chloe's brain was working as fast as it could, trying to process all the information she was receiving.

 

Could it be…? No. It wouldn’t be Beca. Beca hates clubs. Beca was probably still back at the house eating all the girls’ secret stashes of food while they were away.

 

Nick looked a bit wary as Chloe rapid fire shot off questions, almost interrogating the poor man. Nick spoke quietly into his microphone and then turned to Chloe. “Who exactly are you?”

 

“Oh sorry. How rude. My name is Chloe!” she exclaimed. “It’s nice to meet you!” Chloe said, as she went in to hug the man.

 

The bouncer shifted uncomfortably and began to take a defensive pose seeing Chloe's actions, but relaxed as he realized what was happening and allowed Chloe to advance. Chloe, being her regular ‘no-boundaries-apply-to-me’ self, wrapped her arms around him in a quick squeeze.

 

“You smell nice,” Chloe commented as she let go. Turning around, she gasped, seeing a second bouncer approaching. “Oh no, was I not supposed to do that? I’m so sorry. I just forget sometimes. Please don’t kick me out. I’m with my friends, and…”

 

“Hey, hey, hey. Chloe. It’s ok. Relax,” Nick replied laughing. “Wait here, I’ll be back in a few minutes. Andrew is going to hang out with you for a bit.” With that, Nick disappeared into the shadows, and Andrew looked over at her, taking over the spot Nick had just vacated.

 

“Ahhh. So you’reChloe... I’ve heard about you,” Andrew stated cryptically. “The bubbly red-head.”

 

“Uh, yeah, that’s me.” Chloe looked confused, “I guess it’s hard to pretend like it’s not me, with my hair and all. I hope the things you heard were at least positive?”

 

“Of course.”

 

Just then, Nick came back, and gestured for Chloe to trail after him. “Bye Andrew!” she said, as she walked away. Andrew waved and smiled at her. “Have a good night. Hope to see you around again.”

 

Nick took Chloe down a hall she had never noticed before, that led to the bottom of a staircase. “Ya know, this is how most horror movies start,” Chloe joked nervously.

 

Nick just gave her an easy smile and said, “If I really wanted to do something, it would’ve already happened. Now follow me please.” He began to climb the stairs, pausing halfway up to check Chloe's progress. Seeing that she hadn’t moved an inch, he repeated his request. “There is someone expecting you. Let’s not keep them waiting.”

 

“Can I at least text my friends to let them know where I am? I’ve been gone for a while.”

 

“If you must,” Nick sighed.

 

“It’ll just be a sec.” Chloe quickly sent a slightly cryptic message to the Bellas group chat.

 

I’m w/ a bouncer -no I’m not kicked out. I’m obvs super safe & I’ll be back later. –C

 

Putting her phone away, Chloe took a deep breath and followed the bouncer up the stairs. Placing his finger over his lips to instruct Chloe not to make any noise, Nick knocked 4 times, and opened the door. What she saw when she opened the door was a shock and yet not at all surprising.

 

It was Beca.


 

Chloe couldn’t help but let out a small gasp. Beca looked up from where she was working on her laptop with her signature headphones around her neck. Their eyes met. They began a silent conversation, one apologetic, and one curious but also forgiving. Beca held up her pointer finger and directed her attention once again to the massive soundboard in front of her. Chloe waited for what felt like ages, as she watched Beca push and slide random buttons and levels. Finally, she took her massive headphones off her head, and turned to Nick. “Thanks dude. She’s good. I’ve got it from here.”

 

Nick nodded, and disappeared, closing the door softly behind him.

 

            Neither girl said anything, just staring at each other, until Chloe couldn’t stand the silence any longer.

 

“What are you doing?” Chloe asked, with a slight lilt of hurt in her voice. “How come you-?”

 

“Chloe, can I just,” Beca began. “Will you please give me a chance to explain before you get upset?”

 

Chloe nodded, and Beca continued. “I wanted to tell you. Believe me when I say I did. I wanted to tell everyone, but I wanted to make sure I wasn’t going to suck before I announced it. I didn’t want the Bellas to all make a big deal out of it and then have nothing happen.”

 

Chloe silently agreed, knowing how protective and secretive Beca was when it came to her music. Hell, they had even had a very similar conversation to this, right before Chloe left. Beca had become much better at talking and sharing her feelings, with Chloe in particular, but there was still a lot of walls surrounding Beca, that were still in place.

 

“Please don’t be mad. I promise I was going to say something. I learned my lesson from that damn bear trap. I was actually going to invite you guys to come next week and hang VIP, but I wanted to see how tonight went first,” Beca rattled off nervously.

 

“Chloe please,” She pleaded, with a hint of desperation, immediately thinking the worst when Chloe didn’t respond.

 

“Oh don’t worry baby,” Chloe said, snapping out of her thought and rushing towards her best friend. “It’s all good. I’m not mad. I promise. I was just scolding myself for not connecting the dots sooner.”

 

“What dots?” Beca asked.

 

As Chloe described her observations, Beca sighed. “I took the club’s opening slot and was shadowing the old house DJ for a while. I thought I did a good job of hiding it, until I was ready to tell everyone.”

 

“Well, I guess not a SUPER great job,” Beca added sheepishly, gesturing to Chloe and around the booth. “But enough that nobody said anything or asked me about it.”

 

“I noticed, but then again, I notice pretty much everything when it comes to you,” Chloe honestly replied. “I figured you’d talk to me if you wanted to, but I wasn’t going to push.”

 

“Which is why I love you,” Beca said. “And one of the main reasons I let Nick bring you up here, and not all of the Bellas. Besides, they would’ve trashed this place, and if you take all of this stuff combined together it’s seriously worth more than a car.”

 

“Woah,” Chloe breathed.

 

“Wanna see it?” Beca asked, “You can’t touch any of it, because my boss would kill me, but I can show you how stuff works.”

 

“Is that even a question?” asked Chloe excitedly. “YES!”

 

Beca smiled and started explaining what everything did. As she went on explaining what a Pioneer PLX-1000 turntable did, and how a Behringer mixing board worked together with her Native Traktor Kontrol F1 midi pad controller, Chloe watched in awe of her friend, who was totally in her element. If Chloe thought she loved music, she had nothing on Beca. It turned her super socially awkward friend into a cool and collected badass. Of course, Beca thought she was a badass all the time, but when you put Beca in front of a music program, she transformed into an actual bonafied superstar.

 

“Does Warren know about this?” Chloe asked carefully, referring to Beca’s father.

 

“Nope. And he’s not going to,” Beca added pointedly. “He never thought I’d make it, and if I fail now, before I even really get started, I’ll never hear the end of it.

 

“Fair point,” Chloe conceded, “but I do think you should tell him eventually.”

 

“I will, if it takes off. Then I can rub it in his face,” Beca said smirking.

 

“It will. Because you’re you, and you can do anything.”

 

“You sure?” Beca said, suddenly sounding a lot less confident. All of Beca’s hidden insecurities about meeting expectations and yearning for approval seemed to surface.

 

“I’m not even going to dignify that with a response. This? This whole music thing, it is what you do best. But, if you really need an answer, yes I’m sure.” Chloe bounced over to her friend, embracing her and planting a kiss on the crown of Beca’s head.

 

“Thank you, Chloe. Really.” Beca said as they broke apart. “I don’t think you realize how much I needed to hear that.”

 

Chloe just smiled and looked over to the board. “So what are you gonna play next?”

 

“Shit!” Beca exclaimed, as she ran over and looked at the digital sound bars. Breathing out, she turned around facing Chloe once again. “I’ve still got a few songs queued up, but I’m thinking after that I’ll play “I Saw The Sign” just for Aubrey,” Beca said mischievously.

 

“You’re horrible,” Chloe stated, as she playfully shoved her friend.

 

“You guys look like you’re having fun down there, by the way,” Beca said.

 

“We totes are. You’re way better than the first guy that was playing.”

 

“I know. I got your text. All of them.” Beca said. “And your 20 or so snapchats.”

 

Chloe grinned, “You were missing out!” she said indignantly.

 

“No, I wasn’t. I was right here. I wasn’t able to answer, because I was setting up my stuff for the set and then playing, but I was watching you all from the booth.”

 

“Way to sound like a creeper,” Chloe teased.

 

“Oh, shut it you. You guys looked like you were having fun.”

 

“I would’ve had more fun with you, but it looks like you had something even more fun to do.”

 

“Yeah, it’s pretty great,” Beca admitted.

 

“When is your set over?”

 

“Well, the club closes at 2:30, so I have about an hour and a half left to spin. I imagine I’ll be home sometime after 3:45ish, after the club empties out and I tear down all my equipment. Maybe a bit after that.

 

“But Becaaaaa,” whined Chloe. “I wanna dance with you.”

 

“Telll ya what, you help me with this next song, and I’ll see what I can do,” Beca bargained.

 

Chloe readily agreed, “What can I do?”

 

Beca gave her another look that very clearly said ‘just hold on’ and quickly made a few clicks on the screen. She grabbed a walkie-talkie and turned away from Chloe, talking quietly into it.

 

“Ok, that should last for about 90 minutes. I’ll have to come check on it two or three times throughout the rest of the night, but other than that, I’m all yours.”

 

“Really?” Chloe asked carefully. “Won’t you get in trouble if you leave?”

 

“Nah. Nick’s got me covered. He’s so cool. He keeps everyone away from the booth and takes care of me when I need breaks or drinks. And, he also does DJ stuff part time too! That dude’s seriously the best.”

 

Chloe smiled and asked a question that had been burning in the back of her mind ever since she found out who Beca was, “Does B22 take song requests?”

 

“No.” Beca said immediately. “But Beca does, for certain people.”

 

“Can you play something that I can dance to, that’ not super fast but not super slow either.”

 

“I think I’ve got just the right song,” Beca said. “Come here.”

 

Chloe followed Beca over to the board and watched Beca go in to her laptop’s extensive music library. Beca typed in a few words, and dragged the song over to the top of the pre-set playlist.

 

“Ok, now what you’re going to do,” she began, gesturing to the Novation launch pad in front of them, “is push this button when I say to. You’ve got 47 seconds until this loop is done and this list starts. You’re going to make the transition between the two, but you gotta time it just right, ok?”

 

“I dunno Bec, this is a lot. I don’t want to mess it up.”

 

Beca smiled and said, “Don’t worry. It’s all good. I wouldn’t let you do it if I didn’t think you could. But Nick should be up here soon and I’ll never hear the end of it if he sees you touching this. I gave the entire sound crew shit for touching my stuff the other week.”

 

“But you never say anything to me when I’ve done it before… We just watched “Parks and Rec on that a few days ago!”

 

“And I’m still not going to,” Beca hurriedly explained, “but I don’t want them thinking I’ve gone soft.”

 

Chloe grinned as she looked back at the familiar laptop and said, “it’s almost time!”

 

Beca turned to the large 8x8 pad of buttons and pointed to where she wanted Chloe to focus. “When I tell you, I want you to double tap this spot, ok?”

 

“Ok,” Chloe said more confidently.

 

“Aaaaaand now,” Beca instructed. Chloe hit the button and a song by ‘Train’ came out of the speakers, and down to the hundreds of people dancing on the floor below.

 

As Chloe grabbed Beca in a bear hug, nick entered the room. “You called?”

 

“Yeah, I’m gonna need to take a break for half an hour or so. Is that cool? I’ve got stuff lined up ‘til the end of my shift.”

 

“You never need to ask cutie,” said Nick with a smile. “You go have fun with your girl. Hey Chloe,” he added.

 

“HI!” exclaimed Chloe, waving at her new friend. “Thanks for letting me steal her away from you for a bit.”

 

“Anytime” he said. You let us know if anyone gives you trouble, and Andrew will take care of it.”

 

“Will do.”

 

“I’m just glad Beca actually does have friends. Or at least one. We were wondering if we’d ever meet the girl she talks about so much. The description I got was ‘a living Disney princess’. You know, you do sort of look like Ariel…” Nick said right before he got an elbow to the ribs.

 

“OOF,” he grunted, although he did not seem to be injured in the slightest. “You wound me Mitchell.”

 

Blushing furiously, Beca flipped him off and grabbed Chloe's hand. As she began to lead them down the stairs, she turned and said, “even though I hate you sometimes, I appreciate it. Thanks man.”

 

As Beca and Chloe joined the rest of the Bellas dancing in the middle of the floor, pretending like Chloe had just randomly found Beca in the crowd, the music could still be heard in the background.

 

Play that song
The one that makes me go all night long
The one that makes me think of you
That's all you gotta do

 

Hey, mister DJ when you gonna spin it
My baby's favorite record she been waiting for a minute
She invited all her friends and I'm buying all the rounds
And they're all dolled up

DJ please don't let me down


When you gonna play that song, now
When you gonna earn that pay
When you gonna play that song and make my day

She said, play that song
The one that makes me go all night long
The one that makes me think of you
That's all you gotta do

Chapter Text

December 31st2018

 

It was New Year’s Eve once again at the Bellas house.  Unlike last year, everyone chose to stay on campus over winter break. That meant a totally jam-packed house, full of chaos and laughter. All the girls were busy putting the finishing touches on the house decorations and getting ready for the holiday party they were hosting that night.

 

The Bellas went through a lot of changes in a year, and they were all excited to see what the future holds for them. One thing that they knew wouldn’t change though, was Beca and Chloe. If anything, the two just grew stronger and stronger each day. The co-captains were dubbed the “Aca-Parents” of the group and the rest of the Bellas wouldn’t have it any other way. Beca was currently upstairs, with the youngest member of the family, while Chloe directed traffic downstairs in the so-called ‘haunted’ basement.

 

“Come on Em,” Beca said, “We gotta go now if we want to be back in time.”

 

Beca was trying to get Emily to hurry so they could run to the grocery store, so they could pick up some last-minute food. Fat Amy already ate all of the appetizers they had prepared, and everyone knows that a party without food isn’t really a party. No food, combined with Stacie turning everything around her into something sexual and Aubrey- who had returned for the holiday- bossing everyone around, meant that Beca was about to lose it. When the question came up as to who was going to get more food, Beca volunteered before Aubrey even open her mouth to order someone to do it.

 

Emily, to her credit, was running around, gathering her coat, shoes and purse as fast as she could. “Beca, why can’t you just go without me? I’m not ready for the party yet!”

 

“You look fine. Besides, you can always finish up when we get back,” Beca said quickly. “It’s not even noon. You’ve got at least 8 hours before the party.”

 

The younger girl was torn. She loved Beca, and looked up to her in many ways, and usually jumped at the chance to spend one-on-one time with her, but Emily was also really hoping to make herself look really nice for a special someone. Maybe she could kill two birds with one stone and ask Beca what she thought about her plan.

 

“READY,” panted Emily, as she skidded to a halt in front of Beca. “Let’s go. I call shotgun!”

 

“Dude. It’s just us two, Legacy. You don’t have to call shotgun.”

 

“Oh. Right.” Emily said sheepishly. “Can I still sit in the front seat though?”

 

Beca looked at her strangely. “Yeah… why wouldn’t you be able to?”

 

“I don’t know…” the younger girl trailed off.

 

“You can sit next to me,” Beca reassured her. “You don’t have to sit in the back. You’re not 5 years old. Just don’t get my car dirty with your grubby little hands.”

 

“Wait. We’re taking your car?” Emily’s eyes bulged. She’d never been in Beca’s baby before. The junior music producer had received her car from her father as an “I’m proud of you for going to college, and getting a job, and having a number 1 single on American Top 40, and oh by the way, I’m sorry I sucked as a father for 20 years, let’s call it even” gift.

 

“I’m the only one out of the 2 of us who has a car on campus, so unless you propose we walk to the grocery store and carry everything home, then yes.” Beca failed to see what the big deal was.

 

“But you neverlet anyone ride in your car.” It was true. Beca refused to let any of the Bellas except Chloe ride in her car, ever since she had to get it professionally cleaned after a particularly wild night out with the girls. If the Bellas went somewhere, it was a mutual understanding that Beca was in charge of the music in Chloe's car load, and one of the other girls would drive the other half of the group.

 

“Emily. Are you coming or not? I haven’t got all day.”

 

“Yesmom.” Emily teased.

 

The girls quickly went to the store, and got what they needed, plus extra, just in case. While browsing the aisles, Emily used Beca as a sounding board, to bounce off her idea for Benji and Beca was very supportive.

 

“That sounds incredibly cool, Em!” Beca said as the taller brunette finished her rambling.

 

“Really? You think he’ll like it?”

 

“Wouldn’t say it if I didn’t believe it,” she responded. Which was true. Beca was not known for dishing out compliments and praise, but when she did, you know it was sincere.

 

“Would you maybe help me with it?” Emily asked. “I don’t know if I can do it on my own.”

 

“You can, but if you still want me to, I will. It’ll only take me a little bit of time to figure out a backing track,” Beca said.

 

“Would you please? I’d feel so much better!”

 

“Sure, but you have to carry all of the groceries in.”

 

“DEAL.”


 

A few hours and a lot of cuss words later, Beca had finished a version of Emily’s song that she was finally pleased with. Emily thought it was fine at least 90 minutes ago, but she knew better than to question Beca’s process. After all, Beca was one of the main reasons that Flashlight made it as big as it did. Beca completed it just in time for Chloe to come bursting into their shared attic loft.

 

“Beca! I’m sorry to interrupt. I know you said not to. But for real. The girls are all having a squabble and I need you to talk some sense in to them. Can you please just—." Chloe seemed stressed beyond belief and Beca was not going to be told twice, lest she not sleep in a bed tonight. Turning around, she stared at Emily. “What are you wearing?”

 

Emily squeaked, looking down at her outfit. “Om my stars! Beca! I still need to change! I need to look my best and this is definitely not it.”

 

“It’s alright, we’re done here. Go make yourself pretty,” Beca said, pointing her finger towards the door.

 

“Chloe would you…?” Chloe's eyes lit up.

 

“Of course, I can! I would love to help you Emily!”

 

Beca met Chloe's gaze and they exchanged a look.

 

Go easy on her. She’s nervous about tonight.

 

What? Why?

 

I’ll tell you later. Now go! Beca produced a small cough and it startled to the girls in to action.

 

“Ok Em, what kind of look are we going for?” Chloe began, as she and Emily descended down the stairs to Emily’s room.

 

Beca smiled to herself, as her girlfriend took their aca-child to get ready for New Year’s Eve. Beca and Emily had spent the afternoon perfecting a song she had written for her boyfriend Benji. He was a sweet kid, and Beca knew that something special was blossoming between them. She shook her head to regain reality and then headed downstairs herself, to see what the Bellas were fighting over this time.

 

It turns out that it wasn’t as big of a deal as Beca was envisioning from the way Chloe made it seem, so once everyone was placated, Beca went up to check on Chloe and Emily. Emily’s room was a mess. The usually put together girl was surrounded by practically every item of clothing in her closet. In the middle of it all, sat a very patient Chloe. “Em, I don’t see why you’re so nervous. It’s just an Acapella party, with the Bellas and the Trebles. You know everyone and it’s going to be fun! There will be singing and dancing and food and games. And everyone will be staying up until midnight. You’re going to look fine, no matter what you wear.”

 

“But I have to look perfect! You don’t understand.”

 

“You don’t have to impress anyone, all of us already love you,” Chloe said, missing the point. Looking up, she was relieved to see Beca hovering in the doorway.

 

“Oh look, Bec’s here. Can she come in?”

 

Upon seeing the tiny brunette, Emily dropped the dress she had in her hand and lunged at the smaller girl. “Beca!” she wailed, on the verge of a panic attack. “It’s impossible!” Giving her girlfriend a bewildered look, Beca gently patted Emily on the back and guided her to the bed.

 

“Beca, care to try and help?” Chloe whispered, desperately. “Everything was fine until I jokingly mentioned looking nice for Benji and then she freaked out.”

 

Beca rolled her eyes, “I got this.” Beca was not known as being a person who was very good at dealing with emotions and feelings, but in this case, Beca knew what kind of boat Emily was currently riding in. “Hey Em? Why don’t we talk, while Chloe picks out some options for us to go through. Does that sound okay to you?

 

While Chloe picked up everything off the floor and sorted through the clothes, Beca calmed Emily down by talking about random things that had happened in the studio while she was recording Snoop Dogg’s Christmas Album which had just debuted a few weeks ago.

 

“Okay,” Chloe said after a while, “Here’s what I’ve got.”

 

Together, the 3 girls looked at Chloe's choices. Chloe had picked her top 5 favorite outfits, and Beca eliminated 2 more. That way, Emily was left to choose between the remaining 3. It made it easier on her anxiety, to know that her aca-parents were so understanding about how overwhelmed she was, and that no matter what she picked, they would love it. Going from an entire wardrobe to 3 perfectly paired selections was a game changer. Combined with a more relaxed attitude Emily was ready to move on with her evening. She ended up preferring the sparkly cream colored top combined with a pair of tight-fitting black pants.  

 

“Good, now go try it on, so we can see how it looks,” Chloe said, “and then if you want me to, I’ll do your hair and makeup.”

 

“Okay,” Emily agreed happily, and she disappeared to the bathroom to change.

 

“What was that all about?” Chloe asked, as soon as the girl was gone.

 

“Emily wrote a song she wants to sing for Benji tonight.” Beca stated. “I think she’s scared he won’t like it.”

 

“They’re already dating. Why wouldn’t he like it?”

 

“Because sometimes even though you logically know it will probably be fine, there’s always a part of your brain that goes, ‘but what if it doesn’t?’” Beca said. “You don’t get it, which is fine, but I understand where she’s coming from, and it’s awful.”

 

“Well—”

 

“Okay, I’m back! What do you think?” Emily said, as she entered the room, wearing the outfit that she had picked out.

 

“Oh Emily, you look gorgeous,” Chloe breathed.

 

“Not bad Legacy,” Beca added, nodding her approval. “You clean up real nice.”

 

 “I’m gonna go get ready for the party too, gotta keep this one on her toes,” Beca said, pointing at her girlfriend. “Chlo, you got it from here?”

 

“Yep! We’re aca-awesome,” she chirped back.

 

“I’m good, thanks Beca,” said Emily, as she hugged her gently, knowing that Beca usually hates all forms of physical contact unless it’s from Chloe.

 

Surprisingly, Beca reciprocated the hug, and whispered in Emily’s ear, “You’ll be fine. And if he doesn’t like it, I’ll kick his ass for you.”

 


 

The party was still going strong at 11:30 pm, and Emily was getting more and more nervous as the clock counted down to midnight. By the time it got to be 11:45, she’d had enough, and excused herself to find Beca.

 

“Um, Bec,” Emily said, seeing Beca sitting curled up on the couch with Chloe, talking with a few of their friends, “Can I steal you for a bit?”

 

“Sure,” Beca said, stretching as she got up off the couch. “I’m all yours.”

 

“I think I’m ready.”

 

“Okay, let me go stop the playlist and get ready then.”

 

As soon as the music stopped, the entire basement full of party goers turned to look at the source of the disruption. There, by the piano next to the makeshift karaoke stage, stood Emily and Beca.

 

Seeing Emily make no movement at all, Beca decided to take the lead on the introduction for the performance.

 

“Hi guys. How’s everyone’s evening going?” she asked in her usual DJ voice, treating this like any time she’d spun at a club. If the resounding response was any indication of the night’s level of enjoyment, everyone was having a wonderful time.

 

“Good, good. Okay, so we all know that it wouldn’t be a party without music, and it definitely wouldn’t be a Bella’s party if it didn’t involve some originalmusic. So, I need you to all not be dicks about it and show your support for your very own Emily Junk!”

 

Beca sat down, as the cheering and applause died down. Once it was completely silent, she played the opening chord on the piano and nodded at Emily.

 

 

Another year you made a promise
Another chance to turn it all around
And do not save this for tomorrow
Embrace the past and you can live for now
And I will give the world to you

Speak louder than the words before you
And give them meaning no one else has found
The role we play is so important
We are the voices of the underground
And I will give the world to you

Say everything you've always wanted
Be not afraid of who you really are
'Cause in the end we have each other
And that's at least one thing worth living for
And I will give the world to you

A million suns that shine upon me
A million eyes you are the brightest blue
Let's tear the walls down that divide us
And build a statue strong enough for two

I pass it back to you
And I will wait for you
'Cause I would give the world
And I would give the world
And I would give the world to you

This is the new year
A new beginning
You made a promise
You are the brightest
We are the voices
This is the new year
We are the voices
This is the new year

 

 

The large crowd in the basement seemed to be waiting with baited breath as Beca played the final notes to the song, and Emily stood with her eyes screwed shut, bracing for the negative reception. Finally, as Beca sat her hands in her lap and turned to face the audience, they erupted in cheers. Emily’s eyes flew open at the sound, and she stood there smiling as she soaked up the love from her fellow acapella people.

 

Searching for her boyfriend in the crowd, Emily’s smile dropped when she didn’t find Benji in the crowd at all. Suddenly she felt a tap on her shoulder. She turned around, and there stood Benji, who looked like he couldn’t be more proud of her if his life depended on it.

 

“That. Was. So. Wonderful.” Benji managed to get out while being squeezed to death by his girlfriend. “Did you really write that?”

 

“Yeah,” Emily replied, trying to play it cool. “It was just something I was working on for a little bit. Did you like it?”

 

“Yes. You did great. I loved it,” Benji praised Emily sincerely, connecting their foreheads together. “You are so talented it’s insane. I am in awe of everything you do.”

 

Benji and Emily continued to embrace on the stage, as Beca just sat there awkwardly.

 

“Hate to break this up, but it’s getting close to midnight, and I’d like to spend it with Chloe please.”

 

Emily jumped back as if she’d been electrocuted, obviously having forgotten Beca was still there.

 

“Beca, OMG thank you for helping me. You’re the best. I love you. Happy New Year.” Emily hugged Beca gently and kissed her on the cheek before grabbing Benji’s hand and dragging him off to who knows where.

 

“Make good choices!” Beca called after them.

 


 

Beca found Chloe once again, and they made their way up the stairs to the kitchen on the first floor. It was getting hot in the basement, and they wanted more food anyway.

 

“What you did for Emily tonight was really nice,” Chloe said to Beca, as they sat on the swing on the front porch of the Bellas house.

 

“She’s a good kid. Besides, you helped too. Her outfit was amazing. And don’t think I didn’t notice all the sparkles on that girl’s face.”

 

“I can’t wait til we have our own kid that we can do that for,” Chloe said offhandedly.

 

“Yeah, me too.” Beca found herself saying, surprising even herself.

 

“You mean that?” Chloe asked.

 

“Yeah. Let’s finish school and get married and stuff first. But eventually that’s what I want with you.” Beca said honestly. “I want to give you the world.”

 

“I want all of that too,” Chloe replied. “You’re my forever.”

 

As the party goers around them all counted down to the new year, all Beca could do was think about how amazing 2018 was, and how with Chloe by her side, she could take on anything 2019 had in store.

Chapter Text

PART 1: CHO OYU

 

“Chloe!” Beca screamed from her attic bedroom on Thursday afternoon.

 

Chloe, who was down in the Bella’s kitchen making lunch, immediately dropped everything she was working on and raced up the 3 flights of stairs to the room she shared with the tiny brunette.

 

Gasping for breath, Chloe clutched at a stitch in her side as she rounded the corner at the top of the stairs, expecting to see her girlfriend laying on the floor dying or something equally terrible, having never heard such a noise come out of a human before. Instead, she saw the back of Beca’s head firmly attached to a tiny body that was practically vibrating from excitement. Beca was sitting at her desk and staring intently at the computer screen in front of her, looking perfectly healthy if not a bit flushed.

 

“What’s going on?” demanded Chloe, whose initial concern for the smaller girl was rapidly turning into anger.

 

“Look!” Beca said, spinning around on her chair. “You can become a red panda ranger,” she said happily, oblivious to Chloe's internal dilemma of wanting to be relieved that Beca was not injured and also fighting the urge of actually injuring her girlfriend.

 

“You’ve got to be joking,” she stared at the DJ in disbelief. “I thought you got hurt.”

 

“No, I’m not! I’m totally fine. In fact, I’m better than fine. See this?” Beca picked up her laptop and turned it around showing the screen to Chloe.

 

“Kids, become a Red Panda ranger today and help us spread the word about red pandas,” the older Bella read aloud.

 

“Beca,” she said exasperatedly.

 

“What?” Beca asked innocently. “Doesn’t that sound cool?”

 

Chloe wasn’t sure if Beca was pretending or actually being serious. Deciding to play along, Chloe continued scanning the page.

 

“TheRed Panda Ranger is a special title given to children who help spread the word about red pandas. To become a Red Panda Ranger, “climb” each of the five mountains on the map below by completing the activities for each mountain,” Chloe finished reading.

 

“I am so doing this,” Beca said turning the laptop back towards herself, scrolling down to the different tasks.

 

“Beca. This is for grade schoolers. You’re in college.”

 

“You’re just jealous because I’m gonna be a ranger and you’re not,” Beca said, sticking out her tongue.

 

Okay, maybe she IS an actual child,” Chloe thought to herself. Looking over Beca’s shoulder, Chloe read the task in order to “climb” the mountain.

 

Beca was already rapidly filling out her answers.

Beca was already rapidly filling out her answers.

1. What is your name and address? If you have an e-mail address, feel free to write that down, too!

Beca Mitchell

22 Acapella Dr.

Barden University

Atlanta, Georgia

b.mitchell@bardenu.edu

 

2. How did you first learn about red pandas? (your teacher, a friend, a book?

I saw them at the Prospect Park zoo when I was on a trip to New  York

 

3. Now let’s test your red panda knowledge. Can you name one country where red pandas are found in the wild?

Nepal, India, Bhutan, China and Myanmar (Burma)

 

4. Why are red pandas the “original” pandas (instead of giant pandas)?

Because It was first described in 1821, 48 years before the giant panda was found.

 

5. What is a Nepalese name for red pandas, and what does it mean?

"Nigalya poonya"- which means "eater of bamboo.

 

6. Why are red pandas sometimes called “firefoxes?”

One local Chinese name for the red panda is hunho or firefox, due to their color and similar size to a fox. The web browser “Firefox” is named after them.

 

7. How does a red panda’s red fur help them hide from predators?

Red Pandas' red and black color camouflages them from their predators. The red on their backs is exactly the same color as moss found on the trees where they live. The black on their stomach makes it difficult to see them from below.

 

8. Do red pandas have claws?

Yes, their claws are sharp and can be pulled back like a cat.

 

9. Red pandas and giant pandas are both famous for eating a particular plant. In the wild, a red panda can eat up to 200,000 of this plant’s leaves every day. What plant is it?

Bamboo

 

10. Are red pandas more closely related to giant pandas or raccoons?

Raccoons

 

            “Beca, maybe put a different address than our university one, and sound a bit stupider, since you know, its for kids in 6thgrade and below,” Chloe finally said, realizing that Beca was indeed serious about becoming a Red Panda Ranger.” And don’t copy the website word for word. That’s plagiarism.”

 

            “But I want to be the best Red Panda Ranger, and the best people know their stuff.”

 

            “Okay fine, but can you tone it down just a little?”

 

            “Yeah, sure,” Beca agreed nodding her head empathetically, “I want others to feel like they can be good Red Panda Rangers too. Not just me.”

 

“Well, when you’re done with that, lunch is ready babe.”

 

“Mmmkay,” said Beca absent mindedly, now looking at pictures on Instagram of a red panda named Carson, who currently lives at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Washington.

 

“Oh dear lord,” Chloe thought. “What did I just encourage?”

 




  PART 2: MAKALU

 

A few days later, Beca was holed up in her room once again. However, it was not because she was working on a mix, or that she was just being anti-social. No, this time, it was because she was working on level 2 of becoming a Red Panda Ranger. For this part, Beca was required to draw a picture of the best place for a red panda to live. Beca was not necessarily known for her artistic abilities, but she was determined to make the best drawing of a red panda habitat that there ever was.

 

After her Monday 2:30 class got over for the day, Beca excused herself up to her room. “Hey guys, I’m going to go work on another project. Call me when it’s time to eat please,” Beca said, as she grabbed a box of crackers and 2 juice pouches from the fridge to munch on. “Other than that, don’t disturb me. It’s really important.” The few Bellas that were home when she was were curious but didn’t pry. They were used to Beca disappearing for hours on end.

 

3 hours after heading up, Beca was still at her desk, head resting on her arms, surrounded by a few crumpled pieces of paper. There were even more crumpled balls in and around the waste bin that was placed by the door. She had her notebook out, that was filled with scrawls slightly smeared by her left handed drag due to laziness. Words like “bamboo”, “forest trees” and “mountains” were scribbled on the paper, and a badly drawn doodle of a small panda head in the top corner. A blank piece of paper and some colored pencils lay untouched next to the notebook.

 

That’s exactly how Chloe found her when she went to find her for dinner. Chloe has always been the elected Bella to fetch Beca when she was in the middle of something. The girls dubbed her “The Beca Whisperer” because Chloe somehow got away with breaking pretty much every one of Beca’s rules when it came to interacting with people. It started before the two were dating, but now it’s pretty much a no-brainer. Slowly approaching the desk, Chloe wrapped her arms around Beca’s shoulders, planted a small kiss on Beca’s temple, and gently whispered, “How ya doin’ babe?” in her ear.

 

“Mmmph.” Grumbled Beca. “s’hard.”

 

“Huh?”

 

“It’s hard,” Beca repeated tiredly, as she slowly straightened up, twisting back and forth and stretching her arms out to work out the various cramps and kinks in her body. “How do these kids do it? I’ve got to be the worst at drawing on the planet.”

 

“I’m sure the program isn’t too picky. It’s not like you’re getting a grade on this. Besides, the tiny humans this is actually geared towards, isn’t worried about what it looks like. They’re doing this for fun. You’re turning this into something way more complicated than it needs to be.”

 

“You think?” Beca asked doubtfully.

 

“Becs, baby, you’re taking this more seriously than the majority of your classes.” Chloe replied with a chuckle.

 

“Don’t be so hard on yourself. Remember what they say on the airplanes, ‘secure your air mask first before helping others.’ You can’t help save the red pandas if you work yourself to death before you even become a ranger.”

 

Chloe couldn’t believe what she was saying, but her poor girlfriend looked so pathetic and discouraged by her lack of creativity, she had to help somehow.

 

“Why don’t we clean up a bit and get some real food in you. Strawberry lemonade and Cheeze-Its don’t count as dinner. You can tell the girl’s all about what you’ve been learning while we eat. We can come back to this later, after you finish your actualhomework.”

 

“Fine,” Beca agreed, after thinking it over for a bit. “What are we having? I hope it’s good. I’m starving.”

 

“It’s Fat Amy’s turn to cook so—"

 

“YES! CHINESE!” Beca hollered, suddenly very energized. “Did you order..,?”

 

“Yes Beca, I ordered you your favorite. What kind of girlfriend do you think I am?”

 

“Um. The BEST one.” Beca said, quickly kissing Chloe on the lips and hugging her as thanks. “When is it coming?”

 

“That’s why I’m up here. I came to tell you that it arrived.”

 

“Well, why are we still standing here? Let’s go eat. Oh, you wanna know a fun fact? Red Pandas can be found in some parts of China. Maybe that’s why I love Chinese so much. That and the fact that it’s just yummy.” Beca rattled off some more facts as the two descended the stairs. Chloe smiled to herself, happy to see Beca so excited about something other than music.




 

PART 3: LHOTSE

 

Friday night rolled around, and Beca was still working on her project. This time it was some web searching. Her assignment was to find 5 different credible websites and write down something she learned from each of them. Contrary to her academic performance at the university, Beca actually enjoyed learning. This was something that she would deny to her last breath, but Beca liked finding topics she was interested in and researching all she could. Discovering something enjoyable and knowing a lot about it, whether or not it was useful information, was what she liked. What Beca didn’t like was school, because in her mind, grades and tests are not an accurate measure of how smart you are.

 

‘School sucks,’ she would say if anyone ever asked her why she skipped so many classes.“I’m never going to use the majority of this in real life. And tests are stupid. I don’t need a letter grade to tell me that I was able to memorize some facts that I’ll forget as soon as the test is over.”

 

Nevertheless, Beca was working diligently on completing the 3rdlevel of the Red Panda Ranger program. She had completed her 5 websites already but was still clicking on links and squealing every time a new picture or video popped up.

 

Stacie came home from her physics class and looked over at Beca sitting on the couch working on her laptop. “Wow B. I didn’t expect to see you down here. You’ve been in your room all week!”

 

“Yeah, well, Chloe said if I stay in our room any longer and be anti-social that she would force me to share a sleeping bag with Aubrey at the Bella’s sleepover tonight.”

 

“Um. Excuse you, but no. Sharing sleeping bags with Aubrey is MY thing, not yours. I’m glad you came to your senses and are down here,” said Stacie cheekily.

 

“You wishit was your thing,” Beca retorted. “I don’t understand you sometimes Conrad.”

 

“Shut your face hobbit,” Stacie shot back, barely containing her laughter.

 

“What did the hobbit do now?” a voice came from behind the two brunettes.

 

It was Aubrey, holding 2 massive bags, which she deposited on the floor upon crossing the threshold.

 

“Um, nothing. Hey General,” Beca said, turning to greet her ex nemesis from her spot on the couch in the living room.

 

Over the years, Beca and Aubrey had become much closer, a fact that Beca highly attributed to dating Chloe. It didn’t mean she and Aubrey didn’t like to tease and pretend to still hate each other, because they did still have their moments, but it was much less frequent than before.

 

“Hello,” Aubrey said, shooting Beca a questioning glance, still not entirely sure she should trust her.

 

“Hey Stace,” Aubrey continued.

 

“Hi Aubrey!” Stacie said with a hint of mischief in her eyes. “Beca and I were just talking about the Bella’s sleepover tonight. Who would you rather share a sleeping bag with? Me or Beca?”

 

At that, Aubrey flushed a light pink and was silent for a while, obviously entertaining the thought of sharing with Stacie but not wanting to admit it. “Neither. I brought an air mattress,” she said finally, gesturing to one of the bags. “I can’t sleep on the floor one more time, and that lumpy couch is not much better.”

 

Aubrey had moved into graduate school student housing, but still was a regular fixture in the Bella’s house and the girls always invited her to their activities. At the last Bella’s sleepover, Aubrey gave up half way through the night, and moved up on to the couch, but still spent the entirety of the next morning complaining to whoever would listen.

 

“You’re such a grandma,” Beca teased.

 

“Well, you’re the size of a 5thgrader, so…”

 

“So? You—.” Beca began.

 

“Alright ladies,” Stacie said, “what happened to the whole ‘we can be civil’ thing?”

 

“That’s only when Chloe is here,” Beca and Aubrey said in unison.

 

“What about Chloe?” Chloe said, entering the room having just arrived home.

 

“Jesus Christ. What is it with this timing today?!” Beca exclaimed, throwing her hands in the air.

 

“Well hello to you too,” Chloe said as she strode over to Beca and leaning over the back of the couch to hug her. “How was your day, baby?”

 

“Long,” Beca admitted, sinking into Chloe's embrace.

 

“What about your guys’?” Chloe asked, looking up at Aubrey and Stacie.

 

“Good!” Aubrey said. “My research paper was accepted and I’m still doing well on my capstone thesis.”

 

Beca made gagging faces at Stacie before Chloe slightly swatted at her.

 

“Stacie?”

 

“Well,” Stacie said. “My physics partner is sort of an inverse of Einstein, but other than that it was decent.”

 

“So, now that we have our pleasantries taken care of, it brings me back to my main point. What were you talking about when I got here?” Chloe said, eyes flitting back and forth between her girlfriend and her best friend.

 

Beca and Aubrey seemed to be having a silent conversation with one another before Aubrey finally said, “Sleeping arrangements.”

 

“Babe, were you down here all afternoon?” Chloe exclaimed, suddenly as she hopped over an arm and planted herself next to Beca.

 

“Yeah,” Beca said proudly. “But not like, cuz you told me to or anything,” She added quickly. “I just thought a change of scenery would be nice for a little bit.”

 

Quickly putting two and two together, Chloe started to smile broadly. “Mhmmm,” nodded Chloe knowingly.

 

“What? I just like the idea of sleeping with you better than Aubrey,” Beca said adamantly. “Is that so bad of me? Plus, Stacie would be heartbroken if I stole her place next to Posen.”

 

“Yeah. The hunter and I called pretty much called dibs on Posen when I first joined the Bellas,” Stacie added in, staking her claim for good measure.

 

“Um. Excuse me but ‘Posen’is sleeping on the air mattress,” Aubrey interjected, slightly amused that the other 3 girls had seemed to forget she was still there.

 

“Bree, you brought that monstrosity? How is everyone else going to fit on the floor?” Chloe questioned.

 

“I’ll share the mattress with Aubrey,” Stacie volunteered immediately.

 

“Calm down Conrad, this isn’t the Hunger Games,” Beca said.

 

“Could’ve fooled me,” Stacie said, “You’re basically being controlled by the Capitol’s Peacekeepers.”

 

“Don’t call my girlfriend a Peacekeeper.”

 

“Why not? You’re literally following Chloe's orders to be down here instead of in your room so you don’t get punished.”

 

“I’m… That’s not…,” Beca grumbled, as Chloe cooed and kissed her cheek.

 

“Okay. Now guys calm down,” Chloe began.

 

Peacekeeper,” Stacie coughed loudly.

 

“Would you guys just stop?” she said exasperatedly.

 

The rest of the Bellas were all beginning to arrive home by now, but they were staying clear of the living room.

 

“Watch out Legacy,” Cynthia Rose said, warning the youngest Bella as she walked through the kitchen. “The aca-parents are fighting.”

 

“Beca is pretending she’s not totally whipped,” Fat Amy said, contributing her 2 cents into the conversation.

 

“We all know she is though,” Flo said. “You know, in my country…”

 

While the Bellas discussed the power balance between Chloe and Beca, the two girls in question plus Aubrey and Stacie were still in a heated discussion on sleeping arrangements.

 

“Well, that depends on the rest of the girls and what they want too,” Chloe said diplomatically. “I saw most of them come in while we were talking. Let’s go ask them.”

 

*

 

“I’m totally down for whatever,” Fat Amy said, when the 4 girls walked into the kitchen where the rest of the Bellas were gathered. “As long as I get to be closest to the TV this time. Em should be somewhere on the outside, so we don’t trip over her giraffe legs again.”

 

“Hey!” said Emily indignantly. “They’re not thatlong.”

 

“Jessica still has a sprained ankle from our last sleepover,” Ashley said bluntly, looking at her best friend in sympathy.

 

“Ugh. Why can’t we figure this out?” Stacie sighed.

 

“You know what? Let’s just do it like normal and everyone can just be careful when they get up to use the bathroom,” Aubrey said, resigned to the fact that she would not be using her air mattress after all.”

 

“I’ll second that and motion that we move on and concentrate on what we’re going to eat,” Cynthia Rose said, “I’m starving.”

 

“Did you know that in addition to bamboo leaves, red pandaswill eat fruit and grass and sometimes eggs, insects or actual small animals?” Beca said randomly to Chloe, as they all crowded around the stack of take out menus.

 

“Beca. No more red panda talk. It’s all you’ve been doing all week,” Chloe chastised.

 

“Fine. But how about I can give 5 facts a day,” Beca bargained.

 

“Three,” Chloe said.

 

“Deal,” Beca accepted.

 

Peacekeeper,” Fat Amy coughed this time as she motioned a snapping gesture with her hand and shared a knowing smile with Stacie.

 

Beca shot her a glare, and said, “I will have Lily dig your eyes out with a spoon while you sleep.”

 

Lily looked up at hearing her name and gave a disturbingly sinister smile.

 

“Mmmm. On the other hand, maybe not.”

 

            “Would you guys focus so we can eat before everything closes?” Cynthia Rose snapped. “I’m stillstarving.”

 

“It’s not even 6,” Emily pointed out, “most places around here don’t close for quite a while.”

 

            “Legacy, you’re not helping us get food any faster,” Cynthia Rose muttered.

 

            “Sorry,” Emily said, looking down.

 

            “CR’s right,” Aubrey said with an air of superiority, “let’s shift our attention to something actually important.”

 

            At hearing their former captain speak, all the girls turned and looked at Aubrey, as she held up the stack of menus. “Tonight’s choices are…”

 

            “Wait. Hold up. Why do you get to pick where we order from?” Beca said.

 

            “Because I have to sleep on the floor with all of you,” Aubrey replied immediately.

 

            “We’re not that bad,” Ashley said.

 

            “At least none of us snore,” Jessica added.

 

            “Thank God,” Fat Amy said, “I need my beauty rest.”

 

            “You’re one to talk,” Flo said, “You never sleep here. You’re always sneaking out to hook up with Bumper.”

 

            “I’m not sneaking out to hook up. I’ve told you. I’m studying,” Fat Amy stressed.

 

            “Speaking of studying, what have you been working on Beca? I never see you studying,” asked Emily, trying to steer the conversation into less dangerous territory.

 

            “Didn’t I tell you? I’m gonna be a Red Panda Ranger!” Beca exclaimed.

 

            “You’re gonna be a what now?” Cynthia Rose said.

 

            “A Red Panda Ranger!” Beca repeated.

 

            “Is that why you’ve suddenly become an expert on those bear-raccoon looking things?”

 

            “They’re not bears OR raccoons,” Beca said petulantly. “They’re their own species, and they have 2 subspecies. I’ll prove it to you.”

 

            Beca ran to get her laptop from the living room. While she was gone, Chloe turned to the girls and said, “Don’t get her too excited or we’ll never eat.”

 

            “I’m back!” Beca announced unnecessarily, as she held her computer in her hand.

           

            “We can see that,” Stacie said sassily.

 

            “Can you just be quiet for once in your life and look?” demanded Beca, jabbing at the screen.

 

            There were multiple tabs open, but on the active window, was Beca’s research for her latest level that she was working on.

 

            “I found 5 websites and had to write a fact that I learned from it. Pretty easy, but I did some extra poking around just for fun.”

 

 

Website 1:

Website Name: Atlanta Zoo

Website Address: https://zooatlanta.org/animal/red-panda/

Comment: A fact I learned is that they liveabout 8 to 10 years but in zoological settings they may live into their late teens.

 

Website 2:

Website name: World Wildlife Fund

Website address: https://www.worldwildlife.org/species/red-panda

Comment: According to WWF almost 50% of the red panda’s habitat is in the Eastern Himalayas

 

WEBSITE 3:
Website name: National Geographic

Website address:https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/r/red-panda/

Comment: Red pandas have their own scientific taxonomic family, the Ailuridae

 

Website 4:

Website name: Encyclopedia Britannica

Website address: https://www.britannica.com/animal/red-panda

Comment: Even though red pandas have tails, they are not prehensile

 

Website 5:

Website name: Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute

Website address: https://nationalzoo.si.edu/animals/red-panda

Comment: There are 2 recognized subspecies of red pandas – the Ailurus fulgens fulgens and the Ailurus fulgens styani (also known as Ailurus fulgens refulgens).

 

 

            “I still don’t know what a Red Panda Ranger is…” Emily said cluelessly, as she looked over Beca’s shoulder to read the information.

 

            “It’s basically someone who tells the world what a red panda is and why they’re important,” Chloe said quickly, before Beca could launch in to her spiel. “Now, what did we decide on for dinner? I can run out and get it, but we gotta decide real quick so we can have time to watch the movie.”

 

            “Indian! Hamburgers! Mexican! Taco Bell! Chinese!” exclaimed everyone all at once.

 

            “So pizza again then,” Aubrey said, as she picked up her phone. Chloe shot her a grateful look and the duo tried to continue on planning the night, while the girls were still shouting their suggestions, but it was no use.

 

            “Bellas!” Aubrey bellowed. “Food has been decided. On to the movie.”

 

            They finally decided on ‘Table 19’. Beca complained the whole movie about how she’s always forced to watch romantic comedies and all of the girls couldn’t help but tease Beca about how much she looked like a moody version of Eloise.

 

            A little before three-fourths of the way through, Beca excused herself to go up to her room with the intention of continuing her report, but Chloe pulled her back down.

 

            “The point of this sleepover is to be with the other girls, not in our room.”

 

            “Fine. But I’m not sleeping next to Aubrey.”

 

            “If you promise to be good and stay down here, I’ll let you zip our sleeping bags together and we can cuddle,” Chloe said wiggling her eyebrows suggestively.

 

            “I’m a badass. I don’t cuddle,” Beca pointed out. “But okay,” she conceded, sitting down and curling in to Chloe's side to finish out the movie.

 

            Chloe kissed the side of Beca’s head and wrapped her arms back around her. “I love you, my little ranger in training.”

 

            “You’re okay, I guess.”

Chapter Text

You know that old rhyme, that goes, “Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue”, that they typically say at weddings for good luck? Yeah, well, if you ask Beca, she’d say that’s total bullshit. She also didn’t believe in the concept of ‘love at first sight’ or the whole ‘soulmates’ thing. But apparently other people did subscribe to that theory.

 

During their junior year of college, Beca and Jesse decided that they were better off as friends more than anything else. While Jesse was obviously was happier without her, they remained close friends. He was her self-proclaimed lesbro, and Beca found herself really appreciating his role in her crazy life.

 

After the girls all graduated Barden and won the world championships, Beca was plucked up and promptly signed to DJ Khaled’s record label, “We The Best Music Group”. She quit her job at Residual Heat and movedto New York with Fat Amy for a while, before being transferred to L.A. where she had been promoted to a senior music producer.

 

Even though Beca and Jesse didn’t talk near as often as they used to due to their busy schedules, every few days, the two friends would check in on each other, and once a week would meet up for some coffee or a quick lunch. Jesse did this mostly so he knew Beca was still alive. When Beca got in one of her ‘music modes’ she’d completely lose track of time and taking care of any and all basic needs responsibilities, like eating and showering and going to bed before 4am. Beca liked to tease Jesse about how paternal he had become, but Beca truly appreciated it, and had one person to thank for that. That person was Isabel, Jesse’s girlfriend.

 

Jesse graduated early and moved to L.A. for his job. While there, he met his girlfriend Isabel and got a cat. Isabel loved movies and was more than willing to sit through Jesse’s moviecations and listen to him ramble on about facts about whatever they were watching. They would also regularly play Hollywood themed games or have competitions to see how many random movies they could recognize from just one quote. Seeing as that Isabel was now his soon to be wife, Jesse finally got his rom-com ‘happily ever after’ movie ending.

 

Beca on the other hand was not interested in anyone and ‘too busy to date’ anyway. Beca hadn’t dated anyone since Jesse. They broke up for a few reasons - partially because of distance but mostly because Beca realized she wasn’t in to guys. A part of Beca would always love Jesse, and he would always love her. But just because you love someone, it doesn’t mean you’re supposed to be with them forever. She wasn’t opposed to dating, but she wasn’t actively searching either.

 

When Jesse asked her to be his Best Woman in his wedding, she initially wanted to say no, seeing as she hated weddings, but she knew how much it meant to him, and so she said yes.That’s how Beca found herself at Runyon Park on a bright and sunny Saturday afternoon. Jesse’s wedding was coming up, and they were all having one last fun weekend before he was to be married. Well, Jesse would say it was fun. In Beca’s opinion, hiking 3 and a half miles and climbing around in nature just because it was there was not fun at all. But they were ‘bonding’ and Jesse promised to buy Beca a drink after the hike was finished.

 

When the whole ordeal was over, Beca and Jesse sat under a tree cooling off with some ice cold beverages while they waited for the rest of the wedding party to arrive. Beca saw a very cute redhead across the park who was sitting on a bench with a dog. As Jesse and Beca continued to people watch, her eyes kept flitting back to the redhead. She heard a faint ding in the background but was too distracted by the woman for it to actually register with her.

 

“Earth to Beca,” Jesse said, waving his hand in front of her face. “You there?”

 

“Huh?” Beca said, turning to look at Jesse. “I’m listening.”

 

“Isabel just texted and said all the bridesmaids are done with their hike and to meet them over by the playground.”

 

“Lemme guess,” Beca said. “Stacie wants Bella to burn off all her energy so she sleeps well tonight,” she said referring to her goddaughter.

 

“Probably.”

 

“Well, let’s not keep the princess waiting then,” she said as she stood up, brushing her body off from sitting on the grass. She took one last glance over to where she had last seen the woman, but she was gone. Beca sighed, but didn’t really get too upset.

 

A girl like that has to be taken,” she thought, shaking her head. Then another thought popped up in the back of her mind, “why do you even care? It’s not like you’re gonna date anyone.

 

 

Beca and Jesse eventually made it over to the playground, while Beca complained the whole way about how she hated kids and “do we really have to go, or could just Stacie take her?”

 

“Beca. You promised you’d help out with the ‘flower girl patrol’,” Jesse scolded her, with a slight lilt so she knew he wasn’t being too serious.

 

But Beca wasn’t listening. She was too busy glaring at the children who were all running around and screaming as they walked towards Stacie and a small child. The rest of the bridal party had left, but Beca’s Victoria’s Secret model of a best friend was waving at them and was pointing them out to her daughter.

 

“Hey guys!” Stacie called.

 

“Hey Conrad,” Beca said. “I hope you know how much I tolerate you because I’m here and not at home with the air conditioning.”

 

“I love you too, Bec,” Stacie responded, reaching out and giving her a one armed hug.

 

“Hi Baby Bells!” Beca said, turning to her god daughter and changing her voice to sound more positive –well, as happy as Beca could make it at least.

 

“Hi Aunt Beca!” Bella said, reaching her arms out to be held by her godmother.

 

Beca grabbed hold of her and pretended to groan. “Wow you’ve gotten big!” Beca exclaimed dramatically. “Pretty soon I won’t be able to call you Baby Bells.”

 

“I’ll always be your baby Aunt Beca,” said the 3 year-old sweetly, as she cuddled into Beca’s neck. Beca’s eyes got misty and she looked at Stacie. They exchanged glances and Beca was instantly glad she was talked into coming to see the two.

 

After chatting for a while Bella began to squirm, wanting to be placed on the ground so she could play.

 

“Come chase me!” Bella exclaimed. The last thing Beca wanted to do after a long hike in the canyon was run after a preschooler. She was hot and sweaty and exhausted. Beca’s mind changed however, when she saw the redhead with the dog walking around the perimeter of the playground. She was across the field but looked like she was currently hanging out with a blonde who was pushing a child on the swings.

 

Suddenly she had an idea. “Stace, can I borrow your kid for a bit?”

 

“Um. Why?” asked Stacie, having missed Beca’s stalking of the woman at the park earlier that day.

 

“She probably wants to have someone to break the ice while she talks to her girlfriend,” Jesse said jokingly.

 

Beca didn’t say anything, she just flushed a bright shade of red and looked at the ground, muttering something about how they weren’t girlfriends.

 

“Oh my god, you do,” he crowed. “This is hilarious. Do you really need a 3 year old to help you get a date?”

 

“Shut your face Swanson.”

 

“I’d be offended if you didn’t use my child to get laid,” Stacie said with a shit eating grin. “Sack up dude.”

 

“Go for it,” Jesse agreed. “As your lesbro…”

 

“Ooookay then,” Beca said, trying to divert the attention away from herself. Having been given 2 odd pep talks by her friends, she turned to Bella.

 

“How about this,” Beca said, trying to come up with a compromise. “I’ll race you to the swings and push you for a while instead.”

 

“Okay!” the girl said, happy just to be able to spend time with her favorite person on the planet.

 

“Okay. On your mark. Get set…” Beca said, preparing herself for more undesired exercise.

 

Bella took off running.

 

“Hey!” Beca cried. “You’re supposed to wait ‘til I say ‘go’ before you run, you little stinker.”

 

“Go!” hollered Bella as she continued running towards the swings. Then Bella abruptly changed courses and took off towards the red head.

 

“Puppy!” she exclaimed.

 

“Wait, Bella no!” called Beca.

 

‘Fucking cardio’ Beca thought, as she took off in a full sprint towards her god daughter, with flashes of every single crime story she had ever seen on tv flooding her mind.

 

About halfway across the field, she caught up to Bella. “Honey, you can’t just go running up to strangers with dogs. It’s not safe,” she said panting.

 

 “Will you come with me then?” Bella asked, not winded in the slightest.

 

“Sure.” Beca said, trying to keep the nervousness out of her speech. Beca didn’t have a problem talking to people for business, but she was a bumbling mess around people she found intimidating or attractive. “Remember to ask if you can pet the dog before you touch it. And be gentle.”

 

“Kay kay,” Bella said as she skipped over to the woman, with Beca following closely after her.

 

“Hey lady!” Bella said bluntly as they approached the red head. “Can I pet your dog?”

 

“Sure,” the woman said, to Bella. “His name is Rocky. He is a puggle”

 

As Bella cuddled with the dog, the ginger turned and looked skeptically at Beca, as if to say ‘I recognize you, what do you want?’

 

“Sorry. She just likes cute dogs. And pretty ladies.” Beca said, trying to sound smooth.

 

She looked at Beca suspiciously. “Yeah, okay. Are you sure this isn’t you’re your buddy’s kid over there, and you’re just using her as bait?”

 

Beca turned and saw Jesse and Stacie staring at them. “Ummm. Well…” Beca said flushing, looking like a deer caught in the head lights. The woman just waited.

 

“I saw you earlier today and thought you looked beautiful,” Beca said, deciding to be honest. “As for right now I’m entirely blaming my friends…”

 

“Why?”

 

“Because they’re trying to play match maker?” Beca responded, although it sounded more like a question than a statement. “It’s my best friend Jesse’s wedding coming up soon. Stacie is the maid of honor and I’m the best woman. I guess they’re just feeling the love or something…” she continued rambling before trailing off sheepishly.

 

There was an awkward silence and then she finally spoke. “Well, I suppose it worked.”

 

“Yeah, okay. Sorry I’ll just—wait what?” Beca said trying not to get her hopes up.

 

“I’m Chloe,” she said, as she stuck her hand out to shake.”

 

“Beca,” Beca said. “And this is my god daughter Bella. Bella is Stacie’s daughter and is going to be the flower girl.”

 

Bella looked up at hearing her name, but quickly returned her attention to the dog after realizing they weren’t talking to her.

 

Chloe and Beca chatted for a while, before Bella said, “Aunt Beca, can we go get some ice cream?”

 

“Sure kiddo,” Beca said. “Would you like to join us?” she asked Chloe bravely.

 

“I’d love to,” Chloe said, as she turned to gather her things off the ground where she left them.

 

Beca took that opportunity to pull out her phone and shoot a quick text that they were getting ice cream and that she’d bring Bella back soon.

 

As they were walking, Chloe made her way towards the blonde pushing a child in the swings. “Thank you Aubrey,” Chloe said, and gave the dog back.

 

“Wait what?” Beca spluttered. “Rocky doesn’t belong to you?”

 

“Nope,” Chloe said beaming brightly. “He belongs to my friend. I just borrow him sometimes.”

 

“Borrow him for what?” Beca asked as they walked to the ice cream stand.

 

“To use as bait for the pretty ladies,” Chloe said, winking.

 

“Well I’d say it was pretty effective” Beca said, laughing.

 

“So I don’t need to borrow him again?” asked Chloe.

 

“No. Definitely not,” Beca stated firmly, “Unless you want to bring him on our date.”

 

“Our date, huh?”

 

“Yeah, you know… if that’s something you’d be interested in.”

 

“That’s definitely something I’d be interested in,” Chloe said with a smile.