What Twelve Years Can Do: Third Person

Happiness is what everyone strives for, isn't it? It's the end goal of everyone's life-to be happy. That's why they call it a happily ever after. People get bits and pieces of their happily ever after throughout their life, and that is how they figure out what their happily ever after will be.

But off the record, this was Jesse Swansons happily ever after.

She rode shotgun as he drove away from the the conference building, already yanking the tight bun out of her hair and kicking off her heels. She rode shotgun with a tangled mess of curls, her formal clothes already flung into the back seat, and a smile that rivaled the sun. He wasn't exactly sure what time is was, but the sun was almost directly overhead, and the Northern California breeze drifted past.

"If you want to keep stripping, I'm totally fine with that. No, in fact, I encourage it."

Beca glared up at Jesse halfheartedly before glancing back at her discarded coat and heels. She was left in a black v-neck top and jeans. "Yeah I'm good, perv. I just couldn't look like a teacher anymore."

He grinned ahead as he pulled onto the highway. There was a kind of euphoria shared between them. They had been at the teacher conference for the better half of the last seven hours. Now free, and driving up the California freeway with the scent of the beach in the air and the radio playing loud, freedom was pumping through their veins.

"How long until we get to the hotel?" She asked as she kicked her feet up (gently, of course, it was a nice car) on the dashboard, turning down the radio.

"Less than half an hour, probably. Why? You excited to meet my family?" He jokes.

She bites her lip. "Jess, I've already met your family...remember?"

It was true. It was Christmas break of sophomore year that Beca met his family; his erratic mom, his awkwardly funny father, his adorable little sister and his obnoxious middle brother. They loved her...possibly even more than him. It wasn't fair, but he understood. He loved her more than himself too.

He smiled nostalgically. "I remember. That was my favorite Christmas, you know."

She cracked a smile. "You gave me your Trebles jacket, since I was always stealing it anyways, and my own The Breakfast Club DVD."

He glanced over at her out of the corner of his eye. "You remember that?"

"Of course I do. It was my favorite Christmas too, Jess. For one thing, any Christmas away from my family is a good one." She ran her hand through her dark curls and chuckled nervously. "God, I was so in love with you, Jesse."

"The feeling was more than mutual, Beca." She watched his face as he stared ahead with his eyes too focused on the road. He glances down, and then his frown is tugged into a smirk. "But hey, do you want to know what my favorite part of that Christmas was?"

She grinned over at him, eager for a mood change. "And what was that?"

He looked over at her, that damn smirk playing on his lips. "That santa's little helper lingerie Chloe got for you."

Beca's mouth fell open with a little pop. "Jesse!" She exclaimed, hitting his shoulder far to hard to be considered playful.

"Hey! That actually hurt. You're densely packed, midget." She didn't reply, but pouted in her seat, not saying a word, cheeks flushed with embarrassment. He's about to apologize...but where's the fun in that. That smirk tugs at his lips again. "...still have that birthmark?" The look she gives him has him nearly having to pull over he's laughing so hard. "Do you by chance still have outfit? You know I bet that'd still fit you..."

"I'll tell your class you cried at the end of the Breakfast Club for first three times you watched it, don't think I won't," she threatened, her cheeks still tinged light pink.

"Hey, you cried too!"

She rolled her eyes. "Yeah, but only once," she said sticking her tongue out at him. "I'm a badass, remember?"

He grinned. "Yeah, I remember. I also remember the birthmark shaped like a star on your ass."

"It's a star cause I'm a star."

"Oh, you were SUCH a star, Beca." He winked at her, enjoying himself far too much.

"Dude, stop. Somehow, I'm embarrassed for something I did twelve years ago. No, correction, someone I screwed twelve years ago."

He stuck out his bottom lip in a pout. "Oh, Bec, do I mean so little to you?"

A light smile tugged at her lips. "No, Jess, you meant a lot to me." She glanced down. "God this is so strange. I never thought I'd see you again."

"Yeah, I remember the look on your face when you first saw me in the office. I was mildly concerned that you would have a heart attack."

"...Can I confess something?"

This was new. Beca didn't confess anything, she kept it to herself. "Yeah, of course," he says quickly.

"That day I saw you through the glass before I went in. And then I have myself a pep talk and went in."

He snorted. "Beca Mitchell, the badass Beca Mitchell, had to give herself a pep talk before seeing me? The movie nerd."

"Well I didn't know if you were going to try to give me a moviecation of not, and I needed to prepare myself." He grinned at his term 'moviecation'. "We never finished that, you know."

"We never finished a lot of things, Bec."

She looked at him out of the corner of her meye. His eyes looked distant and his jaw set. And in that moment, she's never been more sorry for leaving him. "You have to know how sorry I am about that."

He relaxes slightly. "All water under the bridge. I do have one question though. Would you take it back if you could?"

She thought about it. Would she change what she did. Stay, go back to Jesse even though she knew she was pregnant and deal with it with him? But then with Bella and all that would come afterwards. "There's more to it than that," she finally said.

"Bullshit." She's surprised by his anger. "You mean Bella, right? You would've never had her if you didn't leave and screwed someone else. And I know you wouldn't change having her, but if you didn't leave, you wouldn't never known her. And maybe we wouldn't both be grade school teachers, maybe you'd be a music producer and I'd score movies and we would've been together."

She stays silent for a moment. He believed that she left him and had a one night stand of some kind and that's how she ended up with Bella. He was wrong, but she wasn't about to correct him.

"All water under the bridge..." She said softly.

"No really, I'm over it, I just...I don't understand that's all." He was telling the truth.

She bit her lip. "I do regret leaving, and if I could go back and change it...I would."

"Jesse, is that Beca Mitchell in your car?"

Right to the Beca, as always. Elizabeth Swanson walked out of the house the reception would be held in, hands on her hips to greet her son. Jesse hopped out of the car and approached his mother, ready to do damage control.

"As always, it's great to see you, mom." She barely paid attention to him. "Yes, mom, that's Beca. She's my teaching partner at the school."

At that moment, Beca climbed out of the car and smiled at Jesse's mother. "Hi, Mrs. Swanson, it's great to see you again."

"Oh, Beca, sweetheart!" His mother hugged Beca tightly. Jesse rolled his eyes. It was always like that with Beca around. His mother pulled away. "What are you doing here, sweetie?"

Beca blushed. "Oh I'm, uh, Jesse's date," she looked pointedly at Jesse and smirked. His mother ushered her inside, leaving him to trail after them. He's greeted by his brother and sister and his cousins. He finds Annabelle, his cousin that's getting married, and talks to her for a few minutes (of course threatening to 'deal with' her husband if he doesn't approve).

By the time he finds her again, she's sitting on the couch laughing hysterically with his brother, Connor.

"Hey, what's so funny?" He asks them.

"Oh, hey, man," Connor said standing up and slinging one arm around his shoulders. "You're not, like, actually dating her, right?" he asked in a loud whisper.

"Shut up, Connor," he said shoving his brother away with a laugh.

Connor looked her up and down. "God, why did I have to be thirteen when I met you..." He said wistfully.

Beca sipped her drink and looked at Connor. "You had braces that stuck halfway out of your mouth and acne and I liked you a lot better then," she spoke slowly and smiled deviously as she stood up.

Connor smile at her wistfully before pulling me aside. "From one brother to another, man, you'll regret not kissing her a lot more than you'll regret kissing her."

I glanced back behind me, where Beca was laughing with my sister, and I thought that he might be right. "For someone who lives to bother me, that's actually not bad. Thanks, man."

A/N: I'm so sorry its been so long. A lot was going on for a long time. My grandpas cancer got a lot worse in December and it was hard to write about much of anything for a few months. He died a few months ago and I'm alright now and would love to get back into all the writing i let sit aside. I'm on summer break right now, I'm going to be a sophomore next year and i would love to wrap up a lot of my stories this summer. A beta reader would be great, if there are any takers. I've been out of tune with this story for a few months so it will take some getting used to so i can't promise a super fast update, but i will try my hardest to get one out as fast as i can. As for my other pitch Perfect stories if you read them, i will be continuing with them soon, but id like to focus on one at a time for a little while. I love you guys xoxo.