HI FRIENDS! Remember me? I honestly can't believe how long it has been since I updated this story. I'm sorry it has taken me this long! Law school has been absolutely kicking my ass this half of the semester and we're at end of year exams now (I live in New Zealand) so it's just been such a crazy time. But tonight I was determined to get the story finished! I really appreciated all the messages checking in on how I was going and all of your encouragement, and your reviews are so sweet! Hopefully you enjoy this chapter, it's a little different but I wanted to explore different sides of Beca and Chloe relating to sickness, while still getting some cute moments in! You guys are amazing, happy reading!
Beca expected a lot of things going into her senior year. She expected to gain another ICCAs title. (Well, Amy put a stop to that but she could substitute a world title in quite easily). She expected to be thoroughly confused about where her future was going to take her. She expected to still be dragging Flo out of bed five minutes before their class started, and stopping Lily sneaking hot sauce into every dinner they cooked. She expected the Bella house to be her source of comfort, laughter, and giant nerds. She expected to love Chloe Beale every single minute of the day.
The one thing she never expected though, was the goofball called Emily Junk. Goofy, Beca nodded to herself the first time she met Emily. She had this naïve, too happy smile on her face that Beca associated with the innocent and jovial attitudes of freshmen. Of course, many other adjectives flowed through her mind that night at the Treble party such as 'scarily eager,' 'is she ever not smiling,' 'still don't know what a legacy is,' but Beca had to admit the little weirdo had slotted into their family of nerds like the younger sister they never knew they needed.
As busy as Beca was, she could see how much Emily wanted to absorb the Bella lifestyle and make all of the memories her mother apparently told her she would. Emily was always the first one at practice; she would go out of her way to leave her dorm and get to the Bellas house to bond, before one of the girls sent her packing with strict instructions to text them when she made it back safely.
So on one Tuesday afternoon practice that Beca needed a few minutes on her mix and bestowed (what Emily would call) the privilege on the Legacy to lead vocal warm ups, Emily did something Beca could only describe as…well, goofy. Instead of jumping up excitedly like Beca thought she would, she diverted her eyes, making half excuses here and there made up of small mumbles and ending with a big sneeze. When this occurred, Beca looked up from her laptop, and realised the girl hadn't spoken at all at their Sunday afternoon practice. She took one look at Emily's face and noticed on closer inspection, the reddened cheeks and nose, parched lips, and pale face. Just as she was about to walk closer, it appeared she wasn't the only one who had noticed.
Chloe moved to Emily, gently taking her chin in her hand and pulling her face up to look at her. "Emily, are you sick?"
Emily shook her head adamantly, letting out a croaked "no" that made Beca, and apparently the rest of the Bellas roll their eyes.
"Legacy stop talking smack." Cynthia Rose said.
Stacie nodded, "Yeah, you sound like death."
All of the girls decided to ignore Lily's following comment of "You do, I would know" and continued to look on at the situation, where Chloe looked scarily like all of their mothers at some point in their lives.
"Legacy," Beca said slowly, approaching Chloe's side. "What's the deal dude."
"Nothing, it's nothing!" Emily said in the most unconvincing voice apparently all the Bellas had ever heard, as Beca saw more than half of them roll their eyes at her response. In classic Emily style, she kept rambling to make it worse. "It's definitely nothing and I'm definitely fine for the showcase this weekend."
More eyes rolled at this statement and Chloe turned to look at Beca with a deadpan expression. Emily had a lot to learn.
Beca, trying not to smirk at the situation, moved to stand beside Chloe in front of Emily. "Take a seat Legacy, you can skip practice today."
"But I –"
"Em, your voice sounds like you've swallowed one too many – "
"Ok!" Chloe said, interrupting Stacie from finishing her sentence. Stacie looked far too proud of herself for that one and struggled to hold back laughter.
"I'll take one for the team and skip practice to keep Legacy company." Amy chimed in with a grin on her face like she knew exactly the look Beca would give her for that suggestion. Beca flipped her off with a laugh and nodded to Cynthia Rose to take the warm ups.
Beca stared at Emily until she walked to the seats and plopped down like a petulant child. She struggled to hold back a grin, but half an hour later when she looked over to see how Emily was doing and saw the lanky freshman asleep laying across 5 chairs, she cackled with laughter, snapping a picture on her phone.
As practice finished, Flo ran over to Emily's sleeping form and belted out a siren sound from her mouth, making Emily jump up an almost fall off the chairs. The Bellas looked on laughing, remembering the week before when Emily had been given 'Wake Up Flo' rights and had blared a siren from her phone into her ear. Flo stepped back, clearly impressed with her revenge, and Emily whacked her across the arm, rubbing her ear.
"Good nap?" Beca asked as Emily rubbed her eyes, looking very worse for wear.
"I'm feeling better." Emily said unconvincingly, and when she looked up to all the Bellas staring straight back at her with their eyebrows raised, she slumped her shoulders in defeat.
Before the group could start bombarding Emily with questions Chloe took charge, once again filling the role of group mother.
"It's family dinner tonight and I know how much you love those –"
"Chloe I'm coming to dinner, I'm fine!" Emily interrupted her, thinking she was going to be told to sit out again.
Chloe put her hand on Emily's arm, squeezing it reassuringly. "Hey, hey it's ok. Of course you're still coming to dinner, you're part of the Bella family. I think if you have a proper rest first you'll feel better, yeah?"
Despite Chloe's (and Emily's) hopes that Emily would feel better after a rest, when the girl ambled into the Bella house that evening there was no denying she had definitely come down with something.
Instead of bouncing into the kitchen and shadowing whichever girl was cooking, or sitting excitedly around the bench, Emily dropped her bag in the living room and looked as if she was mustering all her energy to drag herself into the kitchen.
When Amy greeted her entrance in the energetic way that usually had the younger Bella in fits of laughter, Emily winced at the noise and sat down at the end of the bench.
Stacie, who had been watching from the moment Emily walked in the door didn't know whether to laugh or roll her eyes that as soon as Emily displayed these characteristics, Beca and Chloe snapped into 'aca-rents' mode. This was hilarious to watch, as Chloe naturally was a comforting person, while Beca, like many aspects of her life, was reserved and awkward whilst still trying to be involved. She hovered to the side of Chloe and Emily as Chloe fired off a set of questions. They discovered Emily had been fatiguing for the past 2 weeks, but with Aubrey visiting last week, nobody really noticed Emily's slow fade.
"Oh Em, you've been sick for a long time now." Chloe said comfortingly, feeling Emily's forehead with the back of her hand.
"Dude what the hell, why didn't you say anything?" Beca said, and Stacie knew she meant it to be comforting, but it came off as quite blunt.
Emily winced at Becas tone and started rambling, the corners of her eyes shining with exhausted tears.
"Beca!" Chloe scolded, and put her hand on Emily's arm, gently soothing her.
"I'm sorry, I just thought it was stress from exams and I tried to ignore it but I'm just so…" Emily threw her hands down in from of her in a defeated kind of way. "And my mom is overseas so I couldn't ask her and I tried to google fix myself and you've all got so much going on I didn't want to be a burden I – "
Beca held up a hand immediately silencing Emily. She ran her hand through her own hair and stepped forward, clearly thinking rapidly about how o approach the situation. Chloe placed her hand on Beca's lower back as silent support.
"Em," Beca started, using her proper name to set the tone. "Take a deep breath, ok?" She asked, and watched Emily follow her actions. "First of all, no apologies. We should have noticed something was off. Second of all, you're no burden. Anyone that can consistently laugh at Amy's jokes and eat Lily's hot sauce is an asset to this group, trust me. And third, you're moving in this week. Easiest way to keep track of you. Those dorms are horrific for being sick in."
"Yeah," Stacie cut in, "Wait until I tell you about Beca's vomiting saga freshman year."
"Fuck off Stacie." Beca said, although a grin at the memory she could now laugh back on was forming.
"Are you being serious? You'd really do that for me?" Emily asked.
Chloe smiled gently and stepped forward, wrapping her arms around Beca's front and pressing a kiss to the back of her head. "Em, you're a Bella. The baby Bella I might add. We don't leave each other to fend for themselves."
"That's right. Especially baby Bellas with mono." Stacie said, with a massive grin on her face.
Laughter and gasps erupted around the room, and Emily opened and closed her mouth.
"You have mono?" Ashley asked through giggles.
"Legacy and the freshmen, sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G!" Amy sang out.
Emil shook her head vehemently, trying to get her tired voice in over the loud room. "I don't have mono!"
"Sure you haven't been participating in a few extra-curricular college activities Legacy?" Cynthia Rose asked, laughing.
"No!" Emily said, her blush showing through her pale skin clearly. She continued on, quieter. "I haven't even kissed anybody at Barden. Honestly!" She added, looking at Beca as if she would save her from this situation.
"Ok, ok chill legacy. You don't have mono." Beca said, to placate the girl.
"Oh she definitely does. You can catch mono other ways than kissing though. All the symptoms are there. Stacie said, nodding.
"And when did you go to medical school?" Flo asked Stacie.
"Are we kidding, mono is called the kissing disease." Beca said. "And it's Stacie."
Flo shrugged her shoulders. "Point taken."
"No problem Stace." Beca replied, grinning.
Chloe nodded. "Stacie is right. You're clearly fatigued, you have a fever, you're looking at that food like you never want to eat again, and you have a headache."
"Wait, wait, wait," Beca rounded on Chloe. "How do you know so much about mono?"
"Chloe blushed, laughing it off. "Oh you know Beca, I was a very…involved freshman."
"Dude, gross." Beca said, making a face. Chloe grinned and planted a big kiss on her cheek before she could squirm away.
Soon after that dinner was ready, and just as Beca thought, Emily protested missing the bonding eating time. She declined food, which Beca was thankful for, because vomiting on top of all Emily's other symptoms would send her into a freak out. Chloe gave Beca a look to let Emily sit in, at least until after dinner when they would set the rules needed to get rid of Emily's mono.
For all the teasing the girls usually have Emily, they largely left her alone through dinner, watching her rest her head in her hand and fight to keep her eyes open. They murmured quietly to each other, deciding that Amy would swap with Chloe for the week and move in with Stacie, so that Beca and Chloe could share Beca's room with Legacy to watch out for her. Chloe's masters schedule gave her more free time at home that they would need, because although they could do without Emily at their convention performance this weekend, there were other showcases coming up they needed her for.
When people at the table started moving around and Emily still didn't respond, Beca spoke to her.
Emily remained with her head resting on her hand, and Beca briefly wondered if it was possible for someone to sleep with their eyes open.
"Legacy…Em…" Beca tried again.
Amy then leant over the table and announced rather loudly, "Bellas practice in 5 minutes!" To which Emily immediately shot up, looking around to the amusement of the rest of the group.
Beca didn't know whether it was appropriate to laugh as well because Emily looked so tired and sick and confused. Luckily Chloe threw a napkin at Amy and shook her head good naturedly, coming to stand behind Beca.
"Ok Em, serious up. You need some rest." Chloe said softly.
When Emily looked like she was going to question the situation Beca again held up a hand.
"We've sorted it. You're bunking with us dude."
At this, Emily's expression turned to one of excitement, and Stacie snorted. "Trust me Legacy, that feeling won't last when they feel that late night delight."
Beca flipped her off, shaking her head with a grin. "Better than listening to you and Sergeant Posen phone sexing."
"Just to be clear," Chloe said, stepping in and putting an end to the conversation, "Nobody will hear anyone doing anything. Now will you children stop arguing so this child can at least have a chance of getting better?"
Beca muttered an apology, rolling her eyes at Stacie and grudgingly taking the dishes into the kitchen when Chloe gave them a pointed look. Emily would have laughed, had she not been overcome with more intense headaches.
Chloe crouched down and looked at her. "Come on Em, time to get some sleep. I know you're feeling terrible but it's going to pass, you're getting world class Beale treatment."
"It's true," Beca said, sliding back up to Chloe, pecking her cheek. "This one's a winner."
Chloe smirked and turned to her. "Trying to slide your way back into the good books?"
"Is it working?"
"Come back holding a tea and I'm all yours."
Beca rolled her eyes with a soft smile, turning back to the kitchen. "Aye, aye cap'n."
Despite any nervous reservations Beca had about having to look after another human for a week, and a younger one at that (yes, 18 was young, and Emily's innocence seemed to knock her down a further few years for all of the older girls),when Emily fell asleep in Amy's bed as soon as her head hit the pillow, Beca thought she could actually do this.
"Wouldn't it be great to just sleep for a week like Emily will do." Beca murmured to Chloe, as they lay in bed as well a while later.
Chloe laughed softly, pulling the covers higher up around her. "You think she' s just going to stay up here and sleep for a week?"
"Why not? I'd love that."
"Baby, you would go crazy up here for a week by yourself."
Beca held her hands up, "Whoa, whoa, I never said anything about being alone."
"What makes you think I'd give up a week of my time to sleep here with you?" Chloe asked, raising her eyebrows at Beca in the faint darkness.
Beca smirked, brushing off her shoulder. "Oh I didn't mean you. My other girlfriends love to sleep."
"Dang it," Chloe replied, feigning disappointment, "Guess I have to step up my game."
Beca laughed, closing the space between their lips with a soft kiss. "Hmmm, somehow I don't think you'll have much trouble."
Chloe snuck in one more kiss before wrapping her arm around Beca's waist, sighing in contentment as Beca's head found its place on her chest. "Didn't know I was dating such a playa."
"That's me babe," Beca said through a yawn. "Breaking hearts everywhere I go."
"I love you, weirdo."
Beca replied with pressing a kiss to Chloe's chest where her head lay, right over Chloe's heart as they both drifted into sleep.
The day so far had been incredibly uneventful for Beca. When she left the house with Amy and Cynthia Rose to 'Rhythm through the ages' (honestly, college was fucking weird) after dragging Flo out of bed, Emily was still asleep. Chloe only had one class on Monday that was over before Jessica and Ashley left for their classes, so the Bellas house was always occupied.
Praising every higher power she could think of that her Mondays were only half days, Beca sighed in relief when she arrived back at the house, dumping her bag in the living room and falling face first onto the couch.
She made a muffled yelling sound, words intangible but the noise level still there. Judging by the footsteps she heard, Chloe had become aware of her presence and Beca turned to yell out again when Chloe's frame came into her vision, hand held out.
"No shhh, you'll wake her up."
Beca stopped with a confused look, mid way through starting her yell. "Legacy's still asleep? It's like 4pm!"
"Beca it's noon. Which may I remind you is your usual wake up time, without mono."
Beca sent Chloe a grin which apparently Chloe couldn't resist, as the next second she had also planted herself on the couch, pressed into Beca's side as Beca ran a hand through her hair.
"Have you checked on her? Is she still breathing under that pile of blankets?" Beca asked a while later, speaking through the comfortable silence they had settled in.
"Yeah, she's still with us. Grade A fever though."
"Ouch. Mono sounds shitty."
"It is." Chloe sighed, leaning into Beca's touch further. She then added, "Although it's almost like a rite of passage at college."
Beca grinned lazily. "I've never really been one for the typical college experience."
"Says the girl who lives in the quasi-sorority acapella house." Chloe said, laughing.
"Hey, hey. Anything is better than those dorms. Now I know why Legacy is always over here."
Chloe nodded, agreeing. "Yeah. Well she's gonna get sick of the place after this week."
"Nah," Beca said, scrolling on her phone. "Not with you here to entertain her."
Chloe looked over at Beca's phone. "What are you reading?"
"I'm Googling the cure for mono."
"You're Googling the cure for mono?"
Beca looked over at Chloe's surprised voice, and raised her own eyebrows back. "You can't possibly tell me you've never consulted Doctor Google."
"Doctor Google?" Chloe said, bursting into laughter.
"Babe, have you been living under a rock?" Beca said, flashing a grin at the comment. "Dr. Google has pulled me through every illness I've ever had."
"No wonder you used to be so bad at taking care of yourself." Chloe said, as she nudged Beca's hand with her head.
Beca resumed running her hands through Chloe's hair as she clicked through a few websites. After a few minutes, she let out a noise of surprise.
"What?" Chloe said, looking over at her. "Has Doctor Google found the cure?"
"It says here that once you get the virus related to mono it stays in your body forever. Forever Chlo!"
Chloe just looked at Beca, not sure where she was going with this.
"And if you have the virus, it can get infected again." Beca continued, but Chloe still wasn't with her. "And if Legacy didn't catch mono by kissing, and you're going to be with her practically all week, you're going to get mono again!" Beca finished, holding up her phone.
Chloe propped herself up on her elbow, a small smile on her face. "I'm not going to catch mono again."
"But it says!"
"Baby, being around a sick person doesn't mean you're going to get sick too. I've held the virus for years and god knows how many students here have mono." Chloe said as she pressed a kiss to Beca's pouted lips. "It'll be fine."
Beca flicked her eyes back to her phone screen and mumbled. "Not according to Doctor Google."
"Well," Chloe said as she took the phone out of Beca's hand, "Doctor Google will just have to be proven wrong this time." She turned Beca's head to look at her, and continued. "Besides, who would you rather listen to?" She asked as she left a lingering kiss on Beca's lips. "Me…or the invisible electronic doctor?" Another kiss was placed on Beca's lips, and Chloe knew by the sound that escaped Beca's mouth that she had won.
A few more sounds then filled the room, although this time not from Beca's mouth. When they heard the croaky, yet undeniably Legacy-like sounds of Emily walking into the room on them kissing they both pulled away.
"Em hey, you're awake!" Chloe said, as she pulled away from Beca and sat up more.
Emily ran a hand through her hair and gestured at them. Some noises that Beca and Chloe assumed were supposed to be words came out of her mouth at an attempt for Emily to awkwardly and hurriedly explain herself walking in on their time which Beca would have explained was a non issue if she could get a word in.
Thankfully, Emily's mono caught up with her and she coughed harshly, stopping her rambles.
"Dude, slow down ok? It's fine, you're totally fine." Beca said, sitting up next to Chloe.
Emily nodded, then looked like she regretted it as she held her head in her hands. Chloe got up and gently led Emily to the couch where she sat down. She tutted under her breath as she placed her hand on Emily's forehead, feeling how hot it still was.
"Not much better huh?"
"Not really. This stinks." Emily sighed.
Chloe pouted a little, wishing she could fix the youngest Bella's problem. "I know. You probably don't want to eat right now but I'm going to get you a drink ok? Then you're free to join us on the couch to judge the daytime television that's on."
"And judge ourselves for watching it." Beca added with a grin.
Chloe let out a laugh and walked around the back of the couch, heading towards the kitchen. As she was passing, Beca kneeled on the couch and grabbed Chloe's hand, making her stop in front of Beca. Beca reached out, and Chloe, assuming she wanted a kiss, leaned forward. However Beca's hand moved to Chloe's forehead, placing it there for a few seconds.
When Chloe felt the hand on her own forehead she looked at Beca's face, which was sporting a suspicious expression.
"Beca," Chloe said, in the smallest warning tone possible.
"What?" Beca replied, trying to play it cool. "I'm just saying, Google doesn't lie."
Chloe removed Beca's hand from her head and kissed it, before walking into the kitchen, wondering how long Beca was going to keep up this diagnosis game.
The answer, as Chloe found out, was apparently a long time. Every time Beca spotted Chloe in close proximity to Emily (which was literally all the time as Chloe was home almost all this week to fast track Emily's recovery), Beca would then shadow her, looking or feeling for any signs of sickness in her.
Chloe had largely put up with it, partly finding it cute and partly impressed that Beca had been actively researching medical related issues. When some of the Bellas began to notice, Chloe told a group of them about Beca's, as she called it, "conspiracy plan" to which Beca shouted from the other room could not be a conspiracy if it was fact.
In fact, one afternoon before Bellas practice she was in the middle of describing the events to a laughing Aubrey over Skype when she heard voices rising up in the other room, moving towards the kitchen.
"Legacy, the answer is no."
Chloe listened harder now, surprised at the words and tone Beca had with Emily. She shrugged at Aubrey through the laptop screen when the blonde gave her a questioning look.
"But Beca! I'll just sit – "
Emily then squeaked to a stop and Chloe could just picture Beca standing with her arms crossed and a hard look on her face.
"You'll just sit? Legacy, before this week I hadn't seen you sit still in any position for more than 2 minutes. You'll just sit on the bleachers, and then you'll just stand at the back, and then you'll just do some of the dance, and then you'll end up in the performance on Saturday, and next thing I know your mother and the 1989 Bellas are hounding my ass for making you even sicker!" Beca's tone then softened "Em, I know this week has sucked majorly for you. But you've gotten so much better, and I'm not letting you risk deteriorating again."
Chloe then saw Beca march Emily into the kitchen and give her a pointed look. "This is not up for negotiation." Beca said, pointing at Emily.
Emily, tired and still sick, crossed her arms petulantly and stared at Chloe sadly. Chloe had come to know this look over the past week of looking after her, and was starting to think she finally understood why Beca was always complaining about her own puppy dog stare.
"Oh no," Chloe said, shaking her head and looking away. "Don't even think about giving me that look."
Stacie then flounced into the room, saving the day as usual. She blew a kiss and winked at Aubrey through the laptop screen, and turned to Emily. "Em, have I ever told you the story of Aubrey Posen and the ripping out of young Bellas vocal chords?"
The look on Emily's face clearly stated the negative. Pleased with herself, Stacie continued on. She gently tapped Chloe out of the seat in front of the laptop and sat Emily down on it, so she was staring at the former Bella captain. Behind Emily, Stacie nodded with a grin and had never loved Aubrey more when she, without any prompting, launched into a story about the old oath that young Bellas swore to their captains, which impliedly meant to listening to them as well, or shall the oath come back to haunt them and their vocal chords for the rest of their days.
By the end of the story, Emily looked horrified, Chloe had almost drawn blood from biting her lip to stop laughing, and Beca and Stacie had to leave the room from sniggering so much.
"Now, I think you get the gist of the story Emily. So if you wouldn't mind passing me over to Stacie I would greatly appreciate it." Aubrey said.
Emily picked up the laptop and walked past Chloe, to where Stacie and Beca straightened up in the hallway, trying to control their laughter. Stacie took the laptop as it was handed to her, the tiniest burst of laughter escaping her lips as she saw Emily's expression.
"Hey babe," Aubrey said through the screen, with a smirk on her face like she knew exactly what she had just done.
Before Stacie could reply, Emily spoke up. "I'm going to bed. I should probably get some rest."
As much as Beca wanted to tease her change of heart, she didn't want to watch Emily's sad eyes as they all left her behind for practice so she just nodded at the decision. "We'll wake you up when we get home, promise dude." She said.
"Remember Emily, take care of yourself!" Aubrey's voice came through the screen making Emily's eyes widen as she quickly departed up the stairs.
"I've never loved you more." Stacie said, as the seniors burst into laughter again.
"Hey Chloe?" Emily's voice spoke up, just barely audible over the soft music playing through the speakers in the living room.
Chloe turned from her laptop at the desk to where Emily was sitting on the couch. Emily had notes of her classes she was missing from the top student that Stacie got using methods she wouldn't describe scattered around her.
"What's up Em?"
Emily hesitated for a few seconds, her mouth moving to start her response in different ways, before all the words came rushing out at once. "What's it like to be in love with Beca?"
The unexpected question threw Chloe, who eventually moved over to the couch next to Emily and sat facing her. "Right now it's very trying, since she hovers around me like I'm going to catch mono and drop dead." Chloe said, laughing with a grin when she saw Emily's face. "I'm kidding Em, totally kidding. It's the cutest thing in the world. Being in love with Beca…It's the best decision I've ever made." She said, nodding in confirmation to her own answer. She then continued. "What makes you ask that? Are you…exploring your own preferences?" She asked, unsure how to phrase the last question.
"No, no nothing like that." Emily said quickly, shaking her head and adding in a classic Legacy awkward laugh. "I just…you two are so in sync. You're happy, she's happy. It looks like it's as easy as breathing. Not everyone is like that."
Chloe nodded, agreeing. "I know. And trust me Em, there were many before Beca where they didn't flow, they just hit a brick wall then exploded. But I think when you wake up each morning, and know that no matter how bad or good you feel, you're guaranteed to feel happier when you see them, it's a good sign that you're onto something great."
"Do you think Beca is the one?" Emily asked, and even through her fatigue Chloe could see the excitement of an 18 year old talking about love.
"Yeah Em, I really do." Chloe replied honestly, laughing softly as Emily made a high pitched noise of happiness. "But what about you, huh? You don't get to ask me questions about love without having someone on your mind. Think you've found your one and only in the hallowed halls of Barden University?"
Emily blushed and shook her head, suddenly interested in the fabric of her sweat pants than looking at Chloe. "You're gonna laugh."
"I make no promises. Although your chances are a lot better without Beca and Stacie here. And Amy and Flo…well, basically everyone."
Nodding her head, Emily agreed. "Benji's kinda cute." She said in a rushed mumble, but of course Chloe already knew she was going to say that, having watched their painfully awkward but cute interactions throughout the year.
"Benji is very sweet." Chloe said, nodding and smiling when Emily nodded as well. "He's also a senior."
Emily opened her mouth in protest, and to clearly point out the hypocrisy of Chloe making that statement.
"I know, I know," Chloe said, cutting Emily off before she began. "I don't mean it as a bad thing. I just mean you have to keep it in mind."
"Why does college come with so many decisions. High school was so easy, I take it all back every time I said I wanted to leave." Emily whined, back into the couch. She was still for a few minutes and Chloe had moved on to responding to a lame joke Beca had texted her (although she was grinning like a fool whilst doing so) when Emily spoke again.
"Hey Chloe? I know I said I would help you make lunch but the thought of doing anything apart from lying down right now is so bad."
Chloe automatically put her hand on Emily's forehead and although it hadn't gotten any worse, it hadn't gotten any better. She took note of the little spots of red skin rash that were dotted around Emily's neck and gave her shoulder a gentle squeeze.
"It's ok Em, we can try eating again later. You want to go upstairs so the girls don't disturb you when they all come home? I know they've been nice, but I can just tell Amy's about to crack from all of this good behaviour and do something that'll leave you with a week-long migraine."
Letting out a breath of air Chloe assumed to be a laugh, Emily got up slowly, dragging her legs out of the room like they weighed a tonne. Chloe watched her with sympathy, hoping when she left for her masters seminar later that night she was still asleep. Beca had been good with her, a little cautious and a little freaking-out, but good. Secretly, Chloe found it adorable when she caught Beca checking in on Emily, or trying to figure out what she needed just by Emily whining and pointing to her face. Beca always flicked her hands on the sides of her jeans when she didn't know what to do, a sure sign she was flustered, before Chloe swooped in and assessed what was going on, feeling Beca sigh with relief as she pressed back into her, leaning the kiss Chloe always planted on the side of her head. It was times like this that Chloe knew that as great of people they were, the two of them were just better together, no doubt about it.
15 minutes into her seminar, Chloe's eyes flitted down to her phone as it buzzed, repeatedly receiving texts. Hesitating before unlocking it, Chloe wondered what could have possibly gone wrong already. But when she read the messages, a knowing smile appeared on her face. Beca had clearly finally gotten home from the station and assessed the situation, not liking what she found. Chloe read the series of texts sent one after the other.
'I missed seeing you at home because Jesse was late to the station.'
'His cited reason: "but Beca, I just really had to watch the end of Return of the King, it was a marathon!"'
'Yes the same movie he's seen 1000 times'
'Fucking Swanson I swear to the aca-gods…'
'Don't repeat that I just said 'aca-gods'
'So then Flo "forgot" she was cooking dinner tonight so there's no food.'
'Remind me again why we keep her around?'
'Jessica and Ashley were out the door for takeout before shit got too real.'
'Also Legacy is asleep but she's got this rash on her neck and what if she wakes up how do I fix her she's like a plant that always needs water and you know how bad I am at keeping things alive oh my god.'
Chloe struggled to refrain from bursting out laughing at all of Beca's texts. She could just picture her standing in the hallway coming out of their room stopped midstride as she typed out all of her crises to her. And she'd then wait there, holding her phone with two hands in front of her face for Chloe's texts.
Chloe picked up her phone properly, and sent out two simple replies.
'I love you'
She then watched her phone, as after a while 3 little dots appeared beside Beca's name, signalling she was typing. The dots then disappeared, and a few seconds later they were back. Chloe smiled at her phone again, and even more so when Beca's reply finally came through.
'Chlo…you gotta stop doing cute shit like that because I almost melted in this hallway. how did I get so lucky with a chick this perfect?'
Chloe sniggered under her breath at being right about Beca's location in the house. She typed out her reply.
'I think it was the aca-gods that intervened, because you're pretty perfect too.'
And she then sent her replies to Beca's freak out from before.
'The only thing that saves Swanson there is that Lord of the Rings rules. We keep Flo around because one of the Bellas favourite past times is watching you two arguing over who is taller. And Emily is ok, I noticed the rash before and it didn't feel too strange so just keep an eye on her.'
Beca's replies came a few minutes later.
'Ok I have food and a couch and your presence through technology so I'm feeling 1000x more relaxed now. I think I can live with that.'
'Also, are you feeling ok? If Legacy has a rash does that mean it's more likely to be contagious? You are keeping an eye on yourself right?'
Chloe rolled her eyes softly at the last text, the smile still on her face as she typed out a reply.
'Yes dear I'm totally fine. The rash doesn't mean anything. I'm keeping myself on top alert for you.'
'Chloeeeee don't make fun of me. Or Doctor Google. I just don't want to see you go through what Legacy is going through again. Mono looks like it sucks.'
'I know baby, I know. I'm not making fun of you, you're being incredibly sweet. I think you're finally giving my other girlfriends a run for their money.'
'Oh so now you have other girlfriends too? Maybe we should set them up together, since I'd kinda like to keep you around.'
'Ok you are being too cute tonight. I wish this seminar was over already so I could be with you. Only an hour and a half to go!'
'Way too long but I suppose I'll live. I saved you some dinner too.'
Chloe laughed softly as she received a picture from Beca, of dinner in a bowl being held by Lily who was pulling a fish face.
'What? The dinner, or me?' Beca replied, sending another photo of herself holding the dinner bowl up with a sultry pose.
This time Chloe full out laughed, quickly hiding her face down and thanking her judgment to sit at the back of the class. She saved the picture to her phone, already concocting ideas of when she'd be able to use that for revenge.
'I think you already know the answer baby.'
"Legacy is itching again!" Amy's narking voice rang out through the bus, as all eyes turned to a guilty looking Emily, who was half way through removing her hand from her neck.
"Shut up Amy!" Emily said, trying to hit her on the arm as Amy dodged out of reach.
"You should try sitting on your hands or something Emily," Jessica said from the seat behind her.
Ashley nodded, laughing. "We should have brought oven mitts for you to wear."
Beca turned in her seat in front of Emily, hoping Flo would have checked on her but as usual, the girl was reliably asleep next to the Freshman. "Guys if we tease her anymore that pout she's wearing will become permanent. She's already sad enough as it is to miss the performance at this convention." Beca said, with the slightest grin on her face.
"But I love Tupperware." Emily said, trying to turn away from Beca who had reached over to look at her neck.
"Tupperware convention I swear…some white ass shit." The bus heard Cynthia Rose mutter under her breath as she worked on Chloe's hair.
"Legacy," Beca warned as she yet again reached out look at her neck, "Don't make me have to turn what I promised your Mom on the phone last night into a lie. You're not getting on that stage."
Chloe turned slightly, as much she could without Cynthia Rose pulling out all of her hair and saw Beca struggling. "Emily, just let her look at it."
Stacie then chimed in from her front seat position, legs propped up another chair. "Em, listen to your aca-rents."
Beca rolled her eyes but praised the gods as Emily finally relented, letting Beca look at her rash and assess whether it was spreading or not. She pulled the jacket Emily was wearing off her shoulder a little and past the singlet the rash seemed to have only spread a bit from last night, so Beca pulled the jacket back up, giving Emily a nod. "It's ok. But stop itching. Or those oven mitts Ash suggested won't become a joke." She said, approving when Emily nodded quickly, seeming to take her warning seriously.
"So are we going to have to put you in time out like a baby joey getting scalded by a kangaroo or will you behave amongst the Tupperware fanatics?" Amy asked, trying once again to wind Emily up.
Beca wasn't sure whether to laugh or not (a feeling she had way too often around these girls) when she saw Stacie look out the window and form a grin on her face.
"She will when she sees that a certain Benjamin Applebaum has just stepped off the Treble bus." Stacie said, as their bus also pulled up to the convention.
The bus broke into chatter, most of the girls simultaneously laughing at the deep red blush that had come across Emily's face whilst also gossiping about why the Trebles had turned up to one of their performances. As soon as the doors opened, the girls were off the bus, going to greet their fellow Barden-goers.
Only Emily, Chloe and Beca remained behind. Chloe was pinning the last few strands of hair back, Beca slumped back in her chair, glad for a bit of quiet for the first time that morning, and Emily stood hesitatingly at the top of the bus steps, looking out.
"Em…Em," Chloe said, stopping mid way through putting a hair clip in to wait for Emily to look at her. "Go and say hi."
Emily nodded in her nervous like manner.
"Do you feel happy?" Chloe asked, referencing the talk they had the previous day.
This time Emily nodded with more conviction.
Chloe smiled then, sending her on her way when Emily once again hesitated, grabbing the side of her neck where the a small part of the rash was visible.
Before the freshman could freak out, Beca had chucked the light scarf she was wearing around her neck at her, so that it landed on her head. "Put it on he'll never know. Go kill it Legacy, he's a nerd you're a nerd what could go wrong." She said, pointing at her. "I say that with all the love in my heart, you know that."
"Right. Go kill it." Emily said, more to herself than anyone else as she stepped off the bus, awkwardly fumbling her way over to where the aca-groups were mingling.
Beca watched through the window as Benji was craning his neck to see Emily, beaming when he finally did. Chloe then came to join her, and when Beca looked up at her she forgot all about Emily and Benj-whatever his name was.
"10 bucks says he made the Trebles come here just to see Emily."
"1000 bucks says you're the hottest person at this entire convention." Beca replied, staring up at Chloe.
At this statement, Chloe's eyes snapped down to Beca's, and before she could reply Beca moved her lips up to meet Chloe's in a kiss. Their lips rediscovered each others in a (for Beca and Chloe's standards) long time apart during a week that had shifted the Bella house and their priorities around. Of course, Beca thought, like all things wonderful in this world one of the Bellas ended up breaking up their time together by banging on the bus window. Before the Bella could open their mouth to speak, Beca already knew who it was.
"Come on Bloe, we've got a performance to kick ass in!" They said, referencing Amy's beloved couples name for them.
"Fuck off Stacie." Beca said, contemplating whether that was her most used phrase since arriving at Barden. She reluctantly moved away from Chloe and sat back against the seat, regaining some of the breath her girlfriend had taken away.
"Come on," Chloe said after a few seconds, standing up and holding out her hand and adding with a wink, "Plenty of time for that later."
Beca shook her head, grinning, as she took Chloe's hand. "I love you."
Chloe pulled her close and kissed her once more, resting their foreheads together. "Love you more," she said, gently slapping Beca on the butt and pulling them off the bus into the convention.
No one was more surprised than Beca to admit that the convention didn't totally suck. They actually had pretty decent lighting, sound, and the people there weren't all old grandmas. Choosing not to question it and just take the victory where it was, she rejoined the rest of the group and the Trebles who were crowded around some weird bendable baking trays. She wasn't sure what time it was, only that they had been there for far too long, even for a convention that 'didn't totally suck.' Chloe soon gravitated to her, slipping her their hands together and standing in silence as they watched their friends interact.
"Hi." Beca whispered, as she leant her head into Chloe's shoulder.
"Hi." Chloe murmured back, dropping a kiss gently to the top of Beca's head.
"Are you feeling ok?" Beca asked, looking up to Chloe's face.
Chloe looked down, feeling how much Beca was leaning into her. She smiled softly, wrapping her arm around Beca's waist. "Yeah baby I am. Are you?"
"Just tired. No biggie."
"You know," Chloe started, with the hint of a grin in her voice. "That's all Emily's been saying all week."
Beca gave a short, quiet laugh. "Chloe, if anyone has mono here it's you, not me. Don't make me let Doctor Google prove you wrong again."
Before Chloe could reply, Amy cut in to their conversation. "Not that I was like listening in on your disgustingly adorable chat or anything, which I definitely wasn't…but speaking of Emily we kinda sorta don't know where she is."
At this statement Beca and Chloe straightened up, looking around them first to see if Amy was trying to play a joke on them.
"What do you mean you don't know where she is? I asked you to keep an eye on her when we were backstage and I had to check the sound." Beca said, slanting her eyes at Amy.
"Yeah, and then I told Jessica to!" Amy replied.
Jessica, hearing her name, turned around and folded her arms. "You definitely did not, you told Ashley to. But Ashley was having a costume crisis so then we asked Stacie to."
"Oh no, don't drag me into this. Aubrey called me literally the second you started speaking to me and you know my priorities when she's around."
Chloe shook her head rapidly, trying to make sense of all the information flying at them. "Not that the unwillingness to take on any responsibility is frightening from all of you, it really doesn't help. I'm sure she's here somewhere. How hard can it be to lose someone in a room full of plastic containers?"
"Maybe Benji knows." Beca said, trying not to flick her hands against her jeans in her nervous matter. When she tried to call him over, however, he was too engrossed with the other Trebles in seeing how far the cupcake containers could stretch to hear.
Lily then appeared out of nowhere, pressing one finger down into a spot on his neck that made his knees sink and his head tilt uncomfortably, as she forced him to turn around by a hitting a pressure point.
Beca smiled gratefully, facing Benji. "Dude, any idea where Legac-I mean Emily, do you know where Emily is?"
Benji immediately handed off the cupcake container to the nearest Treble, coming over closer to the Bellas. "Emily's missing?"
"She's not missing –" Chloe started, before Cynthia Rose cut her off.
"You didn't pull some weird magic disappearing shit on her did you? Because if you made our lil Bella vanish I will cut you Applebaum."
Benji cowered, (understandably), Beca thought, under Cynthia Rose's glare. "No, no of course not! I'll help you look though."
The Bellas nodded and split up to look for the Legacy. Since all of the other Bellas seemed incompetent to looking out for Emily back stage, Chloe said she would go back there to check, and Beca headed into the entrance way. After dodging her way past eager sales people, trying to sell her brightly coloured tiny containers she stood at the doors, scanning the area. The brief search was futile, but just as she was going to make her way back to the rest of the group; she spotted their bus parked in the car park.
When she hauled the bus door opened, she praised the aca-gods that Emily, like her, had thought the bus seats would be way more comfortable to sleep on than some backstage chair that was probably made out of fucking Tupperware containers. With her head leaning against the window and her body curled into the seat, Emily was there asleep, and Beca would have woken her up just to yell "dude what the hell?!" at her if sleeping on the bus also didn't sound like the best idea she'd ever heard.
Slumping down in the seat next to Emily, she pulled her phone out of her pocket, yawning. She began to type out a text to Chloe but soon lost energy for that, instead pressing the call button.
"Hello fine madam do you call with good news?" Chloe answered, putting on an accent.
Beca laughed quietly. "Hi babe. The good news is I found her, she's napping on the bus. The bad news is I super want to leave now because I'm so tired. Do you think you can rally the fools together so we can hit the road? I just sat down and I don't think I ever want to get up again."
This time Chloe laughed on the line. "I'm sure I can arrange that. See you in a bit?"
"You got it dude."
Sure, Chloe thought when they all eventually stepped onto the bus, it had taken a while to find everyone again and get them out of the convention center. Between ignoring Amy's protests that they needed to purchase the container set which had the Australian flag all over it, and Flo's barrage of criticisms to the same container set owner as to why they should also offer the Guatemalan flag, she briefly wondered whether they would ever make it back to the bus. However the sight they were met with made Chloe so happy she forgot about all the previous complications.
With Beca's head laying against Emily's shoulder and both girls asleep so innocently it was hard to tell who was the freshman and who was the senior. A resounding noise of phone cameras clicking occurred as the rest of the Bellas noticed the scene in front of them, before everyone settled down (albeit much quieter than on the ride here for fear of waking Beca's sleepy wrath) and the bus started back home.
When Beca woke up later it was night, her phone told her 8.34pm to be exact. Her phone also showed her a few texts from Jesse, 'J-Skywalker' as he had saved it on her phone (to which Beca rolled her eyes at every time).
'Benji looks like he's going to combust so I've been forced to ask if Emily is ok.'
'You do know that is the main reason we showed up today right? Benji heard Emily was sick but was too scared to, and I quote, "enter the sanctity of the Bella house."'
'Also, killer performance. That mix ruled so hard I'm convinced you stole it. Or I might steal it for our next performance.'
'Kidding, don't kill me.'
Beca let out a short laugh, typing out a reply.
'Legacy's fine. Tell Benji he can breathe again. Also tell him to sack up and ask her out before she moves on to some douche that lives in her hall. Benji's a dork but at least he's a kind dork.'
'Come to think of it, I just described you! Maybe you and Benji should date. Legacy will be heartbroken but I'm sure she'll understand.'
'If you're implying the Bella house isn't the most badass sanctity to ever exist I'll get our sharks that live in the moat to eat you next time you're over.'
'Also, I'm glad the apology for that threat came before I had to force it out of you. You wish you had my skills.'
'Don't be late for your shift tomorrow. If I miss more bonding time with Chloe because of your stupid movies I will cut you…or at least get Cynthia Rose to cut you. Consider yourself warned Swanson.'
When Beca put her phone back down and went to rub the sleep out of her eyes, she felt something foreign on her forehead. Reaching up, she realised it was a cold flannel, and immediately sat up, knowing what that meant. At the same time Chloe quietly entered the room, and Beca looked at her.
"Babe, why did I wake up with this? Fuck am I sick?" She said softly, aware Emily was asleep in the bed next to her. She then cleared her throat, testing how her voice sounded. "Am I sick? Oh my god I better not be sick. Fucking Dr Google didn't warn me that I could catch mono too. What the hell am I supposed to do with mono I mean I know I said I liked to sleep but Chlo I was just kidding I don't actually want to have mono."
Chloe tried not to laugh, and went to sit on the bed next to Beca, ending her rambling. "When we got off the bus and got you up here you were so fatigued and your head was a little warm. So I gave you painkillers and put the flannel on your head. Just as a precaution, and no, not because you have mono. So breathe, you're fine, ok dramatic pants?"
Beca let out a sigh of relief, resting her head back against the wall. "So just to be clear, the only one in the house that still has mono is Legacy?"
Chloe nodded, grinning. "Unless Emily's been getting frisky during her stay."
Emily's voice then cut through the room, with a noise of protest that sounded a lot more healthy than the girls had heard her all week. "Chloe! That is not funny."
"Glad to see you're sounding better Legacy. You think you've contaminated my room up enough to go back to exciting dorm life next week? As fun as the Bella house is, I somehow think your Mom would actually want you to go to class while you're at college." Beca said, playing absentmindedly with the hem of Chloe's skirt.
Emily rolled over in the bed to face them, and nodded. "I think so. I'm most ready to get back into Bellas practice. And perhaps take the rain check on leading the vocal warm ups?" She asked with a hopeful smile on her face.
"I think that can be arranged, particularly if Beca's mouth is preoccupied with non-vocal related warm ups." Chloe said, planting a kiss on Beca's lips.
Emily simultaneously giggled and made a grossed out noise, like a child gets embarrassed by their parents. "Get a room you two." She said in a voice that had far too much Stacie in it for Beca's liking.
"Need I remind you, Legacy, that you are currently in my room."
"Well…get another room. I still have a whole day of sleeping I plan to use before I have to face the real world of responsibilities again."
Beca and Chloe laughed, both kind of proud and kind of not that the innocence and excitement Emily displayed at the start of the year had been slowly disappearing throughout her stay at the Bellas house. They stood up and went to leave the room, when Emily spoke again.
"And um, thanks heaps, you know, for this week. I know everyone helped but you two really gave up a lot. I know it's not ideal but it meant everything to me. Felt like I had a real sisterhood bonding moment, like how my Mom told me her Bellas all got a vomiting/diarrhoea bug together and boy does it sound like they bonded over that time."
Beca shook her head, holding her hand out. "Ah, Legacy you were doing so well up until the end."
"Yeah," Chloe added. "Take a lesson from this one, rambling usually doesn't work out well. But you're totally welcome. I know the girls give you a hard time but it's all the joys that come with being the youngen of the group. They'd do anything for you. Like we said, we look out for our own."
"Especially when we gotta have someone to deal with this crazy town when we leave. Kidding. Well not actually, we do need that. But it's mostly cos you're so great. We got your back Em."
Emily smiled, no – beamed at their words. "Bellas for life?"
Beca replied, hand in hand with Chloe on their way out of the room, tossing a smile back to her. "You know it dude."
Hopefully you guys liked this! It was fun to write, especially because I've had many experiences with sports teams and such where the new younger ones always provide lots of entertainment. Next chapter will definitely be back to Beca or Chloe being sick/hurt, I know a lot of you were keen to see something develop out of Beca falling from the bear trap at their camping trip in PP2 and all the comforting that could ensue from that so that's definitely on my to do list! As always I love to hear your suggestions. Thanks so much for sticking by me even though I suck at updating, I love reading your reviews!