EPILOGUE XXXVIII - THE FIRST DANCE

"How about Kodaline?" Chloe asked as she strode into the tiny lounge of their Brooklyn apartment, her iPad in her hands, and a smile on her face. She watched in amusement as her fiancée looked up from her laptop with a slightly furrowed brow.

"Huh?" came the brunette's response.

"For our first dance." Chloe said with a light sigh, taking a seat on the couch beside Beca, Alba sitting at their feet watching their interactions. "What about that band you had perform for me when you proposed."

Chloe watched as her fiancée cleared her throat, tugging her headphones from her ears and pushing back the stray strands of hair from her face while she turned to look at her.

"Um, I'm actually in the midst of sorting out our first dance."

"Oh!" was all Chloe said in a surprised tone, raising her eyebrows

"Yeah I – uh…I really want it to be a surprise because…well you're gonna love it and…well I love you and…"

Chloe couldn't help the large smile that grew over her face while Beca screwed her own face up awkwardly.

"You're not mad are you? Because if you are then I can totally stop planning it and-"

"-Beca!" Chloe said in an amused tone and let out a small giggle, "Of course I'm not mad!"

"A-And you reckon you'll be okay waiting a couple of months before you find out who it is and what they're singing?" Beca asked cautiously, and Chloe nodded enthusiastically. She'd had to wait seven years before finally getting to DATE Beca, what was two months to have to wait for her wedding, huh?

"I wouldn't go anywhere right now if I were you." Aubrey advised as she watched her best friend begin to wander away from the gaggle of Bellas that were stood near the wedding cake that Chloe and Beca had just cut. Chloe stopped suddenly, and looked over her shoulder at the blonde with a slightly furrowed brow, but Aubrey quickly answered her questioning expression with a soft smile, "You're about five minutes away from your first dance."

Chloe's face lit up and she quickly returned to Aubrey's side while the rest of the gathered Bellas sans Beca began squealing in excitement. The redhead knew nothing about the first dance that she was about to have with her new wife. All she knew was what Beca had told her.

"Okay, so a few things about our first dance tomorrow." Beca began as she picked away at the beautiful food on the dinner plate in front of her. They were sat on the beach. It was the night before their wedding. And the table area that she and Chloe sat at were lit by electric lanterns above them, and small candles on the table.

"Oh?" Chloe asked, bringing her plastic yellow cup of wine up to her lips and sipping from it with a small smile . She'd been filled with curiosity about what Beca had in store for their first dance tomorrow since the brunette had told her she was arranging it a couple of months ago. She watched as a coy smile swept across Beca's face. Chloe could tell the woman was pretty pleased with the secret arrangement.

"So obviously it's going to be performed live." Beca began before looking up at Chloe, and the redhead felt certain she saw a twinkle in it, "But it's going to be performed by someone who I've been working with in LA."

"The person whose record you've been producing but who you categorically won't tell me who it is because it's super top secret? That person?" Chloe asked, her eyebrows now raised in delight.

"That person." Beca confirmed with a grin. "And another thing. The song they're performing is actually a song that I wrote. For you. A-About you."

Chloe's mouth dropped open as Beca began blushing, looking a little flustered, holding her hands up in defence, "But don't go getting all mushy about it yet. You've not heard it. You might hate it."

"Impossible." Chloe said quickly, a broad smile on her face, "Knowing you wrote it FOR me, ABOUT me, already makes it perfect."

Chloe noticed the way Beca's smile broadened at her words. She couldn't wait until this time tomorrow when they could finally have their first dance and she could listen to the song that Beca had written for her.

Beca stepped back into the main area of her wedding reception, picking her way between the guests that she'd gotten to know and come to recognise over the past several hours since the ceremony this morning. She'd had a few drinks throughout the day and was at a happy level of buzzed – not drunk – grinning happily as she looked around the room for her wife. Her wife! It was still such a bizarrely wonderful thing to know that she and Chloe were finally married. And that she was officially now a Beale. Mrs Beca Beale.

Beca cringed a little. Yeah it sounded a little too snappy. A little too cheesy. As though she were a cartoon character. 'Beca Beale'. But she really didn't care any more. She'd got used to the idea. And to many she'd be known as Beca Mitchell because that was her professional name.

The brunette let out a heavy happy sigh as she finally clasped eyes on her wife. Chloe had managed to do something that Beca hadn't managed to do, and that was maintain her flawless hair, makeup and outfit. Beca had just inspected her appearance in the mirror of the bathroom. Her hair was no longer as straight as it had been this morning, Cynthia-Rose had had to re-do the two plaits about an hour ago because they'd loosened too much, and Beca had managed to smudge a bit of cake frosting on her thigh when she'd let little Jack hug her leg earlier – not realising he had frosting all around his face.

Beca approached her wife, smoothing her hand across Chloe's lower back as a greeting and she loved the content look the woman gave her.

"Ready for our first dance?" Beca asked, placing a kiss on Chloe's cheek, an action fuelled by the drop of alcohol in her system. But before Chloe could answer, Fat Amy threw her hands into the air startling the couple and the rest of The Bellas.

"YES! Finally!" Amy said with a huge grin. The Bellas all chuckled at the Australian, then turned back to the newlyweds to see that Beca was already slowly leading Chloe by the hand over to the dance floor.

Jerry Beale took a deep breath and stepped up onto the stage that ran alongside the dance floor. As he approached the microphone he nodded a polite greeting to the few women stood with violins, a man stood by a keyboard, a man stood with a bass guitar, and a woman sat at a drum kit. He didn't know them, just like he didn't really know the person about to perform the 'first dance' song at his daughter's wedding. But he trusted Beca's judgement, as well as Aubrey & Stacie's organisation skills. He was about to introduce probably the best moment of his daughter's life.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, may I have your attention please?" Jerry said into the microphone, clearing his throat while he waited for all the guests before him to acknowledge his words. His eyes found his daughter's, the young woman stood in the middle of the dance floor with her new wife, her usual bright smile on her face. And Jerry couldn't help his heart from warming at the sight of how happy Chloe looked with Beca. It was everything he'd wanted for his little girl and more. This was perfect.

"If you would all like to clear the dance-floor please, ready for the newlyweds to share their first dance with one another." He paused as he watched family and friends clearing a noticeable space around Beca and Chloe, now lining the edges of the dance-floor, all with smiles on their faces. Beca and Chloe had turned to face each other and Beca was mumbling something into Chloe's ear while they held hands. Jerry took another deep breath, recalling what he'd rehearsed and cleared with Beca the previous day, "We ask that you remain where you are and give this singer space while both on and off stage please."

Beca swallowed loudly as she turned to face Chloe, taking hold of her hands and leaning towards her wife's ear, mumbling gently, "I love you."

She smiled as she watched Chloe beam at her, tears already beginning to form in her eyes while she mumbled "I love you too" back to her.

Suddenly the guests around them gasped and mumbled and cheered and Beca knew that meant the artist she'd been working with over the past couple of months had just stepped up onto the stage. Her heart began racing and a huge smile swept over her face as she watched her wife turn to look over at the stage. Chloe's mouth dropped open in shock.

"Oh my God!" she cried out, turning to look at Beca, completely stunned. "Y-You've been working with Ed Sheeran?!"

"How else do you think I afforded all this for you?" Beca asked in an amused tone, loving how her wife had gripped her hands excitably. It had been the longest, hardest few months keeping this project a secret from the one person in her life she never kept secrets from. But it was worth it though. Because she knew just how much Chloe loved Ed Sheeran. "He's gonna sing the song I wrote for you, Chlo."

Chloe turned back to the stage just as Ed Sheeran began playing the slow intro on his guitar and Beca swore she'd never seen the woman look as beautiful and perfect as she did now. The brunette squeezed her wife's hands to regain her attention and Chloe wrapped her arms gently around Beca's neck, their bodies pulled close against one another as they began slowly swaying to their 'first dance song'.

I found a love,
For me.
Darling just dive right in,
And follow my lead.

Tears had begun to already fall down Chloe's cheeks as she smiled affectionately at Beca who returned the smile. Beca remembered the moment she'd first thought about writing this song. She was far from a song writer that was for sure, but the love she had for Chloe seemed to eek out a side of Beca that even Beca hadn't realised she had.

Well I found a girl,
Beautiful and sweet.
Oh, I never knew you were the someone waiting for me.

Beca gently rested her forehead against her wife's, the two women closing their eyes for a moment, enjoying this song as though they were the only two in the room. The only two in the world. Those lyrics rang so true for Beca. She'd been completely oblivious to Chloe's adoration during the first few years that they'd known one another.

'Cause we were just kids when we fell in love,
Not knowing what it was,

But when Beca thought about it properly, just as she had done when she'd been writing this song during one of her reluctant visits over to LA – away from Chloe – she realised that she'd probably fallen in love with Chloe far earlier than she thought. That maybe it had been love at first sight after all. When she'd just been a young eighteen year old and her thoughts had become consumed with nobody but the quirky redhead who had barged into her shower in college. Barged into her life. Pulled her through it. Through exam hell and career uncertainty.

I will not give you up this time.

But her lack of focus back then didn't matter now. What mattered was that Chloe was stood here in front of her. In her arms. And they were now married!

But darling, just kiss me slow,
Your heart is all I own.
And in my eyes you're holding mine.

Beca pulled her forehead from Chloe's, to look into her eyes, and they sparkled back at her, clearly over the moon with the song already. Back in the day Beca had never seen herself as someone who would willingly give her heart to anyone. She would've easily argued that she didn't even have a heart to give. But Chloe had changed all that.

Baby, I'm
Dancing in the dark,
With you between my arms.
Barefoot on the grass,
Listening to our favourite song.
When you said you looked a mess,
I whispered underneath my breath,
But you heard it,
Darling, you look perfect tonight.

Beca staggered a little, a sloppy grin on her face with her arms draped around Chloe's neck. Her first birthday with Chloe as her girlfriend. Perfect.

Chloe held onto her waist firmly, wanting to support Beca as best as she could in their drunken state. They giggled while swaying slowly to a song that Chloe had started playing through her phone that was now in her pants pocket . Their heels were in a little pile beside the m so their bare feet sunk into the cool grass, relieving the hot soles of their feet.

Beca let out a content sigh when Chloe kissed her gently on the lips . "You…" Beca slurred, "…are so…hot!" and the brunette grinned when her girlfriend let out an embarrassed giggle.

"Ugh I'm nooooot !" Chloe protested with a soft smile, bringing one of her hands from Beca's waist up to her own face in embarrassment, "I look a total mess!"

"You look perfect." Beca mumbled quietly, almost wondering if Chloe had even heard her. But her girlfriend brought her hand back down to Beca's waist, then nudged the tip of her nose with her own, "YOU look perfect." she replied in a sweet, soft, drunken tone.

Beca felt a warm rush of love as she closed the gap between them and the two slowly began making out in the middle of the grassy area outside their apartment block, having not realised they'd almost made it home from their night out in the city.

Well I found a woman,
Stronger than anyone I know.

Beca looked adoringly at Chloe, loving the way her new wife's eyes lit up at the compliment laced within the lyrics that Ed Sheeran was singing. Chloe was strong. Beautifully epitomised how a strong woman should be.

Beca's mind flicking back to last spring when she and Chloe had had a visit from Beca's father and step-mother. Cal Mitchell had been so rude to Chloe, insinuating that she was only with his daughter for Beca's money. But Chloe hadn't ran. She'd stuck by Beca's side, assuring the man that she was in love with his daughter and wasn't with her for the money. Beca knew what arguing with her father was like. The man was intimidating and stubborn. It took strength to go against what he said, and she admired Chloe's ability to battle on.

She shares my dreams,
I hope that someday,
I'll share her home.

Beca lay in the large bed in their LA apartment, her phone up to her ear. Her head was turned, facing the empty side of the bed that Chloe would sleep on, and she let out a heavy sigh.

"I miss you." she said sleepily, and she heard her fiancée let out a tiny tut before replying in a sad tone.

"I miss you too."

Beca had been away in LA for four nights now. Sure, they finally had an apartment, but it still wasn't the same without Chloe with her. Or Alba.

"But don't worry," Chloe added quickly, trying to sound positive, "Only two more days then I'll be over in LA for good and I can spend some quality time turning our new apartment into our new home."

Beca smiled gently, "It'll feel like home the second you step inside. I always feel I'm at home when I'm with you."

She could hear the smile on Chloe's face as she said softly, "You get soppier the longer we're apart."

"I can't help being madly in love with you Chloe Beale…" was Beca's response as she turned her body in the large bed.

I found a love,
To carry more than just my secrets.

Beca was sweating profusely, whimpering loudly, with tears streaming down her face. She was sat up on the windowsill of the bathroom of the house she shared with the rest of The Barden Bellas, looking down at a giant spider that had just crawled out from a nearby plastic basket and was now remaining motionless in t he middle of the bathroom floor.

The twenty one year old had shrieked loudly and had scrambled as quickly as possible as far away from the creepy crawly. The problem was she was also far away from the bathroom door. She now had no escape. And her huge overwhelming surge of arachnophobia meant that Beca had just burst into tears.

Within a matter of seconds though, Beca had heard a thundering collection of footsteps dashing down the hallway towards the bathroom, and the door crashed open. She saw Chloe pause in the doorway, breathless with a concerned expression on her face.

"Wha-?" Chloe began, "What's going on? Did you just scream?"

But Beca didn't answer her co-captain, instead pointing at the small creature on the floor between them, tears still present on her face. Chloe took one glance down at it and seemed surprised.

"It's just a little spider Beca…" she said in an amused tone, wandering carefully over to it, crouching down, and scooping it up with her bare hand. Beca was almost sick.

"I-I hate spiders." The brunette said in a terrified tone, not tearing her eyes from Chloe's closed hand for fear that the spider would suddenly jump out at her.

"Well lucky for you, I don't." Chloe said with a light giggle, before whispering sweetly, "And don't worry, I won't tell the others." Then with one final wink of reassurance, Beca watched as her co-captain wandered out of the bathroom.

To carry love,
To carry children of our own.

"Abigail's a cute name, isn't it."

"Huh?" Beca asked, looking from the magazine she was reading down to Chloe who was resting her head on Beca's stomach. They both lay on the large bed in their Brooklyn apartment. Technically the final night that they would both be sleeping there – Beca being set to fly over to LA ahead of Chloe and Alba, who were due to join her in a few days time.

"Abigail." Chloe repeated, "For a girl's name."

"Uhhh…?" Beca wasn't sure why her fiancée had suddenly started talking about baby names.

"I-If you don't like it then that's okay. I get that we probably won't agree on baby names when the time comes for us to have to choose." Chloe said with a shrug, her focus resuming on the novel she was reading. But Beca swallowed loudly. She didn't really mind what they named their children when the time came. She'd probably end up calling them 'buddy' or 'twinkle' or 'dude' or whatever anyway.

"No, I…" Beca began, pausing for a moment as she tried to think of something good to reassure her fiancée. But she couldn't think of anything clever or philosophical. So she just replied with a simple, "…Abigail's a good name. I like it."

"Yeah?" Chloe asked and Beca watched as she turned her head slightly to look up at her with those big beautiful blue eyes. And Beca smiled.

"Yeah, definitely."

"Cool. Little Abigail Beale." Chloe said thoughtfully as she looked back down at her book and Beca swallowed loudly. Because suddenly she could imagine the sound of little feet scampering through into the bedroom to disturb their peace and quiet. But she wasn't worried about it. She loved seeing Chloe with her nieces and nephews and couldn't wait to see how the redhead would be as a mother to their very own child.

Beca swept her hand thoughtfully through Chloe's long red hair, while she resumed her concentration on her magazine.

We are still kids but we're so in love,
Fighting against all odds.
I know we'll be alright this time.

Sue Beale stood on the edge of the dance-floor. Tears rolling down her cheeks as she watched her youngest child – her only daughter – slow dancing with her new wife. The love of her life. Beca was absolutely, hands down, the type person Sue and Jerry had always wanted their little girl to marry. Thoughtful, kind, and hard working. Patient and loving. Always putting Chloe first.

"Jerry , could I ask a huge favour?"

Sue and Jerry both looked up from their books that they were reading on the beautiful white sandy Hawaiian beach. They hadn't realised Beca had found them until she'd cleared her throat on approach and she was now stood nervously in front of them.

"Sure kiddo. What do you need?" Sue heard her husband ask, a kind smile on his face. She watched as Beca internally toyed with the idea of sitting on the sand in front of them, which she eventually did.

"So in a couple of days time, me and Chloe are getting married, right?" Beca said awkwardly, and Sue wondered why she was so nervous. It was only them!

"Right." The parents both responded.

"Well for our first dance I've arranged for a singer that I've been working with to sing a song that I've written for Chloe." Both Sue and Jerry smiled broadly, little coo's leaving their mouths while a slightly embarrassed smile swept over Beca's face, "And I wondered if you'd mind introducing him before the dance? Just to get everyone off the dance-floor and stuff?"

"Beca, I'd be honoured to!" Jerry replied and Sue watched as Beca raised her eyebrows in relief.

" Seriously?"

"Yeah absolutely!"

And a huge relieved expression washed over Beca's face, her shoulders relaxing as she smiled over at her parents-in-law to be.

Darling, just hold my hand.
Be my girl, I'll be your gal.
I see my future in your eyes.

Yeah, the light was low in the room while the two new brides danced together slowly. But they both maintained eye contact, soft adoring smiles on their faces. Beca's heart felt so full. This was everything she ever wanted in life right now. Chloe.

Beca knew their dog would be pottering around somewhere, behaving. Alba was a good dog. She was probably stood with Aubrey or something. The Labrador liked Aubrey, probably thanks to how much Chloe used to take Alba to meet up with Aubrey when the lab was a puppy..

Baby, I'm
Dancing in the dark,
With you between my arms.

"I love how risky this is!" Stacie mumbled against Aubrey's lips with a grin before their deep kiss was quickly resumed. The second Ed Sheeran had appeared on stage, the two women had quickly snuck away from the heaving wedding reception room, Aubrey dragging a giggling Stacie down a dark, quiet, unoccupied corridor. The blonde had quickly pushed her girlfriend up against the wall, their hands now wrapped around each other's bodies while they made out heavily.

"Well I figured…" Aubrey began before kissing Stacie hard again, "…people would be too…" she mumbled against the woman's lips before kissing her again, "…busy watching Ed…" her fingers swam down the back of Stacie's thighs to the hem of her short tight dress, "…to want to come down here."

Stacie let out a gasp as Aubrey bit her bottom lip, her fingers winding tighter into the thickets of her blonde hair while their kissing resumed, "God, I love you." Stacie mumbled as she felt Aubrey slowly hitching her dress up.

Suddenly Stacie froze.

Barefoot on the grass,
Listening to our favourite song.

Aubrey paused her movements, having noticed her girlfriend had stopped kissing her back for a moment and she opened her eyes to see that Stacie was looking at someone or some thing behind her. The blonde slowly peered nervously over her shoulder.

When you said you looked a mess,
I whispered underneath my breath,

Aubrey's eyes fell on Alba the dog, sat behind her, and the Labrador wagged her tail the second the two women looked down at her.

"I-Is it weird to do it in front of a dog?" Stacie asked uncertainly, her hands having drifted from Aubrey's hair and now rested on her girlfriend's shoulders. They were both fairly out of breath from the ferocity of their heated make-out session. And the blonde hesitated, clearing her throat.

"I-um…" Aubrey began, wondering at what stage in her life her 'standards' had suddenly dropped that she was willingly okay to 'do it' in front of a dog. But then…it was only Alba. And the pup tended to mill about anyway. The chances were she'd soon leave and from the sounds of things the two women were quickly running out of time.

So Aubrey took a deep breath and grinned, turning back to her girlfriend, "Nahh."
Stacie grinned back at Aubrey as they began resuming their heavy kissing, Aubrey's hands having almost successfully tugged her girlfriend's dress up to her hips.

But you heard it,
Darling, you look perfect tonight.

A guitar interlude began to play as Ed Sheeran continued to perform on the stage. Chloe let out a deep breath of content, closing her eyes as she soaked up this moment, holding Beca closer to her while they swayed slowly to the song. The song that her wife had written for her. And it was beautiful!

She felt Beca place a kiss on the nape of her neck, the woman's arms holding her tight around her waist. This whole day had been perfect. Filled with love and laughter. Chloe had loved seeing her entire family and getting so many of them to finally meet Beca. The woman she was besotted by. The woman she'd been besotted by for a very long time now. Even long before they'd got together romantically.

"I love you." Chloe heard Beca mumble into her ear and the redhead smiled.

"I love you too." Chloe mumbled back into her wife's ear.

Baby, I'm
Dancing in the dark,
With you between my arms.
Barefoot on the grass,
Listening to our favourite song.

Chloe felt Beca pull her face from her body and she reciprocated the movement. The two now looking into each other's eyes again with soft smiles on their faces.

I have faith in what I see,
Now I know I have met an angel in person,
And she looks perfect.

Chloe's heart skipped a beat when Beca winked at her, the lyrics that had just been sung possibly being the most romantic lyrics she'd ever heard. And they were all for her. Because they were about her.

I don't deserve this.
You look perfect tonight.

It was something so uncharacteristic but as the song came to an end, Chloe watched her wife lean her face towards her and they shared a very public kiss. Beca hated 'PDA'. But clearly the woman was so caught up in the moment that she really didn't mind who saw at this moment in time.

And so they kissed tenderly, only parting when their family and friends began clapping and cheering loudly. Beca turned to the stage, reluctantly letting go of her wife so she could give Ed Sheeran a round of applause, not only for a good performance but for coming all the way over here to perform it in the first place. What a dude.