If someone asked Beca if she regretted her latest decision, she would doubt her answer for some minutes. Looking back, she had food and a roof over her head, no need to worry for a good shower to relax nor a comfortable bed to fall asleep on and definitely, she wouldn't have to fear for her life like she was now being in a bunch of outcasts, addicts and such. But how could she regret this change if she was a prisoner her whole life?
Twelve-year-old Beca would totally accept what she was said with a nod and would do her best just to ignore the pang in her chest. No matter how much she wanted to join her friends in the adventure of the day, her mom would always be on her back making sure she was safe and sound in the house which eventually, turned her into this solitary self she was now. Even if she had a reason –because she did have one, she couldn't help but feel captive.
Nineteen-year-old Beca, on the other hand, would totally send them to fuck themselves and do as she pleased –which she did. An asshole? Maybe, if the person deserved it –her mom mostly. A rebel? That could fit her too. Maybe the whole alt-girl look was reflection enough. A runaway? Ha! That's how she identified herself now, laying in this crappy attempt of a bed in this forgotten shelter. Sleep taking over her but the fear of being robbed made it impossible to sleep.
For the following days, she'd literally do her routine like a machine. Get up in the morning, wander the nearest park for a while until it was time to head to work. It wasn't her dream job, but it'd be enough until she got her equipment back –not before getting enough money to get her own apartment, though. No fucking way she'd risk the only thing that made her feel complete if she could avert it.
However, this morning was particularly different. Not because of the routine per se, but for the redhead that approached her as soon as she entered the bathroom. Who –matter of fact- was staring at her like she was a Rubik's cube.
"Can I help you?" Beca asked as she met her gaze through the mirror.
"I'm sorry. It's just we don't use to have people like you." The redhead smiled sheepishly.
"What's that even supposed to mean?" she could feel how her face frowned entirely at the girl's words. What the hell was this place?
"Oh no, I didn't mean to offend you," the stranger shook her head apologetically. "It's just…" She paused mid-sentence as if trying to find the right words. "I don't want to be rude, but you don't seem an addict or some homeless girl."
"As far as I know, I could be so much more than that." Beca dared to retort. Maybe that way, she'd scare her enough to be left alone.
"Neh," the redhead shoved her off. "10 bucks that you're a runaway," and there went her attempt to scare her off.
"Come on," the redhead continued. "I'll buy you breakfast if you tell me your story," and Beca cursed herself as her stomach started to growl at the mention of food. Her cheeks blushed at the melodious laugh that echoed in the room.
"Don't you have better stuff to do than to question strangers?" Beca sighed a breath. "Which by the way, could be dangerous." She added for emphasis. Didn't this girl have common sense? Not even the caution to be careful?
"Good thing you're none of them. Once we tell each other our names we won't be strangers anymore. And I don't peg you as a dangerous person," she smiled. "Come on, help me waste my time doing something productive."
"Excuse me? I'm not a charity case, dude. You can stop-"
"Ah shit," the redhead raised her hands to stop her. "I meant for us to use my free time to get to know each other," she explained herself.
Beca just could stare at her intently trying to find something in her eyes that could give her a clue that she was not-so-good. But all she found was curiosity. And even if she wanted to tell her to fuck off, the warm sensation in her heart made her reconsider her offer.
"You tell me your name and you get to talk first," she offered frowning suspiciously at the megawatt smile the redhead gave her.
"I'm Chloe!" Her bubbly voice told Beca that somehow, this day would be a little different.
And damn, it definitely was. In just two hours, she got to learn that Chloe was actually a volunteer at the shelter who had to get her volunteer hours to get her social worker's degree. She also learned that she has two older brothers and that she's single –not that Beca was interested in it, but apparently, the redhead thought it was important to be known among other things.
Beca on her part shared her superficial self. Somehow still not so comfortable to open up –no matter how sweet Chloe seemed every time she smiled at her. She told her why she was there –again, without revealing too much, and how she finds passion in the music. And definitely added the fact that she worked at the Café near the shelter when she got sight of the time realizing she had to run.
As the weeks passed, Beca found herself belonging for the first time in her life. Chloe would always come to meet her for a walk and they'd share breakfast together and now Beca was able to pay for her own stuff so she felt more relaxed. And they'd let their bond grow –without Beca's knowledge- and she didn't know what made her spit out the words one of those days.
"I ran away from home because I was tired of being treated as a hostage" Beca spoke as she nipped the top of her coffee cup."I had a brother. He was 2 years older." She tried to calm her voice. Her mind going back to old memories. "He somehow ended up between a gangs' fight. He got shot in the middle of the street." Beca choked on a breath as she felt Chloe's hand grab her own to squeeze it. She could only manage a tired smile before continuing. "He was just 14 when it happened, so my mom got paranoid of me being unsupervised walking around. I literally had her escorting me everywhere. I couldn't join my friends on their way to the park or to the river because mom was always working or too busy to go with me." She looked up at her companion, not expecting what she found. She had to take deep breaths as Chloe's eyes were filled with unshed tears. But it was too late now. In this short period of time, she got to read Chloe and she knew the redhead had a lot of questions. She prepared herself to answer each one of them.
But the questions never came. Instead, Chloe just asked her to move in with her. Right out of the blue.
"You're kidding, right? I'm about to get enough money to finally get my place," she couldn't accept Chloe's request.
"I'm serious. My roommate moved out two weeks ago, we can split bills and groceries," the look on the redhead chickened her. Could she ever deny something to her?
"Come on Becs, it'd be fun!" The bubbly girl blinked her tears away and gifted the brightest of her smiles. Hope filling those blue orbs.
"Yeah, okay," Beca didn't know what commanded her to accept. "But you have to keep in mind that I have equipment that I need," Beca remembered her.
"I'm not worried about the space. Plus, I'd get to hear your stuff whenever I want" she teased with a wink.
"Hold on there, girl. Don't call yourself lucky so fast," Beca tried to hide the jump her heart made at Chloe's motion.
Beca didn't really know when it happened, but she'd found herself nursing feelings for her –now- roommate on one of their mandatory movie nights.
It's been a month since she moved in with Chloe and she already adapted to the redhead's routine and it scared the hell out of her how easy it was.
Looking down at Chloe, she found the girl fast asleep with her head on her lap. The brunette didn't stop playing with the red locks; on the contrary, she unconsciously ran her index finger across Chloe's cheek, tracing her jaw gently. She'd be lying if she didn't want to try those lips right there right then. It surprised her how randomly the thought would come to her mind.
"Hmm… I'm sorry" Chloe stirred before sitting still to adapt her eyes to the dim lights just to get on her feet right after. "I'm going to bed, Becs" she kissed her forehead. And oh boy did it felt good.
"Goodnight, Chlo" Beca could only smile as she watched her walk to her bedroom. Her heart beating fast against her chest at the gesture.
It scared her how needy she became of Chloe's mannerisms. It was scary how she craved for the redhead's touch. Just a simple kiss on the cheek was enough to get Beca on cloud nine. And even if all her senses told her to get away and go live on her own, she didn't want to ruin the first real thing she had in her life. Not even if it was just a friendship that could drive her crazy sometimes.
Despite all her efforts to make Chloe understand that she couldn't get near her equipment, the girl always found a way to mess with her things. So when she came home that Friday night and headed to the little studio she settled in her bed to work on the piece of music she's had in her mind the whole day, she had to count till ten before snapping hard.
"Oh, hey Becs!" Chloe greeted as she entered the redhead's room.
"Don't Becs me, Chloe. What did I tell you about touching my stuff?" Beca didn't care that they weren't alone.
"It was for a good cause!" the redhead raised her hand in defense. "I swear I can explain everything," she offered with fear written all over her face. God better gives her strength not to murder someone for messing with her sanity.
"You have ten seconds," Beca just could sigh as she found a blonde's gaze. Smiling then as a silent apologize.
"You see Aubrey here?" her roommate questioned as she introduced the body on her bed. "She works at Epic's and she came for another demo for-"
"Another what?" Beca snapped confused. "Did you just say demo?" the tension in the room could be cut with a knife.
"Before you kill me, let me tell you that you could be signed up if you get to produce another one," Chloe spoke fast as she hid behind Aubrey.
"Chloe, you told me she knew about this." The blonde broke away from her friend to look between them both with a frown.
"She clearly didn't," Beca clarified in case it wasn't evident, taking deep breaths to calm herself. How did she end in this situation? Yes, she wanted to be signed up with a good firm, but it had to be her who makes it happen.
"Please Beca, I did it for you!" Chloe explained herself. Her eyes getting glassy as she could sense how upset the brunette was at her. "I know how much you want to work in the music industry and I thought it'd be a nice surprise if I got to give you the news," and that was it. Beca's heart shrank at Chloe's tears. And all the anger she was feeling, dissipated when she reached for Chloe and wrapped her arms around her.
If one thing was out of the table, was that Chloe was like a big baby and she needed comfort to calm down. Something she'd learned one night she came home and Chloe automatically engulfed her in a hug and let herself cry on Beca's familiarity.
"I'm sorry for snapping," Beca kicked herself mentally. "I just… I'd appreciate if you talked to me before giving my stuff away," she caressed the redhead's hair trying to soothe her.
"I'm sorry for going behind your back. I wanted to-"
"Shh, I know Chlo" Beca kissed her temple before breaking away just enough to find her eyes. "I'm not mad. Not anymore," and her heart started to recover at the smile that reached Chloe's eyes. "Come on, tell me about this," she looked at Aubrey without separating herself from Chloe.
And that's how Beca found out that she could get herself signed up if she produced a demo good enough to break the producers' minds –Aubrey's words, not hers. And she couldn't contain her big smile as she remembered a demo she did some time ago in one of her multiple nights as a hostage.
"I take that as a good sign?" Aubrey asked her as Beca seemed incapable to stop smiling.
"Dude, I think I have the right one," she rushed to her room and searched through her stuff, finally reaching for the drive.
"…I told you she's awesome," Beca heard Chloe's words and her heart did a jump. Chloe being proud of her was everything that matters.
"Here it is," she connected the drive to her laptop and resumed her position beside Chloe.
As the time passed and the sound filled her apartment, she could see Aubrey's features softening. Her heart stopped as Aubrey look up straight at her as the sound faded away. If this felt what being in court felt, she promised to never punch anyone again.
"Beca, you have a something huge here," the woman smiled and Beca could breathe again. "I think they'll be more than willing to accept you," she said and Beca could help the laugh that escaped her as Chloe chirped with happiness at the words.
"Oh my God, I knew it! You did it!" she allowed herself to be engulfed in Chloe's arms. Was all of this a dream?
"I think she did," Aubrey agreed. "I have to go now, but I'll call you with news soon." The blonde extended her arm for her to shake, and so she obliged. "See you tomorrow, Chlo," she waved goodbye before leaving the place. None of them worried since it was obvious Aubrey knew the apartment so well.
"YOU DID IT!" Chloe hugged her tight again.
"I did-" she stopped mid-sentence. "What if I didn't? What if is not enough and I can't-" she was cut off by Chloe's lips. Her whole being froze as her brain tried to come up with a response. It took her 5 seconds to reciprocate the kiss and let herself melt away. Oh boy, Chloe's lips were so soft against hers. The butterflies she felt in her stomach fuelled her desire to never let her go. But of course, the time would come.
"What was that for?" Beca asked with a raise of her eyebrow when they parted for air.
"I needed you to shut up." Chloe shrugged like it was nothing, making both of them laugh. "I've wanted to do that for a long time," the redhead confessed.
"What stopped you?" Beca tilted her head unable to understand. It was no secret that the redhead wasn't shy when it came to dates or hookups.
"I didn't want to upset you," Chloe looked down as if trying to hide from Beca's scrutiny.
"I could never be upset with you." The brunette tilted up her chin, finding her gaze. "Not unless you find a way to actually break my stuff," and the redhead's laugh relieved her soul.
Sealing their lips again, she promised herself to never let her go. As long as Chloe stood by her side, she knew she was at home. Chloe was her home.
So if someone asked Beca if she regretted leaving her old life behind, her answer would be, without questions asked, no. She could never regret it when her life was changing for good. Having someone who truly cared for her and supported her, was all she needed to fight for her dreams, no matter how hard she had to fight for.