Bella of the Ball
Disclaimer: The characters in this story do not belong to me. They belong to Kay Cannon and the producers of Pitch Perfect.
A/N: This is an AU One-Shot. Thanks for reading!
"So tell me why I'm here again?" Beca asked, rolling her eyes for the hundredth time that night.
"Because you haven't been home in eight months and I miss you," responded Jesse, swatting her hand playfully to stop her from fidgeting in her dress.
"No, why was I dragged to this stupid event?"
"Because you want to support your favorite brother?" Beca shook her head, ignoring the puppy dog look that was sent her way.
"You're my only brother, J. And you're a dork for being so into this a cappella thing. It's not even your group that's hosting this crap. Really, Bella of the Ball? How original."
"Aw, come on, Bec, you're only back for the weekend and I want to spend time with you. Besides, technically, it's Dad's fault. Ever since he got promoted to head of the music department, he's been trying to foster healthier relationships between the rival a cappella groups, so we're all required to go to each other's events. And they're raising money for breast cancer awareness… you know that's important to me."
Beca sighed, suddenly feeling like a jerk. She and Jesse had become siblings when they were five years old, when her mother married his dad three years after his mom died of breast cancer. They had been inseparable growing up until they graduated high school. She had decided to move to LA to pursue her career as a DJ instead of going to college, while Jesse chose to attend the university that their father was teaching at. They had remained close, but saw less and less of each other as her career took off. Things at home became strained, with Jesse becoming the pride and joy of their parents as he followed their plans for him and Beca did the exact opposite. Thus she had been selective of the times she went back home to visit.
"Fine," she relented, pretending to sigh in frustration, "at least it's your last year and I won't have to do this again."
Jesse's face immediately brightened, and he pulled her into a tight hug, lifting her up to bring attention to them, which he knew would annoy her.
"How much longer is this thing anyway?" She asked with a scowl on her face once he had released her. "I mean, they raise money from the tickets, we come and eat, they'll probably sing a few numbers to thank the sponsors and attendees, and that's it, right?"
"Uh, not exactly. You actually missed their performance because you were late. But there's a date auction later, and I was actually hoping to—"
"Jesse! You said tonight was for us to hang out!"
The Treblemaker grinned at his sister sheepishly.
"But there's this girl… I've been trying to get her attention since freshman year. But the Bellas have this rule about dating us Treblemakers—"
"So you think buying her is the answer!? Real smooth, lil' bro."
"No! We're not buying them, just a date with them! I just—it's the only way for her to give me the time of day! She's like, one of the head Bellas, so she practically lives and breathes the Bella code. Please, Bec? I really like her…"
Beca rolled her eyes again.
"And what am I supposed to do when you leave with her? You promised not to leave me alone with Dad! He's still trying to get me to 'further my education' even though it's been years since I last picked up a book!"
"Well… I was thinking that… if you also—"
"But we could double date!"
"Really, J? I thought you wanted to spend time with her!"
"I do! But…" He trailed off, blushing furiously. "She kind of intimidates me."
"You're such a loser."
"Please, Bec? It's not like you're hurting for money with your album coming out next summer—"
"Wait, you're making me pay for a date that I don't even want?"
"Come on, Bec! You're a professional DJ and I work at a local radio station stacking records!"
"I'm not paying for a date with some girl I don't even know!"
"I'm not asking you to marry her or anything!"
"Jeez, are any of them even gay?"
"Well, one of them is out, I think, but she's spoken for. But anyway, you need to bid for a date with my girl's best friend. That's the only way this will work. Please, Bec? I'll never ask for anything from you again."
"Well, that's a lie. You say that after every single thing you ask me to do for you."
"Please, Bec? I missed you. It'll be like old times."
Beca gritted her teeth in frustration, hating that her brother knew exactly how to get her to do something for him.
"I hate you."
"But you're visiting me for Thanksgiving, I'm not flying back. And you're paying for your own ticket."
"Thank you, thank you, you're the best sis—" Beca waved him off, rolling her eyes at his dramatics. If they both hadn't spent high school chasing after every skirt that was attached to a pretty face, she would've thought they batted for opposite teams.
"Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Aubrey Posen, and on behalf of the Barden Bellas, I would like to thank you all for coming to our annual Bella of the Ball!"
The two siblings looked towards the stage to see a skinny blonde dressed in a pink floor-length gown holding a microphone. Beca rolled her eyes at the perfect bun sitting atop the blonde's head and the way that she was standing so upright with a practiced smile on her face.
"Man, who would—"
"Shhhh, she's talking," Jesse hissed, and Beca raised an eyebrow at her suddenly-goo-goo-eyed brother.
"Really?" She whispered loudly. "Her? She looks like she has a permanent stick stuck up her—"
"Shhh!" Jesse hissed again before plastering on his goofy smile. At this rate, Beca feared that her eyes would fall out of their sockets with the amount of eye rolling she was doing.
"Good luck with that, J. She looks like a tough nut to crack."
"Stop insulting my future girlfriend! Shhh, pay attention!"
Beca brought her eyes to the stage again, realizing that the first girl was already out, twirling for the audience. As the bid started at $50, voices from all corners began yelling out bids from different parts of the ballroom, eager to score a date with the girl that was introduced as Stacie. Eventually, a tall, muscled blond with a maroon skinny tie won the bid at $250.
Beca sighed, already feeling that the night was dragging on. It seemed that the Bellas had all worn pink dresses in honor of the event, which annoyed her even more. Because as much as she wanted to support the cause, Beca hated the color pink even more. She also hated the idea behind the event, feeling like it was objectifying the women, and wondered if they were the type to make each other feel bad for having less bids. She found the event extremely tacky.
Jesse owed her big for this.
As more and more Bellas walked off the stage to meet their respective dates for the evening, Beca began to grow more impatient. As she was about to go get another drink for herself, Jesse nudged her, motioning towards a smiling redhead that had just walked out, dressed in a one-shouldered, knee-length, dark pink dress. Aubrey introduced her as Chloe Beale, a Mass Communications major and a senior at Barden University. She looked entirely too bubbly and smiley for Beca's taste, but even the brunette had to admit that the girl was very pretty.
Okay, I can roll with this. I just have to sit through a couple of hours with her. If she ends up being too perky, I won't ever have to see her again. Besides—
"Beca," Jesse hissed, and it was then that Beca realized that people were already beginning to call out bids.
What the fuck, the bid's already at $200?
She gritted her teeth, shooting a glare at her brother before raising her hand.
"Three hundred!" She called out, hoping the higher price would end the bid quickly. The crowd turned to stare at her in surprise. Onstage, Chloe looked at her, equally as shocked. Then a look of recognition dawned on her face. Beca, still trying to get used to strangers recognizing her, felt her heart give a small leap.
If all went to hell, they'd at least have music to talk about, right?
"Four hundred!" She whipped her head to see a guy in an expensive looking suit looking at her smugly.
"What the—ugh—four hundred fifty!" She called out before looking to Jesse for an explanation.
"That's the dean's son," he whispered, looking murderous as another counterbid was yelled out, "He's cocky bastard, also known as Chloe's ex-boyfriend. Heard it was a really bad break-up."
Back onstage, Chloe's eyes darted between the two bidders, her nerves finally showing. Beca couldn't stop feeling a surge of anger for the girl, wanting to wipe the smug off the guy's face.
"Five hundred fifty!"
Stupid entitled prick.
"Six hundred dollars!"
Beca nudged Jesse angrily, who looked as nervous as the girl on the stage.
"I forgot to mention that he's filthy rich."
"Rich? I'm just starting to make money off my music, I can't beat someone born from money!" She whispered angrily. "This date is already costing me a plane ticket!"
"Six hundred dollars going once!"
"Ugh, Six hundred fifty dollars!" She turned to Jesse, nudging him hard. "I'm not going much higher than this. You better figure something out."
"Eight hundred!" Asshole.
"Eight hundred and fifty dollars!" She turned to look at Jesse, but her brother seemed to have disappeared. She huffed in frustration, turning to walk away. She was tired of this and was definitely not dropping any more money for her brother to be able to go to some stupid date, especially if he ditched her just like that.
"Eight hundred and fifty going once! Eight hundred and fifty going twice, sold!" The blonde yelled excitedly.
Beca stopped, whirling around incredulously. She had won?
Ugh, now I have to fork over eight hundred and fifty bucks.
She scanned the room for a sign of Jesse, and finally found him in the back of the room, giving her a huge grin and two thumbs up. Next to him, some of his Treble friends had their arms around the guy who had tried to outbid her, keeping him from moving too much. And judging from the disheveled button-down shirt that the one with thick sideburns was wearing, it must be his tie that was wedged in the guy's mouth. She wondered how they had managed that without anyone noticing. Oh, well. Douche had it coming.
Finally, it was Aubrey's turn. Thankfully, it went by smoothly, with Jesse winning at $300. Knowing that their leader had his eye on the blonde, none of the Treblemakers had tried to bid for her, and most of the others who were interested in participating in the auction had already gotten their dates. After a short Thank You speech by Aubrey, the ball ended. Beca sighed in relief, glad that most of the night was over. Unfortunately, she still had a double date to attend. She hoped that it was at least somewhat worth all of that money.
While she slipped out of the room to go to her car to get her checkbook, Jesse approached a scowling Aubrey excitedly.
"Are you ready to be swept off your feet? I told you I'd convince her to come!"
"Whatever, I'm only doing this for Chloe. God knows why, but she's been obsessed with your sister's music for years. I figured a date would cheer her up. You sure your sister's gay?"
"Gayer than a rainbow!"
"Good, I have to check in with the cleaning crew before I can leave. Tell your sister that we'll meet them at Sal's Pizzeria and that Chloe's riding with her. I made them reservations for 9pm."
"How 'bout us?"
Aubrey rolled her eyes.
"Obviously we're not going to show up. I don't care where we go as long as we're nowhere near them. Your sister better not be an ass."
"I'm just saying. Chloe's had a rough time since she broke up with that tool of a boyfriend. No wonder she realized she likes girls. If she weren't having such a rough time, I wouldn't have bothered."
Jesse shook his head, not letting Aubrey ruin his good mood.
"Nope, I would've placed the highest bid anyway! But hey, everyone wins! I got my sister home, Chloe gets a date, the Bellas raise money, and we—"
"There is no we!"
"Ugh, just go and make sure your sister doesn't ditch us before we ditch them."
Jesse walked away, humming to himself happily as he loosened his tie. He could really see it working out. Despite Beca's need to hold everyone at arm's length, she had a good heart and cared about people, and despite Chloe's upbeat demeanor that seemed to be the complete opposite of Beca's, he knew that the redhead had the optimism and that his sister needed. From his hours spent scheming with Aubrey, he knew that the two girls had more in common than they thought, both being incredibly driven and into the same type of music. With any luck, they could totally hit it off and have a chance at being happy. He'd get the girl, Beca would get the girl, and he'd get his sister to visit a lot more.
Because there was no way he was going to afford that plane ticket after this event.
Beca was totally going to be the one to visit during Thanksgiving.