Her mind is reeling, and she's pretty sure it's the high from the final set and the fact she's finally been honest with herself about Jesse. Beca's not sure what's happening, but she likes him more than she wants to. Jesse's positivity is contagious and he has a quick wit that can match her own; yet he had a sensitivity that would normally make her gag, but instead, makes her blush. He smiles constantly, his eyes twinkle with a boyish charm, and she finds it absurd how much she likes that. It rubs off on her and she finds herself smiling (even when she doesn't want to). Plus, when he sings, it's like ear porn.

She spent the last few days pulling together the set, and it had to be just right, not only for the Bellas, not only for Jesse, but for herself. She was going to put her all into it, into everything, because holding back, she found out, was so exhausting. In a way, she could relate to Aubrey's repressed nature, it's easier to withhold than to give, easier to control than to relinquish, but Beca felt ready now.

She realized, she wasn't in control of anything anymore. Her friendships had morphed even if she struggled against them, she loved the Bellas. She wasn't as angry at her father, though, she still glared at her stepmother, just...less these days. And then there was the boy. Sexual tension meshes with feelings she's not quite ready to talk about...just yet. Too soon. Too early. He had been her friend for the whole year, even when she didn't want him to, even when she didn't deserve it. He would pop by her room with some random movie or snack, he would walk with her to the mailroom and back for "safety reasons", he'd let her come hang out in their room whenever Kimmy Jin was in a worse mood than usual. And somewhere, somewhere his flirtation and quirkiness wore at her, regardless of her struggle to "not give five shits about Barden."

So okay, she liked him, but he was not going to derail in her plans for LA, she had told herself. Nope, he's a distraction. A cute one, but a distraction. She's not the kind of girl who yearns for a boyfriend, she never wanted to be (the kind of girl who obsessively stalks Facebook to see if her crush has updated their relationship status). She loathes pathetic chicks like that. But now, she knows she's just checkmated his ass at the finale, and she needs to see the look on his face.

So he's there, turning towards her, saying something goofy and sexy at the same time, and all she could think to do was shut that sexy ass mouth of his by covering it with her own. And it's worth it, putting her soul on display on stage, the kiss magnetic and demanding, and he falls right into it as her hands stroke his face. Beca's sure she hears cat calls from the people around them, Donald's taking pictures with his cell phone and she hears the Bellas walking up behind them. But she doesn't care, it's in this moment she's bare and honest.

Jesse's like one of those songs you'd think you'd hate at first but it gets in your brain and buries itself there and you find yourself turning up the volume whenever it come on. He's a FloRida or Ke$ha song personified, you try not to like it, but you end up knowing all the words. That day in her room when he basically forced her to watch The Breakfast Club for god sakes, and actually shushed her; that would normally land a punch to the face, but she found him so endearing as he fist pumped in jest at the end, she couldn't bring herself to be annoyed. And really, she stopped caring what the fuck Judd Nelson was doing after awhile, because the 80's was his peak, and she couldn't help but to think Jesse was totally kissable at the moment. The way he suddenly looked over at her, his eyes dropping to her mouth and slowly lifting back up, she felt him drawing closer and she knew they were on dangerous ground. So she pulled back and let the moment pass, because she was unsure of herself and what she can give. It's her biggest flaw, pulling away.

She's sure Jesse's not perfect either, she can pick a million flaws out about him. He wants to see the good in everyone, a naiveté that can't work well in this ridiculous world, but still...not as bad as Benji. He can talk too much, he's obsessed with movies and soundtracks, and she couldn't care less about either one of those things, but what she does love is his passion for music matches hers with deejaying. She hates that he shushes her during one of his movie sessions, but it's funny because he's truly intense about the movie experience. He talks to his mom way more than a man in college should, and he can't whistle. But he can sing his ass off, something that really gets to her. It's effortless for him, and she kind of hates him for that, because she's just becoming free about her own talent in singing. And fuck it- he's hot in a nerdy way. He looks at her with open adoration, and a girl can only take so much of that without breaking.

So now, in this moment, she's giving him her all in front of a live audience. After they released each other's tonsils, and smiled sheepishly at the whistles, the rest of the night seemed like a blur of giggles and smiles. They won. The Bellas won, and they won from her fucking music. She felt Jesse's smile radiate on her back as the Bellas walked back towards the stage to receive their trophy and she's feels like a motherfucking boss right now. Aubrey's even hugging her, Chloe's got tears running down her cheeks, and the other girls are wrapping their arms around her as well. They want to party, get drunk, scream their lungs out, have a threesome (No, Stacie, stop), a host of other requests but all she wants to do is go back to making out with a certain boy in the audience. She'll celebrate with her aca-bitches later, because right now...mama has to go tame that tiger (Fat Amy high fived that).

She hands the trophy over to Lily and walks purposely back towards the crowd to take care of business.

After the finals and after the intense make out session in front of an entire audience (and Fat Amy pointing out the fact "You two just need to get it on, you've been fucking each other with your eyes for months."), it's been a learning experience, being perceptive to others. For instance, Jesse likes holding hands a lot. They leave the competition together, he walks her back to her hotel room, both all smiles, hers a bit more brighter from both wins. They just exchanged bodily fluids with the kissing, but she wasn't prepared when he reached out for her hand. At first she jumped back as if shocked, like an attack and he retreated, causing her to mutter an apology. It was awkward and uncomfortable for a minute there, but he did it again a few moments later, undeterred, and she let it happen. So now he'll just think he can grab her hand anytime he wants? Probably, that's the way Jesse is and she's falling for him because of it. And he holds on firmly and comfortably, not even caring about her initial response. No fuss, no hesitation, he drops his hand beside hers and interlopes their fingers, giving her a toothy grin.

They reach her door, and she doesn't know where this is going to go. Her body, her stupid physical self, is begging for her to grab his jacket lapels and pull his fine ass into her room or fuck him right there in front of everyone in the hotel hall way. Tomorow, she'd have to get up super early to pack the van and head back to campus...and Kimmy Jin. She's all in tingly everywhere, and even though her time in New York is brief, it's been so worth it. She feels Jesse everywhere, all around her, and Beca's so thankful of Amy and Stacie plan to crash in the other girls' rooms tonight. Not that she expects a fuckfest or anything. Maybe they will just talk about everything that happened between them this year. Yeah, talk...with their pelvises. Her mind screams a different story- patience, Stacie's voice- of all people- telling her -don't be a skank, make him wait.

"This is your room?" he says and she can't hold in her snort.

"This is where I stay."

Now it seems like they don't know how to act around each other, where to go next. The silence is deafening and she could see he's having the same internal battle of the will as she was. Their eyes burn holes in each others' faces, standing awkwardly in the hall way.

Fuck it. She gives up.

"Wanna come in?"

"God, yes," he sighs, relieved she made the first move. She's done that a lot tonight. He tried to act normal instead of overly excited. "I mean, sure. Cool. Whatever."

As she goes to open the door, he's instantly behind her, all male again, his body against hers, his breath on her neck. He moves her hair aside to expose skin, touching his full lips against it in a barely there kiss. "Thank goodness you're rooming with Amy. What if Kimmy Jin was here?"

She smirks, turning the key with force. "Then...she could watch."

She's sure her remark stunned him, he's always caught off guard by her wit. Before he can squeak out a reply, the door is open and she's pulling him in with her, because she's ready to give him everything tonight. Well...more than what he bargained for.

"You have tattoos." His voice is deep and vibrating against her back. She's laying lazily on her stomach, and he's got his head on her mid back, drawing circles around her tattoos. She could tell him how she got them, but she's absolutely exhausted from their activities. He wasn't exactly what she expected- she thought she'd get a nerdy clumsy Jesse, maybe gentle, unsure...pretty much a horny teenage boy. But there was something about the way he opened his eyes and looked at her he glided on top of her...yeah, she'll keep him. "Here's another, how many do you have?"

"You should count them," she says, smiling and closing her eyes, feeling his fingers trace the lettering.

"What does this one say?" he asks, kissing it lightly.

She knows which one he's speaking off, the one she got right after her parent's divorce. Too heavy of a topic post-coitus.

"I like soup," she deadpans and he blows a raspberry on her back as punishment, causing her to laugh.

"Be serious!"

"I'm dead serious. What? I really do like soup. Enough to get a tattoo about it."

"Fine, don't tell me..." He sits up a bit, leaning back against the wall. Her bed isn't that big at school, it's twin sized, but here they have a full sized hotel bed, and they are still practically on top of each other. "No seriously, is it music related?"

"Maybe. Yes," she isn't ready to open up about her life before Barden too much tonight, it leads to sadness, and right now she's happy. She has music, friends, and Jesse. Jesse naked.

"I don't have any tattoos."

"We should change that."

"I don't know. I'm not into needles. Or big bald guys holding needles. I also hate clowns...god, imagine a clown holding a tattoo needle..."

"I don't...think there's a clown tattoo artist anywhere near here..." she pushes her foot at him and he grabs it, reaching up to rub her calf gently. "So you're safe. You're in a safe place."

"What should I get?"

She shrugs, turning over to sit up with him, her sheet pulled on her chest. She wonders how she looks right now, probably all disheveled and crazy , but she sees how he's looking at her so now she doesn't care. "You like movies. Maybe something movie related?"

"There's plenty of bad ass lines I can tat on my arm," he flexes, and she raises an eyebrow at him, and he deflates.

"I think...", she states slowly, reaching out to touch his arm, more sculpted than she expected before tonight. "...you should get Kermit the Frog, riding a lighting rod on your upper arm, the sexiness would be off the charts."

"I should get one of Bumper's face...bring all the girls to my yard," he jokes.

"That will work!"

They laugh, both trying hard to ignore the fact they totally had sex for most of the night, and what that really means.

"He's gonna be pissed you lost to the Bellas."

"Who cares what he thinks? That asshole," Jesse quips. "That was such a dick move, leaving us like that before finals. Because of him, we can't even afford to stay in New York for more than two nights. He only booked for Friday and tonight. I've never been to New York. All I've seen is what I could see from the bus."

"Maybe we'll come back one day," she says without thinking, and he smiles a bit at the idea she's thinking of a future with him.

"Yeah, we have to come back and get our title back next year. Because honestly, I don't think anyone could have topped your number. Ever...in life."

Beca swells with pride. She was proud of her set, of the girls, of herself. She liked acappella way more than she wanted to admit, and everything she's been working towards laid out so perfectly on stage tonight.

"Are you just saying that because I serenaded you with Simple Minds?"

"Well that, and the fact you have this awesome gift for music. No really, I'm so serious. Since I heard your voice, since I saw you getting out of that taxi all bad ass with your giant ass headphones. I knew...I just knew you loved music. I like being able to share that."

The smiling was becoming insane, her face hurts a bit. "Me too."

"I also think you owe me an apology..."

"For what?" her smile drops to a frown instantly, hoping he still wasn't harping on their argument. She thinks she's done more than enough to get on his good side.

"For laughing in my face when I told you we would be making aca-babies."

"What?! No one's making aca-babies in here. Well not that way."

"The night of the initiation, come on! Remember I told you, we were going to get together. I'm psychic."

"You were wasted."

"And prophetic!" Jesse exclaims.



"Stalker..." she sings.

She feels him staring at her in dark for a minute, and even though it was only light from the window, it made them seem more exposed. He suddenly reaches over and pulls her in his lap, the sheet moving from her body. She settles on him, but he wasn't trying to have sex again, he just wanted to hold her against him, and this is exactly why she was falling hard for this goofy aca-guy in the first place. He kisses her lips softly and pulls back, smiling at her. "I have to ask you a question..."

"What?" she leans in and whispering against his lips, pushing her hair behind her ear.

"You have to seriously answer me. I need you to be serious. Okay?"


"I've wanted to ask you this...all night...but I don't know how..."

She gets worried now. "What?"

"It's just..." he sighs, looking down.

"Jesse, don't fuck around. Tell me," she says a little too forcefully, because this got serious really quick.

"What I want to know...what I need to ask you...is...Do you...like the way I work it?" he burst into song, as her eyes widened. He does a little dance and she bounces on his hips. She glowers before laughing. She likes this boy. A lot, too much. She might love (whoa...) him one day soon. For now, she's here, and Jesse's holding her, and she's got the Bellas, and she's feeling that release of tension she's carried with her. She has her music. She's pretty damned happy.

"Shut up ," she growled, covering his mouth with hers to keep him quiet. "Why don't you show me how you work it again."

***Notes: There's more, if you like I'm going to go into how their relationship develops AFTER the 6 months flash forward.

***I edited some of this, I forgot they were at the Lincoln Center in New York in cannon and is an important factor in the story later. So if you read this before, and in re-reading noticed a change, that's why. I had to keep it as accurate as possible. Hope that's okay!