Disclaimer: I do not own the characters represented in this fiction. They are the property of the creative minds behind the book and film adaptation.
Rating: T for now, M for later chapters
Summary: AU. Beca Mitchell had everything at her fingertips, fame and fortune and the career of her dreams. So when a long-standing deal from the past rears its ugly head, she is forced from her life of glitz and glamour in LA back to the plains of Georgia to fulfill her end of a bargain.
Okay, not gonna lie, after seeing Pitch Perfect, I admit I'm digging the Beca/Chloe dynamic, even with my long-standing platonic love for Skylar Astin. I normally write over in the Glee fandom, but PP and its characters have grabbed me by the neck and refused to let go until I pound this out.
And because I love working with AU's…this is totally an AU. I figured, what if Beca's deal with her father went the other way around: he gave her four years of doing her DJ thing, then she had to go back to finish her degree. I guess, in doing that, I figured we needed to delve into Beca's back story to give her a reason to actually go back to Barden. Also, I figured four years slugging it through LA would also change a person. So if things seem different, it's because I've warped the universe a bit. This is what came of it.
STONE HARD AS BULLETPROOF GLASS
Questions, you've asked me hundreds, now can you grant me some rest
Because I'm tired of it, I'm living out my dream, and I'm tired from it
If music needed saving, I'd die for it
Music's where my heart is, I'm alive for it
Beca Mitchell had decided at a young age that her singular passion in life was music. It was her escape, her safe haven, her sanctum away from all the slings and arrows flung her way from the general idiosyncrasies of life that centered around her dysfunctional family life. Before she found music, she felt aimless, floundering for a purpose and searching for an identity. But once she delved into the intricacies music could offer, it was though a whole world had been open for her to explore.
She had worked to get herself where she was, melding time, effort, talent, and just a little bit of luck into a Grammy-winning, multi-platinum career. She had bargained for her dream and her desire to chase it, and while her success did have a deferred price looming in the future, Beca wasn't concerned with what could happen. Right now, she was just focused on living her dream.
Beca reclined back in the cushy chairs lining the VIP lounge of LA's hottest nightclub. To her right was an internationally-recognized recording artist she had recently collaborated with on a track scheduled to appear on his next record, to her left – conveniently snuggled under her arm – was an internationally-recognized supermodel who made her living flaunting a killer body clad in lingerie that appeared in most major publications and mediums. At the moment, Beca Mitchell had absolutely no qualms whatsoever with her life.
She glanced down at her dwindling drink, probably a mouthful left. She tended to limit her alcohol when she was spinning, not wanting anything to hinder her performance. Downstairs, on the main level of the club, the bass thumped through the speakers, playing some generic club playlist, prepping the masses for her set. As she peered over the railing to the dance floor below, she scanned over the crush of bodies, barely enough room to breathe, let alone dance. A smirk of satisfaction crept across her face. They were all there for her. Had paid a ridiculous cover charge to see her. And were currently jammed together tighter than a homebound college kid's laundry basket. For her.
An assistant approached the couch, followed closely by her agent. He flashed a perfectly white smile in her direction. "You ready to roll, superstar?"
Beca threw back the rest of her drink, standing with a nod. As security ushered her to the main stage, brilliantly lit up and hovering over the dance floor, the music faded to a subtle cadence of different effects, and the house DJ – unfortunately shuffled in the corner…Yeah, she had been there too, bro – leaned over the microphone, yelling out to the club-goers flocking the floor.
ALRIGHT, LA, IT'S TIME TO TURN IT UP. PUT YOUR HANDS IN THE AIR FOR MISS BECA MITCHELL, BUT YOU ALL KNOW HER AS…DJ LADY B!
Beca grinned to herself as the roar rumbled through the crowd. She slipped on her headphones, and the beat of her latest hit on the radio dropped with a vengeance. Perhaps it was a bit narcissistic, but she always took a little bit of pleasure in leading her sets off with a track or two she could lay claim to before transitioning to other songs.
She bobbed her head, fiddling with the levers and dials, infusing a few effects into the already familiar tracks. The energy was electric as the dance floor practically vibrated with the gyrating bodies and the shouts of people singing the lyrics back to her. She could practically feel it permeating her skin as she felt every beat, every thump of the bass, every ringing note from the accompanying vocalist.
This was her dream.
Beca hefted herself out of the SUV, slapping hands with her driver Damon O'Hara before entering her building. It was close to about four in the morning, her set and the subsequent after-party taking her well into the early morning. Now that the adrenaline of performing had worn off – as well as a little bit of her buzz – she fought down the fatigue creeping up on her.
As the elevator doors opened, spilling her into the foyer of her condo, Beca dropped her bag by the door and shuffled straight to the fridge where she grabbed a bottle of beer. Taking a swig, she rotated and stopped short, nearly dropping the bottle as she gazed at back of the worn, brown tweed jacket on the lean, lanky frame in front of her mantle. His head was tilted up, gazing at the three albums affixed to the wall, signifying their certification as platinum. He ran his fingers over the three golden gramophone statuettes sitting proudly in the center. The figure turned, and Beca meet the warm brown eyes that crinkled at the corners. The sight was so achingly familiar to her but so heart-wrenchingly agonizing at the same time.
She breathed out incredulously. "Dad."
Dr. Warren Mitchell flashed the crooked smile she herself was known for as he nodded in greeting. "Beca. Do you normally stay out this late?"
Beca chose to ignore that last question. She was twenty-three for crying out loud. "What are you doing here?" Becca swiveled her head. "How did you even get in?"
Warren smiled wryly. "You should really set your code to something less predictable than your mother's birthday."
"So much for high security," Beca muttered under her breath. She eyed her father suspiciously. "Why are you here?"
Warren cocked an eyebrow, another gesture so eerily reminiscent of one of her own oft-used physical expressions. "A guy can't pay his daughter a visit without the third degree?"
Beca crossed her arms defensively over her chest. "I hear nothing from you in four years," she remarked. "So, yeah, I do think I'm warranted a few misgivings. Why are you here?" She waved a hand at the awards he had been scrutinizing so closely before she had noticed his presence. "Belated congratulations?"
"Not quite." Warren squared up to his daughter. "It's been four years. You remember our deal?"
Beca's eyes narrowed as she played ignorant, lofting her bottle and waving it insolently. "Refresh my alcohol-addled memory."
"I give you four years to make this music thing work then you get your degree."
"You've got to be kidding me," Beca protested. "Isn't the idea of getting a degree to get a good job after college?" She gestured to the lavish surroundings of her condo. "News flash, Dad, I have a good job. I don't need the degree."
"A degree would open doors for you, Beca," Warren responded. "Think of what a college degree would do for you."
"Open what doors? Do what for me, exactly?" Beca persisted. "I seriously doubt whether or not Madonna wants to work with me hinges on a piece of paper that means nothing in the greater scheme of things."
"We had a deal, Bee," her father reminded her, turning on a full, parental glare. "You promised your mother. Do you remember that?"
"Oh no." Beca slashed a hand. She set her bottle down with a muted clink on the kitchen island, bracing her palms on the surface. "You don't get to do that. You don't get to call me that and you don't get to use her. You gave up those rights when you walked out on our family and decided to start from scratch with someone else."
Warren met her cold stare evenly, seemingly un-phased. "What if I said I would throw in the record collection?"
Beca fell silent as her father leveraged the deal. The collection itself was impressive, but nothing to get excited about. There were a few rare ones here and there, but nothing she couldn't track down and purchase for herself. However, there was one record in that collection that meant more sentimentally than any all of the records combined. It was their song, forever encapsulated on vinyl, her mother's favorite song that had some how transcended down to Beca. As hard as she could, Beca couldn't find that album on its original vinyl. Inexplicably, her father was the singular person in the world with that particular record.
Warren approached his daughter, standing on the other side of the kitchen island, the hard granite and solid wood serving as a literal and figurative boundary.
Beca eyed him warily. She ran a weary hand through her hair. "Why are you pushing this? I can understand if nothing came from my four years, if I was just like any other struggling artist barely getting by, but I'm successful. I don't need this degree."
Warren sighed, mirroring her gesture, ruffling the already tousled strands of his hair. "Because you made a promise to your mother, and I know as much as you hate the idea of going back to school, that promise still means something to you. I know it's not going to be for me; I'm well aware of that." He shoved his hands in his pockets and shrugged. "If you're not gonna do it for yourself, at least do it for her because you said you would."
"And what?" Beca mirrored his posture, shoving her own hands in the back pockets of her jeans. "You're conveniently throwing in the record collection?"
Warren smirked. "I want you to do something that you don't need to do. However, I have something you want. Seemed like I needed to make the deal sweeter." He extended his hand. "What do you say?"
Beca eyed the offering, flicking her hands from her father's outstretched palm to his winning smile. She had a feeling she was going to definitely regret doing what she was about to do. Against her better judgment, she slapped her palm in her fathers, sealing the deal with a single pump of her arm.
Beca had idled on the floor of her living room long after her father had left. She looked down to the small grasshopper inked into her inner forearm and rubbed it reverently. It was the first one she had ever gotten, a small reminder to a larger sentiment. It was a reminder of better times.
Beca's home life had never been rainbows and sunshine. The esteemed Dr. Warren Mitchell, everyone's favorite English professor tended to lose himself in the heroes and heroines of the stories he taught to in his courses, throwing himself so thoroughly into his work that he often blended reality with fiction. He was beloved by his students, but practically a stranger to his family. That being said, he was disappointed to find that his rebellious, irritable, mess-of-contradictions daughter didn't fit the mold of the 19th century romantic characters that imbued his specialty. And when he realized his marriage wasn't fitting very well into his idealized pre-planned plot to life, he decided to rewrite the story with a whole new cast of characters. It really wasn't surprising to find out he already had someone who could give him that scenario.
Her mother, however, was a little more rooted in reality. Molly then-Mitchell had embraced everything that was different and intrinsically special about her daughter. It was her mother who introduced her music, who cultivated the seeds of what would turn out to be her love and lifelong dream, and who exposed her to the subtle intricacies of rhythm, chord progressions, and cadence that she would eventually learn to subtly blend together to create her award-winning mixes and songs. It was her mother that taught her about the beauty of grasshoppers.
Beca came home to a familiar sight: her mother setting just two places for a family of three. Her father was, once again, working late at the university, leaving Beca and her mother to fend for themselves for the night. Beca didn't mind. It was those days that she cherished the most, when it was just her and her mother and no arguments, no fighting, no looks of disappointment being thrown her way.
As the two Mitchell girls finished dinner, heading outside to relax, they sat together on the porch swing, idly swinging back and forth, cocooned together beneath a mass of blankets.
"What's that sound?" Beca asked. "It's like a buzzing…"
"That is the grasshopper's song," her mother answered.
"That's not a song!" Beca protested.
Molly then-Mitchell smiled. "Sure it is."
"But it's just noise," Beca commented.
Molly shook her head sagely. "Ah, my little grasshopper…" Beca giggled at the bad accent her mother adopted from their viewings of the Kung Fu series. "Don't think of anything as 'just noise'."
Beca cocked her head. "What do you mean?"
"Feel the rhythm…" Molly tapped her feet to accompany the vibrating wings. It was like a drumroll: a single beat before a vibration of sound, a pause, then it all started again.
Beca matched her mother's beat, moving her sneakered feet in time with Molly's. Her head tilted as she noticed a shift.
"It's changing." Beca's feet mimicked the change. Tap-tap, tap-tap-tap…Tap-tap, tap-tap-tap…
"Don't you see?" Molly asked her daughter. "You can find music anywhere. You just have to listen." She looked her daughter straight in the eye. "And if you can find the music where others can't," she gestured vaguely to the grasshoppers out in the distance, "you can be different than everyone else."
Little did Molly then-Mitchell knew, Beca had not only taken those words to heart, but she allowed them to become an operating principle of her very being, permeating to the underlying fuel to her every thought an action.
It was what made her not only different but great.
It was the first tattoo she had ever gotten, inked into her skin at the tender age of fifteen due to a rather convincing fake ID that claimed her a legal adult (there was no way she could have passed as twenty-one, let's be real) in a moment of rebellion as she was forced to her father's and stepmother's for a weekend. The tattoo artist, a massive monster of a man named Jared who had gentle hands that belied his size and overall bulk, told her the symbolism behind it as the needle repeatedly pierced her skin. According to Jared, the Japanese cherished the song of the grasshoppers and believed the moon coaxed the music from them. She had liked that idea. It was almost symbolic of her own future career as a kickass DJ. The moon hovering overhead as she mixed from the dead of night to the dawn of the morning would fuel the energy of her hypnotic beats to devoted club-goers. It was a pretty sweet visual.
She rubbed absently at the tattoo, her other hand clutching tight to her cell phone. With an aggravated sigh, she scrolled through her favorite contacts, tapping the name of her stepfather.
When her mother had first started dating Arthur Landry, she admitted she was more than suspicious of the handsome construction foreman. He was a far cry than her father's sophisticated, intellectual. Art's uniform wasn't a brown tweed jacket and slacks, it was a pair of beat-up jeans and work boots, complemented by a hardhat and toolbelt. Art was a guy that did manual labor for a living, and it showed. Still, Beca had her reservations. Her father worked a similar type of job, one that demanded long work hours. She knew how that story ended, and she definitely didn't want history repeating itself.
It had taken awhile, but eventually Art wore down Beca's resistance through an almost methodical persistence. Despite his long hours, Art always seemed to make time for Molly and Beca, whether it was something as big as a trip to the amusement park or as small as a family dinner. Eventually, Beca grew to appreciate the simple fact that Art was around. She never did transcend the boundary of calling him "Dad" or something equally as parental. The connotation of the word held such a sour taste in her mouth, she really didn't want to degrade their relationship by utilizing it, as silly as it sounded. Still, she grew to love her stepfather, very much solidifying Art as the primary male figure in her life and she never hesitated to call and ask him for advice…like when she was contemplating a rather important life decision.
The phone didn't ring for long until the soothing baritone of her stepfather sounded through the speaker.
"Hey, Bumblebee. Everything okay?"
Beca smiled at the familiar nickname, leaning against the front of the couch. The question befuddled her slightly. "Yeah, I'm fine. Why?"
"Well," Art drew out the word, "you normally don't call me at seven in the morning…ever. I didn't think you knew what seven in the morning looked like."
Beca started, eyes flying to the clock over the mantle, noting that he was correct. It was just past four in the morning in LA, which meant seven in Brooklyn. Huh. She had no idea where time had gone.
"I know what seven in the morning looks like," Beca defended herself. "I just don't like to voluntarily experience it."
Art chuckled. "Fair enough." There was a shuffling noise, and Beca could only imagine him sitting at his desk, poring over the work assignments for his crew or whatever project he was currently overseeing, the Bob the Builder toy she had given him right next to a photo of their family. "So what's up, kiddo?"
Beca sighed. "My dad stopped by last night."
"That's different," Art commented. "What did he want?"
"He came to remind me about our deal." Beca picked at a loose thread of her sweatpants. "You know, the one I made with him before Mom died? About college?"
"He wants me to finish up school at Barden."
"Hmmm," Art considered the scenario. "And what do you want, Beca?"
"I…" Beca faltered, gathering her thoughts. "I want Mom to be proud of me."
"Oh, honey, I know she would be so proud of you. I know I am."
"Thanks, Art." Beca sighed, running a hand through her hair. "But would she want me to go back to school?"
"She would want you to be happy," Art hedged.
Beca sighed. He didn't answer the question. "Art…"
"Alright, alright." Art paused for a moment. "Yes, I do believe she really would want you to have that degree."
"I don't know what to do," Beca mumbled. "I know that's what she would want, too…but…"
"But you don't want your dad to hold it over your head," Art finished.
"You want know what I think?"
"I don't think your Mom would have pushed so hard for you to go to college if she didn't think you could learn something there that you couldn't in the real world," Art stated. "I think there's something waiting for you to be taught at Barden that goes beyond the degree."
"I don't know," Art admitted. "But it wouldn't hurt to find out, would it?"
Beca was silent for a long moment before an aggravated sigh of concession flew from her lips. "Dammit, Art. Why do you have to be right?"
"I work with big, heavy machines," Art reminded his stepdaughter. "If I'm wrong, well…"
Beca absorbed that with a wry chuckle, huffing out her displeasure towards their proposed solution. "Thanks, Art."
Art laughed. "No problem, kiddo. I love you."
Beca smiled. "Love you, too."
Beca ended the call, tossing her phone onto the coffee table. She tipped over, sprawling onto the floor of her living room with a grunt.
She wished it was that easy to simply slip into acceptance of her inevitable collegiate venture, but the closer the end of August loomed, the more her sense of foreboding swelled. With the tedious process of applying, consolidating all of her previous credits from high school for the few that transferred to college units, and finally registering for her classes, she felt what little resolve she still carried to keeping her word start to wane.
Still, she found herself idling at the entrance to her building, waiting for the car that would fly her across the country to Barden University where she was about to become a…college student. This all seemed fundamentally backward…
Beca sighed, hitching her bag higher on her shoulder. "I can't believe I'm doing this," she muttered under her breath.
She frowned when she saw Damon hauling a bunch of suitcases that certainly weren't hers at his feet. "You going somewhere?"
"You'll need a driver in Atlanta," Damon pointed out, rolling to a stop beside her. "I know your ass hasn't been behind a wheel in over a year. I'd be scared for people on the road if you even approached the drivers' door."
Beca softened. "Damon, you don't need to do that."
Damon shrugged. "You go, I go, dude. Besides," he flashed a set of straight, white teeth. "You pay better than anyone."
Beca bit her lip. "You sure about this?"
Damon shrugged. "I was an ex-con who couldn't find a decent job. Imagine my surprise when some five foot-nothing little pipsqueak takes a chance on me. I appreciate that. So for as long as you want me around, I'll be here." He grinned. "Like I said, you pay way better than any crazy nine-to-five I would have found myself in…"
Beca frowned, handing her luggage to Damon. "You think I'll be able to survive down there, Damon?"
Damon chuckled, hefting their bags into the car. "Girl, it sounds like you're gonna have to." He tllted his head down to his boss with a wry smirk. "Or you could just do what you always do…"
Beca laughed. "Fuck it all, raise hell, and leave a trail of destruction in my wake?"
Damon shrugged. "Why not? You agreed to finish up college." He winked. "Don't mean you gotta do it quietly…"
Beca thought about that for a second. He did have a point.
A cross-country flight gave Beca a lot of time to think. As the large plane cruised across the bright blue sky at 35,000 feet, Beca leaned back against the plush headrest, losing herself to her thoughts. Her father was right, she did promise her mother that she would at least attempt to finish college. It was a final deal that she promised her mother before Molly Mitchell-Landry succumbed to her long-suffering bout with breast cancer.
Beca sighed heavily, crossing her arms over her chest in one last show of defiance, glaring headily at her father. Warren Mitchell hadn't given her much thought since he had cut and run when Beca was ten, aside from the occasional mandatory visit for a holiday or weekend. But now, as she was mere months away from graduation and had expressed her desire not to go to college, Warren had finally exercised a modicum of his parental obligation and put his foot down.
"You're going to college," Warren insisted, assuming what Beca assumed was a pose of parental authority, thrusting a finger forward, his free hand on his hip.
"No, I'm not. I'm going to be a DJ in LA," Beca snarled, eyes shooting daggers across the room. "You know, you don't get to just come in here and pick and choose when you want to parent me. You can't expect full-time pay with part-time hours."
Her mother cocked an eyebrow from her spot on the hospital bed, warning her silently. From beside her, Art leaned over flicking Beca's ear in admonishment. The teenager flinched, but relaxed her posture.
"C'mon, Mom," Beca whined. "Why do I even need to go? They don't have degrees for DJ-ing."
"You can't expect to get a good job without a degree," Warren insisted.
"You don't need a degree to be a DJ," Beca mumbled.
"I agree with your father," Molly answered. "You do need a degree."
Beca huffed, throwing her head back against the chair. "But I hate school."
"Promise me," Molly insisted. "Promise me you'll at least try and finish."
"What's the point?" Beca challenged. "I'd rather be doing something I loved rather than having this stupid higher education forced on me."
Molly considered that point, surveying her daughter closely. "Is this really want you want to do?" Molly asked. "Do you really believe you can make it as a DJ?"
"Music is my life," Beca answered solemnly. "I need it like I need oxygen. I'm willing to do whatever it takes."
"Oh, come on! Let's not get overdramatic," Warren protested. "Music is a hobby, not a profession."
Beca shot her father a dirty look as she surged up from her seat. "This is coming from someone who reads for a living."
"Okay, okay, you two," Molly raised her voice, cutting through the impending argument. "Back to your corners. Let's talk about this rationally."
Both Beca and Warren grumbled, acquiescing. Warren retreated to the wall adjacent to the door, leaning up against the windowsill. Beca plopped back down on her chair with a muted thump.
"Okay, let's compromise. Here's the deal," Molly leveled a Level-Ten Mom Glare on her daughter. "Four years for four years. You get your four years to go down to LA and do your DJ-ing." Beca let out a whoop of triumph. Molly called out to Beca before her daughter's celebrating completely took her attention away from the rest of the deal.
"But after those four years, you have to go back and get your degree." Molly lofted a hand, pinky extended. "Do we have a deal?"
Beca visibly calmed. She looked into her mother's expectant eyes, the same cornflower blue as her own, and nodded resolutely, wrapping her pinky around Molly's. "Deal."
"Remember you promised me, Rebeca," Molly shook their joined hands. "I don't care if it takes you ten years, you get that degree."
Beca again nodded, her face showing determination. "I will. And when I do it, I'll already be an awesome DJ."
"Wait, wait," Warren spoke up for the first time. "Why can't it be the other way around? Why can't she finish college first? Why let her go gallivanting off to LA first?"
"Warren, you know Beca," Molly challenged. "If she wants to do something whether or not you approve, she will find a way to do it." Molly shot her daughter a wink. "Just look at how many tattoos she thought she could sneak by us. At least this way, she will get some college."
"How do we even know after four years she'll even go back?" Warren argued. "What's this bargain even going to do?"
"I got her agree to go to college," Molly pointed out. "That's further than you got, Warren. She wouldn't even consider the idea. At least this way, she'll eventually get her four years in."
Warren looked to his daughter, the daughter he had never quite understood. For the first time since they had even broached the subject, her cornflower blue eyes were wide with excitement, and she practically vibrated in her seat.
"Fine," he conceded. "But she also has to do an activity and participate in it. I don't care when, but it has to be at least two years. That's my part of the deal."
Beca waved him off, already bouncing in her chair at the thought of pursuing her dream. "Yeah, fine, whatever."
It was a moment of levity, one that didn't last long. Mere days later, Molly was clinging to her last minutes of life, finally succumbing to her illness. Beca sat right by her mother's side, hand tangled in Molly's as though their connection would filter life energy into her mother's waning body.
Art sat beside her, resolutely clinging to his stepdaughter's hand and his wife's. He clenched his jaw, trying not to crumble, serving as the rock for his family.
"I'm scared, Mom," Beca whispered. "Please don't leave us."
Molly smiled. "Don't be scared, baby. I'm with you, no matter what. You just keep your head up, and you keep plugging forward. One step at a time, one day at a time."
Beca bit her lip, the tears threatening to spill over. "What am I gonna do without you?"
"You're gonna be great, Little Bee," her mother promised, cradling her daughter's cheek. "You really want to make music, right?"
Beca nodded emphatically. "Yes."
"Then you promise me that you never let anything or anyone stop you. Don't let anyone hold you back. As long as you love music, you go out there and you go get that dream." Molly tucked a stubborn strand of hair behind Beca's ear. "Just remember to find the music."
Molly looked to Art, another feeble smile crossing her face. "Thank you for giving us a family."
Art sniffed. "Thanks for loving me."
"I love you both. So much."
There was a sense of finality in that statement, the goodbye left not vocalized. The atmosphere shifted, and the sense of premonition swelled from white noise to a deafening roar.
Molly's chest rose and fell raggedly, all of her strength concentrated in the simple task.
The pauses between inhales and exhales lengthened, each intake of breath a little more of a struggle than the one before.
The flat line mocked two of the three occupants from the monitor.
Beca laid her head on her mother's still chest, the other threaded through Art's, and together, they cried.
Beca sighed, wiping away the lone tear that trickled down the curve of her cheekbone. That was a hard memory, one that definitely served as a foundation to her formative years. She was grateful for Art, who had taken guardianship over her.
Beca slid out of the vehicle, Damon following with her bags. She glanced up as she heard her name called, unsurprised her father was waiting for her. Beca smiled tightly as he came to a stop in front of her, a wide smile on his face.
"Didn't know welcome wagon duties came with the PhD," Beca drawled. "Is that on your office door, too?"
Warren shrugged. "To be honest, I wasn't sure you were going to show up."
"Nice to know you have so much faith in me," Beca deadpanned, hefting the all-important bag carrying her laptop over her shoulder. "Gives me all sorts of warm fuzzies."
"I'll show you to your room." Warren stooped down, picking up one of her bags.
"Let me guess, you signed me up for a dorm," Beca drawled.
Warren cocked his head. "Yeah. As a professor, housing benefits are extended to any of my family members who attend Barden."
"I figured." Beca picked up her other bag, turning in the opposite direction. "I appreciate the gesture and that you thought of me, but I'm not going to spend eight months or whatever in some tiny, cramped dorm room. Lucky for me, I have a personal assistant whom I pay extremely well to make sure I'm comfortable." Beca smiled fondly. "God, I love her." She smirked. "So much that I sent her on a vacation for a couple of weeks while I settle in here." Shaking her head, she returned her attention back to the matter at hand. "Anyway, I've already got an apartment."
Warren frowned, but he could do nothing more than redirect his course and follow his daughter and her driver. She led him down a path he had never ventured, knowing that the price range for the apartments were almost disgustingly egregious, even for students who had the cushion of parental wealth. Warren looked around at his surroundings, way too lavish for the average college student. He looked to his daughter, lugging along her bags with her personal chauffeur trailing behind her.
"Huh." Warren dropped the bag in his hand and glanced at the fairly large apartment, already prepared for his daughter. "I didn't know housing even got this big."
Beca shrugged. "It's huge and extremely convenient, so it would cost a normal student an arm and a leg…maybe a couple of toes. But I can afford to pay extra."
"You could have stayed in the dorms," Warren reasoned. "You wouldn't have to pay…"
"Look," Beca cut him off, "I agreed to finish off my end of the deal, but I'm here to finish my degree, not immerse myself in the college experience. I don't need that." She waved a hand absently towards the second bedroom where her equipment was already set up. "In case you've forgotten, I still do have a career that's not gonna stop because I'm here. I'm gonna need space to work in between classes, and that's not happening with some dour-faced, nerd-extreme glaring at me from the other side of the room because I'm playing with five different tracks, none of which are Brahms and Beethoven."
Warren lofted his hands up in surrender. "Fine."
"Now if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go do…whatever." Beca rotated, calling back over her shoulder to her father. "The door locks when you close it."
"Don't forget the other end of the deal," Warren reminded her as she stormed away.
Beca stopped in her tracks, rotating slowly. She leveled an impressive glare at her father. "What other end of the deal?"
"You promised to get involved in one school activity." Warren hitched a thumb over his shoulder.
"When did I ever agree to that?" Beca protested.
"I'm pretty sure you tuned me out the moment I started talking," Warren remarked wryly. "But you did. If you join a club and actually participate," he bargained. "I might be a little more lax. I might be okay in letting you go back to LA after the year instead of making you finish."
Beca's eyes narrowed. "You do realize I could just up and leave, right? If I really wanted to I could just say 'Screw you' and walk out."
"You could," Warren conceded. "But you won't."
One eyebrow inched steadily upward in the silent challenge. "And why not?"
Warren shrugged. "Look, I know how much your mother meant to you. I know that when you said you'd do something for her that you meant it. Maybe it's not exactly ethical that I'm holding that over you, but you're not giving me much to work with."
Inwardly, Beca cursed, throwing a tantrum worthy of the world's most immature child. She hated that her father had something to hold over her head. She hated that the record he held hostage meant so much to her. Most of all, she hated how he was right. She had made that promise to her mother. It was one of the last conversations they had together before Molly passed away.
Outwardly, Beca feigned her disinterest. No use in showing her hand, after all. "Alright, fine. I'll start looking for something."
Warren smiled winningly. "Excellent. Lucky for you, the activities fair is right across campus. We have a couple of competitive singing groups you could join."
"Yeah," Beca scoffed, tromping out the door. "Because amateur collegiate teams would risk their eligibility by taking on an already paid professional."
Chloe Beale stood in front of the meticulously-crafted Barden Bella's booth, an armful of flyers tucked against her forearm, casually scanning the masses. She had donned a modest dress and heels with the hope she projected the wholesome, traditional image the Bellas were known for. She expected it would attract the types of girls that usually made up their group…girls who had hopefully not ventured on YouTube recently.
So far…no such luck.
Those damn Trebels…
Her eyes zeroed in on a petite brunette simply oozing with equal parts swagger and apathy. She wasn't a physically dominating presence – she had to be barely over five feet tall, but there was just something about her. How she tried to blend into the crowd…but failed miserably. Chunky headphones hung from around her neck as she swiveled and cornflower blue eyes lined heavily in black scanned the booths with a disinterested leer as her heavy boots took her lazily through the fair. Chloe cocked an eyebrow as she recognized the brand; those were an expensive pair, way too expensive to be worn so carelessly from the neck.
Immediately, she knew Aubrey would hate her, taking in the girl's careless slouch, the alternative-style clothing, her heavy makeup, the tattoos sprinkling over her pale skin, and the multitude of piercings – Oh, sweet Bella, was that a spike in one ear? – but there was just something that was drawing Chloe's attention to the way the girl seemed to part the masses. Chloe was certain the girl had no idea how every eye turned towards her in her wake, but it was that something, that star quality they so desperately needed, that forced Chloe to point her out to Aubrey.
"No," Aubrey immediately shut down the idea. "She's definitely too alternative for us."
"I don't know," Chloe pursed her lips thoughtfully, unable to tear her gaze from the approaching girl. "There's something about her." Before Aubrey could voice her objection again, Chloe had stepped forward, catching the other girl's attention.
"Hi! Any interest in joining our music group?"
So far, Beca's venture through the activities fair had been widely disappointing. Wandering through the booths, she hadn't found anything worth joining. There had been a " Barden DJ" booth, but that, apparently was for the Deaf Jews society.
She was about a half-step from turning around and heading back to her apartment when a bright, perky voice interrupted her inner musings.
"Hi! Any interest in joining our music group?"
Beca turned her head, meeting vivid blue eyes. Like a beacon, they drew her in, taking her feet across the pathway right in front of a pretty redhead clad in a modest blue dress that made her baby blue eyes pop. Beca surveyed the woman in front of her, all full of endearing, bubbly charm, highlighted with a bright, beaming smile. She could see the redhead's taller, blonde counterpart eyeing her with barely disguised disgust and she smirked.
"Depends," Beca drawled. "What would I be doing?" She cocked an eyebrow, a twinkle in her eyes. "I mean, aside from spending time with such enchanting company."
"We're a competitive a cappella group," the redhead to her right explained, fighting the flattered blush from appearing on her cheeks.
"Award-winning and certainly the best Barden has to offer," the blonde cut in haughtily. "We perform with the goal of reaching the national competition in New York."
Beca nodded slowly. "Interesting." She tilted her head. "So we're not talking accompanying background music or anything?"
"Nope! We don't use instruments," the redhead enthused. "It's just from our mouths."
Beca's smirk broadened as she unabashedly ran an appreciative gaze up and down the redhead's attractive figure, her attentions rewarded with a slight blush. "Just from your mouth, huh?" Beca winked again. "Sounds like a useful talent."
"Useful?" Again, the blonde cut in, indignant that such an innuendo would be inserted in relation to a cappella. "We are the cornerstone of everything great and noble about the Barden tradition!"
Beca recoiled slightly at the blonde's emphatic statement. "Yikes, easy there, Turbo. Pump your breaks before innocents get run over."
"Sorry," the redhead apologized for her friend. "Aubrey's devotion tends to override her filter."
Beca shrugged, her attention focused more on the redhead than the crazy blonde. "No worries."
The blonde, Aubrey, huffed. "Chloe, you're obviously wasting your time. I'm gonna go mingle, see if anyone looks promising." Without another glance, the blonde turned on her heel and stormed away.
"Sorry," the redhead – Chloe – apologized again. "She's just…intense about this whole thing."
Beca shook her head. "No big deal. I understand her passion, I guess."
Chloe extended a flyer. "Our auditions are tomorrow if you would like to attend."
"Sorry, I don't even sing, so…" The girl let her statement hang as she punctuated it with an indifferent shrug.
Chloe couldn't fight the disappointment from creeping into her tone. "I'm sorry to hear that. It was nice meeting you…"
"Beca," Beca supplied. "I'll be sure to try and catch a performance, see how good you are with that mouth." With a final wink, she backed away from the booth.
"See you around."
"Bye." Chloe watched the girl – Beca – depart, her intrinsic swagger drawing Chloe's eyes to the tiny girl's hips. Biting her lip, hoping the flush wasn't evident in her cheeks, she returned her attention to other students milling around, hoping to find another potential candidate.
Aubrey appeared at her elbow, looking no more optimistic than when she left. "Is she auditioning?"
Chloe shook her head. "No, she doesn't sing."
Aubrey feigned disappointment. "Darn…"
Chloe, unfortunately, did not share in Aubrey's lack of enthusiasm. She bit her lip, watching Beca's tousle-locked brunette head weave through the crowd. For some reason, she should shake the feeling that they had missed out on something extraordinary.
Beca continued on through the activities fair, nothing particularly captivating her interest. She eased down onto a bench, securing her headphones over her ears. Losing herself in the music, Beca simply tilted her head back, letting it all simmer around her.
It was a different sort of hustle and bustle than in the city, she noticed. The atmosphere in LA was an almost controlled chaos, a myriad of noise and lights with way too many people crammed in a relatively small area fighting one another to arrive at respective destinations way too far away. There was a sort of comfort in LA, a familiarity in knowing which freeways were going to be the worst at what time and the types of people she knew she was going to encounter on her weekly visits to the studio or to the record company's corporate headquarters.
This was…just chaos. Barden University was a veritable chasm of constant movement. It was easy to spot the freshmen from the upperclassmen. Freshmen kept their heads on an invariable swivel, attempting to take in as much of the campus as possible while at the same time attempting to feign familiarity with their surroundings. In contrast, the upperclassmen moved almost on autopilot, navigating through the crush of students with the cool indifference of those who had been there, done that.
Beca jolted upright with a start, feeling a foot impact with her outstretched legs, spilling a dark-haired guy to the ground. She slipped her headphones down to around her neck leaning over to help the guy up. "Whoa, dude! I'm sorry."
The guy waved her off but accepted her hand, hauling himself to his feet. "No, my fault…Oh, you gotta be kidding me!"
Beca let out an uncharacteristic squeal as she gazed into the now-matured face of the childhood best friend she hadn't seen in over ten years. "No way! Jesse Evans?!"
"What?! Bee Sting Beca Mitchell in the flesh!" Jesse yanked her to her feet and snatched Beca up in a fierce embrace twirling her around.
Beca grinned, accepting his bear hug. "You go here? How did I not know this?"
Jesse laughed as he released her, plopping down on the bench beside her. "It's not like it ever came up in the random messages…you know, once I actually got your email address and not the generic stuff from your website."
Beca grinned. "Had to make sure you weren't a crazy." She leaned in, bumping him with a shoulder. "I get those nowadays, you know."
"I always wondered what happened when you and your mom moved away to the east coast," Jesse remarked. "Imagine my surprise about ten years later, I see your face plastered all over Rolling Stone…"
"Hey, keep it down," Beca reached out, punching him in the shoulder. "I'm trying to keep a low profile."
"So what are you doing here?" Jesse propped an ankle on his opposite knee. "I mean, I know your dad teaches here, I've actually had a couple of his classes…but…" He shrugged. "It's not like you need to go to college or anything."
"Yeah…" Beca's head lolled back against the back of the bench. "I'm just making sure I follow through on a promise I made my mom before she…" Beca trailed off.
"Yeah…" Jesse tugged absently at his earlobe. "I heard about that."
A corner of Beca's mouth quirked morosely. "I got your card."
"I'm sorry," he offered.
Beca nodded. "Thanks."
"So…" Jesse cleared his throat. "Seriously, what are you doing here?"
Beca smirked wryly. "I go here."
Jesse looked absolutely thunderstruck at that admission. "Why?"
She sighed, nodding slowly. "That's a great question."
Jesse opened his mouth to pursue the subject when a shout of his name caught his attention. Jesse's head craned back, and he saw a group of his friends waving him over from across the lawn. He lofted a finger in acknowledgment before turning back to Beca. "I've gotta go. I'll catch you soon?"
Beca nodded. "Give me your number. We'll hang out."
Jesse fished his phone from his pocket, punching in Beca's number as she recited it to him. He stood, giving her another hug. "I'll give you a call later in the week?"
Beca smiled. "Sounds good."
Jesse grinned. "See you, Bee."
Without much left to do in her day, Beca made her way to the student wellness center to get a workout in. It gave her something monotonous to do to escape the wide range of emotions currently flowing through her as she came into contact with so many different aspects of her past. Mounting a treadmill in the corner, she cued up one of her many workout playlists, set her speed, and started to move.
Honestly, she hated running…with a stark, burning passion. However, constant performances surprisingly required a lot of endurance, especially on tour, so she had gotten into the habit of eating right, limiting her alcohol intake – even when the temptation to do otherwise was readily available – and doing a forty five-minute cardio session at least twice a week.
Her feet moved at a constant rhythm, matching the beat pulsing through the modest earbuds. Beca moved with a singular purpose, powering through her workout, oblivious to the attention she was getting from the other Barden students.
It was practically one of the few regimented aspects of her life: Forty-five minutes at a six mile-per-hour clip, then five minutes of a cool down at a brisk walk. Fifty minutes, total. For as much, some of her best mixes came from an idea that sparked a flame during a workout, the almost mindless activity allowing her time to think. And, unfortunately, being at Barden caused her thoughts to drift to the father who walked out of her life when she was ten.
Beca had never felt as though her father understood her. His world existed on two dimensions: the world within his kingdom of Portland State University and the world within the series of books that constituted his given courses. That being said, Beca guessed she wasn't surprised her father had strayed to a woman who worked with him at the university and was now expecting a child with her.
Beca glared as the yellow cab her father climbed into reversed out of their driveway. Warren didn't even look back, merely climbed into the backseat. She glanced sideways at her mother as Molly plopped down beside her on the porch step.
"Why doesn't he want us?" Beca asked, the disgust clear in her voice. "Why aren't we good enough?"
"It's not that he doesn't want us…" Molly hedged.
Beca shot her a disbelieving look, one eyebrow cocked.
Molly sighed. "He was just…" Molly struggled for words. To be honest, Warren Mitchell lived in a very narrow universe. Things that didn't fit into his universe were often dismissed. Unfortunately, as time wore on, it seemed that neither Molly nor Beca fit.
"He just wasn't thinking about us."
Beca scoffed. That certainly wasn't new. It seemed like her father put all his effort and affection into his job and those stupid books. Didn't seem to leave much for them.
Beca's cornflower blue eyes blazed with indignant fire, and Molly sighed again inwardly. She knew right then her daughter had traversed into an arena Molly idealistically wished Beca would remain ignorant. Life had taught her a very tough lesson at a very young age. Sometimes, people leave and sometimes, the ones who were supposed to stick around were the ones that disappointed you the most. Looking at her daughter, hunched on the porch step, watching her father's cab disappear around the corner, Molly desperately wished her daughter didn't have to see this side of love.
Beca's gaze grew fiercer, burning with resolute determination. "Well, I don't want him. We don't need him."
Molly smiled sadly. No, they didn't need him, but she would have never wanted her daughter to harbor those feelings of resentment to her father, as selfish as he was. Still, no matter what, she vowed to make sure Beca never felt unwanted again.
"No, Bumblebee, we don't need him." Molly held up her hand, pinky extended. "Just you and me."
Beca nodded decisively, wrapping her pinky around Molly's. "Just you and me."
It wasn't long after that day Warren took a job at Barden, moving to Atlanta while Molly and Beca left Oregon for Brooklyn, New York to be closer to Molly's family on the east coast. As she ensconced herself in her father's university, Beca was well aware that a lot of her reluctance to return to school was rooted in the deep-seeded daddy issues from her childhood. For the longest time, she had such a negative connotation with college, attributing the institution with everything that resulted in her father's abandonment. And now, surrounded by all the little nuances that quite literally caused her father to stray in so many ways, Beca couldn't help but feel that resentment fuel so much of her current attitude.
As the last chords of "Titanium" by David Guetta, featuring Sia faded into silence, signaling the end of her workout, Beca slowed her tempo to a walk before an eventual stop. She braced her hands on the railings, catching her breath before she snatched her towel from the left railing. Beca mopped her face and took a swig of water as she climbed down from the treadmill. Taking a moment to steady herself – that first step off was always a bit unsettling – Beca took a deep, cleansing breath and headed to the showers.
Clearing her mind, Beca trumped into the communal showers, stripping down and stepping into the small tile stall, absently humming to herself.
Nothing to lose, fire away, fire away
Ricochet, you take your aim, fire away, fire away
You shoot me down, but I won't fall, I am titanium
"You can sing!"
Beca jumped with a shriek at the unexpected voice wafting in behind her. She whirled, finding luminous blue eyes beaming excitedly in her direction, recognizing the redhead from the activities fair. "Dude!"
"How high does your belt go?"
"About as high as the scream I'm desperately holding back." Beca knew the serious answer to that question, but she was much more preoccupied with the sight in front of her. She was used to naked females barging into her shower, but normally there was a pre-established level of familiarity. She never had a practical stranger stand before her so unashamedly.
Said stranger merely took another step into the stall, unconcerned as Beca shrunk into the corner in a futile attempt to preserve her modesty. "You have to join the Bellas."
Beca fought to keep her eyeline at a respectable level. It was difficult. Perky breasts, a trim waist, washboard abs, and long, slender legs were ready for her perusal if she would just drop her gaze.
Pull it together, Mitchell. Don't be that perv, she chastised her inner teenaged boy. "I can't concentrate on anything you're saying until you cover your junk," Beca choked out instead, desperately trying to keep the leer from her voice.
"Just consider it," the redhead insisted. "One time, we sang backup for Prince."
That was charming. The Artist Formerly Known As An Unpronounceable Symbol had begged her for months to collaborate on a track. Unfortunately, he had to take a backseat to a recording session with Queen featuring Adam Lambert. What could she say? In any royal hierarchy, especially the royal hierarchy of all things rock and roll, a Queen would trump a Prince any day. Besides, she had a serious weakness for all things Freddie Mercury…may he rest in peace in the Great Wembley Stadium in the Sky. Shaking herself from the thought, Beca remembered her current state of undress and the current state of undress of her companion. "Seriously…not that I mind the view…but I'm nude."
Turning her back did nothing to dissuade the odd redhead who seemed to have no sense of personal boundaries as she inched even closer into the stall. "You were singing 'Titanium', right?"
That caught Beca's interest, and she glanced over her shoulder. Hmmm, slight twist. She wasn't aware a cappella people were even cognizant of music from the twenty-first century. "You know David Guetta?"
"Have I been living under a rock? Yeah. That song is my jam." Chloe bobbed her head. "My lady jam."
Beca let out a bark of laughter, the innuendo clear in the redhead's words and gesture. "That's nice…"
"It is. That song really builds." She punctuated the statement with a wink.
The visual immediately flooded every inch of her mind, sending the heat from her face plummeting down her body to pool low in her belly. Whatever comment had flashed in her brain dissipated before it could be expelled from her mouth.
Beca was so caught up in the visual that she almost didn't hear the next question. "Can you sing it for me?"
That took her aback. "Dude, no." The fact that she was naked and the girl seriously invading her personal space had just subtly hinted to the true nature of the song was a little too much for Beca to handle at once. "Get out!"
"Not for that reason," she persisted. "I'm not leaving until you sing, so…"
Beca hefted out a heavy sigh, succumbing to the inevitable. She had no doubt the perky redhead would do just that. Opening her mouth, she let her voice push through her embarrassment.
Nothing to lose, fire away, fire away
The girl had picked up with her on the second line of the verse, melding her voice with Beca's. Immediately, Beca was impressed on how quickly the redhead established their tonal differences and took the higher harmony. Beca straightened, an invisible force drawing her closer to her unwitting companion, as though the power of the song was laying the foundations of an irresistible connection.
Ricochet, you take your aim, fire away, fire away
You shoot me down, but I won't fall, I am titanium
She was talented, Beca surmised as she locked eyes with the redhead. The girl – Chloe! That was the name the bitchy blonde had used at the activities fair – definitely had a beautiful voice, a light, lilting soprano with an almost delicate resonance. She could tell the Chloe's strength was in her higher register and her ability to sustain it. As the last note rang through the admittedly impressive acoustics of the shower, Beca could feel the electricity pass between them, a potent connection that almost vibrated with its power…
…Then she remembered she was naked in a shower with a near stranger.
Chloe must have picked up on the shifting tension between them – and the fact that Beca's eyes briefly broke the unspoken pact of solidarity against the teenage boy in her trying to fight its way out in the presence of a hot, naked woman; yeah, alright, she looked – and took a step back.
"Oh, yeah, I'm pretty confident about," Chloe gestured to her body, "all this."
A corner of Beca's mouth quirked upward. "You should be." Her smirk widened. "I really don't mind the view, but I'm trying to make sure chivalry doesn't completely become extinct."
Chloe grinned. "I appreciate your efforts to protect my modesty."
Beca broke out the big, puppy dog eyes, nodding solemnly. "It's a real challenge."
Chloe remembered that her shower-mate didn't share the same level of comfort in her nudity, evident in the flush that was trickling down to Beca's collarbone. "Oh!" She reached behind her, plucking Beca's towel from the rack just outside the curtain. "Here."
Grateful for some cover, Beca tucked the towel beneath her armpits. "Thanks."
Chloe waggled her fingers, flouncing out of the stall. "See you at auditions!"
Beca chuckled, shaking her head as the redhead exited her shower. What the hell did she just get herself into?
She tilted her head as she followed the swaying hips retreating back to another still.
Beca trumped back into her apartment and plopped down on the couch. Slinging her gym bag onto the floor, she pulled out her phone and saw she had a missed call from her best friend back in LA. Sliding her thumb across the screen, she activated the call and raised the phone to her ear. As the call connected, Beca flipped on her television, mindlessly flicking through the viewing guide for anything interesting. It wasn't long before the loud, boisterous voice rang through the speaker.
"Yo, B. Mitch! How's it down south? You plowing your way through some Georgia plains? Enjoying some good ole southern hospitality? Drowning yourself in some homegrown Georgia peach juice?" The voice lowered to a conspiratorial whisper. "They say those southern belles are just looking for an uncouth Yankee to sweep them off their feet."
Beca let out a delighted bark of laughter. "What the hell am I gonna do without you, Jules?"
"Jules," known to more polite company as Julianne Avery, mirrored the laugh, and Beca could see her shrug on the other line in her mind's eye. "Dunno, B, and I'm not sure I'm up to a trip down to the Dirty South…not after the Mardi Gras trip of 2011. I'm preeetty sure I left a part of my liver back in the Big Easy."
Jules was the creative yin to Beca's yang, her frequent co-producer and best friend. Where Beca was the talent, Jules was the business, and the combination of their strengths, supplemented by their ambition to take the music world by storm had resulted in Beca's three studio albums – all certified multi-platinum, thank you very much. In the four years they had worked together, Jules and Beca had built quite an impressive résumé and discography between them.
"So are you alive?"
Beca huffed out a snort, idly changing channels to some entertainment show. "Just barely."
"You piss off your dad yet?"
"Only took me five minutes," Beca informed her proudly.
"See anyone naked yet? Some luscious lady lover looking for a little slice of the rich and famous DJ Lady B?"
Beca cocked her head, chuckling to herself. "Now that you mentioned it, yeah. Some girl barged into my shower."
"Awesome. Did you do her?"
"Oh my God, you are such a perv," Beca accused fondly. "If I didn't know any better, I'd say you need to get laid."
"Psh," Jules dismissed that idea succinctly. "Well did you?"
"No." Beca considered her point. "She was attracted to my awesome singing voice and wanted to recruit me for her a cappella group. She was hot though."
"You gonna join?"
"Dunno if I can. Might be cheating, you know?"
"They're probably lame," Jules reasoned.
"They could be good," Beca felt the need to defend.
"Maybe…" There was a pause, and Beca could practically hear the smirk in Jules's voice. "Are you gonna do her?"
Beca sighed, leaning back against the cushions of her couch, her legs extended out and propped up against the coffee table. "She doesn't seem like the type I could just…"
"Hump and dump?"
Beca rolled her eyes. "Dude, seriously, you have the narrowest of one-track minds."
"Part of my charm," Jules declared. She quickly returned to the matter at hand. "But, really…"
"No," Beca answered after a long while. Her head tilted back, nestling more comfortably against the couch cushions. Her thoughts drifted to Chloe. Not to that last, highly distracting encounter, but to their first encounter and how Chloe's big, baby blues had drawn her in from all the way across the fair. A lot of things about the redhead seemed to be categorized as bright from her hair, to her smile, to those magnetic, blue spheres. She seemed to be that sort of person with the most vivacious and effervescent of personalities. The bleakness of life had yet to yank the optimism out of those eyes.
"She's not that type." Beca ran a hand through her hair. She was sure she knew the type of girl Chloe was, the type that looked for the relationship with long-term goals in mind. Idly, Beca wondered if the redhead had ever experienced a one-night stand. Shaking her head, Beca vanished the tantalizing visual.
"She's the…forever type."
Jules was silent for a long while. "Yeah, that's scary."
Beca sighed. "Tell me about it." She tipped over to lie fully atop the couch, her eyes fixated on the ceiling of her apartment. "Jules?"
"I don't know if I'm gonna survive this place."
And there we go! I hope you all enjoyed the first chapter. Up next, Beca settles in to her new digs, and some Bellas conspire to bring their set to the present century.
Okay, so in doing research on ICCA, mostly since I was unsure of whether the Beca of this universe would be able to compete with the Bellas, this is what was posted on their eligibility requirements:
Groups must consist of permanent, full-time, full-fledged participants who are full-time students enrolled at your school or university. Exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis and will take into account the academic enrollment status of the member in question as well as the individual school's policy for participation in registered student organizations. Please contact headquarters with membership questions.
So, by those rules, I would imagine that Beca would be able to compete with the Bellas…but I would also imagine Beca would probably be an exception considering the nature of her career. If anyone knows more on this matter – or if my assumption is just completely off base – let me know, I definitely wouldn't want the fic to be inaccurate. =P
Let me know what you think here or on Twitter and Tumblr. Much thanks to the other half of the team, CJ (CJersey82), for the beta-work. The song used at the beginning of this chapter is "Let Go" by Tinie Tempah
Until next time!