She really didn't want to be that type of teenager.

The one with the grudges, and the bitterness, and the over-inflated sense of righteousness. And yet, despite her best attempts, she was all of those things.

The taxi was a jab, the I just wanted to say 'stepmonster' a spit, the perpetual anger a red flag. And yet she couldn't help it. How many teenagers (including the righteous and the bitterly grudging) had such strong ideas of what they wanted to do with their lives? Of who they wanted to be?

To have that robbed of her (robbed was the word her bitterness chose; temporarily postponed was probably more accurate) by a late facsimile of a father figure, one with an alien cologne and an increasingly creased face, was infuriating. Cue the sense of righteous indignation.

Because how dare he?

The how dare he was never explicitly verbalised (because she was upsettingly used to the absence of conversation) but her music reflected it, those first few weeks. Sweeping orchestral pieces with an irate bass, rock sharpened until it positively screeched its presence to the cavernous space between drum beats.

Kimmy Jin was probably right to dislike her. Because of the grudges and the bitterness and the over-inflated sense of righteousness.

Beca was sharp, and she was prickly, and she was caustically cynical in the face of all optimism. A yikes here, an eyeroll there, a nasty twist of the lips just to watch a smile falter.

For god's sake, she didn't take out her ear spike while showering. Clinging to a style, a look, an identity while naked was probably pretty indicative of the fact that she wasn't as sure of herself as she tried to believe. She can see that, now. Identity isn't telling someone who you are, visually or audibly or through social media. Identity is showing it.

Actions speak louder than words, and a cliche is a cliche for a reason. Certainly not because it goes around telling other linguistic tics it's a cliche.

Audrey was probably right in showing reticence, because Beca was one of those teenagers. The music could get through the grudges and the bitterness, but the righteousness? Still all there, baby. Maybe even more so, after having front row seats to the show How Not To Run An A Capella Group Lest You Lose. And, remember, Beca was one of those teenagers. She thought she had the identity down pat, and the dreams, and that the only thing holding her back was everybody else. So of course she could do better.

Or not.

The first time she felt guilty about her stunt wasn't when Audrey was yelling (because she was the mistaken one in this piece, and Beca was infinitely more suited to any sort of musical opinion) but when Chloe's eyebrows lowered and her lips twisted for the first time in a manner that wasn't hopeful or determined or happy to see her. They were sad, and hurt, and suddenly Beca felt like a major aca-villain.

Chloe, who showed who she was, incessantly. At first Beca thought it was some sort of meticulously painted on facade, like a coat of nail polish or a fine layer of concealer. Because, seriously, how did she exist?

Chloe, who wore her heart on her sleeve despite the spikes and prickles and lip twisting that went on around her, by those types of teenagers. By Beca.

So naturally Beca yelled at her. Because feeling like the villain was aca-uncomfortable, and she really didn't want to lose that righteousness.

Especially when she was wrong.

So she visited her dad. Because he had borne the brunt of the bitterness, and the grudges, and the righteousness over the last 4 years. And maybe he could teach her how to bear some of it.

Actions speak louder than words, he said.

She turned up at the Bellas practice, after that slightly stilted text from Chloe about the Footnotes (Chloe, who couldn't hide how she felt if she tried, and especially when trying), with the intention of showing them she was sorry. Turned out, in her case, showing them required some words. But they worked. And maybe everyone also wanted to get away from the stench of vomit.

The Finals celebration was immense. There was more hugging than Prickly Beca was used to, and maybe, because actions speak louder than words, she kissed Chloe.

AN: This is very awks, but yay for repetition.