Chapter 1: Day Two at the Station
It's day two, and Beca could not wonder more why she is even sticking around at the station. For a place that plays music round the clock, stacking disordered CD's and arranging vinyl with a total nerd is not exactly very musical.
Sure, this Jesse guy seems okay, if not really goofy, and really not subtle. Beca isn't sure how to peg him at first; he could be one of those really fantastic actors who seems all sweet and all sticky as candy, but who runs away after getting a piece of the action. Boy, is she familiar with those. Gotta remember not to encourage him.
She enters the station and proceeds out back straightaway, putting on her patented I-don't-give-a-fuck-so-don't-talk-to-me face.
"Hey," Jesse greets her as he reaches up to place a vinyl in the top shelf.
She eyebrows his presence and gives a half-second smile, just to acknowledge, as she slumps her bag on the table and absently reaches for the box of random CD's and other fixables.
"So, you know, if usual greetings aren't your thing, I could totally roll with it. Just say the word, and I will change my daily 'hey' to a bark, a siren, a bird call, if you're into that kind of thing." Beca mentally admires how he is able to keep a straight face while saying that sentence. But she only shoots him a look. Not a particularly threatening one, but more of a reply.
"Hi," she emphasizes, complete with a mildly plastic smile.
"Ouch," Jesse says, suddenly grasping his heart like someone just staked him. "Your sarcasm is so strong, you know that?"
"Thanks, I got it from my mom." Beca doesn't try very hard to mask her amusement this time. He's a dork; there is no other word for it. Things proceed silently for a beat, before she speaks up so as not to seem like such an ice cold bitch.
"So," she starts. "You're early today."
"Yeah, I didn't have to jog all the way from the labs today. Professor didn't show."
"Really. What a douche."
"Oh, I disagree. I thought that was very nice of him, letting me come here early so that I can greet you when you came in." He gives her that warm smile that he's so good at, and Beca can't help but think that he might be sincere.
Just then, Luke comes out of the booth.
"Great, you're both here. So, I wasn't able to give a basic overview last time because of all the CD's that had piled up, but in any case, I'm doing it today. Since you already know rule number one, several other things you should…"
As Beca and Jesse listen to Luke give a few basics ("No nudity, parties, or friends over. No beer. No funky stuff."), Beca takes note of her fellow intern, taking him in from her periphery. Tall, okay-looking. Alright, so maybe a little more than okay. Plaid. Laid back. Nice arms, though.
As soon as Beca's eyes lock with Jesse's for the briefest of moments, however, Jesse's focused concentration on Luke falls to the wayside to give her a really fast, really sneaky side smile, as though saying I knew you couldn't resist giving me a side glance right now.
"Wha—sorry what was that?"
"I was saying that you don't want to get caught drinking here. There's a door out back, so you never know who'll pop up."
"Got it," she replies. Jesse is just smiling to himself.
"Alright, so I'll leave you two… interns to figure the rest out. Also, Jesse, I'll need you to get my lunch."
"Oh—kay." After a few questioning looks just to make sure Luke wasn't kidding, Jesse takes out a pad and paper.
Who the hell keeps a pad and paper on them? Beca supresses her insultingly incredulous face.
"So, what'll it be, boss?"
"Cheeseburger, always. Double patty, extra large Coke. From the diner near Michael Hall."
"Would you like fries with that?" But Luke had already turned around and is heading back to the booth. Beca is finding it harder to keep suppressing an insulting laugh.
"What?" Jesse turns to her, placing the pen on his ear. She merely shakes her head, lips pursed, determined to hold judgment on this dork until she knows better. Going back to stacking, she feels him smile at her as he turns away to get the first of the many burgers that he would be getting Luke.
By the second week, Beca has fallen into a comfortable routine with her work, studies, and social life, which involves going to work, not going to school, and avoiding as many people as possible. Still upset about having to give up L.A. for a load of crap, she holds on to her music to keep her sane during the hours she decides to skip classes, just for the hell of it.
Going to work gradually became a little more than okay, as she discovers that her fellow intern can keep her partially entertained, all while she is able to maintain a professional cool akin to not giving a shit.
"So, I was thinking, maybe you should, you know, talk this time, especially since for the past week and ever since we've been spending this much alone time together, you have basically ignored me," Jesse tries one Tuesday. Just when she doesn't reply, the ambient radio noise suddenly plays a tune that Beca happens to love.
Jesse, being more familiar with Beca's nonchalance, immediately notices her swaying ever so slightly at the "Ho, Hey" of the song. So he, of course, starts to hum a bit of the verse from behind one of the shelves.
I've been trying to do it right. I've been living a lonely life…
If Beca had initially thought this guy was such a nerd and totally queerballs, she seems to forget about her previous judgment as she sees him humming about his business, oblivious to the fact that he has caught her attention by going along with the tune. She tries not to stare.
I don't know where I belong. I don't know where I went wrong…
Luke pops his head out of the booth.
"Hey. What's up?" She turns around to face him. She stopped correcting him about her name by now.
"I got your message, by the way. You can take leave tomorrow. Just letting you know."
"—Kay. Cool. Thanks."
With a nod and a smile, Luke's back inside. Just when Beca is collecting her thoughts back to work, she hears the lead singer of the song a little bit louder than she anticipates.
"I don't think you're right for him. Think of what it might have been, if you. Took a bus to Chinatown—" Jesse suddenly sings from behind one of the shelves. Beca is immediately taken aback, though she shows less than half of her amusement. His voice is pure gold. She had no idea. She watches him while absent-mindedly placing and replacing a random stack of CD's somewhere on the table.
"She'll be standing next to me," Jesse tunes. His voice, my god…
His gaze meets hers come the chorus.
"I belong with you, you belong with me, my sweetheart," Jesse smiles at her, not really wanting to ruin the moment. He does nothing more than sing and swing to the beat.
Somewhere, down at the bottom of her stomach, she feels flattered. Oh come on, who wouldn't? She tries hard not to show more than mild amusement, but she is seriously fascinated by this young man in front of her, stacking CD's and singing with a voice that made goosebumps on her skin.
When he gets a little more animated and starts swinging more than necessary, Beca decides that this man is not a possible asshole/drunkard/serial killer. He is 100%, pure, wholesome weirdo, no preservatives added. People like him have their own little world, and Beca will do her best to steer clear away from his future shenanigans.
"I belong with you, you belong with me, my sweet," Jesse finishes with a huge smile and meaningful eyes directed at her. She shakes her head at him.
"So, I take it you like The Lumineers," he quips as he goes back to the table to get more CDs.
"They're cool," she tries for nonchalance. She's not sure if she accomplished it. If he thought she's trying too hard, he doesn't show it.
"You need help with that random pile of CDs you happen to stack on top of each other?"
"No, no. I got it," she says, confident as hell and returning his smile, as she gathers up her stack, along with her pride, and goes to a shelf where she can self-meditate and collect the cool she left all over the floor when he started singing the song to her.
At me. No, not even. He was just singing, a small voice carried on her inner musings.
The lights are on, but you're not home…
It's the following Thursday, and Beca grooves to the smooth sound of Florence + The Machine as she hears them through her massive headphones while rolling the tray of vinyl and CDs along. She doesn't notice Jesse come in and watch her from behind, a grin spread across his face as she subconsciously sways her hips to the extremely catchy "Addicted to Love".
Which is why, when she turns around, she nearly jumps out of her skin at the sight of a grinning Jesse.
"Fuck! How long have you been there?" She quickly composes herself as she lowers her headphones. Nothing to be embarrassed about. He's just a nerd, no worries. You were just dancing by yourself, so what? No one cares.
"Me? Oh no, I just got here." He doesn't even hide the goofy grin he has as he bites his lower lip out of complete and utter amusement. He makes no move to get to work, just stands there.
"Yeah, well, get to work, dork," she counters defensively, suddenly aware of her CD-stacking movements. She doesn't put her headphones back on, she just lets the music play. She is not about to be caught off guard like that again. He joins her, and they stack silently for a while, even though he is evidently holding back a grin.
"That's some really great hip movement you got there."
He is silent for a beat, but he just can't resist.
"So you take classes for that or—"
"I swear to god, I will punch you."
"Okay, whoa. Easy, Hillary baby."
"Don't call me 'baby'," she stops to glare, dead serious. He opens his mouth for an explanation, but her massive headphones suddenly start leaking Adele's Skyfall.
"Oh hey!" he points to her headphones. "You have the new track. Have you seen?"
She is completely lost. "Seen what?"
Just then, Luke comes out with a new box of things that should be in their proper places. Beca's eyes are drawn to the fact that this heavy box is flexing Luke's muscles a little more than she would like to notice. She also notices Jesse, who, from her periphery, seems to notice her appreciation for Luke's workouts, whatever that is.
"Hey man, you need help with that?" Jesse asks, just as Luke is about place the box on the far end of the table, the cleaner end.
"No, I've got it. So, this is a new box of junk that you guys will have to..."
Jesse can't help but shift his attention between what Luke is saying, and how Beca is looking at him. He's not that hot… maybe hotter than him, but so what? Beca's not into him, is she? Wait, is she? He tries to see if anything about Beca would tell him otherwise.
"Jesse? Did you get that?" Luke says as Jesse snaps his gaze away from Beca.
"Yeah, crystal. Got it."
"Alright," Luke answers, unconvinced. "You guys are some of the stranger ones I've gotten." He goes back inside the confines of his booth, but not before noticing Beca's exposed shoulder with the tattoo.
"Thanks," Beca says after him. She turns her attention to Jesse, who happens to be missing his usual stellar smile. She noticed he was staring at her while Luke was talking. Which wasn't creepy, like at all, sarcasm intended. They get to the box filled with work.
"What's up with you?" she asks him after reaching for the first one.
"You were kind of staring at me. It's creepy."
He pauses his work and looks at her straight, all too serious.
"That's because I find you insanely beautiful."
They stand in silence for a moment, before she makes an incredulous face at him, and he let's out a burst of laughter. It's moments like these, these little understandings between them, that makes him love spending time with her.
She makes a face to show her disbelief, because, really. She doesn't believe him, his silly little sarcasms. Even though sometimes, when he pulls off something like this, she wants to.
I own none of the music or the characters herein. Also, I'd like to point out that the first song was mentioned in another Beca/Jesse fic that I happened upon called "I Belong With You, You Belong With Me", by heartsmash.
Finally, a word. This fic would be almost completely made of supposed scenes that the movie would not have been able to include. A lot of the station, maybe the Treble house, and other places. Other pairings. It's all canon-based, so I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Reviews are welcome.
I hope you like it. :)
MUSIC: Ho Hey - The Lumineers; Addicted to Love - as covered by Florence + The Machine; Skyfall - Adele