Notes: So, I'm a little in love with all things Pitch Perfect, and this was written immediately after watching the movie for the first time...because, c'mon, Beca and Chloe would have been a far superior and interesting couple. Not to mention they reminded me quite a bit of me and an old friend of mine... in fact, this story is very much based on us.
This was posted on Tumblr in three parts, but I've merged it into two parts here. The second part should be up relatively soon!
Also, this is Rated M just to be safe... it's pretty light M.
They were hummin' a tune;
The sun and the moon,
They didn't know what to think,
But they were pleased to see these two young souls become mates—
To provide light for a song that was sung right in one take
Because there's no need to rehearse when you and your partner get in the zone
And you can't memorize words you've always known
[Something Grown Together by Flobots]
It starts on a Tuesday night, which is funny, really, because nothing starts on a Tuesday—nothing of worth at least. But there are exceptions to every rule and pre-conceived notion, so it's kind of stupid to ever think in absolutes, isn't it?
But whatever. It starts on a Tuesday when you're lying in Chloe's full (which is big enough for you both to sleep without touching, but you can't remember the a time when you did that), and your head is resting on the redhead's collarbone, just above her heart, maybe, and you're talking about kisses, for some reason, and Chloe whispers to you that she's never kissed a girl, and your head just sort of comes up and…
Okay. So maybe it doesn't really start on a Tuesday night.
Maybe it starts on a Saturday afternoon at an Activities Fair where you catch a pair of blue eyes across a mass of people that crowd in on you and push against your shoulders and you can't believe you left your headphones in your room in your mad rush to get away from Dr. Mitchell, professor extraordinaire (dad extraordinaire, not so much). But anyways, you notice those blue eyes and that red hair and then it's all over because Chloe Beale is talking to you about a cappella and you don't know it yet, but your life has just been quietly derailed. And you're the oblivious passenger, sleeping in your seat, not noticing the bumps and jumps until the train is already halfway down the hill, completely off its tracks.
Or maybe it's on a Wednesday night (Thursday morning?) when those same eyes appear in your goddamn shower, and as captivating as they are, it's a bit difficult to focus on them when every other part of the woman is very much on display.
And then you sing together, and that's it. Because maybe you don't care much for letting people in, but music has always touched at the places of you that you close off with metaphorical gates and walls and moats. And when the clear voice of Chloe Beale is ringing out in that shower stall, it (and the woman behind it) slip in through the back entrance that you hadn't fully realized existed until that moment. Like the girl is music incarnate.
Things happen after that—like things tend to do. You join the Bellas, you leave the Bellas, you join them again. And maybe when you're singing Just a Dream the 'her's and 'she's come out a bit too naturally and maybe they bring to mind blue eyes that flick to yours for the briefest of moments throughout Just The Way You Are. It feels a bit like a love song and not a piece of something that you can break apart and fit back together in a way that's easier and simpler for you to understand.
And if that doesn't scare the hell out of you, then nothing ever has.
But then more things happen, like winning Nationals and kissing Jesse and dating Jesse. And that's just fine, because Jesse is a song that's easy to mix into the soundtrack of your life; the Don't You (Forget About Me) that meshes with your bass line without much effort on your part or his—a lot less effort than adding in high vocals and airy melodies without making it sound stupid and cheap.
It doesn't mean anything when you take a solid week to mash Miley Cyrus and Zeds Dead and Dr. Dre. Or when, during the next week, you pair Titanium with 500 miles and Hysteria. And it definitely doesn't mean anything when they come out as maybe two of the best mashups you've done to date.
But it might mean something when you give the mashes (along with a few others you've been working on throughout the year) to Chloe as a graduation gift.
It also might mean something that when Chloe asks you to share an apartment with her, your smile is not even a little sarcastic or phony. It might mean something that you offer up an almost prayer of heartfelt 'thanks' that she's staying at Barden for grad school, even though you haven't done any sort of communicating with the (potential) guy upstairs since you begged the heavens to put your family back together after your parents split. (And shit, look how at well that had gone).
Even the thought of that time isn't enough to keep the smile away though. Whatever that means.
Living with Chloe means lots of impromptu singing, America's Next Top Model marathons, and an exponential increase in the amount of cuddling in your life. You should mind, but you don't, and you start mixing on the living room couch instead of in your room, because that's where Chloe studies and rests her head on your shoulder and presses her thigh against yours.
That last part takes some getting used to.
It's not that you're uncomfortable with people invading your… okay, yeah, you're uncomfortable with people invading your personal bubble. Touching in a sexual way—that's okay—that you get, but you've never really understood the friendship-related/emotional touching thing. It's always seemed kind of pointless to you, at best, and another form of invasion of privacy at worst. Your family had always limited affection to handshakes and pats on the back, so maybe that's where it comes from, but there's not much of a point in psychoanalyzing the whole thing, because—god—you really, really hate psychology (and isn't that reason enough?).
But Chloe is different because she just keeps… not caring that you never initiate hugs or nudges or hand-holds. She just keeps sitting right next to you on that couch, ignoring the space on the other end that could fit, like, two whole people comfortably. She just keeps smiling sweetly when she presses into your side and asks, 'is this okay?'
And before you know it, you're used to cuddling—cuddling!—or, you're used to cuddling with Chloe, at least, because everyone else still gets your patented 'fuck-off' death glare (which you've been perfecting since age eleven, so it's pretty awesome and pretty effective) when they get just a bit too close.
"Ugh. Look at that! She's such a skank. Let it go, Bre! It's a freaking granola bar!"
There's also that; the whole Chloe-getting-you-to-watch-the-America's-Next-Top-Model-marathons thing. You'd have thought her tastes would focus more on American Idol type stuff, but she finds any singing competition other than the Sing Off dull. And you guess ANTM is many things, but dull isn't one of them—especially with Chloe as an active participant, yelling at the models and the judges and everyone else. It's pretty hilarious, really.
"Are you hearing this, Beca? I swear, if this midget wins…"
"She's like 5' 8"!"
You're not sure if Chloe's smile is based off of the fact that—yes—you've been paying enough attention to know the stupid model is 5'8", or because she thinks you've said something adorable. It's probably a little of both.
"Aw, Becs, don't even worry. You're short-adorable—fun-sized and whatnot. This ho's short-annoying."
"I don't even know what that means, dude."
The only response you receive is a quick peck on the cheek.
Chloe starts worming her way into your mixes—or rather, Chloe starts worming her way into your mixes in an entirely new way (because there's been a bit more pop in them since you met her, as it is) after about a month of you living together.
"Do you ever try to match the lyrics, instead of just the beats?" She asks from her spot at your side on the couch, fingers playing with the cord of your headphones (which is kind of adorable in a way you'd never, ever mention to anyone).
"Um. Not really. I don't really care about lyrics, I guess. Not as much as what's propping them up."
"Are you kidding me?" Chloe screeches, and for the first time in the history of forever, pulls away from you (relatively, at least, because her hands just move to the thigh your computer isn't covering after they slide off from around your waist). "Lyrics are the point, Beca! Lyrics give a song meaning! Without lyrics a song is… so hollow."
It's nicely put, because isn't that just perfect; hollow songs for the hollow girl. And then there's Chloe, who's all words and feelings and emotions, so of course she can't understand how someone could function without embracing those things. (And maybe they can't, you have to think).
"Not that your mixes aren't aca-awesome already, obvi," Chloe winks. "But wouldn't it be cool if you could, like…" She trails off, peering at the screen (where Na Palm's What's Yo Name is just not fitting the way you thought it would with M83), before unplugging your headphones. "Play it—just the rap."
My brain must be playing tricks on me
take no offense I love my ladies!
Problem is, I got like 80;
Call me rude but I ain't shady
Forgot your name; Imma call you baby
Chloe bobs her head to the beat in a way totally unfitting to the song, but you see what's she's doing when she leans a bit closer (as though to whisper in your ear), and quietly starts to sing, "Hey, I just met you. And this is crazy. But here's my number, so call me maybe?"
The expression on your face must be hilarious because Chloe starts giggling before she can sing much more, collapsing into your shoulder.
"You're kidding me," you say drolly, but you can already see it; the pop-y beat of that god-awful song (that you can't help but beat your head to) under the slick rhymes of Na Palm. Your fingers are already dancing across your keyboard when Chloe peeks up from your shoulder, a second later, beaming.
"No! For real; it's like Carly Rae is actually replying to Na Palm, right? He's all like, 'I got all these bitches, giving me numbas' and she's all, 'here's my number, call me maybe!'."
You laugh, because it's charming—this perky redhead saying things like 'bitches' and 'numbas' and your eyes flitter away from what is the very beginnings of a mix on your screen, to take in her features.
"Yeah, okay. I get it. Even if that is a terrible song."
She grins. "A terrible song that you just happened to have on your computer, huh?" You groan, and she favors you with a wink. "But see, Beca? They go together—the music and the lyrics. Keeping them apart in your mind is, like… wrong."
She's right, you know, and that's probably when you start thinking about how the deep beat and rhythm of your life might go with the bright lyrics of Chloe's. It's not an entirely unpleasant thing to contemplate.
You try to tell yourself it's coincidence when, a week later, things end with Jesse.
"You okay?" Chloe asks, crawling into your bed with absolutely no regards to personal space (typical Chloe—absolutely typical). It's the first time she's done it, despite all the hours you've spent on the couch together basically mashed up into one person, like two songs slipping together seamlessly in a mix.
So this isn't too different. Horizontal cuddling, Fat Amy might say.
And you'll never admit it, but it feels pretty nice, the way Chloe's arm slips around you from behind—the way her face nuzzles into the back of your neck.
"Yeah." You are—okay, that is—but a breakup always sucks, no matter where it falls on the scale of one-sided to mutual to the other one-sided. You put all this effort and time into one person and it feels like—not wasted time, exactly—but it feels like maybe you should have done something different with that time, and it all might have worked out and you might have been happy, or something. But you're okay—mostly relieved, honestly, because Jesse kept trying batter down the walls that you maintain so meticulously, and it had become kind of exhausting, watching him go at it with so little success.
"Yeah. Let's not turn this into a feelings session, alright?"
Chloe laughs quietly, her breath tickling at your neck. "Okay, Beca." One of her legs shifts so that it's sort of tangled with yours. "No feelings, I promise."
Your throat swells a little, making it hard for you to swallow, and all you can think is, too late.
It becomes a sort of habit after that—an every night (and sometimes in the middle of the day) sort of habit.
"I'm always the big spoon," Chloe whines one day, a couple of weeks after your first… horizontal cuddling.
"Don't blame me, Chlo. You always pick the positions."
Not to mention you really, really like being the little spoon. But you're pretty sure you'd rather have hot knives dragged across your body than ever confess that to anyone. You think maybe Chloe already knows, though, because her whining now is playful, and you can always feel her soft smile against your skin when you let out the involuntary sigh (of relief?) that escapes from your lips when she slides under the covers behind you.
But despite her teasing tone, you feel a bit bad after like, three seconds of silence. It's kind of pathetic, this state you're in now.
"Fine, fine," you grumble, twisting around so you're face-to-face with Chloe (and a whole lot closer than you had expected, and well—shit—you can feel her breath against your lips and that's just not helping anything). "Well? Go ahead." You manage after a moment. "Turn around."
Chloe smiles (soft and knowing) before acquiescing with your request.
"You're ruining my street cred with this shit, Chloe."
Shoulders shake against your chest as Chloe gently laughs. "Being the big spoon? It's better than the little spoon, honestly. At least this way you're the HBIC… of cuddling."
You groan, but it's a token protest; at the same time you pull Chloe closer.
So that's how you get to Tuesday—to the lounging in Chloe's bed—to the curling of her hands in your hair—to the sound of her heartbeat in your ear. That's how you get to the point where Chloe says she's never kissed a girl and your head comes up and your brain freezes and doesn't restart until it's far too late.
"Well, that's easily fixed," you mumble, and maybe you hadn't meant it like that but you're basically on top of her and your lips are really close to hers and—well—brushing your lips against hers (just the corner, really) isn't much of a stretch.
"I—" Chloe blinks once, and even if you hadn't been so distracted by her lips, you don't know that you would have been able to interpret her expression. "Oh. I—I meant like… regularly."
There are many definitions of the word, but you're not thinking of any of them—not when Chloe's eyes flicker down to your lips and she takes a breath that's more of a gasp than anything.
So you kiss her again—regularly—involving open mouths and tongue and then—oh, god—hands that rest on the warm skin of Chloe's hips, where her shirt has pushed up just an inch or two.
"Oh." She licks her lips and you think it's something of an unfair move. "Oh."
You should apologize, but you don't, because there's a smile curling at the corner of Chloe's lips and a look in her eyes that says she's surprised, but in that way that she likes (birthday parties and mixtapes left under her pillow and a home-cooked meal after a big exam).
"I meant on a regular basis," she breathes. "More than once."
And you think that's pretty easily fixed too.
You don't talk about it. Not really. It just becomes a thing. You'd basically already been sleeping in the same bed every night, so that's not a big change; you just add a few new activities to your routine. Like kissing Chloe. Or Chloe kissing you. Or Chloe laying on top of you, grinding her body down on…
Yeah. New activities.
But everything else is pretty much the same. Chloe's still your best friend—the girl who listens to all your mixes and forces you to watch horrible TV (that you secretly enjoy) and breaks out into random bits of song that you can't help but harmonize with. She's still your go-to person, and the (only) one you really (like, really) talk to. It's just now you do other stuff too—other stuff that leaves you panting and breathless and incredibly, incredibly frustrated in a way you haven't been in… maybe ever.
And that's weird because it's almost like… the closest thing to a semi-functional romantic relationship that you've ever had.
Of course, neither of you are about to acknowledge that.
Not that your purposeful overlooking makes the changes invisible to your friends. People have always teased Chloe for her natural touchy-feely-ness, but you think maybe these comments tend to involve you more often than not, now. A roll of the eyes and wry smile is almost always enough to deflect any that might have turned into further questioning, though.
'Almost' because of Aubrey Posen, and Aubrey Posen alone.
She's off being a big-shot law associate in New York, and so the most you see of her is an occasional glance on Chloe's laptop screen when they Skype. Honestly, you don't think the blonde has fully forgiven you for the events of the year (not even after you'd help them win, but whatever), and this is only aggravated by her odd jealousy over your roomie-status with Chloe, so you don't really mind the limited interaction (and honestly, are glad for it).
But despite all this, you don't have to fake your smile at Chloe's overjoyed reaction when Aubrey is waiting there in your apartment, along with the rest of Chloe's friends when you open the door for the redhead; Aubrey serving as the metaphorical cherry on top of the sundae that is the surprise birthday party you and the Bellas have been planning for the past few weeks.
The blonde returns the bear hug with an ease and enthusiasm you find yourself a little envious of, but it's hard for you to feel anything other than content when Chloe jumps back to give you a hug of your own that is just as wholehearted.
"Did you have something to do with this?"
You shrug. "The party, yeah, me and the Bellas. But Aubrey called Fat Amy a while back to make sure all the plans were up to her standards. Guess she had to come down to make sure herself and make sure I didn't screw it all up."
Aubrey's smile is more of a smirk than anything. "That's right. Hello, Beca."
Chloe, of course, just rolls her eyes. "You guys are so weird. But, Bree! I can't believe you're here!" Her eyes flicker to yours for just a second, and your returning nod is imperceptible, but she recognizes it nevertheless, and heads further into the apartment, her arm looped through Aubrey's as she greets everyone, and catches up with her oldest friend.
You don't mind; parties aren't exactly your thing, and while you don't mind socializing with the Bellas, all of Chloe's grad friends are here too, and despite the number of times you've met some of them, you can't remember the name of a single one, and small talk is awkward enough without spending the entire time hoping you don't have to remember their name at any point in the conversation. Aubrey's much better at that sort of thing, which is evident from the way she happily chatters with everyone that Chloe introduces her to as they make their way around the room. Whatever. You have other skills and stuff.
The corner of the couch (where you nurse a Pabst) suits you a whole lot better, and that's where you remain for most of the party; all the Bella's come up to you, at one point in time or another, so it's not like you're being antisocial, or anything, and you lose track of Chloe after a while.
It surprises you, therefore, when you find her again toward the end of the night—or rather, she finds you, plopping into your lap without warning, nearly knocking your beer out of your hand as she throws her hands around your neck.
Your eyebrows rise into your hairline. "Uh. Chloe…hey."
A smirking Aubrey is visible over Chloe's shoulder, once you push a bit of red hair out of the way, and you shoot her a glare. "Guess you haven't exactly discouraged the shots tonight, huh?"
"As if anyone can stop Chloe from doing what she wants."
That's very, very, true, and Chloe's seems to know exactly what she wants next as she nuzzles into your neck, her lips trailing over the skin there.
"How fast can you get rid of all these people?" She breathes into your ear. "You've no idea, the things I wanna do t'you right now."
You suck in a breath of air, but it doesn't do anything to calm you, or keep the flush of red from your face (or the rush of heat from flashing through your body).
"Uh… um… maybe you should…." You, as gently, as possible, push Chloe off your lap, and stand with her, your hand firm on the small of her back as you both rise. "…Get some water, Chlo."
She smiles at you, and you hope it doesn't look as suggestive to anyone who might be viewing it as it does to you. "Oh, alllright. Spoilsport."
A sigh escapes you when she skips away (or tries to—it's really more of a drunken hop), but your relief is cut short when you catch the shrewd look Aubrey is casting in your direction.
The blonde's head tilts slightly. "What's up with you two?"
"What do you mean?"
"That. Just now."
"Please," you drawl (or try to). "You know how Chloe is when she's drunk—all… affectionate."
"Yeah…" You really wish Aubrey would stop looking at you like you're a puzzle to be solved. "But normally you're…"
She shakes her head, and the look disappears, much to your relief. "Nothing. Never mind."
But Aubrey gives you another strange look over her shoulder when she goes to check on Chloe. You don't really know how to feel about that.
It should be a warning sign that you should be more careful, but you're not, especially after Aubrey leaves. There's a pool party the next weekend, and maybe it's the gin bucket that causes you to lightly trail your fingertips across Chloe's inner thigh when you're in the hot tub together, but it's more likely just the sight of the redhead in her bikini (because damnn).
You both excuse yourselves from the party pretty quickly after that. Getting back to your apartment, however, takes longer than it should, because—god—you really can't help yourself from touching the parts of Chloe that are exposed, and she knows by now just where to kiss you (the spot under your ear, the curve of your neck, the skin on the inside of your wrist) to turn you into a hormonal teenage boy.
But you do make it there, stumbling through your door and shutting it behind you with a very firm slam. And then Chloe has you pressed up against the wall of your hallway and her hands are whipping off the tank top that's soaking wet (you hadn't had enough patience to thoroughly dry off before pulling it on over your top) and then moving to the ties of your bikini and—holy Jesus—she makes quick work of those and suddenly her hands are on your breasts and you're pretty sure your eyes roll back into your head.
Her reply is whispered into a kiss, and you have a hard time focusing on the words rather than the movement of her lips against yours, but you catch the gist. "This okay?"
There has never been anything more okay, but you don't know how to say that, so you just shove off the wall and push Chloe towards your bedroom (it's closer), fingers tugging at the knot at the back of her neck that is keep your skin from being completely flush against hers. By the time you're in your room, you've gotten the stupid thing undone, but your distraction over what's revealed as the tiny (but at the same time, way too large) scrap of fabric drops is great enough so that Chloe is able to switch your positions and shove you down onto the bed without you even comprehending what's happening. It's not exactly something you're going to complain about though.
Especially when, as she leans down to kiss you again (pressing up against you in a way that makes you want to whimper), her hand slides down your side until she reaches your hip bone, which she traces with light fingertips to the top of your shorts—still damp from when you'd thrown them on over your wet bikini bottom. A whimper does escape you at that, and Chloe pulls her lips away from yours, the slightest bit.
You'll probably die if the rest of the question isn't somewhere along the lines of '…want me to do you right now?', so you just cut her off. You think maybe the time for playing hard to get, or whatever, has long, long passed.
"Yes. God, yes."
You think maybe you've said something right, because Chloe smiles (smirks, possibly) and kisses your jawline, and most importantly, her hand continues on its path to slip under your shorts and swim suit bottom and—fucking hell—to press right into you and—mother-of-god—there's not even a little hesitation when her thumb brushes against just the right spot that makes you nearly jerk of the bed. And—shit—how does Chloe even know how to do this?
But you don't care. You don't care. You definitely don't care.
"Hhgn." You also don't care that you are making approximately zero sense with the not-even-slightly-close-to-coherent-words noises that are coming out of your mouth. Well, aside from the one, "Chloe! Ah…Fuck!" Or two.
In an embarrassingly short amount of time (you think—maybe—because it's hard to think about time passing or—well—anything really—other than the movement of Chloe's fingers) you're coming undone and there's a current—an honest-to-god current running through you and… and.. and… words aren't really there anymore.
And then you're left, out-of-breath and boneless, blinking up at Chloe and wondering why the hell you haven't done that before now. And you want to say a lot of things right then. Poignant, mind-blowing, awesome things that will wrap the whole thing up perfectly.
"Holy shit," you say instead.
Chloe's grin is smug, but you figure she's earned the right to grin like that.