Notes: Apologies for the delay; I had quite a busy holiday season. Thanks to you all for your sweet comments and follows and faves. Hope this concluding part doesn't disappoint.
"It's come to my attention that I may have underestimated the lesbianism in our group," Fat Amy says after making the Bellas all sit down in for an 'emergency announcement'.
You don't stiffen, not really, and the blood doesn't rush to your face in some kind of cheesy teenager blush, but you do stop with your typical fidgeting (the taps of your shoe and the twisting on your ring and the slight bob of your head that you'd never really realized you did until a certain redhead pointed it out to you with a fond smile). Had Chloe been there, she would have immediately noticed the shift.
But no one else knows you that well, and even if they did, everyone's too busy rolling their eyes at Amy as she continues.
"And I don't want anyone to think I don't own up to my mistakes. I mean, I know they're rare. Since I'm aca-awesome. But I'm not 100% perfect. Just, like… 99.7%."
It occurs to you that Fat Amy's looking at Stacie and not you, and you feel this weird emotion that you have no idea how to describe; it's relief, but a sort of disappointment too, and what the hell does that even mean?
"Look, for the record, I like sex," Stacie says, and everyone lets out a collective laugh/grumble, because— god— if you all know one thing about anyone in the group, it's that Stacie likes sex. "Why would I limit my options?"
"So would you estimate our collective group lesbianism to be at, like, 1.5 out of 10? That's fair, yeah? So, what's that even mean? Maths was never really me, see."
Everyone groans, and you sink further into your seat, letting Cynthia Rose take the reins on this one.
It's not a lesbian thing—okay, poor word choice—because you and Chloe are both ladies doing some serious lady loving, so—yeah—but that's not the reason for the secrecy—it's really not. It's a… commitment thing. It's a taking-another-big-step-in-a-relationship-that-means-more-to-you-than-any-other-one-has sort of thing. Telling people about it would just… it would make it so real—so concrete and permanent and official, and you're afraid as soon as that happens you won't be able to back out.
You think Chloe understands, and for all her warmth and openness, you think she might be a little afraid of the same thing, because sure—Chloe opens herself to the people into her life with an easiness you find alarming—but this is different, isn't it? Chloe, when it comes to 'romance', is about easy make outs and frat boy sex and you've never heard her talk about being all… rom-com with someone.
But you don't know for sure until one night on the couch, when you're sprawled out on your back with your head in Chloe's lap (because—dammit—it'd been a helluva week and you're tired and drained and you needed someone to run their fingers through your hair and scratch at your scalp with short, but sharp nails).
"I think… I think I could fall in love with you."
And you might be drowsy, but when Chloe whispers that (so softly you barely catch it) you shoot up from your comfortable position so quickly that you're pretty sure some of your hair gets torn out.
"What? Are you serious?"
Chloe's not looking at you, and her lips are pressed firmly together, as though to keep the bottom one from trembling.
"I mean—uh…" Words have never been your thing, but when it comes to this, you're really lost. "I mean… I don't want you to get hurt, Chloe. You're—you're my best friend."
There's a terrible moment of silence, after which Chloe nods.
"Maybe we shouldn't do this anymore."
"Yeah," you say, and it feels wrong. "The—uh—the kissing part—and the—you know."
Chloe nods again and you don't know whether you're relieved or… something else. Something else that might feel like your heart dropping out through your stomach.
That resolution lasts about two days.
And then you're back to Chloe pushing you into her bed and making you come undone under her fingers.
But it shouldn't be happening because Chloe said she could fall in love with you and shitshitshit.
(The scariest part is that, sometimes, you think you could fall in love with her too)
Like when Every Chance We Get We Run(David Guetta, of course) is playing through your crappy earbuds as you unlock the front door and step through. But never has a song applied to a moment in time less than it does at that instant, because Chloe is in the kitchen, her back to you, wearing your new M50s (that's where they'd gone, you realize belatedly) and absolutely rocking out to something (something that you're pretty sure must be hip hop, because she's shaking it like nobody's business) and when she turns around to greet you without stilling, a beaming smile in place, you've never felt as content as you do right then.
That's when you think—you can't help but think, maybe.
It's terrifying, but you think, maybe.
Despite the absence of Aubrey, the Bellas still have team bonding movie nights. You're not sure, exactly, how it happened, because it sure as hell wasn't your idea, but there's not much you can do about it now aside from drag Chloe along so you can at least whisper sarcastic comments about the characters/plot/whatever-you're-displeased-with to her throughout the movie.
But this week is worse than usual because it's a goddamn Disney movie marathon, and when a bunch of a cappella chicks get together to watch Disney movies, there's an inevitable ending to it all; it turns into a fucking sing-a-long.
They're on Snow White now, and honestly, you've never been much of a fan, because the stupid girl shouldn't have eaten that apple in the first place. (Who the hell's gonna accept an apple from a creepy witch-looking lady, anyways?) But whatever. Chloe, who's practically a Disney princess herself, is loving it, and she's draped herself over you on the couch, so you're warm and comfy and content, high-pitched singing aside.
You're basically tuning it out until the seven dwarves start singing during their slave labor scene, and Lily, who's siting on the other side of you, starts laying down a beat under her breath, and you sit up a bit straighter because you know that bass, and it fits the goddamn song absolutely perfectly, and how are you supposed to resist that?
"Well I ain't sayin' she a gold digger." You rasp, and Lily's beats get louder. "But she ain't messin' with no broke, broke."
Everyone laughs at first, but it actually sounds absolutely sick, and soon the movie's pretty much forgotten as it turns into a full-fledged jam session. And then your laptop somehow gets brought out (you blame Chloe, of course) and everyone's up, dancing around like crazy people, rapping out the words they know.
But your favorite part is how Chloe moves against you, back rubbing into your front, her rhythm matching the takkity, takkity, taka-taka-taka of your heart, and when she spins around to face you, her hip pressing into you in just the right way; it takes a lot of self-control to not kick everyone out of your apartment right then. Self-control that flies out of the window as soon as she starts singing, her lips brushing against the shell of your ear, "Get down girl, go 'head get down."
You know you're not sneaky when you shove her off the impromptu dance floor and push her against the inside of the door of your bathroom and do things to her that have her biting at her knuckles to keep quiet. But you're really not in a state to stop yourself, god help you.
Cynthia Rose does give you a wink later on when everyone's leaving though, whispering about something being hot. So there's that.
"Damn, girl! You look like you been banging like a dunny door in a gale!"
You think it's the sort of proclamation that's meant to draw attention to you, and not the blonde Australian who utters it, but as usual, Fat Amy has overestimated how understood she is by the rest of the group.
"Seriously. It's like you're speaking another language."
Fat Amy rolls her eyes and, before you can stop her, tugs at the collar of your shirt, pulling it down to reveal the dark marks decorating the side of your neck that you were unable to cover with makeup, despite your best efforts.
"Damnn," Stacie whistles. "Get it, girl!"
Even Lily is looking at you in curiosity now (which is terrifying because you're pretty positive this girl has killed several people in the past and you'd much rather just slip under her radar) as you fight the blush that threatens to break out, and do everything in your power to keep from glancing over at Chloe.
"It's nothing," you mumble, moving away from Fat Amy while simultaneously pulling up your collar.
"DJ Aca-Slut—busting out the moves!" Fat Amy shouts, drawing the attention of several passers-by (not at all helped when she breaks out into some of the moves she seems to think you've employed—a sort of whole-body roll that ends in a vigorous booty shake).
You grumble to yourself and glare at each of the Bellas individually in turn. "It's nothing."
"Incident with the flat iron, then?" Her voice is innocent, but when your glare turns to Chloe, there's a mischievous twinkle in her eye that you're sure everyone else must be able to see. The look remains as the Bellas grill you on your 'burn marks' for the next ten minutes.
You're going to killher.
You're going to kill her. You're going to kill Chloe Beale and no one will even be able to find even a piece of her body.
Because Titanium has just come on your iPod and instead of it just being a kick-ass song, now it's a lady jam—it's Chloe's lady jam, which means it's now basically your lady jam, and there's some real Pavlov shit going on right now because as soon as those first chords hit it's like your body knows it's about to get some.
Even though that's not true at all, and you're supposed to be starting practice with the Bellas in like, five minutes, but your body is not even slightly listening. And, holy shit, you don't think you've ever been so turned on in your life—definitely not from music, for christssake.
You probably shouldn't have listened to the entire song, either.
"You okay, DJ B?"
Had you been less distracted, you would have at least rolled your eyes at the stupid nickname. But as it is, it'll be a miracle if you manage to get anything out that's even slightly coherent.
"Beca? Seriously, you okay? Y'look kinda red. You got a fever or something?" Cynthia Rose puts a hand to your forehead and you flinch a little. "Yeah, maybe you should just go home, girl. I'll take care of practice today, alright?"
You shouldn't, you really shouldn't. Of all the reasons to skip out on practice, this is probably the worst one. But… it's a Thursday, which is Chloe's easy day, which means she's probably home, wearing one of those long button up shirts that she likes to lounge in (and nothing else) and… well, how are you supposed to resist the thought of that?
Answer: you're not. You can't.
So you nod weakly and leave the auditorium, trying not to look too eager (a façade that slips as soon as you're outside the building and practically power walking to your apartment). And thank god that all the people who would normally dare to stop you as you slouch through campus are tied up in rehearsal, because you're not about to stop for anyone—in fact, you only stop when you reach the door to your apartment and fumble with your key to get the damn thing to open.
When you do manage it, it opens with a loud bang that has Chloe (in the kitchen, wearing the very shirt you'd imagined on her) jumping up and spinning around to face you.
"Beca? What the he…?"
You make it to her in about four strides (you've never been so thankful for having such a small kitchen) and cut her off by slamming her against the nearest surface (the refrigerator—it shakes a bit, and a few scraps of paper, along with the magnets holding them, fall to the ground) and pressing your lips to hers.
It's a bit rough, because your teeth scrap against hers, and your hands grasp for her wrists and shove them up against the fridge with more force than you'd meant to deliver, and you think you might bite down on her lower lip a bit too hard, but Chloe's soft groan says she doesn't really mind.
"Not that I don't appreciate the gesture," Chloe says (once you pull back), sounding out-of-breath (but still managing that teasing tone). "But you're kind of short for this, aren't you?" She nods towards the grip you have on her wrists, and you let go without another word. "Okay, that was not an invite for you to stop with…"
She trails off as you drop to your knees, your hands sliding up her thighs and under her shirt.
"Oh." She swallows, and you can't help the smirk that tilts your lips when she lets out a whimper as your fingers hook around the top of her underwear and pull them down. "Oh."
"It's like we're living a movie," Chloe sighs afterwards, her back sliding down the refrigerator until she slumps onto the floor beside you, leaning into your shoulder.
You snort. "More like a porno."
"A porno with feelings," Chloe corrects, but then bites her lip and looks away because you're not supposed to talk about that.
But you take her hand and smile in a way that you normally don't –unrestrained and emotive—and it's kind of stupid, because you're on the floor of your kitchen after taking her against a refrigerator, for godssake, but Chloe makes you feel like that at pretty much any time—stupidly happy.
"A porno with feelings, eh? I can live with that."
You think about that for a while. And you come to the conclusion that if it were true— if your time with Chloe was being watched by horny college dudes (which, number one—gross, and number two—well, gross again) they would probably do a whole lot of fast forwarding. Because—yes—you and Chloe often do things like have sex up against a refrigerator or reenact your first shower meeting (with a highly modified ending) or make good use of your (self-taught) Boy Scout rope tying skills… but most if the time you're just together. You eat together most every night, you spend all your free time together, and you talk about your days—the things and people that bugged you or made you happy—together.
Even in your head, it kind of sounds like you're this happily married perfect couple that makes everyone else sick with how madly in love with each other they are. And while not even a half a year ago you would have rolled your eyes at the thought of something so cheesy (and implausible), now… now you think it's not so bad, this whole falling in love with someone thing—this whole being in love with someone thing. Because you have—you are—and that's pretty much the bottom line, isn't it?
"What are we doing?"
Chloe tenses up beside you, her arms stiffening around you, and you lift your head from her chest and prop yourself up on your elbow to give yourself a better view of the woman who has so effectively intertwined herself into your life.
"What—what do you mean?"
It's not hard to see why it happened, really; Chloe's gorgeous, of course, but you think it's in the eyes—large and blue and so very expressive—that the real reason can be found. Because Chloe's the lyrics to your beat, or something equally cheesy, and there's something about her enthusiasm, her cheer, and her openness, that counters your sarcasm, surliness, and closed headphones; and, more importantly, brings out the parts of you that you only let loose in private, when all that is truly you floods your mixes with life and vitality and energy.
And it's probably the dumbest thing you've ever done, taking so long to recognize that—to embrace that.
"I mean," you say, fingers brushing gently over one of Chloe's cheekbones. "What are we doing, pretending we aren't in a real relationship?"
Chloe gapes at you, and you really hope you aren't suddenly about to be shut down. It hadn't occurred to you in your moment of glee that such a thing could even happen. That was the danger of feelings like love—they were blinding and stupid and should always, always, always be ignored and you can't believe you'd been such a moron to actually think…
"I—I thought you…" Chloe smiles then, and it's amazing how quickly that destroys all your doubts. "I thought you didn't want to…"
"I'm kinda in love with you, Chloe Beale. And I kinda want everyone to know."
She nods—nods and grins at you with the brightest expression you've ever seen on her face, and you can't believe that you were the one that put it there. She kisses you, too—surges up and presses her lips to yours sweetly.
"Y'know… I think you're supposed to saying something in reply."
"Oh?" Her grin widens, if that's even possible. "Alright, then. I guess I'm kind of in love with you too."
And maybe it's not the greatest declaration of love, but it feels pretty damn perfect to you.
"Well, bugger me! That's 2.5 out of 10!" Fat Amy says when you both tell everyone.
"25%," Stacie nods, and when everyone spins around to look at her in something like shock, she growls at them. "Seriously? Jesus! It's simple math! And I'm a goddamn math major."
Somehow, that's a whole lot more shocking to everyone than you and Chloe being a thing, and if you weren't so content, having the redhead snuggle up to your side, you might actually be offended how quickly everyone ignores the both of you.
Note: Gotta give credit where it's due:
The Call Me Maybe/What's Yo Name mashup mentioned in the first chapter is by Kosher Kittens.
The Snow White/Golddigger mix is part of a real song put together by djDOYOU.
Thanks for reading!