A.N: I must say I am very pleased with the reviews for this story, much more than I'd hoped for so keep 'em coming. And thank you to everyone who has read, reviewed, favorited, or followed.
Disclaimer cause I always forget: I own nothing, Glee belongs to the jerks who are writing it into the ground, and Pitch Perfect belongs to a wonderful genius.
Beca slouched into her theory of music class with a small scowl firmly in place as she cast a glance around the room. She didn't share this class with any of the Bellas which sucked, or it was great if you considered that she and Fat Amy had very nearly failed the class they'd shared together the previous year. She'd learned that Chloe was bad for the academics if the redhead was in a playful mood, but if she was in study mode Beca actually got a lot done by studying with Chloe. Amy though, she was detrimental to Beca's education at all times.
Beca paused in her search of the room when she spotted a face she recognized. She considered her options for a moment, sit next to a girl she knew nothing about in an attempt to sway her in to joining her acapella group, or sit away from her and run the risk of Aubrey finding out later that she shared the class with Rachel and had not made at least a token effort to get to know the girl.
She allowed herself one moment to picture Aubrey's rage face before letting out a heavy sigh and moving to the seat next to Rachel. The girl didn't look up from her notebook as Beca dropped herself into the seat. She didn't ask whether Rachel minded if she sat next to her, knowing that to ask was to risk Rachel saying no, instead she pulled out a notebook of her own and bent over it to write.
As more students filed in Beca chanced a glance at Rachel who was still bent over her notebook, finally she cleared her throat; "Hey..."
Rachel started and turned to look at her, "Hello."
Beca shifted, making friends was Chloe's thing, not hers "I'm Beca." She held out a hand and hoped that the stiff smile on her face wasn't nearly as off putting as she imagined it to be.
Rachel seemed to have good manners bred into her as she took Beca's hand in her and shook despite the weird face Beca was wearing, "I'm Rachel Berry."
Beca nodded, "Nice to meet you Rachel."
Rachel cocked her head before replying in an even tone, "It is a pleasure to meet you as well Beca."
Beca stalled, unsure of what exactly she was meant to do now. Rachel cleared her throat and Beca realized that she was still holding onto the girl's hand. She dropped it and cleared her own throat, trying to channel anyone but herself as she felt her face flush with embarrassment.
She was still fumbling for a topic of conversation when Rachel stated firmly, "I'm not auditioning."
Beca's mouth opened and closed before she blurted, "Why?"
Rachel's mouth seemed to want to smile before she settled on a frown, "I don't sing."
Beca cocked her head and added, "Anymore... you don't sing anymore." At Rachel's look she tacked on with a shrug, "YouTube."
Rachel ducked her head before she let out a sigh and demanded, "What performance did you watch?"
Beca was surprised by the question, "Last year's Nationals, in Chicago. You were amazing and I can't stand Celine Dion."
Rachel puffed up with pride, "That was a good performance, I must admit." She paused before her eyes narrowed, "What do you mean you can't stand Celine Dion?! Who doesn't like Celine?"
Beca smirked at the brunette, glad that they were actually talking, "Me. I just... I don't like most of her music but I thought you did a really good job at making it bearable."
Rachel let out a huff, "Bearable... really." A moment past and then she demanded, "How do you feel about Barbra?"
Beca shrugged, "She's okay."
Rachel let out a heavy sigh, "I suppose that is better than outright hatred."
Beca and Rachel sat quietly for about a minute as more students filed in before Beca asked, "Did... is there a medical reason you don't sing anymore?" She earned a harsh look from Rachel as she hastened to explain, "My friend Chloe had nodes, and when she had them removed it totally messed with her range."
The angry look on Rachel's face was wiped away, "The redhead? How... how badly did it effect her range?"
Beca replied quietly, "She might never be able to sing above a G sharp."
Rachel sucked in a breath before she asked, "Is she working with a vocal coach?"
Beca shook her head as a dark scowl creased her face, "They're expensive, and her dad won't pay for one. She was willing to get a job but he threatened to cut her off completely. He said that music isn't a career."
Rachel's own face fell as she replied, "My dads were always supportive. I can't imagine having them derail my dreams, at least not on purpose."
Beca considered the girl next to her as she asked her next question, "What is your dream?"
Rachel replied promptly, "Broadway." A second past and then she added in a quiet voice, "At least it used to be Broadway."
Beca cocked her head, "Why aren't you in New York then? From what I saw they should have handed you a role just for showing up."
Rachel looked away as she replied, "A career on Broadway isn't practical, nor is a performing arts college. Not when I could get a business degree on scholarship and start making money instead of running from audition to audition, hoping for a call back."
Beca couldn't say a word about the cost of an education, as she was getting her degree for free, but it saddened her to see someone put aside their dreams for money, "I wanted to be in L.A. to start paying my dues."
Rachel perked up a bit, "What is it that you want to do?"
Beca smiled and patted her laptop in its bag, "Produce music, make music."
Rachel glanced at her bag before asked, "You can mix music?"
Beca nodded, "I'm okay at it."
Rachel blinked at her before stating, "You are about as good at false modestly as I am."
Beca shrugged, "I am good I guess, I mean I figured out how to mix music in acapella so I don't suck."
Rachel offered her a smile, "Is the team good?"
Beca nodded firmly, "We won the finals last year."
They were quiet again before Rachel spoke, "You don't really seem like the type to join an acapella group," She added quickly, "No offense intended."
Beca waved a hand, "None taken. I'm really not the type. When they asked the first time, I told Chloe and Aubrey that acapella was lame."
Rachel let out a short giggle, "How did they take that?"
Beca smirked, "Chloe's too nice to be mean but Aubrey called me a bitch and probably would have lunged at me if Chlo hadn't held her leash."
Rachel tilted her head as she asked, "Well then how did they get you to join?"
Beca's ears tinted red as she ducked her head, "That's," She cleared her throat, "That's a story I have yet to tell. Let's just say that Chloe is persuasive, and has no boundaries." She shook her head and smiled, "I'm glad I joined though, the girls are actually my friends now and I've never really had that before."
Rachel's face fell a little as she nodded, "I get that. I... I really get that. It wasn't until last year that I really had friends who liked me beyond glee club, and now... I'm having hard time talking to them because they just won't understand why I didn't go to NYADA."
Beca's eyes bugged out, "NYADA? As in... NYADA?! Holy crap, you are good."
Rachel nodded immodestly, "I am. But singing just isn't practical." She added a moment later, "I do miss it though. And I miss having friends."
Beca bumped Rachel's shoulder with her own as she declared, "I'll be your friend Rachel, and I won't ask you to audition again if you tell me why you've totally given up singing."
Rachel clutched at her notebook as she whispered, "It hurts to sing Beca."
Beca nodded, before asking "Does it hurt worse not to though?"
Rachel turned to look at her before focusing on her notebook as the Professor breezed in.
Beca was true to her word in the next two weeks, she was Rachel's friend but she did not ask the girl to join the Bellas again. She was Rachel friend and she did her best to keep that fact a secret from her team mates who she knew would take her friendship with Rachel as an excuse to badger her into joining.
She was having a hard time holding Chloe off though. The more Beca begged off of plans with the Bellas the more Chloe wanted to know what was going on.
"Come on Beca! Are you seeing someone?" The redhead asked with what might have been her typical enthusiasm if it wasn't for the slight sadness in her eyes, "Is it Jesse?"
Beca made a face, "No… just no. We didn't even last a month Chloe, you know that."
The redhead slumped back on Beca's bed, "Well then why are you avoiding Bella stuff. I mean you come to practice but…"
Beca reached out a hand to grab Chloe's but thought better of it as she spoke, "I'm not avoiding anything Chloe, I just have other stuff."
Chloe stared hard at her for a moment before letting out a sigh, "I'm sorry, I just miss you." She smiled suddenly, "And I haven't had a chance to tell you, I've been working with someone on my voice. She's a student but she is so good, and she pushes me but she doesn't push in like a bad way. And it is all for free which totally sticks it to my dad!"
Beca offered her friend a big smile, "That's awesome Chloe. Who is it?"
Chloe opened her mouth to reply before clamping it shut and shaking her head, "I can't say. But I think you'd like her."
Beca smiled gently as she allowed Chloe to settle her head on her shoulder, "If she's helping you for free then I already like her better than Aubrey."
Chloe snorted, "You like everyone better than Aubrey."
Beca shook her head, "Not true, I mean she's like at least three levels above Hitler and people who like Twilight."
Chloe shot up, "I liked Twilight!"
Beca blinked at her, "The movies? 'Cause I don't think we can be friends if you liked the movies."
Chloe huffed before settling her head back on Beca's shoulder, "Fine yes, the movies sucked. I mean they actually seemed to get worse. But I didn't hate the books."
Beca let out a heavy, put upon sigh, "I suppose I can overlook that extreme lack of taste, but only because it's you."
Chloe was quiet for a long moment before she asked quietly, "You don't really think I'm on par with Hitler do you?"
Beca caught her hand and squeezed, "You are the best person I know Chloe. It was just a joke."
Chloe nodded against her shoulder and Beca's eyelids fluttered as Chloe's breath puffed against her neck, "But you're okay right Beca? You aren't in trouble or anything?"
Beca replied gently, "I'm good Chloe. Just… I'm trying to keep a promise."
She could feel Chloe's smile as the redhead breathed out, "I'm glad. I did miss you though."
Beca leaned into Chloe even further and considered asking Rachel to try her hand at being Chloe's friend too, so she could spend more time with Chloe.
Just so Chloe wouldn't miss her of course.
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