A/N: Most of the ideas for mash-ups come from my own musical experiences, but I tend to search to see if anything has already been done. I was in luck this time, and the mash-up referenced at the end of the chapter can be viewed here: watch?v=NYS3ehHtHzc It's a fabulous combination of TaTu's "All the things She Said" and Katy Perry's "E.T. (Futuristic Lover)" in case anyone wanted to check it out. As always, any questions/comments/suggestions please feel free to comment or PM me!
Beca arrived at Jesse's just after 9 as promised, and knocked gently on the heavy wooden door. She knew Benji was probably watching Criss Angel-Mindfreak reruns or something else magic related, and she didn't want to risk disturbing him again as he played with his swords and chains. The last time had resulted in minor bruising for both of them, and she figured she'd rather avoid injury if possible.
"Beca, hey, I thought I heard a knock," Jesse said opening the door with a smile. "You ready to go, or do you wanna chill here for a bit first?" He opened the door wider and took a step back, but Beca was starving and didn't want to miss out on using her meal swipe for pizza.
Hearing her stomach growl, she cracked a half-smile and said, "We should probably head to the Italian Kitchen if we want to use a meal; I'm running low on flex." One benefit of her father's tenured faculty position, despite her anger over his actions, was that in addition to free tuition and housing, Beca got a free meal plan each semester.
"Sounds good, just lemme grab my ID," Jesse said, looking around on his nightstand. Beca looked around the room, and saw the top of a large black box next to Benji's bed open about an inch before shutting slowly.
"Oh man, Benji," she thought, "poor dude is probably going to graduate a virgin." Unless he met someone like Stacie. She'd have to try to introduce the two of them sometime. It's not like he was a Treble or anything, and it'd be nice for Stacie to date a decent guy instead of some letter-head treating her like a frat mattress. As Jesse began to close the door, she linked her arm in his playfully and tugged him towards the campus dining area.
It was another typically mild fall night, and Beca listened to the rhythm of evening joggers sneakers treading upon the paved walkways, noticing when her heartbeat started to match. Her internal metronome kept time with the slap of rubber on pavement, thudding in a bass beat that seemed to connect her to everything on campus. The irony, of course, was that despite the fact that part of her had no interest in being connected to the college as a whole, the thought that it meant that somehow, in some small way, she was connected to Chloe made her inexplicably happy. She felt a fluttering in her stomach just thinking about the redhead, and as her pulse quickened slightly, her heartbeat fell out of sync with the rhythm she was experiencing. She sighed in resignation, disappointed that the fact that awareness of being connected to Chloe simultaneously acknowledged and severed that connection. Having been quiet and just watching her with curiosity, upon hearing Beca's sigh, Jesse ventured cautiously, "So...what's going on Bec. You've been pretty spacey lately, and I know you're not good with letting people in, but, you know, maybe it would be good for you."
Beca glanced at Jesse, giving him a sarcastic look with a raised eyebrow, and he continued nervously, "Um, not like you have to tell me or anything, I just wanted you to know I'm here for you if you want to talk about it. Or if you'd rather, we could watch a movie," he finished, smiling, knowing how she felt about films, the latter would be like punishment for Beca.
"Seriously? You want to ask me to bare my soul to you right here?" Beca responded, half jokingly half serious. Seeing the hurt look in Jesse's eyes at her comment, she mentally chastised herself and apologetically continued, "Whatever. It's a thing. Basically I like this person, put a few mixes on a drive for them, gave it to then a while ago, but I haven't noticed any reaction from them so I don't even know if they liked them. Shit, I don't know if they even listened to them!" Shaking her head at how annoyingly teen-angsty she sounded, she was amazed to see Jesse holding back laughter. Shoving him gently, she said, "What's so funny?"
Eyes twinkling, he responded, "Nothing. I mean, I just never thought you were the type to get all moony over some boy. Unless the boy was me, of course." He finished with his best attempt at a suave wink, and she rolled her eyes him.
With the swagger and air of detachment he had grown accustomed to seeing her exude, she turned to him and said, "Just because I don't like people overall doesn't mean I dislike all individuals. Anyway, Who said it was a boy?" Noticing that they had arrived at the late night pizza joint on campus, she quickly switched gears saying, "Hey, you wanna split a pie with me? I'm starving." Still processing in disbelief, Jesse shook his head with a look of awe and brotherly love as he tried to decipher her cryptic response, and wrapped his arm around the small girl's shoulders. "Sure, that sounds good Bec." Walking inside to place their order, he figured he'd try to pry for details when they were seated and not surrounded by a hoard of students with late night munchies. "Besides," he thought, "it's probably an older guy she refers to as a man or something."
Pushing her empty plate away, Beca leaned back in the cafe style chair and sighed. She was stuffed, and probably ate more than she should have, but she resigned to fill Jesse in somewhat and in an attempt to delay it, she continuously put food in her mouth to avoid having to talk. Unfortunately, now that her pizza and fries were all gone, she had no reason not to talk about it. She glanced around, seeing only one other table with 3 people in it across the room, and decided she might as well give this opening up thing a try. Looking up, eyes darting nervously away from Jesse, she decided to just come clean. Taking a deep breath, she began, "So there's this girl that for some reason is amazing. To me, anyway, she's like that perfect song that always speaks directly to you, when you have a certain thought or emotion and it begins to play and it's as if it was written just for you, in that moment, that's how I feel. Like she was written just for me. I know it sounds completely lame, but I can't shake her. Not in a top-40 Rebecca Black kinda way, but more in that song you put on repeat on purpose so it never ends kinda way. Okay you can talk now because I feel super awkward." She stopped to breathe, looking across at her friend.
Jesse nodded and with an understanding look said, "Uh, okay, that's cool, I can roll with that. Whatever makes you happy Bec, I've got your back. So...does she know how you feel? You said you made some mixes, what did she say when you gave them to her?"
Beca looked away biting her lower lip, and said "Well, no, she doesn't know how I feel, and I kind of just slipped the drive into her bag without her noticing, so...now I realize how much of a nerd I sound like, because how would she know? I feel strangely better, though. Is that weird?"
Jesse thought for a moment before replying, "No, it makes sense. You thought she was rejecting you or ignoring the mix, which explains the Carrie moments earlier, but maybe not knowing if she knows and could possibly be into it is better than knowing she knows and is just not into you." He finished with a look of confusion on his face. He started with such a clear image in his head of what he was trying to say, but as usual, the words got in the way.
"No, I get what you're saying. I think you're right. The idea and possibility is better than a concrete no. Thanks, that actually helps a lot!" Beca jumped up, and grabbed her bag heading for the door. Before exiting, she turned around to the still stunned and confused Jesse. "There's something I have to do...but really, thank you. I love you awesome nerd!" With that she disappeared into the night, and Jesse just shook his head in amazement at the new layer of Beca he managed to uncover.
Arriving back at her room, Beca threw her bag onto the floor and grabbed a new flash drive. She was happy to see Kimmy Jin was out, so she didn't need to keep the volume low while spinning her art. Again, on a small piece of tape attached to the non-descript drive she scrawled "For you," but after a moment's hesitation, added "Chloe" so that there could be no confusion for whom these songs were intended. Even if Chloe didn't know who they were from, Beca wanted to be damn sure that Chloe knew they were for her and only her. Closing her eyes, Beca thought of Chloe helping her with choreography at rehearsals. Chloe's hands were on top of Beca's, moving them in the choppy and showy movements of the unoriginal routine. With the warmth of the red head's breath on her neck, Beca lost herself in the song of her would be lover. Thinking only of the electricity that flowed from the older girl's fingertips onto her own, Beca imagined the way Chloe's body would involuntarily sway and move listening to the beats created by the computer. Recording her first track, Beca blended TaTu's "All the things She Said" with Katy Perry's "E.T. (Futuristic Lover)", and the song seemed to speak the words of want, need and desire that Beca was unable to formulate. Fear always in the back of her mind that this drive might be the last Chloe would accept, should she know the identity of the artist, Beca threw herself into her work foregoing any interruptions. Just before the sun began to rise she hastily slid the finished drive under Chloe's door room door. As she collapsed onto her bed, her last waking thoughts were to hope that even if Chloe didn't know who the mysterious flash drives were from, she would know that someone was so moved by the music within that they had to share it with her.