A/N: Thank you again for all the reviews; to those who posted as a guest, thank you for your words of encouragement, I appreciate you taking the time to leave a review, it really boosts my spirit to know that people are enjoying this! As always, not my characters, I'm just borrowing them! Hope you enjoy the chapter; in this, Chloe, and Beca, and one day, I promise, we'll have Chloe and Beca; but why skip over the great songs on an album just to listen to the radio popular ones? ;)
Chloe awoke to find Aubrey getting dressed for her morning run, and glancing at the clock sighed as the numbers blared their announcement of the day's beginning at her. It wasn't even seven yet, and Chloe hadn't slept well, her fitful dreams plagued by her curiosity over the selection of songs that had mysteriously entered her life days before. Still unsure if they were truly meant for her, the more she listened the more she began to feel a connection to the unknown person that had laced the music together in such a thoughtful and talented woven blanket of music. A security blanket that somehow made Chloe feel special, safe, and, of course, secure. What bothered her most was that she was unable to stop listening to the songs in an attempt to decipher some code or clue to the creator. Bordering on slightly obsessed, she was becoming more and more involved in the imaginary connection that existed within her own heart between herself and the unknown mixer. As her heart opened more each listen, she couldn't shake the tiny voice in the back of her mind that reminded her that the songs might have been given to her by mistake; an accident that would undoubtedly cause her heartbreak if she continued to allow these songs to penetrate her mind. Yawning, she stretched and mumbled a sleepy "Good morning" to her roommate who was finishing her stretches and warm ups before she headed out.
"Morning sleepyhead," Aubrey said jokingly, but with a hint of concern lying under the humorous tone. "Are you feeling okay? Is it your nodes?"
Clearing her throat in an attempt to remove the fogginess from her mind and vocal chords, Chloe sat up and responded, "No, I feel fine, I'm just...I don't know, fixated on that mix of music I got the other day. I can't stop thinking about it. Like, the person behind it. I wonder who he is? Or how he knows me? Or..." She trailed off, not sure what other questions were flying around in her head.
"Well, maybe it was a cathartic release of someone you hooked up with or something. Oh, maybe it's from Tom!" As she mentioned the attractive boys name, Aubrey perked up and moved closer to Chloe. "He seems so into you, how serious is it?" She perched her lithe body on the side of Chloe's bed, eager to live vicariously through her roommate's sexcapades. Focusing on school and the Bella's so much, Aubrey's social life suffered dramatically in the love department.
"Tom?" Chloe responded, blinking, realizing she hadn't heard from him in days, "No, he couldn't have made those songs...he only listens to rap and country. Ew. Imagine that mash-up!" She laughed, picturing the absurdity of her casual boy toy hunched over music equipment toiling for hours to perfect the fluidity of the song flow. "It's weird that no one's said anything though; or like written a note or anything, how am I supposed to know who sent it? Or even if it really was supposed to be for me?" Frustrated, Chloe pulled her covers over her head, and the blonde shook her head, unsure of what to say.
"I don't know, Chloe. But I do know you can't keep losing sleep over it. Your eyes are kind of puffy and we have to be ready for our next performance since the one at Brent's frat went so aca-awful." She turned her nose up in distaste remembering the failed gig at ATO. "We just really need to be in tip-top Bella shape, and besides, you look like hell." She finished her sentence with a twinge of pity, genuinely concerned for her best friend's well being. Aubrey got up and walked toward the door, wanting to complete a quick run before getting ready for class. She heard a small crunch under her running shoe, and stepped back to see what she had stepped on. Another small black flash drive was pressed deep into the carpet, and despite the sound, appeared unharmed. Picking it up, Aubrey saw Chloe's name on it, and tossed it to her roommate as she headed out. "I hope that gives you some answers. Or closure or whatever. We really need to step it up if we want to be the aca-awesome bitches we are."
With that, she was gone, and Chloe was left alone with another small unremarkable flash drive. Upon closer inspection, she saw the familiar block lettering, but felt her heart skip a beat as she read the addition of her name. A sense of relief washed over her, and she signed realizing that this mysterious person's gifts were meant for her, and no other. Despite the anonymity of the talented individual, she could no longer doubt that she was the intended recipient. It was both liberating and frightening, and as she jumped up to load the drive onto her laptop, she could feel the butterflies inside her stomach move to the rhythm of the beats. As the first track began to play, a mash-up of "The Mixed Tape" by Jack's Mannequin and One Republic's "Secrets", she felt her heart swell and knew, without a doubt, she was falling for the unknown purveyor of the soundtrack to her soul.
After listening to each song on the drive multiple times, she set it on shuffle and glanced at the clock. She had missed her morning classes, too infatuated with the mix "tape" to pry herself away from her room. The redhead took a quick shower, and made herself presentable. She moved in autopilot, and with scattered thoughts running through her head as she tried to imagine the person she was suddenly intrigued with, she had an idea. With a sly smile, she sat down at her desk. "They may have music, but I have words,"she thought, grabbing a pen and a sheet of paper. They must know where she lived; the flash drive was slipped under the door to her room, after all. She would write a letter, because while she lived by music, she expressed herself through words and lyrics more so than just beats and tunes. With her own soundtrack still playing, Chloe began writing to the rhythm of the music.
Dear mysterious stranger,
Your music is amazing; it speaks to me, and I don't quite know how you know me so well, but at times when I hear your songs, it's as though you know me better than I know myself. Each beat matches the blood in my veins, each song tells a story I've already lived. How you know these things already is beyond me, but I needed you to know that I love it. I'm not really an open person when it comes to emotions; I mean, I'm outgoing and friendly, but my heart is something that I don't tend to share. It's all I have, at times. My parents were wonderful, but too caught up in their careers to really be there for me; their marriage was a terrible one of convenience and I would be lying if I said the idea of love didn't scare me on some level. When I listened to "Feels so Close to your Folding Chair," it was as if you somehow knew the sadness and distance I live within. How I long for someone to be close to me, but push people away for fear of being hurt and being alone, but how I would give anything to live in a silver bullet trailer with someone who really understands me, watching the world and the ocean pass by as an experience that we aren't a part of because we don't need the world's validation...together, we would be enough. I can't help but think that you, too, are searching for that. "All the Things my Futuristic Lover Said" makes me feel like we already have a deep connection, and I can't help but think we must know each other. I don't want to guess, but I'd love a hint or a clue...anything, just a way to know that you are real, and what I am feeling is real.
Our lives are made up of a series of inconsequential meetings and moments interspersed with life altering events...the problem is that the latter often appears as the former, until it is too late to realize that a small glance, an accidental encounter, a jolt of electricity as two meant to be lovers brush against each other is actually a sign of something. My guess is that you, too, are shy or afraid of what you feel. And that's okay. This is just my way of encouraging you, thanking you, and letting you know that you are not alone. We are in this together, and I imagine this journey may not be an easy one, but I am certain that it could be filled with amazing moments. Somehow, you have found a way to capture little moments in jars and call them songs, and I love each and every one of them. I hope that my writing this, by acknowledging and making it real doesn't diminish whatever this is between us. I just thought you should know how your music has moved me.
Whoever you are...know that this letter is my song, sung just for you.
Setting down her pen, she placed the letter in a small envelope, and wrote "For you" in lovely script on the front. After downloading all the songs onto her computer, she placed the first flash drive on top of the envelope and taped it to her door, hoping that her secret admirer would find it. Satisfied that there was nothing more she could do about her situation at the time being, Chloe headed to class, the lyrics and rhythm giving her a bounce in her step.
Later that day, heading back to her room Beca decided on impulse to swing by Chloe's room. She hoped she might catch a glimpse of red hair or catch the faint smell of the older girl's perfume lingering in the hallway. What she found, however, stopped her dead in her tracks. Her flash drive, taped to an envelope with the co-captain of the Bella's unmistakable handwriting on it. Beca glanced around, and seeing the hallway was empty, reached up and grabbed the envelope and drive, shoving it in the pocket of her hoodie. Her heart was racing, and she felt dizzy. For a moment, she was worried she was having a heart attack; or worse, a panic attack. Taking a deep breath, she chastised herself, trying to get a grip on the situation. "This is a good thing", Beca thought to herself, "At least you know she listened. Wait...what if she hated it? What if this is a restraining order?!"Her thoughts became more jumbled, and before she knew what was happening, she found herself at Jesse's door, knocking loudly and insistently.
"Beca, hey, what's up?" The dark haired boy's eyes narrowed slightly inquisitively, wondering why his friend looked so bewildered.
"I got a letter from her," Beca said, pushing through to collapse on Jesse's bed, nearly upsetting a bowl of popcorn resting on the edge of his comforter.
"Oh!" He responded, his eyes widening, "What did it say?"
"I didn't open it. I was going to, but I was worried she might be creeped out or something, or worse yet, not like the songs, so I couldn't do it alone. Since you're like the only person I trust, I came here."
His eyes lit up, glad she admitted she trusted him. "I'm totally like your lesbro, aren't I?"
She punched him lightly in the arm, and rolled her eyes. "Whatever, dude, just chill while I read this, okay?"
Pulling the letter out of her pocket, Beca's hands were shaking too much to notice the small flash drive get lost in a fold of Jesse's comforter. Opening it slowly, she carefully unfolded the missive, treating it almost reverently. As she began to read, Jesse laughed. Beca's eyes snapped up from the page, shooting daggers at her friend. Slightly upset at his reaction, she bitterly said, "What?"
Chuckling, Jesse shrugged his shoulders and replied, "Nothing!" A moment later, he added, "I can tell it's good news because I've never seen you smile like that before. You're like, really happy. It's weird. Are you a pod person?"
Shaking her head, she reread the letter a few times, and finally placed it gently back in her pocket. "I kind of am, aren't I? Like a happy obsessed pod person." Her brow furrowed, lost in thought. Absently, she spoke her thoughts aloud, "What if she likes me only because she thinks I'm a guy?" She dramatically threw herself down on the Treble's bed, irritated by her own angst.
"So what?" Jesse replied in typical guy fashion. "If she does, well, maybe she'll like you too much to care. If not..well, why fixate on that? She digs you. That's good. Why don't you tell her more about yourself? Maybe include some explanation with the next mix?"
Sitting up, Beca smiled again. Jesse still couldn't get used to the look of joy on his normally dark friend's face, and while a small part of him was jealous that he wasn't the reason behind it, he was glad that his friend was capable of joy.
"You know, that's not a bad idea. Now I know why I keep you around, lesbro," she said, using his own word slightly sarcastically. "Actually, it's a great idea. And I have a great idea for a song, too...thanks!" She called the last part out as she flew out of his room in a whirlwind of energy.
"You're welcome!" Jesse called, figuring that she likely was too far away to even hear the words, but felt the sentiment should be voiced. As he looked around his bed for the DVD he had been ready to watch, he found a small black flash drive. Knowing it was likely not for him to listen to, his curiosity got the better of him, and he slid it into the USB port on his laptop.
After listening to each song at least twice, Jesse removed his headphones and shook his head in disbelief. Beca was so amazingly talented. He bit his lip, trying to decide what to do. Part of him knew that these tracks were a part of Beca she wasn't ready to share with the world, but what if the world was ready for it? Committing to his decision, he grabbed the drive and headed over to the radio station. He remembered Luke saying that as part of their internship, they'd be allowed one hour to play their own choices on the station next week, provided Luke approved of the song choices. Jesse just had to be sure to get his playlist approved by the older DJ before Beca tried to stop him from playing these great mash-ups on air. "Besides," Jesse thought, "What harm could it do?"