A/N: Thank you all, your kind words inspire me, they are the rhythm against which these lyrics are formed, and for that I am grateful! As always, sadly, they are not my characters, merely borrowed, and I promise to return them when I'm finished. :)
The week seemed to fly by, filled with rehearsals and frantic mixing for Chloe's next drive filled with songs, but Beca was unable to bring herself to find the words to accompany the music. She had always been so much better at feeling rhythms and music; it was probably what drew her to Chloe in the first place. The redhead seemed to just have a way with words; they flowed from her mouth and her hand like they were born within her, like she knew a word for everything, even perhaps created some. If the music of Beca were to collide with the lyrics of Chloe, it would be a mash-up of epic proportions. To have a perfect mash-up, you need to take two songs that are different enough, but follow the same general chord progression. What made Beca's mixes so extraordinary was that she was always able to combine tunes, but also match words that were already written by another. Resigned to complete at least a short letter to accompany the new music, she headed from her afternoon class, searching for lyrics within the music she felt.
Beca arrived back to her room to find Kimmy Jin and a few of her friends from the Korean Student Association gathered around her roommate's computer watching some Korean sitcom. Unable to think with the laughter and chatter, Beca grabbed her portable gear and silently headed out to the quad to find a quiet place to think. Sitting down, she took a moment to listen to the wind create a slow bass beat against her headphones, and absently began tapping her fingers against her thigh. When she closed her eyes, the music notes seemed to swirl around forming a song, sparks of colors that soon became sharper and she saw red hair, blue eyes, and smiling pink lips framing perfect white teeth. Each body part, like individual music notes coalesced to form a composition, a symphony that was Chloe. As the image became sharper in Beca's mind, she saw the older girl writing the letter to her musically inclined suitor, and the details were so vivid like music tabs and soon the image moved in a rhythmic pulse, and she pictured a strand of red hair falling across the girl's perfectly smooth, pale forehead, She imagined the redhead's soft lips pursed in concentration, parting only to absently chew on a fingernail, and as the orchestration within her mind led Beca to feel the softness of Chloe's lips, she snapped her eyes open and mentally pulled herself together. Shaking herself fully from her reverie, Beca opened up a few mixes she had made for Chloe over the past few days. She was listening to them intently as she stared at a blank word document, waiting for the words to come that would allow her to respond to the heartfelt confessional letter she received earlier. So intent was she on the project at hand that she didn't notice someone sit next to her on the ground. It wasn't until she felt someone touch her shoulder that she started.
"Jesus Christ, Chloe, you scared me!" Beca said, embarrassment at almost having been caught coming off as irritation.
"I'm sorry," Chloe began, genuinely upset she had intruded on what apparently was a private thing. "I was walking back from class and saw you sitting here and thought I'd say hi." Her warm smile caused Beca's heart to melt, and she immediately felt guilty for having snapped. Chloe started to stand, up, but Beca reached out, placing her hand gently on the older girl's wrist.
"No, it's okay, I was just kinda out of it. Stay...please, it'd be nice to have some company." Beca finished her sentence hoping the plea didn't sound as desperate as she felt; she wanted nothing more than to be as close to Chloe for as long as possible, but wasn't quite ready to reveal her identity as the creator of the mash-ups. Besides, it was possible that due to her anonymity she might be able to suss out the situation and see how Chloe felt about it, so she could better prepare herself if the feelings that were fueling the songs were one sided.
Chloe settled back in next to Beca, leaning back on her elbows, eyes closed and chin turned up to the warm afternoon sun. "Mmm, it's really a nice day out. I love fall," Chloe began, breathing in the smell of earth and grass, fresh air and coffee from the coffee cart a few yards away. "It's my favorite season."
Beca looked at the girl, whose eyes were still closed, taking advantage of Chloe's nonchalance to survey each inch of the beautiful girl. She had seen Chloe naked in the shower, but due to the briefness and awkwardness was unable to memorize enough details, such as the precise way her red hair curled at the bottom near her shoulder, or the way in which the hollow of her throat looked so soft. The small scar on her forehead, that Beca remembered, and because Chloe was so beautiful, Beca found the scar most attractive. It was an imperfection, a flaw, yet Chloe never tried to cover it with makeup; it was as though it was a badge of some kind of courage, and Beca yearned to know the origin of it. Realizing that Chloe probably was awaiting a response, she said, "Really? Fall? I would have pegged you for the Spring type." As Chloe looked to her, Beca quickly continued, trying to avoid the staccato notes the piercing blue eyes played in her heart, "You know, things blooming and growing and becoming bright and sunny. Why fall?"
Chloe readjusted her weight, which brought her arm and side closer to Beca, lightly grazing her torso, and Beca focused all her energy on not moaning at the electric shock that seemed to course between her skin and the oblivious girl next to her. "Well, I guess it's because I like the colors. And the smells," Chloe said brightly, her voice musical even when just speaking. "I like the idea of a brilliant blaze of glory before everything turns cold and dark. How about you? What's your favorite season?"
Beca, uncomfortable with the closeness between them that made her head spin tried to turn away, but her hand slipped and she ended up falling nearly on top of Chloe's chest. Catching herself, she found her head less than an inch from Chloes, her mouth so close to the red head's that she could feel the warm breath that smelled like peppermint and honey. Jumping back, she apologized profusely, but Chloe didn't seem to mind. As the older girl laughed kindly, though, she couldn't help but wonder why she suddenly felt a surge of energy surge through her veins. She also was unsure as to why she couldn't stop staring at Beca's lips, now a few feet away, but no less engrossing than when they were millimeters away from her own.
Regaining her composure, Beca realized she had yet to answer Chloe's question, and clearing her throat said, "I like winter. I know, typical, right? But I don't think of it like winter and death and coldness. For me, I think of winter like a dark summer. There's beauty in it, there's a holiday in it, and there's time away from school and life to just...be. I like being able to get away from stuff, whether it's fall or spring, there always seems to be so many demands, you know? I like my dark summer because it's like a song that's always stuck in my head, but until it plays in the calendar year, I don't know the lyrics. But the moment it does, I sing along and it all makes sense. Though now I'm wondering if I sound crazy when I say it out loud." She had noticed a faraway look in Chloe's bright blue eyes, and was worried she was boring her. Truthfully, Chloe felt the warmth rising through her stomach to her cheeks, Beca's imagery was so lovely. She never imagined the dark alternative girl was capable of such beauty, but looking at her in the late fall afternoon light, the shadows seemed to disappear.
"No, I totally get that! Is it too late to change my favorite season to dark summer?" Chloe asked, nudging the brunette with her shoulder gently and playfully.
"Sure," Beca said, "As long as you don't tell everyone about it. You know how alt. I am. I'd have to pick a less popular season," she deadpanned, a smile playing at the corners of her mouth.
"Well, we can't have that, can we?" Chloe responded with a smile, glancing at her watch. "Damn, I'm supposed to meet Aubrey for dinner. Want to come with?" She asked, hoping the eagerness didn't come across too strongly.
Beca thought for a second, but decided if she didn't work on this letter to Chloe now, she might never get up the nerve to write it. "Um, thanks, but I'd rather have dinner with Bumper. I actually think he might like me more than Aubrey."
Chloe laughed at the absurd truth to the dark haired girl's statement, and stood up stretching her long legs. "Well at least you wouldn't have to worry about Bumper puking on you," she joked. "Though I was right about something, you know."
The sparkle in Chloe's eyes spurned Beca's curiosity, and looking up she asked, "What's that?"
"I knew we were going to be fast friends. I'm rarely wrong about these things." She said, fake seriousness written all over her face. "Really, though, we should hang more often. I like you, Beca. See you later!"
With that she was gone, and Beca leaned back on the grass, the words playing over and over in her mind, her new favorite song. I like you, Beca...I like you, Beca...I like you, Beca... She began to hum along, and opening her laptop, began to type. _
Chloe rushed across campus, heading to meet Aubrey, running uncharacteristically late. She almost flew past the radio station, but something seemed to pull at her heartstrings, forcing her to a halt in front of the speakers outside the station. She listened for a moment, unsure at first, but as the song continued, she was positive she knew it. That mash-up, what was it called..."I'm Gonna Be Titanium", one of her songs, from her admirer, was playing. It was beautiful and it was hers, and she leaned against the glass to get a better look at the person who was airing the song. Cupping her hands to cut through the glare, she backed away shocked. It was the new Treble, Jesse. She maybe had met him twice; how did he...why did he...her thoughts were jumbled as she peered intently through the window. He had the station headphones on, his eyes were closed, but he was tapping out the rhythm perfectly. He knew the song by heart, just as well as she did. Thinking perhaps it was a fluke, she listened to the song end, and a new one began. When she recognized the beat, she pulled herself away from the radio station and headed to the dining area. Walking slowly now, deep in thought, she no longer cared about being late to meet Aubrey. Ugh, Aubrey, with her hatred for all things Treble. She sighed, wondering how long she could keep this from her best friend, glad she no longer had to obsess over who created those songs for her. But what she couldn't quite figure out, though, is why she wasn't more happy to learn who her mystery mixer was.
Chapter 8 coming shortly...