A/N: I'm back with another Pitch Perfect-fic. People were so kind reviewing Cinnamon & Safety, and I am so thankful for all the nice reviews and encouraging words you guys sent my way. As it is still Valentine's Day over here, consider it my gift to you on this day of love and cheesy stuff. This fic is basically set in the same post-movie timeline established in C&S, but you should be able to read it as a stand alone-piece. The ever-so brilliant that-moment-between-strangers set me the following prompts for this fic: an orange, Sheldon Cooper and dancing in the rain.
Disclaimer: I do not own Pitch Perfect or the characters. Just playing around with hypotheticals. No money was made writing this fic.
COLOR ME LOVED
"If we get caught," Donald thought to himself, "I am so blaming Lilly."
She stood behind him on the porch, bouncing like a little kid, and he made a mental note to keep her away from caffeinated beverages in the future.
To be perfectly honest, though, it wasn't all Lilly's fault. Through mostly no fault of his own, Donald has just happened to forget to return the key, and since nobody had asked for it back... Besides, if you had a key, you weren't really breaking in, right? Anyway, while he may have facilitated things, he definitely gave Lilly credit for the idea.
They had been lounging on the couch two nights ago, watching a Stephen King movie marathon, when Lilly had suddenly started talking about how she missed bath tubs. How she got from Stand By Me to bath tubs was beyond him, but Donald had learned not to analyze the way her mind made connections, because he usually got lost somewhere along the way.
"We have this big bath tub at home, and it's so much fun to just lie in the water and play dead," she had explained dreamily when he had asked why she missed bath tubs.
"Don't they have bath tubs on campus?"
"Do you think I would still be here if there were?"
"Okay, ouch!" Donald feigned an arrow to the chest, and collapsed further down into the couch seat.
She laughed at him, poking him with her feet before taking another big gulp of Red Bull mixed with soda, a mixture she had come up with to keep her awake for the whole marathon. Sighing, she returned her attention to the movie, where Wil Wheaton and Jerry O'Connell were running across the bridge, but Donald was left thinking. He had been so busy lately, being forced to go back to work and take a raincheck on a few of their dates. He hadn't been able to come to the Aca-Initiation night to be with Lilly. He felt like it was time to do something nice for her.
"The Treble house has a hot tub," he said casually, watching her from the corner of his eye.
Her response was immediate. She bounced up, almost landing on his shins. Her eyes were like saucers, and the look she gave him coupled with her twitchy, caffeine-laced movements came off a little unhinged.
"You had access to a hot tub last semester and you didn't tell me?"
"How was I supposed to know you liked bath tubs?" he defended himself, pulling his feet out from underneath her.
"Donnie, so not the point!"
"Hey, what did I say about calling me Donnie?"
"Donnie, I will call you Donnie until I go blue in the face, Donnie, because you could've taken me to the hot tub, Donnie," she said between clenched teeth, and it was sort of scary to behold.
He sat up, wrapped his arms around her, and pulled her to his end of the couch.
"Hey, hey, hey, give me some credit Lils, I did tell you about it now."
"Yeah, but you're no longer a Treble."
"I may or may not have forgotten to return my key..."
She wriggled in his arms and looked him square in the eye, dead serious.
"Oh, yes, I did."
She had wanted to go right away, but he'd had to remind her that it was 1 am, and the Treble house was located at the very outskirts of campus, nestled in a small clearing. There was no way he was hiking out there on a Wednesday night, no matter how much she loved bath tubs. She eventually agreed with him, after he had reminded her that he had work in the morning and she had a much dreaded Intro to Cognitive Behavior-class tomorrow.
"I'll take you on Saturday, okay?" he promised her as they crept into bed an hour later.
Lilly just smiled at him, burrowing down under her cover and whispered good night. Donald just smirked and placed a kiss on the cover where he knew her head was, turned off the light and went to sleep.
When Saturday came he was absolutely positive that this was the worst idea he had ever had. He had stopped by his old dorm, which was now occupied by Unicycle and Kolio, and tried to probe if there were any parties going on, which would mean the Trebles were out and about and not camping out in the Treble house. Unicycle said there might be something worth crashing at the Sigma Beta house, but he didn't know if anyone else was going, and besides, it looked like there might be a thunderstorm, and no one wants to party in the rain, not even at the Sigma Beta house. That might be a problem. Still. He had made a promise. Donald also made a quick trip to the Treble house just to see if it looked like there would be a party there tonight, and thank god, the place looked relatively... normal. From his bag, he brought out a few items, things he wanted to surprise Lilly with later. He stashed everything under a loose floorboard, and quickly made his way out and off campus.
Lilly could hardly wait for him to tell her it was time to leave. She kept chugging down her energy drink-sodas, and grew spazzier with every hour. She had packed a bag the day before, and nagged him when he carefully packed his stuff. It sort of amused him, and he made a point to do it as slowly as he dared.
When she started threatening him with getting her lighter, however, he quickly finished up the rest, and they snuck out and onto campus. Aside from a close encounter with Jessica, they met neither Bellas nor Trebles on their way to the Treble house, and Donald wasn't sure if that was a good thing or not. He didn't calm down until they caught sight of the house through the trees, and he saw that no extra lights were on. That, unfortunately, did not mean they were guaranteed privacy. He had still not forgotten about the time Bumper sent him out to the house to get something, he didn't even remember what, and he walked in on Brendan getting it on with a sorority girl on the couch. Needless to say, he never sat in that couch ever again.
Fidgeting with the lock, he finally heard it click, and swung it open, letting Lilly enter before him. Looking around one last time to make sure they were perfectly alone, he snuck in and quickly closed the door.
"Lilly?" he asked, looking around the dark front room.
"Here," came her answer, and he spotted her, or at least her legs, which were hanging out from the edge of the hot tub.
"Wow, you really like tubs, don't you?" he said as he walked up to the hot tub platform and peered down into it.
"Bath tubs are to me what trains are to Sheldon Cooper," she deadpanned and backtumbled into sitting position, looking pleased with herself.
He helped her out of the tub, and turned on a tap that filled it with water. Lilly tried to persuade him to allow her to sit in the tub while it filled, but when he explained it would take about fifteen minutes for the tub to fill up and about as long for the water to warm up, she relented. Instead, she set about exploring the house, while Donald sneaked off and got his stash from beneath the floorboards and proceeded to the small kitchen.
"You have three different kinds of Monopoly? Do you even know how to play Monopoly?" she called out from one of the adjacent rooms.
"Hey, I take grave offense to that, and I'll have you know that you wouldn't last ten minutes with us on Monopoly night!" he called back.
Among Trebles, Monopoly night was legendary. They were all fine with people thinking they were shallow womanizers, it worked great with audiences, and having girls swoon after them went a long way in terms of maintaining their cred among the frats and clubs on campus. In reality though, most of them were self-proclaimed geeks. Unicycle had his unicycle, and had been going to clown- and circus camps for the past five years. Jesse was a notorious movie nerd, Kolio was a decent beatboxer himself, while Brendan, Kyle and Seth knew more about the Star Trek franchise than should be legal. For as long as Donald had been a Treble, Monopoly night had been sacred. Monopoly to them was like a James Bond poker game. It was dead serious.
"Wait, are you cooking?"
Donald looked up, and found Lilly peering at him from the game room door way.
"No, I am sacrificing a flamingo to the almighty Treble," he replied, trying to keep a straight face while segmenting an orange.
"There is an almighty Treble?" Her eyes widened, and at first Donald couldn't tell if she was serious. Then he saw the edges of her mouth twitch.
"You are shameless."
She stuck out her tongue and skipped over to him, following his methodical cuts with a look of fascination.
"What are you making, Dopey?"
He had never really been fond of nicknames, and for the life of him, he couldn't understand why his parents had named him after a cartoon character. He had been called every Donald Duck-related nickname in the book, and it got worse in third grade when Lisa Harmon had said his mouth looked like a beak. It didn't stop until sixth grade when Donald socked a boy named Teddy Steinman and effectively earned his first and to this date only detention.
"Should I go back to Donnie?" Lilly asked innocently, a smile now visibly playing on her lips.
"So Dopey it is."
"Lilly, please..." He set down the knife, and looked (well, tried to look) crossly at her.
"Fine. How about something more generic? Like... Cutie."
"Snugglecheks?" she then suggested, and Donald pinched the bridge of his nose.
"Where is a shotgun when you need it?" he groaned exasperatedly, fighting the urge to stab himself in the hand just to take his mind off the god-awful nicknames.
Lilly burst out laughing, tiptoed around the counter and reached up to give him a sweet kiss on the cheek.
"You know I'm only teasing you. You'll just be Donald, okay?" she promised, her eyes twinkling.
He observed her with a fair amount of scepticism.
"You're calling me Captain Underpants in your head right now, aren't you?" he finally uttered, not getting an answer.
Lilly simply skipped off to the tv set and plopped down in front of it. Donald wondered how long he'd have to live with that nickname, and what he could do to make her stop use it, even if she only used it quietly to herself. Shaking his head, he returned to sectioning the orange, finding the meticulous cutting a welcome distraction. Things went by relatively smoothly from there. Lilly didn't bother him with nicknames, not even when he asked her to go turn off the tap for the tub about ten minutes later. By then, their meal was ready, and he swiftly put his creation on plates and set them on the counter.
"What is this?" Lilly wondered when she came back, sniffing in the air.
"It's orange sandesh," Donald explained. "I know you like dessert, so it's dessert for dinner tonight. My mom always makes this for special occasions. She makes it from scratch, though. I fibbed a little."
He handed her a plate, and she immediately put it under her nose and breathed in.
"It smells like delicious. Thank you."
He led her over to the tv set, steering her clear from the hump-infested couch, and they ate their dessert while watching Singing in the Rain on tv. For Donald, this was a classic. It was the movie that had gotten him into singing and dancing. To his surprise, he found that Lilly was just as enthralled, and she confidently joined in when Gene Kelly started singing and dancing down the street. She even tapped her feet in time with his dance.
"I once tried to do that," she said, leaning her head against his shoulder.
"Really?" Donald had a hard time picturing Lilly dancing in the street. The setting stuff on fire and watching babies cry, that he could actually picture her doing. But somehow, dancing in the rain never seemed like something she would do, she had been (and sometimes still was) inexplicably shy.
"I almost got run over by a flatbed truck. The driver yelled at me, so I followed him and slashed his tires."
Now she was being serious. He could tell, because she said it without taking her eyes off the tv, like it was the natural progression of their conversation. They watched the rest of the movie in silence, and Lilly almost dozed off towards the end. When Donald told her the hot tub was ready, she bounced up, and was gone before he could blink.
She wasn't kidding about enjoying playing dead in the water. The first thing she did when she got in was to dive under the surface, and let her body float up, her hair lazily swaying from the movement of the water. She looked kinda peaceful, but when she hadn't moved in minutes, Donald got nervous and poked her gently in the sides. Lilly whipped up, her hair spraying the wall behind her with water.
"Whatever did you do that for?" she coughed, flattening her hair back.
"Lilly, you hadn't moved for minutes, forgive me for getting a little worried."
"That? Please, I can hold my breath for far longer than that. And what is that atrocious thing on your head?"
"Hey, do not mock the shower cap," he warned her with a crooked smile. "You think these locks happen by accident?"
For some reason, God knows why, the rest of the Trebles had kept his shower cap around. It began as a dare during his first semester with the Trebles. He had to go out and buy the girliest shower cap he could find and then use it for the following month. Instead of letting it get to him, he made it a thing, and soon the shower cap was as much a part of the hot tub sessions as the Treble duck and Kyle's painfully bad jokes.
Lilly still wasn't impressed, and she flicked water at him, purposely aiming for the locks of hair that hung down his forehead. He tried to shield himself, but it was no use, she started splashing even more water at him. Finally, he grabbed hold of her slender waist, and pulled her close until she was straddling him.
"There. Much better," he said contentedly, playing with her hair.
She snaked her arms around his neck, and before long, they were kissing, all thoughts of the shower cap forgotten. For someone so small, she was extraordinarily ferocious. Or maybe that was the caffeine in her system. Either way, she kissed him with a hunger that hadn't been there before, and Donald found his hands wandering down to the small of her back, his mouth trailing kisses along her jaw, throat and clavicle. The breathy noises his ministrations illicited were driving him slowly insane. He didn't even care when she tore off the shower cap and tossed it somewhere behind him, running her fingers wildly through his hair.
Things were getting serious, when she suddenly stopped her movements.
"Um, Donald... Not to rain on your parade or anything..." She hissed as he nipped at the skin at the base of her neck.
"Yes?" he murmured, planting a soft kiss on the blushing spot.
"I see lights."
"I bet you do, Lils..."
"No, I mean, someone is heading over here."
It was a metaphorical cold shower worth the name. His head snapped up and he looked over his shoulder. Outside he could clearly see a spot of moving light. Someone was definitely heading for the Treble house.
"Shit!" he cursed under his breath, trying to come up with a plan.
"Do you want to scare him?" Lilly suggested shrewdly, and something wicked flashed in her eyes.
It wasn't exactly like they could hide. Whoever it was outside would see the dirty dishes, his shower cap, not to mention the full hot tub. The Treble house only had so many good hiding places. They wouldn't be able to stay hidden for long.
"What do you have in mind?" he asked, casting another glance out the window.
Lilly turned his head back to face her, and set his glasses askew, then pushed herself backwards.
"Play dead. And just... Wait for it."
With those words, she disappeared under the surface, floating up with her hair like an onyx halo around her head. Donald smiled, and quickly leaned back, his head in a rather uncomfortable angle. He had never played dead before, but he hoped he could do a good job at it now. As the lock in the door rattled, he inhaled deeply and relaxed his stare.
Donald recognized the voice the minute he spoke. Brendan. It was almost too good to be true. Whatever Lilly had planned, it would definitely be payback for the couch.
"Is anybody..? Donald? Donald, is that you?"
Footsteps closed in, and through unfocused eyes, Donald could see Brendans blurry face above him.
"Donald? This is not funny, man. What the fuck... Come on!"
Brendan shook his shoulder, and Donald simply followed gravity, sliding into the water. He tried his hardest not to blink, but it was getting damn near impossible.
"Fuck!" Brendan cussed. "Okay. I-I gotta... I gotta call the cops."
Right then, Lilly flew up lik a coil spring, spraying water around herself and shrieking at the top of her lungs. Donald quickly sat up, blinking a few times and turned around as fast as he could, fast enough to see Brendan let out a loud piercing scream and toss his phone at Lilly. She dodged it easily, and with a plop, it landed in the bubbling tub.
"What the fuck?!" Brendan bellowed, grabbing at his chest. "Are you guys trying to give me a fucking heart attack?"
Donald burst out laughing, and behind him, Lilly did the same, her hair plastered to her face.
"Even-Steven, Brendan," Donald jibed, picking up the cellphone from the bottom of the tub and tossing it back to Brendan.
"Fuck you, Lahiri, this is so far from even you don't even want to know."
Lilly came up beside him, her eyes still twinkling with mischief.
"Do you want me to set fire to him?"
He had no idea how she did it, how she could sound so calm and serious even though he knew she was bluffing. Brendan seemed to buy the bluff, as he quickly shut his mouth, backed away and disappeared out the door. Lilly's giggle echoed through the sudden silence, and she dipped her head into the water, smoothing back her hair.
"You are the best," Donald said appreciatively, kissing her on the cheek.
"I have my moments," she admitted proudly. "How long until he's back with the other Trebles?"
"Depends on whether or not they're at that Sigma Beta thing. I'd say we have about half an hour."
"So, that's half an hour for us to clear out, right?"
Donald nodded, and he could tell she was a bit sad that they had to cut the hot tub-time short. Nevertheless, she wrung the water out of her hair and got out of the tub, hurrying off to change. Donald followed her, and together they emptied the tub, cleaned up the kitchen and put everything back to its original place as best they could. On their way back, they had to duck in behind a group of trees, when the Trebles, led by a livid-looking Brendan, came galloping towards the Treble house, flashlights in hands. The two of them left their hiding place once they were sure no one was following the group of Trebles that had just thundered past them.
They had just entered the campus main square when the first drop hit the asphalt and the first rumble of thunder sounded in the night. It was as if someone in the sky had turned on a faucet, and soon the rain was showering down on them, hitting the paved walkways forcefully. Lilly stood still, her face turned skyward, letting the sharp droplets hit her face. Donald pocketed his glasses, and then spotted something he knew would seal this evening. He let go of Lilly's hand, and she abruptly turned to look at him.
"What are you doing?" she called after him.
"Follow my lead!" he called back over his shoulder.
He had spotted a light post a little way left, and he jumped up on it. Holding onto the pole with one arm, he leaned out, and realization dawned on Lilly's face. When he started singing, she quickly joined in, harmonizing with the melody. He held out her hand to her, and when she walked over and took it, he jumped down, and they danced and sang their way across and out of the Barden University campus, not caring that their clothes were soaked through. They half-danced, half-walked home from campus, humming the song as they walked.
Their shoes sloshed audibly when they entered their apartment, both of them laughing under their breath. Lilly had almost jumped onto a car and kicked its windshield in because the driver kept honking at them. He managed to get her away from it with an elaborate twirl and a playful kiss on her neck, right on her pulse.
Shedding their clothes and letting them fall to the floor with loud thuds, they stumbled into the bathroom, showering off the scent of rain. The feeling of warm water enveloped them and brought them even closer to each other. Lilly bit down hard on his shoulder, trying to still the whimpers of pleasure. Donald hissed sharply, the pain deliciously mingled with his own high.
They lolled out of the bathroom and into the bedroom, blissfully content. He helped toweldry her hair, enjoying Lilly's angry growls when he made her hair look like bunny ears and bow ties. She didn't entrust him with a brush, that was her own form of relaxation and control. Donald still liked to watch her, how she meticulously forced every strand of long, black hair to lie flat and flowing against her back.
"Hey... I'm sorry you didn't get more time in the hot tub," he apologized a while later when they were getting ready for bed.
Lilly was pulling off the bed spread, a slightly tattered thing that had once belonged to her grandmother, but she stopped at his comment. She shook her head and smiled softly.
"Do you think I'm not happy with the evening?" she countered, holding his gaze.
He shrugged his shoulders. She quickly bunched up the rest of the bed spread, tossed it haphazardly on the floor and rolled over the bed to get to him. Her face showed no emotion; no happiness, no disappointment, nothing. She got up on tip toe, almost reaching to his eyelevel.
"Donald, I got to eat dessert for dinner, bathe in a hot tub, scare someone half to death and sing Singin' in the Rain with you. I had a shower that was possibly the best shower in the history of showers. What part of this evening could have been better?"
"Um..." he started, but she shushed him.
"That was a rhetorical question,silly. Have you ever heard the second verse of Singin' in the Rain?"
"Have I... What?"
Lilly snickered, put her arms around his neck and pulled him down onto the bed. Snaking out from under him, she crawled up next to him and began singing to him in her smooth soprano voice:
Why am I smiling and why do I sing?
Why does September seem sunny as spring?
Why do I get up each morning and start?
Happy and head up with joy in my heart?
Why is each new task a trifle to do?
Because I am living a life full of you.
"I've never heard that one before," Donald admitted, a tad sheepishly.
"It's not in the movie, so people generally don't know the song has an additional verse. But you get it, right?"
"Why I'm completely satisfied tonight?" She didn't wait for him to answer. "Donald, I... I love you. Okay? I love you like I've never loved anyone before, not even that ant colony I had in second grade that somehow disappeared right under my nose. You are so sweet and you don't cringe or run away from me when I say something crazy."
Donald could hear her voice crack, and he carefully lifted her chin so he could see her face. She was trying to keep it stern, but there were telltale signs in the corner of her eyes; tears that wanted to escape. Nevertheless, she soldiered on:
"You let me eat dessert for dinner, and you take me to a hot tub. You hate it when I call you Donnie and Captain Underpants, but I promise I won't say that out loud with other people in the room, and you're also the only person I know who actually uses a shower cap. You're the colour in the movie about my life. I love you, and I would never have talked this much to someone if..." Lilly stopped abruptly to catch her breath. She inhaled slowly, trying to compose herself.
"What Lilly?" he asked quietly, pushing away her bangs.
"If... If they didn't mean everything to me."
For a moment, the room was absolutely quiet. Donald was stunned by her proclamation. Lilly wasn't usually this vocal, she didn't tell him she loved him every other minute, like many of his former flings had done. The times he told her he loved her, she usually replied with either "Me, too", or something that would have sent other guys running for the hills or at least left them wondering what on earth she meant. She had her own forms of showing him affection. She would twirl his hair, buy pistaschios for their movie nights even though she hated them, or bring sticks of cinnamon to class just so she could have a fraction of what she had when the school day was over. A declaration like this one was rare. She had said "I love you" three times within seconds of each other. Although Donald sometimes struggled with determining whether or not Lilly was serious about the things she said, he had no doubts that she meant every word now. Because she was such a quiet, private person, the rare times when she really spoke up meant that much more. Donald caught her lips with his, gingerly kissing her, trying to pour all his love for her into the kiss. This couldn't be sufficiently expressed with words, not even with song. She was everything, all the things he loved, feared, disliked and dreamed. She let him lead, let him show her love in kind. Donald found that if he tried to speak, words failed him, which was a completely foreign concept to him. He was goot at talking. Sometimes even too good. But not now, not with Lilly. He couldn't adequately phrase the entire spectrum of feelings he had for her, from the prickly irritation at being called Captain Underpants, to the wild astonishment at her creativity, to the abundance of love and passion he felt for her. It was more than any combination of words know to the English or the Tamil languages could express.
He had no idea how much time had elapsed when they came up for air. Everything had been said, tears had been shed, silent promises made. Lilly looked at him with an expression of complete calm and love. Donald quietly tucked her in, and she yawned sleepily. Taking off his glasses, he pulled his covers over him and turned off the light. He inhaled deeply and let his head fall down onto the pillow. When Lilly suddenly crept in under his covers, he flinched, not having noticed her movement. Nevertheless, he put his arm around her, and listened to her breathing in the darkness. Then her small voice sounded through the quiet room:
"When can we go see the hot tub again?"
She didn't see it, but Donald smiled. The Trebles knew they'd been there, that he still had a key. He wouldn't put it past them to change the locks.
"How are your lockpicking skills?"
She didn't answer, at least not with words. He could feel the knowing smile on her lips.
Bring it on.
A/N: A few things...
- Brendan is the Treble with the blonde hair as seen in the film
- Yes, I chose Lahiri as Donald's last name because of the Mindy Project
- On a related note, I mentioned Tamil since Utkarsh Ambudkar mentioned on his twitter that he is half Tamilian
I would love to hear your input on this, because parts of it was a major pain to write. If you want to, you can leave me prompts, and I'll see if I can come up with something. Just... please, keep it LillyxDonald. :)