Beca smiles to herself as the professor dismisses class for the day. She's thankful that he is a stickler for time because class never runs past the one hour and fifteen minute mark. Beca shoves her notes and textbook into her backpack and hurries out the building. The whole college thing is more draining the second time around. The thought of her upcoming exams is enough to make her head explode. She thinks about going to the library to be productive but Chloe's place is much more appealing. Avoiding the idiots who nearly crash into her with their skateboards, Beca makes the trek to the apartment.
Beca climbs a flight of stairs and comes to a stop at Chloe's door. Her pockets are always filled with random things (flash drives, Starbursts, BU rape whistle, loose change) so Beca has to dig around before she can produce the key buried in her pocket. She steps inside and kicks off her shoes by the door, dropping her bag in the process. A glance at the clock tells her that Chloe should be back in the next hour or so. The kitchen is small but neat with Chloe's personal touch scattered throughout the room. Beca rifles through the cabinet and pulls out a box of Fruit Roll-Ups before grabbing a bottle of iced tea from the fridge. There's a beginning of a mix idea working its way through her head and she wants to work on it before the idea leaves her mind. She walks into Chloe's bedroom and spots her laptop and headphones resting on the girl's desk, both items left there from the night before. She carefully sets down her Fruit Roll-Ups and iced tea (on a coaster because Chloe cares about that stuff) and opens up her laptop. As it boots up, Beca decides to change out of her jeans and into a pair of comfortable shorts. Her eyes dart over to the hamper but it's noticeably empty of any clothing so she walks over to Chole's dresser. She opens the drawer, ready to grab the first pair of shorts she sees and stills her movements, confused at the sight that greets her. It's Chloe's dresser so it should be filled with all of her things but instead Beca is looking at her back-up headphones (that's where they went) and articles of her own clothing - a mix of tank tops, t-shirts, and boxers - all resting neatly inside the drawer.
Chloe gave her a drawer.
Beca can't stop the way her heart flips at the thought. They've been together for a few months now and Chloe has let Beca set the pace of their relationship, allowed her to lead, and all the while Chloe has never asked or pushed for more than she could give. Beca thinks she should be freaking out but all she can do is picture Chloe taking a shirt here, a pair of shorts there, putting them all away without a word or big declarations. The redhead's subtle gesture speaks volumes that Beca can hear. Chloe, who is so patient, so kind and understands her has cleared a space just for her. And Beca loves her for it. She thinks that this thought for sure should have her freaking out but it doesn't. It warms her heart instead and she doesn't mind at all. She loves the way that Chloe can easily pull a laugh from her or a smile or pure affection. She loves the way that Chloe has managed to seep into the dark, hidden cracks of Beca and fill them with her red hair, her blue eyes, her smile, and her joy for life. Beca pulls out a shirt and looks at the drawer that Chloe has made for her and realizes that she wants to fill this drawer up with everything that she is.
Beca is so caught up in her thoughts that she doesn't notice Chloe until her voice rings out.
"Hey, you. My professor let us out early." Beca turns around to find Chloe standing in the doorway. "Thank god, because I'm starving and I don't think I would have made it if Dr. Lewis didn't let us out." Beca doesn't comment, just continues to stare at her girlfriend.
"Are you okay?" she asks when Beca remains silent, concern lacing her voice. Beca blinks slowly before nodding.
"Is that shirt going to tell you how to open a portal to a magical world or something?" Chloe questions with a raised eyebrow.
There's amusement in her eyes and Beca looks down to see that she is indeed clutching her tank top tightly to her chest. She looks back up at Chloe and says the only thing that has been running through her mind since this discovery.
"You gave me a drawer." Understanding replaces the amused but baffled look on the redhead's face. Chloe leans against the door frame. "I did," she replies her tone carefully neutral. Chloe's fingers fiddle with the hem of her shirt and Beca recognizes the nervous gesture.
"I love it."
The pure look of relief on Chloe's face is so immediate and so palpable that Beca can't help but smile a little. Sometimes she forgets what it takes of Chloe to be brave in this relationship with her. It's obvious in her relief that Chloe wasn't sure how Beca would react. The thought of Chloe, confident Chloe, being unsure and second guessing herself twists something unpleasant inside Beca's chest. Beca wants to erase any uncertainties, any hesitations that Chloe may have about her.
Chloe pushes herself off the door frame and steps into the room. "I thought a drawer would be a better place than the floor for your stuff," she teases, a smile on her face. Beca's stomach dips a little at the comment. Chloe is offering her an out, a way to downplay the meaning of it all. But Beca doesn't want to downplay it (or anything about their relationship actually). And suddenly the most important thing in this moment is to let Chloe know that.
She clasps her hand around Chloe's wrist and gently tugs her forward. "Thank you," Beca says looking the redhead straight in the eyes. "I love the drawer. I love everything about it."
Beca hopes that Chloe understands what she is saying because for all the progress she has made in the feelings and communication department, there's still some hesitation, still some kinks to work out. It's why the 'I love you' she wants to say sticks in her throat. She hopes that Chloe can understand that she is saying yes to everything that Chloe is offering; that Beca is saying yes to being in Chloe's life in every way possible (forever echoes faintly in her mind).
There's a stretch of silence and Beca is starting to think that maybe she didn't say enough but then Chloe steps into her and cradles her face with her hands and presses a kiss onto Beca's lips. It is such a gentle, loving kiss that Beca swears she can hear her heart sigh in content. Or maybe she actually sighs in content. She's not sure. Chloe pulls back, the pads of her thumbs softly sweeping across her cheeks. "Me too," Chloe says in response to Beca's earlier statement. The 'I love you too' is wrapped up in Chloe's soft tone and written all over her stay like that for a few moments, grinning widely at each other before Chloe pulls Beca towards her bed. They settle comfortably against each other, legs entwined.
"So how long have you been stealing my stuff, Beale?" Beca smirks at her. Chloe rolls her eyes and lifts an eyebrow in her direction.
"The better question is how long have you been oblivious to your things disappearing." Beca opens her mouth to respond but realizes the answer to that question is embarrassing (she didn't notice at all) so she lets it go. They fall into easy conversation, Chloe telling her about her day and making plans for the upcoming weekend among other things.
There's a comfortable lull in conversation. Beca is quietly humming out the mix idea from earlier when she notices that Chloe is staring at her. Beca looks at her girlfriend until she answers Beca's questioning look. "I just never thought you'd be such a softie for laundry," she says, voice thick with humor. "I'll have to consider doing laundry more often."
Beca doesn't even realize that she's surging forward until her lips collide with Chloe's. Before she can take things further, Chloe giggles against her lips. Beca pulls back, slightly put off by the laughter falling out of her girlfriend's mouth.
"Oh my god," Chloe exclaims, still giggling. "You're totally turned on by the thought of me doing laundry." Chloe falls back against the bed, hands clutching her sides as she tries (and fails) to contain her laughter. "I hate you," Beca says, shoving at Chloe's shoulder. But she can't deny the claim because the thought of Chloe separating colors from whites really works for her.
Beca isn't entirely sure why but there is just something about the image of Chloe and laundry and the clean smell of detergent mixed with the sweet smell of fabric softener and the slow rock of the dryer that would match the rocking of Chloe's hips that makes Beca's skin flush and her head spin. Yeah. Thoughts of Chloe and laundry send a pleasant thrill through her. She's not about to admit that to Chloe though. Especially since she's still cackling next to her. Beca scoots herself away from the redhead and lays down, arms crossed with a frown on her face.
Chloe's laughter finally dies down and Beca feels her shift closer to her. Chloe rests her head on Beca's stomach.
"You don't hate me," she says with absolute certainty. "I gave you a drawer complete with fresh laundry."
Beca avoids looking anywhere in Chloe's direction. "No, I'm pretty sure I hate you," she grounds out.
Chloe curls her fingers around Beca's folded arms and tugs until she looks down at her and she immediately knows that is a mistake. Chloe meets her gaze, widening those impossibly blue eyes at her and even though Beca knows exactly what the redhead is doing, she feels her resolve crumbling. Chloe doesn't play fair. At all.
"You don't hate me," Chloe says in that voice. The one that seems specifically reserved for her, all soft and plaintive. It's the one that lets Beca know that she is completely fucked because she's about to say yes to whatever it is Chloe is asking. To do anything else would be like kicking a puppy.
"Well okay, maybe I don't hate you," she mumbles, giving up her plan of resistance. It's a stupid plan anyway because she can't resist Chloe Beale.
Chloe gives her a bright smile, blue eyes still looking up at her through thick eyelashes. Beca feels her heart turn over as she takes in the sight before her and is struck with the thought of how okay everything is. How okay she is with everything to do with them. Chloe reaches up to push a loose strand of Beca's hair behind her ear and as her hand falls back down to her side, Beca catches it and tangles their fingers together, pressing a kiss against Chloe's knuckles. She knows there is a stupid grin on her face because it's reflected back to her through Chloe's smile. The disastrous moment that Beca has been waiting for ever since their first date? It doesn't happen. The leaving doesn't happen. And maybe, Beca thinks, it won't ever happen (forever whispers in her mind again).
The silence in the room is broken by the sounds of Chloe's grumbling stomach. Beca lets out a laugh and drops their linked hands. "Come on," she says pushing Chloe into motion. "Let's order some food."
After placing their order with the Thai restaurant a few blocks away, they settle on the couch and Chloe turns on the TV. "Ugh, why do we have to watch this shitty reality show?" Beca whines as Chloe selects Honey Boo Boo from the DVR.
"Because I'll let you take me against the washing machine or dryer later. But only if you don't talk during the show," Chloe says giving her a quick kiss on the cheek. Beca rolls her eyes but keeps quiet as requested.
(Turns out Beca is right. Chloe's hips keep in perfect time with the dryer)
A/N Thank you for reading!