Nothing ever goes as planned, however, and so when the fall semester came around and Aubrey stood there at The Bellas' table for the activities fair with Chloe by her side to pass out flyers, the amount of interest to join had significantly declined. This was a terrible start to their year as even Bologna Barb declined their invitation to join. She'd have to become less picky if she hoped to fill the empty slots for their a cappella group, and as if on cue, an alternative looking girl with oversized headphones draped around her neck and ear monstrosities stepped out of a taxi looking around like a lost puppy, but trying to play it cool. Chloe, too, spotted the freshman as she pointed her out.
"What about her?"
"She's a little too... Alternative for us," Aubrey pressed her lips into a thin line of disapproval. She needed like-minded women with bikini ready bodies. While the younger woman may have fit the latter requirement, she certainly wouldn't have the same disciplined mindset as herself as far as she could tell, which honestly wasn't that much as Aubrey hadn't even exchanged one word with the approaching brunette as she sauntered over to one of the nearby tables. Just as she was about to move on to a different table, Chloe seized the opportunity to grab her attention and offer her to audition.
"I don't really sing," the freshman shrugged. Aubrey was ready to dismiss the younger woman and move on to the next who better suited the role of a Bella when her friend decided to persist with the shorter brunette. When they were asked what a cappella was, she silently wished for Chloe to give up and seek out someone else, but her friend wouldn't be deterred.
It appeared as if her friend had a toner for this freshman whom they didn't even know. The way she was looking at the petite brunette, the way she smiled at her and wouldn't let the younger woman's resistance put her off all pointed to Chloe was becoming, at least physically, attracted to this freshman.
"Sorry, I just think it's kind of lame," the freshman shot them a fraudulent smile.
"You bitch!" Aubrey spat out the words, staring at the brunette incredulously, earning herself a look of surprise from the brunette.
"What she means is..." Chloe's voice faded into the background as Aubrey's stare bore holes into this impudent shorter woman. How dare she insult her, even if indirectly by jeering at what she was passionate about, while barely even knowing her. At least she had the decency not to berate the young woman right off the bat to her face.
Finally, after what was much too long as far as Aubrey was concerned, the freshman walked off.
"I think she was pretty good," Chloe smiled.
"She doesn't even sing," the blonde reminded her friend tersely.
"I know she does - she's definitely lying," she gave an affirmative nod. "I'll get her to audition."
"You really don't have to, Chloe," which was really meant to be taken as a please don't, but the redhead would have none of it. Like herself, Chloe could be stubborn as well although in a much more gentler manner.
As the day of auditions came around, the turn out wasn't too bad compared to how Aubrey had initially feared it would be. There were a few decent singers, several that would not make the cut, and a select few that she may be willing to consider. Out of the handful that tried out, the alternatively dressed freshman hadn't shown up to her silent delight. Although she hadn't entirely been expecting Beca to show up either as she had claimed that she didn't sing. Had Chloe discovered that she could, in fact, sing and she'd lied to them about it at the activities fair for whatever reason, the freshman could've easily held out in protest to the redhead's urging to try out. But just as the auditions were being announced as over, the door opened and who should it be but the brunette. She wondered to herself what had made Beca change her mind, but it was a question to which the answer was of little importance now as it didn't change that the younger woman was here to audition for a spot on The Bellas. A feeling of dread began to form in the pit of Aubrey's stomach. This freshman was bad news - she could feel it in her gut, and although the lead Bella preferred to not listen to her intestines, there was no ignoring the apprehension festering inside of her.
Beca walked hesitantly onto the stage at Chloe's urging, unsure of whether or not she should turn and go. Her feet, however, decided for her as she continued to walk onto the stage.
"I didn't know I had to have a specific song prepared," she rolled her lips into a thin line as she stood in front of Aubrey and Chloe.
"That's okay! Just sing whatever you want then," the redhead beamed.
"I'm going to need this," Beca muttered, getting down on all fours as she reached for the yellow cup that held some pens and pencils and emptied the contents along the edge of the
on the table in front of the two seniors.
Chloe was sitting on the edge of her seat, eagerly awaiting for the freshman to perform whatever it was she had in mind. Aubrey, on the other hand, was absolutely displeased by the whole situation, her mouth agape in exasperation as Beca sat cross-legged before them and began clapping out a rhythm, using the cup as well as it tapped on the stage. She pursed her lips as the smaller woman began to sing, glaring disapprovingly at her, refusing to admit - or at least not openly at all - that Beca did have a satisfactory voice, one that could benefit The Bellas. The only downside to this was the brunette did not look the part at all and that would have to change, at least for performances if she made it into the group. Of course, with Chloe acting like an excited little kid, practically drooling over the freshman, Aubrey had the irksome assumption that she'd be seeing a lot more of Beca than she wanted.
Some could have accused Aubrey of being too prejudgmental of Beca, but the senior knew she'd soon have good reason for the strong disdain she harboured towards the young woman. The younger woman was different from everyone else, and she had to have known that as well. The way she carried herself, the way she spoke and dressed, everything about her, screamed that she was the kind of person who did things her own way and went against the flow - she was a rebel. Aubrey wouldn't have cared so much, but she had the sneaking suspicion that Beca's would not take kindly to receiving and following orders and this would cause rehearsals to be more arduous than they had to be.
The day came when the newest additions to The Bellas would learn which roles they'd been assigned in the group; sacks were placed over their heads, until the big reveal when they were pulled off one by one as names were called out. This was followed by drinking the blood of their sisters before them. No one seemed to really question this as they'd had the common sense to know it wasn't actual blood in the goblet, yet Beca still found a way to voice her protest with a "Dude, no!" Aubrey was ready to curtly explain that she wasn't that vulgar not to mention go that far out of her way to gather the actual blood of the previous Bellas let alone how terrible an idea that was in the first place. Yet Chloe didn't miss a beat and got in her reply first.
"Don't worry, it's Boone's Farm," she winked at the younger woman.
"You are all Bellas now," Aubrey smiled at the group. They weren't anywhere close to being how she'd expected the new Bellas to look as, not like carbon copies of each other as they had the previous years.
"I think we did well," Chloe beamed while the new Bellas introduced themselves to each other and struck up conversations.
"I hope you're right," Aubrey kept her steady gaze trained on the women before her, but more accurately, on Beca Mitchell. "Do you really think she'll fit in?"
Chloe looked to her friend and observed how her stare was fixed on the freshman who seemed sorely - yet adorably according to her - out of place. "You're worrying too much; she'll be fine," she laughed airily. "Is she starting to grow on you already?"
"Not at all," the lead Bella scoffed. "I just don't want her ruining everything."
"Aubrey..." Chloe chuckled softly, "This is a new year and we have new Bellas. I'm sure everything will be okay," a small smile tugged at the corner of her lips as she did her best to reassure her friend.
"We'll see," she sighed.
Hood night, or what some called initiation night, was where all the a cappella groups at Barden got together as a sort of meet and greet. It was where everyone became familiar with the other faces and mingle. Chloe was hanging off to the side with her boyfriend or maybe he was her friend with benefits, Aubrey didn't know nor did she feel the need to go out of her way to find out. Chloe was an adult and could choose who she wanted to be with and what kind of a label they wanted on her own. The lead Bella grabbed a red plastic cup, filled it with the cold beer that was being offered, and went to join a small crowd of people who were laughing, chatting, and dancing to the music. Just because she was managing to let loose just a little, that didn't mean Aubrey wasn't going to keep an eye out on the other Bellas.
As she glanced around, she noticed Beca also standing off to the side, but there was a Treblemaker with her. She kept a close eye on them from the distance, watching how Jesse shamelessly tried to flirt with her. While Beca didn't appear to hold much interest, she certainly wasn't trying to be rid of his company. A few minutes later Jesse was drunkenly climbing over the seats to go fetch Beca a beer. Just as the Treblemaker was leaving, who should next arrive to be in the brunette's company but Chloe. The way her friend grabbed Beca's wrists and pulled her closer, how Beca didn't pull away and instead humoured Chloe in her flirtatious ways rubbed Aubrey the wrong way, but she knew she was in no position to speak.
"Hey, captain," Amy's voice cut through her thoughts as she turned to face the other Bella.
"Amy," she greeted the woman fixing a smile on her face.
"One out of ten women are lesbians," the best singer in Tasmania with teeth, as she proclaimed herself to be, stated. "My money's on black beauty," she pointed to Cynthia Rose who was preoccupied with staring at Stacie's chest as she poured herself a beer until bringing her gaze back up to the mezzo soprano's eyes.
She nodded to Amy's remark as they continued to talk the night away until the party began to come to a close as people started to leave.
"So I saw you had some fun tonight," Chloe chirped when they'd arrived back at their shared dorm.
"Yeah, I suppose so," she replied coolly, changing into more comfortable clothes.
"What do you mean you suppose so? I saw you speaking with Amy. You seemed to be having a pretty good time," her friend laughed lightly. "You should loosen up more, though, I think it'd be good for you."
Chloe's comment wasn't meant as an insult, but it still vexed her as it did imply that she was too uptight. What would her friend know, though? She was under a great amount of pressure for this year to go well; she needed to maintain her impeccable grades, GPA, needed to get The Bellas to take first place at the ICCA this year, as well as get accepted into a good law school to appease her father. While the other woman knew her father was overbearing, she could only imagine what kind of a toll this was taking on Aubrey. Whenever she spoke with her father on the phone, all she received was an earful of how much she had left to improve about herself. They never spoke about the previous year's debacle at Lincoln Center, however, as that was too shameful to speak of for either of them and he'd already voiced his censure of the a cappella group as he didn't see how such a thing could possibly assist her in getting anywhere in life.
The Bellas had been something Aubrey had joined with Chloe when they became freshman as something fun to do. The fun aspect of the a cappella group was fleeting as Alice zapped it right out with her strict, no-nonsense leadership that was much more of a dictatorship as far as Aubrey and Chloe were concerned. The former Bellas leader made no effort to hide her acrimony with the women as she mercilessly castigated them for the smallest of things such as not smiling enough to her liking when running through the choreography. Yet Aubrey and Chloe continued to persevere and stick with the group as it was their escape from the pressures of school work, although such a thing always hung over Aubrey's head whether or not she let it on, her father's words of needing to be perfect deeply ingrained into her head.
"Perhaps. I'm going to call it a night," Aubrey gave a small yawn as she got into bed and pulled the blanket up to her shoulders.
"Night, Aubrey," Chloe smiled at her.
"Good night, Chloe," she murmured in response, rolling over onto her side, keeping her back to her friend as she stared melancholically at the wall. "Hey, Chloe?"
"What do you think of Beca?" The blonde sighed.
"Didn't you ask me this earlier?"
"I was asking you on your opinion of her as a singer previously, now I'm asking your opinion on her as a person," she answered with a slight shrug.
"I like her; she's just the right amount of sarcastic and witty," Chloe grinned, recounting their conversation at the party. "Why?"
"Just wondering. She's... Different."
"Give her a chance, Aubrey. You never know, maybe you'll come to like her too, and I think different is good - we could use some different this year."
"Good night," A second sigh came from Aubrey as she brushed aside her friend's comment.
"Everything will be fine," Chloe guaranteed.