A/N: This story is unbeta-ed, so I apologize in advance for any mistakes/typos you may find.
DISCLAIMER: I do not own Pitch Perfect, or any of it's characters.
It was a bright and shiny day that Chloe woke up to. The sun's rays shone through the thin curtains of her bedroom, illuminating it fully, and making her beautiful red hair look as though it was glowing. She stretched the length of the bed and yawned quietly to herself as she basking in the warmth. She loved waking up like this, it always started her out in a good mood. It was on these days that she would stay in bed just a bit longer, listening to the sounds that came through her slightly open window. Horses trotting by on their way down the street to the market, neighbors chit-chatting, the humming of her Mother as she hung the clothes outside to dry. It made her smile every time. It was familiar. It was home. But she ached for some adventure. Ached for something unpredictable to happen.
Sitting up in bed, she rubbed her eyes, ready to start a new day. Her daily routine consisted of: waking up, making her bed, going out in the backyard to the water pump to gather water for her morning bath, taking her bath, eating a small breakfast, brushing her teeth, and helping out with any chores that needed to be finished. Then the rest of the day was hers to spend, unless she had to make a trip to the market. There were only so many things to do where she lived, but she tried to make the best of it. She'd explore the woods, which by now she knew like the back of her hand. Maybe take a dip in the stream or, if she was lucky, got to spend time with her friends Aubrey and Stacie. But there were a few years older than her and already married, so they didn't have much time for her anymore.
Chloe was seventeen, almost eighteen in a couple of months. It was a birthday that she'd been dreading ever since her Mother had brought up that she wanted her to marry the baker's son, Howie. He was okay, but they didn't see eye-to-eye on a lot of things, and it frustrated her. She didn't understand arranged marriages. Chloe wanted to find love naturally, like her Mother had with her Father. That had been true love, and since she could remember, she yearned for that. She could possibly learn to love Howie over time, but it wouldn't be the same. And if her Father was still alive, she knew that he wouldn't want her to settle either. However, she knew that her Mother just wanted her to be taken care of. The thing was, Chloe didn't need to be taken care of, she did just fine on her own.
And she was too adventurous, so there was no way that she could be a housewife. She'd seen how much it had changed Aubrey and Stacie. They were pretty outgoing and even put up with Chloe's antics, but after they got married, they had resigned themselves to their homes. She didn't know if it was their husbands behind the change in them, or if it just came with being married and having to take on so many more responsibilities, but she just knew that she didn't want to end up like that. To loose herself is a scary thought when she always prided herself on being different. But her fate seemed inevitable. There really was no way of getting out of her coming marriage, other than running away. While that had the adventure aspect she'd always wanted, could she really do that?
After she dried off from her warm bath, brushed her teeth, combed her hair, she put her outdoor clothes on (which consisted of one of her Father's old work shirts, and a pair of her cousin's shorts that she stolen from him). They both were a bit large on her, but she made them work. As she stepped outside, her bare feet on soft, green grass, the smell of summer hit her like a wave. The scent of the flowers that were blooming in her Mother's garden was one of the things she loved most. Spring was her favorite time of year, when everything was just more colorful, and she soaked it up as much as possible before the winter came, where everything died and turned ugly, and the snow kept her cooped inside most the time. Winter always seemed to last the longest, time moving twice as slow.
Stopping herself from running, she made her way to the backyard and toward the familiar treeline, faintly hearing her Mother call out to her to not be gone long. She didn't like the fact that she went exploring in the woods by herself all the time, but Chloe didn't know why. She had never run across another person, and it wasn't like there were dangerous wild animals that could swallow her whole. But lately her Mother had been a bit more strict with letting her go running off to God knows where every day, her reasoning was that she was almost eighteen and couldn't act like a child forever. That was true, but she shouldn't be forced to grow up so soon either. Chloe never thought of herself as still child-like though, more like she was just someone that enjoyed life to the best of her ability.
She was enveloped by shade as she entered the woods, the slightly cooler temperature was a nice relief from being in the rays of the sun. The birds above her in the green canopy chirped and sang away as they flew from one tree to another, adding twigs to their nests, or just sitting up on a high branch as they looked over the forest. Squirrels ran around playing with each other, scattering around the large tree trunks, and their puffy tails twitching as they heard Chloe's footsteps. Once her home was out of sight and she was about ten minutes deep in the woods, it felt like another world to her. Noises from her home or down the hill at the market could not be heard, only the beautiful noise of the peaceful forest around her. Coming to the creek, she hopped up on a log and crossed.
Balancing with practiced ease, not even looking at her feet as she made it across the fifteen foot log and jumped down onto the ground, back to safety and continued on her way. A few minutes later she came across her special tree. It was special because it was thicker and taller than all the other ones in the forest, and it was still relatively easy to climb. Her Father had shown it to her when she was littler, and had been coming here ever since. Gripping onto the worn places in the bark, she hitched herself up and got in the groove of climbing. When she made it three fourths of the way up, there was a large spot where she could comfortably sit and gaze out through a hole in the leaves, able to see the town and the ship dock. Like usual, only a few small ships were tied up there.
But every couple weeks, a large ship would come and drop off food or supplies. She always tried to get as close as she could to those ships, because she's read about them and seen drawings of them in books, but seeing one in real life is just so magnificent. It baffles the mind at how something so big doesn't just sink, let alone flow so gracefully through the water. She's always wanted the opportunity to actually get on one and see what it's like. She could imagine herself sailing across the open, blue sea without a care in the world, every once in a while stopping on land to stock up on food and seeing new towns all over the world. What a life sailors lead. Or pirates. They probably get around more since they are all, for the most part, on the run from the authorities. Though not all pirates were bad.
Chloe didn't approve of killing innocent people, but she admired those who stole from the rich and gave to the poor. She wouldn't mind going on a hunt for buried treasure. Of course, she was just going off of the things she's read in books, or stories that the kids were told to scare them. There was no telling how much of what she read was true, or how accurate the stories passed down were, but that made it all the more interesting. She wanted to know, and she wanted to find out for herself. Yet here she was, in the same place she's always been, wanting adventure, but never going out and attempting to have one. Would she be brave enough one day to go out and do the opposite of what's expected of her? She hoped so, because her window of opportunity was nearing its end.
About an hour of sitting in her tree thinking as she watched the town below, she figured that she ought to head back home, since her Mother had told her not to be gone long. She took her time, though, as she always did when she didn't want to go home and be forced to carry out tedious chores. As she crossed the log over the creek, she briefly wondered what would happen if she fell into the running water. Where exactly she would be taken to, and if she really cared if it spit her out into the ocean. Now that would be entertaining, she laughed at herself for thinking of something as dumb as that to get away. Hearing the birds above her, she wondered what it was like to be able to fly. To fly anywhere you wanted, anytime. Did birds even know how lucky they were? Probably not.
When her house came back into view, her Mother was in the backyard watering what vegetables they could actually grow themselves, and greeted her with a slightly annoyed look. She knew that look all too well, and prepared for the lecture she was most likely about to receive. They both went inside and Chloe took a seat at the kitchen table as her Mother said that she needed her to go down to the market because they were low on food. Surprisingly, she didn't start in on her for running off in the woods for an hour this time, but it was all in the tone of her voice. She wasn't happy, but she was probably sick and tired of giving Chloe the same talk about growing up and assuming more responsibilities. As the young redhead sat quietly, her Mother wrote up a list of things she needed to get.
With a 'don't take too long' look from the older woman, Chloe was handed the list and a small pouch of coins. With a curt nod, she grabbed a satchel from the brass hook next to the front door and headed out. She didn't bother changing into more appropriate clothes. Everyone was used to Chloe running around barefoot and in the worn clothes that she wore most of the time. As she walked down the dirt road to the market, she stayed to the side, so that she didn't accidentally get in the way of a horseman or a carriage that passed by. On many occasions she wished that her family owned a horse. They weren't poor by any means, but they weren't well off enough to afford one. Not that she minded walking in the summer, but in the winter it was brutal, since the market was about a mile away.
She hummed to herself as she passed neighbors houses, and waved to them if they happened to be sitting outside or working in their yards. Twenty minutes later, she had made it down the hill and entered the market. It really just consisted of tables under tents made of old bed sheets. All of the actual shops were downtown, but Chloe preferred to shop here. Everything was home-grown, so you know exactly where it came from and that you were getting it for a great price. The nearest tent was the bread tent, made by an old woman who made it from a special family recipe that's been passed down in her family for a long time. Chloe loved her bread. It was soft, sweet, and the aroma was addictive. Picking up a loaf, Chloe put it in her bag, then paid the woman before moving on.
Chloe also bought some apples, pears, rice, corn, flour, sugar, and milk. By the time she was done, her bag was heavy, and it slowed her down as she started back up the hill, heading home. But as she passed two men, she caught part of a conversation she happened to overhear stopped her. The men standing near one of their horses were huddled close, talking quietly as so no one else could hear them, but Chloe heard: "My buddy said a pirate ship was heading this way...", and "I can't imagine what they'd want here...". Chloe's heart pounded in her chest. A real pirate ship...coming here? She'd never seen one in real life, and now she may get the chance. The men parted after that, so she didn't get an actual time-frame of when this would happen, unfortunately.
However, using the limited knowledge that she actually had about pirates, she assumed that they would come when they were under the cover of darkness. That way they wouldn't draw too much attention to themselves. She was more than willing to loose some sleep, looking out for something she's daydreamed about for years, ever since she learned about them. It was exciting, but she had to keep it to herself. If her Mother knew that a pirate ship was on its way here, she'd make sure that Chloe was locked up at the house and not go getting into trouble. She was surprised when she had made it to her house so fast. Her thoughts had been so busy that the time had flown by like nothing. Entering her home, she put the food away in their rightful places, and put the money in a drawer.
She found her Mother outside plucking a few veggies out of the ground. A few carrots, a stalk of celery, and an onion. No doubt they would be having vegetables soup for dinner that night. The rest of the day they had a small lunch, a mandatory reading hour, took the dried clothes off the line out front, folded them, then put them away in the clothing drawers, and prepared the food for dinner. They really didn't talk much, all of these things were routine and just did without having to be said. She really didn't mind reading, in fact, she loved it. It was just that there wasn't as much selection around the house as she'd like, so it became a bit more of a chore when she had to read a book for the fifth time. Making dinner together was her favorite thing that they did.
After they sat down at the table to eat, Chloe ate in silence as her Mother informed her that her future in-laws had invited the two of them over for dinner the next night. The redhead wasn't thrilled by any means, but she had no choice in the matter. It would most likely be an overwhelmingly boring evening. Not that Howie's and his parents weren't nice, but they weren't the most interesting people ever. She'd only spoken to them a handful of times, and wondered why they would pick her to wed their son when there were much more attractive girls in town that actually wanted to be married to him. Though on second thought, most of them weren't the sharpest tools in the shed, only relying on beauty to get them what they wanted. While on the other hand, Chloe was actually smart and responsible.
After finishing eating, Chloe excused herself to her room. It was near dark outside, and she could see the ocean from her bedroom window. What was left of the orange sun peaking over the horizon reflected on the waves. Since they were on top of a hill, she could see the ship dock, and a few dim lights from the town. If a pirate ship was coming into their port, Chloe would be able to see it. The only thing to do was wait. So she did, sitting on the hard wood seat under her window, staring at the sea as the sun disappeared and the moon came out and reflected on the dark ripples of the water. A few hours later, she couldn't fight off sleep any longer, and reluctantly dragged herself to the bed, disappointed. However, that didn't last long as promptly fell asleep not long after her head hit the pillow.