Author's Note: This is my first time taking a spin in this 'verse, so bear with me if things are wonky. I have more chapters lined up, one already written, for this, but will wait a short while to post up the second chapter, I like being out ahead of the game, chapter's wise. And please, please give some feedback. The only way to improve is hear what works and what doesn't and adapt, right? And now, I present the story.
Disclaimer: With a very few exceptions later in the fic I own nothing contained within these chapters except the words themselves. All rights for the movie characters and even the movie itself go to Kay Cannon and the folks that made it, so all our hats off them because they've done a phenomenal job here and without their hard work I would never have been inspired to come up with this creation of my own.
Long Way Round
Beca was smiling, uncharacteristically given everything that was going on in her life, but she couldn't help it. Something about sitting in these dusty, old, hideously green auditorium chairs with Lilly on her left and Fat Amy to her right just brought out a smile. And not the nervous smile she'd worn the first time she'd walked into this room, unsure if her decision to even show-up for tryouts was a wise one seeing as she hadn't known they needed to memorize that specific song. No, this was an out-and-out "I'm happy to be here with my 'aca-bitches'" smile. Fat Amy must have noticed the grin because she started to lean over to say something, but at the same time, Tommy stepped around his assistant, Justin, to open the auditions.
"Listen up, aca-ballers. I have been rejected by the Army, stuffed into a 'Dora the Explorer' backpack, and shoved into the girl's locker room wearing nothing but suspenders." Beca had a hard time covering her snort of laughter at Tommy's list, he always did seem to know how to make an entrance. She got an elbow in the ribs from Fat Amy, who noticed the smirk, and turned her attention back to him as he continued on. "But, no matter, I am in the world I love. And with the assistance of my boy, Justin…"
"My liege." Justin said, giving a half bow.
"I launch this year's auditions… Belly roll." Beca kept her smirk internal this time, as Justin gave exactly that, a drumroll using his belly. Tommy spoke up during said belly roll, "The most recent ICCA National Champion winners get to pick the audition song." Justin rounded out his belly roll with a vocal symbol crash, and Beca couldn't help feeling pride in her girls as all eyes in the room focused on them. Amy leaned in from her right to whisper, "I got nothing, but make 'em work for it."
From her left side, she felt Lilly lean towards her as her fellow sophomore spoke up, still quiet but better than the last year, "Maybe something from Pink?"
Beca knew that Stacie and CR were talking behind her, but Lilly had given her just the idea she wanted. She leaned confidently back into her chair, smiling as she spoke, "Alright, nerds. Let's go with something fun. 'Na na na na na na na na na…' If you don't know the rest, get out."
Tommy, the "MC" for the day, knew enough about Beca to know she was half serious with the threat, so he spoke up. "Very well, the Bellas have spoken, your trial by fire today shall be 'So What', by Pink. If a group likes you, they will contact you directly. My faithful vassal, Justin, has already taken and disturbed your information. Without further ado, 'aca-people', here are this year's potentials."
Beca stretched in her chair as the first of the newbies stepped onto the stage and struck a pose. As he started singing she tuned him out and started thinking about what was going to happen, what had already happened, and tried to keep the smile on her face. She knew that Stacie was actually taking her job this year a little more seriously and would be taking notes on any potential new Bellas, though they were able to be very picky this year, only missing two from last year's crop. Aubrey, of course, no one would miss. Chloe, on the other … Well, she didn't really want to think about that. Involuntarily, she half-turned in her seat, looking down the aisle towards the Treblemakers, towards Jesse. He was watching her, not the freshman on the stage, which was neglectful of him as he was the one Treble actually holding a clipboard. The look on his face made her turn away, turn towards the freshman as he finished his brief song. She couldn't take the look in his eyes, the hurt, the forgiveness… The love.
Sighing quietly she leaned back further into her chair as the next person stepped up, a slightly dazed looking girl, and started to sing. She knew why he looked at her like that, she just didn't want to acknowledge it. It was her fault, she was the reason he had those looks, all of them. They had had a fight earlier today, just before they had both left to meet up with the groups, him meeting the Trebles and her the Bellas. What it was about, what had started it… Well, she didn't really remember. She just knew that she had hurt him, again. She also knew that after auditions he'd want to meet up with her and talk about it. He'd forgive whatever she did, hug her, kiss her, and probably ask her to come back to his room to watch some movie. He always did, and it always made her feel just a little bit worse each time.
Her trip down memory lane was interrupted by Amy nudging her and speaking softly, "Hey DJ, what's gotten into your head? You look like someone just killed your cat, or, I dunno, do you like cats?"
Beca realized she must have let her smile slip as she thought and Amy noticed, but she put it back into place, only half-forced after the Aussie's attempt at humor, and just shook her head. Sitting up straighter, she actually tried to pay attention to the next performer to step up. In fact, she even went so far as to smile at the nervous looking girl, remembering how much a simple smile had helped her get through her audition. And just like that, the girl on stage smiled back, and started singing. She really did have a good voice, Beca had to admit.
New faces stepped up, sang their piece, and left. Notes were taken, and people appraised. All in all, it was another year of auditions for Barden University's a capella groups. The main difference this year, was in the new faces listening to the auditions. A lot of the familiar seniors had graduated a few months prior, and were off and into the real world. Except for one. Chloe, a former captain from last year's Barden Bellas, was currently in the process of sneaking in through the back, walking towards the side door to the stage. She had been trying to keep in touch with her friends from last year's group, and had tried harder to keep appraised of a specific few, at least. So when she had gotten a text from one of them letting her know that auditions were today, she had made it a point to try and show up. So it was that she had gotten dressed especially carefully today, grabbed her keys and, despite the eye-rolls from Aubrey, dashed out the door to head across campus towards the auditorium where tryouts were always held. Of course, Chloe knew the blond was curious about their former 'aca-sisters', and that the eye-rolling was more for her exuberance to go see the tryouts than anything else.
Chloe knew she was running late, too. She had spent far too long picking an outfit today, but was hoping she could still hear a few of the auditions. She was kind of curious how the new captains were going to go about recruiting replacements for her and Aubrey who, despite staying on at Barden for graduate work, were no longer eligible to compete with the Bellas. Normally she wouldn't care as much about her clothes, but it had been four months since she'd seen most of these girls, well one in particular, and she had wanted to impress. Finally finding the door she was looking for, Chloe pulled it open enough to look inside, seeing the various groups arranged around in the chairs, all eyes focused on the stage and the current singer. Chloe, however, had immediately scanned the room to find the one set of dark, deep blue eyes she was looking for. Finding them nearly at once she was a touch surprised to see Beca's posture. If she had been a betting girl, she would have placed money on the young DJ sitting slumped in her chair, headphones around her neck, looking half asleep. Instead, the brunette was sitting up, her eyes facing the stage, but a little unfocused, unless Chloe missed her guess, and a small smile hitched onto her face. Chloe felt a smile coming onto her own face, watching the new captain of the Bellas stare without seeing the performance in front of her. After a minute, the song being sung broke through Chloe's tunnel-vision focused on Beca Mitchell, and she laughed softly, knowing who had picked it almost immediately.
As the performance came to an end, Beca blinked and Chloe saw the smile slip a little as she leaned back into her chair, walls obviously coming back into place between singers. Chloe had intended to try and catch Beca's, or another of the Bellas, attention and meet up with them inside, but she found herself riveted where she stood. Transfixed by the look on Beca's face as the brunette sat watching the next freshmen to come up and audition. In the blink of an eye, or so it seemed to Chloe, and an eternity at the same time, the audition ended, and this time, when Beca turned her attention elsewhere, it was directly to the doorway where Chloe stood, and the brunette froze in place as she spotted the redhead. Chloe started to raise her hand to wave, a smile already growing on her face, when she heard a cough echo out of the fairly quiet auditorium. Apparently Beca wasn't the only one who had finally noticed Chloe's arrival. Looking down the aisle she spotted Jesse just turning his stare from Beca's face back to her, where it turned almost angry, before bringing his eyes back to Beca as he coughed again, slightly louder.
Chloe's eyes snapped back to Beca, and saw that the brunette's eye drop from her towards the ground. After a moment, she turned to look at Jesse, and met the Treble's gaze, her face breaking into a small smile. A smile she hadn't given to Chloe. Clenching her jaw as she felt emotions welling up insider her, emotions that were not her usual chipper fare, Chloe stepped back from the doorway, turning and fleeing from the building, all plans to meet up with the Bellas, to meet up with Beca, flying from her head faster than she fled the building.
Beca had been wandering again, her mind drifting through memories of happier times. In particular, memories of happier times with the Bellas from the previous year. Starting with her own audition, her unique take on an audition rather, through practices, parties and hang outs, to performances. She was broken out of her reverie when the noise around her quieted, and she looked up to the stage to see the guy taking his bow and walking towards the exit. Sighing she sat back, not having realized she was leaning forward in her chair, and listened to some of the others whispering around her. She didn't feel the need to take part in the discussing, but she pointedly avoided looking over at the Treblemakers. As the next, and according to her audition papers, second to last, auditioner came onto stage she held in another sigh, and again tried to smile. Another extremely nervous, young-looking freshmen stepped up onto the stage, gave her name and some inconsequential detail about herself then started to sing. Beca tried to stay focused, this girl could become a future Bella, but she found it difficult as thoughts from her earlier fight with Jesse, and other thoughts from the last few months, kept sneaking into her mind.
After a minute or two, the performance ended, and as it did, she suddenly felt like someone was watching her. At first, she stiffened, thinking it was Jesse, before she could look, though, her eyes found a little side door, quite possible the same doorway she had come through prior to her own audition, and that's where she found a piercing blue gaze that had seen more of her than almost everyone. Her body, totally not prepared to have Chloe Beale standing in that doorway staring intensely at her, froze in place. Her mind, on the other hand, knew exactly how much that red haired, blue eyed woman just loved invading her personal space, even across a nearly empty auditorium.
Before she could force her still frozen body to react, even as Chloe's face broke into a huge grin and one of her small, delicate hands rose to wave, Beca heard a distinct coughing sound from down the aisle. Immediately knowing the source, Beca averted her gaze, already knowing it was too late, but doing her best to mitigate the situation. After a moment, she turned, looking towards Jesse after he coughed a second time, and met his gaze. His gaze, so unlike her own, was almost as easy to read as an open book, showed jealousy barely concealed, and perhaps the beginning of anger at the older, former Bellas' interruption of the audition. Beca felt her lips trying to smile, not really at any hurt he may be feeling, but at the fact that he was jealous of her friendship with Chloe. Rolling her eyes and sighing again, Beca turned back towards the doorway Chloe was at, intending to wave the girl to come join them, knowing that the others would love to see Chloe, even if she had brought Aubrey with her. Seeing only an empty hallway, though, Beca's smile dropped instantly, wondering what had drawn the redhead away, and knowing it was something she had done. A look of sadness crept over the brunette captain's face as the final auditioner stepped onto the stage and started a performance that Beca didn't even take in, her mind on thoughts of what could have driven Chloe off. And, if she was to be truthful with herself though she rarely was regarding this particular redhead, how she felt that she'd rather be sitting in this room with Chloe's gaze on her, as opposed to the one she currently felt from Jesse.