Disclaimer: Pitch Perfect is not mine, I own none of the characters originating from the movie.
Author's Note: The title is based off something from an old episode of 'That 70's Show', it's a term I've come to use to describe something that's close to "normal" but is off ever so slightly. So, in this case, it's my retelling of Pitch Perfect with things tweaked a little here and there. I have some things planned out that are original, but I'll be keeping certain aspects of the movie as well. So bear with me hopefully it'll be worth it. Thanks to E and Smeeg699 for their encouragement and beta work. I'll shut up now.
"I got it, thanks." Beca said as she stopped the porter from taking the bag that contained her most precious possession, her laptop. Taking it herself she turned from the cab to take in the scene before her as she wondered for about the millionth time what she was doing here. This was far from where she wanted to be, but her parents were insistent. It was unusual for both of them to agree on something, but on this they did. She was brought back to reality by an overly perky blonde in a green Barden shirt came up to greet her.
"Hi there, welcome to Barden University. What dorm?" the girl asked.
"Uh, Baker Hall I think." Beca answered, recalling the info from one of the various forms she'd received from the university. Shortly after the girl started giving directions, the DJ's attention was stolen by the sounds of a fellow incoming student in a passing car singing along to Kansas' 'Carry On Wayward Son'. She couldn't help but smirk at how enthusiastic he got on seeing her. As the car drove off, the Barden ambassador stole her attention back
"Your campus map and your OFFICIAL BU rape whistle." The blonde said, handing the items to her. "Don't blow it unless it's actually happening." Beca had to admit, the girl was kind of cute, but her helpful enthusiasm, bordering on pushiness, caused the brunette to playfully put in her mouth. Beca walked away with a grin after a final "Hmm" from the girl.
Walking across campus to her building, Beca took in the bustle of college life around her, internally rolling her eyes at the frat boys that, if her guess was right, were rating girls as they walked by. She continued to her dorm as a cart with a large number of stuffed animals tipped over along the way. Arriving at her room, she entered to find her roommate decorating her half of the dorm.
"Hey, um…" Beca started, putting her laptop bag down on the empty bed, "You must be Kimmy Jin, I'm Beca." She introduced herself. "No English?" She asked as the Asian scowled at her, "Yes English? Just tell me where you're at with English." She added, getting the feeling it was going to be a long year.
"We have a lot of work ahead of us." Chloe said as she and Aubrey put the finishing touches on their display. In the distance, the Treblemakers could be heard breaking into "Let it Whip"
"I know we do." Aubrey said as she took in the booth "But we have tradition to uphold" she added moving behind the table and picking up flyers. She and Chloe both looked towards their competition. As they sang, she felt her ire rise. "I will stop at nothing to take those ding-a-lings down." She added. Before Chloe could respond, she saw a familiar face walk by.
"Hey Barb, you going to audition this year? We have openings?" The redhead asked hopefully, moving the clipboard she was holding to the brunette.
"Oh, now that you've puked your way to the bottom you might actually consider me?" Barb asked indignantly "I auditioned for you THREE times and never got in because you said my boobs looked like baloney." She said, putting her hands on her hips. This caused the sweater she was wearing to open further, revealing her very large areolae under her transparent white shirt. "The word's out. Bellas is the laughing stock of a capella. Good luck auditioning this year." She continued, adding a scoffed "douche b's" as she turned to walk away.
"Oh my god, this is a travesty." Chloe said, an overly dramatic sense of panic in her voice.
Aside from Fat Amy, the girls were having no luck getting anyone interested. It was really starting to get to Chloe till the redhead caught sight of a girl moving in their direction. All it took was one glance, and she was hooked. She could tell there was something special about this girl. Something that made her want to get to know her.
"Oh, what about her?" She asked, pointing her out.
"Oh, oh, I don't know, she looks a little too…" Aubrey started, "alternative for us." She continued, emphasizing alternative with air quotes, her dismissive assessment earning a look of annoyance from the redhead that could be measured in microseconds
"Hi, any interest in joining our a capella group?" Chloe asked, not missing a beat, handing the girl a flyer as she walked by.
After the disappointment in learning the Barden DJs lacked the ability to appreciate her talents, and the entertaining run in with the blonde from Down Under, Beca continued on, looking for something, anything really, that would make the year bearable. Kimmy Jin had very quickly found a group for herself, but aside from an amusing conversation with the Running In A Circle club, the DJ was having no luck of her own. She was beginning to think she wouldn't find anything when a bubbly redhead handed her a flyer and asked her a question while her seemingly uptight blonde companion looked on in disapproval.
"Oh right, this is like a thing now." Beca said, looking up at the redhead after briefly studying the flyer.
"Oh totes. We sing covers of songs but we do it without any instruments. It's all from our mouths." Chloe answered happily.
"Yikes." Beca said as she processed the conversation. She wasn't sure if it was the promise of something musical, or being captivated by the attractiveness of the redhead that kept her talking to the pair. More than likely it was a combination of the two she reasoned as the redhead continued talking.
"There's four groups on campus. The Bellas, that's us. We're the tits." Chloe said as she gestured between Aubrey and herself. "The BU Harmonics. They sing a lot of Madonna. Uh, the High Notes. They're not particularly…motivated. And then there's…" she trailed off, turning towards where the Treblemakers were just finishing 'Let it Whip'. Neither Bella hid their contempt as they turned back to Beca. "So, are you interested?" Chloe asked.
"Sorry, it just, it's pretty lame." Beca finally decided. She didn't want anything to distract her from her goal of becoming the greatest DJ since Ad-Rock, and she got the feeling the redhead could quite easily become a major distraction.
"Aca-scuse me? " Aubrey's Interjection caused Beca to miss the brief look of disappointment on Chloe's face when the DJ declined the invitation. "Synchronized lady dancing to a Mariah Carey chart topper is not lame." The blonde added with a laugh.
"We sing all over the world and we compete in national championships." Chloe said, trying to make another pitch.
"On purpose?" Beca asked skeptically, wanting the conversation to end so she could find something less distracting than the pretty redhead.
"We played the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center, you bitch!" Aubrey replied defensively.
"Oh, what Aubrey means to say is that we are a close knit, talented group of ladies whose dream is to return to the National Finals at Lincoln Center this year." Chloe once again attempted to soften Aubrey's harsh tone. "Help us turn our dreams into a reality?" the redhead asked pleadingly
"Sorry, I don't even sing," Beca lied, hoping that would put an end to things. "But it was really nice to meet you guys." She added before heading off, once again missing the disappointed look on Chloe's face.
"What are we going to do?" Aubrey asked, frustrated they were having little luck.
Beca was nervous as she walked up to the radio station. She was glad she had finally found something that seemed like it could be what she had in mind. The prospect of playing music helped push thoughts of the redhead out of her mind.
"Hey, I'm Beca." She said as he approached the guy manning the desk at the front of the station.
"Over there." He responded, obviously knowing to keep a look out for her.
"Thanks." Beca replied. As she stepped through the door labeled 'Studio' and listened to the on air DJ do the required station identification, Beca knew this was where she wanted to be. The shelves of records impressed her as she made her way to the booth where she and the DJ exchanged greetings.
"Have you been standing there long?" The Brit asked as he turned the volume of the speakers playing the radio's output down.
"No. No, I just got here, I wasn't just standing here." Beca said as she followed the DJ towards the booth.
"Freshmen aren't allowed in the booth." Luke warned as he grabbed a crate filled with records and cds as Beca apologized "I'm Luke, station manager. You must be Becky the intern?" He introduced himself.
"Um, it's uh…." Beca started before being cut off by the 'wayward son'.
"Hey man, what's up? I'm Jesse." Jesse said as he joined them.
"I'm Luke. You're late." Luke admonished.
"Hey, I know you!" Jesse said when he recognized Beca.
"No, you don't." Beca replied, not wanting to admit she had seen him.
"Yeah, I do." Jesse insisted.
"He doesn't." Beca added.
"Totally know her." Jesse continued.
"OK cool. Well you guys can figure it out while you're stacking CDs." Luke ended the bickering, not caring. "When you're done, there's more. Now, you guys will be spending a lot of down time together, so please, just no sex on the desk. I've been burned before." Luke finished before heading back to the booth.
"I do know you. I sang to you. I remember because you were in a taxi." Jesse said when they were alone. "Wait, is your dad a taxi driver?" He joked.
"No." Was Beca's curt reply as she started digging into the crate. "This sucks, I wanted to play music." She added, not hiding her disappointment.
"Not me." Jesse said, attempting once again to joke around to lighten the mood. "I'm here for one reason only, I really love stacking CDs." He continued, earning a glare from Beca. "So what's your deal? You one of those girls who's all dark and mysterious, then she takes off her glasses and that amazingly scary ear spike, and you realize that, you know, she was beautiful the whole time?" He asked, trying to get a response out of her.
"I don't wear glasses." Beca pointed out flatly.
"Then you're half way there," Jesse answered, earning another glare from Beca.
"And just so you know, there's not going to be any sex." Beca warned him. "On the desk or anywhere."
"I know, I'm not your type." Jesse answered, this time earning a look that was a mixture of surprise and questioning.
"And how do you know I'm not?" Beca asked, studying him.
"You're gay aren't you?" He asked, looking her over once more to confirm his read on her. "Your nails, your shoes, the plaid all scream it to me." He said, smiling at the surprise still on her face. "What, are you not out? Just realizing it now?" he asked.
"No, no to both of those." Beca shook her head. "I'm just used to most guys being clueless, how did you know? Are you gay?" she asked, not thinking he was.
"Nope, I like girls and so does my twin sister." Jesse answered.
"Twin? But there was just you in the car." Beca asked, remembering the day not that long ago.
"So you do remember." Jesse said with a smirk as Beca rolled her eyes. "You're right, it was just me. She's at Georgia Tech for electrical engineering; we dropped her off the day before we came here." He explained.
"So what does she have to do with you picking up my gayness?" Beca asked as she went back to sorting through the milk crate of music.
"Well as I'm sure you figured from the implication, she's a lesbian." Jesse started as he helped her. "Kinsey 6…" Jesse started before Beca cut him off
"What's that?" she asked, skeptically raising an eyebrow
"It's this scale from 0 to 6 where 0 is only heterosexual experiences and 6 is only homosexual." Jesse explained "Emma Stone's character said it in 'Easy A'. Anyway as I was saying, my sister's a lesbian but she has no gaydar, she has the hardest time telling if a girl is gay or not, like Dana from 'The L Word'."
"Hated when they killed her off." Beca chimed in.
"I know right?" Jesse asked. "But funny thing is, I'm fairly accurate at picking out the lesbians. We've become convinced I got her gaydar. I don't know what she's going to do without me telling her that no matter how super cute her roommate is, she reads as absolutely straight to me."
"So, this sister have a name?" Beca asked, letting her guard down and attempting to make conversation.
"You would think after eighteen years our parents would have gotten around to that." Jesse joked, earning a chuckle from Beca. "Daisy. Our parents named us after the Dukes of Hazard characters." Jesse deadpanned.
"Really?" Beca asked, clearly not believing him.
"Of course not." Jesse answered with a smile. "Just because we're from the south doesn't mean we're a bunch of inbred, ignorant hicks."
"I didn't think so." Beca said.
"No, we were named after our grandparents. I'm Jesse Frederick, my first name coming from our dad's dad, and she's Josephine Susan with her first name from our mom's mom." Jesse explained. "Jesse and Josie, worked out quite nice."
"Sounds like it." Beca nodded,
"What about you?" Jesse asked. "Any special meaning to your name?"
"I don't know, I never really asked." Beca answered. "I'm sure if it was important I would have been told." She answered, hoping that would satisfy him, which judging by the nod of apparent understanding, he did. She sent a silent thank you to the universe that he chose not to press the issue as they went about the tasks Luke gave them in relative silence
It was a rather pleasant Atlanta day, so Beca decided she'd work on her latest mix on the quad. The Running in a Circle club was doing their thing behind her. She had to give them credit, they were able to find happiness in the simplest of things. Slipping her headphones on, she leaned back and got lost in the song. 'I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)' seemed to be the perfect song to mix with 'Titanium' at this point, because its title at least summed up her goal. She didn't want to be here, really. Not that she didn't respect Atlanta's music scene, but it isn't quite what she was looking for. Los Angeles, though more than five hundred miles from Georgia's capital, is music central. If she was going to get her break, it would come there, and she knew it. But her parents left her little choice in the matter, so she summoned her inner strength, the inner strength 'Titanium' is all about, and decided to just get it over and done with.
At least she had found the radio station. That had the potential to be her sanctum, if she could ever get in the damn booth. She wasn't quite sure what to make of the others that worked there yet. Luke seemed like he could be a good boss. Jesse, the other intern, was rather interesting. She had never really hidden the fact that she was gay, but like she had told him, she was used to guys not picking up on it and hitting on her anyway, so his picking up on it nearly instantly after only two brief interactions threw her for a loop. He seemed like he could be a friend, especially since he didn't pass judgment on her. She'd had more than one guy try the "maybe you just haven't found the right guy" line on her, so his acceptance was a welcome change of pace. Still, she knew what the Bible Belt could be like, so she was sticking to her 'no distractions' policy. When she got to LA, THEN she'd think about finding Ms. Right.
Beca headed for the shower with lots on her mind. The talk with her father was encouraging, at least he was finally starting to come around. She was a bit disappointed the radio station with its "three weirdoes" wasn't enough for him, but progress was being made. As she headed for a free stall, she was singing 'Titanium', her go to song as of late. Singing in the shower was far from new for her, what was new was her singing being a siren song apparently, luring in pretty redheads. She had been so caught up in her singing and her thoughts about what she could do to appease her father that she didn't hear Chloe's stealthy approach. To say she was startled was only the beginning.
"You can sing!" the redhead called out happily, gaining Beca's attention.
"Dude!" Beca yelled, pulling the curtain closed. Chloe didn't let that stop her.
"How high does your belt go?" Chloe asked opening the curtain.
"My what?" Beca asked as she shut the water off. "Oh my god!"
"You HAVE to audition for the Bellas" Chloe said.
"I can't concentrate on anything you're saying until you cover your junk." Beca said, taking a brief moment to glance at Chloe's very pleasing form.
Calling the redhead attractive was an understatement. She was gorgeous, and as she had said, she should be confident with all that. As much as she had tried to cover up, she couldn't resist sneaking peeks at the phenomenal body before her. The redhead's knowledge of 'Titanium' and David Guetta impressed her, causing her to let her guard down a little and maybe consider that the Bellas could be the solution to her conundrum.
Singing together had been…she didn't have the right words to describe it, it had been so overwhelming. Her initial assessment had been right, this girl had the potential to be a very big, although very eye pleasing, distraction. She had been disappointed though when the guy she was apparently with joined the conversation, complementing her on her voice. Still, the more she thought about it, it couldn't hurt to try out, it could be the means to the end she was looking for.
"AUBREY!" Chloe called out excitedly when she returned to the room she shared with the blond.
"I'm right here Chlo, you don't need to shout." Aubrey said, looking up from the book she was reading.
"Oh I know, but I've got good news!" The redhead said, sitting on her bed.
"This must be big news, weren't you hanging out with what'shisface?" Aubrey asked, resigning herself to the fact she wouldn't be able to get any reading done till she heard her friend out.
"I was, but… something happened." Chloe said, still excited over harmonizing with the brunette in the shower. "Remember the cute brunette from the activity fair?"
"The one who said she couldn't sing?" Aubrey asked, thinking back. "The one who clearly wanted nothing to do with a capella."
"Yep, that one." Chloe happily confirmed. "She can sing, very well. Tom and I were in the shower, and someone walks into the shower room singing 'Titanium'…"
"The one you use with your girl toys?" Aubrey interjected. "Can see how it got your attention."
"Yep that song." Chloe confirmed. "So, I just had to go see who it was, and it was her. We harmonized… She's got an amazing voice. We really, really need to get her to join the Bellas." Chloe said
"I don't know, I still don't think she's Bella material." Aubrey said, closing her eyes as she pictured what she remembered of the girl.
"I hope she comes to auditions, because I really think she is." Chloe said. "I really like her Aubrey. That moment I spotted her at the fair….it was our water fountain moment."
"You and your Buffy/Willow fanfic." Aubrey rolled her eyes. "Sometimes I wonder if you don't just like the thought of a hot blond with a hot redhead." She teased.
"You know full well if you liked girls I'd have been all over you." Chloe answered with a devilish grin. "But you're not, and don't change the subject. This girl is something special, I can tell. And she was checking me out, I think."
"You think?" Aubrey asked.
"She definitely looked." Chloe nodded. "She was being all cute and shy, it was adorable. And when Tom came by, she didn't seem interested in him at all."
"I still don't know Chloe, she seems like trouble." Aubrey said. "Don't get your hopes up. I've got enough going on this year, I don't have time to deal with a mopey redhead when alt-girl turns out to be straight and breaks your heart."
"You will anyway." Chloe said. "You'll spoil me with vodka and ice cream and throw in a few 'I told you so's to boot."
"I will" Aubrey sighed. "You know me so well. Why can't I just like girls? It would make things so easy."