Inspired by this Tweet
Beca came to a stop in the living room doorway as something bounced off the toe of her boot. Looking down she saw a red colored candy spinning to a slow halt beside her foot. She looked up, eyebrow arched.
Chloe was sitting in the center of the side of the sectional couch that faced away from the door. She looked over the back - and Stacie, who was lying along its length behind her -with a guilty expression on her face. She half lifted a ripped open package of Skittles. “Oops…?” She smiled sheepishly. “Sorry, Becs.” She pointed down. “Could you… maybe…” Her finger wiggled at the candy and her smile widened.
Beca wondered briefly how this was her life as she looked around the room.
Beside Chloe was Aubrey, visiting on one of her rare weekends off from the Lodge of Fallen Leaves. She was sitting where the two halves came together, back to the kitchen and knees bent with her arms looped around them, leaning against the cushions. It was nice to see her not all uptight and rigid for once. They were all making a greater effort to stay in touch and had wanted her input on their routine for Worlds.
Flo was to Aubrey’s right, notebook and textbooks across her lap. Her gaze flicked between the two girls for a minute then back down to her book as she muttered under her breath.
Emily was sitting on the floor, her own books spread across the ottoman/chaise. She was studying for a big test and didn’t even look up as they talked around her.
Even though there was room on Chloe’s other side, Stacie was lying across the back of the couch, her head propped up on a hand near Aubrey. Beca was only slightly surprised when she saw Aubrey trail her eyes down Stacie’s length, pausing for a minute over her low cut top. Beca hadn’t realized that their flirtation had started up again. She’d never admit it, but she thought it was kind of nice. Cute even.
Beca caught Chloe’s gaze, her eyebrow quirking slightly. Chloe just shrugged and winked, then her eyes moved back to the Skittle on the floor. A movement from the corner of her eye brought her gaze back to Aubrey.
The ex-captain had looked over and arched her eyebrow at Beca. She could almost hear the “You got something to say, munchkin?” But Beca just gave her a grin. “Get it, girl,” she thought to herself, glad that it appeared Aubrey was done being coy about her attraction to Stacie.
Beca resisted the urge to roll her eyes as she leaned down to grab the Skittle from the floor. She turned to throw it in the trash but heard a muffled sound from the couch. This time she did roll her eyes and looked at the ceiling. Red was Chloe’s favorite flavor.
Letting out a long-suffering sigh, Beca turned around and stepped toward Chloe. “Seriously? It was on the floor, Chlo.” But her hands were busy wiping the candy down using the inside of the bottom of her shirt. “This is what we’re reduced to now?”
Chloe just beamed at her, hand out to collect the sweet. “Thanks, Babe!” She ignored the question and popped the candy into her mouth.
Beca heard a noise and looked over at Aubrey. The blonde’s nose had scrunched up. “Ew, Chloe.”
Humming slightly, Chloe looked back down and scanned the floor before she explained to Beca. “The stupid bag tore when I opened it, and a few of them escaped.” She gave Beca a puppy dog look. “I think a few of them flew toward the kitchen.” Her eyelashes batted over her big blue eyes, which Beca thought was an unfair sucker punch after the whole puppy thing. She couldn’t resist them individually and this combo was deadly.
Stacie nodded as she looked up at Beca. “Pretty sure I almost lost an eye as at least one flew over my head.” She looked down and resumed her conversation with Aubrey, something about another guest who had gone up in one of the nets around the property.
“You mean death traps.” Beca muttered as she moved around the couch in the direction of the kitchen. When no one commented, she continued. “And I suppose I’m the only one who can go on this scavenger hunt?”
“You’re closest to the ground, hobbit.” Aubrey’s voice lifted a bit. “You’ve got the best chance of spotting them.”
Beca gritted her teeth as she wished she could just refuse. Except if she didn’t do it right now they would all forget. And then the ants would move in.
While Beca didn't mind most bugs in general, the small black ants they got at least once a year were the bane of her existence. They were bad enough one at a time, but when they swarmed around something they were a horrifying nightmare mass. Long after the traps did their job and the stragglers vanished, Beca kept thinking she would see one crawling up the sink.
She picked a green Skittle up near the end table, trying her hardest not to throw it at the back of Aubrey’s head. Her luck, she’d miss and hit Stacie or Chloe. She awkwardly dropped it into the buttoned pocket on her flannel as she picked up another (yellow) near the entryway to the kitchen, depositing it as well.
After finding half a dozen, she was reaching for the last one she could find without moving heavy furniture, when out of nowhere she was almost body checked into the wall.
“Oy, I saw it first!” Amy’s arms wrapped around Beca and lifted her in the air. Amy had just come in from the back door in the kitchen, returning from Bumper’s.
“Am – awk!” Beca squawked as she was spun. “Get… Off… Me…” She swatted at the arms around her waist. “I didn’t…” She started twisting her body as it dangled in the air, legs kicking wildly. “PUT ME DOWN.”
In the living room, Flo spoke up quietly. “In my country, this is how we decide which women get to ride inside the car instead of the trunk.”
Four pairs of eyes rotated from the tussle in the kitchen to stare at the dark-haired woman who just shrugged at them. Emily’s mouth dropped open as she stared, still not used to the things that popped out of Flo’s mouth, unsure if she was serious or pulling their legs. But after a second, Aubrey, Chloe and Stacie looked back toward the kitchen.
“Give it up, short stack. I’m a growing girl and need my sustenance!”
Amy set her down but put her hand on Beca’s forehead and held her back. Beca tried to push past it, but the Australian was as immovable as a mountain. “And Bumper and I used up a lot of energy last night while we…”
Feinting left then quickly right, Beca lunged forward past Amy’s blocking hand and tried to cover Amy’s mouth. “TOO MUCH SHARING!”
Flo nodded, though only Emily saw it. “This is when the cannibalism usually starts.”
Emily’s mouth snapped closed and she focused desperately back on her books. She’d just ignore all of it. That was safer. But her eyes kept flicking up to the kitchen; it was kind of like a train wreck, you didn’t want to look but you just couldn’t seem to stop yourself.
Beca tried to body check Amy out of the way. Except that all she did was bounce off Amy’s boobs and back into her original position. Beca grunted in annoyance.
The look on Amy’s face was almost sad, as if she pitied Beca. “Yeah, no. That’s not working for you.”
“Ohmygod fuck off!”
“Language! You’re not allowed to play hungry hungry hippos with me anymore!” Amy shook a finger at Beca and tsk’d.
Beca shook her head in confusion. “I don’t… That’s not… this isn’t… what?” She tried to push past Amy, done with all this bullshit; she’d just deal with the ants when they happened.
Amy, unfortunately, thought Beca was making another move for the candy on the floor. Beca found herself trapped in a bizarre standing wrestling match, trying desperately to escape back into the living room and the safety of the others. Her arms flailed as she tried to get away, more awkward squeaking and yelps forcing their way out of her as Amy blocked all movement forward.
Aubrey had been absently snacking from the opened bag of Skittles while she watched the action in the other room. “My money is on Amy.” And she rattled her current handful of candy.
Emily immediately piped up, “I bet all my green ones on Beca.” She would always bet on their captain to pull through.
Amy yelled over her shoulder, “Shut up, Emily. No one likes the green ones.”
Beca tried the feint again, but in reverse and tried to duck under Amy’s arm and make a dash for the living room. She let out a loud “HA!” as she sailed past, only to have Amy’s arm loop around her waist and lob her backward into the kitchen. “OH COME ON!”
Emily’s smile wavered for a second, but she wouldn’t take it back. She believed in Beca!
Stacie looked over at her. “You don’t have any, green or otherwise, Legacy.”
Emily grew sad eyed. “You weren’t gonna share?”
Chloe caught the younger girl’s eye and glanced to small pile of green Skittles near the edge of one of Emily’s books. She winked, knowing that green was Emily’s favorite.
Emily beamed at Chloe, then stuck her tongue out at Stacie while sliding the pile closer and under a sheet of paper. For safety.
“Don’t put that out there unless you plan on using it.” Stacie’s voice was silken.
Chloe immediately looked at Aubrey and watched as her oldest friend started to open her mouth. Chloe quickly tossed a yellow one at her, throwing both her hands up in the air as it sailed past Aubrey’s lips. “Three points!” She did a victory wiggle in her seat, ignoring the dirty look that Aubrey gave her even as she chewed – of course yellow was her favorite - and the considering look that Stacie gave Aubrey.
Emily looked back and forth between the three of them, confusion large on her face. Until she slowly realized what Stacie had hinted at and that Aubrey had started to open her mouth… Her attention was jerked back to the kitchen as Beca’s voice carried out.
“Stacie, you leave Legacy alone or so help me…!” A muffled squawk. “When I get in there…” The sounds of frustration continued.
Aubrey looked from Stacie’s bold eyes to Chloe. “What, Chlo? No faith in your girl? Not going to bet?”
Chloe set the rest of the bag in the center of the ottoman – after sneaking out several red. “I’m all in on Beca.”
Stacie deadpanned, “That’s what she said.”
Emily scrunched her nose, laughing despite the ‘ew’ floating through her brain.
Flo spoke up again, having been almost forgotten in the banter. “In my country, we only gamble with our lives. And chickens.”
All five women looked back to the kitchen in time to see Amy throw Beca over her shoulder and bounce her once. Twice.
Beca started to panic, one more bounce like that and she was going to pull a Posen. Suddenly she remembered a nature show Chloe had made her watch recently, holding the brunette in place by cuddling. Beca hadn’t hated it, the animals were cute. Chloe’s reactions were even cuter as she cooed over babies and covered her eyes during any hunting scenes. Beca had to tell her when it was safe to open them.
It had said that playing dead could possibly (read: good luck) get predators to leave you alone. She remembered this because she thought at the time that it may come in handy with Kommisar. She wasn’t clear in her own mind in what situation it would ever be needed and she certainly didn’t imagine using it in the safety of her own house.
“YOU CAN HAVE IT!” And then Beca went limp. She felt the Australian’s head pull back a bit, and could imagine the suspicious look. A finger poked her in the side and with supreme willpower she didn’t let herself jump.
Amy heaved out a breath and panted. “’Bout time you came to your senses. This was starting to become more cardio than that was worth.” She turned and set Beca back on her feet again, this time in the living room and away from her prize.
Beca opened one eye, trying to judge if Amy was going to tackle her again. But her friend had turned around, picked up the orange Skittle and popped it in her mouth. Beca winced as she realized Amy didn’t even wipe it off first.
She reached into her pocket and grabbed the six candies that had miraculously not fallen out when she was upside down. Repocketing the single red, she held the rest out on her palm, much like one would do with sugar cubes and a horse, waiting.
When Amy turned around, her eyes widened. “You were holding out on me!” She snatched the candy from Beca’s hand. She blinked as Beca’s eyes narrowed a little. “I mean…. Uhhhhh… thanks?”
Beca just spun on her heel and headed into the living room, meeting Chloe’s wide-eyed stare as she leaned sideways to look around Aubrey’s head. Aubrey and Stacie had fallen back into their own conversation again as soon as the screaming stopped. Flo gave her an appraising nod and Emily let out a quiet cheer.
As Beca walked behind the couch, she muttered “Thanks for the help. I almost died. Again.” She ignored Aubrey’s scoff and settled into the open space next to Chloe, her head leaning back against Stacie’s shins. Closing her eyes, she waited for her heart to slow.
She felt Chloe’s hand slide over her arm and squeeze gently. “Sorry.”
Beca covered the hand with her own. “Nah. Now I don’t have to feel guilty about cancelling rehearsal today so we could go out with Aubrey.” Letting her head roll to the side, she opened her eyes to meet Chloe’s warm blue gaze. Without looking away, she dipped back into her pocket and pulled out the red skittle. She cleaned it off on her shirt and held the candy up, loving the way Chloe’s eyes sparkled at her.
Chloe ignored the quiet “aw” from Emily across the table and leaned forward. Her lips closed over Beca’s fingers and she let her tongue curl around the Skittle to pull it free. Beca inhaled sharply as Chloe’s eyes closed and her tongue came back to trace over Beca’s fingertips.
“Gross.” Emily’s voice was amused and a tiny bit horrified.
“Yeah, guys, get a room.” It was Aubrey’s voice but Stacie’s leg bumped the back of Beca’s head.
Beca ignored the fact that she could feel the tips of her ears warming and mock groaned as Chloe pulled back and laughed. “Shut up.”
“What was it you told me?” Stacie tapped her bottom lip as she pretended to think. “Oh. Right.” She looked over at Beca. “Keep it in your pants maybe.”
“Yeah, Beca. We can all see your dick.” Aubrey looked around Chloe.
“That’s my toner! No, wait… that… no.” Beca stumbled to a halt, confusion on her face.
Aubrey just looked smug as Stacie started to laugh, her body bending slightly as she started to totter precariously. Even as Aubrey reached to hold her in place, Chloe’s head bumped backward into Stacie’s boobs, knocking the tall woman to the floor.
After Stacie hit the ground with a grunt and a muffled “oof” Chloe lifted her head toward the back of the couch. “Oops. Sorry.” But her tone was too innocent and sing-song for anyone to believe it had been anything but intentional.
Stacie just continued chuckling, crossing one ankle over the other and folded her hands on her stomach. “That’s ok, Chloe. Someone has to stick up for Shortie.”
Aubrey shifted until she was kneeling and looked over the back of the couch. “You ok down there?” Her head tilted to the side, this offering a whole new view down Stacie’s shirt. She watched as Stacie slowly rose to her feet and then Aubrey settled back on the couch in her previous position. Stacie padded around the edge and flopped down across her lap, her butt between the couch and Aubrey’s legs. She was so tall her legs fit comfortably over Aubrey’s and rested naturally on the floor.
Aubrey spoke up. “I believe I won our little wager.”
Chloe narrowed her eyes. “What makes you think that?”
“Beca straight up surrendered.”
“Hey! I was in fear of my life. I almost tossed my cookies all over the place.” Beca felt a little guilty at the queasy expression that passed over Aubrey’s face. She snaked a few Skittles and munched them as the debate flowed around her, smiling as Chloe dropped her not-so-secret stash of red Skittles into Beca’s pocket ‘just in case, for later’ and Beca passed her a few more from the bag.
Emily finally interrupted. “But did Beca really lose? Or did she Obi Wan Amy into giving up?”
As the room rang with laughter, Beca just smiled and shook her head as they argued who won the Skittle bet. All of them dipped in as they argued their point, making room for Amy as she came out and scooped out a generous handful.
“I believe I earned this.”
Beca really did love her awesome nerds.
Two days later she’d been at the store and saw that Skittles were on sale. She picked up two bags along with the rest of the groceries and headed home. After putting everything else away, she opened one of the bags, planning on pouring them into a bowl to sort out the red and greens.
She’d sorted out a small pile of each onto a paper towel before she felt a presence at her elbow.
“You uh… planning something with those, Shawshank?”
Beca yelped and jumped, the open bag allowing Skittles to fly across the counter. “JESUS, AMY! DUDE!” She rested against the counter, one hand over her heart. “Don’t DO THAT. How many times have I told you not to sneak up on me!” Her eyes closed only to jerk back open again when she felt a tug on the bag.
“Yeah yeah. C’mon, it’s just you and I in here, no one has to know.” Amy’s voice began to wheedle even as she started to scoop the spilled candy into a pile.
Beca eyed her narrowly. “I trust nothing that comes out of your mouth when you use that tone.” Beca used Amy’s distraction to swoop up the paper towel in a kind of pouch and put it in her pocket. She also slowly eased the other, unopened bag, off the counter.
Amy heard the crackle and looked over. “You have TWO bags!? What does someone your size need two bags of candy for?” She started to advance as Beca backed away toward the living room. “Don’t make me get physical.”
Beca shoved the second bag in with the paper towel, leaving her with a free hand. “You don’t even like most of the flavors!” She took another step back, her free hand dipping into the bag. “You complained for an hour the other day!”
“Food is food, Beca. And I haven’t had lunch yet.” Amy picked up speed, her arms out stretched. “Gimme.”
“Dude!” Beca ripped her hand out of the bag and began scattering candy like bird seed. It almost caused physical pain to trash the floor this way, but she was fairly confident that Amy would bloodhound each piece out.
Her distraction worked, Amy paused to bend over and pick up the ones that had fallen in front of her. “I can’t believe you would waste good candy like this, I’m very disappointed in you, Beca.”
Beca scattered one more handful under the coffee table and set the bag down in the middle of it. She bolted for the security of Chloe’s room, Amy’s voice following her all the way up the stairs.