“Stacie! I need you!” Chloe bursts through Stacie's door looking a little out of breath and wide eyed.
Stacie doesn't even glance up from filing her nails. “If I had a dollar for every time someone said that to me…” Her lips quirk up into a smirk, clearly amused with herself.
Chloe huffs, as she flops down sideways on Stacie's bed, and groans. “This is serious, Stacie.” She whines almost desperately. It's not the kind of desperate that Stacie is used to, or the kind she enjoys, but it's enough to garner her full attention.
She sets her nail file down on her side table and looks down at Chloe, who has thrown her arm over her face. “Alright, what's up, Red?”
“Tom is in town.” Chloe says, as if this explains everything.
Stacie waits for her to elaborate, but she doesn't. “... okay, I'm gonna need a little more to go off of, here. Who's Tom and why do you need me?”
Chloe moves her arm from her face and looks up at Stacie. “You know… Tom? I dated him for like three years? He always came to all the parties and--”
“Oh!” Realization dawns on her. “Oh, shower guy Tom? That guy? He was kind of before my time. What about him?”
“Shower guy?” Chloe stares at her in confusion.
Stacie chuckles. “He's the guy you were… with when you barged into Beca's shower, yeah?”
Chloe makes a face. “Oh. Yeah, that's-- wait, Beca told you?” She asks, incredulous.
“Of course, B and I tell each other everything.”
“She was drunk, wasn't she?” Chloe quirks a brow and Stacie just grins and nods.
“Totally trashed. Anyway, what about shower guy?”
Chloe frowns. “He's coming to visit and he's bringing his fiancé.” She pouts at this.
Stacie quirks a brow. “Okay, that still doesn't explain why you need me.”
“I need you to be my fake girlfriend.” Chloe says as she sits up.
Stacie freezes, brows furrowing slightly. “I'm sorry, did you say you need me to be your fake girlfriend?” It certainly isn't the oddest request she's ever received, but… “Why? You don't strike me the type to really care about that sort of stuff.”
“It's just-- okay, he left me for her,” Chloe starts, fiddling with the ring on her thumb. “He left me for a Rihanna when he had a Beyoncé. Sure, Rihanna is a talented singer, but why want her when you have queen Bey?!” The redhead flops back onto Stacie's bed once more.
Stacie raises a brow at the other’s antics, biting her lip in an effort to hide her smirk. “A better question is how he could leave someone who's clearly so humble.”
Chloe ignores the leggy brunette’s teasing as she continues on. “So, I need a Beyoncé of my own--that's where you come in.”
“So… Beyoncé is dating herself, then? This analogy just keeps getting weirder…” She watches Chloe roll her eyes as she moves onto her side and props herself up on an elbow. “This isn't about that, though, is it? You panicked and told him you were seeing someone, didn't you?”
Chloe groans. “I panicked so hard! Will you do it?”
Stacie is silent for a moment, before her lips curl up into a little grin. “All I can say is, if you like it then you better put a ring on it.” Chloe sits up with a little squeal and tackles Stacie with a hug.
“Thank you! You're the best, Stace”
“We should practice.” Chloe says, barging into Stacie's room for what seems like the umpteenth time that week.
Stacie doesn't look up from her anatomy textbook as she asks, “Practice what?”
Chloe settles onto Stacie's bed. “You know-- kissing and hand holding…”
This has Stacie bringing her gaze to Chloe’s, brows raised. “I'm sorry, have you met me? I don't need to practice kissing. I'm a fantastic kisser.”
Chloe smirks. “Now who's humble?”
“I'm just stating facts, red.” Stacie says, smirking back. “Besides, I've had those facts validated on multiple occasions.” She winks and brings her gaze back to her textbook.
“Regardless, that's not what I meant. I mean we need practice being a couple .” Chloe explains.
Stacie takes a moment to read over the last paragraph of the page before she closes the textbook and sets it aside “Oh, well, sure.” She says with a little shrug. “Why do we need to practice?”
“Because we need to look natural, like we've been dating for years. We should be prepared, ya know? Like we don't want to seem like we've never kissed before.” Chloe says, already moving to sit on her knees in front of Stacie.
“That makes sense, I’m down.” Stacie says with a nod.
Chloe beams and scoots closer, her knees brushing up against Stacie’s legs. “Great!” She chirps, before she leans forward. Stacie meets her halfway, one hand coming up to cup the back of Chloe’s neck, while the other rests on the side of her knee.
The moment their lips touch, the world falls away. Stacie's heart seems to triple its speed and she idly thinks that it can't be good for her health, but the thought is fleeting as Chloe's own reaction ( a soft little gasp ) has Stacie wanting more.
Chloe cants her head as Stacie deepens the kiss, pulling Chloe closer as she does. The kiss goes from soft and experimental, to deep and needy in a very short amount of time. It gets to the point where, somehow, at some point, Chloe ends up straddling Stacie’s lap.
Fingers tangle in Stacie's hair, scratching lightly at her scalp, causing her to sigh into the kiss. Her own hands have moved beneath Chloe’s shirt, where they've splayed out over her ribs.
They pull back, panting, foreheads pressed together. “Wow. Okay, so--” Chloe has to clear her throat before she continues. “You're definitely good at that.”
Stacie chuckles something low and gravely. “You're not so bad yourself there, Red.” She glances down between them, lips curving into a smirk. “I think we're pretty convincing.”
Chloe, suddenly noticing their change in positions, blushes slightly. “Oh!” She laughs softly and moves back onto the bed. “Sorry, guess I got carried away.”
“I wasn't complaining.” Stacie says as she leans back against her headboard, working to calm her very heated body down. “So, when is shower guy coming?”
Chloe gives Stacie a look. “ Tom is already here, in town I mean, but we aren't meeting him until tomorrow for lunch. You are free, right?”
Stacie chuckles slightly. “Yeah, I'm free. No worries.”
From the moment Stacie wakes up to the moment that Chloe is barging into her room (again) to tell her it’s time to leave, something doesn’t sit right with her. After Chloe had left the day before, Stacie found herself thinking about their kiss and how she’d never felt anything like it before.
Sure, kissing was fun, and it made her feel great when her partner was a good kisser, but something happened the moment her lips touched Chloe’s. Something warm and intoxicating. Kissing was great all on it’s own, but-- kissing Chloe?
Well, it was something that Stacie didn’t want to think about, but found herself agonizing over.
“Hey, you okay?” Chloe asks as they near the little Italian restaurant that they all agreed to meet at. “Are you having second thoughts about this? I mean, he’s only going to be here for a few days--”
Stacie shakes her head and smiles down at Chloe. “No, I’m good. I was just thinking about the paper I’m working on.” She deflects easily.
Chloe studies the other woman’s profile before she seems to accept Stacie’s answer. As they get closer to their destination, Stacie feels Chloe’s hand slip into hers, lacing their fingers together. The leggy brunette glances down briefly before keeping her gaze ahead, willing herself not to overanalyze the way her heart seems to be picking up speed as Chloe’s thumb brushes over her knuckle.
“Here we go.” Chloe says, taking a steadying breath and pulling the door to the restaurant open.
They’re led to a table where Stacie briefly recognizes Tom sitting next to a relatively attractive looking woman. She’s the first to notice them, an unreadable look flashing over her face as she gently nudges Tom. He finally looks up and smiles as he spots Chloe, but his smile turns melts into a look of surprise as he lays eyes on Stacie. “Hey, Chlo! Wow, you didn’t tell me you were dating a chick…” And Stacie isn’t sure she likes the way he says this.
He stands and opens his arms for a hug, which Chloe easily reciprocates as she releases Stacie’s hand in favor of hugging her ex. Something hot and sticky makes itself known at the pit of Stacie’s stomach, and she realizes with a jolt, that it’s jealousy. Which, baffles her before she has no reason to be jealous for one, and for two-- Chloe isn’t even her real girlfriend. “Is that a problem?” Chloe asks, a soft edge to her voice as she pulls back with a raised eyebrow.
“Oh, no, no!” Tom replies hastily as he gestures for them to sit at the other end of the table. “I just-- I didn’t realize you were--”
“Bi-sexual?” Chloe fills as she takes a seat, glancing up at Stacie and tugging on her hand gently to get her to join her. But Stacie is a little distracted by the frown tugging on Tom’s girlfriend’s lips. Even though Tom says he’s fine with Chloe dating a woman, Stacie thinks maybe his girlfriend feels otherwise. Still, Stacie takes a seat next to Chloe, shoving the thought aside.
Tom chuckles nervously. “Yeah, sure-- that.”
Chloe glances between her ex and his girlfriend before she shakes her head slightly. “Well, I am and now you know.” She intones with a little shrug. Chloe then turns her attention to Stacie and her lips curve up into a gentle smile. “Anyway, this is my girlfriend, Stacie.” And she doesn’t miss the way Chloe bites her lip briefly as she glances Stacie’s way.
“Nice to meet you both.” Stacie says, offering a charming smile.
Tom smiles back as he turns to his girlfriend. “This is Sarah. Sarah, everybody, everybody Sarah.” He laughs softly at himself while Sarah tries to smile, but Stacie thinks it looks more like a grimace, her fingers moving to a thin gold chain around her neck. And then Stacie spots it, the cross that sits just at the edge of her shirt.
This was sure to get interesting.
Tom and Chloe chat idly as they all wait for their food, Stacie throwing in a few anecdotes here and there, while Sarah gives monosyllabic answers.
They’re midway through their meal when Sarah finally starts to join in the conversation. “So, neither of you really look gay. Especially you.” She gestures toward Stacie with her glass of wine casually before she takes a sip.
Stacie’s fork pauses halfway to her mouth, while Chloe quirks an eyebrow. Tom looks suddenly uncomfortable, mouth opening as if he’s going to say something but seeming to be at a loss for words. “Uhm, we’re not.” Chloe says slowly. “I’m bi, which means I’m attracted to both genders.” She explains patiently.
“And I’m pansexual, meaning I don’t limit myself to biological sex, gender or identity.” Stacie replies, her tone a little more curt than Chloe’s.
Sarah stares at them blankly before she shakes her head. “I just don’t understand how you can choose to--”
“Babe,” Tom cuts her off quickly, looking embarrassed as he anxiously glances their way. “Don’t--”
Sarah huffs and crosses her arms. “Don’t Tom, It’s a sin!” She practically yells, causing a few heads to turn their way. Sarah brings her attention back to Chloe and Stacie. “How can you choose to live in sin like that?” She sneers. “I don’t even know why you wanted me to meet her. I can see why you left her for me. You dodged a bullet!”
And okay, that’s really the last straw for Stacie, because she can feel Chloe physically winse beside her.
“First of all, bitch .” Stacie stands, leaning on the table and leveling a glare at Sarah, who’s jaw drops open at the leggy brunette’s words. “The only sinning going on here is that top with that skirt. Did you get dressed in the dark?” She doesn’t give the other woman a chance to answer as she continues on. “Second of all, you can’t choose who you love. I didn’t choose to love Chloe, but I here I am, living my best life with one of the most wonderfully kind people I’ve ever met, thanking God that Tom here let her go so that I could treat her with the kindness and love she deserves.”
Stacie can feel Chloe’s eyes on her, boring holes into her skin and she has to work to resist the urge to look at her. Instead, she continues to glare at Sarah. “Third of all, Tom didn’t dodge any bullets, in fact I’m fairly certain he ran face first into a hatchet, choosing you over Chloe. If loving Chloe is wrong, then I don’t ever want to be right.” She stands to her full height and holds out her hand to Chloe, eyes still focused on Sarah, who is blinking dumbly up at her.
“Are you just going to let her talk to me like that!?” Sarah finally sputters, face red as she looks over at Tom, who has since just leaned back in his chair, looking resigned. Stacie glances down at Chloe as she takes her hand, offering a soft smile to the redhead who looks close to tears.
Tom sighs as he stands and takes out his wallet and setting a few bills on the table. “Chlo, I’m sorry.” He says, completely disregarding Sarah’s question, and her presence altogether. “You’re clearly very lucky to have found someone who loves you so passionately.” He smiles weakly before he turns to Sarah. “Sarah, I wanted you to meet Chloe, because we were friends once before we dated, and I valued her opinion, and still do, even if we rarely ever talk anymore. So, that being said-- Sarah, we’re done.”
Stacie and Chloe stare at Tom in shock. Sarah looks to be on the verge of some sort of meltdown, so Stacie tugs Chloe’s hand to lead her out, not wanting to be there to witness it. “Bye, Tom. Good luck, and sorry.” Chloe says softly as they leave. Tom doesn’t get a chance to reply as Sarah practically explodes in anger, yelling and crying.
They walk in silence for a few moments, until Stacie feels Chloe’s hand in her own. She glances down at their laced fingers before looking to Chloe. The redhead is biting her lip anxiously, eyes still a little glassy as she brings her gaze to Stacie’s. “What you said back there--” She pauses, licking her lips in what Stacie knows in an attempt to stall herself. “Did you-- uhm--”
“Mean it?” Stacie finishes the other’s question, her heart seeming to trip over itself in her chest as Chloe nods up at her. “Well, I-- I mean, of course I love you, Chloe. I love all the Bellas.”
“Oh.” Chloe mumbles, glancing away. She goes to release Stacie’s hand, but the brunette tightens her grip before she gently pushes Chloe into an alleyway, nudging her back until she’s pressed up against a wall.
“But, here’s where it gets confusing.” Stacie says quietly, cupping Chloe’s chin and angling it up so that she can meet her eyes. “See, I think maybe-- maybe I might feel something that’s much more than platonic for you.”
Chloe visibly swallows as she stares up at Stacie. “O-oh?”
Stacie’s lips curve up into a little grin. “Yeah. I’ve never thought about it before, but when we kissed, it was like someone had just lifted off a blindfold and I was seeing things from an entirely new perspective. I have this theory,” Stacie says, voice low and sultry as her fingers grace along Chloe’s jaw and she inches closer. “And I’d like to test it.”
“Okay, w-what’s the theory?” Chloe rasps, hand tightening into Stacie’s as the brunette holds it up against the brick wall.
Grinning, Stacie presses herself further into Chloe, causing the redhead to gasp sharply. “I think you know.” She says just before she presses her lips against Chloe’s. The kiss is soft and slow at first, Stacie’s hand moving to cup the back of Chloe’s neck, while Chloe’s own hands move to grip at slender hips. And then Chloe is nipping at Stacie’s lower lip, pulling her impossibly closer as the kiss deepens.
Before she can get too carried away, Stacie reluctantly pulls back, panting lightly.
“So,” Chloe starts, voice lower than Stacie has ever heard it. It makes her want to kiss the redhead again. “Was your theory proven correct?”
Stacie chuckles softly. “Definitely. It just leaves on question-- do you maybe want to go on a date with me? And, if it goes well-- maybe we can be real girlfriends.”
“Hmm. A date with THE Stacie Conrad. I didn’t think you did relationships.” Chloe says, canting her head to one side and chewing on her lower lip.
“I do them, but only when I feel like maybe it’s going to go somewhere. So, what’s it going to be, Red?” Stacie asks, moving her hand to push a strand of red hair behind Chloe’s ear.
Chloe grins up at Stacie, hands moving to slip into the back pockets of the brunette’s jeans. “I say yes.” She finally says, causing Stacie to smile brightly before she leans down to kiss Chloe deeply.
When they pull back, Chloe licks her lips. “I have this theory,” She starts a little breathlessly. “That if we’re this good at kissing, then--” She leans up to whisper in Stacie’s ear and the words ‘cause Stacie to groan. “Do you maybe wanna test that theory?”
“Yes, definitely.” Stacie pulls back and tugs Chloe back out of the alleyway before starting toward the Bella house. “Fuck, I love science.”
Chloe’s laugh is boisterous and it makes Stacie grin and walk a little faster, if only to at least able to kiss the redhead again.