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don't fall, don't feel (but i sink farther)

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Graduation means moving on.

That includes moving on from Beca.

So really, Chloe isn’t sure how she ends up in the situation.

(That’s a lie, she knows exactly how.)

It begins in the Bella House, with less than two weeks left until graduation and her best friend Beca Mitchell.

Chloe doesn’t have her post-graduation plans figured out quite yet. She figures she’ll stay in Atlanta for a little while longer, at least. With no job and not much on her resume, she isn’t quite sure what she can do out there.

(Seven years of college doesn’t look too great on applications, apparently.

Shockingly enough, three-time ICCA Champion doesn’t quite do the trick either.)

She’s sitting at the kitchen counter with her laptop in front of her, going over their Worlds itinerary instead of studying - because she can totally pass that Russian Lit final in her sleep if she’s being honest - when Beca enters.

“Hey Becs,” she says when she realizes Beca’s in the kitchen with her. “Come look over the updated itinerary real quick. I wanna make sure we have time for sightseeing in between rehearsals and the actual competition.”

Beca snorts, grabbing a bottle of water from the fridge before making her way over. “Chlo, we’re still a few weeks away from all of that. You can plan it later.”

“But I’m just so excited!” Chloe exclaims, and she catches the way Beca’s lips turn up into a slight smile.

Things have been significantly better since the retreat. Chloe feels like they’re Beca and Chloe again, in the ways they used to be. They’re Beca and Chloe in the ways they’ve always been.

Chloe tries not to think about how their days are now numbered.

She tries not to think about waking up with Beca in her bed on most days, or how Beca will always come to her bedroom for a Netflix marathon after a long and grueling day. She tries not to think about how they buy each other groceries or how Beca makes Chloe a cup of tea with lemon and honey when she can tell Chloe’s stressed. She tries not to think about the nights they spend together, Chloe asking obscure and random questions while Beca entertains the conversation.

She tries not to think about any of this at all because if everything falls into place, after Worlds Beca will move to Los Angeles and move in with Jesse.

Jesse, who has been Beca’s boyfriend for almost four years.

Jesse, who has always had a part of Beca that Chloe’s only ever dreamed of.

Jesse, who Beca loves in ways she will never love Chloe.

The past four years have been the best and worst years of Chloe’s life, and almost every single part of it has to do with Beca Mitchell.

Chloe hates thinking about it.

Beca chuckles softly, and Chloe revels in the way in sounds. She turns her laptop and pushes it towards Beca, who is now leaning on the opposite side of the counter. Beca’s eyes furrow in that way Chloe knows it does when she’s trying to focus on something and she tries not to smile.

“It all looks great Chlo,” she announces, pushing the laptop back towards Chloe.

Chloe pouts. “You said that last time.”

Beca laughs, offering a shrug. “I get to go to Copenhagen with you awesome nerds, that’s enough for me.”

Chloe beams at her, and the silence settles for a moment.

Beca’s eyes fall down to the countertop as she clears her throat a little. “I uh, actually came in here to ask you something.”

The way Beca’s demeanor changes makes Chloe look at her in slight concern. She closes her laptop, attention fully on Beca. She watches as Beca’s fingers tap against the countertop, a habit when she’s nervous.

She’s learned how to read Beca like her favorite book. She knows what makes the brunette tick, knows Beca’s mannerisms like her own after all this time.

Sometimes Beca is hard to read, sometimes - like right now - she isn’t.

“Is everything all right?”

Beca’s eyes snap back up to meet Chloe’s. “What? Yeah,” she nods, eyes wide with reassurance that no, nothing is wrong. “It’s nothing bad. I just have a question.”

“I’m listening,” Chloe promises.

“How do you feel about New York?”

Chloe’s confused, but sometimes Beca’s thoughts are jumbled and the way she speaks follows her current train of thought, so she goes with it anyway.

(She’ll always go along with it for Beca.)

“I went once when I was eleven,” Chloe tells her. “I’ve always wanted to go back.”

Beca nods at the information, fingers still tapping against the countertop. Chloe watches her carefully.

“How would you feel about living there?”

Chloe shrugs. “It’s an exciting place,” she admits. “I wouldn’t be opposed.”

Their eyes meet again and Chloe wonders where on earth this conversation is going.

“How would you feel about living there….with me?”

Beca bites her lip. Chloe stares at her.

Is she hearing right?

Beca seems to able to tell that she’s lost Chloe in the conversation. She adds, “Um, my boss hooked me up with a job at BFD Records…in New York.”

Chloe’s eyes widen and she’s immediately giddy with excitement. “Beca, that’s amazing!”

She jumps out of the stool she’s sitting on, pulling Beca into a hug. The brunette is yelping out a protest, but not even a moment later she lets herself sink into the hug, wrapping her small arms around Chloe.

Chloe tries not to melt at her touch.

“I’m so proud of you,” the redhead gushes, pulling away with a quirked eyebrow. “but I thought you were trying to work in Los Angeles?”

With Jesse , she doesn’t add as she sits back down in her stool.

“My boss said said BFD would be a better opportunity,” she explains, and Chloe grins at the way she can see Beca’s eyes light up with excitement at the chance of a real career. “I’d be able to have more of a voice there than any label in LA.”

And Chloe wants to ask what this means for Beca and Jesse, but part of her doesn’t want to know. She wants to let this go on for just a little longer, pretend that Jesse was never in the equation.

Los Angeles is where freshman Beca thought she needed to be to chase her dreams. That’s all Chloe will allow herself to think.

There’s a beat of silence which Beca takes as Chloe hesitating, and she’s immediately rambling.

Chloe would find it so god damn adorable if her mind wasn’t currently on overdrive.

“I’m totally springing this on you out of nowhere, wow. I’m sorry, I’m such a dick. I know you were planning on staying in Atlanta after Worlds and I get that and maybe I can ask Amy what she’s doing after Worlds, but I figured I’d ask you because you’re like, my best friend and I-”

“Beca,” Chloe finally says, breaking the brunette out of her thoughts as she reaches over and places her hand on top of Beca’s arm.

Beca immediately shuts up, eyes meeting Chloe’s again. This time, they’re soft.

“I would love to move to New York with you.”

Beca seems to visibly relax, a smile forming on her face. “Yeah?”

“Yeah,” Chloe nods, returning her smile.

“Cool.”

“Yeah, cool.”

And Chloe knows she should probably stay in Atlanta, but she’s never been able to say no when it comes to Beca.

Not when Beca’s smiling at her like that.

Plus, it was going to be weird living without any of the Bellas anyway.

(This is how she ends up in her problematic situation, really.)

 


 

Chloe should probably be studying.

It’s fine, she can pass that Russian Lit final in her sleep now. She’s been in the class long enough - three years - to do so.

Or maybe she could help Emily with her final paper or make sure Stacie’s actually studying instead of shopping or out on a date.

Instead, she’s looking for an apartment cheap enough for her and Beca after they get back from Worlds.

Chloe thinks she’s found a decent one, something they can add to their list of not-very-many options to begin with, and she wants to consult Beca on it before officially adding it to the list so she picks up her laptop and wanders out of her bedroom and up to the attic where Beca and Amy’s bedroom is. She’s quietly making her way up the stairs when she hears Beca’s voice.

“I’m telling you now!”

Beca sounds irritated and impatient. It makes Chloe stop in her tracks, leaning against the wall that lines the stairs up to the attic.

“I thought the plan was to move to Los Angeles after graduation with me. Los Angeles has always been your plan.”

Chloe recognizes the muffled voice as Jesse and immediately pieces together that Beca is on speakerphone with them.

She also guesses Beca hadn’t told Jesse about New York yet.

Something about it makes Chloe feel all sorts of uneasy, but she stays pressed against the wall, laptop still in her hands, listening to the conversation.

“Well that was the plan,” Beca reminds him in a sharp voice. “but plans change and sometimes so do dreams. My boss said New York would be the better option and he managed to get me an entry level job at BFD. What was I supposed to do, say no?!”

“I figured you were trying to get into a recording studio in LA.”

“Jesse,” Beca says as she lets out a frustrated exhale. “I already told you - he got me the job in New York. I can’t turn down something that good.”

Chloe chew on her bottom lip, well aware she shouldn’t be sitting here eavesdropping. She knows Beca’s been talking to Jesse less and less with distance and Worlds and graduation coming up, but she also knows Beca loves Jesse even if the distance really sucks.

At least, that’s what Beca’s said before.

She’s hard to read, sometimes.

“And you’re moving to New York with Chloe ? Really?”

Chloe almost glares at the way Jesse emphasizes her name. What the hell is that supposed to mean? Chloe and Jesse have never been best friends, but she figured they got along well enough because of Beca.

Not that Chloe has anything against Jesse, he’s a very nice guy.

It just kind of sucks that it’s Jesse whom Beca’s dating.

(Chloe never says that, though.

She just smiles and puts on her ‘happy that you’re happy’ face for Beca when he’s around.)

“Yeah, I am.” Beca states a bit defensively. “She’s my best friend and didn’t have any concrete plans.”

“Oh of course she didn’t.”

“What? Was I supposed to move to New York alone? Jesse, the rent is ridiculous out there! There’s no way I’d be able to live on my own!”

Chloe can tell Beca’s getting angry, the way her voice is rising and going higher than it normally does when she’s speaking. She can’t see the brunette, but she knows Beca’s probably glaring at her phone.

“Yeah, but of course it’s Chloe that moves with you.”

“Dude, she’s my best friend!” Beca snaps, and Chloe doesn’t think she’s heard Beca this angry. Not even at the Lodge “Why wouldn’t I ask her?!”

“I’m just saying Beca-”

“No we’re not having this argument with you again,” Beca decides sternly.

Chloe frowns at this. What argument? It’s certainly the first time she’s heard Jesse and Beca go at it like this.

And what does Chloe moving in with Beca have to do with this?

Chloe hides her feelings well when it comes to Beca Mitchell. At least, she thinks she does. Aubrey knows, and maybe Stacie’s caught on after sharing a room with Chloe for a few years - and maybe a drunken confession one late night when Beca is gone with Jesse and Stacie is there and letting Chloe pour her heart out - but really, Chloe’s pretty sure that’s it.

“Beca come on,” Jesse tries.

“You’re being a dick,” Beca tells him blatantly.

Voices from downstairs begin to drift up and she hears what she thinks is Stacie’s voice ask, “Has anyone seen Chloe?” and she knows it’s time to make her exit.

She ever so quietly makes her way downstairs, back to her bedroom, the potential apartment pulled up on her screen long forgotten.

 

Over an hour later, Beca shows up at Chloe’s door.

She wears a tired expression and one of Chloe’s hoodies as she leans against the door frame.

“Hey,” Chloe greets coolly, looking up from the book she’d been reading.

“Hi,” Beca responds, entering the room and sitting at the edge of Chloe’s bed. “I have a question for you.”

Chloe quirks an eyebrow. “Okay, shoot.”

“Would you totally hate me if I ask Amy to move to New York with us?”

The redhead blinks, confused for a moment. The realization sinks in a moment later when she thinks back to Jesse and Beca and their argument.

The argument that Chloe definitely wasn’t supposed to hear.

“Why would I hate you for that?” Chloe asks innocently. “I like Amy.”

Beca sighs, running a hand through her hair. “I don’t know. I mean like, it’d totally be cool with just the two of us, but Amy doesn’t really have a plan for post-grad either besides being with Bumper,” she shrugs. After a second’s pause she adds, “and you know, New York is like, super expensive. It’d be better to have another person - someone else to help pay the rent.”

Chloe laughs. “You really think Amy’s going to help with the rent?”

She notices the way Beca relaxes a little when she sees Chloe isn’t mad at her for the suggestion. Chloe inwardly sighs, knowing exactly why she’s asking if Amy can move in with them.

“You never know,” Beca shrugs, but she’s laughing along with Chloe a moment later.

Actually, Amy moving in with them sounds like an excellent idea, Chloe decides.

“Sure Becs,” Chloe smiles at her. “Ask Ames to move in with us. It’ll be fun!”

Beca visibly looks relieved at Chloe’s openness to the concept.

Chloe thinks Amy will serve as a good buffer so she doesn’t completely lose it living with Beca alone in New York.

 


 

This year, when graduation finally comes around, Chloe is wearing a Barden green cap and gown just like everyone else.

Emily meets them at the Bella House, helping them get ready and fawning over every single one of her Bella sisters.

“You’re all so pretty!” Emily gushes.

Beca scrunches up her nose. “Whatever.”

Chloe giggles, letting herself be pulled into a selfie snapped by Stacie.

Beca and Chloe are able to wrangle them all in - “We’re taking the picture with or without you!” Bece repeats loudly every other second - and get a few group photos taken by Emily. Beca only smiles for like two of them, but Chloe can’t wipe the smile off her own face as they’re leaving Emily behind and heading to the stadium where graduation will take place.

Chloe feels alive and unafraid of graduation and what comes next.

In two weeks when they’re back from Worlds, they will move their things out of the Bella house and Chloe will go with Beca and Amy to New York to start their post-college lives.

Yeah, life is good.

Chloe tears up when she receives her diploma after walking across that stage, gripping it tightly in her hands.

She immediately finds her other Bellas, Emily herding them all together with her mother and some of the other parents already waiting just outside of the stadium. There are hugs being shared and laughter and tears on top of squeals, and Chloe has never felt more at home.

Chloe takes a moment for herself, looking down at the diploma in her hands. She bites her lip, suddenly overcome with emotions because it took her a few extra years, but she’s graduating. She’s finally saying goodbye to Barden University, to the ICCAs, to a capella.

Tears well up in her eyes, and for the first time, they’re not sad tears because she’s leaving, but because she’s had a damn good seven years. It’s the moments where she’s with the people she cares about most that she’ll remember. She’ll remember spending endless hours with Beca planning arrangements, she’ll remember getting way too drunk with Stacie yet somehow still making it back to their bedroom in one piece, she’ll remember the highs and the lows of the Bellas.

“You did it.”

Chloe blinks and looks up, finding a smiling Beca Mitchell standing next to her so close that their arms almost touch.

“You know I failed on purpose,” she teases, trying to make light of the moment.

Beca’s smile only widens at the statement, looking at Chloe in a way that Chloe thinks can put every single star in the sky.

“I know that. I’m proud of you still,” Beca tells her. “Onto the next chapter, Chlo.”

“Onto the next chapter,” the redhead echoes, smiling at Beca.

They hold each other’s gazes for a moment. There are their families and the Bellas and a little chaos like always, but all Chloe can focus on is how Beca looking at her like this makes her feel like she can do anything in the world.

There’s a feeling at the pit of her stomach, one that’s been ever present since her first senior year, when she spotted Beca across the walkway at the activities fair.

 


 

Chloe finds Beca in the backyard that night, one of the few bottles of wine from their pantry that’s left. Beca’s looking up at the stars, knees up and her arms outstretched behind her, keeping her upright as her hands are face down in the grass.

And even though she’s tired from the long events of the day, Chloe can’t help but grin as she approaches her best friend.

“Is it all sinking in?”

Beca looks up with a slightly startled expression on her face, but she doesn’t seem at all surprised to find Chloe standing there.

She shrugs, a hint of a smile on her face. “We’re graduates, dude.”

Chloe laughs softly, taking the spot next to Beca. “That we are,” she agrees before grabbing the bottle and taking a swig.

They settle into silence for a moment, both of them taking turns drinking out of the bottle sitting between them and looking up into the sky full of stars. Chloe knows she’ll definitely miss this, being able to see the stars in the sky on any given night.

“I’m gonna miss this place,” Beca sighs.

Chloe looks at her her lips quirked in an amused fashion. “You thought it was a terrible idea for us to buy this house.”

“No, I thought it was a terrible idea for us all to live together,” Beca quickly corrects. “It’s a miracle we never burned the house down.”

Chloe giggles at that, taking another swig of wine. “It’ll be weird not to come home to this anymore.”

Beca hums in agreement. “It’ll be too quiet.”

Chloe grins. “You’re still stuck with me, though.” After a beat she adds, “And Amy.”

Beca laughs, a smile on her face despite the way she rolls her eyes. Chloe knows Beca can’t even pretend to be irritated anymore.

It’s quiet again for a moment, both of them letting the wine settle in and the sky occupy their attention while they think about their separate thoughts. Chloe thinks about how lucky she is to be here with Beca, reveling in their last moments together at Barden.

“Hey Chloe?”

Chloe turns her attention to Beca at the sound of her name. Beca looks at her with those expansive midnight blue eyes, smile gone and face genuine. Chloe tilts her head in curiosity.

“Yeah?”

“Thanks for sticking around for so long.”

Chloe’s whole expression softens at the words. Beca’s voice is small and quiet, but it speaks volumes as they sit in their backyard on a warm May night. This is one of those rare moments where Beca’s walls have all come down, and Chloe hasn’t seen her like this with anyone else.

There’s always been something different about Beca when it comes to Chloe, something that’s always been a deeper level.

“I know you didn’t want to leave the Bellas,” Beca continues quietly, her eyes flitter from Chloe to the bottle between them. “But I personally don’t know what I would’ve done without you this whole time.”

“Bec,” Chloe murmurs, gentle and sweet.

She feels the way her heart grows in her chest, warmth spreading throughout her body. Beca lifts her gaze to meet Chloe’s and the redhead finds Beca’s stormy eyes clear and honest. She thinks she’ll remember this moment forever, with the way Beca looks at her so genuinely and how her words sit between them with an importance Chloe knows they both understand.

And Chloe doesn’t think Beca understands the way her words affect Chloe, but she knows just how hard it is for Beca to be able to even say things like this.

“Thank you,” Beca says, still looking at Chloe. “for being here.”

Chloe’s stomach fills with butterflies and her mind is kind of hazy. She knows she can easily blame this on the wine and the fact she’s been drinking all day in celebration, but Chloe also knows it’s not true.

She feels this way because of the brunette sitting not even two feet away from her.

There are words bubbling in Chloe’s throat, three to be exact.

(She’s not quite sure when she’s come to the realization of those three words, but she feels like she’s been bordering four years now with them always on the tip of her tongue when it comes to Beca.)

Except, she doesn’t say those words. She can’t.

Because Beca still has Jesse even if he’s all the way in Los Angeles and Chloe has always been just the best friend.

“Thanks for showing up to auditions,” Chloe replies instead, an easy smile on her lips.

The heaviness that had settled between them fades with the comment, and Chloe feels like she can breathe a little easier. She takes another swig of wine for good measure.

Beca laughs. “We’ve come so far.”

Chloe grins and adds, “You’re such a dirty liar, saying you didn’t even sing.”

“Hey,” Beca groans, giving Chloe a light shove which sends Chloe into a fit of giggles. “Why can’t you let that go?”

Chloe raises her eyebrows as if she’s being challenged. “Oh, so do you want to talk about the shower, then?”

Chloe!

Chloe laughs loud and unapologetically, sure that soon enough one of the Bellas will hear them from inside and yell at them to shut up. Beca is making a face and rolling her eyes, but there’s an undeniable smile on her lips.

“I hate you,” she grumbles.

“You don’t,” Chloe insists.

Beca gives her a lopsided smile. “You’re right, I don’t.”

Chloe wonders how much longer she can survive when Beca does little things like this that make everything in Chloe’s world just right.

 


 

Copenhagen is beautiful.

It’s rainy, but it’s still beautiful and Chloe takes in every single moment she can with her girls.

Having Aubrey around is like feeling safe again. She’s always been looking out for Chloe since the beginning.

(“Are you sure you want to do this?” Aubrey asks Chloe when they are alone in the hotel. “Living with Beca might be…”

“I don’t have any other plans,” Chloe shrugs helplessly. “There wasn’t a good enough reason not to.”

Aubrey twists her lips, but doesn’t say anything else.)

They don’t quite hit everything in Chloe’s itinerary - thank you Fat Amy for the sporadic stops and Lilly and Flo for disappearing for a few hours - but it’s still fun and full of love and a newfound confidence they’ve been lacking for literally the whole year.

The night before the big competition Chloe and Beca sit in their bedroom with Aubrey and Emily, old mixing with new and history being shared. They talk through the planned performance until Beca groans and says “We get it, Aubrey” and it grows into the two of them bickering with Emily staring wide-eyed.

“Okay!” Chloe announces, clapping her hands together. “I think it’s time for all of us to go to bed.”

Aubrey and Beca glare at each other, but both listen to Chloe as everyone gets up. They still mumble good night to each other as Aubrey heads out. Emily hugs both Chloe and Beca - Chloe’s receptive and even kisses her temple, Beca grunts - before heading out.

“Dude,” Beca says once they’ve both settled into bed. “We’re really competing in the fucking World Championships for a capella tomorrow.”

Chloe beams. “Isn’t it amazing?!”

Beca shakes her head, chuckling. “Never thought I’d find myself here.”

“I’m glad you are, though.”

Beca turns to look at Chloe, eyes bright and smile still on her face. She softens a little at the way Chloe looks at her unapologetically, like she always has. Chloe’s eyes are clear and she looks at Beca like the past four years have been the best all because of her.

She looks at Beca that way because, well, it kind of has been.

Why else would she stay so long?

“Me too,” Beca smiles and then adds, “Let’s win this damn thing.”

And they do.

They win and Chloe feels on top of the world. The first person she thinks to grab is Beca because holy shit they did it. It may have been quite the roller coaster to get here, but they are now A Capella World Champions and Emily will be able to continue the Bella legacy.

She and Beca are handed the trophy, and they lift it high and proud with the rest of the Bellas - old and new - on stage with them. Chloe’s heart feels full.

Her eyes meet Beca’s past the trophy and her heart flutters at the way Beca is looking at her with stars in her eyes.

They don’t say anything to each other - they wouldn’t even able to hear each other if they tried, the crowd and the Bellas are way too loud with their cheering and screaming - but they don’t need to.

The way Beca’s looking at her says everything Chloe needs to hear.

We did it. I’m proud of you. I’m proud of us.

When they get back to the hotel, Chloe is doubled over in laughter along with Beca beside her. The redhead’s arm is slung over Beca’s shoulders, pulling her even closer as she laughs. Beca is tripping over the floor and clinging onto Chloe as the rest of the Bellas trail behind them, talking a mile a minute.

“Becaw!”

Chloe’s laughter comes to a stop while Beca’s dies in her throat as she snaps her head up, eyes wide.

“Oh my god,” she says, shrugging Chloe’s arm off of her and immediately letting go of the redhead as she walks towards the voice. “Jesse!”

Jesse is standing in the lobby of their hotel in Copenhagen, Denmark, decked out in everything red, white, and blue. His arms are outstretched and behind him he holds up an American flag.

Chloe feels her stomach drop. The Bellas crowd around her.

“Surprise!” he grins.

Beca is quickly throwing herself at him, arms flinging around his neck as she leans up and gives him a sweet kiss.

And it’s hard for Chloe to watch this go on in front of her. She’s figured out how to deal with it over the years, but Jesse’s been gone since the start of the spring semester and Chloe feels like she and Beca have just gotten back to being Beca and Chloe after the high strung senior year they’ve both had.

So seeing this after months of not makes her queasy in all kinds of ways.

“What are you doing here?!” Beca asks as she pulls away, letting her hands rest around Jesse’s shoulders.

Jesse rests his hands on Beca’s hips, grinning wide with his boyish smile. “You didn’t think I would miss out on my girlfriend winning a world championship, did you?”

Beca laughs, and then they’re kissing again and Chloe feels like her world is falling apart.

“C’mon Red,” Chloe hears behind her, and she turns her head to see Stacie by her side. “Let’s get ready to hit the bars.”

Stacie is offering a small smile and Chloe has never been more grateful for the way Stacie’s been able to pick up on Chloe’s feelings over the past few years. Chloe does her best to smile back and follows Stacie and the rest of them up to their hotels rooms.

They go to the bars and Chloe gets plastered.

She gets so drunk she can barely register the fact Beca is practically in Jesse’s lap for the whole night, smile never faltering on her face.

When she’s hovering over the toilet, heaving and wishing she was anywhere but here, Aubrey is right next to her, assuring she’s okay.

(She wakes up in Aubrey’s hotel room and after the initial headache and dizziness goes away, she cries and Aubrey holds her tight.

“I know, sweetie. I know.”)

 


 

Chloe likes New York, but she misses Georgia.

New York is so fast paced and busy that Chloe feels like sometimes she can’t keep up. In Georgia, most people offered a smile and although they had places to be, weren’t ready to trample you at any given moment.

At times, it’s a cold and unfriendly place, but Chloe doesn’t really notice sometimes because she has Beca.

(And Amy, of course. But she’s often in and out, usually off to see Bumper or perform on the streets as Fat Amy Winehouse.

She thinks it’s genius.

Chloe and Beca let her do as she pleases.)

Somehow, she and Beca end up sharing the fold out bed while Amy gets the big bed all to herself in their studio apartment because she needs “more space” than the two of them, or something like that. Not that Amy is ever really using her bed anyway.

And Chloe knows she’s supposed to be trying to move on from Beca, but sharing a bed with the girl she’s been in love with for the past almost five years now provides quite the predicament - especially when Chloe finds her arm slung around Beca’s waist every morning, front pressed against Beca’s back.

Sometimes Beca leans into her, mumbling nonsense because her brain is most certainly not functioning without her morning coffee and Chloe just smiles.

Waking up to Beca in her arms is one of her favorite things.

(Amy is always giving them looks and making suggestive comments, but they’re both experts at ignoring Amy when she gets like that.)

When Beca isn’t at work, she’s always with Chloe.

Chloe doesn’t mind at all.

“I hate Times Square,”  Beca scowls as they walk around one weekend. “There are too many people and electric billboards and it’s so much walking.”

“Beca,” Chloe pouts, eyes sparkling at the sight of the infamous area. “It’s Times Square!

“I don’t take back a word I said.”

Chloe drags her along anyway. Beca doesn’t let go of her hand for the next two blocks.

Sunday afternoons are lazy and uneventful for the most part. Chloe drinks tea while Beca has coffee and sometimes they put on movies and other times Chloe bakes while Beca works on something for BFD.

(She really isn’t supposed to let Chloe listen, but Beca lets her anyway.)

And really, Chloe should be using this time to meet new people and date around and maybe use Tinder like Stacie loves to do, but Beca’s eyes light up and her lips twitch into a smile when she comes home after a tiresome, long day at the studio where she’s had to listen to not-so-great artists to the sight of Chloe and everything feels right.

Plus, Chloe’s kind of noticed that apparently Jesse’s become less and less of a priority to Beca.

Beca comes home one day and launches herself onto the bed after dinner, groaning about just how tired she is.

Chloe laughs, putting the dishes away. Light catches her attention and she looks over on the kitchen table to see Beca’s phone - probably on silent - lighting up with the call.

Her laughter fades at the sight of the name.

“Jesse’s calling,” she announces casually, putting the last of the dishes away.

Beca grunts, hardly lifting her head up from the bed. “Let it go to voicemail.”

Chloe frowns slightly. “You don’t want to talk to him?”

And it’s not that Chloe is all that upset that Beca doesn’t want to talk to Jesse. It’s the fact that this is the third time this week that Beca has let Jesse go to voicemail or left all his texts unanswered without the promise of getting back to him.

It’s very out of character of Beca, who at the very least manages to send Jesse a quick text promising to talk soon.

“I’m just too tired,” the brunette explains. “And if I answer, he’ll just go on and on and I really, really just want to lay here and fall asleep to an episode of Friends. I have work in the morning, anyway.”

Amy - who is actually home for dinner and even after that, surprisingly enough - looks up from her phone, making eye contact with Chloe. Chloe raises an eyebrow and Amy gives her a look as if to say don’t ask me, I have no idea.

“Okay,” Chloe says slowly after a beat.

Beca must sense Chloe’s hesitation because she adds, “I’ll call him on my way to work tomorrow.”

Chloe takes this answer as good enough before she’s walking over to their bed and pulling up Netflix on her laptop.

Beca curls into Chloe’s side and Chloe can feel her laughter against her skin, melodic to the bone. It doesn’t take Beca very long to fall asleep, her breaths evening out against Chloe’s collar bone, warm and steady. Chloe smiles, reaching her hand to turn off Netflix before placing her laptop on the floor by their bed and turning into Beca before she sleeps.

(Beca doesn’t call Jesse the next morning.

She forgets until Chloe asks her about it later in the day.

Chloe wonders if this means something.)

 


 

“Jesse, now’s not a good time.”

Chloe exits the open bathroom as she dabs at her lipstick she just put on.

Beca had a rough week at the studio, so Chloe immediately decides they need a night out at the bars. Beca is quick to agree, a smile on her face when Chloe tells her she’ll even buy their first round of drinks.

She finds Beca by their bed, phone pressed against her ear and an irritated expression on her face. Chloe is surprised Beca even answered the phone if she’s being honest.

She can hear the mumbles of what she figures is Jesse on the other end, and Beca’s eyebrows scrunch together.

“Well I’m sorry I can’t put my life on hold for you,” she deadpans, frown on her lips.

Jesse says something else and Beca scoffs before saying, “Yeah, she’s my roommate. Obviously she sees and talks to me, I live with her.”

For some reason, Chloe feels guilty. She knows they’re talking about her. She looks away from Beca, shifting her weight from one foot to another and instead staring at Amy’s Fat Amy Winehouse wig to distract herself.

“I don’t-” Beca groans, shaking her head. “I have plans tonight. I can’t talk - yes, Jesse I have fucking plans on a Friday night.”

Whatever Jesse says next seems to do it for Beca because Chloe looks at her again in time to say, “I’m going now. Bye.”

She promptly hangs up, throwing her head back with a frustrated groan.

“Do you want to stay in tonight?” Chloe asks carefully, looking at her best friend with slight concern. “Because we can.”

Beca lifts her head and meets Chloe’s eyes, shaking her head vigorously. “No way,” she insists. “Jesse’s just being stupid. We’re going out. Let’s go.”

By the way Beca walks to their front door with purpose, Chloe knows what comes next. She’s seen this behavior from Beca every so often when her and Jesse would have a fight back in college.

Chloe lets it happen though. She doesn’t stop her, just keeps a careful eye out for her best friend.

They’re best friends, but Jesse seems like an awkward ground for them. Beca doesn’t share much and Chloe doesn’t ask often. They just let it sit between them almost awkwardly, like a taboo topic that’s only mentioned in fragments or in passing.

Beca drinks a lot and Chloe doesn’t even have to beg or pull her infamous puppy pout before they’re both dancing. They focus on nothing but each other and Beca’s so carefree and giggly that Chloe wonders if this is even Beca Mitchell she’s with.

Beca tugs her close when the song changes, gripping Chloe by the wrists. It sobers Chloe up for a moment, somewhat able to break through her drunken haze. Beca’s eyes are wide and she’s wearing that drunk smile Chloe would find oh so adorable if her breath wasn’t caught in her throat at how close their faces are.

It almost takes Chloe back to Beca’s first hood night, when she was the one tugging Beca into her.

“I fucking love this song,” Beca slurs, her smile spreading into a full out grin.

Chloe can’t help but giggle a little bit. “I know, sweetie,” she promises.

It’s her guilty pleasure song and Chloe knows it. She’s known Beca for years and knows her ins and outs, knows that the Ignition remix is probably one of Beca’s top favorite songs when she’s drunk and easily persuaded to do silly things like dance on top of their kitchen countertop in the Bella house or take that extra shot of tequila that she really doesn’t need while the rest of the girls yell their approvals.

As the R&B beats go on Beca lets go of Chloe’s wrists, and Chloe is letting out a silent exhale, but it’s the only sense of relief she gets because then Beca is right up against her, moving to the beat of the music.

Chloe’s eyes widen at this moment, because usually she’s the one that’s so drunk she has no concept of personal space. Beca, however, is not that type of drunk at all. Yet here they are, roles reversed, and Chloe feels terribly confused.

But if anyone knows Chloe Beale, they know drunk or sober, she has a thing for smooth beats and suggestive R&B. So in true Chloe fashion, she goes along with it - because she’ll always go along with it for Beca - and they’re dancing impossibly close to each other, bodies touching with every beat.

And Chloe hasn’t seen Beca act in this way, all slow movements and slight smirk. It throws her off and she really doesn’t know what to do with any of it other than chalk this all up to the fact Beca’s in a fight with Jesse and Chloe is allowing this to happen.

The way Beca moves against her makes her center grow warm, but she tries to push the feeling away as the song ends, claiming she needs to go to the restroom before she turns on her heels, knowing that Beca is definitely following her.

Chloe pees and washes her hands, Beca leaning against the sink counter and waiting patiently like she often does during these outings when Chloe can’t be trusted to be alone.

The redhead reaches for the paper towels and when she turns her head she sees Beca looking at her and falters in her movements.

She can’t quite read the look on Beca’s face, but past the alcohol-induced haze Beca’s navy eyes are clearer than normal and focused on Chloe. There’s something bubbling underneath the surface, something Chloe can’t put a name to but sees almost as clearly as she sees Beca now.

“What?” she asks.

Beca seems to realize she’s staring and immediately looks away, shaking her head as a small flush spreads on her cheeks.

“Nothing,” Beca mumbles. “It’s - you’re just, like, really pretty.”

Chloe’s eyebrows raise at Beca. She wasn’t quite sure what she was expecting Beca to say, but that definitely wasn’t it. Her heart skips for a fleeting second because even after all this time, Beca’s quiet confessions are still some of her favorite things she’s ever heard.

It’s this vulnerability that she’s exposing right now that makes Chloe fall in love with her even more.

(She really doesn’t need another reason to fall in love with Beca Mitchell.)

“Thanks Bec,” she replies softly.

They make their way home shortly after, that post-drink slump hitting them hard. Chloe makes Beca drink one full glass of water and brush her teeth before they’re changing into t-shirts and sleep shorts and crawling into bed together.

Chloe isn’t sure what she thought life in New York with Beca would be like, but she doesn’t hate the way it is at all.

Not when Beca finds her place tucked into Chloe’s side at the end of the night, pulling the sheets over them as she says, “There’s no one else I’d rather be here with.”

Beca’s voice is raw and honest and tired, and there’s a warm feeling pooling in the middle of Chloe’s chest. She knows Beca rambles sometimes when she’s drunk, and she tries to tell herself this is one of those nonsense ramblings now.

“I’m glad I’m here,” Chloe tells her before adding, “So you don’t end up puking your guts out with all you had to drink.”

“Shut up,” Beca laughs against Chloe’s shoulder, then yawns. “I’m being serious. You’re the best, Chlo.”

Chloe’s chest suddenly aches because she knows Beca is drunk and mad at Jesse. These things Beca says shouldn’t mean more to her than she knows they do. She knows Beca is her best friend and that they’ve always been Beca and Chloe, but sometimes Chloe wonders what the definition of ‘Beca and Chloe’ even is, really.

Sometimes, in moments like this, Chloe thinks that Beca loves her too.

But Beca is intoxicated and tired, and Chloe knows better after all these years.

“Good night Becs,” she mumbles instead as she closes her eyes.

“Night,” Beca replies.

She waits for Beca’s breathing to even out before she adds, “I love you.”

 


 

Living with Beca is easy.

It’s routine and expected and even if they never actually plan things out, they’re always doing things together.

They move around each other so naturally that Chloe doesn’t think she would know how to function without Beca around.

Chloe’s made a few friends at the coffee shop she works at two blocks down - a temporary job along with private voice lessons until she gets a real one - but really all her time when she isn’t working is usually spent with Beca.

She doesn’t mind at all.

Saturday mornings are just better when it’s almost eleven in the morning and she’s making pancakes while Beca either pretends to be helpful or sits at the table while working on a mix or one of her clients’ demos.

Grocery runs are more fun with Beca standing on the cart, kicking off like it’s a scooter and Chloe laughs and chases after her down the aisle. Beca tends to sneak in bags of cheetos and Hershey bars when she thinks Chloe won’t notice.

Everything is just better because of Beca, and Chloe wonders how she ever thought she’d be able to move on.

Jesse comes to visit after months of being hot and cold with Beca, who between work and hanging out with Chloe doesn’t really have time for Jesse anymore.

“Jesse’s coming next week,” Beca mentions on a Saturday afternoon as she helps Chloe put away the now-dry dishes. “for the weekend.”

Chloe tries not to act all that surprised - she swears Beca was back to not answering his phone calls the other day - when she replies with, “Oh?”

“Yeah um, I definitely would’ve told you in advance and like, asked you if you were cool with it being next week and all, but he kind of just sprung the idea on me and then bought tickets when we were still on the phone,” Beca rambles, avoiding Chloe’s eyes. “and I would’ve made sure it was all clear because I know it’s totally inconsiderate-”

“Beca,” Chloe says a little loudly because she knows Beca’s spiraling.

Beca snaps her mouth shut, eyes looking up to meet Chloe’s.

This part of Beca is easy to read, the one where she’s over analyzing and worrying and beginning to stress herself out.

It’s the other part - the one where she’s seriously concerned about her boyfriend coming to visit all of a sudden - that she doesn’t understand much of at all.

“It’s fine,” she promises, putting the last of the plates away. “You don’t need my permission to have your boyfriend visit.”

The word boyfriend feels odd on Chloe’s tongue. It’s unfamiliar and foreign, something that doesn’t quite belong there.

“I-I know,” Beca says though she doesn’t seem to sure of herself. “I just - you know, we live together so I…”

Chloe quirks an eyebrow. “Oh um, did you...is he staying here?”

Beca makes a face. “What? No,” her face scrunches up. “No why would - he’s staying at some airbnb like five minutes away.”

“I was just asking,” the redhead defends, putting her hands up.

She doesn’t say how she’s slightly relieved that Jesse won’t really be in their apartment, that Beca will still be coming home to her at night.

Chloe hates herself for thinking of it like that, but she can’t help it.

Beca sighs, shaking her head. “Sorry that was - work’s just been really busy and Jesse just sprung this on me and-”

Chloe hushes her, tugging at her wrist. “I think someone needs to watch a movie.”

“I hate movies,” Beca deadpans, but she lets Chloe tug her to their fold out bed anyway.

“That’s a lie and you know it,” Chloe insists. “Can’t fool me after all these years.”

Beca snorts and adds a “Whatever, Beale” for good measure.

 


 

Jesse arrives on Friday evening. Beca picks him up from the airport and buys takeout for everyone so they can have dinner together at the apartment.

Chloe does her best to put on a smile and pretend she doesn’t feel weird at all when Jesse is around. Amy actually sticks around, whether it be because she’s got nowhere else to be or genuinely wants to have dinner with everyone is a mystery, but Chloe’s somewhat grateful no matter the case.

Having Jesse in their apartment kind of brings Chloe back to the reality of their situation. Jesse is real, he’s always been real, but New York is different from Barden and Jesse lives in California so everything just feels different.

Like morning cuddles and Netflix marathons and exploring the city together.

But even with Jesse around, Beca is still smirking when Chloe lets an inside joke slip and she doesn’t even blink when Chloe hugs her when she gets home. Beca also grabs Chloe’s hand when she laughs too hard over dinner, grinning widely after her laughter subsides at the redhead, stormy blue eyes sparkling.

“I almost choked on my food you bitch,” Beca half-heartedly glares at Chloe, but it lacks the intended effect as giggles continue to escape her mouth.

“Maybe you shouldn’t stuff your mouth so full,” Chloe quips back.

Beca narrows her eye at her and kicks her under the table.

“Cute Becs,” Chloe rolls her eyes in response, but there’s still a playful smile on her lips. “You act like you’re five.”

“Bite me, Beale.”

She feels Jesse’s eyes on them when these things happen and wonders if he’s got something to say about it.

He’s still the same Jesse that Chloe remembers, offering to help clean up and getting along with both Chloe and Amy with ease. Jesse’s a quirky one, but all in all he’s a good guy and that’s what makes everything even worse for Chloe. How is she supposed to hate Beca’s boyfriend when aside from his slightly annoying traits, he’s actually a good person?

Chloe’s walking out of the tiny open apartment bathroom to find Amy and her bed and Beca and Jesse gone.

“Where’d they go?” she asks with a slight frown.

“Beca said she’d walk him down, but it sounded like they were having a tense conversation as they headed out,” Amy supplies, offering a small shrug.

Chloe twists her lips. “About what?”

“Who knows.”

Except the look on Amy’s face makes it look like she does know, but before Chloe can question it the door swings open and Beca is walking back in and immediately picking up a duffel bag (it’s Chloe’s) and making her way to their rack of clothes that doubles as a bedroom divider.

“Hey,” Chloe greets, side stepping the rack of clothes to get to Beca. “Everything okay?”

Beca’s eyebrows are furrowed together and she has a mix between irritated and maybe mad etched onto her face. She’s busily grabbing clothes from the rack and practically shoving them into the duffel bag she holds with her other hand.

“Yeah fine,” Beca says, but Chloe doesn’t believe her. “I’m just grabbing a few things - decided I’m gonna stay with Jesse this weekend.”

Chloe looks at Beca in surprise before turning to exchange a look with a clueless Amy.

“Oh,” she begins, facing Beca once again. “For the whole weekend?”

Beca shoves another shirt into the duffel and looks up to meet Chloe’s eyes for the first time since coming home. “Uh yeah,” she nods. “Since he’s not here for that long and we barely see each other.”

And it makes sense, it really does, because Beca is Jesse’s girlfriend and she should want to spend time with her boyfriend. Yet Chloe sense something off in Beca’s demeanor with the way she can’t quite keep her eyes on Chloe all that long.

“Right,” Chloe nods.

Beca turns, dropping the duffel on the bed before pacing around their tiny studio to grab a few of her other things.

Chloe watches her quietly while Fat Amy scrolls mindlessly on her phone.

Beca leaves five minutes later, offering a quick “bye guys” and hardly a glance at Chloe before she’s out the door to what Chloe guesses is a waiting Jesse Swanson.

Chloe goes to bed alone for the first time in a long time and has trouble sleeping when all she has to cuddle is a pillow.

 


 

It’s the longest weekend Chloe’s ever experienced, like ever.

Chloe notices all the holes in her day where Beca should be. There’s no one whining and asking her to stay in bed for ten more minutes. Sharing breakfast with Amy isn’t the same as sharing it with Beca.

There is a Beca-shaped hole in just about everything she does.

Amy notices, and although she doesn’t actually say anything, she stays home the whole weekend and tries to keep Chloe company the best she can.

“It’s weird without shortstack around,” she offhandedly says as they leave their apartment to grab dinner at Chloe’s favorite pizza place.

Chloe looks at her and Amy’s giving her that look Chloe catches sometimes, the one that says Amy’s not as clueless as she thinks being their third roommate. She bites her lip.

“Yeah, it’s really weird.”

Amy leaves it at that, but Chloe can’t shake the feeling that she’s not as subtle as she thinks when it comes to Beca.

(Has she ever been, though?)

Beca hardly texts her over the weekend, and Chloe’s snapchats go unanswered. When Beca does reach out, it’s brief and fleeting, like an “hey I’m alive no worries” type of thing.

Beca comes home at almost midnight on Sunday night. The only light in the room is Chloe’s bed lamp and Chloe can make out a tired expression on Beca’s face as she shuts the front door.

“Hey you,” Chloe greets gently as she looks up from the book she’s reading, careful not to wake the already snoring Amy. “Welcome home.”

Beca looks up from her shoes she’s discarded and gives her a tired smile.

It makes Chloe’s heart skip, like she hasn’t seen that smile in ages when in reality it’s only been days.

“Thanks,” Beca says quietly, dropping her duffel by the nightstand and quickly crawling into bed.

“Fun weekend?” Chloe puts the book away and turns to face Beca, who is already curled into her pillow.

“Mhmm,” she hums, eyes fluttering open and closed. “Missed being home though.”

I missed you is what Chloe wishes she was hearing instead.

“Home missed you too,” she tells Beca with a smile.

Beca’s eyes open at the statement, stormy blue meeting Chloe’s vibrant ocean-like gaze. Her lips turn up into a soft smile.

Chloe forgets about Jesse and her lonely weekend when Beca looks at her like that.

 


 

It’s Chloe’s first Christmas away from home and she feels weird about it.

Of course, her parents offered to buy her a plane ticket home for the holiday and Chloe was more than ready to accept the offer because she misses the south and sunshine and her hometown.

But when the three roommates are discussing holiday plans over dinner and Beca says, “BFD needs me to come in during that week so I think I’m just going to stay here. Jesse’s going home, so…” Chloe changes her mind.

“I don’t want you to spend more money than you need to,” she tells her parents that following day on FaceTime when Beca’s at work.

They look kind of sad, and Chloe actually feels bad because she loves her supportive parents more than the world, but she can’t leave Beca to spend the holidays by herself. What kind of friend would she be to allow that to happen?

So she picks up a few more shifts at the coffee shop and finds time to shop for Christmas presents and ship them off to all her loved ones while Beca’s kept busy at the studio. It’s odd and unfamiliar, being away from home so close to the holidays, but Beca comes home every day with a red nose from the cold and drinks hot chocolate with Chloe as they eat dinner and watch Christmas movies.

Chloe thinks this could be home, too.

“You didn’t have to stay you know,” Beca mentions to Chloe.

Beca’s home from her last day of work before Christmas and the two of them are curled up on the bed, Chloe’s laptop at their feet and a plate of Christmas themed cookies that Chloe baked earlier that day between them.

Chloe turns to Beca, offering a smile. “I wanted to.”

Beca frowns. “You love seeing your family, especially for holidays.”

I love you too though, Chloe doesn’t say.

“Are you trying to get rid of me?” she asks instead, a fake expression of hurt on her face.

Beca grins at her, eyes light and teasing. “You know, it would be nice to have my own bed for once.”

Chloe scoffs, lightly shoving Beca’s shoulder. “Jerk!”

The brunette only laughs, her head resting against Chloe’s shoulder once she comes back from Chloe’s initial shove. Chloe bursts into a fit of giggles too, almost dropping the cookie she had in her hand.

Neither of them mention how, with Amy gone, one of them can take the other bed. Instead, they continue to fall asleep together watching movies and waking up to warm cuddles in their little Brooklyn apartment.

 


 

Chloe ends up being Beca’s plus one to BFD Record’s annual company New Years’ party.

She doesn’t mind at all, really. Chloe actually likes parties especially when there’s free drinks involved. Not to mention Chloe impulsively bought this gorgeous black dress right after Christmas because it was on sale and what a waste it would be to not show it off as soon as possible.

When Beca walks out of the bathroom wearing a deep blue jumpsuit with a plunging neckline, Chloe forgets how to breathe.

“Do I look okay?”

It takes Chloe longer than it should to find her words again because Beca is literally the most breathtaking human she’s ever seen with her hair straightened and deep blue eyes popping when paired with the jumpsuit. And maybe Chloe’s eyes linger on Beca’s chest and that plunging neckline, but everyone knows Beca’s boobs are like, wow.

“Yeah,” Chloe manages once she finds her voice again. “God Becs, you’re...stunning.”

There’s a flush on Beca’s cheeks that spreads quickly as she looks away from her best friend. Chloe’s heart warms at the sight.

“Thanks,” she mumbles before tucking her hair behind her ear. “You too.”

It makes Chloe smile, the way that even after all this time Beca still doesn’t know how to properly accept a compliment before she’s muttering and blushing.

“Alright come on, we don’t want to be too late,” Chloe says, clapping her hands together before she grabs her purse from their shared bed.

Beca lets out a groan. “Do we have to go tonight? Can’t we just stay in, drink some beers and fall asleep before midnight?”

Chloe lets soft laughter escape from her lips, shaking her head at Beca. “You already told your boss we’d be there,” she reminds the brunette.

“I can tell her I got sick.”

“Lying gets you nowhere.”

“You don’t know that.”

“Becs,” Chloe says softly, hand coming up to hold Beca’s arm. “It’s going to be fine. It’s just a party.”

Beca sighs, shoulders dropping as she looks at her best friend. “You know I’m not good at this - the talking and socializing and pretending I care about what other people have to say.”

“I know,” the redhead assures her, hand running up and down Beca’s arm soothingly. She offers a small smile when she adds, “that’s why you have me.”

The gentle reminder seems to relieve Beca. She lets out a quiet breath and gives Chloe a smile that kick starts that damn fluttery feeling in her stomach like she’s 16 years old or something.

“You’re right,” Beca mumbles as Chloe gives her arm a gentle squeeze and lets go.

“I always am,” Chloe winks before spinning on her heels and walking towards the door.

Beca snorts, following after her and grabbing their coats. “That’s where you’re wrong, Beale.”

Chloe simply shakes her head, smile still present.

And the party is actually really cool. Everything looks expensive and super nice that Chloe’s almost afraid to touch anything at first. There’s something about the place that puts Beca in her element, Chloe notices. She watches Beca as she walks around with a sense of familiarity and confidence. After all, she does spend a ridiculous amount of time here.

It’s not even two minutes before Beca’s boss is handing them both drinks and gushing to Chloe about how talented Beca is and how she’s just got “such a good ear” for music.

Chloe beams as Beca’s boss goes on, side-eyeing Beca who, in true Beca Mitchell fashion, is trying to downplay all the praise she’s receiving by insisting that she’s not that great or that her boss is just being dramatic.

“You know, in college we were in an a capella group and Beca handled all of our arrangements,” Chloe announces proudly, ignoring the way Beca rolls her eyes. “She’s the reason we won three ICCA Titles.”

“It was a group effort,” Beca insists.

At the time same, her boss smiles and replies with, “I don’t doubt that one bit.”

They’re able to sneak off to the makeshift open bar - because “I’m going to need more than a few drinks to get through tonight” - without being forced into conversation shortly after. Chloe orders them two more drinks while Beca speaks in a quiet voice to tell Chloe the dirt she’s gathered on her co-workers so far, leaning in so their shoulders are practically touching.

“That’s Peter. He’s the one who I’m like, pretty sure is hooking up with an intern.”

“The one you told me came back from his lunch break looking like he just came back from a quicky?”

“That’s the one.”

“He looks like a jerk.”

“He is.”

It doesn’t last long though because for as much as Beca complains about the people she works with or downplays how cool they are, they all seem pretty happy to see her. Beca, albeit begrudgingly, straightens up and makes the introductions before they’re launched into a full out conversation.

Chloe’s eyes shift to see how Beca looks a bit restless and uncomfortable, still not used to the requirement of socializing that comes with her new job. Quietly and subtly, Chloe taps two fingers against the back of Beca’s hand that rests by her side as her co-worker talks.

Beca’s eyes meet hers in a brief and fleeting moment, but that’s all they really need. It’s all they’ve ever needed, really. With the tap on her hand and the look Chloe gives her, Beca relaxes a little more, puts a small smile on her face and actually puts effort into the conversation.

They’ve always been able to read each other well and know just what the other needs. Chloe’s never been able to explain it, but she doesn’t have to - at least, not to Beca. Beca just gets her in ways Aubrey or Stacie or even her best friends from childhood don’t.

She pretends she doesn’t notice the way Beca kind of leans into her a little as they continue to talk, pretends it doesn’t make her heart beat a little faster and her skin grow warm where Beca touches her.

Instead, she offers Beca a smile and laughs at the joke that probably wasn’t even that funny.

Two drinks turns into three and honestly Chloe kind of loses count after that, but she’s feeling bubbly and light and happy with Beca by her side. Beca’s co-workers all seem nice enough and although Beca isn’t a fan of it, she’s able to make small talk and introduce Chloe without stuttering too much or rolling her eyes too often.

And of course they get more touchy as the night goes on. It always happens when they drink - Chloe in particular. A hand on an arm turns into a relaxed arm around a waist. They lean into each other during most conversations. Beca’s the one that grabs Chloe’s hand first, leading her around the area and navigating around co-workers and higher ups and everyone Chloe’s heard stories about the past few months.

Chloe finds herself enjoying all of this, being part of Beca’s world now that they’re real adults in the real world. She finds herself thinking about how even Jesse doesn’t get to see this side of Beca, not when he’s on the opposite side of the country unable to make it tonight.

(It’s not a competition, Chloe knows that.

It doesn’t stop her from feeling the slightest bit smug at the fact.)

“Is there anyone you don’t get along with here?” Beca asks in slight disbelief, an amused smile on her face.

Chloe laughs, looking at her curiously. “What do you mean?”

“Dude, every single person we’ve talked to here loves you. I mean, I’m not surprised,” Beca admits with a shrug. “People would be idiots if they didn’t love you.”

The tiny brunette is beginning to ramble which is a tell-tale sign that she is definitely more drunk than she thinks, and Chloe’s cheeks flush a little as she smiles at Beca.

“You’re being ridiculous. They’re all so nice and also kinda drunk,” Chloe reminds her. “As are we, you know.”

Beca shakes her head. “No Chloe, it’s not that. You’re,” she pauses, brows furrowing together for a moment as she tries to piece her words together. “You’re like, sunshine and rainbows and laughter and - and like, all the good things ever all wrapped in one.”

Chloe blinks at the things coming out of Beca’s mouth. There’s a warm sensation spreading in her chest and she knows that this time it’s not about the alcohol. Beca is looking at her with big, blue eyes and Chloe can see the sincerity behind them.

She knows talking to drunk Beca like this is a dangerous game, that Beca says all the things she wants to hear but never delivers on what Chloe truly wants.

She can’t let herself fall for this every single time.

“Beca, I-”

“TEN SECONDS LEFT!” someone yells from the front of the room, and everyone is chanting.

Chloe looks around, sees all of Beca’s fellow employees excitedly counting down the seconds to the New Year.

Beca’s eyes have not left Chloe.

“Hey Chlo?”

Her voice is quiet, but it’s the only thing Chloe can hear clearly in the noise.

“Yeah?”

“I’m glad you came with me tonight.”

Chloe smiles, tries to ignore the way she feels when Beca smiles at her. “I’m glad, too.”

The seconds tick, Chloe hears the countdown around them.

“3...2…”

She thinks she imagines the way Beca’s eyes flicker down to her lips.

Chloe would be lying if she says she doesn’t do the exact same thing.

“HAPPY NEW YEAR!” erupts throughout the room.

Chloe jolts from her trance, bringing herself back to reality. Beca blinks a few times, looking around at everyone else celebrating.

“Happy New Year Becs,” Chloe says, being the first to speak between the two.

Between the two of them, she’s always been able to move from one moment to another quicker.

She throws an arm around Beca, pulling her in close for a hug. She smells like alcohol and faintly of her signature perfume, but Chloe melts into her all together.

“Glad I got to spend another year with you,” she mumbles into Beca’s hair.

She feels Beca smile against her shoulder. It makes her smile.

“Happy New Year, you big sap.”

Chloe laughs as she pulls away, but not before pressing a kiss into Beca’s hair. She’s drunk and Beca looks so beautiful and if Jesse isn’t around to love her, Chloe might as well step in.

Beca is smiling at her when their gazes meet again, laughter in her eyes as everyone around them shouts their well wishes for the new year.

And although Chloe is happy is this moment, she wonders what it would like to be Beca’s New Years kiss.

(She thinks, for a moment, she almost was this year.)

 


 

Beca and Jesse break up on a Tuesday and it’s mentioned so casually Chloe would’ve thought Beca was telling her they ran out of milk.

She comes home a little earlier than usual. Chloe is in the kitchen cooking dinner when she enters, greeting her with a hum as she chops vegetables.

“How was work today?” Chloe asks over her shoulder, barely glancing at Beca as she continues to chop.

The brunette sits at their tiny kitchen table, watching Chloe as she preps their meal.

“Not bad actually,” she shrugs. “I got off a couple of hours ago actually.”

Chloe raises an eyebrow, not yet turning around. “Oh? Where have you been since then?”

There’s a slight pause.

“With Jesse actually.”

Chloe pauses in her task, turning to face Beca who looks like she’s grimacing from her chair.

Beca speaks again before the redhead can open her mouth. “We broke up.”

Chloe’s vibrant eyes widen at the news and her jaw drops. She puts down her knife and begins wiping her hands with the kitchen towel as she makes her way to Beca.

“Oh my god,” she starts, dropping into the chair next to her. “Sweetie, what happened?”

Her eyes are still wide with concern, studying Beca carefully. The younger girl just shakes her head, looking at Chloe helplessly.

“It was coming really,” she shrugs, her voice a bit strained. “I wasn’t...We just weren’t working out.”

Chloe nods sympathetically, reaching over to place her hand on Beca’s knee in comfort.

Beca adds, “I just didn’t expect him to make the flight all the way out here to have that final conversation.”

“Wait, what?” Chloe questions with wide eyes, looking at Beca in surprise.

Beca nods, a look that tells Chloe she’s still partially in disbelief. “He flew in this afternoon and met up with me when I got out of work so we could ‘talk about this in person.’”

She shrugs, looking away from Chloe. “He’s always been too good of a person.”

Chloe nods quietly in agreement. Although she was never exactly the biggest fan of them together, she knows Jesse is - was - Beca’s first serious and long-term relationship. She knows that they had been in love, that four almost five years isn’t something you can just toss aside before moving on to the next one.

So she drags Beca’s chair a little closer, wrapping her arms around the brunette’s shoulders and pulling her into her side. She rests her cheek against Beca’s head.

Beca doesn’t reciprocate the hug, but she doesn’t pull away either. She just stays as is.

“You’re a good person too,” Chloe murmurs in a low voice.

Beca lets out a long sigh, her fingers playing with the hem of Chloe’s sweater mindlessly. “It was a difficult conversation.”

Chloe pulls away, tilting her head curiously at Beca. “How so?”

There’s something that changes in Beca’s expression ever so slightly at the question, but Chloe still picks up on it. Her lips tug downward, wondering if she’s asked too much.

“Just…” she gestures vaguely with her hands, offering a shrug. “I have some things to think about, I guess.”

She doesn’t quite meet Chloe’s eyes this time, looking past her rather than at her. Chloe knows Beca’s walls are beginning to come back up, knows that she isn’t ready to talk about whatever is going on in that head of hers.

So instead of pressing for more, Chloe gives Beca’s arm a soft squeeze and says, “Dinner will be ready in half an hour.”

Beca offers a small smile, but her eyes still look cloudy and far away so Chloe leans over and presses a gentle kiss to her forehead before standing up and returning to her chopped vegetables.

Beca retreats to their shared bed and slips her headphones on until dinner.

 


 

Beca’s a little off after the breakup. Chloe isn’t surprised by this. Some moments, Beca seems fine. Other moments, she’s in her head.

Yet there’s something odd about it though. With Amy, Beca seems completely fine.

With Chloe though, it’s unpredictable when Beca will begin to pull away from her.

There are times when they’re propped up in bed and watching a movie, but Chloe’s teasing Beca and the movie is practically forgotten as a tickle war ensues. Beca screams loudly and even though their neighbors may get irritated, Chloe’s laughing hard and pinning Beca against the bed, waiting for the shriek of “Mercy! I said mercy, Beale!” before she relents. The tickles stop and instead Chloe instead drops her weight on Beca, essentially laying on top of her in a koala bear-type hug with her head buried in Beca’s neck as their laughter subsides and all that’s left is heavy breathing and smiles.

(They fall asleep like that, Chloe curled into Beca with her limbs all over her and Beca stroking Chloe’s hair.)

And there are also times where Chloe will hop in bed, already queueing up Netflix, but Beca stays at the tiny kitchen table with her laptop and headphones. She mumbles something about working on a client’s song, and doesn’t offer much else before she’s zoning out, her focus purely on the music she hears and the screen in front of her.

(Chloe tries not to be too upset on these nights. She knows music is Beca’s way of dealing with things.

She just wishes she could help.)

 


 

Chloe wakes up one morning, finding nothing but sheets under her arm instead of Beca. She frowns, opening her eyes slowly to confirm that indeed, Beca is not in bed. She immediately sits up, ready to jump out of bed and go on a search for the woman because there’s absolutely no way Beca willingly woke up before eight in the morning when she hears the kitchen sink running.

She turns her head immediately, finding none other than Beca in the kitchen, rinsing off a pan. There’s the scent of cooked food in the air along with freshly brewed coffee.

“Beca?” Chloe calls out, her voice still raspy from sleep.

Beca turns, placing the pan in the dishwasher and greeting Chloe with her signature half-smirk, half-smile. “Good morning sunshine,” she greets coolly.

Chloe squints, rubbing her eyes as she says, “This isn’t a dream, right?”

Beca rolls her eyes. “You’re hilarious,” she deadpans. “Come on your breakfast is going to get cold.”

Chloe raises her eyebrows, stripping the sheets off the bottom half of her body before sliding out of their fold out bed. As she slowly approaches, she watches as Beca finishes setting their tiny kitchen table.

“Up at seven and making breakfast?” she teases. “Who are you and what have you done with my Beca?”

A soft chuckle falls from Beca’s lips as she spins around, handing Chloe a steaming cup of what Chloe recognizes is her morning tea of lemon and honey. She takes it gratefully, looking at Beca in surprise.

“Shut up and enjoy it,” Beca tells her, a soft smile on her face.

“Yes ma’am,” Chloe murmurs, taking a small sip before taking her usual seat.

She finds scrambled eggs and toast on her plate, and it’s so simple, but the thought of Beca waking up and making her breakfast warms her heart.

“Seriously Becs, what’s with all of this?”

Beca shrugs, digging into her plate. “You’re always the one making breakfast during the week. I just thought I’d return the favor for once.”

The brunette looks sheepish as she looks down at her plate after answering, focusing on the way she scoops some of her scrambled eggs onto her plate rather than look at Chloe.

“I-”

The words catch in Chloe’s throat. She knows she can’t say them, that she’s never been able to. Beca might run at the sound of those words.

“Thank you,” she says instead, expression softening when Beca gives her a quiet smile.

After that, Beca stops pulling away from her. Chloe doesn’t understand how or why she finally does, but it happens and Chloe feels like she can breathe a little easier again. She feels like they’ve settled back into being Beca and Chloe like they were before.

Beca calls her during work a few weeks later and tells her they’re finally done with her client’s first single and Chloe is immediately making a pit stop to the grocery store for some celebratory champagne.

“They said it could be a big hit or whatever,” Beca tells her over the phone. “but you know, that’s just them being positive, especially since it’s like, my first big project.”

“I think it will,” Chloe grins widely as she walks the streets of New York.

Beca snorts. “You haven’t even heard it yet, Chlo.”

“No,” she admits, still smiling. “but I know you and your music.”

When Beca comes home, Chloe immediately engulfs her in a warm hug and an excited squeal. Beca lets out a yelp, but falls into Chloe all the same, laughing melodically into her ear. Chloe almost audibly sighs at the sound.

“Hey there Chloe,” she laughs, still holding on to the redhead.

Chloe pulls away, both hands grabbing either of Beca’s shoulders. “You’re going to have a hit single! Oh my god!”

Beca flushes slightly, shaking her head. “We don’t know that yet.”

“Well,” Chloe shrugs, giving Beca’s shoulders a squeeze before they let go of each other. “Either way, you just finished one of the biggest projects in your career so far, so we’re celebrating.”

She reaches over to the kitchen counter, holding up a bottle of the most reasonably-priced bubbly champagne she could find earlier.

Beca’s eyebrows raise as a smile grows on her face. “Oh, you bought the goods.”

“Nothing less than the best for you,” Chloe smiles.

“You shouldn’t have,” Beca insists, but she’s already reaching out and snatching the bottle from Chloe’s hands.

They end up with a puddle of champagne on the floor - Beca’s attempt to pop the bottle in a cute and fun fashion - but Chloe hardly even cares when Beca’s smile makes her feel a thousand different things at once.

They eat crappy takeout dinner that Beca had immediately decided she was craving after finishing her work at the studio and drink so much champagne that they’re reduced to a fit of giggles not too long after. One of Beca’s many playlists she’s made over the past few months is playing from Chloe’s speaker and Chloe can’t think of anywhere else in the world she would be than right here sprawled out on their fold out bed with Beca.

“Shame Amy can’t be here for our little celebration,” Chloe jokes, eyes wandering to the empty bed of their other roommate, who once again is nowhere to be found.

Beca chuckles. “Sucks when you don’t check your phone and randomly disappear, I guess.”

Chloe giggles at this, placing the now empty champagne bottle on the nightstand beside her before letting her head fall back against the mattress again.

“Her loss.”

“For sure.”

There’s a pause before Beca adds, “I don’t mind this two person party, though.”

Although they are drunk off champagne and sure to erupt in a fit of giggles in any given moment, Chloe can sense the honesty in Beca’s voice.

She turns to find Beca’s stormy blue eyes already looking at her intently. She prays to God Beca can’t hear the way her heartbeat increases.

“Yeah?” she asks quietly, not quite sure she’d be capable of speaking in any other manner.

Beca smiles, small and genuine. “Yeah.”

And Chloe knows Beca doesn’t probably mean for it to be anything than it is, that Beca probably likes the fact it’s just Chloe because Amy’s always been over the top with her celebrations and would probably also be cracking jokes about the two of them right about now, but her chest tightens because Beca is looking at her so clearly now, with a goofy smile that’s most definitely from just how intoxicated she is.

“I’m so proud of you,” she tells Beca, barely audible from the music playing in the background.

Beca’s eyes light up at the sound of Chloe’s words and she reaches over, taking Chloe’s hand in hers and giving it a squeeze.

“I wouldn’t be anywhere without you.”

Chloe bites her lip in attempts to hide a smile but Beca catches it and she grins before the two of them are laughing. The playlist keeps going and they lay there, Beca still holding Chloe’s hand.

The words are there again in Chloe’s throat, ready to spill out when given the chance.

And whether it be because of the alcohol or at how Beca looked at her just a moment ago, she almost does.

Because right now, Chloe’s almost positive Beca loves her too.

Except she doesn’t say anything because the next song that plays throws Beca into a fit of laughter before she recounts the time that Jessica and Ashley had been so bored they’d come up with a dance routine for this, just the two of them.

Chloe laughs along, shoving those words back.

 


 

There are little things Beca does that Chloe starts to notice.

Like some days, Beca comes home with Chloe’s favorite cookies from the bakery five minutes away from BFD Records and tells her “I was passing by and thought you’d want some” when Chloe knows the bakery is definitely in the opposite direction from Beca’s walk to and from work.

(Chloe tries to pay her back; Beca refuses to take her money.)

Or when they’re out in the city, Beca takes Chloe’s hand and intertwine their fingers, continuing her conversation as they walk. She doesn’t let go until they’re forced to pull away, and then there’s always some sort of lingering touch that has Chloe buzzing.

And on some days, when Beca isn’t spending her whole day in the studio and she’s not running crazy errands for her clients, she comes by the coffee shop Chloe works at when she has a shift and orders a black coffee and croissant - that Chloe refuses to let her pay for - before choosing the table in the very corner of the shop, pulling up her laptop and slipping her headphones on.

She stays until Chloe’s shift is over, completely lost in her own little world. Sometimes from behind the counter Chloe watches her, watches the way her head bobs and her lips mouth the words to the song filling her ears. They walk home together after, hands swinging and shoulders touching.

“Is that like, your girlfriend or something?” one of her co-workers asks one day as soon as Beca’s making a beeline to her claimed corner.

Chloe blinks, turning to face her. “What? No,” she shakes her head immediately. “That’s Beca, my roommate. We’ve been best friends since college.”

Her co-worker quirks an eyebrow. “Right.”

“It’s true,” Chloe insists, immediately on the defensive. “We’re just friends.”

“Sure,” her co-worker clicks her tongue. “Just make sure boss doesn’t notice how you’re always giving her free food.”

Chloe rolls her eyes and waves her off, turning around to get Beca’s coffee and croissant.

And it’s not like anything’s different, really. They’re still Beca and Chloe in the ways they’ve essentially always been over the years. It’s just...they seem to be more Beca and Chloe than they have been lately. Chloe certainly isn’t complaining at all. She feels like everything’s right and she’s got her best friend by her side in New York as they continue their adult lives.

Beca looks up from her laptop screen to meet Chloe’s eyes as she approaches with her order, and the smile she gives her makes the redhead’s gaze soften almost immediately.

(If anyone’s still trying to keep track: no, Chloe has made hardly any progress moving on from Beca Mitchell.)

It’s one of her slower shifts in the middle of the week, one where the most entertaining thing she can think of doing is chatting up her co-workers and then moving on to check on Beca when that’s bored her out.

Her other two co-workers are in the back and she’s re-arranging some of the pastries behind the glass display by the front counter when a man approaches.

Chloe fixes the last of the cookies before turning to him with a bright smile and, “Hi there, what can I get for ya?”

He smiles and okay, Chloe will admit he’s a bit of a charmer already. He’s got this smoldering look about him behind thick rimmed glasses and that dark and mysterious aura that leaves girls always wanting to know more.

“I’ll take a flat white and…” his eyes go to the display of pastries that Chloe had just been fixing. “What’s good today?”

Chloe grins at him. “You’re not a regular I see,” she comments. “but I’d go for the lemon bars today.”

He chuckles. “No,” he admits. “I just moved into the area two weeks ago. If I’d known this place was around and someone like you would be at the counter, then I would’ve come as soon as I moved here.”

(Chloe doesn’t notice the way Beca’s attention catches, how she slips her headphones off and peers above her screen to watch this exchange.)

Chloe quirks an eyebrow at him, impressed at how forward he is. “Well, welcome to the neighborhood, then. Not everyone around here is as friendly as you are, as you’ve probably guessed.”

It’s not like she hasn’t been hit on before. She knows the signs when she sees them, knows how guys will try to sweet talk her until they can get a shot at it. So she plays along, merely because she’s bored at work and has nothing better to do.

The guy grins at her comment, leaning his elbow against the counter comfortably. “You’re right about that,” he nods before handing over his credit card. “Maybe I’ll have to stop buy more often to see that pretty smile of yours.”

“Good one,” Chloe taunts him as she rolls her eyes good naturedly.

“Just being honest,” he says cheekily before he’s handed his card back along with the receipt and a pen.  “Might make my days a little brighter, is all.”

Chloe laughs quietly, letting him sign his receipt as she says, “I’ll get that order ready for you.”

His eyes fall to her name tag before he meets her gaze. “Thanks Chloe.”

She’s smiling to herself as she busies herself with the flat white and he patiently waits by the pick up counter. Sure, she hasn’t exactly dated around or seriously considered seeing anyone for awhile - read: as soon as she realized she had it bad for Beca back at Barden - but it truly didn’t kill her to have a little fun while at work.

Chloe has a to-go cup of a flat white in one hand and a paper bag containing a lemon bar in other, leaning over the pick up counter to hand it to the waiting man.

“Flat white and a lemon bar,” she announces with a grin. “Have a nice day.”

“Take care of yourself Chloe,” he winks before walking out.

There’s a scoff when the door closes and it’s then that Chloe remembers Beca’s in the corner.

“What?” she asks curiously, grabbing the receipt he’d signed off of the counter.

Beca looks at her with a quirked eyebrow. “You’re seriously buying that?

Chloe makes her way over to Beca, a frown on her face. “What are you going on about?”

“Oh please,” Beca rolls her eyes. “You’re not an idiot, Chlo. That guy was flirting with you so hard.”

“I’m not buying anything,” Chloe shrugs.

Beca turns her attention back to her laptop and murmurs, “Sure sounded like it to me.”

“Heard that,” Chloe quips, taking a look down at the receipt, taking in the tip and a 10-digit number scrawled at the bottom. “Huh, will you look at that.”

“What?”

Chloe flashes the receipt with a grin. “A five dollar tip for a seven dollar order.”

Beca scowls as she narrows her eyes at the receipt. “Yeah, and his phone number. Smooth. Are you gonna text him now?”

Chloe frowns, clearly confused by Beca’s insinuation. “No, why would I?”

“You guys were getting real friendly at the counter,” Beca comments, and her voice is level but Chloe sees her jaw working.

It’s really, really odd.

“Wh-Beca,” she says, sitting down in the seat across from her best friend.

She reaches over and places a hand over Beca’s, forcing the girl to look up. Beca eyes her carefully.

“None of that was serious,” Chloe promises. “If you haven’t noticed, things are a little slow here today.”

She motions around to the empty coffee shop around them. Beca bites her lip and Chloe knows she’s trying to hide a smile.

“I’m not going to call him,” she assures her. “I will pinky promise you right now if that’s what you want. I’ll throw away this receipt and pretend I didn’t see the tip. Who needs five dollars anyway?”

Beca rolls her eyes, pulling her hand away from Chloe’s. “Chlo, you don’t have to. Stop being dramatic.”

Chloe giggles, and she grins when Beca meets her eyes and gives her the smallest of smirks.

“Plus, he’s not even my type,” Chloe adds with a scrunch of her nose.

At this, Beca quirks an eyebrow. “Oh, and what’s your type?”

Chloe winks. “Wouldn’t you like to know.”

Beca looks surprised at her answer, her mouth slightly open and her cheeks a little flushed. Before Chloe can even comment on how she looks, she hears her name being called from the counter.

“We’ll head home in an hour,” Chloe reminds her.

She spends the rest of her shift wondering what’s gotten into Beca and why exactly she cares that some attractive dude decided to hit on her today.

(She asks on their walk home.

“I don’t know dude. I just want the best for you,” Beca tells her with a shrug, avoiding her gaze. “Including guys...or whatever.”

Chloe doesn’t know what to do with this information.)

 


 

Beca surprises Chloe with a plane ticket home for a weekend.

Chloe gasps when she receives the email, looking from her phone to Beca who is seated on their bed, minding her own business on her laptop.

“Beca Mitchell, what is this?” she demands, holding up her phone.

“What?” Beca blinks, then looks at Chloe’s screen. “Oh shit, I didn’t realize that would send right away.”

“Beca,” Chloe says again, walking from the kitchen table towards their bed. “Why did you just buy me a plane ticket home for next weekend?”

Beca shrugs, looking sheepish and uncharacteristically shy. “I just thought it’d be nice for you to go home. You haven’t been home since we graduated, and I know how much your family means to you.”

“You literally just paid for me to go home, I can’t let you do that,” Chloe tells her, still in complete shock.

“Dude it’s nothing,” Beca tries, but Chloe’s not buying it. “No seriously, I kind of...got a bonus with the single being done and the fact it goes live next week so uh - I just, thought I’d do something for you since you’ve put up with me for like, ever.”

Chloe can’t help herself; she launches herself onto Beca, engulfing the small brunette in a hug as she practically tackles the younger one down. Beca wraps her arms around Chloe’s middle, patting her back in her awkward Beca manner.

“You’re literally the best person in the world,” Chloe gushes into Beca’s hair. “Seriously, I can’t believe you did this.”

“It’s not a big deal,” Beca tries again, arms steady around Chloe. “It’s my way of saying - you know, thank you for being my best friend.”

Chloe all but melts at Beca’s words, pressing kisses all over her head instead.

“Chloe! Ew! Stop, you weirdo!” Beca shrieks, but she’s laughing and Chloe doesn’t think it can get any better than this.

Beca really just bought her a flight to see her family because she’s just that thoughtful.

She finally pulls away from Beca’s face, practically straddling Beca’s lap. Neither seem to mind though and Beca makes a big show of using the sleeve of her flannel to wipe off Chloe’s kisses.

“Seriously,” Chloe tells her quietly. “This is the most thoughtful and unexpected gift anyone’s ever given me. Thank you.”

“You deserve it Chlo,” Beca tells her.

She’s looking at Chloe in this way she’s been looking at Chloe a lot lately, and the redhead isn’t sure what it means. She knows it makes her heart hammer inside of her chest and it makes her whole body feel fuzzy and warm. She knows that lately Beca’s got a habit of making Chloe feel alive in the smallest of ways, but she isn’t sure what that look in particular means.

Because, well, Beca’s always made her feel this way.

The words are there again, this time on the tip of her tongue.

She thinks maybe this time she should say it. Maybe Beca will know she means it in that way and not just the friend way.

Before Chloe can give it any further thought, the front door bursts open and she’s quickly rolling off of Beca and sitting up on the bed. Beca also shoots up from her position, scrambling to grab her laptop as Fat Amy greets them both.

“What’s up, Pitches?” she asks, either not noticing her interruption or not being fazed by it at all.

“Happy to see you’re actually home,” Beca quips.

Amy goes into a full out story of what she’s been up to the past twenty-four hours, and when Chloe takes a quick glance at Beca, she sees the way Beca’s cheeks are flushed from whatever it was that Amy had walked in on.

 


 

Being at home is nothing short of wonderful.

But when her plane lands back in New York that Monday, Chloe’s practically jumping out of her seat.

She’d missed Beca more than ever of the span of those three days. They texted non-stop, even when Chloe’s parents told her to get off her phone and enjoy where she is. Beca had told her the same thing, too, promising she’d be right on time to pick her up when she landed.

And spending time at her childhood home is nice, but home now is something else for Chloe.

Home is a tiny brunette with a smirk and a whole lot of love she doesn’t like to admit to.

Graduation had meant moving on.

Moving on had meant moving on from Beca.

So really, Chloe isn’t too sure how she ended up in this situation.

Beca buys pancake mix and hot cocoa for their weekends in. She plays Chloe little bits of songs she works on for her clients, telling Chloe she’s got to promise not to share it with anyone. Beca visits her at that little coffee shop and walks home with her all the time. She tells Chloe it’s okay that she hasn’t quite figured out what she wants to do yet, and as long as she’s happy right now that’s all that matters.

She makes Chloe tea when she can tell she’s stressed from her private vocal lessons or is kind of fed up with working at that coffee shop. She watches Netflix with Chloe, whether it be Friends or the rom-com they randomly stumbled upon which she pretends to hate (but Chloe knows she actually entertains the storyline). Beca lights up when she sees Chloe upon arriving home and she always makes sure to tell Chloe to have a good day before she leaves for work.

Chloe doesn’t quite understand it, but she thinks Beca’s in love with her too.

And maybe she has been all along, but it’s taken her a little longer than it took Chloe to figure out that she’s in love with Beca.

Chloe decides that’s okay.

But still, she doesn’t want to push Beca into talking about these things if she’s not ready.

So she’ll wait. She’s waited five years, she thinks she can wait a little more.

(Aubrey says she’s worried, she doesn’t want Chloe to wait forever.

Chloe tells her she’s a big girl.)

This is what she thinks about as she speed walks through JFK, eagerly maneuvering her way to the pick-up location where she knows Beca is waiting in her car.

She spots Beca’s car right as she exits the airport, and her entire face lights up. Beca spots her too, and she beams as she hops out of the car and makes her way over to help her with her bag.

“Becs!”

Chloe momentarily forgets her bags, instead jumping on Beca and digging her head into Beca’s neck as the girl holds her tightly. Beca backs up, her back pressing against the side of her car to keep them both upright.

“Hey nerd,” Beca laughs, so full and carefree.

Chloe grins against her neck. “I missed you,” she tells her.

“It was only a weekend,” Beca reminds her.

“Hey,” Chloe says, pulling away from her neck to look at Beca’s face. “Don’t act like you didn’t miss me at all.”

Beca grins cheekily. “Maybe a little.”

Chloe laughs and hops off of the girl, but they still hold each other. She looks at Beca again and notices there’s something in her eyes, something Chloe can’t quite decipher.

“What’s wrong?”

Chloe can’t believe what she hears next.

“I think I’m in love with you.”

Chloe’s eyes widen. “What?”

Beca nods slowly, one hand dropping from Chloe’s waist to grab her hand. “This weekend sucked without you,” she admits. “And really, I think I’ve known it for a while. There was always something about you that Jesse could never compete with. The distance was hard yeah, but he saw our life here and knew you were something else.”

Chloe just stares at her in shock while Beca lets out a nervous chuckle.

“I guess the last person to really figure it out was me,” she shrugs. “But um, I’m in love with you, Chloe. I think I’ve been trying to tell you that for weeks now...you know, that I love you.”

And Chloe realizes, here at JFK airport, Beca totally has.

The breakfasts, the cookies, the coffee shop visits, her reaction to that guy, the plane tickets, the way she keeps looking at Chloe in those quiet moments - all of it, has led up to this.

Beca Mitchell is in love with her.

She’s been in love with her and has been trying to tell her but Chloe couldn’t pick up on the signs.

She just thought fate was being cruel because there’s no way Beca Mitchell could love her back like this.

Beca’s looking at her with hope, and Chloe can’t remember a time she’s loved Beca more than right here, right now.

Instead of responding to her, Chloe closes the distance between them and presses her lips against Beca’s.

It’s wanting yet gentle. Their lips move against each other like this isn’t the first time, like they’ve belonged to each other all along. Beca’s lips are slightly chapped and her mouth tastes like coffee, but Chloe loves every bit of it.

Suddenly remembering they’re at the airport, Chloe pulls away slowly, but not without tugging Beca’s bottom lip just a little.

She watches as Beca’s eyes flutter open again, and she looks slightly dazed.

“Uh...wow” is what she comes up with.

God.

“I love you," Chloe says.

The way Beca’s entire face lights up at those three words, the ones Chloe’s been dying to say time and time again, makes Chloe want to kiss every part of Beca’s face.

Beca pulls her in again and kisses her sweetly, more firmly this time. Chloe sighs against her lips, content to be in this moment.

When they pull away, Beca’s got a small smile when she says, “Come on, let’s go home.”

Chloe grins.

They hold hands the entire drive home, Beca babbling like an idiot and Chloe telling her all about home. Chloe kisses the back of Beca’s hand at stop lights, giggling at the way Beca looks at her with a goofy grin the whole time.

When they finally get back to their apartment, Chloe’s immediately pulling Beca in and pressing her against the door, kissing her hard and gripping her tightly, letting her know just how long she’s been waiting for this.

It lasts all of two minutes before they hear commotion from what sounds like the bath tub and they hear a, “Well shit, it’s about time!”

“Fuck!” Beca yelps, immediately pushing Chloe off of her, but Chloe’s hands stay at her waist. “You’re actually home, what the fuck!”

“Surprise!”

Chloe turns to find Amy staring at them in approval and immediately whipping out her phone.

“Don’t you fucking dare text the Bellas right now,” Beca glares at her, but it’s an empty threat and they both know it.

Amy is immediately typing away, and Beca lets out a grunt of frustration.

Chloe laughs, forehead resting against Beca’s and the brunette can’t help but smile.

“I love you,” Chloe whispers.

Beca rolls her eyes, but smiles. “I love you too, nerd.”