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~B~

 

The first time Beca Mitchell convinced herself that she didn’t believe in love at first sight was at the Activities Fair.

She hadn’t planned on going originally; she wanted to finish setting up her mixing equipment. But then her father had showed up with his dad voice and deep, dad disapproval and suddenly the room was too small. She slunk out with Kimmy Jin, thinking snidely to herself ‘Well, at least I know where she is now with English.’

Almost immediately, however, Kimmy Jin split off and went to the Korean Student booth and appeared to already be making friends. She was also smiling, something Beca wasn’t sure she knew how to do based on their (admittedly short) prior interaction that day.

If she were being honest, she was a bit jealous of how easily the other girl looked like she fit.  For one brief, wistful instant Beca allowed herself to be envious of Kimmy Jin and her apparent ease at finding a place to belong. She’d never considered herself a lonely person, but sometimes it was exhausting keeping everyone at arm’s length. Beca gave an awkward look around, forcing away the uncomfortable emotions.

‘Just remember. You’re here a year, then you’re out to LA to get on with your life. None of this matters.’

Walking, Beca looked down as a group of chanting frat boys went past her, using the moment to pull up her walls. She didn’t need any of this.

‘Just one. Damn. Year.’

She wandered around a bit, until she heard a sweet voice that lifted her out of her mental brooding.

“Hi, any interest in joining our a cappella group?”

Beca felt herself pulled over to the two women standing in front of the table, her hand reaching out for the flyer automatically. She looked back up at the women, almost immediately dismissing the, admittedly attractive, blonde as an uptight bitch.

But the redhead… Beca was sure her heart actually just stopped in her chest for a second. ‘Are her eyes blue… or grey. They look grey. But maybe blue? Whatever, they look…amazing.’

“Oh. Right, this is like a... thing now.” She retreated into the safety of her snark. It was familiar and comforting and she didn’t really have to think about it, which was good as her mind was elsewhere.

Huh. Love at first sight… is that, is that actually a thing?’ Beca paused a second, her expression freezing. ‘Wait. What?’ She hoped her face didn’t betray anything as she reprocessed her last thought. ‘No, that... That’s just stupid crazy talk.’ Beca Mitchell was not someone who believed in love, much less that ‘at first sight’ garbage. She could be friendly if the situation required it, but she really preferred not to deal with people. She wouldn’t allow anything to put any bumps on her road to LA.

The other women didn’t seem to notice her distraction as the redhead continued on. “Oh totes. We sing covers of songs but we do it without any instruments. It’s all from our mouths.” The beaming smile that spread over her face should be illegal. Beca’s heart stuttered again.

“Yikes.” Beca didn’t mean to say it out loud, but she had started to think of other ways this woman could maybe use her mouth instead of singing. But at least it still sounded snarky; no one could guess the image that had popped half formed into her head before she blocked it. Beca flicked her eyes over at the blonde. Okay, maybe she’d figured something out; the look on her face had edged into something almost… knowing. Maybe she just thought she was better than Beca. But maybe…

‘Fuck, what if she’s a mind reader?’ Beca half panicked and really wished she’d stop worrying about that. Every time an inappropriate thought popped into her head, she immediately wondered if someone could read her thoughts and felt a little guilty. If it was really dirty, she’d give an embarrassed ‘sorry’ to the mental ether, just in case. All of which was just ridiculous. But she couldn’t stop.

After a second, and when no one slapped her, Beca decided there was still no such thing as mind readers and she was safe, if stupid. She also wasn’t really paying attention as the embodiment of sunshine in front of her pointed out the various groups on campus.

 “…The Bellas, that’s us. We’re the tits…” The half wink caused Beca’s stomach drop. While she kind of liked the pride this woman took in her group, Beca was trying hard to ignore the use of the word ‘tits’ while keeping her eyes on their faces. The blonde was looking at her again but Beca ignored her. Barely.

‘Christ, woman. Just because it’s been a while since you actually found someone attractive does not give you permission to perv on the first gorgeous woman you see.’ Beca tried desperately to clamp down on the hormones that were stretching after a long hibernation. ‘I get it, her friend is hot, she’s hot and you’re attracted to her. But this is not the plan.’

“So, are you interested?” Animated eyes were wide with hope while the blonde looked… well, like she was hoping Beca would say no.

Beca’s mouth opened, sure that was a question in response to her last thoughts, but then she realized it was more for the ‘will you join our group’ speech. For a split second she had no idea what was going to come out. Part of her was saying yes, just to spend more time – ‘Shut. Up.

“Sorry, it just… it’s… pretty lame.” And she felt her lips twist into an unplanned smirk. Snark to the rescue, with a side of bitchy tacked on by accident.

She watched the blonde’s face shift with shock. “Aca-scuse me?”

Beca smirked again - she loved when she could get under the skin of someone this anal - until she noticed that the redhead’s face had fallen and those wide, gorgeous eyes darkened as she looked down. 

Her heart dropped and for a moment, Beca hated herself. ‘That felt worse than what I imagine a kicking a puppy would feel like.’

A strident voice pulled her attention back to the left. “Synchronized lady dancing to a Mariah Carey chart topper is not lame.” The smile the blonde gave looked pained, the tiny laugh forced.

The redhead rallied, her lips making an “O” as she inhaled. Beca’s eyes bounced from those, admittedly perfect, lips to the suddenly accentuated hollow of her throat.

Oh god.’ Beca jerked her gaze away and hoped her sudden swallow wasn’t obvious. ‘Did the day just get warmer?

“We sing all over the world and we compete in national championships.” She and the blonde both smiled at Beca.

“On purpose?” Beca couldn’t stop the snide comment before it slipped out, but it was better than the other thoughts chasing each other in the back of her head.

She watched as the woman’s jaw stuck out for a second and her head bobbed once, apparently Beca’s attitude was chipping away at her enthusiasm a bit. But the blonde… she gave that painful looking smile again.

“We played the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center, you bitch.” Her face was incredulous; her tone sounding like it was trying to hold onto polite by her fingernails.

Beca looked away from her and to the right as lips formed that perfect circle again as she took another breath, the redhead’s hand going out to touch her friends arm too late to stop her. “Oh…”

Beca couldn’t help the half-admiring grin and arched eyebrows as she pulled her head back slightly. ‘Blondie got some bite to her.’ She wondered if it was weird that she kind of liked it.

“What Aubrey-” (‘Fitting. She looks like an Aubrey.’) “-means to say is, that we are a close-knit, talented group of ladies whose dream is to return to the national finals at Lincoln Center this year.” Her voice was getting softer with each word and Beca felt the gentle tone pulling her in.

Beca tried not to stare when the other woman took another deep breath, almost as if she was bracing herself. She looked down at her clipboard for a second, and when she looked back up, Beca was snared by the intensity in her eyes. She was pretty sure they were grey. ‘But maybe blue.’

“Help us turn our dreams into a reality?” The words were so sincere and felt like so much more than just a request to join a college singing group. This felt… personal; the look on her face; the way her lips curled up at the corner and back down suggested nerves beyond a simple recruiting speech.

Beca couldn’t begin to understand how she wanted to answer that from either perspective and her mind was in full flight mode.

“Sorry, I don’t even sing. But it was really nice to meet you guys.” Surprised at the sincerity in her voice, Beca turned and walked away, feeling the redhead’s disappointment rising and not allowing herself to look into those eyes. If she did, she may stay and agree to… something.

That was not the plan. The plan was to do her time. Get out. Not join an a capella group. Not make friends, much less find someone she was so strongly attracted to.

 ‘I didn’t even get her name.’ Beca wouldn’t allow herself to be sad about that. She also ignored the slight ache to her chest, the tugging thread still trying to get her to turn around.

 

~C~

 

The first time Chloe Beale saw the mystery girl at the Activities Fair, she didn’t fully understand why her heart settled into a new, deeper rhythm.

She spotted the brunette walking through the crowd, looking a bit lost and maybe a bit overwhelmed but covering it with an air of standoffishness.

I have to meet her. She’s beautiful.’ Chloe was looking forward to the friendship she saw stretching out before them and it never occurred to her that there was any other possibility.

“Oh. What about her?” She tried to calmly point her out to Aubrey, but she was sure some of the intensity had come through.

Aubrey turned around and eyed the woman approaching them. “Oh. Oooh. I don’t know. She looks a little too ‘alternative’ for us.” She dropped her air quotes and put her hand out to try and encourage Chloe to just let her pass.

Chloe just gave her a look and fluttered her eyes in a half roll. She was so tired of Aubrey being snobbish about this. They needed girls and they couldn’t afford to stick to Aubrey’s (Alice’s) standards.

The woman who called herself Fat Amy had been a noticeable and surprising exception to Aubrey’s ‘No, not her’ speeches today. Chloe rather liked how Aubrey interacted with the odd woman and Aubrey’s enthusiasm at hopefully seeing Fat Amy at auditions had kept them afloat when they were ignored by everyone else for the next half hour.

Cloe held out one of the flyers as the woman approached and made her pitch.

She watched as the girl’s interested gaze went down to the flyer and then back up, her eyes twinkling a bit. Chloe was startled to realize they were a deeper blue than she’d ever seen. Much prettier than the deep brown she had thought from a distance.

I was wrong. She’s gorgeous.’ Chloe could see the edges of a tattoo peeking around her right shoulder and wanted to ask about it, but didn’t.

“Oh. Right, this is like a… thing now.” The smirk on her face was dismissive and Chloe could feel Aubrey stiffen next to her.

Chloe tried not to stare at the other girl as she explained what they do and who the various groups are. Aubrey was nodding next to her, the smile still forced, but willing to let Chloe make her recruitment speech.

“Sorry, it just… it’s… pretty lame.”

Chloe felt herself deflate a little. ‘Why is this bothering me? It’s not the first, or even the worst, time this has happened today.’ The friendship she had envisioned started to fade.

Aubrey bristled beside her, Chloe could feel the agitation coming off her in waves, and she was not looking forward to any ‘I told you so’ rants later.

She tried to intervene before Aubrey got going, talking up the fact that they got to travel the world to perform, but the two other women seemed determined to snap at each other until Aubrey outright called her a bitch.

Chloe sensed the other woman getting ready to depart and made her absolutely last ditch effort. She needed this woman to audition. She ignored the back of her mind telling her she was full of it. That this felt like so much more than an audition.

“Help us turn our dreams into a reality?” She felt her voice get softer and was sure her eyes were basically begging. If she thought it would’ve helped, she’d have gotten down on her knees. ‘For the team. Right. For the team.

“Sorry, I don’t even sing. But it was really nice to meet you guys.” And there was a surprising amount of sincerity there from someone who had done little more than make fun of her passion.

Chloe froze, staring ahead for a second before watching the brunette walk away. She could see now that the tattoo was flowers, rising from under her shirt to wrap around her shoulder. Her heart thumped painfully with each step that separated them.

Her lips twisted sadly as she muttered to herself. “Shoot.”

“What… are we gonna do.” She felt Aubrey’s tension beside her and used that as a distraction as she tried to comfort her friend. And herself.

I didn’t even get her name.

 


 

~B~

 

When Beca finally found, what she thought was, a job at the Radio Station, she was as happy as she ever allowed herself to be.

However, the ‘internship’ was not at all what she thought it would be. They really should have called it what it was – mind numbing and repetitive manual labor. She wanted to play music, not just stack CDs. While Luke the station manager wasn’t so bad, Jesse took some getting used to. She still couldn’t believe that on their first day together he just never shut up. Like, ever. She was pretty sure he talked their entire shift and afterward, she couldn’t remember a single thing that had come out of his mouth. Except, she supposed, when he hit on her. Boy was he barking up the wrong tree.

When she had free time, she went to the quad and spent time looking around before she donned her headphones. All these people seemed to have a place. They were happy and smiling. Belonged. Even those weirdos who just ran around in a circle fit. Boy was that a booth she’d wished she’d skipped.

Over the next few weeks this became her pattern. Classes, when she attended, radio station and mixing in the quad.

Today she started her Titanium/Proclaimers mix and laid back on her bag, letting the music wash over her. Reminding her that this was all she needed.

If she happened to scan the people around her for a particular shade of red hair, so what.

Love at first sight was still not a thing.

Right?

 

~C~

 

Chloe couldn’t help looking for the Alt Girl, as Aubrey continued to call her, almost every day. She still kicked herself that she hadn’t made more of an effort to get to know anything about the woman, even after she shot them down so spectacularly.

But Chloe still had this feeling, pulsing at the back of her mind, that she would see her again. The feeling promised her that they were meant to be in each other’s lives, not just a single encounter.

So, every time she and Aubrey walked into a café near campus, the cafeteria or a break room. Walked down crowded halls and absently scanned the quad. Chloe looked. And hoped.

When her feelings were this strong, they were rarely wrong. Though sometimes they took a maddeningly long time to happen, she usually didn’t mind. But she had to admit, this time, she really wished life would hurry up and put them back in each other’s path. She was ready to see what fate had in store for them. She just knew it was going to be aca-mazing.

 


 

~B~

 

Beca sang softly as she shuffled into the showers. Once again she had to escape her father, though at least this time he had given her something to think about. All she had to do was make some sort of effort and he’d help her get to LA. Whatever that meant. Probably make friends or join a stupid group.

She still wished Kimmy Jin would’ve backed her up when she told her dad they were friends. Or that the death look Beca had directed at her roommate was something tangible she could throw.

As she hung up her bag of shower supplies, her mind went back to the Activities Fair. And the redhead. Again. It was something she found she did way too often, but now at least she had an excuse beyond remembering the pretty smile. Of all the groups she’d seen that day, the only ones that had any small appeal was the one that included music. So maybe she would find out more about the… Bellas?

Hanging up her towel and robe, she closed the curtain as she turned on the water. She continued to sing, letting the lyrics bounce around the stall.

After a minute Beca realized she felt cold air against her back before she felt a different kind of warmth sink in and she let her voice trail off as she stared straight ahead.

“You can sing!”

Beca spun around, loofa and sponge held protectively against her chest as she bounced off the wall behind her.

“Dude!” She pulled the shower curtain closed again in a panic.

Holy fucking shit, it’s her. I’m naked. She’s naked.’ Beca’s mind spun with every possible combination of these thoughts, unable to stop them. She was very particular who she let in her personal bubble and the number of people she allowed in it when unclothed was even less and currently stood at zero.

The curtain was pushed away and there were grey - (‘Ha. Grey! Maybe.’) – eyes, focused and intense, staring at her. ‘Oh god! Are they getting closer?

“How high does your belt go?” The woman pushed in and turned off the water.

“My what?!” Beca shrank back into the corner, eyes staring at the hand and arm reaching past her. “Oh my god.”

“You have to audition for the Bellas.” The redhead stopped in front of her, nodding with complete conviction, right hand on her hip as she stared at Beca.

“I can’t concentrate on anything you’re saying until you cover your junk.” Beca caught herself staring at the other woman’s chest – again – and jerked her eyes up and closed them briefly. She knew she was grinning but this was so fucking awkward that she couldn’t stop. ‘How the fuck is this my life right now?’

“Just… consider it.” She took a step closer to Beca, who noticed the other woman’s eyes flick down and back up. “One time we sang backup up for Prince.” Beca slowly reached for the curtain and pulled it quickly over her body. ‘Naked. We’re fucking naked. Oh god. Don’t use the words fucking and naked together right now. Fuck. Don’t use fuck at all! Don’t look!

The redhead held up her hand and took another step. “His butt is so tiny that I could hold it with, like, one hand.” She looked from her hand to Beca, smiling at the memory.

Wait, did she just look at my boobs? Seriously, how is this curtain out of the way again!?

As the other woman lowered her hand, she ended up pushing the curtain down completely and knocked a bottle out of the shower tote. Beca’s eyes rolled back in her head as she bent to retrieve it, trying not to brush against the woman standing inches from her body. She also tried not to pay attention to the parts that might be a bit closer as she moved past them. It was a battle she felt that she was slowly losing.

“Oops.” The smile was evident in the redhead’s voice as Beca stood and she realized the woman had taken another step closer. Beca was barely able to keep her arm from touching something it shouldn’t. Though she was coming to realize that she would really kind of like to.

What she thought was: ‘Fuck, any closer and we should’ve had dinner first. Is it hot in here? Jesus, she’s hot.’

What she said was: “Oh... jeez.”

She found it easier to stand up and just face the wall. The cold tile was a shock but felt comforting as her entire body felt like it was on fire. From desire or embarrassment, she wasn’t sure. Maybe, probably, both.

“Seriously. I am nude.” She was trying to be polite. But as she looked over her shoulder, she got another eyeful of the naked form behind her. Beca was almost positive she wasn’t doing it on purpose, she wasn’t one to stare. But she really wanted this to be over now; she was feeling too many things at the moment and she really couldn’t concentrate with all that on display. ‘I’m only human, for fucks sake.

“You were singing Titanium, right?” Her tone was determined as she leaned closer to Beca.

Beca looked over her shoulder again in surprise, incredulous. “You know David Guetta?” And she was pretty sure she deserved the sarcasm that followed.

“Have I been living under a rock? Yeah.” A pause. “That song is my jam.” Another pause as she leaned closer. “My lady jam.”

Okay, she didn’t need to know that, or see the look that she got when she met the woman’s eyes. ‘Don’t even fucking dare think about picturing that… Fuck. Too late.’

“That’s nice,” Beca said weakly as she faced the wall again. Maybe if she pretended this was normal it would all end and she could stop the images trying to push their way in.

A small laugh from behind her. “It is. That song really builds.” Beca looked over in time to catch the wink and saw the woman kind of wave her clenched fist in the air as if to prove her point.

Beca couldn’t help the pinched expression that crossed her face. “Gross.” This was how she was going to die, she was sure of it. Trapped naked and turned on in the communal showers at the college she hadn’t even wanted to go to. She didn’t envy whoever had to write her obituary. Beca looked back over her shoulder at the intruder.

“Can you sing it for me?” She actually bit her lip as she asked and Beca’s mind froze for a minute.

Holy. Fucking. Shit.’ If she weren’t so freaked out by the entire event, she was pretty sure she’d be wondering if this was actually what people meant when they used the phrase ‘wet dream’. Beca was never more grateful that she was so distracted because she was pretty sure her word vomiting subconscious would have said something like ‘Only if I can watch. Or help.’ But the part of her that was nothing but mortified was in the driver’s seat.

“Dude, no! Get out!”

“Not for that reason!” Apparently this girl actually did have some limits, which was good to know. “I’m not leaving here till you sing. So…” And she sighed, like she had nowhere else to be.

And Beca knew… knew… the only way out was to give in. She had the feeling this woman would stand here all day and not let her pass. So she gathered her pride, and her sponges, and turned around, covering her bits as best she could.

She sang; hesitantly at first, eyes darting over and away, unable to meet that encouraging yet intense gaze for long. After a moment, the other woman joined her, smiling as their voices blended together and Beca stopped looking away. It was amazing. Beca had never sung with anyone, just for her mixes and that could never have prepared her for this strong and immediate connection.

The song echoed through the shower and Beca forgot to be nervous. Forgot they were naked. Her voice got smoother, stronger. Her arms dropped to her sides and she couldn’t really look away anymore, not that she wanted to.

Beca’s gaze flicked from the other woman’s eyes to her mouth, and once (okay maybe twice) down to her chest. She distantly noticed the other woman doing the same, but in this moment, it didn’t really matter that they were naked.

As their song ended, and they smiled at each other, Beca became aware that she was looking down again, and jerked her gaze up, rolling her lower lip inward to bite it, embarrassed all over again at getting caught.

“Oh.” The redhead looked down. “Yeah. I’m pretty confident about…” she bobbed her body and motioned across it. “All this.”

Beca couldn’t help it; she gave one more look, nodding in heartfelt agreement. “You should be.”

They smiled at each other for several seconds before the other woman said “Oh” and handed Beca her robe, looking down as she passed it over.

‘Or is she looking at my boobs again. Oh god, this is so confusing.’

“Um… still need to... shower…” But she took the robe and held it up in front of her.

Suddenly there was a guy leaning in the stall opening. “You have a lovely voice.”

“Thanks.” Beca’s tone went from awkward and shy to pissed off, as the other woman nodded at him in enthusiastic agreement before looking back at Beca. Beca looked between them, mortified and annoyed at the way her day has gone.

Of course she’s with a guy. Why even would I think-’ She stopped herself and looked between them, hoping her ‘what the fuck’ was coming through loud and clear.

Apparently it worked, because the other woman’s face changed and she turned to head out, giving out a soft and adorable “Oh, yeah” as if she’d just remembered she was in the middle of something else.

Get a grip, nothing about this is adorable. Except maybe the way she smiled at me before he showed up. OH MY GOD. Get a grip on your shit. This is not a thing.

And then she was alone, the echo of “See you at auditions” ringing through the stall as the curtain was finally pulled closed again.

Cold shower it is,’ she thought.

Suddenly she looked up and it popped out without permission. “Fuck! I didn’t get her name. Again!” She flinched at the echo around her. Definitely louder than she would have intended.

From the far side of the room, sounding like it was almost in the hall, a faint female voice rung with laughter. “It’s Chloe.”

Beca rested her head against the tile and breathed out softly. “Chloe.” It settled gently but as solid as a concrete foundation. Something she felt as a beginning.

I am so fucked.’

She flipped on the cold spray as a rush of heat passed through her at the memory of lightly freckled skin and red hair in a messy bun.

So. Fucked.

 

~C~

 

Chloe didn’t mean to abandon Tom in the shower, but once she heard that voice she had to follow. It was exactly what they needed for the Bellas. And that tiny portion of herself that had spent the past few weeks scanning everyone in the quad still harbored a secret hope that she’d see Alt Girl again.

She padded over to the other side of the room and pulled the shower curtain slowly. The first thing she saw was a gorgeous tattoo of pink lotuses spreading across a shoulder and she knew immediately who it was. She couldn’t contain the grin as the brunette turned around in shock.

“Dude!”

I knew I’d see her again! I just didn’t realize it would be all of her.’ And it never occurred to her that she should walk away.

Chloe was so focused on the fact that the girl could sing, that she stepped forward to hear it better and turned off the water.

“How high does your belt go?” It also didn’t occur to her that she wouldn’t know what Chloe was talking about, or that she might mind this interruption. Chloe just kept pushing the curtain out of the way, not wanting any barriers between her and that voice.

She was so focused on trying to convince the Alt Girl to audition that she was getting closer in her enthusiasm, laughing when she accidentally knocked a bottle onto the floor. “Oops.” She took a step back as the other woman bent to pick it up. As she faced the wall Chloe took the opportunity to check out the equalizer tattoo on her back.

Different. I like it.

As she began to ask the other woman to sing for her, she spared a thought that maybe she shouldn’t have mentioned it was her lady jam. She’d been told most people didn’t appreciate random bits of personal information like that.  Chloe also was not so sure she wasn’t asking her to sing it for that reason. She knew that she’d never forget this moment if Alt Girl followed through, and it wouldn’t take much to pull it back out again when the mood struck next.

Her glee when the other woman turned around, awkwardly trying to cover herself, felt too big for the shower stall. Even being with the Bellas for three years could not prepare Chloe how she felt when she harmonized their voices. Even singing with Aubrey, her best friend for those three years, had never felt like this.

She felt warmth and pure happiness spread outward from her chest when the Alt Girl finally began to relax. Chloe loved this connection they’d made, finding her fingers were actually flexing. She wanted to reach out and take the other woman’s hand or brush her arm, something to make a physical link as well. She barely stopped herself in time, knowing that would cross a line. For now.

‘I knew we would sound perfect together. This is totes meant to be.’

She settled for smiling instead of the hug her arms were aching for, her joy spilling out of her when they drew to a close. Chloe loved the honest smile that spread across Alt Girl’s face and didn’t miss the way that navy blue eyes dropped lower again. Her heart started beating a little bit faster as suddenly embarrassed eyes snap upward. Chloe had never been one to ignore attraction, and hers was starting to push its way forward again.

“Oh.” Chloe looked down. “Yeah. I’m pretty confident about… all this.” She gestured to herself.

She watched the gaze dart down and up her body and beamed at the quiet ‘you should be’ that followed. She was content to stand here in this moment, feeling the heat from the body in front of her. Chloe’s brain poked at her, however, and she turned around to grab the robe hanging behind her. So what if she let her eyes linger while she handed it over.

And then Tom was there, complimenting Alt Girl’s voice. She nodded enthusiastically at him and back at her (hopefully) new Bella-to-be.

As she watched the other woman’s eyes dart between them, she realized that she had in fact been busy prior to this distraction. And her new friend’s face had changed, actual anger starting to make an appearance for the first time. Chloe turned, a bit reluctant to leave that small space filled new feelings and hopefully a new friend. But she knew that she should probably get Tom out of the shower stall.

“See you at auditions.” She pulled the curtain closed as she left.

She and Tom went back to their stall where Chloe kissed him absently, hurrying into her robe. Thankfully he was good natured and didn’t mind her ending their mutual shower.

She had to tell Aubrey.

But, maybe…’ She paused and let Tom walk out of the showers ahead of her, already back in his sweats and tank. ‘Maybe I’ll just let it be a surprise. I don’t want to argue over this for the next week.’ Chloe nodded to herself as she started forward again, only to stop once more when she heard a loud “Fuck!” from behind her.

She turned, afraid Alt Girl had somehow hurt herself, and took a step before the rest of it floated toward her.

She laughed when she realized that they had seen each other naked and never exchanged names.

“It’s Chloe.”

She paused and thought she heard a whispered reply, but before she could be sure the water had turned back on.

She smiled to herself and headed out the door.

She couldn’t wait until auditions.