“You look like shit.”
Okay so maybe that was blunt, but to be honest Beca was surprised she had even said it in the first place because it was meant to be an inside thought. Oh well, too late to pull it back now. In all honesty, Aubrey would have looked impeccable if it was anybody else. Black blazer and skirt were pristine and her bun was so tight that not one blonde hair would even dare put itself out of place. The complete and utter perfectness of her was what had Beca so troubled. On a normal day, Aubrey would look well put together, but on her bad days she would look unrealistically gorgeous, dressed by a mixture of OCD and nerves.
And damn did it look like her nerves were on high alert today.
Beca hesitated to take the seat opposite the blonde, noticing that Aubrey’s stress levels were verging on Pukegate. It made Beca wonder what the hell she was even doing here in the first place. She had been sent a rather professional sounding text laying out a time and place, stating that her ‘presence was required for a jovial commemoration of her upcoming nuptials’. Aubrey had clearly spent too much time on that text. Especially in comparison to Beca’s equally masterful ‘meet you there, loser’.
“Charming as ever, Beca.” Was Aubrey’s diplomatic response.
“Uptight as ever, Aubrey.” Was Beca’s undiplomatic reply.
The blonde could only roll her eyes before pushing one of the cups on the table towards the shorter girl. “Here, I asked Joe for your usually and he gave me that monstrosity. Of course you like your coffee black.”
“Matches my soul.” Beca quipped before taking a sip and moaning at the taste. She chanced a glance over at the counter to see that Joe was looking back with an unspoken question dancing in his eyes. She flipped him off and watched him a little longer to see him laugh and turn back to his wife who could only roll her eyes at the interaction.
She had asked both her husband and the short girl how pulling the finger had become synonymous with the more elegant and popular ‘good job’ but both had stayed tight-lipped about it. Either way, the tradition had stuck and Ida supposed that, although she was shocked the first time, it was definitely not out of the bounds of something her husband would do. Sometimes she feel like she married a twelve year old boy. A twelve year old boy whose friend flips him off every time he serves her good coffee.
“Yes,” Aubrey rolls her eyes at the brunette. “The dark and mysterious alt-girl that cried watching Zootopia.”
“I can’t believe Chloe told you that.” Beca grumbled into her coffee.
“She didn’t need to. Your eyes were super red when you guys met up with us afterwards. We thought someone had died.”
“Nick’s fucking childhood died.” Beca snapped back and Aubrey could only chuckle at the brunette’s defensiveness. “Am I here for any other reason or was this solely so you could mock me?”
Aubrey cleared her throat and sat up straighter in her chair, something Beca didn’t even realise was possible because the blonde’s back could probably be used as a ruler. Her smirk fell away to reveal what was probably the most serious face the blonde has ever worn which is definitely saying something. What struck Beca the most was the determination in the older woman’s eyes, giving the brunette a quick flashback to her freshman year’s Bellas practice.
Beca watched, with no small amount of interest, as Aubrey turned in her chair to dig through her bag. A few different thoughts went through her mind of what this sudden show and tell could possibly have to offer her but decided against speaking up, sarcastic or otherwise, in favour of waiting her out. Something told Beca that this was more than just the average friend coffee date.
Her prediction was proved valid when Aubrey spun back towards Beca while smacking her hand down on the table. When she pulled her arm back it revealed a small, black box, not too dissimilar to the one she had presented to a certain redhead not even a week ago.
“I’m really sorry to disappoint you, Aubrey.” Beca started before lifting up her left hand to display the ring that had taken up residence earlier that week. “But I’m already taken. And I kind of love her so, although I’m super flattered, I’m going to have to say no.”
“Can you take anything seriously?” Aubrey reprimands.
Beca chuckles and, despite her original comment, picks up the ring box and opens it.
“Damn, Posen.” The producer whistles appreciatively at the amazing rose gold band in front of her. Stacie was one of those people that had fallen head first into the rose gold trend. Watches, wall decorations, even kitchen appliances have been bought simply for their colour. Beca still remembered, in vivid technicolour, getting slapped not so gently up the back of the head when she laughed at the rose gold stapler. “You chose wisely. She’ll love it.”
“You think so?” Aubrey asked quickly, vulnerability colouring her tone despite her attempt to squash it.
“I know so.” Beca answered honestly. And she really did mean it. Stacie was probably going to deafen Aubrey with the amount she’ll squeal when she sees it. Stacie doesn’t wear a whole lot of jewellery due to working in the ER. She’s got too many drugged up patients to watch out for without worrying about whether or not they can grab onto your bangles. She will never forget watching a patient, high on whatever the hell he’d managed to get his hands on that week, bite through the side of his cheek to bite off the finger of the intern trying to hold his head still. Later that night the patient admitted he had done so because he saw the ring on the man’s finger and thought he was Frodo and therefor compelled to do whatever necessary to get the one ring to rule them all.
After that day studs and the occasional necklace had become more the norm for the taller brunette.
However, special occasions were still her bread and butter and she often showed up dressed to the nines. She might need to pull it back at work but she was still Stacie Conrad.
“I mean, it probably won’t be on her hand most days.” Aubrey spoke up self-consciously as Beca all but pulled out a magnifying glass to inspect the little diamonds. “But I’ve got a chain that matches so, hopefully, even though it’s not on her hand it will still be on her.”
“Oh so you’ve already planned this, have you?” Beca asked, eyebrow raised as she pushed the box back towards the blonde. “Because, I’m pretty sure I’ve figured out why I’m here but I have yet to be asked any questions. Well, more like the one important question.”
“Put the smirk away, Mitchell.” Aubrey growled, not overly amused by the smug look on DJ’s face. “It’s not very ladylike.”
“That explains my dick then.”
“Must you be so crass?” Aubrey asked with a grimace, the involuntary picture her words triggered was less than appealing.
“Must you live with that stick up your ass?” Beca replied quickly, used to this line of questioning from the blonde. When she saw the lawyer’s right eye finally start twitching she knew she had pushed Aubrey just to the point of actually becoming annoyed. For the sake of her new fiancée, she would never get tired of saying that, she decided to take it easy on the poor girl. “Fine. Continue. You gonna be straightforward and just ask or have you got a speech planned? Good lord what am I saying? Of course there’s a speech.”
“I wish I could argue but I did write a speech for this so hang on.” Aubrey sighed as she reached into her satchel to pull out her little black notebook.
As she flicked through the book to land on the right page Beca noticed that the unshakable Aubrey Posen’s hands were shaking. Despite the epic chance to mock the girl, Beca found that the urge to do so was not there. In fact, it actually lightened the brunette’s heart a little to know that her opinion meant that much. Like Beca’s opinion really did mean the difference between marriage and heartbreak.
“Okay, got it.” Aubrey cleared her throat before her eyes flicked between the page and Beca’s own. “Beca, I know we haven’t always been friends but I feel like we have always had something in common; taking care of the ones we love. And, due to an infinite number of coincidences and improbable circumstance we have been pushed together and bonded through our mutual friends and partners. Even though social constructs would dictate that you…”
“Stop!” Beca finally interrupted, waving her hands in front of her dramatically, and unnecessarily in Aubrey’s opinion, to shut the blonde up quicker. “Please just stop. No.”
“I’m not done, Beca.” Aubrey spoke up quickly in defence. Though honestly Beca’s fast dismissal had the blonde a little embarrassed, indignant, but mostly just plain disappointed.
“That’s fine, and you’re allowed to continue in a second.” Beca tried to placate the older woman. She could tell it worked when a pleased smile made its way onto Aubrey’s face.
“But you have to give me the book first.”
And there goes the smile.
“What?” Aubrey almost shouted in shock. She immediately clutched the book tighter, bringing it closer to herself as if it needed to be shielded from the brunette. “No, I need it. It has my speech in it and I need my speech.”
Beca just held her hand out to the blonde with her palm up. “Aubrey, could you just trust me for once and give me the stupid book?”
Aubrey watched the DJ apprehensively for a couple more seconds before reluctantly placing the book in her hand like one would place the most fragile flower petal. Beca flipped the book around and scanned over the words there before shaking her head from side to side.
“No, this won’t do.” Beca murmured quietly.
“What do you mean it won’t do?” Aubrey’s voice was dripping in venom as she stared the shorter girl down. “That speech is perfect. It’s an outline of our lives and how everything fits together in such a way that brings us to this moment. It also details how my marrying Stacie would be beneficial to the four of us individually and as an isolated community. And on top of that how it would be conducive to properly and efficiently functioning smoothly in the wider community. Everything is in there, Mitchell. What more could you want?”
“Do you love Stacie, Posen?” Beca asks calmly, as if Aubrey had not been staring daggers into her.
“Of course I do.” Aubrey replied without even thinking.
“Why?” Beca questioned simply.
Aubrey paused for a moment at that, blinking rapidly as if the question had somehow overloaded her brain. “What?”
“Why do you love her?” Beca repeated, arms folding on the table as she leaned forwards towards the blonde.
“I… I just do.” Aubrey answered pitifully, still trying to really process the question she had just been asked. “I know I do.”
“I’m very aware you do love her.” Beca rolled her eyes at the usually composed lawyer. “You’ve said that already. What I want to know is why do you love her? Why do you want to marry her? Your speech covers a lot, like a fucking lot, but I don’t see anywhere in here where it tells me how you feel about her.”
“She’s… I love her because… She’s everything.” Aubrey sighed out lovingly, eyes glazing over as the girl in question drifted into her mind. “I love her because she’s Stacie. She’s amazing in literally every way possible. For starters she’s just so smart. Like, ridiculously, fiercely intelligent. And she uses that intelligence to help people. She saves lives daily which is just the most amazing thing anyone could ever do. Yet, despite all that doctor knowledge she still has room for the most useless shit you would never need to know in a million years.”
“God I know.” Beca scoffed and rolled her eyes at that. “The other day we went out and for dessert I ordered something with figs in it. Bitch waited until after I’d eaten to tell me that almost every single fig has at least one dead wasp in it. What an asshole.”
Aubrey laughed at that. “Yeah, that’s definitely seems like something she would do. It’s another reason I love her. She’s so smart but she’s still so down to earth. She’s funny and witty and charming and she never fails to make me laugh when I need it. It’s like if I lose a case or a client yells at me or my father says he’s disappointed with me, it hurts a lot but then I go home and Stacie’s there and all she’ll do is give me a hug and I just melt. It’s like everything goes away and it’s just me and her and I don’t feel like crying anymore. It’s like she knows what I want and need before I even do. She’s everything to me, Becs, and I just know that I can’t lose that. I know it’s what I want. Not just now, but forever. She’s my forever.”
Beca stared at her for a second with a contemplative look on her face. “That was way better than what you had written down, Bree. Much better.”
“Thanks.” Aubrey replied bashfully, fiddling with the napkin on the table as she prepared to finally ask what they came here for.
“But you did forget to mention that she was fucking hot as fuck.”
“Rebeca Mitchell!” Aubrey screeched indignantly while Beca herself burst out laughing.
“I’m kidding!” Beca defended while trying to calm down. “I’m just kidding. I’m sorry, it was getting all emotional and I thought I’d lighten the mood a bit. Plus you know it’s true.”
“Oh really? Do you want me to tell Chloe that you said that?”
“That’s not a threat, Bree.” Beca rolled her eyes at the blonde. “You know she’d just agree with me.”
“True.” Aubrey grumbled reluctantly. “Look, do I have your permission to propose to Stacie or not?”
“Let me think about it for a second.” Beca replied mockingly, put on her best thinking face and rubbing her chin.
“Beca.” The lawyer growled.
“Fine! Go marry the boob lady for all I care.” Beca chuckled. Though as she watched the smile spread over Aubrey’s face she can tell that the blonde was probably going to throw up if she had to wait any longer for the answer.
“Thank you, Beca.” Aubrey said sincerely. “Really, it means a lot.”
“We’ll call it even, Posen.” Beca shrugged. “After all, you allowed me to have your best friend’s hand, I think it’s only fair that I allow you to do the same. Just take care of her like I know you will and I won’t have to break your legs.”
Aubrey rolled her eyes at the dramatic threat but laughed when she remembered her own involving throats and wolves. Maybe people were right when they said the two had more in common than they thought.