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Kiss Me Like You Mean It

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Beca stares at herself carefully in the mirror, she hopes she doesn’t look too crazy. She’s wearing light wash denim shorts, rainbow striped knee-high socks with her black chucks, a black tank top with a big rainbow heart on it, and her hair is pulled back into a high ponytail with an obnoxious looking rainbow scrunchie.

 

She knows there will be plenty of people dressed far wilder than she is, but it’s so out of her comfort zone to be so loud…and open. That’s what pride is about thought right?

 

When Chloe had suggested they go to NYC pride this year, Beca had been hesitant at first, but in the end she decided it would be fun. Chloe has always been open about the fact that she’s bi, but Beca hid her sexuality for much longer. It wasn’t until earlier this year that she finally came out to everyone. Chloe was the first person she told. She knew her best friend would be nothing but supportive and she wasn’t wrong. She smiles fondly remembering the cold, winter afternoon she told her.

 

Beca is actually shaking, but not because it’s 10 degrees outside and their old apartment building is the draftiest building to ever stand, but because she’s nervous. Chloe should be home in a few minutes, and today is the day she’s going to come out to her.

She knows Chloe will be ok with it, she is bi herself, but that doesn’t make her any less (irrationally) worried about rejection.

Beca finally hears keys outside their door and her entire body stiffens in fear.

Chloe waltzes in like any other day, except that her thick winter coat is dusted with still sparkling snowflakes and her cheeks are cherry red from wind exposure.

“It’s so cold out there Becs! I thought I was going to freeze to death just walking back from the subway,” Chloe shivers, shedding her coat, hat, and mittens onto the hook by the door.

“Yea, it’s rough out there today, is it snowing?” Beca tries to distract herself with small talk.

Chloe shakes her head no, “Not really, it’s just windy, so snow is blowing off the rooftops. So, I guess it’s kind of like it’s snowing?”

“Huh, yeah,” Beca replies mindlessly, she didn’t even hear what Choe said.

“You seem off? Are you ok?” Chloe asks in a concerned voice.

The red head quickly steps out of her winter boots and moves to sit across from Beca at their little kitchen table.

“Yea I’m fine,” Beca replies, but her voice betrays her, quivering on the last syllable of her response.

Chloe quirks an eyebrow, “I don’t believe you, do you want to talk about it?”

Of course, Beca wants to talk about it, but she’s suddenly paralyzed with fear. She’s never been good at communicating her feelings or revealing things about herself. Telling Chloe right now, will be the first time Beca has even said it out loud.  

The other girl senses her discomfort and rises from her seat, “Why don’t I make us both some hot chocolate and you think about it. If you don’t want to talk after, we don’t have to.”

Beca nods, grateful that her best friend is so understanding of how she works. No communication is needed for Chloe to know what’s going on her head most days. It’s like she’s a mind reader…or a Beca whisperer.

A few minutes later, Chloe sits back down, placing a steaming mug of hot chocolate in front of Beca. It’s topped with whipped cream and there’s a candy cane left over from Christmas sticking out of the side. It’s so Chloe.

Chloe lifts her own mug to her mouth taking a sip, leaving a foamy mustache above her lip. Beca laughs and the red head realizes quickly, jutting her tongue out to lick it away.

“You ready to talk?” Chloe asks carefully.

Beca nods, she has no clue how the other girl always manages to make her feel so at ease.

“Ok what’s up?” she prods her, attempting to get the conversation started.

Beca toys with the handle of the mug in front of her, not able to actually look into Chloe’s eyes directly, “So, there’s something about myself…that I’ve been wanting to tell you about.”

Chloe waits patiently for her to gather her thoughts, sipping away at her hot beverage.

There’s no sense in her beating around the bush, so she takes a deep breath and blurts it out, “I’m gay.”

Chloe’s eyes widen and she carefully sets her mug back down before getting up and squealing excitedly, “Oh my god Beca that’s great!”

The red head moves to the other side of the table and scoops Beca up into a bone crushing hug. She knew that her best friend would be perfectly ok, this will probably be the easiest coming out experience she’ll have.

“I’m so glad you felt like you could tell me,” Chloe whispers into her shoulder, before letting her go.

Beca’s still shaking nervously as they sit back down, but Chloe looks overjoyed.

“So how long have you known, am I the first person you told?” Chloe’s enthusiasm bubbling over.

“You’re the first person…and I’ve known for about a year,” Beca says a little more calmly now.

“Well I’m honored to be the first and I’m so happy you’ve finally decided to come out,” Chloe lifts her hot chocolate back up to her lips, “if you ever need girl advice too, you know where to come.”

Beca’s cheeks burn at the thought of going to Chloe for help with other girls…Beca only wants Chloe, which just makes her cheeks burn brighter. If Chloe notices, she doesn’t say anything, just smiles pleasantly as she drinks from her mug. She knows how Beca gets about things.

“Thanks for being so great about it Chlo,” the reality of telling her was much better than Beca had imagined it.

“You know I love you no matter what! You’ll always be my Beca,” Chloe says it so easily, like she’s reciting facts from a textbook.

Beca truly doesn’t deserve someone as amazing as Chloe in her life.

 

All the other Bellas had been just as supportive, if not more. Amy had dragged all three of them out to the bar after Beca told her, for celebratory drinks. All night the wild Aussie proudly announced to any relatively attractive woman, that her best friend is gay and single. By the end of the night Beca’s cheeks were burning red with embarrassment and Chloe had laughed enough for all three of them. She had managed to get a couple phone numbers from Amy’s crazy antics though, which was oddly reassuring, even though she never called any of them.

 

Beca remembers how Chloe had sneered at the few women that did come up to hit on Beca that night, ultimately confusing the brunette to no ends. The incident still confuses her and her feelings towards her best friend, which might not be as one sided as she thinks.

 

Beca is snapped out her thoughts, when Chloe makes her reappearance from the other side of the clothes rack dividing their small apartment. She had wanted her outfit to be a surprise.

 

“So, what do you think?” Chloe asks, twirling around excitedly.

 

Any thought she had about looking to crazy goes out the window when she sees Chloe’s over the top, loud and proud outfit.

 

The red head is wearing a rainbow tutu over her white denim shorts and a rainbow tie dye crop top, which leaves a delicious amount of Chloe’s toned stomach on display, that’s a thought for her to unpack later. Her hair is pulled back into a ponytail as well, her hair tie is much crazier than Beca’s. Rainbow streamer like objects are attached to it, which lie against her ponytail in a way that makes it look like she’s got rainbow extensions. She must have used body glitter, because she’s actually sparkling. The only muted part of her outfit are the pair of white chucks on her feet.

 

“You look like a rainbow threw up on you,” Beca laughs, and Chloe’s face falls slightly before she adds, “but it looks great.”

 

Chloe’s eyes travel up and down Beca’s outfit, “I like your outfit too, we look aca-awesome. You could use some glitter though.”

 

“That’s where I draw the line Beale,” she replies sarcastically, “we better get going, we don’t want to miss the beginning of the parade.”

 

The moment they walk up out from the subway, the air shifts around them. There are so many people, all decked out in rainbow, cheering and laughing. Music pounds loudly through the streets. People flit by them happily carrying rainbow flags and she swears she sees a storm of bright confetti off in the distance. The energy immediately washes over them both. Beca looks to Chloe who is smiling wider than normal, cerulean eyes sparkling almost magically.

 

Beca grasps her hand tightly and they walk forward, attempting to find a good spot to watch the parade from. As they move farther into the mass of people, the more in awe Beca is. Everyone is so free and open. She’s positive she’s never been surrounded by more people who are LGBT or supportive of them. The thought makes her swallow back a tearful lump back.

 

“How about there?” Chloe points at a spot, still open right by the guardrail, which are set up all along the street.

 

Beca nods and they squeeze their way into the action.

 

“Isn’t this amazing?” Chloe asks, looking around in awe.

 

It’s the first pride either of them has ever been to, Beca’s so glad they get to share this special moment together.

 

“It is,” Beca agrees without even thinking, still floored at the scene unfolding in front of her.

 

Beca’s stomach flutters with an unknown feeling when she sees a lesbian couple across the street share a kiss. She wishes she could lean over to Chloe and claim her lips just like they had. Beca is still uncertain about how the girl next to her feels though, her fear of rejection too strong to want to try anything.

 

“Beca look!” Chloe tugs on her arm to get her attention.

 

Beca turns her gaze to the end of the street where she can see the head of the parade arriving. Before she knows it, it’s right in front of them. It seems to fly by in a flurry of colors, sights and sounds.

 

 People dressed up in wild outfits, holding balloons and banners fill the street. Drag queens dance by, a parade of dogs dressed in rainbow gear walk through with their owners, earning a slew of squeals and coos from her best friend. Floats of all design go by. People on bikes and scooters buzz by with wild smiles on their faces.

 

The storm of rainbow confetti Beca had seen down the street when they first got here arrives. It floats down into the air, landing on everyone and everything. It’s magical, like something out of a movie.   

 

“Becs, let’s take a picture,” Chloe says excitedly, holding her phone out.

 

“Yea let’s do it,” Beca says as they turn around so they can get the street behind them.

 

They both smile brightly, confetti fluttering down around them still, and Chloe takes a couple pictures. Beca can see the red head’s face turn in the display, to place a kiss on her cheek. A selfie pose Beca has become accustomed to. Beca’s not sure what comes over her in the moment, but when Chloe’s lips are almost on the smooth skin of her cheek, she whips her head around in time to catch her best friend’s lips with her own.

 

Maybe it’s how freeing this whole experience has been, Beca feels like she doesn’t have to hide anything about herself. Maybe it’s the vibrant energy surrounding them, breaking down all her normal inhibitions and fears. But it doesn’t last long.

 

Their reactions are instantaneous and completely opposite. Chloe seems like she starts to kiss her back, but Beca pulls away like the other girl’s lips burned her.

 

“Oh my god, Chlo,” Beca feels panic bubbling up in her chest, “I don’t know why I did that; it was so stupid. I’m so sorry, that was so dumb, I’m an idiot.”

 

Beca’s rambling, she’s completely aware she is. Chloe on the other hand is still staring at the brunette completely dumbfounded.

 

“Shut up,” Chloe says firmly, stopping Beca dead in her tracks.

 

Before she can worry about her best friend being angry with her, Chloe’s lips are crashing down onto hers for a second time. Beca’s mind goes blank and she melts at the feeling of Chloe’s lips moving softly against hers. Beca kisses back eagerly this time, sparks flying wildly between the two best friends. Chloe pulls away after a few moments, since they are still in a large crowd of people.

 

“We’re ok,” the red head says breathlessly, grasping Beca’s hand as they turn back around to watch the remainder of the parade.

 

Beca nods and confirms the statement, holding the other girl’s hand tightly, “We’re ok.”

 

Beca has a hard time concentrating on the rest of the parade, her mind entirely consumed by the kiss she just shared with her friend. It had felt so right and so good, just like how she always imagined it would. But, what did it mean? Does Chloe like her, or did she kiss her to make her feel better about what happened? She seemed like she enjoyed it though.

 

Chloe must hear how fast her mind is running and she whispers into her ear, “We’ll talk at home, just enjoy the rest of the day.”

 

It’s almost the end of the parade, when Beca looks over to see Chloe intently studying her phone. She leans over slightly to see what has is holding her attention. It’s the picture from before, the surprise kiss picture. Neither of them look surprised, it looks like the most natural thing Beca has ever seen, like it’s meant to be. Rainbow confetti is swirling down around them and their lips are pressed tenderly together, their eyes closed.

 

She doesn’t want to make it seem like she was spying on her or anything, but Beca wants that photo, “Chlo, can you send me that?”

 

The red head nods, now looking at her, “Of course.”

 

Beca feels her phone vibrate in her back pocket and she pulls it out, immediately saving the picture and setting it as her lock screen wallpaper. She looks back over at Chloe and notices she’s doing the same thing.

 

When the parade ends and people start dispersing, Chloe and Beca join hands and start walking back towards the apartment. There’s a new energy between them, Beca has a hard time putting her finger on it, but it feels electric. Just the touch of their legs next to each other as they sit on the subway, or their way their fingers lace together as they walk, sends sparks coursing through her. Maybe it’s because she knows what it’s like to kiss Chloe now or the anticipation or possibly becoming even closer. She’s not sure what’s going to happen when they get back home, but she’s excited to find out.

 

It seems like years before they’re finally walking up the steps to their apartment. Beca slides the keys out of her pocket and opens the door. Both women are exhausted, but still riding the high of the energy from the parade. There are still little flakes of confetti caught in strands of their hair and smiles glued to their faces.

 

Chloe slides her tutu down, so she’s just in her crop top and shorts now, “As cute as that was, it was kind of a pain.”

 

“Yea it was worth it though, you looked really cute,” Beca’s face flushes at her comment, it’s like she’s not even in control of herself today.

 

It doesn’t seem to phase Chloe though, who is stepping closer and closer to Beca, a glint in her eye, “You did too.”

 

The older girl is standing so close to her now, she can feel her breath on her face. Chloe starts to lean forward, her intent clear, but Beca moves away before their lips can connect.

 

“Wait Chloe,” she didn’t want to, but she has to know what this all means first.

 

“Did I misread what happened back there?” Chloe looks confused and a little hurt.

 

“Why did you kiss me back…what does it mean?” Beca asks clueless.

 

Chloe looks like she’s going to laugh, “You really are dense sometimes Beca.”

 

“What?” Beca blurts still confused.

 

“I like you Beca. I’ve liked you for so long it’s not even funny and when you kissed me I thought you had finally gotten the message,” Chloe explains as calmly as she can, but Beca can feel the emotion behind her words.

 

Chloe likes her. It takes a moment for the words to actually sink in, but when they do, Beca flies back forwards to close the distance between them again.

 

Their faces are inches from each other’s again, before Beca kisses her she whispers against her mouth, “I love you.”

 

Chloe gasps in surprise, but the sound is swallowed up by the force of Beca’s lips against hers. The kiss is all consuming and passionate and nothing like the one they shared at the parade that afternoon. Beca feels herself being guided backwards, until Chloe is lying on top of her on the mattress. The fire blazes around them until they are in the middle of their shared pull out sofa bed, clothes splayed around the room, bare skin on bare skin. Chloe’s body glitter is now over both of them and the bed sheets, a constant reminder of the day they had.

 

As they shake together in the aftershocks of their pleasure, sparkling limbs a tangled mess, Chloe finally breathily whispers to Beca the words she was waiting to hear, “I love you too.”