Beca feels it. She knows that she is just about to settle into a groove that she hopes sparks some good material. With two kids who have recently taken up the hobby of screaming for seemingly no reason (as adorable as it is in theory, it’s loud as fuck), it has become a bit of a chore for Beca to find peace, but she manages to squeeze in time here and there between her occasional venture into the studio and her attempts to work from home.
As for the work itself, it’s easy enough to settle into the rhythm of the song she had been working on for a friend. Mostly as a favor, but with the possibility of invaluable exposure and some money
(And it honestly still takes some getting used to, calling some of the most famous musicians in the world her ‘friends’, but it’s something that Beca will never take for granted.)
The voice rings sharp and clear even though Beca’s expensive noise-cancelling headphones. Not that she would ever call Chloe’s voice noise—
“Beca! Can you come here, please?”
Now that she is listening more intently, Beca picks up on the nuances of Chloe's voices: it is a specific kind of strained and tense. Strained enough that Beca flings her headphones off all the way and dutifully puts on her most innocent face before dashing out of their study.
“Chloe?” she calls tentatively.
Beca enters the kitchen to see the foreboding sight of Chloe standing with her arms crossed. There isn’t anything immediately amiss and Beca can’t recall if she missed a specific anniversary, so her eyes begin to dart around the kitchen for some clues. Beca spots groceries and other half-chopped vegetables scattered across their kitchen counter. “Need help with dinner?” she offers, already reaching for the cutting board filled with carrots and onions. She feels a little bad—they usually trade off cooking over the course of a week, but Beca had been feeling under the weather recently.
Chloe shakes her head. “We need to talk.”
Beca gulps, feeling a sharp spike of fear and uncertainty rush through her at those words. “We do?” she asks quietly.
Chloe softens, catching on to Beca’s unease and discomfort. “It’s…well. I don’t want to say it’s not bad because it isn’t, not really.” Chloe sighs and rushes out, “But you just…”
Beca waits, eyebrow raised at Chloe’s uncharacteristic pause. “What?” she prompts, more curious now.
“You need to tone down your flirting in front of the kids,” Chloe blurts out.
It is honestly the last thing Beca expects Chloe to say; it is so unexpected that she starts laughing at the sheer relief she feels. She and Chloe are as strong as ever, with two beautiful children to call their own, but every once in a while, Beca’s old insecurities flare up. She is just so relieved that she and Chloe can even have these moments and she treasures all these moments immeasurably.
“It’s not funny,” Chloe says sharply. “You need to knock it off. Or tone it down until they’re not in earshot.”
Catching on to exactly how not serious this all is, Beca feels playfulness rush through her in place of the sinking feeling she previously felt in her gut. “Oh? You think I should stop flirting,” she clarifies.
“Yes, Beca,” Chloe says with no small measure of exasperation. “You—“
“It’s good for them to see that we like each other,” Beca points out. She finally closes the distance and places her hands on Chloe’s hips. “We like each other a lot.”
Chloe’s stance softens even further and her forehead relaxes before Beca’s eyes. She sighs, reaching out to push gently at Beca’s shoulders even as her face tilts closer to Beca so that their breath begins to mingle. “Yes. I like you and I love you, you absolute dork. But—“
“No buts,” Beca says quickly. She’s going to concede anyway if this is something that Chloe feels strongly about, but not before she slips her hand around to Chloe’s jean-clad ass, patting at the seat of her pants playfully and getting a good squeeze in. “Maybe just this one,” she says with emphasis and a grin.
Chloe blushes. “Shut up,” she murmurs with no bite at all. “That’s—“
Beca will never know the rest of Chloe’s sentence. At that moment, a clatter rings out from the adjacent living room and the patter of feet interrupts them loudly. Emma and Grace squeal, Emma darting into the kitchen with Grace wobbling after her carefully.
It’s an adorable sight if Beca’s being honest. She loves how Grace wants to copy literally everything Emma does and Emma, like the dutiful older sister she is, happily provides endless opportunities for Grace to follow in her footsteps of being a hellion.
It’s cute until Emma opens her mouth, usually taking after Beca and Chloe’s occasional colorful language (Beca mostly—obviously).
And as if professionally prepared to throw a wrench into Beca's innocent act—“Dat ass!” Emma screams, running right up to Chloe and smacking her square on the butt, right where Beca’s hand isn’t already covering. She giggles and runs off before Beca can process exactly what just happened. Grace follows belatedly, smacking at Chloe’s leg as best as she can before babbling in what Beca assumes to be an imitation of Emma’s choice of words. She then giggles and lifts her arms towards Chloe and Beca in a request to be carried.
Chloe sighs and pushes Beca away gently, but not before she raises her eyebrow at Beca pointedly. Swooping down and reverting into mom mode, Chloe gasps excitedly at their daughter and picks her up. Grace, Beca notes, looks absolutely delighted to have followed in her sister’s (and Beca’s, she supposes) footsteps. A quick glance back at Chloe tells Beca that she’s not quite off the hook. From Chloe’s expression, Beca quickly figures out that this must not be the first time. She is thankful that Grace hasn’t quite mastered Chloe’s very specific look—it is somehow expectation and disappointment all rolled into one. Beca isn't really sure what she'll do when she has two sets of the same shade of blue fixated on her with the same intensity. For now, Grace just peers at her happily, stuffing her hand in her mouth and leaning her head affectionately against Chloe's shoulder.
“Yeah, okay,” Beca says quickly when Chloe continues to fix her with a glare. It's so much easier to stare right at Grace who has no idea what's going on. Bless her. “I totally understand.”
"I'm so glad we had this chat."