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i think we're alone now

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As much as Chloe absolutely adores Barden University—and even more so the comfortable home she shares with her fellow Bellas—she will normally take any chance she gets to go back to Portland. She loves her Barden family beyond measure, of course she does, but spending time with her actual family is incredibly important to her, too.

So, the very last minute decision Chloe had made to stay in Georgia over break feels entirely uncharacteristic to her and, frankly, maybe even a little bit weird, but financially it had just made the most sense—her parents are funding her extra school years already, accepting money for constant travel always feels like too much; she wants to give them a break.

Besides, it is not like she is going to be spending the entire two weeks here alone; Beca rarely leaves for breaks. She will simply show her face at her father’s place every now and then, and that will be enough.

Not that that had any impact on Chloe’s decision to stay whatsoever, of course…

Fortunately, despite the fact that she cannot actually be there with her parents in person, she has the magic of FaceTime to see her through, and Chloe has shut herself away for the afternoon to spend virtual time with her family, while Beca does whatever it is she may be doing in her attic bedroom.

That had been the plan anyway. Barely five minutes into the video call, however, and the connection had begun to lag before finally cutting out altogether, and Chloe is left to stare, hands cradling her chin, at the blank screen of her laptop with an entirely perplexed look pulling onto her pale features.

“Again?” Chloe murmurs under her breath, a quick glance to her phone screen telling her that the WiFi icon is not displayed there anymore, either.

Technology is not really Chloe’s area of expertise, but fortunately for her, there is someone else in the house who has a way better grasp on that particular area, so following another failed attempt at reconnecting, Chloe pushes herself back from her small desk with a soft huff, then floats lazily from the room in pursuit of a little help.

The Bellas’ house is not exactly huge, but rather than simply call out to Beca, Chloe swiftly makes her way toward the attic, focus preoccupied for now with her failed attempt to fix the WiFi setting on her phone.

“Bec, is the internet working for you?” Chloe mumbles distractedly, only glancing upward from her screen when she doesn’t receive an immediate response. She trails off slowly at the scene before her, however.

Her brows lift as she takes in the from-the-back view of a very much in the zone Beca Mitchell, wireless Beats headphones positioned over her ears, and body moving in a way that Chloe thinks might be...dancing? It is a very loose depiction of the term dance, of course; Beca’s limbs move somewhat sluggishly, and Chloe thinks that she should probably back away, leave Beca to have her moment alone, but it is impossible for Chloe to tear her widened stare from Beca’s movements, especially as the energy of whatever song she may be listening to seems to pick up, with her loosely moving body effectively doing the same.

And no, Beca really is not the reason Chloe had stayed here during break—not the whole reason, anyway—but God, she is so glad she did… Because this is the person Chloe has been quietly pining over for years now, the person who causes Chloe’s heart rate to quicken and a host of lively butterflies to begin flapping in her stomach as she watches her simply being her normal, dorky, adorable self. She cannot help the way she stares now, the way she drinks in this very moment and allows it to consume her in a way that the music seems to be consuming Beca, too.

She means to leave before Beca sees her, to keep this particular instance to herself in the interest of not completely embarrassing Beca, but she turns before Chloe gets the chance to even attempt to move, and while Beca pauses instantly, pale cheeks flushing a deep crimson shade as her widened eyes lock with Chloe’s, all Chloe can do is suck in her bottom lip in a meager attempt to bite back her adoring grin.

“Chlo, uh,” Beca tries, hands grasping at the cups of her headphones to quickly tug them away from her ears and to instead settle the band loosely around her neck. “I was just, uh—”

“You’re so adorable, Bec,” Chloe says in a much softer, much more affectionate tone than she really means to.

“What? No, I…” Beca’s voice is a little panicked at first, though she cuts herself off with a petulant whine, hands lifting to quickly cover her face. Her words come out muffled by the barrier. “Dude, can we just pretend you didn’t see that?”

It is really not unusual for Chloe to dish out physical affection, so although Beca stiffens slightly as long fingers wrap loosely around her wrists to gently pull her hands away from her face, she doesn’t actually stop her. She just stares at her with flushed cheeks and pleading eyes, before repeating, “Can we just—”

She doesn’t get the chance to finish, though. It is without proper thought nor even much warning, save for a drop of her eyes toward Beca’s mouth, that Chloe leans forward to brush a small, slow peck to Beca’s lips.

While Beca freezes at first, it is only for the briefest second, before Chloe feels the way soft lips push back against her own in a way that causes her entire body to melt. It is like years of tension, of fruitless pining and unspoken desires pour out into that one small touch, and Chloe pulls back to take in Beca’s surprised expression with her teeth resting delicately over her bottom lip.

“Um…” Beca begins quietly, arms relaxing in Chloe’s gentle grasp. “Wow, okay,” she chuckles somewhat bashfully, wide gaze darting away from Chloe’s, though it seems she struggles to keep it from drifting right back. “What was that?”

Chloe responds with an uncharacteristically bashful look, though the corners of her lips are curved into a soft smile all the same. “I’m sorry, I probably should’ve given you a little more warning,” she admits, nose scrunching apologetically. “You’re just...really cute, Bec. And I’ve kind of been wanting to do that for a really long time, so when I came in here and saw you doing whatever you were just doing, I just couldn’t resist.”

Although Beca still looks mildly surprised, Chloe is almost positive she sees the threat of a smile dancing on her lips now, too.

“Is...that okay?” Chloe questions almost cautiously, softened eyes studying Beca’s face in an effort to find any clues of her wanting to run.

In response, Beca seems a little shaky, but she proceeds to shortly nod her head, and Chloe’s heartbeat picks up in that distinct way only Beca Mitchell can ever truly cause. “Yeah, it’s okay,” Beca promises, tongue flickering out to lick over her dry lips. Her darkened cheeks redden further. “Uh, I might’ve been waiting for you to do that for a while, too.”

“Really?” Chloe’s brows raise at that, though it is definitely in pleasant surprise.

“Mhm,” Beca nods, lips pulling inward as her gaze drops briefly to Chloe’s mouth. She pauses then, stare narrowing in as it lifts upward once more. “Wait, what do you mean whatever I was doing? I was dancing.”

Chloe cannot help her amused chuckle in response. “Mm, yeah, I saw that…” she nods, fingers finally unwrapping from around Beca’s wrists to exaggeratedly flail her arms in a contrived mimic of Beca’s movements.

“Dude, shut up,” Beca whines, though there is amusement lacing her tone despite the fact that her head tips back in embarrassment.

Honestly, if the dancing is the only thing Beca has to complain about in regards to these last few moments, Chloe will absolutely consider that a success.