LOCATION: Brookline, MA
* * * * *
It is finally June. The warm air is only a hint of better things to come. Like the last day of school before total freedom.
Beca smiles at Chloe as she nears Beca’s locker. “Hey,” she greets. “Good practice?”
Around them, students mill about excitedly, cleaning out their lockers and making plans for the summer to come. Chloe shrugs, hair clearly still damp from her shower. “I don’t know why we keep running through practices when we have no more games for the season.”
“Got to keep the regional champions in top shape,” Beca teases. “Keep the other teams on their toes.”
“But I’m tired,” Chloe complains. She leans heavily on a neighboring locker. “Since it's the last day of school, will you come over tonight for dinner? My parents are whining about how they haven’t seen you in a while.”
Beca clears her throat, thinking about how the last time she had gone over to Chloe’s house had been when Chloe and Tom broke up...at the end of April. Over a month ago. She had gone because Chloe had been crying and upset. She had gone because even if her body ached with the anxiety of not knowing where she and Chloe stood, she and Chloe were always going to be friends first. Best friends.
Best friends who felt something more than friendship for each other. Confirmed, real feelings. Feelings that made them want to kiss each other.
Feelings that they hadn’t yet talked about. Or acted on despite both of them being extremely single at the moment.
Hell, Chloe's birthday came and went a couple weeks ago without much fanfare. Beca had been too shy to do anything remotely romantic and they ended up going to a movie with a few friends before going to an arcade.
Beca nods stiltedly, pretending to contemplate her now-empty locker a bit more before turning to face Chloe. She steadies herself with a quick breath. “I’d love nothing more.”
* * * * *
Beca stares at her reflection with some trepidation.
“It’s just Chloe,” she mutters to herself, eyes tracking over every crease in the skirt she has picked out. Maybe I should go with jeans, she thinks. But it’s gross and hot out today.
She isn’t even sure why she’s nervous. It just feels like a return to normalcy of sorts, but Beca’s pretty sure that now that she knows what it feels like to kiss Chloe and what it feels like, a little bit at least, to know that Chloe feels somewhat similarly to her. It’s different. In a good way. Maybe it’s different in a scary way.
She isn’t even sure she can bring up the topic with her mother, so that’s an added layer of uncertainty: it’s additionally anxiety-inducing not knowing how her mother will react.
It’s well past the time that Beca should have already walked out the door to head next door by the time she actually forces herself out of her bedroom and down the stairs, but she figures Chloe will understand. And dinner is rarely ever prepared at the exact time stated in the Beale household anyway. Beca’s not too worried. Just nervous.
She finally reaches out to press the doorbell.
Chloe opens the door almost immediately. “Thought you got lost,” she teases.
“Were you just waiting behind the door?” Beca asks quickly, allowing Chloe to grab her wrist and pull her over the threshold.
“And if I was?” Chloe shoots back, offering Beca a lazy smile, playful in nature. With an underlying hint of something else.
Beca blinks the surprise away. “I wouldn’t be complaining if you were waiting for me. Just sorry I kept you waiting,” she offers.
“Dinner’s not ready anyway,” Chloe says, as Beca expected. They breeze past the living room area, taking a mild detour past the kitchen and towards the back porch. “I might have told you a slightly earlier time because I wanted to talk to you about something,” Chloe says lightly.
“Should I say hi to your parents?” Beca asks worriedly before it registers what Chloe just said. “Wait, what? Talk to me about what?”
“Come sit with me,” Chloe says instead. Patiently. She gestures towards the tree - the tree they used to play under all the time as children - nestled in the corner of the backyard.
It’s one of Beca’s favorite spots.
She follows Chloe, wondering if it’s too late to run home and change into her jeans because she’s sure the grass and sticks will prick at her skin, but she’s surprised, as they near, that there is a small blanket laid out underneath.
Chloe had planned for this.
“Please sit,” Chloe offers. She sits comfortably, patting the spot next to her. “I had a feeling you’d dress up a little. Didn’t want you to get a dress dirty.” Her eyes drift down to Beca’s skirt briefly before she lifts her eyes, smiling at Beca. Beca doesn’t feel self-conscious, shockingly. She feels content. Safe.
Maybe a little warm if anything, but she knows that’s probably the proximity to the girl she’s been crushing on for the longest time.
“I...wanted to talk to you because we haven’t...really talked. About...y’know.” A hint of nervousness creeps into Chloe’s voice. “When we kissed and then Tom…” she hesitates. “We just didn’t get to talk about anything. And now the school year’s pretty much over, so I thought…”
“Right,” Beca agrees quickly. Her palms begin to sweat. She sure as hell hopes Chloe doesn’t expect her to lead this conversation. It was mortifying enough the first time around when she had basically laid everything on the line while Chloe was still dating somebody else. When Chloe had left her with nothing more than a heartfelt, vulnerable don’t give up on me. Then she had broken up with Tom and that was all their school could talk about for weeks.
And now this. Somehow Beca survived all of that while slowly making sure her friendship with Chloe survived as well. They both made sure of that.
“I like you,” Chloe declares. “I mean...I think I always did. Like you, I mean. As more than a friend. But the feelings were really confusing.”
“I get it,” Beca says a little too quickly. “I’m sorry,” she murmurs, laughing a little when Chloe smiles at her. “I feel like I haven’t stopped thinking about this for a while. But I never wanted you to feel pressured to talk about this with me even though we kissed.” She ignores the way her voice totally cracks over that last word.
“I never felt pressured,” Chloe assures her gently. “I am so...grateful that you’re in my life. I didn’t want to mess this up. But I think we should...try.”
“Try?” Beca echoes.
Chloe blushes. Like a full-on blush that spreads across her cheeks, visible to Beca even in the dying daylight. It makes her cheeks rosy and Chloe even flinches at her own reaction. “Dating,” she says simply once she seems to regain control of her emotions. “I want to go on dates with you. And hold your hand. And more kissing! If that’s what you want.”
Beca’s sure that her heart explodes somewhere in her chest because she suddenly finds it very difficult to control various parts of her body. She can’t control the smile that spreads across her face and the following, matching blush in her cheeks. It heats through her face with ease. And even worse, she can’t control the way her hand comes up to her mouth as if to instinctively cover her smile because somehow being thrilled that her crush is basically asking her out making her body react in embarrassing ways.
Chloe laughs at her, not a hint of malice in her laugh. Just joy. “I take that as a yes. Thank God, I wasn’t sure how I was going to convince my parents to move away.”
Beca rolls her eyes. Finally. Teasing. She can do that. “You wouldn’t be able to leave me. You like me too much.”
Chloe’s smile grows soft. “Well...yeah. I do. A lot.”
Beca’s breath catches. She’s sure she could kiss Chloe right now and the crazy part is, it wouldn’t even be totally weird. Or out there. Because they’re going to start dating. But maybe kissing Chloe again before their first date is frowned upon? Beca has no idea. She’s still only ever kissed one person and that person is sitting in front of her.
As if Chloe had been reading her mind and her intentions, Chloe shakes her head and stands, offering a hand to pull Beca up. When Beca stands, they’re somehow even closer - almost nose to nose - than they had been when they were sitting. “Saved by the bell,” Chloe whispers, breath close enough to be felt on Beca’s mouth.
* * * * *
The most interesting part is that Beca hadn’t really thought about any of this - dating Chloe - beyond just vague daydreams and fantasies about just some kind of happy utopia with Chloe by her side. It’s honestly not much different from their usual day-to-day considering how close they already are, but dating? Actual dating?
Her Google search history stares back at her accusingly.
dating best friend first date
first date movies
dating girl what to do
She supposes she could ask her mother, but even that brief thought makes her shrink away from her desk. Beca stands and begins pacing. She’s sure that she’s overthinking this all. That Chloe could probably care less about what they do on their first date. That Chloe’s probably just expecting them to spend time together, just the two of them. With more handholding. And maybe a kiss at the end of the night.
“Shit,” Beca mutters suddenly. She rushes back to her computer, adding another search to her list.
kiss on first date ok???
She frowns. Not quite.
kissing before first date acceptable
In the end, she is saved from her descent into a hole of online searching by a text from Chloe herself.
dinner tomorrow at south street? haven’t been downtown in a while
The ease at which Beca replies does not at all reflect the somersaults in her stomach.
* * * * *
“Hey,” Chloe calls, putting her menu down. “Where’d you go just now?”
Beca blinks, realizing that she had glazed over the menu entirely, too wrapped up in her own thoughts. “Oh, just...contemplating…” her eyes land on the first item she sees. “Salad.” She can’t help the way her own nose wrinkles instinctively at the thought of eating salad.
Chloe is as intuitive as ever, smiling as she reaches across the table to touch Beca’s hand. “You hate salad. Especially here.”
Beca swallows, struck by both the normalcy and intimacy of Chloe’s touch. They’ve been friends for years—there is nothing extremely off-putting about them holding hands or even just randomly touching each other on the arm, shoulder, knee.
Chloe draws her hand away, seemingly not at all aware of Beca’s inner turmoil this time. She refocuses on her menu. “Want me to order something for you?” she asks instead.
Beca nods, though she is surprised. “Sure.” Now she’s curious as to what Chloe will order for her. And if she’s being honest, it kind of makes her feel giddy, the thought of Chloe knowing her well-enough to order something. Not that Beca would even bother with telling Chloe that she’s wrong. She’d eat anything at this point, just to spend more time with Chloe.
It’s not even like they’re at a fancy restaurant. It’s a diner downtown. The bright retro designs all around plus the comfortable, plush booth seats are all appealing to Beca and she likes the general atmosphere.
But she kind of wants to just…
“Can I sit next to you?” she blurts out. Immediately, she clamps her mouth shut, resisting the urge to avoid Chloe’s curious gaze, which lifts to meet hers immediately.
Chloe grins. “I would want nothing more. Get over here.”
Beca nearly sags in relief, but focuses instead on moving around the booth so she and Chloe are sitting closer, now on side of the booth.
Beca focuses on the frequent piece of advice she had found through a few somewhat reliable Google results.
Hold her hand.
Beca does. She inches her pinky across the cool vinyl seats until she can feel Chloe’s against her finger. Then, she slips her hand over Chloe’s, gently hooking her fingers on Chloe’s palm until Chloe gets the idea.
Chloe’s hand flips slowly, their palms touching. Beca exhales, sliding her fingers between Chloe’s, already liking the easy, comfortable fit of their hands.
Chloe says nothing, content to enjoy the silence and familiarity just as Beca is content to allow her feelings to take over. For a moment, Chloe appears to be perusing the menu in silence, but there is a steadiness to the set of Chloe’s shoulders. Beca can tell, having been so attuned to Chloe’s characteristics for longer than she’d like to admit. For longer than even Chloe herself knows at this moment. She glances at her date—her date!—selfishly taking the moment to appreciate Chloe’s profile.
It’s something she has done so many times before, but this time...this time, in a diner outside of town with the soft clatter of dishes around them and Chloe’s soft, warm palm against her own, Beca knows this is different.
“You know,” Chloe starts awkwardly. “I...obviously don’t mind if you ordered on your own.”
Beca laughs. “Why’d you offer to then?”
“I don’t know,” Chloe says, exasperation in her voice. She groans and hangs her head slightly. “I asked Max and-”
“You asked your brother what to do on a date with me?”
“No!” Chloe explains before she snorts. “I just...told him I was worried about impressing a girl. And I don’t know why, but I somehow thought he’d have some idea.” She grins a little, glancing at Beca out of the corner of her eye. “Did it work?”
“Maybe a little,” Beca says distractedly. She’s more fixated on the fact that Chloe must have been truly desperate to have turned to her older brother for help.
“Oh and he totally guessed I was going out with you, by the way.”
That’s not something that thrills Beca too much. Her imagination immediately conjures up a comically exaggerated vision of Chloe’s brother threatening her with a knife. “How?” she asks. “What did he say?”
“Nothing, really. He just kind of guessed and then said ‘finally’ or something like that.”
“Well, thank you for offering to order for me. It was very...chivalrous of you.”
“I can’t wait to see what other moves you try on me. Are we going to share one milkshake?”
* * * * *
They end up ordering two separate milkshakes because Beca sticks to her vanilla and Chloe orders chocolate.
“Try,” Chloe commands. “You always get vanilla. Chocolate is so good.”
Beca sighs, but obediently sticks her straw into Chloe’s cup despite Chloe’s protests of “contamination” and quickly takes a sip just to shut Chloe up for the time being. It’s not horrible - Beca just isn’t the fan of how chocolate tastes in milkshake form, though she’s sure Chloe will claim there’s no difference if the milkshake were in a solid chocolate bar form instead.
However, she’s mildly distracted by the sudden proximity she and Chloe have between them. Chloe’s arm rests loosely over her shoulder, where she had put her arm when Beca leaned in to drink from Chloe’s cup. She can practically feel Chloe’s breath on her neck and her cheek.
It would be so easy to just turn and -
Beca shakes her head slightly and shifts back. Chloe takes a moment longer to slowly move her arm from around Beca’s shoulders.
“What?” Beca asks quietly, poking at her fries a little. She catches Chloe smiling at her affectionately.
“Nothing,” Chloe replies quickly. “Just...you smell nice. That’s all.”
* * * * *
“I guess it’s kind of convenient that we live together,” Beca remarks, trying not to think too hard about the way Chloe’s hand feels in her own. She winces. “Well. Not live together. But…you know. Live next to each other.”
Chloe tilts her head, smiling as they walk up the path towards their houses. “And why is that convenient?” she asks lightly.
Beca blushes. She hadn’t thought this far. “I’m…I don’t know. I was just…commenting. On the convenience.”
Chloe giggles, pulling Beca closer ever so slightly. Beca likes the way their arms press together. She likes holding Chloe’s hand. She likes lifting her other hand to curl against the bend of Chloe’s elbow.
She likes knowing that Chloe likes her—really likes her—and Chloe enjoyed their date and—and—
“This is you,” Chloe murmurs, stopping in front of Beca’s door.
Beca kind of doesn’t want the night to end. She wants to sit on the porch and talk to Chloe for a few more minutes. Maybe one more hour. Just to hear the sound of her voice and have her attention for a few moments longer.
“This is me,” Beca parrots, feeling a lot more nervous than she thinks she’s letting on. That was what people said in those movies adorning Chloe’s shelves, right? It was what the internet said. Normal first date cliches. She steps backwards, under the light of her front porch, still holding Chloe’s hand as she does so. Chloe hesitates for a moment like she wants to follow, but ultimately she simply squeezes Beca’s hand in understanding and drops her own hand away.
Beca is immediately disappointed. She hadn’t wanted that at all. She bites her lip, watching as Chloe awkwardly shuffles her feet before she glances back up at Beca. A soft, slow smile spreads across Chloe’s lips, gentle and affectionate all at once. It makes Beca’s heart pound ridiculously hard.
“I had fun,” Chloe whispers, like she’s afraid somebody else will hear her. But not because she's afraid of other people. Just afraid that their bubble will burst, like Beca is. Another step closer. Beca swallows. “Can we do that again?”
“You’d want to go on more dates?” Beca asks, just to clarify, even though she knows exactly what Chloe’s asking.
“I would love to go on more dates with you.”
“Me too,” Beca squeaks out. “I—um—”
Chloe’s smile stretches, somehow happier than before. “Goodnight Beca.”
Something in Beca snaps. She steps forward, just two small steps and calls out Chloe’s name. “Wait,” she adds hastily.
Chloe stops and turns, surprised.
“Can I—” Beca swallows, licking her suddenly dry lips. “Can I kis—”
She doesn’t get to finish her question before Chloe is covering the ground between them in two short strides, wrapping her hand around the back of Beca’s head, letting the other come up to Beca’s arm, and kissing her for all her worth.
Beca gasps in surprise into the kiss, hands coming up to Chloe’s shoulders, squeezing tightly. Gently and slowly, Chloe presses further into the kiss, her lips moving ever so lightly against Beca’s. It is so much more than their first kiss—a do-over, if anything—and Beca realizes, with a jolt, that this is something she can do now. She can kiss Chloe because Chloe likes her and Chloe went on a date with her. Chloe held her hand all night.
Chloe wants to kiss her too.
Beca hums happily at the thought, looping her hands behind Chloe’s neck. It feels instinctual even as Beca blushes at the sudden intensity of the kiss. She knows Chloe has kissed more people than she has; she knows Chloe will forever have more experience in this regard. But God, Beca thinks that she has never felt more wonderful or powerful than she does in this moment, tightening her grip on the fabric of Chloe’s light jacket.
Pulling back ever so slightly, Beca heaves a breath and rests her forehead against Chloe’s forehead. Chloe’s breathing is the tiniest bit labored as well. For a moment, neither of them dares to move, too afraid to break the spell between them.
Chloe is the first to smile—the first to press forward ever so slightly so their noses brush delicately. “What were you going to ask?” Chloe murmurs.
Beca swats her shoulder lightly. “You’re so weird,” she mumbles back, leaning in to steal just one more kiss from her beautiful, wonderful date.
* * * * *
When Beca reaches the solitude of her bedroom, she finally gets what all those high school romcoms were about. Showing their protagonist thrilled to finally finish a date so they can squeal and giggle and simply dream about their crush or date. It’s probably the first time that Beca has felt her energy rebound around her room with such happiness and positivity. The sensation is addicting—she honestly just wants to text Chloe all night.
Which, honestly, she could.
Chloe kissed her. Chloe kissed her because she likes her and they just went on a date. A freaking date.
A text from Chloe jolts her back to reality.
i miss you, is that weird?
no because i miss you too. weirdo.
i have something else to tell you. that might be weird. Idk
go for it.
Beca watches the text bubbles float in and out on her screen, like Chloe is typing a paragraph. Despite Chloe just saying that she missed her, Beca can’t help but feel nervous.
I just wanted you to know why i picked south street. it’s because. well. Remember when we first went there by ourselves without our parents. Sometime last year. With a few friends. And we all squeezed into that booth and sat there and shared fries and milkshakes and felt like we were at the top of the world because we were finally in high school or something stupid like that. I don’t even remember much about that night or who we were with but i do remember seeing the way you laughed at something and how your entire face lit up. and i remember thinking that i really liked you and how scary it was that i felt these things for you so suddenly and so much. Like a lot. but i’m so glad that we both got to this point - that we both feel the same way. I just really loved the way you looked when you laughed and i am so happy you’re in my life.
also i really like kissing you
Beca doesn’t even bother replying.
She shoves on her shoes again and rushes out the front door. She is only surprised to see Chloe sitting on her own front porch, staring worriedly at her phone.
“You really are so weird, y'know that?” She calls out, careful not to startle Chloe too much.
Chloe does jump anyway, but she sets her phone down quickly. “What are you doing?”
“Finishing this date off again that you confessed your big scary feelings. Through a text message.” Beca pretends to be annoyed as she stomps over to Chloe. “You couldn’t have said all that?”
“You make me nervous!” Chloe exclaims.
Beca shakes her head, mustering up all the courage she has in the world, pulling Chloe in for a kiss like she wanted to earlier before Chloe beat her to it.
“So much better,” Beca whispers, smiling when Chloe huffs quietly against her mouth.
It's the perfect end to the beginning Beca has been dreaming of all this time.