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the one with the texts

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Beca rested her elbows on the small coffee table, rubbing her palms up and down her face and across her eyes until tiny bright spots started appearing behind her closed eyelids.

It was pushing 2am but the little coffee shop just outside of campus was bustling with students; all of them looking as disheveled and tired as Beca was sure she looked.

Exams were drawing to a close soon, but they still had four days to go. It had already been two weeks of seemingly endless study sessions, crappy meals because no one really had the time or energy to deal with that, 3 or 4 hours of sleep every night because sleep hours were just wasted hours- and on top of that, they’d had to prepare for Worlds; which had translated to so many hours of going over songs and choreography and making sure everyone had their passports and associated necessary papers and booking tickets and finding time for practices and finding some more time for the brainstorming sessions Chloe had insisted upon…

She gave an involuntary groan and let her forehead rest heavily on her now crossed arms on the table. Being in college, Beca had to begrudgingly admit, had been pretty fun; finishing college was proving to be an absolute nightmare.

 “There you go”.

She squinted at the bright lights as she lifted her head just a bit; taking a moment to stare dumbly at Stacie that was towering over her slumped form, a huge plastic cup of iced coffee extended towards her.

“You look like crap”.

“Thanks”, Beca replied dryly, taking her cup in both hands and sighing contently three long ships later. “You don’t look so peachy, either”.

“Ugh, I know. I haven’t had sex in weeks”.

“That’s really nice, Stace”, Beca commented, taking another sip from her coffee. She hadn’t had any kind of… intimacy for the past six months; since right before Christmas when Jesse and she had finally broken things off.

So, in her opinion, Stacie should stop complaining about her abstinence period.

She was ready to stand up- they had to get back to the house and god, continue studying- when her phone pinged with a new message.

“Let me visit the ladies’ and then we can go, grumpy”. She nodded distractedly as she struggled to fish her phone out of her pocket- damn you, skin tight jeans.

Her lock screen only displayed Chloe’s name. Maybe she wanted a coffee, too, after all? They’d only been gone half an hour.

 

Chlo:

u still at the coffee shop?

                                                                                          Beca:

                                                                                          Yeah

                                                                                          Stacie had to go to the bathroom

Chlo:

can you pleaseee get me a brownie before you go?

pleaseeeeee???

 

Beca chuckled; she glanced at the front of the shop, and groaned at the long line. But it was okay.

 

                                                                                          Beca:

                                                                                          Fine but you owe me

                                                                                          The line is 5 miles long

Chlo:

I’m sure I’ll find a way to repay you ;)

 

Beca felt heat rising to her cheeks and she took another sip from her coffee in an attempt to give her hands something to do; eyeing her screen warily as she did.

Chloe was a flirt. This was absolutely not out of the ordinary, not one bit. It’s how Chloe was. Nothing weird or significant about it.

At least that’s what she always tried to convince herself of. That there was nothing more to texts or comments like this; to the soft touches and lingering stares and to the small, caring actions Chloe always directed towards her more than the others.

It was just how they were. There was nothing more to it. Right?

Beca glanced at her now dark screen.

She would have surely realized if something more was happening; if Chloe-

 

                                                                                                 Beca:

                                                                                                 You better

 

A big yawn stretched her lips almost painfully, and she rubbed at her slightly teary eyes. 4 more days. She just had to make it through 4 more days.

 

                                                                                                  Beca:

                                                                                                  God

                                                                                                  I’m so sleepy

Chlo:

come cuddle and nap

 

A soft sigh fell from Beca’s lips; that sounded heavenly. She’d accepted long ago how much she liked snuggling with Chloe no matter the setting; just feeling her presence so close. It was comfortable and warm and soothing – and no, there was nothing more to it than that.

That’s all it was.

She just liked friendly physical contact.

Only from Chloe, though.

She hushed her brain, shooting it a death glare for good measure.

She had just begun typing a reply when she felt a presence just behind her. She turned her head to see who it was and jumped at how close Stacie was, leaning down and peering at her screen over her shoulder.

“Dude! Announce yourself!”

“Can’t stay away from your girlfriend even for a few minutes without checking in, huh?”

“She’s not-” Beca cursed herself for the blush she knew she was rapidly getting, rolling her eyes. “She texted me first because she wants a brownie before we get home, that’s all”.

“She texted you because she wanted to talk to you”, Stacie said pointedly, straightening her back and smiling knowingly.

“We’ve been gone for barely any time at all”.

“Your denial is, as always, both astounding and adorable”.

“I’m not in denial!” Beca protested reflexively.

“Sure; care to prove it?”

“What are you-”

“Give me that”, Stacie said, grabbing the phone from Beca’s relaxed hand and unlocking it.

“Give me that! And how do you know my password?!”

“Everyone knows your password”, Stacie said matter-of-factly, while typing something. “Amy told us ages ago”.

How did Amy-

“Dude, give me back my phone! What are you doing?”

“Texting your girlfriend to prove my theory”.

“What theory?”

She heard the little whoosh sound that meant a text had been sent.

“What did you text her?!”

Stacie showed her the screen, the proudest smile on her face. Beca had to read the words twice before finally taking them in.

                                                                                                 

                                                                                                 Beca:

                                                                                                 only if i can kiss ur neck

 

“I’m gonna kill you”.

“No you won’t, you love me too much”.

Beca snatched her phone away, her heart thrumming in her ears. She had to delete this. She pressed continuously on the message and her eyes frantically scanned the options that appeared.

There was no deleting- No wait, yes there was! She selected the option with shaky fingers, and inhaled deeply once the text had disappeared.

“You know that even if you delete it in your own phone the other person will still receive and see it, right?” Stacie questioned slowly, amusement evident in her tone.

Well. There went that plan.

“Damn it, Stacie, I really am going to kill you”.

Beca set her phone down at the same time as it pinged with an incoming text. She peeked at the screen. Chloe.

She swallowed thickly, feeling more awake than she’d felt before in her entire life. She pulled her hands off the table, wringing them anxiously on her lap.

If she didn’t open it, it would go away. Right?

“Her text won’t just disappear, Beca”.

Damn it.

Shaky fingers reached for the phone and she took it in her hand carefully as if it would jump up at any moment and bite her face off. She unlocked her screen, paused momentarily, and then opened the text thread with Chloe.

 

Chloe:

mhm but we won’t be napping then

so hurry back ;)

 

She attempted to breathe at the same time as a disbelieving, nervous giggle rose to her lips, and Stacie patted her back through her coughing fit with- Beca was sure- the smuggest look on her face.

She drained half her coffee in a few big gulps once she’d calmed down.

“Gonna get you one more of these, and the brownie for your girlfriend. Be right back!” Stacie singsonged as she headed for the line once again.

Beca was left staring at her screen, an involuntary grin spreading slowly on her face and stretching her lips across her flaming cheeks.

Maybe finishing college would still prove to be just as fun as being in it.