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Beca hugged the shadows as she walked out of the lobby’s back hallway.

It was easy to do, in the deep red mood lighting. Jesse and the team had really outdone themselves this year - but, then again, when they had someone like her there to bring in millions of dollars, the least they could was splurge for one measly New Year’s Eve party.

Especially if they weren’t even hosting it somewhere cool.

Still, Beca had to make an appearance, kiss some ass for their parent company. And at least there wouldn’t be any media inside. It’d be nice to take a night off.

She nodded to Jesse, who spotted her almost immediately. Some hot broad was curling her fingers at the bottom of his tie, though, so he didn’t pay attention to Beca any longer than he had to.

Beca slipped towards the front of the room, trying desperately to avoid Bumper and his dude-bro associates as they plowed through a game of flip cup on the reception desk. Bumper turned at the exact wrong moment and caught sight of her, but just as he was about to call her over, there was a shriek across the way.

A rail-thin blonde that Beca didn’t recognize was being hoisted into the air by another, heftier blonde, and Beca felt her eyebrows raise skeptically as the skinny one flailed towards the vaulted ceiling.

Someone else shot up, next to them, and Beca inhaled sharply.

She could only see the side of the redhead’s face - could only see the side of her expression, which was a jumbled juxtaposition of worry and warmth. Her eyes were shining brightly though, even in the dim party. Beca had to force out her uneven breath through her nostrils.

A girl like that could ruin me.

And I’d let her.

Her feet moved of their own volition, and she stepped up behind the beautiful woman just in time to hear the heavier of the blondes call over her shoulder, “Don’t wait up, ging!”

“Now you tell me, was that a joke, or a promise?” Beca heard herself saying, and for once, she wasn’t embarrassed by the cocky, sultry tone. For once, she hoped it she could harness that persona for real, personal reasons, if only so that she could get a little closer, and-

And then the redhead turned around.

And Beca knew that her life was about to change.

*****

“Yeah, that’s good,” Beca said, cutting them off. She tried to ignore Chloe’s crestfallen but hopeful expression, like a puppy caught in a rainstorm.

Beca didn’t want to put those emotions there.

But she couldn’t avoid it.

She started rambling, telling Chloe’s bandmates about the basics of harmonious song-building. They had to strip down and get away from the pop bullshit if they were ever going to get off TikTok, like she was convinced they could do. But it should come from them, not her. She didn’t want to take their opportunity for growth away from them.

Away from Chloe.

She had it confirmed today, that Chloe was the one that they all turned to when they needed direction, and Beca was already under the impression that that was the right move. Not only was she the most talented, but she was the kind of leader that the band needed, if only she’d take the captain role.

(And Chloe had turned her down, so the redhead had taste, too.)

Because yesterday, Beca had done her research. She’d found the old songs on YouTube, from when The Bellas really sang, and then she listened to the demo again.

It all culminated to confirm what she already knew; Chloe was absolutely the leader, and she had let herself and the group get complacent.

She’d let their personalities override the music - the beginning of the end, for a lot of groups Beca had seen.

And she’d let that drill sergeant manager baby them until their talents were nearly unrecognizable.

It was infuriating.

It made her blood boil - even more than getting shot down the redhead. It pissed her off so much so that she couldn’t even let Chloe sing today - couldn’t stand to hear that crystalline perfection that had gotten distilled down to cheap sugar pop. She couldn’t let Chloe let herself be one of many instead of the one to make a difference, the one that could take their music up to where it deserved to be.

She clenched her jaw tightly.

How could someone as talented as Chloe pretend like she didn’t have a say in this group?

And was it really Beca’s place to force that responsibility on her?

“Take a couple days,” Beca was saying as she checked her phone.

Time first, and fuck, Doozie was supposed to be there in a half hour, and she still needed to mix everything down.

Then the messages, but Beca barely even registered that she had a dinner invitation from Anna - the blonde from after NYE, because Chloe Beale was NYE in her mind.

A new start, a new project.

A resolution to be… something.

Different, maybe.

It was the same, but Chloe made it different.

And Anna had been the easy kind of fun, but Residual would never sign off on a relationship with a relative nobody. But Beca wasn’t really thinking about pursuing Anna anyway.

Even with blonde locks between her thighs, Beca saw red.

Beca stood up to distract herself, moving chairs around even though nobody would be in the studio for the rest of the day. She had to do something to get her mind out of the gutter.

“You can use one of the other studios,” she told the group. “No instruments, and no choreography. And definitely no social media.”

Don’t let it control you, she thought as she shuddered. Don’t let it change you any more than it already has.

“I’ll see how you’re doing on Thursday morning,” she said. “But right now, you dudes have to get out.”

She knew they’d be pissed about her bailing on them, but a little heat under the collar was good sometimes, to help motivate. She’d made herself a common enemy, and that was fine. They’d be united against her, and that competitive spirit would drive them further.

A little heat under the collar was great, actually, if it meant Chloe would look at her like that. All hot, fiery passion that settled in Beca’s stomach like flowing lava.

But then CR brought up Anna, and she saw Chloe’s face fall.

Was she not in on the game?

Nah, she had to be.

Nobody plays this good without consciously participating.

Still, she didn’t look at Chloe again as The Bellas left. She shut the door, leaving herself inside, and pulled up Anna’s messages.

She grimaced as she typed out a message she’d perfected over the years.

hey, I had a great time with you the other night, it’s just that work is so crazy right now…

*****

“Oh, hi Chloe. Good to see you.”

She meant it, too. It was good to see Chloe. She was still learning Chloe’s moods, and her expressions. She liked to see the competitive one, and the lustful one, and the smiling, hopeful one that she got when she watched her friends sing, and the-

Oh, that one was new.

Her jaw was dropped in jarring disbelief, eyes wide.

Right. I’m supposed to play the game.

“Sorry, I didn’t realize we were starting this early,” she scrambled. She re-situated, wiping away all the good thoughts so she could assume her dickish persona.

It was hard to remember sometimes, that she couldn’t be herself and just say things that came to her mind.

Especially when she was sleepy.

“Well, what are you waiting for? Sing.”

*****

Beca was buzzing.

She fiddled with some knobs on her ancient mixing board, resetting them to zero in then cranking them all the way up. Anything to keep from looking at Chloe Beale across from her in the Broom Closet.

She desperately wanted to show her the office. How Chloe had read her so quickly, knew her ins and outs, Beca didn’t know, but Chloe did - and correctly, too. And so Beca wanted to prove that she wasn’t that stale, corporate office upstairs. She was more than that, and she wanted Chloe to know that too, but she wasn’t about to ruin her second-best-kept secret to a relative stranger.

Was she?

Chloe wouldn’t tell.

You don’t know that, she argued back.

You trust her.

That was probably the scariest part of all of this, that she trusted Chloe implicitly. Quickly. After not trusting anyone for so long.

Beca thought it was Chloe’s face.

So far, Chloe had worn all of her thoughts across her brow, and in the shallows of her cheeks. Her eyes betrayed every emotion, in their creased corners, in conjunction with an upturned brow. She was an honest person, Beca could tell just by looking at her. She was real.

Yeah, unlike you.

Beca wondered how Chloe was so good at playing this devilish, sexy game they were playing when she was such an honest person, but Beca figured that was just because the redhead was a natural flirt.

She could tell that too.

“Are we recording something?” Chloe broke off her thinking, and Beca quickly spun around to face her.

“No, I was just-”

-thinking about telling you everything about myself because I’m inexplicably drawn to you.

“Nothing. Okay. You wrote stuff. I hope it doesn’t suck.”

Chloe said something, but Beca didn’t even hear it over the onslaught of mental cursing. Chloe was a great writer - she’d looked up writing credits for the songs, watched some TikToks where The Bellas talked about writing, and it always came back to Chloe - and Beca knew that she was good, that she had written the best songs on the album.

But that idle fear, the one that said those were a fluke and she’d have to tell Chloe that her songs weren’t good, that part of her had controlled her mouth for two terrible seconds.

And it stayed now, as Beca eyed the notebook in Chloe’s hands.

“Give it.”

Rip off the bandaid.

Beca grabbed the notebook and started reading.

And oh, thank god Chloe wasn’t a one (or six) hit wonder.

Her words painted a picture of desire, with dark metaphors of curtains and waves and rose-covered beds. Beca swallowed thickly at the raw sexuality imbued into the lyrics, though she scolded herself for being surprised. She knew now that Chloe was a sexual person, but the songs she’d written before… they weren’t like this.

Chloe was talking, explaining something, but Beca held up her hand to stop her. The song was repetitive, thankfully, so even though Chloe had written to the bottom of the page, Beca didn’t have much more to vet.

Nothing on the back, either.

“Do you play guitar? Or piano?” she asked aloud. She couldn’t look up, so she kept her eyes down as the words swam in front of her.

If I have to focus on something while she sings…

Chloe confirmed that she didn’t play an instrument, and Beca got nervous again. She couldn’t play while Chloe was singing! She couldn’t even think while Chloe was singing! The medley this afternoon had proven that.

She felt a wave of arousal rock through her core.

Chloe’s voice was sexy.

She shook her head. Maybe she could still get out of this, if the song wasn’t finished.

“You have a melody for this one?” she asked, handing Chloe her notebook back.

“Yeah,” the redhead breathed.

Fuck.

She felt herself nodding, and she kept her eyes trained down. She didn’t want Chloe to see what was in them - hope, and fear, and nerves. She was focusing so hard on just trying to be a professional that she didn’t even notice that Chloe hadn’t started singing yet.

So Beca looked up, and she saw Chloe was nervous too.

Fuck, she thought. I’m fucking all of this up.

The least she should be doing was making the artist feel comfortable, Beca knew that. Had known it for years.

But that had never been her forte. Beca wasn’t good at coddling or comforting.

So, she made a split-second decision.

She fell back on ol’ reliable: Be A Gaslighting, Manipulative Dick.

I hope I don’t regret this.

“What?” Beca barked at Chloe. “I’m not going to be a dick.”

“Well I don’t know that!” Chloe snapped back, and Beca watched the intensity flare up in the redhead’s eye.

Good.

“It’s not like you’ve been sunshine and rainbows so far!”

It was like riding a bike, rolling her eyes condescendingly. Some part of her was screaming that it shouldn’t come this easily, being a dick to someone - especially someone who was looking at her like Chloe was just now, like she was about to cry.

She gritted her teeth.

Do your job, Mitchell.

Make her pain worth it.

“Unlike you, right?” Beca laughed mirthlessly. “So positive, so determined. All that naive optimism. Where does it come from, hm? Do you really think your Bellas earned it? Tell me, did you like being a big fish in a small pond?”

“Don’t talk down to me, Mitchell!” Chloe screamed back. She was so close, Beca knew it.

“I know my girls are talented. I know what we have, and what we’ll become, and I think you do too!”

That one hit Beca.

Because - and not to stereotype - but lead singers weren’t necessarily the most observant type to anyone besides themselves. Some of the good songwriters were, like Taylor or Jack, but the ones that Beca spent most of her time with were - on the whole - stupid, vapid narcissists.

And Chloe wasn’t that.

“Maybe I do, maybe I don’t,” Beca tried to cover, but she heard Chloe scoff. She had to get her back on track, get her back to the music, so they could move forward with the goldmine that lay in her hands.

C’mon Chloe, give up the game for a minute.

“Sing for me, or don’t,” Beca sighed, clicking on her phone and not seeing any information on it. She could feel Chloe’s glare on her, so she added, “I have other things I could be doing."

C’mon, Chlo.

Take the bait.

She was shoving her phone back in her hoodie pocket when Chloe started to sing.

Beca let out a quiet sigh of relief, holding back from wiping the sweat from her upper lip.

She’d never come that close to breaking before, to dropping the character and just asking like a normal person.

She wondered what Chloe would think, if she saw that.

If she saw her real office and heard her real thoughts. Away from the cameras and their expectations.

She wondered what Chloe expression she’d learn that day.

*****

“The ginga’s gonna kill you for stealing her shit, shortstack,” Fat Amy called across the Popcorn studio.

Oh.

They’re talking to me.

Beca dragged her eyes off the notebook up to Chloe in the booth. The redhead was glaring at her so potently, Beca could almost feel heat coming off the glass.

Oh, so you’re allowed to play games by giving me a super sexy notebook that basically serves as a window into your passionate, fiery soul, but I’m not allowed to read it? Beca thought.

Begrudgingly, she closed the notebook and turned to the other Bellas behind her.

“She gave it to me, weirdo,” Beca said in response. “I wouldn’t steal her shit.”

Beca didn’t know what she was expecting to see, but the shock and confusion on the singers’ faces was not it. They looked like Beca had just told them the president was coming by, not something as banal as the truth, that Chloe had let her read her notebook.

Unless-

She looked up at Chloe again.

Oh, she thought, and she felt her own confusion transform into glee and cockiness.

They don’t know, do they? she mentally asked the talented singer. They don’t know what you wrote in here, and they don’t know why you gave it to me. They don’t know this game that we’re playing. Chloe Beale, you little minx.

She let her true emotions fall away and put on hard mask instead.

“Looks like I get to see a different side of her, eh?” she asked the group, letting a smidgen of lusty spite flavor her tone. Chloe was good at this game, and Beca would have to step up her moves to keep up.

And she would.

Because if this notebook was any indication, things were seriously heating up.

*****

Beca could barely stop shaking long enough to hang up the phone.

She shuddered as she re-wrapped the plush resort robe that she’d thrown over her bathing suit, yanking the belt and relishing in the sharp pain in her ribs.

Her clit was still throbbing.

“BM? You done with your call?”

Kalina paced in off the balcony, pulling one of her headphones out.

“Did you see that text from Ronnie? She said we can tease the break-up on the plane back,” the actress said to her phone.

But then she glanced up.

“Oh, honey,” Kalina soothed as she rushed to her side. Beca’s breathing was erratic as Kalina joined her on their bed, and she kept trying to take deep breaths, but they kept breaking on impact with the back of her throat, with her soft palette.

Kalina wrapped an arm around her shoulders, but Beca shook it off.

“Is this about the new girl?”

She didn’t trust her voice, so Beca nodded.

“It’s going to work out,” the actress hummed, but Beca cut her off.

“I really fucked up, Kal,” she huffed out. She wasn’t crying - she wouldn’t cry, not like that, she was so mad - but her voice still broke as she went on. “I pushed too hard, and the whole producer-client relationship, it’s so fucked up-”

“Hey,” Kalina cut in. “You said she’s smart, right?”

Beca nodded, dropping her head to her friend’s bare shoulder. It was warm from the sun, and it felt good against Beca’s cheek.

“Then tell her what you told me about Residual. It sounds like she already likes you for you - can see past all that bullshit you put out there - so just be upfront, dude,” the actress sighed. “Let her make her own choice when you put it all out there. She sounds like she’s worth it.”

Beca nodded again, keeping her head burrowed so she could wipe tears against Kalina’s skin.

She wasn’t crying.

“Yeah,” she said quietly. “Maybe.”

“It’ll work,” Kalina asserted, and Beca let herself believe her. She’d been right so far - about the press, about the places to eat, about how they would actually get along - so why couldn’t she be right about this?

“Okay,” Kalina bookended the conversation as she threw her arm back around Beca. “Now let’s go run up a huge room service bill on Ronnie’s card.”

Beca laughed in spite of the tears she wasn’t crying.

“Okay, but I get first dibs on the mini-bar,” the producer replied, and Kalina giggled.

“Of course,” she agreed as Beca trotted out of the room.

“Save me a shooter of rum though!”

*****

So Beca did tell Chloe the truth.

And Chloe let her go.

It was what Beca wanted.

And it wasn’t.

She tried to go back to distractions - women, booze, music - and only Kalina tried to stop her.

And then they started writing to each other again, and Beca had to lock herself in her office to keep from running upstairs to see her, to talk to her.

But she had to hold back.

Because the thing was, Chloe was helping The Bellas put together some incredible music in Beca’s absence. And Beca was able to get their tracks mastered. Professionally, everything was perfectly functional between them, in a way it hadn’t been before and likely wouldn’t be if they were in the same room.

So Beca had gotten what she wanted.

This is what you wanted, right?

She convinced herself it was, until she saw Chloe on the dance floor at the club.

She saw Fat Amy first, when the woman yelled for a second time. She wasn’t in the booth just then - she was out at the railing, looking over the club patrons with a sort of ignorant wistfulness, because it was always easier to assume that strangers were happy, wasn’t it? - and when she heard Amy shout something to Aubrey, the manager, she knew.

She traced Chloe’s movement over the dance floor, towards the lower tier table service. She watched her drink, and then she watched her dance.

And then she watched her dance.

And while she consciously put on her Miley/City Girls mix, she didn’t even think about it when she lied to the bouncer, telling him that she saw the first guy put something in someone’s drink.

She couldn’t help it.

It’s jealousy, she told herself, but she knew that wasn’t it.

They didn’t deserve to stand so close to Chloe, to know what it was like to feel her body undulating beneath theirs. They didn’t even know what she looked like when Stacie threw a flawless run at the end of the Tequila with Lime chorus, or how she laughed when Fat Amy cracked an unintelligible Australian joke. They didn’t know what she sounded like when she sang a new song, all nerves but hopeful and excited.

They didn’t know that she didn’t know she was perfectly imperfect.

And Beca was just going to talk to her, she was.

But then she pushed her against the car, and Chloe was wearing her jacket, and then Beca kissed her, and then Chloe was naked, and then Beca was naked and so turned on, and Chloe was taking her shoes and jeans off with the utmost care and-

And she was fucking it up again.

She splintered it into a thousand pieces and let it stay that way - leaning harder into her dark nights with beautiful strangers. The Bellas were rising and she was spiraling down, letting every bit of herself fall away as she got swallowed into the world she had accepted for herself.

This is what you wanted, right? her mind mocked when she was sober, so she wasn’t sober.

Wasn’t, until she watched The Bellas on James Corden.

She cried that night.

Big, heavy tears that she knew were due in part to the insane chemical drop from whatever she’d done the night before.

But she watched Chloe Beale call her “incredibly talented” on national TV, and she cried.

She swore she’d never been this broken.

*****

And then - somehow, on one of the most important nights of her life - Chloe Beale was magnanimous when she put Beca back together again.

And she knew, no matter what she tried to tell herself, this was what she wanted.

This, in this case, being Chloe Beale.

*****

****

***

**

*

Chloe let gravity do most of the work as she tumbled into Beca.

She fell over the brunette, throwing a hand out across the comforter just in time to catch herself from landing completely on top of her. She pushed herself up just slightly, just enough to see Beca laid out underneath her, but the brunette had already surged upwards to kiss her again. Chloe giggled into the kiss, and she felt Beca smile in return.

The mood had shifted; the frenetic lust had given way to something intimate as they moved into the dark bedroom, and Chloe let herself be taken under the slowed, cresting wave.

Languidly they kissed, like they had all of the time in the world to explore each other’s mouths. Chloe didn’t think about how she was leaving in two weeks because she couldn’t think about anything at all when Beca ran a careful hand up the side of her neck. Couldn’t maintain a single cogent thought when Beca’s fingers curled into the stray hair she found at the nape of her neck, twisting idly in a way that felt more grounding than passionate.

She licked into Beca’s mouth with imperfect precision, drinking in every taste and moan and sharp inhale that Beca offered to her. And she let herself be heard as her chest rumbled with growing want, curling a leg between the brunette’s legs beneath her.

Chloe hummed as she pulled back, out of the kiss, and she watched Beca’s eyes blink open slowly. She ran her thumb over the producer’s eyebrow as she looked through the darkness, taking at her every feature.

Beca closed her eyes slowly, then blinked them open again.

Chloe ran her thumb over Beca’s temple, and over the sharp jut of her cheekbone. She leaned down and kissed Beca again.

Beca’s mouth was open as her lips met Chloe’s, and Chloe hummed against her lips, against her tongue, into her waiting mouth. Her hands framed the brunette’s face, thumbs tucked against where her jaw ran up in front of her ears and fingers wrapped under. Dark brown hair tickled her fingers as she met Beca’s tongue over and over again.

Minutes or hours or eons passed, and Chloe eventually sat back, straddling Beca so she could rid herself of the brunette’s jacket. Beca settled herself up on one of her elbows so she could help push the fabric off Chloe’s shoulders, and the garment fell back against Beca’s legs. She kicked it away as awkwardly and gracefully as she could.

They sat there, watching each other for a moment before Chloe broke the silence.

“This is okay, right?” she asked. “It’s okay if I stay here, if we do this?”

Beca leaned forward to press a kiss into the collar of Chloe’s workout top.

“Yeah,” she exhaled against the thin fabric, and Chloe sucked in a deep breath. “I want this. You want this too, right?”

“More than anything,” Chloe replied without missing a beat. She pushed Beca back so she could kiss her, and while it was still slow, there was some deliberateness in it now that was missing before. She knew Beca felt it too, because the brunette inhaled sharply, sending cool air across Chloe’s tongue where it probed into Beca’s mouth.

She felt Beca’s hands at the hem of her shirt, and she leaned back enough to let Beca pull it away from her body, up, and over her head. The fabric protested as it stalled at Chloe’s face, and Chloe heard Beca huff from the other side of her temporary prison.

“Hey, don’t get mad at me,” Chloe laughed breathlessly. “I didn’t dress to be undressed today.”

She heard Beca huff again, and her hands fell away from the tricky fabric.

“It was deceivingly loose. I thought it’d be stretchy,” Beca said, and Chloe giggled as she pulled the top of the rest of the way off. She could see Beca again now, and the brunette was - adorably - pouting.

Chloe leaned forward to kiss Beca on the cheek, and as she started to lean back, and Beca used her hands to redirect the redhead to her mouth. Chloe began to slide her arms across her body, slipping her hands under her sports bra, then lifting, and Beca broke the kiss to allow for the movement and to watch as Chloe shed the bra over her head. Then, she leaned in, pressing a kiss against Chloe’s sternum before kissing her way over to one of the stiff peaks.

She took the nipple into her mouth as her hand came up to Chloe’s other breast, and Chloe let out a shaky groan as her body rolled forward. She tangled her hands in Beca’s hair as Beca laved Chloe’s nipple with reverent passes of her hot mouth, with only the sharp glide of her teeth providing any respite from the torturous heat. Just when Chloe was about to break, to pull Beca’s head away from her sensitive nipple, the brunette switched sides. She brought a hand up to the already pampered and now neglected breast, massaging it gently as she pressed her mouth across the way.

Chloe’s hands tightened in the brunette’s hair, and Beca returned to the middle of Chloe’s chest, placing a kiss between her breasts before leaning back.

Chloe dropped her head to kiss her, capturing her lips between her own. Her tongue pressed deep into Beca’s mouth, and she felt Beca moan roughly. She rolled her hips against Beca’s waist, and Beca pulled back, eyes blinking open lazily.

“Is it okay if I-”

“Yes,” Chloe replied, voice raspy and rough and thick all at the same time. “Whatever it is, yes, I’m on board.”

Beca exhaled a laugh. She pressed on Chloe’s shoulder, and the redhead rotated, laying down and letting Beca move over her, but the brunette stayed off to the side. She reached for the waistband of Chloe’s shorts, curling fingers around them before tugging gently. Chloe lifted her hips, and Beca pulled everything down in one fell swoop.

Beca moved down to remove Chloe’s shorts from her legs, then stepped off the bed completely to shed her own clothes. Chloe sat up, willing her body to be patient as it rolled against nothing, watching Beca undress for her. Beca was flushed, with blown pupils and swollen lips, her hair disheveled from where Chloe had been pulling at it.

But what Chloe focused on was the minute tension that pulled at the corner of Beca’s mouth.

A smirk, but not the one Chloe was used to seeing.

This one was accompanied by wide, happy eyes, and two raised brows. Excitement, and joy, and a sort of breathless wonder that had Chloe thinking that Beca was looking at something that she really, really liked.

Something that she maybe loved.

Beca removed every stitch of clothing on her body before sidling back up beside Chloe, crawling next to her and pulling her in for a deep kiss. She let her fingers trace over Chloe’s hipbone slowly, methodically, like she was writing sonnets on her skin. Chloe clutched at the skin stretched taut over Beca’s ribs. She felt delirious with lust and desire, eyes closing and mouth falling into a blissful smile as she let Beca claim her mouth, then her neck, then the top of her breast.

And the touches got firmer as Beca traced off Chloe’s hipbone, into the fold of her hip. Then those fingers slid along the bone between. Chloe tried to keep stay down, but her body turned and rolled, chasing Beca’s hand as it stilled against her, mere centimeters from where Chloe needed her most.

Beca’s mouth had stilled its movements as well, and Chloe opened her eyes.

Beca was smiling softly as she watched her, and as soon as Chloe met her gaze, her hand pressed forward.

Chloe’s hips surged forward as Beca pressed against Chloe’s clit, passing it to drag her fingers through Chloe’s arousal, then further, barely pausing before sliding two fingers into the redhead. Chloe gasped as her eyes squeezed shut, mouth open in a wide smile.

Fuck,” she moaned, and the fingers inside her curled sharply. They slid out slowly, then back in to the same spot, curling the same way, and Chloe’s eyes shot open.

“I’m not- fuck Beca - I’m not going to last long,” she groaned, her body contorting to meet Beca’s movements. Beca’s eyes flashed down her body - to the taut lines of her contracting abs, and the solid muscle of her arm where it bent to grasp Beca wherever she could - then her eyes resumed their gaze on her face. Her fingers continued to pump in and out of Chloe at an almost maddeningly slow pace, but Chloe wouldn’t change it. Not when Chloe could feel every twitch of movement that the brunette made. She bucked into Beca’s hand wantonly, and her eyes fell closed again as she made high, keening sounds.

“Yeah, that’s okay,” Beca chuckled. “I don’t think this is the only time we’ll be doing this.”

She leaned down, nudging Chloe back onto her back, and Chloe felt her press a kiss under her ear. Chloe wasn’t even sure she was making audible noise anymore as she gasped for breath.

Close, so close, if she could-

Beca curled her fingers just right, and the heel of her hand brushed against Chloe’s clit, and Chloe burst apart.

Sound rushed out of her as she felt the whole world narrow sharply, pleasure exploding in bright swirls of blue and white and yellow, and her body sang of exquisite rightness, of here and now and yes. The coiling gave way, the dam burst, and her chest cracked open with a lack of breath and a surplus of heartbeats. Her hips peaked in their movement, staying suspended high above the plane of the bed as she clenched around Beca’s fingers, heels driving down, thighs taut as she squeezed with her hands and her body. She probably made some kind of noise, but she couldn’t hear it over the rush of blood in her ears. Then her body was falling back, back down onto the mortal plane, but her mind stayed suspended above it, waiting for her pulse to stop thudding, just for a moment.

“I could do that forever,” Beca whispered against her neck, and Chloe’s body clenched involuntarily. She wasn’t even sure Beca had said anything at all or if she had just imagined it, but then she felt Beca let out a small laugh.

“Yeah, I could do that forever.”

Chloe felt the words etch themselves into the sleek, sweat-drenched skin of her neck where Beca had forced her head. Beca pressed a kiss there, as if to seal the words in place, and Chloe smiled as she tried to catch her breath.

“Yeah,” Chloe agreed a few moments later, turning to press a kiss to the side of Beca’s face. “I’m cool with forever, as long as you let me return the favor.”

Beca wriggled her head out from under Chloe’s and kissed her soundly, stealing the breath that Chloe had so recently caught. But she was smiling, and as Chloe tried and failed to keep up with the kiss - her body still boneless and spent - Beca started to chuckle.

“Deal,” she agreed against her lips.

“Do you wanna come with us? On tour?” Chloe asked suddenly.

“What?” Beca asked, leaning back so she could look into Chloe’s eyes.

“I think you should come,” Chloe said quietly, looking from one of Beca’s dark eyes to the other, skirting her gaze across the brunette’s face, looking for any sign of hesitancy. “It’s only a couple weeks. I think you could use a real vacation instead of all those fake ones.”

And it was wonderful, to watch Beca’s look of consternation break into one of absolute elation. It was like someone uncovered a whole library of unheard music, or someone stumbled upon fresh baked cookies on a cold afternoon. An unbridled joy overwhelmed Beca’s every feature, and it filled Chloe with light. Her body immediately thrummed with renewed gusto.

Chloe watched as Beca tried to downplay her happiness with a small eye roll.

“I mean there’s no way I’m going to Coachella, but-”

Chloe squealed, rolling over and pinning Beca beneath her, kissing her fully but quickly, pulling back.

“You’ll come?”

Beca smiled warmly.

“Yeah, Chlo,” she smirked, but it was that happy one again. “I mean, you’d be nothing without my input.”

And the scoffs and the laughter became squeals and shouts, which became moans and whimpers and groans and curses. Then there were whispered confessions and soft giggles. And finally, there were steady breaths and gentle snores.

Singing and cheering and acceptance speeches with their too-short thank yous.

Questions would come later, and there might be whispers, but they wouldn’t hear those.

Right now, they wouldn’t hear anything except the music they made together.

And Chloe thought that maybe, it was the best song she’d ever heard.