Actions

Work Header

we’re looking for something dumb to do (I think I wanna marry you)

Work Text:

“Do you ever feel like you’re missing out?”

Beca doesn’t look away from whatever HGTV show they’re watching, shoving some popcorn in her mouth. “On getting your kitchen remodeled? All the time.”

“No, not that,” Chloe says, as if Beca should have been reading her mind. Beca glances over to where she’s sitting at the other end of the couch, intensely focused on something on her phone. “Do you ever feel like you’re missing out on being married?”

Beca wrinkles her nose and turns back to the TV. “Not particularly.” She shovels some more popcorn into her mouth. “Divorced parents and all that.”

“Look at this.” Chloe slides over until she’s pressed to Beca’s side, phone held up in front of them. Her Instagram feed is open, displaying picture after picture of their friends showing off their happy relationships. “It’s like all the girls have either gotten married or are getting married. Stacie and Aubrey, Ashley and Jessica, Benji and Emily. Hell, even Amy and Bumper are finally tying the knot.”

“I still stand by the belief that they’ll call off the wedding at least two more times before it finally happens,” Beca says, still scrolling through Chloe’s Instagram.

“My point still stands,” Chloe says, liking a sappy post from Stacie about Aubrey even as she speaks. “Everyone is settling down and starting their life together, meanwhile I’m here watching random people choose terrible wall colors for their new bathrooms.”

Beca shakes her head, eyes on the screen. “It really does look awful.”

Chloe makes a disgusted noise. “It really does. Orange and yellow? Really? What kind of vibes are they going for here?”

“I think the vibes of poor taste.

“Nice,” Chloe says, holding up a hand without looking at Beca. Beca automatically gives her a high five. “But really, do you not feel at all jealous that most of our friends are married at this point? Not even a little bit?’

Beca shrugs. “I just don’t really see the point in marriage, I guess. Like, what makes it so special?”

“Companionship, commitment, someone who will love you no matter what for the rest of your life,” Chloe immediately lists off. “Just to name a few.”

Beca snorts. “Marriage is basically just agreeing to clean up after someone and pretend to find their jokes funny until you die.”

“Well if that’s marriage, we’re basically there already.”

Exactly- wait, hey!” Beca protests, squinting her eyes at Chloe. She sticks her tongue out at Beca and they’re so close together she ends up licking the end of her nose. Beca makes a disgruntled squawking sound and rubs furiously at her nose with the sleeve of her sweater, glaring even harder at Chloe.

Chloe only laughs and leans more into Beca’s side.

They watch TV in companionable silence for a few minutes, Chloe still scrolling through her phone while Beca finishes her bowl of popcorn.

“I still wish I was married.”

Beca sighs. They’re still on this? “If you want to be married so bad, I’ll marry you.”

Chloe slowly looks at Beca with wide eyes. “Are you feeling okay? Are you drunk right now?” She presses the back of her hand against Beca’s forehead and Beca bats it away with a scowl.

“I am not drunk. It’s two in the afternoon, Chlo; I have a little more self-respect than that.” Beca sits forward slightly to place the empty popcorn bowl on the coffee table and turns to give Chloe her full attention. “Why shouldn’t we get married? It’s not a bad idea.”

“It’s a terrible idea,” Chloe says, though she’s smiling. “We’re not even together. What if we meet someone and have to explain that ‘oh, yes, I’m married to my best friend, but I promise we don’t have sex or anything.’ What if we have to get a divorce?”

Beca waves her hand around. “Semantics, Beale. Look-” Beca fully turns to face Chloe on the couch, one leg hanging off the edge and the other tucked underneath her. “This is a limited time offer. If you don’t say yes right now, I’m going to come to my senses in an hour and hide in my room for a week.”

Chloe nods her head and mumbles how true that is under her breath.

“I’m serious, why not just get married?” Beca continues. “We’ve already established that we’re basically a married couple, and not just because you don’t like my jokes anymore. Think about it: I make us dinner every night, we watch the same lame ass shows whenever we get home from work, we RSVP to weddings and shit as a pair. Hell, the Bellas have made enough jokes about it over the years. Why not make it official and get some tax benefits while we’re at it?”

Chloe laughs a little breathily and looks away, her face set deep in thought. After a moment, she glances back at Beca with a wry grin. “It’s a terrible idea, Bec.”

Beca grins, knowing that she already won. “Do you want me to ask you properly?”

Chloe hums. “That would be nice, yes.”

“Wait here for two seconds.”

Beca hops over Chloe’s legs and scurries to her room, digging around in her jewelry box for a ring. She doesn’t allow herself to second-guess her incredibly stupid spontaneity of literally asking her best friend to marry her and instead pulls out her class ring from high school, hoping that it will fit on Chloe’s finger.

When she emerges back into the living room, Chloe is exactly where she left her. Beca gestures for her to stand up and waves her over, which she does without question. As soon as she’s close enough, Beca takes both her hands in her own and kneels on one knee, grunting at the hardwood floor.

“Wait, wait, wait,” Chloe interjects before Beca can even say anything. “Are you really going to do this with Flip or Flop playing in the background?”

Beca rolls her eyes but gets back to her feet, grabbing the remote off the coffee table and flicking the TV off. She goes to kneel again, once more groaning when her knee hits the hard floor.

“Oh, and music! A good proposal should always have music.”

Beca grumbles under her breath as she stands up again, snatching her phone from the couch to search through her Spotify for a song. “Marry Me” by Train starts playing a moment later and she sets her phone down on the coffee table.

“Do you need anything else? Because I’m pretty sure that if you keep making me kneel down I’ll need knee surgery way before we’re old and gray.”

Chloe bites her bottom lip against a smile and shakes her head.

“Good,” Beca huffs petulantly before sinking to the hard floor one last time. She looks up at Chloe and is surprised to see tears shining in her eyes. Beca can’t help but smile at the sight- of course Chloe would get emotional over a proposal, even a fake one.

“Chloe Beale,” Beca says, reaching out and taking Chloe’s left hand with her right. “Would you, for all platonic intents and purposes, do me the highest honor of becoming my wife?”

And damn if Beca didn’t feel the butterflies, too.

Chloe lets out a watery laugh. “Yes. A thousand times, yes.”

Beca only has enough time to slide her class ring onto Chloe’s finger and groan about how cheesy that response was before Chloe is pulling her to her feet and into a hug. Beca yelps when she’s lifted into the air, feet flailing and hands clinging hard to Chloe’s shoulders. Chloe lowers her safely back to the ground a moment later, pressing a kiss to Beca’s cheek before hugging her tight again.

“Jesus, dude,” Beca says, out of breath for some reason. “It’s like- it’s not a big deal, like, at all.”

But her cheeks are flushed when she says it, and she tightens her arms around Chloe as that stupid Train song continues playing in the background.

* * *

They get married as soon as they both have time in their schedules, which turns out to be the following Tuesday during their lunch breaks. Chloe is still in her scrubs from work when Beca meets her on the steps of town hall.

“You ready?” Chloe asks, automatically reaching out to lace their fingers together.

Beca glances at the time. “I have 45 minutes. Let’s do this.”

They are directed to the fourth floor where a little old lady sits behind a desk with the title Vital Record Certificates. Chloe bounces right up to her with a wide smile, dragging Beca along with her.

“We would like a marriage license, please.”

The lady barely glances up at them. “What is the date of the wedding?”

“Today.”

The lady rolls her eyes. “Let me guess, you want to be married right now.”

Chloe doesn’t seem perturbed by her grumpy attitude. Probably because she’s been living with Beca for ten years. “That’s right!” she chirps.

The lady – Ethel, Beca reads on her nametag – ushers them into a back room with a wave of her hand. She sits behind a desk and starts filling out a fresh marriage certificate. Beca looks around the small, cramped office space with a hum.

“Is this how you thought your wedding would go, Chlo?”

Chloe also takes in the room. “Not at all. I pictured more roses. And less filing cabinets. But at least there’s music.”

The provided music is “Jump” by Van Halen, which plays from a crackly stereo in the corner. Beca wouldn’t necessarily count that as a win.

A man in a suit walks into the already crowded room. “Hello, my name is Carl. I will be officiating your marriage today.”

Chloe lets out an excited squeal. “Pleased to meet you, Carl.”

“I need your full names for the license,” Ethel says, interrupting their conversation.

“Rebecca Elizabeth Mitchell,” Beca mutters.

“Chloe Marie Beale,” Chloe supplies.

The sound of writing and paper shuffling follows, Ethel still grumbling quietly under her breath.

Beca glances at the time again. “Shit, twenty minutes to get back to the studio. Let’s make this quick, Carl.”

Carl blinks back and forth between the two of them before clearing his throat. “Do you, Rebecca Mitchell, take Chloe to be your wife, as long as you both shall live?”

“Oh yeah, for sure.”

“And do you, Chloe Beale, take Beca to be your wife, as long as you both shall live?”

Chloe smile grows impossibly wider. “I do.”

Carl nods. “Then by the power vested in me by the State of New York, I now pronounce you wife and wife.”

Beca is almost expecting the kiss that Chloe pulls her into, but that doesn’t stop the squeak of surprise she makes when Chloe grabs her face and presses their lips together. The kiss is short and Beca’s cheeks are on fire when Chloe pulls away, patting her enflamed cheek affectionately before thanking Carl and turning to sign the marriage certificate at Ethel’s behest. And then Beca is signing it. And just like that-

Beca is married.

“This was a terrible idea,” Beca says as soon as they’re outside again.

Chloe admires their copy of the marriage license they just signed with the same glee she’s had since they got there. “This is going on the fridge at home.”

“Chloe, we just got married,” Beca stresses, already feeling herself spiral. “What the hell is wrong with us?”

“It was your idea, remember?” Chloe points out, unreasonably calm. She suddenly gasps and perks up, dropping the certificate down to her side to grab onto Beca’s shoulder. “We should celebrate! Let’s go out to eat tonight, someplace nice- my treat. Actually, we really ought to share bank accounts now. Our treat.”

Although she still feels herself slipping into a minor crisis, Beca can’t help but laugh at Chloe’s exuberance. “Sure, wherever you want. Just let me know and I’ll make a reservation.”

Chloe flashes her a smile. “Perfect,” she says, leaning over to peck Beca on the cheek. “You better get back to work. I’ll see you at home, wifey!”

Beca rolls her eyes at the nickname and waves behind her head as she walks away, but she knows that the grin that’s made its way onto her face will be sticking with her for the rest of the day.

* * *

Naturally, Aubrey is the first person they tell.

“You what?”

“I said, and then during my lunch break Beca and I went down to town hall and got married. Oh, and then when I got back to work the dog had already thrown up again-”

“Chloe, I love you, but can you please stop talking and answer my questions.”

Chloe shuts her mouth with a huff, staring at Aubrey’s face on her computer expectantly.

“Can we please rewind to the fact that you and Beca are apparently married now? How is that possible?”

“Bree, gay marriage has been legal in this country for years now. Since 2015, in fact.”

“I-” Aubrey pauses to take a deep breath, eyes closed and hands pressed together in front of her face as if she was praying. She opens her eyes a moment later and starts again, slower this time. “Chloe, I am literally married to a woman. You were the maid of honor at our wedding. I know how gay marriage works. What I want to know is how you and Beca are married. I didn’t even think you were together.”

“Oh.” Chloe blinks. “That. Well, I mean, she’s my best friend, you know? And we talked about it and thought it was a good idea.”

Never mind the fact that they had both said how bad of an idea it was on numerous occasions.

“What about the big wedding you’ve always wanted?” Aubrey questions. “The cake, the flowers, the dress- does all of that mean nothing to you now?”

Chloe shrugs, feeling a little sheepish. Leave it to Aubrey and her complete rationality to make Chloe doubt her actions. “I mean, don’t get me wrong, I would still love all of that one day. But Beca and I aren’t getting younger, you know? This is just like… a backup plan. Only it’s become the first plan, and the old first plan is now the backup plan.” Chloe blinks a few times. “Does that make sense?”

“Not in the slightest.”

Chloe slumps against the couch cushions. “Nothing has changed with us, really. I guess we both just wanted a taste of the married life.”

“Really, both of you?”

“Okay, maybe it was mostly me, but Beca hasn’t seemed to mind it all that much so far.” Chloe perks up again. “Marriage comes with some cool perks, actually! Like, if we mention that we’re newlyweds at restaurants, sometimes they’ll give us free dessert.”

Aubrey sighs wistfully. “Those were the days. Enjoy it while it lasts, I suppose. Though you should know I don’t approve of Beca in the slightest. You are far too good for her.”

Beca walks through the door that moment, pizza box balanced on her hand. Her headphones are placed securely over her ears, so she doesn’t hear Aubrey’s comment, but her eyes quickly find Chloe sitting on the couch regardless. Chloe gives her the best heart eyes she can muster, and Beca responds by sticking her tongue out at her.

“No,” Chloe tells Aubrey, eyes still on Beca. “I think she’s just perfect for me.”

* * *

Chloe is laying on Beca’s floor when the thought strikes her.

She bolts upright. “Rings!”

Beca raises an eyebrow at her from her bed, fingers typing away at her computer. “Rings?”

“We should get rings,” Chloe clarifies, pushing herself onto the bed and crawling over to plop down beside Beca. “It’s been two weeks since we got married and we still don’t have rings.”

Beca looks at her with a confused look on her face. “But I already gave you a ring.”

Chloe rolls her eyes. “No offense, Bec, but I’d rather not have a green ring with RHS 2011 engraved on it to symbolize my lifelong devotion to you.”

Beca squints at her. “Gross.”

“We need rings,” Chloe repeats, finality in her tone, and reaches over to steal Beca’s laptop. She clicks away from the email that Beca was writing and starts looking for wedding bands. Beca sighs heavily but makes no further protest, slumping into Chloe’s side and watching her browse quietly.

They end up settling on a pair of simple platinum bands, not too pricey but not cheap looking either. When they arrive a week later, Chloe squeals in excitement and forces Beca to slide one of the rings on her finger, doing the same for her next.

Chloe’s heart skips a beat when Beca lingers for just a moment after slipping the ring onto her finger, and it beats extra hard when she swipes a thumb over it with a look of reverence on her face.

When Beca comes home from work a week later with a shy smile and a glittering diamond ring that Chloe couldn’t have picked out better herself, along with the offer of putting it on Chloe’s finger, Chloe’s heart very well stops working altogether.

* * *

It isn’t the first time that Chloe has accompanied Beca to one of her studio’s parties, but it is the first time she’s attended as her wife.

They arrive at the ballroom that’s been rented out for the occasion without much fanfare, Beca dressed mostly casual in black jeans and a loose button down while Chloe wears a blue cocktail dress that makes her eyes pop even more than they usually do.

“We look like a proper lesbian couple,” Beca murmurs as they walk through the door. Chloe shushes her through a laugh and loops her arm through Beca’s, leading them further into the ballroom.

A voice calling out Beca’s name makes her stop and turn in that direction, a smile coming to her face when she sees one of the junior producers she works with heading in their direction.

“Hey, Sam,” she greets when they’re close enough. “Where’s the bar? I’m sick of this place already.”

Sam laughs and hands Beca the drink in their hand. “This is for you, actually. I figured you’d need something as soon as you walked through the door.” Their eyes shift to Chloe. “Although, I failed to get one for your friend here. I don’t believe we’ve met.” They extend a hand toward Chloe with a charming smile, and Chloe lets go of Beca’s arm to shake it.

“I’m Chloe, Beca’s wife,” Chloe says, obviously tickled at the opportunity to bring up their marriage.

Sam raises their eyebrows in surprise, looking at Beca approvingly. “You don’t say. Beca, you never told me that you were married.”

“It’s a, uh, recent development,” Beca says, taking a much-needed sip from her drink. “Kind of happened unexpectantly.”

“Well I guess when it happens, it happens,” Sam says, winking playfully at Chloe. “I’ll go get you a drink as well, Mrs. Mitchell.”

They breeze away back towards the bar, leaving Beca and Chloe alone again. Chloe beams. “Mrs. Mitchell,” she muses, once more slipping her arm through Beca’s. “I could get used to that.”

Beca chokes on her drink and coughs a couple of times to clear her windpipe. “You’d take my last name?” she chokes out.

Chloe shrugs. “Why not? Your name is already on albums and production credits and all that. It just makes sense for me to change mine instead of yours, and I wouldn’t really want to hyphenate them.”

Beca studies her for a moment. “You’ve really thought about this?” she asks.

Chloe suddenly looks sheepish and averts her eyes. “Well, yeah,” she admits. “I mean, we are legally married, right? My mind just wanders sometimes, I guess.”

Before Beca can think of a way to respond, Sam is back, handing Chloe a fresh drink and already pulling her into a conversation that Beca can barely pay attention to.

Chloe Mitchell.

Huh.

Kind of has a nice ring to it.

* * *

After nearly an hour of silence, Chloe finally speaks up.

“Let me know what you think of this.”

Beca mutes the Christmas episode of Cupcake Wars she’s been watching as Chloe moves closer to her on the couch, turning her laptop so that Beca can see the screen, which displays a template with a photo of the two of them that Chloe took a few days ago. Beca is pouting in it, of course, which is mostly due to the large Santa hat that Chloe had insisted she wear for the picture. Chloe is laughing, head turned toward Beca so that her face is nearly pressed against Beca’s cheek.

It's a good picture, actually. Like, objectively it is a cute picture of them.

Then Beca notices the words “Merry Christmas from our home to yours!” written in swirly white text on the bottom of the picture.

“What am I looking at?” Beca questions.

“Our Christmas card this year, obviously,” Chloe replies easily.

Beca nearly gags. “Christmas cards? Seriously? What are we, a suburban family in the early 2000’s?”

Chloe looks almost offended. “I’ll have you know that my family sends out Christmas cards every year.”

“You’re sort of proving my point here.”

Chloe huffs. “Come on, Bec. It’ll be fun! This is exactly the kind of thing I’ve always looked forward to in marriage.” She turns her big blue eyes on Beca, pleading puppy dog mode fully activated. “Please?” She bats her eyelashes for good measure. “For me?”

Beca sighs and glances over at the card once more as she decides what to say. She sees the obvious joy in Chloe’s smile, remembers the way her laugh had sounded in that moment, and feels something swoop in her chest.

“Married people really do this?” Beca asks weakly.

Chloe nods her head emphatically. “Totes.”

Beca closes her eyes and lets out her breath in a puff of air. “Sure, yeah, whatever. Send ‘em out.”

Chloe cheers in equal parts victory and excitement and pecks Beca on the cheek before turning back to her laptop to order the cards, chattering happily as she does so. Beca turns the volume back up on their show and slumps in her seat, the ghost of Chloe’s kiss on her cheek burning against her skin.

* * *

“Again, I’m really sorry to do this.”

“I really don’t think you are.”

“You’re right, I’m really not.”

Beca rolls her eyes as she changes the sheets on her bed, Amy snooping around her room as she does so. “So why did you guys call it off this time?”

“He doesn’t want me for my money. Can you believe that?”

Beca grunts as she lifts the corner of the mattress so that she can tuck the sheet under it. “How dare he,” she deadpans.

Amy throws her hands up indignantly. “I know! I told him I would rent him the entire Luxor in Vegas for the wedding, and he told me that it was ‘too expensive’ and that I ‘shouldn’t bankrupt myself for him.’ Unbelievable!”

“I’m as shocked as you are,” Beca comments drily, standing up straight and throwing the pillows back on the bed. She blows a strand of hair out of her face and glances at the time. 12:40 AM. “Bed’s all done,” she announces.

Amy sighs in relief and plops down on the newly made bed. “Perfect. Had to get new sheets so that I wasn’t intermingling with your love den sheets.”

Beca pinches the bridge of her nose. “Amy, you know it’s not like that. We’ve talked about how it’s not like that.”

Amy barks out a laugh and reclines back onto the pillows. “Sure it isn’t, shortstack,” she says, lazily shooing Beca away with a wave of her hand. “Now, let me get my beauty sleep. It’s late, you know.”

Beca’s jaw clenches as she resists the urge to snap back with something she’ll regret in the morning, choosing to spin on her heel and quickly leave the room instead. She crosses the hall and slips inside Chloe’s room, squinting through the dark in an attempt to not bump into anything. When she slides under the covers next to Chloe, she’s surprised to find the other girl still awake, even if just barely.

“Did you get her all settled?” Chloe murmurs, rolling over so she’s facing Beca. Beca mirrors her position and can just make out Chloe’s eyes shining in the dim light leaking through the blinds covering the window.

“I think so,” Beca says. “But who knows if she’s going to wake us up in an hour because she wants a snack or something.”

Chloe giggles. “It’s like we have an overgrown toddler staying with us.”

Beca snickers. “If we sign some adoption papers for her, we’ll speed the whole having kids process up by a few years.”

Chloe suddenly isn’t laughing anymore. Beca’s eyes have adjusted to the darkness well enough by now that she can see a look on her face that she can’t quite read. Worried that she said something wrong, Beca holds her breath and waits for Chloe to say something.

“Is that something you want? Kids?”

Chloe’s soft voice easily cuts through the quiet of the room, through the distant noises of the city that never sleeps outside their window.

Beca swallows. “I mean, maybe?” she says, though it sounds more like a question. “Probably. Eventually.” She traces shapes into the bedsheet. “It was never something I really wanted before, but now… I don’t know. Now I don’t hate the idea so much, I guess.”

She glances timidly back up at Chloe, finding blue eyes gazing intently back at her. “What changed your mind?” she asks in a hushed tone.

Beca’s eyes trace across Chloe’s features: the slope of her nose, the freckles on her cheeks, the hint of smile lines beginning to creep up around her eyes. She wonders how those features might look on Chloe’s kids one day. “I’m not really sure,” she whispers back.

Feeling all at once very drained, Beca murmurs a quick goodnight and shifts onto her other side, facing away from Chloe. A heartbeat later she feels Chloe slide up behind her, hooking an arm over Beca’s waist as she wishes her own goodnight into Beca’s shoulder. Beca remembers how they shared a bed like this every night, not too long ago, in that shitty apartment they lived in with Amy when they first moved to New York. That bed had been smaller, then, the mattress not as forgiving, but Chloe had always curled into Beca the same way she did now, which makes it seem as though nothing has changed.

She slips her fingers between Chloe’s where they rest on her stomach, feels the edges of the ring on Chloe’s finger against the one on her own, and thinks that maybe everything has changed after all.

*

Amy ends up staying with them for a little over a week, in which time she manages to eat all the food in their apartment, spoil the ending of one of the shows they’re watching, and buy them an R2-D2 shaped coffee machine to make up for it.

All in all, could have gone worse.

Beca and Chloe wave politely goodbye as Amy climbs into Bumper’s car. After a far too intimate reconciliation kiss that leaves both Beca and Chloe cringing, Bumper pulls away, leaving them alone once again.

Although they’re certainly happy to see Amy on her way, Chloe still tears up slightly when the car disappears from view, never one to handle goodbyes all that well. She quickly wipes at her eyes, obviously hoping that Beca doesn’t notice, but to no avail. Beca doesn’t comment, though, simply smiling sadly at her before looping her arm around Chloe’s waist and leading them back up the stairs to their apartment.

That night after getting ready for bed, Beca stands in the hallway separating their two rooms. Her door is wide open, freshly made bed in full view through the doorway. Amy had assured her that she’d left it as if she’d never been there, and for once, she hadn’t been lying. The room looks even cleaner than Beca normally had it.

Chloe’s door is already shut, a soft glow shining under it revealing that Chloe is most likely not asleep yet. Beca blinks and looks back at her room once, then back at Chloe’s door, repeating the process twice more before shaking her head and walking into her own room.

It takes all of two seconds for Beca to walk back out into the hall and slip through the door to Chloe’s room instead.

Maybe Beca’s room could be more like a guest room from now on. Just in case Amy decided to call off the wedding again. Or something.

* * *

There are some perks to going to weddings as a married person, Chloe thinks.

For one, she didn’t have to worry about finding a date. Two, she gets to flaunt her sexy music producer wife off to anyone who will listen.

“Oh, she’s worked with DJ Khaled and David Guetta,” Chloe brags as she rubs a hand up and down Beca’s arm.

“She has her own album, of course, but she prefers helping new artists find their sound,” Chloe explains as she wraps her arm around Beca’s waist.

“Have I mentioned she’s great in bed?” Chloe supplies, watching Beca choke on her drink beside her.

“Chloe,” Beca warns, pounding a fist into her chest.

Chloe grins at whoever it is they’re talking to- Cynthia Rose’s grandma, maybe? “She’s just being modest. One time, when we were in Vancouver, she-”

“That’s enough out of you,” Beca interrupts, taking hold of Chloe’s wrist and pulling her away. Chloe waves happily at the person they’re leaving (Cynthia Rose’s great aunt?) and laughs, wriggling her wrist out of Beca’s grasp so that she can hold her hand instead.

“I thought it was funny,” Chloe says.

Beca has a delightful blush coloring her cheeks. “You’ve never even been to Vancouver. How much have you had to drink tonight, anyway?”

Chloe stares into her nearly empty glass with a contemplative frown. “I’m not sure.”

Beca clicks her tongue and slowly takes the glass from Chloe’s fingers. “Maybe we get you some water, instead, yeah?”

They run into Emily by the refreshment table, where she’s gushing over every single detail of the reception. Benji stands awkwardly by her side, making comments here and there but mostly watching his wife talk with a small smile on his face.

“Hey you guy!” Emily beams. “Isn’t this place so nice? Cynthia Rose and her fiancée- I mean wife look so happy.” She sighs dreamily. “Weddings are just so great.”

“Yeah, they’re really something,” Beca comments, filling up a cup with water for Chloe.

“Although you guys didn’t really do the whole wedding thing, right? You just went to the courthouse,” Emily inquires curiously.

Beca hands Chloe the filled cup and starts pouring one for herself. “Well, I mean, yeah, but that’s because it wasn’t really that big of deal,” she says. “Like, why go through all this effort if we aren’t actually together?”

“I’m going to find Aubrey,” Chloe announces, setting her nearly full cup of water down with a plunk. A few drops splash out and land on the table. Beca blinks at her in surprise.

“Uh, okay. Do you need any help-”

“Nope, I’m fine!” Chloe interjects, already walking away with a wave of her hand. Beca watches her go with a frown. What was her deal tonight?

She turns back to Emily and Benji, both of them wearing slightly concerned expressions.

“Everything alright?” Benji asks.

After a moment, Beca shakes her head in an attempt to relax herself, then realizes that she needs to actually say something. “Yeah, no. Everything’s great. You know how she is when she’s drunk.” She gestures vaguely with her hands. “Scatterbrained. Impulsive. That kind of thing. I’m going to eat some cake.”

Beca grabs a slice of cake off the table that probably contains far too much chocolate for her liking and all but sprints away from the refreshment table, retreating all the way to a table near the back corner of the room. Her eyes survey the room as she pokes at her cake with a fork, automatically searching for Chloe’s red hair. It only takes her a moment to find her near the dance floor chatting with Aubrey and Flo. She has a smile on her face, but there’s a tension around her eyes that Beca knows most people wouldn’t be able to pick out. Based off the way Aubrey’s smile flickers as she scans Chloe’s face, she sees it, too.

“Trouble in paradise?”

Stacie settles into the seat beside her, a knowing look on her face.

“Where’s your little gremlin?” Beca asks, ignoring Stacie’s question.

Stacie hums. “I believe she’s off harassing Jessica and Ashley. Not that they mind too much. I’m pretty sure they want to kidnap her.” She props her chin up in a hand. “I wouldn’t mind. I don’t think I’ve gotten a proper nap in five years.”

Beca snickers. “Like Aubrey would let you nap in the first place.”

“You’d be surprised what I can convince her of,” Stacie replies with a wink.

They sit in companionable silence for a bit, just watching the celebration go on around them. Both Cynthia Rose and her wife, Andrea, have big families, which meant that the Bellas didn’t have to worry about bridesmaid duties this time around, the roles being filled by siblings and cousins instead. It also meant that the party had been in full swing the moment they arrived, the wedding essentially acting as a family reunion of sorts. A small smile appears on Beca’s face as she watches two little kids hop around the dance floor, squealing with laughter and nearly tripping adults as they dance.

Cynthia Rose and Andrea sit at their table at the front of the room, smiles wide as they feed each other cake. Andrea says something that makes Cynthia Rose laugh, the two of them leaning in toward each other to share what isn’t the first and surely won’t be the last kiss of the night. The smile slowly melts from Beca’s face, and she pushes her own hardly touched cake away a little.

“Well, if you’re not going to eat it, I will,” Stacie says, sliding the cake in front of herself. She nabs Beca’s fork, too, before digging in.

“Be my guest,” Beca mutters belatedly. Her eyes have once again drifted to Chloe, finding her seated at a table this time, only Aubrey seated beside her. Beca’s fingers absentmindedly twist the ring on her finger, a habit she’s picked up over the last couple of months.

“You should dance with her,” Stacie says. Beca turns her head in surprise. Stacie has a soft smile on her face that makes Beca feel like she knows something that Beca doesn’t. “Chloe, obviously. You know, your wife. She wants you to dance with her.”

A slow song starts, and Beca rolls her eyes when she realizes it’s “Until I Found You,” which she helped produce. Figuring she better take signs from the universe when they come, Beca pushes herself up from her seat, turning to look at Stacie one more time.

“Enjoy the cake,” Beca tells her.

Stacie raises her fork as a toast. “Tell Bree that if she comes over here, she can get so much more than a slice of cake.”

Beca wrinkles her nose. “I will not,” she says, then quickly makes her way over to Chloe and Aubrey’s table. Aubrey spots her over Chloe’s shoulder, staring icily at her as she approaches. Beca stares right back before leaning down to speak in Chloe’s ear. “Care to indulge your wife in a dance?”

Chloe turns in her seat, surprised to see Beca there. A smile blooms on her face, one free of tension this time, and she bites her lip as she nods. Ignoring Aubrey’s continual hostile energy, Beca reaches out to take one of Chloe’s hands, pulling her out of her seat and leading her to the dance floor.

Dancing with Chloe has always been easy, always felt natural, so when they start a gentle sway with Chloe’s arms resting on her shoulders and Beca’s hands on Chloe’s hips, Beca feels any tension in her body drift away. They dance in silence for a moment, just enjoying the gentle beat of the music, until Chloe leans in close to murmur in her ear.

“I’m sorry I’ve been so weird tonight.”

Beca slides her hands around to the small of Chloe’s back, pulling her imperceptibly closer. “You don’t have to apologize for anything,” she says in a low voice.

“I just-” Chloe interrupts herself with a sigh. “I guess I just want to enjoy this one wedding as a married person… as someone who’s found their someone.”

“Hey.” Beca pulls back enough to look Chloe in the eyes. “I’m always going to be your someone, alright? No matter what. I don’t care what happens next year, the next two years, the next ten. You’re my person, nothing is going to change that.”

Chloe looks like she’s going to cry at that, so Beca holds her close again. Her arms wrap around Chloe’s back until they are essentially just hugging as they spin in a slow circle, but Beca doesn’t mind in the slightest. Based on the way Chloe’s arms tighten around Beca’s neck, she doesn’t mind, either.

“For as long as we both shall live, right?” Beca murmurs.

She hopes this song will never end.

* * *

When they return to New York after the wedding, life moves on as normal and they settle back into their regular routine.

Wake up, go to work, come home and eat dinner, watch TV, go to bed. Feel Beca curled up against her. Listen to Beca’s breathing as she falls asleep. Cling to the last shreds of consciousness in order to fully savor these moments.

The word wife hangs heavily in the back of Chloe’s mind lately.

The routine is disrupted tonight, but only because Beca fell asleep on the couch instead of in Chloe’s bed. So really the routine is intact, the location has just shifted.

Beca has been pulling more hours at the studio the last two weeks, trying to finish up an album that was due for release soon. She wakes up earlier – a feat for Beca, really – but comes home at the same time as she usually would, seemingly unwilling to let her evenings with Chloe go. The wordless gesture doesn’t go unnoticed.

That being said, Beca has been even more tired than she usually is, falling asleep earlier and earlier every night. Tonight it’s barely nine o’clock and Beca is already conked out, probably drooling on Chloe as she lays between her legs, head resting on Chloe’s stomach.

Chloe runs her fingers lightly through Beca’s hair, tucking loose pieces behind her ear. Beca mumbles something in her sleep and tightens her arms around where they’re wrapped around Chloe’s back, nuzzling further into her before stilling again.

A show still plays on the TV, the colors from the screen lighting up the dark apartment, the sun having set a while ago. Chloe pays it no attention, much more content to watch Beca sleep until the sun rises again. To keep looking at Beca until she’s no longer hers to look at.

* * *

Beca is watching Property Brothers when Chloe walks out of her bedroom, securing an earring in place. Beca looks up in surprise at what she’s wearing: what can only be described as a little black dress, heels that make her legs look incredible, and a few bracelets that Beca can’t remember seeing before.

She looks nice. Really nice.

“Going somewhere?” Beca asks.

“Oh, um, yeah,” Chloe replies distractedly as she looks around for something. “I have a date, actually.”

“Oh.” Is all Beca can think to say. She sounds disappointed – feels disappointed – and can’t help it.

“Is that… okay?” Chloe asks, turning to look at her. “I didn’t think we had anything going on tonight.”

“No, yeah no. That’s totally fine, dude. Uh, have fun.” It sounds unconvincing even to Beca’s ears.

Chloe looks almost as disappointed as Beca feels. “Alright,” she says, uncertainty clouding her voice. She grabs her purse off the coffee table. “I’ll see you later, then.”

Beca watches her walk towards the door and is calling out before she realizes what she’s doing. “Chloe.”

Chloe turns all too quickly back around. “Yeah?”

All bravery leaves Beca once she sees Chloe’s face. She doesn’t even know why she called out in the first place. “Just… don’t forget to take off your ring.”

“Oh,” Chloe says, surprised. She looks down at her hand, running a thumb over the small diamond resting there before sliding it off and setting it on the kitchen counter. “Thanks, Bec.” It’s said quietly, and Chloe doesn’t look at her as she walks out the door.

Beca sits in silence for a solid minute after Chloe leaves, staring at the door, willing her to come back. Jonathan Scott starts talking about floorboards on the TV Beca forgot was still on and she flips it off, not in the mood to watch anything anymore. She stands slowly, drifting over to the kitchen where Chloe’s ring lays, abandoned on the countertop. The diamond glistens in the low evening light shining in through the window and Beca can’t but pick it up, marveling at how something so small could mean so much to Chloe.

And to her, Beca realizes.

Holding her best friend’s- her wife’s ring in her hand, Beca glances to her right. Their marriage certificate hangs proudly on the refrigerator, held up by a purple ‘B’ and yellow ‘C’ magnets that Chloe had bought from the dollar store. Beca traces a finger along the ‘C’ while she looks at their signatures on the paper, her head full of too many thoughts to sort out.

She leaves the ring on the counter and goes to sleep in her own bed for the first time in months.

* * *

The last person that Chloe expects to see at the bar is one of Beca’s co-workers.

“This seat taken?”

Chloe glances over, shocked to see Sam sitting down on the stool beside her. “Hey,” she says, happy to see a friendly face but unable to inject any genuine excitement into her tone.

They look her over once. “Look at you, all dressed up with no one to fawn over you,” they say, gesturing to her dress. “Is the wife in the bathroom or something?”

Chloe laughs once, dismally. She thinks for a moment before leaning an elbow against the bar and leveling a serious look at Sam. “Can I tell you something?”

Sam grins. “Please do.”

“I’m in love with Beca.”

“I would certainly hope so,” Sam jokes.

“But I don’t think she’s in love with me.”

That makes Sam take pause. They gesture to the bartender, saying, “I feel like there’s a story here, and I think we both need more alcohol if you’re going to tell it.”

So Chloe tells the whole tale to Sam, from the very beginning: how they met, how they’ve been best friends for years, how they’ve been living together for so long it’s hard to imagine living with anyone else. How Chloe always had a little bit of a crush on Beca, but never anything strong enough to act on until their marriage license was literally being shoved in her face. She tells them about Cynthia Rose’s wedding and how Chloe just wanted her own marriage to be real in order to match her own true feelings, and how she matched with a guy on Tinder just because she wanted something that wasn’t so complicated.

“And then I cancelled on him because I knew that I wouldn’t be as invested in him as I should be,” Chloe finishes, sipping whiskey through a straw. “And I couldn’t get the image of Beca’s face out of my mind on my way here. It was like her actual wife was actually cheating on her.”

Sam runs a hand through their short blond hair with a heavy sigh. “Well shit, Chloe.”

Chloe grunts and sucks the last of her drink through her straw. “That about sums it up.”

They sit in silence for a minute, just listening to the sounds of the bar around them. Someone is speaking loudly at a corner booth, cutting through the crowd with a booming voice. A lady off to Chloe’s right is speaking into her phone, voice crisp and stern. Some college kids joke jovially as they order drinks.

Sam glances sidelong at Chloe. “You wanna take a walk?”

Chloe pushes her drink away. “Please.”

*

They actually end up taking a cab, Sam pleasantly chatting on about everything and nothing on the way to their destination, filling up the empty spaces of conversation that Chloe herself would usually occupy. The cab stops in front of a familiar looking building, and Chloe steps out of the car slowly while Sam pays the driver.

“Is it even open this late?” Chloe asks uncertainly. What were they doing here?

Sam only grins and holds up a keycard. “Trust me,” is all they say.

Chloe follows Sam through the main lobby and into the elevator, watching the numbers climb higher and higher as they rise to the level that Chloe knows Beca’s office resides at.

“What are we doing here?” Chloe asks, finally voicing the question that’s been swimming in her mind. Sam is great, but at this point she’s tired, her feet hurt, and she honestly just wants to go home and sleep for twelve hours.

“I need to show you why I think you’re wrong about Beca,” Sam says, leading her down the hallway towards Beca’s office. “Why you’re wrong about how she feels about you.”

Curiosity piquing, Chloe follows without another word until they reach Beca’s office. Sam puts a hand on the doorknob and turns, opening their mouth as if to say something, but decides against it and smiles instead, pushing the door open and waving Chloe inside ahead of them.

The automatic lights flicker on overhead and Chloe takes in the office. Surprisingly, Chloe has never once been in Beca’s office. She always figured she wasn’t allowed up here, and she was always working when Beca was working, anyway. It’s admittedly a small space, which doesn’t matter all that much since Beca spends most of her time in a recording booth, but it has a big window facing the street and two chairs pushed against the wall by the door, the desk situated against another wall next to the chairs.

Chloe looks back and gives Sam a questioning look, to which Sam gestures for her to look closer at Beca’s desk. As she rounds the desk, her breath catches in her throat.

Hung on the wall next to Beca’s computer are pictures of… Chloe.

Not every single picture is of her, of course. There’s one or two of all the Bellas, one of Stacie and Bella, a couple of her parents. But the majority of the space is filled up with different pictures of Chloe: selfies taken over the years, pictures of the two of them on competition days, recent candids of her taken around the apartment. At the very center is the Christmas card they’d sent out in December, the one that Beca had rolled her eyes at and insisted they didn’t need.

“Beca isn’t always the easiest person to read,” Sam says, still leaning against the doorway, “but I think sometimes the small things speak louder than words.”

*

Chloe gets home late to all the lights turned off in the apartment. She takes off her heels as soon as she walks through the door, hissing in relief as her bare feet meet the cool tile of their entryway before quietly making her way through the apartment to her room, not as surprised as she should be to see her door open and bed empty. Her shoes are quickly tossed into her closet as she changes out of her dress, slipping into sleep shorts and a t-shirt.

The thought of sleeping in her own bed doesn’t even cross her mind once she’s brushed her teeth, padding across the hall to Beca’s room and opening the door as silently as she can. She slides into bed and sees that Beca’s back is facing her on the other side of the bed, a sea of distance separating them.

Even though it’s dark and there’s enough space between them for an entire person, Chloe can tell that Beca isn’t asleep.

“I didn’t go on the date,” Chloe whispers into the dark.

Beca’s shoulders stiffen before she turns around to face Chloe. “Why not?” she asks, voice barely louder than the breaths she takes.

Chloe slides across the bed and kisses her.

This isn’t like any of the kisses they’ve shared before, not even like the one they shared at their wedding. This isn’t for a dare, or in celebration, or just to make Beca’s cheeks blush. It isn’t for anyone else to see. It’s dark and it’s quiet in Beca’s bedroom, and Chloe kisses her just for herself.

Beca’s gasp of surprise is lost as Chloe presses their lips together. It only takes her a moment to slide her arms around Chloe’s body, holding tight onto her as if scared that she’s going to go away again.

Make no mistake, Chloe wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

The kiss is slow and gentle and a little bit hesitant, and when Chloe pulls away, she rests her forehead against Beca’s. They just breathe for a moment, neither worrying about saying words or taking things any farther for now. Beca’s hand slips under Chloe’s shirt, just holding her. Chloe’s fingers play with Beca’s earrings.

“What if I told you that I wish I’d married you for real?” Chloe murmurs. Like a secret.

Beca kisses her once. “I’d say you already did.”

* * *

Chloe meets her on the steps of town hall. “You ready?”

Beca grins and reaches out to take Chloe’s hand. “Let’s do this.”

They take the elevator up to the fourth floor and walk up to the familiar desk.

“We would like to change a name, please. Specifically my name,” Chloe says.

Ethel glances up at them with mirth in her eyes. “You two again,” she grumbles. “Haven’t you been married for six months? This isn’t even the right department for that.”

“Come on, Ethel,” Chloe says in a pleading tone. She leans on Ethel’s desk and tidies up her pens. “You must have the paperwork for it somewhere around here. Can’t you just… do this one little favor? For us?” She flashes her a winning smile for good measure.

Ethel stares at her for a good minute before giving in. Beca can sympathize with that; she’s been on the receiving end of that look many times before.

They’re led by a grumbling Ethel to the same back room that they’d been married in. Chloe clings to Beca’s arm as she excitedly points out the differences she finds in the space, pointing each one out with more glee than the last. “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac plays on the same crackly speaker as before, which Beca supposes is a minor improvement.

It takes a lot longer to change a name than it does to get married, apparently, and Beca is glad she took a half day off work for this. Chloe spends a while sitting at the desk across from Ethel, filling out various paperwork and signing her name on things until her hand is cramping. At the end of it all, Ethel prints them out a copy of Chloe’s official name change documentation.

Chloe grabs the document and squeals in excitement, jumping up from her seat to pull Beca into a kiss that is probably considered inappropriate for the government building they’re standing in.

Ethel squawks at them to get out of her office. Beca grins. Chloe looks down at the paper in her hands and traces a finger over the name Chloe Mitchell.

“This is definitely going on the fridge at home.”