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Shoot Me Down

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Beca's never really been into games of warfare. She'd participated in exactly one water fight in her youth and it hadn't ended well. So, when Chloe suggests 'Psychedelic Laser Tag' as the venue for their Saturday night entertainment, she's slightly more than skeptical.

 

“Why is it psychedelic?” Stacie asks, leaning around Beca where she's sitting at the kitchen counter to grab a slice of carrot from the veggie tray Chloe had put out a half hour earlier. Beca has to jerk her head back in order to avoid being boob-slapped, something that is now such a frequent occurrence that her body seems to have developed a natural reflex for it. Chloe sees the near miss and flashes the brunette a smile before turning her wide-eyed gaze on her leggy friend.

 

“Because it's sixties themed!” She shrieks, causing Beca to wince and the rest of the Bellas to crowd around. “It's totes adults only and you're only allowed in if you dress the part!” Stacie almost drops her second chunk of carrot in her excitement. “The website had some pics of the inside and it's all decked out in black lights and lava lamp projections. It looks super cool.”

 

“Sold!” She leans easily across the counter and Chloe catches the high five being thrown at her. Jessica and Ashley start chattering animatedly between themselves, while Flo is looking to Amy for clarification. Which Beca thinks is probably not a good idea, but she forgoes correcting any historically inaccurate facts in favour of calling Chloe out.

 

“Okay, your version of cool is definitely subjective.”

 

“What do you mean?” Chloe bats her eyelashes in Beca's direction, like butter wouldn't melt. Beca's eyes narrow and her tone dips low, just grazing the tip of admonitory.

 

“You know what I mean.” Because Chloe had been asking Beca how she felt about this exact past-time less than a week ago and while Beca had very briefly lamented never having the opportunity to try it with people she didn't actually want to shoot in the face, she'd also brushed it off as largely juvenile. “Why would I want to run around in the dark pretending to shoot people when I could be like, doing anything else?”

 

“I,” Chloe pauses to reach towards Beca, who flinches back a fraction of an inch, and snatch a piece of yellow pepper from the bowl with a smirk, “have no idea what you're talking about.”

 

“You played me. And then you didn't even listen to what I said!” Chloe shrugs, taking a bite of her preferred vegetable and brandishing the remainder with a smile that just screams “sorry not sorry”. Stacie twirls around to where Beca's sitting with a giggle and breaks her line of sight to Chloe by snagging a mushroom to go.

 

“What time do we have to be there?” She asks Chloe, walking backwards out of the kitchen. The redhead turns to her, arms loosely folded across her chest.

 

“It opens at seven and I booked us in at eight? So, seven-thirty?” Stacie glances at the clock and pops the mushroom into her mouth around a pout.

 

“You couldn't have told us about this earlier?” She clicks her tongue reprovingly and disappears around the corner to ascend the stairs. “Two hours is not enough prep time for this, Chloe!”

 

“You can do it, Stace! I have complete faith in you!” Chloe calls after her, chuckling as her gaze returns to Beca and she catches her co-captain's eye roll. “Oh, don't even try pulling your brooding, alt-chick, 'I'm too cool for this crap' crap with me, Mitchell.” Beca's so stunned, she forgets to formulate a come back. Unconsciously opting for pressing her lips together and raising her eyebrows in surprise instead. “That's right,” the rest of the pepper slips between parted lips, “I'm onto you.”

 

“Well, can you get on her later?” Beca jumps in her seat, her head snapping to the side to find Amy standing there, adjusting her bra over her shirt. “Because my hair isn't going to beehive itself.” Beca darts her attention back and forth between Chloe and Amy, waiting for some part of what she's just said to make sense. Finally, Fat Amy clears her throat. “Chloe.” She pushes out between her teeth. “My really good friend who might want to help me with that out of the goodness of her heart?” Beca turns to see the redhead mouth a silent “oh” and push herself away from where she's leaning against the sink. Cynthia Rose pops up from where she's been reclining across the couch.

 

“A'yo, Ash? You still got that Diana Ross wig?” Part of Beca would really like to ask why Ashley even owned a Diana Ross wig in the first place, but she knows that's probably a longer conversation than she's prepared to deal with right now. So when Ashley informs Cynthia Rose that yes, she does still in fact have it, Beca purses her lips and quietly lets it go as the she, Ashley and Jessica follow in Stacie's wake. Lilly trails after them, whispering something about “target practice” that Beca is really glad she mostly misses.

 

“Chop, chop, Becs.” Chloe beams at her as she hovers in the doorway, Amy's footfalls heavy against the stairs. “They won't let you in dressed like that.”

 

“They won't? Damn. I guess then I’d have to find something else to do.” Chloe rests her hands against her waist and cocks a hip. Beca's eyes manage to travel from the sleek button-down to the mid-point of her dress pants before she catches herself and looks away, grabbing a carrot because it's the closest and shoving the whole stick into her mouth. She doesn't even like carrots.

 

“Beca.” Chloe's voice holds a very thick, very heavy note of warning and it tugs Beca's attention aside until she's looking at her again. Chloe's expression is dangerously determined, the kind that a person should know better to argue against. The kind that might stir up all kinds of tingly feelings inside the person it's being directed at, because 'in charge' Chloe is kind of 'even hotter than usual' Chloe, and there's Beca wearing the cheeks of a hamster and the eyes of a startled deer, trying to chew the lightly flavoured chunk of solid water she's just stuffed into her mouth. “If you don't follow me up these stairs and find yourself an appropriate outfit,” and almost chokes on a piece she accidentally inhales when Chloe gives her a painfully thorough once over before meeting her eyes again, “I'll be forced to undress you and fix you up myself.” Then with an entirely unnecessary wink, she disappears too, leaving Beca with burning cheeks and the irresistible urge to bang her head against the counter. Which she gives into a moment later, letting it drop against the surface with a solid sounding 'thunk'.

 

“Ow.” She mutters quietly to herself.

 

“Um.” Then sits bolt upright at the unsure voice that sounds behind her. She spins, a small piece of broccoli stuck to her forehead, to find Emily and Flo still present. “Okay, so was that-” Emily tries again, but she's cut off by Flo's dry, though thickly accented, response.

 

“Really sexually charged? Yes.” Beca's eyes almost fall out of her head and Emily's fly to the ceiling, as far away from Beca as they can get. Flo tuts reprovingly. “You guys should really work that out.”

 

“Thanks.” Beca snaps, tongue brushing the underside of her teeth, her annoyance causing her to over enunciate the word. Emily blinks owlishly at Flo a few times before turning to Beca, mouth open and one hand raised with pointer finger extended.

 

“I wasn't going to say that.” It tumbles from her lips, desperate and insistent, expression horrified at the thought of Beca thinking otherwise. “I was just going to ask if Chloe meant I should come to?” Beca slides off the stool and brushes her hands over her pants just to give them something to do, nodding up at Emily from beneath a furrowed brow.

 

“Yeah of course, dude.” And Emily grins, making a fist and motioning triumphantly with it.

 

“This is gonna be aca-awesome!” Beca tilts her head to the side, not looking convinced.

 

“Yeah, sure.” She moves to leave but Emily stops her with a fleeting touch to her elbow. The speed with which she retracts her hand makes Beca wonder if she's afraid to touch everyone, or just her. Which then makes her wonder what stories the other Bellas have been telling.

 

 

“Uh,” the way she stumbles at Beca's questioning brow quirk pretty much confirms that it's probably the former of the two options, “it's just, all my stuff is back at the dorms. And I don't think I’ll make it there and back and still have time to change-”

 

“Oh.” Beca cuts her off with a few overly vigorous head bobs. “Okay, yeah, um. Maybe check with Stacie? She's probably the only one who's going to have anything that fits you.”

 

“You don't think she'll mind me borrowing her clothes?” Flo lets out a high scoff of a laugh.

 

“She never minded when the floor of her most recent conquest's dorm borrowed them.” When both Emily and Beca only stare at her, Flo moves around them with a slow roll of her eyes. “Oh sure, leave it to the minority to say what everyone else is thinking.”

 

“Word of advice, Legacy?” Beca's eyes remain on the doorway even as Emily turns to look at her. “Don't move in here too quickly.” She doesn't elaborate any further, just heads towards the hallway, and Emily hurries to follow her when she realises she doesn't actually know which room is Stacie's.

 


 

“We look like American Bandstand threw up all over us.” Beca's persistent grumbling has been intermittent since leaving the driveway of the house, but this is the first time Chloe is hearing it, standing on the sidewalk outside of 'Psychedelic Laser Tag', because they'd ended up in different cars on the way down. She's wearing the brightest skirt she owns, a neon blue piece that she'd bought to go with a Halloween costume she'd decided not to wear at last minute, and it hugs her lower half at mid-thigh length. She'd had to improvise with her upper half, nothing in her wardrobe really screaming 'nineteen-sixties', and eventually resorted to raiding Jessica's closet, where she found an over-sized white tank with thick shoulder straps and, randomly, some of those plastic jelly arm bracelets that were popular for five minutes. And that would have to work because this had already turned into far more effort than it was worth to her.

 

“I know, isn't it awes?” Although, seeing Chloe all dolled up had made it a little worth it. She's sporting a pale yellow dress that's spattered with white polka dots and looks like it was actually made in the sixties. It's short, the kind of short Beca is sure must have been illegal back then, and the long arms fan out wildly at the wrists. Somehow, it doesn't surprise her that Chloe owns something like this. Nor does it surprise her that she has a matching headband and bright white, knee-length PVC boots to complete the outfit. What does surprise her is the way her eyes linger on Chloe's legs as the redhead spins around to grab Stacie in a hug. The tallest of them all looking unfairly fabulous in a freaking tie-dye pant suit ensemble, arms and legs three-quarter length and colours so bright they're almost blinding.

 

“Sure. Awes.” Beca mumbles, eyes flickering over pale skin and then snapping up towards the building as Fat Amy, who is indeed rocking the beehive and a surprisingly subdued, classy look – a pale pink sleeveless dress with a zipper and two pockets at the front – throws open the door and announces their presence to the owner inside. Which would be acceptable by itself, but Lilly is the next one in and Lilly is wearing a catsuit. An actual, skin tight catsuit. And no one knows why, because everyone had been too afraid to ask.

 

Beca's already pitying the person inside and they haven't even begun.

 

They file in, one after the other, into a room that's largely empty, save for a counter, a wall lined with laser tag equipment, and a doorway that is so garishly lit, Beca assumes it has to be the entrance to the actual gaming area. The woman standing behind the counter welcomes them all and looks them over, clapping her hands together and enquiring as to which of them is Chloe.

 

“That's me.” She waves her hand at the front of the group and the woman in charge spends a few seconds fussing over her outfit, then a few moments fussing over the rest of them. Flo, even though she'd put herself into Amy's hands, looks pretty good in the simple, light green dress and slim white belt, and with her hair curled out at the bottom. Jessica, Emily and Ashley all look like they've just stepped out of Woodstock. The latter two both have braids dangling on either side of their faces, while Jessica's curly locks have been left to flow, free and untamed like the hippie spirit. She and Emily are in long flowing skirts, Ashley having opted for pants, and Jessica's tasselled, flower-power thrift store find waistcoat has finally come in useful. She pulls off the round, rose-coloured glasses that she really doesn't need to be wearing but “they complete the outfit”, and tugs at the sleeves of the billowy beige shirt.

 

Cynthia Rose had indeed donned the aforementioned Diana Ross wig, but opted against wearing a similarly theme Supremes-style dress, instead throwing together an outfit that didn't really scream one specific era of the sixties, but definitely screamed Cynthia Rose. She'd also swiped some silver lipstick across her mouth, which had thrown Chloe into a fit of near hysteria and is the reason they're all sporting some kind of lipstick or psychedelic face paint or eye-shadow, or in Chloe's case all three. She's got a giant golden lightning bolt painted over one eye and a multi-coloured heart on the opposite cheek. Her lips are painted with the brightest red Beca thinks she's ever seen and her eyelids have been dashed with a shade of blue that's somewhat close to that of her eyes. She's also used some kind of spray on glitter body stuff, because the skin of her face and neck keep catching the light. As well as Beca's attention.

 

Amy, once again surprising them all, had gone with a pale pink lipstick to match her outfit, while Stacie had gone to the opposite end of the spectrum and chosen hot pink, as well as free-handing a perfectly round peace sign on her cheek. After seeing that, the Bellas that wanted their face painted had just made her draw their respective design choices on them, except for Chloe. She'd done hers herself and then pinned Beca to her bed in order to brand her too, which is the only reason Beca has a line of flowers, starting small and growing, from the base of her neck to her cheek. And it had taken a lot of effort, to remain still for that long, because Chloe was obsessed with getting those damn flowers right and it took forever and Beca is pretty sure she'd been sweating by the end.

 

If Beca tries hard enough, she can still feel Chloe's breath against her face. Her happy chuckles against her skin. The weight of her against her hips and how every minuscule movement seemed to shake the ground. But she doesn't try, why would she try? There's no reason to try, she doesn't even want to, there's no reason she should remember that stuff.

 

“Any questions?” Beca blinks and the woman in charge is backing away from them and towards the wall holding the equipment. None of the girls speak up and suddenly they're all moving as one, sweeping Beca along.

 

“Wait, what?” She blurts. “Oh, okay.” Then she's lifting her arms awkwardly as she's forced to fall in line or be trampled by a bunch of Austin Powers extras rejects. “Legacy?” She makes a high-pitched hissing sound to try and catch the newest Bellas' attention., pushing it out from between her teeth.

 

“Why are you whispering?” And feels like kind of an idiot when Emily frowns and asks her that. Beca bites her jaw together with an audible 'clack' and decides not to answer.

 

“What did she say? About the rules? I think I blacked out or something.” For an instant, Emily's expression is a mask of jumbled confusion but then she clears it with an understanding nod of her head.

 

“Oh, yeah, okay. So um, we're all going to be wearing those vests.” She points over to where the older woman is dropping a vest over Chloe's shoulders, showing the rest of them and taking advantage of the fact that the redhead never misses a chance to be the one setting the example to be followed. “And we'll each have a gun that we have to use to shoot members of the other team.” Beca pulls a face.

 

“We have to hit those tiny little vests?” They aren't exactly tiny, kind of like football shoulder pads, but Beca isn't all that confident about her aim. “Wait, teams?” Emily's mouth shifts into an amused half-smile that makes her eyes crinkle at the corners.

 

“Wow, you really weren't paying attention.” Beca bristles and squares her shoulders, readying herself to throw out a comeback she hasn't thought up yet when she feels herself being tapped on the shoulder.

 

“Oh, um,” for the second time that night, she almost chokes thanks to Chloe, “you're, hi.” This time because she's standing so close that Beca's nose almost brushes hers when she turns around.

 

“Hi.” But Chloe just beams, either not noticing or choosing not to comment or care. She's holding a second vest in her hands and is lifting it over Beca's head before she can really process what's happening. “There.” She brushes her hands against the shoulder pads before slapping her palms against them, rocking Beca back on her heels. “Now you just need a gun.” Beca looks down at the chest plate, noting the vibrant yellow line that colours the dips in the plastic like a border. She glances towards Chloe; her lines are red.

 

“Hey, we're different colours.” Chloe's giggle brings Beca's attention up to her face. Dark eyes flicker over the lightning bolt and follow the invisible line that starts at its tip, wanders over Chloe's lips, and ends at her chin.

 

“Guess that means we on different teams.” She looks up again to find Chloe pouting, but it isn't long before it's morphing into a smirk, the transformation tripping over a lip bite on the way. Beca feels her heartbeat speed up as anticipation sends a wave of prickling heat along her spine and Chloe's hands linger at the front of Beca's vest. “Think you can take me?” She doesn't give Beca time to answer, just sort of uses her as a bounce board and pushes herself away and around. Leaving Beca to sway unsteadily and eventually squeak out a response that isn't actually a response and is really more a string of vowels strung embarrassingly together in no apparent order.

 

“You know, they say love is a battlefield.” Beca's eyes dart to their corners. Flo is back. Emily laughs at the joke and turns her head towards her with a smile. Beca thinks she distantly hears Emily telling Flo that she loves that song, but doesn't see the face Flo makes when she says, “What song?”

 


 

Beca hates having to admit to when her father is right about something. She'd hated it when she was eight, she'd hated it when she was eighteen, and she still hates it now when she's the front woman of an internationally acclaimed and subsequently humiliated a cappella group. There's just something inherently wrong with it. Parents aren't actually supposed to know things.

 

But damn it if he hadn't been right when he'd told her “it's all fun and games until someone loses an eye”. Because even without any real ammunition, there is no way in hell any of the insane women she has to live with should have been given weapons on any kind. They are all insane, unhinged individuals who have collectively lost their minds.

 

Beca had ended up with Emily, Cynthia Rose, Fat Amy and Jessica on her team, leaving Chloe with Ashley, Stacie, Flo and Lilly. It had been tense at first, both captains unsure as to whether or not Jessica and Ashley would survive the separation, but they'd actually seemed okay with it. So the tension in the air had dissipated, they'd joked as the woman ran through the rules one more time – something Beca was immeasurably thankful for – and Beca had even started to warm up to this whole thing.

 

Then they're entered into the 'Psych Ward', as it was affectionately titled, and Beca had been immediately forced to consider whether or not blood would glow under black light.

 

She had, naturally, lost track of everyone instantly as they scattered to all ends of the veritable obstacle course laid out before them. Winding corridors of painted plywood made up to look like art gallery walls or insanely wallpapered hallways. Portraits of people only half of whom Beca recognises light up the darkness, famous personalities of the era and oh, okay, she's knows The Beatles. That's something. They're painted in a way that's pretty trippy to the eye and they kind of make her feel like she's on an acid trip. Not to mention the wild glimpses she does catch of her fellow Bellas as they dart through the neon darkness, their face paint lighting up under the ultraviolet rays and making them look like crazed, cannibalistic hippies.

 

And it's all fine and good for someone else to think she's over exaggerating, but they aren't where she is now. Stuck behind one wall that has a giant painting of the Disney Cheshire Cat's head grinning maniacally out from it and another that has a window cut into it. Bright pink curtains have been painted in place around the frame and they light up thanks to the bulb sitting in the top corner of the cubby area she's hidden herself in. The same bulb also turns her white tank into a glowing exclamation point, announcing her position to anyone within eyeball range. No one's found her yet though. And she would legitimately be afraid that's because they've accidentally killed each other if it weren't for the fact that she can hear them all, yelling and laughing like manic idiots.

 

Stacie and Cynthia Rose have been after one another since the get go, tossing insults and barbs across the playing field as they narrowly avoid lasering one another. She'd almost run face first into Ashley, but had managed to duck out of the way at the last second, and Ashley had stalked on through the shadows, creeping up behind an unsuspecting Emily. Beca had yelled for her to watch out and all three of them had dove for cover as Emily and Ashley fired off their gun and Beca forgot that none of it was real. Flo, Beca thinks, is backflipping her way around the place. Shouting “let's do this!” at the top of her lungs every five minutes. Jessica thinks she's Rambo and Beca has neither seen nor heard Lilly since entering, both things which worry her immensely. Fat Amy has been sitting at the top of a mock-up of The Elizabeth Tower, screaming about 'Big Ben' and how she'll ring every one of red team's bells, and she's on Beca's team and Beca is terrified.

 

She's caught glimpses of Chloe here and there as she navigated her way to her current zone of safety. The polka dots adorning her dress, the heart against her cheek, the bright blues of her eyes dancing amid the psychedelic colours. Nothing more than that though, and it's as she's wondering which team will draw first blood that the alarm signalling just that fills the space. Instantly, she looks down at her chest to see if her vest is glowing. It isn't. She's still safe.

 

Although, why she cares is a mystery. If she would just walk out into the line of fire, then she could just go sit and wait for this nightmare to be over. Of course, there is that competitive streak that runs through her. The one that rises to the surface whenever she's within fifty feet of DSM and that disconnects her brain from her mouth whenever that stupid, perfect, German woman catches her eye.

 

No, see, she might not have wanted to do this, but now she's been forced into it, Beca wants her team to win. Especially since Chloe is on the opposing side and this had all been Chloe's idea, and Chloe is peering at her through the window she's staring out of.

 

Beca starts, almost shrieks but manages to get a lid on it in time. The redhead is bent at the waist, looking up at Beca through long lashes as her mouth slides into a grin and she points her gun through one of the square window holes.

 

“Well, well, well,” her gloating is perfectly audible over the playlist of popular music from the period being pumped in through speakers in the ceiling, The Guess Who's 'American Woman' serving as a backing track of their interaction and prompting Beca to silently question the authenticity of the establishment they're in. “What do we have here?” Beca leans back away from the window with a roll of her eyes and doesn't even bother to lift her gun when Chloe darts around the side of the wall to stand in the opening of Beca's hiding spot. There's barely a second where the redhead doesn't have the barrel of her own trained on Beca and it's a strange mix of frightening and attractive, how efficient Chloe seems to be with a weapon.

 

“Okay,” Beca drawls, fake smile pulling at her mouth, “you caught me. Can we get this over with?” And some part of her knows it was never going to be that easy. Chloe enjoys gloating too much, especially when it comes to Beca. No, where everyone else might be a desperate rush around her, Chloe hangs idly in the doorway, her gaze and stance both lackadaisical as she watches Beca. She'd tamed her curls down to waves and Beca's eyes travel over the smooth edges as Chloe tips her head forward, pityingly.

 

“Poor little Beca.” And Beca bristles in that because Chloe's in no position to take a jab at her height, she's barely two inches taller than her, and more to the point, Chloe knows how dirty a play that is. She only does it when she wants to get Beca riled up. “Shot down in her prime.” And Beca's too easily goaded into a fight, however silly it may be.

 

“Okay but like,” she lifts the gun she finally remembers she's holding and points it at the redhead, whose eyebrows jerk upwards in surprise and whose mouth morphs around her surprise, “you remember I have one of these too, right?” Chloe's teeth snare her lower lip for an instant and Beca's heart seems to beat in time with the song.

 

“You won't shoot me.” Chloe takes a single step into the makeshift room and every colour thrown against the wall behind her vies for Beca's attention, but her eyes don't leave Chloe.

 

“No?” Chloe, who has the audacity to lower her gun as she shakes her head. “What makes you so sure?”

 

“I just know.” She advances again and Beca involuntarily straightens against the wall at her back. Chloe's always had a confidence about her, that much had been clear from Beca's first encounter with her and then devastatingly obvious from her second. And she always carries it so well, Beca thinks.

 

“I might.” Even as she swallows down hard against her own rush of uncertainty, the somehow simultaneously withers and flourishes under Chloe's bright brilliance.

 

"But you won't." Confidence looks good on Chloe, a fact that becomes ever more apparent to Beca the closer the redhead gets. And she kind of feels like she's tripping herself right now, because everything keeps shifting in and out of focus and her palm is sweaty where she's gripping the gun, and she can't remember how to make her mouth work.

 

"I...” The words get stuck and Chloe actually laughs at the strangled sound that escapes Beca's throat. But then Chloe's feet bump the toes of the heels Beca had been talked into wearing and they're all of eight inches apart. “Could." Beca finishes, breathless and silent under the sound of her heart pounding in her ears. She hears Chloe's hum though, low and contemplative as she lifts one pale hand and touches a fingertip to the glowing flowers she'd drawn along Beca's neck. Beca's breath hitches at the contact, eyes becoming unfocused like she's trying to decipher a magic eye picture.

 

"But.” There's nothing else there though, it's just Chloe. “You.” Finger tracing a lazy line over the pattern at her neck until it breeches Beca's jawline and then her whole hand is cupping Beca's cheek, tilting her head back just enough for their eyes to meet and Beca to feel the full brunt of Chloe's cocky, self-assured smirk. “Won't." Then there's a moment where Beca doesn't see anything at all as her eyelids slip closed and she breathes in Chloe's air. Poised at the edge of a precipice she's spent the last few years slowly climbing, waiting to be thrown or pushed.

 

In the end she jumps, when she feels Chloe's smile brush her lips and decides she doesn't want to wait anymore. And the risk is worth it because the startled sound of pleased surprise that slips from Chloe sends a shiver along Beca's spine, prompting her to lift the hand not still wrapped around the end of a stupid laser gun to grip a slim hip. The action pulls a sigh out from between Chloe's lips and the redhead parts them as she eases closer, pressing Beca into the wall and slipping the hand at her cheek into her hair. Beca doesn't hesitate. She lets Chloe deepen the kiss and bunches the material of her dress between her fingers when the redhead's tongue brushes hers with a new, slow and firm kind of confidence that has Beca wondering why they waited so long to do this.

 

They break away and come back together a handful of times, there in the neon darkness, bodies pressed flush together and their soft sighs and whimpers filling in the gaps between songs. By the time Chloe finally pulls back, with a nip to Beca's lip that send arousal spiking through her, Beca doesn't even remember where they are. Or why. Or her own name.

 

What she does remember is what the high, whirring alarm sound means and, when she opens her eyes, what it means when her vest is flashing.

 

“You shot me?!” She gasps, glaring at Chloe incredulously as the redhead lowers her gun and backs towards the doorway. Chloe's smile is brighter than any of the paintings there.

 

“You made yourself too easy a target.” Chloe shrugs and Beca baulks at the implication.

 

made myself... dude!” The truth is, while she can't quite believe Chloe would play her like that – okay, no, she can totally believe it – she doesn't actually care all that much? Her head is buzzing too loudly and she can still feel Chloe's mouth on hers. And yeah, so, turns out Chloe's mouth skills don't start and end with a cappella. The smirk she's wearing, Beca has no problem admitting, is well warranted. Really well. Still, the part of Beca that had been invested enough in this game to want to win bristles at the way Chloe's looking at her. Tries shooting for annoyed, “Cheating isn't a good way to start a relationship.” But ends up flat on her face when she realises what she's said, embarrassed, and forced to wonder if ultraviolet can pick up furiously flushed cheeks.

 

“Well, maybe you can show me what is later.” And just like that, Beca doesn't care if her face is glowing brighter than the paint at her neck. She feels her lips curve into a grin and Chloe flashes her a wink. “Once I'm done smoking the rest of your team.” Then she hoisted her gun up, blows Beca a kiss, and vanishes around a corner.

 

"So long as you don't get them the same way you got me!" She calls after her, a rush of giddiness sweeping over her and tipping her back to lean heavily against the wall. Chloe's laughter navigates the winding, psychedelic maze with ease.

 

"We'll see!" She's glad there's no one else around, she'd never live down the stupid smile on her face. The one that slips almost completely off as undiluted fear grabs hold of her with both hands as the sound of Amy's booming, manic voice fills the room.

 

“I see you, Red!” A high peal of laughter that sounds like it's come right out of some messed up Disney movie covers the sound of Chloe's war cry, but Beca doesn't hear any more alarms.

 

In the end, it comes down to Chloe and Stacie against yellow team's lone survivor, Jessica. Or, Jambo, as Amy insists on calling her for the next week after Jessica knocks off Chloe and she and Stacie somehow manage to tag each other at the same time.

 

Chloe doesn't seem too disheartened by it though, curled against Beca later than night as they trade kisses back and forth between idle chatter. In fact, she seems to have been unaffected by the terror Beca had felt and will likely remember far into the future. She tries not to think about that now though – Amy's high scream as Lilly descended upon her out of thin air – choosing to rather focus her attention on showing Chloe all the ways in which she thinks a good relationship can start.