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Time After Time

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Time After Time

It's funny how some people find their way back into your life after being away for so long.

Beca had always thought that if it were anyone, it'd be Cynthia-Rose. After moving to LA, Beca slowly lost touch with her friends from Barden. She had decided to stay after the Bellas had won the ICCAs, signing up for another year of leading the female a cappella group and putting together mixes for their competitions - and sadly, another year of academics. But that year, she had been promoted to station manager after Luke graduated, allowing her to regularly play her music at the radio station. The exposure, combined with the demos she had packaged and sent to popular DJs and record labels, along with another winning set at the ICCA finals that was nationally televised, led to an offer to work with a popular DJ in LA and be featured in one of his albums. That offer at the end of her sophomore year was just too big of an opportunity to pass up. So the brunette packed up and headed to the west coast.

Cynthia-Rose had been, to her knowledge, the only one of her friends at Barden who had moved to the Los Angeles area to pursue a career in the music business. Unfortunately, despite their successes, the two ex-Bellas had not had the chance to collaborate since their two years in college. The gambler-slash-diva-turned-professional-songwriter had tried to reach out to Beca, but the two had never found the time to meet other than the one time they had coffee shortly after Cynthia-Rose's move.

It happened when Beca was on her second tour. She had been in a rush to get her caffeine fix before her set that when she swung the door to the cafe, she almost knocked down the person behind it.

"Oh my god, I'm so sorry! I was just - oh, hey!"

"Hello, Beca. It's been a while. I see you're still rocking the heavy eyeliner and angsty alt girl look."

"Geez, Aubrey, it's good to see you too."

"Well, seeing as you made me spill my drink and almost knocked me over - "

"Oh, wow, I'll buy you another drink. Glad your feelings towards me haven't changed after all these years."

"I would think that should have been a given."

"Okay… I'm just going to get our coffees and let you go on your way." Beca rolled her eyes and walked towards the cashier, placing an order for two coffees. She had to hold back a snort when the blonde appeared next to her, changing her order to a non-fat soy latte.

"I'm sorry, I'm just having a bad day. Got out of a meeting with a complicated client." Beca turned to look at Aubrey, who was staring hard at one of the coffee machines.

"What do you do?" The brunette asked, deciding not to give the other woman a hard time. If she weren't already getting her second coffee of the day, she would've been just as cranky.

"I'm a junior associate at Neill, Posen & Forrester."

"Fancy." Beca took a sip from her coffee as they waited for the barista to finish making Aubrey's.

"It pays the bills," came the response, accompanied by a shrug. "What are you doing in Seattle?"

"On tour."

"Oh, right, congratulations. I've heard you're doing well." Beca was a bit surprised to hear the sincerity in the blonde's voice.


They were momentarily interrupted when the barista placed Aubrey's drink on the counter. As the older ex-Bella reached for her latte, Beca snuck a glance at the time on her iPhone and groaned inwardly, not wanting to leave abruptly when the blonde had just made a peace offering.

"Listen, I really have to go. I'm actually late for mic check and my manager's probably looking all over for me, but text me the next time you're in LA, okay?" Beca grabbed the sharpie from the counter and reached for the blonde's coffee cup, scribbling her number on it and giving the taller woman an apologetic smile before rushing out with her own.

She was fairly sure that Aubrey wouldn't save the number, much less use it. If she couldn't keep in touch with Cynthia-Rose, who she had actually been friends with, she was sure that that was the last she'd see of the blonde lawyer.

But seven months later, Beca received a text from Aubrey telling her that she was in town for a meeting. Apparently, the blonde's law firm had decided to take on a wealthy client that was based in LA, and she would be traveling between the two cities frequently for the duration of the case.

After confirming that she, too was currently in town, Beca received a call from the junior associate, who sounded extremely stressed out. Beca figured that Aubrey had called her because she didn't know anyone in the area who was available - because really, why would Aubrey Posen call Beca Mitchell if she weren't her last resort? - and that the nervous blonde had probably needed to see a familiar face to calm down before her meeting.

Needing a break from being cooped up in the recording room all day - and perhaps feeling a little nostalgic about her short collegiate experience, Beca thought there was no harm with inviting the blonde out to dinner. In the worst case, they'd drive each other nuts and the blonde would storm out. But hey, everyone needed to eat, anyway.

And just like that, Aubrey Posen stumbled back into Beca's life.


Three weeks later

"Not gonna lie, I was a little surprised that you acknowledged me at the cafe."

"You know, Beca Mitchell, if my best friend weren't in New York, happily married with a baby along the way, you wouldn't have received such a warm greeting that day."

"That was warm?" The brunette figured that sarcasm was her best bet at hiding the small pang she felt hearing the news. While she hadn't exactly been pining over the bubbly redhead, there was a time when Beca would wonder about what might have happened if she hadn't been so quick to run away back then.

"Whatever, I still haven't completely forgiven you for what happened."

"Geez, it's been - what - seven, eight years?"

"You two were always disrupting practice with your eye sex, then when we win, you go off and kiss a Treblemaker of all people."

Beca rolled her eyes.

"We weren't disrupting practice. Besides, Jesse and I lasted all of two months before we decided we were better off as friends."

"Yeah, well, Chloe thought you had something."

"Can we please drop it? I'm sorry I hurt your best friend. I was young and stupid. I wasn't ready for a serious relationship, much less with a girl. It's been years, and she's happy."

"And you?"

"What about me?"

"Are you happy?"

Beca swallowed hard, suddenly feeling self-conscious. It seemed that all those years had not taken away the blonde's ability to pin you with a look.

"Can't complain," was what she finally came up with, "My second album is almost platinum, I have awesome artists clamoring to do the vocals for my tracks, I just got back from my tour - "

"But you haven't settled down."

"Well, no. I hardly think there's any time to settle down with my schedule. Besides, I don't see a ring on your finger either."


"Quit judging!"

"I'm not," the blonde huffed, ignoring the incredulous look she was rewarded with. "It's just that, as much as I hate to admit it, we're somewhat similar." Aubrey continued to ignore the other woman's mock-tortured expression. "We both have the habit of putting our ambitions first. Even if I didn't agree with your… style, I could tell you were driven. I myself only went on casual dates until a year ago. Oh, and Josh and I are taking it slow, thank you very much. At least I'm selective about the person warming my bed at night."

"Gee, I didn't know you were that interested in my sex life," the brunette responded with an eye roll. "Please don't tell me you believe everything you read on the tabloids."

"There are pictures."

"…Not always."

Beca wanted to wipe the smirk off the blonde's face.


Three and a half months later

"This is your apartment?" Aubrey wrinkled her nose. "What, is the music industry going bankrupt?" Gasp. "Do you have a gambling problem? Are you in debt? I'm a pretty good lawyer, you know. But I'm not doing it pro-bono. You got yourself into this mess."

Beca rolled her eyes.

"Quit being overdramatic. My apartment is fine. I don't want any roommates and I don't expect guests. I don't need more than a one-bedroom. I spend about," the brunette paused, calculating in her head, "four months a year here, tops. I don't want all that extra space to clean. It's simpler."

"Hm, defensive, are we? Well, I suppose you have a point. But really, Beca, this place looks like a bachelor pad. You're almost thirty. I'm sure even your conquests are unimpressed by this place."

"Wow, you bring up my sex life a lot. Is there something you're not telling me? Josh not doing it for you anymore?"

"Shut up. Josh does it just fine for me."

"Too bad fine won't rock your world, not that I need a visual of you - just, oh god. Anyway, I'm twenty-eight. That's nowhere near thirty, and I'm nowhere near married. Which makes me a bachelor - er, bachelorette. And really, you're the one who decided that saving on company expenses and giving up your five star hotel room was a good idea."

"I'm here to scout out a space and work out the details for the new California office. That could take a few weeks, and I didn't want to spend that money when I have a friend who has space. Or I thought had space. You don't even have a guest room!"

"I have a couch that pulls out into a very comfy queen bed."

"You're going to make a guest sleep on the couch!?"

"Well, I'd offer my bed, but - "

"Never mind. Who knows what I'll catch with all the girls you've brought in there."

Beca shrugged, humming as she walked into her room. She didn't bother to let the blonde know that she never brought home the women she slept with. She loved her bed too much. She just hoped she wouldn't regret offering her place for the other woman to stay. She liked her mess the way it was, and really, really hoped that Aubrey wouldn't do something crazy like clean up her living room or stock up her fridge with healthy food or turn the living room into a yoga space.

But when the brunette woke up in the middle of the night and stumbled across the uptight, always-in-a-suit-and-bun Aubrey Posen sleeping on her couch with her hair in disarray, mouth open and slightly snoring, and arms and legs at weird angles, the picture that Beca took with her phone to keep as possible blackmail material later on made it completely worth it.


By the time Neill, Posen & Forrester had completed its expansion into California a year later, the two had become really close friends. Despite having missed each other the past couple of times the blonde was in town, the two managed to stay in touch via text and even a few phone calls. It seemed as if the lawyer's crazy work hours were perfect for the DJ's crazy travel schedule, and their banter became something to look forward to at the end of a stressful day. There was something more playful about it now that they were much older and able to see past their differences.

On some nights, they would talk about how they grew up, which came as a surprise to Beca. She had never been one for sharing, but found herself relating to the ridiculous expectations the blonde's father had placed on her. While Beca's father was not quite as intimidating and domineering, the professor had enrolled his daughter into college without her consent and urged her to get a proper degree rather than pursue a hobby. Aubrey's had pushed her to be the top of her classes up until she graduated from law school, never accepting anything less, and planned for her to join his law firm even before she knew what a lawyer was. While Beca's father had remarried and moved away shortly after the divorce, Aubrey's had been too busy with work to spend much quality time with his only daughter.

On those nights, Beca found herself wondering about the redhead. The few times that Aubrey had mentioned her in conversation, Beca hadn't minded too much, knowing that it was inevitable that the blonde would talk about her best friend. Besides, she had seen the two best friends joined at the hip for too long to not associate the one with the other out of habit. From what she remembered, Chloe had grown up as the baby of the family, with two older brothers and parents that supported whatever she wanted to do in life. While the redhead had been popular in high school and college, never having trouble making friends or having people interested in her, Beca and Aubrey had struggled in their own ways to fit in.

The brunette couldn't help but be drawn to Chloe, allowing herself to be convinced that their bug tattoos and similar music tastes were enough. While she never admitted it to anyone, she had secretly hoped that the redhead's cheerful demeanor would be enough to balance her out, because she hated to think that she saw too much of her father in herself. And maybe that was exactly what she needed at the time - someone to love her despite her flaws. And no one loved to love more than Chloe Beale.

But when she found her feelings getting a tad more serious than she'd hoped, she turned to the other person she knew had enough in common with her, whose presence she enjoyed just as much, and was just as cheery to be able to bring her out of her dark moods. So in many ways, maybe Jesse was more of what she needed at the time. Even if he was a guy. Like Beca had told Aubrey, she really hadn't been ready to have a relationship.

And timing really was everything. Because had they stumbled upon each other when Beca had just left Barden, Beca and Aubrey would have probably still been unable to stand each other. And now, years older and at a different place in her life, Beca found that what she needed had changed.

She needed more than optimism and someone who was a stark contrast from herself. She needed someone to understand when she wasn't comfortable about opening up, to understand why she had set up walls that were practically impossible to break down, but not make a deal about it on the off chance that she lets them down for a little bit. She needed someone to not just love her flaws, but understand why they were there. And the thought that Aubrey Posen could possibly be what she needed both terrified and tickled Beca.

Which was exactly why timing was so important. Because on the night that Beca realized that there was a slight chance that she just might maybe have a tiny crush on Aubrey, the blonde had been back home in Oregon visiting her mom. And as the brunette spontaneously decided to catch the morning flight to Seattle in hopes of visiting the older woman for once as a surprise (and possibly to share her revelation), that very same blonde was on her way to LA to surprise her with the news that she had been promoted and would relocate to the California office - and that Josh had finally proposed to her and would be making the move with her.


It took a little over a month for Aubrey and Josh to wrap up any unfinished business at the Seattle office and pack up for California. They moved to a nice two-story house about thirty minutes away from Beca's apartment. The brunette had, in true Beca Mitchell fashion, decided to avoid the blonde until she could sort her head out. She had, of course, chastised herself nonstop for her momentary lapse of sanity, somewhat succeeding at convincing herself that the constant traveling had just made her miss a sense of stability and companionship.

It was easy responding to text messages without feeling confused. Aubrey had been so focused on her move that she was too busy talking about the stuff she needed to get. Phone conversations were harder to ignore, because it was easier for the blonde to catch herself and ask Beca about what was going on in her life instead. And when the blonde finally made the move, the brunette knew that meeting up would be even harder. So when Beca received an invitation to spin at some of the biggest clubs in Chicago for a month, she took it as the perfect escape.

In Chicago, Beca allowed herself to slip back into her previous sleeping habits, which she had previously toned down a bit due to the blonde's obvious disdain for it (and her manager's - Beca had began to feel guilty after the poor guy had to cover up for her the sixth or seventh time). She figured that a little bit of fun was exactly what she needed after letting her close friendship with the blonde and a slight lull in her sex life get into her head. And damn it, Beca Mitchell was not going to fall for the tortured lesbian-falls-for-her-straight-best-friend cliche. Hell no.

But two weeks after Beca had returned back to LA, Aubrey showed up at her door unannounced in the middle of the night, the usual unimpressed look on her face and a bottle of red wine in each hand. Beca, though caught off guard, wrinkled her nose at the sight. She hated wine, and the blonde knew it.

"Aubrey, what - "

"I didn't have beer at home, and I figured you wouldn't mind as much after we finish the first bottle anyway."

"What - I have work tomorrow." Not until two in the afternoon, though.

"Oh, please, you're a DJ. Half of your work involves being in places with lots of alcohol."

"Not tomorrow, in fact I - "

"Save it. You're getting drunk with me tonight." The blonde pushed past her, making her way to the couch in the living room. She retrieved a wine opener from her purse, knowing better than to search the brunette's kitchen for one (she also knew better than to search for proper wine glasses).

As Beca plopped down on the space next to her, Aubrey took a giant swig from one bottle, handing her the other bottle. The other woman took a huge gulp, grimacing as the slightly bitter red liquid coated her taste buds.

"So, Josh let slip that it was my father who told him to propose."

There it is. The blonde's voice broke through the short silence, slightly startling Beca, who had been wondering about the reason they were each cradling a bottle of merlot.

"Ouch," Beca winced.

"I thought you'd be wondering why I'm here." Beca hated how well the blonde knew her. "And I figured you would've found a way to get out of it if I had texted beforehand."

"What - I wouldn't - " The brunette was silenced by a death glare, and knew she'd been caught.

"I really don't care why you've been ignoring me. I have no time to figure out how that mind of yours works. Whatever it is, get over it, because we're getting really drunk tonight."

"Okay." Beca took another swig, wondering why she didn't keep a stash of alcohol that she liked in her cabinets. Then she remembered how much of her job involved getting intoxicated, and that she really didn't need to be buying alcohol when she was never charged for drinks at clubs. Besides, home was for resting and curing hangovers. She didn't need to become a borderline alcoholic when her career was still on its rise.

"I don't know how I feel about all of this." The blonde finally admitted after a long silence.

"All of…?" Sip.

"With Josh! Were you not listening?" Sip.

"Oh, right." Sip.

"I broke up with him." Sip - choke - cough.

"Wait, what?" Beca wiped the corner of her lip, her eyes wide in alarm.

"I mean, it's not a big deal," Aubrey shrugged.

"What do you mean? Of course it's a big deal! You've been together for two and a half years. Wait - why are you not a mess? Oh god, please don't throw up. I'm gonna grab a bucket just in case - "

"I'm not going to throw up," the taller woman said with a glare. "I just feel… surprisingly calm about this. I mean, I do love Josh - he's a genuinely nice guy and will be a great husband, and he'll never cheat on me. We started out together, in our fathers' firm. He's everything my dad would approve of, and vice versa. I mean, Joshua Neill and Aubrey Posen of Neil, Posen & Forrester? People would kill to be us."


"Shut up. Other people would."

"…So… you just... broke up? I mean, you said yourself your fathers approved. Why is it such a huge deal that your father urged him to propose?"

"William Stanford Posen IV does not simply urge."


"Josh said he'd been thinking about it already, but he admitted that he wasn't sure. And that's when we realized that we we wouldn't ever really be sure. So much of our relationship had been pushed along by our families. I mean, our mothers are planning the wedding - were planning the wedding. Oh god, we have to tell our families that we broke up. I think I might throw up."

"And breaking up with your fiancé is not grounds for throwing up?"

Aubrey shrugged, biting her lip as she pondered the question.

"I suppose it is kind of depressing. I mean, I'm thirty-two and I have to start all over again. I don't really have the time to go out and meet new people. Might as well make an online dating profile. Wow, this does suck."

"Hey," Beca said softly, reaching out to place a comforting hand on the blonde's arm. "You'll be fine. Thirty-two is nothing, you'll find someone in no time. Someone you'll meet and want to date without anyone telling you to."

"Not likely anytime soon," the lawyer replied, "I work more than forty hours a week, and everyone I meet or interact with is a lawyer or a client. I'm pretty sure Josh was the only non-douchey one left."

"Not all of them are lawyers or clients," Beca mumbled, not wanting to be lumped with a bunch of pretentious, designer-suit-wearing folks.

"Yeah they are. You're the only one I know here that's neither."

The blonde's remark was met with silence as the DJ suddenly remembered the reason why they hadn't seen each other in a while. The thought must have distracted her for a second too long, because -

"Ew, do you think we should date?"

"What? No!" Beca could not fight the dark flush that appeared on her cheeks, and not because of the wine. She brought the bottle to her lips and took a huge swig to avoid the blonde's eyes. 

"Oh my god, you do! Beca Mitchell, do you have a toner for me?"

"Do not!" Apparently, the alcohol had stolen her talent for witty comebacks.

"Hmm, you're right, it's been years since I've really sung. Which means you really just have a big, fat boner for me! Is that why you've been avoiding me? God, Mitchell, you're so cliche - "

"Shut up." Swig. At least her inhibitions aren't being lowered too much. Talkative drunk was not what Beca needed to be right now.

"I mean, I'm flattered and all, and I suppose you're fairly attractive if I don't look at the monstrosity on your ears - "

"Shut up." Swig. Big gulp.

Aubrey sighed dramatically. "Alright, alright, I'll let you kiss me."

Beca choked on the wine for the second time that night. She lightly slapped her chest with one hand as she coughed. Damn, that'll leave a stain on the couch.

"Excuse me!?" She looked at the blonde incredulously, her throat still burning as an after-effect of the coughs.

"You know, just to get it out of your system or whatever." The blonde rolled her eyes impatiently.

"No." Glare. Huge swig.

"Come on, you're already weird about this crush, and you know too many of my secrets. I just ended a serious relationship - I'm not starting over in the friend department too."

"I'm not going to kiss you," the brunette almost-growled, wanting the older woman to let the matter drop, but knowing that it wasn't going to happen unless she gave in. But she wasn't going to - Beca could be just as stubborn if she wanted.

"You know you want to." The Dj gritted her teeth at the smugness in the blonde's voice.

"You're drunk." Swig. Eye roll.

"Even better! Come on, pucker up, Beca Mitchell."

"No!" Beca did not usually respond well to provocation. She could feel the irritation quickly rising up her neck, which was usually a sign that she was cracking. And a sign that she would be doing something very incredibly stupid.

"Come - "

Beca surged forward, cutting her off with a firm, yet gentle kiss. The hand that wasn't holding the wine bottle flew up to caress the blonde's cheek instinctively. It lasted all of two seconds, but both women's eyes fluttered closed at the sensation. The buzz from the wine seemed to magnify the intensity of the kiss, making their lips tingle when they separated. It was probably sloppy, and their teeth probably clashed in their drunkenness. But all they would remember from that night was how soft the other's lips had felt.

When it was over, the two avoided each other's eyes. The brunette reached for her bottle again, taking a long drink. The other woman had a dazed look on her eyes, her lips parted slightly, a soft Oh escaping from them.

It wasn't too long after the kiss before the two passed out on the couch. The next morning, their friendship seemed to have gone back to the way it was.


The next time Aubrey came over with drinks, she once again forgot bring Beca any beer. But she did bring a huge bottle of Grey Goose, which Beca preferred a whole lot to the merlotApparently, the blonde had just told her parents the news of her broken engagement, and it went about as well as she expected.

She also brought a small suitcase with her. With the break-up now public, Josh had begun going on dates, and it became too weird for Aubrey to continue sleeping in the next room. Naturally, the blonde invited herself to camp out on Beca's couch for a few days while she went apartment hunting.

The two got drunk, with Aubrey getting a bit teary-eyed towards the end of the night about the nasty things her father had said to her. She passed out on Beca's lap, with the brunette stroking her hair soothingly.


Two weeks later, Aubrey found and moved into a two-bedroom apartment about a fifteen minute drive from Beca. The close proximity meant more showing up at each other's apartments unannounced, though the brunette had been busier with taking up more shifts at a new high-profile club in the West Los Angeles area. It was owned by a famous rapper, and the DJ was doing it for him as a favor.

The brunette succeeded in convincing Aubrey to watch her spin, telling her that she could use it as an opportunity to enjoy her single life and meet men without needing to worry about getting anything serious out of it. The blonde had confessed that she wasn't sure if she was ready to start dating again.

When Aubrey finally felt ready, her coworkers began setting her up on blind dates. But after each date, she found herself back at the club, needing a few hard drinks after her date ended up being too boring or too full of himself. It became an unspoken rule that the blonde would be there after each horrible date and call Beca to vent about it the next day.

And though Aubrey would rather poke her eyes out than admit it out loud, she enjoyed that part of her nights the most. Watching Beca work the DJ booth made her fall in love with music again, something she had lost the time for ever since attending law school.

So it became routine that the two women would arrive at the clubs separately, hang out separately, and leave separately. Beca was often busy until the end of her shift, and would sometimes leave with a girl shortly after. Aubrey, on the other hand, spent her time enjoying the music, occasionally accepting offers to dance and free drinks before going back to her own apartment. It was a little nice, being in the same space and somewhat looking out for each other without having to babysit.

But then came her sixth date. Jacob Martin was a very attractive man, with his expensive suit clearly tailored to fit him like a glove. He had bright green eyes, a chiseled jaw, and a crooked smile that any straight woman and gay man would swoon over. He also had a good sense of humor, was very well-read, and was the ultimate gentleman. And he was a lawyer. He was a man that Aubrey could enjoy being around and getting to know, and clearly someone her family would love. He was perfect, except for one problem.

That one problem was that Aubrey somehow found herself still looking forward to going to the club after dinner. And by the time they were done with the main course, she found herself feeling disappointed that it was one of Beca's few nights off. She had, after all, grown accustomed to seeing the brunette after her dates, even if they were merely in the same space and not really spending time together. And as Jacob was signing the bill, Aubrey was trying to understand why she was relieved that the brunette was most likely at her own apartment trying to get some sleep.

Aubrey found herself at the club anyway, sipping on her usual drink - a Long Island iced tea - but not quite having as much fun as she usually did. She told herself that she was just a woman of routine, and that her surprisingly good date just caught her off guard. But that didn't explain why she had made up a stupid reason to leave on her own after dinner instead of having him drive her home.

At the club, she accepted the free drinks and danced with a few guys as usual, but found her mind repeatedly going back to the thought that the DJ for the night was nowhere near as talented.

And nowhere near as hot.

The blonde was appalled at the realization that she could be physically attracted to her friend. Beca Mitchell was all wrong for her - too sarcastic, too short, too fashionably inept, too female. Aubrey liked chiseled jaws and six-packs and suits and short hair and the smell of men's cologne. Aubrey liked being the little spoon. Penis. Men.

And damn it, she could have had all that tonight if she hadn't bolted without even giving Jacob her number.

Fucking Beca Mitchell.

Beca was the complete opposite of everything that Aubrey found a turn-on. Sure, the brunette was good looking and smart. And crazy talented. And passionate. And a good listener (when she wasn't being snarky). And caring. They understood each other in a way that no one else in their lives did.

But she was Beca-fucking-Mitchell.

Beca irritated her and pissed her off more easily than anyone else she knew. But the thing was, Beca made her feel. Beca had been the one to make her realize that she had been living on autopilot, going from meeting to meeting, obeying her parents' wishes; that feeling angry was better than feeling nothing. Beca made her wonder if the already worn out path that was laid out for her before she was born was what she needed.

She made Aubrey feel all sorts of things. SafeAlive.

And now, horny.

Fucking Beca Mitchell.

Sometime after her fifth cocktail, Aubrey Posen decided that she was furious at Beca Mitchell for refusing to leave her mind all night. That was too much serious thinking given the amount of alcohol inside her body.

Fucking Beca Mitchell.

So when she stumbled out of the club later on, Aubrey's drunker-than-usual self could not remember how she ended up in front of Beca's apartment instead.

After cursing her keys for not fitting in the key hole for the third time, a sleepy and confused brunette opened the door, rubbing her eyes as she stood in her pajama pants and an old Barden t-shirt.

"Why are you trying to open my door with your key?"

"You!" The blonde slurred, swaying a little in her three-inch heels and suddenly needing to be held up by the smaller girl. "You ruined my night!"

"What? What are you - "

"I hate you, Beca Mitchell, you ruin everything! The Bellas tradition, our semi-finals song… and my date!"

"How am I responsible for - "

Beca never got to finish her question as the blonde grabbed the back of her neck and tugged her forward, clumsily mashing their lips together. The brunette's eyes widened, her hands tightening around Aubrey's arms to push her back without letting her fall over.

"What the f- what are you doing?"

The taller woman rolled her eyes, pushing the other woman backwards before stepping inside the apartment, slamming the door behind her.

"Shut the fuck up, Mitchell. You don't get to crush on me, sleep with other women, and not let me enjoy my date in peace!"

"What the hell are you talking about? It's freakin' two AM right now, and you're fucking drunk. It's not my fault your date ended horribly again!"

"It didn't end horribly! He was perfect!" The blonde stumbled after the brunette, who fell back against the couch. Both women stared at each other with wild eyes, both agitated and confused, but for different reasons.

"Then why the hell are you mad at me!? Was it because I wasn't at the club? Because I told you that it was my night off, and that you could drink here if you wanted. I even bought the wine you like. So -"

Aubrey fell forward, pointing a finger at Beca's chest and glaring at her.

"Because!" The blonde let out a hiccup before dissolving into a fit of coughs. Alarmed (and mostly terrified that the blonde would throw up), Beca helped her to the couch and rushed to the kitchen to grab a bucket. But when she returned, she found the other woman sprawled out on the couch, snoring lightly. Sighing, Beca placed the bucket next to the woman and went to get her a glass of water and some Tylenol for when she woke up. She headed back to her room, knowing that the questions in her head would keep her awake for the rest of the night.

When Aubrey woke up the next day, there was breakfast waiting on the counter, but the brunette had already left for work.


A week later, it happened again. This time, Beca was working at the club. Instead of showing up at her apartment like the previous time, Aubrey drunkenly stalked over to her, pushed the leggy brunette that was making out with her, and dragged her outside to yell at her before trying to kiss her again. Despite being buzzed, Beca rejected her advances and took her home. When Aubrey woke up, the brunette was nowhere to be found again, leaving the blonde to put together bits and pieces of what happened.

The third time it happened, Beca had arrived home after a flight that got delayed and found a drunk and angry Aubrey Posen by her door. Gritting her teeth, the brunette opened the door and dragged the other woman in, again tuning out the angry ramblings that she didn't bother to try to understand. 

She resolved to put an end to it before it got out of hand. While she hated confrontation just as much as the older ex-Bella, Beca really, really wanted to stop thinking about the possibility that the blonde was taking advantage of her crush because she was lonely.

Aubrey woke up to the smell of pancakes, bacon, and coffee. Groaning, she sat up, immediately reaching for the water and Tylenol that she spotted through the corner of her eye. Confused as to why she wasn't in her own apartment, she stood up and walked to the kitchen, where she was surprised to find Beca standing by the counter, sipping on a coffee mug and bobbing her head to the music flowing through her headphones. The blonde walked to the cabinets quietly, grabbing a plate, fork, and mug before going to the stove to get some food from the pans and the coffee maker to pour herself some coffee, which, thankfully were all still warm.

As she stood across from Beca eating her breakfast, the brunette reached towards her headphones, pulling them down to her neck.


"Good morning," the blonde mumbled, her head still pounding. "What am I doing in your apartment?"

"Beats me," the younger woman responded with a shrug. She was clearly annoyed. "To yell at me again, I guess."

"Yell at you?"

"Look, this is getting old, Aubrey. Don't you remember anything from last night?" Beca rolled her eyes as she stole a strip of bacon from Aubrey's plate and took a bite out of it.

"Last night? I…"

Oh, shit.

"I uh," Aubrey stammered, at a loss for words as the events of the previous night flowed back to the forefront of her mind, though still in a somewhat jumbled mess. "I'm sorry?"

"You better be. I'm tired of taking care of your drunk ass when all you do is yell at me. I don't even fucking know what I did. You suck."

Shit, shit, shit.

Aubrey felt increasingly anxious being in Beca's presence, knowing that the brunette wasn't going to let her go without an answer this time. She swallowed hard and picked up her near-empty plate, walking over to toss the remainder of her food and put the plate and fork in the sink.


The blonde gripped the sides of the sink, shutting her eyes as she resisted the urge to throw up.

"Aubrey?" Do not throw up. Do not throw up. "What's wrong?" Do not -

"It's all your fault!" Shit. Aubrey found herself turning around to glare at the brunette, who was looking at her in shock. Word vomit is better than actual vomit, right?

"What the fu - "

"You and your horrible clothes and stupid spikes in your ear and stupid apartment! You're such a fucking slob!"

"Hey now - "

"And sleeping around when you said you liked me! And taking care of me and disappearing! And just - being so god damn stupid! Can't you fucking tell when someone likes you? You're the most frustrating person I've ever met, Beca Mitchell! Just, ughhhh!"

Before Beca could even comprehend the words being said to her, Aubrey grabbed her by the collar, crashing their lips together. Somehow still caught by surprise after all this time, the brunette tried to push the blonde away. But now sober, the blonde anticipated it, intercepting Beca's hands and intertwining their fingers together. Beca's hands gripped Aubrey's tightly for a few seconds before loosening, one hand snaking up to cup her jaw as she began to kiss the taller woman back. The room was silent, save for the sound of lips smacking against lips and hearts beating against chests.

Their kisses grew more and more insistent, hands and mouths desperately roaming everywhere after months - maybe even years - of pent up frustration. The rest of the day went by in a blur.

Aubrey on top of the kitchen counter, her top discarded. Beca standing between her legs, kissing down her front. More clothes disappearing. Nipping. Sucking. Kneading. Thrusting.

Beca laying on the couch, gripping the armrest behind her head with both hands. Aubrey's head between her legs. Moaning.

In the bedroom. Two naked bodies, glistened with sweat, panting. Eyes greedily raking down the other's body. Hands gliding down, chasing after their line of sight, memorizing every curve, every dip, and the smoothness of skin. Thrusting. Aubrey's nails digging into Beca's back. Aubrey's legs over Beca's shoulders. Hands gripping the headboard. The bed rocking to the sound of Beca's name. Then Aubrey's.

Then nothing but the sound of heavy breathing before the two drifted off to sleep.


Three hours later

"You're not gonna… freak out on me or anything, right?" Beca lay on her back, staring at the ceiling. She had been the first to wake up, but while every instinct had told her to run, she tried to let the warmth of the body next to her anchor her. She felt the blonde stirring awake after a few minutes.

"About what?" The blonde twisted her body towards Beca, stretching her lower back. She furrowed her eyebrows when she noticed that the brunette was purposefully avoiding her gaze by facing up.

"I just… well, this is kind of a big deal, isn't it? What just happened between us?" Aubrey rolled her eyes in response.

"Please, I'm thirty-two and single. A little sex isn't going to freak me out."

"Oh, trust, that was not 'a little sex'," the brunette said with a scoff. "A little is a quickie in a bar bathroom. I'm pretty sure my neighbors know my name by now."

"Yeah, they think your name is Aubrey."

"No they don't. I'm pretty sure I made you scream louder. But that's not the point - "

"Whatever, I'm a vocal person. What's the big deal?"

"Hello? Female here, and one you used to hate. Are you even gay?" The brunette turned her gaze away from the ceiling to look at Aubrey, trying to ignore the urge to run her fingers through the blonde's now unruly hair.

God, she looks even sexier when she's not all neat and proper.

"I never hated you, just your horrendous fashion sense and attitude. And I suppose I'd have to be a little gay to do the things I did last night."

"And that's… okay?"

"Of course it is!" The blonde sat up, and Beca had to avert her eyes to keep from being distracted by the bare back exposed to her. "What are you, homophobic? You're gay, how does that even work?"

"I'm not!" Beca gritted her teeth, sitting up as well, running her fingers through her own hair in an attempt to smoothen it. "I just think it's a big deal when someone who's been dating men their entire life suddenly sleeps with their female best friend."

"Oh, please, Chloe and I never slept together."

"Very funny. You know what I meant."

"Excuse you, I never gave you the title. That was taken a long time ago."

"Geez, what am I then?"

"If you play your cards right, I might let you have girlfriend."


"Wait… are you saying you're actually open to dating me?" Beca's incredulousness was rewarded with a glare.

"Aubrey Posen does not have casual sex. And I know you're not dumb enough to sleep with me and disappear. Please, I know where you live and work."

"But what about - you just got out of a relationship with a man you were engaged to. That's a lot of change - "

"Please, I've moved on a long time ago, and Josh and I are even friends again. I've gone on dates, haven't I? Aubrey Neill would have sounded horrible anyway."

"What, and Aubrey Mitchell is supposed to sound better?"

"Whoa, there. Are you already proposing marriage to me? Geez, you lesbians do move fast."

"I wasn't proposing!"

"Damn right, you better not be. No ring, no flowers, not even dinner. I am not one of your conquests."

"Stop calling them conquests! Just admit that you're jealous that I was having more sex than you."

"Why would I be jealous of increasing my chances of getting some STD -"

"Uh, in case you haven't noticed," the brunette raised an eyebrow, gesturing at their naked bodies. "And you're not one of my conquests, if that's what you really want to call them. I don't… I've never invited any of them to my apartment."

"Oh." The two were silent for a while.

"Well, if it ever came to that, I'm not going to be Aubrey Mitchell. You're going to be Beca Posen."

"Am not!"


It is pretty funny how some people find their way back into your life, though Beca thinks that she might have stumbled into Aubrey's instead that day at the cafe. Not that it really matters at this point. They were two people who would never have thought of finding each other again - or even wanted to. The first time they met, they hadn't been able to stand each other. And now, three years after bumping into each other again, well, they still push each other's buttons most of the time.

But somehow, they find a way for it to work. They're as different as they are similar, and it pushes them to challenge each other, despite how stubborn they both can get. Beca hates that Aubrey cleans and rearranges all their stuff, and Aubrey can't for the life of her understand why Beca can't get herself to make their bed or pair her socks before doing laundry. Beca hates that Aubrey wakes up at an ungodly hour every day and often makes a huge noise getting ready for her morning run, that by the time she leaves, Beca is awake and unable to go back to sleep. Aubrey is furious whenever Beca's carelessness forces her to wear her Bella scarf to work on a hot day.

But they eventually compromise after a lot of yelling and days of silent treatments. They learn to lower their pride and apologize, though sometimes it's still a battle of who gets the other to apologize first.

Aubrey remembers to also pick up Beca's favorite cereal along with her own, and Beca tries to not leave her clothes on the floor (when they weren't left there from sex). When Aubrey accidentally wakes up the brunette in the early morning, she makes Beca's favorite breakfast to make up for it after. And sometimes, she wakes the brunette up for a different reason, substituting morning sex for her morning run. And Beca learns to leave hickeys below the neckline.

They go days without seeing each other due to their crazy travel schedules that don't always match up, but when they do see each other afterwards, they make up for it inside the bedroom, and usually calling in sick if it's a week day the next day. Beca still doesn't make their bed, but she tries to straighten out the comforters a bit before leaving. Aubrey learns to not touch Beca's stuff, and to live with a little mess.

Their busy schedules help keep their relationship under wraps for a while, which is a good thing. But their desire to stay out of the public eye does limit the location of their dates. And it means that Aubrey gets a little too crazy every month when the tabloids mistakenly link Beca to some new singer that the DJ is working with, even if she trusts the brunette. 

So the DJ lets it slip in an interview with Rolling Stone that she's in a committed relationship with someone who isn't in the music industry, and is very happy. And two days later, she posts a picture of the two on Instagram and tweets it to her followers with a smiley face. They get annoyed with the paparazzi that sometimes follow them around, but they like being able to go out to nice restaurants and beaches and doing other mundane couple-y things like shop for groceries even more. And Beca likes having the blonde in her booth or backstage after her shows, and being able to show up at Aubrey's firm to pick her up after work (when her father's out of town, of course - the Posens have yet to warm up to the idea of their daughter dating another woman).

Because really, when it comes down to it, Beca thinks that she can't imagine her life with anyone else. She likes the face that she comes home to, even if it irritates her sometimes. She likes the familiarity of the warm body that dips into the other side of the bed and cuddles up to her. She likes coming home and seeing the blonde asleep in their bed, even if Aubrey tends to take up the entire bed and steal all the covers by the middle of the night.

And if Aubrey's still out of town by the time she comes back, Beca enjoys the quiet, but leaves the blonde a text that she got home safely. On those nights, she doesn't admit that she misses Aubrey, and the blonde doesn't tell her she misses her either, even when they both know that they miss each other terribly.

It's times like these that Beca thinks about all the time they lost, the time they wasted being with other people and butting heads. But when she goes home and finds her girlfriend waiting for her, she thinks that they found each other again just in time.

And when Beca finally pops the question a few weeks later, she knows they can find a way to compromise on Mitchell-Posen or Posen-Mitchell.