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The Life of Beca Mitchell

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At the age of 32, Beca has held the world in her hand. She has a dream job. Hold on a second. Scratch that, she is the dream job. She has all of the money in the world to do everything she wants to, and then some.

But that's the most insignificant part of her life. Money. Pfftt... Everybody can make money. And Beca? She doesn't only have money. She also has people in her life that support, love, and care about her.

Yep. That's true. The Beca Mitchell, the dark vibe alt tatted girl with disastrous ear monstrosities actually has best friends. Friends. Plural. Less than 10 are still plural, right? Right.

And her love life? Beca can't ask for a better love life. Or a better girlfriend. Her life is perfect. Do you want to know how she got here? Let's start from after Barden, from ten years ago. Because everything she has today happened after she graduated from Barden University.

Beca's life right after Barden wasn't all gold and sunshine. Definitely not. She'd left and lived in a very solitary life without so much of goodbyes to her best friend and The Bellas. When she moved to L.A., all she wanted to do was to live her life without any string attached with her past.

Thankfully, after seeing how talented she was, the label gave her everything she asked. Everything.

Confidentiality from whomever that work with or for her, checked. A very private penthouse, checked. Bodyguards/driver to make sure no one unless the necessary could approach her in tours and work, checked. A very multitasking personal assistant/manager named Donna, checked. Life expenses covered by the label, checked. You name it, I'll check it.

Yep. She was that kind of big a deal only by flaunting her ability to mix and produce music. Thanks to the recommendation from Residual Heat. And Flashlight obviously.

This Donna was excellent at her job. She made sure Beca got everything she asked, needed, and then some.

You can get your head out of the gutter. Because she's not that kind of personal assistant personal assistant.

Donna's job description including arranging a car every day to take the brunette to the office, managing all kind of communications from and to Beca, going to her penthouse every other day to bring groceries and a maid to clean up, and more specifically, making sure that the tiny DJ stays alive.

Now... to achieve such private life meant Beca had to cut loose so many strings with the society. Closed booth when she is DJ-ing, no visitors backstage or at home, no fans meeting, no party or interview, no going to any award show even when she won. You know, Donna or the people from the label could always take care of it.

So basically, none of any human interaction unless the necessity. Her identity was being kept in secret for six years. Nobody knew that she was DJ M. No common people knew that fact at least.

You must be asking, why? Why she had to do everything just to make sure that she couldn't be found, especially by her past? And more importantly, why would she? We'll get there. Patient.

For the record, The Bellas sure had gone way out of their head to find their "missing" former captain. But tried as hard as they might, they failed, miserably. Because Beca left no loophole for anybody, anybody from her past to find her. Brilliant. Not Beca. But Donna. She was the one who did all the hard and dirty work.

The perks from having this kind of privacy was that Beca could walk around the city freely, or sat in her favorite cafe without distraction and more importantly, alone without being hassled by the paparazzi. Nobody knew who she really was, remember?

The solitary life clearly didn't alter her career and financial. Beca had gone out of her way to advance her musical career. Only a year after she started up, she had become one of the highest paid music producer.

Yep. No doubt. I know it. You know it. Everybody know it.

It wasn't a surprise at all that she became a very sensational mysterious DJ, and she played at the most exclusive clubs all over the world.

Great right? Awesome even.

Two years after Barden, she had too much money in her hand. And she wasn't great at spending it. When that became a problem, Donna came with the rescue named Harvey Specter. A corporate lawyer and business adviser, who was also Donna's boyfriend back then.

Harvey managed Beca's money into tons and tons of great investments and real estates that blew up her bank accounts in no time. Beca started to have her own clubs and karaoke bars all around America and Europe under her company, Lucifer Corps.

On 2018, Harvey advised her to start her own label. She complied. Of course. Who was she kidding anyway? Her own record label? She'd said yes in a heartbeat. So she started to have some record labels around the states under the name Lucifer Records.

Why Lucifer? Beca named her company and label after her mother's name, Lucy. Sentimental. Unlike her. At all. But true. And it also refers to the morning star. Because unknowingly, Beca is an astronomic freak. But uhm... let's keep it to ourselves folks. It's a secret.

Judging from all of the business and investments she had, it is so freaking safe to say that she had become one of the richest person alive with her multi-billions company.

But we know Beca. Let's just be real. There's no way she wants to be hassled with those kind of craps. It's Harvey and Donna who have the expertise of these uhm... business type of thing. Yep. That's how Beca called it. Business type of thing.

Back to the topic. Her company.

So she made Harvey a CEO. She wanted Harvey and Donna to manage it together, but her red headed personal assistant, -yep, that's right. Donna is red headed, had insisted to remain as her personal assistant. Beca thought it was because she let Donna determined her own salary. The truth is, Donna just wanted to keep an eye on the reckless tiny brunette.

The couple was the closest thing Beca could refer as family after she left Barden. They loved and truly cared about the brunette, who as far as they concerned, had nobody in her life but them.

The two of them got married in 2019 and had a son the following year named Stephan Calisto Specter. They pointed Beca as the godmother, and named the boy after Beca's middle name.

It isn't by choice, -in Beca's insisted defense, to be a godmother. But the truth is, Beca loves that five year old boy very much. She has been the cool godmother, and Stephan adores her as if she hangs the stars in the sky.

Beca was more than grateful for having them, -not that she ever admitted it anyway. Still do. So, she has given them everything they need, and then some. Beca has trusted them with her life. Even though she doesn't open up much to them.

Talking about opening herself up, Beca was clearly not a fan. Beca had put her emotions buried inside, out of sight, out of mind. Covered it up with denials, rationalizations, suppressions, excuses, and so many, many other terms that a psychologist would like to call self-defense mechanism.

Fancy. I know.

Well, as unhealthy as it sounds, that felt enough though. For her. To keep it all to herself. And for a very long time, she didn't even remember how it felt like to be not alone. To be honest, she was too afraid to be not alone.

So for four years after Barden, Beca deemed that her life was enough. Supposedly. Even though other than Donna, Harvey, and Stephan, she basically didn't have anybody else in her life. No people meant no unnecessary drama, hence no pain and hurt.

That was her life's motto. Was.

Judging by that, everybody would've thought that Beca had a good life, great even. Heck, you and I would kill for a life like hers. Admit it.

For Beca, it wasn't perfect. But who needed perfect anyway when almost perfect was more than enough already. Pfft... Perfect is overrated. Or so she thought. And for more than four years after graduated, Beca was more than fine with her almost perfect life. And nope, she didn't need anybody else in order to be happy. She was happy. Supposedly.

Nevertheless, life always has something up its sleeve. And in Beca's case, Ashley happened. A surprise that Beca didn't know that she had been waiting, or even considered that she'd ever need in her life.

But it turned out, Ashley became the missing piece that perfected and completed Beca's life. Why? Because she made Beca felt that almost perfect just wasn't enough anymore. She even threw away her almost perfect life for Ashley.

You'll see why.

When they just met, Ashley was nothing like Beca. A very open person versus a hiding under the bunker type of closed off one. They were like the bright day compared to the dark starless cloudy night. Rainbow and sunshine met thunderstorm and dark humor. A bubbly optimist with a hopeless skeptics. Heart under the sleeve and heart under the cheeks.

And you clearly know which is whom. So no explanation needed. You get the picture.

In conclusion, they had nothing in common. So, personality wise, it's safe to say that they are as close as the north pole to south pole. However, they are bound to pull each other by the gravity. To balance each other. That is, if you want to be poetic or something.

Funny how things turned out though, right? The one person that scared the hell out of her mind to be committed, fell in love with the one person that had no fear to put herself into any kind of relationship.

The most private loner set her eyes and heart on the most opened person. Well, what did they know anyway? People said that opposite attracts. So maybe, just maybe, they -the people, were right in this case.

Hold it. Scratch the maybes. At this point, Beca is certain that she and Ashley are made for each other. Ironic. I know. And today, they're having their 5th anniversary.

Chapter Text

 In the last chapter, we were left hanging on the night of Beca and Ashley's 5th anniversary. So... here it goes. It's September 26th 2025 in L.A. At night.

After a candlelight dinner and a long walk by the beach, Beca and Ashley decided to join their friends at one of Beca's karaoke bar in L.A.. They occupied a table by the corner of the VIP room. After a couple of toasts and congratulations, they just hang out as usual.

Just a 5th anniversary. No big deal. Right? Maybe. We'll see.

"Hey Beca. Tell us. And be honest, Dude." Patrick starts with a sly smile. "Who's your favorite character in our girls show?"

Beca certainly knows that answering that question will only lead to a group feud. Nevertheless, she smirks and says, "Caleb. Duh. With that genius brain, that scowled face, the badass attitude that melt into a giant puddle because of Hanna? It explains itself, dude. Not to mention that killer body. And I'm gay."

Everybody laugh while Troian teases, "Wow. Instantly. Without hesitation. Ash, you've got yourself a competition here."

"Oh, I don't worry at all." Ashley responds casually. Yet Beca can see a hint of sly smile by the corner of her lips.

"My love here, is as straight as a rainbow. So, nope. Not worried at all." Ashley adds before turning to Beca, inching her face closer to Beca's with devilish smile and says, "Besides, I don't think she will prefer that-" she points her chin toward Tyler who's sitting in front of her, "-than all of this." She finishes with husky voice, biting her bottom lip seductively as she gestures her hand to her body.

Beca gulps and her jaw drops, earning a whole-heartily laughter from the group.

With a huge grin, Ashley kisses her girlfriend's cheek and says, "Judging from that face, I don't think I have a competition, do I Dear?"

Beca chuckles and shakes her head lightly. Then she purses her lips, humming with a mock thinking face. Then she sighs over dramatically. "I don't know, Hon. Maybe I need uh... more persuasion? I mean it's been five years. Maybe..." She glances at her girlfriend playfully, purposively trailing the end of the sentence and leaves it hanging.

"Hey!" Ashley exclaims, slapping Beca's arm playfully, pouting and scolds, "It is not what I heard this morning. Or in the shower. Or in the car after dinner."

A loud "Ew... gross." and scrunched faces are coming from their friends while Beca barks out a carefree laughter. Then Beca laces her fingers with Ashley's, kisses the tip of her nose lightly, and says with a goofy grin, "It's you, pretty weirdo."

Ashley huffs and pouts her lips. "You need to do more than that to make me feel better. Or you're going to sleep on the couch tonight."

Upon seeing her girlfriend's childlike manner that she loves and adores, Beca laughs again. Then she kisses Ashley's forehead before she says, "I." Followed with a kiss on the tip of Ashley's nose, "Love." And finishes with a gentle lingered kiss on the half-pouted half-smiling lips, "You."

Then Beca pulls back slowly and asks, "How about that?"

Ashley tries unsuccessfully to hide the grin on her face. But, the twinkle in her eyes gives her away. She rolls her eyes in mock annoyance and grumbles, "It will do. For now. But you have to make it up for me tonight."

Seeing through her girlfriend, who is trying failingly to hide her smile, Beca suppresses her grin and says, "Yes My Lady."

Tyler laughs, raises his glass, and jokingly says with a wink, "Well, you know where to find me, DJ. In case... you know... you change your direction."

Ashley throws a handful of peanuts toward Tyler, which he unsuccessfully ducks, earning another bark of laughter in their table.

Keegan shakes his head lightly and says, "Five years together and you two still go at it worse than horny teenagers."

"What can I say?" Ashley smiles smugly. "My girlfriend has a great talent using her fingers. I guess the years being a DJ has its own benefit...s."

That earns other mocking comments from the group.

"How about the girls cast?" Ian continues with a smirk after the laughter unwind.

"Oh no no no no." Beca answers, wiggling her index finger. "I'm not falling into that trap, Ian."

"You are no fun at all another Mitchell." Shay comments.

Ian changes the question while wiggling his eyebrows. "Your favorite pairing?"

"Spaleb definitely." Beca answers without hesitation. Again. "Sorry Hon, but I really want to know what kind of monsters two geniuses can produce."

Ashley gasps mockingly and retorts, "How could you?"

"And no." Beca adds with bored-looking face. "I don't enjoy seeing Hanna and Caleb playing tonsils tennis. Especially when you always force me to watch the show with you."

Ashley turns to her girlfriend with mischievous smile as she says, "I've never heard any complain about the extracurricular activities we do after watching the show."

"Duh." Beca replies smugly. "Because I didn't. Complain. Ever."

Another laughter erupts from their table.

"So you prefer my fiancé doing that tonsils tennis with Caleb instead, huh?" Patrick responds, narrowing his eyes with a mock hurting face. "I thought I was your best friend."

Beca scoffs and says, "Tone down the drama, princess."

Keegan adds, "Spencer is supposed to be with Toby. They are made for each other."

Patrick playfully puts his hands on Keegan's neck as if he wants to choke him. "Man, you need to stop touching my fiancé."

Troian takes a picture of them and laughs at her fiancé.

"Come on Patrick." Keegan says with a mock fear on his face. "You know that it was all just an act. You know that Troian loves you man."

Just as Patrick puts down his hands, Keegan adds, "But Spencer loves Toby."

And yeah. Another laughter comes out. They are loud.

Then Patrick sips his whiskey and raises his right eyebrow at Beca as he asks, "How about you Dude? After six freaking seasons, did you ever get jealous or angry of Haleb's sex montages?"

"Meh..." Beca just shrugs and keeps sipping her ice tea slowly.

Troian furrows her eyebrows curiously and says, "Yeah, there were so many hot scenes between them through all seasons, tiny bit. I don't believe that you never got upset or at least irritated."

After putting her drink down, Beca casually says, "Well, of course I got jealous sometimes." Then she points her chin toward Keegan, "But like Keegan said earlier, it was all part of an act. And I know her... you know... her uh... face and expression when we uh... ehem... doing it, you know. And what she showed on the scenes are not her... uhm... real enjoying being pleasured face?"

"Babe!" Ashley slaps Beca's arm playfully.

"Eeew..." Sasha scrunches her face. "We so do not need to know that."

Beca laughs and looks at her blonde girlfriend, who is sitting next to her and sending her a deathly glare.

"What?" Beca retorts with a smirk. "They asked, I answered!"

Then Beca turns her attention back to the group and says nonchalantly, "Besides, it's not like I could complain or do anything about it anyway. You know. Knowing your line of work."

Ashley clears her throat. "You mean our work, Babe."

Beca simply rolls her eyes while Ashley narrows her eyes at her girlfriend and smirks devilishly as she says, "She is not allowed to be jealous anyway. Not when every time I went to her DJ-ing gigs, I have to restrain myself from punching and slapping every men and women who throw themselves at her in the DJ booth. Right, Honey?"

Upon hearing the punctuation on the word honey, Beca just shrugs her left shoulder, trying to look cool when she responds, "Yes, my dear."

Everybody laugh at the couple, except Tyler, who makes a whip noise and teases, "Dude, you are so whipped."

Although she is glaring at Tyler, Beca admits –to herself obviously, that being with Ashley has softened her edges in so many ways. She has become more open with people and doesn't really mind the PDA.

Okay, scratch that. She even enjoys the PDA. Err...

Okay! Stop narrowing your eyes doubtfully, folks! Guilty as charged. She loves it. Loves it loves it. Can you blame her? When your girlfriend is as stunning as Ashley is, you too would've been proudly showing the world that she's yours. Like all the time.

Sasha, the youngest among them, gets curious. "But seriously. Did you two ever get angry or argue about that? Like, ever? Even Hudson got upset sometimes. Especially when we haven't seen each other in a long time."

"Hmmm..." Ashley mocks a thinking look. "Well... We had our fair share of fights. Let's just say that we handle it really well. I mean, really... really... well... We have our ways."

The way she ends the sentence with a mischievous wink makes sure that everybody get the idea. But Sasha narrows her eyes and innocently asks, "Really well, how?"

Shay sighs and says, "I think she meant a lot of hot and steamy of angry and make up sex, Sasha."

"Oh... that... um... okay." Sasha stutters with a blush.

Everybody just laugh and tease Sasha for being so naive.

Yet Beca rolls her eyes playfully and says, "Oh, get your head out of the gutter, Shay. She meant we are doing really well at communication. Whenever we are in doubt, we talk about it. That's it." She pauses to sip her drink, and then adds, "And yeah, the sex do help. A lot."

Then everybody bark out another laughter. Told you. They are loud.

With a deep contented sigh, Beca looks around her. And she couldn't help but wonder how she got here. Ten years ago, or even six years ago, if someone had told her that she would be in a long term relationship with a wonderful woman, has a group of friends -other than Donna and Harvey obviously, that care about her and she pretends not to care about, Beca would have scoffed and told them to fuck off.

Seriously. You and I know that for sure.

It would've been like an unrealistic dream comes true. Which is unrealistic. And Beca did have this kind of life before, but it didn't turn out well. However, life seems to have another plan. So, here she is, sitting and laughing among her best friends with the love of her life snuggling up on her.

Then Beca lets her mind wanders back to the time she met Ashley for the first time. Well, maybe it's a little bit of sugar coating to say they met. More like collided to be exact. With Beca's ice tea spilled all over Ashley. Yep. Lucky Beca, right?


 

Flashback: 5 years and 6 months ago.

Beca was at the first party that she had ever attended. Well, more to Donna and Harvey's demand anyway. They were very adamant for her to come and celebrate her own new established records label. She agreed to go with the conditions that nobody should know who she is or even talk to her at all. And as usual and always, Harvey would be the one that gave the speech.

It was very obvious that Beca felt very uncomfortable and bored out of her mind at the party. And to make it all worse, she just had to bump into someone, spilling her ice tea all over the other person.

Beca was ready to apologize. But suddenly, she lost her ability to produce words as her body froze up and her jaw dropped when she looked up only to find a very breath taking and stunning blonde, who happened to have a pair of gorgeous blue eyes, right in front of her.

Beca didn't even realize of how she looked like until Donna nudged her on her shoulder. Aware of her dumbstruck reaction, Beca rolled her eyes and hurriedly said, "I'm sorry." Then she pulled out a grey handkerchief from the pocket on the left side of her pants. "Here, use this."

That blonde was brushing her hand on her red dress before she looked up and saw the thing that Beca offered. The blue-eyed blonde raised her eyebrows comically, taking the handkerchief and asked, "People still bring this stuff?"

"Uh... Yeah? I guess? Uh... I mean, I do." Beca stuttered, rubbing the back of her neck nervously. Beca only dared to steal a couple of glances toward the blonde, who were gently pressing the handkerchief onto her dress.

"This won't do. I need to go to the bathroom to take care of this."

"Again, I am so sorry." Beca grimaced apologetically. "I wasn't paying attention at all. My middle name is klutz. Maybe it should've been my first name."

The blonde girl simply giggled upon seeing how nervous the brunette was.

Upon hearing the sweetest amusing tone that caught her ears, Beca shot her eyes up and stared at the blonde in awe.

"It's okay, Klutz." Ashley said with a knowing smirk. She was confident about her appearance. And it was common for people to stare at her the way Beca did. Then she offered her hand for a handshake. "Well, my name is Ashley. Ashley Benson."

With her cheeks blushing furiously, Beca cleared her throat, trying unsuccessfully to calm her nerves and muttered, "Uh... actually... that is not my real name."

"Hmmm..." Ashley smiled teasingly. "So, are you going to leave me hanging uh..."

"Uh... Sorry." Beca quickly took Ashley's hand, shaking it lightly. "Beca. Beca Mitchell."

Their hands lingered on longer than necessary until Beca heard Donna coughed lightly. Beca pulled her hand back, shaking her head lightly to get her mind out from the dazzling smile of the blonde before she said, "This is Donna Paulsen."

Ashley stared at Donna questionably. "Donna Paulsen as in..."

Beca furrowed her eyebrows, puzzled by the way Ashley trailed her end of the sentence.

Knowing just how oblivious Beca could be, Donna just rolled her eyes, sighing before she put on a smile and said, "Donna Paulsen as in Beca's personal assistant Donna Paulsen."

"Oh." Ashley looked as if she was relieved. She smiled and then offered her hand for a handshake. "Well Donna Paulsen as in Beca's personal assistant Donna Paulsen, I'm Ashley. As in Ashley Benson."

"I know who you are." The red head responded with a genuine smile as she shook Ashley's hand. "Great show by the way."

"Thank you." Ashley smiled back.

As she pulled back her hand, Ashley turned to the brunette, and says, "Okay then. I will go to the bathroom and clean up. Nice meeting you... Klutz."

Without thinking about it, Beca blurted out, "You can give Donna your number. I will pay for that dress. Or do whatever it is to make it up to you."

After a second of being taken aback, Ashley smirked and teased, "Are you trying to get my number, Beca Mitchell?"

"No. It's not what I meant." Beca said frantically with her eyes widened. "I uh... was thinking that... your dress is ruined... uh... Donna could..."

Ashley and Donna chuckled upon seeing how Beca turned into a bumbling mess.

"I was kidding, Beca. Don't sweat it." Ashley said, suppressing her grin before she added with a knowing wink, "But I think it's too late to warn you about that."

Was it hot that night, folks.

Beca's face was blushing red with a nervous smile. No. hold that. Not a smile. A grimace. Then she looked down at the floor while shuffling her feet. Yep. Couldn't be more obvious of how nervous she was.

Amused. That was how Ashley felt by seeing the brunette's shy behavior. Charmed to be precise. She wondered how a person could be so awkward yet so adorably sweet and cute all at the same time. To say that she was attracted to the brunette would've been an understatement.

Then Ashley's smile became wider as an idea popped into her mind. "Tell you what. I won't press any charges if you agree to grab a drink with me after I deal with this mess."

Stunned by the fact that such a beautiful lady asked her for a drink, Beca froze up for a second. She was indeed surprised that anybody would've taken a time to talk to her. You know, since she didn't have the most welcome vibe. She practically had the words Fuck Off, printed boldly with black ink on her forehead. Not to mention her heavy eyeliner and ear piercings that didn't exactly say I'm warm and fluffy. Come and be friends with me.

Seemed to see that the blonde was interested with the brunette, Donna did a favor to the very stunned Beca by answering, "Don't mind her dumbstruck. It is her way to say that she would be glad to have a drink with you."

Beca snapped her head to Donna and shot her a warning glare that says, "What the hell?"

Donna just rolled her eyes at Beca and turned to smile at the blonde.

"Very well then." Ashley beamed. "Do you mind waiting for me by the bar? I'll be just a minute." Then she walked toward the bathroom.

After making sure that the blonde was out of hearing range, Beca turned to Donna and scolded, "What the hell, Donna?!"

"Stop being so dense, Monkey." Donna said with bored-looking face. "She is obviously attracted you. You'll thank me later."

Little did she know, she would be thanking Donna for the next five years. And maybe more. Who knows. However, at that moment, Beca groaned and stomped her tiny feet to the bar.

Beca was nourishing her glass of ice tea by the corner of the bar when she felt a tap on her shoulder. She looked over her shoulder and found that Ashley was beaming at her. She couldn't help but grinning back at the blonde.

"Sorry to keep you waiting." Ashley said as she slid on the stool next to Beca.

"It's okay." Beca answered with a shrug. She tapped her fingers nervously on the glass while her eyes wandered around, looking for Donna because the crowds were starting to creep her out.

"Are you always this nervous around people?"

With a tight smile, Beca sighed and answered with raised eyebrows. "Try full blown panic to be precise."

Ashley hummed curiously but she tried to start a conversation anyway. With a playful tone, she asked, "So, tell me Beca Klutz Mitchell. What brought you here tonight if you are not so comfortable with the crowd?"

Beca certainly couldn't tell her the truth, but she didn't want to lie either. So she chose to give a vague respond instead. "I uh... kind of obligated to show up. I guess."

"Oh. Let me guess." Ashley chirped instantly. "You know the owner. They are your friends and they force you to come. Am I close?"

"Uhm... Something like that."

When Beca didn't ask her anything, Ashley chuckled and teased, "It's not an interrogation you know. So you can ask me back."

Beca chuckled nervously at the blonde's bluntness. "I'm sorry uh... Ashley. I'm just uh... not really good at this."

"At talking with people?"

"Well that... and uh... especially with someone that has crazily captivating blue eyes." Beca stammered nervously. She didn't mean to flirt but the words just flowed out of her mouth. And of course she regretted it instantly. "Crazily? Really, Mitchell? Is that how rusty you are?"

Ashley knew that it was the most common over-kill type of flirting. Yet she giggled and blushed like an inexperienced teenager. Maybe it was because of the way Beca saying it. It was way too far from being flirty. And certainly too specific to be just a casual compliment. Let's just hope that she didn't see it as creepy.

Beca didn't seem to notice though as she quickly tried to cover up the embarrassment. "What about you? What brings you here tonight?"

"Well... I'm in this line of business. So I got invited by proxy."

"So... you must be in the showbis. An actress, maybe?"

Ashley chuckled at Beca's statement. She thought the brunette was playing her. "What gives, Sherlock?"

"Well, first of, you said you are in this line of business." Beca started, looking very serious. "If you are a singer or someone who works with music, I would've known. Second of, you don't seem like a business type of person, no offense. And uhm... Donna did mention about a great show? So..."

Ashley's eyes widened in surprise and her lips formed a huge grin before she exclaimed, "You honestly don't know!"

"Uh..." Beca looked confused. "And what is it that I'm supposed to know?"

Ashley just stared at her with comic surprised look.

Thinking like she had offended the blonde, Beca hurriedly said, "I am truly sorry if I offended you. I didn't mean to do that. I'm not an outgoing person. So I'm kind of outdated."

Ashley threw her head back, laughing whole-heartily for seeing how innocent the brunette was.

Beca just stared at her with puzzled look since she didn't understand why the blonde laughed. The laughter was delightful though. And she couldn't help but staring at Ashley when she noticed how attractive Ashley was when she's laughing.

Her eyes formed into a perfect crescent. The blue part of her eyes looked so bright with a glint of tears, glimmering as the light reflected on them. The dimples on her cheeks matched the crinkle by the corner of her eyes in such a natural way. Her cheeks became rosy red.

Then the best thing that caught Beca's attention the most was its sound. It sounded crunchy yet soft in the same time. It was so light and joyful. Unknowingly to Beca, a soft smile appeared on her own face.

"I'm so sorry Becs." Ashley said as the laughter unwind, wiping the tears from the corner of her eyes. "I didn't mean to offend you. It's just... How? Have you been living under a rock?"

Beca was taken aback by the nickname and the familiar words. She hadn't heard anyone called her with that name for more than four years. And the realization hit her; Ashley's eyes was the same color with the person that she hadn't been thinking for a while now. Hadn't.

In addition, if Beca looked deeper, they kind of had the same cheery bubbly personality. These insights certainly made her wonder whether or not she was attracted to the blonde because of the resemblance. She was so lost in her thought that she didn't realize Ashley was waving in front of her.

"Earth to Beca."

"Uh... I'm sorry." Beca blinked to pull her mind back to the person in front of her. "What did you say?"

"Are you okay? You were kind of space out for a minute."

"Yeah. I was uh... You know what? Nevermind."

"Are you sure?"

"Yes, I'm sure. So uh... Where were we?" Beca tried to change the subject. "Ah... Why did you laugh?"

Ashley seemed to understand not to push the brunette. So she let it go. Then she asked in comic surprise, "You seriously don't recognize me?"

"Uh... Should I?... Recognize you? I mean, have we met? Or have I spilled my drink on you before that I don't have any recollection about?"

Again, Ashley was amused.

It's not like she liked to throw her celebrity status card or anything. She's not that kind of person. She just found it hard to believe that there was any teenager or young adult that didn't know her from a certain TV series. They'd made quite a successful rating this year on their first season. Besides, she was the main character in a famous cheerleader movie a couple of years back. Being not recognized was a little bit unusual for her.

With her eyes narrowed, Ashley stared at Beca, intrigued as she asked, "Have you heard of a TV series called Pretty Little Liars?"

"Aaahh..."

"Aaahh... as in aaahh I recognize you now or aaahh I finally realize why I don't know you?"

Beca chuckled and said, "It's the latter."

"You don't know Pretty Little Liars?"

"More like I don't know any kind of TV series or movies. I'm uh... not big on visual entertainment called movie or TV series."

"Wow."

Beca just shrugged nonchalantly, sipping her ice tea to cover up the nervousness.

"You, Beca Mitchell, are weirdly interesting."

Beca raised an eyebrow doubtfully because she wasn't used to that reaction. Usually people would've at least laughed at her and asked her the reason behind, recommended her their favorite movies, or worse, pushed her to watch movies with them.

"You're not going to ask me why or push me to watch any movies?"

"I'm sure as hell curious. But who am I to ask or judge what you like or not like to do."

Again, Beca raised an eyebrow with a doubtful scoff.

"What? People have their own personal quirks. I, for one, sure have one hell of personal quirks on my own."

Impressed, Beca tried to suppress her smile and asked, "Do I get the honor to know one of Ashley Benson's quirks?"

"Sure you do." Ashley replied nonchalantly. And then she smirked and added, "If you tell me why you don't like movies or TV series."

Beca laughed. She couldn't even believe that she could laugh so freely around a stranger she just met less than an hour ago. A little bit amused and a lot impressed, Beca pressed her lips with a tight smile, nodding her head as she said, "Well played, Benson. Well played."

Then they fell into a comfortable silent for a while. Well, maybe not so comfortable because they were busy thinking about how easy it was for them to converse with each other. The attraction to each other was new to both of them.

Ashley took a sip of her drink, trying to muster some courage before saying, "So, just so we clear here, I don't want to have any angry girlfriend giving me a third degree for monopolizing you tonight."

Beca snorted knowingly, smirking and teased, "Smooth. And subtle. Really."

Ashley blushed for getting caught. When Beca didn't say anything more, she simply asked, "Well?"

It took a couple of seconds, but Beca finally casually answered, "No. No girlfriend. Or boyfriend."

Maybe it was just a gut feeling, but Ashley was sure that Beca wasn't done yet. So she waited for a second. And it was like the universe confirmed her previous guess. Without looking at Ashley, Beca muttered, "As the matter of fact, no friends at all. So don't worry. You might be monopolizing me tonight, but there is no one that will mind about it."

"My gain then." Ashley beamed at her. But then asked half-jokingly, "Wait. But you are not a felon on the run or a psycho right?"

"I might be."

Upon seeing Ashley's smile faltered, Beca snorted and said, "Easy there Benson. I'm not a felon or a psycho. Honest. Unless being an independent who enjoy being alone way too much is considered as a felony, then nope."

A relief sigh escaped Ashley's lips. And before she knew it, her lips blurted out, "Why?"

"Why what?"

"Enjoy being alone too much. Someone broke your heart and you don't believe in anybody anymore?"

Beca took a moment by sipping her drink before she nonchalantly answered, "I just do better on my own."

Ashley scoffed. "No offense Becs. But it is the lamest excuse. Everybody is good on their own. But we are certainly better when we're not."

"Works for me."

"Huh." Ashley narrowed her eyes, smiling as she said, "Stay longer. Be friends with me. I believe I can break you."

"You can try. But I won't be so sure if I were you. Just don't blame yourself when you fail."

"Does it mean you agree to be my friend then, Mitchell?"

Beca's eyes widened. Yep. She fell into that trap. Yet she laughed lightly and said, "You're good at this game, Benson."

"So it seems." Ashley responded with a smug smirk. "Ready to be changed by the mind blowing Benson Method?"

With an undermining scoff, Beca sarcastically said, "Good luck with that. Just don't hold your breath."

"Oh I won't." Ashley chirped cheerfully. "You won't even know when it's done."

Beca rolled her eyes yet a light tug of smile appeared on the corner of her lips.

"Oh. By the way. That irritated vibe you keep around you, the dark eyeliner, and those ear piercings you use to scare people off?"

Beca raised an eyebrow as if daring the blonde, expecting an insult coming her way.

"They don't work for me."

And again, Beca was amused. She covered it with a scoff before she said, "Oh. You just wait and see."

"Nu uh." Ashley said, wiggling her finger and smiling confidently. "You wait and see."

Beca just rolled her eyes again, trying so hard to hide the grin that pushed to surface.

Ashley grinned smugly upon seeing the not so subtle joy in Beca's eyes. Then she asked, "So, why the handkerchief, Romeo? Were you not born from this century?"

Suddenly, the light in Beca's eyes dimmed slightly, but she put on a weak smile and said, "Well, it's just a habit I've carried ever since I was a first grader."

Beca stopped out of hesitation. But she could see that Ashley was waiting silently. So she continued, "I was a clumsy kid. Well you witness that first-handedly. When I was in the first grade, I usually scratched my face with many things. You know. Crayon, dirt, food, paint, glue, blood, sand. Just anything with color really. So my mom, she uh... she taught me that it's better to be prepared and she always slipped one handkerchief into my pocket every day."

The hint of sadness in Beca's eyes and voice were quite obvious. So Ashley assumed that mother must be a soft spot to touch. She put her hand cautiously on Beca's and squeezed it gently as she said, "She is a very smart lady, Becs."

Surprisingly, Beca didn't mind being touched by Ashley. She put on a tight appreciative smile though. She was trying to decipher the meaning of this... weirdly good feeling she was having.

"I think, she must've anticipated that years later you would've spilled your drink on me."

Beca chuckled and retorted, "You'd like that, wouldn't you?"

When Ashley's cheeks became flushing red, Beca nervously muttered, "I'd really like to believe that she anticipated me spilling my drink on you today."

And... just like that. They both were falling into this nervous shy weird awkward silent.

Yep. Beca was hooked to the blonde since the first sight. They kept on talking for the whole night by the bar about everything and nothing at all. Even unaware when the party started to unwind. Before they knew it, Donna came to inform them that it was already two in the morning and Beca had to go home.

"I'll uh... walk you to your car." Beca said automatically.

Ashley bit her bottom lip to suppress a grin. "Sure."

Beca could see that Donna was smiling knowingly from Ashley's back. With Donna trailing them not so far from behind, they walked side by side closely. And their shoulders bumped into each other's a couple of times.

"Well, I never thought that I would ever say this after a party. But uhm... I really have a great time tonight. Uh... talking with you." Beca said nervously, pushing her hands into her jeans' pockets.

"It's not that hard right?" Ashley said with a smirk. When she realized how nervous Beca was, she added with a shy smile, "I'm glad you do. And just so you know, I also have a great time tonight talking with you."

Beca couldn't help but grinning from ear to ear. Then they arrived near a silver BMW.

"This is me." Ashley said.

Beca shuffled her feet back and forth, rubbing the back of her neck nervously before opening the back passenger door for Ashley. "It's uh... very nice meeting you."

"It's very nice meeting you too, Beca." Ashley said before leaning in to kiss Beca on the cheek.

And damn it! Beca was flushing red. She felt some kind of electric sensation spreading on her cheek where Ashley' lips lingered. It was a very unfamiliar yet welcomed feeling. She didn't know why, but she had this urge to see Ashley again.

Beca closed her eyes, taking a deep breath and clenched her hands in the pockets. "It's now or never, Mitchell."

That was the pep talk she gave to herself before blurting out, "Doyouwanttograbcoffeesometime?"

"I'm sorry. I didn't catch that. What did you say?"

Beca took a deep breath, feeling how silly she must've looked like. She rubbed the back of her neck again for the umpteenth times that night -it's going to need a moisturizer for the scratch, with her eyes fixed on her boots. "I uh... I'm wondering, if you uh... you know, want to grab coffee sometimes... with me?"

Shocked? Stunned? Surprised? Amazed? Yep. Amazed. Ashley didn't think that Beca would ask her out. So excuse her for looking silly with her mouth opened by then.

When she didn't get any response, Beca glanced expectantly at Ashley. And when she saw the seemed like a shocked look on Ashley's face, she rambled, "I mean you don't have to. You can say no. Well, it will be better if you say yes though. But why would you? Who's crazy enough to agree on going out for coffee with a stranger they just met? Ugh... I'm so bad at this. I'm so sorry, my bad, just forget that I asked. We can pretend that I never asked."

Ashley chuckled with rosy cheeks and replied, "I can be crazy enough."

This time, it was Beca's turn to be frozen up with her jaw dropped open. Why wouldn't she? She just rambling out of her mind frantically like an idiot yet this gorgeous blonde agreed to go out with her. Lucky her. Right?

"Well, you know." Ashley teased upon seeing Beca's dumbstruck expression. "Crazy enough to take an offer to grab some coffee with a stranger. Especially when the stranger is very adorably cute."

"I am so not adorable nor cute, Benson."

"Who said I was talking about you?"

"Wha... I thought... wait, what?"

Ashley barked out her delightful laughter –in Beca's opinion, upon seeing Beca's manner. Then she took Beca's hands in hers, smiling softly as she said, "You are definitely something else, Beca Mitchell. I was kidding, silly. Of course I was talking about you."

"Oh. You're apparently not only crazy. But also mean."

"Now, give me your phone." Ashley put her hand out.

"What? Why? Don't you have your own phone?"

Ashley snorted. "You really don't know how to do this, do you?"

"You have no idea." Beca rolled her eyes. "Now, why would you need my phone?"

"To put my number on it. Duh. We need to communicate about the time and place of that coffee you asked me. Becs... in this century, we, modern people, use this kind of rectangular device. You know, to communicate. It's called a phone."

"Haha. Very funny." Beca handed Ashley her phone. She watched intently as the blonde put her number on it.

"There. My number's on it. And I already texted myself to get your number. So, it's too late for a second thought if you want to bail on the date." Ashley winked as she hands back Beca's phone.

"So, it's a date, huh?" Beca couldn't help the knowing smirk on her face.

Successful in getting Beca's attention on her not so subtle attempt to reassure the meaning of the so-called coffee meeting, Ashley smiled cheerfully. With an effort to seem nonchalant, Ashley shrugged and said, "It can be a date. I mean, if you want to."

Beca chuckled real soft and said, "It's a date then."

Ashley beamed at her and leaned in to kiss her cheek again. "It's settled then, Mitchell. Call me about the details."

Again, Beca was stunned by the kiss. But she quickly put on her charming lopsided smile. "Yes ma'am."

After that, Ashley got into the car and then Beca slammed the door gently. They waved goodbye by the window. Beca watched as Ashley's car turned at the corner of the street before walking- no, scratch that. She was skipping her feet to her waiting car. When she slid inside, Donna was smiling and looking at her knowingly.

"Shut up, Donna." Beca muttered with her cheeks turning red.

"I didn't say anything."

That was their first meeting. Seems cool, right? Well, the next five years were uhm... more colorful. Let's start with the fact that it took Beca six months to officially ask Ashley to be her girlfriend. It happened because Beca needed to be sure that she wasn't into Ashley for some unresolved first love or anything.

At first, Beca couldn't deny the resemblance between Ashley with her first love. Someone with red hair, but personality wise had the similar attitudes. And let's not pretend that we don't know who it is. Because we do.

Well, that was just one reason though. The other was that Beca being Beca. And she had always been terrified to put herself out there, let alone to admit that she had feeling to other people. It wasn't her zone and forte. She avoided that like a plague.

But after months of constant texting, midnight calls, several casual coffee and lunch dates, getting drunk together, and one hell of a trip to the hospital, Beca was finally certain about her feeling toward the blonde.

So, six months after the first encounter and two months after the incident that required a trip to the hospital, Beca officially asked Ashley to be her girlfriend.

In case you're wondering how, she sang a song. Of course. She's Beca Mitchell. But not only a song. She made a dinner reservation exclusively only for the two of them at a rooftop restaurant. After dinner and pleasantries, Beca serenaded Ashley with a love song. While playing a piano. Yep. All out.

When the song ended, Beca asked, "So uhm... Do you maybe uh... Want to make it official? Be my girlfriend? Or uh... something like that?"

Ashley chuckled. Yeah. Chuckled. And Beca felt like an idiot. Thinking that why would anybody date her.

"I thought I was already your girlfriend." Ashley said cheerfully. Then she wrapped her arms around Beca's neck and added, "You know. After you told me that you love me two months ago at the hospital."

A face-splitting grin appeared on Beca's face but she suppressed it instantly and nonchalantly said, "I didn't say I love you."

"Nu uh." Ashley said in confusion. "You did."

"I said..." Beca trailed with a smirk. "I think I'm falling in love with you."

"Haha." Ashley rolled her eyes and slapped Beca's arm playfully as she said, "Very funny, Mitchell."

"It's my middle name!" Beca exclaimed. "Beca Ste-funny Mitchell."

Ashley couldn't help but chuckle with an eye rolling.

"Pun intended." Beca added with a smartass smirk.

"Just kiss me already, girlfriend." Ashley demanded with a pout.

And Beca complied. Whole-heartily. No need to get into the detail. You know how to kiss.

.

.

You do, right?

End of Flashback.

Okay folks. That is the second chapter. Their anniversary night isn't over yet. But I have to wrap this chapter in regard of the chapter's tittle.

I have a surprise in the next chapter. Until then, sit tight and make good choices.

Oh. About the song Beca had sung to ask Ashley to be her girlfriend. You'll find out later.

Chapter Text

As the memory or their first meeting flashes in her mind, Beca doesn't notice that she has been smiling. On her own. Creepily. But it doesn't matter. Let's get back to their love story.

Since she found Ashley, Beca never wanted to be alone anymore. No matter how hard the situation was, she always chose to face it head on with Ashley.

But like every other relationship, it's not always rainbow and sunshine. Definitely. There were a lot of bumpy road and scorching roller coaster along the way. We certainly can't talk about all of it. But let's see some of the significant ones.

The first down line of the roller coaster in their relationship happened a year into their relationship. Ashley wanted to come out about their relationship to the public other than her best friends and family. Well, to be fair, it was getting harder to keep their relationship under the radar with Ashley's growing popularity as a celebrity.

On the other hand, it was a terrifying idea for someone like Beca. Seriously. She had been hiding her life for years for a reason. And it wasn't as easy as flipping a hand to just jump out of her comfortable safe closet. There would be consequences.

So certainly, Beca voted against the idea. It's not like she didn't love Ashley enough. She was just... horrified. And paranoid.

And naturally, they had their first huge fight,that almost tore them apart. But in the end, Beca relented. Why? It's simple. Because Ashley had a very solid reason; Beca couldn't hide forever.

Although it was hard, Beca started to surface and came up to the public by revealing DJ M's real identity. Then she changed her stage name into DJ Mitchell. Suddenly, her life was under not only a crazy pumping blinding lights, but also a super huge magnifying glass.

Beca was never fond of the idea of living under the microscope called the media, so the transition process hit her hard. It was a good thing that Ashley was always there by her side, held her hand, tirelessly showed her how wonderful it felt to be living and loving freely.

Despite of the fact that Beca was a very closed off person and still kept her feeling for herself, Ashley loved her anyway, for whoever and however she was. Especially when Beca had been nothing but sweet, loving, caring, considerate, faithful, kind, supportive, understanding, and adorably awkward.

So Ashley waited patiently for Beca to open herself up. Then, after their 2nd anniversary, Ashley wanted them to move in together. Again, Beca was still not ready yet. They had a huge fight that ended up with Ashley walking out the door. They didn't see or talk to each other for more than a month.

Beca knew that Ashley didn't want to be left out at the other side of the wall anymore. Not when she was willing to give every single piece of her heart to Beca. Being left by Ashley was the most terrifying moment for Beca, because she finally realized how much Ashley meant to her.

Yep. She didn't want to lose Ashley. She couldn't. Especially if it was for some stupid reasons like being stubborn and afraid of getting hurt.

Eventually, Beca decided that she shouldn't keep running and hiding out of fear. Not if it kept her from having the happy ending that she deserved. And not if it hurt the person she loved the most.

The only way to win Ashley back was that Beca had to own up her fear and let go of her insecurities. Beca clearly knew that. She couldn't just keep leaving Ashley out because it was selfish and it was indeed unfair to the blonde. So, she threw her fear out of the window, gave in, be the bigger person, and surrendered all.

One night, weeks after not seeing and talking to Ashley, Beca came to Ashley's apartment and told her everything. At that moment, Beca opened her Pandora box to Ashley, and let her know everything that made she vow to never give any spaces or chances for other people to come close and hurt her ever again. She told Ashley about all of the things that made her run to the opposite direction of any commitment and why she believed that nobody stay.

Just like all of the other damaged person had experienced, the first crack always started from family. Beca's parents got divorced because her father had cheated on her mother when she was only eight years old. The process was hard and it didn't just flip her life upside down, but also changed the way she think about relationship.

Beca had lived a hard but loving life with her mother until her so-called father forced her to leave her mother and go to college. Then when she was a junior in college, her mother died suddenly from pancreatic cancer and it left her crushed and devastated. For the cherry on top, her father disowned her after she came out as a gay not long before graduation.

After the family issue, Beca told Ashley about the first group that she had considered as family, The Bellas. Before they started dating, she had told Ashley about how she ended up staying and finishing her degree in musical engineering with the support from The Bellas. She even had a couple of framed pictures of The Bellas in her penthouse and office. However, whenever Ashley ask more about it, Beca would just brush her off and change the topic.

That night, Beca finally told Ashley everything about every single Bella. She talked about how college turned out to be the best part of her life because of them. She didn't leave any detail out, from Aubrey with her pukegate, until world championship. It means, she also talked about her first love, Chloe Beale.

Beca told Ashley everything about Chloe, starting from how they met, how she slowly fell in love with the red head, and in the end, how she decided to leave without any word after graduation.

Ashley finally connected the dots why Beca hid her identity for years, why it took Beca so long to ask her to be a girlfriend, why she didn't want to come out on their relationship even after a year of dating, and why Beca was hesitant to move in together.

Everything was finally out in the open. Ashley held Beca till the sun came up, kept wiping the tears that fell silently on the brunette's cheeks while whispering repeatedly, "It's okay, Babe. I understand. I love you, I will always do. I'll never leave you, ever again. I promise."

In Ashley's arms, Beca finally had the most peaceful sleep she'd ever had after years while the blonde singing Make You Feel My Love by Adele ever so softly. The next day, Beca apologized profusely and promised that she would do her best to be better and more open.

They made up with an agreement that Beca would see a professional to solve her emotional problems, and then Ashley agreed to move on with Beca. They got back together and became stronger than ever.

After that revelation, Beca introduced Ashley to a couple of Bellas. Stacie was the first Bella that Beca contacted after a couple of sessions with her therapist, and they had hung out together a couple of times.

Ashley also met and eventually became best friend with Emily since Beca produced Emily's 3rd album. Other than the two tall brunettes, she also met the hilarious blonde, Fat Amy, who had visited the brunette in L.A. a couple of times after Stacie called her about the tiny brunette.

The last minor quakes in their relationship so far happened just three years and a half into their relationship. Beca had gotten a job that required her to stay in London for 6 months. It was the longest time they had to be separated ever since they got together.

Even with constant phone calls, face timing, and weekend visits every now and then, the distant and time differences took a toll on their relationship. In addition to it, there was a rumor around the air that Ashley was having an affair when Beca was away. Which was very untrue. But Beca being the insecure one, it sure did some number on her. In the end, they talked and worked it out.

Judging from all of that, it's safe to say that the last 5 years hadn't been a walk in a park for them. More like a ride on a burning roller coaster. Nevertheless, Ashley stayed with Beca and never once left again after the promise she made.

It took them both quite sometimes, one hell lots of compromises, and almost everything they had to be where they are today. Even so, sometimes, Beca still wondered how Ashley could still be in love with her after seeing, facing, being hit and hurt by all of her insecurities.

Slowly but sure, the blonde changed almost everything that Beca had ever believed in. Ashley brought the best out of her. She helped Beca to face her fear, deal with her insecurities, learn to let go of her past, and fight for what she really wants. For the things that she deserves.

After been through hell, Beca came back. This 32 year old Beca Mitchell is a changed person. Well, she's still as clumsy as ever, still the same whiny and sarcastic brat, still the same socially awkward alt girl. More or less. Just with new features.

She's brave to embrace the pain, she's learnt to pick herself up when she falls apart, and she doesn't let the weight of the world bring her down. More importantly, she finally has faith that sometimes somehow, people stay. Because so far, after everything, Ashley stays.

For that, Beca made a promise to herself that she would never take Ashley for granted, and would always try to be a better person that deserves Ashley's love.

The last thought reminds her of the one thing that she's been contemplating to do for a little over a year now.

Beca closes her eyes and sighs. She is so lost in her thought and she doesn't notice that Ashley has been watching her well-known-mind-wandering face all along.

Ashley pokes her girlfriend on the cheek and softly asks, "Babe, what's on that pretty little head of yours?"

"I was thinking about the day that we met." Beca says with a soft smile. "Remember? At the party? I spilled my drink on you."

After earning a nod from her girlfriend, Beca continues, "I was so captivated by your blue eyes that I forgot how to speak or even move for a moment. Literally. That was even before I heard you laugh. The first time I heard you laugh, all I could think about is how beautiful it sounded and how bad I wanted to hear it again and again and again."

"Dork." Ashley says, grinning from ear to ear before pressing a kiss on Beca's left upper arm.

"Yours nonetheless." Beca presses her lips onto Ashley's crown and smiles contently. Then she glances down to their lacing hands, and slowly trails her eyes up to look into Ashley's ocean blue eyes only to lean in and gently kiss her lips.

It's short but firm. Casual but deliberate. She pulls back a little bit and rests their foreheads together, looking deep into Ashley's eyes as she says, "I love you, Hon. It's been a long way until this moment. Thank you for loving me."

Ashley's smile becomes wider and then she gives Beca a soft peck before saying, "I love you too Babe. Always."

"Aaaaw..." Their friends tease, throwing comments about how disgustingly sweet and adorable they were, making both Ashley and Beca blush even more.

Suddenly, Patrick is up on his feet, smirking toward the tiny brunette and says, "I'm afraid we need more prove, Mitchell."

Beca raises an eyebrow in confusion, but her face changes immediately when Patrick walks to the stage.

"Dude! Don't!" Beca shouts frantically. But poor Beca. She's too late.

"Attention people." Patrick says, standing behind a mic with a huge grin on his face. "Tonight, two of my very best friends are celebrating their 5th anniversary. Look at that pair over there. The beautiful blonde and the grumpy brunette." He says, gesturing his hand to their table. "I know, right? They're like the real life version of beauty and the beast."

Upon hearing a loud laughter from the audience, Patrick grins from ear to ear while the DJ is staring at him with deathly glare.

"Kidding dude." He turns to the audience and continues, "She told me yesterday that she would do anything to make her girlfriend happy. Not only yesterday to be honest. She said that, a lot. So now I challenge her to sing for her girlfriend on this stage."

The crowds are clapping and cheering. Patrick almost gets off the stage, but he jumps back behind the mic and then says, "And I thank you all in advance. Because I'm pretty sure that the police will find my body by the shore next morning."

The crowds bark out a louder laughter as Patrick hops off the stage and walks back to their table.

Beca groans loudly and punches Patrick on his arm not so playfully. "What the fuck are you doing?"

Patrick just smirks with an eyebrow raised as if challenging the brunette.

After turning to her girlfriend and showing her terrified look, Beca pleads, "Hon..."

Ashley laughs lightly and kisses her girlfriend chastely on the lips before saying, "Go on. You'll be okay."

Beca groans again, turning her head back to Patrick. "You are so dead, Adams."

However, Beca stands up slowly, taking a deep breath and then walks up to the stage.

Even after all this time being a DJ, we would've thought that Beca already got used to be on the stage. But that is not the case, folks. She still got nervous every single time she has to perform.

With one hand grabbing the guitar tightly, and the other rubbing the back of her neck nervously, Beca nervously says, "Uh... I am Beca. I uh, will sing."

After realizing how dumb she must've looked like, Beca rolls her eyes and blurts out, "Well obviously. What else am I going to do on this stage with a guitar in my hands."

The self-insult earns a loud laughter from the little crowd in the VIP room. After the laughter unwind, Beca dries the sweat off her palm on her jeans, rambles out as the nerves are eating her up. "Though uh... it has been ten years since the last time I sing in front of the crowds. Usually I'm the person behind the curtain, or the mixing table. But uh... tonight it's not the case. Thanks to my asshole best friend."

With a deathly glare toward Patrick that earns another laughter from the audience, Beca mutters, "So uh... bear with me please."

Upon seeing how nervous his best friend is, Patrick shouts, "Just sing already, Mitchell!"

Beca glares at him but she says, "Okay, I uh... I'll just sing now. This is an acoustic cover of The Top of The World by Anthem Lights. They are one hell of a great group. I uh... wrote this song almost three years ago. Now, uhm, this is for the woman that inspired me to write and produce this song. Ashley, uh... I love you Hon. Always."

"I love you too Babe! Always!" Ashley shouts before blowing a kiss toward her girlfriend.

Then Beca starts strumming her guitar, trying to do one hell out of improvisation with her still shaking fingers because the original song is a little bit upbeat.

This song came into her mind just a second before she hopped on the stage. Beca knew what she wanted to say with this song. For so many reasons that she has showed how much she loves her girlfriend, she always feel that it isn't enough.

Despite of so many songs Beca had produced and mixes she'd made inspired by her girlfriend, she finds that actually singing it makes it feel more real.

Because, come on people. Beca might not be good at telling her felling, but she knows damn well how to sing it.

Therefore, as uncomfortable as she is for being forced to sing on the stage, Beca sing whole-heartily. Because for once, she wants to show the world -or in this case the 50-ish people in the VIP room, just how crazy she is about Ashley.

Beca shakes her head and her hands lightly, trying to shake down the nerves before she closes her eyes and forgets about everything but her girlfriend. And then she sings.

Tell me we don't have to leave, say we can stay forever
That we can always be, just me and you together
Cause this moment is all that I want
Oooh

Tell me how it used to be, and let me make it better
Cause baby you and me, we'll fly above the weather
Where we're going, there's no holding on
No
Let my eyes be your sunrise here

Standing on top of the world, hands up in the air feeling so alive
Screaming at the top of our lungs, to the rhythm of our heartbeat beating tonight
We go
Oooh standing on top of the world

Beca opens her eyes slowly, looking for the pair of blue-eyes she adores the most. She has to find them. Because the next part of the song is her favorite.

Then she finds them, the pair of blue eyes that belong to the one and only Ashley Benson. Who is staring at her with the widest smile that crinkles the corner of her eyes and shows how deep her dimples go. All on her beautifully featured face. She keeps her eyes on Ashley's as she sing.

So this is what it feels like, living this life in color
Say bye to black and white, you let me change it over
Now I see there's no going back
No

Finally I understand, what feeling's supposed to feel like
And when I got your hand, I've never been so high
All I need is all that you have
Oh
Your eyes are my sunrise here

Standing on top of the world, hands up in the air feeling so alive
Screaming at the top of our lungs, to the rhythm of our heartbeat beating tonight
We go
Oooh standing on top of the world

By now, Beca can feel her jaw hurt because of the splitting grin on her face. Especially when Ashley is staring back at her with glimmering eyes and fond smile.

And from way up here our problem seems so small
So baby have no fear we'll fly above it all

Standing on top of the world, Hands up in the air feeling so alive
Screaming at the top of our lungs, To the rhythm of our heartbeat beating tonight
We go
Oooh standing on top of the world

Beca ends the performance with a deafening cheers and clasps from the audience. More specifically from the group of her friends. Beca sees that Ashley has already stood up and walked to her. So she hops down the stage and rushes to her girlfriend, wrapping her arms around Ashley's mid-thigh and lifts her up.

Ashley squeals, throwing her head back in a laughter before she cups Beca's cheeks and kisses her passionately.

Everybody is cheering and whistling at them, and their friends keep throwing confetti's toward them.

They pull away from each other, resting their foreheads together with the widest grin they have. This is indeed the greatest way to celebrate their 5th anniversary. Little did Beca know, someone has been watching her since she walked up to the stage.

Told you in the first chapter. Life always has something up its sleeve. Just when Beca thought that everything is going perfectly in her life, she gets more surprise. We'll see what, or more precisely, who it is. In the next chapter.

Until then, sit tight and make good choices. Thank you for reading.

Chapter Text

 

Now for the unknown person. Please brace yourself *drumroll... ... ... Tadaaa! It's the one and only, the stunning Chloe Beale! Yep. Most of you might have predicted it. We'll start with Chloe's POV.

When she decided to come to a karaoke bar that night, Chloe never thought that she would meet the person who broke her heart years ago. Honestly, she'd never thought that she would've met Beca ever again.

However, as always, fate has another plan. No kidding. I believe the universe just need a dark humor. It loves to mess with your life when you think the odd has already been in your favor. Are you with me? Doesn't matter. Let's go back to the story.

It feels like being hit with a ton of bricks. Yep. That is how Chloe feel when she sees Beca walking up to the stage. It takes her a great deal of courage, and a couple shots of pure tequila until she deems that she's brave enough to approach her DJ.

The group is laughing so hard from the joke a brunette guy tells when Chloe comes slowly from behind her DJ. She covers Beca's eyes with her hands, and whispers near her ear, "Guess who?"

Dear god. Do the tiny brunette jumps from her seat. Her eyes go wide and her jaw drops in tremendous shock for a second before she gasps.

"Chloe?" Beca says hesitantly at first. Then she turns around, and when she sees the grin on Chloe's face, she shouts, "Chloe!"

"Becs!" Chloe jumps and tackles Beca with a bone-breaking hug. She couldn't have been more care less about her surroundings.

"Air... I need air, Beale."

Chloe pulls away a little bit to see the face she haven't seen in a very long time. For her, Beca looks almost the same as ten years ago before she left. Except that there are less eye liner, and somehow she seems lighter, more confident, and more approachable.

It must have something to do with the way she carries herself, the way she moves, and Chloe can't exactly pinpoint what it is. But it sure bring a sense of strength in her character.

If college Beca was attractive, this older Beca has the glow that Chloe can only describe as charming. And it isn't even close to what the brunette represents.

After pulling herself out from the haze of Beca Mitchell, Chloe exclaims, "How did you know that it was me?!"

"What are you doing here?!" Beca exclaims at the same time. Then they chuckle.

"Oh please Beale. I could recognize that vanilla perfume of yours from miles away. I bought you your first bottle remember? Besides, it's only you who dare to break into my personal bubble that close, intentionally, without a warning. Still have that old habit of breaking in I see."

Upon seeing the knowing smirk on Beca's face, Chloe slaps her arm playfully and chuckles.

"Aw!" Beca glares at her while rubbing her slapped arm. "Violent much? I think you broke one or two of my ribs by that bear hug."

"Well, hello to you too, long lost friend." Chloe rolls her eyes playfully. "Don't be such a baby Becs. I barely touch you. Besides, pretend all your way to China. I know you love that hug. You always have. And I'll just ignore how creepy you are for remembering my perfume after all this time."

Upon seeing that Beca is just staring at her in mock upset, Chloe smiles and adds, "I've missed you Becs."

Beca's eyes soften, smiling as she replies, "I've missed you too, Chlo."

Upon hearing that nickname, Chloe can't help herself from beaming her signature megawatt smile that splits from ear to ear and can light up the whole universe, thinking about how endearing it sounds even after all this time. And that is just how easy to be drawn into Beca's charm.

"Earth to Chloe."

"Sorry, what were you saying?"

"Got lost in Chloe land?"

Chloe just gives the tiny brunette a weak smile.

"What are you doing in L.A.? Aren't you supposed to be in Boston, teaching a bunch of ruggrats about art and music?"

"Well, I got offered a teaching job at a private school here like a month ago. I'm staying in L.A. now, teaching a bunch of ruggrats about art and music."

When Beca remains silent and looks at her face with unreadable expression, Chloe playfully asks, "What? Aren't you happy to see me, Becs?"

"Well, no uh... I mean yes. Of course, I'm happy to see you. Uh... good for you. I mean... uh... congratulations? Or uh... welcome to L.A.? I guess?"

Chloe just laughs lightly, realizing that her long lost friend still carry that awkward antique attitude even after years. There are a moment of comfortable silent wrap them around for a couple of seconds.

"Well, I'm proud of you, Chlo." Beca eventually breaks the silent. When Chloe doesn't say anything, she smirks and asks, "Aren't you supposed to ask about how I am now, Red?"

The red head giggles lightly seeing the smirk she loves the most. "I don't think I need to, my DJ."

Beca suddenly seems nervous and she looks down to her boots. Before she can say anything, Chloe beats her to that by pinching her cheeks playfully, and cheerfully says, "From the media. Duh! You are one of the best music producers and DJ in the whole world. Of course, I know how you are. And I am also very proud of you."

Beca simply sighs in relief, yet her eyes are still fixed on the floor.

Chloe is searching for that pair of steely blue eyes when the brunette glances up to see hers at the same time. They just look at each other and forget that they are actually surrounded by people until they hear someone clears her throat.

"Babe?" A woman's voice startle both her and Beca.

"Oh... Sorry. I got caught up." Beca turns around to wrap her arm around a blonde's waist.

"Well, Chloe, meet my girlfriend, Ashley." The brunette says with a beaming smile toward the blonde next to her. Then she shifts a little to point at the group next to them. "And those loud people over there are our friends. Movie nerds, this is Chloe Beale, my best friend from college."

Chloe smiles politely and offers her hand for a handshake to Ashley, which Ashley returns with the same effort.

Four years ago, when Beca finally came out of her hiding and announced that she was dating a girl, Chloe was not only surprised, but she was also hurt. She never knew that Beca was into girls when they were in college. That was the reason she never made a move toward the brunette.

Tonight, she got even more surprised when she saw her little DJ, the self-proclaimed badass Beca Effin Mitchell, went on the stage, sang a cheesy love song for her girlfriend, and on the top of all, she hugged and kissed her girlfriend in front of one hell lots of people.

Yep. Singing alone in front of at least 10 people is a great deal for Beca.

As much as Chloe could remember, the Beca she knew more than ten years ago wouldn't even consider doing any of those things.

Well, what did she know, right? It has been a very long time anyway. Ten years folks. Ten years.

"Hi Chloe." Everybody else greet the red head with friendly smiles and waves. And that pulls Chloe out of her own train of thought.

Chloe smiles apologetically, waves back to the group, and says, "Hi. I am sorry if I interrupted." Then she realizes how familiar the group is. "Hey! I know all of you. Aren't you all from that TV series about a group of friends that are being terrorized by A?"

"Yep." A long-haired brunette chirps, popping the P. "That's us. I am Shay by the way. Beca and I are sisters from another mister. You know, we're the Mitchells. These are Sasha, Troian, Patrick, Tyler, Ian, and Keegan."

Then another brown haired girl named Troian chips in and bombards Chloe with a bunch of questions. "Beca has a best friend? What a shock. How much did she pay you to play pretend? Did she threatened you?"

Even though she is getting a deathly glare from Beca, Troian just smiles slyly and asks Chloe, "Are you here alone Chlo?"

"Oh, shoot!" Chloe's eyes widen. "Actually, I came with someone. I was trying to find them when I saw Beca." She looks around frantically before checking her phone. "Damn it! Perfect. My phone just died."

Beca pulls Chloe's hands and says, "Why don't you just sit here with us and wait for them to find you?"

After noticing the frown on Ashley's face, and how the group are eyeing their hands, Chloe wants to refuse. However, when she looks at Beca's pleading eyes, she just can't do it. So she sheepishly says, "Well, if it's okay with the group..."

"Of course it's okay." A brunette man hurriedly responds. "We want to hear all about college Beca. So... tell us uh... Chloe, right?"

Chloe nods, taking a seat on Beca's right side.

"I'm Tyler." He flashes her a warm smile that turns into a smirk when he asks, "Has Beca always been this annoying, arrogant, little weirdo?"

Chloe chuckles as Beca throws a peanut at him, which he ducks successfully. The group bark out a laughter upon seeing that act.

"Yes, indeed." Chloe explains, trying to suppress her own grin. "And also, she has always been a reclusive, drama queen, whiny, act like a badass but secretly a softy inside, cocky little DJ."

"That hurts. I'm wounded. You just hurt my fragile tiny little ego." Beca says with bored looking face. Of course the group burst out in laughter.

"Yeah... yeah... yeah... keep going. Make fun of the tiny people. Haha... very funny. It's good to know how highly you all think of me. I'm truly flattered." Beca says in mock upset.

When her friends don't stop laughing at her, Beca turn at her girlfriend, furrowing her eyebrows, pressing her lips together, acting like an upset child and grumbles, "Hon, aren't you supposed to be the sweet girlfriend that you are and tell them to stop teasing me?"

Ashley chuckles, shakes her head lightly, and taps Beca on the nose. "Nope. It's every women for themselves, Babe."

It hurts. Definitely hurt. Seeing how her Beca acts around Ashley, and it's something Chloe has never seen before. But Chloe laughs with everybody, trying to hide a pang in her chest.

Chloe puts on a forced wider smile when Beca turns to her, running her fingers through her brown locks with a mock-frustrated face.

"You just met them, yet you already team up with them. That is so not cool, Beale. You are supposed to be on my side, have my back, defend my honor, or whatever it is a best friend should be doing."

"Poor Beca." Chloe mocks an overly pitiful face. "That's what you got when you never keep in touch for ten years, Becs."

When Beca's face becomes pale so suddenly, Chloe regrets what she said almost immediately.

"I'm so sorry, Chlo." Beca mutters.

A sigh. It's the first thing Chloe does when Beca looks at her with sad eyes. To be honest, this isn't the reaction she has always imagined she'd do if she ever meet Beca again. She thought that she was going to be angry. Slapping, kicking, and tearing apart kind of angry.

Well, because she should be angry. She tried to contact the tiny DJ with hundreds of texts, emails, and voice mails in a year after graduation. But when she received nothing in return, eventually she stopped trying. It had become too painful to be left behind and ignored.

So yeah, Chloe knows clearly that she has every single right to be angry and furious at Beca. But when she looks at how sad and sincere the brunette has apologized, she gives in. For now at the very least.

With a soft smile, Chloe says, "It's okay Becs. You're here now. It all will be forgiven and forgotten as long as you explain yourself. And promise me. Never disappear from my life, ever again Becs."

Beca grins from ear to ear and looks into Chloe's eyes. She puts her hand on Chloe's, squeezes it firmly as she says, "Never again. I promise. In fact, I might even do the pinky promise."

The red head laughs lightly and links her pinky finger with the brunette's.

Chloe is fully aware that the group are glancing at each other, looking confused of the interaction between the two of them. They also keep glancing at Ashley, as if asking for elaboration while Ashley just raises her eyebrows, smiles tightly, and subtly shrugs. But Chloe notices.

The tension is raising, so Chloe is relieved when Shay playfully says, "So Chloe, since you already knew who we are and what we do, please tell us about yourself. And do us the favor to tell the story about how you, unfortunately, met the tiny bit over there."

"Yeah." Troain chips in. "Geez Beca. We all know that we've only been friends with you for more than five years. But how come you never mention about your best friend in college to us before? Seriously. We thought we already go up from being strangers to being at least some people that you might recognize in the crowd."

While Beca is glaring at Troian, Chloe can't help the relieved sigh escapes from her smiling lips, knowing that even time can't change certain things in Beca. Things that make her who she is, the very private and closed off person.

Chloe takes a deep breath before she answers, "Well, Beca and I met in college when I was a senior. Beca was only a freshman back then. I was a co-captain in acapella group called The Barden Bella, and I uh..." she hesitates a little bit but continues, "recruited her to join us. I stayed three more years in college for The Bella, and in those four years, Beca and I became best friend."

Everybody seem shocked and confused.

"Beca was in acapella group?" Sasha asks doubtfully.

"The so called badass DJ Mitchell sing acapella?" Troian asks in comic surprise. "For real? We thought that it was a myth. And we've heard the rumor, but still... acapella?"

Chloe just bites her lower lip to suppress her laughter and nods. Then everybody laugh their ass off.

"Unbelievable!" Shay exclaims in comic surprise.

Ian shakes his head in disbelief. "I think hell must've frozen already."

"I wonder what kind of tornado storm that happened on the day Beca Mitchell auditioned to The Barden Bella." Tyler narrows his eyes in a mock thinking face.

Chloe just nods and chuckles while Beca sends deathly glare at her friends and exclaimes, "What's wrong with me joining acapella group? Singing acapella is cool and totally badass. It is so not easy to sing, and dance, and match pitch, and harmonize, and rap, and beatboxing, oh and also do props all at the same time. Not to mention all of the cardio I did. Those things must've added my badass points. By a lot."

A warm feeling creep into Chloe's chest, looking at Beca defending their acapella group. She can't help but staring fondly at the tiny brunette. Yet she teases, "If I recall correctly, you said it was lame Becs."

Beca blushes and mutters, "Yeah, well, that was before I became a part of the strangest yet the most amazing acapella group in the whole world with a bunch of weirdos."

The group only pull their eyebrows up in disbelief, staring at Beca doubtfully as if saying, "Really?"

"We even had trophies to prove that. Right, Red?"

Chloe just nods to respond.

"In fact, we won three national championship and a world championship when Chloe and I were captains. Me and my very best friend over here brought our team to be the first American acapella group who won world. We, are the dynamic duo." Beca says smugly, pats her own chest, and raises her hand for a high five.

"Totes!" Chloe smacks her hand onto Beca's with a huge grin on her face. "We were inseparable. I am the Brain to her Pinky, Jerry to her Tom, Doraemon to her Nobita, SpongeBob to her Patrick, peanut butter to her jelly, and so on."

"I hope I'm not the lessen duo." Beca laughs upon hearing the personification. And damn it! Did it flutter Chloe's chest. Chloe turns to look at Beca and her heart begins to thump crazily as she sees the fond smile forming on the brunette's face.

"Yeah, it was always us against the world, Red. We had quite an adventure, didn't we?" Beca retorts softly.

"Yeah." Chloe says fondly. "We did."

"Seriously, how did you manage to recruit Beca into an acapella group?" Sasha asks curiously.

"Well..." Chloe turns to see Sasha, puts her finger on her chin, humming in thinking before she turns to look at Beca, smirking as she says, "Let's just say that I could be very persuasive. Am I right, Becs?"

Beca is blushing red, remembering their shower incident, vividly. "Yeah... Uh, whatever you say, Red."


 

From this point, we'll see it from Ashley's POV folks.

Ashley couldn't ask for a better way to celebrate her and Beca's 5th anniversary. Yeah. There's nothing extravaganza about it, but it is sweet, lovable, and personal because they share it with their closest friends.

I mean, what's more romantic than being serenaded by your socially awkward girlfriend in front of a lot of audience at a karaoke bar? I guess nothing.

So, yes. Ashley is more than swoon by the gesture. In fact, she is over the moon. It's not that Beca is not a sweet romantic person. Beca is indeed and truly a romantic person. Just closeted. So the fact that she did it in front of other people did say something more.

They are having a great time around their best friend when suddenly a certain red head surprises Beca from behind. The person seems familiar to her, but she can't really remember. So, Ashley is beyond taken aback when she hears the name Beca shouts out.

Chloe.

Of course she is familiar with that name. You would've been taken aback too when it's the name of your girlfriend's unrequited first love's name, let alone the only person your girlfriend ever loved for a very long time.

An uneasy feeling starts creeping up in Ashley upon seeing the way Beca and Chloe act and behave toward each other, and even more so by the nicknames. The thing that bothers her the most is the way Beca looks at Chloe. What is it? Is it longing or fondness? It sure raises some jealousy in her chest.

It's not like Ashley doesn't know anything about their story. In fact, she knows everything about Beca, including her feeling toward the red head and all of the things they'd been through together when they were still in college.

She even knows that she should be thanking the red head for being there with the brunette when her mother died. Otherwise, maybe she wouldn't even have a chance to meet her girlfriend in the first place.

And after all of the things that her and Beca have been through, Ashley feels nothing but optimistic about their future. In the past five years, they've learnt their lessons and grown a lot in this relationship. Either as a person and as a couple.

It's true. Beca has become a person that can be completely open in their relationship, and Ashley has learnt when to push or to pull the brunette. They fit and complement each other. They become better at communication, which is a very important thing, knowing their working environment and how paranoid Beca can be.

Well, that's what she thought. But apparently, seeing Beca with her first love is a whole different story than just listening to the story about them.

Ashley's train of thought is cut off when Troian asks about the huge pink elephant in the room. "If you were so inseparable, then how come you lost contact for ten years?"

Patrick immediately elbows Troian on her arm. On the other side, Ashley shots a deathly glare toward Troian when she sees her girlfriend flinches. Beca's demeanor changes in an instant, and Ashley certainly notices.

The frown on her face, her shoes suddenly become more interesting to her eyes, fingers tapping on the knees, and the rapid legs bouncing. Yep. That is the nervous Beca. The Beca who gets caught for doing something wrong.

Ashley knows that so well, so she quickly slips her hand into Beca's and squeezes it gently.

On the other hand, Chloe seems to be taken aback by the question, but she recovers rather quickly. Ashley notices the tight smile though.

"Well..." Chloe starts hesitantly. "After graduation, life happened. I moved to Boston for grad school and I ended up travelling around the globe for four years to teach underprivileged kids with the peace corps. Then I came back to Boston to teach Art and Music program at The Winsor School for three years. Meanwhile, Beca got a job as a DJ and junior music producer in another state and she was travelling a lot for tours for years. We were busy chasing our dreams and the distance was just the cherry on top. We drifted apart, and suddenly ten years have already passed."

It's as awkward as it can be. So Ashley eyes Patrick, and the blonde man gets the cue to start another conversation.

"What do you think about L.A. so far?" Patrick asks, putting on his warm smile.

"It's fine." Chloe says cheerfully. "I've got my best friends around the corner. So, it's been good to be here."

Ashley sighs in relief as the conversation flow in a different direction. They talk about how Chloe enjoy L.A. so far, about the TV series, and other casual stuff.

At some point, the group spread out to the stage to sing, to the bar, or to the dance floor. The only people that stay at their table are Ashley, Beca, Chloe, Troian, and Patrick. While chatting with the other three, Ashley can't help but notice how quiet her girlfriend has been.

Ashley can see from the corner of her eyes that Beca is stealing glances at Chloe every once in a while. She kisses Beca's upper left arm, and when the brunette turns to look at her, Ashley gives her a subtle puzzled look as though asking whether she is okay or not. Beca just nods lightly and kisses her forehead.

Although she isn't reassured by that nod, Ashley doesn't want to push the brunette, knowing that it isn't the time and place. She decides to put a note on her mind to ask about it later. She sighs a long defeated breath.

Well, the night is just getting more interesting folks.

Suddenly a song comes up and Ashley sees how Beca tense up a bit before smiling and humming along with the song. Ashley knows this song pretty well because Beca had told her several times before about the story behind.

She is a little bit surprised when she hears Chloe is also singing along softly. Turns out, Beca is just as surprised because she asks how Chloe still remember this song. And Ashley's mind goes wild.

This must be a mean joke. The girl just can't have a rest.

Ashley's nerves become unsettled, but she tries to brush it off. Then her jealousy jumps off the chart when Chloe asks her a ballsy request. Ashley looks at Beca who just shrugs, then at Patrick and Troian who are trying to hide their confusion.

It is a nerve-wrecking request, but Ashley can't say no. Not when Beca just gets her so called best friend slash first love back. So, Ashley put on a tight smile, shrugs, and shakes her head hesitantly before giving her answer.


 

And from this point, it's Beca's POV.

Beca's heart drops to her feet. Well it's impossible, but it feels exactly like that when she hears a voice of someone who are covering her eyes with their hands now. She can't hide the tremendous shock wash all over her being when she sees Chloe Beale. Her freaking first love Chloe Beale is standing before her in flesh.

Beca is preparing herself for a slap or a kicking in the ass that way past overdue coming to her. But surprisingly, she gets that damn beaming megawatt smile instead. The fucking damn smile that can light up the whole universe. If she was afraid and hesitant before, after that contagious smile, Beca grins and exclaims, "Chloe!"

Before Beca knows it, she's being tackled and almost fall onto the floor if it isn't for her fit feet. Yeah. Fit feet. The results of the work out she's done because of a very concern and very persistent girlfriend about her well-being. She buries her face onto Chloe's neck, breathing in the familiar warm scent of the red head that used to give her such a soothing effect.

Then they pull away and start to banter like ten years haven't happened at all. It's like they were never separated, that they are still the Beca-and-Chloe-together-you're-Bloe in college, according to Fat Amy's hilarious terms.

Meeting Chloe is unexpected, but somehow relieving for Beca. She is at lost of looking at Chloe until Ashley calls her. After the pleasantry of introducing and teasing the brunette, they fall into a dynamic conversation with the group.

While the others take interest in Chloe's story, Beca takes her time to look at the red head from hair to toe. Her radiant red hair that makes people stop and turn their head toward her. Her bright blue eyes that used to pull Beca in and give her such a warm fluttering feeling. Her signature megawatt smile that can light up the whole universe and break the dark clouds in Beca's mind whenever she had a bad day in college. The tiny little scar on her forehead that proves even an angel has a tiny bit of flaw. The sound of her laughter that makes other people can't resist but laughing too. Her long tanned legs that go for days.

Basically, Beca is studying everything about Chloe. And she finds out that physically, the red head hasn't changed so much. Other than her hair is shorter, hanging around her shoulder.

Beca also remembers Chloe's many kind of hugs. From the soft tugging on the arms that says I'm here for you, to the bone-breaking grip that screams I've missed you so much already even when we just met 3 hours ago.

And the most wonderful thing about Chloe that she misses the most is the way Chloe makes people feel good about themselves. It is one of the qualities that Beca always adores from the red head.

Suddenly, a very familiar song comes up and brings her mind back to one eventful evening when she was still a sophomore. She absentmindedly hums along. Her eyes shot up and her heart thumps so hard in her chest as she hears Chloe is also singing along softly.

"No fucking way!" Beca exclaims in comic surprise. "You remember this song?!"

"Of course I do, Becs." Chloe grins with a wink. "It's one of my favorites. I still listen to it regularly."

Beca's heart is trying to bang its way out from her chest. Or so she thought. Seems like it. For her.

"Ashley, do you mind if I borrow Beca for a dance?"

The hesitation in Chloe's voice can't prevent Beca from whipping her head so fast when Chloe says those words. She doesn't know why she just shrug when her girlfriend looks at her hesitantly with a glint of hurt in her eyes.

She can't bring herself to look at Ashley in the eyes. So, she looks down on her fingers instead. But damn it! Does she jumps on her seat when Ashley says, "Sure, why not."

Chloe pulls Beca up instantly as if she is afraid that Ashley will change her mind and drags her to the dance floor. She gently wraps her arms around Beca's shoulders and leans in closer.

On the other hand, Beca nervously puts her hands on Chloe's waist and absentmindedly hums along with the lyrics that she knows damn too well after so many mixes she made with this song 13 years ago.

Beca just sways slowly to the song with her eyes closed while her mind travels back to the first time she heard Passenger Seat by Stephen Speaks. Beca remembers it clearly like it was yesterday. The day when a song eventfully came up out of nowhere and made her realize that she had fallen in love with Chloe Beale.


 

Flashback: 13 years ago.

After Beca decided to stay at Barden, her father bought her a brand new car, a blue BMW. She was so excited and it was not a surprise that the first person she asked to go for a drive was Chloe. She was her best friend after all. After she got the car, she texted Chloe and of course Chloe excitedly agreed to go on a drive with Beca that evening, just the two of them.

Beca picked Chloe up at Bella's House after her shift at the radio station, and took Chloe on a drive to a hill just outside of the city. She also brought a couple of blankets, a picnic basket with sandwiches, Chloe's all-time favorite dessert, and two packs of chocolate milk.

She was thinking that they could do some stargazing. Beca tried to convince herself that it didn't seem like a date at all. She kept thinking that friends do this kind of thing, as friends, which is friendly.

To say that Beca felt freakishly nervous in the 30 minutes drive was an understatement. Her heart was beating so fast and she held the stirring wheel so tight like her life depended on it. Well, despite of the literal point of course. She decided to listen to the radio to distract her mind and suddenly this unfamiliar song came up.

I look at her and have to smile
As we go driving for a while
Her hair blowing in the open window of my car
And as we go I see the lights
Watch them glimmer in her eyes
In the darkness of the evening

After the first verse, Beca smiled and stole a glance at Chloe, who at that exact moment were staring out at the scenery from the window. It was warm, so they decided to open the window instead of using the air conditioner.

She thought to herself, "Oh you must be fucking kidding me, universe! Really?!"

Beca couldn't help but let out a soft chuckle as she saw how Chloe's hair was blowing gracefully from the wind and her face seemed brighten as the street light glimmered in her eyes. Just like the lyric said. Literally.

"Okay..." Chloe said in confusion. "You are creeping me out. Why are you smiling?"

"Nothing." Beca shrugged in mock nonchalant. "I'm just... happy... I guess."

"Huh." Chloe narrowed her eyes in disbelief.

And I've got all that I need
Right here in the passenger seat
Oh, and I can't keep my eyes on the road
Knowing that she's inches from me

As the song went on, Beca couldn't help but glancing at Chloe every now and then, thinking about how true it was at that moment and how that song perfectly suited her feeling that evening. She felt like thousands of butterflies were flapping their wings in her stomach.

It felt weird but also warm, strange but familiar all at the same time. She had been feeling the same thing lately every time she spent time with Chloe. Or just simply looked at her. Or even only heard her voice.

We stop to get something to drink
My mind clouds and I can't think
Scared to death to say I love her
Then a moon peeks from the clouds
Hear my heart that beats so loud
Try to tell her simply

After hearing the part scared to death to say I love her, Beca jerked the break abruptly as a realization hit her. She got a bunch of honks from the cars behind, but she just couldn't bring herself to care. Because she just realized that she was in love with Chloe. She was indeed, falling in love, head over heels with her very best friend.

Beca took a deep breath to calm her nerves and started to drive again slowly. Chloe just stared at her with puzzled look, but Beca just shook her head lightly. So Chloe reached and rubbed her thumb softly on Beca's hand, and then continued to stare out of the window, humming along with the melody.

Beca's mind was filled with every single touch, every single hug, every single lingering look, and every single mix she made in the past couple of months. Also every single night they spent cuddling up together in her dorm. It was so inevitable that she was slowly, obliviously, but certainly, falling in love with the one and only Chloe Elizabeth Beale.

That I've got all that I need
Right here in the passenger seat
Oh, and I can't keep my eyes on the road
Knowing that she's inches from me

Oh, and I know that this love grow

Oh, I've got all that I need
Right here in the passenger seat
Oh, and I can't keep my eyes on the road
Knowing that she's inches from me

Beca was so lost in her thought that she didn't even notice when the song already ended until she heard Chloe softly said, "I like that song. It's simple and relate-able."

"I uh... I guess so. Err... I didn't really pay attention to it though. Too focus on the road. Safe driving and all."

Chloe laughed and laced their fingers. "Aww... You don't have to be nervous Becs. I know how you feel. Tell you what. I also feel the same way. But this isn't your first time right?"

"Wha... Wh... uh... How... I mean what do you?" Beca stuttered in panic.

Chloe chuckled and said, "Relax, Becs. I know that this is your first and brand new car. You must be feeling nervous of driving it. I felt the same way the first time I got Bumblebee. It's normal. But this isn't the first time you drive a car, is it?"

Beca let out a relieved sigh and smirked. "You call your yellow bug Bumblebee? Whew... that is a brand new information. How could I just find out?"

"Why yeah. It just never came up before." Then Chloe clasped her hands together excitedly. "But we totes have to name your car too, Becs!"

"Oh no no no no." Beca scoffed. "It's bad enough that you name that poor little yellow car of yours bumblebee. I will not let you do that to my car. It's a car. You can call it a car, or more precisely, Beca's car."

With pouting lips and her best puppy eyes, Chloe pleaded, "Oh, come on Becs. Please... pretty please... with a cherry on top?"

"No."

"Beeeccss..." Chloe dragged her voice like a child begging for sweets.

"Nooooo..." Beca mirrored with bored tone.

"Becs!" Now Chloe just intensified her pout and puppy eyes.

Beca groaned loudly and whined, "I'm never going to win this, aren't I?"

"Nope." Chloe said cheerfully, popping the P. "When will you learn that you can never win an argument with me. Especially when I bring in the famous Beale's pout and puppy eyes?"

Beca sighed dramatically. "I guess I need to learn how to live with that, huh?"

"Glad to know that it is settled." Chloe chimed in with a face-splitting grin.

A comfortable silent fell between them. Another song came up, but neither of them paid any attention. After a couple of minutes, Chloe asked, "How about azure?"

"Azure?"

"Yeah. Azure. It's the color of your car, and it matches your eyes anyway. So..."

Beca pursed her lips, narrowed her eyes, and then sighed in defeat. "Azure it is, Beale."

"Yay!" Chloe jumped on her seat, clapping her hands excitedly and kissed Beca on the cheek. "Welcome to the family, Azure!"

Beca felt the heat creeping up from her chest to her neck and all over her face. She cleared her throat, trying to hide the grin that threatened to split her face in two.

Yep. She was so screwed for falling in love. Not to mention to her very best friend. Her first very best friend.

End of flashback.


 

Beca pulls out from her thought when she notices a woman with short brunette hair and a pair of green eyes, walking right toward them. Before Beca can say anything, that woman taps Chloe on the shoulder.

Chloe turns around and exclaims, "Baby!"

 

Chapter Text

 

"Baby!" The red head exclaims, jumping into the woman's arms, and gives her a peck on the lips before saying, "I'm sorry. I got lost and my phone died."

The green-eyed brunette just chuckles when she says, "It is so you to get lost in a karaoke bar with a dead phone, Babe."

Chloe slaps her arm and pouts at her, making the woman she calls babe grins even wider.

Beca just stands there, slacked-jaw and confused. There is a little pang in her stomach.

Oh. She's in a relationship.

Well, that's foolish of her to be stunned by that fact. Of course Chloe is in a relationship. She is Chloe freaking Beale. The definition of rainbow, and sunshine, and unicorn, and everything in between. Everybody must be blind or even worse, dead, not to see how amazingly wonderful she is. Right folks?

Trying to stay cool, Beca clears her throat and mutters, "Uh... Chlo?"

Upon hearing Beca's voice, Chloe turns back and her smile seems faltered a little bit. "Beca, this is Kristen, my uh... fiancé. Babe, this is Beca, my best friend from college."

"Oh." Kristen seems to be familiar with her. "Beca Mitchell."

Beca shakes Kristen's hand as they walk back to their table where Ashley is sitting alone without Patrick or Troian. Beca sits right next to Ashley, takes her hand, and laces their fingers. That act grounds her and calms her down as content feeling wash over her. She smiles at her girlfriend as Chloe introduces Kristen and Ashley to each other.

"Beca." Kristen says with a hint of arrogance. "I've heard so much about you. Chloe always brags about how crazily talented her DJ is. There isn't a day, even more than six hours where she doesn't listen to your songs or mixes. If I didn't know any better, I would've thought that she has a chronic crush with you. Because not only she has every single one of your mixes and songs, buys every single magazine and watches every single YouTube videos with you in it, but she also keep every single pictures of the two of you in college. However, after I heard that you were in The Bella and listened to your stuff, I have to admit that she's right. You are indeed, very talented. Great performance, by the way. Singing for your girlfriend."

Beca can see that Chloe's face has become as red as her hair. The red head just smiles shyly and looks at her own hands, which Beca just notices, has a diamond ring on it.

When it seems like Chloe and Beca won't be saying anything, Ashley jumps in, "Of course she is, Kristen."

Turning to her girlfriend, Beca smiles fondly to Ashley, who is gazing lovingly back at her.

Ashley pulls Beca closer and says, "Beca has been playing and mixing ever since she was very young and she has always had a great sense in music."

"Thanks hon." Beca says before kissing Ashley's temple gently.

Ashley just smiles to respond. Then Beca turns to Kristen. "Thanks, Kristen."

"You are a very lucky woman." Kristen says toward Ashley, causing the said tiny brunette blushes.

"I am indeed." Ashley says while gazing fondly at her girlfriend.

"I am the lucky one." Beca whispers near Ashley's ear softly, making the blonde beaming in happiness.

The whisper doesn't go unnoticed by Chloe and Kristen. Kristen sees how Chloe averts her eyes from the couple in front of them. She clears her throat and looks at Chloe before saying, "Well, I don't want to sound like an overly jealous fiancé. But I saw you both dancing to a certain song that Chloe loves so much. Maybe there's a story behind?"

Chloe suddenly lights up. "Why yeah. It was the song that played on the radio when Beca took me on a drive for the first time in her very first and very brand new car. She got that car in her sophomore year after she decided to stay at Barden."

"Yeah, azure." Ashley chirps in.

"You knew about azure?" Chloe asks in half-confusion and half-surprise. Maybe a little bit jealous. Maybe.

Ashley nods, smiling toward her girlfriend and says, "Not only knew her. We still take her out for a drive from time to time."

"You still have Azure?!" Chloe exclaims in comic surprise.

"Of course." Beca answers with her eyebrows raised, smiling tightly, looking at Chloe, trying to be nonchalant as she says, "Well, you know, she is my first car after all. Besides, we uh... I mean I have a lot of happy memories with her. So yeah. She's still sitting in my garage until today. I still take her up for a drive sometimes, when uh... whenever I'm feeling nostalgic. You know, when I miss college and uh... The Bellas. She has a historical value in my life. She was there in one of the most important period of my life."

Even though she can feel an uneasy glare is being thrown at her from Kristen, Beca keeps her eyes on Chloe, who is still talking about her car.

"Wow. Who knows the badass Beca Effin Mitchell has such a sentimental feeling toward a car." Chloe says with a knowing smirk, earning an eye roll from the tiny DJ.

"Enough talking about me and my car." Beca tries to change the subject casually. "How about you? How the two of you met?"

Kristen turns and smiles lovingly at the red head, wrapping her arm around Chloe's waist as she says, "Why don't you tell the story Babe? It's your favorite thing to do, isn't it?"

"Of course Babe." Chloe says with a smile that doesn't quite reach her eyes. But a second later, she starts to talk animatedly about her relationship with Kristen.

Apparently, Kristen and Chloe met when she was teaching at Boston. Kristen was a writer who happened to have a reading session with Chloe's students. They hit it off and started dating after the first meeting. They have been together for almost 3 years and been engaged for almost a year, but they haven't picked a date for the wedding yet. More to Chloe's decision because she wants to settle down before starting a family. When Chloe decided to move to L.A., Kristen decided to come along because she could do her job as a writer from anywhere. They bought a house at a neighborhood near the school where Chloe is currently teaching.

While Chloe is talking, Beca is staring at her as if she doesn't want to miss every single word. Chloe looks back and forth between her fiancé and Beca, talking animatedly about her relationship with Kristen in the last three years.

Uncomfortable feeling starts to creep into Beca because she's torn between Kristen's arm around Chloe and Ashley's concerned staring. Every time Beca notices Ashley's staring, she will divert her eyes from Chloe to Kristen. The tension is eating her up, and when she can't take it anymore, Beca decides to excuse herself and go to the bathroom.

Beca goes to the bathroom inside the manager's office -it was her karaoke bar after all. She grips the edge of the sink tightly until her knuckles turn white while she squeezes her eyes shut tightly.

After a while, Beca takes a few deep breaths, opens her eyes slowly, and looks at herself in the mirror. She splashes water on her face and mutters, "Pull yourself together, Mitchell. You are completely, perfectly fine. Now deep breath."

Then the bathroom door opens and Ashley silently comes in. After turning Beca around slowly to face her, Ashley gently takes and holds Beca's hands in hers, looking at her girlfriend in concern as she asks, "Are you okay, Babe?"

"I uhm... yeah. I'm okay, Hon. I am."

"Are you sure?"

Beca just shuts her eyes and says, "I just... nevermind, I'm fine Hon. Really."

Ashley sighs deeply. "Babe, I know it's hard to meet Chloe again. It's okay. You can tell me."

"No, I'm uh... it's okay Hon."

Trying to stay calm, Ashley takes a deep breath and then softly asks, "How about you stop pretending to be okay and I stop beating around the bush? It will save us both some time. I know you, Babe. So ple-"

"I said I'm fine!" Beca snaps out angrily. "Why do you keep asking me and pushing me?! Do you want me to be not okay?!"

U oh. It's rare for Beca to snap at Ashley, because she knows that her girlfriend will always call her up on her shit. She certainly knows that Ashley is never the one who declares defeat silently. Especially when she is right. And Ashley is always right. Beca knows that very damn well.

"Well, maybe because I'm waiting for the honest answer!" Ashley snaps back. She pulls her hands back and folds them on her chest. "Do you think I haven't noticed how anxious you are tonight after she came?! Do you think I don't see the way you look at her?! I let you two dance so closely for God's sake!"

A sudden pang of guilt hits Beca. She runs her fingers through her hair and tries to put her hands on Ashley's arms, but the blonde shrugs her off. Although she is hurt by the rejection, Beca also sees the pain in Ashley's eyes. So, she takes a deep breath and tries to explain, "Hon, it's not-"

"Don't!" Ashley cuts her off harshly. "Don't even try to deny it, Babe. You clearly know that I know you very well. So don't you dare lying to me. We have always been honest and open with each other for a long time. Don't ruin what we have with a cheap nothing. So unless you can tell me, right here and right now, that you are completely sure about how you act tonight has nothing to do with you meeting your first love after ten years, then please at least have the decency to not lie to me, or don't say anything at all."

Beca is stunned by the truth in Ashley's words. She wants to say something, just anything to make it better. She opens and closes her mouth repeatedly, but nothing comes out of it.

With tears threatening to fall from her eyes, Ashley says with shaky voice, "That's what I thought."

After a moment of complete silent, with tears running down her face, Ashley says, "I'm going home. I will ask Troian to take me home. Don't bother to come after me before you make up your mind and decide to tell me the truth."

With that being said, Ashley turns around, but Beca grabs her by the arm, trying to stop her from walking away.

Ashley looks at her girlfriend over her shoulder and says firmly, "Let me go, Becs. I don't want to stay here and end up saying the things that I don't mean then regret it. Or even worse, end up saying the things that I really mean and then regret it."

By that, Ashley shrugs her off and walks away, leaving Beca speechless for a moment, unsure about what to do before she snaps out of her thought and tries to chase after Ashley.

However, when she walks out of her karaoke bar, Troian pulls Beca to the side and snaps, "What the hell is going on Beca?!"

"What do you mean what is going on?!" Beca snaps back. "Nothing is going on, Troian. Mind your own business!"

Beca can take Ashley yelling at her. Hell! She even will take it if Ashley hits her or slaps her, not that she ever did. But she won't have such thing being thrown at her from anybody else.

"We are not idiots, and we are definitely not blind, Beca." Troian yells angrily, waving her hands around frantically above her head. "One minute you were telling us for the hundredths of times about how you met Ashley and showing us all just how much you love her. Then the second your best friend came, you slow danced with her, and now my best friend is crying and begging us to take her home. This is your fucking 5th anniversary! What the hell is wrong with you?!"

Yep. Troian is furious. Indeed. If she doesn't know any better, or hasn't witnessed first-handedly just how much Beca loves her best friend in the past 5 years, she would've slapped the tiny brunette straight on her face.

With her eyes glued to the floor and her shoulder slumped down, Beca brokenly says, "I messed up."

Troian rolls her eyes furiously and yells, "No shit, Sherlock!"

The tall brunette is going to give Beca more third degree, but when she looks at Beca's glassy eyes, she sighs and shakes her head. "Look, I honestly don't know what happen, but I need to go now. Shay and I will take her home and take care of her. Whatever mistake you did, you fix it. Okay? I don't know how, just fix it without hurting my best friend more than you already have. She loves you, Beca. So, you better fix this and make it up to her. Or else, I can't promise you will walk out of this without at least limping."

"Thanks, Troian." Beca nods dejectedly. "Tell Shay I appreciate what you do. I will try to fix this."

"No." Troian shakes her head and firmly states, "You do not only try to fix this. But you fix this. Understood?"

Beca simply nods. Right before Troian turns away, Beca grabs her arm and weakly says, "Please take a good care of her, will you?"

"You don't even have to ask." Troian says before walking away.

For once in a very long time, Beca doesn't know exactly what to do. She runs her fingers through her hair and walks back to the office. She sees and approaches a girl with a cigarette in her hand. "Hey, do you mind if I ask for a couple of cigs?"

"Rough night, huh?" That girl asks nonchalantly and gives her three cigarettes with a lighter.

"Yeah, kind of. Thanks by the way." Beca lights a cigarette and puffs. She gives the lighter back but the girl shakes her head and says, "Keep it. I have to go anyway. Take it easy, champ."

"Yeah. Thanks again." Beca says before walking up to the balcony by the office and stands by the railings with cigarette between her fingers.

It's been years since the last time Beca smoked, and she knows that Ashley will be even angrier if she finds out. However, Beca needs it to help her think clearly and calm her nerves. She blows slowly and stares intently at the unrevealed smoke in front of her.

Standing with her elbows resting on the cold steel fence and her mouth smoking deeply, Beca's mind is turning on full speed.

There's no doubt at all in her mind that she loves Ashley. The blonde is the one that she wants to spend the rest of her life with. Even though there are many differences between them and they've been through a lot of bumpy roads, they get through it all and still together.

Beca knows so well that she herself isn't the easiest person to deal with. Yet here they are, five years into their relationship, and still going strong.

Honestly, Beca doesn't know exactly how or why, but they just work. It isn't only because of Beca's change of mind toward love or happy ending. And it's certainly not because Ashley can't find someone better.

Maybe it's because of how patience Ashley toward Beca, or maybe it's because of how emotionally safe Beca feels with Ashley. There's one thing that Beca is sure of, they both want it to work, so they work together for their relationship. That is the main reason she bought a diamond ring a year ago.

However, there's this tiny little nag in the back of her mind. This thing is the source of her hesitation from proposing, aside from the fact that Beca wants it to be done perfectly. It's a compilation questions of what if.

What if I told Chloe about my feelings when we were still at Barden?

What if I stayed with Chloe and The Bellas?

What if the feeling I had for Chloe never really went away?

Those are more than enough what if's to handle in a lifetime, never mind in one night. However, Beca knows that she has to figure it out. She needs to; or otherwise she might lost the love of her life.

Oh boy. Beca is so afraid because she hasn't really resolved this one thing from her past. Although she's sure that she's completely in love with Ashley, she can't shake off this fear that one day Chloe will come back into her life and all of the feelings she think she has left behind, crawl their way back into her heart.

Well, if tonight isn't prove enough anyway. One look from Chloe, and those questions just become louder in her mind. Beca becomes certainly uncertain about so many things.

Just after lighting a second cigarette, she hears Chloe's voice from behind, and she can't help the tired sigh escaping from her lips.

"I was looking for you."

Beca closes her eyes and takes a deep breath before saying, "Well, you found me."

Taking the space next to the brunette, Chloe lets out a soft chuckle and says, "You didn't come back."

"Uh... what?"

Chloe smiles, looking at her closely and says, "You never come back from the bathroom."

With her eyes staring at the city lights, Beca sucks the cigarette deeply and let the smoke out slowly through her mouth, then breathes it back in through her nose deeply.

"I need some air to clear my head." Beca says with smoke swirling out through her lips.

"Well..." Chloe scoffs. "It is definitely not to clear the air for everybody else around."

Beca snorts at Chloe's attempts of sarcasm, and then she asks cautiously, "Where is your fiancé, Red? Wouldn't she be looking for you?"

"She got a late call from her editor about her new draft. So she went home to work on it."

When Beca doesn't say anything, Chloe then follows looking at the city lights and softly asks, "I didn't know that you smoke."

There are a lot of things you don't know about me.

That is of course the unspoken answer. Beca flicks the cigarette lightly and flatly says, "I started after the job got a little bit unbearable."

After a second of hesitation, Beca decides to be honest and continues, "I was a heavy smoker back then. It helped calming my nerves whenever I had gigs. The solitary life had its perks to my privacy, but it made it really hard when I had to be among the crowd."

Then Beca smokes deeply before she adds, "That was before I met Ashley though. I haven't smoked in years because she got me stopped more than five years ago. But when things got uh... too complicated, I take one or two."

"Does it have anything to do with Ashley walking out of here half an hour ago?" Chloe asks with a hint of hesitation in her voice.

Beca shuts her eyes lightly and sighs before muttering, "Yeah."

"Hmmm..." Chloe dares to steal a glance at Beca. "Do you want to talk about it?"

"Nope."

"Hmmmkay..."

They become completely silent. Beca is busy thinking about her fight with Ashley, while Chloe is thinking back to the time when Beca left.

At first, Chloe thought that Beca needed space to deal with their separation after they graduated, because she knew Beca hated goodbyes. However, after two months without any sign that the brunette was at least alive, she became worried because even Warren didn't know where his daughter was.

Chloe knew that there was something going on between Beca and her father, because her father didn't even bat his eyes after knowing that his only daughter was gone, when in fact they were starting to get along. He just said that he didn't want to have anything to do with Beca anymore.

Starting from then, all of The Bellas had done their best to find their captain. They even reported Beca as a missing person to the police as an act of desperation after a month of fruitless search.

Imagine how confused they were when a day after their report, the police told them that Beca had contacted the police to say that she was in a good condition and just didn't want to be found.

Stacie also got an email from someone named Donna, telling them to stop looking because Beca wanted to be on her own. That was when Chloe realized that her DJ deliberately chose to leave The Bellas. To leave her. She was so devastated and depressed, drowning in the thought of the reasons why Beca would've done that to them, to her, but she never found out.

It took Chloe almost a year to start feeling like herself again. Even though she had moved on with her life, she'd never completely let her mind went off of the brunette.

Feeling hurt and betrayed keep Chloe from contacting her tiny DJ at all, even after Beca finally came out. She thought that if Beca didn't want anything to do with her, then she could do the same thing.

However, there are a lot of unanswered questions she has been carrying until the present day.

Why did Beca leave (me)?

Why did Beca hide (from me)?

Why didn't Beca say anything (to me) about her sexual orientation?

Why didn't Beca reach out (to me) after she came out?

Did I do something wrong?

Was I a terrible friend?

Did she find out about my feelings and hate me for it?

Can't hold herself from so many questions that need answers, Chloe takes a deep breath and mutters without looking at Beca, "Why didn't you answer any of my text and call, Becs?"

Beca's breaths hitched; she clenches her jaw and takes a deep breath before she weakly says, "I'm so sorry, Chlo."

"Yeah. You've said it. But why?" Chloe asks almost in pleading. "Why did you cut me off? I want answers, Becs."

Beca doesn't know what to say, so she just keeps looking down at the city lights while her mouth busy blowing out smoke.

A flow of heat is rising up from her stomach when Chloe sees Beca's flat expression. So she frantically asks, "Was it because I'm not a good enough friend for you? Was it because I'm not worth your time anymore after you became famous?"

Chloe is aware that her voice has become louder as the anger crawls its way back into her head. At the beginning, she'd wanted to believe that Beca had her reasons for disappearing on her. But after years went by, she didn't fight the negative thoughts anymore.

Well, in her defends, someone could only wait for so long without any sign of certainty. And I kind of agree.

But Beca's eyes widen in shock. "I didn't... That wasn't true... Not at all. Trust me. None of them were true, Chlo."

"Trust you?!" Chloe snaps angrily, staring at Beca furiously. "Are you fucking kidding me?! You asked me to trust you now?!"

The rage doesn't surprise Beca at all, because it is the normal reaction she's been expecting from the red head. However, her fight with Ashley still dominates her mind. Beca sighs and says tiredly, "Look, can we not talk about this right now? Please...?"

Little did Beca know, she just adds fuel to the fire in the pit of Chloe's years bottled up feelings. A ticking bomb of ten years' weight of anger, sadness, frustration, dejection, depression, self-doubt, and every other emotions that the red head has been feeling finally explodes.

Chloe pulls Beca harshly to face her and shouts, "When then Becs?! When?! In another ten years?! After you up and leave again without even a word?! Yeah?! So much for being best friends!"

Nothing comes up from Beca because she's stunned of how Chloe yanked her.

A sarcastic scoff comes from Chloe before she snaps, "You know what?! For someone who has always claimed herself to be my best friend, you sure have set a golden standard for the crappiest best friend ever Becs!"

Still, Beca remains silent. She just breathes in through her gritted teeth, thinking that she is right to come to this balcony outside of the office. Nobody is around close enough to witness or listen to their arguments.

Chloe knows that she should stop, but she can't help it. "For someone who has always been afraid of being left, you sure run faster than the speed of light on the first chance!"

The silent treatment from Beca only makes Chloe even angrier. "Guess you may have more in common with your father than you ever thought there, Beca Stephanie Mitchell!"

U oh. Chloe is touching too close to homebase. And she clearly knows that it is a low blow. But the hell with being all decent right? For her, Beca did this to herself. So Chloe feels that she has every right to be angry, even furious. Nothing can stop her now.

"And for someone who always believes that the universe has conspired with only one purpose and that is to hurt you, you sure went way over your head, to the hell and back, to hurt everybody else that's crazy enough to put their time to care about you."

Even though Chloe is trying to hurt Beca as much as she was hurt, tears are falling freely on her face. She doesn't even try to mask or hide the angry tears. She just stands there, with her jaw and hands clenched tightly.

"You! Are the most selfish, heartless, person I've ever known!"

Those remarks finally burst a blood vessel out of Beca. She can feel her boiling blood give such a pounding in her head, and her vein on her forehead is threatening to explode. Her heart is thumping so hard, making it harder for her to breath.

However, when Beca looks at the pain in Chloe's eyes, she realizes that Chloe said those things out of hurt. Beca has been hurting her for ten long years. She shuts her eyes, noticing every part of her tensed body, from her gritted teeth, her furrowed eyebrows, her thumping heart, and then her clenched jaw and hands.

Then Beca slowly takes more deep breaths, unclenches her jaw and her hands while feeling the wind blew on her face, gradually tuning down the roaring heat in her chest. She swallows anything her anger is trying to compose.

After feeling that she's calm enough, Beca opens her eyes and looks at a very wounded Chloe and speaks as soft as she can, "I am truly sorry for the pain I've caused, Chloe. I don't even know where to start or to show you how sorry I am. But you don't understand. I didn't-"

"What do I not understand, Becs?!" Chloe cuts her off by whipping her hand up harshly in front of Beca. "That it was easy for you to leave me?! To forget about me?! To move on with your life without me?! That I'm so unimportant in your life so you can easily erase me from your life?"

Chloe is panting as her breaths become shorter and shorter, but she keeps going, "That I was so completely worthless, you couldn't have taken one minute! One fucking minute, Beca! To text me only to say that you don't need me in your life anymore!"

Beca just sighs in defeat and keeps her mouth shut. She knows better than to speak and let herself being cut off by Chloe again. So she turns on her back, leaning against the railings, chosing to listen instead.

In her anger, Chloe has absentmindedly walked toward the glass door and leaned with her back against the door, facing Beca. She covers her face with her hands and sobs uncontrollably but still trying to speak between her ragged breaths.

"Did you even read the text I sent you? The emails? The voicemail?"

Beca closes her eyes and holds her breath for a second.

"Did you realize just how much you hurt me?"

This one is a hard jab, and Beca has to swallow the lump in her throat before it chokes her up.

"Did you know how miserable I was that I barely slept at all for months?"

Beca feels her lung is shrinking and suffocating her.

"Did you know how many nights I cried myself to sleep, waiting, hoping in vain, that you would reach out to me?"

It is as hard as it can be, and Beca has to flex her neck and blow out a ragged breath to hold herself up.

"Did you know that six months after we went our ways, Aubrey had to drag me into the bathtub and give me a very cold shower because I was too depressed to even remember how to take a good care of myself?"

Every word punches Beca right in her chest. To be able to hold herself, Beca has to shut her eyes and bend forward with her hands on her torso. She knows that she deserves this pain because she is a selfish coward, and Chloe must have felt a lot worse. So the least she can do is letting Chloe pours out her rage.

Upon seeing the stoic Beca, Chloe scoffs loudly and shakes her head as she says, "I mean, how could I? When the only person that had been my rock for the past 4 years just disappeared from my life."

Beca is biting her bottom lip so hard to hold her trembling lips. All she wants to do is taking all the pain away from Chloe. She wants to turn back time and change what she did. But how can she do that when she can't even take a step forward to give Chloe a proper hug, when she is barely hanging by a thread from all of this emotional swirl?

She can't help but wondering how did she hurt Chloe this bad.

How could you do this to her?

How could you break her into these shattered pieces?

She is your Chloe... Your kind, and sweet, and caring, and loving, and bubbly, and happy Chloe.

Your Chloe... The one that became you rock when your mom died. The one that would've moved mountains, come hell and high water, she would've done anything to make everybody around her smile again. The one that you wanted to protect the most. The one that always stood by you, believed in you, no matter how hard you found it to believe in yourself. The one that found every single reason to accept you unconditionally, despite of tons and tons of the flaws you had. The first person that you ever loved.

How could you ever justify what you did was the best for her when she ended up being the most broken one in this mess? In your mess.

Unaware of the thoughts that are flooding in the brunette's mind, Chloe keeps talking between sobs and lets out all of the misery that she has been keeping in her chest for way too long and has been eating her up for years.

"How did you live your life, Becs?" Chloe asks helplessly. "Tell me how did you live your life, knowing that you've left someone behind like your dad left you?"

"How did you sleep at night, being completely aware that you've hurt someone who truly care about you?" Chloe asks in barely a whisper.

Then her voice starts to raise again as every sentence flow out. "Were you even aware that it was me?! It was me, Becs! It was me that you hurt! It was me that you left behind! Your first best friend! The one person that once swore on her life that she would never ever leave you no matter what comes our way, by your mother's grave! Remember?!"

By the mention of her mother's death, Beca just can't take it anymore to see the devastating pain in Chloe. It has become too painful to hold the lump that is choking her up in her throat. Taking in the truth in Chloe's words has become too much. Listening to the agony in her voice is so much worse.

Beca sobs uncontrollably, she can't breathe, she's suffocated, her head is pounding, the tears are shielding her eyes from seeing clearly, and her legs are giving up on her. She feels overheated under her skin and like she will pass out in any second. Beca just want to be out of this misery, out of all the agony that she's feeling.

"Don't just stand there silently!" Chloe yells in tears. "Answer me Becs! Give me the explanation that I deserve! You at least owe me that much! I swore on your mother's grave, Beca! I swore that-"

"I was in love with you!"

The revelation stuns Chloe so hard. She is petrified. She doesn't dare to move, or to speak, or even to breathe. She just stands there, staring at Beca in shock, with her face as white as a paper and her mouth hung opened.

On the other hand, Beca is already on her knees. She just can hold it anymore. She's so furious, not with Chloe, but with herself. She punches the floor as hard as she might repeatedly, letting out all of the pain, hurt, guilt, shame, and anger.

It's hard, devastating, exhausting, and consuming her physically and emotionally. But after the punches become weaker and the tears start to subside, Beca feels relieved. She feels like all of the weight on her shoulder is lifted. She finally let go.

After a moment of sobbing, with tears running down her face, Beca says it again with her ragged breaths. "I... was so fucking in love with you, Chlo."

Minutes pass without any word from the two of them. Chloe is sitting on the cold ceramic floor of the balcony with her knees close to her chest. She doesn't dare to move closer to Beca and still stunned. She just looks at the woman that she has been in love with for God knows how long, that she thought would've never felt the same, that hurt her in the worst possible way, who are now kneeling before her, saying that she was in love with her.

Too afraid to scare the crying brunette, Chloe remains still. She's terrified if the walls that just crumble down will come back up as soon as it came down. She decides to wait in silent, even though she wants to hug Beca tightly with all she might and kiss her passionately until she is out of breath. Nevertheless, she chooses to put up her last energy to compose herself.

Instead of pushing the brunette even further, Chloe uses that moment to calm herself down with a few deep breaths. She knows that she needs to be completely alert for this moment; the moment where the infamous wall of Beca Mitchell has completely shattered. She's seen it before when Beca curled up to her, clinging her arms so tightly onto her shoulders, and sobbing uncontrollably on her chest by her mother's grave.

Watching Beca fell apart when her mother died was the most heart wrenching experience Chloe had ever had. She'd seen how the strongest person that she'd ever met, fell down helplessly, without a fight, without so much of self-defense after everybody else had left the grave but the two of them. That was the first time Chloe ever saw Beca so vulnerable, so broken. Until now.

Slowly, Beca straightens up, leaning her back on the railings, pulling her knees to her chest, putting her arms on her knees, and drops her head between her hands. After taking a few deep breaths, she looks up at the ceiling, sniffling softly and wiping the tears away.

"It's okay buddy... It's okay." Beca mutters under her breaths as she rubs her left chest gently.

Upon seeing the tiny brunette trying to gather herself, Chloe doesn't do anything to disturb her. Both of them are tired and drained. The only thing they can do is sitting in complete silence. They aren't even aware of how long they have been sitting there quietly.

Eventually, Beca takes a long steady breath and weakly says, "I was in love with you, Chlo... I completely realized it when we went on that first drive with Azure. You... are my first love."

Then Beca closes her eyes gently, takes another breath, and continues, "I didn't even know when it started. But suddenly, you became the first thing that came up into my mind after I woke up every morning, and the last thing I thought about every night. Honestly, you were the first thing that came up into my mind on everything."

Doesn't know what to say, Chloe just stares at Beca with blank expression. Even if she knows what to say, she won't say it anyway, because Beca hasn't done with her confession yet. She knows it.

Beca opens her eyes and stares at the ceiling again before saying, "I think I started falling in love with you since the first time we harmonized together in the shower." She lets out a light chuckle, and when Chloe says nothing, she adds, "I know it sounds creepy. But I think it was the first time I let someone took a brick out of my wall and peeked in. From that moment, I could feel myself starting to change. You... changed me. And the strangest thing about it was, I didn't mind at all."

As her mind brings her back to memory with Chloe, a smile starts to appear on Beca's face. "I know I didn't show or ever admitted it. But I craved for your blue eyes that always lightened up every time you looked at me. Your blinding smile every time you saw me. Your bone-breaking hugs every time we met. Your hands in mine every time we walked side by side. And your cheery voice every time we talked. I even craved for you cuddling up with me every time we watched movies or spent the night together. Mostly, I just wanted to feel your presence around me every single day."

After resting her elbows on her knees, Beca puts her knuckles under her chin, and lets out a sigh. "Brick by brick, you broke my wall so gently, sneaked yourself into my life. I didn't even realize that my wall was already down until you set your place in the dark corner of my heart, brightened it with your presence. Bit by bit, you got me to open up to you. And frankly, it felt... natural."

Beca rubs her face gently and lets out a long breath. "I was way too deep in love with you. Ready to jump off the bridge if you ask me to kind of love." She pauses and scoffs. "I've got to say Beale. You got me wrapped tightly around your little fingers and made me feel happy about it. It was crazy how easily you got me to do something. Even the things that I didn't like."

Upon hearing a light chuckle from Chloe, Beca dares herself to look at her. She is taken aback to see that Chloe is looking at her longingly with her baby blue eyes. But Beca diverts her eyes back to the ceiling quickly.

Then Beca sighs deeply and says, "And to answer your question earlier. No. I didn't read your texts or listened to your voicemail. I changed my number as soon as I got to L.A, and let Donna dealt with all of my emails. I asked her not to pass any emails from or to any of the Bellas."

Chloe keeps her eyes fixed on the brunette. After seeing that the brunette isn't going to say anything anymore, she asks softly, "Why didn't you tell me that you loved me?"

"I was going to." Beca says with a weak smile.

Chloe narrows her eyes but doesn't say anything, giving Beca time to explain.

"I was going to tell you on the night we gathered around the fire pit. But then Fat Amy got trapped into a bear trap, we got busy saving her, and by the end of the night, the courage I'd been building the whole trip was long gone." Beca explains without looking at Chloe. Well, her body is there but her mind is at the lodge, remembering the retreat.

"That doesn't explain why you left without saying anything at all." Chloe stubbornly pushes.

Beca closes her eyes tightly while she explains with ragged breath, "I... came out to my father before graduation. He was... furious." She scoffs and continues, "He had lost it and yelled out one hell of insults about me being gay is the most disgusting thing, and he wouldn't have me as his daughter anymore."

Although a single tear escapes from her eyes, Beca keeps talking with shaky breath, "So I got scared to tell you. All of you. I mean, I'm not trying to use that as an excuse, but if my own father disowned me for being gay, what would've made me think that the people who are not my family would?" She pauses before cautiously says, "And frankly, I just couldn't stand to see you walk away from me."

Chloe raises her eyebrow in confusion.

"We were going on our separate ways, Chloe." Beca says with a sad smile. "You were going to Boston and I was going to New York. Or I was supposed to be. But after I decided to disappear, I took the other job offer in L.A. The one that I didn't tell you all about."

"You thought I wouldn't have understood?" Chloe couldn't hide the judgement in her voice. She knows that Beca's reason makes sense, but her ego beats her logical thinking. "You thought The Bellas wouldn't be there for you? So you rather left and disappeared? We were practically family back then, Becs."

"I was scared, okay?!" Beca snaps.

Although Chloe is taken aback by Beca's reaction, she tries to calm the brunette by moving closer and sitting in front of Beca with her legs crossed. Gently, Chloe puts her hands on Beca's knees and when the brunette doesn't flinch, she softly says, "Hey, it's just me Becs. Now you can tell me. I promise I won't get angry."

When she sees Beca raises her eyebrows knowingly, Chloe hurriedly adds, "Well... I will try my best to not be angry if you explain everything to me."

Beca sighs tiredly and nods.

"Okay..." Chloe says cautiously. "You said that you had loved me since freshman year. Why didn't you tell me back then? I mean, you kind of had three years to tell me."

Beca massages her temple with her fingers then flexes her neck and shoulders. She blows out a long breath through her mouth before saying, "It wasn't that simple, Chlo. You were my best friend."

"So you were afraid if you'd told me then I would've stayed away from you? Be angry with you? Stopped being your friend?" Chloe asks with hurt expression.

"Well either that or..." Beca is hesitant to tell the truth, but if there is anything she learns from loving Ashley, telling the truth is always a better choice. So, with her face down, she says, "I know this might sound presumptuous. But I did think of so many possibilities if I ever told you how I felt."

A gentle squeeze on her knees gives Beca more courage. "Either all of the things you just said, or maybe you would've stayed out of pity and then resented me. Or maybe... miraculously, you would've given me a chance because I was your best friend. But then you would've tried too hard to keep your promise to me and ended up hurting yourself. Besides, I was so broken, I would've ended up making you unhappy, Chlo. All of the possibilities that I could think of ended up jeopardizing our friendship. I'd prefer to have you as a friend than nothing at all. Either way, it would've changed everything between us. And then after everything blew out with Warren, I just... I was so hurt. So I ran away. I was young, and apparently stupid."

Chloe grabs her hands and says with a weak smile, "I really don't want to say this. You are right about one thing. You are definitely stupid. Because our friendship is ruined in the end when you decided to walk away from us, from me. And I, well in fact, both of us ended up hurting anyway."

"See?" Beca shakes her head lightly. "There is no scenario where you wouldn't have ended up hurting."

Chloe puts her hand on Beca's chin and lifts it up. "I could think of one scenario that would've turned out better, Becs. The best scenario for all of us."

Beca rolls her eyes and refuses to look at Chloe directly, so she tilts her head slightly to the left.

After a couple of seconds stroking Beca's cheek gently, trying to gain some courage, Chloe finally says, "Look at me, Becs. Please..."

Beca sighs, moving her eyes slowly to look at Chloe.

With her eyes staring at Beca fondly, Chloe softly says, "I would've told you that I'm in love with you too."

Before Beca can think of anything out of shock, Chloe is already up on her knees and kisses her lips gently.

 

Chapter Text

Beca freezes up for a couple of seconds before she closes her eyes and starts kissing Chloe back slowly. It feels like fireworks is blowing, erupting, blaring in her stomach up to her chest. Suddenly everything around them just disappear, her brain forgets its duties, and for a moment, it's just her and Chloe, kissing.

Everything happen all at once. Beca straightens her legs, pulls Chloe by her waist so the red head can sit closer on her lap, and cups her cheeks gently. While at the same time, Chloe tangles her hands on the back of Beca's neck and deepens the kiss.

Beca can feel the warmth of Chloe's shaky breath, her soft lips tasted salty from all the tears, and her cheeks are sticky as Beca caresses it gently with her thumb. But she doesn't mind at all.

They keep kissing, nipping, taking and giving as much as they can, trying to convey all of the feelings that words fail to say and left unsaid for more than 10 years.

Eventually, the need of oxygen become urgent. Slowly, Beca pulls away slowly by pressing a couple more pecks on Chloe's lips before resting their forehead together. She just keeps stroking Chloe's cheeks gently while they breathe with their eyes closed, trying to savor the moment to every last drip of it.

Neither of them want to talk or even move. They let comfortable silent wrap around them in a bubble where nothing else matters.

After some times, Beca breaks the silent and whispers softly, "I'm sorry for kissing you."

Chloe chuckles, beaming as she says, "Well, I'm not. Why would you feel sorry? That kiss was amazing."

"I hate to break it up to you Red." Beca smirks. "But you kind of have a fiancé waiting for you to co-" Her smirk falters immediately as Ashley's face crosses her mind.

"Ashley..." Beca blurts out.

It feels like the blood is drained out of her body, causing her shivering cold. Beca tries to stand up, but Chloe cages her and keeps sitting on her lap.

Beca looks at the red head questionably, but when she sees the fear in Chloe's eyes, she smiles weakly and says, "I'm not going anywhere, Chlo. I promise. Not this time."

After taking seconds to consider the truth in Beca's words, Chloe slowly moves herself reluctantly and sits next to Beca. She laces their fingers together because she needs to feel close to the brunette. When she feels Beca tense up for a little bit and tries to pull her hand away, Chloe hold on to it even tighter.

Guilty feeling is creeping up into Beca's chest as her mind is flashing between Ashley and the kiss.

The fuck did you do, Mitchell?! You just cheated on Ashley. Your loving girlfriend, who has been very caring and very understanding to you.

Try as hard as she might, she can't shake off the pain from betraying a woman who loves her unconditionally, stays with her in a long haul, puts up with all of her shit, and more importantly, a woman that she loves whole-heartily in a very long time. That woman is Ashley, her girlfriend, her lover, her life partner, her partner in crime, her everything.

"I can hear a gear is turning in your head, and it scares me. Don't shut me out, Becs. Talk to me, please." Chloe pleads with concern in her voice.

Although it feels like every single fiber of her being are telling her to run away, Beca stays because she's promised Chloe. She sighs deeply and runs her fingers through her hair before saying, "I don't know what to say, Chlo. I mean we both have partners, and we just deliberately cheating on them."

Contemplating her decision, Chloe shuts her eyes and exhales a long steady breath before she firmly says, "I loved you, Becs. I still do. I finally realize why I could never let go of my anger to you after all this time and why I'm still hurting. It's all because I still love you."

The guilt is showing all over Beca, and Chloe sees through her. So she kisses Beca's hand before she continues, "I've wanted this for a long time. And I still do. I want you, Becs. I want us. I feel bad about cheating on Kristen, and I love her, I do. But I also knew from a long time ago, that I would never love anybody as much as I love you. I'm settling with her. So for me, that kiss is not a mistake. If anything, that kiss just confirms my feelings to you."

Beca keeps her head down with her eyes closed. She honestly doesn't know what to say. For her, yes, that kiss was amazing. Who she's kidding anyway, she kissed Chloe Beale, her first love.

However, Beca isn't the same person she was more than ten years ago. A lot has changed in her life in that period, and the big best most wonderful part happened after she met Ashley. Beca loves Ashley so much that the pain of cheating on Ashley trumps the feeling she got when she kissed Chloe.

Beca groans and pulls her hair harshly out of frustration.

Stupid, stupid Mitchell!

Trying to calm the tiny brunette, Chloe pulls Beca's hand down and rubs her arm gently. "It's okay Becs. We'll figure this out. We'll tell them, and we will work things out from there."

Beca stares at Chloe in confusion and asks, "What do you mean we'll work things out? Wait... You said you wanted us?"

"Well, obviously Becs. I kissed you first remember? I didn't even hesitate, and then you kissed me back. And I don't regret it." Chloe says, smiling softly toward the brunette, but when she sees the remorse in Beca's face, her smile falters. "Do you?"

Upon hearing that Chloe sounds hurt more than angry, Beca sighs and flashes her an apologetic sad smile before she stutters, "I... It's not like that Chlo."

Chloe pulls her hand from Beca and folds her arms on her chest. "Then tell me what it's like."

Beca runs her fingers through her hair in frustration and rubs the back of her neck. "Look, I did kiss you back and I admit, the kiss... it was amazing. But... it doesn't mean that I don't feel guilty about it. It's just..." she huffs in frustration, "It's not that simple, Chlo. It's not just black and white, we kiss then we're together."

"What do you mean it's not that simple?" Chloe asks in upset. "I love you and you love me too. And we kissed. It's that simple."

The situation is nerve wrecking. Beca shuts her eyes and inhales deeply. The things she's going to say will certainly hurt Chloe, but Beca knows that she has to be honest. "I loved you, Chloe."

Chloe can feel her chest tighten, and she speaks with her ragged breaths, "Loved? As in past tense loved?"

When Chloe sees Beca nods hesitantly, she can't help but let her tears fall freely.

Beca reaches out her hand to wipe Chloe's tears away. When the red head leans into her embrace, Beca smiles weakly and says with teary eyes, "I am so sorry Chlo. Believe me, I am. I loved you. I still do in some way. But... I'm in love with Ashley."

Chloe's face cringes in pain but she doesn't pull away. She doesn't say anything either. She just lets her tears run down silently.

"Tonight has been so emotionally tiring and we both are in no condition to think or act clearly." Beca says apologetically.

Chloe pulls back abruptly and snaps, "Are you saying that it was a mistake? I thought you said that you don't regret it!"

"It's not what I'm saying, okay?!" Beca snaps back. "Stop putting words into my mouth!"

Beca is getting anxiouos. And being worried about Ashley doesn't help calming her nerves. However, she regrets it immediately when she sees anger in Chloe's eyes.

As Chloe stands up abruptly and turns to walk away, Beca jumps up immediately, grabs her arm, and turns Chloe back to face her before she says with softer tone, "Look, I am sorry Chlo. I didn't mean to snap at you. It's just... tonight has been a roller coaster to me. I'm emotionally drained and physically tired. More importantly, I'm very confused now. And I believe you feel the same."

Chloe clenches her jaw and shrugs Beca's hand before she firmly says, "Yes, Beca. I'm indeed emotionally drained and physically tired. But I'm not confused. Not at all. If anything, that kiss was eye opening for me."

With a helpless look, Beca weakly says, "Chloe, I'm so sor-"

"Save it Becs! You've said enough sorries already." Chloe cuts her off harshly. She wipes her tears away and scoffs. "God! I am so stupid. Why would I let you hurt me again?!"

"I'm not trying to hurt you, Chlo!" Beca feels anger start raising up in her. "I didn't plan for any of this to happen. Especially when I'm supposed to be celebrating my fucking 5th anniversary with my girlfriend. I planned to make love with her and sleep on my bed. Not kissing my first love on a balcony. So cut me some slack if I feel so confused about this situation."

As word after word flowing out from Beca's lips, Chloe's blood is boiling and Beca's voice becomes louder.

"I had a fight with Ashley last night, because I was so unsettled after seeing you."

Chloe is not even aware of what she's going to do. She lifts her hand back and she throws it as hard as she might, whipping it across Beca's face.

"I'm at lost about how I'm supposed to fe-"

The cracking sound of the slap echoes through her ears, and Chloe feels the heat on her palm as the vibrations of pain start to spread all the way to her fingers tip. Her jaw drops when she sees Beca lifts her hand to touch her own red cheek with her eyes widen in shock.

Chloe gasps and tries to reach Beca as she stutters, "I... I am so sorry Beca. I didn't mean to do that."

Unsure if she wants to be touched by the red head, Beca takes a step back automatically. The heat on her cheek still leave Beca in complete shock after Chloe slaps her hard. She'd never imagined that Chloe could've done something like this.

When Beca steps back and remains silent, Chloe pulls her hand back in fear and guilt as she stutters, "I'm sorry. I- I really am. I was so angry and I... please say something, Becs."

Beca is still rubbing her heated cheek, but she comes out of her shock upon hearing Chloe's pleading. After seeing Chloe's concerned and regretful face, Beca's eyes soften. She shakes her head slightly and weakly says, "It's... It's okay, Chlo. It hurts like hell. But uh, but it's okay. I know you didn't do it in purpose."

The fear in Chloe's eyes doesn't fade away, but she steps forward to replace Beca's hand on her cheek with her own hand, and this time Beca lets her.

"No, it's not okay, Becs." Chloe says with terrified look and tears running down her face. "I have no right to do what I did. I was out of my mind. I'm so sorry Beca. Please forgive me and don't leave again. Do- Don't leave me again Becs. I can't... I can't... If you lea-"

"Hey now." Beca quickly says softly. "Don't cry. Not again. I think we've used a whole life time's worth of tears tonight. So no more crying. I'm not going anywhere, Chloe. Promise"

After hearing the sincerity in Beca's voice, Chloe smiles weakly and nods lightly.

Beca flashes her a weak smile. "Don't worry about the slap. It's okay, I'm okay. I didn't see it coming, but I totally deserve it. I have it coming my way since 10 years ago. So, no hard feeling."

They remain silent for quiet some times. The dawn is breaking, the dark sky is starting to become lighter, and the sun is about to rise. Beca is beat and she has no energy left to think.

Something clearly comes up in Chloe's mind as her face brighten up and she asks, "You said that you are confused?"

"Wha... Oh, yeah. I said that." Beca says with furrowed eyebrows, unsure of where this was going.

Chloe holds Beca's hand, speaking with tears in her eyes, pleading, "This is so humiliating, but here I am, begging."

Finally realize where Chloe is heading, Beca shakes her head and says, "Chloe-"

"Shut up and listen, Beca." Chloe says sharply, and Beca shuts her mouth in an instant.

"Okay, here it is." After taking a deep breath to calm her nerves, Chloe starts to talk slowly with cracked voice, "I love you Becs. In a way that I've never felt before. In a way... that I can't possibly take it back. And I'd do anything for you. I've done everything for you. Picking up fights with my best friend to defend you, letting you be the captain of The Bella, failing Russian Lit three times just so I can be with you, giving up everything I have to find you."

Beca swallows hard but can't bring herself to interrupt even though she wants to cut Chloe off.

Oh God. Oh God. Please don't tell me that she's going to do what I think she will.

"I'm so in love with you. And it's in a so unfortunate way that makes me hate you, love you."

The only thing Beca can do is staring at Chloe with terrified look while her mind is screaming frantically.

Oh please don't ask me to choose! Please don't ask me to choose!

"Your choice, it's simple. Her or me."

Damn it! Damn it, damn it, damn it!

"And I'm sure Ashley... she's really great. You've been with her for five years. I get it. But I've been waiting and loving you for fourteen years, Becs." Chloe pauses a moment to clear her throat before she adds, "So pick me. Choose me. Love me."

Beca closes her eyes and swallows hard. The love declaration is wonderful and heart moving. It makes Beca become more uncertain about the whole thing. She loves Ashley, and it's undeniably true.

However, Chloe is also a person that she loved, and a first love. The situation just becomes more confusing right now. She has to choose between the woman she loves and the woman she loved.

With her face looking down to the floor, Beca sighs deeply before she lifts her chin up slightly to see Chloe, gives her an apologetic look, and says, "I don't... Chloe, I uh... honestly don't know what to say or what to do. I uhm... I think I might need some time. You know, to sort everything out."

"Of course. I understand." Chloe hurriedly says with expectant look. "But it means you will consider us, right?"

Beca rocks back and forth on feet while she talks cautiously without looking up to Chloe. "I uh... I can't promise anything, Chlo. I don't want to lead you on, or give you the wrong impression. But I uh... I believe both of us can use some space and time to think about what happened tonight. Obviously we can't think clearly because last night has been shaking us up and down emotionally."

After taking a deep breath, Chloe remains silent as she thinks about Beca's words. Although Chloe is afraid of losing Beca, she knows better than pushing the brunette to make any decision now. The more she push, the more chances Beca will run away again. So, she sighs in defeat and says, "How long?"

Beca presses her lips tightly and shakes her head slightly as she says, "I don't know... Maybe a couple of days?"

Sucking her teeth with her eyes closed, Chloe takes her time to consider. She knows that Beca needs this. Besides, she can use some times to tell Kristen about all of this too. She squeezes Beca's hands slowly and says, "Okay. Take your time. But I want you to know that I mean every single word I said before. I'm in love with you Becs." She pauses and then adds, "And I want you to promise that you will not disappear again."

Beca nods lightly, and since she's looking down, Chloe can't read her expression. Therefore, Chloe squeezes Beca's hand and firmly says, "Promise me, Becs. I need your word."

Beca looks up and smiles weakly before saying, "I promise, Chlo. I won't disappear on you, ever again."

Letting go of Beca's hands is the last thing Chloe wants to do now. So she swings it lightly side to side while saying, "Okay. Call me when you are ready." Then she feigns an angry look. "And if I don't hear anything from you in a week, I swear to God I will find you and kick your ass so hard this time, you're going to need a surgery to get my feet out."

After hours of crying and yelling, Beca finally barks out the first laughter and shoves Chloe playfully on her shoulder. "I believe you can do that. I mean, judging from that slap, you definitely can kick my ass hard."

Chloe smiles shyly. "Again, I'm sorry Becs."

"Don't sweat it, Chlo. Like I said before, I deserve it."

"No hard feeling then, huh?"

"Nope." Beca pops the P. Then she nervously says, "And don't worry, I'll call you as soon as I uh... sort things out."

The sun is rising behind them while they remain silent and just look into each other's eyes. Beca lost herself in those blue eyes that glimmer under the first light before she blinks her eyes and clears her throat. "I uh... I need to go."

Chloe is reluctant to let go. Her eyes flick down to Beca's lips and she leans closer, but her lips meet Beca's forehead instead because the brunette ducks her head down.

Upon seeing the hurt in Chloe's eyes, Beca stands on her toes and gives Chloe a peck on her forehead. That simple gesture brings a small tug on the corner of Chloe's lips.

"So uh... I'll see you soon?" Beca rubs the back of her neck nervously.

Chloe simply nods, turns around, and walks out of the balcony.


 

Beca gets out from her karaoke bar after making sure that Chloe is already long gone. She goes straight to home, to the house that she and Ashley have been living in together for almost 3 years.

When she arrives, she turns off her car but she doesn't get out of it. Instead, she sits in there quietly, looking at a huge house in front of her. A smile appears on her face, looking at the first place that she could call home simply because it's how it feels like wherever and whenever she's with Ashley.

Three years ago after they agreed to live together, Ashley and her bought this property. Beca have no problem with where she lives, as long as it is with Ashley. However, there was a huge distant between her dream house with the one on Ashley's mind.

Therefore, they bought a huge chunk of approximately 10.000 square meters land in Beverly Hills where they could build everything they wanted. It's the half way between Beca's super huge need of personal space, and Ashley's demands of having her friends at her house most of the time.

The land comes with several buildings and features that Beca can't be more care less as long as she gets her personal space and a build-in studio in the main residence. The land is certainly way too big just for the two of them, so they built a residence for their housekeepers, house maids, and some other people that help them to take care of everything in it.

The only building in their properties that Beca familiar with is the main residence, which is a four-story mansion. Ashley decorated it all with the help from Troian and Shay. The first floor consisted of a huge living room with a bar, a large dining room that could fit a village and a smaller one for family dinner, a huge kitchen, a room for gym and sauna, a couple of guest rooms, and more rooms.

The second floor has an entertainment room, much like the living room but more spacious with many equipment to play with when their friends and family come around and it has a huge balcony. There's also a library for Ashley's books and movies collection, and Beca's thousands of records collection. It also has a huge recording studio to fit one hell of musical instruments collection for Beca and a mini theater that can fit 50 people for Ashley. Then four luxurious bathrooms that projected all four seasons, and more rooms.

The master bedroom is on the third floor. It has a king size bed, a huge comfortable couch, two very large walk in closets for each of them, a luxurious bathroom, a room for a mini pantry where they usually eat, a balcony that provides one hell of a view of pacific ocean with a pool attached to it.

Next to each side of their bedroom are several connecting bedrooms that Ashley prepared for additional family member, if they plan to ever have any. Then there is a room full of variation of gaming consoles and gears, because apparently, Beca has gained a high level of interest in gaming since she's lived her isolated life. There is a room for Ashley's hobbies such as dancing and painting, and then a dark room for Ashley to develop her photo because she's into photography.

The fourth floor is solely for Beca's sanctuary that only she and Ashley can access. They allow a specific housemaid to clean it only when Beca or Ashley is there to supervise. It's basically a very large room with one king size bed attached to the wall in the middle of the room, a walk in closet, a spacious bathroom, a mini pantry, several musical instruments that Beca loves to play, and a very large desk for her mixing boards and laptop. It also has a balcony with a swing bed, a large comfortable couch, and several types of telescopes.

The sanctuary is a safe place for Beca. When they just started to live together, Beca spent a lot of time in there, more like on the couch on the balcony specifically, because she wasn't used to live in such a huge house with other person.

However, the longer they live together, the lessen Beca spend her time in it. She prefers to sleep with Ashley instead, claiming that she sleeps better with her girlfriend. Every once in a while, Beca still stays up there, especially when Ashley is away.

I can't really explain and give all of the details about the land and house. It certainly has jogging track, some sport fields, a huge garage for Beca's cars collection, a huge hangar for Beca's planes and chopper, a run way, several pools, a huge garden, tree houses, and etc, etc, etc. Too much. And don't matter.

So let's get back to Beca, who's still sitting in her car and staring at her mansion.

Suddenly, a knocking sound on her window startle her. Beca sees Tony, their housekeeper stood there out by her car.

"Do you want me to take the car into the garage, Miss Mitchell?" Tony asks politely.

"Yes, Tony, please." Beca says as she walked out of her car and hands the key to the man. "And by the way, enough with the last name already. I've told you to call me Beca."

Tony chuckles and said, "So sorry Miss Mitch..." he stops upon seeing Beca raising an eyebrow and he quickly says, "I mean Beca. I'll take care of the car now."

"Good safe. And please charge it. Thanks again, Tony."

"No need to. I'm only doing my job."

Beca simply puts on a tight smile and walks into the main house.

As she closes the door behind her, two puppies greet her.

Yep. Puppies. In Beca's mansion. So not her. But a year after they've lived together, Ashley demanded to have puppies around the house. Beca was reluctant at first, but Ashley was persistent. So now they have one Maltese Shih Tzu named Olive, and one Brussels Griffon named Walter.

After a while, Beca warmed up to them because turned out, they preferred to be pet by Beca than Ashley. Ashley still teases her for being a closeted animal softy and a dog whisperer. Much to Ashley's delight, Beca relents to be referred as Mama while Ashley is referred as Mommy, but Beca eventually got used to it.

"Okay. Okay. Enough already kids. Mama needs to get up." Beca says after letting those puppies jump and lick her face.

After petting the puppies, Beca stands up and goes to the bar to get water. The Pacific Ocean comes into her view through the huge glass wall in the living room while she stands there with a bottle of water. She sips her water slowly, trying to delay facing her girlfriend after the kiss.

As soon as the bottle is empty, Beca starts to climb upstairs to their bedroom on the third floor. She opens the door slowly, afraid of waking her girlfriend. She stands by the door, smiling fondly at her girlfriend who curl up under the blanket holding Beca's pillow in her arms on the left side of the bed.

Beca spends a couple of minutes silently watching the sleeping blonde before she decides to shower. She feels exhausted, sticky, dirty, and smell a little bit like cigarette.

After showering and putting on a shortpants, Beca feels freshen and more relax. She walks slowly toward the bed, lays gently beside her sleeping girlfriend, and slowly pulls the pillow away. She peeks up to the clock and sees that it's a little bit after eight in the morning on Saturday.

A familiar warmth creep into her chest and a soft smile appears on her face when Ashley automatically reaches out for her. Beca rests her head close in front of Ashley's face, staring at every features on her girlfriend face starting from the necklace on her neck.

It's the present Beca gave her last night for their anniversary; a white gold necklace with 18K white gold diamond initial B pendant. Her hand automatically reaches her own matching necklace on her neck with initial A.

Beca's smile grows fonder as she slowly trails her eyes up to Ashley's soft lips and then up to her pointy nose. After seeing Ashley's puffy eyes and trails of tears on her cheeks, Beca's smile falters because she realizes that Ashley must have cried herself to sleep.

Nevertheless, Ashley's beauty never cease to amaze her, even with her puffy eyes, messy blonde hair, no makeup, and sleepy face.

Smiling contently, Beca caresses her thumb gently on Ashley's cheek, thinking about how someone can be so beautiful so effortlessly. She finally relents to the urge and kisses Ashley gently on the lips.

Ashley stirs in her sleep and her eyelids flutter open as she feels the presence of her girlfriend.

"Babe?" Ashley whispers with hoarse voice.

"Hey beautiful." Beca says with a soft smile on her face.

Ashley smiles softly back at her and says, "Morning Owlie."

"I'm sorry I made you cry."

Ashley looks at her with a sad smile and says, "Let's talk about it when we're both more alert."

A sudden rush hit Beca in her chest and it makes her want to cry, moved by how understanding Ashley is. She kisses Ashley again, showing her gratitude and love toward the blonde. There's nothing erotic about it, but a loving passionate kiss between two people who have understood each other very well without so much words being said.

After they pull away, Ashley pinches Beca on the side of her stomach.

"Aw!" Beca yelps, rubbing her stomach.

"You smoked!"

"How did you know? I've showered and brushed my teeth twice."

"You underestimate my Beca super senses. I know you too well, Beca Stephanie Mitchell." Ashley narrows her eyes in upset. "How many?"

"It was only two cigarettes, Hon. Won't happen again. Promise."

Although she's still upset, Ashley sighs and her angry eyes soften, "Okay. You are forgiven this time, but I won't go easy on you next time."

"Yes ma'am. There won't be next time. Promise."

Ashley looks at Beca closer and softly asks, "Did you just get back?"

"U huh." Beca strokes Ashley's golden locks gently.

Suddenly Ashley's eyes widen in shock and her hand caresses Beca's cheek as she asks, "What happened to your cheek?"

Since the slap has been long forgotten, Beca looks at Ashley in confusion and asks, "What happened to my cheek?"

"It's red and has a handprint on it." Ashley says worriedly.

"Oh that. Uh... long story." Beca replies nervously, and then she pushes Ashley's hand away from her cheek and replaces it with her own.

Trying to look closer to Beca's cheek, Ashley rolls her eyes and slaps Beca's hand away lightly, causing Beca flinching in pain from her bruised hand.

Ashley's face drops, taking Beca's hand gently and asks with concern, "What happened to your hand, Babe? Did you get into a fight? What happened after I left last night?"

A fond smile creeps up on Beca's face when she realizes how much Ashley loves her, even after their fight last night. Beca shrugs and says, "Something like that. I will tell you, but I'm so exhausted and I haven't had any sleep at all yesterday. So, can we talk about it after I have some sleep?"

When Ashley is going to argue about it, Beca quickly asks with pleading eyes, "Please?"

Ashley narrows her eyes in concern, but she relents and nods instead. She kisses Beca chastely on the lips and snuggles into the crook in Beca's neck. Then Beca puts one of her arm under Ashley's head and wraps the other one carefully around Ashley's waist, pulling the blonde closer into her embrace.

It's so fascinating how peaceful and at ease Beca easily feels only by Ashley's presence, even after the emotional roller coaster that happened last night. She kisses the top of Ashley's head, inhaling the familiar scent of coconut vanilla shampoo, and smiles contently onto it as she mumbles, "I love you, Hon."

"I love you too Babe. Always." Ashley replies sleepily before she presses a kiss on Beca's shoulder blade. They both fall asleep almost immediately.


 

This is a little part solely with Ashley POV.

Ashley wakes up around 11 in Beca's protective arms, caving her in a warm embrace. She brushes her nose lightly under Beca's jaw, inhaling a mixture of her girlfriend's white musk perfume and her natural scent that smells like a newborn baby.

After enjoying the warmth of the brunette, Ashley pulls back just a little bit enough to see her lover's face. She loves watching the tiny DJ sleeping. It's one of the things that she will always be thankful for, a soundly asleep Beca.

Ashley knows that for years after graduated, Beca wasn't familiar with the term a good night sleep. Instead, she was best friends with insomnia and passing out. Then her mind trails back to the nights they spent together in the beginning of their relationship.

On those nights, she rarely saw Beca sleep thoroughly and often found the brunette completely awake until the sun came up. In fact, most of the time, Ashley would find the brunette in the dead of night, standing on the balcony of her penthouse, looking like she was deep in thought.

Some other times, the blonde would find Beca in her gaming room, playing war games all night long, or if her mind were overflowed by inspiration, then she'd make music and mixes.

One time or two, Beca would just sit on the couch in the living room, staring at nothing on the ceiling, humming Hotel Ceiling by Rixton repeatedly.

Even when she finally fell asleep, it wouldn't be long before she was awaken by nightmares or night terrors. So yeah, seeing a soundly asleep Beca still brings such a relief to Ashley, even it has been years since Beca sleeps much better.

Here's a thing about sleeping that Ashley thought applied to most people. It's supposed to be relaxing and showing people's face in their most innocent expression. Well, news flash to her, and us, those rules apparently don't apply on Beca Effin Mitchell.

Ashley was fascinated when she found out that Beca's lips were slightly frowned and her forehead furrowed lightly when she was sleeping. The brunette always told her with a smug face that it's the way a badass looks like when they are asleep.

However, Ashley keeps something as a secret. Apparently, every time she kisses that light frown on the corner of Beca's lips, it will form into a light smile, followed with a light hum. After she found out about this enticing fact, she made a habit out of it; kissing away the frown from Beca's sleeping face.

It's not a surprise folks when Ashley almost always wakes up earlier than Beca. Beca is a deep sleeper, the kind that can sleep through thunderstorm, or earthquakes, or both.

When Ashley asks about it, Beca always insists that it's a payback for years lack of sleep. And Ashley has been taking an advantage by making a routine out of it.

Every time Ashley wakes up in Beca's arm, she always spends a couple of minutes doing a ritual that even the brunette doesn't know. And today is no different.

Ashley starts with kissing Beca's forehead and whispers, "Thank you for such a brilliant and intriguing mind that can create the most magnificent music."

Then she kisses Beca's eyelids and whispers, "Thank you for the eyes that have been brave enough to see things just the way they are."

Ashley's lips then trails it's way down to find Beca's, kissing it gently and then softly says, "Thank you for the love that flow in a form of melodies from this lips."

After that, Ashley pulls her head down a little bit to see Beca's chest. She starts with trailing her index finger on the scar from a surgery Beca had years ago. Then, she looks at the initial AVB, a permanent ink that's written with her own handwriting on Beca's left chest, on the skin where her heart constantly beating. Beca got that tattoo on their third anniversary.

Ashley kisses it gently and mumbles, "Thank you for this steady beating heart that can fit the whole universe in it. Please let it keep beating."

The act of love stays the same, but the prayers that follow have changed from time to time over the years.

Then she just stares at Beca fondly. A smile grows on her face as her mind wonders how she can ever feel this kind of love, the one that gives her strength yet also makes her vulnerable.

Ashley never thought that she'd find such an honest feeling and –again, as cheesy as it sounds, a love so true from someone who has always been afraid of loving and being loved.

After years being together, she can't even imagine how she will manage to love again if she ever -she crosses her fingers, have to experience life without Beca's love.

It's odd actually, because Beca is the first and only woman that Ashley's ever fallen in love with. For her, the most accurate term to describe Beca's meaning in her life comes from words of Spencer Hastings.

You Are My Once Upon a Time.

Yep. It's the most suitable words. Call it cheesy or too much, but for Ashley, Beca is her once upon a time.

The red mark on Beca's cheek draws concern to Ashley. She can't help but think how the slap must have been so hard because it's still imprinted until now. She caresses it gently with her thumb, but Beca doesn't even twitch.

Then she slowly takes Beca's injured hand, looking at it intently, finding that the skin is bruised with scratches on it. Doesn't want to wake her girlfriend, Ashley slowly pulls away and goes to the bathroom to get some first aid kits.

When Ashley comes back to the bed, she gently takes the brunette's injured hand, cleans it carefully with alcohol, and then wraps it with some bandages. After making sure of no other injuries, Ashley kisses Beca again on the lips, and then decides to get something to eat.

While Ashley's mouth is chewing her pancakes, her mind is busy thinking about their fight last night. She realizes how wrong it was to leave Beca, especially after she promised that she'd never leave again. Ashley admits that she was beyond jealous to see Beca with Chloe, but it isn't an excuse at all, knowing how terrified the brunette about people leaving her.

Guilt starts to creep into her chest and Ashley glances at her sleeping girlfriend on the bed, making a note on her mind that she will apologize when the DJ wakes up.

After finishing brunch, Ashley takes a shower, and then read a book while waiting for the brunette to wake up. It's almost 4 PM when she realizes that her girlfriend will be waking up soon, and will be grumpy from being hungry.

So she gets up and walks to the pantry after putting on some music from the iPod. She makes tuna sandwiches and coffee while singing along with the song.


 

Beca wakes up hours later by the faint sound of her girlfriend singing along softly to the song that she recognizes as Justin Timberlake's Not a Bad Thing. After pushing herself up on her elbow, Beca looks around and finds Ashley is wearing her favorite oversize shirt that fall just a little bit under her waist, swaying lightly to the music in the mini pantry at the right side of their bedroom.

A huge grin appears on Beca's face as a ticklish sensation flutter in her stomach when she looks at Ashley, admiring her from behind. How Ashley still makes her giddy like a teenager in love after all this time is a mystery that she never wants to solve.

Then she hears Ashley sang the pre-chorus.

 

I know people make promises all the time

Then they turn right around and break them

When someone cuts your heart open with a knife, now you're bleeding

Don't you know that I could be that girl to heal it over time

And I won't stop until you believe it

Cause baby you're worth it

 

Ashley turns around with a tray of coffee and sandwiches on her hands. She grins from ear to ear when she sees her girlfriend's adoring goofy face is staring at her. She sings louder, serenading her girlfriend and walks slowly toward Beca.

 

So don't act like it's a bad thing to fall in love with me

Cause you might look around to find your dreams come true, with me

Spent all your time and your money just to find out that my love was free

So don't act like it's a bad thing to fall in love with me, me

It's not a bad thing to fall in love with me, me

Not such a bad thing to fall in love with me

 

No I won't fill your mind

With broken promises and wasted time

And if you fall, you'll always land right in these arms

These arms of mine

 

When Ashley reaches Beca's side of the bed, she puts the tray on the bedside table, cups Beca's cheek, and kisses her gently. They lost themselves in the kiss for a moment before Ashley pulls away, smiling and says, "Well, I see you are finally awake sleepyhead."

"Hmmm..." Smirking smugly, Beca kisses Ashley chastely one more time and says, "Food, serenade, and kisses. What a way to charm your girlfriend, Miss Benson."

"Well, get used to it." Ashley says in raspy voice, brushing her nose onto Beca's gently. "Because I intend to do it for a very long time."

"Oh really? Beca teases with a lower voice.

"Yep." Ashley pulls back and playfully says, "As long as you give me luxurious houses, diamond jewelries, expensive cars..."

"I knew it!" Beca barks out with a laughter.

Ashley laughs along, and then kisses her girlfriend again. As the kiss becomes more heated, Ashley moves her body and sits on Beca's laps with her hands tangled behind Beca's neck, pulling her closer.

Beca pulls Ashley closer and slips her hands under Ashley's shirt, then up to her back. She trails her kisses down to Ashley's neck, making the blonde moans softly.

"Uh... Babe..." Ashley breathes out with her eyes closed. "You need food in your system."

Beca hums and mumbles on Ashley's neck, "Later."

Ashley pushes Beca's shoulder gently and says, "Eat first, Babe."

When Beca flashes her a pleading eyes, Ashley wiggles her index finger. "Nu uh. You and I know well how grumpy you will be when you are hungry. You become hangry Beca."

Ashley chuckles upon seeing Beca presses her lips tightly like an upset child and she says, "Not gonna work, Mister."

Sighing in defeat, Beca lets Ashley moves to sit next to her and hands her a cup of coffee. She sips her coffee and hums with satisfaction on how perfect the coffee Ashley made her.

"What time is it, Hon?"

"A little after four." Ashley chimes in before she takes a bite of her tuna sandwich.

Beca's eyes widen in comic surprise. "I slept through the day?"

"Yep." Ashley pops the P. Then she swallows the food in her mouth and adds, "Like a log."

"Why didn't you wake me up when you did?" Beca asks before munching the sandwich in Ashley's hand.

Ashley wipes the sauce on the corner of Beca's lips with her fingers, pats Beca's left chest with the back of her hand as she says, "I woke up at 11, and you seemed like you needed it. So I let you."

"Huh." Beca smiles thankfully. "What did you do while I was asleep?"

"Well..." Mocking a serious face, Ashley replies, "After watching you sleep creepily..."

Beca laughs and mumbles, "Perve."

"I wrapped your bruised hand with a bandage, had lunch, showered, and then read a book by the pool." Ashley continues before licking her fingers chastely.

Beca doesn't even realize that her hand is already wrapped until Ashley mention it. With a smirk on her face, Beca says, "Whew... How am I so lucky to have a very efficient and productive girlfriend?"

"Well, I'm such a keeper so people said." Ashley says smugly.

Beca smiles and kisses the tip of Ashley's nose. "Thanks, Hon."

"No problemo, Bambino." Ashley pecks her lips.

"Bambino? Really?" With her eyebrows raised, Beca laughs and says, "I swear you could win the weirdest nick names for girlfriend competition."

Ashley rolls her eyes playfully and smugly says, "Oh please Babe. I am the judge in that competition."

Then they just eat in a comfortable silent. Ashley can't help but staring at Beca with adoring smile on her face, looking at how messy the way Beca eats. The tiny brunette got tuna and sauce spread across her cheeks with breadcrumbs on it, and the joy on her face can compete with five years old who has two ice creams in their hands. She chuckles softly, earning a puzzled look from her girlfriend.

"What?" Beca muffles with her mouth full of sandwich.

Ashley grins and shrugs before she says, "Nothing. I just completed my equation to solve the enigma of Beca Mitchell."

Then Ashley wipes Beca's cheeks with her fingers and licks them clean chastely.

"Care to share?" Beca asks, feigning curious look. "I can really use it. You know, since she is very hard to deal with."

"Hmmm..." Ashley mocks a thinking face. "Okay. If you have to beg that hard."

Beca laughs, thinking about how hilarious her girlfriend is.

"Listen close, okay?" Ashley feigned a dramatic serious face. "It's not easy to follow."

"Okay." Beca plays along with dramatic curios look.

"Here it is." With a smirk on her face, Ashley rubs her hands together and says, "Well-fed Beca equals happy Beca, while hungry Beca equals grumpy Beca."

"Wow..." Beca's eyes widen, mocking a fascinated face as she says, "What a complicated equation. No wonder it takes you five years to get it completed. Fascinating fact."

Upon seeing her girlfriend's childlike expression, Ashley throws her head back, laughing carefree-ly. After the laughter subsides, she notices that Beca is staring, gazing so tenderly at her with the softest smile on her face.

Although Beca do that a lot, it doesn't stop Ashley from flushing red from her neck to the tip of her ears every single time. It feels like she can burst out in happiness that erupts from her stomach up to her chest. She clears her throat and bites her bottom lip, smiling shyly before she softly asks, "What?"

Beca just shakes her head lightly, tucking a strain of hair on Ashley's face to the back of her ear, and rests her hand on Ashley's cheek. With the same loving gaze on her eyes, she simply says, "I love you."

Smiling with glimmering eyes, Ashley then kisses Beca's palm as she climbs onto Beca's laps. She looks Beca in her eyes, cupping her hands on the brunette's cheek gently, brushing their noses together, and then whispers, "I love you too Babe. Always."

Beca closes the gap between them, kissing Ashley ever so tenderly, and then pulls Ashley closer by her waist while Ashley's fingers find their way into Beca's brown hair. Nothing feels erotic about it, yet it raises a sense of being content and at ease, the feeling that Beca can only describe as home.

When air becomes a problem, they pull away slowly, smiling contently with their eyes closed and their foreheads press together.

After that, they resumed eating in comfortable silent with Ashley remains sitting on Beca's lap, feeding her girlfriend and making sure the brunette eats more than she would if she eats alone.

When they've done eating, Ashley reaches her hand to the bedside drawer, pulling out a little box, taking out some pills from it and hands them to Beca.

Without question, Beca takes and puts the into her mouth and swallows with the water Ashley hands her.

"All done, My Lady." Beca says with a smirk, earning a peck on her lips from her girlfriend.

"What do you want to do this afternoon, Babe?" Ashley asks as she gets up and walks to the pantry with the tray.

Suddenly Beca feels nervous because she just remembers about the kiss and that she has to tell Ashley about it. She takes a deep breath and cautiously asks, "I'm hoping that we can talk? Uh... you know, about last night?"

Ashley stops on her track for a second before hesitantly says, "Sure. Why don't you go wash up, and then we can talk."

"Okay." Beca complies gladly, thinking that she can use the time to find a way to tell Ashley about the kiss.

After finding something to change into, Beca heads to the bathroom, closes the door, and looks at her reflection on the mirror above the sink. Her eyes look tired and the bag under her eyes are dark despite of the fact that she has slept through the day.

Beca sighs deeply, thinking about how fast things change in one night. She shakes her head lightly, trying to grip some composure before she brushes her teeth and splashes her face with water carefully without wetting her injured hands.

After wiping her face dry and changing into her maroon red hoodie and a shortpants, Beca looks at her reflection once again and puts a determined face on before walking out the bathroom. She finds that Ashley is reading a magazine on the couch, and then she walks to sit next to her.

Ashley immediately puts her magazine down and snuggles herself onto Beca's chest comfortably as Beca wraps her arm around Ashley's back. Both of them remain silent, trying to compose themselves.

Listening to Beca's heartbeat has become Ashley's habit every time she snuggles up on her girlfriend. She rubs Beca's left upper chest absentmindedly until she makes up her mind. She kisses Beca under her jaw and softly says, "Before we talk about it, I'd like to say something first Babe."

Beca's heart is thumping hard in her chest. She feels sick in her stomach but she tries to act normal despite of the fact that Ashley can hear her spiking heartbeat.

"Sure. Go on, Hon." Beca says a little bit shaky, failing to sound nonchalant.

With determination, Ashley takes a deep breath and says, "I'm sorry I left last night. I shouldn't have done that. I promised you three years ago that I would never leave you, but last night I did."

Beca holds Ashley tighter, rubbing circle on Ashley's waist, and then kisses the top of her head. "It's okay, Hon. It was my fault."

Wanting to look at her girlfriend, Ashley pulls herself up, staring at Beca sadly and says, "It's not okay and unacceptable. All your life, you've been so afraid of losing the people you love because they keep leaving you."

The fact that Ashley has apologized while Beca is the one who did a mistake, raises such a guilty feeling in the brunette. It's eating her up and leaving her speechless for a moment. Then Beca clears her throat and stutters, "I uh... I did a mistake Hon. I love you, and you know it, but I-"

"I know Babe." Ashley cuts her off softly. "I know you love me. I shouldn't have felt jealous of her. I trust you."

When Ashley sees Beca's unsettling look, she thinks the brunette is upset, so she hurriedly reassures, "I don't want to lose you Babe, ever. I shouldn't have ran away when things like that happen. We've been through a lot. And I promise you whatever comes our way, we'll talk it out and work through it. I believe we can get through everything together, like we always have."

Beca's heart is pounding like crazy and it makes it harder for her to breath. Although she knows that she has to tell the truth, it doesn't make it easier to let her loving understanding girlfriend know that she cheated on her, especially when Ashley had been cheated on in the past.

Not knowing what is yet to come, Beca sighs deeply and says, "Babe, I have to tell you something. I uh-"

This time the ringing from Ashley's phone cuts her off. And she can't help the loud groan coming from her throat.

"Babe, I need to take this. It's Troian." Ashley says apologetically before getting up reluctantly.

"Hey Troian, what's up?" Ashley greets before listening to the other person to say something and replies, "Uhm... I'm actually in the middle of something important. Can't it wait?" She glances at Beca, sighs, and says, "Okay. I'll be there in twenty. See you."

Beca furrows her eyebrows in concern. "What is it, Hon? Did something happen to Troian and Patrick?"

"I don't know. She said that it's extremely urgent."

Before Beca can say anything else, Ashley is already putting on pants and jacket as she says, "Look Babe, I've got to go. I know we're in the middle of talking, but Troian needs me now. We'll finish this as soon as I got back. Love you Babe. Always."

Then Ashley kisses Beca on the lips before walking out of their room. Beca just stares at the door, dumfounded before she huffs in frustration, dropping back onto couch, and shuts her eyes tightly, trying to think of the way to tell Ashley about the kiss.

For a long while, Beca just sits quietly while her mind goes crazy with so many thoughts, jumping from her feelings toward Chloe and their kiss last night to the life she has with Ashley in the past five years and the day they just spent together.

It takes a while, but at some point, Chloe's voice echoes in her mind. "If anything, that kiss was eye opening."

Ideas flood her mind all at the same time, and Beca hurriedly rushes to her sanctuary. Once she's in the sanctuary, she grabs her guitar and sits on the couch at the balcony. Then she starts to strum and jam absentmindedly while her mind slowly but sure unties the knot of thoughts about her decision.

 

Chapter Text

 

Troian and Patrick's House

Ashley just arrives at the house where Troian and Patrick live together. Before she even rings the bell, Troian already comes out to greet and pull her inside immediately.

"Slow down there, tiger. Your fiancé is here. I think we need to hold our horses." Ashley says jokingly. When she notices that Patrick and Shay are already in the living room, she smirks and teases, "Or are we trying to do a foursome here? I didn't know you have a Harlem fantasy, Patrick."

Shay stares at Ashley firmly and says, "Get your head out of the gutter, Ash. This is not a joke."

Starting to feel confused, Ashley looks back and forth between her best friends with her eyebrows furrowed, who are all avoiding looking her in the eye, except for Shay.

"Okay, you're scaring me." Ashley says worriedly. "What's wrong? Are any of you sick or something?"

After getting a nod from Shay, Troian sighs and says, "I think you should sit down for this."

"O...kay...?" Ashley complies, still with her eyebrows furrowed in confusion.

Troian stares at Patrick and says, "Tell her, Babe."

Patrick groans. "Why me? You already know. Why don't you tell her? Or Shay."

"Because you are the one who witness it." Troian says matter-of-factly with her arms crossed on her chest.

"But Babe, Beca is my best friend. I can't do this to her." Patrick says almost in pleading.

"And Ashley is not?!" Shay takes a step forward closer to Patrick. "Do I need to remind you that you only become best friends with Beca in the first place because she is Ashley's girlfriend?!"

"I don't mean it like that." Patrick huffs tiredly. "They are both my best friends. And I am not taking side."

"You're not taking side Babe." Troian rubs his arms gently, and then stares at Shay firmly before saying, "And none of us are."

"Hell yeah we are!" Shay snaps impatiently.

Troian shots Shay a warning glare before she reassures Patrick. "You're just simply telling Ashley what you see. That's it. You don't have to say your opinion."

Patrick seems upset when he says, "But I-"

"Tell her Patrick." Shays cut him off harshly. "Tell her the truth. She deserves to kno-"

"Guys, guys, stop arguing." Ashley cuts them off anxiously when she realizes her friends are arguing about something that involves Beca. "Is this about Beca and Chloe?"

Her friend's eyes widen, and then Troian asks, "How did you know?"

"Well..." Ashley shrugs before saying, "They met for the first time after ten years last night, and this morning Beca came home with a red handprints printed probably eternally on her cheek, and now you are acting like this. I put two and two together."

Patrick seems to feel guilty somehow, Troian seems to be afraid, and Shay is obviously angry. Seeing her best friends like that raises Ashley's anxiety even more. Although she tries to look nonchalant, she fails miserably. She worriedly asks, "What happened with them? Did they have a fight? Should I be home, consoling my distraught girlfriend because her best friend is upset with her?"

Shay is going to say something, but Troian beats her to it by asking, "Last night you had a fight, didn't you?"

"Yeah. Just a little misunderstanding. You know how I act when I'm jealous. We were actually talking about it when you called me about this extremely urgent thing." Ashley says, gesturing a quote mark on the word extremely urgent.

With her eyes narrows in disbelief, Shay asks, "You were? What did she tell you?"

At the same time, Patrick, who looks a little bit relieved, blurts out, "She told you? Oh thank goodness. I don't have to do that."

Troian slaps him hard on his arm and glares at him, causing Patrick to shut his mouth instantly, rubbing his arm silently.

"Tell me what?" Ashley is feeling more confused. "Like I said, we hadn't had a chance to talk much because you called me."

When her friends glance at each other without saying anything, Ashley becomes more impatient. So, she snaps, "Guys, just tell me already! You're killing me!"

Troian and Shay take a seat next to Ashley and hold her arms from each side.

After a moment of silent, Patrick finally sighs and sits down on the coffee table in front of Ashley. He takes a deep breath and looks at Ashley in concern before saying, "Look, I'm going to tell you something that might upset you. But I want you to promise me that you will let me finish before asking any question. Okay?"

Ashley crosses her arms and rubs them uncomfortably as she looks at Troian and Shay questionably. When they don't say anything, Ashley turns to Patrick and nods.

"Last night after you asked Troian to take you home, I stayed to keep an eye on Beca. You know, in case she needed a friend after your fight." Patrick says cautiously, and then he steals a glance at Troian before he continues, "I stayed there all night outside of the office at the karaoke bar, waiting for her to come out. And at some point, I fell asleep. A janitor woke me up around 05.00, I think, and then I went into the office to check if Beca was still in there."

Even though she wants to cut through the chase, Ashley remains quiet and nods lightly.

Patrick seems more nervous now, his fingers are fidgeting on his thigh, and he is speaking without looking up at Ashley. "I didn't see her in the office. So I thought she went home. But I could hear a mumbling sound of people talking from the balcony, so I went to check it."

"Babe, it's okay." Troian says to calm her fiancé.

It's so nerve wrecking, not only for Ashley, but also for Patrick. He swallows hard, bouncing his legs up and down while his fingers run through his blonde hair, and then he says with an almost inaudible voice, "I uhm... I saw Beca there. She was uh..."

The nerves and anxiety are eating Ashley up and pushing her over the edge. So, she puts her hands on Patrick's bouncing knees and says, "Just spit it out."

"I saw them kissing." Patrick blurts out.

"Saw who kissing?" Ashley intensifies her furrowed eyebrows.

Patrick blows out a long ragged breath from his mouth and says, "Beca... She and Chloe kissed."

The first thing Ashley feels is cold, like the blood is drained out of her body. Then one by one, the hurt starts to hit; a pang in her chest, a stung in her eyes, a punch in her gut, and a ringing in her ears.

"I am so sorry, Ash." Patrick says sympathetically upon seeing how shocked Ashley is.

"Are you okay, sweetie?" Troian asks as she wraps Ashley around her shoulders, while Shay kisses the blonde's temple and squeezes her hand gently.

It takes Ashley a while before she pulls out from her catatonic state, looks at Patrick in disbelief, and blurts out, "What do you mean they kissed?"

"They uh... they were kissing? With their mouth?" Patrick says with furrowed eyebrows.

Ashley shakes her head in disbelief, trying to stay calm when she says, "Te- tell me what exactly happened. Maybe she was... caught off guard. Maybe... Chloe took her by surprise."

"Maybe." Patrick says hesitantly.

"Don't lie to her, Patrick!" Shay snaps at him.

When Patrick shots her a warning glare, Shay says firmly, "If you won't tell her the truth, then I will."

Patrick quickly looks at Troian, asking for support.

"Shay..." Troian sighs. "I know you're in overprotective mode. But this is about our two best friends." When she sees that Shay wants to debate her, she quickly adds, "Beca is also our best friend. She has been in more than five years. So calm your pits, okay?"

Shay huffs and decides to pull Ashley in a hug while she lets Troian talk.

After turning her attention toward Ashley, Troian says cautiously, "Based on what Patrick told me, I don't think she was caught off guard or taken by surprise, Ash."

Ashley glances at Troian with puzzled and hurtful look.

Taking her time to carefully choosing the words she's going to use, Troian purses her lips and sighs before saying, "I think she knew what she was doing, Ash."

"What do you mean?" Ashley asks with a cracked voice.

Troian and Patrick change frantic looks at each other because they don't know how to tell the blonde without actually telling her the detail about the situation.

Being the hotheaded, Shay blurts out, "Patrick heard Chloe said that she is in love with Beca too, and the next thing he saw was Chloe sitting on Beca's lap, kissing her, and Beca pulling her closer by her waist."

Ashley whips her head toward Patrick, and looks at him with obvious pain in her teary eyes. "Is that true?"

Patrick shuts his eyes and nods lightly.

Ashley is quick on her feet, pacing back and forth around the living room, biting her thumbnail, muttering, "This is not true. This can't be true."

"I really wished it wasn't." Patrick says apologetically.

"It couldn't be!" Ashley snaps at Patrick as tears streaming down her face. "Beca would never do that to me! She knew how cheating affected me!"

Troain hurriedly pulls Ashley to sit back on the couch, wrapping her in a comforting hug.

"I'm sorry Ash." Patrick says weakly. "I wished it wasn't true. I wished it wasn't my best friend on that balcony kissing another woman. But it was."

Ashley shuts her eyes close and drops her head into her palms, silently letting the tears stream down its way through her fingers. The lump in her throat is choking her and making it harder for her to breath.

Troian and Shay silently rub her back to calm her down.

Ashley doesn't know how long she stays like that. She can't think or do anything at all while her brain keeps telling her repeatedly to get a grip. After a while, her tears subside. She wipes the tears on her cheeks, takes a few deep breaths, and sits up straight before she weakly asks, "What should I do?"

Shay looks at Troian, and Troian looks at Patrick.

Patrick sighs, taking Ashley's hand into his and softly says, "Well, I'm saying this as a person who had been in her position." He steals a glance at his fiancé before he looks back to Ashley and continues, "Talk to her. Let her explain. After years being together, she at least deserves the benefit of the doubt."

"Talk to her?" Ashley asks helplessly. "Ask for an explanation?"

Her friends just stare at her sympathetically.

"Oh God..." Ashley chokes in tears. "She's going to leave me." 

"Don't jump into that conclusion, Ash." Troian softly says. "She is Beca. She loves you."

Ashley closes her eyes and says in between sobs, "She... she's going to choose Chloe. She is her first love after all."

"What?!" Troian and Shay exclaim in unison, earning a warning glare from Patrick.

"Chloe is Beca's first love?" Troian asks with a softer tone. "How did you know?"

Ashley sighs deeply and says with ragged breath, "Sh- she told me."

"She told you? When?" Shay exclaims.

"Three years ago." Ashley drops her back onto the couch and rests her head on top of it, trying to steady her breaths, looking so distraught. "Re- remember our huge fight th- that ended up with us separating for a month or so?"

Her friends nod to respond.

"That was the most miserable I've ever seen you." Troian says as she rubs Ashley's knee gently. "But you've never told us what happened."

Ashley nods. Contrary to popular belief, even though she's a very open person, she's actually really good at keeping secret. She didn't tell any of their friends before because she didn't want them to think that Beca wasn't serious with her. Because she was, but she was also afraid of being committed.

With her eyes fixated on the ceiling, Ashley starts to explain slowly. "I... was going to leave her. Because she didn't want to take our relationship to the next level. I wanted us to move in together, but she was afraid. We fought and I left."

Her friends seem to be shocked but they don't interrupt.

"One night, she came to my apartment and looked like a mess. She told me th- that she couldn't lose me, so she chose to tell me everything about her. Then we made up. She promised to get better at relationship, and I promised that I would never leave her."

"That was the moment she told you about Chloe." Troian says as the realization hit her.

Ashley nods.

"And now you're afraid that Beca has always been in love with Chloe, and will leave you for her." Troian says again without question mark.

Staring blankly to the ceiling with tears running down her face, Ashley nods again.

Her friends just look at each other, trying to find something to say. But nobody seem to have anything to say.

Eventually, Troian breaks the silence. "Ash, I don't know about Beca's feeling to Chloe. Frankly, I only know a number of things about Beca's life before she became our friend. And I can count them with one hand. All I know is that she loves you. She has done nothing but loving you the best way she could in the past five years. This amount of time spent to be in a very long committed relationship is a big deal. Especially when it comes from someone who had always been afraid of even think about it."

Ashley turns to look at Troian but says nothing. Then she massages her forehead absentmindedly while her mind thinking hard.

Nobody dare to break the silence until Ashley takes a deep breath and finally says, "I'm going home. You're right. I should talk to her."

Shay grabs her hand and gives it a little squeeze to show her support.

"We'll take you home, Ash." Troian says as she stands up.

"I drove here, Troian." Ashley shakes her head lightly. "I'll be fine driving on my own."

"Don't be silly." Patrick pushes calmly. "Troian and Shay will drive you with your car and I will drive mine so we can take you back together, okay?"

Ashley looks at them for a second and then nods. The drive back is silent. When they arrive, Ashley thank them and promise them a call after she talks to Beca.

Troian pulls her up and hugs her tightly. "We're here for you. Anything you need, just tell us."

Ashley hugs her back and says, "Thank you guys. I wouldn't know what to do without you."

While patting Ashley's back gently, Shay says firmly, "Don't trust her easily, Ash. Just tell me if I have to kick her ass."

Ashley chuckles sadly. "I might hold you onto that."

Patrick puts his hands on Ashley's shoulders and softly says, "Just give her a chance. I believe she has her reason."

Ashley simply nods before waves them goodbye. Then she walks into the house, straight to their bedroom and finds it empty. Although she knows where Beca is, she doesn't go there immediately, because now she finds it a little bit harder to face her girlfriend. So, she walks to the balcony and just sits there to calm her nerves.

For a long while, Ashley simply looks at the view of Pacific Ocean from the balcony while her mind slowly puts the pieces together. She realizes that she has only thought about the possibilities of Beca's decision, yet she hasn't thought about hers.

Through all the flaws to the remarkable things the brunette has, Ashley is completely sure that she loves Beca, and there is nothing that can stop her from loving Beca now. However, if there is one thing that Ashley couldn't stand is being in doubt.

Ashley knows how much Beca loved Chloe when she was still in college, and Chloe was a huge part in Beca's life back then even after Beca left. She can't help but worry if Beca ever move on from her feelings toward the red head.

It's a very hard question to answer and even harder to prove, especially when the red head has revealed that she also loves Beca. That thought sinks into her mind, affecting her head in making a decision.

After she finally make up her mind, she stands up and goes straight to Beca's sanctuary.


Chloe's House, The Very Same Day.

When Chloe arrives at her house, she's still in a haze of Beca Mitchell. The meeting and especially the kiss still leave her over the moon. It was an amazing kiss and nothing like she'd ever felt before. The possibility of finally be with Beca in a relationship put her in a bliss.

It takes her back to the times when she dated so many people and it never worked out. The longest she could stay in a relationship before Kristen was almost a year with her coworker who traveled with her for Peace Corps.

His name was Nicholas, and he was a good guy. But they mutually decided to end their relationship when Chloe decided to go back to Boston while Nic still wanted to travel. Strangely, she wasn't that broken-hearted over the break up.

Although Chloe wasn't interested in dating anyone after she got back to Boston, Kristen managed to impress her and they hit it off on the first meeting. Kristen was awkward and nervous at first but when they started to talk, Chloe was fascinated by Kristen's knowledge about literature and classical music. It turned out that she was also very funny and sweet. They started dating after that.

Kristen is actually a perfect girlfriend and fiancé. She is sweet, romantic, funny and she treats Chloe like nothing but a queen. They both are big on happily ever after. So naturally, it's easy for Chloe to fall in love with her.

However, like any other human being, Kristen indeed has some flaws. She is over protective and overly jealous toward everybody that is close to the red head. It was sweet and cute when they just started dating, but it's getting old now, especially when she even got jealous of Aubrey and Stacie.

She's never yelled or hit Chloe or even had a bad temper about it, but she always makes Chloe feels bad when she does something that Kristen doesn't approve of. That insecurity and controlling behavior are things that often cause them to fight.

Despite all of that, Chloe knows that Kristen truly loves her. She can always count on her fiancé about everything. And more than anything, she believes that Kristen will never leave her. Those are the reasons why Chloe said yes when Kristen proposed.

However, that happened before she met Beca again. Turns out, Chloe only needs one kiss, a true love kiss as she's always believed in, because she is a true believer of Disney princess' grand happy ending, to be sure.

Chloe didn't even hold her breath and it didn't take more than a minute for her to realize why her relationships never lasted before. It's because her ex's aren't Beca. Kristen, is not Beca.

That thought brings her back to reality. Chloe sighs and checks herself on the mirror under the sunshade of her car to make sure she looks presentable before walking into her house. She closes the door behind her quietly, thinking that her fiancé is still asleep. Turns out, she is wrong.

"Where have you been?" Kristen's voice startles the read head.

"You scare me." Chloe says while trying to compose herself upon seeing Kristen sits in the dark.

"Sorry." Kristen says with a hint upset. "So where have you been?"

"I was with Beca." Chloe says, trying to sound and look nonchalant.

Kristen raises an eyebrow, still with a hint of upset. "The whole night?"

Chloe takes off her heels and walks into their kitchen before she says, "Yeah. It's been ten years. So we have a lot of things to catch up on."

Although she isn't convince, Kristen follows Chloe from behind and replies, "Sure you do."

Chloe just keeps walking to the kitchen, straight to the fridge. After taking and drinking a bottle of water, she says, "You're early. It's only seven."

Kristen stares at her for a second before she shrugs and says, "I went for a jog. I just got in right before you."

"Huh."

"So... what did you and Beca talk about all night, Babe?" Kristen asks, trying not to sound like she's doing an interrogation.

Knowing that she isn't ready to talk about the kiss and the inevitable break up, Chloe shrugs and says, "You know, just stuff to catch up on. Life, work, stuff like that."

"Hmp." Kristen raises her eyebrows, pressing her lips tightly.

Before Kristen asks another question, Chloe quickly says, "I'm exhausted. I'm going to shower and sleep."

Just after Chloe turns on her heels, Kristen grabs her hand and pulls her close. She wraps her arms around Chloe's waist, smiling softly as she says, "I've missed you Babe."

Chloe is caught off guard, but she instantly takes a deep breath and kisses Kristen chastely. Without really looking at her fiancé, she says, "I miss you too, Babe."

Confused of how her fiancé is acting, Kristen stares at the red head intently and sighs before turning and walking back to the kitchen. "I'm having pancakes for breakfast. You want any?"

"I think I'll pass." Chloe says weakly. "I'm really tired."

Kristen turns to look at her, raising an eyebrow, staring at the red head with unreadable face before she skeptically says, "Chloe Beale turning down pancakes. Wow. Never heard of that before."

Although Chloe knows that refusing a breakfast is a normal thing to do, Kristen always manages to make her feel bad over the simplest thing. Chloe sighs tiredly and says, "I'm tired Kris. Can we have this uncomfortable talk later?"

"What uncomfortable talk?" Kristen asks nonchalantly. "I just want to have breakfast with my fiancé. As usual."

This is the passive aggressive manner of her fiancé, which Chloe has grown to be familiar with over the years. It usually ends up with a fight, but Chloe is exhausted and doesn't want any argument. So, she bites her tongue and says, "Okay. Let me shower, then we can have breakfast."

"Cool." Kristen smiles cheerfully.

Chloe turns on her heels and walks into their bedroom. After picking up a pair of sleeping wear, she takes a quick shower and walks back into the kitchen instantly.

Upon seeing Kristen making her favorite breakfast, Chloe can't help but smiling. It's just pancakes and sunny side up on two plates, but it shows how sweet Kristen has been even after years together.

Suddenly, Chloe feels guilty for how she has been treating the brunette. She puts a smile on her face, approaches her fiancé, and gives her a peck on the lips before saying, "My favorite. Thanks Babe."

Kristen grins and says, "Anything for my queen. Let's eat. You must be starving."

They eat in silent. After she finishes, Chloe looks up at Kristen and cautiously says, "I'm really tired Babe. Can I go to sleep?"

"Sure." Kristen gets up and kisses Chloe before picking up the plates. "I'll clean up, and then join you."

Not taking a chance of Kristen changing her mind, Chloe hurriedly rushes into their room, plops onto the bed and falls asleep immediately. Out of exhaustion, she doesn't even stir when Kristen joins her on the bed, hugs her from behind, and kisses the back of her shoulder gently.

Chloe wakes up hours later when she feels her fiancé kissing her neck from behind and whispers, "Wake up sunshine. The universe is not as bright without your blue eyes shining their way into my day."

Although it's so sweet, Chloe can't help but feeling disappointed because she wished it came from Beca. Yesterday, the very same gesture would've made Chloe beamed in joy and her stomach fluttered. Yesterday, but not today. Because the kiss she shared with Beca last night is still lingering in her mind.

Nevertheless, being loved always feel good no matter from whom it comes for. Chloe puts on her best smile, turns slowly to stare at her fiancé, while her mind gathering her courage to tell the brunette about her decision.

When Kristen tucks a strain of hair behind her ear, Chloe can see the love and adoration pouring out from her fiancé's green eyes that would've melted any woman into a giant puddle.

As Kristen leans in for a kiss, Chloe returns the kiss half-heartily, and then she pulls away the second Kristen tries to deepen the kiss. Confusion is written all over Kristen's face.

"We need to talk." Chloe says.

"Well, can we talk later?" Kristen says with bored sighing. "We haven't kissed properly since last night. And I've missed having you in my arms."

After untangling herself from Kristen, Chloe then sits up on the edge of the bed and sets her feet on the floor with her back facing Kristen. She sighs with her head down and her eyes closed as she says, "I need to tell you something."

Kristen groans in annoyance and says, "Okay. What is it that you want to talk about? It's clearly more important than kissing your fiancé, who had waited for you to come home the whole night, worried sick about you, while you had fun with your best friend."

This old trick of being passive aggressive still hit Chloe on her nerves. Trying to brush off the annoyance, she grits her teeth and then flatly says, "I can't do this anymore."

"I know." Kristen rolls her eyes, pulling herself up to lean her back against the headboard with her hands behind her head. "You shouldn't go out all night without me Babe. You should've come-"

"I mean us." Chloe cuts her off. "I can't do this relationship with you anymore."

For a second, Kristen freezes in shock, but she takes a deep breath and moves to sit next to Chloe before asking, "What do you mean Babe?"

Chloe turns her head to look at Kristen and mutters, "I don't think we should be together anymore."

Upon seeing the hurt on Kristen's face, she adds nervously, "I'm sorry. You've been good for me, Kris. Very good. But-"

"Isn't that a good thing?" Kristen cuts her off impatiently, reaching and holding Chloe's hands. "That I am good for you and you are good for me?"

Pulling her hands back slowly, Chloe sighs and says, "I'm so sorry Kris."

Kristen gets off the bed instantly, and walks down to the living room with a very confused Chloe follows close from behind.

When she sees Kristen grabs a framed picture from the table under the TV, her confusion is answered. Kristen is holding a picture of them staring at each other lovingly on their engagement party.

"Look at this Chloe." Kristen says, holding the picture in front of Chloe.

Chloe turns her head away, too ashamed to respond.

"Look at this." Kristen continues with her voice cracked from the knot in her throat. "Look at how in love we are. This couldn't be it."

Getting no sign that the red head will say anything, Kristen sits down on the couch, seems distressed and angry while Chloe is fidgeting on her feet, staring at the floor, unable to see the pain she caused on the person in front of her.

In the moment of silent, Chloe can't help but curious of how Kristen reacts toward the break up. After she told Kristen in their bedroom that she wanted to break up, not even once Kristen asked her why or demanded any reason, she just seemed like expecting it. Suddenly, Chloe feels cold as the realization hit her.

"You knew something happened last night." Chloe blurts out. "You knew we kissed."

Kristen scoffs and says with a tight smile, "Now we're talking."

"You spied on me?!" Chloe snaps.

"I didn't!" Kristen snaps back. "Well now I know I should have!"

"Don't lie to me Kris!" Chloe snaps loudly. "How did you know then?!"

With her face red in anger, Kristen furiously says, "I've suspected something would've happened. Especially after the dance. But I wasn't sure. Not until now!"

Chloe crosses her arms on her chest and harshly says, "This is why. This is the very reason I couldn't stand you. You are controlling and possessive! You don't trust me!"

"Oh no no no no Babe." Kristen says furiously. "You don't get to pin this on me. Not when you are the one who is cheating on me. And now you can't blame me for being controlling and possessive. Not after you proved that you can't be trusted."

The truth in Kristen's words hit Chloe right in the chest, taking away her ability to compose words. As much as she wants to deny everything that her fiancé just said, she can't. Despite of the fact that she indeed kissed Beca and it was wrong, Kristen always has her way to turn everything Chloe said right back at her.

Upon seeing that Chloe is at lost of words, Kristen takes a deep breath to calm herself, keeps sitting on the couch in silent.

After a while, with guilty feeling in her chest, Chloe decides to sit next to Kristen, wrapping her arm around Kristen's shoulder from the side and softly says, "Kris, I'm sorry for what I did. I love you, I do. But I don't think I will ever love you the way you want me to. The way you love me."

Kristen turns to look at her and speaks with her voice broken, "It's enough for me, Babe. It has always been enough after all this time. It will be enough."

"But it's not fair to you." Chloe smiles sadly. "You deserve to be loved by someone who can love you better than I do."

Kristen shrugs Chloe off and stands up tall in front of her before she firmly says, "You do not get to do this to me, Chloe. I know what you're doing, and it's not going to work on me. I know what this is, and I've done this before. You don't get to sugarcoat and turn this into some kind of trying to be the bigger person thing, or acting like you are doing this for my sake."

Chloe's jaw drops with her eyes widen in shock before her anger flaring up and then she snaps, "What do you mean by that?! Are you saying that I'm faking good?!"

"Oh come on Chloe. Let's stop pretending." Kristen says with a loud mocking voice, waving her hands around her head and pointing her finger to Chloe's face. "This isn't about what's best for me. This is about you getting together with your long lost lover, the person you call best friend. This is about you finally getting your chance with Beca."

The revelation leaves Chloe speechless again. She has never told Kristen about her feelings toward Beca. The only people she told about it was Aubrey and Stacie.

Upon seeing Chloe's dumbfounded face, Kristen scoffs and sarcastically says, "What? Do you think that you can hide it from me forever? You don't think I'm that stupid right? I'm a writer, Chloe. One of the things I'm good at is to find out every necessary things to make a perfect book. In order to do that, I should have a very good ability to do investigation. And I do. You shouldn't be surprised at all."

"You pried information about my past from my best friends?" Chloe asks her in disbelief.

Kristen snorts and then harshly says, "It's not like you are trying hard to hide it anyway. You should've heard yourself when you're talking about her. Your beaming eyes, your cheerful tone. And I've endured it every fucking damn time!"

Every word that flows out from Kristen's mouth feels like a dagger, stabbing into Chloe's chest.

Kristen closes her eyes, trying to hold the pain and then weakly asks, "Do you know how it feels, to listen to the person you love the most talking about someone she loves, and it isn't you she's talking about?"

Again, Chloe is stunned. One second Kristen is yelling at her, and the next, Kristen says something that breaks Chloe's heart for treating her unfairly.

Kristen takes the silent as a chance to approach the red head, sitting next to her and holds her hand dearly before softly says, "Chloe, I love you. And I know you love me too. I know I'm not a perfect fiancé. But I'll do better. We'll do better."

When Chloe doesn't give any response, Kristen kisses Chloe's hand and continues, "We have a good thing, Babe. Amazing even. Don't throw it all away for a wistful thinking that you can have a chance with Beca. That she can love you the way I do."

The mention of Beca's name finally pulls Chloe out from her silent shock. It reminds her about the very reason she's doing this. She turns to look at Kristen, pulling her hand from the brunette's, then takes off her engagement ring and hands it back to the brunette. "I'm sorry Kris, but we're over."

"No!" Kristen slams her hand hard with the ring in it on the coffee table.

"I'm not asking you. I'm telling you. We're over." Chloe says with finality in her voice and then she stands up to walk away from Kristen, failing to notice that Kristen has stood up with the framed picture in her hand.

"I said no Chloe!" Kristen yells, smashing the framed picture on the floor near Chloe's feet.

Chloe screeches in fear, jumping away to the back of the couch.

Doesn't seem to care, Kristen keeps talking furiously, "I do not be patient this long only to be stepped aside the minute she got back into your life."

The brunette takes a step closer to Chloe, who is still frozen in fear, and firmly says louder, "I have not been wasting my time for loving you only to be left for a person who left you ten years ago."

Then Kristen takes another step closer to Chloe, inching to be as close as possible to emphasize her next words, punctuating every single word. "She, doesn't love you Chloe. No one, and mark my word, no one, will ever love you. Not the way I do."

Anger and hurt take over upon hearing the judgement, pulling Chloe out of her fear. She doesn't even take a step back when she asks with the strongest voice she can muster. "Are you saying that I'm not worth loving?"

Upon seeing the hurt and fear in Chloe's eyes, Kristen's eyes widen in fear. She just realizes what she has said and done in her anger. She steps back and says with a lower notch, "I- I'm sorry Chloe. I didn't mean to lash out on you and say those things."

When Kristen tries to cup her cheek, Chloe turns her face away from her now ex-fiancé.

Kristen drops her hand in defeat before she swallows hard and says, "We both know it's not true, Babe. You, from all of the people, are the person who deserve to be loved with... the best kind of love."

Chloe is confused of the sudden change of tone. She tilts her head toward Kristen slightly with furrowed eyebrows.

"Everybody loves you, Chloe." Kristen says with a weak smile. "Well, everybody with eyes and a beating heart."

Can't hold the tears anymore, Kristen continues with shaky voice and tears streaming down her face, saying "Don't you understand? Everybody wants to be with you. Everybody wants a chance to love you. To be loved by you. By some miracle, you chose me. And I'll be damned if I don't do everything in my power to keep you, to make you stay."

Although the hurt in Kristen eyes is undeniable, there is still a hint of tenderness in it when she says, "You are an amazing person, Chloe. And I'm just... me. I'm just this awkward writer who are helplessly in love with you."

Chloe just stands in silent, facing a dilemma because she wants to hug the brunette, yet she's also afraid Kristen will take it the wrong way.

After wiping the tears from under her nose, Kristen exhales harshly and explains, "I'm so afraid that one day you will find a person who can offer you everything, and then you will leave me. I know that there are so many things that I shouldn't have done or said to you. I also know that I have been controlling and possessive. And there's no amount of fear nor insecurities that can justify them."

Watching the brunette closely, Chloe can't help but moved by Kristen's honesty. There's pure sincerity and desperation in those words, especially since she knows that vulnerability isn't Kristen's strong suit. Kristen is a person who always stands strong. She hides her sadness and worry all for herself.

"But there is one thing that you can't deny, Chlo." Kristen says sternly, looking at Chloe with certainty beaming from her eyes. "I am the only person who can love you the best right now."

With that being said, Kristen turns and walks out of the house, leaving a very stunned and sad Chloe slides down to the floor and breaks down in tears.

 

Chapter Text

 

Aubrey and Stacie's House: September 27th 2025

If any of you ask, I still have no idea of how Aubrey could agree to marry and build a family in such a young age. She was very certain about her future, and that was working her way to the top in everything. However, falling in love indeed changed her from head to toe.

She and Stacie got closer after The Bellas spent an entire weekend for a retreat at The Lodge of Falling Leaves. On the night they won the world championship, Stacie asked Aubrey to be her girlfriend. As a naturally constantly worried person, Aubrey was hesitant, but thankfully, Stacie was persistent.

When Stacie was accepted into grad school at MIT, and Chloe got accepted into Harvard, Aubey didn't hesitate to apply to Business and Law Program at Harvard. Although it wasn't an easy decision to make because she had to leave her lodge to be managed by other people, it turned out to be the right decision.

Six months after graduated, Chloe's life was spiraling downward and Aubrey was thankful because she could be close enough to take care of her best friend.

On their third year living in Boston, after graduating grad school, Stacie proposed to Aubrey. They got married a year later, and then a year after being married, they both decided to start a family, and they succeeded on the first try.

Now they have been happily married for almost six years and have a very smart and beautiful four year old blonde in their little family, Isabelle Khloe Posen-Conrad. Named after her moms' beloved acapella group, and their best friend, who is also her godmother.

They just moved to L.A. around six months because Stacie got a job offer. For now, Aubrey can confidently say that she can't be happier. The happiness is now complete after Chloe decided to move to L.A. too a month ago.

For the present day, the Posen-Conrad family is having a quiet weekend. With the busy schedules Aubrey and Stacie have, spending a quality time with family become their favorite thing to do. Today is no different.

Aubrey is cleaning up after lunch, while her wife is watching a cartoon with their daughter. After she finishes the dishes, she walks toward the living room, and leans on her side by the arc that separates the kitchen from the living room, staring at Stacie and Bella fondly.

"Babe, have you informed all of The Bellas about our ten years reunion next month?" Stacie suddenly yells from the couch without realizing that her wife is already standing not too far behind her.

After taking a seat next to her daughter, Aubrey kisses the top of Bella's head and then turns to her wife before she says, "I have Babe. I emailed them a month ago."

"Will they all be able to come to L.A.?" Stacie asks without moving her eyes from the TV.

"Well..." Aubrey purses her lips, thinking before she answers, "Amy said that she will be here with Bumper and their boys. CR will come with her wife and kids. Emily is moving here in a week with Andre, so we can count on her to be in L.A. by then. Jessica and Ashley will be flying in from D.C. Flo said she has a meeting in San Diego that week, so she will drive here. Lily will be here even though I don't exactly know where she lives right now. Then the three of us, you, me, and Chloe are already here. Oh, I think some of the Trebles will be joining us too. You know, Jesse, Benji, and Donald. So, I think all of us will be here for the reunion."

Stacie turns to her wife, raising her eyebrows as she asks, "And Beca?"

Aubrey immediately rolls her eyes and asks in annoyance, "What about the hobbit?"

"Did you invite her?"

"Why would I?" Aubrey retorts in annoyance. "It's not like she'd come anyway."

Stacie sighs and says, "Babe, it's been three years since she's reached out. We know her reason now."

"Yeah. But she didn't come to the last two reunions either. What's different about it this time? And for the record, we-" Aubrey gestures her hand back and forth between her and her wife, "-don't know her reason. You do."

Stacie huffs frustratingly. It's been hard for her to be in the middle of her wife and Chloe's feud toward Beca. She was angry with Beca too, especially because other than Chloe, she was Beca's closest friend in college.

However, after the tiny brunette reached out to her three years ago and explained the reason why she had been hiding, even though it took a while, Stacie eventually understood and forgave her. Beca was her best friend after all.

"She feels guilty, Babe." Stacie explains patiently. "Never mind the fact that she's only told her reason to me and Emily. She doesn't even tell Fat Amy until now. It's still hard for her to meet all of us at once, especially Chloe."

"Exactly." Aubrey comments stubbornly. "Chloe will be there. And I don't want our 10th reunion turns out to be an awkward drama show. Or worse, screaming competition."

Stacie clenches her jaw, knowing where this is going to end every time they talk about Beca. "Look, I don't want to fight about this anymore. Just invite her, please." Stacie says tiredly and when she sees that Aubrey is going to debate her, she quickly adds, "And if she doesn't come again, it's gonna be her decision. I mean, you are the one who always said that once a Bella always a Bella."

Aubrey sighs and reluctantly says, "Okay."

Suddenly, Bella hushes them and says with her baby tongue, "Mama, stop talking and start watching."

Stacie smiles fondly to the little girl, ruffling her blonde hair and says, "Yes mini Conrad."

"Mini Posen-Conrad." Aubrey corrects her with a grin on her face, and then Bella and Stacie immediately look at her with toothy grin.

The three of them resume watching the cartoon silently until Aubrey's phone rings.

"It's Chloe." Aubrey says.

"Aunt Chowee!" Bella shrieks excitingly. "Put it on speaker Mommy, please..."

Her moms smile amusingly as Aubrey picks up the phone and puts it on speaker.

"Bree..." Chloe sobs from the other side of the line.

Stacie's eyes widen, but her wife answers faster, "I'm on my way."

Stacie quickly grabs the car key and Aubrey picks Bella up, and then the two of them rush to the car. It takes them 15 minutes to arrive at Chloe's place. Aubrey opens the door with the key Chloe gave her in case of emergency, like this one.


Chloe's House: 03:38 PM

"Chloe?" Aubrey calls out as soon as the door open.

"Living room, Bree." Chloe replies with hoarse voice.

When Aubrey comes in, Chloe is curling up on the couch, but it isn't the thing that shocks her. It's the shattered frame next to the couch. She immediately rushes to the read head and frantically exclaims, "Chloe! What happened? Are you okay?"

Chloe shakes her head and pulls Aubrey in a hug with tears streaming down her face.

After pulling the red head to sit up, Aubrey hugs her tightly and rubs her back soothingly. "Shush... it's gonna be okay sweetie."

"What happened to Aunt Chowee Mama?" Bella asks Stacie.

"Aunt Chloe is not feeling well, princess." Stacie says before hurriedly takes Bella to Chloe's guest room.

"Maybe I can sing to her, Ma." Bella says innocently.

Stacie smiles fondly at her daughter, "Sure. But this is your nap time. Why don't you sleep for a while, and then you can sing to her after you wake up."

Bella pouts the famous pout she masters from her godmother, the one and only Chloe Beale. Trying to persuade her daughter, Stacie ruffles her hair and kisses her forehead before she softly says, "Come on now munchkin. Mama needs to take care of Aunt Chloe. So you be good and take a nap, okay?"

The mini blonde nods and kisses her mom on the cheek before laying down on the bed. After making sure that her daughter is asleep, Stacie walks into the living room. When she sees that Chloe is still crying in Aubrey's arm, she goes to the kitchen and comes back to the living room bearing a tray of tea for the three of them.

"How's Bella?" Chloe asks in between sobs.

Stacie smiles weakly and says, "She wanted to sing to you, but I asked her to take a nap first."

Chloe chuckles, pulls herself out of Aubrey's arm, and wipes the tears away. She straightens up and takes a cup of tea as she says, "Thanks Stace."

Although she's confused to see Chloe's engagement ring on the coffee table, Stacie chooses to ignore it for now.

While her hand keep rubbing Chloe's back, Aubrey cautiously asks, "Do you want to tell us about what happen here, sweetie?"

Chloe takes a deep breath before she starts telling Aubrey and Stacie about her meeting with Beca last night. She tells them everything, about how she met the brunette, the dance, the fight they had the whole night, the revelation, and the kiss.

"You what?!" Aubrey exclaims.

"We kissed, Bree." Chloe says with a grin, beaming unbearably happy. "And it was amazing, and wonderful, and like nothing I've ever felt before."

"Chloe, what have you done?" Aubrey asked worriedly. "What about Kristen?"

Chloe's smile falters immediately. She slumps her shoulder and sighs. "We broke up. I think?"

"You think?!" Aubrey raises her voice and her eyebrows all at the same time.

"Bree-"

"Chloe Elizabeth Beale, are you out of your mind?!"

When Chloe's jaw drops in shock after Aubrey cut her off harshly, Stacie hurriedly grabs her wife's hand and says, "Babe, how about you let her finish?"

"Oh right. I'm sorry Chloe." Aubrey says apologetically. "Now proceed."

After taking another deep breath, Chloe continues her story about her fight with Kristen that afternoon. She tells them about everything Kristen did and said, how she threw the picture on the floor near her feet, and Kristen's speech before she left.

"I'm going to kill her!" Aubrey stands up angrily.

"Babe, it's not helping." Stacie pulls her wife back down. "Calm down."

Aubrey sits back down, taking a few deep breaths to calm her anger. On the other hand, Stacie glances at Chloe, taking her hand in hers and asks, "Did she hurt you? I mean physically."

Chloe shakes her head lightly. Then Stacie asks, "Do you know where Kristen is?"

Again, Chloe just shakes her head. Then Stacie sighs and says, "I know this is hard. But do you know what you're gonna do?"

Exhaling deeply with her eyes closed, Chloe takes her time to think before she says, "I honestly don't know, Stace. I broke up with Kristen. I guess that's a start?"

Concern is written all over Aubrey's face. She squeezes Chloe's hand gently and says, "I never really fond of the idea you marrying Kristen. And after hearing what she did this afternoon, let's just say that she's lucky there are no wolves in L.A. that I can summon to rip her vocal cords. But are you sure?"

"I'm sure." Chloe says, nodding to reassure the blonde. "I love Beca, Bree. I always have and always will. That's why it's just not fair for me to string Kristen along after realizing it last night."

Knowing how sensitive a topic about Beca for Chloe, Aubrey flashes her a weak smile and cautiously says, "I know that sweetie. You've been in love with Beca ever since you were in college. But how about her?"

"What do you mean how about her?" Chloe furrows her eyebrows in confusion. "I told you that she confessed to me last night. She told me that she's loved with me too since college."

Upon seeing doubt on Aubrey's face, Chloe chuckles lightly and continues, "I know it sounds crazy. The fact that we've been in love with each other since forever, but manage to keep it to ourselves for a very long time. I mean talk about true love always find their way."

Although Aubrey can see the happiness pouring out from every pores of Chloe's body, she can't help but saying with obvious concern, "I hate to break this up to you. But you said so yourself that she's confused."

Chloe rolls her eyes and says as if it isn't a big deal, "Of course she is going to be confused Bree."

When her friends don't respond but staring at her in confusion and concern, Chloe explains, "Who wouldn't be? She's been in love with me for a very long time even after she left. And now she is in a relationship with someone she found along the way. But last night we met again and we had our amazing first true love kiss. I would be confused too if I were her."

"But she said that she needs time?" Aubrey asks cautiously.

"Yeah. To think about what happened last night. She told me that she loves Ashley and don't want me to get my hopes up. But I'm sure she will sort it all out. She just needs time to realize that she and I are meant to be together." Chloe explained in confident.

There's no doubt at all in Aubrey's mind that Chloe is still in love with Beca even after ten years, but she's not so sure about Beca. Other than the little information Stacie has told her in the past two years about the tiny brunette, Aubrey hasn't seen the DJ in person. The optimism in Chloe's voice doesn't make Aubrey less worried. If anything, it makes her more worried.

Chloe has been more fragile after Beca left. Now that Beca has come back into Chloe's life with a grand true love kiss as Chloe said, Aubrey is worried that it will hurt her best friend more than anything if in the end everything don't turn out as she has hoped.

Aubrey sighs and kisses Chloe on the temple before she says, "Chloe, sweetie, you know that I love you. I'm not saying that Beca didn't love you back in college. But she has Ashley now. They have been together for years. For someone like Beca to stay in a relationship for that long... She must've loved Ashley very much."

Upon hearing Ashley's name, Chloe flinches, but she quickly shakes her head lightly and puts on a hopeful smile. "Yeah, I know. I wouldn't have expected her to be alone in this past ten years. I mean, I've dated several times too. But it doesn't matter Bree. Isn't it supposed to be like this? Two person who are best friend and secretly love each other from the beginning, but then being separated for some reasons. They have to at least try to move on before they find each other again, and realize that it has always been the person from the beginning that they have been in love with? You've watched One Day right?"

Doesn't want to upset the red head after what she's been through since last night and this morning, Aubrey sighs and only looks at her in concern.

Seeing the worried look on Aubrey's face, Chloe smiles to reassure her and says, "It's okay Bree. Everything will work out like it's supposed to be. I believe in Beca. I believe in our love. It's something that time can't change. I can feel it. Beca will feel it too, in time. Besides, Ashley hasn't always been faithful to her based on what I've read in the media. But I will, I'm the person who knows her best, and I can love her better than anyone. And Beca has promised me last night that she will never disappear on me again."

Aubrey sighs deeply again for the umpteenth times, worried about her best friend's bubbly optimism and fantasy about happily ever after. Yet she wouldn't be Chloe if she's not like that, would she?

Glancing toward her wife who hasn't said anything but staring at the floor and silently listening since they talk about Beca, Aubrey can't help but notice that Stacie seems nervous and somehow guilty.

"Babe." Aubrey grabs Stacie's hand gently. "You've been awfully quiet. What's on your mind?"

Stacie turns to her wife slowly with a weak smile, shaking her head lightly before saying, "Nothing. I'm... just listening to you." She pauses and glances to Chloe before muttering, "Don't believe everything you read or heard from the media, Chloe."

Confused of Stacie's statement, Chloe furrows her eyebrows.

"Babe, I think it's time for you to tell Chloe the truth." Aubrey softly says, earning a warning glare from her wife as she pulls her hand away.

"Tell me the truth about what?"

Stacie taps her hands on her knees repeatedly, looking frantically to anywhere but Chloe.

"Stace?" Chloe calls her.

"I uh... I've been in touch with Beca in the past three years." Stacie says nervously.

Chloe's jaw drops as the shocking revelation wash her off like cold water. In the past couple of years after Beca resurfaced, comparing to other Bellas, Stacie has always known more about Beca. Chloe knew that, but she thought Stacie found out about it from the media, and her super power with computer and internet.

"You what?!" Chloe yells after she finds her voice again.

"Chloe, calm down." Aubrey says sternly. "She will tell you everything, but you need to calm down."

"And you knew?!" Chloe turns to yell at her blonde friend.

"Stop yelling Chloe!" Aubrey snaps harshly at the red head.

Chloe is dumbfounded because it's been years since the last time Aubrey yelled at her, especially ever since Bella was born.

Shock of what she just did, Aubrey takes a deep breaths before she says, "I'm sorry I snapped at you. But you need to listen to Stacie. And to answer your question, yes. I knew."

Chloe can only manage a light nod.

"Babe, now tell us everything, okay?" Aubrey commands firmly at her wife. "No more secrets."

Choosing between telling the truth to her wife or protecting Beca have become Stacie's biggest dilemma for years. She huffs in frustration, rubbing her face harshly and grunts, "Beca is gonna kill me."

"Or I will kill you before she does if you don't tell us." Aubrey says with a warning look toward her wife.

Seeing no way out of it, Stacie closes her eyes and says, "Oh screw it!"

Aubrey and Chloe wait with their eyes boring to Stacie's face.

After blowing out one hell of a long breath through her mouth, Stacie says, "She told you almost everything last night. I can only tell you my side of the story, okay?"

Her wife and her best friend nod at the same time.

"Do not interrupt me, or else I will stop." Stacie says with a warning gaze.

Again, her wife and her best friend nod at the same time. Then Stacie takes a deep breath and begins to tell her side of the story.

"I believe you two remember when Beca disappeared," Stacie starts to explain, looking back and forth between her wife and Chloe. "We looked for her for months, and when we reported her to the police, someone named Donna contacted me and told me that Beca was fine and didn't want to be found."

Both her wife and best friend nod in unison.

Stacie tells the story slowly, taking her time pouring word after word so she doesn't have to do it again. "All of us decided to respect Beca's wish and was too hurt to do the otherwise. A couple of months later, this Donna sent me another email. Nothing emergency on it. Just a statement about Beca's wellbeing. She told me that if she was Beca's best friends from college, she'd want to at least know if Beca was alright. She promised that she would keep me informed, only if I promised to keep it to myself and not looking for Beca."

Upon seeing that Chloe is going to interrupt, Aubrey grabs her hand to stop her.

After shooting a thankful look to her wife, Stacie continues, "I admitted, I said yes. But only because I didn't want to lose one tiny string that connected us to Beca. It didn't mean I didn't try to find out who this Donna is. I started to look in social media and any other media. But I didn't know Donna's last name, her email didn't mention anything about her or her occupation, and there are millions of Donna all over the world."

Aware of how nervous she is, Stacie clenches her hands to stop them from fidgeting, and rests them on her knees. "After months and months of nothing, I started to accept the condition that Beca didn't want to be found. Every once in a couple of months, I always received an email saying that Beca is fine and healthy. And that was all I needed to know, all of us needed to know."

When she can't fight the urge anymore, Chloe asks with obvious doubt in her voice, "And you expect us to believe that you never found her?"

Stacie sighs tiredly. "I know that I studied computer science at MIT, and it should've been easy for me to track down her email. But this Donna really knew what she was doing. Beca must've told her that I'm a computer geek when she was asked to inform us to stop looking. I think Beca don't even know that Donna sent emails to me for years."

Knowing that Chloe is fuming in anger, Stacie takes a deep breath, glancing to her wife as she says, "And in my defense, we didn't even know that Beca was in L.A. all that time. We all thought she moved to New York and we were looking in the wrong place to start with. So I didn't find any Donna that would have had any connection to Beca in New York."

Angry tears start to stream down Chloe's face as she cries, "Ten years Stace... Ten years..."

"I'm sorry Chloe..." Stacie says with shaky voice. "But you were in such a bad place after Beca left. And I didn't want to get your hopes up for nothing. Because honestly, I didn't know any better. All I knew was that she was fine. All I had was an email once in a couple of months."

When Stacie sees that Aubrey is looking at her skeptically, her voice becomes louder in defense as she explains further. "I was as surprised as you all were when Beca resurfaced four years ago on a press conference, and revealed her identity as DJ M. I didn't reach out to her because I was hurt too. In fact, none of us tried to reach her because all of us were hurt. Then one day she called Emily and me, asked us to meet her in her apartment in New York. She told us everything, but she insisted that she should be the one to tell the rest of The Bellas, especially you Chloe."

Stacie breathes in relief when Aubrey's eyes soften. She turns to Chloe and softly says, "It's her story to tell, Chloe. I didn't even tell Aubrey everything. Only that she had reached out to me."

Chloe turns to Aubrey with painful look that makes Aubrey diverts her eyes from her best friend to her own hands.

"And you knew all this time?" Chloe asks with betrayed look and her voice broken.

Sighing deeply, Aubrey wipes the tears on Chloe's cheeks and says with her voice cracked, "I found out two years ago after I accidentally read her emails from Donna. I was so angry with her for keeping something from me for more than seven years. And she didn't even plan to tell me about Beca reaching out for her if I didn't threaten to take Bella, and leave her if she didn't tell me the truth."

The memory of Aubrey yelling at her, crying, and threatening to leave with their two years old daughter comes back into Stacie's mind. It was the worst time in her life, and she had no other choice but telling the truth about the emails.

Chloe sniffles, wiping the tears away as she weakly asks, "And Emily knew?"

Stacie nods and hesitantly says, "Beca wanted to work with Emily on her 3rd album. So she decided to tell Legacy too."

"How about the other Bellas?" Chloe demands.

Stacie sighs and explains, "After we met at New York, I called Fat Amy to visit Beca in L.A. because I knew that she was the only Bella that would've acceptep Beca's decision without too many questions. Beca started to email and text the other Bellas except the two of you in this past two years. She doesn't tell them much, but they start to warm up to her. All they know is that Beca still feels bad about leaving you Chloe. And Beca asked them, begged us not to meddle with it.

"You should've told me." Chloe says in upset.

With helpless look, Stacie says, "We don't want her to disappear again, Chloe. And we also know how depressed you were when Beca left. So none of us dares to mention Beca to the two of you. It's like unspoken agreement between us."

Chloe scoffs harshly before she says, raising her voice in anger, "So all of you knew. And none of you, none of you! Told me anything!"

"Why didn't you tell me any of this?" Aubrey asks furiously.

Stacie's eyes widen in fear and she hurriedly pleads, "Babe, I'm sorry, I really am. We didn't... I didn't tell you because I knew it would've killed you to keep something like this from Chloe. It's hard enough for you to hide about those emails and Beca reaching out."

Then Stacie turns to Chloe. "Like I said Chloe. Other than me and Legacy, none of the other Bellas know anything."

It's not surprising at all when Chloe shots her a doubtful look. Stacie sighs deeply, and then speaks with softened voice. "You are my dearest friend Chloe. And I wouldn't have kept these things from you if Beca isn't my best friend too. Emily and I were so furious. We were yelling at her the first time we met at her apartment in New York. But she didn't do anything. She just sat there silently being yelled at by me and Legacy."

In a split second, Stacie isn't sure if she should explain any further. However, the cat is already out of the bag. So she blows out a long breath, her face scrunches in pain as she says with broken voice, "You don't want to see her face. How miserable she was when she told us everything. She was crying and hurting. And the three of us were crying so hard by the time she ended her story. Never in my life I'd seen Beca like that. And to be honest, I don't ever want to see her like that anymore."

"Why would you all sided with her?!" Chloe yells in tears as she stands up abruptly. "She hurt me! She was the one who left!"

Aubrey pulls her down to sit on the couch again immediately, and hugs her before worriedly saying, "Chloe, breathe sweetie, please..."

As tears start running down her face, Stacie closes her eyes and says, "I'm so sorry, Chloe."

There is a long silent moment that's only being interrupted by sniffles and sobs that eventually subside. All of the sudden, Chloe speaks up again, muttering sadly, "All of you choose to protect her."

Stacie can see the pain in Chloe's eyes. She takes Chloe's hand in hers, and squeezes it gently as she softly says, "Chloe... this isn't about us choosing side with anyone. We did not choose Beca over you. Or the other way around. We were all hurt when Beca left, and you were the one that was hurt the most. We all know that. You know why?"

Chloe shakes her head lightly with sad teary eyes.

Stacie smiles weakly as she explains, "Because all of us were there with you. We were there when you were frantically looking for Beca for months. We were there when you were spiraling downward, heartbroken after knowing that Beca left purposively. We were all there to help you picked the pieces up again. And we were all there when you tried your best to put the pieces back together. All of us were together, helping each other, mending each other, and healing together. Remember?"

Chloe just nods while biting her trembling bottom lip.

"Do you remember how hard it was?" Stacie asks, looking back and forth between Chloe and Aubrey with her teary eyes.

After seeing the two women in front of her nod lightly, Stacie swallows hard before she says with shaky voice, "I don't think we would've survived without each other back then. Don't you think so?"

Seems to get what her wife is trying to say, Aubrey chokes back in tears with her hand covering her mouth.

Thinking about how strong the connection they have when her wife already understood her even before she says anything, Stacie gives her wife a weak smile and nods before she says with her voice broken, "But Beca was alone, Chloe."

Upon hearing the last sentence, Chloe looks up at Stacie with her teary eyes widen while her mind lets Stacie's words sink in. She finally understands why Aubrey is crying. And now the tears are running down her face too. She hides her face in the crook of Aubrey's neck, sobbing again for the umpteenth times in less than 24 hours, wondering how her eyes can still produce this amount of tears without going blind.

Knowing that she should tell Chloe everything, Stacie holds back her tears and takes a deep ragged breaths before she says, "Beca... she was on her own, handling the hurt and pain in loneliness. Not only for months, but years."

Stacie swallows hard to push the lump down, and then lets out a long shaky breathe before she continues with restraint voice, "I, for one, couldn't even imagine how my life would've been without Aubrey, never mind all of The Bellas, who are practically my family."

Then tears start to escape from Stacie's eyes and Aubrey stretches out a hand to rub her wife's knee, consoling her as if saying that she will never let Stacie live her life alone.

Stacie keeps talking with her ragged breath, "Beca... she had no one, Chloe. Her father wrecked her so bad, and she chose to deal with the pain all on her own."

Sobbing hard, Chloe can only manage a light nod.

Relieved of the red head's understanding, Stacie says with a weak sad smile, "So no, Chloe. This isn't about us choosing Beca over you. It will never come down to that. This is about us finally getting our friend back, and trying to be there for her like we were there for you after she left. We chose our friend above the pain and hurt that she put us through. Because no one deserves to live alone, either if it's by choice or not. And I'll be damned if I didn't at least try to be there for her when she finally let me in to share her pain."

It's getting harder for her to talk, but she needs to let it all out. Stacie grabs her wife's hand, kissing it deeply before she pleads, "I am so, so sorry Babe. I know I hurt you and I almost wrecked our marriage because I wanted to be there for Beca. I love you so much. And if it comes down to it, I won't even blink in hesitation. I will choose you. It will always be you. But I need you to understand that she is my best friend too."

Stacie finally gives in to the tears and sobs uncontrollably. So Chloe immediately lets go of Aubrey and nudges her to her wife. Aubrey instantly moves in front of Stacie, gets down on her knees, hugs her sobbing wife so dearly, and kisses the side of her head, mumbling, "I'm sorry too, Babe... It's okay... We'll be okay. I promise."

Then Chloe joins them in a group hug. They are hugging and crying together for a while. As the tears subside, Chloe says, "I am sorry for yelling at you two. I love you, awesome nerds."

Aubrey and Stacie chuckle weakly as they heard Beca's words flowed out from Chloe's mouth.

"We love you too, awesome nerd." Aubrey says with hoarse voice. Then they untangle from each other, starting to wipe their tears and calm their breath.

"God, I bet we look terrible right now." Aubrey says with a weak laughter.

"You still look beautiful in my eyes, Babe." Stacie says softly, cupping her wife's cheek, making the blonde blushes.

Chloe rolls her eyes playfully and asks, "What time is it?"

Stacie checks her phone and gasps, "Oh God, it's almost six."

"And Belle is still asleep?" Chloe asks in comic surprise.

Aubrey groans and shots a playful glare toward her wife. "I swear she could've slept through the thunderstorm and earthquakes, Chloe. She got that gene from her Mama."

"And I'm so proud to know that at least she got that from me." Stacie says smugly.

Confused of what Stacie's said, Aubrey and Chloe furrow their eyebrows in puzzled look toward the tall brunette.

Stacie rolls her eyes in mock annoyance as she says, "Look at her. She is all Aubrey from inside and out. She's blonde, smart, beautiful, has green eyes. So basically, Aubrey's face is literally copied on her. It's like God or whoever is in charge was too lazy to create something different."

When she sees her wife is rolling her eyes, Stacie smiles and adds, "And honestly, I couldn't have been more thankful for that."

Chloe giggles at her two best friend and says, "Not to mention that she is really bossy, Bree. Definitely from you."

Aubrey glares at her best friend while Stacie laughs, nodding in approval. As if on cue, suddenly they hear a soft sleepy voice from behind.

"Mommy?" Bella calls out to her mom.

Aubrey is quick on her feet, walking to her daughter and picks her up. She kisses Bella's forehead and says, "Hey sweet pea. How's your nap?"

Bella cups her mother's cheeks and asks in concern, "Mommy, did you cry?"

Stacie instantly approaches her wife and daughter, kissing them both and says, "Hey princess. You're up just in time for dinner."

"Mama, why do your eyes sollen?" The mini blonde asks stubbornly.

Smiling fondly at her daughter, Aubrey explains patiently, "You meant to say swollen, sweetie. Mama and I are okay. We were just talking about sad things with your Aunt Chloe. But we're okay now."

Upon hearing her aunt's name, Bella's eyes light up and she shrieks, "Aunt Chowee!"

"Bella!" Chloe rushes to them, takes the little blonde in her arms, and tickles the little blonde until she's out of breath from laughing.

Stacie turns to her wife and says, "Let's order in Babe."

"Chinese?" Aubrey asks.

"Chinese!" Chloe and Bella squeale in unison.

Upon seeing the red head and her daughter's childlike behavior, Aubrey rolls her eyes playfully, while her wife chuckles lightly, thinking that at least one of them is literally a child.

After Aubrey ordering their dinner, the three of them sit in the living room, playing with the four year old blonde. Bella is sitting on Chloe's lap, while Aubrey sits next to Chloe, and Stacie sits on the floor in front of her daughter.

"Why did you all cry?" Bella asks curiously, because she is definitely Aubrey's kid.

Thinking of the way to explain the complicated matter in simple words, Stacie purses her lips with her index finger on her chin. She smiles as an idea comes up, pinching Bella's nose gently and asks, "Do you remember in Frozen when Anna cried after Elsa told her to go away?"

After Bella nods, Stacie explains softly, "Well, we cried because one of our best friend did the same thing to us."

When a frown forming in her daughter's face, Stacie quickly adds, "But don't worry pumpkin. She's back now."

Bella's frown turns into a smile instantly as she asks cheerfully, "Just like Anna and Elsa get back together after fighting the evil prince?"

Aubrey chuckles softly and answers, "Almost exactly like that."

With a wide grin, Bella asks another question, "Is she one of my aca-aunts?"

Chloe sighs before she answers patiently, "Yes, she is sweetie."

"Have I met her?" Bella pushes another question, unaware of the uncomfortable air around her, especially from her Mama.

Suddenly, Stacie becomes nervous and she blurts, "Uh... Bells, can we-"

"No, you haven't, sweet pea. But maybe you will meet your Aunt Beca someday." Aubrey cuts her off, explaining calmly, trying to be honest with Bella because it's one of the things she value the most.

"Bec-Bec? I've met her, Mommy. We had a lot of fun." The little blonde answers with toothy smile on her face, not knowing that she just causes a big trouble to her Mama.

When Stacie sees her wife is glaring at her, her eyes widen in fear and she swallows hard. On the other hand, Chloe clears her throat and asks, "When did you meet her, Bells?"

"Which time?" Bella asks innocently while Stacie is shaking in fear.

Aubrey turns her deathly glare from her wife, and smiles toward the little blonde before she sweetly says, "Bella, honey, tell Mommy when did you meet Aunt Beca for the first time please."

Unable to feel the tension between the adult, Bella grins and answers, "Just after we moved here, Mommy. Mama and I went to a park and suddenly two puppies ran up to me. They are Bec-Bec and Auntie Asheey's little puppies, Owiv and Walter."

Doesn't want to raise a misunderstanding, Stacie pats Bella's head gently and hurriedly says, "Wow, you have a very good memory pumpkin. But do you mind if Mama tells the rest of it?"

While Bella is nodding excitedly, Aubrey states sarcastically, failing to hide the sharp tone. "Now you want to tell me about how my daughter met Bec-Bec."

With her eyes narrowed in disbelief, Chloe chips in instantly. "And since when did my goddaughter call Ashley Auntie Ashley?"

Knowing that she is indeed in a big trouble, Stacie swallows hard again.

"Are you angry, Mommy?" Bella asks Aubrey with pouted lips and teary eyes.

Aubrey instantly changes her expression, kissing Bella's cheek before she softly says, "Of course not, sweetie. Mommy and Aunt Chloe just want to know how you met them."

"Okay." Bella smiles, turning her head to her Mama and exclaims excitedly, "Tell them Mama! Tell them!"

Stacie gives her daughter a broken smile as she says, "Okay princess."

With her eyes on her fuming wife, Stacie huffs nervously and says, "It was six months ago. We just moved here. It was Saturday and we were going to the park but you suddenly had to deal with work. Do you remember that day?"

Aubrey nods without smiling. Thankfully, Bella is looking at her Mama, listening closely.

"Well, this little munchkin and I decided to go anyway. Right pumpkin?" Stacie asks, looking at her daughter for support.

Bella nods and replies, "Yeah."

Stacie smiles at her daughter, tapping her little nose before she continues, "Turns out, that is the park where Beca and Ashley usually take their puppies to play every Saturday. It was a coincidence."

"Yes Mommy. Bec-Bec and Aunt Asheey are very nice." Bella comments cheerfully.

Can't help but smiling at her daughter's excitement, Aubrey asks softly, "You had fun with them, sweetie?"

Bella nods with a huge grin. "They let me play with their puppies. We had so much fun."

"Where else did you meet them, Bells?" Chloe asks impatiently.

"Hmmm..." Bella furrows her eyebrows, trying to remember before she answers, "Sometimes at Bec-Bec's office, or Mama's office. Then one time we also went to Bec-Bec and Auntie Asheey's big house."

Sighing in defeat, Stacie palms her face while Aubrey and Chloe have the same deathly glare on their eyes toward her. Aubrey clears her throat before asking her daughter with soften voice, "And what did you do at Bec-Bec and Auntie Ashley's house, sweetie?"

"I played with Owiv, Walter and Sceve." The little blonde explains while playing with her hair.

"Stace." Aubrey calls her wife firmly.

Stacie exhales deeply and answers all at once. "You meant Olive, Walter, and Steve, Baby Bells." She turns to her wife with a weak smile. "Bella likes them. They are her first friends in L.A. So every time I met Beca and coincidentally Bella was around, I took her with me. Sometimes we went to Beca's office for lunch with Steve and Ashley there, or the other way around. And one time, Beca invited Bella to play in her house with Steve. They have become best friends."

"Yes. Me, Sceve, Owiv, and Walter have become best friends, Mommy." Bella looks at her blonde mother, smiling so widely.

Aubrey ruffles her hair gently as she says, "Good for you, princess."

"Steve?" Chloe asks toward the tall brunette.

"Stephan. He is Beca's five year old godson." Stacie explains, and when she sees the red head's eyebrows knotted in confusion, she adds, "From Donna. You know Donna, Beca's PA."

Aubrey picks Bella up and puts her on her laps facing her before she asks, "How come you never tell Mommy about Bec-Bec before?"

"Mama said not to tell you unless you ask." Bella says innocently. "And you never did."

Although she knows that Stacie didn't ask their daughter to lie exactly, it doesn't stop her from being angry. Stacie knew that there's no way Aubrey would've asked anything about the tiny DJ. She remembers Bella mentioned Olive, Walter, and Steve a couple of times, but she thought that they were her new friends from the pre-school.

Aubrey looks at her wife, mouthing, "We'll talk later."

Shrinking in fear, Stacie simply looks at her wife apologetically and nods. In contrary, Chloe is going to say something, but the bell cuts her off. Taking it as a chance to escape, Stacie is quick on her feet and almost runs to the front door after she says, "I'll go get it."

After Stacie comes back in, the three adults prepare dinner silently while Bella sits on her high chair, playing with Stacie's phone. When they starts eating, Bella is too busy with her food, not paying attention to the adults' conversation.

"Why didn't you tell me that Bella has met Beca?" Aubrey whispers in upset.

Stacie sighs tiredly, chewing and swallowing her food before saying, "I wanted to, Babe. I did. But I didn't know how. Please, I've explained everything. Can we let it go? Please?"

Aubrey purses her lips, glaring at her wife, but when she sees how tired her wife is, she rolls her eyes and nods.

"Thanks Babe." Stacie sighs in relief. "I will be honest with you from now on. Promise."

Upon hearing her wife's sincerity, Aubrey's face changes. With a fond smile, she leans in to kiss her wife on the cheek before she says, "I understand why you did it Babe. I would've done the same thing for Chloe. Your loyalty to your friends is one of the things that I love about you. But no more secrets, okay?"

This time Stacie nods and kisses her wife on the lips chastely. "You are the best, I love you too."

They eat in silent for a couple of minutes before Chloe asks, "How come my goddaughter call Ashley Auntie Ashley again?"

Stacie shrugs nonchalantly and explains, "Bella likes her. Loves her even."

When she gets a deathly glare from her wife, Stacie hurriedly adds, "Not as much as she loves you Chlo, of course. Ashley is just... good with kids. Do you know Bella's favorite blue stuffed animal named Bibble that she always hugs in her sleep this past three months?"

Aubrey nods while Chloe furrows her eyebrows, asking, "Bibble from Mariposa? Bella's least favorite Barbie movie?"

"Yes, that one." Stacy says nonchalantly. "She loves it now after she watched the movie with Beca and Ashley at their house. So Ashley gave Bella a stuffed animal version of Bibble, and now she always asks for it before go to bed."

Chloe groans. "It's not enough that she stole the love of my life. Now my goddaughter loves her too."

Knowing how kind Ashley has been, Stacie puts her fork down, clears her throat, looking at Chloe as she says, "Be nice Chloe. Ashley is a good person. Beca wouldn't have fallen in love with her if she's not."

A pang strikes in Chloe's chest ,and her face scrunches up of hurting, causing Aubrey to glare at her wife.

Stacie closes her eyes, sucking her teeth before she says, "You two need to understand this. Both of you know that I don't really believe in God. But after I found out about Beca's life in the past ten years, I thank God that she has Donna and Harvey who have been there for her from the very beginning. They are practically her family."

Reconsidering whether it's wise or not to tell them about her opinion toward Beca's girlfriend, Stacie takes her time by sipping her water. She make up her mind, puts down her glass, and says with a steady voice, "And I couldn't be more thankful for Ashley. She is the only person who's able to pull Beca out of her self-destructive phase."

When Aubrey and Chloe say nothing but staring at her in confusion, Stacie clears her throat, and explains, "I couldn't even imagine how Beca's life would've been without Ashley there, loving her, saving her. That is, if Beca chose to keep living the way she did before Ashley came into her life."

The possibility of Beca taking her own life slips into their mind, making Aubrey and Chloe's eyes widen in shock.

Stacie smiles sadly and says, "You don't have to like her. But all of us should be thanking her. So, be nice. Because we owe her at least that much after she saved our best friend from herself."

With her face red of anger, Chloe grips her spoon tightly, and furiously says in whisper, "They were hiding her from us Stace. But yeah, they have kept Beca alive for ten years. I'll give them credit for that. I'll be sure to thank them the next time I see them. But Beca has us now, her first and true family. She also has me now. And I'll always be there to save her from now on. We all will."

Stunned from the fierce in Chloe's face and voice, Stacie's jaw drops. In fourteen years she has known and befriended Chloe Beale, this is the first time she feels this amount of anger and hatred from the bubbly Chloe. Judging by her wife's face, Stacie can tell that Aubrey is thinking the same thing as her.

After seeing her friend's reaction upon her anger speech, Chloe closes her eyes in regret. She looks like she's going to cry again.

Aubrey grabs Chloe's hand gently and says, "Chloe, it's okay. We know you didn't mean it that way. You're just tired from the emotional swirl you have since last night."

Chloe nods sadly and puts her attention on her food again, eating absentmindedly while Aubrey and Stacie change concern look to each other.

For a while, Stacie is deep in thought, thinking of the way to tell Chloe about Beca and Ashley without hurting her. She looks at her wife who is looking back at her questionably, and she just shakes her head lightly.

Moments later, Stacie sighs in defeat. She knows that this will hurt the red head, but she has to do it in order to spare the red head from another more hurting heart-break.

"Chloe." Stacie starts.

"Hmm?"

"You know that I love you right?" Stacie asks cautiously.

Chloe looks up, smiling at her and says, "Of course I do. And I love you too, Stace. You are my best friend."

"Hey!" Aubrey chips in mocking hurt. "I thought I was your best friend."

Chloe rolls her eyes playfully and says, "You're more like a sister to me Bree."

Aubrey smiles smugly and says, "Good safe Beale."

"Now, Stace. You did not tell me you love me for nothing. Spit it out." Chloe commands playfully before pushing a spoonful of chicken rice into her mouth.

Stacie gives her a weak smile, playing with her noodle before saying, "The things I'm going to say isn't something you want to hear. But I want you to know that I tell you this out of love. I just want you to see the reality from my point of view. Is that okay?"

Upon seeing how nervous her wife is, Aubrey grabs her hand quickly, squeezing it gently.

Although she is confused, Chloe nods as she says, "Okay. I'll try to be open minded."

To shake off the nerves, Stacie takes a deep breath and says, "I know you believe that we, The Bellas, are Beca's first and true family. And I couldn't be more agree with you. Because we are."

Chloe nods, grinning from ear to ear while Aubrey, who seems to get where this is going, takes the red head's hand, giving it a reassuring squeeze.

"But in this past ten years," Stacie explains cautiously. "She also got a new family and best friends. The people that also care about her the way we do."

"Yeah. I know that, Stace." Chloe says nonchalantly. "Although I think, Donna could've told us sooner about Beca's whereabouts ten years ago instead of encouraging her to hide. But what's done is done. I guess we don't have another choice but to accept them in Beca's life now."

This is frustrating even for Stacie, but she keeps going anyway, cautiously saying, "Right. Because when I met Beca again almost three years ago, she wasn't the same Beca we knew in college."

Chloe rolls her eyes, swallowing her food before she replies, "Of course Stace. We've all changed. We've been through a lot of things in this ten years. And I've seen that change in Beca too last night."

"What kind of change did you see?" Stacie asks, trying to act nonchalant as she eats a forkful of noddle.

"Hmmm..." Chloe narrows her eyes, pursing her lips in thinking face. "Well, for one, she seems lighter. She looks more confident, and there's something in the way she moves and talks. More lively. No to mention the charming glow around her."

Aubrey and Stacie can see that Chloe is beaming as she talks about the brunette.

Realizing that it's getting harder to explain her point, Stacie sighs, and smiles weakly. "Yeah, I've seen it too in the past three years. She's been gradually changing since her and Ashley worked out their relationship issue. It's also been a huge progress for Beca to see a therapist and deal with her emotional problems. I've seen her become happier and happier each time we met."

"Beca is seeing a therapist?" Chloe asks in surprise.

Even though she's unsure of what she just revealed, Stacie nods nevertheless, because there's no going back now. She takes a deep breath and says, "Yes. She's been seeing a therapist since three years ago when her relationship with Ashley hit rock bottom. Although she doesn't see her therapist as frequently as three years ago, she still do every now and then when things got out of hands. In fact, it was because of the therapy Beca decided to reconnect with us."

"What rock bottom?" Chloe asks curiously.

"Hmmm..." Stacie presses her lips tightly, but continues, "Look, I'm sure she'll tell you eventually, but you cannot tell her that I told you first. Okay?"

Chloe nods hurriedly.

"Two years into their relationship, Ashley wanted to move in together, but Beca was still afraid of commitment. They had a huge fight and Ashley left her."

When she sees her wife and best friend gasp, Stacie holds up her hands as if telling them to calm down and then explains with reassuring smile. "But it's okay. It made Beca realize how much she loves Ashley. They made up with one of the agreements was for Beca to see a therapist to resolve her problems. And now she's never been better."

Fuming in anger from Stacie's story, Chloe can't help but snapping out, "That's Ashley's fault! Why would she force Beca to do things she wasn't comfortable with, then left her when she wasn't ready? And pushed her to see a therapist? That's low!"

"Chloe, calm down." Aubrey says firmly. "You are scaring my child."

Turning her head to her very stunned goddaughter, Chloe flashes her an apologetically smile and says, "Sorry sweetie. Aunt Chloe just got carried away."

The toddler nods, smiling back to the red head and then puts her attention back on her food. On the other hand, Stacie looks at her red headed friend in concern and says, "It's okay Chloe. Everything turned out well. And honestly, I think that's what Beca needed. A little push."

"I would never ever do that to Beca." Chloe mutters under her breath fiercely. "I will always wait for her, do everything in her pace, shielding her from the weight of the world, like I always did. I mean, how dare she?"

"Whoa, Beale." Stacie says with her eyes widen, holding her hands up to calm the red head. "Calm your pits. I'm not telling you this to make you hate Ashley. I'm trying to tell you that Beca has changed. For the better if I may add. And a huge part of that happened with and because of the new people in her life."

Chloe looks at Stacie angrily and spats out, "Are you saying she doesn't need us anymore?! That she doesn't have any reason to want me in her life?! Because she now has a new family and friends?!"

A complete shock is showing on Aubrey's and Stacie's face, and they are completely speechless. Upon seeing the shockwave on her friends face, Chloe is finally aware of the way she has been acting since she met the tiny DJ again last night.

Then she takes a deep breath, looking regretfully at her friends, and says with a very much lower tone. "I'm sorry guys for the way I've been acting. I don't know why, but since last night, I can feel a lot of anger pouring out from me. I haven't been myself lately since I moved to L.A. a month ago. I think the stress has taken the toll on me. I'm so sorry."

Aubrey and Stacie nod, giving her a tight awkward smile to show their understanding. Then Aubrey squeezes her best friend's hand and says, "It's okay Chloe. We understand. It must've been hard being in the same city as Beca after years. Never mind with Kristen's possessiveness."

Still shaken up from Chloe's spit of fire, Stacie tries to calm herself and shakes her head lightly before saying, "It's okay Chlo. You know it's not what I meant. I'm just saying that even though Beca has started to open up to The Bellas again, we can't expect her to just leave and forget about the life she has built in the past ten years." She pauses, stealing a glance toward her wife before she hesitantly adds, "Especially about her relationship with Ashley."

"What about her and Ashley?" Chloe asks cautiously.

Stacie shuts her eyes shortly, sighing before she weakly says, "Again, please remember that I'm saying this out of love."

Chloe nods lightly.

"I know that you're happy, and in love, and over the moon because of the kiss." Stacie says with a sympathetic smile. "But I've seen them together. And as much as I want to bet on you and Beca, I have to admit that they're good together. You can even see it in the way they move around each other, it's like..."

"Like they are pulling each other, rotating together." Chloe finishes her sentence.

"Exactly." Stacie says without hesitation. Then she narrows her eyes in confusion. "How did you know?"

Chloe sighs, and then says with undeniable sadness in her voice and face. "I saw it last night when I met them. I mean, I didn't really think about it until you told me now. I don't even think they realize that. The way they were adjusting their positions, the way they always touched each other in a non-sensual way, how their eyes always found another's, how grounded Beca was only with a look from Ashley, and the way Beca's eyes lit up every time Ashley was speaking or simply smiling. It all came out so natural from them."

Upon seeing the sympathetic smile from her friends, Chloe smiles weakly and continues, "I think... I hope it's what to be expected when you've been together for years. And I've seen it before. In my parents, my grandparents, and the two of you."

Aubrey turns her head to her wife, smiling ever so tenderly with her glassy eyes. Stacie mirrors the look on her wife's face before she clears her throat, and looks back at the red head before she sadly says, "I'm so sorry Chloe. But you've seen it yourself. I think you need to take Beca's words on this."

Chloe furrows her eyebrows, questioning in silent.

"Don't get your hopes up." Stacie says, smiling sympathetically toward the red head.

Stunned by Stacie's word, Chloe remains silent and lets the words sink into her mind. She can feel a lump starting to form in her throat, but she shakes her head, clears her throat, and puts on a reassuring smile. "I'll try to keep my hope in a realistic level. But it doesn't mean I can't have faith that Beca and I also can be good together. The only thing we need is a chance. Then time will tell the rest."

Stacie sighs, wanting to give the red head more reason not to get her hopes up. However, her wife beats her to it. "Okay then. You know that whatever happen, we will always be here for you. No matter what, we'll be by your side, Chloe."

Chloe smiles at her friends thankfully. Then they finish their dinner in complete silent. After dinner, Chloe puts the dishes away while Stacie watches Bella scrabbling unrecognized drawing, and Aubrey is sitting right next to her wife, busy checking her email.

"Oh shit!" Suddenly Aubrey slaps her forehead.

"Language!" Stacie, Chloe, and Bella say in unison.

Aubrey looks at them sheepishly and says, "Sorry."

Stacie looks at her wife in confusion because Aubrey rarely curse, especially in front of Bella, and then she asks, "What is it Babe?"

"I got this job interview on Monday and I almost forgot." Aubrey says in panic. "I haven't prepared anything yet."

"Relax Babe." Stacie says, squeezing her wife's hand reassuring. "I know you can do it in your sleep."

Aubrey takes a few deep breaths to calm her nerves.

"Interview in what company, Bree?" Chloe asks as she dries her hands.

"Lucifer Corps." Aubrey explains while reading her email. "It's a huge company that has a lot of branches and specialties. The head CEO is Harvard alumni that I really respect, Harvey Specter."

Stacie's jaw drops before she gathers herself and asks, "Lucifer Corps? Harvey Specter as in Stephan Specter's father Harvey Specter?"

Aubrey and Chloe whip their heads toward Stacie instantly.

"Are you telling me that my potential future boss is my daughter's best friend's father, who is also a best friend of your best friend?" Aubrey asks with her eyes so wide and eyebrows so high that it's going to surpass her hairline.

"Yep." Stacie pops the P. "But you need to get your fact straight Babe. Your potential future boss wouldn't be Harvey. It would be Beca."

"What?!" Chloe exclaims.

"Impossible Babe." Aubrey shakes her head in disbelief. "Harvey is Lucifer Corps' CEO. He's the boss."

"Not really." Stacie shakes her head to reassure her wife. "Harvey is the CEO. But Beca is the owner. She has been in more than eight years."

"Beca own a multi billions company?" Aubrey asks, still with dumbfounded look.

Enjoying the rare stunned face on her wife, Stacie grins from ear to ear and cheerfully says, "Well, yeah. A year after graduated, Beca's become one of the highest paid and demanded music producer/DJ. When Donna found out that she had no plan on using the money properly, she introduced Beca to Harvey, her boyfriend who's also her former classmate in Harvard. Harvey helped Beca to manage her money in many investments and real estates, then she started to buy a bunch of clubs all over Europe and America, and also built her own record companies. They are expanding and growing so fast in the past 9 years. In fact, the software company I'm managing right now is one of the companies under Lucifer Corps. Beca asked me eight months ago to take care of this company."

Aubrey and Chloe will need to pick their jaw up from the floor and wipe the floor dry from their shock. It's so satisfying and relieving for Stacie that Beca still manages to be one of the richest people alive even in a very hard situation. Stacie can't help but smirking smugly at how dumbfounded her wife's and Chloe's face.

"She named it after her mother." Chloe mutters when the realization hits her.

Stacie and Aubrey look at her in confusion.

"Her mother's name was Lucia." Chloe explains softly.

After gathering back her senses, Aubrey asks, "How could nobody know that? I mean, isn't she super famous?"

"Well, Beca is a very private person. She's very careful about her true identity, we've witnessed it first handedly. Besides, Harvey only hires the best lawyers and multimedia experts to cover everything. As far as I know, the only people that know that she owns Lucifer Corps is Ashley, their best friends Troian and Patrick, me, Legacy, her bodyguards/driver, and obviously Harvey and Donna. Now the two of you know too. But I believe I can count on your confidentiality right?" Stacie explains, ending the speech with a not so subtle warning glare.

The other two adults nod with of course and sure.

"Besides..." Stacie continues. "Beca doesn't take care of the company. Harvey and Donna are the brain. Beca owns the company because they used her money to start the company in the first place. She has 60% share in it, but she trust Harvey and Donna to take care of everything. The media only know her as senior music producer in Lucifer Music Records' branch in L.A."

"And none of them ever slip their tongue?" Chloe asks suspiciously.

Stacie smiles softly, shaking her head lightly before she says, "That's why I told you that Beca has a very good support system, which is her new family and best friends. They all love her. And you know how Beca treats the people she loves. She gives them everything they need and then some."

Even though she wants to say something, Chloe stops herself. But Aubrey sees through her and asks, "What is it that you want to say, Chlo?"

Feeling embarrassed of her thoughts, Chloe smiles weakly with her face flushes in red when she asks, "I know that this is wrong to think this way. To doubt those people. But is there any chance that they only want to be with Beca for her money?"

Knowing that the thought is acceptable, Stacie smiles and softly answers, "It's okay Chlo. I know you only ask because you care about Beca."

"Thanks Stace." Chloe nods.

"Hmmm..." Stacie is thinking comprehensively before replying, "I don't think so. As far as I know, her bodyguards have been working for her since she was only a junior producer. Harvey and Donna love her and treat her like a little sister. Which is why they made her Stephan's godmother and named him after Beca's middle name. Ashley found out after two years into their relationship when Beca offered her to buy the huge chunk of land they live in Beverly Hills now, so Beca decided to tell her the truth. Troian and Patrick has been Beca's closest friends since she met Ashley, they are both successful actors and come from loaded family, so no reason to take advantage of Beca."

"Wow..." Aubrey presses her lips, nodding, feeling impressed. "Never thought I'd be saying this. The hobbit is really, real-"

The sound of the front door being closed cuts them off. The three adults are surprised to see Kristen walks into the dining room. Aubrey instantly approaches her, nearly slapping her, but her wife gets to her first. Stacie immediately pulls Aubrey away before the blonde cause emotional trauma to their child.

Seems to feel that she is out of place, Kristen puts her hands in her jeans pocket, looking down on to the floor and nervously asks, "Chloe, can we talk?"

Chloe looks at her friends, reassuring them before she answers, "Sure. Let's talk in the living room."

Kristen nods, turns on her heels, and walks into the living room with Chloe following her from behind.

Aubrey wants to follow her best friend, but Stacie holds her hand tightly. "Let them talk Babe. Besides, we can hear everything from here. If anything happen, we will be there in a heartbeat."

Aubrey relents and nods, sitting back on the dining chair, seeming angry more than anxious.

 

Chapter Text

 Chloe and Kristen in the living room.

Kristen and Chloe sit on the opposite couch. At first, nobody dares to say anything, but eventually, Kristen breaks the silent. Without looking at Chloe, she rubs her hands nervously and says, "I uh... I've been thinking."

"About what?" Chloe asks almost in upset.

"About us?" Kristen peeks up, showing a sad smile on her face.

"There is no us anymore, Kris." Chloe says firmly. "We're over."

Kristen eyes become teary as she speaks with her voice broken, "I know. Uh... just let me finish, please."

With her arms crossed on her chest, Chloe simply huffs tiredly and nods reluctantly.

Kristen runs her fingers through her hair in frustration, and then clenches her hands to gather a bit of courage before saying, "I uh... I've been thinking about what you've said, and uh... the things I've said and done in this relationship."

Chloe doesn't do anything but staring at the brunette sharply.

Then Kristen lets out a shaky breath before she continues, "I've uh... made you unhappy all this time, and I'm sorry about that. I'm just... trying to love you the best I could. But it turns out, I'm hurting you. I have become... this person tha- that hurts the person she loves. And it's not healthy for us. I know that now."

When she sees that Chloe doesn't budge, Kristen closes her eyes, letting a single tear running down her face with her lips trembling. At that moment, she knows, Chloe won't change her mind. She swallows hard, and says with ragged breaths, "I... just want to ask you one question."

Chloe's eyes soften upon seeing the brunette is crying. She nods lightly, opening her crossed hands and rests them on her thigh.

"A-are you sure that breaking up with me will make you happy?" Kristen asks, looking at Chloe with her teary eyes, biting her bottom lip, holding in the sobs that's threatening to escape. "Please think about it again, Chlo. I- I mean, think about us in the last three years before answering my question."

Chloe shuts her eyes, letting out a shaky breath, thinking back to the past three years with Kristen. The fights, the screaming, the jealousy, the passive aggressive manners, the way Kristen made her feel bad, everything that show just how she has been staying for all the wrong reasons.

But she also knows that it wasn't always like that. Sure there were bumps every now and then, but it doesn't mean they were never happy. Kristen has always treated Chloe right. Other than being controlling and possessive, she is a loving girlfriend.

In fact, Kristen is the only person other than the Bellas, who has stood by her for the longest time in the past ten years. To be honest, Chloe loves her. Nevertheless, not as strong as she loves Beca, and it's not fair to take advantage of Kristen's love no matter how willing she is to do it. Chloe takes a deep breath and says without hesitation, "I'm sure Kris. Like I said, I can never love you the way you deserve to be loved. I mean it."

Kristen drops her head in her hands, letting out a few sobs before wiping away the tears on her face, trying to compose her shaking self. She leans forward, resting her elbows on her thigh, clasping her hands gently in front of her face with her thumb pressing gently on her mouth, and her eyes, teary and red, looking straight forward but unfocused. She stays on that thinking position for a long while.

Expecting another yelling competition, Chloe watches her nervously, doesn't dare to speak or move. She just looks at the brunette silently, tapping her fingers on her thigh impatiently.

Eventually, Kristen puts down her hands and clears her throat. Then she diverts her eyes to Chloe, sighing with a weak smile before she says, "Okay. I... I let you go."

Chloe's jaw drops open, didn't expect the brunette would let her go that easily. Upon seeing Chloe's reaction, Kristen smiles sadly and says, "Just promise me that no matter how it turns out with Beca, you will take a good care of yourself."

This is a so unexpected reaction from Kristen. Chloe is stunned, thinking if Kristen is being sincere or being her usual walking-around-as-the-martyr self to make Chloe feels guilty.

"I know what you're thinking." Kristen says with a seems to be understanding, yet sad smile. "I've been treating you unfairly. But this time, I mean it. I... let you go, Chlo."

Still, Chloe just stares at her with her lips slightly parted. Then one by one, the memory of them being together, of the things Kristen has done right to her, come into her mind.

The poetry Kristen wrote to ask her to be her girlfriend. 

The books Kristen dedicated for her.

The mornings Kristen woke her up with kisses and breakfast in bed.

The nights she felt so loved and safe because she had Kristen wrapping her from behind.

The surprises that came in no special occasions at all.

The support Kristen had shown every time Chloe was feeling down.

The countless times Kristen sang for her with her off tune voice just to make she laughed.

The proposal Kristen did by doing a flash mob with her students back in Boston, even though the brunette practically has two left legs.

The love they make.

Slowly but sure, tears are streaming down Chloe's face. She can't help but wondering how she can break a heart this kind, the imperfect heart that loves her the best it could, the heart that still cares about her even after getting broken. Then at some point, Chloe drops her head in her palm, crying so hard.

Kristen hurriedly rushes to her side and envelopes her in a hug, whispering, "It's okay, Chloe. It's okay."

Chloe pulls back, still crying as she asks, "Why?"

With a sad smile that still shows tenderness and teary eyes, Kristen wipes the tears on Chloe's cheeks and says, "Because I love you."

Then Chloe pulls Kristen back into her arms, sobs by her ear, "Thank you... for loving me."

Kristen rubs Chloe's back, comforting the red head. They pull away after a while, and Chloe breaks the silent first by asking, "What are you gonna do now?"

"Honestly," Kristen presses her lips and raises her eyebrows. "I don't know."

Then Kristen chuckles, surprised by her own answer, and Chloe follows suit. After the light laughter unwind, Chloe grabs the brunette's hands and says, "You can stay here until you figure out what you're gonna do. I'll be staying with Aubrey and Stacie in the meantime. We still have to talk about how to deal with this house since we bought it together. How about that?"

"Hmmm..." Kristen narrows her eyes, pursing her lips, considering her options, and then nods. "Sounds like a plan."

"I'll just grabbed some of my stuff. Stay." Chloe says before she hurriedly goes to their bedroom to get her stuff, while Kristen sits back down in the living room and plays with Chloe's engagement ring.

"I should be tearing you apart right now." Aubrey says coldly with her arms crossed on her chest and her eyes boring angrily toward Kristen.

Kristen looks at her, scoffs lightly, and says, "Then what's stopping you?"

With annoyed sigh, Aubrey takes a seat in front of the brunette and says, "I heard what you said."

Kristen raises her eyebrows and simply shrugs nonchalantly.

"Chloe might easily believes in you." Aubrey says coldly. "She's too kind for her own good. But I don't believe you. After every craps you've pulled all this time, I won't be surprised that you are not as sincere as you showed her a couple of minutes ago."

"I don't expect you to." Kristen replies as cold. "And you don't have to."

"Is this some kind of ploy you're doing?" Aubrey asks sharply. "You pretend to let her go, and then you come back and smash another frame at her? Or maybe you expect that Beca will break her heart, and then you will have your chance to be Chloe's savior?"

With her eyes boring into Aubrey's, Kristen calmly says, "Think whatever you want. I don't have to explain anything to you."

Then she just keeps her attention back on the ring, fiddling the diamond ring between her fingers. Aside from the harsh answer and the tough act, Aubrey can see that Kristen is actually sad.

"Thank you for not making it harder for her." Aubrey eventually says with a soften tone.

Kristen remains silent as her fingers still playing with the ring. After a while, she says, "I guess it's the right thing to do when you really love someone. You don't hold them back from the love they deserve, the life they want."

"You've been such an asshole and a pain in my ass for three years." Aubrey says in half-annoyance. "So excuse me if I don't take your word just the way you've said it."

"We accept the love we thought we deserve."

"Stephen Chbosky. The Perks of Being a Wallflower."

Kristen just gives her a tight smile.

"Care to explain?"

Kristen takes a deep breath and sighs deeply, pursing her lips before she says with a steady voice, "I've been holding Chloe back. Hoping that... she would eventually love me the way she loves Beca. The way I love her. So I accepted whatever's left from her love, thinking that it would be enough to keep us together."

"And?"

With a sad smile, Kristen inhales deeply and continues, "Turns out, it only made me insecure, and eventually made her resent me." She pauses and scoffs. "So much for accepting the love we deserve." Then she looks at Aubrey and says, "But the funny thing about loving someone is, you want them to be happy. And apparently, even if it's not with you."

Aubrey furrows her eyebrows even more, not getting what the writer meant.

Kristen scoffs weakly and says, "I know you won't believe me if I say I'd do anything for her."

"Yes."

"But the thing is, I do love her. And Chloe... she deserves to be loved with the best kind of love. To be happy in her own terms."

"I'm not so sure about the former, but yes. After everything she's been through, Chloe deserves to be loved and happy  in her own terms."

"Yeah." Kristen says with her eyes closed, trying to hide her pain from Aubrey. "The two things that she deserves, yet the two things she couldn't get from me. No matter how hard I've tried. But I can at least not stand in the way if there is a chance she can have them. So, that's what I'm doing. Giving her a chance of happiness and love that she thinks she deserves."

Aubrey nods with doubtful look before she asks, "How about you then?"

"How about me?"

"What about the love and happiness that you deserve? That you've planned with her."

With a long huff on her showing-annoyed face, Kristen scratches the back of her ear as she says, "Doesn't matter. Not to you at the very least."

After another moment of silent, Aubrey says, "I have to be honest. I'm never really fond of the idea of you marrying Chloe. I don't like the way you love her."

Again, Kristen scoffs and says, "I know."

"But hearing you said those things and do this to my best friend, I have to admit, maybe you're not as bad as I ever thought."

Kristen let out a weak smile, nodding her head lightly before mockingly says, "Wow, it takes a heart wrenching break up with Chloe to earn an almost compliment from the Aubrey Posen-Conrad. I think I might have outdone myself."

"I did say maybe."

For the first time that day, Kristen laughs lightly, and then Aubrey laughs with her. They both just share a light laughter, unaware that Chloe has been listening the whole time as she descends from the stairs to the living room. She walks toward them and says, "I'm all set."

"I'll go get Stacie and Bella." Aubrey says, subtly giving the ex-lovers a chance to talk, and walks back to the dining room.

Chloe and Kristen fall into a moment of silent until Chloe says, "For the record, you did make me happy. And you were right."

Kristen raises an eyebrow questionably.

"You are the person who can love me the best." Chloe says sincerely. "I'm just not the person who deserves your kind love."

Naturally not a person that used to be praised, Kristen scoffs lightly, acting as nonchalant as possible when she says, "Maybe in another life. If you're lucky enough."

Chloe simply chuckles upon seeing how Kristen is trying to hide the tug of smile on the corner of her lips.

"Chloe."

"Hm?"

Kristen looks into her eyes, smiling fondly and says, "Promise me. No matter what happen, take a good care of yourself."

Chloe's eyes become teary again, but she is beaming at the brunette. She nods lightly before kissing Kristen on the cheek and softly says, "You too, Kris."

This time, Kristen simply nods lightly. Then the Posen-Conrad family appear in the living room. Upon seeing the ex-couple in an intimate situation, Stacie apologetically says, "Uh... sorry for interrupting."

Kristen puts on a tight smile and says, "You don't interrupt anything."

Then Aubrey turns to Chloe and asks, "Ready?"

Chloe nods. After saying goodbye to Kristen, they go back to Stacie and Aubrey's house.


Beca and Ashley's Mansion: 10.14 PM, the very same day.

After finally making up her mind, Ashley goes straight to Beca's sanctuary, and upon hearing a faint sound of guitar from the balcony, she heads there immediately. She stands by the glass door, leaning against it on her side with her arms crossed on her chest, smiling fondly, watching her girlfriend sitting on the couch with a black guitar on her laps, mumbling words.

"Eeerr... You are the only one who makes me feel this way." The brunette shakes her head and groans, "Urgh... It's way too long." Then she scratches the back of her head and says, "How about it's you and no one else?"

Then Beca hums lightly, strumming her guitar, singing an unfamiliar lyric. Seems like she got what she wanted, because then she shouts, "That's it! Haha! Gotcha!"

Ashley can't help herself from chuckling lightly and then she says, "I knew I'd find you here."

Beca whips her head in flash, turning to the source of the voice, beaming with a wide smile on her face before she jumps up and exclaims, "Honey! You're back!"

Then Beca rushes to her girlfriend and pulls her by her waist, kissing her passionately. They start with nipping each other's lips slowly, then Beca's tongue traced Ashley's bottom lip, giving it a gentle pressure, and the blonde parts her lips slightly, giving the brunette the entrance to deepen the kiss.

Ashley's hands grasp Beca's hair, pulling her closer, flushing their body together as Beca tightens her grip around Ashley's waist. A soft moan escapes from Ashley's lips as she tilts her head slightly, giving the DJ more access to explore her neck.

Beca's lips make their way, nipping, licking, biting gently from under Ashley's ear to her jaw and neck, sucking her pulse point gently, and giving it a little bite while her hands trail their way to the small on Ashley's back, rubbing it slowly in circle with her thumb.

"Oh..." Ashley pants softly as she puts one hand on the back of Beca's head, letting her fingers lost in her girlfriend's brown hair. As the heat raises up, she presses her finger-tips a little bit harder on the scalp, while her other hand swiftly runs down to the end of Beca's hoodie, then slips up to Beca's back under her hoodie, knowing that it will drive the brunette crazy.

"Damn it!" Beca grunts in pleasure as Ashley trails the tips of her finger nails gently and slowly on her back, from the crook on the back of her neck, running down through the spine and stops to rub the skin right on the tailbone before circling slowly to the spot under her belly button through the side of her stomach.

Beca tilts her head, starting to kiss Ashley's other side of the neck, trailing her lips up from her jaw then up to her ear. She brushes the tip of her nose lightly on the earlobe, nipping it gently with her lips, trails her tongue on the outer side, and then giving it a gentle bite, earning a loud moan and a sharp pressure by the fingernails on her back from the shuddering blonde, which makes the brunette hisses through her teeth.

Then Ashley pulls Beca's head to kiss her on the lips again, losing herself in the heated kiss until they have to pull back for air. Beca simply rests her forehead on Ashley's, panting yet smirking with her eyes closed.

Ashley tries to calm her breaths before giving a couple more pecks on Beca's lips and smugly says, "Wow, you must've been missing me so much since I left 4 hours ago."

With her forehead still pressing on the blonde's, Beca chuckles lightly and breathes out, "You have no idea."

Ashley grins smugly and says, "Oh, I think I've caught a glimpse."

With a louder chuckle, Beca looks into Ashley's blue eyes with a wide smile and fondly says, "I've missed you. Don't ever leave me again."

In that second, Ashley's smile falters as cold spread all over her heated body. Confused of the sudden change on Ashley's face, Beca pulls back and worriedly ask, "Hon, what's wrong?"

Ashley puts on a tight smile and shakes her head lightly. But Beca isn't convinced. She cups Ashley's cheeks gently, kisses the tip of her nose and softly says, "Hon, tell me. Is something wrong?"

"Nothing." Ashley says with a nonchalant shrug.

With concerned look, Beca says, "Honey, please. What's bothering you? Is it Troian and Patrick? Are they okay?"

"Nothing Babe." Ashley pulls Beca by the hand, guiding her to the couch to sit down. "It's work."

Beca pulls Ashley closer, and then tucks a strain of hair behind her ear before she asks, "What is it with work?"

Not quite ready to confront the brunette yet, Ashley sighs and says, "The show is ending. They said that the 7th season will be the last."

It isn't exactly a lie. Ashley found out that the show is ending a couple of days ago, and it did make her sad, but she was also excited to do other projects. She has never lied to the brunette before, and it certainly makes her feel uncomfortable.

Beca immediately envelopes her in a hug, kissing the side of her head and mumbles, "It's going to be okay, Hon. You said that you can't wait for another adventure."

While Beca is rubbing her back soothingly, Ashley nods, snuggling her head in the crook of Beca's neck, kissing her jaw gently, inhaling the scent of her girlfriend. Then Beca pulls back, cups her girlfriend's cheeks, and kisses her lips gently before saying, "You'll be fine. Trust me."

Doesn't know what to say, Ashley simply nods again while staring sadly at Beca.

"Maybe I can make you feel better. Hold on a second." Beca says with a huge grin before she pulls herself away, grabs her guitar, and starts strumming it slowly.

"I've been working on this old song." Beca says with a goofy grin "I think you might recognize it. I've been trying to give it a new touch for a week now, though nothing came up. But today, you, my love, gave me such an inspiration and I finally finished it."

Judging from a weak sad smile on Ashley's face, Beca can feel that something isn't quite in place, but she brushes it off. Instead, she picks the string and says, "Listen to this."

Ashley's smile grows fonder when she recognizes that the intro belongs to a song Beca serenaded on the night she asked her to be her girlfriend five years ago. Ashley's chest is filled with warmth that spread up to her cheeks because Beca is looking at her so, so tenderly like she is the only thing that matters in this whole universe.

There's a laugh in my eyes
There's a waltz in my walk
And it's been such a long time
Since there was hope in my talk
If you never knew
What it is that's new, it's you

The blonde's eyes are getting teary as every words flow out in a melody from her lover's lips, with her ever so deep alto voice. Ashley remembers closely how Beca described her meaning in her life.

"You make me feel again." Beca said on the night in the hospital.

Cause when your hands are in mine
You set a fire that everyone can see
And it's burning away
Every bad memory
To tell you the truth
If it's something new, baby it's you

"You are my silver lining. You shine through my dark clouds." Beca said a couple of months after they started dating.

It's you in the morning
It's you in the night
A beautiful angel came down
To light up my life

"You are the splashing color on my grey canvas." Beca said after she agreed to come out to the public.

The world's a different place
Where nothing's too hard to say
And nothing's too hard to do
Never too much to go through
To tell you the truth
Everything that's new, baby it's you

"You are the first breath of fresh air that I grasp after drowning for way too long under water. I won't survive without you." Beca said on the night she asked Ashley back three years ago.

It's you in the morning
It's you in the night
A beautiful angel came down
To light up my life
My life
Oh

All of those words are to say that Ashley makes her hope again. That memory makes Ashley chuckle.

Yeah, for a person who has always found it hard to say the literal word love, Beca sure has her way with metaphors. Though she did say it in a much awkward way, stumbling and stammering over the words with her cheeks flushing red.

Suddenly Ashley is pulled out from the haze of the memories by her girlfriend's talking. Beca is talking normally, yet her fingers keep on picking the strings to keep the melodies going.

"Hon, this is the part I told you about. The part that came into my mind from this day we spent together. Have I ever told you lately that you are my biggest inspiration? My ultimate muse?"

Ashley simply nods, because Beca has been telling her that every day since forever.

"So, the words are for you, but I got the inspiration from you. Here it goes." Beca smiles ever so tenderly, looking straight into Ashley's eyes before she continues singing.

So if I get to grow old
With many years behind me
There's only one thing I want
One thing I need beside me
For all that you are
For everything you do
For all that you've done
Just for showing me the truth

Ashley doesn't know how, but Beca always find a song to describe her feelings. When she can't find the right song, she makes one. Beca has the brilliant mind and the talent in the tip of her fingers, and she uses it to find, and make, and mold the right melody, the right tone, and the right words, all of them, into a perfect song for a perfect moment.

However, the most wonderful thing above all of those things is, she doesn't find it in big things, or extravagant moments, or extraordinary experiences. Instead, she finds it in the little things that life provides her every single day. And it feels as wonderful as it is.

It's you
Baby it's you

Beca ends the song with a huge grin on her face and her eyes is glimmering so brightly under the lights.

Without wasting anymore second, Ashley immediately puts the guitar away, pulling the brunette in a searing kiss, a desperately needed kiss as she think to herself, God, I love her.

When they pull away, Beca cups her cheeks, brushing it gently with her thumb as she fondly whispers, "It's you, Hon. Always."

Instead of feeling happy, Ashley cringes her face, showing hurt, making the brunette furrows her eyebrows in confusion.

"Are you sure?" Ashley asks with obvious hurt in her broken voice.

Beca's eyes widen, frightened by the question, because not once Ashley's ever doubted that Beca loves her. She's always known that even when they are fighting or separated, it all happened because Beca is afraid, not because Beca doesn't love her.

"What do you mean?" Beca asks in fear. "Of course it's you, Hon. Who else?"

"What about Chloe?" Ashley asks in barely a whisper, trying to hold herself from choking in tears.

Beca swallows hard before she manage to ask back, "What about Chloe?"

"Babe, I know you kissed her last night." Ashley mutters with shaky breath, glancing her teary eyes away from Beca.

Beca freezes up for a second before she quickly grabs Ashley's hand and frantically says, "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry, Hon. I was going to tell you. I tried to tell you this whole day. But things got in the way. You've got to believe me. That kiss, it didn't mean anything, I swear. I was caught in the moment. Last night was so emotional and I was a wreck. I didn't mean to kiss her back. I love you, Hon. I do. Please... please... You've got to believe me. I... uh... I... can't..."

In her rush to explain everything, Beca fails to catch her breath. Her chest is getting tight, and her face is turning blue.

Ashley can see panic is raising in Beca. She cups the brunette's cheeks instantly, pulling the brunette closer but not close enough to cause her to feel trapped. "Babe, breathe... breathe with me..."

Beca shuts her eyes, gripping the blonde's wrists tightly with her hands, panting, trying hard to take a deep breath.

"In through the nose... Out through the mouth..."

Although her whole body is still tensed, Beca tries to take a breath.

"Again... In through the nose... Out through the mouth..."

It's hard for Beca to breathe when her lung is shrinking.

"Deep breath Babe... In two three... Out two three four five..." Ashley whispers, getting calmer as the brunette is slowly catching her breath and the grip on her wrist is getting weaker.

After swallowing the lump in her throat, Beca takes in a ragged breath.

"Like that... Just like that Babe... In and out... In and out..." Ashley says as her thumb rubbing Beca's cheek gently.

Beca's breaths gradually become deeper.

"Good... Again... In and out... In and out..." Ashley says as Beca's grip on her wrist becomes merely a gentle tug and her breaths become steadier. Then Beca takes another few deep breaths before opening her eyes slowly.

After seeing that Beca has become calm, Ashley sighs deeply, rests their forehead together, letting out a long relieved breath, because she just notice that she's freaking out too from Beca's panic attack.

"You're okay Babe..." Ashley breathes out. "I got you... I got you..."

Beca starts to cry, muttering between sobs, "I'm sorry. I- I'm so, so, sorry."

"It's okay, Babe." Ashley pulls Beca in a hug, rubbing her back up and down, kissing the side of her head, trying to calm her down as she says, "I knew you'd tell me. I believe you."

Beca pulls away, her teary face is showing confusion as she asks, "You do?"

"Babe, we've been through this." Ashley chuckles weakly. "If you say that you'd tell me, then I believe you."

After sighing in relief and wiping her tears away, Beca looks at Ashley's face fondly, tucks a strain of hair to the back of her ear, and then softly says, "You are too good for me. What did I do right to deserve you?"

Ashley puts her hand on Beca's cheek, smiling sadly as she says, "You deserve more than good things Beca Mitchell."

Then Beca kisses her girlfriend's forehead, lingering her lips longer before she pulls away and straightens up. Meanwhile, Ashley takes a few deep breath, trying to compose herself before she calmly says, "I believe you promised to tell me about what happen last night, Beca."

Beca is taken aback by the way Ashley called her name. In five years they've been together, Ashley rarely calls her Beca. So rare that sometimes Beca thought her girlfriend has already forgotten her legal first name, unless it's playfully, with her full name.

Throughout the years, Ashley has called her with an enormous numbers of ridiculous nickname. Owlie for being a night owl, obviously. Panda boo because of her heavy eyeliner. Grumpy pants because she's as tiny as a dwarf and also grumpy. Klutzie mozzie because she's a clumsy music producer. Astro boy because she has a little too much interest in astronomy. Loony wolfie whenever she needed her space. Casanova for being a closeted romantics. Toughy goofie because she acts all tough while in fact she is a total dork. Pookie baby bear because she likes to be the big spoon even though she's smaller than her blonde girlfriend. Foxy master mixer because she's a hot talented DJ. And so many, many more pet names. Just name it, she's had it.

So yeah, after all of the cutesy nicknames, no one can blame Beca if she feels more than anxious when Ashley calls her by her first name. Beca becomes certain that something is definitely not right.

Beca looks at her lover worriedly, huffing out a nerve-wrecking air out from her lung as her hands rubbing her own thigh tensely. "Hon, I did promise to tell you about last night. And I want to. But you do realize that there are things that will hurt you, especially the kissing part. And right now, hurting you is the last thing I want to do. So, are you sure you want to know everything?"

With a tender smile, Ashley caresses Beca's forehead and says, "I'm always sure when it's about you."

Beca swallows hard. This isn't the reaction that she's expected after Ashley found out about the kiss. She has expected some kind of crying or screaming, breathless sobbing, top of the lungs yelling, air cracking slap, heartbroken hitting, or even massive throwing stuff.

However, it isn't case. Beca rakes her mind, trying to figure out this strange situation, trailing her mind back to every single significant fights they've had in the past five years. Involving a dam of tears, checked. Choking in heartbroken sobs, checked. Being ignored, checked. Being accused, checked. Getting confronted harshly, checked. Being yelled at, checked. Getting a slap, checked. Even the worst, being left, checked again.

Beca can check all of the things they've been through, and it all brings them here, still together, still in love with each other. In the end, she can't find any answer, so she nods hesitantly and says, "Please bear with me. This won't be easy. And I am so, so sorry."

Ashley simply takes her hand and squeezes it gently. Then Beca closes her eyes, taking a deep breath, telling herself to sack up, and digging her mind comprehensively before telling Ashley everything that happened last night.

Although she is stumbling her words, stammering out the painful words Chloe said and the revelation she did, muttering painfully in all honesty about the kiss, but Beca keeps on talking. Never once she stops because she knows if she did, then she won't gain back the nerve to continue.

Ashley listens to her closely, squeezing her hand to encourage her, rubbing her arm to comfort her, and not even once interrupts her. Then when Beca has finished, Ashley kisses her forehead and softly says, "Thank you."

Beca's stomach is churning uneasily. This isn't right.

"Wait." With her eyebrows furrowed in confusion, Beca says, "I don't really get this, Hon." She pauses, trying to find the right words to ask, "You are thanking me, kissing my forehead after I told you that I kissed her back. Why?"

With a fond yet sad smile on her face, Ashley says, "Well, thank you for telling me and being honest with me. I know it must've been hard for you to repeat that experience. Even only in words."

Beca is not only confused now. She's stunned, unsure about her girlfriend's reaction because the way she talk feels too formal.

"Hon, I'd never cheated on you before this. But as far as I knew and experienced from my parents' divorce, this is not supposed to be the way you react." Beca says anxiously. She tilts her head slightly to the side, raising an eyebrow before she continues worriedly, "I'm not sure where this is going."

Ashley pulls her hand back from Beca's, resting them on her thigh, focusing her eyes on them before she nervously says, "I know you're not."

"You do?" Beca asks in almost inaudible voice, afraid of the answer.

"Yes." Ashley answers without hesitation.

Beca closes her eyes, taking a deep breath, trying not to let panic take over her again before she mutters, "How?"

After a long heavy sigh, Ashley says, "Because I know what I know."

Then Beca opens her eyes, exhaling a really long breath, swallowing hard before she asks, "And what is it that you know?"

"You."

Beca becomes speechless. If she didn't know where this was going before, now she's totally lost. Her eyebrows can't be closer to each other, they're probably glued together by now in the middle of her forehead out of confusion. She looks at Ashley, holding her breath for a second as she stutters, "Uh... Me?"

Ashley nods without looking at her girlfriend. "You."

"Err... Me." Beca says, this time without a question mark.

Ashley simply lifts up her chin, looking straight into the brunette's eyes. Nobody does or says anything after that. They just stare at each other in silent.

Beca shakes her head lightly, still with furrowed eyebrows. Is she supposed to be this calm?

Every time they were in the lowest point of their relationship, Ashley had always been the one who fought in the front line, while Beca would be the one who needed a little push, a little time to realize what she wanted.

Beca is getting antsy, bouncing her legs up and down. She's not supposed to be this calm.

For those reasons, Ashley being strangely calm and doesn't put up any kind of fight feels so much worse for Beca. Scratch that, this is the worst reaction that has never crossed Beca's mind at all. It seems like Ashley has admitted defeat even before the war even start.

Beca feels terrified as her mind slowly putting the pieces together. The whole situation isn't supposed to be like this.

The worst part is, Beca doesn't see the same thing in her girlfriend's eyes. Ashley looks sad for sure, but she doesn't even look angry, or dissapointed, or showing any emotion or reaction that's suitable in this kind of situation. A situation where she was cheated on. Instead, Beca sees -and she prays real hard that she's wrong, determination?

Oh God. No, no, no. Don't tell me-

As that realization hit her, Beca's eyes become teary, a lump starts to form in her throat, but she clears it out and croaks, "No."

Ashley closes her eyes and a single tear running down her face effortlessly, without sniffles, or sobs, or weeps, or whimpers, or screams.

From the peak moments in her therapy, Beca knows these tears so closely. This is the silent crying, the one that shows acceptance. When Beca finally realizes what that tears mean, she feels like her heart skips a beat. Or is it still beating? Beca isn't sure, because all of the sudden, just for a moment, she can't feel anything but cold.

Nevertheless, it doesn't last long as a second later she can feel every single fiber of her being is aching and throbbing in pain. It hurts so bad that she wished she could go back to not feeling anything.

Beca jolts down and knelt in front of Ashley, grabbing her hands, resting them on the blonde's laps, and then kisses them desperately.

"Hon, please don't." Beca pleads.

Ashley kisses Beca's crown and says with restraint voice, "I'm sorry Beca."

"No... No... No..." Beca begs her desperately. "Don't do this to me. Don't do this to us."

Ashley lifts Beca's head, bringing her cheeks in her hands as she cracks, "I don't want to. But..."

Beca grabs Ashley's wrist, kissing her palm dearly before she speaks with the best sound her broken voice can muster. "Th-this afternoon, you- you said that we'll make it through... whatever comes our way." She catches her breath before saying with barely a whisper, "You promised me."

Ashley strokes Beca's hair gently, biting her trembling bottom lip, trying hard to prevent herself from sobbing, but says nothing.

"That kiss... it meant nothing but convinced me ab-about how much I love you." Beca pleads, failing miserably to keep her voice intact.

Ashley pulls her hand from Beca's hair, wipes away her own tears, and clears her throat before saying in despair, "This isn't about that kiss, Beca. It wouldn't be this hard if it's only about a kiss."

Beca looks up at Ashley, shakes her head and pleads brokenly, "Th-then tell me what this is all about. And- and I promise I will fix it."

Can't bring herself to look at her girlfriend, Ashley turns her head aside as she says, "You can't fix this. We, can't fix this."

"Yes we can Hon." Beca swallows the lump in her throat. "We always have. This time is no different. Tell me what it is, and I'll fix it. We'll fix it."

It's so hard for Beca to keep herself together when Ashley won't even look at her. She takes a deep breath, swallowing all of the fear before she starts stuttering with her shaky breath, "Re-remember when we went to that Balloon Fiesta a-at Albuquerque a little after I asked you to be my girlfriend?"

"Beca, please..." Ashley pleads, knowing that she's losing her self-control to hold herself together.

"Ju-just bear with me... please..." Beca says in between sobs before kissing Ashley's hand repeatedly. Then Ashley closes her eyes, and tears start running down her face effortlessly.

"Yo-you wanted it so bad to ride the balloon." Beca says, and a sad smile appears on her face as the memory slips back into her mind. "A-and you almost threw a tantrum i- in the middle of the field."

Ashley lets out a teary chuckle as she recalls the moment where she stood firmly with her hands crossed on her chest, pouting with her best puppy eyes in the middle of the field, threatening the brunette that she won't move even for an inch if they don't ride that air balloon.

With shaky voice, Ashley says, "And you didn't want to. It wasn't like any other day where you would just comply with anything I asked simply with a light pout. You were so extremely stubborn that day."

Beca lets out a damp chuckle before she says, "Yeah. I was. But we did it anyway in the end."

"Yeah." Ashley turns her head toward the brunette, smiling tenderly to her girlfriend. "I didn't know that you were afraid of the heights back then, but eventually you relented."

"I wasn't afraid of heights, Hon." Beca explains, rolling her teary eyes in the process. "I was terrified. And I'd rather sing in a concert with a massive numbers of audience openly."

Ashley chuckles with shaky breath, knowing how terrifying it is for the brunette to sing alone in front of a lot of people. That's why their 5th anniversary is so special for her, because Beca was willing to sing to her in front of other people.

"Then why did you relent in the end?" Ashley asks, expecting a cheesy cliché answer like because I love you or because it would make you happy.

With sad pleading eyes, Beca says, "Because you deserve more than just the terrified of the heights Beca from me."

Upon seeing her girlfriend just closes her eyes and swallows hard, Beca takes that chance to sit next to her and holds her hands in hers tightly. "Be-before you came into my life, I'd always believed that... I was damaged goods. At the very best. And there was nothing that I, or anybody could've done to fix it. But that night at the hospital... I finally realized how wrong I had been. And it changed me. Since then, as hard as it would be, I always wanted to be better. I- I knew I could do better. And I'd fight my old self to get better. You know why?"

Ashley can't say anything. The lump in her throat is suffocating her. So she nods, though again, she thinks it will be another cliché answer such as because of you, or because you're worth it.

"Because you bring the best out of me." Beca answers with certainty. "Every single day." 

Ashley pulls her hand back, covering her mouth to hold back the sobs. This time, she give in to the tears, shaking her head lightly, trying to prevent her heart taking over her brain. "Beca, please... I can't do this."

Beca feels like the air is knocked out of her lungs, and the pain in her chest is unbearable. With her voice cracked, she says, "What is it that you can't do? That you can't love me anymore?"

Trying to fight the pain that's denying her ability to talk, Ashley swallows hard and brokenly says, "I can't stay with you... Not when your heart is not entirely in it for us."

Beca exhales harshly with tears silently running down her face. "Ever since the night at the hospital, my heart has become yours. It's not mine anymore Hon. Please..."

When Ashley doesn't say anything but shaking her head, Beca adds, "For more than 4 years, I had lived in a daze. Li-life flew by without me knowing, a-and the time just passed in a blur. Then you came into my life, and the time started ticking again. I, I could feel my heartbeat again. It was like the 4 years after Barden didn't matter. That everything was just a lie. Whe-when I woke up at that hospital and saw you there, I knew that if anyone can help me on my feet and make me fall in love again, it's you."

Ashley cries, sobbing uncontrollably, and her shoulders are shaking hard.

"Please..." Beca pleads. "Please don't do this to me... I can't... You are my anchor. I- I need you in my life. It was just a kiss. Just a kiss... It means nothing more to me."

The pain in Beca's voice is so obvious and unbearable. But Ashley herself can't hold the pain in her own chest anymore. So she stands up and yells in frustration, "Don't you see it Becs?! Last night, it wasn't just a kiss! A kiss we can fix! Hell, maybe even sex we can fix!"

Without waiting for Beca's response, Ashley takes a deep breath, closes her eyes, shielding the hurt in it before she says desperately, "It's the person you kiss, Beca. She is the first person you've ever loved. And only God knows whether you have moved on from that feeling after all this time. We can't fix love, Beca. We can't stop ourselves from loving who we love."

Beca is taken aback. Those are the same what if's she has been asking herself. However, she has already figured it all out today. So she pulls Ashley down on the couch again, hugging her dearly and kissing her temple gently. Then she wipes the tears away from Ashley's face and says, "Hon... I admit. I did have the same thought, that maybe I haven't moved on from loving Chloe yet. But today..." Beca pauses, staring at Ashley's hurting eyes. "Today has been amazing. In fact, every day with you is amazing. That's why I sing that song for you. Because I finally found the answer. And I'm completely sure that it's you."

However, Ashley shakes her head stubbornly, pulling away and asks, "Are you sure? Because we've been together for five years, yet the second she's back, it's like these past five years never happened. No, scratch that. It's like these past ten years never happened to you. I've seen it, and I believe you feel it too. What if you found the inspiration for your song from kissing her? What if you got your feelings all mixed up?"

Beca lets out a damp heavy sigh. She bends down her neck, closes her eyes, and rubs her left hand up from her forehead to her crown repeatedly. Then she clasps her hands together behind her neck, thinking harder to find a way to convince her girlfriend. However, she finds nothing. She's out of energy and she doesn't want to fight anymore.

On the other hand, Ashley takes Beca's silent as a confirmation, and she says with shaky voice, "I've told you before... I know you. And for now, I know that you're not sure Becs. All these years, I've fought for us. I've always waited for you to be ready. No matter how unclear the future of our relationship was. I had, when it took you almost six months to finally ask me to be your girlfriend. I had, when you were afraid of coming out from your solitude life and being open in public about us. I had, when you weren't ready to live together. I had, when you had doubt about my honesty. Time and time again, I've fought for us and waited for you. Because I knew you love me too, that you also wanted the same thing, and that you were just too afraid to have it. But this time, it's different."

Ashley can see how tired Beca is. So she tells the brunette the bottom of the ice berg in this problem dejectedly. "You and I know well that the one thing I couldn't stand is being in doubt. Beca... I- I can't keep wondering, living in fear that one day you're going to realize that it's always been her. Especially now after she comes back into your life. I can't face the uncertainty in our future, not when I'm sure of how I feel about us but you aren't. I just can't."

Beca listens to every single word that flows out from Ashley's lips without interrupting. She doesn't even think about how to reason with Ashley. She honestly has done and said everything she can to show how she feels about her girlfriend.

Clearly, this isn't something that can be fixed in one night, never mind the fact that Beca can see Ashley's point. As per usual, Ashley is always right. Maybe Ashley is right to think that she is still confused.

Beca just sits on the couch, leaning forward with her elbows resting on her thigh, her eyes closed, and her hands folded together forming a hollowed triangle in front of her lips, pressing it gently.

"I- I love you too much, Becs..." Ashley says again in barely a whisper. "And I- I just... You said that that kiss convinced you about how much you love me. But if you need to kiss another person to be sure, then you're not sure at all. If you're completely sure, then there wouldn't be any kiss at all."

After Ashley's done talking, both of them remain silent. Ashley just stares at her fingers on her laps, while Beca remains in her thinking position. The silence goes for a while until finally, Beca tilts her head slightly toward her girlfriend and tiredly asks, "What can I do to convince you that it's you?"

Ashley sighs deeply, lifting her head to look at the brunette with a sad smile before she brokenly says, "Maybe you can start with convincing yourself."

Too tired to fight and to debate, Beca doesn't say anything immediately. She leans her back on the couch, staring at the star in the clear sky. After a while, she finally finds a bit of courage to weakly asks, "So, this is it?"

Ashley looks at her, swallowing hard before she says, "I think it is."

As tears streaming down her face, Beca closes her eyes, covering the pain in her eyes that tears fail to hide.

Ashley reaches her hand, wanting to wipe Beca's tears away, but she stops halfway, knowing that it will only make it harder for the two of them. Instead, she stands up and says, "I'll be staying with Troian and Patrick for a while until we uh... I mean, until I figure things out."

Then Ashley turns on her heels, starting to walk back into the house. But before she reaches the glass door, she hears Beca says faintly, "I love you Hon. Always."

Ashley chokes in tears upon hearing the pain in Beca's voice. She wants nothing but running back to her girlfriend, telling her that she's wrong. Yet she doesn't. Instead, she clears her throat, taking a deep breath before she says, "Don't forget your meds, Becs. Please take a good care of yourself."

By that, Ashley hurriedly rushes to their bedroom, and starts packing her stuff, afraid that if she stays longer, her emotion will give in and she will run back upstairs.

 

Chapter Text

 

Beca and Ashley's Mansion : Sunday

Beca doesn't how long she has been up on the balcony, and suddenly, the sun is already rising yet she doesn't get some sleep again last night. She sighs, standing up, and slowly dragging her feet to the bed in her sanctuary.

She looks at the bed, biting her trembling bottom lip, not feeling to be up there on her own. So she heads downstairs to the bedroom she shares with Ashley instead. Well, the room they used to share together.

When Beca walks into the room, she is hit with this certain scent, the mixture of hers and Ashley's soft scent in their room. Suddenly, she feels like crying again as a lump forming in her throat. But she swallows it down and shakes her head lightly.

Then she heads to bed to lay down, taking Ashley's pillow into her arms, inhaling the soft scent of her girlfriend's soft vanilla scent and falls into a restless sleep.

She wakes up by noon, peeking up to see the time and finds that it's 01.23 PM on Sunday. Weird. It's only been two days since she met Chloe, but it feels like weeks have already passed judging by everything that happened.

Funny how everything in her life has changed only in two nights. Beca groans loudly and decides to sleep again, too tired to do anything else, hoping that this is all just a nightmare.

Then Beca wakes up again at 05.16 PM, feeling so hungry, thirsty, and strangely more tired than before she fell asleep. She gets up from the bed, heads to the pantry, and then makes a simple peanut butter sandwich and a glass of hot milk.

She eats in silent on the balcony, thinking about what she wants to do. After she's done, her mind reminds her of the last thing Ashley said to her. Don't forget your meds, Beca. Please take care of yourself.

With a heavy sigh, she walks to the bedside drawer and takes the pills before jumping into the shower. Beca feels slightly better after showering.

She looks for her forgotten phone, and finds it with dead battery on the table under the TV. She charges the phone, activates it, and the wallpaper comes into her view. It's a picture of her and Ashley on their 5th anniversary dinner.

The picture was taken right after Beca put the B necklace on Ashley. She was standing behind the blonde, leaning forward with their head side to side, smiling goofily toward the camera while Ashley was kissing her cheek. Right after the picture was taken, Ashley immediately set it as the wallpaper on their phones.

Her eyes become teary again, but she shakes it off, opts to check a couple of messages, emails, and missed calls, mostly from Donna reminding her about the works she has to do tomorrow.

She also finds a couple of messages from Stacie, asking her to call her back immediately. Then Patrick also sent a couple of texts and missed calls. However, she is disappointed that there is nothing from Ashley.

Beca hovers her thumb absentmindedly over the contact Honey, wanting it so badly to call Ashley, but she decides against it. Ashley needs time, and Beca will give it to her. She calls Donna instead. After a couple of rings, Donna finally pick up.

"Hey Bec. Fancy for you to call me on Sunday evening. Thought you're still in your lovey dovey bubble after your 5th anniversary."

Beca clears her throat before she says with her hoarse voice, "Hey Donna."

"Is everything okay monkey?"

Beca chuckles weakly for the pet name Donna and Harvey gave her. She swears they treat her more like their child than a friend, though they are only 5 years older than her.

"I uh..." Beca sighs deeply before continues, "I need a favor Donna."

"Anything."

"Please clear my schedule for the next few weeks, I need a break. Can you do it?"

"Sure thing. No problem. I'll take care of everything. But is something wrong?"

"It's me and Ashley." Beca answers, trying so hard to keep her voice intact. "We uh... we're taking a break from our relationship."

Beca hears Donna gasp on the other side.

"Are you okay?"

Beca exhales in relief, glad that Donna knows her so well that she doesn't ask about the problem right away. "No, I'm certainly not. That's why I need a break."

"Do you want me to go there? I can be there in 15."

With a weak smile, Beca says, "It's okay Donna. You don't need to come here. I'll manage."

"Okay. But if you need anything, just call me or Harvey immediately. Have you eaten and taken your meds yet, kid?"

"Yes mom. I will call you if I need anything." Beca rolls her eyes. "And yes, I already ate and had my meds."

"Do not use that tone with me, young lady. And I know you just rolled your eyes."

Beca chuckles lightly, rolling her eyes again.

"What are you going to do on your break?"

"Actually I'm thinking of going to Atlanta. It's been a while since I visited mom."

Then Beca hears Donna sigh again. "Don't forget to bring your meds. Just take care of yourself, okay? No funny business Beca."

"Yeah, I will." Beca replies, knowing what no funny business meant. "And no funny business. Promise."

"Are you taking Pascal and Rico with you to Atlanta?"

Knowing that Donna wants to make sure if her bodyguards, who always follow her wherever she go, will be taking care of her, Beca answers with bored tone, "No. Let them have a vacation with their family. I'll be fine on my own Donna. In case you forget, I'm 32 year old now. I don't need a baby sitter."

"Are you sure?"

"Yep."

"Okay. But your phone have to be reachable all the time."

"Yes mom."

"And you have to call me at least once a day."

"Deal." Beca rolls her eyes.

"Okay. If you need anything or anyone, you know you can always count on Harvey and me. We'll always be there for you."

Beca smiles and says, "Thanks Donna. I know I can count on you. Tell Harvey I say hi, and give little Stevie a hug from me."

"I will. Love you monkey."

"Yeah. I uh..." Beca stutters, still finding it hard to say the word Love other than to Ashley. Then she hears Donna chuckle lightly.

"I know you love us too, monkey."

"Um... yeah, that. Thanks Donna." Then Beca ends the call.

After that, Beca calls Patrick. It takes a while until he pick up.

"Hey bud."

"Uh... hi dude." Beca suddenly doesn't know what to say.

She hears him sigh on the other side."You okay there? I can be there in 20 if you want."

"I appreciate it." Beca replies instantly. "But it's okay. I uh... you don't need to come."

"I was there earlier. But your maid said that you've been in the sanctuary the whole day. So I didn't come in."

"Thanks man." Beca takes a second to consider her next question before she asks, "How is she?"

"She's uh... holding on. She's been crying the whole night and day. But don't worry, Troian and Shay haven't left her side at all."

Beca remains silent for a second before she says, "Thank you all for this."

"No need to thank us, bud. Both of you are our best friends. You'd do the same for us. In fact, you had."

Beca remembers almost 2 years ago Patrick was caught kissing a stranger in a club while he was already engaged to Troian. It was a hard time for them. Troian lived with Beca and Ashley for quite some times. It also caused some fights between Beca and Ashley, because Beca stood by Patrick that the drunken kiss was unintentional and Patrick was really sorry about that, while Ashley stood by Troian that drunk or not, it was inappropriate. Thankfully, the couple made up and still going strong.

"Still, thanks."

"How are you feeling?"

Beca swallows hard before she answers with cracked voice, "It feels like someone just ripped my heart out of my chest and left it open."

It takes a couple of seconds before Patrick replies, "It's going to be okay dude. You two love each other. She just needs some times."

Beca clears her throat. "I hope so."

"You sure you don't want me to come?"

"Yeah. I need to pack my stuff anyway."

"Going somewhere?"

Beca purses her lips before she answers honestly, "Yeah, I'm going to visit my mom's grave."

"Oh. It's been a while right?"

"Yeah, it has."

"I can come with you if you want."

"Thanks dude. But I need you to make sure that Ashley will be fine. I need all of you to stay with her. She needs you."

"Don't be silly dude. She has Troian and Shay 24/7. Besides, you need a friend too."

"I'll be fine man. Just please make sure that she take a good care of herself." Beca says firmly, earning a sigh from her best friend.

"Okay, if you say so."

"Uh... I'm gonna start packing now." Beca takes a deep breath before she nervously asks, "Can you uh... do something for me?"

"Anything bud."

"Uh... please tell her I already take my meds. And uh..." She takes another deep breath, making up her mind, clearing her throat before she sadly says, "Please tell her that... I miss her. And I love her so much."

There is a silent moment before Patrick replies, "I will dude."

"Oh, and more thing."

"Hm?"

"Tell Troian to make her a cup of hot ginger milk. It uh... helps her sleep better."

"Will do bud."

"Thanks man." Beca says before she ends the call. Tears are starting to run down her face again, and she lets the hurt sink in, stop fighting it, and just let it be.


Patrick and Troian's Place : Sunday Evening

Troian, Shay, and Patrick are all in the living room, consoling their broken-hearted blonde friend.

On the other hand, Ashley is inconsolable, sitting on the couch with her knees pulled up to her chest, her arms hugging her legs closely, and her chin resting on her knees.

"You need to eat something, Ash." Troain tries to push the blonde to eat.

"I'm not hungry." Ashley replies without looking at her friends. Instead, her eyes are glued blankly to the coffee table in front of her.

"Come on Ash." Shay is getting impatient. "You haven't eaten anything since last night. Just tell us what you want to eat, and we'll get it for you."

Ashley sighs deeply and tiredly says, "I don't want to eat, Shay. I want Beca."

Being the hotheaded one, Shay fires up, "She cheated on you, and you broke up with her, remember?"

"Shay!" Troian scolds her tall brunette friend when she sees tears are welling up on Ashley's eyes again.

Suddenly Patrick's phone rings, and he stands up, walking away as he says, "It's Beca."

"Pick it up here, Patrick." Shay commands in upset. "And put her on speaker. I want to know if she's going to dish Ashley. Or trying to get you on her side."

Patrick rolls his eyes in annoyance and says, "Come on Shay. She's not gonna do that. I'm her best friend. I'm always on her side. And Ashley's. Besides, I don't think Ashley needs this now."

"I want to hear her voice." Ashley says weakly, tilting her head up slightly toward Patrick's direction without looking at him.

After getting a nod from Troian, Patrick sighs and says, "Okay. But you all need to be quiet."

Then he picks up the phone and puts it on speaker before greeting Beca. When Beca asks about Ashley, he becomes nervous, doesn't know what to say at first, but then he decides to tell the truth anyway, earning a deathly glare from Shay.

Troian is quick to sit next to Ashley, hugging the crying blonde when Beca says how she feels like her heart is being ripped out of her chest. Ashley cries even harder when Beca asks Patrick to tell her that she misses and loves her.

After the phone call ends, the four of them stay quiet until Ashley finally wipes the tears from her face, sniffling and weakly says, "I want to eat."

Her friends whip their heads toward her, raising their eyebrows, confused by the sudden change of mind.

"I told Beca to take care of herself. And she did." Ashley explains shyly. "So I need to do the same."

"And you're hungry." Shay comments in half-annoyance.

Ignoring Shay's comment, Troian smiles lightly and asks, "How about lasagna?"

"Sounds good." Ashley smiles back weakly.

"And a cup of hot ginger milk?" Troian asks teasingly. "What are you? 89 years old?"

"Hey." Ashley glares weakly at Troian. "It tastes good. And it helps me sleep better when I don't feel well."

Troian raises an eyebrow, smirking knowingly.

"And Beca used to make it for me every time I'm stressed out of my mind or having a bad day." Ashley reveals shyly.

Patrick and Troian chuckle lightly, but Shay rolls her eyes in annoyance. While Troian and Shay get the food, Patrick uses that chance to talk to the blonde.

"I know right now it doesn't seem that way." Patrick softly says, patting Ashley on her shoulder. "But I mean what I said on the phone."

Ashley simply stares at him with puzzled look.

"You two love each other. You'll work it out."

"She loves her, Pat." Ashley croaks with teary eyes.

Patrick looks her in the eye before he says firmly, "She loved her over 10 years ago."

"But what if she still does?" Ashley says harshly. "No offense, but you don't know her like I do."

Patrick scoffs and replies, "No offense Benzo. You might be her girlfriend. But I'm her best friend. And I know her well. Besides, if you can't see pass your fear of losing her and your insecurity over Chloe, then you'll never realize that that tiny grumpy loves you to the moon and back. And she has been for more than 5 years."

"How are you so sure?"

"Because I told her the exact same thing 3 years ago when you left her." Patrick explains with reassuring smile. "Now look how far the two of you have come."

Ashley's breath hitches and she blurts out, "You knew?"

"Told you." Patrick smirks and says, "I am her best friend. She told me bits and pieces. Who do you think was there for her?"

Ashley simply sighs heavily, thinking about what Patrick just said to her. Even though Beca has always said that she's always right, maybe this time she's wrong. Maybe this time, the table has turned and she's the one who's scared.


Beca and Ashley's Mansion : Sunday Evening

By the time Beca stops crying, she decides to pack her stuff. When she grabs her travelling bag, she remembers that it's been a while since she did the packing by herself. Ever since they've moved in together, Ashley has always been the one who did the packing for Beca.

Beca sighs deeply, starting to put a couple of shirts and pants in the suitcase. The odd thing when she's packing is, she can't find her navy hoodie, her most favorite one. She brushes it off, thinking that maybe the maid puts it into the laundry. Then she goes to Ashley's walk-in closet, grabs two of Ashley's favorite shirts, and puts them in the suitcase too.

After the packing's done, she calls Tony, her housekeeper to prepare her jet for tomorrow, and asks him to tell Bastian, her favorite pilot to take her to Atlanta.

When she ends the call with Tony, Beca swirls her phone between her thumb and index finger, considering calling her tall brunette friend. She knows that Chloe must have told Stacie about what happened between them the other night, and she is in no shape to get any lecture. She knows how protective Stacie and Aubrey are toward Chloe.

However, she also knows that she shouldn't hide from her friends anymore. She sighs tiredly, pressing Stacie's contact on her phone reluctantly. Stacie picks up right away.

"Where have you been Beca? I've been trying to reach you the whole day. I went to your place and your maids won't let me in, saying that you were in a sanctuary or something."

"Hey legs." Beca says weakly, and then she hears Stacie sigh.

"You okay there shorty?"

"I uh..." Beca can't finish her sentence because the lump has blocked her airway.

"I'll be there in 15."

Beca clears her throat immediately and quickly replies, "Don't Stace. I want to be alone now."

"You need a friend right now, Beca."

"It's okay, Stace. I'll manage. If you come, I don't think I can hold myself up. I just need some space. Please."

"Okay. But tell me what happen."

Beca closes her eyes, trying to gain some composure, but she fails miserably as she chokes out, "Sh- she broke up with me."

"That's it. I'm coming over whether you like it or not."

After the phone call ends, Beca relents to the tears for the umpteenth times, dropping herself to sit on the edge of her bed with her face in her hands.


Posen-Conrad's House: Sunday Evening

Stacie hurriedly rushes to the kitchen after the phone call ends.

"Right on time for dinner. Your food radar is working way too well Babe." Aubrey teases before kissing her wife.

"Sorry Babe, I've got to go." Stacie says as she pulls away from her wife.

Aubrey grabs her arm right before she turns on her heels. "Where are you going?"

"I uh... it's emergency Babe." Stacie mutters.

Aubrey holds her grip on her wife's arm. "And what emergency is it?"

"It's uh... Beca." Stacie says without looking at her wife.

"What happened with Beca?" Stacie hears Chloe ask from behind. She must have overheard the couple's conversation as she walks into the kitchen.

"Shit." Stacie curses under her breath.

Aubrey furrows her eyebrows and asks, "Yeah, what happen with the hobbit?"

Stacie glances to Chloe, looking back and forth between her wife and her red headed best friend, and then nervously says, "She uh... needs me now."

"I believe we agreed on no more secrets, Stace." Aubrey firmly says.

Stacie glances her eyes away from her wife to Chloe again, and then looks back to her wife, sighing deeply before she weakly says, "She and Ashley broke up."

Aubrey eyes widen in shock, while Chloe gasps, covering her mouth with her hand.

"They did?" Chloe finally asks, failing to hide a slight hint of hope in her voice and her face.

Stacie nods to respond.

"How did you know?" Aubrey asks.

"She told me over the phone. I don't know anything more. That's why I need to be there with her. She sounded... devastated." Stacie explains in hurry.

"I'll go with you." Chloe says firmly.

Stacie looks at her wife, giving her a hint to stop her best friend.

Aubrey gets the cue, pulling Chloe's hand immediately before she says, "I don't think it's a good idea Chloe."

"But she's sad and she needs her best friend right now, Bree." Chloe says stubbornly.

"That's why Stacie is going to her place right now." Aubrey reasons.

"But-" Chloe tries to debate.

"No but Chloe." Aubrey cuts her off firmly. "She told you to give her some space. And I think you are the least person she wants to see right now after she broke up."

Chloe flashes her best friend an angry glare. So Stacie interrupts before the situation become worse. "Look Chloe. I understand you want to be there for her as a friend. But Aubrey is right. She didn't even want me to come if I didn't insist."

Chloe looks at Stacie intently, considering her best friend's suggestion before she sighs in defeat. "Okay. But let me know."

"I will." Stacie replies before kissing her wife chastely and rushes to the front door.

"Drive safe Babe." She hears Aubrey shout from behind.


Beca and Ashley's Mansion: After Calling Stacie

Beca is curling up on her bed, crying silently, holding Ashley's pillow closely in her arms when Stacie finds her in the bedroom. Stacie immediately feels a pang in her chest, seeing her tiny best friend looks so broken.

Then Stacie walks into the room, sitting quietly on the edge of the bed, putting her hand on Beca's shoulder gently. Beca turns to see her best friend, failing to hide the tears.

"Stace, you're here." Beca mutters as she hurriedly wipes away the tears.

"Hey shorty." Stacie says softly.

Beca straightens up and gets up from the bed, signaling Stacie to follow her to the balcony. Stacie follows her without question. Once they've sat down on the couch facing each other, Stacie asks softly, "How are you holding up Becs?"

Beca opens her mouth to say something, but nothing comes out because her throat is blocked. She takes a few deep breaths to calm herself before she speaks barely audible. "Everything hurts... Stace. It hurts when I speak. It hurts when I walk. It hurts when I sleep. It even hurts when I breathe. This thing in my chest won't stop beating even though every thump hurts."

Stacie wants to hug the tiny brunette, but she knows Beca will become more uncomfortable by physical contact. So she decides to take Beca's hand in hers, squeezing it gently and asks, "Do you want to talk about it?"

Beca shakes her head lightly.

"Okay. I won't push you." Stacie smirks, trying to cheer the tiny DJ. "But I come bearing a gift."

Beca smiles weakly, rolling her eyes and says, "You know I'm not allowed to get drunk, Legs."

"Who said that I bring alcohol?" Stacie gasps, mocking hurt. "Do you think I would do that to you?"

Beca looks at her, narrowing her eyes in disbelief. "What then?"

"I bring you tacos. Your most favorite food." Stacie takes out the said food from the paper bag. "I know you're not allowed junk food either. But I think you can manage one taco tonight."

Upon seeing a weak chuckle coming from the tiny brunette, Stacie smiles and mocks playfully, "What's that on your face? Is that a smile? Wow, I've achieved the impossible."

"Shut up." Beca rolls her eyes in mock annoyance. "And give me my taco."

Stacie laughs lightly, handing the taco to Beca. They eat in silent for a while. Then eventually, Stacie breaks the silent by asking, "What are you gonna do shorty? About uh... your situation."

"Honestly?" Beca sighs and munches her taco before muffling, "I don't know yet. But tomorrow I'm going to Atlanta. To visit my mom's grave."

"Hmmm..." Stacie purses her lips. "Do you want me to come with you?"

Beca shakes her head lightly, swallowing before she answers, "I'll be fine on my own Stace."

Stacie purses her lips, trying to find a way to convince the tiny brunette, but she knows how stubborn her tiny friend is. So she sighs in defeat before saying, "Okay. But you will let me stay with you tonight. I'll sleep on the couch."

With her eyebrows furrowed, Beca simply stares at Stacie, wanting to debate her, but Stacie looks back at her with the same stubborn face. So Beca relents and says, "Fair enough. But you can stay in the guest room, Stace. We have enough guest rooms than the amount of guests we'll ever invited to stay here."

"I'm sleeping on the couch in your bedroom." Stacie replies firmly. "It's not up to negotiation."

Beca rolls her eyes, but nods lightly.

The two of them don't talk so much. They just sit there at the balcony, Stacie quietly sipping the beer she found in the bar, while Beca drinks a cup of hot ginger milk. Hours later, Stacie wakes the seems-like-having-a-nightmare tiny brunette up, and they move into the bedroom.

When the morning comes, Stacie send Beca off on the runway. That's right. One of the properties on that huge chunk of land is a runway for a private jet. It also has its own helipad for the private helicopter.

Damn Beca Mitchell and her company and her money. Donna and Ashley definitely know how to spend some on the tiny brunette's hobbies, and Beca gladly approves since she likes her toys; jet, plane, chopper, cars, bikes.

"You take a good care of yourself, okay?" Stacie says as she puts her hands on Beca's shoulders.

Beca simply nods.

"You make sure to come back in a much better condition." Stacie scolds her half-heartily. "I haven't had a chance to yell at you for what you did to Chloe the other night. And I believe Aubrey would love to have that chance too."

This time, Beca gives her a weak smile and says, "I know."

"Okay then." Stacie pats her shoulder gently. "Have a safe flight."

"Thanks." Beca says before turning on her heels and gets on the jet.


The Posen-Conrad House

Stacie just steps into the dining room when Chloe immediately asks, "How is she, Stace? Is she okay? What happened to them? Why did they break up?"

Upon seeing how tired her wife is, Aubrey says, "Calm down, Chloe. Let her sit and have breakfast first."

Thankfully, Chloe complies, and Stacie gives her wife an appreciative smile before kissing her. After drinking a glass of water, Stacie asks, "Why aren't the two of you at work?"

"I will have the interview at Lucifer Corps. at three." Aubrey says as she prepares t meal for her wife. "And I have dropped Bella at pre-school."

Upon seeing Stacie is waiting for her response, Chloe says, "I'm taking a day off."

Stacie simply nods absentmindedly while Aubrey puts a plate of pancakes in front of her, and she smiles softly as she says, "Thanks Babe."

Aubrey simply kisses her chastely and then sits down to have her own breakfast too.

After a couple of minutes, Stacie just can't ignore the expectant look from Chloe again. So she softly says, "She's broken-hearted, Chloe."

"Is she okay?" Chloe asks worriedly. "Is it fine to leave her alone?"

"She uh..." Stacie starts. "She's on her way to Atlanta now to visit her mother's grave. And I can't tell you more than that because she didn't tell me anything else."

However, Chloe gives her a doubtful look, and Stacie understands why, considering her track record of hiding things from the red head for years. "I'm telling you the truth. Last night, we just sat at the balcony. That's all. You know how she is when it comes to talking about her feeling."

Then Chloe nods and mutters, "Sorry."

"It's okay." Stacie says. After swallowing a piece of pancake, Stacie asks, "How are you holding up, Chloe? You just broke up too."

"Hmmm..." Chloe purses her lips. "I think I'm quite fine, Stace. I mean, I'm sad over breaking up with Kristen. But is it wrong that I feel slightly relieved?"

"Nope." Aubrey comments immediately. "Nothing wrong with that at all. I too, feel so much relieved."

Chloe can't help but chuckle lightly, knowing how much Aubrey doesn't like Kristen. Then she teases, "Well, you almost complimented her yesterday."

"Almost." Aubrey says matter-of-factly. "It makes a major difference."

With a soft smile, Stacie says, "I'm glad you're fine. Just know that we're here for you."

After swallowing her food, Chloe says, "I know, Stace. Thanks. And about Beca. What should I do? Should I call her? Text her?"

Stacie takes her time to think by shoving another piece of pancake into her mouth, chewing slowly and swallows before she says, "I think we better let her have her space for now."

"But she needs her friends Stace." Chloe says stubbornly. "Now more than ever."

"I know." Stacie sighs deeply. "I'll uh... I'll call a cavalry. And in the meantime, I think we better focus on you."

"Focus on me?" Chloe furrows her eyebrows in confusion. "Why? I'm not broken-hearted."

"Sweetie..." Aubrey says softly. "There are things that I'm concerned about you. You still have to deal with the house you share with Kristen. Besides... instead of worrying about Beca, you should be taking care of yourself. You should be taking your time too to think about... what you will do next."

"I don't understand." Chloe says in confusion.

Stacie smiles softly toward her and says, "We have a village of sisters. Some of us will focus on Beca, and the two of us here, will focus on you. You don't worry about Beca. You just broke up from a long-term relationship too. Sooner or later, it will hit you."

Chloe sighs deeply and says, "Okay. But you make sure Beca has someone."

"Scout honor." Stacie holds up two fingers.

 

Chapter Text

 

Atlanta: Monday 05.23 PM, September 29th 2025

Beca goes straight to hotel after arriving at Atlanta. She's exhausted, so she orders room service, eats in her room, takes her meds, showers, and calls Donna to tell her that she's alive before going to sleep after fighting the urge to call her... ex-girlfriend.

Around midnight, she wakes up abruptly, sweating and panting because of another nightmare. The very same nightmare she has been having since Ashley left. Then she shakes her head lightly, knowing that she won't be able to sleep again, she decides to mix and write down some ideas for a song.

What inspires a better song than a heart wrenching break up, right?


Atlanta: Tuesday, September 30th 2025

The dawn is already breaking when she finally runs out of ideas, but the zzz hasn't come back yet. So she changes, getting into her grey hoodie, wearing her black jeans with a pair of converse, and then heads out to the cemetery after buying a bouquet of daisies for her mother. It's been a couple of months since she came to her mother's grave.

Once she arrives, she takes a deep breath, walking slowly to her mom's grave. It's chilly in the morning, the sun hasn't come up fully yet, and the sky is still pale blue. So there aren't so many people there.

Then she stands silently in front of her mom's head stone, putting down the flowers bouquet under it, tracing the words on it with her eyes.

Lucia Marie Anderson

Beloved Mother.

After sniffling softly and wiping the tears in the corner of her eyes, Beca presses her hand on her lips before pressing it on the head stone. Then she sits down on the grass, cross-legged and remains silent, walking down the memory lane she has with her mother.

When Beca was still a kid, her mother was the one who taught her to sing and play piano. She was the one who sparked the musical talent in Beca. After Warren bailed on them by cheating with his student that became his wife not long after the divorce, she worked several jobs to make sure that Beca had everything she needed to nourish her talent.

For all of the right reasons, Beca loves her mother with every fiber of her being. But just as everything she'd loved, her mother had gone way too soon. She didn't have a chance to see that her daughter had held the world in her hand, all because of her mother's love and faith in her.

After a long moment of silent, Beca eventually says, "Hi mom. It's been a while." She inhales deeply before saying with broken voice, "I miss you."

Trying to hold in the tears, Beca takes a few ragged breaths and shakes her hands before she says with shaky breath, "Remember a couple of months ago I told you that my life was perfect? You know, the job is great, I have a lot of money in my hand now, I have a couple of best friends, and I got the most wonderful girlfriend in the whole world."

The pain under her chest is unbearable. So she pulls her knees close to her chest, hugging her legs with her arms, and locks her hands together. "Well, I still have the most of them mom. But I recently lost the most important one." She takes a deep breath before she adds, "I did a stupid thing, and it cost me the love of my life."

Then she lets out a damp chuckle before she continues, "Ashley, remember? Blonde, beautiful, hilarious, smart, kind, has the brightest bluest eyes I've ever seen? That one. I'm sure you remember. I've come here with her so many times in the past five years. I bet you'd like her if you had a chance to meet her in person. You both are the only two who could call me up on my shit." Then she let out a sad smile. "Yeah, she's wonderful that way."

She can't help a single track of tears running down her face, but she wipes it with the back of her hand quickly, brushes the knuckle of her index finger under her nose, and clears her throat. "I uh... I was planning to propose you know. I've shown you the ring a year ago. But now... after what happened the other night..."

It takes her a while, rocking her body back and forth, trying to ease the pain under her diaphragm before she says, "Do you remember Chloe? It must be hard to remember her since you haven't seen her in the past ten years. She is the one with red hair, sweet, cheerful, happy and bubbly all the time, and has a pair of mesmerizing blue eyes. You know, the one who held me tight on your funeral, right here when I broke down in tears. I guess you remember, because you'd met her several times when you were still alive."

With a long heavy sigh, she says, "I did tell you that she is my first love. I remember you pushed me to tell her how I feel." Beca smiles sadly, wiping a single tear from her cheek before she says, "I left her 10 years ago. You already knew the story, I've told you before. Well, guess what? I finally told her. We met again 3 days ago on my 5th anniversary night with Ashley. You would've thought that meeting the person you left years ago for the first time must've been the most awkward situation right? Can't blame you.I felt the same. I did. Until we had a fight but ended up with me telling her that she is my first love, and then we kissed. Awkward is an understatement, Mom."

Beca scoffs. "Surprise, surprise! Guess you'd be so disappointed by me now, because I'm no different than the infamous Dr. Mitchell."

After another moment of silent, she chuckles as a thought comes into her mind. Beca sniffles and says, "No offense Mom. But I'm a little bit, just a tiny bit relieved by the fact that you're gone. Because if you're still here, I bet you'd be kicking up my ass by now. You know, for being such an asshole. And I wouldn't be able to blame you because even you become so terrifying when you're mad, I am really an asshole right now."

With a long sigh, Beca drops her head between her arms before whispering with her voice broken, "I messed up Mom. Again. And I'm not sure if I can or should fix it this time."

Then she lays down on the grass next to her mother's grave, trying to keep her eyes open, wanting to see the blue sky even though it's too bright. Eventually, she gives up and closes her eyes, enjoying the ticklish sensation from the grass under her palm, feeling the chilly wind blowing in her face, smelling the autumn air.

For a moment, she forgets her problems. For a split second, she can feel a serenity. And damn! If it doesn't feel so good. Suddenly, a memory strikes into her mind, and serene smile appears on her face.

"You told me once. And I quote." Beca clears her throat, trying to mimic her mother's voice. "You should be afraid when it comes to love, Beca. Because you wouldn't love better if you are not afraid enough. If you're not afraid, it means you haven't love enough."

Beca chuckles over the bittersweet memory, and then she blows out a long steady breath calmly before she continues, "I believed you Mom. I did. When I was in love with Chloe, I was scared out of my mind. That's how I knew that I loved her so much. Because I was so afraid. So, so terrified. And after Warren disowned me, I just... ran away."

Then she turns her body to face her mother's grave beside her, putting one hand under her ear to support her head, and the other hand on the cement of the grave before she softly says, "Don't get me wrong Mom. I love you. I always have and always will. But I think you were partly wrong. Or maybe it was simply the half lesson you had learnt in your short meaningful life."

"But me?" She lets out a heavy sigh. "I've learnt different lessons on my own in the past 10 years. I've learnt that, yeah, loving could be terrifying. In fact, it should be terrifying, especially when you love too much. But you know what Mom? I also found out that it's not being terrified that shows you've loved enough. It's overcoming the fear that shows you've loved enough."

"I know right?" Beca laughs lightly. "Who would've thought that your snarky skeptic daughter could've learnt that kind of shit?" Her laughter turns into a loving smile as she says, "I learnt that from loving and being loved by Ashley, Mom. Told you, she's wonderful that way."

Then Chloe's smile flashes on her mind, and she says, "And Chloe... she's also wonderful. You know it. And now your stupid useless daughter has hurt the two most wonderful women in her life. Three actually, to count you in. I know how much you hated cheating."

She sighs deeply and asks, "What should I do, Mom? I don't know what to do. Can you tell me what to do? Who should I choose between the two of them?" Then she scoffs. "Sorry. Sounds so cocky. Like they'll want the damaged me anyway. I think I've caused enough damages, Mom. Maybe they'll be better left without me. I'm the toxic. Only I can wreck the kindest and most amazing human in the whole world. Not only one. But two. Maybe I should just pack my back and walk away."

With a harsh huff, she sits up, messes with her hair, and stays quietly, thinking about what to do. After a while, she sighs deeply and gets up, brushing the grass off her clothes. Strangely, she feels a lot lighter and calmer.

Beca stands up straight, looking at her mother's head stone and says, "Thank you for listening Mom. I feel so much better. I promise I'll come visit again soon. And don't worry too much. Though I'm still as clumsy as ever, still forget my keys and phone all the time, and leave the tooth paste uncapped, but I'm doing better with my life. I am. So... You just rest in peace, okay? No need to come back and kick my ass."

With that being said, Beca puts her hand on her lips, and then presses it on her mother's head stone gently before she turns and walks away.


It's a little after eight in the morning when Beca walks out from the cemetery, and she's hungry. So she decides to go to a diner near the hotel and have a breakfast. After placing her order, she holds her phone, hovering her thumb on Ashley's contact, considering calling the blonde. But before she can decide, her phone rings, and it shows Emily's face on the screen.

"What's up Legacy?"

"Captain! You're up early! How strange!"

"Yeah, yeah." Beca rolls her eyes. "We might be expecting an apocalypse soon."

A soft smile appears on Beca's face when she hears Legacy giggling. "Stacie told me that you're in Atlanta. Since you're already up, how about breakfast?"

Beca rolls her eyes again with a hint of fondness, knowing how much her friends care about her. "Actually, I'm having one. Come and join me."

"On my way Capt. 10 minutes." Legacy says after Beca told her where she is.

10 minutes later, Emily arrives, skipping happily toward her former captain, hugging her tightly as she shrieks loudly, "I've missed you Pop!"

"Uh... Legacy... I need my ears in a perfect condition to listen and make good music."

"Oops... sorry." Emily says with a wide grin, releasing the tiny brunette, and then takes a seat in front of her.

Time hasn't seemed to change the bubbly childlike Emily, and Beca is so glad about it. She smiles fondly toward the not so baby Bella anymore and stutters, "I uh... I kinda miss you too, Em." When she sees happy tears are pooling in the younger Bella's eyes, she quickly adds, "But let's not make a big deal out of it."

Emily chuckles softly, nodding excitedly as she wipes the tears from the corner of her eyes. She orders pancakes and coffee, and then starts a conversation with the older bella.

"What brings you here Pop?"

Beca narrows her eyes, pursing her lips before she asks, "Well, I guess Stacie must've filled you in?"

"Nu uh." Emily shakes her head. "Just bits and pieces. She said you're having a down time, and might need a friend. So... here I am."

Beca pushes a bite of pancake into her mouth, nodding absentmindedly before she muffles, "I visited my mom this morning."

"Oh. How was it?" Emily asks while thanking the waiter for bringing her order.

"Hmmm..." Beca purses her lips. "It was... relieving."

"Everything alright back home?" Emily asks before taking a sip of her coffee.

With a heavy sigh, Beca shakes her head lightly and says, "Nope. Not really."

"Do you wanna talk about it?" Emily asks casually.

Beca simply shakes her head lightly while keeps eating her breakfast.

"Just know that I'm here to listen if you change your mind, Pop." Emily says before shoving a huge chunk of pancake into her mouth.

Upon seeing the way Emily eat, Beca can't help the fond smile appears on her face. The other Bellas used to tease the youngest Bella about how she is a perfect combination of Chloe and her.

Emily is cheerful, bubbly, and overly enthusiastic, much like Chloe. But she's also a music freak, a little bit grumpy, extremely clumsy, and a messy eater, which are totally Beca's traits.

That's why Emily got the honor to be called the first aca-child. Most of the times, the tall brunette even calls Chloe mom, because the red read is the loving, caring, and obviously in charge of the scolding one.

On the other hand, she calls Beca Pop, because the tiny brunette is the shoulder to cry on, the spoiling one, and she's way too overprotective toward the aca-child. Benji was the first victim of the so called Pop.

Beca snorts in her effort to hold her laughter, remembering the one time Benji take Emily out on their first date. Beca had drilled the half-confused half-frightened Benji with questions like, "What is your intention with our Emily?" Then, "At what time are we expecting legacy to be home tonight?" And threats like, "Hurt her and you'll live to regret it." And the most terrifying one, "If you do so much as scratching her finger nails, I'll break your fingers."

It was all said with a fiercely face. Chloe even had to dragged her to the kitchen before the poor young man peed himself on the couch in the living room.

"Pop!" Emily waves her hand in front of the tiny DJ. "Hey Pop!"

"Err... what?" Beca shakes her head with furrowed eyebrows. "Oh, sorry Em. Got caught up in my thought. What did you say again?"

Emily laughs lightly and says, "You're getting old Pop."

"Hey! Do not mock your Pop, Kid." Beca scolds with a playful glare.

With a mock scared face, Emily teases, "Aye aye Captain."

Beca puffs her nose and asks, "What did you say again?"

"I said, I'm here to listen if you want to talk."

"Actually..." Beca purses her lips, considering the question she wants to ask. "I'd like to ask you something if you don't mind."

"Shoot."

"What happen between you and Benji?" Beca asks cautiously.

Upon seeing that Emily is looking at her with narrowed eyes, Beca instantly blurts out, "You don't have to tell me if you don't want to. I just thought that... I've never asked you before."

Emily smiles at her, nodding lightly before saying, "It's okay Beca." Then she purses her lips, playing with her eyebrows, thinking before she answers, "Life happened. I guess."

Beca simply gives her a puzzled look while sipping her decaffeinate coffee.

"Well," Emily shoves another chunk of pancake. "After world championship, Benji was supposed to move to New York with Jesse. But since we just started our relationship, he decided to stay and spent 3 more years for grad school in Barden. We were together until I graduated. And then, Benji had expected that we could've finally moved to New York together. However, Residual Heat prolonged my contract with them in Atlanta, which was a very good offer that I couldn't refuse."

Emily stops for a second to drink before continues nonchalantly. "We fought on that. Benji said that it was my turn to sacrifice because he had stayed three more years at Barden for me. I told him I didn't ask him to do that. Long story short, we broke up. End of story."

"Hmmm..." Beca nods absentmindedly with sympathetic smile.

"It was hard and nasty." Emily shrugs casually. "Thankfully, Jessica and Ashley were still here in Atlanta, and all of the other Bellas kept checking on me every day. Aubrey and Stacie even visited me."

Beca sighs deeply as guilty feeling creeps up into her chest. "I'm sorry Em. I should've been there for you."

"It's okay Pop." Emily shakes her head lightly, waving her fork, swallowing before she says nonchalantly, "You were dealing with your problems too. Besides, I'm over it years ago. So, no hard feeling."

"Still," Beca says dejectedly. "I should've been there, Em. I missed out on everything in your life and all of The Bellas."

Emily puts her hand on Beca's, smiling when she says, "Don't sweat it Pop. Really. I also wished that I could've been there for you in all those years you were struggling. But, the most important thing is that we make it out alive. And we've been better ever since."

Beca smiles fondly toward the younger brunette, realizing how mature the clumsy spoiled kid has become. But the baby bella doesn't see the look, too busy shoving another huge piece of pancake into her mouth.

"Since when did you turn into a fine wise ass, young lady?" Beca smirks, and Emily bursts into a laughter, spitting pieces of pancakes out of her mouth.

"Ew... I take it back." Beca says, scrunching her face over-dramatically before she follows, barking out a loud laughter.

After the laughter unwind, they fall into a comfortable silent, busy dealing with the plates in front of them. When they finish, Emily immediately orders a glass of water, handing it to Beca as she firmly says, "Pop your pills, Pop." Then her eyes widen with a huge grin. "Hey, it rhymes."

Beca rolls her eyes playfully, taking out her meds from her pocket, putting them into her mouth before swallowing them with the water Emily handed her. "All done Kid."

"Good."

Then Beca orders another cup of tea, while Emily orders another cup of cappuccino.

"You need to go easy on those caffeine, Em."

"I can't function without at least 2 cups of coffee in the morning." Emily shrugs. "What can I say? I learnt from the best."

Beca chuckles, remembering how addicted she herself was to coffee back in college. She had at least 4 cups a day. Chloe used to say that she bleed caffeine all over her body.

"I met him again, you know." Emily says, and it pulls Beca out of her memory lane.

"Hm?"

"Benji." Emily says. "I met him again around three years ago. Remember the time you reached out to me and Stacie then we met in New York?"

Beca nods lightly, smelling the jasmine tea before taking a sip.

"I bumped into him with Jesse in the city." Emily says casually.

"Oh. Jesse. Haven't heard that name in a very long time." Beca comments distastefully, never really like her former coworker at the radio station because he kept pushing her to watch movies and go out with him. "How was it? The meeting. Or the bumping."

"It was okay, I think?"

Sensing something more about it, Beca raises an eyebrow and asks, "How were they?

"Well... Let's just say that it didn't work out really well with them."

"What do you mean?"

Emily looks at her, pursing her lips before hesitantly says, "They were having a bad time. In fact, I think they still are. Based on what I've heard about Jesse around the label."

"Huh." Beca responds curiously. "I've never really paid attention. But if I remember correctly, didn't Jesse get a really good job as a music producer in a movie production company in New York after graduated?"

"He did." Emily sips her coffee. "But you know what people said. Money and fame are the root of the evil. Apparently, Jesse let the money and fame drowned him into a mess."

"What happened?"

"After his career took off, he got involved with the wrong woman who made him do a lot of gambling."

"Oooo."

"I know." Emily says convincingly. "And you know what gambling brings along. More women, alcohol, drugs, tons of debts, and massive troubles. Needless to say, he lost everything in a blink of an eye. He got fired for being irresponsible, and he went bankrupt because of the debts. He sold everything he had, but it still couldn't cover half of the debts. He still hasn't gotten up on his feet yet."

"Whew... and I thought my life was hard." Beca says with wide eyes, then she cautiously asks, "And Benji?"

Emily puffs her cheeks before answering, "He uh... he wasn't the sweet kind Benji I had known in college. Turned out, breaking up with me was too hard on him. And because of his unique quirks, it wasn't easy for him to find a job or stay in a job."

Beca takes Emily's hand into hers, squeezing it gently before she says, "It's not you fault Em."

"I know." Emily replies without hesitation.

Beca is stunned for a second, but she quickly turns her attention by sipping her tea.

After taking a sip of her coffee, Emily explains with a soft smile, "We made our own choices Pop. It was hard for me too after I broke up with him. But life must go on. I had my fair share of crazy broken-hearted phase. For 3 months, I was sulking, broken-hearted, but then I decided that I've had enough of it and moved on. Unfortunately, Benji used that moment to wreck his life and pin it on me."

Beca nods absentmindedly, thinking about the things Emily just said. We made our own choices.

It might seems harsh for some people, but those words carry a huge weight of truth. We do make our own choices. She's still amazed by how grown up the younger Bella has become. Eventually, she decides to tell Emily the truth, hoping that she can get another perspective.

"Em, I'm going to tell you the true reason I'm here. But let me finish, okay?" Beca says with soft warning look, knowing how the tall brunette can't help herself to interrupt.

"Aye aye Captain." Emily says, giving Beca a mock salute with a huge grin before sipping her coffee.

Beca rolls her eyes playfully and takes a deep breath before telling the event from her 5th anniversary with Ashley, the fight and kiss with Chloe, then about the day after that she spent with Ashley, and eventually, the break up. It surprises her more than anything when she can tell the story without sobbing uncontrollably. Well she still cries a little bit, and it still hurts like hell when she talk about the break up, but it's a lot easier than yesterday.

Guess talking with her mother's grave do help a lot more than she has expected. The better news is, she feels even lighter after telling her problem to Emily.

"I'm so sorry about what happened, Pop." Emily says sympathetically while squeezing Beca's hand gently.

"Yeah, me too." Beca says with a sad smile.

"What makes you change your mind and tell me about it?"

Beca shrugs and says, "You said that we make our own choices. And it got me thinking."

"About?" Emily asks with furrowed eyebrows.

"About me leaving 10 years ago." Beca sighs heavily. "You know, if I never had let my father's word affected me and then left, what do you think would've happened?"

"Hmmm..." Emily purses her lips, rubbing her hand on her chin with her eyebrows furrowed. Then she looks at Beca before she asks, "Does it matter now? I mean, it's already done. You got through it. You've become better than before."

"But I did hurt all of you." Beca says dejectedly. "Especially Chloe. I've told you about what she said the other night. If I hadn't had left, maybe things would've been different for her. For us. All of us."

Emily chuckles lightly and says, "There is no way to find out, Pop. Like I said, we all got through it. In our own ways definitely. So it doesn't matter anymore. We've made our own choices too."

Still confused, Beca takes her time by sipping her tea before saying, "I don't get it. You know I'm as good as a stone when it comes to stuff like this."

Emily rolls her eyes playfully. Sometimes she forgets that Beca needs a comprehensive walk-through to understand things like this. So she takes a deep breath and starts with a simple question, "Are you happy with your life Pop?"

"Well yeah." Beca answers without hesitation before she adds, "Until I kissed Chloe and all hell broke loose. Not that I'm not happy having her back into my life, but under this circumstances..."

"Do you think you'd become who you are today if these past ten years didn't happen?" Emily cuts her off.

"Huh." That question sure needs more time to answer. Beca takes a deep breath and hesitantly says, "Well... Sure, if I could've, I would've chose not to leave Chloe and all of you. Maybe I should've chose not to leave."

"U huh. And..." Emily simply raises her eyebrows with a tight smile, knowing that Beca isn't done yet.

Then Beca sighs and continues, "But it means that... I would never have met Donna and Harvey. Then I wouldn't have become Stephan's godmother. And uh... I would never have met Ashley. There have been so many wonderful things happened in my life since I've met her. So it means I would never have become the person I've become today."

"U huh. Then..."

Beca raises her left shoulder and says, "And... Patrick and Troian. I would never have met them. And let's say that I could've met all of them in other circumstances because of fate or something like that, but uh... my life wouldn't have been the same. I, wouldn't have been the same."

"So?"

After blowing out a long steady breath from her mouth, Beca says, "So... most definitely not? I mean, I don't know for sure. But I don't think I would be telling you about my feelings if I haven't had the past 10 years. You know how closed off I was in college. The people I have today... they have their fair share in changing my life. In helping me become who I am today."

"I take it you don't regret it then." Emily says with a soft smile.

Beca closes her eyes, sighing before answering, "I guess."

"Let's say you have a chance." Emily says with narrowed eyes. "Is there anything you want to change in the past 10 years? I mean, judging by your condition before you kissed Chloe?"

"I... don't think so?" Beca replies hesitantly, and then her mind is flooded with the memory of her life with Ashley. She smiles lightly in relief, shaking her head as she says, "I mean, judging by how my life have turned out, there's nothing I would've changed, Em."

"Hm." Emily says with victory smile. "Then the decision you made 10 years ago doesn't matter anymore. What matters now is the decision you're gonna make after you kissed Chloe."

Beca nods absentmindedly, finally understand Legacy's explanation. But then something comes up again. "But like I said, Em. I did hurt Chloe, you, and all the other bellas."

"And like I said, we make our own choices." Emily says with a light smile. "We got over it eventually. Besides, I don't think we would've had such a strong bond if you hadn't left. I'm not saying that you should've left. But everything turned out to be okay eventually. Things do happen for a reason. For many reasons even. Some of them are good, some of them are not. It all depends on how we react on it."

Trying to let the words sink into her mind so she can really believe it, Beca simply nods absentmindedly.

"Please don't take too much credit from the hurt Pop." Emily smiles compassionately. "Let's say that you hadn't left, the universe would've found another way to screw us up. It's wicked that way. In a sole purpose, to make us a better person. That is, if we choose to be one. Fortunately, I can say in full confident that we, The Bellas, all chose to be better."

Beca is taken aback. How could I never see this one coming?

With a relieved smile, Beca shakes her head lightly and teases, "For someone who didn't have her Pop in her life for more than seven years, you sure have grown up more than expectation, Kid."

Emily laughs lightly and says, "Well, what can I say. It's the perks of having a village of wonderful sisters. Plus, I didn't take psychology for 2 semesters back in Barden all for nothing."

Beca barks out a laughter, and Emily follows suit. After the laughter subside, Beca clears her throat and says, "One more question, Legacy."

"Shoot." Emily replies before sipping her coffee.

With an intense look, Beca asks, "How do you feel about me and Chloe after you heard about the kiss? Do you think uh... we should be together?"

After letting out a long sigh, Emily puts down her cup, biting her bottom lip with her eyebrows furrowed before she says, "Well... I'll be glad if you can be as close as you were in college. And honestly, I'll be happier if you can become more than friends since... you know, you were in love with each other in college. You were my Mom and Pop. Of course I want the two of you end up together. But how I feel and what I want don't matter Pop."

Upon seeing the confused look on Beca, Emily smiles and says, "What matters is how you feel and what you want. Because you'll be the one who live with it. Not me. So you need to ask yourself. Can you live with... whatever decision you're going to make?"

The words certainly catch Beca's attention more. Beca rests her elbow on the table, putting her hands in front of her mouth in a hollowed triangle position, thinking hard for a long while.

Eventually, she reveals, "I thought I knew what I feel, Em. But look where I end up. I've hurt not only Chloe. I've also hurt Ashley. I love them. Both of them. They are... they have significant roles in my life. But all I've done is hurting them. And right now, I just... I don't want to hurt them more than I already have. I can't."

"What do you mean?" Emily asks in confusion.

Beca simply stares at her with her eyebrows raised and her lips pressed tightly as if saying Isn't it obvious?

Instantly, Emily's eyes widen in shock and fear. "No. You can't leave again. You can't disappear on us again!"

With a loud huff, Beca drops her head and closes her eyes.

"Who do you love more?" Emily asked bluntly.

Beca looks up at her, frowning and scrunching her face in total confusion. Then she asks in disbelief, "Who do I love more?" She scoffs. "What kind of question is that? Is this some kind of joke? A reality show?"

"Just answer the question." Emily says in upset. "Pick one."

Again, Beca scoffs harshly in disbelief before she says in upset, "I'm not picking one, Em. Are you out of your mind? I hurt them! I have no right to pick any of them! They are better left off without me!"

Since it's not so breakfast time anymore, there are not so many people in the diner. But still, the sound of Beca snapping in desperation draws the attention toward them. So Beca takes a deep breath to calm herself before saying, "Sorry Em."

"I'm sorry too." Emily sighs heavily while shaking her head. Then Beca simply nods and sips her now cold tea.

"The question," Emily says again cautiously, and Beca just looks at her tiredly. "It's inappropriate. I know. But it's necessary. Before you make any decision ahead, especially stupid decision like leaving again, just try. Try to think about your feelings to them, and just pick one. And then you can start from there."

"It's..." Beca huffs in frustration. "I can't just pick one, Em. They are too good, too kind to be just... handpicked by me as if I'm good enough for them."

"Just try." Emily insists. "It's not about how good they are, or how not good you are for them. This is simply about how you feel. Start by telling me how you feel about them."

Beca rolls her eyes tiredly and relents. After taking another deep breath, she says, "I... love them. And the truth is, this isn't about loving someone more than the other. I love them both. Just... in different ways. I guess."

"Okay." Emily says with a reassuring smile. "Go on."

"Chloe..." Beca sighs heavily. "She's my first love Em. And she will always be my first love. She's kind, and sweet, and-" she lets out a light smile. "She's wonderful. And when I was in love with her, even though I was scared out of my mind, I was also so, so happy for having her in my life. She made me happy."

"But..."

"No but Em."

"Then why I'm sensing one?" Emily retorts matter-of-factly. "Just spit it out. It's just me. I won't tell any of them."

Beca glances away from her, blowing out a long steady breath before she says in remorse, "But... I uh... I've grown out of that feeling, Em. I still love her. I do. And I'm happy to have her back in my life. But... just not as a lover."

"And why is that?" Emily asks casually.

"I..." Beca shakes her head very lightly with somehow sad yet fond smile and sighs. "I'm in love with Ashley, Em. She's everything that I didn't even know that I wanted. Or better yet, needed. She, is a surprise." She chuckles softly. "A good kind of surprise that I'd never known I'd been waiting for a freaking long time."

"Hmmm..." Emily smiles. She can see how tender the way Beca talk about Ashley.

"After 5 years together," Beca smiles lightly while her eyes is unfocused, thinking back to the time she's shared with Ashley. "I couldn't even imagine how my life would've been without Ashley in it. She is my constant, you know. The only thing that reminds me that my heart is beating, and I better make a good count of it. I remember exactly how it felt when I realized that I'm falling in love with her."

Emily knows that Beca's mind is totally not with where she is, and she simply smiles, letting Beca telling her about her feelings toward Ashley.

"It's like... the time in my life started ticking again. And I could feel my heartbeat again." Beca chuckles lightly and shakes her head subtly. "She is the center of my universe. My life revolves around her. She keeps me in my orbit, so I don't wander around without... a sense of direction. And she's the gravity that pulls and keeps me grounded."

After that, Beca remains silent, letting the warm feeling creeping up into her chest.

With a relieved sigh, Emily smiles so widely upon seeing the happiness spreading out from every single fiber of her former captain. It isn't unusual to see that Beca seems not only incredibly happy, but somehow peaceful when she's talking about Ashley. Never mind that she just poured out one hell of sappy cheesy stuff about love and feelings in a normal conversation that didn't involve melody or music.

Then Emily clears her throat lightly, earning the DJ's attention, and says, "I've heard your works in the past 10 years you know. Even when you were still DJ M, and I had no idea that it was you."

Beca raises an eyebrow, not so sure where this is going, but she remains silent, letting the tall brunette explain.

"I don't know if you notice Pop," Emily says with a light smile. "But I could feel your music has changed. And I think it started after you met Ashley. It has gradually changed from dark, and heart-broken, and depressed, into something... lighter, more hopeful, and surprisingly, even in my taste, full of happy ending cliché. That if I remember correctly, wasn't something that you were fond of back in college."

Upon seeing the teasing smile on Emily's face, Beca simply rolls her eyes and chuckles lightly.

"And those sappy cheesy dorky stuff you just said?" Emily smiles mockingly. "I never even knew you had it in you. For a split second, I thought you were having a fever."

Beca rolls her eyes again, glaring at Legacy playfully as she says in mock anger, "Shut up. Don't you dare telling anyone about this."

Then Emily laughs before she playfully says, "Easy there Pop. Your secret is safe with me. But I might add some of the words in my new song."

With a light smile, Beca pulls out her phone and looks at the picture of her and Ashley on her screen. Upon seeing the goofy grin on Beca's face, Emily snatches her phone, and looks at the screen. She can't hold the teasing grin on her face.

On the other hand, Beca is blushing red while rubbing the back of her neck nervously as she says, "I don't know why Em. But with Ashley, I feel that any kind of pain is somehow... bearable. I would take any pain if it's to be with her."

"I guess you've made your decision there Pop." Emily says cheerfully before giving back Beca's phone.

"I guess I have." Beca nods lightly, smiling so fondly as she stares at her phone's screen again. "Thanks Em."

"No probemo. Glad I can help." Emily says with a wide grin. But suddenly, Emily's face turns into worried look as the thought of Chloe slips into her mind. "Can I ask you something, Pop?"

"Sure."

"What will you do with uh... Chloe?" Emily asks cautiously.

Beca's face drops instantly, and uneasy feeling is creeping back up into her chest.

"I just..." Emily smiles sheepishly while patting Beca's hand. "Well... you know that Ashley is my best friend. But Chloe is practically my sister. In fact, she's practically my mom." She tries to joke, earning a little tug of smile on the corner of Beca's lips. Then she takes a deep breath before continues, "I want you to be happy, Pop. But the thing with Chloe is... I think you need to tell her. The sooner the better. And... please handle it cautiously."

"I know." Beca sighs heavily. "I did promise her that I will call her. And she gave me a week until next Friday."

Emily just waits in silent, knowing not to push further.

After a while, Beca shakes her head lightly, flexing her neck before she says, "I'll talk to her once I get back to L.A."

Trying to encourage Beca, Emily smiles and says, "It's okay Pop. Just try to make it less hard for her. She had it very hard when uh... when you left."

"Oh God." Beca breathes out in frustration. "Chloe is going to be hurt again. I'm gonna hurt her again."

"It's gonna be fine, Pop." Emily smiles calmly. "We've got your back. Both of you."

"We?" Beca asks in half-confusion half-tiredly.

"The Bellas."

"No, you're not." Beca says dejectedly. "You shouldn't. I'm gonna hurt the most lovable person in the group."

"Pop... All we want is you to be happy." Emily says with a reassuring smile. When Beca gives her a doubtful look, she adds, "Sure, it won't be easy at first. But we'll get over it. That's what family do. Be happy for one another."

"Even when another one is hurt and not happy?" Beca asks skeptically.

"This isn't about choosing between yours or Chloe's happiness." Emily says, remembering Stacie's words when they had an emergency meeting after Beca reconnected with them. "We'll all be there for the two of you. No matter what happen in this situation. Aubrey, Stacie, Fat Amy, Jessica and our Ashley, Flo, Lily, CR, then me. We'll all be there for the two of you."

Suddenly Beca's jaw drops opened, and her face is full of fear. "Aubrey's gonna kill me for hurting her best friend again."

"She probably would." Emily mutters worriedly. But when she sees the fear in Beca's face, she adds, "But Stacie and I will stop her. Don't worry."

Beca huffs in frustration and asks, "What do I do Em?"

"Tell her the truth Beca." Emily grabs her hand and squeezes it gently. "Don't run away. Don't hide from her. Be there for her as a friend."

"What if she doesn't want to see me anymore?"

"I highly doubt it. She'd had enough time of her life without you. Trust me. As hard as it would be, Chloe would want to have her best friend back."

"I won't be so optimistic if I were you Em. She was so furious the other night and... now I'm gonna tell her that I choose Ashley." Beca says frantically before dropping her head in her hands, while Emily can only rub her hand sympathetically.

"How am I gonna tell her?" Beca whines in frustration. Then she mocks a high note voice, talking to the imaginary Chloe, "Hey Chlo. Remember I kissed you after telling you that you are my first love while I still had a girlfriend? Well... turns out I was caught up in the moment from the feelings I left behind. I love my girlfriend. But can we still be friends?"

Torn between amused and worried about Beca's frantic rambling, Emily smiles sheepishly and says, "Like that. But uh... with your normal voice and uh... Maybe a little bit more elaborated. And less blunt. So much less."

Beca holds her head up with her hands on her temple and her elbows on the table before dejectedly saying, "I can't hurt her again Em. I refuse to be the person who cause another pain to Chloe Beale."

Emily sighs sympathetically and says, "I know Pop. But looking at the situation now, everybody's already been hurting. So it's better to hurt her with honesty than to comfort her with a lie."

What Emily just said was true, but Beca remains silent, drowning in the thought of hurting her best friend again.

"It will take time for sure." Emily tries to assure her. "But Chloe will accept the situation. Eventually."

With a weak smile, Beca looks up at her and asks, "Are you sure?"

"She will still have you as a friend, right?"

"Absolutely." Beca says in determination. "Best friend, sister, co-captain. As long as she'll have me, Em."

Emily smiles and says with more confident, "Then we'll be fine Pop. As long as we're together. So, don't ever leave again. Don't even think about leaving again, no matter how hard the situation is. Okay?"

"Okay." Beca replies with a defeated sigh.

"Speaking of not leaving, are you coming to Bella's 10th reunion?" Emily asks, trying to change the subject.

"What reunion?"

Emily is taken aback by the fact that the older bella doesn't know about the reunion, and then she cautiously asks, "You do get the email about our reunion from Aubrey right?"

"Hm?" Beca furrowed her eyebrows in confusion. "I'm not sure. Donna is the one who deal with this stuff. Let me ask her."

"Okay."

Then Beca dials Donna's number right away.

"Hey monkey. How's Atlanta so far?"

"It's fine. I went to see mom this morning, and I'm with Emily now." Beca replies, and hurriedly adds, "Donna, did I get any email from Aubrey Posen-Conrad?"

"Actually yeah. Yesterday you got an invitation for The Bella's 10th reunion. I forgot to tell you yesterday."

"Huh." Beca responds unsurely. "Okay. Hey, how did the interview go?"

"Just like you said, she's very good at what she's doing. She made quite an impression in front of the managing boards. Besides, Harvey kind of like how tenacious she is."

Beca smiles and says, "Told you. She's the best at bending people's will. But it's yours and Harvey's decision to make."

"Sure Kid. By the way, how are you feeling, monkey?"

"Better." Beca says honestly.

"Good. You're taking your meds right?"

Upon hearing the not so subtle warning tone, Beca rolls her eyes and replies, "Yes mom. Don't worry, okay? I swear you're worse than my mom. My actual mom."

Donna laughs lightly. "Don't blame me for taking care of my little monkey. Besides, Harvey would kill me if anything happen to you. You are his golden goose."

"Pfft..." Beca rolls her eyes again, but with a hint of tenderness.

"Hey Kid. This morning the people who arrange MTV Awards called and asked if you would like to sing in that show. It seems like one of the audience uploaded a video of you singing at the karaoke bar. We've taken care of that right away, but some people might've seen it."

Beca groans and says, "No Donna. I don't sing in front of people. If they want me to DJ, I'll consider it."

"This can be a great opportunity to show how multitalented you are. Just think about it, okay? They gave us a month to give our decision. The show will be held in 7 months."

"Fine." Beca says in annoyance. "I'll think about it."

"Good girl. Now say hi to Emily from me."

"Okay." Beca ends the call.

"So?" Emily asks.

"Donna said hi. And yeah, Aubrey sent an email yesterday."

"Yesterday?!" Emily exclaims in shock.

"Donna said so." Beca shrugs. "Is something wrong?"

"No." Emily quickly compose herself from the confusion before saying with a tight smile, "Nothing's wrong at all."

Beca looks at her doubtfully, but shrugs it off. "When is it?"

"In a month if I remember correctly. November 1st." Emily says with a tight smile. "So, are you coming?"

"I don't know Em." Beca smiles sheepishly. "I've only met you, Stacie, and Fat Amy in person so far."

"And Chloe."

"And Chloe." Beca says with at tight smile. "Then after all of this feud triangle love? I'm not so sure I won't be banned from the reunion. Aubrey will probably scratch my name out of The Bellas alumni list, and then burn my bella scarf. I'd be lucky if I'm still alive or at least in one piece until reunion."

Emily chuckles lightly with a playful eye roll. "No, she won't. She always said that once a bella always a bella."

"It's been years since I've met all of The Bellas." Beca says nervously.

"The more reason for you to come Beca." Emily pursues calmly. "Everyone have missed you. And I bet you've missed them too."

With a light smile, Beca says, "Of course I've missed all of you. I mean, all of us in the same place, messing around like we were 20 again. It will feel very great to be around family again."

"So come then." Emily pouts with puppy eyes that over the years has only been defeated by Ashley's pout. "Please Pop."

Beca rolls her eyes and whines, "What's wrong with the women in my life, and their pouts, and puppy eyes? Ashley, you, Chloe? It's a curse."

Upon seeing that Beca has come back to her usual whiny self, Emily chuckles lightly and says, "Oh. You're in it for a surprise. You haven't met our Baby Belle yet. Her pout can even bend the unbendable master of bending, Aubrey Posen-Conrad."

"Oh. I know that for sure." Beca chuckles softly. "I've witnessed how Stacie turn head over heels only by one light pout."

"You've met Isabelle?"

"Yeah." Beca says with a look that says obviously. "Several times actually. Without Aubrey knowing. So... not a word Legacy. You don't want to cost Stacie her little princess."

Emily snorts and says, "Sure thing Captain." Then she stares at Beca expectantly and says, "So Pop, the reunion."

Beca groans loudly, causing Emily to intensify her pout and puppy eyes. "Please..."

"Fine." Beca says in mock annoyance before she adds, "But if things got messy, I'll blame you for that."

Emily squeals, jumping to hug the older bella over the table and shrieks, "Hooray! And don't worry Pop, it won't be messier than the time Chloe got really mad at you for unintentionally flirting with Kommisar."

"Legacy, air." Beca grunts under the smothering hug.

Emily pulls away, grinning from ear to ear.

"Flirting with Kommisar? Huh." Beca smiles softly over the memory. "Chloe was so furious at me. She didn't talk to me for almost two months unless it's Bella related. I had to bribe her with tons of mixes, tubs and tubs of ice cream, and a garden of flowers until she finally said good morning to me again."

Emily chuckles, remembering how dense Beca was of Chloe's blunt jealousy. "She was jealous you know?"

"I do now." Beca smirks. "But back then, I was... in a full denial that The Chloe Elizabeth Beale would never be jealous because I flirted with another woman. It was... impossible. I thought it was because the DSM and The World Championship thing."

"Nope." Emily shakes her head lightly with a teasing smile. "Her jealousy was flying way over the roof."

Beca chuckles softly and says, "I was so, so... dense."

"Yeah you were." Emily says with a knowing look. Then her face turns into a serious mode as she says, "Now that you've decided to come to the reunion, I have to tell you something."

Jumping to the worst conclusion, Beca's face turns white in the matter of seconds.

Upon seeing the former captain's terrified look, the tall brunette immediately says, "Nothing serious, or about The Bellas."

Beca sighs in relief before she asks, "What is it then?"

"Well, I've told you earlier that Jesse and Benji were in trouble, financially."

After getting a nod from Beca, Emily elaborates, "Ever since you've resurfaced, Jesse has been trying to reach you. He had come to every single reunion we had in the past 4 years, hoping to get a chance to meet you and ask for your help."

With her eyebrows furrowed, Beca rubs her chin gently before she says, "Now that you said that, I remember after I came out, Donna told me that Jesse did look for me. He wanted to meet me."

"Did you?"

"No." Beca says with a look that say are you kidding me. "At that time, there were one hell of people who claimed to know me. Harvey insisted that we didn't take that chance. Didn't want to cause any scandal. Besides, I never really liked him anyway. So no, I didn't. And Donna made sure that he couldn't reach me."

Emily sighs in relief and says, "He'll be joining us in reunion again this year. And I doubt that it's purely for meeting his old college friends. I'm telling you now not to avoid him or anything. He's harmless obviously. But I just want to warn you so you have a heads up."

"Huh." Beca nods her head lightly. "Okay."

Emily looks at the older bella intently before she asks, "What are you gonna do now Pop?"

With her lips pressed tightly and slightly frowned, Beca shakes her head and says, "I honestly don't know Em. I need to think about the way to tell Chloe, and I also need to... find my way back to Ashley. Any idea?"

"I don't know about your situation with Chloe..." Emily says cautiously. "But I think I can help you with Ashley's. Why don't you do what you do best?"

"What?" Beca scoffs. "Sulking around, complaining about life? Hiding in my bunker?"

Emily chuckles lightly and says, "No, silly. I mean do your stuff in music. Write or mix something for her. Then produce it to show Ashley how much you love her."

Beca scoffs with a tired eye roll as she says, "I don't think it's gonna work this time Legacy. She was..." She clears her throat with teary eyes. "This time, I don't think she's coming back, Em. She was very determined about breaking up with me."

"Come on Pop." Emily says stubbornly. "She's hurt. She just... needs time and reassurance from you."

"But what if she doesn't want to be with me anymore?" Beca says with frightened look. "I mean, I did cheat on her. And it hit her hard because she had been cheated on before."

"Does it mean you're just gonna stop trying?"

"I..." Beca is taken aback. "I don't mean it that way. I... I just don't think I deserve her."

"Pfft." Emily scoffs harshly. "Are you kidding me now? She loves you. You've never seen her when she's talking about you, but I have. She loves you, and she loves the way you love her. And if you know her the way I know her, Ashley isn't a type of person who take any shit from anybody. She doesn't deal with bullshit."

"I know." Beca says with a soft smile. "She wouldn't have stayed with me for so long if she hadn't thought that I'm worth her time and love."

"True."

Still, Beca looks helpless as she says, "But not this time Em. She broke her promise. And for her to do that... I must have hurt her so badly and pushed her way too far. So I don't think a couple of songs can fix it."

"Let's cross that bridge when it comes down to it." Emily says with a reassuring smile. "Though I don't believe there is any bridge to be crossed."

Beca just looks at her skeptically, but nods nevertheless.

"Now, where are you staying?"

"The Ritz-Carlton downtown."

"And how long do you plan on staying?"

"I don't know."

Emily purses her lips before she says, "Well, I'm moving to L.A. on Thursday. Why don't you stay with me, and then we can go back to L.A. together?"

"I don't want to bother you and Andre, Em." Beca says with a weak smile.

"Non sense." Emily says in half-annoyance. "You won't bother anybody. Besides, Andre is already in L.A. to prepare our place. Just come and stay with me. You can mope and think all the way you want. We'll do a lot of music. And in return, you can look at some lyrics I've been working on."

With a playful scoff, Beca says, "I knew there is something in it for you. Taking advantage of your broken-hearted sister I see."

"Of course." Emily smiles smugly. "When does anybody has a chance to work with you without having to pay the expensive price?"

"Never." Beca smirks smugly.

"So?"

"Okay, okay." Beca seems shy, stumbling in her words as she says, "But uh... you don't mind flying back with me right? I came here with uhm... my jet."

Emily gasps overdramatically, mocking offended as she says, "How dare you to ask me flying with you in your luxurious private jet, the infamous Becube?"

Beca groans loudly and whines, "Ashley told you? You've been hanging out way too much with her."

Emily laughs so hard before she mocks, "Becube? Really? I swear you could be more adorable than a 5 year old sometimes Pop. Besides, can't blame me for wanting to know better the woman who makes The Beca Effin Mitchell fall in love head over heels."

In half-annoyance, Beca rolls her eyes and scolds, "I'm so not adorable Em. And I was going to name her Cube, a badass name. But Ashley was the one who insisted that since it's mine, we should add Be in front of it. So, Becube it is."

"It's a her?" Emily asks comically before barking out another loud laughter with tears pooling in the corner of her eyes.

Beca smiles softly and says, "Sometimes I forgot that you and Ashley are the same age."

After her laughter turns into a soft smile, Emily says, "She loves you Beca. And she's good for you. Fight for her."

"I will." Beca smiles. But then a teasing smirk appears on her face as she mocks, "I see you don't mind having a step mother then Kid."

Then Emily burst into a laughter again before saying, "Don't ever say that again Pop. It's freakishly weird. She's one of my best friends. Waaay too weird."

Beca burst into a laughter too. This is one of the things that she likes from hanging out with Emily, lots of laughter.

"Now, let's get you back to the hotel." Emily says once the laughter unwind. "You can check out of the hotel, and then we can go have lunch before heading to my place."

Beca nods to respond, asks for the bill, and pays for it before they left.

 

Chapter Text

 

The Posen-Conrad's House: Tuesday, September 30th 2025 Dinner Time

"Bells, eat your vegetables sweetie." Aubrey tells her daughter sweetly.

"But Mom..." Bella pouts.

"Isabelle..." Aubrey says firmly yet with a soft tone. "Vegetables are good for you."

The little blonde huffs and starts eating the vegetables, knowing that there's no use to debate when her mom calls her with her first name.

Aubrey smiles softly, ruffling Bella's hair and says, "That's a good girl."

Stacie simply smiles, looking at her wife and daughter lovingly.

"How was the interview yesterday, Bree?" Chloe asks casually.

"It was okay, I think." Aubrey says with her attention on her dinner. "Just like any other interview. But Harvey Specter is so great."

Stacie turns to look at her wife, chewing slowly and swallows before saying, "Okay? I think you must've killed it Babe."

Aubrey shrugs nonchalantly, making Chloe giggling lightly, knowing how stubborn her best friend about not putting her hopes up about almost everything.

"How are you feeling today, Chlo?" Aubrey asks cautiously.

"Hopeful?" Chloe says sheepishly, but when she sees that Stacie is sighing, she adds, "Maybe it's not wise to be hopeful in Beca's desperate time. But I couldn't help it Stace."

"It's okay Chlo." Stacie smiles softly at her red headed friend. "This isn't about Beca. I just don't want you to get hurt."

Chloe nods lightly and smiles at her. Then suddenly, Stacie's phone rings. Stacie glances to her phone, and sees Emily's goofy face on it.

"I'm sorry. But I need to take this." Stacie says apologetically and walks away from the dining table with her wife shooting deathly glare at her.

After making sure that she's out of hearing range, Stacie picks up the call and says, "How is she, Legacy?"

"She's... quite okay, Stace."

Stacie furrows her eyebrows, not convinced. "Are you sure?"

"Yeah. We talked about her situation, and she seems better now."

"She told you?" Stacie asks in surprise.

"Yep. But you know her, Stace. She'll tell you herself when she's ready."

Stacie sighs deeply and says, "I know. I'm just worried about her."

"Don't be. She's staying with me now, and we'll go back to L.A. together."

"Good."

"Listen, I called because there's something I need to ask about the reunion."

"Shoot."

"Why Beca just got the invitation yesterday? Didn't Aubrey send it to the rest of us like a month ago?"

Stacie groans before she says, "Aubrey thought that she won't come. So she didn't send it until I asked her to on Saturday."

"But it's okay now, right? No problem if Beca come?"

"Of course it's okay, Legacy. You know how Aubrey is. But I'm not so sure that Beca will come Kid. You know her."

"Well, she said she would."

"Really?" Stacie asks in surprise.

Then Emily chuckles from the other side. "I can be very convincing you know. One of the perks for being the youngest Bella in our generation, and the first aca-child."

"Good job, Legacy." Stacie says cheerfully. Then she hears Aubrey call her from the kitchen, and she hurriedly adds, "I've got to go Em. I'm in the middle of dinner."

"Oops... Okay. See you soon, leggy sister. Say hi from me to Baby Bella, Older Captain, and Mom."

"I will." Stacie ends the call and walks back into the dining room. She shots an apologetically smile to her wife before taking a seat and resumes eating.

"Who was it Babe?" Aubrey asks casually.

Stacie swallows her food before answering, "It's Emily. She said hi to all of you."

"Aunt Emmy?" Bella exclaims.

Stacie smiles toward her daughter and softly says, "Yes sweetie. She said hi to you."

Bella grins from ear to ear, and then resumes eating.

"Is something wrong with her plan to move here?" Aubrey asks.

"Nothing's wrong." Stacie says nonchalantly. "Beca is with her. So I asked her to keep me updated."

"How's she?" Chloe asks instantly.

"Legacy?" Stacie retorts with her attention on her plate. "She's fine. Way too excited for having her Pop. Just busy with the preparation to move here by the end of the week."

Annoyed by how dense her wife is, Aubrey rolls her eyes and says, "Chloe meant Beca, Babe."

Stacie stops chewing for a second, and then swallows her food before saying, "Emily said that she's feeling better. Beca is staying with her."

"Bec-Bec is with Aunt Emmy?" Bella asks excitedly.

Stacie turns to look at her daughter softly and says, "Yes princess. Bec-Bec is in Atlanta with Aunt Emmy now."

With her eyes widen in joy, Bella asks, "Can we go to Atlanta too Mommy?"

Both her mothers chuckle softly before Aubrey says, "Someday sweetie. Now, finish your dinner first."

Bella nods excitedly. On the other hand, Stacie nervously says, "Emily got Beca agreed to come to the reunion."

Chloe's eyes widen, and Aubrey gasps before she asks in surprise, "She did? How?"

"Oh... You don't know the power of Legacy's pout and puppy eyes over her Pop. It even trumps her Mom's." Stacie winks at Chloe who chuckle, and then she adds, "She got Beca wrapped around her fingers."

"Really?" Aubrey asks in comic surprise.

A memory flashes in Chloe's mind, and she laughs as she says, "Stace, do you remember how Beca drilled Benji before he took Emily on their first date?"

As the memory is coming back into her mind, Stacie laughs so hard and wipes the tears out from the corner of her eyes before saying, "I think he almost peed himself."

"Oh he would have if I had not dragged Beca away to the kitchen." Chloe says, grinning from ear to ear.

"What happened?" Aubrey asks curiously.

Stacie points her chin toward Chloe, asking the red head to tell the story.

"It was a couple of days after world championship." Chloe says, trying hard not to laugh before finishing the story. "Beca had been so grumpy the whole day since I told her that Emily was going to have a date night with Benji. She kept complaining that Emily was still a baby, and weren't supposed to be dating yet. And it didn't help her case at all when I was as excited as Legacy for the first date."

Then she barks out a laughter before continuing, "When Benji came over that night, wearing a tux, bringing pink roses for Emily, making smoke appeared around him, he was greeted by a very upset, very annoyed, and so not impressed Beca Mitchell."

After Chloe burst into a laughter and doesn't seem to be able to tell the whole story, Stacie took over. "Beca sat him down on the couch in the living room, and then she proceed to stand in front of him with her 5 foot 2 inches self, crossed arms, mad face, drilling him with questions that only Dad asked on her daughter's first date."

Then Stacie impersonates exactly the way Beca questioned the poor treble, even with Beca's voice. The three of them are laughing so hard by the end of the story while Bella just look at them with confused look.

Chloe manages to slip between laughter, wiping the tears away from the corner of her eyes as she says, "Be- Benji was sweating all over his body... I- I think he almost cried that night."

They laugh even louder. After the laughter unwind, Aubrey says in comic surprise, "I didn't know that Beca could be so protective toward Emily."

"We all did Babe." Stacie says matter-of-factly. "But Beca was the worst. Still is. Emily always went to her first if she was in trouble, and Beca spoiled that kid. Even more than she spoiled Chloe."

Chloe smiles softly and says, "Yeah. She even gave me a warning when I scolded Legacy after we lost that underground riff-off."

"Mom and Pop had a fight because of the aca-child." Stacie says, smirking at the red head.

"We were quite a pair back then." Chloe says with a fond smile. "I was the scolding Mom, and Beca was the spoiling Dad."

While Stacie is giggling, Aubrey is in awe, saying, "Wow. I still find it hard to believe that. I thought Chloe would be the spoiling one. And seeing how grumpy Beca is, I thought she was going to be the scolding one."

Stacie nods, rolling her eyes in a manner that says I know, before she explains, "Beca is such a Dad. You weren't there in our senior year. But the only person Beca couldn't be mad at was Legacy. After we reconnected, it's only getting worse especially since Emily and Ashley became close. They love teasing Shorty. One time they-"

"Legacy knew Ashley?" Chloe cuts Stacie off.

With a hesitant nod, Stacie cautiously says, "Well, some of us do Chloe. Legacy, Fat Amy, and me. I've told you we've met her several times. But uh... Legacy is the closest one. Maybe because she and Ashley are the same age."

"How could you?" Chloe asks with undeniable hurt in her eyes and voice.

Doesn't know how to respond, Stacie simply gives her an apologetically look. Seeing that her wife is torn between her two best friend, Aubrey grabs Chloe's hand gently and softly says, "Chloe, you can't blame them for trying to fit in Beca's life. She's their best friend too."

Although she seems hurt, Chloe nods her head lightly, smiling apologetically to her friends. After a moment of awkward silent, Chloe brings herself to ask, "Do you think Beca will tell Emily about the break up?"

Stacie looks at her wife, as if asking whether she should be telling the truth, and Aubrey gives her a light nod. Then she takes a deep breath and mutters, "Emily said she did."

"I'm gonna call Emily." Chloe stands up in an instant, taking her phone with her.

Aubrey pulls Chloe's hand immediately, dragging her back to her chair, trying to take her phone away.

"Bree..." Chloe says with a warning tone.

"Don't Bree me, Chlo." Aubrey says firmly. "You and I both know that it's not a good idea."

"She can call Emily if she wants." Stacie says surprisingly calm, resumes eating her dinner.

Upon seeing how Aubrey and Chloe are looking at her in confusion, Stacie swallows he food and calmly says, "Legacy won't say anything about it. She wouldn't even tell me earlier."

With a defeated sigh, Chloe sits back down on her chair.

"Give her the space she needs, Chloe." Aubrey says sympathetically, squeezing the red head's hand gently. "She asks you to give her that."

Chloe pulls her hand harshly from Aubrey and says in upset, "You're supposed to be supporting me, Bree. You're supposed to be on my side."

"I am on your side, Chloe." Aubrey says with reassuring look.

"Don't lie to me Bree." Chloe glares at her best friend. "You, Stacie, Emily. All of you are trying to protect Beca from me."

"Do you think I'm doing this for her?" Aubrey raises her voice. "To protect her?"

"You don't want me to be with her! You don't think I can love her better!"

With a long heavy sigh, Aubrey says as calm as she can, "I think, you need times too. I want you to have your space and time too. Think about yourself for once. I'm doing this for you. You haven't had a chance to think about yourself for a long time. There was Kristen before Beca. And now with Beca, you're just-"

"No!" Chloe snaps. "You think, with me loving her, it will drive her to go away again!"

"And why is that?" Aubrey asks, feeling upset now. "Why do you think we're all so afraid that she'll leave again?"

Seeing that the tension is raising from the beginning, Stacie had picked Bella up, and took her to her bedroom. It turns out to be a very great idea, because only a second after she shuts the bedroom door, she can hear Chloe yells, "Because she always has to be the one that's hurt! Because you think that she's the victim here! Because I was the one who kissed her first, and caused her a break-up! So you think I'm the one who's wrong!"

With a sarcastic scoff, Aubrey says, "And you know just how much I love that pain in the ass you love the most."

"Don't you ever belittling my feelings to her Bree!" Chloe points her index finger toward Aubrey furiously.

"Let me remind you, Chloe." Aubrey says in a low dangerous tone that slowly turns into a yelling. "Do you remember what happened to you after she left ten years ago? If you don't, then take your time to remember how miserable you were. How broken you were. And we! Stacie and I! We were there with you in Boston! We were there when you... we saw how you..." Now a lump is blocking her airway, so she clears it harshly. "And I, will never! Ever! Let you fall into that hole again!"

Upon seeing that Chloe is taken aback, Aubrey snaps, "So excuse me if I'm not fond of the idea you chasing her all over again! Frankly, I think it's the most stupid thing to do! Kristen was right about one thing! Beca will never love you the way you want! And even if she could, I! don't think that she deserves your time! Let alone your love! So for your sake, Chloe! Just get over her already!"

Aubrey is panting now, feeling so emotional after trying so hard to hold herself back in the last couple of days for Chloe's sake. On the other hand, Chloe stays in s catatonic state for a while until she breaks down in tears.

Then Aubrey instantly rushes to her and hugs her tightly as she mutters, "I'm so sorry, Chloe. I'm so, so sorry."

"I- I need you... in my corner, Bree..." Chloe says in between sobs.

As tears start running down her face, Aubrey says with restraint voice, "I'm always in you corner, Chloe... Stacie and I are. Always. That's why I can't let you hurt yourself again. You are better than this... You can do better than this... She is... I don't think she's good enough for you."

"But I love her, Bree..." Chloe cries. "I love her..."

"I know..." Aubrey kisses the top of her head. "I know sweetie... But you're hurting yourself by doing this. By loving her. And I can't... I just can't let you do this to yourself all over again."

However, Chloe shakes her head and sobs, "I can't, Bree... I can't if it's not her... please..."

Aubrey let out a damp ragged breath from her lips, simply consoling her not only broken-hearted friend, but her broken friend by hugging her tightly. After a long while, Chloe's tears subside into a soft sniffling.

"Let's get you to bed." Aubrey says softly.

Chloe nods lightly, sniffling and wiping the tears away from her face, still too shaken to stand on her own. Then Aubrey helps her up and takes her to her room. The blonds stays there, holding Chloe until she falls asleep before going back into her own bedroom that she shares with her wife.

Upon seeing how distraught her wife is, Stacie opens up her arms and softly says, "Come here Babe."

Without saying anything, Aubrey simply crawls into Stacie's warm embrace, and then Stacie holds her tightly and kisses the top of her head.

After a long while of silent moment, Aubrey says in barely a whisper, "I'm so scared for Chloe. I am so, so terrified, Babe."

"Me too." Stacie replies as worried. "We have to keep an eye on her."

"I just..." Aubrey says in frustration. "It's not that I don't sympathize with Beca's condition. But..."

"I know..." Stacie says in understanding, feeling that her wife can't finish her sentence. "I just got a text from Emily, and she said that Beca was thinking about disappearing again because she doesn't want to hurt Chloe and Ashley. So, let's just... keep this to ourselves for now."

"God!" Aubrey snaps. "Your shitty best friend is so... urgh!"

Stacie sighs heavily, tightens her arms around her wife, and says, "Let's not worry about Beca now. She got Em and Patrick. I've told Emily to not worry about Chloe but focus on Beca for now. We have to take care of Chloe."

"Good call." Aubrey says in defeat, but then she says with shaky terrified voice, "I just hope this won't tear The Bella apart. And we have yet telling the others. They are going to take side, Stace."

"I know." Stacie says tiredly. "We can't tell them yet. Let's just see how the reunion rolls out."

"Hmm."


Emily's Apartment, Atlanta: Tuesday Night

Beca and Emily are in the living room. It 's almost 11.00 PM, but they are still working on some songs together.

"I'm gonna get some wine. You want anything Pop?"

"Water, please." Beca replies without looking at Emily, too busy with the lyric she's been working on in the past couple of hours.

After Emily left to the kitchen, Beca grabs her phone, looking at her wallpaper, feeling the urge to call Ashley. It's almost 09.00 PM in L.A, and she's been missing the blonde so much. But she also wants to give Ashley her space.

Upon hearing a loud frustrated groan from her former captain, Emily says, "Call her Pop."

Beca is startled, jumping on the couch a little bit before she scolds, "You scared me, Kid."

"Oops... sorry." Emily chuckles while handing Beca a glass of water.

After taking a sip of her water, Beca sighs deeply and says, "I miss her so much Em. But I want to give her the space she needs."

"Hmmm..." Emily sips her wine, and suddenly an idea pops into her mind. She sits next to Beca and asks, "How long do you think it takes to produce some of these songs we've been working on today?"

Beca raises an eyebrow, looking at her in confusion.

"Produce and release them in the next couple of weeks for her."

"It's not that easy, Em." Beca says with bored-look. "We need to find the singers to sing them. Besides, I've produced so many songs for her. All of my songs in the past 5 years in fact. It must be getting old now."

Emily rolls her eyes before sarcastically says, "Yeah Pop. It must be getting old. No girl will be swoon at all for having songs dedicated for them for the rest of their life. And not only by any other producers, but by the almighty Beca Mitchell."

"We still need singers, Em." Beca says in mock annoyance. "Beca Mitchell or not, it won't be easy to find artists in such a short notice."

"Well," Emily smiles smugly. "First of, you'll have me. And I believe I can talk to Joe to do the duet. Second, you're best friend with JT, call him. And One D will be more than glad to sing the song you made, Zayn told me how they've been trying to work with you in the past years."

"Pfft..." Beca snorts. "One D huh?"

Emily simply wiggles her eyebrows up and down playfully.

"Hmmm..." Beca purses her lips, nodding absentmindedly with her head slightly tilted, trying to wrap her mind around the idea. "If you can pull that off, I think we can do this... maybe in three weeks or so."

"Finally!" Emily exclaims cheerfully while pulling Beca into a hug.

Beca pats her shoulder lightly and says, "Alright, alright. Let's not get ahead of ourselves. You still need to ask them."

"Oh, it will be no problem at all." Emily pulls away. "I'll call them tomorrow."

"Yeah." Beca says with a tight smile before putting her attention back on the music sheet.

"Hey Pop."

"Hm?" Beca responds without moving her eyes from the sheet in front of her.

"Why don't you sing for her?"

Beca sighs deeply, putting the sheet away, turning her head toward the tall brunette and says, "I've told you. I did sing for her. Right before she broke up with me."

"I mean in front of audience, Pop."

"I did." Beca replies impatiently. "At the karaoke bar, in front of 50-ish people, on our 5th anniversary. Remember?"

"How about in a larger crowd?" Emily asks stubbornly.

"You mean like a concert?"

Emily smiles widely, nodding excitedly as she says, "Something like that."

Beca averts her eyes, looking at the blank TV in front of her, deep in thought. She remains silent for a couple of minutes before she sighs deeply and says, "Donna told me this morning that MTV awards wants me to perform. Not DJ-ing, but singing."

"That's it!" Emily jumps on her seat. "What did you tell her?"

"I said I will think about it."

"Well, will you?"

"I don't know Em." Beca says hesitantly. "It's been forever since I sang in front of a huge scale of audience. The last time I did was in The World Championship. And not alone. I did it with all of you. And frankly, it was possible for me to do it because Chloe was there to encourage me. Besides, the show is in 7 months. Who knows what would happen between them."

"I think you still need to do that regardless whatever happen in between." Emily says with a hesitant smile. "I mean, not everything is always about Ashley. Or Chloe. Maybe it's time to dust away the anxiety of the crowds from your shelf."

Beca rubs her chin with her hand, pursing her lips, averting her eyes from side to side, thinking hard. Then after a moment of silent, she says, "We'll see. I'll talk to Donna and Harvey first."

"Great!" Emily exclaims.

"Now, enough talking about my life." Beca takes a sip of her water. "How's yours? Does Andre treat you well?"

"Aw..." Emily smiles teasingly. "Fulfilling your duty as a dad now, Pop?"

Beca scoffs lightly with a playful eyeroll, remembering how true Stacie and Fat Amy's words when they were still in college, that she was such a dad.

"Nah." Beca responds nonchalantly. "Just looking out for our baby bella. Besides, I was the one who introduced him to you."

Emily smiles fondly and says, "We're okay. He's been busy with the firm. Well, he's a junior partner in Harvey's firm in New York, of course he's always busy. But we can manage. We've been on and off for two years, you know. Our schedules hasn't been easy to be matched. But now that we're moving in together to L.A., hopefully it will get better."

"Hmmm..." Beca nods her head lightly. "But you're happy with him, right?"

Beaming in joy, Emily says, "Yes. He's so sweet and kind Pop. We were on and off because it wasn't easy for me to do long distance. But he's so patience with me. It assures me to move in together."

"Good." Beca says with a soft smile, and then her face turns into serious mode as she says, "But if he ever hurt you..."

Emily laughs and says, "He got the picture two years ago when you sat him down before our first date, Pop. To be honest, he's always been a little bit afraid of you."

"He should be." Beca says with cocky face.

"28 years old and still being treated like I'm 16." Emily says in disbelief.

Beca scoffs and says, "No offense Legacy. But you will always be our baby bella. No matter how old you are."

"Don't I know that." Emily rolls her eyes in half-annoyance. "Chloe still texts me every other day only to ask if I've been eating and sleeping well. And don't let me start with Stacie and Fat Amy. They still tease me like a little sister they never had."

"You know that we love you, Kid."

"Aw... I love you too Pop." Emily coos as she hugs the little brunette tightly.

"Okay, okay." Beca wiggles her way out of the hug. "I get it. Now let me go."

Emily lets her go with a bark of laughter, and then she says through a yawn, "I think I'm off to bed Pop."

"Sure. Go ahead."

Emily stands up and walks to her bedroom, but she stops half way and says, "Don't stay up too long Beca. Girlfriend or not, Ashley won't be happy if I let you stay up late."

"O...kay." Beca responds with bored tone. Then she keeps working on the song. It's not surprising when she passes out on the couch around three A.M.


Troian and Patrick's House: Wednesday Evening, October 1 st 2025

"Ashley!" Troian calls from outside of the room.

Ashley doesn't even bat her eyes and just keeps laying on the bed under the blanket.

"Oh for God's sake, Ashley. Get off this bed!" Troian commands from the bedside now.

"Am I still broken up with Beca?" Ashley asks with her voice muffled from under cover.

Troian sighs deeply and softly says, "Yes."

"Then I won't get out from this blanket."

"Ash, come on. Stop moping around." Troian pulls the blanket off the blonde.

Ashley rolls over, lying on her stomach and mumbles, "I'm broken-hearted. I can mop around as much as I want."

"It's been 5 days, Ash." Troian says in frustration. "People at work has been asking for you. I can only cover for you for so long. You know how it works with series. Everyday counts. Tomorrow you're going to PLL set."

Ashley groans loudly, peeking up a little as she says, "Tell them I'm sick and need some time off."

"I did." Troain says with her hands on her hips. "Now they insisted to visit you."

With another loud groan, Ashley picks herself up to sit with her back leaning on the headboards. It's obvious that she's holding back tears as she cracks, "I miss her, Troian. Every second and every minute."

Troian sits next to Ashley, rubbing her arm gently and patiently says, "Then call her. Ask her back."

"I can't." Ashley cracks while tears are welling up in her eyes. "I broke up with her. It'd be unfair if I do that now. Besides, she loves someone else."

Troian hugs her blonde friend from the side, pulling her closer by her shoulder. "What can we do to make you feel better? Movie night? Tubs of your favorite ice cream? Pizza?"

With dejected look, Ashley simply shakes her head weakly.

"Anything at all Ash?"

"Actually, can you please ask Patrick to call her?" Ashley says, glancing hesitantly to her best friend.

Troian narrows her eyes impatiently and says, "I don't think keep asking about her is a good idea. It won't help you to move on."

"I miss her Troian." A single tear runs down Ashley's face. "And I want to make sure that she's okay. Emily said that she hasn't been eating and sleeping well."

"It's not your problem anymore." Troian shakes her head firmly. "Instead, you need to make sure that you're okay."

With a heavy sigh, Ashley drops her head into her hand.

Doesn't have the heart to see her best friend so broken, Troian sighs and says, "I will ask Patrick to call her."

Ashley looks up at her with expectant sad look.

"But you promise that you will start going to work again tomorrow."

Instantly, Ashley nods repeatedly.

"And stop moping around."

After swallowing hard, Ashley nods again before saying, "But he has to call her here, on speaker." When she sees a worried look on Troian's face, she adds quickly, "I won't say a word. I just want to hear her voice. Please..."

Troian sighs in defeat and firmly says, "This is a one time thing, Ash. If you're not planning to get back together with her, you need to stop doing this kind of stuff. It won't do you any good."

With teary eyes, Ashley nods again.

"Patrick! Babe!"

Patrick runs into Ashley's room quickly, panting as he asks, "What is it? Everything okay?"

"Call Beca and put it on speaker." Troian says flatly.

"Why?" Patrick asks with furrowed eyebrows.

Troian huffs in half-annoyance and explains, "Ashley wants to know if she's okay. Plus, she wants to hear her voice."

With an eyebrow raised, Patrick says, "Not that I mind. But are you sure?"

Ashley nods again with a sad smile.

"Okay." Patrick says hesitantly. "Do you want to talk to her?"

"No." Ashley shakes her head immediately. "I just want to hear her voice."

Again, Patrick nods hesitantly, stealing a glance at his fiancé, earning a light nod from the brunette.

"Alright. Hold on a second." He says, pulling out his phone and dials Beca's number.

They wait a couple of rings until Beca pick up.

"Hey dude. Everything alright with Ashley?"

The worried tone in Beca's voice forms a longing smile on Ashley's face, and her heart flutters because her not so girlfriend anymore ask about her immediately.

"Hey bud." Patrick replies quickly, "Yeah, everything's fine. Just wanted to check in with you. How are you feeling?"

"I've been better. But uh... I think I'm feeling slightly better than 2 days ago."

Patrick suddenly becomes lost of word for a second.

"Hmmm... Are you sure everything's fine there Pat?"

"Yeah?" Patrick sounds unsure.

"Patrick, is Ashley alright? Because I swear to God if you lied to me, I will-"

"Easy Beca. She's been moping around. But physically, she's fine." Patrick says to reassure his best friend, earning a glare from Ashley. They can hear Beca's breath, sighing in relief.

"Is she taking a good care of herself?"

Patrick and Troian immediately looks at Ashley, who is signaling her friends to lie for her.

"No, she's not." Patrick says, staring at Ashley with daring look. "She barely eat and she won't go to work."

Then Ashley glares at him, but he ignores her.

"Please tell her that I've been doing what she asked. I've been taking care of myself, and she should be doing the same."

"I think she could hear that herself." Patrick says with teasing mean face toward Ashley. It's his effort, trying to help her best friends getting back together.

Troian puts her hand on her mouth, holding her laughter while Ashley jumps and slaps Patrick's arm, whispering with a sharp tone, "What are you doing?"

They can hear Beca chuckle on the phone, revealing that she has heard Ashley's voice. Then she softly says, "Tell her I miss her and I love her. Then tell her that I will wait as long as she wants, that I will prove her that she's the one that I love."

Ashley is grinning from ear to ear, failing so miserably to hide the joy she feels upon hearing Beca's words.

"Messages delivered right away dude." Patrick says with a sly smile. "If you know what I mean."

Ashley shots another half-heartily glare at her best friend's fiancé, still with the same wide grin on her face. She can hear that Beca is laughing on the other side of the line.

"I don't know what you mean dude. But I think your phone call just made my day. Thanks man."

"You're welcome bud." Patrick smirks.

"Listen dude. I kinda lost my favorite navy hoodie. I don't suppose that you've seen it lately, maybe in the last couple of days?

Upon hearing the teasing tone, Ashley's eyes widen and her cheeks are flushing red in the matter or seconds.

"Huh." Patrick looks at the hoodie Ashley's been wearing since she stayed with him and Troian. "Navy hoodie, huh? The color is a little bit faded, it's a little bit ripped by the end of the left sleeve, has a small headphone stitched with golden thread on the left chest?"

"Yeah, that one. Have you seen it?"

"Nope. Haven't seen it in my whole life dude. Sorry." Patrick says with a knowing tone.

"Huh. It's weird. For someone who haven't seen it in your whole life, you sure could describe it awfully well."

"I did, didn't I?" Patrick retorts, earning another chuckle from the tiny brunette. "Anything else you want to ask?"

Ashley drops her head in her hands; feeling embarrassed while Troian tries failingly to hold her laughter.

"Oh, hey."

"Hm?" Patrick responds while Ashley peeks her head up.

"Supposedly, there is a blonde with a pair of mesmerizing blue eyes listening to this, I just want to tell her, please take a really good care of herself. Nobody likes a hypocrite."

The half-playful half-warning tone makes Ashley blushing red even more from her neck up to the tip of her ears.

"She?" Patrick glances her eyes toward Ashley knowingly. "Huh. I mean I'm a blonde. And Troian loves my mesmerizing blue eyes. But the last time I checked, I'm definitely not a she."

They hear Beca laugh again, and Ashley can tell that the brunette is laughing while rolling her eyes.

"I did say a she, didn't I?"

"Yep." Patrick pops the P.

"Well... I did it on purpose. Anything else dude?"

"No. That's all. You take care, okay?"

"I will."

Then Patrick ends the call.

"Happy now?" Troian asks playfully.

Ashley nods, grinning from ear to ear as she grabs the pillow beside her, and presses it on her face to soften the scream of joy she's been holding.

Patrick chuckles softly yet Troian rolls her eyes with a hint of joy.

"Dinner?" Troian asks after Ashley lifts her head from the pillow, still with a huge grin on her red face.

Ashley nods happily, standing up to follow her best friends to the living room.

"Shay is gonna kill you." Patrick says in mock warning tone.

"Nu uh." Ashley replies with undeniable happiness in her voice and her face. "She is gonna kill you, because you are the one who call Beca."

Patrick shakes his head lightly, failing to hide the grin on his face as he says, "Huh. I guess it's worth it then, seeing how happy you are. I bet grumpy is feeling the same now."

Troian laces her fingers with her fiancé's, and then says with a fond smile, "No one's getting killed. I'll make sure of that."

"I love you Babe." Patrick says before kissing Troian's hand.

"I love you too." Troian replies softly.


Atlanta: Emily's Apartment, After the Phone Call

Emily studies her former captain's face who just came back from taking a phone call.

"You look way too happy for someone who's heart had just been broken a few days ago." Emily says with curious look as Beca takes a seat in front of her.

With a failing effort to suppress her goofy grin, Beca simply shrugs.

"Nu uh." Emily narrows her eyes. "Something must've happened. Spill pop."

Beca rubs her neck nervously, feeling the heat creeping up to her cheeks.

"Ashley called you!"

"No." Beca says, biting her bottom lip so hard. "She didn't. But Patrick did."

Emily simply stares with her doubtfully.

Beca chuckles and explains, "Patrick called me. And I'm pretty sure that Ashley was listening the whole time. Actually, I think she was the one who ask Patrick to call me."

After getting the full version of story about the phone call from the tiny brunette, Emily smiles teasingly and says, "No wonder you look like Santa just gave you two unicorns. And it's not even Christmas yet."

Beca laughs joyfully before she says, "You have no idea. She misses me, Em. Maybe I still have a chance."

"What are we waiting for then? Let's get to work."

Then Beca nods excitedly, and they continue the discussion of the songs again.

 

Chapter Text

 

Beca and Ashley's Mansion: L.A., Thursday Evening, October 2 nd 2025

Once she's at home, Beca immediately goes to her bedroom after greeting her puppies, who follow her to the bedroom, taking their place by the foot of the bed. She's missed Ashley so much, and their bedroom is the closest thing that has Ashley's touch in it.

She showers, calls Donna that she's already back to L.A., eats and takes her meds, and then drops onto the bed, inhaling the faded scent of her ex-girlfriend from her pillow. She can feel a warm feeling in her chest only by lying on their bed, and a content smile appears on her face.

Not long after, she falls asleep, but in the middle of the night, she wakes up from a nightmare. Knowing that she can't fall back to sleep, she decides to work on her songs.


L.A., Friday, October 3 rd 2025

Beca is so lost in her work until she realizes that it's already 07.00 in the morning. So she decides to have some exercises in the gym room downstairs. She spends almost two hours running on treadmill, cycling, lifting weight, then has breakfast, and showers.

She's glad to see that the two puppies follow her closely around the house. She takes some pictures of those puppies, and sends them to Patrick, knowing how much Ashley must have missed them. She puts down a tagline, tell her that her stupid dogs miss her.

A reply comes instantly from Patrick, stating, is it the stupid dogs that miss her, or their dorky mama that misses their Mommy? Beca simply rolls her eyes playfully, but doesn't send any reply.

She's supposed to be on a break, but since she and Emily have decided to produce some songs, it means that she has to go to the studio that day. They works together the whole day, and suddenly, it's already 06.36 PM, and Emily has been so nervous for hours.

It's been hours since Emily keep stealing glances at her former captain, gathering her courage to ask Beca about Chloe. She finally make up her mind, taking a deep breath before she says, "Pop, it's Friday."

"Yeah Em." Beca keeps her eyes on the sheet in her hand. "I kinda have my own calendar to tell me that."

"I think you're forgetting something very important." Emily says cautiously.

Beca looks up and stares at her, pursing her lips, rubbing her chin gently with her eyebrows furrowed. Suddenly, her eyes widen and then she slaps her forehead hard. "Chloe!"

"Ye...a." Emily says with an apologetic smile.

"I totally forgot." Beca says with her hands pressing her temple, and her face showing panic.

Emily can see that her former captain is freaking out. "Breathe Beca..."

"What am I gonna do?" Beca mutters in frustration.

With a heavy sigh, Emily asks, "I just want to ask you one more time. Are you sure that it's Ashley?"

"Yeah." Beca says weakly without hiding the remorse.

"Well..." Again, Emily sighs deeply before asking, "Are you ready to tell Chloe about your decision?"

Beca blows out one hell of a long breath, biting her bottom lip nervously before she says, "This is Chloe we're talking about. I don't think I'll ever be ready, Em."

It takes a while of thinking before Emily puts her hand on Beca's shoulder and says, "Then it won't matter if you tell her today or tomorrow. Just... I think it's better to get it over with. I've never been in her position, but I do know that waiting in uncertainty doesn't feel good. Especially when you don't come bearing a good news. The longer you wait, the more miserable she will be, and the harder it will hit her."

Beca turns to look at the younger bella, seems torn between sad and regret, sighing deeply before she says in defeat, "You're right. It's not fair for her. Getting Ashley back or not, I know how I feel now. I'll call her and set up a meeting."

"Set up a meeting?" Emily dumbfounded. "Are you thick? Beca, she's not one of your clients."

"No. You're right." Beca mutters, biting her thumbnail; a habit she picked up from Ashley whenever she was freaking out. Then she paces around her office, trying to figure out a solution.

Emily approaches her slowly before cautiously says, "I might have an idea."

"Shoot." Beca says instantly.

"Let's go to Stacie's place." Emily says without hesitation.

Beca's jaw drops; she's in shock, and then she shakes her head lightly as she frantically says, "To Aubrey's house?! Are you out of your mind?! I might not survive the night, Kid!"

"Well," Emily says matter-of-factly. "I didn't say that it was a good idea. Besides, she'll need Aubrey and Stacie when it's all over."

It's frustrating for Beca. She runs her fingers through her hair, folds her hands to make a breaking sound on her knuckles, and then rubs her forehead nervously. It's indeed not a good idea, but she doesn't have another choice either. Besides, Emily's right. Chloe will need her best friends.

"You're right." Beca says through a heavy sigh.

Emily's jaw drops in shock that the DJ agreed to her idea. Then she asks hesitantly, "Are you sure?"

"Are you fucking kidding me now?" Beca looks at Emily in disbelief. "It's your fucking idea, Em!"

"Right." Emily shakes off her stunned face. "Let's uh... go to Stacie's."

"Wait." Emily says when Beca grabs her jacket. Then Beca stares at her in confusion, and she says, "Do you know what you're gonna say? How you're gonna tell her? I mean, this is Chloe we're talking about Pop. She uh... let's just say that not taking it well will be an understatement. When it comes to you, she uh..."

Still, Beca just stares at her with confusion, waiting for her to finish her sentence.

Then Emily lets out a heavy sigh and says, "Nevermind. Just... be sure that you do it cautiously."

"There's something you're not telling me, Em." Beca says with a warning look.

"I uh..." Emily says nervously. "I don't think I'm the right person to tell you, and this is not the right time."

When Beca folds her arms on her chest with I'm waiting for your explanation look, Emily tiredly says, "Let's go Pop. Knowing her, she must've been waiting for you anxiously."

Beca closes her eyes, blowing out a long steady breath before saying, "Okay."

Emily simply gives her a sympathetic smile and a gently squeeze on her shoulders. Then they both head to Stacie's place in their own cars. The drive to their destination takes around 30 minutes because of the traffic.

Once they arrive and already standing in front of the door, Beca can feel a rush of panic wash all over her again. She closes her eyes, and shakes her hands to shake off the nerves while blowing out a long ragged breath.

With a worried look, Emily asks, "You ready, Pop?"

Beca clenches her hands beside her thighs, pressing her lips tightly and then nods slightly. Then Emily squeezes her shoulder, trying to give her former captain a little support before reaching her other hand to press the bell.

"Wait!" Beca stops her half way.

Emily drops her hand, looking at the brunette with her eyes narrowed.

"If." Beca starts with pure fear written all over her face. "If I uh... don't make it, cou- could you please tell Ashley that I love her?"

Emily chuckles very lightly, knowing how afraid Beca of her Aca-Nazi Captain -in the terms of Fat Amy. With a playful eye roll, she says, "Tune down the drama a notch there, Pop. Stacie and I will make sure that Aubrey won't kill you. You'll be fine."

"No. I'm not." Beca looks so terrified, and then she swallows hard. "I'm gonna hurt Chloe so badly. I don't think I'll be fine, Em."

"Well, about that..." Emily says hesitantly, "You shouldn't be. But uh... every decision has its own consequences."

Nodding her head dejectedly, Beca simply says, "I know."

"Just promise that you will stay with her." Emily says sympathetically. "As the best friend that she needs. You can't leave again, Beca. If you do... it will hit her, us, so much worse than telling her that you choose Ashley."

Trying to find some assurance, Beca simply stares at Emily in remorse. After a while, she sighs deeply and nods lightly.

Emily squeezes Beca's hand again before pressing the bell, and this time Beca doesn't stop her. She rings the bell once but nobody opens the door.

"Maybe they're going out Kid." Beca sounds a little bit relief.

"No way." Emily furrows her eyebrows, and then she presses the bell again. "All of their cars are in the drive way."

The door swings opened, and someone is surprise to see Beca and Emily.


Posen-Conrad's House: Friday Evening.

It's 07.48 PM, they just finished dinner, and sitting down in the living room because Bella wanted to watch a cartoon.

Stacie and Aubrey sit with their daughter between them, while Chloe is pacing around the living room, grabbing her phone tightly like her life is depended on it, and her eyes keep glancing at the clock on the wall.

Aubrey is getting impatient upon seeing her best friend freaking out as the time ticks by, but she doesn't say anything. Turns out, she isn't the only one who feels that way.

"Aunt Chowee." Little Bella pouts at her aunt. "Stop walking around. I'm dizzy."

Chloe simply gives her niece a weak smile, and then takes a seat on the couch.

"What is it that makes you squirm like a fish out of the water?" Stacie asks her jokingly.

Chloe throws her a deathly glare, but resumes bouncing her legs up and down.

On the other hand, knowing Chloe inside out, Aubrey sighs and answers her wife's question, "It's already Friday, and Beca hasn't called yet."

"Oh." Stacie's face turns to be apologetic. "Sorry Chloe."

Chloe nods without looking at her tall brunette best friend. Suddenly, their bell rings, earning confused look from the couple, and Aubrey asks, "Are any of you expecting some one?"

Still with confused look, Stacie shakes her head lightly, while Chloe is too distracted to pay any attention at all. The bell rings once again, and Stacie stands up as she says, "I'll go get it."

Stacie is stunned to see a very distraught Beca, and a seem to be nervous Emily are standing in front of her house.

"Hi Stace." Emily waves her hand in front of the older tall brunette.

Stacie pulls out from her little heart attack, shaking her head lightly, immediately pulling the younger bella in a tight hug. "Legacy!"

"I've missed you, leggy sister!" Emily exclaims with the same enthusiasm as she hugs Stacie back as tight.

"What are you doing here?" Stacie asks excitedly. "I thought you were going to move here by Sunday."

"I was supposed to." Emily says. "But I finished everything earlier than I thought I would. So here I am."

Beca clears her throat and says, "I'm sorry for breaking up this happy reunion. But uh... Hi, Legs."

Emily and Stacie turn their head toward the tiny brunette, forgetting for a moment that she's there too.

"Beca!" Stacie exclaims, pulling Beca in her arms. "You're back!"

"Yeah..." Beca pats her back awkwardly. "Um... I'm okay, Stace. You can let go."

Stacie pulls away from her former captain, grinning from ear to ear, but then shoves her shoulder as she says, "You could've told me that you're coming with Emily."

With nervous look, Beca grimaces and says, "Uh... surprise?"

Stacie chuckles lightly, taking a step back into the house as she says, "Come on in you two. Wait until Aubrey and Chloe see the both of you."

The three of them walk into the house, and when they are close behind Bella, Stacie cheerfully says, "Bells, look who's here."

Aubrey and Bella turns their head in unison. Aubrey's jaw drops widely, while the little blonde jumps off her seat, rushing her way to Beca and shouts, "Bec-Bec!"

"Omph!" Beca exaggerates as she kneels half way down to pick Bella up. All of her worries vanishes as she holds Bella in her arm. "Hey Smurfette! Wow. You're getting bigger. What are you? Seventeen now?"

"I'm only four, silly." Bella rolls her eyes -one of the quirks she's learnt from Beca, and then she kisses Beca's cheek.

Beca laughs and ruffles the little blonde's hair gently. While from behind, Emily puts her hands on her hips, mocking to be upset when she says, "Well, well, well Bells... Now I know who your favorite aunt is."

"Aunt Emmy!" The toddler shrieks and leans her body toward her youngest aca-aunt. Beca hands her over to Emily, and then turns her head to see Aubrey, who's still dumbfounded with her mouth wide open.

"You might want to pick you jaw up from the floor there, Posen." Beca plays off her anxiety by joking.

Aubrey shakes her head lightly to get out of the trance. She stands up, walking slowly toward the tini DJ with Stacie and Emily's eyes glued on her, afraid of her reaction. Once she stands in front of Beca, she crosses her arms on her chest, looking up and down, studying her successor with unreadable face.

Other than swallowing hard, Beca doesn't dare to move or say anything more, waiting for the inevitable rage, or worse, the infamous pukegate. However, she's stunned when her former captain wraps her arms around her shoulders, giving her a warm hug.

"It's good to finally see you again, humpty dumpty." Aubrey says softly. After pulling away and seeing the very shocked tiny brunette with her dumbfounded face, Aubrey simply chuckles lightly.

On the other hand, Beca blinks slowly, trying to wrap her mind around the reality that had never crossed her mind; being warmly greeted by General Posen(-Conrad) after all of the shenanigans she had done over 10 years ago, and last week to Chloe. She stays in her stupor until Stacie pokes her back from behind. Then she clears her throat and stutters, "It's uh... good to see you too, Aubrey."

Aubrey smirks, feeling glad that she still has that effect on the alt girl with her not so many anymore ear monstrosities. She points her chin to Beca's ear and says, "Guess something's never changed, huh?"

Easing down from her terrified phase when Aubrey seems to be calm, Beca smirks back and says, "Can't say the same about you. Guess being a mother has rounded your edges."

"I'll take that as a compliment. Thank you." Aubrey says smugly, earning a little chuckle from Stacie and Emily.

"Oh. Don't thank me." Beca smiles softly toward her blonde niece. "I'm the one who should be thanking your smurfette over there."

Aubrey averts her eyes, following Beca's to her daughter, and loving smile appears on her face as she says, "She's definitely something else, isn't she?"

On the other side of the room, Chloe is too shocked to say anything for a while. She stays on her corner, standing up quietly, watching the woman she loves interacting with the Posen-Conrad family.

Eventually, Chloe gains her senses back. She clears her throat lightly, pulling the attentions of everybody else in that room to her.

Finally aware of Chloe's presence, Beca can feel the nerves strikes back into her, sucking the air out of her lungs. She puts one hand in her jeans pocket, while the other one rubbing the back of her neck nervously, and her feet shuffling back and forth. Then she takes a deep breath before nervously says, "Didn't see you there, Red."

Chloe rushes her way to Beca, can't hold the sudden urge to pull the tiny brunette into her deathly grip. As soon as Beca is in her warm embrace, she whispers in relief, "Becs."

"Hi Chlo." Beca says softly while patting Chloe's back gently. "You okay?"

"Am now." The odd this is, Chloe doesn't pull away. Instead, she closes her eyes, kissing the side of Beca's head, inhaling the unfamiliar scent of the brunette, and let it sinks into her lungs, giving a ticklish sensation in her stomach.

If the other people don't know any better, they would've thought that Beca just came back from being deployed in a war zone.

Emily, Stacie, and Aubrey just watch that moment with warmth filling in their chest. They can see that not only happiness, but also this sense of being content pouring out from the red head. No one dares to interrupt. Well, no one but the oblivious little blonde in Emily's arms.

"Where's Aunt Asheey, Bec-Bec?" Bella asks innocently.

Chloe feels like her heart drops down when her niece asks about Ashley. She pulls away slowly, putting the calmest smile she can manage, and then takes Beca's hand in hers, holding it tightly as if Beca could disappear any second.

After giving a soft smile to Chloe, Beca turns around to see the little blonde, and answers, "She uh... couldn't come tonight. She said hi though."

"I've missed her." Bella frowns.

Beca automatically walks closer to Bella, but the red head doesn't let go of her hand. So she walks toward her niece with Chloe towed close behind her.

Bella immediately leans forward, asking Beca to hold her, and the brunette takes her with one arm before she says with a fond smile, "She misses you too smurfette. But she's uh... busy tonight. Maybe next time. Is that alright?"

Bella nods lightly while the other three Bellas are still in their haze after seeing the reunion of Beca and Chloe. But Emily comes to her senses, walking toward Aubrey and hugs her as she teases, "Looking good, General."

With a light laughter, Aubrey says, "You too, legacy."

Then Emily pulls away and greets Chloe with a short awkward hug because the red head won't let go of Beca's hand.

"Hi Chloe." Emily says with a soft smile, which Chloe returns with the same effort as she says, "It's been a while Em."

After that, they are wrapped with nerve-wrecking air, and Aubrey is the one who takes initiative. She reaches out her arms in front of her daughter and says, "Come on sweetie. It's time for you to sleep."

Bella buries her face into the crook of Beca's neck, shaking her head lightly and mumbles, "No Mommy. I want to play with Bec-Bec and Aunt Emmy. I've missed them. Please..."

"It's passed your bed time, Bells." Aubrey says more firmly, not dropping her arms down.

With glassy eyes, Bella stares at her blonde mom, pouting and showing her best puppy eyes as she pleads, "Please Mommy. Please..."

Stacie and Beca chuckles lightly, knowing that Aubrey will fold for this plead. Nobody dismisses the request from the baby bella, especially when she use her super power; the super puppy eyes and pout that can even melt the stone hard heart of an evil queen.

After dropping her arms down in defeat, Aubrey says with soft warning look, "30 minutes. Okay pumpkin?"

Bella immediately nods excitedly.

The adults can't help but laugh lightly, and then they resume watching the cartoon. Aubrey and Stacie sit together on the one couch, while Beca sits with Bella on her laps, in between Emily and Chloe on the other one.

Beca is feeling a little bit overcrowded because of the body contact. Chloe hasn't let go of her hand, sitting closely with their arms and thighs pressed to each other's. Thankfully, Emily knows how she is, and puts a little distance between them.

"I'm getting drinks for all of us. Any request?" Stacie asks.

"I can use some wine." Emily chimes in.

Chloe and Aubrey nod while Beca says, "Just water please."

"Just water?" Aubrey asks with an eyebrow raised. She remembers that Beca had never refused any drinks in college. "Huh. This is new."

Beca just smiles in return, and Stacie immediately says, "Okay then. I'll go grab it."

Aubrey stands up and says, "I'll help you."

"Bec, do you have a favorite princess?" Bella asks.

Beca kisses Bella's crown, and puts her chin on the top of her crown gently before softly replies, "I do."

"Who?" Bellas asks again.

"Hmmm..." Beca drags her answer. "Rapunzel. Not the one from the book. But from the movie Tangled."

Bella claps her hands and excitedly says, "I like her too."

With a fond smile, Beca pokes the little blonde on her cheek and asks, "Why do you like her?"

"Hmmm..." Bella tilts her chin slight as if she's thinking hard. "Because she's pretty, and has blonde hair like me. She's also funny, and smart, and brave."

"She is, isn't she?" Beca says with a light chuckle.

"Yeah." Bella looks up at Beca over her shoulder, grinning from ear to ear. "Like Mommy."

"Sure." Beca replies before kissing Bella's forehead.

Chloe is more than charmed by the way Beca interacting with Bella. All of the other Bellas are great with kid, but not Beca. She is the grumpy one. It was not a secret back in college that Beca avoided interaction with children like a plague.

According to the college tiny brunette, kids were loud, sticky, clingy, and many other unpleasant stuff that made her beyond uncomfortable. However, the adult Beca Mitchell is surprisingly great with kid.

"How about you Aunt Emmy?" Bella turns her head toward her youngest aunt.

"Mulan." Emily says without hesitation. "She's brave and strong, defending her country even when she's underestimated as a woman."

"I like her too." Bella says cheerfully.

Then Chloe leans downward to kiss the little blonde on her cheek, and softly says, "It seems like you love every princesses out there, princess."

With her eyes so bright and a smile so wide, Bella looks at Chloe and says, "Yes, Aunt Chowee. But my most favorite one is Ariel."

"And why is that?" Chloe asks with a soft smile.

Bella climbs on her godmother's lap, and kisses her cheek before she answers, "Because she's pretty like you, she has a red hair like you, and she has a beautiful voice like you. And I love you."

The answer certainly touches Chloe's heart and makes her happy. Chloe grins from ear to ear, kissing the toddler dearly while Beca and Emily looks at them with a soft smile.

Then Bella's mothers come back to the living room with a tray of wine and glasses. They pour the drink for all of them but Beca, who opts to sip her water instead.

There's only one heart,
Beating between us
One rhythm made from two
This is the one love,
We can be sure of
You are me, I am you

Suddenly, You Are Me I Am You by Dave Koz, is heard from Beca's pocket. Upon hearing that ringtone, Beca pulls out her phone immediately, smiling ever so softly after seeing Ashley's sleeping face on the screen.

Then she jumps off her seat, pulling her hand from Chloe's -failed to notice the shock and hurt in Chloe's eyes, before she rushes toward the stairs, stumbling and tripping over her feet, but she manages to sit on the stairs without any injury.

"Hi." Beca says, panting but grinning.

"Hi."

They both remain silent for a moment before Beca finally softly whispers, "I've missed you."

Beca can hear Ashley is sighing deeply from the other side. Before any of them say anything more, Beca hears a bark from Ashley's side.

"Is... Is that olive?"

"Yeah, it's olive. Actually... I'm at your place right now."

A pang hits Beca's chest when Ashley said your place.

"Ash, it's our place. Our home." Beca cracks out.

"Beca, I-"

"Come home, please." Beca cuts her off with pleading. "It's not the same without you. I- I don't know how to sleep on my own."

Again, Ashley sighs deeply and says, "I can't do this right now."

"Okay, okay." Beca says hurriedly, afraid that Ashley will end the call. "Let's not talk about us."

They fall into silent again shortly, and then Ashley says in mock upset tone, "I got the picture of my stupid dogs from Patrick."

Beca chuckles lightly and says, "Yeah. Your stupid dogs missed you."

"They're not stupid, Beca. If they are, you need to remember that they're your stupid dogs too."

The playful tone in Ashley's voice coming with a light laughter flutters Beca's chest with joy. Without hiding the excitement in her voice, Beca asks, "Do you want me to come home? I can be there in 15."

"No. It's okay, Beca. I'm only here to grab some of my stuff."

Beca's smile falters in an instant. She closes her eyes, trying to hold the fear in when she asks, "You're not moving out, are you?"

It takes a while until Ashley finally answers, "No. Not yet."

"Then don't." Beca says in relief, but then she takes a deep breath, biting her bottom lip before she says without hesitation, "I don't want to break up with you. Ever. But if it comes down to that, if that's what you really want, then I'll be the one who move out. I signed the land and all of the properties in your name from the beginning, and don't worry about the mortgage. I've taken care of it."

"Beca, it's your house. I can't-"

"No." Beca cuts her off. "I've made up my mind. You can do whatever you want with that place. It's yours anyway. Just tell me if you want me to move out."

After another short silent moment, Ashley softly says, "I don't want you to move out. We'll talk about this, but not now."

Feeling a bit of hope creeps into her mind, Beca sighs in relief.

"Uh... where are you?"

"I'm at Stacie's."

"Oh, Baby Belle. I've missed her."

Beca chuckles lightly and then says, "She said the exact same thing about you when I arrived." She pauses, gathering her courage to ask, "Do you mind if we uh... do face time? I mean, with smurfette."

"Hmmm..." Beca knows that Ashley is hesitant, so she's taken aback when the blonde says, "Sure."

"Hold on." Beca grins unbearably happy, and she immediately ends the phone call before video calling Ashley. As soon as she dials Honey, Ashley's face appears instantly on the screen.

Beca smiles goofily, looking at Ashley's tired yet still beautiful face. She can see that Ashley's face is lack of the usual spark, and her eyes have dark circles yet they still lit up, hopefully because of seeing her again after a week without any communication. She's lost in a moment, thinking that she's missed the blonde much more than she'd thought.

Upon seeing Beca's loving and fond eyes yet goofy smile staring at her, Ashley chuckles lightly. With her cheeks flushing red, she says, "Dork."

Beca's smile grows wider as she says, "Still your dork hopefully."

Ashley's cheeks become as red as Beca's maroon hoodie she's wearing. But she clears her throat and says, "I thought I was going to face timing with Baby Belle."

"Oh, right. Hold on a second." Beca says, skipping down the stairs, heading to her niece who are now sitting on Emily's lap.

"Hey smurfette." Beca kneels and holds her phone in front of Bella. "Look who's here."

"Aunt Asheey!" Bella exclaims.

"Baby Belle!" Ashley replies with the same excitement.

Aubrey, Stacie, and Chloe whip their heads immediately toward Bella while Emily takes the phone from Beca's hand, holding it for herself and Bella.

"Hi, Benzo." Emily says with a smirk.

"Oh my God." Ashley gasps. "When did you get here, Junk? I thought you'd be here on Sunday."

"I was. But I finished things earlier and decided to get here with Pop. Surprise." Emily explains.

"We should totally catch up. Promise you'll call." Ashley says excitedly.

Emily grins and says, "I planned to call you tomorrow. How about lunch?"

"Lunch sounds good. Text me where."

"Aunt Emmy, I want to talk to Aunt Asheey too." Bella pouts, earning chuckles from the adults around her, even Chloe.

"Hey Baby Belle."

"Aunt Asheey." Bella pouts. "I've missed you."

"Aw... I've missed you too, but I'm uh... busy tonight sweetie." Ashley says softly, and then she holds her phone in front of her puppies. "Look who have missed you too."

"Owiv! Walter!" Bella exclaims happily, earning excited barks from the puppies.

After speaking with Bella for a while, Ashley eventually says, "Belle, I'm sorry, but Aunt Ashley need to go. Can you give the phone back to Bec-Bec?"

Bella nods and then hands the phone to Beca, who is sitting on the floor in front of her.

"Hi." Beca says with the same goofy smile on her face, standing up and walking toward the stairs again; unaware that the red head is watching her.

"There's something I need to ask you."

Beca swallows hard and mutters, "Yeah?"

"Do you mind if I take olive and walter to Troian's for a week or so? I miss having them around."

Sighing in relief, Beca says, "Of course you can. They're your babies." Then an idea comes into her mind and she cautiously asks, "But uh... can I like, you know, visit them sometimes?"

Ashley stares at her with puzzled look.

"I mean," Beca says shyly, and her cheek is blushing. "They're my stupid dogs too, you know. I might miss having them around."

Ashley chuckles lightly and says, "Sure."

Beca grins from ear to ear, feeling ecstatic for a possibility to meet her ex-girlfriend.

"Ash! Let's go!" Beca hears Troian's voice, yelling from the other side.

"Coming!" Ashley yells back over her shoulder before turning back to her phone, failing to hide the frown on her face as she says, "I've got to go, Beca."

"Um... Yeah. Talk to you soon?" Beca asks with expectant look.

Ashley sighs with a soft smile, and then nods before ending the video call.

Feeling happy after seeing Ashley, Beca walks back into the living room, skipping on her feet with a huge grin on her face. She sits back to her place before, and Chloe immediately holds her hand tightly.

Beca simply gives Chloe a smile in return. They watch the cartoon for a couple of minutes until Aubrey finally speaks up.

"Let's get you to bed, sweetie." Aubrey says softly as she approaches her daughter.

"Mommy..." Bella pouts.

Aubrey sighs, but says firmly yet with soft tone, "Isabelle, you agreed to 30 minutes."

Bella's eyes become teary, and her lips are trembling. Upon seeing that her daughter is on the edge of crying, Stacie says, "Bells, how about Mama take you to bed, and Aunt Chloe will sing for you?"

Asking for confirmation, Bella stares at her godmother with puppy eyes. Even though Chloe is reluctant to leave Beca, but she can't refuse her niece's request. So she nods with a soft smile.

With a joyful smile, Bella finally nods lightly before looking at Beca and Emily back and forth as she asks, "Will I see you again soon?"

"Of course smurfette." Beca kisses her forehead. "Promise."

"And Aunt Asheey too?" Bella looks at Beca with glassy eyes.

Beca smiles sadly, taking a moment to think of how to answer the little blonde, and then she says, "She would love to see you soon, munchkin."

Then Emily holds Bella up, and kisses her cheek before saying, "Yep. You'll see me again. Even when you're tired of me."

After that, Stacie takes Bella in her arms, walking upstairs with Chloe, who let go off Beca's hand reluctantly, leaving Emily, Beca and Aubrey in the living room. To say that the situation is awkward and tense will be an understatement.

"So, Beca." Aubrey starts nonchalantly. "How's life?"

Beca looks at her nervously and replies, "It's uh... good. I guess."

"Huh." Aubrey says strangely calm. "Good. I've heard from Stacie and Bella that you've met them several times since we've moved here."

"Er... yeah, actually." Beca says, almost in panic. "But please don't be mad at Stacie. The first time we met was a coincidence. I hope you don't mind, because Ashley and I just click with Bella."

"Hm." Aubrey says with a light smile. "My daughter seems to like you and Ashley very much."

"I guess so." Beca smiles softly, thinking back to the time she and Ashley spent with Bella. "She's something else. And Ashley loves her. Keep asking to spend more time with your Baby Belle."

"It's nice to know that Bella has such a charm." Aubrey replies with soft smile.

"You have no idea." Beca scoffs playfully. "One pout and Ashley will comply. Or to be more precise, begs me to comply. One time, I had to leave the office early because Ashley insisted to have lunch at Stacie's office with Bella."

Emily chuckles lightly and says, "Just wait until I join their forces Pop."

"I can't say I'm waiting eagerly." Beca rolls her eyes playfully.

Aubrey laughs lightly, and then says, "Bella has the best teacher for that."

Beca raises an eyebrow questioningly.

"Chloe." Aubrey says matter-of-factly.

"Yeah, right." Beca says in mock annoyance. "The famous Beale's pout and puppy eyes."

"Speaking about Chloe," Aubrey says nonchalantly. Yet somehow Beca feels like she's going to be dead from the sudden change of air around them, and she's almost right. Aubrey puts her terrifying calm look on and says, "You and I both know how much I love her."

Beca swallows hard and can only manage a light nod, while Emily knows better than to meddle with Aubrey's intervention. So she keeps quiet, opting to fake checking something on her phone.

"So I assume you also know what I'm capable of when someone hurts her." Aubrey continues, now with a hint of anger. "Again."

Holding her breath under her nose, Beca simply stares at her former captain with terrified look.

"You," Aubrey says coldly. "Are free to love whoever you love."

Thinking that Aubrey will push her to choose Chloe, Beca dares herself to raise an eyebrow slightly in confusion.

Aubrey leans slightly forward, still with that strange calm terrifying look. "But if you ever, ever leave Chloe again..."

Beca clenches her jaw, unaware that she's been holding her breath for a while now.

"There will be no place on this earth where you can hide from me this time." Aubrey finishes with bold intimidating look, yet still with calm tone. When Beca stays in her stupor-terrified position, she adds, "Got it?"

The only thing Beca can muster is a light nod.

Glancing her eyes sharply away from Beca, Aubrey puts on a cheerful smile, turns to Emily, and asks, "How's L.A. so far, Em?"

Emily looks up from her phone, sighing in relief before answering, "It's fine Bree. Actually, I want to invite you all for a dinner on Sunday. You know, just a little gathering with my bellas sisters."

"We'd love to." Aubrey says with a soft smile. "Just text me or Stacie the address."

"Sure." Emily chirps before turning to Beca and asks, "Can you come Capt.?"

"Uh..." Beca clears her throat, trying to pull herself together before she says with a weak smile, "Like you need to ask. Food."

With a grin on her face, Emily punches Beca's arm playfully.

Beca turns her head toward Aubrey, running her fingers through her hair nervously before she says, "Aubrey."

"Hm." Aubrey responds.

"I uh..." Beca takes a deep breath. "Owe you a bunch of apologies."

Aubrey stares at Beca with unreadable look and says, "You do."

This time, Emily looks at Aubrey, hinting a slight warning toward the blonde.

After blowing out a long nervous breath, Beca stutters, "Yeah. I uh... I know that you and Stacie have been having a hard time for keeping my secret. She told me that you uh... almost left her two years ago when uhm... you found out about me."

Aubrey's face cringes slightly upon hearing Beca's words, but she doesn't say anything.

"I'm uh... very sorry about that." Beca gives her an apologetic look. "I'm glad you didn't leave her. Stacie... she didn't mean to hurt you. She was just trying to be a good friend for me."

"I know." Aubrey says calmly.

"So uhm..." Beca says with tighten lips. "I'm very sorry about that."

"I was angry." Aubrey says, still as calm.

"I understand." Beca replies, seeming half-afraid and half-confused of the calmness.

"No you don't." Aubrey says with her eyes boring into Beca's. "I, understood why my wife did it. I'd do the same thing for Chloe."

Beca nod very slightly with terrified look.

"But you," Aubrey seems angry now, but her voice still as calm. "Have no right to ask my wife to lie to me."

Beca swallows hard and says, "I know. I'm sorry."

With a soften face, Aubrey says, "Don't ever do that again."

"Never again." Beca says in an instant with relieved look. "Thank you for being understanding."

"Bear this close in your mind, Beca." Aubrey says, this time almost with a hint of pleading. "The two things I ask you to do. Don't ever leave Chloe again, and don't ask my wife to lie for you again."

"Promise." Beca says with reassuring smile.

"You better keep it." Aubrey says. "If you love your life enough, you better keep it."

"Babe." Stacie calls her wife with a soft warning as she walks and takes a seat next to her wife.

On the other hand, Chloe hurriedly takes her place next to Beca, taking the tiny brunette's hand in hers instantly, seems to be not listening to the conversation.

"What?" Aubrey rolls her eyes and says in annoyance, "I'm just telling her what might happen if she do either of those things. She has nothing to worry about if she doesn't plan to do any."

"Babe..." Stacie says with a soft warning gaze toward her wife.

"No, it's okay Stace." Beca says with a warm reassuring smile, "She's right. I have no right asking you to lie to her. I could've destroyed your marriage. Your life. So, it's okay. Besides, I owe you an apology too. And one hell of gratitude."

Stacie laces her fingers with Aubrey's, kissing her wife on the cheek, and then turns her head toward the DJ before saying, "No need to Shorty. You're my best friend. I'm just doing what I can to help you."

"That's why I need to apologize." Beca says with a weak remorseful smile. "I've taken your kindness for granted, and it almost cost you your marriage."

When Stacie is going to cut her off, Beca raises her free hand to stop her. "I'm more than thankful for having such loyal friends. You and Legacy have been taking bullets for me, flipping your life upside down to keep my secrets. However, I can't let you ruin your life in the process. I shouldn't have. So, it was wrong of me to make you lie to your loved one. That's a mistake I don't plan to repeat."

Emily squeezes Beca's shoulder gently, smiling softly toward her former captain while Stacie nods lightly, not going to argue with her best friend over the matter.

Chloe simply rubs Beca's arm, trying to comfort the DJ. The act pulls Beca's attention to the red head, smiling sadly and staring at Chloe's calming smile for a while before saying, "We need to talk."

 

Chapter Text

 

"We need to talk." Beca says with a sad smile.

Chloe swallows hard and then nods lightly before pulling the tiny brunette up on her feet, and guiding her to the backyard. They sit silently on the grass side by side, leaning their back on the bench, stretching their legs, and looking at the sky with Beca's hand is still Chloe's.

It's one of the things they used to do together back in college, just sit in silent and stare at the night sky. After a couple of minutes without any word, Chloe rubs her own arm, and Beca knows that she is shivering from the cold wind. So she pulls her hand away, taking off her leather jacket and helps to put it on Chloe.

With a soft smile, Chloe says, "Thanks Becs."

Beca just smiles in return as Chloe takes her hand back into hers, holding it tightly. Then she presses her lips on Beca's upper arm before resting her temple on Beca's shoulder.

Still at lost on how to tell Chloe about her decision, Beca simply lifts her chin up, and stares at the sky again. Eventually, Chloe breaks the silent by saying, "I've never seen you so relax around kids before."

"Meh." Beca plays it off. "I guess it's what you'd become when you were forced to be a godmother for a very annoying brat."

"I bet it is." Chloe says with a teasing tone.

"Well," Beca says, still as nonchalant. "Don't be too overjoyed for it. I'm only completely comfortable with Steve and Bella so far. Don't tell Fat Amy though. Her boys are waaay too loud."

Chloe giggles and turns to face the tiny brunette, resting her chin on Beca's shoulder before she says with a fond smile, "I can't wait to see you with your own kids."

After rolling her eyes combined with a light scoff, Beca says, "Don't hold your breath Red. Having your own kids is in a very different level from being comfortable with kids."

"I think you'll be a great mother."

"Well, you think wrong." Beca simply says in mock annoyance.

"Nu uh." Chloe insists, still with her beaming smile. "A couple of years from now, you'll see just how right I am."

"Again, don't hold your breath." Beca says in mock annoyance.

"Wanna bet?"

Beca can't help a soft chuckle escapes from her lips, but she mocks, "Glad that you're still so optimistic about skeptic little me."

"Can't blame a girl for hoping for the best." Chloe says with teasing tone. "You'll be a great mom, Becs. Trust me on this."

Beca turns her head toward Chloe, and she's taken aback by the proximity of Chloe's face with hers. She freezes up for a second, unable to move, being pulled in by the bright blue eyes in front of her.

Then Chloe leans in, inching closer to kiss her, and right before Chloe's lips touch hers, Beca jerks back immediately. The jerking back is so abrupt that Beca almost falls on her side, pulling Chloe with her, but the red head is showing nothing else but hurt in her eyes.

Beca hurriedly apologizes. "Chloe, I-"

"It's okay, Becs." Chloe cuts her off, shaking her head lightly as she straightens up. "It was my fault. I shouldn't have done that. But I couldn't help myself."

"Still... I'm sorry."

With an understanding smile, Chloe says, "It's okay."

Then Beca straightens up, letting Chloe rests her temple back on her shoulder while they remain silent again. At some point, Chloe softly calls, "Becs."

"Hm?"

"Last week," Chloe has a second of hesitation before she says, "When I told Stacie about our kiss, she told me something that made me wonder."

"Yea?"

Chloe tightens her grip on Beca's hand as she starts, "Did you ever try to..." she stops halfway, taking a deep breath before cautiously asks, "Take your own life?"

Stunned by the question, Beca's breath hitch for a second and her whole body tense up.

"It's okay Becs." Chloe rubs Beca's hand with her thumb gently. "You can tell me everything."

Beca takes a deep breath and says, "I... didn't do it in purpose, Chlo."

"Then?"

"It..." Beca holds her breath for a couple of seconds, and swallows hard before saying, "It happened because of the combination of guilty feeling, loneliness, and bad coping management."

Knowing that it must have been not easy for Beca, Chloe waits patiently and simply rubs her arm up and down gently.

As the memory of the time after she graduated from Barden starts flowing into her mind, Beca closes her eyes and let her body easing down the tension by steadying her breaths. It doesn't hurt as much as it did before she had therapy, but she still holds the feeling it left behind as a reminder of the struggles she had overcome in her life.

"After we graduated," Beca says, trying to be as calm as possible. "I lived alone for a long time. The only person in my life was Donna. And then Harvey came along the way. But I didn't even open up to them. Not for a very long time."

A gentle squeeze on her hand giving her the courage to continue. "I was... The guilt of leaving you, leaving all of you, were eating me up. Every day. I was over the edge constantly, terrified if any of you would find me, and I was always scared to even meet people in general." She pauses to find the word that suits her condition, but she fails. So she says, "Let's just say that... it was one of the worst time of my life."

Chloe presses her lips on Beca's upper arm to show her support, and then Beca takes a deep breath. "I barely slept, or ate unless Donna forced me to. For years. And combined with... other stuff..." She sighs heavily. "It was a hard time. Thankfully, it didn't affect my work quality. But one day, my body couldn't take it anymore, and I had a heart attack."

Chloe tense up and squeezes Beca's hand even tighter.

"Donna found me in my apartment early in the morning." Beca explains as if it isn't a big deal. "She immediately called 911. But my heart stopped beating for a couple of seconds before the paramedic brought me back to life and took me to the hospital. I woke up... four days later with Donna by my hospital bed, crying in relief when she saw that I was alive."

"Alive?"

"I was in a coma in those four days. My heart couldn't take it, and they put me under drug induced coma." Beca says casually. "Harvey was beyond furious. He was so worried, and I had never seen him so wrecked in the years I've known him." She chuckles lightly, remembering the first moment she realized how much she meant to that couple. "The first thing Harvey did was punching me straight on my jaw."

"He did what?!" Chloe exclaims.

"It's okay red. Not as hard as you'd thought. He didn't harm me more than I'd harmed myself." Beca says calmly. Then she continues telling her story to a very stunned Chloe as her mind trails its way back to the memory lane.


Flashback: 6 years and 2 months ago.

Beca felt so dizzy, and her body felt so heavy. She tried to open her eyes but barely succeeded. She could feel that someone was holding her hand tightly. When she finally opened her eyes, Donna's face, a very distraught Donna, came into her view.

"Donna?" Beca muttered almost inaudible.

"Monkey..." Donna smiled in relief with tears in her eyes, pushing the nurse station button as she said, "You're awake."

"What happened?" Beca croaked out weakly.

"You had a heart attack, monkey." Donna explained with tears running down her face as she brushed her hand on the brunette's head. "But you're fine now."

A long-haired brunette woman wearing a white coat came rushing in before Beca could ask another question. The doctor smiled at her and said, "Miss Mitchell, I'm Doctor Wilde. The doctor that's in charge of you."

"Just Beca please." 

"Alright, Beca. Let me check your vitals first." Doctor Wilde smiled, and proceed to check her vitals. After listening to her heartbeat and her breaths, doing some neuro exams, and then checking her temperature, Dr. Wilde said, "Alright. I guess everything is fine for now. But I'm going to need a full checkup to make sure."

"What happened to me?" Beca asked.

"You had a heart attack, and you were in a coma for four days." Doctor Wilde explained.

"I was?" Beca is dumbfounded.

Doctor Wilde smiled and continued to explain patiently, "Your heart stopped for a couple of seconds, and we were able to resuscitate you, but you were out for a while. And that caused hypoxia, lack of oxygen in your brain. That combined with how hard your heart took the attack, we had to put you under drug induced coma to prevent more damage and let your body rest. We already reversed the drug since yesterday. But you just woke up. So, you kind of almost gave Mr. and Mrs. Specter a heart attack too."

Needing a confirmation, Beca turned to look at Donna in confusion and Donna nodded lightly. Then Beca sighed heavily before turning her attention back to Doctor Wilde and said, "Well, I'm awake now. Can I go home?"

"You have to stay for a couple more days in the hospital for further checkups, and to make sure you're in a better condition before you check out." Doctor Wilde said.

Beca's eyes widened in fear, and she straightened up from her bed. Ever since her mother's death, Beca had avoided hospital like a plague. She could feel massive anxiety creeping up into her, and it spiked her heart rate on the monitor.

"Easy there, Beca." Doctor Wilde warned her calmly. "Your heart is still a little bit fragile. Deep breath."

Beca relented and laid back to her bed, taking a few deep breaths to calm herself.

Once Beca had already fallen back onto her bed, Doctor Wilde put her stethoscope on Beca's chest again to check her heartbeat. After making sure that Beca was okay, she said, "We still need to talk about certain things, but it can wait. A nurse will come in a while with your lunch. But for now, you need to rest."

"Thank you doctor." Donna said with a weak smile toward the doctor.

"Just doing my job. Let me know if you need anything." Doctor Wilde smiled before walking out the door.

As soon as Doctor Wilde walked out, Donna gave Beca a glass of water, helped her take a sip before puffing her blanket, and said as she sniffled, "You heard the doctor, monkey. Now sleep. I'll wake you up when your lunch's here."

Beca looked at her with a weak smile. She could see that her personal assistant hadn't had a good night sleep for a few days. She wore an oversize shirt with sweatpants, her eyes were bloodshot, and her usual bouncy curly red hair was tousled and lack of shine.

"Have you been staying here all the time?" Beca asked weakly.

"You think?" Donna scolded her half-heartily.

It was a worried scolding, and Beca knew it well. So she smiled sheepishly and said, "Thanks Donna."

Donna simply nodded lightly. Suddenly, the door opened and showed a very stunned Harvey. Beca could see the dark circle under his eyes, and he looked like he hadn't shaved in a few days, which was very unlikely because Harvey Specter always showed up nice and clean. Beca wouldn't even be surprised at all if he went to bed in suit.

"You're awake." Harvey said in relief, but his face turned red in a matter of seconds. Beca could see anger was raising up in him as he took a few of very wide steps toward her, and then raised his fist, swung it down to connect with Beca's jaw.

"Urgh!"

"Harvey!" Donna was on his side in flash to pull him back.

"What the hell, Harvey?!" Beca yelled angrily, and her heart monitor was beeping rapidly.

"Don't you fucking dare Harvey me, you stupid kid!" Harvey yelled at her furiously.

Beca was stunned when she saw the anger from Harvey. Harvey had always scolded her because it was his way to show his affection. But she'd never seen Harvey this furious before.

"I'm sorry." Beca said weakly with her voice cracked.

Harvey scoffed harshly and sarcastically said, "Oh. You're sorry. Look at her Donna. She's sorry. She's fucking sorry for living her life so recklessly, had a fucking heart attack, and then ended up in a fucking coma!"

Beca could feel anger raising up in her too. She had never let anybody dictated her, and she certainly didn't like to be yelled at like she was a child. "Look! I'm sorry, okay?! What do you want me to say?!"

With a loud scoff, Harvey leaned forward, and then jabbed his finger on Beca's chest repeatedly, speaking intensely so close to Beca's face, "Don't you dare be angry. Don't you fucking dare raising your voice on me. You don't get to be angry after every fucking things you put us through this week."

"Harvey, please." Donna pulled her husband back. "She just wo-"

"Don't, Donna. This fucking ungrateful asshole needs to learn her lesson." Harvey said firmly to her wife. Then he turned his head back to Beca and said sardonically, "Or is it too hard to poor little Beca?" Then he mocked in a high pitch, "Nobody loves me. I'm all alone. Nobody ever cares about me." Then he raised his voice again, "Sack up, dude! It is so fucking yesterday!"

Beca became angrier than before. She could feel the heat raising under her skin, her breath became shorter and shorter, her heart was thumping so hard, and the vein on her forehead was throbbing, threatening to explode. Holding a slight pressure in her chest, she snapped, "Why do you care anyway?! I'm not a child! And I'm certainly not yours! Stop treating me like one!"

With a mocking laughter, Harvey mocked, "Speaking like a fucking irresponsible teenager."

"Yeah!" Beca scoffed harshly. "And you are so fucking mature for punching and yelling at me in a fucking hospital!"

Suddenly, Doctor Wilde came back into the room, frantic as she asked, "What is happening here?"

Ignoring the doctor's question, Harvey stepped closer to Beca instantly, pulled her hospital gown under her neck and then said strongly, punctuating every words in front of Beca's nose. "You know what? You're so fucking lucky that I care enough to punch and yell at you." He pulled back a little bit before spatting out louder, "And if you wanted to be treated as an adult, then you better start acting like one!"

"Mr. Specter!" Doctor Wilde called loudly, holding Harvey back by his shoulders. "I need you to get out of here! Go take a walk."

Upon getting the warning, Harvey stepped back, took a deep breath, and said with softened voice. "You were right. I don't have to care about you. My wife and I certainly do not have to care about you. Then you better thank your lucky star that we choose and want to care about you. If you haven't notice, after four fucking years, we haven't up and leave. Because we do care about you, Kid."

Tears were starting to pool in his eyes, so he turned and walked away, leaving Beca still stunned from the words. On the other hand, Dr. Wilde instantly rushed to check her vitals, and firmly commanded, "Beca, I need you to take a deep breath."

Although it wasn't easy, Beca swallowed hard and took a deep breath. Doctor Wilde resumed checking her EKG, and gave her some medication through her IV.

With a relieved sigh, Doctor Wilde took off her stethoscope and said, "You're okay now. But try not to be angry for a while. And the bruise?"

Seeing that Beca wouldn't be able to say anything, Donna said, "Harvey was angry."

"Do I need to call security and not let him in?" Doctor Wilde asked, and Beca instantly shook her head.

"Are you sure?" Doctor Wilde asked again, and Beca nodded lightly.

The doctor seemed to notice that Beca was on the verge of crying, so she said, "I'll come to check on you again later. Don't do something stupid without my permission in the meantime."

Again, Beca simply nodded. Just as the doctor walked out, Beca let out the sobs she'd been holding, and Donna was quick to take a spot beside the brunette, hugging and stroking the back of her head gently.

"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry Donna." Beca muttered in between sobs.

"It's okay, monkey." Donna said softly, trying to calm the upset DJ. "I know you are. Harvey was just worried about you."

"I know." Beca choked out.

Beca cried herself to sleep for the first time in forever in Donna's arms. She finally opened a window of her thick wall for the only two people she had in this whole world. She woke up hours later with Donna sleeping soundly on a couch beside her bed.

Not long after she'd woken up, Harvey walked into her room, looking calm and collected. He let out a weak smile, and handed Beca her favorite chocolate without saying anything.

The one thing that she and Harvey had in common was they were awkward when it came to loving affection. It made them understood each other without so much word to be said. Beca took it, knowing that it was a peace offering, and weakly said, "Thanks Harv."

Harvey simply nodded before he approached her sleeping wife, waking her up gently with a nudge on her shoulder and a kiss on her forehead. "Hey Love, I bring you dinner."

Donna smiled and kissed him on the lips chastely before taking the paper bag from his hand and started to take out the food inside. The three of them enjoyed dinner in silent. Just right after they finished dinner, Doctor Wilde came in.

"Hi Beca." The doctor smiled. "How're you feeling?"

"Mmmm... Awake? I guess." Beca said unsurely.

Doctor Wilde chuckled and said, "I take it you feel better then."

Beca just shrugged nonchalantly while Harvey and Donna took a stand beside her bed.

"Alright then." Doctor Wilde said calmly. "I've told you this morning that there are certain issues we need to address."

Beca nodded lightly, but Doctor Wilde stared at the tiny brunette with knowing look after glancing toward Harvey.

"Oh." Beca responded after taking the cue. "He... They can stay. They're uh... family."

While Beca was looking down and rubbing the back of her neck with blushing cheeks, Donna was staring at her with teary eyes, and Harvey was trying to hide his smile by pressing his lips tightly, but his puffing nose gave him away.

"Very well." The brunette doctor said. "I believe you all know that Beca has an unusual and unhealthy lifestyle?"

After getting a nod from Harvey and Donna, Doctor Wilde turned her attention toward Beca and then said firmly, "I've asked Harvey and Donna before, but they didn't seem to know much. Now Beca, I need you to be honest so we can take the right treatment for your health issues."

Other than swallowing hard, Beca didn't dare to say anything. If she told the truth, there was a huge possibility that Harvey would punch her again.

Doctor Wilde saw through her and said, "You have a heart disease that we call Alcoholic Cardiomyopathy." Doctor Wilde explained patiently. "And just as its name, it's indeed caused by drinking too much alcohol. It happens more often in men than in women. So seeing your condition now... I can only assume that you drink a lot. And judging from the scans of your lungs, I can tell that there's still more."

As terrified as she was, Beca knew that there was no way out of it. So she swallowed hard and weakly said, "I uh... smoke."

"How many per day?" The doctor pushed.

"Four... packs." Beca said, didn't dare to glance at Harvey and Donna, but she could hear Donna gasped.

"And?" Doctor Wilde asked.

With lowered voice, Beca said, "I uh... drink at least a bottle of vodka every night until I uh... pass out, and I uh... take at least six cup of double espresso every day to sober up in the past four years."


"You did what?!" Chloe exclaims, jerking away to look at Beca in shock.

Beca rolls her eyes in half-annoyance and says, "I was... a zombie. I needed the cigs to calm my anxiety. And I drank so I could pass out without having nightmares or night terrors. And the coffee sobered me up so I can work normally."

"And nobody noticed?" Chloe asks in disbelief.

With a light chuckle, Beca shakes her head and says, "I was... very careful so Donna and Harvey only knew less than half of it."

"Hmmm..." Chloe rests her temple back on Beca's shoulder. "Any drugs?"

"One time." Beca shrugs lightly.

"One time?"

Beca rests her cheek on Chloe's head and says, "Just one time. And Donna caught me. Thankfully, she caught me. And she was so furious at me. Saying that if I wanted to ruin my life, she and Harvey would walk out of the door, and would never come back." She lets out a soft chuckle. "Donna and Harvey, they've never gone easy on me. Ever. And I couldn't lose them. They were the only people in my life. So I didn't do it anymore. The drugs stopped. But not the other stuff."

With a long heavy sigh, Chloe asks, "So you finally told them about your... other stuff. And then?"

"And then..."


There was a moment of silent after the revelation. After a while, Beca dared to look up at Harvey and Donna. Harvey's face showed something worse than anger. Disappointment. While on the other hand, Donna looked like she was going to throw up. Then Beca quickly glanced back down.

Doctor Wilde didn't seem to flinch, maybe because there were a lot of others patient who did worse. So she continued her explanation. "It has caused some complications for your health."

"What is it?" Harvey asked with gritted teeth.

"Beca, do you know that you have asthma?" Doctor Wilde asked calmly.

Beca furrowed her eyebrows, shaking her head and said, "I don't. I mean, I did experience shortened of breath and dizziness from time to time. But I thought it was because I uh... smoked heavily and never completely sober."

With a heavy sigh, Doctor Wilde looked at her and said, "That's why I didn't find it in your medical records."

"Is that why she had this heart attack?" Donna asked worriedly. "Because of the asthma?"

Doctor Wilde turned to look at the red head and explained patiently, "Not quite. Asthma sometimes could be misinterpreted as a heart attack, because they have similar symptoms. Shortened of breath and tightened chest. However, in this case, Beca apparently have both of them, and it isn't quite related. But her life style indeed have a huge role for both of those diseases."

The other three nodded again, and Donna rubbed Beca's arm to soothe her.

"The good news is," Doctor Wilde explained further toward Beca. "For now, you don't need any surgery yet. The symptoms can be managed with medication. However, the bigger issue here is your lifestyle. It won't matter how much money you put on medications, it won't help you get better unless you start a healthier habit and learn a constructive coping behavior. Apparently, you haven't been keeping a good eating habit as well. So now you are slightly malnutritioned."

"What do you suggest us to do, Doc?" Harvey asked.

Doctor Wilde looked at Beca intensely for a moment before she answered, "I'm afraid that Beca has developed an addiction toward cigarette and alcohol. Therefore, I suggest Beca to get help in a rehabilitation center for her smoking and drinking habit. They have the experts and therapists that can also help with her physical and psychological issue."

"I'm not addicted." Beca rolled her eyes. "I just... needed them to help me sleep and calm my nerves. I don't need to go to rehab. I can help myself."

"Yeah right." Harvey commented sarcastically with his arms crossed on his chest. "Like you've been doing in the past four years I believe."

Beca wanted to argue, but Donna cut her off. "Do you think it'll help her, Doctor Wilde?"

Doctor Wilde pursed her lips, sighing deeply before she said, "We certainly can't push Beca to do something she doesn't want to do. For the program to be successful, Beca has to be a willing participant. I do strongly suggest you to do it. It might be hard in the beginning, but it will help all of you in the long run. Especially you Beca."

"Absolutely not." Beca said stubbornly.

"This is not up for discussion, Beca." Harvey said angrily.

"Enough you two!" Donna snapped. Then she turned her head toward the brunette doctor and tiredly said, "Do we have to make the decision now?"

Doctor Wilde smiled understandingly and said, "Of course not. Take your time to consider it." She looked back at Beca and said, "I expect you to have a good night sleep because tomorrow we'll do certain tests to check your well-being." Then she looked at the other two adults in front of her with a comforting smile before she asked, "Is there any other question?"

Beca and Harvey remained silent while Dona shook her head lightly.

"That would be all. For now." Doctor Wilde said, giving them a reassurance smile. "Don't hesitate to ask the nurse to call me if you need more information."

"Thank you Doctor Wilde." Donna smiled.

"Your welcome." The brunette doctor replied before she turned on her heels, and walked out the door.

Once the doctor left, Harvey pulled out his phone quickly, pacing around as he waited for the phone to be picked up.

"What are you doing, Harv?" Beca asked worriedly.

"I'm calling my colleague who knew the best rehab center." Harvey answered nonchalantly.

"So, that's it?" Beca asked, raising her voice in anger. "You won't even ask my permission?"

"No." Harvey glanced at her impatiently. "You will do as the doctor said. End of discussion."

Fear and anger were flying off Beca's chart, her heart was thumping way too fast and way too hard. She scrunched her face in pain, groaned lightly as her hand reached her left chest.

"Beca!" Donna shrieked in fear.

After hearing his wife was yelling in fear, Harvey turned his head quickly, shoving his phone into his pocket and hurriedly reached the tiny brunette.

"Breathe Beca... breathe..." Donna said worriedly.

Beca tried her best to take a few deep breaths and her heart started to beat slower. Then Harvey and Donna let out a relieved breath as they saw Beca's face became more relax.

After her breath became even, Beca looked at Harvey, pleading, "Don't send me to that place, Harv. Please."

Harvey sighed deeply, stroking his hand on Beca's head and sadly said, "You gave me no choice, Kid. We can't have you get another attack. You could've died. And you will, with the way you live your life."

"I'll do better." Beca said helplessly. "I promise."

Donna rubbed Beca's arm to comfort her, glancing toward her husband, hinting to put this off for a night.

"I can't Beca." Harvey said, ignoring his wife. "I can't let you keep going down this road. You got lucky Donna was at your apartment last week. What if you get another attack and we weren't there?"

Beca turned her head toward Donna, looking at her with teary eyes as she begged, "Donna, please."

"Donna won't comply this time." Harvey held up his hand toward his wife, stopping her from giving in. "I can't have my wife worry about you all the time, especially when she's growing a tiny human inside her body."

"You're pregnant?" Beca asked in surprise.

Donna smiled weakly and nodded. "Eight weeks now. I was going to tell you the day you collapsed. That was why I was at your place early. I was going to tell you over breakfast."

Feeling happy for the couple, Beca smiled so widely, pulling the red head into an awkward hug as she said, "Congratulations you two." Then she turned to punch Harvey playfully on his shoulder and said with a smirk on her face, "You're finally having a real kid now, Papa."

Harvey smirked smugly and mumbled, "Thanks."

As a realization hit her, Beca shrieked in joy, "I'm gonna be an aunt!"

"The more reason to go to rehab and get better, monkey." Harvey said with a soft smile.

Beca's smile faltered instantly, replaced with fear as she pleaded, "Please Harvey. I'll do anything you ask. But don't put me into rehab. Please. If I don't do better in a month, you can send me to that place. And I promise I won't fight you over this."

"Monkey," Donna softly said. "We're doing this for you. We want you to get better."

With trembling lips, Beca begged, "One month... please..."

After knowing the tiny brunette for more than four years and had only seen her in her snarky fierce state, seeing her on the verge of crying did make it harder for Harvey to push her. So he sighed in defeat and then looked at the tiny brunette intensely before firmly said, "Under three conditions."

Beca nodded excitedly as she said, "Anything."

"First," He said with a stern clear voice. "You will stop smoking, drinking alcohol, and coffee all at once. Cold turkey. And no substitute. You will take your medication as instructed as well."

"Done." Beca replied instantly.

"I hope you know that it's not as easy as it sounds." Harvey warned her.

"I do." Beca said reassuring.

"And I will do unexpected urine test whenever I want." Harvey narrowed his eyes intensely.

"Deal." Beca said with tighten lips.

Harvey rolled his eyes and then said, "Second, you will stay with us until further notice. No point to argue with this."

Beca nodded reluctantly.

"Third, you will be under strict supervision 24/7. You will always have Donna, or me, or Pascal and Rico with you all the time."

"Is that really necessary?" Beca asked weakly.

"Either accept all three conditions or go to rehab." Harvey said without hesitation.

Beca narrowed her eyes, pursing her lips, considering arguing with Harvey on the third condition. However, she sighed in defeat when Harvey looked at her with determination she knew so well, and no one said no to that Lawyer Harvey Specter demanding look. So she nodded lightly.

"Okay then." Harvey smiled with satisfaction. "One month, and if nothing change, I'll make sure you get into rehab even if I have to carry you myself. And you'll stay there for at least a year."

Beca nodded again.

Donna smiled fondly toward Beca, stroking her hair gently as she said, "You'll be fine, monkey."

"I hope so." Beca responded with a tight smile.

Then Donna kissed Beca on her forehead before turning to kiss her husband on the lips and said, "Thanks Love."

Harvey simply smiled in return.

End of flashback.


"I checked out from the hospital a week later and I stayed clean from alcohol, cigarette, and coffee after that. I lived with Harvey and Donna for around... seven months until Stephan was born." Beca ends her story.

Chloe's face is showing a mixture of fear, worry, disbelief, yet also a little bit relieved, knowing that the tiny brunette is still alive until this moment. She shakes her head lightly to pull herself out of the trance, rubbing Beca's arm gently as she says, "It must had been hard to sober up in cold turkey."

"Hmmm..." Beca purses her lips. "Actually, not as hard as I'd expected. I mean, after I've witnessed how much Harvey and Donna cared about me, I didn't feel so much alone anymore. And it really helped."

With a relieved sigh, Chloe says, "I'm glad that you're okay and never go down that road again."

"Actually," Beca smiles sheepishly. "I did."

"You did?"

"Yea."

Chloe pulls herself up a little bit to look at Beca in disbelief, but Beca smiles as she says, "It was around four months after I met Ashley. Stephan was... I think he was around five months old."

"Why?"

With hesitant look, Beca asks, "Are you okay talking about this? I mean, I had another heart attack, and it was the moment I chose to be with Ashley."

Chloe puts on her smile and says, "I want to know everything about your life after Barden, Becs. Just tell me. I can take it."

"You sure?" Beca asks worriedly.

"U huh." Chloe nods.

Upon seeing the determination on Chloe's face, Beca sighs deeply and says, "Well... The first time I met Ashley, there was something about her that reminded me of you."

"Oh."

"Yeah. Oh." Beca smiles lightly. "She has blue eyes, overly excited to get to know me, and also has this bubbly, perky personality. And of course, has no regard or personal space."

"You fell in love with my double." Chloe teases.

Beca chuckles and says, "I'd thought so too in the beginning. But after a couple of dates, the more I know her, the more I realized that there were more of her that didn't have anything in common with you."

"Hmmm..." Chloe's smile turns into a frown.

"Chloe... We don't have to talk about this."

"But I want to."

"Are you sure?"

"Yep."

"Okay." Beca takes a deep breath and exhales slowly. "Well... The realization didn't make me sleep any better. If anything, it scared me more. Because I started to have feelings for her and opened up myself to her. She had this... charm that pulled me in even though I was scared out of my mind. I just... couldn't stay away." She chuckles lightly and then adds, "She still has that charm over me."

Noticing how Chloe cringes her forehead slightly, Beca clears her throat and softly asks, "Let me ask you again. Are you sure you want to hear about it?"

"Yep."

"I don't think it's a go-"

"Just tell me Becs." Chloe firmly says. "Like I said. I can take it."

After spending a couple of seconds of stubborn staring competition with Chloe, Beca sighs deeply and continues, "It uh... terrified me. The way she made me feel scared me so much, and spiked up my anxiety off the chart. The thought of having someone that I could actually feel connected to after more than four years. It was... I was beyond terrified. Then I started to have these horrifying nightmares, not that it ever stopped, but it became more unbearable."

Beca can feel Chloe tense up in her arms, so she rubs Chloe's knee soothingly. "I started to skip my meds. I also started to smoke and drink again, hence the overflowed coffee to keep me sober. And at that time, Ashley hadn't known about my heart condition or asthma. But she did warn me from time to time about my nasty habit."

Waiting for the explanation was nerve wrecking. So Chloe blows out a long breath but remains silent.

"I was..." Beca shrugs. "A ticking bomb. And eventually, it went off. I was spending the night with Ashley. She found me unconscious in the middle of the night after she heard a crashing sound from the balcony. Apparently, I had my second heart attack and fell down. She immediately called 911 and Donna, and then I was brought to the hospital again. My heart did stop for a couple of minutes, but they managed to bring me back. I was again, in a coma for seven days."

"Becs..." Chloe shakes her head worriedly.

After giving the red head a weak smile, Beca looks up at the sky, taking a long deep breath, feeling the cold wind filling her lungs. "When I woke up, I thought I was gonna see a furious Harvey and a crying Donna in my hospital room. I didn't expect that Ashley would be the one who stayed with me. Yet... there she was."

"And then you fell in love." Chloe interrupts. "Because she was there."

Beca scoffs lightly and says, "Not that easy, Red. This is me we're talking about."

"Then?" Chloe asks in confusion impatiently. "What happened?"

After taking another long breath, Beca slowly tells the story, letting the memory plays out in her mind.


Flashback: 5 years and two months ago.

Beca was barely awake, but she could hear a faint sound of sniffling near her. When she tried to talk, she choked up from something in her throat.

"She's awake!" Beca heard someone exclaimed. "Nurse! Page Liv!"

It was foggy, but she felt how something was being pulled out from her throat and a voice, sounded like Doctor Wilde's voice, saying, "It's okay Beca. Don't fight the tube. I'm taking it out."

And Beca complied no matter how uncomfortable she felt. Then Doctor Wilde commanded her to look at the light and squeeze her finger, before asking, "Beca, how do you feel?"

It was all so blurry, but Beca managed to croak, "Almost awake. I guess."

Then she heard a sound of chuckling from the doctor. "You're joking already. You'll be fine."

Beca started adjusting to the light, slowly gaining her consciousness before she asked, "What happened? Did I-"

"Yeah." Doctor Wilde said with upset look. "You had another heart attack. You had a surgery, and this time you were in an actual coma for a week. Here, drink some water."

After taking a sip that made her realize that her throat was hurting, Beca scrunched her face and said, "That doesn't feel good."

"Hm." Doctor Wilde stared at her sharply. "I thought you didn't know. It's a small pay back for getting another heart attack."

"Sorry." Beca said sheepishly.

"I'm not." Doctor Wilde scolded her. "I hope this can be your final lesson so you don't go back down that nasty road."

"Hopefully." Beca said with a weak smile, but then she looked around before asking in panic, "Where are Donna and Harvey? Did they leave?"

"Calm down Beca." Doctor Wilde said calmly as Beca's heart rate spiked up. "They are getting lunch. Ashley is outside though. She stepped out to give me some room to check on you."

Beca sighed in relief.

"Now," Doctor Wilde smiled softly. "Why don't you have some rest? I'll explain everything for you later."

"Mmmkay."

After the doctor walked out, Beca could see from the glass door that Ashley was talking with the brunette doctor. Beca simply stared at her, unaware that a smile had appeared on her face.

Not long after, Ashley walked into the room. At first, Beca was smiling sheepishly toward the blonde, but suddenly, Ashley was already on her side, raising her hand and slapped her hard on the cheek.


"She what?!" Chloe asks in shock.

"She slapped me." Beca says nonchalantly. "Hard."

"How dare she?" Chloe asks in upset.

"Calm your pit Red." Beca smiles, trying to calm the red head. "It was the first and only time she ever did. So... let's just say that you and her have equal score now for slapping me."

"But she wasn't even your girlfriend yet."

"You weren't my girlfriend too." Beca smirks teasingly.

"But..." Chloe seems so stubborn. "But I was your best friend."

"That..." Beca drags teasingly. "Is true. But still, a slap is still a slap. Besides, what would you've done anyway? I was almost dead on her balcony, with her sleeping merely ten feet away from me. And it made her angry. Just like you were angry because I left."

Chloe lets out an annoyed sigh and says, "As angry as I would've been, I wouldn't have slapped you. I would've been too happy to see you wake up, that I think I would've kissed you until you're out of breath."

"Well..." Beca smiles softly. "Not everybody can be as sweet as you are, can't they Chlo."

"Hmph." Chloe puffs her nose with a hint of smug smile. "Then? You fell in love because she was the first woman to ever slap you?"

"Eeer..." Beca purses her lips. "Not really."

"So?"

"Well..."


"What the..." Beca was dumbfounded.

"You!" Ashley snapped. "Are the most selfish coward I've ever known!"

Every words were punctuated harshly, so Beca sighed in defeat and weakly muttered, "Donna told you."

Tears were already running down her angry face, but Ashley kept on yelling with shaky voice, "You don't have to love anybody else in this world! And you certainly don't have to do any favor to anybody if you don't want to! But you at least owe it to yourself to love one person! One! And that is yourself, Beca Mitchell!"

Something odd happened to Beca. Suddenly, she could feel it so vividly how her heart was fluttering, thumping in a steady rhythm, like her heart had never beat before, like it was the first time she was totally aware of having a heart.


"And that's when you realized that you fell in love with her." Chloe states, staring at Beca with narrowed eyes. "The butterflies in your stomach."

"Nope." Beca shakes her head lightly, still as nonchalant. "Not yet."

"So when?" Chloe asks impatiently.

Beca stares at the red head with bored look, raising an eyebrow as she says, "We won't get there if you keep interrupting."

"Right." Chloe mutters sheepishly.

"Besides," Beca looks at Chloe in confusion. "Why the sudden curiosity? I mean, isn't it supposed to be hard for you? It's hard for me telling you this."

"I just..." Chloe sighs heavily. "Stacie told me that she saved you from yourself. So I... I want to know. I want to know how you became brave enough to be with her, while you couldn't be when you were in love with me back in college."

"Chloe..." Beca sighs. "It was a different situation. Back in college, we were best friend. And I don't want you to think that I was able to tell her about my feelings because she was a better person than you were. That would be very untrue."

"But you loved me back in college." Chloe says stubbornly. "And then it was the same with her, but you did tell her. I want to know why. And I won't judge. Promise."

After staring at Chloe worriedly for a couple of seconds, Beca asks, "Are you really, really sure you want to know about it?"

Chloe ignores the worried look from Beca and says, "I'm really, really sure."

With hesitant nod, Beca worriedly says, "Okay then. So..."


"Do you have any reason?!" Ashley yelled furiously while wiping her tears away harshly with the back of her hand. "Just anything so I don't kick you so hard that you're gonna need another surgery!"

Beca tried to compose herself from blowing up in anger because she didn't like to be yelled at. "I just-"

"What?!" Again, Ashley yelled. "You had a bad childhood?! Abusive parents?! You were bullied?! What makes you hate yourself so much that you have to do this?!"

Getting more frustrated, Beca took a deep breath and tried to reason, "I was-"

"And for the record," Ashley cuts her off again angrily. "Even if all of those things did happen to you, you're a grown up now. Stop blaming life for your bad decisions!"

Then Beca was getting angry. "I think-"


"So she just kept yelling at you." Chloe states in disbelief. "And since you'd never been yelled at your whole life by a woman, you fell in love with her."

Beca groans and says, "I'm not there yet, Chlo."

"Okay, okay."

"You know what?" Beca says with a sigh. "I don't think this is a good idea."

"Why?"

"Chlo..."

"Just tell me everything."

"Huff..."

"It's... okay Becs." Chloe says with a reassuring smile. "Just think of me as your best friend like back in college when you could tell me everything. Everything but your feelings about me."

Beca rolls her eyes tiredly and says, "I just-"

"I'm Chloe Beale, Becs." Chloe says matter-of-factly. "I'm your best friend. Unless you think that I'm not."

"You are my best friend, Chlo." Beca says with a heavy sigh. "But you're also-"

"I'm your best friend for now." Chloe finishes her sentence without hesitation. "That's why I need to know everything about you. I want to."

Beca sighs tiredly, taking a moment to think before saying in defeat, "Just don't interrupt me again."

Then Chloe nods.

"So she kept on yelling at me..."


"What can possibly so bad, Becs?!" Ashley was panting out of breath. "Because Donna and Harvey know nothing! Nothing about your life! And I'm here wondering how could you do that to yourself."

Getting more and more upset, Beca took a deep breath and said, "I think-"

"How could you be so selfishly stupid!" Ashley kept on spatting out her anger. "Have you ever heard of-"

"I think I'm falling in love with you!" Beca snapped out after the yelling became unbearable.

Surprisingly, Ashley didn't even bat her eyes. She scoffed and sarcastically responded, "You could've just sent me a bouquet of lilies with a note that says I think I'm falling in love with you, Ashley. You didn't need to drop almost dead on my balcony."

Beca was taken aback. She had thought that the revelation would've at least shut the blonde up before running away. But Ashley didn't seem to notice as she kept on rambling her sarcasm. "You could've just told me to my face that you think you're falling in love with me. And I would've told you that I feel the same. But noooo... You felt that you needed to wreck yourself and be almost dead to show that you're fall-"

"What?" Beca asked in full confusion.

"You do know that there are million ways to say I love you without killing yourself right?!" Ashley retorted, still furiously. "Even a simple sen-"

"Ash!"

"Just a simple sentence can do Becs!" Ashley kept pouring out her anger. "It's not so hard to-"

"Ashley!"

"What?!" Ashley bit harshly.

Beca took a deep, deep breath and swallowed hard before she stuttered, "You said... Earlier, you said... Is that true?"

"What?" Ashley seemed to be calmer but still very upset.

"You said..." Beca was uncertain, but she was also curious. "You just told me that you're falling in love with me too. Is it true?"

"Duh." Ashley said. "Isn't it obvious?"

Upon seeing Beca's dumbfounded look, Ashley sighed heavily, shaking her head lightly and walked to sit on the edge of the bed next to Beca.

"Yeah." Ashley rolled her eyes in annoyance. "I'm falling in love with you. Is that a bad thing? Should I drink and smoke my way to drop dead on your balcony too?"

Beca couldn't help but laughing lightly, and then Ashley started to laugh too. Slowly, the laughter became louder, and they were holding their stomach and wiping the tears in the corner of their own eyes.

After the laughter subsided, Ashley took a deep breath, and still with a hint of annoyance, she softly asked, "Now. Would you tell me what you were thinking with that thick brain of yours?"

"I just..." Beca sighed deeply. "I'm scared. I'm... terrified of falling in love with you."

"Who wouldn't be?" Ashley asked smugly, and again Beca laughed lightly, rolling her eyes in mock annoyance.

"Is that all?" Ashley asked with bored look. "You're scared of falling in love with me so you decided to drink and smoke your way to heaven instead?"

Beca snorted and rolled her eyes.

"Well don't be." Ashley shrugged nonchalantly. "There's no need to be killing yourself for falling in love with me. I'm flattered that you thought you needed to do that. But still, there are easier ways to tell me that you love me, that include you staying alive so I can tell you that I feel the same."

Again, Beca simply rolled her eyes and chuckled.

"Besides, I don't bite. So, no need to be scared." Ashley said nonchalantly, but then she smirked and teased, "Unless you're into that kind of stuff. That can be arranged."

And again, Beca laughed. And so did Ashley. After the laughter unwind, out of no where, Beca just felt so calm to say, "I am so, so terrified that loving you would destroy me."

Ashley simply gave her a puzzled look.

"Loving you..." Beca smiled lightly. "It will give you the power to break me. To hurt me. To destroy me."

"It should." Ashley said nonchalantly. "And it will."

"Smug." Beca rolled her eyes.

"I mean," Ashley rolled her eyes back at Beca. "Feeling in love would make us, all of us vulnerable. It's just how it's supposed to be Becs."

"What do you mean?"

"Do you think I don't feel the same way?"

"Huh?"

"Becs..." Ashley smiled, feeling slightly frustrated but also amused. "We've just known each other for four months. But you've managed to destroy me. Twice."

"What?" Beca asked in complete lost.

"Yeah." Ashley says matter-of-factly. "Starting with how you've changed my belief about my sexual orientation. You've destroyed a 24 years of strong built belief that I was as straight as an arrow. And was I scared?"

"No?"

"Duh." Ashley said as if Beca was an idiot. "Of course I was scared. It was something new, and nothing I'd expected before. But did I drink and smoke my way to heaven?"

"Haha." Beca said in half-annoyance. "Very funny."

"I am funny." Ashley said smugly. Then her bright eyes dimmed a bit when she said. "And the second time, the night you collapsed on my balcony, and suddenly you had a surgery, and then ended up in a coma for a week." She sighed heavily. "Everything happened so fast, and I... I'm so in love with you that... all I could think about was what would I do if you don't survive this."

"Huh." Beca smirked smugly.

"I know. I know." Ashley rolled her eyes in mock upset. "Too much. And probably too soon. But that's what you've done to me."

"Huh." Again, Beca smirked smugly-er.

"Wipe that cocky grin on your face." Ashley said in mock annoyance, but then she smiled softly. "I wasn't only scared Becs. I was a complete mess. You destroyed me. Again. But did I-"

"Drink and smoke your way to heaven?" Beca finished her sentence with a knowing look.

"Yeah. That." Ashley rolled her eyes. Then she held Beca's hand, staring so fondly into her steely blue eyes when she said, "That's what happened when you love someone, Becs. Somewhere along the line, you'll be destroyed. Or you might be the one who destroy. But it doesn't mean we don't let ourselves to keep falling."

"What do you mean?"

"Well," Ashley purses her lips, thinking for a while before saying, "Let's think about love as a Lego house. You know, you build the one you really like, and then at some point your sibling comes and stomps their feet to wreck it, or your parents insist to put it back into the box, or your grandma thought that it's a choking hazard and put it away. Then you of course will cry, maybe throw a tantrum. But it's ruined anyway. So what will you do?"

Beca raised an eyebrow and teased, "Drink and smoke my way to heaven?"

Rolling her eyes in half-annoyance, Ashley said, "You let your parents bribe you with ice cream before bedtime, you go to sleep, and you build another one the next day."

Beca let out a relieved chuckle and stared at the blonde fondly.

With her cheeks flushing red, Ashley cleared her throat and said, "So, yeah Becs. We're in love with each other. And I promise you that somewhere along the line we'll destroy each other. And maybe we can pick the pieces up together and rebuild the relationship with the love we have left. Or maybe we won't be picking up the pieces together. Maybe you'll be picking up your pieces with another blonde, and I will be picking up my pieces by binge eating. Who knows?"

"Hmmm..." Beca nodded absentmindedly.

"But do you know what we do know now?" Ashley asked softly.

"What?"

With a smile so tender and a pair of eyes beaming in happiness, Ashley said, "We're in love with each other."

A grin appeared on Beca's face, and she couldn't help herself to lean forward and kiss Ashley. Then Ashley kissed her back. After the kiss ended, still with her eyes closed, Ashley brushed her nose gently on Beca's and softly said, "I take it that you choose to have the possibility of us destroying each other?"

With a fond smile, Beca caressed Ashley's cheek gently and retorted in barely a whisper, "Isn't it obvious?"

"Kind of." Ashley chuckled before pressing another chaste kiss on Beca's lips. Then she stared at Beca with intimidating look and firmly said, "So can you please stop trying to drink and smoke your way to heaven from now on?"

Beca chuckled and said, "Yes ma'am."


"Oh." Chloe responds.

Yeah..." Beca presses her lips tightly, nodding lightly with a long sigh.

"That's it?"

"Yep." Beca responds nonchalantly. "That's it. My first and second heart attack."

"What happened next?"

"Well," Beca shrugs. "Then I sobered up. Never had another heart attack in my life so far. Oh and, I had a kidney transplant two years after the second heart attack. You know, I obviously ruined my kidney with alcohol. But I changed my diet, I stayed away from alcohol, and I rarely smoked ever since. Last week was the first time I smoked again in three years, and it was only two cigs. I only take my coffee in decaf, I regularly work out, and I have my regular checkups every six months. Ashley... she keeps me in line."

"Hmmm..." Chloe seems to be in deep thought. "But... if she's so good, why would she leave you three years ago? Why would she push you to see a therapist?"

"How... did you know?"

"Doesn't matter."

With a deep sigh, Beca says, "At first, Ashley didn't care about my past. She'd never pushed me to open up. For her, it's the present me that matters."

"But she left you."

"Yeah." Beca says with a tight lip. "When my past prevented us to be together. When it held me back from taking our relationship further while in fact, I wanted the same thing. To be with her. So she did what she'd thought the best for the situation. And she was right. I... stepped up. Finally brave enough to fight for what I wanted."

"Hmmm..." Again, Chloe is deep in thought. It's longer this time until she softly says, "I can do the same thing. I can love you like that, Becs. I can even love you better than that. I just need a chance."

"Chlo-"

"I broke up with Kristen." Chloe blurts out.

At that moment, Beca forgets about the purpose of this talk. She pulls her hand back from Chloe's, wrapping it around Chloe's shoulder, giving it a gentle squeeze as she says, "I'm sorry to hear that Chlo."

On the other hand, Chloe snuggles her head into the crook of Beca's neck, wrapping her arms around the brunette's waist, pulling her closer before she softly says, "I'm not."

Confused of the revelation, Beca pulls her head back slightly, and looks at Chloe with furrowed eyebrows.

Chloe lifts her head up a little bit to look Beca in the eye, smiling tenderly as she says, "I love you Becs. I want you. It's only right to end my relationship with her."

It hurts. It hurts to hear the love revelation again. Beca turns her head away, sighing heavily with her eyes closed, clenching her free hand to hold the pang in her chest. If she had heard those words from Chloe ten years ago, or even maybe six years ago, she would've burst in happiness. Scratch that, she would've been the happiest person alive. 

However, the very same words only brings a suffocating pang in Beca's chest today, a pang of guilt. She takes a few deep breaths, and un-clenches her hand to ease the pain in her chest.

After she deems that she's calm enough, Beca turns her head slowly back to face Chloe and mutters, "Chloe..." she pauses, closing her eyes, preparing herself for another pain she's going to cause on the red head, breathing in the chilly air into her lungs before she says in barely a whisper, "I'm afraid... No, I'm dreading... that I can't give you what you want."

Chloe moves her body to sit cross-legged facing Beca from aside. She raises one hand, cupping and brushing her thumb gently on Beca's cheek, smiling ever so fondly as she says, "You can Beca. I know you do."

The sincerity and vulnerability in Chloe's voice punches Beca's on her gut, and she can't bring herself to look at Chloe. So she turns her head to look forward, and simply sighs heavily.

Determined to convince Beca, Chloe straightens up, trying to look Beca in the eye when she says, "I've heard from Stacie that you and Ashley broke up."

Beca nods lightly, keeping her eyes on the view in front of her, trying to shield the pain from the truth in Chloe's words. Turns out, it's harder to hear the reality from someone else.

"Then maybe we can have our chance." Chloe tilts Beca's head gently on her chin to face her. "The chance we could've had more than ten years ago. Fourteen years ago."

As gentle as she can, Beca pulls Chloe's hand away from her face and says, "I'm sorry Chloe."

Chloe sighs deeply, her eyes are showing hurt with a hint of hope when she says, "This is the second chance of our happy ending, Becs. I know it. You just have to open up yourself for the possibility that you can be happy with me. That we can be happy together."

Can't bring herself to see the hope in Chloe's eyes, again, Beca turns her head aside. Then she runs her fingers through her hair, blowing out damp air through her mouth but says nothing.

"I can make you happy Becs." Chloe says so softly. "Trust me."

Beca lets out a sad smile, rolling her teary eyes helplessly before she says, "I have no doubt that you can, Chlo. I've seen it in college, how you could light up my day only with a single smile." She swallows hard. "But I can't do the same to you. I... I don't think I can make you happy in the way you want me to."

"It's not true." Chloe says as she caresses Beca's hair gently. "You are the only person who can make me the happiest I've ever been. In fact, you're the one that can make me feel the most in my life. That's why I know that I love you with every fiber of my being."

Beca sighs, taking Chloe's hand in hers, squeezing it gently, looking right into Chloe's eyes sadly before she says, "That's the thing Chlo. I feel the same way... But not with you."

A single tear escapes Chloe's eyes as she closes them gently to shield away the hurt that's spreading up from her chest. She lets out a damp sigh, shaking her head slightly, and then opens her eyes to beg, "You can learn to love me again Becs. I know you still love me. Deep inside of your heart, there's still a piece of love that's reserved only for me. If you don't, then you wouldn't have kissed me back at all."

Still with sad smile and teary eyes, Beca swallows down the lump, cups Chloe's cheek, letting the red head kisses her palm before she replies, "I know." She blows out a shaky breath. "I know Chlo. You are my first love Chloe. You will always have a place in my heart. But... my heart doesn't belong to me anymore."

It feels like a dagger is stabbed straight into her chest, and Chloe has to take a moment to compose herself before she breathes out, "Ashley."

With a shaky nod, Beca says, "You were right. That kiss was... eye opening."

Chloe looks at her with undeniable sorrow in her eyes. "All the things you said about how she made you fall in love with her, I can do the same. I can do what she's done. I will keep you in line. I will keep you safe."

"It's..." Beca shakes her head real light and swallows hard before saying, "It's not about what she did, or what you couldn't. I just... maybe it's the timing, maybe it's..." She scoffs lightly. "People said that the heart wants what it wants."

"But there must be something, Becs..." Chloe says in pleading. "Make me understand... Because... because I thought that... I believe we're meant to be together. So try... make me understand. What did I do wrong? Or... what did I not do right for you?"

Beca smiles fondly, staring at Chloe's blue eyes as she says, "You're amazing, Chlo. You... made me realize that I'm capable of loving. Back in college, I didn't know how it felt like to love someone. Until I met you. That's the best thing I'll never be able to repay you. You're so amazing that you could turn the snarky skeptic broken me into someone who's able to accept that I'm in love."

"But?" Chloe says in barely a whisper.

"There's no but, Chlo." Beca softly says. "No but. I've told you. You were the first one that broke into my wall, brick by brick, and then you set yourself in it. And I'm beyond thankful for that. You'd made me open up myself to you. You'd showed me that I can have a room for someone else in my life."

"Oh." Chloe seems to get an insight.

"Oh?"

"Ashley..." Chloe says dejectedly. "She didn't just put down your wall and set herself in your life thoroughly... She also managed to pull you out to see the other side of your wall."

Beca didn't even realize how true it was until now. With a heavy sigh, she weakly says, "Yeah. She did. Through all the hurt and the happiness, time and time again she managed to show me what's real. That... there's more to life than just how I feel. She made me face my fear, and never once she sheltered me from everything life have for me. Good and bad. Instead, she stood by me in the open, and let me learn my lesson. Learn to take responsibilities of my own decisions. She made me... step out of my shell."

"I can do better, Becs." Chloe says stubbornly with tears in her eyes, pushing to change Beca's mind. "I can do all of that without causing you pain. And I can take the pain away from you. I will always wait until you're ready for everything. And I will never push you by leaving. Ever."

"Then I wouldn't have grown up at all Chloe." Beca says with a sad smile toward the red head. "I don't want my pain erased. As wretched as it is, I need my pain. It makes me who I am."

Chloe lets out a shaky breath, speaking raggedly, "I can be whatever you need, Beca. Please..."

Beca stares at Chloe's blue eyes, thinking about how she could choose to let go off someone who loves her this much. Then she swallows hard and says, "Then you wouldn't be yourself, Chlo. You'd be too concerned to be someone you thought I'd love. And then you'd forget to love yourself."

"But I'll be happy loving you. Having you." Chloe says sadly, grabbing Beca's hand and squeezes it gently.

Beca smiles with teary eyes and says, "No, you won't." She lets out a shaky breath as she continues, "And I can't be the reason you spend the rest of your life unhappy. Especially for me. And after what I did to you ten years ago, I just..." She sighs heavily. "I refuse to be a person who dim the light in Chloe Beale's life. Again."

"Then choose me, Becs." Chloe pleads with tears threatening to pour out from her eyes. "Please..."

"Honestly," Beca swallows hard, trying to push down the lump in her throat and then she cracks, "It's more like a realization than choosing, Chlo. I... I'm in love with Ashley."

Feeling hopeless, Chloe closes her eyes in defeat, dropping her head down, letting her tears falling freely from the tip of her nose. After a while, with her voice cracked, Chloe asks, "Are- are you sure that th- there's nothing I can do or say to make you mine?"

Beca cups Chloe's cheeks, lifting her head gently before kissing her forehead. Then she pulls away, wiping the tears on Chloe's cheek with her thumbs as she says, "You deserve so much more than a person with half a heart, Chlo."

Can't hold the pain anymore, Chloe hugs Beca dearly on her waist, sobbing hard on her shoulder. Then Beca pulls Chloe closer, adjusting their position so Chloe is now snuggled up onto her chest in between her pulled up legs.

They sit for a long time like that; Chloe with tears running down her face and sobbing hard, while Beca holds her tight silently, pressing her lips on the top of Chloe's head. The sobbing is so heart wrenching that Beca sheds tears herself.

It takes a long time, but they remain in that position even after Chloe's tears subside. At some point, Chloe speaks up again.

 

Chapter Text

 

After a while, Chloe's tears subside, and she wipes it with her hand before calling with hoarse voice, "Becs..."

"Hmm?"

"Why did you break up with Ashley?"

After swallowing hard, Beca says with restraint voice, "She uh... she broke up with me."

"Because of the kiss?"

"Kind of." Beca says dejectedly. "She thought that... I wasn't sure about my feelings for her. She said, she can't have a relationship where she's sure about us while I'm not."

"That easy?"

"Huh?"

"She didn't even try to fight for you?"

"No." Beca holds her breath. "Not this time she said."

"Why?"

"Well," Beca clears her throat. "Ashley... she doesn't like to be in doubt. She's one of those few people. You know, the people who knows what they want. Who knows... which baggage to carry, which one that they can live with, which consequences that they can bear with. And Ashley... her conscience is always clear. She knows what she knows and wants. And she's never let anybody make a decision for her."

"No offense, Becs." With a scoff, Chloe says matter-of-factly. "But it sounds like one hell of bullshit for me. I mean, does it mean she can bear with letting you go even though she loves you?"

Beca sighs heavily and says, "I... guess so."

"Don't you think that it's just an excuse?" Chloe asks doubtfully. "A beautifully wrapped excuse of not wanting to deal with the fact that maybe she's not the right person for you?"

"I... don't think so." Beca furrows her eyebrows, thinking about the fight she had with Ashley before they broke up. "She just... she said that she can't have this relationship where she's in a constant wondering, fear, that I haven't moved on from you. That... it's always been you for me. So instead of pushing herself to stand her ground, which would tear me, us, apart, that in the end would hurt both me and her, she chose to... take the baggage she could carry. Without hurting us more than necessary."

"Because she thought that you don't love her enough?"

"Yea."

"Why would she think that way?"

"Because I gave her more than enough reasons to."

"What reasons?"

"Over the years," Beca takes a deep breath. "From the beginning, she has always been the one who stepped forward first. But me... I've always been the one who needed to be pushed. And I think, it's just the seal. You know, that kiss, our kiss, is the seal. She just... connected the dots that all this time, I wasn't only afraid of having a commitment. I was also not sure about loving her. And that is something she'd never thought about before. She can deal with it when it's only me and my insecurity of commitment. She's been tirelessly showed me that I can be fear all my way to Pluto, but in the end, she's here to stay. But then you came along, and..."

When Beca sighs in the end of her sentence, Chloe says, "And she can't push you to love who you love."

"Yea." Beca says dejectedly.

"Where did you find someone like her?" Chloe asks in disbelief.

Beca chuckles and says, "I think... she found me. I'm just lucky."

"Hmmm..." Chloe is in deep thought, pursing her lips before asking, "Don't you think it's too surreal? I mean, being so unselfish?"

"Believe me. I've been asking the same thing." Beca says in mock annoyance. "But she always said that she's selfish. Just in different ways. For her, pushing me to change is selfish. She said, she needed me in her life, and in order to get what she needed, I had to change. I had to be and do better."

Then Chloe chuckles, along with a half-annoyed eye rolling as she says, "That's lame."

"I know." Beca chuckles. "She's just... wonderful that way. And rarely actually taking the credit. Most of the time, she just... played it off."

"How did you find her again?" Chloe asks teasingly.

"Have no idea." Again, Beca chuckles, and then she says, "But after meeting her family, her father especially, I wasn't surprised anymore. I'm still wondering, but I think I know one or two things. Jeff is a professor of positive psychology in Stanford. And he is... the most emotionally secured and stable person I've ever met. I guess Ashley just has the best gene and a great role model. She's been practicing meditation since what... four years old I think. And she's compassionate. I believe Ashley is just following her dad's footstep. And her sister is just as collected."

"So she's emotionally secure and stable too." Chloe states casually.

"Hmmm..." Beca purses her lips. "Not as good as her father yet. I think. I mean, she still yell at me whenever she's angry and stuff. And the constant pinching and arm slapping..."

Chloe laughs lightly and teases, "You sure it's not because you deserve it?"

"Shut up." Beca says in mock annoyance. Then her smile turns soft as she says, "She's... quite emotionally secured and resilience for her age. She embraces pain as much as she embraces happiness in her life. She told me not to be picky and discriminate emotions. They're all equal. Can't favor one more than the other. So when she's sad, then she's sad. When she's angry, then she's angry. When she's happy, then she's happy. Never the one to sugarcoat bad things or exaggerate good stuff."

"How could it make any difference?"

"Well," Beca shrugs. "I don't quite understand too. But Ashley always told me that our life isn't about what happen to us. It's about our state of mind in dealing with what happen to us. When it happens, it happens. Just... let yourself know and aware that it happens."

"What does it mean?"

"I think you should talk to her to understand this." Beca says with bored tone. "Like I said, I too, still don't understand. She's just... one of those people, you know. Who's not afraid of putting herself out there, knowing that whatever happen, they will be able to push through by really experiencing it."

"I'm wondering..." Chloe sighs. "How it feels like to live without so much baggage."

"Don't ask me." Beca says matter-of-factly. "I still don't know how to do that. Why did we talk about this again?"

"Hmmm..." Chloe purses her lips. "Ah. You two broke up. And she left you."

With a heavy sigh, Beca says, "She did."

"Again." Chloe states sympathetically.

"I know." Beca says in barely a whisper.

"What would you do now Becs?"

"I... don't know." Beca sighs deeply. "I guess... I'll just..." She sighs. "Do the best I can to get her back. To change her mind."

"What if she doesn't come back?"

"Then..." Beca swallows hard. "Then I don't get her back."

"Are you sure you want to face that heart break?" Chloe asks softly. "To take that risk?"

With Chloe still in her arms, Beca lifts her left hand up so Chloe can see the tattoo on it. It's written with a diagonal permanent ink, align from the edge side of her wrist, and stop right before the tip of the knuckle of her index finger.

"I had this tattoo after I moved in with her three years ago." Beca says softly.

"Take a leap of faith." Chloe reads it out. "What does it mean?"

With a soft smile, Beca says, "Ashley. She's my leap of faith. Every time I decided to be with her, to go after her, every single significant leaps I've done is because of loving her. This tattoo is my reminder that I finally had enough courage to jump over my fears and insecurities. To love and to be loved by her. Completely surrender everything I am and I have to her."

It's hard for Chloe to hear how a person that's not her, could change so many things about Beca. Her Beca. She can't help but thinking that she's not a good enough person.

Maybe I'm just too broken for her.

Maybe it's all in my head that I could've done the same things.

After a while, Beca says, "It's too loud."

"What's too loud?"

"The gear in your head." Beca says nonchalantly. "It's turning like crazy. And it's driving me crazy."

"Oh."

"What are you thinking Chlo?" Beca asks softly.

After clearing her throat, Chloe gathers her courage to ask, "Do you... If back in college you had told me that you were in love with me, do you think we're gonna be happy?"

Beca lets out a soft chuckle and says, "I think so."

"Why?"

"Well," Beca starts softly. "My therapist said that I lived my life in black and white. I've always thought that I knew what people think of me, and how they would've treated me. That for me, there's only one way to think about everything. And that's true. That's why having an unexpected experience with unexpected person always intrigue me."

"What do you mean?"

"Such as some red head barged into my shower."

Chloe giggles and teases, "Oh you loved it."

"I did." Beca says nonchalantly. "Who wouldn't. But who in their right mind would have the courage to just rush into other person's shower only because she was curious of the voice. And naked."

"Hey!" Chloe pouts. "I have a right mind. I'm just a curious person."

Beca chuckles and playfully says, "Yeah... believe whatever you want to believe, Red."

"Hmph." Again, with that pout.

With a light laughter, Beca shakes her head, still amused by the pout, and then she continues, "At audition, after singing, I understood why Aubrey looked at me in despise. But you? You looked at me like I hung the stars in the sky. That was unexpected."

"Hm..."

"Then after Warren bailed me out of jail, you were the one who said of course we're waiting for you. And I didn't expect that either."

A soft smile appears on Chloe's face as the memories passes her mind.

"When you stood up for me against Aubrey, I also didn't think you would ever do that."

"I'm blushing." Chloe mutters. "But keep going."

Beca chuckles and says, "I can keep going. There were so many of them. So many things that had changed my life. You... had changed my life in a way that I had never possibly thought of before meeting you. Without you, I wouldn't have been in The Bella and had such an amazing family, a village of sisters. You made me happy, even when you weren't my girlfriend. Only by loving you, I was happy. And if we had had our chance, I'd so much hope that I could've made you as happy as you'd made me."

"So..." Chloe says with shaky voice. "You think we would've been happy if you had been brave enough to tell me."

"I believe so." Beca says softly. "I needed someone with the color of rainbow to make me see differently. And you did. Like I said Chlo. It's all just... the matter of timing. I was young and... too scared. And then after Warren disowned me, I hid away, and then time passed by, and suddenly, my life has been different."

"And then you met Ashley." Chloe states bitterly.

While nodding her head absentmindedly, Beca says, "And then I met Ashley. And she is..."

"The right person for you?" Chloe asks curiously with a soft tone. "Your one true love?"

Beca scoffs lightly and says, "I just like to think that... her crazy fits mine."

"How?"

"Well," Beca smiles fondly. "One instance, even after she found out everything about me, she's never tipped toeing around me. She's never let me use my past as an excuse to not be better."

"Huh?"

After taking a long deep breath, Beca says, "One time, we were already together for more than three years, I had to stay in London for half a year. So we had a long distance, and there was a rumor about her cheating on me. I called and yelled at her, she flew to London, we fought on that, she yelled that I'm being paranoid and ridiculous, and I snapped out Warren's cheating on my mother card as an excuse, and then she said, and I quote, Yeah, you had a crappy childhood, and a crappy father. Boo hoo. But now you're being just as crappy for thinking that I would ever do the same to you!"

With wide eyes, Chloe gasps, "She said that?"

"Yep." Beca pops the P. "And then she walked out of my apartment. Flew right back home to L.A."

"She did not!" Chloe becomes more shocked.

"Yep." Beca says nonchalantly. "She did."

"And you chased her back?" Chloe asks in disbelief. "You begged her to come back to you? After what she said? After what she did?"

"Yep." Beca says with a chuckle. "I flew back to L.A. a week later after pulling my head out of my ass. When I got back home, she simply looked at me with her arms crossed on her chest, waiting for an apologize from me for not trusting her and accusing her. And I apologize."

"And did she apologize?"

"Nope." Beca chuckles. "She said in a full force of annoyance, and again, I quote, You are so maddening to be in love with, Beca Mitchell. But I love you anyway. Then I kissed her. End of story."

"What?" Chloe is in complete shock.

Beca chuckles and says, "Ashley is never the one who apologizes when she doesn't do anything wrong. Like I said, her crazy fits mine. I needed someone to constantly slap me back into reality. Into something real that I have in front on me. Not behind me."

"Hah." Chloe is dumfounded. "Unbelievable."

"I know." Beca says with a light smile.

Then they fall into a silent moment for a long while. Eventually, Beca says, "Chlo, I need to ask you something."

"Hm?"

"Uh..." Beca is hesitant, but she asks anyway. "Why didn't you tell me about your feelings back in college?"

Upon feeling how tense Chloe becomes in an instant, Beca hurriedly adds, "I mean, it's okay if you don't want me to know. I'm just... the thought just crossed my mind."

After blowing out a long steady breath from her mouth, Chloe says, "I've never really thought about it before."

"Hm." Beca simply nods.

"I guess..." Chloe says unsurely. "Maybe I was... scared too. I mean, after you told me about your parents, I thought you were not into any kind of relationship. And I didn't know that you were gay. And more importantly, you were my best friend. And I also knew that you were a runner. And I loved having you around. So..."

"I bet you did." Beca says smugly. "I'm such a keeper."

Chloe eases down her tension in an instant and chuckles. Then she says, "We were just as scared."

"Yeah." Beca says nonchalantly. "And it's okay. We were young and naive."

"Stupid you mean."

Beca laughs, and then Chloe laughs too. After the laughter unwind, Chloe straightens up, taking a place in front of the brunette with her leg crossed. She takes a deep breath and asks with a sad smile, "You really love her, don't you?"

Without hesitation, Beca smiles fondly and says, "Love her enough to choose to live forward, more than enough to never run and hide again."

Then Chloe simply stares at the person she loves the most. Beca has this blinding spark in her smile and her face that Chloe has never seen before. She can see that Beca is somehow content.

It would've been a lie if she's said that she's not feeling any hurt. Chloe is indeed hurting. She sighs deeply with a sad smile, and then suddenly, Kristen's words flows back into her mind. "I can at least not stand in the way if there's a chance she can have them. So, that's what I'm doing. Giving her a chance of happiness and love that she thinks she deserves."

Chloe scoffs lightly, thinking how ironic it is to learn from someone she's left behind. Then she closes her eyes, finally admitting defeat, and softly says, "I let you go then."

With her eyebrows raise in surprise, Beca blurts out, "You what?"

Gently, Chloe cups Beca's right cheek and says with teary eyes, "I let you go, Becs."

Now with her eyebrows furrowed, Beca hesitantly asks, "You... let me go?"

"Yeah." Chloe nods very lightly, still with that sad smile. "I let you go."

"We can still be friends, right?" Beca asks worriedly in an instant.

Chloe looks at Beca longingly, brushing a strain of hair to the back of her ear, smiling softly before saying, "I don't want to live my life without you ever again. I've had enough of it for ten years."

With a grin so wide, Beca pulls the red head in a tight hug, and Chloe hugs her back just as tightly. They stay hugging each other for a while until Chloe pulls back and says, "Let's go inside."

Beca nods, standing up and offers her hand to help Chloe up, and then Chloe takes her hand and stands up before walking back into the house hand in hand.

Once they're inside, Aubrey and Stacie gasp when they see their best friends are holding hands while Emily shots Beca a confused look.

"Did you two finally-" Aubrey asks instantly, but Chloe shots her a look that made her stop half way. Stacie sees that look too, so she doesn't ask anything more. Then Chloe and Beca join them in the living room, simply talking about the reunion plan.

Aubrey keeps on glancing toward Chloe, who becomes more silent and detached as the hours pass by. That behavior indeed alarms her. At some point around 01.00 AM, Emily says, "It's getting late, Pop. Let's go home."

Beca nods toward the younger bella, and turns her head toward Chloe before she asks, "See you Sunday?"

When Chloe doesn't respond but staring blankly forward, Aubrey immediately says a bit louder, "Chloe."

Slowly, Chloe turns to look at her blonde best friend. "Hm?"

Slightly worried, Beca asks, "You okay Chlo?"

"U huh." Chloe says weakly.

"So..." Beca isn't convinced, but she brushes it off. "See you Sunday?"

"What's on Sunday?" Chloe asks.

"Oh." Emily immediately chips in. "You weren't here when I asked. I'm planning a dinner only with my bella sisters in town on Sunday. Will you come?"

"Of course I will Em." Chloe replied, giving the younger bella a light smile that somehow doesn't reach her eyes.

Too focused on staring at Chloe in confusion, Beca's missed how the other three bellas are stealing glances toward each other.

Then Emily puts on a smile, clears her throat, and says, "Okay then. See you all Sunday."

"Yeah. See you Sunday." Stacie mumbles while her wife is watching Chloe closely.

Then Beca stands up, but Chloe doesn't let go of her hand. Instead, she stands up, pulling Beca closer and looks her in the eye before hugging her tightly. Chloe can feel a heavy burden in her chest, suffocating her.

Beca is indeed confused by the sudden change of mood. Moreover, she's worried, yet she says nothing but giving Emily a puzzled look, to which Emily simply shrugs with a tight smile.

After quite some time, Chloe pulls back and presses a gentle kiss on Beca's forehead. She lingers for more than a couple of seconds until Beca can't help it anymore and asks, "Are you okay, Chlo?"

Chloe pulls back, swallowing hard, simply giving the tiny brunette a nod with a smile without saying anything.

"Are you sure?" Beca stares at her worriedly with narrowed eyes.

Again, Chloe doesn't say anything but biting her bottom lip and nods.

Beca senses that something is off with Chloe. So she looks at Aubrey, and Aubrey seems to avoid her gaze when she says, "It's way past midnight. Why don't you two stay the night? Emily can stay with Chloe, and Beca can use the other guestroom."

The offer confuses Beca even more. But when she looks at each of her friends, they simply give her a tight smile. Although Beca is reluctant to stay, but there's something about Chloe that she can't exactly put what it is.

Again, Beca looks at Emily, Aubrey, and Stacie who all have the same concern look toward Chloe. So she puts on a smile and nods as she says, "Sounds like a good idea."

Instantly, the air becomes lighter, and Aubrey sighs in relief.

"Let's go shorty." Stacie says while keeps stealing glances toward Chloe. "I'll show you the guestroom."

On the other hand, Emily pulls Chloe's hand and tries to be cheerful when she says, "Come on Mom. Let's have a mother daughter quality time."

The odd thing is, Chloe still won't let go of Beca's hand. Instead, she looks at Emily shyly, and clears her throat before apologetically says, "Actually, do you mind if Beca stay with me tonight, Em?"

Emily glances at a very surprised yet confused Beca as if asking whether she's okay staying with Chloe for the night. Then Beca pulls her jaw up, looking back at Emily, showing that she's uncomfortable with the idea.

Aubrey immediately meddles and says, "Chloe, I-"

"Please Becs." Chloe cuts her off, pleading toward Beca. "Just one night. Like in college."

Still confused and slightly panicking, Beca runs her fingers through her hair, looking back and forth between Stacie and Emily as if asking for support. But they say nothing.

Other than Beca, they all knew Chloe's condition after Beca left ten years ago. Now they are terrified of what would happen to the red head after Beca chose Ashley over her.

Chloe seems to be on the verge of crying, and the other three bellas somehow seem to be torn and afraid. So Beca sighs deeply and nods, earning a squeal from the red head. Chloe pulls her into a hug and excitedly says, "I will prepare the room and clothes for you."

After Chloe rushes to her room, Emily is quick to stand in front of Beca, putting her hands on Beca's shoulder and asks, "You okay Pop?"

"I uh..." Beca is still in complete lost. "I'm honestly not sure."

Aubrey comes closer to the tiny brunette, failing to hide her irritation when she asks, "What happened?"

With her eyebrows furrowed, looking like she has no idea what is happening, Beca swallows hard and says, "She uh... she was fine? I think?"

Aubrey raises an eyebrow, waiting for an explanation.

Feeling so clueless, Beca explains, "I told her that I can't be with her, and then she said she let me go, and in the end she said that we can still be friends. I thought she was fine. Well, now I'm not so sure. I mean, seeing the way she's acting, I... What just happened?"

Aubrey's face immediately turns into worry mode, while Emily and Stacie also show the same concern.

"There's something you don't know about Chloe after you left." Stacie says worriedly.

"Huh?" Beca stares at Stacie with puzzled look.

Stacie taps her foot nervously, looking back and forth between Emily and Aubrey before she hesitantly says, "Chloe, she uh..."

Then Aubrey pulls her hand to cut her off when she sees Chloe walking down the stairs. On the other hand, Beca, who hasn't seen the red head yet, asks, "She what?"

"Chloe!" Emily calls out fast. "You're back."

Beca whips her head toward the red head behind her, unaware that her face still look confused with her eyebrows furrowed.

Upon seeing the look on Beca's face, Chloe's face turns white, and she frantically asks, "Do you change your mind, Becs? Did I push you too far? Do you- Is it not fine with you?"

Obviously, Chloe is panicking. She is sweating, her fingers are fidgeting, her face pale, and her breath shortened. Beca knows this sign so well because she herself had had the same experiences.

Beca quickly grabs Chloe's arms gently, and with a calming smile, she says, "Of course not, Chlo. I'm glad I get to spend the night with you. It's been a long while."

A relieved smile immediately appears on Chloe's face, and then she says, "Let's go to bed then."

Just as Chloe pulls Beca with her to head upstairs, Emily cautiously asks, "Hey, Chloe. Do you mind if I borrow Pop for a second?" When she sees the puzzled look on Chloe's face, she adds, "An idea for a song just popped into my mind."

Chloe purses her lips and sighs before she relents. "Don't take too long, Em. She needs to get some sleep."

"Sure." Emily says in relief. She pulls Beca to the kitchen with Stacie following them closely. Once they are out of hearing range, Stacie immediately says, "Chloe is ha-""

"She's having a hard time Pop." Emily cuts her off. While Beca is looking back to Emily in disbelief, Stacie is looking at the younger bella in confusion as she says, "Em, wha-"

Emily looks at Stacie, hinting her to stop talking and she says toward Beca, "You just told her your decision. Also, she just got you back. It will take her some times to adjust."

Still not buying it, Beca looks at the two tall brunettes back and forth with obvious concern and confusion on her face, feeling that her friends are hiding something from her. But when they say nothing, she simply nods, knowing that Chloe is waiting for her. And she doesn't want to make the panicking red read waits too long.

Then Beca walks back into the living room, standing next to Chloe, and the red head immediately laces their hands together. Beca simply gives her a calming smile, and turns to Stacie with puzzled look. But Stacie just nods at her, giving her a hint to go along, making Beca becomes even more confused and worried.

Chloe pulls Beca with her and walks up the stairs. Half way through, she hears Aubrey playfully says, "You can at least say good night to us. You know, the less best friend of yours, Chloe."

As she turns on her heels, Chloe giggles and says, "Aw... no need to be jealous, Bree. You all are my best friends. And I love you all almost equally."

Upon seeing that Choe has come back to her bubbly self, Aubrey smiles in relief and says, "Glad to know that we're almost on the same level as the hobbit."

"Good night, gals." Chloe says with a huge grin before turning and pulling Beca into her room.

As soon as they heard the soft tap of door closing, Stacie turns to Emily and asks in upset, "What the hell are you doing Em?"

Emily ignores her and turns to Aubrey instead to ask in concern, "Is Chloe gonna be okay Bree?"

"I don't think so." Aubrey shakes her head with distressed look. "We must tell Beca as soon as possible."

"I'll explain it to her tomorrow." Stacie says worriedly.

"Can we uh... wait?" Emily asks cautiously.

"What do you mean wait?" Aubrey raises her voice.

Emily sighs and sheepishly says, "I know Chloe is... not well. But Beca has a lot in her hands now with Ashley. She's hanging by a thread. She hasn't been sleeping or eating well. And you know how she is when she's in distress. Can we at least wait until they work their relationship issue to tell Beca? I don't think her heart is strong enough to handle more."

"I'll explain to you later." Stacie tells her confused wife before turning to Emily and asks, "She remembers to take her meds right?"

"Yeah." Emily says, still with worried look. "I make sure of that every day. Ashley gave me a clear instruction and texted me every day to check on Pop. She would've killed me if I've let Beca missed her meds. But I can't always be with her 24/7. I can't control everything when she's home or not with me."

"Hmmm..." Stacie sighs tiredly. "I don't like this idea Em."

"Me too Stace." Emily says dejectedly. "But-"

"But what about Chloe?" Aubrey cuts her off in upset.

"I'll make sure Beca comes here every day until we tell her the truth." Emily says almost in pleading. "I promise Bree."

When Aubrey wants to debate, Stacie says, "Both of them are at risk Babe. We have to compromise. Emily will keep an eye on Beca, and the two of us will handle Chloe's situation."

"Beca has a risk?" Aubrey asks doubtfully without hiding her annoyance. "Another flight risk? It's getting old Babe."

"I'll explain to you later." Stacie says with a weak smile. "But... it's not about her running away again."

Upon seeing the concerned look on her wife, Aubrey sighs in defeat and nods. Then the three of them head to their own rooms.


Chloe's Room

Beca is in the bathroom, washing her face, brushing her teeth, and then changing into a shirt and sweat pants Chloe lent her. She takes her time to calm herself from panicking for the thought of staying on the same bed with another woman other than Ashley after ten years.

When she walks out, Chloe is already under the blanket, paying attention on her phone. As anxiety raising in her, Beca simply stands quietly, paying attention to her feet, rubbing the back of her neck, shuffling her feet, feeling out of place.

"Get your cute little butt here, Mitchell." Chloe says cheerfully once she notices Beca standing by the bathroom door nervously. Then Beca looks up at her, giving the red head a smile and drags her feet slowly to sit on the edge of the bed.

"Come on Becs." Chloe said playfully. "I promise I won't bite."

Beca chuckles nervously, trying to humor the red head. She slowly lays her back on the bed, taking a space near the edge of the bed, lying stiffly with her hands on her stomach.

On the other hand, Chloe pulls one of Beca's arm, slipping herself between the arm and Beca's body, snuggling up onto the brunette's chest. She rests one of her arm on Beca's abdomen, and stretches her leg across Beca's.

Beca tense up immediately, feeling nausea raising up from her stomach, but she swallows hard and stutters, "Uh... Chlo, I uh..."

"Relax, Becs." Chloe cuts her off softly. "We've slept like this for hundreds of times back in college."

"But I uh..." Beca stutters, trying to explain as she begins to panic. "I haven't slept on the same bed with anybody else in ten years except with-"

"Ashley." Chloe pulls herself up a little bit to look at Beca with annoyance showing on her face. "I know."

Beca is speechless from Chloe's reaction, staring at the red head with wide eyes.

"Look Becs." Chloe says firmly. "I'm back in your life now. If Ashley wants to be in your life too, then she has to accept the fact that I'm your best friend, and we can do what best friends do. Just like we did in college."

If Beca was speechless before, now she's stunned. She's never seen this side of Chloe, which reminds her of how unusual Stacie and Emily's behavior in the kitchen. She takes a few deep breaths, trying to calm herself from the panic attack.

Upon seeing the brunette's half-shocked and half-scared expression, Chloe sighs deeply, and her face turns calm as she says with soften tone, "I'm sorry Becs. I didn't mean to lash on you. I just..." She pauses and exhales a long breath before adding, "Can you try? Please."

Beca swallows hard and nods lightly, still trying to grasp the air to calm her nerves. Once she becomes calmer, Chloe lays back on her chest and hums lightly to a song that Beca recognizes as Titanium.

Cautiously, Beca puts an arm on Chloe's back, pats the back of her shoulder gently, and then puts her other arm on the side of her head with her fist resting on the top of her crown.

This is gonna be another sleepless night. Beca thought to herself.

"Night night Becs." Chloe says sleepily.

"Night Chlo." Beca mutters.

Not long after, Chloe falls asleep. On the other hand, Beca is busy with her mind, wondering about what happened to Chloe after she left, and trying to alter how it feels like to be sleeping on the same bed with Chloe.

Beca can't shake off this feeling that she's cheating on Ashley again. Beca sighs deeply, drowning in a miserable feeling of missing her ex. How she would give anything just to have Ashley by her side tonight.


Stacie and Aubrey's Bedroom

Stacie is lying with Aubrey in her arms; her fingers are curling Aubrey's blonde hair, while Aubrey is rubbing her chest gently.

"What happened with Beca, Babe?" Aubrey asks her wife softly.

Stacie sighs deeply and says, "After Barden, Beca developed bad habits to deal with her guilty feeling and loneliness. She drank every night, she smoked packs a day, and to be sober enough to work, she had way too much coffee through the day."

"Hmmm..." Aubrey responds curiously. "Was she in depression or something?"

"I don't know for sure about her diagnosis." Stacie says. "Only her psychiatrist and Ashley that know everything about her. But those destructive behaviors led to a heart and lungs problem. Six years ago, she had two heart attacks, and she still has asthma until now. That's why she doesn't drink either caffeinated coffee, or alcohol, and has to take meds daily. She's been sober for more than five years now."

"Since Ashley." Aubrey says calmly.

"Since Ashley." Stacie nods.

"That's why you said that Ashley saved Beca from herself."

"Exactly."

After a moment of silent, Aubrey dares herself to ask, "Are you afraid that Beca will fall back to her old habits after breaking up with Ashley?"

"Hmmm..." Stacie purses her lips, thinking for a while before saying, "I don't think so."

Aubrey pulls herself up to look at her wife questioningly, and Stacie kisses her lips before pulling her to lay back on her chest and says, "Beca has changed throughout the years being with Ashley. She's become stronger. Loving Ashley gives her so many reasons to not only live, but also live better. I believe she won't fall back to that broken road."

"But you were worried about her before, about her taking the meds." Aubrey says matter-of-factly.

"She uh..." Stacie says with a tired chuckle. "It's just... After being with Ashley for years, Beca doesn't know how to be alone. And it distresses her more than anything. And when she's distressed, Beca tends to forget to take her meds, her meals, and even to sleep. She will also skip her meditation and working out session. All of that in the end can cause her another heart attack."

"Isn't it not healthy?" Aubrey asks in concern. "I mean to depend on someone that much?"

"She doesn't do it in purpose, Babe." Stacie explains patiently. "She's kinda used to be taken care of by Ashley. Including being reminded to eat, work out, meditate, take her meds, and sometimes, even to sleep. If not, she usually forgets. She's just careless and forgetful that way. Especially when she's drowned with ideas and works. And when she's distressed, it all becomes worse. But Emily said she's getting better. She worked out this morning and had breakfast without being reminded."

"Hmmm..." Aubrey nods understandingly. "No wonder you speak so highly of her. I guess you're right. Ashley did save the hobbit from herself."

Stacie rolls her eyes and playfully says, "Sometimes I can be right, Mrs. Always Right."

After slapping her wife gently on her chest, Aubrey kisses Stacie's jaw and asks, "Do you think they're going to be okay? I mean, Beca and Ashley."

"I don't know." Stacie says through a sigh. "I mean, with Chloe's condition, and Beca's heart, I just... I don't know how to think about Beca and Ashley."

"That's why you're so torn." Aubrey says sympathetically.

"Yeah." Stacie says with a tired scoff. "I want both of them to be happy. But how? How to have them both happy when they both want different things? When... if Chloe gets what she wants, meaning Beca won't get hers. And the other way around. And with their track record in dealing with problems..."

"I know..." Aubrey sighs, rubbing Stacie's arm to soothe her. "You said that Beca has been seeing a psychiatrist since three years ago. Shouldn't she be better at taking care of herself and coping with her problems?"

"She is." Stacie says. "But something like this... It never really goes away Babe. I mean, look at Chloe."

With defeated sigh, Aubrey says, "I guess you're right. Years of sweat and tears crawling out from that hole, ruined only by one night of meeting Beca."

"Yeah." Stacie says worriedly. "Have you taken care of Chloe's room?"

"I have." Aubrey says in reassurance. "And also our house."

"Have you limited everything to only what she needs for her daily life?" Stacie asks again worriedly.

Aubrey nods and says, "I have Babe. I believe I've covered everything."

"Okay." Stacie sighs. Then a soft smile appears on her face when she says, "I'm proud of you."

"Hm?"

"You've handled your first meeting with Beca very well, even in your standard." Stacie says teasingly.

Aubrey chuckles and says, "I'm a grown up Babe. You think I would've blowed out chunks at her?"

"Can't say it didn't cross my mind." Stacie giggles. "I mean, with your track record of handling stress, I think I might need to put a reminder in my phone. The day Aubrey Posen-Conrad didn't puke. It will be-"

Aubrey simply cuts her off by kissing her, deeply. And it turns out to be effective.

And you know what happen next. No need for elaboration.


Aubrey and Stacie's House: Saturday Morning, October 4 th 2025

Aubrey and Chloe are preparing breakfast while Emily, Stacie, Bella, and Beca are sitting around the dining table with drink in their hands.

The eating position is set. Stacie is always sitting at the head of the table, Bella sits on Stacie's left side, and Aubrey's seat is on her wife's right side. So Emily takes a seat next to Aubrey, while Beca sits next to Bella across from Emily, and it seems like Chloe will sit next to Beca.

"Did you sleep well, Shorty?" Stacie asks Beca in almost a whisper, trying not to be heard by the red head.

Beca rolls her eyes and then stares at her with an eyebrow raised as if saying Seriously? Do you even need to ask?

"Oh, right." Stacie gives her an apologetic smile. "Silly of me to ask."

With a light shrug, Beca sighs and then sips her hot milk. On the other hand, Stacie takes her time to stare at her best friend's appearance. Beca has dark circles under her eyes, and she looks paler than usual.

Before any of them started another conversation, Aubrey and Chloe bring a stack of pancakes, a plate of bacons, a bowl of scrambled eggs, and a jug of orange juice to the table. After they take their seats, Aubrey puts two pancakes, pouring maple syrup on them and two bacons on a plate before putting the plate in front of Stacie.

"There you go Babe." Aubrey says with a loving smile.

"Thanks Babe." Stacie replies before kissing Aubrey on the cheek.

Then Aubrey puts a pancake and one scoop of scrambled eggs on a plate before putting it in front of Bella. "Here's yours sweetie."

"Thank you Mommy." Bella says sleepily. and starts eating her breakfast.

Beca is getting up to take some food when Emily stops her and says, "Let me Pop."

Although she's confused, Beca simply nods, letting Emily puts four plain pancakes and two big scoops of scrambled eggs on a plate, and then places it in front of her. Unknowingly to Beca, Ashley had warned Emily that Beca would've taken much less food than she'd needed if she'd taken the food by herself.

"Thanks Kid." Beca says with furrowed eyebrows. "Though I still can take my own food you know."

Emily plays it off by saying, "Aw... We know how you're so used to be spoiled, Pop. No need to be shy."

While Beca is sending a deathly glare to Emily, Stacie snorts and then ducks when Beca throws her a piece of scrambled eggs from her seat.

"No food war, please." Aubrey says firmly.

"Sorry Bree." Beca says with a smirk.

Chloe watches how Emily is treating Beca in half-confusion yet still surprised. "Didn't know you are more spoiled than Bella, Becs."

Then all of them are laughing, except for Beca, who just rolls her eyes, shoving a small piece of pancake into her mouth and says in half-annoyance, "Haha. Very funny."

After that, they are engaged in conversation, starting with Chloe asking, "What are you planning to do today, Becs?"

"Got a full day at the studio with Em." Beca says without looking at Chloe, opting to play with her food instead.

After shoving a spoonful eggs into her mouth, Emily asks, "How's the schedule?"

"Swallow before you talk, Legacy." Aubrey says softly.

Bella grins from ear to ear and teases, "Aunt Emmy, you're eating so messily."

The adults laugh lightly before Beca looks at Emily and answers, "All done in the next three weeks. The deadline is on October 27th."

"Hmmm..." Emily chews her food slowly. "You think we can get it done by then?"

"We have to." Beca replies before taking a little bite of eggs.

"Okay." Emily says before shoving another chunk of pancake into her mouth.

"Are you always this busy?" Chloe asks curiously. "I mean, this is weekend, Becs."

Beca purses her lips, taking a sip of her milk before answering, "Not really. I usually put up a reasonable schedule. But this is a very special project I've been working with Emily this whole week."

"What special project?" Chloe asks again.

Aren't sure if she should be telling the truth to Chloe, Beca simply puts on a tight smile. Then Emily comes to her rescue by saying, "You know, since I'm signed under her record and training to be a senior producer, Beca let me choose the artists, and gave me her precious time to teach me."

It isn't entirely a lie. Except she left out the fact that the songs is being produced for Ashley. But Chloe doesn't need to know that, and Emily sighs in relief when Chloe simply nods and resumes eating again.

However, just right after she swallows, Chloe asks, "Do you mind if I come with you to the studio, Becs? I'm hoping that we could spend more time together."

"I don't think it's a good idea, Chlo." Beca replies casually, still with her eyes on her food. But Emily kicks her foot under the table and gives her a warning look. So Beca turns and sees the hurt in Chloe's eyes that makes her hurriedly adds, "I mean, I'd be too busy working, and you'd be bored."

When Chloe is going to push the matter, Stacie instantly meddles in by asking, "You're not coming with us to the zoo? Bella would be sad if her godmother doesn't join her."

Chloe turns to look at Stacie, and then to Bella when the little blonde excitedly says, "Yes Aunt Chowee! We're going to the zoo. You're coming with us, right?"

Doesn't want to disappoint her goddaughter, Chloe cheerfully says, "Of course I'm coming with you, Bells. We're gonna have so much fun."

Bella nods, seeming so enthusiastic, and Aubrey softly says toward her daughter, "Now, finish your breakfast, and then we can get ready. Okay sweetie?"

"Yes Mommy." Bella resumes eating her breakfast cheerfully.

Everybody are almost done with their breakfast, yet Beca's plate is still almost full. She barely eat three spoon. That is the reason Emily put a lot of food on her plate, Ashley told her that this was going to happen. Apparently, she isn't the only one to notice.

"Not having any appetite, Becs?" Chloe asks in concern.

Beca just gives her a weak smile. Then Emily takes Beca's plate, taking out two and half pancakes, and almost half of the scrambled eggs before she puts it back in front of her former captain and softly says, "Can you at least finish this much Pop?"

With a heavy sigh, Beca nods lightly and starts eating reluctantly.

This fact really confuses Chloe. Back in Barden, Beca ate like a trucker. It wouldn't take her more than 10 minutes to finish her food, and then ordered some more. She doesn't ask anything though, knowing that a lot has changed since ten years ago.

However, she becomes more surprised when after Beca finishes her breakfast, Emily pulls out a little container from her pocket, taking out the content and hands it to Beca.

"Pop." Emily calls.

Beca looks up after wiping her mouth with a napkin. When she sees the pills on Emily's hand, she rolls her eyes, taking the pills and drinks it with the glass of water that Stacie puts in front of her.

"All done Kid." Beca says with bored-look.

Emily grins, and Stacie pats Beca on her shoulder, earning more eye roll from the tiny brunette.

"I can take care of myself, you know?" Beca says in half-annoyance.

"We know. We just want to make sure of it." Stacie says playfully.

Beca groans and whines, "You both need to stop treating me like a child."

"I won't blame them judging from your size." Aubrey teases.

With a deathly glare addressed to her former captain, Beca says in mock upset, "Haha. Making fun of my heights. Setting up a high standard for your kid, Posen."

"Oh, you'll need to look up to know how high it is." Aubrey replies playfully, and Beca just rolls her eyes again.

"You seriously needed to be taken care of that much?" Chloe asks in half-surprised and half-curious tone. She's been looking at the way Emily's been treating Beca, and people who don't know would've thought that Beca is Emily's girlfriend.

"No." Beca says in half-annoyance. "I can take care of myself very well, thank you very much."

"If you don't forget." Stacie chips in with a smirk.

Beca sends another deathly glare toward Stacie while the other adults are laughing lightly. Then Aubrey stares at Chloe knowingly and says, "Chloe?"

"Now?" Chloe whines.

"Now." Aubrey says firmly before pulling Chloe out of the dining room. They come back merely five minutes later, and without saying anything, they start cleaning up after the breakfast.

"Come on Princess." Stacie picks her daughter up. "Let's go get ready to the zoo."

"To the zoo!" Bella shrieks excitedly, earning a bark of laughter from her parents and aunts.

After Stacie is gone, Beca and Emily are still sitting around the dining table, and then Beca calls, "Em."

"Hm?" Emily responds without taking her eyes away from her phone.

"Are you uh... still having that lunch with Ashley today?" Beca asks nervously.

"Yep." Emily says, still not looking up from her phone.

"Can you uh..." Beca rubs the back of her neck. "Can you give her something from me?"

This time, Emily looks up and stares at her with puzzled look.

"It's just a note." Beca says as she pulls out a piece of paper from her back pocket.

"Sure, Pop." Emily takes the note and asks, "Anything else?"

"Just that. Thank you Kid." Beca says with a soft smile.

"No problemo, Bambino." Emily smirks, teasing her former captain with a nickname Ashley gave her.

Beca blushes, groaning loudly before she says, "You seriously have been hanging out too much with Ashley."

While Emily is laughing upon seeing how flushed Beca is, unknowingly to the two brunettes, Chloe is watching them closely. She is sighing when Aubrey puts a hand on her arm, asking, "Are you okay, Chloe?"

Chloe turns her sad expression into bubbly Chloe look and nods. However, Aubrey sees through her and isn't convinced at all. But she doesn't push the matter. Not long after, Beca and Emily say goodbye to their friend. And Beca left not without a tight grip hug from Chloe.

 

Chapter Text

October 4 th 2025, Lunch Time

It's lunch time, and Emily has arrived at the restaurant where Ashley has been waiting. She walks to the back booth where not so many people around, and when she's close to Ashley, she greets from behind, "Hey, you're Ashley Benson right? Can I ask for a picture?"

"Actually I-"Ashley looks over her shoulder and jumps off her seat, squealing and pulling Emily in a tight hug. "Junk!"

"Benzo!" Emily squeals back as excited, hugging her blonde best friend back as tightly.

"How have you been?" Ashley asks lightly as they take their seat facing each other.

Emily takes a menu from the waiter, muttering thanks before answering Ashley, "Same old, same old. Been busy looking out for a certain DJ in a while." She smirks playfully. "When will you take your job back?"

Trying to hide her flushing cheeks, Ashley opts to look at the menu instead of answering Emily. Yet Emily chuckles knowingly, not pushing the blonde. Not yet at least. When their food come, they resumes to eat and just catching up casually.

After they finish lunch and have a cup of coffee in each of their hands, Emily asks bluntly, "Now that we're done with pleasantries, how you've been holding up?"

"Barely." Ashley breathes out with heavy sigh. Then she clears her throat, easing the lump down before saying in a cracked voice, "I miss her, Em. Everything's reminding me of her." She exhales a shaky breath. "It physically hurts."

Emily grabs her hand on the table, giving her a sympathetic smile before saying, "She feels the same, Ash."

With a glint of hope in her eyes, Ashley stares at Emily for a moment before shaking her head, remembering the reasons she's broken up with Beca, and says, "She loves Chloe, Em. And judging from the stuff she's told me about Chloe, I think... she's better with Chloe instead of me."

"True." Emily replies without hesitation. Then after she sees the confirmation of hurt in Ashley's eyes, she continues, "Chloe loves her. And Beca loves Chloe. But not the way she loves you. And I believe you are just as good for Beca."

When Ashley is trying to say something, Emily holds up her hand, stopping the blonde from interrupting. "She's her first love, Ash. Her, first, love. There will always be a place in her heart that's reserved for Chloe. And she might've had Beca's heart yesterday. But you're the one who holds it today. And more likely tomorrow too."

"Why are everybody so sure?" Ashley says in frustration. She wipes the tears on the corner of her eyes and then says, "First Troian. Then Patrick. And now you."

Emily rolls her eyes, and then asks with the same frustration in her voice, "Why are you not?"

"They kissed, Em." Ashley says with a weak sad smile. "Besides, it isn't the only thi-"

"Yeah. One time. Get over it." Emily cuts her off and sips her coffee casually, can't be more care less whether she hurts her best friend with her words.

"You know it's not the kiss that counts." Ashley rolls her eyes. "It's the feeling in it Em. She is... It's her first lo-"

"But-" Emily cuts her off.

Ashley holds up her index finger before firmly says, "I'm not done yet." Then she takes a deep breath. "She is her first love. Ten years they've never met. Yet the second Chloe was back, I could see how all of her anxiety and uncertainty raised up all in an instant."

With her lips pressed tightly, Emily remains silent, simply staring at her blonde friend in half-annoyance. Then Ashley looks back at her with furrowed eyebrows before rolling her eyes and says, "Now you can talk."

"Exactly my point." Emily holds her index finger up in front of her own face.

When Ashley furrows her eyebrows questioningly, Emily huffs and says, "Like you said. It's been ten years, Ash. Ten years of unanswered questions, ten years of unspoken feelings that's left behind, ten years of shame and guilt. Of course it would affect her. I know she might look as tiny as a troll, and has an emotional capability of a rock. But she's a human Ash."

Ashley scoffs weakly for Emily's effort of humor and says, "She's torn, Em. She's afraid of choosing. I just don't want her to hurt herself. So I thought... I just wanted to make it easier for her. For us."

"Keep telling that to yourself." Emily says matter-of-factly. "And you might actually believe that."

"All I want is the best for her."

Emily snorts sarcastically before saying, "You sure have a funny way of showing that. And since when do you get to decide what's best for Beca? You've always let her make her own decision."

Fiddling with the pendant on her chest with her fingers, Ashley sighs deeply and helplessly says, "I'm doing this because I love her, Em. I can't lose her."

"Who are you trying to convince?" Emily retorts with bored-look. "Me, or yourself? Besides, newsflash Ash. You're already losing her. You left."

"Oh, you so do not get to say that to me." Ashley says in upset. "You have no idea how it feels like to love someone who're not sure of their own feelings."

"What do you mean?" Emily asks. "Are you saying that Beca has never loved you enough? Is that why you broke up with her?"

Ashley rolls her eyes impatiently as she says, "She loves me more than I deserve. But her feelings to Chloe..." She takes a deep breath. "What if the feelings never go away? What if we thought it was fine while it's not? What if one day Beca wakes up and realizes that it has always been Chloe? You know Beca. She's always needed more time to process everything."

Acting so nonchalant by sipping her coffee, Emily says, "You can ask as much what if's as you can find. And it will only makes you wander in bottomless wonder. You won't be able to see that the answer is already in front of you, served on a silver platter."

"And what's that?" Ashley asks with her arms crossed on her chest.

Emily rolls her eyes, shaking her head tiredly and emotionally explains, "That she still chose you! In fact, she has been choosing you for more than five years. She chose to be with you even she was terrified of being in a relationship; she chose to come out to the public with you; she chose to open up to get you back after you left her; she chose to live with you; and she chooses you now!"

Realizing how helpless Ashley seems, Emily stops talking because apparently, she's been raising her voice. She takes a deep breath and exhales slowly before she adds with a soften voice, "She has chosen to love you every single time Ash. If it doesn't prove enough, I don't know what will."

With a groan, Ashley snaps, "Do you think I don't know that?"

Ignoring the staring from the other table, Emily scoffs and says, "You obviously haven't shown anybody that you actually do."

When Ashley just huffs in frustration, Emily impatiently says, "Look. I know it's hard to see the bigger picture with something this big standing right before your eyes. Something that can break you. But Beca is in love with you. You don't have to worry about anything else. I'm sure of it."

"You know nothing Em!" Ashley snaps in a whisper.

Also in a whisper, Emily snaps back, "Then tell me what I don't know! Because Beca just broke Chloe's heart! My sister's heart! For you!"

Upon hearing Emily's revelation, Ashley cringes her face, feeling a pang under her chest. But Emily doesn't notice and keeps on hissing harshly, "Because she loves you! And she chooses you! So God help me if you don't pull your head out of your ass, I will ki-"

Emily stops snapping when she sees the hurt and guilt on Ashley. Although she is indeed confused, and needs some answer, she chooses to calm herself down. Then they remain silent for quite a while.

People think that the two of them become best friends for Beca, or because they are both hilarious and master pranksters. But the truth is, they've become vastly close because they are just as stubborn and blunt.

Emily knows that this silent moment can go for hours, but she also knows that her best friend is hurting and stubborn. Evidently, even more stubborn when she's hurting. So she sighs deeply and softly says, "I'm such an ass. Sorry Ash."

"You're just trying to help." Ashley replies with apologetic smile. "I'm sorry for putting my frustration on you. I just... I can't."

"Ash..." Emily starts tiredly. "I... Honestly, in these past three years I've known you, I've never seen you like this. What's wrong? You know you can tell me everything."

"I can't." Ashley says dejectedly.

"Is this really about Chloe and the kiss?" Emily asks cautiously. "There were so many women who wants to be in Beca's life, but it has never been an issue before. Ever. So I'm wondering... Is there something else?"

"It's not..." Ashley seems nervous and somehow guilty. "I don't know how to tell you. But... yeah. It's not only about the kiss and Chloe, Em."

"Then what?" Emily asks with puzzled look, but Ashley just glances away from her, biting her bottom lip, looking uneasy. Then Emily firmly asks, "Ash... what did you do?"

"I..." Ashley holds her breath, can't seem to reveal what's on her mind, and it definitely worries Emily.

"Did you-" Emily can't seem to finish her question. She'd never thought that Ashley would ever pull something like that. But she has to make sure. So she cautiously asks, "Is there... someone else? For you?"

"No." Ashley immediately answers with her eyes fixed on the table.

Emily sighs in relief and softly says, "You don't have to worry about her not loving you, Ash. She loves you. She worships you like... you hung the stars in the sky. No. Like you are her universe. I remember her saying that you are the center of her universe. Meaning that you're her sun."

"Oh God..." Ashley massages her temple. "How could I..."

"She told me that," Emily continues. "You are the gravity that grounded her. You keep her in line."

"Please stop Em." Ashley says weakly.

"That you put her on her orbit so she doesn't wander around without a direc-"

"Emily, stop." Ashley firmly cuts her off, and this time, Emily complies. Then she remembers about the note.

"I almost forgot." Emily takes the paper out from her purse and hands it to Ashley as she says, "Beca gave you something. Here."

Ashley takes it with her eyebrows furrowed, unsure if she wants to know about the content. She holds the paper tightly, doesn't have enough courage to open it.

"Well, what are you waiting for?" Emily asks impatiently.

After swallowing hard, Ashley says, "I'm not sure Em."

"What?" Emily furrows her eyebrows in confusion. "You think she's gonna say bad stuff in it? That she'll say that she doesn't want you anymore?"

Doesn't know what to say, Ashley simply shakes her head lightly, and it certainly confused Emily more than anything. This isn't like Ashley at all for her, so Emily pushes, "Just open it Benzo. It must be another love declaration for you. There's nothing to be scared of."

Again, Ashley just sighs heavily but says nothing. It pushes Emily's button, and she snatches the paper from Ashley's hand, opening it before reading out to her best friend.

When you're with me I feel so alive
You're the Bonnie to my Clyde
We can paint the town
But you're so far.
And that can't even hold me down
You're the one my everything
If you stay, you'll make me sing

-I got the inspiration this morning after another sleepless night
missing holding you in my arms. -Love, Beca.

When Emily is reading the note, Ashley feels like being hit on her chest. So she closes her eyes, connecting the tips of her fingers in a circle on the table, and mutters under her breath, "Just breathe."

"If you don't go get her after this, I might." Emily chuckles after reading the note. But when she looks up at Ashley, the blonde is still closing her eyes. In total confusion, Emily calls, "Ash?"

However, Ashley ignores her and keeps focusing on her breath. Around five minutes later, Ashley opens her eyes, smiling sadly toward Emily and says, "It's sweet Em. It is so her. But..." She swallows hard. "I'm so, so sorry. But I need to go back to work."

"Ash!" Emily tries to call her back, but Ashley has already rushed out from the restaurant.


Troian and Patrick's House: Sunday Afternoon, October 26 th 2025

Ashley is having a really bad week. Work has been crazy, her friends have been bugging her about her ex, Beca hasn't called since she said she'd want to visit Olive and Walter because she's been crazily busy this past few weeks, and above all, she just misses Beca.

Usually, when Ashley had a bad day, Beca would do anything to make her smile again. A soft smile creeps up on her face as her mind trails its way back to a couple months ago, when they were still happily together.


Flashback: 4 and half months ago.

Ashley just got a news from her agent that she didn't get a part in a movie she auditioned for. She felt so sad because she really wanted that part, and it was the third movie that she didn't get that year. On the top of that, she found a magazine saying that Beca was having an affair with one of her artists. Although she clearly knew it wasn't true, it still managed to worsen her mood.

She went home that evening, showered and got on her bed immediately after changing. Usually, when she was done early, she would go to the studio to be with Beca, or cook dinner for Beca at home.

However, she wasn't in the mood of cooking that day. So she curled up under the blanket, and absorbed in a feeling of low self-efficacy. After a long while, all of the sudden, Ashley felt a dip on their bed.

"Hon?" Ashley felt Beca's hand, rubbing her arm over the blanket. However, Ashley didn't give any respond, and it wasn't surprising when Beca pulled down the blanket gently, uncovering a very upset girlfriend, who was on the edge of breaking a dam of tears.

"What's wrong, Hon?" Beca asked with concern look, placing her palm on Ashley's forehead to check her temperature, and after making sure that Ashley wasn't having a fever, Beca cupped her cheek, brushing it with her thumb gently.

Certain that she would break down in tears if she opened her mouth to talk, Ashley just shook her head lightly. Then Beca kissed her forehead gently, stroking her hand on the blonde's golden lock. "Do you want to talk about it?"

Ashley shook her head again.

"Do you want to watch some movies? We can have chocolate malted crunch." Beca asked softly, making Ashley's chest warm because her girlfriend offered to watch movies even though she herself didn't like watching movies.

However, Ashley was still upset. So she shook her head again.

"How about we watch Spongebob Squarepants?" Beca tried to pursue her, knowing that it was her favorite cartoon.

Ashley shook her head again, and Beca became silent for a while before she asked, "Do you want to go for a ride?"

Riding a motorcycle was something that Ashley loved to do with Beca. It was thrilling and it helped her clear her head. But she was too tired to comply, so she shook her head again.

When Beca ran her fingers through her hair and scratched her head, Ashley knew well that her girlfriend was becoming more frustrated.

"Have you eaten yet?"

With her bottom lip in between her teeth, Ashley shook her head again, trying so hard to hold her tears.

"Do you want to eat something?" Beca asked worriedly. "We can order sushi."

It was Ashley's favorite food. But still, she didn't have the mood to go for it. So she sighed and shook her head again.

"Let's call Patrick, Troian, and Shay. We can invite all of your friends from PLL if you want, and just have an impromptu party."

The more Beca persuade her, the more Ashley felt bad to her girlfriend, who was offering to do everything she liked, even though she herself didn't favor them. Including this one, having a bunch of people in their house.

As sweet as it was, Ashley was in her zone, in feeling the emotion that hit her. So, again, she shook her head.

From the heavy sigh, Ashley knew that Beca was getting impatient because it wasn't often Ashley acted this way when she was upset. Usually, one of the things that the brunette had offered before would've brought the smile back to her face.

"Honey, Babe, Love, tell me what happen so I can fix it." Beca pleaded. "Please."

Tears finally fell out from Ashley's eyes, and she wiped it quickly, before she cracked, "Nothing you can do to change that. I just need to feel this way for a while."

Ashley felt a gentle caressing on her head, and a pressing of the lips on her forehead.

"We don't know that. Maybe you will change your mind about feeling... whatever this is after we do something else."

Again, Ashley shook her head and weakly said, "It means I'm denying how I feel. I shouldn't avoid my emotion. I need to feel it. This. I have to let myself experience this."

After saying that, Ashley just turned her back to Beca, and then she felt Beca's lips on her shoulder.

"I'm here for you."

However kind it was, Ashley shrugged her girlfriend off gently, and this rarely happened. She knew that this act would worry Beca more than anything. Usually when she was upset, she would either complain, scold, be clingy, or whatever it was to show that she wanted to have Beca around.

She thought that Beca would be freaking out and started to ramble or call the cavalry, Troian and Patrick. The odd thing was, she felt Beca got up from the bed. But she couldn't bring herself to find out why Beca walked away.

After a while, Ashley heard Beca shouted from the bathroom. "Hon?!"

Ashley didn't reply.

"Honey, Babe, can you help me please?!" Beca yelled louder.

Thinking of the worst, Ashley sat up immediately and loudly asked, "Are you okay?!"

"Yeah! I'm fine!"

Ashley sighed in relief but didn't say anything, and then she laid back on the bed, covering herself under the blanket again.

"Could you uh... sit on the bed?!"

Ashley sighed and then muffled loudly, "I'm not in the mood, Babe. What do you want?"

"Just humor me please! I promise you won't be disappointed! I hope!"

This time, Ashley sighed in annoyance but complied, sitting up with her back leaning on the headboards.

"Are you in position?!"

"Hng!" Ashley crossed her arms on her chest, and then Beca walked out from the bathroom.

Upon seeing her girlfriend's appearance, Ashley almost burst in laughter but she bit her bottom lip to hold it. Beca was wearing an onesie for adult; the pattern was diamond with blue, white, and grey as the colors. She even put the hoodie on. She stood, leaning by the bathroom door on her side with one arm stretched up, and the other one holding Ashley's round hairbrush.

It was as dorky as it was, and Ashley loved it. But she was still feeling the blue even though a light smile was already creeping up on her face when Beca started to sing overly dramatic.

Swaying her hips side to side, using the hairbrush as a mic, Beca walked toward her slowly. She was singing and changing her expression according to the lyric. She feigned a tired and bored look, and then changed into a huge grin as the lyric went on, making the blonde hid her laughter by scoffing.

Lost in the day, in a way, tt's same as the one before this,
And I wish I could say that's it's all black and white
But it's grey. It's the same, it's the same and I'm so tired
But you are what I'm coming home to

Oh and I'm thinking about a red wine buzz and takin' it easy,
And I got you in my arms, takin' a break from crazy

Ashley looked away to the side, pouting with her arms crossed, while Beca started crawling up onto the bed and slowly approaching her, still singing overly dramatic. When the brunette poked her nose, Ashley batted Beca's hand away. But Beca grinned as she tilted Ashley's chin to face her, and kissed her lips chastely as she continued to sing.

And I'll say "hey!"
You'll say "baby, how's your day?"
I'll say "crazy"
But it's all gonna be alright
You'll kiss my smile
I'll pull you closer
Spend a while just getting to know ya
But it's all gonna be alright
Loving you tonight

When Beca pulled back slowly, she took Ashley's hands in hers, pulling her to get up from the bed. Once Ashley's up, still with that adorable pout on her face and crossed arms on her chest again, Beca danced around her, leaning her back against Ashley's, singing with dramatic expression.

And you are there on my heart at the start of my every morning
And I can't deny by the end of the day that I'm running on empty
But you make me full, steal my breath
You're so unpredictable
That's what I'm coming home to

Ashley yelped when Beca pulled her hand and turned her around, drawing her closer, wiggling her eyebrows as she sang. She took Ashley's other hand, and put it on her shoulder, feigning a slow dance.

Oh I'm dreaming about a romance, slow dancing with you
When I got you in arms, then I don't care what we do

Then Ashley finally laughed and she shoved Beca playfully. She could see a huge splitting goofy grin and beaming eyes on Beca's face when she finally made her smile.

And I'll say "hey!"
You'll say "baby, how's your day?"
I'll say "crazy"
But it's all gonna be alright
You'll kiss my smile
I'll pull you closer
Spend a while just getting to know ya
But it's all gonna be alright
Loving you tonight

Suddenly, Beca's grin turned into a fond smile. The brunette threw the hairbrush away, took Ashley's hands, and put them on her shoulders. On the other hand, Beca put her own hands on Ashley's hips, pulling her closer, swaying slowly to the song as her singing became slower and soften.

'Cause every day is just the in-between
The hours separating you from me
I know you'll be waiting
I know you'll be waiting

Ashley couldn't help but fondly smiling back as the warmth raising up from her stomach to her chest.

And I'll say "hey!"
You'll say "baby, how's your day?"
I'll say "crazy"
But it's all gonna be alright
You'll kiss my smile
I'll pull you closer
Spend a while just getting to know ya
But it's all gonna be alright
Loving you tonight
Loving you tonight

By the time the song ended, their foreheads are resting on each other's, their eyes looked into each other's, and their lips were forming fond smiles.

"There it is." Beca said softly. "The smile I've been craving for a whole day."

Ashley smiled wider and kissed her girlfriend on the lips, taking her time to nip Beca's lips gently as her fingers lost their way in Beca's hair, while Beca pulled her closer by her waist. As the kiss became more heated, suddenly, there was a loud roar coming from Ashley's stomach.

Beca pulled away instantly, snorted with her lips pressed tightly to prevent herself from laughing.

"Don't you dare laughing at me, Mitchell." Ashley scolded, mocking anger, pouting her lips with her cheeks flushing red, which was making it even harder for Beca to hold her laughter, and her face also became red.

When Beca couldn't help it anymore, she barked out a loud laughter, bending forward with her hand on the side of her stomach, laughing until she was out of breath. On the other hand, Ashley crossed her arms on her chest and pouted vigorously.

"Sorry, Hon... I... I couldn't help it." Beca tried to manage between laughter.

Ashley slapped her arm, still with that adorable pout, but then followed to laugh with her girlfriend. Once the laughter unwound, Ashley kissed Beca's smiling lips chastely and mumbled, "I love you Babe, always."

With a goofy grin on her face, Beca pulled Ashley closer and softly said, "I love you too my adorable weirdo."

Then Ashley pecked her girlfriend one more time, and Beca dragged with teasing tone, "So... sushi?"

"I want pizza." Ashley said with a shy smile. "Veggie pizza."

"Veggie pizza it is, my lady." Beca said with a smirk before walking away, taking her phone to order the pizza.

Then they just sat at the balcony, waiting for the pizza. Ashley was snuggling up onto Beca's chest, rubbing her left chest gently, while Beca was playing with Ashley's hair and humming a song lightly.

"I had a bad day." Ashley finally spoke up.

"Hmm."

"Work has been crazy lately." Ashley said weakly. "I failed three auditions, and I saw a magazine stating that you're having an affair."

Instead of laughing at her or debating about the rumor, Beca pulled her closer, kissed her hairline, and then mumbled, "It's going to be okay, Hon."

At that moment, all of her worries vanished into thin air. Ashley believed what Beca said; that it's going to be okay. Ashley hugged Beca tighter, and kissed her gently under her jaw. Suddenly, Ashley knew what she needed to do, and she put it in her mind to do it as soon as possible.

"And I'm not having an affair, girlfriend number three." Beca said nonchalantly.

Ashley slapped her chest playfully, earning a laughter from the brunette.

"The number one and two would be Olive and Walter." Beca said playfully, and Ashley chuckled lightly.

That night after dinner, Ashley showed just how much she appreciated Beca's effort to make her smile again. Eagerly and repeatedly.

And you know what I'm talking about.

End of Flashback.


After watching Ashley ignoring her puppies for an hour and just staring at the ceiling with a goofy grin on her face, Troain sits next to her on the couch in the living room.

"Have you gone crazy, Ash?" Troian teases her best friend, trying to cheer her up. "The last time I checked, healthy people don't just laugh on her own. I prefer the moping Ashley than the crazy Ashley. That is, if you aren't crazy enough yet."

Ashley just rolls her eyes and sighs deeply.

"It's not usual to see you ignoring your kids, Ash. Come on, spill."

With a heavy sigh, Ashley says, "Beca hasn't called yet."

Troian stares at Ashley in half-annoyance and says, "We've been through this, Ash. If you want to call her, then call her. You don't need to wait for her to call you."

"But-"

"But you broke up with her, and you don't have any reason to call because it won't make this easier for the two of you." Troian cuts her off with bored-look. "You've told me the same thing thousands of times before."

"It's not only that, you know." Ashley says in half-annoyance.

"Oh, there's something new." Troian says with a mocking tone. "What is it?"

"She said she's going to visit, but she hasn't."

Troian is taken aback for a second before she asks, "Beca said she'll visit? Are you two getting back together?"

"No, silly." Ashley scoffs sadly. "Three weeks ago, when I called to tell her that I wanted to take Olive and Walter, she said she'd want to visit them. But she hasn't come or at least ask about them."

"Oh." Troian responds. After a moment of silent, she adds, "Maybe she's busy."

"Yeah, I know."

"You do?"

"Yeah, I do."

"For sure or hypothetically?" Troian narrows her eyes, rubbing her chin, mocking a serious face.

Ashley chuckles and says, "For sure. Emily told me. She's been taking care of Beca. Making sure that Beca eat, sleep, and take her meds properly."

"She's talking to you then."

"Nope." Ashley says dejectedly. "I don't blame her though. I left her in that restaurant. But I'm sure she will take care of Beca without me asking her."

After a moment of silent, Troian looks at Ashley, who seems to be deep in thought, and says, "If you keep doing this, you know that in the end you'll only have yourself to blame, right?"

"I know." Ashley says tiredly. "And not this again, Troian. I've had enough lectures from Patrick and Emily."

"I can see that they don't work. So I need to do a more extreme intervention." Troian says nonchalantly, picking up walter from the floor onto her laps.

Doesn't know what to say, Ashley simply sighs heavily. They fall into another silent moment until eventually, Ashley says, "Everybody keep telling me that it's gonna be okay."

Troian chuckles and mockingly says, "How rude of them."

When Ashley says nothing but giving her a tired deathly glare, Troian says, "How about this? I'm gonna tell you that it's not gonna be okay, and everything's all screwed up. Does that make you feel any better?"

Again, Ashley simply sighs sadly and shakes her head.

"See?" Troian retorts while petting Walter. "Nothing's gonna make you feel better until you make a decision."

Ashley holds her breath under her cheeks and puffs it out harshly before saying, "If you haven't known yet, I've already made one. I broke up with her."

"Nu uh." Troian counters Ashley casually. "You broke up with her wasn't a decision. It was an impulse."

Feeling confused, Ashley asks, "What impulse?"

"I don't know." Troian shrugs. "Why don't you tell me?"

"Troian." Ashley says with a warning tone.

Troian sighs deeply and says, "Look. I've known you for years. Twice longer than Beca. And I kinda know you better than you do. And we both know how you respond to stress. You usually fight for it. But this time, you chose flight."

"I think it's for the best." Ashley says weakly.

"I think you should tell her, Ash." Troian says softly.

"About?"

"The uh..." Troian is cautious. "You know. About the things you're conflicted about. The things that only I know about you."

Ashley closes her eyes and says, "She will hate me. And not just hate me, but hate me hate me. And I don't think I can handle that."

"I know." Troian says softly. "For once in your life, you finally have something to lose."

"I just..." Ashley breathes out in frustration. "If I tell her, I'm more than sure she'll think that... everything in the last five years is just a lie. That everything she's been through, that we've been through, is built based on lies."

"Well," Troian presses her lips tightly. "I think it's her right to judge. You need to let her make the decision for that on her own. And in order to do that, you have to-"

"Tell her about it." Ashley finishes her sentence in defeat. "All about it. I know. I just don't know how. It's been years, Troian. Years. I don't even remember when or where it started."

After a long heavy sigh, Troian says, "Well... for the record, I did warn you about this years ago."

"But-"

"I know what you did has never harmed her in any way." Troian says calmly. "And seeing how it's been going so far, I understood why you're so conflicted to tell her. It's been eating you up for years. And after you told us about Chloe, and the fact that she's back now... we both know that you'll just become more and more anxious about it."

"But if I tell her," Ashley exhales stubbornly. "She'll be broken Troian. She'll feel betrayed. And I'm dreading if she'll... go back to the way she was before us. And it will be my fault. It is my fault. I know. I shouldn't have let this happen for years. But... I just can't lose her that way. I love her too much Troian."

"And she loves you too." Troian says softly. "Patrick said that she's been trying to get you back. I don't know how. But if you want to be with her, and I know you do, maybe... it's time for her to see the other side, Ash. If you decide to go back with her, you can't keep this from her. At some point you'll blow up, and it won't be pretty. Far from it."

"Urgh..." Ashley rubs her face harshly. "This is all so messed up."

"Now you admit that it's all messed up." Troian says matter-of-factly.

Ashley rolls her eyes and rambles, "Of course I know that it's all messed up. I mean, I thought it would be okay. That... I can just... keep it to myself. That I can live with that. But after she told me about Chloe three years ago, I just... God! Was I terrified. And now with Chloe here, and they kissed... I just... I thought that it would be the perfect moment, the perfect reason to... just leave it like that. I've never thought that it would be this hard. Losing her is so damn hard."

"I know that." Troian says matter-of-factly. "Like I said. For once in your life, you actually have something to lose. Her. And we, the normal residents of this universe, call this the rock bottom. I know you're not familiar with that term."

"Shut up." Ashley says in annoyance.

"Now, why don't you tell me something I don't know."

Ashley sighs deeply and says in despair, "I love her, Troian."

"Thanks Miss Benson." Troian says, and again, still matter-of-factly. "Please continue to point out the obvious."

While Ashley is glaring at her, Troian nonchalantly says, "And for the record, the way you're feeling now isn't love. You are not feeling in love with her."

Ashley furrows her eyebrows and asks, "What?"

"You heard me." Troian says, not holding up at all.

"Troian, if you're trying to get me play puzzle with you, now is really not a good time." Ashley warns in half-annoyance.

Troian scratches the back of her ear, pursing her lips and then says, "Here is a clue. Try to read between the lines of what you just told me."

Ashley just put her palms on her forehead, pressing it so hard as if it would've popped the answer out from the back of her head. After a while of struggling but not finding any answer, Ashley gives up the thinking process. Instead, she closes her eyes, choosing to take her mind off of the matter, and takes a few deep breaths.

She simply puts her attention on her steady breath for a while, reading into what her tense body is trying to tell her, and then letting her tense body ease down from the tension. Eventually, she says in barely a whisper, "I'm scared."

"Of?" Troian asks without making a big deal out of it.

"Of loving her and leaving her."

"And?"

"That's what you're trying to tell me." Ashley says with a light scoff. "I love her. But right now, it's not the feeling in love that's been driving me to do all of this. I'm scared of loving her, yet also scared of losing her."

Upon seeing the relief look on her best friend's face, Troian sighs in relief too before smirking smugly toward her best friend as she says, "Finally."

"What now?" Ashley asks, suddenly feeling clueless again.

"What now?" Troian asks in a tone that's saying isn't it obvious. "You make a decision. Duh! You need to stop sitting on a fence."

"But..." Ashley says worriedly. "But I've made one, Troian. I broke up with her."

"And I've already told you." Troian says nonchalantly, holding walter in front of her face, brushing their nose together before saying, "It wasn't a decision. It was an impulse. You did it out of fear. You took the easy way out."

"I know what I have to do, Troian." Ashley says dejectedly. "I know the right thing to do in this situation. But... if I lose her this way, with her hating what I've done, I don't think I'll ever be able to pick myself up."

"You don't know that." Troian says matter-of-factly. "Just because you've never been under the rock bottom, it doesn't mean you don't know how to crawl up from it. You'll learn."

Upon seeing how torn and miserable Ashley is, Troian sighs sympathetically and says, "Falling is scary, but good practice for life. We must fall. In love. Out of love. Into new life experiences. Out of old habits. Deeper and further into ourselves. We must fall. Life is falling ever forward. The only choice we have is how we let go."

Ashley scoffs lightly and asks, "Who said that?"

"Me." Troian replies with a light smirk.

Ashley chuckles lightly and says, "Of course you do." Then she sighs deeply for the umpteenth times before dejectedly says, "She's so gonna hate me so much. Why wouldn't she? I mean, even I hate myself for letting this happen for years."

With a sympathetic look, Troian pats Ashley's shoulder gently and says, "Fortunately, what or how she feels don't matter, Ash."

Ashley raises an eyebrow and stubbornly says, "Of course it matters, Troian. It's all that matters. She is everything for me."

"Umh... Nope. Not really." Troian explains patiently. "I mean, of course her feelings means a lot to you. But it doesn't have anything to do with your decision. The only thing that matters in your decision making is you, how you feel about it, and how you deal with it. You know this. Crystal clear."

"Haha. Very funny." Ashley says in mock annoyance. Then she sighs again and says, "Knowing and actually believing in something are two different things, Troian. And I'm way out of my depth here. Can you just tell me what I have to do?"

"Hmm..." Troian takes her time to compose the words before saying, "Regardless of how she feels or whatever that might happen, you need to look into yourself and ask, which one that you're ready to do. Letting go of your love to her, or letting go of your fear. You can't stand in between. Either way, there will always be consequences."

"I know." Ashley blows out a long frustrated breath through her mouth and says, "And I know about the consequences. I just... what if-"

"You can list as much as what if that you can find. But you will need to make that decision to answer them anyway." Troian cuts her off matter-of-factly. "And by the way, the possible consequences that you have in mind might not always be the one that happen."

"And what if it's worse than what I already have in mind?"

Troian smiles and says, "Then you make another decision." When she sees that Ashley is going to be stubborn, she quickly adds, "Life is a series of decisions we make, Ash. It all comes down to one question; which one that you're ready to let go of. In your case, if you choose to let go of your love to her, well, you're already broken up with her. So you have to move on without her. It's definite. But if you choose to let go of your fear, telling her the whole truth, like she did to you years ago, then there's a possibility that you can move on with her. Simple."

"According to you." Ashley says in half-annoyance.

Surprisingly, Troian chuckles and says, "Yeah. According to me. Because I've experienced it in my life. So I can tell you that it is simple. I've done it before. I've been through your phase. And I was in the same place. More or less. The difference between us is that I've come out to the other side, and you haven't."

Ashley looks at the brunette sympathetically and asks, "How was it? Was it easy?"

"Easy?" Troian scoffs. "Hell no. It was simple. But never easy. However, it's hard either you choose to jump to the other side or not. So why not choose instead? Something's got to give, Ash."

Ashley is taken aback by the truth in Troian's words. Then she leans her back on the couch, letting the words sink in, mixing it with the conversation she had with Emily three weeks ago.

Knowing that her best friend needs time to deal with it on her own, Troian puts Walter down on the floor, pats Ashley's shoulder, and then stands up, walking away from the blonde.

However, she stops halfway when something comes up into her mind. "By the way, Beca called me earlier. She asked me to tell you that you need to listen to the radio tomorrow at lunch."

"Why?"

"My guess is as good as yours. I have no idea." Troian replies before walking upstairs to her room.

 

Chapter Text

 

October 26th 2025, The Posen-Conrad's House: Dinner Time

Chloe walks down the stairs with a smile on her face, humming lightly to Passenger Seat by Stephen Speaks. She is wearing a light blue dress, not a fancy one, but it also isn't a dress to wear on a regular dinner either.

"Wow..." Aubrey teases once the red head reaches the living room. "Aren't you dressed up nice for a dinner in the house."

"Am I overdressed?" Chloe asks almost in panic.

"No. Of course not." Aubrey says instantly. She subtly shots her wife a short worried look, and then turns her attention back to Chloe with a smile as she says, "You look beautiful, Chloe."

With her cheeks flushing red, Chloe mutters, "It just feels nice to dress up a little bit."

"Hmmm..." Aubrey puts her index finger on her chin, mocking a thinking face and says, "Yeah. I can see the sudden need to dress up for casual dinner in the past few weeks."

"Shut up, Bree." Chloe scolds her best friend shyly, and Aubrey simply chuckles in return.

Stacie, who's been watching the conversation, sighs deeply. Beca and Emily have been having dinner in their house in the past three weeks. She doesn't mind having her friends over. In fact, she couldn't have been happier, and Bella is beyond glad to see her aunts every day. Chloe's also almost seemed to be like her old self again, like back in college.

However, Stacie can't help but worrying about where this will leave the red head if she finds out how Beca has been trying to get Ashley back with a grand gesture. They all know that fact except for Chloe, and it has come to an unspoken agreement to not mention about Beca and Ashley in the house, knowing how sensitive the matter for the red head.

"Chloe..." Stacie starts cautiously, wanting to talk to the red head again about not getting her hopes up, but the bell from the front door cuts her off.

"It must be them." Chloe says as she stands up instantly and rushes to the front door.

Beca hasn't even stepped into the house yet when Chloe jumps and hugs her tightly as she says in relief, "Becs."

"Omph." Beca exaggerates. She's already gotten used to this greeting from Chloe in the past few weeks, though it still confuses her. It's quite like the happy bone-gripping hug in college, but spiced up with something that feels like relief. But Beca brushes it off, thinking that maybe because Chloe is afraid that she won't come back.

"Hey, Red." Beca pats her back gently.

"Hey, Mom." Emily teases Chloe. "Guess being the only aca-child doesn't come with a perk of getting a bone-breaking hug.

Chloe chuckles lightly, pulling away from Beca and hugs Emily with a less bone-breaking hug. "Hey, Legacy."

"You look nice, Chloe." Emily pulls away, smiling softly when she asks, "Going somewhere?"

Again, Chloe's cheeks turn red. She shakes her head lightly, stealing a shy glance toward Beca as she says, "Just want to look nice, I guess."

"Emily's right." Beca smiles, tilting her head to look at Chloe, who are fixing her eyes on the floor. "You look nice."

"Thanks." Chloe mutters with her cheeks flushing red.

Then Chloe links her arm with Beca's, and pulls her inside with Emily following them from behind. The linked arms doesn't go unnoticed by Aubrey and Stacie once the three Bellas are in the living room.

"Shorty, Legacy, come and help me in the backyard." Stacie says, eyeing them both to comply. "I'm setting a garden party for our reunion next week."

Instantly getting a cue, Emily nods and says, "Right-io leggy sister."

"It's next week, and you're setting it now?" Beca asks in confusion. Emily elbows her subtly, making her realize the true reason, and then she adds, "Oh. Sure. Better be prepared."

Bella jumps into Emily's arms and asks her brunette mother, "Mama, may I come with you?"

"Of course you can come with us Bells." Stacie pokes her daughter's nose.

"I'll help too." Chloe chips in.

Stacie eyes her wife, who immediately understands and pulls Chloe's hand as she asks, "Why don't you help me with dinner, Chloe?"

At first, Chloe looks back and forth between Beca and Aubrey with torn expression, but then she sighs and says, "Okay."

"Come on." Aubrey says, pulling the red head toward the kitchen while the others heading to the backyard.

Once they are at the backyard, Stacie let Bella play in a house shape balloon. Then she walks back into the kitchen to grab two bottles of beer for her and Emily, and a juice pouch for Beca. When she walks back to the yard, Beca is playing hide and seek with Bella.

"Shorty, a word?" Stacie calls out.

Beca leaves Bella to play by herself, and walks to sit with Emily and Stacie on the patio. After taking the juice pouch from Stacie, she asks, "What's up?"

"What the hell are you doing?" Stacie asks harshly.

Confused by the sudden upset confrontation, Beca looks back and forth at Stacie and Emily with furrowed eyebrows before saying, "I'm uh... playing hide and seek? With Bella?"

"I mean with Chloe." Stacie says firmly.

"What about Chloe?" Beca seems to be at lost.

"Beca, don't play with her feelings!" Stacie snaps, and Beca is taken aback, speechless from the sudden anger from the tall brunette. But Stacie keeps going, "You don't know what-"

"Stace." Emily cuts her off firmly, and rests her hand on Stacie's thigh.

"What do I not know?" Beca asks, seems to be confused but also upset and offended. "And what do you mean by don't play with her feelings?"

Stacie sighs in annoyance and gives Emily a knowing look, but it doesn't go unnoticed by the tiny brunette. Then she asks, "What is it Em?"

When Stacie opens her mouth to say something, Emily stops her by giving her a warning glare. It's so obvious, and Beca says with warning tone, "Emily."

Emily turns to her former captain, trying to be calm as she says, "It's just the way you act around Chloe."

"Hm?" Beca raises an eyebrow and crosses her arms on her chest.

After huffing out one hell of a long defeated breath, Emily says, "You've made your decision Pop. And we all know that you're trying to get Ashley back."

"So?" Beca nods, still looking upset.

Emily steals a glance toward Stacie, and then turns her eyes back to Beca to say, "So you need to stop uh... acting like you're giving a chance to Chloe."

"Huh?" Beca becomes more confused, "I don't-"

"Beca..." Stacie cuts her off tiredly.

With her eyes widen in a complete I have no idea manner, Beca shakes her head and says, "I seriously don't Stace. And you both know how hard I've been trying to get Ashley back."

"Oh come on Shorty." Stacie says stubbornly. "The sleeping on the same bed, the lingering hugs, the holding hands. What are those things then?"

Now Beca feels more than upset, and she hisses, "We slept on the same bed one time. In fact, I didn't even sleep that night. The hugs and the holding hands? What do you expect me to do? Just shove her away?" When Stacie is going to say another thing, she quickly adds, "It makes me feel uneasy, okay? But I can't just brush her off."

Stacie massages her own forehead, while Emily sighs deeply, and Beca clearly sees how conflicted her best friends are.

"Look. I didn't know that it looked like I was giving her a chance. I just..." Beca seems to be frustrated, and she exhales harshly before she states, "You both know how uncomfortable I am with physical contact other than with Ashley."

Then the two tall brunettes nod, and Beca continues, "But I just can't shake off this odd feeling that Chloe's been..." She pauses; trying to comprehend her feeling before she continues, "She seems different."

"Different how?" Emily asks instantly, biting her bottom lip worriedly.

"Hmmm..." Beca presses her lips tightly, seems to be unsure about the things she's been feeling as she says, "She's been clingy? Needy? I don't know, insecure? I mean, the Chloe I knew was bubbly, confident, and independent. So I don't really know how to act around the... now Chloe."

"She's changed, Beca!" Stacie raises her voice, failing to hide a hint of anger. "Just like you!"

When Beca glares at Stacie angrily and seems to be ready to snap back, Emily puts her hands on each of her seniors' arm and says, "Okay. Everybody calm down."

Beca takes a deep breath and says, "Sorry, Stace. I'm freakishly tired, and I barely sleep at all over these past month."

"I'm sorry too, Beca. I'm just worried about Chloe." Stacie says in regret before stealing another glance at Emily.

"Okay. I saw that." Beca firmly says. "You've been stealing glances at each other. There's something you're not telling me."

Just as Stacie is going to explain, Aubrey shouts from the house, "Dinner's ready!"

"One second Babe!" Stacie shouts toward the house, and then she eyes Emily before walking away to take Bella into the house.

Then Emily turns to Beca and hurriedly says, "Look Pop. I think you need to warm Chloe up with the fact that you're trying to get Ashley back. Also, try nicely to avoid acting like you were still in college. You and Chloe can't keep sleeping on the same bed, holding hands, linking arms. Especially if you and Ashley get back together."

"Are you saying that I need to avoid her?" Beca asks in upset, jumping into a conclusion.

"No." Emily replies firmly. "But you need to slowly draw a line. We're not a bunch of students anymore, Beca. We're adults that have personal boundaries. If you keep letting her invading your bubble like in college, then you'll end up hurting her and Ashley. Again."

With a long defeated sigh, Beca nods lightly, and then she asks, "You talk to Ashley yet?"

"No." Emily replies tiredly with a slight hint of annoyance. "She needs to pull her head out of her ass. And I'll let her do that in her own pace. But..." She is hesitant for a second, but decides to go with it. "Are you sure you're still gonna do this even though there's a huge possibility she won't come back to you?"

"You said so yourself, Em." Beca says with a sad smile. She's already heard about Emily and Ashley's meeting three weeks ago. "I have to at least try. She deserves more than a coward me. So... I'm doing it."

"Okay then." Emily says with a reassuring smile, squeezing Beca's hand gently to show her support. "Let's go inside."

Beca nods, and then they walk back into the house, directly into the dining room. Usually, Beca would sit next to Chloe just like the first time they had breakfast together. But this time, Beca opts to sit next to Emily. Although she can see how Chloe looks at her in confusion, Beca pretends that she doesn't notice.

"Becs, why are you sitting over there?" Chloe asks.

With a nonchalant shrug, Beca smiles toward Bella across the table and says, "Just want a different angle so I can look at smurfette over there."

Chloe doesn't seem to buy it, but Bella grins from ear to ear and says, "I love you too, Bec-Bec."

Everybody look at the little blonde fondly as Beca says, "Yeah. I know."

Then Emily stands up to get Beca her dinner, but Chloe stops her halfway and softly says, "Let me, Em."

Upon getting a warning look from Stacie, Beca stands up, taking the plate from Chloe's hand gently and playfully says, "You all reeeally need to stop treating me like a child. I can get my own food."

Chloe chuckles and tries to take the plate back as she says, "I'm not treating you like a child, Becs. You seem to like it when people do things for you. And it's okay with me."

However, Beca holds the plate and starts putting pasta on it. She can feel Chloe's eyes on her, so she clears her throat, and without looking at Chloe, she says, "I like it when Ashley did it to me. You know, because she was my girlfriend." Then she turns to Emily and says, "So Em, you also need to stop doing things for me. I'm more than capable to take care of myself."

"But-" Chloe wants to debate, but Emily cuts her off by apologetically says, "Sorry Pop. Won't happen again."

"Thanks." Beca replies with a tight smile toward Chloe and Emily.

Aubrey seems to catch that her wife and the other two brunettes didn't have a casual talk in the back yard. So to clear up the tension, she hurriedly says, "Bells, why don't you tell your aunts about the day we just spent at the aquarium?"

"You went to the aquarium?" Beca asks in comic surprise.

"Yes, Bec. I did. And I had so much fun." Bella says excitedly.

"I bet you did." Beca responds with equal excitement.

They spend almost the whole dinner listening to Bella's story. By the time Aubrey takes out the dessert, Stacie has taken Bella to bed, leaving Beca with Emily and Chloe around the table.

"Pop." Emily shoves a spoonful of ice cream into her mouth and muffles, "I forgot to ask you about the MTV Awards. Have you made your decision yet?"

"I took it under certain conditions." Beca replies nonchalantly, sipping her tea before saying, "And I've told Donna a week ago."

"You're going to perform for MTV Awards?" Chloe asks with wide eyes and a grin.

"Yeah," Beca blushes, but she tries to play it off with a nonchalant shrug. "No biggie."

Chloe takes her hand and squeezes it gently as she says, "You should be proud Beca. I am so, so proud of you."

Seeming nervous, Beca gently pulls her hand back and says, "Thanks, Chlo."

The act clearly confuses and hurts Chloe. So Beca clears her throat and says, ""I uh... need to go back to the studio."

"So fast?" Chloe pouts without hiding her disappointment.

"Yeah." Beca replies without looking at Chloe, pretending to check her phone instead. "Still need to work on things for tomorrow."

"I'll come with you Pop." Emily chips in.

"Sure. Let's go." Beca replies hurriedly, then everybody start to get up from the chairs and walk to the front door.

"You're heading out already?" Stacie asks as she walks down the stairs.

"Yeah." Beca responds.

"I'll send you out." Stacie walks with them to the front door, and her wife join them.

Once they are already on the front porch, Chloe asks, "What is it for tomorrow?"

Beca glances at Stacie and Emily, sighing and then answers, "I've been working on songs for Ashley, and tomorrow is the finishing part."

"Oh." Chloe comments with a hint of hurt, but she quickly puts on a not so quite megawatt smile. "Just like you made mixes for me in college."

"Yeah." Beca smiles nervously, then she cautiously adds, "Except I uh... actually wrote those songs this time. Not only... you know, mixing songs from other people."

Chloe averts her eyes to the floor, trying to hide the water that starts pooling in them. But Emily catches that fast and says, "Pop, we better get going."

"Yeah." Beca says before turning her attention to Aubrey. "Thank you for dinner, Bree."

"Thanks, Bree." Emily smiles toward the blonde.

Aubrey smiles lightly and says, "We're happy to have you for dinner. Just tell me if you're coming tomorrow so I can do some grocery shopping."

"Oh," Beca smirks slyly. "Look at Mama Posen. Taking care of her babies."

"It's Posen-Conrad." Aubrey corrects her with playful tone, earning a light laughter from the others.

"I won't be joining you all tomorrow." Emily explains while pulling Stacie in a hug. "Andre will be back from New York, and we'll have a date night."

"Say hi for him from us." Stacie says softly.

Emily nods before pulling Chloe in a hug, and then she hugs Aubrey. On the other hand, Chloe pulls Beca into a hug, and Beca pats her back gently before pulling away rather quickly.

"Alright. Let's go Pop." Emily says, and then they leave.

After Beca and Emily have left, Chloe, Aubrey, and Stacie stay in the living room to watch a movie. They sit on the long couch in front of the TV. Aubrey is snuggling up on her wife, while Chloe sits on the other end of the couch.

Suddenly, Chloe breaks the silent by asking, "Is it just me, or Beca seemed different today?"

Stacie clears her throat and responds, "Different how?"

"She seemed... more distant." Chloe replies unsurely.

Stacie and Aubrey change look but say nothing, while Chloe doesn't seem to notice as she explains, "I mean, in the past few weeks, she's always had dinner here. But other than that, she rarely replied my text or picked up my phone call. She didn't even stay long after dinner. And today, she became more distant."

"She's been busy, Chloe." Aubrey tries to reason cautiously. "You've heard about the project she and Emily have been working on."

"It's different, Bree." Chloe says stubbornly. "Beca has always been busy. Even back in college with the radio station, the Bellas, classes, and the internship, but she always had time for me. We texted all day, sent voicemails to each other, left sticky notes around the house, dropped mixes and my favorite everything all the time."

When the couple don't say anything but staring at her sympathetically, Chloe weakly says, "I don't mean to be needy or something. It's just..." She sighs deeply. "Ever since I got her back, I just wanted to be with her all the time. Like back in college. But it seems to me I don't have a place in her life."

Aubrey pulls away from her wife, and wraps Chloe's shoulder from aside as she softly explains, "It's been ten years, Chloe. We all have our own life now that involve more than classmates, roommates, and the Bellas."

"We're growing apart." Chloe says sadly.

"No, we're not. We're just..." Aubrey is in lost of word, trying to find a way to tell Chloe without hurting her, but she is stuck. So she looks at Stacie, hinting the brunette to support her.

"We're growing up, Chloe." Stacie says softly. "We have more on our plates now. You know, responsibilities and priorities." She takes a deep breath, and hesitantly adds, "We also have people in our life that also need our attention other than the Bellas."

"You mean like wife or husband?" Chloe asks.

After a moment of collecting her thought, Stacie elaborates, "Well... Aubrey and I got Bella. You were with Kristen and you got your students. CR and Denise got Reina, George, and Ellie. Fat Amy and Bumper got August and Julius. Jessica and our Ashley got their twins, Irene and Briana. Flo and Randy got Ernesto, Emily has Andre, and Lily has Donald. And uh... Beca has her Ashley."

Trying to soften the edges, Aubrey softly says, "And every single one of our plus ones got their own significant others. Not to mention that we've also found new friends on our own all along."

"But the three of us are still best friends even after ten years." Chloe says stubbornly. "Look at us. We're still living together like back in Boston."

"Yes. The three of us, the other bellas, and now Beca too." Aubrey patiently consoles her best friend. "We still, and we will always have each other. Because we're family. Now our family has gotten bigger."

Chloe sighs deeply and says, "I'm afraid Beca won't have time for me anymore."

Stacie and Aubrey change look again, but Chloe's eyes are on her laps and she doesn't notice. Then she dejectedly asks, "What am I gonna do, Bree?"

Aubrey kisses Chloe's temple and says, "She will have time for you, Chlo."

On the other hand, Stacie glares at her wife, subtly reminding her about operation not-getting-Chloe's-hopes-up. Then she clears her throat and says, "Well, just like Aubrey said, she will have time for you, Chloe. But... maybe not as much as in college. I mean, we haven't been in her life for ten years. It will take time to adjust. And she does have a job and uh... girlfriend."

"And she also has Donna, Harvey, and Stephan." Aubrey adds hurriedly.

It's like Aubrey doesn't say anything at all because Chloe instantly and firmly says, "Ex-girlfriend, Stace."

Stacie sighs deeply, taking her time before replying softly, "She loves Ashley, Chloe."

"Yet, they're still broken up." Chloe replies in upset. "Meanwhile, I have times to be close with Beca again."

"Chloe, I thought you already let her go." Stacie says, raising her voice just a tiny bit in confusion.

"I did." Chloe says stubbornly. "But it doesn't mean that anything won't change. Who knows? Maybe Beca will change her mind after some times."

This time, Stacie looks back at Chloe and sympathetically says, "I care about you, Chloe. But you need to face the reality, or otherwise you will end up being hurt again. You need to accept the fact that... Beca chose Ashley."

Aubrey looks at her wife with her eyes widen in disbelief, but Chloe stands up abruptly and snaps, "I didn't wait ten years just to give up on her in three weeks after we reunited! True love takes time, Stace! And I will wait as long as it takes! Besides, don't bother. I, can take care of myself!"

With that being said, Chloe stomps her feet to her bedroom, while Aubrey glares at her wife furiously and snaps, "You just have to say that!"

"What?" Stacie responds tiredly. "I'm just telling her the truth, Bree."

"Seriously?!" Aubrey snaps. "By throwing that to her face now?!"

"You need to stop coddling her!" Stacie snaps back at her wife harshly.

Aubrey stands up immediately, placing her hands on her hips and yells back, "Do I need to remind you about what happened to my best friend the last time your fucking best friend left?!

"Oh, will you stop, blaming, Beca, over, everything?!" Stacie says angrily, raising her voice with every word with her eyes glaring at her wife.

"Of course you will take her side." Aubrey scoffs sarcastically.

"I'm not tak-"

"You can sleep on the couch tonight." Aubrey cuts her wife off sharply before walking upstairs to their bedroom and slams the door hard.

"Damn it!" Stacie groans loudly, feeling angry of the situation. At first, she tries to take a few deep breaths to calm herself, but it doesn't work. So she walks to the kitchen and pours herself a glass of wine.

After three glasses of wine cool her down, Stacie decides to apologize to her wife. She walks upstairs to their bedroom and knocks it gently. Without waiting for a respond, she opens the door and walks in slowly. She can see through the dimmed light that Aubrey's back is facing her. She approaches her wife and notices that Aubrey's shoulders are shaking. Her wife is crying.

Gently, Stacie gets on the bed, wraps her arms around Aubrey from behind, and softly says, "Babe. I'm sorry for yelling at you."

Aubrey sniffles and turns around to hug her wife before saying, "I'm sorry for yelling at you too."

Then Stacie kisses her wife all over her face repeatedly, mumbling I love you over and over again, making Aubrey chuckles. After pulling back slightly, Stacie says, "On our wedding day, I vowed to you that I would never let anything come between us."

Aubrey cups Stacie's cheeks and nods, and then Stacie kisses Aubrey's lips chastely before saying, "It's been too long I let our friends' problems come between us. But from now on, never again."

With a fond smile and teary eyes, Aubrey kisses her wife gently and says, "I will always love you Anastasia Regina Posen-Conrad."

"I love you too Babe." Stacie replies softly before pulling her wife into her arms. Then they simply lay on bed in silent. After a while, Aubrey says, "Babe."

"Hm?"

"I'm so worried about Chloe."

Stacie kisses her wife's hairline and mumbles, "Me too."

"What should we do?"

Stacie turns the gears in her head, trying to find a solution that won't damage her two best friends more than it already has. But nothing comes up and she tiredly says, "I honestly don't know. All we can do right now is... be there for her. Especially tomorrow... it will be harder."

"Why?"

"Tomorrow Beca will release renditions on radio for Ashley." Stacie explains weakly. "Let's just make sure Chloe doesn't listen to the radio at lunch. You know how she spends her free time listening to it."

Aubrey pulls herself up a little bit to look at Stacie and asks, "Do you think Ashley will take her back?"

"I..." Stacie sighs deeply, knowing that either way, one of her best friends will be crushed. "Honestly, I hope she does. I just... I don't think I can have another broken-hearted friend."

Aubrey sighs and lays back down on Stacie's chest a she says, "I'll ask Chloe to have lunch together, and I'll make sure she doesn't listen to the radio tomorrow."

"Thanks, Love."

"Your welcome, wife." Aubrey says before kissing her wife.


Monday, October 27th 2025: PLL Set, Lunch Time

"Lunch break everybody!" The director shouts, and then Ashley hurriedly walks to her dressing room. She's surprised to find Troian and Shay are already in there.

"What are you two doing here?" Ashley asks curiously.

Troian chuckles and says, "Like we're gonna miss this."

"Not for the world." Shay says with bored-look.

Ashley rolls her eyes, walking to plug her phone on a speaker. She sets the frequency on the radio station before sitting with her friends on the couch and listening to the radio.

David: "Happy lunch time folks! Welcome to our beloved radio station KFWB! This is me David. This afternoon we have a very special program. Last week, a very talented music producer called us and asked for a favor. She is... drum rolling... DJ Mitchell! That's right folks! The big BM, who just produced six songs in the past four weeks, asked us to get into this program. Crazy right?! Well, not for her. And today she's gonna be with us through a phone call to talk about these songs. Here we go. Hey DJ M, it's good to have you here with us today. How're you doing?"

Beca: "Hey Dave. I'm fine. And uh... thank you for having me."

David: "It's such an honor for having you. You rarely accepted interview requests before, yet you asked us personally to be here today. What's changed?"

Beca: "Drastic times call for drastic measures, I guess."

David: "And why radio? I'm sure any TV stations would be more than thrilled to have you in their show."

Beca: "Well, I tend to be nervous in front of audience. And obviously, on the TV, people can actually see me being nervous. So... radio it is. Where people only get to hear me being nervous."

Ashley chuckles upon hearing Beca's lame joke, and so does Troian, but not Shay, who simply scoffs.

David: *chuckle sound. "Good choice. Our gain. So tell us about these songs. Writing and producing six songs in four weeks. Tell me, do you have a genie or something like that?"

Beca: *light laughter sound. "Something like that."

David: "Really? Now you need to tell us what's this something like that."

Beca: "Just a blonde blue eyed weirdo."

The mention of her appearance makes Ashley blush, while Troian smiles knowingly, and Shay just rolls her eyes in annoyance.

David: *laughing sound. "Smooth DJ, smooth. I suppose we all know this certain weirdo you're talking about. Maybe someone from a certain teen series?"

Beca: "Maybe."

David: "Just to be clear here, can I mention her name?"

Beca: "Sure you can, I guess. Well yeah. This is your show. Do as you wish."

David: "That is right. Her name starts with an A, am I right?"

Beca: "Point for David."

David: "I believe all of our listeners know very well that you have been in a very long loving relationship with Ashley Benson from PLL."

Beca: "I don't know that."

David: "You don't know that you've been in a relationship with Ashley Benson for five years?"

Beca: *snorting sound. "No, silly. I didn't know that everybody knew."

David: "Of course that one. It would've been weird if you didn't know that you're in a relationship with someone, not to mention someone that famous, for five years."

Beca: *laughing sound.

David: "I heard that the both of you just celebrated your 5 th anniversary. Is that right?"

Beca: "True. A month ago actually."

David: "And rumor has it that you serenaded her in a karaoke bar."

Beca: "Uh... Yeah, I did."

David: "Do you often sing and write a song for her?"

Beca: "Well... to be honest, since we're together, I've dedicated every single song I've written and produced for her. And to answer the former question, yeah, I do sing to her a lot. But just not in public. A month ago was the first time actually."

David: "Wow. All of them?"

Beca: "All of them."

This revelation makes Ashley blush even more, and she covers her eyes with her hands shyly.

David: "Will you sing to her in public again?"

Beca: "Uh... We'll see."

David: "Alright. So it's safe to say that these songs are some kind of messages for Ashley, aren't they?"

Beca: "You just hit the nail on the head, dude."

David: "Will you let us know the message you slip through these songs then?"

Beca: "Not really. Well, I will tell you just a glimpse, because if I tell you all of them one by one, we'll be done by Friday, in 3 weeks."

David: *laughing sound. "Not a fan of subtlety I see."

Beca: "Nope. Besides, the thing that makes a song special is that everybody get a chance to interpret the song on their own experiences."

David: "Couldn't be more agree. Well, I'm holding a piece of paper of the songs list. Like I said before people, there are six songs. Let's see. There are Out of My League by Stephen Speaks, Half a Heart by One Direction, Somewhere Love Remains by Lady Antebellum, Rock Bottom by Emily Junk featuring DNCE, If You Stay by Joseph Vincent, and the last one is Mirrors by Justin Timberlake. Is that all?"

Beca: "Yep. That's all."

David: "Whew... Is it hot in here? Haha. So DJ, what are you trying to say through these songs, especially for Ashley?

Beca: "Hmmm... I just... those songs talk about how I find her, fall in love, being hit by love, and fight for love, and most importantly, stay in love. I believe Ashley will find every single thing I want to say about how I feel in between the lines."

David: "Wow. Where do you get these inspirations, especially in such a short time?"

Beca: "It's uh... not that hard when you hold your source of inspiration close to your heart. I guess."

David: "Really?"

Beca: *chuckle sound. "Really."

David: "And here I am, trying to compose a single romantic sentence to my girlfriend, yet end up with a grocery list."

Beca: *laughing sound. "I guess it's one of my knacks. I mean, I do this for a living. And don't worry, you'll find yours. Maybe you can dedicate a 24 hours program where you can talk all about your girlfriend."

David: *laughing sound. "Thanks for the suggestion."

Beca: "Anytime."

David: "Now, before we start playing the songs, anything you want to say to Ashley?"

Beca: *clearing throat sound. "Ashley, I love you, and uh... You knew the tattoo I got after we moved in together. Please do it with me, this time."

Ashley can tell that Beca must be blushing right now; declaring her love through the radio. She smiles softly as the tattoo on Beca's left hand comes into her mind.

David: "Wow, very cryptic. Care to elaborate? What tattoo?"

Beca: "Sorry man. It's just for me and Ashley to know.

David: "Alright then. Thank you very much DJ M for being here, by phone. It's been great having you here, and we all wish you all the best."

Beca: "Thank you."

David: "Alright people, I know you're already over the edge to hear the songs. So here we go."

Troian says, "Did she just.-"

"Shush..." Ashley cuts her off immediately because she wants to focus on listening to the songs.

Troian chuckles lightly while Shay rolls her eyes in annoyance. They listen to all of the songs, and after it all ends, Ashley sighs sadly and leans her back onto the couch.

Trying to cheer her best friend, Troian says, "Okay, let's see what we got."

"You take a note?" Ashley asks in comic surprise.

Troian simply gives her a look that says, Obviously. Have you met me?

On the other hand, Shay laughs lightly and says, "Troian, you're so Spencer."

Cheerfully, Troian says, "Let's not focus on me or Spencer. Let's focus on what you get from those songs, Ash."

"I got her messages Troian." Ashley turns back into her sad mode.

"Of course you did." Troian says in mock annoyance. "Duh. It was for you. But I want to know if I can read that smurf's mind. So you have to tell me if I'm right."

"Do I have to?" Ashley says tiredly.

"Yep." Troian reads the note she's written. "It's a payment for staying in my house this past month."

Ashley sighs heavily and says, "Looks like I don't have another choice."

"Exactly." Troian chimes with a huge grin.

"You don't have to do that, Ash." Shay says nonchalantly. "It's not like you will just forgive her for kissing that red head only by releasing six cheesy songs on the radio."

When Ashley doesn't say anything but staring at her laps blankly, Shay's eyes widen in disbelief and she retorts, "Wait, you're not falling for that right?"

However, Ashley doesn't say anything at all. So without hiding her annoyance, Shay says, "Don't tell me you're taking her back just because she's done the lamest thing in the history of apologizing."

Ashley shrugs hesitantly and says, "I..." She sighs. "I don't know. I mean, the songs are amazing, and I love them. But..."

"But you're stupid." Shay scolds her best friend. "That's what you're being right now."

On the other hand, rooting for Beca, Troian says, "Don't listen to her, Ash. She needs to get her foot out of her mouth."

"It's not only about the songs." Ashley says while her eyes glued to her hands on her laps. "It's just... I've been thinking a lot. And I just... maybe... it isn't right to just break up with her without explaining everything."

"She cheated on you!" Shay exclaims, and Ashley cringes. "What do you need to explain?!"

Troian slaps Shay on her arm and scolds, "She doesn't need a constant reminder, Shay! Stop bringing that up."

Shay sighs angrily but doesn't say anything else, while in contrary, Troian turns to Ashley, squeezes her shoulder, and then says, "It's okay, Ash. You don't have to make any decision right away."

Ashley nods lightly, and then Troian cheerfully says, "Actually, I can give you a better thing to do. Let's decipher those songs."

Although she's in no mood to do nothing else but sulking in desperation, Ashley nods and tiredly says, "You will make me a glass of hot ginger milk tonight."

"Consider it done." Troian says, grinning from ear to ear. "Let's start with the first song, Out of My League. I got the part where she is the awkward girl, and you are the one that makes her slack-jawed. Oh, and-" She sings out the part, "Cause she's all that I see and she's all that I need and I'm out of my league once again. It's about she's choosing you."

"Hm." Ashley approves weakly. "Yeah, that and this part." She sings out, "Cause it's frightening to be swimming in this strange sea but I'd rather be here than on land." Then she adds, "It's about the tattoo."

Shay narrows her eyes and asks, "And what's that about?"

"Well... Beca used to say that I was the only person that could ever pull her out from her reclusive destructive self. That I was her leap of faith in humanity and love." Upon seeing the disbelief look on Troian's face, she adds, "Cheesy. I know. And I totally don't deserve it. But after we moved in together, she got this tattoo on her left hand that said take a leap of faith."

"I'm not saying that you don't deserve her adoration, Ash." Troian says sympathetically. "I'm just finding it hard to believe that Beca could've said something so sweet."

With a smile so fond, Ashley says, "She is sweet. And by the way, your guess is right. She is the awkward person in the song."

"I'm partly right!" Troian pumps her fist up, earning a light laughter from Ashley and another eye roll from Shay.

"Next. Half a heart." Troian says, reading the lyric that she's written and then adds, "I think this one is pretty obvious. She's miserable since you left, and she's asking for a chance to talk to you because she believes that you both can work it out."

When Troian looks at Ashley smugly as if challenging the blonde to debate her, Ashley rolls her eyes playfully and says, "Yep. Pretty much. I believe the beginning part-" She sings out, "So your friends' been telling me, you've been sleeping with my sweater, and that you can't stop missing me. It must be the part that she got after Patrick accidentally told her about the navy hoodie over the phone."

"Yay!" Troian exclaims. "One and half point for Troian."

"Lame." Shay mutters under her breath, but her two other friends don't care and choose to ignore her instead.

"What's next?" Ashley asks tiredly, obviously not too thrilled.

Troian looks at her list, biting the pen cap and says, "Somewhere Love Remains."

Then Ashley starts to explain, "Alright. This is about-"

"Phe phe phe phe phe..." Troian cuts her off immediately. "My game, my guess. You just have to confirm my interpretations."

Ashley rolls her eyes and nods lightly. Then Troian reads her note with narrowed eyes and pursed lips; pressing the pen cap on her own chin. "I think she's trying to retell your talk the night you broke up, but in a short way." She shows Ashley the note, and points out the part as she says, "It's like the verse is your part, and the chorus is hers, and then it's yours again, but then she had the bridge and coda." She looks at Ashley again and asks, "Am I close?"

With a teasing smile, Ashley says, "Shay was right."

Thinking that Ashley finally see how worthless those songs are, Shay grins and asks, "I was?"

"You're so Spencer, Troian." Ashley says toward Troian.

Shay drops her head down and groans, while Troian and Ashley laugh lightly. Then Troian wiggles her eyebrows playfully and asks, "So, I'm right then?"

"Point to Troian." Ashley says with a shrug.

Troian squeals and excitedly says, "Next! Next! Next! Rock Bottom. Whew, Junk really rocks this song."

"Yeah. She has such a great voice." Ashley chips in, and when Shay snorts harshly, Ashley harshly says, "Hey! It's true. Be nice Shay."

"Ignore her, Ash." Troian says, glaring at Shay. "She's just jealous because you're close to Emily."

"Am not!" Shay glares at Troian.

"So are." Troian says, raising an eyebrow knowingly.

"Guys..." Ashley says tiredly. She somehow knows that Shay secretly has a crush on her since the beginning of the series. However, before Beca, Ashley didn't even know that she could be attracted to girls.

Shay throws Troian another glare but leans back onto the couch and crosses her arms on her chest silently, and then Troian puts her attention back to her note.

"Alright. Rock Bottom." Troian furrows her eyebrows, pursing her lips and then she sighs in defeat. "I don't really get this one. Is she saying that you hate each other but love each other at the same time?"

"Hmmm..." Ashley purses her lips. "Well, being completely honest with each other wasn't easy. We hit rock bottom so many times in our relationship. But we didn't give up on each other, because no matter how hard it was, we knew we wanted the same thing; us, together. Hence the plastic gun; the fight, it can't hurt us."

"Wow. Good one." Troian says in awe.

"Beca is really good with metaphors." Ashley explains with a soft smile. The more they talk about these songs, the more she wants to see Beca. "Most of the times, I would find notes on my bed side, or my purse, or just anywhere, and then a couple of months later there would be a song she produced with the words she'd written for me on those notes."

"Aw... how sweet." Troian coos, earning another snort from Shay before she mutters, "Super lame."

"You don't have to be here if you don't enjoy this, you know." Ashley says toward Shay surprisingly calmly. Ex or not, she won't have someone belittled Beca. Especially in front of her.

Then Shay gives her an apologetic smile and remains silent.

Sensing the tension in the room is raising, Troian clears her throat and quickly says, "Next. If You Stay." She takes her time to read her note, trying to find the message on this song before she says, "I think this is quite obvious. She's asking you to stay." Then she adds, "Oh this part is good." She sings softly, "And I know that I found so true, you are to me as I am to you. And I know though we can't just stay. Even though we ain't together, our love still remains."

"Actually, last week she gave me a note through Emily. Here." She points a part of the song in Troian's note. "She wrote me this part." Then she pulls out a piece of paper from her purse and shows it to Troian.

After reading the note, Troian says, "She's so sickening sweet. How come we've never seen this side of Beca?"

Ashley chuckles and softly says, "That's just how she is. She's a closeted romantic person. She's charming and such a gentlemen in the crowds though she shows it in an awkward way. But when we're alone, she can be so silly, and ridiculous, and cheesy, and corny, and romantic all at the same time. And it makes me feel so special to be the only one who gets to see the whole package of Beca Mitchell." She smiles contently. "Every day feels special with her."

"Let me see." Shay says with obvious annoyance. When Ashley stares at her accusingly, Shay rolls her eyes and says, "Relax. I just want to take a look."

Hesitantly, Ashley hands the note to Shay, and then Shay reads it. She seems to be struck, but says nothing other than scoffing very lightly. Upon seeing Shay's reaction, Troian simply laugh while Ashley smiles smugly.

"Now, the last one." Troian reads her list. "Mirrors."

"JT, my favorite." Ashley responds.

"After Beca." Troian teases.

"No one trumps Beca, Troian." Ashley smiles smugly. "Obviously."

"Thought so." Troian chimes in. "This one is... beautiful. How that snarky little one wrote something like this? I mean, take a look at this, could it be more genuine? No cryptic words, no metaphor, just simply the truth." Then she sings the chorus.

Cause I don't wanna lose you now
I'm looking right at the other half of me
The vacancy that sat in my heart
Is a space that now you hold
Show me how to fight for now
And I'll tell you baby, it was easy
Coming back here to you once I figured it out
You were right here all along

"And then this part?" Troian points to a particular part. "I would trade ten Patricks with one her for saying things like this. Admitting without being dramatic how vulnerable she is without you. Not everyone can and willing to do that, Ash." Then she sing, "I couldn't get any bigger with anyone else besides of me."

"Uh... I think so." Ashley replies hesitantly.

"Nu uh. Not I think so. This is a fact." Troian says matter-of-factly.

"Troian..." Ashley says tiredly. "You know that... She'll change her mind if she finds out."

"Find out about what?" Shay asks curiously.

"Nothing." Ashley quickly replies, but Shay stares at her with furrowed eyebrows.

"What are you gonna do now?" Troian changes the subject hurriedly.

"I don't know..." Ashley says dejectedly.

"Talk to her, Ash." Troian softly says, squeezing Ashley's hand gently. "Trust me on this. Whatever reaction or decision she'll make, you know you'll sleep better at night if you tell her how you really feel about yourself."

"I know..." Ashley says in frustration. "I just... I'm not ready for those whatever reactions or decisions she'll make."

"You'll never be." Troian says matter-of-factly.

"Wait." Shay cuts them off with confused look. "What are you guys talking about? Beca was the one who cheated. Why would Ashley feel afraid at all?"

"Nothing you need to be worry about." Troian says nonchalantly.

"Ash?" Shay turns to Ashley, who just gives her a sheepish smile. So Shay rolls her eyes in full annoyance and leans back onto the couch again. They remain silent for a while until a staff calls them to get back to work.

It's hard for Ashley to concentrate on work when her mind is filled with Beca. However scared she is, she clearly knows that Troian is right, and for Ashley, doing the right thing is necessary no matter how hard it is. That is how she sleeps better at night, by doing the right thing.

After they're all done at work around five, Troian comes to Ashley and asks, "What do you want for dinner?"

With a long defeated sigh, Ashley says, "I think I'm gonna go home."

Troian is surprised, and she blurts out, "Home home, or my home?"

When Ashley looks at her hesitantly, she hurriedly adds, "Not that I mind having you around. But I kind of know this one part where she said she couldn't wait to get you home in that song."

Ashley simply let out a sad smile, and then Troian softly says, "You know you can always count on me Ash. Whatever happens, you can come back to my house. And we'll have your favorite ice cream all night long."

After taking a moment to make up her mind, Ashley nods and says, "Thanks Troian."

"No problem at all Ash." Troian smiles. "Go home to her."

After Ashley walks out of the set, Shay comes to Troian and asks, "Is she really that stupid? Going back to that cheating bastard?"

"You need to stop talking about Beca like that." Troian says in upset. But then she looks at Shay sympathetically and says, "I know how you feel about her. You love her."

With her eyes widen, Shay swallows hard and says, "I don't-"

"Don't bother to lie." Troian cuts her off. "Even a blind can see that. And Ashley knows too."

When Shay slumps her shoulders and sighs deeply, Troian squeezes her shoulder and says, "It's been more than 5 years Shay. And she's happy. Beca makes her happy."

"You mean to say that I should let her go and be happy with Beca?" Shay raises her voice.

"No. I'm saying you should let her go and be happy yourself." Troian says matter-of-factly before walking out from the set.

 

Chapter Text

 

I just want to be sure. Have you read the warning above? If you haven't, please read it first before scrolling down further. If you have, let's get to the story :)

Ashley and Beca's Mansion: October 27 th 2025, Evening

It's only six in the evening, but Beca feels so worn out from the day, so she decides to go home earlier. She is beyond surprised to find Ashley at the balcony of their bedroom, sitting on the couch, staring at the Pacific Ocean.

"Hon?" Beca calls out hesitantly from behind, still not real sure that Ashley's home.

Ashley whips her head, and looks at Beca over her shoulder before standing up, and nervously says, "Becs..."

Without holding herself back, Beca paces forward and pulls Ashley in a searing kiss. And just like that, Ashley loses her self-control and kisses Beca back eagerly, forgetting about the purpose of her coming home in the first place.

On the other hand, for a split second, the kiss sends spark, an electrical sensation all over Beca's body, and when the wave washes her down, she's left with this contented feeling. It gives her such steadiness to stand up straight and tighten her grip around Ashley's waist to keep kissing her boldly.

After a while, they pull away from each other, panting and grasping for air. They simply rest their forehead together with their eyes closed, savoring the feelings that kiss has left behind. A moment later, Beca says in relief, "You're back."

Suddenly, all of the anxiety hits Ashley back, and she pulls away instantly before stuttering weakly, "I... I'm not."

The answer certainly spikes up Beca's heartbeat. So she takes a deep breath, swallows hard, and retorts in fear, "You're not?"

Ashley becomes more nervous as fear and guilty feeling raise up into her chest. Without looking at Beca, she mutters, "We need to talk. I uh... I have to tell you something."

"Are you..." Beca swallows hard. She can't seem to finish her sentence, and not aware that she's been holding her breath.

"Let's sit down, okay?" Ashley says weakly, and the only respond Beca can muster is a nod. Then they take a seat on the couch, sitting next to and facing each other with respectable distance.

Beca can see that Ashley is beyond nervous, and it makes her nervous too, jumping to the worst scenario, but she say nothing.

After a moment of fidgeting and bouncing on her seat, Ashley says, "I need to tell you something. And you might not like it. I think you'll be furious. But it's okay. You have the right to be angry."

Doesn't know how to respond, Beca simply nod again. But her heart is racing so fast, and she thinks that she might have a cardiac arrest in a couple of seconds. So as hard as it is to do, Beca takes a few deep breaths to calm her nerves.

On the other hand, Ashley is also dealing with her own anxiety and trying to compose herself before she cautiously asks, "You know Papa's past right?"

The first question isn't scary, and it confuses Beca. But she ask, "About him being a junkie?"

After getting nod from Ashley, Beca says, "I do. And I respect him for that. He was a junkie, and he almost died by the age of 19 from overdose, but he didn't. And since then, he's turned his life upside down and become who he is today. I know that."

"Yeah." Ashley responds weakly. "He is my hero. Papa... he makes me who I am today Becs. He and mom love Shaylene and I unconditionally. For whoever we are. All of our life lessons are from his sage advice. He is a perfect father in so many ways because he's been through hell and back. Like you."

"Yeah?" Beca doesn't have any idea of where this is going. So she simply stares at Ashley with furrowed eyebrows. "Is he okay?"

"He's fine." Ashley says hurriedly. Then she continues with a light smile, "Papa... He's so collected and kind, with such powerful position, being respected by most people, a great role model, and just... a great man. He can change people's life. In fact, he has been in a very long time. Being his daughter is a blessing."

"Yea?" Beca retorts in confusion.

"But uh..." Ashley bites her bottom lip nervously and sighs deeply before saying, "Having such a perfect father also come with a downside. I... well, Papa and Mom have never pushed us to be anything but ourselves, to love nothing more than ourselves. But the people around us, who have the best intention of course, have been patting our back, saying how lucky we are for having such a great father, telling us that we should be just as perfect as Papa, reminding us to be in our best behavior at all times for his honor. And it was..."

"A lot of pressure." Beca finishes her sentence, finally catching a glimpse about the matter.

"Yeah." Ashley nods lightly, looking distresses. "It was hard. For years, Shaylene and I, we lived in constant insecurity and anxiety that we might not live up to his honor. But we've got used to it over time. Everything that Papa has taught us, we believe him 100% without question. That no problem is bigger than us, that we can overcome whatever that may come our way. So after I've made peace with myself, for years, I've lived my life without worry. Believing that as long as I know what I want, and willing to take responsibilities of every decisions I make, then I'll be eventually fine."

"Okay?" Beca becomes uncertain again.

Ashley takes a deep breath and continues, "And I knew no matter how hard life is, I'd always believed that I would have my safety net. And that is Papa and the lessons he's taught me all my life. So I've taken every challenges in my life lightly, and I've never taken any hard time hardly. I just... go with it."

Still, Beca just stares at her with narrowed eyes, becoming more and more confused of the purpose of this talk. And Ashley sees through her. So she says, "I know you're confused. Just bear with me please."

"Okay." Beca nods with a light smile.

After blowing out a long nervous breath, Ashley says, "But the problem is, in my life, everything is easy Becs. Life goes easy on me. I was born in a loaded family with the best parents ever, I was in a private school that had zero tolerance of bullying so I'd never been bullied before, then I went to college and graduated as the best without so much of difficulties, and after that I even got my dream job. And at the top of that, I found you. Everything has been going smoothly in my life. Almost no rough turbulence. Sure there had been bumps here and there, but nothing I couldn't handle."

"I don't..." Beca shakes her head in confusion. "I'm not sure where this is going. Are you saying that you feel bad for having such a great life?"

"No." Ashley shakes her head in frustration before taking a deep breaths and says, "Don't see it Becs?"

"See what?" Beca is in complete lost.

"In our relationship," Ashley becomes more nervous now, starting to bite her thumbnail as she mumbles, "In the past five years, I've given you everything Papa has taught me. Every wise words, every sage advice from his experiences, everything that you've been holding close, making you want to be better, and making you think that I'm perfect... But-"

It's hard to tell the truth, so Ashley swallows hard and takes a deep breath before she continues, "But... it wasn't me. It was all Papa. And I... I don't have the... personal experience to be wise enough to say those things. It was all empty words coming from me. That's why every bad stories you've told me about your childhood... I took it easily. And... sometimes I even belittled them. Because I've never been there."

"So?" Beca says, still with furrowed eyebrows.

A single track of tears is running down Ashley's face, and she wipes it instantly before she cracks out, "I'm not who you think I am Becs. I am not your... center of universe. I'm not your gravity. I'm just... a person who tells other people what her father has taught her. And there's nothing special about it at all."

Beca scratches her head in confusion that's now combined with frustration, and then she says, "I don't see a problem there."

"The way you see me..." Ashley is sniffling softly now, but she keeps going with shaky voice. "The way you love me, the person you love... I just... I don't think I deserve that much of adoration and love from you. I don't think I've earned such a perfect image. But it wasn't a huge problem, as long as you got better. And that was all I needed from you. For you to get over your insecurities, and be with me. But then you told me about Chloe..."

"What Chloe has to do with this?" Beca cuts her off.

Ashley wipes her tears and weakly says, "Since you told me about her, about the things she'd overcome in her childhood, about how she was still the happiest and bubbliest person you've ever met even after everything she'd been through, about she'd changed your life in a way that you'd never expected before, and she managed to make you fall in love with her... about how perfect a person she was, I just..."

"You just what?" Beca asks impatiently.

"I felt like a fraud." Ashley blurts out with tears running down her face. "I felt like... you see and love the perfect image I put in front of you. The person that you thought was able to pull you out from your destructive phase. And I'm not. I'm far from any of it. And now, the real perfect woman, your first love is back, and I don't think..."

Finally connecting the dots, Beca becomes speechless for a second, and Ashley sees that. So she wipes her tears and clears her throat, trying to be strong when she dejectedly says, "Now you don't have to chase me back. I understand that she's much better than I am, with real problems that has molded her in the most perfect way. And if you tell her that she is your sun, it will be right. It's what she deserves, because she's been through hell and back. Like Papa. Like you. And she loves you. And... I just want to tell you that."

Upon seeing Beca's dumbfounded face, Ashley has prepared herself for the inevitable anger. However, instead of being angry, Beca laughs, so hard until her face red and she's out of breath, and it certainly confuses Ashley.

"That- that's it?" Beca manages to say between her laughter. "That is yo- your darkest secret? That you've been... feeding me with armchair advices? And here I thought you wanted to tell me that you don't love me anymore."

"I'm scared, okay?" Ashley cries, though feeling relieved of Beca's unexpected reaction. "Since you've come into my life... you've become my safety net... and I- I just couldn't take it if you'd broken up with me. And this is Chloe we're talking about... How you talked about her... She's so perfect in many ways... And I just... I was scared. And I felt insignificant and worthless compared to her."

"Aw..." Beca says with torn expression, half-sympathetic yet also amused. Then she wraps Ashley in a hug, kisses the crying blonde on the temple, and says, "Hon... I love you. I love every single bits and pieces of you. And your armchair advice? It's number... 1089 on the list of why I love you. And I know that you're such a princess in your life, but it doesn't mean you know nothing about life."

"It's silly..." Ashley cries out. "I know... But I was scared... I was scared that you'd think I lied to you. That everything you've overcome are based on lies I've told for years. And I was terrified that you'd choose her over me. I mean, you said that she's the definition of rainbow and sunshine and everything in between. So I left. So I broke up with you. I love you too much, and for once in my life, I'm scared more than life to lose something. And I've never been there before. I was terrified of the huge possibility that you'd leave me for her."

Again, Beca just laughs and exclaims, "God! You're so adorable!"

Still with tears running down her face, Ashley slaps Beca's back gently before scolding with damp voice, "And you're a jerk for laughing at me."

Beca pulls away slightly, wipes the tears on Ashley's face, and softly says, "Honey, Babe... You are right to be afraid. I understand. I mean, if you have told me three years ago, maybe I would've left. But you've put up with all of my shits for so long. Do you really think that I'll be mad because you've told me... what? Empty words, armchair advice that actually have made me a better person?"

"But you are a realist..." Ashley cries again, this time with a pout, that still looks cute on her even though she's crying according to Beca. "And I've yelled out one hell of insults just to keep you by my side. Because I've read enough psychological theories and journals since my childhood to know how to deal with... someone with the personality types like you. And I needed you by my side, so I learnt. I learnt how to deal with you. Theoretically. So I thought that you'd feel betrayed and lied to. All just because I needed you in my life. And it was selfish."

When Beca laughs at her again, Ashley scolds half-heartily with a pout, "Stop laughing at me."

Then Beca tries to compose herself by taking a few deep breaths before she asks, "Do you love me?"

"More than anything."

With a soft smile, Beca asks, "Did everything you tell me about the Lego house, about treating our emotions equally, about choosing the right thing, about living our life in the present, were it all lies?"

"No..." Ashley says with shaky voice. "It's the truth. Papa taught me that. And I believe him. But I also didn't know any better. Because I've never been through hell and back. So it was easy for me to say. And much harder to implement. But I tried. I swear I've tried. And I'll keep trying my best."

"I know Hon." Beca mumbled on Ashley's forehead, and then she chuckles again. "You are so, so adorable. And I love you. I knew you didn't know any better. You've lived your life above the weather. I knew that. But you've brought me here. Better than ever. And you were right. No matter how much we know about life, all we can do is trying our best. And you do. You always have. You've always tried to walk the talk."

"So, yo- you're not fee- feeling betrayed?" Ashley hiccups.

"No." Beca says instantly in a manner that says are you crazy? "Is this why you've never taken any credit and my compliments about how perfect and how wonderful you are to me? Is this why you've always brushed it off with a joke if anybody tell you that you're such a great person? You thought you didn't deserve it? And you thought that you were being selfish?"

Ashley simply nods, still sniffling in tears, and then Beca chuckles and says, "Hon... What would I do with you? You are... not perfect. Certainly. You are loud, you love scolding me, you love pranking me and it drives me crazy sometimes, you are pushy, sometimes you can be inconsiderable toward other people's problems, you are easily jealous, and when you're clingy you can be so much to deal with..."

With a pout, Ashley slaps Beca's arm playfully, but followed with a damp chuckle. Then Beca continues, "And believe me. I can go on with so many things. But you are perfect for me. To me. You... your crazy fits mine. Perfectly. I know your life's story Hon. From Papa, Mom, Shaylene. And years ago, Troian has warned me that you've never been hurt way too bad in your whole life, and if I dare to be the first one to hurt you, then she'll bury me like Alison in PLL."

Ashley chuckles and says, "She is my best friend. Around ten years ago, I told her about my anxiety to be the perfect daughter. She happened to have the same experience. She came from a loaded and famous family, and it drowned her, made her have eating disorder for so long. But she survived it. Impeccable. Listening to her story helped me a lot. I learnt a lot from her. And I was grateful that I didn't fall too far. But it also opened my eyes that insecurity could be dealt with so many ways."

"How you dealt with yours then?" Beca asks curiously.

"I've meditated long enough to know how to regulate my emotions." Ashley shrugs. "But when it becomes too much, I will take my time to drown in the heaviness. You know, let myself feeling the emotion until it's out of my system. Sometimes I even binge-eating, but I know better to work out after I recover."

"That's why you've always seemed so collected." Beca states calmly. "Because you know how to put your emotion aside before giving it times to let it sink into yourself. You know how to regulate your emotion."

"More or less." Ashley says weakly.

"Hm." Beca nods absentmindedly, seeming to be deep in thought. "So... you're telling me that you broke up with me because you were afraid I would've left you for Chloe? Because she was perfect in so many ways, and she deserved to be labeled as perfection? Because you felt that you were not good enough for me compared to her?"

"Yea." Ashley replies weakly. "I mean, it's you we're talking about. And I love you way, way too much than I can handle if I ever have to lose you. I wasn't supposed to love anybody more than myself. I'd be doomed. But with you, I did. I fell too deep than I could crawl back up. I know I should've told you about my insecurity over Chloe and how I felt like a fraud since three years ago. But I was scared you wouldn't love the imperfect me. The one that you haven't met. The insecure part of me."

"Hon..." Beca says sympathetically yet still with a light chuckle. "I knew you were insecure about some things. You're insecure about your job, about the way you love me, about being the man under the storm. I knew all of that. Why would you think that I wouldn't love you?"

"You've always thought that you are a damaged good." Ashley says helplessly. "And you didn't want to be my burden. It took you two years to open up to me. And after that, every time I felt too much, and I felt like pouring it all out to you completely, I couldn't. Because for you, I'm supposed to be perfect. I'm supposed to be the strong one. The one who could bring you back to reality."

"Hmmm..." Beca purses her lips, nodding absentmindedly. "Because you love me."

"More than anything." Ashley says firmly, still with tears in her eyes.

Beca remains silent for a while, and it scares Ashley, but she doesn't push. At some point, Beca says, "Let's re-build our Lego house. This time, let me fix you too. This time, you can count on me."

"I don't understand." Ashley says in frustration. "Don't you think that I've been lying to you? Pretending to be someone you could love?"

"You're not pretending Hon." Beca says patiently. "You're doing your best to love me. You've learnt how to deal with me, you've learnt how to pull and push me just in the right time, and I hope I haven't ruined you much."

"No, you're not." Ashley says with a light smile. "It's my decision. And I can live with that. I've lived with that. What I can't live with is losing you. So here I am, surrendering all."

"Huh." Beca laughs lightly, still can't shake off the feeling of how adorable Ashley is. "I think... if you weren't you, and you hadn't done what you'd done to me, or if we were broken all at the same time, then maybe we wouldn't have come this far."

"What do you mean?" Ashley wipes her tears away.

"Maybe it's all just right on time Hon." Beca shrugs nonchalantly. "If I'd known this years ago, maybe we wouldn't have survived our relationship. I would've been too angry with you, like you've said. I would've felt betrayed and lied to. But I've grown. And a big part of it happened because you stayed with me. You've loved me unconditionally without letting me let up on myself. So this time, it's my turn to put up with your shit. No more armchair advice. No more pretending to be okay when I'm not okay. You are allowed to be not okay. You are allowed to be not collected all the times. And I, will love you anyway. I've loved you anyway."

"Are you sure?" Ashley asks with teary eyes, smiling fondly toward the tiny brunette.

"More than anything." Beca replies without hesitation, smiling fondly toward her supposedly girlfriend before kissing her.

Ashley returns the kiss in the same favor, and they lose themselves in that prolonged kiss for a while.

After they pull away from the kiss, Beca softly says, "And about Chloe... She is an amazing person. But I loved her in the past, Hon. You are the one I want to be with now. So, please don't worry or second guess my love for you. I love you more than anything too."

Ashley sniffles softly and says, "I will tune my insecurity down a notch." Then she pouts and says, "But you have to let me be jealous when you're with her. Because she's back into your life now."

"Yes Ma'am." Beca still tries to suppress her laughter upon seeing how adorable Ashley is. The she says, "So let me ask you. Are you back?"

Ashley smiles, still with tears in her eyes as she says, "Isn't it obvious?"

"You're back." Beca grins goofily.

"I am." Ashley brushes her nose on Beca's.

"You're back." Beca's grin becomes wider. "And you're snotty."

Ashley slaps her arm playfully with a mock angry glare, and Beca chuckles before saying, "Now you're back."

"I am." Ashley replies softly, and then Beca kisses her again chastely before saying, "I've missed you. So much."

"I've missed you too." Ashley replies as soft, but just as she's leaning closer for another kiss, Beca's stomach roars loudly. Then Ashley stares at her with an eyebrow raised, clearly upset as she asks, "Have you eaten anything at all today?"

"I uh..." Beca seems nervous. "No. Not yet. I was uh... busy."

"Beca Mitchell!" Ashley slaps her arms harshly.

"Aw!"

"I told you to take care of yourself." Ashley scolds her some more, but Beca just smiles at her goofily. So Ashley scolds again, "Do not think that I will let you off the hook with that dorky smile on your face. Now go take a shower, and I will ask Nina to prepare dinner for us."

Still, Beca just stares at her girlfriend goofily, so Ashley scolds louder, "Now!"

"Yes ma'am." Beca smirks and stands up, but then she looks over her shoulder and says, "And just so you know, you're cute when you scold me with that red snotty nose of yours."

"Shower!" Ashley scolds with her cheeks as red as her nose, and Beca laughs as she walks to their bedroom and into the bathroom.

Then Ashley calls their maid, telling her to make Beca's favorite dinner and order Beca's favorite dessert before preparing Beca's suit on the bed. After Beca gets out of the bathroom, Ashley greets her with a chaste kiss before she says, "I've prepared your suit on the bed. Go change and wait for me in your sanctuary. Nina is preparing our dinner. And I, will go shower now."

"I can take another shower." Beca suggests playfully. "With you."

Ashley laughs and says, "No. We'll never have our dinner if you join me in the shower."

Then Ashley walks toward the bathroom, swaying her hips way too much from necessary, and Beca shouts, "You are mean!"

"You love me!" Ashley shouts back as she closes the bathroom door, and Beca chuckles before replying, "I do!"

Then Beca decides to call Stacie and tell her that she won't come for dinner tonight because Ashley's home. She calls Donna too, to tell her about the same thing. She also shots Emily a text to thank her and tell her that Ashley has come home.

After that, she puts on the clothes that Ashley has prepared for her; a white V-neck shirt, with a royal blue suit and a pair of matching color pantsuit, and then puts on a light make up.

When she's done, she walks into her closet and opens her watch drawer, taking out her Breguet Tradition Minute Repeater Tourbillon that Ashley's given to her as a birthday present two years ago.

Beca flips it to read the words on the back, you are my once upon a time. -AVB. Beca smiles softly and wears the watch. She rarely wears this watch, afraid of scratching, breaking, or losing it from her own clumsiness. But this isn't just any other day.


Posen-Conrad's House: Dinner. The Very Same Day.

"Babe, dinner's ready!" Aubrey calls out from dining room.

"A second!" Stacie yells from their bedroom.

Once Stacie is already in the kitchen, Chloe asks, "Shouldn't we wait for Beca?"

Stacie glances at her wife before she says toward the red head, "She uh... she's not joining us tonight."

"Why?" Chloe asks curiously.

"She didn't say the reason." Stacie says without looking at Chloe. "Maybe she's having dinner with Donna and Harvey."

Aubrey quickly says, "And Emily is having dinner with Andre. So let's start dinner then."

They have dinner almost in silent because of last night's fight. Other than Bella's usual chitchat about her day at school, the adults don't talk much to each other. After dinner, Stacie takes Bella to bed, while Aubrey cleans up with Chloe, and then the three of them sit in the living room.

Aubrey takes a seat next to Chloe, taking the red head's hand in hers and says, "Chloe, we need to tell you something. But I need you to stay calm. Okay?"

"Is something happened to Beca?" Chloe asks in panic. "Is it her heart?"

"No. Nothing like that." Aubrey replies instantly. "You need to breathe."

Chloe is confused, but she takes a deep breath nevertheless before saying, "Okay. What is it?"

Aubrey turns to look at Stacie and nods lightly. Then Stacie sighs and says, "Chloe, I'm sorry for last night. I shouldn't have said those things to you."

"It's okay Stace. I'm the one who's supposed to be apologizing. I know you're just worried about me." Chloe says calmly, smiling lightly as she adds, "I'm sorry, Stace." Then she turns to Aubrey and says, "I'm sorry too, Bree. I heard you two fought last night because of me. But Stacie was right; you need to stop worrying about me."

"Our fight wasn't your fault." Aubrey says with a reassuring smile. "And I will try to lessen my coddling."

"Thank you Bree, Stace." Chloe smiles lightly. "Is that it?"

"No." Stacie takes a deep breath and adds, "It's about the reason Beca didn't have dinner with us."

Chloe looks back and forth between her best friends in confusion.

"She's having dinner at home." Stacie says cautiously.

With her eyebrows furrowed in confusion, Chloe asks, "Alone?"

Again, Stacie glances at Aubrey, and her wife nods lightly. So she nervously says, "She called me earlier. She told me that she would be having dinner with Ashley tonight. At their house."

Instantly, Chloe's face turns white, and she loses her ability to speak for a moment, only able to feel cold all over her body. When she finally finds her voice back, she asks, "When did they contact each other again?"

Then Aubrey squeezes the red head's hand gently and hesitantly says, "Today?"

Without hiding the accusation in her voice, Chloe asks, "Does it have anything to do with you coming to my school for lunch today?"

Aubrey gives her an apologetically look as she answers, "Yes."

Then Chloe turns to Stacie and says, "And you must be in this too."

Stacie nods and cautiously explains, "Yesterday, Beca said that today would be the finishing part of her project." She pauses to look at Chloe's reaction, and when the red head doesn't say anything, she continues, "She released six songs for Ashley on the radio at lunch."

Chloe closes her eyes, swallowing hard and croaks out, "Are they back together?"

"Well," Stacie squirms on her seat uncomfortably. "We're not sure. But if they're having dinner together tonight... I think it's safe to assume that... they are."

This time, Chloe gives in to the tears and sobs with her shoulders shaking. Then Aubrey pulls her in a hug and says, "I'm so, so sorry Chloe. That's why I came to your school. We didn't want you to find out about it on your own."

Oddly, Chloe shakes her head lightly and says with cracked voice, "I want to listen to it."

"Listen to what?" Stacie asks with furrowed eyebrows.

"The songs." Chloe says as she wipes her tears away.

"Are you sure?" Aubrey asks worriedly, and Chloe nods.

"Chloe..." Aubrey says softly. "I don't think it's a good idea."

"Either you let me listen with you, or I'll find out myself." Chloe says firmly.

After taking minutes of consideration, staring at Stacie as if discussing the matter through eye gazing, Aubrey finally nods lightly. She knows better than letting Chloe finds out about it herself.

Then Stacie pulls out her phone and downloads the songs from the internet, and they listen to it together. When it's done, Stacie softly says, "Chloe, I know this isn't what you want to hear right now. But... I think it's time to let go and move on."

"I know." Chloe smiles sadly with teary eyes. "It's long past overdue, Stace. But... I don't know how."

"We'll help, Chloe." Aubrey softly says.

"Maybe it will be good if you spend some times away." Stacie suggests softly while glancing at her wife.

"It's a very good idea." Aubrey chips in immediately. "We can go to The Lodge and have some quite time there. Just us. Stacie, you, me, and Bella. It will be great."

Chloe shakes her head instantly and says, "I don't want to be away from her, Bree. Not again. I'll take whatever she will give to me."

Aubrey seems helpless when she says, "Chloe... I think it will be good for you to take your ti-"

"No, Bree." Chloe cuts her off firmly. "I can't be away from her when I'm barely back into her life. This is my decision."

"Are you sure?" Stacie asks worriedly, and when Chloe nods without hesitation, she says in defeat, "Well then... you'll have us. Whatever you need and feel, you have to let us know. We are here for you Chloe."

Chloe nods again, and then they remain silent for a while until Chloe says, "I'm going to bed."

"Do you want me to stay with you tonight?" Aubrey asks softly.

"I can sleep without my wife for a night or two." Stacie tries to light up the mood. "Maybe more, considering how she loves to hog my blanket."

But Chloe simply shakes her head weakly and walks upstairs to her bedroom. The couple just let the red head go, don't want to push her more.


Ashley and Beca's Mansion: Dinner

After getting ready, Beca goes up to her sanctuary. Their maid, Nina, is preparing a dinner for two at the balcony, just a simple pasta primavera, served with Beca's favorite tea, silver needle. All of the sudden, she feels so nervous like they are going to have their first date all over again.

Then Beca stands by the railings, sipping her tea to calm her nerves, and after a while, a pair of arms sneak, wrapping around her waist from behind.

"I'm sorry to keep you waiting." Ashley softly says before kissing Beca's cheek over her shoulder.

"It's okay." Beca teases, remembering the conversation they had on their first meeting. "It's not like I have other things to do anyway."

Then Beca turns around to kiss Ashley chastely on the lips before taking her time to stare at Ashley's appearance. The blonde is wearing a strapless white dress that falls just until her mid-thighs, wrapping her body all in the right places, and her hair is pulled up in a messy exotic bun.

After studying her girlfriend, Beca softly says, "You take my breath away Ashley Benson."

Ashley kisses Beca's lips chastely and says, "Well thank you Beca Mitchell. And so do you."

Then they walk hand in hand to the dining table, and Beca pulls out a chair for Ashley.

"Thanks, my Casanova." Ashley says while taking her seat.

"Anything for you, my adorable weirdo." Beca smirks.

They have dinner in comfortable silent, just enjoying each other's company. Beca keeps staring at Ashley tenderly with her eyes beaming in happiness, and a face-splitting smile.

"Babe, your dinner is getting cold." Ashley smiles shyly over the way Beca is looking at her.

"I don't mind." Beca says with a huge grin.

Ashley rolls her eyes playfully, smiling as she says, "But I do mind. I want you to have it the best way. Warm and yummy."

"This is the best way." Beca says fondly. "With you by my side."

With her cheeks blushing red, Ashley mutters, "Dork."

"Still your dork." Beca replies, making the blonde blush even more.

After they finish dinner, Ashley takes out Beca's meds from the container on the table, and hands it to her girlfriend. Then Beca takes it immediately before she says, "It feels so good to have you taking care of me again."

Ashley rolls her eyes in mock annoyance and says, "You're too spoiled. Emily must've had a hard time taking care of you in the past few weeks."

With a smug smirk, Beca responds, "It's on you. Not me. You were the one who asked her."

After chuckling lightly, Ashley says, "Wait here, I'll take the dessert."

"Don't go." Beca says with a slight pleading look. "We don't need to have dessert. I just want you here with me."

Ashley pokes her nose and teasingly says, "Even if I tell you that it's your favorite dessert?"

"Tiramisu? Well, what are you waiting for? Go get it." Beca replies playfully, earning a playful slap from the blonde on her arm. And then Beca barks out a laughter before she softly says, "Kidding Hon. Stay. We can have it tomorrow."

"Nope. Just wait a second, I won't be long." Ashley stands up, but Beca holds her hand and tries to pull her back down. Then Ashley kisses her lips chastely and softly says, "It's just in the fridge in your sanctuary's pantry. I won't be long. Promise."

Reluctantly, Beca relents and presses another kiss on Ashley's lips before letting her hand go. Then she walks to sit on the couch, looking at the ocean view while waiting for Ashley to come back.

Not long after, Ashley comes back with a plate of tiramisu and then sits next to Beca. They enjoy eating the dessert, feeding each other, and then Ashley smears a spoonful tiramisu across Beca's cheek. Then Beca's mouth falls open with her eyes widens while Ashley is giggling upon seeing her girlfriend's expression.

With wide eyes, Beca says, "You did not ju-"

Ashley cuts her off by smearing more tiramisu across her face.

"Oh, you're so gonna pay for this." Beca exclaims as she pinches a bit of tiramisu with her index finger, and try to smear it on Ashley's face but Ashley grips her wrist strongly while squealing.

They wrestle for a while in laughter, and Beca fails to put a finger on her girlfriend. Gradually, the laughter unwind, and they look at each other fondly.

A warm ticklish sensation raises up into Ashley's chest, and she bites her bottom lip shyly before licking away the tiramisu on Beca's finger.

Beca's breath hitches and she pulls Ashley closer, wanting to kiss her, but Ashley nips the tiramisu on her face with her lips instead as she slowly moves herself to sit on Beca's lap. When Beca's face is free from dessert, she looks into Beca's dilated blue eyes for a second and closes the gap between them.

With her thumb rubbing a circle on the small of the blonde's back, Beca tightens her arms and pulls Ashley closer on her laps. They lose themselves in a heated make out session, but at some point, Beca reluctantly pulls away with a shred of self-control she has left to say, "Hon, I think we need to talk first."

"Nu uh." Ashley hovers on her lips. "There's something I prefer to do with you now."

"You sure?" Beca asks after finding Ashley's eyes.

With her bottom lip between her teeth, Ashley nods lightly.


Smut starting from here.

That is enough for Beca to throw what's left of her self-control out of the windows, and pulls her girlfriend into another searing kiss. Ashley kisses her back with the same desire, letting her fingers roam through Beca's hair. Then she grasps Beca's hair, and pulls her head back gently to nip her jawline.

"Fuck." Beca curses under her breath before pushing Ashley gently to the side, stands up, and pulls her girlfriend toward the bed in the sanctuary.

Once they are near the bed, Beca kisses Ashley again, slowly trailing her hands to the zipper on the back of Ashley's dress and pulls it down, letting it drop effortlessly on the floor, leaving Ashley only in a pair of matching soft pink underwear.

The brunette steps back a bit and let her eyes wander on her girlfriend's body, and then Ashley pushes the blazer out of Beca's shoulder. They start to undress each other slowly and steal kisses in between. Every light touch leave an electrical sensation that makes them crave for more.

Beca can feel her heart skips a beat when she pulls down Ashley's hair bun, and sees her girlfriend's naked figure like she's never seen it before. Ashley with her smooth skin, shining even under the light. How contrast her reddish flushing cheeks compared to her white skin. Only by looking at Ashley makes her shudder. But she doesn't rush to have her way.

Just like every other things, Beca loves to take her time in making love too. She steps backward, pulling Ashley with her and then sits down on the edge of the bed with Ashley standing between her legs.

Beca starts slowly by trailing her fingers up from Ashley's feet, rubbing the back of her knees, drawing her way up to Ashley's inner thigh but stops just under her V area and then round to her butt cheeks, staying to explore the area for a while, sending electrical sensation all over Ashley's body.

On the other hand, Ashley rests her hands on Beca's shoulder, trying to hold herself up from the waves that make her knees weak.

Meanwhile, Beca draws her index finger slowly from the blonde's back up to the area under her ear, and then down to the small crook of her chest before trailing further down to her stomach, making the blonde shuddering under her touch.

Then Beca trails her fingers slowly to the side of Ashley's body, drives them up, and stops on the side of her breast, making the blonde's breaths hitch. She moves the tip of her index finger, running circle slowly around Ashley's breast, inching closer to the nipple, and then stops just right before the peak to tease.

Ashley has to close her eyes, breathing through her teeth, biting her bottom lip; revels in the pleasure of what Beca's touch can evoke on her body. It feels like her head is filled with air, and tight, and throbbing, and all of her body is heating up.

All the while, Beca fixes her eyes on Ashley's face, taking the pleasure from making the blonde pouring out the lusty breaths, and moaning in desire while her fingers have their way around Ashley's body, drawing out the most breathtaking expressions from the blonde.

When Beca's finger reach the spot in the middle of Ashley's hip, she moans softly and breathes out hoarsely, "Babe..."

Beca smirks and kisses Ashley's stomach before standing up and gently pushes her girlfriend to lay her back on the bed. Then she lays herself on Ashley, staring at her face, holding herself up with one elbow while Ashley pulls her down for a searing kiss.

To drive the brunette crazy, Ashley trails the tip of her fingers on Beca's back, making the brunette grunting in pleasure. But it doesn't stop Beca from rubbing a circle with the tip of her middle finger gently on Ashley's nipple, and Ashley presses her fingernails on Beca's back while moaning louder.

Then Beca kisses her way down through Ashley's jaw and neck, sucking her pulse point, biting it gently and giving it a lick before pulling down to attend Ashley's vacant breast that's not being touch with her hand. She brushes the harden nipple softly with the tip of her nose, breathes out a warm air before nipping it gently, pulling it a bit with her lips, and then bites it gently before finally stroking the tip of her tongue on it and takes it into her mouth.

Ashley moans harshly, arching her back, scratching her fingernails down on Beca's back, unveiling the pleasure she can't convey with a word, and it makes Beca growls from her throat in pleasure. How Ashley relishes the moment Beca is on top, taking control, being the dominant.

"Babe..." Ashley pants out harshly as she pushes Beca down gently to her core, asking her to do more.

Beca complies by pulling down slowly, drawing kisses, brushing her nose, and taking her time exploring Ashley's stomach with her lips and tongue. She stops to nip and bites the part under the blonde's belly button, making the blonde clenches her jaw, grasping the bed sheet tightly, growling from her throat, and arching her back all at the same time.

Gently, Beca puts herself between Ashley's leg, ghosting the tip of her nose up and down slowly just a little bit over Ashley's core, blowing out warm air through he lips, making the blonde shuddering and moaning harshly. Then she nudges Ashley's clit gently with the tip of her nose before brushing her tongue on it. She starts with just the tip of her tongue, and then pushes harder, making Ashley moaning out her name loudly, begging her for more.

Then Beca just keeps exploring with her tongue, licking and flicking the clit before biting Ashley's inner thigh gently. It's gentle yet bold all at the same time, and it sends electrical sensation all over Ashley's body. Her senses are overwhelmed, and she can feel how soft and warm Beca's tongue on her damp core.

With her hands clenching the sheet beside her head tightly, Ashley pants out, "Babe... please..."

Beca pulls herself up to stare at Ashley's blue eyes and her rosy cheeks, feeling her girlfriend's chest heaves heavily under hers. Then she places one hand under Ashley's neck to hold herself up while the other hand find its way down to the part that Ashley has been helplessly waiting.

When Beca explores Ashley's earlobe with her tongue, and her thumb presses the blonde's clit gently, rubbing it in circle, Ashley cries out, "Babe, I can't..."

"Patience love." Beca whispers over Ashley's ear, driving her to the edge. She loves teasing her impatient girlfriend.

Ashley pulls Beca's face, kisses her hard, and bites the brunette's bottom lip gently before pulling it in between her teeth just as gentle. Then Ashley arches her back so high, revealing her desperation. And when she can't hold it anymore, she croaks out in frustration, "Babe, I... just... please..."

Beca knows that it's time. So she pulls herself up a little bit, and gently pushes one finger into Ashley's core, making the blonde moaning in relief. Slowly, Beca thrusts her finger in and out, and then she pushes another finger, earning a loud moan and hard scratches on her back from her girlfriend.

On the other hand, Beca's lips are busy exploring Ashley's breast, nipping and biting in the same rhythm with her fingers inside Ashley, twirling, curling their way over the spots that weave the blonde up and down in the waves of desire.

To gain a little control, Ashley grasps Beca's hair, pulling her up to kiss her neck before chanting Beca's name over and over again as Beca brings her up higher and higher, changing the pace, driving her over the edge.

They are moving in harmony, fitting each other's movement naturally. And when the blonde reaches the peak of the wave, when it feels like her body finally explodes, Ashley bites Beca's shoulder, bellowing from her throat, and plants her fingernails deeply on Beca's back with her toes curled out so widely.

Then as the waves slam down, Ashley drops down onto the bed effortlessly, out of energy, out of breath. And Beca slows down her fingers, helping Ashley easing down from the high.

When Ashley's grip on her back has loosen, Beca pulls her fingers out slowly, smears her wet fingers on Ashley's thigh, and then brings her hand up to cup her girlfriend's cheek.

End of smut.


With a fond smile, Beca brushes away Ashley's tousled hair from her face, kisses her sweaty forehead, her fluttering eyelids, and her slightly parted lips. After that, Beca pulls away a little bit, smiling so tenderly toward her girlfriend who is still panting hard, trying to catch her breath.

"You are beautiful Hon." Beca whispers the one honest thing she's never skipped to say every time she makes Ashley coming undone under her touch.

When Ashley finally evens out her breath, she glares at Beca, slaps her arm repeatedly, and scolds in between the slaps, "And, you, are, such, a, jerk, Beca Mitchell!"

Beca laughs whole-heartily and says, "Thank you will be suffice."

"It's been more than a month, and you took the stairway to heaven?!" Ashley yells out her frustration. "Really?! You could've killed me!"

Again, Beca laughs lightly, rolling her eyes playfully and softly says, "You loved it."

When Ashley says nothing but blushing awfully red while biting her bottom lip, Beca smirks smugly and says, "Your welcome."

Then Ashley smiles and pulls her girlfriend down for a prolonged kiss before fondly says, "I love you, Babe. Always."

Beca grins from ear to ear and replies between kisses, "I, love, you, too, Hon. Always."

With a devilish smirk, Ashley flips their body, pressing her body on Beca's as she teases, "Your turn. And this time, I'll take you through the highway to hell. Karma's a bitch, Babe."

Beca chuckles and responds, "Can't wait."

Then they go down the same road, taking turns over and over again, releasing their need for each other that is long past overdue. When they're done, Ashley lays on her stomach with half of her body on Beca.

In silent, Ashley rests her head on Beca's left chest, listening to her steady heartbeat while Beca trails her fingers up and down Ashley's back, humming a song that Ashley recognizes as Mirrors.

"Babe." Ashley calls softly.

"Hm?"

"Let's have the talk you wanted."

"Now?" Beca asks uncertainly.

"Hm." Ashley responds calmly. "It's about Chloe, isn't it?"

Beca stops her moving hand on Ashley's back for a second, tilting her head down to look at her girlfriend who naturally peeks up. Upon seeing the hesitation in Beca's eyes, Ashley rubs Beca's chest gently, smiling fondly as she says, "It's okay."

With a light nod, Beca casually says, "I'd talked to her around a month ago after I came back from Atlanta. I've told her about my decision."

"How did she take it?" Ashley asks, still as calm.

"She took it uh... Honestly, I'm not so sure." Beca answers, and then she tells Ashley everything that happened that night, including the fact that she and Chloe have shared a bed, then also how Chloe has been acting strange.

Ashley listens calmly without interrupting Beca at all, letting her telling the whole story. Then after the story ends, she asks, "Do you think she's gonna be okay?"

After blowing out a long breath, Beca says, "I honestly don't know. I mean, she's been acting strange. But uh... I hope so."

"Hmmm..."

"Are you okay, Hon?" Beca asks cautiously.

Ashley pushes herself up to look at Beca, smiling tenderly and kisses Beca on the lips before saying, "I'm more than okay, Babe."

"I love you Hon." Beca says with a fond smile. "Always. And I don't ever want to live without you."

"I love you too Babe. Always." Ashley replies contentedly.

Then Ashley lays herself back on Beca's chest, while Beca resumes humming softly with her eyes closed. This is the most peaceful they feel after the morning of their 5th anniversary. Not long after, they fall asleep in each other's arms.

Beca wakes up at dawn and finds that Ashley isn't by her side. She jumps up as fear creeps up into her mind, thinking that Ashley has left her again. But she sighs in relief once she notices through the glass door that her girlfriend is leaning on the railings at the balcony, looking at the ocean view, wearing the white shirt Beca has worn last night

Then the brunette walks into her closet, and puts on a grey hoodie and shorts before opening the drawer to pull out a tiny blue box. She smiles contentedly, gripping the box in her hand tightly, finally knows what she's going to do. She shoves the tiny box into her shorts' pocket and walks out to the balcony.

When she's already standing behind Ashley, Beca wraps Ashley's waist from behind, kisses the back of her shoulder gently, and smiles onto it. Then Ashley immediately laces their fingers on her stomach and tilts her head to kiss Beca chastely over her shoulder.

After they pull away, Beca presses her lips on the back of Ashley's shoulder again, and mumbles, "I'd thought you'd left."

Ashley chuckles and turns around slowly, putting her arms on Beca's shoulders while Beca's arms find their way to wrap her waist. Then she kisses Beca chastely on the lips again, smirking as she says, "You're not gonna get rid of me that easily Babe. You're stuck with me. Forever."

"Gladly." Beca chuckles lightly. Then she pulls Ashley into another gentle kiss, and rests her forehead on Ashley's before she softly asks, "Do you trust me?"

"With my life." Ashley replies without hesitation, and Beca grins from ear to ear.

Trying to compose herself, Beca looks around her, realizing that the sun is rising, and the sky is getting brighter. Suddenly, she can feel the heat raising up from her bottom spine to the back of her neck as the anxiety tries to chew her up.

But she takes a step backward, huffs out one hell of nervous air, and shakes her hands to shake off the nerves. Then she remembers the pep talk she's given herself on the night she has asked the blonde out for the first time.

It's now or never, Mitchell.

"Okay. Here we go." Beca says with her eyes closed and then she exhales harshly. Meanwhile, Ashley is just staring at her in confusion.

It's nerve wrecking, but when Beca looks into Ashley's blue eyes and finds nothing but love in them, she smiles in relief. Just like that, and she catches a grip of herself, feeling her feet standing up firmly and her heart beating in a steady rhythm. There is this warmth filling in her chest, and she knows, she has never been so sure about anything in her life like this.

Still with her eyes staring into Ashley's fondly and smiling so warmly, Beca takes Ashley's hand in hers and says, "I've been meaning to do this for over a year. Waiting and trying to find the best way to do this perfectly. With a grand gesture in the perfect moment. But I uh... got tired of waiting. Every single moment I spend with you is perfect. So bear with me please?"

After getting a confused nod from Ashley, Beca kisses her girlfriend's hand and pulls out the tiny box from her pocket. Then she gets down on one knee, holds up the opened box in front of Ashley, revealing a unique musical clef patterned white gold ring with a main blue diamond on the center of it, and a series of smaller diamonds on the pattern.

Ashley gasps, covering her mouth while her eyes widen and become teary as the realization hits her.

Then Beca clears her throat, smiling lightly as she says, "Hon, more than 5 and a half years ago, I spilled my drink on you. To be honest, if I'd known that this day would come, I wouldn't have said I'm sorry back then. I've never been so thankful in my life for being a klutz. Taking your invitation for a drink is the best decision I've ever made in my life." She pauses a bit and then adds, "Or the best decision Donna has ever made for me to be precise."

Ashley chuckles lightly, blushing so red from her cheeks through the tip of her ears. Then Beca continues with a fond smile that never leaves her face. "Anyway, since then, for more than five years, you have loved me so selflessly, and you've given me so much and then some. And all this time, I thought that I had loved you the same way you loved me. Turns out, I've never been so wrong."

Ashley can't help but furrowing her eyebrows slightly in confusion, but she doesn't interrupt.

After taking a long steady breath, Beca continues, "Like I said, you bring the best out of me. I am who I am today not only because you love me, but also because you let me love you as an excuse to be a better person. And I've taken your love for granted for way too long. Now I finally realize how selfishly I've loved you for my gain."

Knowing how untrue it is, Ashley simply rolls her teary eyes playfully. On the other hand, Beca just fixes her eyes on Ashley's, chuckling lightly before saying with bold voice, "From now on, if you'll have me, I want to love you for you and for your gain too. I want to show you a love so unconditional, that you don't have any other choice but to be better. A love that will take you further than you've ever imagined. Like the way you've loved and showed me. Ashley Victoria Benson, will you take another leap of faith and marry me?"

After the main question being popped, Ashley pulls Beca up instantly, and crashes their lips together. She wraps her arms behind Beca's neck, kissing the brunette with so much passion, savoring every single drop of happiness in this very moment and let it sinks into her chest, creating a warm ticklish sensation down into her stomach. And it feels so fulfilling.

When air becomes an emergency, they pull away to catch their breath, resting their forehead together, smiling contentedly with their eyes closed.

Then Beca opens her eyes, and when she finally finds Ashley's teary blue eyes with a fond smile that matches hers, she whispers, "I take it you say yes?"

"Isn't it obvious?" Ashley replies with a fond smile and rosy cheeks while her eyes glimmering under the first yellow light of the day.

Instantly, Beca's heart roars in happiness, in victory, bringing tears in her eyes, and she let out a relieved sigh through a light laughter. Then she takes out the ring, tilts it to the side to show Ashley my leap of faith that's engraved on the inside of the ring.

While reading the words, Ashley smiles with tears running down her face, while Beca holds up her girlfriend's left hand and pushes the ring into her ring finger before kissing it.

Then Ashley pulls Beca closer and kisses her again, longer this time, until the need of air comes between them. After they pull away, Ashley suddenly pinches the side of Beca's stomach.

"Aw!" Beca yelps. And Ashley pinches her again, harder this time.

"Aw!" Beca rubs her stomach. "What was that for?"

Glaring in mock upset, Ashley scolds, "You just have to do this when I'm half naked, only in my underwear and your shirt, without any makeup on my pillow sleepy face."

Beca barks out a loud laughter before she says, "I did say that I couldn't wait anymore." Then she presses a kiss on Ashley's lips, gazing lovingly at her and asks, "Do you want a do over? I can do this again in any way you want."

With a smile so fond, Ashley shakes her head lightly and softly says, "Not even for a milky way. This is perfect."

Beca grins goofily from ear to ear and pulls Ashley in her arms, kissing the side of her head, inhaling the warmth of Ashley's natural scent. Suddenly, Ashley pulls away and hurriedly says, "Wait here Babe."

Before Beca can even say anything, Ashley has gone into the house. A couple of minutes later, Ashley comes back with a tiny black box in her hand. Then she stands in front of Beca and opens the box, showing a black ice carbide ring with blue diamond circling as a straight line in the middle of the ring, and a rectangular black diamond planted in the center of it.

Beca's eyes widen in surprise because not once in her mind she's ever thought that Ashley would propose to her. She's always thought that she's going to be the one who propose.

I mean, let's just all agree that Beca is the guy in this relationship.

So, Beca is stunned and speechless with her mouth hung open, and Ashley chuckles lightly before she asks, "Do you remember around four months ago you came home and found me under the blanket, sulking because I had a bad day?"

"Hmmm..." Beca purses her lips with narrowed eyes, digging her mind for a moment before she nods.

"That night, you sang ridiculously silly for me." Ashley teases, earning a playful eye roll from her girlfriend. "Then I told you the things that made my day unbearable."

After getting another nod from her girlfriend, Ashley's smile grows wider and she asks, "Do you remember what you said to me after that?"

"Hmmm..." Beca furrows her eyebrows, her pupils move to from side to side as the gear in her head turns to collect the memory. After a couple of second, she sheepishly says, "I uh... don't really remember."

Patiently, Ashley says, "You held me tightly in your arms, kissed my hairline, and then said, it's going it be okay, Hon." She pauses to take a deep breath and adds, "The moment you said those words... It was the moment of realization for me. The awakening moment as people said."

Beca looks at her girlfriend questioningly, yet a smile appears on her face. Then Ashley continues, "In that moment, I've finally realized how true those most common words people have said for thousands of years, with thousands of languages, in so many situations. In that exact moment, I've finally believed that everything is going to be okay, as long as I'm with you. You, are the essence of my happiness. The K to my okay." Then she smirks. "Without you, my life will only be left with an O."

Upon hearing the lame joke, Beca chuckles lightly, while Ashley smiles shyly, biting her bottom lip as she asks, "So... will you be the K to my okay forever and always, for the rest of our life?" She pulls out and tilts the ring slightly to show the K to my okay, engraved on the inner side of the ring with gold.

Then Beca takes Ashley's hand and puts it on her left chest before she asks, "Do you feel that?"

"U huh." Ashley smiles ever so fondly. "It's beating steadily."

"That's my answer." Beca says without hesitation. "With every beat of my heart."

Beaming in happiness and warmth vibrating all over her body, Ashley takes Beca's left hand in hers, and then slips the ring into her ring finger.

After that, Beca kisses Ashley's forehead and says, "I," then kiss the tip of her nose. "Love," and then kisses her lips. "You."

Ashley presses a bold kiss on Beca's lips again before she says, "I love you too Babe."

With their eyes looking into each other's, they softly says in unison, "Always."

Then they just stand by the railings, looking at the ocean view with Beca hugging Ashley from behind. The sun is already up but they can still feel the chilly wind on their face.

"We're engaged." Ashley says in awe as if the reality just hit her.

Beca chuckles lightly and teasingly says, "Judging from the rings in our fingers? I think it's safe to say that indeed we are."

Ashley rolls her eyes, turns around, and looks at Beca with devilish smirk. "I believe this calls for a celebration."

"I couldn't be more agree, Miss Benson." Beca replies with a smirk.

"It's Mitchell to you from now on." Ashley says with a shy smile.

Beca's eyes widen in comic surprise, and she blurts out, "You'll take my silly last name?"

"Hmmm..." With her index finger on her chin, Ashley mocks a thinking face before she says, "Ashley Victoria Mitchell does have a better ring on it."

"I agree." Beca says with a goofy grin.

"So, about that celebration..." Ashley trails the end of the sentence teasingly, and then Beca pulls her inside without saying anything anymore.

 

Chapter Text

 

Tuesday, October 28th 2025. Chloe's Experience.

It's another morning where Chloe has breakfast with her best friends. But it's not just another day for Chloe. She looks lifeless, and it's so obvious.

"Chloe?" Aubrey calls softly, but Chloe doesn't seem to hear her. So Aubrey takes her hand and squeezes it gently, and then Chloe turns to look at her blankly.

With a soft smile, Aubrey says, "Let's skip work today. Let's go do something fun."

But Chloe shakes her head weakly without saying anything. So Stacie chips in, "All of us can skip work and school today. Let's go to the park, and we can have a little picnic there."

Again, Chloe shakes her head weakly and mutters, "I need to go to school. My students need me."

"They can have a substitute for a day or two, Chloe." Aubrey says patiently.

"No." Chloe says weakly. "I can't disappoint my students just because I have a personal problem."

Then Stacie takes a deep breath and says, "It's okay to want some down time for yourself, Chloe. Come on. It will be fun."

"Come on Aunt Chowee." Bella chimes in cheerfully.

This time, Chloe smiles weakly toward her goddaughter and says, "I'm sorry sweetie. But Aunt Chloe has to go to school."

"Hmph." Bella pouts.

"Come on..." Stacie teases. "You can't ignore that cute pout you've taught her so well, Aunt Chowee."

But Chloe simply sighs deeply and plays with her food instead. Then Aubrey says, trying to hide her worried tone, "I'll call your school and tell them that you're staying at home for a couple of days. I'll stay with you, okay?"

"Don't." Chloe says flatly. There is no trace of any emotion in it, and it certainly spikes up Aubrey and Stacie's worries.

"Chloe... sweetie..." Aubrey persuades softly. "Tell me what you want to do, what you want me to do, and I'll do it. Please..."

"I just want to go to school, Bree." Chloe says, still as flat.

Subtly, Aubrey sighs deeply, at lost of how to console her best friend, and then she says, "But let me drive you to school, okay? I'll pick you up too later."

Without putting any fight, Chloe simply nods.

Feeling afraid of Chloe's condition, Stacie cautiously says, "Chloe, maybe... do you think maybe you need to see a pro-"

But she is cut short by her wife's deathly glare, and Stacie shuts her mouth instantly. Getting Chloe to see a therapist has always been conflicting for Aubrey. The blonde is afraid that it will affect Chloe's self-esteem even more.

"I just want to go to school." Chloe says flatly.

"Okay then." Aubrey replies with worried look. "We can go together."

Then they finish breakfast, and Aubrey takes Chloe to school while Stacie takes Bella to pre-school.

After Aubrey and Chloe have arrived, the blonde walks with Chloe to the school building, and softly says, "Call me when you're done. I'll come pick you up."

Chloe simply nods and walks into the building, and the blonde makes sure that the red head really gets into the building before she goes to work herself. But it turns out, Chloe has another plan.

After making sure that Aubrey is gone, Chloe pulls out her phone, dialing a number and asks, "Can you pick me up at school?"

When she gets a confirmation, Chloe goes to the office and tells her colleague that she has a family emergency to attend. After that, she waits for the person she's called by the park next to the school.

Not long after, a familiar silver mercy comes, and Chloe gets into the car. Upon seeing how empty Chloe seems to be, Kristen asks, "Everything alright, Chloe?"

Chloe nods and says, "Take me to your place."

Although she is taken aback, Kristen complies nevertheless, knowing how Chloe can be when she's in a certain state. She drives her car slowly, with the window down so Chloe can feel the wind on her face. But it doesn't seem to change the red head's mood.

After they've arrived at Kristen's place, the brunette asks, "Anything I can get for you? Water? Have you had breakfast?"

Instead of answering Kristen, Chloe kisses her on the lips, and Kristen kisses her back for a split second before pulling away and asks in confusion, "What are you doing?"

"I needed to feel something." Chloe says flatly.

"Chloe..." Kristen cautiously puts her hands on Chloe's shoulders. "Are you okay?"

"I just need to feel something." Chloe says again before leaning forward and kisses Kristen. This time, even though she is confused, Kristen complies and kisses her back. Then they move their extracurricular activity to the bedroom.

After doing Chloe the favor time and time again, Kristen kisses the red head's forehead, and stares at Chloe's blank face before softly asks, "What's wrong?"

Again, Chloe simply says, "I needed to feel something."

"Did you?" Kristen asks not in a smug way, more in a worried way because she's known Chloe's history.

"I don't know." Chloe says flatly.

Kristen takes a deep breath and says, "Does Aubrey or Stacie know where you are?"

"No." Chloe mutters weakly.

"Do you want me to call them?"

"No."

"What can I do to make you feel better?" Kristen sounds slightly frustrated now.

"I just needed to feel something." The same words, and the same flat tone.

Kristen sighs deeply, kisses Chloe's forehead again, and hugs the red head tightly without saying anything. By midday, Kristen let Chloe in the bedroom alone so she can prepare something to eat.

Then they eat together. Chloe barely eats at all, but Kristen pushes her to eat at least half of the meal. After that, they lay on the bed again in silent while Kristen hugs Chloe tightly from behind. None of them is sleeping, but they also don't talk at all. From time to time, Kristen simply kisses Chloe on the back of her shoulder.

By three in the afternoon, Chloe flatly says, "Take me back to school."

Without any argument, Kristen says, "Okay."

Then they get dressed, and Kristen drives Chloe back to school. Without Chloe knowing, Kristen waits in her car with respectable distance until she finds out that the red head is being picked up by Aubrey. Then Kristen drives back home.

On the other hand, after Chloe gets into Aubrey's car, the blonde asks, "How's your day, Chloe?"

"Fine." Chloe says still as flat as this morning.

"Any story about your minions?" Aubrey tries to lighten up the air by asking about her students.

But Chloe just fixes her eyes, looking forward blankly and says, "Nothing."

"Okay." Aubrey says in defeat, and the rest of the drive goes in silent. Once they've arrived at the house, Chloe heads to her bedroom immediately.

Aubrey rakes her mind, thinking of the way to cheer her best friends up before going to the kitchen, grabs a tub of Chloe's favorite ice cream, and takes a bunch of musical movies before heading to Chloe's room.

"Chloe?" Aubrey calls out as she knock on the door, and when she doesn't get any respond, she opens the door and walks in hurriedly. Upon seeing that Chloe is laying on the bed in silent, the blonde sighs in relief, and cheerfully says, "I've got your favorite ice cream. And look what's in my hand?"

When Chloe doesn't say anything, Aubrey forces a more cheerful voice, saying, "La La Land! You love this movie! Let's watch it together!"

However, Chloe doesn't even look at her. So Aubrey sighs again and puts on the movie before joining Chloe on the bed.

"Ice cream?" Aubrey offers the ice cream in front of Chloe, but the red head simply shakes her head. Again, Aubrey can only sighs in defeat. Then she puts away the ice cream, pulls Chloe in a hug, and just stay with the red head without anymore word to say.

As the movie plays out, at some point Chloe falls asleep in Aubrey's warm embrace. On the other hand, Aubrey is raking her mind, trying to find a way to help her best friend out of this situation.

However, try as hard as she might, she doesn't find anything that doesn't include choking Beca to death, and it's probably not a good idea either for Chloe's sake. Not long after, the blonde also falls asleep, still hugging Chloe tightly.

Around 05.00 PM, there is a soft knock on the door before Stacie walks into the room. Upon seeing her wife and best friend are asleep, she switches off the TV, and decides to prepare dinner for all of them.

After the dinner's ready, Stacie takes her daughter to wake the other two women up. Just as they get into the room, Bella climbs up the bed, sneaks herself in between her blonde mother and her godmother before exclaiming, "Dinner's ready!"

The two women startle and wake up abruptly. While Aubrey is glaring at her wife in annoyance, Chloe sheds some tears on her face, and Bella quickly wipes the tears away as she asks, "Why are you crying Aunt Chowee?"

With a light smile, Chloe kisses the toddler's cheek and says, "I'm just a little sad sweetie."

Then the little blonde kisses Chloe all over her face and says, "That's what Mama usually do to cheer me up when I'm sad."

Chloe's smile grows slightly wider and she says with restraint voice, "I feel better already. Thank you sweetie."

With a grin so wide, Bella kisses Chloe again on the lips and says, "Your welcome Aunt Chowee. Now let's have dinner."

On the other hand, Stacie and Aubrey can breathe slightly in relief upon seeing that their daughter can cheer Chloe up a little bit. Then they go downstairs and have dinner together.

Again, Chloe doesn't eat much, but Aubrey manages to make her eat enough. After dinner, Chloe goes straight to her bedroom again, leaving Aubrey, Stacie, and Bella in the living room.

"I'll stay with her." Aubrey says toward her wife.

"Yeah." Stacie says with a sad smile. "Go be with her Babe."

Before Aubrey reaches the stairs, Stacie calls, "Babe."

"Hm?" Aubrey turns back around.

Stacie seems nervous as she asks, "Do you think maybe we should call Beca and ask her to come? I mean, just for a couple of hours."

"No." Aubrey says firmly. "It will bring no good at all to Chloe. She'll think that she has a chance, and then hang on to Beca again. We need to let her be broken-hearted for a while, but she will get better. Chloe is strong. Even without Beca. We need to make her see that."

Although Stacie is torn between her wife's right opinions, but she's also worried about Chloe's condition.

"Don't you dare calling Beca, Babe." Aubrey says firmly.

After letting out a long defeated sigh, Stacie says, "Okay."

Then Aubrey walks upstairs to Chloe's bedroom. Just like earlier, Aubrey simply hugs her red headed best friend until both of them fall asleep. The Wednesday morning, they have breakfast together, but Chloe's condition doesn't seem to improve.

Just like yesterday, after Aubrey drops her off at school, Chloe calls Kristen to pick her up. They go to Kristen's place again, and this time, Kristen doesn't ask any question when Chloe starts to kiss her even before she closes the front door.

They take it up to the bedroom, and after a couple of rounds of love making sessions, Kristen simply hugs Chloe on her chest tightly. At some point, Kristen starts to sing softly with her slightly off tune voice.

She finds it hard to trust someone,
She's heard the words cause they've all been sung.
She's the girl in the corner,
She's the girl nobody loved.
But I can't, I can't can't stop thinking about you every day,
And you can't, you can't, you can't listen to what people say.
They don't know you baby,
Don't know that you're amazing,
But I'm here to stay.

When you lose your way and the fight is gone,
Your heart starts to break
And you need someone around now.
Just close your eyes while I put my arms above you,
And make you unbreakable.
She stands in the rain, just to hide it all.
If you ever turn around,
I won't let you fall down now.
I swear I'll find your smile,
And put my arms above you,
And make you unbreakable.
I'll make you unbreakable.

At this point, Kristen feels her chest is wet, and she pulls away slightly to find that Chloe is crying silently. The brunette sighs in relief. If the choices are between the emotionless Chloe or crying Chloe, she prefers a crying Chloe. It means the red head is feeling something. Then she continues to sing.

Cause she's the girl that I never had,
She's the heart that I wanted bad.
The song I heard on the radio
That made me stop and think of her.
And I can't, I can't, I can't concentrate anymore.
And I need, I need,
Need to show her what her heart is for,
It's been mistreated badly,
Now her world has started falling apart,
Falling apart.

When you lose your way and the fight is gone,
Your heart starts to break
And you need someone around now.
Just close your eyes while I put my arms above you,
And make you unbreakable.
She stands in the rain, just to hide it all.
If you ever turn around,
I won't let you fall down now.
I swear I'll find your smile,
And put my arms above you,
And make you unbreakable.

Although her heart is also aching to see Chloe so broken, with a smile so fond, Kristen keeps singing while caressing Chloe's cheek gently and let the red head pouring out her tears. Sometimes she presses a couple of kisses on Chloe's wet eyelids or forehead, and she can feel Chloe's hand grips the side of her stomach tightly, trying hard to hold the sobs.

You need to know that somebody's there all the time,
I'd wait in line, and I hope it's yours.
Can't walk away 'til your heart knows,
That it's beautiful.
Oh, I hope you know, it's beautiful.

When you lose your way and the fight is gone,
Your heart starts to break
And you need someone around now.
Just close your eyes while I put my arms above you
And make you unbreakable.
She stands in the rain, just to hide it all.
If you ever turn around,
I won't let you fall down now.
I swear I'll find your smile,
And put my arms above you,
And make you unbreakable.

Then Chloe smiles weakly, and it manages to flutter Kristen's heart, but she doesn't stop singing. Like she'd always do when they were still together to cheer the red head up.

Cause I love, I love, I love, I love you darling.
Yes I love, I love, I love, I love you darling.
And I'll put my arms around you,
And make you unbreakable.

After Kristen finishes the song, Chloe weakly says, "Your voice is awfully off tune."

Then the brunette laughs lightly and says, "It must have been so bad that it makes you cry."

"True." Chloe says, still with the weak smile while Kristen wipes her tears away and kisses her forehead. Then Chloe leans closer and kisses Kristen, and this time, the brunette can feel something more. Slightly, but it's there, a light desire from the red head.

They make love again until it's time for Kristen to take Chloe back to school so Aubrey can take her home. Just like yesterday, Chloe doesn't know that Kristen waits until she gets on Aubrey's car before she leaves.

As soon as Chloe gets into the car, Aubrey can sense something different on her best friend, and she cheerfully says. "You seem better."

"Maybe." Chloe says not as flat as this morning.

"I'm glad." Aubrey says softly. "Anything you want to share?"

Chloe just shakes her head lightly, turns on the radio, and hums lightly to a song from the radio that Aubrey doesn't recognize or pay any attention to. Even though they don't talk much, but Aubrey is slightly relieved that at least Chloe is listening to the radio again.

To be honest, Aubrey is still worried because the mood changes can be rapid. She still can't just let Chloe on her own. Looking slightly better doesn't always mean getting better in Chloe's case. But right now, the blonde is cautiously relieved.

Just like yesterday, Aubrey stays with Chloe in her room before and after dinner, until the red head falls asleep in her arms, and she herself falls asleep too. The next day, on Thursday, Aubrey drops Chloe at school again, and then Kristen comes to pick her up.

But this time, Kristen doesn't take Chloe back to her house. The brunette takes the red head to a dog shelter. Seeing the red head smiles while playing with the puppies, even with a smile so light and her eyes only slightly have their spark is more than enough for Kristen.

Then they go to the Griffith Park to have lunch while sitting by the side of the lake. After lunch, Kristen wraps Chloe in a hug from aside tightly. They don't talk, but Chloe is humming softly to a song that Kristen doesn't recognize. But she doesn't care. All she cares about is that the read head seems slightly better compared to two days ago.

Surprisingly, Chloe even initiate to make love in the backseat of the car before Kristen drops her off at school. Again, Chloe doesn't know that Kristen waits until she gets in Aubrey's car.

In the car with Aubrey, Chloe still doesn't say anything at all but listening to the radio. Aubrey can see that Chloe is even slightly better than yesterday.

Later that night, just before they fall asleep, Chloe softly says, "Bree."

After having two nights silence, Aubrey is taken aback, but she tries to play it off, afraid of scaring the red head. So she simply responds, "Hm?"

"I want to be unbreakable." Chloe softly says.

With a softly smile, Aubrey kisses her forehead and says, "You are unbreakable. You are titanium, remember?"

"Hmmm..." Chloe remains silent for a while, but then she says, "I will be unbreakable."

"You will." Aubrey replies, and then they fall asleep.


Tuesday, October 28 th 2025. Ashley and Beca's Mansion.

It's the afternoon after the proposal. Ashley wakes up around noon in Beca's warm embrace. Then she does her routine, kissing Beca with prayers.

Ashley is already on the last part, which is kissing Beca's left chest and says, "Thank you for this little yet strong beating heart that keep my happiness alive."

"It's beating for you, you know." Beca says hoarsely with her one eye slightly open.

"You heard that?" Ashley asks with wide eyes.

Beca chuckles lightly and kisses her now fiancé on the lips before she says, "Most of the times. But usually I was too sleepy to decipher what you were saying."

"All this time?" Ashley exclaims with higher note, failing to hide the surprise in her widen eyes.

"Well," Beca shrugs. "Like I said, most of the times. Besides, I just heard a faint sound of your voice, Hon."

"Why didn't you say anything, Babe?" Ashley asks shyly.

After kissing Ashley's forehead, Beca says, "I know you love to do it. And it seems to me that you don't want me to know. So..."

Ashley chuckles lightly, kisses Beca's lips, and mumbles against her lips, "You're the best. I love you."

"I love you too, Ashley Benson soon to be Mitchell." Beca replies teasingly, earning a light chuckle from the blonde. Then Ashley pulls Beca in a kiss that slowly become heated as she sits on top of Beca, straddling the brunette and starts to trail kisses down her neck.

"You're killing me, woman." Beca whines over-dramatically. "I need food in my system before I can go at it again."

Ashley laughs lightly upon seeing her fiancé's childlike behavior, and then she playfully says, "Look, whiny Beca is here. I think I need to reconsider my decision to marry you."

"Oh, we both know that you love whiny me." Beca says smugly.

"Hmmm..." Ashley mocks a thinking face and says, "I think it's about time for me to find another K to my okay. You know, the less whiny one."

"Feed me, woman." Beca whines some more. "I'm so hungry, I could die."

Ashley shuts her up by pressing her lips on Beca's before she says, "I'll ask Nina to make us some food. Anything you want, Babe?"

"Anything you want." Beca says as she flips to lay on her stomach

As Ashley gets up to reach Beca's shirt, she chuckles lightly upon seeing Beca's reddish-full-of-scratch-and-bite-marks back and shoulders. Then the blonde sits back down next to Beca, trailing her fingers gently on the marks she's made this morning.

Beca turns her head over her shoulder as far as she can to see the damage on her back. With a smirk so smug, she says, "My pleasure."

With a playful eye roll, Ashley takes a lotion for the marks in the bedside drawer, and smears it gently on Beca's back and shoulders.

It's funny how different the way they enjoy making love, yet they've always satisfied each other and never grown bored with each other. Beca likes to take her time, slowly drawing Ashley up over the edge, taking the pleasure of Ashley's helpless condition.

Contrarily, Ashley is the adventurous one. The one that find the thrill in the spur of the moment. That is the reason they've done their deed on so many thrilling rendezvous such as at the beach, in the car, in the studio, on the set of PLL, in the movie theater, in their jet, on Azure's lid, in the DJ booth.

They've done a lot of explorations throughout their relationship. But at the beginning, it took time for Ashley to find out that Beca enjoyed a bit of pain when it came to making love. Just the simple things like biting, scratching, or pinching. It drives the tiny brunette over the edge, especially when it's done on her back.

Beca will get what she wants after the amount of frustration she puts Ashley through in a slow building up sex, and especially when they have angry or make up sex. Thankfully, they both have agreed that they can enjoy sex better without any additional equipment other than what they already have on their body.

After Ashley's done, Beca pulls herself up to sit, and cups Ashley's cheeks before she says, "It's okay Babe." Then she smirks devilishly. "You know I like it a little bit rough."

"Don't I?" Ashley says with a smirk, and Beca laughs lightly.

There was a time when Beca was embarrassed by her unusual preferences, but as the time went by, she accepted it because Ashley never minded about that. Instead, they started to learn about each other's preferences in order to satisfy each other's desires.

"Tuna sandwich or chicken salad?" Ashley asks Beca after she puts the lotion back into the drawer.

"Tuna sandwich, chicken salad and two pieces of tiramisu as dessert." Beca replies instantly.

Ashley chuckles lightly, thinking that she must have worn out her fiancé more than usual that the brunette asks for that many meals for lunch.

Then Beca adds, "Hon, don't forget-"

"Ice chocolate mocha milk." Ashley finishes her sentence, knowing the beverage Beca always craves for after they make love. "I know."

With a goofy grin, Beca says, "How lucky I am."

"Tell me about it." Ashley rolls her eyes playfully, kissing Beca chastely before walking to Beca's desk to call their maid from the landline phone in Beca's sanctuary.

Beca uses that time to look at her engagement ring. Ashley knows well that the brunette isn't a jewelry person. That's why Beca is more than glad that her ring is simple and elegant. She reads the 'the K to my okay' repeatedly until the words are most likely engraved in her brain.

"Do you like it?" Ashley asks when she sits back down, laying on her stomach, facing Beca.

"Like it?!" Beca exclaims. "I love it! You know me way too well."

"Glad to know."

"When did you get it anyway?"

"The day after you told me that it's gonna be okay." Ashley explains nonchalantly. "I went to a jeweler and asked him to make it exactly like that."

Beca's eyes widen in comic surprise as she asks, "You designed this?"

"Nope." Ashley pops the P. "Not really. I just told them what I wanted, and they made it right."

"This is so cool." Beca says without holding back the proud in her voice and face.

With her cheeks flushing red, Ashley says, "Thanks Babe."

"No." Beca kisses Ashley's tip of nose. "Thank you, fiancé."

"Fiancé..." Ashley purses her lips before grinning from ear to ear. "I like the sound of it."

"Me more." Beca replies.

"Hmmm..." Ashley trails her finger down the crook on Beca's chest and huskily says, "As much as I love to see you without clothes, I do have a concern about our maid's psychological well-being when she walks up here with our food, and see you naked."

"Let her." Beca replies playfully, and the blonde chuckles lightly.

"But I will be so upset because..." Ashley trails her end of the sentence with devilish smile. "I'm the only person who get to see you naked, Babe."

"Huh." Beca smirks. "Possessive. I like it."

"Only with you." Ashley says cheerfully.

Beca laughs as she gets up to put on the grey hoodie and shorts before jumping back onto bed, and Ashley immediately snuggles up on her chest and laces their left hands together.

"When do you think we're supposed to tell our people?" Ashley asks softly.

"Hmmm..." Beca purses her lips before she says, "When do you go back to work?"

"Thursday."

"Well," Beca takes a couple of second to think some more before she says, "We can tell them on that day. We can call your folks together in the morning, then I can go to the set with you to tell Troian and Patrick over lunch, and then in the afternoon I'll tell The Bellas. After that, we can have dinner with Donna and Harvey. How about that?"

"Sounds like a plan." Ashley says nonchalantly. "I do like it that we have two days in our bubble before other people know, or the media finds out, and then all hell break loose."

Beca laughs lightly, stroking Ashley's hair gently and says, "It's going to be okay, Hon."

Ashley kisses Beca's chest and mumbles, "I know."

"I'll call Donna now to tell her about the dinner." Beca says, getting up from the bed to call Donna from the landline. She tells Donna that she will take a break until Thursday, and then Donna reminds her about a meeting on Friday, and the reunion on Saturday.

After she ends the call, Beca walks back to the bed and wraps Ashley again on her chest. And then she calls, "Hon."

"Hm?"

Nonchalantly, Beca says, "I forgot to tell you that I'm gonna have The Bellas 10th reunion on Saturday."

"Hmmm..." Ashley purses her lips. "Do you want me to come with you?"

In comic surprise, Beca asks, "You will do that for me?"

"Of course I will." Ashley chuckles and teasingly says, "What kind of fiancé do you think I am to let my fiancé go to a reunion by herself?"

Beca laughs lightly and replies, "I was afraid you wouldn't come with me."

After pushing herself up and holding herself with her elbows, Ashley looks at Beca fondly and says, "If you want me to be there, then I will be there. No biggie."

"Thank you, Hon." Beca says softly says.

Then Ashley clears her throat and cautiously says, "But I think you need to make sure that the other Bellas are okay for having me there."

"What do you mean?" Beca raises an eyebrow. "Emily, Stacie, and Fat Amy will be happy to see you there. And I believe the other Bellas will too."

"Babe." Ashley says with a sheepish smile. "Your friendship with them is still a little bit rocky. Especially with Chloe. The reunion can be the moment to mend it. I just don't want to add unnecessary tension."

Beca sighs deeply and says, "You're right. I'll ask them on Thursday."

"Great."

They have their lunch inside the room, and then take a shower together. After showering, they spend the evening on the bed in sanctuary where Beca half-seated, leaning onto the headboard with Ashley snuggling up on her chest.

"So, how do you want our wedding to be?" Beca asks as she fiddles their joined fingers.

"How do you want it?"

Beca scoffs and says, "Hon, I'm not that type of women who have their wedding planned ever since they could talk. So, we'll do anything you've dreamed of. Huge party? Thousands of guests? Blinding spotlight?"

"I'm thinking we can have a small ceremony in our garden over the cliff." Ashley says nonchalantly. "We will invite our family and close friends. Just a simple wedding will do."

Beca is taken aback for a second, and then with narrowed eyes, she asks, "Are you sure? I mean, you know we can afford any kind of wedding you want. We can even have a wedding up in the air on a plane, or at the ocean on a yacht, or we can take our guests to Greece because you love it there."

"No." Ashley says without hesitation. "I just want a simple ceremony where we can be with the people we love without tiring us too much."

"You've never ceased to amaze me, Ashley Benson." Beca softly says.

With a nonchalant shrug, Ashley says, "I just don't see the point of having a huge party with the people we barely know, while we can enjoy an evening laughing around the people that matter to us. What do you think?"

"Well," Beca says with a teasing smile. "If it's up to me, we'll be going to elope somewhere quiet in the middle of nowhere. We even can put that little island we have into used, and get married just the two of us. But I'm more than glad if you want a simple small wedding. Not to mention in our backyard. I knew we bought this huge chunk of land for something."

Ashley chuckles and says, "You, and your huge need of personal space."

"Not with you." Beca says softly, making her fiancé's eyes become teary. Then she cups Ashley's cheek and caresses it gently with her thumb before saying, "I don't want to be anywhere without you. I know I'm not the easiest person to be with, let alone to be loved. So I'm glad you choose me, I'm happy you stay."

Ashley beams at her fiancé with the softest warmest smile when she says, "Babe, I know that it was messy and complicated with us. But I wouldn't want to have it in any other way. I love you Beca Mitchell. All with every single bits and pieces of you."

"I love you too Ashley Benson. Forever and always." Beca cracks out, trying to hold the tears, and Ashley sees through her, so she jokes, "And who says I'm easy to deal with? Yesterday, someone told me that I'm clingy, easily jealous, love to scold..."

It makes Beca laugh, and then the brunette's eyebrows raise suddenly when she remembers something. Then she clears her throat and says, "I have an engagement present for you."

With her eyebrows furrowed, Ashley asks, "What is it?"

"A song." Beca replies, and then she starts singing softly.

Take me where I've never been,
Help me on my feet again.
Show me that good things come to those who wait.
Tell me I'm not on my own.
Tell me I won't be alone.
Tell me what I'm feeling isn't some mistake.
cause if anyone can make me fall in love,
You can.

Save me from myself, you can.
And it's you and no one else.
If I could wish upon tomorrow,
Tonight would never end.
If you asked me, I would follow.
But for now, I'll just pretend.
cause if anyone can make me fall in love,
You can.

Upon seeing how Ashley is smiling ever so fondly and sighing contentedly, Beca can feel her heart fluttering as the warmth of that smile filling in her chest. And she keeps singing.

Baby when you look at me,
Tell me, what do you see?
Are these the eyes of someone you could love?
Cause everything that brought me here,
Well, now it all seems so clear.
Baby, you're the one that I've been dreaming of.
cause if anyone can make me fall in love,
You can.

Save me from myself, you can.
And it's you and no one else.
If I could wish upon tomorrow,
Tonight would never end.
If you asked me, I would follow.
But for now, I'll just pretend.
cause if anyone can make me fall in love...

At this point, the spark in Ashley's glimmering eyes pull Beca deeper in love. How Beca ever could live alone for four years, ever thought about living her life alone when there was someone who could love her this way, she herself would never know.

Only you can take me sailing in your deepest eyes.
Bring me to my knees and make me cry.
And no one's ever done this,
Everything was just a lie.
And I know, yes I know

And Beca's voice becomes soften as she softly sings the next part. The part that makes Ashley's heart filled with warmth, rushing, fulfilling, and bringing tears in her eyes.

This is where it all begins,
So tell me it will never end.
I can't fool myself,
It's you and no one else.
If I could wish upon tomorrow,
Tonight would never end.
If you asked me, I would follow.
But for now, I'll just pretend.
If anyone can make me fall in love,
You can.

Show me that good things come to those who wait.

Ashley watches and listens to Beca singing in a bliss. How Beca can tell their love story in a song will always be an enigma to her. She's got tears in her eyes, feeling the raw honest emotion of love in every single word of that song, working its way with every beat of her heart, traveling to the tips of her fingers with her blood, giving her such a warm feeling that make her chest burst in happiness.

Then Beca wipes Ashley's tears away from the corner of her eyes gently, and kisses her forehead before she calmly says, "I mean every single word. You saved me from myself. You pulled me out of my wall, and helped me become the best version of myself. You are my dream come true, Hon. So, wherever you want to go, just tell me and I'll follow. No question ask."

"Babe..." Ashley finally burst in tears after hearing Beca's speech. She just want to show her fiancé how much she loves her, but it feels like words are not enough. No word seems to be able to convey how much feelings she has for her fiancé. So she shows it all with an act. She kisses Beca, and she doesn't even care if the kiss is wet from tears.

Then they make love, the best kind of lovemaking. It's raw, emotional, passionate and fulfilling. They end up staying in the sanctuary until Thursday morning, just the two of them; relishing and savoring the love they have for each other.


Ashley and Beca's Mansion: Thursday Morning, October 30 th 2025

As usual, Ashley wakes up before Beca. After she's done with her routine, Ashley starts rubbing Beca's arm to wake her up.

"Babe, wake up."

Beca groans lightly, making the blonde chuckle. Then Ashley kisses Beca on the lips gently, slowly nipping her lips until the brunette kisses her back. It doesn't take long until the kiss becomes heated, and they end up having a morning sex.

Once they're done and finally catches their breaths, Beca narrows her eyes in mock upset and says, "You are a mean, mean, woman. You lured me out from my slumber with a hot steamy morning sex. You knew I couldn't resist that."

Ashley gasps mockingly and says, "Don't you have any self-control, Mitchell?"

"Have you seen you?" Beca rolls her eyes with a playful glare.

After laughing whole-heartily, Ashley says, "It wasn't the complaint I heard when you were so determined to make me moaning your name. In fact, other than smirking and saying patience love, you didn't say anything at all. Your lips were too busy-"

Beca cuts her off with another searing kiss, to which Ashley returns with the same favor. They pulls away breathlessly, panting hard to catch their breath with Ashley lying half on top of Beca.

"Babe," Ashley tries to speak between her ragged breaths. "I- it's not that I don't want this. But I... reeeaally need to shower and go to work."

"But the sun hasn't even out yet." Beca whines.

Ashley chuckles, kisses Beca's shoulder blade, and says, "Babe, you know I have to be early to put the makeup on." Then she smirks devilishly, inching closer to Beca's face and says, "Besides, I didn't say that you couldn't join me in the shower..." She pauses, smirking and brushing her nose on Beca's in every syllable as she says, "Fi. an. cé."

After she sees Beca swallowing hard with her eyes wide open, Ashley stands up, leaving the blanket and sheet behind, and then walks to the bathroom, naked.

"I'm up, I'm up!" Beca exclaims, jumping off the bed, rushing to the bathroom.

"Works like a charm. Every single time." Ashley sings out cheerfully, earning a playful eye roll from the brunette.

After she has showered and changed into a casual outfit, Ashley looks closely into the blue diamond on her ring. She can see that there is something in it, just a hint of glint, not too bright, and people can only recognize it if they looks real close.

"What is it, Hon? You don't like the ring?" Beca asks playfully as she walks into Ashley's closet.

"No, silly." Ashley replies without moving her eyes from the ring. "It seems like there's something in it. But I can't see it clearly."

Beca chuckles lightly and says, "That was fast. I thought you'd never find it."

When Ashley looks up at her in confusion, Beca says, "Wait a second."

Then the brunette leaves Ashley for a couple of minutes before coming back with a magnifying glass in her hand. Then she takes Ashley's left hand, puts it under the magnifying glass, and says, "Look closely. Can you see a couple of white dots in it?"

Ashley squints her eyes, looking intensely at the diamond before she nods.

While staring at the ring, Beca casually says, "It's the part of constellations that could be seen from my house on the night you were born. You know, because you are the star that lighten up my night."

Then Beca explains more about the piece of constellation she's chosen, and the meaning of it, pointing with her little finger over the glass to show how the stars line up.

Meanwhile, Ashley is staring in awe and adoration at her fiancé's lighten up face as the brunette talks about the things she loves.

"I asked the jewelers to make it specifically like that." Beca ends her explanation with a nonchalant shrug. When she sees that Ashley is staring at her with glimmering eyes and a fond smile, Beca asks, "What?"

"You have a beautiful mind, Babe." Ashley says softly. "And I'm truly blessed to be the one you choose to share it with."

With her cheeks blushing red, Beca rubs the back of her neck and shyly says, "It's nothing. I'm just a nerd who likes nerdy stuff. I spent years looking up to the sky and a lot of money on the telescopes. So it's time to put it into a good used."

"Well," Ashley smiles teasingly. "You are my nerd. And I love your nerdy side. With all of your nerdy stuff. I love and adore every single nerdy bits and pieces of you."

When Beca's cheeks can't be more red, Ashley chuckles and kisses Beca chastely. But then she narrows her eyes as she says, "I can't wear it at work. And I don't want to leave it at home. But if I carry it around in my purse, I'm afraid I might scratch it. Or worse, lose it."

Beca smiles softly, she undo Ashley's necklace, and puts the ring in it with the initial B pendant before putting the necklace back on Ashley's neck. "Here. Problem solved."

"Thank, Babe." Ashley smiles sheepishly. "But what if there's a scene that shows my neck?"

"Then I'll hold it for you." Beca replies, putting on her leather jacket.

"Everyday?"

Beca chuckles and says, "Well, starting from tomorrow, you don't have to hide it anymore. You can wear it wherever you want. Or just leave it at home. Where it's safe."

With her cute light pout, Ashley says, "Then I won't have my engagement ring with me."

Beca laughs lightly and kisses the pout away before she says, "Hon, we'll still be engaged whether you wear the ring or not." When Ashley is going to interrupt, Beca quickly adds, "And if you scratch it, then I'll order another one."

"I don't want another one." Ashley says stubbornly.

"Huh." Beca purses her lips, thinking of a way out before she says, "Wait here."

Then Beca walks into her own closet, taking a small plastic container she uses to keep her meds, and then walks back into Ashley's closet.

As she hands the container, Beca says, "Here. Put it in this, and then put this container in a small compartment in your purse. That way it won't be mixed with your other stuff, it won't be scratched, and nobody would've thought that there's a jewelry in it."

Ashley grins from ear to ear, doing just what Beca's said before saying, "My hero."

After putting the container into her purse, the blonde puts her arms on Beca's shoulders, and closes the gap between them. Then after she pulls away, Ashley cheerfully says, "Let's go. We'll grab some coffee and sandwiches on the way."

 

Chapter Text

 

Ashley and Beca are on their way to PLL set, and Ashley can't deny that she loves it when Beca comes to the set with her. It rarely happened because they both are busy. So she always appreciates Beca's effort to come to the set. The same thing applied the other way around.

Spending time together while they both have very demanding jobs is hard. That's why they made an agreement to pick each other up when whoever's done first. It also helps that they have the same circle of friends so they get to spend time out of work together with the people closest to them.

"I really like it when you come with me to work." Ashley says while searching for a song from the audio set.

"So you can show off my BMW i8?" Beca teases.

Ashley chuckles, rolling her eyes before she says, "Obviously. And it's not bad at all having your girlfriend around the set. You know, to show people how lucky I am for having her."

With a smile so fond, Beca takes Ashley's hand in hers and says, "But you can't do that anymore."

Ashley turns to look at her fiancé with furrowed eyebrows and asks, "Why?"

"Because you have a fiancé to show off now." Beca says in mock nonchalant. "It won't be fair for your girlfriend."

"You smartass Mitchell." Ashley slaps her arm playfully, while Beca just keep fixing her eyes on the road, trying to hold her laughter. "I hate you sometimes."

Beca laughs lightly and says, "Aw... Hon. I thought we already agreed that you love me."

"Who said so?" Ashley retorts teasingly.

"This ring on my finger." Beca wiggles her left hand to Ashley.

"You wear it?" Ashley asks with a grin so wide.

Beca scoffs lightly and says, "I'm never taking it off. It's imprinted on my body already."

"But you don't like wearing jewelries."

"Hon, this is not just any other jewelries." Beca seems nervous now and her cheeks become red. "This is uh... you trusting your life and your love in me uh... for the rest of our life?"

Beca certainly can't see Ashley, but the sound of Ashley clearing her throat suggests that the blonde is tearing. So the brunette clears her throat. "I promise that I will always wear this ring, and our wedding ring for the rest of my life. Except when I'm taking a shower."

"You better keep that promise." Ashley says, wiping the tears in the corner of her eyes subtly.

After kissing Ashley's hand again, Beca says, "Let's call your parents Hon."

"Right. We can video call them..." Ashley pauses, touching the screen on the dashboard to call her parents. "From here."

Not long after, the blonde couple pick up the video call, and they are happy to know that their daughter is finally engaged after five years with Beca.

"Oh sweetie, we're so happy for both of you." Shannon, Ashley's mother says in tears.

"Finally, Kid! I was starting to think that you'd changed your mind." Ashley's father says jokingly.

"Never Jeff." Beca replies with a playful eye roll.

"Can't blame me. You asked me for my daughter's hand more than a year ago."

"You asked Papa?" Ashley asks in surprise.

Beca clears her throat nervously before she says, "I uh... I wanted to do it right."

"She's a keeper. Make sure you keep her, Ash." Shannon tells her daughter.

"Already on it." Ashley replies with a grin. Then they keep talking with Ashley's parents for the rest of the drive.

Once they've arrived at the set, almost all of the casts greet Beca happily, except for Shay. Beca has heard from Ashley that Shay has had a crush on the blonde since forever. So the fact that Beca and Ashley are back together must have upset the tall brunette.

While Ashley is doing her job, Beca is sitting by the corner of the room. After giving some of the crews her autographs and taking pictures with them, Beca decides to check her unattended phone in the past three days.

There are a lot of missed calls and messages. Most of them are from Donna, updating her about work; and Stacie and Emily left a couple of messages too. Beca immediately calls Stacie and Emily, telling them that she needs to talk to them that afternoon. They agree to meet up at Stacie's house at 05.00 PM.

When she's finally checked all of the messages, she realizes that Chloe doesn't leave any. It certainly raises her concern because Chloe had been texting and calling her in the past month every day, almost non-stop. But Beca shrugs it off, thinking that the redhead must've been busy. She spends the rest of her time by writing down some ideas for a new song.

It's already time for lunch, but Beca is still so engrossed with her work, and Ashley walks to her quietly from behind, leaning forward next to her ear and yells, "Babe!"

"Mother fuck- omph!" Beca curses loudly, but Ashley cuts her off by putting her hand on Beca's mouth immediately.

With her heart racing so fast, Beca bites Ashley's hand and Ashley pulls her hand away, laughing so hard upon seeing Beca's reaction.

"What the hell, Hon?!" Beca snaps in upset. "Are you trying to kill me?!"

Then Ashley kisses her chastly, still smiling with no trace of regret when she says, "Sorry Babe."

Without saying anything, Beca simply stares at the blonde in upset.

"Babe, I'm so sorry." Ashley looks at her fiancé with overly dramatic puppy eyes, yet the grin on her face give her away.

With an annoyed scoff, Beca grumbles, "You're lucky that you are Ashley Benson. And she happens to be my fiancé."

Ashley grins from ear to ear, tapping Beca's nose and says, "Soon to be Mitchell."

Still, with an annoyed harsh sighing, Beca rolls her eyes before letting out a smile. "But if I die now, you won't even have a chance to be the widow Mitchell. Because we're not even married yet."

Feeling upset of what Beca just said, Ashley glares at her angrily and slaps Beca's arm hard. After glancing her eyes sharply away from a sheepish Beca, Ashley pulls out her ring from her purse, but when she's going to put it on, Beca stops her.

"Let me." Beca holds up her hand.

Although she is still upset, Ashley hands Beca the ring, and then Beca puts the ring on before kissing Ashley's hand.

"All done, My Lady." Beca says as she laces their hands together.

Ashley kisses her cheek and cheerfully says, "Let's go get lunch and tell our friends that we're soon to be The Mitchells."

Groaning loudly, Beca whines, "We're gonna be one of those couple, aren't we?"

"What couple?" Ashley pretends to look innocent.

"The kind that call themselves The Mitchells." Beca says in mock annoyance.

"Maybe." Ashley replies, still as innocent.

"I am so looking for a new fiancé." Beca mocks a serious look.

"And where are you gonna look?" Ashley narrows her eyes in mock upset.

"Hmmm..." Beca pretends to be thinking before she answers, "I don't know. I'm thinking Walmart is a start?"

Ashley laughs lightly and replies, "Good luck with that."

Then they go out to have lunch with Patrick and Troian at a diner nearby.

"So, you're back together then." Troian asks with a knowing look, smiling toward her Ashley and Beca.

"Yep." Ashley pops the P with a huge grin on her face.

"Whoa!" Patrick teases, holding up his hand to cover his eyes. "Careful Ash. It seems like your smile can blind us."

Ashley simply sticks out her tongue, making Beca chuckle lightly. Then Patrick turns to Beca and says, "It's been a while, dude. How are you man?"

"Never been better." Beca replies instantly.

"I bet." Troian smirks at Ashley. "And I also bet that the make-up sex really paid off that you went MIA in three days."

"More than you can ever imagine." Ashley says with a smirk, earning a bark of laughter from the other couple, while Beca's cheeks become as red as boiled crab.

After the laughter unwind and they've placed their order, Beca looks at the couple across the table and says, "Thank you for being there for us in these past three weeks. I don't know if I could've survived a day without Patrick kept updating me about Ashley every day."

"Yeah." Ashley smiles. "Really. We owe you both for this. Thank you."

"You did the same for us." Patrick says casually.

"Just a trip to France would be suffice." Troian says playfully, causing another bark of laughter from their table.

After the laughter unwind, Beca clears her throat, laces her fingers with Ashley's under the table, and says, "We uh... need to tell you guys something."

Troian gasps over dramatically, "Ashley, you're pregnant!"

While Patrick and Ashley snort, Beca rolls her eyes and asks with bored-look, "And how would we achieve that?"

"Oh, right." Troian sighs overdramatically. "You're lack of a certain equipment."

Ashley and Patrick bark out a laughter, while Beca glares toward the giggling tall brunette. Then Ashley kisses Beca's cheeks before saying, "I think we just let them find out themselves, Babe."

Rolling her eyes in half-annoyance, Beca chuckles lightly and pulls Ashley's left hand up to kiss it.

Troian gasps, covering her mouth with a hand while her other hand is pointing back and forth between Beca, Ashley, and the ring on Ashley's hand as she stutters, "You... uh... Is that?... Are you?"

"Well," Beca gives Troain a smug smirk as she says, "You're not so smartass anymore, are you?"

"Let me see!" Troian exclaims, pulling Ashley's hand in front of her to look at the ring. "Well hello Miss Sunshine." Then she looks up at Ashley and softly says, "It's beautiful, Ash. Beca chose the perfect ring for you."

Ashley turns to look at her fiancé fondly to say, "Indeed she did."

While Troian and Ashley are busy with the ring, Patrick stands up, grinning from ear to ear and pulls Beca in a hug from across the table. "Finally! I thought you'd pawned that ring to buy another car."

Beca scoffs lightly, shoving him away playfully and mockingly says, "Thanks man. For the amount of faith you have in me."

"He knew?"

"You knew?"

Ashley and Troian exclaim at the same time to their own fiancé.

With a look that say obviously, Patrick says, "Who do you think went to look for the so called perfect ring with her for almost a month but then she ended up ordering a costumed one?"

"What?" Troian asks in comic surprise.

"Oh you both should've seen her." Patrick says with wide eyes while nodding his head. "No rings, not even one ring, got a compliment from the whiny Beca Mitchell. Either it was too big, too small, too shiny, too simple, too complicated, too round, too ringy, too stupid. I mean, how could a ring be stupid at all? It's a fucking ring, Mitchell."

Beca rolls her eyes toward the blonde man and says, "It looked stupid. Besides, I wasn't whiny. I was just uh... giving them advice to make a better ring."

It certainly evokes another bark of laughter, and then Troian teases, "Of course it's round, and ringy, and shiny, dude. It's called an engagement ring for a reason."

While Beca is rolling her eyes toward Troian, Ashley kisses her fiancé's cheek and says, "Aw... It's okay Babe. I love whiny you."

Then Beca scoffs before her scowled face turns into a goofy one.

"So," Troian wiggles her eyebrows toward Ashley. "Did you give it to her?"

Ashley grins and looks at Beca, hinting her to show her hand, and Beca smirks, pulling her left hand up and wiggles her left hand in front of the other couple.

After picking up his jaw from the floor, Patrick exclaims, "No way! That is so fucking cool!"

With a smirk so smug, Beca says, "I happened to have a fiancé with a great taste and mind."

"Lucky you." Ashley grins at her fiancé.

"Oh, no wonder you said yes, dude. I would've married her too if she'd given me that ring." Patrick says playfully.

"Hey!" Troian slaps his arm playfully.

"Kidding Babe." Patrick says with a smirk before kissing a pouting Troian on her temple.

Then Troian stands up and pulls Ashley in a hug. "Congrats, Ash. I'm happy for you."

"Thank you Troian, to help me realizing what to do." Ashley hugs the tall brunette back.

"Well, someone have to make sure you don't wear your ass as a hat for too long." Troian says playfully.

After pulling away from Ashley, Troian grabs Beca's hand and pulls her up closer to her face before fiercely says, "Hurt her again, and I will make sure you spend the rest of your life in regret, not only for hurting her, but also for knowing me."

"She's fully serious Babe." Ashley says nonchalantly, trying to hide her laughter.

On the other hand, still stunned by the act, Beca can't find her word, and the only thing she can do is nodding lightly.

Then Troian's eyes soften as she grins, pulling Beca in a hug and says, "Just make sure you treat her right. Though I'm not worried about it. Congratulations, Hobbit."

With a relieved sigh, Beca pats Troian's back awkwardly and says, "Don't worry. I will treat her right. So right."

After the two brunette pull away, it's Patrick's turn. He gets up, pulls Ashley in a hug, and says, "Come on Benzo. My turn to threaten you." And everybody laughs lightly. Then he pulls away slightly, puts his hands on Ashley's arms, and softly says, "Don't hurt Beca's heart. She'd done a pretty good job on literally hurting it years ago."

While Beca is punching her best friend on his arm playfully, Ashley replies toward the blonde man, "Don't worry, I won't."

Then they sit back down and their food arrive. After a while eating in silent, Ashley look at Troian with all seriousness as she says, "Now is the time for the most important question."

Troian furrows her eyebrows, looking at her blonde friend in confusion, and then Ashley smirks as she says, "When can I start preparing the wedding with my maid of honor, the one and only Troian Bellisario?"

With her mouth and eyes wide open in comic surprise, Troain exclaims, "You want me to be your maid of honor?!"

"Duh." Ashley rolls her eyes. "Did you ever doubt that? You are my very best friend. So, are you up for it?"

"Abso-fucking-lutely!" Troian replies excitedly, earning a light laughter around the table.

On the other hand, Patrick is staring at Beca, smirking so smugly without saying anything.

"Damn it!" Beca curses under her breath.

Still, Patrick just keep staring at her smugly, this time with his arms crossed on his chest, and Beca sighs in half-annoyance before saying, "Of course you remember."

When Ashley and Troian look at their own fiancé with questioning look, Beca points her chin toward Patrick, asking him to tell them about the deal.

Patrick leans forward, resting his hands on the table, looking at Beca teasingly as he says, "We had a deal that if I keep the ring a secret to myself until she propose, I will be her groomsman." Then his smile turns into a devilishly one. "And I get to organize her bachelorette party."

Beca groans and whines, "I shouldn't have said that."

"Nu uh. No turning back, Mitchell. I kept my part of the deal." Patrick says smugly, making the brunette sighing overly dramatic and the other two woman laughing lightly.

When the laughter unwind, Troian asks, "Have you told anybody else?"

"We still keep it under the radar." Ashley says with a soft warning tone. "So please keep it to yourself until we decided to let the public know."

"Sure." Troian replies.

"Now, tell us how the hobbit proposed and the wedding plan." Troian says before taking a bite of her sandwich.

After that, they spend lunch talking about the proposal and planning the wedding. Then Beca, Ashley, and Troian go back to the PLL set, while Patrick heads to film Suit in another place.

Just like this morning, Beca waits for Ashley by the corner of the room patiently, playing game with her phone, while from time to time, Ashley would come to steal kisses from the tiny brunette.

It's around 4 PM when Beca comes to Ashley, who is doing her makeup for another scene, taps her shoulder and says, "Hon, I've got to go."

"Now?" Ashley pouts. "It's only 4."

Beca chuckles and says, "Traffic. Pascal will stay here with you. I'll come back and pick you up right after I'm done. And then we can go to Harvey's. Okay?"

"Okay."

Then Beca kisses her chastely before saying, "Love you."

"Love you too Babe."

As Beca turns on her heels, Ashley grabs her hand and says, "Drive safe, okay?"

"Will do." Beca pecks Ashley's lips once again and walks out.

"You two are so sweet." The makeup artist says.

Ashley smiles and says, "Thank you."


On the way to Stacie's, Beca calls Emily.

"Pop, what's up?"

"Em, are you on your way?"

"Yep. What is it that you want to talk about?"

"It's about me and Ashley. Do you think it's safe to tell Chloe?"

"If this is about you getting back together, I think you're already too late. She already knew."

"She did?"

"Yeah. Stacie and Aubrey have already talked to her about that."

"No wonder she hasn't sent me any messages. How did she take it?"

"She uh... I'm not sure. She hasn't said anything about it, but she sure seems distant lately."

"Hmmm..." Beca feels a sudden uneasy feeling raising up from her stomach. "There's something you need to know."

"You and Ashley are engaged."

"How did you know?"

"Oh, please Pop." Beca can hear the teasing tone. "Ashley sent me a picture of both of your left hands with rings on it between your sleeping face and her goofy grin on Tuesday."

Beca chuckles lightly and replies, "Of course she'd tell you."

"Of course she would. It's her peace offering. Besides, I'm your aca-child. I'm supposed to know first. And by the way, how could you even look angry in your sleep?"

"That's how a badass sleep, kiddo." That answer makes Emily laugh, and then Beca asks, "Have you told Stacie?"

"No. I thought you would want to tell her on your own."

"Yeah, I do. Thanks for not bringing it up this morning when we had that conference call."

"I know you, Beca."

"Uh... yeah. Em, how do you think I'm supposed to tell Chloe?"

"Uh... You'd tell her?"

"Of course, Em. I want her to hear it from me. Not when the media blow up."

"Oh."

"You don't think it's a good idea to tell her." Beca states, feeling her feet suddenly become cold.

"I don't know Pop. At this point... ... ..."

Beca can sense Emily's hesitation. So she asks, "Is Chloe okay, Em? And don't lie to me."

"I uh... I think you better talk to Stacie about this. But I also think that you're right. She has to hear it from you. But talk to Stacie first."

"Hmmm..." Beca sighs deeply. "Okay. Oh, by the way, do you think The Bellas will mind if I take Ashley with me to the reunion."

"Hmmm... I'm sure they'll want to know your fiancé. And since Ashley is supple, I think it'll be alright. But you need to tell Aubrey and Chloe first. You know, just so they can uh... prepare themselves?"

"Hmmm..." Beca nods absentmindedly. "Ashley also said that."

"Because it's the appropriate thing to do, judging from your situation with Chloe."

"Okay." Beca says in defeat.

"Pop, I'm at Stacie's already."

"Alright, see you in ten." Beca replies before ending the call.


 

Posen-Conrad's House: Thursday Afternoon, October 30th 2025

"Come on in, Shorty." Stacie greets Beca at the door, but Beca pulls the tall brunette out.

"What is it, Beca?" Stacie asks in confusion.

"I uh..." Beca seems to be unsure, but she takes a deep breath and says, "Ashley and I, we're engaged."

With her eyes widen in surprise, Stacie blurts out, "So fast?"

Beca smiles sheepishly and simply gives her a light shrug before saying, "You know what people say. If you love it, you better put a ring on it."

"Wow." Stacie nods absentmindedly without looking at Beca, and then she quickly hugs the tiny brunette and cheerfully says, "Congrats!"

Beca pats her back gently and replies, "Thanks, Stace."

As she pulls away, Stacie puts her hands on Beca's shoulders, smiling warmly as she says, "I'm glad the two of you work it out." Then she smirks teasingly. "And welcome to the land where you'll always be the Mrs. Right to the Mrs. Always Right, shorty."

Beca snorts lightly and sarcastically says, "Can't wait."

"Now, let's go inside and tell the others."

"Stace." Beca grabs the tall brunette's elbow, and Stacie turns around, looking at her with puzzled look, and then Beca simply states, "Chloe."

"Ah." Stacie's face seems worried all so suddenly. "Chloe."

"Should I tell her?" Beca asks worriedly. "I mean, I want to tell her. I want her to hear the news from me. Not a cooked up dramatic story from the media when it all comes out."

Stacie takes her time to think for a while before sighing deeply and says, "You're right. Just uh... let's tell her together."

Again, as Stacie turns on her heels, Beca tugs her elbow and says, "One more thing, Stace."

"What is it?"

"About the reunion," Beca starts nervously. "Do you think it would be okay if Ashley came with me?"

"Uh..." Stacie seems torn, but she's certain when she says, "I'd be glad to have her in our reunion. But I think you should talk to Aubrey and Chloe about that."

"Right." Beca sighs deeply.

"Come on." Stacie pats her shoulder gently several times. "Let's tell them."

Then the two of them walk into the living room. As soon as Beca steps in, Bella rushes her way to the tiny brunette and exclaims, "Bec-Bec!"

"Hey smurfette!" Beca picks the little blonde up before walking to take a seat on the couch with Bella on her laps.

So far, nobody seems to notice Beca's ring but Emily. Maybe people don't think that Ashley would give her an engagement ring at all since it's unusual to exchange engagement rings.

Well, to be fair, Chloe would've noticed, only if she could at least look at the tiny brunette for more than a second without feeling the suffocating heaviness in her chest. But she weakly greets, "Hi Becs."

"Hi Red." Beca smiles nervously, too engaged with her own thought to notice how Chloe doesn't even look at her, and Aubrey doesn't even say anything to her.

To say that the situation can't get any more awkward will be an understatement. And Beca just keep glancing at Emily. It's a good thing that Bella is sitting on her laps or otherwise, her legs would've been bouncing up and down.

"I uh..." Beca takes a deep breath and swallows hard. "I need to tell you all something."

"You and Ashley are back together." Chloe flatly says from the couch in front of the tiny brunette.

After swallowing hard again, Beca takes a deep breath and stutters, "Yeah that. And uh..." She glances toward Emily and Stacie, getting light nods from the two tall brunettes and says, "Ashley and I, we uh... we're engaged."

While Aubrey closes her eyes in total defeat, Chloe is stunned, more likely stung, and unable to react. On the other hand, Emily immediately stands up and puts Bella to sit on the couch before pulling Beca up in a hug as she says, "Congrats Pop. I'm so happy to hear that from you."

"Thanks Em." Beca hugs her back. "I owe you for this. You knocked the sense into Ashley weeks ago."

Emily laughs lightly and pulls away before she says, "Not really. She just needed a little push."

After that, Stacie comes with a warm smile, hugs the tiny brunette, and says, "Again, congrats shorty."

"Thanks Stace." Beca replies.

Then they all are wrapped in this uneasy air, and nobody say anything. Beca just stands on her spot, rocking her feet back and forth with her hands in her pockets.

At some point, Chloe comes out from her stupor and musters the best smile she can before taking a step closer to hug the tiny brunette and say, "Congrats, Becs."

Beca hugs her back and replies, "Thanks Chlo."

After pulling away from Beca, Chloe puts her hands on Beca's upper arms, smiling softly as she says, "I'm happy for you."

With a huge grin on her face now, Beca says with shaky voice, "It means a lot to me coming from you."

This time, Chloe caresses her cheek dearly and softly says, "Why wouldn't I be? My best friend is engaged."

There is this warm rush in Beca's chest, and she feels so happy that her eyes become teary. Then she hugs the redhead again tightly and says, "Thank you Chloe."

After Chloe pulls away, Aubrey comes to the tiny brunette, sighing in defeat with a torn smile before hugging the tiny brunette and says, "Congratulation Mitchell."

Beca pats her back awkwardly and says, "Thanks Posen."

Then Aubrey pulls away and matter-of-factly says, "Though to be honest, I'd never thought there would come a day that you'd be engaged, hobbit."

With a light scoff, Beca replies, "Can't let Stacie be the Mrs. Right all alone in the land where Mrs. Always Right rules."

Aubrey playfully glares at her wife, crosses her arms on her chest as she says in mock upset, "You told her that."

"Yeah." Stacie says nonchalantly. "And it's true."

When Aubrey keeps staring at her sharply, Stacie hurriedly kisses her lips and says, "Mrs. Always Right that is also always beautiful."

It earns the tall brunette a light chuckle from her wife, and then all of them sit back down on the couch. Bella jumps to sit on Chloe's laps before she asks toward Beca, "What is engged?"

While Chloe is diverting her attention by caressing Bella's head gently, Aubrey smiles and asks her daughter softly, "You see Mama and Mommy together?"

After Bella gives her a nod, Aubrey says, "We're married, sweetie."

"I know Mommy." Bella drags her sentence matter-of-factly that makes her look a lot like Stacie. "You can't have me if you don't get mayyied."

Aubrey chuckles lightly while Stacie says, "Well, there will come a day where we explain how biology works. But it's not today princess."

Upon seeing the confused look on her daughter, Aubrey patiently says, "Before people get married, they need to be engaged first."

"Just like when Princess Anna and Prince Hans sing together?" Bella asks innocently. "Is that how people be engged?"

"Hmmm..." Aubrey purses her lips before answering, "More or less. You'd understand when you get older. Okay sweetie?"

"Okay Mommy." Bella replies. Then she turns to Beca and asks, "Who are you engged to Bec?"

"Your Aunt Ashley, of course." Beca replies with a fond smile.

Bella grins from ear to ear as she asks, "You and Aunt Asheey will get mayyied and have a child like me?"

"Huh." Beca narrows her eyebrows lightly, taking a couple of seconds of consideration before she says, "Well, if your Aunt Ashley wants us to have some uh... minions, then... sure. We can have one. Or two. Just... you know, we'd be happy to give you a friend to play with. I think."

It certainly isn't the answer she gave Chloe a month ago. Apparently, being engaged can even change some fundamental things.

Bella claps her hands excitedly, but Stacie notices how Chloe becomes more off than before. So the tall brunette says, "Alright, princess. Now let the adults talk. Why don't you go and get your toys?"

"Okay Mama." The little blonde says as she runs to her toys compartment.

Then Stacie gives Beca a subtle nod, and Beca takes a deep breath before she says, "Now, I need to ask you something. And I need you to be honest with me."

Emily and Stacie certainly know what it is about, but not with Chloe and Aubrey, who are staring at the tiny brunette with puzzled look.

On the other hand, trying to compose herself, Beca exhales out the nervous air and says, "We're having a reunion in two days. And I uh... I was wondering if... it would be okay with all of you if uh... Ashley came with me. You know, I'd like to introduce her to my first family. The Bellas."

Everybody look at Chloe all at once, even Beca, who is holding her breath, waiting for the redhead's reaction anxiously.

Chloe is taken aback by her friends' reactions for a second, but then she looks at Beca, seeing the happiness sparkling out from her steely blue eyes yet being shaded by worries. So Chloe takes a deep breath, puts on the best smile she can muster, and says, "We'd love to have her with us Becs."

Instantly, Beca sighs in relief, and Chloe adds, "Besides, I need to do my duty as your best friend."

Feeling so happy for the redhead's reaction, Beca jumps off her seat, pulling Chloe in a hug with a huge grin on her face. "You're the best, Red. You, are, the, best."

Having a carefree and happy Beca in her arms certainly makes Chloe's chest filled with warmth. So she hugs the DJ back tightly as she says, "Anything for you Becs."

Beca pulls away slightly, still with her arms around Chloe's back and her goofy smile when she says, "Thanks Chloe."

"Don't thank me yet." Chloe teases while pulling away. "Just don't blame me if she gives your ring back after being chewed down by our sisters. You know how savage they can be."

"Oh I won't worry about it." Beca smirks. "Future Mrs. Mitchell is more than capable to handle a couple of awesome nerds."

"She's taking your name?" Emily asks in comic surprise.

Beca turns to look at Emily, moving her shoulders languidly and smugly as she says, "She said so."

Therefore, the tiny brunette misses Chloe's half-sad half-shocked face, but not by Aubrey and Stacie. The redhead drops down on the couch, feeling weak on her knees. It seems like the facade do take a lot of energy to sustain.

Then Aubrey hurriedly clears her throat to pull the attention to her and says, "We'll be glad to have you both here. If she's as great as Stacie told me, maybe we can consider trading her in for you."

"She's the best." Beca says with a light smile. "I'm sure of that."

"Are you staying for dinner, Becs?" Stacie asks.

"I'm sorry, but we'll have dinner with Donna and Harvey." Beca replies as she looks at the clock on the wall.

Chloe looks up at the tiny brunette and asks, "Why would we have dinner with Donna and Harvey?"

Suddenly, Beca feels nervous again, rubbing the back of her neck as she mutters, "We... as in Ashley and I. We're uh... going to tell Donna and Harvey about the engagement."

"Oh." is the only respond Chloe manages to get out.

"Say hi from us to them, Becs." Stacie immediately chips in.

"Sure. I better get going. Still need to pick up Ashley." Beca says as she stands up, and then she says goodbye to all of her friends before walking to the front door.

"Drive safe Pop." Emily tells her on the front porch.

"Will do Kid." Beca replies before she hit the road with Rico's car following hers closely.

After Beca left, all of the adults come back into the living room. Aubrey takes a seat next Chloe and hugs her before asking, "Are you okay, Chloe?"

"I..." Chloe doesn't know how to answer the question. So instead of answering Aubrey, she asks, "Can I ask Kristen to come with me?"

All the three other Bellas are taken aback, stunned even by the question. But Stacie gets her sense back and asks, "Why would you ask her to come? Didn't you-"

"You can do whatever you want Chloe." Aubrey cuts her wife off, earning shocked look from Stacie and Emily, but she ignores them and says, "As long as it makes you happy, then you can do whatever you want."

"Okay then." Chloe says, nodding absentmindedly, staring blankly at the floor.

It takes a while, but then Stacie shakes her head, deciding not to argue with her wife yet asking the redhead, "Chloe... do you want to tell the other Bellas about your situation with Beca? I mean, they would want to know. And uh... I don't think we should keep this from them. I just think that... they need to prepare themselves of what they might see at the reunion."

After taking a long time to consider, Chloe eventually says, "No."

"I'm sorry. What?" Stacie tries to confirm in confusion.

"Don't tell them anything." Chloe says flatly.

"Hm?" This time, the confusion came from Aubrey.

"I just..." Chloe smiles sadly toward her three completely confused friends. "It's Beca's first reunion. If the other Bellas know, then it would put more pressure on her. Let's just have our reunion without them worrying about Beca and me."

"Are you sure?" Aubrey asks worriedly.

Chloe closes her eyes, smiling sadly as she says, "I'm sure."

The other three Bellas change look but don't argue with the redhead.


 

Donna and Harvey's Mansion: Dinner.

"Long time no see, Monkey!" Harvey punches Beca's shoulder playfully when the brunette and Ashley walk into the living room.

"Hey, Harv. Did you miss me?" Beca wiggles her eyebrows.

Harvey laughs and says, "You wished."

Then while Harvey is greeting Ashley, Stephan rushes his way to Beca and exclaims, "Beca!"

"Hey buddy!" Beca picks him up and over-dramatically grunts, "God, you're heavier now."

"Not God. Just Steve." The little boy smirks at his godmother, earning a bark of laughter from the adults around him. He definitely got that snarky knack from his father.

"Now get down, Steve. You're almost as tall as Beca already. You might injure her weak old knees." Harvey jokes.

"Still strong enough to kick your ass." Beca glares at him playfully.

"Language, Babe." Ashley warns her fiancé while ruffling the boy's hair who are now hugging her waist.

Then Beca takes a huge bag from behind, handing it to Stephan and says, "Look what we got you, little man."

Stephan immediately pulls out the content and exclaims, "Radio control!" Then he jumps to hug Beca again and says, "Thank you, Beca."

"Your welcome, kiddo." Beca ruffles his hair. She bought a radio control ship on her way to pick up Ashley, knowing how much her godson wants to be a pirate after watching Captain Hook in Peter Pan.

Then Stephan hugs Ashley and says, "Thank you, Aunt Ashley."

"Anything for you, Steve." Ashley kneels down to let Stephan kisses her cheek.

"Donna is in the dining room already. Let's go." Harvey says as he turns around and walks toward the dining room.

Stephan takes Beca's and Ashley's hand in his, and walks between them. He is close to the couple because he's known them ever since he was still a baby. Besides, Beca and Ashley spoil him more than his parents do.

"Monkey, you're here!" Donna exclaims as she pulls Beca in a hug once the brunette come into the dining room.

"We just haven't seen each other for a four days, Donna." Beca hugs her back awkwardly.

With a soft giggle, the redhead pulls away from Beca and hugs Ashley. "It's good to have you here, Ash. You have no idea how mopey Beca was without you."

"I'm glad that she has you." Ashley softly replies as she hugs Donna back.

"Come on. Let's eat." Harvey takes his seat at the table head.

Once they all take a seat, Donna smirks toward Ashley and teases, "Congratulations are in order."

Ashley, who just put a plate of steamed fish in front of Beca, turns to Donna and asks, "How did you know? We haven't said anything yet."

"I'm Donna." Donna says with a smug smirk. "I know everything."

Harvey scoffs and playfully says, "You're not hiding it from anyone with a rock that big, Ash."

Beca chuckles lightly while Ashley is blushing red.

"My little monkey is growing up." Donna says over dramatically, pretending to wipe invisible tears on her cheek, making Harvey, Stephan, and Ashley burst into a laughter while Beca glares at the redhead.

"So, tell me Ash." Harvey starts with a mock serious look. "Did Beca propose in the best way she could?"

With a fond smile toward her fiancé, Ashley says, "The most perfect way."

Harvey looks at Beca with an eyebrow raised, smirking as he says, "Good. That means she didn't embarrass herself, meaning she didn't embarrass me."

"Of course, Dad." Beca rolls her eyes in mock annoyance, and Harvey simply laughs at the tiny brunette.

"When do you plan to have the wedding?" Donna asks.

"Whoa." Harvey laughs lightly. "Slow down there, Love. They've just been engaged for less than a week. I don't think they have planned the whole wedding already."

Ashley clears her throat and sips her wine before saying, "Actually, we have."

Harvey chokes on his food while Donna, Stephan, and Beca laugh at him. Then Donna hands a glass of water for her husband and smugly says, "Thought so."

"So fast?" Harvey asks with hoarse voice after sipping his water.

Beca simply nods because she is too busy chewing her food. On the other hand, Ashley wipes the sauce from Beca's cheek as she explains, "Well, we're thinking to have it in early June next year at our backyard. Only with family and close friends."

"Thanks Hon." Beca says toward Ashley before turning to Donna and says, "It's only 8 months away, Donna. I'm gonna need your help to organize all of this. You and Ashley can do it together."

"Of course, Monkey." Donna states matter-of-factly. "I'll be there every step of the way. I wouldn't want to miss it for the world."

"Thanks, Donna." Ashley smiles softly.

"Well," Harvey sips his wine. "I don't have many experiences with organizing a wedding except for my own. But who am I kidding? Donna did all of the hard work. My only advice for you Monkey, just accept every demands the bride asks and shows up at the wedding." Harvey says with straight face, earning a glare from her wife but making the young couple laugh.

After the laughter unwind, Harvey adds, "But if you need anything, just tell me kid."

Beca looks at Ashley, and the blonde squeezes her hand gently, and then Beca looks at Harvey as she nervously says, "Actually, there's something I need to ask you, Harv."

Harvey sips his wine and replies, "Anything."

"Do you mind to stand by me?" Beca blurts out.

Upon seeing Harvey's taken aback look, Beca hurriedly explains, "I mean, I obviously won't be walking down the aisle; I might trip over my own feet, and then injure myself, or something worse. But I was thinking that uh... maybe you could stand beside me? As my best man?"

Harvey's eyes become teary, but he clears his throat, trying to be nonchalant when he says, "Sure. Someone need to make sure that you won't embarrass yourself by choking in your vow, or saying the wrong name."

The other three adults laugh at Harvey's attempts to look casual, but Stephan says, "I want to help too."

With a fond smile, Ashley looks at the blonde boy and says, "Of course buddy. In fact, you'll have the most important job in this wedding."

Stephan's eyes widen in joy when he asks, "What is it?"

"Well," Ashley smiles teasingly. "You will be the one who brings us our wedding rings, along with Bella. She will be the flower girl."

Stephan's face beams in awe, and Beca smirks at him as she asks, "What do you say? Up for the job, sailor?"

The little boy grins from ear to ear and gives Beca a salute before he exclaims, "Aye aye, Captain!"

The adults laugh again, and then they resume the dinner and talk about the wedding plan before Beca and Ashley excuse themselves around 10 PM.

Once they're at the front porch, Beca says, "Oh, I almost forgot."

"What is it Babe?" Ashley asks.

Beca turns to Harvey and asks, "Do you have my request, Harv?"

Harvey scoffs smugly before walking into the house and then comes back out with a brown envelope in his hand. "Who do you think I am, Kid?"

Beca rolls her eyes in mock annoyance and checks the content before saying, "Thanks Harvey."

"Anytime." Harvey replies. Then the young couple go home after that.


 

Ashley and Beca's Mansion

As soon as they reach the sanctuary, Beca rushes to the bed and drops herself onto the bed face first. Then Ashley sighs with a light smile, sits next to her fiancé on the bed, stroking her brown hair as she says, "Babe, I know it's late. But let's wash up before we go to sleep."

"Do we really have to?" Beca whines.

Upon seeing the childlike behavior from the brunette, Ashley chuckles lightly. This is one of the things that Beca shows only for the blonde. Beca would never act like this in front of anybody else, and it makes Ashley feel special for being the one who gets to see the spoiled Beca.

Then Ashley pulls Beca's hand and says, "Come on."

With a playful groan, Beca complies and follows Ashley to the bathroom. After washing up and changing into their usual sleep attire, Ashley in her nightgown while Beca opts a tank top and short, they climb up onto the bed, and Ashley immediately takes her place on the left side, snuggling up onto Beca's chest.

As her hand caressing Ashley's back gently, Beca says, "I've asked the Bellas, and they said that they'd love to have you in the reunion."

"So, we're going to the reunion on Saturday then."

"Yep."

"Great." Ashley sounds a bit nervous. "I'll prepare our clothes. What do you want to wear? Suits or just button up shirt?"

"Just dress up casually, Hon. It will be just like a family dinner." Beca says nonchalantly.

"For you, it will be just another dinner with family." Ashley says matter-of-factly. "For me, it will be the first time I meet your whole family. I need to make them see that I can take care of you."

Beca chuckles lightly and kisses Ashley's crown before she says, "They'll love you even if you come in a potato sack, Hon. Trust me. Even a blind can see how good you are to me."

"Hm." Ashley sighs. "You think so?"

"I know so."

Ashley sighs and says, "Alright. I'm gonna wear my sleeveless blue dress, and you can wear a black button up shirt with a dark blue vest. How about that?"

"Sounds good."

After a moment of silent, Ashley asks, "Babe, what's in that brown envelope Harvey gave you?"

"Oh, that." Beca says nonchalantly. "It's an information about a college friend, Jesse Swanson."

With her eyebrows furrowed, Ashley says, "His name is quite familiar. Isn't he the one who kept asking you out in college?"

"Yep."

"Why do you ask Harvey to get information about him?"

Well," Beca shrugs. "He's in a huge debt and have some troubles right now. Emily told me that he's been looking for me to ask for my help by coming to every reunions. I just wanted to know if he could be trusted."

"Hmmm..." Then Ashley yawns.

Beca chuckles lightly and says, "Let's sleep. We can talk more tomorrow."

Then Ashley pulls up a bit to face Beca, kisses her lips chastely before saying, "Goodnight Babe. I love you. Always."

"Goodnight Hon. I love you too. Always."

Again, Ashley presses another kiss on Beca's lips before turning her back on Beca, with one of Beca's arm under the crook of her neck and the other one on her chest, laced together with her fingers.

Beca loves to be the big spoon, and Ashley loves to be cuddled from behind. Before closing her eyes, Beca presses a kiss on Ashley's shoulder, and then hums lightly to lull her fiancé. They fall asleep not long after.

 

Chapter Text

 

Ashley and Beca's Mansion: Friday Morning, October 17th 2025

There are days where surprisingly, Beca wakes up before Ashley, and today is one of those days. Usually, she'd wake up earlier because of nightmares or urges to pee. But this time, she wakes up contently while hugging Ashley from behind. She pulls Ashley closer, trailing kisses along the blonde's shoulder gently until Ashley stirs in her sleep.

"Hmmm..." Ashley smiles with her eyes closed. "To what do I owe an early arisen Beca Mitchell?"

Beca chuckles but keep on trailing kisses from Ashley's shoulder up to her neck, and then ears, earning a soft moan from the blonde.

Instead of turning around, Ashley tilts her head to give Beca more access, enjoying the spark under her skin from Beca's lips, and let the heat built up. Her hand reaches back to grasp Beca's hair, pulling the brunette closer.


Start of smut.

"Babe..."

"Hm?" Beca keep on nipping, licking, pulling the skin gently with her teeth while her hands roam on Ashley's breasts.

Beca doesn't do things like grouping or kneading; she loves to tease Ashley with gentle touches from the tip of her fingers, ghosting, circling, pinching softly, trailing her fingernails on her fiancé's soft skin, making the blonde shuddering under her touch and craving for more.

Then Ashley grabs Beca's hand and pushes it downward, but Beca shrugs it off gently, whispering to the blonde's ear, "Not so fast, Hon."

And that, certainly earns a frustrated moan from the blonde. Meanwhile, Beca moves her hand down slowly to Ashley's core, trailing her fingernails horizontally across Ashley's hip line.

Ashley's breath hitches when Beca's middle finger rests on top of her core over the underwear for a second before rubbing it gently up and down on the splitting line.

"Babe, please..." Ashley throws her head back, moaning with raspy voice, scratching her fingernails on Beca's arm.

"Not yet." Beca smirks, still rubbing over Ashley's underwear, and giving more pressure as her finger move, slowly opening the labia.

It drives Ashley over the edge, arching her back hopelessly. And when Beca presses her thumb on the clit, still over the underwear, Ashley plants her fingernails deeply on Beca's arm, and snaps out her frustration, "Beca!"

Then Beca flips Ashley to lay on her back and kisses her fiercely on the lips while her hand keep on rubbing and pressing, slowly pushing down the blonde's underwear.

Ashley kisses her fiancé back fiercely, biting Beca's bottom lip in frustration, wrapping her arms on Beca's back, pulling the brunette closer because she needs to feel the brunette's skin on hers.

Then Beca drags her lips, hovering over Ashley's cheek to her ear and spends her time licking and biting the earlobe gently.

"Babe..." Ashley bites her own bottom lips in unbearable pleasure while her hands push Beca's shoulders downward.

Upon seeing Ashley's helpless expression, Beca growls through her teeth and makes her way down between Ashley's legs. Her tongue start to work wonder on Ashley's core, pressing, brushing, licking,  pushing in and out, making the blonde moaning her name over and over again, pressing her fingernails on Beca's shoulder until the waves wash her down, leaving the blonde breathless.

After smearing Ashley's essence from her mouth on Ashley's thigh, Beca pulls up and looks at Ashley's exhausted rosy sweaty face closely.

End of smut.


She pushes a strain of hair to the back of Ashley's ear, kisses her forehead gently, and then kisses her lips before she says, "You are breath-taking-ly beautiful, Hon."

"And you're... gonna be the death of me." Ashley replies between her ragged breaths.

Beca chuckles lightly and says, "You're very welcome."

With a content smile, Ashley kisses Beca on the tip of her nose. Then Beca gets up from the bed, but Ashley pulls the brunette back and asks with devilish smirk, "Who told you that we're done?"

Without saying a word, Beca smirks, pulls herself away, and heads to the shower, knowing that her fiancé would follow her. They continue their next round in the shower and then start to rinse each other.

Beca is humming lightly with her hands on Ashley's hips, swaying them lightly to the song while Ashley is rubbing a sponge on the brunette's back gently. Then Ashley asks, "What's your plan for today, Babe?"

"I have a meeting with a film producer." Beca replies softly.

"For a movie?"

"For a musical movie."

"Hm." Ashley leans forward and presses her lips on the crook of Beca's neck.

Beca stirs her neck, whimpering softly before saying, "I... will be producing the music for the whole movie in the next six months. It will be the only main project I'll be doing, and maybe a couple of songs. So I'll have a lot of spare time to prepare our wedding with you."

With a fond smile, Ashley says, "You're the best."

"Tell me about it." Beca replies smugly.

Then Beca resumes humming a song lightly and pulls Ashley closer, swaying lightly under the shower before asking, "Would you, my fiancé, fancy a dinner with me tonight?"

"I'd be honored." Ashley replies with a light bow, playing along with Beca's gallant way to ask her out.

Beca kisses her lips chastely and says, "I'll ask Donna to make a reservation on 7 at your favorite restaurant. Pascal will take you to the set, and then I'll pick you up for dinner."

"Sounds great."

After finishing shower and quickly changing into casual clothes, they have pancakes and scrambled eggs for breakfast together.

"Hon," Beca says while chewing her pancake. "I'll be at Stacie's tomorrow to help preparing the place for reunion. But I'll come back home to shower and pick you up around 4 PM."

"Babe, talk after you swallow." Ashley wipes the grease and pieces of eggs off Beca's lips.

Beca nods and keep eating, and then Ashley says, "You, Babe, need to work out tomorrow morning."

When Beca is going to argue, Ashley adds, "Nu uh. Not up for discussion. I know you haven't been doing any proper cardio in more than a month."

Beca wants to argue again, but Ashley cuts her off instantly, "And sex doesn't count as a proper cardio, Babe."

Then Beca sighs, pushes another piece of pancake into her mouth, and nods in defeat.

"Good." Ashley chirps. "I have to work tomorrow, but I'll make sure to be home before you to get ready."

Beca nods again, doesn't want to talk with her mouth full of food, earning a giggle from Ashley.

"You're so adorable Babe. I love you."

Quickly, Beca chews and swallows her food, grinning from ear to ear as she says, "Not adorable. But I love you too Hon."

When they're already done with breakfast, Ashley hands Beca her meds, and Beca takes it immediately. After a lot of kisses goodbye and wishing each other a good day at work, they part their ways to work.

Beca spent her day at work without distraction. Ashley only called her once, reminding her to have lunch and take her meds. It's one of the things that shows how completely secure they are in their relationship. They don't have a certain urge to text or call each other all the time.

On the daytime, they could work without distractions from one another, and then they would pick each other up from work. After that, they would hang out with friends, went home, and then asked a very simple question before going to sleep. "How's your day?"

The same rule is applied when they are alone; they focus on doing things together. Beca could be mixing while Ashley contentedly reading by her side. Ashley could be taking a picture of constellations with her camera, and Beca could be stargazing on the balcony.

In the morning, they usually spent their time talking about their plans and schedules. They don't always have morning sex; they could just lay on the bed in complete silent yet still content in each other's arms.

Life doesn't seem to be boring for them after years, even when they've had their routine already. Every day still become another adventure to live and another story to tell. It's perfectly clear that they've reached the stage of a relationship where they are completely open and honest with each other.

When their life is always under the microscope of the media, it's important to be able to trust and communicate with each other.

The paparazzi are always around the corner to catch a glimpse of their relationship, and the media has always found their way to cook up any kind of stories about them. Thankfully, they have passed the phase where it makes them angry or affects their relationship, though having a great team of publicist and bodyguards do help a lot too.

It's no different when they go out for their date tonight. Paparazzi found out about it, and surrounded the restaurant like vultures even before they arrived. The couple don't mind when the paparazzi throw a lot of questions because they could just ignore it. However, Beca didn't take it well if the paparazzi crossed the line by doing stuff like touching or insulting Ashley.

Ashley holds Beca's arm tightly while Pascal and Rico opening up a way for them to get into the restaurant. They eat in a secure corner of the restaurant, spending a comfort time together before fighting their way through the waiting predators back to Beca's car after dinner.

Before they reach the car, one of the paparazzi dares to pull Ashley by her elbow, causing the blonde to almost trip and fall. If not for Beca's protective grip on Ashley's hand, Ashley would've fallen down and hit the cement.

Pascal and Rico immediately take a stand next to Ashley and protect her from being hassled by other paparazzi.

After making sure her fiancé is fine, Beca steps closer to the culprit, facing him closely with fierce eyes and glare of anger without any word. She doesn't pull away even after the person mumbling out apologizes embarrassedly while the other paparazzi are busy taking pictures of the incident.

"Babe, come on." Ashley pulls Beca by her elbow. "He's not worth it."

After taking a deep breath, Beca turns away and walks to her car with Ashley holding her arm tightly.

"Fucking dyke." The culprit mutters under her breath.

It doesn't even take another second for Beca to whip her head back in flash, and almost lunches forward to rip the man's throat.

"Babe!" Ashley holds Beca's arm tightly.

Beca wants to pull her arm away, but Ashley grabs her shoulder and rests her left hand on Beca's cheek. Upon seeing Ashley's concerned look, Beca takes another deep breath to calm down.

"Let's go home." Ashley softly says, earning a light nod from the brunette.

With Pascal and Rico engulfing them from each side, they walk to the car and then get into the back seat hurriedly. Knowing that the paparazzi had taken a picture of Ashley's ring when she put her hand on Beca's cheek, Beca calls Donna immediately from the car.

"Donna, I need your help." Beca says as soon as Donna pick up the call.

"What did you do?"

"Ashley and I just walked out of restaurant, and there was an incident with paparazzi, but it wasn't serious. The thing is, they've got a picture of Ashley's ring."

"Already on it."

With that being said, Beca ends the call, and Ashley immediately takes her hand and squeezes it gently. After minutes spent in silent, Beca finally says in upset, "I'm sorry I got angry."

Ashley smiles lightly and kisses Beca's hand before saying, "It's okay, Babe. You didn't act on it."

"I should have." Beca says with clenched jaw.

Instead of scolding her girlfriend, Ashley chuckles and kisses her cheek, earning a confused look from Beca. Then Ashley says, "Thank you for defending my honor, Babe."

Beca scoffs and says, "I would have if you'd let me punch that son of a bitch."

"And you would've ended up in jail for assaults." Ashley says matter-of-factly. "I was defending your honor too."

Beca simply sighs in defeat and rolls her eyes. Then Ashley adds, "See? We're a good team, Babe."

A smile finally appears slowly on Beca's face when she realizes how easy it is for Ashley to flip her perspective. Beca rolls her eyes and says, "Then, thank you for defending my honor too, Hon."

"You're welcome, fiancé." Ashley says before pulling Beca in a kiss that turns into a steamy make out session in a matter of seconds. Thankfully, there is a separator between the front seat and the back seat in their Rolls Royce Dawn.

After they pull away, Beca looks at Ashley with her dilated eyes and huskily says, "I don't know why, but hearing you call me fiancé kind of turn me on."

"Well," Ashley smirks devilishly. "What are you waiting for then?"

"Nu uh." Beca shakes her head. "You, are loud. The separator might cover us, but not your voice."

Ashley looks at Beca seductively and slowly pulls her dress up to her waist while saying, "I'm feeling adventurous tonight." She climbs up onto Beca's laps and huskily teases, "If you keep it brief, I'll keep it down." Then she trails her index finger from Beca's throat down to her cleavage as she whispers, "Well, if I can help it."

Swallowing hard, Beca tries not to give in. But Ashley hovers her lips on Beca's and cuts the last string of Beca's self-control by saying in raspy voice, "Up for the challenge, fi, an, cé?"

"Fuck it." Beca curses under her breath before pulling Ashley in a searing kiss. There is no way she could keep her hands off Ashley while the heat is already pooling underneath.

After they've arrived, Pascal politely knocks on the window. When he doesn't get any respond, he gets back behind the wheel, drives the car to the edge of the cliff of the land, and then leaves the car there.

Ashley and Beca end up staying there until the morning comes, making love, and sleeping under the stars with the car roof down.


Ashley and Beca's Mansion: Saturday Afternoon, November 1 st 2025

After helping Stacie, Aubrey, and Chloe preparing the reunion, Beca goes back home to get ready around 4 PM. She is very tired, sweaty, and sticky; all she wants is to get into the shower, and wash all of the sweat and dust away.

When she reached the bedroom, she heard a faint sound of Ashley singing from her walk-in closet. Trying not to make a sound, Beca peeks into the closet and sees Ashley in her blue bathrobe, singing onto her hairbrush.

A huge goofy grin appears on Beca's face, looking at Ashley singing with her eyes closed and earbuds in her ears, swaying to the rhythm that only she could hear.

I'm gonna marry a rockstar
I'm gonna move downtown
Lofted bed above her practice space, guitars hanging all around
She'll wake up while I'm whispering "Babe, it's almost noon"
But we could kiss all day in this tiny room
We like walking wearing black matching Converse shoes
Instead of diamond rings, we get new tattoos
Instead of walking down the aisle, it's a backyard gig
Just an ice cream cake and the people we dig
Oh yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah

Beca can't help it when her mind trails its way back to the beginning of their relationship. To the time when Ashley hadn't found out about her real income; when they had dinner at a low profile diner, or Taco Bell in the parking lot, or a burger take out by the beach.

Back when Beca was still in her hiding phase, they were rarely seen at the public together, and when they went out together, Beca would be in her plaid shirt, huge sunglasses, beanie, and dirty chucks, yet Ashley didn't mind holding her hand wherever they were.

I'm gonna marry a rockstar
Go to every last show
Nod my head to the bass drum from the very front row
I help my baby move her gear to the stage from the van
I take pictures on her phone for her Instagram
She's gonna make it big, she's gonna sell so many tracks
And through the ups and downs I'll be the lover that lasts
Oh yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah
I don't mind picking up the bill
It won't be long until a studio in the hills
A souped-up mixing board, sometimes she'll let me record
The little poems I write, then we go out at night to the Satellite

Beca remembers the first time she told Ashley about this piece of land that she bought for them. Ashley's reaction was priceless. Standing slacked-jaw in front of the huge mansion, Ashley could only manage a gasp and stuttered a bunch of incoherent words, this... you... how... what. And when Beca told her that the rest of the properties and land are theirs, Ashley almost passed out.

She plays her guitar for so many bands
She's got those talented, rough, rock 'n' roll type hands
And I feel 'em on my back, on my neck, on my face
Every chord progression makes my heart just race
When she sees me in the crowd points and blows me a kiss
Don't really know how life can get much better than this
Oh yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah

Whenever Beca had a gig, Ashley always came every time she could, and she would be the loudest cheerer among the crowds. She was careful not to slip out Beca's identity as DJ M, but it didn't stop her from sneaking into the closed booth and lured Beca to have some sexy times in it.

After Beca came out to the public, the sneaking up became their habit. When it was an open booth, then Ashley would just wait, dancing with her friends, and bringing Beca water to keep her from dehydration from time to time.

I'm gonna marry a rockstar, and when she's touring 'round the world
I'll send her unreleased Walking Dead episodes, so on the plane she's not bored
She sends a picture of the buildings in each new city
She texts me every afternoon just to say "you're pretty"
And before I go to bed "miss you, baby, goodnight"
Kissy heart emoji
"Do you need sexy Facetime?"
Never worry 'bout a local groupie trying to take a ride
My lover only likes ladies twitter verified, like me
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah

Even though she doesn't really do tours anymore now, but there was a time when they did spend a lot of times away from each other. That was the time when even a simple text reminding them to have lunch became the most waited thing of the day.

Beca wasn't the clingy type, but with Ashley, she couldn't help the urges to send goodnight Hon, I miss you every night before Ashley went to sleep, and good morning sunshine, have a good day by the time she knew Ashley was already woken up. They started the habit of asking how's your day? before going to sleep from then.

Moreover, judging from Ashley's adventurous side, there is no question of how many types of sex they've done in long distance. Name it; sexting, sex from phone call, or sexy face timing, yep, they've done the deed already.

I'm gonna marry a rockstar
We got a love you can't doubt
Wrinkle right up next to each other
We'll get old but stay loud
Oh yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah

By the time she's done singing, Ashley opens her eyes, turns around, and startled to see that Beca is standing on her side, leaning on the door, crossing her hand on her chest with a dorky goofy grin on her face.

Upon seeing her fiancé's dumbfounded face, Beca smirks and says, "Well, although I'm more of a Pretty Little Liars kind of girl, but I think The Walking Dead will do. And I'm not really a rock star, but I'm glad you think so. So, whatever that floats your boats, Hon."

Finally out of her daze, Ashley chuckles, skipping her feet toward Beca and hugs the tiny brunette before she cheerfully says, "Babe, you're home."

"I am." Beca replies with a goofy grin.

"Me too." Ashley softly says before kissing Beca passionately. However, when she wants to deepen the kiss, Beca pulls away, kisses her cheek, and says, "Hon, I'm sweaty and sticky. I need a shower."

Ashley let out her prankster grin, turns Beca around, and hops on her back. "Let's shower together to save the water then."

"Argh! Hon!" Beca groans over-dramatically. "Are you trying to kill me?"

Although she's groaning, Beca always enjoyed carrying Ashley on her back, since there is no way she could carry Ashley in bride style.

"Nope. Just trying to kiss you." Ashley replies cheerfully before kissing Beca's cheek over her shoulder.

Beca laughs, and then rushes her way to the bathroom to have a sexy shower time with her fiancé. And do they take their time in there.

However, all of the fun disappear after they're ready. Suddenly, Beca feels so nervous, terrified even to meet all of the Bellas again in the same place. Knowing Beca inside out, Ashley takes the brunette's hand in hers and says, "Let's go Babe."

Without saying anything, Beca nods and let Ashley pull her to their car.


The Posen-Conrad's House: Saturday Evening, November 1 st 2025 – The 10 th Reunion

Ashley and Beca have arrived at Posen-Conrad's residence for a while, yet they are still sitting in Beca's Audi R8.

"I'm gonna check on Pascal and ask about the security perimeter again." Beca says anxiously.

Understood that her fiancé is beyond anxious to meet her college best friends, Ashley smiles softly, takes Beca's hand in hers, and squeezes it gently as she patiently says, "Babe, you've already checked on them twice. Besides, this is not the first time they guard us. It'll be okay."

Knowing that there is no use to delay the inevitable, Beca huffs out a long breath, and undo her seat-belt. Then Ashley cups Beca's cheeks and looks into her steely blue eyes as she says, "You'll be fine."

After giving Ashley a light nod, Beca gets out of the car, circling around to open the passenger door for Ashley, and offers her hand. Ashley takes her hand, gets out of the car, and kisses her cheek before saying, "Thank you, my Casanova."

Hand in hand, they head to the front door, bringing a couple of shopping bags with them. Judging by the amount of cars in front of the house, it's safe to say that everybody else must have arrived already. The front door is unlocked, so they get in and go directly to the living room where everybody have gathered.

The first person to notice their arrival is Emily, and she exclaims, "Pop! Benzo!"

Everybody become quiet in an instant and simply look at the long lost tiny brunette.

On the contrary, after hearing her youngest aunt calling out for Beca, Bella rushes from the kitchen, hops on Ashley's arm, and shrieks, "Aunt Asheey! You're here!"

"Baby Belle!" Ashley exclaims as she picks up the little blonde.

"Hey smurfette." Beca ruffles the little blonde's hair. "I can see that I'm the less favorite now that your Aunt Ashley is here."

Bella simply gives the tiny brunette a toothy grin, and then Ashley puts her down before nudging Beca, glancing her eyes toward the shopping bag.

"Oh, right." Beca hands the bag to Bella. "Here smurfette. We got some stuff that you can share with your brothers and sisters."

Bella squeals joyfully and says, "Thank you Bec-Bec. Thank you Aunt Asheey."

"Your welcome, sweetie." Ashley softly replies. "Why don't you take it inside?"

Since there are too many bags for her to carry alone, Bella yells out to call the other aca-children, "Guys! Come on here! Bec-Bec and Aunt Asheey have something for us!"

The rest of the aca-children immediately surround the couple. Fat Amy and Bumper's sons, Augusto and Julius, cling themselves on Beca's and Ashley's legs because they've met several times before.

On the other hand, the other adults are still stunned and haven't done anything yet until Aubrey finally says, "Kids, why don't you bring the stuff to the yard?"

After all of the kids take the bags and run off to the backyard, Cynthia-Rose stands up and walks toward the couple with crossed arms on chest and an eyebrow raised, looking intensely at the very nervous Beca, and then asks flatly, "Yo Beca. You think you can bribe our forgiveness by giving our kids some stuff?"

Feeling that her fiancé is getting more anxious, Ashley takes her hand and squeezes it gently to support her. Then Beca swallows hard and stutters, "I didn't uh... I mean uh... It was uh..."

Upon seeing the smirk growing on Cynthia-Rose's face, Beca let out a relieved sigh, smirks back, and says, "Did it work?"

"It works!" CR exclaims, pulling Beca in a bear hug. "It's so good to see you, Capt!"

"Hey Shortstuff! Prepare yourself for the super beaming hug special from Fat Amy!" Fat Amy rushes her way to them, and engulfs them in her arms, almost picks them up from the floor.

Except Emily, Stacie, Aubrey, and Chloe who have been seeing Beca in a while, the other Bellas follow suit and they end up having group hug, cheering, and greeting their former captain.

Relieved by The Bellas' reaction, Ashley steps back a little to let Beca enjoy her coming back moment.

Moved by her friends' warm welcoming, Beca's eyes become teary, but she plays it off by clearing her throat and says, "Alright. Alright. I know you all miss me so much, but don't push it."

"There she is." Jessica starts cheerfully, and then Bella's Ashley finishes, "Our snarky Captain's back."

Then the room is filled with laughter, while Lily whispers something that people couldn't really decipher, but Beca caught a couple of words; knew, hide, all along. And as usual, it's being ignored by the other Bellas. One by one, they start to get off the tiny brunette and head back to their seat.

Beca takes her time to look at her friends, her family, her sisters, one by one with teary eyes yet joyful smile on her face. She simply stands behind the couch with Ashley standing close to her. How she has missed this group of weirdos more that she's ever thought.

"Don't just stand there with your dumb face, shorty." CR says teasingly, and then she points her chin toward Ashley. "Introduce us to that blonde next to you."

Beca rolls her eyes playfully, and takes Ashley's hand in hers before gesturing her hand to the group and says, "Ashley, this group of weirdos are my family from college. The Bellas."

Then Beca looks at Ashley, smiling fondly before turning her head back to the group, and then shyly says, "Everyone, this is Ashley. My fiancé."

Ashley waves lightly, smiling toward the group, while The Bellas greet her with whistles and cheering.

"Dang!" CR teases. "Didn't think you'd be engaged to this beauty. What's wrong with her?"

While Beca is rolling her eyes again, Ashley simply chuckles, and then Flo says, "Girl like this can be burned to death in my hometown. I was almost being burned to death too."

Then everybody stare at Flo with unreadable expression between sympathetic, amused, confused, or disbelief.

"A girl name Ashley is always a keeper and the lucky one." Bella's Ashley chips in while staring at Jessica fondly.

"I second that." Ashley says cheerfully, holding Beca's arm even tighter, and Beca adds, "She is a keeper. But I'm the lucky one."

"Aw..." The Bellas coo toward the couple.

"Hey, blondie." Fat Amy says, mocking a threatening look toward Beca's fiancé. "I've wrestled crocodiles and dingos before. So, don't even think about hurting our Shortstuff there."

Turning her head toward her fiancé, Ashley replies with a devilish smirk, "If only they knew how much you enjoyed pain, Babe."

Knowing what Ashley meant, Beca is flushing red, earning a whole-heartily laughter from the group, except from Chloe, who started to be so quiet after Beca arrived.

Then Beca notices that Kristen is there too, sitting next to Chloe, holding the redhead's hand tightly. And the tiny brunette becomes not only confused, but also upset because Emily has told her about the frame smashing incident. But she brushes it off and pulls Ashley to take a seat and join the conversation.

"Shorty, Ash, drink is in the kitchen. Help yourself." Stacie said softly toward Beca and Ashley.

When Beca is standing up, Ashley pulls her back down and says, "I'll go. You enjoy your time with your sisters."

Beca smiles and nods to Ashley. Emily immediately walks with Ashley to the kitchen, being hysteric to see the ring.

After that, Beca instantly looks at Chloe and asks, "How are you doing, Chlo?"

"Fine." Chloe replies with a tight smile.

Beca can sense that something is off with the redhead, so she glances sharply toward Kristen and their joined hands. But before she can say anything about it, CR asks, "How's life Capt?"

"Same old." Beca says with a shrug. "I'm more interested in all of your life. I've been missing out."

While Lily is whispering something about a time machine, Jessica says, "You've been missing a lot. But we want to know about your life after Barden."

Beca clears her throat and says, "I know I owe all of you some explanations. But uh... let's not bring something heavy to our reunion. We can talk about me tomorrow."

The Bellas seem to understand, and then one by one, they start to tell the story of their life in the last ten years. Before long, Ashley comes back and hands Beca a glass of ice tea. "Here you go, Babe."

"Thanks, Hon." Beca replies, and then all of the Bellas look at the tiny brunette in confusion.

"No Fat Amy's special tonight, Capt?" CR asks curiously.

"Yeah." Fat Amy chips in. "I made it extra special with the source of my confidence. You know how bombastic the effect is, Shawshank. You've tasted it yourself."

Upon seeing the questioning look from Ashley, Beca says, "You don't want to know." Then she turns to her friends and says, "Nope. I'm driving tonight. So no drinking."

The Bellas simply take her word, and after that, everybody start to spread and talk in smaller groups. Emily immediately pulls Ashley to talk with Jessica and Bella's Ashley while Beca sits on the couch with CR, Stacie, and Fat Amy, letting the other three Bellas bragging about their children.

Although she is talking with her friends, Beca can't help herself to steal glances toward Ashley who's talking animatedly, laughing lightly with the other Bellas. The blonde seems to blend well with The Bellas. When Ashley notices her glance, she shots Beca a wink and then turns back to the conversation, leaving Beca smiling goofily.

"Damn." CR teases the tiny brunette after seeing the glances. "Never thought you'd be smitten over a girl, Capt."

"Shut up." Beca shyly mutters, rubbing her neck with her face flushing red, earning a bark of laughter from her friends.

Apparently, meeting her friends after years isn't as hard as Beca has imagined. They seem to welcome her back as if she was only away for a couple of months, and she couldn't be more thankful for that.

Suddenly, Jesse comes into the living room, heading toward Beca with a huge grin, and then sits in front of the tiny brunette.

"Long time no see, Beca." Jesse says casually. "I have to say. You're a very hard person to meet."

Beca rolls her eyes in annoyance and says, "And you're a very hard person to get rid of."

Noticing that Ashley is glancing worriedly at her, Beca shakes her head subtly and gives her fiancé a reassuring smile.

Jesse turns to look over his shoulder at Ashley, and then turns back to Beca before he says, "No wonder you didn't take me up on my offer for a date back then. I didn't know you were playing for the other team.

Familiar with his cocky personality, Beca scoffs harshly and says, "I didn't take up your offer for dates because you were a jerk. And I can see that you still are."

Stacie, CR, and Fat Amy are aware of the tension, and although they wanted to stay, Beca gestures them with her eyes to leave Jesse and her alone, to which they comply. Then Beca simply stares at the brunette man in upset.

"Whoa, easy there." Jesse says with his goofy grin. "Didn't mean to upset you, Beca."

"Okay. Cut the crap." Beca says bluntly. "I know what you want. But I can't help you."

Jesse chuckles and says, "A bit presumptuous, aren't we? Besides, judging from your car out there, I'd like to think that you could help. What is it today? Audi, or BMW, or Rolls Royce, or Aston Martin? You have more car than you could ever drive in your whole life. So, yeah. I'd really like to think that you could help. Especially when we both can benefit from it."

Raising an eyebrow, Beca coldly says, "Think all the way you want. I stand by my words."

Sighing deeply, Jesse looks at Beca with pleading eyes and says, "Beca, I'm in a lot of troubles. Help me, please. For old time's sake."

Already knew his track record from the information Harvey gathered, Beca looks at him skeptically and says, "It's kind of hard to believe when you've already done that for so many times, Swanson. I've heard some stuff about you. And I've got to say, I'm surprised you still think that people will fall for that."

Forcing puppy dog eyes, Jesse continues his facade and says, "I don't know what you're talking about, Beca. I've changed. And I want to be better. All I need is a chance. We can talk about this some other times. Maybe over coffee, or lunch, or dinner."

"Really?" Beca laughs skeptically at him. "So if I ask you about that mob from Russia that you're in debt with are now chasing down your brother to pay your debt, you'd say that it's not true?"

Taken aback by Beca's knowledge about his life, Jesse remains silent. Beca uses that chance to open another card, "And if I tell you that I know you paid people to fire Benji and not give him any job so you have a friend to share your misery with, you'd say that it's a lie then?"

Upon seeing Jesse's dumbfounded face, Beca scoffs and says, "Thought so. I know you don't come to me only for money, Swanson. You want your mob friends to think that we're friends so you'll have leverage. So they'll come to me instead."

Finally, Jesse drops all of his act and smirks as he says, "Someone has already done her homework."

Sipping her ice tea nonchalantly, Beca says, "You bet. I'm not as easy as the other Bellas, Jesse. They might fall for your puppy eyes and goofy grin, but they don't know what I know. And trust me, I know enough."

Smiling devilishly, without hiding the hint of threat in his voice, Jesse mutters almost in a whisper, "You see, Beca. Not so many people know what happened to you back in college like I do. I visited your old man a couple of years back. I'm sure you know what he's been up to since he got fired five years ago. It will be too bad if someone slip their tongue to the media, and whoosh... I think you know what I mean. So... let's just say that we're trying to help each other."

Even though she is stunned, Beca keeps her bored-looking face. After staring at the brunette man with unreadable face for a couple of seconds, she says, "You know what? I was wrong when I said that I can't help you."

"See?" Jesse smirks smugly. "We have the same interest. We just want to help the people around us."

"Yeah." Beca nods her head with pursed smiling lips. "The truth is, I do can help you. I just do not want to."

Jesse smiles slyly and says, "Careful of your decision, Beca."

"I am." Beca replies calmly. "Have always been. And this is me being careful. I know who you are, Swanson."

"You don't know what I'm capable of." Jesse says fiercely.

"Oh I know." Beca says casually. "But you, clearly don't know what I'm capable of."

A hint of anger flaring up in Jesse's eyes, but he tries to remain nonchalant when he says, "I guess there is no way I could convince you to help an old friend then."

Beca scoffs, mocking a thinking face, and replies, "Oh, let me think. Hmmm... Oh, I would."

When Jesse's eyes widen in surprise, Beca adds, "But I'm completely sure that we were never friends."

Then Jesse stands up, but before he walks away, Beca says, "One more thing, Swanson."

As Jesse looks over his shoulder, Beca calmly says, "If you ever put my friends in danger, or as much as laying your dirty fingers on them, one phone call, and the things you'll get? Let's just say that you will beg me to put you in the worst jail this country has."

As calm as she was, the warning in Beca's tone is obvious. There is a reason Donna calls her Harvey's best pupil.

Jesse simply shrugs and walks away. Upon seeing Jesse walking away, Emily and Ashley immediately come to the brunette.

"Did you set him straight?" Ashley asks with a light smirk.

"Yep." Beca pops the P.

"You didn't give him what he wanted, right?" Ashley asks again.

"Of course not, Hon." Beca replies before sipping her ice tea.

Emily looks at the couple in confusion and asks, "What happened?"

Beca turns to Emily and says, "I've done some background checking on him, Em. Don't trust anything he said. I'll explain everything, but not tonight. Let's not ruin our reunion for a scumbag."

After that, Jesse doesn't dare to talk to Beca for the rest of the night. Then, when The Bellas have already put their own kids to sleep in the guestrooms, the adults could finally start their dinner at the backyard.

Earlier that day, Stacie and Beca had joined a couple of tables at the backyard to fit 20 people on it.

Beca takes a seat on the middle area with Ashley and Emily sitting next to each of her sides.

On the other hand, even though Chloe has been avoiding Beca and Ashley the whole night, the red head takes a seat across the table from Beca, couldn't resist the urge to see Beca from up close. And naturally, Kristen takes a seat next to the redhead.

Everything is going fine, people are chatting with each other, throwing jokes around, but then they stop upon seeing Ashley preparing a plate for Beca.

"Damn, shorty. You two ain't even married yet. But you sure already act like old couple in the 80's." CR says from the end of the table, earning a bark of laughter from everybody.

While Ashley is smiling shyly, Beca raises an eyebrow and replies, "What? You didn't say the same thing for Stacie and Aubrey."

"That's the point, shortstuff." Fat Amy adds. "They're already married. For six years."

"Seems like Beca needs a baby sitter instead of a fiancé." Aubrey chips in, subtly despising the tiny brunette and her fiancé with a joke.

Knowing her wife's intention, Stacie tries to ease the insult by clearing her throat and teasing, "Shorty loves being spoiled."

"Hey!" Emily says, pretending to be upset. "Don't tease Beca that way. She's my Pop."

"See?" Beca lifts up her chin smugly. "Don't mess with the captain. Thanks, Em."

Then Emily smirks and adds, "She might be grumpy, whiny, and look feisty and all. But beneath those dark eyeliner and snarky remarks, she's just as old as Baby Bella. As adults, we do not tease a child."

While everybody are laughing, Beca groans and whines, "Why would I come to this reunion? What day is it? Making fun of the Captain's day?"

"Oh, don't be such a baby, Becs." Chloe chips in cheerfully. "We all know that you're a softy inside. And you love being spoiled."

Beca rolls her eyes and says, "Remind me again why I agreed to come?"

From her seat at the table head, Stacie exclaims, "You love us, shorty!"

"Yeah, yeah, yeah." Beca says in mock annoyance. "Believe anything you want."

Taking advantage of the situation, Bumper demands toward Fat Amy, "See, sweetie? Look how Ashley treated Beca. You should've done the same thing for me."

"Bumper," Fat Amy says with upset tone. "You knew I don't do stuff like that. You should be thankful that this free-range pony who couldn't be tamed, wanted to be tied down with you."

"You're sad, Bumper." Donald jokes, earning a deathly glare from his former captain.

Everybody laugh loudly, and then they all start to eat. The conversations flow naturally around the table.

Bella's Ashley turns to Chloe and asks, "Chloe, you and Kristen have been engaged for a while. When do you plan to have your wedding?"

"Yeah ginger." Fat Amy chips in. "You don't want to be engaged for too long. It's bad enough being a ginger. You don't want to be a single ginger for too long."

"You're right to ask the bride." Kristen replies joyfully. "I'm simply waiting for the instruction."

"Aw..." Flo chips in. "You're so sweet. Willing to wait for so long."

Kristen seems to be happy, hiding her grin with tight lips, but Chloe mutters, "We're uh... we don't want to rush into anything."

All the while, Beca is staring at Stacie with puzzled look, to which she is ignored, and then she looks at Aubrey, who seems to be ignoring her too, has been the whole night actually. But her attention is pulled away when Jessica excitedly asks, "What about you Beca? Have you planned your wedding?"

"We uh..." Beca is trying to gather her thought. "We're planning to have the party by June."

Jessica and Bella's Ashley look at each other, sharing a grin before Bella's Ashley says toward Beca and Ashley, "Well, you know that we're running a wedding organizer. What do you say if we help you to make your dream wedding come true?"

"Hmmm..." Beca is chewing her food. "I don't know. What do you think Hon?"

"Well," Ashley automatically wipes away the sauce on Beca's cheek with a napkin while explaining, "We're having a small wedding. But sure, we'll be glad if you want to help."

"Thanks Hon." Beca says casually while resuming eating, failing to notice how everybody are staring at them.

"There it is again! The old coupley stuff!" Fat Amy exclaims in comic surprise. "You two need to stop doing it. We don't want our spouses start demanding the same thing."

Then Beca swallows her food and smirks as she says, "Suck it up Fat Amy."

And everybody laugh again. Well, everybody but Chloe and Aubrey. After the laughter unwind, Jessica asks the tiny brunette again, "So, about the wedding. How do you want it? Small but elegant I suppose."

Beca waves her fork and says, "Honestly, I prefer to have all of you as my guests at the party instead of being busy organizing stuff at the party."

Before anybody could give another respond, Ashley grabs Beca's hand gently and softly warns, "Babe, if you call our wedding a party once again, you might not be invited."

Beca chokes on her food while everybody else burst in laughter. Then Beca takes the glass of water Ashley handed to her, and drinks it before she says, "Yes, Dear."

"Holy mother!" CR says through her laughter. "You're so whipped, Captain!"

Upon hearing CR's words, Beca turns to stare lovingly at a laughing Ashley. Without taking her eyes away from her fiancé, Beca softly says, "Yeah. She's very bossy, isn't she? I like it. It keeps me in line."

"Careful there Capt." Flo chips in. "You don't want to blow her up with that lovey dovey stare from your eyes."

But Beca keep on staring at her blushing fiancé with a goofy grin, and then leans in closer to whisper, "I love you."

Ashley blushes awfully red from her neck to the tip of her ears, smiling back fondly at Beca, and shyly says, "Dork."

"Your dork forever now." Beca says matter-of-factly. "You agreed to marry me. And I have a full intention to get married only one time for the rest of my life. With you."

It's something new for The Bellas to see how Beca is undeniably open to show her feeling, and it makes them smiling fondly toward their own spouses automatically.

After a while, Jessica, who is in the working mode, asks again, "So, who would you ask to be your bridesmaids?"

Since she has already asked Harvey and Patrick, Beca didn't think that she'd need bridesmaids at all. She smiles weakly and says, "I'd love to ask you all to be my bridesmaids. But it's a small par- uh... wedding. If you're all gonna be my bridesmaids, I'm afraid my guest seats are gonna be empty. Besides, I already asked Harvey and Patrick to be my best men."

"You don't have to pick all of us, shortstuff. Just you know, the one or two that are the closest to you." Fat Amy says with obvious wink, failing to act nonchalant when she mouths not so subtly, Me.

Beca chuckles lightly and says, "I'm really honored you want to be my bridesmaids. But since I don't really have people on my side, I need you all to sit on my guest seats." Then she turns to look at Ashley before she continues, "Don't want my lovely bride to steal all of the seats for her guests."

While Ashley is shrugging smugly, Emily sheepishly says, "Pop, I'm afraid I can't be your guest."

"What do you mean?" Beca asks in confusion. "Are you not coming to the wedding?"

"Nah..." CR chips in. "No way Legacy ain't coming to her Pop's wedding. She is the precious aca-child."

Emily and Ashley change teasing look before the tall brunette cheerfully says, "I will come to your wedding, Pop. But I won't be sitting on your side."

Upon seeing an eyebrow raised on Beca's confused look, Emily smirks and says, "Ashley already asked me to be her bridesmaid. And I said yes."

"What?" Beca gasps over-dramatically before turning to Ashley and asks in mock upset, "You take my aca-child to your side? How dare you?"

"Sorry Babe. But finders keepers." Ashley replies cheerfully.

"Yeah, Pop." Emily says playfully. "Besides, I need to start getting on my stepmother's good side."

Although everybody laugh, again, minus Chloe and Aubrey, Stacie clears her throat, hinting for Beca and Emily to stop the joke about stepmother or the talk about the wedding. Seem to understand the hint, Beca and Emily stir the conversation to other topics.

After dinner, Jesse and Benji excuse themselves, but the others stay to have their usual routine in reunion, and that is a riff-off.

"Alright!" CR starts excitedly. "Let's have the riff off! Team up, pitches! We have..." She counts the people around. "16 people including me."

"Shawshank and Aca-Nazi can be captains." Fat Amy continues. "Start picking your team mates, captains! Starting from Shawshank!"

"Chloe!" Beca exclaims instantly, and Chloe is taken aback. Well, everybody are.

Everybody seem to be stunned, thinking that Beca would've picked her fiancé, but the blonde herself simply gasps over-dramatically and retorts, "How dare you?"

"No offense, Hon." Beca smirks. "You might be my fiancé. But Chloe is my co-captain. And she is the brain to my pinky, my other half in The Bella. I need her by my side. Can't jinx our winning strike over favoritism. I have to pick her first before Aubrey got her chance."

While Ashley is chuckling, Aubrey sees how Chloe is beaming in happiness, unbearable happiness that she hasn't seen in a long time. So Aubrey takes that chance to separate Beca from Ashley completely by saying, "Then I take your fiancé, hobbit. You dare to take my other half, so it's only fair that I take yours."

"Hey!" Stacie exclaims toward her wife in mock upset.

"Go with it." Beca says nonchalantly, earning a playful slap from her fiancé on her arm. Then Beca kisses Ashley's cheek and says, "Next. Chloe and I will never be complete without our aca-child. Em, come to my side."

"Donald!" Aubrey needs the alto.

"Stacie!"

"What?" Aubrey is dumbfounded.

"You're getting slower, Bree." Beca smirks.

"Jessica and our Ashley!"

"What?" This time, Beca is dumbfounded.

"It's odd number anyway." Aubrey shrugs smugly.

"Fine." Beca bites. "CR!"

"Lily!"

"Fat Amy!"

"Flo!"

"Denise!"

"Bumper!" There's no way Beca takes Kristen under her wing even though Bumper isn't any better.

"Kristen!"

"Alright!" CR exclaims. "No rules other than follow the lead. It can be any genre from any century. Let's flip a coin!"

"Head!" Aubrey exclaims immediately.

"Go nuts." Beca says nonchalantly.

"Aaannnd..." CR flips the coin. "We'll start with... Aca-Nazi!"

Aubrey jumps forward and sings, "It's the way you make me feel." And the others start to back her. "Spinning my world around... Tell me how-"

"How do I live without you..." Chloe jumps in, and her team jump right in to back her. "I want to know. How do I breathe without you, if you ever go... How do I ever... ever survive-"

"Survive, I will survive..." Bella's Ashley jumps in. "It took all the strength I had not to fall apart. Kept trying hard to mend the pieces of my broken heart-"

"Heart takes time," This time, Bumper cuts her off. "Half of my heart's got a right mind to tell you that I can't keep loving you (can't keep loving you). Oh, with half of my heart. I was made to believe i'd never love somebody-"

"Somebody to love..." Jessica takes her chance. "I don't need too much, just somebody to love, Somebody to love. I don't need nothing else, I promise girl I swear-"

"Swear to you with all of my heart..." CR sings softly while looking at Denise. "I'm gonna marry your princess and make her my queen. She'll be the most beautiful bride that I've ever seen. I can't wait to smile-"

"Smile like the sun, fall outta bed, sing like a bird," Flo cuts her off. "Dizzy in my head, spin like a record, crazy on a
Sunday night. You make me dance like a fool, forget how to breathe. Shine like gold, buzz like a bee. Just the thought of
you can drive me wild. Oh, you make me smile. Even when you're gone-"

"Gone, gone tonight." Fat Amy jumps in. "The fire beneath my feet is burning bright. The way that I've been holding on so tight. With nothing in between. The story of my life. I take her home. I drive all night, to keep her warm, and time is frozen (the story of, the story of). The story of my life. I give her hope. I spend her love-"

"Love you long after you're gone, gone, gone." This time, Kristen takes her chance with her slightly off tune voice, staring at Chloe lovingly. "When you fall like a statue, I'm gon' be there to catch you. Put you on your feet, you on your feet. And if your well is empty, not a thing will prevent me. Tell me what you need, what do you need-"

Chloe doesn't have time to put any attention on Kristen because Beca has jumped right in, rapping, "Need somebody I can build with. I need somebody I can hold tight. With the time and no full limits, no right. Anytime we together would feel so right. You the girl I been lookin for my whole life. God bless me, I'm glad I got the insight. It's-"

Upon seeing the goofy grin the tiny brunette reserves only for her, Beca's fiancé jumps in with another rapping, "It's the little things that you do, that mean so much. It's the care that you put into every touch. It's the way I trust you, and you trust me. I guess some of us are so lucky. I was known for having the upper hand. I was known as a stone cold ladies man. If it wasn't for you, I'd be that way still. But-"

While Beca is chuckling in shaking her head in disbelief at her fiancé, Chloe has jumps in with another rap, "But the smile that she shows makes me a go-getter. I haven't gone as far as asking if I could get with her. I just play it by ear and hope she gets the picture. I'm shootin for her heart, got my finger on the trigger. She could be my broad, and I could be her (nigga). But, all I can do is stare..."

Everybody are too stunned to interrupt for having the redhead rapping before them for the very first time. So Chloe continues until the end, "Back as kids we used to kiss when we played truth or dare. Now she's more sophisticated, highly edu-ma-cated not at all over-rated, I think I need a prayer to get in her boots and it looks rather dry. I guess a twinkle in her eye is just a twinkle in her eye. Although she's crazy steppin, I'll try to stop her stride. Cause I won't have no more of this passin me by."

Just like that, Beca's team win without the captain knowing. The tiny brunette is too busy changing fond look with her fiancé, but then the loud cheering wakes her up.

"We win!" Emily exclaims.

Upon hearing the words, Beca and Chloe automatically find and hug each other, jumping and squealing in each other's arms.

"We win!" Beca exclaims to the redhead with a huge grin.

"We win!" Chloe squeals excitedly.

Then Ashley's smile falters a bit upon seeing the scene, and she isn't the only one who stay silent among the loud crowd. The next second happen so fast but also slow.

While everybody else are cheering, Ashley diverts her eyes away from her fiancé who is hugging her first love. On the other hand, Beca is trying to find her fiancé among the crowd with her eyes. Meanwhile, maybe because of the high of winning, Chloe is leaning closer to kiss the tiny brunette.

Just a split second before Chloe's lips touch Beca's, the tiny brunette's eyes find her fiancé, and she pulls away instantly, didn't even notice how Chloe was so close from kissing her.

Beca rushes her way to Ashley and pulls her in a tight hug as she exclaims, "I didn't know that you can rap!"

With a force cheerful voice, Ashley says, "Well, I still have some stuff up my sleeve, Mitchell."

Barking out a loud laughter, Beca pulls away, resting her hands on Ashley's waist, looking fondly into the blonde's blue eyes and says, "I'd love to know all of the stuff up your sleeve, Miss Benson soon to be Mitchell. Because I love you. And I'll spend the rest of my life finding them out."

Looking at Beca's sincere eyes, Ashley smiles fondly right before Beca leans in and closes the gap between them. Just like that, all of the jealousy in Ashley's chest vanishes into thin air, and she tangles her hands behind Beca's neck, kissing the tiny brunette back passionately.

Meanwhile, Chloe watches the scene before her eyes while her heart shatters into pieces all over again because of loving the very same person. She doesn't stay long to feel her world crumbling down all over again, and walks to the backyard hurriedly.

Nobody else seems to notice that for a split second, there could be a hurricane hitting them right on the face. Everybody are still cheerfully talking about the short riff-off, failing to notice that two person have disappeared.

CR and Fat Amy approach their former captain, who's still kissing her fiancé, and CR teases, "Get a room, Capt."

"Nu uh." Fat Amy pulls Ashley aside. "Drilling time."

Ashley chuckles upon seeing the upset look on Beca, but Fat Amy firmly says toward the tiny brunette, "Go to other place. We, all of the Bellas, need a private time with your fiancé, Shawshank."

When Beca keep on staring at the hilarious blonde firmly, Ashley softly says, "Go Babe. I'll be fine."

Beca sighs in half-annoyance and kisses Ashley's cheek before turning to CR and Fat Amy. "I will hold you both guilty if my fiancé gives back my ring by the end of the night."

"Not gonna happen Babe." Ashley tries to hold her laughter. "Go do something else."

Then Beca decides to go to the front porch, thinking that she needs a space to gain back her introverted self some energy. Surprisingly, she found Kristen there, sitting alone by the stairs on the front porch.

Beca takes a seat at the other end of porch, still on the same level of stairs with Kristen. They stay silent for a while until at some point, Beca firmly says, "I know what you did to Chloe."

Without looking at the tiny DJ, Kristen says, "So?"

"If you ever pull some shit like that again to Chloe," Beca says fiercely with low tone. "If you ever, ever hurt her again, just be sure that I will hurt you ten times worse."

This time, Kristen looks back at Beca angrily, leaning closer as she dangerously says, "You, have no right to tell me anything about Chloe. If you haven't realized, you, are the one who hurt her over and over again. Who left her, time and time again. Who didn't realize just how worthy she is by choosing someone else."

Beca is taken aback slightly, so Kristen continues with anger written all over her face and voice, "So don't you ever, ever, evertalk to me about how to love Chloe. Because you know nothing about it. Nothing."

With that being said, Kristen stands up and walks back into the house, leaving a very stunned Beca on the front porch, absorbing Kristen's words into her mind. She takes her time to think before eventually making her way back into the house around an hour later.


Meanwhile, Chloe is at the backyard by herself. She just sits on the bench, staring at the sky while her mind trails its way back to the whole reunion from the beginning. From the second Beca walked into the living room, Chloe couldn't stop her heart from fluttering, racing, somehow in joy, but also anxiously.

She was torn to see the happiness Beca showed while introducing Ashley. She wanted to be happy for the tiny brunette, but she couldn't shake off the feeling of betrayal; the hurt of being left, of not being not chosen, again.

There was a moment when Beca stared at Kristen with despise, and Chloe's heart jumped, thinking that the tiny brunette was most likely feeling jealous. Her logical thinking did give her a reminder.

Why would Beca feel jealous of Kristen? She loves Ashley.

However, Chloe managed to put that thought aside, spending almost all night joined on the hips with Kristen just for a split second of satisfaction of seeing Beca in jealousy.

Through dinner, Chloe had to endure all the pain of her decision to sit in front of Beca and Ashley, looking at how they moved and interacted so naturally as a couple.

Thankfully, Kristen saw through her and kept on squeezing her hand under the table, or kissed her temple to distract her attention from the tiny brunette.

Chloe tried though, to be her cheerful self by joining the conversation when the Bellas were teasing the tiny brunette. But that was the only time.

After the talk about the wedding emerged, she felt like ripping someone's throat, and when Emily said something about stepmother, she almost jumped forward to tear the youngest Bella apart if not for Kristen's hand in hers, holding her tightly.

She admitted it now, the decision to keep the other Bellas in the dark is the wrong one. Beca was supposed to deal with consequences of leaving them; leaving her. The tiny brunette needed to suffer the pain from her own act, like Chloe has suffered all this time.

Her decision to keep her situation with Beca and Kristen gave no room for The Bellas to stand on her side, to be angry with the two people that hurt her the most; Kristen who loves her selfishly, and Beca who loves herself selfishly.

However, her anger vanished the second Beca chose her first for the riff-off. It was so easy for her at that moment to forget about all of her pain when Beca openly chose her, not Ashley, in front of their sisters.

A smile appears on Chloe's face as the speech Beca gave, stating that she is the tiny brunette's other half came into her mind. It's sweet and heart moving, especially for Chloe's heart that is really a goner when it comes to Beca.

Chloe could still feel the warmth of Beca's joyful hug after they won the riff-off. They almost kissed if not for Ashley's presence that distracted the tiny brunette.

The redhead is so absorbed in her thought that she doesn't realize Ashley has come out too to get some air. She is startled to hear Ashley's voice from behind, playfully saying, "I knew someone was missing in my drilling session. Turns out you're out here."

As Ashley takes a seat next to the redhead, Chloe gives her a weak smile and says, "I believe my sisters have already done a very good job without me. Have they scared you off?"

"Yeah, they were kind of scary." Ashley jokes. "But it will take more than a village of sisters to scare me off." Then she sighs in contently. "Besides, I've never seen Beca so comfortable in a large group of people. So, even though I got drilled, I'm glad that we came."

Chloe looks at Ashley in confusion and curiously asks, "Doesn't she has some friends in the last couple of years?"

"Well, you know Beca." Ashley says softly. "She could be surrounded by many people, yet still manage to keep her tight personal bubble. After years being together, my friends has become hers, but she's only close to Troian and Patrick. Before us, she was alone for a long time. The people from her life that I've got to meet were Donna, Harvey, Stephan, and her mom's grave. So, yeah. I'm more than happy to see her interacting freely around the people she considers a family. It's something that I knew I'd always cherish."

"Hmmm..." Chloe hums in approval and then turns to look back at the sky. One of the great things about Chloe, and that is also her weakness, is the ability to feel differently about something so easily.

After a while, Chloe softly mutters, "I'm sorry."

Knowing that Chloe is apologizing for the kiss, Ashley says, "I'm sorry too."

Confused, Chloe turns to look at the blonde with furrowed eyebrows and asks, "What for?"

After taking a deep breath, Ashley softly says, "I don't know. But I think it must've been hard for you since, you know, you're in love with her too."

Chloe chuckles lightly and says, "I kind of understand why she loves you."

"What do you mean?" Ashley asks in confusion.

"I kissed your fiancé." Chloe says matter-of-factly. "Well, girlfriend back then, on your 5th anniversary. And here you are, apologizing to me."

With a light shrug, Ashley says, "It's complicated. I guess. Especially since I knew her story with you in college. In fact, I should be thanking you."

"For?"

"She told me everything, Chloe." Ashley says with a light smile. "I should be thanking you for not making it harder for her. So, thank you."

Upon hearing Ashley's words, Chloe remembers that Aubrey said the same thing to Kristen when they broke up. She chuckles lightly at the irony, and then, using the same thing Kristen told Aubrey, Chloe says, "Well, for what it's worth, someone did say that if you love someone, you don't hold them back from the love they deserve, the life they want."

Smiling softly, Ashley pats Chloe's hand and says, "Thank you. I will love her the best way I can."

"You better." Chloe says with her eyes boring into Ashley's. "Because I'm gonna need you to take care of her, love her, and stay with her no matter what."

Although she isn't sure of Chloe's reaction, Ashley nods nevertheless.

Then Chloe grabs Ashley's hand and firmly says, "I need your word, Ash. I need you to promise me that you'll never leave her again, no matter what happen between you two. She needs you."

Becoming unsettled of Chloe's words, Ashley couldn't help but worry. However, when Chloe's grip on her hand become tighter, Ashley answers, "Don't worry, Chloe. I will stay with her."

After sighing in relief, Chloe smiles and says, "Thank you."

Suddenly they heard someone calls out from behind, a familiar voice that they both love the most.

"Everything okay here?" Beca asks cautiously, walking toward Ashley and Chloe.

The two women turns their head around instantly and look at the tiny brunette. The same loving gaze from Ashley and Chloe stun Beca and stop her on her track.

"Okay." Beca mutters under her breath with her eyebrows raised. "This is weird."

Hearing a faint voice that she couldn't hear clearly, Ashley asks, "What did you say Babe?"

"Uh... Nothing Hon." Beca replies nervously. "I'm here to ask if you're ready to go home."

"Sure." Ashley stands up, and then hugs Chloe before saying, "It's good to see you again, Chloe. Thank you for everything. And uh... I'm sorry. For... everything."

Chloe being Chloe, she hugs the blonde back and says, "It's good to see you too, Ash. Please remember what I said."

Ashley nods lightly, smiling unsurely toward the red head, but Beca is already by her side, seeming so nervous with her hands in her pockets as she says, "Uhm... See you around, Chlo."

Then Chloe hugs Beca tightly, lingering longer than usual before she says, "Take care Becs."

"You too." Beca says as she hugs Chloe back and pats the redhead's back gently.

Then Beca and Ashley say goodbye to The Bellas and go home.


Ashley and Beca's Mansion: After Reunion

Once they are already on bed and snuggling up to each other, Beca kisses Ashley's crown and says, "Thanks for doing it with me Hon."

Resting her chin on Beca's shoulder, Ashley smiles and says, "I'm happy I went with you. You were beaming tonight, Babe. You still are."

Beca smiles fondly and says, "It feels so good being around them again. I didn't even realize that I'd missed them so much until I met them again."

"I'm happy for you."

Out of curiosity upon seeing Ashley and Chloe together, Beca asks, "What did you talk about with Chloe?"

"Hmmm..." Ashley teases her fiancé that seems to be nervous. "Just the same thing we both love the most."

"And what is it?"

Ashley taps Beca's nose and says, "You."

Beca looks at Ashley with her eyebrows furrowed as she asks, "And you're okay with that?"

"With what?"

"With the fact that she loves me too?"

Smiling softly toward Beca, Ashley patiently explains, "Babe, I can't stop anybody from loving you. Anyone can love you in any way they want. What matters is how you feel. And now, I'm more than sure and glad that it's me is you choose to love; to be with."

A familiar warm feeling begin to fill into Beca's chest, forming a fond smile on her face as she says, "Have I told you that I'm the luckiest person alive because you love me?"

"Hmmm..." Ashley mocks a thinking face and replies playfully, "Several times. But I don't mind to hear it more often."

Beca laughs lightly and then says, "You are the best, Ashley Benson. I'm the luckiest person alive because you love me."

"Tell me more about it." Ashley replies with a smirk on her face.

"Huh." As the words Ashley just said sink into her mind, Beca teasingly says, "So you don't mind if other people flirt with me then."

"I said love, Babe." Ashley rolls her eyes in half-annoyance. "Not flirt. Don't push it."

Beca chuckles and says, "Okay. You're weird. But I love you."

When Beca said weird, the unsettled feeling comes back to Ashley. She purses her lips, thinking if she should tell Beca about her thought, and in the end, she decides to go with it. "Do you think Chloe took it well? Seeing us together again after uh... you know, the kiss and us getting back together?"

"Uhm... I don't know." Beca says casually. "You're the one who talked to her. She seemed... pretty fine. I think. Why?"

Sighing deeply, Ashley sucks her teeth and then says, "I don't know. But uh... there is this feeling I just can't shake off."

Knowing that Ashley has always had a great instinct, Beca couldn't help but a little bit worried as she asks, "What feeling?"

"I'm not sure, Babe. It's just..." Ashley says hesitantly. "Is it just me, or she seemed uh... too calm over this? I mean, I'm glad that she did, but still... mmm... maybe it's just me."

Although she could feel the same thing, Beca sighs and says reassuringly, "I'm sure she's just taking her time to deal with it in her own way, Hon. Chloe... she has always been selfless and kind. Besides, she's got Aubrey and Stacie. So, I won't be too worried about her."

"Hmmm." Ashley sighs. "Okay."

Then they lay on bed in silent. Beca is humming lightly, while Ashley is rubbing Beca's upper left chest absentmindedly. Suddenly, Ashley asks, "Oh, by the way Babe, when will you tell The Bellas about Jesse?"

"Hmmm..." Beca purses her lips. "Tomorrow I suppose. We're going to the beach, and the boys aren't coming with us."

"Okay then."

After a moment of silent, Beca gently pulls away and lays on her stomach half on top of Ashley. She doesn't do anything else but staring into Ashley's eyes so tenderly. Then she tucks a strain of hair to the back of the blonde's ear, and then caresses her cheek gently.

A rush of warmth fills Ashley's chest upon seeing the love in Beca's eye. There is nothing to say because their eyes show it all.

"How's your day Hon?" Beca asks softly.

"It was great." Ashley says contently. "Work was fine. Other than Shay's constant staring, it all went well. And the reunion... it was fun. You have the best friends Babe. They love you so much."

Beca chuckles and says, "Told you. I'm the luckiest person alive. How was the drilling session?"

"It was eye opening." Ashley says teasingly. "So... about the confidence from Fat Amy..."

With a loud bark of laughter, Beca exclaims, "She told you!"

Ashley laughs lightly and says, "I asked. And Lily is... interesting. Has someone ever heard of the word she said?"

"Nope."

"And Jessica and Ashley..." The blonde says with wide eyes. "They are... awesome. They finished each other's sentence, they said the same thing, the just... synced?"

"Yep." Beca pops the P. "Have always been. Back in college, I wasn't even know which one is who."

"I don't blame you." Ashley giggles lightly. "And CR? She's cool."

"She is." Beca says smugly. "Every each of them is cool."

"But Aubrey is a little..." Ashley cringes her face.

"She could be intense." Beca smiles softly. "But she is a good person."

Ashley nods absentmindedly, and then, with a fond smile, she says, "And their kids... They have great children."

Upon seeing the fond eyes, Beca clears her throat and says, "We can have some. You know, if you uh... want to."

Ashley eyes widen in surprise as she exclaims, "Really?"

"Really." Beca smiles fondly.

Then Ashley kisses Beca passionately and says, "You are the very best. I love you so much."

"I love you too, Hon." Beca replies as soft, her heart blown up upon seeing the beam of happiness pouring out from Ashley.

"And how was your day?"

"Hmmm..." Beca purses her lips. "It was a great day. Awesome even."

Sensing that there's more to that, Ashley says, "But...?"

Beca sighs deeply and says, "It's Kristen."

"What about her?" Ashley asks cautiously.

Then Beca tells the blonde about her short encounter with Chloe's fiancé; about her confusion of their status; about her thought after Kristen left her at the front porch.

Ashley listens to her closely, and after Beca finished, she says, "Well, I think it's normal for you to be protective over Chloe. I mean, you've always been more protective to Junk. And judging by how close you two were back in college... you did the thing as her best friend."

"But what she said about me hurting Chloe..." Beca sighs. "I hurt her over and over again, Hon. And I don't know how to make it right to her."

With a sympathetic smile, Ashley says, "You'll find the way Babe."

"I hope so." Beca replies sadly. Then she kisses Ashley gently on her forehead, her eyelids, the tip of her nose, her cheeks, her chin, and then the last one, her lips, before she pulls back and softly says, "Goodnight Hon. I love you. Always."

"Goodnight Babe. I love you too. Always." Ashley replies before snuggling up onto Beca's chest. Not long after, they fall asleep around 3 AM.


Ashley and Beca's Mansion: Sunday Morning, November 2 nd 2025.

The ringing from Beca's phone pulls Ashley out from her slumber. At first, she chose to ignore it, but when it keep on ringing, she groans and whines, "Babe, your phone."

The steady breaths from the brunette chest is prove enough that they could be having an apocalypse, yet Beca would stay in her slumber. So Ashley takes Beca's phone and sees Stacie's face on the screen.

Not the type of person who pick up her fiancé's phone without permission, Ashley tries to wake the brunette up. She sleepily shakes Beca's shoulder, pinches her nose, bites her cheek, and tickles her ear, but she fail miserably. Finally admitting defeat, she knew that there is only one way to wake Beca up, and that is by kissing her lips.

It doesn't take long until Beca kisses her back and the kiss becomes more heated. But then Beca's phone rings again for the umpteenth times.

"Babe... Your phone." Ashley breathes out while Beca is exploring her breast with her lips.

"Let it be." Beca mumbles without stopping.

"But-" Ashley starts, but when Beca pulls her nipple with her lips, Ashley moans and complies. However, Beca's phone rings again in a matter of seconds.

While Ashley is chuckling upon seeing the annoyance in Beca's face, Beca groans loudly, pulls herself up from Ashley, grabs her phone, and answers, "This better be... wait. Stace, slow down!... ... ... She what?!... ... I'm on my way."

Upon seeing the mixture of panic, shock, and fear in Beca's face, Ashley immediately put her own hand on Beca's left chest and says, "Babe, breathe. Your heart is pounding heavily. I need you to breathe."

Beca takes long deep breath several times to calm her heartbeat before she says, "Chloe..."

 

Chapter Text

 

"What happened to Chloe?" Ashley asks worriedly.

"Chloe..." Beca swallows hard. "She's in the hospital."

Ashley feels cold all of the sudden, but she hurriedly says, "Let's go."

They change quickly and rush out of the house in flash with Pascal and Rico driving them to Cedars-Sinai. They run into the hospital with Pascal and Rico following them close behind.

Beca is running toward Stacie when a furious Kristen swings her fist onto Beca's jaw, yelling, "You son of a bitch!"

Although she almost fell down, with anger flaring up in her in an instant, Beca steadies herself and swings her left hand to punch Kristen back as hard as she could, knocking the short-haired brunette down to the floor.

"Babe!" Ashley shouts, trying to pull Beca back, and Rico is quick to pull Kristen away.

Suddenly, Beca groans in pain and grabs her left chest, bending forward when she feels her heart burns in pain.

"No, no, no, no!" Ashley cries in panic, quickly holding Beca in her arms to keep the tiny brunette from falling down. "Pascal! Help me!"

"Pop!" Emily immediately rushes toward her former captain, while Stacie and Aubrey are still stunned by the incident.

Ashley, Emily, and Pascal drag the tiny brunette to the closest chair. After kneeling in front of Beca, Ashley hurriedly puts a hand on Beca's left chest to feel her heavy heartbeat, and another hand on Beca's cold sweating side of the neck.

"Pascal, call Liv! Now!" Ashley commands without moving her eyes from Beca, and then she says to her fiancé, pleading, "Baby, breathe... please..."

Cringing in pain, Beca couldn't even open her eyes. Therefore, Ashley takes a deep breath, trying to calm herself before softly saying, "Babe, open your eyes and look at me."

Beca nods weakly and opens her eyes slightly, still with her face scrunching up in pain.

"Babe, I got you. Follow my lead." Ashley says with reassuring tone. "In two three... out two three four five... in two three... out two three four five... again."

"Shouldn't we put her in the ER?" Stacie asks in panic from behind.

"No!" Emily impatiently snaps, "She'll become more panic. Just let Ashley handle this, okay?"

After minutes of helping Beca catching her breaths, Ashley could feel that Beca's heart is slowly becoming steadier and pounding lighter under her hand.

Then Pascal comes back after asking a nurse for Doctor Wilde, and then he hands Ashley a bottle of water and an ice pack.

"Babe, drink this." Ashley puts the nitroglycerin that she always keeps in all of her purse and pocket into Beca's mouth, and then helps Beca take the water slowly.

"Ashley!" Doctor Wilde shouts from behind, rushing toward them.

Ashley immediately sits next to Beca and wipes the sweat on Beca's forehead, explaining the situation while Doctor Wilde is checking Beca's state.

After counting and listening to Beca's heartbeat, Doctor Wilde says, "Her heartbeat is steadier. But I suggest you to admit her and get a full checkup."

"No." Beca mutters weakly with her eyes still closed and her face sweating cold.

Knowing how stubborn Beca could be but doesn't want to upset the brunette, Ashley tries to pursue her calmly. "Babe, please..."

Beca weakly grabs Ashley's hand and puts it on her own left chest before she breathes out, "Feel it? It's okay now."

"Babe... Honey..." Ashley pleads. "We'll just do some cardio work-up, and if you're okay, then you don't have to be admitted."

With a long defeated sigh, Beca says, "But I will walk on my own to the ER. No need to give me a wheelchair, or worse, a stretcher."

After getting an approval from the doctor, Ashley and Emily help Beca walk to the ER to be checked.

Under the panic situation of the fight and Beca's condition, nobody notice that the rest of the Bellas, Bumper, Donald, Jesse, and Benji have arrived at the hospital, watching the whole scene from aside.

Unknowingly, Jesse has taken the advantage and recorded the whole incident with his phone. He finally got his leverage to blackmail the tiny brunette.

Meanwhile, Beca, Ashley, and Emily are in the ER. After having the ECG and blood work, Doctor Wilde says, "She's fine for now. But if the symptoms appear again, bring her in stat, okay?"

"Definitely." Ashley nods.

Noticing the bruise on Beca's jaw, Doctor Wilde shakes her head, sighing in half-annoyance and says, "Seems like every time you have your tiny shock, there's always a bruise on your face that I don't think I want to find out anymore."

Beca scoffs weakly, thinking back to the first attack where Harvey punched her, then Ashley slapped her hard on the second attack, and now Kristen wanted to break her jaw.

Then Doctor Wilde got a page and she says, "I've got to go now. Page me if you need anything."

"Thanks, Liv." Ashley replies, smiling toward the doctor.

"Just doing my job. Take care, you grumpy." Doctor Wilde says with half-playful smile toward the closed eyes Beca before she turns and walks away.

Then Ashley takes her time to look at her fiancé closely, and the blonde couldn't help herself but crying. The tiny brunette seems more relax, but she's still lying on the bed with closed eyes, sweating cold all over her body, panting softly through her slightly parted lips with her face so pale.

In years after Beca's second heart attack, she'd never had another one until now. The news about Chloe and the punch must have taken a toll on the tiny brunette. Although it was a minor attack, it still managed to skip Ashley's heart a beat.

Ashley steps closer next to Beca's bed, rests her forehead on Beca's temple, and hugs the tiny brunette tightly from aside before saying with restraint voice, "Don't ever do that to me again."

Still with her eyes closed, Beca smiles weakly, squeezing Ashley's arm on her chest and whispers, "I'm okay, Hon. Honest."

"You have to." Ashley cracks out.

Beca kisses Ashley's hand and says, "Let's go back to the waiting room."

Then Ashley kisses her cheek and nods lightly. When Beca is standing up, Emily worriedly asks, "You okay Pop?"

"I'm fine, Em." Beca replies weakly. Then with Ashley and Emily wrapping her on each side, Beca walks back into the waiting room.

Upon seeing Kristen who is still being held by Rico, Emily paces fast to her and angrily snaps, "What is fucking wrong with you?!"

Andre immediately pulls Emily away and says, "Babe, calm down. We don't need another incident."

Then Emily takes a few deep breaths, still glaring at Kristen angrily before walking to sit next to Beca.

Upon seeing that the tiny brunette is back, the Bellas approach her, and CR cautiously asks, "You okay Capt?"

Beca just smiles weakly, and then Fat Amy asks toward the youngest Bella, "What happened with captain, Em?"

Knowing that Beca hasn't told the rest of The Bellas about her heart condition, not to mention that there are some trebles there, Emily lies, "She just had a panic attack because of the fight with Kristen. But she's okay now."

"And she needed a doctor to admit her into the hospital for that?" Jesse asks curiously.

"We're in a hospital." Emily replies carefully. "The doctor would always want us to be admitted."

Everybody seem to buy what Emily told them, and they nod without asking more questions.

Meanwhile, Ashley is still in her half-relieved yet half-terrified phase, and she simply hugs Beca from aside, resting her forehead on Beca's temple while sniffling softly.

Then Beca opens her eyes, tilts her head slightly to kiss Ashley gently on the lips, and softly says, "It's okay Hon. I'm okay, thanks to you."

Still with tears running down her face, Ashley nods lightly but hugs Beca even tighter.

Despite of the fact that it's still early and the waiting room is almost empty, Beca couldn't take the chance that somebody had noticed the incident. Therefore, she turns to Pascal and says, "Please call Donna and tell her everything. She'll know what to do."

Not even a second after Pascal ended the call with Donna, Ashley's phone rings. She picks it up immediately and answers, "Donna ... ... She's fine now ... ... Yeah, Liv had already checked her vitals ... ... No, she didn't want to ... ... You know her ... ... I will. Thank you Donna."

After Ashley puts her phone down on her laps, Beca smirks weakly and teases, "Is mom worried?"

"Babe, everyone is. Just wait until Harvey finds out." Ashley points her chin toward Kristen. "She'd be lucky if Harvey only sends her a restraining order."

Beca straightens up, looks at Kristen, and says toward her bodyguard, "It's okay Rico. You can let her go."

Hesitantly, Rico let Kristen go, and then Kristen brushes her clothes harshly and angrily before walking toward the tiny brunette.

"Tell me what happened." Beca says calmly.

"What happened?" Kristen retorts angrily. "You dare to ask what happened?!"

Pascal steps forward in between Beca and Kristen, and then he firmly says, "If you can't act civil, I'm afraid I have to call the police. And I will make sure they put you in jail for what you did."

"Do you think I'm scared of you?!" Kristen snaps toward the tall man.

"Kristen." Stacie calls firmly, pulling the short-haired brunette back. "Take a breath and tell us what happened to Chloe."

With anger sigh, Kristen stares sternly at the tiny DJ for a couple of seconds before taking a seat in front of her.

Then all of the other Bellas start to sit around Beca and Kristen, wanting to find out about what happened to the redhead.

Meanwhile, Ashley takes the ice pack from the seat next to her and says to her fiancé, "Babe, it's gonna be hurt and cold."

After getting a light nod from Beca, the blonde puts the ice pack gently on Beca's bruised jaw. Even though Beca is flinching in pain, she keeps her attention on Kristen.

Kristen clears her throat and talks with shaky voice, "She's... alive. They're doing some gastric lavage and giving her activated charcoal. It also seems like she's going to need a surgery for her kidney."

"Gastric lavage?" Flo asks in confusion. "She got food poisoning or what? What happened?"

"Why don't you ask your former captain?" Kristen retorts angrily. "The almighty Beca Mitchell. I believe she could te-"

"How and when did you find Chloe?" Stacie cuts her off.

Kristen sighs deeply and explains, "I was... out for a jog this morning. And when I came back, Chloe's car was in the driveway of my house. I was confused, and I..." She swallows hard, trying to keep her voice intact. "I went in and... and... I found her in the bathroom; almost unconscious with half-empty bottle of whiskey, and several empty bottles of anti-depressant, and... other drugs that I didn't know of. I called 911 immediately, but when she got here, she was already passed out."

Chloe tried to kill herself.

That is the first conclusion that comes into Beca's mind. And it seems like, she's not the only one who think that way. Ashley has tighten her grip on the tiny brunette's arm, Emily is tearing, Stacie seems so distressed on her seat, and Aubrey seems regretful. No need to tell that the rest of the Bellas are indeed shocked.

Ashley could see that Beca has become more anxious. Therefore, she squeezes Beca's hand gently, hinting the tiny brunette to take a deep breath, to which Beca complies. After taking a deep breath, Beca croaks out, "She... Did she..."

"Hah!" Kristen stands up angrily, pointing her index finger at Beca furiously. "Now you know why I wanted to hurt you so badly! You did this to her!"

It feels like the wind in being knocked out of her lungs, and suddenly, Beca finds it hard to breathe. She knew what this is about, but she couldn't say a thing. She's frozen up and stunned.

"This is your fucking fault!" Kristen keep yelling. "You made her do-"

"Stop right there!" Emily shoves Kristen harshly. "You will stop accusing her for something she has no idea about!"

"It's the fucking truth!" Kristen yells, and then she pulls out a phone. "This is Chloe's. I found her with this song played in repeat this morning. You," She shoves the phone in front of the tiny brunette. "You better listen to it!"

When Beca doesn't take the said phone but staring blankly forward, Flo takes it and hits play. Then every Bella and Ashley are listening closely to the song.

I never needed you like I do right now
I never needed you like I do right now
I never hated you like I do right now
Cause all you ever do is make me...

The first verse hits Beca hard. As everything she's done to Chloe come back into her mind, slowly, her frozen up body begins to ache, starting from her pounding heart, throbbing head, shaking hands, and everything could only be registered as pain. Even breathing hurts.

Gave you up 'bout 21 times
Felt those lips, tell me 21 lies, yeah
You'll be the death of me
Sage advice
Loving you could make Jesus cry

You left her.

You kissed her but didn't choose her.

You ignored her.

You talked about your wedding, showing your happy life in front of broken her.

You knew something was completely not fine with her yet you brushed it off.

How could you do this to her? She is your best friend...

"She..." Beca cries out with cringed face. "I... I did this to her..."

When I hear you're sayin' "Darling,
Your kiss is like an antidote."
I'm fightin' like I'm Ali,
But you got me on the ropes

"No... No... No... No..." Beca chokes out, and her body starts to shake from the emotion, the heaviness of guilt. She has to bend forward on her seat with her arms wrapping her body tightly to hold the pain under her diaphragm. It hurts so bad. It's suffocating, and all she could do is rocking her body back and forth while tears dropping down onto the floor from the tip of her nose.

I never needed you like I do right now
I never needed you like I do right now
I never hated you like I do right now
'Cause all you ever do is make me...

Upon seeing that Beca is breaking down, Ashley hurriedly hugs the tiny brunette tightly while whispering, "This isn't your fault Babe... This isn't your fault..."

Couldn't hear the thunder
But I heard your heart race
Couldn't see the rain
We're too busy makin' hurricanes, yeah
Love ain't easy when it ain't my way
But it gets hard, when you ain't here makin' me crazy

However, Beca doesn't seem to hear everything Ashley said. In fact, she's not aware of her surrounding anymore. Her senses are overwhelmed by pain. She doesn't notice how her friends seems so confused while Aubrey's face turns pale as the realization hit her that this is the song Chloe's been listening and humming to in the last week.

Baby, say the word, darlin'
You know just how to hold the sucker down
So I see you in the morning
I can't watch you walk out

For someone who has always claimed herself to be my best friend, you sure have set a golden standard for the crappiest best friend ever, Becs!

Chloe's voice comes as an echo in Beca's head, playing over and over again like an old record. It's churning, twisting, shattering everything in her chest. The pain of guilt is eating her up inside out.

I never needed you like I do right now
I never needed you like I do right now
I never hated you like I do right now
'Cause all you ever do is make me...
Cry
Cry
Cry

Upon seeing how hysterical Beca has become, Emily snatches the phone from Flo's hand and turns it off. On the other hand, Ashley hugs Beca tightly to calm her nervous system while whispering as calm as she could, "Babe, take a breath... please..."

Beca hold on to Ashley tightly, sobbing onto Ashley's chest, the only person that keep her sanity intact right now, the only one that could keep her world from crumbling down when she's hanging by a thin thread.

Gently, Ashley grabs Beca's hand and puts it on Beca's left chest, and just like that, Beca automatically puts her attention on her heartbeat, her heavily pounding heartbeat.

Still sobbing hard, the tiny brunette blows out a ragged damp breath before taking in a short one. As hard as it is, she keep on doing the same thing, and gradually, her breaths become steadier and the waterworks become lessen.

Meanwhile, the other Bellas are panicking and asking questions to Kristen, but the short-haired brunette doesn't seem to know how to explain everything without choking Beca to death to show her point.

"Can someone tell us what is actually happening here?" Flo asks in upset.

"Yesterday, everything was fine. Today Chloe... took too many anti-depressant with alcohol," Jessica says as upset, then Bella's Ashley continues, "And I think we know what it means. Now Beca is crying, saying that this is all her fault."

Lily says something that actually could be heard this time, "This must has something to do with Beca walked out on us 10 years ago."

CR and Fat Amy turn toward the shaken up tiny brunette, standing tall before her and then CR firmly says, "I think it's time for the explanation you owe us, Captain."

Then Fat Amy adds, "No more hiding, Shawshank."

"Guys!" Emily exclaims in upset. "Didn't you see Pop's condition?!"

"It's okay Em." Beca shakes her head weakly. "It's my fault. I- I should've known better. I should've-" She chokes in tears again, but she hold it back by taking a short damp breath through her mouth before blurting out, "I should've become a better friend for Chloe."

"We all should have." Aubrey, who has been so quiet, finally spoken up with unreadable expression, gaining everyone's attentions toward her all at once.

Then Stacie takes a deep breath and tries to be calm when she says, "We will explain everything to all of you. But this is not the time."

"Not the time?!" Flo retorts angrily. "This is Chloe we're talking about! Only a pain so bad could break her this way! And we all know who has the power to destroy Chloe this way! Ag-"

"Stop!" Emily snaps at the Guatemalan. "You will stop blaming anybody over this! I warn you, Flo! Don't you dare!"

"Or what?!" Flo steps closer to the youngest Bella.

"Enough the two of you!" Stacie steps between the two of them. Then, with a long tired sigh, Stacie firmly says, "We will wait until we know something about Chloe's condition. Chloe wouldn't want us to fight because of her. And Beca is not in a condition to talk."

Although they are obviously upset, everybody relent reluctantly and start to spread around the waiting room with no mood of talking, just sitting and waiting for a new information from the doctor as the time tick by.

Ashley uses that chance to kneel before her fiancé, taking Beca's face gently in her hands and softly says, "Babe..."

However, Beca just keep staring forward blankly, unfocused, and then Ashley softly says, "Babe, look at me please..."

Beca blinks her eyes slowly, trying to gather her attention to the blonde in front of her before choking out, "Hon..."

"This isn't your fault." Ashley sadly says. "This, isn't your fault. Okay?"

Beca takes a ragged damp breath through her mouth to hold the sobs in, glancing her teary eyes away from the blonde as she croaks out, "It is, Hon... It is my fault."

"No." Ashley says more firmly. "This is not your fault, okay? Please don't let this pull you into that dark place. Don't let your demon take over your mind."

Tears start running down Beca's face again, and Ashley softly says, "Babe, right now, this isn't about you. This is about Chloe. This is her pain, Babe. You need to focus on her. Not you."

Beca nods weakly, letting Ashley wiping away the tears on her face before leaning forward to rest her forehead on Ashley's.

"You're okay." Ashley mutters softly, slightly in relief. "I got you Babe... I got you. I won't ever let you go back to that dark place."

After she deems that Beca is quite stable, Ashley takes a seat next to Beca, wrapping the tiny brunette tightly, protecting the tiny brunette on her chest with their hands joined on Beca's stomach.


 

By eleven in the morning, Donna walks into the waiting room toward Beca and snaps, "Where is she?!"

"Donna?" Beca seems so confused. "What are you doing here?"

Donna rolls her eyes and scolds, "Do you think that after what had happened to you I would've stayed at home, playing monopoly with my son? Where, is, she?!"

Weakly, Beca says, "I'm fine now. No need to release the kraken, Donna. She's not gonna harm me again."

Then Donna turns to Ashley and demands, "Ash?"

"She's fine now, Donna." Ashley replies with a weak smile. "It was just a spur of the moment."

After getting the confirmation from the blonde, Donna sighs in relief, kisses Beca's forehead, and says, "Thank God, Monkey. You almost gave me and Harvey a heart attack."

Beca chuckles weakly and says, "I'm surprised he's not here to flaunt restraining orders to everybody."

"Oh, he would have if I didn't stop him." Donna says with warning look. "Especially when someone has threatened to out you."

Confused of Donna's statement, with furrowed eyebrows, Beca asks, "Threaten to out me? Kristen's not a threat. She was just angry. And hate me."

"Who said I was talking about Kristen?" Donna says in annoyance. "Jesse Swanson called me earlier, ruining my weekend, saying that he has your incident all recorded, and that he would leak it to the media along with your engagement news. He demanded some things in return to keep his mouth shut."

Knowing that Harvey and Donna couldn't be threatened, Beca scoffs and says, "I believe he has no idea of what's coming to him."

"You bet. Harvey and I have prepared a huge surprise. Now, let me have my fun." Donna smirks devilishly before walking toward Jesse who's sitting alone in the corner of the room, much further than the area where The Bellas are waiting.

 

When Jesse sees Donna is coming to him, he stands up, smiling smugly as he says, "Well, well, well. I thought I'd meet the one and only Harvey Specter. Not one of his minions."

"Lucky for you." Donna shrugs arrogantly. "My husband only dealt with the big fish. He let me handle the clown fish."

Although he is upset for being underestimated, Jesse keeps his lopsided smile on and asks, "So, do we have an agreement?"

"Hmph." Donna pulls out a brown envelope from her purse, smiling calmly as she says, "Just a slight revision. But I believe we can see eye to eye. Here. Take a look."

Thinking that he's got his victory already, Jesse grasps the envelope, pulls out the papers in it, and starts to read. The more he reads, the more falter his smugly smile.

Written on those papers are all of the felonies, frauds, and violations he's done in the past ten years, completed with the list of evidences. It also has restraining orders for him to stay away, not only from Beca and Ashley, but also from all of The Bellas, the rest of The Trebles, and their friends and family.

Upon seeing Jesse's upset look, Donna smiles in satisfaction and says, "I suppose you understood now why we needed a slight revision on the agreement."

Clenching his jaw, Jesse glares at the redhead and asks, "How did you know about all of this?"

Rolling her eyes in the manner that say obviously, Donna smugly replies, "I'm Donna. I know everything."

"You don't know who you're dealing with." Jesse says with gritted teeth.

With bored-look, Donna sighs overdramatically and says, "You mean Sergei? My husband already took care of him."

Shocked by the revelation that Donna knew about the person he's in debt with, Jesse blurts out, "Harvey and Sergei are friends?"

"Not really." Donna says nonchalantly, putting her attention to her manicured hands instead. "But it could be easily fixed you know."

"What do you mean?" Jesse asks in upset.

"See?" Donna rolls her eyes. "For you, this is all about money, small amount of money unfortunately. Yet for them, this is about making deals and paying personal favors."

Upon seeing Jesse's dumbfounded face, Donna chuckles smugly and says, "Told you. Harvey let me deal with the clown fish."

Jesse is beyond stunned from the information Donna just said. He just keep standing silently, dumbfounded with his jaw slacked open.

When the trebles sense that Jesse is in trouble, they come closer, thinking that their friend might need their help.

"Everything alright, Jesse?" Donald asks toward the brunette man from behind.

Startled upon hearing his friends, Jesse turns around, tries failingly to hide the papers, and stutters, "Yeah... It's uh... it's fine... not- nothing's wrong."

"Why don't you let them be the judge?" Donna retorts cheerfully, pointing her chin toward the papers.

"What's this?" Naturally, Bumper grasps the papers from Jesse's hand, and starts reading it. His face changes from disbelief into anger as he snaps, "You sabotaged my show?!"

"I uh... Bumper, I didn't..." Jesse stutters.

Donald, who took the paper from Bumper and already halfway reading it suddenly exclaims, "And you stole from my car rental company?!"

"Guys, I uh... please, I can explain everything. I was in trouble." Jesse pleads.

When Bumper almost landed a punch on Jesse's face, Benji quickly pulls him away and says, "Everybody calm down. This is just another day. Let Jesse talk. I believe there's an explanation for this misunderstanding."

As he pushes the papers toward Benji harshly, Donald says angrily, "I'm not so sure you'd feel the same after you see this!"

"What?" Benji asks in confusion, taking the papers and starts reading it. His jaw drops in disbelief. He looks at Jesse hurtfully as he says, "You paid people to fire me and not giving me job. And the worst part is that, you made me believe that it was all Emily's fault."

Jessy looks at his friends frantically and tries to explain, "I didn't mean it that way, okay? Benji, dude, you've got to believe me. I- argh!"

Apparently, Benji has cut Jesse off by punching his nose.

Upon seeing the feud, The Bellas stands up; wanting to check on The Trebles, but Beca stops them.

"Don't." Beca says, and her friends look at her in confusion.

Then Beca looks at her bodyguards and says, "You two, please go check on Donna. I'll be fine." After that, she turns to The Bellas. "Just let Donna handle it. They'll explain it to you later. If you go now, you'dl only cause more trouble, and the hospital might call the police."

The Bellas are certainly hesitant to comply, but being arrested is the last thing they need to worry about when Chloe is still in critical condition. Therefore, they sit back down and wait anxiously.

On the other side of the room, Pascal and Rico hurriedly pull Bumper, Benji, and Donald to the side.

Meanwhile, Jesse holds his bleeding nose and looks at Donna angrily as he muffles, "This is not over. I'm not backing down. You'll see what would happen to your precious boss when I send this video to the media."

With a long overdramatic sigh, Donna looks at him, mocking a sad face as she says, "I was hoping you would just take the restraining orders so it wouldn't have to come down to this." Then she pulls out her phone, dials a number, and says, "I need assistance."

Jesse looks at her in confusion but he doesn't need to wait for a long time to find the answer when two large men with black leather jacket walk toward them.

"Ivan? Damian?" Jesse seems to be half-terrified yet half-relieved, pointing his finger toward Donna. "I don't know what are you doing here, but this is the perfect time. She is trying to threaten us."

The two man grab his arms, and one of them coldly says, "Shut up, Swanson. It's time for you to pay boss a visit."

Before they pull him away, Donna takes Jesse's phone from his pocket and says with a victory smile, "I'm gonna take this since you won't need it in the place they're taking you."

When Jesse is being dragged out and passing Beca, she stops them and looks at Jesse sternly as she says, "Told you Swanson. One phone call. Ironically, I didn't even make that phone call. You did."

The only thing Jesse could do is glaring at the tiny brunette. When Jesse is already out of the hospital, the rest of The Trebles approach The Bellas and tell them about the clash. Everybody are beyond shocked to learn what Jesse had done. The one thing they wanted to know is why Jesse did it to them, his best friends.

Donna walks to them and says, "I'm Donna. Beca's personal assistant. Don't bother to ask him the reasons."

When all of them are staring at her in confusion, Donna points her chin at Bumper and says, "You. He hated you because you were a jerk in college, yet you are successful now."

Then the redhead points at Donald as she says, "He stole your expensive cars and sold them to pay his debt. You had never suspected him because he was a friend."

After that, Donna turns to Benji and says, "You are a collateral damage. He needed a friend to suffer with him, so he made your life miserable." She hands Benji her card. "Here. I've heard that you're a good technician. We can use you around the studio. Just give me a call."

Without nothing else to say, Donna leaves them and walks toward Beca and Ashley, who remain sitting on the chairs.

"Quite a show, Donna." Ashley smirks.

"Thank you, Ash." Donna smiles smugly. "Although, it was just my usual appearance."

Beca looks at the redhead and says, "I believe you've covered the engagement ring pictures too."

Narrowing her eyes in mock upset, Donna asks, "Did you ever doubt that I would?"

"Nope." Beca says with a light smile. "Never."

"Thought so." Donna says with a smirk, and then her smirk turns soft as she says, "Monkey, I've got to go and deal with that asshole. If you need anything, just give me a call, okay?"

Ashley stands up and hugs the redhead as she says, "Thank you, Donna."

"No problem." Donna hugs the blonde back, and then she turns to the tiny brunette and scolds half-heartily, "And you need to stay out of troubles, Monkey.

"Will do, Mom." Beca rolls her eyes in mock annoyance, and then Donna kisses Beca's forehead before walking out of the hospital.


 

Once Donna is gone, all of The Bellas and Trebles approach Beca, demanding explanations of why her PA was involved in taking Jesse out.

"What the fuck just happened, Mitchell?" Bumper asks with puzzled look.

"Why your PA outed Jesse?" Donald demands.

Beca sighs deeply and says, "Jesses knew something about my past, and he tried to blackmail me. So my PA took the matter in her hands."

"What thing in your past?" Flo asks in upset.

"Oh what else, Flo?" Jessica chips in sarcastically, and Bella's Ashley adds, "This is about why she left ten years ago indeed."

"Back off." Emily firmly says, taking a space, standing in between Beca and the other Bellas.

"You back off." Flo shoves the youngest Bella.

"Hey!" CR protects Emily from the tiny Guatemalan.

Sensing the tension from the group while her fiancé is still in no shape of being pushed, Ashley calmly asks, "Why don't we all take a moment to calm down? In the meanwhile, Pascal and Rico will go and get us some food. I believe none of us have had any breakfast this morning. After that, we can talk."

When Jessica steps forward toward Beca's fiancé with angry look, this time, Stacie stands up between her best friends and firmly says, "Do what she said. Calm your pits. All of you."

Although everybody seem to be upset and annoyed by the fact that there's another secret being kept from them, they also seem to be too tired to argue. Therefore, everybody go back to their seat while Ashley asks the bodyguard to get them all something to eat.

Then Ashley turns to a very tired and pale Beca to ask, "You okay, Babe?"

"Hm." Beca responds weakly. "Just tired."

After pressing a kiss on Beca's upper arm, Ashley says, "Just close your eyes. I'll wake you up when the food arrive."

"Thanks Hon." Beca nods lightly, and then she closes her eyes, not quite sleeping, but it sure help to rest her eyes even though her mind is worrying about Chloe.

Pascal and Rico come back with food a little after 12 PM, and immediately distribute the sandwiches and breads around.

"Babe, wake up." Ashley nudges Beca's shoulder gently, and since the tiny brunette is barely sleeping, she wakes up immediately. Then Ashley hands her a bottle of water and a piece of sandwich.

"Thanks Hon." Beca says with a weak smile, and then she starts to eat slowly.

They are all half way through eating when a doctor calls, "Family of Chloe Beale."

Everybody hurriedly pace their way to the doctor, and then Aubrey worriedly asks, "How is she, doc?"

"She is stable now." The doctor says calmly. "We were able to pump out all of the substance from her body. There was a complication that caused a slight liquid in her lungs, but we were able to fix it. One of her kidney was destroyed, but we already took it out laparoscopically. She's not out of the wood yet. But we will keep her under observation to prevent post-op infection."

"Can we see her?" Kristen asks.

"Sure." The doctor replies. "She's still under anesthesia and being prepped to the ICU. After that, you can see her. But please take turns. Just two or three at a time."

"Thank you doc." Aubrey says in relief.

"You're welcome." Then the doctor walks away.

It certainly isn't a great news, but all of them seem to be slightly relieved. Then they hurriedly finish their meal so they could go and see Chloe.

Kristen, Aubrey, and Stacie are the first to get in and see Chloe. After, they got out, Beca, Ashley, and Emily take their place.

When Beca has finally seen Chloe from up close, she notices that Chloe is lying on the hospital bed, connected to several tubes and stuff on her body with her face pale, her lips a little bit blue, and her red hair lack of its usual shine.

She looks so broken.

Beca couldn't shake off the pain in her chest upon seeing Chloe's condition, and she cries. She takes Chloe's hand in her shaky hand, squeezing it tightly as she sobs, "I'm so sorry, Chlo."

On the other side of the bed, Emily is crying too, holding Chloe's other hand, and kissing it dearly before saying, "Chloe... please be okay..."

After a while, knowing that the other Bellas are waiting for their turns, Beca kisses Chloe's forehead and whispers near her ear, "I will come again, Chlo. You stay strong, okay? I promise I will be a better friend for you. Just wake up, and I will make it up to you. I promise I'll be the best friend that you deserve, that I'm supposed to be."

Then the three of them walk out of the room while Fat Amy, CR, Denise, and Bumper go in. After everybody have already taken their turn to see Chloe, they go back to the waiting room.

However, they are ushered into a conference room since Pascal and Rico have put security measure to keep Beca, Ashley, and Emily from the media, and from another Swanson incident.

Other than Ashley, all of the people in that room are The Bellas. Bumper, Donald, Benji, and Denise were wise enough not to get involved, so they decided to go back to the hotel. On the other hand, Andre decided to wait for Emily in the waiting room, and Kristen insisted to stay with Chloe.

After they're all able to compose themselves from seeing Chloe's condition, Stacie calmly says, "I think it's time for you to explain everything to us, shorty."

Beca takes a deep breath and says, "I uh... owe you all an explanation. But Emily can tell you about Jesse's problem first, and then I'll explain everything."

Emily nods and starts telling Jesse's financial problem in the last ten years. When she's already done, everyone turn to look at the tiny brunette and wait silently for her to talk.

After taking a deep breath to calm her nerves, Beca slowly starts, "The reason I left ten years ago was because my father disowned me. I came out to him as a gay just before graduation, and he was... furious. So, I hid away from all of you because I was hurt and scared. It turns out, I wasn't the only one who hid something. Warren, my ex-dad, also hid the truth that his daughter is a gay and the fact that he had disowned me because he was embarrassed."

When Flo seems to want to interrupt, Stacie holds her hand up to stop her, and with an annoyed huff, the tiny Guatemalan complies.

Beca clears her throat and continues, "I didn't see Warren again after graduated. But a month ago, Legacy told me that Jesse had been looking for me in every reunions. So, I asked my lawyer to do some background check on him. I found out all the things on those papers, including the fact that Jesse has been blackmailing Warren in the past six years to get some money, causing Warren to lose his job five years ago. Jesse did those things because he was forced by the person he was in debt with, and also to pay the interest of his debt."

Her friends seems to be getting impatient, and it makes Beca more anxious. Therefore, Beca takes another deep breath before she continues her explanation. "Last night, Jesse asked for my help by threatening me to tell the media about the truth behind my leaving and about Warren. I didn't comply, and he was angry. So, when he saw the incident this morning, he took advantage of it, and he recorded all of the shenanigans, and then called Donna to meet his demands. Money. He also threatened to tell the media about my engagement. But as you had seen, it didn't work out the way he wanted. That is the reason Jesse was being taken out from blackmailing me with my past."

After Beca's revelation, CR sympathetically says, "You didn't need to hide from us, Capt. I'm gay, and I've always been. You all knew about Denise and me. I would have had your back, Beca."

"Yeah, shorty." Fat Amy adds. "I have never judged you all skinny aca-bitches even though I'm the sexiest one."

Feeling so tired, Beca rubs her forehead, flexes her neck, and sighs deeply before she tiredly says, "I didn't know better. I was young, and reckless, and stupid, and scared. Mostly, I was just stupid. I know it now that I shouldn't have ran away from all of you, and ended up giving you all a lot of troubles. And for that, I am so sorry."

With a long sigh, CR says, "It's okay Capt. We understood."

"Just don't be that stupid again." Fat Amy says sympathetically.

"Hold on." Flo says in upset. "And what Chloe has to do with all of this? Why would you say that what she did today was your fault?"

"And Kristen said the same thing." Jessica adds as upset, and then Bella's Ashley joins her, "What did you do?"

The tension is unbearably high, and Ashley squeezes Beca's hand in hers, showing her support. Then Beca swallows hard and says, "My reason for leaving... it wasn't only because of Warren. I uh..." She takes a deep breath before blurting out, "I was in love with Chloe."

"You what?!"

"What?!"

The reaction from the Bellas are torn between confused and upset, but more likely confused.

"You loved her but you left?" Flo retorts with high pitch.

"Why would you do that?" Jessica and Bella's Ashley ask in upset.

"Guys." Stacie meddles in calmly. "Please let her finish."

After glancing toward Ashley who gives her a light reassuring smile, Beca turns back to her friends, more determined when she says, "I was in love with her. I wanted to tell her at the lodge, but uh... things got in the way. After Warren disowned me, I chickened out and decided to hide. Then... we met again around a month ago, and I... I told her everything. And then she told me that she felt the same, and we uh... we kissed."

"What?!" Lily exclaims. It's surprising that Lily has become more vocal today.

"What the hell?!" Jessica and Ashley snap in anger.

"You kissed her?!" Flo snaps just as angry.

The anger comes in a high wave for Beca. Other than Stacie, Aubrey, and Emily who have already known the situation, the rest of the Bellas are outraged, especially Flo, Jessica, and Bella's Ashley who have a tight relationship with the redhead.

They keep on throwing not only questions, but also accusations loudly toward the tiny brunette. When it becomes so unbearable, Emily snaps, "Let, her, explain!"

And everybody shut their mouth, stunned by Emily's anger. But Beca weakly says, "It's okay, Em. I deserve it."

Emily takes a deep breath and says more calmly, "Just... let her explain everything, okay?"

Staring at her best friends who are huffing harshly and crossing their arms on their chest, Beca takes a deep breath again and says, "I... we met a month ago. She asked me about the reasons why I left, and I told her that other than the fact that Warren had disowned me, I..." She swallows hard. "I was scared of having her walking away from me because of the very same reason why Warren disowned me. But uh... she told me that she was in love with me too, then she kissed me, and I... I kissed her back."

"Wait." CR seems confused. "If you kissed her, why are you engaged to Ashley?"

"You shouldn't have kissed her back, Shawshank." Fat Amy says between being upset and sympathetic.

Beca looks at them in defeat and dejectedly says, "I was... caught in the moment. We... had a fight, and it was... awfully emotional. And I admitted, I led her on. I kissed her back, and I shouldn't have done that. But that kiss, it was... it showed me who I really wanted to be with. And I..." She swallows hard, squeezing Ashley's hand tightly as she says more boldly, "I love Ashley. I chose to be with Ashley."

"Did you know that she loved you back then?" Flo demands in upset. "Before that kiss, did you know that Chloe was in love with you for so long?"

"No." Beca shakes her head dejectedly. "I didn't know."

"Liar!" Flo snaps. "We knew! We all knew! How could you not?!"

"We thought you knew!" Jessica exclaims angrily. "But we thought you weren't gay, so we didn't push it!"

"And to think that we welcomed you nicely last night?" Bella's Ashley retorts angrily. Then she turns to Stacie and Aubrey. "You knew! You knew, and you didn't tell us! You let us welcomed her nicely! The person who broke Chloe this way!"

"Enough." Ashley firmly says upon seeing how defeated Beca is from the judgement and the accusations. The tiny brunette just sits silently, staring blankly at the table with teary eyes.

This time, Lily speaks up in upset toward Beca's fiancé, "You're not welcomed in this discussion. You're not a Bella."

"Cut it, Lily!" Emily snaps angrily. "All of you, stop putting blame!"

"Shut up Em!" Jessica snaps, and then Bella's Ashley adds, "Shut your stupid mouth!"

"Don't talk to legacy that way!" Fat Amy snaps out.

"And stop blaming Beca over this!" CR snaps as angry. "Until any of you have experienced how it feels like to be a gay who is being rejected by your own family, you have no right! Any, right! To judge and blame her!"

"She broke Chloe!" Flo slams the table hard. "If this is only about she left us back then, okay! I get it! Her father was wrong! And she didn't know that Chloe loved her! But to kiss Chloe and left her out cold?! Flaunting her wedding plan literally in front of Chloe?! That is... That's just..."

When Flo seems not be able to finish her sentence because she is panting hard, Jessica and Bella's Ashley snap, "Outrageous!"

"And mean!" Lily apparently could yell. "Inhuman!"

Then Flo turns to Aubrey and Stacie, yelling, "And you two let us did that! You knew what happened to Chloe back then! She-"

"Stop!" Emily stands up. "You stop whatever you're gonna say, Flo!"

"Why the fuck are you on her side?!" Flo snaps at the youngest Bella.

"After what happened to Chloe the last time she left?!" Jessica asks angrily, and Bella's Ashley adds as angry, "And now she kissed Chloe and didn't choose her?!"

"All of you, stop!" Stacie warns. "Remember what we talked about three years ago. We, are not taking side."

"I am!" Flo snaps out. "Now that I know the whole fucking truth, now that my best friend is lying on a hospital bed, trying to kill herself because of her again," She points at Beca. "I am taking side!"

Beca is stunned. It feels like the wind is knocked out of her lungs, and her body feels cold in an instant, and so is Ashley.

"Me too!" Jessica and Bella's Ashley exclaim.

"Count me in." Lily says