Actions

Work Header

The DJ and the Babysitter

Chapter Text

Sitting at the small café, sipping from her coffee, Beca realized with a start, that she was actually nervous.

 

That made absolutely zero sense. She’d performed in front of thousands of people. She got fan-mail from dozens of fans all across the continent on a daily basis. She gave birth to a tiny human.

 

Why the hell was she nervous?

 

She was just here to meet a potential babysitter.

 

Then again, Beca reflected, she wasn’t the best with personal social interactions…

 

Seeing a redhead enter the café, awkwardly idling by the entrance as she looked around, Beca gave a small wave to get her attention. Checking the time on her phone, Beca noted the other woman was ten minutes early. Always a good first sign.

 

The redhead stopped at the table, taking off her knitted had and scarf. “Hi,” she muttered breathlessly. “I’m guessing you’re Mrs. Mitchell?”

 

Beca raised her eyebrows, a small smile playing at her lips. “I’m definitely not Mrs. Mitchell. That would require marriage.”

 

“Miss Mitchell, then,” the redhead nodded. “May I sit?”

 

“Oh, yes, of course,” Beca scrambled, grabbing her purse to free up the chair. “Also, just Beca, please. Seeing as you know my name, I imagine you’re Chloe Beale?”

 

“That’d be me, yes,” the redhead smiled, before expulsing a huff. “Glad I got here on time. I was worried I wouldn’t make it.”

 

Punctuality, check, Beca thought to herself.

 

“Want something to drink?” Beca asked, remembering, vaguely, how to be a proper human being. The other woman was here because Beca had invited her for this ‘job interview’ after all.

 

“Hot chocolate would be nice,” Chloe grinned. “It’s freezing outside.”

 

Waving one of the servers over, Beca ensured Chloe got her drink of choice in record time, watching as she gently puffed on her hot chocolate. “So, Chloe, tell me a little about yourself,” she started.

 

“Right,” Chloe nodded. “I’m twenty-seven,” she started, “and studying to be a veterinarian. I’m originally from Florida, my family still lives there and I try to visit them during the holidays whenever I can. I have three little brothers, all of them a pain in the backside, of course.”

 

“That sounds nice,” Beca smiled diplomatically, not having any siblings herself. “So, just to be sure, you don’t have a criminal record?”

 

Chloe raised her eyebrows with a surprised grin. “No. Definitely not.”

 

“Just making sure,” Beca shrugged. “I am, potentially, trusting you with my child, after all.”

 

At Chloe’s understanding nod, Beca continued. “So, why have you replied to the job opening?”

 

Chloe grimaced slightly. “Money’s… a little tight at the moment. I’ve been sending money to my parents because they had some… bumps in the road, you might say. Honestly, I’m just trying to keep out of debt. As much as possible, anyway…”

 

Beca nodded slowly. The redhead seemed honest, and her first impression was that Chloe was a kind, sweet person. It couldn’t have been easy to talk about financial issues with someone she’d only met literally three minutes ago, but she’d done so anyway. Beca guessed there was more to the story, but saw no reason not to move forward.

 

Besides, Chloe had passed her manager’s background check, so there was that.

 

“Can you tell me a little about your daughter?” Chloe asked.

 

Beca internally cursed Stacie for putting her child’s gender in the advert, or like, wherever Stacie found this woman. Then she remembered she was just Beca Mitchell right now, so there really was no need for her to go overboard on the privacy.

 

“Um, right. Yeah, sure. Okay, so, her name’s Rose,” Beca started, acutely aware of the fact that this subject was the only one she could talk about for hours on end. “She’ll turn six soon,” she continued, realizing that nugget of truth just as it slipped past her lips. “Damn, six already…” she muttered to herself.

 

“That’s a great age,” Chloe beamed. “They become so clever around that time, don’t they?”

 

“Yeah, Rose is definitely starting to be an annoying little wise-ass,” Beca nodded, before her eyes went big. “I didn’t mean-“

 

“I get it,” Chloe laughed freely. “I hope I’ll get to meet her.”

 

Beca nodded slowly. “A few logistic issues, if you don’t mind?”

 

At the redhead’s nod, she continued. “Okay, so I didn’t actually place the ad for the babysitter myself, so I’m not sure what exactly was in it. I’m hoping it made mention of my crazy work hours?”

 

“Nope,” Chloe chirped. “It was basically just ‘babysitter needed, e-mail to this address if you’re interested.’ Not much detail whichever way round.”

 

“Damn,” Beca sighed. “Can’t trust anyone to do their jobs nowadays. Anyhow, I have… pretty crazy hours. Mostly, I work in the evenings and at night, but there might be a few instances where I need a babysitter during the daytime as well. It might be necessary for you to sleep over, on occasion, too, if I’m away for an entire night.”

 

Chloe nodded. “That shouldn’t be a problem. None of my lectures are obligatory, and I can always copy notes from my friends, so it should be fine. What about weekends?”

 

Beca bit her lip in thought. “I try to keep my weekends free. To be fair, I don’t always succeed and may be in need of your services during the weekends as well, from time to time. Compensation, of course, will be fair, considering the irregular times and possibility of weekend hours.”

 

Beca could see the redhead wanted to ask what ‘fair compensation’ entailed exactly, but she could also pinpoint the exact moment she thought better of it, instead settling on a single, determined nod. “Sounds good so far.”

 

“Good,” Beca smiled awkwardly. “Because you appear to be a much better fit than the last candidate.”

 

“Oh, how so?”

 

“Eh, I got the distinct feeling he was more interested in me than in my daughter,” Beca shrugged. “Speaking of which, you’ll have to meet her before I can definitively say you get the job.”

 

“Of course,” Chloe nodded. “I’m free like, whenever.”

 

Beca pulled out her phone, checking her schedule and finding no pressing matters the rest of the day. "If you’re free, we could do it right now and get it over with?”

 

“Yeah, okay, sure,” Chloe nodded, draining the last of her hot chocolate. “Lead the way.”

 

Beca settled the bill and the two women walked out, where the brunette abruptly stopped. “Do you need to fetch your car or something?”

 

Chloe shook her head. “Took a cab.”

 

The brunette nodded, fingers rapidly tapping on her phone. Chloe’s eyes practically bugged out of her head when a sleek, black Audi pulled up to the curb, and the driver stepped out to open the door for them. “After you.”

 

Chloe bit her lip, contemplating that this was probably the way young, beautiful women like herself went missing, only to be found back in someone’s basement twenty years later. Still, Beca didn’t give off any serial killer vibes – what were those, anyway? – so she stepped into the car, the brunette sliding in right after her. “Take us home, please, Jesse.”

 

“Sure thing, boss lady,” the driver smiled, and before Chloe knew it they were off, zooming through the streets of New York.

 

--

 

Okay, so, the driver – Jesse, his name was – actually lets them out of the car when they reach their destination, and Beca seems more nervous and awkward about this encounter than Chloe herself is, so they are probably not a pair of serial killers.

 

What Beca does appear to be, however, is rich. Or, like, loaded. Extremely well off, judging by the honest-to-god villa they’re looking at right now. Rather, Chloe is looking at the villa, Beca is looking at her purse, trying to locate the keys to said villa.

 

“Hold on, I’m sure I’ve got them right here, somewhere, Jesus I need a smaller purse, where the heck- oh hey look there- no those are for the office, oh nevermind not the office after all,” the smaller woman muttered under her breath, leading Chloe to hold back her giggles.

 

Laughing at your potential employer wasn’t the best idea.

 

When she finally did manage to get the door open, it was as if they stepped into an entirely different world. The house was cool – thank god – and everything was painted in whites, off-whites, and other light colours. It was furnished in a modern way, yet it didn’t feel like one of those houses that are more of a trophy for showing off, rather than an actual home.

 

Little knick-knacks, toys, and drawings were scattered about as she followed the brunette into her home, betraying the presence of a little human.

 

“Emily!” Ms. Mitchell – ahem, Beca – called loudly, after which they followed the sound of the responding voice.

 

They found a younger brunette in the kitchen, doe-eyed, eating cookies straight from the jar. “And this,” Beca sighed, “is why I can’t let you babysit Rose. I’ve been trying for months to break that habit, wondering how she even picked it up.”

 

“I’m so sorry,” Emily mumbled, cookie crumbs flying around as she waved her hands in an adorable display of innocence. “I swear I-“

 

“It’s fine,” Beca sighed, rubbing the bridge of her nose. “This is Chloe. She’s here to meet Rose. If they get along, Chloe will be babysitting her, and hopefully setting a better example than you have been.”

 

“Ouch,” Emily pouted. “Fair. But ouch.”

 

“Where is she, anyway?”

 

Emily grinned, proudly. “I left her in front of the TV with a Disney movie.”

 

To everyone’s surprise, Beca groaned. At the questioning looks she received, she explained. “She’s going to be sulky if we interrupt her movie, and she’s impossible to get along with when she’s sulky.”

 

Emily nodded solemnly. “Kind of like her mother.”

 

“Fu- I mean, gah, never mind. Don’t you have somewhere to be?”

 

At the older woman’s pointed look, Emily was quick to excuse herself. Despite their gruff interaction, Chloe got the feeling there was a strong bond between the women. “So, Emily is the babysitter I’m replacing?”

 

Beca scoffed amusedly. “Emily’s my adopted baby sister,” she sighed. “And one of the least suitable people I can imagine to look after a toddler. Not to mention she’s going to be in California for most of the year.”

 

Chloe followed Beca down another hallway, smiling as she nervously wrung her hands, stopping in front of one of the doors. “Okay, so. She’s usually pretty well-behaved, but um… Yeah… Rose takes her Disney very seriously, and she… might not be so happy about us interrupting.”

 

“I’m sure it’ll be fine,” Chloe smiled, hopefully appearing a little more certain of herself than she felt.

 

Beca slowly cracked the door open, and Chloe couldn’t help the little smile at the all-too familiar voices drifting out of the room. “Rose,” Beca called from the doorway. “There’s someone here to meet you.”

 

When they were met with absolutely no reaction, Beca tried again. “Rose, could you come over for a moment?”

 

Again, no reaction was garnered from the little girl on the couch, eyes glued to the screen. “May I?” Chloe asked, nodding at the child’s direction.

 

“Be my guest,” Beca sighed, clearly frustrated.

 

Chloe carefully stepped into the room, rounding the couch and taking in the little girl sitting atop it. She grinned as she realized the girl was, quite literally, a miniature version of her mother, having the same hair, facial structure, and even the eyes seemed the same. Whoever the father was, he hadn’t managed to leave much of a mark on his child.

 

Saying nothing, Chloe lowered herself, sitting on the ground in front of the couch, facing the television and patiently watching Mulan as she went through the preparations for meeting the Matchmaker. Waiting for Mulan’s song, Reflection, to start, Chloe silently sang along with the music, feeling the eyes of the toddler on the back of her head.

 

“You know Mulan!” she yipped as she paused the movie.

 

“Of course I know Mulan,” Chloe giggled. “She’s awesome!”

 

The little girl stared at Chloe for a long time, before grinning enthusiastically. “You’re awesome!” she cheered out of the blue, making Chloe laugh fondly.

 

“I’m not awesome, I’m Chloe,” she joked, winking at Rose, who poked her tongue out of her mouth.

 

“I’m Rose,” she responded, primly holding out a hand for Chloe to shake, which the redhead happily did.

 

“Well, that went better than expected,” came Beca’s amused remark. Chloe had almost forgotten she was there, still leaning up against the door.

 

“Momma!” Rose yelled, jumping up from the couch, racing past Chloe and practically tackling the brunette in a hug.

 

“Hey there, kiddo,” Beca beamed, heaving the girl into her arms. “How was your day?”

 

“Emily gave me lotsa cookies!” Rose proclaimed proudly, making Beca’s eye twitch.

 

“Of course she did,” the older woman mumbled.

 

“Momma? Who’s the pretty lady? Can she watch Mulan with me?”

 

“That’s Chloe. If you to get along, she’ll look after you when momma goes to work, okay kiddo?”

 

Rose seemed to overthink that statement for a little while, before nodding decisively. “Can we watch Mulan now?”

 

“Maybe later,” Beca smiled, bopping her daughter’s nose. “I have to go get lunch ready for you, remember?”

 

Rose scrunched her face up in an adorable way. “Momma, I didn’t mean you! I want to watch Mulan with Ms. Chloe!”

 

“Oh,” Beca muttered dumbly, awkwardly looking at Chloe. “I mean, I guess you should ask her if she wants to have lunch with us then, kiddo. If she says yes, you two can watch Mulan while I get the food ready!”

 

Practically leaping out of Beca’s arms, and miraculously making it to the ground in one piece, the little ball of energy ran up to Chloe. “Ms. Chloe! Momma says you can watch Mulan with me!”

 

“Oh did she now?” Chloe smiled down at her. “Maybe I heard wrong, but I think she said you could ask if I wanted to, didn’t she?”

 

“Yeah,” Rose pouted, before perking up again. “Ms. Chloe, will you watch Mulan with me please?”

 

“That’s more like it,” Chloe beamed, sitting down on the couch and chuckling as Rose clambered on as well, plopping down right next to her and grabbing for the remote.

 

“I’ll call you two when lunch is ready,” Beca called from the doorway. “If you’d rather just get on with your day, Chloe, don’t feel obliged to indulge the little demon.”

 

Chloe laughed. “It’s fine. It’s been a while since I’ve seen Mulan anyway.”

 

It wasn’t much later when Beca came to fetch them. Chloe paused the movie, ignoring Rose’s sulky pout, opting to lift her off the couch, tickle her sides, and carry her into the kitchen. By the time they stepped through the door, the little girl had stopped pouting, laughing and giggling freely.

 

The redhead hummed appreciatively as she surveyed the kitchen table, Beca standing beside it as she awkwardly wrung her hands. “I made ham and cheese sandwiches, PB&J sandwiches, and there’s some leftover chicken salad from last night. I hope that’s alright?”

 

“Yeah, of course, I mean, I wasn’t even expected to have lunch here so I’m definitely not complaining.”

 

The moment she sat down, her phone started buzzing. “Oh, excuse me one moment, please.”

 

--

 

Beca watched with quirked eyebrows as Chloe paced up and down the length of the kitchen.

 

“No, no, nothing like that. No, Bree, I haven’t been kidnapped. Yes, I just went to her home so I could meet- No, I didn’t take a cab, we drove here toget- Yes, Aubrey, I know I shouldn’t get in the car with strangers, but- It’s not like that, Aubrey. I’m sorry I forgot to let you know I wasn’t coming back straight away, but I’m fine. I’ll let you know when I leave here, okay?”

 

Beca schooled her expression when the redhead put her phone away again. “Sorry, my best friend. I forgot to tell her I was going home with you… She worries. A lot.”

 

“That’s alright,” Beca smiled in return. “Worrying is a sign she cares, right?”

 

Lunch was a rowdy affair, with Rose happily chattering away about absolutely nothing intelligible at all, Beca and Chloe exchanging amused glances, sipping their coffee as Rose drank her orange juice, and then darted off to play, movie entirely forgotten.

 

Chloe helped Beca clear the dishes, despite the brunette’s insistence she really didn’t need to. After they settled back down, fresh cups of coffee in hand, Beca took a deep breath. “Okay, so, do you like, have any questions?”

 

Chloe pursed her lips for moment. “Does that mean I got the job?”

 

“Well, yeah,” Beca chuckled. “I mean, you got her away from her Disney movie without a temper tantrum. I’d say that means you’re qualified.”

 

“Awesome,” Chloe beamed. “So, um, emergency contacts? Health issues I should know about? Allergies? Any rules, besides the ordinary ones?”

 

Beca chuckled at the avalanche of questions, figuring Chloe took this job pretty seriously. “I’ll hang a list with phone numbers on the fridge. No health issues or allergies that I know of. And I think most of my rules are mostly just common sense. No snacks before dinner, going to sleep at a decent time, no cursing or swearing, not eating cookies from the jar.”

 

“Right,” Chloe nodded. Another question popped in Chloe’s mind, and she already had her mouth open, but thought better of it before she could make a sound.

 

“Go ahead,” Beca smiled awkwardly. “Ask away.”

 

“No,” Chloe shook her head, biting her lip. “It’s none of my business, anyway.”

 

Beca scoffed. “I’m entrusting you with the safety of my daughter. I’m sure I can trust you with whatever you were going to ask.”

 

Chloe sighed. “I was just wondering about Rose’s father?”

 

“Ah,” Beca nodded slowly. “I guess that makes sense, yeah. Um, he’s not a part of our lives. I haven’t seen him in, I think four years? He chose not to be a part of Rose’s life, and we’re okay with that.”

 

Chloe nodded. “Okay. So, when do I start?”

 

Pulling up the schedule on her phone, Beca silently looked it over for a few moments. “I’d say Friday, if that’s not too short notice. I’ll have to leave for work around eight in the evening, and probably won’t make it back before midnight.”

 

Quickly looking over her own, Chloe nodded. “That’s fine. Want me to get here around six?”

 

Beca pursed her lips thoughtfully. “If you get here around five, you can have dinner with us first. Might be easier on Rose if we’re here together for a while before I leave.”

 

“Okay, yeah, that makes sense. Works for me.”

 

“Alright, cool,” Beca nodded. “Then I guess we won’t keep you any longer. I can ask Jesse to bring you home.”

 

“Oh, there’s no need. I can call a cab.”

 

“You could. But Jesse is already getting paid, so he might as well bring you home. Unless you really prefer NY cabs for some reason.”

 

“Okay, fine,” Chloe conceded. “I’ll just go say bye to Rose?”

 

Beca gave a nod, pointing the redhead in the right direction, before dialling Jesse and asking him to bring the car out front.

 

“Leaving the house twice in one day, Beca?” he joked.

 

“Nah. I kinda offered your services to bring Chloe home, if you don’t mind.”

 

“Sure thing, boss. I’ll get the babysitter home safely!” he chirped.

 

 

 

Sitting in the back of the Uber, Chloe realized she was nervous. For her babysitting gig. In hopes of distracting herself from those feelings, she pulled out her phone, browsing over her regular social media and news outlets, until something caught her eye.

 

DJ BM – The Man Behind the Mask

 

In case you hadn’t heard yet – which, like, how?! – DJ BM is performing in New York tonight! Sad to say, if you only found out now, you’re way too late, because tickets were sold out months ago. I think they were sold out within an hour of them being available, but hey, that’s nothing new, right?

 

I’m not here to talk about tonight’s show – which is going to be amazing, and I’m one of the lucky people to actually have a ticket – No, I’m here to talk about DJ BM. We all know all the things we don’t know about this performer. Which is basically everything.

 

Never gotten a real name. Never gotten to see his face. Never heard his voice, and all interviews done are via e-mail. What is DJ BM trying to hide from us, people?!

Now, don’t get me wrong, I get that this whole mystique is part of DJ BM’s appeal, and I know tons of fans would be disappointed if they find out who it was.

 

Anyhow, I’m gonna spoil you all, so don’t hate me for it. DJ BM is no one other than Bumper Allen, whose second name is Mick. You see what he did there? Bumper Mick. BM. DJ BM. Now, I know this sounds like speculation, but is it a coinkidink  that Allen was spotted right here in NYC earlier today?

 

Yeah, I thought not.

 

Chloe closed the app with a scoff. She’d seen Bumper Allen perform, once, years ago. There was no way he had the skills to be DJ BM. She’d followed the mysterious performer’s career since it started five years ago. At first, like everyone else, she’d attempted to figure out the mystery behind DJ BM’s identity.

 

But whoever it was, DJ BM was meticulously dedicated to keeping their identity secret. Masks, hoods, loose-fitting clothes. There was literally nothing they knew about DJ BM’s appearance. After a while, Chloe had come to appreciate the mysterious air around her favourite performer, and decided to stop looking into it.

 

The rest of the world hadn’t reached that point yet, it seemed.

 

When her Uber pulled up in front of her destination, Chloe took a deep breath before exiting the car. She was both nervous and excited about tonight. It took a full minute before Ms. Mitchell opened the door, after which Chloe was immediately tackled by her daughter, who wrapped herself around Chloe’s legs. “Miss Chloe!”

 

Beca stepped aside so she could enter, so Chloe lifted the girl up into her arms, tickling her sides for a moment and easily carrying her towards the kitchen, where music was softly playing from the sound system.

 

“I’m just finishing up dinner,” Beca said, looking rather frantic. “I hope pasta is okay?”

 

“Yeah, totes,” Chloe hummed. “How about I take Rose somewhere out of the way?” she continued, guessing the girl to be the reason for Beca’s somewhat haggard expression.

 

“That would certainly make things easier,” Beca smiled. “You remember where her play room is?”

 

Chloe nodded, taking the exuberant girl by her hand before being pulled down the hallway.

 

--

 

As much as Beca hated herself for thinking it, it really was a relief to be able to focus on dinner without having to look after Rose. Her daughter had been in one of her moods, unwilling to go along with any of Beca’s suggestions today. Yet, as soon as the babysitter arrived, all that seemed forgotten in favour of playing with Rose’s Disney Princess dolls.

 

She observed the pair silently from the doorway, smiling at the little play they were performing with the dolls. It actually appeared as if Chloe was having a good time, which baffled Beca a little. She loved spending time with her daughter, of course, but playing with dolls? Not so much.

 

There’s no way she’d ever be playing dolls with someone else’s child. No way.

 

“Dinner’s ready,” she finally spoke up, startling the babysitter.

 

Sitting around the dining table with someone extra was odd, but Chloe was easy company to have around, making conversation with both Beca and Rose easily, about a variety of subjects.

 

“So, Ms. Mitchell, can I ask what kind of work you do?”

 

Beca cringed. “Please, please, don’t call me Ms. Mitchell again.”

 

“Right,” Chloe replied sheepishly. “Beca. Got it.”

 

“And my work is pretty boring. I work with computers, mostly. It’s all very technical.”

 

Beca wasn’t exactly proud of lying. Then again, it had become second nature for her by now.

 

“Is there anything you need tonight?” she continued, before the redhead had a chance to respond.

 

“No, I think we’re all set,” Chloe replied, all smiles.

 

“Good. I should warn you, though. Rose’s been in a mood all day, and she can be somewhat of a hellion when it’s time for her to go to bed…”

 

“I’m sure we’ll be fine, Ms- sorry, Beca.”

 

“I hope so,” Beca smiled tightly.

 

--

 

Beca loved her masks.

 

There had been a time when she had hated them. If there had been any other way for her to give Rose a normal life, out of the spotlight, she’d have taken it.

 

But over time, she grew fond of her masks, and had taken up the habit of using a different mask for every performance.

 

Tonight’s number was a black-and-white Venetian mask with an abundance of feathers decorating it. It went well with the black cape and hood she’d be wearing for tonight’s performance. Checking her outfit out in the dressing room’s mirror, she decided that it hid her curves well-enough.

 

No one in the club was going to be able to see much of her, anyway.

 

She’d just pulled her hood up when the dressing room’s door was slammed open and one of the technical crew barged in. “Okay, DJ BM, we’ll be ready for you in-“

 

“You’re not allowed in here,” came a much more familiar voice, and Beca gritted her teeth while Stacie started working the man out of her dressing room. Once the door was shut, she turned around, glaring daggers.

 

“We’ve talked about this, Stace. Shit like this can’t happen!”

 

“I know, Beca,” Stacie sighed, rubbing her forehead. “I’ll talk with the people in charge, get it all sorted out. Again. Did he see anything?”

 

Beca shook her head. “No, I was wearing my hood and facing away from him.”

 

“What about the mirror?” Stacie asked, biting her lips.

 

Beca shook her head again. “It was to my side. He didn’t see anything that could identify me in any way. Still, if this is how they’re treating my privacy here, we’re not coming back here for more shows.”

 

“That’s for later consideration, Beca,” Stacie breathed, clearly relieved. “For now, we need to get you on stage.”

 

Beca nodded, taking the Venetian mask in hand and tying it in front of her face. “How do I look?”

 

“That’s a pretty mask,” Stacie nodded. “Good choice, DJ BM. Now go crush it out there.”

 

--

 

Chloe let herself fall onto the massive couch in Beca’s living room.

 

While she wouldn’t have described Rose as being a ‘hellion’ tonight, it hadn’t really been easy to get the little ball of energy to settle down for the night. They’d finally agreed on singing three Disney songs together, after which the girl reluctantly closed her eyes.

 

Now, with nothing to do but wait for Beca’s return, Chloe took her phone out again.

 

DJ BM is NOT Bumper Allen

 

Okay, so even the best people make mistakes, right?

 

Bumper Allen was seen today at Club V, where DJ BM will be giving his awesome performance. But he didn’t go backstage, and instead got comfy in the club’s VIP section with Amy Wilson, better known as Fat Amy – whom he met on the set of that one reality show no one watched.

 

So yeah, he isn’t DJ BM. Which begs the question: who is? And why keep his identity secret? What does this mysterious man have to hide from us? This reported will try and sneak backstage tonight to find out.

 

But first, I gotta enjoy this party, fam!

 

Chloe chuckled wryly, taking one of her textbooks from her bag, ready to get some studying done. Queueing up the DJ BM playlist on her phone, she got comfortable for a long night.

Chapter Text

By the time Jesse parked the car in front of her house, it was almost three a.m. Beca had imagined she’d be able to slip away easily after she’d done her thing, but some bratty reporter had been snooping around, trying to figure out her secret identity – as always, and Beca had been forced to remain in her dressing room, under fucking guard, until the situation had been resolved.

 

The whole drive home, horrible scenarios had been running through her head. She’d told Chloe she’d be home not too long after midnight. What if the woman had decided to just go home, screw Beca and her false promises?

 

Or what if something bad had happened? Had she even written her own phone number down correctly? What if Rose was at the hospital, having fallen off the stairs, and Chloe had been trying to reach her all night long?

 

What if Rose had been too distraught at Beca leaving her alone to go to bed? Her daughter was perfectly capable of terrorizing just about anyone. What if Chloe hadn’t been able to handle it?

 

Why had Beca ever thought getting a stranger to watch her kid had been a good idea?

 

She practically stormed into her living room, eyes wild and out of breath, scared out of her mind. Jesse leisurely following behind her.

 

Chloe was sitting on the couch, laptop balanced on her lap, holding a cup that smelled a lot like herbal tea. She was the exact opposite of Beca, calm and poised and, yeah, okay, she was looking at her a little oddly.

 

“You’re still here,” Beca breathed, relieved.

 

And now her babysitter was looking at her very oddly. Amused, confused, and perplexed.

 

The redhead blinked a few times, slowly, before speaking. “Where else would I be?” she eventually asked, slowly.

 

“I’m very late,” Beca huffed, finally managing to catch her breath, placing her laptop bag on the floor carefully.

 

Chloe glanced at the clock as if she hadn’t even noticed yet. “I suppose,” she shrugged. “You didn’t think I’d just leave, though… right?” she followed up, now clearly incredulous.

 

“No!” Beca countered, before wincing. “Maybe a little.”

 

Chloe chuckled dryly. “I’ve just been sitting here, working on my essay. Even if I had noticed the time, it’s not like I’d have left Rose home alone, Ms. Mitchell.”

 

Apparently, this whole ‘Ms. Mitchell’ habit was a hard one to break. “Didn’t I ask you not to call me that anymore,” she asked, lowering herself onto the couch.

 

“Right,” Chloe winced. “Beca. I’ll try to remember.”

 

“It’s fine,” the brunette waved. “How’s she been? Please tell me she didn’t manage to stay up until, like, midnight or anything?”

 

“Of course not,” Chloe said with a fond roll of her eyes. “I had her in bed by seven-thirty, asleep by eight. Brushed her teeth, combed her hair. She’s even wearing PJs.”

 

Beca nodded contently. “Impressive. Used a horse tranquilizer, did you?” she joked, earning her a giggle from the redhead.

 

“Just promised to sing her a few songs, is all. She really wasn’t as bad as you made her out to be.”

 

Beca rolled her eyes. “Probably because I wasn’t here. But I’m glad it all worked out.”

 

Carefully closing her laptop, Chloe finished her tea. “I’ll get out of your hair.”

 

Beca also got up from her very comfy spot on the couch. “I’ll drive you home,” she offered, knowing that it’d be hell to get a cab or Uber at this time of night.

 

“Oh, you needn’t-“

 

“I insist,” Beca countered. Despite said insistence, she was actually a little surprised when Chloe nodded and started gathering up all of her stuff.

 

"What about-" Chloe gestured upwards, in the general direction of Rose's bedroom.

 

Beca poked her head around the corner, finding Jesse head-first in the fridge. "Dude!"

 

"What?" he asked, mouth full with... yeah, she didn't even want to know.

 

"Can you like, chill here for half an hour?"

 

At her friend's silent nod, Beca motioned for Chloe to follow her. She turned down the hall when Chloe was done, ignoring the woman’s questioning glances. Opening a door at the end, Beca flicked the light switch and descended down into the basement garage, smirking slightly at the surprised sound coming from behind her.

 

She wasn’t usually one to flaunt her wealth, but every now and again, it was kinda fun to show off the spoils of her hard work.

 

Passing by the black Audi Jesse always drove her in, Beca unlocked the white BMW in the back, motioning for Chloe to get in. She didn’t miss the way the redhead eyed the Porsche, the only other car in the garage, with obvious envy.

 

Once they were seated, Beca handed Chloe the GPS to input her address, carefully navigating the car out of the garage.

 

“So, how was work?” Chloe asked a few minutes into the ride home.

 

“Eh,” Beca shrugged. “It started out pretty good. It got pretty annoying near the end, though.”

 

“How so?” Chloe asked, and Beca was surprised she actually felt like Chloe wanted to know, rather than just asking because it’s what people expected you to do.

 

She carefully considered how to phrase her next words, trying to hide the truth without having to lie. “Someone from outside the company tried to get at some sensitive information. Company secrets, I guess. That’s actually the reason I got home so late. We pretty much had to go into full lockdown until security had taken care of it.”

 

“Sounds rough,” Chloe murmured. “How did it end?”

 

“Security threw them out,” Beca smiled, relaxing in her seat. “We were on the cusp of calling the police, but thankfully we didn’t need to, in the end.”

 

“I’m glad it all worked out,” Chloe smiled, and Beca had the distinct feeling that Chloe was actually glad. Which was weird, because obviously it wouldn’t matter one bit to the redhead if things hadn’t worked out. The brunette couldn’t wrap her mind around it, but found it refreshing nonetheless.

 

“Oh, this is me, over on the right,” Chloe pointed out, drawing Beca’s gaze to the somewhat run-down flat. She kept her features schooled carefully, even as she took in the rather obscene graffiti next to the building’s entrance.

 

“So, you have my number,” Chloe stated with a smile, "and if you don’t, I left it on the kitchen counter, just to be sure. Just let me know when you need me to come over again!”

 

Beca was about to offer walking Chloe to her apartment, but the redhead had already tossed her a wave and jumped out of the car, swiftly making her way inside.

 

Once she was at least certain she’d made it into the building without being robbed, or brutally murdered, Beca shook her head in wonder, putting the car into gear and making her way home again.

 

--

 

Beca would never, not in a million years, say she regretted having Rose. Anyone who would even mildly suggest otherwise would get kicked in the teeth and buried six-feet under. No jokes.

 

But boy, did she miss sleeping in on her day off.

 

Beca couldn’t for the love of her figure out how Rose got to be a morning person. Her father hadn’t been a morning person. And Beca… well, yeah, no.

 

Yet, every morning, Rose would be wide awake by seven. Beca had, with much difficulty, managed to get her to either stay in her room and entertain herself until seven, or silently crawl into Beca bed to sleep a little more.

 

Secretly, she preferred the second option. She revelled in the lazy mornings, Rose snuggled up to her, warm and soft and silent. She dreaded the moment Rose would grow old enough to want to be ‘cool’ and not snuggle close under the blankets anymore.

 

But those were worries for later, Beca reminded herself as she poured the orange juice into Rose’s favourite Frozen-themed cup, before placing an empty cup in front of the giant stuffed Olaf that had somehow joined them at the breakfast table.

 

“Momma!” Rose sighed. “Olaf doesn’t drink! He’s made of water,” she explained as if it was the most obvious thing in the world, and her mother was an idiot for not knowing this.

 

“Silly of me,” Beca grinned tiredly. “How about food? Does he need to eat?”

 

Her daughter levelled her with a deadpan stare that was, admittedly, very impressive for a toddler. While it didn’t answer the question, at all, Beca decided to just drop the subject. Sometimes, her daughter really reminded her of… well, of herself, really.

 

“So, did you sleep well, kiddo?” Beca asked after breakfast was done.

 

“Yup!” Rose responded. “Miss Chloe and I singed!”

 

“Sang,” Beca corrected gently. “And what did you two sing?”

 

Beca couldn’t help but chuckling when Rose fired off in a horribly mangled version of Frozen’s Love is an Open Door, seamlessly melting into I Have a Dream from Tangled.

 

Beca was halfway through clearing breakfast, Rose sitting a few foot off, idly prattling to one of her stuffed animals. When her phone rang, she accepted the incoming call, clutching the phone between her ear and her shoulder.

 

“Stacie, hey, what’s up?”

 

“Hey,” Stacie greeted in return, sounding more hesitant than usual.

 

“Stacie, what’s going on?” Beca sighed, already knowing she wasn’t going to like the answer.

 

“I need you to come in so we can go over your schedule for the next three months. You know, pick which events you’ll be at, when you’ll be dropping new tracks, the works.”

 

“Yeah, okay, sure. When did you have in mind?” Beca hummed, clearing the final crumbs off the counter.

 

“Like, now-ish,” Stacie hedged.

 

Beca sighed theatrically. “You know I have Rose. I can’t just leave here on a whim. And it’s also not like I can just take her with me, either…”

 

“I thought you had a babysitter?”

 

“I do, but it’s literally only been, five hours, since she left.”

 

“So call her back in,” Stacie suggested. “You know I take as many meetings for you as I can, to free up time you can spend with the little munchkin, and to minimize Beca Mitchell’s exposure to people who might eventually figure out she’s a big-shot in the music industry. But this meeting’s been in the books for weeks, and I need you here to make the decisions I can’t.”

 

The brunette heaved another sigh. “Should I bring a mask?”

 

Stacie clucked her tongue, knowing she’d won Beca over. “No need. There’s only going to be you and us five.”

 

“Okay, fine, but only if I can get my babysitter to come over today.”

 

--

 

Chloe loved mornings. Even though she’d gone to bed way after her usual bedtime, she’d gotten up at seven-thirty for a hearty breakfast and a morning run. She’d just come out of her post-jog shower when her phone started ringing with DJ BM’s newest hit, blaring through the apartment.

 

She thoughtlessly took the call, not even checking the number. “Chloe speaking!” she chirped, idly towelling her hair dry.

 

“Oh, um, hi. I’m so sorry. I mean, I hope I didn’t wake you up… I know it got a little late last night. Or, well, a lot, I suppose, but-“

 

“Hey, Beca,” Chloe smiled in the phone, interrupting the ramblings. “Don’t worry, I’ve been up for a while.”

 

“Oh. I mean, good,” Beca replied after a beat of silence.

 

When nothing else was said for almost a minute, Chloe fondly rolled her eyes. Something told her Ms. Mitchell did not get a lot of social interactions done lately. “So, was there a reason you’re calling me at eight-thirty in the morning after keeping me up until four, or did you just miss the sound of my voice?”

 

Chloe revelled in the sharp intake of breath on the other side of the line. She couldn’t help it – flirting was something inherent to Chloe, a habit she couldn’t turn off, even if it was just playful banter and nothing would ever come of it. Chloe flirted. It’s what she was good at, always had been.

 

“I actually need a babysitter for this afternoon,” Beca muttered sheepishly. “I know that’s probably a lot sooner than-“

 

Before the brunette could go on another tangent, Chloe interrupted her. “What time, Beca?”

 

“Um, I could come pick you up? Like, around one, maybe?”

 

“Yeah, that works,” Chloe hummed, already rummaging through her wardrobe. “I’ll make sure to be ready.”

 

When their call had ended, a sudden realization hit Chloe, making her groan as she rested her head against the wardrobe door.

 

“What’s gotten into you?” Aubrey asked from the doorway.

 

“I just realized I got into this babysitting thing without actually discussing payment.”

 

--

 

Beca had picked Chloe up, right on time, but something was off. Chloe had barely said anything during the ride, and had been anxiously fiddling the entire time. As soon as Emily left them, assuring them that Rose was soundly asleep on the couch in her playroom, Beca decided to address the elephant in the room.

 

“So, I’m guessing you’re not too taken with the job?” she asked, out of the blue. “Is it the hours?” she continued, before wavering for a moment. “Is it… Is it about Rose?”

 

“No!” Chloe objected emphatically. “Rose is great. She’s a wonderful little girl. Where is this coming from?”

 

“Well,” Beca started, pursing her lips in thought. “It’s not like I know you very well or anything. I mean, this is the third time we’ve seen each other… But you appear distinctly uncomfortable today. I figured you were building up to telling me you wanted to quit?”

 

Great. Now Beca was the one fiddling, constantly turning the ring on her finger around and around, biting her lip in wait of Chloe’s response.

 

“I wasn’t trying to quit,” Chloe clarified. “It’s just… I hate to be this person, but we never talked about pay,” she continued, awkwardly drumming her fingers on the table’s surface.

 

“Oh,” Beca blurted dumbly, before chuckling. “I’m guessing you didn’t see?”

 

“See?”

 

Beca hummed. “I transferred your pay for yesterday’s work like, right after I dropped you off.”

 

“You did?” Chloe asked, feeling stupid for not having checked.

 

“Uh-huh. If it’s like, not enough or anything, we can talk options later.”

 

“Um, yeah, right, okay. I’ll just… check or whatever.”

 

Beca laughed quietly. “Yeah, you do that. You good to take over here? I might be running a bit late because of… things.”

 

“Yeah, sure, go!” Chloe shooed her, chasing the woman out of her own house playfully.

 

--

 

Beca rolled her eyes as she plopped down at the table. They were in an ‘abandoned’ office building, which had never really been abandoned. The first three floors were rather derelict, having been abandoned years ago. The fourth and fifth floor, however, was DJ BM’s top-secret lair.

 

Or, y’know, the necessary office space any business needed – out of sight of nosy people like reporters, paparazzi, overzealous fans and private detectives.

 

There were only six people who knew of this place, and by extension, of Beca’s true identity.

 

As her manager, Stacie had been the one to arrange for all the secrecy, going behind everyone’s back to acquire the office. Jesse, her driver and, when needed, bodyguard, had been in on the plot from the beginning, being one of Beca’s oldest friends.

 

Emily helped Beca with all of her creative endeavours, being a willing guinea pig for all of Beca’s unfinished work. Her long-time boyfriend Benji had discovered Beca’s superstar identity when her adoptive sister had blabbered, a fact she’d never live down, even if Beca had mostly forgiven her.

 

After all, Benji now took care of all of DJ BM’s finances, investing her sizeable fortune and helping in the acquisition of large purchases when needed. Like Beca’s beach house in California.

 

The final person in the room was Cynthia-Rose, CR for short. She’d been the latest addition to their little group. CR had an in at pretty much every club, festival, and other music engagement around the country, and was invaluable in setting up DJ BM’s performances.

 

“So, let’s begin, shall we?” Beca sighed tiredly. “The sooner we get this done, the sooner we can all go home. Let’s begin with that reporter from last night…”

 

--

 

After Beca left, Chloe quietly checked up on Rose, who seemed to be all tuckered out, stuffed giraffe clutched under her arm as she drooled adorably. Figuring the little girl would be out for a while, Chloe made herself comfortable on one of the stools in the kitchen, taking out her phone with the intent of checking her finances. Before she got to that, though, a push notification caught her eye.

 

Mystery Remains – For Now!

 

So, fam, remember when I said I would try and unmask DJ BM at last night’s performance in Club V? Well, can’t say I didn’t try! This reporter managed to flirt her way backstage after DJ BM had done his thing.

 

Travelling down dark corridors while pretending I belonged there, I felt like a spy. The closer I got to DJ BM’s dressing room, the more suspicious looks I garnered – but I would not be deterred.

 

But then I hit a bit of a snag, in the form of a charming guy that looked really trustworthy but turned out to be security. In no time at all, DJ BM was on lockdown in the dressing room, with an army of goons between him and me.

 

I want you all to know I persisted! But yeah, then they threatened to call the cops, so I kinda had to let this one slide.

 

I’ve already booked tickets for the next show, and I will not rest until I figure this out.

 

My name is Gail Abenathy, and I WILL unmask DJ BM.

 

Until next time, fam!

 

Chloe rolled her eyes in mild annoyance. While she understood the constant curiosity into DJ BM, some people went just a little bit too far in their attempts to unmask the enigma. Closing the app, she went to look over at her finances.

 

When she saw the money deposited into her account last night, she almost dropped her phone, managing to grab a hold of it only just in time. She did a quick calculation, realizing Beca apparently paid her three-hundred an hour. For babysitting.

 

She figured she was just about the most over-priced babysitter in the state right now.

 

“Momma!?” came a sleepy voice from the other room, spurring Chloe to pocket her phone and get up. Rose looked adorably confused, eyes still heavy with sleep. “Momma?” she repeated, turning towards the door when she heard Chloe enter.

 

“Hey there, sweety,” Chloe cooed, kneeling next to the little brunette. “Momma had to go out for a little while, so I get to hang out with you again. Is that okay?”

 

For a moment, Chloe was afraid Rose was about to throw a tantrum, bottom lip jutted out, but then she took a hold of Chloe’s shirt and pulled her onto the couch, warm little body shuffling around to get comfortable, half atop Chloe, who merely chuckled. “Yeah, I’m a little sleepy, too. Wanna nap some more?”

 

Rose merely murmured something unintelligible, already drifting off to sleep again.

 

--

 

Surprisingly, it had only taken about two hours to plan out DJ BM’s schedule for the coming months, and discuss whatever they needed to discuss. Such as that annoying-ass wannabe-reporter, writing for the stupid-as-fuck online tabloid. Gail something-or-other.

 

Beca still grit her teeth at the memory of being locked in her dressing room because of that stupid, stupid, stupid-

 

With a start, she realized her house was eerily quiet. Hanging her keys on the hook near the door, she quietly padded inside. Living room and kitchen were both cleared, after which Beca noticed the soft snores coming from Rose’s playroom.

 

Cracking the door open a bit, she peeked inside, only for her heart to melt at the sight. Chloe was laying on her back, sprawled across the couch, with Rose resting atop her, face hidden in long red strands of hair.

 

The sight was too adorable for Beca to even consider waking them up.

 

--

 

Chloe woke up to tiny fingers prodding at her cheeks. Keeping her eyes closed for just a moment longer, she couldn’t help but smile at the whisper in her ear. “Miss Chloe? Are you awake?”

 

“Mm, I am now, sweety,” she murmured, stretching and opening her eyes to find an overjoyed little girl sitting squarely on her stomach. “I’m hungry,” she smiled widely.

 

Chloe chuckled, lifting Rose off and onto the ground, before following. “Well then, let’s see if we can rustle up some food for you.” Checking her phone, Chloe was somewhat ashamed to find they’d been asleep for hours.

 

She padded down the hall, Rose following closely behind her.

 

When she entered the kitchen, they found Beca sitting at the bar with a cup of coffee and a newspaper. “Morning, sleepyheads,” she smiled.

 

“Momma!” Rose screamed, bee-lining to hug her mother. “Hungry!” she yelled as soon as she had her little arms wrapped around the older brunette.

 

“No need for yelling, kiddo,” Beca chastised gently. “Also-“

 

“Momma, I’m hungry can we eat?” Rose asked super-politely before Beca could even finish her sentence.

 

“That’s better. I was about to come wake you two up, pizza should be here in fifteen.”

 

“Pizza!” Rose screamed, earlier admonishment already forgotten as she raced off to god-knows-where.

 

“I um, ordered for you, too,” Beca stammered. “I hope you don’t mind? I mean, you can like, totally leave now. If you want.”

 

Chloe shook her head. “No, I can do pizza.”

 

“Okay, good,” Beca nodded. “Because I ordered four, and Rose will eat maybe a quarter, if she’s really hungry.”

 

“Four?” Chloe asked, eyes wide.

 

“Well, yeah,” Beca muttered, crossing her arms defensively. “I didn’t know what you’d like, now did I?”

 

They settled in a comfortable silence for a while. Chloe eventually gathered up the courage to ask about the money.

 

“Beca, can I ask… what’s my hourly wages?”

 

The brunette looked up from the newspaper, brows knit together. “I… don’t know?”

 

At the redhead’s questioning look, Beca folded the paper and put it away. “I never hired anyone before. I… we never discussed your pay, so last night I just… transferred what seemed like a fair amount?”

 

Chloe scoffed, making Beca bite the inside of her cheeks. “Was I wrong? If you want more, we can discuss-“

 

Beca,” Chloe interrupted. “You gave me three thousand dollars. For one night of babysitting your daughter.”

 

“Yeah?” Beca muttered awkwardly. “I’m… what are you trying to say?”

 

The redhead puffed out a harsh breath. “Listen, I know you have money. I mean, you don’t own a home like this in NYC, and three cars like that, and not be rich. I get that, but three thousand for one night is way too much, Beca.”

 

“Well, you did stay up until four because of me,” Beca shrugged. “It seemed fair.”

 

Chloe was about to object again – because this was just ridiculous – when Beca raised her hand, cutting her short. “Listen, Chloe. I’m not going to ask about your finances, because that’s like so not my business. But I remember you telling me money was a little tight, and I think you said you were financially supporting your parents?”

 

Chloe gave a quiet nod, after which Beca continued. “Well, I’m not going to lie: you’re really helping me out. Finding a suitable babysitter for Rose has been a pain in the backside, and I’d rather not start over. And since you’re helping me out, I’d like to be helping you out, too. And, well, let’s face it, it’s not like money’s tight for me, so… Just deal with the money. Use it however, because I’m not planning to pay you less.”

 

Chloe briefly considered everything she could do with the money Beca paid her. Her parents could really use the money, and then there were student loans that needed to be repaid – Aubrey and she lived from pay check to pay check, and they couldn’t really afford most of the luxuries they might want.

 

This could change that.

 

“Besides,” Beca continued. “With my work, there might also be some periods where I won’t be needing a babysitter for a while. Then I’d like the pay to at least carry you over a little, y’know?”

 

Chloe bit her lip, one final doubt nagging her. Beca looked almost amused as she silently urged her to speak up.

 

“I don’t want to be rude but… can I ask how much money you actually have? Like, not exactly. But I need to know that me being paid isn’t going to, I don’t know, cut into Rose’s savings or anything.”

 

At that, Beca actually laughed freely. “That’s a fair question, I suppose. Let’s just say I have more money than I’m going to need, and I’m still making more. So no, you don’t have to worry about us not being able to pay for Rose’s education or anything.”

 

Chloe gave a resigned nod. “Okay, then. I’ll stop fighting you on this.”

 

“Good,” Beca nodded in return.

 

They both laughed when the doorbell rang, and Rose came storming through the kitchen, frantically chanting ‘pizza’ over and over again.

Chapter Text

Chloe smiled as Beca opened the door. It had been a week since she’d last been babysitting Rose, and she was actually looking forward to it this time. Rose was a sweetheart, and slowly, Chloe was beginning to realize she got it entirely from her mother.

 

Beca Mitchell might like to pretend being a little bad-ass, alternative rebel, but she kept doing these little things that betrayed she was just as sweet as her daughter. Like ordering four pizzas because she didn’t want to wake Chloe up and ask which toppings she preferred. Or always making sure Chloe had a way home without having to call a cab or an Uber.

 

Chloe took a moment to take her employer in, silently admitting to herself she cleaned up nicely. “My, my, you clean up nicely.” Okay, not that silently, then.

 

“Um, thanks,” Beca smiled awkwardly, opening the door father for Chloe to come in. The redhead felt her smile growing wider as she saw Rose lingering in the hallway, excitedly waving at her despite the slightly droopy eyes.

 

Chloe waved back, following the two into the living room. Beca was already gathering her belongings. “Sorry to run off like this, but-“

 

“Don’t worry, go, go. I’m sure you have a hot date waiting for you,” Chloe joked.

 

“What?! No! I mean- um, no. No date,” Beca grimaced. “I don’t do… dating.”

 

“That’s a shame,” Chloe smirked, before toning down her natural flirtiness. “But yeah, go, Rose and I will be fine.”

 

“We’ll be awesome!” Rose practically bellowed, running laps around the two.

 

Beca winced. “Sorry, Emily gave her a sugar rush. It’ll be a while before she’ll settle down for bed, I’m afraid.”

 

Chloe shrugged. “I’ve seen worse, go on, I’ll manage.”

 

Beca quickly hugged and kissed Rose, before throwing a wave over her shoulder and making her way outside, where the black Audi was already waiting with engine running.

 

Taking a deep breath, Chloe turned towards the very energetic little girl that was bouncing on the sofa. “Rose, c’mon, stop that,” she chided gently.

 

Ten minutes later, Chloe was starting to second-guess her ability to wrangle sugar-rushed little kids. Rose was practically bouncing off the walls, even though Chloe could see her getting tired, there didn’t seem a way to get her to settle down.

 

With a start, she realized Rose had bolted from the room. Following the sound coming from the distance, Chloe made her way into a spacious room. She was surprised to find a room entirely dedicated to music. A grand piano stood in one corner, two guitars standing against the wall next to it. The opposite wall consisted entirely of shelves filled with CDs, and, to Chloe’s amusement, vinyl records.

 

She found Rose on the piano bench, jamming her little fingers on each and every key she could reach. She gently scooted the girl over, placing her own fingers on the ivories. It had been quite some time since she played, and she was far from the most accomplished pianist, but the pieces she used to play came back to her without conscious thought.

 

When she finished playing, she found Rose staring up at her in awe. With a fond smile, Chloe launched into another song, feeling Rose slump against her side when she was about halfway through. When she finished, she gently poked the little girl. “C’mon, sweety, time to get you into bed.”

 

“No!” Rose pouted. “I need a bath!”

 

Chloe frowned for a moment. Beca hadn’t said anything about a bath. Then again, the brunette had been in a bit of a hurry to get out the door. She wondered whether she should disturb her employer on her not-date, if only to ask if she was cool with Chloe handling a very naked Rose.

 

Then again, she figured, it was just part of being a babysitter, right?

 

“Oh do you now? C’mon then, lead the way,” she smiled, chuckling as Rose darted out of the room, already discarding items of clothing along the way.

 

--

 

Chloe had migrated back to the music room once Rose was settled down, idly scanning the shelves with Beca’s music collection, which was both eclectic and extensive. There were records from all decades and all genres, neatly lined up chronologically. She was about to pick one to listen to – Beca had told her to make herself at home – when her eyes fell on the tablet on the easy couch nearby.

 

Picking it up, she found a list of thousands of songs, mostly from the last two decades. Curious about Beca’s music tastes, she scrolled through it, finding it sorted by artist and year. A quick search for DJ BM made Chloe squeal, finding every song of the artist neatly listed and available – even a few she had never heard of.

 

She set it to play softly in the background, making herself comfortable on the couch as she whipped out her phone to kill the time.

 

--

 

It was a little after eleven when Beca returned home from the business dinner. She, Stacie and CR had met with a few club owners from around the area to discuss the possibility of DJ BM performing at their venues. Of course, none of them had any idea Beca was DJ BM. She’d introduced herself as Kim, Stacie’s somewhat incompetent intern.

 

She’d liked the people they met, and there was a good chance of them working together in the future. Right now, though, she just wanted to sleep.

 

She immediately heard the soft music as she stepped through the front door, knowing it could only come from her music room. As expected, she found Chloe lounging on the couch, overhead speakers softly playing one of her – DJ BM’s – latest mixes.

 

“Hey you,” she smiled from the doorway. “I see you found my sanctuary.”

 

Chloe looked up, locking and putting her phone away as she bit her lower lip. “Yeah. Hope you don’t mind me coming in here?”

 

“No, you’re fine,” Beca responded with a dismissive wave, sauntering into the room.

 

“Oh, I know,” Chloe responded with a saucy wink.

 

Beca felt heat creep up her neck, and made a conscious effort not to be flustered. “Are you always like this?”

 

“Flirty?” the redhead asked, looking like she was trying to contain her mirth.

 

“I was going to say weird, but… yeah.”

 

Chloe shrugged as if it didn’t make a difference to her. “Pretty much. Yeah. Does it make you uncomfortable?”

 

“No,” Beca responded immediately, knowing it was a lie.

 

Clearly, the redhead caught on, too, tongue caught between her teeth as she grinned. “Liar. I can tone it down a bit, if you need me to.”

 

Beca shook her head, not feeling as embarrassed as she thought she might have. “No, I’ll get used to it, I guess.”

 

Chloe nodded a few times, before motioning up to the overhead sound system. “Pretty fancy. I gather you’re a fan of DJ BM?”

 

“Why’d you figure?” Beca asked cautiously. “There’s a lot of stuff on there by different artists.”

 

“True,” Chloe admitted slowly. “But I’m a pretty big fan, and you’ve got some songs on here that I didn’t even know…”

 

That’s because they haven’t been published yet, Beca thought to herself, managing to contain a wince. “I mean, yeah, I suppose she’s pretty cool.”

 

Chloe filed the use of the female pronoun away for later. She knew there were scores of people who believed DJ BM to be a woman, for a variety of reasons, and she never shied away from discussing people’s opinions on her favourite mystery.

 

“How was Rose tonight? Manage okay?”

 

“Yeah, we were okay,” Chloe smiled, somewhat uneasy. “I did give her a bath… I hope you don’t mind?”

 

Beca grinned. “No, she was about due I suppose. Why would I mind?”

 

“Well,” Chloe began, searching for words. “I wasn’t sure if you’d be okay with, y’know, a random stranger undressing your child and bathing them. It could be… misconstrued.”

 

Beca figured she looked as confused as she felt at the redhead’s comment. “No, I trust you,” she declared firmly. “I wouldn’t have hired you to look after Rose if I didn’t.”

 

Chloe nodded, brilliant smile adorning her face. “That was some sugar rush, though,” Chloe grinned. “What did your sister give her? Energy drinks?”

 

Beca shrugged, leaning against the door frame. “Knowing her? Pure sugar and rainbows.”

 

Chloe laughed quietly. “Sounds like a girl after my own heart…” After a brief silence, she pulled her phone out again. “I should call a cab and get out of your way.”

 

“Don’t bother,” Beca waved dismissively. “Getting a cab at this time sucks balls.”

 

“It’s not that late, Beca,” Chloe pointed out amusedly.

 

The brunette shrugged. “Whatever. C’mon,” she gestured, walking down to the garage. She remembered the way Chloe had been eyeing the Porsche – ironically Beca’s least favourite car – earlier, pulling the keys off the hook near the door. “Catch,” she murmured, tossing them to the redhead, who looked at them wide-eyed.

 

“I couldn’t,” Chloe whispered, looking at the key chain with the Porsche insignia.

 

“Of course you can,” Beca scoffed. “You’ve got your driver’s license, don’t you?”

 

“Yeah, but…”

 

“It’s just a car, Chloe,” Beca chuckled, leading them into the garage and towards the Porsche. “It’ll save you an Uber trip next time you come over, too.”

 

“But Beca, this is-“

 

“It’s just a car,” Beca repeated firmly, opening the door for the redhead. “Go on…”

 

“Are you sure?”

 

“Absolutely.”

 

Clearly, Chloe couldn’t contain her enthusiasm anymore, doing an adorable little squeal-and-wiggle, before sliding into the vehicle and starting the engine. “Oh, I’m in love…”

 

It took Chloe a few moments to get ready, but eventually, she easily rolled out of the garage, throwing Beca an excited wave in passing. Beca fondly shook her head at how easy it was to make the babysitter happy. As soon as the garage door was closed again, she turned on her heels to go and check on her daughter, after which it was straight to bed.

 

--

 

Chloe woke up early the following morning, her roommate Aubrey cursing as she shuffled through the apartment. “Bree? What’s up?”

 

The blonde appeared in the doorway just as Chloe sat up straight. “Apparently, there’s a public transport strike today,” the blonde grumbled. “My boss is going to have my hide for not showing up on time.”

 

Eyes flashing towards the keys on her nightstand, Chloe grinned excitedly. “Give me a few minutes to get dressed, I’ll drive you.”

 

Aubrey shot her a look, indicating quite clearly she believed Chloe to have gone mad. “Chloe Beale, like me, you do not own a car.”

 

“At the moment,” Chloe grinned, “I kinda do, though.” At the blonde’s questioning look, she continued. “Beca leant me one of hers so I could drive home last night.”

 

“Your employer leant you her car?”

 

“One of her cars,” Chloe gently corrected, grabbing pants and a shirt to get ready. “It’s no big deal.” Except it totally is, Chloe mused silently, keeping her thoughts to herself.

 

By the time Chloe was dressed, Aubrey was impatiently tapping her foot at the door. The redhead grabbed the keys and her wallet and phone, following the blonde out of their apartment and down the stairs in a rather frenzied rush.

 

Outside, Chloe noticed several people already checking her – Beca’s – car out. “Wait, wait, don’t tell me your boss gave you her fucking Porsche,” Aubrey whimpered, staring at the sports car with wide eyes.

 

“Sure did!” Chloe chirped, unlocking the car, and sending the gawkers scattering. “Hop in!”

 

--

 

Chloe was just about to go back to bed, having dropped off a completely astonished Aubrey, when her phone started ringing. Recognizing her mother’s number, she happily accepted the call.

 

“Chloe Mary Beale!” her sharp voice came through the speaker, making the redhead wince. “What did we tell you about sending us more money than you could miss?”

 

“Hey, mom, how’re you doing?” Chloe quipped easily. “Yeah, I’m doing fine, too, thanks for asking. Weather here is horrible, bet Florida is much warmer. Yes, Aubrey is great too.”

 

“Yes to all that,” her mother quipped back. “Now back to the money issue.”

 

“I didn’t send more than I could spare, mom,” Chloe tried to explain before her mother immediately cut in.

 

“Last month, you told me you’d be sending less because of that repair bill you told me about.”

 

“Yeah, well, I got a new job,” Chloe responded happily.

 

To her surprise, she heard her mother sigh. “Please tell me you didn’t resort to selling your body just to-“

 

“Mom!” she yelped. “I didn’t become a hooker!”

 

“I didn’t say you had, sweetheart. Not that we’d love you any less if you had, but…”

 

“I’m not!” Chloe insisted.

 

“Exotic dancing is also a form of selling your body!” she heard her father yelling from somewhere in the background, making her groan.

 

“Dad! I’m not a stripper, either! I’m just babysitting!”

 

“You’re trying to tell me you could spare two thousand dollars by babysitting?” her mother asked, clearly not believing her.

 

“Yes. My employer is this really wealthy single mom, and I’m babysitting her daughter Rose. She pays me three-hundred bucks an hour because I kinda told her money was tight and she seems really happy with my services.”

 

She groaned as she heard her father making good-natured comments from the background. “Yeah, I bet this woman is really happy with your ‘services’ dear,” he joked. “I bet she’s a real looker, right?”

 

“Dad,” Chloe wined. “Stop it, it isn’t like that.” Smile growing on her face, she continued. “But yeah, she’s pretty cute, if you must know.”

 

“Hah! I knew it,” her dad sounded from the background, before being silenced by her mother again.

 

“Are you doing okay, love?” she asked worriedly.

 

“I’m fine, mom,” Chloe assured her. “She’s really kind and her daughter is an absolute joy. There’s nothing going on between us, despite the dirty thoughts dad might be having. She’s just really supportive.”

 

“And you’ll tell us if something sketchy happens?”

 

“Yes, mom,” Chloe sighed with a roll of her eyes. “Don’t be such a worry-wart, I promise I’m doing fine.”

 

“Well, if you’re sure,” her mother finally conceded. “Call me again next week?”

 

“I will,” Chloe promised, smiling as her mother said her goodbyes and the connection was broken. With a big yawn, she stretched and dropped backwards onto her bed, falling asleep just about instantly.

 

--

 

“Beca?” Jesse asked as he came up from the garage. “Did you sell the Porsche?”

 

“Nope,” the brunette responded distractedly, trying to clean the syrup from Rose’s face.

 

“Then we have a problem, because I’m pretty sure someone stole it.”

 

“Nah, dude,” she muttered. “Stop it, Rose, I’m trying to get you cleaned up. Anyway, Jesse, I told Chloe to take the Porsche so she could get home. Didn’t want her to have to wait for a cab or anything. Pretty inconvenient for her, y’know.”

 

“So you leant her your Porsche?” Jesse asked incredulously.

 

“Yeah,” Beca responded, lifting Rose from her seat and putting her on the ground, where she instantly tore off in search of adventures.

 

“You don’t even let me drive your Porsche!” Jesse whined pitifully.

 

“You never had a reason to, you always take the Audi!” Beca defended, arms crossed.

 

“Because you never let me take the Porsche!”

 

“The Porsche is inconvenient when you’re driving me around! There absolutely zero room for my equipment, and you know I hate sitting in the passenger seat, all squashed with my laptop and shit on my lap!”

 

“It’s a lap-top, Beca. It’s supposed to go on your lap!” Jesse yelled back, before his jaws snapped shut. “You leant her your Porsche,” he suddenly smiled, creeping Beca out.

 

“I… thought we had already established that?” Beca asked, now really confused.

 

“Uh-huh. Just making sure,” Jesse chuckled, before turning down the stairs again.

 

“Whatever, dude.”

Chapter Text

“Chloe Beale’s phone, this is Aubrey.”

 

“Oh, um. Hi.”

 

“Hi?” Aubrey repeated dumbly. “Who is this?”

 

“Oh, right. Beca. Mitchell. Beca Mitchell. I’m sort of looking for Chloe?”

 

“I figured,” Aubrey deadpanned, “this being her phone and all.”

 

“Right…”

 

“She’s in the shower.”

 

“Ah. Okay, I’ll um, call back later.”

 

“Who’s on the phone, Bree?” Chloe yelled from the bathroom. “Is it Beca?”

 

“Yeah!” Aubrey called back.

 

“What does she need?”

 

“You, I imagine,” Aubrey replied, bringing the phone back to her ear. “I’m guessing you need her to babysit?”

 

“Um, well, yeah. Like, now-ish, maybe?”

 

“She needs you ASAP, Chloe!” Aubrey yelled into the bathroom, ignoring the complaint coming from the phone about pierced eardrums.

 

“Tell her I’ll be over in half an hour!” Chloe chirped back, sound of water fading away.

 

“She’ll be over in half an hour,” Aubrey repeated dutifully.

 

“Yeah, I sort of heard every word, so thanks, I guess?”

 

--

 

Following Beca’s instructions, Chloe carefully manoeuvred the Porsche into the underground garage, locking it and hanging the keys next to the others. Hand resting on the door handle at the top of the stairs, she wavered for a moment. It felt weird, entering this woman’s house without actually being let in at the front door.

 

She slowly cracked the door open. “Beca?” she called awkwardly, not wanting to just barge into her home.

 

“Yeah, in here!” came the response, leading the redhead upstairs and into Rose’s room, where Beca was just tucking the little girl in.

 

“Miss Chloe!” Rose whined pitifully, making Chloe’s heart break a little. When her little frame was wracked by coughs, Chloe kneeled next to her, rubbing circles across her back as Beca tucked her hair behind her ears again.

 

“She isn’t feeling too great today,” Beca explained rather unnecessarily.

 

“You poor thing,” Chloe cooed. “Lay down and get some sleep, okay? When you wake up, I’ll make you some chicken soup. My mom used to make it for me when I wasn’t feeling well, and it always made me feel better.”

 

“Promise?” Rose asked with watery eyes, looking up at her with the most adorable pout ever.

 

“Promise,” Chloe nodded.

 

They left her to get some rest, leaving the door open so they’d hear when something was up. “Sorry to spring this on you,” Beca muttered with a grimace. “I need to get some shopping done for her birthday next week, and I have work tonight, so I’m afraid you’ll be here for a while.”

 

Chloe shrugged, sitting down on one of the stools in the kitchen as Beca made two cups of coffee. “That’s okay, I have nowhere else to be. I brought my laptop, so I can get some studying done.”

 

Beca hummed, placing two steaming cups in front of them.

 

“Any idea what time you’ll be back?” Chloe asked idly, not really caring one way or another.

 

Beca bit her lip for a moment. “It’ll probably get pretty late again. Work has been kind of crazy lately.”

 

“That’s alright,” Chloe shrugged. “Like I said, I’ve got nowhere else to be.”

 

“Um, okay, so the fridge is packed with enough food to last you like, three weeks,” Beca started. “If you want take-out, there’s menus in the drawer over there. I left some money, too, just in case. Um, if Rose gets worse, and you can’t reach me on my cell, I left a list of phone numbers ranging from my mother to the local ER – I’m guessing you won’t need that one, but whatever. Better safe than sorry, right?”

 

“Right,” Chloe smiled in return, sipping her coffee. “You don’t need to worry so much, though. I’m sure we’ll be fine. We have been every time so far.”

 

“I know,” Beca breathed out. “I just feel shitty going in to work while Rose is…”

 

“I get it,” Chloe murmured. “But work is work, and you can’t always pause your life, not even for your daughter. Besides, it isn’t like you’re leaving her home alone. You made sure there’s a responsible adult to look after her. You have nothing to feel bad about.”

 

“I suppose,” Beca sighed. “I’m not convinced, though.”

 

“Of course you’re not,” Chloe chuckled. “That’s what makes you a good mother.”

 

“You think so?”

 

“I know so,” Chloe winked. “Now go, get some birthday shopping done. I promise we’ll be fine.”

 

“Yeah, right, okay. I’ll be back in a little while, then.”

 

“Go, go,” Chloe laughed, watching the brunette drain her coffee and grabbing her purse.

 

--

 

Rose had been napping peacefully for almost two hours before she woke up, still looking glassy-eyed, coughing her little lungs out and being generally miserable. Chloe had spent most of the time fulfilling her promise and making chicken soup following her mother’s recipe, which she could just about dream by now.

 

Rose was sitting at the counter quietly, taking a tiny spoonful of soup every few seconds. After a while, she hummed happily. “Yummy!”

 

“Yeah?” Chloe asked with a smile, watching the little girl nod vigorously.

 

“Momma’s soup stinks,” she then muttered with a scrunched up nose.

 

Chloe barked out a short laugh. “That bad, huh?”

 

Again, Rose nodded fiercely. “You should teach momma soup.”

 

Chuckling, Chloe ruffled the girl’s hair playfully. “I just might do that, sweety.”

 

Their moment was interrupted by the doorbell, Rose hopping off her chair and barrelling towards the front door. “Rose Bailey Mitchell, you come back here right now!” Chloe called, making sure to look stern as the girl came back into the kitchen.

 

“Are you allowed to open the door without an adult?”

 

“No, Miss Chloe,” Rose pouted.

 

“That’s what I thought,” Chloe nodded. “Go eat you soup, sweety, before it gets cold. I’ll go see who’s at the door.”

 

Chloe didn’t imagine it’d be Beca, figuring she’d just let herself in, obviously having the keys to her own home. When she opened the door, she found an entirely different brunette looking her up and down.

 

“You must be… Chloe, was it?” she smiled slyly.

 

“That’d be me, yes,” Chloe nodded, eyes narrowed. “And you would be…?”

 

“Stacie,” the woman introduced herself, holding out a perfectly manicured hand. “I’m here to pick Beca up for work.”

 

“Oh… She isn’t here right now.”

 

“That’s okay, I’ll wait,” Stacie smiled easily, moving to step inside until Chloe stepped aside to block her way.

 

“With all due respect, I have no idea who you are, really,” Chloe told her bluntly. “I’m being paid to look after a little girl in here, and I’m not just going to let some… random stranger… inside this house.”

 

Stacie seemed a little taken aback, but she did give an understanding nod. “I get that. It’s awfully cold out there, though. So how about we call Beca and ask her if she’s okay with you letting me in?”

 

Chloe fished her phone from her pocket, eyes never leaving Stacie. Beca picked up within seconds.

 

“Is Rose alright?” came the frenzied first words.

 

“She’s fine, Beca,” Chloe chuckled. “She’s eating my famous soup. Apparently, it’s better than yours.”

 

“Yeah, well, that’s not much of an accomplishment,” Beca admitted unwillingly.

 

“I’m calling because there’s someone at the door, though, and I figured we’d check with you before I let her inside. She says her name’s Stacie?”

 

“Oh, right, yeah. Stacie’s cool, you can let her in,” Beca breathed, clearly relieved.

 

“Just to be sure, though,” Chloe murmured, “can you describe this Stacie-person. I’d hate to let someone in who just gave me the name of one of your friends…”

 

“Right, that makes sense,” came Beca’s response. “Um, well, if the person in front of you is mostly boobs and legs, I’m pretty sure you’re looking at Stacie.”

 

Looking at the woman, who seemed amused as she checked her nails, Chloe had to admit that was a pretty apt description. “Yeah, okay, I’ll let her in, then,” she said. “She told me she was here to pick you up?”

 

“Yeah, that’s not… She’s just lifting along because I have a driver and she doesn’t. Anyhow, I should be back in, like, thirty?”

 

“That’s okay, take your time,” Chloe smiled, stepping aside and motioning for Stacie to come in. “Sorry to have bothered you.”

 

“Chloe, no, not at all,” Beca told her seriously. “I’m actually really glad you didn’t just let someone in. Proofs I got good instincts when I hired you.”

 

“Ahw, you say the sweetest things,” Chloe cooed into the phone, imagining Beca to be blushing at her tone. “I’ll see you soon, then. Bye!”

 

--

 

When Beca walked into her kitchen, she wasn’t surprised to find Chloe and Stacie chatting animatedly. They seemed like two people who would get along swimmingly. She was a little surprised at the fact Chloe had Rose cradled in her lap, her daughter’s face pressed into the redhead’s neck, apparently fast asleep.

 

“Hey you two,” she interrupted, eyeing Stacie warily. The woman had an expression if mischief that Beca wasn’t entirely unfamiliar with, unfortunately.

 

“What are you doing here, Stace? I thought we’d meet at the office?”

 

“Yeah, well,” the taller brunette shrugged. “I was talking to Jesse this morning, y’know, about work and driving arrangements and stuff. Speaking off, he told me you’d leant out the Porsche?”

 

“Again with the Porsche,” Beca huffed. “It’s just a car, for crying out loud.”

 

Stacie hummed. “You never let me take the Porsche for a spin, though?”

 

Beca glared daggers at her supposed friend, not oblivious to Chloe’s confused expression. “Stacie, you literally totalled my first car, like, three hours after I bought it!”

 

“It’s just a car, Beca,” Stacie repeated with a smirk.

 

“I hate you,” Beca muttered under her breath, before turning her attention to Chloe. “How’s Rose?”

 

Chloe tried to shrug, the little body wrapped around her making it all but impossible. “She seemed better before she fell asleep. Magic chicken soup, always works.”

 

“You’ll have to teach me sometime,” Beca smiled, sitting down as well.

 

“That’s pretty much what your daughter told me, too,” Chloe chuckled.

 

“Yeah, well, she’s a pretty smart kid,” Beca nodded.

 

“Yeah, which is a miracle,” Stacie interjected. “Seeing as she’s your kid.”

 

“Fudge off, Stace,” Beca bit back, before cracking a grin.

 

--

 

Dinner with Beca and Stacie had been nice. It was strange to see the two women, who were clearly good friends, mercilessly teasing each other. Although, to be fair, Stacie was doing most of the teasing.

 

She still had Rose draped across her lap, all throughout dinner. Both women had offered to take her and put her to bed, but Chloe didn’t want to risk Rose waking up and feeling miserable again. Besides, it wasn’t like Rose was a major inconvenience or anything.

 

The ringtone from Beca’s phone eventually stirred Rose form her slumber. Beca crouched down next to them, pressing a kiss to Rose’s forehead as she said her goodbyes. Rose was barely even conscious, not even acknowledging Stacie before she closed her eyes again and nuzzled back into Chloe.

 

--

 

“Um, Beca?” Jesse murmured, poking his head into the dressing room, eyes firmly closed. “I hope you’ve got clothes on.”

 

“Of course I’ve got clothes on, you weirdo,” Beca snarked back, looking at the masks on the table in front of her. “Come in and close the door before someone else decides to join the fun.”

 

“Eh, the entire backstage area is locked down,” Jesse shrugged, following her instructions anyway. “After that business last time, we didn’t take any chances.”

 

“Okay, so why do you look like you want to be doing anything other than talking with me?” Beca asked suspiciously.

 

“That would be because Stacie volunteered me to tell you… That stupid reporter from last time was seen in line. She has a ticket.”

 

Beca groaned. “Tell Miss Abernathy,” she muttered, “that she is not welcome at DJ BM’s performances anymore. Make sure she gets her money back, though, because we’re not thieves.”

 

“I’ll- Can we do that?” Jesse asked with furrowed brows.

 

“Sure we can,” Beca responded. “And if we can’t, tell Stacie to make it so we can. That’s pretty much her job. I’m not starting my set until I’ve got confirmation Abernathy did not get in.”

 

“Fair enough,” Jesse muttered. “If all else fails, we’ll just tell all your fans you’re refusing to come out because of her. That should solve the problem.”

 

“She’d be lynched,” Beca stated dryly. “Which is not exactly what I’m trying to achieve, either.”

 

As Jesse nodded and scurried off again, Beca sent a quick text to Chloe, confirming Rose was still doing okay. She got a text back almost instantly, picture of a bleary-eyed Rose in front of the television with Chloe bringing a smile on her face.

 

She turned towards the table again, picking up the black Phantom-of-the-Opera-style mask, adorned with golden glitters. “Okay, DJ BM, time to get your butt in the game.”

 

--

 

Chloe was just thinking tonight was going pretty well, Rose almost ready for bed, and seemingly feeling better. She had the girl propped up on her lap, brushing her hair when she suddenly turned around.

 

And then she opened her mouth to throw up the magic chicken soup, as well as anything else her stomach contained.

 

The sour stench penetrated the room immediately, and Chloe had to close her eyes and collect herself for a moment, lest she add her own vomit to the pile as well. Hearing Rose’s pitiful sob, though, broke her heart a little.

 

Opening her eyes, she found the girl, having slid off her lap, looking at her teary-eyed. “I’m so sorry, Miss Chloe.”

 

And okay yeah, that really broke Chloe’s heart. “Hey, you’ve got nothing to be sorry about, sweety. Accidents happen. It’s not your fault your tummy’s feeling bad.”

 

Rose didn’t look entirely convinced, so Chloe gently rubbed her arm, before turning her around. “Go on to the bathroom, Rose. I’ll be right behind you. Let’s get cleaned up, okay?”

 

The little brunette nodded shakily, stumbling into the bathroom. Chloe quickly handed her a glass of water to rinse, which the little girl did dutifully. Chloe quickly stripped off her spoiled shirt, tossing it in the corner. Taking Rose out of her dirty PJs, and tossing those on the pile, too, Chloe wetted a washcloth with warm water, gently cleaning Rose up.

 

When the little girl was all freshened up, Chloe instructed her to go and fetch a new set of PJs while she cleaned herself up. Rose returned in no time, just as Chloe threw the washcloth on the pile with their clothes.

 

“C’mon then, let’s get you to bed,” she smiled gently, taking the girl’s hand and leading her to the bedroom.

 

It didn’t take long for Rose to fall into a deep sleep, exhausted from being ill. Chloe tracked back to the bathroom, gathering up all the soiled clothes and stuffing them into the washing machine. Looking at her bra-clad self in the mirror, she briefly considered going through her employer’s closet to see if she could find something to wear. Not feeling comfortable doing so, she shook her head tiredly, making her way back to the music room and getting comfortable.

 

She took a look at her phone, figuring she had deserved some relaxation before getting down to studying.

 

Scandal: Freedom of Press Impeded by DJ BM!

 

Yeah, people, you read that right! DJ BM is blatantly ignoring the First Amendment. This honest reporter tried to get at the artist’s identity only a few weeks ago, and was kept from doing so. But, even worse, I was not even allowed into the club tonight, despite the fact that I BOUGHT a TICKET to the PERFORMANCE!

 

How outrageous is that, people?!

 

I was just waiting in line, minding my OWN BUSINESS when DJ BM’s security detail told me I wasn’t welcome, and literally DRAGGED me out of the line. This was some crazy police-state shit, fam!

 

But hey, you guys know me, right? RIGHT! I wouldn’t be so easily kept from my goal. So yeah, I may have used the BRIBE they gave me to leave, and bribed one of the clubs security guys to let me in anyways.

 

Knowing all eyes would be out for my perfectly-coiffed hairdo, I didn’t even bother attempting to get backstage. I’ll BIDE my TIME, but I SWEAR I will UNCOVER this mystery – next time!

 

This is your favourite reporter, Gail Abernathy, reporting on INJUSTICE

 

Chloe’s brows raised at the tone of the article. She didn’t like this reporter much, but for DJ BM to go and have her dragged out of the line was a little extreme.

 

Quickly googling tonight’s event, she found a series of Youtube videos of the incident. Watching them with interest, she found them to shine an entirely different light on the events that transpired.

 

Yeah, the reporter was denied access, but she was gently escorted away, and the security guards clearly explained she’d get the money back she paid for the ticket. There was no dragging or bribing involved, by the looks of it…

 

Sighing, she put her phone aside and opened her textbooks, intent to bury herself in them until Beca’s return.

 

--

 

It was closing in one five o’clock when Chloe heard Beca stumbling in, furiously muttering into her phone. “Fire him. Yes, you heard me right. Fire him… No, I don’t care he doesn’t work for us! Fire him anyway. Just tell them I said so, they’ll listen… Obviously, because I said so. Yes, I am really-“

 

Beca fell immediately silent as she entered the music room and laid eyes on Chloe, and only then did the redhead realize she was still sitting there in only her jeans and her bra, shoes kicked off long ago, and shirt still tumbling in the dryer.

 

“Um. I gotta go. Just… deal with it,” Beca mumbled into her phone, eyes locked firmly on Chloe. As soon as she moved her phone from her ear, she swallowed thickly. “You’re um… naked.”

 

Chloe scoffed. “You wish, Becs,” she teased. “Jeans and a bra hardly equals nakedness.”

 

“Naked-ish,” Beca corrected. It was as if she suddenly realized she had been staring, eyes snapping to the ceiling.

 

“Relax, Beca,” Chloe chuckled. “We’re both women. I bet I have nothing you haven’t seen before a thousand times.”

 

“Yeah, well, you’re sitting on my couch in a very red and lacy bra, so excuse me for being, like, decent or whatever, and not doing the staring thing.”

 

“That’s okay,” Chloe laughed quietly. “You did plenty of the staring thing just now.”

 

Her laughing grew a little louder as Beca’s face flushed a brilliant red. “I so did not!”

 

“Yeah, but you really did,” Chloe hummed. “It’s okay, though, you can stare if you want. I’m pretty confident about all this,” she teased, gesturing down her body.

 

“You should be,” Beca blurted, before closing her eyes with a groan. “I mean- I mean, why are you not wearing a shirt?”

 

Chloe’s chuckle tapered off. “Rose kinda puked all over me,” she grimaced. “She’s doing much better now, though. She’s been sleeping peacefully since like, nine?”

 

“I’m so sorry, Chloe,” Beca sighed, rubbing the bridge of her nose.

 

“That’s what she said, too,” Chloe smiled gently. “It’s fine, though.”

 

“I should’ve been here,” Beca said firmly.

 

“What, so we could both be puked on? I don’t really see how that would have made things better,” she chided gently, before deciding to have some fun with the brunette. “Although, if that meant seeing you in a bra, too… Maybe it would have been better.”

 

Beca rolled her eyes. “You’re such a weirdo.”

 

“Guilty,” Chloe admitted.

 

“Why didn’t you just grab one of my sweaters or something?” Beca asked after a beat of silence, eyes still decidedly avoiding Chloe.

 

“I didn’t feel comfortable going through your stuff,” Chloe told her. “I’m not the kind of person to go snooping around your bedroom.”

 

“Grabbing something to wear is hardly snooping, Chloe,” Beca told her.

 

“Well, if you go and grab me something,” Chloe smiled, “I’ll grab my stuff and get out of here.”

 

“It’s five in the fucking morning, Chloe,” Beca told her. “I don’t think you should be driving home.”

 

“I’ll call a cab, then,” Chloe shrugged. “I don’t mind.”

 

“I do,” Beca decided. “I’ll grab you something to wear. You should text your roommate that you’re sleeping over. Wouldn’t want her to worry.”

 

“Trying to get me into your bed, Miss Mitchell?” Chloe smiled coyly, watching Beca grow so flustered she almost walked into a wall.

 

“Dude!”

 

“Sorry, force of habit,” Chloe laughed freely.

 

Ten minutes later, Chloe was wearing a DJ BM hoodie – she knew Beca was a fan – and standing in one of the guest bedrooms, watching Beca place a pile of oversized clothes on the nightstand. “Thank you, Beca. Have a good night.”

 

“You too, Chloe.”

 

She watched Beca make her way out of the room, gently closing the door behind her. “Sweet dreams, Becs!” she called after her, just in time to see the brunette smiling back at her.

 

Chapter Text

“I said no, Rose!” came the frantic whisper from the other side of the door.

 

“But momma!” came a responding voice, whiny. “I gotta tell Miss Chloe I’m better now!”

 

“You can tell Chloe when she wakes up. C’mon, I’ll make breakfast.”

 

“Momma, we can’t breakfast without Miss Chloe!” Rose whispered back.

 

“But-“ Rather than a sentence, there was an audible sigh. “Fine. Go watch your cartoons, then. Let me know when you get hungry, kay?”

 

“Kay, Momma!”

 

Chloe smiled to herself, rolling over and stretching her limbs. She’d slept surprisingly well, and the interaction she’d overheard through the bedroom door had already made her day. Reaching for her phone, she noticed a message from her mother, asking to call her whenever Chloe was free.

 

Deciding to safe it for when she got home, Chloe got dressed in the clothes Beca had given her the day before, smiling at the DJ BM hoodie, and the fact she had a remarkably similar one at home. She quietly opened the bedroom door and padded towards the kitchen, finding Beca reading the newspaper with a cup of coffee in front of her.

 

“Good morning,” she chirped, startling the brunette. “Oops, sorry,” she winced. “Didn’t mean to scare you.”

 

“No, that’s alright,” Beca chuckled awkwardly. “I’m just… not really used to people being here in the morning. Except for Rose, of course.”

 

“I get it,” Chloe nodded, making her way over to the coffee maker and getting herself a cup, too. “I’m guessing you don’t have too many sleepovers.”

 

“No,” Beca admitted. “Haven’t had sleepovers since Rose’s father… Well, it’s been a few years.”

 

Chloe bit her lower lip, not wanting to ask questions Beca might find too personal, but dying from curiosity anyway.”

 

“Go ahead,” Beca sighed good-naturedly. “Ask.”

 

“I was just wondering why Rose’s father isn’t…”

 

Beca sighed again, folding the newspaper and finishing her coffee, gesturing for Chloe to make her one too. “We weren’t particularly serious. We were young, foolish… I certainly wasn’t planning on getting pregnant back then…” There was a beat of silence, Chloe listening intently. “When I told him I was pregnant with his baby, he immediately insisted I’d um… ‘get rid of it,’ were his exact words.”

 

“That can’t have been easy,” Chloe murmured sympathetically.

 

“No, it wasn’t,” Beca admitted. “I hadn’t really even considered the options available, y’know. I just thought we’d… discuss it, or something? But there was no discussion possible. He told me he wasn’t ready to be father, and he wasn’t that serious about me… That kinda hurt.”

 

“I can only imagine,” Chloe nodded slowly, wanting to reach out to Beca, but refraining. She had the feeling Beca wasn’t as keen on physical contact.

 

“When I told him I wanted to keep her, he sort of flipped the fuck out. Told me I’d be a horrible mother, and that I shouldn’t rely on him for support. Needless to say, we um… didn’t see much of each other after that.”

 

“Damn,” Chloe muttered. “Sounds like you’re better off without him, anyway. He sure is missing out on all the cuteness, though…”

 

“Yeah, Rose is a pretty cute kid, isn’t she?” Beca smiled fondly.

 

“I wasn’t just talking about Rose,” Chloe winked, unable to help herself.

 

Beca’s eyes grew the size of saucers, and although her mouth was open, she wasn’t making an actual sound.

 

“Just calling it as I see it, Becs,” Chloe continued with a smirk.

 

It took Beca a few seconds to recover, a small grin forming on her face. “So um… Can I ask-“

 

“Miss Chloe!”

 

Rose came running into the kitchen, squealing loudly.

 

“No running in the house!” Beca admonished. “Slow down, Rose,” Chloe told the girl at exactly the same time, stopping the girl in her tracks.

 

“But I’m better now!” Rose told them, as if that was reason enough for her to be running through the house.

 

“I can see that,” Chloe smiled, lifting the girl into her lap.

 

The moment Rose settled, her stomach growled loudly. The little brunette looked up at Chloe doe-eyed. “Momma said we can’t eat without you!” she smiled cheekily.

 

“That’s not-“ Beca started to counter, but Chloe waved it away.

 

“How about we get that tummy of yours something to munch on, then?”

 

“Yes!”

 

--

 

Breakfast had come and gone, and Beca had to admit she kind of like the inclusion of Chloe in their morning routine. She wasn’t used to sharing her personal space with people, but with Chloe, it was somehow easy.

 

As long as she kept the flirting to a minimum, at least. Every little wink and comment managed to fluster her beyond reason. Even though Beca realized it was just a part of Chloe’s personality, she couldn’t help but wonder if there was more to it. She had been about to ask Chloe about her sexuality when Rose had interrupted their moment.

 

And now she couldn’t quite find a way to bring the subject up again without it being awkward. Lunchtime was almost coming around, and Chloe was still playing with Rose, braiding and unbraiding her hair, and letting Rose play with her own hair.

 

She was about to ask Chloe whether she’d be staying for lunch when the redhead’s phone interrupted the peaceful atmosphere.

 

“Hey mom,” Chloe answered it easily, not bothering to get up. “Yeah, sorry for not calling back, I’m sort of still at Beca’s-“

 

“-No, I mean, I just-“

 

“Yeah, okay, I’ve totally been here all night, yes.”

 

Beca raised her eyebrows at the one-sided conversation.

 

“No, she’s here, she came back like-“

 

“No, it’s not like that. I told you there’s nothing-“

 

“-Dad!” Chloe hissed in the phone, a rare blush colouring her cheeks. “Alright, this conversation is over. I’ll call you tonight!”

 

Beca could hear a tinny voice laughing on the other side of the phone, even from her spot a few feet away. Chloe quite decisively disconnected the call, pocketing her phone again.

 

The redhead remained uncharacteristically quiet, the atmosphere in the room now somewhat tense. Wanting to get her mind of whatever her parents had said, Beca took a leap of faith.

 

“So, I was thinking of going out for lunch. You’re welcome to join us, if you like?”

 

When Chloe didn’t respond immediately, Beca felt the doubts creeping in. “Or, y’know, you could just go home. I mean, I’m sure you have plenty of other things to do, besides hanging out with us.”

 

“No, I’d like lunch,” Chloe smiled, flush not entirely gone yet.

 

“Okay,” Beca nodded. “I can drop you off at your place after.”

 

--

 

Lunch was nice.

 

Actually, no, lunch was amazing.

 

They shared simple sandwiches at the little place Beca brings them, apparently Rose’s favourite, and talked about all kinds of things. The awkwardness from before entirely gone now, Chloe actually forgot about the comments her dad made about Beca being at the cute boss’ place all night, and found herself just enjoying Beca and Rose’s presence.

 

Somehow, though, they accidentally ended up back at Beca’s place, without Chloe having been dropped off at home, so they found themselves on the couch, watching Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Rose awkwardly draped over their laps and fast asleep.

 

“I’d say I’m sorry about this,” Beca chuckled, gesturing first to the movie and then to her daughter. “But I can’t find myself to say so truthfully.”

 

“That’s okay,” Chloe shrugged. “I kind of remembered you were supposed to drop me off when we were about halfway back here. Being home alone didn’t seem as appealing as being Rose’s full-body-pillow for the afternoon.”

 

“Yeah, Rose’s a pretty good cuddler,” Beca laughed quietly.

 

“I bet she gets that from her mother,” Chloe winked in return, sending the flush back up to Beca’s cheekbones.

 

For a moment, Chloe thought, it looked like Beca was about to ask her something, but then she just snapped her mouth shut and shook her head, as if telling herself off.

 

“What is it?” Chloe asked, “Come on!”

 

Beca took a deep breath, staring up at the ceiling for a moment. “I wanted to ask if you’d like to come to Rose’s birthday party next week?”

 

Chloe couldn’t help but be a little disappointed, being fairly certain that wasn’t actually the question the brunette had in mind. When Beca started rambling, Chloe realized she hadn’t actually responded to the question yet.

 

“It’s just that, well, there’s going to be a dozen of kids here, and I’m not really uh… qualified? For handling that many on my own. I’d pay you your regular fee, of course. It’s not like I’m asking you to be volunteering or anything-“

 

“Becs, relax,” Chloe chuckled, stopping the rambling with a soft touch to her upper arm. “I’d love to come. And you really don’t have to pay me- I’d help out, you only had to ask.”

 

“Okay. Good. Awesome, I mean.”

 

“Yeah, awesome.”

 

--

 

“Dude, don’t fight me on this, just take it,” Beca sighed, rubbing at her forehead.

 

“It’s a perfectly reasonable time for me to be able to get an Uber, Becs,” Chloe argued, hands on her hips.

 

“Yes. Yes, it is. But why should you, if I have a car you can use?”

 

“Because I’m not just going to take your Porsche again?” Chloe countered. “I get that it was convenient last time, but now there’s just no need!”

 

“What if I wanted you to?” Beca suddenly asked.

 

“Excuse me?”

 

“It’s… literally just sitting there, gathering dust,” Beca explained. “Please, just take it. It’ll make it easier for you to get around, too. Like, use it whenever, not just to get home and back here. It’s not ideal for grocery shopping, but whatever.”

 

“You want me to take your Porsche?”

 

“Yeah.”

 

“And pretend it’s mine?”

 

“Well, obviously it’d still be mine,” Beca argued lamely, “but like, job benefits or whatever. Company car.”

 

“When you put it like that…” Chloe murmured, smile growing on her face again. “Who am I to deny my boss this favour?”

 

“Not your boss,” Beca told her, frowning.

 

“Hate to break it to you, but you kinda are?” Chloe muttered. “I mean-“

 

“Yeah, okay, just… go, or whatever.”

 

--

 

“Well, well, well,” were the first words Chloe heard when she closed the door of her apartment behind her. Aubrey was sitting in the corner, a single reading light on, a living, breathing cliché. “Wasn’t sure I’d be seeing you again, Chloe.”

 

“Oh, shut it, Bree,” Chloe grinned. “I texted you, didn’t I?”

 

“Yeah, that you did. Doesn’t mean I didn’t think you were moving in there.”

 

Chloe rolled her eyes playfully. “I’ve just been hanging out with Rose, is all.”

 

“Uh-huh. Hanging out with Rose,” Aubrey nodded faux-seriously. “I bet her mother was pulling some massive overtime, huh?”

 

“No…” Chloe admitted. “She came back late last night. It’s why I stayed over, she didn’t want me to drive home.”

 

“So you told me, yes. What about today?” Aubrey asked, eyes narrowed.

 

“Today… Today was nice,” Chloe hummed.

 

“I bet it was,” Aubrey grinned. “You two make out on the couch while the kid was sleeping?”

 

“Bree!” Chloe squeaked.

 

“Oh, come on, you know you want it, Chlo. I bet she does, too!”

 

Chloe considered denying everything for a moment, but there was no way her best friend wouldn’t see through that. “Okay, yeah, she’s cute, okay. And I wouldn’t be opposed, I guess? But like, she has a kid, hasn’t been in any kind of meaningful relationship since Rose was born, and apparently had a bit of a nasty split with Rose’s father. Heck, I’m not even sure if she’s… you know…”

 

“Interested in women?” Aubrey supplied helpfully. “Or interested in you?”

 

“Both,” Chloe sighed, draping herself across the couch.

 

“She literally gave you her Porsche,” Aubrey muttered. “Again.”

 

“She’s just being nice, Bree.”

 

“If you say so,” the blonde muttered.

 

--

 

Chloe was just walking off-campus to where she had parked her car when her phone started to ring.

 

“Hey Beca,” she smiled into her phone. “What’s up?”

 

“Um, I’m running a little late… I know you have a lecture today, but I was wondering if you could… maybe pick up Rose? From school?”

 

“Yeah, of course, no problem,” Chloe immediately agreed. “I just got out, anyway. I was just going home and do absolutely nothing. Text me the address?”

 

“Yeah, I will. Thanks, Chloe, you’re a lifesaver.”

 

“Don’t mention it, Becs,” the redhead smiled. “That’s what friends are for, right?”

 

Arriving at her – Beca’s – Porsche, she found a group of jocks surrounding it, appreciatively checking the car out. As she walked closer, the started appreciatively checking Chloe out as well. “This your car, Honeybear?” one of them asked her.

 

Rolling her eyes at the term of endearment – kind of? – Chloe fished the keys from her purse and unlocked the car. “Sure is. Now move, please, I’ve got places to be.”

 

“You could come places with me,” the jock smiled slyly, wiggling his brows.

 

“Yeah, no, not gonna happen, sorry,” Chloe grimaced, sliding into the driver’s seat. “I’ve got higher standards than that.”

 

The drive to Rose’s school wasn’t a long one, and Chloe slipped into a vacant parking spot just as little bodies started spilling from the entrance, parents impatiently waiting out in the cold. Walking up to the already dispersing group revealed Rose not to be amongst them.

 

Chloe decided to go inside, where she found Rose in one of the classrooms, teacher animatedly chatting with her until she saw Chloe.

 

“Miss Chloe!” Rose squealed, throwing herself into Chloe’s embrace.

 

“You must be Miss Beale,” the teacher smiled kindly. “Miss Mitchell called ahead to let us know you’d be picking Rose up.”

 

“Yeah, Beca couldn’t make it. Some work emergency. I hope we haven’t inconvenienced you too much.”

 

“Not at all,” the teacher smiled. “Rose is such a sweet kid. You two did a good job of raising her.”

 

“Oh, um… I- Thanks?” Chloe stammered, internally groaning at the fact she didn’t actually correct the teacher’s assumption. “Come on, sweety, let’s get you home.”

 

Chloe took care to strap Rose in properly before driving home – Beca’s home – she had to remind herself. Parking in the underground garage, the two walked upstairs, where Chloe bee-lined for the kitchen, preparing lunch. She had just cracked the eggs when her phone rang again.

 

“Chloe speaking,” she answered it, putting it on speaker so she could continue with lunch. She threw a quick glance over her shoulder, finding Rose on the ground drawing with her crayons.

 

“Hey, Chloe, it’s Beca. Just calling to let you know I’m on my way home. You there, yet?”

 

“Yeah, we just got in,” Chloe hummed, rummaging to one of the cupboards to find bread. “I was just getting started on lunch. You want French toast, fried eggs with a side of bacon, too?”

 

“You’re spoiling my daughter way too much,” Beca chuckled. “But yeah, that does sound nice.”

 

“Alright, you better hurry your cute butt home, then,” Chloe chirped back, “before Rose eats all the good stuff!”

 

“Hurry momma!” came Rose’s input, making them both laugh.

 

Chloe had just set the table for three, and was finishing up on their lunch, when Beca came walking up the stairs coming from the garage. “Hey kiddo,” she smiled tiredly, moving in for a hug and a kiss. Once Rose disentangled herself from Beca, the older brunette turned towards Chloe.

 

“Hey, Chlo. Thanks for picking her up.”

 

“No problem,” Chloe smiled. “No kiss for me?” she pouted playfully.

 

She was used to flustering Beca by now, it was both easy and fun, and she felt like Beca had grown accustomed to it as well, over time. It had become their new normal, apparently. What wasn’t normal, though, was Beca ducking around the little bar and pressing a quick kiss to Chloe’s cheek, before moving seamlessly to the coffee maker. “Coffee or tea?” she asked as if she’d done nothing out of the ordinary.

 

Chloe wasn’t easily flustered. She liked flirting as much as she liked being flirted with, and she had ample experience with both. Now, however, she found herself blushing like a schoolgirl, unable to process the feeling of Beca’s soft lips pressed to her cheeks.

 

Such an innocent action had absolutely no right to draw such a reaction from her, the redhead told herself.

 

“Chloe?”

 

“Huh?” she asked, snapping out of her stupor.

 

“I asked if you wanted coffee or tea?”

 

“Oh, um, tea, please,” she smiled, a smile that grew even wider when she watched Beca effortlessly picking Chloe’s favourite flavour.

 

“C’mon kiddo,” Beca moved on, apparently unaware of the effect her little peck had on Chloe. “Let’s get you washed up while Chloe finishes lunch, okay?”

 

“Yeah! Food!” Rose yelled, racing towards the bathroom. Chloe smiled to herself, taking the time to compose herself as she placed the final bits on the table for them to enjoy.

 

Her two favourite brunettes returned shortly, taking their seats at the table and digging into the food Chloe had prepared. Chloe had never considered cooking to be one of her hobbies, but seeing Beca and Rose enjoy this simple meal she had whipped up for them made her want to do this more often.

 

More like, all the time, maybe.

 

And okay, yeah, maybe Aubrey was right about this whole having-feelings-for-Beca thing.

 

“Miss Chloe!” Rose poked her. “You’re not eating!”

 

Chloe chuckled. “Well, I didn’t want to risk you two biting my fingers off.”

 

“You okay?” Beca asked quietly when Rose was focused on her food again.

 

“Yeah. I’m good. Really good, actually. This is nice.”

 

“Yeah,” Beca nodded. “It really is.”

 

--

 

Watching Beca stifle her yawn for the third time in about as many minutes, Chloe grinned down at her. “Why don’t you go take a nap, Becs? I’ll hang out here with Rose for a bit.”

 

“I couldn’t,” Beca murmured through yet another yawn. “I already sprung picking her up on you today. I’m sure you have like, studying and shit to do.”

 

“I can do that here, Beca,” Chloe rebutted the other woman. “I really don’t mind.”

 

“Well, if you insist,” Beca muttered, shifting from sitting into laying position on the couch. “Just wake me up like whenever or something.”

 

Chloe smiled as Rose came trudging up to them with a blanket in her arms, haphazardly tossing it atop her mother. “Goodnight, momma,” she smiled sweetly. Chloe took the corners of the blanket, pulling it atop Beca properly and tucking her in. “Sweet dreams, Becs,” she smiled softly, wiping a strand of hair from her face.

 

Taking the book Rose held out, Chloe allowed the girl to climb into her lap as she began reading the story, leaving Beca to drift off to sleep on the sound of Chloe’s voice, and Rose’s excited whispers.

 

--

 

When Beca woke up, she felt well-rested and relaxed. Getting up from the couch and looking around her revealed both Chloe and Rose to be gone, so she wrapped the blanket around herself and followed the sounds to the kitchen.

 

Standing in the doorway, both Rose and Chloe had their backs towards her, leaving her to observe them without being noticed. Chloe was playing music on her phone, on of DJ BM’s biggest hits, Beca noted wryly, and was dancing around the kitchen while cooking something that smelled absolutely amazing.

 

Rose, meanwhile, was dancing around the kitchen, making Chloe’s work more difficult by handing her random ingredients she did apparently not need. Yet, every time she’d thank Rose for helping, before covertly placing the ingredients away again.

 

It was adorable, really.

 

And holy shit that food smelled good.

 

Beca idly wondered that she could get used to this. To having someone around to look after Rose while Beca napped, and who got started on dinner, and who-

 

“Momma!”

 

Bending down to scoop her daughter up, Beca bopped her on the nose. “Hey there kiddo. What are you two doing?”

 

“I’m cooking!” Rose grinned proudly. “And Miss Chloe is helping me!”

 

Chloe stood by the counter, grinning at the two of them. “We’re making chicken and sweet potato curry.”

 

Frowning, Beca considered that statement. “Isn’t there supposed to be chicken and sweet potatoes in that? Because I’m pretty sure I don’t have those.”

 

“We went shopping!” Rose told her as if that was completely obvious.

 

“We did go out to get some groceries, yes,” Chloe smiled, stirring the pot on the furnace. “Hope you don’t mind.”

 

“No, of course not,” Beca responded immediately. “But you really didn’t have to do all this.”

 

“I know,” came Chloe’s easy response.

 

Beca settled at the bar, Rose perched on her lap. She couldn’t help a fond smile when Chloe placed a steaming cup of coffee in front of her. “Dinner should be about fifteen minutes,” Chloe told her. “So you better drink up.”

 

Beca watched Chloe as she put the finishing touches to their dinner, seamlessly knowing her way around the kitchen, grabbing plates, cutlery and glasses without every opening the wrong cupboard. It’s strange, Beca figures, how easily Chloe has made herself at home in her life.

 

What’s even stranger, Beca figures, is how she doesn’t even find it strange, at all.

Chapter Text

“Momma!” Rose called out as Beca stumbled into the classroom, empty safe for her daughter and the teacher. “Ah, Miss Mitchell,” she smiled.

 

“I’m so sorry about this!” Beca started to gush. “I’m not normally this late, I swear. I mean, you probably have tons of work to do and babysitting my daughter because I’m late is like, so not your job, but-“

 

“It’s fine, Miss Mitchell,” the woman smiled kindly. “I told your partner, before. Rose is an incredible little girl, spending time with her is far from torture.”

 

“My partner?” Beca asked, dumbly.

 

“Yes, when she came to pick her up last week,” the teacher nodded.

 

“Right, yes,” Beca nodded too, wondering why the heck she wasn’t just setting the record straight.

 

“I told her you two raised a wonderful kid, and I meant it.”

 

“That’s- Um, well, thank you,” Beca stammered, smiling as Rose’s hand slipped into her own.

 

“Momma, can you tell Mrs. Jones I’m not little?” she pouted, clearly offended.

 

--

 

Chloe felt slightly uneasy as she parked the Porsche in Beca’s garage and walked into the house itself. She’d done it before, of course, but never without expressly being invited. She was relatively certain Beca would be okay with her plan, but it still felt a little strange to enter Beca’s home without the brunette knowing about it.

 

Checking the time, Chloe quickly set to work in the kitchen. A few days ago, Beca had told her how tight their schedule for today would be, with the brunette having to work tonight, and having little time to prepare dinner in-between picking Rose up from school and having to leave for work again.

 

So, here Chloe was, being a good friend and preparing a surprise dinner for the two brunettes, who were quickly becoming a bigger and bigger part of her life. Chloe was halfway done with her chicken carbonara when she heard Beca’s keys in the lock, sending a silent prayer to whatever deities existed the woman wouldn’t be mad about Chloe breaking in and making them dinner.

 

When Beca froze mid-step right before entering the kitchen, Chloe really started to second-guess the validity of this idea. “C-Chloe?”

 

“Hey,” she murmured, biting her lip in worry. “I’m-“

 

“What are you doing?” Beca asked, eyes wide as they whipped from Chloe to the pot and back again.

 

“It’s just… You told me how hectic today was going to be for you, and I was going to be here to watch Rose anyway, so I thought I’d come over a little early, and safe you the trouble of making dinner. And I know I should’ve discussed it with you first, but I thought it’d be fun to surprise you, and now I totally see how it wasn’t appropriate for me to do this without asking, but I swear-“

 

“Chloe!” Beca said calmly, silencing her as she stepped into the kitchen. “Thank you. This is the nicest thing anyone has done for me in a long time.”

 

Letting out a long breath, Chloe allowed her smile to grow on her face. “You’re not mad?”

 

“I’m not mad,” Beca confirmed. “This has been really thoughtful. What are you making us?”

 

“Chicken carbonara,” Chloe beamed, turning her attention to the pot again and giving it a good stir. “I figured you could use a good home-cooked meal before your long night of work.”

 

“Smells delicious. Rose, go wash up, okay?” Beca smiled easily, before brushing past Chloe, hands on her hips to shimmy past her. “Want something to drink?”

 

Beca’s hands on her hips did things to Chloe, but the redhead was determined not to let is show. “I’ll have whatever you’re having.”

 

Beca smiled, moving to the coffee maker and preparing two cups. “Something funny happened today,” the brunette mentioned casually.

 

“Oh?”

 

“Yeah. Rose’s teacher apparently thinks you’re my partner.”

 

“Oh, um… That,” Chloe winced visibly. “I forgot to tell you about that?”

 

“You knew?” Beca asked, eyeing her keenly.

 

“Well, yeah. She said something along those lines when I picked her up last week,” Chloe admitted sheepishly. “I was a little surprised, so I kind of didn’t correct her?”

 

Beca chuckled, tucking her hair behind her ear. “Yeah, I know that feeling. I also, kind of, didn’t correct her.”

 

“We’re the worst,” Chloe laughed, reaching past Beca to fetch the salt, and bringing her very firmly in the brunette’s personal space in the process.

 

“I’ll just tell her we’re not next time I see her,” Beca said, voice almost a whisper and sounding rather breathless.

 

Chloe being Chloe, decided to have some fun with the woman. “Or don’t,” she shrugged, moving back with a wink. “I don’t mind.”

 

Beca scoffed, tips of her ears turning red. “Dude, you’re so weird.”

 

Chloe was about to fire off some witty comeback when Beca continued. “No one would ever believe I’d have a girlfriend as hot as you.”

 

The compliment made Chloe stumble for a moment, almost dropping the salt shaker into the pot in its entirety. “You think I’m hot?” she asked, aiming for casual but ending up sounding strangled.

 

“Well, yeah,” Beca muttered, waving her hands about wide-eyed. “I mean, I bet everyone thinks you’re hot. Anyway, I thought you were pretty confident about-” she motioned up and down Chloe’s body, “-all that.”

 

“I am,” Chloe nodded. “It’s just… I don’t know, your comment took me off guard, I guess?”

 

“Momma! Miss Chloe, I’m all clean!” Rose yelled, barging into the kitchen. “When can we eat? I’m starving!”

 

“Okay drama queen,” Beca chuckled, scooping Rose up from the ground and onto the bar stool. “How about you just sit there and chill for a bit, hm? Let Chloe finish up.”

 

“But it smells so good!” Rose pouted. “I wanna taste!”

 

“You can taste when it’s ready, kiddo,” Beca chuckled.

 

Rose’s bottom lip jutted out even further. “Miss Chloe?”

 

“Nuh-uh,” Chloe smiled, waving her finger. “You heard your mom, sweety. No Miss-Chloe-ing me, you’ll just have to wait until it’s done.”

 

Rose let out an overly exaggerated sigh of exasperation. “Fiiiiine.”

 

Ten minutes later, they’re seated at the table, fragrant chicken carbonara on the plates in front of them. Beca is about to take a bit when Rose gasps in horror. “Momma, no!”

 

“What?” Beca gapes.

 

Rose huffed, and Chloe couldn’t help but smile at how much the little girl resembled her mother that moment. “What do we say before we eat?” Rose asked sternly.

 

At the grown-ups’ continuing silence, Rose sighed dramatically, shaking her head and turning to Chloe. “Thank you for making dinner, Miss Chloe!”

 

She then turned to look at her mother in an expectant way, making it terribly difficult for Chloe to contain her laughter.

 

“Yes, Chloe,” Beca smiled. “Thank you for making us dinner.”

 

--

 

“Any idea what time you’ll be back?” Chloe asked as Beca shrugged on her coat, Jesse waiting in the car outside.

 

“None whatsoever,” Beca sighed. “It’s bound to get pretty late again, though.”

 

Chloe smirked. “You’re not secretly sneaking off to DJ BM’s performance at the Blue Inferno, are you?” she joked.

 

She expected a scoff and a good-natured jab, but instead got silence, Beca staring at her wide-eyed and, if Chloe didn’t know any better, in a state of panic. The woman’s eyes dart from place to place, hands wringing together as her mouth moved without producing sound. “Becs?”

 

“N-No! Of course not! I wouldn’t do that!” Beca uttered frantically. “I wouldn’t hire a babysitter just to go out and have fun or whatever-“

 

“Becs, I was joking,” Chloe told her calmly, placing her hands on the shorter woman’s shoulders. “Relax.”

 

“Right,” Beca sighed. “I’m relaxed.”

 

“And it would be okay, you know. If you asked me to watch Rose because you wanted some time for yourself. Maybe go on a date or something,” Chloe told her, ignoring the foul aftertaste of that last sentence.

 

“I know,” Beca muttered. “But I swear I’m just going to work.”

 

And Chloe could see in Beca’s eyes that was the truth.

 

But that didn’t mean there wasn’t more to it, now did it?

 

Smiling gently, she turned Beca around by the shoulders, playfully tapping her butt. “Get going then! Can’t be late for work!”

 

“Now you’re just using it as an excuse to touch the goodies,” Beca laughed over her shoulder, before practically dashing out of the house.

 

--

 

As soon as Rose had been put to bed, putting up remarkably little fight after having had an hour-long tickle fight, Chloe made her way to Beca’s music room.

 

The brunette’s odd reaction to Chloe’s playful suggestion had plagued her all night. There had been absolutely no reason for Beca to panic like that, unless she had something to hide. Chloe, by now, had a fairly good idea of what that might be.

 

Had Beca, after all, not so casually referred to DJ BM as being a woman, weeks ago?

 

And wasn’t this house something only someone with DJ BM’s wealth could afford?

 

And didn’t Beca go to work every night DJ BM had a performance in some hot club around town?

 

And didn’t Beca have one very good reason to keep her identity a secret, peacefully sleeping down the hall this very moment?

 

Picking up the music tablet from the sidetable, Chloe scrolled through the DJ BM songs on it, googling the ones she didn’t know, only to find that Google, too, didn’t know them.

 

It seemed Beca Mitchell was DJ BM.

 

Hell, even the initials were a match. How had she not seen this before, Chloe wondered. The pieces of the puzzle had been right in front of her the entire time, after all.

 

Question remained, though, how was Chloe going to approach the subject?

 

Should she even?

 

The instant she considered the question, she also knew the answer. She put the tablet away with a sigh, deciding to leave the matter be. If Beca wanted her to know, she’d tell Chloe, and until then, Chloe wouldn’t bring it up.

 

Beca was still just Beca. The fact she was also DJ BM didn’t change the woman Chloe had gotten to know over the past few months. The kind, caring, somewhat awkward woman, who raised an incredible little girl by herself, flustered at even the slightest hint of flirting, and made Chloe’s day better simply by being in it.

 

“Goddamnit,” Chloe cursed under her breath. “Chloe Beale, you stupid idiot, why didn’t you see this coming?”

 

Yeah, she was definitely falling for Beca Mitchell.

 

Hard.

 

--

 

By the time Beca came back shuffling inside, Chloe was studying at the dining table, laptop set up on one side, and books and notes covering the rest of the table. “Hey, how’d it go?” she asked as she noticed the brunette.

 

“Um, nothing special,” Beca hedged carefully.

 

“Sounds boring,” Chloe hummed, closing her laptop and giving the brunette her full attention.

 

“Nah, not boring. Just normal work stuff, I suppose.” Beca took in the state of disarray on the table. “Looks like you’ve been productive.”

 

Chloe hummed. “Made good progress on one of my essays. You were gone for like, really long.”

 

“Yeah, sorry about that,” Beca sighed, putting her bag down and shrugging out of her jacket.

 

“You did warn me,” Chloe shrugged, “I didn’t mind.”

 

“How was Rose?”

 

“Sweet as sugar,” Chloe smiled. “We did one of those jigsaw puzzles in her room, watched fifteen minutes of Pocahontas – basically just skipped from song to song – and then had a big tickle fight which tired her out enough for her to fall asleep fifteen minutes later.”

 

“Sounds fun,” Beca smiled, watching Chloe get up and brew two cups of tea.

 

As soon as they were seated again, Beca glanced at the clock. “It’s pretty late.”

 

“Early,” Chloe corrected. “If it’s alright with you, I’ll stay the night?”

 

“Yeah, that’s pretty much what I was thinking, too,” Beca nodded. “Rose is gonna be stoked.”

 

--

 

“Mooooommmmaaaa,” came the silent whisper.

 

Beca blearily opened her eyes, finding Rose next to her, their noses just an inch shy of touching. The blue eyes above her own blinked twice, slowly, before Rose moved back. “Miss Chloe is here,” she whispered as if it was a big secret.

 

“I know, kiddo,” Beca smiled, pulling Rose down to lay next to her.

 

“I like Miss Chloe,” the girl seemed to decide just then, staring it very matter-of-factly.

 

“I know you do, kiddo,” Beca chuckled, ruffling the girl’s hair.

 

“You like Miss Chloe, too. Right momma?”

 

“Yeah, she’s pretty awesome, isn’t she?”

 

Rose nodded enthusiastically. “Miss Chloe is making food!” she suddenly declared. “You need to get up momma!”

 

“Oh, that so, kiddo?” Beca laughed as Rose jumped off the bed and started pulling on her arm. “Easy, easy. Why don’t you go ahead, I’ll be right behind you.”

 

When, ten minutes later, Beca finally dragged herself into the kitchen, she found Chloe, entirely put together, putting out toast, bacon, eggs, sausages and pancakes on the table, coffee, milk and orange juice already waiting for them.

 

“Dude, seriously, at what time did you get up to put all this together?” Beca huffed in amusement, gratefully accepting the coffee Chloe held out for her.

 

“Don’t add sugar, I’ve already done that,” she cautioned as Beca made her way to the sugar pot. “Also, I got up at eight.”

 

“We went to bed at, like, seven,” Beca balked.

 

“We went to bed at five-thirty,” Chloe corrected with a smile, easily lifting rose into her chair and giving the girl her milk. “There you go, sweety.”

 

“You’re something else, Chloe,” Beca smiled fondly, taking her seat and watching as Chloe heaped food on their plates, making sure to cut Rose’s into tiny pieces for the little girl to eat as she pleased.

 

“Just taking care of my girls,” Chloe smiled, a faint blush colouring her cheeks at the little slip of the tongue.

 

“Well, your girls are very well taken care of,” Beca smiled in return, making the grin on Chloe’s face even more radiant.

 

“I know you’re up way too early for your liking,” Chloe smiled. “So if you want I’ll hang out here for a bit longer today. You can take a nap while I watch Rose?”

 

“You really don’t need to,” Beca said, stifling a yawn. “But I’d still be really grateful if you did.”

 

“Anything for you, Becs,” Chloe smiled.

Chapter Text

Slowly drifting back into consciousness, Beca realized she couldn’t remember the last time she felt this relaxed and calm. Peaceful. Well-rested.

 

Keeping her eyes closed for a few minutes longer, she idly enjoyed the sound of Chloe’s voice in the corner of the room, reading Sleeping Beauty to Rose, the brunette often interspersing the story with giggles at Chloe’s silly voices.

 

Finally, Chloe finished off the story, and Beca was about to open her eyes when her daughter said something that caught her attention.

 

“Miss Chloe, I don’t wanna marry a prince! I don’t wanna marry any stupid boy!”

 

Closing her eyes again, Beca quietly waited to see how the conversation would continue.

 

“C’mere, sweety,” she heard Chloe murmur softly, followed by the sound of Rose climbing haphazardly into Chloe’s lap. “Right now, you don’t need to worry about marrying stupid boys. But, someday, you’ll meet a special boy. He’ll still be a little stupid, but you will still love him. That’s the boy you will want to marry,” she told Rose conspiratorially.

 

Rose was quiet for a minute, before responding with conviction. “No.”

 

“No?” Chloe asked, her smile evident in her voice.

 

“No,” Rose repeated. “Momma doesn’t have a special boy.”

 

“You’re right,” Chloe answered slowly. “Some people end up with the wrong boy, or don’t find a boy at all.”

 

“Like momma?” Rose asked.

 

“Yeah, I guess,” Chloe told her softly.

 

“Miss Chloe, do you have a special boy?”

 

Beca heard Chloe laugh, light and airy. “No, sweety, I don’t have a special boy, either.”

 

There was another long-stretched silence before anyone spoke again.

 

“What about a special girl?” Rose asked, full of childlike innocence. Beca envied her daughter for being able to ask questions about touchy subjects like this without any worries.

 

Chloe chuckled. “What about special girls, sweety?”

 

“Can girls have special girls? Or do they need to find a special boy?” Rose asked, sounding like she genuinely questioned the way the world worked.

 

Chloe hesitated for a brief moment. “No, girls can have special girls, too, sometimes,” she responded eventually, leaving Beca in awe at the ease with which Chloe was navigating this proverbial minefield.

 

Rose hummed thoughtfully. “Momma doesn’t have a special girl. Do you?”

 

“Nope, I don’t have a special anyone right now.”

 

“Then you and momma can be special girls together!” Rose decided happily, making Beca very happy she was shielded from view by the couch’s backrest.

 

She was pretty certain she was going to die of mortification when she heard Chloe’s breathy chuckle. “It’s not quite that easy, sweety. You can’t just pick who you want to love.”

 

“That’s stupid,” Rose decided, and Beca could very well picture the frown on her daughter’s face.

 

“Yeah, it kinda is,” Chloe agreed with her.

 

--

 

Beca pretended to be asleep for a few more minutes, allowing her face to regain its natural pale complexion while Chloe and Rose talked about less embarrassing subjects. She was glad to find that the redhead, at least, took the entire subject in stride.

 

Eventually, she must have dozed off again for a while, waking up to the smell of food drifting from the kitchen. Opening her eyes revealed both Chloe and Rose to be gone, the clock now telling her it was one in the afternoon.

 

She followed her nose to the kitchen, finding Chloe at the stove, with Rose hovering around her, chattering on about absolutely nothing at all.

 

“Pancakes for lunch?” Beca asked with a small smile, leaning against the wall.

 

Chloe hummed. “Rose convinced me that, since you’ve only just woken up, breakfast would make acceptable lunch instead,” she shrugged with a grin. Rose, meanwhile, looked immensely proud of her reasoning – as she should, Beca figured.

 

“Won’t hear me complaining,” Beca chuckled. Her smile grew even wider when Chloe handed her a steaming mug of coffee.

 

“Figured you’d want this,” she told her with a wink.

 

“You are an absolute godsend.”

 

Whatever Chloe was going to respond with was bound to be flirty, judging by the look on her face, but was interrupted by the doorbell. “You expecting someone?” Chloe asked, face shifting from playful to somewhat embarrassed. “I can get out of your hair if I’m overstaying my welcome.”

 

Beca huffed. “You’re never overstaying your welcome, Chlo,” she told the redhead. “Whoever is at the door better have a damn good reason for being here unannounced.”

 

Stomping towards the front door and opening it with more force than particularly necessary, Beca was baffled to find her mother staring back at her, eyes twinkling. “Mom?”

 

“Hello dear,” Hailey Mitchell smiled.

 

“You’re supposed to be in Europe,” Beca deadpanned, stepping aside to let her mother in.

 

“I came back early,” her mother shrugged. “Heard we had somewhat of an emergency here?”

 

“I have no idea what you are talking about,” Beca muttered grouchily. “There’s no emergency.”

 

“I’ll be the judge of that,” her mother told as she breezed into the kitchen. “Munchkin!” she practically screeched, scooping Rose up from the floor and hugging her tight.

 

“And you must be the babysitter Stacie and Jesse told me about.”

 

Beca groaned out loud, because Stacie and Jesse having any kind of contact with her mother was generally bad news.

 

Chloe, as per usual, was the epitome of gracefulness. “I am,” she smiled, extending her hand. “Chloe Beale, pleasure to meet you, Mrs. Mitchell.”

 

“Aren’t you observant? But please, call me Hailey.”

 

Beca took a moment to evaluate the scene, trying to see it how her mother would. Chloe at the counter, making pancakes in an outfit that was very obviously something she’d thrown on when she got out of bed. Rose, who had greeted her grandmother only to immediately return to Chloe’s side. Chloe opening cupboards with practiced ease, knowing her way around the kitchen better than – dare she say it – Beca herself.

 

“Mom, what are you doing here?” Beca asked. “Not that it isn’t great to see you, but-“

 

“I came to meet Chloe, of course,” the older brunette shrugged easily. “It isn’t every day you trust someone enough to let them into your house, let alone look after your daughter. Stacie told me you-“

 

“I don’t even want to know what Stacie told you,” Beca cautioned her mother, hoping to curb some of the gossip they had, undoubtedly, shared.

 

“Miss Chloe!” Rose piped up. “Do we have enough pancakes?”

 

Chloe chuckled, ruffling Rose’s hair and handing her the syrup. “Sure we do, sweety. Why don’t you put this on the table, and I’ll set an extra plate out. That is, if you’d join us for lunch?” Chloe asked, being the perfect social butterfly.

 

“Pancakes for lunch?” Hailey asked, unwittingly repeating Beca’s words verbatim.

 

“Rose convinced her,” Beca smiled easily.

 

“Momma was napping, so second breakfast,” the little girl nodded, carefully rearranging the table to accommodate an extra eater, following Chloe’s every instruction to the letter.

 

“So you let your babysitter come over so you could take a nap?” Hailey Mitchell asked with a mischievous grin, which Beca knew all too well.

 

“No,” Beca responded, leaving it at that.

 

“I came over yesterday, Beca had work,” Chloe finished. “I slept over, since she came back pretty late.”

 

“I see,” the older woman nodded. “I guess it makes sense you wouldn’t want to drive Beca’s Porsche home at five in the morning.”

 

“Oh my god, you are all such gossips!” Beca exclaimed.

 

“Well, you don’t usually lend people a pen, let alone your Porsche.”

 

“I repeat: It’s just a car!”

 

Hailey raised a single eyebrow, which reminded Beca a lot of herself. “Last time I stayed here and needed to go somewhere, you called me a cab, dear.”

 

“Yeah, well, I- That was… I mean-“

 

“Pancakes are ready,” Chloe announced happily, saving Beca from imminent death by embarrassing parent.

 

“Those smell lovely, Chloe,” Beca’s mother smiled, taking the change in subject for what it was, but not before sending her daughter one final smile.

 

--

 

Lunch had been lovely, after which her mother had stayed around for coffee, asking Chloe a plethora of questions about her life, working for Beca, and spending time with Rose. While Chloe answered every question perfectly – of course she did – Beca grew more and more uncomfortable with every passing minute.

 

She loved her mother dearly, she really did. But boy was she happy to be escorting her back to the front door.

 

“This was nice,” her mother said, lingering on the doorstep.

 

“It was,” Beca nodded.

 

“Chloe’s a nice girl,” her mother continued, tone of voice peculiar.

 

“She is,” Beca nodded again.

 

Her mother looked at her for a while, before shaking her head. “Stacie was right, this is an emergency.”

 

“I have no idea what you are talking about,” Beca huffed.

 

“You’re an imbecile,” her mother told her plainly, before kissing her cheek. “Can’t believe I raised such a dumb kid.”

 

“That’s… kinda mean,” Beca pointed out weakly.

 

“Kinda true, you mean,” her mother winked. “But don’t worry, you’ll get there, eventually.”

 

“Get where?”

 

“See?” her mother asked. “Dumb kid, asking dumb questions.”

 

“Mom, you’re the worst,” Beca huffed, making her mother laugh.

 

“I had to be to raise you, didn’t I?”

 

“Touche,” Beca admitted with a small smile. “When are you leaving again?”

 

“Next week, trip to Brazil, this time.”

 

“Come by again before you leave?”

 

“Sure thing, dear,” her mother promised, kissing her cheek again. “Now go back in, you’ll freeze to death out here.”

 

--

 

When Beca came back inside, Rose was firmly planted in front of the television, enthralled by Aladdin and Princess Jasmine soaring around on a flying carpet. Chloe was sitting on the couch, phone in hand, looking up as she stepped into the room.

 

“Well, that was certainly something,” she grinned.

 

“Yeah, sorry about that. My mom’s a bit of a trip.”

 

“Is fine,” Chloe smiled, waving it away. “I liked her.”

 

“She liked you, too,” Beca smiled, dropping down on the couch next to Chloe. “Do you have anywhere to be, today?”

 

“No,” Chloe answered with a smile, narrowing her eyes playfully. “Why you asking?”

 

Beca shrugged, suddenly uncomfortable. “I was thinking, since you made us breakfast and lunch, I’d thank you by having you over for dinner? We could do some adult stuff for a change.”

 

“Adult stuff?” Chloe asked, smirking. “Like making out on the couch?”

 

Beca felt the blood rushing to her face at Chloe’s words, choosing to hide it behind her hands. “Oh my god can we pretend I didn’t just suggest to do ‘adult stuff’ with you?”

 

Chloe’s laugh was happy and carefree, nudging Beca until she removed her hands from her face. “I’m just teasing you. We could watch a movie or something.”

 

“Yeah, that’s kinda what I was thinking,” Beca nodded with a smile, face gradually cooling down again.

 

They sat quietly, watching Rose speaking along to the movie, until Chloe eventually cleared her throat. “Um, Becs?”

 

“Yeah?”

 

“While you were sleeping, I kind of had a talk with Rose. Something I think I should tell you about?”

 

Beca tried not to squirm at the tone in Chloe’s voice.

 

“It was sort of about boyfriends, and how she didn’t want one.”

 

“Okay?”

 

“And about you not having one, either. And then we sort of… got to talking about girlfriends instead. Rose was wondering why girls needed a um… ‘special boy’ and couldn’t have a ‘special girl’ in their lives…”

 

“That’s… kids,” Beca chuckled awkwardly. “Their brains work in weird ways.”

 

Chloe nodded, biting her lip for a moment. “I guess I told her girls could have ‘special girls’ too, if they wanted. I mean, I’m not sure how you feel about sexuality and all that, and I couldn’t say nothing… For all I know, you’re one of those people who think being gay is unnatural and sinful and whatnot, but… Well, I told Rose it wasn’t.”

 

“Good,” Beca nodded after a few seconds. “I want Rose to grow up open-minded, free to love whomever she chooses to. I have absolutely nothing against people being gay, or gay people, or just gayness in general.”

 

Chloe let out a relieved breath. “Okay, good. I was kind of worried I might have said something you didn’t want me to, but um… yeah, I just had to go with my gut.”

 

Now it was Beca’s turn to bite her lip, awkwardly fiddling with one of the rings on her fingers. “Can I um… Can I ask about you? Your sexuality, I mean.” When Chloe didn’t immediately respond, Beca worked herself in a panic and backtracked. “No, never mind. That’s really none of my business. I’m sorry if that was too personal, I shouldn’t have asked. It's just... It seemed important to you, so I thought-”

 

Chloe gave her a small smile, looking more shy and vulnerable than Beca had ever seen her. “It’s okay, Becs. I’m bisexual. It’s not really a secret, but I also don’t really advertise it, either.”

 

Learning that Chloe liked women made Beca’s sent a quiver through Beca, who suddenly, desperately wanted Chloe to ask about her sexuality – and if she did, Beca would tell her she had always considered herself to be straight, but wasn’t so sure about that anymore nowadays.

 

“Beca? Are we okay?” Chloe asked, voice sounding a little strangled. “You’re being really quiet.”

 

“Yes, we’re okay,” Beca told her with conviction, feeling stupid for being stuck in her own head when Chloe clearly needed this affirmation. “I’m sorry, I was just digesting or whatever.”

 

Chloe’s smile grew a little more certain. “As long as you’re sure you’re okay…”

 

“I am. We are. Really. I think you did really well, talking to Rose about a subject like this…”

 

Chloe hummed, looking over at the girl. “She’s a bright kid. You should be proud.”

 

“I am,” Beca admitted softly, watching Rose bobbing her head.

 

She felt the atmosphere around had shifted into more light-hearted territory, and lamented the fact she hadn’t seen an opportunity to tell Chloe about her wavering convictions on her own sexuality.

Chapter Text

It was nearing dinnertime, but Beca either didn’t seem to notice, or didn’t seem to have any intention of making the dinner she’d promised Chloe. They were both still sitting on the couch, just doing their thing, Beca had gotten a book to read, and Chloe was idly scrolling past various apps on her phone.

 

DJ BM to be Revealed Soon

 

Hey there, fam! I’ve got some good news for y’all!

 

Yes, that’s right. I’m on the cusp of unveiling the greatest secret of the past half-decade.

 

I know who DJ BM is.

 

And yeah, okay, I know that I said this before, and was sadly mistaken, but this time, I’ve got a reliable source!!

 

I’ll be meeting with my contact, who wishes to remain anonymous for obvious reasons. He’s worked with DJ BM on several occasions, and actually knows HER secret identity!

 

Yes, fam, you read that right. DJ BM’s a chick! Who’d have guessed, right?!

 

More news to follow soon, peeps. I’ll update my page as soon as I’ve got the deets for y’all!

 

This is Gail Abernathy, making history.

 

Biting her lip, Chloe read the article three times. There was, of course, the possibility that this snobby, snooty, stuck-up, self-important reporter was making all of this up. But knowing Beca’s gender – no, DJ BM’s gender – was a red flag nonetheless.

 

Making a split-second decision, she nudged Beca to get her attention, making sure to look halfway excited. She passed Beca her phone with a grin. “C’mon, read it. I know you’re a DJ BM fan, too,” she winked.

 

She carefully took in Beca’s expression, starting to read the article with an amused smile, which turned into a frown, followed by her biting her lip – which really was something Chloe shouldn’t focus too much on, she realized as she started to feel a little hot.

 

“I bet she’s just spouting nonsense again,” Beca eventually told her stiffly, handing Chloe the phone back.

 

“Probably,” Chloe nodded. “Most of her previous articles were.”

 

“I didn’t know you followed that trash,” Beca muttered, sounding more distant than Chloe had ever experienced before.

 

“I don’t, really. But every time she claims to have figured out who DJ BM is, it shows up like, everywhere.”

 

Beca hummed, worrying her bottom lip. “Excuse me for a moment, I just remember I have an important call to make.”

 

“Yeah, of course,” Chloe responded easily, watching Beca get up. “Want me to start on dinner?”

 

That, at least, drew a small smile from Beca, who nodded down at her. “Yeah, that’d be great, actually.”

 

“You got it, boss,” Chloe smiled, giving a dorky salute for good measure. “Rose, sweety, do you want to help with dinner?”

 

The little girl jumped up, pausing Aladdin without a single complaint. “I swear she loves you more than me,” Beca grunted, before actually excusing herself, phone already in hand.

 

Chloe led Rose into the kitchen, quickly going through the fridge and cupboards to see what they had to work with. Despite being an – allegedly – horrible cook, Beca usually kept a fully stocked kitchen. Taking in a variety of ingredients, Chloe quickly took out her phone to look up some recipes, before gathering half of what she needed on the counter. “Rose, can you get me the potatoes from over there,” she asked, pointing in the right direction.

 

Twenty minutes passed before Beca came into the kitchen, looking beyond frazzled, hair in a state of disarray that would have been funny if Chloe hadn’t known how much stress Beca had to be under right now. “Rose, sweety,” she asked, “can you do something really important for me now?”

 

“Yes!”

 

“Your mommy looks like she could use a big ol’ cuddle, doesn’t she?”

 

The little brunette practically leapt at her mother, who cracked a small smile as she eased herself onto the bar stool, hugging her daughter tightly. “Thanks, kiddo, you’re the best.”

 

“Feeling better now?” Rose asked quietly against Beca’s shoulder.

 

“Always,” Beca hummed, ruffling the girl’s hair playfully. Her smile grew even wider when Chloe placed a cup of coffee on the bar in front of with a small smile.

 

Beca quietly mouthed a ‘thank you,’ making Chloe feel warm inside for being able to make a difference. Rather than saying anything, she just nodded, turning her attention towards the food and giving Beca a moment to compose herself.

 

When, a few minutes later, she turned around again, Beca and Rose were pulling silly faces at each other, making Chloe burst out a bout of laughter, as well as feeling blessed for being a part of this little moment.

 

“I bet Chloe can’t do such silly faces,” Beca stage-whispered to her daughter. “Why don’t you go find the silly-faces-book, kiddo?”

 

“But momma, I need to help Miss Chloe cooking!” Rose laughed.

 

“Go on, sweety,” Chloe smiled. “You already did all the hard work. I can finish up.”

 

Rose dashed off to who-knew-where, leaving the two women alone. “You doing okay, Becs?” Chloe asked carefully. “You look a little… dishevelled.”

 

“Yeah,” Beca sighed. “It was a pretty intense call. Work related shit.”

 

“Want to talk about it?” Chloe hedged carefully, afraid to cross a line, but not knowing where it was exactly.

 

Beca smiled at her tiredly. “No, not right now, I think.”

 

“That’s okay, too. I’m here if you want to talk… I just wanted you to know that.”

 

“I do,” Beca smiled, looking vulnerable and grateful. “Right now, I just want to sit here and drink my coffee, while I wonder what the hell you’re cooking that smells so good.”

 

Chloe laughed quietly. “I won’t spoil the surprise then,” she winked.

 

“No, that was an open invitation for you to tell me,” Beca replied dead-pan.

 

“I know,” Chloe laughed, louder now. “But it’ll be ready in a few minutes, so I think you can hold out until then.”

 

“Meanie,” Beca pouted, and Chloe couldn’t help but melt at the adorableness of it all.

 

“You really do look way too much like your daughter, Beca Mitchell,” she smiled. “Watching you, your daughter and your mother was like seeing a time-lapse of one person growing up.”

 

“Strong genes,” Beca chuckled.

 

Chloe hummed. “Lucky us,” she winked, before turning her attention back to the food.

 

“So you’re not telling me what we’re eating?” Beca whined playfully.

 

“Lemon potatoes!” Rose cheered, running back into the kitchen.

 

“Slow down, Rose, no running in the house,” Chloe admonished just as Beca opened her mouth.

 

“Sorry Miss Chloe!” Rose pouted as Beca lifted her onto a bar stool. “But I was late!”

 

“Late for what?” Beca asked suspiciously.

 

“Dinner!”

 

“Right,” Beca hummed. “Lemon potatoes…”

 

Chloe turned the furnace off, pointing over towards the table. “Strip steak with lemon mashed potatoes,” she smiled. “I remembered seeing a recipe of it somewhere online. You had the ingredients, so I figured, why not?”

 

“Keep this up, and I’m going to have to hire you full-time,” Beca smiled as they moved towards the table.

 

Chloe hummed playfully. “Maybe I wouldn’t be opposed to that.”

 

--

 

Dinner had, of course, been a resounding success, leaving no leftovers to speak off, and being a general easy-going event for everyone involved.

 

Not long after, Beca had excused herself to prepare Rose for bed, only to come back half a minute later because the little girl had demanded Chloe and Beca both read her a bedtime story – a bedtime song, in Chloe’s case – before finally agreeing to brush her teeth.

 

Now they were settled on the couch, drinks in hand, and Chloe was patiently waiting for Beca to pick a movie for them to watch. The ringing of her phone disturbed the silence for a moment.

 

“Aubrey,” Chloe greeted as she answered the call.

 

“Well, you’re alive, at least,” her best friend responded without preamble.

 

“Bree, we talked about this,” Chloe chuckled. “I’m not in any danger-“

 

“You could have had a car accident. You know, while driving your girlfriend’s Porsche around town?”

 

“She’s not-“ realizing Beca could hear every word she said, Chloe caught her words just in time. “Just shut up. Please?”

 

“So I take it you’re not there because you two got all hot and bothered with each other?”

 

“Bree, please stop talking now,” Chloe whined pitifully, drawing Beca’s attention. “Or I will be forced to hang up.”

 

“Okay, so, are you coming home today or not? I’m not asking out of some perverted interest in your night-time activities, but I’m leaving town for a few days, so…”

 

“I don’t know, okay?” Chloe hissed into the phone, rubbing her forehead.

 

“Everything okay?” Beca asked worriedly, relaxing only when Chloe nodded with a roll of her eyes.

 

“Let me guess, you’re being all domestic and gross over there?” Aubrey asked, voice betraying she was actually happy about it.

 

“Kind of, yes,” Chloe admitted.

 

“Are you still feeling good about it? Like, having a good time?”

 

“Yeah,” Chloe breathed. “The best.”

 

“Alright,” Aubrey told her. “Then I’ll leave you be, now. Good luck sticking your tongue down her throat!”

 

And then the call was disconnected, and Chloe was left to stare at her phone in mortified terror.

 

“That bad, huh?” Beca chuckled from the other side of the room, startling Chloe out of her thoughts. “I mean, you look like your phone betrayed you pretty badly just now.”

 

“It kind of did,” Chloe muttered with a grimace, before shutting her phone off. “Enough of that for today.”

 

Beca grinned, tossing a DVD cover towards her. “How about that one?”

 

Bombshell? Don’t know it.”

 

“It’s in theatres now,” Beca confided with an excited grin.

 

“If it’s in theatres now,” Chloe smiled as well, “why do you have it in your living room?”

 

Beca shrugged as if it were no big deal. “I know some people who worked on the soundtrack.”

 

“Well, fire it up, then,” Chloe chuckled. “I’ll go rustle up some snacks.”

 

When she walked back in the room a few minutes later, bowl of popcorn in hand, Beca was already sitting on the couch, the movie’s title screen on the television. Oddly enough, Beca was fidgety again.

 

Despite the intense desire to cuddle up against the brunette, Chloe sat down a respectable, friendly distance away from her, placing the bowl of popcorn in between them. Beca started the movie, before moving to lean back against the couch in a way that made Chloe’s back ache just thinking about it.

 

Halfway throughout the movie, Chloe realized this was a very, very gay movie. Both lead characters being lesbians, and the movie spending a good amount of time on building up their emotional connection and actual relationship.

 

Don’t get her wrong, it was a great movie, so far.

 

But she couldn’t help but wonder whether Beca was maybe trying to tell her something?

 

It couldn’t be a coincidence Beca picked this movie so shortly after Chloe coming out to her, right?

 

Unless it was just that, Chloe reasoned with herself. Maybe Beca hadn’t even known what the movie was about when she picked it.

 

“They’re pretty hot,” Beca muttered, barely audible for Chloe to hear.

 

“Yeah,” Chloe muttered in return, starting to feel a little breathless. “I mean, if you’re into blondes.”

 

Beca hummed something unintelligible, making Chloe decide to take this thing just one step farther. “I prefer brunettes myself,” she mentioned casually.

 

Beca shot her an awkward half-smile, before returning her attention to the movie. “That’s good to know…”

 

Chloe was pretty sure there was something going on between them, and cursed herself for not just taking the risk and jumping head-first into this possibility. Then again, Beca wasn’t either, nor was she making it any easier for Chloe.

 

There was an unusual tension between them for the remainder of the movie, which lingered afterwards as they discussed the movie for a while. After a while, Chloe got up and stretched, not missing the way Beca’s eyes hot to the strip of skin between the hem of her shirt and the top of her sweats.

 

Rather than making a flirty comment, she opted to remain silent. “I should be getting home,” she sighed after a few awkward seconds of just standing in front of the couch.

 

“You can sleep over again, if you want,” Beca offered quickly, looking so adorably hopeful Chloe almost said yes.

 

“I’d love to, Becs, but I have a lecture tomorrow morning, and I left a bunch of my stuff at home, so I should really leave.”

 

“Alright, that makes sense,” Beca nodded slowly. “Take the Porsche, though.”

 

“Planning to,” Chloe smiled. “I’ll just go and gather up my stuff real quick.”

 

“Yeah, of course. Take your time.”

 

After gathering her stuff and sliding into the Porsche’s driver’s seat, Chloe couldn’t help but feel there was something wrong about her leaving. It didn’t feel like she was going home – rather, it felt like she was leaving it.

 

Beca gave her a little wave as she manoeuvred out of the garage, and Chloe’s heart clenched at leaving tonight. Even if she was bound to come back really soon, anyway.

 

Back at her apartment, Chloe felt so empty and drained she barely managed to undress before dropping down onto her bed – not even bothering to turn her phone back on.

 

--

 

Waking up groggily, Chloe had the distinct feeling she’d overslept. Which was entirely unlike her, being miss prim-and-proper even in the early mornings. Grabbing her phone to check the time, she groaned at the realization she hadn’t turned it back on, and thus hadn’t set an alarm, either.

 

Powering the infernal device on seemed to last forever.

 

When it finally did, Chloe felt dread seizing her heart.

 

Not because of the time – she could still make her lecture if she hurried.

 

If only she didn’t have twenty-seven missed calls from ‘Mama Beale.’

Chapter Text

Beca sighed as she read Chloe’s text message for the third time in as many minutes.

 

Hey Becs, I’m so sorry to do this to you, but I got some bad news from my folks, so I have to head home for a while. I know you have work tonight, but I won’t be there to babysit… I’m not really sure when I’ll be back, but I’ll let you know as soon as I do, promise! Again, so so sorry about this. Xoxo Chloe

 

She’d waken up late, Rose snuggled under the blankets with her, and hadn’t gotten to her phone until after noon – which was actually a first for her, she figured. Chloe’s message had her instantly worried for her friend. Biting her lip as she made her decision, she assured herself that Rose was properly occupied with her Disney sing-a-long, and dialled Chloe’s number.

 

“Beca, hey,” came Chloe’s tired voice, and Beca figured she must’ve had her phone in hand already, judging by the speed with which she answered.

 

“Hey, am I interrupting something?” she asked, not wanting to bother Chloe if she was in the middle of something.

 

“No, no, you’re fine,” Chloe assured her. “I was just getting coffee.”

 

“Okay, good. Um… How are you doing?”

 

“I’m…” Chloe started, before trailing off into silence for a while. “Tired. But I’ll be fine. We’ll all be fine.”

 

“Want to tell me about it?” Beca asked, making sure to give Chloe a listening ear without being pushy.

 

Beca wasn’t a talker. She wasn’t even a good listener, she figured. But, for Chloe, she wanted to be. That also was a first for her, she realized with a small shake of her head. Chloe Beale was turning her into an entirely different person.

 

“Yeah,” Chloe sighed. “If you’re not busy? I mean, with Rose, and finding a replacement babysitter-“

 

“Nonsense, Chlo,” Beca interrupted. “My mom’s in town all week, she can look after Rose when I’m away. It’ll be fine. Whatever you’ve got going on over there, you don’t need to worry about us. I mean, we’ll miss you like hell of course, but we’ll survive. So I’m here if you want to talk.”

 

“Thanks, Becs,” Chloe muttered, and Beca could almost envision the small, timid smile Chloe would be wearing. “My dad was diagnosed with haemophilia type A at birth. It’s a blood disease that prevents the blood from properly clotting,” Chloe started. “It’s all pretty manageable with the right medication, though. It’s um… It’s why I’ve been sending them money whenever I could. Insurance doesn’t cover all the meds.”

 

“That’s… I’m so sorry to hear that,” Beca muttered, running a hand through her hair.

 

“Yeah, well, we were managing fine. But um, dad was stabbed in a mugging yesterday,” Chloe told her. “He’s fine, though!” she was quick to follow up. “Well, sort of.”

 

“Sort of fine?” Beca wavered.

 

“Well, yeah. His blood not clotting makes his recovery a bit more problematic.”

 

“I can imagine, yeah,” Beca sighed, leaning her head against the wall behind her. “He’ll be fine, though, right?”

 

“Yeah,” Chloe responded, sounding far from convinced.

 

“Yeah?” Beca asked, not wanting to push, but wanting to be there for Chloe anyway.

 

“His meds aren’t really doing their job anymore,” Chloe muttered, sounding close to tears. “We’re going to try new meds. More expensive meds. Mom’s going over the insurance policy and all that with the doctors now. It’s… I hate how he’s lying there in that bed, and it’s all just business for everyone, you know?”

 

“Yeah, that is how the healthcare system works,” Beca muttered quietly, feeling Chloe’s pain. “I wish there was something I could do for you…”

 

“Yeah, me too,” Chloe chuckled grimly. “The way things are going now, it looks like I’ll be here for a few more days, at least.”

 

“That’s fine,” Beca was quick to assure her. “Like I said, I can get my mom to look after Rose when I have to work. And, if you’re not back by next week, I’ll rope Emily back in.”

 

“God,” Chloe muttered. “We’ll have to start all over again, getting Rose off her cookie regiment.”

 

“Yeah, well, good thing I have you to help me with that,” Beca joked, glad to make Chloe laugh a little more.

 

“I’ll let you know when I’ll be back, kay?”

 

“Yeah, take your time. Family’s the most important,” Beca told her seriously.

 

“You’re so sweet,” Chloe chuckled. “I wish you and Rose were here, though. I could use a good hug.”

 

“Yeah, I know that feeling,” Beca admitted, thinking about how nice it had felt last night, when her secret identity was about to be blown, and she had been stressed and frazzled and tired and angry, but Chloe and Rose had been there to make everything better.

 

“Listen, Chlo, I’ve got to go now, Rose is climbing the kitchen counter. I’ll text you later to see how you’re doing, okay?”

 

“Yeah, go, save your daughter!” Chloe laughed, and then the call was disconnected.

 

Beca tapped her phone against her chin, watching on as Rose sat on the couch, singing along to Frozen’s most iconic song.

 

Nodding to herself, she pulled up Stacie’s contact info.

 

“Beca, what’s up?” her best friend and manager chirped happily. “If you’re calling about last night, I have nothing new for you.”

 

“That’s not why I’m calling,” Beca muttered carefully.

 

“Okay? Spill it, then.”

 

“You’re totally going to hate me for this,” Beca warned her, squeezing her eyes closed for a minute. “I need you to cancel DJ BM’s gig tonight.”

 

“That’s… Beca, are you hospitalized?”

 

“No.”

 

“Is Rose?”

 

“No, she’s fine.”

 

“Okay, good. So, like, you got involved in a human smuggling ring and are now on a ship to Guatemala? Or you’ve got invited for dinner with the Queen of the British Isles? Alien abduction, maybe?”

 

“Ha, ha, Stace. Very funny,” Beca snarked back. “I’m not going to be in NYC tonight, so DJ BM can’t perform. Make sure to cancel the gig, refund the tickets, set a date for a replacement gig in two weeks or so, and make sure everyone gets tickets for that one. Make it a big one, if you need to. Hell, if there’s no other way, we’ll confirm that anonymous source, and tell everyone that I’m on my period or something.”

 

“That would be a horrible marketing strategy,” Stacie commented dryly. “But the fact you’re willing to go that far tells me you really need this night off, so I’ll make it happen. Somehow. There’s bound to be some backlash, though.”

 

“I don’t care,” Beca stated, calm and decided.

 

“I know,” Stacie responded cheekily. “That’s what you pay me for. Anything in particular you want me to tell the press? Your fans?”

 

“No, make it sound a bit vague but kinda serious?”

 

“Crystal clear,” Stacie answered with a sigh. “Are you going to tell me what’s going on?”

 

“Chloe has some personal issues going on,” Beca confided. “So I need you to get me transportation to Florida.”

 

--

 

Chloe drained her coffee, barely keeping from gagging at the horrid sludge the hospital called coffee. Her father had been asleep for most of the morning, after which he had been awake and in pain, after which he had been awake and sedated, and then he’d been asleep again.

 

Meanwhile, her mother was going over the finances. If their insurance wasn’t going to pay up, they’d be taking Eric Beale back home today, for him to recuperate at home with a nurse visiting twice a day.

 

It wasn’t what their doctor wanted, but his hands were tied. The world really did revolve around money, after all. And a hospital bed costed a fortune, even for a night. Not to mention the new medication they’d have to switch to.

 

Small blessing, Chloe considered, the new meds at least seemed to be working.

 

For as long as she could remember, they had been extra careful around her father. It wasn’t like he was an overly fragile man. He was somewhat of a bear, actually, which made it all the more ironic. A little cut to his finger while cutting vegetables would keep bleeding for days. Simple Band-Aids weren’t enough, and most of his minor injuries – if you could even call them injuries at all – had to be glued shut at a hospital.

 

Chloe wondered if his mugger would have thought about his actions a second time if he’d known about her father’s condition. All that for fifty bucks and a cell phone.

 

Feeling her phone vibrate in her pocket was enough to make her smile. That was probably Beca checking up on her, as she had promised. Finding it only to be a push notification from one of her news outlets. She had already put her phone away when she reconsidered, figuring this might be Abernathy’s big outing of Beca’s identity.

 

If it was, she wanted to know.

 

DJ BM Cancelling Tonight’s Show

 

That’s right people!

 

DJ BM cancelled tonight’s performance at the Paradise Club. If that isn’t a clear sign of HER being afraid of me outing HER identity, then I don’t know what is!

Sure, sure, we all got refunds, and the promise of a big performance ASAP to make up for it, but I’m just saying what we are all thinking: DJ BM is running scared.

 

It’s time for the light to shine on you, DJ BM!

You can’t hide from view forever, so you might as well get it over with!

 

Rolling her eyes, Chloe pocketed her phone again. She shouldn’t have read it. She had enough on her mind without worrying about that stupid sorry excuse of a reporter.

 

“Miss Chloe!”

 

The familiar voice made her spin around, eyes wide, and certain she was imagining things.

 

But, sure enough, that was little Rose Mitchell tearing down the hallway at break-neck speed, almost toppling over some poor old man with crutches.

 

She had just enough time to steady herself before Rose literally launched herself, flying into Chloe’s arms and delivering a bone-crushing hug.

 

“What are you doing here, sweety?” Chloe asked, feeling like she was somehow dreaming, because like, what?

 

“Momma said you needed a hug!” Rose smiled brightly.

 

“Momma also said not to run, and to hold her hand, and to be quiet as a mouse,” came a second familiar voice, Beca moving in, profusely apologizing to everyone she came across in her adorable, awkward manner.

 

“Beca, what the bleep are you doing here?” Chloe asked, getting back up from her crouch, Rose easily lifted up with her.

 

Suddenly, Beca came to a stop, wringing her hands. “Well, on the phone, you said you wished we were here… So I thought… Did I mess up? Was it just something you were saying?” she asked, gnawing her lip between her teeth in worry.

 

“No, you idiot, c’mere,” Chloe laughed quietly, extending one arm to pull Beca in for a hug, too.

 

“Momma gives the best hugs!” Rose chirped happily as she was pressed up between them.

 

“Yeah, she does,” Chloe chuckled, fully intending to hold the hug until it’d become awkward.

 

To her surprise, Beca made no move to pull away, arms resting around Chloe’s waist. Chloe waited and waited, but the brunette didn’t move an inch, and somehow it never felt awkward.

 

“Am I interrupting something here? I feel like I’m interrupting something.”

 

Chloe chuckled, moving to step back and face her mother. “Mom… This is Beca Mitchell, and her daughter Rose. They’re-“

 

“I know,” her mother smiled, shaking Beca’s hand.

 

“Momma, she looks like she needs a hug, too!” Rose blurted out, making Beca’s eyes go wide.

 

Before Beca could say anything, though, Chloe’s mother responded. “I sure do. Chloe tells me you give amazing hugs,” she smiled, easily taking Rose into her arms as Chloe held her out with a shrug. “And she sure wasn’t lying, either.”

 

While watching Rose hug her mother brought a brilliant smile to her face, Chloe turned towards Beca nonetheless, pulling her aside for a moment. “What are you doing here, Becs? Like, really?”

 

Beca shrugged awkwardly. “I um… You sounded like you could use a friend, or two. So I packed a bag, hopped on a plane and came here. I didn’t really think about it too much. It just felt right, I guess?”

 

“What about work?” Chloe asked, already knowing the answer.

 

“Meh, I took a sick day,” Beca smiled, pulling Chloe in for another hug. “Being there for you was more important.”

 

“Chloe, sweetheart, your dad’s awake again. Why don’t we go see how he’s doing?” Her mother piped up, Rose idly playing with her necklace now. “I’m sure he’d like to meet your friend.”

 

Chloe nodded, but the moment they stepped into his room and Beca introduced herself, she regretted this.

 

“So this is the hot thing you’ve been shacked up with!” her father chuckled as he held Beca’s hand, eyes crinkling in amusement.

 

“Dad!” Chloe hissed. “I told you-“

 

“I know what you told me,” he interrupted her, “but I’ve got eyes, and they’re working fine.”

 

“I wish I could blame it on the medication,” Chloe’s mother sighed. “But honestly, it’d probably be worse if he weren’t on his painkillers.”

 

“Hello little girl, what’s your name?” her father asked, waving Rose over.

 

“Rose!” the little brunette chirped in response. “Do you need a hug, too?”

 

Her father laughed softly, giving her shoulder a soft squeeze. “Maybe when my belly stops hurting, okay?”

 

“Okay!” Rose nodded decidedly, before being distracted by the crayons Beca pulled from her purse.

 

“So, Beca, you came all the way over from the Big Apple, huh?”

 

“Yeah,” Beca shrugged, awkwardly rubbing her neck. “It seemed like the right thing to do.”

 

“I think it’s sweet,” Chloe’s mother practically cooed, making Chloe wish Beca hadn’t come.

 

Okay, that was a lie. But still...

 

“So, how are things with you now, Mr. Beale?” Beca asked, breaking the awkward silence.

 

“Oh, I’m fine!” he waved the concern away. “I can’t stand all this womenfolk fussing over me – no offense.”

 

“None taken,” Beca smiled, before turning towards the two women. “And how are you doing?”

 

Chloe smiled tightly. “We’re doing okay, I guess. It’s a bit of an uphill battle, but the new meds are working, so that’s a step in the right direction.”

 

Beca nodded slowly, looking like she wanted to ask something else, but keeping her mouth shut.

 

“You can ask what you want, Beca,” Chloe told her, able to read the signs from a mile away. “We won’t be offended.”

 

“I was just thinking about what you said on the phone? The money issue, with the insurance?”

 

Surprisingly, it was her mother who responded before she could. “Things will be tight, but I think we’ll be able to manage.”

 

“The money you pay me helps,” Chloe added. “Since you insist on paying me such an outrageous fee.”

 

They were interrupted by bark of laughter, followed by a pained groan. “When we got the money, we thought our little girl had started to partake in, y’know, promiscuous unchastity for financial gain,” he chuckled.

 

“Meaning they thought I’d become a hooker,” Chloe translated with a roll of her eyes, taking in Beca’s grin. “Oh, you think that’s funny, huh?”

 

“Kinda,” Beca nodded. “With your looks, I’m sure you’d be able to make a fortune.”

 

Chloe gave her a big, sarcastic grin. “You say the sweetest things, Becs.”

 

“I try so, so hard,” Beca nodded faux-seriously, before cracking a grin.

 

Chloe laughed too, blushing when she remembered her parents were here to witness the entire exchange. “Come on, I’m sure you’ll need your coffee fix,” she gestured.

 

“We’ll look after your daughter,” her mother promised immediately.

 

Chloe was only halfway surprised Beca agreed readily. Apparently, it showed on her face. “Well, they raised you, right? I figure it’s safe to leave my girl with them. They’ll probably be a better influence than I am.”

 

As they made their way into the cafeteria, buying actual coffee from an actual barista rather than pulling it out of a machine, Beca started to look pensive again. Chloe waited patiently for the brunette to voice her thoughts, but when it seemed like she wasn’t going to, she decided to give a little nudge.

 

“What’s going on in that pretty head of yours?” she asked with a teasing grin.

 

Beca hemmed and hawed for a few more moments, weighing her words. “I get the feeling your mother was downplaying the financial difficulties for my sake.”

 

Chloe nodded, slowly. “She was, I guess,” she admitted slowly. “We’re selling the house,” Chloe continued, hating the quiver in her voice.

 

Beca pursed her lips. “I’m guessing it’s the house you grew up in, judging by your expression?”

 

Chloe nodded yes. “Mom and dad bought it shortly after getting married. They’ve been living there for decades. They’d never consider selling it, but…”

 

“There are no other options,” Beca finished her sentence.

 

“Yeah,” Chloe sighed.

 

“But there kind of is?”

 

Chloe looked at her friend, brows knit in confusion until it hit her. “Beca, no. We couldn’t.”

 

“Couldn’t what?” Beca asked, looking genuinely confused.

 

“Ask that of you,” Chloe clarified. “Take your money like that.”

 

“You’re not asking,” Beca countered. “I’m offering. You know I have the money. I mean, I haven’t looked at your books or anything, but it’s a pretty safe bet.”

 

“I know, but that’s not the point,” Chloe argued in return, loving her friend for trying to do this, but simply unable to accept. “You being here is the most amazing thing I could imagine you doing, but you don’t have to be our saviour, Beca.”

 

Beca sighed, clearly annoyed with the turn this conversation was taking. “I’m not trying to be anyone’s saviour, Chlo. I’m just trying to help. Your dad obviously needs the care and medication, and you can’t pay for it. I can!”

 

“And then we’d be forever indebted to you,” Chloe huffed, crossing her arms.

 

“I’m not- Chloe, that’s… just no. I’m not like that.”

 

“I know,” Chloe sighed, “I know. But it would feel like that. Besides, my father’s going to need this medication for the rest of his life. We won’t be able to pay for it next year any more than we are now.”

 

“I’d still be really rich next year,” Beca muttered under her breath, also crossing her arms and refusing to make eye contact with Chloe.

 

“Beca, you’re being an idiot,” Chloe told her plainly. “What if you get fired, or something else happens to cut your source of income?” she argued, keeping the recent news in mind. “What if you can’t pay for Rose’s college when the time comes, because you’ve been paying the medical bills of a man you don’t even know?”

 

“That’s not going to happen,” Beca snapped back.

 

“You can’t know that, Beca!” Chloe groaned in return, pinching the bridge of her nose in frustration.

 

“Yes, I can!”

 

“Oh, so you’re a fortune teller?”

 

Beca huffed a harsh breath through her nose. “Don’t be like that, Chloe. I’m just trying to help you here!”

 

“And I’m telling you, we don’t need your help!”

 

“Well, obviously, you do!” Beca bit back, eyes widening the moment the words came out.

 

Chloe didn’t let her stammering stop her as she turned away and stomped off.

 

She couldn’t believe Beca had just said that. As if they needed her help to get their act together. Who did she think she was, the rich, snobby, brat! Thinking her money made her better than the rest of the world, just because she could make fairly decent – okay, yeah, great – music?

 

She really needed to get off her high horse, offering them her money like it was a pittance to her. Like, yeah, okay, Chloe got it alright. Beca’s rich, that’s great. That doesn’t mean you just go around tossing money at the poorer people to help them out-

 

Chloe stopped dead in her tracks.

 

Beca had just been trying to help out. Beca hadn’t known how to go about this, Beca hadn’t been the one to start talking about the money. Chloe had been the one to ask, and then she’d been the one who had been an ass about it.

 

Sweet, awkward, socially-awkward Beca had tried so hard to offer a helping hand. Even though it hadn’t been expected of her. Even though she didn’t have to.

 

“Sweetheart, are you feeling well?”

 

Chloe had been so lost in thought she hadn’t even noticed her mother approaching. Realizing there were tears in her eyes, she wiped them away frantically. “Where’s Rose?”

 

“She fell asleep, curled into a little ball next to your father,” the older woman smiled. “But enough changing the subject. What’s going on?”

 

“Beca and I had a fight,” Chloe admitted guiltily.

 

Her mother nodded, as if she understood the entire thing from just those few words. “About money?” And okay, maybe she did.

 

“Yeah. Beca offered to help out. And I was an ass to her about it.”

 

“And that’s why God invented apologies,” her mother told her with a kind smile, patting her cheek. “Whether we end up accepting her help or not, go find her, apologize, and then bring her back up.”

 

“Yes, mom,” Chloe snorted with a roll of her eyes, turning around to where she’d come from.

 

Surprisingly, Beca was still sitting at the table Chloe had just left, arms resting on the table and her face hiding behind them. Quietly, she walked up to her, placing her hands on her shoulders. “I’m sorry,” she muttered, mouth close to Beca’s ear.

 

Beca turned her head, bringing Chloe’s lips dangerously close to her cheek. “Yeah, me too,” Beca murmured. “I should’ve have pushed.”

 

“And I shouldn’t have acted like a difficult brat,” Chloe smiled down at her, before pressing a quick kiss to her cheek. “No hard feelings?”

 

“No hard feelings,” Beca nodded, getting up as Chloe stepped back. “And I’m not going to push the issue anymore, but I just want you to know that it’s a standing offer.” As Chloe opened her mouth to respond, Beca raised her hands. “Not pushing it. Just wanted you to know.”

 

Chloe nodded, even though she had been trying to tell Beca they might need to have another talk about money. Instead, she slipped her hand in Beca’s, setting off towards the elevator. “Let’s get back up. My mom might have a thing or two to say about this.”

 

As they entered her dad’s room, they found Rose exactly how it had been described, making Beca grin as she pulled out her phone to snap a picture.

 

“So, Beca,” Chloe heard her mother say. “Chloe tells me you might be willing to help out?”

 

“Um, yes ma’am,” Beca nodded.

 

“Oh, don’t ma’am, me. Just call me Mary.”

 

“Right. Yes, Mary,” Beca mumbled. “I did offer financial support. But I don’t think Chloe was very taken with the idea.”

 

Chloe shrugged. “I’ve been known to be wrong, on occasion,” she admitted sheepishly. “I was trying to tell you, before, that maybe we should talk more about this.”

 

“But I didn’t want to push,” Beca nodded with an understanding smile.

 

“Just so we have an idea,” Mary Beale pondered out loud. “How rich exactly are you?”

 

Beca chose her words carefully. “I could buy your house without really knowing I spent any money,” she ended up saying, before wrinkling her nose. “That makes me sound really snooty. Maybe I should’ve said I could buy out your insurance company.”

 

“No,” Chloe laughed. “That would have been worse.”

 

Beca grinned awkwardly. “It’d be true, though. I mean, I don’t know a lot about healthcare, and I’m not entirely certain what the best way to go about it would be… But I could definitely help out.”

 

“Question is, why would you?” Chloe’s father asked.

 

Beca shrugged, blushing. “Chloe is… well, she’s Chloe,” she ended up saying, making Chloe blush too.

 

Chloe watched as her parents did their thing, having an entire conversation without words. Somehow, they seemed to know exactly what the other was thinking just by looking at them. Glancing over at Beca, she could clearly see Beca wondering what the hell was happening, and whether her response had gotten her into trouble.

 

“Well, if that’s the case,” Mary said, looking over towards Chloe, “and if Chloe doesn’t object… We could use some help, yes.”

 

Chloe nodded, biting her lip. “I really don’t want the house to be sold.”

 

Chloe watched as Beca whipped out her phone, tapping it against her chin. “I just need to make a call for a moment?”

 

At their nods, she tapped the screen a few times, before putting the phone to her ear. “Benji, hey, it’s me. Yeah, no, I’m not in any trouble. Yes, I know I’m not at work- Just, can you shut up and listen for a moment? Okay, so, how’s my health insurance?”

 

She was silent for a few seconds, before huffing. “I just told you I’m fine. It’s not for me. Like, I need to know if I can cover someone else’s insurance. No, not Rose’s, she’s insured, I know that. I need to know for a friend, whose father has some- Yes, okay, it’s Chloe’s dad, happy now?”

 

Another bout of silence, after which Beca turned towards her father. “Which insurance company are you with?”

 

“UniCare,” her father responded.

 

“And would you be okay with switching companies?”

 

“If it means we can keep the house? Yeah, sure thing.”

 

“Alright, Benji, that’s all fine. And you’re sure about coverage? Yes, just like, mail me whatever you need from us, and I’ll get it to you as soon as we can. Uh-huh, got it.”

 

Beca hummed a few more times, nodding occasionally, before hanging up. “Okay, so my financial advisor says we can get you covered at the insurance company that Rose and I have been with since… forever. He says they’ll cover what you need if we take the premium package, whatever that means. I’ll just pay the insurance fees, and… that’s that, I guess?”

 

They spent the next hour compiling all the information they needed, Beca sending it all to her ‘financial guy’ for him to take care of things.

 

“Mrs. Beale, Ms. Beale,” the nurse interrupted. “So sorry to interrupt, but visiting hours ended twenty minutes ago, and I really have to request you leave now.”

 

“Right,” Mary Beale nodded, moving to her husband and kissing his cheek. “Hang in there, kay? I’ll be back tomorrow at ten.”

 

“Finally, some rest,” her father joked. “Please tell me you’re leaving the tiny girl?” Looking at Beca, he winked. “I mean the toddler, not you. Wouldn’t want to fight my daughter over-“

 

“Dad!” Chloe yelped, before laughing as her mother flicked his ear.

 

“Be nice, Eric. She’ paying to keep you alive, remember?”

 

--

 

“Let me guess,” Chloe smiled as they stepped out of the hospital. “You didn’t get here by public transit?”

 

“Nope,” Beca grinned in return. “Rented a car at the airport. It’s… somewhere around there,” she gestured vaguely towards the entire parking lot.

 

“Alright,” Chloe’s mother nodded. “Would you like to follow us home, or would you rather ride with us?”

 

“Oh no,” Beca mumbled, waving her hands frantically. “I booked a hotel room for us.”

 

“Cancel it,” her mother responded plainly.

 

“I wouldn’t want to be a bother. I’m sure you would like to spend some time alone. Rose and I’ll just go to the hotel and see you here tomorrow,” Beca objected.

 

“Momma! You go to the hotel, I wanna go with Miss Chloe!” Rose objected in return, making Beca groan.

 

“It’s three to one, Becs,” Chloe laughed, hooking their arms together, and taking Rose’s hand in her free hand. “Guess you’re stuck with us.”

 

“Alright, I’ll just have to grab some stuff from the trunk, then.”

 

“You go ahead,” Mrs. Beale smiled. “I’ll go get the car and wait for you near the exit over there.”

 

They parted ways, walking towards the plain black car Beca had rented, fishing their luggage from the trunk before walking back. “If you really don’t want to stay with us,” Chloe told her quietly, “I’m sure I can make my mom back off.”

 

“Nah,” Beca grinned. “I kinda want to see the house you grew up in.”

Chapter Text

The drive home was mostly filled with Rose happily chattering about flying for the first time – ‘like a bird!’ – Florida being much warmer than New York – ‘It’s like summer here!’ – and her having missed Chloe – ‘It’s been forever.

 

Beca was eventually forced to silence the excited girl when Chloe’s phone rang and Rose kept chattering on and on.

 

“Hey Bree,” Chloe laughed into the phone, watching Beca place her hand over Rose’s mouth to silence her with a grin. “Yeah, I’m okay. No, no, it’s all been sorted… You don’t need to worry about me. No, that’s okay, I’m not alone. Um, yeah, so Beca actually flew out here… To hug me, actually…”

 

Whatever was said on the other end of the line made the tips of Chloe’s ears about the same color as her hair. “Bree! It’s nothing like that!” Chloe yelped. “I’ll call you later, okay? Yes, I promise everything is fine out here. Dad’s fine. Mom’s fine, I’m fine. We’re all fine!”

 

When Chloe disconnected the call, Mary just pulled up to the house, turning to park on the driveway. Looking at it, Beca could understand not wanting to sell a house like this – sentimental value notwithstanding.

 

The building was reminiscent of a colonial mansion, albeit the size of a regular home. The street was lined with similar houses, although none of them were exactly the same. Each house was surrounding by spacious yards, lined with neatly trimmed hedges. Many of the yards Beca could see sported swing sets, pools, and a plethora of children’s toys.

 

They piled out of the car, moving to get their luggage from the trunk. Chloe insisted on taking Beca’s bags, leaving the brunette to carry Rose’s carry-on bag inside. The home was exactly what Beca had expected of Chloe and her family – there were pictures of smiling redhead’s everywhere, interspersed with art and crafts projects of varying ages.

 

Beca was willing to bet half her money that some of these had been made by Chloe, back when she was Rose’s age, and had been kept by her parents ever since. They’d probably be here for a long time to come, too.

 

Mary smiled, watching Beca take in all the little knick-knacks scattered about. “We have a room perfect for Rose. Upstairs, second door to the right. Why don’t you two go check it out, Chloe and I will get something to eat ready.”

 

“Alright, kiddo,” Beca waved, “let’s go.”

 

Opening the door to the room Mary had pointed them towards, Beca couldn’t help but snort at the truth of her words. As Rose squealed and ran laps around the room, Beca took in the pink walls, Disney Princess posters covering most of it. The Frozen bedspread on a Moana-style bed, the Beauty and the Beast-style desk and vanity, Little figurines of Clockworth, Lumiere, Pumba, and a host of other Disney-sidekicks scattered about.

 

“Momma! Look!” Rose practically screamed, pointing at all the things around her. “This is so awesome!”

 

“Yes it is, kiddo,” Beca chuckled, placing Rose’s bag on the desk.

 

“Glad you like it,” Chloe laughed from the doorway. “My niece always sleeps here when my brother comes over.”

 

“Well, good luck getting Rose to leave this place when the time comes,” Beca snorted with amusement. “You better make an inventory, before we leave for New York again.”

 

Chloe chuckled too, watching as Rose was entirely occupied with a set of Disney dolls. “I just wanted to thank you again. For helping us out, y’know? I know I was an ass about it before, and-“

 

“It’s alright,” Beca interrupted. “I’m happy to help. We don’t have to make it a big deal.”

 

Chloe nodded, before stepping forward and wrapping Beca up in a hug. “You’re something else, Becs.”

 

Beca returned the hug after a brief moment, wrapping her arms around Chloe’s waist and pulling her in a little tighter. “You’re not so bad yourself, Chlo.”

 

“Mom made sandwiches,” Chloe murmured after a while. “We should probably go downstairs, before she comes to look for us.”

 

“Food!” Rose shouted, dashing past them and down the stairs.

 

“She’s definitely your daughter,” Chloe laughed, stepping out of their hug and taking Beca’s hand in hers. “C’mon, let’s eat.”

 

--

 

They made short work of the sandwiches Mary had made them, after which Rose discovered a sizeable collection of Disney movies, leaving her glued to the television. The grown-ups sat around the table, discussing their plans for the next few days.

 

“I can spring for a home nurse,” Beca offered. “If you’re not comfortable with the two-visits-a-day thing. Or I could pay the hospital fees and he could stay there? Like, whichever you prefer.”

 

Mary pulled a face. “I don’t like the idea of him staying in the hospital, but I’m not really fond of a having a stranger in my home, either.”

 

“Um, you kind of already have two strangers in your home?” Beca ventured carefully, making Mary cock her head in confusion. Beca had to point at Rose, and then herself, before the message came across.

 

Mary laughed as if Beca was being ridiculous. “You two aren’t strangers, you’re with Chloe.”

 

“Yeah, but-“

 

“No buts,” Mary interrupted. “But to the point at hand: I think I’d prefer him being here over being at the hospital.”

 

“Alright,” Beca nodded. “I could make a few calls?”

 

“I’ll make the calls,” Mary sighed, sipping her tea. “He’s my husband, after all.”

 

Beca nodded. “Just let me know what you need from me.”

 

“Thank you, Beca. Chloe’s a very lucky girl.”

 

The comment seemed a little odd, to Beca, especially when Chloe started coughing, almost spitting her tea out again. “Mom, can you not, please?”

 

“Oh, please,” Mary shrugged. “I don’t know what the big deal is, sweetheart. Surely you see how-“

 

“Okay, that’s enough out of you!” Chloe decided loudly. “Don’t make me book a hotel room.”

 

“Fine, fine!” Mary conceded. “Beca, do you like musicals?”

 

Taking the sudden change in subject in stride, she shrugged. “Depends, I guess. Why do you ask?”

 

Mary grinned excitedly. “I have a video of Chloe’s middle school performance lying around here somewhere. It’s a must-see!”

 

The thump of Chloe’s head hitting the table punctuated the statement perfectly. “Moooom!”

 

--

 

Mary spent the majority of the afternoon showing Beca embarrassing videos and pictures from Chloe’s childhood. To her mortification, Beca seemed to really enjoy the little insight into her life, from diaper-clad Chloe throwing her food around, up to braces-and-pigtails Chloe riding her bike with training wheels, to a younger but mostly resembling current-Chloe as Prom Queen.

 

When Beca eventually complained about feeling sticky from the long flight and the hours spend at the hospital, Mary showed her the bathroom so she could take a shower.

 

Sitting with crossed arms at the kitchen table, Chloe impatiently waited for her mother to come back down. When she finally did, her mother took one look at Chloe’s expression, before snorting amusedly. “Now there’s a familiar look. Last time you directed it at me was when-“

 

“I brought a date over, shortly before I moved to New York for college,” Chloe finished the sentence. “Because you did exactly the same back then.”

 

“So I did,” Mary admitted with a smile.

 

“Mom, what are you doing?” Chloe asked, eyes narrowed.

 

Her mother didn’t respond immediately, instead moving to the counter to make another cup of tea for the two of them. “I just figured I’d get it over with now,” she eventually told Chloe. “I could have waited until next time, but something tells me you two would still be insisting you’re not a couple then, so I thought, why wait?”

 

“Mom, we’re not together!” Chloe insisted.

 

“To quote your best friend, Chloe: Can you please get your head out of your ass, it’s not a hat.”

 

Chloe gaped at her mother. “Did you just quote Aubrey at me?”

 

“Chloe, sweetheart, open your eyes, please,” her mother sighed, taking her hand into her own and squeezing it. “I’ve known you all your life – don’t roll your eyes at me, missy – and I know what you look like when you’re in love.”

 

“Mom,” Chloe sighed. “It’s not-“

 

“I know you’re not together,” her mother interrupted her with a kind smile. “But I also know it’s only a matter of time, Chloe.”

 

“You can’t know that,” Chloe argued.

 

“Sweetheart, that girl took her daughter – on a school day – and cancelled work, to fly across the country. Because you needed a hug.”

 

“It’s not that easy,” Chloe continued defiantly.

 

Her mother shook her head, smile dimming a little. “I didn’t say it was, sweetheart.”

 

“She’s a mother!” Chloe continued. “She has a daughter, mom. I can’t just barge in and upend everything! And obviously she’s into men, because that’s kind of how procreation works.”

 

“If I’m not mistaken, you are into men,” Mary winked. “Doesn’t keep you from being into her, though.”

 

Chloe blushed, but didn’t argue her mother on that point. It wouldn’t make a difference anyway.

 

“Glad we aren’t bickering about your feelings anymore,” Mary smiled.

 

“I… I’m in pretty deep,” Chloe admitted.

 

“But there’s Rose to take into account, and yeah, maybe Beca isn’t exclusively into men, but I can’t know that for sure. And there’s her work, which I can’t ever talk about because it’s a secret, and I sort of figured it out a while ago, but she doesn’t know that yet, and-“

 

“Sweetheart,” her mother cut in. “Breathe. I’m not saying it’s all easy. Of course you have to take into consideration that she has a child. But, let me ask you this: are you serious about her?”

 

“Yeah,” Chloe sighed.

 

“And you love Rose, right?”

 

“I do,” Chloe nodded. “It’s almost… Sometimes it even feels like she’s…”

 

“Your own daughter?” Mary asked kindly.

 

Chloe nodded, biting her lip. “I mean, I know she’s not, obviously. But when I’m over at their place, cooking for them, and bathing her, and singing for her before she’s going to sleep… But also warning her when she’s breaking the rules again, running in the house, or snacking on cookies – I swear mom, it doesn’t matter where we hide them, somehow she always finds them!”

 

Her mother laughed, eyes watery. “Motherhood’s a good look on you, sweetheart.”

 

“Mom! I’m not her mother,” Chloe huffed.

 

“Not biologically, no,” her mother smiled. “And not fully, either. But everything you just described… Sounds an awful lot more like a parent-figure than a babysitter. Maybe you and Beca should have a talk about this, when the time comes where you two finally admit your feelings for each other.”

 

“Ever the optimist,” Chloe sighed, sipping from her tea as she eyed her mother warily.

 

“When have you ever known me to be an optimist, Chloe? That’s definitely your father. I’ve always been the one to see things the way they were.”

 

“Yes, well, maybe you should get some glasses, then,” Chloe jibed.

 

Their conversation was interrupted by Beca coming down the stairs, and the moment she stepped into the room, Chloe felt her breath catch for a moment.

 

Beca looked amazing, wearing sweats and a t-shirt that was just a little bit too tight. Barefoot, hair hanging loose and still wet from the shower, no make-up, but wearing a brilliant and relaxed smile.

 

“Yeah, sweetheart, you’ve got it bad,” her mother muttered quietly. “But I can see why.”

 

--

 

Getting Rose to settle down for the night had been markedly easier than they had been expecting. Beca figured all the new impressions of the day had worn the little girl out, especially since she hadn’t napped today, either.

 

Frankly, it was now ten o’clock, and she herself was feeling worn out. “So um, I’ve seen the shower and I’ve seen Rose’s room,” she eventually started. “I’m guessing the other rooms there are your bedrooms?”

 

“Uh huh,” Chloe responded, shutting the television off. “There’s a guestroom in the attic.”

 

“Oh dear,” Mary muttered, folding her hands over her heart. “How silly of me.”

 

“Mom?” Chloe asked, eyes narrowing suspiciously.

 

“It’s just, with all of you moved out, your father and I didn’t see much need for a guestroom, sweetheart,” Mary Beale explained, blinking innocently. “We turned the attic into an office for your father, and a yoga-space for me.”

 

Beca’s eyes shot between the two redheads, the older one smiling innocently, and the younger one crossing her arms and glaring at her mother. “And you didn’t think to tell us?”

 

“I just figured, well, you’re such good friends,” Mary continued still smiling. “You wouldn’t mind sharing your room, sweetheart. The bed is plenty large, after all.”

 

Chloe pursed her lips, clearly not pleased with the thought, making Beca speak up. “Um, I can just sleep on the couch down here. It’s no problem.”

 

“Nonsense, Beca!” Mary gasped. “That’s not how we treat guests in this household!”

 

“Mom’s right,” Chloe sighed, breaking eye-contact with her mother to look at Beca with a small smile. “We can share my room. It’s fine.”

 

“Well, with that settled, I think I’ll turn in for the night,” Mary told them, getting up. “Sleep well, you two.”

 

“Thanks mom,” Chloe responded snappishly.

 

Once the older woman was out of the room, Beca let out her breath. “Well, that was awkward,” she stated dryly. “But really, you don’t need to share if you don’t want to. I can sleep here, and your mom will never be any wiser.”

 

“I really don’t mind sharing, Becs,” Chloe smiled, slipping their hands together to pull Beca off the couch.

 

“Are you sure? Because you kind of looked like you might not be so fond of the idea.”

 

“That’s not it. It’s just… Never mind,” she finished with a frustrated grunt.

 

“Hey,” Beca said softly, squeezing their joined hands. “It’s okay if you don’t want to talk about it. I just need to know you really don’t mind sharing your room with me. If you do, no hard feelings, I’ll sleep down here.”

 

Beca watched the frustration slip of Chloe’s face, being replaced by a timid smile. “I really don’t mind, Becs.”

 

“Okay, good.”

 

Chloe’s room, much like the rest of the house, was a treasure trove of insight into the redhead’s life. “A Cappella, huh?” Beca smirked, eyeing the trophies lined up on a shelf.

 

“Yeah,” Chloe grinned. “We were pretty amazing.”

 

“I bet you were,” Beca chuckled, looking at a picture of ten women in flight-attendant costumes. “You didn’t look it, though,” she joked.

 

“Hey, you take that back,” Chloe laughed, throwing a pillow towards her, which she caught easily.

 

“Fine, fine. You look pretty hot in that outfit,” Beca nodded, not entirely joking.

 

When Chloe’s ears turned red, Beca realized that, for someone so used to flirting, Chloe was quite easily flustered. She filed the knowledge away for later, looking at the bed behind the redhead. “Chloe, are you sure-“

 

“Yes.”

 

Beca gave a nod at the certainty in Chloe’s voice, only to squeak when the redhead suddenly whipped her shirt over her head, leaving her in her bra. “Dude!”

 

“What?” Chloe laughed silently. “It’s nothing you haven’t seen before, Becs. Literally.”

 

Beca keenly eyed the ceiling, the sight of Chloe in a pale blue bra now burned behind her eyes. “Definitely haven’t seen that bra before,” she muttered under her breath. When she heard the tell-tale snap of a bra being unhooked, she swivelled around, back turned towards Chloe. “Give a girl some warning, why don’t you?”

 

She heard Chloe chuckling behind her. “You’re free to look, if you want to. I told you before, I’m pretty confident about all this.”

 

“That’s… You’re so weird.”

 

“And you’re cute when you’re embarrassed,” Chloe countered. There was some rustling, and then another chuckle. “It’s safe to turn around now.”

 

Beca carefully looked over her shoulder, finding Chloe to be dressed in a plain white shirt and shorts. Beca couldn’t help when her eyes fell to Chloe’s legs. Beautiful, long, slender legs. “Are you checking me out, Miss Mitchell?” came the coy remark.

 

She knew Chloe was joking. This was exactly what Chloe had been doing for the past few weeks – flustering Beca with her flirting. But two could play at that game. “Yeah, I was definitely checking you out,” Beca nodded, ignoring her embarrassment. “Can’t blame a girl for admiring those legs.”

 

“Glad you like what you see,” Chloe winked, turning back the covers. “Come on, let’s get some sleep.”

 

Beca slowly slid underneath the blanket, making sure to stay on her own side of the bed. When Chloe turned off the light and was lying next to her, Beca realized how long it had been since she shared a bed with anyone that wasn’t Rose.

 

Listening to Chloe’s calm breaths, right next to her, brought back the memories of sharing a bed with Rose’s father. Back when things had still been good between them. When it had all just been fun, and when they could get in trouble, just because they’d been young.

 

She never regretted having Rose. She could never regret the best thing to happen in her life. But she wasn’t blind to the things she had given up in life because of her. Six years was a long time to be alone, she suddenly realized. Not a single date. No one to make out with. No one to have sex with.

 

She hadn’t realized how much she’d missed all that, until she had been in bed with another person again. Until she had been in bed with Chloe.

 

Her mother was right. She was a dumb kid.

 

How had she not seen this? How had she missed Chloe becoming the second-most important part of her life? How had she missed herself, falling head over heels for the redhead?

 

How had she missed herself turning gay?

 

Was she even gay? Could someone turn gay, just like that?

 

Or was she just into Chloe?

 

Regardless, she was a dumb kid.

 

“Becs? You’re really tense,” came Chloe’s cautious voice. “Are you alright?”

 

Beca realized Chloe was right. She was tense as a coiled spring. Making a conscious effort to relax her muscles, she let out a long breath. “I’m fine. It’s just been really long since I slept in a shared bed. Discounting Rose, of course.”

 

“If you… You can sleep on the couch, if you would feel more comfortable?” Chloe asked, voice quiet and sad. “Or I could go and sleep downstairs, you could have the bed to yourself…”

 

“No,” Beca blurted before she could think of it. “I don’t want that. I… just have to get used to it, I guess.”

 

Chloe hummed, and Beca figured that was the end of it, until she felt Chloe’s hand bump her side. “Turn over,” the redhead commanded.

 

“What?”

 

“C’mon, turn on your side,” Chloe repeated, prodding Beca into the desired position.

 

When she was laying on her side, she felt Chloe’s arm snake around her waist, the redhead shuffling closer and closer until she was spooning her from behind. “What are you doing?” Beca asked, voice sounding strangled.

 

“Cuddling you,” Chloe responded dryly. “I thought that was fairly obvious.”

 

“Yeah, but why?”

 

“You’re very huggable,” Chloe muttered against the back of Beca’s head, warm breath tickling against her ear. “And it’ll help you relax a little. Trust me.”

 

Closing her eyes, Beca realized she did just that. She did trust Chloe, blindly and whole-heartedly. She brought her arm up, folding it over the one Chloe had slung over her. “Thank you, Chlo.”

 

“Anything for you, Becs,” Chloe murmured sleepily. “Now go to sleep.”

 

“Okay,” Beca smiled into the darkness, feeling warm and content.

 

It had been six years since she last shared a bed with anyone.

 

But she could definitely get used to this.

Chapter Text

Chloe woke up shortly after seven, realizing that this was exactly what she wanted life to be like every morning. Waking up with Beca’s head resting on her shoulder, brown tresses spread across the pillow, arm slung over her midriff and a leg hooked over her own.

 

Beca was like a little koala, and Chloe just knew she’d hate that comparison if she were to share it with the brunette. The thought alone made her snicker quietly.

 

Normally, she wasn’t one for sleeping in, or staying in bed after waking up. Now, she realized, that was probably because she’d never had Beca in her bed before. Because there wasn’t an amount of money in the world that would be enough for her to shuck Beca off and get up.

 

Hopefully, Chloe thought to herself, this would be one of those mornings where Beca slept until ten, undisturbed by anyone or anything. Because then she could remain draped around her like this, and that would be just fine.

 

Chloe bit her lip as Beca used her arm and leg to pull them even closer together, the brunette’s breast pressing up against her arm in a way that was distinctly distracting. Also, really arousing.

 

She’d need a cold shower when they finally made it out of bed. And, after that, maybe it was time for Chloe to muster up all her courage and actually talk to Beca about all these feelings. About wanting to be a part of her little family.

 

Chloe barely managed to contain her groan when she heard Rose pattering down the hallway. That, without a doubt, meant getting up and leaving Beca’s embrace. She watched, half horrified and half endeared, as the door opened a crack.

 

And then, it closed again, and Chloe heard her mother’s voice coming from the hallway. “Momma’s still asleep, sweetheart,” her mother cooed quietly. “Why don’t we let her sleep in today, huh?”

 

“Uh-huh!” Rose chirped, trying to be quiet and failing.

 

“Let’s go downstairs. You can watch some Disney while I make you something to eat, okay?”

 

Listening so intently to the footsteps going down the stairs, Chloe hadn’t noticed the change in Beca’s breathing. “Your mother is an actual hero,” the brunette muttered quietly, startling Chloe.

 

“Hey, I didn’t know you were awake.”

 

“I have no intention of remaining that way,” Beca snickered, laughter turning into a grunt when Chloe started to get up.

 

“Chloe, what the hell are you doing?”

 

“Giving you some space,” Chloe muttered, although it was the last thing she wanted to do right now. Beca looked adorable, all bedhead and sleepy, droopy eyes, and she was actually pouting.

 

“Get back here, you’re letting in all the cold,” she whined, pulling Chloe back down. “Don’t make me ask for cuddles when you were the one to start it.”

 

“You sure took it to the next level during the night,” Chloe chuckled as Beca moved back into their previous position.

 

“Whatever, Beale,” the brunette muttered grumpily. “Once I wake up again, I’ll be pretending none of this happened. But now I need to sleep for at least three more hours, and I expect you to be here when I wake up.”

 

--

 

Truth of the matter was, Beca was wide awake. Still, she closed her eyes, holding Chloe tight, while her mind went over last night’s realizations. Truth of the matter was, Beca was a coward, and if not for the guise of being nearly asleep, she wouldn’t have the courage to hold Chloe like this.

 

She really needed to talk to her mother again, because apparently she’d seen this thing without even meeting Chloe. Stupid mother’s instincts. Stupid Stacie and Stupid Jesse.

 

She also needed to come clean about this whole DJ BM situation, she figured. After all, if this thing with Chloe was something she wanted to pursue – she was pretty sure it was – she needed to clear the air on that, first.

 

But for now, she was perfectly content lying here with Chloe’s arm wrapped around her shoulders, and the redhead’s fingers idly playing with her hair. She couldn’t remember the last time she’d felt this cared for. This loved.

 

Maybe, just maybe, there was a chance of Chloe feeling the same?

 

Then again, maybe this was just a regular thing for Chloe to do. Maybe she’d done this with Aubrey, too, at times.

 

Forcing the thoughts of Chloe with anyone in this position from her mind, Beca resolved to just enjoy the moment for now. Against all her instincts, she shuffled closer to the redhead, taking in her natural scent – goddamnit, Chloe even smelled amazing.

 

“Becs, you can’t actually get any closer than this,” Chloe chuckled.

 

“Shut up,” she grumbled under her breath.

 

“If you keep inching closer to me, we’ll fall off the bed,” Chloe cautioned her.

 

Again, Beca grumbled under her breath.

 

“Sorry, Becs, what was that?”

 

“I said you get closer to me, then!” Beca murmured grumpily, making Chloe laugh quietly.

 

“Scoot,” Chloe told her with a chuckle, moving them towards the middle of the bed. “C’mon, sit up for just a second.”

 

Reluctantly, Beca did as she was told, before being pulled down again, ending up practically on top of Chloe, their bodies pressed together just about everywhere. “Better?”

 

Hiding her flush by burying her face in Chloe’s hair, Beca nodded against the side of Chloe’s throat, closing her eyes again and, miraculously, starting to feel herself grow sleepy again.

 

--

 

It was pretty easy to pinpoint exactly when Beca fell asleep again, soft snores making the entire scene even more adorable than it had been before. She wasn’t sure what had gotten into Beca this morning, but Chloe was far from complaining.

 

Beca was an amazing cuddler, whether she liked to admit it or not.

 

When, around nine, the door cracked open again, Chloe was surprised to hear her mother’s voice. “Are you two decent?”

 

“Yeah,” Chloe whispered. “But Beca’s still asleep.”

 

Her mother poked her head in, taking in their position with an arched eyebrow. “Don’t start, mom,” Chloe warned her.

 

“I was just going to say that,” Mary Beale grinned, pointing at them, “is the most adorable thing I’ve seen in a long time.”

 

Chloe sighed contentedly. “Yeah, I agree.”

 

“I’m off to go see how your dad’s doing. Can I set Rose loose on you two?”

 

“Yeah, thanks for taking care of her this morning. Beca appreciated the extra sleep.”

 

“I can see that,” Mary grinned with a wink, before opening the door a little further. “Go on in, sweetheart.”

 

Rose padded into the room, uncharacteristically quietly, moving around it to climb on Chloe’s side, snuggling up against her side, and pressing a kiss to Chloe’s cheek, before doing the same to Beca’s.

 

Beca groggily opened her eyes, smile immediately blossoming on her face. “Hey, kiddo,” she yawned, making Rose look horrified.

 

“No! Sleep, momma!” Rose objected, using her little hands to close Beca’s eyes again.

 

“Mmkay,” Beca muttered, wiggling around to get more comfortable.

 

“Call me when you get up?” Mary asked from the doorway, before pursing her lips playfully. “Or should I say ‘if’ you get up?”

 

“Mom, I love you, but get out and go see dad. He’s probably making everyone at the hospital miserable.”

 

“Oh dear, you’re probably right,” Mary sighed, giving a little wave and silently closing the door again.

 

Chloe smiled as they were left alone again. Beca on one side, with Chloe’s arm slung around her waist, and Rose on her other side, having the redhead’s arm wrapped around her shoulder.

 

Yeah, life was good.

 

--

 

It was rapidly closing in on eleven o’clock when Beca opened her eyes again, taking in the silent conversation Chloe and Rose were having about what they should have for lunch – breakfast foods, obviously, because Beca and Chloe hadn’t had the breakfast Rose had enjoyed earlier.

 

She slowly sat up, stretching and yawning, laughing as Rose imitated her exaggeratedly. “Momma finally awake! You sleep so much!”

 

“You were the one to tell me I couldn’t wake up yet, kiddo,” Beca pointed out, before diving forward to tickle the little girl’s sides.

 

Extricating herself from the tangled mess of limbs, Chloe slid out from underneath the covers. “I’ll go make something to eat, feel free to take a shower or whatever,” she smiled, watching Rose jump of the bed with a frantic chanting of ‘food food food food.’

 

“You’d think I never feed her,” Beca wondered out loud, before shaking her head fondly.

 

When they settled in the kitchen, the brunettes at the table and Chloe at the counter to whip up something to eat, Beca’s phone rang.

 

“Sorry, gotta take this. It’s um… work.”

 

“Go ahead,” Chloe smiled, expecting Beca to leave the room. Instead, she took the call with her right there.

 

“Stacie, hey. What’s up? Last night give you any trouble?” The brunette nodded a few times, listening intently. “Yeah, well, that was to be expected. Good thing I’ve got some goodwill built up, then, huh? Yeah, I guess a press release might be a smart choice. Just tell them… tell them one of my family members was hospitalized, and I had to be there for family.”

 

There was a long silence, during which Chloe could barely make out the tinny little voice coming from Beca’s speaker. She couldn’t hear what was being said, but judging by Beca’s expression, it wasn’t pretty.

 

“Okay, and you’re sure it’s him?” Beca asked after a while. “Oh, right. Yeah, that pretty much eliminates any doubt. Absolutely fucking not!” Beca spat into her phone, Chloe managing to cover Rose’s ears just in time, earning her a grateful smile from the older brunette. “We’re not paying him to keep it quiet, Stacie. I’m not stooping to being blackmailed.”

 

Again, Beca was quiet for a long time. “Well, can’t we pressure him to keep quiet, instead? Like, use the full weight of our legal team. I don’t care of you have to send him to Guantanamo, just do what you need. I’m totally fine with discrediting him, yes. And you’re sure that… um, press person, doesn’t actually know yet? Uhhuh, okay, good. Yeah, just do what you think is right.”

 

 “Trouble in paradise?” Chloe asked as Beca hung up and put her phone away again.

 

“Yeah, I’ll tell you about it some more when we get home. If you want to know, that is.”

 

“Sure,” Chloe nodded, placing a stack of blueberry pancakes on the table. “Breakfast for my two favourite girls,” she smiled.

 

Once the pancakes had been decimated, Chloe took out her phone and rang her mother. “Took you long enough, sweetheart,” was their greeting. “Finally dragged your butts out of bed, have you?”

 

Chloe grinned with a roll of her eyes. “What did I say about rolling your eyes at me, Chloe?” her mother immediately told her, making both Chloe and Beca’s eyes go wide.

 

“I wasn’t,” Chloe stammered.

 

“Lies,” her mother countered easily. “Your dad and I are coming home in a few hours. He insisted on coming home, because apparently the hospital made him eat actual bread, and he hates them for it.”

 

“Oh, the agony,” Chloe grinned. “How’s he doing?”

 

“He’s fine,” her mother sighed. “Stubborn. He’ll need to be monitored for a few more days, and then he’ll be in the clear. Is Beca still willing to spring for the home-nurse?”

 

“Yeah,” Beca responded. “Haven’t changed my mind yet.”

 

“Good,” Mary responded. “We got the number of an agency from the doctor, I’ll make the necessary calls now, see if they can send someone over.”

 

“Alright, keep us in the loop, and we’ll see you two soon!” Chloe smiled, disconnecting the call.

 

--

 

As it turned out, a live-in nurse could be arranged to be at the home before the afternoon passed, and between a grumpy Eric Beale, a tired Mary Beale, awkward Beca, excitable Rose, trying-to-please-everyone Chloe, and the professional nurse with the veneer of an evil Disney step-mother, it was unanimously agreed upon the house was full. Too full. Like, way, way too full.

 

“I’m really sorry about this,” Mary started after three hours of stress for everyone. “I really don’t want to kick you out, but…”

 

“We get it, mom,” Chloe smiled, placing a hand on her mother shoulder and giving it a gentle squeeze. “I’ll go book us flights back to New York. If we can’t get one today, we’ll book a hotel room, get out of your hair.”

 

“Thank you, sweetheart,” Mary sighed, hugging Chloe tight.

 

“We’ll come to visit again, soon, though,” Chloe promised. “I’ll go see about those tickets.”

 

“Actually,” Beca cut in, awkwardly biting the inside of her cheek. “I kind of have that covered. We can just pack up and go to the airport.”

 

“Beca…” Chloe started, staring at the brunette.

 

“Chloe…?”

 

“Don’t tell me…”

 

“Okay, I won’t,” Beca shrugged. “C’mon, kiddo, let’s grab your stuff, okay? It’s time to go home again.”

 

“But Miss Chloe!” Rose whined sadly, not having followed the conversation at all.

 

“Don’t worry sweetie, I’m coming with you two.”

 

That seemed to satisfy her, rushing up the stairs to gather all her stuff. “I’m telling you,” Beca chuckled. “She’s going to try and pack all the Disney stuff into her bag.”

 

--

 

Beca made a quick phone call on their way to the airport, before smiling at Chloe. “All taken care of. We’ll be up in the air within the hour, if nothing unexpected happens.”

 

“You’re full of surprises, aren’t you?” Chloe asked with a shake of her head.

 

For a moment, it looked as Beca was going to say something, but then she just closed her mouth with a smirk. “I guess so,” she admitted as they pulled into the drop-off section, where their cabbie tried to get rid of them as soon as possible, so he could pick up his next passenger.

 

Walking into the terminal, Beca seemed to become an entirely different person than she was used to. Gone was awkward and adorable Beca, and now Chloe was looking at confident and imposing Beca. Honestly, the change was kind of hot.

 

“Hi, Beca Mitchell?” the brunette told one of the employees. “I called ahead.”

 

“Yes, Miss Mitchell,” the man nodded, eyeing Chloe and Rose behind her. “You and your family can follow me. Everything should be ready. The pilot is already running his pre-flight checks.”

 

“Perfect,” Beca smiled without correcting the man about the family-part. Taking Rose’s hand into her own, and hooking her arm with Chloe’s, they set off after the steward, who led them passed security and out into the open air again, where they were shepherded into something resembling a golf cart. “Max here will bring you to the jet, Miss Mitchell,” the man said with a dip of his head. “Enjoy your flight.”

 

They were dropped off in front of a luxurious looking jet – not that Chloe had an eye for jets and their level of luxury, but what the hell – the stairs already lowered for them. “Beca, are you telling me you have a private jet?” Chloe asked incredulously.

 

Beca shrugged awkwardly. “You literally told me not to tell you, like, a few hours ago. So I’m not responding to that.”

 

“You’re crazy,” Chloe smiled, giving Beca a quick side-hug.

 

“It’s a work jet,” Beca explained as they boarded. “For when I, or my team, need to travel. It hasn’t happened a lot lately, but I used to do a fair bit of traveling.”

 

Yeah, Chloe thought to herself, because DJ BM has been performing almost exclusively in New York City for the past two years.

 

Stepping aboard the jet revealed it to be suited for about eight people at max, making the three of them an easy fit. A small fridge was stocked with various lemonades, Rose immediately bolting towards it to grab something, until Chloe stopped her and put her on one of the seats. “I think you’ve had enough sugar for now, sweety,” she told her.

 

“Momma!” Rose pouted, making Beca laugh.

 

“Nuh-uh, kiddo. Listen to Chloe. You can have a lemonade in a few hours. Until then, you can have water.”

 

Rose started to pout, but it was quickly wiped away when Beca pulled a Disney colouring book from her bag, putting it in the little girl’s lap to keep her occupied.

 

“Ladies, I’m ready to take off,” the pilot told them over the intercom. “If you’d please strap in, I’ll have you three safely in NYC in about two hours.”

 

--

 

Their flight was mostly uneventful. Rose surprised both of them by enjoying herself with her colouring for the full duration of the flight, leaving Chloe to catch up on some of her studying she’d missed, and Beca to work on something on her laptop.

 

The landing was smooth too, and before Chloe knew it, they were standing outside the terminal, saying their goodbyes and parting ways. Chloe would take the Porsche back home to unpack, while Beca would be taking the Audi to take Rose home.

 

“So, I have this work thing tomorrow, kind of a meeting to discuss everything I missed yesterday and today,” Beca winced visibly. “Could I get you to come over and watch Rose?”

 

“Yeah, of course,” Chloe nodded readily. “What time?”

 

“Um, the meeting is at three,” Beca answered with a frown. “But feel free to come over whenever.”

 

“Alright,” Chloe smiled, hugging a pouty Rose goodbye, and containing her surprised gasp as Beca initiated a hug, holding her tight for a solid ten seconds before awkwardly letting go and stepping back.

 

“I’ll see you tomorrow, then.”

 

“Yeah,” Chloe smiled wistfully. “See you tomorrow.”

 

--

 

As she stepped into her apartment, its stillness was a stark reminder of the fact that Aubrey had left town for a while, too. Chloe was halfway through unpacking her suitcase when she realized that this place didn’t feel like home anymore, at all.

 

When she thought of home, she thought of Beca’s place. She thought of a well-stocked kitchen, music playing in the background, Rose running around excitedly, or sulking in a corner.

 

She thought of drinking coffee at the kitchen bar, playfully flirting. Disney sing-a-longs and reading stories while Beca napped on the couch. Waking up with Beca on one side, and Rose on the other.

 

Taking her tea in hand, she abandoned her suitcase, staring out of the window as snowflakes fluttered down from above. By the time she’d made a decision, her tea was cold, and she easily deposited it down the drain. She grabbed some essentials to put in her bag, fetched her car keys from the coffee table, and locked the apartment behind her.

 

She was going home.

Chapter Text

Parking the car in the garage, Chloe wavered for a moment at the bottom of the stairs. She didn’t feel as much reluctance about entering Beca’s house unannounced as she had before, but perhaps she should’ve let Beca know she was coming over…

 

Too late now, she told herself, opening the door and stepping into the house itself. She immediately heard the haunting music coming from the kitchen. When she followed the sound and stood in the doorway, she noticed Rose, sulking in the corner with a pout. She was holding a doll, but wasn’t playing with it.

 

Beca, meanwhile, sat at the bar with a newspaper, even though she was, apparently, staring at one of the cupboards. She observed them for a while, feeling the tense, uncomfortable atmosphere that clung to the kitchen. She was spurred into moving when she heard Beca release a very audible sigh.

 

“Miss me that bad, huh?” she murmured softly, stepping into the kitchen as both brunette’s whipped around to face her. “Chloe,” Beca breathed out, mouth morphing into a wide smile.

 

“Hey you,” Chloe smiled, scooping Rose up from the ground as she came running towards her. “What are you two up to?”

 

“What are you doing here?” Beca asked, instead of answering her question.

 

Smiling awkwardly, Chloe shrugged. “You literally said ‘come over whenever,’ and my apartment was really quiet and lonely, so I figured I’d come over now.”

 

“That’s…” Beca stared, before closing her mouth with a fond shake of her head. “I’m glad you’re here.”

 

“Me too! Momma and I missed you!” Rose told her, pressing a sloppy kiss to Chloe’s cheek.

 

“Aw,” Chloe cooed, ruffling the brunette’s hair. “I missed you, too.” Looking at Beca, she smiled softly. “Both of you.”

 

The soft smile Beca grazed her with told Chloe she’d made the right decision, coming here today.

 

--

 

Beca had no idea why Chloe was here, but holy shit was she happy to see her. After coming home, she and Rose had both been sulky, unable and unwilling to actually do anything other than sit around and mope because Chloe wasn’t here.

 

It was ridiculous and unhealthy and certainly not the adult thing to do.

 

But, just this once, Beca had allowed herself to be a little immature. To just feel.

 

And the only thing she had been able to feel, to think about, the experience, was the loss of not having Chloe around, even if it had been for such a short time. It had stung, that Chloe had gone home, but home wasn’t here, with them.

 

And now she was here, holding Rose and goofing around with her.

 

“Becs, did you have any plans for dinner?”

 

“No,” she admitted awkwardly. “I wasn’t really feeling like making anything. We were both not that hungry, anyway…”

 

“Are you now?” Chloe asked with an expression Beca could only describe as a knowing grin.

 

Rose’s stomach growled loudly, immediately followed by Beca’s own, making all three of them laugh.

 

“I guess that means Rose and I better get started on making us some food,” Chloe chuckled, the little girl hitting the floor running and dashing towards the cupboards.

 

Watching her two favourite people in the world moving around the kitchen, Beca felt incredibly blessed. She reached for her phone to put some happier music on, when she realized she had a phone call to make. “Chlo, can you watch Rose for a minute?” she asked. “I’d like to call my mom real quick.”

 

“Sure,” Chloe smiled easily, accepting the avocado Rose handed her before placing it away out of sight again. “Take your time.”

 

Stepping out into the hallway, Beca dialled her mother’s number and put her phone to her ear. Her mother was quick to accept the call, but didn’t offer a normal greeting.

 

“So you’ve finally figured it out, huh?” her amused voice came.

 

Beca rolled her eyes fondly, because her mother really was the worst. “Yeah, I guess so.”

 

“Tell me, darling,” her mother chuckled. “I need to hear you say it.”

 

“I’m in love with Chloe,” Beca muttered, making sure the redhead couldn’t overhear her.

 

Hailey Mitchell laughed quietly in Beca’s ear. “I knew I couldn’t have raised such a dumb kid. Told you you’d get there, eventually.”

 

“Yeah, well,” Beca huffed. “Where do I go now?”

 

“That depends entirely on the two of you, Beca,” Hailey told her as if it were obvious. “I would’ve thought that was obvious.”

 

“I hate you so much sometimes,” Beca told her mother, voice betraying her amusement.

 

“Yes, well, that is entirely mutual,” her mother jibed back. “So tell me, what do you want, Beca?”

 

“I want to be with Chloe,” Beca responded immediately, not even having to think about it. “I want her to be a part of our lives – mine and Rose’s. I want her to…”

 

“Yes, go on,” her mother urged. “It was just getting good.”

 

Beca took a deep breath, walking further from the kitchen. “I want Chloe to be here, with us, every day. I want her to sleep in my bed, to come to PTA-meetings at Rose’s school, to have a say in the rules we lay down for her. I want Chloe to be…”

 

“Yes?”

 

“Never mind,” Beca sighed. “It’s stupid.”

 

“No, you are being stupid,” her mother countered. “You were doing so well, but now you’re regressing to your natural dumbness again.”

 

“Are you sure you’re my mother?” Beca asked. “Aren’t you supposed to be supportive and shit?”

 

“Hey, I got you this far, didn’t I?”

 

Beca hummed, saying nothing else for the moment.

 

“Anyhow,” her mother breezed on. “You were just telling me how you wanted Chloe to take a more parental role in Rose’s life.”

 

“I guess I was,” Beca admitted quietly. “But… I can’t ask that of her.”

 

“And why is that?” her mother asked, sounding genuinely interested for the first time in their conversation.

 

“Because… Because Rose is my daughter, not hers. And while she isn’t a burden to me, being a parent is a tremendous responsibility. And Chloe shouldn’t have to…”

 

“Well, forgive me for giving you some motherly insight, darling,” her mother chuckled. “But I saw Chloe and Rose together, and I can tell you that girl was born to be a mother. And from what I’ve seen, she loves your daughter. Is it enough for her to, maybe, one day, consider Rose as her own? Who knows, I sure as hell don’t. But I don’t think Rose would be a burden to her… Then again, you know all this. I’m not the only mother on this phone call, after all.”

 

“You are the wiser one, though,” Beca told her mother affectionately. “Guess it’s because you’re old.”

 

“Just when I thought you’d grown a heart,” her mother replied deadpan, making Beca cackle out loud.

 

After a few seconds, Beca sobered again. “What do I do, mom?” she asked, voice suddenly vulnerable.

 

Her mother sighed, though it didn’t betray any annoyance. “Matters of the heart are complicated, aren’t they?”

 

“Yeah, they’re fucking terrible,” Beca admitted weakly.

 

“Well, I would suggest you bring the subject up sometime,” her mother advised. “I’m sure there’ll be an opportunity to ask Chloe about her feelings towards children, motherhood, and maybe even Rose specifically. Don’t push it, you have plenty of time.”

 

“Alright, I can do that,” Beca nodded to herself.

 

“I’d damn well hope so,” her mother told her with a chuckle. “I might have raised a dumb kid, but I sure as hell didn’t raise a coward.”

 

“Yeah, I love you too, mom,” Beca sighed back, hearing her mother chuckling. “You’re… Whatever. I gotta go, now, though-“

 

“Yeah, I bet. You probably have a hot redhead cooking you dinner or something,” her mother joked.

 

“Can’t say you’re wrong,” Beca shrugged with a grin.

 

“Well then, dummy, why are you still talking to your old mom?”

 

“I was just asking myself that question,” Beca chuckled. “Bye, mom.”

 

“Bye darling,” her mother laughed, and then the line went dead.

 

When she stepped back into the kitchen, Rose and Chloe both had streaks of white on their face. Rose looked ecstatic, while Chloe looked mostly apologetic. “We may have-“

 

“Sugar fight!” Rose yelled, throwing a handful of powdered sugar at Beca.

 

--

 

Beca watched, pleasantly full of food, as Rose and Chloe moved around the kitchen to clean up the mess they had made. Admittedly, Beca had joined in on the sugar fight, even if it was only because there was already sugar everywhere and her participation didn’t make much difference anymore.

 

Chloe had told Rose they had to clean it up, because they had started it, and Rose hadn’t even looked like she might disagree. Chloe really would make a wonderful mother to a lucky, lucky child someday.

 

With almost all of the sugar cleaned away, Chloe told the little brunette she’d finish up, and she could go look for a bedtime story for tonight. Beca was amused that, apparently, Chloe had just assumed she’d still be here by that time. With that in mind, she made two cups of coffee, handing one to a rather tired looking Chloe, who gratefully accepted.

 

“Again, sorry about that,” Chloe started with an awkward smile. “I know that throwing with food isn’t exactly a good example to set, but-“

 

“Sometimes you just need to have a little fun,” Beca smiled. “Don’t worry, I get it. Besides, you made her help with cleaning up, so it isn’t like she got away entirely scot-free. Being a parent isn’t always about laying down the rules and enforcing them. Sometimes you need to have fun, be spontaneous, do something crazy…”

 

“Being a parent…” Chloe mused quietly, staring into her coffee.

 

“Have you ever thought about it?” Beca asked, marvelling at the opportunity to bring the subject up naturally coming along so quickly. At Chloe’s questioning glance, she continued on. “Having children of your own, someday?”

 

“No,” Chloe responded within an instant, making Beca’s heart sink. “I mean, yes,” Chloe continued, running a hand through her hair – a nervous tick she seemed to have picked up from Beca herself. “I’ve always wanted kids,” Chloe confided after a few seconds of thought. “But I’ve never wanted to have a child myself, because of the Haemophilia.”

 

“Your father’s affliction?” Beca asked, confused.

 

Chloe nodded, biting her lip. “He’s type A, which only manifests symptoms in men,” Chloe explained. “I’m a carrier, but because I’m not a man, I don’t actually have the symptoms. If I were to have a son, though…”

 

“You’d pass it on,” Beca nodded in understanding.

 

“Yeah,” Chloe sighed. “So I decided for myself not to have children, biologically. I could always adopt… Or um, find a partner who already has a kid…”

 

For a moment, the tension between them was as intense as Beca had ever felt it. She was about to say something, or do something, that would certainly tip them from friends into something more. But then her daughter stormed into the kitchen, wearing a black-and-white Venetian mask adorned with feathers, and Beca’s stomach turned to lead.

 

Before she could intercept, Chloe had spotted the little traitor, too, easily stopping her in her tracks, and plucking the mask off of her face, studying it for only a second. “Rose, did you go snooping in momma’s closet?” she asked, sternly eyeing the girl.

 

Rose, for what it was worth, looked very apologetic as she shrunk under Chloe’s gaze. “Uhhuh,” she pouted.

 

“And are you allowed to?” Chloe continued, making Beca bite the inside of her cheek.

 

“Nuh-uh,” Rose shook her head.

 

“Thought so,” Chloe nodded. “So what do you say then?”

 

Rose turned towards Beca, eyes watery. “I’m really sorry, momma,” she blinked, making Beca sigh.

 

“It’s alright, kiddo,” she said with a tight smile, ruffling her hair. “But no more snooping, alright?”

 

Rose nodded, quick and frantic. “Alright, why don’t you go get your PJs and climb in bed? Chloe and I will be right there.”

 

As she dashed off again, Chloe handed the mask to Beca, looking like she wanted to say something, but keeping quiet nonetheless. Beca accepted it, looking at it for a moment, before motioning for Chloe to follow her. “I wasn’t planning to tell you like this,” she admitted sheepishly, walking into her bedroom and opening the drawer that was slightly ajar further, revealing a wide array of masks. “But I was planning to tell you, so I guess now is as good a time as ever.”

 

Chloe stood next to her, staring down at the masks. Beca knew that, with her being a DJ BM fan, she would recognize at least some of them. When the redhead didn’t immediately say something, Beca felt a ramble of epic proportions coming up. Luckily, right before it broke out, Chloe broke the silence.

 

“I’ve known for a while,” she muttered quietly, worrying her bottom lip as she made eye contact.

 

“Known?” Beca asked, astounded. “Um… just to be clear, you’ve known what, exactly?”

 

Chloe huffed, rolling her eyes good-naturedly. “I know you’re DJ BM. I’ve known for weeks.”

 

“Oh…” Beca stammered, utterly confused.

 

“Unless you were trying to tell me you have all these masks for top-secret orgies you attend every time I come over to babysit your daughter?” Chloe asked, looking so serious that Beca broke out into laughter.

 

“No, definitely the former,” she managed to wheeze out.

 

“Thought as much,” Chloe laughed as well.

 

“How did you figure it out?”

 

Chloe shrugged. “It’s actually a miracle it took me so long. I mean, no offense, but you suck at hiding it.”

 

“I do not!” Beca huffed, crossing her arms.

 

“You do,” Chloe assured her, not unkindly. “The only reason no one figured it out is because you never let anyone in, literally and figuratively. But you have unpublished tracks of DJ BM on a tablet in your music room, and you didn’t even bother with a password. You told me little bits of your workdays, and they matched up perfectly with what I read on the internet. You hired the same babysitter for every DJ BM performance, Beca… And when I showed you that article, you suddenly remembered you had an important call to make… Such a coincidence.”

 

“Well, when you put it like that,” Beca muttered, shoulders sagging.

 

Chloe stepped closer to the sulky brunette, wrapping her arms around her. “You’re adorable,” she muttered, mouth close to the brunette’s ear. “And I totally want you to sign every bit of DJ BM merch I have. Also, thank you for telling me.”

 

“I didn’t tell you, technically,” Beca muttered. “But I wanted to…”

 

Chloe hugged her a little tighter, and Beca relished the contact. She’d been worried about Chloe’s reaction, but the redhead was taking it infinitely better than she had imagined. Chloe didn’t seem angry, or upset, or even awkward.

 

“So, for being a fan, you’re being really cool about this,” Beca murmured after a while, Chloe’s arms still firmly wrapped around her.

 

“To me, you’re still just Beca,” Chloe told her softly. “Your job doesn’t change that. Which doesn’t mean I don’t want to see you work your magic, but even then you’d just be… you.”

 

“You’re incredible,” Beca smiled, pressing her lips to Chloe’s cheek, ending up dangerously close to her lips. “You know that, right?”

 

Chloe smiled at her brilliantly. “Doesn’t hurt to hear it from you,” she winked.

 

“Momma! Miss Chloe! You’re taking forever!” Rose yelled from down the hallway, forcing them apart.

 

“The princess calls,” Beca muttered under her breath.

 

“Oh, shush you, you love it.”

Chapter Text

Getting Rose to settle for the night had been remarkably more difficult than either of the two women had anticipated. The little girl had been overjoyed about both of them being there to read and sing with her, and it had kept her more energized than she had a right to be, in Beca’s opinion.

 

When the little girl finally succumbed to her sleep, Chloe and Beca settled in the music room, soft jazz playing in the background. “Chloe… Why are you here?” Beca eventually asked. “Not that I wasn’t happy to see you, but…”

 

“I know,” Chloe responded with a crinkled nose. “It’s silly. Aubrey is out of town, and after all the commotion and everything from the last few days it just seemed so… quiet. Lonely, I dunno, I was probably just being silly.”

 

“It’s not silly,” Beca assured her friend. “Rose and I really missed you, even though you were only gone for like, three hours?”

 

Chloe nodded slowly, and for a moment Beca thought she was going to say something that would return them to the conversation they’d been having before Rose so epically interrupted them, but then she just closed her mouth again, reaching for the music tablet. “So, DJ BM, let’s see what you’ve been hiding on here,” she grinned.

 

Beca grinned, feeling remarkably light, and happy to be sharing this part of her life with someone, rather than always hiding it away. “The songs on there are all due to be released in the next six months. All the stuff I’m still working on is on the laptop I always take with me when I go to work.”

 

“Any chance I’d get a peek at that?” Chloe asked, eyes bright and grin wide.

 

Beca shook her head fondly. “Not tonight. Sometime, maybe,” she responded vaguely. “Will you be staying over tonight, or were you planning to go home?”

 

“I wasn’t planning to go back to the apartment,” Chloe responded, before trailing off into a pensive silence. “I don’t think of that place anymore when I think of home, y’know?”

 

“You… don’t?” Beca asked, not understanding.

 

Chloe shook her head decisively. “It’s something I realized when I was there today. I know it’s where I live, but… when I went here… That’s when I felt like I was going home,” she revealed softly, stealing away Beca’s breath.

 

The brunette smiled softly. “My mom always told me home wasn’t a place. According to her, home is a feeling.”

 

Chloe nodded. “I think that makes sense. When I thought of home, I thought of… Of you and Rose, music, bedtime stories and shared dinners…”

 

Beca felt her heart soar, yet still felt the nagging little doubt in the back of her mind that Chloe might not mean what she thought, and Beca might just be imagining things. Hopeful thinking and all that.

 

“We’re very lucky to have you here,” she ended up saying.

 

“I think I’m the lucky one,” Chloe winked, getting up from the couch. “I should go get some sleep – it’s been a hectic few days, and I don’t think we’ll have the luxury of sleeping in tomorrow.”

 

“Yeah. Right, totally,” Beca nodded, getting up too. “I’ll um… see you tomorrow then, I guess,” she mumbled.

 

She didn’t see the flash of disappointment on Chloe’s face.

 

--

 

When Chloe woke up the following morning, it wasn’t to warm bodies pressing against her, or whispered conversations at her door, or the smell of breakfast wafting into her bedroom. She was alone, and everything was quiet.

 

Not that strange, considering it was only six in the morning. It still put a damper on her mood, though, as she got out of bed, shucked on some easy and comfortable clothes, and made her way to the kitchen.

 

She figured it’d be a solid hour before Rose and Beca would wake up, so making coffee wasn’t a good idea yet. Instead, Chloe made herself a cup of tea before making herself comfortable at the little bar, phone in hand.

 

Freedom of Press Impaired Again!

 

This. Is. A. Scandal.

 

The inside man that was supposed to reveal DJ BM’s identity to me? He worked for an event coordinator here in the city, who in turn worked for DJ BM.

 

Don’t ask me how, but our dear DJ apparently found out who was about to leak her identity, and she shut him up. Yeah, you read that right – my lead changed his mind and doesn’t want anything to do with me now.

 

So, once again, DJ BM uses her considerable influence to impair my ability to do my job. To keep me from outing her secret – even though we have the RIGHT TO KNOW. Freedom of Press is in jeopardy here, peope! Rise up against this tyranny.

 

We may never figure out who DJ BM is, unless YOU stand behind ME!

 

This is Gail Abernathy – the true voice of the people!

 

Chloe shook her head in dismay at the poorly written article, more like a rant than actual news. She took a good amount of time to scroll through the comments – she didn’t have anything better to do anyway – and was both surprised and amused to find that most people disagreed with her.

 

The majority of the comments were about DJ BM having a good reason to keep their identity a secret, and how this reporter was going too far in trying to figure out who was behind the mask. Some even blamed the reporter for the cancelled performance, throwing even more oil on the fires.

 

There were also a variety of theories about DJ BM’s identity, ranging from well-known performers to people believing their neighbour to be the elusive DJ. Honestly, it was rather amusing.

 

“Morning,” came Beca’s sleepy voice, startling Chloe into a yelp.

 

“Sorry,” the brunette grinned weakly.

 

“What are you doing up?” Chloe asked with a quirked eyebrow.

 

Beca shrugged, stepping into the kitchen. “Woke up, couldn’t get back to sleep. What about you?”

 

“Same,” Chloe nodded. “I’ll make you some coffee.”

 

“Nah, I’ve got it,” Beca objected. As she walked past Chloe to get to the coffee maker, Chloe was startled to feel a warm hand settle on her shoulder, and soft lips pressing against her cheek. Instantly, her sour mood from earlier vanished.

 

“What was that for?” Chloe asked, voice a little breathy.

 

Beca hummed something under her breath as she set out her coffee mug. “Just felt like it.”

 

Chloe felt a small smile blossoming as Beca fussed with the machine, wondering why her coffee wouldn’t come out. “You gotta plug it in, Becs,” Chloe chuckled after a minute. “I had to unplug it so I could make my tea.”

 

Beca did as suggested, before settling across from Chloe, steaming cup of coffee cradled in her hands. With a small smile, Chloe showed her the article she’d been reading.

 

Beca grinned excitedly. “Glad it worked. We sort of had to threaten him with being fired and never finding work in the music business again.”

 

Chloe smiled, albeit a little sadly. “Doesn’t it suck?  That you need to do all this just have a regular life?”

 

Beca shrugged. “Sometimes, yeah. But I know that, if my identity gets out, I’ll have press camping out on my lawn for months, snapping pictures of me and Rose every time we leave the house. I don’t want that for her. Maybe I can do some reveal later, when Rose is older.”

 

Chloe was about to tell her she thought that might be nice, when Beca continued talking. “Of course, I’d have to discuss it with any other important people in our lives at that point,” she said, eyes never leaving Chloe’s, making the redhead feel a little breathless.

 

“Like… a partner?” Chloe asked, knowing her voice was betraying her.

 

Beca hummed in the affirmative, still keeping eye contact as a little grin formed on her face.

 

The moment was broken by DJ BM’s hit coming from Chloe’s phone, signalling an incoming call. A quick look at the display revealed Aubrey’s name.

 

“Sorry, I gotta-“

 

“Yeah, go, go,” Beca chuckled. “I’ll go see if the newspaper’s here yet.”

 

“Aubrey, hey,” Chloe smiled into the phone. “How’s your mysterious out of town trip?”

 

“It’s fine,” Aubrey responded. “Though it’s hardly mysterious. You just didn’t ask why I was leaving town because you were too busy being disgustingly domestic.”

 

“Oh, shut up,” Chloe told her friend. “What’s up?”

 

“I’m out of town for work,” Aubrey told her. “And they’ve sort of offered me a more permanent position here, if I want it.”

 

“And do you?” Chloe asked, biting her lip.

 

The silence on the other end lasted for a pretty long while, but eventually Aubrey sighed. “I might, yes. But that would mean moving out of the apartment. But…”

 

“But you know I couldn’t afford that place on my own,” Chloe finished for her friend. “I love your consideration, but if that job out there is something you want, you should go for it. I’ll be fine.”

 

“Right,” Aubrey hummed. “I forgot you’ve got this whole sugar-daddy deal going on with-“

 

“Don’t even go there, Aubrey,” Chloe warned. “I think… I think there’s something here. We’re figuring it out, sort of. We were actually just talking about partners when you interrupted. Which seems to be a recurring thing, only last night it was her daughter barging in on our moment.”

 

“That’s what you get for being a mom, Chloe,” Aubrey laughed, making the redhead roll her eyes.

 

“Yeah, I suppose. Wouldn’t trade it for the world, though.”

 

“Then you should stop talking to me and get back to your boo.”

 

“Don’t call her that,” Chloe chuckled. “But yeah, I’ll talk to you later. Just let me know what you decide and we’ll figure it out together!”

 

Beca just came sauntering back into the kitchen, newspaper in hand, when Chloe put her phone away again. “Everything alright?”

 

“Yeah,” Chloe sighed. “Though it seems the apartment might be eerily quiet on a more permanent basis than I imagined. Aubrey’s considering moving out.”

 

“Well, you know you’re always welcome here if you need some chaos and noise around.”

 

“You might have me here all the time, then,” Chloe joked lightly, gauging Beca’s reaction.

 

To her surprise, Beca didn’t so much as blush, only shrugging with a soft half-smile. “I wouldn’t mind. I don’t think Rose would, either. You could always ask her if you wanted to be sure, though.”

 

Chloe couldn’t believe Beca was being so casual about this, wondering whether she seriously meant the words coming out of her mouth, or if she was just playing along. She wanted to ask, but she also didn’t want to hear the wrong response from the brunette, so she took the easy option and said nothing.

 

Moments later, Rose came prancing into the kitchen, wearing a princess’ tiara, and her bedsheets as a cape, proclaiming to be a superhero. Yeah, this was exactly what Chloe wanted her days to be like. But, maybe, not at this time in the morning, necessarily.

 

--

 

Today was a strange day. They had graciously treated the Superhero Princess to breakfast, which had been filled with laded looks that betrayed deeper feelings than friendship.

 

“Miss Chloe!” Rose yelped, precariously placing the tiara on the redhead’s hair. “So pretty!”

 

“Aw, thanks sweety,” Chloe smiled, taking it off and putting it back on Rose’s head. “But I think it looks much better on your pretty little head.”

 

“But I need you to have it!” Rose objected, removing the tiara again and handing it to Chloe.

 

“Why’s that, sweety?” Chloe asked, intrigued.

 

“Because I love you!” Rose smiled easily, moving in for a hug.

 

The simple words brought tears to her eyes, and she was glad Rose couldn’t see them, because how did you explain something like this to a little kid? Beca, who was standing in the doorway, didn’t seem to need an explanation, eyes equally watery.

 

“You doin’ okay there, Becs?” Chloe asked, voice as watery as her eyes.

 

The brunette merely nodded, one hand pressed to her heart while the other wiped at her eyes.

 

“Momma!” Rose cried out frantically. “I made Miss Chloe cry!” Turning around, she saw Beca’s tears, too, making her even more panicked. “I didn’t want to make Miss Chloe sad, momma!”

 

“You didn’t, sweety,” Chloe smiled, pulling Rose back in for a hug and waving Beca over, too. “You made me really happy. Sometimes, when grown-ups are really happy, they can cry too.”

 

“Are you really happy, momma?” Rose asked, poking at Beca’s wet cheek.

 

“Yeah, I am, kiddo.”

 

When they pulled apart again, Chloe settled herself on the couch with one of her anatomy textbooks, Rose draped over her lap as she watched some Disney Channel cartoon with the sound off. Beca, meanwhile, settled on the couch next to her, laptop balanced on the armrest. “Do you mind if I get some work done?”

 

“No, go ahead,” Chloe smiled easily, nodding to her book. “I’ll be busy with this for a while, so…”

 

Beca took the headphones, placing them around her neck. “If you need me, just give me a nudge or something. Oh, and if there’s someone at the door, nudge me too. We’re having that work meeting here today.”

 

Chloe gave a nod, before returning her attention back to her book. From the corner of her eyes, she saw Beca put the oversized headphones on her head, foot instantly tapping a rhythm only she could hear, as her eyes darted over the many gauges and sliders on the screen of her laptop.

 

It was a strange idea, Chloe thought, that DJ BM was working on the next big thing in the music industry. Here, on this worn couch, with her daughter draped across their laps. Focusing her attention back on the diagrams in her book, Chloe let the peace and domesticity wash over her.

 

About two hours passed before the doorbell actually rang, Chloe easily reaching over to tap Beca’s shoulder, who instantly paused whatever she was doing to remove the headphones with a questioning look.

 

“Doorbell,” Chloe smiled, chuckling as Beca frenziedly moved Rose off her lap, the laptop from the armrest and scrambled off the couch just when the doorbell rang again.

 

Chloe heard several voices coming from the hallway, not paying them any mind until Beca’s head popped into the room again. “Chloe, are you good to look after Rose for an hour or so?”

 

“Sure thing, Becs. Go do your thing!”

 

“Thanks babe!”

 

Chloe’s eyes rounded at the endearment, but Beca was already gone, herding her colleagues towards the music room.

 

“Babe?” she muttered to herself. “Well, that’s new.”

 

--

 

“So, I hear you met Beca’s mother,” a teasing voice came from the doorway, drawing Chloe’s attention to Stacie, casually leaning against the wall.

 

“Yeah,” she nodded. “She was nice.”

 

“Nice, huh? Not the word most people use to describe Hailey Mitchell.”

 

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Chloe admitted, confused. “She was really nice.”

 

Stacie hummed. “Usually, she’s like her daughter. You know, sarcastic, overly witty, somewhat irritable.”

 

“Beca isn’t like that at all,” Chloe objected. “She’s sweet.”

 

“Oh, she’s sweet, huh?” Stacie grinned, looking like a predator who’d just moved in on its prey.

 

Two could play at that game. “You’re just jealous I get to ride the Porsche,” Chloe quipped.

 

“Not entirely untrue,” Stacie admitted with a laugh. “But I’m guessing there’s more here than just that.”

 

“Maybe there is, maybe there isn’t. Wouldn’t you like to know?”

 

“I sure as hell would!”

 

“Language, Stacie,” Chloe warned, motioning over to Rose on her lap.

 

“She’s napping, she didn’t hear a thing.”

 

“She’s awake,” Chloe chuckled. “Aren’t you sweety?”

 

Rose opened her eyes immediately, no sign of sleep at all. “Miss Chloe! How’d you know?”

 

“You snore like an ox,” Chloe teased, tickling the girl’s belly. “And then you didn’t, so I knew you were awake.”

 

“I don’t snore!” Rose told her.

 

“Do, too!” Chloe teased.

 

With a small huff, Rose rolled off the couch, launching herself at Chloe’s bare feet. “Oh no you don’t, you little rascal!”

 

Lifting the girl up and turning her upside down, Chloe returned her attention to Stacie. “Are you all done in there?”

 

“Almost,” Stacie smiled as Chloe lifted Rose over her shoulder. “I was just getting something to drink when I noticed you in here. Figured I’d say hi.”

 

“You haven’t actually said hi, though,” Chloe pointed out with narrowed eyes. “You were just needling me about Beca and I.”

 

“Yeah, but let’s not tell the big boss, huh?” Stacie commented, casually sauntering off.

 

--

 

Beca waved as everyone poured out of the front door and towards their cars. She loved these people, she really did, but she was kind of happy to see them go again. Now, she could go to the kitchen, which smelled incredible, and spend time with Rose and Chloe.

 

Remembering their interaction earlier, where she had inadvertently called Chloe ‘babe,’ made her heart beat a little faster. She’d spent a good portion of their meeting mulling over it – it had come out without her intending to, but it had felt right. So, she had decided to just roll with it, and pretend it was normal.

 

Maybe, somehow, that would nudge them out of this weird limbo where they kissed each other’s cheeks, made heart-eyes at each other, but weren’t actually anything other than friends. A girl could hope, right?

 

Sauntering in the kitchen made her happy, finding Rose sitting at the bar, happily munching on a carrot while Chloe stood peering at the oven. “Any problems today?” Beca asked easily.

 

“Nope,” Chloe chirped back, leafing through the cookbook Beca had gotten for one of her birthdays, once, but never used.

 

“Glad to hear it,” Beca smiled, taking a seat next to her daughter. “What are your plans for tonight? Staying over again or were you planning to go home?” she asked, before correcting herself. “Back to your apartment, I mean.”

 

Chloe smiled disarmingly. “If you’re not tired of me yet, I’ll stay over.”

 

Rose cheered loudly, making both grown-ups smile. “I don’t think we’ll ever grow tired of you, babe,” Beca grinned, taking in Chloe’s hitched breath and rising flush. “If you want, you can come along when we drop Rose off at school tomorrow?”

 

“I’d like that,” Chloe nodded earnestly. “Can we drop by the apartment real quick after that? If I’m going to be staying here for a while longer, I’ll need to pick up a few more things.”

 

“Sure thing,” Beca agreed easily. “You can stay here until Aubrey gets back, if you like.”

 

“That might be… Why don’t we talk about that later?” Chloe asked, voice sounding a little hesitant, making Beca worry she’d said something wrong. “It’s not what you think,” Chloe continued, seeing Beca’s expression. “It’s just a bit more complicated than that, is all.”

 

“Okay,” Beca nodded. “We can talk about it tonight?”

 

--

 

Chloe was standing in front of the large bay windows, looking out at the setting sun. Rose had just been put to bed again, remarkably easily, and Beca had retreated to clean up the mess their meeting had made that afternoon, respectfully declining Chloe’s help, stating the redhead shouldn’t always have to clean up her messes.

 

She closed her eyes as she felt Beca stepping up behind her, arms coming across her waist, and elegant hands folding together on her stomach as the brunette rested her head on Chloe’s shoulder – for which she probably had to stand on her toes. With a deep sigh, Chloe decided to finally cut the tension. “What are we doing, Becs?” she asked, voice strangled and quiet.

 

Beca remained unusually quiet for a long time, after which she too released a sigh. “I don’t know how to do this, Chlo.”

 

“Do what?” the redhead asked.

 

“Talk about my feelings,” Beca admitted quietly. “It’s not something I usually do. Haven’t done so since I’ve had Rose…”

 

“I get that,” Chloe told her softly, folding her hands over Beca’s. “But I can’t read minds, either.”

 

“I…” Beca started, trailing off into silence again. “I want more.”

 

“More?” Chloe questioned. “More of… what?”

 

“More of you,” Beca muttered against her shoulder, barely audible. “More of us.”

 

Chloe took in a sharp breath. “So I haven’t been imagining things?”

 

“No,” Beca told her, voice growing stronger. “I’m not sure when it started but… I really want you to be a bigger part in our lives. Mine and Rose’s… If that’s something you want, too.”

 

“It is,” Chloe nodded, gently squeezing Beca’s hands. “And to be clear, we’re not talking about me babysitting Rose more often, are we?”

 

“No,” Beca chuckled, warm breath caressing Chloe’s neck. “We’re talking about you… belonging here, even when I’m here, too. Especially when I’m here too. Discussing rules, enforcing them together… co-parenting, and-“

 

“Making out on the couch?” Chloe suggested, biting her lip. “Please tell me that’s a part of this whole ‘more’ deal too?”

 

“Yeah, that’s… That’s definitely a part of it, yeah.”

 

With a bit of a struggle, Chloe managed to turn around in Beca’s arms, bringing them face to face. “I’ve wanted to be a part of your little family for a while,” she whispered, face dangerously close to Beca’s. “I’ve wanted to kiss you for a while now, too.”

 

“I… um,” Beca stammered, looking totally panicked for a moment, before she collected herself. “I’m definitely not stopping you.”

 

Chloe smiled for the briefest of moments, revelling in the sight of Beca’s eyes snapping down as she darted her tongue out to wet her lips. With the brunette distracted, Chloe darted forward the last few inches, softly pressing her lips against Beca’s.

 

The kiss was as chaste as it could be. Nothing more than a prolonged peck, really. Still, Chloe felt the tension slipping from her muscles as they stood there, feeling Beca’s arms relax around her as well, letting go of the tension they hadn’t even realized they were holding.

 

When she pulled back, only enough for her to be able to lick her lips again, noses still touching, she smiled brilliantly. Beca had closed her eyes sometime during their little kiss, and still had them closed now, lips slightly parted and looking absolutely mesmerised. “Goddamn fucking finally,” she eventually muttered under her breath, making Chloe break out into a snicker.

 

“I’ve kinda been hinting at this since we watched that movie,” Chloe told her, pressing her lips to Beca’s again before the brunette could respond.

 

“Sorry for being a chicken,” Beca muttered when they parted again. “My mom kept telling me I was a dumb kid.”

 

“You’re adorable, so I’ll forgive you,” Chloe told her, eyes crinkling with the laughter she was holding in.

 

“And you’re incredibly hot, so I’ll let you call me adorable,” Beca grinned. “Though I’m gonna need a kiss for every time you use that word to describe me.”

 

Chloe nodded solemnly. “Well, since you’re so adorable, I guess I know owe you two, huh?” Without waiting for a response, she pressed her lips to Beca’s again, idly wondering if they were ever going to be able to stop this. Not that she felt the need to.

 

She whined petulantly as Beca stepped out her embrace, linking their fingers together as she stepped back. “C’mon, I just want to get comfy,” she smiled, pulling Chloe over to the couch.

 

As soon as they sat down, Chloe cupped Beca’s face and brought their lips together again. Even now, they were just giving each other pecks, and Chloe wondered what would happen if she got a little more brazen.

 

Deciding to find out, she pulled back, angling Beca’s face a little for easier access, and moving in with her lips just slightly parted. Beca hummed softly, turning into a sharp hiss as Chloe licked at the seam of Beca’s lips. Worrying she’d maybe gone a bit too fast for Beca – who hadn’t kissed anyone is six years, now – she pulled back again.

 

Apparently, that wasn’t the right thing to do, though, Beca’s hand gripping her shoulder and pulling her back before Chloe could even move more than a few inches. Chloe willingly moved back into position, using her tongue a bit more fervently this time, and feeling her heart soar as Beca’s lips parted, and her tongue shyly darted out to meet Chloe’s.

 

And honestly, the only thing betraying Beca’s lack of experience or rustiness was the fact she was shy and timid about it. Chloe had always prided herself on her kissing technique, and had often been complimented for it. Yet, she found that Beca didn’t fall short, and she had no doubt that, as soon as the brunette got more confident, she’d be entirely capable of taking Chloe’s breath away.

 

When, after a few seconds, Chloe pulled back again, she chuckled at Beca’s glazed look. “That was um… wow.”

 

“Yeah?” Chloe asked, knowing how the brunette felt. When Beca nodded dumbly, Chloe tucked a strand of hair behind her ears. “I agree entirely.”

 

“I’m a bit out of practice,” Beca admitted sheepishly. “I promise I’ll get better. We just need to, like, practice a lot.”

 

Chloe laughed quietly. “I don’t think you were out of practice at all, Becs. Just a bit shy, is all. Not that I’m opposed to practising,” she told her with a wink.

 

When their mouths found one another again, Chloe was surprised to find Beca’s tongue invading her mouth before she had a chance to do so, the brunette gaining confidence at a staggering speed. Deciding not to lag behind, Chloe licked into Beca’s mouth brazenly, turning up the heat of their kiss considerably until Beca pulled back with a gasp, cheeks flushed and eyes lidded.

 

“You’re… really good at that,” she muttered, breathing laboured.

 

“You’re not so bad yourself,” Chloe smiled easily. “But you know what they say, right?”

 

“What’s that?”

 

“Practice makes perfect, Beca. Practice makes perfect.”

 

--

 

They’d been making out for hours, literally, when they finally left the couch. When they reached the door to Beca’s bedroom, Chloe kept walking towards her own, until a sharp tug on her arm stopped her. “Where are you going?” Beca asked. “I thought we’d…”

 

“Relax, Becs,” Chloe chuckled, pressing a quick kiss to her lips. “I was just going to grab something to wear tonight.”

 

“Oh, right…” Beca nodded.

 

“Though I can totally sleep without, if you’d like,” Chloe winked, only half-serious about the offer. When Beca didn’t respond, Chloe darted into her room to grab her nightwear, finding the brunette still in front of her bedroom. “Forgotten how the door works, hon?” she asked.

 

With an amused huff, Beca stepped into the bedroom, awkwardly standing by the bed as Chloe stepped in as well, taking in the room. There was a fairly ginormous bed in the middle, as well as a walk-in closet that looked beyond messy. Several pieces of clothing were littered around the room, making Beca awkwardly shove everything into a pile. “Relax, Becs, you don’t need to worry about what I think,” Chloe grinned. “I knew you weren’t the tidiest person in the world. I have been in the rest of your house, remember?”

 

“Right,” Beca muttered. “I’m just gonna um… change.”

 

To Chloe’s slight disappointment, Beca went to do so in the closet, safely hidden from Chloe’s view. Maybe it was for the best, she figured, not certain she’d be able to contain her hormones if she were to see Beca in state of undress.

 

When Beca stepped back into the room, Chloe had changed as well, sitting on the edge of the bed with her phone in hand. “So, what time should we set our alarm?”

 

“Uh, six-thirty,” Beca groaned, slipping under the covers.

 

Chloe followed suit, shuffling until she was right next to Beca, slipping her hand across the brunette’s stomach. “Alarm too early for us to make out a bit more?”

 

“Nah,” Beca laughed. “We can get some extra practice in.”

 

“By now, I don’t think we’re still practising,” Chloe grinned as Beca turned over to face her. “I doubt it’s getting much better than this.”

 

“Can’t hurt to try, though, right?” Beca grinned excitedly.

 

Chloe had been right about Beca being an incredible kisser once she’d gained some more confidence, her tongue meeting Chloe’s stroke for stroke, occasionally licking into her mouth in a way that made Chloe’s insides turn to mush.

 

Beca pulled back all too soon for her liking, bottom lip caught between her teeth. “Um, is it okay if we leave it at this for now?”

 

“You mean stop making out, or make out a bit more and not do anything else?” Chloe asked, genuinely.

 

“The latter,” Beca muttered. “I um… I really care about you. And I don’t want this to be just a physical thing, or to fuck this up or something. My last relationship… well, you know how that ended. And I know you won’t get me pregnant, but…”

 

“It’s okay, Beca,” Chloe smiled, pressing a kiss to the woman’s forehead. “I’m comfortable with any pace you want to go at. If you need me to slow down at some point, just give me a heads up. I really care about you, too. I’m… I’m definitely in this for the long run.”

 

Beca nodded, glancing over at the clock. “Alarm is going in five hours,” she groaned. “Let’s make out some more.”

Chapter Text

Everything seemed entirely ordinary when Chloe’s alarm went off. She turned over to her side to turn it off, idly wondering why she’d set it so god-forsakenly early. When a hand suddenly grasped her elbow and pulled her back towards the middle of the bed, Chloe almost lashed out in a panicked response.

 

“Jesus Beca, you scared the living daylight out of me!” she hissed under her breath.

 

“Sorry,” Beca yawned sleepily. “Just wanted to give you a kiss.”

 

With a fond smile, Chloe rolled over to face Beca again, immediately feeling Beca’s warm lips pressing against her own.

 

“This,” Beca murmured as they parted, “is how I want to start every day for the rest of my life.”

 

Chloe hummed as their lips connected again, agreeing wholeheartedly. It wasn’t long until she felt Beca’s tongue begging for entrance into her mouth, making her pull back. “Beca, as much as I’d love to make out with you all morning, we have to get Rose to school, remember?”

 

Beca hummed softly. “I distinctly remember I had you set the alarm thirty minutes early for this specific purpose,” she grinned wickedly, stealing Chloe’s breath away.

 

“Well, in that case, carry on,” Chloe chuckled, already moving in to capture Beca’s bottom lip between her own, giving a soft tug, a happy thrumming filling her entire being at Beca’s muffled moan. She felt a moan of her own releasing as their tongues slid across each other, their kiss quickly escalating into something that could keep them occupied considerably longer than the allotted thirty minutes.

 

Feeling Beca’s hands tangling in her hair made it all the worse, spurring her on to deepen the kiss, her tongue twisting into Beca’s mouth and claiming it as Chloe’s own property, making Beca keen as the redhead thoroughly dominated the kiss.

 

“I stand corrected,” Beca breathed heavily as Chloe finally pulled back. “That is how I want to start every day the rest of my life.”

 

Hovering slightly over Beca, Chloe grinned down. “Well, that sure sounds like a plan,” she told, pressing a quick peck to the tip of the brunette’s nose. “But our thirty minutes ended three minutes ago, so you should get your pretty butt out of bed and into the shower. I’ll get started on a quick breakfast.”

 

“Mmkay,” Beca muttered grouchily, eyeing Chloe as she slid from underneath the covers.

 

“Should I go and wake Rose up, or does she get up on her own?” Chloe asked easily, slipping on a pair of socks.

 

“Uh, give her a few more minutes. If she’s not up by, say, a quarter-past, go and wake her up, if you don’t mind.”

 

“I don’t mind,” Chloe smiled, feeling entirely blessed for being part of this morning routine, unable to keep from grinning as Beca dragged herself into the adjacent bathroom.

 

Chloe had just finished making toast for the three of them when Rose came into the kitchen. “Morning!” she chirped happily, clambering onto her chair and grinning as Chloe handed her a cup of milk.

 

“Good morning, sweety,” Chloe smiled.

 

“Where’s momma?”

 

“She’s still taking a shower,” Chloe smiled, placing Beca’s favourite mug, filled to the brim with coffee, on the table as well.

 

“No she’s not,” Beca interrupted, coming into the kitchen while still towelling her hair. “I’m in the kitchen.”

 

“Momma!” Rose groaned tiredly.

 

“What? I thought it was funny!” Beca objected, winking at Chloe while Rose wasn’t looking.

 

“You’re supposed to be grumpy!” Rose told her matter-of-factly. “You’re always grumpy at breakfast.”

 

“Am not!”

 

“Are too!”

 

“Am not!”

 

“Are too!” Rose laughed hysterically.

 

“Okay, you two. Eat your toast, this discussion is obviously not going anywhere,” Chloe chuckled, taking Beca’s towel and moving her towards the table, picking up her tea from the counter on the way.

 

The rest of breakfast was mostly quiet, Beca eventually excusing herself and Rose to get the girl ready for school, while Chloe cleared the kitchen from their breakfast rubble. When the brunettes came back, Beca looked dumbfounded.

 

“Something wrong, Becs?” Chloe asked, eyebrow quirked.

 

“No,” she shook her head. “It’s just… usually I have to clean up the kitchen after I get back from dropping Rose off. I hadn’t considered…”

 

“Things being easier when there are two adults around?” Chloe finished sympathetically. She, too, hadn’t really considered how much of a change this had to be for Beca.

 

“Yeah,” she smiled. “I guess that makes sense, but… You’re actually the first to be here during our mornings on a regular school day, so…”

 

“I get it,” Chloe smiled, squeezing Beca’s hand. “It must be strange for you, huh?”

 

“A little,” Beca admitted with a scrunched nose. “Mostly it’s just frikkin’ awesome, though.”

 

--

 

Chloe parked Beca’s BMW in the parking lot behind Rose’s school, awkwardly watching as Beca and Rose got out. She wasn’t certain whether she was actually supposed to go with them, or just wait in the car.

 

“You coming or what?” Beca called after a second or two, answering that question.

 

“Right behind ya!” Chloe called back, fiddling with her seatbelt and the car key. She couldn’t help but smile at Rose’s insistence that they both needed to hold one of her hands for the short walk to the school building.

 

Beca easily navigated through the crowd of parents and children, apparently headed for a specific spot. Chloe knew once they reached that spot, because Rose let go of their hands, and turned around to give Beca a kiss, who was already crouched. Chloe followed her example, getting a goodbye kiss, too, before Rose dashed off to play with her friends. “Bye momma, bye Chloe!”

 

“I think this is actually the first time I’ve seen the two of you together,” a voice came from behind them. Chloe immediately recognized Rose’s teacher, whom she had met a while ago.

 

“Yeah, scheduling has been a bit of a hassle lately,” Beca responded easily. “We’re hoping for this to be a more regular thing from now on, though.”

 

“I imagine Rose would like that. She’s obviously very fond of the both of you,” the teacher smiled. “Will I see you two at the PTA meeting on Thursday?”

 

“I’ll definitely be there,” Beca nodded, shooting Chloe a questioning glance. “How’s your schedule looking for Thursday, babe?”

 

Chloe quickly went over said schedule. “I only have a morning appointment on campus, nothing after that,” she responded.

 

“Good,” Rose’s teacher nodded. “Then I guess we’ll talk more, then.”

 

The two women didn’t say much until they were back in the car, having watched Rose playing tag with her friends for a while until they were all called inside. Sitting next to each other, Chloe noticed Beca awkwardly fiddling with the seatbelt. “What’s going on, Becs?” she asked, glad she knew her well enough to know when something was up.

 

“It’s just… the PTA meeting…”

 

“If you would rather not have me there, we’ll just make up an excuse for my absence,” Chloe supplied easily, even though it left a bitter aftertaste in her mouth.

 

“No, no!” Beca objected. “I just thought maybe you wouldn’t want to go. I mean… It’s complicated.”

 

Chloe nodded slowly, putting the car into motion and pulling out of the parking lot. “And with ‘complicated,’ you mean we need to navigate how much of a role I’ll be playing in Rose’s life?”

 

“Exactly!” Beca practically cried out, seeming intensely relieved Chloe understood.

 

Chloe pursed her lips for a moment, mentally navigating to her apartment. “Like I said last night, I’m in this for the long run. I don’t want to be presumptuous, but the way I see this going is that I’ll… eventually, um…”

 

“Go on,” Beca urged. “I’m not going to be offended or anything. If we… I can’t believe I’m saying this, of all people, but if we want this to work out, we need to be honest and open, right?”

 

Chloe nodded decisively. “Right.”

 

“So, tell me.”

 

Chloe took a deep breath, before leaping. “I want to be a mom.” When Beca remained quiet, Chloe continued. “I’ve always wanted it, I know I’ve told you this before. And I know Rose will never technically be my child, but… If we stay together, I want us to be a family. With both of us being Rose’s parents.”

 

Shooting a quick glance over to her side revealed Beca to be crying. Full-on, tears streaming across her face, stuffy-nosed crying. Normally, Chloe had a pretty good idea what was going on in Beca’s head, but now she was in the dark. This was either a very good sign, or a very, very bad one. “Um, Becs?”

 

“I’m fine,” the brunette sniffled, rummaging through the glove compartment for tissues and drying her face. “You just… The things you said-“

 

“I didn’t mean to make you upset,” Chloe ventured carefully.

 

“You didn’t,” Beca scoffed with a watery laugh. “I really like your vision for our future. I’d… Rose and I would both be so lucky to have you be a part of our family. It’s just… A lot for me to take in. I’ve been doing this alone for six years, and this morning it struck me how… nice it was to have you there. To not have to do it all by myself. It’s not like I didn’t manage on my own, but…”

 

“I get it, Beca,” Chloe smiled, pulling up in front of her apartment building. “We’ll figure out how to go about this. We just need to keep talking to each other. Like, about boundaries and stuff.”

 

“Right,” Beca agreed, opening the door of the car and stepping out. “So, about the PTA-meeting. I want you to be there, if you want that, too.”

 

“And I do, so that works out nicely,” Chloe smiled, locking the car and walking up to the entrance. “Next point on the agenda: how long do I get to stay at your place?”

 

“Indefinitely,” Beca responded easily, not even remotely sounding like it was a joke.

 

“Indefinitely?” Chloe asked.

 

“Yeah,” Beca reiterated. “Indefinitely. Like, for however long you want.”

 

“Is this your way of asking me to move in?” Chloe asked, grinning with a quirked eyebrow.

 

“Nah,” Beca responded, grinning too. “That would be too soon. But if you were to happen to be staying over for like, a few weeks, you might accidentally find yourself having moved in nonetheless.”

 

“I like the way you think, Beca Mitchell,” Chloe laughed. “Let’s go gather up some of my stuff.”

 

--

 

Back home, Chloe found that they easily slipped into their usual domestic rhythm. Beca opted for reading the newspaper while Chloe unpacked the clothes and books she’d brought over. Beca had insisted she move her stuff into Beca’s closet, and Chloe found that she quite liked the sight of their mixed wardrobe.

 

She did make sure to hide the sexy underwear somewhere in the back of a drawer, though. That, she figured, would make a nice surprise at some point.

 

Her books, meanwhile, were neatly lined up on the empty shelves in Beca’s music room, which was more of a lounge where Beca spent most of her spare time. It was strange, seeing their lives so mixed up, but it felt entirely right at the same time.

 

With all her stuff put away into Beca’s home, which in the progress became more their home, Chloe settled in the music room, studying mammal digestive systems while Beca was fiddling with her laptop, headphones snuggly covering her ears.

 

Occasionally, they’d shoot each other a quick glance, always smiling, before returning to their own business. The silence was, eventually, rudely interrupted by Beca’s phone. The brunette didn’t hear, though, so Chloe had to prod her. “Your mom’s calling,” she told as soon as the headphones came off.

 

“Mom, hey,” Beca smiled, “no, you’re not interrupting anything. I was just getting some work done,” she continued, not making any move to get up and leave the room like she usually did when on the phone. “Yeah, Chloe’s here. No, no, no, no, no, no, no intervention is necessary!”

 

Chloe could, quite clearly, make out the cackle on the other end of the line. “Yes, mom, we’ve talked. We’re figuring things out. No, mom, we haven’t slept together yet!” Beca continued, face beet-red. “We’ve kissed, okay? That’s all- Geez, why am I even telling you this?”

 

Chloe felt her eyebrows hitch towards her hairline. She knew a thing or two about inappropriate parents, but Hailey Mitchell seemed to be taking things to the next level. Judging by Beca’s expression, she wasn’t done mortifying her daughter yet.

 

With an impish grin, Chloe held out her hand, wiggling her fingers to take Beca’s phone. Putting it to her ear, she could hardly contain her laughter. “… healthy sex life, Beca! It’s only natural – I mean, I’ve seen Chloe, she’s hot. If I were you, I wouldn’t wait too long to get on that, because-“

 

“I appreciate that,” Chloe interrupted easily, shutting Beca’s mom up instantly. “But I kinda need to make out with your daughter now, so maybe we can call you back later?”

 

“Hah,” Hailey Mitchell guffawed. “I knew you’d be good for her. Have fun, I won’t disturb you again today!”

 

“Much appreciated!” Chloe chirped, disconnecting the call and tossing the phone back to Beca. She wasn’t oblivious to Beca’s pout when she returned her attention to the article in her lap. “Are you really pouting at me, now, Becs?” she asked, eyeing her with a mischievous grin.

 

“You said we were going to make out,” the brunette whined.

 

“Honestly, I just said that to shut your mother up,” Chloe shrugged playfully. “Though I suppose we could.”

 

Easily moving from her spot, Chloe sat astride Beca’s lap, effectively straddling her and bringing their faces within inches of each other. “If you really insist,” she grinned, resting her forehead against Beca’s.

 

“You’re crazy,” Beca grinned up at her, before closing the little remaining distance and pressing their lips together. Instantly, Chloe slipped her tongue into Beca’s mouth, finding the brunette’s tongue ready and waiting, meeting her stroke for stroke. She brought her hands up to tangle them in brown tresses, grasping just firm enough to be able to control the kiss.

 

She made a game out of pulling back, leaving Beca whining and wanting, and moving back in again, giving her everything she wanted and more. Every time she’d pull back, Beca would try to follow, unwilling to let their kiss end, and every time Chloe would move back in, Beca would reciprocate with passion.

 

Chloe was so busy kissing Beca absolutely senseless, she almost toppled off the brunette’s lap when Beca’s hands shifted away from her hips, moving to cover her ass. She wasn’t exactly doing anything, hands just resting on the seat of Chloe’s jeans, as if she was wondering what she could get away with.

 

Chloe pulled back just enough to give her a little reassurance, resting their foreheads together again, noses still touching, and breathing in each other’s laboured breaths. “What you doin’, Becs?” she asked with an impish grin.

 

When she felt Beca’s hands sliding away again, she quickly grasped her wrists. “Oh no, absolutely not,” she huffed. “I like them there just fine.”

 

Beca smiled up at her, somewhat timidly, and then her hands moved again, exploring Chloe’s ass, gripping more firmly, and giving a testing squeeze. The sensations sent a thrill through Chloe, who immediately ducked back in to resume their kissing.

 

Beca’s hands continued their ministrations, occasionally moving up to caress her back, only to return downwards. Chloe wasn’t certain how long their kept it up, making out like teenagers on the couch, but they were eventually spurred apart by Chloe’s phone ringing.

 

Still out of breath, she answered the call. “Hey, mom!” she practically panted, putting the phone on speaker mode.

 

“Hey sweetheart. You sound like you’ve been exercising,” Mary Beale chuckled.

 

“Kind of,” Chloe huffed.

 

“Getting rid of some of your sexual frustrations?” her mother asked teasingly.

 

“Not… exactly. They kinda got worse over the past um… hour or so?”

 

“Oh dear, do tell me you were making out with your not-girlfriend!”

 

“Yeah, we were,” Beca cut in good-naturedly. “Thanks for interrupting!”

 

“Oh, darn me and my lousy timing!” Mary lamented. “And hey, Beca. How are you?”

 

“I’m very well, thank you for asking.”

 

“How’s dad?” Chloe asked.

 

“He’s doing well, too. That’s why I was calling, actually. Today’s the in-home nurse’s last day, so I expect you’ll get the bill sometime early next week. The wound’s all healed up, and the medication is working. If everything keeps going the way it has been, he'll go back to work in a week or two.”

 

“That’s good to hear,” Chloe smiled. “I’m guessing he’s going stir-crazy at home, with you fussing over him all the time?”

 

“Oh, yes, he’s about as bad as you imagine. I had wanted to invite you over sometime, but I think it might be better to wait until he’s up and about again. He’s not too fond of ‘womenfolk’ at the moment.”

 

“We’ll hold off for a week or three,” Chloe told her mother. “Just let me know when we’re welcome, and we’ll see how our schedules are around that time?”

 

“Works for me, sweetheart,” Mary responded with a warm voice. “Now, I should let you get back to um… business. Bye!”

 

“So,” Chloe hummed as she put her phone away again. “That was an interruption.”

 

“Hm,” Beca responded. “We could just get back to it?” she continued, voice hopeful.

 

“How about we eat first?” Chloe asked with a fond smile, already getting off Beca’s lap. “After that, we can see what the day brings?”

 

--

 

After lunch, they somehow reached the unspoken consensus that making out on the couch would not get Beca’s work done, and would also not help Chloe with her studies. So, while they did end up on the couch again together, they strictly minded their own business until Beca eventually nudged Chloe’s shoulder.

 

“It’s about the time we should start to think about picking up a certain little someone.”

 

“Right,” Chloe nodded, tucking her book away and stretching. “I just need to put on my shoes, and then I’ll be ready to go.”

 

A few minutes later, they easily slipped into Beca’s car. Beca had not-so-subtly pushed Chloe towards the driver’s seat, muttering something about hating driving at this time of day, so Chloe was happy to take it out of her hands. About halfway through, Beca cleared her throat.

 

“So, um, I had a little talk with Rose this morning.”

 

“Okay? Sounds serious,” Chloe answered, light-heartedly.

 

“It sort of was,” Beca told her with a smile. “I asked her not to call you ‘Miss Chloe’ anymore. Figured it’d be weird if we were, y’know, involved.”

 

Chloe nodded slowly. “Makes sense. I wouldn’t call my mother Miss Mary either… And I did notice her calling me just Chloe earlier today.”

 

“Yeah, I told her to just call you Chloe. She might want to call you something else eventually, but this seemed the most sensible for now.”

 

“Something else?” Chloe asked, not understanding. “I wasn’t planning to change my name, if that’s what you mean.”

 

“No, I was thinking more along the lines of… mom. Or something.”

 

“That’s… I hadn’t even considered that. Wouldn’t that be weird for you?”

 

“I thought about it,” Beca shrugged, playing it off as no big deal. “I came to the conclusion I’d like it if Rose would see you as enough of a parent to actually call you mom.”

 

“You’d like it if your daughter would call me mom?” Chloe asked, slightly disbelieving.

 

“No,” Beca told her plainly. “I’d like it if our daughter called us both mom.”

 

Chloe grinned excitedly at the prospect of having a family, a future with these two amazing people. “How did I get so lucky, Becs?”

 

“You tell me,” Beca chuckled. “I still think Rose and I got the better end of the deal. I mean, we get you, which is awesome.”

 

“You two are pretty amazing, too,” Chloe smiled fondly, turning into the parking lot, hoping to do this a lot more often.

 

--

Chloe smiled over to the other side of the room, where Beca and Rose were sitting on the ground, both of them in their PJs with hair still damp from their bath, goofing off in a way Chloe suspected no one ever got to see. She had lost track of the amount of times she’d felt so, so blessed to be a part of this, to be allowed into this little domestic slice of heaven.

 

Taking the hairbrush she’d gone to find, she sat down behind Rose, who was playing some intricate clapping game with Beca, neither of them apparently knowing the rules to the game they made up themselves. She gently ran her hand through Rose’s hair, coming down to her shoulders, and began brushing out the tangles. “We should get her to a hairdresser sometime, Becs,” she muttered idly.

 

“Yeah, it’s been a while,” Beca nodded. “How bad is it?”

 

Chloe shrugged. “Nothing major, just some split ends. Take a few inches off, and she’ll be good to go again.”

 

Again, Beca nodded. “Are you up for organizing that?”

 

Chloe smiled, happy to see Beca delegating matters like these as if they were already an equal presence in Rose’s life. “Sure thing. I’ll call to make an appointment tomorrow, see if we can bring her in on Saturday?”

 

“Saturday works,” Beca agreed amicably.

 

Chloe spent a few minutes brushing out Rose’s hair, before getting up and taking a similar position behind Beca. “Your turn.”

 

“You don’t need to-“

 

“Just relax,” Chloe shushed her, running her hands through Beca’s long dark tresses, before beginning to brush them out like she had done for Rose. “Let me do this, please?”

 

Beca’s objections were cut off by Rose. “Momma! Chloe said please!” the little girl told them. “Shush!”

 

“Okay, bossy pants,” Beca chuckled, making Rose chuckle too.

 

“Momma, I’m not wearing pants!”

 

When Chloe was done smoothing out Beca’s hair, Beca got up and pulled Rose to her feet. “Alright, kiddo. Let’s get you in bed, huh?”

 

“Momma?” Rose asked, barely more than a whisper. “Is Chloe going to be here tomorrow?”

 

“Yeah, she sure is,” Beca told her daughter with a grin.

 

“Is Chloe going to be here always?” Rose now asked.

 

“No, kiddo, not always,” Beca told her with a sad smile, following by Rose’s pout.

 

“Why not? I don’t want Chloe to go away again!”

 

“Why don’t we talk about this later, huh?” Beca deflected with a tight smile. “Chloe isn’t going away for a while yet.”

 

Rose seemed to debate that answer in her head, before giving a small nod and taking Chloe’s hand, other hand still wrapped in Beca’s. “I’m sleepy, but I want fifteen songs!”

 

“You get three,” Chloe told her with a soft laugh.

 

“And a short story,” Beca added, giving a shrug at Chloe’s grin.

 

“Five, and two stories!” Rose argued as they walked to the bedroom, making both adults laugh.

 

“Three songs, and two very short stories,” Beca told the little girl. “And that’s final.”

Chapter Text

Chloe woke up in the middle of the night, instinctively knowing it wasn’t the right time for her to be doing so. Beca had her arms wrapped around her, pressing up against her side in a way that made her insides turn into mush. That hadn’t been what woke her up, though.

 

The door to the bedroom was slightly ajar, and Chloe was certain they’d properly closed it before going to bed. “Momma?” a tiny voice came from the hallway.

 

“Hey, sweety,” Chloe cooed, watching Rose stepping in, quiet as a mouse and bottom lip trembling. “What are you doing up?”

 

“Bad dream,” Rose sniffled, coming to a stop on Chloe’s side of the bed.

 

“Ah, I see,” Chloe smiled, lifting the blanket up a little. “Come on, get in!”

 

Rose did as she was told, crawling under the covers and sidling up to Chloe’s side, curling herself up into a little ball, and almost instantly falling asleep again. Chloe had a little more trouble getting back to sleep, instead marvelling at the two warm bodies curled up against her, and how incredibly lucky she felt.

 

Rose shifted a little closer, her little fist clutching Chloe’s nightshirt, as if she was afraid the redhead would get up and leave her. Meanwhile on her other side, Beca’s soft breaths tickled against her throat, her leg haphazardly thrown over Chloe’s hips and her arm slung across her waist.

 

It was a strange thing, Chloe considered, how responding to a single babysitting job had landed her here, in bed with these wonderful woman and her amazing daughter, being a part of this warm, loving little family.

 

Frankly, Chloe would be quite alright with laying like this, wide awake, for the rest of the night, just so she could continue feeling this blessed. It was almost enough to fight against her sleep when it did come, but then she realized she was being silly. Her girls weren’t going anywhere.

 

--

 

The second time Chloe woke up, it was to whispered conversations between mother and daughter, and it was so adorable Chloe refused to open her eyes and interrupt them.

 

“But momma, why does Chloe sleep here?”

 

“She didn’t want to go home, kiddo, so she’s staying here for a bit. I told you, remember?”

 

“Yes, momma,” Rose sighed. “But why is she sleeping here?” she asked again, “why doesn’t she have her own room?”

 

“Oh,” Beca mumbled dumbly, and Chloe could perfectly imagine Beca’s awkward expression, even without opening her eyes. “Well, um… you see, kiddo, momma and Chloe really like each other.”

 

“I really like Chloe, too!” Rose objected. “Why can’t she sleep in my room?”

 

“It’s not the same, Rose,” Beca sighed, clearly wanting this conversation to go differently. “Chloe and I… we’re um…”

 

Deciding to help Beca out, Chloe opened her eyes, immediately finding to set of eyes snapping to her. “Rose, sweety, remember when we talked about your mom not having a special boy or girl?”

 

Rose’s face turned pensive for a moment, before it cleared up and she nodded, making Chloe smile. “Well, your mom and I really like each other, so we wanted to be each other’s special girl. Is that okay with you?”

 

Rose’s eyes flitted between the two of them for a while. “Do you want to kiss momma?” she suddenly asked, making Beca balk.

 

“No!” the brunette told her daughter.

 

“Then you can’t be special girls!” Rose pointed out. “You need to do kissing!”

 

“Your momma is being silly,” Chloe chuckled. “We’ve been doing lots of kissing already.”

 

Rose seemed to go over the entire situation in her head, face adorably scrunched up until it looked like she was about to explode. “Rose, sweety, is this okay?” Chloe asked, when the girl didn’t say anything for a long while.

 

“Yes,” the little brunette nodded, suddenly jumping out of the bed. “Yes! Yes! Yes!” she stormed out of the bedroom, her vigorous chanting continuing all the way until she was out of earshot.

 

“Well, that went better than expected,” Chloe hummed as she stretched her limbs.

 

“Yeah… thanks for the save,” Beca grinned, eyes raking down Chloe’s body to take in the sight. “So, we’re special girls now, huh?”

 

“Girlfriends,” Chloe sighed happily, relaxing back into Beca’s warmth. “Which means you’re supposed to kiss me good morning.”

 

Beca’s face broke out in an excited grin at those words, immediately ducking in to capture Chloe’s lips with her own. Chloe let out a happy hum as they parted again. “I guess we should go see about breakfast, huh?”

 

“Yeah,” Beca sighed happily. “Do you mind if I take a quick shower?”

 

“No, go ahead. I’ll whip up something to eat and shower afterwards,” Chloe responded easily, slipping out of bed after giving Beca another kiss. When Beca came sauntering into the kitchen, still towelling her hair, breakfast was just about ready. “I really like mornings like these,” she smiled easily as Rose took a bite from her bagel. “The three of us, together.”

 

“Me too!” Rose chirped, bits of bagel flying across the table.

 

“No talking with food in your mouth, sweety,” Chloe admonished gently, watching Rose chewing at a rapid pace before swallowing.

 

“Me too!” she repeated. “And now Chloe can always be here, and you can kiss, and she can sing with me and cook for me and we will live happily ever after!”

 

Beca looked so dumbfounded by her daughter’s words that it made Chloe let out a bark of laughter. “That’s right, sweety. Now eat up, or you’ll be late for school.”

 

Beca was fiddling with her phone, frown on her face as she took bites from her own bagel. “Hey, Chloe? Could you pick Rose up from school today? I have to go over some performance preparations with my team for next week.”

 

“Sure,” Chloe responded immediately. “I’ll see if I can get an appointment at the hairdresser for her this afternoon, we can make it a day.”

 

“A day?” Beca asked with a quirked brow.

 

“Yeah,” Chloe nodded. “Pick her up, get something to eat, get our hair done, y’know. A day.”

 

“Okay, weirdo, whatever you say,” Beca grinned.

 

--

 

When Chloe parked the car at Rose’s school and walked onto the playground, she found many parents already waiting for school to be out, having formed cliques and chatting amongst themselves. Not really belonging anywhere, Chloe kept some distance, waiting by herself.

 

“Hey,” a dashing gentleman smiled as he came walking up. “Don’t think I’ve seen you here before?”

 

Chloe shook her head, holding out her hand. “I’m Chloe. I’m here to pick Rose up.”

 

The man took her hand and shook it briefly. “My name’s Tom. Rose… She’s Beca’s kid, right?”

 

“Uhhuh,” Chloe confirmed.

 

“So, are you like, the help or something?”

 

Pursing her lips and narrowing her eyes, Chloe looked the man up and down. He had seemed charming at first, but upon closer inspection, she realized he was far too charming. He obviously put a lot of effort into his appearance, exuding wealth with every movement. “No, I’m not the help.”

 

Just then they were interrupted by a throng of children storming out of the building, drawing everyone’s attention. “Well, Chloe, I guess we’ll have to finish our conversation at a later time,” Tom smiled, giving a casual wave as he moved towards a boy that couldn’t be anyone other than his son.

 

Before she could respond, Rose had found her, dashing out of the group of children and practically leaping towards her, wrapping her arms around Chloe’s legs, and then around her neck once the redhead lifted her off the ground. “Hey there, sweety. How was school?”

 

“Booooring,” Rose pretended to yawn, making Chloe chuckle as she turned around and carried the girl towards the car. It didn’t take long for the girl to realize they weren’t taking their usual route home, and she spent the next ten minutes constantly asking where they were going.

 

When Chloe parked outside a little luncheon and told Rose they were going to have a quick bite to eat, the girl was so excited she could barely wait for Chloe to unbuckle her and help her out of the car. Nevertheless, she slipped her hand in Chloe’s and impatiently waited for the redhead to lead the way.

 

It being a regular school and work day, the luncheon was mostly empty. They quickly found a seat, and before they knew it, their drinks and food were placed in front of them, Rose immediately digging in as if she hadn’t been fed for days.

 

When lunch was done – in record time, Chloe figured – she went to pay, Rose following her along dutifully. Blushing at the hostess complimenting her on the adorability of her daughter, Chloe said a quick goodbye, navigating Rose to the hair salon on the other side of the street.

 

--

 

Beca had been having a lousy day.

 

It had started out wonderful, of course, huddled up in bed with Rose and Chloe. Her little family even though she was still trying to get used to them like that. Sometimes, she wondered if she and Chloe hadn’t slipped into their domestic routines too easily, but then moments like this morning came around and she couldn’t find herself to care.

 

Her day hadn’t gotten lousy until she’d gone to the office, where Stacie kept piling bad news upon bad news. She’d known that flying to Florida on a whim would have consequences. She wasn’t an idiot. And while most of her fans seemed to be fine with her taking a day off for a family emergency, she hadn’t quite counted on the toxicity of those that hadn’t been okay with it.

 

She understood they were frustrated, disappointed, maybe even angry. But some of the letters they had received were… worrying in their passive-aggressive tone. It was one of those moments where she was happy no one knew her face.

 

And then there were a thousand-and-one things to take care of for the performance of next week, which had to be bigger, bolder, flashier, louder and more spectacular than any before. After all, she did have something to make up for.

 

And on top of that there was Gail Abernathy. Beca had, foolishly, hoped that, after intercepting her last source of information and cutting it off, she’d just give up or something. But the woman seemed persistent as ever to unmask DJ BM, and while Beca wasn’t particularly worried about her succeeding, it was become rather a bothersome issue.

 

So yeah, it hadn’t been the best day.

 

That all changed, of course, when she walked into her home, hearing Rose’s chattering and laughing coming from the kitchen, where Chloe was undoubtedly making dinner for them. Following her ears and nose, she did indeed find the two sitting cross-legged on the ground, playing a board game Beca didn’t even know she had, while something amazing was cooking in the oven.

 

“Momma!” Rose greeted her, abandoning the board game for the moment to give her a hug. Beca appreciatively ran her hand through her daughter’s hair. In truth, it hadn’t changed that much, but it was a few inches shorter, and looked a little neater all around. “Hey kiddo. Don’t you look pretty?”

 

“Yes!” Rose nodded. “Chloe says I’m the prettiest!”

 

Beca made a show of doubting Chloe’s assessment, laughing at Rose’s affronted expression. “Well, I suppose if Chloe said so,” she eventually shrugged with a grin, earning her a glare from her daughter. “Just kidding. You’re always the prettiest,” she eventually said, pressing a kiss to the girl’s cheek.

 

“What’s for dinner?” Beca asked, peering into the oven and feeling Chloe’s arms wrapping around her waist from behind.

 

“Tomato-basil baked fish,” Chloe murmured. “I’m not sure you’re getting any, though.”

 

“Why’s that?” Beca grinned, already guessing the answer.

 

“You forgot to give me a kiss,” Chloe murmured with an exaggerated pout.

 

“What can I say?” Beca shrugged. “When it’s between you and food…”

 

“Okay, I’m packing my bags and going home,” Chloe sighed with a roll of her eyes, making to leave the kitchen.

 

“Momma!” Rose yelled, blocking the door. “Give Chloe a kiss!”

 

--

 

Chloe had no idea what time it was.

 

It was pretty late, she suspected, but that was alright. Even if they had to get up early again tomorrow morning, that didn’t matter right now.

 

Nothing mattered right now, except for Beca’s tongue, twisting against her own as the brunette was keening underneath her.

 

They’d gone to bed sometime ago, chastely changing into their sleepwear where they couldn’t see each other. Still, Chloe could feel the lack of a bra the way she was lying on top of Beca, and she couldn’t wait to do a bit of exploring.

 

Beca’s breath hitched as Chloe’s fingers slipped underneath her shirt, softly following the curve of her ribs, and then Beca was kissing her with such passion, Chloe didn’t even have a chance to worry whether Beca was okay with this new direction they were headed in.

 

Beca’s hands were on Chloe’s ass again, pulling the redhead closer, squeezing and kneading and moaning, and then Chloe’s hand shifted just-so to come and rest right underneath Beca’s breast, only inches removed from her target, and-

 

“Momma?”

 

“Fuck!” Beca hissed as Chloe pulled back, shifting to the side so she was no longer on Beca. “Fuck.”

 

“It’s okay, Becs,” Chloe chuckled, even though it really wasn’t. “There’ll be other nights.”

 

Beca got up, padding out of the room to go and figure out what Rose needed, leaving Chloe to deal with her horniness. Or, rather, to try and not deal with it. She was so aroused, it almost hurt, and she figured she’d go crazy if she didn’t get some relieve soon.

 

When the door opened again, Beca poked her head in. “Another nightmare,” she grimaced. “Can she… um… she wants to…”

 

“Sure thing,” Chloe smiled, squeezing her legs together. “She can sleep here.”

 

The flurry that came storming into the room landed on the middle of the bed, where she curled up into a tight ball, Chloe on one side and Beca on the other. It was adorable, how at ease Rose felt, and how quickly she fell asleep again.

 

“I’m so sorry about this, Chlo,” Beca whispered once Rose was sleeping soundly again.

 

“It’s okay, Becs,” Chloe repeated. And it was.

Chapter Text

Walking down the steps leading to the university campus’ parking lot, Chloe fished around her purse, trying to locate her phone. Today was shaping up to be a pretty decent day. She’d finally handed in her essay about mammal digestive systems, and she felt pretty darn good about it.

 

On top of that, she’d woken up again with Beca and Rose both holding on to her for dear life, and it never failed to make her feel loved and wanted when those two made such a point of Chloe not leaving the bed until absolutely necessary.

 

During their morning routine, she’d had a few errant flashbacks to last night, which had the unfortunate effect of bringing her arousal back full-force as well.

 

Finally locating her phone, Chloe released a triumphant cry, earning her some odd looks from a group of students gathered nearby. Going through her contact list until she found what she was looking for, Chloe hit the dial button.

 

“Hailey Mitchell speaking,” came a familiar voice.

 

“Hi! This is Chloe,” she chirped, hoping this wasn’t too awkward.

 

“Hello Chloe,” Beca’s mother responded easily, “what can I do for you today?”

 

“Um,” Chloe muttered. “Well, I was wondering whether you were still in town? I recall Beca telling me you’d leave sometime next week, but I wasn’t certain anymore.”

 

“Yes, I’m still in NYC,” Hailey answered. “Leaving again in exactly seven days.”

 

“Right, good. I mean, I was hoping you maybe wanted to spend some quality time with your granddaughter? Like, a weekend sleep-over at some place that isn’t our house?”

 

Our house?” Hailey questioned, smirk evident even if Chloe couldn’t see the woman.

 

“I mean Beca’s house,” Chloe sighed, rubbing her forehead. She kept making little slip-ups like these.

 

“Uhhuh. Sure you did, hon,” Hailey chuckled. “While I would love to spend more time with little Rose, I am left to wonder why you’re trying to pawn her off to me.”

 

“I’m not. I’d never,” Chloe objected firmly. “I love Rose, but it’s just… I was hoping to put together a special weekend for Beca…”

 

“You want to have sex with my daughter,” came Hailey’s deadpan response, making Chloe almost drop her phone.

 

“Um… yeah,” she told the older woman, opting for honesty. “Like, very much so. But it’s not just that, I’m planning to take her on a nice date, breakfast in bed, romantic candlelight-“

 

“There better be some sexy lingerie in that line-up,” Mrs. Mitchell chuckled. “Else I won’t have my darling granddaughter over for the weekend.”

 

“There will definitely be lingerie involved, yeah,” Chloe muttered weakly, barely fathoming why she was having this conversation with Beca’s mother, of all people.

 

“Well, in that case, I’ll come and pick her up Friday afternoon, around four,” Chloe was told. “Does that work for you?”

 

“Absolutely. You’re amazing.”

 

“Oh, don’t worry, I know,” Hailey laughed. “I’m taking it all of this will be a surprise for Beca?”

 

“Yeah, that’s the plan.”

 

“She’s blind as a bat when it comes to stuff like this. Really, never seen anyone more oblivious than my little girl. I really think she got it from her dad, because I just can’t imagine ever having been such a dullard myself.”

 

“Yeah, I can’t really imagine that myself, either,” Chloe joked lightly.

 

“That’s the correct response, hon. Now listen, I need to get back to work now, but I’ll see you and the little munchkin Friday at four.”

 

“Yes, thank you!” Chloe smiled, putting the phone back in her purse and fishing out the keys to the Porsche. She had some preparations to make.

 

--

 

Sneaking around wasn’t something Chloe made a habit out of. She felt uncomfortable as she tip-toed through the house, arms filled with Beca’s favorite snacks, candles, bathing supplies, and a new set of sexy lingerie, just to be sure.

 

She was actually surprised she managed to stash everything away without being found out by Beca or Rose, or both. Now she just had to make sure she made a natural entrance, and then everything would be set.

 

She was just outside the living room when she, for a reason she didn’t quite know, froze with her hand on the doorknob.

 

“Momma?”

 

“Yeah?”

 

“Is Chloe going with you tonight? To talk to Mrs. Jones at school?”

 

“Yeah, she is, kiddo. Why?”

 

“Mrs. Jones said she was gonna to go talk to all our parents,” Rose mumbled, and Chloe bit her lip as Beca made a grammatical correction, leaving it at that and not commenting on the little girl’s actual statement.

 

Rose, of course, was not that easily brought of track. “But if Chloe goes too, does that make her my parent?”

 

On one hand, Chloe wanted nothing more than to barge in there and rescue Beca from this conversation. On the other hand, she was sort of desperately waiting to see how this was going to turn out.

 

“Well, you see, kiddo,” Beca started awkwardly, searching for words. “Some kids have a mom and a dad, but it isn’t always that easy.”

 

“Jenny has two dads,” Rose told her mother, her tone indicating Beca should have already known this.

 

“Yeah,” Beca sighed. “Some kids have two dads, or two moms, or only one mom or dad.”

 

“I only had you,” Rose muttered, thoughtfully. “Because I don’t have a dad.”

 

Beca huffed out a shaky breath. “You do have a dad, Rose. But he was… he was very mean, so momma decided she didn’t want to be around him anymore.”

 

“Like me and Cindy when she pulled my hair!” Rose exclaimed, making Beca chuckle.

 

“Yeah, something like that. That’s why you only have me.”

 

“But now I have Chloe, too!” Rose continued, enthusiastically. “Does that mean she’s my momma, too, now?”

 

If Chloe bit her lower lip any harder, she was certain it was going to bleed. Yet it was the only thing she could do to remain silent.

 

“Um,” Beca stammered. “I don’t know, kiddo. I don’t think it’s that easy.”

 

“But Chloe does everything you do!” Rose pointed out reasonably. “She cooks and she sings with me, and when I’m naughty she warns me to behave, just like you!”

 

“I know, Rose,” Beca sighed, sounding like she had no idea how to explain this properly. “But there is more to being a mom than just those things.”

 

“Like what?” Rose asked, sounding genuinely puzzled.

 

“Well,” Beca started, trailing off into silence as she didn’t seem to find the words she was looking for. “For one, moms really need to love their kids,” she continued.

 

“But Chloe does love me!” Rose objected with absolute certainty. “And I love Chloe!”

 

Chloe could hear the slap of Beca’s hand connecting with her face, even from outside the room, almost making her break out into giggles. “I know, kiddo, but…”

 

“Doesn’t Chloe want to be my momma?” Rose now asked, and to Chloe’s horror, she sounded close to tears. Beca had clearly noted as well.

 

“Oh, no, kiddo, that’s not it at all!” she cooed. “C’mere, give me a hug,” she continued gently. “You know what, maybe we should ask Chloe about this when she gets back, okay?”

 

There was a sniffled response Chloe couldn’t quite make out, and the redhead figured this was as good a moment to make her entrance as any other that was to come. “Ask me what?” she asked breezily as she stepped into the room, finding Rose huddled in Beca’s lap, teary-eyed. “Oh, no, sweety! What’s going on?”

 

Beca shot her a guilty look. “We were talking about um… Whether Rose has one or two moms. I think I didn’t explain things very well, and somehow made Rose think you didn’t want to be her mom.”

 

“Oh sweety,” Chloe cooed, lowering herself next to Beca and wrapping her arms around the two. “Of course that’s not it,” she muttered, pressing a kiss to the top of her head. “Anyone would be so lucky to be your mom!”

 

“But I don’t want anyone to be my mom!” Rose huffed. “I want you and momma to be my mom!”

 

Chloe suddenly felt very guilty for leaving Beca to fend for herself in this conversation for so long, now finding herself at a loss for words. Shooting Beca a quick look didn’t help her any further, the brunette mouthing ‘don’t ask me’ very obviously.

 

Closing her eyes for a brief moment, Chloe decided to just go with her gut. “Well, if you want that, sweety, I guess I can do that.”

 

“Yeah?” Rose asked, wiping a stray tear off her cheek and looking up at Chloe with a look so filled with love and adoration it literally stole her breath away.

 

“Yeah, sweety,” she murmured quietly, pressing another kiss to Rose’s head, and feeling the tears prickling behind her eyes.

 

“Momma?” Rose asked, turning to Beca now. “Can I call Chloe Mom? I’ll call you Momma, and Chloe Mom, and you’ll call me kiddo and Chloe always calls me sweety!”

 

Beca was biting her lower lip, much like Chloe had before, and Chloe could see that she, too, was fighting tears. “Yeah, kiddo, I think that’s a good idea.”

 

Both brunettes were now looking at Chloe with questioning looks, the redhead merely nodding her agreement, hugging them both tightly. “Why don’t you go and play by yourself for a moment, kiddo?” Beca eventually asked, Rose happily darting out of the room.

 

For a few minutes, they just sat side by side, wiping at their eyes, shaky breath slowly returning to normal. “So are you okay with all this?” Beca was the first to ask. “I mean, I know it’s pretty fast, but… well, Rose pointed out you were pretty much already being her mom, and things just sort of spiralled from there.”

 

“Yeah, I’m good,” Chloe breathed slowly. “I mean, you’re right, it is fast, but it does feel right. And it’s something I’ve always wanted, and Rose is just… well, I guess you know what I mean…”

 

“I do,” Beca grinned. “She’s pretty awesome.”

 

“Kind of like her mom,” Chloe smiled, giving Beca a quick peck. “Are you okay with her calling me mom? I mean, I don’t want you to feel like I’m trying to replace you or anything, because I’d never-“

 

“I know, Chlo,” Beca interrupted, giving her another peck. “I’m actually… feeling pretty awesome about this.”

 

“Mom!” came Rose’s shout. “Mom!”

 

Beca huffed out a quiet laugh. “I guess that’s you, huh?” she smiled, nudging Chloe, who was already getting teary-eyed again.

 

“Yeah, I guess so,” Chloe responded with a watery chuckle. “This is going to take some getting used to.”

 

--

 

Chloe had just finished doing her hair, finding a strange scene playing out in front of her as she walked into the kitchen. Emily, their babysitter for tonight, was sitting on one of the barstools, looking positively frightened by Beca, who was, apparently, preparing her for tonight.

 

“-No cookies, no candy, and I swear to God, if you let her get to the sugar cubes, she’s your responsibility for the rest of the night, even after we come back home. I’m not dealing with that shi- shindig.”

 

“Beca,” Emily muttered, “this isn’t the first time I’m watching her.”

 

“That’s exactly the problem,” Beca pointed out dryly. “I’m speaking from ample experience.”

 

Chloe chuckled, nudging Beca aside. “Relax babe, it’ll be fine. Emily, remember to have her in bed by nine at the absolute latest. I left a storybook on her nightstand, don’t let her harass you into telling her a thousand-and-one stories. I’ve already bathed her before you got here, so no worries about that. Oh, almost forgot, there’s pineapple juice in the fridge – Rose loves it, and it contains next-to-no sugar.”

 

“Thanks, Chloe,” Emily smiled brightly.

 

“Rose, we’re leaving!” Beca called, smiling as Rose bolted into the kitchen to hug them both. “Bye momma, bye mom!” she smiled, giving them both a sloppy kiss before darting off again.

 

“Well, that’s new,” Emily commented, barely containing her squeal.

 

“What is?” Beca asked, eyes narrowed.

 

“Mom?” Emily asked, eyes flitting towards Chloe, making the redhead laugh.

 

“Yeah, I’m still getting used to that myself. It was decided earlier today that I am now Rose’s mom.”

 

Beca chuckled. “Yeah, it was a moment, alright. Are you sure you’re going to be alright tonight? I can always call mother to come watch Rose?”

 

“No, Beca, I’m fine,” Emily assured them. “Go, go, you can’t be late for PTA-meetings. It reflects poorly on your child.”

 

“It does?” Beca asked, clearly confused.

 

“How would I know?” Emily countered. “Do I look like I’m a mother?”

 

When Beca’s confused gaze swept towards Chloe, the redhead shrugged. “Don’t look at me, I’ve literally been a mom for, um, let’s see, three hours.”

 

--

 

It was strange to walk into a school, finding only adults inside, rather than the children you’d normally expect. Just like their children, however, the parents were huddled together in tight cliques, socializing only with those they felt drawn to, or already knew.

 

When they stepped inside, Chloe groaned as she noticed Tom giving her a jaunty wave.

 

“Why is fucking Tom waving at us?” Beca asked, voice dangerously close to a growl.

 

“We met when I picked Rose up,” Chloe explained, “we-“

 

“Do you want to go say hi?” Beca asked before Chloe could continue, sounding like the idea itself made her ill.

 

“Absolutely not,” Chloe snorted. “He asked me if I was ‘the help’ when I told him I was there to pick Rose up.”

 

“Yeah, he’s a dick,” Beca nodded. “He’s some richer banker guy or something. He tried to talk to me a few times, but I guess I didn’t measure up to his standard or whatever.”

 

“All the better for me,” Chloe smiled, nudging the brunette’s shoulder.

 

“Please,” Beca said with a roll of her eyes. “My standards are way too high for me to end up with someone like him. C’mon, I see a few parents over there that I know. Sort of.”

 

“Right behind you,” Chloe chimed, finding herself led to a group over to the side, where Beca introduced her to Denise, Ashley, and Jessica. Soon enough, they had a comfortable conversation going, Beca excusing herself to go get some coffee for herself and Chloe.

 

After a few minutes, Chloe realized Beca hadn’t returned yet. A quick scan of the room located her girlfriend, talking to a spectacularly gorgeous woman, blonde hair perfectly coifed and dressed in what could only be a designer suit. “Who’s that woman Beca’s talking to?” she asked Ashley, trying to sound neutral, but already hearing the notes of hostility in her own voice.

 

“Oh, that’s um… What’s her name… I honestly don’t recall. We always call her the Kommisar – she’s German, and, well, you’ll see. Anyhow, she’s a fashion designer, I think?”

 

“Excuse me while I go and rescue my girlfriend for a moment,” Chloe groused, easily manoeuvring through the thin crowd.

 

“All I’m saying, Beca, is that your daughter might benefit from having a second parent. Someone who can, how do you say? Right, put her foot down when the need arises,” Chloe overheard the blonde speaking, making the irrational hostility that already had her fuming ignite into full-blown anger.

 

“Excuse me, who do you think you are telling Beca what’s best for our daughter?” she snarked, sidling up to Beca’s side and wrapping her arm around her waist. “I also don’t appreciate the insinuation of Rose not being properly raised.”

 

“And who are you?” the woman asked, looking at the two of them with a measured look.

 

“This,” Beca smirked, “is Chloe. Rose’s other mother.”

 

“Oh, I wasn’t aware-“

 

“That’s right,” Chloe bit back. “You weren’t aware of my existence, meaning you have absolutely no right to talk about what might benefit our daughter, thank you very much,” she spat with such vehemence the tall blonde literally raised her hands in a defensive gesture, slowly backing away.

 

“Well, that was something,” Beca chuckled as the woman left them alone.

 

“Oh, shut up, you,” Chloe groused, just as Mrs. Jones called the room to attention to go over a few general announcements regarding their children’s class.

 

“I think it was pretty hot,” Beca whispered into her ear halfway during the woman’s talk. “I didn’t think you’d get jealous that easily, though.”

 

“I told you to shut up,” Chloe whispered back, making Beca break out into giggles.

 

--

 

They were halfway through a very pleasant morning, having just dropped Rose off at school for the last time this week, and Beca navigating through the traffic to get them back home, when Chloe’s phone interrupted the music playing softly on the radio.

 

“Aubrey, hey,” Chloe answered the call. “Now? Uh, yeah, I can drop by. No, no problem… Um, is it okay if I bring Beca, too? Okay, awes. Yeah, no, not that long. Okay, see you soon, bye!” Tucking her phone away again, she turned towards the brunette. “Can we detour to my apartment real quick? Aubrey’s back in town and wants to discuss something with me.”

 

Agreeing easily, Beca shifted lanes, effortlessly changing directions and navigating to Chloe’s apartment. Chloe let them into the apartment, where they found Aubrey standing in the middle of the room, hands resting on her hips as she looked around.

 

“Aubrey!” Chloe yelped, moving in for a quick hug, which the blonde returned with a smile. “It’s so good to see you again!”

 

“You, too. How’s your father?”

 

“He’s fine,” Chloe smiled. “How’s your work?”

 

“It’s great. It’s actually why I-“ her eyes darted to Beca, who was still standing near the door. “You must be Beca,” Aubrey said neutrally, suddenly looking stern.

 

“Um. Yeah… Yeah, I am,” Beca stammered, apparently thrown by the sudden chill in the air.

 

Just as quickly as she turned serious, Aubrey broke out into a smile again, moving forward and wrapping her long arms around Beca in a hug. “It’s so nice to meet you, Beca.”

 

Chloe, meanwhile, looked on in amazement, because Aubrey wasn’t a hugger. And Aubrey had never this warmly welcomed anyone. Never ever. Noticing her curious look, Aubrey shrugged. “She obviously makes you very happy. You’re glowing so hard, you might as well be nuclear waste, Chloe.”

 

“That’s… what?” Beca asked, dumbly.

 

Rolling her eyes at her friend’s antics, Chloe decided to get to the point. “What did you want to discuss, Aubs?”

 

“I’m moving out,” the blonde declared without any preamble. “We need to discuss what to do with the apartment. Though, judging by the layer of dust everywhere, you haven’t been here since I left, either.”

 

“I have,” Chloe countered. “Once. For, like, thirty minutes.”

 

“Took that long to pack your bag, huh?” Aubrey smirked, Chloe only responding with a guilty smile. “You don’t need to decide straight away, but it would be great if we could reach a decision today. If we talk to the landlord today, we won’t have to pay another month of rent. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some stuff to pack up in my room,” the blonde smiled, walking into her – former – bedroom and closing the door.

 

Chloe was looking around the apartment, which didn’t feel like home anymore at all, wondering how she could best ask Beca what she wanted to ask, when the brunette spoke up.

 

“Move in with me?”

 

“What?” Chloe asked, wondering if maybe she had imagined it. Maybe she wanted to hear the words so badly her brain had tricked her into it?

 

“I asked you to move in with me,” Beca repeated, awkwardly. “I mean, I know we said it was too soon before… But you’re practically living with us anyway, and I don’t see you staying here if you can stay with Rose and me. Besides, now that we’ve settled on you being Rose’s mom, too, I guess it makes more sense for you to just live with us, and-“

 

“Yes,” Chloe interrupted breathlessly. “Yes, I’ll move in with you.”

 

“You’re a mom!?” came Aubrey’s shriek from the next room over.

Chapter Text

While Chloe had worried about the logistics of moving out of the apartment and into Beca’s home – their home – Beca had been remarkably flippant about it. The apartment was fairly small, Aubrey already had a moving fan downstairs to take some of the furniture away, and a few calls from Beca saw a second moving fan pulling up within thirty minutes, ready to move the rest out as well.

 

All in all, the apartment was empty in time for Beca to go pick Rose up from school again, with the movers placing some of the furniture in one van and some in the other, Chloe and Aubrey orchestrating the entire event like pros.

 

They agreed that Aubrey would drop Chloe off at home, allowing Beca to go and pick Rose up again. Her daughter was chatting animatedly the entire ride, apparently they had been talking about professions today, and Rose had happily told the entire class that her mom was a doggy-doctor – not entirely the truth, but Beca figured they’d just roll with it.

 

Chloe would probably get a few laughs out of it.

 

When they entered the house, the moving fan still standing out in front, Rose immediately darted off to put her bag away, and presumably go and do something Disney-related. This was pretty standard, and Beca had come to expect it.

 

What she hadn’t expected was finding Chloe, sitting on the ground in the corner of the music room, bawling her eyes out. “Chloe?” she asked tentatively. “Is everything alright?”

 

The redhead looked up at her with a runny nose and red-rimmed eyes, making Beca wince. “Stupid question,” she mumbled, kneeling down next to her. “Of course everything’s not alright, you’re crying. Um… I…”

 

Chloe shook her head, pawing at her eyes to remove the tears gathering up again. “It’s nothing,” she managed the mumble. “I’m just being stupid.”

 

“You’re not being stupid,” Beca corrected, sitting down and wrapping an arm around the redhead. “And you can tell me what’s up, if you want. Um… if you don’t want, that’s fine, too.”

 

Chloe sniffled for a moment, resting her head on Beca’s shoulder. “It’s stupid,” she repeated. “Everything is just moving so fast. Rose calling me her mom, me moving in here… While it feels like I’ve known you forever, it’s really only been like, a few months, and then I got to thinking about how we don’t even really know each other that well, and what if you grow tired of me, or Rose doesn’t want me around anymore and I’ll be left with nothing, homeless and broke, and-“

 

“And that’s not going to happen,” Beca interrupted, pulling Chloe close. “Listen, I can’t promise we’ll be together forever… But if I didn’t think there was a very good chance of us working out, I wouldn’t have allowed Rose to get so close to you. If I’d considered us breaking up anytime soon a realistic possibility, I wouldn’t have let her call you her mom, Chloe”

 

Chloe nodded weakly, head still resting on Beca’s shoulder. “And I know everything is moving very fast right now, and if it’s moving too fast, you need to tell me so we can slow down. But for me, everything we’ve done, every decision we’ve made, has felt right. But I need you to tell me if that isn’t the case for you, so we can fix it.”

 

“No,” Chloe murmured. “I want this, I really do. It’s just… I got to thinking and then I got stuck in my own head. But I’m really happy with the way things are going, and I feel so blessed you’ve allowed me to be a part of your family.”

 

The two women were quiet as they held each other close, and when they pulled apart again, Chloe looked much more like her old self. With a smile and a roll of her eyes, she excused herself to go and freshen up.

 

Beca was about to go look and see where Rose ended up when the doorbell rang, making her de-tour to see who was interrupting them now. She was only halfway surprised to see her mother standing on the doorstep. “Hey mom,” she smiled easily. “What are you doing here?”

 

“I’m here to pick up my granddaughter,” Hailey smiled, making Beca do a double-take.

 

“You’re here to what?”

 

“My granddaughter, Beca,” Hailey repeated slowly. “Her name is Rose, she’s about this tall, brown hair, blue eyes, very faint freckles across the bridge of her nose, and she has an obsession with Disney? Remember her?”

 

“I know who your granddaughter is,” Beca groused out, following her mother through the house. “But I don’t know why you’re picking her up.”

 

As they walked into the kitchen, they found Chloe and Rose, along with a hefty Frozen-themed suitcase. “I told you she was too dumb to notice stuff,” Hailey smiled at Chloe, bending down to scoop Rose up. “So, munchkin, you ready to go and sleep-over at grandma’s?”

 

“Yeah, sleepover!” Rose cheered loudly, making everyone except Beca laugh.

 

“Can someone tell me what’s going on?”

 

Hailey rolled her eyes, reminding everyone so much of Beca it was a little uncanny. “I’m kidnapping your daughter for the weekend,” she told her plainly. “I’ll have her back here Sunday evening, sometime after dinner.”

 

“I… what? Why?”

 

“Because I asked her,” Chloe admitted sheepishly, biting her lower lip with a shy grin. “I thought we could do something nice this weekend… Just you and me.”

 

“Oh…” Beca muttered dumbly.

 

“But if that’s not okay with you…” Chloe trailed off.

 

“Nonsense!” Hailey interrupted.

 

For a change, Beca agreed with her mother. “Yeah,” she muttered. “It’s fine, I’m just… I wasn’t expecting it, is all.”

 

“So you’re not angry?” Chloe asked warily.

 

“No, I’m not angry,” Beca smiled, moving over to Rose to give her a kiss and a hug. “You be good for Gramma? Okay?”

 

“I’m always good,” Rose told her mother, poking out her tongue.

 

“Yeah, you are,” Beca grinned, ruffling her hair. “But Gramma’s kinda old, so maybe be extra nice, okay?”

 

“And that is our cue to leave,” Hailey sighed exasperatedly.

 

“Bye momma!” Rose smiled happily, taking Hailey’s hand as they walked towards the front door. “Bye mom!” she continued, waving at Chloe.

 

Neither woman missed the sly look Hailey Mitchell send them at that point, but neither woman said anything about it either.

 

--

 

“Formal wear?” Beca asked, as if she wasn’t entirely certain what that would entail. “Like… a dress?”

 

Chloe nodded with a patient smile. “Yes, a dress, or a suit, whichever you prefer or feel most comfortable in.”

 

“I haven’t worn formal wear since… Prom night, I think?”

 

Chloe rolled her eyes good-naturedly. “Yes, you have. I’ve seen your wardrobe, silly.”

 

Beca grunted something. “I didn’t say I didn’t have formal wear. I just said I never wore it, which is the truth, because I don’t really go out much, so there hasn’t been a need.”

 

“Well, we’re going out tonight, so now there is a need,” Chloe smiled. “We leave at six-thirty, so you have some time to get ready.”

 

As Beca made her way to the bedroom, Chloe couldn’t help but smile at her retreating form. Her girlfriend was absolutely gorgeous, no matter what she was wearing. Nevertheless, when making dinner reservations, Chloe had chosen a more up-scale restaurant than the ones she would usually frequent, figuring this was a good chance to see Beca in something other than jeans or sweats.

 

Making her way to the guestroom, she opened the closet, empty save for the dress she was planning to wear tonight, and the lingerie she was planning to wear underneath it. At the bottom was also a small tote bag, containing her hair accessories and make-up, as well as a pair of modest heels.

 

A quick glance at her watch told Chloe she had exactly forty-five minutes to get ready. “Should be just enough time,” she muttered under her breath, toeing her shoes off and shimmying out of her pants.

 

And it was, only barely, Chloe registered as she took a final look at herself in the large mirror. She looked pretty damn good, even if she did say so herself.

 

She’d opted for her long, emerald green dress, reaching down to her ankles, with a split coming up to above her left knee. The dress didn’t have sleeves, showing off a series of gold bracelets she had once gotten from her mother and grandmother. She had made the conscious decision not to apply too much make-up, using only enough to accentuate her eyes, gloss her lips, and apply a faint blush to her cheeks.

 

Her hair was done up in an intricate bun, held together by a multitude of bobby pins and hairspray, leaving a few ringlets of red hair to frame her face. Moving the necessary items into her clutch, Chloe took a deep breath and set off towards the living room, knowing Beca would go there when she was done.

 

What she hadn’t expected was for Beca to already be there.

 

The brunette had opted for a dress as well, having gone for a long navy-blue gown, more or less the color of her eyes, with silver embroidery across the body and a flaring skirt. Her dress didn’t have sleeves either, which Beca had ‘fixed’ by pulling on a simple black vest over her dress, making it look like it was the way it was supposed to be worn. She didn’t have any jewellery on her, save for her earrings and her watch, and like Chloe, she had opted for minimal make-up. With her hair curled and framing her face as it cascaded past her shoulder and down her back, she literally stole Chloe’s breath away.

 

“My, my, Miss Mitchell,” She cooed with a grin. “You sure do clean up nicely.”

 

Beca smiled her goofy grin, moving to peck Chloe’s lips. “Don’t expect this to be a regular occurrence, though. Getting my hair like this was a pain in the ass.”

 

“I’m sure you’d power through it if I asked nicely,” Chloe hummed, deepening their kiss a little.

 

When they broke apart again, Beca looked absolutely star-struck. “I would for you, yeah,” she breathed out slowly. “Um,” she continued as Chloe trailed kisses along the brunette’s jawline, “I think you made reservations?”

 

“Screw the reservation,” Chloe hummed, mouth latched on to Beca’s pulse point. “I’m busy.”

 

“I… Ngh, yeah I can feel that, babe,” Beca stammered breathlessly. “And while I certainly won’t discourage you, I, um, I kinda wonder what you had planned for dinner.”

 

“Right,” Chloe sighed, stepping back, before grinning and wiping her hand across Chloe’s throat to remove some of the saliva she’d left behind. “There, there, good as new.”

 

Chloe patiently waited as Beca’s eyes raked over her body, smile growing on her face as the brunette snared her bottom lip between her teeth. “On second thought, maybe we should keep going and forget about the reservation.”

 

“Nuh-uh, you chose food over me,” Chloe winked. “C’mon, let’s go.”

 

--

 

Chloe drove them to an up-scale restaurant downtown. Rather than focus on a single cuisine, this restaurant’s menu consisted of various iconic dishes from a variety of European countries, meaning there was always something for everyone to enjoy. What Chloe was enjoying most, however, was the view of Beca across the table.

 

“You look really stunning, you know,” she smiled, making Beca blush and duck her head, wiping a strand of hair away and tucking it behind her ear.

 

“Yeah, so you’ve said. Several times.”

 

Chloe shrugged. “It bears repeating,” she grinned, taking a sip from her sparkling water.

 

“So, you roped my mom into taking Rose for the weekend, huh?” Beca remarked casually.

 

Chloe nodded. “Yeah, I did. I mean, I love her to bits and beyond, but I was eager to spend some uninterrupted time with you. And, seeing as Emily ended up giving in to Rose’s demands, and we came home from that PTA-meeting around ten to find her still running around with a box of sugar cubes…”

 

“Yeah, never asking her to babysit again,” Beca nodded.

 

“She looked so harried, I don’t think she’d even say yes if we did ask,” Chloe chuckled. “Your mother seemed the better option, and I really did want us to just have some adult time together. You know, doing adult stuff,” she ended with a wink.

 

Beca groaned, hiding her face in her hands. “I’m never living that comment down, am I?”

 

“Absolutely not,” Chloe agreed as their waiter arrived to bring them their food.

 

--

 

Dinner had been amazing. Chloe had a natural fondness for good food, good conversation and good company, and tonight afforded her the luxury of enjoying all three, and at the same time no less.

 

Beca seemed to be thoroughly enjoying herself as well, animatedly telling her about Rose’s antics, her time at middle school and university, her mother’s antics, Stacie’s antics, Jesse’s antics, Emily’s antics, travel experiences, and future plans.

 

The brunette continued talking all the way home, reminding Chloe more and more of Rose when the little girl was in one of her chatty moods. She had the feeling Beca didn’t let go like this very often, always keeping a part of herself hidden away – not just the DJ BM part of herself, but the part of her that felt – cared – so much about so many things, but never got a chance to shine.

 

When they arrived home, Chloe parked the car in the garage, and followed Beca upstairs. Beca really did look too good to be true – not just in her formal wear, but because of the shine of happiness surrounding her.

 

Detouring while Beca got to the kitchen, Chloe quickly made her way to the bathroom. She had put everything in place before they left, meaning she only had to start running the bath. As the water poured into the tub, Chloe made her way back to the kitchen, where Beca was making short work of a bottle of water.

 

“C’mon, babe,” she smiled, taking Beca’s hand and pulling her towards the bathroom. “I’m running you a bath.”

 

“A bath?” Beca asked sceptically. “What am I, five?”

 

“Baths aren’t just for little kids, Beca,” Chloe jibed gently. “It’s also for adults who just want to relax.”

 

“You’re just trying to get me naked,” Beca accused her with a grin, making Chloe shake her head.

 

“If that was the case, I’d join you in the bathtub.”

 

“You’re… not?” Beca asked, clearly confused, making the redhead giggle.

 

“Maybe another time, babe. Tonight, I just want you to relax.”

 

Opening the door to the bathroom revealed a half-run bath, a glass of red wine already waiting for the brunette, as well as her soft, fluffy bathrobe and a few fluffy towels. “You really thought of everything, didn’t you?”

 

“Uh-huh,” Chloe smiled. “I needed this to be perfect.”

 

“You’re perfect,” Beca smiled, giving her a quick kiss, which soon evolved into make-out territory. Chloe, against her wishes, pulled away from the kiss, already breathing heavily.

 

“There’ll be time for that later,” she smiled gently. “Go and have a good soak, okay?”

 

Beca looked at the bathtub thoughtfully. “I haven’t taken a bath since Rose was born,” she muttered quietly.

 

“I figured you wouldn’t have had the time,” Chloe smiled gently, rubbing Beca’s arm. “Emily and your mom let slip you barely ever let anyone else take care of you.”

 

Beca hummed softly, starting to take off her clothes. That, Chloe figured, was her cue to leave. “I’ll be in the bedroom when you’re done. Just gonna go and do some light reading, so don’t worry about me and take your time, okay?”

 

“Yeah, okay,” Beca responded absent-mindedly, shoes and jacket already on the floor.

 

Closing the bathroom door, Chloe silently cheered. Tonight was going exactly as she wanted. Admittedly, she was most nervous about the final part of the night – she wasn’t wearing her very fancy lingerie just for show, after all.

 

Once she got to the bedroom, she wrapped her scarves around the lamps, bathing the room in a soft, romantic glow, rather than the harsh lights they normally had. Unclasping her shoes and shimmying out of her dress, Chloe took a long look at herself in the mirror, making sure everything was absolutely perfect.

 

--

 

Minding Chloe’s words, Beca soaked in the bathtub until the water started getting uncomfortably cool, sending a shiver down her spine as she got out and pulled the plug, making the water slosh away. Towelling herself dry, she checked the time on the watch she’d placed on the sink earlier, finding that she had been bathing for just shy of ninety minutes.

 

Chloe had been right, of course. She couldn’t remember the last time she’d felt this relaxed. There was hardly ever the time for her to do something like this, seeing as she always had a little girl to look after. Even when Rose was soundly asleep, Beca wouldn’t do something like taking a bath. After all, she might be needed any moment, right?

 

She slipped into her bathrobe, still towelling her hair, mindlessly making her way towards the bedroom. Chloe hadn’t laid out any underwear or sleepwear, Beca noted wryly, but hey, no one’s perfect right?

 

Walking into the bedroom changed her mind on that.

 

Chloe was laying on the bed, facing her, head propped up as she supported herself on her elbow. There was so much skin showing, Beca didn’t even have a chance to think of how cliché this was. Her eyes roamed over Chloe’s long, toned legs, clad in sheer black stockings, leading up to a pair of semi-sheer black lace panties, black lace garter belt holding the whole ensemble together.

 

Her eyes drifted further upwards, over Chloe’s stomach – damn, she definitely worked out – coming to rest on Chloe’s breasts, hidden from view by a matching bra, consisting of simple but effective sheer lace, also black. Beca felt her jaw unhinging as she noticed the faint outline of the redhead’s nipples underneath the lace.

 

When her eyes finished their trek, she found Chloe smiling at her in a way that was vastly different from her usual smile. Normally, Chloe’s smile had a calming effect on Beca, but this particular smile set every fibre of her body on fire, instantly making her tense in the most delicious way imaginable.

 

Somewhere in the back of her mind, Beca realized Chloe hadn’t forgotten to lay out underwear and sleepwear for her.

 

“Are you going to stand there all night?” Chloe asked with an impish grin, her free hand idly trailing from between her breasts to her hip, and back up again.

 

Beca’s legs carried her to the edge of the bed on auto-pilot, where Chloe’s hand made a needy grab for her arm, pulling her onto the bed, closer to the magnificent, wonderful, absolutely goddamn perfect woman in front of her.

 

Straddling Chloe’s thigh – how had that happened? – Beca released a sharp hiss as Chloe’s hand boldly slid into her bathrobe, taking the weight of her breast into her hand and kneading. “Well, hello there,” Chloe smirked, pad of her thumb softly swiping over an already pebbled nipple.

 

She desperately wanted to keep looking at Chloe, who looked absolutely ravishing, and who looked up at Beca – for some reason – as if she was the most beautiful thing in the room. Nevertheless, when Chloe’s hand gave a firmer squeeze of her breast, Beca’s eyes slid closed and her teeth clamped down on her lower lip.

 

Chloe’s other hand came up now, too, untying Beca’s robe, and pushing it over her shoulder, exposing more skin. At the same time, she pulled Beca down, effortlessly slipping her tongue into Beca’s mouth, and tangling her hand in brown tresses as soon as the bathrobe was out of the way.

 

With Chloe’s hand still on her breast, rubbing and kneading and teasing, Beca barely had the presence of mind to kiss the redhead back, taking a few moments for her tongue to be spurred into action. As soon as it did, though, she gave as good as she got, allowing her hand to take in the feel of soft lace, and clearly feeling Chloe’s nipple poking into the palm of her hand.

 

Emboldened, Chloe took her nipple between her fingers, giving a soft pinch before giving it a gentle pull, and Beca would be ashamed of the moan that escaped at the action, but she was pretty sure Chloe got exactly what she wanted out of her, so she couldn’t be bothered to keep quiet.

 

They were rapidly approaching the point where they had to break the kiss because of the actual need to breath. Beca was the first to pull back, sitting up a little straighter. Sucking in a mouthful of fresh air, she got ready to duck right in, but Chloe clearly had other ideas.

 

She felt the redhead’s fingers taking a firmer hold of her breast, and then Chloe’s warm, wet lips were wrapped around her nipple, tongue flicking it playfully. “Ohmygod, Chlo,” Beca muttered, hand wrapping in red curls to keep Chloe from moving away. In response, Chloe’s tongue gave her nipple another flick, and then she was actually suckling and Beca uttered a sound that was halfway a sigh, and halfway a very loud moan.

 

“I love the sounds you make,” Chloe rasped as she let Beca’s nipple slip from between her lips with a wet sound, tongue immediately darting out to run a circle across the pebbled flesh. Her hand took a hold of Beca’s other breast, holding it firmly as her fingers captured the nipple that wasn’t being licked and toyed with it idly.

 

Beca couldn’t help the automatic rocking of her hips against Chloe’s thigh. After a few rocks, she realized Chloe’s thigh was already coated with the wetness her rocking left behind, and now it was the redhead’s turn to release a guttural moan, nipple captured between her lips again. “You feel so good, Becs,” came the strangled groan when the brunette’s nipple popped from her mouth again.

 

Chloe’s lace bra was barely a barrier for Beca’s hands, both of which now came to rest on the redhead’s breasts to do some exploring of her own. One of Chloe’s hands was still on her breast, and Beca felt the other taking a firm hold of her ass, guiding Beca in her rocking, settling in a slow, gratifying rhythm that felt delicious, but wasn’t enough to actually accomplish anything.

 

Clearly, that was the entire point, Beca realized. Chloe was far from done with her, even if she did raise her leg a little, allowing for more pressure to Beca’s core as she kept rocking in the rhythm Chloe dictated.

 

Chloe released her nipple for a moment, pulling Beca in for a heated kiss, her tongue invading Beca’s mouth almost before their lips even touched, and suddenly Beca felt entirely at a disadvantage, considering the fact she was naked and Chloe still had that ridiculously sexy get-up on.

 

Her hand dug underneath the redhead, fumbling for a clasp she couldn’t find. “No clasp,” Chloe breathed against her lips. “Tie on the side,” she continued, resuming their frantic kiss as Beca’s fingers tugged at the little ribbon.

 

She released a triumphant cry when she felt the lace fabric slackening, eager hands immediately digging underneath and enjoying the feel of Chloe’s soft, firm breasts in her hands, unimpeded by the fabric of her bra.

 

She made the mistake of smirking down at Chloe when the redhead inhaled sharply. Just when she felt like she was gaining the upper hand in this little tumble, she felt Chloe’s hand slipping between her legs, index finger effortlessly slipping into Beca’s warmth, making Beca grind down on the digit heavily. At the same time, the redhead gave a sharp pull on Beca’s nipple, and Beca felt her orgasm coming closer at an unfairly rapid pace. Still, with all the stimulation, Beca felt like it wasn’t quite enough yet.

 

She broke from their kiss to plead – no, beg – for more, and the instant their lips disconnected, Chloe’s mouth latched onto nipple again, making Beca clamp down on the two digits Chloe now had inside her – and when did that second finger even get in there?

 

Rocking her hips firmly, Beca was now free to dictate her own rhythm. She was nearing an overload of sensations with Chloe’s hand between her legs, her other hand toying with her breast, and her mouth firmly attached to her nipple, and then Chloe angled her hand just-so and her thumb rubbed against Beca’s clit with every rock of her hips.

 

After a minute, Beca felt the burning in her stomach, speeding up the rocking of her hips as she felt her orgasm building up. It seemed to take forever, building up and growing stronger and stronger inside her, until it finally crested, and washed over her.

 

She wasn’t entirely unaware of the ear-shattering shriek she let out, drowning out Chloe’s appreciative moan – which Beca could clearly feel vibrating against her breast.

 

Chloe was eternally patient as Beca slowed her rocking, riding out the last waves of her orgasm before haphazardly collapsing onto the redhead, whose fingers gently slipped out of her, strong arms coming up to wrap around her back and pull her close.

 

Beca wasn’t sure how long she stayed like that, rendered entirely breathless. “That was… fuck,” she groaned against the redhead’s shoulder, making her full-body pillow chuckle.

 

“Yeah, I heard,” Chloe smiled smugly. “I’m so glad your mother took our daughter for the weekend.”

 

Beca sat up a little, looking down at Chloe. “It’s hard to decide what made this night better,” she smirked. “The sex, or you referring to Rose as ‘our daughter.’”

Chapter Text

Beca blearily opened her eyes, turning to scowl at the sunlight shining in through the half-drawn curtains of her bedroom. She instinctively knew she was in bed alone, Chloe nowhere to be found. While she wouldn’t have minded cuddling up to her girlfriend, the time alone allowed her to reflect on last night.

 

Last night had been fucking amazing.

 

A romantic dinner at a nice restaurant, with Chloe looking the way she did, had been great. They’d gotten a chance to talk, no interruptions, and no off-limit topics. And then Chloe had been thoughtful enough to draw her a bath – something Beca would never even have thought about herself. Oh, and how wonderful it had been, soaking in the hot water, allowing her mind to wander aimlessly.

 

And then she’d made her way to the bedroom and – wow! Beca wasn’t very experienced, sexually, and this was her first time with a woman. There had been no awkwardness, Chloe had taken the lead in their encounter, and hadn’t let up until Beca was shrieking in ecstasy.

 

Beca had very much wanted last night to continue. She wanted to return the favour, so to speak, explore Chloe’s body, free her of those sinfully sexy panties and have her way with her.

 

Only, she had found, her orgasm had tapped her out more than she had wanted to admit. She’d been awake for a few more minutes, and she remembered the beginnings of a nice make-out session, only to be interrupted by her yawn.

 

Chloe had taken it well, though, being as perfect as always. She had told Beca there would be more opportunities soon enough, tucked her in, kissed her goodnight, and had cuddled up to her back, stroking Beca’s hair until she fell asleep.

 

Beca couldn’t remember the last time she had felt so loved.

 

Beca turned over to her other side as she heard the tell-tale creaking of the door being opened slowly, and her morning grumpiness was no match for Chloe Beale, walking into the bedroom with a tray laden with breakfast, smiling so radiantly.

 

It also didn’t hurt she was wearing white stockings reaching up mid-thigh, connected to her white panties, all lace and frilly-bows. Her stomach looked as toned and delicious as it had yesterday, but Beca’s eyes skimmed higher quickly, taking in the white bra, sheer enough for Beca to clearly see Chloe’s nipples through the fabric.

 

“Good morning,” Chloe chirped happily, placing the tray on Beca’s legs as the brunette sat up, keeping the sheets pulled high enough to cover her breasts.

 

“It sure is now,” Beca smirked, letting her eyes rake over Chloe’s body.

 

“Glad you like it,” Chloe smiled. “You need to eat, though. You’re going to need the energy today.”

 

“That so?” Beca hummed, taking in her breakfast. There were cooked and fried eggs, sausages, bagels, a muffin, and of course the obligatory cup of steaming coffee. “Please tell me you don’t have some crazy rock-climbing adventure planned for today?”

 

Chloe laughed quietly, rounding the bed and sliding underneath the covers next to Beca, pulling the sheet down in the process. Before Beca could cover back up, she felt Chloe’s fingers trailing feather-light touches across her breasts. “Don’t worry, Becs. Today’s activities are exclusively bedroom-related. Which isn’t to say you won’t still need the energy.”

 

“I… like the way you think,” Beca grinned, feeling bashful all of a sudden.

 

“Well, I did plan out an entire weekend for you,” Chloe hummed, stealing a bite of sausage. “I would be sorely disappointed if you hadn’t liked it at all.”

 

Beca swallowed a mouthful of coffee, resting her head on Chloe’s shoulder. “You’d be hard-pressed to do something I wouldn’t like.” A moment of thoughtful silence followed. “Also, how many sexy outfits do you own?”

 

“Why ruin the surprise?” Chloe responded with a sly grin. “Now eat, Beca. I’m having a really hard time keeping my hands to myself.”

 

--

 

True to her word, Chloe really couldn’t keep her hands to herself. By the time Beca was halfway through the luxurious breakfast Chloe had prepared for her, Chloe had shuffled to sit behind her, Beca perched between her legs, and the redhead’s hands idly fondling Beca’s breasts.

 

It was a distinctly distracting experience, the brunette realized, trying to eat breakfast while your mostly-naked girlfriend was sitting behind you, deft fingers pinching, pulling and flicking her nipples. Beca scarfed her food down as quickly as she could manage, eager to be done with it and get her hands onto her girlfriend’s body.

 

By the time she’d swallowed the last bite of food and moved the tray off the bed, she could feel the wetness gathering between her legs. She was incredibly turned on already – embarrassingly so, really. Before she could wiggle around, she felt Chloe’s lips latching onto her pulse point, teeth scraping the skin, tongue lavishing afterwards to quell the sting.

 

One hand still had her breast in its hold, thumb and forefinger teasing her pebbled nipple, while Chloe’s other hand slid down between her legs, finger easily gliding through Beca’s warm wetness, making her let out a long sigh. Realizing this was not how she had it planned, she tried to turn around, jostling them both. “Chloe, I still have to repay you for last night, stop-“

 

“This isn’t a farmer’s market, Beca,” Chloe chuckled, mouth dangerously close to her ear. “There is no repaying involved. Now relax and let me do this. You’ll get your turn. It’s only nine in the morning, and I don’t plan to have you leave this room today, so don’t get yourself so worked up over this.”

 

Beca had an intelligent response to that, she was sure she did. But it fled her mind the moment Chloe’s lips wrapped around her earlobe, tongue flicking it while her girlfriend’s finger plunged deep into her sex. “You’re so wet, babe,” Chloe cooed, running her tongue across the shell of her ear.

 

Beca was pretty certain she didn’t have an intelligent response to that.

 

Nor was one needed. Beca knew all too well her body betrayed the effect Chloe had on her quite clearly. Beca couldn’t care less right now, though, with Chloe’s finger leisurely sliding in and out of her, and the mouse of her hand applying just the right pressure onto her clit.

 

Deciding to take Chloe’s words to heart and just enjoy the ride, Beca let her head loll backwards, resting it on Chloe’s shoulder. Inadvertently, the move allowed Chloe’s mouth access to her throat, and Beca let out a wavering moan when the redhead started to lick and nibble there.

 

“You feel so good in my arms, like this, Becs,” Chloe moaned in return. Beca moved her head just-so, allowing her to capture Chloe’s mouth into a kiss. It wasn’t anything like it had been last night. Last night was frantic, frenzied, rushed. This was a calm, relaxed, languid trading of kisses, both women realizing they had an entire day of enjoying each other ahead of them.

 

And with that thought in mind, Beca didn’t even consider asking Chloe to speed her hand up. She certainly didn’t complain when the redhead easily slipped a second finger into her, turning her hand so that there was just a little extra friction on her clit, but kept the pace as languid as their kisses.

 

With this pace, Beca knew, it would take quite a while for them to get anywhere. But that was fine, because they were just relaxing, enjoying each other’s company, and lazily making out was something Beca wouldn’t mind doing all day.

 

Almost half an hour passed, the coil in Beca’s stomach steadily being wound tighter and tighter, until she eventually broke from their kiss, muscles tensing, and sex clamping down on Chloe’s fingers. Her orgasm wasn’t particularly explosive – nothing like yesterday’s climax – but it was no less gratifying for it.

 

When the feeling ebbed away, Beca sunk into the body behind her, breathing heavy and smiling contently. “That was amazing,” she sighed happily.

 

“You looked so hot,” Chloe whispered in her ear, before shimmying out from behind her, coming to straddle her lap instead. Without giving her a chance to respond, Chloe moved in to capture Beca’s bottom lip between her own, teeth catching lightly and pulling on it playfully.

 

When she pulled away again, Beca attempted to follow. Chloe, clearly, had other ideas, placing a firm hand on her sternum to keep her in place as she kissed along Beca’s jawline, down the side of her throat, and across her collarbones.

 

The redhead’s mouth spend an inordinately long time on Beca’s breasts, but the brunette wasn’t inclined to complain about it much. Chloe’s lips and tongue seemed intent on exploring every square inch of skin, mapping each freckle with equal interest. By the time Chloe’s lips wrapped around a nipple, Beca was already breathing heavily again, tangling her fingers in the red strands to pull Chloe closer to her chest.

 

She hummed against her nipple, lips firmly wrapped around it and tongue lavishing it with attention, first in circles around it, then playfully flicking it up and down, and then around it again, before suckling it deeper into her mouth. Looking down, Beca was overcome with how incredibly hot it was to see her girlfriend like this. Then, her lips suddenly let go of Beca’s nipple, and Chloe looked her in the eye as she stuck out her tongue and ran it across her nipple in a move that could’ve come straight out of a porno flick.

 

“Holy fuck,” Beca muttered under her breath. Chloe merely smirked up at her, flicking her nipple one more time with her tongue, before kissing towards her sternum and further down.

 

Now, Beca was by no means an expert when it came to sex, but she had a pretty good idea where this was going. Spreading her legs to accommodate Chloe as she kissed down her stomach, tongue briefly dipping into her navel, Chloe soon reached the point where she could lay herself down, nose bumping the inside of Beca’s thigh. “This okay?” she asked, looking up in a way that was too cute, given the context.

 

“Yeah,” Beca breathed. “Like, very much.”

 

The moment Chloe moved again, it immediately became apparent the redhead knew what she was doing. She effortlessly positioned Beca’s legs to give herself better access, and before Beca knew what was going on Chloe’s warm, wet tongue started licking, starting at her opening and licking all the way to the top in a long, sensual stroke.

 

Beca found it funny, in a way, that Chloe moaned louder than she herself did – and that was saying something.

 

Even though she’d had an orgasm not even ten minutes ago, Beca already felt herself moving towards another one. Chloe, like before, did not appear to be in any kind of hurry, allowing her tongue to flutter everywhere and nowhere, exploring everything Beca had to offer.

 

The brunette sharply bucked her hips when she felt Chloe’s tongue dipping inside, moan ripping itself free from her throat. When Chloe slipped her tongue out again, she immediately replaced it with two fingers. They were barely moving, but just the sensation of being filled by Chloe’s digits, while she wrapped her lips around Beca’s clit and licked and sucked, was enough for Beca’s pleasure to skyrocket again.

 

Supporting herself on an elbow, she slipped one hand into Chloe’s hair. She didn’t apply any pressure, or try to steer the redhead in any way, but she just wanted to feel their connection. Also, looking down and finding her drop-dead gorgeous girlfriend with her mouth between Beca’s legs did certain things for her libido – but that was to be expected.

 

What wasn’t to be expected, though, was the surprise orgasm that rocked her body when Chloe pressed her tongue flat against her clit, and her two fingers suddenly started thrusting at a rapid pace. Beca felt her elbow giving out, falling flat on her back again as pulse after pulse of pleasure coursed through her. This time, there was definitely a fairly loud yelp as her climax hit her.

 

Thank god Chloe had the presence of mind to make sure Rose wouldn’t be here for this.

 

The redhead continued gently lapping at her sex until all of her muscles relaxed again. At that point, to Beca’s great consternation, Chloe clambered off the bed and moved to walk away. Acting on instinct, the brunette caught her wrist, pulling her back to the bed and moving in for a kiss.

 

She was beyond confused when Chloe turned her head, making Beca’s kiss land closer to her ear than her mouth. “I haven’t rinsed yet, babe,” she murmured with a quiet smile.

 

And, yeah, okay, Beca hadn’t thought about that. Still holding her wrist, Beca briefly explored how she felt about the wetness glistening around Chloe’s lips. She ended up throwing caution to the wind, taking Chloe’s chin in her hands and turning her head, before pressing their lips together.

 

She had, honestly, intended for it to be a quick, mostly chaste, peck. And while it was her own tongue that sought out Chloe’s, and not the other way around, Beca wasn’t going to admit to that. At least it had the added benefit of Chloe moving back onto the bed, and onto Beca, their tongues effortlessly sliding against each other.

 

It wasn’t that Beca didn’t notice the odd, lingering taste on Chloe’s tongue and lips. Surprisingly, though, she found that it didn’t bother her, like, at all.

 

When they broke apart again, Beca was proud to see Chloe quite breathless, looking at her with a dopey expression. “I didn’t want to assume you’d be okay with that,” the redhead smiled. “I’ve known people who preferred I rinse before kissing them.”

 

“I hadn’t considered it, but can now confidently state that I don’t give a shit,” Beca grinned, moving in for another kiss.

 

“Never considered it, huh?” Chloe asked, eyebrow raised and teasing grin adorning her face. Beca recognized it for the question it actually was, though.

 

“Yeah, you’re um… the first one to do… y’know, that.”

 

Chloe pawed at the sheets for a moment, pulling them up to cover their bodies as she curled herself into Beca’s side. She didn’t ask anything, but Beca could practically feel the curiosity radiating from her girlfriend. Normally, she’d be reluctant to share any personal information, but, as it had so often been with Chloe, Beca didn’t feel that reluctance at all.

 

“I guess my sexual experiences have been pretty… lacking,” she hummed, idly scratching at Chloe’s scalp. “Rose’s father was my first - and until you came along also only – partner. We… We tried a few things, back then, but he found the idea of putting his mouth down there disgusting and I never pushed the issue. So yeah, we only did, like, manual stuff. And penetration, obviously,” Beca finished, feeling ridiculous for telling Chloe this.

 

That was a fleeting feeling, though, as Chloe pressed her lips to Beca’s cheek. “Thanks for sharing that with me,” she whispered, letting her head come to rest on Beca’s shoulder. “Are you okay with everything we’ve done so far?”

 

“Yeah,” Beca sighed happily. “This has been amazing. You have been amazing.”

 

Chloe let out a happy hum. “Good. You know I’d never ask you to do anything you’re not comfortable with, right?”

 

Beca took a deep breath, letting it out in a long, controlled sigh. “Chloe, I swear, if you’re going to try and talk me out of returning the favour, I’m going to… to… do something,” she finished sheepishly.

 

“I’m so impressed right now,” Chloe snorted against her shoulder, making them both laugh. When the laughter died down again, Beca turned quiet for a while.

 

“I want to… return the favour, I mean,” she eventually told her girlfriend. “But um… Like I said, I’ve never actually done it before, so I might need you to… help, or whatever.”

 

She hated being open and vulnerable like this, but figured honesty was the best policy in this case. She hadn’t expected Chloe to untangle from her and climb off the bed. At her confused look, Chloe gave her a reassuring smile, unclasping her bra and letting it fall to the floor. Moments later, her panties and stockings joined, too, and Chloe climbed back onto the bed, letting herself fall to her back next to Beca. “Just explore,” she encouraged her, leaving absolutely nothing to the imagination as she was laying there. “You’ll find out what I like, or don’t like, soon enough. We have all day, remember?” she winked.

 

Sitting up on her knees, now towering over her girlfriend, Beca took her time to admire the view. She hadn’t had a chance to actually see Chloe like this – view unobscured by clothes – everything out in the open. Her eyes were briefly glued to the area between her legs, where a small strip of red curls marked her most intimate region.

 

Realizing she was staring, Beca snapped her eyes upwards, landing on the two beautiful mounds that were her girlfriend’s breasts. They were a little smaller than her own, Beca realized, but looked soft and firm, perfectly perky, topped with small pink nipples, and with a smattering of freckles adorning them.

 

The sight alone made her mouth water, which was an embarrassing fact Beca would take to her grave.

 

“I take it from your expression you like what you see?” came Chloe’s teasing remark, snapping Beca’s eyes back to the redhead’s.

 

“Sorry,” Beca grimaced. “I didn’t mean to stare.”

 

Chloe’s smile grew a little wider. “Nothing to be sorry for. You know I’m pretty confident about all this,” she chuckled. “Besides, I have been doing my fair share of staring, too. Honestly, your attention is quite flattering.”

 

Unable to resist, Beca lowered herself, easily licking into Chloe’s mouth, and humming appreciatively as the redhead eagerly kissed back. She felt her hand coming to rest on Chloe’s lower ribs, and slowly let it follow the curve, until her fingers were tracking soft figure-eights over her girlfriend’s sternum.

 

From there, she tentatively allowed her fingers to stray sideways, up the swell of Chloe’s breast, and down again on the other side, before lightly following the curve back to her sternum. The sound Chloe made, directly into Beca’s mouth, reminded Beca of a purring cat.

 

“That feels nice,” Chloe hummed softly the moment their mouths pulled apart.

 

Adding her second hand, Beca again traced the outlines of Chloe’s breasts with the tips of her fingers, biting her lip as Chloe uttered an appreciative sigh. Letting her fingers track inwards in slow, roaming circles, it wasn’t long until they were circling around Chloe’s nipples, and then softly stroked over them. Beca marvelled as she watched the flesh pebble, Chloe’s nipples turning into stiff points.

 

She had no idea where her sudden bout of courage came from, but she couldn’t not take a nipple into her mouth. She remembered how wonderful it had felt when Chloe had bathed her nipples with her tongue, and thus did her very best to mirror the redhead’s earlier actions.

 

Judging by Chloe’s hands, which came to tangle into her hair and pulled her closer to her chest, she was doing pretty well so far. She let it slip from her mouth to turn her attention to Chloe’s other breast, immediately sucking the pink flesh between her lips again, and using her other hand to toy with the now abandoned nipple.

 

At Chloe’s keening moan, Beca felt a wave of arousal pooling between her legs again.

 

Without relinquishing the flesh in her mouth, she let her hand slither across Chloe’s stomach, marvelling at the rippling muscles underneath her fingers, and the redhead’s rock-hard abs. She idly wondered about Chloe’s work-out regime to stay in shape, and resolved to ask her about it sometime.

 

Some other time, though.

 

Chloe let out another moan when Beca’s fingers reached her pubic hair. Rather than continuing, Beca ran her fingers through the small strip of hair, enjoying the way it brushed against her fingers.

 

“Beca, babe, I know I said we have all day,” Chloe began with a whine in her voice, “and I swear I really don’t want to push you or anything,” she continued, hips moving from side to side. “But you’re kinda driving me a little crazy here.”

 

Smiling against Chloe’s breast, Beca let her fingers drift lower. Her eyes widened when she realized how truthful Chloe had been. Beca had been pretty damn wet when Chloe had slipped her hand between her legs this morning.

 

Chloe was absolutely fucking soaked. Like, Beca was certain they’d have to wash the bedsheets sometime today, because there would definitely be stains. Not that she minded, of course.

 

“Chlo,” she stammered, looking the redhead in the eye.

 

Chloe nodded frantically, bottom lip caught between her teeth and fire in her eyes. “That’s what you do to me, Becs,” she husked. “I want you so bad.”

 

Sliding her fingers down Chloe’s wet folds, and feeling the redhead’s hips bucking up to meet her, was an incredible boost to Beca’s ego. She slowly ran her finger up and down Chloe’s slit, never applying too much pressure, merely testing the waters. At a particularly sharp jerk of her hips, Beca grinned down at her girlfriend.

 

“Well, someone’s eager.”

 

“Careful with the teasing, babe,” Chloe warned with a mock-frown. “Or I might just end up returning the favour and see how long you’ll last.”

 

Beca recognized the danger in Chloe’s voice, and figured the redhead might very well be able to break Beca without even touching her, so she decided to press into her girlfriend more firmly, immediately being rewarded with a throaty moan, and a grateful squeeze of her breast.

 

She circled her finger around Chloe’s clit, applying the same amount of pressure she’d use on herself on her rare forays into masturbation. Judging by Chloe’s sighs and moans, it was working for her, too.

 

With the amount of wetness gathered between Chloe’s legs, Beca easily slid two fingers inside her girlfriend. As soon as she did, she felt Chloe’s hand tangling in her hair and pulling her in for a bruising kiss, tongues sloppily writhing against one another.

 

Experimenting with the angling and position of her hand – it was quite a novelty, doing this to someone else, rather than yourself – Beca ended up brushing the back of her thumb against Chloe’s clit. She barely noticed. She probably wouldn’t have noticed at all, had Chloe not suddenly gone stiff as a board and bitten down on Beca’s lip rather harshly.

 

Chloe’s muscles remained tensed for about half a minute, eyes closed shut and Beca was pretty sure blood circulation in two of her fingers was brought down to a minimum. And then, as unexpectedly as Chloe’s orgasm had hit her, the redhead slumped again, all of her muscles relaxing and her eyes opening.

 

“Sorry about that,” she winced. “I… it’s not usually over that fast for me,” she grinned sheepishly. “Also, normally I feel it coming, but this one caught me a little off-guard. How’s your lip?”

 

“It’s fine,” Beca smiled, before pouting a little. “A kiss might make it better, though?”

 

“C’mere, you,” Chloe laughed, and Beca moved in for a series of lingering, chaste kisses. Only after a little while did she realize her fingers were still buried to her knuckles inside Chloe, and she gently pulled them out.

 

“Are you… um, can we keep going?” Beca asked, suddenly feeling shy about her desire, and her reluctance to stop.

 

Chloe took a deep breath, looking entirely at peace, sprawled across the bed. “Yeah, definitely. Just give me, like, twenty seconds to catch my breath.”

 

Beca was tempted to actually count to twenty, but decided she had more important things on her mind. While giving Chloe some time to recuperate, she idly studied the fingers she’d pulled out of the redhead, which were still coated with her wetness. Before she could reconsider, she put one of the two fingers into her mouth, letting her tongue run over it and taking in the taste.

 

“Holy fuck, Becs,” Chloe literally moaned. “That’s the hottest thing I’ve seen since I stripped you of that bathrobe yesterday.”

 

She hadn’t meant for it to be a sexy gesture. Hell, she hadn’t even realized Chloe was watching her. It had, honestly, merely been curiosity that had driven her to do it.

 

“Did you um… How did it taste?” Chloe asked, and it was entirely adorable to see the redhead flustered.

 

Rather than answering the question, Beca ducked down to steal a quick kiss, before scooting backwards, until she was facing Chloe’s sex.

 

“Ohmygod, I can’t believe this is happening,” she heard Chloe whisper above her. She could literally feel how hard Chloe was trying to stay still, to refrain from pushing Beca into doing anything – and Beca felt so grateful that Chloe was willing to work within whatever boundaries worked for her. That being said, Beca was quickly beginning to realize that, maybe, those boundaries were nowhere to be found.

 

She had expected to feel somewhat hesitant about this, but now that they were here, those feelings were nowhere to be found. Eagerly, she ran her tongue through Chloe’s folds, senses overwhelmed with the taste of her girlfriend. As her tongue slid over the redhead’s clit, her hips jerked sharply, so Beca decided to give her a little more time to recuperate, instead focusing her attention lower, and lapping at the warm, moist entrance.

 

A few minutes later, Beca felt Chloe beginning to writhe underneath her, making her feel even bolder. She slipped her tongue inside, grinning proudly at the sharp hiss Chloe let out, and gently started moving her tongue in and out. It wasn’t long until she felt strong fingers tangling in her hair, gently pulling her just a little bit higher.

 

Wrapping her lips around Chloe’s clit, Beca immediately realized Chloe was no longer too sensitive to enjoy her ministrations. In fact, with the redhead moaning just about constantly now, Beca figured it was safe to say she was enjoying herself immensely – and she wasn’t the only one, either.

 

“Don’t stop, Becs,” came Chloe’s broken voice.

 

Suckling the little nub into her mouth, Beca began to assault it with her tongue, not letting up until she felt Chloe’s hips bucking upwards sharply, muscles again tensing, and Chloe’s sex quivering against her mouth.

 

With a frantic push, Chloe moved Beca’s face away, pulling her up to her face and into a searing kiss. After a few minutes, their passion dwindled down into easy, languid kisses again. Resting her head on Chloe’s chest, and feeling the redhead pull the sheets over them once again, Beca couldn’t remember the last time she felt this content.

 

“I love you.”

 

She heard Chloe’s sharp intake of breath, and only then realized that she had actually spoken those words out loud, and not just in her mind. She expected herself to panic about it, any moment now, but instead found that she still felt at ease. She may not have planned to say those words right now, but that did not make them any less truthful.

 

She felt Chloe pulling at her shoulder, bringing them face to face again. Her girlfriend’s eyes were watery, but Beca recognized the expression on her face, clear as day.

 

“I love you, too, Becs.”

Chapter Text

Beca slowly woke up on Sunday morning, sometime around eight. She felt a very naked Chloe pressed up against her back, warm and soft. A careful cursory stretch revealed that Beca’s muscles hurt in the most delicious way possible.

 

Chloe had kept yesterday’s promise – Beca hadn’t been allowed to leave the bedroom all day. And Chloe had only left the bedroom to fetch them lunch, and later dinner. All the time in between those meals was spent exploring each other’s bodies with eager hands and mouths.

 

She could not count the amount of orgasms Chloe had brought her to. Not only had she lost track somewhere after the fifth (sixth?), but she was pretty certain she didn’t have enough fingers and toes to count them off on, anyway.

 

The day was one big, fond memory, and Beca was certain she would cherish it for the rest of her life. With the exception of Rose being born, it might have been the best day of her life. Chloe was so loving, so caring, so accommodating and sweet and sexy, Beca couldn’t help but wonder what she had done in this life to deserve someone like her.

 

And it wasn’t even just the sex. The sex had been everything and more, but the way Chloe had weaselled her way into Beca’s life without the brunette even realizing what was going on. The way Chloe cared for Rose, treated her as her own… That was something Beca had never expected to find.

 

With a sniffle, Beca realized that her moment of silent reflection had led to actual tears. And, of course, that was the moment Chloe decided to wake up, as if she had a sixth sense.

 

“Baby, why are you crying? What’s wrong?” she cooed gently, her hand rubbing up and down Beca’s bare arm.

 

“It’s nothing,” Beca assured her, voice sounding choked. “I’m just… I’m so happy.”

 

Chloe’s concerned frown immediately turned into an understanding smile, and Beca felt a kiss being pressed into her hair, followed by more kisses trailing across her shoulder. “That’s good,” Chloe murmured after a minute. “Because I plan to wake up with you like this a lot more often.”

 

“I like the way you think,” Beca grinned, turning around in Chloe’s embrace to face her. At the feeling of their breasts pressing together, she already felt the burning in her stomach begin anew. “So um, what’s the plan for today?”

 

Chloe bit her lip, eyes twinkling. “We’re going out for breakfast, but not until ten.”

 

“That’s convenient,” Beca grinned, hand already roaming.

 

“I’m not an idiot, Beca,” Chloe laughed easily. “I had no delusions about getting out of bed easily today.”

 

“You’re so smart,” Beca smiled slyly, hand skimming over Chloe’s hips. “We’re gonna be here for a while.”

 

--

 

Beca’s assessment had, of course, been entirely correct. It was half past nine when they finally stumbled towards the car. Beca had decided she loved morning sex – a lot – and it needed to be repeated in the shower.

 

Chloe hadn’t voiced any objections.

 

“So, where are we going for breakfast?” Beca asked, sliding into the passenger’s seat, dressed in a comfortable, faded jeans and an oversized sweater.

 

Chloe, dressed in much the same way, grinned sideways, starting the Porsche. “It’s a little place near my old apartment. It’s a little out of the way, but they have the absolute best breakfast foods.”

 

“Well, you’re obviously the food connoisseur in this relationship,” Beca shrugged easily, slumping in her seat with a grin.

 

“Got that right, babe,” Chloe joked as she turned onto the street. “After breakfast, we’ll go back home to-“

 

“Have sex?” Beca asked, all hopeful smiles and puppy-dog eyes.

 

“I was going to say watch a movie,” Chloe laughed. “But I guess I might be convinced of the benefits of your plan.”

 

Beca easily slipped her hand over Chloe’s thigh, resting it between the redhead’s legs, making her groan.

 

“God, I’ve created a monster.”

 

Beca laughed, loud and uninhibited, and it was beautiful. “I just want to make the best of it, before Rose comes back home,” she grinned after a while.

 

Chloe hummed. “I’ve been thinking…”

 

“Oh boy, here goes.”

 

“Shut up, you,” Chloe jibed playfully. “I was thinking we might move Rose into the guest room? Make that her bedroom, I mean. She’s getting about that age where she’ll want a desk in her room, soon, and maybe have a bit more room to store stuff. Her current room is a little cramped already…”

 

“And the guest room is further from our bedroom,” Beca continued, thoughtfully.

 

“Not that it will change much when you’re screaming like you were yesterday,” Chloe snickered, earning her a slap to the arm.

 

“I take it back, I don’t want to have sex with you anymore,” Beca groused, crossing her arms over her chest.

 

“Who are you trying to fool now, babe?” Chloe laughed. “I know you can’t resist all this!”

 

“That’s… woefully true, actually,” Beca grinned with a fond eye-roll. “But I like your idea about Rose’s room. Should we bring it up today?”

 

“Maybe wait until there’s a natural way to bring it up, instead of springing it on her right after she’s been away for the weekend.”

 

“Right, right, that makes sense, yeah,” Beca nodded. “What time was mom dropping her off again?”

 

“Four,” Chloe responded without needing to think about it. “And, as much as I’ve loved having you all to myself, I’ll be glad to have her back. I miss the little sweetheart.”

 

“It’s been weird, not having her around,” Beca nodded slowly. “Still, as much as I hate myself for thinking it, I’m guessing we should make this like, a thing. Like, find someone to take her for a few days every two or three months? Get some adult time, just the two of us.”

 

“I’d like that,” Chloe answered. “But I don’t want it to seem like I’m trying to get rid of our daughter or anything.”

 

“Just the fact you keep referring to her as ‘our’ daughter tells me you wouldn’t try to get rid of her,” Beca assured her girlfriend. “Though getting in my pants is a pretty good excuse, as far as excuses go,” she continued with a mischievous grin.

 

“Yeah, keep this up and I’m definitely not taking you to the best pancakes in the world,” Chloe grinned

 

“Pancakes huh?” Beca smirked. “I could do pancakes.”

 

“That’s more like it,” Chloe told her with a fond smile.

 

“I’d rather be doing you, though,” Beca continued airily.

 

“Oh my god, Beca, stop!” Chloe cackled, barely able to keep her eyes on the road.

 

“Yeah, that’s what you said yesterday, too,” Beca continued to smirk.

 

“Oh, god, I totally made you a sex-fiend!”

 

--

 

Breakfast had been nice, and Beca had even managed to lay off the sex jokes once Chloe had parked the car. Apparently, her new-found confidence didn’t quite reach so far as public spaces, the small crowd in the café turning her back into her usual, more reserved self.

 

Probably better that way, Chloe figured. Of course, once they had gotten home, Beca had practically jumped her, hands frenziedly pulling at her clothes. They hadn’t quite made it to the bedroom, ending up on the couch in the music room instead.

 

And, for all of her complaining, Chloe actually really liked this free-spirited side of Beca. The one that was just a woman, instead of always being bogged down with the worries of a mother and an internationally acclaimed musician.

 

Afterwards, they’d moved towards  the living room, sprawled across the couch in their sweatpants and hoodies, watching trashy television for the remainder of the afternoon, until, a little before four, the doorbell rang.

 

“I’ll get it,” Chloe smiled, hopping off the couch.

 

“Dude, how can you, like, even walk after everything we did yesterday?”

 

“Practice, Beca,” Chloe winked over her shoulder, sauntering out of the room with a little extra sway in her hips.

 

She opened the door, and barely a second later she had to take a few stumbling steps backwards to regain her balance, Rose’s solid form slamming into her full-force. There was a lot of squealing and some chattering that went too fast for anyone to make out what was said, and then the girl disentangled herself from Chloe and dashed further into the house, following the sound of the television.

 

“For what it’s worth, I did tell her not to do that,” Hailey Mitchell smirked from the doorway.

 

“I feel like I should have seen that coming,” Chloe chuckled, taking Rose’s overnight bag from Hailey. “How was she?”

 

“Oh, her usual cheery self,” the older brunette smiled easily. “She did insist on me singing her thirty Disney songs before going to sleep – I didn’t even know there were that many, to be honest. And she said her mom always did that, too.”

 

Chloe chuckled awkwardly, but didn’t get a chance to speak yet.

 

“Rose also told me her mom was a great cook, and liked to play board games with her. That did not at all sound like Beca,” the woman smiled, eyes narrowed playfully.

 

“Yeah, yeah,” Beca drawled from behind them. “We get it, mom.”

 

Hailey raised her hands defensively. “Hey, I think it’s great. I mean, it was a bit confusing at first, with Rose distinguishing between her momma and her mom, and it took some getting used to… But honestly, I think she loves Chloe more than you, darling.”

 

“Well, now you’re just trying to be rude,” Beca pointed out.

 

“Not at all,” Hailey smirked. “Just calling it as I see it.”

 

“Don’t worry Becs,” Chloe smiled. “I’m sure you’ll always be Rose’s favorite parent.”

 

“Nuh-uh!” Rose called out from behind Beca. “I love you both the most!”

 

Beca huffed a quiet laugh, picking Rose up and holding her tightly. “That sounds like the perfect answer, kiddo.”

 

“It’s not a competition, darling,” Hailey laughed. “Chloe is just new, which makes it all the more special. It will wear off, and then you’ll both just be her moms. And then she’ll hit puberty, and she will probably hate you both for the rest of her life. That is, if she’s anything like you,” Hailey smiled slyly, eyeing Beca.

 

“I don’t hate you, mom,” Beca sighed. “Although you do make it hard not to, sometimes.”

 

“See what I mean?” Hailey asked Chloe, folding her hands over her heart. “I really do hope you can keep Rose from being that mean to the two of you.”

 

“I’m sure we’ll be fine,” Chloe chuckled. “Would you like some coffee? I have a pot running.”

 

“Well, Beca, I can certainly see why you keep her around.”

 

“Whatever, mom. Just come in and chill for a while. With all the work you’ve been doing lately, I bet you could use it. Not to mention you’re probably too old to be looking after a toddler like Rose. You need the rest!”

 

With an amused sigh, Hailey followed them towards the kitchen, everyone making themselves comfortable around the bar. Chloe set out their coffees while Rose prattled on and on about everything she had done that weekend.

 

The fish tank at the Chinese place they had dinner had, apparently, made quite the impression. Chloe made a mental note to take Beca and Rose to the aquarium sometime.

 

It wasn’t long until Rose tore off in search of entertainment again, and Chloe silently watched as Beca and her mother chatted amicable, without barbs or sarcasm thrown in the mix.

 

“Um, babe, it’s been like, twenty minutes since we’ve seen or heard Rose. She’s probably up to something,” Chloe hummed after a while, watching Beca’s eyes go wide.

 

“Right. I’ll be right back. Just sit tight, mom,” she smiled, dashing out of the kitchen.

 

“You must be a miracle worker,” Hailey muttered to Chloe.

 

“I’m sorry?”

 

“Oh, no, you have nothing to be sorry for,” Hailey grinned cheekily. “You must be amazing.”

 

“I… don’t think I understand?” Chloe muttered, clearly confused.

 

Hailey shrugged. “I’m just saying, Beca was wound up so tight, I thought she might burst at some point. She’s an entirely different person, now.”

 

Chloe shook her head with a small smile. “She’s just more relaxed, is all. I’d like to think I bring out the best in her, like she does in me.”

 

“That is what a good relation should be like, yes,” Hailey nodded, sipping her coffee. “I’m glad she has found you, though. With everything that happened with Rose’s dad, and then raising Rose, I was beginning to think Beca would remain alone for the rest of her life. Imagine my surprise when Stacie called me to tell me about a babysitter that was allowed to drive Beca’s Porsche.”

 

“Yeah, that did seem to be a thing, huh?” Chloe chuckled.

 

“Yeah, we all knew what was going on from that moment,” Hailey snickered. “Well, everyone except for you and Beca, I guess.”

 

“What about us?” Beca asked as she strolled back into the kitchen.

 

“Oh, I was just telling Chloe she was a miracle worker,” Hailey grinned.

 

“How so?”

 

“Well, I don’t know a lot of people that could get rid of six years of sexual frustration in only two days,” Hailey told them, face entirely serious as she sipped her coffee.

 

“Mom!” Beca hissed.

 

“What?” Hailey asked innocently.

 

“You… You can’t… We didn’t- It’s not-“

 

“Are you saying you didn’t spend the entire weekend having sex?” Hailey asked, sounding genuinely confused. “Because if that’s the case, I’d have to point out it’s a missed opportunity, darling.”

 

“Trust me,” Chloe snickered. “No opportunities were missed this weekend.”

 

“Chloe!” Beca now hissed. “You can’t tell her!”

 

Chloe blinked innocently. “Why not?”

 

“That’s my mom!”

 

“Well, yeah, I know?” Chloe muttered. “It’s not like I’m going to go into graphic detail or anything. But, let’s face it, Beca, there’s a hickey the size of Kansas on your throat. I’m pretty sure she knew what was going on the moment we opened the door.”

 

“She’s a clever one, this one,” Hailey smirked. “So, I’ll be out of town for a little over a month, but I can take Rose again for the weekend when I get back.”

 

“That’d be much appreciated,” Chloe smiled, sipping her coffee as well. “We can work out the details later, though.”

 

Beca groaned loudly. “I’m really uncomfortable with you knowing when we’re going to be having sex,” she sighed, hiding her eyes with her hand.

 

“Oh, please, Beca, don’t be such a prude,” Hailey commented dryly. “I watched you give birth, I don’t think you have anything to be ashamed about anymore.”

 

“You really didn’t need to bring that up!” Beca groaned, resting her head on the bar.

 

--

 

Beca sighed as she looked around the room. Stacie, CR, Benji, Jesse and Emily all looked more serious than they usually did during these business meetings, making her fear the worst. She fished out her phone, texting Chloe to confirm she would be picking Rose up from school this afternoon, before returning her attention to the business at hand.

 

“Okay you nerds, let’s talk options,” she told them.

 

“Well, obviously, this Gail chick isn’t letting up anytime soon,” Stacie pointed out with an airy sigh. “Just waiting it out doesn’t seem to be an option.”

 

“We could misdirect her?” CR offered up. “Like, spread some rumours about DJ BM being, I don’t know, some Polish weirdo or something?”

 

“That would only be a temporary solution, though,” Beca countered. “She’s proven herself to be a persistent reporter, if not particularly talented. Whatever red herring we’d throw her, she’d eventually figure out we’re only trying to mislead her.”

 

“And then we might accidentally make it easier for her to figure out where the rumors came from, and we’d be screwed,” Jesse added thoughtfully.

 

“We could try and pay her off?” Benji suggested. “Money makes the world turn round, right?”

 

“Normally, yes,” Beca sighed. “With this woman, I’m not so sure. I get the feeling she’s taking my secret identity as some sort of personal slight. Besides, I’m not fond of the idea of paying her to stop looking into me. It’s a little too close to bribery.”

 

“And we’d still have no guarantee she’d stop looking,” Emily chimed in. “She might just take the money and still spill the beans.”

 

“She can’t spill the beans until she gets them, though,” Stacie pointed out. “She can keep looking all she want, but if we keep being careful, like we have been all this time, she’s not going to find anything. We can just ban her from your performances, and she’d never be able to get any closer.”

 

Beca nodded thoughtfully. “She would, eventually. But I think we should just stay the course for now. How are the preparations for the big performance going?” she asked Stacie and CR.

 

“We’ve book the Paradise,” CR told her. “We got some local artists to join in, they’ll warm up the crowd before you get on stage. Everyone who had tickets for your cancelled performance has been sent a new ticket, and there’s still three-hundred extra tickets we can sell. Sale will go live forty-eight hours in advance, we expect them to be gone within the first ten minutes.”

 

“We also, sort of, maybe, advertised you would be playing a new song,” Stacie hedged carefully, waiting for Beca to explode.

 

Beca nodded thoughtfully. “Yeah, I suppose that’s fair. I have a few things I’ve been working on, so it shouldn’t be a problem.”

 

“You’re… not mad?” Stacie asked.

 

“No?” Beca countered. “Why?”

 

“Oh, you know, just the fact that you nearly fired us all last time we advertised you would be performing something new,” Jesse pointed out.

 

Beca narrowed her eyes, blood running cold as Emily smiled widely.

 

“Yeah, guys, but that was before she got laid!” her little sister smirked. “Like, dozens of times.”

 

“I hate you,” Beca told Emily deadpan. “And you’ve definitely been talking to mom too much.”

 

“Oh, we want details!” Stacie cooed.

 

“Absolutely not,” Beca shut her down.

 

--

 

“Momma!” Rose yelled as soon as Beca stepped into the kitchen, where Chloe was already working her magic. “We needs to talk!”

 

Need, sweety,” Chloe corrected gently. “And let your momma take off her coat and put away her bag first, okay?”

 

“Momma! Take of your coat and put away your bag!” Rose pouted. “We need to talk!”

 

Beca did as she was told, accepting the coffee Chloe held out for her upon her return. “Okay, kiddo, what’s up,” she smiled.

 

“I’m a big girl now!” Rose proclaimed proudly.

 

“Yes, you sure are,” Beca nodded. “What about it?”

 

“Big girls need big rooms!” Rose pointed out as if that had to be the most obvious thing ever. “And my room is tiny!”

 

“Is it?” Beca mused out loud. “I hadn’t noticed…”

 

“Momma!” Rose objected. “It’s way tiny!”

 

Beca nodded thoughtfully. “So we need to break out the wall?”

 

“Momma no!” Rose gasped. “I just want a bigger room!”

 

“You can sleep in the garage,” Beca decided with a smirk, earning her a soft swat from her daughter.

 

“I want to sleep in mom’s room, because mom always sleeps in your room!”

 

Beca’s stomach still did little flips every time Rose referred to Chloe has ‘mom,’ making her grin like an idiot. “I see… Did you come up with this all by yourself, kiddo?” she asked.

 

Rose nodded yes vigorously, and Beca couldn’t help her snicker as Chloe shook her head no just a vigorously behind her. “Alright, how about this, kiddo? Wednesday, we’ll go shopping to get you a big girl bed, and other big girl things, for your big girl room?”

 

“Will mom come, too?”

 

“She’s right behind you,” Beca stage-whispered. “Why don’t you ask her?”

 

“Mom!” Rose practically yelled as she turned around.

 

“Sure thing, sweety,” Chloe smiled easily, running her hand through the girl’s hair. “I wouldn’t miss it for the world.”

Chapter Text

Carrying two heavy shopping bags up the stairs leading from the garage, Chloe cursed under her breath as her ringtone sounded from her purse, down at the bottom. With a final heave, she placed the groceries in the hallway, before rushing back down the stairs and answering the incoming call.

 

“Chloe Beale,” she panted into her phone.

 

“Miss Beale?” an unfamiliar voice sounded, hesitantly. “This is Mrs. Grant, I’m calling from-“

 

“Rose’s school, yes,” Chloe interrupted, heart seizing with fear. “Is she alright?”

 

“Yes, yes,” came the immediate response. “Rose is perfectly fine. She has, however, been involved in an altercation with one of her classmates.”

 

“Oh, boy,” Chloe sighed, rubbing her forehead. “Anything serious?”

 

“A few bruises, nothing to worry about,” Mrs. Grant replied. “That being said, we do not condone fights here. We tried calling Miss Mitchell, but could not reach her. Is there any chance you could come pick Rose up?”

 

“Yes, of course. I’ll be right over, shouldn’t be more than half an hour.”

 

Chloe managed to park her car in the school parking lot exactly eighteen minutes later. She knew Rose was fine, Mrs. Grant wouldn’t have said so if it wasn’t the case. That being said, she still worried. It was, she figured, part and parcel with being a mom.

 

She was greeted by a stern-looking woman, hair tied back in a tight bun, at the school entrance. “Miss Beale?” she asked.

 

“Yes,” Chloe nodded.

 

“We left Rose with her teacher, Mrs. Johnson. Do you know your way around?”

 

“Yes,” Chloe nodded, again.

 

And indeed, Chloe did find Rose sulking in the corner of Mrs. Johnson’s classroom, the teacher silently doing paperwork at the desk until Chloe came in. Safe for those two, the classroom was empty. “Ah, Miss Beale,” Mrs. Johnson smiled as Chloe stepped in.

 

“Mom!” Rose yelped, before snapping her mouth closed again and fixing her eyes on the floor.

 

“So, can you tell me what happened?” Chloe asked, eyes flitting between Rose and her teacher. When, after a few seconds, it became apparent that Rose wasn’t going to respond, Mrs. Johnson sighed.

 

“One of Rose’s classmates had some… let’s say ‘difficulties’ with understanding the concept of Rose having two mothers, instead of a mother and a father. Their argument got a little out of hand, and Allison ended up shouting how Rose was wrong, and that you um… weren’t her mother. At which point Rose took a swing at her.”

 

“I… see,” Chloe sighed. “This Allison girl, she is alright?”

 

“Yes,” Mrs. Johnson nodded quickly. “Though I must say your daughter packs quite a punch.”

 

“She has that from her mother,” Chloe muttered. “Her other mother.”

 

Mrs. Johnson let out a thoughtful hum. “While I can understand Rose’s vexation, we can’t condone fighting in school, for whatever reason.”

 

“Obviously,” Chloe responded directly. “And I assure you we will make sure Rose understands that, too.”

 

“I have no doubts. You’re free to take her home, now.”

 

With a grateful nod, Chloe made her way to the exit. “C’mon, sweetie,” she called to Rose, who barely looked up. “Time to go home.”

 

Rose remained quiet and sulky throughout the drive home, and Chloe knew better than to begin their conversation in the car. On one hand, she wanted Beca to be the one to talk to Rose about this. On the other hand, she realized that this was part of parenthood as well. And the moment they had decided Rose could call her ‘mom,’ responsibilities like these became hers as well.

 

Making their way into the kitchen, Chloe wordlessly lifted Rose onto one of the stools, before pouring a glass of milk and setting out in front of the girl. “So, let’s hear it,” she sighed with a tired smile.

 

“Allison was being a big meanie!” Rose pouted with crossed arms, still avoiding eye-contact. “She said I couldn’t have two moms. She called me weird, and then she said that you couldn’t be my mom, because everyone only has one mom!”

 

“That wasn’t very nice of Allison,” Chloe hummed, taking a seat across from Rose. “But Allison doesn’t know me, or your momma, so she doesn’t really know what she’s talking about, does she?”

 

“No,” Rose pouted.

 

“And even if she said those mean things,” Chloe continued softly. “That doesn’t mean you can start a fight.”

 

“But she just kept talking and I got so angry!” Rose explained empathically.

 

“I know, sweetie. But even if you’re very angry, you can’t use your little fists to solve a problem.”

 

Rose let out a long, weary sigh. “I know, mom,” she eventually muttered.

 

“So, next time you see her, I want you to apologize to her.”

 

“But-“

 

“No,” Chloe interrupted, soft but firm. “Allison may have said some mean things, but you need to apologize for hitting her. Even if she doesn’t apologize, or continues being mean, I want you to be better than that. Okay?”

 

Rose gave a silent nod, eyes still downcast.

 

“Alright. Let’s go and put away the groceries.”

 

“Mom?” Rose asked just as Chloe turned towards the hallway.

 

“Yes?”

 

“Do you… do you still love me now?” Rose asked, voice sounding tremendously sad.

 

At the hesitant question, Chloe dashed back to Rose side, wrapping her arms around the girl. “Sweetie, of course I love you. Nothing you can do changes that, okay? Even if I’m sometimes cross with you, that doesn’t change the fact I love you. Never doubt that, sweetie.”

 

Chloe felt the little girl’s arms coming around her, hugging her tightly.

 

“I’m really sorry, mom,” Rose sniffled.

 

“I know,” Chloe soothed her. “I know, Rose. It’s okay.”

 

About an hour later, Beca came rushing into the kitchen. “Chloe, hey,” she breathed heavily. “Where’s Rose?”

 

“She’s in her room, cleaning up,” Chloe responded easily, stirring the pot on the furnace while reading something on her phone.

 

“Her school called me, like, three times,” Beca grunted, lowering herself onto a stool.

 

“Hm,” Chloe hummed. “They ended up calling me. Rose got into a fight, but she’s fine. Both girls are fine.”

 

“That’s good,” Beca sighed, clearly relieved. “What happened?”

 

“Some little brat tried to tell Rose she couldn’t have two moms,” Chloe explained. “It got to name-calling, and then Rose threw a punch.”

 

Beca snorted, before slapping a hand over her face. “I mean, that’s horrible, of course. But I’m also kind of proud?” At Chloe’s indistinct hum, she continued. “Should I talk to her?”

 

Chloe shook her head. “You can, if you want to. But I talked to her, and explained why she can’t just go around punching other kids in the face. She feels pretty bad about it… asked me if I still loved her…”

 

Beca sighed. “I must be pretty complicated for someone her age… This crazy world we live in.”

 

“Yeah,” Chloe sighed. “It’s pretty complicated, no matter what age you are.”

 

“You okay?” Beca asked, coming up behind her and wrapping her arms around Chloe’s waist.

 

“Yeah… I mean, it was a bit weird, being the parent in this case… I considered leaving it all for you to deal with…”

 

“But you wanted to take your responsibility as Rose’s mom, so you didn’t,” Beca surmised correctly. “Which makes you all the more worthy of being a parent, Chloe. It isn’t always just the fun things, and the fact you didn’t shy away from the responsibility makes me so proud of you.”

 

Chloe smiled softly, moving her head sideways to press a kiss to Beca’s cheek. “Thanks, Becs.”

 

--

 

“Um, Chlo? Not to be telling you what to do or anything, but you’re like, driving the wrong way.”

 

Chloe smiled, shaking her head. “Trust me, I know what I’m doing.”

 

“Yeah, I get that,” Beca muttered awkwardly, “but that sign over there literally said-“

 

“I know,” Chloe interrupted. “We have somewhere to be before we go furniture shopping.”

 

“We… do?”

 

“Uh-huh,” Chloe hummed. “It’s a surprise.”

 

“A surprise? I thought the surprise was-“ Beca quickly checked behind her, finding Rose tuckered out in the backseat. “I thought the surprise was us taking Rose shopping for her new room?”

 

“That’s the surprise for her. This surprise is for you both.”

 

“Okay, so where are we going?”

 

“You literally don’t get the definition of surprise, do you?” Chloe deadpanned, making Beca roll her eyes.

 

“Whatever. I’ll find out anyway, might as well tell me.”

 

“I might,” Chloe smirked. “But I won’t.”

 

“I hate you.”

 

“Do not.”

 

“… True.”

 

Twenty minutes later, Chloe turned onto the parking lot of the aquarium. “The aquarium?”

 

“Obviously,” Chloe nodded with a chuckle. “Remember how chatty Rose was about the fish tank at the Chinese restaurant your mother took her to? I figured this might be a nice little thing to do as a family.” Turning her head sideways, she found Beca looking at her peculiarly, like she was smiling, but also about to cry.

 

“As a family,” the brunette responded weakly. “I like that.”

 

“Momma, are we there yet?” Rose’s sleepy voice came from the backseat.

 

“Yes, kiddo. Look out the window.”

 

“Fishes!” Rose screamed, immediately wide-awake.

 

At the entrance, Chloe flashed their tickets, the clerk waving them through straight-away. With Rose in-between them, holding both their hands, they turned left through a pair of heavy doors. Immediately, they found themselves in a glass tunnel, water all around them, and a multitude of different fish swimming around.

 

Rose dashed forward, nose pressed to the glass as she watched a pair of clownfish swimming by. She followed them, nose never leaving the glass, giggling as the fish swam away from her. “Look, momma! Nemo!”

 

“I see that, kiddo,” Beca smiled fondly, kneeling next to Rose. “Oh, look at that pink one. Isn’t it pretty?”

 

Taking out her phone, Chloe quickly snapped a picture of the two of them, pointing at various fish as they swam into view. Her eyes snapped up at Rose’s shriek. It turned out to be a shriek of joy as an eel slithered past the glass. “Water-snake!” Rose yelped.

 

“That’s an eel, sweetie,” Chloe smiled, kneeling on Rose’s other side. She didn’t miss the way Beca’s eyes were focused on the fish, flitting from one colourful fish to the other, mouth curved into an unreserved smile. “Look, that one is swimming backwards,” she pointed out, both Rose’s and Beca’s eyes snapping to where she pointed. “Did you know only eels can do that?”

 

They slowly moved on, Rose stopping after every step to point out some pretty fish, or a particularly colourful piece of the coral reef. When they were about halfway, a ray swam over the tunnel, taking Rose’s breath away, immediately followed by a loud squeal as she tried to follow it. “Mom! Look! Look look look!”

 

“I see it, sweetie,” Chloe laughed, laughter only intensifying as Beca also pressed her nose to the glass to follow the magnificent form float away. “I’d almost think you’ve never been here, Beca,” she smiled.

 

“I haven’t,” Beca shrugged, eyes never leaving the water and its denizens. “We never had the money when I was little, and I actually never thought to bring Rose…”

 

“Then I’m all the happier I brought you two here,” Chloe smiled, stepping up next to them. “Look, there’s another ray,” she pointed out, “there, in the sand.”

 

“It’s hiding!” Rose squeaked.

 

Just then, it flapped up from the bottom, scurrying away. The sight of it made Rose giggle hysterically, flitting up and down the glass tunnel to follow it. “Momma, I want one!”

 

Beca barked out a laugh, ruffling Rose’s hair. “I want one too, kiddo, but we can’t. It wouldn’t be happy in our little home. Look at how much space it needs.”

 

Rose frowned for a brief moment, but before she could say anything, her face cleared up again, hand coming up to point at another fish. “Look, rainbow fishy!”

 

--

 

It took them over half an hour to get through the glass tunnel, and Rose was literally vibrating with excitement as they moved down a flight of stairs. “What’s down here, momma?”

 

“I don’t know, kiddo,” Beca chuckled, sending a questioning look at Chloe, who silently mouthed the answer. “Maybe it’s the sharks?”

 

Opening the door, they found themselves in a large room, giant panes of glass surrounding them and allowing them to see into the shark habitats. “Oh, momma! Sharkies!”

 

They spent twenty minutes looking at pointing at the sharks, Rose being particularly excited when one of them would dash into view, swimming right in front of the glass. Chloe had no doubt they would’ve remained much longer if Rose’s stomach hadn’t made itself known.

 

“C’mon, sweetie. Let’s get something to eat, alright?”

 

“Food!” Rose cheered, dragging them towards the exit. Their trek towards the restaurant was stalled for a moment as they passed by a large tank, containing several turtles. Obviously, Rose and Beca had to spend fifteen more minutes pointing at them, allowing Chloe the opportunity to snap a few more pictures.

 

“Okay, time to eat,” she declared after a while. “And afterwards, we can go watch the penguins and seals.”

 

“Snowbirds!” Rose chirped happily, making both adults smile as they walked towards the restaurant.

 

All throughout lunch, Rose was chattering about the various fish she’d seen, while doing a colouring of the turtles they’d seen just before, helpfully supplied by their waiter. Beca, meanwhile, seemed as enamoured with their little outing as her daughter, excitedly telling about her favourite fish, too.

 

When their bellies were filled, Chloe took both their hands, leading them towards the next exhibit. Past another set of doors, they found a large open area, a massive cliff dominating the far side of it, surrounded by water. “Snowbirds!” Rose yelled loudly, running up to the fence. “Look, mom! Snowbirdies!”

 

“Penguins, sweetie,” Chloe laughed. “Aren’t they the cutest?”

 

“Uh-huh!” Rose nodded, squealing when one of the penguins hopped off the ledge and gracefully dove into the water. Moments later, it resurfaced again, easily making its way back onto land and waddling towards a group of other penguins. Turning her head sideways revealed Beca, filming the entire event on her phone.

 

A series of loud squeals drew their attention towards another exhibit, Beca staring at it with wonder. “Are those…”

 

“Those are sea otters,” Chloe helpfully supplied, laughing as Beca dashed off to check them out, Rose hot on her heels.

 

--

 

“Honestly, Beca, you liked those otters even more than Rose did,” Chloe snickered as she pulled out of the parking lot.

 

“Did not,” Beca countered weakly.

 

“I literally had to drag you away, after you cooed at them for over an hour!” Chloe laughed. A quick look in the rear view mirror revealed Rose’s chin to be resting on her chest, fast asleep from all the excitement.

 

“Yeah, well, they were the cutest!” Beca groused. “You really can’t blame me for loving them.”

 

“I don’t,” Chloe smiled fondly. “I’m just glad you two enjoyed yourselves so much.”

 

“This was the best idea ever, Chlo,” Beca told her, resting her hand on Chloe’s leg. “Really, thank you. Rose and I never really did stuff like this.”

 

Chloe scrunched her nose up with a grin. “I guess I’ll just have to be the cool mom that plans all the fun stuff, huh?”

 

“Basically, yeah,” Beca nodded seriously, before cracking a grin, too. “So, what’s next?”

 

Chloe pursed her lips in thought. “When it gets a little warmer again, we’ll visit the zoo. You have been to the zoo, right?”

 

“Not since I was, like, three?” Beca murmured. “Mom and dad were divorced, and she had to work full-time to make rent and pay for my school and stuff. There wasn’t a lot of time or money left to do the fun things like these…”

 

“I’m sorry, Becs,” Chloe murmured, squeezing her hand.

 

“That’s okay,” Beca shrugged. “I’m just happy we can be doing stuff like this with Rose now.”

 

“Yeah, me too.”

 

“So, furniture shopping now?”

 

Chloe hummed, checking Rose in the mirror again. “If you two are up for it, that is…”

 

“Oh, trust me,” Beca grinned. “She’ll be full of energy once she figures out we’re buying stuff for her new room. And she’ll be so easy to put to bed tonight.”

 

Chloe hummed under her breath. “She’ll probably sleep really tight, too.”

 

“Probably, yeah,” Beca nodded, not catching on to Chloe’s hint.

 

“She might not even hear you scream,” she winked at the brunette, whose cheeks immediately flushed as her eyes bugged out.

 

“Dude!”

Chapter Text

“C’mon, kiddo, wake up!” Beca chuckled as she gently shook Rose, who was slumped in the car seat, clutching the little stuffed sea otter Beca had bought for her at the aquarium. On the seat next to her was a second stuffed otter, which Chloe had bought for Beca at the aquarium.

 

“Momma? We home?”

 

“No, kiddo, we’re not home,” Beca smiled.

 

“Then I’m not waking up,” Rose decided without opening her eyes.

 

“Oh,” Beca muttered. “Well, okay. That’s fine. Then we will just go and pick out stuff for your room without you. Bye!”

 

Beca had to catch Rose as she tried to jump out of the car, and got her foot tangled up in the seatbelt in the process. “Momma! No! Wait for me!”

 

“Easy, easy, sweetie,” Chloe laughed, untangling the little girl and lifting her out of the car. “We weren’t going to leave without you.”

 

Taking her hand, Chloe locked the car, accepting her purse from Beca, who was holding her own as well. Together, they crossed the parking lot, making their way into the store. While Beca looked around, as if she’d never been in a store like this one, Chloe took a quick glance at the signage. “We should probably head up to the second floor. It’s where both the bedroom- and children-departments are.”

 

“How the heck do you even know stuff like that?” Beca grunted, pulling Rose a little closer to herself as a large mass of shopping fanatics passed by them.

 

“It’s literally on the sign over there,” Chloe pointed out with a wry grin. “You know, the one that’s larger than you?”

 

“Oh, shut up, woman!” Beca bit back playfully.

 

“Momma, be nice!” Rose admonished with a cheeky grin, before pulling Beca into the direction Chloe had indicated.

 

Trailing behind Rose, Chloe gently nudged Beca. “How about we maybe don’t go for all pink?”

 

“Yeah, good call,” Beca muttered back, face scrunched up. “I’m hoping to go for something she’ll still like in maybe, five to ten years?”

 

Chloe huffed out a quiet laugh. “I’d settle for three, but yeah, okay.”

 

Rose dashed around the corner, and Chloe felt an unfamiliar feeling take hold of her. The feeling immediately faded away again as she rounded the corner and laid her eyes on her daughter again, ensuring she was still there. It was as strange to think of Rose as her daughter as it was to experience this state of parental panic upon losing sight of her.

 

She was torn from her thoughts when Beca snickered behind her. “Unnerving, isn’t it?” she asked with a knowing look.

 

Chloe figured her panic had probably been visible on her face. She shrugged with a guilty grin.

 

“Don’t worry, it comes with the territory, and it becomes more bearable over time.”

 

“You mean you’re less worried?” Chloe wondered out loud, making Beca laugh again.

 

“No, you just get more used to the worrying,” Beca smiled after a few seconds, giving Chloe’s hand a little squeeze. “Rose, kiddo, get your buttocks back over here, pronto!”

 

“Yes, momma!” Rose chirped, doing a quick lap around a small desk before pattering back towards them.

 

Once Rose was in-between the two of them again, Beca crouched down. “Rose, remember what I told you before? About running away from me when we’re in busy places?”

 

Rose pursed her lips in thought, before nodding. “You told me you worry very much, and get a little scared because you might lose me.”

 

“Exactly,” Beca smiled, ruffling her hair. “And just now, both me and Chloe were a little worried, because we couldn’t see you anymore.”

 

“Chloe worries too?” Rose asked, pulling the redhead down to their level.

 

“Yeah, sweetie,” Chloe smiled, kissing her forehead. “Just a little.”

 

“I’m sorry!” Rose told them. “I’ll hold your hands, and then you won’t need to be scared anymore!”

 

“That’d be awesome,” Beca grinned.

 

It didn’t take them long to reach the right department, where Rose pointed out various things she liked – none of them pink – giving both women some idea of what they could do for Rose’s room. When they were about halfway, Rose spotted a loft bed with a desk underneath. “Momma! Can I have that one?” she squealed, dragging them towards it.

 

“This one?” Beca asked sceptically. “Wouldn’t you fall out?”

 

“Momma!” Rose sighed. “It has fences!”

 

Chloe snorted at the choice of words, putting her foot on the lowest rung of the little ladder and testing the so-called fence. “Seems sturdy enough. There is of course the risk of falling off the little ladder, but I’m sure you’d be really careful, right, sweetie?”

 

“Yes, mom!” Rose declared with a firm nod.

 

Beca gave the bed a firm push, finding it sturdy enough not to give. After a few more pushes and a kick to the ladder, she gave a careful nod. “Well, if you’re sure, kiddo. No takebacks, okay?”

 

“I’m sure, momma!” Rose declared again. “I want this big-girl bed!”

 

Waiting for Beca’s confirmation, Chloe used her phone to snap a picture of the product information. “Alright then, that settles the bed and the desk, all in one go,” she smiled. “What’s next?”

 

“I need a chest for my toys,” Rose told them. “And shelves for my books, and a chair tor read in, and a chair for my desk, and curtains, and paint for the walls, and a new lamp, and a nightlight for when I get scared, and twenty-five stuffed animals to sleep with!”

 

“Yes to all of those,” Beca sighed good-naturedly. “With the exception of the twenty-five stuffed animals. You can pick two.”

 

--

 

They spent the majority of the afternoon at the store. Bu the time they got home, Rose was so tired she didn’t even wake up when Chloe lifted her from the car and put her on the couch to sleep until dinner.

 

“Guess the excitement wore her out, hm?” Beca grinned.

 

“Yeah,” Chloe sighed fondly. “Maybe the aquarium and the shopping was a bit much for one day.”

 

“It was probably a day she’ll remember for the rest of her life,” Beca smiled, moving to stand next to Chloe and wrapping her arms around her waist. “We’re really lucky to have you.”

 

“I think I’ve said this before,” Chloe smiled with her eyes closed and her head resting on Beca’s shoulder. “But I’m definitely the lucky one in this house.”

 

“Let’s settle on all of us being really lucky, then,” Beca hummed, nose buried in Chloe’s hair.

 

They stood like that for a few minutes, before Beca reluctantly pulled away. “I hate to do this on a day like this one, but do you mind if I get some work done?”

 

“Of course not,” Chloe smiled. “There’s going to be so many days like this in our future.”

 

“I love you,” Beca breathed, pulling Chloe in for a quick kiss.

 

“I know,” Chloe smirked back. “Now get to work, DJ BM.”

 

--

 

Chloe smiled as she peered into the room. She’d been working on dinner for almost half an hour, and Rose was still sleeping soundly on the couch. And, on the chair next to it, was Beca, angrily peering at her laptop with massive headphones covering her ears as her head bopped to a beat only she could hear.

 

Beca noticed her when she was about halfway through the room, sliding the headphones down to her neck and smiling up at her. “Is that dinner I smell?”

 

“Sure is,” Chloe smiled. “You wake up the little imp while I set the table?”

 

“Yeah, we’ll be right there.”

 

Five minutes later, Beca came walking into the kitchen, just as Chloe was pulling the homemade pizzas out of the oven. Rose was shuffling in behind her, sleepily rubbing in her eyes. Without saying a word, the little girl rounded the bar, moving towards Chloe and wrapping her arms around the redhead’s legs for a moment. “Love you,” she mumbled, before moving to her seat at the table.

 

“I…” Chloe started, swallowing heavily. “I love you too, sweetie.”

 

--

 

Chloe snuck a quick peek at the screen of Beca’s laptop as she placed the two glasses of wine on the table in front of her. She saw nothing she could make sense of, the entire screen filled with sliders and graphs and waves and buttons with weird symbols.

 

“Can I ask you a favour?” Beca asked, startling Chloe.

 

“Jesus! I thought you were wearing your headphones.”

 

Beca moved her hair aside, revealing one uncovered ear. “I never work with both headphones on when Rose is sleeping. Though, I suppose, now that we have you, I could…”

 

“You could,” Chloe nodded. “And yes, you can ask me a favour.”

 

“You’re a fan, right? Of DJ BM?”

 

Chloe sighed fondly, rolling her eyes. “Yes, Beca, I’m a fan of your music.”

 

“I wasn’t asking for validation,” Beca chuckled. “I need your opinion on this new song I’m working on. Not as my girlfriend, but as my fan.”

 

“You want me to listen to the song you made?”

 

“Yeah, and tell me what you think.”

 

With an eager nod, Chloe sat down, allowing Beca to put the headphones over her ears. When the brunette pressed a button on the laptop, soft music started pouring into her ears. It wasn’t anything like the other DJ BM songs.

 

After two minutes, she moved the headphones from her ears, finding Beca watching her anxiously.

 

“You hate it, don’t you?” she asked with a pained grin.

 

“No!” Chloe objected fiercely. “It’s really good.”

 

“But you didn’t like it,” Beca continued. “Your face was all… I dunno.”

 

“I liked it,” Chloe told her, pondering her next words for a moment. “But it’s very different from your usual music. DJ BM is known for pounding beats, music to dance to in the club. This… this sounds more like a love song. More pop music than dance, you know what I mean?”

 

Beca sighed, rubbing her forehead for a moment. “Yeah, yeah, I get that. And I’m not thinking I’ll play this at the club. I might make an album of songs like this one.”

 

“Really?” Chloe asked. “DJ BM producing a pop album?”

 

Beca shrugged awkwardly. “Thought I’d try my hand at something new, see what happens.”

 

“Well, I’d say you’re definitely off to a good start. But your hardcore fans… they won’t be so charmed, I think.”

 

Beca shrugged again, more confident this time. “I’ll still be making my usual music for them, too. This is for a new audience.”

 

“What brought this one, anyway?” Chloe asked, settling on Beca’s lap.

 

“You,” the brunette grinned. “You and Rose.”

Chapter Text

“Mom!” 

 

“In the kitchen, sweetie!” Chloe called back, making sure the fire underneath the pot wasn’t too high for it to be left unattended for a little while. A few seconds later, Rose came dashing into the kitchen, immediately rounding the little bar and moving in for a hug.

 

By the time Rose had detached herself again and was working herself up onto one of the barstools, Beca had made her way into the kitchen as well, pressing a kiss to Chloe’s cheek like it was the most normal thing in the world. “Hey, how was your lecture?”

 

“Boring,” Chloe grinned. “How was your day?”

 

“Busy,” Beca sighed. “There’s an unusual amount of preparation for tonight’s shindig. I mean, I cancelled the last one, so we had something to make up for, and I’m not complaining, but-”

 

“It’s okay, Becs,” Chloe grinned. “You can complain about work, even if you have the coolest job in the world.”

 

“I could,  but we actually have more important things to discuss,” Beca grimaced. “I got a bunch of paperwork from Rose’s teacher today. It’s about stuff like choir and sports teams and other fun things.”

 

Chloe hummed thoughtfully, taking the pile of papers and spreading them out on the bar. “Some of this seems interesting…” she murmured softly. “Were you thinking of signing Rose up for anything?”

 

Beca gave a guilty smile before responding. “We never actually got around to teaching Rose how to swim,” she eventually muttered. “So I’m thinking swimming lessons are a good idea.”

 

“Yeah, totes,” Chloe nodded, taking up one of the folders. “Every Tuesday afternoon, starting next month. I can take her there, if you want me to? I’ll just pick her up from school and go straight to the pool.”

 

“That’d be really neat,” Beca nodded. “I was also thinking of maybe signing her up for some music thing, see if she’s interested.”

 

“It says here there are free trials. We can take her to a few, see what takes.”

 

“Let’s,” Beca smiled, turning to the pot bubbling on the fire. “What’s for dinner?”

 

“You really do have a one track mind, don’t you?” she smiled indulgently. “It’s pasta. One of my mother’s secret recipes.”

 

“Smells amazing,” Beca practically purred.

 

“It’ll be done in a bit,” Chloe smiled, easily accepting the kiss Beca pressed to her cheek. “I know you’ve got a busy night ahead of you.”

 

“Hm,” Beca hummed, rounding the corner and ruffling Rose’s hair. 

 

“Momma, stop it!” Rose giggled in protest, swatting at Beca’s hands and squealing as those same hands moved to tickle at her sides.

 

“Oh, that reminds me, the stuff for the bedroom is going to be delivered the day after tomorrow,” Chloe remarked casually. “The lady on the phone told me you paid for someone to put it all together as well?”

 

“I did,” Beca nodded, hoisting Rose up from the stool and setting her on the ground, where the toddler instantly ran off to safety. 

 

“We could’ve done that together, you know,” Chloe shrugged, taking her spoon to hand and stirring the pot.

 

“You’re only saying that because you’ve never seen me put furniture together,” Beca grimaced.

 

“I think it’d be fun.”

 

“Okay,” Beca shrugged. “I’ll call them tomorrow and cancel the montage service, then.”

 

“Cool,” Chloe grinned. “It’ll be fun, I promise.”

 

“I highly doubt that, but I’ll suffer through it for you,” Beca winked.

 

--

 

“Alright Rose,” Beca sighed, pushing up from her seat. “Chloe cooked dinner for us, so you and I are going to clean up the kitchen, yeah?”

 

“Yeah!” Rose nodded, full of childlike determination. 

 

Chloe smiled as they both started collecting the dishes and moving them all to the counter, and she made sure to push the sharp utensils to the middle of the table, where only Beca would be able to reach them. Noticing this, Beca shot her a grateful smile, which she answered with a quick wink.

 

“A girl can get used to this,” Chloe smiled easily, leaning back in her chair and kicking her feet up. 

 

“I was thinking the same thing today, when I walked into the kitchen and dinner was already underway,” Beca smiled over her shoulder. “I’ve been running this household by myself for so long, I never even considered how nice it’d be to have someone else around.”

 

“I never consciously thought about stuff like this,” Chloe shrugged with a lazy smile. “I always knew I wanted a family, but never really thought about the specifics.”

 

“Well, I do hope we live up to your expectations.”

 

“You’ve surpassed all of them,” Chloe smiled, as honest as it was easy. 

 

Chloe startled when the doorbell rang, resounding through the house. Pushing to her feet, she gestured to Beca that she’d get it, lazily making her way down the hall towards the front door. Once she opened it, she came face to face with Hailey Mitchell, looking as put-together as always and smiling brightly. 

 

“Mrs. Mitchell,” Chloe smiled. “What are you doing here?”

 

“Oh, sweetheart, please,” the older version of Beca smiled wickedly. “You’re fucking my daughter, I think you can just call me Hailey.”

 

“Could you not , please, mom?” Beca huffed, sauntering towards them as she dried her hands. 

 

“Fine, fine, you’re making sweet love to my daughter. That better?”

 

“Much,” Beca drawled sarcastically. 

 

“As for what I am doing here,” Hailey switched tracks, “if she hasn’t told you, I’m pretty sure I’m not supposed to, either.”

 

“I don’t understand,” Chloe muttered.

 

“You’re not the only one that’s allowed to rope my mother into planning a surprise,” Beca smiled, taking an envelope from the back pocket of her jeans. 

 

“What’s this?”

 

“An envelope,” Beca replied drolly.

 

With a roll of her eyes, Chloe hooked her pinky underneath the white paper, carefully tearing it open and shaking a ticket to tonight’s DJ BM concert out. “Beca…” she stammered.

 

“I know you said you didn’t mind watching Rose whenever I had to work,” Beca smiled softly as Hailey left them alone and went to seek out Rose. “But I know you’re a fan of DJ BM, and it didn’t seem fair that you’d never get to see me perform just because you’re dating me and watching our daughter… So I asked mom if she could watch Rose tonight, so you can go to tonight’s event.”

 

“That’s so thoughtful,” Chloe smiled, tears welling up in her eyes. “You didn’t have to.”

 

“I know,” Beca shrugged easily, wrapping her arms around Chloe’s waist and pulling her in close. “But I wanted to.”

 

“I love you, Beca Mitchell.”

 

“And I love you,” she murmured into Chloe’s hair. “Now dry your eyes before Rose sees I’ve made you cry.”

 

“Yeah, that’d be best,” Chloe laughed with a slight hiccup. 

 

“Oh, I wanted to give you a VIP ticket, but Stacie commented that would be suspicious and might lead people to suss out your connection to me,” Beca smiled awkwardly as she stepped out of the embrace. “And I figured she did have a point there, so I got you a premium ticket instead. No access to the VIP lounge, but you can skip the line and get three free drinks.”

 

“I have absolutely no desire to get into the VIP lounge anyway,” Chloe smiled. “Thank you, Beca… This really means a lot.”

 

“Eh, it’s just a-”

 

“Don’t.”

 

“Don’t… what?”

 

“Don’t belittle your own thoughtfulness and sweetness.”

 

“Mmkay, if you insist. I am pretty awesome,” Beca grinned impishly. 

 

“I take it back, you’re the worst.”

 

“Yeah, I really am.”

 

“Are you two lovebirds just about done out there?” Hailey’s voice drifted into the hallway. 

 

“Yeah, yeah,” Beca called back, taking Chloe’s hand into her own and leading them back into the kitchen. “You should probably go find something nice to wear for tonight. Jesse will be here to pick me up any moment, so I should go and get ready as well.”

 

--

 

Chloe felt an entirely different person when she stepped out of the cab. She loved her life the way it was - she adored Rose, and couldn’t be happier living with her and Beca and being a perfect little family. That didn’t mean she didn’t feel pretty damn good about having a night out again.

 

She pulled down the hem of her little black dress before setting off towards the entrance. She ignored all the annoyed looks from the people impatiently waiting in line, and managed to feel only a little smug at brandishing her premium ticket for the bouncer and being shown in with a polite smile.

 

Inside, it was already crowded and hot, with the heavy base of some of DJ BM’s earlier hits pounding through the speakers to keep everyone entertained until the main star would take the stage. During the ride here, Chloe had done some research - premium tickets had been handed to everyone who’d had a ticket for the cancelled show before, so that explained why there was already a small crowd gathered in here.

 

Bopping her head to the familiar beat, she made her way to the bar to pick up the first of her three free drinks. It didn’t take long for the first guy to approach her, but she was well-versed in turning them down - politely or not-so-politely, and continued minding her own business.

 

It wasn’t long until the venue was full, people being forced to stand more closely together than would normally be comfortable. And then, at the exact right moment, the light strobes flashed on, and Beca - DJ BM - appeared upon the booth at the front, high above the crowd.

 

Chloe took a moment to take in the mask her girlfriend was wearing tonight - it was a beautiful mask resembling a black cat, including whiskers and ears. The only thing that stood out were the sparkles - undoubtedly little stones set into the mask, and Chloe made a mental note to ask Beca where she got these pieces of art.

 

She didn’t have long to consider that, though, because Beca reached a gloved hand out to the intricate dashboard in front of her, and instantly the rhythm filling the club shifted into a slow, heavy bass. Whereas the music that had been playing so far had been familiar and safe, this new beat was new, sending goose bumps across her arms as she shifted her weight in time with the heavy thumping. 

 

The entire crowd moved with the new beat, which built until it felt like every fibre of their being was filled with nothing but music and vibrations, filling them to the brim. Just when Chloe felt like it reached some sort of limit, the thumping bass fell away entirely, instead being replaced by a softer, faster beat, accompanied by a new rendition of one of DJ BM’s classics.

 

Chloe closed her eyes, mindlessly moving her body to the music and losing herself in her surroundings. It had been a long time since she’d been to a concert of any kind - money had been a tiny bit of an issue before she’d met Beca, after all - but she easily slipped into the right mindset.

 

She was startled out of her dancing when the music suddenly stopped, leaving her only with a cacophony of confused noises from the people around her. She opened her eyes, and Beca was still standing up there, yet there was no music playing.

 

There was a collective gasp when DJ BM pulled out a microphone and slowly brought it to her face. She knew Beca well enough to know that she was savouring the collective gasp resounding throughout the club. Everyone waited to see - or hear - what would happen with bated breath.

 

“Good evening everyone,” Beca’s voice boomed from the speakers all around them. She sounded different - partially because of the distortion the speakers caused, and partially because this was DJ BM and not Beca - and if Chloe hadn’t known it was Beca, she might not even have recognized the voice as hers.

 

There was a collective exhale at DJ BM’s first spoken words, and the corresponding confirmation that he was indeed a she.

 

“Surprised, huh?” DJ BM chuckled into her microphone. “Yeah, I figured that might be the case. Still… I figured a spoken apology might mean more to all of you than a written one. So savour this, because I don’t plan to make it a habit - to all my fans, and everyone who bought tickets for my cancelled performance, and everyone who looked forward to it… I am sorry I had to cancel.”

 

There was the growing sound of a hundred murmuring voices, which all fell silent as DJ BM raised her hand. “You have undoubtedly all heard or read there was a family emergency. And family always comes first, even if you’re a humble internationally acclaimed musical superstar-slash-genius.”

 

There was a loud round of laughter - ranging from subtle chuckles to some full-belly laughs - and DJ BM waited a beat before she continued. “I want to thank all of you for your understanding, and your patience, and the many well-wishes you have sent to my social media and my management team. I am very blessed to have such amazing fans.”

 

Again, DJ BM paused, allowing for all the applause and cheers to die down before she continued. “All that being said… I have a favor to ask all of you,” DJ BM spoke, her voice turning serious and her tone more grave. “You are, undoubtedly, all familiar with the reporter Gail Abernathy - she has been digging into the matter of my identity very fervently… I am asking all of you to respect my privacy, and trust that I have a good reason to keep my name and face out of the spotlights.”

 

There was a loaded silence that seemed to drag on and on. After a while, DJ BM cocked her head to the side. “I’m not saying you should all boycott her, of course…” she hummed. “But I’m also not saying you shouldn’t, know what I’m saying?”

 

And just like that, the moment was gone, and DJ BM pressed a button, filling the club with a rolling wave of sound. “Now, by ways of apologizing, here’s a little something I’ve been working on for a while now!” 

 

Bopping her head to the beat, and shifting her weight with every thump resounding through her, Chloe clearly recognized it as one of the songs she’d found on Beca’s laptop, back when she hadn’t known her employer was the international superstar she was.

 

Closing her eyes, Chloe surrendered herself to the music, lifting her arms above her head and rocking her hips in time with the music. 

 

--

 

It was well past one when Chloe stumbled out of the club. She was exhausted - she was definitely getting too old for this - and yet she was pumped at the same time. DJ BM’s performance tonight had been one for the books, and everywhere around her the fans were gushing about how good the new tracks had been, and how sexy DJ BM’s voice was.

 

She startled for a moment when a black town car pulled up to the curb in front of her, only relaxing when the window was cranked down and Chloe recognized Jesse’s winsome smile. “Hop in the back, I’ll give you a ride.”

 

Smiling gratefully, Chloe did exactly that, opening the door and ungracefully dropping herself down onto the backseat. She was surprised to find Beca sitting there already, the black cat mask resting in her lap. “Hey babe,” Beca smiled, running a wet washcloth across her face. “Enjoy yourself?”

 

“Are you kidding me?” Chloe giggled, resting her weight against Beca’s side. “Tonight’s been amazing, Becs.”

 

“Glad to hear it,” Beca smiled, wrapping an arm around her shoulder. “Obviously, we can’t do this every time… But every now and again mom or Emily can watch Rose.”

 

“Oh, no, please don’t let Emily babysit our daughter again,” Chloe groaned pitifully. “I’d rather never see you perform again than deal with that again.”

 

“Yeah, that’s fair,” Beca nodded with a cheeky grin, after which she pressed a kiss to Chloe’s temple.

 

“How did you get away so quick?” Chloe wondered out loud. “Don’t you normally stay locked up in your dressing room until everyone’s left?”

 

“Normally, yeah,” Beca smiled, putting her mask aside to get more comfortable. “Tonight I just queued up the last song and then left straight for the car. Jesse had it parked near the emergency exit, so it wasn’t that hard to slip out unnoticed. It’s also not my own car - we hired this one under the name of Benji’s accounting office.”

 

“Clever,” Chloe grinned. “Almost like in those spy movies.”

 

Beca chuckled quietly, and Chloe closed her eyes as she rested her head on Beca’s shoulder. 

 

“Hey, wake up,” Beca poked her, and when she opened her eyes she realized they were parked in Beca’s - their - underground garage. “We’re home, Chlo. I know you’re tired, but you need to get up for a moment.”

 

“Yeah, I need a shower,” Chloe nodded, wrinkling her nose. “And so do you - we both stink.”

 

“Obviously,” Beca huffed with a roll of her eyes. “Come on, let’s go and get the old woman we’ve left in charge of our toddler some reprieve.”

 

“She’s not that old,” Chloe argued as they opened the door to the hallway.

 

“I hate to butt in, but usually when the word ‘old’ is used, she’s talking about me,” Hailey commented dryly, sitting at the kitchen table. “And I am indeed not that old, thank you, Chloe. How was your night?”

 

“It was great,” Chloe beamed, perking up a little. “How was Rose?”

 

“As lovely as ever,” Hailey smiled, getting up. 

 

“Not asking me how my night was?” Beca pouted exaggeratedly.

 

“No, it’s late and I’m too old to hear about your cool job,” Hailey commented dryly, pressing a kiss to both their cheeks as she passed them. “I’ll get out of your hair now. We’ll catch up before I fly out.”

 

--

 

Half an hour later, Chloe was laying in bed, waiting for Beca, who was standing at the foot of the bed, entirely naked, towelling her hair. The shower had washed away the worst of Chloe’s fatigue, and she didn’t make any effort to hide her staring, not even averting her eyes when Beca looked up and caught her shamelessly staring at her breasts.

 

“You doing okay there?”

 

“I’d be doing better if you’d get your naked butt in bed with me,” she grinned, adding a wink for good measure. 

 

“Chloe, it’s been two o’clock, and we have a daughter that is going to be awake by seven.”

 

Chloe shrugged. “I’ll let you sleep in if you let me eat out,” she winked.

 

Their attention was diverted by a ding from Chloe’s phone. At Beca’s raised eyebrow, Chloe shrugged, reaching for the stupid thing and opening the news message, quickly scanning it’s contents. She snickered softly as she handed it to Beca.

 

Well Played DJ BM.

 

So, for those of you that weren’t at the big show of our favorite superstar tonight at Club 27, let me give you a quick recap of what you’ve missed: DJ BM plated not one, not two, not three, but a whopping FOUR new songs for her adoring fans. Before she did so, however, she also, indisputably, confirmed that she’s a woman. 

 

How, you ask?

 

Well, she grabbed a mic and talked. That’s how. She apologized for missing her last gig, and thanked us for our forgiving nature. Nice of her, innit?

 

Yeah… Then she continued her campaign of impeding my efforts to unmask her by asking all of her fans to boycott me. Now, there were about 400 fans present, and I have over a million followers, so no big deal, right? WRONG! 

 

As you all know, her little speech was recorded and broadcasted. I am writing this, watching the number of followers on my blog decreasing at an alarming rate. By the time this piece is done, there might be no one left to read it.

 

Hello?

 

Is anyone still there?

 

This was Gail Abernathy, fighting for YOUR right to know who’s behind the mask.

 

Don’t think I’m giving up, DJ BM. Not for a moment.

 

“What a drama queen,” Beca huffed, tossing the phone onto the pillow next to Chloe, who instantly reached for it.

 

“Yeah, well… Let’s see… Ah, unsubscribe, there we go,” she grinned, placing her phone back on her nightstand.

 

“So um, that offer of me sleeping in and you eating out,” Beca grinned wickedly. “Is that still on the table?”

 

“You want to do it on the table?” Chloe asked with a cheshire grin.

 

“You’re the worst.”

Chapter Text

“God fucking damn it all to hell!” Beca hissed under her breath. 

 

“I doubt God had anything to do with this, Beca,” Chloe chuckled amusedly, brows furrowing as she peered at the instructions. 

 

“These fucking screws aren’t even the right fucking size,” Beca complained, tossing a handful of them across the room and huffing as Chloe patiently bent down to gather them up again. “You said C8, those are the C8 screws from the picture!”

 

“Hm,” Chloe hummed. “True, though you seem to be holding one of the steps of the ladder, instead of the desk fastening-thingy.”

 

“That doesn’t even… You know what, screw this shit. I’m calling them to send a guy over,” Beca decided, getting to her feet and dusting off her jeans.

 

“C’mon, babe, we can do this,” Chloe told her, looking determined enough for Beca to heave a deep sigh and dropping back onto her butt. 

 

“Fine. Tell me what to do, then,” she sighed.

 

“That’s the spirit,” Chloe grinned. “We got this. Just take those screws and use them to connect the steps of the ladder to the sides, easy-piecy.”

 

“There’s nothing easy about this,” Beca drawled. “And I was told there’d be fun, too. But, alas, here we are…”

 

“If you really want, you can go and get some work done,” Chloe smiled carefully. “I can do this by myself.”

 

“No,” Beca sighed, pushing some errand strands of hair from her face. “We’re in this together, for better or worse.”

 

“For better, then,” Beca decided out loud, gathering everything she needed to put the little ladder to Rose’s bed together. “Just promise me you’ll test this monstrosity before we even let Rose near it.”

 

“I will,” Chloe smiled easily, turning the page on the instructions. They worked, mostly in silence, for a while, and even Beca had to admit there was something nice about doing this together. 

 

“We better make sure we get this thing together before we pick Rose up from school,” Chloe drawled. 

 

“Why’s that?”

 

“You’ve been cursing under your breath for the past thirty minutes. I wouldn’t want our daughter to adopt your… colorful language.”

 

“Right,” Beca grinned. “Good call.”

 

--

 

Beca allowed herself to smile widely as Rose bounded into her room, carelessly flinging her backpack away and making a bee-line for her new bed, instantly clambering up the steps - steps Beca had put together herself - in order to get up and inspect the new piece of furniture.

 

“I got to admit, it feels pretty good,” Beca hummed, wrapping an arm around Chloe’s waist, “knowing we put that monstrosity together ourselves.”

 

“Right?” Chloe grinned proudly.

 

Hearing the ringtone coming from her back pocket, Beca fished out her phone and excused herself for a moment. 

 

“Hey Stace, what’s up?”

 

“Well, first off, thank you for informing me beforehand you were planning to actually talk during your show. Not!”

 

“What did you think the microphone I requested was for?” Beca asked amusedly. “I wasn’t going to fart into it, was I?”

 

“You think you’re so funny,” Stacie deadpanned.

 

“I’m hilarious and you know it,” Beca deadpanned in return. “Seriously though, I figured you knew what I was planning. I just figured the easiest way to get rid of that Abernathy girl was to take her platform away…”

 

“And it was a good call, as far as we’ve been able to tell,” Stacie admitted reluctantly. “The internet is blowing up over your sexy voice, but Abernathy isn’t getting any of the attention.”

 

“Alright, that’s good,” Beca smiled into the phone. “I’m guessing you didn’t just call me to scold me, though?”

 

“I did not,” Stacie confirmed. “We should sit down again some time this week, plot out what we want to do in the coming months, publicity-wise and performance-wise.”

 

“Yeah, I feel you,” Beca nodded to the empty kitchen. “I actually have a few things in mind I’d like to discuss, so you set a date and we’ll make it work. Just, you know, during working hours, and around Chloe’s lectures.”

 

“Got ya,” Stacie hummed. “Should be easy enough.”

 

“Cool. Anything else?”

 

“One thing,” Stacie piped up. “And I’m telling you this as your friend, and not your manager.”

 

“O...kay?”

 

“I know how much you detest social media, but Facebook just told me Chloe’s birthday is only a week away. Figured you might forget.”

 

“I…” Beca stammered for a moment. “It’s not possible to forget something you never even knew in the first place. How could I not know this?”

 

“Well, you did move pretty fast,” Stacie commented dryly. “Chloe went from craigslist babysitter to second-mother-of-your-child in a few months. I’m not judging or anything, but it makes sense there’s some stuff you don’t know about each other, right?”

 

“Right… Thanks for letting me know. Make sure to keep the day free for me?”

 

“Will do, boss.”

 

“Actually, make sure the day is free for all of you,” Beca hummed. “And keep your phone close, I’ll give you another call in an hour or so.”

 

“Oh, now I’m intrigued,” Stacie cooed. 

 

“Yeah, yeah, later,” Beca huffed, ending the call and immediately picking a different number from her contacts. 

 

“Beale residence,” a familiar voice sounded.

 

“Hello Mrs. Beale,” Beca murmured into the phone. “It’s Beca.”

 

“I know, dear. We have number-recognition,” Mary Beale replied easily.

 

“Right,” Beca chuckled. “How’s your husband doing?”

 

“Oh, he’s much better. Thank the Gods, too, honestly he was driving me crazy. He’s had his first day at work today, so he’s in much better spirits now.”

 

“That’s good to hear,” Beca smiled genuinely. 

 

“Hm, indeed. So to what do I owe this unexpected pleasure? Is there something with the insurance?”

 

“No, no, everything is perfectly fine,” Beca hurriedly assured her. “I’m actually calling about Chloe’s birthday.”

 

“Ah, just last night we were discussing whether we would need to clue you in to the date,” Mary Beale chuckled. “Guess we didn’t.”

 

“Is there anything you would usually do for her birthday?”

 

“We used to have a big family get-together every year when she still lived here in Florida,” Mary responded. “We’d have Chloe and her brothers over at our place - can you imagine the chaos? - and have a fun day of it.”

 

“Well, if that’s the case, I’d like to invite you to come up to New York. If you’re all able to make it, I’ll take care of the traveling arrangements for you all.”

 

“When you say ‘you all,’ do you mean-”

 

“All of you,” Beca confirmed before Mary could finish the question. “Anyone you think needs to be here for Chloe’s birthday. If you tell me how many people are coming, I can also make sure you all have a place to sleep - my home’s large, but I don’t think I can house everyone at the same time. I’ll book you hotel rooms close by, though.”

 

“We couldn’t possibly ask you to do all that,” Mary objected feebly.

 

“No one asked me anything,” Beca grinned. “I just know Chloe will be over the moon if you’re all here.”

 

“Well, you’re not wrong. I’ll call my sons and get back to you then, I guess?”

 

“Works for me,” Beca confirmed before ending the call.

 

“Who was that, babe?” Chloe asked, sauntering into the kitchen with Rose in tow.

 

“Stacie,” Beca smiled easily, “just boring work stuff. I may have forgotten to divulge my gender-revealing plans beforehand,” she winced exaggeratedly.

 

“Ouch,” Chloe grinned. “So, I’m thinking homemade pizzas for dinner?”

 

“Yes!” Rose belted. 

 

“Hm, I don’t know,” Beca mused out loud, just to tease Rose.

 

“Momma!” Rose objected. “Mommy does the cooking, so she chooses!”

 

“That’s right, sweety,” Chloe grinned, picking her up. “I’ll need your help to pick the toppings, though.”

 

--

 

Beca smiled as she stepped into the meeting room, being the last of the group to actually make it to the meeting - as usual, really. Taking her seat at the head of the table, she took a deep breath, before smiling apologetically.

 

“Before we start off, I think I should apologize to all of you. I should have told you I planned to out myself as a woman during my last performance. I still think it was a good idea - the best thing I could do, really… But that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t have properly informed all of you beforehand.”

 

“Well, what’s done is done,” Stacie sighed with a fond roll of her eyes. “Besides, this wasn’t the worst surprise you ever threw at us.”

 

“True,” CR nodded. “Remember that time when-”

 

“Let’s not,” Beca interrupted quickly. “Instead, let’s focus on the matters at hand. How are things looking?”

 

“Well,” Emily smiled contentedly. “You’ll be happy to hear Gail Abernathy’s popularity has plummeted after your little speech. She has lost almost seventy-five percent of her followers in the past five days. People are tearing her to pieces on most forums.”

 

“Your popularity, on the other hand,” CR fluently took over. “Is at an all-time high. Our office is being swamped with people wanting to book you for a variety of events. We’re compiling a list, which we’ll send to Stacie when it’s done. Then the two of you can decide where you want to make an appearance.”

 

“Sounds like a plan,” Stacie agreed with a single nod. “We’re in a good place now, and we need to make sure we capitalize on it. That being said, one of DJ BM’s biggest strengths is her scarcity. The rarer your performances are, the more eager people are. We don’t want to over-saturate your fans with DJ BM performances.”

 

“That shouldn’t be a problem,” Beca smiled. “I was already notoriously lazy, and now that I actually have a family to be a part of, it’ll get even more difficult for you guys to drag me out of my house.”

 

“I wouldn’t want to leave the bedroom either if I had a girl like Chloe waiting for me,” Jesse grinned.

 

“Keep that up,” Beca frowned with a sternly pointed finger, “and you’re fired.”

 

“I’m your best friend, you can’t fire me,” Jesse grinned confidently.

 

“Chloe’s my best friend, and then Stacie, and then you,” Beca mused, “possibly…”

 

“Well, that’s hurtful,” Jesse pouted playfully. “But I’ll take it.”

 

“You better,” Beca huffed. “Now, back to business… I’m planning on doing something different from my usual for a change.”

 

“Like what?” Stacie inquired with raised eyebrows.

 

“I’m thinking of producing an album,” Beca revealed. “I have a few tracks I’m working on - they’re very different from my usual work.”

 

“How different are we talking?” Emily beamed.

 

“More something for the radio than the club, I guess,” Beca shrugged.

 

“That’s quite the switch,” Stacie hummed. “Not all of your fans will be happy about it. We could publish it under a different name?”

 

“We could, but we won’t,” Beca shook her head. “I’m not saying I’ll stop working on dance tracks or doing performances. I just want to try my hand at something new, too. If people can’t respect that, that’s too bad for them.”

 

“Besides,” Benji cut in, “publishing under a different name would mean we can’t capitalize on the DJ BM brand. I’m not saying I don’t have faith in Beca’s skills, but launching an album isn’t a walk in the park. Having the DJ BM name attached to it would expedite things greatly.”

 

“I agree,” CR nodded thoughtfully. “If this all works out, I have the contacts to set up some live performances, too.”

 

“Let’s cross that bridge when we get to it,” Beca smiled. “It’s all still in the very early stages”

 

“Fair enough.”

 

“Also,” Beca started, taking a deep breath. “Stacie, I think we should look into a roadmap for my identity reveal.”

 

“What?!”

 

“Not now!” Beca hastily added. “But we all know I can’t continue like this forever - it was never the plan to retire without revealing my identity. There’s a lot of gain to be had from a proper identity reveal, and we’d be stupid not to make use of it. Like I said, not now… But maybe in a year, or two. Rose should be old enough to understand by then… And I prefer to make myself known on my own terms, and not Abernathy’s, or anyone else’s.”

 

“That makes sense,” Emily agreed. “Stacie and I will sit down and see if we can come up with something befitting that big head of yours.”

 

“Gee, thanks,” Beca deadpanned. “Meeting dismissed. Go, get home and enjoy your weekend, you nerds.”

 

Beca watched her friends gathering up their stuff and leaving the room. “Stacie, a moment please?”

 

“Sure thing,” Stacie smiled, dropping back into the seat closest to Beca. “What’s up?”

 

“I wanted to thank you for clueing me in to Chloe’s birthday.”

 

“No problem,” Stacie smiled easily. “I don’t think Chloe would’ve made a big deal of it, either way.”

 

“But she deserves to have a nice day. You’re invited for the party, of course, as are all the others. Chloe’s family should be coming over, too.”

 

“She’ll like that,” Stacie grinned.

 

“That is the idea, yes,” Beca drawled. “I need your help to settle on a gift, though.”

 

“Hm.. jewellery?”

 

“I considered that, but it seems… lacking?”

 

“Yeah, I can see that. You want something personal.”

 

“Yeah, but I have no idea what Chloe likes…” Beca groaned, dropping her head to the table.

 

“Sure you do,” Stacie smiled gently, patting the back of Beca’s head. “She likes you and Rose, doesn’t she?”

 

“Yeah, but-” Beca stopped mid-sentence, an idea suddenly sparking in her mind. “Stacie, you’re a genius!”

 

“Hah,” Stacie laughed. “Tell me something I don’t know.”

 

--

 

Beca cursed under her breath as she maneuvered through the busy street, people bumping into her left and right, and heard her phone’s ringtone coming from her purse. Careful not to lose and of the receipts of her recent purchases, Beca fished out her phone.

 

“Mitchell speaking,” she grunted.

 

“Did I catch you at a bad time?” Mrs. Beale’s careful voice sounded.

 

“No, no, not at all,” Beca was quick to assure her. 

 

“Well, I’ll keep it short, nonetheless. Chloe’s brother can all come out for the weekend, as can we. I’m not sure how we feel about you taking care of all the costs, though…”

 

“Don’t worry about that,” Beca insisted. “I’ve told you before, I have money in spades. Just tell me how many of you there are, and I’ll take care of everything else.”

 

“Well, in total we are eight adults and five children,” Mary Beale sighed, apparently sensing she wouldn’t be able to change Beca’s mind. “Shall I send you a list?”

 

“Yes, please,” Beca nodded, even though Chloe’s mother obviously couldn’t see her. “You have my email, right?”

 

“Yes, dear, I do. I’ll make sure to send it right away.”

 

“Awesome, I’ll send you the traveling and lodging arrangements as soon as I have everything taken care of. Oh, and don’t tell Chloe about all this,” she added as an afterthought. “It’s a big surprise.”

 

“She sure has been lucky, running into you,” Mary told with an audible smile. “I will see you soon, then.”

 

“Yes,” Beca confirmed. “Looking forward to it!”

 

--

 

Beca was surprised when, over the next few days, Chloe did not once make mention of her birthday drawing near. She couldn’t tell why, though - was it a test to see if Beca would have something planned? Did Chloe just not care for her birthday? 

 

Nevertheless, the few days before the weekend of Chloe’s birthday, Beca wasn’t blind to the hopeful lilt to Chloe’s voice when she asked about dinner during the weekend, or whether Beca wanted to go out and do something fun. 

 

“Hey babe?” her voice came from the kitchen. “I know you said you wanted to have a quiet weekend, but why don’t we go and visit the zoo with Rose?”

 

“Eh,” Beca stammered as Chloe walked in with two glasses of wine. “I don’t think so.”

 

“Oh,” Chloe murmured, the corner of her mouth twisting down. “I thought it’d be fun…”

 

“Sure,” Beca shrugged, trying not to feel too bad about this interaction. “Just not this weekend, if you don’t mind. It’s been a busy week and I just want to hang on the couch in my PJs.”

 

“Alright,” Chloe nodded with a brave smile. “Some other time, then.”

 

“Definitely,” Beca smiled, pulling Chloe onto the couch next to her. “And I love that you plan these kinds of things for us. You’re awesome.”

 

“Thanks,” Chloe smiled, pressing a kiss to the top of Beca’s head. “You’re not too bad yourself.”

 

--

 

Beca tiredly rubbed her eyes - getting up at seven on a Saturday morning wasn’t something she’d ever thought she’d voluntarily do for anyone other than Rose. Chloe was worth it, though, and Beca felt herself smiling just imagining Chloe’s reaction to today. With a yawn and a stretch, she made her way up the stairs. 

 

She had spent almost two hours preparing the house for today. She had remodelled the living room to have enough room to seat everyone, and moved some stuff around in the kitchen as well. Last night, she’d gotten a message that everyone had arrived safely, and that they would make their way to the house at the agreed-upon time.

 

Sneaking into the bedroom, Beca took a moment to take in her girlfriend, peacefully sleeping, with one hand stretched out across the bed, as if she had been looking for Beca in her sleep. 

 

Kneeling down next to the bed, she gently placed a hand on Chloe’s bare shoulder. “Chloe, wake up,” she murmured, gently shaking her, and smiling when Chloe’s eyes opened blearily. 

 

“Babe?” she croaked. “What time is it? And why are you up before me?”

 

“C’mon,” Beca smiled. “You need to get up and get dressed.”

 

“Dressed?” Chloe frowned, already more awake after twenty seconds than Beca had been after an entire hour. “I thought it was a PJ weekend?”

 

“I lied,” Beca shrugged easily, earning her a frown.

 

“Becs, what’s going on?”

 

Before Beca could reasonably explain what was going on, the door burst open and Rose came barrelling into the bedroom. “Mommy!” she squealed. “Happy birthday!” she continued, launching herself onto the bed and right on top of Chloe, pressing sloppy kisses to her face.

 

Chloe laughed under Rose’s relentless assault, her hands coming up to tickle Rose’s sides, leaving the girl to roll away with hysterical giggles. Once she was able to, Chloe shot Beca a distinct look.

 

Beca shrugged helplessly. “Honestly? It’s a miracle she’s managed to keep it a secret until now,” she grinned. “Hey, kiddo? Why don’t we go downstairs and let Chloe get dressed, huh? You can give her your gifts then.”

 

“Yes!” Rose agreed loudly. “Hurry up mommy, I have the bestest gift ever!” Rose yelled as she ran out of the room.

 

“No running!” Chloe and Beca called after her in unison.

 

“So you knew it was my birthday all along,” Chloe accused lightly.

 

“Duh,” Beca smiled. “Why else did you think I passed up a trip to the zoo?”

 

“I just thought you were being lazy,” Chloe smiled, slipping out from under the covers and wrapping her arms around Beca, moving in for a kiss. 

 

“I’m always lazy,” Beca agreed easily, pressing her lips to Chloe’s, who instantly deepened the kiss. “Um, Chlo, as much as I like this, I don’t think we have the time right now.”

 

“Later, then,” Chloe smiled, stepping back. “What should I wear? You look very nice,” she remarked, eyeing Beca’s slacks and blouse. 

 

“Keep looking at me like that and you’re not going to get dressed anytime soon,” Beca chuckled.

 

“You just said we didn’t have the time, babe,” Chloe blinked innocently.

 

“Ugh, you’re the worst,” Beca grinned. “I’ll be downstairs when you’re ready.”

 

It took Chloe only a few minutes to get dressed and enter the kitchen, just in time for the pancakes Beca was setting out on the table.

 

“The kitchen looks… different,” Chloe remarked carefully, eyeing the barstools lined up against the wall. 

 

“Mommy!” Rose belted out. “I’ve got your gift for you!”

 

Beca watched with a smile as Chloe sank to her knees and took the rolled up piece of paper from Rose, carefully undoing the ribbon around it to unveil Rose’s drawing. “Oh, wow, that’s so pretty!” Chloe gushed.

 

“Look!” Rose pointed out enthusiastically and loudly. “That’s you, and that’s momma, and that’s me!”

 

“I can see that,” Chloe nodded, and Beca thought to herself Chloe made a very convincing liar, because there really was no way to tell. “What about this?”

 

“That’s our puppy!” Rose smiled. “We don’t have him yet.”

 

Beca shrugged at Chloe’s inquisitive look towards her, mouthing that she had no idea where that came from either. “And those up here?” Chloe pointed out.

 

“Those  are the fishies from the… fishyplace.”

 

Beca bit back her laugh, making her way over towards the two of them. “The aquarium,” she corrected gently. “Why don’t you give her this, too, kiddo,” she smiled, handing Rose a rectangular package. “It’s from the both of us.”

 

Placing the drawing safely on the bar, Chloe hooked her fingers under the tape, carefully folding it away to reveal a picture frame. Beca knew she’d made the right choice when she saw Chloe’s eyes growing watery. 

 

“Mommy, don’t cry!” Rose practically screeched. 

 

“Happy tears, kiddo,” Beca grinned, taking Chloe’s hand into her own. She smiled as Chloe’s eyes remained fixed to the photograph - taken with Beca’s phone and printed professionally a few days ago - of the three of them at the aquarium, smiling brightly and looking every bit the little family they were.

 

“Beca, this is…”

 

“It’s not much,” Beca smiled. “But I wanted to give you something personal. Something that showed how much you mean to me. To us both.”

 

“You mean the world to me, too,” Chloe sniffled, drying her eyes. “Now let’s go tear into those pancakes of yours before they grow cold, right?” 

 

“Pancakes!” Rose cheered, leaping out of Chloe’s embrace towards her breakfast.

 

Breakfast was quick and quiet, everyone busy eating the pancakes before they grew cold. Beca tried not to continuously check her watch, giving away the surprise visitors. Once the pancakes were gone, she fished another gift-wrapped package from behind her, carefully placing it in front of Chloe.

 

“Happy birthday,” she murmured, pressing a kiss to Chloe’s cheek.

 

She wrung her hands behind her back while Chloe unwrapped her gift, hoping she’d like it. She was painfully aware of her held breath, Chloe doing exactly the same as the jewellery box came into view. Chloe opened it painfully slow, revealing the delicate necklace with the oval locket.

 

Beca gave an anxious smile as Chloe let out a long-drawn breath, picking up the necklace and carefully looking at the locket. “It’s beautiful, Becs,” she practically whispered.

 

“It opens,” Beca pointed out, grinning awkwardly when Chloe looked at her like she was an idiot. “Just saying…”

 

There was an audible click when Chloe opened the locket, revealing a miniature picture of Beca and Rose, cheeks squished together, both smiling brightly into the camera. “Oh, Beca,” Chloe smiled, eyes fixed on the picture. “This one’s adorable.”

 

“Rose and I had a lot of fun taking it for you,” Beca smiled, taking the necklace from Chloe when she held it out for her. Watching Chloe gather up her hair, Beca moved behind her, putting the necklace around her neck and fastening it. “How’s that?”

 

“Perfect,” Chloe smiled, getting up and settling her hands on Beca’s hips. “So, is there time now?” she grinned impishly.

 

Beca winced visibly when the doorbell interrupted their moment. “Nope,” she smiled, pressing a chaste kiss to Chloe’s lips. “Later,” she promised with a wink. “You should get the door, though. I’m pretty sure it’s for you.”

 

“You didn’t…” Chloe grinned, already turning towards the hallway. Beca trailed after her, smiling when Chloe opened the door - Rose right behind her - to reveal Stacie, Jesse and Emily. 

 

“Happy birthday!” they chimed in unison.

 

“You guys!” Chloe laughed happily. “Come on in!”

 

Leading them into the living room, Beca made herself useful, getting a pot of coffee running and filling the kettle with water. When she made her way back towards the group, Chloe was sitting on the couch with three packages in her lap, Rose eagerly helping her unwrap them.

 

Rose’s eager hands did more work than Chloe’s, revealing a set of bathing supplies and a gift card. When Chloe picked up a rather large gift, the last one remaining, Stacie suddenly made a grab for it too. “I’m just now thinking, maybe you better open this one later,” she grinned. “Like, after sundown…”

 

“Stacie,” Beca groaned. “What did you do?”

 

“Nothing,” her best friend smiled, not at all innocently. 

 

“What’s in there?” Emily asked curiously, taking the box and giving it a shake. 

 

Beca sighed deeply as Stacie took the box again, gently patting Emily’s head. “Nothing you need to break your innocent little head over, Em,” she smiled. “And definitely not something we want to explain to Rose.”

 

“Sounds promising,” Chloe grinned, winking at Beca, who just let out another sigh.

 

“I have coffee and tea ready,” Beca spoke up loudly, desperately wanting to change the subject. Before anyone could respond, though, the doorbell rang again, Chloe looking up quizzically. 

 

“More guests?”

 

“Possibly,” Beca shrugged, following Chloe to the front door again.

 

Beca braced herself when Chloe opened the door, knowing full-well who was scheduled to arrive right around this time. She wasn’t disappointed when Chloe let out a loud squeal upon seeing her parents. “Mom? Dad?! What the… How did you get here?”

 

“Beca flew us out!” Mary Beale beamed widely. “Happy birthday, sweetheart!”

 

“Happy birthday,” her father echoed, wrapping her up in a bear hug. “Now where’s that adorable little ball of sunshine? I owe her a few hugs!”

 

Chloe stepped aside to let them in, just in time for Rose to come barreling down the hallway, having no qualms about tackling Chloe’s parents in a hug. 

 

“You flew them out here?” Chloe asked quietly, taking Beca’s hand into her own and giving it a soft squeeze. 

 

“I figured you’d want them to be here for your big day,” Beca smiled. “It’s nothing.”

 

“It’s everything, Becs,” Chloe whispered, giving her another peck. 

 

“Mom, dad, come on, there’s coffee ready,” Chloe smiled, moving the entire party into the living room and introducing everyone to each other. A few minutes later, they were all seated, and Chloe was once again unwrapping a gift, which was revealed to be a set of books. 

 

“We figured you might want to read those with Rose,” Mary smiled. “The way we read them with you, back in the day.”

 

“Oh, mom,” Chloe smiled. “Thank you!”

 

The doorbell rang again just then, and with a fond look at Beca, Chloe got to her feet and excused herself. Beca quickly followed, taking Rose by the hand, smiling as Mary struck up an animated conversation with Emily.

 

The door opened again, revealing Beca’s mother. “Ohmygod!” Chloe laughed. “I thought you left town again for work?” 

 

“Yes, well,” Hailey grinned, giving Chloe a quick hug. “Beca was quite adamant about moving heaven and earth for you today, so I rescheduled my trip. Congratulations are in order, I believe?”

 

With a saucy grin, she handed Chloe a wrapped box. “To spare us all some embarrassment, it’d be best if Beca takes this gift up to your bedroom for the time being,” she winked. “And no peeking,” she added sternly. “It’s as much a gift for you as it is for her, even though it isn’t your birthday and the Lord knows you do nothing but being mean to me.”

 

“I’m not mean,” Beca balked. “Just honest,” she added with a grin and a shrug, taking the gift-wrapped box from Chloe and heading upstairs two steps at a time. She placed the box on the foot of the bed, briefly debating whether she’d get away with a quick peek.

 

Deciding her mother would, somehow, magically find out, she shook her head and turned on her heels, heading back downstairs. The living room was quite the cacophony, several conversations going on at the same time and Rose chattering loudly enough to be heard over each and every one of them.

 

When she stepped into the room again, the doorbell rang again as well. Beca chuckled as she saw Chloe’s face, obviously wondering who else could be at the door at this point. Beca followed her to the front door as she had done each time, knowing full well there’d be a lot of unknown faces on the other side for her. 

 

Whereas Chloe had squealed upon seeing her parents, she was apparently stunned into silence when she opened the door and found her three brothers, their spouses and their children all huddled together in front of the door.

 

“I… wha… but… how… This is… What?!”

 

“Your girlfriend was kind enough to fly all of us out here,” one of the men smiled, pulling his sister into a hug. Beca was struck by their appearance. While Chloe definitely looked like her mother, each of her brothers was basically a carbon-copy of their father. 

 

“Ah, this must be her, huh?” one of the other brothers smiled. “Thank you for having us over.”

 

“It’s my pleasure,” Beca grinned. “I’m Beca, this is Rose. Your mother tells me Chloe’s been talking about us a lot in your family group app.”

 

“She sure has,” one of the women laughed. “There were pictures, too.”

 

“Yikes,” Beca grinned. “I’m sorry you had to endure that.”

 

They all laughed as they piled into the house. “I’m Andrew,” the oldest of Chloe’s brothers smiled, shaking her hand. “This is Ben, and that’s Derrick,” he continued. He then went on to rattle off a list of names, introducing their wives and children. 

 

“Don’t worry,” one of the wives grinned, Beca already having forgotten her name, “we won’t be offended if you don’t remember all our names right away.”

 

“The party is through the door on the left,” Chloe smiled. “You guys go ahead. I… need a moment with Beca.”

 

“I’m sure you do,” Derrick, Chloe’s youngest brother, grinned. “We’ll make sure to be really loud while introducing ourselves,” he winked.

 

Beca watched them all go, and realized they probably didn’t need to try and be loud - it was just their general disposition, she figured, as the living room erupted into a whirlwind of greetings and yells and squeals and introductions.

 

Suddenly, she was jerked backwards, whirling on the spot and feeling her back thudding against the wall hard enough for her to wince for a moment. The discomfort was instantly forgotten when she found Chloe’s face, mere inches from her own, looking uncharacteristically intense.

 

“You. Are. An. Evil. Scheming. Genius,” she intoned, interpuncting each word with a kiss. “And the best girlfriend ever . How the hell did you pull this off?”

 

Beca shrugged modestly. “I was thinking what you’d like for your birthday, and figured you’d want to see your loved ones. So I got them all here. It wasn’t that big of a deal.”

 

For a moment, it looked like Chloe was going to say something. Instead, she ducked her head, firmly pressing her mouth against Beca’s and slipping her tongue past her lips, claiming Beca’s mouth with practiced ease and well-deserved confidence.

 

Beca groaned quietly when she felt Chloe’s fingers grasping at her ass, kneading the flesh of her butt and using that grip to pull them closer. The groan became less quiet when she felt the firm muscles of Chloe’s thigh pressing up against her crotch. 

 

She let out a pitiful whine when Chloe pulled back, seemingly regaining control of herself. “Later,” she promised quietly, resting their foreheads together. “I plan to thank you very thoroughly later.”

Chapter Text

Beca stopped in the doorway, smiling at the scene before her. Chloe’s brothers were animatedly chatting with Jesse, Stacie and Emily, while Rose kept Mary and Eric Beale thoroughly entertained, clambering around the sofa like the little monkey she was. Meanwhile, her own mother was regaling all the kids and their mothers with a tale that had the entire audience captivated and would, undoubtedly, result in a great deal of embarrassment for Beca somewhere down the line.

 

She closed her eyes when she felt strong arms circling her waist from behind, slipping a cold bottle into her hands. “Here,” Chloe’s voice murmured against her ear. “Can’t have the greatest girlfriend ever not enjoying my party, now can I?”

 

“I don’t think I need beer to enjoy the party, Chlo,” Beca grinned, taking a swig. “Not to say it won’t help…”

 

“Seriously, Becs… Thank you so much for this… I can’t even imagine how much work it must have been to contact everyone and get them all out here… To think you’d do all that for me…”

 

“You’re worth it,” Beca smiled, squeezing Chloe’s hand softly. “And, to be fair, your mother was a great help in corralling your brothers. I wouldn’t even have known where to start with that.”

 

“Doesn’t make you any less amazing, babe,” Chloe grinned, pressing a quick kiss to her cheek. 

 

Beca was about to make a flirty comment when she felt Chloe’s arms stiffening around her waist, her brows knitting together. “Babe…” she murmured quietly.

 

Beca followed her gaze to find Hailey Mitchell and Mary Beale sitting next to each other, chatting amicably. “Did you ever consider what disasters might occur if your mother and my mother get up to combined shenanigans?”

 

“Oh god,” Beca groaned quietly, tapering off into a chuckle when Chloe untangled from her back, rushed past her and inelegantly dropped herself in between the two women, forcing herself into the conversation.

 

She was about to follow her - the thought of their two mothers scheming behind their back truly was a terrifying one - when two large, statuesque bodies stepped in front of her. She smiled indulgently as she looked up at Chloe’s two older brothers, trying to be as menacing as possible.

 

“So…” she smiled, crossing her arms and waiting for them to start.

 

“So…” Andrew nodded. “You’re the woman who’s taken our little sister off the market.”

 

“She’s not a piece of meat to be bought, but yes, I suppose,” Beca nodded with a cheeky smile.

 

“Did you know our parents met when they were fifteen?” Ben asked, running a hand through his beard. “They married when they were eighteen, and as you can see, they’re still very much in love.”

 

Beca gave a small nod, waiting to see where they were going with this. 

 

“We grew up with the perfect example of a fairytale romance,” Andrew continued. “We were raised to believe in true love, never to settle for anything less.”

 

“For Chloe to have taken this step with you,” Ben took over again. “I mean, I’ve heard that little girl of yours calling her mom, so you two must be pretty serious, right?”

 

“I’d like to think so, yes,” Beca replied easily. “I would never intentionally expose my daughter to the heartbreak that would follow if Chloe and I… wouldn’t work out.”

 

“Hm,” Andrew nodded. “So you plan to make an honest woman out of her, then, yes?”

 

Beca felt her eyes widening at the direct question. Honestly, she hadn’t given it any thought up to this point. They had already been moving so fast - faster than she had ever imagined going with anyone - that her brain had been having trouble keeping up, let alone running away from her like that.

 

“He means marriage, Miss Mitchell,” Ben interrupted her mental wandering.

 

“It’s Beca ,” she smiled tightly. “Family doesn’t call me Miss Mitchell. And obviously, I knew what he meant.”

 

“Fair enough,” Ben nodded, opening her mouth again.

 

“And whether or not I intend to marry Chloe,” Beca spoke up before he could say anything else, “is none of your business. That being said, yes, I do think we will get to that point. Sooner, rather than later, I’d think.”

 

“Give it up, boys,” another voice chimed in, and Beca watched Andrew’s wife easily stepping up to them with Rose and a ginger-haired girl clinging to her legs. “As menacing as the two of you may think you are, you’re really not intimidating her. She’s a tough cookie.”

 

“Um, thanks?” Beca murmured. 

 

“Don’t mind these two lugheads, Beca. They’re just trying to look out for Chloe. Men,” she sighed. “Seems like they can’t get it through their thick skulls that women don’t always need someone to look out for them.”

 

--

 

“Mom, what are you doing?” Beca asked, seeing Hailey coming down the stairs with a packed bag. 

 

“I’m helping my granddaughter pack her bag,” her mother replied dryly. “Is there something wrong with your eyes? Or did you think I was packing a Disney Princesses bag for myself?”

 

“I totally thought you were stealing it,” Beca nodded. “Though I wouldn’t know why. Speaking off… Why are you packing her bag?”

 

“Oh, trust me,” she smiled. “You do not want Rose to be around when you get around to those gifts upstairs.”

 

“Mom!” Beca hissed. “What the actual… fudge!”

 

“No, no,” Hailey grinned, waving her hand about. “Mine’s quite innocent. Ish. Innocent-ish. Doesn’t make a lot of racket, at least. Stacie’s, on the other hand…”

 

“Grabbing her mother’s arm, she pulled her into the hallway. “What the hell did she buy?”

 

“Trust me,” her mother smiled sweetly. “It’ll be more fun if you let Chloe surprise you with it,” she winked. “And tomorrow, you’ll thank me for taking Rose with me.”

 

“I won’t, even if it will just be on principle,” Beca sighed, rubbing her forehead. 

 

“That’s my girl, stubborn as a mule. You’re lucky you got some good genes from my side of the family, otherwise you’d look like one, too.”

 

“Thanks, mom,” Beca grunted with a roll of her eyes. “I love you, too,” she added in a sarcastic drawl.

 

“I know you do, even if you never show it,” Hailey drawled in return, patting her head. 

 

Slapping her mother’s hand away, Beca ducked into the kitchen, slowing to a stop when she heard voices from around the corner. 

 

“Hm, it sure is a nice house,” Ben’s voice rumbled. “Must’ve cost a fortune.” 

 

“Especially here in New York,” a female voice responded thoughtfully.

 

“Wonder what she does for work,” another woman asked airily. “I asked Chloe, but she got a little… squirrely. You don’t think Beca is involved in something… sketchy, right?”

 

“No,” Ben’s voice rumbled again. “Chloe definitely knows what’s up, and she wouldn’t stand for anything illegal. We should just trust they have a good reason to keep it private.”

 

“I suppose,” one of the women responded with a sigh. “Maybe she works for the CIA or something?”

 

Suppressing a snort, Beca continued into the kitchen, clearing up the many empty pizza boxes - the only remainder of their dinner - and the multitude of empty glasses and bottles. She shot a grateful smile to Stacie when she came into the kitchen and wordlessly began helping. 

 

“I need to talk to you,” Beca suddenly blurted, surprising even herself.

 

“This should be good,” Stacie hummed, skillfully collecting the many empty beer bottles. “What’s on your mind?”

 

Taking a quick peek around the corner to ensure they were alone, Beca took a deep breath. “I want to marry Chloe.”

 

To her credit, Stacie’s movement only faltered for the briefest of moments, her expression not betraying anything. “I thought you didn’t believe in marriage? Your parents being divorced, and you and… you-know-who, and all that?”

 

“I didn’t,” Beca shrugged. “Before Chloe.”

 

“Makes sense,” Stacie nodded. “I have no doubt she’s the marrying type.”

 

“Yeah,” Beca nodded. “Obviously.”

 

“So,” Stacie smiled, turning around and leaning up against the counter. “What’s the problem?”

 

“What’s the problem?” Beca huffed. “You said it yourself, Stace… Not too long ago, Chloe was just a Craigslist babysitter, and now she’s the second mother of my daughter. We went from zero to a million in a matter of weeks, and I’m scared shitless.”

 

“From where I’m standing, it doesn’t look like you’ve got much to be scared of, Beca,” Stacie pointed out. 

 

“What if this all turns out to have been one big-ass mistake?” Beca wondered out loud. “What if it gets to be too much for Chloe? What if she grows bored of me? Of us? What if-”

 

“You’ll never get anywhere if you go about what-iffing like that,” Stacie grinned.

 

“Did you just quote Roald Dahl at me? You’re such a nerd.”

 

“You recognized it, didn’t you?” Stacie pointed out with a sly grin. “All I’m saying is it won’t do you any good to think like that. It’ll only keep you back. You said it yourself, Beca: you wouldn’t have taken the steps you have if you hadn’t been damn sure about it. Yes, letting Rose get so attached to Chloe, even calling her mom, was a gigantic step, but you took that one already. Putting a ring on it doesn’t seem like such a big deal in comparison, does it now?”

 

“I guess not…”

 

“Besides,” Stacie shrugged, turning around again, busying herself with the glasses and putting them in the dishwasher. “There’s no hurry. You can wait a few months, or years, before proposing.”

 

“What if I don’t want to wait?”

 

Beca waited, watching as Stacie’s movements suddenly stilled. With a soft clunk, she put the glasses down, slowly turning around with a peculiar look in her eye. “Rebecca Ann Mitchell, are you saying what I think you’re saying?”

 

Suddenly antsy, Beca shrugged. “I mean… I guess?”

 

“What’s going on here?” Chloe asked brightly, breezing into the kitchen like she wasn’t interrupting some life-changing conversation right now.

 

“Beca’s trying to needle me for information on your birthday gift,” Stacie grinned, and Beca was somewhat astounded at her ability to lie through her teeth.

 

“Yeah…” she mustered up without much conviction. “Can’t wait.”

 

“Oh, I already had a peek,” Chloe beamed. “I think you’ll really like it!”

 

--

 

“Where were we meeting for lunch again?” Chloe asked, slumped across the couch with her feet in Beca’s lap.

 

“O’Donnelly’s,” Beca responded after a second of thought. “At noon.”

 

“Cool,” Chloe smiled, reaching for her phone.

 

Beca reached for her own phone when she heard a familiar ding. Unlocking the screen, she noticed a new message in one of her group chats. 

 

“Beale Family, huh?” she grinned, realizing Chloe must’ve just added her. 

 

“Yep,” Chloe chirped with a grin. “No way back now, Becs. You’re stuck with me forever.”

 

“Doesn’t sound too bad,” she smiled in return. “So, now that everyone’s gone home or to their hotel, what do you want to do for the rest of the night?”

 

“How about we unpack those gifts upstairs?” Chloe smiled slyly, already moving off the couch and reaching for Beca’s hand.

 

Beca easily slipped her hand into Chloe’s, allowing herself to be pulled off the couch, out of the room and up the stairs. “Someone’s being eager,” she remarked giddily.

 

“Well, it is my birthday,” Chloe grinned over her shoulder. “And what better present for me to end the day with than you, naked, writhing in pleasure?”

 

“I think that should be the other way around,” Beca smirked. “If it’s your birthday, shouldn’t I be making you feel good?”

 

“Oh, you’ve done enough for my birthday,” Chloe smiled earnestly as she pushed the door to their bedroom open. “Besides, my birthday, my rules.”

 

“Fair enough,” Beca conceded easily, stepping into Chloe’s personal space and pressing her lips to Chloe’s, who easily parted hers and playfully darted out her tongue.

 

“Knowing my mother and Stacie, I should be scared for my life right now,” Beca groaned as they parted, Chloe’s fingers already deftly undoing the buttons of Beca’s blouse.

 

“That may be true, but you can trust me,” Chloe smiled sweetly. “And it’s fine if you don’t want to use any of my gifts, too. I’m perfectly happy just using my fingers and mouth to make you scream.”

 

“I trust you,” Beca responded quietly, finger pushing the button of Chloe’s jeans though the eye and pulling down the zipper. “You can do whatever you want with me.”

 

“Oh, the endless possibilities,” Chloe grinned impishly, pushing Beca’s blouse off her shoulders and moving on to remove her jeans. 

 

Once she had shucked off her clothes and was only wearing her navy-blue lace bra and panties, Beca let herself drop onto the bed, closing her eyes and taking an idle moment to reflect on how lucky she was to have Chloe.

 

“Where do you think you’re going, babe?” Chloe asked teasingly. “I wasn’t done undressing you yet.”

 

“Well, then you better get over here and finish the job, huh?”

 

“Don’t need to tell me twice,” Chloe growled, climbing onto the bed and straddling Beca. Somehow, she had managed to get entirely naked in record time, Beca noticed as deft fingers wormed their way to the clasp of her bra, in-between her back and the mattress. “Could stand to make it a little easier for the birthday girl, you know?”

 

“When have you ever known me to make things easy?”

 

“Well, you made it pretty damn easy to fall in love with you,” Chloe smiled, suddenly no longer playful. 

 

“What can I say? I’m a charmer,” Beca shrugged with a smirk, earning her a huff from the woman straddling her right now.

 

“I think I’ll go and sleep in Rose’s room, thank you very much,” Chloe huffed, moving to get off Beca.

 

“No, noo,” Beca whined, grabbing her wrist. “I love you, too, babe. C’mon, don’t leave.”

 

“I was never going to leave,” Chloe pointed out dryly.

 

“Good, because I’m kinda craving some attention here,” Beca smiled. “You’ve been sitting in my lap, buck naked, for a few minutes now and you haven’t even taken off my panties.”

 

“Well, allow me to rectify that, then.”

 

Beca lifted her hips when Chloe’s fingers hooked under the waistband of her panties, allowing her to easily remove them. She audibly gasped when, barely a second later, she felt a supple digit sinking into her.

 

“Someone’s ready for some fun,” Chloe muttered with a saucy grin.

 

“Oh, you don’t know the half of it. Where are those gifts of yours?”

 

“I already unpacked them and stored them. Don’t worry, we’ll get to those.”

 

Chloe moved them around so that they were properly laying on the bed, blanketing Beca’s naked body with her own as they traded languid kisses. Meanwhile, she allowed her hands to wander up and down Beca’s ribs and her waist, over her stomach, in-between her breasts and over her collarbone, only to leisurely stroke the length of Beca’s arms, all the way to her wrists.

 

With her eyes closed and Chloe’s tongue firmly taking root inside her mouth, Beca groaned deeply, arching into her girlfriend’s touch. Her eyes snapped open when, suddenly and with an audible click, something cold fastened around her wrists.

 

“Told you we’d get to the gifts,” Chloe grinned down at her playfully.

 

Beca tried moving her arms down, feeling cold steel keeping her in place. A quick upwards glance confirmed that her hands were handcuffed to the headboard. 

 

“Is this okay?” Chloe asked, playfulness making room for genuine concern.

 

“Yeah,” Beca breathed out slowly. “This is actually… pretty hot.”

 

“Yeah?”

 

“Yeah,” Beca nodded, giving the handcuffs another tug. 

 

“God, you look amazing Becs,” Chloe mused, running her short nails over the outer edges of Beca’s breasts, teasing touches at best. 

 

Not being able to move her hands was already a big impediment, Beca realized, as it left her unable to direct Chloe’s touches to where she wanted them most. Chloe seemed to realize this as well, grinning down at her like a predator, before taking Beca’s left nipple between her fingers and giving it a soft tug.

 

“That good?” she asked, half-teasing, half-genuine.

 

“Uh-huh,” Beca gasped. “More.”

 

Chloe delivered as Beca requested, giving her nipple another tug, harder this time, before pressing a soft, wet kiss on it, drawing a moan from Beca.

 

“I love the sounds you make, babe,” Chloe whispered against Beca’s breast, after which she took her other nipple between her lips and took a moment to suckle it, her wet tongue running around it in circles.

 

“Keep that up,” Beca groaned, arching her back, “and you’re going to hear a lot more.”

 

“Well, how can a girl resist that offer?” Chloe smiled, palming both of Beca’s breasts and pressing them together, looking down to admire the view. “How can a girl resist all this?”

 

“Well, by all means, don’t try too hard to resist me,” Beca groaned, shifting her hips. 

 

“Ahw, is someone getting a little impatient?”

 

“A lot impatient,” Beca nodded eagerly, parting her legs and hoping Chloe would take the hint. 

 

She groaned audibly when she felt Chloe’s fingers skimming from her breast down across her stomach, and further down until they were slipping through her heated wetness. Without warning, Chloe sunk two fingers deep inside her, making Beca yelp and arch her back, while at the same time trying to move her hips closer to Chloe’s hand. 

 

“Easy babe, I’ve got you,” Chloe smiled, fingers leisurely moving in and out of her. “Just relax and enjoy.”

 

Giving up on bucking her hips - Chloe’s hand easily moved with each of her thrusts anyway - Beca slumped back onto the mattress, closing her eyes and letting Chloe have her way with her. It wasn’t long until a steady stream of moans spilled from her lips, a reverent chant of Chloe’s name spilling out when she felt the redhead’s thumb brushing over her clit repeatedly. 

 

“Oh, god, Chloe, yes, just like that,” she sighed contentedly. “Just keep going like that, babe.”

 

To her immense dismay, Chloe’s hand pulled away entirely just when Beca began to feel her orgasm build inside her. She opened her eyes to see what was up, frowning as Chloe moved from in-between her legs and instead sat next to her, running a hand through Beca’s hair. “So pretty,” Chloe cooed.

 

“Chlo,” Beca whined… “I was getting close.”

 

“I know, babe,” Chloe smiled, pressing a sweet kiss to her lips. “I promise I’ll rock your world. But it’s my birthday, and I want to feel your mouth between my legs now.”

 

At Chloe’s words, Beca felt a wave of heat rolling through her, her own discomfort instantly forgotten as she eagerly nodded. “That’s my girl,” Chloe grinned excitedly. 

 

Before Beca could realise what was happening, Chloe shifted again, swinging her leg over Beca’s head and sitting on her knees, giving Beca an amazing view of her wet sex. 

 

“Can I?” Chloe asked, looking down at Beca with immeasurable fondness.

 

“Please…” Beca nodded hastily, groaning when Chloe lowered herself onto Beca’s face.

 

Running her tongue through Chloe’s folds, Beca relished the taste coating her tongue. While this position was new for her, the act she was performing on Chloe certainly wasn’t. She knew exactly what to do to give her the most pleasure, running her tongue up and down in leisurely strokes, and alternating that pattern with rapid motions over her clit from time to time. Normally, she’d sink one of her fingers inside her, but with the handcuffs still around her wrists, that was all but impossible.

 

“Oh, that’s so good, baby,” Chloe cooed loudly, grinding herself against Beca’s mouth. “Yeah, just like that, right there, Becs.”

 

Beca intensified her efforts, capturing the sensitive bundle of nerves between her lips and suckling it for a moment, before grinding quick and tight circles over it with the flat of her tongue. It only took a few more minutes of these ministrations for Chloe’s legs to snap shut, trapping Beca’s face between her thighs as she trembled and shook her way through her orgasm.

 

As soon as her muscles relaxed, Chloe swung her leg over Beca, dropping next to her and cradling her face in her hands. “Are you okay, babe?” 

 

“More than okay,” Beca breathed, entirely flushed and more than a little desperate for release. “That was so damn hot.”

 

She groaned when Chloe bent down, licking into her mouth in a move that seemed to be taken out of one of the porn movies Beca had watched, alone, in the time before Chloe.

 

“Your turn to feel good,” Chloe winked. 

 

“Hm, yes please,” Beca grinned, already spreading her legs again. She watched, straining her neck, as Chloe kissed her way down her body, paying special attention to her breasts, and eventually settled between Beca’s legs.

 

Much like Beca had done mere minutes ago, Chloe ran her tongue through her folds, moaning almost as loudly as Beca. With her release having been denied last time, everything felt all the more intense this time around, leaving Beca to lift her hips off the bed, trying to get closer to Chloe’s heavenly tongue.

 

She gasped loudly when she felt two fingers sinking into her again, Chloe’s tongue rapidly lapping at her clit as she pumped her digits in and out, starting off slowly but rapidly picking up pace as the lapping continued.

 

“Oh yeah, that’s it, Chlo,” Beca moaned, her back arching and her feet shifting against the bedsheets. “Keep going, keep going just keep- fuck, no, damnit!” she shifted gears, looking down at Chloe, who was getting to her feet, smiling deviously. “Why’d you stop?” Beca whined. “I was so fucking close.”

 

“Ahw, babe, I’m sorry,” she smiled, looking earnest. “I just wanted to warm you up… I got another present, remember?”

 

“Ugh, you’re the fucking worst,” Beca groaned. “I was plenty warmed up before.”

 

“Babe…” Chloe started, before trailing off into silence and kneeling next to her. “Um, how do you feel about…”

 

“Spit it out already,” Beca groaned. “At this point, I’m desperate enough to say yes to anything.”

 

“Stacie bought us a strap-on,” Chloe blurted unceremoniously.

 

“Figures,” Beca snorted. “Should’ve known.”

 

“Can I?”

 

“Yeah,” Beca nodded.

 

“Are you sure?”

 

“Yeah,” Beca nodded again.

 

“And you’re not just saying this because I got you all riled up, right? You won’t regret this afterward?”

 

“Chloe, for the love of God get that thing out here now and fuck me,” Beca groaned. 

 

“Well, since you asked so nicely,” Chloe grinned.

 

“I’m not above begging at this point,” Beca admitted feebly, rubbing her thighs together in a desperate attempt to get some friction going.

 

Chloe disappeared from view for a moment, and Beca could hear her rummaging around somewhere near the closet. When she stepped back into view, Beca let out a pitiful groan at the sight before her. Chloe had slipped the harness on and was just now connecting the dildo to it. “It has various sizes,” Chloe explained with a nod towards the box Beca couldn’t see. “I figured this is a pretty good starting point.”

 

Beca nodded, though she probably would have nodded too if it was three times its current size, or three sizes smaller, or not even there at all. She just needed Chloe to do something to take the edge off. 

 

She held her breath when Chloe positioned herself between Beca’s legs, idly running the toy up and down Beca’s folds. The cold silicone pressing up against her clit was almost enough to make Beca combust on the spot. 

 

“Have you ever done this before?” Chloe asked, stilling at Beca’s entrance. 

 

“Babe,” Beca deadpanned. “I have given birth to a daughter, remember? I hope I don’t have to explain how that came to be?”

 

“Right,” Chloe nodded with a chuckle. “I’m an idiot.”

 

“You’re a lovable idiot, though,” Beca remarked, the last word turning into a squeak when Chloe suddenly canted her hips forward, pressing the head of the toy inside her. “Oh, god, that’s-”

 

“Are we good?” Chloe asked, biting her lip.

 

“Yeah,” Beca nodded. “Just give me a second to get used to it.”

 

“Take your time,” Chloe smiled, running her hand through Beca’s neatly trimmed pubes, before dipping down and letting her thumb run a few circles over her clit.

 

“Okay, good to go,” Beca nodded after a few steadying breaths, instantly gasping when Chloe pushed in a little deeper. 

 

“Tell me if you want to stop,” Chloe told her sweetly, even though Beca was already shaking her head halfway through her sentence. “I swear to God, Chloe, if you even dare stopping again before you made me cum, I’ll strangle you in your sleep.”

 

“I won’t,” Chloe promised. “I just don’t want to hurt you.”

 

“I pooped out a baby,” Beca huffed. “I think I can handle you being a little less gentle.”

 

“Gotcha,” Chloe grinned, pulling back before rocking her hips and pushing a little further inside Beca again. She repeated that, going a little deeper with each thrust, until Beca felt the heated skin of Chloe’s pelvis pressing up against her. “Still okay?”

 

“Very much okay,” Beca confirmed with a strangled voice. 

 

She was rendered entirely speechless when Chloe began rocking her hips in fluid motions, bending down to connect her mouth to Beca’s and smother the sounds she was making. Chloe’s hips never faltered in their rhythm as they kissed, and when Beca felt Chloe’s hand taking a firm hold of her breast, grasping it like it was a lifeline, she began feeling the beginnings of what was shaping up to be an excellent orgasm.

 

She began seeing little lights, dancing in front of her eyes, as Chloe continued rocking her hips at a steady pace. With Chloe’s tongue still deep in her mouth, Beca’s moans and murmurs were muted and swallowed, and before she knew it, something inside her snapped, and she felt herself convulsing around the toy, buried deep inside her, as the cold metal of the handcuffs dug into the skin of her wrists. 

 

When she opened her eyes again, she felt soft fingers running through her hair. She realized her hands were no longer cuffed to the headboard, instead being cradled in Chloe’s lap, and there was no longer anything filling up her insides so delightfully.

 

“Hey, you’re back,” Chloe smiled, before biting her lower lip carefully. “I think I may have overdone it a little…”

 

“If that’s the case,” Beca breathed deeply, smiling, “I’m going to need you to overdo it more often.”

 

“Yeah?” 

 

“Hell yeah,” Beca nodded softly. “Tonight was… well, damn.”

 

--

 

Looking around the table, Beca felt blessed beyond measure. They had been sitting here for hours now, and everyone had long since finished their lunch. Still, everyone remained, mingling, chatting, occasionally switching seats with others to have different conversations. Her mother and Chloe’s were spoiling Rose beyond measure - she had already exchanged several glances with Chloe about it, who had managed to keep them from feeding Rose too much sugar - much to Rose’s dismay, as well as their parents’.

 

“So, Beca,” Stacie hummed, plopping down in the seat next to her. “Anything to say about that present I got Chloe for her birthday?”

 

“I am pointedly ignoring you right now.”

 

“Don’t bother denying you guys used it, Chloe already confirmed it,” Stacie grinned.

 

“This is me, pointedly ignoring you,” Beca reiterated, eyes firmly set on the menu hanging off the wall.

 

“C’mon, I’m your second-best friend, you said so yourself. Give me some details!”

 

“Pointedly. Ignoring. You,” Beca muttered through gritted teeth.

 

“Okay, no details, then,” Stacie sighed airily. “At least tell me if you enjoyed it?”

 

At the more genuine lilt of Stacie’s voice, Beca suspiciously eyed her. 

 

“I just want to know if it was a success, okay,” Stacie sighed. “No one likes buying someone a gift that wasn’t appreciated.”

 

“It was appreciated, okay?” Beca huffed, immediately regretting her words.

 

“Oh, really?” Stacie pounced. “Like, how much on a scale from one to ten?”

 

“Dude, can you cut it out already?” Beca hissed.

 

“C’mon, it’s a simple question!”

 

“An eleven, okay?” Beca rushed out quietly. 

 

“That good, huh?”

 

“I fucking passed out when I came,” Beca confirmed with a deathly glare, intensifying it a little when Stacie cackled loudly, drawing the attention of some of Chloe’s brothers.

 

“Nothing, it’s nothing,” Beca hastily assured them.

 

“Well, as much as I hate to break this up,” Mr. Beale sighed as he got to his feet. “I think we should be getting a move on. We don’t want to miss the flight Beca so kindly arranged for us.”

 

What followed was a complete pandemonium of everyone hugging everyone else, saying their goodbyes and exchanging assurances that they would all see each other again soon.

 

“One moment,” Beca muttered when Chloe’s parents came to bid her goodbye. “There’s something I need to ask you.”

 

“Oh?” Mary smiled knowingly.

 

Looking around to ensure Chloe was still occupied with her brothers, Beca led them a few steps away from the rest of their gathering. “I um… I’m planning to propose to Chloe,” Beca confessed after a few awkwardly silent seconds. “Not like, right now, but… soon-ish. Possibly before we get a chance to fly out and visit you guys again. So, I figured I’d better just… ask for your blessing now?” she trailed off awkwardly.

 

She yelped when Eric Beale wrapped her up in a massive hug. “Blessing granted,” he whispered into her ear before letting her go and stepping away to make room for his wife. 

 

“We’d love nothing more than to have you and that precious daughter of yours be a part of the family, dear,” Mary assured her, kissing her cheek before bidding her goodbye. “Keep us in the loop, okay?”

 

“I will.”

 

“In the loop about what?” Chloe asked, easily sauntering up to them.

 

“Oh, Beca was just telling us how it might be difficult for you all to fly out to Florida, but she’ll keep us in the loop and let us know when she can manage to arrange something again.”

 

“I already miss you guys,” Chloe smiled weakly. “It’s been so great having you here!”

 

“It’s been great being here,” her father grinned. “But you have that lovely lass of yours to thank for that. I’m sure we’ll see you again soon, Chlobear.”

 

“Daad,” Chloe whined as he ruffled her hair playfully.

 

“Chlobear, huh?” Beca grinned when everyone had left and they were seated in their car, Rose safely strapped in on the backseat, chin already resting on her chest.

 

“Don’t even, Beca,” Chloe huffed. 

 

“Or else?”

 

“Or I’ll put that box in our closet out with the trash.”

 

“I’ll be shutting up now.”

Chapter Text

It was a strange transition to make, going from Chloe’s birthday weekend to a regular work- and school week. Beca had her usual trouble getting out of bed when her alarm went off at seven o’clock, feeling beyond blessed when Chloe kissed her cheek and told her to stay in bed for fifteen more minutes while she got up and took a shower, promising to fix breakfast when she was done.

 

When she stepped into the shower twenty minutes later, she couldn’t help the smile forming on her face as she listened to Rose’s chattering in the hallway. Beca briefly wondered whether Rose’s father had been a morning person, because her daughter sure as hell hadn’t gotten that from Beca. 

 

When she stepped out of the shower, still toweling her hair, her eyes fell upon the box at the bottom of the closet, neatly tucked away from prying eyes. Nevertheless, she felt a rush of heat surging through her, already looking forward to the next occasion where they’d use its contents. 

 

Shaking her head to clear her mind, she made her way into the kitchen, where Rose was already halfway through her bowl of cereal, both her and Chloe looking far more awake than Beca felt. 

 

“Morning, momma!” Rose smiled.

 

“Morning kiddo,” Beca smiled in return, pressing a kiss to her cheek, before doing the same to Chloe. “Thanks for getting the day started.”

 

“That’s what we do,” Chloe smiled easily, passing Beca a cup of steaming coffee. 

 

“I know,” Beca nodded. “I just can’t get over how awesome you are.”

 

“Yes!” Rose chirped in loudly, giving an agreeing nod.

 

“Ahw, thanks sweetie,” Chloe cooed. “Now finish your breakfast. We wouldn’t want you to be late, right?”

 

“Nope!”

 

--

 

“So, what’s on your schedule today?” Chloe asked casually as they turned towards campus, just having dropped Rose off at school.

 

“Eh, mostly boring work stuff. I have a meeting with Stacie and CR about our media strategy, now that everyone knows DJ BM is a woman. After that, I’ll probably try to get some more work done on the track I’m working on.”

 

“The one you let me listen to?” Chloe asked, piping up.

 

“One and the same,” Beca confirmed. “I think it’s going to be pretty good. It just needs a bit more fine-tuning before I get it just right, y’know?”

 

“Hm,” Chloe hummed. “I’m sure you will. Don’t forget I have lectures until five today, so you’ll need to pick Rose up yourself today.”

 

“Right,” Beca nodded. “I’ve set an alarm on my phone so I won’t lose track of time. No worries.”

 

“Cool,” Chloe grinned. “Oh, and don’t forget to sign her up for those swimming lessons. Mrs. Johnson should be able to get that sorted out.”

 

“Good call,” Beca agreed, turning into the parking lot and stopping the car. “I’ll be sure to take care of that.”

 

“Alright, have fun today,” Chloe smiled, leaning sideways and connecting their mouths. “I’ll miss you.”

 

“I’m already missing you,” Beca pouted. “One more?”

 

“You’re so needy,” Chloe smiled, leaning in and kissing her again. She pulled back, before leaning in again and kissing her one more time. “Just to be sure,” she winked, grabbing her bag and opening the door. “I’ll see you at home!”

 

“Bye!” Beca smiled with a small wave, watching Chloe walk away for a few seconds before starting the engine again and turning off the campus parking lot. She had barely arrived home when she suddenly got an idea - a crazy idea - and stepped back into the car again, beginning her trek downtown.

 

Finding a parking space close to the shopping district she wanted to visit was just about the worst, but eventually she managed to park the Audi, continuing her journey on foot. She had to admit she wasn’t entirely sure why she thought this was a good idea.

 

Still, she hadn’t spent the past thirty minutes finding a place to leave her car just to return home now…

 

She leisurely strolled down the street, taking in the various shops around her. She wasn’t necessarily in any hurry - it was still early and she pretty much had all day to herself. Stopping in front of a record store, Beca contemplated going in and browsing their selection for a while. 

 

Just when she’d decided she should allow herself these little pleasures, her phone went off, signalling an incoming call. 

 

“Hey Stacie, what’s up?”

 

“Just wondering what time suits you for the meeting,” Stacie’s voice sounded, and Beca could hear the rattling of a keyboard in the background. Sometimes she forgot how much work Stacie actually did for her, managing basically all of her professional affairs. 

 

“Eh, sometime in the afternoon, I guess? I don’t know, I’m kind of in the middle of something at the moment.”

 

“I do hope I’m not interrupting any sexy times right now,” Stacie chuckled.

 

“Nah, Chloe has classes all day,” Beca chuckled in return. “I’m just getting some shopping done.”

 

“Meaning you’re sitting in front of your laptop in your sweatpants, right?”

 

“Not this time, Stace,” Beca huffed. “I’m actually out and about, wearing real-people clothes and all that.”

 

“And what, if I may ask, is so important you didn’t just buy it online?”

 

“Eh,” Beca shrugged. “Didn’t seem really classy to order an engagement ring from Amazon, I guess,” she responded casually, biting her lip in wait for Stacie’s response.

 

She wasn’t disappointed, hearing a gasp, and then a lot of ruckus and an excited yelp. “Dude, did you just drop your phone or something?”

 

“Well, can you fucking blame me Beca?” Stacie squealed. “I know you said you wanted to marry Chloe, and you weren’t sure you wanted to wait. I didn’t think you’d up and go buy an engagement ring barely forty-eight hours later!”

 

“Yeah, well,” Beca hummed. “I figured I’d better have it and not use it for a while than not having it when I do want to use it.”

 

“You’re totally going to propose within a week, aren’t you?” Stacie deadpanned.

 

“Well, I wasn’t planning on it,” Beca admitted reluctantly. “But considering our track record and average speed of relationship development, it’s also not impossible.”

 

“What happened to being scared shitless?”

 

“I’m still scared shitless,” Beca groaned. “But I don’t think having the ring, being well-prepared, can really turn out too bad in any way.”

 

“Any plans for the actual proposal?” Stacie pushed. “Please don’t tell me you’re planning to propose on the couch, watching Netflix and having a pizza or something.”

 

“Dude, I’m not that pathetic!” Beca objected strongly. 

 

“I know, I know,” Stacie conceded. “I just mean… You have to make it something special, Beca!”

 

“Yeah, don’t you think I know that?” Beca groaned, pressing the bridge of her nose. “You really don’t need to make me more stressed about this than I already am!”

 

“I’m not trying to,” Stacie told her earnestly. “It may not seem like it, but I’m trying to help.”

 

“I know you are,” Beca sighed. “We can talk about it sometime later. But in person, and not over the phone.”

 

“Yeah, okay, sure,” Stacie agreed readily. “Happy hunting?”

 

“Ugh, thanks?”

 

Ending the call and putting her phone back in her purse, Beca stepped into the record store. She spent the next thirty minutes idly browsing the extensive collection. It allowed her a brief distraction, which meant a chance to unwind a little again, without worrying about the errand for which she had actually come out here.

 

There wasn’t a doubt in her mind that buying Chloe an engagement ring was the right move. There was no telling when she would have a need for it - that especially was something she felt anxious over - but to just have it couldn’t be a bad thing. She’d just store it away somewhere, ready to be used when needed.

 

Taking a small stack of CDs and records, Beca made her way to the clerk behind the register, making easy conversation with him as he rang up her purchases and accepted her card.

 

Once she stood outside again, she took a moment to gather her wits. Stacie had been right, of course, about Beca’s habit to buy everything she needed online. She could barely remember the last time she’d physically been out shopping like this, and as such, she had great difficulty determining which way to go. She knew, for a fact, there was a good jeweller somewhere around here.

 

Or at least, there used to be one somewhere around here.

 

Shaking her head at her own idiocy, she began moving in a random direction, figuring she’d eventually find what she was looking for.

 

She had to admit it felt kind of nice to just be out and about for a while, and she gave in to the temptation to browse through several of the stores she encountered during her wanderings, even if she didn’t actually buy anything. 

 

It took her over an hour, but eventually she found the jeweller she had been looking for - or at least she figured it was the one she had been looking for, but it might have been a different one altogether, not that it really mattered. “A jewellery’s a jewellery, right?” she muttered under her breath as she stepped inside.

 

The moment she entered the store, she knew herself to be in an exclusive and up-scale kind of jewellery. Which suited her perfectly fine, really.

 

“Good morning,” the middle-aged woman behind the counter smiled kindly. “How can we help you today?”

 

“I’m looking for…” Beca started, before pausing to take a deep breath. “I’m sorry. I’m looking for an engagement ring.”

 

“I see,” the woman smiled. “Well, step right up. We have a lovely selection over here,” she told Beca, gesturing towards one of the display cases. “And if there is nothing to your liking here, I have more in the back. Take your time and have a look. This is a big step.”

 

“Yeah, you’re telling me,” Beca muttered sheepishly. 

 

“Nervous, then, are we?” the woman grinned.

 

“Like you wouldn’t believe,” Beca confirmed.

 

“That’s perfectly normal. My father always told me that, if you’re not nervous about buying an engagement ring for your significant other, you might as well not bother at all.”

 

“Seems like sound advice,” Beca smiled, eyes glued to the many glittering rings in the display in front of her.

 

“I should hope so,” the woman chuckled. “My father was the one to start this business, after all.”

 

Beca stared at the display in front of her, taking in all the options carefully. The gold rings didn’t appeal to her at all, so she quickly left the entire left side of the display case behind her, focusing on the silver rings on the right. One by one, she scrutinized the rings, wondering which would look the prettiest on Chloe’s finger, and which one she’d like the most, and which one she herself liked best.

 

After a few minutes of browsing the selection, Beca straightened her back, smiling apologetically. “Sorry, but none of these are really calling out to me.”

 

“That’s perfectly fine,” the woman smiled easily, not at all bothered. “If you want, I can fetch some of the cases from the back for you to peruse?”

 

“I’d like that, yes,” Beca nodded.

 

“Anything in particular you are looking for? Or maybe something you’re especially not looking for?”

 

“It definitely needs to be silver,” Beca nodded determinately. “That much I’ve got figured out, at least.”

 

“It’s a very good start,” the woman smiled, excusing herself for a moment. Beca took a lap around the store while she waited, stopping in front of a wall, filled with elegant watches. Biting her lip, she wondered whether she should…

 

She whipped around when the saleswoman announced her return, placing three coal-black and velvety looking boxes on the counter. “It’s company policy to inform you that there are cameras all over the place,” the woman smiled, not unkindly. “So if you get any funny ideas, you should know the police will have your face in a matter of minutes.”

 

“I wasn’t planning to steal anything,” Beca grinned.

 

“I didn’t think you were, but my father would have my hide if I hadn’t warned you, regardless.”

 

“Fair enough,” Beca nodded as the woman removed the lids from the boxes. Each box contained twenty different rings, and Beca felt her eyes growing wide at the selection before her. “These are amazing!”

 

“I’m happy to hear that,” the woman smiled. “Amazing isn’t good enough, though. The ring you pick needs to be perfect. If you don’t see what you’re looking for here, I have a few more boxes in the back.”

 

Beca nodded absentmindedly, taking in each of the rings in front of her, studying them closely and dismissing them one by one. She was halfway through the second box when she suddenly felt her breath catching.

 

“Which one caught your eye, dear?” the woman instantly asked.

 

Daintily, Beca pointed at the silver ring with a small blue gemstone set in the band. The color reminded her of Chloe’s eyes, being impossibly blue and clear.

 

The woman nodded, carefully removing the ring from its pillowy encasing. She held it out for Beca to inspect it better. “A silver solitaire engagement ring with a fancy blue diamond, one point four carat in size,” she described the ring. 

 

“I’ll take it,” Beca nodded instantly. 

 

“I haven’t told you the price yet,” the woman smiled coyly. 

 

“Doesn’t matter. I’ll take it,” Beca repeated.

 

“Well, she certainly is a lucky girl, then,” the woman smiled, looking mighty pleased with her sale. “I imagine it will need to be sized?”

 

“Oh, right,” Beca nodded, rummaging around in her purse. While today had been a spur-of-the-moment decision, she wasn’t an idiot. She was far from an expert, but she knew a thing or two about jewellery, so she had taken the liberty of taking one of Chloe’s rings out of her jewellery box before she’d left home.

 

Finally finding it, deep in the depths of her purse, she handed it to the saleswoman, who took a brief moment to measure it. “Excellent,” she smiled when she handed the ring back. “If you come back in an hour or so, I can have it ready for you.”

 

“Alright, cool,” Beca nodded, taking her wallet from her purse and fishing out her card. “Shall I pay now, or?”

 

“Oh, certainly,” the woman nodded, leading Beca to the register. “Well, that’ll be-”

 

“Hold on,” Beca interrupted, gesturing for the woman to follow her. “I’d like that watch, as well,” she told her, pointing at an elegant silver watch. 

 

The woman chuckled quietly. “What does a girl need to do to become your fiance?” she smiled easily, taking note of the watch’s model. 

 

“Sorry, the position is already filled,” Beca grinned. 

 

“Would you like to take the watch with you now, or would you prefer to take it with you when you return for the ring?” 

 

“I’ll take them both with me later,” Beca decided. “Not sure how I feel walking around out there with that thing burning a hole in my purse.”

 

“Wise decision, dear,” the woman agreed, ringing her up.

 

If she was surprised at Beca handing her card over without a hint of hesitation or remorse about this much money being spent, she didn’t show it. “Thank you for your purchase,” she smiled, “and I’ll see you in a little, then?”

 

“That you will,” Beca grinned, waving as she made her way outside.

 

Standing back out on the street, Beca took a moment to consider how she would spend the time she had left before she had to return for the ring. Looking up and down the street, she spotted a high-end lingerie boutique a little way down the street. 

 

She vividly remembered the lingerie Chloe had worn that perfect night when she’d surprised Beca with a romantic dinner, a bath, and some really awesome sex. Having been alone for most of her adult life, Beca didn’t really own any pretty underwear, but she had no doubt Chloe wouldn’t mind if she bought herself some. After all, she’d probably enjoy it more than Beca herself, just like Beca had very much enjoyed Chloe’s.

 

The moment she stepped into the boutique, she felt so wholly out of place she very seriously considered turning on her heels and fleeing back outside. Still, she remained, letting her eyes wander around for a moment, trying to get used to all the silk and satin and lacy and latex .

 

“Can I help you?” one of the young women asked, a professional smile gracing her lips. 

 

“No, I’m just looking around,” Beca shook her head, forcing her feet to move her deeper into the store, somewhat awkwardly perusing the racks with undergarments.

 

The longer she trailed through the aisles, the more comfortable she grew in this unfamiliar surrounding. It wasn’t long after that she migrated to the back of the store, where the more enticing outfits appeared to be located. 

 

Taking in their collection, Beca felt herself drawn to some of the dark lace bras and panties, figuring they’d contrast nicely against her pale skin. Biting her lip, she tried to envision herself in any of these outfits, before dismissing those thoughts entirely - unlike Chloe, she wasn’t sexy, or even particularly well-built. 

 

Still, Chloe seemed to disagree, and seeing her in underwear like this, rather than the old and worn bras she often wore… It certainly couldn’t hurt. 

 

Taking a black lace bra from the rack, Beca closely examined it, holding it up against the light to find it somewhat sheer. Chloe would like that, she was willing to bet. Taking the matching panties - also partially sheer, she bit her lip and let her eyes wander a little more.

 

She spotted a dark red bra with lace and bows. Studying it closer, she realized the cups of the bra would only barely cover her nipples, which was undoubtedly by design. With a small private smile, she added it to the one she was already holding, taking the matching lace panties as well. 

 

Figuring she’d spent enough money for one day - even rich people needed to mind their finances - she turned around. Before she could make her way to the front, however, she spotted a navy cupless bra, basically nothing more than a series of bands that would support her breasts without covering anything at all. Chloe would definitely like that one. 

 

Telling herself this was all for Chloe anyway, and Beca would happily spend every penny she owned on her girlfriend, she added it to her prospective purchases before making her way to the front of the store to pay for all of it.

 

--

 

“Babe, I’m home!” Chloe’s voice resounded throughout the house. 

 

Suddenly plunging in a state of near-panic, Beca forced her mind to acknowledge everything was fine. She had hidden her new underwear in the depths of her underwear drawer, behind all her regular stuff. Chloe wasn’t the snooping kind, and she had absolutely no reason to be pilfering Beca’s underwear, since they most certainly didn’t have the same sizes.

 

The ring she had carefully hidden in the vault behind the painting in her home office, where she kept all her most valuable possessions. No one - not even her mother or Stacie - knew of the vault, and for the time being, Beca wasn’t planning on clueing Chloe into its existence either. 

 

“We’re in here!” she called back once she’d taken a steadying breath.

 

Her smile was automatic and instant when Chloe stepped through the door, placing her bag on the floor next to the door and moving towards them on the couch. “Momma, pause, please!” Rose screeched, making Beca reach for the remote control to pause their viewing of Aladdin. 

 

“Mommy!” the toddler smiled widely, reaching her arms out to be picked up and hugged, which was exactly what Chloe did. 

 

“Oof, you’re getting heavy, sweetie,” Chloe chuckled as Rose pressed a sloppy kiss to her cheek. “How was school?”

 

“We did letters!”

 

“Oh really?” Chloe smiled. “And what letter did you do, then?”

 

“The letter A,” Rose nodded weightily, as if she’d learned the secrets of the universe. 

 

“Well, after dinner, you’re going to have to show me, then,” Chloe smiled easily, putting Rose back on the couch and dropping down next to Beca, Rose cuddling up to her other side. 

 

“Momma, can I finish Adalin?” 

 

“Sure thing, kiddo,” Beca grinned with a fond roll of her eyes. With Rose’s attention firmly on her movie again, she moved in to kiss Chloe. “How were your lectures?”

 

“Well, we didn’t do letters,” Chloe winked. “Reptilian procreation isn’t necessarily my cup of tea, I think.”

 

“I can only imagine,” Beca nodded.

 

“Did you work out the swimming lessons?”

 

“Fuck, I forgot,” Beca groaned.

 

“Momma said a bad word!” Rose was quick to point out.

 

“Yes, she did, sweetie,” Chloe smiled softly. “But it was a mistake, and I’m sure she’s really sorry.”

 

“Okay,” Rose decided, focusing back on the movie.

 

“I swear she’s deaf to the world when watching a Disney movie,” Beca sighed, “except when you walk in, or I slip up and let out a bad word.”

 

“That’s kids for ya, huh?” Chloe grinned. 

 

“I’m sorry about those lessons, it totally slipped my mind,” Beca sighed, rubbing her forehead. “God, I’m an idiot.”

 

“No you’re not,” Chloe told her, stroking her hair soothingly. “Everyone forgets things, Becs. Don’t be so hard on yourself. My mother once forgot me at the grocery store and it took her almost thirty minutes to realize she’d forgotten her child , Beca. It’s stupid, but things like that happen when you’retrying to juggle too many balls at the same time.”

 

“You’re being far too reasonable,” Beca groaned, letting her head drop back, an unbidden smile forming on her face when Chloe continued stroking her hair, but now also pressed a line of pecks along her jawline.

 

“I’ll sign her up for the swimming lessons when I bring her in tomorrow, don’t worry your pretty head over it.”

 

“You’re the best.”

 

“Well, I need to be to deserve you, don’t I?” Chloe grinned. “Want me to start on dinner?”

 

“No,” Beca huffed. “You’ve had classes all day, and I’m sure you’re tired. I’ll take care of dinner tonight.”

 

“Tell you what,” Chloe smiled, getting to her feet and holding out her hands to pull Beca up as well. “I’ll take care of dinner while you tell me about your day.”

 

“Had I already told you about you being the best?” Beca smiled.

 

--

 

Sitting at the edge of Rose’s bed, her feet dangling off the side, Beca opened her eyes as Chloe’s voice drew closer and closer to the end of the chapter she had been reading to Rose.

 

“She was still thinking about the pig when the teacher said Fern, what is the capital of Pennsylvania? ,” Chloe read, and Beca took a moment to admire the pleased smile on Chloe’s face. “ Wilbur said Fern dreamily,” Chloe continued. “The pupils giggled. Fern blushed. The end.”

 

“Mommy, that’s not the end!” Rose objected gleefully. 

 

“It is for today, sweetie,” Chloe smiled softly, pressing a kiss to her forehead. “It’s bedtime for Rose-aged little girls. I promise I’ll continue reading tomorrow.”

 

“The rest?” Rose squeaked.

 

“No, not the rest, kiddo,” Beca grinned. “One chapter, every night, okay?”

 

Rose took a moment to ponder the offer, apparently deciding it was the best she was going to get and nodding happily. “Momma kiss?”

 

Beca crawled over, leaning over Chloe’s lap to kiss her daughter goodnight. “Alright, kiddo. Sleep tight.”

 

“You too momma,” Rose yawned. “I love you.”

 

“We love you too, sweetie,” Chloe smiled, giving Rose one more kiss, after which she and Beca began the arduous adventure of descending from Rose’s bed. They turned off the overhead light, waiting a few seconds in the dimmed light of Rose’s nightlight. When everything was quiet, they stepped out of the room, softly closing the door.

 

The moment the door closed, Beca whirled around, wrapped her arms around Chloe and gave her a tight hug.

 

“Whoa, what’s gotten into you?” Chloe chuckled, nevertheless wrapping her arms around Beca’s smaller frame.

 

“Seeing you, reading to Rose like that… It was the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. It made me love you even more.”

 

“My mother always read to me before I went to sleep,” Chloe smiled softly. “It feels really good to… I don’t know, continue the tradition, I guess?”

 

“Well, Rose is stoked, and I’m going to try my best to be there for as many readings as I can manage,” Beca smiled. 

 

“Am I being entirely too adultish if I tell you I’m kinda beat, and just want to lay in bed and read a few chapters before going to bed?” Chloe asked, voice purposely pitiful.

 

“Not at all,” Beca groaned. “Bed sounds great right about now. I’ll take my phone and e-reader with me and we can take something to drink with us, too.”

 

“I like the way you think,” Chloe smiled. “Is there still wine left from my birthday bash?”

 

“As a matter of fact, there is,” Beca nodded. “Want me to fetch you a glass?”

 

“Oh, yes please,” Chloe nodded.

 

Beca was quick to make her way downstairs, grabbing her phone and Chloe’s, detouring through the kitchen to pour them both half a glass of wine - it was a Monday night, after all - and heading back up the stairs. 

 

“Babe?” Chloe’s voice came from their bedroom just when Beca toed the door open. “What is this?”

 

“What’s what?” Beca asked innocently, placing the glasses on Chloe’s nightstand.

 

“This jewellery box I’m holding,” Chloe pointed out, eyes narrowing with suspicion.

 

“Where’d you find it?” Beca asked casually, tossing Chloe’s phone unto her pillow.

 

“On my nightstand,” Chloe responded, definitely knowing something was up.

 

“Well, then I guess it must be yours, right?” Beca shrugged easily, trying to keep a bratty grin from forming.

 

“You didn’t…”

 

Beca merely shrugged, backtracking to properly close the bedroom door, before whipping her shirt over her head without a second thought, unclasping her bra on her way to her own side of the bed.

 

“Beca,” Chloe groaned. “Tell me you didn’t get me another gift.”

 

“I mustn’t tell lies,” Beca smiled, kicking off her slippers and shimmying out of her pants, before quickly crawling underneath the blankets. “Are you going to open it? There’s probably something inside, you know?”

 

Beca waited with bated breath as Chloe opened the lid, taking in the silver watch Beca had picked out for her. “Oh, Beca,” Chloe breathed out softly. “It’s gorgeous!”

 

“Yeah?” 

 

She watched as Chloe placed the box on her nightstand, rapidly undressed, and joined her under the bedding. “It’s beautiful,” she reiterated, taking Beca’s face into her hands. “Thank you.”

 

“You’re more than welcome,” Beca smiled, pressing a kiss to the tip of her nose. “I’m glad you like it.”

 

“You know you didn’t have to, right?” Chloe practically whispered. “You don’t need to buy me gifts like these…”

 

“I know I don’t have to,” Beca smiled carefully. “And it’s not like I’m trying to buy your affections, Chlo… I just… You’re so precious to me, and every chance I get to express that is one I need to take. You’re worth nothing less than that. And I’m not going to keep showering you with random gifts all the time, but when I see something that reminds me of… Or something I think you’ll like or enjoy… You mustn’t ask me not to buy it for you.”

 

Chloe was silent for a long time, corner of her lip snared between her teeth, before eventually nodding. “As long as you know you don’t ever need to buy me anything…”

 

“I’ll be reminding you of that statement when I forget our anniversary,” Beca grinned, pulling a face.

 

“Oh, you won’t,” Chloe smirked, her fingers trailing through the valley of Beca’s breasts and down her stomach, always lower, “I’ll be sure to make sure of that.”

Chapter Text

Beca smiled as she shut down her music program and shut the lid of her laptop, rolling her chair backwards and taking an idle moment to stare out of the window. She’d made much more progress today than she had expected, having finished one song and written lyrics for a second one. And it wasn’t even noon yet.

 

<C> I miss you!

 

A smile instantly bloomed on her face upon reading Chloe’s message, and she wondered, for the millionth time, how she got to be so lucky.

 

<B> I miss you too! :(

 

<C> I got those swimming lessons sorted out BTW

 

<B> You’re the best 

 

<B> Shouldn’t you be paying attention to your classes?

 

<C> I’m bored…

 

<B> You wouldn’t be if you were paying attention ;)

 

<C> What are you wearing?

 

Beca bit her lip for a moment, tapping her phone against the palm of her hand in thought. 

 

<B> Really, Chlo? Now?

 

<C> Like I said… I’m bored…

 

<C> So what are you wearing?

 

<B> Dark jeans, and that purple sweater you steal all the time

 

<C> It’s soft and smells like you ;)

 

<C> I’m wearing jeans too, and my navy turtleneck

 

<B> I know

 

<B> I watched you get dressed this morning

 

<B> Because you’re awesome and told me to sleep in while you got Rose ready and dropped her off before going to your classes

 

<C> I am pretty awesome, yes

 

<C> What are you wearing underneath? :)

 

<B> For real? You’re really going to go through with this right now?? XD

 

<C> This lecture is really boring…

 

<C> And you’re really interesting ;)

 

<C> Gonna answer the question, Becs?

 

Biting her lip and remembering the outfits she’d bought only so very recently, Beca made a decision before she could get around to second-guessing herself.

 

<B> Red lace bra and panties

 

<B> They’re see-through…

 

<C> Liar. What you really wearing? ;)

 

<B> I’m not lying

 

<C> I think I’d know if you had something like that babe

 

<B> Maybe it’s new ;)

 

<C> Proof it! 

 

Rolling her eyes and fondly shaking her head, Beca pushed off from her chair, making her way into her bedroom and digging up the specific set of lingerie she needed. Obviously, she hadn’t been wearing something this pretty just randomly on a Tuesday morning. 

 

Knowing Chloe would be waiting - and would just love to be confirmed in calling Beca a liar - Beca hastily stripped out of her clothes, putting the new lingerie on and pulling her clothes on again. Making her way back to her office, she was just in time to read Chloe’s new message.

 

<C> Unless that makes you uncomfortable. I guess then I’ll check when I get home ;)

 

Huffing out a breathy laugh, she pushed her shirt up above her breasts, exposing the bra and snapping a quick selfie.

 

<B> Just make sure no one’s looking at your screen babe

 

<B> *Attachment*

 

Her phone remained quiet for several seconds, during which Beca tensely watched it to make sure she wouldn’t somehow miss Chloe’s response. 

 

<C> I’m coming home right now

 

<B> You’ve got classes until 3. It’s 10 am.

 

<C> Screw classes. I’ll be home in 20

 

--

 

Beca let out a content sigh, eyes closed and hands tucked under her head. She was still waiting for the feeling in her legs to return, but she was pretty happy just laying here with Chloe’s head on her shoulder and her arm and leg thrown over her body, snuggled together under the blankets.

 

“You really shouldn’t have skipped class, you know,” she eventually murmured.

 

“You made it all but impossible for me not to,” Chloe grinned. “It was almost a shame to peel those pretty panties off of your amazing ass.”

 

“Keep that up and we’ll have to go for round four,” Beca groaned with a brief chuckle.

 

“As much as I’d love that, I don’t think I have the energy,” Chloe giggled in return. “How much longer until we need to pick Rose up?”

 

Turning her head to check the time, Beca let out a soft hum. “We have two more hours.”

 

“That’s good,” Chloe sighed happily.

 

“We should get up and get dressed,” Beca groaned. “Now that you’re here anyway, there’s actually something I’ve been meaning to talk to you about.”

 

“Oh, boy…” 

 

“Nothing bad, I promise,” Beca assured her. “C’mon, let’s put on some clothes and move to my office.”

 

Chloe was quiet and tense as they got dressed and made their way into Beca’s office, where she was sure to pull a chair up to her own side of the desk so they could sit side by side, rather than opposite one another. 

 

“What’s this all about?” Chloe asked, worrying her bottom lip.

 

“When we first met, you applied for a job as Rose’s babysitter,” Beca smiled, taking Chloe’s hand into her own. “And in a very short time, everything escalated and now you’re my partner and we’re doing this whole co-parenting thing, which, by the way, is super awesome.”

 

“Okay…” 

 

“Obviously, since we’ve gotten together, I haven’t paid you anymore. That would just be weird and awkward.”

 

“I agree, but where are you going with this?”

 

“Chloe, I know that, with your studies, you’re not very financially stable at the moment, so-”

 

“Let me stop you right there, Becs,” Chloe smiled tensely. “I still have plenty of money left from the times you did pay me.”

 

“I know, I know. Or, well, I figured as much, I should say. That’s not what this is about.”

 

“So this isn’t about money?”

 

“It is,” Beca conceded. “I know you’ve been paying for our groceries, you paid for Rose’s haircut- And I know you didn’t mind, I know,” she continued before Chloe could interrupt. “But it’s not the way it should be.”

 

“Because Rose is your daughter and not mine?” Chloe asked, eyes narrowing slightly.

 

“Jesus, Chlo, no!” Beca balked. “That is so not what I was going to say!”

 

“Then what are you saying?”

 

“I’m trying to bring up the idea of sharing our finances,” Beca huffed. “But I seem to be doing it all wrong, I guess.”

 

“Beca,” Chloe started, voice softer now. “I’m not with you for the money.”

 

“I know that,” Beca nodded, squeezing Chloe’s hand. “Really, I do! And I’m not doing this because I think you’d leave me if I didn’t. If that were the case, it would be all the more reason not to do it. I’m doing this because…”

 

“Yes?”

 

“Because I’m really serious about you, Chlo,” Beca breathed out, trying to gather her thoughts. “I know I’ve said it before, but I wouldn’t have let it come this far with you and Rose if I wasn’t sure about us. I’m serious about you, and I’m in this for the long run. This isn’t some kind of meaningless fling or anything… You’re my partner, the mother of my daughter - our daughter - and the woman I’m hoping to spend the rest of my life with.”

 

“I… I feel the same way,” Chloe sniffled, wiping at her eyes with the corner of her sleeves. “But the money…”

 

“It’s not about the money for me,” Beca explained. “The way I see it, you and I are equals in this. Eventually, you’re going to get through the money I paid you for the babysitting gig - let’s face it, you didn’t do it that long, right? And when that time comes… I don’t want you to have to come to me for money when you need to pay for something. If Rose needs new shoes, or if we want to do something fun… I want you to be able to pay for that with our money. Not yours, not mine.”

 

Chloe was silent for a minute, slowly nodding as she seemed to go over Beca’s words. “I… I get your point. I hadn’t thought that far ahead yet, but… it makes sense, if we’re really going to be equals in this relationship and in Rose’s upbringing.”

 

“And we are,” Beca told her firmly. “If you want that, too, of course. But… I’m pretty sure you do.”

 

“Right,” Chloe nodded, taking a steadying breath. “So, shared finances?”

 

Firing up her laptop, Beca gave a nod. “You don’t have to show me yours, but I want to show you mine, at least. I think I’ve told you that Benji takes care of most of it for me, but I think you should know where we stand, financially.”

 

“On top of Mount Olympus, I’m guessing,” Chloe smiled carefully.

 

“Pretty much,” Beca agreed, pulling a face. “It’s obscene. I’m ashamed to even show you.”

 

Logging in, Beca turned the laptop so Chloe would be able to see everything without having to crane her neck. “So, obviously, I’m rich. There, I said it,” she smiled awkwardly. “While I would have been fine just having it all in a savings account, Benji told me I was an idiot.”

 

“That’s…” Chloe stammered. “That’s a lot of money, babe.”

 

“Obviously, this is my account of regular expenses,” Beca pointed out, hovering the cursor over it. “And this is my personal savings account.”

 

“And those two?” Chloe asked, pointing. “If I may ask.”

 

“You can ask anything you want,” Beca told her, squeezing her knee. “The top one is a savings account I’ve set up for Rose. She won’t be able to access it until she’s eighteen, though. The one below that is basically her college fund, should she choose to go to college. If she won’t… Well, we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. If you look here, off to the side? Those are my credit cards.”

 

“Okay, while these numbers are absolutely outrageous, this all seems pretty straightforward. I’m guessing the bit down there is the complicated bit?”

 

“Yeah,” Beca nodded. “That’s definitely where Benji’s expertise comes in. We’ve used a substantial amount of my money and invested it in shares, real estate and other fun stuff. I’m ashamed to say I don’t know how it all works exactly - that’s why I have Benji. If you want a rundown of it all, I can have him come over sometime.”

 

“I don’t think that will be necessary,” Chloe smiled, pressing a kiss to Beca’s cheek. “Thank you for showing me all this. Can you explain how you envision this shared finances idea of yours?”

 

“Well, what I was thinking is we get Benji to add your name to these accounts - the expenses, savings and credit cards. I’m perfectly happy to get the investments in your name as well, but I don’t think that would have a lot of added benefit for you.”

 

“I guess it wouldn’t, no,” Chloe agreed. “If you’re sure you want this, then it’s fine with me, too.”

 

“Okay, cool,” Beca smiled, feeling a weight lift off her shoulders. “I’ll give Benji a call tomorrow and have it taken care of.”

 

“May I?” Chloe asked, gesturing to the laptop. At Beca’s nod, she pulled it towards her and began pulling up her own finances. “So, this is where I’m at.”

 

Beca had to admit that, compared to her own, it was rather a pitiful display. While there was enough money on Chloe’s expense account to last her for a while, and she’d funneled a good part of her paydays into her savings account, there was the matter of the glaring matter of her student loans and debts at the bottom of the page.

 

“Not pretty, huh?” Chloe grimaced.

 

“It is to be expected,” Beca shrugged easily. “I mean, c’mon, Chlo. You’re studying to be a vet, for crying out loud. Obviously you’re going to run up a debt.”

 

“Yeah, I suppose,” Chloe agreed half-heartedly. “I guess I can put the money on my expense account into our shared account. If it’s alright with you, I’ll keep my own savings account, just in case…”

 

“In case we end up getting divorced,” Beca nodded. “I hope it’ll never come to that, but it’s the sensible thing to do. How do you feel about the student debts?”

 

“I’m not very fond of them,” Chloe pointed out dryly. 

 

“I’m meaning to say,” Beca started, biting her lip for a moment. “I mean, you’ve seen my savings account. I can pay off your debt and it wouldn’t make much of a dent.”

 

“I… Can I think about that?”

 

“Of course,” Beca was quick to assure her. “I’m not trying to force my money on you or anything… I just… It seems like a logical thing if we’re doing the shared finances shtick. Just let me know when - if - you’ve made a decision, okay?” 

 

“I will,” Chloe nodded. “Thanks for having this talk with me. I… It wasn’t really fun or romantic, but I think it was a good talk to have for us.”

 

“I’m glad you think so,” Beca nodded, shutting the lid of her laptop. “I’m glad we talked about it. Now… How do you feel about grabbing lunch before we pick our daughter up from school?”

 

--

 

“... And that’s it for tonight,” Chloe smiled, snapping the book closed and handing it to Beca, who placed it on Rose’s desk. “You ready to go to sleep, sweetie?”

 

“Not tired,” Rose murmured, eyes drooping to disprove her words. “Can we read more?”

 

“We’d never go to sleep if it were up to you, missy,” Beca grinned, ruffling Rose’s hair. “Chloe will read more tomorrow, okay?”

 

Rose nodded, albeit with a pouty expression. “Okay. Love you, momma. Love you, mommy!” she smiled tiredly, pushing herself up to kiss them both.

 

“We love you, sweetie. Now it’s time to close your eyes and get some sleep. Mrs. Johnson told me you’re learning a new letter tomorrow,” Chloe smiled, returning Rose’s hug and tucking her in when she dropped her head to the pillow.

 

“Sleep tight, kiddo,” Beca smiled, pressing one more kiss to her forehead before climbing down from the bed again. Turning off the light, they lingered in the hallway for a moment, listening to Rose’s even breaths before quietly closing the door.

 

“So,” Chloe grinned. “Now what?”

 

“We can go downstairs and watch a movie or something,” Beca smiled tiredly. “Or you could do some extra studying to make up for skipping your lectures today,” she added with a wink.

 

“Hard pass, thanks,” Chloe replied deadpan. “How about we grab our phones, something to drink and a book or something and just chill in bed until we feel like going to sleep?”

 

“Ugh, we’re such old people ,” Beca groaned with a smile. “That sounds like a real good plan.”

 

“I’ll go grab everything from downstairs,” Chloe told her with a playful tap to Beca’s butt. “You go and get that pretty old butt of yours in bed.”

 

Beca did exactly that, sighing contentedly as she slipped under the covers wearing only her panties. Chloe joined her a few minutes later, and Beca didn’t make a secret of her ogling when Chloe began undressing. “You’re so hot,” she smiled reverently.

 

“You’re one to talk,” Chloe grinned. “I was very pleasantly surprised by your choice of lingerie today.”

 

“That was the general idea I had in mind when I bought it, yes,” Beca nodded faux-seriously. “Glad I didn’t disappoint.”

 

“You could never.”

 

They cuddled up together, Chloe playing Candy Crush on her phone while Beca fired up her e-reader to continue where she’d left off last night. She was just getting into it when an incoming notification from her phone disturbed her. 

 

Unlocking the screen, she noticed Stacie had sent her an email, opening the link, she suddenly found herself on Gail Abernathy’s blog. 

 

DJ BM Better Be Prepared!

 

I know no one’s reading this anymore, and I’m just tossing words out into the ether tonight. After all, DJ BM manipulated all my followers into deserting me. But that is fine. It’s cool, no hard feelings. 

 

I have nothing newsworthy to tell the select few readers still remaining. I wish I had better news, but that’s the truth. But I haven’t given up, I assure you!

 

I’m still fighting for our right to know the face behind the many masks. I want my fans to know that. I have a plan - several plans - to unmask DJ BM, and when I do, everyone will be sorry for unfollowing my blog. 

 

I’m not a petty person (unlike SOMEONE we all know - or rather, don’t know) so I’m leaving this message here for DJ BM herself: I know you have your spies watching my blog - probably watching every move I make. I won’t hint at my plans, but I’ll warn you: if you want your identity to be kept a secret, you better watch your back!

 

This is Gail Abernathy, hot on the trail of DJ BM.

 

With a roll of her eyes and a frustrated sigh, Beca handed her phone to Chloe. 

 

“Sounds like a rant more than anything else. What do you think she’s planning?”

 

“I have no clue, but I’m not too worried. I’ve been keeping this secret for years, I doubt there’s anything she can do that will jeopardize it.”

 

Chloe nodded, resting her head on Beca’s shoulder. “Will you ever go public?”

 

“Probably, in a few years,” Beca smiled with a careful nod, making sure not to jostle Chloe. “But I’ll do it on my own terms. Not on the terms of some attention-horny harpy.”

 

“Enough about her,” Chloe smiled, closing her mobile game and pulling up her browser. “Saturday’s going to be sunny and fairly mild, temperature-wise.”

 

“That’s nice,” Beca responded absent-mindedly. “What's Saturday?”

 

“I was thinking we could go to the zoo,” Chloe smiled up at her. “Unless you have something else planned?”

 

“No,” Beca shook her head. “The zoo sounds like a fun time.”

 

“Hm,” Chloe hummed. “They have a children’s program going in the afternoon. I was thinking we can do a lap of the zoo together, and then maybe have Rose join the feeding of the sea lions or something. Do you think she’d like that?”

 

“I bet she’d be so thrilled,” Beca grinned. “Do you think I’m tiny enough to join the children’s program?”

 

“Probably,” Chloe grinned in return. “Want me to put in a good word for you?” 

 

“If it means I can help feeding the sea lions, sure thing.”

 

“Alright then,” Chloe hummed, lapsing into silence as she focused on her phone again. “Tickets purchased,” she piped up after a few minutes. 

 

“You’re amazing, you know that?” Beca hummed, pressing a kiss to the red hair tickling against her throat.

 

“Duh.”

 

“Oh, shut up, you.”

 

“Make me.”

 

--

 

“Momma, where we going?” Rose asked from the backseat of the car, stuffed animal clutched to her chest.

 

“We’re going to the zoo, kiddo,” Beca smiled over her shoulder as Chloe navigated them through traffic. “There’s lots of animals there, and we are going to see them all!”

 

“Like the fishyplace?”

 

“Exactly, but with less fish, and other kinds of animals,” Beca smiled, chuckling at Rose’s little wiggle and toothy grin. 

 

“Are we there yet?”

 

“Nope,” Beca laughed. “Why don’t you play with your monkey for a bit. We’ll be there before you know it.”

 

Traffic was, mercifully, light this morning, and it didn’t take them nearly as long as Beca had anticipated. Much like Rose in the backseat, Beca felt the excitement buzzing through her body once Chloe had parked the car and they made their way towards the entrance, both of them holding one of Rose’s hands.

 

Admittance was expedited by Chloe, who flashed the tickets she had purchased online, accepting the little booklet and the map as they passed through the gates. Instantly, Rose began walking faster, and Beca was vaguely aware of the fact she was all too eager to run on ahead as well. “So where to?”

 

Chloe smiled at them fondly, placing the stuff they had received in her purse. “Alright, babe, if you two go on straight ahead, you’ll get to the tropical zone. There’s lemurs there, I’m sure you two will love it. I’ll join you in a second.”

 

“Where are you going?” Rose pouted.

 

Beca watched as Chloe knelt down next to her. “I’m going to arrange a fun surprise for you, and then I’ll be right behind you, okay?”

 

“Okay!” Rose chirped, toddling off and pulling Beca with her. Beca made sure to keep a tight hold on Rose’s hand as they stepped into the dimly lit tropical area, Rose instantly squealing at one of the tropical-looking birds that strutted around. “Momma, momma!”

 

“I see it, kiddo,” Beca grinned. “Isn’t it pretty?”

 

“Yeah,” Rose breathed, face a perfect study of amazement and wonder. “So pretty.”

 

Beca was just about to reach for her phone to take a picture when something black-and-white flashed through her periphery, drawing her attention. “Look, Rose!” Beca whispered, eyes wide with amazement. “Those are lemurs!” she repeated Chloe’s words, hoping she wasn’t making an idiot of herself.

 

“Monkeys!” Rose squealed, skipping forward for a closer look. Beca followed suit, smiling as the lemurs appeared as intrigued by them as they themselves were, studying them with their bright orange eyes, their little heads cocked sideways. “I want one!” Rose declared.

 

“I bet you do, sweetie,” Chloe grinned, stepping up next to them. “But they need a lot of space and they always need to be really warm, so they wouldn’t be happy in our home.”

 

“Did you manage alright?” Beca asked behind Rose’s back, their daughter too occupied by another bird flitting by. 

 

“Of course I did,” Chloe smiled easily. “Come on, let’s keep going, see if we can’t find a few more lemurs, hm?”

 

“Yeah!”

 

It took them twenty minutes to get through the tropical zone. Rose was only willing to follow them after Chloe promised there were more animals for them to see in the other areas, and Beca had no doubt Rose would’ve been perfectly happy just having seen the birds and lemurs before going home.

 

Her excitement was infectious, and Beca felt herself looking forward to the next habitat as they followed Chloe down the path. “What is that racket?” she asked as they left the tropical zone behind them.

 

“Those be the sea lions,” Chloe grinned over her shoulder. “They’ll be the last stop. For, y’know, reasons.”

 

“Right,” Beca nodded.

 

“Momma, real monkeys!” 

 

“I see them!” Beca laughed freely, watching the monkeys on a large slab of stone, fleaing one another and playing around.

 

“Those are called Snow Monkeys,” Chloe told them. “They’re native to Asia.”

 

“What’s Asia?” Rose asked, looking up at them.

 

“It’s a place very, very far away,” Chloe explained with a smile. Beca joined Rose near the railing, amusedly watching the monkeys fooling around with each other, chasing around their habitat in the most chaotic game of tag she’d ever seen. She was all too aware of Chloe, snapping pictures of them from the side. 

 

“C’mon, you need to be in the pictures too,” Beca smiled, taking her phone and stepping up to an elderly pair a few steps away. “Excuse me, would you mind taking a quick picture of us three?”

 

“Of course,” the man smiled, taking her phone and taking a few steps in their direction. “Smile for the camera, ladies!” he beamed.

 

“Thank you so much,” Beca smiled once she got her phone back, looking at the picture. “I’m going to have this one framed back home.”

 

“As you should, dear,” the woman smiled. “You three make a pretty picture.”

 

“Thank you,” Chloe smiled kindly. “Enjoy your day!”

 

“Where to now, mommy?” Rose asked, pulling on the sleeve of Chloe’s coat. “Where to?”

 

“Let’s go that way,” Chloe guided them along. 

 

They spent an inordinate amount of time watching the bears, lazily roaming around and playing with some toys the caretakers must have left for them. Rose was over the moon, obviously wanting to take one home because they were so cuddly, and Chloe showed great patience in convincing Rose that wasn’t a good idea.

 

The penguins, too, were a great success. Rose vividly remembered them from the aquarium, but that didn’t seem to detract anything from her joy of experiencing them again. Beca had to admit it was amazing to watch them dive into the water from their perches on the rocks, effortlessly moving around like little winged torpedoes. 

 

“We should head over to the sea lions,” Chloe interrupted them all too soon. 

 

“The final stop?” Beca asked, eyebrow raised.

 

“No, but we’re taking a little longer than I’d anticipated,” Chloe grinned with a crinkled nose. “Wouldn’t want to be late for Rose’s surprise, hm? We can visit the other animals afterwards.”

 

“Can we go back to the bears, too?” Rose asked, eyes large and hopeful.

 

“Sure thing, sweetie,” Chloe smiled fondly. “C’mon, we need to go this way.”

 

“Bye!” Rose called to the penguins, waving excitedly.

 

They joined a small and modest crowd standing in front of the sea lion exhibit. “Mommy, seals!” Rose yelped. 

 

“Those are sea lions,” Chloe corrected her. “Aren’t they cool?”

 

“Yeah,” Rose breathed out. “I want one!”

 

“You can’t kiddo,” Beca laughed. “You should know that by now.”

 

“They’d be unhappy,” Rose nodded wisely, parroting Chloe’s words from earlier.

 

“Welcome everyone!” one of the caretakers called to them all. “It’s lunch time for the sea lions! Now, who wants to help me feed them?”

 

Predictably, Rose jumped up and down eagerly. “Momma, mommy, can I?”

 

“Yes you can,” Beca smiled, ruffling her hair and gently pushing her forward, watching her join all the other kids around the caretaker, who went on to explain that sea lions eat fish, and how they were going to go about it.

 

“Thank you for setting all this up, Chlo,” Beca smiled, eyes never leaving Rose, who intently listened to the caretaker’s instructions. “This is going to be all she talks about for forever.”

 

“I’m glad she’s enjoying herself so much,” Chloe grinned excitedly. “What about you?”

 

“This is really awesome,” Beca smiled, taking her phone out and filming as Rose reached into the bucket the caretaker held out and grabbed a fish, pulling a face at the slippery texture, before excitedly tossing it into the water, where a sea lion immediately snapped it up, earning himself a lot of squealing and clapping from the children. “I can’t believe I’ve never been here.”

 

“Neither can I,” Chloe shrugged. “I’m just glad we can do stuff like this together.”

 

“Yeah, me too.”

 

They watched - and filmed - Rose throwing four more fish into the water, each one gulped up by one of the sea lions. 

 

“Great job, you all!” the caretaker gushed with genuine enthusiasm. “You’ve been such a great help! Now, let’s all go wash your hands, okay? Get all that fish slime off your hands before we get you back to your parents!”

 

“Momma, momma! Did you see me throw the fish?!” Rose squeaked as she returned to them, visibly vibrating with all the excitement. 

 

“I sure did!” Beca smiled, reaching down and lifting Rose, resting her weight against her hip. “Oof, Chloe was right, you are getting heavy.”

 

“No I’m not!” Rose giggled. 

 

“Alright, Chloe, you’re the tour guide. Where to now?”

 

“Snow leopards,” Chloe nodded decidedly. “Over yonder. A little ways past the bears.”

 

Ten minutes later, they actually reached the cat habitat, where several snow leopards were lazing around in the sun, cleaning themselves or feasting on large chunks of meat scattered around the area. They were magnificent beasts, and it was with some reluctance Beca eventually followed Rose and Chloe towards the next area. 

 

“Holy fudging heck!” Beca gasped upon rounding the bend. “Are those…?”

 

“Red pandas,” Chloe grinned, urging them forward. “Figured you’d like those.”

 

“They are so adorable!” Beca gushed, leaning on the railing.

 

“Careful you don’t fall in, babe,” Chloe chuckled. 

 

“Look at those little faces!” Beca squealed, pointing wildly. “And those fluffy tails!”

 

“They’re lazy,” Rose pointed out, most of them sleeping or sluggishly climbing around the trees. “Just like momma!” she added with a toothy grin.

 

“Hey!” Beca gasped. “I heard that, missy!”

 

Chloe laughed loudly when Rose merely stuck out her tongue.

 

“I think I’ll leave you here,” Beca teased Rose, “and I’ll take one of them home with me!”

 

“Noo, momma!” Rose grinned. “They wouldn’t be happy in our house!”

 

“Hm, okay, I guess we’ll keep you then,” Beca smiled, tickling Rose’s sides. “Can we stay here for a bit?” she asked Chloe.

 

“As long as you feel like,” she nodded. “There’s a cafe right over there, I was thinking we’ll have lunch there, when you two are up for it.”

 

“Mommy has the best ideas!” Rose squealed happily. 

Chapter Text

“Babe?” Chloe’s voice drifted up the stairs. “Stacie’s here for you!”

 

“Show her up, please?” Beca called back, wondering why her manager and friend was here in the first place. They didn’t have any meeting planned for today, and she mentally went over her schedule as she saved her progress and shut down her music software. 

 

She’d just closed the lid of her laptop when Stacie stepped into her office, softly closing the door behind her. “Hey there, bigshot,” she grinned.

 

“Hey yourself,” Beca grinned in return. “What brings you here?”

 

“Business,” Stacie sighed, pushing her hair behind her ear. “And a bit of gossip,” she added with a wink.

 

“Business first, then,” Beca decided with a groan. “What’s so pressing you couldn’t just mail or text me?”

 

“Abernathy,” Stacie shrugged. 

 

“Oh, god, what did she do this time?”

 

“She’s taking you to court.”

 

“She’s what?! ” Beca hissed. “Is that even a thing?”

 

“Yeah, apparently,” Stacie nodded, not looking particularly worried. “She’s demanding you publicly reveal your identity.”

 

“You don’t sound troubled by that,” Beca pointed out dryly.

 

“I’m not,” Stacie shrugged. “It’s a hopeless case, and we’ve already arranged top-notch legal counsel for you. Obviously, you’re not going to be in the courtroom. You’re allowed to let your lawyers handle all of it for you. And no one is going to rule in Abernathy’s favor - obviously you have the right to retain your privacy.”

 

“You’re sure about that?” Beca asked, worrying her bottom lip. “What if-”

 

“Nah, don’t worry about it,” Stacie waved her concerns away. “I just told you because obviously you needed to know. I don’t actually need you to do anything about it, though. I’ve got this all taken care of.”

 

“Well, if you’re sure…”

 

“Definitely. Now, tell me, did you manage to…” Stacie looked over her shoulder for a moment, lowering her voice. “Did you find a ring?” she practically whispered.

 

Getting up from her seat, Beca made her way to the door, checking the corridor in a perfect example of how not to be stealthy, before closing the door again and locking it for good measure. Nodding, she removed one of the paintings, turning the dial on her vault and reaching for the little box inside once it opened.

 

“Oh, show me!” Stacie demanded.

 

Placing the little box on her desk, Beca took a deep breath before opening it, automatically finding herself smiling at the sight of the brand-new engagement ring, snuggly placed on the velvety insides of the box. 

 

“Oh my,” Stacie gasped, face hovering inches from the ring. “Would you look at that beauty?” 

 

“Trust me,” Beca grinned wryly. “I’ve spent a lot of time looking at it.”

 

“Ha, yeah, I can imagine,” Stacie nodded, looking up to face Beca again. “So, have you thought about your proposal yet? Or are you still planning to wait?”

 

“I don’t know,” Beca admitted after a few seconds of thought. “I’m not in any hurry or anything, you know? I guess I’m just waiting for the right moment or whatever.”

 

“The perfect moment isn’t just going to present itself, Beca,” Stacie drawled. “You have to work at it, create the perfect moment.”

 

Beca waved her friend’s words away with an annoyed huff. “Like I said, I’m not in a hurry. Sure, when I feel the time is right, I’ll make some preparations, take her somewhere nice-”

 

“Europe.”

 

“What?”

 

“Take her to Europe,” Stacie nodded. “Nothing more romantic than taking her to Europe. Propose under the Eiffel Tower.”

 

“That’s such a cliche,” Beca groaned, rubbing her forehead. “I’m not taking her to Paris.”

 

“Then take her to another romantic European city,” Stacie shrugged. “I’m just saying Europe is the way to go here, Beca. Trust me.”

 

“What have you ever done to make me trust you?”

 

“Well, I set up the job interview for the babysitting position. You know, the one where you met Chloe?”

 

“Right, okay, yeah. There was that…”

 

--

 

“Babe, do you have a moment?” Chloe asked, poking her head around to peer into Beca’s office.

 

“For you?” Beca smiled, pushing her laptop aside. “Always.”

 

“I’ve been thinking about your offer,” Chloe smiled carefully, stepping into Beca’s office and closing the door behind her.

 

“My offer?” Beca asked, brows furrowed in confusion.

 

Chloe gave a deprecating chuckle. “Only someone as rich as you can forget she offered to pay off my student loans.”

 

“Oh, that offer,” Beca smiled, kicking a chair out for Chloe to sit next to her. “Go on…”

 

“I’ve been thinking about it. You may have noticed I wasn’t too keen on it when we discussed it?”

 

“I’d noticed,” Beca nodded. 

 

“Well, I decided… I mean, if the offer is still standing…”

 

“It is,” Beca intoned, taking Chloe’s hand and entwining her fingers with Chloe’s. 

 

“Then I think we should do it,” Chloe nodded determinedly.

 

“Can I ask what changed your mind?”

 

“I just… We’re really building a life together, aren’t we?” Chloe mused softly. “And I don’t want these debts to get in the way of that. I was fully prepared to spend years of my life paying all of it back, and if I had to I still would… But there’s no need, is there? And I feel like it would be useless to keep them in mind, always worrying about having to pay it back, if we can just get it over with.”

 

“Seems like very sound reasoning…” Beca nodded. “But if that’s the case, why didn’t you just say yes?”

 

“I don’t want anyone to think I’m here for the money. I know you don’t think so, but… others might.”

 

“Well, screw them, then,” Beca shrugged. “Our life, our relationship, and our finances are none of anyone’s business.”

 

“You’re right,” Chloe chuckled. “Of course you’re right.”

 

“Damn right I’m right,” Beca grinned smugly, reaching over for her laptop. “Now tell me what to do?”

 

“I can’t believe we just did that,” Chloe muttered a few minutes later, staring at the laptop with a dumbfounded expression. “Holy shit.”

 

Knowing how much this meant to Chloe, Beca refrained from saying something stupid like ‘it’s just money’ or ‘it’s no big deal.’ Instead, she took Chloe’s hand and gave it a gentle squeeze. “Thanks for letting me do this,” she smiled tentatively.

 

Chloe let out an incredulous snort. “You’re thanking me for being allowed to pay off my student loans? I must be living in some weird mirror-universe or something.”

 

“Someone’s been reading too many comics,” Beca grinned, pressing a kiss to Chloe’s cheek. “Come on, we have a little girl that needs to be picked up, and you know how much she loves it when we’re both waiting for her when she comes out of school.”

 

“Right behind you!”

 

--

 

Beca was still feeling full from their dinner as she stacked the plates in the dishwasher. It was rapidly closing in on Rose’s bedtime, and she was already looking forward to the three of them, joined on Rose’s bed, listening as Chloe read her bedtime story.

 

Startled by the doorbell, she checked the clock on the far wall, frowning. “Whoever comes by at this hour?” she wondered out loud.

 

“I’ll get it,” Chloe grunted, pushing herself up from her seat and making her way out of the kitchen and down the hall. She recognized her mother’s voice long before she stepped into the kitchen, Chloe trailing behind her. 

 

“Ah, there she is,” her mother tutted, hands on her hips. “We need to talk, missy.”

 

“Oh, boy,” Beca groaned, recognizing the tone in her mother’s voice. “Why are you talking to me like I’m a misbehaving toddler again?”

 

“What do you mean ‘again?’” her mother smirked. “Did you ever change? Hm, I must have missed that.”

 

“Alright, alright,” Beca sighed with a roll of her eyes. “Lay it on me, then.”

 

“Nuh-uh,” her mother shook her head. “Your office, now. I wouldn’t want Chloe to realize how much of an idiot you are.”

 

“Ouch,” Beca winced. “Also, I think she already knows.”

 

“This sounds like one mother-daughter conversation I’m more than happy to sit out,” Chloe grinned. “I’ll go run a bath for Rose.”

 

“Don’t start story-time without me,” Beca called after her, turning towards her office.

 

“Wouldn’t dream of it!” Chloe’s voice echoed down the hall. With a move of her head, Beca motioned for her mother to step into the office, closing the door behind them. She made sure to round her desk and took place behind it, letting her mother settle in one of the visitors’ chairs. She liked the power dynamic it provided her.

 

“Oh, please, as if I’d be impressed by a piece of furniture,” her mother scoffed, clearly seeing what Beca was doing.

 

“No, you wouldn’t be, I suppose,” Beca smiled indulgently. “Now, care to tell me what brings you here after dinner time? And unannounced, no less.”

 

Her mother took her sweet time, leaning back in the chair and getting comfortable - who knew that was possible in those chairs? - and crossing her arms as she looked Beca up and down best she could with the desk obstructing her view. “Stacie informed me I was needed for some emergency counseling. Again.”

 

Beca wracked her brain for a few long moments, going over her conversation with Stacie and trying to pinpoint this supposed ‘emergency.’

 

“Don’t do that,” her mother interrupted her thoughts. “It makes you look really dumb, my dear.”

 

“Somehow, you always seem to surprise me when I think you can’t get any meaner,” Beca remarked dryly.

 

“Instead of insulting your dear old mother,” Hailey Mitchell grinned. “Why don’t you open up that vault of yours and show me what you’re hiding away?”

 

“How do you even know-”

 

“Oh please,” her mother waved Beca’s words away. “Am I really supposed to believe you hung up that portrait of a landscape because you somehow got a knack for interior design? Obviously, it’s hiding a vault. That’s what rich people do,” she shrugged.

 

Beca briefly considered being obstinate and feigning ignorance, but with a shake of her head, she got up and moved to get the ring from the vault. Obviously, Stacie needed to learn the meaning of the word ‘discretion.’

 

Placing the box with the ring on the desk and opening it, Beca watched with amusement as her mother got closer, inspecting the piece of jewellery with squinted eyes. After a few minutes, she leaned back again, giving a small nod. “You picked a surprisingly good ring,” she commented dryly.

 

“Well, I’m so glad it carries your seal of approval,” Beca drawled sarcastically, mirroring her mother’s posture.

 

“You should be,” she nodded, clearly ignoring the sarcasm. “So, when are you going to pop the question?”

 

“I haven’t thought about that yet,” Beca responded.

 

“And there you have it, emergency,” her mother sighed, pinching the bridge of her nose.

 

“I’m sorry, what?”

 

“You’re an idiot, but you already knew that,” Hailey smiled, not unkindly, despite her words. “Now, first things first. Everything I’m telling you right now is strictly advisatory-”

 

“That’s not a word-”

 

“Shut up and listen to your mother,” Hailey cut her off. “And advisatory totally is a word, look it up.”

 

“It really isn’t, though-”

 

“Do you let Rose talk back to you like this?” Hailey asked, eyebrow arched. “Mother knows best, or didn’t you watch Tangled with her yet?”

 

“Ugh, don’t even get me started. Fine, fine, carry on.”

 

“Everything I’m telling you is strictly advisatory, and you are not obligated to act on it. That being said, I wouldn’t be telling you all this if I didn’t think I was right.”

 

“Okay, now that you got the disclaimer out of the way, can you please just move on?”

 

“What on God’s Green Earth is keeping you from proposing to Chloe?”

 

Beca leaned forward, resting her elbows on her desk and lacing her fingers together. “Figured something like this was coming. Why shouldn’t I wait?”

 

“Let me rephrase the question, then. What are you waiting for?”

 

“The… You’re going to skin me alive if I say ‘the right moment,’ aren’t you?”

 

“Nothing so gruesome,” her mother shook her head. “I would just tell you that the right moment is never going to come around if you don’t make it. All jokes and sarcasm aside, Beca… You’re free to wait for as long as you want to, but I don’t see a reason for it, nor do I think you should.”

 

“Why?” Beca questioned, sensing the shift in the air as their conversation left all silly banter behind.

 

“Obviously, you and Chloe are meant for one another,” her mother replied readily. “I have never seen you like this with anyone. You’re always so guarded, and you never, ever, let Rose grow so attached to new people in your life. I think - correct me if I am wrong - you have zero reservations about marrying Chloe.”

 

“I don’t, but-”

 

“That means you’re waiting for the wrong reasons,” her mother pointed out, interrupting Beca’s objections.

 

“It’s not that simple, mom,” Beca sighed.

 

“Pft, simple. If something’s simple, you needn’t bother with it. Simple things are never worth a damn penny, my dear. Now, let’s get to these silly reasons you’re holding off on this.”

 

“Mom, I’ve only known Chloe for a few months. I can’t propose to her!” Beca hissed, growing frustrated.

 

“Irrelevant.”

 

“Irrelevant?”

 

“Yes. It means that-”

 

“Goddamnit, mom, I know what it means,” Beca snapped. “I don’t want to mess this up, okay? I don’t want to end up like you and dad!” she continued, only realizing what she’d said when it was already too late. She was about to apologize for bringing up a whole lot of old hurt when her mother’s nail rapped a quick rhythm on her desk.

 

“Now we’re getting somewhere,” her mother nodded slowly. If Beca’s outburst had surprised her, she managed to hide it well, even if she didn’t look all too pleased about the turn their conversation had taken. Taking a deep breath, she continued. “I realize our divorce wasn’t easy on you… But you cannot let what happened between Warren and me dictate how you live your life.”

 

“I know, but… what if marriage does to us what it did to you?” Beca asked, voice suddenly sounding choked, the mere memory of all those fights clogging her throat. 

 

“You and Chloe could never end up like Warren and I,” her mother pointed out slowly. “You were too young to remember this… but your father and I were never anything like you and Chloe. We were young and foolish, and we thought we knew what love was. I cannot say I regret it, because you wouldn’t have been born if we hadn’t gotten together, but in all honesty… We both knew it wouldn’t work out, even before we had you.”

 

“Really?”

 

“Hm-hm,” her mother nodded, looking like she was lost in thought. “God, we argued about absolutely everything. I don’t think I ever saw two people as incompatible as we were, back in the day… We would have broken it off - I think we were both about to do so, when I got pregnant with you. He stayed with me out of obligation, and I with him because I was scared out of my wits. Being a single mother… I could not even imagine that.”

 

Taking Beca’s hand into her own, her mother continued. “I may never have expressed it, Beca, but I hold nothing but admiration for you. You did the very thing I could not. The way you raised Rose, on your own… If I had made that choice, way back when… You may not have been scarred by all our fighting.”

 

“I don’t want to make the mistakes you did with dad, mom,” Beca practically whispered, only looking up when she heard her mother’s chuckle.

 

“My darling Beca, you seem to be under the false impression your father and I married on a whim. I know I’ve never talked much about him, but we were together for almost five years before we got married, and still it didn’t work out. You see, darling, time is entirely inconsequential in matters like these.”

 

“But with time, you get to know one another better. I mean, I didn’t even know Chloe’s birthday before Stacie told me!”

 

“What is her birthday?”

 

“December seventh, you were there, remember?”

 

“Hm,” her mother hummed. “And if she’d been born on, say, June fifteenth… Would you love her any less?”

 

“No, of course not.”

 

“Then what does it matter?”

 

“You’re missing the point, mom.”

 

“No, I don’t think I am. In fact, as per usual, I think you are missing all the points here. You may not know everything about Chloe, that much is true. But if you’re only willing to propose to her once you know everything there is to know, you might as well flush that ring down the drain, because you never will. What you need to ask yourself is, do you know the things that matter?”

 

“And those would be?”

 

“Does she love you? Does she love Rose? Would you be able to build a life together? And would that make you happy? If you can answer yes to those four questions, there really isn’t a reason to hold off. Take a moment to consider those questions.”

 

“I don’t need to,” Beca answered, rubbing her forehead.

 

“Yeah, I didn’t think you would,” her mother smiled, clearly satisfied. “So, let me ask you again, when are you planning to propose?”

 

“Well, Stacie told me to make it special, and Chloe deserves that, so…”

 

“Smart girl,” her mother nodded approvingly. “Did you have any plans yet?”

 

“Europe, apparently,” Beca grinned. “Or so Stacie told me.”

 

Her mother nodded. “A good choice, especially with Rose’s being closed for the holidays, soon.”

 

“That soon?” Beca asked, her eyes bugging out.

 

“Didn’t we just decide there was no use in waiting?”

 

“Right, right…” Beca nodded. “I need to figure out where to go, though. I’ve never been to Europe. I mean, outside of work, of course. And when it’s work, I just sleep and work and then sleep again.”

 

“Yes, that does sound like my daughter,” Hailey grinned. “I would recommend Paris, Venice or maybe Prague.”

 

“Stacie recommended Venice, too. That might not be a bad idea.”

 

Picking her purse up from the floor next to her chair, Hailey rummaged around in it for a while before pulling out an envelope with ‘ Venice’ written on the front. 

 

“Is that what I think it is?”

 

“Plane tickets,” her mother confirmed. “Also, information about a good hotel I can recommend to you, and a few brochures with sightseeing tips and whatnot.”

 

“Okay, but what if I’d said Prague?” Beca asked, eyes narrowing, only to widen when her mother pulled out two other envelopes, marked with ‘Prague’ and ‘Paris.’

 

“Really, mom? Really?”

 

“It’s best to be prepared. I used some connections from work to get my hands on these. Anything to help my baby girl get her life on track.”

 

“Thanks, mom. I love you, you know?” Beca smiled, getting up and pulling her mother up from her seat as well, allowing her to pull her into a hug. 

 

“Who are you and where did you hide my daughter?” came her mother’s smothered voice from Beca’s shoulder.

 

“Shut up and enjoy it while it lasts, you old hag,” Beca scoffed in return.

 

“Ah, there she is.”

 

--

 

It wasn’t until Rose was well asleep and they were getting changed for bed that Chloe came with the question Beca had been expecting ever since she had seen her mother to her car.

 

“Beca? I don’t want to pry or anything… But… Well, can I ask what your mother and you were talking about? It sounded serious, and it took forever, and…”

 

“And?” Beca asked, turning back the covers so they could slide underneath. 

 

“Something about you seems… different now.”

 

Beca let out a quiet hum, wondering how much she should tell Chloe. 

 

“You don’t have to tell me, if you don’t want to,” Chloe back-tracked. “I just-”

 

“It’s okay, Chlo,” Beca smiled. “It’s not like I’m trying to keep secrets here. Mom came by because Stacie convinced her there was some sort of relationship crisis.”

 

“Relationship crisis?” Chloe asked, turning on her side and looking far more worried than she should.

 

“Mostly a misunderstanding,” Beca grinned, running her fingers through Chloe’s hair, tucking it back. “They feel like we should take some time off.”

 

“From… each other?”

 

“What? Oh, god, no, nothing like that,” Beca hurried to clarify. “From work and school and our responsibilities.”

 

“Ah, if only, huh?” Chloe grinned, relaxing against her pillow and running her fingers across Beca’s clavicles in feather-light touches.

 

“Why don’t we?” Beca asked, biting her lip, suddenly nervous. “Just you, me and Rose. We could just leave town and enjoy some time off together?”

 

“Yeah?” Chloe asked, fingers slowly skimming lower. “And where would we go?”

 

“How about,” Beca started, gulping when Chloe’s fingers travelled down the valley between her breasts. “How about Venice?”

 

“Venice, Los Angeles?” Chloe asked, fingers now caressing the underside of Beca’s breasts. 

 

“I was thinking more like, Venice, Italy?”

 

“I’m liking that,” Chloe nodded eagerly, her hand now taking Beca’s breast and palming it heavily. 

 

“Yeah?”

 

“Yeah,” she whispered in Beca’s ear, kneading the flesh in her hand firmly.

 

“That’s… Good.”

 

“What’s good? Me liking your plan, or… this?” she asked, squeezing again.

 

“Both.”

 

“Lay back and we’ll see how good we can make it,” Chloe grinned mischievously, turning off the lights.