Beca notices that Emily hasn't been herself lately, well everyone notices.
They were on the bus, headed towards the retreat campsite. Jessica (or Ashley, who knows) was elected to drive the bus since Fat Amy got hit by flying Mexican food last time and forgot to fill the tank. Everyone else was either busy doing something else or got injured during that wreck of a show. Cynthia-Rose and Fat Amy are in the back. One is nursing a burnt head, scowling at almost everyone, and one fell asleep against the window, breath fogging up the glass. Chloe has her earbuds in, planning something on her phone while Stacie is sitting next to her, filing her nails. Lilly is upfront practicing her beatbox, and next to her is Ashley (or Jessica, like I said, who knows). Flo is muttering something under her breath.
Emily and Beca are left sitting in the middle. Emily is writing vigorously in her small notebook while Beca is mixing with her big headphones on her head. She noticed that Emily hadn't been as bright and bubbly for the past few weeks. And as Emily said a few minutes ago that she only really pours her heart out and makes them into lyrics when she's stressed.
Beca's laptop is on the verge of shutting down, with only 12% left. The short brunettes' eyes keep flitting over towards Emily. She can admit to herself that she's had an uncanny crush on Legacy but will not admit shit to anyone out loud because she will not hear the end of it, more specifically from Chloe. About 10 minutes go by before Beca's almost done putting the finishing touches onto a more recent mix about you can guess who, when her laptop starts to shut down.
As it makes a noise, she mutters, "Fuck off, I'm running out of the will to live right now." Shutting her laptop with a huff, she removes her headphones from around her and shoves both of them into her laptop bag. With nothing to do for the rest of the trip, she glances at Emily, noticing the little crinkle the taller brunette has between her eyebrows.
Without meaning to, she looks at what Emily is writing, only catching a glimpse of a few verses,
"Couldn't even see you through the smoke
Lookin' back, I probably should have known
But I just wanted to believe that you were out sleepin' alone"
Beca decides that she would kill whoever made Emily feel like that. She knows Fat Amy would help her hide a body, well not for free at least.
When they get off the bus a few hours later, they hear a familiar voice yelling, "I admire loyalty, integrity, and employees that I can trust! Not backstabbing, opportunistic, little…Imps. Clean out your desk. I’m sorry, was I using my inside voice? You're fired!"
Emily decides that Aubrey is probably the most intimidating person she'll ever meet, well besides Beca. And Beca is like 4 feet tall. She literally has Beca's name as 'Smallz' on her phone.
All of the Bella's settle down in the not too small but not too big tent. Everyone has at least shuffled around, Chloe and Stacie are next to each other, Ashley and Jessica are in one corner, Cynthia-Rose and Flo are in the other corner, Fat Amy is sleeping somewhere in the middle, and Lilly said she would sleep upside down like a fucking bat in a tree outside. Which leaves Beca and Emily next to each other yet again. Beca starts to wonder if this is Chloe's doing, saucy bitch. There's not much space in the tent, so limbs are everywhere and in places they should never be in.
The redheaded Bella is telling Stacie about a guy who was rude to her on a date. Beca turns around to sit up and butts in with a stoic look on her face, imitates what she's saying with her hands "Just smack him. Hard. With a phone book on a body part no one can see, you know what I'm saying?" Stacie looks on the verge of tears, and she can hear Emily snicker next to her. Chloe nods determined, like she's actually going to do what Beca suggested. Everyone else starts chuckling. Beca's intended goal was to cheer Emily up. Once the moment has passed, everyone else goes back to their own conversations. Emily and Beca turn back around and shift to lay down next to each other.
They're practically in each other's personal space. Beca is pretty sure the air is like, 90% fart.
Emily tries not to be too aware that Beca is like, an inch away from her and writes down some more lyrics and ideas into her handy notebook. She hasn't had the best couple of weeks and notices that the Bella's (except for Fat Amy) go more than out of their way to cheer her up. Stacie once told her that she was the epitome of a star. She brought everyone's spirits up by being bubbly and happy, and caring. She felt bad because lately she hasn't been that. She's been torn and sad about something she thought was over with.
Everyone is mostly asleep by now.
Beca turns her back towards the tent and faces Emily. The tiny DJ notices that Emily's eyes are bright and shiny, unshed with tears. Emily is trying so hard not to shed a tear because she's so exhausted. She closes her notebook and puts her pencil in the slot on the front of it, bringing it to rest against her head. Closing her eyes, she breathes out slowly, most of it coming out ragged.
She feels a hand on her arm, and she knows it's Beca. Her hand feels warm and welcoming. Emily removes the notebook from her face and slides it underneath her pillow. Turning her body to face Beca, she slips her hand into a slightly smaller one and interlocks their fingers. Beca gazes at Emily with the most adoring look on her face.
Emily shimmies closer to Beca until their nose to nose, hands still intertwined. Emily slides a leg between Beca's and snuggles up to her, laying her head in the nook of the leader's neck. Emily feels content for the first time in weeks. Beca's mind is racing about a mile a minute. When she hears Emily's breathing even out, she tries to get some sleep too. Eventually, sleep does come.
Emily knew getting a night's worth of sleep was too good to be true.
Beca woke up a few hours later, assuming it was the middle of the night since it was pitch black outside except the moonlight. She felt cold. Moving her hand next to her, the space was empty. Shooting up from her position on the ground, she tugged a blanket around her, looking around. Everyone was mostly asleep. Chloe and Stacie were up talking. Beca whispered as quietly as she could across the tent to get the tall and ginger women's attention, "Stacie? Chloe? What are you guys doing up?"
Stacie and Chloe looked towards Beca, straining their eyes to see Beca. Chloe spoke first, "We couldn't sleep, we were just talking. What's up?" Beca nodded her head and gestured towards the flaps of the tent, "Do you guys know where Em went?" Stacie shook her head, "No, we've been up for about an hour. I thought she was sleeping next to you?" Beca furrows her eyebrows, crossing her arms underneath the blanket to preserve warmth, "She was. She's not here. I don't- I don't think she's been doing well, you know? She hasn't been her bright self like she usually is. I'm worried about her."
Even if it's dark, Beca can see the hint of a smile on their faces. Chloe is shooting Beca puppy eyes, "Awwwww," they both exclaim. Beca just rolls her eyes and huffs, "Hey, turds, I'm serious." Both of them are still smiling. "Whatever. I'm gonna go look for her, you guys can come if you want to," Beca says as she slips on some shoes she had stashed in the corner. She hears the two Bella's moving around, putting on their shoes. Beca tries to step around and spaces in between the sleeping lot of women. As she steps out into the cool air of the night, she pulls the blanket tighter around her. The grass shining in the moonlight.
Stacie and Chloe step out of the tent with shoes on, sharing a big cozy blanket. Beca silently curses herself for not bringing a bigger blanket and turns around to face the other two seniors, "Alright nerds, we're gonna stay close together because it is cold as balls out here. I don't think she went far because you know, the bear traps and whatever the fuck else is out there. Let's go."
They both nod as they follow Beca away from the tent. They're walking for a few minutes until Chloe hears something, "Hey guys, do you hear that?" Beca's face is completely blank, "Yes, Chlo, I hear myself freezing my ass off." Chloe dismisses what she says, "Shhh, now's not the time. Just listen." After listening for a few seconds, they hear a voice. It's soft and mellow but sad. They all recognize it as Emily's voice.
Following her voice, they find her with her back towards them sitting on a large rock with a jacket on, slightly looking up towards the sky. Emily's notebook is open next to her. They hide as much as they can a few feet away behind a tree. Beca can see her breath as she sings,
"Loved me with your worst intentions
Didn't even stop to question
Every time you burned me down
Don't know; for a moment it felt like heaven
And it's so gut wrenchin'
Fallin' in the wrong direction"
Towards the last verse of her song, Emily's voice sounded raw, like she was singing from the heart.
"On my tip-toes
But I still couldn't reach your ego
Guess I was crazy to give you my body, my mind
Don't know what I was thinkin' 'til now
Everyone thinks that you're somebody else
You even convinced yourself"
All three women's hearts clenched in pain for the younger brunette. Who knew someone could feel all of the emotions through words?
Emily was quietly sobbing, they could see her shaking as she drew in on herself, bringing her knees up so she could rest her head on them. Beca walked closer towards her, untangling her arm from her blanket to reach out. She slid her hand over Emily's shoulder, a silent 'I'm here for you. We all are.'
Beca looks towards Chloe and Stacie, they both have tears in their eyes. Beca feels helpless because she doesn't know how to help but she tries her best. Walking around Emily, she lifts her hand to rub her arm while squatting in front of her. "Hey, it might not be okay now, but I got you, okay? I promise. And I swear to whatever god is out there, I will maim them so bad they wish they never existed."
Emily scoffed and sniffled, and looked up at Beca. Emily's eyes were slightly red and her smile was wobbly. Beca gives her a sympathetic look, "If you want to talk, I'm always here, okay? And so are the rest of the Bella's." Emily nodded because she's grateful to have the Bella's, even if they are all graduating soon.
The tiny brunette pulls Emily into a hug, and Emily wraps herself around Beca.
When they pull apart, Stacie and Chloe are cooing at them. They walk over to the pair and hug Emily. They whisper something in Emily's ear but Beca doesn't know what they said. When they come to step back next to her, Beca raises an eyebrow at the ginger. Chloe just shakes her head, "Later. C'mon, let's go back. It's freezing out here."
Stacie and Chloe huddle together in the shared blanket, walking a bit ahead of them. Emily wraps an arm around Beca's shoulders and Beca wraps an arm around Emily's waist as they walk side by side. Beca tugs the taller Bella's arm around her and intertwines their fingers.
Emily knows that it'll be a while before she'll really be okay again but she knows if she has Beca by her side, she can get through it.