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If you feel broken, promise I won't break your heart

Chapter Text

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.

Chapter Text

Beca knows she's not really the violent type of person, but someone hurt a smol, precious bean, and now someone's got to hurt. She stands by what she said all those days ago. Fat Amy will help her hide a body. (or Lilly)

Okay, so maybe that's a little excessive, but she will give someone an ass-kicking.

-

It's been a few days since they got back from the retreat. The Bella's have a couple of days to lounge in the house before leaving for the World's. Even though Chloe, Stacie, and Beca found Emily crying that night, they know as much as the other Bella's do, and that isn't a lot to go off.

Beca was in her shared room with Fat Amy, except Fat Amy wasn't there, the Australian was probably out with Bumper. Go figure. Beca was sitting on her bed in her plaid pajama pants and a big hoodie, putting some finishing touches onto the set for World's when someone knocked on her door. Beca hadn't bothered to look away from her laptop, "Come in, dork." It was either Emily or Cynthia-Rose because none of those other aca-bitches bothered to knock half of the time, she's seen more than she wished to.

Her door opens, creaking slightly, because this house is probably as old as someone's grandma.

It's quiet for a minute. Beca lifts a brow and looks over her shoulder. She sees Emily standing there, hair cascading down her head and hands clasped together, wearing some pajama shorts and a dark blue long sleeve shirt. Beca closes her laptop and shoves it off to the side. She crosses her legs, "What's up, Em?" Emily looks up at the smaller woman, tugging at the edge of her sleeve, "I'm sorry to bother you, and your probably busy, but I wanted to talk to you about what happened the other day..."

Beca's eyes widen for a second before getting up from her sitting position and lightly grabbing the taller brunette's arm, so they're both sitting on the edge of Beca's bed. Beca pulled her arm back, so they rested in her lap, turning to face Legacy. "No, it's okay. I promised, right? I'm here."

 

TW: Homophobia, Verbal Abuse (This guy is a huge douchebag)~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

After a few seconds, Emily nods and takes in a deep breath, "A couple of years ago, my Junior year of high school, I got into a relationship. His name is Matthew. Matthew Stevens."

Beca interrupted, "He already sounds like a dick. Sorry, continue."

Emily let out a sharp laugh before going continuing, "We started dating, and we had only been dating for more than half of a year. I thought he was a good guy, you know? He was super sweet and nice, and he took care of me. Hence the 'Guess I was crazy to give you my body, my mind' part in the song you heard me singing."

Beca nodded, fully listening. Emily was hesitant, "I told him a secret about me because I thought that he would understand. It turns out he was not as understanding as you would think. He totally flipped out."

Beca froze, she gently put a hand on Emily's arm, "He didn't...touch you did he?"

Emily looked up at Beca, horrified, "Oh my stars, no. He never laid a hand on me, but he didn't need to use his fists to cause damage."

Beca let out a breath she didn't know she was holding, grateful that Emily hadn't endured anything physically harmful but still concerned nonetheless.

"Um, one day when he came over to my house, we were hanging out, watching anything and everything on TV. At that time, I thought, 'What's a better time than now than to tell him who I actually am.' I told him that I was Bisexual. And he just sat there."

Beca slid her hands into Emily's, giving them a comforting squeeze.

"And for a few minutes, he said nothing. It all happened so fast after that because he started yelling at me, hurling slur after slur at me. Never in a million years would I think that he would do that, and after that, he stormed out," Emily started to tear up.

"The next day, he came back. He apologized for bursting out like that, and I was hesitant to forgive him, but I did because I thought that he had a change of heart. A couple of days later at school, everyone was whispering while looking at me. And the only thing I could think of was that Matthew told them. It wasn't even about that. I had to find out from the entire student body that he cheated on me with not one, but with multiple other girls at the school."

"I was so naïve to think that-"

Beca cut her off, removing one of her hands from Emily's to cup Emily's cheek, "Hey, your not naïve, okay? If anything, you're a literal ball of sunshine, and that guy is a mega asshole for doing that to you."

Emily leaned into her hand for a few seconds before sitting back, "Thank you. Anyway, I confronted him about it after school that day, and he made a dig at me about liking women, he said 'if you can do it, so can I.' I found out that a few days after that, he would be moving. And I don't think I ever felt so heartbroken and relieved at the same time. I thought that I was over it, you know? And, so a few weeks ago, I received a text message. It was from Matthew."

Beca is seething on the inside, and she hadn't even met the guy yet. From what Em is telling her, she loathes him, hates him even.

"He said that he would be seeing me around. I always talked about going to Barden in high school; to become a Bella. I guess he got in too. Anytime that I was outside of the Bella house, I was panicking because I didn't want to see him or for him to see me. That's why I've been so weird for the past couple of weeks, and then I finally snapped that one day you found me outside at the retreat. I saw him outside, walking around campus days before, and he just smirked at me."

Beca was not known for comforting people because she was really awkward about it, but she hugged Emily. That's one thing she knew she could do. And so she threw her arms around Emily, and Emily slid her arms hesitantly around Beca.

Beca murmurs into the younger woman's shoulder, "Thank you for trusting me with this. I know that the emotional scars are still there and that they won't fully go away, but we can help you heal them. Although, if I see that shit-ticket even a foot away from us, I will knock out his knee caps, and that is a 100% guarantee."

Emily giggled, smiling, "I do not doubt that."

Beca would not be caught snuggling with ANYONE, but Emily was an exception because who could deny that she is the literal embodiment of a puppy.

Beca lets Emily go and scoots till the back of her head rest on her pillow, and opens her arms.

Emily looks confused.

Beca rolls her eyes and smiles, arms gesturing towards herself, "Come here, you dummy. You want some Beca Mitchell cuddles or not? It's a once in a lifetime offer."

Emily grins as she crawls up towards Beca and lays her head on her chest, circling her arms around Becas midriff while tangling their legs together. Beca slings an arm around Emily's back while using her other hand to drag her fingers through Emily's long hair.

Emily decides that this is a moment that she'll cherish forever.

Beca does too.

Chapter Text

Beca’s tired. If she has to listen to one more lecture, she’s going to throw herself off of a bridge.

Metaphorically speaking, of course.

-

The Bella’s had to take one more day of classes before they could start traveling for the World’s.

That was the day after Emily had confided in Beca. Beca wished that they could have had a lazy day to just cuddle. She wouldn’t admit that to anyone out loud though.

Beca was walking back from her last class when someone bumped into her shoulder, causing her to stumble a bit. She barely caught herself in time but her headphones came off of her neck and landed on the concrete with a thud.

Beca adjusted her bag and leaned down to pick up her headphones. Scanning them for damage, she muttered “Son of a bitch.” They weren’t that expensive by any means but they were her favorite ones.

Luckily, it barely had a small scratch on the handle. Beca let out a breath until she heard a voice, “You should watch out for people next time instead of looking at your phone.”

Beca had only had her phone out for a second to double-check the booking dates she and Chloe made for the hotel they would be using while staying in Copenhagen.

Beca looked up to see a 6’1 white dude, with a semi-okay undercut wearing a black t-shirt and white washed jeans.

Beca thinks this guy is definitely a douchebag.

The Bella captain rolls her eyes and shoves her headphones into her bag, “I was just thinking I need another man to tell me what to do today, and here you are.”

Douchebag just chuckles and speaks to Beca like he’s talking to a five-year-old, “Yes, here I am. And listen yeah? Watch where you walk, okay?”

Beca seriously thinks about kneeing this asshat in the dick but before she can, another voice butts in.

A more timid voice speaks up, “C’mon Matthew, leave her alone.”

She forgot that he had a friend.

Beca's eyes widen. She swears that she just had deja vu. She furrows her brows together, slightly squinting at him, “What’s your last name?”

“Stevens. Why? You want my number too?” Matthew responds, a “charming” smile on his face.

That confirmed to Beca that this fucker was the one who broke Emily’s heart and she’ll be damned if she let the opportunity to teach this guy a lesson slip by.

“Okay, first of all, ew gross. Your not even my type and why would I want your number if you acted like a self-centered dick-wad towards me? And second of all, this is for Emily.”

Beca saw his eyes widen at the mention of Emily’s name. He puts a hand in Beca’s shoulder, “What are you talking about, sweetheart? I don’t know any Emily’s. ”

Now Beca thinks he deserves it. She shrugs his hand off of her shoulder.

She sets her bag down on the floor out of the way before launching her fist towards his flat face.

Beca never told anyone that she took self-defense classes when she was in middle school. And that was because she was one of the smaller kids who had to protect themselves from getting picked on.

Matthew stumbled back into his friend with a hand on his red cheek. Beca may be small, but she can pack one hell of a right hook.

Matthew looks pissed but Beca is probably more pissed than he is. The 6’1 dirtbag stands back up and tries to grab her arm.

The small DJ ducks underneath it, grabbing his stretched out arm and twisting it behind his back. He squeaks out in surprise, not expecting Beca to hold her own.

She pushes his arm up his back and kicks the back of his knees so he’s lying face on the ground now.

By now a light crowd has formed around them.

Matthew groans out in agony as Beca digs her knee into his spine. She leans down towards his face, “You should never underestimate anyone. I also want you to stay away from Emily. She’s been nothing but sunshine since she first got here and I would like for her to continue being that bubbly person. I swear if I ever see your face around here again, I will not hesitate to bash your head against a wall. Understood?”

Matthew contemplates what she says for a second before nodding.

Beca's smile is sarcastic, “Good. Now, I’m going to leave. I want you to leave Barden. I don’t care how you do it but you will do it within 24 hours. If you are not gone by then, I will find you. And you won’t want to know what happens if I do. Got it? Good.”

Beca smacks his face before taking her knee off of his back and releasing his arm. The crowd had only grown bigger. Beca wanted to get out of there before any authority figures showed up.

She grabs her bag with her non-aching hand and strolled towards the Bella house. What she didn’t know was that numerous students had taken videos and had sent them around.

She arrives at the Bella house 10 minutes later. Opening the door, she can feel about 9 pairs of eyes on her.

Looking up, most of the Bella’s have confused looks mixed with stern looks.

Beca groans and sets her bag on the couch, slipping her shoes off, “Already? It’s only been like 12 minutes since then.”

There are one pair of eyes that she looks for. When she finds them, she sees nothing. No emotion. Her body language exudes nothing of what she is feeling.

Beca’s panicking internally. She doesn’t know what the younger woman is feeling and it scares her.

Emily walks up to her and for a few seconds, she stands there in front of Beca.

And then all of a sudden, Emily is hugging her, “Thank you,” the taller brunette whispers.

Beca was shocked for half of a second before hugging her back.

Cynthia-Rose is looking at them weird, hands on her hips, “Can you aca-bitches tell us what’s going on? And why did you go all Daniel LaRusso on his silly ass?”

Beca pulled away reluctantly from the hug, and ran her non-injured hand through her hair, “It’s not really my place to say. If Emily wants to tell you, she can, so please don’t pressure her about it.”

All of the Bella’s look shocked because they’ve never seen Beca react this way before about anyone, not even Jesse.

Emily drags Beca away by her elbow to the bathroom, leaving them mildly confused.

Opening the bathroom door, Emily guides Beca in with a hand on her back.

 

Beca tries not to think much about it.

 

Emily closes the door behind them and taps the counter, indicating that she wanted the smaller brunette to sit on it.

Beca turned around, using her hands to push herself up.

She forgot for a second that putting pressure on her hand could make it worse. Hissing, she pulled her injured hand to her chest, “Son of a bitch.”

Emily was rummaging through the bathroom cabinets, looking for the first aid kit. She found it underneath some towels, lugging it on the counter next to Beca.

Opening it, she pulled out some gauze. She closed the first aid kit and put it on top of it. Going back to grab a couple of wash clothes, she ran a part of it under some warm water. Crouching down, “Lemme see,” gently grabbing Beca’s hand, dabbing at the small amount of blood on her knuckles.

The silence wasn’t awkward. It was comfortable and welcoming.

While Emily was preoccupied cleaning up Beca’s hand, Beca was staring at Emily, longingly. Appreciating the curve of her jaw, her cute little button nose, the teeny tiny mole she has near her lips, and the way that her eyes crinkle when she smiles. Really, there were a lot of things to appreciate about Emily.

She’s a fantastic human being. You’d have to be brain dead not to think that.

Emily glanced up, catching Beca daydreaming. About what? She doesn’t know. Well, she thinks she has a pretty good idea.

When Emily stands up, that’s when Beca is snapped back into reality. Realizing that she dreamt off, she blinks her eyes continuously for a couple of seconds.

Emily finishes putting some ointment on the captains' knuckles, wrapping them in the gauze she had set out earlier.

“Thank you, again. Really. You didn’t have to do that for me,” Emily says as she finishes tying off the gauze, gazing at Beca with her signature puppy look.

Beca doesn’t get flustered. Well, okay. Just this one time.
This is a different situation.

Beca clears her throat, fidgeting in her spot, “It was nothing really. I mean, he literally shoved into me on my way here. If anything, he was being a dick, and hitting him for you was just a bonus.”

Emily chuckles, standing back up, still holding Beca’s hand, “That’s great to know. Who knew little Beca could pack a punch like that.”

Beca huffs half-heartedly, shoving Emily’s shoulder, “Shut up, Legs.”

Emily tosses her head back and laughs.

Beca has a small smile graced on her face. Hearing her laugh is like music to her ears.

After that, it’s quiet and nice.

Emily and Beca are looking at each other, soaking in the moment. The peace.

 

Emily is still holding Beca’s hand, rubbing her dainty finger over smaller ones.

Emily steps closer, her breathing becoming short, “I hope it’s not just me that’s feeling this.”

Beca shakes her head no, unable to say anything.

Emily nods, now standing in between Beca’s legs, sliding her hand up the tiny DJ’s jaw, “Good.”

Their faces are inches apart, and Emily bumps her nose gently against Beca’s.

Emily slides her hand from the smaller brunette's jaw to the nape of her neck, “Can I?”

Beca’s response is light, her eyelids hooded, “Please...”

Emily’s presses the top half of her body into Beca’s and uses her hand on Beca’s neck to pull her in, capturing Beca’s bottom lip between hers.

Beca pushes forward, their bodies flushed together. Emily hums, her other hand on Beca’s thigh. Beca’s hands are on Emily’s waist, grasping her shirt.

Emily’s tongue slides over Beca’s bottom lip, gently tugging on it with her teeth.

Beca lets out a soft felt moan, slipping a hand under the younger brunette's shirt, feeling the smooth arch of her back.

Emily brings her hand back from Beca’s neck, sliding her thumb over the older woman’s cheek.

Eventually, not being able to breathe becomes a problem so they pull away. They both curse the world for that.

Eyes closed, foreheads against each other’s, trying to catch their breath.

Reveling in the blissful aftermath.

Beca doesn’t want to ruin the moment but she has to tell Emily something before they continue to move on with this friendship? Relationship? She doesn’t know yet.

Almost like reading her mind, Emily knows that she’s thinking something. Leaning back, Emily shares a concerned look, “What’s wrong?”

"Nothings wrong. I've just always been scared of things like this. Of feeling things. And the reason why it scares me is because I'm afraid. Of losing people...of losing you. I don’t want to mess this up,” Beca admits, looking down as she plays with the rings on her fingers.

Emily lifts Beca’s head, smiling sadly, “I know. I’m afraid too. You won’t mess anything up, okay? Not everything will be perfect because nothing good ever is, but you’ll always have me. And I’ll always have you. That’s all we’ll ever need.”

Chapter Text

Beca and Emily have come to an understanding that they are something but just haven’t gone into detail yet.

After she had gone back to her room that night, she squealed like a kid in a candy store. Of course, she made sure that no one was around first. She wouldn’t live it down. Little did she know, Emily had done the same thing.

-

The Bella’s are on the plane to Copenhagen for Worlds. They are exhausted. It’s currently 4 am. They spent the last two days packing because some of them take longer to do so than the others.

The Bella’s are mostly seated towards the middle and back of the plane. Beca and Emily are seated next to each other.

Beca’s pretty sure she made that decision subconsciously.

She tried to seat everyone based on who wouldn’t pick fights with each other. And realistically speaking, she knows that somethings going to happen one way or another because they are the definition of chaotic.

(I’m gonna try and not make the seating complicated.)

Stacie and Chloe are seated behind Emily and Beca. Sat across from them, Stacie and Chloe, are Ashley and Jessica. They are inseparable.

Behind the confusing duo are Lilly, CR, and Flo. Fat Amy will literally kick anyone who sits next to her and Beca knows this. It’s why she seated her by herself.

Almost everyone has the same idea to get some rest before they land. After all, it is an 11-hour flight.

 

Beca’s looking out the window at the clouds passing by. her headphones blasting indie/rock music. She’s not making new mixes at the moment. She finished the set the night before.

 

Glancing towards Emily, Beca noticed that she was writing again. This time the lyrics were completely different than the last song she had written.

“I think it's cute that
Look me in the eyes, won't do that
Six knives in my back
Tell me why you would do that
Sun goes down, different face
Didn't think I'd learn her name
Gave you every bit of trust
I just can't believe you'd abuse that”

Beca paused her music and slid her headphones off of her head to rest on her neck. She didn’t want to interrupt Emily’s groove, so she just sat quietly and watched.

 

Beca noticed that whenever Emily was writing, her tongue would peek out between her lips. Her eyes brows furrowed together in concentration.

At this point, Beca wasn't looking at what Emily was writing, but rather looking at Emily.

A few more minutes pass by. Beca has gone back to gazing out of the small window. She didn’t want to seem like a creep staring at Emily like that.

Beca closed her eyes and listened to the sounds of Legacy’s pen scribbling lightly on her paper. And then nothing.

 

The smaller captain felt a soft poke into her shoulder. Opening one of her eyes, she lifts an eyebrow at Emily, amused.

Emily smiles cheekily and sticks her tongue out at her. Beca huffs contentedly. Emily whispers, leaning close to Beca, “Can I?” Emily gestures towards Beca’s hand.

Emily’s giving her puppy look and Beca doesn’t really know how someone could say no to a precious bean. Beca nods with a small smile on her face.

Emily slides her nimble towards Beca’s smaller ones and interlocks them.

Beca looks down at their joined hands and starts to play with the rings on the younger woman’s nimble fingers. She can hear Emily shift in her seat before feeling her head on her shoulder.

Beca smiles. For the love of whatever being is out there, she wouldn’t do this in public. Ever. She does not do public displays of affection.

As previously said before, Emily is the only exception. Well, Chloe too because she’s touchy-feely in general.

You truly can’t say no to Emily. She is like a golden retriever puppy that you see in a pen at a pet store that stands out from other puppies.

The last thing Beca feels before wandering off to sleep is Emily’s thumb caressing the back of her hand.

-

It’s around 3 or 4 p.m. by the time they get off of the plane and head to the hotel.

And what do you know, Emily and Beca are roomed together. Again, it must be a coincidence. Or not. Chloe is a sneaky bitch.

Beca put her in charge of rooming the Bella’s together. That was probably her mistake.

They had all decided that they would check-in and get their rooms situated before getting dressed to head out for dinner.

Hopefully, they find something other than the atrocity that is fish. Because personally, Beca thinks it’s awful as fuck. (No offense to those who do like fish.”

 

Beca’s walking in front of Emily down the hall, her suitcase rolling behind her. Stopping towards the end of the hall, their room is on the right side.

Beca swipes her keycard and unlocks the door, rolling her luggage towards a space. She hears Emily come in behind her, the door being closed and luggage in the same spot.

The room is pretty standard. Walking in, the first thing you see is the couch and tv. The walls are beige with a couple of hung up photos of the beach and cities.

 

To the left, there is a small kitchen with a coffee machine, trash can, ice bin, and mini-fridge. Two glass doors are connecting to another part of the room.

Behind it is a queen-sized bed with four grey pillows and a light grey bedspread. There’s also a caved section about 2 feet from the bed where the closet is and another door that leads to the bathroom.

Beca doesn’t care about anything else right now. She just wants to sleep or else she’s going to be grumpy. More grumpier than usual.

The tiny DJ slides her black high top converse off of her feet and ungracefully flops onto the bed on her stomach, limbs spread out like a starfish.

Emily’s leaning against the doorframe with her arms crossed, chuckling.

Beca just groans into the bed comforter. What she doesn’t expect is a body to lay on top of hers, limbs also spread out wildly.

Beca squeaks, trying to get out from underneath the taller Bella. Her voice muffled, “You’re-you’re crushing my spleen.”

Emily lifts her head, blowing hair out of her face, “You don’t even know where your spleen is.”

Beca huffs, arms finally free, wiggling them to get blood flow through, “Yes, I-, okay maybe not. But still, get off or I’m going to die of blood clots.”

Emily rolls off of her to the left side of the bed, laying on her stomach, a hand on her chin. She’s blatantly staring at Beca.

Beca flops her body over so she’s laying on her back, and wiggles all of her limbs to the best of her ability.

After giving her limbs a quick shake, Beca lays there and stares at the ceiling for a minute before turning her head to where Emily lay.

Beca raises her eyebrows at Emily with a smirk on her face, “Why are you staring at me?”

Emily looks at her with a soft smile, giving an honest answer, “Because you're stunning, and I happen to like looking at your small, cute face.”

Beca laughs loudly, poking Emily in the shoulder with her hand, “Whatever. I am not cute.”

Emily puts a finger on Beca’s lips, prohibiting her from talking any longer, “Hush. Come cuddle, you adorable koala.”

Beca’s response is muffled, looking mildly offended, “-am not.” Beca moves her head and rolls over so her back is towards Emily.

Secretly, Beca is smiling like an idiot.

Emily scooches closer towards the older woman, a pout on her lips so powerful that if Beca turned around to look right now, she would have surrendered.

Beca crosses her arms, resisting the impulse to turn around and hug Emily right then and there.

The tall brunette realizes that she’s not going to get her back so she waits. If she’s not going to get Beca’s attention by a worthy pout, she’s going to have to do something else.

Beca realizes it’s silent. Too silent. Skeptically, she swivels her head to look beside her, and Emily is nowhere to be seen.

Confused, she looks towards the archway of the room, still not seeing the Bella. Twisting her head back towards the wall, she comes face to face with Emily.

Beca flinches towards the edge of the bed, rolling off of it with a scream. Landing on the floor with a thud, she can hear Emily roaring with laughter.

“O-oh my god, that-that was hilarious. You should have seen your face. That was gold.”

Beca raises her head from the floor, glaring at Emily. Emily tries desperately to hold in her snickers, covering her mouth with her hand.

Emily reaches out towards Beca and tugs her off of the ground, beaming, “Gosh, thanks.”

Beca’s uncertain at the vague declaration, “What do you mean?”

Emily lets go of Beca and steps back, holding in a giggle, “For the entertainment.”

Beca huff's before stomping towards the younger Bella, “You little shit.”

Beca’s gonna get revenge.

-
(Sorry for the time skip but the Bella’s go to dinner the same night. Beca tells them, “Rest up nerds. We’re gonna kick acapella ass tomorrow so bring your A-game.”)
-

All of the Bella’s are waiting backstage, getting ready to go onstage after DSM.

Emily’s nervous. Sure, they’ve performed in front of a good hundred people but thousands? That’s something she’s never done before.

Beca can feel Emily’s anxiousness from a mile away. Walking towards her, she sees the younger woman toy with the bandana around her wrist.

Beca slides a hand down Emily’s arm towards her fidgeting hand, interlocking their fingers, “Hey, you. It’s okay to feel nervous but you know what? We’re going to do great and everyone will see that we are fucking crushing it.”

Emily bites on her bottom lip, her worries slightly eased. Looking towards Beca with a glint of fear in her eyes, “What if- what if I mess up? I don’t want to make a fool of myself in front of thousands of people, especially the judges.”

Beca gives Emily a hopeful look, “You're not going to mess up okay? We’ve practiced it so many times, I swear I could do it in my sleep. When we get up there, you do the best you can. And if you need me, look towards me, okay? We’re can do this. Together.”

Emily let out a breath that she was holding in, rolling her shoulders so she can feel relaxed. Gazing at Beca, she lightly squeezes her hand in gratitude, silently saying ‘Thank you.’

Beca gives her a small smile, squeezing back.

-

After a good minute into their performance, Emily starts to feel the electricity. Her confidence shoots up and she starts to feel more comfortable than she did when they started.

-
Time stood still when they heard that the Bella’s had won. A split second later, they were all cheering, jumping around, and hugging each other in celebration.

Beca couldn’t have asked for a more talented and tight-knit group of women to lead. She felt incredibly lucky.

Emily felt like she was on cloud-9. She was more than thrilled and ecstatic that the Bella’s had won the Worlds.

They worked hard every single day towards this moment. And now that it happened, all of their hard work has paid off.

-

It’s been about two hours or so since the competition ended. They shook hands with just about every single acapella group that performed, offering the Bella’s a congratulations.

Most of the fans and audience stuck around to greet them as well. More often than not, the Bella’s were asked for photographs or autographs. They happily complied.

The Bella’s were happily chatting away, walking towards the entrance when a voice spoke from behind them.

A voice Emily thought she would never hear again.

“Nadine?”

Emily froze and the other Bella’s looked behind them in confusion. Turning around, Emily found her childhood best friend standing there.

She looks more mature than the last time she saw her. The person in question has lengthy blonde dirty hair, 5’2, wearing blue converse, and a black sweatshirt with ripped skinny jeans.

Emily smiles but it more comes off as a grimace, waving slightly, “Hi Krista. Long time no see?”

Beca not so subtly whispers to Emily, “Why is she calling you Nadine?”

Emily mutters back, “It’s a long story.”

“What are you doing here?” Emily questions.

All of the Bella’s watch the exchange quietly, waiting to see the outcome.

Krista gestures towards a group of people waiting by the entrance, “I came here with some friends. They were competing too.”

Emily nods slightly, a neutral expression on her face, shifting on her feet, “Oh, that’s nice.”

Emily internally facepalms herself for giving such a lame response.

Krista gives her a confused look, opening and closing her mouth before finally asking, “Where have you been? You disappeared in the middle of Junior year.”

Emily rolls her eyes and before thinking she gives a sarcastic retort, “Cut the bullshit, okay? I know you know. It’s not like it was a secret to begin with.”

All of the Bellas have a shell shocked look on their faces. They are beyond dumbfounded.

In the background, you can hear Cynthia-Rose say, “It’s about to go down.”

Krista scoffs, crossing her arms, giving Emily an incredulous look, “Of course I know what happened, Nadine. I want to know why you didn’t tell me. I was your best friend.”

Emily treks a little closer towards her, her face and tone conveying hints of anger, “Was. Past tense. You're the one who fucked me over by literally fucking my brother.”

Krista throws her hands up in the air, “You're still not over that are you?”

Emily’s voice is firm, standing her ground, “You chose my brother over me. Over someone whose known you for almost your entire fucking life.”

Emily takes a few steps back, her voice cracking, “You guys made me feel selfish for reacting the way I did. I’m fully mindful that I can’t expect you to chose me above everyone else every single time but you understood exactly how I felt. You were fully aware of how I felt in that household. How I felt inferior to Darian because they’ve never comprehended how it feels to be an outsider to your own family.”

Everyone has tears in their eyes, theirs hearts clenching.

Emily’s eyes are glassy, her vision hazy as she steps back towards her initial position beside Beca.

Beca grabs one of her hands, trying to keep the younger Bella grounded.

Emily tries to swallow the lump in her throat, her voice shaky, “You were there for me. Every single time. You were there for me through so many things but especially when my dad died. I felt powerless because I felt like I could have prevented it from happening. And you wanna know the worst part? When my dad died and when you left, I lost two of the most important people in my life. So to answer your question, Krista, no. I’m not over it.”

Krista is speechless. She looks at Emily helplessly.

Emily doesn’t want her pity. Sighing, she swivels around and strolls away from the girl who used to have her back through thick and thin.

Chapter Text

Beca was confused. More confused than she had ever been in her life. Why would Emily keep something like this from her? From the Bella’s?

One part of Beca feels conflicted. The other part feels upset. When Beca saw Emily interact with Krista, it was with familiarity, yet different. She doesn’t know how to describe it.

Beca knows that Emily doesn’t exactly owe them anything about her private life but Krista called her by a different name than they know her as.

Nadine.

What else don’t they know about Emily?

-

Emily doesn’t know what to do. She’s never been put in this position before. She doesn’t know how the Bella’s will react once they hear the whole story. The truth.

She’s kept the truth from them since she first met the Bella’s. Emily knows that she has a right to keep that information to herself but some part of her owes them that much.

Ever since that incident happened, she's become a whole new person. She changed her personality, her name, where she lived, where she went to school. Even living with a new family.

She never wanted to but she had to.

-

The entire drive back to the hotel was silent. It wasn’t a comfortable silence either. It was the type of silence that felt hollow.

A few minutes later, they arrive at the hotel. Beforehand, Emily had asked the Bella’s to meet in her and Beca’s room after they had changed into some more comfortable clothes. It would take a while for her to explain the situation.

The Bella’s take two separate elevators up to their floor, each going to their rooms to change. 5 minutes later, the rest of them trickle into Beca and Emily’s room.

Before the Bella’s coming in, Emily and Beca had changed into something similar. A pair of sweatpants and a t-shirt.

Some of the Bella’s took a seat on the couch while the rest got comfortable on the floor. Emily paced slightly in front of them.

Emily was trying to gather her thoughts but she was so focused on that, she hadn’t noticed that the other Bella’s giving her looks.

A couple of deafening seconds pass before the legacy turned toward the rest of the group. She wrings her hands together, “Where should I start?”

Beca is holding it in as much as she can, wanting to be open toward whatever Emily has to say, “We know you as Emily. Why’d she call you Nadine?”

Emily let out a loud sigh, picking at the loose string on her shirt, “My real name is Nadine Franklin. Emily was the name I chose after getting adopted by the Junks.”

Chloe slapped a hand over her mouth, muffling any gasp that had come out. Everyone else has a similar reaction.

Emily grimaces and runs a hand through her hair, and leans against the wall.

“When I was little, I never had the best relationship with my mom. For whatever reason, we could never agree on anything. My dad was like my hero. He got me in a way that no one else could. My older brother, Darian, was a mommy’s boy. He was a good kid. He got good grades, had a lot of friends, played sports, and all of that shit.”

Emily leans back, her head making a small thud noise as it lands against the wall. She holds up her hand as she lists off things, “There are two types of people in the world: The people who naturally excel at life, ie. my brother. And the people who hope all those people die in a big explosion, ie. me.”

And for a moment, the tension in the room dissipated before it came right back just as it had left.

Emily leaned off the wall, shuffling her feet, “I didn’t have any friends, and every day in elementary school these three girls at lunch would push me around. I always felt like I deserved it for being such a dick all the time.”

Beca frowns at this, mildly furious that Emily felt like she deserved anything bad that came her way.

The youngest Bella smiles fondly at a memory, “I met Krista when we were seven. I was smashing my umbrella on a metal gate when she came over to me. She was so small and she looked so sweet. She had this little fuzzy caterpillar in her hand, and she had excused me because she wanted to get to the water spigot. I think that was the first time anyone had wanted to talk to me without bad intentions.”

Emily’s expression becomes a little more solemn as she looks at the Bella’s, “And as we grew up, we were practically attached at the hip. Her family was having problems and so was mine. I guess that was something we unintentionally connected over with.”

Stacie gives her a look, clutching her shirt, trying not to burst into tears.

Emily takes a few moments to collect and mentally prepare herself. This next subject was hard.

Emily slides down the wall, crossing her legs. Blinking back tears, “When I was 13, me and my dad went out to get dinner. I love hamburgers and he knew that. And on our way home, we had turned on the radio. “You May Be Right” by Billy Joel was playing. It was one of his favorite songs.”

Emily sniffs as she wipes her sleeve across her face, wiping away a tear, “He had a heart attack. He swerved into a car down the street. I panicked. I scrambled out of the car and ran to get help. He was admitted to the hospital, and for a few hours, he was stable. And then his heart line went flat.”

Emily cleared her throat and clenched her jaw. Her chest felt constricted. She busied her hands by picking the lint off of her sweatpants.

And for a few seconds, it was quiet. No one said a thing. Emily could feel the pity radiating off of them.

So, Emily rambled. Words tumbled out of her mouth. She didn’t know how to do anything else.

“They put me on anti-depressants. I don’t even know for what because it didn’t fucking help.”

Beca gritted her teeth, tears burning in her eyes. Her throat felt like one big knot. She so desperately wanted to reach out and hug Emily and to shield her from the world.

“Sometimes I would get this feeling, like I’m floating outside of my body. And when I look down at myself, I hate what I see. I don’t like how I look, or the way that I sound, or how I act.”

Emily’s lower lip trembled as she struggled to blink back the tears before they dripped down her cheeks.

Ever since then, maybe even before that, she feels this gaping, aching pain in her chest. Wondering if it would ever go away.

Emily pulls her knees up to her chest, burying her face into them with her arms wrapped around herself. Her shoulders shaking as she lets out an anguished sob.

Beca can’t keep it together anymore as she lets loose the tears she tried to keep at bay, and rushes over to embrace the younger Bella.

The tiny DJ pulls Emily into her, stroking her hair as Emily cries into her t-shirt.

Chapter Text

Emily’s mind is a mess. A complete and utter disaster. It only got worse with time. There was no way to sort what she actually felt from what her intrusive thoughts were feeding her.

Emily dug her fingernails into her palms. It feels…calming. Grounding. She hoards off the destructive thoughts, keeping them at bay. One could only hope it would last a while.

Lifting her head, Emily uses the palms of her hands to wipe away the insistent tears. After taking a few deep breaths, she moves to sit criss-cross.

Beca backs off for a second, adjusting herself by letting her legs stretch out in front of her. She holds her hand out, palm up, towards Emily.

 

A silent, “I’ll be your anchor as long as you want me to.”

 

Emily looks up from her companion's hand, a watery smile settling on her face. Beca returns the sentiment. Emily scoots a little closer towards Beca, wanting to be close, wanting to be in a safe presence. Their shoulders touching, Emily interlocks their fingers.

 

Emily contemplates what she’s going to say for a few seconds.

 

“A couple of years after my dad died, I think I was 16 when this happened, I was put into foster care. I guess at some point my biological mom got tired of my shit. She never told me why she put me in the system but I think it’s pretty obvious why.”

 

Emily rubs her fingers across her knee, “Anyway, I um, I got shifted around a few times. Mostly because the families I “lived” with couldn’t stand me or the social worker decided I wasn’t worth the families time to try and “fix” me.”

Emily chuckles darkly, “I lived with my teacher one time. He was an ass but he cared.”

 

*Flashback*

Nadine got out of her mother’s car, slamming the door behind her as she strolled towards a particular teacher's classroom.

Nearly running down the hallway, she dodges students. She slows down once she gets closer to the classroom. Walking in, she pulls a chair up to the front of Mr. Bruner’s desk.

He looks up from his book for a slight second, “Busy.”

 

Nadine clasps her hands in front of her, “Hey. I don’t wanna take up a ton of your time but I’m gonna kill myself.”

Mr. Bruner looks over at her, book still open in his hands.

Nadine just grimaces. “I just thought someone should know. I don’t really know how this works. I’m probably gonna jump off, uh, an overpass in front of a semi.”

 

She hits her fingertips against each other, in thought, “Or a U-haul maybe, just not a bus. I’m not gonna be a dick and make people watch. But it has to be big.”

“It’s got to be so big that it just-,” Nadine makes a quick snapping noise, “done. Kills me. Lights out.”

“Cause if it just maims me-,” she makes a face and sticks her tongue out, “well then how is that good for anyone.”

She rambles on, “Then I got to find a nurse to smother me. How am I going to get across smothering if I’m-,” and imitates the same face again.

Nadine's face is nonchalant, gesturing around with her hand, “We don’t need to get caught up in the minutia, I just thought an adult- so you should know.”

The teacher grabs a bookmark to save his page and sets the book aside, “Wow, this is a lot to take in Nadine. I- I wish I knew what to say. Well, you know, I was actually just drafting my own suicide note just now.”

Nadine looks down at the paper in his hands, disbelief written across her face.

He “reads” the words off of the page to Nadine, sarcasm evident. “Dear everybody, as some of you may know, I have 32 fleeting minutes of happiness per school day during lunch.”

 

Nadine’s mouth drops open in shock as he continues, “Which has been eaten up again and again by the same, especially badly dressed student. And I finally thought, you know what, I would rather have the dark, nothingness. I really would.”

Mr. Bruner closes his eyes and sways his head, “It sounds…relaxing. Have a nice life without me fuckers.”

Nadine sits back in her chair, scoffing, “You’re so gonna get fired when I actually do it.”

Mr. Bruner throws the paper down and picks up his sandwich, “Well not for sure but I can dream.”

 

*Flashback Ends*

 

Beca looks over at Emily absolutely gobsmacked, “You actually said that? To your teacher? And that’s what he- Dude- what the fuck?”

Emily dismisses it, finding the old memory to be funny and ironic. “I had a bad day. I was with my bio mom at her job when she said some really shitty stuff to me. I took her car and drove myself to school. I think I just needed to vent and get some things off my chest.”

Everyone else is still processing the story. Maybe also going through the five stages of grief simultaneously.

Beca rubs her thumb over Emily’s hand. Emily squeezes lightly in return.

“A couple nights later, I um, I went out. I don’t really want to get into that story right now because it’s really triggering for me but I ended up running and crying behind a shipping container.”

Emily has a few flashbacks. Her chest feeling so tight, like she could barely take a breath. Her head feeling so light that she could barely see her hands in front of her.

“I walked to the nearest place I could find, which happened to be a donut shop, and called Mr. Bruner. I asked him if he could come pick me up but not to take me home.”

Emily gulps down the lump in her throat, eyes brimming with tears. “We went to his house and I finally met his family. I never thought he would have a family. I just thought that he was an old crabby white dude that lived alone.”

 

“He has a wife and a baby girl. It was so, I want to say refreshing, to just see him interact with his daughter like that. He was so gentle and kind. His wife was really nice too.”

Emily scoffs at herself, “I feel so selfish when I say this but I wish I had what she had. Mr. Bruner’s daughter, I mean. To be appreciated and loved. To be seen.”

Chloe speaks up from her spot cuddled into Stacie with red-rimmed eyes, “We appreciate you. I know that it’s way long overdue but we’re glad we met you. I hope that’s worth something.”

Emily gives the redhead a small smile and nods.

“A little bit later my brother shows up. I guess Mr. Bruner called my mother and she sent Darian instead. We argued like always and then he asked Mr. Bruner to take me home instead. And when I got there, a lady I had never seen before was sitting on our couch.”

Emily sucks in a deep shaky breath, blinking the tears away. “She told me that she was a social worker and that she was there for me. That was the last day I ever stepped foot into that house.”

 

Beca grips her hand tightly, looking Emily in the eyes. “I cannot tell you how messed up that is. For your mother to just, put you in the system like you meant nothing to her. I won’t pretend to know how you felt or how you still feel but we’re here for you now. We’re your newfound family and I hope that we always will be.”