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Red Threads

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The day started out pretty normal. Chloe made lunch, threw the trash out, hummed along to ‘Price tag’, and thought of what to do on her next date with Beca. The tiny DJ was playing with one of her mixes and Chloe went to take out her earbuds before asking the brunette a question when she heard it. A rattle, a scamper, and a squeak. Chloe stopped for a second, concerned. “Becs!” Chloe shouted.

Beca paid her no mind, the large headphones were quite efficient in canceling out noise. Chloe looked around before finding an apple nearby and tossing it at the back of Beca’s chair. Misfiring, Chloe managed to nail Beca directly in the back of the head.

“Ow!” Beca yelped.

Massaging her head, she lowered the headphones and turned to face her anxious girlfriend. “What?”

“I thought I heard something,” Chloe hissed.

The scrabbling sounded again and this time Beca froze, eyes wide. “Dude, what the fuck.”

“Right! What do we do?” Chloe whined.

“I don’t know! My Mom took care of the pests back in Seattle,” Beca replied.

“Becs I can’t even kill the roaches, this sounds bigger than a roach.”

Beca stood and approached the area where the noise had emanated from. The scratching of nails on plastic sounded again from beneath the countertop, so Beca pulled open the drawer for the garbage bin just in time to scream and leap backward.

“It’s a rat!” Beca shouted.

The rodent had made a mighty leap, its nose several inches below the lip of the garbage bin. Chloe peered in and cooed.

“Aw, it’s so tiny!” Chloe leaned in a bit more to get a closer look. “I don’t think it’s a rat Becs, I think it’s a mouse.”

“Well, do we call the exterminator or something?” Beca inquired.

“That’s two hundred bucks for one mouse, babe;” Chloe pointed out. “Why don’t we just release it?”

“What? So it can scamper back and haunt us, no way.” Beca said vehemently.

“Well I’m not killing it;” Chloe stated.

“Chlo, we can’t just let it run around our place, it could chew on wires and start a fire;” Beca informed the redhead. Praying that the ginger would do it.

“No way, I’m not killing anything that cute.” Chloe crossed her arms and thought for a moment before her eyes widened and she pulled her phone out of her back pocket.

“Let’s call Aubrey, she’ll know what to do!”

Beca opened her mouth to protest Aubrey’s presence on reflex but thought better of it this time. The blonde would definitely know what to do, especially since Aubrey was a southern girl. The southerner was a little too good a shot for her to have only hit inanimate objects.

The phone rang for a moment before the line was picked up. “Aubrey Posen, speaking.”

“You know who I am Bree, I don’t know why you answer the phone like that;” Chloe sighed.

“Sorry, habit. What’s up Chlo?” Aubrey asked.

“We have a small situation and need some advice,” Chloe hedged. She had just realized that she was about to tell the most organized and neat person in existence that her apartment had a rodent infestation.

“Sounds serious, what’s going on?”

“Um, we may have an uninvited furry guest?” Chloe murmured.

“Chloe, did you grab a dog off the street with worms, again?” Aubrey groaned.

“Hey, I said uninvited, and how was I supposed to know the dog had worms. He was super friendly and deserved a loving home.”

“Fine, so what is it this time? Kittens in your car engine? Dog hopped into your apartment? A particularly fluffy duck?”

“Can I finish?” Chloe frowned, there was no need to bring up past incidents. It’s not her fault animals are cute and always seem to wind up in her apartment.

Aubrey fell silent, waiting. “Okay, thank you. For your information, it’s a mouse and it’s in my trashcan.”

“You have a rodent infestation?” Aubrey yelled into the phone.

Chloe winced and held the phone away from her ear, “it’s only one mouse Bree.” She replied, hoping that would make it better.

“Did they crawl through the toilet pipes, because that happened to my Aunt once and we just flushed it?”

“What? No! Wait, they can do that?” Chloe exclaimed, horrified.

“Yes, Chloe, they can do that. Usually, you have to get a special flap or pipe installed that stops the rats from crawling up. Although big cities usually have those automatically.” Aubrey rattled off a couple of other horrifying details about creatures and plumbing before Chloe finally remembered her point.

“Aubrey, help us. We don’t know what to do with the mouse. Do we call animal control or something?”

Chloe’s hope was instantly squished when she heard Aubrey start laughing her, something is going to die, laugh. Chloe had gone on one hunting trip with Aubrey and that particular laugh was permanently etched into her brain.

“Chlo, you have to kill it.”

“Um, no? It’s cute and I don’t kill things,” Chloe remarked.

“Have Beca do it.” Beca, who had been listening in silence up to that point, immediately scowled at the phone.

“No way, I’m not killing it. What if it bites me? I’m not getting black death because of a mouse.”

“Well actually, the black death was caused by rats and passed through the fleas that were on the rats, not necessarily the rats themselves,” Stacie chimed in from the other line.

“Aren’t you supposed to be at work right now?” Beca retorted.

“Hey, why wouldn’t I also be at work?” Aubrey snapped, “Why is my workday less important than Stacie’s?”

“Babe, it’s probably because Stacie is researching a bunch of important stuff involving clean energy sources and physics, while you just do civil suits for fortune 500 companies.”

“Aca-Scuse me?”

“It’s alright babe, you still look really hot in a suit,” Stacie’s tone took on a flirtatious tone as Beca and Chloe caught a muffled reply. Suddenly slight wet sounds came from the other side of the phone and Beca started blushing.

“Dude! Stop making out and help us!” Beca shrieked her face a brilliant shade of red.

The sounds paused for a moment as a hushed conversation filtered through. Unable to make it all out, Beca debated gouging her ears out. It seemed to be just her luck that only the inappropriate comments made their way through the line.

“Alright, we’re coming over;” Aubrey said.

“Wait, what?” Chloe stammered. It still sometimes astounded her that her best friend, who was a complete prude in the beginning, could match Stacie “the Hunter” Conrad at dirty talk.

“We’re coming over, give us a bit!” Aubrey reiterated.

“Might take us longer than a bit,” Stacie chuckled before the line went dead.

“Uh, are they?” Beca muttered.

“Do you really have to ask?” Chloe smirked.

It was three hours later when Stacie and Aubrey arrived. Three hours of Chloe and Beca watching the Mouse persistently jump in an attempt to make a break for it. Chloe had begun to wonder whether it was better to just dump the mouse out and text Aubrey, ‘Nevermind’, when the doorbell rang. Beca sprang up to get it, swinging the door open, she was immediately wrapped up in a hug by Stacie.

“Hey Beca,” Stacie greeted her tiny friend.

“Hey,” Beca choked out between Stacie’s tight embrace.

“Hobbit,” Aubrey said with a smile.

“Posen,” Beca replied with narrowed eyes.

Both girls laughed before giving each other quick hugs. “So, where’s the mouse? Still in the garbage can?” Aubrey inquired.

“Yeah, he’s just jumping right now.” Beca guided them over to the drawer with the garbage can in it. The sounds of hopping droned on.
“Stace, got the stuff?” Aubrey asked.

Stacie nodded and pulled out a small glass vial with some mysterious goop in it. “I finally got to use my chemistry skills,” Stacie said happily.

“Dude, you’re gonna evil queen the rat?” Beca gasped.

“Evil queen? What? And I thought it was a mouse,” Stacie grumbled.

“Evil Queen, like from Snow White, with the poison?” Beca explained, “Chloe has been making me watch too many Disney movies.”

“Ooh, let’s watch Tangled after this,” Chloe chirped.

“What about Ratatouille?” Stacie smirked.

Aubrey smacked Stacie in the arm, “You’re terrible.” The blonde said while holding back a smile.

“You love it,” Stacie winked.

When Aubrey and Stacie set to work on the mouse Chloe and Beca lingered around, curious to see what the tincture would do. However, if they had the option to go back and change what was about to happen they absolutely would have. Because the rat poison didn’t work, and that meant that they had to do it the Aubrey way. Which was a lot less scientific, and a lot less humane.

“Stace, you lost the bet, your chemicals didn’t work;” Aubrey said cheerily.

“Fine, you get choice of our nightly activity,” Stacie sighed, “I was really looking forward to -”

“Did you guys bet on who would kill the rat better? And did you make the winner a sex thing?” Beca bellowed.

“What? It’s my day off, Aubrey and I were going to be spending all day in bed anyway, but we decided to help. You should be thanking us,” Stacie exclaimed.

“You made a sex bet on mouse killing technique,” Beca spluttered.

“Meh,” Stacie shrugged while Aubrey ignored Beca’s protestation in favor of pulling the extendable nightstick out of the bag that Stacie brought. “Sorry Despereaux, time to say night- night;” Aubrey hummed.

“Aubs, you can’t name it and then -”

WHACK

Chloe screamed and darted out of the room, hands over her head as a series of bangs came. The scrabbling got faster and the smack of solid carbon plastic hitting the garbage can increased in speed as well. Beca immediately spun around and power walked to her shared bedroom with Chloe as Stacie shouted directions at Aubrey over the blonde’s shoulder.

Chloe and Beca didn’t really know how long they stayed in their room but they were finally released by the light sound of knocking on their bedroom door. “You can come out now!” Stacie informed them.

“Yeah, cuz you killed him!” Beca yelled back.

Chloe opened the door and waited for Beca to follow her out, both peeking around to see Aubrey tying off a garbage bag. “I don’t think I can ever look at Aubrey the same ever again,” Beca muttered.

“Now imagine going on a hunting trip with her, she’s terrifying,” Chloe said solemnly.

“Alright, we got the body in the bag and now we’ll just be tossing him out,” Aubrey stated as she tossed the bag over her shoulder.

“Wanna watch a movie after I throw this out?” The blonde offered.

“Sure, just um…” Chloe hesitated for a moment, wincing.

“Anything but Despereaux.”