Stacie Conrad could barely see the text in front of her. She sat herself at the table in the library almost nine hours ago - only getting up to use the restroom and get more coffee. It was the Saturday before finals week and she was already looking forward to 7 PM on Friday when she would walk out of her last undergrad test ever.
She was startled when a take out container was sat down next to her with a bottle of water. A pair of hands she would know anywhere slipped over her shoulders and then down her arms.
“What are you doing here?” Stacie asked while she craned her neck to see Aubrey Posen in all her glory standing over her.
“It’s about to be finals week of your senior year of college. I took some time off from the Lodge to run support.” Aubrey took a seat across from Stacie. “I’ve already hit the store and have what I need to make meals for you and the rest of the graduating Bellas. Which I’ll be portioning in take out containers so they can be eaten on the go. I’ll be making sure the house keeps running and handling some Bella admin planning for Worlds for Chloe and Beca as well.”
“You are the best girlfriend ever,” Stacie cracked open the take out container to find roasted chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy with peas. “Seriously, I haven’t eaten since like seven this morning.”
“I will also be making sure that doesn’t happen again. You do not work well when hungry. Or tired. I’ll be making sure you sleep, even if I have to drag you to bed,” Aubrey pulled her laptop out, hooking in to the wi-fi.
“Babe, seriously you’re amazing,” Stacie said through a mouthful of food.
Aubrey rolled her eyes at Stacie’s manors but didn’t correct them at the moment. “Finals week isn’t easy for anyone but you made it harder on yourself. You have three tests and three presentations to prepare for over the next week, because you decided to double major in two different hard sciences. What kind of girlfriend would I be if I let you handle that on your own?”
“Give me another hour to finish outlining this chapter and then we can go?” Stacie felt her heart melt at how thoughtful Aubrey was being.
“Take your time, I have some work of my own to get done.” Aubrey popped one earbud in before turning her attention to her laptop.
It ended up taking closer to an hour and a half before Stacie finally decided she couldn’t outline anymore. She and Aubrey packed their things before Stacie slipped her arm into Aubrey’s as they walked back to Bella House.
“Are you staying in my room?” Stacie asked as she let their hands swing a bit between them as they walked.
“Where else would you like me to sleep?” Aubrey questioned as they walked. “Chloe’s room is out. From what I’ve heard from Chlo since Beca and Jesse broke up, they have been sharing a bed. Some sounds I never need to hear, those two together make about half of them.”
“They are cute,” Stacie defended. “I mean a little over the top now that heads have been removed from asses, but at least Chloe has calmed down about Worlds. And is sitting her Russian Lit final.”
“Oh, she sure as hell is sitting it.” Aubrey said darkly. “If I have to drag her there myself, she is taking that test.”
“You’re here for her as much as me, aren’t you?’ Stacie looked over with an understanding smile on her lips.
“I love her,” Aubrey whispered. “She’s been my person for so long, and I let her down by disconnecting when I graduated and she didn’t. It’s up to me to see her through this.”
Stacie let go of Aubrey’s hand to wrap her arm around her shoulders to bring them closer as they walked. “I love how much you protect the people that matter to you,” she pressed a kiss to the side of Aubrey’s head without losing a step.
“I try,” Aubrey said as her arm wrapped around Stacie’s waist. “With you and Chloe, even with Beca and the other Bellas. I want to be there for all of you.”
Stacie used her key to unlock the front door. The house was mostly empty with most of the other Bellas out at different study groups or the library. Stacie held the door as Aubrey stepped inside before closing it again.
“I can’t believe you’re here,” Stacie smiled as they headed up to her room.
Aubrey had already set her bags in Stacie’s room, glad she had a single room with a queen sized bed. “I can’t save you from finals, but I can make them a little easier.”
Once inside the bedroom, Stacie wrapped Aubrey up in her arms and gave her the type of kiss that she had wanted to give her since Aubrey appeared in the library hours ago. The pair melted into each other as they said hello to each other again.
“I missed you,” Stacie whispered. “Talking to you over text isn’t the same as having you in my arms; I can’t cuddle an iPhone.”
“I am going to be here for a while yet,” Aubrey wrapped her arms around Stacie’s neck. “Focus on that and not on the fact it’s been weeks since we’ve seen each other.”
Stacie leaned in for another slow kiss, her hands migrating to Aubrey’s hips. “I know I should be letting the Hunter out to have all the fun that we both want, but I’ve been up since six this morning and really could use a nap.”
Aubrey pulled out of Stacie’s arms, pulling the covers back on her bed. “So, we take a nap, then I feed you, then the Hunter can come out to play.”
“You are so smart,” Stacie already was throwing off pieces of her clothing until she was down to a t-shirt and pair of boy shorts.
“Yes, I am,” Aubrey said, taking one of Stacie’s shirts for her own after she undressed. Soon the pair was laying in each other’s arms taking an afternoon nap together.
When Chloe walked down to the kitchen two mornings later, she didn’t expect anyone to be there.
“Morning,” Aubrey said from the table with her second cup of coffee in front of her.
“It’s like six in the morning, what are you doing awake?” Chloe asked with a yawn.
“Habit from the Lodge,” Aubrey explained. She got to her feet and grabbed a cup of coffee for Chloe.
“Thanks,” Chloe sat down at the table.
“You’re up early,” Aubrey noted as she sat down again.
“I couldn’t sleep after I got up to use the bathroom,” Chloe wrapped both hands around her mug. “I didn’t want to keep tossing and turning and wake Beca up.”
“From watching the two of you, it seems like things are going well there,” Aubrey said.
“They are,” Chloe agreed. “When she and Jesse broke up, I just wanted her to feel better. And then things changed with us, and all of the sudden, all of these feelings we both held back were front and center. And we just sort of jumped into a relationship. But it doesn’t feel like a rebound, if anything it feels more serious than long term relationships I’ve had.”
“I’m happy for you, Chlo. I am. I know when I was … Beca and I didn’t always see eye to eye, but I am really glad the two of you are happy,” Aubrey reached across the table to hold her best friend’s hand.
“You and Stacie seem pretty serious,” Chloe took the focus off of her and Beca.
“We are,” Aubrey nodded. “I have never found someone who understands me as well as she does. Other than you. And I like to think I take care of her well, too.”
“She’s happy, Bree. She is,” Chloe nodded. “How is long distance going to go with her going to Yale?”
“I’m selling my share of the Lodge, so there isn’t going to be long distance. I got into Yale business school,” Aubrey whispered. “She doesn’t know that yet. I didn’t want her to be freaked out about me following her right before her finals.”
“Aubrey, that is amazing!” Chloe beamed at her best friend. “Stacie is going to be so excited.”
“I hope so,” Aubrey breathed out, giving a slightly nervous smile. “I want to marry her one day, Chloe. I have never really seen myself having something like this. But when I’m with her, it all clicks.”
“That’s how I feel with Beca,” Chloe nodded.
Aubrey gave a look. “With her graduating, will you finally?”
Chloe winced slightly at the tone of Aubrey’s voice. “Yeah, yeah it’s time. I can’t keep staying here and not growing up. Beca has a job waiting for her in New York, I’m going to go with her and find work doing … something in the performing world.”
“You have a ton of experience there,” Aubrey agreed it was a good idea.
“With us in New York and the two of you in New Haven, we can see each other more, maybe? It’s only a couple of hours between the two places,” Chloe hated how little she and Aubrey saw each other lately.
“I’d really like that,” Aubrey smiled. “It would be nice to try to see each other at least once or twice a month.”
Chloe took a drink of her coffee before looking at Aubrey again. “I’m sorry you know? For not telling you until right before your graduation. You deserved to know before then, but I know how disappointed you’d be, and I just couldn’t find the words.”
“Our - My senior year didn’t go the way either of us planned. It wasn’t like I was easy to talk to that year,” Aubrey admitted. “It hurt that you didn’t tell me, but I get it now. I do. And if three extra years is what it took for you and Beca to figure your shit out, maybe it was worth it in the end.”
“I think so,” Chloe nodded. “I love her. It’s too soon to tell her but I do.”
“I love you too,” Beca’s voice was still laced with sleep as she came into the kitchen. She wrapped her arms around Chloe from behind. “Is there coffee left?”
“There is,” Aubrey watched Chloe’s face carefully as Beca pressed a kiss to her cheek before going to get some.
“You love me?” Chloe questioned.
“Yeah dude, of course I love you,” Beca said once she had her coffee. “You’re Chloe, how could someone who got a chance to be with you not fall in love with you?”
Chloe moved from the table to carefully, she knew if she slipped Beca’s coffee the moment would be lost, wrap Beca up in her arms. She bent down to press a kiss to her lips. “Wanna finish your coffee upstairs? In bed?”
“Yup,” Beca choked, suddenly very awake.
Aubrey just shook her head and set the coffee pot for whoever got up next. She poured herself another cup of coffee and then one for Stacie before taking them upstairs to the brunette’s bedroom.
Stacie was awake but hadn’t moved from the warmth of her blankets. “Rude to make me wake up alone.”
“I come bearing coffee?” Aubrey held the cup out.
“Forgiven,” Stacie said as she sat up against the headboard.
“Thank you,” Aubrey slipped into bed next to her, leaning against her side.
Stacie sipped at her coffee, eyes closed as she worked on waking up. “I have some study groups this morning and then my chem final at three. Are you going to be alright on your own?”
“I think I can manage,” Aubrey chuckled. “I have some work of my own and Netflix to get me through the day.”
“I am so glad you’re here,” Stacie whispered as the hand not holding her coffee moved to rest on Aubrey’s thigh.
“I wouldn’t be anywhere else, Stace,” Aubrey promised. “We’ve spent so much of our relationship not together. I didn’t want this week to be one of them.”
“You are incredible,” Stacie smiled.
“I am but so are you,” Aubrey chuckled.
“Yes, I am,” Stacie agreed, laughing when Aubrey poked her in her ribs.
Aubrey debated telling Stacie about Yale before deciding to hedge. “After your finals, I want us to talk. Not a bad talk. Not a bad talk at all. But talk about Yale.”
“I hate we’ll be doing real long distance,” Stacie frowned. “But I can’t pass Yale up.”
“I don’t want you too,” Aubrey shook her head.
“I wish you could come with me,” Stacie admitted in a small voice. “But you love the Lodge.”
“Not as much as you,” Aubrey said before she could stop it.
“Bree,” Stacie held on her thigh a little tighter.
“I was going to save this until after finals week,” Aubrey shook her head. “But I can’t. I’m selling my stake in the Lodge and going to Yale’s business school.”
“Seriously?” Stacie’s eyebrows hit her hairline as she shifted to look at Aubrey full on. “You’re going to Yale, you’re going to be with me?”
“I am,” Aubrey smiled at the pure excitement on Stacie’s face. “I want to get an MBA and build something of my own and doing it in the same place you are makes the most sense. I want us to share an address, an apartment, a bed every night.”
“I love you, Aubrey Posen. I love you so much,” Stacie moved her coffee and Aubrey’s to the bedside table. “God, so much.”
“I love you,” Aubrey brought her hand to Stacie’s cheek. “You’re not upset I didn’t tell you I applied.”
“I’m so happy you did. I don’t care that you didn’t tell me. But no more big things like this without talking it out, alright?” Stacie requested.
“I can make that promise,” Aubrey leaned in for a kiss.
Stacie wrapped Aubrey up, pulling her close as Aubrey shifted to straddle her hips. This was by far the best news Stacie had since she got the acceptance to Yale in the first place.
Beca Mitchell made a face at her notes. They were starting to make no sense to her anymore. Though it was just after five in the morning, about twenty nine hours before her music theory final.
“You should go to bed, Becs,” Stacie yawned as she came down to get the coffee going.
“Why are you awake at this unholy hour?’ Beca asked as she looked up at Stacie.
“Eight AM final. I want to go for a run to try and clear my head before I go do some studying,” Stacie explained.
Beca nodded as she closed all of her notebooks. “I should get some sleep. I know I have a meeting with your girlfriend and mine about World’s at when Chloe gets back from her Russian lit final. Aubrey is a lifesaver by the way.”
“She excels at all of this,” Stacie made herself a cup of coffee before sitting across from Beca.
“Chloe told me you and her are both going to be at Yale. That’s only a couple hours from the city. So don’t like be a stranger, okay?” Beca looked up at Stacie. “You kind of became my best friend after Chloe.”
“Awe, B,” Stacie grinned. “I promise Bree and I will come see you and Chloe often. We’ll be up to our eyeballs in work, but we’ll still have time to meet up a few times a month. Plus the train runs both ways.”
Beca felt her face heat up a bit. “It does. We’ll come see you. Drag you and Aubrey out for some fun, so you two don’t become too boring.”
“I don’t know if Aubrey could be boring if we tried. I find her infinity fascinating,” Stacie smiled.
“You got it bad,” Beca snorted.
“Yes, I do. And I’ll tell you a secret,” Stacie leaned in. “I’m going to marry that Posen one day.”
Beca forced back a yawn as to not kill the moment. “I can’t wait to see that, honestly. Chloe and I are free to be maid of honor and best dude by the way.”
“I’ll keep that in mind. Now go to bed before Chloe has to get up and you get all grumpy, because you missed out on cuddling her,” Stacie teased.
“She is so good at cuddling,” Beca got a bit of a goofy grin.
“From the sounds I’ve heard out of you, not the only thing she is so good at,” Stacie joked.
Beca turned as red as Chloe’s hair. “Yeah, well. You go nearly three years without good sex and you’ll have a hard time keeping quite.”
“That sounds horrible,” Stacie gasped. “Bree was right about the Trebles.”
“Benji’s alright,” Beca defended. “I won’t defend the rest though.” She stood and popped her back before grabbing her notebooks. “And don’t tell Aubrey she was right about the Trebles, most of them at least? She gets that smug smile when she’s told she’s right.”
“I have a love/hate relationship with that smug smile,” Stacie admitted.
Beca patted her shoulder before she headed upstairs to sleep.
Chloe needed a B- on her final to pass her final class needed to graduate college.
“Just look,” Beca rubbed her girlfriend’s shoulders as the morning grades were posted. “You worked really hard to prep, Chlo. Just look.”
“What happens if I try this time and it doesn't matter?” Chloe questioned.
“You passed. Just look at it,” Beca pressed a kiss to the top of her head.
Chloe breathed out as she logged on to check her final grade in her final class.
Chloe Beale: A-
“I’m graduating,” Chloe’s head turned to look at Beca. Her eyes were a bit wide and her mouth hung up.
“Hell yes you are!” Beca beamed with pride.
“Finally!” Came Aubrey’s voice from the hall.
Chloe laughed as she got up and opened the door. The two best friends looked at each other a long moment before hugging tightly.
“I did it, Bree. I did it,” Chloe whispered as they hugged tightly.
“You did it,” Aubrey congratulated. “I am so proud of you. So proud.”
“Us too,” Beca and then Stacie joined in on the hug.
The two couples and four best friends hugged each other close. Soon they all would take a new step together toward a future each was positively thrilled for.