It's no secret to any of the Bellas or Treble Makers that Chloe and Jesse aren't the closest. Their interactions - which are few and far in between - are usually coated in a thin layer of ice. Everyone knows the true reason for the bitterness between the two has nothing to do with who either of them are but it has more to do about a certain person - one short, brunette alt girl…who seems completely oblivious to why her two favorite people can't seem to get along. Beca is Jesse's girlfriend and Chloe is her best friend, at least that's what Beca and Chloe like to think. Of course, the two girls are painfully oblivious to the fact that they are in love with each other; but Jesse is no idiot. He can see it, but who is he to break it off with the girl he loves. As long as Beca will have him, he's not going to end it. Which is how he's ended up in the current situation.
"Jesse, where is Beca? I thought she was going to be with you tonight?" Jesse can see the flames of something close to anger or maybe annoyance flick behind the red head's eyes as she stares him down.
"I thought she was with you?" Jesse counters lamely. He knows where Beca is. And honestly, he's surprised Beca didn't tell her other half about the internship.
"I thought she was with you?" Chloe looks more confused, the tone of annoyance seemingly gone. He feels bad about lying to Chloe, maybe. But he's not going to be the one to tell Chloe if it's clear Beca has been avoiding doing so.
"Well I hope she shows up soon, wherever she is," Chloe takes a sip from her prized yellow cup. "She can't miss her last hood night."
Chloe and the rest of the Bellas walk past him and make their way into the sea of acapella party goers. Jesse shakes his head; as much as he'd like to see the girls' relationship implode on itself, he knows Beca needs to tell Chloe what's going on.
"Ya know, you and Jesse should really draw up a custody schedule for Shaw Shank," Fat Amy quips before walking away towards Barden's latest security recruit, Bumper.
"What are you talking about, Amy?" Chloe was still a little bothered by her conversation with Jesse and wasn't in the mood for Fat Amy's smart remarks.
It was no use asking though since Amy was already blazing a trail towards her not-so-secret boyfriend. Chloe needed to do something to get into the party mood. She wasn't going to let Jesse or Beca ruin the mood for her probably last hood night - especially since her last year in acapella is basically destroyed thanks to their little mishap at the Kennedy Center. She can't help being a little hurt at the fact that Beca is MIA and didn't bother telling her or Jesse. Beca has been so distant and almost secretive about her life lately. She and Beca had always told each other everything. What happened to that? Whatever is going on, shouldn't she know she can tell her anything?
"Come on, captain, let's get this party going!" Stacie comes into Chloe's line of sight holding two solo cups of whatever alcoholic poison was whipped up for tonight's festivities.
Stacie thrusts one of the cups into Choe's hand, ignoring the fact that she's already holding a drink that she poured herself back at the Bella's. Chloe looks suspiciously at the contents before tipping it back. There's the slight hint of pineapple? Maybe cherry? God, who knows? But it burns all the way down her throat. A few of these and she'll soon be forgetting and enjoying herself in no time.
"Yeah, let's do this, Stace!" Chloe empties the contents of the cup and links her arm with Stacie. The two dance their way into the crowd of people, eager to start their night of partying.
Jesse is sitting at the bar, nursing his drink and thinking about when Beca is going to get here. He wants to see how her first day went. He wants to tell her about the new Treble recruits. He just wants to see his girlfriend. As if she somehow read his thoughts, he feels a weight on the back of his chair and turns just in time to catch Beca's lips with his. It's a quick kiss and Beca is flinging herself into the chair next to him before he knows it.
"Chloe asked where you were. Why didn't you tell her?" he surprises himself with the first words that fly out of his mouth. He watches her as she looks off into the distance and her eyes bug for a second. He can tell it bothers her - she's nervous.
"Oh she's…she's just like locked into the world's right now….and I'm looking for the right time…" she gestures off in the distance. "I'll tell her." Jesse doesn't believe her, not for a second. He doesn't know why she's so hesitant to tell her but he selfishly doesn't want to push her. Why would he lobby for the woman that's in love with his girlfriend?
"Okay, so how was your first day?" he asks hopefully.
"Oh, it was eye opening that's for sure," the smile that lights up her face tells him all he needs to know.
Chloe's on her third drink of the night and can feel it. The music courses through her as she laughs and dances with the other Bellas. She's wishing she hadn't worn what she did anymore. Maybe she should have opted for the skimpy tank top she was debating over because she's so warm. She feels Flo move in behind her and the two girls playfully bump and grind to the Britney Spears song blaring through the Treble's outdoor sound system. In her tipsy, almost drunken haze, Chloe almost misses the short brunette she's been looking for all night. She spins just in time to see her pecking Jesse on the lips and sitting down next to him at the bar. A strange feeling washes through her at the sight. She shakes it off and starts walking towards the pair, intent on talking to her best friend. She catches Beca's eye and she flashes her a brilliant smile. It makes Chloe's heart soar and she walks a little quicker over to her.
"Beca!" Chloe wraps her arms around her from behind. "Where were you?"
"I had to stay late at the station tonight," Beca replies, almost too quickly.
"You never have to work at the radio station on Friday." Chloe pouts, hugging Beca just a little bit tighter. Beca visibly tenses at Chloe's words and she looks to Jesse, her eyes bugging out.
"Drew was sick. I couldn't leave the freshmen in charge." She shrugs as best as she can with Chloe hanging off of her.
"Okay well let's parrrtaayyy!" Chloe whips around and grabs Beca's arm, pulling her off the stool. Beca can't do anything but smile as the bubbly and clearly drunk redhead pulls her towards the other bellas.
"Have fun Beca!" Jesse calls over to the duo.
"Come dance, nerd!" Beca smirks back.
"No thanks, have fun with your girls," He replies, shaking his head. He turns back around and takes a big swig of his drink.
No problem. You sit there and let me dance with my best friend, Chloe thinks proudly, dragging Beca through the crowd. Chloe squeals as "Titanium" starts playing. Beca and Chloe both smile wildly as they start dancing with each other. This is their song and neither of them can miss the chance to dance to the song that brought them together. Chloe grips Beca by her shoulders and her heart melts a little when she sees how Beca is looking back at her. They both know what the other is thinking before they both start belting out the chorus as it starts, jumping around, lost in their own world. When the song ends Beca looks at Chloe, out of breath, her eyes sparkling. Chloe fights the urge in her gut to just lean forward and kiss the brunette. Her head swirls at the rogue thought, although it's not completely out of the ordinary for Chloe lately. She's been having some feelings towards her best friend. Well, she's known they were there since she busted into her shower her freshman year. They've just grown by a few sizes in the last year. But she's with Jesse and Chloe can't. The thought leaves a sour feeling now in the pit of her stomach. Chloe takes a steadying breath and pulls Beca into a tight hug, before letting go and starting to dance to the next song that comes on.
Jesse watches sourly from the spot he hasn't moved from since Beca arrived at the party. His drink is still over half full but doesn't feel the need to add alcohol to his already piss poor mood. He wasn't the happiest all day and then watching Beca and Chloe dance just now made it entirely worse. Yeah, he could have gone and danced with her like she wanted, but he just feels so awkward hanging around the two. There's just something there between the two he can't seem to match - no matter how hard he tries. He knows that Chloe loves Beca, anyone within a 5-mile radius can see that. But does Beca reciprocate those feelings? Does Beca love her back? God, he hopes not. Ge's pretty sure that Beca loves him. But he might be delusional at this point. Sometimes he wonders if he should just end it now and save himself the trouble. He sighs and turns to look back out at the sea of people, just in time to catch Chloe pulling Beca into a bone crushing hug. Beca squeezes her back just as tight, a broad smile on her face. Jesse tips the contents of his cup into his mouth and hops off his stool, walking over to the two girls.
Beca pulls herself out of Chloe's embrace, a warm fuzzy feeling seeps from the top of her head down to her toes. It's usually how she feels whenever Chloe hugs her, a hug from Chloe is sunshine, happiness and warmth.
"Beca!" She hears Jesse call, walking towards the crowd.
"You decided to come get in on this action?" Beca spins towards her boyfriend, shimmying around dorkily.
Chloe giggles at her, busting a move of her own. Jesse doesn't answer, but Beca grabs his hand anyways and pulls him into her orbit. The three all start dancing; Jesse keeps close to Beca. She turns her back to him to face Chloe and she can feel his hands grasp on to her hips. A small gasp of surprise leaves the brunette, but she smiles and goes with the flow, leaning back into him. The pair playfully grind for a little while, letting the beats of the music flow through them, dictating their movements. Beca looks to Chloe and sees that her eyes are seemingly focused on the two of them. She's looking dead into Jesse's eyes. Beca quirks her eyebrow and turns her head to look at her boyfriend. He has definitely locked eyes with the redhead across from them. The stare between the two seems to be laced with some sort of non-verbal communication. The uncomfortable tension between the two hangs in the air around them. Chloe breaks the stare and turns to walk further into the crowd - away from the two. Beca is confused to say the least at this point. She vaguely registers that she's stopped dancing and so has Jesse behind her.
"Dude what just happened there?" She spins around and looks him in the eye.
"I don't know." Jesse shrugs.
"Bullshit." Beca spits back as best she can over the music, "What happened between you two? Did you say something to her?" Beca asks. She had been looking at Chloe the whole time and never saw her say anything to him.
"No, I didn't say anything. Why are you so angry?" Jesse says loudly and firmly back.
"Because I could fucking feel something in the air. There were daggers happening. Chloe doesn't walk away angry like that very often," Beca flails her arms around expressively.
"So she's pissed off? What does that have to do with us?" Jesse rolls his eyes. Beca is blown back by his retort. Where is her boyfriend and who is this jackass?
"I'm done here, dude. I don't know what you did but I'm going to find Chloe," Beca spins around and heads through the crowd in search of Chloe.
She hears Jesse calling her, but she doesn't particularly care at the moment. She doesn't know what Jesse said to her or what he did, but he made Chloe upset - that much she can tell. She has no clue why two of her favorite people just can't seem to make peace. She doubts it's any kind of Treble vs. Bella thing. That pretty much died away at the end of her freshman year, after Aubrey handed her the reigns. So who knows? But she just wishes that they could at least pretend for her. She spots Chloe sitting down on a lawn chair at the edge of the yard, looking wistfully off in the distance. She doesn't look angry, but she doesn't look like her normal, happy, bubbly self either. Beca walks over and plops down in the grass in front of her.
"Hey Chlo." She says, trying to keep her voice cheerful.
"Becs," Chloe acknowledges her but doesn't look directly at her. She's playing with her hands. Beca knows that's something she only does when she's angry or nervous.
"What happened back there?" Beca doesn't want to prod, but she wants to know what's going on.
"Nothing. It's fine." Chloe looks down at her, biting her lower lip.
"I know it's not nothing," Beca says back calmly. Usually it's Chloe breaking down all of Beca's walls. This is a weird shift - to be on the other side of it. Beca hears a very telling sigh from the girl above her, one that usually means she's going to be brutally honest,
"Why are you with him?" Chloe asks bluntly. The question floors Beca and suddenly the tables are turned again. Chloe's coming in with her sledgehammer. She rolls it around in her head before she can properly say anything
"What?" Beca finally asks.
"Why are you with him?" She says, clear as day back to Beca, blue eyes swimming with more emotion that she's seen in a while. Beca is truly at a loss for words. She doesn't really know where this is coming from
"I don't know, Chlo.I like him? He's good to me? It's easy, it feels natural. Why wouldn't I want to be with him? You seem like you have a reason for me - so what is it Chlo?" Now Beca is the one fidgeting angrily, pulling at the loose stitches on the edge of the black jeans she's wearing.
"What if there's something better?" Chloe doesn't miss a beat. "You "like" him. Sounds boring. Where's the passion Beca? Where's the heat? Does he turn your world off its axis? Does he make you feel like you can't breathe right when you're around him?"
"I don't know?" Beca stands up angrily in front of the other girl. "Yes? Ugh. Sure. Why does it matter? You should be happy for me. You're my best friend? What is your problem with Jesse!?"
"He's not me!" Chloe shoots to her feet. Her cheeks are as red as her hair, her hands flying as she gestures. "God, you're so blind sometimes!" The ground feels like it drops out from underneath Beca. She takes a deep steadying breath. Did Chloe really say what Beca thinks she did?
Chloe sucks in air like her lungs were completely emptied. Her head spins. Did she really just say that? Did she really just say everything she did? She definitely did not see this playing out how it did. Beca is looking at her like a baby doe that ran out in front of a semi. Any slight movement and she'll be running. Chloe runs a hand through her hair nervously.
"Beca…I" she feels tears threatening to spill over. "I don't know why I did that…I" But before she can say more Beca cuts in.
"How do you feel about me Chloe? I'm pretty sure I get the picture here, but I need you to say it. Just say it Chlo." Beca says sternly. Here's her chance. She basically just said it, but here it is out in the open again. Here is take two. Chloe swallows back nerves.
"I like you Beca. No scratch that, I love you Beca." Chloe says, her heart pounding in her chest. She can hear her heartbeat in her ears and the world feels like it's shaking as Beca asks her next question.
"Well, I knew I liked you when I busted into your shower three years ago…" Chloe can't help the smirk that forms on her face and to her pleasant surprise is also on Beca's face. "I knew I loved you around the time of the ICCAs your freshman year." Instead of stopping there, Chloe forges forward. This is her shot and she's not going to waste it. "I was going to tell you after we won. Then you went and kissed Jesse. I knew I should have said something sooner, but I didn't. It's been so hard to keep it in, keep it bottled up. It's been hard to see you everyday with him. And then tonight when you were dancing with him, he was looking at me like he knew. Like he was marking his territory by dancing with you like that in front of me. I just couldn't take it. Then when you came to talk to me, something just snapped. But I'm not sorry for taking my shot. I know it's not fair to you, but I just…" Chloe can't help the tears that are running down her face now. Beca just looks at her bewildered.
"Chloe I had no idea. Okay, maybe I had a little bit of an idea, but I just assumed it was you. You're a flirt. you don't have personal space. I just assumed. . ." She shakes her head. "I need time to think. I'm sorry I'm not impulsive like that. I need some space. I need some time."
"Beca…" She doesn't even know what else to say. Chloe feels as though her heart was ripped out of her chest if it wasn't already. She's not sure what Beca is feeling and she's not going to know for a while
She shakes her head and sits back down in the grass, staring aimlessly across the party scene in front of them. Chloe walks away back towards the Bella's house, her tears blinding her vision. She barely makes it to her room before a choked sob escapes her. She flings herself down onto her bed and lets herself cry.
It's been a few days since hood night and Beca just doesn't seem right. Jesse looks over at her sitting on his bed. They're having their normal Tuesday movie night and Beca had begrudgingly said yes. She's even less involved in this than jaw is tight and she's barely touched the giant bowl of popcorn between the two of them. She's not even trying to pretend she's watching the movie. He's tried asking her what happened on Friday, but she won't say anything.
"Are you seriously not going to tell me what happened?" Jesse pauses the movie and asks.
"I said there's nothing to talk about." She shakes her head.
"That's absolute bullshit. Both you and I know that." He touches her hand and she flinches away from him. "You are never this upset about just nothing."
"I've just had a lot to think about." He can see her face twitch, the façade she put on cracking slightly.
"Uh huh, sure." He looks back at the paused movie screen deciding his next words. "It has something to do with Chloe, right?" Beca doesn't say anything but her face twitches again just slightly, in a way that Jesse knows he's hit the nail on the head.
"What happened when you went to go find her?" Jesse slams the laptop shut and shoves it to the end of the bed, scooting closer to her. Beca shakes her head, an exasperated smile on her face.
"I can't…" she looks back over at him, her eyes are full of unshed tears.
"Just tell me." he pleads, grabbing her hand again; this time she doesn't squirm away from him. She sighs deeply and wipes the few rogue tears away from under her eyes,
"She…umm," she's toying with the ring on her finger nervously. "She told me that she loves me." Jesse's stomach falls to his feet, that's what he was afraid she was going to say. Now it's his turn for his jaw to tighten.
"Do you love her back?" He asks her carefully, unsure if he wants to know the answer.
"I don't know…maybe." Now the tears are flowing freely down Beca's face in a rare moment of raw emotion not normally seen from her. He's not sure why his next words leave him, but he's known for a while, it isn't him anymore.
"You want to know what I think…" he chuckles lamely. "I think you do."
"What!?" Beca's reaction is quick and visceral, she gapes at him.
"I think you love her too. It's okay if you do." Now Jesse can feel the unshed tears in his own eyes. "I see the way you look at her. I see how she makes you feel. I've never made you feel the way she does."
She's stunned into silence for a few moments and he can see the wheels turning in her head. She turns quickly to pull him into her arms. Jesse hugs her back willingly. She kisses him hard and he can tell - this is the last time this is going to happen.
"I love Chloe." she whispers into his shoulder after she pulls away from the kiss.
"I know," Jesse says definitively, "it's okay."
"Can we still be friends?" Beca pulls out of his arms and wipes the last of the tears from her face.
"Eventually, but I need time to heal first." Jesse sighs. He wants Beca to be happy, but he can't rush into a friendship right away.
"I…I get that," Beca stutters. She stands up from the bed and grabs her messenger bag from the floor
"I'm gonna?" she motions to the door.
"Go get her." Jesse shakes his head. He watches her leave and shut the door. He knew it would happen eventually; he just didn't think so soon. He always kind of knew that Chloe was going to win.
Chloe hasn't left her bed all day, except to go to the bathroom. She didn't even bother emailing her professors that she wasn't going to be in class. Chloe was broken. Beca hasn't spoken to her since it happened. And she knows it's going to take her some time to talk to her for a while. Chloe needs time too. She needs time to pick up the pieces and glue them back together. It isn't easy to be rejected, especially when you feel as deeply as Chloe does. She doesn't love with half her heart. She loves deeply, wholly in a way that always seems to get her in trouble. She rolls onto her back and stares at the ceiling, wondering what would have been different if she had told her sooner. She knows she needs to stop. What's done is done. There's no use replaying it. She almost doesn't hear the knock at her door. She would think she's hearing things if it wasn't for a certain someone calling her name from the other side.
"Chloe?" There is another tentative knock and shy voice at the door. Chloe scrambles up from bed and runs to open the door. A scared looking Beca with red eyes and wild hair stands on the other side. She's definitely been crying.
"Can I come in?" She asks quietly. Chloe just nods, not able to form words currently. Beca paces around her room for a little bit until she comes to stand in front of her.
"I suck at words." She smiles shyly. "I was just with Jesse and he said some stuff that really made me realize how I feel."
"What, Becs?" Chloe nods, afraid to hear what she's going to say next.
"He said that he thinks I love you too." Beca takes a deep breath.
"Beca, I can't take much more of this…I need to try and-" Beca cuts her off before she can say anything else.
"And I agree with him. I do." She looks so scared, but not in a bad way. "Love you, that is."
The words hit Chloe hard and fast. She lunges towards Beca and pulls her in, touching her lips to the other girls for the first time. At first Beca is tentative, her lips unmoving against Chloe's. Chloe pulls away to check Beca's reaction, but before she can Beca lunges back at her, this time kissing her back. It surprises Chloe but she is quick to reciprocate. They don't pull away until the air between them is completely gone. Chloe rests her head against the brunette's, breathing hard.
"I didn't think that was ever going to happen." Chloe chuckles.
"Say it again." Beca says, her voice thick with emotion. Chloe looks at her confused.
"Tell me you love me. I want a do-over." she says quietly, barely above a whisper.
"I love you so much Beca Mitchell." Chloe's heart swells at her words. The smile that forms on Beca's face lights up Chloe's whole world
"I love you Chloe Beale."