nnieohhhhyes

There’s a time and place for everything

and I believe it’s called ‘fan-fiction’.

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Homey
nnieohhhhyes
novel_concept26
Title: Homey
Pairing: Beca Mitchell/Chloe Beale friendship
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: Nothing owned, no profit gained.
Spoilers: Mild ones for Pitch Perfect.
Summary: A birthday prompt fill for Sammi, in which she wanted Bechloe domesticity, with Beca being both surprisingly good and somewhat horrified by her own talent.

Chloe makes her way home at a dragging pace, doing her best to keep her umbrella from turning itself inside out in the driving rain. It’s mostly a losing battle, struggling to hold her bag out of harm’s way, to keep her hair dry, and to avoid stepping in any monster puddles that might decimate her shoes. This is the most epic storm she’s seen inmonths, and of course it would strike as soon as her classes let out for the day. Of course.

She reaches the apartment, a shivering, huddling mess, and jams the key into the lock. She half expects it to break off in her hand, because it’s just been that kind of day: the day where she misses the bus, and there’s a quiz—surprise!—that wasn’t meant to be a surprise at all, except she forgot it entirely in the flurry of stress she’s been weighed down by all week. The day where the sandwich shop she pauses at for lunch is out of roasted turkey, and where the Starbucks down the street gifts her with a latte that winds up all over her jeans, and where she sustains a nasty cut while digging in her bag for a folder and ends up finding the business end of a pissed-off pen instead.

She cut her hand open with a pen.

Thank the aca-gods this day is over.

She elbows her way through the entryway, letting the bag and the umbrella spill onto the floor. Her shoes, kicked off with too much force, end up halfway across the living room. She catches a glimpse of herself, reflected in the slumbering television screen, and cringes. Awful.

It’s Friday. She has never been so happy to see a Friday in her life. Back at Barden, weeks were buffered with friends, the people she loved; if she had a day like this, she could be certain Aubrey would be there at the end of it, wielding a home-knitted blanket, and hot chocolate, and a worn copy of Grease to ward off the misery. Aubrey was always so great for the cuddling, and the making of chicken noodle soup, and everything else Chloe needs on a day like this.

But Aubrey’s not here; Aubrey is in Seattle, as far from New York as you can get, and Chloe is on her own for both the rent and the comfort.

Which is why, when she realizes she actually smells something—something more like cooking and less like burning, thank god—floating in from the miniaturized kitchen, Chloe’s first impulse is to snag the baseball bat she keeps behind the couch. If an intruder is choosing to cook for her, rather than burgle the crap out of her stuff, they’re probably not all that bad, but it’s been the kind of day where taking chances is just foolhardy.

Chloe’s mama didn’t raise no fool.

She creeps to the edge of the kitchen and freezes there, bat held off her shoulder in preparation to swing. And then she stops. Tilts her head. Smiles.

“What are you doing here, stranger?”

Beca glances over her shoulder—which has a dishrag draped over it, how adorable—and grins sheepishly. “Oh. I thought you wouldn’t be home until six.”

“It’s six-eighteen,” Chloe points out, letting the bat drop heavily against her shoulder. Beca twists her left wrist up so she can read her leather-banded watch.

“Oops.”

“You’re here,” Chloe observes a second time. She steps into the kitchen, stretching up on her toes to inspect the stovetop. “Here and cooking. Why are you cooking? And hey, how did you get in?”

If Beca looked sheepish at being caught, she seems downright embarrassed now. “Your, uh, neighbor. The older woman? She showed me where you keep the spare.”

Chloe reminds herself to have a nice firm chat with Mrs. Porter, who is easily the sweetest, most grandmotherly woman she’s known since her own grandparents were alive—and who, apparently, needs a refresher course on letting strangers into her friends’ apartments.

“As for how I got here, you’re the one who sent me the ticket,” Beca points out. She looks very small, her right hand habitually stirring something in a frying pan. There’s something on her face that Chloe hasn’t seen since Barden, something that suggests she expects to be scolded for this whole situation. Like maybe it took everything in her to believe Chloe really wanted her to visit, and now, she’s not quite sure she made the right call.

Chloe drops the bat with a clatter and sprints to her, arms looping hard around her middle. She presses her face against Beca’s back, drowning in the instant memory of her scent and the scratch of flannel against her cheek.

“I can’t believe you’re here.”

Beca twists, trying awkwardly to hug back with one arm as she continues stirring with the other. “Yeah, well, there wasn’t much to hang around at Barden for. I needed the weekend away.”

She doesn’t fill in the blanks, but Chloe has been following the progression on Facebook—Jesse’s, anyway. Beca has never been much good with social networking. It’s just that Jesse’s friends are really excellent at asking questions in plain view of the rest of the world, no matter how personal, and Jesse’s uncharacteristic silence serves as a pretty obvious answer.

She doesn’t ask what happened, or why; Beca doesn’t seem interested in revisiting the experience, or in saying his name out loud. Breakups happen, and sometimes, they’re best left alone. Chloe gets that.

She turns her face against Beca’s back, hugging her tighter. “You have no idea how much I needed this today,” she says, sighing happily when Beca clumsily turns her cheek against the side of Chloe’s head.

“Okay, but your dinner is going to get all scorchy and sad if you don’t let me finish up.”

There’s a gentle smile in her voice. Chloe releases her, but not before stretching up to smack a loud kiss against her cheek. Her skin goes pink beneath Chloe's lips; Beca reaches up to rub the kiss away, her brow furrowed in a mock scowl.

“Whatcha making me?” Chloe asks, leaning her weight against the refrigerator door and inspecting the pan. Beca’s shoulders lift and drop shyly.

“It’s a, uh. Stir fry. Do you like stir fry?”

Her eyes are bright and hopeful, her lips twitching like she’s waiting for Chloe to spit out, no, she hates stir fry, she hates all Asian food, and shouldn’t Beca know this by now? Chloe laughs.

“Love it. Chicken or beef?”

“Chicken.” Beca gives the concoction in the pan a final stir, then flicks the heat off and turns her attention to a covered saucepan beside it. Her eyes are serious and focused, looking determinedly away from Chloe like she’s too embarrassed to do both the cooking and the friendship thing at the same time. It’s charming—so charming that Chloe doesn’t mind how near to breaking and entering this little visit technically was.

Hell, Aubrey would have shattered a window and come in off the fire escape just to get to her. Beca, for having once spent time in a jail cell, had a far tamer approach.

“Thank you,” she says honestly, watching Beca test a few grains of steaming white rice before fumbling around in the cabinets for plates. Blue eyes glance back, the edges of Beca’s lips raising in a half-smile.

“Don’t mention it. Please. Ever.”

She begins doling out the food, navigating the kitchen with expert ease as Chloe watches. Though she clearly has no idea where half the cupboards lead, she makes the dance look effortless, as though every door she opens to the unexpected was entirely intentional. Her feet—sock-clad; Chloe wonders how she didn’t notice the foreign shoes on the doorstep—skid this way and that on clean blue tile. Chloe can’t remember the last time someone cooked for her at all, much less using her apartment as the canvas for their activities. It’s so domestic.

Domestic was never a word she paired in her head with Beca Mitchell—she of the famous smirks and the borderline anti-social behavior patterns—but it works in an unfathomable way. Beca herself doesn’t seem willing to admit it, though; the tips of her ears burn as red as her cheeks, her hands flying and her eyes staying pointedly away from Chloe’s. She looks at home here, in her black beater and frayed jeans, but Chloe isn’t going to call her on that.

Apparently, badass DJs don’t get all homey.

One plate filled to appropriate levels of overflow, Beca wheels toward the fridge and draws out a carton of fruit punch and a half-gallon of skim milk. She lifts each in turn, one eyebrow cocked in Chloe’s direction. Chloe nods to the milk, and the juice instantly vanishes back into the fridge.

“Gotta stay healthy and strong,” she teases. Beca makes a snuffling noise of amusement under her breath, rooting around for glasses.

“Long as you don’t take water with your meal, I don’t care what you drink. People who chug water with dinner are just weird.”

Her voice is calm, measured, strikingly similar to the Beca who watched her graduate with proud eyes. She doesn’t sound like a woman stumbling off the tail end of an unpleasant breakup. She doesn’t sound sad, or strained, or at all inclined toward repression. Chloe is impressed. If she’d just lost a guy like Jesse, she’d be in bed for weeks with only Ben, Jerry, and Hugh Grant to keep her company.

Beca, contrarily, looks perfectly fine—if a little uneasy about this whole behaving like a housewife thing.

The plate skips across the counter, complete with glass of milk and a clean fork. Chloe raises an eyebrow, bends, and takes a deliberate bite of rice, chicken, and peppers.

Beca,” she groans when she’s swallowed enough to sound somewhat ladylike again. “This is heavenly.”

Beca’s blush spreads from ears to cheeks to the length of her neck. She crosses her arms over her chest, tipping her head back to check out the wonder that is Chloe’s ceiling.

“Yeah, well, I can’t do much, but Jesse was all astonished that I didn’t know how to cook adult food, so—“

She trails off, as if realizing whose name just toppled from her lips. Chloe reaches across to her, mid-bite, and closes a hand over her wrist.

“If you want to talk about it,” she begins softly. Beca closes her eyes.

“Not remotely. If that’s cool with you. Besides, I came to see how you were doing, not play pity-party. How’s grad school? How’s…everything?”

They haven’t really had a chance to talk in the last month or so, Chloe realizes; not about things more important than a truly excellent burrito, or that girl who always shows up to Chloe’s 8-A.M. in fuzzy cat ears and a pink robe. She counts Beca one of her best friends in the world, but in all honesty, neither of them is entirely caught up on the other’s life right now.

“I’m fine,” she replies when the next bite has gone down. “School’s hard. Living alone is…hard. But I like it. I like New York.”

Beca nods distractedly, peering out the kitchen window at the sprawling, screaming city below. “It’s loud.”

“It’s functioning,” Chloe laughs. “Gears in the great machine of artistry or…something. I never was the poet.”

“Nope,” Beca agrees, “that was Stacie.”

Chloe snorts so hard over her plate, rice scatters across the countertop. Beca is there immediately, a washcloth in hand, grinning. Chloe sticks her tongue out.

“You,” she notes, “are quite the little—“

“Don’t say it,” Beca warns, sweeping the wayward rice into her hand and shaking it over the sink. Chloe beams.

“You’re so grown-up.”

Beca grimaces. “We never speak of it. New rule of Fight Club. Or our friendship. Whatever.”

“Does your dad know?” Chloe presses, shirking away when the washcloth bounds off her shoulder. She can’t help teasing Beca this way, not when the Beca she knew could barely microwave ramen without setting the kitchenette ablaze, and when the old Beca’s dorm room looked an awful lot like a Macy’s had exploded right in the middle of it. This new Beca is daring, and lovely, and far too much to be left alone.

“Thank you,” she says again when she’s finished giggling. Beca leans her weight against the counter, tapping her fingers restlessly beside her own—largely disregarded—plate.

“For what? Like I said, you sent me the ticket. Did you think I wouldn’t use it?”

Sort of, Chloe thinks, and does not say. It isn’t about the strength of their friendship or the daunting distance, or anything like that. It’s about the differing chapters in their lives, and how Beca has had Jesse to lean against, and how Chloe has been residing in this bizarre, overblown bubble that is the Big Apple, a far cry from any south-side university. She sent that ticket hoping for the best, but the idea of Beca actually boarding a plane to come be with her seemed hazy in her mind, an unlit candle pressed close to tiny typeface. She wanted Beca here with her, but never actually expected…

“I love that you’re here,” she says. Beca’s eyes shoot to meet hers, then look away again, her foot scuffing against the floor. She’s embarrassed, Chloe can tell: embarrassed to have been caught cooking, and cleaning, and smiling. Embarrassed to be as adult as she is, when only a year ago, she was a scowl-faced, scrawny teenager playing pretend. Embarrassed to have come here without an express written invitation, maybe. Chloe knows her well, but still has trouble reading between the lines sometimes.

“I love being here,” Beca replies, unexpectedly. She smiles through the pinkness of her unease, and turns to the stove, pulling the empty pans clear of their burners and setting them carefully into the sink. Chloe watches, pleased.

“I wish you could stay.”

Beca’s shoulders hunch, her face turned away so Chloe can’t make out her expression. After a moment, she looks back, wearing an expression much like the one she once made while huddled against a shower wall, just before accepting Chloe’s proposal that she sing her heart out.

“Me too,” she says, her voice almost too quiet to make out. Chloe pops another forkful into her mouth and grins.

This evening is shaping up to be much nicer than anticipated.

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I just want to snuggle this fic so hard.

^Agreed! At this point whenever I read any of your stories I know it's just going to be an overload of feels. I pretty much read with my arms outstretched and saying "my body is ready"

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