Aubrey didn’t mean to point out Chloe and Beca’s closeness at breakfast on the first morning of her and Amy’s visit.
Really, she didn’t.
The words were just spilling from her lips before she could stop them. It happens, sometimes. She can’t help it.
But they were just so weirdly in sync. Moving about each other as they prepared breakfast, clearly communicating without words like a couple of telepaths.
And all the little touches -- good lord. Chloe’s fingers grazing Beca’s wrist; Beca pressing her palm flat against the small of Chloe’s back as she steps in behind her, so close their hips nearly touch.
She expects that from Chloe. But Beca?
Beca, who stiffened every time someone hugged her; who never squeezed in on the couch with the other Bellas on movie nights; who glared at Jesse when he attempted anything close to PDA.
And now here she is, standing hip-to-hip with Chloe at their kitchen counter like it’s completely normal.
So, sorry -- Aubrey couldn’t just let it slide.
Aubrey was ready to write the events of that morning off as a one time thing, but over the course of their visit those little incidents continue to pile up.
When Chloe and Beca take her and Amy on a tour of their neighborhood, Aubrey can’t shake the feeling that they’re more focused on each other than their actual guests. Aubrey wants to spend time with Chloe -- she is her best friend, after all -- but Beca keeps appearing at Chloe’s side, forcing Aubrey to fall back with Amy when someone needs to pass them on the sidewalk.
The third time it happens she shoots a look at Amy, who just holds eye contact while she jerks her chin to the side, directing Aubrey’s gaze. She glances over just in time to see Beca’s fingers brush Chloe’s as they walk, lingering against her hand for a few seconds, as if by accident, before moving away.
At lunch, after Beca practically hops out of her chair to follow Chloe to the bathroom, Aubrey turns toward Amy and sets her jaw.
“Seriously what is going on with those two?”
“God, I know,” Amy says, wrinkling her nose. “They’ve clearly been spending way too much time together. Their friendship was borderline disgusting before, and now it’s on a-whole-nother level of gross.”
Aubrey presses her lips together. “It’s weird, right? They’re, like, all up on each other and stuff.”
“Wait…” Amy arches an eyebrow. “You think it’s aca-incest?”
“Ew. Amy, please,” Aubrey says, shivering. She takes a napkin from the table and smooths it across her lap. “It’s just… unusual. That’s all I’m saying.”
And yes, fine, Aubrey can admit that part of what she’s feeling is jealousy. Chloe is her best friend, after all. They haven’t seen each other in months and she much prefers it when she’s the focus of Chloe’s attention.
But she’s worried, too. Because she knows Chloe’s always had a thing for Beca.
Chloe confessed her feelings to her a few years ago, one night after too many margs. And while Aubrey knows she doesn’t like to talk about it too much, she can tell those feelings never faded. Honestly, you’d have to be an idiot not to see the way Chloe looks at Beca. (Lucky for Chloe, Beca is that idiot.)
Chloe had been okay with how things were. That’s what she’d said, anyhow. She accepted that Beca had Jesse, and Chloe seemed happy enough to have, well... pretty much whoever she wanted.
But it seems like there’s been a shift. Beca isn’t with Jesse anymore. Beca is casually touching Chloe throughout the day. And now Beca is trailing behind Chloe on their way back from the bathroom, their fingers loosely linked together.
Aubrey just hopes Beca knows what she’s doing. That’s all.
But hey, maybe she’s imagining it.
Like her dad always said, Posen women have a flair for diabetes and dramatics.
Yeah, Aubrey’s definitely not imagining it.
They’ve been at the karaoke bar for all of five minutes before that realization hits her like a ton of bricks. Turns out adding alcohol to these two is like… throwing alcohol on a fire.
(Hey, she’s had a few drinks herself. She’s known for singing, not analogies.)
And, wow, she thought Chloe and Beca were all up on each other before. But whatever is happening here, in this dark room, is on another level.
They’re literally all over each other.
They’ve barely stepped in the door before Chloe wraps her arms around Beca from behind, pressing her whole body against her. And sure, that’s not really noteworthy in and of itself -- because Chloe is Chloe -- but it’s Beca’s reaction that catches Aubrey’s attention.
Even in the dim light Aubrey can see Beca’s throat working as redness spreads over her cheeks. It somehow feels too intimate, watching them like that, and she turns away to inspect the room instead.
It just gets worse as the night goes on.
And it’s a great night -- don’t get her wrong. She’s never been to a karaoke bar like this, where you get your own private room. She’s having so much fun singing with her friends, completely letting loose with the only three people she knows in this breathtakingly massive city.
It’s just that two of those three people only have eyes for each other.
And like whatever, she’s happy for them if things are actually happening between them. But can’t they act on their horniness somewhere more private?
She and Amy are in the middle of an epic rendition of “Since U Been Gone” when she realizes those two have been suspiciously quiet. So she glances back at them, which turns out to be a huge mistake.
Beca’s slouched low on the pleather sofa with Chloe literally draped over her. Aubrey can’t make out Chloe’s face, since it’s basically pressed into Beca’s neck, but she can see Beca’s clear as day; her eyelids are fluttering, like she’s fighting against the urge to close them, and she’s slack-jawed and flushed.
The part of Aubrey that has come to cherish Beca’s friendship finds it kind of adorable, actually. But then the song ends and Beca’s leaping off the sofa, nearly throwing Chloe to the floor, and Aubrey narrows her eyes.
Beca better know what she’s doing.
Ugh. Beca so doesn’t know what she’s doing.
It takes Aubrey a little while to work it out, though.
She gets thrown off when Chloe starts sleeping in Beca’s room. (Since she allegedly “snores like a freaking lumberjack,” according to Beca. Please.)
It’s a shoddy excuse if she’s ever heard one, and for a minute she thinks they’ve actually gotten together and just aren’t ready to tell them yet. And that kind of hurts, because Chloe usually tells her everything, but she’s been yearning for Beca for so long Aubrey isn’t gonna hold it against her.
But soon it becomes clear that that is not the case.
Beca is far too awkward around Chloe for anything to be going on between them. Like, when they’re at this cool elevated park in Manhattan Beca buys a large iced tea (with tapioca balls floating in it) to share with Chloe, but she’s so weird about it.
Aubrey watches them pass the cup back and forth as they walk, drinking from the same straw, and she can’t shake the image of that scene in Lady and the Tramp where the dogs' mouths meet because they’re slurping on the same piece of spaghetti.
(She might comment on that, too, because she can’t help it. And she swears Beca avoids making eye contact with her for the next 10 minutes.)
Then Beca’s all quiet and shy at dinner, where she’s sitting next to Chloe at this funky fifties diner in Times Square. Chloe’s her usual bubbly self and Beca’s trying to act like everything is normal, but Aubrey can tell something’s off, what with the way Beca keeps blushing and stumbling over her words.
Then they go to Brooklyn for a party hosted by someone Beca knows from work, and when they walk in the door a couple of guys and a girl call Chloe “Wifey” and Beca’s face practically turns scarlet.
Aubrey raises her eyebrows at Amy, who looks like she’s about to physically combust from not commenting on that little exchange.
Clearly Beca is out of her depths, here. And every part of Aubrey’s body is itching to meddle -- to take Beca by the shoulders and sternly tell her it’s time to sink or swim. But she knows how sensitive Beca can be, despite her tough exterior. And she doesn’t want to risk ruining this for Chloe.
If there even is anything to ruin.
(God, she hopes there’s something to ruin.)
So, for once in her life, she keeps her mouth shut.
When she finally gets Chloe alone, it all comes spilling out.
They’re on the top level of a double decker sightseeing bus, of all places. It’s kind of surreal to ride around the avenues of Manhattan, looming over the street traffic while feeling tiny beneath the skyscrapers, as Chloe finally comes out with it.
She tells Aubrey that Beca has changed since they moved to New York. That she seems different, now, letting Chloe snuggle up to her, even initiating hugs and little touches herself.
That things are off, sometimes, too. That they had a fight, once, after they drank too much and Chloe got upset that Beca had been ignoring her all night. That Beca seemed jealous about Chloe’s one-night stand, though she later denied it.
That Chloe really, really wants to kiss her. Like, all the time.
She just doesn’t know what Beca wants.
“I’m, like, super happy though, Aubs,” she says, smiling softly. “Even if it’s all in my head, these past few months have been amazing.”
Aubrey squares her shoulders and turns toward Chloe as much as she can in the plastic seat.
“That’s great, Chloe. I just… I know how long you’ve carried a torch for Beca. And far be it from me to tell you what to do, but I don’t want you to get hurt. You know?”
“Totes.” Chloe nods and takes Aubrey’s hand. “And I won’t. I promise.”
(Okay, so neither of them know what they’re doing.)
“You walked in on them doing what?!”
The last word comes out louder than Aubrey intended and the people sitting around them in the terminal turn to stare, but she so doesn’t care. She stares at Amy, eyes boring into her as her friend noisily sips the last drops of her frappuccino.
“I’m telling you, Beca was fully mounting Chloe,” Amy says. “Well, maybe half-mounting. And they were both asleep. But still! It was a sight to behold. It reminded me of this time I saw a dog on a skateboard in Sydney -- it was so awesome to witness, but it also, like, defies the laws of the universe as we know them. Like, it’s too pure and wonderful to exist.”
Aubrey’s mouth falls open as she sits back in her chair, staring straight ahead.
“Chloe didn’t tell me that.”
The paper bag containing the panini Amy had ordered crinkles loudly as she unwraps it.
“You talked to Chloe?” Amy asks after taking a bite. “I talked to Beca.”
“You did?” Aubrey shifts again, focus back on Amy. “About her and Chloe?”
“Uh-huh. It wasn’t easy to get it out of her, but I’ve got mad skills.”
“So… there was something to get out of her? About what’s going on between them?”
Amy takes another bite of her sandwich and brushes some crumbs off her lap as she considers the question.
“All I’ll say is this,” she says, after she swallows. “Beca didn’t say anything I didn’t already know.”
“Oh.” Aubrey chews on the inside of her mouth, debating how much she should push. She’s dying to know every single detail of Amy and Beca’s conversation, but she doesn’t want to pressure Amy into betraying Beca’s confidence.
Then Amy fixes her with a long stare, like she’s sizing her up.
“And I already knew Beca liked Chloe,” she says.
“Oh,” Aubrey says again, eyes widening. A smile spreads across her face as she realizes what that means.
“I know I don’t have to ask you where Chloe stands on the matter,” Amy continues. “Red is easier to read than a phone book.”
Aubrey cocks her head. “Are those… easy to read?”
“Doesn’t matter. What does matter is that Beca thinks it’s just a crush and that her feelings will magically go away.”
“Oh god. Of course she does.” Aubrey pinches the bridge of her nose. “How can she be this out of touch with reality? I mean, did you see them this weekend?”
“Hooo yeah. I saw,” Amy says, stowing the rest of her sandwich in her bag. “We were basically the background characters in a romcom. Except the main characters are dummies who have no idea that they’re in love. Two thumbs down.”
“Seriously! Ugh. Like, they are my family and I love them, but I could so knock their heads together right now.”
Amy laughs. “That might actually help.”
“Wait. Wait, we can do this.”
“Do… what, exactly?”
“Help them.” Aubrey sits up straighter and lifts her chin. “Make them realize that there’s something real between them. They’re so close! We just need to find a way to apply a little pressure.”
Amy bites her lip for a few seconds before her eyes light up. She grabs Aubrey by her shoulders and grins at her.
“I think I have an idea.”
Aubrey [1:43 p.m.]: You talk to Beca recently?
Amy [1:49 p.m.]: FaceTimed with them a little bit ago. 👀 u talk to chloe?
Aubrey [1:49 p.m.]: Just hung up with her 🎉😊
Amy [1:49 p.m.]: niiiice!!
Aubrey [1:49 p.m.]: She sounded so happy Amy
Amy [1:49 p.m.]: as she should
Amy [1:49 p.m.]: she told me the sex was great
Amy [1:49 p.m.]: 🌮🌮🤤
Aubrey [1:49 p.m.]: Oh my god
Aubrey [1:50 p.m.]: Don’t ruin our triumph for me
Amy [1:50 p.m.]: I kinda can’t believe our plan worked
Aubrey [1:50 p.m.]: I can.
Aubrey [1:50 p.m.]: They just needed a little push