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Recovery

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Beca takes a deep breath before knocking on the door. The seconds stretch out for so that with no noise coming from the other side that Beca starts turning away to leave. Just then, there is a loud clomping noise and the door jerks open to reveal a very naked guy standing in the doorway.

“Um…” Beca isn’t sure how to respond. Why are there always naked people around at this university?

Naked-guy rubs his eyes and asks, “What can I do for you?”

Beca fights the urge to ask him to go put clothes on, since she’s pretty sure she just interrupted something – which, given whose apartment this is, gives her this weird tight feeling in her chest. “I’m looking for Chloe, I just have some Bellas stuff to talk to her about.” She lets her eyes drift to the interior of the apartment, hoping to see her friend.

“Oh, she’s still in the hospital, I’m pretty sure.” The guy shrugs and starts to close the door.

So that means that Chloe’s not here, which means that Beca hadn’t interrupted Chloe sleeping with naked-guy, which means –

“Wait,” Beca stops the door from closing fully, brow furrowing in confusion. “Why is Chloe in the hospital? Still?”

Naked-guy seems to think for a second before replying, “Some kind of surgery to get rid of modes or moles or something like that.”

“Nodes?”

His face brightens. “Yeah, that’s it!”

Beca is already pulling out her phone to call the hospital and ask for Chloe’s room number.

 

/ /

 

Chloe takes a surprised breath when the playlist lands on ‘No Diggity.’ As the beat starts coming from the little speakers she has set on the bedside table, she can’t help but smile while thinking about the last time she heard it.

She opens her mouth to sing along before abruptly shutting it. She’s not allowed to sing in her upper register for at least another week. Even talking hurts sometimes.

Just then, a decidedly familiar voice joins the song and Chloe freezes before slowly turning to face the door to her hospital room. Beca is standing there, out of breath and looking concerned even as she sings.

Chloe presses ‘pause’, and the music stops. They stare at each other for a long moment.

Beca finally breaks the silence. “Why didn’t you tell me that you were in the hospital?” Beca’s voice starts climbing in pitch as she gets more and more worried. “Are you okay? Did the surgery go well? Do you need anything?”

Chloe clears her throat softly before replying, “I’m fine, Beca. The surgery went well and my doctor says I should be able to start singing really soon.” Her voice is scratchy and hoarse and the sound of it makes Beca’s heart sink.

Beca walks forward and sits in the chair by the bed, folding her hand in her lap awkwardly. “Oh, Chloe, why didn’t you tell any of us? Does Aubrey even know?” Chloe winces. Beca takes that as a no.

“It’s the off-season, so I don’t have any pressing singing commitments.” Chloe swallows hard against the lump in her throat and stared at her lap. “And I didn’t want to tell anyone, just in case it didn’t work and I couldn’t sing again.” She glances up and Beca’s watching her with this look on her face that sends a small shiver up Chloe’s spine. “I don’t know who I’d be if I could never sing again.”

“You’d still be Chloe, our friend. Someone we all care about.” The look in Beca’s eyes is fierce and protective, but then she pauses before continuing awkwardly, “someone I care about. I don’t let a lot of people in and I’ll be damned if I let one go just because they can’t sing.”

The smile Chloe gives is watery and it wobbles as she sniffs against tears. “Beca,” she starts.

“I’m serious. If you had told me, I would have been there to hold your hand. If you wanted me to, of course.” There’s a blush on Beca’s cheeks that Chloe finds rather charming.

“Thanks, Beca. I mean it.” They smile at each other for a little while before Chloe asks, “How did you find out, anyways?”

“Oh, I went to your place to talk to you about Bellas stuff and a naked guy answered your door. What is it with naked people around here?” Beca’s eyes momentarily flicker down Chloe’s body before snapping back up to her eyes. The blush intensifies.

“I’m just very confident in my body,” Chloe smirks. “And what Bellas stuff? I thought you kind of quit.”

Beca sighs, her shoulders slumping. “Well, I kind of did, and it felt like the right thing to do at the time, but now I don’t know. Singing with the Bella’s had been the highlight of my oh-so-stellar college experience so far, and I mostly messed it up. Quitting at the first sign of trouble was a dick move; I owe you guys way more than that.” She runs a hand through her hair nervously and flinches slightly when she sees Chloe watching her intently. “I was hoping to maybe talk to you about trying some new arrangements for next year? I figured that even if Aubrey throws me out of the audition in the fall, you could suggest the new stuff to her, since she definitely likes you a lot better.”

Chloe reaches to the side to cover Beca’s hand with her own. “I’d love to hear some of your music. I bet it’s fantastic.” She smiles brightly and is pleased at the hesitant grin she gets back from Beca. “I’ll talk to Aubrey when I get back, try to sort this whole mess out. You’re not the first person to make a rash decision when it comes to a capella. And you should bring some of your music with you tomorrow.”

“Tomorrow?”

“Yeah, tomorrow when you visit me again. I still have another two days here before they let me go and I’m getting bored, so you had better come back with some really good stuff.” This time the grin isn’t quite so hesitant, though the blush reappears when Chloe squeezes Beca’s hand.

“Alright, I’ll see you tomorrow and I bring a few of my mash-ups with me.” Beca stands and then pauses before leaning forward to press a kiss to Chloe’s cheek. “See you.”

After Beca leaves, Chloe listens to ‘No Diggity’ seven more times, and wonders if maybe she should just call Aubrey now.  Just as she reaches for her phone, it buzzes.  It’s Aubrey.  The Bellas are back in business.

This is going to be interesting.