Title: The Slow Revelation
Fandom: Pitch Perfect
Characters/Pairings: Benji x Original Male Character, Benji x Jesse, Beca Swanson
Word Count: 4, 500
Summary: Sequel to A Sad Kind Of Bliss. Carries straight on from the ending of that story. Benji meets a handsome stranger who traps Benji into being in a relationship with him. Jesse is unaware of Benji's suffering. Jesse just knows that he hates Benji's boyfriend, but it takes him a while to figure out why he hates him so much... Benji x Male OC, with endgame Benji x Jesse.
A/N: A few reviewers on FF.net wanted to have a sequel to A Sad Kind Of Bliss, and I'm really grateful to them for inspiring me to write this!. I'm not sure I actually like what I've written, but here it is anyway...
DISCLAIMER: I do not own Pitch Perfect, just a fan with love for the movie.
Benji and Jesse had made it halfway to their dorm when Jesse saw Beca coming towards them. He stopped walking and Benji stood still too. Beca stopped too. She looked at Jesse for a few moments, but then her penetrating gaze settled on Benji and his split lip. A smear of dried blood had trickled down from his nose. There was a palpable tension in the air between Beca and Jesse. Benji hoped they would not get into another fight.
"What happened to you?" Beca asked Benji, her blue eyes narrowing. "Do I have to go kick somebody's ass?"
Benji laughed. "No, it's nothing. I'm fine"
"Who did it?" Was Beca's next question.
Although Benji should have been expecting that question, it threw him off track. "Uh...It was..." Benji paused as he tried to come up with a plausible lie. "Just some frat guy. I don't know his name. He's been drinking, and I don't think he even meant to hit me" Benji had felt Jesse tense up when Benji mentioned drinking. For Jesse it had hit close to the truth, that he had been the one who had hit Benji. He felt bad that Benji had covered for him, but then Benji always supported him.
Beca's lips pursed up slightly. "Yeah, something's not adding up here. Are you lying to me, Benji?"
Benji felt pinned under Beca's almost accusing stare. Before he could say anything, Jesse spoke up. He eyed Beca with a mild frown. "He said he's fine, so just drop it already"
Beca did not seem like she was going to let up, but then her hard stare softened. "Okay. Anyway, I wanted to talk to you Jesse. We left things in a bad place. And that sucks, you know. We're going to be friends once we get past this. I think we have to have a chat. We didn't finish our talk last time, and it was partly my fault"
A trace of a smile appeared on Jesse's face. He had not expected for Beca to say that, and it pleased him. At the same time though, he was a little wary because of how badly their last talk had gone. And there was Benji to consider. Jesse did not want to just ditch him now, after what he had done earlier. "Yeah, that sounds like a good idea, but I can't do it right now"
Benji knew Jesse was probably refusing because of him, and he could not allow that. It was better for Jesse to sort things out with Beca rather than avoiding it. "Yes, you can" He stepped free of Jesse's arm around his shoulders. "Don't worry, I'll be alright" He smiled at Jesse and Beca before leaving. "See you later, Jesse. And goodnight, Beca"
Beca hugged him tightly as she whispered into his ear quietly so Jesse would not hear. "Thanks, Benji. Jesse won't be away from you for too long, I promise" Benji was surprised, and wondered what Beca was talking about. Surely she didn't know that he liked Jesse? As Beca stepped back from the hug and wished him goodnight, she gave him a slow, sure nod, as if in answer to his unspoken question. As Benji walked away he was still unsure of what Beca had meant, but there was a strong possibility that she knew. Beca was a perceptive person, and she had spent a lot of time around Jesse and Benji. What was strange was that if she did know, it seemed like she approved. Still, she was with Chloe now, and so perhaps that was why she did not mind the fact that Benji liked her ex-boyfriend. As he thought about it more he realized that it was not strange. Some girls might have had a big problem with him liking their ex, but Beca was not in that category. If she knew, then who else did? He worried that if anyone else found out, it would reach Jesse. Beca could be trusted, but he could not trust everybody.
Benji was so lost in his thoughts he didn't notice when he slammed into something solid. It caused him to stumble back a few steps, but then there was a hand on his arm, keeping him steady. Benji's gaze travelled from the hand up to the face of a guy who was vaguely familiar. They had never talked before, but Benji often saw him around campus. He had dark hair and deep brown eyes. The main reason his face was memorable in the crowds of students was the fact that he bore a slight resemblance to Jesse, if he was Jesse's taller, tanned, distant cousin who had a strong muscular physique and was a quarterback for Barden University's football team. "I'm sorry. I should have been looking where I was going"
"What happened to your face?" The guy took hold of Benji's face and tilted his chin up so he could see the split lip better. He shook his head slowly as he examined Benji's bruises. "We better get this cleaned up"
Benji was uncomfortable with having a stranger stand so close and be touching him, especially since the stranger made him think of Jesse. He wished it would have been Jesse standing there, offering to help take care of his face. That was not going to happen though. So he would just take care of it himself. "I have a first aid kit in my room; I can do it myself but thanks for the offer"
"I'm not taking no for an answer, let's go" He replied, with a stern look on his face. He still had a hand on Benji's arm, and he tightened his hold, pulling a reluctant Benji along with him. "You live in Breckner Hall, right?"
"How did you know that?" Benji asked.
"I've seen you go in there; it's not a big deal. Oh yeah, I'm Josh, by the way..." He stopped suddenly and grasped hold of Benji's hand; giving him a firm handshake that made Benji feel like his hand was going to get crushed. "Good to meet you at last, Benjamin"
"You know my name?"
Josh started walking again, in the direction of Benji's dorm building. "Yeah, you're in that acapella group, The Troublemakers"
"The Treblemakers" Benji automatically corrected.
"Yeah, that's what I meant. My brother's in the BU Harmonics and he forced me to go and watch the ICCA final with him. I'd seen you around campus before, and I wondered who you were so I just asked him and he told me"
"Do you mean Eric or Luke?"
"My brother is Eric"
Josh laughed when he saw how surprised Benji looked. "Yeah, I know. He's adopted, it's our family's darkest secret. Just joking. A lot of people are surprised when they find out we're brothers though. We are very different, I know..."
When they arrived back at the dorm, Josh led the way straight to Benji's room. Benji did not bother asking Josh how he knew where Benji's room was. He was more concerned about how he could get Josh to leave. He figured that the sooner he let Josh help him, the better. So he was quick in finding the first aid kit and handing it to Josh. Josh carefully cleaned up Benji's face with a damp paper towel and some bottled water, getting rid of all the dried blood. Benji was fine with everything Josh did until he saw Josh pick up the anti-septic cream. "I don't need any of that"
"Yeah, you do. It's only gonna sting a little..." Josh was right, but Benji still did not like it. He was pleased when it was all over.
Benji smiled at Josh. "Thank you. I'm fine now, so you can leave"
Josh shook his head. "Not yet. I just want to talk to you some more"
"About what?" Benji replied. "I don't mean to be rude, but I doubt we have anything in common apart from Eric"
Josh was not fazed by Benji's reluctance to talk to him. "You're right, but who says we have to talk? We could makeout instead"
Benji was shocked for a few moments, even though he knew Josh did not mean it. "Don't joke about stuff like that" Benji finally replied, after an uncomfortable silence. At least it was uncomfortable to him, Josh seemed like he was enjoying himself. Benji moved over to the door and pointedly opened it. "I want you to go now"
"What if I don't want to go?" Josh ignored the open door in favour of moving towards Benji, and he had him pinned up against the wall in so fast a time Benji did not have a chance to evade him.
"Get off me..." Benji snapped, although he made no move to push Josh away. Because, to his shame, he found himself wanting to know what it would be like to kiss Josh. He had imagined what it would be like kissing Jesse many times, but that was just fantasy. It would never turn into a reality. And perhaps this was the closest he could get to knowing what it would feel like to kiss Jesse. If he closed his eyes, he could even pretend it was Jesse who was kissing him.
Josh shrugged, releasing his hold on Benji. "Alright, take it easy. I just thought maybe we could have some fun. But I'm gonna go. If you don't want me, that's cool. Just don't mention this to my brother, ok? He doesn't like it when I hit on his friends" He turned to leave, but Benji stopped him, grabbing hold of Josh's arm.
"Wait, don't go. It's just that I like someone, and it's really confusing for me. I'm having a hard time dealing with it..." Benji had not meant to tell Josh that, but somehow once it was out there in the open he felt so much better. Like a weight had been lifted off his shoulders. "I just...He'll never like me back"
Josh scoffed. "Then he's an idiot"
"No, he's not. Don't talk about..." Benji paused, biting his lip as he just managed to stop himself from saying Jesse's name. "About...him like that"
"I'm sorry. So you really like this guy?" Josh went to sit on Jesse's bed. "Why don't you come sit with me and tell me all about it? I'm a pretty good listener..."
"Yeah, ok but that's my roommate's bed..." Benji sighed. It was just a bed, but still it was Jesse's bed and somehow Josh sitting there did not seem right. "Why don't you come and sit on my bed?"
"Why does it matter? Your roomie's not gonna care, is he?" Josh laughed. "And you know, I sat here because I thought this was your bed. So you're the dork into Star Wars and magic? I should have guessed..."
Benji frowned at Josh, a little hurt by the label Josh had instantly put on him without even thinking beyond Benji's love for magic and him being a sci-fi fan. "Yeah, well...That's just who I am. If you don't like it, I don't care"
"No, it's ok. I don't mind. Although you do know Star Trek is better..."
"I'm gonna pretend you didn't just say that" Benji joined Josh on the bed. "Are you sure you want to hear about it? It's gonna take a while to tell you everything, and you'll probably get bored..."
Josh sat closer to Benji and put an arm around him. "I want to know all about it. I won't get bored, and whatever you tell me will stay with me. I promise"
Benji took a deep breath. "Ok...Well it all started when I came to Barden University. He was the first friend I made here. He became my best friend..." Benji told Josh everything, apart from Jesse's name. By the end of his story though, it was clear who he was talking about. There was just no way for Benji to speak honestly about his crush on Jesse without revealing the truth.
"So your roommate...What's his name?" Josh asked.
Benji was just about to tell Josh when he saw Jesse walk into the room. Jesse was surprised by what he saw, and also he was confused. There was Benji, sitting on his bed. Nothing wrong with that scenario. There was a stranger sitting next to him, with his hand on Benji's shoulder. There was definitely something wrong with that, but Jesse could not figure out why it was wrong. All he knew was that seeing them sitting there made him feel uneasy. "Who's this, Benji?"
"Oh, hey. You're back. Jesse, this is my, uh...My friend, Josh" Benji stood up from the bed, and Josh rose with him.
Josh smiled at Jesse coolly and offered his hand. "Nice to meet you. Benji's told me a lot about you, dude"
Jesse shook hands with Josh, and returned the smile. Josh was squeezing his hand and although the pressure was uncomfortable Jesse did not let it show. He simply gripped Josh's hand as hard as he could. "Oh yeah? He hasn't told me anything about you"
"He wanted to keep it a secret, but we're not just friends. He's my boyfriend" Josh let go of Jesse's hand and wrapped an arm around Benji's waist.
Jesse's smile froze in place and became strained. He glared at Josh and then looked at Benji. "He's your...what? Benji, what the hell is he talking about? Is he really your boyfriend?"
"Um..." Benji tried to move away from Josh, but Josh just held him tighter. "He's just-" Benji tried to deny what Josh had said, but that become very difficult when Josh kissed him forcefully. It took him by surprise, and he couldn't even think straight anymore, let alone find the will to push Josh away. When it ended Benji was a little disoriented and suddenly he was thankful Josh was holding onto him.
"I guess that answers my question" Jesse heard a bitter tone in his voice that had no reason to be there. It was not that he cared about Benji being gay. It was a surprise to Jesse, but that was all. Benji was still Benji, no matter who he chose to be with. He thought he knew Benji so well, and it unsettled him that he had not noticed something so important. And if Jesse had not been too wrapped up with Beca, perhaps he would have seen the signs. Jesse decided he just simply did not like Josh and he was suspicious of Josh's intentions for Benji. That had to be why he was so upset. Of course, it was only natural. He was Benji's best friend after all, and so it stood to reason that he would be protective of Benji .Jesse could not figure out how the two of them even had anything in common. Josh did not even remotely look like he would be the type of guy who shared Benji's interests. It did not make sense to Jesse for them to be together. He felt like he had too many shocks to his system for one night. His ex-girlfriend was dating another girl, and now his best friend was dating a guy. Everything seemed to be out of place, and it bothered Jesse.
"I should have told you sooner. We haven't been going out for long, only a month or so..." Benji felt like he had no choice but to go along with Josh's lie. He would have to deal with Josh later, but right now he just wanted to make sure Jesse was alright. He was relieved that Jesse was not angry. He just seemed to be taken aback. "It's a lot to take in, I know" Benji nudged Josh discreetly. "Josh, I think you better go. It's getting late and we've all got classes tomorrow"
For a moment Benji was afraid Josh would refuse to leave, but to his relief Josh simply stared at him for a few seconds before nodding his assent and leaving.
"I'm gonna just crash..." Jesse knew Benji wanted to talk, but he was not in the mood to talk yet. So he just got undressed, only keeping his briefs on and then he got into bed.
Benji was disappointed that he could not talk to Jesse more, but at the same time he did not want to force the issue. So all he did was get himself ready for bed, and when he was settling down to sleep he whispered goodnight to Jesse, not wanting to wake his roommate if he was asleep.
Jesse was not asleep, but he pretended not to hear Benji anyway.
The next morning there was a weird tension between the two best friends. Jesse acted like nothing had happened, and brushed off any attempts Benji made to have a real talk with him. Benji really tried, but Jesse would simply shut down whenever conversation between them took a turn from meaningless small talk to a more serious discussion. All Jesse would tell Benji was that he was fine with Benji being gay. Jesse never said anything, but it was easy to see that he hated Josh. Josh, who would not let Benji go. Two months had passed, and Josh was still insisting on continuing the lie that they were in a relationship. Sometimes Benji believed the lie, when Josh was nice to him. Unfortunately those times turned out to be few and far between. Josh was controlling and possessive. Every so often, Josh would hit Benji when he thought Benji had done something wrong, or if Benji had disobeyed him. Josh was careful to not touch his face which meant that Benji could hide the bruises under his clothes. Josh had also threatened to reveal to Jesse the truth about Benji's love for him. Benji wanted to avoid that at all costs, because his friendship with Jesse was already strained enough. In a crowded coffee shop just off campus, Benji sat with his vanilla frappuchino, thinking about Jesse and how they were slowly drifting apart. They used to spend practically all their free time together, but now Jesse was often too busy to hang out with Benji. Jesse always had some excuse ready whenever Benji asked if they could do something together. Eventually Benji had just stopped asking. He had gotten to be busy too, because being with Josh demanded a lot of his time and energy.
Benji was broken out of his thoughts when Josh sat down at the table with a small plate on which was a custard tart. It was topped with slices of strawberries. "Look what I got for you..." Josh smiled as he cut into the tart and then leaned over the table with a spoonful of the tart.
Benji knew that Josh expected him to eat the cake and be thankful for it, but he could not do it. "No, I don't feel like having cake. I'm just gonna stick to my drink. You can have it"
"No, I got it for you and you're gonna eat it" Josh replied, his voice low so others around him could not hear what he was saying. "I spend all this money buying you a treat and you don't even thank me"
"I..." Benji was not sure what to say. He did not want to tell Josh that he was allergic to strawberries. He had told Josh before, but Josh had obviously not paid enough attention to remember. If he told Josh now, Josh would blame him and get mad at him. Benji always made an effort to avoid arguing with Josh. It never ended well for him when they did argue. To his relief, the spoon was snatched away from Josh.
Josh angrily glared up at Jesse, who Benji had not even seen entering the coffee shop. "Hey, what are you doing? That's for Benji, not you"
Jesse returned Josh's glare fiercely. "So you're trying to spoon feed Benji with a fruit he's allergic to?"
"Allergic?" Josh's anger deflated as quickly as it came, and he turned to look at Benji with a hard, reproachful stare. "I didn't know you were allergic to strawberries. Why didn't you tell me, babe?" Josh rested a hand on Benji's shoulder and squeezed gently. To Jesse it probably looked like Josh is being affectionate, but he did not know that Benji had a fresh bruise there which was sore whenever it was touched.
"Sorry" Benji quietly replied. He thought it was unfair that Josh is blaming him, but he could not say anything about it.
"You did tell him before" Jesse firmly stated.
Benji closed his eyes for a moment, wishing Jesse had stayed silent. "I didn't tell him, Jesse" Benji denied what Jesse had said.
"Yeah, you did. I remember you telling me about it. Why are you lying for him?" Jesse eyed Josh scornfully. "He's a loser and you deserve so much better"
Josh stood up from his seat, his hands clenching into fists. Benji quickly stood up too, and came to stand in front of Josh. "Just go away, Jesse. You don't understand" Benji hated talking like that to Jesse, but he didn't want to see Jesse get in a fight with Josh over him. He was worried that Jesse would get hurt.
"I don't understand? You've been shutting me out for weeks, so how am I gonna understand?" Jesse snapped.
"That's not fair, Jesse. You cut me out first, remember?" Benji sighed. "Maybe it's for the best. We don't have much in common anyway, so why are we even best friends?"
Jesse was hurt by Benji's remarks but it was true that he had pulled away from Benji first. His sweet, adorable best friend who meant so much to him. Yet Jesse had until now been unable to face up to the real reason he had pushed Benji out of his life. When he pushed Benji away, he had missed him so much. He had realized that the main reason he hated Josh was because Josh had Benji. Josh had what Jesse so badly wanted. Now he understood why Beca had gone to Chloe. Beca was a girl who was not afraid to get what she wanted out of life. Jesse however, was not quite so bold. And his feelings were so new. He still liked girls, but Benji was the one definite exception, the only guy he could ever see himself being in a relationship with. And even if he and Benji never got together, they would still be best friends. No matter what happened, Jesse would not be letting of Benji without a fight. It was his own fault he was in this mess, and it was up to him to fix it. "Benji, we have some differences, it's true but that has never stopped us from making a great team. We just complete each other. Please tell me you didn't mean that, because it would just kill me. I'm sorry, I'm so sorry I shut you out. I was stupid, and I made mistakes but I always cared about you. I always will. You know that, Benji. There's no one like you, and I can't have anyone else as my best friend"
Benji ran to Jesse and hugged him. It felt so good to be close to Jesse, after all their time apart. "I'm sorry too, Jesse. We were both wrong. I don't want to lose you either" Benji stepped back with a smile and he did not notice that Josh was advancing towards them but Jesse did. Josh was too incensed to care that he was in public, and he swung at Benji but Jesse quickly pushed Benji behind him and it was Jesse who took the hit. Josh stormed out of the coffee shop and Benji looked at Jesse who he could tell would soon have a black eye.
Jesse smiled reassuringly. "It's okay, Benji. Don't worry about it; I'm just happy I stopped that bastard from hitting you"
"I think we should go, Jesse. If we get an ice pack over your eye, the swelling won't be so bad"
"Yeah, sure" Jesse complied with Benji, but he did not care about the ice pack, he just wanted to be alone with his best friend. When they were settled back in their dorm room, Benji insisted that Jesse lie down and hold the ice pack in place. "Benji, can I ask you something?"
"Ask anything you like" Benji replied.
"Did he ever hit you before?" Jesse did not get a reply, and he sat up. Benji's sudden silence was all the answer he needed. "That bastard. I'm gonna make him pay for what he did. I can't believe I didn't realize what he was doing to you..." Jesse felt a wave of guilt wash over him. "Damn it, Benji. Why the hell would you stay with him when he was beating you?"
"It doesn't matter, it's in the past" Benji pushed Jesse back down. "Just stay still and keep the ice pack in place" Benji sighed. "He didn't beat me, Jesse. You're making it sound a lot worse than it is. He did scare me sometimes. But that wasn't the reason I stayed with him" Benji bit his lip, and took a deep breath, preparing to finally tell the truth. "He knew a secret about me. Something I thought I had to keep hidden from you"
Jesse could hardly believe it, but he was getting a strong feeling that Benji was about to confess that he liked Jesse. He could have kicked himself for not noticing sooner. To think that he and Benji could already have been together if he had not been so oblivious. "Wait, don't say anything. Not yet..." Jesse sat up again, and dropped the ice pack in favour of holding Benji's hands, smiling when Benji entwined their fingers. He and Benji were staring at each other intently, focused on nothing but each other. Jesse was nervous, but as he leaned in and gently pressed his lips against Benji's, all his anxiety faded away into nothing. There was only him, and Benji, and it felt like they were the last pieces of a puzzle just slotting perfectly into place. Benji was finally able to tell Jesse how he truly felt about him, and to know Jesse felt the same way was incredible to him. He would not have changed anything that had happened to him. Even everything he went through with Josh had been worth it. Now he finally had everything he had always wanted.
- The Slow Revelation (Benji x Jesse) (1/1)