faster than freshman year

College!AU: Caitlin is Cisco’s tutor that he definitely, totally needs

He was not bad at math. At all. Really, there was no way that anyone who knew Cisco Ramon at all, even a little bit, could claim he was bad at math. He won mathlete competitions in his freshman year of high school, solving calculus problems faster than previous state champions who’d actually had the class. He taught himself trig before he even knew who the twenty seventh US President was (William Howard Taft, by the way. His wife was responsible for the famous cherry trees planted all around DC). Mathematics were just easy, for him.

“You’re back again?” his tutor asked, her eyes crawling up from her own homework. He would have felt guilty, if this wasn’t her job and he wasn’t so desperate to see her again.

Cisco sat and nodded brightly. “Yeah,” he told her as he pulled out his homework. “Yeah, I just don’t think I understand what’s going on here.”

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Fruit Loops

It was 3:30 in the morning. Beca had just finished a late shift at Residual Heat’s LA department.

 

She had moved to Los Angeles after college, having been offered a promotion after the success of winning Worlds. Not even three days after returning from Copenhagen, Beca had packed all her things and flew off to LA (she had broken it off with Jesse, saying they were better off friends; it was a mutual decision). She had been living in her apartment for two months now, talking just about every day to Chloe and Amy. She missed them like hell, but a little loneliness was sort of worth both the money and reputation she was building in the city of angels.

 

So, here Beca was, living her dreams in a success she could have never imagined.

 

Here’ also being the Walmart four blocks away from her apartment at 3:30 am, searching the aisles in a sleep deprived manner for a box of Fruit Loops.

 

It shouldn’t take an hour to navigate the giant store simply to find the cereal aisle, but Beca was so tired at this point, her vision was becoming a little cloudy. Not to mention that she’s so short that only the top of the aisle panels above the shelves were visible.

 

Beca rubbed the heels of her palms over her eyes and let out a puff of air. The store was relatively silent, save for the occasional employee’s radio. Beca had only passed by about two or three people in the insufferable amount of time she had been in this hell-hole of a store.

 

She sauntered by another aisle and nearly cried of joy at the large green sign that bore the words ‘Cereal’ in white letters. Instead she let out a loud unrestrained groan of satisfaction and half-walked-half-jogged to the end of the aisle where the cereal was shelved.

 

It wasn’t until she was halfway there that she noticed the very attractive blonde woman, who also happened to be scanning the giant shelf of cereals. She cocked her head to the side, slowing down to a more respectable pace, still unnoticed by the tall woman in front of her donning black sweatpants and a gray t-shirt.

 

Beca couldn’t shake the feeling that she knew this woman from somewhere. (The blonde hair maybe? Chloe had dyed her hair a similar color once. Possibly the torn up Vans on the woman’s feet? Beca had a pair quite similar to them, though they were converse.) She blinked heavily a few times and shook her head, Fruit Loops first, déjà vu later.

 

She stood next to the woman, far enough away to not break any of society’s unwritten rules, and scanned the vast shelf in front of her for a red box with a toucan on it.

 

Choco-Crunch; no. Frosted Flakes; nope. Shredded Wheat; Oh, hell no. (Who the fuck would eat a moist bale of hay?) Coco Puffs; nasty. Lucky Charms; Beca doesn’t even like the marshmallows, only the actual cereal.

 

 

Her tired dark eyes found her craving at the very top shelf. She was just about to clamber up the shelf, prepared to do anything to get those Fruit Loops, (she couldn’t even remember why she wanted them in the first place, but the undeniable urge somehow managed to convince her to trade sleep for cereal, and she had a distinct lack of cereal in her apartment) but before she could move, long fingers, with perfectly manicured yet chipped-black-polish-painted nails, stretched past her peripherals and grasped the very last box of Fruit Loops.

 

Beca swiveled her head around to meet her enemy, (this Fruit Loop snatcher was now her enemy, there was simply no other way) her eyes wide with a mixture of both outrage and pure exhaustion. Her expression changed to one of utter shock and disbelief when she realized who exactly had stolen her prize.

 

“K-Kommissar?” Beca couldn’t believe her eyes. Why was this happening? Fucking Fruit Loops.

 

The woman froze, her arm still outstretched, cereal box in her grasp. She looked over her arm, where Beca still stood stunned. When she saw the Kommissar’s face she almost died. (Not really but, it sure felt like it.)

 

The blonde’s face was mostly bare, her crystal blue eyes gleaming in the fluorescent lights of the store. Her hair was up in a messy bun, a few pieces fallen out to frame her face. She had a bit of mascara smudged on her left eyelid and her eyebrows were raised in surprise.

 

They stood staring at each other for a deafening ten seconds before the taller woman’s face broke out in a smirk.

 

She hummed disapprovingly and clicked her tongue in her mouth, “It seems as if this particular aisle has a kleine maus problem.”

 

She lowered her arm, Fruit Loops still firmly clutched in her fingers, and placed one hand on her hips.

 

Before Beca could tell her brain-to-mouth filter to turn the fuck back on, she was talking. Of course she was talking.

 

“…Fight me!” she could only imagine what she looked like right now. Hair frazzled and knotted from running her fingers through it all day, her eye make-up was surely all over her face, her jeans had a coffee stain from this morning when someone’s giant overly-excited Labrador nearly killed her, and she knew her lips were crusty and chapped from gnawing at them in irritation every time the artist claimed they wanted to keep their ‘creative independence’.

 

She knew she was a mess. She was tired, she had been up nearly twenty four hours now; she was exhausted really. All she wanted was some fucking Fruit Loops. And now this damn German goddess shows up and any chance of having a normal conversation (or even just a standard greeting) fly out the window faster than the burrito bullet Amy received back in freshman year.

 

So, yeah, she knows she looks insane. But she’ll be damned if she doesn’t get her Fruit Loops. And if fighting a physically flawless, German goddess (who happens to be half a foot taller than her) is what it takes, so be it.

 

The Kommissar raises her eyebrows in shock at the brunette’s sudden outburst- then laughs. A full, hearty, stomach-clutching laugh, that honestly leaves Beca breathless. (She would never show it though. Nope, never. Her cheeks definitely did not turn three shades pinker at the musical chime of the blonde’s laughter.)

 

The Kommissar regains her composure, wiping at the corner of her eye, a genuine smile gracing her lips. “Oh, maus, I am glad to see you are as feisty as ever.”

 

Beca clenched her hands into fists at her sides, and raised a pointed finger at the taller woman. “You. You listen here,” she shakes her finger, as if she was an old lady scolding an annoying ten year old, “I have had, like, zero sleep. I am freaking exhausted. And I need those Fruit Loops. Don’t think for a minute I won’t climb you like a tree to get them, you gorgeous creature- ugh.”  She retracts her finger and scrunches it in her hair in frustration. Honestly she had hoped that the word vomit would have died down after the competition, but luck was clearly not on her side at this point.

 

The German furrowed her brow in confusion and looked at the box in her hand. “Cereal?” She looks up at Beca again, “You wish to fight me over a box of… cereal?”

 

Beca’s nostrils flared at the Kommissar’s patronizing tone. “Yes. I will fight you. I want that cereal.”

 

Kommissar just stared at Beca, her head cocked to the side and eyes squinted slightly in thought. A piece of her wavy blonde hair fell out of its bun and rested against her cheek; Beca had to stop the instinct to reach up and tuck it behind the older woman’s ear.

 

Kommissar straightened her head and smiled widely, “You live in this city, ja?”

 

Beca stuffed her hands in her pockets, unsure of what this had to do with getting her Fruit Loops. “Yeah, I live, like, four and a half blocks away from here.” She shook her head, “Why?”

 

“I will buy this cereal, as I had previously planned, but I will share.”

 

Beca opened her mouth and closed it, not sure what to say. She didn’t even know what the German was proposing. She will share. The fuck does that mean?

 

“You will… share.” It wasn’t a question but the taller woman replied anyways.

 

“Yes, Mäuschen, I will share. I live only a block away from this store,” Kommissar stepped closer to Beca, only a pace between them. She held the box out to her side and looked at it thoughtfully before turning her head back to look at Beca.

 

To say that Beca was having trouble breathing would be an understatement. There wasn’t even any air at this point. Only cinnamon perfume (almost a gingerbread scent), and blue. Ice blue, so clear it reminded her of the first big snowstorm she witnessed when she was five. The snow came down for hours, and Beca sat on her window seat. She remembers it being the happiest childhood memory she had. Her parents were dancing in the next room (pre-divorce, obviously). She can still remember the song. She had made countless remixes of it.

 

Caught beneath the landslide
In a champagne supernova
A champagne supernova in the sky

Wake up the dawn and ask her why
A dreamer dreams she never dies
Wipe that tear away now from your eye
Slowly walking down the hall

 

Woah, woah, wait a minute. Slow down. Why on earth was she thinking about that!? This is not the time for childhood reminiscing; this was Fruit Loops war.

 

She swallowed thickly and looked up at the taller woman. “I…” She had to think of something. (Insult Beca! Tear her down. Think of the Fruit Loops).

 

“I don’t even know your name,” her voice was quiet but strong. She cursed herself internally for letting the other woman get to her.

 

The blonde smiled (Beca’s heart did not stutter. At all. Maybe a little.)

 

“Luisa.”

 

Beca repeated the name, liking the way it rolled off her tongue and for some weird reason reminded her of licorice.

 

Luisa stepped back, Beca shivering at the little breeze the motion stirred, “Well, maus? You will help me eat this cereal you deem worthy of fighting for?”

 

The shorter woman looked up, trying to detect even the slightest hint of trickery in those quicksilver eyes. “Seriously?”

 

It wasn’t sarcastic; it was a legitimate question.

 

Kommi- Luisa shrugged her shoulders almost sheepishly, “Think of it as a date. I know no one in this city, and it would be nice to have a friend,” She glanced down at the box still in her hand. “And I am not giving you this cereal because everything else here is much too sweet. You Americans and your excessive need for everything to be coated in sugar,” she made a face, “I will never understand it.”

 

Beca chuckled. “Yeah, I don’t get it either. But a fuckton of sugar better than shredded wheat,” she shuddered.

 

Luisa laughed, “Ja, Pieter bought them once and I thought he was going to have a stroke. He mistaked them for… what are the little ones?”

 

The brunette pointed to a box on the shelf behind Luisa, “Frosted Mini-wheats. Too healthy for me. Chloe eats them though.”

 

“So you will eat these with me, kleine maus?” Luisa gestured to the box.

 

Fuck it.

 

“Yeah. Totally.”