|Dirty Little Secret
Author: amberpire PM
Jade had been so patient for so long, so understanding, but as Cat turned her gaze toward the other girl she could see the obvious anger rooted there and Cat knew Jade was losing her patience. ;Cat/Jade;Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Angst - Cat V. & Jade W. - Words: 4,376 - Reviews: 25 - Favs: 66 - Follows: 8 - Published: 06-28-10 - Status: Complete - id: 6092657
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Warning: Cat is a tad OOC. Hope it doesn't bother you too much. I like experimenting with characters like this, making them more or less serious than they usually would be. It helps me take a firm grasp on the Cat or Jade I prefer writing. It'll make my later Cade fics better once I find out which form of Cat and Jade I like to write. Bear with me on that, if you can, please. Anyway, enough babbling, and on to the story.
"Remind me again why I do these things for you."
Cat turns, grinning broadly at the brooding girl next to her. Jade hates people and being around them makes her physically sick, but at least she's not throwing things at them like she did last time. The ocean crashes in front of them, the tide stopping just a foot or two in front of their towel.
"Because I'm cute," Cat replied, walking two fingers up Jade's arm. The other girl snorted, tilting her head down to watch Cat from above her sunglasses. Jade was so pale against the brown sand it was almost ghostly. She never tanned. Cat kind of liked it. Jade's hand caught Cat's and tugged her down, bringing a squeeze of surprise from the velvet-haired girl. Jade removed her sunglasses and Cat stared into big, black eyes, the corner of her lip quirking upwards. And then she was leaning forward, her head tilting -
"Jade." Cat cut her off, ripping out of her hold. She glanced sideways, frowning at a group of kids who had been watching nearby. They turned quickly, whispering behind their hands. Cat shifted away from Jade and brought her knees to her chest. "I told you not to do that in public." Cat frowned at her own words, at how harsh they were and how terribly unfair. Jade had been so patient for so long, so understanding, but as she turned her gaze toward the other girl she could see the obvious anger rooted there and Cat knew Jade was losing her patience.
Jade flicked her eyes to the ocean and stared at it in silence. Cat watched her with her lower lip wedged between her teeth and admired the slope of her nose and the smooth jawline from the girl's profile. Cat really thought Jade was the most beautiful creature on earth and it made her heart flutter when she realized that Jade was only even kind of nice to her and her only. And she did feel bad for pushing off the whole public thing, the official dating, the letting-the-world-know. But Cat was scared. She didn't hate people like Jade did; she actually cared what they thought, as stupid as that was. She reached out and took Jade's chin in her hand and steered her back to her and she watched with wonder as that anger melted away from her eyes. No matter how hard she tried, Jade could never stay mad at her. Cat felt special.
"Just give me time, okay?"
"Six months is a lot of time, Cat."
Jade sighed and took the girl's hand, fiddling it in her own. "Okay." She nodded. "Okay."
"Puppies!" Cat all but ran down the sidewalk, throwing herself against the glass of a new pet store. Her hands flattened out, her brown eyes wide and gazing with awe at the blonde puppies with in. The girl bounced, lost in a chorus of 'oh's and 'awh's as she watched the puppies chase each other in front of the window. "They are so cute! Ohmygawd, Jade, look how cute they are, awh, awh!"
"I'm going to puke."
"I wonder if they'll let me play with them for a little while, Jade, come on!" She snagged her hand and yanked her inside, rushing to the puppies like they were about to taken away. Cat all but dived into the cage and lifted a puppy, showering it with kisses. Jade rolled her eyes and glanced over her shoulder.
"I don't think you're supposed to touch them."
"You are so cute, you are the cutest thing I have ever seen, I just want to put you in my pocket and take you home. Oh! Your name can be Copper, you like that name, Copper? It's a cute name for a cute puppy, isn't it? Awh, Jade, look, he likes me! You want to hold him?" Cat turned and thrust the puppy forward, who panted happily with it's stub of a tail wiggling happy between it's tan legs.
Jade scoffed. "I hate animals. They smell and make a lot of noise." Her eyes rolled to the ceiling. "I hate people for similar reasons, actually."
"I don't smell," Cat retorted, setting the puppy reluctantly back in the cage and scratching his ears.
"You make a lot of noise."
Cat shot her a look that was supposed to be intimidating, but she's not exactly good at it. She just smiles and pats the puppy's head once more before turning around, watching Jade with raised eyebrows. The other girl watches her just as intently, her hands on her hips, flipping her brown hair over her shoulder. Cat had the sudden urge to fold into her arms and kiss her neck and let all of the people milling around them know, to show Jade she was ready; ready to face the rest of the world. Jade had been wanting to since their first kiss in the janitor's closet at Hollywood Arts, but Cat had always been resistant.
And she still was.
The moment passed. Jade turned and walked out of the pet store and Cat followed close behind. "Jade?"
Cat could tell Jade's mood had dropped because of that moment that Cat let pass up. She had done this a million times and not done a thing, expected Jade to wait and wait and wait for something she didn't know she'd ever be prepared for.
"Do you think ... someday, we can get a puppy?"
Jade blinked in surprise and Cat knew she had distracted her, made her momentarily forget what had happened in the pet store. Because Jade knew what Cat was implying and the brightness of that future obscured everything else. "Uh," she stuttered. Cat grinned because only she could manage to make Jade West speechless. Jade coughed and quickly resumed her composure, shrugging nonchalantly. "I'll think about it."
Cat smiled and moved to her side and even though they didn't hold hands, the backs brushed against each other. And Cat did want to spend her life with Jade. She would get to that point. Eventually.
Cat stared with wide eyes and a slack jaw at the little plastic bag in her hand, running her thumb over it. When she had first found it buried in Jade's dresser drawer, she hadn't known what it was. For a short, stupid moment, she had thought it was a tiny package of grass, but that didn't make any sense. She sniffed it, pinched some between her fingers, all the while glancing curiously at Jade's bathroom door, where the soft pattering of of the shower vibrated from behind the door, steam rolling out in thick waves.
And then a picture comes back to her, something from health class, and her eyes widen and she drops the package on the black comforter of Jade's bed.
Cat was still staring at it with her mouth wide open when Jade emerged from the bathroom, one towel twirled in her hair while the other was tucked securely around her body. "What's wrong?" She moved to the side of the bed and sat, picking up the tiny package. Her black eyes turned to Cat. "Were you snooping?"
"No!" Cat fluttered her hands and pointed to the dresser. "I was just - uh, looking for clothes and -"
"Oh." Jade shrugged and stood again, carrying the packet back to her dresser. "I'd rather my parents not find this, so let's just keep it where it is."
Cat opened her mouth only to close it it, shaking her head. "You - you never told me you did - do - drugs, Jade."
Jade flicked her eyes curiously at the girl sitting cross-legged on her bed. "It's just pot, Cat."
"That's - illegal."
"Thank you, Einstein. I'm well aware of what it is. I don't even smoke it that often, it's just a stress-reliever."
Cat frowned at the bedspread. She thought she knew everything about Jade - and yeah, it was just pot, but it was a drug. Cat figured something like drug use would have come up at some point during their relationship. She bit her lip and looked up again and caught Jade's eyes. "That could get you in big trouble."
"If I get caught."
"What else have you done?"
Jade paused, her eyes wary. "Are you going to be mad at me?" Cat doesn't say anything and Jade sighed. "I don't know. Everything."
"Jade." Cat's hands were shaking. "That stuff can land you in jail! Can kill you!"
Jade threw her hands up. "Okay, you need to calm down, Red, okay? It's just pot."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Cat flung her hands on the bed. "It's still a drug! It's still illegal! And all that other stuff can ruin your brain!"
Cat watched as Jade bit the tip of her tongue, trying hard to hold back a retort involving ruined brains and Cat's. "Look," Jade said, her voice sharp and cracking. "I was into that stuff when I was trying to - when I was dealing with the whole Beck situation, okay? I was upset."
The anger and fear in Cat melts away with guilt. Jade loved Beck. A lot. And she told Cat that she was over him, that he was gone from her life forever, but Cat heard her at night sometimes, whispering both her name and Beck's. And she watched the way she studied him from across the lunch table as if trying to recognize something in someone you think you knew a long time ago. Cat knew it was hard for Jade, but she didn't think it was that hard. She didn't know that someone could hurt so badly they'd turn to drugs. And Cat wondered for a moment what she would do if Jade ever left her the way Beck left Jade - abrupt, harsh, and cruel.
Suddenly that pot didn't seem so bad.
"Promise me you won't do any of that stuff again." Cat raised her gaze to Jade's. "Please."
"I'm not going to lose you over - pot, or any kind of drug, okay?" Cat felt weird saying it like that, like she was suddenly familiar with the drugs. She shook herself and took a deep breath. "And I'm not going to have you put holes in your brain."
Jade studied her in silence. She did this a lot. Cat was used to it. It was like she was trying to read something in Cat's eyes, like sincerity. And finally she sighed, turned to her dresser and pulled the package out. She strutted to the bathroom and Cat turned to watch her drop the bag in the toilet. The dark-haired girl turned to watch her as she flushed the toilet, eyebrows raised. "There. I promise. Now." Jade moved out of the bathroom and dropped her towel. Cat's jaw dropped because she could see Jade naked for the rest of her life and it would hardly make her any less speechless when she gazed upon that body.
"Let's do something more fun."
"You know, for a total dork, Robbie throws a pretty nice party. Except for the balloons. He's turning seventeen, not six."
Jade handed Cat a can of pop and glanced around with approval. Robbie's basement had been decked out in a Hawaii theme - cheesy, but his parents managed to pull it off pretty well. Everyone was in hula skirts and coconut bras. Cat somehow wondered if that part was Robbie's idea. The birthday boy was talking animatedly with Rex perched on his hand, surrounded by Sinjin, Trina, and Andre. Jade was almost glued to Cat's side, black eyes surveying the dim light.
"What's wrong?" Cat touched Jade's arm, lips pursed. The girl flicked her eyes between Cat and to the left of them. Cat turned and frowned. "Oh."
Beck was against the wall, arms crossed. His head was tilted over Tori's, whose hands were wrapped around one of his arms. Cat could only see half of his face, lips pulled into a wide smile.
"You're jealous." Cat turned and glared at the other girl, a fire building in her throat. She knew Jade was having a hard time getting over him but it had been nearly a year. Besides, she was pretty sure Beck wasn't able to make Jade make some of the noises Cat had caused. Jade had told her that.
"Yeah. I am." Jade was staring back just as hard at Cat and it was then she realized what Cat was referring to. "Oh, God, Cat, not of Tori. Ugh." She shook her head, lip raised in disgust. "I'm jealous that they can do stuff like that -" she motioned with a wave of her hand to the couple who was now very happily making out against the wall, " - and not feel conscious about it." She reached out and touched Cat's hand, running her thumb over the knuckles. "Let's just tell them. Now. Get it over with."
"No." Cat took a step back, shaking her head. "No, Jade -"
"It's perfect," Jade continued, a distant smile on her face. "Everyone's here, it would go easy -"
"They're not going to care, Cat -"
"I care." Cat takes another step back. "I'm not ready for that yet, okay? I'm not ready."
Jade's eyes sharpened, her happiness over the fantasy fading away. She stepped forward until their faces were but a breath apart, glaring hard. "I've waited half a year. Almost seven months. How much more time do you need? Or will you never be ready?"
Cat stuttered, one hand fluttering weakly about her neck. She didn't know. She didn't know when - or if - she'd be ready for that kind of ridicule. Because the world still frowned upon people like them, and maybe not her friends, but other people would think bad things. "J-Jade." She twisted her fingers and looked down, away from those hurt, accusing eyes. "I just, I don't -"
"I'm done waiting." Jade stepped forward again and Cat had to use all of her will not to step away. "You either want me all the time or never."
"Please, just a little more time - "
"I'm tired of being your dirty little secret." Jade's eyes flashed and Cat's heart was thumping with the beat of the music around them. "Make up your mind."
Cat opened her mouth and stuttered, jerking her eyes away again. She didn't want to lose Jade - ever - but she just didn't know. Jade had made a million sacrifices, done a million things to try and get Cat ready for something that shouldn't be a big deal, but Cat couldn't get over what all of this meant. As long as it was secret, Cat felt like it was special and beyond other peoples' opinions, but as soon as she took Jade's hand in public, things changed. People stared. People would judge her. And she knew it was stupid to put them before Jade but she just couldn't get over the fear of someone not liking her for something so dumb.
Jade's eyes dropped too, hurt clear in those black orbs. "I'm leaving."
Cat didn't even try to stop her. She just watched as she disappeared up the stairs in a wave of brown hair.
The party lasted for several hours longer, but Cat wasn't really there. She sat and talked about stupid things if only to try and get Jade out of her head. Nobody noticed anything was wrong and only once asked where Jade had went. Her leaving in an angry storm was never anything new.
Cat cried as she walked home. Beck had offered her a ride - actually, everyone had, but she had refused, saying she felt like walking. She didn't, since Robbie lived pretty far from her house, but she was too afraid she'd start crying as soon as it got quiet. Her hands clenched at her sides as she walked, the night air was chilly as it played with her red locks. This wasn't fair. Jade shouldn't have jumped her like that, cornered her in a public situation. Cat wasn't ready. She didn't know how to be ready for that kind of thing. Jade hated people. Cat didn't.
And then it started to rain. Awesome.
Cat glanced at her phone. No calls, no text messages. They had argued over this before, but Jade had never stormed out like that. She had always understood that Cat needed to time to wrap around the consequences of this, to determine if Jade was worth them. And she was, Cat thought, she was just too scared to take the first step. She thought about calling, to apologize, to ask for a tiny bit more time and maybe Jade would give it to her, but Jade had already waited for so long and been so patient and nice -
Her phone screamed. Cat blinked her tears away and gasped in delight to see Jade pop up on the screen, pressing the phone to her ear. "Jade, I was just about to call - "
A horrendous cough came through the other end that made Cat freeze.
"Cat." The voice spoke so softly into the phone, she could barely hear it. It was a ghost of Jade's. "I need you."
Cat ran too fast for her heels to keep her steady, too fast to really see where she was going, too fast to breathe.
"Jade!" She screamed into her phone for the hundredth time but all she could hear was the distant and faint sound of breathing. Cat clung to that, because breathing was good, breathing meant that Jade was alive. Cat just had to find her before the breathing stopped. Her heels slammed against the wet concrete and she wobbled but it was like her feet knew how scared she was and they refused to let her fall. The rain had lessened to a light drizzle and Cat's velvet-red hair was damp, draping down her cheeks like bloody tears. It was dark and she felt like it was closing in on her, keeping her away from Jade.
"Jade, please, talk to me, please!" But all she heard is Jade's shallow breathing and Cat started to cry, even though of all the times to be weak,this was not one of them. "Jade, you have to tell me what street you're on, please, Jade!"
Jade coughed into the phone and Cat held it with both hands. "Jade, what street are you on? Please, stay with me, look for a sign." Cat knew she had to hurry, had to find Jade before someone else did - a bad someone else. "Jade, baby -"
"Compton." It was faint and it was dying but it was there and Cat almost wanted to weep in relief, but the storm had yet to pass.
"Compton," Cat repeated, her pace never slowing. "Compton, Compton." She was only vaguely sure of where that might be, but her feet didn't hesitate, like there was a path only her feet knew and it was leading her there. This was Jade, her Jade, and she had to get there as fast as she could. It didn't matter right now that Jade and her had just fought, that Cat was still confused on what she was supposed to do. What mattered was that Jade had done something bad and she needed to find her, now.
And then she rounded the corner and she saw a lump on the curb. Jade was slumped over, her long, brown hair spilling into the street and holding her phone to her ear like it was all she had. A single heartbeat passed and Cat stared with eyes wides at her Jade, broken and fallen, sprawled on a street curb. And Cat knew, somehow, this is her fault.
"Jade!" Cat ran across the distance and fell to her knees beside the girl, not caring that the wet grass was probably staining her jeans. She grabbed Jade's face and the phone clattered into the street. The girl's eyes were hooded but her pupils were the size of apples; black, endless pits. Cat, trembling, smoothed Jade's wet hair away. "Why didn't you call the ambulance? Why didn't you call for help?" Cat was nearly shrieking, trying to find some kind of reason in Jade's pale face. She had gone somewhere, taken something - and what kind of damage had been left?
"I wanted you," Jade whispered and it was barely there but it left Cat some kind of breathless and her eyes squeezed shut for a moment. She couldn't see Jade like this, she couldn't see the consequences of her mistake in Jade's eyes.
And then she dialed 911 and tried to convince herself this wasn't her fault, but it was.
Cat wasn't allowed to see her after she disappeared behind those double doors. Cat was screaming, pushing the doctors away, telling them that she had to tell Jade that she loved her and she wasn't afraid anymore because if Jade died she would never be able to live after her. The doctor's called her parents and they rushed her home, despite her screams from the backseat.
Cat didn't sleep. She just waited by the phone and waited for someone to call her, to tell her Jade was okay. And she hated that it took something like this, it took Jade running off and taking whatever drug she could find and nearly dying to make her realize how stupid her fears had been, how selfish and wrong she had been. What if she had pushed Jade too far, waited too long, expected too much? And what if Jade was okay, but didn't want her anymore?
Cat tortured herself all day, calling Jade's phone, her parents' phones, the hospital. The nurses couldn't tell her anything and no one else was answering and she spent the rest of her time with her forehead on her knees, remembering the earlier days of her and Jade, when neither of them knew what to do with each other. When Jade tugged her into the janitor's closet and kissed her after weeks of avoiding one another, when Jade whispered in the dark that she didn't know what this was or what she was supposed to do but she wanted to find out. Cat thought about the moment she fell in love with Jade.
And those are the important parts. Not what anyone else thought.
It was far after the sun had set when a knock pounds on Cat's bedroom door. She leaped out of and ripped the door open, all but melting when she saw Jade on the other side. The girl smiled weakly, opening her arms for Cat to fall into them.
They said it in unison, Cat's fingernails digging into Jade's shirt as she tugged her inside.
"Why did you do that? What did you take? You could have died, you could have died -"
"Will you calm down? I'm fine. It was just something laced, I didn't know it was going to do that to me." Jade sighs, her voice growing thicker. "They're sending me to some kind of counselor for drug use. God."
Cat pulled back and stared at her face, holding it between her hands. "Why? Why did you do that?"
Jade pursed her lips and shrugged. "Because I'm stupid." Cat just stared at her, waiting, and finally Jade sagged forward. "I thought you didn't want me anymore. So I thought I could forget for a while. And I did much more than forget, let me tell you. There were pink elephants in the street."
Cat smiled tightly and brought Jade closer till their foreheads touched. "I do want you. And I'm not - well, I'm scared, but I'm okay, I'm ready for, you know. The public thing." Cat took a shaky breath. "You broke your promise, by the way."
Jade smiled, reaching out to touch Cat's cheek. "Yeah, I know. I'll make it up to you with that puppy we're going to get when we move in together. Are you serious about the ..." She shrugged. "The public thing?"
Cat nodded slowly. "Yeah. I mean, it's scary, but I can't keep putting it off."
Jade smirked and stood, swaying to Cat's desk. She popped open Cat's laptop and started clicking around. Cat watched curiously from across the room before following after her. She watched with confusion as Jade pulled up her Slap profile page. "What are you doing?"
"Making it public." Jade hovered her mouse over her relationship status and glanced once more at Cat. "You're sure?"
Cat inhaled deeply and wrapped her arms tightly about Jade's waist, tucking her close. "Yeah."
And Cat watched as she clicked save and it posted on the wall. Jade West is in a relationship with Catherine Valentine.
Somehow, seeing it there, watching as people commented and liked it, it didn't seem so scary.