Let me make one thing clear: I hate the beach. The sun is way too bright, a bunch of stupid kids run around making noise, and everywhere I look I see bikinis that contain about a fourth of the cloth they should contain – it's very distracting. So imagine my surprise when I find myself in the driver's seat of my car, on my way towards the beach.

I look beside me to see Cat rocking out to a song in her head. She's the only passenger. Leave it to Cat to make me do things I really don't want to… She showed up at 7 AM in my room (I'm still not sure how she got in), trying to convince me to come along on this beach trip. And succeeding.

Once we arrive, she immediately darts out of the car and sprints to the beach. I sit and watch, contemplating to just turn around and leave. Before I can restart the car, she's at my window. I open, despite knowing full well that doing so equals throwing away my chances of escape.

"You were thinking of driving off!" …She's good. "Come on… for me?" I really, really wish she wouldn't use that. It doesn't even work when Beck tries it, yet when she does it, it never leaves me with any choice. Although that might also be because she's physically dragging me out of the car and towards the dressing stalls. You wouldn't say, but that girl is pretty strong when she puts her mind to something. After she shoves me into a stall, a thought occurs.

"I don't have a swimsuit." How did I not think of that before? "Well, guess I have no business here… Hey!" Here I was, thinking that dressing stalls were supposed to be private. Even if they weren't, fitting two people in is… challenging.

"I got you covered!" she says in that typical cheerful voice. "I know you don't like going to the beach, so I figured you didn't have a swimsuit, so I bought you one! Ta-daaaa!" I ignore the obvious question of why she dragged me here if she knows I hate the beach, and look at the swimsuit she bought me.

…It's pink.

"You're kidding me." This is just Cat's more devious side. She doesn't mean it; this is just her sense of humour. She knows I hate pink, so she got me a pink swimsuit. A pink bikini, no less. Actually, that would be kind of funny if I weren't at my expense…

"Come on, just try it on! It'll look great." Oh, for crying out loud. She's not kidding. She actually thinks that I would look good in pink. I don't. When I was young, my mother made me wear pink. I always thought I looked awful in it.

"No." I cross my arms. "I'm not wearing pink. I don't look good in pink. I hate pink. I'd sooner go naked than wear that thing." Cat giggles, probably thinking that I'm joking. I'm not. I'm not one to flaunt my body, but if that's what it takes to escape the pink atrocity, I'll bloody do it. Apparently Cat realises that I'm not yielding on this one.

"Well, OK… I'll wear that one, and you can wear mine." Bright yellow and polka dots. Yeah, it's a slight improvement, but the point still stands. I'd sooner go– Oh. Oh, wait a minute. It's black. And it's not that small. The left cup has a chain print in cool grey. This is perfect.

"Do you like it?" Cat's voice snaps me out of my thoughts. I nod in response to her question, and she lets out a small 'yay'. She hands me the black bikini, takes the pink one, and exits the stall. I hear her in the one next to mine, and figure that I might as well get changed.

The pink actually looks good on her… It goes well with her hair and skin colour. Not that I suddenly like pink or anything, it just looks good on her. She's probably the only person in pink that I can stand. A quick look around reveals another woman in pink, and indeed, I instantly hate her. Good to know that even with exceptions, my principles still apply most of the time.

"I don't think pink would really be your colour after all…" Cat says. How perceptive of her. "You look good in black." I nod and start walking, only to catch her expectant stare as she remains in place.

"…You look nice," I grudgingly admit. It's the truth, but compliments just aren't in my nature. Other people like things; I just don't hate them. Apparently satisfied, Cat skips up to where I am and grabs my hand as we walk towards the beach together. I wonder why I even let her do that. Any other person would receive a swift kick to the face.

As we arrive on the beach, we're immediately greeted by an oh-so-familiar voice. I try to pull my hand out of Cat's, and while she does let go, I just know that Tori saw us hand-in-hand. Great. Now she'll think I've gone soft. Jade West, tough girl extraordinaire, is a total softie.

"Not a word," I interrupt when she tries to comment. She wisely closes her mouth, but I still recognise that sparkle in her eye as amusement. She's going to tell everyone about this, I just know it. Indeed, when we get to the group, she blurts it out and runs off laughing. I ignore the laughter that André and Robbie try to contain and go straight towards Beck, who doesn't even try to hide his amusement.

"Should I be worried?" he asks with a look at Cat. I know he's joking, but I still don't like the insinuation. He's the only one who knows I'm bisexual, and he teases me every time I show even the slightest hint of attraction to another girl. Frankly, it's getting old.

"Should I be worried that you're here with Tori? Without me?" Yes, I'm well aware that there's nothing going on between those two. Still, it steers the conversation away from me and Cat, so it's good enough.

"I just like coming to the beach…" he raises his hands defensively. "On that note, what brings you here? You hate the beach." Well, that question backfired…

"Cat convinced me to come." I catch his look. "It's not what you think." Instead of another smart-ass comment, he just sniggers. Before I can tell him where he may stick it, Tori returns. I smile darkly towards Beck and turn towards her.

Tori catches my glare and seems to realise just how much trouble she's in. She looks at André for help, but he just shrugs – see, he understands that if you mess with me, you pay a price. She tries with Robbie, but he is specifically not looking at her. She looks at Beck behind me, but I know that he'll give the same reaction as André. Judging from Tori's face, he did. Growing desperate, she looks around for Cat. The two of them make eye contact, Cat looks at me, and I give her the same smile I gave Beck. Cat looks back at Tori, shrugs apologetically and takes a symbolical step back. By this time, I've reached the foolish girl.

"Boo." She's yelps and jumps. I grab her by the legs and drag her towards the ocean, ignoring her protests. When we reach the shoreline, I toss her into the water, hold her head under and wait for her to stop struggling. A few more seconds, to make sure she's not faking it, and then I let go.

…Nah, I'm kidding. I actually just reach around her neck and untie the strings of her bikini top. By the time she realises what I did, she's already flashed the entire group. I wish I brought a camera: Robbie's face is hilarious right now. Beck's smile is just a little too wide, but I guess I should've seen that coming. He can get away with it, just this once.

Cat grabs my hand and drags me off. She finds a secluded spot, looks around to see if nobody's listening, and actually smiles at me. Huh. I was expecting a lecture.

"You haven't complained once since we got to the beach." I blink. That seems unlikely… Not once, really? Her smile gets a mocking hint. "You're totally enjoying yourself!" I shake my head. I'm not. I hate the beach. "You love the beach." What, did she read my mind? I don't love the beach. And since when does Cat smile that way? That's my thing!

She suddenly steps towards me and pecks me on the lips. Just like that, right out of nowhere. While I try to find a suitable response, she grabs my hand – again – and leads me back to the group. André's busy teasing Tori, Robbie still hasn't recovered from the shock, and Beck raises his eyebrows at Cat and me. For once, he's actually thinking the right thing.

Cat goes over to Robbie and tries to shake some sense into him. It works, sorta. He looks around, sees Tori, turns crimson red and tries desperately not to look at her chest. Tori catches his look and delivers a snarky "like you haven't seen it all already". I grin proudly.

Five minutes go by in relative peace. I spread out a towel (Cat bought me one of those too – black with dark red stripes, very nice) and lay down. With my eyes closed, I let the sun shine on my body. It feels kinda nice, to be honest. Just when I'm about to turn over, I feel a pair of hands on my stomach, rubbing in some sort of lotion. And they're not Beck's hands.

"Cat, what are you doing?" I ask, my eyes still closed. Who else would take that kind of liberty? Well, Sinjin might want to, but he's not here… Plus, the thought of getting killed (a very likely occurrence, I might add) would hopefully stop him.

"I'm putting sunscreen on you. You'll get burnt without it." My eyes snap open. That's not Cat's voice; it's Tori's. When did she get so invasive of my personal space? Is everyone going to do that soon? Why does she even care if I get burnt, anyway?

"I told her that you should have sunscreen. And that she should put it on you, as apology for earlier." I should have known that Cat was behind it somehow. Now that I look at Tori's face, it doesn't seem like she really wants to be in this position either.

"You're doing me next," Tori informs me, clearly not happy with that either. Cat's beaming with pride, and behind her, I see Beck and André exchanging meaningful looks.

Tori's hands on my stomach were uncomfortable. When she rubs my legs, it's even worse. I don't really like Tori, but I'm well aware that she's attractive, and it's incredibly hard to hold back a moan. I wish my thighs weren't so damn sensitive. Beck always loves teasing me there, and it never fails. And now Tori's doing it by accident, all because Cat thought it would somehow get Tori and me to make up. Why is that girl so persuasive?

More awkward ensues when she's finished with my neck, shoulders, arms and back. Both of us are painfully aware that there's one spot left that she hasn't done, and I pray to Cat that she won't make Tori touch me there. It's not that they're particularly sensitive, but I still don't want Tori's hands on them. I'd never hear the end of it.

The good news is that Tori doesn't end up rubbing my chest. Cat, in a moment of mercy, has decided that that would be a little awkward. Yeah, those were her exact words. The bad news is that I now have to put sunscreen on Tori. I have to rub my hands all over her. Someone please shoot me.

After the ordeal is over, I feel a strong bond between myself and Tori. They say that shared misery can bring two people together; that's totally true. I guess that means Cat's way of making us friends did work, but I really wish she'd picked a less awkward way.

"How come you get away with this?" I ask the redhead. As stated before, most people would be kicked in the face. She shrugs and suggests that we go swimming, before dragging me by the hand once more. Sometimes I wonder why I even expect an answer.

Once we're in the water, she comes way too close for comfort. As in, all the way pressed up against me. I really, really hope nobody sees us. I also wonder if she honestly doesn't get the notion of personal space, or if she's doing it on purpose.

Once again, her lips find mine. It was a peck last time, something I could dismiss as Cat being random, but this time it's a deliberate, lengthy kiss. What's worse, I find myself kissing back. My mind tells me that I should stop her, but my mouth is preoccupied and Cat's firmly holding on to my wrists.

She ends up being the one who pulls away. I try to look angry, but I know that I fail miserably at it. She smiles at me again; I smile back. Why do I smile back? What is wrong with me!

"You like me." She doesn't phrase it like a question. She just states a fact. I think it might actually be true. It would explain a lot of things. Like why I'm even on this freaking beach in the first place.

"I'm dating Beck…" I say weakly. Yeah, not even trying to deny it. Just stating something that might get in the way. A problem we need to solve. Damnit, what is with this girl and her mind control?

"I can wait." There's that smile again. I become more and more convinced that Cat is a lot smarter than she seems. "Let's get back. They'll probably get ideas if we stay away too long." Wouldn't want them to accurately guess what was going on…

On our way back, I reach for her hand. Don't get me wrong, I'm still the same tough girl I always was. I just… make exceptions. Or rather, one exception. Damn that little redhead and her mind control.

"So, how do you like the beach?" she asks innocently. I know what she's trying to accomplish, and it won't happen. I'm holding her hand, that's enough for now.

"I don't hate it." To my surprise, she drops the subject. Did she just meet me halfway? I could get used to that… Cat's a nice girl, but she can be a lot to deal with. If she calms down for my sake, I'd be willing to hold her hand every once in a while.

…Hey, reader. Yeah, you. You seem trustworthy enough. Keep a secret, would you?
I love the beach.


A/N: Right, so this idea has been haunting my mind ever since I read that exchange about Jade's hatred of spring and Cat's bikini... By the way, the yellow polka dot bikini doesn't appear because Cat wanted to wear something Jade would like. Aw, how cute.

To quote Sikowitz, reviews are "not necessary, but much appreciated". So go write one ;D