Let's Go Fly a Kite.
The first date that Jade&Beck go on, he takes her to a park. It's that cliché kind of park (and Jade absolutely loathes anything cliché), complete with a rusty swing set that sings in the wind, yellow slide, and the ghost of children's laughter (the a b a n d o n e d things are always the most beautiful and the most precious). She looks at him with dull eyes through thick black make-up, and he gives her an easy grin and warm, chocolate brown eyes.
"You brought me to a park?" She says, instinctively folding her arms over her chest. "What are you, five? I'm sorry (no, she's not), but I don't date five year olds." Beck still has that annoying grin on his face as he sets down his backpack. She's too busy looking at the overcast sky, noticing the different shades of gray to see what he takes out of it. She's startled when she feels soft, warm hands against her arms as they lower them to her sides, and suddenly, her emotionless mask isn't so strong anymore as he leans in and puts his face closer to hers.
"Wanna go fly a kite?" He asks. His hands are still wrapped around her wrists, their warmth distracting her momentarily, but it only takes a moment for him to break into another grin and throw his head back in a warm laugh. Jade can feel the wind at her arms, feel the hair prickling as it sweeps along her arm, and she thinks she feels a drop of cool rain hit her already chilled skin. She turns to see Beck setting up his kite, and it's then she notices that he's already put her kite in her hand.
It's simple and it's black with a couple of silver spirals s w i r l i n g around the edges, and it has green&blue&pink&red&yellow ribbons flying off the end of it. It also has her name in the middle, scrappily scrawled on with white paint. And suddenly, she feels a hand in her free hand again, and then it's pulling her and pulling her, and then she's running as Beck's kite lifts in the air behind them, catching itself in the strengthening wind.
"Come on, Jade," Beck shouts. "You gotta let go! Let go of your kite!"
So with more rain drops hitting her skin and littering themselves in her hair, she slowly swallows down the panic (why on earth is she panicking?), and lets go of her kite, watching it fall, only to rise up higherandhigher (and she thinks hers may just be going higher and faster than Beck's kite).
Ten minutes later, Beck's still holding her hand and they're still flying kites, a mixture of black and red and green and blue and yellow, and Beck's laughter can still be heard over the now pouring rain and roaring wind (and somewhere, Jade's sure that she cares about how much of an idiot she looks and why the hell is she doing this?).
And then, Beck suddenly stops. Jade watches as the kite drops, her name washed away on hers, only a blur of white now, and how the little ribbons collect droplets of water on them (just like tears), and how the silver runs down the side of the kite, making intricate and pattern-less trails. But then, Beck kisses her and it all seems to disappear into a careless memory.
His hands are gently at her hands, holding them close to his chest, encasing her with warmth. She feels him pull her closer to him, feeling his jeans on her jeans, chest to chest. He tastes like cappuccinos and overcast days and denim (and she tastes like nail polish, black coffee and rain), and she's loving every single moment of it. She puts her hands in his hair, and he pulls her closer to him.
– Their clothes are soaked, the rain itches at their skin, and Jade's make-up is staining their faces. Jade&Beck's first kiss is in the rain.
(And maybe they're just a little bit cliché.)
"So, how was flying a kite?" Beck asks. He doesn't look at her. Instead, he watches the rain as if falls, looks at the little trails it leaves as it falls onto the glass of the bus shelter. Jade knows that he means how the first date went, and probably if he gets a second chance. She doesn't answer immediately, she just looks down at the wet – and most likely ruined – kite with the colourful strings, and the stream of silver, and the blur of white in the middle, and then she looks back at him. His hair is plastered to his forehead, and she watches as a bead of rain travels down the side of his face to the bottom of his neck, and then she looks away.
"Flying a kite is stupid," she answers. She roughly hands him back the kite, and folds her arms over her chest again and crosses her legs. Out of the corner of her eye, she sees him give a quick smirk, which she isn't really able to define, and look back down at the kite in his hands (her kite). They then stay silent.
Soon, the rain stops, and Beck walks Jade home, and leaves her at the bottom of her drive way (he's always known that she liked her space). He offers her a wave that she doesn't return, and then he turns around and walks away with his hands in his pockets and Jade secretly watching.
(Her make-up stains looks like she's been crying.)
Beck tells her he loves her seven months and fifteen days later. They're in his RV, looking at the distorted rain through his curtained caravan window. Jade presses her cheek against the cool glass of the window, feeling Beck rub his thumb over their entwined hands. He looks laid back, and easy smile on his face as he drinks lemonade.
"I think," he starts, "that I love you."
Inside, Jade's sure that her heart stops beating, only to restart suddenly again in a life-threatening staccato rhythm. On the outside, she hopes that only her eyes go wider, and that the rest of the effects stay hidden behind her make-up.
Neither Beck or Jade say anything immediately after that, and he doesn't choose to acknowledge the deep breath she takes in, and he doesn't look scared or upset that she hasn't replied yet.
Slowly, Jade then decides to open up the curtains, and now, they can both clearly see the rain drops that drip onto the windows and slide down the side, and they can see the overcast sky and the flash of lights from inside the house. And the window is a little bit fogged up from the working heater inside the RV, and her cheek has left imprint of clear viewing space.
She then turns her head, looking at Beck and his warm eyes, before quickly looking away, noticing her kite from six months and four days ago on his shelf, dry and fresh and nostalgic – and inside, she's smiling. Turning back to the window, she looks outside at the rain, and then puts her finger against it, drawing a shape and colouring it in, before looking at Beck again and crawling into his lap.
She kisses him.
(He tells her he loves her and she draws him a love heart on a fogged up window, with rain falling and sliding down its centre, just like little c r a c k s. It fades before Beck can see it properly, but he's still left with a smile on his face long after Jade has left and a foreverafter has faded.)
She thinks that it has to be the stupidest thing in the world that it's a kite that makes her break.
But the wind flutters and a prettylittlerainbow gets stuck up high, high, high in the tree, and she just can't leave it there (because her heart just may be attached to its little string). So she climbs the tree, letting its branches scrape her arms and her arms until scars and blood scatter over them, and she's most likely ruined the knees of her jeans.
She takes the kite home first, wanting to try and fix it by herself (miss independent – always), but she keeps on failing, and her last resort is sticky-tape. But the sticky tape is in her room, and she forgets to turn out the lights this time, and she does nearly fall apart when she sees that of her and Beck and that was taken only three months ago (which is one year and eight months after they started dating).
So instead, she just runs with the kite in her hands, trying to make it fly and trying to cry. But it only trails on the ground ( – a pathetic little rainbow now), and she just can't make it do anything. So instead, she runs to Tori's house, cradling the broken kite in her arms and chanting "Fix it, fix it, fix it!" in her head to the beat of her feet.
When she and Beck are back together, she leaves the kite just in front of his RV, merely put into a black plastic bag. Two days later the bag arrives back at her doorstep, with the kite fixed (just like her smile). She returns it to him within the hour (she's not really a sentimental kind of girl), and the next day, when she goes over to see him, she sees that it too has been added to his collection.
When she's seventeen, everything seems to get suddenly harder&harder&harder, and she's really not quite sure that she can bare it anymore. It all feels as if it's slipping through her fingers, and it only ruins her black nail polish when she tries to claw her way back up to the top (oh, you think she'd give up?). Her acting seems stilted and fake, and she always seems to choke whenever she opens her mouth to sing. She dances in a littleblackdress (oh, baby you're a classic) and let's the lights and music steal her spotlight as she dances with distracted eyes and an emotionless mask. Everything seems to b r e a k and s h a t t e r in her hands.
All except Beck.
Somehow, even when she's below perfect – below average – his hand is still in hers, his fingers threaded through and he's still strong. He strokes her hair when she lays her head down in his lap merely out of fatigue (and not affection. Ever), and whispers sweet nothings into her ear that somehow manages to calm her down when she grips his hands too tight.
"Let go," he says. "You need to relax."
So, for a little while, she will (shh, it's a secret). Often she'll wake up with Beck's arm wrapped around her under a thick blanket, their legs tangled together and his face buried in her hair. Early white light sheds through the window, over their bodies and the lounge, spreading itself on the floor. She gets up, letting the blanket fall away from her skin and Beck's arm to rest on her hip, and she looks out the window she sees Beck's house start to arise and the nearby street begin to come to life.
She stays there for a while, letting the cold prick at her skin and her breath to stain the glass of the window. She stays there until she can feel warm arms hold her against a tight warm body, a breath in her ear, and a tiny, tiny smile on her face as she gets pulled back onto the lounge (and sometimes, she'll even trace the outline of a little, forgotten heart).
When BeckandTori get to be in a play together (you know why you didn't get that part, Jade? It's because you're a pathetic excuse for an actress, and you know it), Jade manages to rip a whole script in half, destroy two coffees and one can of lemonade with a tightened grip, and yell at five people in three minutes. No, it's not jealousy. It's different, and it's something she hates.
(Maybe, just maybe, it's fear.)
She can't lose Beck. Not her Beck.
Her kisses with him become harsher, stronger, more need&want&mine while her grip on his hair tightens and her sharp nails dig into his scalp. He holds her close and she holds him tight because she is not losing him, never ever ever going to because she thinks she loves him and he's the best thing in her life (and the only thing that isn't fading). Her black lipstick stains his neck hours after they kissed, and she can still feel the touch of his hand on her hip.
When she's seventeen and a half, she runs away. The stress gets to her, and she's sick of glitter staining her skin and falling in her hair, and having to pretend that she's someone she's not (it's called acting, dear). So she packs up a backpack and leaves without one note or goodbye or a tear left behind.
She gets millions and millions of calls from Cat and Tori, a couple from Robbie and Andre, and even one from Trina. But she gets none from Beck; never gets to hear his soothing voice, or the sound of an 'I love you'. Still, it doesn't manage to break her.
Instead, she fills herself up with alcohol and bitter kisses and her fingernails down a bare chest. Whiskey and beer slide themselves down her throat and into the pit of her empty stomach as she exhales black smoke from her blood red lips. She smirks when she sees that she's caught the bar tender's attention, before taking another sip and continuing to stain the glass with her lipstick (she leaves a trail wherever she goes).
She travels a lot of places. Rundown bars, to empty corner nightclubs, to dark alleyways where everything and anything could happen, leaving cigarette butts and broken hearts in her wake. Of course, she stays away from the bright and shining Hollywood shine and the promise of the talented (it was always just a lie).
When she's been running&running for about four months, she finally goes home, careful not to get herself spotted by any of the students of Hollywood Arts High School.
Her house isn't her home anymore, she realises (and maybe it never was). It's a little bit dusty and a little bit too dark, and the furniture seems to be odd and less familiar than it was four months ago. But her room is still intact, a bed made and photos in frames littered on shelves and draws. Her bed is also made, and to her surprise, she finds white letters strewn across it.
Torn envelopes and jagged edges and curly black handwriting result in trembling lips and heavy hearts and just one single tear that smears the writing.
I love you, and I miss you. And I'm so, so sorry. Please come back and be mine.
(She counts ten love letters on her fingers and countless tears in her eyes that will inevitably smudge her make-up.)
She tries to runaway again, but her vision is blurred and she doesn't really know where she's going. So instead of running out into the fresh air and a new chance, she runs straight into her mother's bedroom, landing on the soft bed. She doesn't cry, merely burying her head in the pillow and breathing in her mother's scent.
Finally, when she thinks she's blocked the tears, she opens her eyes and looks around her mother's room. The room hasn't changed at all since she left, the bed still made neatly and the cupboard door still open slightly. The dream catcher entangled with the complicated curves and arches of the headboard still sways gently in the wind.
Jade stays there, sitting on the bed, re-living her not so childish childhood in her head, and digging her nails into her palms as she fights back more tears. She starts to watch the clock, letting the tick and tock fill her ears and lets her eyes focus on the hands as they move. One o'clock soon becomes two o'clock, but to her, it feels like no time has passed at all.
Suddenly, with only one not-thought-through thought, Jade jumps off the bed and roughly pulls out the bottom draw from the chest, pulling out every single photo album she can find and carrying the load to the bed.
Time passes again, but this time, it's spent with the sound of her memories filling her ears rather than the clock, with lost chances and the beginning and the end in her hands. Big, toothless grins with hair in pigtails, and five friends moving up to high school, and white wedding dresses hiding baby bulges are captured and held within the pages, and still all Jade wants to do is cry.
She runs away again with one picture tucked away into her pocket when she hears a car door slam and her auntie open the door.
After she's gone home, she decides that all she really, really wants to do is become an actress again, complete with workable personality and thick script in hand (we'll deal with all that fame crap later, shall we?). Of course, she's too stubborn to get an agent or go back to school where she can watch Tori steal all her leading roles; so instead, she goes scouting by herself for possible acting careers.
After a couple of truly awful scripts, some hit-and-miss auditions, some cancelled movies due to no budget, and some extremely low-budget movies, Jade feels like she's even deeper in the gutter than before (and that all she really wants is to wake up in a silver RV with warm arms around her).
She finds out that the three things that manage to get her through the day are black coffee, her screensaver of her and Beck, and the picture that she stole from her own house. It has creases the picture is getting worn thin from all the times that she's shoved it in her pocket, but she still cherishes it (and it's only the fifth thing she loves). It's also the only thing that manages to keep her going when she keeps getting denied almost every single role she auditions for – well, apart from the thought of Beck.
It shows her mother and a seven year old Jade wearing a black dress and her trade mark smirk (really, it's just a small smile). Her mother, on the other hand, wears the biggest smile that Jade ever saw and holds a mask in her hand, the signature item. Jade can vaguely remember that night, filled with loud voices, and swirling lights, bright colours and loud cheers and claps. It was the night that her mother's first and only successful play (and the first time since Jade had been six where she saw her mother being truly happy). Of course, then it all went wrong, and soon mummy was pale and frail and Jade was reciting scripts to make both mummy and herself temporarily happy.
The night after another unsuccessful audition, Jade manages to fall asleep within half an hour (for once) on a thin, lumpy hotel bed with the picture pressed close to her chest and the backlight from her phone illuminating her pillow.
(She dreams of the colour black, and sunshine days, and long speeches that make mascara run, and - ohmygodimissyoumummy.)
A year after she runs away, Jade comes back (just for one moment).
The bus drops her off at a bus stop which is about a thirty-five minutes walk from her old high school. But Jade tries not to think about that. Instead, she buys one red rose (her mother always loved the scent of them), and starts to walk without looking up because she already knows the way.
Half an hour later, it's evening, and the sky is a dark blue tinged with aqua and littered with gray clouds, and everything is merely a shadow. And then finally, she can't take it any longer, so she starts to walk in the other direction of the nearby bus stop (stupid, stupid, stupid girl).
By the time she gets there, the sky is gray and dark, and the night time chill is starting to rise up off the ground. The nearby street light casts the park in an almost eerie glow, but it only sweeps over some objects so most of the area is left in darkness. She walks over to the swing set, feeling the hard ground beneath her worn boots turn into soft grass. She reaches the swing set, and pauses, before crossing her arms (childhood clichés are so stupid, aren't they?).
Finally, she gives in, and sits down on the swing, letting the wind push her back and forth slightly. The chain feels cold against her hands, but she just tightens her grip on it – trying to clear her mind. She thinks of her mum, her Beck, her time at Hollywood Arts, acting, and everything that she can begin to wrap her head around. She starts to grip the chain so tightly that it digs into her skin and leaves lines and imprints.
She doesn't know how long she stays there for, but when she finally gets the urge to leave, the cold is stuck to her skin, and her feet and legs feel heavy and numb. Now, there are now hints of navy blue sky or the promise of stars – only dark gray clouds that match her mood. She crosses her arms, and starts to walk.
She has trouble seeing anything but the silhouette of playground equipment and tall, out-stretching trees that are a child's dream come true for climbing. Somehow, it feels colder away from the swing; less protected from the wind, and she thinks that she can feel drops of rain start to fall on her skin.
"Shall we go fly a kite?" She hears a voice ask suddenly. She turns around – quick as a whip – to see her Beck there, his face only inches away from hers. He's hanging upside from one of the trees branches, his grin planted strongly on his face, and he looks exactly like he did one year ago (she's not sure whether she'll be able to hold back the tears this time). She stays silent.
"Are you gonna stay?" Beck asks. "Because I've missed you – a lot."
Jade immediately thinks of white paper stained with curly black lettering and the same sentence repeated over and over: I love you, I love you, iloveyou (why did you leave me?). She feels a raindrop fall on her cheek and slide down.
"You know," Beck starts, "I've come here every single day since you left? At first, I just stood there and looked at the night sky. Then, I started playing on the equipment," he says. "People thought I was nuts, playing on the equipment at 9.30 at night. You should have seen some of their faces; hilarious," Beck laughs.
"Why are you upside down?" Jade finally asks. Beck grins.
"Well, it's pretty fun," he says. "Makes me feel like a kid – or Spiderman," he adds. Jade can feel more drops of rain falling on her head, leaving darker spots on her already dark clothes. She still hasn't looked Beck in the eye.
"Jade?" Beck says.
"I still love you," he says. "Do you think I ever stopped?"
At this, the sky cracks open with rain and lightning and thunder, disguising Jade's tears. Quickly, she grabs the back of Beck's head and pulls her mouth over his, kissing him (and it manages to make their both their hearts flutter - just like kites in the wind). Without a moment's hesitation, he starts kissing back, bringing his hand to entwine in her hair, pulling her closer (he's still warm). And then, it doesn't matter that chilly water is running down their clothes, making their hair plaster to their foreheads. All that matters is that Jade's there, and Beck's there, and that it's Beck&Jade again.
(They've always been a little bit cliché.)
Disclaimer: I do not own Victorious
A/N: Well, that's the fluffiest piece that you're ever, ever going to get from me.
Ok, first up, with the whole kite thing, I just want to say that I picked that because I feel like Jade never really got the chance to have a proper childhood – whether she wanted that or not. If you take the imagery of a kite, then you have something that's from a childhood and signifies freedom etc. etc. And of course, Beck would be the one to do that.
Secondly, this is my version of Jade's mother: Rather unsuccessful actress, divorcee, chronically ill. And yes, in this story she dies, which then leads Jade to run away due to grief and stress and nostalgia.
So yeah, go and review now.
PS. Oh, and did you know that Vega is actually the name of a bright star? Which equals: Tori "Bright Star". Ha! I love it!