A/N - One of my favorite episodes. I'm hoping for some tori/andre in Victorious soon, because Tell Me That You Love Me is adorable; Andre had to have written that about Tori.
Not the point, though.
I loved the little moment in the restaurant where Beck whispers something to Jade; but I decided including that in this story was pointless. Anyways, props to Liz and Avan, for keeping up the background acting.
This is Beck's point of view (I realized I hadn't done his in a while), and... I hope you enjoy!
"What a lovely ping pong practice!" I declared mockingly, striding out of the empty classroom with Jade. I switched off the lights, and we followed our friends out of the classroom.
As though we had been practicing. Twister, improv, karaoke - it's a wonder we haven't been found out yet.
Jade's eyes widened, and she immediately glared daggers at me and made a shush! noise.
"Could you be any more obvious?" Jade hissed, scanning the hall to see if anyone had registered my sarcastic jest.
I smirked. "Wow, you're even more paranoid about this than Robbie."
"And you're even more obvious than Cat's brother's issues," Jade commented.
"You're just in a bad mood because the coffee machine broke in Festus' truck this morning," I remarked, laughing as I slung my arm around her shoulder.
Jade pried my arm off her shoulders - shoot, am I in trouble? With Cranky Jade?
I'm shaking my head at myself.
Instead of replying, she walked towards the vending machine with a fresh dollar bill.
"Hey!" Tori approached us from behind, with a friendly wave and a wary smile.
"I don't like you," Jade said, not even turning around as she stuffed her dollar bill into the machine and pressed the corresponding buttons for a packet of gummy worms.
I mouthed a little "sorry" to Tori as her face fell with dole.
And no, to put off your questions, I'm not 'in love' with Tori. She's nice, but can be over-the-top neurotic at times. She's pretty, but so is Cat. She's talented, but so is everyone else at this school - save Trina. She's smart, but Jade's the wittiest girl I know and I'm not trading that in for anything. Typically the guy's standard girl; not my typical kind of girl.
"Don't you hate gummy worms?" I asked her as she bent down to retrieve the bag from the slot.
"Yeah," Jade answered simply, as though buying a snack she hated wasn't a waste and was completely normal.
"Why?" Tori asked the question I had long stopped asking.
"I'm going to throw them at Sinjin." Ah, I get it now.
That's my girlfriend, folks.
Tori nodded, a little confused, but she didn't let it throw her off. "Er... okay."
"What do you need?" I asked, because there was definitely something she needed to get off her chest.
"I was wondering," Tori paused hesitantly, "if I could try out for the ping pong team?"
She waited for Jade's reply with an earnest face, hoping for the best. Oh, naive Tori.
Jade contemplated the notion for a moment, then shrugged. "Sure, why not?"
Tori's face brightened considerably, despite the fact Jade had only told her moments ago, "I don't like you."
"Really?" she questioned the authenticity of Jade's answer.
Jade ripped open the bag of gummy worms, pried a plump red and yellow one from the top, and looked back up at Tori.
"She made me read the phone," Jade seethed, explaining to the team and I why Tori was trying out.
None of us knew what that meant, but clearly now was not the time to ask.
The day after Tori's request, she had gone to school early to confront Jade. Apparently, before Jade could worm her way out of keeping Tori away from the rec room, Tori 'childishly tattletaled' (to put it in Jade's words) to Lane, and now we were awaiting Tori's arrival for her try-out.
"I think it's a good thing," Andre spoke up, "I mean, she's kinda part of our group now. Maybe we should let her in on the secret."
"Shut up, Andre!" Jade shushed him with a menacing glare.
"Maybe Tori'll be the first one in our team to actually know the rules of ping pong?" Cat squealed, noticeably happier since Jade announced Tori would be trying out.
"I know the rules of ping pong!" Jade snapped, still in very-bitter mode.
I scoffed; I knew her better than anyone else here, and even though it is wrong (very wrong) to correct bitter Jade, I couldn't help but point out her bluff.
"No, you don't!" I said. I did, on the other hand, but I wasn't going to bring that up.
Jade swiveled around, transferring her menace over to me.
I raised my eyebrows in a playful way, letting her know that attacking me in public wouldn't be good press for the healthiness of our relationship. Any time word leaks out that we're not doing well, Sinjin takes it upon himself to compliment Jade twice as much, while girls tend to throw their slutty little whore faces at me (again, Jade said it, not me).
"Fine," she took in a few deep breaths, and we stood there for a few moments in silence as we watched her calm down.
"Fine. Though I suggest, if you all insist on taking Tori's side," she said, "we all start practicing. Now."
Andre versus Cat - a total disaster.
Andre was fairly skilled. Not the best, but... decent. But Cat could barely hit the ball without dodging the ball and shrieking with fear.
It took Jade three cups of coffee - that's right, I went home and brewed some; aren't I the best? - and a handful of warning glances from Robbie to help Jade patiently sit down and explain to Cat why she couldn't keep running away.
Andre versus Robbie - kind of awkward, I have to admit.
They're both not that great, but Andre was taking his win in stride. He oohed and woooed every time he swatted the ball, as though each was an accomplishment in itself.
Robbie insisted on taking his shirt off, because playing ping pong makes him sweat like a meatball. His words, not mine.
We all watched in awe (and some disgust) as Andre and Robbie, our most evenly matched, duked it out.
Unfortunately, Cat decided she was bored in the middle of the game, and got up to get a drink.
Robbie, and whatever his wandering mind was thinking, got a little distracted as he watched Cat wait for her drink and play with a strand of bright red hair.
Andre slammed the ball right back into Robbie's court, and Robbie missed.
Jade groaned and put her face in her head. This was not going well at all.
"Tori's going to be here soon. Aren't one of you at least decent?"
Me versus Andre.
I would like to say I'm pretty good with a paddle; my dad didn't have time to teach me sports (hence, I got into acting), but whenever he had time we would play a round. He taught me the basics. The first time we played together, he completely owned me - I was in awe at how adept he was. Periods in between our occasional, but very much anticipated games, I would drag my mom out to practice with me, just so that the next I played my dad I would have at least improved a bit.
I never actually beat him, but hell, at least I can play.
Andre ran back and forth, but I could tell I was actually tiring him out. Drips of sweat trailed down his forehead, and his concentration was so intense he didn't notice his phone ringing.
In fact, it was actually going pretty well until Andre's grandmother called. His ringtone sounded from his back pocket, which he ignored as he continued whacking the ball back and forth with me.
Three minutes later - yup, the rally had lasted that long, Andre was that determined to keep his streak - Andre's grandmother burst through the doors, babbling on and on about the terrors of metal lockers and waxy floors. She insisted that Andre had been kidnapped and she was rescuing him from the likes of us. I'll admit, it was hard to keep from laughing at that, although I did see her eyes flicker to Jade a couple times suspiciously, which I will say is reason enough to be shifty.
While Andre tried to explain to his grandmother that he was at a practice, she dragged him outside, because she was scared of the fluorescent lights.
Jade took over from there.
And let me just set the record here, as Jade will never admit this.
She sucks at ping pong.
Yeah, yeah, hold your gasps. It's hard to believe someone that confidently hard-headed could be bad at something as simple as ping pong, but she seriously sucks.
The only reason she's the 'captain' is because the whole thing is her idea, and she's devilishly smart enough to keep the facade running. It's almost as if someone cut the cord wired from her brain to her arm, and she couldn't figure out which way to move in time.
No, I couldn't believe it when I found out either.
We had just come back from our first annual dinner, and we were mindlessly roaming the empty, dark halls together. I had asked her to play a game with me, for lack of something better to do.
Hey, don't judge - we weren't together then, she would've slapped me if I suggested that.
So anyways, she complied, and the score ended up 11-0 in the first few minutes.
I still shake my head whenever Jade announces she's Captain of the Hollywood Arts ping pong team; not just because it's a major scam we've managed to pull off for two and a half years, but because it's so damn ironic.
Anyways, Jade took up the paddle, picked up the ball with her long, pale fingers, and served.
I hit the ball, smack dab in the middle of the paddle, and it came flying back to her side.
I watched her carefully observe the ball, lift up her own paddle, and with a swift rap, she managed to let it bounce back over on my side.
Damn, she'd gotten better. Where'd she pick this up?
We'd been rallying for a few moments or so, when Jade had underestimated one of her hits and it flew a little too high.
I stepped back, ready to allow it to miss the table. Unfortunately, I tripped over the vending machine behind me and staggered back, closing my eyes for a mere second.
When I opened them, the ball was rolling around on the ground and Jade's arms were lifted up in a false victory.
"I won!" she cried, a (yes, legitimate) illuminating her face.
"No, you didn't. It didn't bounce on my side," I pointed out to her, trying to let her down easy.
"No," she said pointedly, "it ricocheted off the edge."
No, no, no. It couldn't have. I only closed my eyes for the barest millisecond. There's no way I missed that.
"Jade, you lost," I emphasized, my competitive side kicking into gear.
"No," she tried to correct me with that trademark, sharp tone, "I won. You lost."
We turned in unison to look at our audience, daring them to pick a side.
"Cat," Jade said, "tell Beck I won, and that he's delusional."
"Robbie," I gritted my teeth, "tell Jade she doesn't know the rules of ping pong, and that I won."
"Are you really so stupidly arrogant that you can't admit I won?" Jade turned to me.
"You didn't win!" I raised my voice to match hers. She didn't, she couldn't have.
"Well," Cat began timidly, breaking our glaringly loud argument, "I wasn't really watching. I was -"
The two of us turned to Robbie, not even bothering to listen to Cat's painstakingly slow and most likely pointless explanation as to why she wasn't watching.
"Robbie?" Jade asked, a threatening edge to her voice. "Who won?"
"I don't really know," Robbie murmured, and (while he swears he never did) whimpered under Jade's crushing eyes.
Rex spoke up. "He was texting his mom about cucumber lotion," he cried, while Robbie tried to shush him.
Jade rolled her eyes and placed her hands on her hips.
"We should settle this."
Tori chose that moment to enter.
"Hey, I'm here for my try-out," she said, mockingly formal as she picked up Jade's abandoned paddle and twirled it around in her hand.
Andre re-entered behind her, explaining that he had gotten his grandmother had seen the high school fish tank at the end of the hallway, thrown her hands up in the air, and quivering like a leaf with fear, had torn out of the school before Andre could say, "Don't worry, they're harmless."
"Why is your grandmother afraid of fish?" Robbie asked.
Andre shrugged impatiently. "She says they stare at her suspiciously long.
"Yeah, yeah," Tori waved him off.
"So?" she pointed the paddle at our couch, and said, "which one of you suckers is first?"
Jade sat halfway on my lap, watching our debacle of a team fail against Tori's expert skills. I know she's still mad at me, but when Tori entered, she had decided there were more important issues to tackle at the moment.
Tori knew that she was doing extremely well, flaunting in our faces with victory dances and jubilant cheers.
Even I, the only experienced member of this team, missed a shot, and ended up losing. Cat, again, had problems with the oncoming ball. Robbie and Andre both did decently, but still were unsuccessful with their endeavors. Jade refused, because she said as Captain, her job was to observe Tori, so Rex took her place. Unfortunately, the puppet disappointed, and Tori came out on top.
When Tori had finished us all off, Jade approached her, smiling sadistically.
She stared at Tori, a predatory look in her eyes as she revealed her final verdict.
"You didn't make the team."
Tori looked shocked; I was slightly disappointed. For once, someone who could play way better than 'decent' had been introduced, and she wasn't on the team.
Though, to be fair, ping pong skills have nothing to do with being on this team.
"What? I beat everybody!" Tori cried. She made a reasonable point.
"I don't care," Jade went on to explain her powers as Captain (which again, I scoff at), as Tori began to look more and more crestfallen.
Always great when you're playing with two hot high school girls and three horny teenage guys.
Don't get me wrong, Jade and I are still fighting.
Yesterday, she called me a few words I probably shouldn't repeat and I said a few things I'm really not proud of. It's just that Cat tends to get overly weepy and emotional and Robbie pretends he can't hear anything because it reminds him of his parents and Andre becomes super awkward trying to ward off the tension. So, we decided to battle it out on our own time.
Anyways, short story even shorter, Tori was spying on us in the vending machine that Sinjin had built for her.
The guy may be a creep, and his constant inappropriate hitting on my girlfriend is not much appreciated, but the guy's talented.
She accused of us playing retro party games instead of playing ping pong; we sheepishly stood as she pointed out the big flaw in our team.
We explained to Tori the way the team had formed in fragmented bits and pieces, each one of us bringing our own little opinions and comments to the table.
I'm not exactly proud of our fake (and I'm pretty sure, illegal) team had formed, and why we had originally started it in the first place, but when I told my dad our ping pong team had won first place, that pat on the back let all the guilt disappear.
It's seriously a crazy story. I don't blame Tori for getting so confused at the insane scam we'd been pulling off.
We told her of the intricate details, Sikowitz' involvement, and the amazing food we got to eat.
Jade scowled. "So are you going to bust us now, and ruin everything?"
Oh, no, Tori "the Paddlepuss" Vega had something very different in mind.
Jade and I standing, poised to attack in ready position.
She held the plastic orange ball up to her face.
"Ready?" she asked, smiling vindictively.
I nodded. She tossed the ball up, and we watched it - it soared up into the air in slow motion, the way you see it in movies - and back down, while Jade smacked it over to me.
I reciprocated, sending the ball back to its server, and we continued like that for a while.
She was great. Like, better than Tori, great.
Lunging, dodging, twisting - she could do it all and keep control.
I was literally panting, flying back and forth even more than the ball was in order to keep up. I ran my left hand across my forehead to wipe beads of sweat away.
Jade 'I-don't-sweat' West, on the other hand, seemed to enjoy my exhaustion. She was actually grinning as she watched me run to and fro to continue rallying.
Finally, I smashed it over the net; Jade lunged for it, but overshot her aim and missed.
"Yes!" I threw my hands up, overcome with success. "I won!"
"No!" she scowled, and threw her paddle down furiously.
I panted hard, trying to catch my breath. "Where...," I swallowed, "where did you learn to play?"
She sighed, still drowning in sour disappointment. She looked, not only like she had just bitten into a lemon, but downed a glass of vinegar as well.
"I got your dad to give me a few pointers," she explained.
"My dad?" I asked, incredulously. As far as I knew, my dad was definitely not the most fond of Jade. Aside from their first meeting (which I can tell you, did not end well), my dad now had the dog attack to add to the list as well.
"Well, evidently, he's scared of me," she shrugged, as though having a boyfriend's father nervous to be around you wasn't so weird. "So, when I approached him, he pretty much fell to his knees and said he'd do anything."
I frowned. "And he just... taught you?"
"That, and what things that made you scared as a kid," she glowered at the table. "The moon, really?"
"Hey, it's called selenophobia, it's a real thing!" I defended myself.
She rolled her eyes, again. Her eyes may as well permanently stay up there. "Well, he taught me how to whip your ass. Oh, and how to win against you in ping pong."
I shook my head. See, I told you - witty and smart. It's why I love this girl.
Andre burst through the doors and scanned the room anxiously.
"Where have you guys been? We're about to leave!"
"Sorry," I apologized quickly. "We're coming."
I waited for Jade to reach me, then grabbed her hand and we walked out to the parking lot to be welcomed as the fake ping pong team.
"The least Vega could've done was give me back my dress when she was done," Jade said, the midnight moon illuminating her sharp blue eyes as we settled back into my truck in the Maestro's parking lot.
And no, I'm not afraid of it anymore. I was a kid, don't judge me!
"She got us out of trouble," I shrugged.
"Do you think Andre wrote that song for Tori?" Jade stares into space, contemplating another possible relationship in our friend group. That is, if she actually considered Tori 'a friend'.
I hadn't really thought about it. Andre and Tori? Well, Jade had mentioned them once, somewhere around Trina's birthweek, but I hadn't really given them much thought because they'd prove over and over that their relationship was completely platonic.
I guess that's how Jade and I started though. We were the closest in the group (despite my joining last) before we got together.
"Most definitely," I nodded, yawning out of exhaustion. "Can we go home?"
Jade shook her head 'no', and I stared at her, astonished and excited.
"Yes!" I cried, and began climbing into the backseat.
She smacked my head, and rolled her eyes. "No!"
I made a face at her, and then she shrugged.
"At least not now."
"Then what do you want to do?" I clambered back into the driver's seat, twisting the key in the ignition as the deafening engine roared to life.
"Hollywood Art's, rec room. Rematch."
A/N - Yup :) I'm actually quite happy with this chapter, and I hope you readers are too.
The part about Beck not being into Tori at this point - dear, I hope it's canon. I wrote it that way, because it's really unbelievable that Beck liked Tori for that long but remained with Jade for over another season. I'd like to think that Beck didn't have any romantic feelings for Tori while he was with Jade. And him trying to kiss Tori after the breakup, revealing his possible feelings - I can respect the fact that he's a free man broke up, but really? Tori was number one on Jade's suspect list while she was with Beck, and Beck falls for her, of all people, right afterwards? Beck, I hope you know what you're doing. And I do also hope that those Tori-feelings only developed after you broke up with Jade.
reviews, good or bad, make me smile :) well, okay, not the bad ones, but I'd appreciate your feedback!