I don't know how my name ended up on the sign-up sheet for the 'Miss Hollywood Arts' beauty pageant. I suspect it was either Tori or Beck. Beating up Tori feels like a good idea, especially now that she's jamming pins into my hair.

"Vega?" I snarl, glaring at her in the mirror.

"Yes Jade?" She sighs, putting her latest pin-of-torture-despair-and-anguish down.

"Get away. From. Me."

"Jaaaaade." She groans. "I'm helping you, the least you could do is thank me."

I turn around in my seat to glare at her. "Thank you? For what? Is this revenge for the black eye thing? Just tell everyone, it's better than this." I ground out.

"Look, i'm sorry i tried to get you to wear pink, but you've gotta look nice-"

"Why? I don't even want to do this stupid thing anyway. Replace me."

"Um, no." Tori has to hold back a laugh. "Never would I miss a chance to see you in a pretty dress, flaunting yourself infront of a massive crowd."

"Aha!" I point at her and narrow my eyes accusingly. "So you did sign me up!"

"What? No! I may find this, well let's face it, extremely funny, but I'm not an idiot Jade, I wouldn't sign you up for a beauty pageant. That's just asking to be beaten up." (My fist is twitching. It wants to punch her. Who am I to say no?)

"Well maybe you are asking." I grumble, turning back to my reflection. "I look all...Icky."

"You look pretty, Jade, there's a difference."

"I'm not so sure there is." I make a face and pull at a lock of gently curled, sparkle sprayed hair.

"I am so glad that this is only the dress check up, because otherwise we so wouldn't be ready in time, what with your whining." Tori mutters, and my eyes snap up to glare at her.

"Oh get over it, princess."

I can't believe this. It's just my luck. Why the hell did I even let Tori help me? Oh right. That asshole, Beck.

"Please Jade, Please Please Please? I love you...I just want to see how it looks."

"Did you sign me up? I swear Beck, If you-"

"No, I didn't. But I wish i had, this is a great opportunity!"


"Well, I'll get to show off my beautiful girlfriend," Beck was sticking the compliments in to flatter me into doing it. Did he not know me at all? "And then, I get to take her home, wash all the makeup off, and admire the piece of art underneath it."

And that's where he had me. Stupid heart. Stupid Beck.

So here i was, at a test run with Tori freaking Vega. Finally, she drops the last curl and beams..

"Aww, you look so...girly!" She claps her hands in a way that makes me want to be sick.

"Remember this. It's not ever happening again. And when I find who signed me up-"

"You're going to skewer their head, Barbeque their left leg, throw their right leg to a tiger, hand their torso over to a starving cannibal on an island alone, and give their arms to a hobo."

I hadn't realized I'd said it so much. Heh, it still sounded good coming out of Tori Vega's mouth. That proves that it's brilliant.

"Hey, by the way, have you seen Sinjin lately? He disappeared a little after the Miss Hollywood Arts comp started, and nobody could find him," Tori frowns.

"Do I look like I care?" I ask, raising an eyebrow. The one that isn't awesomely pierced.

"Ooh," Tori winces. "You might have to take that out for the comp-"

"Uh uh, I don't think so Vega." I growl. Her eyes go all wide and she holds her hands up in surrender.

"Fine, fine. It's not my fault if you don't win then."

I clench my fists. "I don't want to win," I glower at her reflection in the mirror in front of me as she fiddles with the straps on my dress. It's not black. That's what pisses me off the most. The only black outfit i get to wear is the bikini one, and that's hardly considered an outfit anyway.

I guess you're wondering what disgusting colour Tori has forced me into. Like I'd tell you.

"Hey, y'know...If you act a bit nicer...You could totally win this thing," Tori admits, and I jump in my seat, having been lost in my thoughts of...Things I'd rather not mention, and definetly never tell you.

"What the hell are you on?" I frown at her, "Taken any odd lookin' pills lately?"

"Oh shut up."

I feel a genuine smile trying to spread across my lips, so I pretend to cough to cover them. As if I'd want her to think I actually liked something she said. She's brave, I'll give her that.

Finally, after an hour of being shoved into my own closet and having my clothes pulled off and put on me while I tried to reach Tori's skin to scratch her, the torture is over, atleast until the actual Pageant itself.




"You look amazing," Beck breathes.

I give him a sharp glare which doesn't dissuade him whatsoever. He just keeps that stupid dopey looking dreamy grin on his face, and despite the fact I feel like reaching out and slapping it off, i restrain myself.

"I hate you."

"I love you."

"Pshh, Sure." I grumble. "If you loved me, you'd bail me out of here."

"I do love you, and that's why I'm not going to bail you out of here."

"How the hell does that work? Your brain has very twisted logic-if any." I sneer. He just kisses my cheek and walks towards the door.

"Good luck. I'll be the one at the bottom of the staircase," He says cheesily.

"Worst boyfriend ever!" I call after him. (I can almost feel the smugness radiating off of him. Is Smugness a word? Whatever, If it wasn't then I just made it one.)

"Yeah, yeah!"




"See? I told you that you would do well."

"I fell down the stairs."

"But you looked lovely while doing so," He shrugs, his easy-going smile in place.

"Oh, thanks, that's such a good consolation. I feel so much better about falling on my ass infront of the whole damn school now. Thankyou so much." I ground out sarcastically. He just throws his head back and laughs.

Tori runs over (If you can call it that, she looks like a kangaroo with a broken leg) squealing like a kid who just found out she was adopted (Hey, it'd make me happy.).

"Oh em gee Jade! Second place! That's amazing!" She throws her arms around my shoulders and squeezes hard. I think...She's trying to hug me? What the hell is wrong with this girl?

"Um...Get off?" I say unsurely, trying to pry her arms off of me. She gets off, but she's still smiling. God, what I wouldn't give to punch that smile off.

"Ahhh! Jaaaade!" Cat squealed, darting over and hugging (Oh please god, not again!) me. Beck helps me pull her off because we both know she's holding on like I'm her lifeline. "You were like so awesome! You shoulda won, it's too bad that I did." She pouted, looking ashamed.

"Nah." I grumble, irritated that I'm actually feeling bad about this weirdo feeling bad about me (Did that even make sense?). Well, whatever. "You won fair and square, Cat."

Beck's grinning. He's all happy that I'm being nice to Cat, and he's probably glad that I haven't knocked Tori out yet. He's lucky i haven't knocked him out yet. My boyfriend or not, he's having way too good a time watching me suffer in...(Shudder) Pink.

Yeah. Pink. I think, i might just kill myself if I don't take this dress off in the next five seconds. (Though considering the amount of teenage guys around, I doubt Beck would be too happy if I stripped down. But like I said, he was too happy anyway.)

"Wait, I won a square? I don't want a square...I like love hearts. Can i trade the square in for a love heart?" She asks hopefully.

"No, Jade didn't mean-" Tori starts, but Beck cuts her off.

"Do you two mind, you know? Giving us a minute?"

(I don't know why he's saying 'A minute', Cat's going to take him literally.)

"Oh. Sure!" they walk off, talking like they've known eachother since prep.

"So," Beck smiles at me. "How did it feel? Come on, be honest,"

What does he expect me to say? 'Oh, well if i'm being honest I love acting like a princess and prancing around boys, pretending i'm a slut.' Um, no.

"It was annoying and my bikini was itchy."

"You wear it whenever we go to the beach," He frowns.

(It's wet then. It's not the same when it's dry. It's just freaking uncomfortable.)

"It's comfy when i'm at the beach."

There's a small silence, with us just staring into eachother eyes. (Ew, that is so cliché. It's like something Tori would say. Ick.)

"Tell me yo-"

"I love you."

I hide a secret smile. (How sappy am I BECOMING?)

"Wanna head to the R.V? I've stocked up on mangos, and I've got plenty of your clothes that you've left."

Why does he have to know me so well?

"Yes." I fight the urge to scream it. (YESYESYESYES, YES!)

"And get that makeup off you. Pale pink isn't you at all."



"I love you."

"I love me too."

(Oh you...)




Sinjin sat in the janitors closet, eyes wide, knees pulled to his chest as he rocked back and forth, terrified.

Why was he so scared?

He was imagining his head on a skewer, his left leg being barbequed, his right leg being thrown to a tiger, His torso being eaten by a cannibal, and a hobo sheilding the rain using his arms.

Oh, oh god.




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