"Ja-ade…" An all too familiar voice pierces through my fortress of sleep. The owner of said voice should know very well that I do not enjoy being woken up in the middle of the night, unless he has a damn good reason. Like the RV being on fire. And if that were the case, my feet probably wouldn't feel this cold. Hence, whatever issue he has can wait until tomorrow. After I tell my loving boyfriend so (in not exactly euphemistic terms), I roll onto my other side and attempt to fall back asleep. Beck will have none of it, though, as he grabs me by the shoulder and tosses me around. It's a miracle that he made it through two years without any stab wounds, because one of these days…
"Jade. It's 8 o'clock. If we don't get up now, we'll be late." Oh. It's already morning. Certainly doesn't feel like it – I barely got any sleep last night. A large part of that is Beck's fault. Note to self: stop sleeping over on Sunday nights. Mondays are horrible enough without having to deal with sleep deprivation. Although on the other hand, Mondays with sex deprivation might be even worse… Not that I'd know. Waking up in Beck's RV on Monday mornings feeling like a rag has almost become a ritual for me. Other parts of that ritual: drive to school, buy me some coffee, meet with Cat (we've tried it the other way around, but it really didn't work out) and spend some time listening to Cat's stories of the weekend. They're actually quite interesting most of the time, provided that I am properly caffeinated.
"…and then in the evening, Robin took me to see a play!" I have no idea who Robin is, but it sounds like Cat has a new flame. I'll give it two days, tops. "It was called… Lystratia, I think." Beck suggests that it may have been Lysistrata. He's probably right: the boy knows his theatre. I hadn't even heard of that play… According to Cat, Beck was right indeed: "Yeah, that's what it was called! See, there's war going on between Athens and Sparta, and the women all get together and then Robin started kissing me and I didn't really pay attention to the rest of the play…" Her voice trails off by the end of that sentence and she gets a dreamy look in her eyes. Robin must be a good kisser.
"As she was saying before she got distracted," Beck explains with a grin, "the play is about the Peloponnesian War. Actually hails from ancient times. Lysistrata's the main character, and she convinces all the women to stop having sex with their husbands until there's peace." I check up on Cat quickly, but she completely zoned out on the conversation. Robin must be a really good kisser. Beck continues: "Anyway, the women all get horny and the men get… frustrated. I think it originally ended with an orgy. Not really what I'd take my date to see, but it is a funny play."
"Do you think bats and hyenas are friends?" Cat suddenly inquires. I long ago stopped wondering how she arrives at the statements and questions she blurts out. Beck ruffles her hair and confirms that, yes, bats and hyenas are probably friends. She giggles, Beck grins and apparently something tickled the black void in my chest because I can't help but smile. Bloody hell, I'm going soft.
"I wonder how long you'd last…" Beck remarks offhandedly. "Maybe we should try going without a couple of days…" My body freezes, I inhale sharply and my smile vanishes. He'd better not mean… "Jade? Jade, come on, I was just kidding."
"Well, the look on your face was pretty–"
"Not. Funny." Cat flinches a little at the harshness in my voice. I don't care. Beck shouldn't even joke about things like that. He looks about ready to spew out another smart-ass comment, but my glare makes him wisely shut up. For a few moments, nobody says a word. Then Tori walks up all happy and bubbly, completely oblivious to the tension that even Cat can feel. Fortunately, Cat has the sense to take Tori elsewhere (conveniently removing herself from the situation as well), and I'm left in a stare-off with Beck. At least, I would be if he didn't decide that now is a good time to make a silly face. My fist to his shoulder quickly turns it into a hurt face. Now we're even.
"You know, I'm going to punch back someday…" he complains while rubbing the sore spot.
"Please, do." He just kisses my cheek instead. Although I would have preferred if he did punch me back, I guess I could settle for some kissing… Beck produces a sound of cautious surprise ('whoa!') as I grab him by the shoulders and shove him into the lockers, then a sound of pleasant surprise ('mmhmm…') when I lock lips with him. I do briefly consider pulling him into the janitor's closet for a less clothed activity, but my watch indicates that we don't have enough time to make that experience fulfilling. Two minutes of making out will have to suffice.
The morning isn't too awful. Lunch, on the other hand, is torture. Cat and Beck are both delayed, and André hasn't been at school all day, meaning that I'm forced to sit with just Tori, Robbie and Rex. Robbie would be tolerable, but the puppet… Mark my words: I'm going to wreck that thing someday. If it doesn't shut up quickly, that 'someday' is going to be 'today'. And Tori… well, OK, she's not actually saying anything right now, but I'm sure she'll do something to get on my nerves soon enough. And sure enough, right on cue she says: "Hey Jade, are you gonna finish that salad?"
I have a snappy response prepared, but just then Beck walks up, reads the situation and puts a hand over my mouth. "Be nice to Tori," he says, making it sound like a routine. Which it kinda is, but he doesn't have to be so damn obvious about it. I brush my teeth against his palm; he takes the hint and wisely removes his hand.
"Or what?" If I knew what he was going to answer, I never would have asked.
"Or no more sex." Responses to that statement vary around the table: Robbie nearly chokes on his food, Rex's jaw drops and he stares at Beck, Tori tries (unsuccessfully) to hide her smirk and I… I don't respond at all. When he said it earlier this morning, it was a joke, but I can tell that he's being serious this time. At the time, the proper response was anger (that being a proper response to almost everything). Now that he's actually threatening to withhold it indefinitely, I don't know how to react. Anger is my first instinct, of course, but the small part of me that's still thinking clearly reminds me that such a reaction will probably only make things worse. Thing is, the anger instinct is too strong to really suppress, and it manages to mix in with the response I end up choosing.
"Fine. I'll be nice to Tori," I say with gritted teeth. Beck shakes his head in response, apparently not convinced of my sincerity. Tori suddenly gets an 'idea!' face (it looks just as stupid as it sounds), then starts grinning at me with a devious glimmer in her eyes. "Tori…" I warn. She just grins wider. "I swear, Tori, if you make this any more difficult than it already is, I will end you." She nudges Beck, and he repeats his ultimatum: no sex until I make peace with Tori. If I ever meet Robin, he'll have a lot of explaining to do, because I'm pretty sure Beck was inspired by the play he took Cat to see.
Day 1. Technically it's day 2, since we didn't get a chance to fuck on Monday, but it's day 1 since the ultimatum was made, so that's what I'm calling it. It sucks, sure, but I've spent two days without sex before. Hell, I spent four days without sex once! Besides, Beck gets just as much sex as I do (and not a single moment more, Tori) – he'll be suffering from just as much withdrawal. So yeah, maybe I did overreact a little yesterday. Things will turn out fine. This won't be a problem whatsoever.
Day 2. This is more of a problem than I thought. I'm still holding on, but I don't know how long this situation is going to last. I suppose it's until I start being nice to Tori, and I did try doing so today, but then I remembered that she's the reason I'm in this mess and I ended up insulting her. And yelling at her. A lot. Any other girl would have run away crying, but she just smirked and pointed behind me and there was Beck. I ended up yelling at him as well. Clearly, this situation will not improve anytime soon. I need to go kick something.
Day 3. Cat provided some distraction today: Robin broke up with her, and for some reason my shoulder is the one she chose to cry on. It probably says a lot of bad things about me that I strongly considered making an arrangement with her. I'm not even gay, but Robin was apparently a girl, and Cat is now single, so I might have a chance with her and she doesn't repulse me and at this point I'll take what I can get… Ultimately decided against it, so I guess I'm not completely pathetic, but still. I'd give almost anything for this drought to end.
Day 4. I take it back. I am completely pathetic. Honestly, it's been five days since I last had sex, and already I'm a wreck. I know this shouldn't affect me so heavily, but it does, and I hate every second of it. And the worst part: I can't stop it. Tori wore a completely pink outfit today, and I couldn't bring myself to be nice. She's making this impossible. What's the point of even trying, when I'm doomed to fail anyway?
Day 5. Expecting acceptance? Well, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross is full of shit, because I've gone right back to anger. I just spent five weekdays without sex, and it looks like my weekend will hold no changes in that regard. Oh, and Beck? He's fine. No withdrawal whatsoever. Could probably last an entire month. Fuck. My. Life.
I wake up on Sunday feeling miserable and horny. I masturbate, but the feeling won't go away. It didn't go away the last ten times I tried, so why did I even think today would be different? I blame the last speck of optimism buried deep within me. In any case, the end result is that I have to eat breakfast feeling unsatisfied and frustrated. I don't even have the energy to hate my bread for getting stuck in the toaster again. I've got half a mind to try and remove it with my fork, though. Well aware of the dangers, but unable to really care.
The day gets worse when I receive a phone call from Beck. He says he has Tori over in his RV, and that I can come over to make peace if I want to. Instead of taking the opportunity like I should – you know, had I not been stupid – I yell at him for being all alone with Tori in a room with a bed. Seems like even in this state of desperation, I'm incapable of meeting his one demand. It doesn't even make sense! There are times when I don't hate Tori, and I've been nice to her in the past… Yet somehow, now that it actually matters, she always manages to piss me off. She's probably doing it on purpose, to get a little payback for all the things I did and said to her. I probably deserve it, too.
After a brief period of calming myself down, I call back with the intention of making peace (or at least attempting to). Beck informs me that Tori has already left. I try calling Tori, but she doesn't answer. This has got to be a fucking joke. I look up the home number of the Vega residence, only to get Trina on the line.
"It's Jade. Is Tori there?"
"No, she's out. But I'm here!"
"I don't care. When will she be back?"
"Ugh… Where did she go?"
"I don't know! What am I, her secretary?"
"You're useless." She sputters some protests, but I hang up before she can get coherent. Why does this happen? I mean, yeah, I may not have handled the situation perfectly from the start, but now that I'm making effort to take the right steps, Tori is unreachable. It shouldn't be a surprise to learn that the rest of my day is spent trying and failing to reach her. I'm probably going to go mad if I don't resolve this before Monday. By the evening, I still haven't been able to reach her, and I'm pretty much back where I started: hating Tori too much to be capable of making peace.
It's Monday and I'm going mad. I haven't slept all night, got out of bed way early and spent almost half an hour rocking back and forth on a bench at the Asphalt Café. To answer my question of last week: sex deprivation is definitely worse than sleep deprivation. Especially since the latter comes with the former. The Café is deserted… Good thing, too. If anyone saw me like this, I just know they'd either use it against me or get all up in my business. Neither option sounds very appealing.
"What's up, Snow White?" Huh. Guess it wasn't deserted after all.
"Nothing good. So where were you the past week?" André's smile falls off his face. I immediately regret asking. I'm already in a state of distress, and it doesn't look like his story is going to be of any help whatsoever. Still, I can tell that it's serious, and I'm not so heartless that I would refuse André his moment to get his issues of his chest. It's not like I have many friends to spare.
"It's my grandma. She… she had some kind of lung failure. So I stayed over at the hospital, in case… you know. So she wouldn't be alone if…" He gulps; I'm really not sure what to say. Fortunately, he continues, the hint of a smile returning to his face. "But the doctors say she's stable now. She might be crazy, but she's one tough lady. She'll pull through." The hint of a smile has now grown into a proud grin, and suddenly I feel terrible. It gets even worse when he asks: "So what's the matter with you? 'Nothing good' doesn't sound like you had a fun week."
Well, don't I feel silly. André's grandmother almost dies and he's smiling, whereas I'm losing my mind over not getting laid. Actually, that's not even the stupid part. The stupid part is that unlike André, I'm totally in control of my own situation. If I'm nice to Tori, I get sex. All I need to do is control my anger, and my problem will be solved. Some actress I am, to fail at that basic task… André is staring at me, expecting an answer. I shake my head, inwardly scolding my own blindness. "Nothing. I was just being stupid."
He shrugs and joins me in silence. Together, we watch the students slowly trickle onto the Asphalt Café; Robbie joins us soon enough; both he and Rex miraculously manage to keep their mouths shut and join us in the silent observation. Cat and Tori arrive together, and Beck not long after them. I collect my thoughts and move towards Tori, peripherally aware of Beck watching my every movement.
"OK, listen. I've been nasty to you in the past. A total bitch. And… I'm not going to say I'm sorry, because I'm not. But I'll try to be nicer in the future. Alright?" Tori looks at me for a moment, then smiles and nods a little. I return the smile (don't get any ideas; I only did so because I had to) and turn to Beck.
"Satisfactory?" I ask. He grins and nods as well. This time, my smile is genuine – wicked, but genuine. "Great. Janitor's closet?" He hesitates, his eyes flicking over to André. I bite my lip. He probably heard about Mrs. Harris earlier last week, and… well, like I said earlier, I'm not completely heartless. Besides, I just waited a whole week… I can wait half a day extra.
For the record: I apparently cannot wait that long extra. Beck and I miss lunch that day, and I just barely manage to get through the rest of my classes. Once we're done, I practically drag him to his RV and we spend most of the day – and night – in there.
I'm probably going to have sleep deprivation tomorrow. Totally worth it.
A/N: Hm... You know, when I started on this fic, I felt really good about it. Now on the brink of publishing, I'm having a lot of doubts. But then, it cost quite a bit of time, and I'm not deleting all that, so... here it is. Hope you can enjoy it anyway.
...Reviews would be nice.