What is Love?
A CatxJade one-shot.
Written for alltimelow777's CatJade Challenge!
Disclaimer: I do not own Victorious or "Champagne Supernova" by Oasis.
Jade chewed the end of her pencil and suppressed a groan. There was still 31 minutes of English class left – make that 30 – until the end of the day. All Jade really wanted to do was to go home, curl up with Cat on the couch and take a nap.
'School sucks. I don't even know why I'm here anyway. It's not as if any of this is going to actual benefit me later on in life. Most of the stuff we learn here is useless. I want to be a director, not a writer or a scientist or a mathematician. This is such a waste of my time.'
She leaned forward and tore a piece of scrap paper from her notebook before using the pencil she'd been chewing on to write a steady line of: 'I don't want to be here. I don't want to be here. I don't want to be here.'
The brunette wondered how many times she could write that one sentence and in how many different styles before class ended. She glanced up at the clock: 28 minutes to go.
As Jade scribbled along on her paper, she was vaguely listening to the teacher's lesson. Just because she hated school didn't mean she was willing to get bad grades because of it. Hollywood Arts was a prestigious fine arts school. Talent scouts were always checking in every now and again to look for new clients. If she preformed just as well in school as she did on stage, she'd have better chances of getting noticed.
"Today, for the last half hour of class, I'd like to discuss denotative and connotative meanings." Jade took a mental note. "First of all, does anyone know what denotative or connotative meanings are?"
The brunette rolled her eyes, dotting her 'I' with a heart like Cat often did. Of course nobody knew. She hadn't even told them yet.
When no-one raised a hand to answer, the teacher went on, "The denotative meaning of a word is the literal meaning; the one you'd find if you looked it up in the dictionary. However, the connotative meaning is your interpretation of the word. And your interpretation all depends on your feelings and experiences surrounding that word.
Say we had the word… 'dog.' Now the denotative meaning of the word 'dog' would be a four-legged creature with fur, a tail, paws etc. Correct? But the connotative meaning would be different. If I'd been bit by a dog as a child, I might say that dogs were horrible pets that bit and made a lot of mess. However, if I owned two Golden Labs, I woould say that dogs were loveable, loyal creatures that liked to chase tennis balls. Does everybody get it?"
There was a collective grumble around the room which the teacher took as an agreement.
"Okay, then let's try a few examples."
The teacher proceeded to ask students for their denotative and connotative meanings for words like 'home' and 'sister' and 'ghost' and 'snake.' She never called on Jade, for which Jade was grateful, though she'd never say it out loud.
Jade had long since stopped writing 'I don't want to be here.' She had run out of ways to write it. Instead, she had taken to doodling, still counting down the minutes until class was over. 13 minutes left.
Just as Jade was about to write down the lyrics for "Champagne Supernova" by Oasis, she heard the teacher call on Cat. Curiously, Jade peered up at her girlfriend who sat across the room from her, and then at her teacher to see what word she would have to define.
"Cat. What is your connotative meaning for 'love'?"
Cat's brown eyes were big as saucers. Jade gave a soft smile. She knew how much Cat hated being called on in class. The talkative girl always seemed to forget how to speak when teachers asked her to answer questions. Jade thought it was ironic how a girl who was so good at memorizing lines and acting and singing in plays could become so shy when it came to academics.
"Love?" the redhead squeaked.
The teacher gave her an encouraging smile.
"Yes, Cat. Love. Let's see… If the denotative meaning of love was 'an emotion based on care and affection,' what would the connotative meaning be?"
Cat squirmed uncomfortably in her seat and shot a panicked look towards Jade. She was pleading for Jade to help her; to somehow get the teacher to stop asking. Jade could only give her a short, sympathetic nod, wordlessly telling her that she could do it – she could answer the question.
The redhead frowned at a spot at her desk.
"I don't know," she said in a timid voice, very un-Cat-like.
The teacher seemed to understand but refused to let her off so easily.
"Okay, then we'll come back to you."
Cat listened attentively to the answers her classmates were coming up with all around the room. She tried to come up with her own answer, but her mind remained blank. The teacher would come back to her any second now. She still didn't know what she would say.
"Jade. How about you? What does 'love' mean to you?" the teacher asked.
Jade put down her pencil, a faraway look in her eyes as she thought of an acceptable reply. Jade didn't know a lot about love. Most of what she knew, she knew from books or movies or scripts. The love she knew was fairytales and princesses and princes and spell-breaking. She didn't know much love from her parents. Her mom was always at work so she hardly got to see her and her father was a strict, stoic man who hardly ever smiled, more or less showed any kind of affection. The brunette hardly got to see her relatives and she had no siblings.
As Jade pondered her answer, something caught her eye. It was an image of two little stick-people she had drawn on her paper. They were holding hands and smiling, one smile bigger than the other. Jade looked down at the figure that was smiling the largest. Inwardly, she knew that if she had brought her pencil crayons with her to class today that she would have colored the short hair bright, fire engine red. With one last thoughtful glance at the drawing, she looked up at the teacher.
"Love is when you'd do anything to make someone happy – to make them smile."
The teacher said nothing but smiled in approval before turning back to Cat.
"So, Cat? Have you come up with an answer? What is 'love'?"
Jade's words lingered in her mind. She fiddled with her thumbs and repeated them over and over in her head.
…when you'd do anything to make someone happy – to make them smile.
…do anything to make someone happy.
…to make them smile.
Cat thought hard.
Cat loved to make people smile. She hated when people were unhappy so when they were, she told jokes and gave hugs. Cat thought that people were most beautiful when they smiled. She liked the way their cheeks pinked and their eyes lit up and she absolutely loved the sound of laughter. But there was one smile that she thought was more beautiful than everyone else's; one smile that she always tried hardest to bring out; one smile that she'd do anything for; one smile that everyone but her hardly got to see. Jade's.
The redhead thought over all the answers her classmates had come up with.
"Love is when you care a lot about someone."
"Love is when you want to spend the rest of your life with someone."
"Love is when being with a certain person makes you really, really happy."
"Love is when you accept and care about a person; faults and all."
"Love is what you feel towards a person if you think a part of you would be missing without them."
"Love is how you feel about your friends and family."
"Love is when you care about someone so much you'd die for them."
"Love is when you'd do anything to make someone happy – to make them smile."
With a positively luminous smile on her face, Cat answered proudly, "My definition of love is Jade."
Jade almost choked. Her face burned red. Jade couldn't believe that Cat had just said that out loud!
The class all turned to stare at her. Some of them were giggling, others were sending her amused grins and only a few people scoffed in disgust. But Cat's bright smile made up for Jade's embarrassment. She swallowed and shook her head with a chuckle.
The teacher was clearly entertained and gave Cat a pleased smile.
"That was a very creative answer, Cat. Now settle down class. Your homework is to write an essay about your connotative meaning of the word 'love.' You may get started now."
Jade opened her notebook. She knew exactly what she was going to write about. Across the top of her page, in large cursive letters, she wrote: 'My Connotative Meaning of the Word Love.' And underneath, the first sentence read: 'Love is when Cat embarrasses you in English class but you can't help but like her even more because of it.'
A/N: I'm not sure if admissions of love count as a romantic gesture but... meh. Read and Review!