you are the light that's leading me

summary: this is some mess you've gotten yourself into, babydoll.
disclaimer: consider victorious disclaimed.

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The first thing you need to know about André Harris and Jade West is that they don't work.

The second thing you need to know is that they don't give a damn, because they're not trying to.

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They accidentally end up at the same coffee shop the day after graduation and André decides to sit with her even though she doesn't invite him. When he smiles at her, clutching his chai latte tightly in his hand, she rolls her eyes and takes a sip of her green tea without so much as a hello.

"Good to see you, too," he winks at her, she snorts, and they sit in a strangely comfortable silence for the next half an hour.

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He can't say he's expecting a call from Jade three months later, after he's moved to New York to be on Broadway. His phone doesn't recognize the number but he picks it up anyways, halfway expecting a prank call.

"Hello?"

There's a sharp intake of breath at the other end of the line, as though the person couldn't believe he had actually answered. He whispers hello again and then the other person sobs right into the receiver, so loudly it makes his ears ring.

"I – I didn't know who else call," she says after a couple of deep breaths, "It's just – you're Beck's best friend and – and you can fix it…or something."

André is shocked into silence for a few moments before, hesitantly, he whispers, "Jade?"

"I – Sorry."

She hangs up, leaving the disconnected tone reverberating against his eardrum.

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He goes back to Hollywood after Broadway makes it clear that they don't want him.

(You're good. You're just not good enough.)

He doesn't tell anyone he's coming back, but he ends up in front of Jade's house somehow, hand raised to knock on the door. He takes a breath, lowers his hand, and turns around to step off the porch. The door opens behind him, and before he can even turn around, a pair of arms is thrown around his waist and a woman's cheek is pressed into his back.

André doesn't entirely understand why (it's been a month and they haven't spoken since the night on the telephone, and it's not like they spoke much beforehand), but he puts his hands over hers in an awkward, backwards hug, as well.

"Can we get a coffee?" She asks, her voice muffled by his shirt. He nods even if she can't see it, and then takes a step forward with her still glued to his back.

"Let go of me first," he says, a laugh in his voice (he hates that she's so unhappy and he hates that there's something wrong with Beck and hates more that he doesn't know what it is).

She does what she's told for once in her life, and they walk together to his beat-up Volvo. He opens the door for her on the passenger side, but she doesn't thank him. She keeps her lips tightly closed and looks ahead into nothing (it's kind of scary to see no emotion in her; she had so much passion once upon a time).

"Want to talk about it?"

She scoffs. He takes that as a no and puts the car into drive.

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They end up at a table in the back, André with a hot chocolate and a muffin (and a scone and a brownie and a giant cookie), Jade with her green tea.

"So…" André murmurs, taking a bite of his muffin before placing it onto a napkin. Jade doesn't say anything; she just takes a deep breath and pushes her cup away from her so she can lay her head down on the table.

"I hate this."

"Really? I couldn't tell." André's smirk fades when Jade lifts her head up to glare at him. He coughs uncomfortably, sets his drink on the table, and reaches over to touch her arm. She starts to jerk away but stops herself when his hand follows. "Look, I can't help you if you don't talk to me, West. What's going on between you and my man Beck?"

She raises a pierced brow and sits up, not bothering to relinquish herself from André's grip, "Since when do you call me West?"

"Stop avoiding the question." He gives her a pointed look and takes his hand away to pick up his drink.

"We broke up." She says it nonchalantly but she doesn't meet his gaze (and she's hurting and why would she try to hide it when it's so obvious?).

"Why?" André sort of feels like a therapist, but one of those cheap ones that get the clients that can't afford the good ones (the ones with the real problems without real help).

"I don't know," she snaps, wringing her fingers together. André stares and she gives in, leaning back against the seat, "I don't want to talk about it."

"Hey, West – if you talk, I might be able to help. Come on."

"You can't help." She spits, suddenly alive with anger and burning and passion. André doesn't say anything more; he simply takes another sip of his drink while she stares at him, albeit incredulously.

"That's not what you said on the phone last month." He mentions offhandedly, like he's talking about the weather instead of Jade's failing love life. She slams her hands against the table as she stands, her face contorted into a look of rage.

"You –"

"You called me. You asked me to take you to coffee. You want to talk about it and you can't figure out how, so you're pissed." André points out.

"What are you, a fucking psychoanalyst?" Jade asks, venom apparent in her voice. She hesitates for a moment, thinking. "Take me home," she demands, grabbing her tea from the table. When André doesn't move, her eyes glint, "Now."

André pretends to ponder this for a moment before he stands up, his bag of sweets in tow. He nods his head towards the door, and he follows her outside and back to his car.

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They sit in silence for most of the ride, aside from the directions Jade gives him from time to time, and the replies of, I know how to get to your house, stop worrying, you're going to have wrinkle lines by the time you're twenty.

André pulls the car over about three blocks away from her house, earning a surprised look from Jade.

"What the hell are you doing, Harris?"

He smirks.

"Since when do you call me Harris?" He asks, rephrasing the question from earlier. She narrows her eyes and grits her teeth together.

"Why did you stop?"

"Because you're going to tell me what's going on between you and Beck before I take you home."

Jade raises her eyebrows, "And you plan on forcing it out of me? Don't make me laugh." She speaks a little too bitterly to give André any hope of her smiling at all.

"Might have to force it out of you, at this point." André looks at her much too seriously, "I could always get Beck to tell me. We're still friends, you know."

Jade snorts, "Like he'd tell you the truth."

"Calling Beck a liar?"

"Yes. A stupid, cowardly liar." Jade crosses her arms over her chest and stares at the dashboard. "He – he said he didn't love me anymore. He said that he was sick and tired of talking and me not listening – I listened to everything he said. I did everything he wanted me to!" Jade glances at André for support, her eyes tearing up.

"He might not be lying, baby girl."

The look Jade gives him makes him want to kill himself. Why the hell did he say that?

"Shit, that – that came out wrong – Jade!" He reaches for her but she's already out of the car, the door slamming behind her and leaving André in a deafening silence. He unbuckles his seatbelt and opens his own car door, stepping out into the dark and jogging to catch up with her fast walk.

"Jade, I didn't mean to say it like that!" He catches her hand and she whirls around, mascara running down her cheeks.

"Then how did you mean to say it?" She demands, jerking her hand away from him, "Did you mean to say, "you're stupid for thinking he still loves you"? Or "you're so scared of him being gone for good that you're trying to convince yourself that he's lying"? Because I already fucking know that, André, I'd rather not have it rubbed in!"

"Jade – I would never say that."

"But you obviously think it!" She screams, taking a step backwards. André wants to tell her to calm down, but he can't find the right words. He stays silent and stoic as she sobs, standing a foot away from her so he can catch her if she tries to run again, but not daring to lay a hand on her when she doesn't need it.

They must look strange. A black and white mess of yin and yang. A crying girl and a stupid boy who doesn't know what to say (because he's not Beck and she's not Tori and this is all wrong, isn't it?).

Then he reaches for her wrists with both his hands and pulls her arms lightly down so he can see her face. She stares at him, eyes watering, and she looks kind of lost and scared and angry, but most of all she looks hopeful, so he does the only thing he can think to do and he kisses her.

They must look even stranger.

(But it's the best kiss he's ever had.)

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They end up in the back of his car and he likes how she touches and kisses and bites, even though he's just a rebound and she's just a lonely girl with nowhere else to turn, and he can't help but think that this is a little too far, but he likes it far too much to stop it.

So maybe he's taking just as much advantage of her as she is of him.

When he takes her home, she stays in the back seat with her knees to her chest and her messy hair cascading over her shoulders. He parks in front of her home and she gets out without a goodbye or a thank you or any sort of acknowledgement at all, and he can't say he minds.

(But he does say "See you later," without really realizing what's implied.)

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He gets called by the same people who said he wasn't good enough, and the next week he leaves on a plane back to New York (but not before he checks his messages and damn he wishes he didn't have to leave it like this).

He doesn't call her back, so maybe she thinks he's given up on her.

Maybe that's a good thing.

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Hey. I…I guess I was really hoping I could tell you this in person, but, uh, looks like that's not the case. So…Thanks, I guess, for…you know. That. And uh, I'm sorry that…it ended up like this…God, this sounds like some sappy get well soon card or something.

Harris, I had fun fucking you, but we can't be together…Okay, that's a little too harsh.

Look, what I'm trying to say, André, is that…well, I don't know. I can delete your number from my phone, I can color over your picture in the yearbook with black ink, I can delete you from my friends' page on The Slap, but I'm never going to forget about you.

And I guess you can say that's not really a bad thing.

Message Received Friday, 3:46 p.m.
From Jade West

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Press 7 to delete this message – message deleted.

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a/n: i'm not sure if i entirely liked how this turned out, but i really wanted to write a jade/andré fic and this was the result. i think it ended a little suddenly, but i completely pulled a blank on what i wanted to happen and left a lot of questions unanswerd, like: why jade and beck really broke up, why jade decided to call andré, etc. and i do realize that jade is a little out-of-character in some instances, but i think of it like, she's hurting and a subconscious part of her thinks that getting with beck's best friend is a good form of revenge. hopefully, you enjoyed it, and if not...oh well. :)

edit: also changed the beginning a tad. just added something to try and keep with the continuity of the story, since it wasn't very together before. x) thanks to K9GM3 and an anon reviewer for pointing this out.