Disclaimer: Victorious, much like foreign honey from killer bees, does not belong to me.
"Did you see those girl's faces? Ha, that'll teach them."
Beck nods tolerantly, his eyes on the road. "Good job babe. It's just too bad that someone took my car keys so I couldn't come see you guys."
I roll my eyes. "Are you still on that?"
Beck takes his eyes off the road for a second, looking at me. "You don't know what I had to go through. Trina's a monster." He shudders, running a hand through his hair.
I laugh, "Oh come on. She can't be that..." I pause. She can be that bad. I feel too good to feel bad, still high from the rush of beating those girls.
"So does that mean you and Cat can sing there again?"
I shrug. "Probably not. That's a shame. You should've seen Cat – she actually insulted the girls."
Beck raises his eyebrows, glancing over at me again. "Really?"
"Yeah, she did pretty well."
Beck nods, a sly grin on his face. "She was probably just trying to impress you."
I frown. "Why would she do that?"
Beck laughs, "Yeah, right, why would she do that?" He shakes his head, grinning.
I narrow my eyes. "What?"
He glances over at me, still grinning. "Like you don't know."
I feel a burst of irritation cut through my good mood. I hate not knowing things, and I hate Beck fucking around. He knows I don't joke... well... not what most people would call jokes, anyway. "No, I don't know. Why would Cat try to impress me?"
We pull up outside my house, Beck switching the ignition off. He looks at me incredulously. "You really don't know?"
I stare flatly at him. "No. I don't."
Beck grimaces. "I thought you knew... everyone knows."
"Well I don't!" I snap at him, Beck putting his hands up defensively.
"Sorry, sorry. It's just... well..." He runs a hand through his hair. "Man, I'm not sure how to even..."
"Just spit it out." I say, my good mood evaporated.
"Well... Cat sort of has a crush on you." Beck says awkwardly, rubbing the back of his neck.
I blink. "What?"
Beck furrows his eyebrows, leaning forward. "You really didn't know?"
I blink again, stunned. "No, of course I didn't. What... how long?"
He shrugs. "I don't know... a while now. Everyone knows... I guess we all just thought you knew, I mean, Cat's pretty obvious about it."
A muscles under my eye twitches. "Everyone knows?"
Beck shifts uncomfortably. "Yeah. You really didn't-"
"No, I really didn't!" I bark at him. I put a hand to my forehead, calming down. My mind is racing... Cat... everyone knows? Cat has a crush on me? But... since when? I shake my head. "I'll see you tomorrow Beck." I kiss him lightly, before climbing out of the car. I take my bag absentmindedly, swinging it back and forth as I walk to the door, unlocking it and heading to my room, finding my way through the dark halls automatically.
I sit heavily on my bed. Cat has a crush on me? She was... she was trying to impress me because she has a crush on me. Cat. Has a crush. On me. Sweet, cute little Cat. My friend Cat, my best friend Cat. And everyone knows. It was so obvious to everyone. Everyone but me. I mean, sure, Cat's affectionate, she always has been... and she always laughs at my insults to other people, but I just thought that's because they were funny. Which they were. But did Cat really just insult those girls to impress me? How can she have a crush on me? It just... it doesn't make any sense to me. How can Beck be so cavalier about it? How can he not care? How could he not have mentioned it? How can everyone not have mentioned it? But Beck doesn't joke around, he knows better than to do that stuff with me. He knows how hard I can punch. Okay, well, if Cat has a... crush, on me, then there should be signs, right? If it's so goddamn obvious, there should be fucking neon lights.
I mean... I guess she's sort of different around me, and... some of her messages on the Slap come off as... provocative, but I just thought that was Cat. Her moods change so fast, and flirty happens to be one of them. She never seems to get mad at me though, and I'm not exactly nice to her all the time. Hell, she's gotten mad at Tori more times than she's gotten mad at me. I guess I'm different around her too. I let her get away with stuff I wouldn't let other people do. I'm abrasive, but Cat's my friend. She's sweet, and innocent... she's not stupid like the people I insult. I don't mind when she bumps into me, or her arm brushes mine, or even when she hugs me, which I would with anyone else but Beck. Cat's different, she's like a child, you just... can't hurt her, it's not fair. But all those arm brushes, all those bumps, all those hugs, was she getting something out of them? Was she doing them on purpose because she likes me? Does she even know she likes me? If it's so glaringly obvious, why am I still not seeing it? Why am I still only seeing Cat, my friend?
That's it. I take out my phone, dialling Tori's number. She answers on the fourth ring, her voice muddled. "Hm? Jade? What are you... it's two in the morning! Why are you calling me?" Her voice goes from sleepy to irritated so quickly. It makes me smile, there's something about annoying Tori that just cheers me up.
I cut straight to the point. "Does Cat have a crush on me?"
There's silence for a few seconds on the other line. "...What?"
"Cat. Does she have a crush on me?"
More silence. "What?"
"Fuck's sake Tori, it's a simple question. Does. Cat. Have. A. Crush. On. Me?"
I hear rustling, like Tori's sitting up. "You... Jade... shouldn't you be asking Cat this?"
"Yes or no question Tori."
Tori groans. "Fine, yes."
I blink. I mean... I didn't think Beck had lied to me, but, still... if someone as dense as Tori knows, then he was right, everyone knows. I hang up on her, not bothering to say goodbye. When did it start, I wonder? Has Cat always had a crush on me? How could I be so oblivious? All her little come ons, all her touching, all her wanting to spend time with me. I just... I just thought she was being Cat, being friendly, being my friend. Why hasn't she ever said anything? I think back to when we sang that duet, so short a time ago. Cat was so excited about it, she loves to sing. She came up with the choreography and everything. But... was it because she loves to sing, or because she loves to sing with me? Don't get me wrong... singing with Cat was the most fun I've had in a while, and I like seeing her that happy. Regardless of how I act sometimes, she is my friend, and I do care about her. I wouldn't put up with her if I didn't. All those touches, all those brushes against me, the singing to each other, the touching... I can't help but wonder now if it was all intentional, all just Cat wanting to touch me, to feel that close to me. I don't know. Fuck Tori, fuck Beck. They don't know what they're talking about. Fuck Tori. I just had to say that again.
I try to put it out of my mind, slipping under my covers wearily. It's still buzzing in my mind though. Cat putting Beck up as collateral, that was... it took me by surprise and... a part of me wonders, did she do that because she hoped we'd lose? She had to know there was a chance we would, or was it just one of the random things Cat does? And her insulting those girls, I mean... I was proud of her, Cat doesn't insult anyone, I was glad I finally taught her something. It's eating away at me, there are all these moments brought into question now, it's so easy to read into everything, every touch, every action. I can't stand it. I reach for my phone again, dialling Cat's number. I'm chewing my lip as it rings, what am I going to do if she does? Cat's my friend, yes, but... I don't know how to deal with something like this. I speak as soon as the phone clicks. "Cat, hey, listen... do you have a crush on me?"
I hear breathing on the line. I can tell it's Cat, but she's not answering. "Cat? Are you there?"
I speak a little more impatiently than I should. "Do you have a crush on me?"
"J-jade, I... I..." Cat's voice is small, doubtful.
Fuck. I can't do this over the phone. "I'm coming over, okay? We need to talk about this."
I hang up, getting up out of bed. I can't sleep, I can't, not with this worm wriggling inside my brain. I have no idea what I'm going to do, but... Cat's my best friend, and I keep saying that, but only because it's true. I have obligations to her that I don't have to anyone else, not that I'd ever admit that. I love her, and I don't want to lose her. And part of me wonders, wonders what it would be like. Beck might think this is some cute, harmless little crush, but it's Cat we're talking about. She doesn't feel things halfway. I don't know how Beck didn't tell me this, but then, he never seems to tell me anything these days. I heard him talking to those girls before I came up. It took Cat to say that he had a girlfriend. Ever since Tori came, maybe even before then, we've been drifting apart. But he's all I have, him and Cat, that is.
I get into my car, the engine turning over before it catches. It doesn't take long to get to Cat's house. I'm an impulsive person, what can I say? It's not long after I pull up that I see Cat open the front door. I get out of the car, closing the door softly and crossing to her. "Can I come inside?" I say bluntly. Cat nods, her eyebrows knitted, moving back to let me in. I go straight to her room; I've been in her house enough times to find it easily. Cat closes her bedroom door quietly, turning to me. She's barely said a word, just watching me carefully, fear in her eyes.
I pace back and forth, running a hand through my hair. I stop finally, whirling to face her. "Cat... d-do you?"
Cat looks at me blankly.
"Do you have a crush on me? You can tell me Cat, I'm not gonna be mad or anything."
Cat bites her lips, and I feel my heart sink. She bows her head, moving to her garishly coloured bed, sitting down heavily. "Jade..." I move to sit next to her, and she looks up at me, her eyes wide. "Please don't be mad."
Fuck. It's true. Fuck. I swallow hard. How do I... how do I deal with this? "W-why?" I manage to stammer, the word forcing itself out.
Cat shrugs. "I don't know. I just do." She says simply, softly.
I've known Cat even longer than I've known Beck. It pains me to admit it, to show emotion at all really but... I care about her even more than I do about Beck. Beck's great, but he's flawed. I know that, but Cat... her only flaw is being too nice, too naive. I don't want to lose her, I can't. "Cat, I don't know what to do."
"I'm sorry." She says sadly, looking downcast. "I tried to stop, I did. I didn't... I love y-you and Beck and I don't want to-"
I lean forward, cutting her off with my lips. I don't know what I'm doing, I don't, I just... I can't bear to lose her, I can't bear the thought. I'd do anything to keep her. She's too important to me, I realise that now. And I'm willing to try this, to try anything just to hold onto her. She's the only one who thinks I'm special, that I can't do any wrong. She's the only one that looks up to me. Cat's lips are soft and still, stunned against mine. Slowly she starts to relax, kissing me back, and I'm surprised to find that... that I feel something. I'm cheating on Beck, I know, and I hate myself for it, but this is Cat, and she's always been special, she's always been different. She's the only one who never judges me, never blames me, who's never held a grudge. I pull back, licking my lips, heart beating fast. Cat looks at me, confused, her lips slightly parted. "Jade..."
I don't know if this'll work, I don't know if I can do this. It's a big change to think of Cat as something more than a friend, but that kiss, that experiment... I felt something. I can stand to lose Beck, he's been slipping away for a while now, but Cat... I need her. I need her more than even I realised. I need to see her smile at me, to hug me, to have her sing with me, touch me. Maybe I can't do this, maybe it's a huge mistake, but it's all I know how to do, all I can think of. Cat gets hurt so easily, and maybe I'm just setting her up for more hurt, maybe I'm just making things worse. If I'd had more time, if I'd known sooner, maybe I could have stopped it, maybe I could have changed it. But there's that soft smile on her face again, as she brushes an unruly strand of red velvet hair away from her face, and I know I can't lose that. I can't give it up.
A/N: Okay, I admit it, I wanted to beat the rush. Damn but that was a Cade filled episode, that is undeniable.
This is maybe a little rushed, and the chemistry doesn't feel quite right to me, but... review, and let me know what you thought. If you liked it, great, if you loved it, greater. If it made you implode, you should probably see a doctor, you could have a blockage.
So review, as always, I implore you.