Hello, hello, hello! I'm feeling strangely optimistic. Since it IS vacation, I'm making it my duty to try and crank out as many of my FanFiction ideas as possible. So, after a long bout of dryness in this fandom from me...HERE'S A VICTORIOUS FIC! =D I know, right? It's been so long! I really need to get back into the Bade and Victorious fandom. I sincerely apologize for my negligence to my Bade fans! But, like I said before, ever since Tangled came out, I've been having more ideas for than than Victorious. But I'll keep going. I'LL KEEP GOING, I TELL YA!

Without further ado, I present my latest Bade creation. Enjoy =)


A/N: Jade's p.o.v. As usual, check out my profile for updates and other stuff, blah blah blah, go ahead and read, will ya?

. . .

Burned Hand, Scarred Heart

"Oh, sweet farm girl?" Sikowitz called. Oh, right. That's me. Taking a deep inhale, I plaster a sickeningly sweet expression on my face and turn around, batting my eyelashes. "Would you mind getting that tray of quesadillas from the kitchen?"

Man, all this smiling is starting to hurt. How do people do it so often? "Why, I wouldn't mind at all!" I replied in a perky Southern accent, trotting up to the counter top where the fresh Mexican food lay. I reached for the tray, but was met with searing pain and Sikowitz's belated plea:

"Oh, wait, that tray just—!"

"AAAGGGHHH!" I screamed in agony.

"—came...out of the...oven..." Sikowitz concluded hopelessly.

Ow. Ow. Owowowowowow. Okay, take a deep breath. Recover that sweet, innocent smile. You are not losing this contest and leaving Beck alone with Tori; you're the best actor here, you can deal with a little pain.

I giggled forcefully through the heaviness in my chest and the fire in my palm. "My goodness, that tray was hot!" I did my best not to yell. Come on, suck it up. It's nothing serious, it's just a little—

"Oh! Well, lookie there! My skin's startin' to blister!" I waved my hand frantically, trying to cool it down. It only made it worse. "And I do believe that is the sweet smell of my burnin' flesh!"

Alright. Okay. Just keep calm. Walk it off, walk it off. Left foot, right foot, down the step, left foot—

"Jade, maybe I should drive—" Sikowitz started.

"Who's Jade?" I shrieked, determined to stay in character no matter what it costs me, even skin. It can grow back. "My name is Betty-Sue Goldenhorn, a happy farm girl who's experiencing extreme pain right now!" I tried to bite my tongue to hold back a sound of hurt, but I just couldn't. "Aaah," I whimpered.

I started to go for the door, the blistering pain overcoming me and biting tears into my eyes. Forget the contest, forget satisfaction, forget Tori, even forget Beck. Just get to the hospital, get to the hospital, get to the hospi—

"Uh..." that was Beck's voice, coming up behind me fast. No, keep going Jade, don't let him see you cry.

"Maybe I should take the lass to get 'er ol' hand fixed up, alright?" Beck said to Sikowitz in his character's thick Cockney accent, right behind me now. I felt his strong hand fall onto my slightly exposed shoulder, sending chills down my spine, countering the brutal heat for a moment. Okay, keep still. Don't run away, that's out of character. Don't tell Beck to let go of you, that's out of character. Stay calm. Breathe in, breath out. Hold it together, cowgirl. Hurry up, Beck.

I could sense Sikowitz nod and suddenly both of Beck's hands were on my shoulders, pushing me through the door, shouting behind him, "Well, thank you, ol' chap! Lovely affair that was, jus' lovely! Jus' a pleasure! So long!"

The last thing I heard before Sikowitz's door shut was, "And they still remained in character." Slam.

Beck led me out the door, whispering reassurances in my ear as I bit my lip so hard I could taste blood. Okay, my hand really hurt now. I could barely move it now. The slightest twitch was like sticking a finger into a hungry shark's mouth.

Beck settled me into the passenger's seat of his car, patting my arm comfortingly before rushing over to his side and shoving the key in the ignition. As soon as he heard the engine roar to life, he slammed his foot on the gas and took off.

The start of the drive was relatively quiet. Not uncomfortably quiet, just...quiet. That was unusual for us. Though, ever since Tori got in the picture, it felt like things had changed. I subconsciously sneered at the mere thought of her name.

"Hey, what's wrong?" Crap. He saw that.

I looked up briefly and met his kind, cinnamon eyes. Suddenly a whole cage of butterflies were set free in my stomach. Ugh, why does he do that? It's not fair.

I looked back down at my gingerly rested hands, my right hand throbbing and red. "S'nothing. Nevermind."

Beck was smart enough to know me and my moods and drop it. Now it was quiet again, but there was a new tension in the atmosphere.

My thoughts continued to race. Stupid oven. Stupid tray. Stupid Sikowitz. Stupid Tori. Stupid—

"Stupid acting exercise," I cursed under my breath.

Beck's eyes flew to me again. "What?" he asked.

I sighed, lifting my head to look out the window. "Stupid acting exercise," I repeated, louder this time.

Beck chuckled, his cheeky smile lighting up his face. "Why was it stupid? I thought it was a right bit o' fun, it wa—"


"Alright, alright," he replied, dropping the issue again.

Thinking he was looking at the road again, I turned my head to look at him from behind a colored brown pigtail. My eyes widened in shock when I found him staring intently at me. I quickly looked away, shaking my head.

"Really, though, what's up?" he questioned after a few minutes. All traces of humor were gone from his face now.

"Just..." I sighed, giving up. He wouldn't understand. "Stupid acting exercise."

"Aw, come on, Jade. It couldn't have been any worse. I promise, I'll get you fixed up in no time," he reassured, smiling at me genuinely. There were those butterflies again.

I felt tears that I'd never let fall bite my blue eyes. "It already did," I whispered as quietly as I could.

Beck's head snapped toward me again, concern painting his handsome features. "What are you talking about?" he asked softly, his voice disbelieving.

Ugh, okay. Just get this off your chest, Jade. You'll probably never have another opportunity like this. Just tell him how you feel.

No!, another part of Jade's mind yelled, keep him guessing. See if he really cares enough to figure it out. Test him. See if he really wants to be with you, or if he really wants Tori now.

Back and forth, back and forth went my mind, yelling and screaming and giving me a headache. Pride over feelings. An endless battle inside the infamous Jade West every day of her life.

Giving into the first option, I exhaled heavily and tried to find the words to start with.

"I'm talking about...you," I started, looking back up into those eyes I so trust.

"Me?" he responded, half laughing in disbelief. "What did I do?"

I groaned. That's not exactly what I meant. "Well, it wasn't exactly all you...it's...it's...her. Tori." I reflexively sneer the name.

"What did Tori do?" he inquired, his voice tired. His lack of interest at my idea of Tori just made me more angry.

"What didn't she do!" I practically shrieked, my voice almost hysterical. "Ever since she came to this school I've been just feeling you slipping away from me for her! Since her arrival she's kissed you, mocked me constantly, hugs and touches you almost daily, and purses her lips and bats those big, flirty brown eyes at you every time you're in the room!"

Beck remains silent, his face morbid, letting me finish and run my course.

"And you! You do nothing about it! You kissed her right back, you squeeze her tight, you smile at her with your best grin and flip your hair in response! And today, today! You were hanging on her and near her constantly, brushing away her hair like you used to do to me! Putting an arm around her, talking her up! And because of that stupid, stupid acting exercise, I couldn't do anything about it!"

"It was just part of my character, Jade. I did it to everyone."

"It seemed like a lot more." I gave up, not knowing how to explain myself further. A single tear rolled down my cheek, which I swatted away quickly. But it was too late, he already saw.

After a excruciatingly long silence, I sniffled softly, mustering up the courage to ask the question that's been eating me out for months. "Do you even love me anymore?"

Beck wasn't even looking at the road anymore. He was as fully faced toward me as he could be, one hand clenched on the wheel, his intense brown eyes boring into mine, penetrating every wall I'd ever built.

"Of course I do." He just sat there staring at me, letting the words sink in. "Jade, there is no one else I will ever want or love more than you. I promise." He reached over and grabbed my good hand, stroking his thumb across the top soothingly. My lips twitched up into one of my rare smiles.

Then I accidentally flexed my injured hand, sending waves of searing, blistering, burning pain through my fist, and I clenched my teeth in torture.

Beck snapped out of his daze, breaking the electric connection between us momentarily.

"Hang in there. We're almost at the hospital."