Authors Note: This story doesn't take place during any specific episode. It's set at some point in season 2. The basic premise is that there is a school dance and Cat/Beck share nice moment.
May I Have This Dance?
"That's the second guy I've had to turn down,"
"Does someone else want to hit her, or should I,"
"Hey baby, they say the third time is the charm. So…" The deep voice of Rex, Robbie's other half, turned to Tori Vega in question. Scrunching up her face in disgust, Tori leaned forward to answer him.
"No. Never. Ever. Never ever and no," she replied clearly. Robbie shook his head at his puppet in dismay, exasperated that the small figure had even asked.
"What's wrong with these guys Vega?" Jade asked, looking mildly interested. She was twirling a french-fry in her hand and leaning casually against Beck.
"Nothing is wrong with them," Tori began. "I just don't need a date to the dance," she added.
"No, I meant what was wrong with their brains. Why would they ask YOU out?" she clarified rudely. Beck sighed at his girlfriend's antics and the others ignored her usual tone.
"I decided," Tori spoke loudly, pretending to talk over Jade. "I decided that going to the dance with some random guy is too much pressure. I just wanna have fun and go with friends," she explained smiling. Andre nodded in understanding and Jade made a mock gagging noise.
"She's going with me!" Robbie exclaimed, looking as though he was having trouble containing his excitement.
"Robbie…" Tori warned.
"And Cat, and Rex, and Andre, and Andre's date," he listed miserably.
"It's a group thing," Andre noted.
"You're invited Beck, oh… and I guess you can bring Jade," Tori glared halfheartedly. Jade didn't even spare the other brunette a glace. She simply turned to Beck with a serious expression.
"We are not going to the dance with these morons," she said.
"Why not? I like these morons," he said, slightly annoyed that she was giving him orders yet again. Beck loved Jade, he loved her completely. But their relationship wasn't working the way it once had. Jade was more controlling that ever, and Beck was unhappy. And if he were honest with himself, he knew that Jade was unhappy too. The worse things got between them, the more controlling she became.
"Because Robbie makes my skin itch and Vega makes me want to bring my scissors as an accessory," she answered him easily. Before he could argue with her any further, the perky voice of Cat Valentine swam through the air.
"Hi everyone! Hi Jade! Oh, you look angry!" she noted smiling and sitting in the empty seat next to Beck.
"I hate everyone," Jade commented in response.
"You love Cat," Beck whispered knowingly.
"I tolerate her," she complied. He smirked, knowing that Jade really did like Cat. It was sort of impossible not to. No matter how many times she got knocked down, Cat always got back up, and she did so with a smile. Even Jade's darkness couldn't turn out that kind of light.
"We were just trying to talk Jade and Beck into coming to the dance with all of us," Andre informed Cat. The redhead tugged on a piece of her long hair.
"You don't want to come with us?" she asked, biting her lip. Her gaze shifted between Beck and Jade before finally landing on Beck. He looked down uncomfortably. Cat could always make him feel like he was showing too much of himself, like she was seeing right down to his core.
"No," Jade answered simply.
"Contrary to popular belief, Jade doesn't speak for both of us," Beck spoke up, raising his eyes to look around the table at everyone.
"Oh, I don't?" Jade asked, leaning back and looking at him dangerously.
"You don't," he stated firmly. Jade's mouth fell open slightly.
"You actually want to go to the dance with these people? Look at them," she pointed. Andre was drumming the table softly and looking left and right. Tori was trying to stab her salad with a fork and failing miserably. Robbie and Rex were in the middle of a hushed argument, and Cat… Cat was smiling up at the sky and giggling happily.
"They're our friends," Beck replied, ignoring the obvious strangeness within the group.
"Fine," she relented.
"Fine? Fine, you'll go with them?" he asked skeptically.
"Fine, YOU'LL go with them. I wouldn't be caught dead at that lame dance," she replied venomously.
"Yesterday you told me that I had to go with you," he argued.
"And yesterday you weren't an idiot. I don't want to go with them. And now, I don't want to go with you," she spat before gathering her things and leaving the table. Beck slammed his hand down in frustration. He saw Cat jump out of the corner of his eye. The rest of the group was looking away from him awkwardly.
"I can try and talk to Jade if you want," Cat offered quietly. He knew that no one wanted to deal with an angry Jade, but he appreciated the offer.
"That's okay. She'll get over it," he said calmly. He wasn't so sure she would. He wasn't so sure he wanted her to.
"We'll all go together, it'll be fun. Don't worry, okay?" Cat gently covered his hand with her own. She squeezed it comfortingly before letting go and offering him a small smile.
"Little Red is right, who needs a date?" Andre nodded encouragingly.
"Uh… you're the one who asked that fine honey with the big-"
"Rex!" Robbie admonished before the puppet could finish.
"Look, Andre is bringing a date, but the rest of us are flying solo," Tori said, veering the conversation back on track. "And we're gonna have a great time," she promised.
"Sounds good," Beck nodded. The situation he was caught up in with Jade was stressing him out ,but he knew that it wouldn't be resolved any time soon. So for now, he'd just enjoy the good times and try to forget about the bad. If Jade didn't want to go to the dance, then that was her choice. He was going. And he was going to have fun with his friends. Beck Oliver didn't take orders and he didn't let a relationship dictate his mood. He was cool, calm and collected. He was Beck, and he was going to that dance.
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Four hours later, Cat was cramped in a small dressing room, staring blankly at a bleak white wall. She could see the sparkle of vibrancy out of the corner of her eye. The dresses she had chosen to try on, bright, short and fun, were hanging next to her. They were happy dresses, but Cat thought in that very moment, they looked pretty sad.
"Cat? Did you get lost in there?" Tori joked, her voice muffled from the walls between them. Sighing softly and squaring her shoulders, Cat plastered a smiled on her face.
"Tada!" she exclaimed, opening the dressing room doors and displaying the dress she had chosen.
"It's perfect!" Tori clapped her hands happily. She was grinning from ear to ear and Cat found her mood improving slightly .
"It's almost as cute as my dress," Trina mused. She was nodding her head and smiling as if she had given Cat the ultimate stamp of approval.
"And look, when I twirl, the sparkles flash like a disco ball!" Cat twirled to demonstrate. The dress fell high on her thigh and the gold material shimmered colorfully. The straps were thick and the neck line was tight against her chest. The waste came in high on her ribs and flowed gently down. Cat had loved it instantly.
"All that twirling actually makes me kind of nauseous," Trina muttered.
"You look amazing Cat," Tori replied, ignoring Trina.
"Thanks!" Cat bounced in excitement.
"Tell your date to go with a black tie, not gold," Trina advised wisely. Cat's smile fell instantly. Date. It was such a stupid word.
"Cat and I are going with friends Trina. I already told you that," Tori snapped.
"I thought you meant friends who were your dates, didn't anyone ask you freaks?" she questioned.
"No one asked this freak," Cat whispered miserably. And in just seconds, her mood had gone from hopeful to inconsolable.
"Oh," Trina had the decency to look a little sorry. "That… that sucks," she shrugged uncertainly. Sniffling softly and letting her shoulders slump, Cat turned and hurried back into the changing room.
"Cat!" Tori called out.
Only once she was inside the secure four walls did she let the tears fall.
"It does suck," she mumbled, leaning her head against the wall. It really did suck.
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The rest of the week passed quickly and soon the night of the dance had arrived. The moments leading up to the dance were a blur of sparkling dresses and sleek suits. It was truly a whirlwind…
Puffs of perfume wafted through the air as the girls perfected their make-up and slid on their shoes.
"You look amazing,"
"You look like a princess,"
Camera's flashed blindingly as sore cheeks stretched their best smiles.
"Beck, switch places with Robbie,"
"Tori, his black tie looks much nicer next to Cat's gold dress,"
Tires squealed and the wind rushed through the cracked windows.
"Trina, I can't believe you convinced mom and dad to rent us a limo,"
"Good one Beck!"
The lights in the gym sparkled with a brightness that matched only a theaters stage.
"It's like magic,"
"I thought we were gonna keep her locked in the limo,"
"Don't tell me you don't want some one on one time with your girl Tori,"
"Robbie, you and Tori can have all the one on one time you want. You wanna go check out the food Cat?"
"Sure! Oh Beck, miniature pizzas! How cute,"
And just like in a theater, the lights eventually dimmed and the music hummed.
"Is that… is that Tori and Robbie? Dancing?"
"Yup. And she was the one who asked HIM,"
"Only to prove Rex wrong, he kept harassing Robbie,"
"Still… they look happy,"
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"Hey Beck," Cat's voice was lacking it's usual sunshine-like quality and her eyes were dim. Beck had seen her shuffle out of the dance sadly, and he'd wondered what could have made the happiest person he knew, so very unhappy.
"I was headed to the bathroom and I saw you," he lied.
"Oh, I'm just… getting some air. The air out here is lovely," she smiled, still not looking like she meant it. Beck stuffed his hands into his pockets awkwardly. He wasn't particularly good at comforting people, but no one else had seemed to notice Cat's unusual mood.
"Are you okay? You look a little… sad," he ventured. She shifted on her feet and continued to lean against the row of lockers.
"I'm not sad. I hate being sad," she told him, trying to brighten her voice.
"Everyone hates being sad. It still happens," he replied. She remained quiet for a moment.
"Are you sad that Jade isn't here?" She finally asked, shifting the focus of the conversation to him.
"No," he answered her honestly. "I wish she had wanted to come, I think we all would have had a good time. But if she doesn't want to be here, then I don't want her here," he admitted. Cat nodded in understanding.
"I like Jade," Cat stated, unsure of how to respond to him.
"I know you do," Beck smiled. "You like everyone," he told her. He spent so much time surrounded by Jade's constant negativity and hostility, that being around Cat was like a breath of fresh air.
"Not everyone. Not Rex," she mentioned seriously. "I like you," she continued. She smiled at him, a real smile, and he felt his breath catch.
"I've never had a friend like you Cat," he told her softly. He smirked slightly when her eyes widened just a bit. She didn't look offended, just surprised.
"What's that supposed to mean," her classic response was lacking it's usual tone. She spoke quietly, without accusation. It was a genuine question, something she longed to understand.
"It means… I don't know what it means," Beck said, scratching his neck. "I don't know," he repeated. The words sounded unsure, even to his own ears.
"Oh," she replied softly.
The two stood in awkward silence, neither knowing what to say. Shifting from one foot to the other, Beck thought briefly of turning to leave. She wouldn't stop him. Her downcast eyes and unsure frown told him that. She wouldn't stop him if he turned to leave. And that bothered him. It shouldn't have bothered him, but it did.
"You look pretty tonight," he finally said. His eyes had locked on her form at some point during his internal debate. He'd taken in the soft curl of her hair and the warm glow of her eyes. "More than pretty," he added.
"So do you," she looked up and smiled. "You look handsome I mean, not pretty. Well, kind of pretty. Boys can be pretty too, can't they?" she wondered, scrunching her forehead in the most adorable way. Beck chuckled and crossed his arms.
"Let's stick with handsome," he suggested.
"Kay, kay," she agreed easily.
"So, are you ready to head back in?" he asked, gesturing to the door with his hand. Her smiled dropped and she averted her gaze.
"No thanks, you go," she nodded at him.
"Cat," he began. She smiled unconvincingly at him. "Cat, you love dancing. You love being around people. You love decorations," he reminded her.
"I know," she replied quietly.
"Then what's the problem?" Taking a step closer, he watched her bite her lip anxiously.
"I- I… nobody asked me to the dance. Again," she muttered miserably.
"But we're all hanging out together. Robbie doesn't have a date, neither does Tori. I thought you were having fun," he responded.
"I was having fun," she agreed.
"But…" he encouraged.
"But, every time a slow song plays… I feel like something is pecking out my eyeballs," she crossed her arms in frustration and took a deep breath. "And it was Tori's choice to come to the dance alone. Lots of boys asked her. Lots of boys, including Robbie, who has a huge crush on her. So he's spent the whole night drooling over her. Andre has spent the whole night with his date, and you've spent the whole night-" he cut her off before she could finish.
"Worrying about you," he interrupted, his voice serious. Cat didn't say anything for a moment, simply staring back at Beck, eyes wide and mouth parted.
"Huh?" she squeaked out.
"If I had really come out here to use the bathroom, I would have peed myself by now Cat. Are my pants wet?" His question caused her eyebrows to shoot up in surprise.
"Not particularly," she answered, staring at his lower area for a second too long. Blushing slightly and clearing his throat, Beck shook his head.
"I didn't have to use the bathroom. I saw you come out here and you looked upset. I wanted to make sure you were okay," he admitted.
"Really?" He breathed out a laugh, noting the tone of surprise in her response.
"Really," he assured her.
"Thanks Beck," she smiled. "You're not like any friend I've ever had either," she continued, referring to his earlier words.
"Good," he replied. Clearing his throat and straightening his back, Beck bowed his head slightly and extended his hand. "May I have this dance?"
"What?" She laughed out loud at his display of mock chivalry.
"Dance with me," he insisted.
"In there?" She asked, pointing towards the doors.
"Right here," he answered seriously. "Come on, don't leave me hanging," he said, glancing at his outstretched hand.
"But we're in the hallway," she protested. But even so, she smiled and placed her hand in his own larger one. He pulled her forwards gently and spun her around in a playful twirl. She giggled wildly, so he did it again.
"The hall? We're not in the hall. Close your eyes," he commanded, taking her hip with his other hand and pulling her into his arms. She looked at him hesitantly before closing her eyes. "Now, do you smell that? It's the ocean. And that sound you hear, those are the waves. It's a little hard to hear them over the music," he painted the picture with soft words, his lips close to her ear. The two swayed gently to the music that echoed into the hall.
"I can feel the sand between my toes," she added. Beck laughed outright, he should have know that Cat would fall into this easily. She didn't question these things like Jade, or even Tori. Cat just appreciated life and every experience that came her way.
"Watch out for that seagull," Beck warned.
"Ah!" Cat jumped with a shriek and opened her eyes to look around nervously.
"Cat, Cat, there's no seagull," he told her quickly. She turned back to him with wide eyes and he pulled her closer to steady her body.
"I hate large flying animals," she muttered, resting her head against his chest.
"Sorry," he amended. "What about stars? Are you okay with stars?" He asked, pulling back just slightly to look at her.
"The stars are beautiful tonight," she whispered, staring up at the ceiling with a content expression on her face. Beck didn't know what had prompted him to create this imaginary world, but he was happy he'd done it. The smile on her face was the most genuine thing he'd seen in a long time.
"They are," he agreed. He took one last look at the bright smile on her face before bowing his head and resting it in the crook of her neck. He felt her shift slightly, before she tightened her grip around his neck and pressed herself closer.
They swayed silently to the muffled music and held each other like a lifeline. The silly girl had become sad, and the unshakable boy had become shaken. Together they had found their way back to who they were and what it meant to be happy. And so they danced alone in an empty hall, and they thought of nothing but that moment. They thought of nothing but each other.
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