These Games We Play

give it up, you can't win, cause I know where you've been
such a shame you don't put up a fight
there's a game that we play at the end of the night
it's the same old story but you never get it right

- give it up, elizabeth gillies & ariana grande

You're lucky to have Beck.

The words pierced her like a bullet piercing her heart. She didn't show it, because she was Jade and that was not at all her style. But she didn't know what to do, what to say- it can't possibly be right. He was lucky to have her, right?

But she was a mean girl- maybe he was right.

Jade had never really had a female role model. Growing up, her mother was missing in action. Often, she'd be off drinking or something of the like, so Jade was deposited into her father's care. Some of the time, her father meant well, but he was cold and never there for her when she needed it.

The two of them were the reason that she didn't believe in love.

Love and fairytales were the same to her. Some people believe in them, but only idiots with overactive imaginations. It didn't exist and that was that.

She grew up without a female to show her how to act, and her father would 'accidentally' hurt her emotionally- asking why she would participate in such things such as drama. Where would they get her in life? They would only lead to her heartbreak.

He knew all the statistics, too, about what percent of actresses actually made it in life. She was Jade, though, and she was determined- though she was beginning to doubt her talent. He would remind her almost every day that she wasn't as good as she thought she was. She'd always thought that she was a good singer, but maybe… just maybe… she was only deluding herself.

Even though thoughts were clouding her mind, she still hightailed it over to Hollywood Arts and demanded an audition. When they refused, she ended up showing them why they should let her in- with her fists. So they allotted her an audition.

Sighing, she made her way up to the stage, nervous as could be. But once she began to sing, that all went away.

Jade sang when she was lonely, or sad, or when her dad told her she couldn't- it only made her want to sing more. It was as natural as breathing or hitting someone. It was one of her talents, and it was part of who she was. She felt their eyes on her- but this was no time to get stage fright, was it?

Once she finished, all of the people who were watching her burst into applause. "That was terrific! Not what we were expecting at all."

Jade rolled her eyes. "Obviously. So am I in or not?"

"You'll have to wait for the official letter, but right now it's looking like a yes," the man informed her with a grin.

She got her acceptance letter two weeks later, along with a partial scholarship. Her father decided to let her go, as long as she promised to stop getting in trouble.

Well, she promised, but it wasn't too much later that she broke that promise.


The first time they met, he knocked her over in the hallway. Offering her a hand, he said sheepishly, "My bad."

"Obviously," she told him with a scowl. He began to collect her books. Raising an eyebrow, she asked, "What are you doing?"

"Picking up your books," he said with a funny glance at her. "What does it look like? Hasn't anyone ever picked up your books for you before?"

"Never mind," she replied hastily, not in the mood for a conversation about her home life. He seemed like a sweet boy, which scares her- sweet boys never liked Jade West. It was just the way of life, and she was not about to go against it. So, to keep the natural order of life, she asked him, "You some player or something? The sweet boy who goes for two girls at once because he can't get enough?"

"No," the boy looked surprised, and she couldn't imagine why. "The name's Beck Oliver. Are you always this negative?"

"Yes," she replied sharply. "Get used to it. And it's Jade. Jade West."

"Oh, believe me," he told her with a sweet smile. "I will."

Confused, she looked up at him, at his brown eyes- he looked like a lost puppy dog, she thought. But this boy was cryptic enough to confuse even the smartest of them all. Why would a sweet boy like him even be interested in a girl like her? The strict status quo states that they shouldn't associate and they shouldn't even acknowledge the other's existence. But the tone that he was using implied that he desired to get to know her, and she just couldn't imagine why. Sighing, she shook her head. "No one has."

He handed her books to her. "Well, get used to it," he grinned, repeating her line from before.

She just stared at him as he walked away, wondering when mindless players got so appealing. But she turned and walked away, knowing that he wasn't interested in her, and therefore there was no reason for her to think about him.

She ended up telling her best friend Cat, though she could never remember why. As usual, Cat completely overreacted, to the extent of springing out of her chair. "Is this really Jade West? Showing an interest in a boy?"

"Yes," Jade replied. "Wait, no. I am not showing interest in that idiot Beck Oliver. I am Jade, though."

"It sure sounds like it," Cat sang. "You've never come to me for advice about a boy before!"

"That's just because most boys run off whenever they get in a two foot radius of me," Jade rolled her eyes. "But this Oliver kid- he didn't run. He just stood there and acted interested in me. I don't get it- I don't get him."

"Maybe he likes you!" Cat gasped. "Jade and Beck, sitting in a tree, K-I-S-"

Slamming her hand over Cat's mouth, Jade hissed, "Shut up. Do you want to scare him away before we even have more than one conversation?"

"Well, he's not here," Cat reminded her with a big smile. "I have to meet him sometime! And ooh, his name sounds like smack, don't you think? Beck, smack- he's perfect for you!"

"And what about that Robbie boy?" Jade demanded.

"Robbie? Who's Robbie?" Cat asked, her mouth falling open.

"Oh, never mind," Jade groaned, sinking into a beanbag. "You really think I should go talk to Beck?"

"Course I do!" Cat squealed. "Now, did you hear about that movie with the unicorns? Want to go see it with me?"

She just scowled. "I'll see you later, Cat. I have… stuff to do."

"Have fun!" Cat yelled behind her. "Hm, I think I'm going to paint my fingernails all the colours of the rainbow! Rainbow…. rainbows are pretty…"

So Jade ran off, not in the mood to listen to Cat ramble on about pretty rainbows- well, she was in even less of a mood to listen to Cat than usual. But of course, it would be then that she would run into Beck- Beck Oliver, school heartthrob. Beck Oliver, who, much to her displeasure, she couldn't stop thinking about.

"Hey, Jade West," he greeted her with his sweet smile. "You headed somewhere?"

"Hi, and yes, to get away from my best friend," she said, frowning a bit.

"Get away from your best friend?" Beck raised his eyebrow at her.

"Cat Valentine," she explained, crossing her arms. "She can be a bit interesting at times…"

"Oh, I know her, well, not personally, but I've heard a lot about her," Beck told her with a shrug. "She once told me that my name sounds a lot like 'smack'."

"Typical Cat," Jade agreed, smirking. "Anyway. I have to go now…" She avoided his eyes, his puppy dog eyes- he was no puppy dog and she was no caretaker. He was a player, an idiot, and she was a smart girl who knew how to avoid her heart being shattered into pieces.

"Go where? I can walk with you," he offered with a grin at her.

"To get a drink," she replied carefully.

"I can go, well, if you want me to," he stared hopefully up at her.

"Um. Sure," she gauged carefully, trying to judge his intentions by the look on his face. But if there was one thing that Jade West couldn't read, it was Beck Oliver.

"Awesome. Let's go, then," Beck said, not looking overexcited but happy nonetheless. He followed her (still reminding her of a lost puppy dog) all the way to the drink shop, where he proceeded to buy her a drink. It was weird- she wasn't used to people treating her like she was worth something, nor was she used to guys even daring to approach her. This was way out of her comfort zone, yet somehow, it felt good.

Beck Oliver had always been able to get under her skin, anyway.

She didn't get it. She didn't get why he was following her around, why he was acting like she was something. When she got up and looked in the mirror in the morning, she saw nothing of importance. Her father's words didn't help at all- 'when are you going to make something of yourself, Jade West?'

In a fit of rebellion, she ended up going to the hair salon and demanding that they put a blue and a white streak in her hair. They did, of course- they were scared of her, and while that worked to her advantage, it didn't at all help with her self-esteem problems.

But now, when she looked in the mirror, she was no longer boring but scary Jade West. She was the new and improved Jade West- neither punk, nor Goth, but scary and cool nonetheless. Grinning, she flipped her hair over her shoulder.

Of course, Beck Oliver happened to be there. Because he was clearly stalking her or something of the like, though she still couldn't see why. He was popular, and she was a mean girl, and things didn't even work like that in cliché movies.

"You got a hair streak, Jade West?" he asked her.

"You know, you can call me by just my first name," she said in a clipped tone.

"But I like your last name," Beck protested. "It sounds… mysterious."

"West?" she rolled her eyes. "Oliver, it's the name of a direction. Directions aren't mysterious."

"You don't think your name sounds mysterious?" he asked mischievously.

"I'm not having this conversation with you," Jade snapped. "Now, is there anything you want other than to ask me about my hair streak? Come to think of it, why are you talking to me?"

He stared at her. "I just thought your hair streak was cool. Is there a reason why I shouldn't talk to you?"

"Hm," she pretended to think about it. "Maybe it's because I'm a cool but mean girl and you're some preppy boy. That might be one of the many reasons. Also, there's the fact that I think you're an idiot."

"You think I'm an idiot?" Beck raised an eyebrow. "Should I be offended? And what happened to breaking stereotypes, Jade West? What happened to rebelling? You rebelled to get that hair streak, didn't you?"

She realized with a start that she hated it. She hated the control that he had over her, the way that with just a few words he could get her to do anything he wanted. But most of all, she hated the fact that she didn't hate him like most people. As a matter of fact, she didn't hate him at all, and that bothered her. What was so different about this boy? He was just like all of the other boys. He wasn't anything special.

"I did rebel to get this hair streak. And yes, you should be offended. You should be hurt by the notion that I would even think that about you," she replied patronizingly.

"Well, too bad I'm not," Beck told her with a shrug. "And you know, Jade West, I'm not scared of you. In fact, you intrigue me. And I bet you could say the same of me."

"You don't know what I think about you," Jade glared. "You don't know me at all."

"And what if I want to get to know you?" Beck asked, crossing his arms.

"No one does," she responded, the hard edge disappearing from her tone. "No one does."

With that, she turned and walked off, wondering if he was possibly not trying to use her or something of the like. It just wasn't possible, right? No boy wanted to get to know Jade West. They went for preppy, popular girls.


One day, she got a text from a number that she didn't know, telling her to meet the person at the local ice cream shop. Like most other things, Jade West hated ice cream.

But nonetheless, she threw on her favourite leather jacket and marched off to the ice cream shop, kicking every rock she came across on the way and wondering who it could be. Why would anyone want to meet her for ice cream? They must know that she hated ice cream. They must know that she hated everything.

In the back of her mind, she hoped that it would be one certain boy, but she pushed the hopes away. She was certain that they would only let her down.

But then she arrived and her eyes fell immediately upon one Beck Oliver, sitting alone and glancing around every so often. Curiously, she walked over to him. "What are you doing here?"

"You showed up," he replied, relief soaking through his tone. "I wasn't sure if you would. I thought that you might hate ice cream."

"Oh, believe me, I do," Jade told him. "But it's worth it to watch all of the people who get brain freeze."

His jaw dropped and he shook his head at her, smiling a bit. "You're absolutely crazy."

"Do you want to leave now?" she asked, ice soaking her tone once again. "Because if you want to, I won't stop you. I won't hold you back."

"No, I want to stay," Beck grinned at her. "I wouldn't go through all of the trouble of getting your phone number, texting you to come here, and showing up just to leave after the first few minutes."

"Good, then," she replied, not showing the happiness that she felt. Instead, she just sat down across from him. "Buy me ice cream."

"I thought you hated it," he raised an eyebrow.

"I do," she stated simply. "But I still want some, so buy me it."

"Okay, got it," he jumped to his feet. "What kind?"

"The best." The corners of her mouth turned up into a smirk as she watched him turn around to head off to the counters. There was something intriguing about this boy- how he didn't leave after she began to scare him, how he was able to stick with her. The similarity between him and a lost little puppy struck her once again. Beck Oliver was like a lost little puppy, and she was the evil trainer. Eventually, he would have to break away.

But she found herself thinking him cute (which she immediately changed to hot because cute was such a girly, fragile thing to say) as he sat down at the table and handed her a fudge ripple ice cream. With a raised eyebrow, he asked her, "Are you actually going to eat that?"

"I suppose, now that you've bought it," she told him simply, taking a tiny bite. The rich flavours filled her mouth, causing her to imagine that maybe this ice cream- and Beck Oliver- weren't so bad, after all.

"It's good, isn't it?" he said proudly.

"Maybe," she allotted, shoving another mouthful into her mouth, but then remembered that ice cream could make her fat and put it down. Abruptly, she asked him, "Do you think that I'm fat?"

She watched nervously as his eyes travelled from the bottoms of her feet up to her streaked hair. A small smile curved across his face. "Of course I don't. You're pretty thin, actually, but not in the stick way that some girls are. It's sort of attractive."

"You think I'm attractive?" Jade asked, satisfied smile tugging at her lips, but she fought it back because she wasn't ever the smiling type of girl.

"If I say yes, will you kill me?" Beck replied, cowering back a bit.

"Possibly," she scrutinized him.

"Well then, yes," Beck informed her, leaning a bit closer to her. "Yes, Jade West, I do find you attractive."

She panicked. He was there, and he was so close that it scared her, completely and utterly. Blinking, she moved back and bit her lip. "I've got to go. Have a nice life, Beck Oliver."

And with her usual scowl stretched across her face, she dashed off, not letting him feel the way her heart was speeding up or the way she was beginning to fall for him, if just a little bit.

Her downfall began when she overheard him chatting in the hall.

He was standing next to some boy that she didn't know and had no desire to know, leaning against the wall. If she moved a bit closer, she could hear their conversation.

So she did.

It wasn't her fault, she reasoned- the idiots were talking loud enough to be heard, so she overheard them. But Beck was bragging. Loudly. About her.

"Jade West," he was saying. "I tamed the savage beast, you see."

"I didn't think that you could do it," the boy replied in pure admiration. "She's a tough nut to crack."

"Yeah, well, Beck Oliver has a perfect record," Beck informed him with a cocky grin. "Pay up, now."

Shaking his head, the boy handed him a handful of cash. Jade watched with wide eyes. He'd only spoken to her because of a bet? She had thought that he was actually interested in her- oh, how stupid he was. Oh, how stupid she was, that was more like it. She had actually believed it. She'd let herself be weak, gullible- and to what reward? From now on, she was steel and no one could pierce her walls of insecurity.

But she plastered a fake smile on her face and walked up, placing a hand on her hip. "The savage beast? Nice to know what you think of me, Oliver."

He turned around, his jaw nearly dropping to the floor. "Jade West. I… I wasn't… whoa. It… it's not like it sounds!"

"Sure," she answered coolly, staring him in the eyes. "Because you didn't make a bet with some idiot to see if you could tame me. You messed around with my heart, Beck Oliver, and that is not something I take lightly, so you'd better watch your back."

With a toss of her hair, she walked off, knowing that he'd better be scared. If there was one thing that Jade West was good at, it was revenge.

Her mind was occupied with him for the next few days. For the life of her, she could not imagine why. Was he not just like every other boy that had trampled all over heart? Was he not the typical idiot that scrounged the school? But for some reason, the revenge on Beck Oliver seemed more intense than the typical revenge that she would plan on idiots.

She had to plan carefully, to put every detail into place. While she painted her nails black (a symbol of what she supposed was the turnover from pure to Jade), she plotted, and finally she came up with an idea. It wasn't nearly as harsh as what he deserved, but it would be fun to watch- even if it did involve asking the ditzy but pretty girls for favors, which was not her style at all.

But she mustered up all of her hidden courage and glared at the girls before plastering on her fakest smile. "Hello."

"Hi," one of the stupidest of them replied. "Just, like, one question- you're Jade West, right? So why are you talking to us?"

Jade nearly burst out laughing. Drawing her lips into a thin line, she informed her, "I'm looking for revenge and some fun. You in?"

"What's in it for us?" The head of them asked, running a hand through her silky brown curls.

"You ever dated Beck Oliver? Or even talked to the idiot?" Jade inquired, feeling a twinge of curiosity that had nothing to do with the plan.

"He turned me down," one of the uglier girls shrugged.

"He asked me out a while ago," the leader giggled. "I told him I would think about him and then never gave him a response."

"Great," Jade's tone was clipped, though she didn't understand why. "You'll do. Come with me." Grabbing her wrist, she dragged the girl- the leader- into the closet. Despite her cries, Jade slammed the door shut behind them and turned to the girl. "I need your help."

"And why should I help you?" the girl wondered. "What's in it for me?"

"You don't want to get revenge on Beck Oliver?" Jade replied, crossing her arms with a smirk. "Besides, if you don't do it, I know where you live."

"No, you don't," the girl responded, but her voice trembled.

Seizing the front of the girl's shirt, Jade glared furiously. The girl had no depth and Jade felt no guilt about what she said next. "What's your address?"

"203 Mill Street," the girl choked out.

"Good," Jade released her, smiling sweetly. "Now, if you don't help me, I'll be at your house bright and early tomorrow morning."

"Got it," the girl gulped. "What do you want me to do?"

That night, she repainted her nails with a fresh coat of black nail polish. Applying as much mascara and eyeliner as was humanly possible in order to look as terrifying as possible, she smirked at her reflection and set out for school. But for once, Jade West wasn't going to be the main attraction. No, she was going to let others entertain her for once.

She immediately flashed the girl (whose name, she'd learned, was Liana) a big smile as she walked over to Beck. "Hello, bane of my existence. Care to go jump off a cliff?"

He cringed. "Still angry?"

"Are you going to tell me I shouldn't be? Because I'm obviously a beast and therefore I don't have feelings anyway, right?" Jade said coolly. "Anyway, I just came over to wish you happiness in life and love. Yeah, as if." Resisting the urge to stick her tongue out, she walked off, ducking behind a plant. She slipped her sunglasses onto her face and grinned as her plan was set into action.

Liana sauntered up to Beck, and Jade wondered why a surge of rage ran through her- this was the way that things were meant to go, right? Silently, she watched as Liana placed a hand on Beck's (perfect) bicep. "Hi, there. It's Beck, right?"

She watched as his face lit up. He nodded vigorously and told her, "Yeah, it's Beck. And you are…?"

"Liana," Liana turned on her dazzling smile. "Liana Johnson. It's so nice to meet you, Beck. I've heard so much about you."

"What do you want?" he gauged carefully.

"Just wondering if you wanted to go on a date with me," Liana replied, grinning from ear to ear and putting her other hand on the back of his neck. "I think you're really hot, to say the least."

"To say the least?" he cocked an eyebrow, staring at her.

"Yes, exactly," she whispered, leaning in a bit until her lips were two inches from his (and Jade resisted the urge to jump out and break them apart).

But then, in the blink of an eye (nearly), he jerked away, staring at Liana. "What are you doing?"

"I'm about to kiss you," she told him, her voice oozing 'duh'.

"I'm not interested," Beck replied coolly, his eyes scanning her. "I'm sort of interested in someone else."

She had to wonder what had spurred that on. He'd never shown any reverence to liking only one girl at a time before, but now there was something different resurfacing on his face. Even though her head was spinning, she climbed out from behind the plant, where she ran into a very unhappy looking Liana.

"Look, Jade," Liana spat. "You owe me big time. I've just been embarrassed by a guy that I thought liked me-"

"No," Jade said sweetly. "I don't owe you anything."

Then, with a flip of her blue-streaked hair over her shoulder, she sauntered off, uncaring of what anyone thought about her, least of all this Liana girl.


One day after school, she decided to go to the ice cream parlour, on a whim. Of course, he was there, too. She began to wonder if he was stalking her or something.

But he walked up to her, brown eyes twinkling. "So that was your little attempt at revenge?"

"I have no idea what you're talking about," she replied smoothly.

"Honestly," Beck continued. "You think that little Liana who was never smart enough to even give me an answer when I asked her out will randomly decide that she wants to date me? No, I don't believe so. It's just your half-hearted little attempt at revenge, isn't it?"

"Maybe," Jade allotted, unsmiling. "What does it matter?"

"It was a good try," he offered, tossing his hands up and grinning. "But you weren't quite there yet."

"Look, Oliver, I'm not happy with you, so you trying to turn this into some lighthearted conversation is not going over well with me," she scowled at him.

Beck just crossed his arms and grinned. "What am I supposed to do to make it up to you? Assure you that it wasn't a bet? Because I know you're not going to believe me. It wasn't a bet, though. We were just joking around. It was a joke, Jade. I know you don't get that-"

"Wait," Jade's mouth dropped. "You called me Jade."

"Well, that is your name," he pointed out with a twinkle in his eye. "Want me to call you Jadey or something?"

"If you want to die, feel free too," she retorted sharply. "But you're right. I don't believe you."

He stepped a bit closer. "I can prove it to you."

Rolling her eyes, she began to say, "I'd like to see you try," but she never got the chance. Within seconds, he seized her face between his strong hands and pressed his lips to hers. She couldn't help but to kiss him back, wrapping her arms around his neck before she pulled back. With a glare at him, she asked him, "What the heck do you think you're doing?"

"Kissing you," he stated as if it were the obvious thing. "You see, when I said that I was interested in someone else, I meant it. I don't lie, Jade West."

Rolling her eyes, she stamped as hard as she could on his foot. She knew it had to hurt, judging from the fact that she was wearing steel toed boots and she was sort of strong in a weird way. He jumped up immediately, clutching his foot and glaring at her. "What was that for?"

"My way of revenge," Jade clapped her hands. "Jade West always gets her revenge. Still want to put up with me?"

"And why should I?" he gritted his teeth, clutching his foot.

Smirking, she leaned in and pressed her lips to his once again, clinging tightly to him as if she never wanted to let go. As she pulled away, she grinned. "That good enough for you?"

"You want to show me again?" he teased, and she willingly did.

Obviously, they weren't the couple that everyone expected together, but they still worked, somehow.

At first, they weren't exclusive. It was a mutual decision. But Jade only agreed because she'd believed that admitting that she wanted Beck all to herself made her weak and jealous.

They'd kiss in the hallways, but sometimes she would see some pretty, weak blonde on Beck's arm. In retaliation, she would find the hottest boy in the school and kiss him on the cheek, disgusting both him and her in the process.

It was the game that they would play, and sometimes it would get tiring.

One day, when yet another skinny blonde was approaching Beck in the hallway, Jade finally decided she was tired of the games and the pretending. Walking up to Beck, she listened for about a second.

"Hey, Beck," the girl, whose name was something like Julie, said, fluttering her eyelashes. "I'm Julie. I've heard a lot about you, and I was wondering if you'd like to go to the lake house-"

Something like jealousy seared through Jade's veins as this Julie kid spoke. She was used to it by now, people thinking her non-exclusive boyfriend to be attractive and flirting with him, but she was scared. She was scared that he would find someone better and just leave her, just like that. Ever since her mother had left, she had developed abandonment issues and she was starting to think that Beck would abandon her, too.

So, without thinking about it, she walked up to him and kissed him quickly. Wrapping her arms around her neck, she reached out and elbowed Julie out of the way so that she would get out of the way. In her side hearing, she heard Julie's disgruntled sigh and footsteps echoing down the hall. Finally, she pulled herself away from Beck, already dreading what would happen.

"Jade," he panted, staring at her. "What are you doing?"

"Kissing you," she responded, quoting his line from before. "What does it look like?"

"But why?" Beck asked, puzzled. "We've never done… well, PDA or whatever you call it before."

"Because I wanted to," she replied, and when he gave her a glare that she knew meant that she had to talk, she sighed, giving in. "Look, I don't want to play games with you, Beck Oliver. I don't want to have to feel like I need to make you jealous. I know that I'm probably… well, not enough but do you think we could, you know, make it exclusive?" It was the first time that she'd ever shown vulnerability around anyone- and only around him, she promised.

He leaned in, looking as if he'd been electrocuted, and kissed her again, both of them probably intensely aware of the amount of stares in their direction. Once he pulled away, he told her, "Of course you're enough."

"Well, is that a yes?" she demanded, seeming more like herself.

"If you want it to be," he retorted, a cocky smile slipping across his face.

Impatiently, she leaned forward again and pressed her lips to his. With a content sigh, she smiled in that evil way of hers. "Yes, yes, I suppose I do."

So that was the beginning of the power couple. It was the end of Jade and Beck, and the beginning of Beck-and-Jade, the unlikely couple that worked only some of the time.

But that was the way that they both liked it.

It was late at night. Her father had been yelling at her about how she was worthless and, despite her acting and singing talents, would not amount to anything. She didn't cry- did she ever?- but she left the house nonetheless, not knowing exactly where she was going. She ended up inside of Beck's house, not knowing why other than that was the only place that she felt safe- in his arms. Mascara and eyeliner streaked her cheeks.

On the first ring, Beck threw open the door. "Jade, what are you doing- is something wrong?" He stared at her, concerned.

"Can I stay here?" she mumbled, putting her head against his chest. His arms wove around her waist.

"Course you can," he muttered, grabbing her hand and leading her up the stairs, where they ran into Beck's dad.

Raising an eyebrow at Beck, his dad asked Beck, "Who is this?"

"My girlfriend, Jade," Beck replied carefully. "I told you about her, remember?"

"Why is she here? At night?" his dad frowned at the two of them, obviously judging them. Jade disliked him already, but made a resolution to be civil- no way did she want this to be some freaking Romeo and Juliet. Jade had never liked Romeo and Juliet. In fact, she'd rather they all died in the end, or that Juliet and Romeo would muster up the nerves to murder the parents. Which was exactly what she wanted to do to Beck's dad about right then.

Beck wrapped his arm around Jade's shoulders. "Her dad isn't exactly the best parent in the history of parents, and it would only be for the night."

"Trust me," Jade deadpanned. "I have no desire to do anything with your son."

That didn't seem to reassure his dad, who crossed his arms and looked from Jade to Beck. Jade felt his eyes linger on her blue hair streak, her streaked mascara, the bruise on her arm that she'd tried to cover up with makeup. With a frown, his dad told the two of them, "I'm afraid I don't feel entirely comfortable with this."

"Well, it's not entirely up to you," Beck retorted. "Come on, Jade."

"Hang on, Beck," his dad stopped him. "You live under our roof, you live by our rules."

"Well, maybe I'll stop living under your roof then," Beck said simply. Her jaw dropped- why was he saying that? Surely he wouldn't move out just for her? She wasn't worth it. If he just broke up with her, he could be on good terms with his father and then everything would be okay.

"Go ahead," the father glared at his son. "See if I care."

With a deathly glare on his normally kind face, Beck slid his fingers through Jade's and pulled her out of the house. Walking quickly, he slammed the door shut behind him, a signal of the fact that he was leaving. Jade turned to him, wide-eyed. "What the heck was that, Beck?"

"I don't like people telling me what to do," Beck responded immediately, seeming to grit his teeth together.

"Neither do I, but I haven't moved out of my dad's house yet," Jade reminded him.

"You should," Beck told her. Sighing, he looked over at her. "We're going to get a hotel room for the night, all right? I don't want you going back there." Seizing her wrist, he rubbed the spot on her arm, erasing the makeup that she'd slopped onto her wrist. "Yeah. No way you're going back on there."

"I don't need you to take care of me," Jade spat, ripping her wrist out of his grip.

"Well, you need someone," he retorted, wrapping his arms around her neck and pressing his lips to hers.

It was a short kiss but fulfilling nonetheless. Once she pulled back, she rolled her eyes. "Was that supposed to convince me?"

"Yes," he replied, looking amused, but happy nonetheless. "Yes, it was. I'm always here for you."

"You're too sappy," she replied. But instead of slapping him like she wanted to, she twined his fingers through hers. "Now, are we getting a hotel room or not?"

He just shook his head, as he always did when he thought she was being unreasonable, and started to walk, pulling her along with him. She felt a smile tugging at the edges of her lips again, but she resisted because Jade West didn't smile. In fact, Jade West wasn't ever happy.

Except when she was with Beck Oliver and she thought that maybe, just maybe, she was falling for him all over again.


She fought with Cat.

It started all too innocently. The two of them were in Cat's flower-filled room, perched on the way too colorful bed. Despite her disdain for Cat's decorating skills, Jade didn't say a word. She just laid back on the bed, kicking her boots in the air.

Things were okay at first. They had some light-hearted chat, some discussions about people in their school- Jade hated every one of them, Cat protested that they had some redeemable qualities. It was just like old times.

Then Cat brought up a touchy subject. "So, you're dating Beck Oliver?"

"Yes, I am. What of it?" Jade said a bit too defensively.

"Well, he's a sweet guy- you know, like cotton candy or something," Cat giggled. "But, he doesn't really stay with girls. He's always moving from girl to girl."

"Are you saying that he's going to dump me?" Jade raised an eyebrow. Her sharp nails dug into the pink stuffed pig she was holding and she scowled. All of her feelings were starting to bother her. She probably would have called him and dumped him at that very moment, because she trusted Cat more than almost anyone in the world, but she thought that maybe she loved him and the thought of them breaking up almost broke her heart.

"No, I'm not saying that!" Cat laughed joyously. "Just be careful, and don't fall in too deep- you know, like a well! You have to be able to climb out!"

"Perfect image," Jade rolled her eyes. "I just can't believe you think my boyfriend's going to dump me. What, am I not good enough to maintain a relationship?"

"I didn't say that," Cat squeaked. "But if you're going to be mean to your best friend, maybe I should!"

"Maybe you should," Jade hissed coolly. "Because obviously that's what you're thinking."

"How do you know?" Cat sprung to her feet.

Jade scowled at her. "It's written all over your perfect, perky face."

"Nothing's written on my face!" Cat's colorful fingers flew up to her face.

"Not literally," Jade reminded her. "It's just incredibly obvious that you're thinking that about your supposed 'best friend'."

"You are my best friend," Cat told her. "No supposed needed."

"Well," Jade sighed, standing up and scowling. "It doesn't seem like it." She grabbed her army bag off Cat's dresser and stomped out of the room, head spinning.

Once she got out, she realized that she had no idea what to do next. Usually, she would go to Cat's house, but that wasn't an option, now. She didn't know who else to go to- and there was no way she was going to go home, to let her father see her when she was weak and vulnerable.

There was only one option left, and that was going over to Beck's. He'd moved out of his parent's house, due to their obvious disdain for his relationship with Jade, but Jade knew that her going over there would just ignite old fires. Even so, something told her that she should go now. She needed comfort, something safe and secure, and despite it all, Beck could provide that.

So she took off, black heels echoing on the empty sidewalk, until she arrived at Beck's house, a panting but not sweaty mess. She banged on the door, waiting for a response.

Beck opened the door. As always, he looked handsome even when it was obvious that he'd been suffering from lack of sleep. On reflex, his arms wrapped around her waist. "What are you doing here?"

"I fought with Cat," she admitted, burrowing her head into his strong chest. "Well, really, the girl had it coming, but still."

"What did she even do to you?" Beck inquired.

She hesitated. Sure, he was Beck and surely he wouldn't hurt her, but she still didn't enjoy admitting weakness. With a frown, she finally gave in. "She told me that you were going to break up with me."

"And you believed her?" Beck exclaimed.

"No," Jade pulled back, crossing her arms across her chest. "That's why we fought."

"Silly girl," he mused. Though she was poised to retort, he leaned in and pressed his lips to hers.

His silken fingertips roamed her body, and his touch was electric, leaving sparks all over her body. She pulled herself closer to him, and she wondered why she'd ever thought that they would be breaking up soon. This was the best and the closest to happiness that Jade West had ever felt.

She ended up staying the night at his house. Nothing happened, not that it would any time soon- they were barely fifteen and so innocent that it wasn't even funny. But they slept in the same room, if that was a sin, and she woke up (for the first time) to sunlight streaming through her window.

So maybe her streaked hair was unkempt and her makeup was smeared all over her face, but Beck still pressed a kiss to her temple and told her that she was the most beautiful thing that he'd ever seen.

Then, she said it. She didn't know why, or how. Those three simple words were the hardest thing for her to say, her own personal weakness. The words tasted like citric acid on her tongue. Yet she couldn't dream of saying them to anyone else.

At that very moment, Jade told him, "I love you."

She didn't do love, and she didn't do fairytales. But somehow, Jade and Beck weren't a fairytale. They were love in its purest, simplest form- the opposite of hatred.

The words hung in the air between them, and she almost wanted to take them back- but it was too late then. She just stood there bravely, still standing straight up, one hand on her hip, the epitome of confidence. Once again, he broke the distance between them.

Once he finally pulled away, he looked her straight in the eye and repeated the words she had said. "I love you."

The feeling of absolute pleasure washed over her. It was weird, Jade West taking pleasure in something so trivial and cliché as being told that she was loved, but it filled her with delight nonetheless and she smiled, she actually smiled. Once the feeling of glee disappeared, she demanded, "Tell me that you love me."

His lips found hers again, smooth and soft and wonderful. When he pulled away again, two inches from her lips, he whispered, "I love you."

And it was everything she'd imagined it would be and more.

He kissed her again and she almost completely forgot about her fight with Cat.

Everything from then on was as perfect as it got. Nothing was ever perfect and Jade knew that better than anyone, but they were pretty close. They had their fights almost all of the time, but she loved him and he loved her so how much better could things get?

He would always take her out for coffee, and constantly, she would remind him- two sugars. He learned, soon enough.

One day, he tapped the table across from her as he set down her coffee. "How are you lately?"

"Why?" she asked suspiciously, making a grab for her coffee.

"Just wondering," he shrugged, falling into his seat. "You don't seem too happy lately."

She barked a completely fake laugh. "Beck, am I ever happy?"

"You just seem less happy than usual these days, I don't know," Beck shrugged, staring at her.

Her eyes traveled from Beck to the girl behind the table who was shooting Beck a flirty stare. Sighing, she put her head on her arms. "I want to stab girls with knives."

Beck's eyes widened. Glancing around the coffee shop, his eyes fell first upon the girl that Jade was glaring at, and then at most of the other girls in the coffee shop. Eyes twinkling with mirth, he asked her mischievously, "Jealous, Jade?"

"It's not funny," she griped. "Well, it would be funny if I stabbed them, but since it's illegal, I probably shouldn't."

"Yeah," his hand wrapped around hers, causing her to drop the straw she hadn't even realized she was squeezing. "You probably shouldn't."

Her eyes flashed. "You don't want me to stab them, Beck?"

"I don't want you to stab anyone," he laughed, giving her hand a squeeze. His chocolate brown eyes were fixated on her and only on her, and she took solace in the fact that he wasn't paying a lick of attention to any girl in the shop but her. Actually, in reality, he didn't really pay much attention to the other girls. He and Cat were friends, but not the closest. He wasn't really close with other girls, and while they would usually flirt with him, he never flirted back. Her jealousy was irrational, really. Smiling at this realization, she leaned across the table and kissed him once again.

Her epiphany cheered her up a bit, but her mood worsened once again when the waitress (whose lips were coated in lip gloss) sauntered up to their table and threw Beck a flirty smile. "Got a girlfriend?"

"Um, yes," Beck said in a duh voice. "She's sitting right there."

"Have you ever gotten burned?" Jade asked in a sugary-sweet voice.

"Once," the girl cringed. "It blistered and it was really bad-"

"Well," Jade raised her eyebrows. "To avoid getting burned again, you'd better walk away quickly and stop any flirting with my boyfriend. Because right now, you're playing with fire, and that will only end in you getting burned."

Mouth dropping, the waitress quickly turned and left the two of them alone, creating a satisfied smirk on Jade's face. Beck just laughed and turned to Jade. "I don't think we'll be allowed to come here if you burn their waitress."

"She should learn not to flirt with her customers," Jade replied in her indifferent tone before she laughed too. "And if they kick us out, I have ways to get them to let us back in."

"Ways involving violence? Because I don't approve of violence," he informed her, his voice stern.

"And I don't approve of their waitress flirting with you," Jade gave him her perfect smirk. "So we can both be disapproving, right?"

"You're a sneaky girl," he informed her, but he leaned forward nonetheless and pressed a kiss to her forehead. "Now, drink that coffee. I paid nearly five dollars for it."

"You're not the boss of me," she glowered, but she drunk it nonetheless.

Everything was going perfectly, or at least it was in Jade's opinion, until the arrival of Victoria Vega.

The first time she saw her was at the showcase. She remembered that night clearly. For once, Jade had decided to take a risk and sing something. Her partner, Nika Carroll, was only good in the area of singing, so Jade would have to sing with her. She was quite nervous, but she'd always considered herself a good singer so why stop now?

That day, she walked onto the stage, her blue eyes meeting the eyes of the crowd. She could do this, she decided, and taking a deep breath, she began to sing. Much to her surprise, she managed to stay on key. The song basically went perfectly. Neither she or Nika missed so much as a word or a note.

In essence, all of their hard work and practice had paid off. In the end, Jade actually hugged Nika before she shoved her back, disgusted at how sappy she was getting.

Laughing, she ran right into Beck's open arms, and he hugged her to his chest. Both of them took seats as close to the front as possible to watch the ending acts.

One girl who Jade had always thought to be insanely annoying- Trina Vega- had a swollen tongue, so apparently her sister would sing in her place. Jade rolled her eyes. Trina's sister probably didn't have any practice, how could she possibly do well in such a competitive showcase as the Hollywood Arts one?

But the nervous-looking girl was shoved out onto the stage. Smirking, Jade leaned back, ready to delight in this girl's failure. But then the awkward looking girl opened her mouth, and man, could she sing.

In the seat beside her, Beck shifted, looking captivated by this girl- the sister of Trina Vega, no less. How could she march in here and steal everything that was Jade's? This night, which was supposed to be hers, and now Beck, too. She was also much prettier than Jade had ever hoped to be, not that Jade would ever admit that to anyone.

Fire burned in her eyes, and Jade decided immediately that she hated this Vega girl.

Uncomfortably, she shifted in her seat, deciding that it wouldn't go over well if she lunged herself at Vega and clawed out her eyes or something like that. She glanced over at the still captivated Beck and sighed. Balling her fists up, she tried to watch, really, she did.

Finally, the girl's song ended, and the girl started to get even more fame as everyone pleaded with her to come. The girl was playing all modest, probably, Jade deduced, to get even more compliments than she'd already gotten. Jade's brain was spinning as she thought of ways that she could ruin this girl socially.

And she wondered why this girl made her even more mean than usual.

Beck shot her a look that asked what's up with you, because she probably had an even fiercer glare on her face than usual (and this one directed at Vega). But she just shook her head, trying not to concentrate on the anger that was threatening to consume her, and tried to pay attention to what was left of the program.

Not that it mattered, Vega had already showed them all up, and with no practice, too. Jade had to practice for hours, yet she could not show up Vega.

Her mission now? To make this 'new girl' have a great life at Hollywood Arts.


Vega was in Jade's drama class when she walked up on the first day of school after the showcase.

At first, she thought it to be a bad thing, having to share her classroom space with the filth that was Vega. Then she realized that it could be an opportunity for revenge.

Then she realized that Vega was rubbing Beck's shirt like it was no problem, like he didn't have a wonderful girlfriend already.

Gritting her teeth, she threw the door open, looking at the two of them. "Dude, why you rubbing my boyfriend?"

The girl began to mutter her explanations, still not moving away from Beck, which made her all the more irritated- was she really even going to try to pretend that she wasn't flirting with Beck? Angry, she told the girl, "Get away from him."

Beck seemed to find the whole exchange amusing. Telling her to "relax", he walked over and kissed her cheek, as if that was the end of that.

But for Jade, it wasn't. Her head immediately began to spin with revenge plans, which solidified as soon as Sikowitz chose her to lead the improv. She chose her best friend Cat, some idiot named Eli, her boyfriend Beck, and then… the girl, whose name she'd learned was Tori. Tori Vega. A perfect name for a perfect little girl.

She ended up dumping her coffee all over Tori's head. In hindsight, it was kind of an evil thing to do, and on her first day. It stylized her as the 'mean girl', but then again, it felt good to have people reverent to her, knowing that if they screwed up they would have to answer to her.

The only thing that really made her feel guilty was when Beck got onto her about it.

"What the heck was that?" Beck asked angrily, his face distorted in anger. "Really, Jade? What did Tori ever do to her? You've known her all of one class period!"

"Nothing," Jade replied innocently, hoping that he wouldn't catch on.

"You've only ever talked to her because she was rubbing my- whoa, wait a second. You think that Tori and I were… Jade, are you jealous of Tori?" Beck shot her a look that meant you better be honest.

Sighing, she crossed her arms across her chest. "No."

But it was a filthy lie and despite her beautiful lying skills, they both knew it. It might have been the way that the next time she saw Tori pass by, she kissed Beck (again) on the lips. But her jealousy only increased as time went by.

And her hatred increased all the more during the next drama class, as the two of them fought. Much to her surprise, Tori wasn't actually that bad of a fighter, and not the weakling Jade had assumed her to be. But then, Jade got out and Tori beat her, which hurt her right there.

Then they kissed. Tori and Beck, her boyfriend, kissed.

It might have been just a play, just a skit, but there was something true about the way they kissed, about the way they fit together.

Just that, right there, was enough to make Jade West hate Tori Vega.

Beck caught her after class. "Hey, Jade. Are you mad? Cause you know that was just a play, right?"

"Obviously I know that," Jade replied, her voice taking on some edge of superiority. "Because you… you wouldn't like Tori Vega. Right?" Her voice almost faltered.

"No," Beck said in that ultra-confident way of his. "You know that there's only one girl for me."

"You're too corny, loser," she rolled her eyes, but she let him kiss her anyway.

"I love you," he told her once he pulled back for air.

"You better," she retorted sternly, knowing that her jealousy over Tori was enough to show him that she really did love him (and was probably overly obsessive, but that was just her and he was used to it).

She felt the edges of her mouth curve up in satisfaction as she saw Tori Vega standing in the corner, probably having witnessed the whole thing.

Jade West took pleasure in other people's pain, particularly Tori Vega's.

From that class on, Jade devoted the majority of her time to ruining Tori's life (from fake black eyes to catfights over Beck) and spending time with Beck. That was, until a disaster happened- Beck started to spend time with a celebrity, and a pretty celebrity, at that. Was he determined to make her life miserable?

They broke up, and somehow, Tori helped them to get back together. She felt a pinch of gratitude for the girl, which was erased not five seconds later when she commented on how cute they were while they were making out.

How could she lie? Jade had to wonder, shaking her head. Tori's love for Beck had been obvious since the first day, and now she was going to lie and say that Beck was cute with Jade? Why? Jade didn't like Tori, and Tori didn't like Jade.

There were times when Jade West really didn't understand Tori Vega.

She had to wonder why Tori was still nice to Jade, even when Jade tried to basically ruin Tori's life.

She supposed it was just the difference between nice and mean girls.

One night, she got in a fight with Beck.

"I can't believe you're still jealous of me and Tori," Beck rolled his eyes. "You've seen Tori. She goes through boys like rich girls go through shoes. You're being immature and unreasonable, Jade."

"I'm being immature and unreasonable?" Jade's mouth dropped. "I believe that would be you."

"I'm not in the mood to play games with you," Beck shot at her.

"I'm not playing games with you," Jade replied. "I just asked you a simple question and you took it the wrong way-"

"Because you're still jealous of the friendship that I have with Tori," Beck raised his eyebrow, daring her to challenge him.

"That's… true," Jade clamped her mouth shut.

"Look, Jade," Beck scowled at her. "I'm honestly tired of all of these jealousy games that we're playing. You know it as well as I do, and if you're going to be like this all the time-"

"You're like this as much as I am," she said blatantly.

Shaking his head, he told her, "I'm not dealing with you."

Scowling at him, she tossed her hair over her shoulder and dashed out the door, slamming the door as hard as she could behind her and hoping that it fell off.

She ran. She ran all the way to the pharmacy, where she dashed in and grabbed a bottle of black hair dye, and some of the stuff that she used for hair streaks. Slipping them into her pocketbook, she dashed out the door without paying, ignoring the alarms that went off behind her. They were just a reminder of how much of an idiot she was.

Once she got home, she dyed everything but the few streaks black.

Beck confronted her at school. "Why did you dye your hair?"

"Because I felt like it," she put her hands on her hips. "No need for compliments."

He kissed her, cutting her off, and she thought for those few moments that everything would be okay.

Despite the fact that they made up, things continued to go downhill between Jade and Beck, and she had to face the possibility that they would probably break up soon.

Every spare minute that they weren't making out was spent fighting, and it was getting tiring for both of them. The jealousy game had increased tenfold, and Jade was getting tired of playing.

You're lucky to have Beck. The words rang in her head. Maybe he was right, because she was a mean girl. And he deserved better than her, didn't he?

Then, it happened. She came upon the couple-breaker Tori (honestly, first Cat's boyfriend and now hers?) and her boyfriend Beck making out in a broom closet. Though she honestly didn't want to, she saw no other choice but to dump Beck, then and there.

It was the only way to prove that Beck Oliver had no control over her, when, in all honesty, he had total control over her.

Things just went downhill from there.

Beck began to date Tori, of course, much to Jade's dismay and Tori's obvious happiness. Jade knew that it was coming, even before their breakup, but it hurt more than she thought it would.

Scars marred her heart, and she supposed that they probably wouldn't ever heal.

She walked around Hollywood Arts, a hollow shell of the confident Jade that once existed. She was even meaner before, if that were possible. It made her think even less of herself, not to mention the fact that she was stuck at home with her father, who would inform her that she would never amount to anything. Now, she didn't have Beck to reassure her that she was something, and it stung.

She left her resignation letter from Hollywood Arts on Sikowitz's desk.

Regular high school, Jade soon learned, was dull and boring, even more so than Hollywood Arts. It was filled with normal, useful subjects like Math and History. Subjects that Jade had no clue about.

Most of the time in class, she daydreamed about Beck or boiling Tori.

At first, no one came looking for her, and she began to wonder if she was even noticed at all. Was she just a brick wall, unnoticed and unimportant?

She began to fail most of her classes. At this school, she was stereotyped as either a Goth or a punk, and it bothered her, though she didn't show it. She became even meaner and snobbier, and she gained popularity as she was able to ruin the lives of her opponents, so no one wanted to oppose her.

But her mood lifted one day when she found a letter that had been shoved through her mail slot, reading simply, "Beck and Tori= Splitsville."

To the end of her time on earth, she claimed that it was Cat, but she'd never been able to figure out who it was. Disregarding the fact that she had no idea who it was, she walked outside and lay down on the soft grass outside of her house.

Soft footsteps indicated that someone was joining her. She inclined her head to see Beck Oliver. Internally, she sighed, but externally, she stated a simple fact. "You and Tori broke up."

"Yes. You switched schools and ditched m- all of us," Beck told her.

"Are we done stating the obvious?" Jade inquired, raising an eyebrow. "You went out with Tori, therefore, I switched schools. This is obvious. I didn't want to see you with her, so I ran away. It's the way I am. Deal with it."

"I've been dealing with it for two years," he reminded her.

"If I remember correctly, you're the one who came here," she informed him. "You didn't have to if you were tired of dealing with me."

"Honestly," Beck sighed, "I'm not tired of dealing with you. In fact, I want you back."

"Well, you should've thought of that before you cheated on me," Jade replied indifferently. Standing up, she grabbed her bag. "I'm not that easy to play around with, Beck Oliver."

She came back to Hollywood Arts, anyway.

She claimed it was because regular school bored her even more than Hollywood Arts.

From then on, Jade and Beck were shared glances in the hallway, guilty brushes in the classrooms. It was illogical, really- he'd cheated on her, yet there was still something there, despite it all.

It was one day, when she was sitting on a chipped black-painted bench, boots dangling off the edge, that Beck joined her once again. She was staring up at the airplanes that streaked across the sky and wondering how many would crash.

"Jade West," Beck glanced up at her with a smile. "How have you been?"

"Not that it's any of your business, but horrible and bored," Jade stated in a deadpan tone.

Running a hand across his arm (which, she noticed, was the color of creamy caramel), he told her, "I don't mean to be blunt here, but I still love you."

"I mean to be blunt," she smirked, "but I still love you too."

And he kissed her, once again. It was the same old story- Beck-and-Jade- but there was something different this time. Whether it was the fact that they hadn't kissed in what felt like ages, or the fact that they were so utterly right together, Jade didn't know.

All she knew was that Beck was hers again and hopefully he wouldn't try anything this time.

He pulled away from her. "Tori kissed me."

"I might have guessed," she replied dryly, kissing him again.

It was a cliché ending, at least in her opinion. But in the end, she was lucky to have Beck, and at the same time, he was lucky to have her.

And maybe one day they will finish with all of their games.

A/N: This is dedicated to the lovely Jenny. (inescapable scars). Thanks for looking it over and encouraging me to post. Love you, girl :)

Thanks to Ella (EllaBethh) for the lovely prompts, and to Janey (siriusgirlstar) for helping. I love you both.

Please review. This is my longest oneshot outside out of Harry Potter and I'm really nervous about it. I was trying to fill in all the gaps that Victorious leaves- why does Beck move out? Why did Jade get hair streaks and later dye her hair? I don't know if I succeeded, but this is my escape from writer's block, so it's probably not that good.

Thanks for reading. It's a bit long, yes? :D

I have a bit of a Victorious addiction now so if you could review and tell me if I should write more, that would be wonderful, cause I'm considering stopping right here since there aren't many reviews =/

And I'm getting a lot of favorites with no reviews- come on, guys. If you like it enough to favorite, can't you at least say, good job or something? ;) This took me for-ever.