Oh, the Games We Play
for nenelitha123, 2nd place winner of my children of time game :)
-i'm sorry i'm getting this out so late. i was seriously stuck. so, when you have writer's block like no other, you turn to real life experiences! this oneshot is based on my recent times spent with a certain turquoise-eyed boy. i'm really counting on the fact that he probably doesn't read victorious fanfics, because otherwise i just might die of embarrassment.
jade's pov again, a bit ooc. beck's attractiveness is exaggerated some. crusade against cliches was a futurefic, so here's a pastfic. my take on how jade and beck came to be. enjoy.
"Have you seen the cute tall guy?"
I roll my eyes and open my locker. It's our very first day at Hollywood Arts and here is Cat Valentine, already obsessing over a good-looking boy, and here I am, already not giving a damn. It's comical, really.
Just to please my best friend, I reply, "Which cute guy?"
"That cute guy." Cat taps my arm at least fifteen times in succession while not-so-subtly pointing at a boy walking in their direction. And by 'boy', I mean the sexiest slice of man meat I have ever seen. Tall, olive skin, windswept hair. Maybe he is part Indian. Or part Samoan. Mexican? It doesn't even matter. Like, ohmyovaries. He is beautiful.
I am staring. Gawking, to be precise. I'm pretty sure the entire female student population is gawking at this perfection of a teenage boy right now, but I'm not entirely positive because I can't tear my eyes away from him long enough to check.
He walks past us, smiles at me, and stops to chat with some lesser boy with a puppet. The trance is broken and all the girls turn to each other, not-so-inconspicuously talking about him.
"Jade." Cat's eyes are wide and excited. "He just smiled at you."
"I know." I try to calm myself before my heart takes off. Yes, he just smiled at me and now I feel like a puddle of melted Jade flavored jello. BUT, he is so stunning, and the way he walks shows that he knows he is stunning, that more likely than not, he is probably a douchebag.
I sneak a glance. A couple girls walk by him, giggling profusely, and he winks at them. Douchebag theory confirmed.
I'm turned off, a bit.
"Too bad he's not my type." I sigh, turning back to Cat. "He looks like an exotic, hipster, surfer dude. He looks like he is trying too hard."
"But he is attractive," Cat points out.
"That he is."
He is in my class next period. Sikowitz introduces us to his various acting exercises and instructs us to partner up. Immediately, every single girl runs up to him, batting eyelashes and flashing smiles. I give Cat a look and she laughs.
"Yes, smother him in desperation, why don't you," I say to all the girls.
They glare at me viciously, like bitch, please. I reciprocate that look perfectly. Then I hear him chuckling at me. He chuckles at me, I swoon just a tiny bit, and he walks past all the girls to partner up with puppet boy. The entourage of girls groans at their collective rejection. I rejoice in their misery.
Silly girls. Don't they know that the way to a man's heart is to pretend you don't like him at all?
His name is Beck Oliver.
I establish a routine in which I walk to Sikowitz's class slow enough that Beck tries to catch up with me, but just fast enough that he never does.
But one day, I miscalculate my walking and he does catch up with me. His arm brushes mine ever so slightly and I could have squealed. But I'm not a squealer, squealers are an embarrassment to humanity, so I keep my composure and act indifferent.
"So, what was your name again? Porcelain?" He grins at his own joke.
"Jade," I correct him, but I crack a smile. He's cute when he tries to be funny.
We enter Sikowitz class and Beck pulls two orange chairs out, for the two of us. I sit down and reposition my chair so I'm facing the stage. And by 'reposition', I mean use that as an excuse to scoot closer to him—not too much, just enough. Casually, I lean back and cross my ankles, as if sitting next to Beck Oliver is no big deal at all. Whatevs. He swings his chair the opposite direction and sits backwards.
"Why do you like straddling your seat so much?" I ask.
He winks provocatively.
I make a face at him. "You are so full of it, Oliver."
He laughs, guffaws actually, and the sound is charming. I just made Beck guffaw. I hear all the girls in class gasp. I hope they catch flies with their open, gaping mouths. Boy, do they reek of jealousy right now. Oblivious to our little audience, Beck smiles and playfully shoves my shoulder.
And that, ladies, is how you do it. The discreet art of reverse flirtation.
The next day, when I walk to our usual lunch table, Cat is talking animatedly to some dude with dreadlocks.
"Jade, this is André," she introduces this intruder at our table. "He's going to sit with us at lunch. If that's okay."
I slowly sit down and inspect this André. Now that I think of it, he is in my third period music class. He's killer at piano and his singing isn't too shabby either. Seems like a good kid. André squirms under my intense, silent scrutiny. See, this is why I don't have many friends; I always scare them off in the beginning. But he doesn't bolt and remains seated, waiting my verdict.
"Can I have a bite of your burrito?" I ask.
He is taken back by my random question, but lets me snatch his Mexican bundle of deliciousness nonetheless. I like this kid.
Suddenly, there is a hand on my shoulder and a beautiful voice that says, "Hello, Marble."
"Jade," I correct him again, with a mouthful of André's burrito.
Giving my shoulder a squeeze, Beck moves over to greet André, "Hey, man." They exchange a bro-dawg handshake and then Beck leaves for his own lunch table. So Beck and André are buddy-buddy, eh?
I shoot Cat a scheming look, but she only looks confused. I shake my head never mind and turn back to André.
"Yeah, you can sit here," I tell him, handing back his burrito. I hope he understands that is my way of saying we're friends now, because I definitely don't offer it to just anyone.
The entire freshman class is taking a field trip to the Met Theater to watch My Fair Lady. It's a cheap show with a bunch of crappy, leftover cast members and we are assigned a character study, but really, everyone is just happy for a day away from school. Since there are too many students, we had to be split into three different buses. Unfortunately, Cat is not on my bus, so I don't have a bus buddy. Fortunately, Beck is on my bus and his sidekick puppet boy Robbie is not, which means I might get to sit next to Beck or something.
I walk onto the bus, scanning the seats. All excitement drains when I see Beck sitting next to Lorrie Bale, laughing together. Lorrie? Seriously? She's a giggling, high-pitched wannabe with anger issues. What can Beck possibly see in that bitchy blonde fiasco?
When I approach them, Beck turns and sees me. He has the aisle seat, so he holds out his fist for a knuckle bump. He doesn't even call me a false name and I don't get to correct him. What is this madness? In response, I give him the most apathetic look I can muster and walk by, leaving him and his knuckles brutally hangin'.
André is sitting behind Beck and Lorrie (blech), so I plop down beside him."What a whore," I mutter, glaring at the back of her head.
André follows my gaze to see who I was talking about, and then nods in agreement. "She's been in my class since the fourth grade," he says. "In middle school, we called her the Cranky Skank."
The Cranky Skank. HA. That makes me feel slightly better.
After we pull out of the school parking lot and onto the road, conversations start to die down. We all put in our headphones to listen to our pearpods and the whole bus is silent. Except for Lorrie and her obnoxious laughter. Lord have mercy, Cranky Skank will not shut up.
I turn my volume up to max.
A hand reaches out and pulls out my left earpiece. That hand is connected to a slim forearm, which is connected to a plaid-shirt, which is connected to Beck Oliver. "What song are you listening to, Ivory?"
"Jade," I correct him, once more.
He grins. I melt.
I didn't exactly answer his question about my music, though, so he takes the liberty of reaching for my pearpod, which was on my lap, but it slid, so now it is on the seat, between my legs. In other words, Beck's fingers grazed my crotch.
"You listen to Skillet? I love Skillet!" he exclaims.
He is leaning so far in his seat in front of me, he just might fall into the aisle. Just as I am about to tell him, he gets out of his seat and scoots onto mine, squeezing me between him and André.
"Sorry," Beck whispers into my ear, "but that Lorrie chick's laugh is so annoying."
My spirits soared and I wanted to do a victory dance. Take that, Cranky Skank.
Speak of the devil, the Cranky Skank looks around, wondering where her beloved Beck had gone. Quickly, he sticks my earpiece, which he had previously stolen, into his ear, and we bob our heads together to the beat. When Cranky Skank spots us, her face crumples and her eyes are filled with envy and rage.
"He doesn't like you. No one likes you," I say. You know, just in case she needed the clarification.
She grimaces and I flash her a devilish smile. Beck is mine, honey. Jade: one, Cranky Skank: big fat zero.
But with three of us squished on that two-person seat, we are all kinds of uncomfortable. Too many limbs, all over the place. After some acrobatic readjustment, André has his legs propped up and pushing into Cranky Skank's seat, I have my legs swung over Beck's legs, his arm is around my shoulders, and my head is basically up against his chest.
He smells like Saturday afternoons.
It's dark in the theater.
Beck's knee knocks against mine. He whispers an apology, but he doesn't move his leg. I don't move mine, either.
Beck starts eating lunch with Cat, André, and me. Of course, puppet boy followed him. And so all of a sudden, there are five of us. I am surrounded by my new circle of friends, and surprisingly, I'm not suffocating.
One day, Cat invites all of us to go swimming in her new pool, since her family just finished remodeling their backyard.
My dad drops me off and Cat's brother answers the door. He tries to hit on me, like he always does, before Cat shoos him away and leads me to the backyard. The boys are already in the pool, playing a game of lop-sided volleyball.
"Hi, Glass!" Beck shouts, waving excitedly.
"Jade," I correct him.
Setting my towel down on a chair, I slip out of my dress. I could feel Beck's gaze on my back as I pull the dress over my head to reveal my black bikini. Before self-consciousness could eat me up, I walk down the pool steps and submerge myself in the cool water. Puppet boy is swimming to the volleyball and let me tell you, there are some people that should not be allowed to go shirtless.
"Robbie," I wince. "You are so white, it hurts to look at you in the sun."
Beck snickers at my bluntness. He swims over to me and snakes his arms around me without a word.
"What is this for?" I ask, quirking an eyebrow. As if I'm not enjoy his body's extreme closeness right now, no big deal. Whatevs.
He releases me and shrugs. I note that his skin is a nice golden tan, glistening from the drops of pool water, and it most certainly does not hurt to look at him in the sun. Mm-hmm.
We decide to have a who-can-hold-their-breath-the-longest-underwater contest because apparently, we are six years old. Cat counts off and on three, we all take gulps of air before dunking our heads under the pool water.
Suddenly, Beck's arms are around me again, but this time he is furiously tickling my sides, sabotaging my chance at owning this contest. Reflexively, I elbow his stomach and wriggle out of his reach. But he grabs onto my waist firmly, and my efforts only result in sending both of us deeper under water in a whirlwind frenzy.
We're the first two to come up for air. I call him a cheater, he sticks his tongue out at me, and I splash water into his pretty face.
"Don't you dare splash me, or I will bite you," I threaten when he positions his hands to do just that.
He doesn't heed by caution, only mischievously grinning and pushing his hands forward so a freaking tsunami hits me. I wipe the excess water off my face and give him a murderous glare. You don't understand. I absolutely hate being splashed.
Cat and Robbie surface simultaneously and then André, a few seconds later. Thus, André is deemed victor. My ire rises some more; I should have won. Stupid, douchebag Beck Oliver totally—
His lips abruptly smack against mine and he's kissing me. Beck is kissing me. It's completely irrelevant and spontaneous and he tastes like chlorine and now I'm confused. Part of me is melting into a puddle of Jade flavored jello again, and part of me wants to shove him off because dude, he just rudely cut off my train of thought and I'm still mad at him here.
"Ouch." He pulls back and puts a hand up to his lips. "Did you just bite me?"
"I warned you."
I avoid Beck at school the next week. When he calls me Opal during passing periods, I don't even bother correcting him.
Not because I'm still mad at him for causing me to lose the stupid contest and for splashing me—I'm over that, obviously—but because he kissed me. He kissed me. And that's one step away from him asking me out, asking me to be his girlfriend, asking me to go steady. That frightens me.
I never expected a relationship out of all this, it was just a silly game. I only ever wanted to get his attention, get him to flirt with me, make the other girls jealous to their stomachs. He wasn't supposed to start liking me.
He is an exotic, hipster, surfer dude with godly looks and womanizing charms. I am just a girl who wears too much eyeliner and has an irrational love for scissors, that's all. Boys like him don't fall for girls like me. We clash.
I don't recognize his voice at first because he's never actually called me by my real name before. I turn around and there's Beck, standing with his hands in his pockets all suave and whatnot. He looks as uncertain as I feel.
"You called me Jade."
Our conversing skills are quite spectacular, if I do say so myself.
Another three awkward days pass before I finally decide that avoiding is for simpletons and ignoring is for pansies and I am neither a simpleton nor a pansy. No, I'm the type of girl who faces problems headstrong, regardless how infuriatingly handsome said problem is.
I track Beck down after school. He is standing by the vending machine among a group of his admirers, all of them drinking sodas and thinking they're just so cool. I barge into the group of girls and turn to Beck. "A word," I say, without greeting, before grabbing his wrist and dragging him away.
"Why did you kiss me?" I ask the second we're out of earshot from his pesky following.
His response is ready. "Because I like you."
"And why do you like me?"
Here, I scoff. "This is Hollywood Arts. Everyone here is 'different'."
"Well, I don't want everyone. I just want you."
Damn it, this boy is smooth. If he continues to deflect every single one of my arguments like this, I won't have any ammo left. He'll deconstruct my entire being.
"Have you ever considered that maybe I don't want you?" I challenge.
"Oh, you want me."
Cocky, arrogant douchebag. Gah. He sits down on a nearby bench and beckon me to sit next to him. After I am seated, he holds my hand and inspects my perplexed expression as a thousand and one conflicting thoughts run through my head.
"But you're a free spirit," I say. "I don't think I can hold onto you."
"Only if you choose to let me go," he quips.
I sigh. "You really want to do this?"
He perks up now that I am finally giving in. "Yes. There is a Jade West-shaped hole right in here," he says dramatically, pointing to his heart, "so please, do me a favor and be my girlfriend."
"I'm crazy possessive," I warn him. "I will want to be with you at all times, I will expect to be the first person you tell anything and everything, I will antagonize every girl who lays a finger on you, and I will most definitely not be pleasant."
"I gave up on pleasant a long time ago."
Before I can figure out if that was an insult or not, he kisses me again. And I melt.