The Reason Why

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JadeAndré

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in which André falls in love and Jade is oblivious

"It might be crazy that someone could change me, but no matter what it is I have to do I'm not afraid to try."

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The first time he really noticed her, she was broken.

Mascara stained her perfectly pale face and she was sobbing so loud that it could possibly be heartbreaking if she weren't Jade West. She stared at him for a moment, wiping her black mascara on her pale hands.

Maybe she hadn't done anything nice for him, but because he was André and he was reliable and nice, he let her in. Crossing his dark arms, he asked, "What are you doing here?"

"Beck broke up with me," she sobbed, and for a moment in time he saw what everyone else saw- someone with only self interest, a little selfish brat that wanted to always get what she could not have. Then the moment passed, and he saw below the surface to the truly hurt girl beneath.

And because he was André and he was nice to everyone, he opened the door. She walked in, still rubbing the makeup from under her eyes. He stared at her, so confused. "Why are you here?"

She had never done a thing for him, he knew. He had no idea why he was even letting her in. But as she stared at him, one tooth sinking into her lip in an inviting way, saying breathily, "You were always there for everyone else… I thought that you might do the same for me," he knew that she was staying there for a while.

"What do you want?" he asked, his eyes tracing her, trying to figure out her motivations.

"Comfort," was all he could make out as she collapsed into his arms. He put his arms around her, encircling her tiny little waist, and if she wasn't Jade West he might have thought her to be fragile, easily breakable.

As she cried, he held her close, not even bothering to think about the fact that she was Beck's, always Beck's, and there was something oh-so-wrong about this situation but yet something oh-so-right.

For a second, he saw her for who she was- Jade without the Beck-and-Jade, just a broken teenage girl with problems like any other.

He wondered why he'd never seen beyond her icy, transparent walls before.

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The second time he really noticed her, she was singing.

He was walking up and down the halls of Hollywood Arts, as if it was a jungle to be explored, when he heard a lovely voice coming from somewhere near. Confused, he slowly opened the door to the auditorium, slinking in and leaning up against the doorway.

His eyes fell upon Jade, up on the stage, singing as if her life depended on it. She didn't seem to notice him, nor did he want her to. Her singing was beautiful, filling the entire auditorium.

But when her eyes fell upon him, she stopped abruptly. "André? What are you doing here?"

"Don't stop singing, girl," he advised her, walking up to the stage. "Or, if you're really that self-conscious about singing in front of me, I'll play piano and you sing."

"You will not," she replied haughtily, but he walked up onto the stage, ignoring her protests.

Sitting down on the stool, he asked stubbornly, "What song?"

"André," she began icily, "First of all, I did not ask you to come up here, and second-"

A grin spreading across his face, he repeated stubbornly, "What song?"

She sighed, and it was as if she was giving up on protests. "I… can you play Song2You? I know it's your song and all, but I've always wanted to try singing it, even if it is unequivocally cheesy. Tell anyone and you die."

Laughing, he merely nodded at her and began to play. Memories filled his head- memories of simpler times, when Jade was Jade-and-Beck, and they were all dressed in ridiculous costumes, dancing at a child's birthday party. Memories of the time when he'd played it for the record producers, Tori singing backup, his eyes on Jade the whole time. Jade was happy back then, kissing Beck, but her eyes had met André's and he'd considered that maybe he was singing the song to her.

Then the intro stopped and she was singing, her beautiful voice filling his ears again. "I don't wear designer clothes and I don't go to designer schools. But I know I can make you happy, baby.'

For a moment, he let himself dream. He dreamed that she was singing the song to him, that Beck didn't exist and it was Jade-and-André, the chill boy and the icy girl, sinking into a pool of ice. As he dreamed, her voice grew louder. "I'll give you my song, these words to you. Sing you what I feel, my soul is true."

His eyes met hers for a second, cool brown against dark blue, as they sang the chorus in unison. "I don't have the world, can't give it to you, no, but all that I can do is give this song to you."

She sighed as he began the next verse, her eyes darkening with the memories of her past. Rather than singing, she shook her head, his notes fading away into her icy silence. She glanced over at him. "I can't do this," she stated simply. "I would say I'm sorry, but I'm really not."

Crossing her arms, she walked off, her heels clicking against the tiles. The noise echoed in his ears, taunting him with the fact that he wasn't good enough for her, that he was second to Beck- he'd always been second to Beck in her twisted brain. He had no idea why he wasn't okay with that.

Shaking his head, he walked off, head still spinning with thoughts and confusion.

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The third time he really noticed her, Tori was trying to rope them all into a mass trip, a weekend away at the beach. Jade didn't agree at first, much to André's dismay. He could understand why- Beck had agreed to go already, and he was bringing along his new cheerleader girlfriend, some pretty pigtailed girl with long, silky hair. But André didn't really want to go if she didn't go- Tori had gotten back together with a now incredibly humbled Ryder, and Cat and Robbie had finally come to their senses, so they were now dating as well. Trina had a date and thankfully wasn't going, leaving him as the only single if Jade didn't come.

He decided stupidly that his best bet was to reason with Jade, but he'd forgotten how incredibly stubborn she was.

"No," she said as soon as he entered the music room that she'd been hiding in for hours on end.

"You don't even know what I'm here for, girl," he reminded her, shocked that she knew him so well. "I could be here to ask about what you want for dinner."

"First," she hissed, turning to stare at him, "I would never allow you to have dinner with me. Second, I know that you're here to bug me about going to the beach, and the answer is simple. I'm not going."

"But Jade," he sighed. "Look, I know that I don't usually ask people for favors, but I do not want to go there and be the lone dog with all the couples sucking face."

"Lone dog?" she quirked an eyebrow at him.

"That was not the point," André crossed his arms. "But do you remember that time a… a few weeks ago when you came to my house and-"

"Blackmailing me, are we, now?" Jade muttered, mostly to herself.

He threw up his hands. "Of course not!"

"Impressive," Jade responded, crossing her arms across her chest. "Didn't know you had it in you."

"Look," André sighed, tossing his hands uselessly to his side. "I'm not going to blackmail you, because that's more your style. But I don't know, if you don't go, it'll just be all the cute couples and me, so I'll have to end up sitting by myself with only a bottle of chocolate milk for company-"

"Don't freak," Jade examined her fingernails before looking up at him. "I'll go. It's whatever."

"I'm not freaking, but—" he cut himself off and stared dubiously at her. "Wait, you're serious?"

"Deadly," she deadpanned. "Do you think I should paint my fingers a darker color or keep them this light?"

His eyes travel to her dark black fingernails, shining in the light that flooded through the window. "Does it get any darker? Hang on, wait a second- I didn't come here to talk about your fingernails! You're seriously going to go to the beach for the weekend with us?"

"I told you already that I am," she screwed the cap back onto her bottle of fingernail polish. "Now, if you're not here to give me advice on how I'm supposed to look even hotter than I already do, I'm leaving. I have better things to waste my time on than you."

"Do you, now?" he laughed. But, serious as always, she scooped her bag up, flipping her long brown hair as she walked out on him once again. She was the opposite of him- the serious side to his fun-loving self. At times, he thought that he wouldn't have it any other way.

He had to wonder about her, about how he'd been able to convince her when no one else had. Confused, he just sighed, turning to the piano that always stood in the middle of the room, his head swimming. At first, he thought that his predicament would be fun to write a song about, but then he decided he was in no state to write.

Instead, he moved his fingers swiftly across the keys, starting off the only song that he thought fit his situation nicely. "You might be crazy but have I told you lately that I love you? You're the only reason that I'm not afraid to fly. And it's crazy that someone could change me, but no matter what it is I have to do I'm not afraid to try…"

His words mixed in with the reality that maybe, somewhere along the trail of insults and hair dyes, he'd developed something like feelings for the scary teenage girl.

That reality hit him harder than any other.

"And you need to know that you're the reason why."

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The fourth time he really noticed her, she was sitting outside in a thunderstorm at the beach.

"Hey, where's Jade?" Beck asked, and the expression on his face indicated that he actually legitimately cared about her, despite the fact that a jealous brunette cheerleader was clinging to his right arm.

Everyone glanced around, most of them not really seeming to care, Robbie and Ryder especially. But the worry lines above André's brows increased. "Where would she be? It's a thunderstorm."

"Who cares?" Ryder muttered, his eyes still on Tori. "Freak she is, she's probably outside in it, hoping to get struck by lightning. Maybe she'll turn into a vampire bat or something."

"Ryder!" Tori exclaimed, but even she was laughing.

Not really amused by Ryder's idiotically sadistic sense of humor, André stood up. "I'm going to look for her. See you guys. If I get struck by lightning, tell my grandma that I love her."

"Wait," Cat chimed in, standing up. "Why are you going out in a lightning storm for Jade? I thought-" she let a giggle escape. "Oh, never mind. Have fun and tell Jade I said hi!"

Shaking his head, he grabbed a plastic umbrella, not listening to the protests that came from behind him. Once he stepped outside, he shivered involuntarily- the cold, wet rain was not right for a boy wearing only a thin jacket. But he remembered his mission- Jade- and kept walking despite himself, his footsteps leaving imprints in the sand.

The first thing he saw when the lightning illuminated the sky was her footprints, still present in the all-revealing sand. The second thing he saw when the sky lit up was her.

Despite the fact that he could really only see her when the lightning flashed, he still thought that she was overwhelmingly beautiful, her feet splayed out on the sand as she let the tide crash over her. As he approached, determined not to make any noise, she turned around abruptly. "You're laughingly bad at being silent, André Harris."

"How did you know it was me?" he asked, laughing as he took a seat beside her. He decided to forget the fact that wet sand was nasty and he was wearing his new jeans. With her, it was all about taking risks and forgetting, right?

"Well, there's one reason that stands out above the others- you're the only one who really cares," she replied.

Looking out at the horizon, at the point when the dark sky met the water, he turned to her, hearing the pure insecurity in his voice and having the urge to reach out. For once, he acted on it, his strong arm wrapping around her shoulders. He decided not to respond to the first part of her statement as he remembered how her 'friends' had been back in the beach house. Instead, he asked the question that was pressing at his mind: "Why are you out here?"

"I like sitting on the beach during thunderstorms," she replied simply, dipping one of her black-painted toes into the salty water. "I know that it's weird, no need to tell me. I hate when people state the obvious."

"What don't you hate?" he replied jokingly. Taking off one shoe, he dipped his toes into the water.

"You're not going to go back inside?" she asked in mock surprise. "I would've thought that this would be too weird for you, not to mention dangerous. You could get electrocuted!"

"I could, couldn't I?" André grinned over at her. "But going inside would mean that I'm boring, and we can't have that, can we?"

She simply shook her head. Thunder roared around them, reminding them once again of how much danger they were in. But it was not enough to scare him off.

"You know," André suggested, looking over at her in a sort of suggestive way, "I've always wanted to kiss someone in a thunderstorm."

She looked over at him, her face twisted. He thought absently that she was probably thinking that he was screwing with her mind. So, coolly as always, she replied, "You've got to be kidding me."

"Actually," he smirked at her, "for once, I'm not."

Then he leaned over, his lips pressing against hers. In that second, all he can feel is Jade- her ice, the feel of her against him, her beauty in the moonlight, and he thinks of how he's totally screwed now. She jerks away from him, staring at him with an open mouth.

"I don't know what your problem is," she whispers, her voice wavering, "but I'm not doing this. I- I can't."

The thunder rumbles as she walks away, and then the sky lights up, her dark figure trailing away in the distance.

And oh, he's so screwed, isn't he?

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The fifth time he really notices her was their last night at the beach. Everyone seemed ready to leave, almost excited to get back home. That was, everyone but Jade West.

The sun was setting in the sky, and the shadows of the day were fading away. Beck was dancing with his girlfriend. Jade's constantly changing eyes didn't move from Beck. As Beck got closer to the thin teenager, he could feel the jealousy emanating from her every feature.

Maybe she finally knew how he felt.

He walked over to her. With a stiff nod, he greeted her. "Jade."

"André," she stared uncomfortably at the ground, not knowing what to say before she looked up. "Look, I'm- I'm sorry about the other night, all right? I don't know what got into me. Now, that's obviously what you're here for, so can you just leave me alone before I strangle you?"

The fact that she couldn't actually read him well anymore made him want to laugh, but instead, he tentatively took a step closer. "Actually, that's not what I'm here for, girl. You don't look so good."

"I always look good," she declared impatiently, crossing her arms. "I don't honestly know what you're talking about, so if you could kindly walk away—"

"Oh, you know exactly what I'm talking about," André spat. "You remember the kiss last night, the time we sang together. You remember that you came to me first after Beck broke up with you. Look, I've dealt with your games for long enough, can't you just gain some feelings and realize that maybe Beck's not the best person in the world for you?"

"Oh, and who's the best person in the world for me?" Jade hissed back, her arms crossing across her chest. "You?"

"Yes," he replied, always being the no-nonsense type of boy.

"You're pushing it," she hissed.

Rolling his eyes, he told her, "Am I now?"

Then, shockingly, her lips collided against his once again. Everyone was far too preoccupied to notice, to his dismay, because he had a fairly good idea of what would happen next. Jade would pull away, inform him that it was a mistake and that it will never happen again. Then she would run away, possibly to go find a private area to mull things over.

He also knew that it probably would not happen again.

He was right (wasn't he always, though?).

She pulled away, staring at him, her eyes murky with guilt despite the fact that she was supposedly single. "That shouldn't have happened."

Then she muttered something like an insincere apology, dashing off into the distance. Hurt and damaged, he headed back to where the rest of the party was dancing.

He danced with Tori, but there was no lightning between the two of them and all he could feel was the painful sensation of missing Jade.

Absently, he wondered when Jade got such a stronghold on him.

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The first time she didn't notice him was a few weeks later, when all of the drama had blown over. He'd gained a new almost-girlfriend, a girl with a sweet disposition to contradict Jade's iciness and someone that he apparently should have gotten with ages ago, but what she didn't know was that she had nothing on the Queen of Ice herself. He was kissing her by the lockers when she walked in, boy-toy on her arm.

Jade West was back with Beck Oliver once again.

She blended together with Beck once again, and in his mind, they were then Beck-and-Jade and he didn't know what to do. He left Toriwith a simple insincere apology as he dashed out to think things over.

What he didn't notice was that he was doing the same thing to Tori.

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They met again a few years later. She didn't look much different, her brown hair still streaked with blue at random intervals, but all he could think was that the nametag pinned to her shirt bore a different name than the one of the girl he almost loved: Jade Oliver.

The wedding band on his finger suddenly felt a lot heavier as he stared at her, taking her in.

She didn't notice him and he decided to pretend that he didn't notice her. As she walked off, her shoulder brushed his in a discreet way.

"Sorry," they apologized insincerely at the same moment, and as her icy eyes met his, all he could remember was why he loved her.

His wedding band dropped to the ground, and she bent to pick it up.

"You owe me, André Harris," she whispered as she stood back up, mischief flickering in her eyes.

The last time he really noticed her, she was forbidden.

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"And you need to know that you're the reason why."

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A/N: Oh gosh, I don't even know. My apologies for the horrible quality and writing. I don't know what came over me, but the majority of this was written in one night, so really, I don't… I don't know.

JadeAndré is my guilty pleasure ship like, forever, because they're so cute. I wanted to write a fic for them because they're awesome and hardly ever written.

Blame and I suppose dedication goes to Ella (EllaBethh) because she decided to bring up the fact that I should write JadeAndré and Carlos couldn't resist. And to all the awesome people who ship JadeAndre, because you know, well, not a lot of people do.

I hope you enjoy. Remember to read and review, as it encourages me muchly. Please don't favorite without reviewing, I do send PMs.

Credit for lyrics goes to the song "You're the Reason" by Victoria Justice (I recommend listening to the song; it fits the story so perfectly) and "Song2You" by Leon Thomas II.

Open-ended ending is open-ended, I do realize. Thought it appropriate.