sometimes it lasts in love
sometimes it lasts in love
and sometimes it hurts instead
- someone like you, adele
She catches sight of blue sky, suspended around her, shining down on her face, reflecting in her blue eyes. With a smile, she lays flat, allowing herself to take in the sunshine, to bathe in it. For a moment, she feels content.
Then someone interrupts. "Hey, girl, what are you doing?"
Her sunglasses falling onto her nose, she sits up. She scrutinizes the boy and wrinkles up her nose. "Bathing in the sun. Go away."
"I like the sun," he says brightly, his face alight with childish happiness. "Can I lay in the sun with you?"
"No," she replies promptly. She already doesn't like him, and she's only just met him. With a frown, she informs him, "I don't like people."
He laughs, a deeper laugh than she'd imagined, and her eyes widen. Not noticing, he tells her, "I don't like people either. Except pretty girls. You're pretty."
She feels her cheeks turning red, and she glances down, unwilling to let him see that she's blushing. "You think I'm pretty?"
"Yes, you are pretty," he tells her simply, and without another word spoken, he sits down beside her. "I'm Beck."
When she glances over to find her vision overwhelmed by caramel brown skin and gorgeous eyes, she doesn't protest. Five-and-a-half year old Jade just turns her head the other way, playing with the ring on her finger. "I'm Jade."
After the simplest of exchanges, there are no other words spoken. She finds that she likes it that way.
Somewhere in the midst of the heat, she dozes off, and when she awakens, she finds her head on his chest.
It's sort of soft but hard at the same time, and she's too tired to move it, so she just keeps it there.
Later, she hears her mother come out to fetch her, but her mother's footsteps halt just before she reaches Jade (and Beck).
"How cute," her mother coos. "Come on, let's leave the two lovebirds be."
Pointedly, she ignores them. She likes to think that it is because she is above such childish sentiments, but it could also be because her heart is sort of fluttering and Beck's chest is very warm.
"What's your favorite color?" he asks her one day during first grade, sifting through his box of crayons.
"Black," she responds after a beat, taking the black crayon from between his fingers quickly.
His eyebrow creases, and he stares at her. "Black isn't a color. It's when color's not there!"
"I don't care," she responds, pressing the crayon to the paper and rubbing it back and forth. The explosion of black on the paper soothes her, and she feels it is safe to speak. "Then how come I'm coloring the paper black?"
He hesitates for a second, eyes tracing the paper, before his eyes meet hers in amusement. "Someone's smart."
"Not you," she retorts, but the corners of her mouth turn up in amusement.
"Are we fighting over here?" the teacher exclaims, throwing her hands over her mouth and running over to them.
"Of course not, Miss," Beck tells her smoothly, batting his big brown eyes in innocence.
Satisfied, the teacher walks away, but she keeps one eye on the two of them. Without warning of any sort, Beck leans over and presses a kiss to her cheek, only pulling away when the teacher lights up and walks away.
"What was that?" she hisses, wiping her cheek rapidly.
"Well," he says, laughing out loud, "I thought that would show her we're not fighting."
"You're probably all germy and gross," she retorts, sticking out her tongue and resisting the urge to laugh, because really, it's not funny.
He smiles back at her, a smile more real than any she remembers seeing before. She smiles back, a legitimate smile, more real than any that she's ever given before.
Under the table, she feels his fingers slip through hers. It's a pleasant sensation.
"I don't like dodgeball," she informs the teachers, crossing her arms across her chest. "You just throw balls at people! How is that fun?"
"If you'd try it," the teacher says, taking a deep breath as if to make herself calm down, "I'm sure that you would love it."
"Doubtful," Jade retorts, tone icy.
It's about at that moment that Beck cuts in, grabbing Jade's hand in a way that makes her want to punch him. But she follows him anyway, because being with him is better than being with the teachers any day. Once they are off at a far enough distance, she hisses, "What are you doing?"
"We're going to play dodgeball," he informs her, his face the picture of innocence. "I'm pretty sure you know how to play- just don't get hit—"
He's cut off as someone that neither of them knows well launches a ball at their team, thus starting the game. Unsure of what to do or how to play, Jade just stands there for a moment, absorbing the action. After a few minutes, she picks up on the general idea. If she wants to win the ball, she has to throw balls at the other team.
As she picks up a ball, a smirk sliding onto her face, she thinks that she might be able to get used to this game.
Mustering up all of her (almost) eight-year-old strength, she launches the ball, smirking as it hits a boy and makes him double over. She quickly becomes immersed in the spirit of the game, happily tossing balls and watching as people express their pain.
But then she sees a ball coming straight toward her. A strangled noise comes up out of her throat, because after this, she'll surely be out. There are no second chances.
Then suddenly, she's pushed backward, not enough to knock her off of her feet but enough to move her out of the way. Once she manages to make sense of what's happened, she sees Beck shaking his head and walking off the court, dusting off his pants.
He'd gotten out for her.
She shakes her head and launches herself immediately back into the game, trying not to think of him. Her team ends up winning the game, but when it's over, she rushes immediately over to Beck.
"Uh, thanks," she tells him cautiously, not sure of what else to say.
"It was really no problem," he flashes her a smile.
All she can think is that she sort of wants to melt—well, she would, if she were that girly, at least.
One day, she finds herself at the school piano. Though she doesn't play, somehow, the sight of the piano is comforting to her. She picks up one of the music books and begins to thumb through it thoughtfully, thinking of what songs she could sing.
She comes upon one of her favorite songs. Though she knows it's probably childish to still want to sing songs from Aladdin, she honestly doesn't really care. She stares at the notes until they all blend together and bites her lip. No, there will be no piano playing; she doesn't want to mess with the blurry notes.
Shutting the book, she begins her song a cappella, her voice soft at first but growing louder as she begins to sing. There is no need for the book any longer; she has the song memorized.
"I can show you the world. Shining, shimmering, splendid. Tell me princess, now when did you last let your heart decide? I can open your eyes. Take you wonder by wonder. Over, sideways and under, on a magic carpet ride."
But as the chorus begins, she finds another voice chiming in with hers. "A whole new world, a new fantastic point of view. No one to tell us no or where to go or say we're only dreaming."
Little Beck walks over to her, a smile splitting his face as he sits down beside her, still singing. His voice is in perfect harmony with hers. "A whole new world, a whole new place I never knew. But when I'm way up here, it's crystal clear. That now I'm in a whole new world with you."
As they fade off, staring at each other, Jade asks quietly, "What are you doing here?"
"I didn't know you sang," he replies, staring at her.
"I didn't know you sang either, your point being?" she hisses back.
"Your singing is good, Princess Jasmine," he teases her, a smirk playing at his young lips.
Her frown deepens. "Don't call me that."
He leans in quickly and presses his lips to her cheek, leaving them there to linger for a moment before he pulls away, smiling softly at her. She glares at him, feeling even more embarrassed. "Girls have cooties, you know. All the boys in class say that!"
"Well, you don't have cooties because you're pretty," he tells her.
"Maybe you have cooties!" she continues relentlessly.
"I don't have cooties," he grins at her. "I just like you."
She thinks she feels her heartbeat increase again, and she turns away so that he does not see her smile.
Her parents announce that they're divorcing and that Jade will be moving to Hollywood with her mother when she is in fourth grade. Obviously, she does not take the news well, but there is nothing that she can do. They announce that they are so done with their marriage.
She wonders if they mean that they are so done with her and her petty troubles. The whole year, she's been getting in fights and screwing things up for the teachers in class. Sometimes, she even steals lunch money.
She tells Beck under a swingset and hopes that the sky will swallow both of them up.
He chokes, staring at her as if he doesn't fathom what she's saying. "You're… you're leaving me?"
His tone implies what he doesn't want to say, that she's leaving him.
"Yeah," she says, turning away from him. She does not want to see the pain in his eyes. After all, they're only children. They'll both get over it, move on with life, never see each other again, and that thought should not bring her sadness. After all, she's only nine and therefore much too young to be having anything with friendship with this boy- not that she would want to have more, anyway.
"I don't want you to leave," he tells her solemnly.
She nods her head because she already knows this, but it's sort of nice to hear him say it. Quietly, she hangs her head, her eyes tracing the ground. "I don't want to leave."
"Hey," he walks over to her, his frame scrawnier than she remembers, almost vulnerable. The urge to just punch him in the stomach so that he won't miss her washes over her, but she resists. He leans forward and presses his lips to her forehead.
His lips are slightly slimy and he smells like Cheerios, but for that one moment, she allows him to rest there. Then she asks sharply, "What?"
"You wanna know something?" he asks, but he doesn't stop to let her respond. "You're my best friend," he continues, his voice fading into the noise around her, yet sharp at the same time. She bites her lip, letting the truth wash over her.
There's really only one thing she can say.
"You're my best friend, too," she tells him sincerely. "You're the only one who tries."
He takes her hand. Warmth fills her at once. Together, they sit on the swingset, watching the sun set in the sky and knowing it's the end of their time together.
"Do me a favor?" he asks her, his voice far too mature for his nine years of life.
"Yeah?" she asks, looking over at him.
"Never forget me," he tells her, his voice more serious than she's ever heard it. Really, they shouldn't be so sad and mature, because they're only nine, but she is pretty sure they've been through more than most nine year olds have.
"I promise," she says sincerely, giving his hand a small squeeze.
They watch the sun set.
In the morning, she is gone.
"Hello," a girl with brunette curls says to her, her face more optimistic than any Jade's seen in a while. Really, they're in fifth grade- she has no idea what this girl has to be optimistic about.
Biting her lip, she greets her cautiously. "Hi." She doesn't understand why a kind seeming girl would be talking to a lonely newcomer like herself, but she doesn't question it.
"I'm Cat," the girl says with a sweet giggle. "Who are you? Are you new?"
"Yes, I'm Jade," Jade retorts, trying not to be too icy. "And yes, I'm new. Do you- have you gone here for a while?"
Cat's face falls. "What's that mean?"
"Are you new or old?" Jade attempts to phrase it more simply.
"Oh, this is my second year here," Cat giggles softly. "People say that I'm sort of strange, though! I don't know why!"
"Can't imagine," Jade remarks darkly, sarcasm oozing through her teeth.
But she finds that, despite Cat's weirdness, Cat is one of the few people that she does not hate at this new school. Cat is basically the optimism to her pessimism, and her innocence makes up for Jade's constant insults and negativity. They become best friends of a sort.
But at times, when the nights are cold, Jade finds herself missing her old best friend and the canvas of stars more than ever.
The truth is, at her new school, the majority of people are cowardly. They shy away from Jade with a certain amount of fearful respect, and for the most part, she returns the favor for them. But at times, she wishes that they would muster up some courage and try to strike up a conversation with her. Honestly, she feels lonely the majority of the time, and that makes her feel as if she is not happy.
She eats lunch with Cat and pretends that everything is all right.
Her home life continues to worsen. Her father ignores her for the most part, unless she brings home either failing or perfect grades. Then he will either yell at her or tell her that her grade is good, but perhaps she could have done better. It gets stressful, to say the least- she's only in fifth grade, after all.
But she doesn't tell anyone. She just keeps the weight of the world on her ten-year-old shoulders, pretending as if everything is just fine- as if her life has not fallen apart, as if she's happy, when really, she's not. She misses her old town and she mainly misses Beck, even if she would never admit it to anyone, not even Cat.
She realizes one good thing, though. She realizes that she will never be able to break her promise to him. As depressing as it may sound, it's true.
She lives from day-to-day and hopes that one day, she will find a way out.
The next year, she decides that she needs an escape. So, at a time when she hopes that no one will be there, she slips away to the music room.
She hears someone singing when she enters, though. Cat Valentine stands at the front, pressing random keys on the piano and singing at the top of her lungs. And, while she may not be skilled at the piano, her singing is incredible.
"Jade," she says happily as soon as she sees Jade enter, her hands falling from the piano. "What are you doing? I didn't know you liked music!"
I didn't know you liked anything, Jade adds internally, faking a smile. She stuffs her hands in her pockets, crossing her legs. "I didn't know that you could sing."
"Yeah, I like singing!" Cat exclaims, her face bright. "Why? Do you like singing too?"
"Start singing a song," Jade commands, giving no explanation.
Just like they're in a cheesy Disney movie in which pretty little Cat is Ariel, she bursts into Part of Your World. It might seem unexpected to most people, but Jade knows all of the words. After all, she was once an innocent little girl.
Nervously, she chimes in, hoping that her voice will be strong enough to match Cat's loud one. The words, verses, and harmonies all blend together, and she has to fight to keep her voice steady.
But as the song goes on, she finds her voice comes more naturally and stronger. She belts out the lyrics, feeling nearly as confident as Cat looks. The two of them harmonize and smile, feeling like real performers for the first time.
As their voices fade away, she manages to choke out breathily, "So, do you think I like to sing?"
"You sing really… wow," Cat's eyes are bright. "Let's sing another song! I can never find people to sing with me!"
Laughing for the first time in what feels like years, Jade just nods her head, loosening herself up again as she begins to sing the next song. Her body is moving, and though she's only eleven, she feels like a superstar for once. Her laughter blends in with the lyrics, and she swears that for once, she can see the silver lining on the clouds.
And hey, if this is what makes her happy, then who's to stop her?
Once their song finishes, Cat turns to her friend, excitement all over her face. "Look, Jade, have you heard about the school musical?"
A scowl makes its way onto Jade's face. "No, actually, I haven't." Either no one bothered to tell her, they were scared of her, or they simply thought that she wouldn't be interested- any way, she hadn't been informed of this opportunity. "What do you mean?"
"The school puts on a musical every year," Cat gushes, spinning a little bit. "You know, with singing and acting and stuff! The auditions are next week."
The smile spreads across Jade's face.
"The show is tomorrow," Cat gushes a few months later, jumping up and down. "How excited are you?"
Not excited enough to start dancing, Jade wants to retort, but she barely resists. Her heart is pounding harder than usual, though, and she bites her lip. She looks at Cat with worried eyes. "What if I mess up?"
Normally, she's not insecure. Normally, she's Jade and she's the strongest, most aggressive girl in the school. But this is not a normal situation.
Jade West, school intimidator, is about to play the lead in a fluffy little school play, and she's going to enjoy it as well. But if she messes up… she'll be ruined forever.
"You won't mess up!" Cat promises with a smile big enough to light up a stadium. "You're amazing, Jade!"
"Thanks, so are you," Jade flashes Cat a tiny smile, messing with a strand of her light brown hair. "So let's go out and kill this show, right?"
Cat nods happily.
In the end, it turns out that her worries were completely unreasonable. As soon as she is out in front of the curtain and the spotlight is on her, she knows what to do. It's nearly as natural as breathing.
She plays the part of the good little girl, and for just that hour or so, she gets to breathe happiness and feel love. She gets to be someone who is much more innocent than she is, and it feels good.
But as the lights dim, she feels the innocent little girl fade into the background once again. She feels the dominant part of her, the part of her that hates everything and everyone, rise up again within her as she takes her bows.
Slowly, she climbs down from the stage, inhaling deeply. Most likely, no one would care. Most likely, she'd go back to her life as the seventh-grader that was terrifying and acted far too much older.
But then someone caught her arm. She turned, expecting to see Cat, but instead, she saw a man she didn't recognize.
"Yeah?" she asks, raising an eyebrow at him.
"Hello, I'm Mr. Eikner, principal of Hollywood Arts. I come to schools searching for talent to add to our school," the man tells her, offering a brief smile.
"And?" she prompts, raising an eyebrow.
"Well," he clears his throat, staring at Jade, "I saw your performance today, and you were rather amazing, if I do say so myself. I was wondering if you would be interested in well, coming to our school. You'd have your tuition paid and everything."
She pauses for a second, considering. Then she smiles wickedly. "All right, but on one condition."
"What is that?" the man asks.
She can't take losing anyone else, so she informs him, "Have you seen my friend, the redhead? She gets to come with me. Otherwise, no deal, I'll stick with my school and my friend, thanks."
He pauses for a second before he nods. "All right, then. You and your friend are in. Classes start in August."
Her eyes light up, and though she tries not to show her excitement that first, she's been allowed into a prestigious school, and second, that they want her enough to compromise with her, she utterly fails.
"All right," she says breathlessly.
The congratulations start sometime after that, but she doesn't remember much of that. After an hour or so, the excitement fades when she notices that, despite the massive crowd of people, her father has not bothered to show up.
Crestfallen, she returns home, determined to inform her father of her new schooling situation.
She finds him on the couch with a woman that she doesn't really recognize. Instead of the words that she has imagined rehearsing in her head over and over, a slight choking sound comes out.
"Jadelyn," he says with a smile, getting to his feet. The smile is forced as always, but she supposes that it is better than nothing. "This is my new co-worker, Lena."
She stares at Lena in disgust before turning back to her father and hissing, "What is she doing here?"
"Jade West, you will be respectful," her father reprimands her, glaring at her out of jaded eyes. "Go to your room this instant."
But the truth is, despite all the walls that she puts up, she's still only in seventh grade. So as she goes up to her room, her brain stuck on the fact that she hadn't been able to tell him that she was switching schools next year, one or two tears drift down her face.
She wipes them away quickly. No, she's not going to be so weak.
"You're kidding," her father says loudly, following it up with a chuckle. "You've got to be kidding."
"No, I'm not," she retorts, biting her lip. "He asked me to come to their school on full scholarship. It's the most prestigious school in almost all California for the arts, and darn it, I want to go and you're not stopping me."
"I'm your father, and you will not waste your time on such petty things like acting and singing," he shakes his head. "You will continue to go to your school—"
"I won't either," Jade stomps her foot. "I've already applied and they've offered me a scholarship. You won't have to pay a thing. All that you have to do is sign the stupid form and I'll have the chance to live my dreams."
"You don't know what your dreams are," he tells her harshly. "You're barely even thirteen—"
"And I'm mature," Jade crosses her arms. "Give me a chance. Sign the form. You won't regret it."
Slowly, he drags his pen across, signing her form. Handing it to her with a sharp glare, he tells her, "Don't make me regret this."
"Never," she promises.
"Cat," she announces lazily one day before school starts, "We're getting our hair dyed."
Glancing up with wide eyes, Cat asks wildly, "What?"
"I told you," Jade rolls her eyes. "It's a new school, why shouldn't it be a new us?" Placing her head in her chin, she muses absently, "I think that I'll get some streaks, probably blue. Blue is icy; blue is threatening. I need to be threatening at the new school, but good-looking at the same time, you know?"
"I like red velvet cupcakes," Cat tells her dreamily. "Do you think that I can dye my hair the same color as red velvet cupcakes?"
Jade stares at her quizzically. "Uh, sure, if you want to. Are you sure you want that to be your new image?"
"I'll be really happy if people look at me and think of red velvet cupcakes," Cat informs her sincerely. "Maybe they'll think that I'm sweet like cupcakes, tee-hee."
"Maybe," Jade allots, pulling up a new window on her laptop. "See, these girls are tough and they have blue hair streaks. Maybe I'll be like them."
"Look," Cat shows Jade her laptop screen. "Red velvet cupcakes! See, don't they look yummy?"
"Uh, sure," Jade replies.
In the end, Cat dyes her hair the color of red velvet cupcakes, just as she'd said. Jade streaks hers with bright blue and they start at Hollywood Arts with their multicolored hair.
"Jade," Cat exclaims on the first day, glancing around, "we're here; we're actually here!"
She looks around at the rows of lockers, at the great immensity that is her new school. She feels her breath leave her lungs for a second. With a frown, she nods her head. "We are, aren't we?"
It feels like a daydream, walking in amongst the greatly talented kids. Unsure of what to do, she glances down at her schedule again, then decides that this is not going to work.
She picks up her head, tosses back her hair, and stands up straight. With a smirk, she decides that if she is going to be a new girl, she is going to do it with style. She struts down the halls like she owns the place, even though she's just a child in reality.
That is, until she runs face-first into a strong chest and looks up into eyes she never thought that she would see again.
She can only breathe one word. "Beck."
"Jade," he whispers back, eyes wide, and then his arms are around her, holding her close.
Had he been anyone else, she might have punched him in the face. But since he's Beck, she lets him hold her, wrapping her arms around him and leaning into his chest. "I missed you," he whispers into her hair.
"I missed you too," she chuckles, a smirk still present on her face.
"Oh, is Jade West actually having feelings?" he quips, staring at her.
"I hate you," she tells him, half-sincerely, "so much."
"Nice to see that I've been missed," he chuckles darkly. Catching sight of Cat behind her, he asks properly, "Who's that?"
"My friend, Cat," Jade informs him, wrestling out of his grip. Frowning a little, she hisses, "You didn't tell me that you went here."
"I hadn't talked to you," Beck reminds her. A bell rings above them. He smiles gravely. "We'd better get to class, then."
They make it to class and hey, maybe this is the first day of the rest of her life.
As the year progresses, they become Cat-and-Jade-and-Beck, the inseparable trio that was never supposed to happen, really, because they're all so very different. But as time goes on, she comes to realize quickly that this Beck is not the same Beck that she knew as a child.
First, this Beck is more flirtatious. At times, he sends her smiles that make her heart melt. But then another girl will come along who is much prettier than Jade could ever hope to be, and he'll send her that smile as well. Jade wishes most of the time that his smiles were reserved for her once again.
Second, this Beck contradicts with her and her personality completely.
Where she is ice, he is fire. His words are cutting, but he's the chill sort of guy who doesn't get all worked up over things. He seems to find her emotional instability amusing, and he doesn't care when she punches him hard in the stomach because her hand always ends up colliding against his hard, flat chest. She's always the one to get hurt.
He's insanely cocky, and she's always ready to bring him off of his pedestal. Whenever she's ready to yell at someone, he's the one that calms her down. Yet somehow, they're always fighting, and she finds that more and more their arguments end in her yelling those three words- "I hate you."
Third, this Beck is a bit of a stud. He flips his hair and girls fall at his feet.
She falls as well, and she falls hard and fast. She doesn't want to- she doesn't think that he's all that- but she doesn't think that it can be helped.
"Jade?" he asks one day at lunch, mischief in his brown eyes.
"Hm?" she responds quietly, stabbing at her quesadilla with a fork.
Smirking, he asks, "Do you think that girl over there is pretty?"
"Yeah, I guess," Jade lifts her head up to glance at the girl. She's basically a living stereotype in Jade's eyes- thin, blonde, shiny blue eyes, sort of pretty in a strange sort of way. But Jade doesn't mention this to him. Looking back over at him, she asks quietly, "Why?"
"Just wondering," he responds, flipping his hair and grinning.
She stabs her quesadilla with the fork again and frowns up at him. "I hate you so much."
He just laughs, and the subject is dropped but not forgotten as Cat sits down and starts to babble on about her new classmate.
She doesn't notice that Jade and Beck are in a staredown of epic proportions.
The first to dare to join their little circle is a boy by the name of André Harris.
He talks to Jade first, which is a first for her, and he's more daring than most people that she's met in her lifetime. He writes beautiful songs and sometimes lets her sing him. She would like him that way, but the problem is, he's no Beck.
He's goofy and silly and can't flirt for the life of him.
Nevertheless, both Cat and Beck take a liking to him and he becomes the fourth member of their little circle, the funny one with the weird jokes.
But the problem with André is that he's far too observant, Jade decides. During one lunch period, she notices that he is staring at her, scrutinizing her, almost. She tries to ignore it and continue on normally, but she's hyperaware of his eyes on her. So every time she looks at Beck, she ends up blushing, and she knows that this can't look good for her.
"You like Beck," he accuses her after the lunch period, folding his arms across his chest and staring at her.
"I do not," she protests, but he knows and she knows and heck, everyone knows but Beck himself.
He lets out a laugh before telling her, "You know, Jade, you used to be a good liar. What happened?"
"Hate you too, Harris," she calls after him, stomping her foot, but he ignores her. Sighing, she stomps back to Beck and tells him, "Control your little friend."
"Looks like you're the one who needs to be kept under control," he says quietly, brushing a piece of blue hair out of her eyes. "Don't go on a rampage. I don't think that André would like to die."
They both laugh, and she feels her heart rate increasing rapidly. All she can think is that this cannot be good.
The next to attempt joining is Robbie, and Jade doesn't like him much. Of course, she does not like most people much, but Robbie is a special case. She thinks that he stares at Beck far too much, and it's weird, having to be jealous of one of her friends over Beck. André is André, far too desperate for a girlfriend, and Cat is sweet and innocent, so she's never had to worry before. But Robbie's different.
In desperation, she sets Robbie up with a pretty little farm-type girl from her Singing class. Robbie and the girl date for a bit, but they fade apart.
Jade is the first to voice the notion that Robbie should be 'voted out' of their clique. She has no solid reasoning behind it, and she slightly reeks of desperation, so her request is vetoed.
She sulks for a bit but gets over it, and gradually their circle changes from Cat-Beck-Jade-André to Cat-Jade-Beck-André-Robbie. They become a friendship circle, and Jade still thinks that Robbie is weird because he carries a puppet everywhere.
But Cat begs, "Give him a chance, will you?" and she just nods her head, because no one can deny Cat Valentine anything.
One Friday night, Beck invites her over to his place, and only her. She's slightly nervous about going to a guy's place alone at night, but she reassures herself that nothing can happen.
But her qualms only increase as she discovers that his home is not a home, but instead, an RV parked in his parents' driveway.
"You live here?" she asks awkwardly, walking slowly through the door.
"No, I nicked it off a hobo," Beck laughs. "Yes, I live here. Do come in."
Letting the door slam behind her, she walks over to his bed and flops down on it. It's comfortable, and she feels the urge to just lay there all night. "I'm never getting up."
"Not even for re-runs of Drake and Josh?" Beck inquires, and suddenly the sound of the television floods her ears. She hears him press buttons on the remote, the constant clacking harmonious to her ears.
Sitting up abruptly, she hisses, "You've found my only weakness," and sits down beside him, close enough that her arm brushes against his but far enough away that they don't seem like a couple (and she hates this awkward stage so much).
The first episode turns out to be the one with Josh and Mindy. They watch, laugh, and commentate, and she feels more comfortable than she ever has in her entire life. There's something familiar about being with Beck, like a warm, cozy fire on a cold night.
But there's something she just can't help but wonder. So she turns to him, tugging slightly on the sleeve of his hoodie. "Beckett?"
"Yeah?" he responds after a moment, turning to look at her.
"Do you think that's true?" she asks quietly. "Do you think that sometimes when people say they hate someone, that they actually love them?"
He stares at her for a second, as if he's found her hidden meaning, and simply nods.
She tries to think of when Drake & Josh reruns got so deep.
That night, she falls asleep with her head on his shoulder, his arm around her back. She can feel his warmth surrounding her, and she doesn't ever want to wake up.
When she gets home, her father immediately jumps on her, as expected. "Where have you been all night?"
"I was at a friend's house," she retorts with a yawn.
"A male friend?" he asks, raising an eyebrow. "That Oliver kid?"
"Calm down, we didn't do anything," Jade hisses, crossing her arms defiantly. The last thing she wants is to have to deal with his assumptions and judgments. "We only watched old TV shows, if you approve of that."
Without waiting for a response, she storms up to her room and nearly drifts off to sleep. However, she's awakened from her daze when the door flies open. At first, she sits up defensively, assuming that it's Beck. But Cat flies in, all rainbow smiles and pink telephones.
"Jade!" she giggles, pressing buttons on her pretty phone. "Jade, this friend of mine is texting me and she wants Beck's telephone number. Isn't that funny?"
"Not really," Jade replies, rolling her eyes.
Cat's eyes widen. "What's that supposed to mean?"
"Nothing," Jade groans impatiently, staring at Cat for a moment before an idea pops into her head. "Cat, give her my number."
"I think she likes Beck, not you," Cat giggles nervously again.
"No, I mean, give her my number and pretend that it's Beck's," Jade grins, crossing her arms. "Come on, it'll be funny."
"Uh, okay," Cat bites her lip, but her fingers fly across the numerical pad anyway before she presses send. "I did."
After a minute or two, Jade's phone buzzes. She grabs it, opens it, and reads the text that is displayed on her screen: Hey, sexy.
Laughing evilly, Jade replies quickly: Look, I wish I had the time to text you, but I'm busy.
The reply comes immediately. Too busy for me?
Yes, Jade texts back without a second thought. I'm kind of spending time with my bff Jade West tonight.
But the next reply nearly knocks her down. Why hang out with her? She's horrible to you. She doesn't deserve you. Come make use of your time. ;)
Nearly dropping her phone, her breath leaves her lungs. Angrily, she shoves her phone into her pocket before turning to Cat with a frown, biting back the tears. "Look, I'm leaving. Do whatever the heck you want. See if I care. But I'm not staying here any longer."
"What about the prank?" Cat cries helplessly, but it is far too late.
The thing that Jade West does best, other than hurting people and ruining things, is run.
Inside of her pocket, her phone buzzes again. She doesn't want to see it because she suspects that it is from Mara once again, but she checks it anyway just in case. But no, it's not from Mara- it's from Beck, and it contains just a few little words that nearly take her breath away: Meet me in the park. Need 2 talk.
Despite how sick she's beginning to feel about all of it, she reroutes so that she's headed toward the park and takes off running.
It is pouring rain.
As she approaches Beck and the park, her brain is flooded with images, memories with Beck on the very same swingset that he now rests on. Taking a seat beside him, she just stares up at him quietly, waiting for him to say something.
Finally, he sighs. "I heard about what you did to Mara."
"Are you mad?" she responds, feeling more vulnerable than ever before.
"No," he shakes his head, eyes never leaving the ground. "No, Jade, I'm not mad, but I just want to know why. Are you jealous?"
She has the urge to lie. She has the urge to forget everything that's been done and try to start over, find a boy that will treat her right. But she doesn't want a gentleman, she wants Beck, with all his flirty tendencies and hidden romanticism. So, under her breath, she tells him, "Yes."
There is a pause, a beat, and her heart goes on double-time. But then he speaks again. "Jade. Jade, look at me."
She looks at him, and in that moment, she knows what it feels like to feel loved. His eyes are filled with warmth and emotion and she doesn't know what to do, so she just stays silent.
"Do you want to go out with me?" he asks sincerely, from what she thinks might be the bottom of his heart.
"Sure," she replies flippantly, a smile tugging at the edges of her mouth.
"Knew it," he responds, but he takes her hand in his anyway.
Under her breath, she whispers, "I hate you."
After laughing a bit, he suddenly grows solemn and says, "Wanna know something?"
"Yeah?" she responds, déjà vu rushing over her.
As the raindrops rain down, covering them in their scent, he tells her, "You're my best friend."
"You too," she responds. This amount of emotion- she hasn't felt quite so much in a long time, and it's enough to drive her insane.
"Promise me you'll never forget me?" he asks once again, the meaning of these words all the more evident now that they're grown-up and mature.
"I promise," she responds sincerely.
He kisses her in the rain that day, on the same two swings that they had swung on as children. Yet it's different this time, because instead of an ending, this time, it is a new beginning.
A/N: oh my gosh, I have no idea what this is. I only know that it made me want to cry while I was writing this, is that normal?
I was kind of curious, so uh, this is slightly AU and set predominantly before Tori came into the picture. It is now my personal canon, for the record, and why can I see all of this happening so vividly? I also adore the Cat/Jade friendship, so you can see that throughout the whole story.
This actually took me a really long time and a lot of work, so I would really appreciate it if you read and left a review. Even if it is a short review like 'nice work', I would love you forever and it would mean so much to me. I'll probably reply to all reviews for this fic as well.
Please don't favorite without reviewing. It annoys everyone, not just me, and will surely result in a not so kind PM from me.
And that's all I have to say. Thanks so much for taking the time to read, and please read and review!
/by the way I can never unship Bade now