Disclaimer: I don't own Victorious.
Summary: There is nothing that he can say, really, that downplays Jade West's importance to him. If he tried, he'd be lying through his teeth. RobbieJade, oneshot
Okay, this is a really, really long oneshot. I enjoyed writing this, though. I haven't written RobbieJade before, but I have been meaning to for the longest time. Anyway, I would love it if y'all reviewed. It would totally make my day. But, yeah, thanks so much for clicking on this little piece of mine. Hope that y'all enjoy!
There is nothing that he can say, really, that downplays her importance.
Nothing can make him care about her less.
The whole thing is completely ridiculous - not to mention hopeless.
He tries, though.
Robbie Shapiro is nothing if not persistent.
Jade West has always been an interesting individual.
The word interesting, itself, seems vague and silly in comparison to all the adjectives he could use, but he doesn't want to wax poetic about anything.
Ever since their first meeting, she's had some kind of hold over him. A mystical kind of thing that he can hardly shake. It's odd, being so entranced by a woman who would gladly gut him if she could get away with it.
He supposes that's just the thing that makes her so interesting.
She smiles sometimes.
Robbie doesn't know if she knows that he knows, but he really doesn't care. He just likes watching. He fears that if he points it out, or she catches him watching, that she will stop altogether. Something as pretty and perfect as her smile should not be stopped, that he is certain of. That smile is rare enough and he knows that, like a frightened animal, it will vanish quickly.
One day, she actually focuses that smile on him.
He finds that he is flustered beyond comprehension, his face turning several shades of red in a matter of seconds. He struggles for words, and as he does so, the perfect smile becomes wry and jaded, a mocking thing of what it once was.
He vows that he'll know what to do, next time.
Robbie watches the couples at the table most days at lunch - especially the one that Jade is in.
He watches her eyes light up - subtly, of course. Watches her grin turn into something almost feral before she whispers in his ear.
There's nothing he can do about her relationship with Beck. It's something like an inevitability. There's just something so final about Jade and Beck, one name never said without the other. He can't seem to find a way out of it, a way to become Robbie and Jade, something that will last. Without change, without breaking. A strong and impenetrable bond.
And, more than that, something real.
However, he didn't want it like this.
One day, she doesn't come to school, which is odd. Jade might have seemed like one of those girls who didn't give a damn about school, but she really did like Hollywood Arts. Behind her bad girl image, she cared about her grades, studied more than anyone he knew. Sang when she wanted. Acted. Directed. Did everything to better herself.
So, at lunch, when he doesn't spot her in her seat next to Beck, he worries.
Robbie has always been neurotic by nature, but when Jade is thrown into the mix, he finds that he can't even think straight without imagining something awful becoming her.
He fumbles for his phone, not sure what to expect, and his shaking thumb scrolls down to find her number.
Robbie sends a text, simple and to the point. Somehow, he's afraid of sending it. They never text much, and this could set her off.
He gulps and presses send anyway, the message reading, Everything okay?
The text, curt and to the point, hits his inbox so fast it shocks him.
Shut up, Samberg.
The fourth day she misses school, Robbie decides that something must be wrong. The spot near Beck is conspicuously absent, but he is talking more and more to Cat than Robbie feels comfortable with.
Why he doesn't feel comfortable with that development, he isn't sure.
So that day, as he watches Beck smile gently and move a piece of red velvet hair out of Cat's vacant eyes, Robbie decides that it's time to visit Jade.
The knocks on her front door sound like gunshots.
For a moment, he thinks she might have moved. Worries that she might have changed schools without telling then. Frets that she has been kidnapped. A myriad of fantasies, each worse than the last, whirl through his head.
He's right in the middle of the Law & Order: SVU version of one of the terrible things that could have befallen Jaden when the door opens.
Robbie is shocked for the briefest of instances. Jade looks completely fine - perhaps too fine. There is nothing jarring about the pale face in front of him, except the fact that she has gone without her usual dark makeup. He was expecting something cliché, something that he could try to help fix - without her approval, of course.
She just stares at him for a moment, her eyes appraising him carefully. She seems to be contemplating what to say to him. The set of her mouth seems to scream, "Get the hell away from here." He hopes she isn't that harsh.
"Fine," she says, moving aside. "Come in, you nerdy freak."
Robbie annoys the jibe, but doesn't ignore the invitation. He sidles past her, thinking that she might just decide to stab him in the face with the pair of scissors she keeps with her at all times.
Again, he hopes she isn't that harsh.
The door closes behind him, and he turns to the sound. Jade is staring at him, her eyes curious and wry, her statement reflecting such, "Yes, I've gotten all your texts. Yes, I've replied to them."
Robbie winces at her tone.
"Why are you here?" she asks through gritted teeth.
"I was…checking up…on you." He curses himself for his squeaking voice, the way it makes him sound more boy than man. He doesn't know what else to say, because really…what else is there? She's gotten his texts, she said. He has gotten her replies, but they were always short, almost like nothing was wrong.
But everything felt wrong, that was the point of him coming here.
"I'm fine." Jade moves her weight to her back leg, crosses her arms. Stares.
Those eyes make him feel like he's on fire, or on trial. Something to that extent. He doesn't know what to say, and he's wringing his hands like he does when he's nervous - which he most certainly is - and he can't find any words to say except, "Is it something with Beck?"
As soon as Beck's name leaves his mouth, she stiffens, "Get out."
"Jade, I - "
"Did you come here to gloat?" she snarls, her voice resonating throughout the large and empty house. "Oh, I'm so happy Beck and Jade are no more! That kind of shit?"
Robbie pauses and it is his turn to stare. His gaze is unsure, even frightened of what Jade is capable of. "No, Jade. You know that."
"No, not really," Jade says, her smile wry, eyes looking tiredly at him.
"I wouldn't…hurt you like that…"
Jade barks out a laugh, something that penetrates through to the marrow of his bones. "You sound like a girl."
Robbie ignores that, steps forward, feeling just like that. A girl. This whole thing is ridiculous, he knows. He knows that he probably can't do anything to help, but here he is, his arms wide open - open enough that she can easily rend his heart from his body without any problem.
After a while, Jade closes her eyes and shakes her head, a funny little laugh coming out of her lips. She brushes her fingertips against the length of her forearm before looking at him with something akin to sadness, "Fine."
Robbie cocks his head to the side, feels his eyebrows knit together. "Fine?"
He follows her into her room - which is everything and nothing like what he had imagined it to be. White walls, black accents throughout the room. It has a strange, but mod sort of feel to it. He stands awkwardly in the corner, arms wrapped around himself, as Jade sinks down on her bed.
"Sit down, then." She motions to the black, cushioned chair, one of those things that look like half a circle.
He moves over to it and sits down immediately, noticing how comfortable it is. It's strange, how uncomfortable he feels in the room with the person that's supposed to be his kind-of friend, even though he knows his feelings toward her are completely the opposite.
He opens his mouth to speak but immediately Jade raises a hand, "No talking."
Robbie shuts up. When Jade wants you to shut up, that's simply what you do.
"Tori didn't say anything?"
"To - ?" he starts to question, but he remembers what she said and closes his mouth.
"Tori came over yesterday and wouldn't leave until I told her what happened," she says, her face twisting into a reluctant kind of respect. "Anyway, I told her not to tell anyone. Surprised that she didn't. I didn't even threaten her."
Robbie nods, surprised himself. Perhaps that's why Tori hadn't had lunch with them today.
"Beck broke up with me," Jade says, her voice dead, as if stating a long uncared for mantra.
Robbie starts to say something but Jade won't have it. She talks right over him, "He told me…he wanted Cat now. He fell out of love with me a long time ago. And he was tired of lying to everyone."
He looks at her, his face the picture of shock. How could Beck? Robbie couldn't even fathom something like that. It seemed like they had been the picture of the perfect couple just days ago and now… Cat? It was shocking to hear.
"Yeah," she says, looking at the incredulity on his face. "I know. I thought it'd be Tori, too."
Robbie completely ignores the taboo on speaking and asks, "But…Tori said you were heartbroken when you dumped Beck - "
A wicked smirk crosses Jade's face, "Looks like I'll have to threaten next time after all."
"No! I mean, uh, why aren't you - "
"Would you rather me be a sobbing wreck that you could take advantage of?" she growls at him.
"No." The ferocity of the word surprises him, and he finds that his fists are clenched tightly in his lap.
Jade's whole tone changes then, her eyes taking on an amused look. "Wanna play Xbox?"
Robbie looks at her, his face changing from angered to bewildered in a matter of seconds. He settles his features in a smile, "I'll go get Rex."
Jade comes back to school the next week.
It's odd, to see her not next to Beck at every moment. Instead of the tall, dark girl that always trailed him, there's one with candy hair, short in stature, and with a smile that she shares freely.
The whole thing uproots the group. Jade is surprisingly calm that first day, only leaving to "go to the bathroom" about twice. Everyone expects her to lose it, but she doesn't. This calmer Jade is one that Robbie is not used to - frankly, it frightens him a bit more than he'd like to admit to anyone.
Cat is blissfully oblivious to everyone's plight, enjoying her time with her new boyfriend. Andre finds the whole thing extremely awkward, and busies himself with humming a new song. Rex makes jokes, but they lack bite.
Tori is strangely quiet as well. Usually, if there was any type of conflict in the group, she would try to dispel it with an awkward joke or bit of laughter. Instead, she sits closer to Jade than usual, subconsciously picking sides without realizing it herself.
This new camaraderie is something that Robbie finds endlessly entertaining. Jade's reluctance in allowing Tori to get close, Tori's unwavering want to help Jade out.
Robbie finds himself sitting next to Jade, too. On the same bench, even.
He's not sure whether to be selfishly happy or rightly subdued.
It's not until Trina shows up, looking flustered and completely into herself, that they all break out of the awkward trance.
Trina, who would only notice a burglar if it was stealing her hair products, exclaims in pure and utter shock, "What? Since when did Cupcake Cat and Good Hair start going out?"
"Nobody likes you!"
Robbie smiles; there's the Jade he knows.
Jade copes surprisingly well.
Robbie knows that it must be endlessly hard for her to deal with this on a daily basis, but she does anyway. Somehow, all this calm seems to be out of character for her. He half-expects her to come to school one day, hair in a mess, scissors out, and hungry for Cat's blood. But that day never happens.
She keeps to herself, ignoring jibes at Tori that would otherwise have come naturally. She doesn't even make fun of him, which scares Robbie more than it should. It's almost like the calm before the storm, except the storm never comes.
"And you're here again."
Robbie stands at the door, hand raised as if to knock. Jade had opened the door before he had gotten the opportunity.
"Your psychic abilities stun me," he tries to joke. Her face stays impassive.
"Your desperation stuns me."
Robbie starts to turn to leave, but then Jade says, "Come in, then."
He stands there, shocked, before moving in the house. Jade doesn't stop, only continues to her room and flops on the bed, turning on the Xbox as she does so.
"You know…I'm not here for just Xbox." Robbie moves to the chair he sat in before, sitting down in with much more control than Jade had on her bed. She is sprawled out on her stomach, controller in hand, eyes on the screen as she moves to the start screen of a particularly violent zombie game.
"Just try to beat my headcount, Samberg."
"Don't you think it's weird?" Tori asks one day, completely out of the blue.
Robbie turns, adjusts Rex on his arm, and asks, "What?"
"Jade," she hisses quietly, as if the girl in question is around and can hear them. "How calm she is."
"She seems fine to me."
Robbie looks at Tori, cocks a brow. "Yeah…"
It's odd to know that other people are just as worried about that aspect as he is.
Robbie finds himself at Jade's house more often now. She lets him in begrudgingly, but she always lets him in. He likes to think that she doesn't mind his company so much now. He knows not to bring Rex, because Jade had actually gotten up and thrown the puppet across the room one time when he had forgotten.
They always play Xbox, always some violent game, and Jade takes pride in beating him. Each and every time. And, to be honest, he can't even say he means to lose.
Besides, if he actually meant to lose one time, he was pretty sure that Jade would have his head.
There is a melting of the ice around their relationship, the whole air becoming warmer and friendlier. Her jabs are still there, though. She wouldn't be Jade without her snark. He takes them in stride, seeing her face contract in a reluctant smile when she makes a particularly brutal remark.
The fact that she is enjoying herself is something that he wouldn't take away, no matter how many jokes she makes at his expense.
"How are you…so calm? If this whole thing involved Tori, you wouldn't be like this."
"Oh, shut up, Robbie."
"But it's the truth!"
"Cat's my friend."
"She's…not an enemy."
"So you're perfectly fine with this?"
"Just shut up, Robbie. Shut up."
After about a month or so, it happens.
Lunch. Everything seems to happen at lunch. Cat had said something particularly spacey; Beck had called her cute and kissed her, softly, tenderly. A way that Robbie had often seen on movies, those cheesy rom-coms with the semi-talented actors.
Everyone knows that something is particularly wrong about this scene, but they can't look away. It's almost like a train wreck - no one can look away, and no one knows what to do about it.
There's a rustling, and Jade stands up, fists clenched into tight balls at her sides, black nails digging into white palms.
"Oh, fuck you, too!"
Beck and Cat pause, look at her as if she's grown at third head.
Jade turns and stomps away.
He's not sure what he's doing, not sure what he is supposed to do, really, but he feels like he just can't let her go like this.
"Jade, Jade!" he calls to her, frantically, Rex flapping uselessly at his side.
She doesn't turn around, "Go away!"
Her voice is shaky, filled with tears. Robbie keeps following, undeterred. "Jade, please!"
"What?" She finally turns. "What do you want, Robbie?"
"Oh, well, now that you say that," she sarcastically retorts before turning on a heel, not finishing whatever it was that she was going to say. She doesn't care, Robbie knows, not about anything.
Robbie just stands there, watches as she climbs in her car, slams the door, and drives away.
The storm had finally arrived.
Against his better judgment, he goes to her house that day.
Robbie knows this is a completely moronic idea, one of the stupidest ones he's ever had, but he just can't shake the fact that he wants to help her, the fact that she obviously needs someone by her side though she would never in a million years ask for it. Or admit that she wanted it.
He parks his car in her drive and makes his way to her porch, leaving Rex in the car. He knows that wouldn't help matters at all.
The door is slightly ajar when he arrives, and he is instantly worried. The whole thing is something like that of a horror movie, and he steps in the house probably due to a lack of care for his welfare.
He steps carefully around the house to her room, almost as if the place is booby-trapped. He has an image of an Indiana Jones movie immediately, but pushes it to the back of his mind. Now is not the time for that.
He gets to the door of her room and has a brief flash of cold feet. Almost like facing his own death, or something equally melodramatic. He takes a deep breath and moves in through the door, finds himself face to face with Jade's tear-streaked face.
"What the hell are you doing here?" she shouts at him, and Robbie is impressed that he doesn't even wince at her decibel level.
He opens his mouth to speak, but she cuts him off, her voice shaky with her rage, "Never mind, I don't care. Just leave."
"Jade, I - "
"You what? You're sorry? Yeah, so am I. Now get out."
"It might help if you talk - "
Jade calms for a moment, an iciness seeping over her face yet tears continue to well in her eyes. "Talk. You want me to talk. Well, fine. I'll talk." She is so close to him that he can see every detail of her face, every minute thing. Like how her eyes are the purest shade of blue he's ever seen, how the blue highlights in her hair dart through the locks like lightning bolts.
"Cat's my friend. Beck is my boyfriend - was my boyfriend. They're together. Do you have any inkling of how hard I've tried to hold myself together? How difficult it's been, seeing them together, like I never fucking existed?" He finds himself entranced by her mouth, how close it is to his own.
She backs away, as if sensing his temptation.
"Everyone has their breaking point, Robbie," she says. "I've just prolonged mine for too damn long."
She turns away from him, and he can't help but notice her palms are bleeding - her nails must have cut through the flesh of her hands earlier. He steps forward, "You need something for that."
"Then get it," she snaps. "But I won't use it."
He gets some bandages and disinfectant, sitting the items on her nightstand and feeling her eyes watch him. He looks up to see her staring - glaring - at him.
"Why are you so damn nice?" she says, almost as if to herself, almost like it was a rhetorical question, or one not meant to leave the recesses of her mind.
"I love you," he replies, as if it were the simplest answer, like stating whether the sky was blue or not.
She stares at him for a moment, looking at him with eyes that are too old for her face, contemplating something.
"That's too bad," she says, and turns to knock the bandages on the floor.
Jade doesn't come to school for a week after that.
Robbie visits every day, coming with excuses to see her. Not that Jade knows - he's pretty sure that she knew even before he blurted it out like that - she makes her jokes crueler, opens up less. He thinks he knows why.
They still play Xbox, though she lets him win now, which is odd. She still takes every opportunity to rip his head off - in the game and in real life - but he doesn't mind. At least he's with her, at least she's not doing anything drastic.
"Just because I'm different than others," she begins one day, after he gazes at a peculiar new bruise on her wrist, "doesn't mean that I hurt myself Robbie. I'd trust you to think of me as not that kind of cliché."
Robbie laughs at that, as she explains that she banged her wrist on her nightstand when she was getting up that night.
"Yeah, okay, Jade."
His visits become more frequent, he finds that he can hardly stay away from her, not even for a moment. How his life has become wrapped around hers, it's really strange to think about. Just weeks ago, he was nothing but a particularly gross stain on one of her combat boots, and now she refers to him as an equal - even though her taunts never really let up completely.
She leaves the door open for him now, aware that he will let himself in. There's nothing that worries her; she's unafraid of murderers and the like. Jade would probably attack them with questions about themselves if ever faced with a notorious killer.
Slowly, slowly, she gets better.
She's able to stomach Cat and Beck - though it still hurts, he can see that without a doubt - but she doesn't completely lose it like she did before. He admires her for that.
Everything comes to a head one night. He'd just gotten ready for bed, was waiting to get to sleep, when the doorbell rings. His parents are away - some business trip or whatever - and he has been enjoying the time alone, so the doorbell shakes him. He stands up and walks to the door, ready to grab the random umbrella next to the door to beat any attacker with.
Through the peephole, he sees Jade's tired, wry face.
He opens the door, heart thudding in his chest. "Sup."
Jade rolls her eyes, "You're not cool. Stop it."
Robbie smiles at her then, "Come in, then."
Jade grins at his use of words, remembering from way back when she first said them to him, not doubt. She walks in like she owns the place already, looking at the random fixtures his mother has decorated the place with. Robbie feels his cheeks heat up as she looks at a particularly embarrassing baby picture on the mantel.
She doesn't say anything, so Robbie finds himself saying, "What do you want?"
"You act like you don't want me here," Jade says, her voice amused. She obviously knows that he wants anything but that.
"My father got home today," she explains. "I'd rather not share the house with him."
"Oh, don't get that look on your face. He's just going to be home tonight."
Jade smirks, "So where's the nerd lair?"
"Erm…ah…" Robbie flails and points to his room. Jade doesn't even wait for his lead and takes herself in the vague direction of his room. He follows lamely, suddenly feeling like he's in her house instead of vice versa.
Jade sits down on the edge of his bed, and only now does he realize that she's got a bag with her. Filled with clothes no doubt.
"I'll take the couch." Robbie begins to move to the living room until Jade stops him.
"Ah, don't be a baby. There's plenty of room here. Just don't get grabby."
Robbie feels his whole face explode with heat as he moves to his own bed. Never in a million years would he think that he would share a bed with her. It was next to impossible in his book. Nonetheless, he swallows deeply and moves to his usual side, burying himself underneath the covers almost immediately and waiting for her to join him. She looks hesitant for a moment, almost like she's second-guessing ever coming here. Like maybe she would prefer a night in the same house as her father to a night in a bed with a nerd like him.
She shakes her head and moves to lay in beside him, curling her arms around a pillow and faces away from him. Robbie feels his heart thundering in his chest as she rolls over on her back, just like he's doing right now.
Jade looks at him out of the corner of her eye - Robbie knows this because he's been staring at her this whole time - and then gives a frustrated little sigh before shoving her hand into his.
The shock of it takes him aback for a moment. He is deadly still, almost as if moving would cause her to retract her hand from his. Her hand is cool, smooth to the touch, and her fingers twine with his easily.
The next morning, he wakes up to find Jade is not in bed. Her things are scattered around the floor of the room, almost as if she had gotten dressed right in front of his sleeping form. He blushes at that thought, and rises from bed, only to see that he hadn't tossed or turned during the night, stayed in the same position on his back as he slept.
Robbie moves from his room, slipping on a pair of jeans and a shirt as he does so. He hears the sound of the television in the living room and finds Jade, fully dressed, makeup done, watching a rerun of Friends.
She turns as she hears him enter, an odd looking smile on her face. Begrudging.
"Yeah," he says. "Morning."
Jade turns off the television and rises from her seat on the couch. Her boots sound heavily on the hardwood floor, and soon she is right in front of him, looking straight into his eyes.
"You didn't try anything last night."
"You just slept."
Jade rolls her eyes, as if he's missing something vital. Then, out of no where, she grasps his face between her hands and pulls his face to hers. Their lips meet, and something akin to a firework explodes in his chest. She pulls away, looks at him with a smirk in her eyes, and slings her book bag on her shoulder. "I'll be back after school. My…things are still here."
He doesn't ask why she doesn't just pack them up now, only watches as she leaves, wondering what he had done to earn that.
Weeks pass, kisses intensify, Cat and Beck are easily forgotten.
Robbie doesn't believe he's been this happy before.
Lunch comes - all the big events happen at lunch, he remembers solemnly, as if waiting for a bomb to go off - and he and Jade are sitting next to each other, as always. They haven't told anyone that they have a thing going on, and Jade seems intent to keep it that way. Robbie doesn't mind.
But when Trina laughs particularly loud at something that Robbie says, touching his shoulder just barely with hands that seem a bit too grabby, Jade reaches out and grabs Robbie's hand on the table.
"Hey, Vega. Away from my boyfriend!"
The table pauses for a moment, looking vaguely shocked, before laughing.
Jade growls at Trina for a last time before staring at Robbie, grinning like a cat.
He finds him laughing, too. However, his laughs seem tinged with incredulity.
Jade West had just claimed him as her boyfriend.
Somehow, Robbie Shapiro can't think of a moment that has made him happier.