or, Cat is Beck and Jade's daughter from the future.
Warnings: very AU, major Beck/Jade, slight Tori/Andre and Cat/Robbie.
Cat doesn't like when they fight. Honestly, she does not like it when anyone fights, but when her parents fight, it's the worst. They yell and throw things and blame everyone but themselves. Sometimes she wishes that they would stop acting like children but they won't because they're both so stubborn.
She loves them nonetheless, though, because they're different and unique and they're her parents. That sort of makes her obligated to love them.
That's why when the old man next door, some guy named Sikowitz or something that used to teach her parents, calls her over and tells her 'something's changed' in a rough voice, she tells him that he's crazy.
"Yes, that's obvious," he says in a scratchy voice. "But Cat, the past is changing. They've broken up, perhaps for good, and if you don't go back and change things..."
"That's silly," Cat tells him brightly. "I can't go back in time!"
"Yes, you can," Sikowitz replies, sounding so grave and serious that she nearly believes him. "Caterina Oliver, look at your arms."
She glances down, unconcerned, but when she does she notices that her arms are beginning to fade. Even she knows that's not normal. Frightened, she looks back up at him. "So you're saying you're going to send me back in time alone? What about Frankie?" This sort of scares her. She hasn't been back in time before; no one has. What if she accidentally gets sent to the dinosaur era or something?
"You and I both know Frankie's too unpredictable to go with you. He'd mess everything up. But well, you're not going alone," Sikowitz says reluctantly. That's when a boy walks back into the room from what she assumes is the bathroom. Holding up his pale hands, he exclaims, "Wow, Sikowitz, you have nice soap!"
She recognizes the boy at once. His name is Robbie Harris; he goes to her school. Apparently his adoptive parents and her parents were all good friends at school. He's a bit strange, but then again, she is too, so they are fairly good friends. When his eyes fall upon her, he grins. "Hey, Cat!" He gives a slightly dorky wave.
"Robbie!" She grins. "What are you doing here?"
"Me too," he says grimly, holding out his arms. She sees that they are too pale; she can almost see through them. Cautiously, she reaches out and presses her fingers against his wrist. There is nothing but empty space.
"It's a bit scary, isn't it?" Robbie tells her brightly. "If we don't do something now, we'll just fade away."
Her eyes widen. "Really? How is this..."
"Your parents are fighting; my parents are fighting," he shrugs. "If something isn't done now, your dad ends up with my mom, and we both cease to exist. Or worse – they all remain single forever and we cease to exist. No one's happy."
"Oh," is all she manages to get out. She squirms. "I guess we're going back in time then!"
"Not so fast," Sikowitz warns. "I need to give you some crucial information. First of all, Cat Oliver and Robbie Harris do not exist. That is why you must be transfer students. Cat Valentine and Robbie Shapiro. Both of you are recent transfer students. Second, you do not know your parents. Third, if you tell them anything about what is to come, you could mess up the time-space continuum and your universe – and therefore the two of you – could cease to exist."
"That sounds scary!" is all Cat can squeak, but Robbie just looks excited. He looks fondly at the puppet on his arm. "Rex has always wanted to go back in time."
"No, I don't, you idiot," Rex retorts grimly.
(Cat doesn't really like Rex, but she does like Robbie.)
"I guess that's all," Sikowitz finishes reluctantly. "If you have any more questions, just talk to me when you get there, okay?"
Confused, Cat and Robbie exchange a glance. "How could you be here and there?" Cat ventures curiously.
"I have my ways," Sikowitz tells them mysteriously. With a small nod, he grabs a bracelet off of the counter and throws it to Cat, tossing a similar one to Robbie. "Put these on, count to ten, and then hold hands."
"Okay," Robbie says nervously, glancing down at his left hand, which Cat realizes has nearly faded into nonexistence.
"Your other hand." Sikowitz rolls his eyes. For an old man, Cat thinks, he sure has a lot of sass.
"I know," Robbie declares impetuously. He slips on the bracelet effortlessly and then turns to Cat, a nervous smile on his face. "Ready?"
Slowly, she slips the bracelet onto her wrist and then grins at him. "Ready."
"10," Robbie begins. "9...8...7..."
She isn't ready. Or is she? Everything is too much to take in. She is going back in time; she is going to see her parents when they were her age. She is going to go to school with her parents. This is not normal; this is not normal at all –
Oh gosh, what has she gotten herself into? Why is she trusting Sikowitz of all people? She glances down at her wrist and she remembers. The skin is nearly transparent. She is fading; Robbie is fading; her brother Frankie is fading. There is no other option.
Squeezing her eyes shut, she gives a small squeal.
Everything blurs. The word turns upside down on its axis. Instead of her feet being planted firmly on the ground, they are in the air. Her whole body is in the air. Then she is spiraling, twirling, no longer a solid mass of atoms, but instead she is a gas, spreading and moving and spinning and –
The world stops. Everything stops.
Then she opens her eyes and realizes she has arrived.
"Where are we?" comes a voice from beside her. Quickly, she shifts her body so that she is facing the source of the voice. Robbie Shapiro gives her a lopsided grin and holds up his hands – both of his hands.
"Your hands are back!" she squeals, bounding forward and catching him in a hug. "That's amazing! But..." she trails off. "I don't know where we are. I think it's near the school?"
"Guess we'll find out," Robbie replies, starting to walk forward.
Shrugging, Cat follows him. "I have a question. If Tori and Andre aren't your, you know, biological parents, what does their relationship have to do with your existence?"
He glances up, his face a mask of pain. "My... my birth mother 'conceived' me on the night Mom married Dad." He winces. "She was in love with my dad... Andre, I mean, so..." He smiles, embarrassed. "If they don't get married, I don't exist. Simple as that."
"Oh." She feels sort of embarrassed, but mostly bad for Robbie. Frowning, she realizes that he probably does not even know who his father is, and that makes her feel lucky in an odd sort of way. "Well. We should probably get moving then."
They start walking again. The road seems to go on forever, Cat notes internally, but she does not complain. The two of them walk in silence for nearly an hour before a car stops beside them.
"Going somewhere?" A boy grins cheekily at them. He's sort of handsome, Cat thinks, with his dark brown hair and tan skin. She smiles tentatively at him and opens her mouth to speak, but she is cut off.
"Don't pick them up, Beck," comes a girl's voice, and Cat immediately redirects her thoughts as she realizes who these people are. Beck. Beck Oliver. That makes the girl Jade West, and that means that these two are –
"Your parents," Robbie mutters under his breath, so low that only Cat can hear him. Her jaw drops.
"Sorry?" Beck – her father – inclines his head.
"Nothing," Cat replies hurriedly, grinning at him. "Yeah, sure, we'd love a ride. We're going to – um – Hollywood Arts?"
"You're in luck, then," Beck says, motioning to the back door. "Jade and I were just on our way to school, and we'd be happy to have you come along. Wouldn't we, Jade?"
Jade gives an exaggerated sigh, but she does not comment. However, when Cat and Robbie don't immediately clamber to get in, Jade hisses, "Don't just stand there. Time is ticking away, and I've got to get to school."
"Jade," Beck warns, but he smiles, and Cat has a feeling that Sikowitz sent them back before the fight. Just a bit early. Smiling wearily, Cat climbs into the backseat, and Robbie clambers in beside her. She is reminded of numerous childhood road trips with her parents in the front and herself and Frankie in the backseat. She and Beck would sing along to the radio, and sometimes, if Jade approved of the song, she would join them. Frankie would just eat whatever was on the floor.
It hits her then – oh my gosh, these are my parents – and she startles in her seat.
"Everything okay?" Robbie whispers in her ear.
She catches her breath. "Yeah. I'm fine."
"I forgot to introduce myself," Beck says cheerfully. "I'm Beck Oliver, and this is my girlfriend, Jade West."
Cat resists the urge to say 'I know'. Instead, she just grins. "I'm Cat – um, Cat Valentine."
"You don't sound so sure," Jade drawls, glancing back at them from the front seat.
"I am sure, Mo – I mean, what's your name?" Cat scurries to correct herself. Two seconds in and she has already made a mistake. She blushes.
"Jade," her mom tells her. "Jade West. As Beck already said." She arches an eyebrow at Cat, but thankfully, does not comment on her mistake any further.
"I'm Robbie," Robbie jumps in brightly. "Robbie H – Shapiro. We just transferred here from, um... from Canada!"
"Canada?" Cat whispers quietly, giving Robbie a look that clearly asks if he is insane.
"Oh, really?" Beck turns around and gives them a smile. "I have family in Canada. In fact, I'm originally from Canada. Where in Canada?"
"I hate Canada," Jade mutters, but everyone disregards her.
Panicking, Robbie looks to Cat, but Cat just shakes her head. She doesn't really know a lot about Canada other than where her dad is from, because her grandparents live in America and her great-grandparents are dead. She has a feeling that telling Beck that she's from Montreal as well would be a little too coincidental. She gives Robbie a look that clearly says 'Make something up'.
"Um, Vancoon," Robbie says with a slight smile and a nod. "Yeah, Vancoon."
The look on Beck's face in the car mirror tells Cat that they have made their first real slip-up. "You mean Vancouver?" Beck asks carefully.
Robbie nods vigorously, giving Cat a sorry-for-the-slip-up type of look. "Yeah, that place. It's very... nice."
"Cold," Cat supplements.
"Yeah, I know; I've been there a few times." Cat knows that Beck is suspicious now too. This can't be good – two minutes in and they've already heightened the suspicions of both of Cat's parents.
"This isn't what we're supposed to be doing," Cat hisses to Robbie when she is certain that Beck and Jade are involved in their own discussion (read: argument). "We're supposed to be building trust, not destroying it."
"I know; I know." Robbie squirms uncomfortably in his seat. "I just... I don't know Canada!"
Cat just frowns.
They finally arrive at school. The school has changed so much in recent years, Cat realizes as she stares at it. It is bigger and more modern-looking now. Back when her parents went to it, the arch outside the school was made of rock, not metal.
"It looks nice," Robbie whispers with a smile.
Cat nods absently, following her parents and Robbie into the school. Once they get inside, a perky brunette walks over to them and grins. "Hey, Beck! And um, Jade."
"We're not friends," Jade tells the girl with a scowl, turning her attention back to her cellphone and walking off. Beck rolls his eyes.
"Who are they?" the girl asks politely, motioning to Cat and Robbie.
"They're exchange students from Canada," Beck explains, his voice sounding a bit disbelieving. Internally, Cat hopes that the girl does not catch on to Beck's doubt.
"Cat Valentine," Cat says with a giggle, extending a hand.
The girl shakes it. "Tori Vega." Cat hears Robbie breathe sharply beside her, but she ignores him as not to give anything away. "You mean Cat like the animal?"
Cat steps backward, her eyes wide. "What's that supposed to mean?"
"Nothing," Tori replies, looking a bit confused. "I love cats."
"Me too; they're so cute," Cat giggles, feeling she was doing a fairly good job of throwing Tori off their scent.
"I'm Robbie," Robbie jumps in, grinning. "Robbie Shapiro. I like your shirt."
Tori looks confused. "Thanks?" she asks cautiously, glancing down at her shirt. "I, erm, I like yours too?"
"No, you don't," Rex snorts, drawing everyone's attention to the puppet for the first time. Rejoining the group, Jade says dubiously, "Seriously? Where'd you get the puppet from?"
"Rex!" Robbie exclaims. "How'd you get here?"
"I am everywhere," Rex says. "Your old man friend sent me. Said you'd want me."
Everyone looks confused. Robbie covers it up with a laugh, as if this is some comedy routine that he has routine. "This is my puppet, Rex."
"Not a puppet," Rex protests roughly.
"Riiiight," Tori says, drawing out the word. "I'll see you guys in class." She walks off, looking completely weirded out.
It's only once Tori is completely gone that Jade rejoins the group. With a grin on her face, she says, "Great, looks like we've got another freak. You're a puppet freak, huh?"
"And you're a hot girl," Rex replies with a similar grin.
"Shut up, puppet, or I'll gouge out your eyeballs," Jade retorts. Holding out an arm to Beck, Jade says with big, puppy-dog eyes, "Take me to class?"
Beck sighs. "Magic word?"
"Fine." He takes her arm and walks off, giving them a wave to bade them goodbye.
"Well, looks like it's just you and me again," Cat says brightly. "And we haven't got a clue how to get to get to class. Unless..."
Her gaze travels over to a dark-skinned boy who is rummaging around in his locker. Biting his lip, Robbie begins, "You don't think..."
"It's completely possible," Cat reminds him brightly. Curiously, she walks over to the boy. With a smile, she greets him. "Hi, my friend Robbie and I are new here, and we apparently have Sikowitz's class first period. Could you possibly show us where it is? I'm Cat, by the way!" She finally allowed herself to breathe and grinned at him.
"Yeah, course," the boy replied. "I'm Andre Harris. The musician." He mimed playing a guitar.
Cat hears Robbie's gasp, but she ignores it again. She knows that he is shocked; she understands, but now is hardly the time for discussion.
"Great, thanks!" Cat grins at him. "Let's go to class!" She strikes a cheerleader pose cheerfully, causing Robbie to snicker behind her.
"O...kay," Andre replies, raising an eyebrow at her.
Once they get to class, they see Sikowitz at once. He seems younger and stranger, if that is even possible, but he winks at them knowingly as they walk in the room. "Caterina Valentine! Robert Shapiro! So good to have you in class."
"Robbie, actually," Robbie corrects him, flushing a deep shade of scarlet. "And she's Cat."
"Oh, of course, of course," Sikowitz smiled. "I'll be sure to call you that. Now, where are Beck and Jade?"
"Here," Jade shouts as she walks into the room, Beck at her heels.
"Unfortunately," Tori mutters, and Jade glares at her.
"No need for viciousness." Sikowitz claps his hands. It is then that Cat realizes how very strange this classroom is. The room is filled with very eccentric people – her mother, her father, Robbie's mother, Robbie's father, and of course the insane old man that stands at the front of the room. Anything passes in this class. "Today we will be experimenting with improvisation again. Who can tell us what improv is? Tori? I assume you've learned from last time."
Tori's face flushes. "Of course. No scripts. You just act on your impulses or whatever."
"Exactly," Sikowitz grins. "Have we got any volunteers to lead this week's improv? Anyone? Anyone?"
"I'll go!" Cat cries before she even knows what she is saying. Jumping out of her seat, she walks to the front of the room. "Um, I want Beck, Jade, Tori, Andre, and Robbie in my group."
"Interesting selection," Sikowitz says knowingly. "Very interesting, in fact."
Most of them look bewildered, but Robbie gives her a look that asks what she is doing. Cat just gives him a look that says let me handle this. She turns to Beck and Jade and says, "You two are a set of parents, and I'm your kid. Then Tori and Andre are Robbie's parents... for the improv."
"I didn't say you could decide the theme of the improv, Cat," Sikowitz scolds her.
"Can I? Can I, can I, can I, please?" She jumps up and down, clapping her hands.
"Fine, go for it." Sikowitz does not sound entirely pleased. Robbie gives her a what are you playing at look. Cat just grins.
"Mommy, can I have a pony?" she begins. And everyone else joins in.
"You know, Cat, I really don't get you sometimes." Robbie shakes his head. "You're trying to stabilize our parents' relationships by making them act like parents?"
"Yeah," Cat giggles. "Wasn't it a really great plan?"
Robbie cocks his head to the side. "Are you serious? Parents fight more than any other people, you know!"
"I didn't think about that," Cat replies quietly, frowning slightly. "What if I don't exist because of me, Robbie? What if they fight and everything falls to pieces and – "
"Don't talk that way," Robbie hisses, his eyes dark. "Cat, we're doing everything we can -"
He's cut off by a loud voice. "Caterina Oliver. Robbie Harris. Good to see you made it here all right and you didn't end up in the dinosaur era."
Grinning slightly, Cat squeaks. She doesn't really understand how Sikowitz can know them before they were even meant to exist, but she doesn't question it. If timetravel is possible, well, then anything is possible. Perhaps Sikowitz traveled back and forward in time a few times himself.
"Yeah, we made it," she says at last, smiling. "It's kind of weird, going to school with my parents. Feels like I could get grounded for getting an answer wrong, you know?" She beams.
"Yes, but Caterina, you must remember why you're here," Sikowitz tells her guardedly. "You're not here to have playdates with your parents; you're here to ensure your parents' relationships survive."
"I know, I know," Cat giggles. "Don't worry."
"Caterina, simply pairing them together in every assignment will not solve anything. This is going to take a lot of determination and long-term relationship building. If you wish to continue existing, you will have to put your entire heart and soul into this." He stares at Cat and Robbie in a way that reminds Cat of a determined parent. "You have no other choice."
Despite her attempts to stay strong, Cat finds herself whimpering. She feels Robbie put an arm around her shoulders in comfort, and she leans into it. "How long do we have?"
"The breakup is in six days for your parents," Sikowitz informs her. "Robbie, you've got an unlimited amount of time. As long as you get your parents together at some point..."
Robbie sighs in relief, but Cat tenses up. Six days? She has six days to form a bond with her parents and prevent their breakup? This is... insane, to say the least. Frowning, she bites her lip. "Really?"
"Of course, Robbie and I will help in any way we can, but I know you can do it," Sikowitz assures her with a hearty laugh. "I mean, you're the daughter of Beck Oliver and Jade West, two of the strangest students I've ever taught."
"So basically, I'm special." She grins.
"Very special," Robbie agrees.
She decides that the best way to get 'closer' to them is to hang out with them, so she approaches them after school. "Hey, you know how I'm new here? Would you mind showing me around a little after school?" Her face lights up, as if to show how happy it would make her.
"No," Jade declares at once, her mouth set into a scowl. "I've already dealt with you for long enough today. You should be pleased."
Cat frowns, her eyes welling up with tears already. "Please? My – my parents are going to probably fight all day today, and I'm scared they'll get a divorce, and... I don't really have a home to go to." She widens her eyes, thinking that anyone who claims that she's 'not a good actress' needs to get their heads checked. Though of course, most of it is true. Not that they'll get a divorce – that hasn't happened, and she hopes it won't. But they do fight a lot, and she doesn't have a home to go to, so...
Beck sighs. "Sure, come on."
Jade scowls, and he whispers in her ear "I'll buy you a coffee", which makes her smile. Cat has only ever seen her mother smile like that because of Cat or Beck.
"Have you found your way around the school, Cat?" Beck asks, and just the sound of his voice saying her name makes her jump. It's weird, she decides, hearing a younger version of her father's voice. She doesn't really like it much.
"Yeah, for the most part," Cat tells them both. When Beck slips an arm around Jade's shoulders as they walk, Cat can't help but exclaim, "You guys make such a cute couple!"
Jade just rolls her eyes.
For the most part, it is interesting seeing how her parents acted when they were teenagers. It does get a bit tiring, though, because she hates that she hasn't got much to tell them about her own life.
"Have you got a boyfriend?" Beck asks her with a teasing smile, which makes Jade hit him on the arm. All she can think is 'if you knew who I am, you wouldn't be flirting with me'. And then she giggles, envisioning his reaction when/if he figures out who Cat is. Of course, that makes Jade think that she is flirting back, and it earns her a death glare.
Her mission isn't going so well.
"How long have you been dating?" she asks. "What do you like about each other? Are you really good friends?" She asks so many questions that Jade gets all suspicious and inquires if she is some interviewer in disguise, which makes Cat pout.
After a few more of the questions, Jade gets up, yells "Yes, I love Beck!" and then storms off. Grinning, Beck stands up. "I've got, erm, business to take care of. Imagine you'll be all right on your own for a while?"
"Trust me, I'll be just fine," Cat retorts with a huge smile.
This, she thinks, is her first success.
After Beck and Jade leave, she realizes she has no idea where she is meant to be going, so she returns to the school. Robbie is still there, a great smile on his face.
"Mom and Dad were writing a song together," he fills her in. "That's a good sign, right?"
"Definitely!" she affirms. Then she proceeds to tell him all about her 'adventure' with Beck and Jade, describing in great detail how she got Jade to admit that she loved Beck and wasn't that a good thing that she did (because it's one of the few things she hasn't screwed up).
"Definitely," he allots, nodding his head. "You needn't worry though, Cat. You've still got a good amount of time."
"Needn't is a funny word." She giggles. "I have to worry, though! My whole existence depends on this!"
"I know, I know," Robbie reassures her. "It's going to be fine, though; you shouldn't worry."
After that, Sikowitz informs them that they'll be staying at the school, but they'll have to wake up early and leave school, just to come back so that they look like normal students. Cat finds an abundance of clothes in the Lost and Found; Robbie insists that he doesn't need much but takes a few shirts anyway. They feel like poor children, but Cat doesn't dare protest.
The rest of the night, they discuss strategies, as if their existences are merely a game to be won. It won't be easy, both of them agree, but if they want to continue living...
"It's not death," Cat says sadly. "It's worse. We won't leave anything behind. No one will know we've existed. And I mean, maybe it's better because no one will feel any pain, but..."
"Everyone wants to be known for something after their death," Robbie finishes, his eyes looking like they're going to mist over. "Whether it's being annoying, having a stupid puppet, or –"
"Being cute," Cat laughs, pushing a curl out of his face. She grins at the blush that quickly spreads to cover Robbie's face. "What happens if we suddenly don't exist, Robbie?" She has been wondering that for a long time. Of course, everyone has theories about what happens after death; many believe that they have laws. No one knows what happens if you fade into nonexistence.
"I don't know, Cat." Robbie shrugs miserably. "I've never nonexisted before."
"Yes, you have! Before you were born!" Her eyes are wide; her voice is high.
"I don't remember it, though," he reminds her with a short laugh. "No one remembers not existing."
There is silence for a moment, and then Cat breaks it. "I guess we'll just have to make sure we continue to exist, then!"
They both laugh.
The next two days go fairly smoothly. Despite Jade's protests, Beck organizes a group dinner for Cat, Robbie, Tori, Andre, Jade, and himself. All of them laugh about life over pizza, and Cat catches her parents holding hands under the table. She smiles to herself.
It becomes normal to call them Beck and Jade; Cat worries about what she will do when (if) she gets to the future and she has to slip back into calling them 'Mom and Dad'. It will be a bit weird, that she knows, but she supposes she will get used to it. She'll see them when they're older, at least – 17 years older, actually. (She knows that Jade's pregnancy is not far off now. That is, if she can save their relationship.)
Then on the fourth day, Jade says that she's bored and demands that Cat come over to her house because she 'prefers Cat to Tori'. (Tori looks insulted at that, but then again, Tori looks insulted at most things.) Cat just grins and says "Kay kay."
It is weird, Cat decides, coming to her mom's old house. Of course, she has been there numerous times before; her grandpa thinks that she's the cutest thing ever despite his dislike of her mother's choices. But never has she been there with her teenaged mother. No, things like this just don't happen to most teenagers.
Thankfully, Cat's grandpa isn't there. This would be too awkward to have to explain to him once she gets back to the future. She follows her mother up to her room, wondering what it will look like.
"This is your room?" Cat says in awe once she makes it up the stairs. The wallpaper is white and dark brown. It seems to be dimly lit, and jars decorate numerous shelves on the room. In the corner is a poster of one of the few 'old' bands her mother claims to like – Big Time Rush, she remembers. The room is just so typical of her mother that she feels like collapsing on the floor and crying. She misses her – her actual mother, that is, not this young version of her.
"Yes," Jade says thickly. "Everyone expects it to be some torture chamber in a dungeon or something, but contrary to popular belief, I am not a roaring dragon."
"I don't think you are," Cat replies solemnly, her eyes wide. "I think you seem very nice."
"I'm not nice, Cat." Jade actually laughs then. Cat thinks it's the first time she has heard her mother laugh since arriving. That is, other than when Beck makes her laugh.
"How's Beck?" she asks randomly, curiously. She wonders if she can figure out the state of their relationship from Jade's response. After all, it is only two days till B-Day – Breakup Day, the day that Cat is dreading most of all.
"Beck?" Jade inclines her head. "Cat, if I didn't know better, I'd think that you have a crush on him."
And there her mother goes again, assuming things that are about as far from the truth as possible. Cat shakes her head vehemently. "No, no, that's not it at all. That's... that's crazy, actually."
"Well, what is it?" Jade presses. "You've been acting strangely ever since you got here, and I can't figure out why."
"Is that why you asked me to come over?" Cat inquires, feeling a bit hurt. "So you could uncover my 'mystery'? Is that the only reason?"
"What? No! I was just curious." Jade rolls her eyes. "If I just wanted to know that, don't you think I'd have asked by now? But I am a little confused – why do you care so much about Beck and my relationship with him?"
Cat feels her breath catch in her throat. "I can't tell you!"
"Yes, you can," Jade demands, her eyes dark. "Tell me now."
"I can't, Jade." She sighs. "If I could, I would. Just... try to be on your best behavior the next few days, okay? It could affect your future... and mine."
"Your future!" Jade exclaims, looking confused. "How does my behavior affect your future? What are you, my mother?"
"Hardly," Cat replies, and she cannot stop herself from dissolving into giggles. "Me... your mother... haha."
"Stop laughing at me," Jade hisses crossly. "I'll figure this out, you'll see. Don't know how you think you know the future anyway."
Cat just frowns. "I guess we'll see, won't we?"
"I think I have a plan," Robbie tells her excitedly as soon as she gets back to the school.
"Ooh, really?" Cat squeals. This is good. Even if Cat does not exist, Robbie will exist if he successfully gets his parents together, and hopefully he will remember her. At least someone will.
"Dad told me today that he likes Mom," Robbie squeaks. "So I was thinking that tomorrow night, the day before B-Day, we could get everyone together for a little game of Truth or Dare?"
She thinks through it for a moment. This could work to her advantage as well – if she gets Beck to talk about how much he loves Jade or Jade to say something (anything) nice about Beck, then maybe (hopefully) they won't break up tomorrow, and then... the future will change and she can go home.
"You're brilliant, Robbie," she says at last, her face lighting up at the edges, and she throws her arms around him in a quick hug.
For a moment, he squeezes her back. Then he pulls away and stares at her, looking more confused than anything. "You really think my idea's good?"
It hits her then – not many people tell Robbie that he has good ideas. Sure, she thinks, he's a dork, but he's a lovable one at that. She determines to compliment him as much as she can without seeming overbearing or conspicuous.
"Of course I do," she replies sincerely. "Anyway, where's Rex?"
Leaning forward, Robbie whispers in her ear, "He's in time-out. He kept hitting on Mom and insulting Dad, then he nearly gave away who I am... who we are. So I put him in time-out."
"Please," Rex snorts. "I'm the dominant one here."
Then things automatically get weird again. All she can do is giggle and shake her head.
"You want us to play a group game of Truth or Dare?" Beck asks dubiously, staring at her with eyes that clearly say how he feels about that. "We'll all kill each other. Do you want us all to die? Jade will kill us all."
"Have you got something to hide?" Cat wonders innocently, blinking her eyes as if to assure him of her innocence. "No, Robbie and I just... we thought it'd be fun."
"No, I haven't got anything to hide, but what if someone else does?" Beck cocks his head to the side. "It just... sounds like a bad idea, that's all."
"It sounded like a good idea to me, so I'm doing it," Cat informs him. "Do you really love Jade?" Her voice is softer now, not as shrill as usual. She finds herself giggling nervously. In this universe, she tends to do that a lot.
"Yes." His voice is sharp, though she can't imagine why. "Don't even know why you would ask something like that."
"Then you'll be there," Cat finishes determinedly.
"Why?" is all he asks.
"Because my existence and your future could depend on it." It may be giving a bit too much away, but she knows that it will peak her father's curiosity and he will come and in the end, that's all that matters. She grins and gives a small squeak as she skitters away.
He doesn't call her back.
Beck does show up though, as do the rest of them.
"We're hanging out together," Cat squeals, running up to put one arm around Jade and the other around Beck.
A disgruntled Jade shoves off Cat's arm. "NO!"
"Jade, calm down." Beck sighs, sounding irritated already. Cat's throat closes up. This is not how the evening is supposed to go.
They all settle down into a makeshift circle, the two sets of 'parents' and their future children. Anyone looking in might have thought they were merely a circle of friends, all the same age. No one would suspect that Cat and Robbie are from the future.
Nervously, Cat squeals, "Who's going first?'
"I'll go!" Tori volunteers cheerfully. "Jade, truth or dare?"
The glare Jade shoots Tori could probably pierce through a brick wall. "Dare," Jade says at last, gritting her teeth.
"Kiss Robbie," Tori dares her.
Of course, that shoots everyone into an uproar. Robbie turns a dark shade of red and shoots a look at Cat that clearly says "I don't want to kiss your mom!", Beck alternates between looking jealous and looking amused, Jade lunges for Tori's throat, and Cat tries to calm them all down.
"You guys!" she protests. "Can we not play the game that way?"
"Fine," Tori allots after Jade has stopped trying to rip out her larynx. "Either you kiss Robbie or some random guy on the street."
"Random guy on the street," Jade declares immediately. Robbie looks a bit insulted, but mostly relieved. All of them follow Jade out onto the street.
Her eyes dart back and forth until they fall upon a tall, cute, dark-haired guy. She walks up to him with a smile on her face and Cat hears her say, "Hey, I'm Jade."
"Brock," says the boy, returning her flirtatious smile.
Then she kisses him, hard, fast and quick, and Cat can't help but look over at Beck, who is wearing a thinly-cloaked expression of anger and jealousy. This relieves her immensely. Surely he at least cares for her a little bit if he looks at her like that? Surely he loves her? Surely he won't let her go?
"Nice job," Tori congratulates her with a smirk as Jade returns to the group, sparing a glance at Beck, who isn't so pleased. Cat already sees why this game wasn't the best idea.
The game continues like this. Jade dares Tori to lick the bottom of Robbie's shoe; Tori dares Beck to say what he actually likes about Jade (which makes Cat beam from ear to ear as she listens). And finally, Robbie tells Andre to tell everyone who he likes.
Andre breaks out into a cold sweat. Well, at least it looked that way to Cat.
"Tori," he mutters under his breath.
"I'm sorry, what was that?" Tori says, her eyes twinkling. Cat thinks that is a good sign.
"Tori," Andre repeats, just a little bit louder.
"Really?" Tori asks, a grin spreading across her face.
"YES. Get some hearing aids," Andre nearly yells, and everyone in the room laughs, except Jade, who says "This is boring" and leans back against the couch. She then proceeds to remove her scissors from her pocket and cut up some random piece of paper. Of course, everyone ignores her.
With a grin, Tori moves closer to Andre. Robbie gives Cat a look that clearly says 'victory'. Cat just leans back smugly and hopes that her parents' relationship will progress just as smoothly.
"Good work, Robert," Sikowitz congratulates the boy as soon as Robbie walks into the room the next morning. "Your future has changed."
Cat grins over at Robbie, feeling proud of her friend. His face lights up at once. "I get to continue existing?"
"Yes, of course," Sikowitz states, as if it should be obvious. "You may return to the future now, if that is what you want."
"What about Cat?" Robbie wonders, glancing over at Cat. Cat finds herself squirming. Something is wrong and she knew it. There was still some underlying tension the night before; perhaps it will lead to the imminent break-up today. Perhaps she is still not completely self.
"I'm sorry, Caterina, but you have to take even bigger steps today or run the risk of nonexistence," Sikowitz says. "There's no way you can go back. Not now."
"I didn't prevent it?" Cat asks, her eyes starting to fill with tears. Maybe it's a bit babyish to cry, but honestly, when one is faced with the possibility of nonexistence, Cat thinks that it's pretty normal to cry.
"No, not yet," Sikowitz informs her softly.
"I'm staying," Robbie declares. "There's no way I'm going back without Cat."
"I suggest you don't interfere with your parents' relationship any further, Robert," Sikowitz implores. "Caterina, get to work."
She just nods.
Ironically, the sun is shining as they walk outside. It is the morning of B-Day, so of course Cat had expected rain. But no, the sun shines above, mocking her. She frowns. This may very well be the last sun that she ever sees.
"Don't think like that." Robbie comes up behind her and places a hand on her back. "It's going to be okay, Cat. We're going to fix this, and then you're going to go home and see your friends, Mati and Ama and Lia, and it'll be okay, it'll all be okay..."
"You don't know that," Cat says impetuously, as if she is some little child instead of a nearly 17-year-old girl. "I only have one chance."
"I guess that means you have to get it right." Robbie gulps.
Once they reenter the school, it becomes obvious that Beck and Jade have been arguing already. There are bags under Beck's dark eyes, and Jade's eyes are red-rimmed, as if she has been either really angry or crying. Cat sighs. "Here goes nothing." But before she can walk up to them, they walk away.
"Yeah, good luck." Robbie swallows audibly, which does little to reassure Cat.
"Hey, Cat!" calls a weird boy from down the hall. Sinjin, she remembers. "Wanna come to my game show today? It's a love show." He raises an eyebrow, as if to imply something.
Game show. Game show. For some reason, she feels like this is very important. She nods. "Yeah, sure, I'll come!" She gives him a big smile. "It sounds like fun!"
"Great, see you then." Sinjin takes off. Smiling, Cat turns to Robbie. "I think I have a lead."
"What?" Robbie raises an eyebrow.
"This game show, something's going to happen there!" Cat explains, throwing her hands into the air wildly. "I can feel it."
"All right," Robbie frowns doubtfully. "I'll come with you, then, but it still doesn't really make sense..."
"It will, Robbie! Trust me, it will," she squeals, her face lighting up. "You'll see!"
She is right. Robbie is surprised.
When they get there, six people are seated in the 'love seats', as Sinjin calls them. Sinjin strokes his chin and then shakes his head. "No, these people won't do. I'm sorry, but they're simply too boring." He glances out at the audience. "How about some audience participation? Cat, Robbie, Tori, Andre, Beck, Jade, get up here."
Andre, of course, goes with Tori, and Beck with Jade, which leaves Cat with Robbie. She giggles nervously. "Robbie and I... we aren't together."
"Does it matter?" Sinjin's friendly gaze quickly turns murderous. "Just sit down and get ready for the game show!"
Cat yelps and plops down beside Robbie, who gives her a friendly smile. "You're doing this for your parents, remember," he whispers. "It's all going to be okay."
She settles down in her seat, running her hands through her hair in worry as Sinjin begins the first round. "Tori," he grins in a sort of slimy way at Robbie's adoptive mother, "if Andre was wearing a particularly bad shirt one day, would you a) let him wear it and get laughed at, b) tell him quietly and try to find him another, or c) demand he change it?"
In the other corner of the room, Jade whispers 'a', but Tori sticks her tongue out at Jade and says "B!" with the utmost of confidence.
"That's what I put too!" Andre grins, giving his girlfriend a high-five.
"You're supposed to press the buttons, then wait until I tell you!" Sinjin complains.
"Too bad!" Jade yells. Wearily, Beck presses his hand to his forehead.
Sinjin just shakes his head and moves on to Cat and Robbie. "Robbie, which one would Cat rather have? A) a unicorn, B) a pet monster, C) a llama, or D) a frog?"
"Pick A!" Cat sings, her face lighting up. She grabs Robbie's arm and shakes it. "Pick A, pick A, pick A!" She has no doubt that Jade and Beck will have no difficulty answering these type of questions. After all, her dad has proven multiple times that he knows more than anyone about her mother, and despite it all, Cat would be ready to bet that her mom knows a lot more than she lets on about her dad. She wonders what is going to happen today to break them up. After all, this game show isn't so bad.
Robbie gives her a look that clearly says "I don't think the game is meant to go this way", but he says "A" anyway.
"You're not supposed to say it!" Sinjin yells. He facepalms, as if their group is the biggest bunch of morons he has ever met. Perhaps they are.
"Sorry," Cat says with a frown.
Last up is Jade and Beck. Neither of them look entirely happy to be on the show; Beck's arms are cross and he is leaning back in his chair, while Jade is wearing her usual glare. Once Sinjin gets over there, Jade's glare becomes all the more intense and pronounced. Cat can't say she isn't worried.
"All right, Jade and Beck, here's your question," Sinjin tells them cheerfully. He shoots Jade a glance that clearly says he is checking her out, then continues. "If you were at the beach, swimming in the ocean – "
"I wouldn't be swimming in the ocean," Jade interrupts, crossing her arms. "I hate oceans."
"Jade," Beck says wearily.
"Just pretend you are," Sinjin protests, frowning at Jade.
"I can't pretend because I wouldn't be there," Jade informs him. "So I won't answer that."
"Just answer it," Beck demands, looking tired.
"You know what happened to me when I went to the ocean in fifth grade, Beck!" she yells.
"Yes, and I also know that you're being very immature." Ouch. Cat feels the sting from that one. And from the look on Jade's face, she felt it too.
"Oh, now I'm the immature one?" She crosses her arms across her chest.
"I'm not happy with our relationship!" Beck exclaims.
Ouch. That one hurts even worse. Cat doesn't think she can take it, seeing the hurt look on her mom's face and the remorseful look on her father's face. Everyone around seems to be stunned into silence, but somehow she finds herself yelling "NO!" at the top of her lungs.
That's when everyone's attention turns to her. They're giving her looks, not the typical 'Cat, you're crazy' looks, but the ones that clearly imply that she should be thrown into a mental hospital. Cat feels her face flushing, but she doesn't stop. She has already done enough damage, and now it is time for her to fix it. It is time for her to fix all of this.
"Stop fighting," she pleads, standing between them with a puppy-dog look on her face.
Jade just storms off to the right, flipping her hair over her shoulder like the drama queen that she always has been, an angry look upon her face. Cat just looks to Beck, who shakes his head.
"Game over," he whispers.
When she wakes up, her hands are fading. She knows she had to have accomplished something, because, for all intents and purposes, her parents are still together. But they're not really together and even Cat knows that.
She hears loud voices coming from a closet, so she tiptoes over to the closet and throws open the door. "Is this a closet party?"
Her parents pause their arguing just for a moment to glance over at Cat. "Jade and I got voted Worst Couple, Cat," Beck tells her, his voice angry. Cat can't imagine why this would matter to him, but obviously it does, so she bites her lip.
"Cat thinks we're a perfect couple," Jade protests.
"Cat, are Jade and I a perfect couple?" Beck asks, sounding as calm as ever.
"YES," Cat yells, looking like she's near the verge of tears.
"SEE?" Jade yells.
Cat doesn't hear Beck's response, because the next thing she knows, she is on the ground.
"You're growing weaker," Sikowitz says grimly. "You're fading; you don't have as much energy anymore."
"I know," Cat yelps, glancing down at her pale, fading hands. "What can I do; what do I do?"
"Go find them, and hurry," Sikowitz tells her. "You haven't got much time left, Caterina. I'll try helping you – rig up some things in the lab, buy you some more time – but this is up to you. Go. Hurry. It's about to happen. They're all over at Tori's."
Once she gets there, it is only Andre and Tori. They are sitting at the table, holding hands and doing normal couple things. At first she thinks that she might be mistaken, especially when Andre and Tori act perfectly normal and ask for her to sit with them and play the game. She nods hesitantly, deciding that Sikowtiz is normally correct, so Beck and Jade should be coming here.
Robbie arrives next. He smiles and says that he was looking for Cat, and Andre and Tori politely ask him to join them. Of course, he agrees, but Rex isn't so thrilled.
After that, Beck and Jade show up at last. Neither of them look really thrilled. With a frown, Beck says, "Tell Jade why we weren't invited here."
"No one was invited." Tori threw up her hands in frustration. "You kind of all just came here!"
"They're sick of our fighting," Beck says, ignoring Tori. "Everyone is."
"Do you want to break up with me?" Jade asks, her eyes wide. Cat wants to yell "NO, he really doesn't", but she has a feeling that her opinion on the matter does not have much weight, so she remains silent.
"I didn't say that," Beck retorts. For some reason, his tone scares Cat. She knows what is coming. She bites her lip. Sighing, Beck motions to Cat. "See, we're scaring Cat."
"You know what, I'm sick of this." Jade scowls. "I am walking out that door, and if you do not come after me in 10 seconds, then we're through."
Oh no. Cat knows what's going to happen. She has no control over herself. Standing up, she yells "STOP".
"Look, I know this sounds crazy and you probably won't believe me. I wouldn't believe me either. But the thing is that you two are my parents. Beck and Jade, I mean. And if you don't exist, then I don't exist, and I fade away." As if to prove it, Cat rolls up her sleeve a bit, exposing the faded, clear skin. "You two have a future together, Mom and Dad. And you love each other a lot in the future, and you love me a lot too. But if you break up now... you risk all of that."
Jade looks bewildered. She glances from Cat to Robbie to Beck. "What about the freak?" she sneers, pointing at Robbie.
"It doesn't matter!" Cat cries. "What matters right now is that you two don't need to break up." Breathing in, she turns to Beck. "Daddy, do you love Mommy?"
"I'm assuming you mean Jade?" Beck questions, obviously amused. "Yes. Yes, I love her."
"And Mommy, do you love Daddy?" She looks at Jade with wide eyes, pleading her to understand, to give in for once. She loves Beck; she has to. This needs to work.
Jade looks uncomfortable. She glances from Tori to Robbie to Andre to Cat to Beck at last, and her steely gaze seems to pierce right through him. Then she nods. "Yes. I love him."
"See! You love each other," Cat exclaims, twirling around with a grin on her face. "I know you've got issues but you've got all the time in the world to work that out. Trust me. Please."
Both of them stare at Cat for a moment. Then Jade walks forward a few steps to place her hand on the side of Beck's face. Barely breathing, she says, "You love me again."
"Who said I stopped?" Beck replies, as if this response is as natural as breathing. Then he kisses her.
With the kiss, Cat feels a surge of power, as if she has been shocked with electricity. She beams, a smile so wide it could fill the whole room, and rolls down her sleeve. The fading has stopped.
"Thank you, Mommy and Daddy," Cat says. With a grin, she gives a very surprised Jade a hug, and then Beck one as well. "I'll see you in the future, okay?"
Neither of them seems to have an adequate response, so Cat and Robbie just run out the door, huge grins on their faces. "We're going to continue existing!" Cat squeals as they walk down the street. "It's okay; it's all okay!"
"We get to go home!" Robbie grins over at Cat and wraps an arm around her shoulder.
"Yeah, the girls are hotter there," Rex agrees, but Cat is so happy that she ignores him.
"I do wish you'd thought of that ages ago though, Cat," Robbie informs her, shaking his head. "We could've been done with this a long time ago."
"I didn't think it was possible!" Cat squeaks. "Sikowitz said that it'd mess with the... the space... the time space..."
"The space-time continuum," Robbie finishes, smiling at her. "It had to have. We should have been attacked by monsters, or worse, zapped into nonexistence. Yet we're still here. Sikowitz must have done something, fixed it somehow. There's no way..."
"I guess so," Cat replies, a little bit scared.
Robbie turns to look at her then, a strange look upon his face. "Hey Cat, when's your birthday? I mean, we weren't sent back that long ago, and you are Jade and Beck's biological child, so I mean..." He trails off, embarrassed.
"Nine months from tomorrow," Cat sings.
"Oh." Robbie's face suddenly darkens in understanding. "Oh. That makes sense."
"Don't think about it, Robbie!" Cat squeals, hitting him on the arm. "Don't envision it, please!"
"I'm trying not to!" Robbie squirms and Cat laughs. And in that moment, they are both beyond themselves with happiness.
Once they get back to the school, Sikowitz congratulates them on a job well done.
"What about the time-space continuum?" Cat questions, her eyes wide. "Didn't I mess that up?"
"No, I wiped their memories." Sikowitz chuckles. "They won't remember any of their time with you, I'm afraid."
"No, that's fantastic!" Robbie protests. "It'd be kind of awkward when your mom's like 'I've seen you somewhere before. Wait, let me think – in my past?'"
Cat and Robbie crack up again, much to Sikowitz's chagrin. "We haven't got time to play around, children," he tells them sternly. "We've got to get you sent back to your own time before it's too late. Here, take these." Absentmindedly, he tosses them two bracelets. "They'll send you back. Put you in your beds, I think, the morning of the day that you left on. It'll be like nothing ever happened."
"But we'll know, right?" Cat inquires nervously. "We'll remember?"
"Yes, you will." Sikowitz chuckles again, his face a bit solemn now. "But no one else will. Saviors of the universe and no one will even remember."
Cat doesn't have time to ask what he means, because the bracelets spontaneously activate then and she is floating, dissecting. She is everywhere and yet she is nowhere, and it is glorious.
When her eyes open, she realizes that she is in her own bed, at her own house, with her own family. Grinning, she jumps up and runs to bang on the door of her brother's bedroom. "Frankie! Frankie, it's Cat!"
"What do you want?" Frankie asks, opening his door just a crack.
Not holding back at all, Cat pushes through the door, nearly knocking him over, and gives him a huge hug. "I love you, Frankie!"
"Yeah, love you too, Cat," he says awkwardly, shoving her away a bit. "Now go annoy Mom and Dad."
Without a second thought, Cat runs down the stairs, nearly colliding with her father's hard chest.
"Whoa, slow down, Caterina," her father scolds her, running a hand through his messy hair. "You nearly made me spill my coffee."
"That would hardly be the end of the world," someone on the other side of the kitchen snorts. "Might be a relief, actually."
"Jade, do you ever take a break?" Beck retorts, raising an eyebrow at his wife.
Cat begins to worry again. She has just gotten her parents back together; it is hardly an appropriate time for them to be fighting. She speaks up adamantly. "Mommy, Daddy, I love you guys."
"Yes, Cat, we love you too." Beck grins and ruffles her hair. "Always. We love Frankie too."
"Daddy, do you love Mommy?" she inquires innocently, batting her eyes at her father – a much older version of her father than the one she had been speaking to just hours before, but still very much her father.
Beck blinks, as if he is surprised. "Yes. Yes, I do."
Smiling widely, she turns to Jade. "Mommy, do you love Daddy?"
Jade glances absently from Cat to Beck, but at last she nods, just as she had before. "Yes, I do."
"Then you can work it out and I know it," Cat sings, grinning at her parents. "You guys are great together."
"I know," Jade says, while Beck mutters something about how Cat's words sound oddly familiar.
Then Cat draws both of her parents into a group hug. Bur when her mom and her dad start making out she decides that it is high time for her to leave and she sneaks out the door.
She dashes next door to find that Sikowitz is no longer some mad scientist genius. Instead, he peers at Cat out of dark, strained eyes. "Young lady, have I not told you to stay out of my yard?"
"Sikowitz, it's me, Caterina Valentine!" She beams at him and holds out her arms. "Don't you remember me?"
"Too old to care, dear Caterina," he tells her, and then his head lulls over, but his breathing tells her that he is merely asleep.
She goes to see Robbie next, of course. Robbie looks as though he is on top of the world. "You remember, don't you?" he demands excitedly. "It wasn't all just a dream, was it?"
"No, I remember." She laughs fondly. "Sikowitz said we would. We traveled back in time; that isn't something we're going to forget just like that!"
"It was amazing, though," Robbie reminds her. As if she needs a remind her. "It was the bravest thing I've ever done."
"You were fantastic," Cat informs him, leaning over to ruffle his hair. "I was fantastic too, for once." She starts to laugh then, and her laughter quickly fades into sobs, both from happiness and relief. Robbie strokes her hair until she calms down at last, and then he continues on his rant of happiness.
"We saved ourselves from fading away, Cat!" Robbie tells her, his face alight. "We're alive, we're here! Our parents are still together! My parents aren't fighting! We're back in our universe. Everything is okay now."
"We're okay," she repeats, reaching over and taking his hand. As his fingers thread through hers, she begins to believe it.
A/N: A lot of this was probably OOC, but idk, I don't know how to write Cat xD This is filed under Beck and Jade (as the characters) because the predominant ship is Bade, second being Cabbie (but only by a bit).
I've seen this all over tumblr, so credit to the original creators – this idea was definitely not mine, but it's a fabulous idea, so thank you for the wonderful inspiration and I hope you guys like this! Please read and review and don't favorite without reviewing. Take some time to tell me what you think? I'd love to know your opinions.
Also, the plot and the reasons for going back, etc were not very clearly explained, but basically Sikowitz is/was secretly a scientist who had developed a time-traveling bracelet and tested it on Cat, Robbie, and himself. Of course, Beck and Jade were going to break up in the past, and past!Sikowitz (who had already met Cat) worried that they wouldn't get back together and that Cat would cease to exist, so he enlisted the help of Cat and Robbie. xD He also worried that Tori and Andre would never hurry up and get together, thus the worry for Robbie.
Read and review, please!