So, oh my God they broke up! I know that was a few weeks ago, but whatever. I've wanted to write this ever since I saw that episode and just got around to it tonight. I really don't like that they broke up at all.


Beck's hand hovers over the doorknob. He has two options. He can open the door, go back inside to Jade. Jade is familiar. They had been together over two years, and their relationship felt as natural as breathing after a while. Jade was the safe route.

Or he could walk away, take "the road less traveled by," as Robert Frost had said. His relationship with Jade was tough, it was work, and it was never enough for her no matter what he did. She underappreciated him so much and all they ever did was fight.

Stay and be rid of Jade, or go and keep dealing with her.

Two choices.

One decision.

Jade loudly counting down seconds outside Tori's house.

Trina hanging on him.

Everyone else holding their breath, waiting.

"…nine…ten."

Slowly, he removes his hand. Turns around. Tries to pretend it doesn't bother him. That he didn't just make a life-altering decision. That he didn't just break the heart of the girl he still loves and always will. Tries to ignore everyone's shocked faces.

"Let's go play some cards."

And to their credit, everyone else is nice enough to try to pretend along with him. Hey, they're all actors, right? They play cards like everything's normal, Cat counting them out and forgetting "three."

But he knows he just broke Jade forever. And not just her heart.

XXX

"I'm going to walk out that door and I'm gonna count to ten."

"Don't forget three! Some people forget it," Cat throws in, and her happiness, that Jade normally doesn't mind and even looks forward to, today clashes with her mood and grates on her nerves. She sends a glare Cat's way.

"If I get to ten and you're not out there, I'm going home," Jade finishes. "And we're over." She is bluffing and he knows it. She knows he knows it. She knows he'll come—he always does. Because they bring out the best in each other (usually), because they balance each other out. Because they're perfect for each other. Because they're Beck and Jade. Because she doesn't know what she would do without him.

She goes outside and she stands there and counts. And as the seconds go by, as her numbers get lower, she begins to get a little worried. But she pushes it to the back of her mind and doesn't let it show in her voice.

"Nine!" she yells. He should be out here by now, a voice in her head whispers. She ignores it.

"Ten." Ten and he's not standing beside her or even coming out the door. Ten and he's still inside. Her face falls and she feels tears stinging at her eyes. Backing away from the door, she angrily blinks them away. She is Jade West, tough chick, the person everyone's afraid of, the girl with a layer of steel protecting her heart—she doesn't cry!

But Beck had been the only one able to penetrate that steel barrier, ever. And in this one agonizing moment, the gate he'd opened closed and the pieces he'd chipped off jumped back into place, thicker than ever. She would never, ever let anyone else get through again. Wouldn't even let them try. Wouldn't let herself feel this pain again.

She jumps in her car and angrily revs the engine. She speeds off, tires screeching and she's probably burning rubber but she doesn't care. She wants him to hear it.

She doesn't go home. Instead, she goes out to a club. Has a few drinks (of course she has a fake ID). Dances with the first guy who flirts with her and somehow she ends up at his place and they're hooking up and it feels good. It feels like she's getting back at Beck. She's had sex with Beck before, of course, but he was the only one.

Now, she endures bar guy's sloppy kisses, his quick foreplay. And as much as she hates it she needs it. It's her Beck remedy.

In the morning she wakes up before he does, leaves a note—Thanks for last night, I really needed it—and goes home. And thank God it's a Saturday and her mom was probably out last night doing the same thing she was. And in the car, she turns on the radio and hears Seether's Broken play. She violently jabs the button to change the station. That song always reminded her of her and Beck. But so does every station she goes to.

"What I really meant to say, is I'm sorry for the way I am…"

"It's four-oh-three, and I can't sleep, without you next to me I toss and turn like the sea…"

"I know there's no life after you…"

"I've fallen, I have sunk so low…I've messed up better, I should know…"

"Lithium, don't wanna lock me up inside…"

She shuts off the radio and goes the rest of the way in silence, tears streaming down her face because she can't fight them anymore.

She goes home, takes a shower. She sits, letting the water pour over her, sobs heaving out of her chest. She loves him too much, damn him.

XXX

And on Monday, they try and act like nothing changed. Except they're avoiding each other as much as possible. Except they won't make eye contact with each other. Except they can't be alone—they must always be surrounded by a group of people.

And both know it will never be the same again.

But both still loves the other.

And always will.


Wow, sadder and more depressing than I intended. But it's 1 AM so give me a break. The songs used, in order, are: "Cold" by Crossfade, "If You Only Knew" by Shinedown, "Life After You" by Daughtry, "Fallen" by Sarah McLachlan, and "Lithium" by Evanescence. Except "Fallen" and maybe not "Life After You," they're all songs I think Jade might like. Cold and Broken especially; I see Jade as a rock fan.

Oh, and the part about Jade liking Cat's happiness? Not Jat or Cade or whatever you want to call it. If you want to see it like that, then be happy, but that's not what I intended. It's just…well, I have a friend who, like Jade, is mean to all of her friends (but they're still her friends…ugh, you know, like Jade) except this one girl, for some reason. Ever. To me, Cat is that for Jade: the one person she's never mean to.

Anyway. Let's hope they get back together at some point in the series.