After the breakup, they don't talk at all, except when they're fighting. Of course, Beck gets sick of it. He decides that he is going to be the mature one, so he approaches her first. "Jade."
"Yeah?" She raises an eyebrow at him inquisitively. "Unless you have something of worth to say, kindly fall off a cliff. Into a vat of lava."
Two weeks ago (had it really only been two weeks?), he would've laughed and told her that she was really funny and that she was gorgeous, just to embarrass her. Now, he sighs impatiently. "Jade, honestly. I want to be friends."
"Oh, what now?" Jade hisses. "You rudely dump me and then say you want to be friends with me?"
He wants to say that she dumped him, but he figures that won't help his case. Sighing, he shakes his head. "I miss you."
"I'm sure you do," she says scathingly.
Desperate times call for desperate measures, so he turns on the charm. "Please?"
"Fine. Whatever." She rolls her eyes. "Carry my books, oh dear friend."
He doesn't protest. You're the mature one, he tells himself.
Sometimes, he catches her looking at him for long periods of time during class. It's kind of uncomfortable, but he manages a half-smile anyway. Neither of them break the gaze. Neither of them is willing.
After class one day, Beck approaches her. "Hey, ba— Jade. Wanna hang out? As friends?"
For a moment, Jade stares at him. Then she shakes her head. "Just the two of us?"
"And my fish," Beck jokes.
She pauses again, staring at him intently with that serious look of hers. Then she nods at last. "Yeah. Sure. Fine."
They end up watching old TV shows until late at night and her head ends up on his shoulder, but it's all totally platonic, right?
From then on, they are friends. Really, it is impossible to be with someone for such a long time and notfeel comfortable around them. And feel comfortable around her, he does.
Sometimes his hand will inadvertently land on her shoulder or his arm will end up around the back of her chair. She never seems to notice; after all, they've been doing it for such a long time now that it's more tradition than anything. After all, they're friends and friends touch. At least, that's what he tells himself.
During one particularly boring class, he ends up playing with a piece of her hair. She doesn't so much as turn around; instead, she leans into his touch a bit.
André approaches him after class. "Dude, are you and Jade back together?"
"No," Beck responds, confused. "Why would we be?"
André throws up his hands and walks away, tossing a "Figure it out" over his shoulder.
Beck doesn't know how.
He still loves her. He still wakes up in the morning wishing that she was beside him. Even after all this time, he still misses the feel of her hair (soft and silky), the way she'd smile at him (like he was the only guy in the world), her rude good morning texts.
(They still text, just not as often.)
It's kind of a strange sensation, he decides one morning. He's never experienced unrequited love, and, since he'd been dating Jade for quite a while, he supposes that he never thought he would. It's hard, deciding how long is too long to stare at her and how often he can get away with touching her. Somehow, it's like he's a schoolboy with a cute little crush on a girl in his class instead of a junior who is in love with his terrifying ex-girlfriend.
Ex. They are no longer together. At least, that's what he reminds himself when he catches himself staring at her in class. Ex.
(Sometimes she catches his gaze and he thinks that maybe she loves him back.)
Tori invites them to her house one night. He finds himself next to Jade, unfortunately enough, and his hand (having a mind of its own) makes its way to Jade's hair and strokes it. She doesn't even look back. It makes his heart skip a beat.
"Honestly," Robbie voices, looking from Beck to Jade. Beck drops his hand.
"Is something wrong?" Beck says at last, the words coming out harsher than he thought they would. "Have you got a problem?"
"No." Tori laughs awkwardly, obviously trying to make up for Robbie's awkward outburst. "No problem at all."
"Jade and I are friends now," Beck announces, shooting a quick, lingering glance at his ex-girlfriend. "Is that an issue?"
"No," Cat says, giggling. "I think it's cute."
Cute, he repeats internally. Now he and Jade are cute. He supposes one could say that, in their own special kind of way, they are cute, but of course it's Jade and nothing about Jade is cute. She's more brilliant, amazing, fantastic. At least, to him.
It kind of scares him that all of this is occurring to him after they've already broken up, but he tries not to dwell on that.
One day at the beach, he goes too far. Cat and Jade are building a sand castle ("A witch's castle," Jade informs him snootily), and of course a crab seizes the opportunity to pinch her hard on her toe. She jumps around like she has been attacked by a shark or something.
"Settle down, Jade," he says softly, in a voice reserved just for you, and Tori gives him one of those looks that clearly implies that she knows that he's still in love with her and he'd best tell her soon or she'll do it for him. Which, knowing her, will not be pretty.
"Don't tell me what to do," she hisses, but she lets him help her over to the towel, where he bandages up her toe and then sets her down softly on a towel.
"Rest for a minute," he commands, smiling softly at her, as if she is the only thing in his universe. (Which, speaking truthfully, she kind of is.)
"I am," she informs him, settling back onto her towel.
Then, inadvertently, rashly, recklessly, he presses his lips to the side of her head. It's a soft kiss, a caring kiss, but time seems to stop anyway. Everyone is gaping at the two of them.
Instead of yelling, like Beck had imagined she would, Jade simply stares up at him. "You…"
"I love you," he informs her at last.
"Yeah." She glances down. "And you too. You know, I thought it would be easy, getting over you, but it really wasn't. I was still jealous and bitter and — mmph!"
He shuts her up by kissing her roughly, pulling her up out of the sand, and both of them disregard her pinched toe as they kiss.
Someone claps and someone else mutters "Finally!". He doesn't bother finding out who either of them is.
He's too caught up in her.
A/N: This was originally meant to be just a drabble, but it turned into an outpouring of ~feelings~ so um you guys can have it. Please read and review, and don't favorite without reviewing!