Disclaimer: Yeah, the lyrics are from Who's To Say by Vanessa Carlton and Dan owns the show so...?
"Who's to say we won't burn it out?
Who's to say, we won't sink in doubt?
Who's to say we won't fade to grey?
Who are they anyway?
They don't know…"
Beck and Jade knew what they were in for the moment he managed to muster up enough courage to hold her hand as he walked her home after school. Even at 14, they were well aware of the things people said about them. They weren't one of those happy-go-lucky couples. Nobody was going to think about them and smile. They weren't cute and they weren't lovey-dovey. They were raw, emotional, volatile, unstable, aggressive and passionate. They were different. They were happy, and in l.o.v.e. They were why everyone had a reason to gossip on Monday mornings after the weekends. Every morning, there was always something new. They had gotten used to the gossip.
One thing Beck could never understand was why they, out of all the couples in the school, were spoken about the most. He wouldn't have minded if they were saying positive things, but no; everyone seemed to be counting down the days before their final breakup. It was "inevitable" they said.
They didn't really have a fuck who Beck Oliver and Jade West were, did they?
So why did they think they had the right to comment on their relationship?
He had known of her since they were 7, their lives overlapped. It was only recently when he had been shuffling through some of his kindergarten pictures had he noticed how intertwined their lives were. He had cut his Power Rangers cake with her on his fourth birthday and she had given him a chocolate, frosty kiss on the cheek. He spent hours digging through the albums and found random pictures of her, Cat and Andre before he befriended them.
They had been dancing on the outskirts of each other's lives for so long.
He had spoken of her, but the day he held her hand was the first time that he actually spoke to her.
[And that was only because he offered to carry her books when she broke her ankle.]
When Beck first spoke about love, his father patted him on the back and his mother smiled sweetly. Secretly, they wished for him to develop an interest in the West girl; the community princess. Her favourite colour was yellow and during the summer she had an affinity for breaking off some of Beck's mother's sunflowers. She liked to take the small ones and hide it in her hair. She used to stop by her lush garden every morning with her tiny, curly haired friend and they would gaze at the flowers as the little boy with dreadlocks would come running out, a stack of music sheets under his arm and his backpack in the other.
The parents on the block would all cock their heads to the side when Andre Harris played the piano at the community recitals as young Caterina would jump, leap and twirl along with Jadelyn. They would Jazz Pirouette across the stage. Caterina's curly hair would be up in a tight bun, fastened in place with numerous pins and an infectious smile. Jadelyn would twirl with her arms outstretched, her hair in a messy bun of sorts, her lips pursed in effortless grace.
That day, Beck's mother had slapped her 10 year old son's thigh lightly and his father nudged his head playfully. His mother's eyes crinkled as Beck rolled his own similar brown pools.
Who could ever like ballerinas? They were so uptight, not that he liked girls or anything; he was more of a Power Rangers kind of kid.
From the community center stage, Jadelyn didn't miss the way Beck groaned and rolled his eyes as the three of them came onstage when it was announced they would be doing a classical piece. That was exactly why she couldn't stand boys who weren't Andre Harris. He was, after all, one of her best friends.
Two years later at a mighty age of 12, Beck confessed to his father,"you know, I would like to marry a beautiful girl one day. A girl that would remind me of summer, with long brown hair and a small smile."
"You seem pretty sure about that. What about a blonde?"
"No. No…I know her dad, I'll find her one day. She'll have soft hands and smell like daises."
"So you want to marry a florist, basically?"
"Oh Jeff, don't tease the boy," his mother said after ruffling his curly hair, affectionately. "What do you mean a girl like summer?"
"When I'm with her…I want to feel like it's summer." His mother aww-ed and his father chuckled at his son's words.
"That West girl seems to be the one for you then." His father remarked. "Very polite, that one."
"Ugh. Dad, I'll never marry her. She's so…uptight."
"It's called being mannerly, Beck, maybe you should try it." His mother tsk-ed and headed back into the kitchen. "I'll hear you when you're 14."
The second time Beck spoke of love, he was in fact 14; but this time it was different. His mother arched her eyebrow skeptically and his father scowled down at him.
"I don't want you dating that West girl anymore." His father said gruffly, and ran a hand over his weary face.
"Two years ago, you both loved her." Beck crossed his arms defiantly, "I love her, dad…so much."
"That was before she changed. Before…" His mother sat back down on the sofa next to him and avoided eye contact. She was never one to gossip. Everyone knew of the West family's tragedy. They even offered their assistance and had fundraisers to help raise money to pay the medical bills but Mr. West was much too proud to accept anyone's charity. He forced a smile on his way out of the house and hurried off to work when they presented him with the check.
"She's still the same. You're both just like them. You won't give us a chance." Beck didn't understand why everyone said Jade changed. Sure, she changed, but so did he. He grew out his hair and he bought darker clothes. He at least thought he would have his parents' support. They always used to joke that Beck and Jade would make a cute couple; granted that was back when she was Jade[lyn] but still…
"You're too young to know about love, Beck." His father shook his head and spoke firmly.
"I know what love is! It's what I feel for Jade." He was getting desperate. Beck felt the blood rush to his face. Usually never raised his voice at his parents but he had to defend her. He was always defending her, he just never knew he had to defend her from his parents too.
"No, I don't think you do son," Mrs. Oliver patted her son and stiffened as he pulled away from her touch.
"I think about her all the time; I never stop thinking about her. When she smiles, it's like the sun comes out, the flowers bloom and it's summer. Like-"
"I'm not going to listen to this." His father walked away. He was always short-tempered. Usually he encouraged Beck in romantically pursuing those he held an interest in; he was a growing boy with a lot of new feelings- feelings he was confusing with love.
"Mom, please listen to me." Beck bore his brown eyes into hers and his mother shifted uncomfortably under his intense gaze. She never liked family squabbles much. She was a more passive, laid-back person.
"Honey, I just don't think-"
"You're no different from them." He cut her off.
"Yes, them. We hear them. I'm not stupid, I know what they say about Jade, about me; I thought I'd have your support but I guess I was wrong." Mrs. Oliver watched as her only son stood up abruptly.
It was what was best for him. She knew what she was doing; she was his mother.
[And yet he was the one who was disappointed in her; not the other way around]
Little Jadelyn West was the perfect girl. Her mother would hold her hand and walk her to her ballet class three times a week, and sometimes they would get ice-cream with her best friend, Caterina. Her father would take her to piano classes with Andre's grandmother and after, he would make them barbeque as Andre and his friend would go for a swim in the West's pool when Caterina came over.
But then, one day Jadelyn hesitated as she leapt into the air and landed on her ankle awkwardly. The class gasped on hearing the resounding snap; her best friend, Caterina rushed to her side, already crying hysterically. Jadelyn felt the tears rolling down her cheeks but she didn't understand what pain felt like. She was always happyhappyhappy. Her father gave her big hugs at night and her mother would brush her long caramel locks before bed.
Her mother never answered her phone, so her dance teacher rushed her to the hospital. After two hours, the doctor returned, and as Jadelyn scoured the hallway for her mother, shakily on the crutches, her dance teacher gave her a sad smile.
"I'm sorry, but Jadelyn will never be able to dance again." He said and she felt it again, something that wasn't the happyhappyhappy feeling she was used to. "Not at the same level or with the same intensity as she did previously, but perhaps with some therapy and after months of healing, she might be able to dance again."
"But…but I have a recital. My mom and dad, my nana; they're all coming. I have to dance."
The doctor and her teacher both looked at the young girl, hunching over the crutches, with fat tears racing down her face. "I'm sorry." They both said simultaneously.
"Where's my mom?" Jadelyn asked but they were cut off as the emergency doors slammed open and a woman was wheeled inside. Her white shirt was stained with blood and her blue, glassy eyes were empty; cold, like winter.
"Poor lady," her dance teacher said.
"Excuse me, but this patient needs immediate assistance," the doctor said.
"Mommy…?" the girl said.
"That's not her fault!" Beck protested. "Jade's going through a lot right now."
"People don't have such drastic personality changes when they're going through a tough time." His mother said softly and Beck sighed heavily.
"Mom, please. I love her so much, if you'd only-"
"Leave him be, Anya." His father's voice called out from the next room, "it won't last. They're just kids. She'll break his heart and he'll learn his lesson then."
Beck gave his mother a cold smile.
In his eyes, she saw no anger, but rather disappointment. It was something she never wanted to see her son direct towards her ever again.
He squared his shoulders and held his head high as he walked away and slammed the front door shut.
[He wasn't sure if he had won this battle of not.]
They were wrong though. Jade never broke his heart; he broke hers. His summer had turned to winter, and though he was from Canada, Beck was never really fond of the cold.
"Looks like they were right," he heard her mutter bitterly to herself.
They really had no name but Beck&Jade [now Beck and Jade] always heard them; their doubts; their criticisms. They rang out whenever Jade was reminded of her ballerina days. Whenever she heard classical music or she drove past her old dance studio. Whenever she sat next to her mother's bedside and held her hand, silence filling the room.
[The most mommy does now is squeeze her hand and hum symphonies she remembers from her daughter's recital days]
Like summer had progressed into winter, Jadelyn had progressed into Jade. Sunflowers and long summer days painting her nails were no longer things that sparked any interest in her. The only thing she liked was piano lessons with Andre's grandmother. The West family found, that after paying so many medical bills for her mother's transplants, they could no longer afford to pay the woman for her lessons. But it was okay, she had said, they were family friends, and so Jade found that happyhappyhappy feeling again.
[Until Andre's grandmother couldn't place her face and called the police when Jade allowed herself inside one particular Saturday morning]
Jade always knew it would come to this; after her a.c.c.i.d.e.n.t. her dad never gave her hugs anymore [because he was too busy picking up an extra shift] and her mom couldn't stay conscious enough to brush her hair [Jade saw the disappointment in her eyes every time she woke up and realized she was still alive, hooked up to that stupid machine].
Andre couldn't spend as much time with her because he always had to take care of his grandmother [before she ended up killing them both or he ended up in foster care]. Caterina somehow ended up trailing after the mess her best friend had made, picking up her things and trying to put them back into place. She dropped ballet and the "erina" from her name. Red became her colour as black that was to Jade. Her curls were gone and she found that sometimes, when she giggled and brushed Jade's hair [when Jade was in a particularly good mood], Jade would shoot her a familiar smile and Cat would feel happyhappyhappy. That was all she wanted. She wanted to be happyhappyhappy like Jade used to be.
Tori Vega, on her second year at Hollywood Arts, made Beck remember what summer felt like.
Tori shined and glimmered and when she smiled, usually people felt weak in the knees.
[But Beck was never usual]
[He also hated clichés]
[He missed winter; he missed how soft snow was; how it consumed everything around it]
Thank goodness he had moved on.
Jade was cold; she was frosty and her eyes were empty.
She wasn't broken into pieces. She was much stronger than that.
She would never fall to pieces. She would never run either.
But she did spend more time with Cat.
On her way to Cat's house, she would pass Beck's house.
She would always slow down in front of the sunflowers.
[They were smaller than she remembered]
[When she thought nobody was looking, she broke one off and tucked it behind her hair]
[Mrs. Oliver looked on from her kitchen window and smiled]
After seven months of solitude, Beck had left his RV and was headed inside, because now that he was no longer together with Jade, there was no tension between him and his parents.
[His father sneered about how he knew they would never last]
[His mother said they lasted longer than anyone thought they would]
[They were always asking when he would move back into the house]
[He would never leave the RV; it was the last thing he had of her. It was theirs. Beck&Jade's RV]
On his way to his front door he caught her standing in front of his house one day. She hadn't stepped onto their lawn or made her way up the rickety path to their front door. No, she was by their white picket fence, arms hanging over it, gazing at the sunflowers. He retreated back inside.
[He really stood at the corner of the house and watched her through narrowed eyes until she left]
His mother was outside for she loved tending to her garden on Saturday mornings, a wide straw hat on her head of black curls; her tanned skin shimmering like gold. Mrs. Oliver looked at the girl curiously. She recognized her son's [only] ex[girlfriend] but she was unsure of what to do. She pulled off her gloves and straightened her spine. Jadelyn-ahem, Jade, was a girl of circumstance. Like Beck, she thought that unfortunate things had occurred to her; more than things that had even happened to Mrs. Oliver herself and she was a grown woman. But that was no excuse for Jade's particularly nasty attitude that she had developed. That was no excuse for the way she treated people, the way she spoke to them. Mrs. Oliver knew Jade had a soft side; they had been living here since Beck had turned 4. Jadelyn West went from being the community princess, well-loved and adored by all, to Jade West, the fire breathing dragon bringing destruction via scissors.
"Jadelyn," she intended to come off strong and firm but Mrs. Oliver's tone gave away hesitance and the genuine concern she tried to hide, "are you here to see Beck?" She slapped the rubber gloves against her palms as she waited for an answer.
Jade seemed to be caught in a daze. It was then Mrs. Oliver took in the young woman. The black dye faded and her caramel waves fell down to the middle of her back. Her eyebrow and nose were bare of any piercings jutting out from them, gleaming under the sun. She wasn't frowning, but rather, her lips were pursed and she bore a facial expression similar to the kind she wore as a child, twirling onstage. Instead of her usual black attire, the young woman was in a simple white t-shirt and gym pants. It was strange how 7 months could change a person.
"Jade?" Her blue crystals snapped up to look at the older woman before her. A warm breeze blew her hair around her and she brushed it away without batting a long, dark eyelash.
"No. No, I'm not here to see Beck." She paused and spoke in an airy-fairy voice when she said his name.
"Then why are you-"
"Your sunflowers are smaller. The smallest they've ever been."
Mrs. Oliver blinked and eyed the girl before she answered, "Yes, well truth be told I never cared for them. If it weren't for you and Caterina, I would have stopped growing them a long time ago."
"Don't stop growing them." She spoke softly, never taking those blue eyes away from the vibrant petals. She snapped her head and looked at the older woman.
"I…I won't." Mrs. Oliver mumbled. "They-" she cleared her throat, "it's hard to maintain so much of them; they're nowhere as pretty as the roses or lilies we have around the side of the house."
"Just because something is hard doesn't mean you should give up on it." The wind carried Jade's voice and Mrs. Oliver had an inkling that they weren't really talking about the sunflowers anymore. "Just because they aren't as dainty or as feminine as the roses or lilies doesn't mean they still aren't as beautiful."
There was silence and Mrs. Oliver found herself snipping a sunflower by the stem and reaching over the fence, holding it out to the girl on the sidewalk.
"Beck always said you reminded him of summer." She said. "I'm sorry it didn't work out dear, but you have to understand, it was doomed from the start."
She pulled back, turned around and silently walked away. She wasn't defeated and her shoulders weren't slouched in uncertainty. If anything she looked more tired than anything, but only briefly, for Mrs. Oliver can recognize determination when she sees it.
When Jade left, Beck wanted to go inside, but his mother never moved from the spot Jade left her in. She wasn't trimming the plants either; she was simply standing there, slapping the pair of thick green gloves against her left palm. "Mom?" he called out to her and she jumped. He hoped Jade didn't scare his mother; she was so sensitive. "Are you okay? Did something happen?"
"Oh no Beck, I was looking at the sunflowers."
"I want to get rid of them." She looked at him; there was heaviness behind the words she spoke and he he didn't exactly know why.
"No, don't." He said, a small frown covering his features.
"I was thinking of putting the lilies and roses here instead." She spoke slowly and Beck was unsure as to why her gaze was so intense.
"Mom, relax. I know you love your garden but it's nothing serious. But leave the sunflowers, I love them the most." He gave her a quick kiss on her cheek and trudged back to his RV, forgetting why he had left it in the first place. Jade plagued his thoughts more than ever. He was curious to know what his mother and Jade spoke about but he shrugged it off.
[He would casually bring it up during dinner tonight]
His mother was still in their front yard, tending to the sunflowers as she absentmindedly stared at the sidewalk, watching the lone flower; yellow against grey, lost in her own thoughts.
It was a year after their breakup. They were friends now; the two spare tires, in the car trunk. Their friends were all paired off now and they were often left in stony silence. One winter's evening, they trailed behind the two couples. Her scarf bundled around her neck and his hands in his pockets. The streetlights were flickering on; he could see his own breath. Cat giggles brought a soft smile to her face and Beck looked away; he couldn't remember the last time he had seen her smile like that.
"It's really cold." He said.
"I hate winter." She replied, never missing a beat.
"I hate how they all thought we could never last."
"Did you believe them?"
"Sometimes I did…"
"Listen Beck, I don't-"
"But you know what I hate even more?"
"I don't car-"
"I hate how we proved them right."
She caught him looking at her that summer. She rolled her eyes.
[She lasted this long; what's a few more month till college?]
Cat and Robbie had ventured off to go look at the ducks in the pond with Andre and Tori. They were trying to spend as much time together as they could before they left that summer. Life had opened different doors for them all. It wasn't like they were never going to see each other again or anything, but when they did meet up, it would be different. They would be different. For that reason, Cat and Tori had begged Jade to accompany them to have a picnic at the park. Beck was usually up for anything. As friends, they needed this. They needed this time to bond.
Cat spent too much time wailing about how she didn't want them to leave each other; she needed to enjoy what little time they had left. Robbie had to remember what life was like without Rex attached to his arm, saying the things he could never muster up the courage to say himself. Tori wanted to take this time to remember each and every aspect of her friends; the only friends she hasn't left behind because she had to move or transfer to another school. Despite the fact that it had only been 2 years, they mean more to her than her friends from her last school ever did and she never wanted to let them fade; not even Jade. Andre simply enjoyed the company of his friends. He never liked thinking of the future; he didn't know what would happen to his grandmother while he was gone and he didn't like to think about what would happen between him and Tori either. For that, he was living day by day; appreciating each and every moment more and more.
When Jade was a girl, she had dreamed of becoming a professional ballerina, and while she adored writing, it was nothing compared to being the star of The Nutcracker or Giselle. Now, she was at a loss. She didn't want to spend her year travelling the world or finding herself; the West family no longer had the finances to allow that. She'd stay with her mother instead, take care of her. She would get her to speak again, to laugh, to sing and to brush her hair.
[Mommy always did her buns the best]
Beck would stay in LA. He wasn't going to college, he was going to get a job. His parents were supportive of everything he did [except for Jade West] and they had enough money to send him to college but he was tired of depending on them. He wanted to do this himself. Last time they got involved in his life, he broke up with Jade.
[He really couldn't remember the real reason they broke up]
So now, they were at the park. The sun was out and beaming down on them; the birds chirped happily and the clouds whisked across the light blue sky. The two couples could be heard giggling as the ducks quacked obnoxiously and chased Robbie for the crumbs he held in his hand. The only two on the blue picnic blanket were Beck and Jade. Jade because she hated ducks and Beck hated being the third wheel.
"Is there a reason why you keep looking at me?" She asked rudely, her hair fluttering in the wind.
[He was glad she never cut it]
"There are a lot of reasons actually."
"I hate clichés, you know." She turned to look at him, confused by his sudden outburst.
"What does that have to-" He silenced her with a kiss.
It didn't last long for she pushed him off and walked away without saying so much as a word.
[She was always silent these days]
He didn't need a kiss to remind him that he loved her. He didn't need anything physical. The sunflowers growing taller and taller in his mother's garden was enough, the warm breeze was enough, his RV was enough. He felt it, for such a long time; he felt the emptiness inside of him, and desperately tried to fill the void with things like school work, leading roles in the school plays, asking Andre to teach him some new guitar chords, and on occasion, with a bagful of potato chips, but nothing ever worked.
He had grown so used to hearing them say it. So used to everyone doubting them, to everyone expecting them to fail, that somewhere along the line he had forgotten that none of their views matter. He had forgotten to fight. He had forgotten just why he had loved her. All they did was shove her faults down his throat and drown their relationship with doubt.
Her lost her to them last time.
[This time he wasn't losing her at all]
"They're never going to make it."
"She's a royal bitch."
"He's as emotional as a door."
"He doesn't deserve her."
"They're such opposites."
"They don't belong together."
"Here's your trophy for being the Worst Couple."
"Maybe you should just forget about Beck!"
"She's going to break your heart."
"He only likes her because she's hot."
"I feel bad for him."
"He's always cheating on her; I don't know how she can stand it."
"He's such a flirt; how could he ever be faithful?"
"Has it been 3 years already? How are they still together?"
"They're going to break up soon."
"They'll never work."
This time, he ran after her.
He grabbed her by the hand, spun her around and lowered his gaze.
She shifted uncomfortably but he never let her go.
[He never had, nor will he ever let her go completely]
"They won't be right this time."
"I won't take no for an answer."
"I don't want to-"
"I don't care what they say, Jade. They don't know us, they can't judge us. I know your mom's a vegetable and your dad is never around anymore but doesn't mean you have to be so cold. Cat, Andre and I will never leave you."
"You already left me once before."
"I'll never make that mistake again. I think it's time you melt the ice, Jade. Stop trying to push us away."
"Don't tell me what to do, Beck."
"I'll do what I need to do for us to be together."
"You love me again?"
[He hates how it's a question this time]
"I'll never stop."
[She likes how his isn't]
"Who's to say we won't stay together?
Who's to say we aren't getting stronger?
Who's to say I can't live without you?
Who are they anyway?
They don't know…"
I actually hate this. And I was too lazy to actually write the last scene so, here you go.
Sorry if I disappointed any of you with this one. I might edit it later, or I might not. Oh well.