She opened her eyes to see light.
Light. Had she been surrounded by light before? She couldn't remember, oddly enough. Why was the room so light? Everything in it was white – innocent, virginal, she thought absently. Odd connotations, considering she was sure that she was neither of those. Though she wasn't entirely sure. What was her name again? How could she not remember?
Angrily, she jerked herself up, but immediately her head began to throb. Cursing under her breath, she rubbed her temple, but that only made the pain worse. She decided after a minute of this that there was honestly nothing that she could do and began to explore the room in her mind.
She was obviously in the hospital. Possibly whatever had happened to her caused her to lose her memory – some injury to the head, she presumed from the intense pain there. Obviously it had only caused her to lose the important things, her name, for example, and who she had been friends with, because she knew the general gist of who she was before. And who she was before hadn't been a great person.
Before she knew it, the room was suddenly flooded with people, all yelling about how she was awake and how she was all right. She cried out in pain, her hands flying to her temples.
At once, the whole room full of people quieted. She redirected her glare to the group of people. There was a boy with dreadlocks and a kind smile, a wavy-haired brunette girl, a gruff looking old man, a girl with synthetic red hair, and another boy near the end of the line. Her train of thought came to an abrupt halt as she stared, fixated on this boy. He was fairly tall, with tan skin and dark features, but he was fairly gorgeous as well, which led her to wonder why hew as there. Had he dated her at some point? Wasn't he a little – well, different than her? Curiously, she peered at him. He was obviously uncomfortable under her gaze, obviously uncomfortable being there. She wished she could remember him. She wished she could remember everything.
The doctor spoke at last, his tone guarded and careful. "What is your name?" he asked slowly, as if she were some foreign exchange student that didn't speak English.
Feeling awfully stupid and completely ashamed, she finally brought herself to speak. "I don't know." Her voice was harsh, as she imagined it always was. At those words, everyone seemed to jump to life, turning to each other and speaking in low voices, much to her annoyance. She bit her lip, turning back to the doctor. Was something terribly wrong with her? Would she never regain her memory?
The doctor didn't even tell her what her name was. Instead, he barreled on. "Where are you?"
"In a hospital, obviously," she spit out impatiently. "Since I was probably unconscious when you brought me here, I wouldn't know, unless I've been here before. I can't remember ever coming here, if that's what you're asking."
The doctor glanced down, writing something on his clipboard inauspiciously before looking back up at her seriously. With a slight frown, he asked her, "Who is the current president of the United States?"
This, she thought, should be common knowledge, but she couldn't manage to think of it. Some random names were filling her head, things she'd been taught in school, but none of it made sense. Biting her lip, she shrugged. "Um, Napoleon Bonaparte?"
The gorgeous kid laughed, but it seemed to be more of a shocked laugh than an amused one. Everyone else just glanced at each other with wide eyes. At last, the gorgeous kid spoke for the first time. "She wasn't very good with History, even before..." He trailed off, much to her dismay. Before what?
The doctor gave a small, short nod, before asking a much simpler question. "4 + 4?"
"8," she recited immediately, not bothering to consider how she knew that. How come she could remember that, such a small, trivial piece of knowledge, yet she could not remember the names of the familiar people that stood in front of her? They had, at one point, been important to her; that much she knew. Yet oddly enough, she could not remember how important.
The doctor went through an immense amount of seemingly trivial questions with her after that while her – her people stood off to the side quietly and listened, as if they truly, honestly cared about her. She could not fathom why. After all, she had not exactly been the best person, not that she really cared, but honestly, she couldn't understand it. She offered them a small half-smile as the doctor scribbled down a few notes about her on his clipboard, wondering how rude it would be to come out and ask them why they had liked her in the first place, what relationship she'd had with each one of them. Frowning, she decided against it.
"Retrograde amnesia," the doctor said at last, giving her a small grimace. "A rather bad case of it too, from what I can tell. You've forgotten all significant events that occurred before the accident. It's not unheard of, but..."
"She'll regain her memory, won't she?" the wavy-haired girl said. Her voice kind of irked Jade, though Jade couldn't imagine why. "She has to."
"She should be able to," the doctor mused, staring at Jade with sad eyes. "She was only in a coma for 2 days, so it should only take a few weeks. Some say that it's around 4 times the length of the coma, so that would be around 8 days..."
Jade gave a small half-smile. She wasn't going to be able to remember the people that she knew for 8 days, possibly longer? She glanced around, willing herself to go into the depths of her mind, to go through her innumerable memories and figure out who these people were.
"What's my name?" she asked at last, her voice harsher than she'd intended. It was just the thing that had been bugging her since he'd asked her the question, even before that, actually. "I just..." She glanced up at the people that she knew yet didn't know, taking in the pitying expressions on their faces with a small frown.
"Your name is Jade West," the doctor said slowly, and she bit her lip at the unfamiliar name. Jade West. Who was Jade West? Surely that could not be her name; she'd expected a rush of memories at the sound of her own name, but this name was empty, meaningless.
"Jadelyn West, actually," the older lady amended with a small smile. "You never liked that name, though, so no one called you that."
She could see why – Jadelyn definitely wasn't a fitting name for her. Already, she much preferred Jade. She glanced around, just to make sure that they weren't joking with her, but all of the people in the room wore the same, somber expression. With a frown, she repeated the name. "Jade West. Jadelyn West." Nothing happened, though, so she sighed and sunk back onto her bed.
"Are we overwhelming you?" the doctor asked, sounding very concerned.
"Hardly," Jade snapped (she felt that it was fairly weird, thinking of herself as Jade). "Underwhelming is more like it." She glanced around, hoping they'd feel guilty or something. She had to coerce them into telling her who they were. It would be absolute torture not knowing. With a slight frown, she said quietly, "I'm just... I really would like to know who you all are. I mean, you so obviously know who I am. It would only be fair if I was allowed the same pleasure."
"Fine," the doctor replied at last, "but only if you're sure."
"Completely." Jade sat up a little straighter, as if to prove that this was the one thing that she was completely and utterly sure about. It would be torture, speaking to these people and having to wonder about who they were. How was the gorgeous boy related to her? Nothing really made any sense, at least not to her.
"Fine," the doctor relented. "Obviously, I'm your doctor. My name is Doctor Parsons, but that shouldn't mean anything to you, since the entire time I've been treating you, you've been in a coma. At least, until now."
Jade nodded slightly, then turned to the next in line, the boy with dreadlocks. She decided to let nothing shock her – even if one of the boys said that she was their girlfriend, she wouldn't let them see her shock. Even though she highly doubted that would happen.
(Out of the corner of her eye, she noticed the gorgeous boy edging to the back of the line. She decided to let it go.)
"Andre Harris," the boy with the dreadlocks informed her with an easy smile. "We were good friends before. I'd wager to say that I was one of the few people you didn't hate. We'd have nice conversations about music and chiz." He smiled apologetically at her, probably seeing how blank her eyes were.
"Andre Harris," she repeated. Nothing. No memories whatsoever. Andre gave her a small smile anyway. From what she could tell, he was a fairly easygoing, chill guy, which she supposed would compliment her brash personality fairly well. She could definitely imagine the two of them being good friends or whatever.
She turned to the next in line, the wavy-haired girl who looked nearly as uncomfortable as the gorgeous kid (who, at this point, had made his way to the back of the line). With a half-smile, she asked, "You?"
"Tori Vega," the girl replied, her voice wavering. "We – well, we weren't friends. Sometimes we were, I guess. When you and B – when you and your boyfriend broke up, you came to me, but most of the time you'd insult me and make fun of me and I guess I thought it was pretty funny." Tori smiled a little bit, but it didn't reach her eyes.
A boyfriend, Jade mused. She'd had a boyfriend whose name apparently started with B. Her eyes traveled to the boy at the end of the line, but the small part of her brain that was working immediately ruled out that possibility, saying it was 'ludicrous'. What interest would a boy like him have in a girl like her? If they had broken up, though, it would explain his incredibly strange behavior... She shook her head, feeling like a freak. No. It was impossible, and most assuredly not something to dwell on.
The older man stepped forward, staring at her with a cold expression. "I'm your dad. Mark West," he said stiffly. The man had brown hair and dark eyes and a rough, rigid stature that made her think that he wasn't exactly the fun type of guy. "We never really got on. I didn't really agree with your decisions, and you, well, you never listened to me about anything. We were always fighting over something." He stared at her, as if she was suddenly a new girl or something. It made Jade fairly uncomfortable.
The synthetic redhead spoke up, probably sensing how awkward it was for Jade. "I'm Cat," she chirped happily. "You and I were pretty good friends. I mean, sometimes you were mean, but everyone's mean sometimes. Even Tori! Anyway, well, we'd hang out sometimes and you even sometimes were nice to my brother so we were good friends." Cat grinned at her. "Oh yeah, and my big name is Caterina Valentine, but mostly people just call me Cat Valentine. Like the animal, but with no bad meaning behind it."
"Cat Valentine," she said, waiting for the rush of memories, waiting for a spark, waiting for something.
Sighing wearily, she glanced over at the lady, who greeted Jade with a friendly smile. "I'm your mom, Jade," she told her. "I mean, we didn't get along at times, and I didn't agree with everything you did, but we were on fairly good terms most of the time. And I..." She looked like she was going to say something, but then she obviously changed her mind, because she clamped her mouth shut and shook her head. "My name is Rose West."
Jade repeated this softly to herself, to no avail. At last, she turned to the last person in the line – her last hope, the gorgeous boy. He smiled slightly, looking incredibly nervous and a little bit scared. At last, he spoke. "I'm not really... well, I'm not usually scared of stuff like this, but... it's different with you. It always is. I'm Beck Oliver."
Beck Oliver. Something – the name was familiar, too familiar. Her heart gave a little leap in her chest, though she had no idea why.
Nervously, Beck continued. "We dated for three years, you and I, and we broke up recently. A month ago, I believe. I still – " He cut himself off, leaving the rest for her to finish mentally. I still love you, she thought with a shock. How could a guy like him love a girl like her? And, of course, she had to consider the other way around. How did she end up in love with him? From what she'd seen of the girl she used to be, she hadn't really been the type to fall for the kind of boy that Beck seemed to be.
The problem was that although he was probably still in love with her, she had no idea how she felt about him. Perhaps she had been in love with him before, but now she didn't know. It was odd, suspecting someone she didn't know of being in love with her.
Her suspicions were confirmed when, before leaving the room, Beck kissed her on the forehead.
(It was also odd how she felt herself smile as he left.)
The next time that Jade's 'people' showed up, they were armed with a boy with crazy hair and a puppet, along with a creepy looking boy with an afro. Both boys grinned at her.
"What is this, the geek squad?" She groaned, ignoring the hollow ache in her head. "Somehow I don't think you can just install a chip into my head. That's not an approved cure."
One of the boys laughed and gave her a creepy smile. "You're as funny as always, Jade."
She was starting to feel more than a little uncomfortable – obviously these boys were not random Geek Squad employees, she had known them beforehand, they knew her but she didn't know them – and she didn't know them. Awkwardly, she half-smiled up at Beck, who said quickly, "Jade, these kids are Sinjin van Cleef and Robbie Shapiro. We didn't want to bring them, but Tori insisted..."
"I just wanted to help!" Tori shot back, looking slightly guilty but also fairly defensive. "We just want you to get your memory back, Jade."
"And you thought this would help how?" Jade hissed, crossing her arms across her chest and staring at the two boys, both of whom were starting to look uncomfortable. She thought that was great; finally, someone would get a taste of what she'd been experiencing for the past day and a half.
"Because you didn't really like either of them. Well, I guess you could say you hated them. And I don't know! I thought since you felt some 'strong emotion' for them, it would trigger your memory," Andre said nervously, biting his lip. "It was worth a try, you know. We're all really trying here."
Jade bit back the questions on the edge of her tongue – did I not feel anything strong for Beck? Was I in love with him or what? Why can't I remember? – and shook her head."I know," she replied at last with a scowl. "But since it, well, didn't help, would you mind taking them away? I don't want to have to spend any more time with them. They irk me, even though I don't even know them."
"Sure," Tori responded apologetically, ushering the two boys out the door with a half-smile on her face.
"Bye, Jade!" Sinjin van Cleef called to her, blowing her a kiss. The puppet called something that she fortunately didn't hear. Sighing deeply, Jade sunk deeper into her pillows. She was sort of glad that she did not remember Sinjin or Robbie; both of them seemed like irritating dorks.
After a moment, she remembered that Beck was still there, watching her with a scrutinizing gaze, as if he was trying to figure her out. She cleared her throat awkwardly, and he grinned at her, running a hand through his hair. "So you really don't remember me at all?" he asked quietly.
"I already told you this, but no," she retorted. "I don't remember you at all. I remember that I felt something strongly for you, but that's about it..." She trailed off, realizing that what she'd just said could possibly make things awkward between them. Face flushing and head pounding, she hissed, "And don't comment on that either, unless you want me to smash your face in."
"It's funny," Beck mused, staring at her with an amused expression. "I mean, you've lost your memory, which I assumed meant you'd be different. But besides the fact that you don't remember any of us, you're still the same Jade, with your meanness and your sarcasm and your general bad attitude."
"And that's a bad thing?" she asked, feeling slightly offended. Had he wanted her to change? If he was still in love with her, like she'd (possibly wrongly) assumed, shouldn't he be happy that she hadn't changed? It didn't make sense to her, though most things didn't as of late.
"No," Beck replied hurriedly. "No, of course not. I always liked those things about you... still do." His smile was genuine as he looked up at her, and she felt more than a little uncomfortable under his gaze. She fidgeted with her fingers for a moment before glancing back up at him, taking in his half-hurt, half-nervous expression.
"Thanks," she said at last, unsure of what else she could say. She had no idea what Beck was like, so she couldn't compliment him in return, and saying he was gorgeous – which he so obviously was – would only make things more awkward. In an effort to tone down the awkwardness, she turned over on her side, biting back a hiss of pain as her head collided with the pillow, and closed her eyes. "I'm going to take a nap now. My head hurts. So you're free to go."
"I wasn't staying here because I had to – or felt obligated to, anyway," Beck informed her, walking closer so that the only thing separating the two of them was the side of the bed. Which, of course, alerted Jade once again to the fact that she was still in the stupid hospital, despite the fact that she felt peachy. Well, apart from the fact that she could remember nothing beyond waking up in the hospital.
Fidgeting under the scratchy sheets, she asked boldly, "So, do you know when I'm going to be allowed out of this horrible institution?"
Beck just scratched his head before giving it a slight shake, causing his hair to fall into his eyes. "No, but hopefully it'll be soon." With a sigh, she leaned back into her pillow, scowling at the suddenly unbearable pain in her head – like her brain was trying to dredge up some memory, tearing through all of her brain cells until it found what it was looking for, which (most likely) wouldn't happen.
"I know," she said, wincing and shifting back and forth, hoping to make herself more comfortable. "I just... never mind. I think I'm going to get some sleep."
"All right." Hesitantly, he leaned down and pressed a kiss to her forehead, though in her mind it was more of a soothing kiss than anything, much like a mother would do to her child. Brushing some hair off of her face, he gave her a grin and said, "I'll be back later."
"All right," Jade mumbled, her voice hazy with sleep. He said something else after that, something that she didn't hear, because she drifted off to sleep then, her mind filled with visions of darkness and past experiences that most likely didn't occur.
When she woke up, he wasn't there.
Her parents stopped by a few times, but they seemed to be fading in and out instead of everpresent, much to her dismay. The next time her friends came, though, just Tori, Beck, and Cat came, much to Jade's relief, though for some reason she kind of liked Andre – in a platonic sort of way, of course. In their arms, they carried stacks of photo albums. Jade raised an eyebrow, already getting the gist of what they were doing, but she didn't say anything until they dumped the books onto her bed, narrowly missing her leg. Raising an eyebrow, Jade hissed, "Trying to crush my leg now or something?"
"If I was trying, I wouldn't miss," Tori said, still sounding as 'polite' as ever. Jade scowled at her, but to her chagrin, Beck and Cat laughed.
"So are we going to look at the photo albums or are you going to be a priss, Vega?" Jade hissed, scowling even more. Tori jumped, while Beck and Cat looked completely shocked. She raised an eyebrow. "Wait, why are you all staring at me like that? Did I say something?"
"Vega," Cat squealed.
"Yes, that's Tori's last name," complained Jade, rolling her eyes. "What's your point?"
Beck smiled slightly, indicating that he knew exactly what was going on. Once again, she found herself out of it, wishing she knew what the heck was going on. At last, Beck spoke. "You used to call Tori... well, you always called her Vega before."
That sent a chill down Jade's spine. With a slight frown, she asked, "Does that explain why I have the urge to slap her and/or insult her all the time?"
Smiling slightly, Beck nodded his head. "Yeah, most likely. I think you're regaining your memory slowly. The doctors said you might."
"Anyway," Tori interrupted hastily, much to Jade's dismay, "we brought you some photo albums because we thought they might help to jog your memory, and the doctor suggested it. They're old ones, though, ones from your childhood, so I'm really not sure how much use they'll be, but it's worth a try, I guess..."
"Is that your motto, Vega?" Jade spat out, but she picked up the first album and sat it in her lap anyway. Beck, Tori, and Cat all gathered around her, as if she was some animal exhibit, feeding in her little cage. She just rolled her eyes and decided it was best to do nothing, so instead of arguing, she opened to the first page.
Her head ached.
Things were pushing at the walls of her mind – images, memories, but how could she let them in? They were knocking, begging to be let in, yet there was nothing she could do. She shut the album quickly and pushed it away from her like it was poisonous, letting out a small screech.
Cat stared at her in concern. "Is everything okay?"
She exhaled shakily. "Yeah, it's fine. It's just... my head is hurting is all."
"If this is a bad time, we can come back later," Tori offered, giving her a genuine smile. Somehow, Jade was finding it fairly hard to be mean to the girl. Sometimes she even questioned why she hated Tori in the first place – not that she could remember, anyway, though she suspected it may have been something that was fairly legitimate.
"No, it's fine," she said, but she felt her strength replenishing as Beck's hand closed around hers, giving it a firm squeeze. Quickly, she squeezed her eyes shut, forcing the pain out of her mind, and then she opened the photo album once again.
The first page contained multiple pictures of a girl she suspected must have been her – a girl with a bright smile and bright eyes, sitting amongst piles of toys. She looked like any other young girl, especially in one picture where she was dressed in a pink leotard and a tutu. (Beck and Tori snickered, so Jade shot them a scathing glare.) With a wistful sigh, she said quietly, "I did all of this when I was little, but I don't – I can't remember doing any of it."
"Maybe it's best to start with something more recent," Tori suggested tactfully, giving a small, sugar-sweet smile. "I mean, those are the more important memories, right?"
"Yeah," Jade muttered back, flipping through the pages of the album.
Rolling his eyes, Beck took the photo album from her, as if she were a little child again, and replaced it with another one. It was sheathed in black with purple ribbons woven into the cover, and in a semi-familiar scrawl, someone had written Jade's. Jade traced the letters, then whispered absently, "Who wrote this?"
"You did!" Cat squealed, a huge smile upon her face. (At this point, Jade had figured out that Cat rarely expressed an emotion besides happiness, excitement, or surprise. On occasion, she looked slightly sad, but it took a simple lollipop to cheer her up.)
"Did I?" Jade mused, staring at the handwriting. "Did I make this myself, then? I didn't really seem like the type to make photo albums like some friendless loser?" Her cheeks bloomed with color then, as if she was realizing too late that what she was saying might be taken offensively. "No offense or anything, but honestly."
Beck burst out laughing, much to Jade's internal delight. Shaking his head, he said at last, "Nah, we made it for you on your last birthday. Don't worry; you weren't a 'friendless loser', well... most of the time." Jade hit him on the arm, and he laughed. "But seriously, open it."
All of them crowded around her again, making Jade feel a bit claustrophobic. Head still pounding, she flipped open the cover and stared at the pictures.
They seemed to swim on the page. All of the pictures on this page featured a girl with light brown hair, a girl with streaks in her hair and bright blue eyes. Fingering a piece of her dark hair, she thought absently that the girl in the photos could not possibly be her – could it? Sure, they had the same eyes and facial features, but how had she changed so much? She glanced down, staring at a picture of the girl – her. The girl had a fairly big smile on her face as the boy beside her – Beck, obviously – pressed a kiss to her temple. Had that really been them before? Had he – beautiful, annoying Beck Oliver – been the one to make her smile like that?
She blinked, confused about everything, then ran her finger over the picture. Why couldn't she remember? Glancing back up at Beck, she frowned as she realized he was staring at her, as if he was waiting for something – a response, perhaps, or something to signify that she was feeling the same things he was, whatever that may be. She just bit her lip and glanced up at him, trying to imagine kissing him, being his girlfriend. It was, however, hard to imagine being the girlfriend of someone that she hardly even knew.
Frowning, she continued to flip through the album, glancing over the pictures of the brunette girl with the various colored streaks in her hair. The girl seemed content in most of them, though in some she looked as though she was angry. In quite a few, she was holding scissors, which made her look all the more threatening. She pointed to one of those photos. "Get me these."
"What are you going to do with them?" Beck asked suspiciously, staring at her with a raised eyebrow.
"Nothing," she said innocently. "I just thought that they might help to trigger my memory, and, well, you said that you'd do anything to help me get my memory back, so..."
"You're a manipulator," Beck threw out brazenly. "The funny thing is that you haven't changed a bit." He stared at her, a small smile on the edges of his lips.
Tori cleared her throat awkwardly. With a half-smile, she said nervously, "Well, I'd rather not, erm, interrupt the moment, so Cat and I will just go for a bit... we'll be back in thirty, Beck." She gave a nervous smile and tugged on Cat's arm.
Cat pouted. "But I wanted to look at the pretty pictures!"
"I want to get out of here," Tori muttered through clenched teeth, which admittedly made Jade sort of nervous. It was sort of as if everyone expected stuff out of her, expected her to be in love with Beck despite the fact that she remembered nothing of him. It was almost as if she'd woken up in a new reality and been forced to take Beck as a lover, Cat as a friend, and Tori as an enemy.
Yet at the same time, it was undeniable that she felt something for Beck, though what it was exactly was a mystery she had yet to figure out. Sometimes when she stared at him, really stared at him, she realized that there was something familiar in his face – like staring at him was what she was meant to be doing. And sometimes she felt way too comfortable with him, as though she'd known him for a long while as opposed to merely a couple of days. Of course, it was likely that she had.
It was just that she had no idea what her time with him had even been like.
She often got impulses – for example, the impulse to insult Tori, the impulse to enjoy Andre's company, the impulse to dislike Robbie and Sinjin. Most of the time, when these impulses occurred, she chose to act on them.
So when the impulse occurred for her to kiss Beck, she acted on that as well.
Of course, it was wrong on so many levels. First off, Beck had made it perfectly clear that he had been her ex-boyfriend – as in, most assuredly not her boyfriend anymore. As if that weren't bad enough, she didn't even remember him. Yet there she was, pressing her lips onto his, responding to him like it was the most natural thing in the world. And in fact, it did sort of feel like it was.
In fact, things were starting to move in her mind, things she didn't even know were movable. She could feel her brain working harder than ever before, and then something flashed in her mind. Somebody (Beck, she imagined) was staring at her with pure and utter devotion in his puppy dog-like eyes. She heard herself saying "You love me again?" in a vulnerable, weak voice. After a moment, Beck said "Who said I stopped?" Then her lips were slamming into his, jerking her back into reality, where she realized she was still feverishly kissing Beck. Jerking back, she stared at him with wide eyes.
"I'm sorry," Beck apologized at once. "I mean, I should've pushed you away. I know you're not in your right mind."
"You love me again," she whispered, hoping that he wouldn't hear it. She was probably insane; probably, it wasn't even a memory, just something she'd fabricated to make her feel better about kissing Beck.
But Beck's head snapped up at once and he said back, quickly, as if it were impulsive, "Who said I stopped?"
"Oh," was all she managed. She backed up, letting him drop his hands, and then stared at him. "Oh."
It was almost as if she was in one of those bad princess movies, where the prince kisses the princess to wake her from her trance. She blinked, disoriented and confused, then shook her head and walked over to her bed. "I'm really sorry, Beck. I guess," she said quietly, tracing the bed with her finger. "But – leave now, please. You can come back later or something."
Beck nodded and, with one last glance at her, walked out.
Tori came to visit her the next day. Jade got the feeling that Beck was too cowardly to own up to whatever it Twas that had gone on the previous day, and had somehow convinced Tori to come talk to Jade. So when the girl came in, Jade simply raised an eyebrow. "Vega."
"Jade," Tori said brightly, as if the two of them were best friends who hung out at the hospital every day. "How are you doing?"
"Better," Jade responded after a moment, and it was true. Ever since yesterday, when that random memory had popped back into her mind, her head was starting to hurt considerably less. The doctors had been ecstatic upon hearing. They'd quickly commanded her to report any new memories. And, over the past few hours, things had been coming into her mind. Little things, of course, she still hadn't been able to remember whatever had happened to put her into the coma in the first place, nor did she remember her breakup with Beck. Her memory, she discovered, was very stubborn, much like she was. With a half-smile, she amended, "My head doesn't ache like heck anymore. Anyway, what are you doing here? Didn't expect someone like you to come sit at the hospital. It's filled with germs, y'know."
"I know," Tori replied, but Jade could tell by the look on the other girl's face that she really hadn't considered it until Jade had said that. Jade smirked as Tori continued. "Anyway, Jade, apparently you remembered something yesterday? Beck mentioned it to me."
"Yeah, I don't know," Jade begun, feeling kind of awkward. "I kissed Beck. Don't say anything, Vega; obviously you must know that we used to date, so I guess I was kind of caught up in the moment. Anyway, I remembered me saying 'You love me again' to him, and I said it out loud, and he said the same thing the Beck of my memory said..."
"Who said I stopped?" Tori mumbled under her breath.
"What?" Jade's head snapped toward the other girl.
"Oh, I was there when that happened," Tori muttered, scratching the back of her neck. "I mean, I drove you there or something like that. Never mind, doesn't matter. Anyway, you were saying?"
"I've been regaining a memory here and there every little bit now," Jade said with a complacent shrug. "At this late, they're bound to let me go home soon."
"True that. We'll have an entire entourage to welcome you," Tori told her with a sneaky little smile. Then the brunette sighed, glancing down at the floor as if it were the most interesting thing she'd ever seen. "Look, Jade, you're not mad at Beck or anything, are you?"
"Mad at Beck?" Jade laughed. "What reason would I have to be mad at Beck? For kissing me back? It was me who kissed him in the first place. Honestly, contrary to popular belief, I'm not that insolent. Does he think I'm going to murder him or something? Because, while the possibility is very tempting, I'm honestly not going to kill Beck Oliver, so both of you can relax."
Tori sighed, as if Jade were some little child. Rolling her eyes, Jade shot a glare Tori's way, and the girl relaxed a little bit. "So it's okay if Beck comes to visit you, then?"
"Tell him to bring me some scissors and there's a 100% chance he'll make it out alive," Jade said ominously, lying back and burying her head into her pillow. In her head, she saw a hospital, a bag of blood – so much blood – a boy in a hospital bed –
"And if he doesn't bring the scissors?" Tori asked, raising an eyebrow curiously.
"There's a 99% chance that he'll make it out alive," Jade said, grinning at Tori with a slightly evil expression. "And does he really want to take that chance?"
"Guess not," Tori said in a slightly scared voice. Jumping up, she grabbed her bag and said, "Well, it was nice to see you and hear you're doing better. Um, I'll go get Beck. He's been waiting."
But it turned out that Beck wasn't really much for 'waiting', because literally the second that Tori exited the room, he came walking in, a smile on his face. He plopped down in the chair beside her bed and smirked at her, then leaned in and planted a kiss on her cheek.
Despite it all, she felt herself smile. Trying to sound tough as ever, though, she scolded him. "Just because we kissed one time does not give you the right to kiss me whenever you want, lover boy. Try to restrain yourself."
Beck laughed. "Look, Jade, I know you've got questions you've been dying to ask me. And now – now I think I'm finally ready to answer."
She felt her heart leap inside of her chest. This – this was better than any pair of scissors he could have given her. It would be weird, hearing about her memories instead of simply remembering them, but she had to know, and this was way better than nothing.
"I only have two really important questions," she said with a shrug. "Only two things that have been killing me since the day I heard about this whole affair. First – and arguably the 'most important' – how did we break up?"
He sighed. Then, after a moment, he began, so she squeezed her eyes shut, in hopes of picturing the events more vividly.
"We were fighting. Of course, back then, we were always fighting. You were always getting jealous of someone and I was always telling you that you had no reason to be jealous, cause I was always yours. Course, you never listened to me, so we'd end up in some high-power yelling match, and there was never really a victor. Then I guess I just got fed up. I was sick of your bad attitude, and I was sick of the fact that I was sort of questioning if we were really supposed to be together." He stopped, running a hand through his hair and glancing over at her, obviously trying to see if she was angry or not.
She had no idea what kind of expression was on her face, but whatever he saw there seemed to reassure him, because he continued. "Anyway, Sinjin – that creepy guy that came here, you know – he hosted a game show, and you and me along with Tori, Andre, Cat, and Robbie – we all competed on it, y'know. The thing was that you and I got in a fight on the show, and then they presented us with the 'Worst Couple' trophy. Of course, that got me angry, since I've always really cared about my public image, you know? And to have my girlfriend and I win the 'Worst Couple' award when we're up against two fake couples was kind of damaging to my ego. So we fought multiple times, then we went over to Tori's and everyone was there, playing cards without us. You got frustrated and walked out the door, said you'd count to ten and if I wasn't there by the time you got to ten, you were going home and we were over."
"And you didn't come out there," she finished for him slowly. "Heck, I sound like such a horrid person." With a humorless laugh, she shook her head. "I am a horrid person; what am I saying?"
"No, you weren't," he informed her, pushing a piece of hair out of her eyes. "You aren't a horrid person, Jade West."
He was starting to come alarmingly close to her, so she cleared her throat and then asked, "So, um, about the 'accident'. What happened?"
"Car wreck," he told her grimly. Then he glanced up at her and finished, "My fault."
"Everything leads back to you somehow, Beck Oliver," she mused, glancing over at him with a curious expression. "It's – interesting, to say the least. Anyway, how was a car wreck your fault? 's not like you can control what I do behind the wheel. I wouldn't let you."
"We were in a fight over what at my RV was mine and what was yours," he said grimly, staring at her. "Then you kind of stormed out the door and I heard you drive away, muttering angrily to yourself as you drove. I had no idea that you were that angry. I would've never let you drive..." He trailed off, biting his lip. "You hit another car and suffered massive head trauma. The doctor says that if you hadn't been wearing your seatbelt, it wouldn't have been just your head. You'd be dead right now. But since you were, it just damaged your head a lot."
"Yeah, that would explain the massive head pain and memory loss," Jade shot back scathingly. "Who was in the other car?"
Beck looked scared, so Jade took the opportunity to grab the top of his shirt and jerk him toward her. "Who was it?" she demanded.
"I'm not scared of you," Beck declared with a smirk, staring defiantly at her.
Right, she thought, dropping her hold on his shirt. Then she widened her eyes, blinking rapidly as if to fill them with tears. With a pitiful stare, she asked, "Beck, please tell me who was in the other car? Please?"
"Fine," Beck caved at last. "Tori was in the other car."
"Vega?" Jade spat in disgust. All the pieces were suddenly falling into place – why Tori had been so nice to her, why Tori had been there so much, why everyone was acting so weird around her, why no one wanted to talk about the accident. The perfect girl had finally slipped up, and this time it had nearly cost Jade her life.
Wait, what? Jade scrunched her eyebrows together, then turned to Beck. "Was I... jealous of Tori?"
"Well, yeah." Beck answered after a moment, as if he didn't see why that was relevant. "Look, Jade, I know you're angry, but Tori really didn't mean to, and she feels really bad about it, so..."
"I don't care," Jade hissed, snuggling up under her blankets. "I'm going to sleep. Leave me alone."
He pressed a kiss to her forehead as he walked out of the door anyway. She didn't push him away.
The next day, she awoke to someone yelling, "That's my girlfriend in there! You'd best let me in there; I have to see if she's all right – You don't understand – "
She thought that it had to be Beck, but that didn't make any sense. She wasn't his girlfriend, not really, and why would he be worried about her anyway? She was perfectly fine, after all. A bit tired, yes, due to her now much earlier awakening, but she wasn't dying or anything. Confused, she sat up.
The door was flung open, and Beck marched in. As soon as he laid eyes upon her, his tense face softened considerably. "Oh, thank goodness," he muttered breathlessly.
"What the heck were you doing out there?" she demanded, glaring at him. For some reason, her head was starting to pound again, and she was in no mood to deal with him and his nonsense.
"They said they were getting ready to clear out your room," Beck said, his voice more filled with emotion than she'd ever heard it before. After all, he was normally so composed and calm; it was odd to see him so riled up, much less about her. "I assumed that meant... well, that something had happened to you."
"And if something had?" She raised an eyebrow curiously.
"I couldn't bear to live without you," he confessed.
"No time for sappiness, Oliver," she spat out, but she laughed anyway. They sat there for a moment in silence until she turned to Beck. "So, what was that about me being your 'girlfriend'?"
"You don't have to," he said coolly, glancing over at her. "I just said it so that they would let me in easier. I guess sibling might have been an easier option, but whatever. I mean, I'm not asking you to be my girlfriend or anything. Not unless you want to." At last, he glanced up, his eyes filled with hope. "Do you want to?"
She didn't answer, merely stepped forward and pressed her lips lightly to his. Images filled her mind, but just a few – images of a girl and a boy, two people who had it all but thought that they wanted more. Beck and Jade, she said in her mind. Everything had previously been so dark, and now it was simply fuzzy. The boundaries were unclear, the focus of the picture was nowhere to be found, but it was much, much better than darkness. She was beginning to understand, yet she knew that it was only the beginning.
"Is that a yes?" Beck asked at last.
She fixed him with a steely gaze, contemplating her answer before she spoke. "That's a maybe."
He nodded at that, then held out one of his hands. "They're letting you out of the hospital today."
"Are they?" she said in a deadpan tone, cleverly disguising her excitement. Beck Oliver saw right through her, though. As he helped her up, he slipped her a pair of scissors with a discreet grin.
Picking them up, she shot him a grin. He smiled back, a large smile that made his eyes sparkle.
A/N: Sooo I know everyone and their brother (HI ABBY) writes ~memory loss fics~ but I wanted to do my own unique take on it (like writing from Jade's POV in a way and not having her regain her entire memory in the end) and this came out, so idek. I apologize for any and all inaccuracies – I'm not a medical student in the least, so I haven't a clue about any of that. I hope you liked it! Please review and don't favorite without reviewing :)