The After Party

The music in the club was blaring. Beck was making his way to the bar to couple of cokes for him and Jade. The whole cast and crew had come here after the premiere. They all have been too excited to go home, so they decided to celebrate the success of "Uptown Downtown" by going out all together. When he got to the bar Beck bumped into Robbie. He was without Rex, nursed a root beer and looked way too gloomy for the party.

"What's up Rob? Why such a long face?" Beck slapped him on the back. That startled Robbie.

"Oh nothing…" He replied quietly at first. After a moment of hesitation he continued. "Was I really that bad in the play?" Beck could see the insecurity written on the boy's face. It must have been devastating for his confidence to be so callously rejected by the director and more importantly by Sophia Michelle.

"No Rob you were alright. You were just the right amount of douche the character required." He told him honestly. Robbie immediately perked up. "You played smitten and lusting after Tori's character very convincingly despite her distracting make-up." It was actually impressive in a sense. Beck had observed that only he and Robbie had managed to completely disregard Tori's zombie make-up. Even Jade couldn't suppress a smirk or two in the beginning.

"Thanks Beck. This means a lot coming from you." Robbie grinned at him. Then he continued in a hush conspirator tone. "It wasn't hard playing attracted to Penny. Don't tell anyone but even with the zombie make-up Tori still looked hot to me." Beck could hardly suppress his smirk. It wasn't exactly a secret that Robbie had the tendency to crush on any attractive girl that was nice to him. Not that he had the right to judge, at least to himself he had to acknowledge that he found zombie Tori kind of hot too.

"Your secret is safe with me." Beck assured him. He took the cokes and headed back to the table where he and Jade sat. On the way he saw André dancing with three girls at the same time. As the musical genius behind the show and the most eligible single male he reaped the reaped the lion's share of the female attention. André loved every minute of it. Beck reached his table but Jade was not there. He saw Tori sitting on the next table.

"Hey Tori, do you know where Jade went?" He turned to her, observing her absentmindedly sucking on some smoothie. Her gaze was gliding around not really paying attention to anything.

"She went to the bathroom to freshen up." She livened up when her eyes focused on him. "She told me to chase away any girls who try to hit on you while she is away." Beck remembered the end of the play and smirked at the irony of the situation. Talk about leaving the fox to guard the henhouse.

"Really, she trusts you with me?" He said, flirtatious notes sneaking unintentionally in his words. He mentally castigated himself for it, but thankfully Tori didn't seem to have noticed.

"At least more than she trusts your numerous fans?" She nodded towards a group of giggling girls staring adoringly in his direction. Beck sighed frustrated; these kinds of things have been going on with him ever since he hit puberty. As flattering as it was, it often could be a nuisance.

"I've tried to reason with them but it's no use so I've settled on ignoring them." He explained with an exaggerated longsuffering groan. Tori just grinned and rolled her eyes at him. No doubt thinking, that he liked it at least a bit. She wasn't completely wrong. "Why are you sitting here? Why aren't you there like André?" He changed the subject. With the corner of his eye he could see at least three guys throwing her furtive gazes.

"I'm taking a break. All this running and dancing in the play was really exhausting." She told him stirring her drink with the straw. "We did well, didn't we? With the play I mean." Tori continued, after a moment of silence. Beck took a moment before he replied.

"I think we did. Sophia Michelle liked it… on the other hand she thought that we did the zombie make-up on purpose." He said half jokingly. They both laughed at the silly situation. Tori raised her glass in a toast.

"Here is to the people who seek deeper meaning even where none is." Beck raised his glass of coke in return.

"I think someone is coming to ask you to dance." He pointed to a tall gangly guy purposefully headed their way.

"Oh no, that guy is boring, stubborn and a bad dancer." Tori whispered in annoyance after glancing in that direction. On an impulse Beck stood and offered a hand to Tori.

"Then allow me to give you way out." She looked at him in hesitant surprise.

"Are you sure? Won't Jade go ballistic?" Still she seemed tempted.

"It's just a little friendly dance. We can always say that you were rescuing me from an especially stubborn girl." He dismissed her hesitance. With a smile she took his hand. They got to the dance floor just in time to avoid the disappointed suitor. It was a fast song so they let themselves to the thumping beat. Beck found that dancing with Tori was fun. She was in a silly, goofy mood, bouncing around, making ridiculous moves. He couldn't help but laugh and make silly moves of his own. He could feel the vestiges of his earlier longing fade away into the background. When the song stopped they headed back. Jade was waiting with a frown on her face. Beck still could tell that she wasn't serious. Not even Jade could get jealous of that dance.

"Okay Vega, you can give him back now." Jade said half seriously to Tori, who just grinned in return. All too soon Trina, who was Tori's transport for the evening showed up. Tori got up and waived at Beck.

"Bye Beck; see you at school on Monday."

A.N. All reviews are welcomed, both positive and critical.