All or Nothing
She sees him for the first time in Sikowitz's class. The woman is insane, up there prattling on about improv, and Becca Oliver has never quite been one to pay attention. Her eyes wander around the room until they settle on the guy who is obviously the hottest guy in the room. He doesn't look all that interested in the lesson either; his eyes are wandering. She sends him a smile, but he doesn't even look her way.
At the end of class, she marches up to him and gives him a big smile. Becca Oliver is not shy in the least. "Hi!" she says in a bright tone, giving him her trademark grin. No one can resist it. No one can resist her.
"What do you want?" the boy replies rudely, raising an eyebrow as if to tell her to leave him alone.
"I'm Becca," Becca replies instead of answering his question, because she isn't really sure herself. "Becca Oliver. I... just thought I'd introduce myself."
The boy stares at her, his gorgeous blue-green eyes seeming to penetrate her very being. "Aren't you the perfect little good girl?" he asks in a patronizing tone. "Talking to the bad boy because you think you can 'help' him. Well, you can't help me, Becca Oliver. No one can. You might as well go back to wherever the heck you came from."
"I am not the perfect little good girl," Becca replies, pressing her lips together into a thin, straight line. "In fact, I'm probably edgier than you could ever hope to be." That's probably not true, she knows, but it does sound good.
The boy lets out a low cackle. "Yeah, we'll see about that. Prove it, Becca Oliver. I'm skipping this class tomorrow. Meet me outside during this class period and we'll talk then."
"Cool," she says. This much is true; Becca really isn't one to lose her cool. She's not scared of anything or anyone, and this boy isn't going to break her resolve either. She's not scared of him – of his piercings, one just above his eyebrow and one in his ear, or even of the tattoo she spots on his wrist. For some reason, she has a feeling that his bark is worse than his bite, and anyway, she usually just goes with her instincts. Her instincts are telling her that he's not dangerous, just lonely and scared.
Sort of like a lost puppy dog, she thinks with a small smile.
The boy looks fairly concerned at her random smile, but he swings his bag up over his shoulder and gives her a long, lingering stare. Then he turns to walk out the door. Before he gets there, though, he hesitates. "I'm Jay West, by the way." A hint of a smile appears on his face.
She doesn't even get a chance to say anything before he walks out the door.
Andrea Harris seems to decide that it's in Becca's best interest for Andrea to give her advice about how to run her life, because after Becca's next class, Andrea corners her. "I hear you're talking to Jay West now."
"Yeah, I am," Becca replies, fidgeting with the strap on her backpack. "Why?"
"Dude's bad news," Andrea informs her, lowering her voice. "Look, I know he's hot as an overcooked sausage, but I'm pretty sure you don't want to get involved with a guy like Jay West. He's a bad boy; he doesn't care about anything or anyone. He'll drop you like a flaming potato after he's done with you."
"Who says I'm getting involved with him?" Becca questions, raising an eyebrow. After all, she has spoken with him all of one time. And sure, she'd agreed to meet him, but that hardly implies that they're dating or anything like that.
"No one," Andrea defends, crossing her arms. "But the look on your face says all I need to know."
"I don't need you to tell me how to live my life," Becca tells her darkly. The truth is that she's a bit of a rebel, and people telling her what to do just doesn't fly with her.
"Look, Becca, you're still new here," Andrea says, staring at her. "So you don't really know how things work. I'm not holding that against you. But Jay West is not a good guy, and you seem like a nice girl. I just suggest that you stay away from him."
"Maybe he's just misunderstood," Becca retorts, crossing her arms and cocking an eyebrow at Andrea. She has a feeling that Andrea won't quite get what she's saying. Frowning, she continues, "Maybe he's just lonely and he wants someone to talk to him first."
"Maybe you're just delusional," Andrea chuckles, shaking her head. "Girl, I've known Jay for five years. Dude never changes."
Becca shakes her head in return. "I'll find that out for myself; thanks."
By the time Becca gets outside the next day, Jay West is already splayed out across the hood of his car. He looks particularly pensive, but he sits up and stares at her anyway. "Becca Oliver. You came."
"I make good on my promises," Becca replies, walking up to him. She stops just before she reaches his car and stares at him, her eyes searching.
"Most people don't," Jay states bitterly, sitting up to look at her. "So I guess you're not scared of skipping a class here and there."
"Definitely not," Becca replies, walking towards him with a smirk.
"Good." Jay jumps down at once, suddenly. Becca has a feeling that he does things like this often – unpredictable stuff, just to scare people. Unfortunately for him, she's not the type that's easy to scare. He grins at her, a sadistic, evil grin. "You know, since we're skipping class and all, I thought that you might want to learn how to rebel a little bit."
"I know how to rebel," Becca retorts, glaring at him. "I'm in trouble fairly often."
"For what?" Jay questions, raising an eyebrow. She can see that she has caught his interest.
"For stuff," Becca mumbles, glancing down at the ground. "You know, talking in class, goofing off, generally not doing what I'm supposed to do."
"Yeah, not exactly my idea of rebellion," Jay informs her, rolling his eyes. He steps closer to her, too close, so that she can almost feel the warmth emanating off of him. He pulls a pair of scissors out of his pocket and twirls it around his fingers. "If you're feeling uncomfortable, you can always leave and go back to class like a good little girl, Oliver." His tone is condescending and leaves her with a bitter taste in her mouth.
"Don't be stupid." Becca rolls her eyes. "What exactly is your idea of rebellion?"
He beckons her over, and suddenly she realizes that he's motioning for her to get in his car. Though she is sort of suspicious, because after all, he could very well be a murderer or something, she gets in anyway. "What are you doing?" she inquires, putting her hands on her hips.
"I'm taking you out," Jay says in a mocking tone. "Isn't that what guys do with pretty girls?"
"You think I'm pretty?" Becca repeats, raising an eyebrow at him. This is unexpected, to say the least, but not entirely unpleasant. After all, he is very attractive.
"Of course that's what you take away from that," Jay snorts. "Get in the car, Becca Oliver."
"You sound like a rapist," Becca kindly informs him, but she gets in anyway. As he drives off, she thinks that maybe this isn't the safest thing she has ever done, but the feeling of adrenaline that surges through her makes up for it.
"You bought me a coffee," Becca states as he sits down, pushing a coffee toward her. She raises an eyebrow at him in question. After all, she'd assumed that Jay West wasn't the type to do anything for anyone, and this just shatters that theory completely.
"What, am I not allowed to do nice things?" Jay hisses, looking slightly angry.
It doesn't faze Becca. She just grins. "Nah, you're definitely allowed. In fact, you should do them more often. Then you'd have more friends."
"Who are you to assume I don't have friends?" Jay looks offended now, sort of like she has actually hurt him with her words, which really wasn't her intention.
"I didn't mean it that way," she tells him with a sigh. "Just that your cold demeanor pushes people away, Jay. If you were just a bit nicer..."
"I'm not going to change who I am to appease other people," Jay says darkly, sipping at his coffee. "Sorry."
It's then that she realizes what an enigma Jay West is. He's definitely not her typical sort of guy, the ones that normally drool all over her, the ones with the muscles and pea-brains that change who they are to conform to the ever-changing 'cool' stereotype. He's definitely his own person, and he stands out, even in the melting pot they call Hollywood Arts. And that just makes him more attractive to her.
When she gets to school the next day, she notices him staring at her. She gives him a small smile, hoping that he'll quit, and he does. He turns back to arguing with Troy Vega, the most annoying, conceited guy in school – at least according to Andrea, who is still trying to give her advice.
"How did your date with Jay go, anyway?" Andrea says in a nasty tone, raising an eyebrow at Becca.
"It wasn't a date," Becca replies hotly. "And it went just fine, for your information. We just talked like normal people do."
"What does Jay West talk about?" Andrea laughs. "Other than how to kill someone."
"Well, I'll invite him to eat lunch with your table and you'll see," Becca tells her, raising an eyebrow.
"Becca, wait!" Andrea calls, but it's too late. Becca is already marching across the hall and tugging on Jay West's arm.
Jay turns around to glare at her. "What do you want, Becca Oliver?"
"Would you like to eat lunch with me today?" Becca inquires, putting her hands on her hips. "And don't even bother saying no, because you're going to, whether you like it or not."
"Ooh, sassy," Jay says, raising an eyebrow. "And you're going to make me?"
"Yes, I am; thank you very much," Becca informs him. He doesn't look all that convinced, so she grabs his arm and begins to try to drag him off.
Jay just jerks his arm away and stares at her incredulously. She just sighs loudly. "Please come? I need to prove a point, and I can't if you're not there."
"Fine," Jay hisses, crossing his arms as well. "Just don't expect me to be civil. Or worse, friendly."
"I'll try to keep my expectations low," is all she says in response before turning around and walking back to Andrea, who is staring at her in white-faced fear.
"I can't believe you just marched over there and asked Jay West to eat lunch with us," Andrea says, half-awed and half-unamused.
"It's not that hard," Becca tells her with a shrug. "I mean, he may look kinda scary, but I think he's just a little puppy dog underneath all of that hard exterior. You know, he's kind of scared to be himself."
Andrea just raises an eyebrow. "You've got real nerve, girl."
"I know," Becca says, a smile lighting up her face.
Jay West doesn't seem entirely placated at lunch. Instead, he just glares at their table, which seems to be making Roberta Shapiro increasingly uncomfortable. Becca tries to act as natural as possible, talking to Jay, Andrea, Cato, and even Roberta as if everything is completely normal. Roberta's puppet, Roxy, has zero restraint though, unlike Becca.
"Why is that dude here?" Roxy says rudely. "All he's done is glare at everyone."
"Why are you here?" is Jay's response. His eyes are dark, his face twisted into a scowl. "Nobody likes you, you stupid puppet."
"Jay!" Becca protests. Roxy isn't pleased either, because she starts into some tirade about how she's not a puppet, despite Roberta's attempts to 'silence' her.
Jay just rolls his eyes and digs back into his burrito, though Becca can see that he's gripping it harder and the beans are spilling out of the end. Cato Valentine gives a large laugh. "Look! Your beans are falling out of your burrito!" He grins like it's the coolest thing he has ever seen.
"I know," Jay snaps.
"You don't have to be so mean," Cato replies, giving a large frown.
For a second, Becca thinks that Jay's going to get up, walk across the table, and smack Cato Valentine in his cute little innocent face, thus disproving her theory. But instead, Jay just sighs and leans his head onto his crossed arms. "Sorry, Cato," he says in a voice that teeters on the edge between sarcastic and completely sincere.
Andrea looks shocked. Cato just looks like he doesn't know what to think. At last, he settles on a hearty "It's fine!" and a big smile.
Jay turns back to his burrito, not looking affected at all. Feeling the awkwardness, Becca decides it's probably best for her to start talking. "So listen. I'm taking this music class this semester, and even though I just started at this school 3 days ago I already have a project. And I kinda need someone to duet with. A guy, obviously."
Cato looks like he's about to say something, but Jay cuts him off. "I'm willing." That's all he says, just those two words, but it stuns everyone at the table into silence. Andrea looks from Jay to Becca with wide eyes.
Becca doesn't show her surprise, though. She just smiles over at him and says, "Meet me after school tomorrow and we'll work on it then."
"Cool," Jay replies casually. Andrea starts up a conversation then about something from Sikowitz's class, but Becca's head is swarming with all sorts of odd thoughts. Why does Jay West want to duet with her? He doesn't seem evil – at least, not with her – but what other sort of motive could he have?
And why does she suddenly feel so thrilled at the prospect of dueting with Jay West?
"You act like you've never done a duet before," Jay says, glaring at her. "Just because I can be a jerk doesn't mean that I'm not a good singer."
"I'm sure you're a fantastic singer," Becca replies before she can stop herself. Then, staring at the ground, she slips on her headphones. Jay does the same thing across from her.
"Don't be so sure," Jay tells her darkly. Then he starts the music. Right on cue, he starts singing.
Immediately, her mind goes blank. He is utterly and completely fantastic, better than she had ever imagined. And while he sings, he doesn't look like the terrifying boy that she is used to. He looks sort of innocent, angelic, almost.
She doesn't even realize when it's her turn to start singing, because she is so enamored by the boy in front of her. Jay doesn't seem all that angry, though, much to her relief.
"How was that?" he inquires, seeming slightly insecure.
"That was great," she replies, trying not to show how surprised she is. After all, she's Becca Oliver and she doesn't really show emotion all that often, but this is different in an odd sort of way.
Jay just glances down at the ground and shrugs. "I guess."
In a bold move that surprises even her, Becca says, "You should take me out again sometime." Then she pretends like she'd meant to say that anyway. "It was sort of nice."
"Was it?" Jay inquires, the edges of his mouth curving up into what seems sort of like a smile. It's the first time that she's really seen him smile, and she finds that she likes it in some odd sort of way. "This Friday, then. I'll be there at 5 sharp. You'd better be ready."
Becca rolls her eyes. "Believe me; I will be."
"This is about ten different kinds of illegal," Becca complains as soon as he pulls up in front of something that seems oddly like a bar.
"We're not going inside," Jay retorts in a bored sort of tone. "I just need to grab something."
"Not alcohol?" she inquires.
"Nah." Jay smirks over at her. "I hate alcohol. It has a nasty taste."
"All right," Becca replies, sort of satisfied – but only sort of. "I'm not really in the mood to get arrested tonight. Or worse, die."
"I swear I'm not a murderer," Jay tells her, looking amused. "Or anything similar to a murderer. I just need to pick something up."
"Well, what are you waiting for?" Becca asks, her voice laced with sarcasm. This seems to amuse Jay, but he gets out anyway and makes his way into the looming club. Her eyes follow him – the way his dark jeans ride low on his hips, the way he manages to make black seem like the coolest color ever when really she has always found it to be fairly depressing.
He doesn't come back out for ten more minutes, and Becca has to admit it gets fairly boring being cooped up in the car. So when Jay comes back at last, she raises an eyebrow at him. He just shrugs. "I had to talk them into giving me what I wanted."
"I feel like I should follow you around and apologize for you all the time," Becca tells him with a small laugh. "I don't even want to know."
"Probably not," Jay replies honestly, glancing over at her. "So you're entirely opposed to illegal things, then?"
"Not entirely," Becca shrugs. "It's just that – I really amserious about becoming an actress, you know? And I don't want to do anything that could compromise that."
Jay nods, looking lost in thought. Then a smirk creeps up onto the edges of his lips. "I've got a good idea, then. It's not too illegal."
"Have you got a rating scale for these things?" Becca inquires curiously.
Jay shrugs. "On occasion, it comes in handy."
"This is the good kind of illegal," Becca informs him, leaning over the fire. "I can't believe that you stopped at a bar to get marshmallows, though. Honestly."
Jay just rolls his eyes. "Someone offered to give me some for cheap. I'd be careful, though; they may be drugged or spiked with alcohol, if that's even possible."
"I'm sure it is," Becca says casually, taking a big bite of her marshmallow. "Seriously, though, this is great. I didn't think you were exactly the thoughtful type."
"There's a lot you don't know about me, Becca Oliver," Jay tells her, taking a bite of his own marshmallow. "Not many people do – know a lot about me, that is."
"Then let me," Becca says persistently. For whatever reason, she is determined to learn more about this enigma of a boy, and he doesn't seem completely willing to let her in. She decides to make a reckless decision that could probably backfire on her and says, "I kind of like you. A lot."
Jay just stares at her with wide eyes. Then he stands up and backs up, still staring at her like she could explode at any given time. "I have to go," he says hastily.
"You gave me a ride," she reminds him uneasily, wondering what exactly what was going on. After all, this is a date, right? It was meant to be, anyway. Why is he so uncomfortable with her saying that she likes him? That much should be obvious.
"Right." He looks even more uneasy. "Look, I'll just drop you off."
"Jay!" she exclaims, putting her hands on her hips. "What is going on? I just told you the truth. You're such a well, blunt guy. I thought that you would appreciate it. I guess I was wrong."
"I guess you were too," Jay retorts bluntly. "Come on."
The ride back to her house is uneasy. Neither of them speak a lot until he pulls up into her driveway. "Here's your house," he says, as if that isn't obvious.
"Thanks," she retorts sarcastically. "Jay, really, what is going on? We were doing just fine until I said that I like you."
"You brought feelings into it," Jay says at last, glancing down at his lap. "I'm not used to that, all right? I know I look like I'm this tough guy or whatever, but really –"
She doesn't give him the chance to finish that sentence. Instead, she just leans forward and presses her lips to his, tentatively at first, but it progressively becomes more and more aggressive. She rakes her hand through his brown hair, surprised at how very soft it is, and then she pulls away.
"I like you too," Jay mutters at last, glancing at the ground.
"Good to know." She laughs freely. "Look, let's try this again? Tomorrow night. Karaoke Dokie. Meet me there at six."
Jay just nods. She pretends that she doesn't notice how his eyes don't stray from her as she walks in the house. He doesn't pull away until she is already inside of her house.
The next day at Karaoke Dokie, she gets there early. Not insanely early, of course, but quite a few minutes early. Of course, this semi-cute guy seems to take an interest in her the moment she walks in the door, and he comes over to sit next to her. While she's acutely aware of the fact that she's meeting Jay, she also knows that a little harmless flirting can't really do any harm.
"I'm Brett," the boy says, giving her a large smile. "Who are you?"
"Becca Oliver," she replies with a small grin in return. "I'm assuming you don't go to Hollywood Arts?"
"Nah, Northridge," Brett informs her, grinning wickedly. "I hear Hollywood Arts girls are the wild type."
She decides immediately that she doesn't really like him, but she can't think of a polite way to tell him to go away. "Um... sort of," she answers, moving his hand away from hers. "But I really don't think..."
It's then that Jay West walks up. He's honestly quite terrifying, at least to other people, and Becca sees that Brett stiffens as soon as Jay steps up to their table. Jay just gives a stiff smirk. "You can leave now," he says pointedly to Brett.
"But – " Brett replies desperately, sneaking another glance at Becca, which makes her more than a little uncomfortable, but she manages a half-smile anyway.
"Leave," Jay says darkly, glaring at Brett. At last, Brett gets up and walks away, looking around like he's searching for something – more than likely another girl to flirt with. With a pointed smirk, Jay sits down across from her.
"Hi to you too," Becca greets him.
"Who was that?" Jay asks pointedly, not bothering with pleasantries.
"Some guy," Becca responds with a shrug. "He's not important. And anyway, what does it matter?"
"I don't know." Jay's hands are shoved into his pockets and he's staring at the ground as if it's the most interesting thing he's ever seen. He's embarrassed, Becca notes, and she wonders if this is a regular thing for him. Probably, it's not. With a frown, he fidgets with one of his multiple piercings.
"Are you jealous, Jay West?" Becca inquires incredulously. After all, that's definitely what it seems like.
"No!" Jay barks out a laugh. "It's just... you could do so much better than me if you wanted to, Becca."
"Maybe I don't want to," she informs him in a determined voice.
Jay just stares at her for a minute, his eyes filled with awe. Absently, she wonders how many people have actually implied that they care about him in any way, shape, or form. Sadly, she doesn't think the list is very long.
This time, he kisses her first.
"So what, you and Jay West are in love now?" Andrea inquires, wrinkling up her nose.
"I didn't say that," Becca replies with a sigh, putting her book into her locker. "I just said that we went on a date – two, actually – and we kissed and I like him. Is that so wrong?"
"I didn't say anything!" Andrea defends, throwing up her hands. "It's just a bit odd. I don't know, Becca; I still think you should stay away from him."
Becca just grins darkly. "I think I can fend for myself, thanks."
Jay West interrupts their conversation then, walking up and grabbing Becca's hand without a second thought. He then seems to see Andrea and he raises an eyebrow at her before turning back to Becca. "Let's go get coffee."
"I was having a conversation with her, dude," Andrea replies, looking a bit put out.
"Too bad," Jay retorts, rolling his eyes. He lets go of Becca's hand, but gives her a 'you'd best come along' look before walking off.
"I apologize for... him," Becca apologizes with an embarrassed smile.
Andrea just laughs. "I don't know, girl; I'm kind of getting used to him now. He seems kind of funny now in an odd sort of way."
"That's the spirit," Becca replies before walking off to follow Jay.
"I finished our duet," Jay tells her after school, holding up a shiny silver CD. "And it's not too shabby, if I do say so myself."
"Nice." She flashes him a smile of pearly white teeth. "Want to listen to it together after school?"
"Sure," Jay replies, leaning down to press his lips to hers. She responds immediately, jerking him closer still, and wondering why. After all, she could probably have any guy in the school if she wanted, but for some reason she just wants him.
"You look handsome today," she tells him once she pulls away.
"So what? I don't look handsome every other day?" He actually seems sort of offended, which is almost ludicrous enough to make her laugh.
She rolls her eyes. "I didn't say that."
"You didn't need to."
"Jay!" She's actually biting her lip now to keep from laughing. "Seriously. It was just meant to be a compliment. You need to chill."
"Fine." Jay actually does seem to relax a little, much to her relief. She presses a soft kiss to his forehead and he manages a half-smile.
"I think you're good for me," he tells her seriously. She actually does have to agree there.
"Andrea agrees with you," Becca reads, sitting on her bed beside Jay. "She thinks I'm good for you and that you're actually sort of decent now."
Jay just gives a small laugh. "So what, are you and Andrea like BFFs now?"
"Speaking of words I never thought I'd hear you say," Becca teases. "What about you and Cato? BFFs forever or what?"
"No," Jay retorts with a shrug. "We've known each other for ages. Went to our old school together. I tolerate him."
"Maybe I tolerate you," she replies, her eyes closing suddenly.
"Maybe I hate you," he says, but his voice isn't serious, really.
"Maybe you're going to get tickled," Becca replies devilishly.
"You wouldn't dare," Jay hisses, but she does anyway because she's Becca Oliver and she's nothing if not impulsive, rule-breaking, and daring. And of course, he laughs anyway because there's not really much else he can do.
Even if they're just Jay West and Becca Oliver, maybe they can make it work.
A/N: So I saw this idea on Tumblr and wanted to try it out. I don't own Jay or Becca or Andrea, etc; they're the property of some brilliantly creative people. =) I just thought this was a cool idea, so I decided to write a genderbent!oneshot. In case you couldn't tell, everyone was genderbent – Jay=Jade, Becca=Beck, Andrea=Andre, etc. Hopefully they were IC enough that you could tell. :)
Read and review! Let me know what you thought.