Title: The Best Revenge
Word Count: 2400ish
Disclaimer: Victorious and all related characters do not belong to me (though I wish they do).
Summary: "Messing up his life isn't the best revenge. It's getting on with yours and living life to the fullest that kills him." -author unknown
Continuity: Post-TWC. Will be disregarding all episodes and Slap posts that occur thereafter as I see fit. Oh, and I tried (but horribly, horribly failed) to write Rex. So in my universe, he had a falling out with Robbie and is currently not speaking to him.
Author's Notes: This fic could only get weirder from here on out. You've been warned! Prepare to meet OCs. I trolled the Victorious Wiki and couldn't find any characters to suit my purposes. And to anonymous reviewers, please leave me a way to reply to your comments!
The Best Revenge
is a Life Well-Lived
Mart Walker, a senior student in Hollywood Arts whose passion is photography, posted a composite of two unmistakable pairs of eyes, one above the other in his Slap page, with the simple caption, Match Made.
The first pair, the one above, was the color of the leaf as summer turns into autumn. Said eyes were described as piercing by some, as they seem to have the ability to decipher a person's innermost thoughts. They also hint at pain, if one was inclined to look deeply, as they were buried beneath an intense wave of mystery and a swirl of anger. The pair of eyes can only belong to Chester Grady, the resident artist with the face of an avenging angel and the body of a Greek god. Since he was enrolled in Hollywood Arts courtesy of an art scholarship, his hard, muscled body can only be the result of hard work and not some fancy gym or medical science. To add to his mystique, his past boasted of a sealed juvenile record, forever cementing his reputation as someone not to be messed with.
The other pair of eyes was the same shade as the middle of a clean, peaceful ocean during a hot summer day. But it was common knowledge that said eyes can immediately turn as blue as the coldest ice. These legendary eyes, which belonged to Hollywood Arts' own Renaissance Woman, Jade West, were rumored capable of stopping bullets with a single glare. A lovesick freshman once wrote a poem about Jade, likening her to a modern-day Snow White, not only because she had skin white as snow and lips red as blood, but also because she was one of the fairest in the land. However, as perfection is abhorred in nature, Jade's personality had more in common with the Evil Queen than the story's heroine.
Unsurprisingly, Mart Walker's Slap page had a record-breaking number of likes and comments, which also resulted to girls checking and re-checking if Grady and Jade have updated their statuses in their own Slap pages from Single to In a Relationship. This was important because once Jade is in a relationship, this may mean that she won't care anymore if her ex began dating again.
Besides, Grady and Jade West dating would be like the moon finally finding the stars, dipping strawberry in chocolate, or even dunking chewy cookies in warm milk. The tortured artist and the gifted thespian finally found their souls' mates. As Matt Walker's caption read, it was a match made, but whether it was made in heaven or hell, was anyone's guess.
Several Days Ago
No matter what facade Jade West presented to the world, there is only one truth, and that was, she was still bleeding inside. Sometimes, the only thing that can make her leave the bed in the morning was her pride. There was no way the world would know that she had a heart, much less how utterly destroyed it was after The Break Up.
It had been a month since and still, she felt like something the garbage disposal spat out. People lied (surprise, surprise). There was no truth to the cliche that time healed all wounds. All it did was torture a person's consciousness in what might have beens.
"So how are you doing?"
Jade frowned at the question. She must have sighed once too many. The pity and compassion in Tori Vega's eyes made Jade want to throttle the other girl. But she held herself in check. Maybe if she had been nicer to Tori Effin' Vega, Beck Oliver would have stayed with her. Or maybe not. She was not unaware of the whispers behind her back that it was high time that Beck Oliver come into his senses and dump the weird chick.
But that did not stop her from lying awake on her bed at night, thinking about what she could have done differently, what she could have said, what she could have sacrificed, so that Beck would stay with her.
"Been keeping busy," Jade replied as she slammed her locker shut and faced her well-meaning friends (since when did she have friends?). "Of all the pieces of unsolicited advice I received so far, to keep myself occupied's the best one I've got. It's been working. Sort of."
"Wow." Cat sighed in her high, lyrical voice. "That's deep."
"Who told you that?" Tori wanted to know as the trio began walking to Asphalt Cafe.
"The only person I listen to," Jade replied as she shouldered her bag. "My tattoo artist."
There was a small commotion at Asphalt Cafe while the girls were waiting for their order to be taken by Festus.
It was caused by Mart Walker who strode into the cafe. Mart was a senior, and seniors usually wouldn't be caught dead eating at Asphalt Cafe. That, and the fact that Mart Walker was as cute as a puppy dog and single to boot.
Nobody was surprised when Mart made a beeline towards Tori Vega, who was standing by the Grub Truck. It was not uncommon for Photographer-Extraordinaire Mart Walker to approach attractive students to ask them to model for him.
What did surprise everyone was that Mart did not follow Tori Vega when she received her food order and walked to her usual table. Neither did he follow pixie-like Cat Valentine.
What he did was to approach the Wicked Witch herself, Jade West, who was still waiting for her order.
Jade West, playing with a pair of scissors, quizzically looked at the senior. If Jade West was a typical female teenager, she would have blushed and felt self-conscious at the intensity of Mart's stare. But Jade was anything but typical. Hence, when Mart was closely scrutinizing her, she just stared right back.
Mart Walker can only be described as movie-star handsome. His blond hair, blue eyes and perfectly white teeth was complimented by skin that was just the right shade of tan.
The standoff was interrupted only when Festus called out that Jade's order was ready.
After receiving her order, Jade ambled away, not even bothering to acknowledge Mart, who scrambled to follow.
"Wait!" Mart cried out as he grabbed Jade's elbow.
Jade's "Never touch me!" was as automatic as her shaking off Mart's hand.
"Has anyone told you that your eyes are very expressive?" was Mart's opening salvo as Jade turned to him.
Jade merely raised an eyebrow but, as if to prove Mart right, her eyes conveyed that she thought Mart was an idiot.
"And your skin! It's so clear and translucent. It's like a blank canvass, begging to be drawn on!"
"Are you coming on to me?"
"No, I promise, my interest in you is purely aesthetic." Mart replied without missing a beat.
"Oh, speaking of expressive eyes, if this conversation ends in a pick-up line, I'd skewer yours out with a fork."
"You have pierced eyebrows and nose," Mart observed, before his attention was caught by Jade's right hand. "Is that a tattoo?"
"No." Jade replied shortly. "Its a teleporter. You see, I push it and it transports me to my chosen destination."
"You have no religious, physical or any other objection to using your body as a medium of art. You, Jade West, are the embodiment of perfection!"
Of course, Jade West, being Jade West, was not impressed. "Is there a point in this conversation or should I just move on to the gushing portion to make you disappear faster?"
Mart started at that. "Oh, I'm getting ahead of myself, aren't I?" he laughed. "I'm sorry."
"I can see your mouth move but I'm still not hearing an explanation."
"I want to take your photograph for my next exhibit."
"I'm not a model." Jade replied dismissively.
"But what you are is an actress. And modeling for me is a form of acting." Mart told her. "I tell a story using my photographs. My pictures are my medium."
Jade contemplated this. "Keep talking."
Before, when Beck and Jade were BeckandJade, the gang took their lunch at the Asphalt Cafe, sharing a small table where they were squeezed intimately together. That way, everyone was in physical contact with each other and was able to share in the conversation.
Post The Break Up, Beck and Jade had a conversation (well, Beck talked while Jade imagined herself somewhere far, far away) where they (meaning Beck) decided that they should act like mature individuals. They shouldn't ask their friends (though Jade may contest that she didn't have friends) to choose between them and so they should still hang out together.
So every lunch period, the gang pushed two tables together (which was no small feat since the tables were heavy and round). This way, Jade and Beck can sit as far away as they wanted from each other but still be considered as sharing one table.
Because of Mart Walker's interruption, the entire gang was already seated when Jade placed her food at her end of the table.
The unspoken communication between Andre, Beck, Tori and Robbie did not escape her.
"What?" she snarled.
"What did Mart Walker want with you?" an impatient Cat demanded.
"My body, apparently." Jade declared and enjoyed the explosion she caused as everyone talked at once.
"He can't talk to you that way!"
"But if he takes your body, what would you use?"
"What do you mean your body? Did he proposition you?"
"I knew it! That bastard!"
"He can do that?"
"Relax." she smirked. "I meant he just wanted me to model in one of his photo shoots."
"Are you sure he's not asking you to pose because he likes you?" Tori wanted to know.
"How can you be sure that he won't take advantage of you?" Beck demanded. "I mean, he's a photographer. And photographers have a reputation."
Jade ignored the voice in her head (or was it her heart?) screaming, he's concerned about me! He still cares! Of course, Beck's protective streak over those he considers his were legendary. And said protective streak caused more than one misunderstanding between them when they were still in a relationship.
Jade gave him her I can take care of myself glare. And coupled it with an, "He's not interested in me." she paused dramatically. "I don't have the necessary package for that."
Everyone gaped as the meaning of her statement sank in, save for Cat who asked, "What package do you mean? Wanna go out later and buy some?"
"You mean he's—" Tori Vega's eyes bugged out. "But he's so hot!" she whined.
"What? What is he?" Cat pouted at being left out of the conversation.
"Cat, Walker doesn't like Jade because he doesn't like girls." this came from Robbie.
"What? That's so not tight!" Cat cried out in indignation. "Why doesn't he like girls? Girls are perfect!"
"Mart Walker's gay. He wants boyfriends, not girlfriends." Tori finally explained.
"That actually explains a lot." Andre mused. "Not that there's anything wrong with that." He quickly added.
"Are you sure?" Tori asked Jade. "About him being gay?"
"I caught him making out with Manny Alexanders in the janitor's closet when I was a freshman." Jade shrugged.
"Manny Alexanders, the really hot violinist?" Tori's eyes widened.
Jade nodded. "Now can I eat?"
"One last question!" Tori said. "Did you say yes? Are you gonna model for him?"
"I told him I'll think about it."
"But why?" Andre demanded. "I heard his last exhibit was featured in the local newspaper. He's that good."
"Plus he's the son of that rock and roll legend, Tommy Walker." Robbie added. "Anything Mart does is sure to get media coverage."
"I told him I'm not a model." Jade shrugged. "And that I'll think about it. Now, can I eat in peace?"
"Tori Vega?" Mart Walker cornered the girl by her locker later that day. Beside her, Beck raised his eyebrows and leaned back on the row of lockers.
"Yes! I'm Tori Vega!" Tori Vega gave a stellar smile.
"I need your help!" Mart told her.
If possible, Tori's grin grew wider. "Yes?"
"I want you," Mart began.
"To model for you?" Tori finished happily. She wanted to be a model, too!
"To convince Jade West to pose for me." Mart said at the same time.
"Yes!" Tori cried out. "Wait, what?"
Beck suppressed the urge to snicker.
"But I wanna model!" Tori pouted.
"Oh." Mart frowned as he looked at Tori critically. He smoothed her blouse and wound a lock of her around his finger. "Maybe next time, darling. You won't fit in in my next project. Now Jade West, that girl's perfect!"
Tori Vega pouted. But being the nice girl she is, she found herself saying, "Alright."
"And speak of the devil," Beck muttered as he saw Jade walk towards them on her way to her locker.
"Jade!" Tori called out.
"What?" Jade asked as she passed by them, without slowing down a bit.
Beck then snagged Jade's arms to force her to stop.
"Hey!" Jade glared. "What did I tell you about keeping your hands to yourself?"
"You didn't." Beck gave her a lazy grin but released his hold on Jade.
Jade's reply was interrupted by Mart's dramatic, "Jade!"
"I really, really need your cooperation with my project!"
"Still thinking about it." Jade snarled. "And right now, I leaning towards no if you don't stop bothering me!"
"Jade, come on," Tori tried to calm the other girl down.
"Look, I promised Grady that I'll make his portfolio-mmmph!" Mart's eyes widened as Jade's hand covered his mouth to keep him from speaking.
"I don't care!" Jade replied testily, then she paused with a frown. "Wait. Back up. You're making a portfolio for Grady?" Jade asked. "Chester Grady? The artist?"
Unable to speak, Mart merely nodded.
"And he wants to use my body? As a blank canvass? To draw on?"
Again, Mart nodded.
"Then why didn't you say so? I'm in. Gimme your phone." Jade programmed her contact number after receiving the Pear Phone. "Call me when and where you want to shoot. And don't change your mind!"
"That's it?" Mart frowned. "No conditions? No more questions? You don't need more time to think?"
"Dude, it's Chester Grady." Was Jade's only explanation before walking away.
Beck frowned. "Who's Chester Grady?"