Title: Hope from the Flowers
Word Count: 2000ish
Disclaimer: Victorious and all related characters do not belong to me.
Summary: Beck tried to speak with Jade about their ill-fated relationship. Jade refused. So Beck had to resort to some creative talking to make the stubborn girl listen. Written for Tumblr's Bade Prompts' Writing Challenge, Round 4 with the prompt, Paper Flowers.
Continuity: Post-TGP. Spoilers ahead. Read at your own risk.
Author's Notes: Written for Tumblr's Bade Prompts' Writing Challenge, Round 4. My prompt was paper flowers. I hope I did it justice. Beck's also a bit OOC because I just wanna grab his hair and slam his head on the wall. (Kidding. Mostly.)
Hope from the Flowers
Jade West didn't know why she was wasting a perfectly good Friday night in Tori Vega's house, making paper flowers courtesy of an origami book borrowed from the library.
Oh, wait. She did.
Sikowitz challenged her, Tori and Cat to put up a play together with a budget of $500.00. Considering that paltry sum, they were allowed to recycle old props used in previous plays without that being charged to their budget.
So Friday night found Jade West, making paper flowers out of used scenery and random pieces of junk they (meaning Sinjin) found backstage of the Blackbox Theater.
Jade never wanted the job, but of the three of them, she was not only the most adept at using scissors, but she also had a talent for making something out of nothing.
She was just getting into her zone when the doorbell rang.
Jade frowned. She was alone at the Vegas' house, with the Vega parents out on a date and Trina doing whatever it was Trina did on a Friday night. Tori and Cat, on the other hand, had just gone out for a sugar run (please, anything but ice cream!) and would be back later.
Jade contemplated not opening the door but whoever was outside had other ideas. The doorbell kept ringing and ringing every few seconds until Jade feared for her sanity.
With a heartfelt groan, Jade stood up from her comfortable position and padded to the door.
And what do you know, there, leaning casually against the door post with his jean jacket slung over his shoulder, was none other than Beck Oliver, the very person Jade needed to make this Friday night complete. Not.
"Tori's not here. Come back later." Jade told him even as she began shutting the door.
"Wait a minute," Beck was fast (and was probably expecting that the door would be shut at his face). He held out a hand to keep the door from closing and shouldered his way into the house.
"Whatever." Jade shrugged. She stepped away from the door and went back to her pile of paper flowers, leaving Beck to do whatever he wanted.
She saw that she surprised Beck. He was probably expecting a struggle for control of the door. Or even bickering over whether or not he should be allowed to go inside.
While Jade initially thought that she should make at least a token effort to keep Beck out, she figured that not only would Beck win that particular fight, it would probably make him feel that he was still of significance to her life. So, meh, if he wanted to go in, he can come in. No skin off her nose.
Come to think of it, he didn't look surprised when she opened the door instead of the Vegas.
After a minute of uncomfortable silence (well, uncomfortable for Beck. Jade didn't really care, one way or another, because she had in her hands her favorite pair of scissors and she was cutting up pieces of paper, so color her happy), Beck cleared his throat. "You're probably wondering why I'm here."
"Not really," Jade replied without looking up from her work.
Beck walked over to where Jade was working and sat himself comfortably across from her. He waited for her to look up before saying, "I heard you girls could use an extra pair of hands for your project, so I'm here to lend mine," he gave a smile which used to make Jade's knees weak.
But instead of making Jade's knees weak, the smile had her frowning. "Okay," she said slowly, suspiciously. "I'm making flowers. Instruction's in the book. I cut, you fold."
Beck's smile widened. "Great. I can do that."
After a few minutes of working harmoniously in silence, Beck stated, "I haven't seen you around since the Platinum Awards. Come to think of it, you never returned to your seat after Tori's number."
"Yeah, you know me. I've been busy. Had places to go, people to torture, lives to destroy."
Beck lost his smile as he stared at the girl whose life used to be so intimately connected with his. "I looked around for you because I wanted to tell you how proud I am of you for doing the right thing."
Jade gave a short, bitter laugh. "Oh, wow. I finally got the Beck Oliver seal of approval. My life is complete!"
Jade interrupted whatever Beck had to say. "No offense, but I don't really care what you think about what I did. I don't need affirmation or to be told how it was the right thing to do. Because I didn't do that because of you or Tori or whomever. I did that because of me. That's right, Beck. For me. I'll never by the sweet, caring girl-next-door who does the right thing. I'm still selfish and rude and mean. So you and everyone else can just deal with it."
"I didn't mean—"
"Look, just drop it, okay?" Jade said. "When I said that I don't care what anyone thought about it, I meant it. So whatever you meant or did not mean, it doesn't matter. I don't wanna talk about it."
"This is exactly our problem, Jade," Beck began.
"I don't want to talk about our problems, either," Jade retorted. "Because we're broken up and we're not friends so I don't care whatever our problem is, much less how we could solve it."
Beck had the audacity to look hurt. "Okay, you don't want to talk about us," he said as he looked around, spotted a finished red rose, and held it up. "Let's talk about this paper flower instead."
Jade looked at Beck as if he lost his mind, but nonetheless said, "Alright." she leaned back and crossed her arms. "Knock yourself out. Talk about the paper flower."
"This paper flower," he motioned towards the pile of junk beside them. "Came from damaged and discarded materials, but with some effort and a lot of hard work, something beautiful came out of it."
"Here's the thing with paper flowers, Beck." Jade retorted. "No matter how pretty it is, no matter how much perfume you put on it to make it smell good, it's still fake, a pale imitation of the original."
"Paper flowers have their own purpose in life," Beck argued, running a hand through his hair. "I mean, people wouldn't work so hard and spend so much time making paper flowers if they didn't have any relevance. Look! There's even an instruction booklet on how to make them."
"We're making paper flowers because we can't afford fresh ones." Jade told him. "But if given a choice, no one would pick the fake over the real thing."
"Just because it's made of paper, doesn't make it less real," Beck said. "In fact, it lasts longer than real ones."
"They last only as long as they are taken care of," Jade told him. "But once they're botched up or taken for granted, they're crumpled up and thrown out!"
"But you see, even if they get crumpled because of a mistake, you could always smooth the paper out and start a new paper flower." was Beck's riposte.
"The time to fix it was when the paper was still whole and together. Not after it's chucked away to the trash and torn to bits!"
"So I made a mistake throwing out the paper flower," Beck began, but he was once again interrupted by Jade who chuckled bitterly.
"Don't tell me that you regret throwing out that paper flower, Beck," Jade said. "Because it wasn't a mistake. That paper flower's full of chiz. You did me and the world a huge favor when you got rid of it."
"I disagree." Beck told her. "I'm not sure that it was the right thing to do. But what I am sure of is that I was never loved as much as I was by that paper flower."
"Yeah?" Jade muttered darkly. "Well, too late. It's already destroyed."
"Well, if that's the case, maybe we can get new materials to make better paper flowers."
"It won't be the same paper flower."
"Well, maybe having a different paper flower will be better than recycling the old one."
Jade's temper spiked. "You're right. Maybe a new one would be better, because if the old paper flower wanted to stay a paper flower, maybe it shouldn't have tried kissing other paper flowers!"
"Yeah, and if the paper flower wanted to kiss other paper flowers, maybe it should have checked first whether they were still online for the entire world to see said kiss!" Jade grabbed the paper flower Beck was holding and threw it at his face.
Beck's eyes widened in realization. "I'm sorry you had to see that. It wasn't one of my finest moments."
"We are not talking about us," Jade said mulishly. "We were talking about paper flowers."
"Alright," Beck placated. "I'm sorry. Sometimes, in making paper flowers, one makes a mistake. But that doesn't mean that it should be thrown out. And if it is mistakenly thrown away, one could always go through the trash and look for it."
"A paper flower is not worth going through the trash for."
"Ah!" Beck held out a finger. "But sometimes it is. And when that paper flower is found, it would take a lot of work and a lot of effort to put it back the same way it was."
"It won't be the same," Jade insisted.
"It won't," Beck conceded. "But maybe, this time, it would be better."
A heartbeat, then Beck leaned over and whispered, "Jade, tell me what can I do to make it better. What can I do to make it right?"
"Honestly? I don't know. Maybe we should accept the fact that it's too late and move on." Jade said.
Beck shook his head in denial, but Jade plowed on. "What I do know is that right now, I don't want to make paper flowers anymore." she stood up and began gathering her things. "I'm tired and it's late and I wanna go home now."
"I'll drive you." Beck offered, desperate for some more time with Jade, a few more minutes to plead his case.
"Thanks, but no." Jade shook her head. "I need time away from you and all these."
"Maybe you should wait until Tori and Cat get back before going home," Beck pleaded.
Jade eyed him suspiciously. She wanted to ask him how he knew Cat was there and was coming back, but she heard a noise coming from outside. "No need to wait," she said as she opened the front door.
And in came tumbling their friends, who fell on a heap on the floor.
"Um, hi?" Tori gave an innocent smile.
"Yeah! Hi! We weren't spying on you!" Cat declared.
"Cat!" Robbie and Andre chorused.
"Right. Great. See you!" Jade walked out the door where she was swallowed by the night.
"Shouldn't you go after her?" Andre asked as he stood up, pulling up Cat with him.
"Nah." Beck shook his head as he gave Tori a hand to help her stand up. "I've got some work to do."
The following Monday morning, when Jade West opened her locker, hundreds and hundreds of colorful, cheerful paper flowers of different sizes and shapes spilled out to her feet.
She looked around and her eyes met Beck's, who gave her a tentative smile.
The paper flowers were a long, long way from making things alright between them.
But maybe they were a start.