AN: I'm on the Jade/Ryder train! Thank you to imlaughingnow for being the catalyst to this story.

Jade wasn't known to be a nice person. In fact, she was known to be the complete opposite. She was never one to do something for the sake of others, never one to sacrifice for the greater good. She was always pegged as the villain, and Tori as the protagonist in every single story. Which was why everyone was surprised to find Tori up on stage when in fact, it was Jade who should be up there wowing the crowd with her amazing vocals. But alas, the heroine prevails against the wicked witch once again.

She slipped in the seat Tori should have been in, head held high and smoothing down the ridiculously frilly pink dress they talked her into wearing while she watched everyone fall for Tori's charisma and charm.

She then turned her head to notice that he as well, was equally surprised to find her sitting beside him. She sent him a weak smile and concluded that she shouldn't say anything.

I could be nice too.

She wanted to say, but she knew that would not do any good. He must be happy, now that Tori got her spotlight.

Tori. Tori. Tori. Tori. Tori freaking Vega.

It was unfair how he just dropped the three years they've been together for this perfect girl he barely knew.

"That was very nice of you." He whispered to her, and Jade had to suppress the feelings that clawed at her chest. She pressed her lips together and scowled.

"I don't want to be an afterthought." She said bitingly, though she knew he knew it was forced.

Beck watched her with an almost longing gaze. There was his girl. In a ridiculously frilly pink dress, eyes concentrated on the ground. He opened his mouth to say something else, but couldn't find the words to do so. Instead, he just averted his gaze to the shining girl on stage, capturing the audience's hearts.

Ryder Daniels knew he shouldn't be here, but there was just this pull that had him come against his better judgment. And that pull was her. Jade West. He knew she was the one for him the day he set eyes on her.

He remembered her wearing a dark plum dress and shiny white shoes, her chestnut locks pulled up in a high pony-tail, a scowl present on her face.

"Stop staring at me." Five-year-old Jade said as she crossed her tiny arms over her chest, her icy blue eyes glaring at the scrawny six-year-old in front of her. The six-year-old fumbled with his glasses and quickly avoided her gaze, a blush darkening his tan cheeks.

"I-I'm sorry." He stammered and picked up the rest of his chess pieces. He knelt down and began looking for his queen when he spotted those two shiny white shoes.

"You lookin' for this?" Ryder looked up and had to stomp down the blush that crawled up his face, because there she was, and he had to admit, she was the prettiest girl he'd ever seen (that was, besides his momma) holding up the queen in her tiny hands. Her brow arched delicately as she put it in his box.

"Yeah, thanks." He replied and pushed his glasses up his nose. There was a moment of silence before he stuck out his hand.

"I'm Ryder." He introduced himself. Jade looked at his hand in fascination, mostly because nobody ever cared to introduce themselves to her. Other kids would always run the other direction. This however, made her smile.

And smile she did.

That day, Ryder knew Jade West was the one.

"I'm Jade."

He parked his motorcycle and made his way inside, sliding past the bouncers that were wrestling a group of teenage girls out the door. He straightened his jacket and found an empty seat. His mother had told him that Jade was performing tonight and he knew he couldn't keep away.

He never could, even after her many attempts to tell him that she didn't care for him. Not in that way at least. And it was all because of that one person he hated with every fiber of his being.

Beck Oliver.

"Ryder, what are you doing?" 16 year-old Jade West asked as she slammed her locker shut. Ryder leant against her locker and grinned charmingly. "Come on, Jade. You know you want to. One date. Just one date." He persuaded, though not wanting her to see the hope in his eyes.

Jade looked at him and pursed her pink lips in irritation, though he knew she wasn't irritated at him. Not in the slightest.

"I have a boyfriend, Daniels." She said and he rolled his eyes, only so she wouldn't see the blatant disappointment in them. "Beck Oliver? Really Jade?" He said with a harsh laugh, which he immediately regretted once he saw her flinch.

"Yes, Ryder. Really. He loves me, and I love him." He scoffed and shook his head. "He loves you? Yeah right. I can totally tell, especially after he kissed that Tori girl." He said bitingly. Jade clenched her fists and bit her tongue.

"They were acting, Ryder." She defended him. Of course she would. She loved him after all. Ryder gritted his teeth and had to resist the urge to punch the nearest locker. "Was that his excuse? He doesn't deserve you, Jade. He doesn't appreciate you. Not like I do. I've known you longer. I know you better. You don't deserve this." He told her, and Jade has to resist the urge to scream.

"He loves me!"

"I love you." And just like that, everything freezes. Ryder was breathing deeply and Jade stood there with wide eyes. She was about to say something till a warm arm draped itself over her shoulders. She looked up and found Beck beside her, a boyish smile on his face.

For some reason, she wanted him to punch Ryder. She wanted him to pull her possessively towards him. She wanted him to do something, anything. But he didn't… Instead, he just shot Ryder a look that wasn't anything near aggressive before pulling her with him away, asking if she wanted coffee.

That was the first time she considered what Ryder had said.

Jade watched them all flock towards Tori. She however, was watching from the sidelines once again, hidden in the shadows of Tori Vega. The girl she couldn't bring herself to hate.

No, not after what she had done. She took a sip from her iced-tea and sighed as she mixed her drink idly.

"May I join you?" She didn't have to look up to know who had asked her. She knew that voice far too well. She waved her hand dismissively and soon heard the scraping of the chair on the floor. She finally looked up to meet his gaze and immediately regretted it.

She averted her gaze to her drink and scowled. "What do you want?" She hissed. "Shouldn't you be congratulating Tori? Who knows, maybe she'll kiss you this time." She said bitingly and stabbed an ice-cube with her straw.

Beck froze and opened his mouth in shock. "I-I-how…" Jade scoffed humorlessly and shook her head. "The webcam. Cat never really could turn it off properly." She said and sighed. Beck felt his heart tug and wanted nothing more than to pull her in his arms and apologize profusely. But he didn't.

Because that was something Beck Oliver didn't do.

"Jade I-"

"Save it, Beck." She said and shot him a tight smile. "I told you, I refuse to be an afterthought." She said and with what little dignity she felt she had left, she stood up, smoothed down her ridiculously frilly pink dress and stalked out of the hall, head held high and tears on the verge of falling from her beautiful blue eyes.

Damn him. Damn him and his precious Tori. I hope they have a fucking happy life.

Tori had never felt so happy. She was smiling from ear to ear and felt all her dreams had come true.

And she knew that there was one person to thank for that. She excused herself from the fawning crowd and looked around for Jade. She never thought that the dark and rude girl would do something this… nice.

"Vega, just go." She had said, arms wrapped around her body. Tori looked at Jade in shock. "Wh-What? Jade, I-" Jade held up a slender hand and sent Tori a small, albeit sincere smile.

"They made me wear pink, Vega. You really think I'll go out there in this?" She asked and gestured to the monstrosity she was currently wearing. Tori was silent for a while before a small smile graced her face as well.

And with that, the two girls made a silent agreement.

They may not have been friends, but that surely wasn't far away.

Tori pushed through the dancing couples and found Beck staring at his drink, slightly dumbfounded. She brightened slightly and walked up to him, bent on asking him where Jade was.

She quickly made her way towards him and rested her hand on his shoulder before he whirled around to face her, eyes sad and features fallen.

"Tori!" He said in surprise. Tori arched an eyebrow and smiled slightly. "Beck, hey, have you seen-"

"I don't like you." Beck cut her off quickly. Tori stopped and her eyebrow rose even higher. This certainly was strange.

"Umm… Okay?" She said, slightly confused by his sudden profession of dislike.

"I mean, I do like you, but… as a friend." He said and sighed, running a hand through his hair. He was a mess, and he knew why. He had fucked up. Badly, and he couldn't seem to function anymore. Especially with the thought that maybe he had lost her forever.

"I'm sorry… I'm sorry I tried to kiss you. I'm sorry that… I'm just incredibly screwed up." Tori watched him calmly. She knew this would happen. Beck Oliver finally broke down, and the reason being one person.

Jade West.

"You should go to her." Tori said simply. Beck looked up at her, and she was immensely shocked to see his eyes slightly red and glassy. He looked so defeated. So helpless.

"I… I don't know where she went." He said. Tori was silent for a while before she smiled and took his hand. "Then we're going to look for her." She said, pulling him past the throng of people. He watched as she found Cat and Andre, as well as Robbie. Beck watched her explain to them the situation and frowned in confusion.

"I don't understand. You're going to miss your victory party for a girl you hate?" He asked. Tori turned to him and smiled.

"She'd do the same for me." She said and he immediately realized what she meant.

He just hoped they'd find her in time.

Jade didn't go home. Why? She just didn't feel the need to. She didn't want to go home to find her parents staring at the TV screen in disappointment. She didn't want to see her father's face. Her mother's confused stare.

Which was why she ended up here. On the steps of the public library. She had never been one for literature, but he was.

"Why do you like these things? There are no pictures. Plus, they smell like my granddad." 8-year-old Jade complained as she returned one of the dustier books back to its place on the shelf. 9-year-old Ryder looked at her in amusement and shook his head.

"I told you. I like the fiction ones. Not the boring real ones." He said. Jade walked up to him and sat across from him. "You should be studying." She pointed out. Ryder pushed his glasses up and shook his head.

"I don't wanna." He retorted before going back to his book. He never understood why he had to. Him and Jade were going to be famous, and famous people didn't need math, nor did they need science or history. Jade, however, just rolled her eyes and picked up a pretty black book.

"Alright. But I'm not going to help you when you fail. You'll have to find someone else to do that." She said and flipped through the pages in boredom. Ryder glanced up at her and pressed his lips together.

"Yeah yeah…" He mumbled and watched her for a little bit longer before forcing himself to continue reading.

For some reason, he knew she'd be here. Maybe he had hoped, but hey, you couldn't blame him. He knew she heard the roar of his motorcycle, but she didn't look up. She didn't need to. He took off his helmet and shook his shaggy dark hair in place.

After he had found out the existence of contacts and hair product, Ryder Daniels struggled to be someone that deserved Jade West. He gained a few pounds of muscle and learned how to talk to girls. All to deserve the girl everyone wanted, but was too afraid to approach.

He strode towards her and shoved his hands in his pockets.

But whenever he was around her, all that false swag and confidence faded away till he was once again Ryder Daniels. A lanky boy that had a crush on his best friend.

"Hey." He greeted. Jade looked up, and Ryder was shocked to see her eyes were red and teary, her make-up smudged, and her cheeks wet. She stood up in that ridiculously frilly pink dress and did the one thing she knew wouldn't hurt her.

She hugged him and cried.

Ryder stood frozen in surprise. There they were. Jade West and Ryder Daniels. Standing on the steps of the public library. Hugging. Jade didn't know how hard she cried. All she knew was that his shirt was probably stained with eye-shadow and mascara.

But she didn't care. And she knew he didn't care either. In fact, Ryder slowly wrapped his arms around the crying girl and pulled her closer, whispering comforting words in her hair.

"It'll be alright, Jade." And that was the first time, in a long time, Jade believed him.

"Where do you think she'll be?" Robbie asked for the billionth time as they drove around the area. Beck had to resist the urge to punch him square in the face.

"She couldn't have gone that far." Andre said optimistically. "Plus, she's wearing that god-awful dress. It'd be hard to miss her." He said and craned his neck to look around.

Beck pressed his lips together and tried to think. Jade wouldn't go home. Not after what happened. She probably told her parents that she was performing and wouldn't want to face them.

"Try the public library." Cat piped in. Robbie looked at her in confusion, as did Andre.

"Yeah, cause we all know Jade'd would go to the library." Andre said with a roll of his eyes. Cat frowned and shook her head. "No, Jade used to go there all the time. She said its nice and quiet there, plus they don't get mad at her when she cuts up old library cards." She said and fiddled with her fingers.

Beck suddenly then remembered her saying several times that she wanted to go to the library with him, but he never went.

He was an asshole.

"You want to go… to the library?" He asked with an amused smile. Jade however didn't seem to find what she had said funny, and scowled as she crossed her arms over her chest stubbornly.

"Yes. How is that funny?" She asked with a raised a brow, a pair of scissors in her right hand. Beck just chuckled and shook his head. "Come on, Jade, why don't we just go to Tori's instead." He said and turned back to his locker.

There he goes again. Dismissing her. Jade bit the inside of her cheek and retaliated the only way she knew how.

"Tori. Of course you'd want to go to Tori's house." She said and rolled her eyes. Beck sighed and turned back to her. "Come on, Jade, you know it's not like that." He said and shot her one of his boyish smiles that made her knees go weak. She sucked in a deep breath and shook her head.

"No, it's okay… You go ahead. I'll just go by myself." Okay, this is the part where he rolls his eyes, but agrees to go with her.

But instead, he smiles and kisses her temple. "Okay. Come join us later then." He said and shot her one more of his knee weakening smiles before walking away. Jade's features fell and for a split second, her walls were completely down.

But only for a split second. Because the moment after, they were back up again, and as hard and as thick as ever as she strode out of Hollywood arts and to her car. Maybe cutting up old library cards would make her feel better.

They didn't.

He didn't mind that his shirt had a huge black blotch. Nothing mattered when it came to Jade West. She had stopped crying a few minutes ago, and she decided that if she didn't sit down soon, her feet would begin bleeding.

So there they were, sitting on the steps of the public library, not breathing a word. He watched the flicker of the streetlamps and the passing of the cars as he waited for Jade to say something.

"I'm sorry for ignoring you." She suddenly said. Ryder turned to her and shook his head with a small smile. "Don't be." He said, and another silence descended on them. Jade turned to face him and couldn't help but smile. Sure, he was taller now, and much more muscular. He didn't have glasses anymore, nor did his hair fall in that ridiculous bowl cut. But even so, he was still the Ryder Daniels she me when she was 5 years old.

And she was glad she knew him before 'cool Ryder'.

"I love him, Ryder… But it hurts, you know?" She said softly. Ryder stared down at his clasped hands and hummed in response. Jade sighed and shook her head. "I love him so much… Maybe it's just not enough."

Ryder shook his head and turned to face her. "Loving someone should never be a question of whether its enough or not." He said. Jade was silent once again before she nudged him.

"When did you get so damn wise?" She muttered. Ryder chuckled and shrugged. Jade wiped away the remnants of her make-up with the hanky Ryder lent her. She sniffled softly before barking out a laugh.

"Go on. Say it." She said and folded her hand together. Ryder raised a brow and turned to her. "Say what?" He asked. Jade smiled humorlessly at him. "Say 'I told you so.' I know you want to." She said and tucked a lock of hair behind her ear. Ryder went quiet before he shook his head.

"You know I won't." He said softly. Jade turned to him and suddenly, she smiled. That same innocent smile she presented him with the first time they met.

"Thanks, Ryder…"

"I see pink!" Tori said excitedly as they turned a corner to the library. "And I see male." Andre supplied soon after. Beck quickly pressed the brakes, eyes wide at the sight before him.

"Wait… Isn't that Ryder Daniels?" Robbie piped in, equally confused. "Oh! Let's go say hi!" Cat said and made a move to open the door. Beck however stayed frozen, his eyes zeroing in on the couple sitting on the concrete steps. Tori turned to Beck and noted sadly how his face fell in defeat.

"What's she doing with that grade-stealing a-hole." Rex asked. Cat giggled and shook her head. "Oh, Jadey and him are really close friends. Not best friends though, cause I'm Jadey's best friend." Cat said happily. Beck clenched his hands around the steering wheel. Tori noticed his knuckles turning white and placed her hand on them lightly.

"Beck?" She began cautiously. Beck then averted his gaze to the floor of the car. "He's been wanting her for as long as I can remember." He said through gritted teeth. "I thought I had nothing to worry about. Looks like I was wrong." He said and turned away.

The car was silent. Nobody wanting to break the thick tension around them. Cat then placed her small hand on his tense shoulder.

"Beck? Jadey loved you. She still does, you know? She doesn't wanna show it, but she gets really sad sometimes." Cat said and turned to watch her best friend talk to Ryder, a smile lighting up her features.

"I haven't seen her this happy in a long time." She said softly, and the others were surprised to hear something so profound, come from Cat's lips.

Beck watched the couple and ran a hand through his hair. Tori bit her lip before turning to him. "So what are you going to do, Beck?" She asked. Beck watched as the girl he loved slowly slipped away from his grasp.

He now knew what he had to do.

That was when the car lock clicked.


Ohhhh open ending. I don't know whether the lock of the car clicked open or closed. This is my first ever BADE fanfic. I really hope you like it. I thought we needed a bit more of when Beck realizes he's been a complete asshole. I'm on the JadeRyder train! You guys should join too! It's nice and comfy.

Though I do love Bade forever and ever. I just want Beck to realize that he's been an ASSHOLE.

I can always make a sequel. Just tell me whether it should have clicked open or closed.

Thanks and please review!