A Road I Know
Tori/Jade friendship, Beck/Jade
somewhere in this city is a road i know
where we could make it
but maybe there's no making it now
- it is what it is, lifehouse
"I can't believe you!" she fumed, crossing her arms across her chest. "You are... unbelievable."
There was nothing in his eyes as he stared back at her. His expression was blank, unreadable. "You said that already," he said, taking a swig of the drink in front of him. "You know, unbelievable implies that you can't believe me."
"Shut up," she hissed. "You don't even seem like you regret it at all, and that's what bothers me the most."
"It was for a movie," he told her bluntly. "I don't get why it bothers you so much."
"Right, and I'm sure all of those photos that the press released were for the movie too," she spit, glaring daggers at him.
"They were!" He throwed up his hands. "I don't get it, Jade. It feels like you overreact about every little thing I do these days. We're married, for heaven's sake. Can't you just accept the fact that I'm in love with you and I don't want other girls?"
Her glare didn't soften a bit. "So what, now you're using 'we're married' and your 'love for me' to excuse the fact that you're cheating on me?"
In response, his eyes darkened. "I'm not cheating on you! You know, when we got married, I thought you'd finally grown up and realized that I wouldn't ever do anything like that. Turns out you're just as immature as you were when we dated back in high school."
"Get out." There was no hint of uncertainty in her tone. Her eyes were stone cold as she glared at him. "I'm serious, Beck. Get out now."
"Fine," he said in a clipped tone. "Have it your way." He dashed up the stairs, and not five minutes later returned with a duffel bag and a frown on his face. "See you around." Quickly, he strode toward the door and pulled it open. As he stood there in the doorway, staring back at her, she swear she saw his eyes soften a little, but only a little.
"Bye," she told him sharply, trying to keep the tears out of her voice.
"See you around," he retorted bitterly, shoving his bag up on his shoulder and slamming the door behind him.
Stubbornly, she waited until she was certain he was gone to break down in tears.
It took her nearly two hours to calm herself down, and by that time she had figured out that there was honestly only one thing to do. Cat and Robbie were out of town on an anniversary trip; calling either of them was futile. Andre was on tour, so it was unlikely that he'd answer his phone. That left both Vega sisters, and after being in a few movies with the younger Vega, Jade had to admit that she had warmed up to her. So she hit Speed Dial #6 on her phone and waited.
The phone rang three times before Tori picked up. "Hey, this is Tori Vega," the young actress/singer greeted her brightly. "May I ask who's speaking?"
"It's me, idiot," Jade hissed into the phone. "You really need to invest in Caller ID."
"Hey, Jade," Tori said warmly, as always. "Everything okay?"
"Everything's just peachy-keen, Vega," Jade said venomously, but her voice trembled, much to her dismay.
She could hear Tori sigh on the other end of the line. "It's obviously not. I'm coming over, okay? Tell Beck or something."
"Won't be necessary," Jade tried to say, but it was too late; the other girl hung up on her. With a sigh that turned into a half-sob, Jade slumped back against the wall, cradling her phone in her hands.
She sat like that until Tori got there.
"Jade!" Tori's voice was loud and slightly annoying, but it woke her up anyway. "Jade, what happened? You look horrid."
"Thanks, Vega," Jade snapped. "You look just like a runway model yourself."
Sighing, Tori leaned against the wall and stared at her. "What happened and where is your husband?"
The word husband was nearly enough to break her, but Jade bit down on her lip and bit back the tears. She was going to be strong. In a dark tone, Jade informed her, "I told him to leave."
"Jadeee." It was a low groan, but then Tori was suddenly sitting on the ground beside her, her hands twined in her hair. "I thought we stopped- I thought you and Beck stopped this stupid breaking up and then getting back together thing way back in high school. Why start it again?"
"That's the thing, Vega," Jade said. Be strong be strong be strong, she told herself; you're doing this for his benefit. She inhaled deeply, and then finished with, "I don't think Beck and I are going to get back together this time."
Silence. There was silence for a minute, two minutes, three minutes, until Tori spoke at last, the shock evident in her voice. "What do you mean?"
"Marriages fail all the time, Vega," she told her sharply. "It's not uncommon."
"Yeah, but this is you and Beck," Tori replied, the desperation clear in her voice. "You guys have been together since like, the beginning of eternity. You're basically perfect for each other. Why in the world would you give that up?"
Jade winced, then stared down at the ground. You're doing the right thing, Jade. You're doing something for him because you love him. Don't forget that. Don't give in. "We're not perfect, Vega. He doesn't care about me anymore. It's the best thing for both of us." She glanced down at the ground, hoping that she sounded convincing. "Now are you gonna come in and watch a movie with me to cheer me up like they do in the chick flicks, or are you going to sit here with me and rub the fact that I just broke things off with my husband in my face?"
Tori hesitated for a moment before getting to her feet and holding out a hand to Jade. "Come on. Let's go watch a movie."
One of the things Jade enjoyed about watching movies with Tori was the fact that she was an absolute coward and completely adverse to any type of blood, guts, or killing, so she hid her face most of the time during The Scissoring. And that in itself gave Jade plenty of leeway to tease her. Despite the fact that it was probably not 'healthy', teasing Tori was one of Jade's favorite habits, and it never failed to cheer her up, if just a little bit.
"Chicken, Vega?" Jade teased when a particularly gory part came on. Of course, Tori peeked her head out just a little bit, as if to prove Jade wrong, and then immediately ducked back down again.
"Course not," Tori mumbled from under the covers. "This movie is totally amazing."
Jade gave a harsh chuckle and hit her lightly on the shoulder. "I'm sure you'd appreciate it more if you weren't ducking under the covers every five seconds."
"Yeah, I don't think so," Tori retorted, hiding her entire face from Jade's view, letting the covers swallow her. "There's a really nice view under here of, um, black fuzz and that kind of chiz."
"Somehow I doubt there's German sausage under that blanket," Jade said, elbowing Tori just hard enough to make her fall off of the couch. Scrambling back up, Tori draped the blanket around her shoulders and glared at Jade, which just made Jade smile innocently. "We're at the good part," Jade told her with a small smirk. "Pay attention."
The next day she found herself curled up in her bed. She had no clue how she'd gotten there; apparently Tori had gotten her upstairs somehow, which was slightly odd, considering the girl had no muscles whatsoever. Turning over, she glanced at the clock - 11 AM. Sleeping this late was unspeakably odd. When she and Beck were together, she never slept past 9. Beck had always been such an early riser.
At last, she made herself descend the stairs. Of course, Beck wasn't sitting in her kitchen, even though some unconscious part of her had expected him to be. Biting her lip again, she slipped over to the fridge and pulled out the milk, then proceeded to fix herself a big, steaming cup of coffe, which she then proceeded to take over to the couch and drink. It was odd, she mused, how without Beck, her life had become so unspeakably boring. Considering Beck's laidback (boring) personality, she could only assume that his life wouldn't go much better without her - but that was just a stupid assumption, she corrected herself. She couldn't think like that anymore. It was over.
With a frown on her face, she switched on the television. Of course, it was on the celebrity gossip channel; Beck had always been inclined to turn to that to see if they were saying anything about him, conceited boy that he was. As two familiar faces flashed onto the screen, she had to wonder if he was watching right now, because they were most definitely talking about him.
"Sources say that actress and singer Jade West kicked out her husband yesterday, the famous Beck Oliver," said the gossip reporter in a hush-hush tone. "He was seen checking into a hotel down the street late yesterday night, looking completely disheveled and upset. Will the two file for divorce or find a way to work it out?" As her words faded out, pictures of Beck flashed upon the screen. There was Beck at a hotel, looking more messed up and upset than she had ever expected. There was Beck asleep in a chair in the lobby of the hotel. She jumped a mile upon seeing him, but before she could really do anything, the reporter moved on to some stupid story about a popstar who was releasing a new album.
It'll get better, she told herself. He'll be better off without you, I promise. To distract herself, she picked up her phone and saw that she had 3 new messages, all three from Tori. Sighing, she opened the first one, which read hey jade. i kinda dragged you up the stairs. hope you dont get carpet burn. kidding i helped you up but you probs dont remember that. hope youre feeling better. The second one read u awake yet? And the third one said hey jade hope u didnt watch that news report. if you did then call me. um probs shouldnt have said that nvm.
With an eye roll, she dialed Tori's number. As soon as the girl picked up, she quickly jumped in with, "I watched the celebrity gossip thing."
"Jade, are you sure that you want to go through with this?" Tori inquired, her voice sounding overly sympathetic but at the same time too sweet, like some sort of gross cough syrup. Jade wanted to gag.
"I'm completely sure," she replied. "But, um, I can't really deal with this right now, so I'm... where are you?"
"At my house," Tori said, sounding more than slightly amused. "Where else would I be?"
"I'm coming to get you," Jade informed her. "So don't go anywhere or anything like that. We're going for a little joyride, Vega."
"But Jade, I don't think - " was all Tori could get out before Jade hung up on her, shoved her phone in her pocket, grabbed her keys off of the counter, and headed out the door.
She pulled up at Tori's house and honked the horn twice. After a minute or two, Tori Vega flew out of the house, giving Jade a shake of the head. "Trina's not happy with you," Tori said as she slid into the car beside Jade. "Seriously, you interrupted her beauty sleep."
"What beauty sleep?" Jade muttered, rolling her eyes. "Seriously, no amount of sleep is going to make her any prettier."
"Jade," Tori protested, but she gave a small laugh and buckled her seatbelt. "So where exactly are we going on this 'joyride'?"
"That's kind of the fun of a joyride, Vega," Jade pointed out, rolling her eyes. "You just get on a road you know and drive. You don't exactly know where you're going. You just ride around until you get wherever it is that you want to be."
Tori gave her a curious kind of look, then shrugged. "Kay, well, that's sort of deep but at the same time it makes no sense. Anyway, let's go. I haven't got all day." There was something teasing in her tone, like they were suddenly best friends, and Jade raised an eyebrow at her but sped off anyway, rolling the window down to let the wind breeze through her hair as she drove. Tori turned on the radio to some random station, then turned the volume up way loud and started singing along loudly. At first, Jade just stared at her like she was crazy, but after a moment or two of this, Jade joined in, trying to sing louder than Tori. This, of course, seemed to amuse the other girl, and she sang louder and louder until they were both collapsing in laughter.
"You're so dumb," Jade said, rolling her eyes over at Tori. "Anyway, I think we're here. You know, at the place we were supposed to be looking for."
"This is just a random river," Tori pointed out, glancing out the window. "You think we were meant to end up at a random river? Wow, Jade..." Tori was obviously having a hard time concealing her desire to laugh, so Jade parked the car and jumped out, then walked down to the riverbank and stood in silence. After a moment or two, Tori joined her down at the riverbank. "I have an odd feeling that there's some kind of history behind this place."
"Then you thought wrong," Jade snapped, feeling slightly confused about why she was lying but not wanting to tell the truth. "I've never been here before."
"You came here with Beck, didn't you?" Tori asked, disregarding what Jade had just said. "You don't have to lie, y'know. It won't help anything." There was a moment of silence, and then Tori was beside her, her hand on Jade's shoulder. "I know this is really killing you inside."
"Yeah," Jade uttered at last, staring off into the distance and remembering times past, when she'd come here with Beck. She shook her head, as if to clear it, and then turned back to face Tori. "It's cool, Vega. Everything happens for a reason."
"It doesn't have to be this way..." Tori began.
"Save it," Jade hissed, turning back to the river and feeling slightly calmer as she listened to the sound of the water flowing. She sighed, leaning her head back so that she could look up at the sky as she spoke. "Look, I know you think I'm doing this with malicious intent. In fact, I'm sure everyone thinks that, the media included. But I'm doing this because it's what's best for Beck and I actually do care about him a lot more than I can say. So just.. just leave it, all right? It has to be this way. There's no other way."
"Okay," Tori whispered, nodding. "I can't say I understand because I don't. But you know, you're a smart girl. I've always admired that about you."
"Yeah, I'm so sure," Jade shot back, but there was a hint of a smile on her face. "Just trust me. I know what I'm doing."
Tori nodded, but Jade couldn't help but wonder why she was asking Tori to trust her when in reality, Jade herself had no idea what she was doing with this whole mess.
Jade ordered in pizza the next day, primarily because pizza was one of those foods that she always ordered when she was in a bad mood. Something about the familiar flavor of pepperoni, cheese, and the pizza bread was oddly soothing to her; it always managed to lift her mood. But tonight, even as she ate the pizza, an inexplicable loneliness fell over her. She sighed, singing a soft tune to herself in a twisted attempt at comfort, but it didn't work so she went into the den and sprawled her body out over the couch. It was still sort of painful to go up to the room she had shared with Beck, despite the fact that it had been days now (and the days felt like years). It was for a good cause, that much she knew. She just wondered how much longer the pain would last.
Tori showed up after about an hour of Jade's self-pitying. She walked into the den and raised an eyebrow. "What are you doing?"
"I'm relaxing," Jade informed her, propping herself back up so that she didn't look like a distorted animal or some chiz. "Why are you here?"
Leaning against the wall, Tori replied, "I ran into Beck today."
"Did you?" Jade questioned, trying not to show how insanely curious she was. "What did he say?" There were many more questions she wanted to ask, but she restrained herself. In due time, she told herself.
"Well, he said he was working on his new movie or whatever. And also he misses you," Tori responded. "And no, he didn't say so, but I could tell. His clothes were all messed up, his hair was like, greasy to the point of being totally gross, and he just... he doesn't seem like the same guy I talked to just a week ago. Are you sure you know what you're doing?" No, she didn't, she wanted to reply, but that would be ruining everything, so instead she just nodded.
"Yeah, I'm sure," she said, lowering her head a little bit. "Marriages end all the time, Vega. This is no different. Our marriage just wasn't working out anymore, okay? It's not salvageable. This isn't one of those problems that we had back in high school that you can fix just by singing a song, okay? We're grown-ups now. There are some problems just aren't fixable, and this is one of them." She leaned back again, staring at the ceiling.
"Nothing's unfixable," Tori whispered in ways of response, and when Jade didn't look at her, she muttered, "I'm trying to help you out, okay?"
"I don't need your help," Jade retorted. When Tori gave her one of those puppy-dog looks, Jade sighed in annoyance. "Thanks for the offer, but I'm fine."
"Doubt that," Tori said back. Jade didn't respond.
The next day brought an oddly sentimental mood, and so Jade found herself at the table, sifting through old photo albums. Some of the pictures were too painful for words, especially the ones from her wedding to Beck, and so she found herself sitting and staring at them. Her thumb unconsciously caressed her (ex?)-husband's face, and she groaned softly. It was hard; instead of getting easier every day, it just got harder every day, and with all the days that passed, it just became more and more evident that she loved him a whole lot.
There were pictures in the album from way back in the day, too, back when they first started dating, and those gave her an odd rush of happiness that was quickly followed by the inherent melancholy. There were also photos from back when they had broken up for that short period of time, oddly enough. These, she stayed on for quite a while, staring at them like they were her lifeline or whatever. The emotions she had felt back then were shockingly similar to the ones she was feeling now, to the regret she was feeling. She stared at her younger self for what felt like ages, and then the door opened.
"Got your text," someone said quietly, coming over to stand beside her. Quickly, Jade jumped up and spun around to see Tori, and then she immediately relaxed. Obviously unaware of Jade's mini-freakout, Tori continued. "I know that you don't want to be alone when you, um, deliver the divorce papers, so I decided to come once you said you were giving them to him." She gave Jade a smile, but then all of a sudden her eyes fell. "What's that?"
"Nothing," Jade said quickly, slamming the photo album shut.
"Nothing!" Tori echoed, glaring back at Jade. "Don't nothing me. That's a photo album of pictures of you and Beck, isn't it? I knew it. You want him back but you're just too scared to admit it. But you know what? I'm done with this! I'm tired of playing the good girl! And I'm completely done with this!" A pronounced scowl on her face, Tori held out the divorce papers and then ripped them to little, tiny pieces. "You're coming with me, and you and Beck are going to talk this out like rational adults because that's what you are. You're not in high school anymore, okay?"
It was useless to protest, Jade decided, so instead of threatening to cut Tori's head off with her new pair of scissors, she exacted her revenge by ignoring Tori all the way to Beck's hotel. She didn't see why Tori couldn't just understand that her relationship with Beck was so beyond broken, that Beck wanted more than she could give him. And anyway, she didn't exactly expect Tori to understand.
Once they arrived, Tori practically dragged Jade out of the cab, into the hotel, and up the stairs to Beck's room (to Jade's relief, Tori had to ask for the number). She then dragged Jade into Beck's room once he opened the door.
Beck looked beyond shocked. "Um, hi, Tori. Jade."
"You two need to talk," Tori spat, glaring at both of them. "Now. Before I murder the both of you."
From behind lidded eyes, Jade glanced up at her husband. "Hi."
"Hey," he said, still staring at her. She could see now that Tori had been completely right in saying that Beck looked horrid; his whole appearance was unkempt, from his mussed hair to his wrinkled clothes. The only life in him was in his smile as he looked at her.
"Don't hey me," she hissed, glaring at him. "You left me."
"Because you kicked me out," he said, sounding slightly surprised.
"Yeah, whatever," she retorted, turning around. Tori had already crept out, meaning that really there was no way that Jade could leave now; she didn't exactly have a ride and she didn't much fancy walking home. "Look, there's obviously something you want to say, so say it."
"It's just that..." Beck gulped, then inhaled. "One of my problems with our relationship is just that... it's obvious, it's always been obvious, that I love you more than you love me. I'm sorry, but... it's just the way it's always been, y'know?"
"What?" Jade's head spun around like one of those creepy windup dolls. "I'm sorry, what?"
"It's um, it's true," Beck told her, shrugging nonchalantly. "I... I just... I waited two years for you, remember? When you were doing that movie and getting with all those hot guys, and I sat here and I dated no one because I was waiting for you. I ignored everyone's opinions about you because I loved you. I did everything I could for you, Jade, and... all you did was dump me because you were jealous. I always loved you more."
Her first reflex was to reach out and slap him. After that (and a second of him making a whining noise in protest), she began on her rampage. "You are so stupid, Beck Oliver. I didn't dump you because I was jealous. Sure, I gave you the idea that I was because I wanted you to be angry with me, but I know... I knew you wouldn't do that to me. I let you go, Beck; I did not dump you. I had to give you up, okay?" Her voice was starting to crack, but she continued anyway. "Two years is nothing, Beck. Nothing compared to giving you up. But... you always wanted children. I've known it since we were teenagers. And I found out a few days ago that we... that Ican't ever have children. And I thought that maybe... maybe if I let you go, you could find someone else and be happy with them and have children." She broke then, tears spilling down her face as she whispered, "You see, I loved you enough to let you go."
"Jade, I..." Beck trailed off, obviously in shock, but then he crossed the room and almost reflexively pulled her against his chest. "I don't care that you can't have children. I don't care about any of that. I don't want to have a family with anyone else, okay? You're my family, and I wouldn't give you up for anything. Ever." He pulled her closer, resting his chin on top of her head.
She pulled back, then leaned up enough to plant a gentle kiss on his lips. Wiping her eyes, she said, "Well, I guess you'd better get packing then, Oliver."
"What? Why?" Beck asked, clearly surprised.
"Because you're moving back in, right?" She smirked at him, then threw a pair of boxers at his face. "Get to work, honey."
She called Tori the next day. It'd become sort of a reflex, and even though Beck was back in the kitchen again, frying up some eggs for her, she still kind of felt obligated to call her. Tori picked up on the fifth ring, and after her standard greeting, she launched into "How'd it go? Are you two back together?"
"Calm yourself," Jade said with a small chuckle. "And yeah, the ring's still on my finger. Seems I'm still completely insane."
"Hey!" Beck protested from where he was frying the eggs.
"I'm really glad," Tori said into the phone. "I mean, you deserve your happy ever after or whatever."
Her eyes immediately traveled to her husband, and then back to the phone. "I think I've got mine. Turns out Beck would rather have me than kids, oddly enough. And I'm slightly disappointed that I won't get to see what a mutant combo of me and Beck would look like. But thanks, Vega." And then, after a moment, Jade kept talking, her voice unexpectedly soft. "You too."
A/N: Wow, this is kind of a weird fic. I mean kind of. It's really weird. But anyway.
This is for Suzayyy (imlaughingnow) because she is like, fifty kinds of amazing and I love her and I hope her September gets better. And also she asked for Jade/Tori friendship because I haven't ever written it before, so this is what she gets :) It's not like, super short or anything, so hopefully it's not too crappy. :)
Please read and review & don't fave without reviewing!
(Oh, and yes, this plot is based on the Amy/Rory subplot in Asylum of the Daleks. Shh.)