AU in which Beck and Jade play Liz and Avan. Beck/Jade.
"Please." Jade adjusts herself on the hood of Beck's car and takes another long swig of the drink in her hand. "We can't stay here much longer. Sikowitz wants us back for filming in twenty."
"And since when do you care what Sikowitz thinks?" Beck questions, raising an eyebrow at the actress. "Thought you were the rebel actress. You know, the rebel princess of the network." His tone is teasing, but his words are true. For a kids' network, Jade isn't exactly a great role model.
"It's funny," Jade says, not looking at him. "Victory isn't really a kids' show, you know, but it's on a kids' network."
"I feel ya." Beck laughs and then smiles over at her. "Liz and Avan can get a little PG-13." He raises his eyebrows suggestively at her, and in retaliation she elbows him hard in the ribs. Beck winces in pain.
"Man up," is all she says as she takes another swig of her drink. "Hear we're doing a little smooching today, Oliver. Well, probably not, but even if we aren't, we could always throw some in." It's a private joke between them of sorts; they're both entirely convinced that their characters are secretly dating. No one else finds it quite so amusing – well, other than the fans.
"Ah, is that why you're so desperate to get back to work?" Beck teases, grinning at her. "If you wanted to kiss me, you could've just asked."
"Idiot." She grabs her can and lobs at at the nearest trashcan, the edges of her mouth splitting into a satisfied smile as it falls in. With a smirk, she claps her hands. "Let's get going, Oliver. We've got a long work day ahead of us."
Tori is already in makeup when they get there. Jade makes a face at her and walks on by, but Beck stops to chat with her about her new boyfriend (Danny, he thinks, a known player, but Tori is plenty old enough to make her old decisions). When he rejoins Jade, he informs her, "You know, Liz and Victoria are really good friends."
"That just goes to show you that I can definitely act," Jade says in a clipped tone, obviously dismissing the matter. "I gotta go get clothed or whatever. We've gotta dress up this time, y'know. Victorious is up for an Emmy."
"If we ever get an Emmy, you know, not on the show, but for the show, it'll be because of you," Beck promises, putting a hand on her shoulder. "Personally, I believe you're the best actress on the show."
She seems to melt for a quarter of a second, then shakes her head. "And personally I believe you're a bad role model for children. Don't know why everyone's been calling me out." She snorts. "Anyway, I've gotta go get changed and put on my makeup. Somehow I doubt Liz would want to scare children at the Oscars."
"On the contrary, madam, I believe she would," Beck teases her. "She plays you, right?"
"In some alternate universe, maybe," Jade scoffs, elbowing her annoying co-star. "Go remind Cat to get dressed or she'll never do it. See you on the set in ten, loser."
With an eye roll, she storms off. He laughs and wonders how he got stuck with such a temperamental co-star. (Although if he's honest with himself, he wouldn't have it any other way.)
When Jade walks out in a tight red dress, Beck thinks he's going to faint.
They've made her hair a little lighter, perhaps to distinguish Liz from Jade, removed her extensions, and taken off some of her heavy makeup, but otherwise she looks very much the same; however, the red dress makes her look absolutely gorgeous. He offers out an arm, even though they haven't started filming yet, and she takes it. With a frown, she leans over to him. "I think Avan needs a haircut."
"Me too," Beck whispers, running a hand through his hair. They've added extensions, telling him that Avan is the 'hipster type' and that 'hipsters have ponytails', much to his dismay. His hair is basically the pride of his existence.
"I'll cut it for him," Jade offers, motioning to her scissors that she's sat down beside her water bottle at the edge of the set. "Between takes. We can just say Liz had a mental breakdown."
"Or not," Beck corrects her, frowning.
"Scared I'll mess up your pretty hair?" Jade questions. He doesn't get the chance to answer, though, because Cat skips up.
"Oh em gee, Jade, you look so pretty," Cat squeals. Cat's character, Ariana, is very much like her, albeit a bit calmer; she and Liz are the best of friends, which means that Jade has learned to tolerate Cat and her over-the-top personality. At the beginning of the show, Jade couldn't stand to be around Cat; now the two of them are fairly good friends, much to Beck's amusement. "Liz has SUCH a good fashion taste!"
"Looks like we're matching," Jade replies, glancing down at Cat's similar red dress. "Showing some boobage there."
"Hey!" Cat squeals, crossing her arms across her chest with a laugh. "They wanted to change it up a little!"
"Least you don't look like a monkey," Beck cuts in, grumbling as he adjusts his bowtie.
"I like your hair!" Cat giggles.
"Course you do." Beck rolls his eyes and runs a hand through his hair again, as if that'll somehow make it look better.
Robbie saunters up then, scowling at everyone. Cat grins and runs over to him, enveloping him him in a hug. "Oh my gosh, Robbie, you look so cute with that bow tie! Here, lemme fix it for you!" She adjusts it with a grin, her innocent hands trailing along his chest.
Beck stifles a snort. "If I mess up my bowtie, will you fix it for me?" he asks Jade.
Jade ignores him and turns to Robbie. "Good, you look upset. We can definitely do an Angry Matt. Or, since we're apparently not winning an Emmy — which is stupid because Liz is only the most fantastic actress ever — a Sad Matt."
"What is a Sad Matt?" Robbie demands.
Jade gives him a look that clearly says don't be dumb."You play Matt Bennett. If Matt was sad, he would be Sad Matt. Come on, Roberto; this is elementary."
Robbie glares at her. Jade smirks back. Before either can do anything, Andre saunters up. "Jade, Beck, Cat, Robbie! Lookin' chill, guys."
"Where's Tori?" Cat squeals, glancing him up and down.
"Ah, Victoria's late to the signing. Chick's perpetually late," Andre chuckles, patting Cat on the head. "Nice dress, Little Red."
"It's not really my style but I do like the color," Cat babbles.
Jade butts in, obviously thinking it's time to change the subject before Cat goes off on another tangent. "They made you dye your hair lighter too, huh?"
"I think I look good," Andre says with a nod. "I can flip my hair like that Willow Smith chick."
"She whips her hair," Beck corrects him with a raised eyebrow.
"Well then." Andre says with a frown. "Where's…"
Sinjin runs up then, sounding out-of-breath as he says, "I'm here!"
"And I'm ready to film," Jade says with a scowl. Sinjin, Beck knows, is, in essence, Jade's stalker; he hasn't left her alone since the first day of filming, much to Jade's dismay. He thinks that the only reason Jade hasn't murdered him yet is because Jade actually enjoys her job.
Five minutes later, Jade returns, Sikowitz in tow. Sikowitz, who is both the producer and a character called Eric Lange, grins at them. "Lookin' snazzy, kids."
"Can we not?" Jade groans. "Let's get started."
As they all go to take their places, Beck seizes Jade's elbow. "Don't forget we've got an interview after school today."
"I'll try to remember," Jade hisses. "Can't believe I signed up to do an interview with you."
"We're in love, remember?" Beck smirks at her. "The public loves us, Jade. Bade and all that."
Beck takes an elbow to the stomach. He thinks that he probably deserves it.
"So I hear you guys are good friends," the reporter says in a conspiratorial tone, glancing from Jade, who's leaning back, looking incredibly apathetic, to Beck, who's sitting stick straight and trying to get his hair to look nice. Ah well, Beck tells himself, at least it looks like he cares.
"Yeah. I guess you could say that." Jade rolls her eyes and glances over at Beck, who returns her glance with a raised eyebrow that clearly asks why she's suddenly decided to hate him.
"Why the uncertainty?" the reporter presses.
"Beck can be annoying," Jade says, the corners of her lips stretched into a teasing smile. "It's really a wonder I haven't murdered him yet."
There's this look on her face, this teasing look, that makes him infinitely sure that she's messing with him. In retaliation, he jumps in with, "Don't worry; she's tried a few times. Unfortunately for her I seem to be fairly good at avoiding poisons in my drink and arrows flying at me."
"Pity," Jade retorts, but she's grinning now, and the reporter seems slightly bemused by this turn of events. "I'll just have to step up my game. Watch yourself, Oliver."
Determined to turn the interview back to their show Victory, the reporter enters the conversation. "Anyway, fans of your show are convinced that 'Liz Gillies' and 'Avan Jogia' are secretly dating. What have you got to say about that?"
"Fans can think whatever they want," Jade says boredly. "As long as they bring in the ratings and all that crap, I'm cool with it."
"Jade!" Beck exclaims, frowning over at his co-star. Offhand comments like this one have made his co-star infamous; the Victory fanbase seems to be split into two parts – those that love Jade West and those that hate her. Unfortunately, Jade doesn't seem to care a bit about the ones that hate her. "She means that we think it's cool how they come up with their own backstories."
Undaunted, Jade shrugs. "Yeah, what he said."
"Even the fans of Liz and Ariana? What about Avan and Victoria?" The reporter leans forward, her eyes gleaming. "Can you give us a few spoilers about which couples will end up together?"
"We just don't know," Jade replies harshly. "And even if we did, it's not like we could tell you."
Beck cuts in, trying to save their butts for about the fiftieth time this interview. "I think you'll really like the relationships this season. That being said, though, Victory is still a children's show – for reasons we really don't know – and therefore we're not going to focus on the romance really." He smiles brightly at the camera.
A sharp pain appears in his gut. He glances over to see Jade's elbow resting just below his ribs. She, however, does not seem concerned. "Anyway, watch the show. Or else…"
The lady looks panicked. "And that's a wrap," she calls as the camera turns off. "It was a pleasure to have you on the show, Beck… Jade."
"Yeah, yeah, whatever," Jade says, grabbing Beck's hand roughly and pulling him with her. He only has time to wave a quick goodbye to the reporter before his harsh co-star pulls him out of the interview studio.
"You're insane," he hisses through gritted teeth once they reach the bottom of the stairway.
"I'm aware." She tries to pull him off again, much to his disdain. Quickly, he seizes her wrist and pulls her back around so that she slams right into his chest. They stand there for a moment, their breathing rates increasing, and suddenly Beck becomes hyperaware of how close they're standing.
And then his lips are lightly brushing hers. It's just a light kiss, nothing big, but Jade jumps away like she's been electrocuted.
"Um," she says eloquently, disentangling her hand from his, "Bye."
And then she is gone.
By the next day, Jade seems completely back to normal. She's hanging out in the lounge with Cat and Andre when he gets there, sprawled across the couch that the whole cast had spent hours picking out. She raises a hand in greeting. "Oliver."
"Beck!" Cat squeals, rushing over to greet him. "Look, I'm playing Mario with Andre! He's really good!" She points over at the screen, where Mario is currently shooting fireballs at Bowser or something like that. "I died already."
"Yeah, Cat got killed by a turtle," Andre tells him with a warm laugh.
"Figures." Jade's voice is sharp as ever. "She doesn't exactly know how to play."
"Jade!" Cat cries. "I do too!" A small smirk appears on Jade's face; she has always taken pleasure in messing with Cat, though of course most of them do.
Before Cat can get all worked up, though, Tori Vega walks in, a grin upon her face. "Hey, guys!" she greets them brightly. In a perfect world, Beck thinks, Tori Vega would be his type and they would be one of those star celebrity couples, the kind that gets married and has like, two hundred children. Unfortunately it would seem that life is not quite so kind.
"You look happy," Beck notes. "Any particular occasion?"
"I was at a signing," Tori says, seeming to bubble over with pleasure. "Oh my gosh, there were these two really cute little girls, and they bought Make It Shine shirts! Like, just for me! Isn't that so adorable?"
"Yeah, adorable." Jade's voice is dripping with sarcasm. "You're late."
"We don't start filming for thirty minutes," Tori tells her with a smile. Oddly enough, even with all the crap Jade gives her, Tori rarely dishes it back. In fact, she seems to crave Jade's approval, much to Beck's amusement.
"Oh." Jade turns back to her phone, probably messing around with her Twitter, and then she sets her phone down on the table. "I'm going to take a wazz."
"Lovely choice of wording," Beck tells her.
"Why sugarcoat it?" She makes a face at him and the other cast members, then slips off, leaving her phone unattended on the table. With a grin, Beck picks it up and types in her password – 2325, easy enough. The window for Jade's twitter automatically opens, and he winces as he scrolls through her mentions – hate you, go die, why are you even alive?, you absolute b – along with the millions of tweets from her dedicated fans. He scrolls back up immediately and types simply: Jade really shouldn't leave her phone attended. By the way, Jade likes MLP. Shh, secret. - B.
That should do, he thinks as he presses the 'send tweet' button. Of course, the door flies open just then, and he quickly sets her phone back down. It's not Jade, though, so he has nothing to worry about.
"Hello, peasants," Trina Vega, sister of Tori Vega and portrayer of the phone-obsessed Daniella Monet, booms as she walks in, shopping bags on both her arms. "Playing Wii? How old are you, five?"
"Close enough," Cat giggles. "Where's Robbie?"
"I dunno." Trina wrinkles up her nose. Her distaste for most of the cast members is obvious; she prefers Beck the majority of the time, which makes him more than a little uncomfortable. As if on cue, she turns to him. "Beck, honey! Don't you look adorable."
"Um, not really," Beck says, chuckling nervously. "I really didn't get much sleep last night, and…"
Thankfully, Jade interrupts them. "Beck Oliver," she hisses, waving Sikowitz's phone in his face. "I do not like any fluffy show about ponies."
"Keep telling yourself that," he retorts with a grin.
"Reminder that you guys are leaving for Orlando on Friday," Sikowitz shrieks as they all pack up their stuff to go home. "So you'd best start packing if you want to actually get there."
Jade groans. "Remind me why we're going to Orlando together?"
"Because we're a cast, Jade," Beck replies patiently. "And also our show is like, 30% about music so we're obligated to do at least one concert, for the fans if nothing else."
"They're all so excited," Tori gushes. "It's totally adorable. I can't wait to meet them!"
"If they ask me for autographs, I'm not holding back," Jade informs them in a flat tone.
Beside her, Cat gasps. "Oh no, Jadey! Don't write bad words. That's not nice at all!"
"I didn't say I was going to write bad words," Jade protests, but the sullen expression on her face gives her away completely. She turns to Beck then, her expression that of a cat in search of its prey. "Come over?"
This in itself surprises him – Jade doesn't often invite him, or any other member of the cast, for that matter, over, so he thinks that something's definitely up. He nods anyway, because he's nothing if not curious. "Meet you there."
"Since when are you and Jade so close?" Tori questions once Jade has walked off.
"No clue," he says with a shrug, and Tori laughs because she understands. Jade is temperamental, always changing, always moving on to something different, someone else, and to say the least it'd be silly to pretend to understand her.
"Maybe she liiikes you," Tori teases, nudging him in the ribs.
"Yeah, and maybe she's not actually a serial killer," he retorts, discreetly rubbing his side – it's been through a lot of abuse today, really. He should probably invest in a stomach pad or something.
Tori shrugs, but of course Cat jumps in with, "Jadey's really nice, y'know! She just acts kinda mean sometimes. Robbie says it's 'cause she doesn't want anyone to get close to her."
"I said no such thing," Robbie protests, looking embarrassed, which makes Cat crack up. Beck rolls his eyes, digging his keys out of his pocket, and salutes them all.
"Later, kiddos," he calls, slipping into his truck and starting it up.
There's something awfully empowering about being the oldest on set (that is, aside from Trina, but he doesn't really count her anyway).
Jade's sitting on the front steps when he pulls up at her house. She's eighteen, barely old enough to live on her own, and despite her riches, she lives in a fairly small house on the edge of the city. When he approaches, she stands up and walks over to the car, small, deliberate steps, like if she walks slow enough maybe he'll come to her.
"This doesn't look like a horror movie," he teases, glancing up at the house.
"You've been here before, stupid," she says, rolling her eyes. "Anyway, I thought I'd drag you over to watch this movie with me because all of our other lovely co-stars cannot stomach horror movies at all. Trust me, been there, done that." She mimes gagging.
"You've made Cat watch a horror movie?" Beck inquires, surprised. "What would make you think that's a good idea?"
"I didn't think it was a good idea. Robbie insisted she tag along and I wasn't about to change the movie because that chick doesn't know how to deal with gore," Jade says back, rolling her eyes at him like this should be obvious. "Anyway, c'mon. We're not gonna stay out here all day, are we? We've got a movie to watch."
"Great," Beck grumbles, but halfway through the movie, he finds that he's actually enjoying himself, and he's not sure if that's due to the fact that the movie is halfway entertaining or the fact that somehow Jade's head has ended up on his chest and his hand is rubbing circles against her back.
"Aren't you supposed to be in your seat?" Jade grumbles as Beck slides in beside her.
"Well, you have an extra seat next to you, and you looked kinda lonely up here," he informs her, grinning over at her.
"Vega was supposed to sit there," she informs him. "But I think she's up there making out with Andre at the moment." With a scowl, Jade motions forward. "If that's not what they're doing, then I'm ninety-nine percent sure I don't even want to know."
He leans up to see, then winces and quickly jerks back. "Yeah, you don't. Anyway, you excited about performing?"
"Sure," she says icily. "I'm so excited about parading around the stage, singing a medley of Tori's Greatest Hits for small children."
"You're nervous," he retorts, a smirk playing at his lips. "Don't lie; it's written all over your face."
"Am not," she protests, but she falters a little bit. "Okay, fine, maybe a bit, but... I've never really performed live, you know? It's kind of unnerving to think that all these people are going to be watching me – and the rest of us, of course – performing on stage and expecting us not to mess up. And if we do mess up, well, we can't exactly redo it."
"You'll be fantastic," he promises her, leaning over to press a kiss to her forehead. It's habit, sort of – he's done it to Tori and Cat a million times before, but never to Jade. At first she seems to recoil at his touch, but then she relaxes.
Then she looks up at him, her eyes a raging storm of blue and gray, showing how very vulnerable she feels about performing in front of a live audience, and he swears he's going to melt into a puddle.
Even Jade joins the group hug that Cat initiates five minutes before they're meant to go onstage. She quietly slips in between Beck and Cat, her ivory arms wrapping around their backs. Unconsciously, his hand moves down a bit, and she glares at him. He just laughs.
"We've got this," Tori tells them, smiling hugely. "Guys, we have worked so hard and rehearsed so much for this. It's our time to shine and I just know we're gonna do fantastic."
Jade snorts under her breath. "Is Danny coming?"
"We broke up," Tori says, her face turning red as she stares at the ground. Andre starts to fidget nervously as well.
"Okay," Beck interrupts, "we all know that you guys had some fun on the plane, whatever. We can discuss that later. Right now we need to focus 100% of our energy on this show, okay? We owe it to our fans if nothing else. Team Victory?"
"Team Victory," they all echo, locking eyes. Jade seizes Beck's hand, and then he feels Tori grab his hand on the other side. Holding hands, they all walk out onto the stage together.
It feels like a dream of sorts as Tori explains that they're here to promote their show and then calls them up, one by one – Trina Vega, Cat Valentine, Andre Harris (Tori turns a little pink, but thankfully manages to compose herself), Robbie Shapiro, Jade West, and lastly, Beck Oliver. He steps forward, waves at the audience, tries to look composed with a million and two eyes staring at him. (It's harder than he'd thought.)
Then the music starts and they're immediately thrust into their first song and dance routine. He makes his way over to Jade, his partner, trying desperately to remember the moves – was it left first, then right, or vice versa? But as soon as he takes hold of Jade, he suddenly remembers, and he's thrust into a world of song and dance.
By the end of the concert, Beck's starting to think that this live performance thing isn't so bad. He's only messed up once, tripped over one of Trina's big, clunky high heels, and he'd made a big show of the thing, glaring at the girl playfully as he dusted himself off. As he takes a bow with the rest of the cast and the auditorium explodes in applause, well, he thinks, he could get used to this.
"That was really amazing, you guys," Tori gushes. "We were like a real cast out there."
"And what were we before? A fake cast?" Jade hisses, but even her mouth is slightly turned up and it kind of resembles a smile.
"You were really good, Jade," Tori says sincerely, and Jade rolls her eyes but she smiles anyway.
"You were all decent," she admits. "But Oliver here seriously needs to get his timing right before he makes all of us fall off of the stage Seriously. I'm in no mood to be admitted to the hospital."
"You're in no mood to do anything," he retorts. "Ever."
For a second, he thinks that she's going to murder him in cold blood or something like that, but then her lips curve up even more into a grin. "True."
"Well, get in the mood," Tori tells Jade, elbowing her in the ribs, "because we've got a Q&A to attend and I wouldn't like to see any of our fans getting murdered."
"Guess I'll try to resist," Jade jokes. She seems sort of happy, which is a relief – after all, Jade isn't often happy, so when Jade is in a good mood, everyone else is as well. She leads the cast to a stage with 7 chairs, and they all take their seats. Somehow Jade ends up squished beside Beck in a seat with little to no leg room, and her legs end up on his lap, not that he minds, really. He quirks an eyebrow at her but lets his arm fall onto her lap, and she grabs his hand, seeming childishly fascinated with his fingers.
The fans in the audience seem shell-shocked, so it's fitting that their first question is a squeaky "Are Beck and Jade dating?"
Jade doesn't even flinch. "No."
"But you two are like…" The girl is so flustered she can't even get the words out. "You know, you're almost in his lap."
"That's not a question." With a scowl, Jade crosses her legs, kicking him lightly in the thigh. She stretches her limbs, and then glances over the audience like a lion seeking out its prey. "You there. What's your question?"
A boy with a smile full of braces looks back at her, fear evident in his eyes. Beck tries not to laugh as the boy stammers out, "Um, are you upset about Victory being canceled?"
This takes Beck by surprise. He thinks that it obviously can't be true; after all, he would've heard about it if it was being canceled, and the rest of his cast looks as shocked as he feels. Tori speaks up first. "Victory isn't being canceled."
"Uh-huh," shrieks a voice from the audience. "Like, Sikowitz's official Twitter said that your network canceled it. And I mean, his official Twitter is like, officially his."
Time seems to stop as he turns to meet Tori's eyes, then Cat's, Jade's, Andre's, Robbie's, Trina's. All of their mouths are forming os of surprise. It can't be true, Beck thinks, can it? Victory is incredibly popular; that much is evident from the crowd seated in front of them. They couldn't – wouldn't pull a stunt like this, not with this show, not with this cast.
As if on cue, Tori's phone rings. She makes a face at them. "I gotta take this."
"Is it Sikowitz?" Cat whispers conspiratorially, obviously not aware that the microphones are picking up everything she's saying.
Tori groans but nods anyway, slipping off to behind the stage where the audience can't hear her and leaving the rest of her castmates to cover for her. Beck suddenly becomes aware of the fact that Jade's nails are digging into his palm. Glancing over to her at last, he realizes that she is beyond infuriated and that he probably shouldn't let her answer any of the fan questions.
He clears his throat and then says into the mic, "I'm sorry, guys. This is… this is unexpected. We may have to, um, reschedule. I'm sorry, guys. I'm so sorry."
His apologizing is starting to sound redundant, but he's really unsure of what else to say. Thankfully, Robbie picks up from there, singing one of his songs that he'd personally written for Cat (though Cat seems to be blissfully unaware). This, at least, seems to distract the audience as they wait for Tori to return.
Once Tori returns, she gives the audience a smile. "So sorry about that. We'll take some more questions now. Who's next?"
A girl in pink raises her hand. "Is Victory really being canceled?"
"We didn't want you to find out this way," the man in front of them apologizes, though Beck highly doubts his sincerity. After all, he's not the one losing his job, his show, his everything. He can feel Cat squeezing his hand on one side, and on the other Jade is positively seething.
He doesn't even try to stop her as she speaks. "Yeah, then you might've thought about informing us before it got out to the fans. Do you know how humiliating that was, sitting on a stage in front of hundreds, thousands of people and having to find out that your show was canceled? Oh right, you don't care; do you?"
"Miss West," the man says in a slightly condescending tone. "I do not make the decisions about the shows that are discontinued. I am merely here to inform you about the plight of your show."
"Like I care," Jade spits. "Discontinued, you say? Is that what you call it when the show is canceled mid-season?"
Ignoring her, the man continues. "We expect you all to continue to adhere to your contracts. That means positivity for the sake of your fans. No bad-mouthing the network or the show, and no releasing any of this confidential information. And yes, this includes you, Miss West."
"Like I give a crap about the stupid contract," Jade seethes. He puts his hand on her shoulder in an attempt to soothe her, but it only gets her angrier. "You canceled our show mid-season, which, as I recall, was a distinct no-no in the contract. So as far as I'm concerned, all my ties to you are over." She sneers at the man, who still doesn't even look perturbed. "Good riddance."
As soon as she's out the door, Beck makes a move to go after her. The man jumps in. "Mr. Oliver. I recommend you wait."
"You know what, I don't think I will," Beck says, standing up. "You canceled our show. We're all out of jobs now. There's nothing more to be said. Jade's right."
"I agree," Cat says, sounding like an innocent child as she hops to her feet, grabbing Beck's hand in a show of support. On the other side, Robbie grasps Beck's hand awkwardly. Trina grabs Robbie's hand forcefully, and then Tori and Andre join hands, Andre reluctantly taking Trina's hand. And then, like that, hand-in-hand, they walk out the door – though of course, they have to go out one at a time, which kind of lessens the dramatic effect, but they're standing up to this network tyrant nonetheless.
That has to mean something, right?
He shows up at her house a few hours later and raps softly on the door. After her past few fuming tweets, he doesn't expect her to be in a good mood, and sure enough, when he slips in, she's seated on the floor, cutting up some flowers, probably given to her by some poor fan. He gives her a slight wave, and she glares up at him.
"Can you believe this?" she hisses, her voice cold. "They canceled our show, Beck." Her voice cracks, and he feels like crying all over again. Rarely has she called him Beck; it's always been Oliver, and it's fairy ironic that she should be calling him by his first name now. He strides over to her, sits down beside her and opens his arms. With a frown, she leans over and presses her head into his chest. His arms immediately wrap around her frail frame.
"I know," he murmurs into her hair. "We'll be okay, Jade. Maybe we'll be better off."
Tears are starting to leak out of the corners of her eyes now. She simply turns her head so that they escape into Beck's chest, each of them paining him like small daggers digging into his chest. He wants to cry too, but it seems as if his tears would be oddly misplaced, so instead he stays silent and holds her as she cries.
A few minutes later she turns her mascara-streaked face to look at him. "Sorry about that," she says in the least sorry tone possible. "You can blame the network."
"You'll be fine," he promises sincerely.
"I know." She sounds strangely confident for someone who had been crying her eyes out just seconds earlier. Then again, Jade West is one of the best actresses he knows. "It just… it's not fair, you know? We didn't even get to say goodbye."
For a moment, he thinks that the flood of tears is going to start again, but then she blinks and sharpens her eyes back into the typical piercing daggers. He nods. "I know. It's not fair."
"Whatever," Jade mutters, pushing back her hair and rubbing her eyes. "Where'd you come from, anyway? We ended that chiz meeting ages ago. Well, I did, I guess. You guys might've stayed and signed their updated 'contract'."
"We all went over to Tori's house and watched a flick," he says nonchalantly. "She, y'know, agrees with you about the network and all. We all do. So we left the meeting just after you."
"Good to see you guys have some sense after all." Her words are snippy, but there's a hint of a smile on her face, much to his relief. He had been hoping.
"Nice to see how much faith you have in me," he quips. "Anyway, we're having a cast party Friday. Sort of a farewell, if you will. You in?"
"I guess the whole farewell concept basically obligates me to be there," Jade muses, biting her lip in a way that is sort of adorable to Beck (and he wonders how he can find someone like Jade West adorable, but oh well, it's a little too late for questions like that). "In other words, sure, I'll be there. Do we have to have dates?"
"It would be nice, I guess," he says with a shrug.
"Lemme guess," she retorts. "You've already got a date, huh? Probably some blonde actress that wears fishnet tights and pink cowboy boots and has boobs the size of a –"
He cuts her off. "So Jade, wanna go with me?"
This seems to take the girl by surprise. She closes her mouth and sits silently for a moment, obviously confused. Hardly ever is Jade West completely silent. After a moment, she simply nods. "Yeah. I mean, I guess you're not horrible. Better than most of the idiots out there."
With a grin, Beck leans over and kisses her cheek lightly (in a totally friendly way, of course). "Good," he whispered, hovering just an inch away from her skin. "I wasn't really looking forward to asking out Hannah Montana, anyway."
That earns him a smack on the head.
"Hear you slept over at the Wicked Witch of the West's house."
Beck sighs, sending a glare his friend's way. Andre just throws up his hands and makes a face that clearly implies he's completely innocent. "Hey, you know Jade's great or whatever, but it's true. And anyway, I want to know if you and West are, y'know…"
"I'm going to stop you there," Beck says. "No, we're just friends. We're not like, together or anything. Just… friends." It doesn't even begin to sufficiently describe their relationship, but he can't actually think of a better phrase, aside from the cliché 'it's complicated'.
"Oh, I'm so sure," Andre tells him with a wink. "And what were you guys doing all night? Playing Scrabble? Watching old My Little Pony episodes? Jade's not exactly known for having 'close friendships' with guys, you know."
"What exactly is your source, then?" Beck retorts, trying his best to keep his voice level. After all, this is one of his best friends, and he really shouldn't be getting angry about the fact that a fellow cast member is making assumptions about Jade. Yet he is anyway.
"Magazines everywhere," Andre informs him, pointing to a tabloid stand not far away. "Seeing as you're the main topic of discussion – well, rather, your decision to take Jade to the cast party – I figured you'd know. Guess not." Andre shrugs. "Sorry, man."
"Andre, wait! Who leaked this?" Beck calls, but Andre's already walking off. With a scowl, Beck walks over and pick up one of the magazines, featuring a full-color picture of Jade nearly sitting on his lap at the Q&A. Sighing, he sets the magazine down.
A little girl approaches from behind. "Hey, aren't you that guy that's dating the scary girl?" she inquires, her cherubic cheeks stretched into a smile.
"No," he tries to explain. "Jade and I are just friends, and also she's not scary –" He begins, but she's already lost interest and run off to find her parents, most likely so she can show off the fact that she's found Beck Oliver. Groaning, he runs a hand through his hair.
It's kind of crazy, he thinks, how his life has done a complete 180 in just a few days.
"Come over now," is all she says when he picks up the phone. Confused, he gets into his car, avoiding the paparazzi flooding the road as he drives, and goes to her house, because he hasn't really got another option. Once he gets there, he finds that she's keeping Cat prisoner on her couch while she paces like a jail warden around the girl.
"Beck," Cat squeaks once he sees her. "I didn't do anything!"
Beck sighs and glances over at Jade. He knows that Jade's not actually hurting her; despite how annoyed Jade gets with Cat some of the time, Jade actually does care about her. So that means that whatever Cat has done this time is way over the top. "You know, this is a bit extreme, to say the least. What happened?"
"Why don't you ask Brutus over there?" Jade hisses, jabbing her thumb at the guilty-looking redhead. "Et tu, Brute?"
"I'm Cat, not Broo-tay," Cat whimpers, wrapping her arms around her knees and obviously avoiding the question. She averts her gaze, making Beck all the more suspicious.
"Obviously Cat isn't gonna tell me," Beck says in a coaxing tone, glancing over at his… well, he doesn't know what exactly what to call Jade at this point. His co-star? His friend? His potential lover? The last one makes him uncomfortable, but the others don't even begin to cover it. "So just explain, Jade. It can't be that bad. This is Cat we're talking about here."
"Exactly," Jade huffs. "You see, our little traitor here has gone and landed a show."
"So? That's amazing," Beck replies, grinning over at Cat. "Congrats!"
"I don't think you understand," Jade retorts, using a tone she usually reserves for idiots and other similarly slow people. "Cat has landed a show with our network. A spinoff, if you will. However, they're not inviting us to be on it. Just…Cat. And she, you know, accepted."
"…What?" It takes a moment for the concept to register in his brain, but when it does, a newfound fury erupts. Not at Cat, poor innocent Cat who looks like she's about to burst into tears, but at the network, the scrupulous, conniving network, who has conned Cat Valentine into scamming all of her best friends. His hands curl into fists, but in order to reassure Cat that he's not plotting her demise, he says in a low tone, "I'm going to kill the executives. Who do they think they are? Cat's not a toy; she can't be played with. I just don't…"
"Don't kill anyone," Cat bawls, tears running down her face now. "They didn't want me to betray you guys! They just wanted me to be a star!"
For a second, Beck sees Cat as a small child, twirling about in her tutu and exclaiming about how she wants to be a child. Instead of relieving him of his anger, it only multiplies his fury – how could the network manipulate a small child like Cat? Had they no sympathy? He lets out a low growl, and then suddenly a hand slips around his, giving his hand a slight squeeze before letting go. "Maybe it's for the best," Jade whispers in his ear. Was that really what he'd said?
"Whatever," Beck says, but he exhales, letting the tension flow out of him. "We really do need to go talk to the network, though. This is… this is not okay."
"Are you angry with me?" Cat whimpers.
"No, we're not angry with you, baby girl," Jade says, walking over and patting the top of her head, something that Beck finds beyond amusing –is this really the tough Jade that makes half the network pee their pants? "Anyway, you can't have a show on your own, can you? You have to have a co-star – I mean, right? Or at least, a supporting cast."
"I do," Cat mutters miserably, far too miserably for a girl who is normally so perky. "You know how that old show about the girls who were actresses and did a web show about it? Remember that character Jennette? Well, Sam – who plays her – Sam and I are doing a show together. Ariana & Jennette, they're calling it."
"So it is a spinoff," Jade says, shaking her head. Beck knows she disapproves of this immensely, but she doesn't want to talk about it in front of Cat. So he decides to intervene for her.
"Cat, honey," Beck begins in a soothing tone, "you, um, seem kinda stressed. You should go home, eat some soup, call Robbie or something. We'll talk to you later, okay?"
Cat seems to be pleased with this. She beams at Beck. "Promise?"
"Promise," Beck says, and Jade echoes this sentiment with a nod. The redhead, who is once again bubbly now that she's been released from the 'interrogation', gets up and bounds out of the room. Beck just shakes his head.
"It's not her fault, Jade," he tells her in a low voice, running a hand through his hair. "You know that they fooled her. She's practically a child."
"I know." Jade barks out a laugh. "Heck, don't I know. We have to talk to them about this, Beck. We can't just let something like this go."
"And what?" he inquires harshly. "Have them blackball us in Hollywood so we won't be able to get any other shows? We're not going to get our jobs back, Jade, or our show. In fact, if we aren't careful, we could get Cat fired as well and ruin all future opportunities for ourselves. You have to accept that there's nothing we can really do in this situation, not now. I'm as angry about this whole ordeal as you are, but Cat needs a job just as bad as we do and…"
"I get it," Jade cuts him off. "But Beck, we can't just sit here! We have to do something, to show the network that they're going to regret canceling our show and hiring Cat instead! It's just – "
"Jade, we can't." He frowns at her, hoping that she'll understand. "Nothing we can do will help us; it'll only hurt Cat, in fact. The best thing we can do at this point is just continue on with our careers, acting like the network has set us free instead of let us go. We have to get new jobs, land new shows, continue on like nothing's happened. And then, when we're international superstars, they'll realize that they've made a grave mistake in firing us." He hesitates for a moment, building up his strength, and then adds, "Mostly you, though."
"Beck, I…" is all she says, but by the way she trails off he can tell she has figured out that he's right. Frowning, he wraps an arm around her shoulder, letting her lean her head on his chest.
A moment later (or maybe much later, he's not really keeping track of time well), Cat walks back in. Upon seeing Beck stroking Jade's hair, her mouth forms a distinct "o" shape. It's like she's suddenly hyper-aware of the fact that something has changed between Beck and Jade, though Beck's certain she can't be as surprised by this as he was.
"Are you guys…" she whispers, but she can't seem to string together the right words. Her lips curve up into a smile and she nods. "Okay."
Beck smirks back at her and presses a kiss to the side of the sleeping Jade's head. "Okay."
By the evening of the cast party, Jade seems to have calmed down quite a bit. She weaves her way through the crowd, hips shaking and smile plastered on her face, dancing with every guy she sees, including Trina's current boyfriend, some kid named Ryder who looks like he'd be a player anyway. Beck grinds his teeth together and tells himself for about the billionth time tonight that he's hardly jealous of whoever Jade West has chosen to flirt with now.
But by the end of the fourth song, Jade makes her way over to him. "Someone's a bit sulky, Oliver," she mutters, but her tone is teasing instead of mean for once. "Come dance."
"Don't feel like it, really," he replies, but Jade West doesn't take no for an answer, and suddenly he's spinning her on the middle of the floor, feeling a bit dizzy and lightheaded himself, but not because of watching her spin.
"You're not half bad, Oliver," she says, her eyes trained upon his lanky frame as he sways to the beat. "You've just got to put more passion into it."
"And you know what passion is?" he retorts, a weird sort of glint in his eye.
"I do," she confirms, stopping her twirling to stare at him. It's not a glare, not her usual sort at least; there's not any sort of malice behind it, just an odd sort of determination.
There are a million and one things he could've said in response to that. What comes out of his mouth, though, is "Show me."
And then suddenly there isn't a single inch of space between the two of them. There's him, and there's her, and there's his arms twining around her and her arms grasping at his neck, tugging him closer. The rest of the party seems to stand still, or at least, he doesn't notice what's going on with it, because all he can see is cerulean eyes and raven hair and ivory skin, all adding up to make his glorious… his glorious Jade.
"Beck," she says once she pulls away, her eyes reminiscent of the ocean blue. "What…"
"I like you," he blurts, and then he feels his face heat up, because he feels like he's in elementary school again, darn it. He starts over. "I… think I may have feelings for you." That, he thinks, is not much better.
"Yeah, let's cut the crap," Jade says, rolling her eyes. "You want me, Oliver." But he's much smarter than Jade gives him credit for; he can sense the vulnerability in her gaze, the indescribable emotion in her eyes, and he knows that's not what she wants.
"I do," he confirms, running a hand through his hair. "I want you to be my girlfriend."
Shock seems to ripple through her before she laughs. "Ironic how you ask me this after the show's already… you know, been canceled," she says, rolling her eyes. "But yes, Beck. Yes."
The finality of her words strikes him, and then he's kissing her again, not really sure how he hadn't realized before what was right in front of him. Then someone's clapping, and everyone else joins in.
"Is this a publicity stunt?" someone calls, and another jumps in, wanting to know why Beck would date someone as rude as Jade when there are tons of willing fans available. Beck just shakes his head and grabs Jade's hand, giving it a small squeeze before pulling her with him over to where the rest of the cast is standing. Everyone gives him weird looks, but he grabs one of Robbie's hands too. It takes the awkward boy a minute, but he seems to catch on, and he grasps Cat's hand. Cat giggles and grabs Andre's hand, and Andre grabs Trina's again. Trina holds onto Tori's hand. Reluctantly, Jade reaches over and takes Tori's hand. Tori shoots her a smile that Jade halfway returns.
It's a start, Beck thinks. They've never been more united than right now.
"You know," Andre says, glancing around at the rest of them, "this isn't the end for us. It's just the beginning. We're… we're always going to be victorious."
Beck glances around the circle, at his friends and at his girlfriend, and he thinks that he couldn't agree more.
One Year Later
"You're late." Jade shoots her boyfriend a glare as he sheepishly sits down across from her.
"Sorry, babe," he apologizes, grinning at her. "Robbie had us working late today. He doesn't think my impersonations are quite there yet."
"He should ask you to do an impersonation of a dead cow," Jade deadpans. "That one would be spot on."
"Rude." Beck pretends to be offended.
"Yep." Jade just grins at him, that endearing grin that has him so very whipped. "Heard back from that show I tried out for today. You know, the one where I'd get to play that crazy bad girl?"
"And?" Beck inquires, raising an eyebrow.
She hesitates for a moment, clearly building anticipation. The grin stretched over her face, though, already tells him everything he needs to know. With a shrug, she confirms it by saying, "I got the part, Beck. You were right."
"Congrats, babe!" he exclaims, leaning over the table to give her a short, sweet kiss. "I knew it, you talented girl. You're gonna be world famous before we know it."
"You're so dumb," she says, elbowing him in the ribs. "And Tori says that when guys say chiz like that, they've messed up big time and are trying to like, compensate for it." Her eyes narrow as she glares at him.
He nearly chokes on his water. "Oh, Tori says this, huh?"
"Tori is nearly tolerable some of the time, I think you'll find," Jade replies briskly. "And besides, we promised we'd stick together as a cast back when the show ended. Tori's one of the cast members, y'know."
"I am aware," Beck says with a smirk at his girlfriend. "Speaking of cast members, I saw Cat today. She wants to know if you can hang this weekend."
"Duh," Jade says with a nod. Cat's spinoff show had only lasted a season, much to Jade's dismay, though after it freed up Cat for more important roles. Cat and Jade had never really lost their friendship, not even while Cat had been filming Ariana & Jennette.
Suddenly someone approaches the table, a teenage girl with a bright smile. She holds up a notepad. "You guys are from Victory, right? Beck and Jade? I was so happy when you guys started dating. I mean, it almost makes up for the fact that Liz never got with Avan." She laughs. "Anyway, can I have your autographs?"
"Of course," Beck answers, sneaking a quick smile at Jade and taking the notepad. He scribbles his name quickly and hands it to Jade, who signs it as well. "Thanks for your support."
"Yeah," Jade voices, surprising him – she doesn't often thank fans. "We, um, we really appreciate it."
"I'll never stop supporting you guys," promises the girl. "You're amazing!" With another bright smile, she takes her notepad and returns to her table.
"I guess some people won't ever forget, you see?" he says, motioning to the girl. "We're not the only ones who haven't forgotten about our show. We left a legacy. We're not going to fade away just like that."
"I guess we proved the network wrong, then," Jade replies, a hint of a smile on her face as she tucks her head into the crevice between his shoulder and his head. "We showed them what we're made of."
"We are pretty formidable," Beck agrees, pressing a kiss to her head. "That much is true."
She laughs, elbowing him in the ribs. "You're so dumb, Oliver."
Though life keeps twisting and turning, throwing out new challenges every day, Beck has to think that, thankfully, some things always stay the same.
A/N: I haven't written in ages, wow. Anyway this is… I don't even know. It's meant to parallel the cancellation of Victorious and how I know that the actors are going to spring back. This doesn't mean I think Liz & Avan will end up together, just I know that Beck & Jade will. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed it and weren't too confused. Victorious, in this universe, is a show within a show, if you will. Beck and Jade just simply play Liz & Avan, if that makes sense.
Please review and don't fave without reviewing.