He knew had messed up. Really, no one needed to tell him. Beck Oliver had always been pretty self-aware. So of course he was extremely aware of the string of mistakes he had made lately. From not opening that damn door, to those Northridge girls, to…whatever the hell that was with Tori. He looked to his right at Tori and Andre. They were both excitedly discussing rehearsal for some performance. He hadn't told Andre about what he had done (or tried to do) yet. He wasn't quite sure why, but he had a feeling Andre would be upset. Maybe Tori had already told him. His mind thought back to the end of their "date".

It was dark outside, and the wind was making Tori cold. "Well, tonight was very weird, but I had fun." She smiled up at him as they both approached her door.

"Yeah, best "not a date" date I've ever had." Beck laughed. They both stood in silence for a moment. "Listen, Tori, about the other day when I-"

"It's ok Beck." Tori interrupted.

"No really," he stammered "I-I don't even know why I would-"

"Beck. It's fine. You don't have to explain." she answered. Beck took a good at her. She was smiling her usual Tori smile, but there was something in her eyes Beck hadn't seen since he was in elementary school. Pity. He forced a smile. "So we're good then?"

"Yeah." Tori's smile widened. "We're good."

And just like that, their date was over.

It was probably for the best things never went anywhere with Tori. He knew she would just wind up as a distraction from the real problem. Which was sitting across the café at a table by herself. Sometimes Cat would join her, sometimes Andre, even Tori and Robbie would stop and chat, but never Beck. He felt too ashamed. He knew she knew about all the stuff he's been up to. She always knows. He had felt her icy glare shooting daggers at him the day after he tried to kiss Tori. He had seen her roll her eyes at the gaggle of Northridge girls gathered at his car. He had seen all of her anger turn into resignation, as if this is now what she expects from him. And what's worse, she may be so done with him and his antics that she doesn't even care anymore.

"You sure you're not mad, dude?" Moose titled his head as he eyed Beck's tightening jaw.

"No," Beck answered, "She walked out on me. It's been over for a while."

Beck looked down just as her ice blue eyes were about to meet his. A lot of people wondered why they were together in the first place. Some even congratulated him when it was over. But the truth was, he needed her as much as she needed him. For a long time, he thought he was the only one that could make her feel anything. He'd get endless hours of entertainment from watching her face contort from anger, jealousy, or lust. It wasn't until he accidently blurted out "I love you" that he realized it was actually the other way around. By having this brash, angry girl on his arm, he could say anything he wanted to. It would just come from her mouth. People never seemed to notice, but Beck was just as sarcastic and cynical as she was. Only on him, girls mislabeled it as "brooding and mysterious".

"You're not afraid of me." She stared at him.

"I'm not afraid of anything." He answered, giving her a smile that would make other girls melt. But she wasn't like other girls.

"Then I guess you're ok." She sighed, turning to go to class.

"Does that mean you'll go out with me?" he called after her.

"No." she said without turning around, "But it means I don't hate you."

She had broken up with him three times before this. And each time she would come back to him. All he had to do was wait a few days, then she would find him and give an apology while looking everywhere but his face so he wouldn't see the tears he could already hear in her voice. Then he would kiss her and hold her close, and he was her hero again. Their break ups never lasted more than a week. But it had been months. She wasn't coming back. He was going to have to do something. Beck Oliver, Mr. "Too Cool to Care", was actually going to have to do something. After all, he was the one that had messed up. He got up and walked towards her table. She looked up, her face blank. He suddenly realized he had no idea what to say. He was slowly becoming aware of everyone looking at the two of them. Oh well, he thought to himself, it's now or never. He sat down across from her, placing his tray in front of him.

"Hey Jade." He said, trying to sound casual. She smiled at him. Not a smirk, but a real smile, the kind of smile that had never been seen outside of his RV.


And really, that was all he needed.