Sooo, I'm incredibly nervous to post this as it's my first chapter fic and different to any other thing I've written. It's going to be pretty angsty and sad and I'm almost sure a little OOC because I don't really see Jade doing all the things she does in this fic. Anyway, I hope you give it a chance!
"Over here, Jade!"
"What was jail like?"
Jade West tried to ignore the prominent pain between her eyes as she threw the hood of her black sweatshirt over her head and fixed her gaze to the pavement. The flashes were so bright from the numerous cameras that it almost made her trip and fall as her foot stumbled over a bump in the sidewalk. She just had to ignore them and it would all go away. She'd stay off the Internet for the next few days and avoid all social media like the plague. Soon enough, another young starlet in Hollywood would get arrested and she'd be old news.
Tori Vega didn't look too impressed while she lent against her sports car, arms crossed like a disappointed mother or something. Jade simply grunted and threw the passenger side door open and slipped in silently. Tori grumbled and got in the driver's side, keeping the radio on mute while she peered at Jade.
"Are you alright?"
Jade buckled her seat belt and nodded. "Just take me home."
"I can't believe you," Tori started lowly. She gripped the leather steering wheel tightly and tried not to run over the half a dozen paparazzi guys running after her speeding car. "I really can't believe you, Jade."
"Shut up, Vega," Jade hissed, massaging her temples. She could still taste the Jack Daniels. The smell was lingering on her clothes and honestly, it felt like an elephant was taking up residence on her head. "I'm not in the mood."
"I don't care," Tori snapped back. She stopped short at a red light and hit the steering wheel a few times. She was desperate to keep her frustration at bay but Jade's irrational decisions were wearing her down. "What were you thinking?" Tori prodded demandingly. "Huh, Jade? What was going through your mind as you stumbled out of that nightclub and punched that girl in the face?"
"She was being a bitch," came Jade's simple answer. She slumped further down in her seat and closed her eyes. But all she could see were the images from the night before. They were taunting her. It all happened in a flash. She was completely obliterated, falling out of the night club's front exit when all of a sudden some blonde bimbo started talking crap to her. About how she didn't deserve Beck, about how she was a crappy actress, about how she was ugly.
"So?" Tori screeched. "That doesn't mean you punch her!"
"Whatever!" Jade yelled. She hit the dashboard of Tori's car and kicked under the glove compartment repeatedly. Tori tried to stop her, but she kept going. Her foot was beginning to go numb as it collided with the hard material. But she refused to cry and be vulnerable near Tori.
"Jade," Tori sighed, pulling over and taking hold of Jade's trembling hands. Jade flinched and tried to break free but Tori was freakishly strong. "Jade, what is going on with you?"
Jade just shook her head and curled against the door. "Just take me home," she pleaded in the smallest voice Tori had ever heard. "Please."
Tori gave in and spent the rest of the car ride stealing glances at her friend and trying to figure out what was going through Jade's mind. It was terrifying enough she got a phone call at four o'clock in the morning from Jade saying she had been arrested for disorderly conduct. The Goth girl had grown incredibly distant over the last few months while Beck left for New York to film a new movie. Her own career was sort of at a standstill. Sure, she had two semi-successful slasher films under her belt and just wrapped a recurring role on a supernatural TV show as a ghost. But no new roles were being offered to her. Lately, Jade had taken a liking to alcohol and brushed her rapidly growing addiction off like it was no big deal. It helped her deal with the unpredictable nature of fame. It relaxed her.
"I called Beck."
Jade's head snapped up at Tori's shy revelation. "What?" she growled. "Why?"
"Jade, this is ridiculous," Tori whispered sadly. She peered at her friend and bit back the tears forming in her eyes. "This isn't you."
"Vega, I don't need a lecture," Jade scoffed. "I'm sure Beck's already got one planned."
"His flight should be in by noon."
"You need him, Jade."
"I don't!" Jade exploded. She tugged at the seat belt constraining her in the leather seat and let out a strangled cry. "I'm not some damsel in distress that needs her boyfriend to come rescue her! I'm 21-years-old, Vega. I'm legally allowed to drink and go out and enjoy myself."
Tori just shook her head and pulled into Jade's driveway. Thankfully, there weren't any paparazzi around to accost them once they got out of the car. Jade immediately unbuckled her seat belt and reached for the door, but Tori was quick enough to pull her back.
"Let me go!"
"Listen to me," Tori hissed, her voice full of authority. Jade actually cowered back and crossed her arms in utter annoyance. "You go in there and explain to Cat why you spent the night in a jail cell. This is your mess, Jade. I'm not helping you clean it up this time."
"Whatever," Jade rolled her eyes. She flung the car door open and stormed up the walkway.
Explaining this mess to Cat was easier said than done. Cat was having a hard time lately and it didn't help that Jade was being extra distant. Once Cat turned eighteen, her parents sold their house and took off to travel the country in an RV. It damaged Cat in more ways than one but the Valentines paid no mind to it. Per usual, they looked to Jade for help because at the time, Jade actually had her life put together. She received a starring role in her first movie two weeks after graduation and thanks to her trust fund, she was able to buy a house and start her adult life. Cat came to live with her and attended a local community college for fashion design and worked part-time at Andre's small record label.
Tori languidly followed Jade up the gravel walkway and tugged nervously at her hair. She was beyond exhausted and the thought of listening to Cat cry about the repercussions of Jade's latest actions was none too appealing. But she had to. She was the one picking up the slack for Jade, carting Cat to school and wherever else the redhead needed to be. She still lacked a driver's license and showed no effort in obtaining one. It was starting to take a toll as Tori was in the middle of finishing up her second album. Her tour was about to begin in six weeks and if things with Jade weren't figured out by then, there was no way she could go and leave Cat behind.
Jade tried to enter her house as inconspicuously as possible. In a perfect world, Cat would still be asleep, but she knew better. Cat woke up at the crack of dawn no matter what time she went to sleep the night before. She probably freaked out immediately when she realized Jade never came home. It was inevitable.
Cat came barreling down the stairs as soon as the front door clicked shut.
"Jade!" she cried out desperately while she skipped the last two steps and flung her arms around Jade's waist. "I was so scared!"
Jade closed her eyes and tried to break free from Cat's iron grip. "I'm fine, Cat," she informed her friend dully. She removed her hood and tried not to look Cat directly in the eye. "There's nothing to be scared about."
"Why did you hurt that girl?" Cat asked innocently. She buried her face into Jade's chest and whimpered when the older girl remained silent. "Jade! Why?" She pressed again, pulling back to stare up at Jade. "It made you go to jail."
"I just did," Jade whispered in frustration. If she wasn't so hungover, she would have probably taken Cat in her arms and squeezed her reassuringly. But she felt so weak that she barely had any energy to talk. "It's over though, okay? We don't need to talk about it."
"I said it's over!" Jade yelled. She broke free from Cat's grip and gently shoved the redhead away and into Tori. Despite Tori's earlier statement, she immediately wrapped Cat in her arms and held her tightly. "I'm going to bed."
Tori didn't bother to say anything. She sighed and stroked Cat's hair when the small girl started to tremble. "Hey, hey," she whispered. "She's okay."
"I don't like this new Jade," Cat admitted hoarsely. "I want the old Jade back."
"So do I," Tori agreed. She tilted Cat's chin upward and kissed her forehead. "Do you want to come spend the rest of the weekend with me?"
Cat rubbed her eyes and nodded. "Yeah."
"Okay. Go pack your stuff and I'll let Jade know."
Tori followed Cat up the stairs and poked her head into Jade's room when Cat disappeared into her room. Jade was curled up in the fetal position, crying softly into the black comforter.
"Hey," Tori whispered before taking a few steps over to the bed. "I'm gonna take Cat for the rest of the weekend. It might do you some good."
Jade sniffled and refused to look up from her pillow. "Whatever."
Tori taking Cat overnight was starting to become a recurrence. No matter how strained their relationship was, Tori and Jade always had a silent agreement that they'd always band together to take care of Cat. Jade was starting to feel like she and Tori were becoming Cat's divorced parents as she bounced back from house to house.
"Do you need anything?"
"Just for you to leave," Jade quipped in irritation.
"Alright," Tori gave in with an eye roll. "Bye, Jade." She knew Jade wasn't going to respond so she shut the door behind her and nearly jumped in fright when she came face to face with a somber looking Cat. "Cat," she laughed. "You scared me!"
"Sorry," Cat giggled. "Can I say goodbye to Jadey?"
"She's sleeping," Tori fibbed, taking Cat's hand in her own. She stared at Cat's pink duffel bag and smiled when she saw Mr. Longneck's head popping out. "Oh, so Mr. Longneck gets to sleepover this time?"
Cat patted her stuffed giraffe's head and grinned. "It's his turn this week!" She followed Tori down the stairs and tugged at her friend's hand shyly. "Beck is going to yell at Jade when he gets home, isn't he?"
"Probably," Tori said, patting Cat's head. She wasn't a big fan of lying to Cat. After all, the girl was twenty-years-old and more perceptive than people gave her credit for. "But, hey," she whispered. "You won't be here to hear it."
"Yeah," Cat replied with watery eyes. "I'm glad."
Beck Oliver plowed through the crowded baggage claim of LAX and tried to remain as covert as possible. He didn't sleep a wink on the plane as he was too worried about Jade. Admittedly, he was well aware of Jade's newly acquired addiction but he kept telling himself it was a phase. She was just under a lot of stress trying to book a new role. Beck knew the drinking would stop once she got a new job because Jade would have something to occupy her mind. It didn't help that he was constantly going back and forth between New York to wrap up his new movie.
He heard the whispering of the various people waiting for their luggage while he scrolled through his phone. There was a text from Tori.
Hopefully you can get through to Jade. It's getting worse. I have Cat for the weekend…she's a wreck.
Beck knew as long as Jade continued to spiral downward, Cat was going to keep regressing back to her childish self and there wasn't one thing he could do about it.
Okay. He texted back. Thanks. Tell Cat it will be okay.
He knew things weren't going to be okay though. But as long as he had Tori to tend to Cat, his main focus could remain on Jade and getting her back on track.
"Beck!" It was a slimy paparazzi guy Beck recognized from other occasions.
"I'm not in the mood, man," Beck sighed while he grabbed his suitcase. He left it at that and began to walk away.
"Any comment on your girlfriend spending the night in the slammer?"
Beck stopped dead in tracks, clenched his fist, and exhaled in frustration. "Leave me alone," he demanded shortly.
"Why? You gonna punch me in the face like your girlfriend?"
It took every ounce of strength in Beck's body to keep on walking. As much as he would love to have popped the guy in the face, it would completely make the lecture he was going to give to Jade hypocritical. So, he kept walking and jumped in a waiting cab.
Despite being mid-afternoon, the house was dark. Neither Cat nor Jade opened the curtains or any of the windows. Beck sighed and dropped his luggage by the stairs, taking them two at a time. He rubbed his sweaty palms against the back of his jeans and slowly pushed the bedroom door open. Jade was passed out in the middle of the bed, her damp black hair spread across the pillows. Beck sighed and opened the curtains, smirking when the sun filtered through and immediately awoke Jade.
"What the-" Jade groaned, opening one eye to see what was going on. She buried her face back into the pillow and refused to look at her boyfriend.
"Morning, sunshine," Beck greeted. He tried to keep his tone as calm as possible. He didn't want to upset Jade early on in their conversation because she'd shut down instantly and ignore him. "Jade."
"I need sleep," Jade mumbled. "Come back later."
"We need to talk."
Jade yawned. "Not now."
"Yes, now," Beck corrected matter-of-factly. He sat on the side of the bed and ripped the covers off his "sleeping" girlfriend. "Jade, get up."
"I'd rather not."
"Jade!" Beck finally snapped. He forced Jade into a sitting position and took a hold of her wrists so she couldn't go anywhere. "What happened?" he tone was caring and full of concern. "What were you thinking?"
"I, I don't know," Jade admitted honestly. She allowed Beck to pull her into his lap and hold her tight. "I don't know."
Beck sighed against Jade's hair and rubbed her back when he felt her hot tears against his cheek. "What's going on with you, huh? This isn't you."
"I don't know," Jade repeated in a whimper. She stifled a sob and held onto her boyfriend as tight as possible. "I don't know what's wrong with me."
"Well, maybe you need to cut back on the drinking," Beck whispered, cradling Jade's head when she nuzzled his shoulder.
Jade scoffed and pulled away. "Excuse me?"
"Babe," Beck sighed, keeping a firm grip on his girlfriend. He looked in her eyes and frowned when they looked so empty and lost. This wasn't Jade. She was slowly morphing into a complete stranger and it was petrifying.
"No," Jade shook her head. She swiped her eyes and broke free. "Have you been talking to Vega about me behind my back? This is the same crap she was spouting off earlier!"
Beck shook his head and tried to grab Jade's hand. "No. We're just worried about you…Cat, too. She's so worried, Jade."
"Whatever," Jade rolled her eyes. She stormed down the stairs and began to rummage through her kitchen cabinets. "This conversation is over."
"No, it's not," Beck corrected hotly. He watched Jade pull the fridge door open harshly and reach for an almost empty bottle of wine. "Really? It's one o'clock in the afternoon! Damn it, Jade."
Jade ignored Beck's needling and polished off the rest of the bottle in one effortless sip. She dropped it in the sink and gripped the counter tops tightly. At least the wine would help settle her throbbing head.
"I'm going back to bed," she mumbled, purposely knocking into Beck's shoulder to make a point.
"We're not done," Beck warned while he watched Jade's retreating figure stomp up the stairs. Seconds later, the bedroom door slammed and he collapsed on the kitchen chair and groaned loudly.
Jade's problem was much more colossal than he thought.