Title: Proud and Prejudiced (Originally Bad as She Wanted to Be)
Rating: T because of Jade's potty mouth.
Disclaimer: Victorious and all related characters do not belong to me.
Summary: Beck thought she was the quintessential Hollywood socialite who had too much: money, booze, drugs, free time. Jade thought he was the typical struggling actor: perpetually broke, undependable, always looking for the next big break that never comes. Boy, were they wrong about each other.
Continuity: Alternate Universe.
Author's Notes: For Lari (tsttoain) who wanted a fic where Beck babysits Jade. My goal in life is to finish this in time for your birthday :) Keep your fingers crossed!
*This was posted as Bad as She Wanted to Be on Tumblr, but I' changing the title now because the story went in a totally different direction than I originally planned. Don't worry, though. Jade is still going to be as bad as she wants to be :)
Proud and Prejudiced
"And, cut!" David Vega, Hollywood director extraordinaire, shouted gleefully. "Great job, Beck. You definitely have the potential to be the next big thing."
After years of hard work and untold sacrifices, things were finally falling into place for Beck Oliver.
After the high-rating teen show he co-starred in for three years was canceled by the kid network that was showing it, he bounced around for a couple of months, going to auditions and shooting guest spots in different TV series before he was finally cast in the most recent film David Vega was shooting.
Beck Oliver just had a minor (but oh, so important) role in David Vega's movie. Unfortunately, it was Beck's last day on set, having just shot his last scene. He had high hopes, though. David had the habit of casting actors he liked in his movies over and over. It was also no secret that David had a falling out with his last It Boy, Ryder Daniels. It was also common knowledge that David was tapped to write and direct the much-anticipated screen adaptation of a best selling paranormal-slash-romance novel that had captured the hearts of tween girls everywhere. The title role would have gone to Ryder had he been in good terms with David, but now, the part of the hero was fair game. It was a sure bet that whoever got cast would be well on his way to becoming a certified Hollywood A-lister.
Like other actors of his station, Beck Oliver wanted that role. He also felt confident that he had a higher chance than most to get the role: not only was he a well-known personality to kids and teens and everyone in between because of the show he had starred in, he had impressed David Vega during this movie's shoot. So, yes, the odds were high that he would get a part, if not the lead, in the new movie.
"Wait, before you go change, quick question," David grinned. "You're eighteen, right?"
"Just turned nineteen a few weeks ago." Beck replied, trying to contain his excitement. This may be it: an offer for a role, or at least, an invitation to audition.
David laughed as he slapped Beck heartily on the back. "That's great. Listen, I need a favor to ask."
Beck's spirits lowered a bit. A favor? It sounded like David was not asking him to star in his next movie yet. "Sure. What can I do for you?"
"My daughter is flying over from New York tomorrow night. I was supposed to pick her up tomorrow night and show her around Hollywood. But, as you know, shooting's days off schedule. I was hoping maybe you could take her out instead of me? She might appreciate going out with someone her own age instead of a dinosaur like me."
Beck grinned, his spirits lifting. He knew David's daughter, Tori Vega, having worked with her in a music video once before. She was a pop singer trying to make it big in America. She was nice, bubbly and fun to be with. Then there was the fact that if Beck played his cards right, Tori might give her dad a good word or two to help land him the role. "Sure, David. It'll be fun."
"Great!" David said, relieved. "That's a huge weight off my shoulders. My assistant will call you for Jade's flight details so you could make sure you get there on time. She's kind of a drama queen even if you're just a fraction of a second late."
"Wait, did you say Jade? Jade's the daughter I would pick up from the airport? Jade West?" Beck asked incredulously.
"Yes." David replied absently. Having fended off his fatherly duties to Beck, David had quickly lost interest in the conversation.
"Great," Beck muttered to himself, wondering what he had gotten himself into.
Jade West was used to the staring, pointing and whispering whenever she deigned to make a public appearance. That was her life as far back as she could remember. It got worse as she entered her teens and got labeled as the wild child. She didn't even know how that got started. Just because she liked wearing black, did not like smiling when her photos were taken, had a fascination with the macabre, cursed like a sailor, and generally marched to the beat of her own drum did not mean that she was evil or that she worshiped Satan.
(Okay, there was the incident when she got kicked out of her exclusive boarding school in Switzerland when she beat the shit out of a male upperclassman, but that was a one-time thing! And she felt that she had good reasons for doing that, though Lane, her therapist, would strongly disagree with her and would tell her to keep her temper in check.)
Everyone felt that their opinion of her was vindicated when she turned fourteen with the whole David Vega fiasco. But really, what teenaged girl would react differently after finding out that the man she alternately hated and sought the approval of wasn't even her father? (And by reacting differently, it meant running away from home in hopes of discovering the truth.) No one! Except maybe the golden girl, Tori Vega, who could do no wrong. Tori would probably approach her loving parents and pour out her feelings and ask her questions in a calm, rational manner, instead of lashing out, like Jade did.
So, yeah. Jade was used to the staring, and the pointing, and the whispering. (As well as the cameras people thought were surreptitiously hidden as they take a picture or a video of her.)
Today wasn't any different as she swaggered out the airport, her favorite messenger bag hooked around her shoulders.
She stopped suddenly when she noticed that her assistant was not anywhere near her. She turned around and decided to give the people a show. It may likely be the closest brush with fame some of them would ever experience.
"Sinjin!" She snarled. "Could you walk any slower?"
"Coming, my sweet!" Sinjin called out as he finally came into her view, glasses askew, lugging Jade's two huge Louis Vuitton suitcases, as well as his own overnight bag.
"Don't call me that," Jade told him with a death glare as she waited for him to draw beside her.
Sinjin was apparently glare-proof, as his only reaction was to give her a sickeningly sweet, adorably lovesick grin, complete with a head tilt that he probably thought was cute. (Of course, having known her since middle school, he knew when to be genuinely afraid of Jade.)
"Is daddy dearest picking us up?" She asked.
"Uh, let me check my phone," he mumbled as he struggled to get his phone from his back pocket without letting go of the luggage he was carrying. "Got it!" He shouted, triumphantly holding up the phone for all to see.
Jade just rolled her eyes at Sinjin's antics, too used to his awkwardness.
"Uh, here we go, a text from Mr. Vega's PA. He is asking for a rain check, he's in the middle of a shooting that's days behind schedule. But the PA said that a limo would pick us up and drive us to the hotel," Sinjin said. "Then, later tonight, Beck Oliver is going to pick you up and show you the sights."
Jade supposed she shouldn't be surprised that her father is ditching her (again). After all, majority of their conversations were done through their respective assistant.
"Gosh, does he mean Beck Oliver, the teen heartthrob?" Sinjin mused as he struggled once again, this time to put his phone back into his pocket.
"Should his name mean something to me?"
"Omigosh!" His eyes actually twinkled. "Beck Oliver plays Iñigo Baxter, the cool, hipster dude in Hollywood Arts Confidential, a hit television series from the Orangesplat channel which was unceremoniously cancelled in a desperate reformatting attempt to reach a broader demographic than its rival channel—"
"My god, Sinjin, shut up!" Jade snapped as she spun on her boot-clad heels. "No one above the age of nine is interested in kids' shows."
"I beg to differ!" Sinjin called out as he ran after Jade. "I'm twenty-one and I used to love that show. I even started a petition for it to have, at the very least, a proper ending."
Jade groaned but kept on walking, hoping that if she moved fast enough, she could outrun Sinjin's monologue.
The cursor was mocking him with its every blink on the blank search bar.
He must be a masochist. There was no other explanation for it. He told himself repeatedly that he should just shrug and let it go, but he can't.
It was like a train wreck; you just can't not look.
Pursing his lips he slowly typed her name and pressed enter.
Immediately, the search engine found a few thousand hits. Fan pages, web pages, photos, news articles, testimonials, rumors.
He looked at the photos first because, there was no question about it, Jade West was sizzling. Her eyes, her lips, her hair, her body, her legs, her skin all combined to make one explosive package that brought many a man to sin.
The only problem was that her reputation preceded her.
Beck began reading.
Jade West was described not only as beautiful, but also as wild, mean and weird. She lived her life as she wanted without offering any apologies or explanation. Despite her fascinating and newsworthy lifestyle, she abhorred media, ignored requests for interviews, led the paparazzi to wild goose chases, and laughed at social networking sites.
The more she shunned the world, though, the more the world was bewitched by her.
Perhaps, more than the wild parties, her rumored preference for older and richer men, and her bizarre alcohol and drug-induced behavior, perhaps what Jade West was famous for occurred nine months before her birth, and she didn't even have a direct hand in it.
It concerned a tale of love, unfaithfulness and illegitimacy.
Years ago, David Vega, an up and coming director who was married to a much-older, yet still very bankable, actress, and Holly, a starlet who was engaged to a struggling actor, met while shooting a made-for-TV-movie and fell in love. Because of their situation, their relationship started as a secret, revealed only after their elopement was bannered in gossip rags. The news tidbit was even more delicious by the birth of pretty little Victoria Vega a mere six months after their elopement.
The Vegas, however, soon settled into domesticity, and was once even touted as The Ideal Hollywood Family. David was the doting husband and father, putting his family above all else. Holly turned her back on her career to focus on raising (and later managing the career of) her daughter. Pretty, talented and perfectly nice Tori, who dreamed of becoming a pop star, was the perfect role model to young girls everywhere.
The image of the perfect family imploded four years ago when Jade West, the problem child of hotel mogul Arthur West and supermodel Rosanna, stepped into the scene. Only fourteen years old, and ugly rumors were already attached to her name. She had been said to be addicted to designer drugs, had been kicked out of at least three European boarding schools, had dated men at least twice her age, and had a habit of sneaking into wild parties to get high or drunk, or preferably both.
One fateful day years ago, fourteen-year old Jade had hunted down David Vega in his home in Hollywood while his wife and daughter were vacationing in Greece. A scandal of epic proportions broke out when a paparazzo caught Jade West leaving the Vega mansion at six in the morning. Everyone assumed the worst and there was a strong clamor for the police to investigate.
Things only calmed down a week later when a devastated Rossana and a supportive Arthur West had allowed themselves to be interviewed by a reporter. Rosanna admitted that Jade was not actually Arthur's daughter, but David's. Arthur was firm in saying that Jade was his daughter in all the ways that mattered, except for blood.
The fact that David's other daughter, Tori, was barely three months older than Jade did not escape the media (the most popular opinion was that David had one last fling on his stud party before he married Holly).
Holly filed for divorce, but later reconciled with David after undergoing couples counseling. Later, Tori Vega was interviewed where she said that she was hurt, but David was her father and she would forgive him eventually. She was also looking forward to getting to know the sister she never knew she had.
Nothing was heard from Jade West, who had went back to Europe, leaving others to clean up and deal with the mess she had created. She only came back to the US occasionally to model in glamorous ads for designer clothes and to party in exclusive clubs.
When Jade graduated high school at seventeen, she went to New York, where her mom and adoptive father were based, to get even more famous for being famous.
Now, Jade West was coming back to Hollywood.
Beck was so absorbed at what he was reading that he jerked in surprise when his phone sounded an alarm, his warning that he had to leave in ten minutes if he wanted to be on time in picking up Jade West.
With a dramatic groan befitting his stature as an actor, he shut off his computer and prayed to survive the encounter with the world's most photographed Bad Girl.
To Be Continued