Under the Mistletoe

Jade/Beck

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Snow is drifting from the sky, piling at her feet and soaking the toes of her combat boots. A light dusting of the powdery substance coats the buildings that tower over her comparatively tiny frame, the sparse trees, even the hats of the people that walk by. She smiles slightly and shivers, realizing with a start that it has got to be below freezing out here and, should she choose to stay outside for longer, she could quite possibly catch pneumonia or something.

One gloved hand cradles her cellphone as she slips into the nearest Starbucks. It is not so much the Starbucks that scares her as much as the person she is to be meeting there, a person she hasn't seen for a year but is coming to visit her for the holidays in all of his famous glory. He had chosen not to join her at Juilliard. She had not pushed. He had made it; she is still trying to.

She shakes her head clear of the memories as she steps up to the counter. The only beverage desirable on such a day as this one is a hot chocolate, rich and sweet and steaming, with a heaping of whipped cream to top it off. She pays for it with the last bit of her pocket cash, then scans the room.

Across the room, a boy with dark sunglasses is seated in a corner, sipping at his own hot chocolate. He is surveying her from behind his glasses, as if he is trying to decide whether to approach her or not. With a raise of her dark brow, she slowly saunters over to him, because she is completely aware of who he is. Only one person has ever watched her like that; only one person would dare.

She pauses at the edge of the table, standing cautiously. The boy in front of her meets her gaze, but she can't see the chocolate eyes below his glasses, can't tell if he's staring at her the way she's staring at him. Slowly, cautiously, she reaches forward and removes his glasses, her skin lightly brushing his.

Then his eyes meet hers.

"Jade," he whispers. She can't find the words to respond, so she practically tackles him, her strong arms weaving their way around his back and pulling him as close to her as is possible while not spilling her hot chocolate. He holds her back, his face pressed into her black waves, his hands tangling in the back of her hair, as if he's scared he's going to lose her - but it won't be for the first time.

"A whole year later and you're still obsessed with hot chocolate," he continues, letting go of her and taking her face in his hands, "especially during the winter months. I got this in honor of you, you know."

"I figured," she replies, trying not to smile. "I remember when we were in high school and we'd go out for hot chocolate every single day." He looks so sentimental, so genuinely joyful that she's back, that it makes her want to cry. She's missed him more than she'd realized, more than words could say, and she doesn't want him to leave again. She doesn't want to leave him.

"What happened?" he whispers, glancing up at her. "You're all old and mature and - in just a year, you've changed so much."

She snorts. "Says the boy who's now a big superstar." While she speaks, though, while she argues, she is memorizing every facet of his face, his russet skin, his appearance, his hair of ember and his eyes of cocoa, how his strong hand holds his hot chocolate but then releases it to hold her hand. "You've changed, too," she whispers, moving her chair so that it's pressed up against his, and she can't say that it's really a bad thing.

"Thank goodness for that, right?" he says with a roll of his eyes. "I've grown up, Jade, had some time to rethink my priorities, what's important to me in life, how I treated the people I love." Squeezing her eyes shut, she realizes she knows what's coming. She's heard this scene a million times over; it haunted her nightmares during her high school years. But instead of hearing the inevitable 'I never loved you, Jade', instead she hears, "And I've been such a jerk to you, honestly, in high school and all that. You are the person in my life that matters the most to me and I'm so tired of giving you up."

"And what are you going to do about it?" she inquires, because really, she can't deny it, and even if she could, even if she would, she's not really good at all that sappy stuff, at declarations of feelings and love and just relationships in general, really.

Then he's on his knees in front of her. People around her are gasping, and she feels her eyes widening in shock, because she knows what's coming - how could she not? The widest smile is on his face as he starts to speak. "Jade West, I love you." He stops to pause, probably for emphasis. Perhaps he expects her to say something, but how could she? He should know that she couldn't have seen this coming. Obviously she's not averse to it, but it's still so very unexpected that her mouth can't even seem to form words. He continues at last, "I don't want to be without you anymore. The last year has been horrible, and I've missed you more than I thought possible. So will you do me the greatest honor of my life and marry me?"

Everyone is watching them, waiting for her response. There is no way she can top what he has said; he has taken all of the words from her, sucked them out like a vacuum. So she does the next best thing and kisses him.

When he pulls away, his lips tugged up into a grin, the first words out of his mouth are, inevitably, "So, is that a yes?"

She wants to roll her eyes, but she feels it's too emotionally charged of a moment. So instead she tells him, "No, there was just mistletoe above us." A glance confirms that there is, in fact, mistletoe, and that Jade has, in fact, been holding herself back from doing that since the moment she spotted him across the coffee shop. Then she laughs. "But to answer your question - yes, Beck, yes."

He lets out a breath she didn't know he'd been holding, then forcibly grabs her hand (since when was he strong?) and slowly slides a ring onto her finger. She glances down, trying not to tear up once she spots the multiple diamonds surrounding a single Jade stone - cheesy, but a touching gesture nonetheless. He looks so scared, so nervous, that she can't help but press a light kiss to his lips.

"I'm coming to stay with you," he whispers, wrapping his arms around her as the crowd around her applauds. "I'm not going to ask you to choose between your dream and me; that would just be cruel." Lightly, he presses a kiss to the top of her head. "I love you, you know. So much."

"Does this mean I have to be Jade Oliver now?" she chuckles, burying her head into his chest.

"That would be nice," Beck says, looking as though he's retreating into his own little world, one that is filled with pure euphoria. It's insane how blissfully happy this latest turn of events has made him; it's insane how Jade could have ever doubted him or his intentions. He loves her - that much, she knows for sure.

"In that case," Jade says sharply, "Jade Oliver, future wife of Beck Oliver, the famous actor who just finished filming his movie that I forgot the title of, wants the rest of her hot chocolate before she goes insane."

Beck just laughs and hands it over to her. Some things never change.

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A/N: This is for the Bade Prompts gift exchange. It's a gift for Lari (tsttoain) with the prompts hot chocolate and mistletoe! Hope you like it, Lari ;) Even with all of the excessive fluff sigh. Merry Christmas!

Please review and don't fave without reviewing!