Abandonment and Aversion
Beck Oliver, Beck/Jade
There was a small boy sitting alone on a bench, looking so very small and fragile and afraid in comparison to the big, spacious world. His hair flopped down into his eyes, brushing his eyelashes; his wide eyes glanced back and forth, taking in the intimidating world. He was all alone.
That was, of course, until a car pulled up in front of the bench and a brunette lady got out, brushing a piece of dark hair behind her ear. "Beck, I assume?"
Beck nodded, keeping his eyes downcast. He was only four years old, and already he had been abandoned; his parents had just up and left one day without even leaving a note besides 'do whatever you please with him' (he had woken up and they were just gone, presumably forever), leaving the young boy to his own devices. Unsure of what to do, he had meandered down the street until he reached an elderly couple who invited him to stay for a few days before turning him over to the Social Services. He was lucky; after only a few weeks, a couple called that was willing to adopt him. But he didn't know them, of course. He had never met them. How was he to know if they were any better than his old parents?
"Come with me, then," the lady said briskly, opening the back door for him. Uneasily, he clambered in; his old parents hadn't allowed him to sit in a big kid seat without a carseat, but he figured things were different now. His parents didn't want him anymore.
"Where am I going?" Beck questioned, his bottom lip trembling in fear. He had never really been a talkative child; he was not particularly eloquent, though most four-year-olds weren't really eloquent anyway. He didn't know how to put his fear into words – where's Mommy where's Daddy I'm scared you know I'm so scared.
"To stay with some nice people," the lady told him with a patronizing smile as she sped off. She didn't speak again for the rest of the ride, which was just fine with Beck, since she sort of scared him anyway.
Once they pulled up at the house, Beck bit his lip. It was a nice looking house, really; it was two stories and painted a bright shade of yellow, but it was scary nonetheless. He lagged behind the lady as they walked up, not really eager to find out what – or rather, who – lurked inside.
Then the lady was scurrying up to the door and ringing the doorbell, and Beck winced, scurrying behind her legs. The lady's personality left a lot to be desired, but she was certainly preferable to the terrifying unknown, which turned out to be –
The door flung open, revealing a blonde lady and her dark-headed husband, both of them with jolly smiles and rosy cheeks. They shook hands with the lady that had brought Beck here. "Why, hello! I guess you're here to drop off our little Beck. My name is Isabelle, and this is my husband Thomas… we're the Oliver family, and we're so excited to have Beck here. You have no idea. That must be him, behind your feet – oh my gosh, he's adorable! Hi there, little fellow!"
He peeked his head out from behind the lady's legs, offering up a shy grin. "Hi," he muttered, deciding that it was best for now not to make eye contact, since she could, after all, be pretending. Grown-ups were funny like that.
"Oh, come on out," Isabelle gushed, smiling at him. "Do you know how excited we are to have you here? Gosh, we've wanted a child for actual ages, but it's just not possible for us, and now here we are with this precious child. It's a miracle, really. Come on, Beck. We've got a room for you already."
Warily, he glanced up at the man who was standing beside her, who mouthed a simple "Thank you" to the lady before taking the papers from her hand and sitting down at the table. It was reassuring in an odd sort of way; 'thank you' wasn't take this child to the orphanage, nor was 'thank you' we were wrong take him back. 'Thank you' was I'm glad to have this child. 'Thank you' was good.
He let the lady lead him into the house, feeling oddly secure for the first time in ages as she pointed out his room and told him that she hoped he would feel comfortable here. His smile stretched across his lips as he nodded and whispered, just as the man (his new father?) had before: "Thank you."
The lady looked sort of surprised at his statement, but she smiled down at him. "Beck, we're so very glad to have you here, and I hope you'll always remember that."
He met Jade West not a year later when she moved into the big house beside him. Already he had grown sort of comfortable with his new family, but his paranoia crept in on occasion. After all, he was only five years old, and as it turned out five year olds were sort of impressionable. And being abandoned by his parents had left quite a big impression on him.
The young girl was sitting out on her porch, chestnut hair brushed behind her ears as she watched her parents carry furniture into the house. She glanced up at him as she watched the movers, furrowing her eyebrows once she realized he was staring at her. "What are you looking at?"
"You," he blurted out, feeling sort of embarrassed and oddly insecure. "I mean, hi, I'm your new neighbor, I guess. My name's Beck. I'm five."
"Me too," Jade said with a satisfied half-smile.
"You have a big house," he pointed out, raising an eyebrow at her. "Do your parents have lots and lots of money or somethin'? My parents have enough money I guess, but they're always tryin' to save and stuff like that. Oh, I live right there."
"You should come in," Jade told him in a sort of friendly way, motioning for him to follow her. "My only company over here is my baby brother, and he's really dumb. He can't even talk – how dumb is he? I don't even think he can sit up!"
He watched her as she spoke, watched the natural way she spoke, she moved. She had a natural sort of confidence about her – it emanated from her being, consumed everything around her – he admired her, because he could never have had that sort of confidence, not after what had occurred. Even at five years old, he knew he would never be as secure in himself as she was – and always would be.
"Dad!" she huffed, dragging Beck into the house behind her, clinging to one of his hands. "Dad, this is our neighbor kid or whatever – Beck, he says his name is. He's got really long hair I know, but he's not terrible like some of those kids you made me go to school with. Oh, Beck – this is my dad."
"Hello, young man," her father said in a gruff tone. "I assure you we won't be a disturbance to you or your family. We'll do our best to extend an amiable hand, and I should hope you would do the same."
"Dad," Jade huffed, "he's five like me, and I don't know what any of that stuff means! Come on, Beck, stupid Jeremiah's asleep so we can't go in there, but we could go to my room or something – "
"Where's your mom?" Beck inquired with a small frown.
"She left," Jade mumbled, and suddenly Beck felt sorry for asking. He could see remnants of what he'd recently experienced reflected in her wide, innocent eyes – hurt and abandonment and so much pain- - and she was only five years old as well. They were so different; the disparity of their wealth and houses and general dispositions proved that, but they were so very much the same.
"Oh, well, that's okay," Beck said, deciding that it was probably best to change the subject. With a smile on his face, he extended a hand. "C'mon, let's go play," and then, thinking it was best to make her feel special, "you can be the princess and I'll be your prince, okay?"
She agreed with no reluctance in her voice, and from then on, Jade West was his princess and he was her prince, dented armor rampant with battle scars and all.
Beck Oliver had never really fought with his parents. For the most part, he chose to stay out of their way, preferring instead to take part in worthwhile activities like acting and dancing and even, on occasion, singing. Jade was an actor, singer, dancer, screenwriter – the whole nine yards – but Beck didn't have the talent she did and he was aware of that.
But, as far as things went, Beck Oliver was a pretty easy child. He was resilient, primarily silent, and brave, with a good heart. It wasn't even until halfway through middle school that he realized he was a chick magnet, and even then he didn't really date, per se. He treated girls with respect and his parents with an odd sort of reverence.
That was, until 9 years had passed and Beck Oliver began dating Jade West.
It was a gradual thing, honestly – they'd been best friends for years, even after Beck's family had moved halfway across town, and they attended Hollywood Arts together (they'd both been admitted to the school after auditioning, much to Beck's euphoria).
But he liked her, honestly – he might even go so far as to say he was falling in love with her. He'd known she was beautiful for ages. She had that aura about her, that aura of confidence and beauty and her eyes sparkled when she laughed and how could you not love her? He couldn't understand. But his parents never had really taken to her.
The thing about Jade was that she was sort of abrasive. She wasn't exactly the giggly and sweet girl-next-door-type. She was open, honest, never afraid to share her opinion – actually, like Beck, she was rarely even afraid, period. She wasn't girly, and she enjoyed streaking her hair with different colors just to see how people would react. She was different, special, unique, and that was what Beck liked about her, what he had always liked about her, but his parents didn't see it – or they didn't allow themselves to.
"That Jade girl is a bad influence," they'd say.
Silence. He said nothing.
"Beck, I think you should stay away from her."
There was nothing else to say. Even after all their kindness and providence, Beck didn't honestly consider them to be his parents, especially since he'd built up a wall when it came to them. He wasn't going to be played and hurt again; he wasn't going to allow anyone to get close, to even crack his walls a little bit. Jade was in an exception and, in an odd sort of way, her own rule. She went by her own guidelines, followed her old rulebook; there was no way he could even attempt to control her.
The ultimatum came after a month of dating Jade, after they caught the two of them kissing (a sweet, simple kiss, no more) on the couch. They smiled at him, awkward smiles. "Beck, honey, I know you're young and all, but don't you think – "
"No." The answer was simple, real – he didn't think. He knew. He knew that he loved her; he knew that she was, quite possibly, the only person he could rely on; he knew that he didn't want anyone else, not now, not ever. He knew.
"Look, Beck." There was a heavy sigh, and then a pause – "I mean, if this is what you want to do, but you can't be bringing her in here all the time. She's a pretty girl and all, but Beck – "
"Excuse me?" His father (for all intents and purposes) raised an eyebrow at him, and then stared at his mother in bewilderment. Beck had never been so brusque with them before. "What do you mean by the RV? That old one parked out in the driveway?"
"Yes." Beck's excitement was growing already, even though he had no real confirmation. "I mean, come on, no one lives in it or anything; really it's just sitting there. I could fix it up and move into it. I'd come back here for dinners and lunches sometimes, so it wouldn't be like I would be actually moving out, and I'm nearly fifteen, I've long been ready for this. Please?" He wasn't really the beggar type, but this was important – both to him and to his relationship with Jade.
"I think that's actually a good idea," his father boomed, and his mother nodded in agreement. And boom – the deal was settled.
Jade didn't quite understand.
"You moved into an RV because of me?" she asked, arms folded tight across her chest and eyebrow raised poignantly as it always was. "Sometimes I just wonder if you can get any stupider, and then boom – you do." But her eyes were sparkling with mirth, and it was evident that she was happy, that his care for her had touched her in an odd sort of way.
"Not just because of you," he protested. "Also because they're not my parents you know, not really. I don't know – I think it's time I'm on my own. I was when I was four and I did just fine then."
"Beck." Her voice was disapproving. "Come on, you can't spend your whole life in isolation. Your parents probably just weren't thinking, and –"
"My parents didn't want me, Jade." His voice was a low growl. She'd reached a sore spot now, cut past his defenses, gotten down to the real core of him. "You can't reason it away, all right? My parents didn't want me, and they must have had a reason."
"Yeah, like they're mentally deficient," Jade snorted with a roll of her sparkling eyes. "If you're going by that logic, then my mom didn't want me either, which makes me just as worthless as you or whatever."
"I'm not saying I'm worthless. I just don't need anyone – does that make sense?"
"You need me." There was no question in her voice. He needed her just as she needed him. Codependent as it may be, it was true. He needed her.
"You won't hurt me."
Then she blinked, her eyes wide again. "Beck, shut up," she whispered, placing her head on his chest. "Your parents were dumb, okay? They probably just weren't mature enough to raise a child; a lot of people aren't. Not everyone is like that, I promise. I used to think that – still do a lot – but gosh, we can't live like this… it's unhealthy."
He laughed. "So you don't want me to move out?"
"Hey, if it means I can come over more, then I'm all for it." She grinned, a rare grin – Jade didn't smile much, but when she did, she lit up the room. "But you know I'm concerned about you. I always am."
"Hmm," he hummed, pressing a kiss to the top of her head. "You know, Jade, I think we need a home, you and me. We're not old enough to get a real place yet – but we can have this RV, right? We can be like, our own family. Just you and me."
With a shrug, she nodded, and he smiled. Two abandoned kids, bonding like this – it was a miracle of sorts, a miracle that they'd found each other, a miracle that they'd gotten together. Perhaps they hadn't come from the best of backgrounds or had the best of upbringings; perhaps they had been hurt by the people they trusted most – but when they were here alone, just the two of them, none of that seemed to matter, because they weren't going to hurt each other, not ever.
And, well, you see, that was just the beginning of their tale (legacy) that went on to last for years upon years.
He glanced up from his desk, raising an eyebrow at his father. "Yes?" His father had come in without knocking, he noticed – or maybe he did, but Beck hadn't heard. Either way, he decided not to complain; he was already pushing boundaries by having Jade around so much.
"You care about Jade, don't you?"
"A lot," he confessed, running a hand through his hair absently. "Look, if this is going to turn into another lecture about how she's not the best girl for me, you can just save it because –"
"I just wanted to say," his father continued, "that your mother and I have decided that maybe we could reconsider our opinion of her and that you two should come over for dinner sometime. And also, we care about you a lot, Beck. We were just trying to protect you and we're sorry."
"I'm sorry too," Beck whispered, glancing down at the ground. "I shouldn't have been so rude, but I was just scared, you know? I really am sorry though… Dad."
His dad looked up at him, his eyes slightly wet, and he blinked once before exiting the RV. Perhaps, he thought, he had forgotten what he had known all along; his adoptive parents were his real parents. The ones that had left him behind, those were the fake parents. His parents were the ones that cared for him and would even push aside their own opinions to give his girlfriend (his love, really) a second chance. They would do anything for his happiness – they loved him, and he loved them too. And he had Jade; in fact, he thought, he had always had Jade, would probably always have Jade. And wasn't that, in itself, what family was all about?
For years, he'd had visions of his perfect family dancing in his head – his two genetic parents, maybe a sibling, some grandparents and cousins that looked like him. But now, he thought, picturing his parents and Jade – now he had a family, perhaps not the conventional one, but somehow that made it even better. And he wasn't scared anymore.
A/N: Probably the worst thing I've written in ages and completely nonsensical as well but the issue is, you see, I am far too lazy to rewrite it so you guys can deal with this piece of crap. It's for the badeprompts' 'Something Old' as a part of the Silver Sixpence challenge (the first part, in fact). I hope you guys enjoyed it anyways, and that it sort of made sense. If you like it, please read and review; it actually does mean a lot to me! You guys are the best and thanks.