Prompt: a band of gpysies.
A/N: First time properly writing Beck/Jade in almost two years. And I'm assuming Beck's RV didn't have a bathroom because otherwise the plot of "Stuck in an RV" wouldn't have happened. I'd also like to point out that, living in a different hemisphere, I really have no idea what the scenery in California is like, and all my knowledge is stolen from youtube. Also, why can't you use the metric system and you drive on the wrong side of the street. That is all; on with the story. Please excuse any mistakes, it's currently 5am.
It's the first week of summer when Jade sees Beck for the first time in two weeks. He doesn't even bother to knock, just opens her door with the set of keys she'd forgotten she'd given him, and walks into the lounge room, shoving his hands in his pockets and looking at her with an almost smug expression on his face.
"I bought an RV," he announces.
"You have already have an RV," she says.
"I sold it."
"You sold our RV?" she asks, actually paying attention now.
"Yep. This one has a toilet, and you don't even need to link it up. We could actually live in it," he says with a smile. "Come on, let me show you." He holds out a hand and she takes it, despite the fact that she had been looking forward to simply being able to put her feet up and watch mindless, crappy TV all night. Beck's parked the RV just around the corner, the neighbours giving them disapproving looks when they see who owns it.
"You bought a dinosaur," she says simply. While it isn't as clunky or as large as some of the others she's seen, it's nowhere near as sleek as the old one. She feels her mouth turn down slightly.
"No, it's a 1973 Lazy Daze Chevy," Beck answers.
"You know its name and you still bought it?" He grins at her, before opening the door and leading her inside. It's similar to the old one, only it has some more crucial parts such as a bathroom and a stove.
"Why did you buy it?" she asks.
"So that we wouldn't have to buy an apartment," he says. "Come on, are you telling me that at twenty two you're not as sick as living with your parents as I am? Because I was sick of it when I was fourteen."
"Very true," she concedes. "However, the difference between living here and in an apartment is that an apartment is actually nice." She sits down on one of the lounges, annoyed at how unfamiliar it feels and how it doesn't smell like Beck's cologne or pizza, the way the old one used to.
"This is nice," he says, though she can tell he doesn't quite believe it. "But, anyway, if we lived an apartment, we wouldn't be able to road trip to Seattle so we could see Cat and Robbie."
"No, we could," she replies. "They're called motels." He groans, and runs a hand through his hair.
"In what world are motels cooler than RVs?"
"Mine." He starts to give her what she could only describe as a puppy dog look. Finally, she rolls her eyes and says, "This conversation is boring. Drive me home."
"You live down the road."
"Home sounds cooler than your parents' drive way," she says. He smiles then, almost on the verge of blushing, and she's suddenly reminded of him when at sixteen. Without a word, he goes up the front and starts the engine. They've only just driven out of her street when she falls asleep.
Five days later they're driving to San Diego to pick Tori and André up (Beck's idea, not hers – she's all too happy to wait another six years for the high school reunion). Tori actually hugs her when she sees her, while André and Beck bump fists. They all move into a booth broken up by a table the size of a fan, Tori absentmindedly looking around while Beck puts their suitcases away. It's with slight surprise that Jade realises it must have been at least a year and a half since she last saw either of them, too busy with studying and counting coins and fighting with her mother to call them or even realise how quickly the time was passing. She notices the time on their faces now; the way their faces are more drawn and how the lines around their mouths seem to tug down. She blinks away the image of her own haggard face.
"So, what have you guys been doing?" Beck asks, sitting next to Jade and slinging his arm around her shoulder.
"Well, André finally got to work with Bruno Mars," says Tori.
"And I got to meet Andy Raxon. He said he might even have a song for Tori to sing," André says, grinning at Tori. "He's one of the best songwriters in the business, by the way," he adds, seeing Jade and Beck's confused faces. They nod their thanks.
"So the move to San Diego has been fruitful, then," Beck says.
"Yeah. I mean, I mean the prestige isn't as good, of course, and you don't have as many people willing to sign you to a record deal, but the places are just…nicer to sing at. And André's getting more work," says Tori. "What about you guys?"
"We're getting there," answers Beck. "We just graduated."
"Oh yeah, acting and economics, wasn't it?" says Tori, before smiling at Jade. "Did it grow on you?"
"No, it did not," Jade replies. "But just because my dad made me do a "proper" degree doesn't mean he can stop me from acting and singing. I was in three plays while doing my course anyway."
"That's my girl," Beck grins.
"And what about you?" André says, looking at Beck. "Will I be seeing your name next to Johnny Depp's any time soon?"
"Not quite yet," says Beck, laughing. "It's a work in progress. I've been getting some work. You know, small indie films, some horror films, which people usually laugh at. But it's fun." A silence settles over them, filled with memories that Jade is too tired and busy for right now.
"Come on," she says irritably. "We could have driven to Seattle and back by now." Beck laughs, the other two smiling, more to themselves than anything, before Beck kisses her on the cheek and moves up towards the driver's seat.
"Ok then," he says. "Let's get this party started."
It doesn't take long for the romanticism of a road trip to fade.
The sun is relentless. Its warmth fills every single space in the RV while the air conditioning beats pathetically up the front; its cool relief barely felt even when Beck presses his hand to the vent. Most of the scenery has been sacrificed in the hope that the closed curtains will block out some of the heat.
There's very little to do now that every inch of the RV has been explored, and Jade finds no solace in playing a drinking game where there's no alcohol, which is a pity, because André seems to know almost everyone who has written a song in the top 40 countdown. In fact, he's even written a few himself, which causes Tori to clap and cheer every time one of his songs comes on.
"There's more choice in San Diego," he explains when they ask him about it. "Because it isn't as big as L.A., they're more willing to hear you out. Though of course, it would be nice to be able to write my own music back home."
"And what about singing opportunities for Tori?" Jade asks. "When will your bubble-gum pop album be coming out?"
"I've gotten a couple of gigs. There's this one hotel that I sing at most Saturdays, and there's always a couple of familiar faces in the crowd. I don't really mind where I sing at, and it helps pay the bills. But I've also been looking at going into teaching," she says, shrugging. "It's more stable than singing, and if I can become a music teacher then I know I'll love it."
"I understand that," says Jade. "Well, not the teaching part. I don't understand why you'd ever want to put yourself in that proximity to that many people for all those hours. But, I understand the gist of it."
"It would be nice to stop working at McDonalds, too," Tori says wistfully.
"Jade and I are counting down the days until she gets fired from her waitressing job," Beck adds from up the front.
"Soon," Jade says, and grins.
By the late enough it's cooled down enough for them to open the curtains. André has taken over driving, so Beck comes and sits with her by the window while Tori keeps André company up the front.
In silence, they watch the waves crash against the sand, the white foam stretching out in front of them, leading the way as they drive past. Wrapping an arm around her waist, Beck leans in and kisses her on the cheek, before he hooks his chin over her shoulder. Automatically, she leans back against him. It's been a while since she's been able to be like this; relaxed and unconcerned, no deadlines hanging overhead.
It's silent when she wakes up.
There's a faint blue light peaking through the curtains, faintly outlining her surroundings. It takes her a few minutes to remember where she is; only half of the souvenirs from Beck's old RV made it into this one, the others scattered in the spare room at his parent's place. At least she knows the fish will get fed there.
From her bunk above the driver's seat, she can see everything spread out in front of her, from Tori with her arm dangling over her bunk, as if trying to touch André sleeping below her, to Beck lying on the fold out lounge, his hair messy and his breathing steady.
Silently, she climbs down the ladder at the side of her bed, before slipping into bed with Beck. She's only just lied down again when she feels him turn over, his arm going across her and his face going into the crook between her neck and shoulder.
"Morning," he mumbles.
"Go back to sleep," she says.
"Ok," he replies, smiling. Only a couple of seconds later, she starts to hear him snoring softly and the arm on her stomach becomes heavier. Even so, she finds that when she too falls asleep, it's an easier and deeper sleep than before. Not that she would admit that.
André drives again the next day, leaving Tori, Beck, and Jade to sit around the table playing cards. Absentmindedly, she thinks about how waiting tables would be a better, and more cost effective, use of her time.
"I could get used to his," Beck says, leaning back in his seat and putting his hands behind his head. "Driving around everywhere, never working, just having fun – a gypsy lifestyle. How's that sound, Jade?"
"Is that why you put a ban on technology?" asks Tori.
"No, it's called quality bonding time with old high school friends."
"Aren't gypsies supposed to sell wares, so that they can support themselves financially?" Jade interrupts.
"Ah, you are forgetting about my greatest asset," Beck replies, gesturing to his face. "We'd get millions."
"Isn't that called acting?" says Tori.
"No, see, my face is a free ride. I don't need to do anything," he says. "Acting involves skill, and is thus harder work."
"You won't have your face for long," says Jade, smirking at his reaction. "Also gypsy is an ethnicity, not a behaviour."
"Fine," Beck says. "I'll have a bohemian lifestyle then."
"Also an ethnicity," Tori replies. "And I believe the youth of today call it "boho"."
"Why?" asks Beck.
"Because they're stupid," Jade says before Tori can.
"McDonald's in five miles!" André calls out. "Who wants some? Oh, also Oakland."
"Both. Both are good," says Beck.
After lunch, Beck and André swap, and Jade moves to the front, her feet resting on the dashboard and a hat covering her face, moving it only to bring a milkshake to her lips. In the back, she can hear André strumming on a guitar as Tori claps and sings, though she can't be bothered to make out the words.
"I'm so glad I brought you along," Beck says, just as she was about to fall asleep. "You're such great company."
"We both know that is the only reason you brought along those two," she says without looking at him.
"Wrong, I brought them along because they're our friends," he replies. "And they wanted to see Cat and Robbie too." She makes a non-committal sound, but doesn't bother to reply. Slowly, she turns her head and looks out the window, watching the trees go past. It's calming, a blur of dark green intercepted with patches of pale blue and white. With the sun on her legs, the air conditioning making sure her skin stays at an acceptable, and such relaxing scenery, it isn't soon until she falls asleep.
She wakes up a couple of hours later, the sun having moved to shine through the trees and, once again, in her eyes. She straightens up in her chair, looking over at Beck, who smiles broadly when he meets her eyes.
"Hello," he says. "You know, you'll thank me tomorrow for making you put on sunscreen this morning."
"Yeah, yeah," she mutters.
"You've been sleeping a lot," he says, more serious this time. "Are you ok? You're not getting sick, are you?"
"I'm fine," she says. "It's just post-college sleep catch up. It happens a lot, though usually people put it off until they're in their forties because they straight into work. You wouldn't know, of course, being an actor and all."
"Haha," he says. "You know, actors fall asleep anywhere. It's what happens when you have to get up at five in the morning."
"Yes, your life is so hard, having to run away from CGI werewolves."
"I'm glad you understand my pain." She rolls her eyes, before returning her gaze to the dashboard, where she now notices a bobble head figure of Elvis with a guitar now sits.
"You're kidding," she says. "We stop off once, for lunch, for an hour, and you go off and buy that piece of crap?"
"Hey, this place is my home," he replies. "It's my right to decorate it."
"But it's appalling," she says.
"Fine," Beck says. "Tomorrow, we will stop off some place, and you can find some decorations, if you're so sure you can do better than me.
"One of your fish could do better than you," she says. "But fine." He shakes her head at her, smiling to himself, and drives until they find an RV car park to pull into, though they deliberately park in the driveway to get out of paying the fee. Later, Tori takes bread and cheese and cooks them toasted sandwiches for dinner.
When it's time to go to bed, Jade doesn't even bother to climb into her own bunk, just slides in next to Beck and opens the curtains slightly, so that they wake up to the morning light, just like how they used to in the old RV.
The next day, Tori takes a turn at driving (which makes for a much bumpier and slower ride than usual, but she doesn't feel the need to mention it now that Beck's finally figured out how to work the coffee machine).
Somewhere between Oakland and Portland, they find a small town with a coffee shop, a bakery, and a small, second-hand shop. They all spend at least an hour and a half in there, finding new things to adorn the new RV with, while Beck goes and fills up the gas and food supply. When they come back, bags filled, he smiles and gestures for them to get in, explaining that,
"We should try and get a bit closer to Portland before we all let our inner designers out and get too excited to continue. Also there's not enough room in the fridge for the chocolate I bought, so really, we should eat that before it melts."
"There is so enough room," Jade challenges.
"Yes, but I want chocolate now," he replies, before jumping into the RV. She follows with an eye roll.
They drive until dusk, where they pull over at a camping site. There, Beck gives them permission to decorate his RV as much as they want while he makes crêpes (she doesn't know where the stereotype that road trips were for self-discovery came from; all she's discovered is that no one knows how to cook anything but breakfast). By the end of it, the RV has just as many signs, if not more, than his old one did, with added comic book prints, courtesy of André. There are also solar-powered lights above the windows, the panels placed slightly in front of the windows where they'll get the most sun, while beads hang down from his wall to help with his "gypsy lifestyle", as Tori put it.
"It almost looks like Christmas time," he says when they're finished. "Which is a pity, because that's six months away."
"It looks fine," Tori says, elbowing him. "Come on, lets eat."
They go outside to watch the stars come out, before someone suggests that they sing American Pie. All six verses of it. Which is possibly the worst idea Jade has ever heard in her entire place, so she rightly refuses, which means she has to put up with them singing extremely loudly, and badly, for eight minutes. And if she's laughing by the end of it, it's because of how terrible they sound, not anything else.
Or at least, that's what she tells herself when she finds herself smiling as she falls asleep.
It's the sound of the engine starting that wakes her up. She looks around, surprised to find the room still bathed in darkness, the only light coming from the headlights shining on the road. She turns around to find the other side of the bed empty. Getting up, she throws on one of Beck's long-sleeved shirts and walks to the front of the RV, sitting down in the passenger seat. Beck turns to her quickly, surprise evident on his face, before it turns sheepish.
"Sorry," he says quietly. "I didn't mean to wake you."
"It's fine," she replies. "But why are you up so early?"
"I couldn't sleep," he says simply, shrugging. "Or, I fell asleep for about five minutes before waking up. I thought I may as well put my insomnia to good use. If we get closer to Portland, then we may even make Seattle by tomorrow."
"Or you could kill us in all in a car crash due to your exhaustion," she pronounces.
"Jade West, always the optimist," Beck smiles. They both turn to look at the road, the outlines of trees and the illuminated road the only scenery available. She sneaks a look at Beck, his face emotionless except for a slight tug at the edge of his mouth.
"It's lonelier at night," she says suddenly.
"Depends," he says after a pause. "Some people find comfort in the idea of a small world. Sure, you can't see anything, but that also means you don't have to comprehend everything you see, and how big the world is."
"We should have more conversations at two in the morning. We'd put that "all actors are dumb" rumour to rest." She gets a half smile in return. "But what about all the things that hide in the dark? Aren't they as scary as the big world?"
"It's easier to suspend disbelief in a small, contained world," Beck answers. She huffs and folds her arms.
"You're such an actor."
They don't talk again, but the silence isn't uncomfortable, more tired than anything. Eventually, Jade presses her forehead to the window and closes her eyes, imagining the sky turning lighter with each turn they make. A minute later, she hears the engine cut out and opens her eyes the sun rising up over the sea. Blearily, she turns to look at Beck, only to find his gaze already on her, his mouth open but no words coming out.
"I've missed waking up to your face," he says finally. Her eyes flicker from his to the ground, before turning back to look at the sunrise once again. Afterwards, he takes her hand and leads her back to bed, then kisses her on the forehead before they both go back to sleep.
When she wakes up, they're still holding hands. She turns over so her head is resting on Beck's chest. He doesn't turn to look at her, just continues looking out the window at passing sky. She can feel herself about to fall asleep again when André suddenly calls out,
"Morning, sleepyheads!" He grins at them from behind the driver's wheel. Tori's next to him, a road directory in hand, though it's practically upside down.
"Hey Beck, now that you're up, do you think you could help me read this thing?" she asks.
"You can't read a map?" he says, finally looking away from the window.
"I can," she says defensively. "I just prefer GPS's. And, come on, how old is this thing?"
"It came with the RV," he replies.
"So it's probably, what, seventy years old?"
"Good job we're not in Russia then," Jade says, finally getting up and walking over to the fridge. "What's for breakfast?"
"Coffee," Beck answers. "By the way, where are we?"
"Somewhere just out of Portland," André responds. "Or still in Portland, I don't know dude. Get a GPS." Beck sighs and runs a hand through his already messy hair, before walking over and snatching the road directory from Tori.
"Ok, so turn left here."
They reach Seattle in the afternoon and agree to meet Cat and Robbie in a coffee shop not too far away from where Tori and André are planning to stay ("Beck, I love your RV, but I really need a bath."). They've only just ordered coffee when they hear a high pitched "hiiiii", and Tori and Cat are hugging, before she goes to hug the rest of their party.
"Hey, how are you?" Tori says.
"I'm great! How are you guys? Did you really drive up here without a GPS?" Cat says, turning to Beck.
"Where's Robbie?" Beck asks, ignoring Cat's question.
"Oh, he's in Boston," she answers. "Did you see him while you were driving?"
"I – no, he's on a different coast," Beck replies. "Why is he in Boston?"
"Oh, his boss said there was something really important he had to go and report on. Something about pigs on planes or something. He should be back tomorrow," says Cat.
"Ok then," he says. "Should we sit down then?"
They talk about Cat's job at the bakery and Robbie's journalism and André's music and Tori's singing and Beck's acting and Jade's studying, and somehow they manage to get onto their time at Hollywood Arts, and by the end of it Jade feels heavy with memories and forgotten dreams and the cakes Cat baked just for them.
Eventually, they bid their farewells and promise to meet again tomorrow, when Robbie's back. Tori and André go to check into their hotel, while Cat goes back to her apartment, and Jade and Beck are left standing outside their RV.
"What do you want to do?" asks Beck. "It's only five, and seeing as I barely had to drive today I'm not even remotely tired."
"Let's explore," Jade suggests. "We've got nothing better to do."
They drive until they're away from the noise of the city and the cars are fewer and further between, and they've replaced skyscrapers for suburban homes. They too start to become scarcer as they push on.
"You know," starts Beck. "If we'd checked into a hotel, we would be worrying about transport and how we were going to get back at a reasonable hour. With this, we don't have a problem."
"I guess," Jade admits, though she can't help but smile slightly. "Where are we?"
"I don't know," he says. "And I don't really care yet, either."
"You'll care when we're lost and starve to death," she argues.
"Nope, we'll find some form of civilisation who will give us food, and then we will continue driving," he says. "It'll be fun. We'll just keep going and going. We could even drive to Canada."
"Except we'd run out of money for food and gas. You know essential items like that. I mean, what money are you using to pay for it now?
"There was some money left over when I sold the old RV. When that runs out, I can just take some money out of the bank."
"But that will r –"
"Why do you have to always overcomplicate things?" Beck says suddenly.
"Well, we weren't exactly having a serious discussion, were we?" says Jade.
"It's not like I'd be able to have a discussion with you, anyway. You always overreact and overcomplicate it," he bites back.
"What, you mean like how you didn't even discuss selling your old RV with me?" she says. "Pull over."
"Why?" Beck asks, though he does so anyway. She gets out and starts to walk away without replying; doesn't stop when she hears Beck groan and cut the engine, or when he hears his footsteps behind her, and certainly doesn't look back.
"So what, are you running away again?" he asks her.
"I can't exactly do that with you following me," she says, folding her arms over her chest. He doesn't speak again, just followers her, no doubt with his hands angrily stuffed in his pockets and his jaw set. She walks until her feet are numb and the sky is turning from pink to purple. It isn't until she reaches a campsite with a large RV that she stops, momentarily confused before realising it's a different one from hers and Beck's. Out of curiosity, she looks past it to see someone absentmindedly strumming on a guitar, while someone sews next to them. Just as she's about to leave, she glance at her. She mumbles a quick sorry before turning around and nearly colliding into Beck.
"Gadzo," the woman calls, coming closer to both of them.
"Oh, sorry, we didn't mean to – we're lost," Beck says, rubbing at the back of his neck.
"It's perfectly fine," she replies. "I was just wondering if, while you're here, you want your fortune told. You never know what's in store."
"No, we're fin –"
"Sure," Jade says. "How much?"
"Isn't that a little high?" Beck asks.
"I don't care," Jade replies. "Give me twenty dollars." He glares at her for a second, before reaching into his pocket for his wallet and handing her the money.
"Awesome," Jade says after handing her the money. "Please, lead the way." The woman smiles before turning around, her long skirt twirling as she does so, and leads Jade to the RV. Inside, it smells strongly of incense, and its interior is similar to that of Beck's, the walls ornamented with beads and pictures. The woman gestures for Jade to take a sit at one of the booths, while she sits down across from her.
"May I ask for your name?" she asks while unfolding a scarf to reveal a deck of cards. "And, also, have you ever had your fortune read before?"
"Jade, and no."
"Lovely, I'm Gloria. Nice to meet you, Jade. And, because it's your first time, I'll choose for you. We shall do the cross and triangle spread; it's helpful for understanding complex situations. Are you in a complex situation?"
"I suppose so," she answers, pursing her lips. Gloria nods, and continues to shuffle the cards.
"What brings you here?"
"We're on a road trip," Jade says.
"You're not as young as many of the other people I read for," replies Gloria. "Hopefully your fortune will be more interesting. Ok, here are your nine cards." She takes one from the deck, and places it in the centre of the table.
"This first card represents the prime energy in your life. And it's the Ten of Swords, meaning calamity."
"Don't give up after the first card; you never know how things may change." She takes a second card from the pile and places it above the first one. "This describes your spirit and process of thought, and the Ace of Staves, represents creativity. It encourages experiment, and often means that you will find success in a new undertaking. See, things are looking up already." She takes another card, and places it to the right of the one in the centre.
"However," she says after looking at the card. "It appears that your motivations are misguided."
"Blame my dad."
"This next one explains your emotions, mediations, and the influence of love. And I believe that your man is quite pragmatic – should be good at finding wealth. And he's a strong family man, too."
"That doesn't tell me about my emotions," Jade replies, leaning back in her chair with her arms crossed.
"I have yet to find a more powerful influence then love. After all, what emotion doesn't it touch?" Gloria says. She places another card on the table. "You have a fear of failure and a fear of success. And, one of your opposing forces is frankness, innocence, and confrontations."
"I'm not innocent," says Jade.
"I think, perhaps, a better word to describe it in this face would be naivety," she says. She places two cards on the table. "Ah, a reversed Queen of Cups. You are quite the drama queen. You also have many shifting emotions. But," she says, looking at the second card, "you really just want to impress people."
"I am extremely impressive."
"The final card," Gloria says, interrupting Jade, "represents the final outcome. The World: completion, fulfilment, perfection, and success."
"Seriously?" Jade asks, raising her eyebrows. "That's the outcome, even with my mood swings and misguided motivations?"
"Some people are just lucky," answers Gloria. "But that doesn't mean that luck isn't deserved. I hope you enjoyed having your fortune read." She gets up from her seat and gestures to the door. When she walks out, she sees Beck standing around awkwardly, hands still in pockets, though his face has softened slightly.
"Thank you," she tells Gloria, before walking towards him. He falls into step with her quickly, though they keep their distance. It's a long, silent walk back to their RV , only broken once by Beck's almost whispered apology.
When they get back, Jade climbs straight into her bed. She hears Beck sigh before he gets into his own. She thinks that it may just be wishful thinking that tells her that he didn't sleep that night any more than she did.
It's not like one of their usual fights. There's no yelling or walking out and coming back two hours later to apologise. Instead, it just hangs between them; infuses it into their silences and their looks. They go and see Robbie when he comes back, and despite their efforts, they know that everyone else knows they're fighting.
They spend three more days in Seattle, distancing themselves with each other. Jade goes with Cat and Tori to go shopping while Beck goes with André and Robbie to go site seeing. They swap the next day. Tori and André decide to spend some more time with Cat and Robbie, particularly after Robbie tells his boss that André works in the music industry, which means that the first day going back home is spent in utter silence, the only glances between them made when they go to relieve the other of driving for a couple of hours.
"Enough," Beck says finally, pulling the car over to come and sit across from Jade. "I shouldn't have snapped at you like that, and I'm sorry. I just…"
"Yes?" Jade says.
"I don't know," he says, running a hand through his hair. "I guess I was just stressed and tired. We'd been driving for days, and André and Tori were great but it's still hard being with people in small spaces."
"And? Because that is a bunch of crap." He sighs and breaks his gaze away, before groaning loudly. "I know emotion isn't your thing but –"
"I want you to be happy," he says finally. "And, preferably, with me. And you were happy with me last time we had," he gestures to the space around them, "this."
"You tried to create what I liked when I was seventeen?" she asks.
"Well, you didn't like the last one," he mutters.
"No, you're right, I didn't like the last apartment because it was cold, damp, and we couldn't afford anything. We literally slept on a mattress on the floor. So, yes, I left, but I didn't leave you," she says. He looks up at her, not smiling, but his eyes are brighter than they have been for days.
"You could do better, you know," he says. "I know you're scared but –"
"So could you," she says.
"You didn't choose me because I'm safe, did you?"
"I'm not that sentimental or that sappy," she says. "Unlike you." Despite herself, she feels herself relax and breathe easier when she sees a small smile on her face.
She sleeps in his bed again that night. They don't touch, not really, but she notices that the circles under their eyes aren't as dark as they were the next morning.
Things get better as they get closer to L.A. They sit with each other when they drive, talk to each other, and have unspoken competitions as to who can make the other laugh the most. It's still uneasy, but it's better.
They arrive in L.A. late at night, the bright lights of the city welcoming them home. Everything's fine until Beck gets to the intersection that leads either to Jade's house or Beck's. After a pause, Beck gets up and walks over to his backpack, rummaging around inside for a second as Jade watches on in silent confusion. Eventually, he turns to her and asks,
"Do you love me?"
"I suppose," she says, tilting her head. "Have you stopped being an idiot?"
"No," he answers truthfully. "I love you, you do know that. Right?"
"Yes," she says, feeling her face flush. "Once again, I chose you. Not over my career, not because you're safe, not because I'm going to steal all your money when you become a famous actor. I chose you to be in my life because I want you to be. Which I guess is because I probably love you."
"Marry me," he says simply.
"I bought it last month," he says, opening up his hand to reveal a ring, still in its box. "But I-I've been thinking about it for ages, I guess." He's barely finished before Jade's grabbed him by the front of his shirt and has pressed her lips against his.
"Yes," she says. He grins against her mouth. "But you should probably move the RV before we get hit by a truck." He kisses her forehead as she breaks away, before returning behind the wheel, making a blind turn and not caring about which house he ends up at.
"You know," he says, smiling at the image of Jade putting the ring on his rear view mirror. "When you got your fortune told, the guy there told me that my lucky numbers were six and 14?"
"Well," she says. "I guess that's a pretty good date to ask your girlfriend to marry you on."
"Say it again," he says, still grinning.
Final Note: While some people say it's all right to use the word gypsy, other people see it as an awful slur, the correct term being "Roma" or "Romany". I used the word gypsy as a literary licence, but I apologise if I've offended anyone. Also, the word "gadzo" refers to a non-Roma person, though I'm not sure how reliable the source is, particularly as many different Romani people use different languages.