Disclaimer: Victorious and all related characters do not belong to me.
Summary: A grand gesture from Beck to show Jade how much he still loves her is interrupted by a man from Jade's past. For Bade Prompts' One Blanket Fic Challenge.
Continuity: Future Fic
Beck Oliver did a lot of stupid, asinine, ridiculous things in his twenty five-year short, eventful life.
There was one time in feeferdoon when he climbed up the big kids slide in the playground during recess and jumped down, thinking that his new Superman cape would enable him to fly.
And there was his high school graduation where, instead of exiting stage left after receiving his diploma, he stopped in the middle of the stage, knelt down and proposed like an idiot to his girlfriend.
Then there was their road trip to Vegas when, giddy at the fact that he was cast in a minor role in a television show, he impulsively dragged his fiance to one of those Elvis chapels to get married.
Then, there was today.
Beck carefully placed one foot ahead of the other and resolutely refused to look down. He was, after all, forty floors up, and a single misstep would mean a long, scary fall to his doom.
A feat such as walking on the ledge of a highrise condominium complex was no easy feat on its own, but it was made much more complicated by the snow that was falling harder and harder each minute. That and the fact that Beck Oliver, before embarking on this adventure to win back the heart of his ladylove, had taken a shot (or ten) of liquid courage.
Finally, after a few nearly fatal slips, he reached his destination: a window.
There should have been one window, not two.
Beck squinted and, to his relief, the two windows merged to become one.
He can't wait to get warm.
Carefully, Beck knocked against the glass.
The curtain from inside twitched before a suspicious pair of blue eyes peered outside. "What the hell?"
Beck tried to give his most disarming smile.
The windows jerked open and Beck almost lost his footing, if not for the pale hand that reached out and grabbed his arm to pull him (not so gently) inside.
"Have you lost your mind?" Jade West, the owner of Beck's mutilated heart (and the cause of the said mutilation), demanded as she shut the windows to keep the cold out.
"I thought I was being romantic." Beck muttered as he staggered towards the wall to support his weight. It was a short stagger, as the unit was no bigger than a matchbox.
"You were being idiotic." Jade took a deep breath to control her temper but almost gagged at the fumes emanating from her idiotic and suicidal husband. "What did you do before you decided you were SpiderMan, swam in a vat filled with cheap beer?" She said a quick prayer of thanks to Whomever looked after fools and drunks.
"Hurtful," Beck muttered as his legs finally gave out. He gracelessly slid down on the floor.
"What were you thinking?" Jade demanded. She knelt down and unzipped Beck's jacket, which was wet because of the snow. "Just because you're playing a modern day Robin Hood in television doesn't make you one in real life, you know."
"It got me here, didn't it?"
Jade rolled her eyes even as she continued to divest Beck of his clothes.
"I came here to talk," the idiot muttered. "But if you want to do the nasty with me before talking, I can do that, too." Enthusiastic hands tried to assist Jade in the removal of clothing, but they were more hindrance than help.
Jade slapped away Beck's hands before continuing to divest him of his clothes.
Hurt puppy-dog eyes blearily glared at Jade in outrage.
"You're lucky, you know?" Satisfied with her work, Jade leaned away from Beck. "If you fell off the ledge, what am I gonna do?"
"Bet you wouldn't even care." Beck's teeth started chattering from the cold because he was now naked save for his underwear.
Jade opened her mouth to reply, but she was interrupted by someone knocking on the door. She gathered Beck's wet clothes and threw them at the corner of the room. A couple of steps, and she was directly in front of a sad-looking mattress with three thin pillows and an almost see-through blanket. Jade grabbed the blanket and threw it on Beck. "Stay put," she commanded.
"Where do you think I'm gonna go?" Beck grumbled mutinously as he settled the blanket around his shoulders and crawled over to the mattress, the only furniture in the room aside from a small table with its two rickety chairs.
Jade rolled her eyes. Another couple of steps, she was at the door and looking out the peep hole. "What is this? Idiots Visit Jade Day?" She snapped, opening the door.
Immediately, a tall, broad-shouldered man about twice Beck's age entered the room and quickly shut the door.
"Who's he?" Beck demanded. "Why is he here? This is supposed to be our love nest!"
When Beck started speaking, Jade's glare turned from the visitor to Beck. However, when Beck referred to the studio unit as their love nest, Jade's face softened.
"Beck, this is Frank Marshall, my neighbor back in LA. Frank, my husband, Beck."
"Marshall, your guitar-playing, criminal neighbor?" Beck's mouth gaped open.
"I was set up!" Frank cried out.
"Right," Jade said, clearly uninterested. "Why are you here?"
"I need help."
"Well, you should start with quality conditioner and shampoo," Beck eyed the dude's thick, dirty blond hair. "You wouldn't believe the difference they would make."
"What are you talking about?" Frank looked at Beck as if he had grown a second head.
Beck made a vague gesture towards Frank's head before giving up when he was overcome with the chills. "Never mind," he muttered.
Jade was immediately by Beck's side.
"C-c-cold," Beck chattered.
Jade popped up to adjust the thermostat. Just as she was about to press a button, everything went dark.
There was a moment of shocked silence until, "What did you do?"
"Frank?" Jade called out.
"I d-d-don't think it's J-j-jade's fault." Beck offered. "L-l-look out d-d-the window." One great thing about the cold, Beck thought, it was quickly shocking him out of his drunken haze.
Outside, gone were the tall buildings with their twinkling lights. There was also darkness.
Without power, there was no thermostat and the temperature in the room was dropping fast.
"Don't panic!" Came Frank's panicking voice. "Any moment now, the building's generator's gonna kick in."
Jade dropped down and crawled to the general direction of the mattress. She was able to grab on to a block of ice that almost kicked her in the face.
Beck felt Jade's hand wrap around his ankle. Then, there was a rustle of clothing before he found himself with an armful of a warm, voluptuous, almost-naked Jade.
"Any moment now," Frank said brightly. "Lights!"
"Give it up, Marshall." Jade called out. "This isn't that kind of building."
"So no lights?"
"No lights." She confirmed. "So go home and try again tomorrow."
"I'm not going down forty flights of stairs!"
"Why are you here again?" Beck interjected.
"Because he needs an alibi." Jade replied. "He always needs an alibi."
"What did you say you do for a living?" Beck asked suspiciously.
"Uh, I'm a businessman."
"R-rude." Frank told her. "And it's starting to get cold."
"No." Jade told him, already knowing what he was going to ask. "Go home."
"Loan sharks?" Jade hazarded a guess.
"I just need a place to stay, just for the night."
"Please? This will be the last favor I'll ask from you."
"So if the loan sharks find him, he's toast?" Beck asked.
"Pretty much." Jade confirmed.
"He can stay." Beck offered.
"No." Jade groaned.
"Thanks!" Frank's voice was jubilant. "If it's n-n-not s much a bother, c-c-can I borrow a b-b-blanket?"
"We only have one." Jade replied. "I'm not exactly prepared to receive visitors, you know."
"I'm starting to f-f-freeze," Frank said.
Instead of answering, Jade groaned and burrowed her head into Beck's chest.
"Fine." Beck said. His shared warmth and close proximity with his wife was giving him back his natural mellow glow.
A thump, a muffled curse and a few blind gropes later, Frank appeared at Jade's side of the bed.
Both Frank's and Jade's lifted at Beck's short, terse declaration.
"You're not snuggling with Jade." Beck said firmly.
"You do know that if I'm not going to be in the middle of the two of you..." Jade trailed off.
"What?" Beck asked.
"The two of you are gonna have to canoodle." Jade smirked.
"I don't care. He's not gonna canoodle with you." Beck insisted.
Frank crawled his way over to Beck's side of the mattress. Feeling the warmth emanation from the mattress, he quickly slid underneath the small blanket and turned his back on the couple.
An uncomfortable silence descended in the room, which Beck broke minutes with an indignant, "That better be a flashlight poking my back, Marshall!"
"It's my phone!" Frank spluttered. "I'm sorry, I'm just not sleepy."
"Do you guys need a moment alone?" Jade laughed.
"Quit squirming!" Beck snapped at Frank.
"Sorry, I can't get comfortable."
"Pipe down, both of you and go to sleep." Jade told them.
Another moment of silence.
"So," Frank began.
"Marshall, go to sleep," Jade groaned.
"But I'm not sleepy!" He whined. He was silent for a few seconds before he offered, "I just want to know why two of Hollywood's up and coming stars are sleeping in a closet-sized apartment in New York with no furniture or power generators."
Instead of answering, Jade tugged on the blanket and turned to her other side, ignoring Frank.
"Hey!" Frank protested as he tugged the blanket back.
Frank was surprised when Beck answered his question.
"This was our first house." He said simply. "We lived here when we couldn't afford to live anywhere else."
The tiny shoe box was Beck and Jade's starter house, their first home. At that time, Beck had a recurring role in a television drama shot in New York. Jade had followed him to the Big Apple and took writing classes and small acting jobs. Between Beck's intermittent salary and Jade's allowance, the apartment was the best they could afford. During that time, after paying rent, they were almost always broke, but inside that house Beck made his happiest memories with Jade.
"So, why are you here again?" Frank asked. "If I had money like the two of you do, I'd buy a new house and never come back again."
Beck was silent. He and Jade did buy a newer, bigger house in Los Angeles: a house that they were almost never in. Beck was often in New York where his top-rating television series was shot, while Jade jets all over the world shooting movies. They had money coming out of their ears, but the two of them barely see each other. Sometimes, when he was miserably missing Jade, Beck wished that they never left their first home. That was the reason behind Beck he bought the unit (as an investment, he told himself) when he found himself with some extra cash.
"I don't know." Beck admitted. "Jade, why are we back here?"
He was crushed to learn that Jade didn't tell him that she was back from New Zealand where she shot her last movie, but he was filled with hope when Cat had let it slip that Jade went to their home in New York. Maybe Jade missed their happy times together in that tiny place, too.
Just as Beck thought that Jade wouldn't give him an answer, she sighed and turned back to face him.
"It was supposed to be a surprise." She finally stated.
"You know that best-selling book I told you would be perfect for you when it gets turned into a movie?"
"I got the rights to adapt it into a screenplay." Jade said. "I also get a say on who's on board the film."
"Which book are you talking about?" Frank interjected, ruining the couple's moment.
"Shut up, Marshall!" Beck and Jade chorused.
"Fine. Be mean to me." Frank grumbled.
"So all the cloak and dagger and secret meetings and late night phone calls," Beck choked out. "All of those, to surprise me with a script?"
"And you're not planning to leave me?"
"Why would you think I'm leaving you?"
"Because you came home from New Zealand without telling me, and instead of going straight home, you stay somewhere else!"
"Oh. Sorry." Jade said, not sounding sorry at all.
But Beck didn't care. Jade still loved him! She was not leaving him!
"So I climbed the ledge for nothing?" Beck asked, as he finally felt the first tendrils of sleep after his worries were lifted from his tired brain after the worries that weighed him down the past few weeks disappeared.
"Can I talk now?" Frank asked.
"NO!" Beck and Jade chorused.
And they were all silent after that. Beck simply enjoyed being with his wife, a rare treat given their busy schedules. It would have been perfect if was just the two of them, but he'll take what he can get.
Beck must have fallen asleep at some point, because the next thing he knew, the sun was shining on his face, trying to wake him up. He was so warm and comfortable that he refused to move, except to bury his face deeper into Jade's hair.
A flash and the telltale sound of a camera made Beck frowned.
"That one photo may sell for thousands of dollars in the black market later."
It was Jade's voice, but it did not come from beside Beck. Instead, the voice came from somewhere above.
Beck had a bad feeling about that. Slowly, he opened one eye. Then the other.
Beck screamed as he released the person in his arms as if he was burned (he would have fallen off the bed had they been on a bed. Good thing that all they could afford years ago was a thin mattress).
"Good morning honey," Frank Marshall greeted him.
"Jade!" Beck shouted as his wife laughed her way into the bathroom.
Loving Jade West was crazy, insane and confusing; but it was certainly never boring.
P.S. Can you tell at which point in the story I just threw up my arms and gave up? Yeah. Me too. Help me find my writing muse. I need it back.