Disclaimer: Victorious and all related characters do not belong to me.
Summary: Alternate reality. Just because Beck Oliver has a head full of hair and all of his teeth doesn't mean he's every girl's ultimate dreamboat, right? Or maybe it's just that being a princess (even if it is of the Underworld) meant that Jade has a higher dating standard than most. A sequel to Saving Sikowitz.
AN: Those of you who follow me on Tumblr would be familiar with this fic. For Bria (boughtthedream) and Lari (tsttoain) to whom I promised to update by June 20. Whether it's June 20 this year or June 20 next year is still up in the air. Lol.
The Curious Case of Beckley Oliver
Most students enrolled at Hollywood Arts would agree that Beck Oliver led a charmed life.
For one thing, he was one of the most (if not the most) good-looking guy in school. He had a head full of fabulous hair, his body was akin to a Greek statuette, and he still had all his teeth. This had led to the admiration of his friends and schoolmates.
He was also head and shoulders above his peers when it came to academics. He was a whiz in hand-to-hand combat, a natural in stealth and camouflage, and he hadn't held a weapon that he couldn't use yet. This earned him the respect of his teachers.
Yes, because of these things, most people would think that Beck Oliver was one lucky dude.
Those people, however, had no idea of the pain behind Beck Oliver's winsome smile.
Not everybody knew that Beck Oliver was an orphan, for one thing. In fact, he had never known his parents at all. He was told that fifteen years ago, Guardian Eikner, the former principal of Hollywood Arts, found a boy on the front stoop of the school dorm. The little boy could not answer questions about who his parents were, but he knew how he got there (he walked because someone was calling him), his name (Beckley Oliver) and his age (three). Guardian Eikner immediately knew that Beck was not an ordinary mortal as no mere human would be able to locate the school dormitory, much less approach its stoop. The toddler was immediately housed in the school dorm, fawned over by the faculty and enrolled in Hollywood Arts pre-school as soon as possible, where he was taught everything he needed to know about being non-human. Perhaps it was this early start that enabled him to excel in all the subjects offered at the special school.
Years later, Beck haven't discovered what made him special that earned him a special slot in the prestigious Hollywood Arts. Unlike the weres and the shifters, he did not change shape. Unlike the vamps, he did not have super strength or infrangible fangs. Neither did he have special skills such as super speed, sonic voice, laser beams, invisibility, or psychical abilities.
He was just plain (or as plain as someone as attractive as he is could be), old (he wasn't that old) Beckley Oliver. That is, until he saved a classmate from a rampaging beast.
Five years ago, a visiting lecturer brought with him a Minotaur. When lunchtime rolled around, the enraged Minotaur escaped his prison and started rampaging through the school cafeteria. The teachers were able to drive away the Minotaur but not capture it. Unfortunately, it escaped to the nearby Hollywood Arts pre-school, straight into the path of a four-year old werewolf. Beck saw the child in danger, wrapped his body around the kid and used himself as a human shield. The deadly horns of the Minotaur went through Beck's chest, causing a mortal would. He, however, spent one night at the infirmary (in the caring arms of the gorgeous nurse) and he was good as new in the morning. No one could explain what had happened. It did gain Beck the reputation of being an immortal hero. The immortal theory was tested a couple more times thereafter: once during gym when a stray laser beam hit him, and then again when a large horde of zombies attacked their school.
Despite the negatives in his life, Beck Oliver chose to dwell on the positives. That was why he could smile genuinely even when his identity was shrouded in secret.
One such positive had just arrived at Hollywood Arts, and she inevitably brought a huge smile on Beck's face. If there was one thing that brought him happiness these days, it was his pursuit of the Princess of the Underworld.
An inexplicable chill and the yawning of a small portal to the Underworld accompanied the arrival of Jade, heir apparent to the throne of her father, Hades. It was enough to strike fear in the heart of the bravest student (except for Beck, who claimed that he feared nothing).
"Jade!" Beck called out as he walked over to the newcomer.
Jade groaned. "What?"
"I brought you coffee," he said.
"Gimme that!" Jade tried to grab the coffee, but Beck held it just beyond her reach.
It amused Beck to no end that Jade still didn't know where to get her own coffee, having sworn the student populace to secrecy (it was one those times that he was genuinely grateful that he was well-liked).
"Magic words?" Beck grinned at her even as he struggled with her for the possession of the coffee tumbler.
"Gimme the coffee."
"Not even close."
Jade groaned loudly before saying, "Please give me the coffee. Thank you."
It had almost been a month since Jade had entered Hollywood Arts. During that time, it had become tradition for Beck to bring coffee for her. It was obvious that the popular Beck Oliver was smitten (well, maybe not literally) with the goddess.
Not that people could blame Beck, especially during Jade's first couple of days in attendance.
Jade West was born and raised in the Underworld, venturing Above World rarely. When she began school (at the insistence of her father, who claimed that she needed something to do with her time aside from threatening him with a hostile takeover of the Underworld once is a while), she wore what she always did: a long, white flowing gown that molded to her body scandalously but left her arms bare, cinched at the waist by a rope woven with gold. When she walked, her long, pale legs played peek-a-boo between the drapey fabric. On top of her head, she wore a crown of dark flowers the Above World had never seen. She was all goddess, and most students, not prepared to be in the presence of a god, stopped in their tracks to just drink in her presence, causing a disruption in the halls of Hollywood Arts.
Annoyed at the disruption in her formerly harmonious halls, Guardian Helen asked the siren Tori Vega and the unicorn Cat Valentine, two of the few students who were not awed or cowed by the princess, to buy Jade school-appropriate clothing and tutor her in pop culture.
It worked. (Sort of.)
Jade discovered the joys of lacy tops, short skirts, the color black, and combat boots. Boy, did she love the combat boots (she would wear them literally with anything—even her pretty white gown). To Tori's relief, while Jade was clueless on how the Above World worked, Jade's father was not. One of the first things Hades gave her daughter before she ventured out of the Underworld was a golden AmEx.
Another thing Jade found in the Above World was the wonderful world of scissors. Cat apparently decided that Jade's long, thick hair that reached the backs of her thighs was overdue for a haircut. Cat dragged her to a salon. After glaring the poor hairdresser into an almost heart attack for daring to touch her with his peasant hands (and tons of explanation and begging from Cat and Tori), Jade allowed her hair to be shampooed and conditioned. When the hairdresser brought out a pair of scissors, Jade fell in love with the shiny metal and its sharp edges. Later, she didn't even care about her hair (or the peasant hands that were touching it), she just wanted the hairdresser to continue the snip-snip-snipping sounds he was making. Hours later, with her long hair tamed into perfect curls that framed her face, Jade demanded where she could get the scissors and bought all the different kinds she found. (Wouldn't the Lord of the Underworld be surprised when he gets the bill for a hundred bucks worth of scissors?)
"Hold out your wrist."
Beck was brought out to reality by the imperious command, but hastened to obey (because not even him dared disobey the Underworld's next ruler).
With one hand curled protectively around her coffee, Jade snatched Beck's proffered wrist before dragging him to their first class, her combat boots thumping heavily on the floor.
Beckley Oliver internally celebrated. The princess had just voluntarily touched him, which proved his theory that he was beginning to grow on her.
"Defend thyself!" A tall, muscle-bound man with wavy brown hair on top of his head shouted the moment Beck and Jade entered the classroom.
As the man rushed to attack Beck and Jade, he became taller, his muscles further enlarging to keep up with his increasing height.
Surprised, Beck's initial reaction was to push Jade out of danger. She, however, was not having anything of it.
"You dare attack the next ruler of the Underworld?" Jade snarled. Immediately, the temperature in the room dropped. Light seeped out, plunging the room into darkness as a portal opened on the ground between Jade and her attacker.
The few students who were already in the room ran and ducked for cover, unwilling to be sucked in the fight (and into the portal).
"Jade, no!" Beck was aghast when he realized who the other man was.
The man noticed the yawning portal, but he wasn't able to stop in time, inertia carrying him forward and down the hole. The blood-curling scream that accompanied his fall made Beck's hair stand up on end.
As soon as the portal had consumed its victim, it closed after itself. Jade ran her hand through her hair casually, as if nothing of import had just happened.
"What is going on here?" A shocked, authoritative voice demanded. It was Liam, their teacher in self-defense class, sound of the scream luring him to check on his classroom. Behind him were his other students who refused to enter the room after hearing mysterious noises coming from inside (one of the first things one learned at Hollywood Arts was to be wary of strange noises).
Jade shrugged as she made her way to the rows of chairs and took a seat.
"Where is Russ?" Liam demanded as he strode into the middle of the room, some of the braver students trailing after him. The students who ran for cover slowly emerged from where they were hiding.
Beck shrugged as he made his way to the seat beside Jade's. "I'm guessing he's just earned himself a direct flight to the Underworld."
"What? Why?" Liam demanded.
No one dared reply, but most of the students who saw what had happened turned to look expectantly at Jade.
Liam saw this and turned to the girl. "Did you send Russ to the Underworld?"
"Who's Russ?" Jade asked dispassionately, as if she had not just sent a man to his doom.
"Russ is a guest lecturer I invited today for a live demonstration on self-defense." Liam explained, his panic rising.
"I don't know who you're talking about." Jade denied.
"Russ is the man who attacked you." Beck told Jade.
"His name is Russ?" Jade wrinkled her nose in a manner Beck found adorable. "He looked more like a Steve to me."
"That's what I said!" The werewolf Andre piped in, having just entered the room, clueless with regard to the events that transpired before his arrival.
"Focus!" Liam boomed. "Is Russ in the Underworld?" He asked Jade.
"He is." Jade confirmed. "It is a punishment befitting his crime of trying to attack me."
"He's probably just demonstrating something regarding our class," Beck nudged Jade playfully. "You know, for self-defense?"
Jade just rolled her eyes, which again, Beck considered as progress, as days ago, she would have shouted at the top of her lungs that peasant hands have no business touching the future ruler of the Underworld without permission.
"I should call Guardian Lane." Liam muttered to himself. "Or Guardian Helen. Yes, Guardian Helen would be better. She could get him back."
"Why would we need him back?" Jade demanded.
"Because he was not attacking you," Beck told her patiently. "And we need him for class."
Jade sighed exasperatedly before she surprised the entire class by shouting, "Sinjin!"
It was their only warning before a weird-looking boy appeared suddenly (and without fanfare) in their midst. He was reed-thin and just as tall, with equally gangly limbs. His head was topped with a riotous tuft of curly blond hair. He was wearing a loud, orange-colored Hawaiian shirt paired with skinny jeans and leather loafers. Perhaps the thing that most stood out most about him was his big, blue eyes, framed by big, horn-rimmed, coke bottle glasses perched on his long, thin nose.
The boy named Sinjin bowed respectfully at Jade before asking, "Yes, my dark princess?"
"I bid you to retrieve a man named Russ from the Underworld." Jade commanded.
"How would I know this Russ?" Sinjin asked.
"He looks like a Steve," Andre called out.
"He wears a black sweatband with the name Russ stitched in gold thread on his head," Beck volunteered.
"He'll feel threatened at the Underworld, so he'll probably attack you if you call him," was Liam's contribution.
"Princess?" Sinjin looked at Jade expectantly.
Jade waved her hand impatiently. "Just go!"
Sinjin jumped. "Yes, my precious. Right away, my queen. I'm going, my sweet." He disappeared in a blink of an eye.
"Maybe you should send someone stronger than your Sinjin." Liam said doubtfully. "I don't think Russ would voluntarily go with him and he doesn't look strong enough to force him."
Icy blue eyes focused on the teacher and the latter felt as if invisible hands reached out and pinned him to the wall.
"Never mind." Liam gulped. "While we're waiting for Russ, I guess we should pick up on where we left off last Thursday."
"He's coming back," Jade interrupted.
Seconds later, a roaring eight-foot tall Russ appeared in front of the classroom, violently struggling, trying to dislodge Sinjin, who was holding on to his back like a deranged monkey. "Get off me!" Russ cried out, jerking his left leg violently. It was then that the class noticed that another Sinjin was clinging to his leg. A third Sinjin appeared beside Jade.
"Russ!" Liam immediately ran to the struggling Russ. "Calm down, he's trying to help."
"You can go now." Jade told the third Sinjin.
Beck nudged Jade. "Aren't you going to thank him for the great job he's done?"
"I don't need to be thanked for doing my job." Sinjin said earnestly, pushing his glasses back up his nose.
"But still, even if it's your job," Beck tried to argue. "It's only polite to say thank you."
"You'll hound me the rest of the day if I refuse, won't you?" Jade groaned. "Fine! Thank you, Sinjin. Now get lost before Oliver here gets it in his head that I have to give you a boon, too."
"I get to get a boon?"
Sinjin squealed and disappeared, taking with him the two Sinjins struggling with Russ.
Russ calmed down when his attackers disappeared. There was a moment of uncomfortable silence while he processed where he was. When he realized that he was in the classroom filled with students, he casually dusted off his hands and declared, "And that's how you get rid of assailants."
"Do tell," Jade snorted.
"Aaah!" Russ screamed. "Who is that chick?"
Jade's eyes darkened.
"Oh, no," Beck muttered. "Not again."
"Did you just call me a chicken's young?"
Once again, a portal to the Underworld opened.
"What are they saying?"
"Will everyone please hush?" Robbie said irritably. "My hearsay perception device cannot work properly when there is many outside interference."
"Hearsay perception device?" Andre repeated incredulously. "Robbie, you do know that you're just holding an empty glass against the door, don't you?"
True enough, Robbie Shapiro, vampire-enhanced super hearing notwithstanding, was on his knees, his right ear pressed against a drinking glass placed against Guardian Helen's closed door.
"It is not a drinking glass!" Robbie said defensively. "This high-tech gadget, which I bought it from the internet, is made up of a hard, brittle transparent substance that is cylindrical in shape. It is made for this very purpose but may double as a vessel of liquid."
"So a drinking glass?" Tori asked.
"Will you just hush?" Robbie snapped.
"So what are they saying?" Cat asked again, her voice lowered accordingly.
"Guardian Helen is telling Jade that she can't open portals in the school anymore, especially during classes, and most especially she cannot send visiting lecturers to the Underworld whenever they displease her." Robbie repeated. "Hades took exception to that."
Beck, Tori and Andre, who had met Jade's father in a previous encounter, winced simultaneously.
"Why?" Cat asked.
"Hades said that opening portals is Jade's gift and defense mechanism. If she's forbidden to open a portal, then how can she defend herself? How can she even go to school without opening a portal from the Underworld."
"But I see the wisdom in forbidding her in opening portals, at least in school premises." Tori pointed out.
"Hades went on a rage about how if Jade is unprotected in this school, then she's an easy target for everyone who wanted to usurp his throne." Robbie continued, concentrating on the barely audible noises from inside the office.
"Of course he's more concerned about his kingdom rather than his daughter," Beck muttered, at the same time Cat asked, "What does that mean?"
"Well, gods are throwbacks, choosing to cling on their tradition instead of moving on with the times," Tori told her, having done her research upon learning of her Siren heritage (which made an awesome love story despite the spin Jade had placed on it). "Apparently, gods have not heard of marriage proposals. When they want a wife, they just take a woman, with or without her approval."
"That's barbaric." Andre muttered.
"Yeah, so I guess that means that if a god wants to rule the Underworld, he could just kidnap Jade and marry her and then overthrow Hades." Tori finished.
"Because Jade is the princess of the Underworld." Cat nodded in approval. "Even if she refused to wear the tiara I made her."
"Shh, Guardian Helen's speaking again." Robbie said. "She said that she'll be placing all the protection Hollywood Arts could offer in order to keep Jade safe. Jade laughed and said that Hollywood Art's defense system is archaic and anyone with half a brain could infiltrate its perimeters, like when Sikowitz was kidnapped."
"She has a point." Andre agreed.
"Now Hades is talking." Robbie continued. "He said that what Jade needs is a hero; someone who would protect her from abductors. Jade said that, wait, Beck! Beck, what are you doing?"
Beck had pulled back Robbie from his position and forced the door to Guardian Helen's office open.
"Beck!" Guardian Helen frowned. "And Beck's friends. What is the meaning of this?"
She was, however, ignored by Beck, who stared steadily at the eyes of the Underworld's Lord. "Me." Beck told him. "I volunteer. I'll be Jade's hero."
"You?" Jade's eyes were wide in disbelief as she stood up from her seat.
"Yeah, him!" Cat chirped. She had no idea what was going on, but she knew Beck was a hero through and through.
Hades, who again took on the form of a distinguished-looking businessman, looked at Beck in consideration. "Are you affiliated with any of the gods of Olympus or any major supernatural group whose goal is world domination?"
"No, sir." Beck replied.
"How are you with weaponry and hand-to-hand combat?" Hades asked.
"Top of his class," Guardian Helen said proudly.
"Do you think that through my daughter, you would be able to take over the Underworld?"
"He's just in high school, sir." Andre bravely offered. "I don't think he's thinking at all with this volunteering to be a hero business."
"Perfect." Hades grinned, his smile making everyone's (save his daughter's) hair stand on end. "You're hired."
"What?" Jade exploded. "He's not a hero! I don't know what exactly he is, but—"
"There is a human saying that heroes are not born," with a flick of Hades' finger, Jade was forced back to her seat. "They are made. And I promise you, daughter, once I'm done with this one, the world will behold a hero parallel to none."
Beck's eyes widened at the statement, but it was too late to back out now (not that he wanted to back out).
"That's stupid!" Jade declared, but she made no move to stand up. "I can take care of myself."
"At the Underworld, maybe, but not here." Hades told her, unperturbed. "The Above World is not our territory, daughter. Fact is, you need a hero, and who better than your little boyfriend?"
"I don't need a hero," Jade snapped at her father. "I have Sinjin!"
"So, does that mean I'm your little boyfriend?" Beck asked with a goofy smile on his face, Hades' comment on making him a hero forgotten. He was, however, ignored.
"Sinjin is not a hero, he's a minion!" Suddenly, the earth started shaking as Hades lost his grip on his temper. Everything inside Guardian Helen's room, the table, the chairs, the shelves and everything on it started vibrating.
"A very powerful minion who's loyal only to me!" Jade snapped just as Guardian Helen's coffee mug exploded.
"Uh, maybe we should continue this discussion for later," Guardian Helen suggested firmly. "When everybody's gotten hold of their tempers."
All of a sudden, the vibrating stopped.
"No, we are finishing this discussion here and now." Hades took a deep breath before smiling at Guardian Helen. He placed a heavy hand on Jade's shoulder. "Despite what anyone may think, I am still the Lord of the Underworld, along with everything and everyone in it, including my wayward daughter. As long as I am Lord, what I say goes, and I say my daughter needs a hero." He turned to Beck. "And you, young man, are perfect for the job. Your little band of friends can even help you."
TO BE CONTINUED
P.S. Yes. Reviews would make me write faster than a speeding bullet. Lol.