A/N: I found this story in my archives and thought I should share it. I was too shy back them to even think about posting this up … but I figure I should add to the Shake it Up fanfic archives. Haven't watched the show in ages so this is only based on the old episodes. I'll post the remaining 3 parts once each week so that its spaced out.
Rocky slammed her locker shut with a sigh that afternoon, though it wasn't enough to mask the excited chattering of her classmates in the hallway. Everyone had heard the news yesterday and was eager to share incredulous remarks about it. She just wished they would have stopped by lunch. Of course, that was too much to wish for.
Cece slammed her locker and sighed like Rocky before turning around and leaning on the cold metal beside her. Rocky briefly wondered why she was upset. Sure it had been Cece's fault that Justin Starr's secret had been revealed, but really, it was Justin Starr's fault in the first place. Besides, CeCe Jones always had bigger things to worry about.
"I wish they would just let it go." Rocky groaned, picking herself up from her locker and staggering her way over to the nearest bench. She slumped onto it and put her hands under her chin. Rocky heard Cece sigh before she moved over to sit beside her on the bench, close enough that Rocky could feel her shoulders touch her arms.
"I know … I'm sorry Rocky." Cece told her, shoulders hunching over.
"What?" Rocky gave her a sidelong glance, slightly intrigued. Cece's red hair fell across her face in locks, but she could still see her saddened face. "What do you mean? I should have known he wasn't sixteen years old. I mean, ugh, I can't believe I even liked him." She turned away to look off into the distant crowd of people joking with each other in the hallway. Then she blushed as she remembered the picture had also had her wearing Justin's hat. What a way to add insult to injury.
But then again, she hadn't really liked him that much. She'd just thought he was an amazing singer and dancer. That, and watching Cece's reaction as she went into fangirl mode was fun. Still, though, how could she have never noticed that he wasn't a teenager?
"Yeah, but it was my fault that picture ever got around anyway," Cece sounded regretful and this got Rocky's attention again. "I ruined everything for him." Cece crossed her arms lightly over her knees and Rocky felt the urge to comfort her. She put an arm around the smaller girl's shoulders.
"Hey, it was just a mistake. Besides, the truth would have come out eventually … and he wasn't that unhappy it happened anyway, remember?"
"Yeah …" Cece smiled for a moment and Rocky grinned in return, but then her smile quickly vanished and the other girl shook her head and shrugged out of Rocky's grasp before turning to her, distressed. "No! It's not only that, I told you that you didn't have a chance with him!"
"Er, Cece …I actually didn't have a chance with him."
"Yes but …" she sighed. "Ok, you're right. You didn't have a chance with him."
"Exactly. And it was just an accident that you sent that picture to everyone on your contact list," Rocky said, putting her arm around her shoulder again. This time, Cece twiddled her thumb nervously and avoided her gaze.
"You didn't do it on purpose … did you?" Rocky turned herself so that she was inches from Cece's face and was looking at her directly with a gaze meant to pierce. Cece bit her lip and her gaze wandered slowly to the other direction from Rocky, cheeks blushing. And really, that was all the answer Rocky needed. Shock and confusion dominated her thoughts.
"Cece!" she gasped. Cece looked back at her, worried as Rocky covered her mouth in shock.
"Rocky, I can explain!"
"Explain? You purposely sent an email that could mean the end of someone's career!" Rocky said indignantly. Almost as an afterthought, she added, "and one that had a ridiculous picture of me in it!"
"Rocky, please, I'm really, really sorry," CeCe said, the worry showing in her eyes.
"Why do you keep apologizing to me, CeCe?" Rocky threw her arms in the air, exasperated. "I can't believe you would do something like that on purpose!"
"I – I had a reason!" the redhead bravely puffed out her chest in resolve.
"What reason?" Rocky asked exasperatedly. CeCe blushed and looked down at the space on the bench that was now between them. There was a chip in the wood that she'd just noticed now. They'd been sitting too close together before for her to really see it.
"Promise you won't … freak out?" CeCe asked. Something in her voice made Rocky quiet. She uncrossed her arms, and her expression turned serious.
"Why, what is it?" Rocky's eyes' flickered between each of CeCe's eyes, trying to understand. The other girl took a breath before raising her eyes to look into hers. She opened her mouth, a blush on her cheeks.
"Um … I'll tell you later!" she said with a laugh, and stood up, brushing her shorts and trying to play it off. "Oh is that the bell? Talk to you later Rocky!"
She made it two steps before Rocky grabbed her arm and turned her around to glare at her.
"CeCe, lunch just started, and the bell doesn't ring until after twelve. Start talking." Rocky gave a threatening clench, and CeCe winced up at her.
"W-well, come on Rocky … I was going to tell you now, but it's much better telling you after school you know, now's not really the best time or place –"
"CeCe." Rocky interrupted, still glaring. "You're telling me. What is it?"
CeCe looked like she was about to protest but then gave up. Rocky had her arm in a lock so that even if she wanted, she couldn't put another step between them. As it was, they were uncomfortably close …
"Ok." CeCe sighed, knowing no way out of this. Rocky frowned, then pulled them both back down so that they were sitting down on the bench again. CeCe took a moment to gather her breath and looked up to Rocky. Unfortunately, the minute she did, all courage seem to vanish from her. This was a bad idea. But Rocky still had her arm in her tight grip, and she didn't want to lie - not even about this.
"… I-It was about you." She looked away, heat entering her ears.
"What do you mean, me?"
"I-I … didn't want him to be your favourite singer anymore." Cece looked up at her best friend again, feeling her heartbeat pulse loudly.
"B-but … why?" Everything about Rocky reflected complete bewilderment.
"Because … I – I was jealous …" she looked into Rocky's shocked eyes, and suddenly, she felt the need to escape.
She stood up and ran away, breaking Rocky's slack grip, before she was asked to explain any more.
Rocky felt terrible.
She hadn't been able to talk to Cece after she'd run away. She knew where she would run but …Rocky wasn't sure what to say to her either. And she wasn't completely sure about what Cece had meant. But from what she'd gathered …
She sat in class, eyes unfocused as her history teacher gave out a lecture. Around her, people were either staring forwards with eyes glazing, or flipping through their phones behind bags. She was seeing things far away.
Her best friend wasn't straight.
Right? It couldn't be true, could it? CeCe couldn't like her. But that's what her gut was telling her.
Honestly, she didn't know what to think. It's not like CeCe had actually admitted anything. She'd only said she was jealous.
So why had she run away like that? Rocky knew CeCe. She only ran away when she was really, really scared. She'd never run away from her before, apart from that one time when she found out CeCe had dyslexia. And they way CeCe told her … she had a hard time imaging another reason CeCe was jealous.
There was only one reason, Rocky thought. But she couldn't just assume. But if it was the reason, then she would have to go to her and tell her it was ok. Which she could have done if she hadn't been so shocked. A twinge of guilt went through her. As confused and frustrated she was with CeCe for running away, now she only felt like she'd been a bad friend. She should have run after CeCe to talk, at least.
Class ended late, which always happened in history. Rocky sped through the emptying hallways, but when she got to her locker, CeCe was nowhere in sight. Rocky slowly packed her bags, hoping maybe that CeCe was coming late, but when no one was left in the hallway except her, she had to admit her best friend was gone. She thought about sending her a text, but then she closed the text box, stuffing her phone in her jacket. She had to talk face to face.
So here she was, walking up the stairs to her building.
You don't know anything for certain, she reminded herself as she opened the door to the warm lobby. And if it's true, just tell her it's ok, she decided. Her mind wandered as she impatiently waited for the elevator to come. If it was true, then she had to make sure CeCe knew that she was perfectly ok with it. And she couldn't act any differently either. If it was Deuce, that was what she would have done. Hm, but there was a difference …
The elevator door opened and a soft bell rang, capturing her attention. She shook herself out her thoughts and went inside.
Rocky knocked on the door loudly, feeling odd. She hadn't entered CeCe's house this way in years. It made her feel nervous. From inside, she heard someone scream "COMING!" before there were a few clicks and the door opened to reveal Flynn. CeCe's younger brother was dressed in a thin white cardigan over a red shirt and dark jeans, hair gelled. Seeing that it was Rocky, he looked surprised, then disappointed.
"Oh, hey Rocky. Why'd you come in this way?" he questioned as she walked inside and he closed the door behind her. After seeing that CeCe wasn't there, Rocky slung her bag onto the couch and sat down.
"Oh I uh, wanted to try something new," she lied. Flynn didn't need to know anything. "Where's CeCe?" she asked, rather nervously.
"Is that why she came home so sad? She didn't come with you?" Flynn questioned, not answering her question. He made his way over to sit beside her on the couch. Suddenly, Rocky felt like she was put under the microscope, inspected - as if Flynn was asking her a private question.
"Flynn, where is she?" Rocky asked again, this time ignoring his question.
"Fine," Flynn shrugged his shoulders. "She's in her room. She locked herself in and won't come out. Frankly, I'm not upset. Oh, and if I'm not around when you finish talking to her, I'm most definitely not hanging out with Susie …" Rocky barely heard the last few words as she picked herself off the couch and all but sprinted toward CeCe's room at the end of the hallway. What she did catch was the door being knocked on again and Flynn screaming that he was going to "Henry's" before the door slammed shut.
Standing before CeCe's locked room, the whole flat was suddenly too quiet. She stared at the white paint, the door handle, the flashy letters that spelt out her name. It was the same door as always, but suddenly, closed, it looked so much different. How was she supposed to enter? What was the right way?
She raised a hand, hesitated, then knocked.
"CeCe!" Rocky whispered, cupping her hands against the crack in the door frame. "It's me! Rocky! Let me in!"
Still no response.
And still no response. Then she wondered why she was whispering.
Rocky sighed, then ran her fingers through her hair in frustration. CeCe had never closed a door on her. She'd always let her in. Even when Rocky had found out about her dyslexia, CeCe had run to a place where Rocky could find her.
With a pang, she realized the difference between that time and this. She'd run after her …
She looked at CeCe's door in frustration, then saw the tiny slit in the handle. Every suite in their apartment used the cheap twisting locks. Once she'd actually locked it from the outside to trick Ty.
Maybe she could open it from the outside? Rocky glanced around, feeling like she was doing something illegal, and after all, CeCe's mom was a cop. She slid her nail into the slit and twisted. It took a few tries, but the lock turned. To her surprise, CeCe didn't notice. Her heart pounded.
"CeCe …" Rocky started as she opened the door. To her surprise, she found the redhead was … asleep. CeCe was curled on her bed, facing her. She was wearing a loose shirt and shorts, her home wear, and wrapped around her was her blue baby blanket. It was too small to cover everything; her legs were crossed for warmth. Rocky stood in the doorway, gaping for a second, before smiling fondly at the sight, problems forgotten. CeCe was so … CeCe.
She took a few slow steps towards her and stood until she was right over her. CeCe's eyebrows drew slightly tighter together as if sensing her best friend's presence. Then Rocky noticed that there were tear tracks over her cheeks. She felt another pang, and she chanced sitting on her bed. The mattress pressed down, but CeCe stayed in an uneasy sleep.
For a moment, Rocky considered waking her but then decided against it for the moment. Instead, she stared at her best friend's face, red locks messily spilt across her tear stained cheeks. Had she been the cause of all this? But then, was it her fault? After all, CeCe hadn't told her anything …
Rocky glanced at CeCe's troubled face again and sighed. She raised her hand and softly bushed away CeCe's hair, murmuring "CeCe … wake up." The other girl turned her head to her touch and mumbled nonsense before she slowly opened her eyes. Her eyes widened, realizing who was there, and she scrambled into a sitting position against her headboard.
"R-Rocky! What – how …" she spluttered.
"I picked your lock …" Rocky gave her an apologetic look. "Sorry … I had to get in."
"W-what are you doing here?" CeCe asked, brushing at her face.
"I came to talk to you. After you told me the reason you sent Justin Starr's picture to everyone…"
"Oh …" CeCe lowered her gaze.
"I'm so, so, sorry CeCe." Rocky started, truly heartfelt. "I didn't mean to not find you … I didn't know what to say." Rocky explained, feeling like she wasn't doing the job. CeCe blushed, and still looked away.
"But … um, CeCe, why … why were you jealous?" Rocky asked hesitantly. She needed to know. CeCe looked around everything in the room but her, stuttering, "Y-you don't know?"
"Well … I do have some ideas, but I'd rather hear it from you …"
"Ideas?" CeCe jumped at the chance. "Hey, how about you say your ideas, and I'll tell you if you're right or not? Great huh?" Leave it to CeCe to completely change the atmosphere.
"CeCe …" Rocky crossed her arms. CeCe's smile faded and she lowered her gaze again, twisting her fingers in the mattress.
"Alright …" she took a deep, accepting breath. "It's - um …. Well …" Rocky waited as she tried to find the words, then realized what they were doing. Wasn't it obvious now? They just weren't admitting to what they both saw. She placed a hand on CeCe's, making her look up.
"It's ok," Rocky said, smiling. She hoped CeCe got the double meaning. CeCe blushed and shook her head as she looked down at their hands.
"No, it's not. Rocky, I … I actually saw him kissing his wife. Just before I took the picture." CeCe looked directly up into her eyes, and Rocky saw them wavering. "And I still took it." Rocky stared at her in shock, wondering where this had all come from.
"I-I wasn't going to send it to everyone," she said quickly, sitting up straighter when she saw Rocky's expression. "I thought you wouldn't believe me, and I wanted you to see for yourself, and … and I can't believe I ever did this to you." She buried her head in one arm. But seeing CeCe like this put the shock out of her mind.
"CeCe," Rocky interrupted. "Stop. It's not like that. I would have done the same for you if I saw you were going after a hopeless case. And besides, he wasn't that great either. I was just excited to see a famous singer." She was still embarrassed about the whole Justin Starr thing too.
"Really? You were just excited?" CeCe asked, a small smile in her voice.
"Ok, ok … it was fun …" she looked directly at CeCe. "At the time …"
CeCe's smile faded and she lowered her gaze to look at where their hands touched. "And it's my fault for feeling this way about you …" And Rocky knew, without a doubt, what that meant. She felt relieved.
"CeCe, you can't help how you feel," Rocky said strongly. She even tightened her grip around her best friend's wrist harder. CeCe's eyes went up to meet hers, and Rocky saw them wavering a little as she smiled painfully.
"Thanks," she said quietly. Rocky smiled back and rubbed her thumb along CeCe's hand for a moment.
"You know, to be honest," she admitted slowly, her eyes flicking between their hands and her eyes, head tilted, "I'm flattered you feel that way." She saw her blush and grinned before she pulled her into a hug.
"You're still my best friend, and I still love you," and after that, she felt CeCe grip her tight, just as hard as she did.