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Tori look of worry began to make a lot of sense to Jade when she exited Sikowitz class.

She had become overwhelmed after Andre had asked his question and had bolted out of the room without answers. Good thing she was normally rude because people would have thought it was odd how she had bolted straight up and left without a word.

She couldn't take it, being around so many people who were... there before, before everything changed, before...

Her heart achingly pulsing in her neck, she left, but came to almost violent halt upon when she made to the numbing scene before her.


She could only see the back of his head, but there was no mistaking who it was. He had a red head backed against a locker, locked in an intense lip-lock. Him and the auburn haired girl seemed oblivious too everything going on around them.

Though panic and anxiety clogged her thinking process, she quickly realized she couldn't feel anything. Not that her insides didn't lurch, not that her lungs didn't go still, not that her blood didn't freeze, all of that happened, but the fact was... she had no right to feel anything. But... he was...

She was gone for months. She had been broken up with him for months.

"Jade..." Tori voice her out of her shock and was apparently said loudly because on the other side of the hallway Beck noticeably froze before breaking away from the girl he was kissing. He turned around so quickly it actually looked painful.

She was still staring at him when he turned around, blue clashed with brown. Jade weakly swallowed, screaming at herself inside her head for being stupid. A silly, stupid...

"What, Vega?" She forced herself to turn around and face Tori. She forced a scowl of indifference onto her face and bite to her voice. "Why are you saying my name?" The girl snapped. She ignored Andre and Cat, watching from inside the classroom over Tori's shoulder.

"You..." Tori trailed, brown eyes moving quickly over her face. "You're...I... sweating..."

Jade frowned but then felt a drip race quickly down her neck. She also came aware of her own labored breathing.

She never should have come back.

She bolted. Home, getting there, that was what was on her mind.


Jade hugged her legs and sat against the blue brick in the back Hollywood Arts, staring blankly out at the track a couple of yards away. A steady flow of tears worked down pale cheeks, she allowed it. No one could see her back here. No one had followed her. Also class had started about fifteen minutes ago.

She was losing her mind. She willed herself to get it together. Stop running. Be a big girl.

Old Jade would have never run away like that. Old Jade wouldn't have been sweating like a lunatic.

"Oh damn it..." The girl whispered placing her hands over her face and shaking her head. Shame burned at her flesh. She chewed on her lip, mind flashing to Beck and the auburn haired girl. She began to shake her head harder. "Damn..." She hissed.

"Oh..." Her attention quickly snapped up, her hands falling away from her face and landing and settling on the boy standing in the now open doorway. Robbie. The girl froze. Very aware of the tears still on her pale cheeks. Very aware of the fact that it was likely she looked like a mess.

But what caught her attention about the glasses wearing boy wasn't the look of concern and bewilderment on his face, but the cigarette hanging out of his lips and his right hand inches away from his mouth, holding a yellow lighter.

Robbie was smoking? Robbie had skipped second period and was smoking?

Despite being caught crying, Jade frowned in confusion.

He quickly removed his cigarette out of his mouth looking sheepish, a little too sheepish. He looks down before looking back up at her, smiling a little.

"I heard you were back." She watched him shove both cigarette and lighter into his pocket.

"You don't tell anyone what I was doing back here... I won't tell anyone about your new little habit..." The girl blurted out as strongly as she could. She quickly wiped at her face with shaky fingers.

When the boy didn't utter a word she glanced at him. He was watching her, face blank, unreadable. It made her uncomfortable. Her fingers found her sweater sleeves, gently pulling at the material. His brown eyes flicker down, his attention drawn to her hands.

She was seconds away from yelling at him when he looked up quickly and nodded his head quickly.

"Yeah, of course," He laughed a little, "yeah can you not tell anyone, everyone would only worry..." He looked away from her and dug both cigarette and lighter out of his pocket.

The girl slowly rose to her feet, watching as Robbie lit the cigarette and inhaled deeply, almost as if his life was depending on it.

Blinking, Jade wrinkled her nose in disgust. The Donaldsons all smoked. Megan smoked like a chimney. Jade gently rolled her shoulders, she had a few cigarette burns on her shoulders as proof.

"Welcome back..." He grinned a little.

Glaring weakly, uncertain why he was acting so odd, Jade folded her arms. "You seem different." It was much easier she quickly realized. Being her old self around Robbie was much easier.

Robbie blowing smoke into the air between them stopped her from pondering more. "You too," he glanced at her.

Jade unfolded her arms, a taken a back. Was it truly so obvious? She mentally cursed. Of course it was, she was sitting on the ground, sweating, cry, and looking a mess.

"I told Beck you called..." He continued out of the blue, "that night."

She blinked. "Yeah... he called back," she winced remembering it and what happened because of it. A shaky sigh left her. "Uh, thank you."

He took a step in her direction, eyes wide, cigarette hanging onto the edge of his mouth. "Is Jade West thanking me, for real? I never woulda thought..."

She took a step back when he got too close and frowned at him. "Still painfully odd I see..." The girl scoffed quietly. He laughed. "I... learned some manners while I was away. Don't be flattered, Shapiro."

"Everyone missed you..."

Jade quietly scoffed, suddenly hit by a wave of bitterness, "not everyone."

"Especially Beck," he continued as if he hadn't heard her at all.

Jade opened her mouth, intending to argue but changed her mind. "Smoking isn't cool..."

"Yeah, its pretty lame," he agreed dully, staring at the empty field.

Jade frowned. "So why do it? You're awkward and socially dumb not normal dumb, that's Cat."

The boy shrugged.

An awkward silence wraps around both of them. Well it felt awkward for Jade who was horribly confused. Robbie was acting strange.

"I'm going home," the boy announced suddenly. "Do you wanna come?" He turned his full attention on her, his normal goofy grin in place. For some odd reason the expression seemed odd now... forced. Had it always been? She wondered. She understood a thing about fake grins and smiles now. Did she just not notice until now?

She use to spend hours in front of the mirror back at Megan's practicing smiling. Staying pleasant and pretending everything was alright was beaten into her. She could spot a fake grin a mile away.

She weakly swallowed, a little uncomfortable with her sudden realization. "Your skipping school? Who in the hell are you and what in the hell did you do with Shapiro?" She awkwardly joked.

Robbie only smiled a tiny smile, which once again seemed forced, "I have no idea what you mean." He once again shrugged. "Are you coming? Do you feel like facing them?"

She frowned. Something was off. She opened her mouth to ask him what in the hell he meant, but her lips stayed sealed as her blue eyes settled on the now closed door behind Robbie. Her breathing hitched at the thought of going back into Hollywood Arts, facing them, facing Beck.

Blue eyes found blank framed brown ones, "lets go."

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