Author Notes: The final chapter and this time it's for sure!
Thanks for Quitting Time for All the help.
Trina had a long, aggravating day, so all she wanted to do at this point was to sit down on the couch and relax... possibly getting a nap but it seemed like she wasn´t about to get her wish since as soon as she sat down, her phone rang.
Much to her disgust, it was none other than her mother with yet another attempt to save their souls from eternal damnation.
It sure seemed as if the encounter at the coffee shop a few days ago wasn't enough to get through her thick head that her help was not needed or wanted. Unlike the previous time, Trina didn't bother to engage in a biblical war of words, she simply did not pick up.
"Who was that?" A voice asked curiously.
Trina froze... "Damn it"
She wasn't about to tell her sister who really was on the other side of the line, It wasn't what she wanted and knew it would only upset Tori, so instead Trina lied through gritted teeth.
"That jackass Paul" Trina answered evenly "Still trying to get me to go out with him no matter how many times I tell him I have a boyfriend"
Tori paused in the doorway and closed the door, looking both tired and irritated. "What does Gibby have to say about thAT?""
"Really?" Tori frowned "That doesn't sound like him"
"He hasn't said anything because he doesn't know what's going on... I don't want him to fight my battles, he's my boyfriend and I love him but that doesn't mean I wan't him to get into something that can lead to some serious problems, he can kick ass but even Gibby can't escape the legal side of things but I swear that if Paul hits on me one more time, I'm going to groovy him, right in the nuts."
Unbeknown to Trina the mention of her chubby boyfriend only served to remind Tori of what she was missing or more accuratedly who.
"Between that clown and the five year old that demolished the display I had just set up, my day was just peachy." Trina finished her rant, oblivious of what she unintentionally started.
Finally throwing her bag to the floor, Trina started to relax only to notice that Tori walked in the room and leaned against the table and closed her eyes. Watching her carefully, Trina could see her sister was slowly counting down from ten.
While Tori was mostly back to the person she once was, the stress of her constant alcohol cravings left her with only limited patience. What she was doing now as something she did when she needed to calm down and fight off her urge to drink.
Naturally the more stressed there was, the greater the urge to drink got, which only lead to more stress.
It was a very nasty cycle and one, Trina knew, Tori had to deal with constantly.
"It's ok, Tori. You did fine, you're doing fine, you're beating this."
"Beating this?" Tori snapped.
"You honestly think, I'll ever beat this Trina?!" The younger woman asked darkly "This is not a war, there will be no final battle, there will never be peace treaty, the war will go on and on and on; my endless fight with the urge to drink, which will only die when I do."
"I didn't mean it that way, I meant you'll beat that urge, be able to control it. Others have and I don't have any doubts that you will too." Her sister replied back honestly "You'll put your life on track and get Jade back."
It was then Tori, sighed walked over to the couch and just collapsed on it. "Jade! Two addictions, but like the good slave, I can only serve one master. You honestly think she's going to put up with me."
"But you did well when you met at Nozu, last week. You said you were going to set off slow, rebuild things. What's wrong?"
"Nothing's wrong, Everything is wrong. I even called her up yesterday and asked her if she wanted to go see a movie.. They've got Strangers on a train, playing down at the Bijou. "
That was good or at least Trina thought so. "That's good. You're making an effort. What did she say?"
"Yes." Replied, Tori looking very much like it was not the answer she wanted.
"Ok, I'm confused. This is what you wanted, but right about now, you look like you're going to come apart at the seams. What's wrong?"
"It's tonight. We're just seeing a film, that's it, but right after I hung up, I started to freak out and I have been ever since."
"But why?" Trina asked unsure if she wanted to know the answer " I mean do you think it won't work out?"
"No, I'm afraid it will, what if I hurt her again. Will she ever truly trust me or will she keep this thing hanging over my head. Always searching to see if I have booze hidden away; just waiting for the chance to say, I told you so. "
Tears suddenly burst from Tori's eye, as if a dam had failed. "She'll…never love me the same way again. I ruined everything."
Not wanting to see her sister in yet another meltdoen, Trina pulled Tori into her arms, where she let her cry it out.
The younger Vega cried for almost half an hour before she just slumped in Trina's arms, both physically and mentally exhausted. Carefully, the older brunette helped her sister up and put her into bed, where she fell asleep almost immediately.
Returning to the living room, she picked up the phone, she went through the list of numbers until the one she seeked appeared.
Ring... Ring.. Ring... Ring..
"You're not the Vega, I was hoping to hear from"
"Well I'm sorry to disappoint you, but I kind of need to talk to you for a moment."
Now Jade's voice turned darkly cynical. "Tori can't make it, isn't it."
"I knew it. How drunk is she?" Retorted Jade, her voice going from cynical to downright derisive.
Between dealing with her mother and Tori's subsequent meltdown, Trina herself had been pushed to the limit, the Goth's remark was the last straw.
"She's not drunk you Bitch!, she hasn't had a drink. I've had more than enough today, first I have to deal with my piece of shit of a mother, whom I just keep running into!, then I had to witness Tori who's beyond nervous, scared and worried that she'll let you down, comes unglued. Then you, you damn rotten troll, just have to instantly jump to conclusions and assume she fell off the wagon."
Jade wanted to retort back but she didn´t get the chance since Trina continued ranting vehemently "The fact that she let you down is eating her alive, she tries so hard for you and all you want to do is pass judgment. Maybe Tori was right, maybe you're just looking for an excuse to say I told you so. You want her to fail, so you can wave your dead mother in her face so you can feel morally superior and pass judgment...well if that's how you are then you're no better than my mother…..so FUCK YOU!"
Furious, Trina hung up the phone and managing to resist the urge to throw it against the wall, turned if off. Not wanting deal with the raven haired Troll, she pulled the phone out of Tori's bag just as it started to ring. It was Jade of course.
Scowling, Trina turned the phone off.
Tori had messed up for sure, that was something Trina was well aware of. At the same time however, she could find plenty of faults in how Jade handled things. Jumping to conclusions, for Trina was the last straw. She was glad she said what she said, however she felt just a bit sick that she may have just torpedoed, Tori's chance at getting Jade back.
Upon reflection, Trina somberly noted as she could hear the rumble of an approaching thunderstorm.
"Maybe that's a good thing."
I screamed in rage, the moment Trina hung up on me. What else was I supposed to do, bake cookies.? I fucking hate cookies.
Next I tried to call back and the wench turned off her phone, I then tried to call Tori and that went to voice mail. I had been shut out.
Initially, there was no thought or reason to my anger. it was just anger.
But as I ranted and threw things about my apartment, I happened to catch a glimpse of the one photograph I have of my mother. It's a small picture on the wall of her at some dinner party.
I don't know why, but looking at that picture, I suddenly had this moment of clarity. I hated alcoholics. After all the person who killed her was a alcoholic and had been twice before busted for DUI. But up to that point, I never really thought about just how much I hated them. The depth of my hatred and contempt ran deep, a lot deeper than I originally thought. I thought they were weak, disgusting, people who had something horribly wrong with them. They were just plain defective. I barely viewed them as people at all.
I could control my drinking. I knew when to stop and I always did. Those who couldn't, were weak, disgusting people who had something horribly wrong with them. They were just plain defective. I barely viewed them as people at all.
I remember taking a dance class once, before I came to Hollywood Arts. It was held in a local community center and always at the same time as my class was an AA meeting which was held in a different room. I'd watch them standing around outside on their break smoking, drinking coffee. Other times if I arrived late, I could hear them give that god grant me bullshit. A bunch of weak, loser fools.
I hated them and made no bones about it. Whenever one of those losers came anywhere near me, I would instantly bellow. "Get away from me!" Other times I would look down at them, knowing I was the better person. The humility, the shame in their faces, I ate it up.
I even thought of spiking their coffee with booze just to fuck them up good. But I couldn't get a hold of any, nor figure out how to do it without being caught. Regardless, I wanted them to fail.
One time, an older man who was with the group asked me, "What do you have against us?"
I screamed, "One of you worthless bastards killed my mother. I wish you would all fucking die! No one needs you."
They avoided me like the plague after that.
After the first session of the class ended, I didn't sign up for it again, as I just couldn't stand to be around them.
Trina just how had accused of being like Tori's mother, essentially saying how I wanted Tori to fail and how I wanted to feel morally superior. I told Tori in our meeting that I was no better than her mother for leaving and at the time it was more a figure of speech than anything.
But now as I standing the living room, my eyes fixed at the smiling face of my own mother did I suddenly realize that to some degree that, "Trina was right".
I hated alcoholics, no…I right down despised them. I was living with and dating one and thinking back, I did wave my dead mother in her face more times than I can count. I also stood on my high horse and like the others I put her down.
"Tori, if you don't stop drinking, you'll wind up killing someone, just like someone killed my mother."
"You know Tori, when you hide the liquor bottles in the apartment, you don't even do a very good job at doing it. I find little bottles stuffed under couch couching, behind the cleaning supplies, stuffed in your sock drawer. I'm not sure what's more pathetic, the fact you need to hide the things all around or the fact that you're booze soaked mind can't even find a decent place to hid them."
I never hit her but near the end, some of my comments became downright cruel. My hatred of alcoholics in general had poisoned me to Tori's struggle. I began to resent her. I wanted to feel superior to her tto the point that I wanted to be right.
Now I'm not absolving Tori of the blame, but thinking about it, I made things worse, made her feel worse, so I could feel better. Just a short while ago, I instantly concluded that she fell off the wagon. I wanted to be right, that she was just an alcoholic loser. I couldn't accept that she was anything else. Just like Tori's mother couldn't accept she was gay.
The realization that in some ways I was no better than her mother. That hit me hard, so hard I fell to my knees. I had done more than simply leave.
She was an alcoholic and I hated her for it. I also felt that I was better than her. She had caused me pain and instead of trying my best to help her, help the situation, I just pushed it right back on her face.
And to add insult to injury I simply left when she was at her most vulnerable state.
Now I feel like utter shit, looks like I still have amends to make now that my sins were painfully clear. I could have stayed there and cried, but I knew I needed to do something. I needed to at least admit to what I've done. Tell Tori that I did more than just leave….well actually I left her emotionally long before I moved out. I need to tell her that.
She was probably so nervous about how I'd act or what I would think wonder she melted down.
I quickly picked myself up off the floor and headed straight out to Tori's place. I was upset and still angry, though now at myself and I needed to try and make things right between us. She suffers from an illness, I should have helped her deal with it, cope with it, like you'd help someone suffering from the flu or cancer. I just hated her for being sick, just like her mother hated her for being gay. She is both gay and an alcoholic and she should be hated for neither of those things.
By the time I got there, I had half of a pretty decent apology thought out in my head. But as I stepped out of my car, that quickly vanished from my mind.
Why do you ask?
Because as soon as I got out of my vehicle I saw a very familiar figure walking up the sidewalk. Wearing a conservative black dress and holding a shiny new bible.
It was none other than Tori's mother.
Holly Vega was the last person Jade wanted to see, JUST the sight of the holier than thou demon, strolling up the sidewalk was enough to sent Jade's anger off the charts.
"Oh no you don't" Jade growled ominously as she rushed towards the building.
Holly got to within 12 feet of the door to the apartment complex, before Jade ran up and blocked her way.
"Where in the hell do you think you're going?"
Holly glared intently at the Goth. "I'm going to see Tori! Now get out of my way!"
Standing firm, Jade shook her head. "That's not happening! You're not seeing anybody today! Tori especially."
The older woman then attempted to move around her, but Jade pivoted to block her once again. "What? Are you deaf, as well as brain-dead! You have no business here! Leave now!"
"Don't touch me, you filthy harlot!" Growled Holly.
"Harlot?" Laughed Jade, Mockingly. "That's the best you can come up with, an insult that probably hasn't been used in what?, 70 years?."
"LET ME PASS!" screamed Holly.
"THE HELL I WILL!" Bellowed Jade, as the tension continued to rise. The two women who's hatred for each other knew now bounds, stood face to face and neither was going to back down.
"I will see Tori! And I have every right!"
"You have no right!"
"And you…have no right to stop me from doing God's work. All you've done, is corrupt my daughter. I do what I do out of love, my love and the love of God and Jesus Christ." Ranted Holly Vega, bitterly.
"You don't know a fucking thing about love! You're not supposed to put a price tag on love, but it seems that you didn't get the memo for that did you? After all you just don't have it in you to love your daughter even if she's gay!."
"SHE'S NOT GAY! She's been corrupted by you and I as God as my witness will turn her back to the path that God had intended for her. And I will be damned if I let you back into her life!"
"You let…did you honestly say, you let…..the only person that decides who Tori sees is Tori. Here's the thing, you blew your chance. But I still have one. I messed up. Yes, I'll admit to that, but not in the way you think. I hate alcoholics and I let that hatred get the best of me. It effected how I dealt with Tori's drinking problem. I couldn't accept it was an illness and I hated her for it. I looked down on her for it too. I have a lot to make up for and I will do what I need to do, to help Tori and make up for what I've done. All you want to do is take that bible and shove it down her throat!"
"How dare you speak to me like that? I am doing God's work."
From there the argument grew more and more heated, with loud, angry and hateful accusations being traded on the sidewalk.
Finally Jade blasted. "My great grandma, used to say, God don't like ugly and you with all your hatred and self-righteous bitch, are about as ugly as they come!"
Infuriated beyond measure, Holly slapped Jade across the face and forcibly shoved her back.
Jade however recovered quickly and within a second pulled from her boots a shiny pair of scissors. Jade took no time in aiming them directly at Holly's chest.
"Touch me again, I dare you!"
"JADE STOP!" Commanded Tori from the doorway.
Looking to the doorway, Holly and Jade could see both Trina and Tori standing in the doorway. Neither of which looked happy.
Holly pointed to Jade. "Thank heavens you intervened. This maniac was going to kill me. I'm calling the police."
Tori pointed to the scissors. "Put those away!"
Looking very displeased, Jade quickly complied.
Holly however looked very smug as she smiled and walked towards Tori. "I knew you'd come to your senses and take my…"
Holly's smile however, quickly faded as Tori's glare now turned towards her.
Paying no attention to the fact that her hands were shaking Tori, took a deep breath and confronted her mother.
"I'm not taking your side. I'll never take your side. I started to drink largely to deal with the fact that you rejected me."
"Tori..I…" Holly started to say.
Tori quickly cut her off. "SHUT UP!"
Holly's face quickly fell and for a moment her mouth continued to hang open.
"Mother you will listen to me. You know for a long time, I wanted you to accept me, but just now, listening to you two argue, I realized something. You never will. All the pain and the heartbreak and booze, it was for nothing. So I will finally accept the fact that you don't love me and there is not one thing I can do to change that. So you're going to take your bible, turn around and leave. Not only that you're never to call or contact me again. As far as I'm concerned, you're dead. The mother I knew doesn't exist anymore. I don't know you, I don't want to know you. You're just an unwanted stranger who keeps trying to poke her nose into my life. So if you violate the restraining order I filed, I won't hesitate to call the police if you come within so much as 500 yards of me. Or maybe next time, I just won't bother to stop Jade. As of now…this moment…you Holly Vega, are dead to me."
Before the stunned looking Holly could even respond, Tori turned her back.
Holly Vega, then in desperation, turned to her eldest child, "Trina, please talk some sense into your sister."
Trina only spits on the ground and like Tori turned her back on her mother.
"Jade?" Trina called out.
"If this person doesn't leave in sixty seconds, call 911. Please."
Pulling out her phone, Jade coldly looked to Holly, then herself turned her back on her.
"Sixty seconds." Called out Jade, to no one in particular.
Looking quite devastated, Holly Vega pleaded. "Please Girls."
Neither of them, moved nor said another word.
"45 seconds." Called out Jade.
Realizing she had lost both her daughters, Holly began to cry. "Please…I beg you, for the love of god."
A few seconds later, Holly Vega wiped her tears and walked away. The three women who pretty much disowened her didn't turned around until she was out of sight.
Once they heard the mottor of her car getting fainter as it left, Tori seemed to start shaking. "My god, I did it. I stood up to her. I did it."
Trina quickly hugged her sister. "Yes you did, I'm very proud of yoy baby sis."
After giving Jade a somewhat dubious look, Trina turned back to her sister. "I assume you two want to talk. Do you need me?"
Tori shook her head. "No. But thank you for standing with me."
After a nod, Trina turned and entered the building.
We were alone and for a single moment, looked at each other in silence. She looked emotionally spent and simply by the way she was shifting her feet, I could tell she wasn't sure what to say next. I happened to be feeling very much the same way, amidst, my own emotional maelstrom.
Tori mentioned towards the stoop of the apartment building, "Sit with me."
Time was, sitting next to Tori would be something I would do without so much as a second thought. But this was different; it was awkward and I hated it. This thing that had come between us... It needed to end.
I sat down uneasily. "Sure."
Looking as ill-at ease as me, Tori sat down, but at the other end of the step, more than a foot away.
I can't help but feel hurt that she won't even sit right next to me, but as I said, this thing?, the specter of her addiction and my reaction to it, was happily ensconced between us.
I looked over to Tori, who looked off in the direction her mother had gone.
"I was going to call you and tell you, that I wasn't going to be able to make the movie."
I nodded. "I know, Trina called, but I…"
The tinkling notes, of distant ice cream truck interrupted the conversation.
... "Jumped to conclusions. Assumed you fell off the wagon."
Tori brushed her hair back behind her ears, a nervous habit of hers. "I suffered a meltdown. I was afraid of you judging me."
She paused as I could hear her begin to choke up slightly. "Afraid, you'll never trust me, hold this over my head. Never….."
Then her voice went quiet, barely above a whisper. Even though I could barely hear it, the words were heartbreaking. "look at me the same again. Love me, like you used too."
As soon as she finished speaking she sighed and turned her attention not to me, but a crack in the sidewalk. She couldn't look at me and that was killing me.
"Tori, Trina let me have it and she didn't pull any punches. She accused me of not only wanting her to fail but likened me to your mother."
It was only then Tori looked at me, as she vigeriously shook her head. "No, you're not…"
I quickly waived my hand to cut her off. "She was right. After I hung up the phone and started to calm down I thought about it. I really thought about it. I hated alcoholics, ever since one killed my mother. That was no secret, but even I didn't realize the depth of my hatred. I felt superior to them, had nothing but contempt for them. You were struggling and I let my feelings affect my actions. I like your mother refused to accept something about you, that you couldn't help. In her case that you were gay and in my case, you had an illness. At times I thought you were just weak or just were trying to torment me."
"I wasn't Jade, honestly."
"Yes I know that now... I think I'm gonna have to thank your sister later on for yelling at me... I won't kill her for that... This time... Since she actually was a big factor that made me realize my mistakes. You had a problem and I simply hated you for it. Now I'm not excusing what you did. I can't do that. I wish I could just say it was ok, but at this point in time, it's something I'm not capable of. But what I am doing is admitting that I emotionally left you, long before I moved out and in doing so, only made the situation worse. Your meltdown, I'd say it was justified. I am sorry."
It was painful and hard to admit that. It would have been so much easier to simply hate her. I had to fight against my own feelings to get it out.
I carefully studied Tori's reaction and again she brushed her hair behind her ear and shifted in place as she seemed to process what I had just said.
"Is that why you came here? To apologize?"
"Yes, but I hadn't counted on your... mo... that unpleasant person showing up. It just went to hell after that."
"I heard what you said."
"And you let me say it again." I joked darkly, regretting it almost instantly, when she flinched "Sorry. I shouldn't have said that."
Tori wiped a tear from the corner of her eye. "I needed you to say it to me. I'm sorry I hurt you. I can apologize a million times and it still wouldn't be enough."
"I'm proud of you for standing up to her. I really am."
"I was terrified the entire time."
"You did good."
"I have a question and I need you to be honest. Completely honest, even if you think it will hurt me. Will you do that?"
I had a feeling I knew what she was going to ask. "I may not like it but yes... I'll tell you what you need to hear."
"Jade, I'm an alcoholic. I always will be one. I can never drink again and I will struggle with this until the day I die. I will do what I need to do to make things up to you. I will do what I need to do to get you back."
Tori then started to cry, causing my heart to tremble. "Cause I love you and I miss you every day. I want you back so badly, it hurts. I will do anything to get you back, to have you say you love me, even if that means starting over from scratch. But I need to know, if you can. If you can ever look at me and see the woman that you love and not just an alcoholic. Cause if you can't love and accept me for the person I am, be there for me. If you can't, then I need you to leave. I need you to leave and never come back. Can you love me for who I am?"
That speech, spoken though tears and with a broken heart, hit me hard. Only reinforcing how shitty I felt for how I treated her. Goddamn it, this was the woman I loved and I wasn't there for her.
Tears streaming down my face, I got up, walked over to where she was sitting and knelt down at her feet. Still crying, I could see the pain and anguish in her brown eyes.
"Yes I can, I know I can. We've got a long way to go. I have things to make up for and you do as well. We damaged each other pretty bad but I know we can fix each other... I... I miss you. I miss my best friend. I miss when you'd let me brush your hair at night. I miss your pancakes, I miss sitting in a bubble bath with you. I miss my Tori. I say I can, because I still love you. I was a terrible girlfriend and I don't think I'll ever forgive myself fow how I made you feel the say way I know you will never really forgive yourself for letting me down but you know what? We both made mistakes, no relationship is ever perfect so all we can do is take one step at a time."
Tori wiped her tears. "I know we can't just go back, we'll have to rebuild it, but I will do what I need to do."
"I will too. I'll even go to your meetings." I need to, I need to see these people, meet these people, see their pain and their struggles.
"Jade if it will help you, there is a support group for families of alcoholics. I think that might be better, it's more tailored to people in your situation. You can sit in on mine, but I think this will help."
We had a tender moment, but I felt that for now I needed to step back, before we did anything that we'd regret later on, so I let go, stood up and took a step back.
Tori also stood up, pulled out her phone and looked at the time. "I'm sorry for all this drama today. But think we can still make the movie. I know we're both emotional wrecks right now, but I'm still game. I need a friend and I think you need one too."
"Sounds good.. But you know what Tori? If you don¡t mind I think I want to skip the movie"
"Because I can tell that what you need is a quet evening at home, not to be at some cinema.. So how about we go inside, order some food and watch some TV.. just like... old times"
Tori's smile seemed like it was going to break her face in half.
"I'd like that"
Both women got inside, with a much higher spirit.
Above the couple, two young girls looked down at them, mistified at what just transpired.
"Looks like we didn't have to squat for them" Jadelyn said "Great, I just lost some sexy time with Victoria" The Goth gave her Doppelgänger a menacing glare "Thanks a lot"
"You're welcome" Jade replied wickedly "My Tori on the other hand will give kisses and nudity when I get back"
"You are just begging me to stab you"
"As if you could" Jade shrugs "But since this is technically mission accomplished we can go to our respective universes, a portal should open in an hour or so, so I'm getting some coffee while we wait.
Jadelyn simply scowled at her duplcate "I hate you so fucking much"
And... That's a wrap., it's done! The finale! YAY!
Once again, special thanks to Quitting Time for helping me with this final chapter.
Also, the Jade and Jadelyn that appeared at the end are from the fic "Double Trouble" which was written by Quitting Time and were borrowed with permission.
Invader Johnny Signing Off.