For anyone coming across this story for the first time, it's kind of doubly AU - it's based on the universe of 'The Real Me' by Quitting Time, and then it's an alternate version of that. It follows the events of the first story up until Chapter 20, then we diverge at a decision point - 'The Real Me' takes a different turn after that, whereas our story... well, you'll see if you read it. And don't be put off by the opening, all is not what it seems and there will be Jori eventually, although be warned - this is not a fluffy story.
Standard disclaimers apply, and please feel free to review, we're still going...
A/N Update: And now we're finished! Villains have been battled, dragons have been slayed, but did our girls find peace? It's been a much longer haul than I'd expected, but I hope it's been worth it - if you make it to the end, let me know what you think.
I am tired, I am weary...
I could sleep for a thousand years...
Jade's Diary – Transcript 23
I know I've let this go for a while but if anything comes from what I'm doing I'm going to need some copy. It's been nearly six months now. Six months since she came to me with that smug look on her face and told me she knew what I wanted, that she knew the real me. I tell you Sally, I could have punched the stupid bitch in the mouth right there and then, except I couldn't, because this was what I wanted. What I was waiting for. I had to find out if the rumors were true, Sal. I had to know. So I did what I had to do. I went to her house, I got down on my knees and I said Yes.
But it's been hard, Sal, real hard. Six months of Tori fucking Vega and her house of horrors. I know you were into this stuff, but Jesus... I'm a good actress, but there aren't enough Oscars in the world for this performance. I've lost my boyfriend, my self-respect and I'll probably be blackmailed to hell and back when it's over, but I'll keep going.
I'll find the Diamond Club, Sal. I'll find out what happened to you.
Jade's Diary – Transcript 24
She's weak, Sal, that's the irony. Pathetic. I could snap her like a twig if I wanted. And you have no idea how many times I've wanted to do that, over these past few months. No idea how many times I've wanted to turn around and just... crush her, leave her lying crumpled on the floor, with a note saying so long and thanks for everything. But of course I can't do that, can I? Can't let go until I've got what I want. And so we carry on this merry dance, she and I. This mad, scary little dance in the half-light, where the orchestra's out of tune and the dance floor hurts my feet, and nothing is how it should be. We're using each other, but only I know it. Does that make me better than her? Or worse?
I'm sorry, Sal, I'm not making much sense. I've got to stop updating when I'm drunk.
Jade's Diary – Transcript 25
Shopping. We've been shopping. We went to the mall first. She likes me to wear the collar even when we're out, and she giggles and tugs it every now and again when no one's looking, like it's our little secret. I suppose I should be grateful that she still lets me choose some of my own clothes, albeit with her approval. She likes my hair too, I'm not allowed to change it on pain of... well, pain. But this is still a miserable existence, Sal. It might be different if you're in love, or you like this kind of thing, but when you don't it's just grim. In fact, in some ways it's worse than being an actual slave, at least they don't have to pretend they like it. They can just get on with the business of being miserable and oppressed, without the overhead of having to smile encouraging when their dimwit owner tries on the fifteenth identical flouncy top and asks if it goes with their earrings.
Later we went to a more... specialized place. So we could choose something new to play with. Well, I say 'we'. She gets to choose it while I stand there wondering whether I'll still be able to walk this time tomorrow. I always have to take it to the counter and pay for it, though. She likes that.
Jade's Diary – Transcript 26
I still can't believe I'm doing this. When I started, I thought it would be a couple of weeks, maybe a month at the most. It would be embarrassing, sure, and maybe painful, but I'd find out what I needed to know and then laugh in her face when it was all over and I could go back to kicking her sorry ass. I was kind of looking forward to that part - she couldn't do much to me, she wouldn't want anyone at school to know about it any more than I did. I guess she'd always have the satisfaction of knowing she'd had me on my knees but at least it would be private, just between me and her. And it would be worth it for you.
But it hasn't panned out like that, Sal. I hadn't realized just how restrictive it was going to be, how suffocating - there was no discussion, no easing me into it, it was just bang, total control. And it soon became obvious that that whole side of it was her domain. We never talked about it, never set any boundaries, there was no safe word, no consent, nothing. That was the price. I was just a passenger on this journey, and I was going to spend it tied up and stuffed in the trunk. Can you see how frustrating that is, Sal? And so I kept going, further and further down the rabbit hole, each degradation leading to another until here I am, nearly six months down the line, with an ass like shoe leather and still no closer to finding the Diamond Club.
Jade's Diary – Transcript 27
Finally, a breakthough of sorts. The game is afoot! Last night was our six-month 'anniversary'. Man, I was dreading the whole thing, somehow all the whipping and humiliation didn't seem quite so bad compared to the thought of having to spend the whole evening making lovey-dovey with the miserable bitch over a restaurant table, but in the end it wasn't so bad. She's actually pretty funny when she forgets who she is. What she is.
It didn't last though. After we'd come home she announced she was going to have me tattooed, for God's sake. Marked as hers. I spent a mad half hour this morning ringing round to find out where we were going, finally lucked out with Kim - you remember her, Sal, she did the star on my arm - and made a deal with her to make sure it was only temporary. I'll have to have it redone every month, but I'm sure as hell not spending all eternity with 'Tori's Slut' tattooed on my ass, not even for you. Anyway, we got down there later and Kim got busy, making it all look real, and while they were talking, the Club came up - turns out Kim's into all this stuff. For a minute I thought maybe I should ditch Vega and take up with Kim instead, but Kim's too smart for that – plus she's got arms like a lumberjack, I don't think I'd last a week. Good news is, it looks like my little monster's shooting for membership, which I assume means I'll be going along too. Obviously she didn't deign to discuss it with me, I'm only the lowly sub whose sorry ass is going to get put through the wringer to get her there (or at least that's what Kim said while Vega was taking a wazz), but if you've been through it, Sal, I can do it too.
Jade's Diary – Transcript 28
Sometimes it frightens me, Sal, the intensity of it all - of her. It's like she really believes all this, like it's some kind of religion. I always assumed this was supposed to be – I don't know - fun, but with her it's as if she's entitled to be served, it's her destiny. I've told you before that her whole family's into it - which is freaky enough, even thinking about my parents going at it makes me want to puke - but for these guys it's just like joining the family business. Sometimes I can overhear her getting advice from her Mom on what to do, how to keep me in line, how to control me as if I were an animal too stupid to understand what's going on. Is that normal, Sal? I really wish you were here to give me some advice, but then if you were still here I wouldn't have to go through this whole stupid charade. Maybe when I'm done I'll turn it into a book - 'My Life With The Vegas, The Weirdest Family in L.A.'
Jade's Diary – Transcript 29
Still no talk of actually going to the Club - it's been mentioned but I can't press it. I'm not supposed to have any opinion or control over what happens when we're 'on'. I suspect the idea is that it's going to be sprung on me as a little surprise, to test me.
Speaking of being 'on', we seem to have settled into something of a routine now – part of the time I'm 'off duty' and we just carry on as if we're girlfriends, as if we're somehow normal people. If I'm honest, this is the hardest part - when she's doing her business with me, I don't have to think - I just switch off and go to the happy place in my head. In the beginning I even used to pretend it was someone else - you maybe, or even Beck - but that turned out to be a big mistake. I ended up getting carried away and screwed up big time, I though she was going to dump me over that (luckily a bit of grovelling managed to get me back in the good books, although I had to take a beating to prove it), so now I just go blank - as long as I make the right noises at the right time she's happy. But when we're just hanging out I have to concentrate, act like a girlfriend, make her believe that I love her, and that's hard. I have to compartmentalize everything, because there is a side to her that I don't mind, that I could have been friends with, even, if I'd never needed to do this. So I try to forget whatever abomination went on the night before, and act like the real Jade West - or at least as much of her as I judge Vega can tolerate. And I tell you Sal, I'm pretty good - I think in her own twisted way, she really thinks we're in love.
Jade's Diary – Transcript 30
Scratch that last entry, I can't stand the stuck-up bitch. I had my hair done today - nothing radical, just a bit of styling like that chick in The Scissoring - and she went absolutely fucking ballistic. I mean, I know the stupid rules say I can't change my hair, but you'd think I'd run over her dog or something (what am I saying? I am her dog). Jesus, I've never taken a beating like that - there was nothing fun or sexy about it, just straight-up fucking agony until I really thought I was going to have to grab the paddle off her and smash her head in with it. How did you stand this kind of thing, Sal? Maybe your mistress wasn't like Vega - I'm beginning to suspect she's got some kind of bipolar condition. I'm having serious doubts about putting my safety in the hands of someone so unstable.
Jade's Diary – Transcript 31
Sorry, Sal, I haven't updated in a while, I've been sick. The flu I think, anyway three days in bed feeling like crap, and I've got to say, I'm amazed. Tori's been at my bedside practically the whole time, bringing me chicken soup, feeling my forehead, running round after me like I'm an actual human being - like she's an actual human being. I know she's only doing it to get me off my back and back on my knees as soon as possible, but still, it's quite a sight to see. It's times like this, Sal, that I almost feel sorry for her, almost feel guilty for using her like this - she seems so genuine, like she really cares, that it's going to be hard on her when she finds out the truth. She's like a little kid playing with a puppy, and when it bites her, there are going to be tears. I know I can't think like that, Sal. I know I've got to keep going. But sometimes...
Shit. When I start thinking of her as Tori?
Jade's Diary – Transcript 32
Next week, Sal. We're going to the Club next week. I overheard them talking in the kitchen, turns out Tori's mom is some kind of bigwig at the Club, one of the seniors who vet the new members (not that she's allowed to vet me and Tori, that would be 'unethical' - I am seriously through the looking glass here). Well, I tell you this, Sal – Tori Vega may or may not have a day of reckoning coming, I haven't decided yet, but if she does it will be nothing - nothing - compared to the holy shitstorm I will rain down on Holly Vega if I find out she had something to do with what happened to you. In fact come to think of it, I might just do it anyway, for what she's done to Tori, what she's turned her into. Anyway, I guess you know the deal with all this, but I wish I'd got more out of Kim about these 'tasks' - she's out of town for a couple of weeks so I'm going to have to play it by ear, doesn't look like Tori's going to clue me in. Which is pretty fucking stupid if you think about it, considering the whole thing's for her benefit. You'd think we'd be working together on this.
Speaking of the Club, I've got some preparation to do. More than once I've seen Tori's mom eyeing up my bag when I've left it on the sofa, I think she's itching to go through it, get something on me to keep me in line. I've got to do something about that before Tori let's her. She'll do pretty much anything her mom tells her, sometimes I wonder who's really in control of this 'relationship', Tori or Holly.
Yeah, just kidding, Sal. It's me.
Jade's Diary – Transcript 33
Okay, prep done. I've got a bag stuffed with fake details, plus some crappy old horror story I wrote last year. If anybody tries anything, I'll know.
Tori's obviously pretty stoked by the idea of going to the Club, but it's making her nervous - halfway through our session last night she totally zoned out, and while that was a bit of a relief, it put me in kind of an awkward position, no pun intended - I'm not allowed to speak without permission, so eventually I had to fake a coughing fit to remind her I was still there. Anyway, normal service was resumed, and for once, just for a moment, I kind of got into it - I'll admit that I can be pretty kinky at times, you of all people should know that, Sal, and if this was all there was to it I could almost see myself having fun, even with her (although I wouldn't keep all the pain to myself, I can tell you that). It's all the other stuff I can't stand, all the pointless rules and obedience and talking like you just walked out of a seventeenth century romance novel. All the formality. And the problem is, that's the stuff that really does it for her - it's not enough to pretend you're a slave in the bedroom, she wants to really believe it. All the time. She wants to believe that when she's whipped you until you cry, you're crying for her.
She wants to believe she owns you - mind, body and soul.
Jade's Diary – Transcript 34
Tonight's the night, Sal. She didn't say it but I could hear the anticipation in her voice when she called. I could practically smell it. Tonight we're going to the Diamond Club, and I'm going to start getting some answers. I've got to go now, God knows what she'll be like if I'm late. I'll update tomorrow, I'll probably have to stay over.
Wish me luck, Sal. Here we go.
End of Transcript