When Tori got home, she could see Trina sitting in the kitchen, texting someone. She looked up from her phone. "Hey Tori. You're late for dinner."
"Yeah," said Tori. "Had to pick some stuff up."
"Okay," said Trina. "Well, what's left of dinner's in the oven."
"Cool," said Tori. "What was it?"
"It's a frozen pizza," said Trina.
"Yum." Just then, Cat entered the Vega residence, followed by Jade. Both were carrying bags. Tori turned to them. "How's pizza sound?"
"I love it," said Cat, who sat her bag down near the couch.
"It'll have to do," said Jade, who followed Cat's lead and dropped the bag she was carrying by the couch.
"Woah, what are those two doing here?" said Trina.
"School project," said Tori. "We're going to work on it after dinner."
"Oh." Trina went back to looking at her phone. She didn't seem to notice the bags that Cat and Jade had brought inside.
Tori looked back at Cat and Jade. Cat seemed to be happy, almost giddy. Jade on the other hand looked like she wanted to burn everything around her down. Tori turned back to Trina. "Well, we're going to eat dinner and then work on that project."
"Uh huh," said Trina. "Heard you the first time."
"Right," said Tori. "Anyway, we'll probably be working late, so don't be surprised if you see Cat or Jade here in the middle of the night."
"Sure," said Trina. She got up and went up the stairs to her room, her eyes still glued to her phone. "Later."
Once the three heard the sound of her door slamming, Jade smirked at Tori. "You were real smooth there."
Tori rolled her eyes. "Come on, it's not like she suspects anything."
"So where are your Mom and Dad?" said Cat.
"They're away on a trip," said Tori. She went over to the oven and opened it up. Inside she could see half of a pizza there. "They'll be gone for a few days. Who's hungry?"
"Me! Me! Me!" said Cat.
"How do you know Trina's not going to tell your parents?" said Jade.
"Did you see her? She's not going to notice Cat. Besides, I've got dirt on her. If she tells Mom and Dad about Cat, I'll tell them about how she used their credit card to order expensive face wash from France." Tori took the pizza out of the oven and placed it on the kitchen counter. She went over to the cupboard and got three plates, which she put on the table. "Alright, dig in."
Cat grabbed a slice and began eating it, her plate apparently unnecessary. Tori got her own piece of pizza and started eating, though with much less enthusiasm than Cat. She glanced over at Jade. She was standing on the edge of the kitchen, looking at the other two girls with what seemed like an annoyed look. Eventually she went over to the kitchen table, got herself a slice of pizza, and sat down. "So, how long are your parents going to be gone?"
"They'll be back by Sunday night," said Tori. "So we should move Cat over to Andre's house on Sunday morning. How's that sound?"
"Fun," said Cat. "I like Andre's Grandma. She's always making oatmeal and sometimes she forgets she's made oatmeal, so she makes more. So there's a lot of oatmeal in that house. I like oatmeal."
"Well it looks like you'll have a good time at Andre's house," said Tori.
"Who am I staying with after Andre?" said Cat.
"Robbie," said Tori. "Then Beck."
"Beck?" said Jade. "What, is she going to stay with him in his trailer?"
"No," said Tori. "He's talked with his parents. They'll let Cat stay in his old room. Anyways, after staying with Beck, she'll stay with you."
"And then back to you again?" said Jade.
"Yep," said Tori. "I mean hopefully we'll find a more permanent solution to where Cat's stays by then, but if not, they cycle will start all over again. Speaking of which, how's that going?"
Jade took a bite of pizza and chewed it for what seemed like forever. Eventually she swallowed. "Cat's got some relatives in Ohio."
"Ohio?" said Tori. "She can't live there."
"Yeah," said Cat. "How am I supposed to bike to school from Ohio?"
"I know," said Jade. "But I was thinking that they could put me in touch with some of her other relatives who could help out. I'm going to wait for tomorrow to call them. It's already night over there."
Tori shrugged. "Okay, it looks like the best option we've got right now."
Jade sheepishly looked down at her plate. "I'm sure they'll be able to help."
Tori turned to Cat. "So after dinner, do you want to set up your things?"
"Sure," said Cat.
Jade glanced over to the couch in the living room. "There's no way that's comfortable. Can you imagine sleeping on that?"
"Yeah, it's going to be rough," said Tori. "But I can do it for Cat."
Jade quickly turned around. "Wait, you're sleeping on the couch?"
Tori nodded. "Cat's going to be sleeping in my room."
"Why?" said Jade.
"Because Cat's my friend," said Tori.
"Thanks," said Cat.
Jade stared at Tori, a confused look on her face. This made Tori feel uncomfortable. She tried to ignore it. "So um, how's the pizza?"
"Great," said Cat.
"Can't complain," said Jade, who was still staring at Tori.
Tori finished her dinner, picked up her plate, and put it in the kitchen sink. Both Cat and Jade had finished their dinners and were about to take their plates to the sink. Tori rushed over to the table and went to grab their plates. "Here, let me take those."
"Sure," said Cat, who handed her plate to Tori.
When Tori went to take Jade's plate, she pulled it away. "I can take care of my own plate."
"Suit yourself." Once their dinner was put away, they went about the business of getting Cat set up. The three girls grabbed Cat's bags and went upstairs, Tori leading them to her room. As they walked down the hallway, they passed Trina's room. The door to it was still closed and they could hear music coming from inside. When they got to Tori's room, they placed the bags at the foot of her bed. Tori stood in the center and looked at the other girls. "So anyways, I guess you can make yourself at home."
"Okay," said Cat. "Can I put my things anywhere?"
"Sure, just let me take this." Tori picked up a blanket off of her bed.
"What, is that your special blankie?" said Jade.
"Kind of," said Tori. "It's nice and cozy. Got a problem with it?"
"No," said Jade. She looked around Tori's room. "You've got a lot of nice things here."
"Thanks, I think," said Tori.
As the two were talking, Cat went over to her bags and unzipped them. She began taking out her stuffed and putting them around Tori's bed. She was very gentle when placing them on the bed, taking utmost care when putting them down. She even patted the head of one, as if she were trying to comfort it. She sure had a lot of animals. When she was done, the whole bed was covered in a layer of plush animal. She turned to Tori. "So um, thanks Tori for letting me stay here."
"No problem," said Tori. "It's what-"
Cat hopped forward and hugged Tori. "If there's anything you need me to do, don't be afraid to ask."
Tori smiled and patted Cat on the head. "You don't need to do that."
"I do, I do," said Cat. "If you didn't do this for me, I'd still be hiding in Hollywood Arts. This is the nicest thing anyone's ever done for me."
"Well, I'm sure you'll pay me back one day," said Tori. "But for now don't worry about it. Just get ready for bed."
"Okay." Cat pulled away from Tori and went back to tending to her stuffed animals.
"Great, so while you're doing that, I'll be setting up downstairs." Tori turned to Jade. "So um, do you want to say bye to Cat?"
"Bye?" said Cat. "You're leaving already?"
"Yeah," said Jade, who seemed to be trying to avoid Cat's gaze. "I'd like to stay, but it's kind of late."
Cat frowned. "I was hoping this could be a sleepover. We could stay up late, eat ice cream, play games."
"Sorry," said Jade. "But I've got to go."
"Hey Cat," said Tori. "How about this? After I get done setting up on the couch, I'll come here and we can play a few rounds of cards. What do you think of that?"
"I love it," said Cat.
"Great," Tori exited her room. "So I'll go do that and you can say good bye to Cat."
Jade nodded. "Okay yeah, I'll do that."
"See you in a bit." Tori closed the door behind her. She briefly peeked in at Cat and Jade. Jade was hugging Cat. She was holding her so tightly it looked like Cat was going to pop. Tori swore she could see tears rolling down Jade's cheeks.