AUTHORS NOTES

Tori is probably so far outta character that you can't really see it as her, but the change is necessary wiv the plot. I have tried to maintain as much of her character as possible though- Her bitchiness towards Chloe at the least, though I'm afraid a bit more than I'd have liked is lost forever. Oh well. And peoples, I thank all of you who asked for this chapter, really appreciated and you made me move my ass and use at least a couple of hours of my ½ term concentrating on this, rather than reading others fics and watching TV to avoid doing homework. But since this did take sooo much effort to finish something so lame, this is definitely the last part. Please review as a whole, so I can see if it was at all worth the effort (I would say time, but I spent half of it playing solitaire) THREE-SHOT COMPLETE XD (words of joy, honestly) doesn't have my OC in though, as it is easily seen, my ideas change rather rapidly.

Simon P.O.V

I walked back to my spot on the stairs, only to find that it was taken. By a small figure with black hair, her face hidden. Through a quick process of elimination (as Derek's geekeness would say) it had to be Tori; Chloe had washed her dye out and Derek could hardly be distinguished as small or female.

Oh, shit.

I had to say something. Something to make her move, at least. Subjecting her to reading the list beside would be cruel, assuming she hadn't already. Despite my general opinion of her, she never seemed nosy when there wasn't an image or sorts to hold, and when she sits on her own, it seems there wouldn't be. Unless she lied to herself. That was a depressing thought, and sorta made me wish that I hadn't written the list or at least had kept it personal, rather than left it for people to read.

I mentally prepared myself, not knowing really what I was gonna say, but thinking of how to start a civilised conversation with her. How depressing that I couldn't think of how to even talk like a rational human being.

"Tori? Ummm, sup?" My voice sounded totally bad and fake but it didn't seem to matter as I didn't need to think of anything else to say. She got up glared at me without really looking at me, and I could see the hurt on her face. It made me totally positive that she had read it and made me immediately want to take back every single word of it, because the only thing I had done was shown that Chloe had always been right to be nice to Tori, because it appeared she had understood that Tori was more easily hurt than the rest of us, had more to lose in this little group. And I swear all my face said was probably 'oops'. Not good.

I was about to explain, attempt to apologise, but she must have seen this and ran down the stairs faster than I thought anyone except Derek could run.

Shitshitshitshitshitshitshit

"Tori wait" I shouted, and quite understandably, she didn't. Oh well, I'd find her later, possible when there wasn't a chance of her killing me, quite literally.

Then I turned back to my scribbled demon page of writing. There was neat small writing at the bottom, definitely not mine. Tori's certainly. And if she had written every single insult under the sun, I wouldn't have blamed her. I bloody deserved it.

But I was curious as to what problems she had found in me, because I wouldn't to see how much of it was true, probably all of it as a guess.

But I was wrong. What I found on the paper was nothing less than astonishing. Gob-smacking, faint-worthy. Or maybe that's a slight exaggeration.

But yeah, it was shocking and extremely guilt inducing. I'd never felt so guilty before. But then again, I'd never done anything so girl-ily bitchy before. It just seemed like something that all the populars or cheerleaders do in high school.

And the sort of thing that I normally disapproved of. And somehow she hadn't really been the bitchy one-I had- despite the fact that I always thought of her like that.

And... I had spent too much time in my guilt-ridden little thoughts. Time to put things right. Properly, not half heartedly or even three-quarter heartedly, if that was a saying.

I didn't have to look far to find Tori. My first thought had been to go to the kitchen and ask Chloe if she had seen her (it felt a little childish but I didn't really want to talk to the new romantic Derek, I didn't really care that he was going out with Chloe but I didn't know if he thought I was. Awkward much). But it wasn't necessary as about 5 steps away from the kitchen Derek came out, glaring.

"What the bloody hell did you do to Tori? Even I feel sorry for her. I swear she has never looked that bloody miserable. She's crying her eyes out and only yelled out Chloe once 'to fucking mind her own business'. Something is seriously messed up."

He paused for breath still glaring. I tried to get my own little word in, but got a bit mind-blocked.

"I know. I feel shitty" was the only thing I could say. Great.

"What did you do? Tell me Simon. I'm your goddamned brother, you can tell me. I'm stuck with you anyway so I'm not gonna bloody abandon you."

"I got really pissy with her acting like she does. I wrote a list of everything I 'hated' about her and then had the absolute stupidity to leave it on the stairs. She read it, then left the nicest note on the end of it that I have ever seen. I didn't mean what I wrote, as I said, I was totally pissy. And now I feel guilty as, and slightly upset that I made her so upset, so can you leave me alone for a second so I can go try to make it up to her?" I was sounding totally desperate, and slightly aggressive, but I didn't really care.

"Fine. Gimme a second to tell her not to gouge your eyeballs out, cause though you probably deserve it, Chloe would get upset and we all can't afford to be seen in A and E. 'K?" Clearly Derek hadn't changed that much after all. Only to Chloe, it appeared. He seemed even more aggresive towards me than normal. Guess it has to balance out.

"Sure" I was getting impatient but yeah, dude had a point, as usual.

I stood and closed my eyes, thinking of the best way to approach it, but before I was fully prepared Derek was back and I was being pulled into a gentle hug. Not that the two were at all related, as the hug was definitely from someone a lot smaller and more feminine than Derek. Chloe, I assumed.

But when I opened my eyes, it was Tori, still upset, obviously, but smiling slightly.

At my look of confusion, her smile widened.

"Don't worry Simon, I forgive you." And I still felt slightly confused.

"Thanks Tori, but you didn't let me apologise properly." She laughed

"Dereks advice. He said you felt like the incarnation of shit. I heard everything you said to Derek. I wasn't trying to –for once, apparently- but Chloe made me. You guys are seriously a bad influence on her. She was meant to be the nice one."

And I couldn't help it. I swung her round in a full circle, her changed mood appearing to be infectious. "I really am sorry though. Seriously."

"Stop apologising it makes everything miserable."

By this point Chloe had joined us, her arms wrapped around Derek. Well, as much around him as she could reach with her small thin arms.

And I felt happier than I had done in a long time.

Chloe and Derek were together, which seemed to minimise the bickering. Tori wasn't saying anything bad to Chloe, so Derek wasn't getting defensive and everyone seemed happy.

Well, me and Tori weren't quite at happy couple status yet, but hey, we were building. It seemed we were starting on the first of a good few positive building blocks for our relationship, but it wasn't like we were gonna just jump from one to a hundred in a few minutes. These things take time, and it's what life is made of.

Give it a few months and we could be as happy as Chloe and Derek, at the moment she didn't know how I felt but I knew how she felt and it was a start. I would work on it. WE would work on it, starting with a few gestures to show how I felt, without it looking fake or too spontaneous. The key word was time.

THE END