Thank you all so very, very much for all of the reviews. I appreciate them all.
Disclaimer: I do not own Victorious or any songs used in this story.
And now, here it is: the final chapter. Enjoy!
Two months later, they graduated.
The ceremony was unlike any other graduation ceremony, with live musical performances by students and the craziest speeches anyone can imagine, including one by Sinjin, who surprised everyone – every single student in Hollywood Arts and most of the parents – by being Valedictorian.
After, Tori hosted a graduation party at the Vega's home. The entire house was decorated. A huge banner that said "Congratulations Graduate!" hung on one of the walls in the living room; a table on the opposite side of the room was piled high with presents, and streamers hung from the ceiling. But out of everything, the backyard was the most popular area.
Tables and chairs had been set up in the lawn, each lined with white tablecloth and finished off with a centerpiece. In the center of the lawn a home-made dance floor had been set up and was already full of guests.
"Tori. Hey," a familiar voice said.
Tori turned. "Jade, you made it." The two of them hugged.
Jade smiled. "Of course. Wouldn't miss it. Congrats."
"Same to you."
Several months ago, Tori would not have considered inviting someone who had done everything she could to make her school life hell. But something changed in those few months. All of the anger and jealousy that had been held between the two over the past few years was gone, now replaced by what could almost be called a friendship.
"Jade, thank you for everything. I can't even tell you how grateful I am for what you did. I know it couldn't have been easy on you."
Jade shrugged it off. "Like I told Beck, it was nothing. I'm just glad everything worked out." She looked around the lawn. "Looks like the party's going strong. Hope I didn't miss much." She removed the high-heels she had put on earlier for the ceremony. Then, without another word, she walked away and disappeared in the crowd of dancers.
"Tori!" Cat squealed. She appeared as if from nowhere.
"Hey, Cat," Tori said. They hugged briefly before Cat pulled away.
"I got you a gift!" she said. She nodded toward the table. "I put it with the others."
Tori smiled. "I'm sure I'll love it."
"We're graduates! Can you believe it? We're just that much closer to fame."
"I know. It's exciting."
"Where are you going to college?"
"Beck and I were accepted into Tisch School of the Arts."
"In New York? That's so far. How am I going to visit you?" Cat pouted. "I'm staying here in California."
"Ah, don't worry. We'll keep in touch."
"Of course. Oooh, I just got these awesome pens from SkyStore! They glow in the dark!"
"That's awesome. But...when would you be writing in the dark?"
"It came with matching paper. Bright, bright pink paper. And envelopes! It's amazing."
"Well, now we've got a way to keep in touch, don't we?" Tori replied with a smile.
"Oh, hey, did you see Sinjin? He's taken over your DJ stand."
Their gaze went to the table that had been set up for the DJ. Sinjin stood there, disk in hand, ready to change the song. Their hired DJ was nowhere in sight.
"Eh, that's fine. I figured he would. Don't worry – all of the Disco music is out of sight."
Suddenly Andre came up to the two. "Hey, Cat. Tori. Great party."
"Thanks." Tori sighed. "I think everyone's having a good time."
Andre scanned the crowd of guests. "Where's Beck?"
"He said he has to take care of something before the party." Tori glanced at her watch. "He should be here any time now."
A new song came over the speakers. The group paused and listened before Andre grinned. "Make it Shine," he said. "Excellent song, if I do say so myself."
Tori rolled her eyes.
"This song…we've gotta dance. If you don't mind, that is," Andre said.
Tori returned his grin. "Let's go."
They pushed their way through the crowd until they found a more open space. Then, they danced. It was an upbeat, fun song – the type that everyone could get into, no matter how well they danced. Andre had just playfully spun Tori when suddenly, the entire mood seemed to change.
The sharp prick of a needle, piercing her skin.
Intense, unbearable burning.
Someone's strong arms, catching her as she fell into a darkness.
"Tori." Andre's voice brought her out of her flashback. His eyes were full of worry. "Are you alright?"
"Yeah. Yeah, I'm fine. Just – wondering where Beck is, that's all."
"Right," Andre said slowly. Her cover was poor, yet he didn't pry for details. Instead, he said, "Maybe you should sit down for a while." She nodded reluctantly in agreement.
Before Andre could lead her to the nearest empty chair, someone suddenly slipped their arm around Tori's waist. "Hey, sorry I'm late," Beck said. He kissed her cheek. "Are you alright?"
"I'm fine, don't worry. Did you get everything worked out?"
Beck nodded. "Everything's settled."
Tori wrapped her arms around him. "So what did you have to do?"
"It's a surprise." He kissed her then took her hand. "Come on. Let's dance."
Many guests had left the dance floor and were socializing at one of the many tables or lingering inside. It had gone dark and one by one, beautiful stars lit the evening sky. The heat was gone and it was surprisingly cool for the normal May weather.
Beck took Tori in his arms. She let herself completely relax as they danced to the song that seemed to start it all.
Suddenly, my choice is clear
I knew that only you and I were standing here
And beautiful is all I see
It's only you, I know it's true
It has to be
"This brings back so many memories," she said.
"Yeah, it does."
"Cat and her makeup." Tori rolled her eyes.
Beck grinned. "You've got to admit it was a little entertaining."
Suddenly I see what I didn't before
And I don't care what they think anymore
Cause I'm finally falling.
Tori returned the grin. "Maybe for you, but certainly not for me."
I'm falling, falling.
Beck kissed her forehead. "You still looked cute doing it though."
"Thanks." She sighed. "So this surprise I'm supposed to be getting…"
"Right. So you can choose to either get it now, or later wh –"
"I choose now."
"I figured. Be right back."
Beck went into the house. Through the kitchen window Tori could see him briefly speak to her parents before coming back outside. As he approached her again she looked at him curiously.
"What was that all about?"
"Your surprise." He glanced over at the DJ's table and nodded slightly at Andre. The music changed to a soft tune. Beck looked straight into Tori's eyes and never broke his gaze as he spoke.
"Tori, we've known each other three years and dated for six months. Months ago, when you went missing, I came to realize I can't imagine life without you. I don't want to live my life without you."
Beck removed a small, blue velvet box from his suit jacket pocket. Inside it was a ring. A small yet beautiful diamond winked back at her.
"It's a promise ring," he said. His voice faltered for the first time as he continued. It was the first time in a long time she had seen him so nervous. "Tori Vega, I love you and I promise to stay with you until the time is right to take our relationship further. Will you accept this ring?"
"Yes," she answered immediately.
Beck released a heavy sigh of relief. He slipped the ring on Tori's left ring finger. She then threw her arms around him excitedly.
"I love you," she said.
"I love you, too. So much." They shared a kiss. They pulled away as someone suddenly began clapping. The clapping grew louder.
"Alright, alright, give 'em some privacy. This is a very special moment," Trina said. "Smile."
Before either of them could do anything, Tori's sister snapped a picture. She gave a curt wave and quickly went inside, going straight to Mr. and Mrs. Vega.
"Your sister's crazy," Beck murmured.
"Alright, everyone! Grab your 'significant other' and get to the dance floor. This song is for the couples out there!" the DJ announced.
Beck kissed Tori again before extending his hand to her. "May I have this dance?"
Tori smiled. "Absolutely."
Beck held her close, then. She rested her head against his shoulder as they swayed to the music. Around them, hundreds of stars shone brightly from above. Nothing else mattered right then.
Two years ago, Tori danced in front of a full house with Beck, thinking any girl in the world would be lucky to be with him. After two years, she became that girl.
She closed her eyes. For the first time in a long time, she finally felt complete.
Voila. Complete. I hope you all enjoyed this story. I might write a sequel. Hm...what do you think? Anyway, thanks for reading! You've been an awesome audience :) 'Til next time...