Her head is resting on chest, and underneath the covers he's playing with her fingers - she smiles absent-mindedly when she thinks of him playing the piano, her voice vaguely wafting through her conscious , but her focus is on his smiling face. Blinking out of her thoughts, she thinks the world is brighter now, possibly happier, but definitely more colourful. When André leans over to press a kiss to her forehead, she can see every single shade of brown in his eyes.
She giggles at the sight of him, at the feeling in her chest, at the movement on her bare lower back as he traces patterns without rules with the tip of her finger. He leans over again, and this time she thinks he might kiss, just one more time. He gets so close that she can smell his breath, and she thinks that he somehow smells warm, like hot cocoa on a cold day. Instead, he kisses the corner of her mouth, which turns upward without her thinking about it at all.
Her hand moves to his side, digging her nails into his skin slightly, just to make sure that he doesn't go away, making sure that he stays close enough so that she can feel his warmth. He sighs, and squeezes her shoulder tightly, before letting go again, reassuring her. She's just about to fall back to sleep when he starts to draw patterns again, and she nudges her nose into the junction of his neck.
"Mmm?" comes her reply. She's so tired that it takes her awhile to speak, enjoying the feel of his skin against her arm outstretched across his chest, and the rhythm of his breathing.
"André," she says finally. "What happens next?" she asks lazily. She doesn't really care about the answer, not yet, because she feels content; happy enough just to be here. But an ache in her chest starts to grow with his silence, and her breathing becomes out of time with his slow, deep ones.
"We continue," he says suddenly, turning to face her and smiling. "We'll be us. Always."
She understands - so she kisses him.
He thinks she looks beautiful like that, with her hair spread out against the pillow and light shedding across her face, falling in all the right places to make her look even more beautiful. He kisses where the shadow of her eye lashes fall, then the apple of her cheek, and then on her nose, before she giggles and smiles in her sleep, and then he can't help but kiss her. I could do this every morning, he thinks as Tori starts to kiss back.
They stay there, in their own little world filled with soft kisses and white cotton sheets for hours. She reminds him every ten minutes that he should go home, that she'll get in trouble if her mother finds them together, in her bed. He just smiles and promises her softly that she won't, and starts to hum a meaningless tune, and they forget all their worries.
In the end, he only gets five minutes to get dressed again and has to go out through her bedroom window, but he still has a smile on his face and knows that it was worth it. And it's only half an hour later that she calls him back, and he finds her sitting on the lounge wearing the purple hoodie he left behind.
He goes and sits next to her, cupping her face in his hands and whispering,
"This is us." when her eyes widen slightly, before kissing her, slow and gentle and not caring if anybody else sees. After they break apart she giggles, saying,
"We're good. Very good."
(He thinks they're the best.)
She's sitting on the edge of his piano, swinging her legs over the edge, looking down at her feet as she does. A high note rings out and fades as he leans over on his elbows, resting on the keys. She turns to look at him, her legs still swinging. Smiling at him, she twists her body so that she can press his hands to hers, as well as being able to press his on one of the piano keys. A note that sounds similar to his rings out again.
"Oh, Vega, you were flat," he says, making a tutting noise and shaking his head. She starts to stroke her thumb over the back of his hand, and he brings their intertwined hands up to his face to kiss hers. She giggles, and blushes at the sound.
"Ah, such a gentleman," she says. He shrugs his shoulders, grins at her, and drops her hand and starts to play a c major scale - she thinks that he still makes it sound pretty.
"André," she says, her finger winding against the shiny surface of the piano. She can see both of their reflections. "Write me a song?" she asks. He smiles at her.
"I already have," he answers. She looks at him, puzzled, and her legs stop swinging. Only for a moment.
"Really?" she asks. He nods.
"Listen to the lyrics," he says. "You'll know. Trust me." She nods her head, smiling and going through all the songs and words, listening to them in her head as if it's the first time, as if she finally gets it now.
"Ok," she says. He starts to play his piano again, twinkling high notes with soft lower ones, and she thinks he hears him humming a couple of times. She joins in, making up her own notes, yet they all seem to match and harmonise perfectly. Suddenly, he stops.
"Tori," he says. His smile widens. "Sing me a song?"
"I already have," she replies.
"I like hearing them," he says. "Over and over again." She smiles again, nods her head.
"I do too," she says, and starts to sing the words that she knew all along.
They're at the beach, the sunset falling over them as the tide comes closer and closer to their bare feet. He's drawing patterns in the sand, little swirls that begin to look like notes. After awhile, he just writes the word Tori, followed by three notes. He wonders if she knows what it would mean, but he doesn't get the chance to ask her because the water washes it away.
"We should do it again," she says. The sunset is reflecting in her eyes, the waves are moving, going in and out.
"Do what again?" he asks, even though he already knows. This is all very similar to him - he likes it. Makes him feel nostalgic in the best possible way. She turns and rolls her eyes at him playfully.
"You already know," she says, but she starts to frown slightly. "Right?" she adds softly, almost as if she's not sure that she should have said it. He nods his head, and moves closer so that he can wrap an arm around her shoulder, and draw her to him so that she has her head on his shoulder and their hips are touching.
"Of course," he whispers into her hair. "How could I forget?"
"Good," she says. "I couldn't either." She presses her lips to his jaw. "But we should, you know. It won't be the same as last time, but, maybe it could be even better."
"I think it could be," he agrees, smiling, even though she can't see it (but she can feel it, really). "I promise you, next time the fair comes around, I'll take you."
They stay there until the sun sets, until the tide comes up and wets their feet, only to then race with it, running backwards and forward, trying not to get wet. In the end, his jeans are soaked and some of her hair is sticking to her face. Race you to the pizza parlour, he says, and she giggles and kisses him and starts to run without him saying go.
(And she starts to win, but in the end he picks her up and twirls her around the beach in his arms, and they end up kissing until the sky is a navy blue, and Tori promises him that she saw a shooting star.
They never do get that pizza.)
She's drinking a latte, trying to look at the song he's writing upside down, pouting when he stops writing to stare at her incredulously. He grins every time their knees brush together, but he's only halfway through the song where they start to half a foot war. She ends up winning, her purple shoes on top of his black converse, and he's left to drink his semi-cold coffee in defeat.
"I like this," he says suddenly. "This is right, this is how it's supposed to feel," he adds. He puts his coffee cup down, only to realise too late that he put it on top of his music sheet. He sighs, looking at the brown circle that cuts through the word, making some of them blur. When he looks at Tori again, she has a foreign expression on her face, one that he can't quite pin down in her eyes, even though she's looking right at him.
"Well, isn't that how love is supposed to feel?" she asks finally. "Like, like, it's supposed to be? Like you're supposed to love someone?"
"I never said anything about love," he says softly, grinning at her blush. She immediately looks down at her empty cup, biting her lip and moving her finger around the rim. "But yes," he answers. "I think so." He sees the glimpse of a smile, just being cut away as her hair falls in front of her face. He pushes his half-finished song over to her side, saying,
"You can look now." He watches her reaction, the small smiles forming on her face, her eyes lightening, even when she tries to hum it. Handing it back to him she smiles.
"I think it's perfect," she says.
"Yeah, well, I do too." He grins at her.
Beck and him have their feet resting on the chairs in front of them, watching as Tori and Jade act together on the stage. André smiles over at him.
"You can still see the hate in Jade's eyes," he says, shaking his head. Beck looks at him, and lets a grin escape.
"That, my friend, is called passion. Get it right," he corrects. "And you can still see the fear in Tori's anyway," he adds.
"No, you can't. She's the best on the stage," he says. Beck raises his eyebrows at him. "Well, she's still pretty good. I think she's the best," he admits. Beck just nods his head, only to shake it moments later.
"Dude, you are so in love," he says. "It's getting cliché. You've been dating for months now, go have sex and get it over with." He shrugs his shoulders, and rolls his eyes.
"Yes, I'm going to take tips from Beck Oliver about love. Yes, that is such a great idea," he says. "And we're not cliché. Just in love, and there is more to a relationship than sex."
"Possibly," Beck admits, laughing slightly. "Well, isn't love a little cliché?" he asks, looking half-amused and half genuinely curious. André thinks for a moment, before shaking his head.
"No, not with us. We don't work that way," he says, his forehead creasing, trying to find words to explain it. Beck just nods, smiling as Jade starts to work towards them, Tori following.
"I get what you mean," he says, grinning. Before either of them say anymore, Jade and Tori are there, and they then both erupt into applause.
He gives her hundreds of love songs, some just written on the backs on napkins, others on the back of her hand, written because of a song she hummed. She smiles at him, looks down at the grass again and starts to pluck at it with her fingers. She doesn't always sing them, but he knows that she reads them and it's enough.
He kisses her every day, and she tastes of her cherry lip gloss even though she doesn't always wear it. Sometimes, just after they've broken apart, she starts to hum tell me that you love me - he always does.
(One time, after he's written another song on her arm, their hands brush together so much that when she's home, it's rubbed off her hand and he now has a blue tinge to his skin. He hopes that she read it.)
She breaks up with him on a Wednesday, the exact same day the fair comes into town. He'd already bought the tickets.
"Why?" he asks, staring down at the floor. It's an ugly colour, dirt brown with black skid marks across its surface. He frowns harder, digs his feet into the floor more as the silence grows. "Were you scared?" he says, his voice harder this time and more demanding.
"N-No," she stammers. She sounds smaller, more fragile. His hands tighten into fists. "I just, I don't know."
"What? What didn't you know?" he says, almost spits. She flinches, and he feels bile start to rise in his throat. "Sorry," he whispers, scuffing the ground with his shoe.
"Me too," she says. Taking a deep breath, she adds, "I just didn't know anymore. How I felt, what to do. I didn't know."
"Well," he says, swallowing - hard. "Ok."
He doesn't talk to her until the fair leaves.
They stay in town for ten days.
He stays in the music room after school, sitting at the piano and not knowing what to do, the keys suddenly foreign and daunting to him. The guitar strings hurt his fingers. His chest aches each time he blows into another instrument. The drums are too loud.
So he ends up back at the piano. He's been sitting at it, staring at its black surface for ten minutes when Tori comes in, and slides in next to him, without touching him at all. He doesn't need to look up to know it's her (he knows her perfume by now), and she doesn't say anything.
"Would you like me to sing?" she asks softly. His hands fall against the keys, a jarring sound filling the room. He flinches.
"No," he says quickly. "No, but…you can stay. I think." She nods her head, and after an hour he starts to write a slow and sad ballad, and she stays with him the whole time. And he doesn't work her home, but he waves, and the smile on her face tugs at his chest even more.
He doesn't let her hear the song, doesn't even play it, but he can hear her voice in his head - and it's enough.
Two months after they break-up, they're best friends again. Probably. They work better that way (even though he thought that worked when he was dating, but friends is easier, friends is more natural), they're just Tori & André.
(Except that when he goes over and watches a movie, she falls asleep, and her head falls onto his shoulder. He goes without saying goodbye, and the next day she doesn't even ask him what happened.)
He takes her to the fair when they come back, just like he promised. Except it's different this time. There isn't any blue cotton candy, or chocolate mint ice cream, and no kisses on top of the Ferris wheel. It's just them.
But it's not. Because it's different, and no matter what he does, no matter how much Tori smiles at him, and no matter how much he tries to re-create it, everything's different from what it was a year ago. He leaves the fair with a bitter taste in his mouth, even with the popcorn still in his hand.
It's cold on the bus home, even with his hoodie on, which he give to Tori because she starts to shiver, and he thinks that maybe it will stop her from huddling close to him - it doesn't, and he's annoyed at himself that he still likes the warmth of her body. He looks out the window as the bus travels along the road, not seeing the scenery. Instead, he sees the memories play out in front of him, of him and her laughing together, having fun. The times when the smiles weren't mandatory, they were just there.
"Was I ever enough for you?" he asks her, taking her by surprise. Did you ever love me?"What?" she says, but all she needs is one more look from him to know what he means. She sighs. "Yes, of course you were," she says, smiling sadly at him. "You're André."
"And you're Tori," he says. (Tori&André & André&Tori) "So why didn't it work?"
"I don't know," she admits, unconsciously starting to bite at her nails. "Still. But it doesn't matter, can't we just be here. Now," she says, looking up at him, a pleading tone to her voice.
"But we could try it again," he offers. Her eyes widen, but he doesn't know why, not anymore. He used to be able to tell you everything about her, what she meant when she said something, why she said it. He misses that. She blinks, shakes herself, and says,
"But I don't want to," she says.
He gets out at the next stop, even though it's three blocks away from his house. She doesn't come after him.
(He used to know when I was lying, she thinks.
She gets out two blocks away from his house.)
She knocks on his window, resting halfway between the branch and the window ledge, her palms on the thin wood. He lets her in, grabs her waist for a second as he pulls her through, and lets go almost immediately once she's got her feet on the ground again. He doesn't look at her after that, only sits down as far away from her as possible and sits at his desk, scores and music notes, some coffee stained, some not, scattered around him.
He wants to tear them up, throw them in the bin and set fire to them and see them burn, watch the ink bleed and wonder if maybe that's good enough. He looks down at the desk, presses his fingers into the oak, and sighs too loudly when he closes his eyes and just for a second, imagines the feeling of white and black piano keys. His nails dig into the wood when he opens his eyes again and all he sees is brown.
Tori still hasn't spoken a word, even though it has to been at least ten minutes by now. Then again, maybe it's only been five (he can't tell, because his clock still seems to be stuck on the perfect time a whole year ago, and he can't go backwards or forwards in time - he's just stuck in the present). His attention is diverted to an old, creased picture peaking out from under his sheets of music, and he doesn't have to look at it to know what it is.
But he does, slides it out with light fingertips, doing everything to make sure that he doesn't stain it with his finger prints, trying to keep it perfect. He stares at it for a long time, barely looking at it and just thinking it over and over again in his head. Tori's head on his shoulder, some of the longer strands stained with blue and green from her cotton candy and ice cream, and a tiny teddy bear with a love heart on its chest in the palm of her hand, the only thing that he won. He gave it to her.
He doesn't hear her walk up to him, barely even feels her hand as she touches him lightly on the arm. He looks up from the photo slowly, into her glazed eyes. With a sudden jolt, he realises that he's tainted it, imagines the stains on it as he closes her eyes, feeling her mouth moving against his.
Without one coherent thought, he starts to scrunch in his hand, Tori not noticing as she falls into his lap, his other arm wrapping around her waist. He lets the photo drop onto the table again, and starts to kiss her harder as he imagines the creases that are now running through it.
His grip tightens on Tori, and after that it's just a mess of loose buttons and strewn clothes as he presses her further down into the mattress, with an i'm sorry being whispered in his ear. He never really knows whether he just imagined that or she said it aloud, but he breathes me too into her skin and knows that she'll understand anyway.
"How will we end?" she asks. They're lying on his bed, side by side but not touching; staring up at the ceiling, almost looking for cracks, little imperfections in the plaster. He's silent for a long moment, and he can't help but think that he's answered this question before, or at least heard it. Maybe he hasn't, he gets so confused with her around. Or maybe it's already happened and she shouldn't still be asking this question. A beat of her heart and,
"I don't know," he says. He hears the rustle of fabric and hair as she moves her head on the pillow, turning her gaze away from the ceiling to look at the window. He wonders what she sees - he can't look.
"There's nothing to go on," she whispers. He knows what she means, but he still doesn't have an answer for her, because they haven't ever been able to follow the rules, even with them mapped out in front of them in black, bold ink.
"But there's us," he answers. "Always."
Disclaimer: I do not own Victorious.
A/N: Sami, this is way happier than my other one. Really. Anyway, if you loved it/hated it/have questions, etc. review or PM me. I'm going to sleep now.