A/N: Again, big kudos to Lovely_Amelie for the prompt: I wish everything could be simple, like a retro pop song. I want you to want me. Boom. End of story. We all live happily ever after. But it's never really like that, is it?

Reviews are lovely. I want to know what you felt as you read this. Sadness, happiness, etc.

3, let'..away

When Tori Vega is seventeen years old, she meets André Harris's older brother. Andrew Harris is entering his sophomore year at a very prestigious college on the East Coast.

Tori finds it kind of ironic that André's brother's name is what Trina improperly calls André 95% of the time.

Anyway, Andrew apparently is a huge fan of Katy Perry and science. Tori's never seen him before because he's either off at college or helping out at the summer camp where he works when he's home.

How then, did they meet?

Tori wonders sometimes herself.

Long story short, Tori found out that Hollywood Arts had a service requirement. The school set up where the students went during the summer; however, by the time Tori found out, all of the good counseling positions had been given away.

She asked Lane what she could do instead of teaching kids to sing or act. He told her there was one connection Hollywood Arts had left that he could use- it was to a science museum.
Tori scoffed and insisted that she couldn't teach kids science- there had to be something else!
Lane just grimaced and said she wouldn't actually be teaching kids science, just doing menial jobs like supply runs and taking kids to the bathroom.
She sighed and gave in- it was better than not graduating.

Tori walked into the camp's cafeteria with her hideous orange shirt they had given her. She vowed she would try to like it- that's what optimists do.

After grabbing a schedule and seeing that she was working with the youngest set of kids, Tori sat down at a table with the other counselors. One immediately smiled up at her, and reached out his hand.

"Hi, I'm Andrew Harris".

Tori took his hand. "Tori Vega. Funny, I know someone else with the last name Harris too. He goes to my school".
She had no idea why she was babbling to a complete stranger.

Andrew smiled. "Is his name André?" Tori nodded.
"That's my kid brother. Small world, isn't it?"

And that's how Tori Vega and Andrew Harris met.

The four weeks Tori spent at the summer camp went by in a blur. She and Andrew became close very quickly- it's hard to spend four weeks practically attached to someone and not become friends.

Of course, Tori also began to see him outside of the camp as well. They often carpooled over to the Harris residence, where she hung out with the brothers often.
They became sort of a trio; where one went, the others often followed. Tori felt guilty that she was spending more time with Andrew than she was with André, but nonetheless, she regrets nothing from those summer days.

One summer day stands out in her mind from all of those.

Andrew had driven her over to his house as usual, but something was different. André wasn't there.

He was at Robbie's, and was planning to spend the night because apparently a camper at Robbie's camp had destroyed Rex.
André was only trying to be a good friend.

He'd never find out that he boosted someone else's friendship that night as well.

Anyway, Andrew and Tori decided to spend the night in the Harris's backyard, just counting the stars.

Andrew tried to insist that he couldn't think outside of the box, but Tori told him he should try. And so try he did, because she was someone who you didn't give up on easily.

They talked about a lot that night. Andrew asked the question about where she wanted to go to college and what she wanted to major in.

She replied that more and more, she had been thinking about not going to an arts school and instead going to major in education.
Camp had changed her, she said. She was rethinking what she wanted to do with her life.
The only problem, she sighed, is that she'd only looked at arts school.

Andrew told her that he thought she was smart enough to go to his school, and he didn't say that to everyone. He told her to seriously think about it.

Silence prevailed for a few minutes after Tori laid her head on his shoulder.

Suddenly, it was broken with:

"André's jealous of me, you know".

Tori shot up at that. "Why?"

"You're spending more time with me than him. I think he likes you".
I do too, Andrew thought.

"I….I don't know what to say. I think I'll just let him tell me if it's true".

Tori checked the time on her phone.

"Oh shoot, it's almost midnight! I'd better get going- we've got a long day tomorrow".

"I'll drive you home".

All things end, so when summer came to a close, Tori bid goodbye to Andrew and promised to keep in touch with him.

She started her senior year and her college applications. She applied to seven arts schools and one school for education.

She held her breath for a couple of months, and then she got a letter in the mail.

Miss Tori Vega,

We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted to…

And she cries, whoops for joy, and calls Andrew first.

He cheers for her, and Tori thinks that no one has ever supported her this much before.


Another summer comes and goes, and suddenly Tori and Andrew are packing up to go off to college together.
André sometimes has a jealous glint in his eyes, but Tori just thinks that's because she's leaving the West Coast behind- something they've all wanted to do at some point in their lives.

Suddenly Tori's moving into her dorm room and is buying textbooks on children's behavior and how to effectively motivate students.

Some days, when her coursework is mind-boggling to her, she wishes she had stayed with glitter and shininess.

Then there are days when she hears about how teachers have forever affected students' lives (think: Sikowitz), and she thinks she's making the right choice.

It's November of her freshman year (junior year for Andrew), when she gets asked out by a fellow freshman named Brendan. She says yes- Brendan seems nice, after all.

She's primping and preening in her dorm room one Friday night when Andrew knocks on her door.

Tori tells him to come in, and when he enters, he's immediately shocked. He asks her what's going on, and she just says with pride:

"I've got a date tonight!"

"With who?"

"Brendan Fischer".

"Oh, he's in my writing class. I don't like him, Tor".

"Why not?"

"He's arrogant and there's something not quite right about him that I can't put my finger on".

"You're just jealous because he asked me out".

"Am not".

Tori sighs, and then checks her watch again. "It's almost seven, I gotta go. I'll call you if something goes wrong, ok?"
Then she left the room.

Andrew rests his head against the wall, and says aloud:

"Damn Tori. You'll never know what you'll do to me".

Andrew is waiting in her dorm room when she comes back from her date.
He gets really pissed off when he sees that she's on the edge of tears.

He gathers her up in her arms (he's glad her roommate went home for the weekend), and she starts sobbing.

"Andrew….he started to kiss me…and I told him to stop…and then he called me a dumb bitch…and if some frat boys hadn't come by…he would've…" Tori says between sobs.

And all Andrew can do is rock her and stroke her hair, and swear revenge on Brendan Fischer.

Revenge he does get, because Brendan Fischer's exploits are revealed and he gets expelled.

Andrew doesn't know who kissed who first- but he doesn't regret it either way. All he knows is that, after she stopped crying, his lips were on Tori's and she was kissing him and it just felt right.

After they broke apart, Andrew said:

"God, Tori. You have no idea how long I've wanted to do that".

"I think…I think I've wanted to do that as well".

And then they're kissing again and it's getting more intense and eventually they move to the bed.

Things are going along smoothly until Christmas break, when suddenly Tori and Andrew remember something at the same time.

"André…he's coming home tomorrow".

"And how are we going to explain us?"

"I don't know…"

Turns out, André either doesn't notice or pretends not to when Tori and Andrew hold hands and give each other looks full of love.

They can breathe again for a few minutes.
They can pretend that Andrew's not graduating next year and going to law school, or that André's jealously doesn't exist.
They can pretend that they'll spend the rest of their lives together, despite the fact that Andrew wants to move to the jungle for a few years and give legal aid to those who need it.
And Tori, he insists, cannot come with him.

Andrew, however hard they pretend, does graduate a year and a half after they start dating. He'll be on the same campus, but things have changed- they're growing up. And Tori's not sure she likes it.

And André's jealously does begin to manifest itself in many ways. He'll drop hints that Tori would be better off not dating Andrew whenever he calls her.
Or he'll send a care package to Tori that includes a CD of songs about broken hearts and please be mine's.

But again, Tori and Andrew still pretend that they'll live a perfect life together.

It's funny how fast things can change, isn't it?

The next three years go by very quickly, and Tori and Andrew's relationship blossoms. They're in love, and anyone can see it.

Tori starts graduate school (because let's face it, you can't get a job without a master's anymore), and Andrew enters his last year of law school.
Both of them know what is eventually going to happen- Andrew will move to the jungle and Tori will be left behind. And they're both scared of what's going to happen.

They fight more and more often as Andrew's graduation from law school approaches. Tori wants to come with him when he goes over to Africa, and he tells her she can't.
He wants her to finish her master's degree, and then he'll think about her coming over.

"It's only five years, Tor. And for you, three of those will be spent in school. And you can get a job for the other two. When I come back, we can get married. I promise".

"You haven't asked me, though".

Andrew gets down on one knee and pulls out the box he's been holding onto for a while.

"Victoria Vega, will you honor me by agreeing to marry me?"

And of course she says yes. This is their dream, isn't it?

Andrew writes her lots of letters from Africa. He talks about the families he's helping win back a cow, or a piece of land.
And Tori's proud of him, and writes him back.

That doesn't take away from the empty void that a diamond ring can't fill.

André keeps her company a lot. Their friendship improves (she thinks that sometime's she's using him as a substitute for Andrew).

And then war breaks out.


Please please please know that I love you so much. War has started her- people are fleeing to refugee camps left and right. I'm going to try and get out, but I don't know that I'll be able to.
This may be the last letter I ever send you- again, I love you to infinity and beyond.

One of your favorite sayings from before we dated was "I wish everything could be simple, like a retro pop song. I want you to want me. Boom. End of story. We all live happily ever after. But it's never really like that, is it?" And Tori, I'm sorry to say that it's not really like that this time. I really hope that we can live happily ever- that this is just a nightmare, and I'll wake up and you'll be next to me.
But part of me knows that I could die trying to get back to you.

This may be selfish, but I'm going to ask you to wait a year for me. Just one year, and if you don't hear from me, or I haven't come back…then assume the worst.
I don't want you to put your life on hold just because I might be alive. And if that year passes, then I'm asking you to let your heart go on. Find love with someone else.

You've always been the best thing to happen to me, Tori. I regret nothing from my life with you.

I love you forever and always,


Tori cries. A lot. She takes to wearing black often as well.

She finds it strange, because no one's technically died. But still, her worst fear is coming true- the empty void in her soul will never be filled.

She's only 25, and her world is ending. He's 27, and he's had the life he should have had taken away from him.

The year passes. Tori does not hear from him. He doesn't come home.

André walks into her home on the 365th day. She's sitting at her kitchen table, and there are two items lying side-by-side: the letter and her diamond engagement ring.

André knows exactly what this means. He cries too, but not in front of Tori- he has to be strong for her.

Tori, still sniffling, looks up at him and says:

"André, would you like to go out for coffee?"

And he just nods.

Tori gets a happily ever after (sort of) when she marries André three years later. No, he's not the great love of her life, and he knows that.

But she knows that wherever her great love is, he's smiling for her. And that makes her feel like things may be ok after all.