Title: all the things she said
Summary: it's a library and eyes – perfection – and confusion, heartbreak, and falling in love, maybe, just maybe, for the last time.
Pairing: Jane and Victoria
Disclaimer: I do not own.
They meet before they are ready; before they can accept.
Time waits for no one.
A bump in a library, and scared, so, so scared at the feeling; at the short sensation of her skin touching.
"Fuck," and it should not be that breathless, at all, because this happens all the time, and why should this be any different?
But it is.
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to – "
But she looks up, she looks up, and can't speak anymore.
She looks up.
And it's perfection, oh my God, her eyes.
It's blue and green and yellow and brown and perfection.
She's lost, for a second, in a library.
But then the other lowers to get her scattered things, and she should find herself, but after those eyes, that perfection, she's lost forever.
She shakes her head.
"Lemme help you with that," and, "No, it's fine, thanks."
She wants to help, but it's already fixed.
"Sorry, again," and the other is walking away, and she's left there.
There's a hand being waved in front of her face, she thinks, but she's thinking, trying to figure out.
"Yo, you. Are you okay?"
The hand is snapping now, and that's so much harder to ignore.
"Hmm? What is it?" she asks, shaking her head.
"Are you okay?" the owner of the hand, her friend, repeats.
"I'm fine, yeah. Just... thinking."
"That's what you said ten minutes ago. Are you sure that you're okay?"
"I'm fine, I told you this already." Her tone is irritated, but not rightfully so.
"Okay, okay. Chill out. It was just a question."
She should apologize, but she's already in her mind again, thinking.
"We have a class in an hour. And we haven't even eaten breakfast yet. Let's go, you."
"I'm coming, I'm coming."
It's been a week, and she still hasn't found her mind.
She's stuck on that bump in a library, on that small, insignificant touch.
And she doesn't know why the fuck she cares.
She hasn't seen the girl at all.
Maybe she was visiting a friend. Getting a tour of the campus.
But no, that can't be it. Because she had books, and the library only lets students even touch the books.
She goes here.
So why hasn't she seen her?
Why does she care?
She needs to not care.
"Dude, come on. What's wrong with you?" It's not in a rude way, just curiosity.
But she's already slightly aggravated by the fact that she cares, so anything seems rude.
"Fucking nothing. I said I'm coming, didn't I?"
She brushes by her roommate, her friend, with way too much aggression.
Her roommate, ever-patient, asks her, once they get in the line of the campus cafeteria, "Did you and 'Metri get in a fight?"
She snorts. "No. Of course not."
But damn, she'd totally forgotten about him.
With all her thinking and caring and thinking about why she was caring, she'd forgotten about her boyfriend.
"Great. You owe me chocolate cake from your date tonight, at that restaurant."
"Date? What day is it?"
Her friend looks at her strangely.
"Thursday. You two always go out on Thursdays."
She rubs her face. "Yeah. I know. Just tired, I guess."
"Then go back to the dorm and rest. I'll bring you food, okay?"
She nods, because she can't find it in her to argue, at all, and some rest sounds really good right about now.
She crashes into somebody on her way back to her room, and she can't help but hope that it's her.
And she doesn't know why.
"Fucking watch where you're going," and no, it's not her. Some blond guy with no manners.
Why does she care?
She doesn't know.
And she's not sure if she wants to.
"What's your name?"
"That doesn't matter. Name doesn't matter. I just want you."
A hand, smooth, manicured – perfection – reaches out to touch her cheek. Just the tips of her fingers, but fire.
It's a fire through her body, and she wants more.
"You're beautiful. Soft skin, pretty lips... Why not you?" Whispering, and she falls even deeper under the spell.
Then her fingers are in her hair, and she can't breathe.
Closer, and closer, closer, closer.
She wakes up.
With a start, and she's sweating and breathing hard.
And she just doesn't get the point of that... that... that dream.
Because she's not –.
"I'm not, I'm not, I'm not," she murmurs.
"You're not what?"
"Nothing," she whispers as her friend walks into the room. "Absolutely nothing."
"Alrighty-then. I came back before, but you were sleeping, so I put your food in the fridge. Just reheat it, or something."
"No problem. I have to go. Just came back to grab my books. In the library to work on group project. Bye, sweets," and her friend's out the door.
And then it's should I go? I might see her. I want to see her. God, why do I want to see her?
She shouldn't go.
She races through her breakfast (or brunch, really, since it's already noon) and is ready to leave the room in fifteen minutes.
She opens the door, bag on her shoulder.
Her boyfriend is standing there, hands in his pockets.
"Why are you here?"
He grins, and it's beautiful.
But she wants to see her, and she doesn't know why.
"What, a guy can't just visit his fucking amazing girlfriend?"
After she says nothing, he continues, looking away, "If you don't want to see me right now, it's fine. You have that big project. I'll go."
She reaches her hand out to take his, trying to pull him into the dorm. He's way stronger, and could go if he wanted, but he lets her.
"No, no. Of course not. Of course I want to see you, silly boy."
He's smiling again, and his lips are perfect.
"'Metri. Bed," because she wants to forget about her.
She almost does, while they're kissing and touching, and he's in her.
But when she's almost there, at that edge, these eyes.
Blue and green and yellow and brown and perfection.
She falls over, with a scream and an arch.
"That was amazing, babe. Can I stay over?"
She nods, closing her eyes.
"Alright." He yawns. "Love you."
She pretends that she's already sleeping, and doesn't say it back.
"So, where we gonna go tonight?" 'Metri asks, getting up and putting his boxers on.
She shrugs. "I don't feel too good," and she's scared at how easily the lie rolls off her tongue, "Can we skip it this week?"
They rarely ever skip their Thursdays, unless the other isn't even in the same state. But that'd be pretty void, since they lived in the same town, so holidays are spent near each other. It's because of that proximity, and that familiarity to have something of home that made them go out on that first date freshmen year.
'Metri is frowning, but she doesn't see.
She's not looking at him, back facing his front.
"Would you like me to stay with you? You know I don't mind."
"No!" Her voice is too eager. "No. It's fine. You go out with the guys or something. Your first free Thursday in months."
"You sure?" His voice is hesitant.
"Positive," and she makes her voice firm, so that he doesn't question her lie. She's not sure how much longer she'll be able to keep it. "You go out and have fun. I mean it."
He leans down to kiss her temple, fully dressed.
"If you're sure. Love ya, lots."
She simply grunts in response.
It's like – it's like she's cheating on him, and she hasn't even said ten words to her.
She doesn't even have feelings for her.
The fact that the face popped up is just a coincidence, is all.
And it's sad, so sad, that she can't even convince herself.
She cries, clutching her pillow.
Murmuring, over and over and over again:
She gets out of bed, sometime in the middle of the night.
She hasn't truly been sleeping, though. Just tossing and turning and trying. Trying to convince herself that she's not.
All her life, and for her to just now find out that she's –
She runs a hand through her hair, tiptoeing to the small fridge to get something to eat.
But damn, there's no ice cream, so she has no choice but to go out and buy some.
She's pretty positive that she's going to break down.
Better to do that in the company of frozen goodness.
And maybe The Notebook.
Because she is a girl, after all, and most, if not all, problems become better with a brainfreeze and gooey feelings in your heart.
She steps out in only a tank and shorts, because it's what? Three in the morning? It's a Thursday, technically, and she doubts that many people will be out of their dorms.
But whoa, it's cold. She should have put on a bra, because she can feel her nipples tightening as the chill touches them through the thin fabric. She knows that if she goes back in, however, she won't find the nerve to get back out.
She walks slowly, arms around her chest, but she's not sure what she's trying to protect herself from.
She's doing a damn good job at ignoring the real issue at hand, if she says so herself.
She only comes across a loner or two, and except for the one hootcall, she doesn't get disturbed.
She opens the door to the Uni cafe that just so happens to sell ice cream, also, (thank God for small favors) and her eyes almost roll back from the warmth.
It's probably never a good idea to walk outside in small clothing, at night.
She's all smiley for a moment, humming a song she heard on the radio yesterday, the warmth warming her up both inside and out, and walks to the counter.
"Triple chocolate chunk fudge, please," she tells the barista, some dude that looks to be around her age. Average-looking, nothing too special on the outside. He looks tired as fuck. His fault for getting a job at a place that prides itself on being open 24/7.
It doesn't take long, and soon, the large paper cup filled with the cold treat is set down in front of her.
"That'll be 3.49," the barista says in a monotone.
She quickly gives him the cash, and picks up the cup, immediately taking a bite.
It's when she turns, that fateful turn, that she sees – God, does she see – her.
She sees her, and it's all can she can do to not drop the ice cream.
She's as – as beautiful amazing perfect her as the first time.
That hair, all curls and color and she can tell, she doesn't know how, she just can, that it's her real color.
That shocking red.
Her pale blond, highlights and all, just – it seems so plain, so boring, compared to her red.
She's well aware that she's just standing there, staring at someone – at some stranger, really, in the middle of a cafe, but she can't – she doesn't –
She closes her eyes and takes a deep breath, inhaling the scent of coffee and sugar and chocolate.
She exhales, releasing the freaking the motherfuck out and I'm quite certain that I'm about to cry in the middle of this place, good Lord.
When she opens them, she can feel eyes on her, roaming her body.
When she turns, slowly, it's those eyes.
That blue and green and yellow and brown and perfection.
She barely has time to realize that there are bags under those eyes, and that they're red and bloodshot – just like hers – before she's running out of the cafe, heart racing – pounding, more like it – mouth dry.
She's dying, just a little, on the inside.
Just a bit.
She's fairly certain of this, you see, because no human body should be able to have its heart beat that quickly without death being imminent and death might not be that bad – eternal rest, and whatnot, but then again, there's also a very likely chance that she'll end up in hell –
And she falters for a second, because Jesus, that voice.
And it's just that one second that she needs, before next thing she knows, that voice is so much closer.
"Wait!" she calls out again.
She starts running again.
It's so much quieter this time, and when she doesn't stop, that voice yells out no more.
She knows, she knows, that she should keep going, get as far away from that voice and those eyes – perfection – and that hair as she can.
And she dies, again, just a little on the inside.
The eyes – perfection – get closer, closer, closer, closer, but she avoids looking at them.
If she does, she'll... she'll...
She doesn't know what she'll do, but she's sure, absofuckinglutely positive, that it won't be good.
"I don't know why. But ever since we bumped into each other in the library, I haven't been able to get you out of my mind. And – I... I've been having these dreams, and I can't sleep, at all, and I've been trying to find you, but – I haven't. I didn't want to just let you leave without me saying a word."
And she is pretty sure that she's some sort of mind–reader, or something. Because that's her, God, it's exactly how she's been feeling, and -
She's still talking.
"I don't necessarily know why this happened, because we barely spoke or touched each other, but it's affected me, a lot, so much. And... I don't know. I really don't. I'm not going to go ahead and assume that you're feeling the same way, " – wait, what? – "but if you are, then... you might have gone through the same thing as me. I'm okay with it now, though. I am. I like you – "
And she's dead, completely.
Simply standing there, in form, trying to comprehend what that voice is saying, because she's – she can't understand any of it. None of it makes sense, and her heart has officially stopped, it must have, because she's not breathing anymore and her lungs are really starting to hurt, so she must be dead because holy fucking shit oh my God –
She likes her.
She likes her.
Is... is that what she's been feeling?
But it can't be.
It just cannot, because that'd mean that she's – and she's not.
That voice chuckles, and it's fucking brilliant.
"I guess this means that I'm gay or whatever – "
She fucking said it.
That word, she said it.
But if they've been feeling the same way, then that would mean that she's – and she's not.
"- but who the fuck cares? I sure don't, because, well, like I said before – I like you. So... I'll just shut up now because I'm pretty sure that I'm rambling, and I never ramble, you know? Shutting up."
She stands there.
Unmoving, heart stopped, lungs really and truly hurting now.
It really doesn't matter to her anymore; the feeling is the same.
She doesn't want to accept the inevitable, and she's only causing herself pain and confusion and tears, and eventually – her ducts will dry, and she won't be able to hide behind her tears, and she'll have to just fucking accept that she's –
But she's not.
"I'm Victoria, by the way," that voice – Victoria – (and she wants to try it on her lips, to see how it sounds; she's sure that it'd sound fucking amazing, like the girl herself) adds, almost as an afterthought, as if saying her name isn't a normal occurrence.
"Jane," she hears herself say, automatically.
She's still dead, you see, and anything and everything she does, is from autopilot.
But fuck it, she's stronger than this.
She takes a deep breath, and her lungs burn, and it's heaven.
"I'm Jane. And – I have to go."
She turns, and she walks away.
Because, she might be stronger than that, but she's not stronger than –
Victoria doesn't follow her.
"Holy crap," her roommate and friend, Dee (short for Heidi) yawns as she pads into the front room. "It's way too early to be ali – hello. Sweets, what the hell are you doing up so early?"
Jane is sitting on the small sofa that they own, legs pulled under her, a cup of ginger tea warming her hands and throat.
Stepping out in the cold, at night – in November – tends to have its cons.
Jane hates colds, and yes, is very aware that she's avoiding her problems.
She's fine with that.
"Sick," she says, and the cough (more like a wheeze, really) that leaves her mouth isn't false. "Couldn't sleep."
Yeah, because that's the reason.
Dee frowns, and moves closer, putting a palm on her forehead, and tutting as she walks to a bin that carries all their health things.
"You have bronchitis, you. That makes your colds ten times worse. What did you do to get it?"
"Must have not covered well," Jane lies, shrugging.
"Hmmm. Well, take these, and we need to get you to the doctor. Classes can wait."
Jane shakes her head. "It's fine, truly. Some of this," she holds up the cold syrup, "and a lot of rest, and I'll be as good as new. Go to your classes; I'll be okay, I swear."
It's takes a while to convince Dee, (she really doesn't deserve her, she knows this) but finally, she gets prepared and leaves.
Jane goes to sleep – because she actually is sick, believe it or not, and she dreams.
Of blue and green and yellow and brown and perfection.
She's made up her mind.
She might not be – that word, (she's not) but she at least wants to try to get to know her – Victoria.
It sounds as beautiful on her tongue as it does in her mind.
So she starts searching.
It's a full four days before Jane finds her again, and God must have a twisted sense of humor, because it's a bump in the library.
They're both lost, and don't realize that it's the other until they bend down to help pick up the missing papers and books.
They look up.
Jane dies a little, again, because it's becoming a habit of hers.
"It's you," Jane breathes, and up this close, close – so close – she sees a small piercing on her – Victoria's bottom lip, and an industrial earring ending a row of small ones on her left ear. Lots of makeup, but not necessarily in a bad way. And they're not light colors, so with her hair – she looks like some sort of dark angel.
She's fucking beautiful.
"Yeah," Victoria says, voice a bit harsh, and she's close, close – so close, so the light scent of coffee and smoke hits Jane's breath. "It's me."
And she gets up to leave, half the papers in Jane's hands. And even though she can't blame her, it doesn't mean that it hurts any less.
Jane takes her arm, because she won't – she can't – just let her go again.
"I'm – please."
It's all she can stay, and Victoria pulls her arm free and stands up.
Jane's heart stops, and she wants to cry, just a little.
But when Victoria starts walking, she angles her head a bit, and says, "Well? Are you coming or not?"
Jane grins, a nice half-grin, full of happy, and scrambles up and after the redheaded beauty.
She follows her to the third floor of the large library, where nobody ever goes, because it's really just the battered and ugly books that the ancient librarian refuses to throw away, and just for good measure, brings her to the farthest corner, to the end of an aisle.
"What?" Victoria asks, and her face is – cold, is the only way to describe it, but there's something, something, in her eyes.
"I'm going to go ahead and say this now – I'm most likely not going to make any sense, but I'm going to try." She takes a deep breath, because she's not going to fuck up, dammit. "I'm Jane. Jane Magdalena Smith. I was born on February 14th, 1990, in Nowhere, Virginia. I'm not necessarily clumsy, but I don't really watch where I'm going."
Another deep breath.
"Because of this, I tend to walk into people. A few weeks ago, I bumped into a girl. It was her eyes, first, that I noticed. Blue and green and yellow and brown – perfection. I, uh, then proceeded to freak out, not sleep, and break a ritual with my boyfriend that hasn't been broken in months. Because I couldn't get her off my mind.
A couple of nights ago, I decided that some ice cream would do me some good. Or at least do the expected and take away some of my problems. In a way, it did. Because in the cafe where I bought the ice cream, I saw her. The one with the perfection for eyes. And... she poured her heart to me. And I ran, because I'm weak, so, so weak.
This is me apologizing to her, and hoping that she'll forgive me."
She stops, but barely has time to take a breath before two hands, calloused from God-knows-what, go to the back of her head, grip her hair, and kiss her.
Jane is frozen for second, just standing there, but then Victoria runs the peak of her tongue along the seam of her lips and it's – fuck it.
So she leans and presses her lips back against Victoria's, insistent, and she can feel the slight gloss of Victoria's lipstick, and both their eyes are closed and it's a question of to open or not to open.
She's not quite sure that she's ready for that, and my God, is she honestly considering doing this again?
She pulls away with a sigh, slowly opening her eyes. Victoria is there, grinning, and it's – she doesn't have words, really.
There are no words, ever.
Jane is sitting against a bookshelf, shoulder-to-shoulder with Victoria.
Her hair is sticking up everywhere, her mouth red from lipstick and swollen from pressure.
And she's never been more beautiful.
Because there's this smile, this uncontrollable happy on her face, that – Victoria gave her.
She's not sure what she is, still, but – she's okay with that.
Eyes on the still worlds on the opposite shelf, they face away from each, but the – the something, that something that's just – it's there, with them, between them.
Jane doesn't know what it is.
But that's okay.
"Why Magdalena? It's – the rest of your name is so..."
"Boring?" Jane offers, smiling a bit. Her name is boring, after all.
"No. Not boring," Victoria says, voice ever-firm. "It fits you, in some way. It's just that Magdalena is so out there, ya know?"
"My parents are... churchfolk," and wow, that's an understatement, "and my mom had a difficult past. But it turned around when she met my father. So, she's like the Biblical Magdalena in that way. Even though my dad is very far from being Jesus. Whatever," she adds, shrugging. Even though her parents are definitely not a shrugging matter.
Victoria is frowning, a small lowering of her bottom lip.
"Church every day, gays-are-the-root-of-all-evil, convert-or-die, Tea Party conservative Republican type of churchfolk?"
"They didn't make me go to church on Thursday," she's trying to make it a joke, because if they were just churchfolk, she wouldn't be mentally cringing at what they'd think if they saw her right now.
Victoria is serious, no joke.
"What would they think if they... if they knew?"
No need to ask if they knew what; it's so glaringly obvious.
But it's Jane, and she's gotten so good at avoidance already; why stop now?
"What do you mean?"
"If they knew that you were gay."
"I'm not gay."
Victoria looks at her, a look that so clearly reads, are you fucking serious about this?
And that's not okay.
"I'm not!" Jane responds defensively. "I'm not gay."
Victoria almost feels sorry for her. But she wasn't gay before. Now, she supposes that she is. Or maybe bi. And she's okay with that. Why can't Jane just –
Jane gets up, and a book or two fall.
She wants to go, but something won't let her, and it's so fucking frustrating.
"What is it?" Victoria asks quietly, because there's thing – emotion in the blonde's eyes, and she doesn't like it much.
"They're, they're already pissed off at me for going out of state for college, but it was a scholarship, you know, so they had to. But I can't – I can't," tears start to fall, and her words are half sobs. "I can't, I ju-just can't do anything else wrong, b-because they'll – I don't know what they'll do, but it won't be – I can't be gay, because that's wrong and sinful and the absolute worst thing that a person can be."
"Do you really believe that?"
Jane shakes her head, arms coming up to wrap around her midsection.
Victoria tilts her head. "Did you know, that in the Bible, one of the Commandments is to treat others as you would like to be treated yourself?"
Jane isn't sure where she's going with this, but she nods, anyway.
"Well, if that's one of God's ten main laws, it should be pretty important, yes? So, if your parents try to put you down for being what you want to be, then aren't they breaking that? I doubt that they'd want to be put down that way."
"Not really, no. It also says to love all, and be tolerant. If they can't accept their daughter for her sexual orientation, that's not too tolerant, is it? And you mentioned that your mother had a difficult past? That doesn't quite give her any right to judge you, now does it? That could be considered hypocrisy, and that is a huge no-no in the Bible, if I remember correctly."
Jane is quiet.
"I can continue, if you'd like."
Jane says nothing, but she sits back down, legs splayed out. She flexes her hands, but they stay around her stomach.
"Are you religious?"
Victoria snorts, raising an eyebrow at her.
"No. Not even remotely. I know all that stuff because, well, one day I just up and decided to read the Bible. It's very gory. Lots of death and destruction everywhere. But some interesting stuff."
Jane nods, leaning her head against the shelf and closing her eyes.
It's silent for a moment, and then she feels a weight on her lower thigh.
Hands pry at her own, trying to release them from her grip on her shirt. She lets them.
The weight moves up.
There's a mouth on her neck, and she tilts it, though subconsciously. The mouth is kissing her, up and down, and it feels – amazing.
But that's to be expected.
On her lips, then, and they're kissing, and it's –
But there are no words, ever.
"I have a boyfriend," Jane says absently later, while her head lays in Victoria's lap.
"Break up with him," she offers simply.
"Wait, what are you doing?"
"Breaking up with him."
"Not over the phone, good grief. That's so – impersonal. Tell him to meet up with you somewhere, or whatever, but don't do it over the phone."
Jane shrugs, embarrassed. She'd thought it would be a good idea. Obviously not.
So when she calls, rather than telling him, "It's not you, it's me," she asks him to meet her at the small Chinese restaurant off campus.
After she hangs up, Victoria wiggles her nose.
"Chinese? I hate Chinese."
"I don't think that I can associate with you."
Victoria laughs, and it's fucking perfect, and she kisses her.
And there are no words.
"'Metri? Over here," Jane calls out, and there aren't really many people there, so he gets to her quickly.
Jane hesitates. Because it's not as if they're having relationship issues. She's just having – her issues. In a way. Though, Victoria isn't an issue.
"We're breaking up, aren't we?" His voice is nonchalant, but there's a trace of hurt in his bright blue eyes. With his dark hair, and strong jaw, he's a heartbreaker.
Who's about to get his heart broken.
"Not your fault, I swear, no matter how corny this sounds." No point in beating around the bush.
"I know," he says. "I had a feeling this was coming. You're buying me dinner, though. Dragging me all the way over here to break my heart." He tries to sound teasing, but it's not quite working.
"Of course!" she replies, waving the waiter over.
They're somewhat regulars, and there isn't a lot of staff, so the waiter asks them, "Same thing you have every Thursday, yes?"
"It's Thursday?" Jane asks, furrowing an eyebrow.
The man replies with the affirmative, and 'Metri pushes his chair back, saying roughly, "I... need to go. I'll call you, if you still want to talk to me."
And he's gone.
She sighs, and wants to cry, because she really does love him, so much, but there's just – something between her and Victoria that she can't ignore, no matter how hard she tries.
Trust me, she's tried.
She sends the redhead a text (they'd exchanged numbers when Jane had to leave) and asks her to meet her back in the library, in their spot. Because they may have only been there once, but it's theirs, in that way.
Just like Thursdays were for her and 'Metri, ever since that first date.
"What happened? Did he get angry and whatever?"
"No, he's not like that. He knew before I even said anything. He's – sad, and knowing that I caused that..."
A tear falls, and Victoria pulls her into a hug.
"I love him, I really do," she murmurs in the girl's shoulder. "But I can't just – not be with you. I can't."
Victoria knows that she shouldn't, but she grins.
Weeks pass, and they stay.
Jane introduces her to Heidi, and thankfully, Dee's fine with it, after jokingly making sure that Jane isn't into her.
There's a lot of blushing, and, "I'm not much into anybody but her, to be honest."
Victoria kisses her, and Dee says, "You're so pussy-whipped, sweets." And under her breath, "Literally."
Victoria is laughing the entire time, but Jane slaps them both on the arm, getting redder.
But she's never been happier.
Until she has to bring 'Metri's stuff to him.
It's a boxful – being together for more than a year tends to make things accumulate – filled with shirts and jackets and DVDs and a spare toothbrush.
Victoria goes with her.
When she knocks, she hears a croaky, "Coming!" and has to wait a moment before the door opens slightly.
He looks like fucking hell.
And not in that just woke up type of way. No, it's more, I haven't slept in weeks, after my heart got trampled on by someone I still love with my entire life.
It probably wasn't a good idea to bring Victoria along.
"Ba – Jane. Hi. Who is that?"
"Victoria. A friend of mine."
"Huh. That's nice. Why are you here?"
Before, he wouldn't have questioned it. He would have simply kissed her and let her in.
But before has come and gone, and it's now that truly matters.
So she holds out the box, the boxed marked with 'Metri', and she says, "Your stuff."
He stares at the box, as if it'll grow claws, start burning, and eat his head off with its smoky mouth in the blink of an eye.
"Keep them," he finally whispers after a terse silence. He goes to close the door, but Jane puts her hand in the space, and because it's him – him, he doesn't dare shut it on her arm.
Because he loves her.
And fuck, she loves him, too, but Victoria.
Victoria and she can't do or be with anything or anyone but.
She pushes the door back, and steps inside quickly, leaving Victoria in the hallway.
"Ten minutes," she mouths at the so fucking understanding redhead, before closing the door.
'Metri is standing there, looking awkward and out of place in his own home.
There are shirts and ripped paper, and glass, broken pieces of glass everywhere.
She wants to cry.
Instead, she starts to clean up.
"You don't have to do that," he says, and God, he was never this quiet.
"I want to," she finally replies when she's sure that she's not going to bust out sobbing.
When she begins on his dishes, she's sure that it's been more than ten minutes, but she can't leave. She doesn't want to.
"Go take a shower," Jane says, up to her elbows in soapy water.
He does what she tells him, and is back out very quickly, in pajama pants and a tank.
Jane is pretty much done, and his apartment looks a lot better than it did before.
Wiping her hands on her jeans, she lets him know, "I should... probably be going right now."
"Thank you, Jane. I mean it."
She nods, smiling a bit.
It's after the door's been open, that she decides on impulse to turn back and hug him.
Hands tight around his abdomen, she murmurs into his chest, "I'm sorry. So, so sorry," because she is.
And then she turns and leaves, because she's not quite sure that she won't do something pathetic, embarrassing, or horrifying.
Possibly all three.
"You're crying," Victoria admonishes, pushing off the wall with her body and walking to the blond.
"Am I?" Jane asks, smiling weakly.
Victoria hugs the other girl, and hears a sob. So she pulls her tighter, tighter, and it's all that is keeping Jane from breaking apart.
She's all that is keeping Jane from breaking apart.
"Kiss me," whispered from the lips of a girl that gave up her everything simply because she couldn't handle the nothing.
So Victoria does.
And it's amazing, perfect, all them, and all else is blocked out because God, her lips are amazing, perfect and touching hers.
But then they pull apart, and Jane turns.
And there he is, 'Metri, standing stoically and watching the entire thing with this... this look in his eyes.
It's death and heartbreak and everything you've ever known, crushed-broken-gone, and I can't believe that you did this to me.
"'Metri," Jane says, in a strangled voice of I'm sorry you found out like this; sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry.
But it isn't - and it never will be - enough.
"Do you think that he'll say something to your parents?"
They're in Victoria's apartment, and it's a good thing that her roommate isn't there, because then Jane probably wouldn't want to be there. She's crying, Jane, and doesn't like people to know when her tears are falling.
"I told you, he's not fucking like that. He wouldn't tell them even if I'd been cheating on him, Victoria. Drop it, can you?"
Victoria says nothing.
Jane sighs, "I'm sorry."
"Stop apologizing, Jane. There's nothing to be sorry for, so calm the hell down."
"You don't get it. I'll be telling him sorry for as long as I know him. He loved me, I love him - we were happy. And then it all just - ruined."
"What, I ruined your relationship?" Victoria says bitterly, because she's so tired of it. "You think you were the only one that went to any difficulties, Jane? Because you're not. I had a boyfriend, too. I just happened to end it once I started to feel something - for you. I cared about him, sure. But what I felt for you was ten times fucking stronger. Maybe you don't care as much for me as you claim you do."
Victoria gets up and walks to the small kitchen.
Jane sits for a second, stunned. But then she gets up, and taking a deep breath, goes after the other girl.
"Vic, don't," she says, grabbing the aforementioned's arm gently. Giving her the chance to go, if she so chooses.
"I'm sorry, really and truly. I - I don't know. I'm just sorry."
Victoria says nothing.
Jane steps closer, and then closer still. Her front is all there, against Victoria's back, and she's warm; Victoria. So warm.
"I'm sorry," she repeats, brushing long red hair aside and kissing the other's neck. A wet, open-mouthed kiss that makes Victoria moan.
So she does it again.
"I'm sorry," and again.
"I'm sorry," and again.
"Stop fucking apologizing," said through a hoarse voice, and a turn, roughly, followed by an - a something type of kiss, because there are no words, ever.
This is different, in this - this way, some way; this kiss, from their others.
This is... hurried and ruffled and walking backwards, backwards - but that wasn't supposed to be there, so Victoria falls on her back with an "Oomph," bringing Jane down with her. But that's okay, it really is, because Jane is on her, and they're still kissing, kissing, kissing.
So she decides to be brave. To be brave, and fuck it all, and she puts a hand on Jane's butt, and it's - she moans, and Jane moans, too, and that's always good and holy fuck, is that Jane's hand under her shirt?
It's a hand moving up, nervous and yet so so sure that she wants to do this, she needs to. So it's on Victoria's bra-clad - oh, this is fucking amazing - and it's passing a smooth finger over a hardened nipple and an arch, with, "Fuck, Jane. Ja - oh God, Jane," gasped against swollen lips.
It's falling in love, just a little, for not the first, but maybe, just maybe - the last time.