Here's how it starts: Tori Vega and André Harris graduate from Hollywood Arts.
Here's what it means: They'll very soon be apart for the first time in two years.
Tori has chosen UCLA as her place to continue her studies.
André, being the amazing musician he is, has gotten a full scholarship to Julliard.
Tori didn't even get into Julliard (and she can feel the flaws creating cracks in her perfect mask).
There's going to be over 3000 miles of space between the two best friends; Tori doesn't understand why he can't stay with her.
I need him, she thinks, and some part of her knows this to be the truth.
Why oh why does she need him?
Tori goes over to his house the night before he leaves for his flight to New York.
She can't help but think that his flight is also a flight from her.
André gibbers on and on about how excited he is that they're starting a new stage in their lives.
All she wants to say is shut up Shut Up SHUT UP! You're not supposed to leave me!
Oh shit. She said that aloud.
She clears her throat, and rather than speak, Tori walks forward, and, emboldened, kisses him.
And it's beautiful and wonderful for the five seconds it lasts.
He backs away and says her name (is that all he can do?).
She shakes her head and tears well up in her eyes.
He doesn't call or run after her. In fact, almost all communication from him ceases.
Made it to NYC. Miss you already.
In retrospect, maybe that's why she was so mad. The lack of trying on his part broke her.
She cries a lot. Yet, she does make herself go to UCLA and exist.
But she can't live without her best friend.
Most of her Sunday afternoons are spent lying in her bed, wallowing in her pool of missing André.
Part of her thinks that he doesn't miss her at all.
Tori calls, e-mails, posts on his Slap page, and texts him as though nothing ever happened.
He never responds to any of them.
It's almost pitiful, really, how much she begs for his attention.
There's that mantra of Ineedhim screaming in her head again.
Tori returns to her parents' home (it's not her's, her home is with him- she thinks) for Christmas break.
She's thankful for the colder weather so that she can wear long sleeves and cover up the scars.
Her mother frowns, like the mother hen she is, when she sees Tori.
"You're awfully pale and skinny, Tor. Is everything ok at college?"
She just nods and remains mute. No one but André could fix her now- so she thinks.
It's in the middle of Christmas Eve dinner when there's a knock on the door.
Mr. Vega opens it, and Tori visibly stiffens when her father says "André! What are you doing here?"
Trina twists in her seat and says: "Yeah, what are you doing here, Andrew?"
André frowns, then smiles (always happy, isn't he?) and responds to Mr. Vega.
"I came to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. Oh, and could I talk to Tori for a few minutes outside?"
"I don't see why not. Tori?"
She hesitates, and then says:
When they get outside, it's like there's a barrier between them.
Neither of the pair speaks for a minute, and then André opens his mouth.
"Tori, I'm sorry…"
And her hand comes flying at his face before she can say anything else.
She hisses: "You're sorry? I called you at least twice a week! I texted you every night! AND YOU IGNORED ME.
I tried, André, and now you think you can make up for not giving a shit by saying 'I'm sorry'? Hell no. You don't get off that easily".
André shuffles uncomfortably for a few minutes, as Tori breathes heavily.
"Tor, the reason that I never responded to you was because school took up so much of my time.
When I wasn't sleeping, eating, or doing school work, I was working on something. For you".
He pulls out some sheet music and hands it to her.
"I wanted to play it for you, but I think it's something you should hear for yourself without me nearby right now".
He backs away, just like he did in August.
"I'll catch you later, Tori".
And he leaves.
Tori breaks down and cries on the pavement.
If I need him, why did I treat him like that?
The song is called The Hardest to Do.
Trina, surprisingly, can now play piano, and so agrees to perform the piece while Tori sings.
It starts like this:
I was afraid of what could be,
Didn't know if you loved me.
But now my eyes are open
Only you could set me free.
A wise man once said:
"The hardest to do is
Waking up without you".
The truth of this is now revealed
It's only a few lines in when Tori knows what she has to do.
Tori just drives over to André's house- but it feels different this time.
She's changed, he's changed, and their relationship is changing.
André's honestly not surprised when Tori shows up at his house unannounced.
"I knew you'd come over".
"Of course you did".
"There's the old Tori- that almost sounded happy".
"Your sarcasm slays me".
And Tori, vulnerable all of the sudden, once again cries.
She apologizes over and over again for treating him the way she did earlier.
He just holds her and rubs her back.
|Her tears stain his purple shirt- he'd never been one to follow holiday traditions.
"I'm sorry, Tori. I'm sorry that my going away was such a problem for you. I…I had no idea it would impact you so much. You're broken, Tori. Let me heal you".
She pushes up her sleeves and says "Start here".
André kisses every single one of those cuts before matching her lips with his.
"I'm glad we're doing this right this time around," he manages to eke out in between kisses.
Tori pulls back for a minute, her arms still wrapped around his neck.
Then, she states in a soft voice:
"Merry Christmas, André".
"Merry Christmas, my beautiful Tori".
A/N: So, the only thing I'm capable of writing at the moment seems to be angst filled. At least this had a happy ending, right?
/song is actually made up by me/victorious is not mine/so yeah.
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