Sure, Jade has anger issues, loves cutting things (not herself, thank you very much), wears dark colors, and gets into the occasional fist-fight, but she does enjoy being happy—and, despite popular belief, her favorite color isn't black—it's yellow. Don't gasp now; it's honestly just a color, a carefree and happy one. That's why Jade has yellow tulips in her room, and doesn't chop the petals off; why she may have a few yellow items of clothing she'll wear on rare, rare occasions—like when the yellow sundress she owns is the only thing she can possibly wear because her house goes in flames someday. Anyways.
Jade also likes playing the guitar, acoustic. A few years back her uncle taught her how to play when the family went camping. Her uncle was actually part of a band that lived in an RV, traveling the country and living off of money from gigs and Spam. Jade asked him if he had hated it, and he replied of course not, that music was in his blood—hers too. That was when Jade seriously started to consider about acting and singing. That was also when her father stopped letting her see her uncle, for obvious reasons.
Despite Jade's dad having a stick up his ass, her mother, Marie, was also secretly a strong believer in the arts. She's insanely creative, a gifted artist, and whenever Jade watches her mother draw or paint she wonders why she married Dad in the first place. Jade doesn't ask, though, not really wanting to know.
Jade's something of a daredevil, too. She takes extremes to a higher level, running the fastest, swinging the highest on the tire swing. In the seventh grade, she was the only one who had enough guts to break into a liquor store and successfully steal a bottle of vodka. Her prize? The whole bottle. Jade likes the adrenaline, the rush of doing something stupid and careless, she feels free and away from parents too stubborn to divorce, away from a shunned and secretly amazing uncle, away from everything. Maybe that's why Jade gets in trouble so much. Who knows?
Jade also likes drawing, a trait she obviously gets from her mother. She draws surreal things that are too random to describe, and then she'll draw something simple and color it—like her tulips. Or her guitar. Or both. And then she'll get out some cheap Crayola colored pencils and add layer of colors after layer, making the texture creamy and smooth, and then shade it. What she does with the sketch is random. Sometimes she'll pin it to her wall near her door, or tuck it into her portfolio or give it to her mother to critique. Butterflies annoyingly flutter in her stomach when Jade finishes a drawing. Because she has the unconscious urge to give the paper to someone—someone who shall remain nameless because that someone is a person who can't know of her affections at all, because that person is someone Jade constantly taunts and teases and bickers with. Because if this person knew that Jade likes them than the world will surely fall apart, and Jade doesn't really want to be the cause of the Armageddon, or something, so she'll keep her mouth shut forever.
Jade collects butterflies, insects that she has found remarkable since a young age. She was strumming the guitar randomly, about five, the instrument terribly out of tune, her fingers pushing against the strings like her life depended on it. They stung and grew indents, but she played away, determined to get the chord of C right. Jade had squealed, her uncle and mother clapping when the right sound was finally heard, and a common monarch butterfly flew by, landing softly against Jade's chubby wrist. Jade froze, watching the bug's wings move, noticing a slight tear. It was magical, this butterfly, and in her head Jade promptly named her Virginia.
Virginia eventually flew off, and Jade tacked on another thing to her to-do list—to obtain more Virginia's. Her mother and uncle graciously bought her the right equipment, despite Jade being only a toddler. She found white Virginia's and blue ones, purple ones and grey ones. She'd then use the tools given and kill the bug, something she always hated. As days and months turned into years, Jade still wonders why she collects the insects, in the process murdering them. Maybe it's because they look so pretty, or there's that euphoria in finding a rare butterfly down at the lake or in a random field that fills Jade with glee.
Jade's favorites are naturally the yellow ones, especially the Gold-drop Helicopis. It's extremely rare, and Jade found it when she was fourteen. It was at her cousin's wedding on the beach. Nearing seven pm, the air cooled and the sun set, tiki torches alight near the reception area. Just in case, Jade brought her butterfly equipment along. She was walking around as the adults started drinking and dancing, and on a palm tree, she saw it.
Slightly white in color, the top corners of the wings were more yellow, bottom of the wings fraying in sections so as it was slightly curled, the color of brown. Jade had gulped and pulled out her little compact net, before slamming it expertly and swiftly against the trunk of the tree. The bug flitted around in the fabric, and Jade hurriedly transferred it into her jar, careful to be gentle yet fast. Then, she walked away from the tree and plopped down on the sand, the water's rhythmic tide beating against her ear drums like a heartbeat. Jade quickly killed the butterfly, moved it into a case skillfully, and then rifled through her book, trying to see what the butterfly's name was. On page fourteen, under the G's, she found it: Gold-drop Helicopis, and smiled at the name.
The first person who learned all this was Tori Vega, a girl whom Jade utterly hates for making her fall in love with her. It's kind of complicated, so why don't we just rewind, and see how it happened?
Jade looks up from her sketchbook, quickly folding the cover over the sketch she was working on and hurriedly tries to look for a jacket she knows she didn't bring when she sees who said her name. Tori-freaking-Vega is smiling at her, standing in front of the blanket Jade found in the back of her closet. She'd decided to go to the park because her parents were fighting again, and, to cheer herself up she brought her sketch pad and wore her yellow sundress, a rare occurrence. Jade had laid out the itchy yet comforting blanket of her uncle's under a tree in the shade, pulled out her sketchbook and pencils, and began drawing a familiar, pretty face.
She'd started drawing the curve of the person's jaw, and then added a neck and the ears, all from pure memory that Jade denies. She then added in the soft, tousled curls of hair and bright eyes, and, switching to a darker shade of graphite, began lining and shading and whatnot. Jade took her kneaded eraser, adding highlights to the eyes, before Tori came up. Now, she gulps, a barely-there blush spreading across her face as Tori looks down at Jade's choice of clothing, which terribly clashes with the rebellious bright streaks scattered throughout her hair. Nonchalantly, Jade spreads out the dress that stops mid-thigh, in her head contemplating and freaking out on what she should do. Maybe Jade should run away, never to return, and flee to Canada, selling… maple syrup or something for the rest of her life. Or, maybe she should stand up and knock Tori out with that hand-to-neck thing, and then pretend she was Harry Potter and modify her memory. But Jade wouldn't even know how because she totally hasn't read all seven of the JK Rowling classics, nope. Moving on…
Tori frowns now, looking at Jade up and down, before asking, "What're you wearing…?"
Jade glares, clicking her tongue, wishing this could just end already so she can futilely deny this later. "Clothes, Vega."
Tori's pink lips part and Jade has the strange (but at the same time not-so-strange) urge to kiss them. Hurriedly, she looks down and starts messing with a loose string as Tori continues annoyingly.
"But the clothes are yellow."
"And? A person can't wear black twenty-four-seven, you know. Good God," Jade looks up with somewhat-fake anger and cockiness, "I thought you were smarter, Vega," she shrugs, "Guess not," and Tori scoffs, rolling her eyes.
"Whatever! It's not like… like I care or anything! Why don't you just go make-out with Beck! He probably already knows everything about you!"
Jade blinks, taking note of how the sun shines on Tori's hair and tries not to get her hopes up. Was… was there jealousy in her voice? Was Tori jealous that Beck knew more about Jade than she did? Which is somewhat of a lie, because Beck doesn't even know half the things about Jade; he thinks he does, but he doesn't. Yet—if Tori would let her, Jade would tell her anything. Like how she thinks the tanner girl is completely beautiful and smart and talented and—
Jade stops herself, trying to not get out of character. She hates Tori. She hates Tori, she doesn't love Tori—she hates her. Right.
Jade purses her lips, "First of all: Beck doesn't know everything about me, and second of all: what do you care?"
Tori falters, unclenching her fists. She… she cares because… because she can. It's not like she's jealous of Beck. That's totally implausible and not right and why the hell does she care?
"I…I don't—because I can."
Good God, Tori—that was a terrible time to open your mouth.
Jade then smirks, raising a hand to block out the sun, "Lovely reason, Vega. You sounded so believable."
Tori rolls her lips together so that they form a thin line, and then rolls them out again just so she can stall. She glares, halfheartedly coming back with a "Well… well you're stupid," and Jade chuckles tartly, while Tori decides this isn't the most perfect way to go for the two of them becoming friends. Jade just makes her so angry though! She always has to have the last word and be sarcastic and annoying and right and smart and talented and—wait… what?
Meanwhile, Jade puts a hand on her heart in mock-sadness, "You just crushed my heart."
Tori doesn't know what to say. She doesn't know where this is going, this stupid, petty fight, or how to turn it around and become friends with Jade like she so desperately needs for an unknown reason. She doesn't know what the fuck to say or do; so promptly, she bids Jade an awkward goodbye and gets the hell out of there, unknowingly leaving the West girl belittled and confused.
A few weeks later, Jade is at Starbucks sitting in the back. Her parents were fighting again, and Jade wore yellow again, this time a subtle cardigan over a white tank top. Jade checks her watch, rain rhythmically pattering against the roof, and figures she's been here about an hour. For an hour, she's just been sitting here with a now-cold Pumpkin Spice latte and her sketchbook laying unopened next to her, looking stupid and weird and forlorn. Maybe she should head over to Beck's, but the thought quickly runs from her mind. Beck's… Beck's like a puppy: cute and loving, but annoying and hyper and he always follows you around, overeager. And you… you like him, but you need someone more stable than that. And when "you" is Jade West and that certain someone is Tori Vega things just get out of hand.
Jade now sips her latte, ignoring the fact that it tastes like shit, and licks her lips, setting the cup down. There's a bang, then, and Jade internally curse in her head, for the said Vega girl just barged in, furiously shaking a broken umbrella, shivering. After finally closing it with much difficulty, she looks up, putting wet hair behind her hair and blushes. Jade hates her or being adorable, among other things, and hates her even more when Tori cautiously walks over and slides into the chair opposite of Jade.
Neither of them talks, and after a while Tori looks at the cardigan.
"You're wearing yellow again," she looks up confusedly at Jade, who drowns down the latte, "Why?"
And Jade shrugs, suddenly feeling the urge to pull Tori in a closet and talk to her about everything on her mind like she has before. She feels vulnerable, because Tori knows how to read her like a book, and Jade can't just let that happen without her consent. So maybe, since Tori will find out sooner or later, Jade will just beat her to it.
"My favorite color is yellow."
She hurriedly rushes the sentences out. Tori blinks, "What?" and Jade sighs, before telling her everything, about her parents and yellow and how it cheers her up and how she only wears it when she's sad. All the while Tori faithfully listens, not butting in or questioning. Once Jade is done talking and looks in her lap, Tori gulps.
"Oh… I see."
Internally, Tori berates herself. Jade just fucking admitted tons of personal things, and that's all Tori has to say? Her mind whizzes as she thinks for a better answer, but not fast enough. Jade gets up to leave, and Tori's hand shoots out—"Wait!"
Jade looks angrily and Tori, who pulls her arm back, and begrudgingly sits back down.
"What?" she snaps, and Tori takes in a breath.
"Thanks… for telling me all of that. It… it meant a lot to me." Tori smiles at her, and Jade fights a grin.
Days later, Tori is at Jade's front door, holding a plastic sack from Mal-Mart. She awkwardly rings the doorbell, and hears someone yelling—"Jadelyn August West! You'd better tell me what's wrong!"—before Marie West open the door.
Tori blinks at the shocking resemblance from West mother to West daughter, the same pale skin and brown hair, but her eyes are brown, not green, and she seems under average in height. Mrs. West snaps her out of her stupor, and Tori gulps, starting to fiddle with a loose string on her Superman t-shirt.
"I… I'm here to see Jade."
Mrs. West beams, gesturing Tori in, before telling her where Jade's room is. She walks back into the kitchen, and Tori, while walking up the stairs, looks around the elaborate house. She comes across a large oak door, the third to the left in a long and pretty hallway. Awkwardly she knocks it, and from inside Jade scowls, curling up tighter in a ball on her bed.
"Go away, Mom!"
Tori mutters, "I'm not your mom," and Jade gasps, flinging herself off of the bed. She rips her door open, chest heaving.
Tori smiles, awkwardly waving, "Hee-eey…"
Jade's brow furrows, "What're you doing at my house…?"
Tori rubs her arm, looking down at the floor, hiding her blush. She looks up after a second of two, and raising the hand holding the sack, "Can I come in?"
Confused, Jade stands to the side and allows Tori in. Tori moves inside quickly, and Jade shuts her door, turning towards her. Tori pulls out a box from the bag, holding it up so Jade can see the front. Its yellow hair-dye. Tori smiles.
"So you won't be sad."
And Jade smirks, softly taking the box from Tori's hands.
Half an hour later, a new yellow streak in her hair, Jade smiles at Tori; she has the common urge to kiss her, but instead opts for a hug. Tori hugs wholeheartedly back, and her favorite color is also now guaranteed to be the carefree and happy hue.
Their friendship is a rocky yet strangely solid one. Jade and Tori being Jade and Tori, they fight a lot, acting more like an old married couple than best friends. But whatever, as their arguments are usually short lived and little, over stupid things. One day, Tori is lying on her back on a hot bench near the beach (an area of grass separates the two), Jade meanwhile sitting near her head Indian style, throwing jelly beans in Tori's mouth as the other girl must guess the flavor.
Tori swallows a pink one, saying, "Strawberry," haughtily, and Jade "misses", throwing the next piece of candy at Tori's eye.
"Ouch!" Tori rubs her eye and sits up, glaring at the other girl who laughs. She throws the jellybean at Jade, and turns so she's facing the sidewalk, arms crossed and pouting.
Jade rolls her eyes, tucking the bag of candy in her purse and scoots over, "Whatever. The thing's like an ounce."
"No!" Tori turns, showing a slightly bloodshot eye, the skin around it barely tinged red, "See? And it hurts!"
Jade rolls her eyes, smiling slightly, and sighs in mock-guilt, laying a hand near her heart, "I am so sorry, never will I impale you with a jellybean again."
Tori uncrosses her arms, "Since you said sorry… I guess you're off the hook."
Jade snorts, standing up and stretching out her legs; Tori does as well, glancing at the taller girl warily. Although it'd been about five weeks since the yellow incident (Jade still has the streak) and they'd grown sufficiently closer, Tori still didn't grow to know more about Jade besides the yellow thing and the fact that her parents fought quite often. Tori wonders why Jade hides things from her, doesn't she trust her? Tori thinks she's shown to be a faithful friend and confidant, but apparently that wasn't the case. Maybe she should step it up a little…
Yet, Jade has her reasons. Her… crush (because that's all it is, really) has grown tenfold with this new and budding friendship. Jade hasn't really dealt with this kind of thing before, liking your best friend or whatever. What're you supposed to do, just confess? Like hell that's happening—Tori's friendship is (not quite) good enough as it is, and Jade isn't just going to screw it up by being overeager and telling her every little thing, because Tori doesn't want to deal with that, right?
"Hey…," Tori's timid voice breaks Jade away from her stupor, and she turns to the brunette, worried.
Tori shrugs, biting her lip, "Are you, like… hiding stuff from me?"
Jade takes in a breath through her nose, fingers clenching against her palm, unclenching, and then clenching again; they begin to cramp, and Jade clears her throat, changing the subject, looking off at the sand in front of them.
"Want to go to the beach?"
Jade hurriedly barges into her room, tearing her closet open and pulling out a tote. She packs a towel from her bathroom, sunscreen, sunglasses, extra pair of flip-flops, her phone, and the jellybeans, a secret treat shared between her and Tori. Jade rips off her t-shirt and shorts, changes into a black bikini, and throws the shorts back on, stuffing the shirt in her bulging bag. She shoulders it and moves to walk out, pausing at her door. Jade's guitar case rests against the wall, and not thinking for a split second, Jade grasps the handle and takes it with her, putting it in her trunk just in case for something she doesn't know.
Five minutes later, Jade's in front of Tori's house. Tori walks out with a towel under her arm and her phone and sunglasses in hand. She grins at Jade through the window and opens the car door plopping on the passenger seat. Jade's stomach grows funny, and everything seems so much better and happier—why, she can't explain, and she hurriedly drives off. Tori starts talking about the upcoming showcase at school. Jade smirks, stopping at a red light, and nudges Tori's elbow with her own on the arm rest between them.
"You should do it."
Tori shrugs, "I've already done it once, and I'm already here and everything, so," her eyes flicker mischievously up to Jade's, "You should sing."
A car honks behind them and the both of them jump, before Jade quickly realizes the green light and drives again. She breathes heavily, before side-glancing at Tori.
"I… I'm not—I can't—"
Tori's brow furrows, "You're scared?"
Jade licks her lips nervously, keeping a steely glare on the road. "I—I guess…"
"But you do stuff in front of the class…"
"But that's just you guys… at the showcase you're singing in front of deans and people from record labels and the whole school," Jade breathes in through her nose and pulls up in the beach's parking lot, "I just… can't get up in front of all of those people."
Tori purses her lips as Jade gets out of the car, and a few seconds later she follows suit, grabbing her things. They walk side by side awkwardly, and Tori doesn't like it. Even if they do fight sometimes, things aren't awkward, ever, between them, which tells Tori Jade's really upset. Jade walks faster, feet moving from grass to sidewalk to sand, and Tori jogs up to her, grains of sand getting under her foot. Keeping her head down, Jade lays out her towel, setting her bag on top, and kicks off her shoes. Tori purses her lips, running a hand through her hair.
Still not meeting her eyes, Jade scowls, grasping Tori's wrist and pulling her along to the ocean, "C'mon."
Tori sighs, finally letting go of the subject for now, and falls back; she looks off at Jade, whom immediately dives in the deep spot of the sea, past the sandbar. Eventually, Jade relaxes too, and the next few hours are filled with laughing and swimming and dunking. They eat lunch and then relax for a while at the towels. After Jade pulls her t-shirt back on and Tori slips on some shorts (it was getting a little chilly), the both of them eventually fall asleep, shoulder to shoulder. Tori naturally moves closer to Jade, resting her head against her chest and Jade slings her arms around the shorter girl's waist, smiling in her sleep.
They wake up in the same position, happy and half-asleep still with the sun setting. Jade's eyes flutter open just as Tori's do, and they smile dopily at each other, before finally realizing their predicament. They separate quickly, laying on their own towels and not in the sand between. Tori still hates it, this awkwardness. It's weird, and she wants it to go away. Jade sits up, rubbing her eyes, getting sand in them in the process. She hisses, rubbing even harder which makes it worse. Tori frowns and sits up, then, moving closer to Jade, sitting on her knees. She pulls Jade's hand away and blows at her eye, making it water and the sand leave. Jade pulls back, but Tori catches her hand and drags her closer. Centimeters apart, Jade can feel Tori's breath on her face, and vice versa. The both of them simultaneously lean closer, eyes closed. Just a little more, and—
Their lips brush, and Jade and Tori jump away from each other as if electrocuted. Dazed, Jade quickly stands up, Tori moves and she raises an eyebrow, pointing.
Tori does so, and Jade hurries off to the car. She pops open the trunk and pulls out her guitar case—what the hell is she doing? Jade doesn't know, and as she jogs back to Tori, she finally begins to think. She's… she's in love with Tori. But Tori's not in love with her, right? But what about earlier…
Jade sighs, shaking her head, and stops in front of Tori. Tori looks at the guitar case and then back to Jade, surprised. "You play guitar?"
With the sun now officially set, people flow past them, and Jade shrugs, plopping down on the sand, "A little."
Tori beams, shuffling closer, and Jade pulls out her Taylor guitar. She tunes it, before smirking and opens her mouth.
"If I die young, bury me in satin, lay me down on a bed of roses," Jade strums the guitar, fingers shifting as the guitar pick glides. Tori smiles.
"The sharp knife of I short life, well, I've had just enough time…"
Jade continues singing, and someone walks over. Tori looks up, finding a man around thirty in a wife beater and swimming trunks; he grins toothily and drops a dollar in Jade's guitar case. He walks away, and Tori looks at Jade, who shrugs. As Jade sings the chorus again, more people come over, dropping coins and dollars in the case.
"And I'll be wearing white when I come into your kingdom…"
Tori raises her eyebrows, craning her neck towards the case. Another man, this time much heftier comes over. He bends over slightly, cutting Jade off.
"Please, you've gotta help me!"
Jade and Tori look at each other, before frowning as the man continues, "I own that restaurant down there, see," he hurriedly points to a bar, tables and chairs spread out on a patio, stage facing them. People are laughing and eating, "My band quit on me, and people want music. They were talking about you two—please, could you sing for me?" He clasps his hands, and the white fedora he's wearing falls over slightly, "I'll pay you five hundred each!"
Tori chokes on her spit, and starts a coughing fit as Jade stares blankly at the man. She seems to come to her senses, and after beating Tori's back, looks at the man firmly.
"We'll do it."
Tori purses her lips as she adjusts the mike's stand so it drops lower. She looks at Jade worriedly, who rubs her hands against her sides, eyebrows furrowed. Tori takes a step closer, whispering as Jade pulls the strap of her guitar over her head.
"We can still back out, you know."
Jade shakes her head, looking at Tori, "I'll be… I'll be fine."
Tori sighs, nodding, and turns back to the crowd. Jade looks over her shoulder and nods at the band, and begins to play the guitar nervously. She takes in a breath through her nose, trying to look at the ocean and not at the confused faces. She turns to Tori, nods, and the both of them start to sing.
"If I die young, bury me in satin, lay me down on a bed of roses, sink me in the river at dawn, send me away with the words of a love song…"
People start smiling, and more of them turn to the stage. Jade moves her fingers, singing along with her best friend, skin indenting like it did eleven years ago.
"And I'll be wearing white when I come into your kingdom; I'm as green as the ring on my little cold finger. I've never known the lovin' of a man, but it sure felt nice when he was holding my hand…"
Jade smiles, soaking up the attention as Tori grins, gradually changing the song from a duet and switches to back-up—Jade doesn't notice.
"A penny for my thoughts, oh no, I'll sell 'em for a dollar, they're worth so much more after I'm a goner…"
She starts up the chorus again, and then finishes off the song.
"So put on your best boys and I'll wear my pearls…"
The restaurant breaks into applause, and Tori's the one clapping the loudest.
"Are you okay?"
Jade looks away from her locker, halfway in pulling out her math book; Beck's standing to her left, looking worried and hurt. Hurriedly, she focuses on a loose string on her sleeve. Not answering, Beck takes this as a cue to continue.
"I mean, you're spending all this time with Tori and not with me… and we're dating… right?"
Jade sucks in a breath, thinking on her feet, "I—I've been busy."
Jade curses under her breath, glaring at the floor, catching a glance at the yellow streak of hair; why does Beck have to be… Beck? He's so nice and caring and doesn't deserve any of this. Sure, Jade may not love him anymore, but she still considers him a close friend, and she takes care of her own. …Should she just break things off? Jade blinks, and grips her textbook harder.
She rushes out, "I'll talk later," and sprints for the bathroom. She locks the door and falls into a stall, crumbling against the toilet. She grips the hair on her hairline, digging her rings into her scalp. She'd been so caught up with this thing with Tori she forgot all about Beck! And what about Cat? She's her best friend—not stupid Vega!
There's a knock at the door, "Jade?" and Jade scowls. Speak of the devil and the devil shall come…
Jade lays her head against the stall's wall, frowning, "Get the hell away, Vega!"
Outside, Tori pauses. What…?
"Jade!" she rattles the door handle as Jade shifts, her position getting uncomfortable, "Let me in!"
Jade doesn't answer, and eventually, Tori leaves.
Jade bits down harshly on her lip, hands shaking as she paces her room. She stops, suddenly, and falls back on her bed; hair splayed out, and picks up her phone. Pressing the number three (she cringes, knowing that Tori's speed dial is number two), she holds it up to her ear and waits. Cat doesn't answer, and her bubbly voice asks for your number. Jade's heart clenches as she finally realizes how much she misses Cat; this whole thing with Tori was getting out of control, they were spending way too much time together. Part of the reason is to figure out this whole crush thing, Jade thinks. It's not the fact that Tori's a girl that she has a problem with, it's just the fact that Tori's… Tori. Jade should hate her, she stole her boyfriend. She's been stealing her leads, she's been hanging out with Cat. But she doesn't, she doesn't hate Tori—and Jade's trying to figure out why.
A beep resounds in the room. Jade starts getting nervous. What should she say? How should she say it? 'Hey Cat I'm sorry I totally neglected you for a person I'm supposed to hate' doesn't sound right at all. Good God, Jade's so fucked. Jade presses end and drops the phone, and turning on her side she curls up in a ball, really wanting to wear something yellow. Her eyes flicker towards her tulips. Maybe she should draw something yellow instead.
Twenty minutes later, Jade stands up from her bright red table, gets her cheap colored pencils from her desk, and sits back down. She erases all negative lines, before adding a light shade of yellow, then going over it again and again. Once it's nice and smooth, she does the same in green to the stem, and then sky blue for the glass vase. The flowers are arguably the brightest things in Jade's room, and Jade likes it that way. As she said before to Tori, you can't have it all black and dark twenty-four-seven. But that's the only color she'll allow.
Jade mutters the word to herself, tacking the newest picture up and trashing the old one. She falls back on her bed, sitting on her knees. She stares at the picture, unwaveringly. …Now what? She should probably call Cat again… or talk to Beck, as she did say she would.
Jade, sweetie—stop talking to yourself, I think you're going insane.
Jade pounds on the metallic door of his RV, "Open up!"
Beck does so, and when the door swings open Jade storms inside, pissed off at… everything, and Beck's always been her favorite punching bag. She firmly sits on his bed, gaining power and obedience already. Beck whistles and sits by her, making to grasp her hand. Jade scowls and turns away, snatching back her hand. Beck frowns, and expertly backs off, giving Jade her space.
Jade instantaneously loses her anger, and starts picking at the quilt—"Sorry."
She really doesn't want to do this anymore. Talking isn't her thing. Like… just no. Jade has trouble putting all of her thoughts on serious things into a coherent sentence, which just makes a much bigger mess and then you've earned yourself some problems. But this is Beck. And Beck is Jade's boyfriend, but Jade hasn't really thought of him as a boyfriend for a long time, even before Tori, so maybe she should just say that or something…
Meanwhile, Beck watches the conflicting emotions pass on Jade's face, but let's her be. Finally, Jade seems to have come to a conclusion, and starts.
"I care about you."
Beck smirks, and pokes her knee. God Beck, why do you have to be so… you? "I care about you too."
"I don't care about you in that way."
Beck falters, humor quickly sliding off his face. Faintly, he replies, "…What?"
Jade nods hurriedly, as if should she not get her words out fast enough someone will snatch them away, "I haven't cared for you in that way, way before Tor—someone else came, for a while."
Beck frowns growing panicked, "What're you saying? You… you don't love me anymore? There's someone else?"
Jade nods stiffly as Beck's voice raises, bracing herself for hate she desperately wants and deserves. Beck tenses up, before closing his eyes and pointing at the door. He opens them, staring at Jade.
"Beck, let me—"
Jade nods, slowly standing up and walking towards the door; she pauses, and Beck opens his mouth as if to say something, but then closes it. Jade walks down the steps, desperate to leave, and furiously twirls the yellow streak. She passes a tree and kicks it. Branches jiggle, and leaves fall down. A leaf lands on her head. Jade tears it off, smashing it into pieces with her boot.
Tori makes her too soft, Jade decides, walking down some random sidewalk. Tori makes her vulnerable and weak and out of character. What the fuck was that singing thing at the beach? And before that, Jade had acted like… like some stupid freaking twelve year old. She digs her nails into her palm. Stupid.
Stupid Tori. Jade hates her. Jade wants Tori to die, to go away forever, because ever since Tori came, things have been falling apart. She ruined a perfectly fine relationship, stole all of Jade's leads (who do you think got all of them before her?), stole Cat from Jade, made Jade like her and turn her into… some lesbian, made Jade not like Beck anymore (forget about what she said earlier), and even made her look all soft. Jade needs to get rid of Tori, and fast.
Jade presses the third button on her phone again, and this time, Cat answers.
"Jade!" Jade can practically hear the smile, "How're you?"
Jade starts swinging on the swing, keeping one hand on the rope. After walking around for a while, she'd taken refuge in a lone and beat-up park. …Where is she again? Jade shrugs to herself, taking her feet in and then pushing them out so she goes higher.
"Cool, I guess. Do you think I've ignored you?"
Cat pouts on the other line, pausing, before sighing. "Well you've been hanging out with Tori a lot, lately," she says forlornly, but then perks up again, "But its okay! I know we're always gonna be friends, and I need to share you, yeah?"
Jade smiles, shaking her head, thankful that something's finally going okay, "Sure, Cat," she pauses, "…Thanks for being so understanding."
Cat questions and Jade goes even higher, wind whipping at her hair, "What's there to understand?"
"…You can keep a secret, right?"
Cat looks at her disapprovingly, and Jade shifts on the lilac bed. After talking to Cat at the park, she had came over to her house and told everything. Now, after just finishing, Cat smacks her on the arm harshly.
Jade scowls, rubbing her forearm, and Cat looks away haughtily.
"You have to tell her, Jade, and Beck too."
"I don't know what you're talking about."
Cat glares, "Seriously! This is a big deal! Three people could get hurt."
Jade sneers, keeping her head down so hair curtains around her face; she digs furiously into her palm. Her eyes flicker up to Cat. Harshly, she says, "You mean two?"
Cat frowns, "…What?"
"Beck and Tori can get fucked up—see if I care. But I won't. You know why?"
Cat sighs, "Why?"
"Because I don't love Tori and I don't care for Beck. They're both stupid wastes of space—"
"I hate them a lot, too, so whatever. I hate Tori more though because she's fucked everything up. She ruined a perfectly fine relationship, stole the popularity, stole all of the solos and leads in plays. I hate her, I hate him, I hate them."
Cat breaths harshly, in and out, through her nose, not knowing what else to say; how is she supposed to answer that? Jade continues, standing up, and puts her pleather jacket back on.
Cat's mouth falls open as Jade moves her hair out from under her collar.
Jade shrugs, and grasps her phone, stuffing it in her pocket. "Sure. My parents are loaded—I've got the money. Tori will move—," she's about to say move on, but there's nothing to move from. Tori doesn't love Jade, that's a fact, or maybe Jade's just in denial, "not care… everyone else will probably ignore it."
Cat purses her lips, standing form her bed, "What about your mom? You know she can't be alone with your dad!"
"I called my uncle."
"He approves of this?"
Jade clicks her tongue, "No. But he knows I've got to leave."
Cat starts shaking and tears begin to well in her eyes. Jade can't go! Jade's her best friend! She… they…
Shakily, Cat whispers, "What about me?" and Jade puts a hand on her back, roughly pulling her close, and smashes their lips together. Just to see if there's anything, because it's much more sensible to love Cat than to love Tori. Because Cat's amazing, she deserves someone's love—and Tori doesn't… she can't. But there's nothing in the kiss, not even half of what there was when Jade and Tori weren't even kissing at the beach. Desperately, Jade pushes Cat on the bed and straddles her hips, just because she has to feel something for someone other than Tori. Yet she feels like crying, because she just fucking can't.
Cat pushes Jade off, and before she can yell or talk or question or sob, Jade runs out of her room and the house, and sprints down the sidewalk.
It's extremely late now, around twelve, and clouds conjoin, darkening the sky even more, looking like giant grey beasts, mouths open, all pointing to Jade.
She mutters, "Damn it, Vega."
Pounding boots resound down the street. Jade stops, panting, and looks around. She hasn't really been in this neighborhood before, but something about it seems suspicious. Maybe it's because the sidewalk's severely cracked (Jade just noticed now), the high level of shabbiness in the houses, or the fact that it's insanely dark out and getting cold. Jade zips up her bomber jacket, contemplating on what she should do, and pockets her hands.
Should she go back to Cat's house? Catch a bus? Walk home? Jade ponders for a while, eyes on the ground, frowning. She shivers and, after a few minutes, looks up. There's a dead-end, a cul-de-sac. She looks at the street sign. Rosebush. That's pretty far away from Cat's house… God, how long has she been walking? Jade stops, finally, and bites her bottom lip. Swiftly, she turns on the ball of her foot and starts to walk—nearly jog—out of the creepy cul-de-sac.
Jade turns right, and quickly, greasy arms wrap around her midsection, and Jade freezes, holding a breath. Her long hair moves in the chilly wind. Her eyes are wide. The man whispers something unheard, before a great bang rings throughout the street and Jade rips away from him, stumbling back. She shakes, finding Beck looking extremely angry, carrying a crowbar. The man is curled up at his feet. Beck drops the weapon, walks over, and moves to hold Jade. Jade, confused as ever, moves back, though, sob clawing up her throat as Tori jumps out of Beck's car, still clad in duck pajamas and hot pink, plaid slippers.
Tori runs over as Cat and Andre and Robbie get out of Cat's small car. Cat hangs back, worried, but knows Tori has things covered as Andre, calm and collected, dials 911. Robbie starts freaking out as Beck walks over, confused, and Cat stands between them, relieved as hell.
Meanwhile, Jade crumbles into Tori's chest, her touch breaking the dam. She cries out year's worth of pent up feelings, and Tori takes it all in stride, whispering comforting nonsense, smoothing down Jade's hair. She tightens her grip, glaring at a tree behind Jade, yet talks in a soft voice.
"Why'd you do this Jade?"
Jade moves closer to Tori, desperately, and shakes her head, not answering the question, "I didn't mean it! I didn't mean what I said to Cat!"
Tori frowns, "What'd you say?" and Jade finally calms down, quieting dangerously, and gulps.
"That I didn't love you."
Tori stiffens and avoids Jade's gaze, breathing through her nose harshly. Jade whimpers softly as she pulls away, quickly grabbing her hand; Tori asks Cat if she can borrow her car, to which Cat hurriedly approves of, before caringly and friendly kissing Jade's forehead. She smiles at her, Jade smiles back, yet her grin drops as Beck looks at her strangely, though, and she hurries into Cat's yellow Volkswagen.
Tori awkwardly rings Jade's doorbell for a second time, this time with the other girl next to her, keeping body contact as if the world depended on it. Jade gulps as she hears running footsteps, before her mother swings the door open, looking worried, eyes bloodshot, with a phone in hand. Tori blinks as Marie West pulls her daughter into a tight hug.
"I can't believe you did that, oh Jadey I was so worried!"
After a few long seconds, Marie finally lets go of Jade, sniffing, and wipes her eyes, just now noticing Tori.
"Oh! Oh, Tori—hello dear. Erm, sorry about that."
Tori smiles, "It's fine," she looks at Jade quickly, who subtly shakes her head, and turns back to Mrs. West, acting chops kicking in.
"Jade and I went to a movie with some friends. We carpooled," she jabs her thumb behind her, gesturing to Cat's car, "so I had to drop everyone off."
Marie frowns, "This late? …And why are you wearing pajamas?"
"Uh…," Tori pauses, "We walked to a restaurant after the movie, lost track of time, and then walked back. It was pouring then, and we went to my place real quick to change," Tori smiles largely, "My mom was doing laundry, so I only had some pajamas, and it was already late, soo…"
She trails off, and Marie nods, before smiling, "Well please tell me your going out before you leave, please. Anyways, thanks Tori."
Tori nods awkwardly, about to jog down Jade's porch steps, before said girl hurriedly asks.
"Hey, Mom—can Tori stay the night?"
Tori freezes, hand on the railing, wondering if she even wants to; her heart pounds as she thinks quickly. Well… well she can't really think right now anyways. Tori turns around, glancing at Jade, before looking back at Marie.
"Uh… yeah. I'm—I'm sure my parents won't mind."
Marie purses her lips, "Alright, since its Saturday and everything. Just call your parents, okay dear?"
Tori nods, and her and Jade finally walk in as Mrs. West goes back to bed. Tori stands in the elaborate foyer, chocolate brown wood paneling with pretty engravings, green wallpaper on top, large open archways on each of the three walls. Jade silently walks into the one on the right, which if Tori remembers correctly, leads into the living room. She follows.
Jade stops, suddenly, and Tori bumps into her back before the other girl turns around.
"You were just going to leave?"
Her voice is so un-Jade like. It's soft and vulnerable, and Tori purses her lips. This night's been so fucking insane, she can't even think straight, yet she still tries to put her thoughts into a coherent sentence. Tori gulps, and nervously tucks some hair behind her ear.
"I didn't really think you wanted me to stay."
"That's so stupid!" Jade's voice is strong again, "You think that… that after everything that's happened tonight I'd just expect you to leave?"
Tori starts getting worried, for reasons she doesn't know. Quickly opening her mouth, she tries to think of something to say, but only stupid stutters form. Jade snarls and grasps her wrists, before pulling her in for a kiss.
Things slow. Tori calms down, and eventually kisses back, moving her hands up to tangle in Jade's dark, colored locks. Tongues meet and dance, fingers claw and pinch and dig into skin. It's amazing, and Tori's body tingles and things get tight and she starts moaning, before Jade pushes her onto the couch. Tori whines when Jade pulls apart, opening her eyes, and catches a glimpse of the bright yellow streak, before Jade flickers her eyes up.
Tori's stomach tightens as Jade trails her fingers across the hem of her t-shirt. She glares up at Jade, who smirks, cocky manifesto back. She leans in, her breath hot against Tori's skin.
Tori's glare intensifies, and she doesn't say anything. Jade toothily grins, and begins to pull away. Tori's eyes widen and she gasps out, "Please!"
Jade smirks, raising an eyebrow. Tori seethes.
Tori growls, and just takes her shirt off herself. Jade starts breathing heavily at the sight of her polka-dotted bra, as said owner throws her pajama top on the ground beside the couch, feeling quite accomplished.
"Like I need your permission."
After their little escapade, Tori smiles sleepily up at Jade on the couch, and pulls the thin quilt closer. Under the cover, she begins to draw little letters on the indent of Jade's back. Jade smiles just as goofily back at her. Tori frowns though, memories from earlier in the night (yesterday, whatever. It's like three o' clock, right?) coming back to her and waking her up. She moves her other arm under Jade's left, so that her hands come together behind Jade's back. She pulls her closer, and Jade looks at her confusedly.
Tori takes in a breath, flickering her eyes up so that they meet Jade's, "Are you okay?" she murmurs, "Like… with what happened earlier?"
Jade sighs, shrugging defensively; talking was never, and will never, be her thing. She finds it embarrassing and intrusive, though it's not that bad with Tori. She gulps. In all honesty, Jade couldn't shake the touch of that man's off of her. She knew it was Tori, though, and she knew that nothing that bad really happened. It's not like she has the right to get all dramatic about it, which she isn't and won't, it's just that… it scares her that it could've happened, that, had Cat not have rounded everyone up, it would've happened. Jade shivers, and Tori starts slowly rubbing her back as she gulps again.
"It's not like that much happened… It's just that it could've happened, y'know?" Tori nods, and Jade continues, "I'm not, like, going to get all dramatic about it, I'm not going to go into some depression or anything, either—but I was scared, Tori," she curses internally at the tears welling up in the corner of her eyes. She sniffs, and some cascade down her face. Tori wipes them away.
"I'll… I'll be fine."
Tori frowns, "You sure?"
Jade nods reassuringly, and quickly pecks her on the cheek. Tori snuggles in closer, exhaustion settling in again. She closes her eyes, and sleepily requests something from Jade.
"Promise me you'll never do something that stupid again."
Jade smirks, closing her eyes as well, "Pinky promise," and entwines her pinky with Tori's under the quilt.
It's been a while since that night—about three weeks—and things aren't that really different, Tori decides dejectedly. Jade and Beck are still Jade and Beck—dating and fighting as much as ever. Tori cringes whenever she sees the two of them holding hands, or out somewhere, or kissing in the hallways. Jade doesn't really seem that into the relationship anymore, but Beck doesn't really notice—either that or he's in denial. Tori thinks it's the latter.
As for her relationship with Jade, it's… complicated. Jade usually makes up for time with Beck by spending time with Tori, saying they're just "hanging out". No one really knows what exactly goes on when the two of them "hang out" except for Cat, whom disapproves about this whole thing completely, and separately, tries to persuade them to either tell everyone or just stop doing… what they're doing; which they can't, because... because they can't.
It's mostly Jade that wants to keep things secret. Reasons why are ones no one really knows. And Tori plays along in this weird game, because she's in—because she likes Jade. Jade's her friend. And friends help friends. Yeah. Okay. That makes sense, sure.
"Miss Vega! I suggest you pay attention!"
Tori snaps out of her stupor, and looks up, finding the ancient and grumpy Social Studies teacher, Mrs. Wallice, glaring at her. From across the room, Tori notices Jade look at her worriedly, before looking blankly back at the bored and taking Beck's hand between their two desks. Tori scowls to herself and props her chin on her hand, turning back to her blank notebook despite the teacher's warning.
She's sick of this pretend we're not having awesome sex two times a week thing. She's sick of this hide everything from everyone thing. She's… she's sick of this Jade thing in general. Tori wants something permanent, she deserves it, right? She doesn't want this off and on sex-friend thing. But, dare she think it; maybe they're more than friends. But of course Jade and Tori are more than friends. It's… it's in everything: their kisses, their looks, their attitudes towards each other, etcetera. But damn it, Beck's in the God damn way and he doesn't even know. He doesn't know that he makes Tori want to scream and cry. He's just Beck, and Beck doesn't deserve this crap—he's an amazing guy, and he makes Tori feel guilty constantly, but then there's that evil part of her, deep, deep down that makes her kind of… hate him.
Tori kind of hates the fact the Beck gets to have Jade officially, even if Jade doesn't love him anymore like he knows she doesn't. But then after thinking this, just like now, Tori starts feeling terrible and guilty again. This thing's like some freaking merry-go-round—but Jade somehow broke the ride, and it keeps going, and going, and going, picking up pace and Tori, for the life of her, can't seem to find a way off.
The bell rings, and students flow past Tori's desk as she sits still. She doesn't really feel like getting up: she's comfy, so what's the point? There's a slim and familiar hand on her shoulder in seconds. Jade looks over her shoulder, finding Jade with pursed lips and a steely gaze; Tori shrugs off her hand, and Jade falters underneath her hard exterior.
The said girl scowls at her desk, before gathering her things and dumping them carelessly into her bag. She stands up and shoulders it, turning around sharply to Jade's apprehensive face.
Tori snaps, "What?"
Tori glares at Jade, "Don't fucking ask me if I'm okay!" she yells, gesturing to herself. "Do I look okay? Of course I do—I'm completely fine, nothing to worry about!"
Tori seethes and walks past a frozen Jade, butting her shoulder on purpose. Just as she comes near the door, Jade calls out.
Tori raises an eyebrow, frowning, and turns on her heel.
"Tori—please, you're too good—I can't—I won't lose you!" her voice turns firm, "I'm breaking up with Beck, Tori! I'm telling everyone everything, whether you let me go out with you or whatever or not."
Jade finishes and Tori tries to hurriedly fix her already shattered resistance. She curses silently as her expression loses its edginess and her fists unclench—damn it, Jade. She gulps, and tucks hair behind her ear again, just like she always does when she's nervous.
"I… are you sure?"
Jade nods, walking closer, and scoffs, "Of course I am." She stops in front of Tori and pulls out something from her book bag. She passes it to Tori who takes it, and looks at Jade curiously, eyebrows furrowed.
"What is it?"
"A sorry present or something… They're not great; most of them were from before… everything, like a month and a half ago."
Tori nods and looks back down at the sketchbook, trailing a hand over the hardback cover, opens it up, and sees her face in graphite and various values of grey. Tori gasps, the drawing looking completely real, and turns to the next page, this time a full body drawing of herself sitting at the lunch table, and then the next page seems to be Tori again, and again, and again. A few are obviously referenced from pictures, as some Tori remembers distinctly. She quickly flickers through the book, finding Jade's mother and a vase of yellow flowers here and there. The last page is what leaves Tori flabbergasted—painted with water colors, it's a picture of her and Jade kissing, the background a simple circle of tea green. Written underneath of them is the word 'Sorry' in purple.
Tori blinks and shuts the book, looking up at Jade with a pounding heart. "Jade… you… you drew all of those… a—and the last one?"
Jade shrugs, embarrassed, "Its cliché and stuff…," and Tori rolls her eyes, smirking, "It's totally not cliché."
Tori wraps her arms around Jade's waist, giving her a tight and cheesy hug. Jade does the same, kisses the crown of her head, and murmurs.
Tori beams, and then sighs in content, knowing full well that lunch started a long time ago, and that their friends would be wondering by now where they were. Tori finds that she doesn't really care, though, and begins to mess with the still-yellow section of Jade's hair. Said girl moves her hand up, catching Tori's, and smirks, looking down at the smaller brunette.
Tori frowns, "What?"
And Jade pulls her up gently by the hand, capturing her in a kiss. It's slower, softer and less anxious. It's filled with something that isn't exactly clear to Tori, but it's not extremely blurred, either, and she'll figure it out, one way or another.
When Tori sleeps (or tries to, nowadays) she usually sees Jade and herself being happy and then Beck is all alone, separated. After she wakes up, though, Tori feels terrible all over again. And now, the day after Jade gave her the sketch book, she looks up at her ceiling in her room, watching the ceiling fan buzz around, not able to sleep again. That thing with Jade earlier, the kiss, the sketchbook (which is currently seated on her endtable), everything—it seemed to lift tons of weight off of her shoulders. She now knew where Jade and her stand—well, not quite, but whatever, but it also added a lot right back on.
What were they going to tell Beck? Their friends? What about their parents—and, from what Tori knows about Jade's father, he won't be happy; her mother will be fine, Tori thinks, but what about her own parents? What'll she say to them? Maybe nothing. Maybe she'll just, like, never tell them and then move when she graduates. But that's a stupid idea, so, she'll kind of have to tell everyone… that she's… erm…
Gay? A lesbian? Tori clicks her tongue irritably, glariing at the circulating fan; she'd never really thought about her sexuality. I mean, sure, she likes Jade, and Jade is a girl, but does she still like guys? Does she even like any other girls like Jade? Well, she thinks she still likes guys… but then what about last night… and… ugh. Tori scowls up at the ceiling, and runs a hand through her hair, finally sitting up. She scrubs her face and turns on her bedside lamp. An orange-yellow glow illuminates the room, and Tori swings her legs over her bed.
Cold shoots up from her feet as they hit the wooden floor, and Tori grabs Jade's sketchbook before moving to her desk. She shoves crumpled paper and uncapped pens out of the way, before plopping the hardback onto the wooden table and sits Indian style on her desk chair; turning the cover open, she begins to flip through the book and look at the drawings of herself.
It's apparent that with each one Jade's shocking talent grows, as do the details—for example, on the sixth page she adds in the few freckles on Tori's nose in a quick sketch, suggesting the fact that Jade got close enough to notice them. Tori realizes that Jade drew these the more they got close, and when she finally reaches the last page, her heart swells just like before.
Tori softly closes the book and stands up, stretching, and restlessly moves across the room and sits in her bowl chair, not really wanting to try and relax on her bed. What's bothering her? Jade finally cleared (most) things up, so that isn't a problem. Is it her own wonders of her sexuality? Is it the guilt with Beck? Tori frowns and reaches for the remote, which is under the chair. With much difficulty and a few hurriedly hushed shrieks later, Tori finally captures it, hand butting her phone, and turns on the TV.
An old-ish show Tori used to watch when she was little comes on—Josh and Drake, or something—and the kind of familiar theme song starts as Tori's phone vibrates underneath her. She picks it up, muting the TV, and answers, not looking at the caller ID.
Tori grins as Jade's voice fills her ears, but it quickly falls off.
"Tori—I need to come over."
Jade's panting, and Tori straightens up in her seat as Joosh or whoever starts yelling silently at Drock, "Why are you out of breath? Are you okay?" Tori grips the cell harder, "Where are you?"
Jade gulps, taking in a breath a few blocks away, and tightens the grip on her steering wheel, "I'm… I'm in my car, on my way. Don't worry about me."
"Well why are you all worked up, then?"
"Um…," Jade pauses, knowing she's about to get yelled at, and continues, "I kind of told my parents."
Tori growls, and stands up, starting to pace her room as she grips her hair—"You what? Jade, we were supposed to do this together or something! I know we didn't talk about this, but I just thought—"
"I know, okay? I just got caught up in the moment!"
Tori purses her lips, and stops walking back and forth, "What moment?"
Jade stops talking to yell at a nearby driver, swerves, and then picks up again, "My dad was really pissed—something happened at work and he took it out on me and Mom." Jade shrugs and turns her blinker on, "No biggie," she pulls up in the Vega driveway, "I'm at your house. Come outside."
"Jade—you're dad—you—here—are you okay?"
Jade scowls, "We'll talk in my car—come on, its," Jade checks her watch, "eleven-thirty pm and a Friday. School isn't tomorrow, there's no reason to go to bed you pansy."
Tori rolls her eyes and quickly says "Be there in a sec," before hurriedly throwing on her Superman robe and slipping into her slippers. She presses "end" on her phone and tries to swiftly jog down the stairs. Just as Tori passes the couch, the kitchen light turns on, and Trina raises an eyebrow, perched on the island, spoon of ice cream halfway into her mouth. With the frozen treat still on her tongue, she asks accusingly,
"What're you doing?"
Tori clears her throat and scratches the back of her head, grinning largely, "Uh… came down to get a drink."
Trina swallows and scoffs, "Than why are you near the door?"
Tori subtly purses her lips as her eye twitches, "Forgot my water bottle in my car."
Trina rolls her eyes, gesturing to the kitchen, "You could just get a—"
Tori yells, "ITS A SPECIAL WATER BOTTLE," and speedily throws herself at the door and opens it. She slams it quickly behind her, hears her parents yelling, coming downstairs, and sprints to Jade's car. Jade, with wide eyes, quickly unlocks the door and Tori hurriedly gets in, panting through words.
Jade swiftly puts the car in drive and pulls out and away from Tori's house. Tori buckles her seatbelt and looks at the mirror on Jade's car door, seeing her family looking at her confusedly from the driveway, before her house disappears behind a hill.
Tori sighs and turns back up front, leaning back in her seat, closing her eyes; Tori smiles while Jade smirks and grasps her hand, running a pale thumb over tan knuckles. She takes note of how warm Jade's hand is, before cracking an eye open as Jade starts,
"So… what was that back there?"
Tori, with both eyes open now, tucks her seatbelt behind her back and curls up in Jade's leather chair, turning to the side. She looks up at Jade and shrugs.
"Trina was downstairs. She asked me where I was going and I yelled that I needed my water bottle; parents came—I ran, here we am."
Jade rolls her eyes at the rhyme, and Tori frowns, saying, "Now you explain."
Jade gulps, sighs, and turns to her… to Tori, "My dad was angry, like insane angry. Something happened at work—I dunno, someone besides him got a promotion or something from what I could make out—and he started yelling at Mom. She began to yell back, and he pushed her against the wall," Jade gulps again, "I came down, then, and they were both really into it. Dad moved his fist… fist back and I ran over and tore him off of my mom. She started crying, apologizing—to me or Dad, I don't know, but then he turned on me and she stopped, got all mad again. But this time I yelled at him first, and I told him that he's a fucking douche for everything he's done—then I kept on telling him about how he's obsessed with appearances and images and labels and shit."
Jade smirks sadly, "My being a lesbian just kind of slipped out. He stopped talking, after that, and I called my uncle who came over and took my mom to his apartment. I left. Here we are."
Tori bites her lip and whispers, "Pull over."
Jade does so, and Tori finally looks out the window. They're near the meat of the city, parked beside a small thrift store, and Tori lifts up the arms rest between them so a third seat is made in the middle. She scrambles over and takes Jade's wrist, leading her down so the both of them are laying on the leather car bench, Jade against the back of the seats. Its cramped, and Tori feels like she's about to fall as Jade wraps her arm around her waist, but whatever.
Tori licks her lips and lays a hand on the side of Jade's face. She maneuvers it over and tucks Jade's obsidian-dyed hair back behind her ear, murmuring quietly.
"It's been a tough day for you, Jade."
Jade shrugs, tightening her grip on Tori, "I'll manage."
Tori frowns, "You sure?" and gently rubs Jade's temple with her thumb, "A lot has happened."
Jade scowls, glaring at the small sliver of material between pressed bodies, "This is going to sound really stupid and cliché—but I've, like, cried too much lately," she flickers her eyes up to Tori's, "I'm not going to start up again now. I promise, babe, I'll be fine."
Tori gulps, darting her eyes down, "B—babe?"
Jade smirks, "Well, yeah—we are dating, aren't we?"
Tori snuggles up closer, smiling into the crook of Jade's neck, "We are?"
Jade kisses the crown of her head, "Mhm," and shuffles down so her nose touches Tori's. She kisses it, before movie to Tori's cheeks and then her jaw and then her mouth. Tori moans, tongue slipping in swiftly, and joins her fingers together behind Jade's neck. Soon, after careful kisses and caresses, tops are off and oh, how could they forget about pants?
Tori beams against Jade's bare back, feeling the warm LA sun heat her hair as the sunrise greets her. Last night, after moving to the back seats, they had… fun, lots of, uh, fun—great amounts. Tori slings an arm over Jade's stomach, her girlfriend (it'll never get old) laying on the car bench back-down, eyes closed in slumber. Tori wonders about her parents, before pushing the thought away and quickly focuses back on Jade. Back on her pale porcelain skin and her full, dusty pink lips, long eyelashes, long slender nose. Tori gulps—has Jade's beauty always been this noticeable up close? Tori shrugs to herself and closes her eyes, still sleepy, and never wants this moment—her and Jade naked in Jade's SUV, just outside of some dingy thrift shop in LA—to never end.
Jade's breath is warm on Tori's skin, and she nudges her shoulder as Tori frowns. Damn it. Jade blinks her eyes open just as Tori does and stretches, feet banging against the plastic wall of her car. She locates her hoodie and slips it on without a tank top or bra, finds her panties and does the same as Tori sits up. Jade climbs over the chairs, various spots popping as her back aches, and plops down in the driver's seat, Indian style. Tori hurriedly pulls on her pajamas and does the same, settling in the passenger seat. Jade looks out the window, squinting her eyes at the brightness, and turns her car back on, checking the clock—six-thirty am.
Good God, Jade thinks, is it that early? She yawns, as Tori and her finally went to bed around one, which left them running on six and a half hours of sleep, according to Jade's car's clock. Jade rubs at her eyes and turns to her girlfriend (her heart flutters at the word).
"Wah—hat ," she yawned again, "should we do?"
Tori shrugs, rubbing her arms, fatigued as well, "Should we procrastinate talking or just get it over with?"
Jade turns to the wheel and pulls it out of park—"There's a Starbucks a few blocks away."
Tori sips her Double Chocolately Chip frappuccino as Jade chugs her black coffee, resting her chin on the base of her hand.
"What should we say?"
Jade sets the Styrofoam cup down, throat scorching, and licks her lips, leaning against the table in her chair, "What do you mean?"
Tori rolls her eyes, "What do you mean what do I mean? We've got to talk to everyone—your parents, my parents, our friends, Beck."
Jade grumbles and takes another hefty swig of her large coffee. As said before, talking isn't her thing, she cringes at the thought of it, but this is important, and Tori's making her so she kind of has to do it.
After thinking for a few seconds, Jade sighs, and picks a piece of fuzz off from her jeans, "We'll do it easiest to hardest—Beck goes first, obviously, but who do you think should go second?"
Tori contemplates, "Your parents? Since you already told them, and my parents don't know yet… but your dad."
Jade chews on her lip, "I think your parents should go second."
Tori nods and drowns out the rest of her drink, Jade already finished with hers. She sets the cup on the table and stands up, stretching. Jade takes her hand and leads her out of the coffee shop, sighing.
"Let's get this over with."
Jade clicks her tongue, tapping her thumbs against the driving wheel. She turns to her girlfriend, who hands back her phone after trying to call Beck three times on the way over. Now, they're pulled over on the road, a few yards from Beck's driveway. She says, "Maybe we shouldn't do this."
Tori frowns, "What?" and Jade chews on her lip.
"Maybe we shouldn't do this whole tell everyone thing and like, elope to Canada or something and get famous and live there and never come back to LA again," her chest heaves in panicked nervousness, "That's a good idea, right?"
Tori rolls her eyes and lifts up the arm rest between them again, scooting over, and turns to Jade, sitting Indian style. Jade calms down a bit, and stops tapping her thumbs, finally removing her hands from the wheel; Tori starts playing with Jade's fingers, still looking in the other girl's worried eyes.
"Jade, that's insane. We aren't just going to give up."
Jade gulps, "But what if—"
"If anything happens it's for a reason, okay?" Tori leans in so as their foreheads are touching, and softly pecks Jade's lips, "You've always got me."
Jade nods, "Promise?"
Tori smirks, linking pinkies with Jade, "Pinky promise," and Jade opens her car door.
She hops out, Tori quickly mimicking, and entwines her fingers with the brunette. They walk up to Beck's RV, and Jade rings the doorbell. Moments later, Beck swings open the door, Spongebob pajamas on and a bowl of cereal in hand, hair a complete mess. Jade would've laughed, had her task not have been so dreadful. Beck furrows his brow at Jade, then Tori (who still has her pajamas on), and then at their hands clasped together. Jade mutters, "Can we come in?" and Beck confusedly shuffles out of the way, setting the cereal on the small wall near the door, and closes the door behind the two girls.
Jade cringes at the bottom drawer of Beck's dresser, knowing a few garments of clothing are in there, before determinedly turning towards him. Beck runs a hand through his hair (fingers getting caught in tangles,) and raises an eyebrow.
"Soo…," he starts, and glances at their hands again before quickly looking back up, "What's going on…?"
Jade's heart hammers as she takes in a breath, and Tori squeezes her hand supportively, "I, we, um… me and Tori are, uh, dating."
Beck chokes on his own saliva, "You what?"
Jade sighs, "Sit down," and begins to explain everything, from the yellow streak to the beach to that night and back again. After about ten minutes and several broken looks from Beck, Jade finishes from her perch on Jade's couch. Tori gets up, then. As she passes Beck, she pauses, as if to say something, but closes her mouth and walks outside to give her girlfriend and Beck some privacy.
Jade tucks her legs in so as her knees are near her chin, and wraps her arms around her shins. Beck scrubs at his face, looking even more tired than from before.
"So, you love Tori… more than me?"
Jade painfully nods, "Yeah. But we haven't liked each other that way in a long time, Beck."
Beck shrugs, looking down at his green carpet, and catches sections of it between his toes, "I just thought we could work something out…"
Jade purses her lips, "You know that wouldn't have helped."
"But we could've tried!"
Jade jumps at Beck's raised voice, and outside, Tori worriedly bites her lip and tucks some hair behind her ear for the umpteenth time. Jade doesn't answer, knowing that it was true; Beck grips at his hair again, stands, points to the door and in a strained voice, says, "Get out."
Jade gulps and gets up as well, "Beck, please! Let's just talk or some—"
"I'm done talking, Jade!"
Jade looks at him, and desperately makes to grab his wrist. Beck moves back and dodges her grip, sneering—"Get out, you dyke."
Jade freezes, wetness in her eyes fading away, sadness replaced with anger. She clenches her fists, body shaking, and spits out, "Fine," before charging out the door.
Just as Beck slams the door closed behind her, Jade drops her arms from their crossed position and her back hunches over. Tears gather at the corner of her eyes, but Jade swallows harshly and digs her nails into her palms—don't fucking cry. Tori hurriedly walks over and away from the RV as Jade jogs into her SUV and slams the door shut. Tori quickly opens it up again and gestures Jade to move, softly saying, "I'm driving."
Moments later, alone in the privacy of Jade's car, said girl in the passenger seat and Tori on the left, Jade curls up into a ball and defensively starts picking at loose seams in the leather chair. With the armrest already up, Tori moves closer to Jade (now leaning against the window) and lays against her comfortingly, dusting hair off of her girlfriends shoulder. She stops at the yellow streak, which was recently re-dyed, and with her free hand gently puts a finger under Jade's chin, lifting her head so as their eyes meet. Jade's are slightly bloodshot, and Tori's heart clenches before she whispers.
Jade shrugs, "Hey," and Tori sighs.
"He didn't mean any of that, Jade, he's just confused and hurt."
Jade glares at her boots, "I feel like throwing up."
Tori forces herself to rip away, and consolingly pats Jade's knee, grinning slightly. She removes her hand and buckles her seatbelt, taking the wheel. Jade buckles her own, and Tori turns.
"We've still got our parents, so don't let Beck get you down, he's our friend Jade; he'll come around."
Jade straightens out, "You sure?"
Tori puts the car into drive and nods, turning onto the road. She sees movement in Beck's RV window—a curtain sweeping to the side—before it drops again swiftly, and Tori smirks, beginning to feel reassured already.
Jade subtly smiles against the window. One down, two to go.
Jade checks her watch as Tori pulls up in her own driveway, now fully collected after the ten minute drive. She scowls down at the miniature clock, not knowing that the thing with Beck took an hour and thirty minutes. It's now eleven, as they got to Beck's around nine-thirty. Jade doesn't really know why she keeps checking the time; it's not as if her and Tori are on a tight schedule or anything, but whatever. Jade shrugs to herself and pops open the car door, Tori doing the same, and they meet up at the front.
Jade cups her elbow with her left hand, moving her right to block the sun out of her eyes. Tori licks her lips, nervously glancing at her front door, Jade, and then back again; her girlfriend swings to the side, nudging her upper arm. Tori rips her gaze away from her home, swallowing largely.
Jade asks, "You okay?" and Tori determinedly nods, unexpectedly jogging to her door. Jade blinks, before turning and sees her girlfriend charge into her house, and follows quickly behind, finding Tori talking hurriedly to her parents and Trina, saying things a mile a minute. Her family's eyebrows raise and furrow and then rise again, and Jade snorts from the doorway while words like "Jade", "gay", "I don't know", and "so anyways" stick out from Tori's jumble of speech. Finally, when she's over, Tori takes in a deep breath. Her mother frowns, confused.
Tori groans, frustrated for some reason that no one except herself knows, and points to Jade angrily, "I'm dating Jade!"
The smirk falls from her face as Jade pales, the three out of four members of the Vega family looking at her, surprised and strangely. Trina starts cracking up, apparently not believing her sister, and Tori's dad stands up.
"Tori, where have you been? And what in the world are you—"
Tori ignores her father and turns on her heel, walking out of the door and herding Jade with her, calling over her shoulder, "We've gotta go, bye!"
She rips the passenger seat open and throws Jade in, said girlfriend confused as hell. Tori hurriedly rounds to the other side of the car as Jade buckles her seatbelt blankly, and jumps in front of the wheel and quickly pulls out and zooms off (Jade just now realizing that her girlfriend left it on).
"Uh…," Jade clears her throat, looking at Tori like she's crazy, "What was that?"
Tori lurches the car to a stop at a red light, and Jade is thrown forward, seatbelt stopping her head from smashing against the glove box. She winces and leans beck, rubbing her chest while Tori clutches the driver's wheel tightly.
"I—My—If I wasn't going to come out soon I never would've came out at all," she breaths in deep through her nostrils, "It's, like, a now or never thing, you know?"
Jade frowns, "Um… yes?"
Tori nods, to herself or Jade is unclear, "And, like, I was kind of scared—but I'm cool now and it's your turn and you're going to be awesome and better than me but I'll still be there or something and—"
Jade looks at the streetlight and cuts her off, "Tori."
"And the light's green."
And Jade kind of regrets giving Tori the okay to go.
After finally calming her down, Jade tells Tori the directions to her uncle's apartment building, and, fifteen minutes later, Tori parks in the driveway. Jade silently gets out of the car and jogs up the steps, Tori soon following, and walks down the hallway. Tori speeds up and catches up to her, worriedly glancing at her girlfriend.
Jade gulps, "Yeah?"
"Are you okay?"
Jade shrugs, "Yeah. It's like what you said, earlier, right? You've just got to get in there and say it—besides, it my mom and her brother. It's not them I'm… scared of."
Tori frowns as Jade knocks on the door, numbers twenty-five nailed in above the doorway. There's some hurried talking, before the sound of feet scuffing, and her uncle opens the door. Tori perks up, finally about to see this magical relative of Jade's. He seems to be younger than her mom, around thirty-two, and has long hair that stops between his shoulder blades, swept up in a ponytail. His eyes match Jade's, a pale green, and he has subtle stubble; Tori looks at him up and down, taking in the normal light wash shorts and large, green hippie-looking sweater. With a beer in his right hand and his left in his pocket, Jade's uncle's face fills with relief.
Jade awkwardly smiles and waves, "Hey… Uncle Jeff."
Uncle Jeff gives Jade a swift hug, beaming toothily, and pats her on the back before letting go. He sips his bottle of beer—Miller Light—and asks, "Where you been, kiddo? You mom says you've been gone for—"
Marie West's tiny frame is seen rushing up to the door. Jade beams and her mother tackles her in a hug, sending them both flying against the railing. Tori hurriedly looks down, feeling intrusive on the family, before someone nudges her elbow. She looks up and finds Jade's uncle smirking down at her, and takes an instant liking to him, before he sighs and turns to his sister and niece.
"You must be Tori, huh?" he asks, swallowing another gulp of alcohol. Tori furrows her brow, ceasing in rubbing her hands together, and cocks her head.
"How do you know my name?"
Jeff snorts, "Are you kidding me? Whenever we saw each other Jade couldn't stop talking about you."
Jade and and her mother finally separate, and Jade snaps, "Thanks, Uncle Jeff," while Marie West smacks her daughter on the arm, glaring.
"Don't you ever just leave like that again, do you hear me?"
Tori smiles at her girlfriend while she whines, and encouragingly squeezes her hand before the both of them are lead inside by Jade's uncle. The apartment is pretty simple, an open floor plan with a living room, dining room, and kitchen. A little hallway is on the north wall, leading to what Tori figures the bathroom and Jade's uncle's bedroom. Tori looks at the short black bookcase behind her, filled to the brim with books on guitars and rock history. A few band posters line the blue walls, along with some vinyl records and guitars. Politely, Tori turns to Jade's uncle and compliments his home.
"This is really, um, nice, Mr...?"
He smirks and shrugs, swigging his bottle of beer once again, "Thanks, and it's Mr. Radcliff, but just call me Jeff."
Tori nods, smiling, "Jeff, right," as Jade goes into the kitchen and nonchalantly grabs a soda; Tori knows she's just stalling, and raises her eyebrows while Jade hands her a can of Pepsi.
"Tell them," she murmurs.
Jade frowns, "Give me a second," and hastily opens her soda can and drinks. Tori rolls her eyes as Jeff sits down on his couch, Marie next to him. Jade doesn't, though, and stays by Tori, awkwardly rubbing her neck. Just as she's about to open her mouth, her uncle beats her to it, raising an eyebrow.
"So you guys are dating now?" He shrugs as Jade's eyes widen and Tori chokes on her Pepsi, "That's cool. Well," he scoffs, rolling his eyes, "I mean finally," he nudges his sister's arm, "You know, right?" He stands up and walks into the kitchen as Tori and Jade recover, throwing away the empty beer bottle, and sits back down, Indian style, "Took you long enough, sheesh."
"Jeff!" Marie slaps him on the shoulder, too, and he frowns.
"What? We both know it was—"
"Okay, hold up," Jade cuts in raising a hand, looking between her uncle and mother accusingly, "You already knew this was going to happen?" Tori nods beside her girlfriend, and Marie bites her lip while Jeff smirks.
"Well, sweetie, it was a bit, um, obvious—"
Jade furrows her brow, "And you're okay with it?"
"Jadey, I'll love you no matter—"
Jade clears her throat, "Thanks Mom," and Marie scoffs. There's an awkward pause, before Jade talks again.
Tori gently parks the car on the curb behind Jeff's and kills the engine, turning to Jade who looks down and begins wringing her hands.
"Hey," Tori says and Jade looks up, ceasing in moving her hands.
"Are you, like… okay?"
Jade nods before popping her door open and stepping out of her car; Tori purses her lips and does the same, following a quick Jade, who barges right into her house. Tori, Marie, and Jeff hastily follow her inside and find Jade seething in front of her surprisingly calm father, fists clenched as he raises an eyebrow, left foot on his right knee, holding a newspaper while settled on the couch. He clears his throat, smiling cockily, and folds the paper slowly, sets in on the end table and straightens it out. James West clasps his hands.
"Well if it isn't my lovely daughter and wife," he sneers at Jeff and frowns at Tori, who's now at Jade's side; Jade scowls and edges to the side so her shoulder is in front of Tori's protectively.
"How long did it take you this time," he examines his nails nonchalantly, before looking back up over the edge of his square glasses, "Two days, eh?"
Jade swallows and her hands start to shake. Before she can stop herself, the floodgates fall and feelings, pent up for years, come out in sharp, poisoned words.
"I hate you!"
"Jade," Tori whispers, setting a hand against Jade's lower back; Jade frowns and shrugs it off, continuing. Her father smirks as if unbelieving.
"You've fucked up this whole entire family! You make Mom feel terrible—you stopped me from seeing my uncle—you stopped letting Cat come over because you thought she was insane, and now, guess what? I'm fucking gay and I really hope that pisses you off!"
The smirk falls of off Mr. West's face. He pales and hurriedly licks his lips, knee starting to shake. Tori chews on her lip worriedly, holding Jade's hand tightly. The cracks in James' shell begin to show.
Meekly, he replies, "What?"
Jade swallows, still shaking, and nods; she squeezes Tori's hand and proudly says, "I'm in love with Victoria Vega, and she's a girl."
Tori beams, and everything else besides Jade kind of blurs, smearing into a mess that isn't all that significant. That was the first time Jade said… those words. Tori's chest seems to engulf in ever expanding warmth. Jade loves… her, Tori Vega, and she feels like jumping around or dancing or something because she finally said what Tori was too afraid to.
Reality comes crashing back down, though, as James stands up, face growing steadily red. Tori sucks in a breath and holds it.
"I thought I raised you right!" His voice is strained and Jade bites back.
"You didn't raise me at all!"
James West seethes and turns away from his daughter, focusing on Tori; Jade gulps and moves even closer to her girlfriend as James points at her.
"It's you, isn't it? Ever since you've been here everything's been going to hell!"
He moves to grab Tori, but Jade growls and swiftly stands behind her, "Don't you dare being Tori into this! She hasn't done anything!"
Marie steps in, finally gaining enough courage to stand up to her husband, "James this is enough—you don't need to hurt anyone, alright? Don't go blaming kids, James, it's with me that you've a got a bone to pick!"
James turns to his wife and they both begin to yell. Jeff swallows thickly.
"Girls, go… go upstairs."
Jade pauses, before taking Tori's hand and pulling her upstairs quickly—Jade slams her door shut just in time, and a case with one certain extremely rare butterfly falls of her wall. The glass shatters as she seethes and her father begins to scream. Tori flinches and gulps, moving to one of the broken caseson the floor, and dusts away the sharp shards. She frowns, and picks up an actual butterfly—the Gold-drop Helicopis, Jade's favorite.
Said girl drops onto her knees next to Tori, smirking sadistically. Tori looks up at her, lifting the butterfly a bit higher.
Jade gulps, glad for a distraction, "A butterfly."
Tori looks at the insect confusedly while Jade begins to gather glass in her hands, grimacing at her family's yells. Jade continues.
"I collect them."
And before Tori can reply, Jade swallows harshly, throat burning, and flinches at the word dyke.
Tori gasps, "Jade—are you o—"
"Stop asking me that," Jade's voice shakes dangerously as her hair curtains her face. She leans over slightly and picks up more glass, hands shaking as well. Tori sets the bug aside and takes the pieces from Jade's hands, putting that off too. She gulps, and turns completely so she faces Jade, and pulls her girlfriend's chin up with her hand.
Jade gulps, tears about to spill over her eyes, and Tori quickly leans in, smashing their lips together. The kiss slows, and it's filled with something the both of them can finally make out, something that isn't smeared or blurred, but stands out completely.
Tori breathes into Jade's mouth, "I love you," and Jade replies, "I love you too."
And things are going to be okay.
Besides, after all of this, what's the worst that could happen?
A/N: I can't really believe that I finally finished this. I've been working on this for about a week, and started it because of writer's block. It was supposed to be short and sweet, but it turned into this crazy and terrible and long as hell… thing. Hope it's not completely… 'ew'.
Most of this was written at one in the morning, so.
PS—All of the cool kids review, and everyone wants to cool, yeah?