Disclaimer: Victorious does not belong to me, or any of my cousins. AND IT'S THEIR OWN FAULT, TOO.


It started with a kiss.

Just a little kiss. No more than six, seven seconds. If that. You'd been talking to Cat, maybe about school, maybe about a movie you saw. That's not the part you remember, no, it was the lull in the conversation that came, Cat gnawing at her lip like she was thinking about something, considering something other than what you were telling her. You'd felt a pang of annoyance that she wasn't paying attention, but then she leaned over, so simply, so easily, and kissed you. You hadn't even thought you were that close to her. But suddenly, it was close, much too close, and her lips were on yours, and her fingers stroked your cheek, and then she'd pulled back, a little satisfied smile on her shiny lips. Then she'd just gone on talking, chattering about a squirrel that lived near her house, and how her brother would throw rocks at it sometimes, while you'd sat, stunned.

And that was it. She had you hooked. You didn't even realise it at first, how much that little kiss changed things. How your eyes started following her, wherever she went. How you were always the first one to notice when she wasn't there, when she was late. Even Jade noticed, had commented in a snide tone, that Cat wasn't your pet, so you should stop looking for her. She said you were a step away from putting posters up, everytime Cat disappeared for a second. You didn't bother to tell her that it was the other way around; that you were the puppydog, waiting for it's owner to come back. And maybe it's because she never explained why she did it, maybe it's because she never talked about it, but it drives you crazy. You went through a million explanations in your head. Does she like you? Was she bored? Is it just her? What? What is it?

You'd asked her once. Blurted it out while you were sat beside her, hands on your knees, gaze fixed away from her. Her fingers had tickled under your chin, turning your face to her, and you'd swallowed hard, eyes flicking to her lips. But all she'd done was smile, like she didn't know what you were talking about, and let your chin go. You'd still felt her fingers there though. And then just before she left, as you'd walked her to your front door, she'd turned back, coffee-coloured eyes flicking over you. "I did it because I wanted to." You'd swallowed hard, that teasing little edge in her voice tugging on that hook she'd sunk so well in your heart. Pierced straight through the centre.

You understand now why Cat has a new boyfriend every other week. You'd always figured it was a problem with her... you never really understood how someone like Cat could be single so often. She's a little out there, but she's sweet, and she's more than cute; she's beautiful. You realise now it was because she lost interest with them. She just strung them along behind her until she found something new. It's Cat who breaks their hearts, not the other way around. You know, because you can feel the string attached to you, see it curled around her little finger. And she'd done it so subtly, so gradually, you hadn't even noticed how tight it was getting.

Of course Cat noticed. You're pretty sure that's what she meant to do. You don't know why, and you're still not really sure how, but she's got you. And it's not that she notices and just ignores you, or notices a reciprocates. She keeps you hanging, keeps you dangling from that string. She'll take your hand in class, entwine her fingers with yours, and your heart will practically rip itself out of your chest in it's excitement, it's eagerness, and you'll be so scared to move, in case she realises what she's doing and takes her hand away.

She'll lean against you when you're sitting next to her, an arm slung on your shoulder, her hair tickling you. She'll say your name in a soft, almost sing-song voice. "Tor-i." She'll give you that little smile that ramps your blood pressure off the charts. That little smile that says she knows exactly what she's doing. And she's so innocent, and so sweet, and you're supposed to be oh-so-much more knowledgeable than her, so much smarter, so much more stable. But you just fall to pieces around her. You're not composed, you're awkward, and clumsy, and you try so hard to get her to notice you. You almost whine and beg and plead for her attention, wagging your tail in the hopes that she'll play with you. You have to rein yourself in whenever you see Jade's eyebrows dip down, whenever Andre glances at you in confusion. This isn't how you're supposed to behave around Cat. But you know the side of her they don't.

It got to the point where that hook in your heart started to hurt, started to rust, and bleed, and you longed to yank it out like a rotten tooth. You were sick of trailing after Cat, just being her plaything that she neglected to play with. But you were stupid to think that Cat didn't notice that as well. You have no idea how long she's been playing the game, and you have no idea whether you're some big fish she's trying to reel in, or just some tiny minnow she's barely aware of, tugging at her line. Either way, you're sick of this ambiguity. Your little infatuation seems so stupid to you, based on nothing, based on fragments that weren't anything but a taste to whet your appetite for her. But you're sick of starving.

You're setting up the Black Box theatre one day for a play that you've written, long after everyone's already gone home. You hold the prop teddy bear in your hand for a moment, fur soft against your palm. Cat's in the play with you. You collapse into one of the fold-up black chairs, metal cold against your legs. You shut your eyes for a moment, hugging the bear to you. You're just sick of it, sick of everything. Sick of having that hook twisted inside you.

When you open your eyes, Cat's there, and you think for a minute you fell asleep, and you're dreaming, because the timing is almost too perfect, and she's all you think about these days anyway. But your dreams have never been this real before. Cat's standing in front of you, hands sweeping her hair forward, white teeth chewing at her glossy lower lip, and you lower the bear clutched to your chest.

"Hi." The word comes out awkwardly, choked by your heart, and you feel like an insect, pinned by Cat's gaze.

Her eyes flick over you, pink tongue running out over her lips, hands smoothing out her skirt. "Want some help?"

You glance down at the bear again. "It's almost done." You stand, expecting Cat to move out of your way, to give you some room, but she doesn't, and you'd move if you could but you're frozen by how close you are to her. Your breath catches in your throat, and that hook twists it's way a little deeper. Even as you're praying she doesn't notice, that little smile creeps onto her lips again, and she leans in, until you can feel her breath feather your cheek. And you're close, so close, Cat's hands linked behind your neck, fingers warm and fluttering.

"Kiss me, Tori." She says it softly, but her tone makes it clear it's not a question. She knows she has you, and you'd protest if she wasn't so right. You close the little gap that remains, and it's like sinking into a soft bed after a long day. It's like a cold drink when you've been sweating all day. And you feel her slip another hook into your already aching heart.

Things only get worse after that. What the two of you have – it's not what you want. You're not even sure what it is. She treats you just the same as she always did; in front of everyone else, she's just normal Cat. But you can't be normal Tori. You're sure that you're losing your mind, and you're losing it to her. She'll sit next to you at lunch, voice bright, chattering away about horrifying things her brother has done, all the random little things that flit through her mind, even while her hand creeps along your thigh before slipping between your legs. And you'll sit there with your breath held in your lungs, too scared to let it out in case a moan comes with it. Sometimes she'll even ask you a question, that smile on her lips even as her fingers rub over you, and you'll stammer something out while the rest of the group looks at you curiously. You're sure Jade must know. She's started to look you over carefully, and when your voice breaks and stutters, her eyebrows will dig down, and she'll say in a careful voice, "Cat got your tongue?" And all you can do is break your gaze from her, swallowing over a rising lump in your throat, and try not to gasp as Cat's fingers rub harder.

You're not even sure if Cat really likes you sometimes. She's never said that she wants you, that she needs you, and sometimes you're sure you only say those things to her every time you're pressed together in the dark, just to see if she'll say them back. But she never does. When she moans, your lips pressed to her neck, your hand between her legs, your name is never in it. You feel so good when you're with her, and so dirty when you're not. So sick. But you still relive those moments with her when you're alone, your fingers slipping under the waistband of your underwear. You still bite your lip to stop her name from spilling out when you come.

It comes to the point where she pulls you out of class one day, saying that Lane needs to see you in his office. She giggles in that dreamy voice of hers, and your teacher lets you go with barely a second glance. But Cat doesn't take you to Lane. She takes you to the Janitor's closet, where she always takes you. She shuts the door behind you softly, and you remember vaguely when you used to talk to Cat. When you had conversations with her. But now your conversations mainly consist of long silences punctuated with gasps. Part of you misses having Cat as a friend. But that part is buried at the bottom of your heart, and the multitude of hooks that pierce you now haven't touched that memory. Of what things used to be like.

Her hands slide onto your shoulders, and your heart starts to pound harder. She makes you something you're not, and that something is hot and panting, with clumsy fingers and shivering skin. Even in heels, she's still so much shorter than you, but she stretches herself higher to whisper in your ear, fingers burning the back of your neck. "Fuck me."

The first time she said that to you, while she trembled against you in the half-dark of your room, it made it clear to you that this wasn't Cat. This wasn't the innocent, giggling girl who'd never say anything dirty, because it was bad. No, this was another Cat entirely. She plays the part of an innocent so well. You still fall for it sometimes, until it's shattered by those two words, whispered in that familiar, lilting voice.

You push her back against the door, your lips meeting hers even as her breath escapes from the jolt of hitting the door, and you kiss her almost desperately, because every gap, every minute of being around Cat while she ignores you is torture. Every minute that you want her, and you can't show it. Every spurned attempt to hold her hand, to kiss her. She holds all the cards, and you're just the flopping fish, gasping for breath. It makes the time that you're with her so much more urgent, so much more necessary, to make up for the all the things you want to do, but can't. You try to fit an entire relationship into that brief time you're with her, and maybe that's all passion is. Either way, you're never more alive than when you're with her the way you want to be.

Cat's lips part for you, and you take full advantage of that, your tongue running over her bottom lip. She tastes so sweet to you, so soft, so warm. You sink into her, you lose yourself. Your hands run up under her top, wrinkling the magenta material, fingers tracing the ridges of her ribs, and your fingers feel clumsy, feel useless, and you try to engrave how she feels in your memory, for the times she isn't around. So you can remember this is real, even when she ignores you.

You break apart to pant for breath, your lips making a soft sound as they part from hers. Cat's tongue runs out over her pink lips, her hands hard on your waist as she flicks her eyes down pointedly, that little smile shaking on her lips. You swallow hard, lowering yourself to your knees, and you let them jolt on the hard linoleum, enough to hurt. You want to see the bruise it forms later, you want the lingering pain every time you touch it to be a reminder. You want proof this isn't some recurring dream.

Your hands crawl up under Cat's black skirt, fingers hooking in her panties, dragging them down, and it's not fast enough, it's never fast enough. Yet when it's over, it's too fast, it's over too quickly. You're torn in different directions, and you just wish things would slow down. You just wish you could think without her in your head. You kiss along Cat's thigh softly, muscles tensing in the tan skin. It's the only place you can show that you... that you care. Cat's never been gentle with you, never been loving, and you're scared to do the same. She's rejected you too many times. You've gone to kiss her, just gently, just softly, and she's pushed you away, a hand in your chest. And then she'd ignore you for a week, maybe two. She'd be normal Cat, all while the real Cat simmered in your heart, twisting those hooks in deeper. You learned the hard way that Cat doesn't want a relationship. But at least you can kiss her here, in this secret place. At least you can be tender here, because she can't see. Cat's hand tangles in your hair, and you move your kisses higher, start to nip at the skin. You hear her breath catch in her throat, and you pick that moment to drag your tongue across her, that now-familiar taste filling your mouth. Cat's hips twitch forward, her hand tightening in your hair, and you begin in earnest, tongue finding her clit easily now. Cat moans, and you've heard it enough times by now to know that she's biting her lip. The image spurs you on, tongue flicking and mouth sucking, and you remember the first time you did this. You were so clumsy and scared, so in awe of how you could make Cat feel. How you could make her pant, and moan. How you could make her come. How she could pretend that you'd never done that, just minutes later. How she could pretend it didn't mean anything.

Cat's soft moans prickle your skin, give you goosebumps, and you can feel her thighs tremble against your cheeks, start to tense, and you swallow thickly, taking a breath, and it's CatCatCat. In your mouth, on your tongue, against your cheeks, in your heart, in your brain. Everywhere. You add your fingers to the mix, pushing them inside her as her hips jump away from the door, a low moan escaping Cat. Sometimes you can fool yourself that it's your name mixed up in them. In those little scraps of words that are forced out of her mouth. And again, it's over all too soon, and Cat's shuddering against you, back arching off the door, muscles clenching around your fingers, breath panting quickly, edged with her voice like gilt.

You pull back, swiping a hand across your mouth, wiping her off you, and Cat's already bending, already pulling her panties back up.

"See you at lunch, Tor." She gives you a quick little smile, voice perky, hands sweeping her hair back into place, and in an instant, she's the Cat everyone else knows again.

And then she's gone, too late to hear the soft words slip from your mouth. "I love you." You think people are supposed to feel better when they say that. You think love is supposed to feel good, to make you soar. To make you happy. But you've never been more miserable. Your heart is full of barbed metal, and it's tearing you apart. You hate that you've fallen for all Cat's little tricks, to lead you on, to get you addicted to her. You hate that she's all you think about, that's you bow to her every little whim, that you let her use you whenever she wants. That you let her make nothing out of what's something to you. You hate that you can't stop, that you won't stop. Most of all, you hate that you love her. You know you're not going to be the one to end it. It can't last forever; Cat'll get bored of you. She's got more than one line in the water.

You stay there on your knees for a while, Cat's scent still whirling around you, her taste still on your lips. You're hooked, well and truly, and you took the bait every time. You let yourself be caught on her. You let yourself fall for her. You stopped trying to get away a long time ago, and now you're just flopping about, gills red and raw, trying to live in Cat's world. But you can't be like Cat. You're going to die up here.

A/N: This was an experiment.

I'm not sure how it went. I heated it for twenty minutes on the bunsen burner, and then I added some sodium hydroxide, and it turned purple. Then I took it off and burnt some paper and that was fun. And I discovered that paper, when burnt, is not paper anymore and gets all over your fingers and just is a mess and that you should really save it on a computer and not burn what you write. And then I burnt a disk, and discovered there are two meanings to the word, 'burnt'.

The good news is I proved my hypothesis; I should not do science.

So now I'm just using the labcoat to pretend to be a doctor :)

Four people have died.

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