by katie lynn.
long time no write! i've been sort of preoccupied for a while, and writing hasn't been a priority of mine. even though it probably should have been, because it's always been an outlet for me.
this idea came to me when i was talking to emma (seemslikeaporno) and we were attempting to come up with something for me to write. mostly because i've had a serious case of writer's block as of the late.
so, i present to you the result of four months of frustration and pain and anguish and downright hopelessness.
january 2nd, 2017
Tori Vega is freezing her ass off in the rain as she boards her 5:00 train back to New York City. She's been home for the holidays the past couple of weeks, and it's been nice. Being surrounded by her family – her oblivious, naïve family who think she's living out some perfect dream life back in New York. And at some point, it was a perfect dream life.
She's running late, so by the time she gets on the train, much of it is full and there aren't many seats left. There's one next to an old lady wearing a huge fur coat: No. Another one in front of a woman with a little boy throwing a temper tantrum: HELL no.
Tori walks to the very back of the crowded train car, hoping she finds someone at least halfway decent to sit next to. There's a man in a shabby leather jacket wearing a brown fedora and she thinks, You're not Indiana Jones, man.
"Can I sit here?" Tori taps on his shoulder. His jacket is slick with raindrops.
He turns his head. His brown eyes have some sort of deep set pain embedded into them, like he's seen things he wished he hadn't. Five o'clock shadow graces his chin and upper lip, but Tori thinks that's just part of his style. His hair is tied back into a loose ponytail.
But Tori still recognizes him. How can she not?
"Beck Oliver," Tori smiles at him.
"Crystal Waters," Beck says back, but he doesn't smile. He sort of half-grimaces, half-smirks, as if he wishes he hadn't seen her. Like they were never friends in another life.
Tori takes the seat next to him, even though he still hasn't given her permission to sit. They may not be friends anymore but they're still acquaintances. So Tori will take advantage of that.
They make small talk for a while.
Tori finds out that Beck lives in New York City too, in the weirdest twist of fate ever. He hates it there but that's where the green is. She asks what he does for a living but he just says, "I get by. That's all that matters." She doesn't think so.
She tells Beck about her modeling job. She gets paid to wear pretty clothes, have people take pictures of herself. She gets paid for those pictures to be touched up and fixed up so she looks like perfection. Beck just raises an eyebrow at her.
"You're fucking skinny," he muses, giving her a once over. Tori feels like he's seeing beyond the thirty pounds she's lost since high school and into that one part of her soul where she's lost her faith.
"Isn't that supposed to be a good thing?" she cocks her head. All of her photographers have told her that she looks good; that thin always looks good in front of the camera. You don't have to search for a good angle to shoot a size 0 model, because they look perfect all the way around.
Beck shrugs and rests his head against the window with his eyes closed. He seems tired. Not just from lack of sleep though. He seems emotionally tired.
He seems even more messed up than she is.
"Is something wrong?" Tori asks him gently when he starts scratching his arm like it's really bothering him. It's nice and warm on the train, but he's still wearing his heavy leather jacket.
Beck glances at her, smiles bitterly. "Do you really want to know?"
Beck rolls up the sleeve of his left arm carefully. All the way up his forearm until she can see the skin of his elbow. There's little marks everywhere – white scars, dotting his skin like some sort of unbeautiful tattoo. There's girls that Tori works with that have these but they always cover them with obscene amounts of cover up.
"That's okay," Tori looks at him under his eyelashes. She can practically smell how ashamed he is. "Wanna know a secret?"
Beck swallows. She takes this as a yes.
"I haven't eaten anything but white rice in two days," Tori whispers into his ear. She feels like she's at confession, and she has to do her penance or else she'll go to hell. So maybe she won't eat at all for the next day or so.
He doesn't say anything in reply, he just wraps an arm around her. Tori rests her head on his shoulder and he smells like cigarette smoke and burning wood and memories.
february 14th, 2017
They exchanged telephone numbers on the train, just as it was about to reach the station. Tori was too scared to call him until now, mostly because she wasn't sure if what happened on the train was real or not. These little white pills she's been taking lately have given her some really strange hallucinations. But she's sure he's real now, because how can he not be?
So Tori calls him on Valentine's Day because she's alone and she's bored and she doesn't have anything else to do. There two rings before she hears a hollow-sounding voice say, "What?"
"Um, is this Beck?" she asks meekly.
"Who wants to know?"
"Oh, shit. Jesus, Tori, I'm sorry," Beck sounds embarrassed on the other line. Tori can't help but smile a little because this is the Beck she remembers from high school. The Beck who always tried to seem like a tough guy, but was genuinely a nice guy through and through.
Tori lays back on the couch, playing with a piece of fuzz on her sweater. "It's fine. So like…would you want to come over to my place? I know it's late but…I want some company."
There's a long pause. "Yeah, I guess I could. Do you mind if I bring my…"
"I don't care."
"Oh…oh cool. You live on Harris, right?" Beck asks like he just dodged some sort of major bullet. And as Tori tells him where she lives, she can't help but wonder why he's so ashamed of heroin. Because at least drugs make him make him feel good, just for a little while.
Being skinny doesn't make her feel good. Maybe it would if she could just be skinny ENOUGH. Beautiful enough. Perfect enough.
When Beck arrives, he has this little folder thing in his hand and a yellow rose in the other. The rose has this purple ribbon tied in a bow at the end, and the gesture is so incredibly random and sweet that Tori can't help but give him a kiss on the cheek.
"Damn. This place is nice," Beck says as he sits down on the couch. He looks like he hasn't slept in weeks, and his lace-up boots have dirt or something all over them.
Tori shrugs and puts the rose into a tiny little vase with some water. "It's enough. Do you want anything to eat or drink? I have um…water. And I think I have soup somewhere…"
She's a little disgusted at herself for letting it get to the point where the only drink in her house is water, and the only food is some most likely expired Campbell's soup hidden in the depths of her pantry.
"As highly tempting an offer it is to drink New York City tap water and chug down a bowl of over-salted store bought soup is, I'll pass on that. But thanks," Beck grins a little, and she can just barely see the white of his teeth.
There's something beautiful and sad about him that she will always love.
They sit on her couch for a really long time. She isn't sure how long but that's okay because he makes her forget about how horrendously weird and messed up her current life situation is. Which is ironic, considering he sticks a needle in his arm halfway through their visit like it's nothing. Tori watches as he injects himself – he doesn't even wince.
"What does it feel like?" Tori asks, looking up at him with wide brown eyes.
"It doesn't feel like anything," he responds absently. "I don't do it for the high anymore. I do it because I need it."
Tori takes him to the Starbucks by her apartment building after that. They drink black coffee and eat blueberry scones.
She thinks it's really cool that he holds her hair while she makes herself throw up.
june 24th, 2017
It's Beck's 24th birthday.
Tori's standing outside his front door, holding a birthday cake that she doesn't plan on eating any of and a new pair of lace-up boots.
"Beck?" Tori says as she knocks a second time. "Beckett Oliver, open your fucking door! I bring cake and gifts! And my beautiful self!"
No answer. Beck "works" out of his apartment and he's almost always there. Except when he's at his supplier's or at a customer's house, but mostly people go to him. So she's really confused as to why he wouldn't be answering his door.
She picks the lock open with a bobby pin she has in her hair, then sets down the cake and the boots so she can open the door. Tori uses her foot to push her things inside, then looks around. There's dishes in the sink. The TV's playing an ancient re-run of How I Met Your Mother.
"Beck?" Tori replies for the third time in a span of about three minutes. She cracks open the bedroom door (which is hardly a bedroom – it's more like a walk-in closet) to see Beck lying on the bed, his eyes closed.
"Leave. I don't want you to see me like this," she hears him croak out. His voice is raw, like he hasn't talked in a really long time (which is ridiculous, because she just talked to him two days ago).
She wonders what's wrong for a moment. Then she sees the sheen of sweat on his skin. The bucket full of vomit sitting beside the bed. The fact that Beck, who's always so alert and ready for anything, is lying in his bed naked. She realizes: He's going through withdrawal.
"You look like shit," Tori says as she reaches out to press a hand to his forehead. He's on fire and not in the way she'd like.
Beck groans loudly. "I'm fucking dying, Victoria."
"Shh," she murmurs comfortingly as he sets his head in her lap. His supplier's probably out of town or waiting for a shipment to come in. This happened in March but he wouldn't let her see him that time. "I have to go soon, though. I have a meeting with an agency today."
Beck lifts his head like it's made of lead. "No," he says sadly, brokenly. "Don't leave me. Please."
He mumbles these words like it's a prayer. Like they hurt to say but he has to anyways.
She stays for the whole day.
He cries as she plays with his hair.
september 8th, 2017
"When was the last time you ate?" Beck asks her as they sip coffee at 3 in the morning. He came over for dinner (he ate ramen and she drank Diet Coke) at midnight, just because he can. Their relationship has evolved into something beyond friendship but not quite lovers. They stay the night at each other's apartments a lot and shit and bullshit about nothing in particular. Sometimes Beck shoots while Tori braids his hair (it's getting kind of really long, which she sort of likes).
"Last week," she answers automatically. Tori's not actually sure if last week was when she last week because her memory's been getting really bad lately and her hair's been coming out and she's been bruising really easy. The agency's telling her now that she's TOO skinny and she has to gain some weight but she just can't because:
Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.
Beck raises an eyebrow at her then reaches for her hand, gently stroking her palm with his fingertips. "You're a liar."
"I'm not lying. I'm making an estimate. Because I don't actually remember."
"Tori, you're going to kill yourself."
He says this so quietly that she almost can't hear it. When she looks at him, the fire in his eyes that's been missing since she re-got to know him is burning hot and bright. And she wants to kiss him so damn badly that the hunger that she's trained herself to ignore is gnawing at her to Kiss him, Victoria, feed me.
So she presses their lips together like it's the last thing she'll ever do.
Beck's lips press back to hers after a moment, anxious and hot and needy. But that's okay, because she wants this just as badly as he does. This isn't about attraction to each other because if it was then they wouldn't have done this. Everybody knows that attraction to a person isn't enough.
This is about understanding each other.
Beck understands that she has to be skinny and perfect and BETTER. Beck understands that she has to push harder every day to reach that goal (and she doesn't know what that goal is yet, but right now it's to be enough).
And Tori understands that Beck needs his heroin to survive. He didn't go to college or finish his acting classes or anything and drugs are his LIFELINE. Because without heroin, he's just another failure.
So they kiss and kiss and kiss and eventually she leads him to her bedroom where they can forget about anorexia and food and drugs and highs and be the BeckandTori they want to be.
When Beck slips Tori's bra off, she closes her eyes and feels a tear drip down her cheek.
"Am I beautiful?" she whispers.
Beck's fingers run over her ribs, down her stomach to where her hips jut out. "You always have been, Tori. Always."
When he enters her, rough and unadulterated and Beckett, she feels like somebody special.
october 31st, 2017
She's in the middle of ordering a black coffee at Starbucks with Beck when it happens. Her legs feel shaky and her head hurts and everything is spinning and all she wanted was some coffee.
"Tori? Baby, are you okay?" Beck is asking, his arm around his waist to support her. Tori can hear the concern in his voice but she's too exhausted at this moment to answer. So she closes her eyes and rests her head on his shoulder because the blackness is so welcoming and warm and nice.
"Sir, is this your girlfriend?"
"Yes, I mean…no…I mean, she takes care of me and I take care of her fuck why are you asking me this? Help her! Please!"
"Sir, I need you to calm down. Is she suffering from –"
"She's anorexic! She hasn't eaten in days she won't let me feed her I try and try she tells me she has to be perfect oh my God Tori I'm so fucking sorry baby please wake up don't leave me baby."
"Sir, please let us do our job. You're going to have to let go of her."
"Fix her. Please."
"I love her. I love her. Fix her. Fix Tori."
november 3rd, 2017
Tori wakes up on a Tuesday.
Beck is sitting in the chair next to her bed, clasping her hand and mumbling to himself.
"Miss me?" Tori rasps out because hell, her throat is dry.
Beck's head lifts slightly, and he smiles so widely that he looks like sunshine. "You stupid, beautiful girl."
He's washed his hair and he's wearing a clean white shirt and his face is shaved. She's never seen him look like this before, or at least not in the past 11 months.
And for the first time in a long time, she feels hungry.
OH MY GOD. THAT WAS SO HORRIFICALLY AWFUL I JUST CAN'T. but i tried really hard on it so i hope some of you like it. 3:
please review with more than "so sad" or "i loved it" or whatever because that doesn't help me become a better writer for you, you know?