Disclaimer: I do not own Victorious or any of the affiliated characters.
Notes: I can't say too much at the beginning if I want to avoid giving away the one-shot, so look at the end for notes! :)
Trina knows that she isn't as talentless as everyone thinks she is.
She is a perfectionist, and therefore, will work until she fixes whatever it is that she is simply not good at. That is why she focuses so much on acting, so much on singing. She knows she isn't perfect, so she must practice until she is because after all, practice makes perfect, doesn't it?
This is something Tori doesn't understand.
Tori is so naturally talented at so many things that she doesn't understand what it's like to want to work hard for personal satisfaction. Tori will do what it takes to get a good grade, but she won't do what it takes to feel good about something accomplished. She doesn't understand the point of doing something that she's bad at until she's good.
After sixteen years of having everything come naturally, Tori finds her cruelest adversary in the form of a brass instrument that she picked based on the name, not for any actual desire to learn.
She tries it, and realizes for the first time that this is something that she can't do.
After years of good grades, a charming personality, liveable cooking skills, and natural talent, she discovers that as far as performing arts go, she simply cannot play an instrument.
She switches to the piccolo after a week.
Trina rolls her eyes at Tori. "Come on! At least practice sometimes!"
Tori, who is learning the lines of a new song for the musical, scowls. "No! I'm busy!"
As if Tori has time for nothing when in actuality, all she ever does is fool around with her friends after finishing the minimal amount of homework that Hollywood Arts assigns. She'll take the time to look over songs and scripts, but because that is the area that comes naturally to her, as far as performing arts goes, she doesn't take long.
Trina, on the other hand, finds memorizing scripts and songs difficult.
The words of the script float around in her mind in a random order, making no sense at all, and the words in songs don't match up to the notes that they are written for.
But instruments are something that Trina understands.
She sees the notes in her mind as clearly as she sees the hottest new fashion items on sale. She can wake up from a dream in the middle of the night and write down the notes that she heard floating around, still floating around in her barely-awake mind. She can play symphonies and concertos and sonatas and improvise like nobody's business.
She can play any piece once and memorize it forever.
That is what Trina Vega can do.
And that is what she'll always be able to do, so she doesn't see the point in wasting time perfecting things that are already perfected, like her musical talent in instruments and Tori's voice, but she understands that practice and determination can make something out of anything.
It's not like she completely ignores music, but rather, she plays in her spare time. When she's feeling down, she'll bang out an angry song she learned long ago; when she's happy and content, a sonata peers out from underneath the lid of the grand piano in the living room.
Whenever Tori just tosses the instrument of the week she's learning how to play, Trina wants to snatch it from her and hit her younger sister over the head with it.
Don't be so stupid, she wants to yell, You're not as talented as you think, and I'm not as talentless as you think! Not everything in life comes easily; I work hard.
One day, Trina Vega wakes up and realizes that she's going to a high school for performing arts when she doesn't have the slightest intention for sticking it out for the long run.
Sure, she can play any musical instrument, and memorize pieces she's heard once, but she sucks at acting and she sucks at singing and no matter how hard she works, she'll never equal Tori or Jade or Cat's raw talent. The market isn't in to classical musicians these days.
So, Trina decides, she'll be what Tori wanted to be before Hollywood Arts sucked her in and changed her outlook.
Trina is going to be a doctor, and she's going to change lives that way instead.
Years later, Tori is in the apartment she shares with Cat and Jade, and they're having breakfast over conversations.
"I got a callback this afternoon!" Tori says in excitement, and Jade looks at Tori rather pityingly, but doesn't say anything.
"Yay!" Cat cheers, but then she's serious. "Tori, be careful."
"What?" Tori is confused, adorably so. "Why, Cat?"
"Because," Jade snaps, "You don't want another Melody to happen, okay Tori?"
Tori turns to look at her baby, a little girl barely four years old—the result of what she thought was an audition.
"Jade," Tori says quietly. "Will you go with me?"
Jade's eyes soften, because not everyone can make it in Hollywood, and Tori might be pretty and talented, but there are girls out there just as pretty, not as talented, but with parents willing to put out the money.
"Yeah." Jades says, putting a hand on Tori's shoulder. "I'll go with you."
When Trina comes home for Christmas, the house is dark and the only light she sees is coming from the TV in the living room.
A young girl is bathed in the glow of the television, and turns to look at Trina when she opens the door. "Who are you?"
Trina's eyebrows furrow. "I'm Trina Vega; who are you?"
"Melody Vega." The girl says. "Are you my Auntie Trina?"
"I…guess." Trina shrugs. "Are you one of my cousins' kids? You can't be Tori's—"
"My mom's name is Tori." Melody replies, and Trina's eyes widen. "She leaves me here with Nana and Grandpa now that I'm old enough to stay home alone."
"And where is your…mom?"
"I think she's shooting a movie."
"And she just…left you here?"
"Rex the meanie-head said that I was holding Mommy back."
Trina's eyes widen even more.
In the weeks that follow, Trina has called Tori, chewed her out for leaving her seven-year-old at their parents for over a month, and for not contacting her at all since she was twenty.
Tori has no excuse, other than "You think I asked to be a mom?"
One day, Trina is looking through her room for something that she wants to bring back to med school with her, when Melody finds a piece of paper with musical notes written on them.
One of Trina's own compositions.
Trina smiles warmly. "Do you sing, like your mommy?"
"No." The answer is short, sad. "Mommy tried to teach me; I see these notes, and I hear them in my head, but I can't make them come out with my voice."
A light goes off in Trina's head.
"Mellie," She says, "I'll teach you how to make the notes come out in a different way, do you want that?"
Melody nods her consent, and Trina leads her to the piano.
NOTES: I don't think Trina is untalented. If she was, then Hollywood Arts wouldn't have accepted her. We've never seen her play an instrument, so it can't be ruled out that she isn't good at playing an instrument. From seeing the French horn and the piccolo, we know that as far as musical instruments go, Tori is not inclined in that manner.
So, I pose a question: To whom does that grand piano in the living room belong to?
Personally, I think it's Trina's, and in my head, I believe she isn't as stupid and talentless as others perceive her.
As for Melody, I do believe that Tori is very ignorant and naïve. She's too innocent and would be relatively easy to trick. Melody was the result of an "audition" that happened with a producer that wouldn't produce Tori's song unless she slept with him, and after she did, he didn't produce the song anyway.
If Tori is pressured enough, she will do it, as exhibited in the show. If her friends pressured her to leave Melody with her parents so she can pursue her career, I honestly believe she would do it, deluding herself into believing that she's doing what's best for Melody.