Disclaimer: Victorious is owned by neither me, nor my goldfish Gary. Also, Gary doesn't belong to me. He's my neighbour's fish. BUT SERIOUSLY WHO CALLS A FISH GARY. Obviously I would call him Sergeant Shinygills. That's a proper name for a fish.

/

"Ready or not, here I come." I announce flatly, hands pulling away from where they blindfolded my eyes. I hear a distant giggle sounding from somewhere in the house, and I take a deep breath, stepping forward, scarlet carpet itchy under my toes.

It was Cat's idea to play hide and seek, of course. God knows I'd never think of anything like that. Although it worked on getting rid of Vega, that one time. I still haven't found her. But Cat plied me with soft kisses, and gentle fingers, and she stirred me enough until I bubbled over and gave in. That and a promise of a reward if I found her. Cat's throat isn't the only thing that's golden. Her tongue is magic.

It's enough to make me enthusiastic, if not outwardly so. To look at me, you'd think I was bored out of my mind, steps languid, arms limp by my sides, shoulders slightly dipped. I hear a distant giggle, muffled by the walls of my house, and a smile steals across my face as I head in that direction.

Dating Cat is... interesting. Sometimes frustrating. We're like always-turning magnets, sometimes irresistibly attracting each other, sometimes pushing each other away. She gets hurt easily, and my tongue is a sharp blade. I don't cut her on purpose, but she hasn't yet learned to grab without careless abandon. She always looks surprised when she starts to bleed. And then it's my job to slap on a bandaid and apologise, in a soft, low voice, words shuffled out of my mouth like they leave a bitter taste. For the most part though, it's pretty... well, fun. Cat's anything but boring. She'll point at a billboard advertising some movie, and say we have to see it. And they won't be empty words, they'll be an instant promise, and we'll end up seeing it that night. I'll take her to an ice cream parlour sometimes, just to watch her eyes light up, that grin stretching her mouth wide, hands curled in her lap as she bounces up and down in the passenger seat of my car. She'll take my hand, and it's always a little different, how she holds it. Sometimes she'll have her hand on top, fingers loose. Sometimes she'll creep in underneath, fingers wriggling to fill the spaces between mine. Sometimes she just likes her hand to be touching mine, resting beside it, pinky hooked in mine, just for that contact.

In fact, she's always touching me, one way or another. Whether it's her head against my shoulder, her thigh pressed to mine, her arm running the length of my arm, her hip inclined to touch me, she's always in contact with me. I guess I should find it annoying, that she's stuck to me like glue, but honestly... it's actually sort of comforting. It's a reminder that she's there, and when my anger spikes, when my spine bristles indignantly, she's there to cool me down, with just a touch.

She makes me a little less myself. I'd never agree to hide and seek with anyone else. In fact, even just the suggestion would earn a withering remark from me. Most people wouldn't be stupid enough to ask. And it's not that Cat's stupid, it's that when she looks at me, she sees something else entirely different to what I am. I don't know if she sees some quality, buried deep, that even I don't know is there, or whether she fools herself into thinking there's more to me, that there's a side I haven't shown. Either way, her belief is so strong it's tricked me too. I do things I would never normally do, and sure, I bitch and moan about them, and scowl my way through, but I still do them. And deep down, I usually do enjoy them. But maybe it's just Cat that makes them enjoyable.

I stalk down the hall, turning off to the first bathroom, doorknob cold on my palm. I walk into the tiled room, walls glaring white. "Now where could Cat be..." I say softly, words echoing slightly, reverberating. I pull back the shower curtain sharply, expecting to see a flash of huddled red hair, a terrified giggle sounding. But all that there is the smooth slope of the bath.

I scowl. Empty. On to the next room.

The thing about Cat is, she's impossible to be angry around. I mean, I find a way, but even with her, it's usually short-lived. She's like a poultice, drawing the poison from my veins, healing whatever chafing wound has caused my rage. I've actually tried, when sprawled out on my bed with her, arms splayed across me, to think of something that usually pisses me off. Like jeggings. Or girls who screech about how hot their boyfriend is, and how much sex they have. But Cat's tickling fingertips, her warm breath, just her, made it impossible. The thoughts didn't stick like burrs in my mind, plucked away by Cat's presence. I never have nightmares when she stays over.

I stalk into a spare bedroom, steps soft. There's some old gym equipment, weights, a treadmill, that my mom bought on some flash of inspiration. Some midlife crisis, wanting to shake that small tyre that had settled around her hips, the weariness that started to slow her. She thought she could get rid of the heaviness of her bones with exercise, thought she could wash away the years. She didn't stick with it, she never sticks with anything for long. I'm surprised she's still married to my dad, actually. That's the only thing she's stuck with, and maybe it's because he's never home much. Always away on business. Maybe that's why she never gets tired of him. That's not to say I don't sympathise with my mom. I guess I love her, but her faults are speckled throughout her, shining. They're pitfalls to look out for in myself. I get tired of things easily too, that persistent boredom that swells after a while, never quite dissipating. Cat's the same in that respect, but in an entirely different way. Her attention span is short, but it's constantly finding something else to fix on, finding fascination in the tiniest things. I found her out in the garden once, after I came back from the bathroom to find her missing. She was staring at a butterfly, watching it slowly open and close it's wings on a tattered white flower. She looked over at me as I came out, putting a finger to her lips. Cat watched it until it fluttered away, wings beating the air. She said she wondered what it would feel to have a butterfly tiptoe over your skin, her fingers tickling over my folded arms. And then she gave me a kiss as soft as a wingbeat, as light and fluttering, her eyelashes tickling my cheek as she led me back inside, distracted again.

The door to the closet slides open smoothly, revealing a distinct lack of Cat. There's actually a good chance she's forgotten we're playing hide and seek by now, or gotten bored of hiding. Part of me wishes that's the case, and that's she's sat in the kitchen, picking at a container of trail mix. But some other part of me wants to find her, to have her squeal, her hands jumping out at me, as if to say you're here, it's you! And to have her lips press against mine with that jittery smile on them, adrenaline flickering through her veins. She tastes of laughter then, bubbling through her breath, of lipgloss and excitement and something fizzing and thick that mists across my brain, that sinks into my skin and turns it transparent. She's a different girl every time I see her. And sometimes the changes are small, barely noticeable, but it endlessly fascinates me. Who will I find when I find her? What variety of Cat will she have morphed into?

Her emotions are fragile, volatile. They're like a layer of magma, shifting and bubbling under her shell of skin, forever turning, stirred by a current I don't understand, occasionally rupturing the skin to erupt forth, in a giggle, a gasp, and outraged huff, a sincere whisper. They're shallow for the most part, and I have yet to see her core, to see what emotions strike deep. I've come closest when we're lying together, skin bare, beaded with sweat, her head nestled against me, her hands splayed on my back, nothing but the sound of our breathing filling the room. That's when her skin has cooled, and I feel the shifting of her core, slow and powerful, like a song played slow, to the beat of our hearts. And maybe it's all overly-dramatic, maybe it's not really like that at all. Maybe she's not that complicated, and it's just my own feelings that cloud my eyes. But my heart speaks these things about her, and sometimes it overpowers my brain. Not that anyone, especially Cat, would ever hear me say any of this stuff. Jade West doesn't have tinkly, glass feelings. Her feelings are sharp licks of an electric guitar, wailing and angry. They're not a picked out melody on an acoustic guitar, soft and humming.

Sometimes I think I love her. Really love her. But just like her, that love is always changing. Sometimes it's just tolerance, putting up with stuff from her that I wouldn't from other people, because it's her, and that negates any annoyance I might feel. Sometimes it's burning passion, the kind that stands under your window with a boombox in the pouring rain. Sometimes it's quiet, curled around my ribs, the kind that makes me want to hold her and not speak. Just be with her. There are so many different ways I love her, it's hard to know which one's true, if one's the forever kind, or if they'll all fade.

I walk into the study, pushing the ajar door open. The room is that sort of quiet that's a held breath, because even silence is a noise, and this one is buzzing with a waiting sound. She's in here. She's got to be. The laptop on my dad's desk creaks softly, one of those random noises that you can never quite work out what causes them. And then there's another, more deliberate noise, from underneath the desk. My dad's desk is thick, powerful, roughly hewn wood that towers and must weigh about half a tonne, polished until it gleams softly. The kind that smells like cigars and varnish. Like business. It slams down to the floor, flush with the carpet, the front jutting forward into the room, back to the window. A smile creeps across my face as the high-backed office chair shivers a little.

I sigh heavily, taking a few steps forward, hands planting on my hips. "Well, I don't know where Cat is. Maybe I should just give up."

A stifled giggle. I take a few more steps forward, reaching the end of the desk.

"I guess I'll just sit down then."

I round the edge, yanking the chair out smoothly and bending down. Cat's hands are balled into fists, pressed against her mouth, glee wrinkling her eyes. "You found me!" She giggles, crawling out and folding into my arms.

"What do I win?" I say smoothly, smirking, a studded eyebrow raised.

Her eyes dip away, shy, fingers plucking at the hem of my charcoal shirt, a band picture slashed across the front, faded colours and screaming faces. "Me." She says simply, chocolate eyes flicking back to me, sweet, her pink lips curving in a little smile.

I kiss her, sipping at her lips like she's a cold drink on a hot day, cooling my aching heart, that twisting little snake that wriggles into my throat and chokes my words coiling in the back of my throat.

"Race you to the bedroom?" I tease, hissing in my breath, shaking my voice. Cat grins, pushing away from me almost instantly.

"I'm gonna beat yoooou!" Her voice fades as she races out, echoing down the hall, and I follow slowly after. This is just another game of hide and seek, really. And I can't wait to see who I find at the end. I'm always seeking Cat.

/

A/N: So I was writing this, and then I realised that Hide & Seek is actually a pretty boring game. I mean, all it is is walking around, opening doors. And nobody even gets stabbed, like they do in a horror movie.

So naturally, I substituted stabbing for feelings, just like I do in real life :D

Please do review, and stab me with your feelingwords.