a/n: I've been meaning to write a Victorious fic for awhile now, so here you are. I hope you guys like it, and I realize the characters are darker and OOC (you'll see why).
warning: dark, death, cursing, angst, cutting, drugs, (not graphic) sex.
disclaimer: I don't own Victorious.
ring around the rosie.
a pocket full of posies,
ashes, ashes -
we all fall down!
he sets fire to the flimsy pieces of yellowed paper, the tiny bruised flicker of lighter flame (cat's) burning the almost-sodden paper. it falls to the ground in ashes. the rain washes the gray away and leaves nothing but the blacktop.
he falls to his knees. "i love you i love you i love you."
he gets up and makes his way back into the rv, knocking pictures to the ground and downing vodka and clinging to life.
sometimes she remembers. it's been forever and the white-walls do not spin around her any longer, pale and deathly looking. her blue eyes follow the wall's cracks and land on a boy with a puppet laying limply across his lap.
"come closer." he does so and kisses her cheekbone and his lips brush against the corner of her eye. she rubs her thumb against his temple and slides his glasses off and they lay beside each other. the lonely.
this feeling embraces her. she clings to him gratefully and tries to forget remembering a brown-haired angel.
she blinks at her reflection and looks in the mirror – her hair is not red velvet cupcakes. black now. she thinks of it as burnt cupcakes and sometimes death.
she powders her face with foundation.
scars mar her face. they have faded over time to a light pink, but there is one clearly visible that leads from her bottom lashes to her jaw. she leaves that one there, unmasked, as a reminder.
sometimes she likes to trace it with black makeup and pretend she's crying and mascara stains her face.
he is the only one who can fully recall what had happened. it's ironic because once upon a time, he'd promised to her once to stay best friends until the end, and he loved her most, and now she is gone and there is nothing.
nothing. his songs consist of repeating her name over and over and over – tori vega tori vega TORI VEGA – it does absolutely nothing. it doesn't bring her back.
he plays the song they sang together that time in high school sometimes. he plays it and reminds himself. he wishes she loved him. dark. everything is dark.
she misses her. she never sings the song – the song. sometimes she goes into her room and lies on the bed and pretends, until one time andre came in and he yelled at her to get out. she sees the family resemblance when she looks in the mirror and it scares her. it scares andre too.
they all ignore her. dad and mom refuse to look at her. she wasn't there when it happened but she knows because she had remembered andre calling, voice shaky, screams in the background.
she remembers andre sobbing through the phone, static sobs, and then she remembers hearing a dial tone. forgotten.
everyone is pretty sober. at the funeral, that is. no one cries but cat, having all already cried at home, in private – but cat's not ashamed.
she cries and beck looks at her and jade doesn't know what to do – she feels out of place – and rex and robbie sit somberly, rex for once not saying a word, and andre refuses to look at the casket. cat makes a speech, something about unicorns and how tori doesn't deserve to be gone, and everyone knows this is a lie.
they remember when tori stole beck.
she glitters and her eyelashes are long and her hair is perfectly curled every day without fail, and her laugh is contagious.
she stands too close and laughs too loud and sings too vigorously. the limelight – always going to be hers. she makes all the leads by kissing teacher's asses and sings all the songs and pretends she isn't conspiring against jade – and that she's not interested in beck. when he asks her out she replies with an automatic yes.
she sings and dances and smiles her way through life and hopes people won't notice how, underneath it all, she's as fake as the rest of them. she smiles again and opens her mouth to sing a note.
black hair – blue highlights – blue eyes – scars that have nothing to do with the accident.
she scissors her way through life when beck breaks up with her, and her heart bleeds mascara blue and joins the red from her arms on the floor. it pools together and soon her arms, legs, body are a mess of scars and skin soaked crimson.
she carves pretty pictures in her legs, choirs of her twilight temper making their way onto her leg in cuts and gashes. bruises, cuts, burns. hunger, pain, sorrow. anger, envy, brokenness.
she carves wings made of glass and she hopes that, dazedly, she will fly.
she loves all of them. she loves jade and beck and andre and robbie and tori and she loves them all. she loves them all seamlessly, easily because she is red and she is delusional and one word that sums her up is, simply enough, happy.
she giggles through life, smiling, laughing. genuine. innocent. naïve.
she holds back a ragamuffin laugh when tori announces she and beck are dating. it's one of those laughs that is really despair – for jade, for beck, for she, herself.
she's got these faded rainbow dreams of he&her and it's clear she'll always be second – no, third best. she laughs again, this time maniacally.
he is playing the piano – writing her a song – when she bounds over and tells him, ever so secretly. he loves her and she knows and god, he's a masochist because he can't stop – no matter how many times she gives him that feeling of bile at the back of his throat.
he says congratulations and hugs her and he thinks this is the last time he will ever willingly hold her, because he can't do this anymore. he punches beck later.
he plays his way through life, putting his heart in a jar that is full of the ones tori's broken, and writes ten, twenty, thirty love songs that all seem to end up in heartbreak.
he rips the sheets of music one by one and watches the pieces flutter to the floor.
he notices her over a cup of coffee he's sharing with jade. her hair is brown and shiny and gorgeous and her eyes are soft and she's happy and she doesn't fight with him.
he's tired. jade yells at him for looking at her. he breaks up with her and knows the consequences and she yells at him again and trashes his rv. and then he asks tori out.
he acts his way through life. he pretends he is in love with jade – he was, in the beginning, and then over time she became someone he didn't know anymore, much less love. he stops loving her and he spends his time faking it. he pretends he's not in love with tori, or cat, or robbie. he acts like he doesn't fuck robbie in the boys bathroom when he & jade are fighting, or that he doesn't flirt with tori, or that he doesn't kiss cat sometimes for the hell of it.
he is a king and he hides behind his castle walls, and then tori says yes and he surrenders.
the funeral doesn't accomplish anything and they all secretly hate her for different reasons. except jade, ironically enough. she doesn't remember, and no one wants to remind her. maybe it's for the best.
he goes to see her. he sees the pink lines all over her arms. she can't seem to understand why they are there. robbie rolls her around the hospital, and she barely bats an eyelash at the familiarity.
she clutches robbie's hand like it's a lifesaver. he feels almost guilty but jade looks so innocent in the moment he sees her, without her makeup, blue highlights faded away. she looks around and her eyes are brightened with curiosity. it's the first time he's seen her like this and robbie smiles at her.
he looks up, catches beck's eye and robbie shakes his head somberly, and beck leaves.
he goes to see cat and she is re-dying her hair black in the bathroom, calling out a, "come in!" when he knocks on the door. he stares at the black going down the drain and he looks up and cat smiles at him.
"once i tried to dye my hair orange when i was a kid, and i went to the pharmacy to buy it, but when i got home, i realized it was actually green paint!" she giggles cheerfully, and beck draws her in for a kiss.
she pushes him back and cries out a sorry and beck has nowhere to go.
he wanders to a bar and drinks and fucks a blonde girl in his bed – if he closes his eyes he wishes he could imagine tori. or cat. or robbie. or even jade.
jade gets nightmares – blood on the pavement, a loud crash, everything blurring to a mess of hazy tiles and imagined blue blood, a brunette girl – she can't remember for the life of her. robbie pulls her closer and jade notices the imperfect way they fit together.
he sits at the piano bench, fucked up, dangerously close to the kind of drunk that makes people do stupid, stupid things. he replays the scene over and over and every time he can't find a way not to blame himself.
he's taking advantage of her while she's at her weakest – most vulnerable – but rex is saying it's okay because she's different now, so no, he's not really taking advantage of her.
she loses the cheeriness after they kiss and she smokes weed with old high school friends. she smokes and she likes the way the gray drifts prettily into the air and she wishes it was rainbow-colored.
he's never been one for drinking. he steals his grandma's pills from that plastic orange bottle on her bedside table and forces them down. he takes three and tori's sitting on the piano in front of him and she's singing, and it's beautiful.
"where'd these come from?"
"god, tori. i love you."
"i wish" giggle "she were here" giggle "with us."
days pass. weeks pass.
jade comes home from the hospital. ("robbie, i'm okay." "are you sure?" "yeah.") cat visits her, high, and giggles. ("do you remember?" "no.") beck avoids them at all costs, slipping in and out of bars, looking for girls to use. ("don't come." "wasn't planning to.") andre comes by to say hello and that he's glad she's out of the hospital. ("i don't remember." "i wish i couldn't either.") robbie goes home and stares at a picture and worries about jade. ("i love her, rex." "just like you loved cat and beck and tori, right robbie?")
beck swings by robbie's house. he opens the door wearing boxer shorts, sans rex.
beck kisses him and they fall through the doorway. beck discards clothing on the stairs all the way up to his room. thankfully his dad's passed out on the couch downstairs and he drags him to his bedroom. he kisses beck sparingly, running his fingers over the familiar contours of his chest.
they fall onto robbie's bed, skin on skin lips on lips, hips pressed tightly together.
they have sex and later robbie decides he hates him, when beck's hand curls with his under the sheets and they stare at the ceiling, patterned with sickly green and yellow stripes.
cat calls beck's phone. he takes one look at her name and answers immediately, worry already stretching his features.
"hey, guys!" she says into the phone, laughing lightly and sounding slightly dazed. "what's up, beck? and hi, robbie!"
beck always calls her perceptive, more than the others. robbie looks at him, slipping his legs into the tighty-whiteys beck always teases him about, and shrugs. "she always knows."
"hey, cat," robbie says into the phone and she giggles.
"one time my brother had cocaine and he told me it felt like flying," she laughs here, "and i've only smoked pot and i want to try some cocaine!" she giggles. beck tries to imagine her now, high beyond her mind, black hair – but he can't. in his mind she's always red velvet cupcake hair cat.
"take care of yourself," whispers beck. cat laughs.
"what's that supposed to mean?" only it's weak and then she hangs up and beck leaves.
robbie puts his clothes on and walks downstairs to eat a bowl of cereal, and then he drives up to jade's.
he walks in on her looking at photographs. he's removed all the pictures of beck beforehand, precautions to make sure she doesn't go batshit crazy like before.
the accident's affected her most. she doesn't understand any of it. it's like jade west is forgotten and now she's been replaced by…god, she reminds him of tori at times and it freaks him the fuck out.
"who's this?" she points to cat, redheaded and blowing a kiss to the camera.
"your best friend."
jade looks at him. "tell me about them."
"everyone. me. my friends. what i was like. my boyfriend, if i had one."
my boyfriend, if i had one. "you did. you were…different?"
"what do you mean, different?"
robbie sighs. "you were really, really mean. and you hated everyone except your boyfriend. and your best friend. you hated this one girl the most. she was always annoying you, and you hated her."
he shrugs. "well, she was just…i guess you felt like you could never measure up to her, or something. you're not the same now."
she stays quiet for a moment, and then cocks an eyebrow at him and he is reminded of jade again. "i could never measure up? more like she couldn't." robbie stares and is this jade, after all?
but then she laughs. "i'm sure she was…nice, though." a moment of doubt flashes through her blue eyes and robbie almost wants to scream it out. YOU'RE JADE WEST. YOU'RE JADE WEST AND YOU HATE TORI VEGA BECAUSE SHE STOLE YOUR BOYFRIEND. YOU LOVE BECK! YOU LOVE BECK, NOT ME. NOT ME.
he doesn't. the accident's changed her, a lot. a lot a lot. "…yeah. you had a boyfriend, though. you loved him a lot."
"was it you?"
no. "far from it."
"hm." they lapse into silence. jade grabs his hand and holds it in both of hers, and robbie wonders why people are holding his hand so much today.
because they love me. because they love me.
beck goes to see cat. he knows where she hangs out now, behind hollywood arts with the other potheads. she smiles when she sees him but it looks different.
he cares about her. he loves her a little. or maybe he just likes screwing around with her. it's been awhile since they've spoken because she doesn't want to talk about it and that's all he wants to talk about, because he'd like to know if he has a chance.
he doesn't. he still loves them. tori & jade & robbie, and her the least. her the least because rainbows don't last as long as stars do (and even robbie, who's like glass).
"beck! hi!" she throws herself at him and wraps herself around his frame, peppering kisses on his cheeks. she smiles and the fag in her hand burns her finger and she drops it, crying ouch! and he knows somewhere in there, it's her. "how are you?"
how are you. what a simple question. well, he was in love. whatever idiot said you couldn't be in love with more than one person at a time was dead wrong, because he loves three and a half. it's more of a rhetorical question though; who really knows how they are. who really cares? he thinks about it.
"good." she smiles dazzlingly again, and then seems to remember her friends – high schoolers from northridge leaning against the wall, passing the substance (the one that makes cat happy now) between them. cat always had a knack of making friends with the strange ones. "oh! do you want to meet my friends? we all smoke together, hee-hee!" she beams.
"sure," replies beck, "yes, why don't i got meet the criminals."
she giggles. "don't be silly!" she smacks him playfully on the arm and winks. "they're all legal, they said!"
"they said. right." he says sarcastically. "fantastic, cat."
he's introduced to devan with an 'a' and Athena and a wannabe who calls himself 'flame' and some girl named templa and they're all bizarre. and not the good kind of bizarre.
"it's great to meet you all."
"it's not so great to meet you," says flame, laughing at his own joke. beck looks at him, and at templa clutching his arm. he leans down toward cat's ear. "why do you like these people?"
"they're nice to me," she pouts. "don't you like them?" she beams toward them; flame and devan respond with a sarcastic smirk back and templa laughs boisterously.
he replies, "let's go." and begins to drag her away from the four. templa's popping a pill in her mouth with devan now, and their lips are locking. beck is more than mildly disturbed, not at the fact that they're taking drugs like they breathe air, but at the fact that cat's been talking to these people all this time. and he never knew, or bothered to find out.
he takes her to his house and they kiss for a bit. cat leaves later to go back to her new friends and beck goes back to burning pictures of tori. he's got a sadistic attraction to fire now. he tries burning his skin and succeeds.
andre pops another pill into his mouth.
"don't go," he says to tori. she is perched on his piano, smiling forlornly down at him, edges becoming blurry. "don't go, i have another pill."
"i have to," her voice wavers and bells ring loudly in andre's ears. black dots dance in his vision but he needs tori there.
"we have to write another song," he says desperately, both hands finally leaving the piano keys and as he reaches out toward her, she smiles. "another song."
his grandma shrieks at him to stop talking to himself. andre ignores this and reaches out to tori again.
"i can't stay. i'm not really here, andre," she says. "i'm a figment of your imagination."
he cries. "don't say that." he plays a couple of notes on the piano.
"i am. i'm not real, you know why?" she smiles and andre braces himself.
this happens every time, this daydream, hallucination becomes a nightmare – the worst nightmare he's had in his twenty years of life.
"you know why?"
he closes his eyes. tori's malicious smile is inked on his eyelids.
"because i'm dead." his eyes fly open; blood is leaking out of her eyes, her mouth, her hair is soaked in it, and everything is crimson and tori and crimson.
"no!" he yells and she lunges at him and disappears. with shaky fingers, he dials robbie's number.
it rings once and then robbie picks up. he sounds flustered and andre knows he's probably with jade, kissing her or something. it's a lie. they're a lie.
robbie never loved tori the way he did. cat never did. beck never did.
"andre?" says robbie through the phone, breathing heavy.
andre hangs up.
they have a bonfire night one evening. robbie drags along jade – who's nervous to meet them all, nervous, jade of all people (god, she's so fucking different now) – and cat drags along athena, who seems to be her favorite. beck comes alone and andre has his pills.
there's a huge-ass fire that beck starts in the fire pit in andre's backyard, and they sit around the fire and stare into its depths and pass around a couple of beers.
at one point they get bored enough that they start playing the drinking game, the one where they each ask a question, and if they other's have done it, they drink.
"ever…gotten so pissed you ended up in somewhere else?" asks jade, and everyone drinks at that.
"had sex with a stranger?" beck, athena, and andre take a swig.
"your turn, beck," says cat, and she looks at him across the fire, the light reflecting off of her large brown eyes, knowing what he's going to ask.
"been in love?" he says lazily, leaning onto robbie's shoulder, jean-clad legs stretching across the grass. he drinks, and robbie drinks and cat drinks, and andre drinks the most. jade hesitates as she looks at beck and then at robbie.
"what's wrong, jade?" asks cat, nudging her friend and smiling at her.
"i don't know if i've ever been in love," jade confesses, and beck's heart breaks a little more. "i mean, robbie says i have been, with my old boyfriend, but i don't…i don't fucking remember."
beck says nothing. robbie gives him a warning look he doesn't even need to decipher because he knows what robbie's talking about.
they all look at each other, the five of them (that used to be six) and then athena interrupts with a, "robbie, it's your turn."
"been in love with a guy?" he says tentatively, and jade turns to gaze at him as he takes a swig. hesitantly, beck does as well.
"been in love with a black-haired girl?" cat says quietly, as she herself takes a drink. beck does, predictably, and robbie takes the tiniest of sips.
"been in love with a redhead?" counters andre, and beck and robbie and andre take drinks. cat's heart jumps to her throat. she looks at beck and he stares back at her, and robbie stares
"been in love with a brunette?" jade interrupts curiously, cocking a testing eyebrow. cat and and beck and andre down the rest of their beers, and robbie takes a tiny sip. memories, bits and pieces flash in jade's mind's eye. she remembers cat, now. and she remembers andre.
"you've all been in love with each other at one point, hm?" athena says quietly. they all look at her. she looks up at all of them challengingly; beck decides he likes her. "now, all that matters is who loves who now."
bonfire night ends after that. jade lies awake and tries desperately to remember. robbie tries to forget all of it (rex sits on the shelf). andre takes some more pills and lies awake to see her. beck lies awake and fucks athena and thinks about love. cat lies awake and dyes her hair back to red velvet cupcake.
she never imagined she'd die this way. a car accident, of all things. she'd imagined an easier way, maybe passing away in her sleep, without the pain of her friend's shrieks and the blood pouring from her body.
it was a typical accident. the six of them had been in the car together, andre driving, she singing along to show tunes. jade sits angrily facing the window, trying not to glare over at beck, whose arm was wrapped around her shoulder, and cat plays with her hair and the unicorn sitting in her lap. they were speeding along the highway, back from a trip to the carnival a couple of towns over.
they were almost back to cat's flat by then. it was daytime and the sun was shining through the windows. andre turned for a moment to laugh at a story cat had just told them, and then there was a sickening noise.
she remembers getting blasted forward, head slamming into the dashboard – she'd been in the front seat – and then she remembered blood. there was a lot of it.
she remembers being in the ambulance with someone else, feebly clinging to life, and when she turned it was jade's black hair that met her, a breathing mask placed over her face so like her own. she remembers beck's hand, calloused, holding hers, other hand in jade's, and she remembers a twinge of jealousy before remembering beck was hers now.
she remembers trying to smile and cat whimpering and andre with a bandage on his head, saying sorry, sorry over and over. she remembers trying to put her hand up to reassure him.
and then bright lights flashed in front of her and for a moment she thought she might be okay, and then there was pain and nothing.
beck. jade feels the underside of her dresser, fingers touching a corner of a photograph, and she pulls it out uneasily, discomfort settling in the pit of her stomach. beck is there and she is there and they're grinning at the camera, beck's arm slung easily around her shoulder.
she examines the picture. the cuts aren't there.
cat lies in bed, hair damp.
fuck, she remembers.
robbie lies in bed, mind on jade.
beck. and tori. and her.
beck&jade. and then beck&tori. and then beck&no-one, and now robbie&jade.
she slams her hand against the dresser. the cuts are familiar.
beck lies in bed, thinking about tori (and jade and cat and robbie. but mostly tori.)
she can't do this anymore.
it's a saturday evening when robbie knocks on the door of beck's rv. no one answers, so he takes it in his own liberty to open it with the spare key under the vehicle.
he opens it and finds jade on the ground, smiling up at him, messily applied mascara a corona around her eyes.
"hello, robbie," she whispers, and robbie knows she has finally broken. blood stains the carpet, soaks it dark scarlet. the knife is in her hands. he can't breathe.
"i can't fucking believe you didn't tell me," she sneers, slashing into her leg viciously. her breathing is shallow. the blood pours thickly onto the carpet, decorating it with patterns that will forever remain there, and robbie is frozen.
he can't find it within himself to move.
"not going to help me?" she rasps, bleeding out before his very eyes. she smirks sadistically. jade is back – "good." she laughs derisively.
robbie pukes. and then he runs – his first thought is to call beck or cat or someone, or to get an ambulance, but instead the first thing he does is get rex.
jade is brought to the hospital, barely breathing. robbie sits in a plastic chair at the foot of her bed, rex on his arm – familiarity. beck runs his finger along her old scars, pink and already faded. cat whispers stories to her about her brother and twists her newly-rejuvenated red hair around her finger. andre simply stares at the scarlet, the crimson, the blood.
the scars scare them. they are less new-jade and more old-jade and it brings back memories they don't like, and the guilt, beck knows, will eat at him always.
"she's going to be okay, right?" cat asks naively, doctors and nurses leaning over jade, pressing clean towels to the cuts and beginning to sew them up.
"we don't know for certain," comes the typical doctor-answer.
"no, she has to be okay!" cat says, voice high and a cute little crease appearing between her eyebrows. "she has to be! she's my best friend! she has to be okay!"
"cat…" robbie says, grabbing her wrists to restrain the girl. cat starts to cry.
hysterical. "she's going to be okay! she has to be! no –"
jade dies that night.
she likes the pain. she likes knowing that she can go out with a bang, with blood staining beck's rv as her revenge and dying with beck's hand in hers. she likes to think she's victorious that way.
she doesn't know beck kisses her after she passes. frankly, she doesn't care because she's dead, and she hopes tori vega is rolling over in her grave because beck still loves her.
and finally she remembers and robbie's lies become cold truth and it makes her slightly happy, in the end. she's at the end of her rope, and it was the time to die – she's done with it all, with beck and the world and the words she's carved perpetually on her arms – well, those pretty much sum up everything.
lies pain ugly bitch, a fuck you in script on her left calf. you did this, written in marker on her forehead.
and monster. monster carved in large block letters on her thigh.
jade west always wins.
beck goes home and burns his pictures of jade as well, and doesn't even attempt to remove the blood from his carpet. the people he loves always end up dead. you did this.
robbie goes home and takes rex back (and no, he doesn't care how strange that sounds). he knows this would've happened eventually. jade. blood. you did this.
cat goes home and stares at herself in the mirror, at the red hair, at the brown eyes that brim with tears. she takes a pair of scissors and chops three inches off the ends, and the hair falls to the floor in a pile. like jade's blood. red. you did this.
andre goes home and thinks about the blood, and the coppery smell reminds him of tori. he and jade were never really close, but god, death and jade is associated with death and tori, and he could've done something. you did this.
andre pops a pill or two into his mouth and sits on the piano bench and sings. he sings as his vision dots with pretty colors.
tori. tori is there, in front of him, again, but her hair is already matted with blood and her voice is deathly shallow, and then tori morphs into jade with the you did this on her forehead. he could've done something.
"you could've saved her," says tori. "you could've saved her like you couldn't for me."
"i wish i had. i'm sorry, jade," he replies, "i didn't even know."
"whatever, andre," says tori – no, now it's morphed into jade again. "you could've tried. this is your fault."
the tears. fuck, he's cried more in the past couple of months than he has, ever.
"who're you talkin' to, andre!" yells his grandma.
"no one, grandma!" he yells back in reply, and shakily his fingers pry open the bottle and he pops another pill.
jade is another death. her funeral is rushed and dark and black and on her gravestone it says beautiful and loved and shit like that.
someone who deserved to live longer. that's what it says on the inscription. cat spends most of the funeral staring at her casket as if she hoped her best friend would hop out, smirking and arms crossed over her chest. andre brings his pills there and hallucinates both of them there, and almost cries with despair. beck reads the inscription over and over and over – you did this you did this you did this – and leaves the funeral early. robbie is on his knees most of the time, apologizing over and over and halfway through, when the priest is saying shit about how he's sure she's happy in heaven, he goes to the bathroom and pukes.
cat is in denial. not dead.
beck is at fault. he knows it, too. he burns her pictures.
andre is guilt-ridden. the pills.
robbie is nothing anymore.
death is becoming a regular occurrence. robbie has nothing to live for.
beck is the first to find out. he'd headed over to robbie's house – for what? for sex. for guilt-ridden sex, or something. for the need to feel.
instead beck finds robbie on a noose, hanging suspended in the air with a thick rope wrapped around his neck, and a couple of feet away, rex hanging by a telephone cord.
"oh, ha-fucking-ha, robbie," beck says, "this isn't funny."
he rolls his eyes. "you've proven that you're a great actor now, robbie, but this is pretty sick."
he moves closer. that dreaded feeling is in the pit of his stomach again. fuck, he can't be dead. robbie can't be dead. is death doing this to him on purpose?
death is, it seems, after the ones he loves. he takes one look at the glassiness of robbie's eyes, and bile rises in his throat. he falls. his hands shaking, he pulls his phone out of his jacket pocket, and he dials 9-1-1.
he can't be saved, he knows, but fuck, this time, beck is going to try. he loosens the knot on robbie's neck and the purplish bruising indicates he's already been here awhile, but god help him, beck is going to save him. he's going to save him like he didn't save tori and jade.
beck pushes on robbie's chest. not hesitating in the slightest, he opens robbie's mouth and presses his lips to the cold ones. push one, two, three, then mouth to mouth. push one, two, three, then mouth to mouth.
the paramedics have to pull him off of robbie's body.
beck doesn't attend his funeral. he doesn't bother. he can't bear to see the coffin lowered into that fucking hole in the ground.
it's ironic because they're all buried next to each other.
andre starts to see robbie as well. the hallucinations are getting worse. they stay for shorter amounts of time and they all blame him, say things they wouldn't say if they were actually there.
"come join us, andre," they say, "so you won't be lonely."
he considers it. robbie is buried with rex. his epitaph reads: loved by all, forgotten by none. andre thinks this isn't true. only he and cat show up to his funeral. and he hates to say it, but robbie's death is only slightly more significant than jade's, and not significant at all compared to tori's.
but it haunts him all the same.
he doesn't think much about dying, but he figures he has nothing to live for. so he hangs a rope from the ceiling and steps onto a chair and he almost wraps the rope around his neck before he sees rex's black, bottomless eyes staring at him from the ground.
he steps off the chair and holds rex in his hands for a moment. he figures they might as well go together, so he rips his telephone out of its socket in the wall, and cuts the wire with some handy scissors in his desk drawer. he ties the end of the noose to the puppet, ignoring his protests, and lets him fall first.
tears in his eyes, he wraps the rope tightly around his skinny neck and steps off the chair. maybe jade will forgive him, where they will be.
cat misses robbie like people miss their missing pets. he was always nice to her. he was the only one who didn't call her crazy, and she might've loved him a little. but not as much as beck. never as much as beck.
beck misses robbie the way he misses tori and jade, like an old lover. the only one left that he loves is cat, and that fucking hurts. he'd never thought they'd leave him, especially not so soon. and tori's death is the one that kills him the most. he burns robbie's pictures.
andre misses robbie like a friend who's gone on. he wants that. to go on.
the last time andre harris takes a breath, he is with them. he is with them and high on the pills he's taking and the hallucinogens are messing with his mind again, tori and jade and robbie all there, hazy before his eyes.
what a beautiful place. he's been popping these pills like no one's business and secretly hoping for death, anyway, and now he's got it.
he never thought death would be so painless, so…happy, so fleeting. death is dragged on and on in songs and the tragedy of it all has a long, lasting effect on everyone. he'd always believed death would be one of the most painful experiences of his lifetime. hearing all the sad songs and lonely friends and abandoned lovers causes him to not believe in the painless deaths.
but death, to him, is really a way out. a way to the world where his friends will meet and they will love once more, and beck will not be there to ruin them. (sometimes he secretly hates beck for taking her. sometimes he doesn't.)
when andre dies, no one finds him. only his crazy grandma, who, at the sight of her grandson, promptly runs to her room and locks herself in there. he is found days later by a mailman who comes knocking on their door and opens it to find a body in the front room, slouched on the piano.
see, beck and cat know well enough to leave andre alone by then, and when they hear that he's dead, they wish they realized what he was doing.
beck wishes he could've done it first. cat wishes she didn't actually need the crazy pills.
beck goes to cat's house after andre's death, before the funeral. he opens the door and makes his way up to her familiarly pink room, unicorns decorating every inch.
"cat?" he calls, and she appears wearing a long t-shirt and shorts.
they're gone. all gone. he can't resist her. he kisses her but she can't take it. she pushes him away again, like she always does.
"just 'cause they're gone, doesn't mean we can," she whispers, and then steps away from him, giggling. "do you want to pet my unicorn?"
it doesn't have the same effect. he can tell she's forcing it. the past months have forced her to grow up and start living normally. the deaths affected her more than anyone else, changing her. she's still cat, but she's lost and consistently sad now, and confused.
he doesn't take no for an answer. he loves her. he loves her. she's the last one he loves.
he kisses her and she responds hesitantly, and it takes him a lot of 'i love you's, but finally they fuck. he leaves after, pulling his pants up as she calls softly after him, no, don't go, but he does. and she cries in her bed and he hates himself for what he's going to do.
beck finds out andre overdosed. on his grandma's crazy pills. suddenly he cannot breathe properly at all. what is with the chain of deaths? is death waiting for him, stringing along his friends until they are all dead and only he is left?
tori, the girl he loved the most. jade. robbie. and now andre. who'll be next? cat?
he attends the funeral. the songs played are all written by andre. after the funeral he lights the pictures of him on fire, and lay the ashes on his grave.
cat cries and finally goes insane. really, truly insane, not the type of insane where she holds vacant smiles and tells silly stories about her brother. the kind of insane where she doesn't think she can hold on to being sane any longer, the kind of insane that people get locked up in crazy houses for. she doesn't even know what she feels for beck now. love, nothing, everything?
she screams each of their names, every night. she is dragged away from andre's casket by paramedics (that beck calls), kicking and screaming and hysterically giggling.
she can't hurt herself in the white prison she is sent to. the foam covers on her fists. she'd rather die. she'd rather die, and cat never thinks about death.
andre was her last friend, and now there is only beck, who used her and called the asylum on her. she didn't want this. she wanted beck&cat and all of their friends. instead, she gets beck, and cat, trapped in a white room that reminds her of clouds.
in truth, beck calls the paramedics to save her. to save her from what? death. herself. him. he does this to prevent the last person he loves from leaving him.
when he goes home that night, he digs a hole. he drops all the pictures in there, every single item that reminds him of any of them. they're all gone to him.
all dead. except for cat. he holds onto that infinitesimally small detail. that one isn't dead, and maybe that is enough.
he makes a promise to visit her tomorrow. he does.
he finds out she's been stabbed by another patient. death by plastic fork. nice.
she realizes the moment she steps into the lunch room that she's going to die, and she smiles. they've always said she was more observant than others.
"one time, my brother was climbing a mountain, and then he fell off and broke two ribs," she says cheerily to another patient, a burly looking woman with her hands continuously clapped over her ears.
"i really like unicorns," she pipes up in front of a man and a woman, the latter of which starts shrieking her head off at cat until she leaves.
undeterred, she turns to another person. "i was in a bathroom one time, and then there were these things that looked like fountains, sort of, and there was this white thing at the bottom. so i poked it. i thought it was a mint, but it wasn't."
the person she says this to promptly slams their plastic fork into her chest. she supposes mint is their trigger-word.
time to be with friends, she thinks happily, and beck will join them soon, eventually, so it is all okay as the doctors crowd around her and she collapses, blood pouring from the wound in her chest. she giggles one last time, and takes a happy, dying last breath.
he attends her funeral and wears a suit and whispers that he loved her. the graves are all next to each other. as the priest talks he reads the inscription on her grave – always smiling – and for once it's accurate, so he's happy.
he watches the casket get lowered, the dirt covering it, all so recognizable and he is so used to funerals by now, he doesn't even care.
he lays a red velvet cupcake on her grave.
the graves are all right next to each other, one after another after another of his friends – the ones he's known since high school, all of which he loved, in different ways. he wonders when he can join them.
it's his fault, all of it.
beck will live with the guilt until he is old and wrinkly and alone.
he will go through life as a poor man, living in his rv, blood stains on his carpet, that his first love tried to kill herself on. he will live with the car, still wrecked, that she died in. he will live with the sheets of his lover, the one they lied under while staring the the vomit-colored ceiling. he will live with the piano his best friend died on, the sheet music of a song he wrote (i'm right for you) on the top. he will live and never eat another red velvet cupcake.
he hopes they will forgive him.
when he dies, it is entirely too normal. he dies as an old man with nothing left. he dies, sleeping on his bed with the blue covers where he's fucked too many people to even seem remotely clean anymore.
he dies in his sleep. how fucking unoriginal, he thinks when he leaves, but god is he relieved.
it's beautiful where they live. there is perpetual love and not a care given in this place, somewhere white and pure and untainted.
where tori is innocent. where jade doesn't have one scar on her. where robbie has rex on his arm. where cat has red velvet cupcake hair all of the time.
where beck has his friends and lovers.
it begins at tori – as everything usually does – but it ends, always, as beck.
we all fall down!
a/n: i wasn't expecting this to be 7K+, but okay. took me awhile to write, but i'm finally done. more victorious fics to come, hopefully.
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