Author's Notes: This ended up soooo much longer than I had expected. Once again, excuse any mistakes, I'll re-read this again tomorrow, but I wanted to get it up tonight.

..::..::..::..::..::..

Then he told me I had ten minutes to pack my shit and get out of his house." Jade said. She was sitting on Tori's bed, which is against the side of one of the long walls, opposite was a desk with a computer and swivel chair that Tori was situated in. There were posters and pictures lined the purple walls of Tori's room. Jade ran the tip of her scissors under her fingernail, picking out the dirt. She took a tissue and wiped the dirt off the tip of the scissors. "So I packed up all my clothes, scissors, and stuff and left."

"I can't help but feel like this is my fault." Tori groaned, putting her head between her hands. "If I never would have wanted us together, your dad would have never found out-" Jade pointed the scissors at Tori and shushed her. "This is not your fault, Vega. I knew this was going to happen."

Tori looked up at Jade. The girl hadn't cried since she had shown up at Tori's front door. It made her wonder if she really wasn't broken up about this or if she's just acting again. She hates the idea of Jade getting hurt because of her, and her expression must have shown it since Jade immediately picked up that Tori still felt guilty. Jade turned the scissors away from the brunette and went back to fiddling with them.

"I was never really attached to that place. I didn't belong there. It wasn't my home. I don't think I have a home." Jade stated coldly. It sounded strange to say you weren't attached to the place you've lived in since you were little, but for Jade it was perfectly logical. She rarely spent time there, and when she did, she was locked in her room away from her family.

"But you do have a home. Here. With us." Tori said. Jade glanced over at her bag that had her belongings. It wasn't really much; it had her scissors, clothes, photos, music, laptop, and phone. Jade shook her head. She didn't deserve Tori's help or home. She had a hard time believing she deserved Tori's love.

"I can't ask that of you and your family." Jade sighed. She put down the scissors and picked up Tori's PearPod, scrolling through her songs idly. She came here only because Tori was the only one she trusted. Tori stood up from her chair and walked over to the bed. She pulled herself on to the bed and put her back against the wall, pressing her shoulder into Jade's. Jade bit her lip and continued to casually scroll through the music.

"I'm not letting you leave. I'll tie you to the chair if I have to, but you are not going out on the streets." Tori said, putting her hand on Jade's knee.

"Kinky." Jade noted without looking up. She swiped her thumb across the screen and watched as the song titles slipped past.

"This is serious, Jade." Tori said. Jade's automatic response was to be mean or make a joke about it. That was the defense mechanism built into her brain. She always found some way to avoid the problem. Jade shook her head again. Tori always forced her to face those problems she refused to look in the eye. That's probably the reason why Tori compliments Jade so well. "Okay. Fine. I'll stay, but just don't expect me to be nice to Trina." Jade resolved.

"Great! You can stay in the guest room. My parents won't care." Tori giggled excitedly. Jade couldn't help but smile. Tori's happiness was contagious, and even Jade felt a little fuzzy when Tori smiled. Jade touched a finger to scroll, but one song in particular made her stop mid-swipe. She slid her finger back to the song and chuckled.

"Dancing in the Dark?" Jade questioned. She raised her pierced eyebrow and let that smile grow into something a little more evil. Tori's face grew heavy with confusion, which quickly dissolved into embarrassment as she looked at the display on the PearPod.

"Uhm-Yeah, it's uh… got a good beat." Tori stammered. Her discomfort only served to feed Jade's prerogative, "Is that it, Vega? A good beat?" Tori snatched the music device from Jade's pale hands. "Wait, do you dance in the dark, Tori?" There was the first name again. It's using either pissed or flirty whenever Jade used Tori's first name.

"What? N-no!" Tori's face was bright red, even on her tan skin. The blush was like paint dashed across her face. Tori was so flustered that Jade was having trouble keeping a straight face. Tori shook her head vigorously and repeated, "No!"

"Sure? Cause I think that'd be pretty hot." Jade put a finger to her lips and gave a distantly thoughtful look while she imagined Tori doing some not so innocent things to herself.

"Jade!" Tori whined, jabbing the pale girl in the side with her finger. Jade finally broke and laughed. She chuckled at Tori's expense until their moment was interrupted by a knock on the door.

"Tori? Is Jade okay?" Tori's mom called through the door. He mom was handling this well. When she found out that Tori was dating Jade, she had to take a minute to let it sink in, but she said that she accept her daughter no matter what. When Jade showed up in the rain on their doorstep, she had been so ready to open her home to this girl that she only knew in passing.

"Yeah, we're fine, mom." Tori called back. Jade's fingers slipped neatly between Tori's fingers against the fabric of the bed covers. "Great, even." Tori added. Jade's head slid across the wall until it was lying on Tori's shoulder. Jade's fluffy romantics were always Tori's favorites.

"Okay, well, if you girls need anything, I'm here." Tori's mom was concerned about Jade not only because she was a good person, but because she admired how well mannered Jade had always been. Jade may not have been the nicest person all the time, but she wasn't rude. Jade found the silence that enveloped them comforting. She really started to come to terms with what was happening. She was never going to see her parents or home again. Tori squeezed Jade's hand.

"Are you okay?" Tori muttered, not wanting to break the silence. Jade shut her eyes tightly. Was she okay? Good question. She just lost so much, and gained just as much.

"No." Jade said quietly. She wasn't going to cry; she promised herself. It didn't hurt too badly, but it didn't feel like rainbows either. Jade was always acting, so it was easy to become detached. "Tori. I spend a lot of time smiling when I don't feel like smiling, and laughing when I don't feel like laughing. I guess I don't understand the meaning of happy. It just doesn't make sense to me. Honestly? I'm sad. Really sad. All the time, like there's this weight on my chest, and I'm forced to act happy, because people expect that. Now, I'm not hiding anything anymore, and I feel like I don't know who I am. It makes me feel so weak… but, I'm not… right?" That was probably the most Jade had said in a long time, and what she said was so revealing. Tori stared at Jade for a moment, processing all the information twice. Jade was an even better actress than she had thought.

"Jade, you're the strongest person I know. When you tear down all the walls someone has, they're going to show weakness. No matter how strong they are." Tori rubbed her thumb lightly across Jade's. Jade shut her eyes and leaned her head back against Tori's arm. After a moment of silence, Tori knew Jade sulking in her room wasn't going to help anything.

"Come on, we're going to get ice cream." Tori smiled, jumping up. Jade's hand was jerked forward with the motion.

"Vega…" Jade whined, "Can we stay here?"

Tori tightened her grip on Jade's hand and yanked the goth up off the bed, pulling Jade against her, "No. Ice cream makes everything better. Let's go. On me." Jade sighed as Tori pulled her along.

..::..::..::..::..::..

"Here you go." Tori said, handing Jade the ice cream. Jade turned her eyes away from the view of the eastern part of L.A. that could be seen from the metal picnic table outside the ice cream parlor. Of course, If you turned around, you would see a shopping mall, but at least there was nice cityscape from this view. Jade's fingers of one hand were hooked into the holes of the cheap blue metal bench and the other hand took the ice cream. Tori sat down next to Jade and stared out at the same view Jade had been mesmerized by earlier.

"Breath-taking, right?" Tori broke the silence. Jade looked at Tori who was already working on he rice cream. She was trying to think of something to say that would make them both more comfortable with the situation.

"Like you?" Jade licked the ice cream and raised an eyebrow suggestively. She had meant it as a joke, but it came off way sexier than she had intended, and Tori's eyes focused on Jade's mouth for longer that appropriate and ran up to her steely blue eyes. Jade could pull off sexy anytime she wanted.

"You must be feeling better if you're trying that again." Tori taunted. Jade immediately understood and let a reactive smirk sprawl across her face.

"Can't blame a girl for trying." Jade mumbled. It may be night but it was oddly warm out, like most of the time in L.A. "I should do something now, right?" Jade asked rhetorically then snaked her fingers between Tori's once again. It was really nice. Most of the time someone's fingers were too big or too small, or their hands were too sweaty or calloused. Jade wasn't like that; her hands were just right. If Tori were Goldilocks, then Jade would be Baby Bear because she was just right. Tori toyed with the idea of calling Jade 'Baby Bear' but had the conclusion that Jade would either vomit or come up with an even more embarrassing nickname for Tori. Tori looked up from their hands and found herself staring into Jade's eyes. Jade's finger came up under Tori's chin, and she nudged Tori's head further in as she leaned over. When their lips were a breath apart, they heard someone calling their names.

"Tori! Jade!" Beck yelled across the parking lot. Jade almost jumped out of her seat as she reeled back. Tori did jump out of her seat, but her knee slammed against the table and she came crashing back down.

"Fuck." Jade hissed, holding onto Tor's hand very tightly, refusing to let the one good thing she had left go. Tori was rubbing her sore leg while Beck sat down.

"How strange seeing you guys here." Beck said as he stuffed himself with ice cream in a teenage-esque manner.

"Strange how?" Jade almost sneered as she nervously licked away at her own ice cream. Beck saw the picture so he had to know, right? Though a popular rumor on The Slap was that the picture had been photoshopped.

"The rumor going around about you two." Beck went straight to the point. He must really want to know. "You know, the one where you two are dating." He glanced up at them, unable to see their hand gripped together under the table. Jade took a moment to think Tori didn't say anything. This was something Jade had to face, but Tori would back up whatever choice Jade would make.

"We are." Jade stated firmly, taking a bite out of the soft cone that held the remaining ice cream she couldn't reach. Beck looked up, and Tori nodded. He was silent for a moment, but then he sat back and laughed.

"All right! You got me. Good one! Where's the hidden cameras, huh?" He chuckled.

"We're serious." Jade said softly, tightening her already knuckle-whitening grip on Tori's hand. Tori put her other hand over Jade's to try and release the grip in hopes of getting circulation back in her hand. Jade eased up the vice on Tori's hand but continued to glare at Beck.

"No way. Okay, then prove this isn't a prank." Beck said, obvious distrust plastered on his face. Jade opened her mouth and realized her reply was void. She had been prepared to argue with Beck, so his comment was an unexpected event. She had lost the rhythm of the conversation all together.

"What?" Jade said dumbly. Beck raised his eyebrows and finished off his ice cream. "Go on. Prove you two are together."

Jade swallowed. She knew exactly what Beck meant. The first time she kissed Tori around people took some serious 'psyching up' and it only worked because Trina was the only ne she knew there. Now Beck was staring them down. Jade made some affirmative nose and turned to look at Tori. Tori nodded, but she looked just as terrified. They leaned in and both met half-way.

It was the worst kiss ever.

Jade was too far over, Tori was too far back, and they couldn't catch each other's lips just right. There was too much tongue, then not enough tongue. There was absolutely no spark lit. They pulled apart feeling absolutely horrible. Beck was chuckling across the table. Jade looked over at him.

"Yeah, that was so convincing. It didn't seem forced at all." His sarcastic comment came. Jade's astonished gaze narrowed into a glare. She tore her hand from Tori's and grabbed Tori's head, pulling her into a smoldering kiss. Jade pushed her tongue into Tori's mouth and the spark was lit like a fuse to some sort of atomic bomb. Tori grabbed Jade's sides just in case she started to melt. Tori knew her face was burning hot with a blush and almost felt self-conscious about it, but since she had another girl's tongue in her mouth, she didn't really care. Jade's fingers tangled themselves into Tori's brown hair. Tori was breathing so rapidly that her nose started to burn, and she could feel that Jade's breathing was becoming sporadic also. They fought the strange feeling to enjoy the heat that was flowed across their faces. Unfortunately, the need to breath became overwhelming and they broke apart.

Their foreheads were pressed together and their mouths hung open as they gasped for breath in each other's mouths. Jade opened her eyes to meet Tori's soft ones. Jade pulled back, realizing she had leaned quite a ways over. She suddenly remembered the purpose of the kiss and looked over at Beck. He was dumbstruck and red faced.

"Believe it now?" Jade said, snuggling her head into Tori's while Beck searched for words. Jade let her hands slip down from Tori's hair and settled on Tori's hips. Tori's fingers remained on Jade's side. With every breath, their chests touched, then fell away with each exhale.

"Whatever." Beck grumbled, regaining composure. "Just, enjoy whatever this fling is, because it won't last." He nearly shouted and then stormed off. Neither of the girls spoke for a moment, trying to catch their breath, but all of a sudden, Jade wondered if going public with Tori and her was a good idea. If everyone was going to react the way Beck had, then maybe it wasn't worth it. Still, every time she looked into Tori's eyes, she couldn't say no.

"Why is it getting to me?" Jade asked in a whisper, "Nothing anyone said before had ever hurt."

"Jade, anyone in your position would be hurting." Tori whispered back. Her arms ran around Jade's back and she hugged her tightly, "But I'm here."

..::..::..::..::..::..

It wasn't so simple and Jade knew it was going to be hard, but she didn't realize how hard. When they got to school and told everyone the news, they all had different reactions. Beck just snorted and continued to flirt with some girl he had started dating a week or so ago. André seemed extremely comfortable with it, to the point of drooling whenever he saw them kiss for the first time. Robbie was confused at first, but soon became extremely curious, asking a lot of questions about their relationship. Jade had gotten in the habit of stopping him before he touched on any nerves. Cat seemed distantly aware of the relationship. When she first heard, she replied with her usual 'KK' and walked away. Nobody really found out what she thought. It had been a week, and they thought that they had roughed out the worst of the storm, when one of the more pretentious girls of the school had something to say about it.

Jade and Tori were idly chatting by Jade's locker. Tori was fidgeting with some scissors when, suddenly, their heads were slammed together. They ricocheted off one another and stumble back.

"Hey, losers!" The girl chuckled, "Oh, I'm sorry, did I mess up your hair?" She whipped Tori's hair into her face and laughed. Jade growled and stepped forward between the girl and Tori. The other girl smelled like caked on make-up and perfume, but you could almost smell the hint of smoke that clung to her clothes. She grabbed Jade's shoulder and slammed her against the lockers.

"You wanna take me on?" The girl mocked. Jade struggled, but she much less athletic than the girl who was built from hours of dancing. Jade managed to push her off and stepped in front of Tori defensively.

"You know what? No. You ain't worth it, dyke." The girl smirked and walked off. Jade felt a sting from that word, but she pushed the feeling of pain aside and turned to Tori.

"Are you okay?" Jade asked with sincere concern. She brushed Tori's hair back to its former beauty and ran a finger through Tori's part to separate the hairs neatly on to their respective sides.

"Yeah." Tori grumbled, she knew this was going to happen and she didn't care. If that other girl wasn't an amazing dancer, she wouldn't even be in this school. Tori saw something strange in Jade's eyes. It was hurt. Something was definitely wrong. She'd been acting like Jade (the-wicked-witch-of-the) West for so long that this other Jade wasn't fully developed, and everyone else kept pushing her down when she tried to walk. Tori felt like she should say something to make her feel better.

"It was actually really cool to see you stand up for me, just don't end up getting hurt." Tori said. She looked down at the scissors quizzically, "Why do I have these?" Jade looked at the implements and grinned.

"Maybe I'm rubbing off on you." Jade didn't mean to, but they both had picked up things from the other one. Jade had started to act nicer to people (only a little bit) and started to talk like Tori a little bit. Tori started drinking coffee, and well, now she had scissors.

"I think you rub me quite enough." Tori said, hanging Jade the scissors. Jade snickered at the inappropriate-sounding comment and took the scissors, assuming they were hers. Strangely, though the scissors weren't.

"Vega, these aren't mine." Jade said, handing her girlfriend the scissors. They had 'VEGA' printed neatly on a label that was on the handle. She must have picked these up off her desk before she left. Jade really was rubbing off on her. Next thing, she'll be calling Jade by her last name. "Cute." Jade said.

"What?" Tori asked as Jade shut her locker and started walking towards Robbie, Cat André and Beck. Tori followed in line with Jade, and repeated her inquiry, "Jade, what's cute?" They came up next to the others and Cat's story about her brother filled the air.

"You're carrying around scissors. It's cute." Jade whispered, not wanting to interrupt Cat's whimsical tale. Jade's hand slipped down next to Tori's and she opened her palm to Tori. Tori accepted to offer and took Jade's hand.

"Is that like a fetish or something? Scissophilia?" Tori joked, Jade didn't say 'cute' a lot, so Tori felt it necessary to pick on her for it.

"Hey, look at you, making a sex joke." Jade smirked, but before Tori could retort, Robbie cut in.

"What about a sex joke?" Robbie interjected. The girls looked away from each other and regarded the puppet-toting nerd. Beck looked away from the two of them, flirting with that girl more instead of acknowledging their existence.

"Nothing you will ever know." Jade sneered.

"Oh, you girls have some secrets?" Rex said as he moved closer to Jade. Jade pushed the puppet's face back into Robbie's chest and gave a disgusted look.

"I can see Jade doing it, but not Tori." André noted.

"I can see Tori doing it." Jade added, giving a devious smile to her girlfriend.

"Jade!" Tori let a look of surprise jump to her features, but it soured into anger, "You're on my side!"

"I am?" Jade looked into Tori's glare. It didn't seem to have all that much of an effect on Jade. Tori knew Jade was joking, but before she could joke back, the bell rang and everyone was hurriedly filtering into their wings, hallways, and classrooms. Jade and Tori were already off towards Algebra.

"Why do you push things like that, Jade?" Tori asked. Jade flashed a confused look at Tori as if to question her mental state, but didn't say anything. Tori had hoped for a 'what?' but there was none. Jade didn't like to talk too much if she wasn't in the mood. Which was most of the time they were in school. If she did say something in school, it was usually mean. When she was in the mood, she joked, teased, taunted, flirted, creeped, and carried small conversations, but you couldn't push too deep or she'd close up. Tori had learned that you had to nurture it and be very careful and sneaky to get around Jade's barriers and get her to talk about what was really on her mind. Late night talks on Tori's bed or out in her yard. Tori clarified her statement, "Do you want people to know what we did?"

Jade slowed her stride, caught off guard by the accusation. She decided to parley with Tori, throwing a question in to battle Tori's question. "Haven't you told anyone, like your parents?"

"By their definition, I'm still a virgin." Tori whispered quietly to Jade. Jade looked straight ahead, not bothering to look at Tori as she puzzled over her response. "That means no." Tori simplified.

"Well, what about your definition?" Jade responded, turning to go into the math wing. Tori furrowed her eyebrows in thought. She hadn't really taken time to recognize whether or not she had lost her virginity. She had sex for the first time, that much she was certain of, but it was with another girl. So, did it really count? Then something dawned on her. She didn't just have sex with any girl. She had sex with Jade West.

"I guess I'm not a virgin." Tori mumbled, this made Jade legitimately happy. Something about that night had changed Tori, and it bothered Jade that she didn't know what Tori had thought about it all. She wasn't about to ask though, Tori would tell her in time like she always did. As fun as playing interrogation with Tori sounds, it really wouldn't be necessary.

"Good." Jade replied, stopping next to their classroom, but far enough away so nobody could see them. Tori took Jade's free hand with hers and locked eyes.

"Kiss?" Tori asked.

"Kiss." Jade agreed before leaning in and meshing her lips softly against Tori's.

..::..::..::..::..::..

Tori woke up on Saturday morning at a little past six a.m. to a beautiful tune. She rolled over and instinctively slammed her hand against the snooze button before rolling over and shutting her eyes again. Strangely, the song didn't stop and stranger still, it had no music, just a wonderful rich voice carrying notes. Tori sat up groggily and yawned before searching her room for the source of the sound. A few minutes of searching led her to her glazed window. Beyond the window was a sturdy branch you could climb out onto a tree with. When she was little she would practically live in that tree. Tori opened the window to see Jade sitting on that very branch. One of her legs was dangling off the limb, while the other sat bent at the knee with one arm draped over it. Jade stopped singing and smiled when she saw Tori.

"Good morning, sunshine." She said a bit too sweetly considering what time it was. She was dressed in black jeans, a green v-neck shirt and black jacket with her make-up on and hair washed. It begged the question of when Jade ever slept. She was often awake when Tori went to bed, unless they fell asleep together, and was always awake when Tori got up.

"What are you doing on my tree?" Tori groaned, grabbing her glasses and pulling them over her eyes to see Jade more clearly. Jade watched as Tori grabbed a brush and sleepily combed it through her hair, trying to bring some order to the chaos of brown waves.

"Why don't you come out and see?" Jade offered. Jade lived in Tori's house, so she didn't have to climb up the tree to get into her room (which she had done before) and definitely had no reason to be outside at five a.m., so Tori humored the girl. She finished up her hair and quickly changed into jeans and a T-shirt. Tori climbed out the window and took Jade's outstretched hand as she balanced herself on to the fragile end of the branch. She got far enough out on the branch to where she could walk easily and sat down next to Jade.

"What are we doing in the dark at six in the morning?" Tori asked, still groggy from waking up. She leaned into Jade to avoid holding herself up and Jade pointed out across the tops of the buildings seen past Tori's back yard.

"It won't be dark for long." Jade said as she dropped her hand and put and arm around Tori's waist. Tori immediately understood, and watched as the reddish orange blob of a sun rose in the distance and filled the sky with brilliant hues of purples and blues. The rich colors slowly faded in and out of one another, creating a gradient against the dark blue sky. Eventually, the sun turned into a yellow and the bright colors of the sunrise warmed into a sky blue that would hang there for the rest of the day. Once they were sure that the spectacle was over, Jade pulled out her phone and check the time. It was almost seven a.m. now.

"You should probably get washed up and get some breakfast, Vega." Jade said as she nudged Tori towards the window. Tori crawled her way back into her room and stretched her tiredness out.

..::..::..::..::..::..

Jade pulled up into the parking lot of the pizza place where she and Tori were supposed to be meeting. She saw a particularly unfriendly group of kids from her school gathered there and pulled out her phone, prepared to demand Tori get done with her errands as soon as possible. When she pulled out her phone, she had a message from Beck that read: "Hey, how's the Tori thing going?"

She texted back a simple "Fine" and got out of the car. She knew the kids were looking at her and felt their gossipy eyes sizing her up like some sort of meat. They were laughing and she knew they were laughing at her as she pushed to door open to the shop. Jade sat down at a booth and pulled her phone out, once again ready to make a call to Tori, but only saw another text from Beck. "So are you just using her or what?" it read. This was really pissing her off. She fired a nasty comment back, and sank further down into her seat. The laughter of the kids in the other booth was becoming problematic. All she had to do was get up and walk over to the counter to order the pizza that Tori and her would be eating when she got there, but was actually too afraid.

The thought of fear paralyzed her. She was never one to be scared by what was to come. She had been fearless and took on whatever came her way, but now it mattered what other people thought about her? The whole thing was ridiculous, so she forced her body up and took one heartbeat, one breath, and one step at a time towards the counter. The gossipers grew quieter as Jade started to talk to the cashier.

"I'll take a half of a pizza of the special." She mumbled to the girl. The woman nodded and rang her up, reading off the price. Jade handed her a twenty and change was exchanged along with an approximation of time. Jade went back to her booth and slumped into it. Right then, one of the gossipers from the other booth made a comment.

"Did your girlfriend stand you up?" He said, resulting in wild laughter from the others.

"No." Jade grumbled. She felt so weak and useless. It was horrible.

"Don't worry, why would anybody want to stand up a girl who cheats on a guy with another girl anyways?" Another tormenter yelled. God, this can't be happening to her. Jade slid down further into her seat. Please let this be a nightmare.

"Dyke!" The word split her in two. One half wanted to scream, the other wanted to fight. She met the ideas halfway and ran. She ran straight out of the pizza place with a tear in her eye. Why was this happening to her? She was strong right? The strongest person around. She didn't care what other people thought of her. Yet, this wasn't about what they said, it was about what she thought of herself. She was confused by her feelings and identity, and that brought her to her knees. She pulled out her phone and swiped Beck's text away, dialing Tori's number.

"Vega! Vega!" She yelled into the phone, "Tori…" She looked a the phone to see the call had been dropped by the lack of service in the area. Jade slammed her back into her car. She knew the kids were looking at her, watching the girl that didn't take shit from anyone fall to pieces.

"Fucking phone." She growled as she tossed it to the ground, cracking the screen. "Alone again… I feel so weak. They all look at me like I'm some kind of freak. I can't go on living if I don't know who I am." She groaned as she let her back slide down the side of the car until she was sitting on the ground, her head behind her knees and her arms wrapped around her legs. Half the school thought she was a joke and her own parents didn't want her, so what use was she being around? "It would be better… if I had never been born." The world spun away fast until she was sitting in her own little hell. The rest of the world burned up into the flames of her own self-doubt. She didn't really like herself because she wasn't really sure who she was inside. She was truly alone.

"You're not alone." A voice said. The world came seeping back to Jade. She peeked above her knees to see a hand extended towards her, but she didn't dare look up to see who the owner of said hand was. Jade reached out, brushing her finger tips against the pads of the hand's fingers to make sure it was real. She gently put her hand in the other person's and felt the grip tighten. She was pulled up out of her hell and back to her feet. She stared into Tori's eyes. "I'm here." The other girl said.

Jade didn't even wait for an invitation, she went ahead and embraced Tori right there. She felt like heaven was mere steps away from hell, and didn't care. Tori was rubbing circles into Jade's back through the jacket, and it felt amazing. She had armor on against the people who wanted to hurt her, and Tori had Jade as an equal shield.

"Thanks. I guess, I'm trying to put the pieces together." Jade said, trying her hardest not to cry. Tori nodded. She understood what Jade meant because she felt it too.

"Good thing I'm great at jigsaw puzzles." Tori whispered into Jade's ear.

..::..::..::..::..::..

Author's Notes: God, I'm so sorry that turned into a freakin' essay. I love the ending and I'm leaving it there. It got everything out of my system and I feel good now, so thanks for your support.