Summary: And she smiles now, because breathing is so much easier when he's around. Tori/Beck
Warning: Angst, implied sex, character death
Pairings: Tori/Beck, Beck/Jade, one-sided Andre/Tori
She promises herself that she won't do this again.
She watches with gasping breaths as he leaves Sitowitz's class, pressing her legs together tightly hoping to relieve some of the pain. But the pain doesn't disappear, disperse. He shuts the door behind him without a second glance towards her, but she doesn't know this. She doesn't look up. Her eyes screwed shut.
(Wasn't that supposed to be pleasureful?)
Sometime later, the pain lessens a bit and she stands gingerly, straighten her clothes and pulling up her stained jeans. She walks towards the door, face twisted in a grimace, and looks back into the room.
(She wonders why her heart hurts so much.)
She gathers her items, flung carelessly in the hallway and pauses briefly listening to the muffled voices in the auditorium before walking out the front doors to the school. She takes the public bus home.
She doesn't go to school the next day and instead makes herself sick with unbearable thoughts.
(He didn't, did he?)
She cries and cries and cries and just wonders.
(Is this her punishment for being such an awful person?)
Her phone rings, but it isn't him who called.
But she never really thought he would anyway.
She is forced to go to school the day after that.
(The thermometer betrays her just like she was betrayed and did betray.)
She avoids him like the plague and succeeds, until Sitowitz pairs them together. Jade watches her with suspicious eyes, but it's not just Jade, is it? Even Rex notices a damn change within her.
It's a romance scene.
(The universe must not like falling stars.)
He invades her personal space and speaks his lines to her as if nothing happened.
(As if he did not fuck her on the very carpet that they were standing on.)
And she backs away and alters the scene.
("The tension!" Sitowitz exclaims as Jade mutters under her breath, both watching them with raised brows. "It's remarkable!")
Soon the words she says mean too much and are all too real and she suddenly realizes she is no longer acting. She freezes at this.
And the bell rings.
Her period is late.
She cries until she makes herself sick and then cries some more.
She goes to school the next day with bloodshot eyes and bags under her eyes.
Without watching where she's going, she slams head first into him and accidentally looks up into his eyes, only to quickly dart them away again. Her eyes fall on their intertwined hands and bile rises in her throat. She taunts her mercilessly and he just stands there and she swears she would've blurted out everything if Andre hadn't pulled her away from the gathered crowd.
He pulls her into the janitor's closet and demands an explanation.
She bursts into tears and ruins his shirt as she sobs through the story. His hands tighten on her face and she swears she sees a murderous glance flash in his eyes.
(But she obviously knows nothing and so she ignores it.)
Andre shows up at her house on Saturday with a bag full of pregnancy tests in his hands when her family is away.
The first she takes is positive.
And she cries.
She drinks gallons of water and he waits with her.
(She has to admit he's the best friend a girl could have.)
The doorbell rings when she rushes to the bathroom and Andre gets it.
The tear stains on her cheeks are obvious when she is burst in on in the bathroom thirty minutes later, slumped in the floor with pregnancy tests spread about the bathroom. It's her, and there he is behind her with Andre spluttering at the end.
She never thought she heard someone scream as loud as she did.
And in a moment, he's paler than her.
"Tori?" She peers about the room and then sighs. "Oh, they're negative."
"Negative?" Her voice is scratchy and rough. She couldn't bear to look herself.
And tears come to her eyes.
But she's the best actress so she pretends that they're not there and eventually, they disappear.
"So, who's the lucky guy?" She sneers and behind her, he coughs, or rather, chokes.
Andre shuffles into the room and grabs her hand possessively, glaring at them both. "Me, and I am lucky to have her. Believe me."
She rolls her eyes and he does a double take.
And she, the girl on the floor, doesn't even find out what they came for as they leave without an absence of snide remarks from her, of course.
And once she is sure they're gone, she breaks.
He corners her in the hallway on a rare day when she is not by his side. The very sight of him nearly breaks her and she struggles to keep her cool. He reaches out to touch her and she jerks away before using his surprise as her chance to get away.
Her heart is in shambles.
And she wonders why just seeing him can break her down.
The next time he corners her, she can't escape.
She can feels his hot breath on her skin and her resolve breaks down more with every second.
"We need to talk."
Her eyes narrow and as memories flash through her head, she regains some willpower. She grits her teeth. "There is nothing to talk about."
His hands hold her wrists to the wall and his body is inches from hers and she struggles, but it's of no use with his iron grip. So she does the only thing she can, which is push her body against his, hoping to through him off balance.
But obviously, that was the wrong choice.
His breath sharpens.
And she can't avoid his gaze any longer.
He releases on of her wrists and trails his finger down her cheek. Just one touch. That's all it takes. And she breaks.
He captures her lips possessively, passionately, their teeth clattering together. He slams her back against the wall, quickly winning the battle for dominance and he shoves his tongue down her throat.
He grounds his hips against her and grabs her hand tightly, leading her to the janitor's closet.
(And it's much better this time.)
She gets coffee with Robbie one day and happens to turn around and she sees them walking happily (or as happily as she can be) and her day is ruined.
She wonders why she's always second place.
She hasn't talked to him in months when he calls her up one night. She doesn't know why, but she answers on the third ring after listening without hearing the first two.
"I need to see you."
His voice is low, deep.
Dumbly, she finds herself answering.
She doesn't ask for directions and he does offer any.
"I'll be there."
And she is.
He doesn't speak, instead kisses her and leads her to his bed.
When Trina picks her up, she knows she knows and she feels embarrassed.
(Only slightly and then she remembers Beck's kisses and forgets all regret and embarrassment.)
They meet several times and it always begins the same way, he'll text her or call her. And she'll let him.
She wonders when she had become such an awful person, but his hands are on her, all over her, and (oh, God) she remembers.
Her life begins to resolve around him.
(And she hates needing someone so much.)
One day, he shows up unexpectedly at her house. But it's no different from the others.
Except for when he slams into her harder and leaves a mark on her (a very visible one).
Her Band Aid falls off in fourth period.
Jade notices it first and stares at it with twisted expression. But she doesn't say a word.
(She wonders briefly if pigs have begun to fly.)
Andre notices it second and sighs at her and begins yet another lecture. She knows he means well, but she tunes him out.
And Beck stares at it with a smug expression whenever Jade isn't paying attention.
She cannot do this anymore.
That has been her motto from day one, but today it is different, she determines.
It's for real.
And so, as hard as it is, when her phone buzzes with his call, she lets it go to voicemail.
Her first day as a senior goes from good to bad in the blink of an eye.
(Or in the result of a test.)
She hasn't spoken to him in four months or thirteen weeks or 91 days.
(Has it been that long?)
And she's been pregnant for four months or fourteen weeks or 98 days.
"Tori," the doctor asks her, "Do you want to see your baby?"
She looks down at her still flat stomach, an odd lump forming in her throat, tears forming in her eyes, and she shakes her head no.
She feels like she's going to be sick.
She does another musical for Sitowitz co-starring him, of course.
And a week after the play, she gets a call from a well-known record company.
They offer her a deal.
And that's all she needs.
She takes it, leaves school, and doesn't look back.
She tells her parents her due date a week after she records her first song that she had written months ago, about him.
Her father pales and her mother shrieks, but neither passes out so she thinks that good.
But Trina doesn't disappoint.
They ask about the father and she says nothing, but Trina gives her this look and she swears her sister is going to ruin it all, but she doesn't.
Instead before she falls asleep late that night or early the next morning, Trina enters and smirks at her. "I'm definitely not going to be ashamed of that adorable kid-to-be." And she thinks that's good.
She buys an apartment with some of the money that she had gotten up front from the record company.
It's small and close to nowhere in particular, but has two bedrooms and outside the window, she can see the Hollywood sign, if she looks over all the untamed shrubbery.
Her mother goes crazy turning the spare bedroom into a nursery.
And she begs her to look at it once it's finished, but she can't.
She goes into labor the day before her first single is set to be released.
She is three weeks late.
And doesn't even know the sex of her baby.
And it hurts so bad and she hates him with everything she has.
But afterwards, she has a little baby in her hands and he's perfect and she thinks that he was worth everything.
He's eight pounds, two ounces and twenty two inches long.
And he's the spitting image of his father.
He goes without a name for two weeks.
The same amount of time that her first single stays at number one.
She barely sleeps.
And she knows she can't do this for much longer.
She wonders sometimes how he's doing.
And she thinks that if she didn't love him so much she might hate him.
And a part of her might.
Because he wasn't there.
Because he isn't.
For the three A.M. feedings.
Or the never sleeping.
Or the birth.
It takes her two weeks to name him.
She finally settles on Beckett Rue Vega because at least, he'll have something of his father's or know some little part of him.
She decides to call him Rue.
And she doesn't really need the glitters or the sparkles anymore.
Rue lights up her life more than they ever did.
She knows that she shouldn't be here.
And that seeing him might break her.
But Andre, Cat, Robbie, and a few others all sent her invitations and she hadn't seen them since she left and she had to see them.
She knows she would feel much better if she had little Rue in her arms, but that was impossible.
(No one would have to guess his father.)
She watches Sinjin, Andre, and a few other friends walk across that large stage and she kept thinking of how that could be her, but she can't imagine her life if she would have stayed.
And maybe that's for the best.
And then, there's him.
And he looks even more amazing.
(And oh, my, gosh, she can't breathe.)
And for the first time, she pictures him with their son and it's amazing and perfect.
But then they call Jade and her fantasy crumbles as bile rises in her throat and really, she shouldn't have come.
Andre rushes to her side once the ceremony end and wraps her in a crushing hug. He grins at her and looks around before looking back at her. "How's Rue?"
She grins and opens her mouth to respond but is interrupted by a flash of red and a squeezing embrace. "Tori!" Cat exclaims loudly, finally releasing her. "You came! Who's Rue?"
She swallows, finally deciding on an answer before she is distracted. A few feet from her, Beck is staring at her as his family crowds around him and their eyes meet. All she wants to do is run to him, kiss him, and tell him about her, their son, but she stays where she is.
Cat forgets her question as Robbie walks up to him and she wraps him in a hug. "We graduated! Can you believe it? And Tori's here!"
Her eyes stay connected with Beck's for another moment before Jade comes up, kissing him deeply.
And the bile is back.
Her mother is looking at one of her old yearbooks from Hollywood Arts when she walks into the living room of her parents' house with Rue in her arms and a diaper bag on her shoulders.
Her mother looks up to her with wide eyes or rather, she looks up at Rue. Her mother gestures for her to come closer. She points at a very familiar face.
She doesn't say anything, can't from the large blob that had taken up in her throat.
"Does he know?"
She holds her son closer to her body, and she shakes her head because there's no use lying.
"Would he want to?"
She gulps. Yes, is the first answer that comes to mind-the truthful answer, an answer she hadn't considered before. But then she's reminded of black and blue and anger and she flinches.
"Tori, let me tell you a story. Come." She pats the seat beside her. She comes and Holly grabs the baby from her arms, smiling at him. She thinks she hears her mumble, "You can see the resemblance," but she isn't sure and truth be told, she doesn't want to hear it.
"My mother, your grandmother, had me at an early age. She was unmarried and determined not to marry my birth father. For the first eight years, or so, of my life, I lived without a father. I listened to all of my friends tell tales about their fathers and how absolutely amazing they were, but I sat back and listened. I know my mother did was she thought was best, but I would have loved the opportunity, in the least, to be given one, even if it was awful. But for the first eight years, I was without one. Tori, you can't do that to Rue, or you can, but from experience, please don't. It will only hurt him."
She blinks her tears away.
"What about Grandpa?"
Her mother smiles, fondly, "I was eight when they married, Tor. And although he made up for it, you still couldn't replace those years."
The phone rings.
"Hey Beck, it's Tori."
"It's me, leave your name and I'll try to get back to you when I can."
She swallows and the phone falls from her hands.
Her album is released.
The producers throw a huge party, due to the success of her singles and it's the first time she's really been out since Rue was born.
He cries when she leaves him with the babysitter and all she wants to do is stay with him. The babysitter, her elderly neighbor, smiles at her before pushing her out the door.
Everyone from Hollywood Arts seems to be there. Andre squeezes her in a hug, Cat shrieks her name, Rex manages a dirty comment before his eye catches some rebellious fellow singers and she even thinks she sees Sikowitz sipping on some coconut milk.
But Beck (and her) is nowhere to be seen.
Everyone she runs into greets her with a smile and a congratulations, and it's so much. And she's just happy, happy, happy, so happy that she stops looking for him.
It's amazing and brilliant and just so much to take in.
But that's just fine.
Because with the noise, it's easier to ignore her thoughts.
It's around midnight when she sees him, and oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh. And then he turns. And, is he walking towards her?
He grins at her and he's so beautiful and perfect.
And she's reminded of her baby son. She swallows.
"Hey, Tori, long time no see!" He exclaims like there's nothing wrong, like his baby isn't back at her apartment. But he doesn't know. He wraps her in a hug and oh my gosh!
"Congratulations," he whispers in her ear and she can feel his smile.
And she smiles now, because breathing is so much easier when he's around.
They talk and talk and talk.
And it's perfect.
"How's life?" he asks her suddenly.
She can't breathe.
"Tori?" he smiles and it's breathtaking. "You don't have to tell me, you know, if you don't want to."
"How's Jade?" She blurts.
He looks away. "I told her, well, everything. And we broke up. We had been trying to long to save something that couldn't be saved. We were never right, but you know, it took some things to put it into perspective."
"You told her?" Unbelievable. "And I'm still alive?"
"It took some convincing."
She smiled at that-she bet it did. "I'm sorry."
"I'm sorry, about everything."
She swallowed down the lump in her throat. "Can we go somewhere and talk? I have something to tell you."
"His name is Rue."
He knits his eyebrows. "Who?"
He chokes. "Your?"
"He's yours too, Beck."
"He's three months. He looks, well, just like you."
"You don't have to be involved-or feel obligated-or anything. I just thought you should know. I'm sorry I didn't tell you before."
And with that, she flees.
"Hey," she speaks into the phone. "Is that offer for the tour still open?"
A chuckle meets her ear. "I didn't expect you to change your mind."
She smiles, a bit sadistically. (Too much like her to ever be okay.) "I need to get away. We need to."
She keeps her teeny apartment, although now, she is anything but.
She can still see the Hollywood sign (the shrubs are cut) and it reminds her of everything.
And so she keeps it.
Although she isn't there much now, anyway.
Rue had begun walking around the apartment weeks before, around the time they returned from her album tour.
He grins at her when he stumbles into her bedroom, crawling clumsily into her bed.
And she swears it's the best sight waking up.
"Momma," he murmurs quietly, toying with her hair.
She sits up and gathers him into her lap. "Are you hungry, baby?"
He nods, "Ungry!"
She chuckles, moving to get up when she hears a knock on the door. She straightens her pajamas and adjusts Rue on her hip.
"Wonder who that is," she whispers to him.
Opening the door, she gasps and clings to her son.
"You, Tori Vega, are a hard person to find." They look at her son, grimace and push her way through the door.
"Hello to you too, Jade."
The other woman scoffs. "Don't play nice to me, Vega, when you're the whore that got knocked up with my boyfriend's child."
She cringes at the words, looking at her child. He seemed unfazed.
Ignoring Jade, she walks into the small kitchen into her apartment, if it could be called that, and grabs a Cheerios box out of a cabinet and makes a small bowl of them for her son. Then she sets it on the table and puts her son in his highchair, before handing him a juice box.
After walking back into the living room she says, exasperatedly (she doesn't have time for this), "What are you doing here, Jade?"
Not for the first time, she feels much older than her eighteen years. She feels old and tired.
"Warning you to stay away from my fiancé. He doesn't want anything to deal with you or your spawn."
She doesn't think of how this could be Jade, spinning tales, but it hurts. And then, she sees it as it catches light.
Jade gets a diamond and she gets a child.
(She thinks she's better off.)
Andre writes her a song one day.
But it's different than all the ones before.
The words fit her a little too much and as she sings it, his stare is different, lingering a little too long.
Her heart tightens when he nervously lingers at her car when she is about to leave for the day and tears fill her eyes.
She kisses his cheek. It's an apology of sorts.
She sees the pain in his eyes
"He's getting married, Tor."
(Heartbreak was always her strong suit.)
It's Rue's first Christmas.
He's nine months old.
And absolutely perfect.
On Christmas Eve, she visits her mother's house to help prepare for Christmas Day.
Once she gets there, she finds a present sent to Rue, care of Tori Vega.
With a sense of careful curiosity, the present seems harmless, she allows Rue to open it as she watches with a careful eye.
The card on top has a teddy bear on front and is the inside-it's his handwriting.
He sent their son a Christmas present.
Under the card she finds another addressed to her with a huge check:
From your reaction, I understand that you don't truly want me involved. But one day, please tell him about me, if you don't mind and let him know that no matter what, I'll always love him.
And please, let him keep these presents. I'll try my best to send him one every Christmas and birthday, if you would tell me it. And keep this money, I know that it won't be enough for everything, but I hope it would be
enough for now, at least. I'll try to send some occasionally.
Tell him Daddy loves him.
And her mother asks her why she's crying.
She takes her time developing her next CD, writing songs, about life, about love, mostly about him.
It distracts her from what is and gives her hope for what will never happen.
And Rue, looks more like him every day.
And oh, God, it hurts.
But she'll be fine. She'll be okay.
(She always seems to scrape her way through life.)
The wedding announcement is in the paper. She assumes it's courtesy of Mr. and Mrs. Oliver, from what she's seen of them because Jade doesn't seem to be the one who likes that sort of thing.
And she cries.
(It's all too real.)
The wedding, it's burned into her mind, haunting her dreams, is the next week.
And she feels like she dying, being ripped into shreds, torn into pieces. There is no reasonable reason as to why she feels this way. She hadn't seen the man in a year, except in the face of her constantly growing son. Yet, she does.
(And damn, she just wants it all to end.)
And end it does.
She never sees the bus coming.
Tori Vega used to be told stories about princesses and princes.
But sometimes there isn't meant to be a happily ever after.
(Sometimes, something gets in the way.)
And maybe the happily ever after should have come down the road.
But it's too late.
And now, there's a king and a prince missing a queen.