Title: The Bitter Step
Summary: 2-parter. Just how did Jade get the shrimp into Tori's bra? Set during 'Prom Wrecker'. Part 2 of 2.
Rated: M, just in case.
Notes: Thanks for your feedback! Love you all.
Tori marched frantically back onto the Asphalt's Café podium that overlooked the crowd and party-goers of Hollywood Art's first Prom. She had to make sure Jade hadn't messed with anything, like the equipment. As she turned down the music's volume on the iPear-Pad's speakers, she glanced quickly around, surprised that everything was still in order. She had to do something before Jade waltzed in and ruined everything. Tori let out a deep breath, forced a strained smile on her face and walked over to the microphone in it's stand.
"Okay everyone" Tori began speaking to her fellow students, "Gather round" she watched everyone clump together to listen to her, hearing a couple of people cry her name appreciatively. She tried to take comfort in that fact she had made it fun, at least. And at least she had their approval… It didn't matter to Tori if she didn't have Jade's approval. "Welcome to the first ever; Hollywood Art's Prom!" she smiled back as people clapped and cheered. Everyone had really made an effort tonight, looks wise... Especially Jade, Tori's devilish voice whispered to her.
"Yeah!" Tori grinned at them, "Okay, okay, the band will be here soon but until then, if you haven't voted for Prome Queen and King, you still have time".
"Yes, remember to vote" Trina suddenly called from her spot with… Sinjin? Wait, was Trina there with Sinjin? Tori didn't remember Trina telling her anything about a date with Sinjin. "Cause anyone can win".
"Just use your phones to go to the Slap and remember, you can only vote for one Queen and one King" Tori added, "So-" the stomach sinking sound of the power fail behind her made her turn her head and see the screen next to her, looking dead. The crowd had already started to murmur in confusion.
"Uh, okay" Tori said, trying to remain calm, "Guys, it's okay!" she bent over the banister and called them to them, "Uh, it looks like the electricity went out so just relax until-" the crowd's screams suddenly cut her off and she frowned, "What?" she asked. She noticed Trina's pointing and asked "What?" again before turning her head and giving a short scream at the screen next to her. It wasn't dead, or out of power, it had been hijacked by a creepy doll's head. Tori vaguely noticed Andre had walked on next to her.
Flashes of the video continued to make the crowd gasp and scream. They were truly disturbing; skulls, blood, insects, eerie sounds, creepy heads, dead bodies. Tori already knew who was behind this. Jade.
"Hey, hey, what is that? It's freaking everybody out" Andre asked Tori, grimacing.
"I-I-I don't know" Tori spluttered, even though she did. She bent back over the banister, "Guys, guys, guys! Give me five minutes to work this out, I'm so sorry, um-".
Tori looked around and saw Jade, smirking. If Andre hadn't of been there and all her fellow students watching, Tori might have reached out and shoved Jade off the podium.
"How's your Prome going?" Jade was dripping with sarcasm and smugness.
"Turn on the power, turn off that freakish video and then go home!" Tori demanded.
"And miss the rest of this Prome?" Jade replied mockingly, "No, I think the fun's just begun".
"Yeah? Well think again, cause there's not gonna be anymore of your stupid little pranks" and she really meant that. She wasn't going to let Jade use her again, as anything.
"Oh?" Jade let out a deep playful sigh, "Then you better tell your shrimp in your bra" she smirked and walked away, leaving Tori to gape after her.
"Shrimp in my bra..?" Tori spun around to Andre, trailing off as realisation slapped her right across the face like a giant big dead fish. Without thinking about what she was doing, she dug her hand inside her bra, fished about - pardon the pun - and grimaced as she pulled out a big pink raw shrimp.
Tori's face fell. So Jade wasn't just using Tori to mess with her head, she was also planting a shrimp in her bra. That's why Jade's 'fingers' were so cold and slimy. Tori wanted to scream. But she couldn't. She had to act like she had no idea how it even got there, lest Andre find out about Tori and Jade's janitor closet antics and tell Beck. That thought really made Tori feel sick.
"How did she do it?" Tori cried, trying to look as confused as Andre did. And behind her, the creepy Jade video raged on as the crowd below squirmed with disgust.
Tori spotted Jade over by the steps, taking a sip of juice. "Jade, are you done with your little sabotage game?" she couldn't believe she was keeping her tone in such control. All she wanted to do was tackle the stupid goth to the ground and pound her head against the concrete.
"What little sabotage game?" Jade mocked her with the voice she reserved for Tori's over exaggerated flirting impression.
Tori was about to tell Jade the shrimp-bra-thing was seriously low when Andre walked over to them, "Hey, uh Sinjin found the projector and killed the crazy video".
Jade pursed her lips.
Despite her anger, Tori let out a sigh of relief, "Good, good, now we just gotta-" she stopped and grinned with glee as the lights and power came back on. The crowd began to clap and applause. Tori glanced over to Jade with a look that said 'Shove it, Jade'.
"Take that you creep Demon" Tori said to Jade through the speakerphone with her own smugness. She turned back to the crowd, and said through the speakerphone, "Okay people, this Prom is back in action!". Her eyes found Robbie and she asked him, "Oh hey, uh, did you call the band and find out why they're late?".
"Yeah, their manager said you called them and cancelled them" Robbie replied with a frown.
"What? No, I didn't cancel the band" Tori shook her head.
"Uh oh" Jade's over exaggerated voice floated into the conversation, "Looks like Tori Vega's Prom is turning into one big boomedy-boom!" she smirked and walked off, leaving Tori to glare after her.
"Prome!" Tori screamed, marching after her.
Just after sending her latest update to the Slap, Tori bounded round the halls of Hollywood Arts for a second time that night, anger, distaste and rage dripping from her face. Then she saw her. Jade, in her pretty blue/green Prome dress, standing by the vending machine, casually holding a can of juice. Tori felt her control slipping away.
"Hey!" Tori screamed as she neared Jade, "Are you gonna stop?" she wished she didn't sound so whiny but if she really went for it with Jade, she wasn't sure people wouldn't walk by and hear about their earlier escapade in the janitor's closet.
Jade glanced down to her can mockingly and shrugged, "Na, I'm still pretty thirsty" she took a small sip. No sooner had she finished the sip, Tori reached out in a childish fit, and grabbed the can from Jade's hands.
"Give it back!" Jade demanded.
"Sure, yeah" Tori nodded sarcastically. Her tongue darted out and began to lick the can, missing the inappropriate look on Jade's face. When she was sure she'd licked enough, she handed the can back with a smug "Here".
"Thanks" Jade said casually as she took another sip.
Tori couldn't hide the disappointed expression at not riling the goth. As Jade made a 'ahh' sound to mock her, Tori realised that of course licking the girl's can wouldn't do anything, they had already swapped saliva thirty minutes ago.
"You know what? You're twisted Jade, that video was sick and that stupid prank-joke thing in the janitor's closet was cheap, just like you" Tori spat at her.
"Say whatever you wanna say Tori" Jade replied with a slight shrug, "I know you loved it, you said my name, in one of those breathy little moans you do so well, so stop blaming all your attraction to me on me, just to make poor little straight Tori feel better about herself".
"Attraction?" Tori felt herself laughing, "You have got to be kidding me! You're the last person on this Earth I would ever be-" she was cut off by Jade reaching out and smashing their lips together. Heat-passion-lust-want-feelings-so many bloody feelings-
"Stop kissing me!" Tori shoved her away, looking around cautiously to make sure nobody had seen, "You are a lunatic".
"A lunatic who's touch makes you crumble inside" Jade said with triumph, "Who's the twisted one now?".
"You just leave my Prom alone" Tori heard herself saying after prolonged silence.
"Maybe now you know what it feels like to plan something and have it ruined by someone else!" Jade cried back.
"Oh, you're such a big baby!" Tori screamed. What was Jade's play about really? Clowns didn't bounce? Hardly that important.
"Weird you just said that" Jade grinned suddenly. She glanced behind Tori and cried, "Doug, over here!".
Tori's face dropped at the sight of a grown overweight adult - sorry - grown overweight naked adult, wearing nothing about a man-size diaper, trainers and a bunch of bling round his neck. Walking at his side was a fully dressed dwarf carrying a stereo on his shoulders. "Oh… my… god" Tori mumbled. What the hell was going on now?
The naked adult waddled over with swagger, "You Tori Vega?" the guy - Doug - asked.
"She sure is" Jade pushed Tori towards the overgrown toddler with a smirk.
"What is that?" Tori demanded, pointing at Doug.
"I'm Doug the Diaper Guy" he replied.
"Yeah? And?" in the back of her mind, Tori was already formulating ways that she could make Jade disappear.
"I do parties" Doug answered lamely, "I was hired to come here and do my thing!" was the last part supposed to make up her mind? Tori resisted the urge to take this man to his mother and tell her to sort him out, or the police would.
"Hired?" Tori shot Jade a threatening look.
"Yeah" Jade smiled widely. She laughed.
"And what is your thing?" Tori asked hesitantly.
"Well I sing, I dance, I pee my pants!" Doug began to sing, "I'm Doug the Diaper Guy! Come on Rico, let's go out there and shake out the party!" he said to his stereo carrying dwarf friend. He waddled off, dancing as he went.
"You're sick" Tori declared to Jade, "You are a sick person".
"You're just now figuring that out?" Jade raised her eyebrow, walking off.
Tori watched her go with a knot in her gut. When she heard Doug's cries of 'doing his thing' Tori spun around and said, "Hey stop that man in the diaper!".
Tori grinned as she raced up onto the Asphalt's podium. This had to be the one and only time where Trina had actually contributed to something. Granted, she had no idea she had even done it, but… Trina's own selfish statement had given Tori the perfect idea to teach Jade a lesson.
"You guys!" Tori cried into the microphone, "Everybody please wait, don't leave. Look, I'm sorry that the Prome hasn't gone so great".
"Yeah you failed!" Jade called up to her with a smug look on her face.
Oh yeah, this was definitely going to teach Jade a lesson, "But" Tori continued, "Before you all leave, I'd like to announce our Prome King and Queen who you all voted for on the Slap" everybody began to clap and cheer and Tori knew she was definitely winning them back.
"Okay!" Tori continued, "And Hollywood Art's first ever Prome Queen is…" she glanced down to her iPear-Pad and clicked the calculate votes button. Trina Vega? What? Tori hid the shock in her face as she announced, "Jade West!".
"What?" Jade screamed as randomers began to congratulate her. Tori grinned down at her and clapped also.
"What?" Trina cried.
"What?" Sinjin frowned.
"That's right! Congratulations Jade" Tori wished someone could take a picture of this moment. She hoped someone was and would upload it onto the Slap later. The look on Jade's face was priceless. This was perfect. The perfect payback for ruining her Prome.
"What? No! Stop! Stop congratulating me!" Jade protested as someone shoved a cheap metal tiara on her head. "Don't touch me!".
Now for the finishing touches. "And now for Hollywood Art's first ever Prome King" Tori added, "Doug the Diaper Guy!". Shove it, Jade.
"What? Are you kidding me?" Jade cried over Doug and everyone else's cheers. The crowd went wild and Tori had the best view in the house. This might really show Jade that Tori shouldn't ever be messed with again. The best bit was when Doug picked up Jade, kicking and screaming and ran with her, Nico following after them.
"Okay, let's rock this Prome!" Tori cried as she saw Sikowitz at the back of the crowd. He was, not weirdly, carrying two tires and a red tank. At least Sikowitz wouldn't have seen the Prome almost fall apart. Finally. Everything was back on track and Tori had her revenge.
Even though Tori was cleaning an hour after she, Andre and Cat had performed, even in the soaking rain, the grin was still wide on her face. The Prom had been a big success, Sikowitz had promised Tori a repeat of Prome next year and Jade had finally got a taste of her own medicine. Tonight couldn't be any better. The only thing that kept slithering into the back of her mind was that she'd had to face Beck when he got back from Canada and she'd have to pretend like she didn't make out with his girlfriend in a janitor's closet and liked it.
Tori tore off her gloves and leaned over to tie the black bin bag into a knot before picking it up and walking round the corner. The fact that she didn't even have a date didn't even bother Tori as much as it had before. She'd sung with Andre and Cat, danced with Robbie, Sikowitz and Doug the Diaper Guy and got a kiss on the cheek from Rico. All in all, apart from helping Jade cheat on her boyfriend, Tori didn't regret Jade trying to ruin their night, because she finally got what she deserved.
As Tori walked past her locker, she stopped, at the stairs and stared. Sitting at the top of the steps was Jade, swinging the tiara round and round in her fingers, over and over again. Did she look a little… sad? Annoyed, definitely. Despite her better judgement, Tori put the bin-bag down, making Jade's head snap up at the sound. Her eyes grew cold when she looked at Tori and she quickly glanced away, pursing her lips.
"Hey Diaper Guy's girlfriend" Tori couldn't help but joke as she walked over to Jade. Silence. Why the hell did Tori even feel bad? Jade was the one who tricked her into kissing her, all for a distraction, to screw up with Prome, to get inside Tori's head and mess with it. Why on Earth was Tori feeling like the bad one, staring at Jade's slumped shoulders? "Room on that step for me?" Tori asked.
"It's my bitter step" Jade replied without looking up, "So if you want to sit down you need to be bitter, no gloating" she wasn't surprised when she heard Tori sit down next to her and sighed uneasily. Jade was still twiddling the tiara about in her fingers, aware that Tori was practically squirming with unspoken words and dangerous intentions.
"When Beck gets back from Canada…" Tori heard herself saying slowly, "You're not going to…" she trailed off.
"Beck doesn't need to know a thing" Jade finished for Tori, "He's Canadian, not telepathic".
"Yeah, I think that's best" Tori nodded, restraining from a grimace, "We both know it didn't mean anything, you're Jade, you mess with people's heads and kiss them, I'm not taking it personally". What the hell was she saying? Of course she was taking it personally.
Jade cocked her head round at this statement, keeping her face completely void of emotion. Except from her eyes. They spoke it all, saying things Tori wasn't sure she could let herself believe. And then Jade looked away, breaking their connection. She found a cold, small smile despite her bitterness, "It really was a great Prome, Tori".
"Thank you" Tori whispered back. "Sorry I ruined your play".
"At least I have a lot of blood" Jade shrugged casually, "I could do lots of things with that" she stood up, to Tori's disappointment and towered over the sitting Latina. "By the way" she leaned over and placed the tiara on Tori's head, adjusting it properly, "I'm nobody's Queen".
"And I am?" Tori asked hoarsely, heartbeat racing at the gesture soulless Jade had just done.
"Yes" Jade answered simply, then she winced, "People like you, it's disgusting" she turned and began to walk away, a simple smile shielded from Tori. Just before she walked out of Hollywood Arts, she turned and said to Tori, "I wasn't messing your head, Vega".
Tori's heartbeat jerked erratically and she frowned. "But what-".
"Goodnight, Vega" Jade cut her off suddenly, in her usual Jade-like fashion. Tori fought the smile forming on her face she stared back. Believing Jade's usual tainted words weren't wise but the look in her eyes... They were really saying something.
"Wipe that smile off your face" Jade fought against her own smile, "I still hate you".
"Back at you" Tori leaned her elbow on her knee and her chin on her palm.
Jade walked out of Hollywood Art's and left Tori sitting by herself. Tori glanced down to Jade's bitter step, the one she was sitting on. She felt a slow smile creep onto her face at the thought of Jade's words. Maybe sitting on a bitter step wasn't as bad as it sounded. No, it definitely wasn't.
Tori was sitting on Jade's bitter step, and she didn't mind one bit.