The Point of Nearly Breaking in Two

unless we stretch until the point of nearly breaking in two
we'll never find out we were coming unglued
- if you believe me, relient k

At four AM, Jade West shows up at Tori Vega's doorstep.

"What are you doing here?" Tori mutters sleepily, glaring at the other girl out of bleary eyes. "Some people are trying to sleep."

"Yeah, well, I couldn't care less about what some people are doing, because some other people have just had their hearts broken," Jade sneers, tossing herself dramatically onto Tori's couch without invitation.

"You're being dramatic," Tori points out.

Frowning, Jade props herself up with her elbows. "Am I?"

With a sigh, Tori sits down beside Jade. She tries to place a hand on Jade's arm ("DON'T TOUCH ME!") and ends up just crossing her arms across her chest whilst staring angrily at the other girl. "So basically..."

Jade cuts her off. "Beck and I broke up."

"I know. I was there," Tori reminds her.

"Not for the aftermath." Jade buries her face in a pillow. "I hate him."

"You don't."

"I should." She glances up at Tori, her eyes filled with darkness and an inordinate amount of hurt. "I guess since Beck and I are history now, you're going to go after him first chance you get."

"No, I think that'd be Trina's job." Tori laughs. "Honestly, I'm not interested in him."

"Whatever," is all Jade says. She stands up, stretches, and then glances back at Tori. "I'm not sure why I came here."

"I don't know why you did, either," Tori admits with a grin. "Maybe you consider me a friend?"

"As if." Jade wrinkles up her nose, as if the idea is absurd. "I guess I... didn't really have anywhere else to go."

"You could've gone to Cat's," Tori corrects her, but Jade gives her a look that clearly tells her to shut up already or risk decapitation, and Tori has a performance first thing in the morning so she would really rather have her head perfectly in place.

They sit there for a moment in silence. Jade seems to be pondering something. When she finally looks up at Tori, Tori sees things written on the other girl's face – hurt and indignation and anger and hurt, things that she would really rather not see there again.

"Does he really even care about me at all?" Jade asks in a small voice. "This is going to sound stupidly corny, but I loved him. I love him. And for what?" She scowls, her face twisting, distorting into an angry frown. "Did he even act sad at all when I – when I left?"

For once, Tori doesn't have the heart to tell her the truth. "Of course he did," she fibs. "He was... really sad. He just sat there with those sad, puppy-dog eyes in brooding silence. You know how he is." She really doesn't.

"Oh. Okay." Tori has a feeling that Jade knows that Tori is telling a lie, but Jade would probably rather believe Tori's lies than the truth. "He said... he said he still loves me."

"But?" Tori prompts. She knows that can't be all.

"But it's not enough for him." Jade isn't crying now. She just sits there in stony silence, all of her emotions written plainly across her face. Tori watches her. Perhaps it's creepy, but it is fascinating to see the strong girl so very broken – so very hurt. Fascinating, but also painful. Tori longs to give the girl a hug, but of course, she would much rather have her head still in place.

Instead, she touches her fingertips gently to Jade's shoulder. "I'm sorry."

Jade doesn't respond.

In Tori's brain, things are either Good or Not Good. And what Beck Oliver has done to Jade is very, very Not Good. It is Not Okay either, and she will not let him get away with it.

So, the night after Jade randomly showed up at her house, she turns up at Beck's RV, ready to serve up some justice. What she doesn't expect to find is Beck singing along to Adele, of all things.

"Never mind, I'll find someone like youuu," is what reverberates off the walls. Confused, she steps up to the RV door and bangs on it a few times, hoping that he will be able to clear things up.

"You're an idiot," she says as soon as she walks in.

"I know." Pause."I didn't know you and Jade were friends."

"We aren't." Truth.

"Why are you defending her?"

"How did you know I was?" She raises an eyebrow. "I never said. I just said that you're an idiot, which is true."

He sighs. "Trina told me... Trina told me she was at your house."

"I didn't know you and Trina were so close." She puts one hand on her hip.

Sighing, Beck shakes his head. "We're not. I can, however, get Trina to tell me whatever I want her to, and that includes the fact that Jade stayed over at your house last night."

"You're stalking Jade." Another truth. She thinks that she definitely has the upper hand in this argument.

"No." Beck presses a hand to his forehead. "No, I just – I care for her still. I care about her."

"You love her."

"Yes. Yes, I do. But I can't... she needs to learn a lesson. She needs learn how to treat people. How to treat me." His explanation is punctuated with a punch; thankfully, he directs his punch at the wall.

Realization strikes. "You were singing about Jade. You know, the Adele song. It was about Jade, wasn't it?"

He laughs. "Jade would say I'm a corny actor out of some musical TV movie. Chiz, I can't stop thinking about her." Once again, his face falls.

"Something tells me you're not doing so well with this whole without-Jade thing."

"I can manage."

This is a lie.

"Okay, Beck. Okay. You have fun with that."

"You have fun with... sleepovers with Jade, I guess. Or whatever you call that."

Tori's mouth falls open in indignation. "She showed up at my door. I could hardly refuse her."

"Yeah." Beck's mouth stretches into a thin line. "Guess that makes two of us, doesn't it?" His face is grim, his tone dark.

Then suddenly, she's in his arms, pressed against the warmth of his chest. He is stroking her hair, but she knows it's more for his comfort than anything else. Especially when he mutters "Jade" into her hair. That is when she decides it is time for her to go home.

Jade West and Beck Oliver are both Not Good, Tori decides. They are Not Good when they are broken up, but they are (generally) Good when they are together, except when they are fighting. She watches them and tries to pretend that she does not see the hurt in their eyes whenever they see each other.

Jade talks to Tori about Beck; Beck talks to Tori about Jade. Neither so much as speaks to the other. Besides the constant ranting sessions, it is as if their relationship never existed.

Which is why, Tori decides, it is time for a new start. She cannot handle all the walking on eggshells, all the stress, all the constant arguing. The two of them need to talk to each other and not involve Tori, because Tori is (most assuredly) not getting involved.

She calls Beck first, says "Beck, someone needs to talk to you. Can you meet them at Aureto's?" Her voice is earnest, and she hopes with all of her heart that he will agree without bothering to ask any questions.

He breathes in, obviously knowing it's the same place where he and Jade first met. (She'd extracted that information from Cat the other day.) "Who is this 'someone'?"

She bites her lip, having never been a particularly good liar. "Um, me, of course!"

"Why are you calling yourself 'someone'?" Beck inquires, obviously confused.

Tori sighs loudly over the phone. "I'm a someone! Now just stop asking questions and go to the...Aureli – Aureto's! Seven o'clock tonight, don't be late. She – I won't be pleased."

Despite his obvious confusion, Beck doesn't ask any questions. Instead, he just says "Okay."

Good, she congratulates herself.

Step two is calling Jade, and Tori has a feeling that it will be all the more complicated. Jade answers on the third ring. "Look, Vega, just because I talk to you about how much I despise Beck does not mean we're friends now –"

"No, it's... it's not about that." Tori laughs, running a hand absently through her hair. "It's about – Someone wants to meet you. At Aureto's. Tonight. Do you think you can make time?"

"Who's this someone?" Jade demands.

"A friend of mine. He's a cute, nice guy, and I think you would really like him if you just gave him a chance. So what do you say? Seven o'clock, Aureto's, tonight." She finishes her introduction, twirling a loose string of hair around her finger. Her heart pounds in her chest. This is the most risky thing she has ever done, and yet it will probably turn out to be the most profitable, if things go the way she plans.

"Fine." Tori hears Jade sigh impatiently into the phone. "Promise you won't hover around like some annoying mosquito?"

"Promise." An evil smile spreads across Tori's face.


Of course, once they get there, neither Jade nor Beck seems pleased. Both of them stare at each other with wide eyes, as if they are seeing each other for the first time. Then they turn to Tori with death glares.

"You said it was only you!" Beck hisses, banging his fists against the white tablecloth.

"You said it was a hot guy." Jade glares at Beck, as if to imply that he's hardly a hot guy to her anymore.

"And I wasn't lying, Jade." Tori laughs nervously. "Look. You two need to talk, and you need to talk now. I'm getting tired of this childish rivalry or whatever game you're playing. I am not going to be caught in the middle of it any longer. Talk it out and leave me out of it."

"Fine," Beck says at last.

One of Jade's eyebrows shoots up. "Fine?"

"Yes. Fine." Beck stares at her. "We need to talk."

"I'll leave you two alone," Tori says sweetly, a big smile on her face. She prances over to a single booth on the other side of the restaurant, frowning at how very alone she seems, one person at a booth built for two. Some ugly guy attempts to join her, but she tells him that the seat is reserved for her date and lets him assume that she is in denial about being stood up.

She passes her time devouring the chocolate cake that they give to her for free ("Oh, my apologies! Such a pretty lady as you, being stood up! Here, chocolate cake always made me feel better after a failed date!) and watching Beck and Jade out of the corner of her eye. They seem to be involved in a deep conversation, and one of Beck's hands keeps inching closer to Jade's until it finally encases hers. Tori smiles, because once again she is victorious. This is Good, she thinks. This is Very Good.

Then the two of them are kissing (Beck and Jade, that is), and Tori doesn't watch (not at all). She turns back to her cake and waits, because Beck is her ride home. Of course, waiting grows tiring after a few minutes, and she marches over to the table.

"If you two are done ravishing each other, I need a ride home," she informs them adamantly.

Jade rolls her eyes. "I'll ride home with Beck. Take my car; we'll be by to pick it up tomorrow." She tosses her keys at Tori without a second thought.

Though he looks a bit surprised, Beck doesn't complain, nor does he protest when Jade kisses him again. With a half-smile, Tori walks off. For someone who hasn't had a lot of successful relationships, she sure knows a lot about fixing them.

Once she gets home, her phone vibrates. She reads it. Thank you, Tori. You're a good friend. It's from Beck. A smile spreads across her face.

At four AM, Jade West texts Tori Vega. The text reads: Thanks, Vega. I owe you one this time.

Tori smiles. This is Good.

A/N: SO JENNY I WAS GOING TO WRITE YOU JORI (FRIENDSHIP) AND THIS CAME OUT INSTEAD. Since you're the Beck to my Tori and all, I thought it necessary to add in some Bori friendship, and then of course Beck/Jade came out of having Beck and Jade in the same story without Andre, so yeah. (Besides, Bade is wonderful anyway.) Also Tori is a creeper. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, you old lady. I love you!

And to all the other fabulous people reading this – please read and review, and don't favorite without reviewing! I hope you like it!