Hey you guys! So, I'm starting a new story about Tori; it's basically about her but they're are multiple pairings as well. Some of them are slash so be warned! This is multi-chaptered and this chapter is all about things that happened before Hollywood Arts. It's also pretty angsty as well, so you better watch out. You better not cry. You better not shout, I'm telling you why: Jade West will tear off your face. That's why.

Disclaimer: Once, Dan Schneider and I were at a bar, drinking. He handed over full ownership of Victorious to me but refuses to admit it now. Bastard.

They were all standing backstage while Tori was doing her big number. A reporter for The Slap walked up with a pencil and notepad in his hands. "Hey there guys, I'm Cole!" He said perkily, obviously an over excited freshman Slap apprentice. Beck gave a polite smile, Robbie said "sup" as an attempt to look like a cool upperclassman, Andre nodded his head in acknowledgment, Cat gave a giggly hello, and Jade just rolled her eyes. "I was wondering if I could ask some questions about the play. You all up for it?"

They all supplied their agreements, and the boy smiled. "Awesome. So what are all of you playing in the show?" Their faces fell – except Jade, whose face was already fallen from the start – and they looked down in mutual embarrassment. For quite sometime, they had been feeling resentment towards Tori about how faultless she seemed to be all the time. It got on their nerves, mostly. They all had very small parts in the play, because it was basically just Tori's character with the monologues and songs. As usual. They murmured something like that to the freshman, but he didn't sense any tension.

"Has being involved with this been a fun experience?" Cole asked pleasantly, expecting good feedback from the group.

"I'm sure it has been for Tori." Andre muttered bitterly. Cat got tears in her big eyes, and Beck put a hand on her shoulder to comfort her. He didn't say anything.

Furiously, Jade barked with fake sincerity, "Let me ask you this, Cole, will it be a fun experience when I twist your neck so far backwards that you can kiss your own ass instead of mine?" Robbie gave a small laugh at that, but Jade silenced him with a deadly glare.

"Uh, well," Cole said uncomfortably, "since Tori has the lead of the show, and you all seem to be her friends, could you describe her in one word?" Cat let out a gasp and then a sob as she turned to Beck for a hug, which he gave her without hesitation. Beck (who was stroking the back of Cat's head), Andre, Jade, and Robbie all looked at each other for an answer.

Cat looked up from where her head was on Beck's chest and whispered softly, "Perfect."


The first time she cuts herself is by accident.

Tori Vega's thirteen years old when she's shaving with the new, sharp razor her mother just got her. She's shaved her legs countless many times before, so she allows herself to let her mind wander. She thinks of what her older sister, Trina, said to her earlier today. She gets tensed up, still angry about the whole situation. Subconsciously – or at least she wants to believe it's subconsciously – she presses down harder with the razor against her leg. She doesn't notice until she gets all the way to her room that there is a big cut down her calf.

She touches the blood on her leg with extreme caution, as though it were going to burn her fingers like acid. Tori takes the blood on her fingers and writes a word on her stomach with it. She looks into a mirror and likes the way the word looks written on her abdomen, especially in red blood. It scares her, because this is something the "emo" kids at her middle school would do. After the blood dries, she puts on her pajamas and goes to bed.

The next day at school, she changes in a stall during gym so no one will notice the blood. When she gets home she waits as long as she possibly can until she absolutely has to take a shower. To her dismay, it washes off immediately after she steps in to the steaming hot water. After she's done, she shuts the water off, grabs a towel, and is about to leave when something catches her eye. Tori sees her razor just sitting on the counter, and even though she knows it's wrong, she snatches it and half runs to her room.

That night, she carves the word "pretty" into the skin of her stomach, where it rightfully belongs.

As the blood oozes out, Tori thinks, Am I pretty now, Trina?


The first time she sings in front anyone, she's told she's untalented.

A freshman in high school, Tori decides to take a music class, even though she has only sung to herself in her bedroom a few times. It's the first day of school, and Tori is sitting excitedly next to her classmates in the Musical Theater class. The teacher, Mr. Quinn, makes every single student come to the front of the class and sing a few bars of any musical song of their choice. He tells the class that he'll be making comments on their singing abilities, because if they want to have a career in musical theater later on, they'll have to know criticism.

Tori sits in her seat nervously as every student goes one at a time. One boy, Daniel, sings exceptionally well and Tori has her eyes and ears on him the whole time. When he's done she makes eye contact with him and he smiles at her. She feels her heart take a giant leap as she smiles back at him. He has dark eyes along with dark hair, and Tori can't resist that combination. A few more kids go up and sing, all of them very good. Tori chews at her nails, waiting for Mr. Quinn to call her name.

Finally, she walks to the front. She's the last one to go, which makes singing all the more difficult. She sings the song "Popular" from her all-time favorite musical, Wicked. "You'll hang with the right cohorts, you'll be good at sports, know the slang you've got to know. So, let's start, 'cause you've got an awfully long way to go." Tori finishes with a smile on her face, because she feels proud of her performance. It surely wasn't the best in the class, but definitely not the worst.

"Why yes, my dear, you do have an awfully long way to go." Mr. Quinn says menacingly, with a big smirk on his face. Tori feels her mouth go dry as her stomach drops all the way to the floor. "Miss Tori Vega, what do you think you see yourself doing in ten years?"

She doesn't know how to respond, beads of sweat beginning to form on her forehead. "Um, well, I really enjoy singing. Maybe something with that…" Tori trails off. She immediately looks straight at the ground when the teacher gives a short, sharp laugh.

"Oh, please tell me you're joking. Sweetheart, the world of musical theater requires raw, natural talent. I'm afraid that is something you are greatly lacking in. You've got a pretty face; stick with that, because, darling, singing will not get you anywhere." Tori nods jerkily, eyes still glued to the ground. She somehow makes her way towards her seat, tears streaming down her face rapidly. Everyone else avoids her eyes for the rest of the class period.

As soon as she gets home from school, she finds her razor, and cuts "talented" across her forearm.


The first time she has sex, it isn't by choice.

It's midway through sophomore year when Daniel from Musical Theater class asks Tori out. He asked for her number the year before, but as soon as it was semester break, she dropped the horrific class. She spent the whole four months before Christmas sitting in the back of the choir room, scared to open her mouth in fear of Mr. Quinn. He never said another word to her after the first day of school fiasco. Tori was truly grateful for that.

Right when Christmas was rounding the corner and Tori was getting excited about being able to drop the class, Daniel asked for her number. She was ecstatic, for she had been making googley eyes at him since the very first day. He got all the solos for their concerts, and hearing his angelic voice made Musical Theater just a little more bearable. It really sucked for her to think of leaving right when the cutest boy in school was finally making a move, but she just couldn't stay in that class any longer. So, she transferred into Home Economics I after break instead.

Daniel and Tori texted on and off for a couple of months. She didn't know who stopped texting first, but eventually the conversations just got shorter and more spread out until they didn't talk at all. Tori figured that he was just being nice, so she ruefully left it alone. She moved on, got more involved with the things that she enjoyed – except singing. Mostly, she spent her time coming up with new exotic recipes and reading old American literature. Although, she did have to go to some of Trina's plays every few months. Her sister was a year ahead of her and went to an exclusive Hollywood art school. Trina never had a lead role – honestly, she was never any good – but it was still hard for Tori to watch all those pretty, talented girls singing their hearts out.

Anyway, out of the blue, Daniel texted Tori one day during sophomore year. He asked her out…On a real date. She immediately agreed and ran downstairs to tell her mother. It's now Saturday night, and she's on the couch in the living room nervously awaiting Daniel's arrival. She went out with Trina and her mother the night before to get a new outfit. They found a cute vintage store downtown, where they bought a couple of adorable dresses.

When he finally gets there he's ten minutes late, but Tori doesn't care. He's there and that's all that counts. They go to a pricey restaurant, where Daniel suggests she get a salad. She doesn't know whether or not to be offended, so she tells herself that he has probably been there before and gotten a salad and he's now recommending it. The date goes on pleasantly, until they get to the movie theater.

It's a horror movie Tori doesn't know the name of, because she's too busy gawking at Daniel's face to notice. They get sodas and walk into their theater, when they see that it's totally empty. He turns to grin at her wickedly and says, "You know what this means, right?" Tori's stomach lurches menacingly. Unfortunately, she does know. She gives a shuddering nod at him as she bites her lip nervously.

This isn't how she wants to lose her virginity; not yet anyway, and definitely not in a stranded movie theater. They take a seat as Daniel moves the armrest between them up. She tries to make meaningless small talk, thinking of a way to get out of this without him hating her. While they talk, his eyes are glued to her chest and she silently curses herself for wearing the low-cut dress. He waits awhile for the movie to start (to make sure no one else will be coming in, he explains) and then he kisses her.

Tori has read a lot of romance novels in her fifteen years. In all of them, they describe first kisses as being magical, beautiful moments. She always pictured hers on the hill where the Hollywood sign lies, as cheesy as it sounds. They would be laughing and he would suddenly caress her cheek with his hand, move in closer, and their lips would touch slowly. Never in a million years did Tori think that kissing would be like this.

It's rough. So rough, in fact, that it only lasts for about two seconds because she pulls away. Her lip is bleeding, and it hurts. She begins to cry, feeling as stupid as humanly possible. Daniel puts an arm around her, whispering things like, "Tori, baby, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to do that. I just really, really like you, is all." After she calms down a bit, he suggests that she go clean up. Assuming that she probably looks like a mess, she takes off to the girl's room.

After she's done, she makes her way back to the theater. As she walks through the door, someone grabs her and covers her mouth. She makes a pitiful attempt to scream, but she hears a chilling voice half yell in her ear, "Shut up, stupid bitch!" Daniel. He drags her back to the seats, as she tries to struggle but it just makes his grip even tighter. He rips off each article of her clothing, until she's stripped naked and shaking in front of him.

Just like that, her virginity is gone.

When it's finally over, Daniel gets dressed as he throws Tori's dress at her trembling, bloody body. All she can do is stare at him, consumed with pain coming from various body parts. Her brain is foggy and she can't think straight, her thoughts all running into each other in one massive, confused, scared mess. "If you tell anyone about this, ever, you are so dead." He pulls out a pocket knife and holds it to her face, running the cool, dull edge against her cheek. Then, he's gone.

In a blur, she pulls on her dress and stares blankly at the screen until the movie is over. Eventually, a teenage boy with messy hair and a scrawny body comes in to clean the theater. He spots Tori by herself and sees the blood on her leg. "Miss?" He asks, his voice squeaking. "Are you okay?" She snaps out of her daze, sees the boy, and runs out of the theater as fast as she can. It's not far from her house, and even though it's late, she runs all the way home.

The next day, she carves "innocent" into her inner thigh.


The first time she Makes It Shine, it all goes dark.

Around September, right after junior year starts, Tori goes to see her sister in a big Hollywood Arts showcase. The past few weeks, Trina has been practicing very loudly, making Tori's ears nearly bleed. A boy from the same school, Andre, is performing with Trina. He's a fantastic musician; Tori really thinks it's a shame he can't just do a song by himself. Apparently, at Hollywood Arts, students are randomly paired up for the showcase and they're stuck with whoever is chosen for them. Anyway, Andre is a really nice guy, and Tori kept him company during the long practices he had to sit through.

At least, Tori thinks, I get to ditch school. That alone is worth enduring Trina's horrendous voice for a couple of minutes. To her horror, when they started school in August, Tori found out she was in the same Pre-Calculus class as Daniel. When she walked in the classroom, her heart stopped beating and her insides twisted as he gave her a wide, sick grin. He sat in the back of the room, so in turn she sat up at the very front. Though she could feel his eyes burning into the back of her head, she didn't have to look at him very often.

So, Tori's sitting in the Hollywood Arts auditorium, when a counselor comes and escorts her and her parents backstage. Turns out Trina's tongue swelled to at least twice its size because of a Chinese Herb Gargle that she used the day before. She's wailing and groaning because there's no way she can perform with her tongue taking up her whole mouth. Tori feels bad for her, but there's really nothing she can do. Then, Andre suggests that Tori sing Trina's song.

And she does.

Tori is adamantly against it at first; she kicks and screams but eventually loses. She's waiting on a darkened stage – she's fully clad in a beautiful, short, curve hugging dress that's a metallic purple color. When no one's looking, she finds some stage makeup and covers the scars on her leg and arm – when the curtain comes up. She's so far beyond nervous that when she opens her mouth to sing, she's surprised that she doesn't vomit. Tori begins the song at its original slow tempo, when she motions to Andre to pick up the pace.

As "Make It Shine" goes on, she becomes more and more confident with herself and her voice. She moves around the stage, a bright smile on her face, dancing the correct choreography with the backup dancers. When it's over, Tori receives a full standing ovation, every person in the crowd clapping for her. It's the single best feeling she's ever had in her whole life. When the curtain closes, the principal finds Tori and offers her a place at Hollywood Arts.

She's hesitant; can she fit in with all these amazing kids? Just at this showcase alone, she saw some of the best singers, musicians, and actors she'd ever heard. How would she keep up? Everyone's there (Trina, Andre, the backup dancers and singers, the principal, and her parents) and telling her she should say yes. She still isn't sure, so Andre sneaks away and opens the curtain. He asks the audience if Tori Vega is good enough for Hollywood Arts, and their applause is unanimous.

Tori says yes.

Once in the dressing room, she's surrounded by girls she doesn't know, but she could care less. She's still too high on her performance, adrenaline bursting through her veins. She takes her time getting undressed (partly because she doesn't want the makeup covering her scars to rub off) and makes sure she puts the dress in the right spot. There's one girl left in the room, but Tori doesn't notice her until she starts speaking.

"Hey, you," the girl demands, catching Tori's attention, "Vega, right?" Tori nods uneasily at her. The girl's dark, sarcastic tone matches her appearance; she's wearing a black butterfly shirt, dark skinny jeans, and old, worn out combat boots. Her pretty brunette hair is curled at the ends with red and purple streaks running through it. She also has an eyebrow piercing. Tori is taken aback at the girl's fierce, intense beauty. The gothic looking girl takes a long drink from the water bottle in her hand. "The name's Jade West. I can tell right now that you're going to be a pesky little problem."

"Uh," Tori murmurs nervously, "I really don't want any trouble, I'm lucky I even got in."
Jade gives a sharp, sarcastic laugh. "Right. Let me just tell you this, Vega, if you try to make it fucking shine one more time, it will all go dark. You feel me?" Tori doesn't have time to answer, because Jade grabs her arm and dumps about half of her water bottle on it. Tori gives a small shriek at the unexpected, cold water, and suddenly the word "talented" is exposed. Tori just stares at Jade with obvious fear, but she just smirks. After that, Jade just leaves without another word.

Taking shaky breaths, Tori searches around the dressing room hurriedly, looking for something sharp. Finally, she finds a sewing kit with a pair of small scissors. It takes awhile, but eventually the word "shining" is carved into the skin of her calf.


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