you breathe in when i exhale
au beck/tori/jade (ooc!)

an: lol i haven't written anything in like a year & i have no fucking idea what i'm doing.

/

i don't care if we suddenly find ourselves in siberia.
.

tori trails her fingers gently over the sheets, leans back and breathes in the scent of mint and coffee from the air. beck isn't back yet but she knows he will be soon, grinning cheekily and beckoning her forward with his finger and she knows she'll throw herself into his warm embrace just like always and she fucking hates herself for that.

(but really, at the end of the day she thinks she loves him more than anything and how the fuck is she supposed to help herself?)

.

beck doesn't return until 2:36 the following morning, and tori has just dozed off on his side of the bed when she hears the door to his flat open and click shut almost immediately. a part of her wants so badly to tiptoe out of the bedroom, meet him in the hallway and let him pull her close, put his lips against her throat and lead her back into the room to press her into the mattress, springs creaking faintly –

- instead, she curls up tightly into a ball, buries her face deeper into the pillow, pretends to sleep. she doesn't acknowledge him when he enters the room and whispers her name softly, fingertips skimming across her spine, doesn't even look up when he retires to the bathroom to take a shower (she doesn't want take any chances and see lipstick stains on his white collar, doesn't want to smell the faint scent of perfume on him.)

it's easier this way.

.

she leaves after breakfast the next morning, kissing beck quickly on the lips before bidding him goodbye.

"where're you going?" he murmurs curiously, taking a moment to lift his eyes from his book to gaze at her.

"a friend." tori says with a casual shrug. "i won't be gone long. promise."

she takes his car, the old gray one with beat-up leather seats that smell like cigarette smoke and coffee and him, inhales and hates the way it makes her feel all weak and dizzy.

it's raining today so it takes her longer than normal to get to the shop, and a part of wonders if she'll even be there, but sure enough when tori pulls up in the parking lot, there she is, perched at the edge of her chair and shaded from the storm by only an umbrella hooked up to the table. the girl's expression is nearly unreadable as tori approaches, eyes lowered to the weather-stained table as she takes another sip of her drink.

"thought you weren't coming," jade says, finally looking up at tori.

then, as if she can't quite help herself, she cracks a grin and tori hates how it makes her heart stutter.

.

they go back to jade's apartment after coffee, stumbling through the door and then jade has her pressed up against the wall and tori knows she's not supposed to be feeling like this, that this doesn't mean shit to jade so it shouldn't mean anything to her either, but a warm, whole feeling surrounds her, curling up in the pit of her stomach.

(because sometimes she needs someone besides beck and jade is lonely and that's why they just work.)

but really, how could she not, with jade's soft fingertips caressing her skin like this and her warm breath tickling the skin right below her ear and she whispers something nearly unintelligible and just, fuck.

she knows she really should be getting back to beck's now because she has his car and she promised she'd be back soon, but jade murmurs stay, green eyes flickering behind hooded lids, and tori just doesn't know how to say no to that. so she stays, curled on jade's bade with pale blue sheets pulled up to her hip.

rain still patters outside, splattering against the windows, but all she can hear is jade's breathing, soft and even, lulling like waves.

.

"so i think i might have to work late tomorrow," beck tells her the next morning over the table.

"mhmm." tori almost laughs, doesn't. she wonders why he even bothers lying at this point, because he knows that she knows. she half-expects him to ask her why one of these days, but he never does.

"so i was thinking we could do something," beck continues as if she hasn't spoken. "go down to the beach, maybe."

tori glances up from her plate to stare at him, eyes wide. She can't remember the last time they actually did something together and she knows she's an idiot for agreeing to this – but hell, she's already an idiot for still being here.

she knows she should probably tell him to fuck off and promptly exit, slam the door in his face and never come back and live in a world of green eyes and long dark hair and pale blue sheets -

- but instead, she says okay.

.

the beach is nearly deserted, which is odd, tori thinks, for this time of day. the sky is blue and clear, the temperature of the waves lapping at her toes contrasting sharply with the warm sand under her feet.

it's so quiet.

beck tosses her a bottle of water except she misses it and has to go chasing after it, and he's laughing and despite herself, so is she.

they stay until sunset, until the breeze picks up, warm and tranquil, and beck holds her hand on the way back to the car and kisses her in the backseat, lips finding skin that tastes like sun and lotion and fingers buried in sandy hair.

(and it's times like this when tori wonders how despite everything, she could ever think of leaving, ever.)

.

sure enough, though, the next afternoon beck calls and says he'll be late so don't wait up.

tori doesn't.

she grabs the keys and goes to jade's apartment instead.

.

"i want to leave," tori says quietly, "sometimes."

"mmm." jade hums softly, tracing more circle's on tori's thigh and taking a drag of her cigarette. "why don't you, then?"

for a second tori is overcome with irrational anger because how the fuck could jade ever understand how complicated all of this really is (but oh, a part of her knows jade is right and oh fucking god she just wants to leave so badly, to go off into the world) - "it's not that easy," she snaps, drawing her knees to her chest.

jade only stares, withdrawing her hand slowly and looking surprisingly wounded.

"you're just scared. just fucking scared, tori."

realizing her mistaking, tori quickly shoves her leg back to jade's.

"sorry," she mumbles, picking at her nails. "i know. i'm sorry."

.

"don't worry," jade whispers in her ear later when they're tangled up in the sheets, skin against skin. "i'll make it better, tori. i'll take you away. promise."

tori just grips the sheets tighter and whispers please do.

.

the next morning, she goes back to beck and pretends last night never happened.

(easier this way easier this way easier this way she tells herself over and over again.)

.

somehow, though, tori finds herself spending more&more time with jade, and she knows that beck is starting to notice. she doesn't care.

jade takes her to the beach one cloudy day, and they try to sunbathe despite the gloom. they draw pictures with sticks in the sand. jade forces tori into the waves with her and kisses her in the sand and tori has to try very, very hard to calm the thudding of her heart because she doesn't think it's possible to love someone this fucking much.

it's corny and stupid but waves crash all around them when jade tangles her fingers in tori's hair and kisses her again.

against the other girl's mouth tori whispers take me far away.

.

sometimes, tori hates herself because this isn't fair to beck or jade or her and one night when beck's gone and jade isn't around she screams and screams herself hoarse in the dark because just doesn't know what to do anymore.

.

the silence between tori and beck is incredibly uncomfortable. he only occasionally glances up at her, but mostly just drinks quietly from his coffee mug and reads the newspaper in his hands.

tori hates it here. she hates him, hates this, hates everything, but not really, but but but-

he leaves for work an hour later and she smiles and kisses him goodbye, fingers clutching at the thick fabric of his coat in permanent goodbyes.

she knows she's only got a limited amount of time. she disappears into the bedroom once he's gone, throwing everything of hers she can find into her suitcase. she grabs paper and a pen and hastily scribbles a note, folding it and leaving it on the kitchen table before hurrying out the door with a fluttering in her stomach.

it's easier this way, the note says.

.

and take her far away is just what jade does - all the way to new york.

tori likes it her. there's no beach and she can't see the sky but she go out on the small balcony of their apartment and dance in the rain here and she's got jade's hand in hers (always always always). the place is smaller than jade's flat in california and they're both working fairly small jobs but the pale blue sheets are the same and jade is the same - gaze always mysterious and lovely, hands always soft but not so gentle.

one night they're sitting and drinking cheap beer out on the balcony, air vibrating with endless chatter and a million footsteps and the wail of sirens, and tori crawls into jade's lap and jade laughs, beautiful and airy.

(she kisses her and murmurs it's so much better this way against her lips.)

.

end.

/

so apparently in my absence i kind of forgot how to write, but i wanted to write something and this happened in like half an hour. yikes.

reviews would be lovely.