A/N: Hope you enjoy! (}:

I do not own Victorious );

She had been running for almost an hour now and had finally reached the top of the mid-high hill. There weren't many parks nearby with hills in the city. Tori had been lucky enough to discover the park a couple of blocks away from the university that actually had some steep hills. She sat back against the moist grass to catch her breath and took the moment to admire the view of the city. It was calming with just the cool air against her skin and the sound of the wind rustling in her ears. She shut off her music and lay back to look at the clear blue sky. She preferred to have her music on most days when she ran, it avoided all the thoughts she was trying to leave behind every time she went for a run.

School had started once more and it had served as a great distraction for the young Vega. She watched as a couple of birds flew across the sky and couldn't help but think about the news she had received two weeks before. Her mother loved birds. She'd gone home after having a relatively nice conversation with Jade and called her parents like she always did. She didn't understand how it happened. It wasn't fair. Not fair at all. Her father picked up like usual, but the heart aching and familiar tone of his voice spoke for its self like it did the first time. It was back. She was sick again. Tori roughly wiped away the tears. It wasn't fair. She had been clear of the disease for a year. Why? Why did it have to return? Why did it have to happen to her mother of all people?

They were unanswered question that often frustrated the brunette beyond reason. It killed her to know there was nothing she could to help her mother, especially being so far from home. She wanted to tell Cat more than anything when she returned home that night from work, but she couldn't. Cat was her best friend but she didn't want to burden her friend with her problems. She had other things to worry about. She was so glad the woman knew when not to press on a matter, she was more than understood. Tori knew very well that Cat had bought none of her lies, yet she never asked a single question. She felt guilty for making her friend worry so much. Cat would be asking questions soon. She always did when the issue at hand seemed to be having a great effect on the brunette.

Not wanting to think anymore, Tori stood up and blasted her music before she began to jog down the hill. The park was always empty in the morning with the exception of some random owners with their dogs. She circled the park one last time, forcing herself to run as fast as her body could take. At this point her body was more than exhausted. Tori had been forcing herself to run with all her might lately. It always caused her lungs to burn afterwards as she eased to a stop, but she didn't mind the aching sensation, oddly she more than welcomed it.

As she lapped the park and approached the entrance a figure caught her eye. The woman turned to look too quickly and collided hard against a tree branch. She fell back flat on her back with a loud smack, the impact of her landing knocking the breath out of her. Tori shut her eyes tightly trying desperately to keep from crying out as she felt the throbbing pain on her right temple. Her vision struggled to focus as she heard a familiar voice beside her. "Jade?" she mumbled in pain.

"Whoa there, Vega. Take it easy," Jade said as Tori tried to sit up too quickly. "You had quite a hit there. How many fingers am I holding up?" She asked in concern.

Tori questioningly looked up at the woman crouched beside her. She concentrated on the pale fingers, ignoring the rising headache. "Three," she answered as her hand rose to press against her forehead.

"Good. Now follow my finger." Jade said slowly moving her finger back and forth. Tori obliged, feeling the a bit dizzy. She sat up slowly and focused on the pale woman in front of her.

"You really need to watch where you're going, Vega." Jade chuckled. "You're a prone to yourself and trees." She moved closer to the brunette and examined the injury.

"Sorry," Tori mumbled, her breath hitching at their sudden closure.

"My dad's a doctor," Jade answered the silent question Tori had been wondering. The pale fingers gently ran over the injury, examining the swollen area. "Have you been crying?" Jade asked noticing the lightly puffy eyes.

Tori felt herself stiffen. "Well I just had the most painful encounter with a tree. You can't really expect me to laugh at it," she mumbled.

Jade grabbed her arm and held her in place as she stood. "Hey, take it easy there," she said helping the brunette stand.

"I need to get going now. I have class soon," Tori said pulling her arm from the raven haired woman. She tried to stand on her own only to quickly regret it as she felt herself go light headed.

"You're not going anywhere," Jade said hooking her arm under Tori's to hold her waist. "What's with you? Your class doesn't start for another couple of hours."

Tori felt herself blush. "How do you know when my class starts?" she questioned. She felt her head begin to throb in pain once more.

Jade smirked. "Cat might of mentioned it when she was complaining about you getting up too early when you hade later classes."

Tori pursed her lips and shook her head as she imagined the red head. Of course she would hear the brunette in mornings. She was always tried her best to leave the apartment silently but the main door had other plans. It made a loud creaking sound whenever it was opened and closed. Tori gently brushed aside the pale woman's arm and leaned against the menacing tree. She was feeling pretty dizzy now from the impact but she didn't want the other woman to know.

"What's with you, Vega?" Jade asked with a raised brow. She had been slightly hurt by the brunette's objection to her help but kept it hidden well.

Brown eyes met green in confusion at the question. Did she not see what happened? She was in pain. Jade rolled her eyes and sighed at the unclear question. "I mean you've pretty hostile these last couple of days. I may not be your best friend and I may not know you like the back of my hand, but there is definitely something bothering you."

The young Vega stared at the pale woman in awe. Had she really been aware of how she was feeling? She expected it from Cat, but not from Jade. She didn't know her at all. They had spoken a couple of times after their agreement but she didn't think her behavior was one that the raven haired woman paid too much interest into. "What are you talking about?" she tried playing dumb.

Jade watched the woman carefully. Her eyes had been red and clearly it had not been from the recent impact. Tori looked like she was in a bit of pain but Jade fought back the urge to approach the woman and help her. "You've been on the defensive side lately. What's eating at ya, Vega?" she said. Tori obviously didn't want to budge.

Tori set her jaw. Just the thought of what was 'eating at her' cause a wave of emotion to rise in her. "I…" she began dropping her gaze. She slipped along the trunk of the tree until she was once again on the ground sitting. She needed to tell someone. It was beginning to really get to her. She had tried to invest all of her time in her studies and all the extra activities she had suddenly found to an interest, but all they ever seemed to do was leave her alone with her own thoughts at the end of the day. Tori pressed her legs to her chest and rested her chin on her knees.

Jade watched the woman. She was right. Something was bothering the brunette. It had to be really bad to make the woman literally crumble to the ground. "Tori…" she began.

"She's sick again." Tori finally spoke keeping her eyes fixed on the ground.

"Who?" Jade asked in confusion at the woman's response.

A moment passed before Tori spoke again. She inhaled and exhaled in attempt to refrain from crying. "My mom," she whispered. Her voice was so small, had Jade not actually heard the words she would have sworn they were never spoken.

"Tori…" She tried, uncertain of what to say next.

The loud sound a fist slamming against the tree trunk nearly startled the raven haired woman. She watched the tan skinned woman ball her hands into fists as tears began to fall down the flushed cheeks. She was so angry at the world at that moment. Tori didn't like being angry. She was meant to be the usually happy and bubbly sort of girl, but every time she found herself thinking about her mother she couldn't help but feel so angry everything, she couldn't help but feel guilty in some way. She was heartbroken and enraged. Why, out of all people, did it have to be her mother? For all she cared it could have been her. She gladly traded places with her mother in a heartbeat. Tori buried her face in her arms and began to tremble as she cried in defeat. Despite how much she tried to deny it, she had to accept the reality of it. Her mother was sick again and there wasn't a thing in the world she could do to stop it.

Jade kneeled before the brunette and took hold of the woman's now swelling hand. "Hey," she whispered. Tori had her face hidden in her arms as she sobbed. "Tori," she whispered again. Exhausted brown eyes met the dejected green. Jade didn't know what she could possibly say to reassure the woman that everything would be okay. She couldn't assure her that. Instead she took the woman in her arms and held her as she cried. She held her as she let out what had been eating at her for weeks now. Tori cried into Jade's shoulder, holding on to as if her life depended on it, and maybe it did. At that moment all Tori needed was someone to hold her while she cried. "Why?" she cried. "Why her?"

Jade stroked the woman's hair in attempt to calm her. "I don't know, baby. I don't know," she whispered into the auburn hair. As the sobs subsided Tori pulled away from Jade's embrace and leaned against the tree. "Sorry about that," she whispered feeling suddenly shy as she wiped away the tears from her face. "I didn't mean to-"

"Don't you dare apologize, Tori." Jade warned. "You have nothing to apologize about." Jade sat beside her. "If you ever need to talk, Vega I'm here," she gave a friendly promising smile before standing and holding her hand out. "Now, let's get those injuries of yours checked out. Better safe than sorry, right?" She smirked, glancing at the small bruise on the tan woman's forehead and the pretty beaten up hand.

Tori looked at her hand and back at the woman. She nodded taking her hand as she stood. "Thank you," was all she could think to say as the raven haired woman helped her out of the park.

An hour later Tori was back from the clinic Jade had insisted she go to and in her apartment. "Tori what happened to your head?" Cat asked circling around the couch as the two women entered the living room. She glanced between her girlfriend and the brunette, paying little attention to the pale woman. "Are you okay?"

Tori smiled gently at her friend's concern. The doctor had placed two small bandages over the wound on the forehead. Jade had been right about going to the clinic. Tori had a mild concussion, which explained her vision, and a couple off scratches that needed some cleaning up. "I'm fine, Cat. Just ran into a tree," she laughed trying to lighten her friend's concern.

"And your hand?" Cat looked down at the wrapped hand before taking it in her own. The punch had been much harder, causing the brunette to fracture her hand. "Tori what did you do? Fight the tree?"

Jade snickered in the background at the redhead's remark. "Cat, babe, calm down and give Tori some space," Jade said walking over to the smaller woman and walking her back over to the couch.

Tori hesitantly followed and sat beside the red head. "I'll be fine, Cat." She smiled at her best friend, debating whether or not she should tell her of the news. She'd have to tell her sooner or later right? Tori let out a sigh. She had to tell her, but the beginning of her day had already been wasted with enough tears shed. She didn't want to have the entire day dedicated to crying. She quickly glanced at Jade before meeting the worried brown eyes. "I got distracted will on my jog and hit the tree pretty hard." She lifted her hand. "And I tried to block the landing with my hand but that didn't turn out to well."

Jade stared at the brunette in complete confusion. She didn't understand why Tori was being hesitant in telling the red head. She kept her expression stoic as Tori explained to Cat how her jog had gone and what had occurred to cause her accident.

"Wait, so what was Jade doing with you?" Cat asked still confused about the whole situation.

It was Jade's turn to answer as the brown eyes met green. "I happened to see the entire battle between Vega and the poor tree," she smirked. "I helped her to the clinic on campus so they could check her injuries." It wasn't an entire lie, Jade thought.

Tori gave her a look that silently thanked the raven haired woman for going along with her story. Cat nodded and turned to her friend. "Well since you're all beat up today, you can't go to class. And since I'm off for the day, we're going to have ourselves a junk day." Cat grinned jumping off the furniture and walking over to the kitchen. "We can go to sushi for lunch!" she called from the other room.

Both women looked at each other and laughed. "Thanks, Jade," Tori smiled. Maybe the friendship with Jade wasn't such a bad idea, she thought. She winced at the pulsing coming from her hand and head. It must have been the medication the doctor had given her for the headache, she thought as she felt a strange fluttery sensation rise in the pit of her stomach as the green eyed woman smiled at her and patted her arm before standing.

"We should probably get in there and help her," Jade suggested as they heard a small crashing sound come from the kitchen. Tori laughed and followed. She stopped in the middle of the room when Jade had gone into the kitchen and furrowed her brows. Had Jade called her baby earlier? She must have really hit the tree pretty hard to have heard the woman call her that. She shook the thought away and made her way into the other room.

A/N: Excuse my errors, I'm half asleep right now (x

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