AN: So I'd suppose this takes places sometime after 'Tori Goes Platinum', and you'll have to forgive me for the... eh, confusing lines? I always thought that if these two were ever going to have an honest conversation which addressed their (completely gay, and obvious) subtext ('sub-sex' hee hee) then it would be confusing and awkward and take a whole lot of deciphering.
Also, I'm not entirely sure whether this is a one shot. Probably not, knowing my inability to leave a story be :)
Sometimes when Tori Vega started crying, she couldn't stop.
She didn't know why, there was no rational reason to be choking out sobs, lungs burning. But sometimes she returned home from school and as soon as her bedroom door clicked shut behind her, she broke down. Still standing, bag clutched in one hand, eyes dripping, breathe shuddering with the force of sudden overwhelming sadness.
Those days she remained in her room till morning, finally falling asleep with her cheek atop a wet tear-clammy pillow. By the morning the tears would be dry and her naturally happy mood reasserted.
Tori didn't know whether such behaviour was completely normal or completely insane. But she kept it to herself - after all she stood for eternal optimism, blindingly sunny enthusiasm and positivity.
It was a Friday evening. Her parents were having a romantic spa trip away (her mother's choice) and Trina was on a date (see: stalking the cute guy she spotted in the local Starbucks), so the house was unusually quiet. It hadn't been a great day for Tori – not bad by any means, but tiring. Filled with ventriloquist chat up lines, and nonsensical redheaded rambles, and salads (and god, all Tori wanted was a hamburger for lunch! But the female population of Hollywood lived in a gastronomic prison fashioned from lettuce leaves. Got to keep up with the crowd).
So before she'd even got the front door closed, her eyes were swimming. She climbed up to her room and resigned herself to a night of weeping.
An hour later though and the door bell rang. Tori groaned, the noise reverberating round her tender head. She ignored it, and for a couple of minutes there was silence. Convinced whoever it was had gone, she burrowed back inside her bed, and allowed sadness to engulf her once more.
The silence however was clearly a ploy, because the bell rang out again and... didn't stop. Whoever the visitor (lowlife, good-for-nothing tramp, hellion) was, had apparently jammed their finger into the damn device and clearly wasn't going to let go until she answered.
Tori threw herself out of bed swearing and hurtled down the stairs.
In her haste however, sadness momentarily transformed into anger, she'd forgotten about her tear soaked, puffy, red, pillow-crumpled appearance. As she flung open the door, the realisation came flooding back to her. Fuck.
Jade (double fuck) stood at her door step looking... bemused. She removed her finger from the bell, and blinked.
For a moment everything was still, suspended as they regarded each other from either side of the entrance, eyes locked.
Tori looked away first, pressing one sleeve of the tatty grey sweatshirt she was wearing across her face, "uh, Jade this isn't a good time-"
She was cut off however by the paler girl brushing past her wordlessly and into the house. Tori remained frozen in place for a second, staring outwards and trying to push down the urge to start crying again. She couldn't deal with this right now. "Jade, please..."
There was a crash behind her and Tori whirled round, frantic, convinced she would find Jade attempting (succeeding) to wreck her home as some sort of twisted punishment for having shown weakness. But, to her surprise, the other girl was just rummaging through her cupboards, looking suspiciously... calm.
The other girl ignored her, suddenly snapping upright and flourishing a frying pan. She dropped the object on the stove and turned her attention to the fridge.
Tori blinked. So that was why she was here? Jade was hungry? Had a sudden insatiable urge to cook and Tori's house was closest to where... wherever Jade went when she wasn't terrorizing Hollywood Arts? The darker girl felt drained suddenly, her head throbbing from all the crying. Tired, so very tired. She didn't have the energy to fight Jade so instead she seated herself on the breakfast bar, rested her head in her arms and tried to summon up any feeling that wasn't apathy.
She awoke to the clack of crockery against marble and the smell of golden syrup. Groggily she opened an eye and was met with the sight of a neat stack of pancakes topped with strawberries.
There was a scrape of cutlery and she shuffled her body round so she could see Jade, sat across from her at the breakfast bar, eating her own plate of pancakes.
Well... this was surreal. But Tori was not one to say no to food – particularly not good smelling, well presented, sweet breakfast treats. So she picked up her own knife and fork, and dug in.
A couple of moments later, as she speared one of the red berries, something occurred to her. "I didn't think we had strawberries...?"
Jade glanced up at her, face devoid of emotion, eyes full of unreadable thought, "you didn't."
The other girl sighed, as if Tori was particularly stupid. "I picked some up."
"Oh." The tan girl was quiet for another minute, until, "Why?"
"Why what?" Tori shook her head and met Jade's gaze again. She suddenly felt a bit like she was drowning. "I picked up strawberries because you like them. They go well with pancakes."
"That wasn't really what I was asking- uh, you know I like strawberries?"
Jade groaned, "you talk a lot Vega. Unfortunately often in my presence. Despite my best efforts some of it... registers."
Tori grinned, and then had to stop herself from wincing at the feeling of tightness left behind by her dried tears. "You listen to what I say!"
Unexpectedly Jade smiled, "yeah Vega. Sometimes."
They lapsed into silence for a second; Tori fidgeted. Silence didn't feel right - it meant she had time to think about how weird this situation was. "Thanks for the pancakes."
Jade just shrugged, "why you crying anyway?"
Tori eyed her, but the other girl was refusing to meet her gaze, focused on meticulously cutting up her pancakes. "Why do you care?" she asked softly.
Jade didn't say anything for a good few minutes, and eventually Tori lost hope of expecting an answer. Jade confused her. Sometimes she was so blindingly arrogant, self centred and hateful -apparently for the sheer hell of it - that it was hard to imagine that such a person existed outside of her own anger. But then, times like this, times when for such brief moments Jade became real – rather than just an aggravated cardboard cut-out accessory to Tori's life – it was like being held under ice cold water and deprived of oxygen. Tori struggled internally for a second with her own metaphor; what she was trying to say... what she meant was, was that Jade, sometimes, made her feel dizzy and exhilarated and excruciatingly, mortally alive. In pain, but the good the kind.
"Why do you want me to care?" Jade's whispered, belated reply was barely more than a breath but it still made Tori's head swim.
"I- I guess, because I like you. I want to be your friend... I want you to, uh, to want to be my friend."
The paler girl caught her gaze, "you want me to want you?"
Tori swallowed. When she said it like that, with eye contact, with the continued feeling of not being able to breathe properly, with Jade's glittering eyes and half curling mouth, with Jade's lips only a lean away... when she said it like that Tori felt like melting. Like saying yes, yes, I want you to want me, the way I want you.
Tori wasn't good at knowing what she wanted, never had been. Since arriving at Hollywood Arts the new girl had no idea of how she wanted Jade (friend, lover, enemy, fantasy?) only that, impossibly, she did.
"Do you... uh, want me to want you to want me?"
Jade blinked, momentarily lost. "Sorry, it took a second for my goofball translator to kick in," she grinned – genuinely bright and amused. It faded pretty quickly though. She fidgeted with her folded knife and fork, and if Tori didn't know better, she'd guess that Jade looked almost nervous. "Yes. I want you to want me to want you. And... I want-" Jade cut herself off with a little self-deprecating sigh, "I'd like you to desireme."
Oh, thought Tori, oh. Initially she was taken aback by the unexpected confession but, when she really thought back, about all those times when Jade had stood a little too close, or had been a little too passionate about her (as oppose to her usual resigned disinterest with everyone else), or when her eyes had glinted with so much fury it seemed dangerously close to excitement... perhaps it wasn't so unexpected at all.
Jade was looking at her nervously, worrying her bottom lip. The foreign sight made Tori grin impulsively. And then realise that this was Jade and such expressions after the other girl's confession was probably akin to self-flagellation. She let her smile fall, "um, do you desire me?" She fixed her gaze on her hands, feeling stricken.
"Do you want me to desire you?" Tori's head snapped up, irritated until she recognised the teasing tone in Jades voice. She met the other girl's mischievous grin with a little breathless chuckle. This is what she meant – Jade could go from mean and closed off, to light and cheery and like the only thing that mattered in Tori's world; so quickly. It gave her whiplash.
"Look Vega I need to go." Jade pulled herself off the stool and nodded at the dishes, "I cooked, you clean. Fair deal." She smiled though, ducking down to reach her bag.
"Do you like me?"
Jade's smile was wicked, "you're alright Vega." She swung her bag onto her shoulder and began to make her way to the door. She grasped the handle and paused, "and Vega? No more crying right?"
And then she was gone, leaving Tori crumpled, tear stained, but smiling.
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