by Hatter of Madness

For not the first time, I couldn't get the door to my locker to budge.

I tried hitting it, slamming it, even putting in the combination backwards, but nothing happened. The door was stuck alright, and I had about thirty seconds to get to class. And if I didn't open the stupid door, again, I would be late.

Groaning, I wondered for a moment where my best friend Cat was. She always knew how to open my locker, though I couldn't for the life of me figure out how. Maybe she was just good at everything? Certainly, there was a lot that Cat was downright brilliant at: A great actress, a good friend, a terrific singer. And beautiful. Oh, was Cat beautiful.

Catherina Valentine was, in essence, my dream girl, but being me, I had no nerve to tell her that.

Fifteen seconds until the bell. My locker still wouldn't budge. I groaned a second time, giving up. My teacher wasn't going to be happy if I showed up without my textbook, but would she be even less happy if I was late again? I'd have to take the chance with the first one.

I nearly ran down the hall, sliding into my chair in just the nick of time. Luckily, we had a sub that day, so it didn't seem like I'd need my book after all. I hardly paid attention during attendance, barely responding when the teacher said 'Shapiro, Robert'.

But I was reminded of just how absolutely fabulous of a time I had been having when I heard 'Valentine, Catherina', followed by a silence.

"Catherina?" the teacher repeated, looking around the room.

"It's Cat," I mumbled.


"Her name is Cat," I said louder. "And no, she's not here."

"No Cat," the teacher mumbled, checking the box on the attendance. The class fell silent as she told us what our assignment was for the day. Since it was just to review the chapter we were reading (this was really one of the only school related classes I was in at Hollywood Arts), most people fell into conversation, so I was off the hook for not bringing my book. Luckily.

My friend Beck turned around and started idly talking to me. My responses left something to be desired, and finally Andre asked, "You alright, Andy Samberg?"

"I told you not to call me that," I huffed, "and I'm fine."

"Where's Little Red?" So he noticed the empty desk to my right, too.

"I don't know," I said, taking out my phone just to make sure that everything was okay. I had a message from her, which I read fearfully, my pulse returning to normal at the end. "She has to take care of her brother," I said. "He's sick." Thank God.

"Sicker than normal?" Andre asked.

I chuckled. "Apparently."

"So, tell me. When are you gonna tell Little Red, anyway?"

"What do you mean?"

"Well, I know things. You really care about her, I can tell. She's special, isn't she?"

I didn't know how to respond, so I finally blurted out, "I don't think I should tell her. She's still hung up on Tug and all, so…"

"Still? Rob, she needs to get over it, it's been a year," he said. "And if she can't see that you're a great guy, that's her loss."

"Thanks," I mumbled. I hastily sent a sad face to Cat, saying, "Be sure not to come down with something either." I looked up at Andre again, sighing and leaning back in my chair. "I know I should say something, but how do you tell your best friend that you're in love with her without wrecking your friendship?"

"I don't know, don't ask me," Andre said.

"Do you need some love advice?" Sinjin asked. I ignored him.

"How about this: I'll tell Cat I lo—have strong feelings for her when you do the same to Tori?"

"What!" Andre said in shock. "How'd you know about me and Tori?"

"Well, I didn't until now," I said, smiling guiltily.

He groaned. "No way, Rob. I'm not telling Tori that kind of thing."

"And you expect me to do it to Cat?"

There was a long pause, then he said, "I hate you, man. I really, really hate you."

I laughed. "Well, wouldn't it be something if you, me, and Beck, the three best friends, were all in relationships with three other best friends?"

"Yeah, it'd be nuts," Andre agreed.

"Do you need my help or not?" Sinjin asked.

"No," I said.

The rest of the day, along with the rest of the week, passed by in a blur. Cat didn't show up at school once. "Man," I said to Andre as we left school that Friday, "Cat's brother must be really sick if she's missed every day this week."

"Yeah, I know," Andre said. "I mean, Little Red's not exactly a perfect attendee, but she's never been gone this much from school."

I stopped by her locker (she had texted me the combination) to get her books for her, like she had asked. "When she came here on Wednesday to get her homework, she seemed really tired, too," I said, opening the locker with ease and growing increasingly angry at how my own locker wouldn't budge no matter how hard I pulled, hit, or twisted the lock. "He must really need to see a doctor or something."

"She said it was strep, I think," Andre said.

I sighed. "Poor Cat."

He laughed. "Poor Cat? You don't even feel sorry for her brother?"


Andre and I parted ways and I went to my locker, trying a trick that Cat had showed me for the five minutes she was at school just two days before. I couldn't get it to work quite like she did, but it still swung open and I grabbed my books and notes, walking towards the door of the school.

On the way out the door, I realized I had left my English journal in my locker, which I was going to need to write a response to literature on the two chapters of the novel that we were assigned to read and started to head back. On my way there, my phone rang. Digging it out of my bag, Cat's picture popped up on the screen, with 'Catherina' at the top. My heart started pounding in my chest. I knew what I had to do, based on several pep talks from Andre, Beck, and Tori.

"Hey, Cat," I said, answering the phone.

The background noise told me she was in the car. "I think I'm lost," she grumbled on the other end.

I frowned. "Are you driving?"

"My phone's hands free, don't worry," she promised, stifling a yawn.

"Man, you sound tired," I said.

"Yeah, a little. Can you tell me how to get to the drugstore? I was supposed to pick up some cough syrup for him but I have no idea where I am."

"How am I supposed to help you then?" I asked, leaning against a wall and fighting a grin.

"Don't mock me," she said. "I'm about a block away from the school. Can't you just tell me the directions from there?"

"Okay, well, the closest drugstore is about five blocks southeast. So just take a right, go straight for the next two intersections, and then another right. Or, you know, buy a GPS."

"Oh, you're a comedian," she said sarcastically, but I could tell she wanted to laugh. "Okay, I think I know where I'm going now. Thanks, Robbie, you're a lifesaver."

"Anytime. Oh—hey, Cat?" I wanted to stop her before she hang up the phone. "Can I ask you something real quick?"

"Sure, what is it?" She stifled a yawn again.

"Well, first, can I please ask that you no longer drive running on no sleep. Second, do you think I could come over later and talk to you about—"

I was cut off when I heard an ear splitting scream and the line went dead.

Hey guys ^_^ I'm hoping some of you remember my last Victorious fic, All We Know is Falling. This isn't the second Cat/Robbie story I promise you at the end of that one, but this idea just popped into my head this morning and I decided, what the hey. Yay for Cat/Robbie ~_~ Also, I cannot be the only person that was angry with the ending of the Blonde Squad. WHERE WAS THE CABBIE I WANTED? Okay um anyway before I start yelling at Dan Schneider, please review. xD

- Hatter of Madness