I honestly have no idea where this idea came from...so yeah. Enjoy!
"Jade's appendix ruptured. She just went in for emergency surgery now."
Cat blinks and tries to process the information coming from Tori's soft voice over the phone. She hears the sadness in her friend's voice and bites down on her bottom lip to stop herself from crying. People's appendix burst every day, right?
"I'm on my way to get you now, okay?"
Cat doesn't move. She buries her face into the soft fabric of her pillow and lets out a little sob. Jade. Appendix. Ruptured. The sentence is so heartbreaking to her. Ruptured is such a scary word to Cat. It's like exploding. She starts to think about Jade's stomach exploding and the pain. She doesn't like when Jade's in pain. It makes her feel pain. So she pulls up her pajama shirt and starts to clutch her stomach tightly as it starts to ache lightly. Her heart starts to race. What if something happens to Jade? Who would take care of her?
Tori appears in her bedroom three minutes later. Cat doesn't notice until she feels the bed shift and catches a whiff of Tori's sweet smelling perfume.
"Cat, it's okay," Tori promises softly. Her voice isn't sad anymore which makes Cat feel a little better.
Cat sits up and stares at Tori wide-eyed. "Will Jade be okay?"
"Of course," Tori promises, pulling Cat in for a hug. "People's appendix rupture every day, Cat." Cat's glad Tori is there to reaffirm her earlier thinking. "Why don't you take a few things to keep you occupied at the hospital? It could be a while."
Cat nods and begins to gather a few books and crayons to shove in her empty school bag. She grabs Mr. Purple and then reaches for Tori's hand. She smiles when Tori squeezes it and then swings their arms up in the air when they walk down the stairs.
She spends the car ride counting the dots on Mr. Purple's fur. There's seventeen in total. Seventeen is Jade's favorite number. It makes her smile.
Beck immediately wraps Cat in a tight hug when they get to the hospital waiting room. Cat's been here so many times before that she has to keep reminding herself it's for Jade and not for her brother. She feels bad, but she wishes it were for her brother. At least then Jade would be okay.
Tori hovers behind and eventually guides her to a chair to help her settle. Cat just smiles and lets Tori treat her like a little kid because it makes her feel special and safe. Tori acts like her mother a lot. Cat enjoys it.
"Have you heard anything?"
Beck just shakes his head. "The doctor said the surgery could take up to two hours."
Cat whimpers and hugs Mr. Purple. "Will Jadey be okay?" she asks again. This time, her voice is heartbreakingly small and it makes Beck want to cry. Tori even knows that Jade's utterly adorable nickname of 'Jadey' is only reserved for special times when Cat either wants something or is terribly sad.
"Of course," Beck promises with a wink. He reaches behind Tori to ruffle Cat's hair affectionately. "You know what would cheer her up?"
"A picture of a purple tiger."
Cat breaks into a dimply smile and claps. "I brought my favorite coloring book!"
Tori sends Beck a thankful smile and rubs his shoulder. Cat slides down to the floor on her knees and rests her coloring book on the rickety table. Tori runs her fingers through Cat's ponytail to keep her calm.
Twenty minutes later, Cat feels restless. Her eyes are growing heavy and she can't seem to concentrate on anything else but Jade being cut open at the moment.
"How much longer?"
She knows both Beck and Tori are getting annoyed with her. "Not much longer now," Beck says vaguely.
Cat turns around with her bottom lip jut out as far as it goes. "You said that the last time! I want to see Jade!"
The other people in the waiting room begin to stare and Tori buries her face deep into her hands. Cat begins to sniffle and if no one does anything in the next ten seconds, she'll launch into a fit of inconsolable hysteria until she can see Jade.
"She's still in surgery, Cat."
Beck glares at Tori. Wrong answer.
Cat starts to visual Jade lying on a cool metal table with a big scalpel cutting her pale stomach open and it scares her. It scares her so much that she starts rocking back and forth, covering her ears as Tori tries to console her.
"Ssh, Cat, it's okay," Tori whispers, bending down next to Cat. "Jade will be fine. I promise you."
"I want to see Jade," Cat whimpers, burying herself into Tori's arms. "I want to see Jade, Tori!"
"You will," Beck cuts in. Cat hears the irritation in his voice and holds Tori tighter.
Somehow, Tori maneuvers them both back into a chair and holds Cat on her lap and lets her cry softly into her shoulder.
"You're okay," Tori keeps whispering over and over again, rubbing Cat's back and rocking her gently. "You're okay."
Beck stands up and glances at the clock on the wall. "I'm going for a walk. Do you need anything?"
Tori just shakes her head helplessly and rests her chin atop Cat's head. "No. Take your time." When Beck shuffles away, she tilts Cat's chin up so they're looking each other straight in the eyes. "Hey, tell me what happened on I Married my Mom last night."
Cat's tears dissipate and she breaks into a loud giggle.
Beck's confused when he returns nearly a half hour later when he sees Tori playing on her PearPhone alone. He plops down next to her and holds the ice cream cup he got for Cat on his knee.
"Bathroom," Tori mumbles, not looking up from her phone.
"You let her go alone?"
Tori finally looks up and laughs. "It's right there, Jade," she teases, pointing to a door that's barely five feet away.
Cat emerges from the bathroom, rubbing her eyes tiredly. Beck nudges Tori to look ahead. "Do you think we should call Robbie or Andre to come pick her up?"
"No," Tori whispers when Cat's within ear shot. "She wouldn't go anyway."
Cat smiles shyly at Beck and snuggles back in Tori's lap. She eyes the chocolate ice cream on Beck's leg and smiles. "Is that for me?"
Beck takes the ice cream off his knee and looks under the cup playfully. "It doesn't have your name on it but I guess you can have it."
"Thank you!" Cat squeals, leaning forward to hug Beck. She sighs contently against his shoulder when he hugs her back. He's not mad anymore. "I love you, Beck."
"I love you, too, Cat," Beck chuckles. Having Cat around is a lot like having a kid of his own sometimes. He wouldn't have it any other way though. "Don't eat it so fast or you'll get brain freeze."
"Kay, kay," Cat drawls out in between bites of ice cream.
Fifteen seconds later, she cries: "brain freeze!"
"We should get Jade coffee for when she wakes up."
Beck tilts his head in interest at Cat and pats her knee. "That's a good idea, Cat. But she probably can't have coffee right after surgery."
Cat slides off Tori's lap and attempts to pull her up. "She can just smell it then! Come on, Tori!"
"Okay, okay," Tori laughs softly, hurling herself up before Cat pulls her arm out of its socket. Beck signals he's staying put and promises to text if he hears anything. "Do you know where you're going?" she asks when Cat begins to drag her down a seemingly deserted hallway.
"Uh huh," Cat nods confidently. "I could walk around this hospital in my sleep!"
Tori stops herself from asking why and then starts to remember all the crazy stories she's heard about Cat's brother. "I bet you could."
Cat squeals once they get to the cafeteria and drops Tori's hand to rush over to the crowded coffee area. Tori catches up quickly and wraps her arm around Cat's waist to stop her from barreling people over to get coffee for Jade. Cat sighs in anticipation but leans back into Tori and plays with the ring on her friend's finger.
"Cat?" Tori jokes, giving Cat's middle a squeeze.
Cat takes a deep breath and bites the inside of her cheek. "W-what if Jade, what if something goes wrong with Jadey's surgery?"
Tori turns Cat around so they're facing one another. "Nothing," she says forcefully, "will go wrong with Jade's surgery."
"Pinky swear?" Cat whispers, holding up her pinky for Tori. Tori nods and interlocks their pink together. "But if it did…would you take care of me?"
"Oh, Cat," Tori whispers while pulling Cat in for a bone crushing hug. "Of course I would. We all would. But you know what?"
"Jade will be fine," Tori continues to whisper as she bites back her tears. Cat's vulnerability is getting too much to handle.
"I know," Cat whispers against Tori's shoulder. "I just never really thank you for always being there for me."
Tori stares down at Cat's big doe eyes and kisses her forehead softly. Cat pulls away with a shy smile and makes a beeline for the coffee when all the other patrons scatter in different directions. She picks up the largest cup on the table and fills it all the way to the rim, dumping two sugar packets in before securing the lid on tightly.
"I'm gonna decorate the cup for Jade!" Cat grins from ear to ear, carefully cradling the piping hot cup with both hands.
"I think you should draw some ducks on it."
Cat looks up at Tori in shock. "Jade doesn't like duckies, Tori!"
Tori just laughs and ruffles Cat's hair.
When they get back, Beck's talking to a rather mean looking doctor (in Cat's opinion). Cat momentarily forgets she has a hot cup of coffee in her hands and starts to dash over, stopping short when the piping hot liquid trickles out of the side. She yelps in pain and almost drops the cup on the floor. Tori swoops in and takes the cup from Cat's hands.
"Is Jadey okay?" Cat asks in one breath while running full speed toward Beck.
Beck rubs Cat's back when she throws her arms around his waist. "The doctor said the surgery went great. We can go see her in a few minutes."
He leaves out the part where the doctor tells him had Jade waited any longer to go to the hospital, she could have died.
Cat jumps up and down in happiness and gathers Mr. Purple and the purple tiger she colored for Jade earlier.
"We have to be quiet, okay, Cat?" Beck tells Cat once they reach the outside of Jade's room. Number seventeen. Cat smiles. "She's gonna be a little groggy so don't get upset if she's in and out of sleep."
Cat nods with a pout and latches onto Tori's hand when Beck gently opens the door to Jade's room. It's very dim and the sterile smell makes Cat's nose burn.
"I'm scared," Cat whispers to Tori, stopping short once she catches a glimpse of Jade in the hospital bed. Her eyes are closed and her black hair is splashed all over the pillow like a net.
"It's okay," Tori says, squeezing her friend's hand. "She'll be happy to see you."
Cat nods and puts on a brave face as Tori's leads them closer and closer to Jade's bed. She starts to think about all the pain Jade must be in and buries herself into Tori's side with a whimper. Tori just sighs and rubs Cat's back.
A few minutes later, a small groan emits from Jade's mouth as her eyes flutter open slowly. Cat's still buried in Tori's arms and refuses to turn around.
Beck greets his girlfriend with a small kiss and reaches for her hand. "How are you feeling?"
Jade just groans again.
"Hey, Jade," Tori greets softly.
"Ugh, Vega," Jade says hoarsely. "It's too soon to be seeing you."
Tori playfully rolls her eyes and pats Cat's back. "Good to see you're the same old Jade we know and…love."
Beck watches the small smile on Jade's face dissolve into a frown when she realizes Cat is attached to Tori's side. "She's a little scared," he whispers to her, brushing the hair out of her face.
Jade takes a deep breath and motions for Tori to bring Cat over. Tori complies and has to practically lift Cat off the ground to get her to move.
"Cat," Jade whispers, using all her strength to lift her arm and tug on the back of Cat's pajama shirt. "Cat," she tries again, wincing at how awful her voice sounds. Tori shoots her a sympathetic look and tries to pry Cat off her. "I need a Cat hug right now."
Cat finally lifts her head to look Jade in the eye and stares at her friend with a wobbly bottom lip and tear-stained cheeks. "I, I don't want to hurt you."
"You won't," Jade promises with a weak smile.
Cat gives Mr. Purple and her picture to Beck and just stares at Jade. "You scared me, Jadey!" she cries, perching herself on the side of the bed when Beck moves.
"I know, baby girl," Jade says softly, patting the small space next to her. "Come here."
"Kay," Cat whispers hesitantly, looking to Beck for the okay. When he nods with a smile, she slowly crawls up and buries herself between Jade and the bar on the hospital bed.
"Careful, Cat," Tori says softly, biting her lip when Cat turns to drop her head on Jade's shoulder and drape her left arm across her chest.
"She's fine, Vega," Jade snaps. It's not at all threatening because her voice is so hoarse, but Tori gets the picture. "Go get me some water."
"Yes, your highness," Tori mumbles, turning on her heel.
Beck takes a few steps back to give them their space and hangs up Cat's picture with his wad of gum. Jade eyes it skeptically but lets a small smile slip out anyway.
"Did it hurt when they cut you open?" Cat asks, her voice muffled by Jade's shoulder.
"No," Jade says, watching as Cat idly traces the circle patterns on her paper-thin hospital gown. She shuts her eyes because she knows Cat's about to ask fifty million questions pertaining to her surgery. "They only made small incisions."
"Do you have an appendix scar like Madeline?" Cat squeals excitedly.
"What?" Jade groans. "No. I don't know what that is."
"Madeline!" Cat shouts, slowly sitting up on her knees. "The little girl who lives in Paris, Jadey! Her appendix burst like yours! She has to go to the hospital and get them removed and all the little girls are jealous of her scar! So you don't have a scar then, Jade? Will you? Can I see it?"
"Beck," Jade whines, motioning for her boyfriend to take Cat. "Make it stop."
Beck chuckles and walks back over to the bed. "Congrats, babe. Cat's back to her happy old self."
"Take her," Jade commands tiredly.
"Aw, phooey," Cat pouts when Beck lifts her off the bed and holds her on his hip like she's some unruly toddler. But she doesn't fight it when she sees how tired Jade looks. "I'll come back tomorrow with cupcakes, Jade!"
Jade mumbles something that Cat assumes is a goodbye. She waves back frantically over Beck's shoulder.
"I'll trade you," Beck says when Tori re-enters the room.
Tori looks at the cup of water in her hand and then at a smiling Cat. "I guess."
Cat giggles as Beck puts her down. She swings Mr. Purple from side to side, waving goodbye to Jade one more time before Tori grabs her hand and pulls her along down the hall.
"Wait, Tori, wait!" Cat cries suddenly, stopping short. She detaches herself from Tori's grip. "I'll be right back."
Tori knows she should probably stop Cat from running back into Jade's room but she really doesn't have the energy for it. Instead, she drags herself slowly behind the bouncy redhead and waits outside.
When Cat reaches Jade's room, she tiptoes in and smiles at Beck cutely.
"What are you doing?" Beck asks quietly, motioning to a sleeping Jade.
Cat doesn't answer and carefully tucks Mr. Purple in the crook of Jade's arm.
"So she doesn't get lonely tonight," she whispers to Beck. "Mr. Purple always helps my brother get through his hospital visits!"
Beck rubs Cat's shoulder. "She'll love it."
"Make sure he goes to bed at a reasonable hour!" Cat calls out once she's halfway through the door.
Beck just stares because he's not entirely sure if Cat's joking or not. He glances at Mr. Purple all wrapped up in Jade's arms and can't help but smile.
Then, he takes out his phone and takes a bunch of pictures so he can tease her later on.