JADE

I broke up with Beck. It didn't go down as easily as I would have liked it to. But Tori and I did it, determined and quickly, like pulling off a band-aid. In his RV. We stood above him, holding hands as he sat on his bed. We explained to him everything about what happened, how it happened, how it affected the both of us.

He stayed silent the whole time, his face an ever-shifting platform of various restrained emotions. After we were done explaining our case and deeply apologizing for what we did, he got up from the bed, and opened the door for us to leave.

There was no yelling. He didn't look at us. Didn't say anything. Tori froze up, and I had to pull her out of the RV in silence.

After that, Beck was frigid cold to us. For the rest of the school year. Everyone seemed okay with Tori and I being together, which was great, but Beck wouldn't eat lunches with us, or hang out as usual. He'd be polite when we'd work together on things in class, but other than that, no one ever really saw him. He only really talked to Robbie, and that was after school or at his new job or whatever. Out of respect for Beck, Robbie wouldn't really discuss anything that Beck was up to, or what he would say about us...or anything for that matter.

It hurt me a lot. The lack of...anything, really. I knew that he was dealing with certain things, and a sense of betrayal, but I didn't want to lose him as a friend, and Tori would moan about it for hours on end. We had a couple of fights about it, but we knew stopped when we realized that in the end, it was out of our control, and there was no amount of meddling or scheming that might help us out.

School ended, the last days being sunny and warm and with clear skies.

Graduation happened. Beck finally gave us something to grasp at. In our robes and hats and after speeches and everything, he came up to me and Tori. He told us he was sorry for being quiet and for his attitude, and for the way he had been treating us.

"I just had to process a lot," he said. "I felt angry, and like shit...but...I didn't want to lose the people...the friends that I love."

It was something. But things weren't too perfect, even after that. Tori and I, and to an extent, a lot of other people, walked on eggshells when Beck started hanging out with us again. Tori and I weren't public with our affection to begin with - cause I hate couples who are like that to begin with anyway! - but when Beck was with us, we cut it down to almost absolute zero.

The real bummer part of the summer came when we all had to testify in court to the various offenses those Northridge super-ganks had put us through. They ended up getting house arrest for it, and in the court they didn't look as badass as they had tried to be in the past. They looked weak and sad and angry. It was also weird to see their parents, and how ashamed they looked for raising girls who were undoubtedly terrible. It was a surreal, tough week for all of us, reliving events and learning about things and going through the ringer in terms of things that bothered us. Even Cat wasn't her usual wide-eyed self while in the courtroom, looking sullen with Robbie's arm around her.

Andre, Beck, Robbie, Sinjin, Trina, Cat, Me, and Tori were all a little shaken up by the trial for reasons we're still trying to process and understand. It was soon after it that we all decided to go on a graduation trip together. Like how I had planned with Beck before the play, and before everything. We crammed into his RV-trailer-thing and headed up to Yosemite, stopping off at the Scissor Tour first.

We camped out under the stars and shared memories and laughs and all that. But it was bittersweet as we headed home, the long drive as silent as anything could ever be. Our group was splitting up, heading in their different directions.

Andre started doing voiceover and music work for commercials and animated movies. Cat and Robbie started a music group together and began touring the country almost immediately. Beck moved to New York to try his hand at Broadway. Sinjin started work at a production company. Trina began looking for acting work, staying close to Sinjin whenever she could.

Tori and I didn't know what to do. Over the summer, she was accepted into university for science. I decided - with much discussion with her - that I'd try for late acceptance, to start in second term in the fine arts department. I got it, and all I had to do was wait. We both decided we needed a trip together before school started, and we put in time at part time jobs. I worked at a coffee place - which I hated, because customers are terrible - and she took a job at a clothing store. We worked long hours, not really seeing much of each other. We decided it was better that way, to make the trip together more special.

Tori picked the place. A little town in Mexico. For two weeks, we'd just relax and be with each other.


Tori comes up to me, hopping across the beach's sand.

"Ow, ow, ow!" she grimaces with each step, the sand hot on the soles of her feet, before flopping in the chair next to me. She gives me a bottle of water and opens her own.

"Thanks," I tell her. I breath in the salt-tinged air, look out at the ocean in front of me, at how blue it is. How it'll look with the sun setting over it.

Tori's little town was barely the size of Hollywood Arts. There were a couple of small restaurants and a little bodega, but other than that, it was just the beach. We stayed in a room with red tiles on the floor, a small balcony that looked out on to the main street, and stray cats that seemed to lounge everywhere we went.

It was quiet, and I was with Tori, and it was what I needed.

"Should we go to the city tomorrow night?" I ask. We had been tempted by the nightlife of a place nearby, known for its clubs and malls.

"Maybe," she says lazily. "I'm kind of happy here."

"Yeah."

"You're not getting bored, are you?" she asks me, lowering her shades to look me in the eyes.

"Not one little bit," I say with a big, wide, truthful smile.

"Good," she says, resting back into her chair and picking up a book.

I can't stop looking at her in the two piece she has on. Purple like the flowers I got her. The cast gone from her hand. Her firm stomach. Her breasts. Her hair. How good she looks.

"How do I look?" I ask. I have a big floppy sun hat on, and a black bikini. I do a little pose for her, and she grins.

"Like a hundred million dollars," she says. I grin and shoot off my seat, tackling her and tickling her to happy shouts. After a few moments, I smile at her and kiss her softly.

"We should totally go clubbing tomorrow," I tell her. I think about her dancing in my dream and how she danced at that party we went to. "You'll look so hot."

And she laughs and kisses me and shakes her head in disbelief. Honest, happy emotions. It looks good on her, and I'm glad to be a part of it.

THE END


A/N - Thank you everyone for reading, reviewing, following, liking, etc.! It's been fun to write, fun to tell this story, fun to be on this journey.