We've reached the end! I just want to thank you all so much for reading and reviewing. I hope this ending suffices. Hope you all have a wonderful holiday! I'll see you all with my next story-whenever that may be.
Jade had been sober for forty-five days.
She took her recovery day by day. Beck was still watching her like a hawk but she enjoyed it. It finally made her realize he was never going to give up on her like her father gave up on her mother. Beck was supportive and knew just what to do when she suddenly felt like drinking. He dragged her to AA meetings three times a week and although Jade didn't think she needed that much help, she still went and listened. On occasion, she shared. It was an odd feeling to have so much support from a room full of strangers but it made her grateful. They all had been through the same thing as her.
"Are you sure you want to do this?"
Jade couldn't help but roll her eyes as Beck reached for her suitcase. The JFK airport in New York City was crawling with over eager paparazzi, waiting impatiently to get the first shot of Jade West out in public for the first time since leaving rehab two weeks ago. While Beck wanted to go some place private, Jade insisted they go to New York City to catch Tori's final show. Beck knew it was more to see Cat, but he went along with it. Jade still hadn't spoken to Cat. They both decided it was best not to tell her that Jade was home. Though she felt great, Jade still had a long road ahead of her. Tori knew the two were coming to see her show but she promised to keep it a secret from Cat. Jade knew the reaction from her best friend would be worth it.
"Yes," Jade snipped playfully once they clambered into the town car. "I'd much rather watch Vega perform to a sold out crowd at Madison Square Garden than lay on the beach in St. Kitts."
Beck grinned and pulled Jade close to his chest. "Jade West, you've changed."
"Watch it," Jade warned, digging her elbow into Beck's side. "Besides," she cleared her throat airily. "We can go to St. Kitts anytime."
"I think I owe it to Vega to support her," Jade whispered. Her tone was dull, but Beck knew she was genuine. "After all, she put up with a lot of crap. And she's had Cat for the past month and a half."
Beck rubbed Jade's arm as they fell into a comfortable silence. "Are you nervous?"
"About?" Jade asked quizzically. She knitted her eyebrows together and stared at her boyfriend impatiently. "What would I be nervous about?"
"Seeing Cat," Beck said lightly.
Jade was silent again. She wasn't nervous about seeing Cat. She was absolutely petrified.
They spent the rest of the car ride huddled together, Beck pointing out various spots where he had shot his latest film. Jade listened with a tight smile, not because she was annoyed, but because Beck's tour-guide voice was beginning to grate. Once they got settled into the hotel, Jade took a nap while Beck (used to the time change), played on his PearPad and mulled over a few scripts. He peered at Jade while she slept soundly, smiling at how at ease she looked nowadays. Beck made a decision to take a break from acting while Jade recovered. A new hit movie was not something that interested him for the time being. Jade's health did.
Beck put his PearPad on the nightstand beside him and cuddled up next to Jade. It was hard sleeping alone in a big bed for a month. Even though it had been two weeks since she returned, Beck still reveled in the feeling of Jade's warm body pressed into his.
Jade stirred instantly. "What?" she grumbled tiredly, trying to roll over in Beck's strong embrace. "You're being cheesy again."
"I just want to cuddle," Beck teased with a smile, kissing Jade's head.
Scowling, Jade pushed Beck off her. "Well now that you've woken me up," she trailed off, sitting up and stretching. Beck pinched her sides when her shirt rode up a little. "Go get me some coffee."
"Yes, ma'am," Beck saluted jokingly. Jade narrowed her eyes, but broke into a smile when he clambered off the bed. "Starbucks or Jet Brew?"
"Why are you asking a stupid question when you already know the answer?"
Beck continued to smile. "Starbucks?"
"Beck!" Jade whined.
Jade responded by throwing a pillow Beck's way. He easily dodged it and chuckled when it went crashing into an expensive looking lamp. "Look at what you did," Jade chided Beck, pointing to the mess. "Way to go."
But Beck just kept grinning. It was good to have the old Jade back.
"Girl, if you keep pacing you're gonna burn a hole in the floor," Andre commented while Tori continued to walk around in circles at the venue.
Tori groaned and tugged nervously at her messy ponytail. "I'm nervous!"
"Why?" Andre questioned.
"I just am," Tori admitted tiredly. She was grateful it was her last concert for quite some time. After tonight, she'd be able to take a full month off and catch up on her sleep. Admittedly, Cat was doing a whole lot better than she was a couple weeks ago. "I'm nervous for Cat."
"She's done a lot of growing up," Andre reminded Tori softly. "You did good, Tori Vega."
Tori smiled shyly and plopped down on the leather couch in her dressing room. She sent Cat off with her assistant to go shopping at FAO Schwartz so that Cat could add to her stuffed animal collection. Jade probably wasn't going to like the extra weight in Cat's suitcase when they took her back, but Tori was almost hoping Jade was lash out on her like she did in high school. Even just speaking to Jade on the phone she knew things were starting to return to normal. Jade was snippy, but also very thankful for everything Tori did.
"I'm just afraid what her reaction to Jade being back is going to be," Tori muttered. She picked at her nails and sighed. "I don't want her to morph back into that little girl again."
Andre patted Tori's shoulder in comfort. "I don't think she will. Jade's sober now. Cat was acting like that for attention."
"Jade didn't even realize it…"
Andre opened his mouth to say something but was cut off when there was a sharp knock on Tori's dressing room door. She smoothed out her skirt and stopped short when the door flung open, revealing Beck and Jade.
"We've been waiting, Vega," Jade quipped with a smirk. She didn't even hesitate to wrap Tori in an embrace when the other girl simply laughed and headed straight for her.
"Look at you," Tori smiled against Jade's shoulder, squeezing her tight. "You look amazing, Jade."
Jade pulled back and playfully rolled her eyes. "Yeah, I know," she said softly, leaning down to hug Andre while Beck quickly hugged Tori. "Where's the little redheaded child?"
"Shopping with Sophie."
"God, that girl is so annoying," Jade said with a scowl. Sophie, Tori's assistant, was probably the perkiest person she had ever met. She even put Cat's happiness to shame. Nothing bothered Sophie. Naturally, Jade hated her. "What time will they be back?"
Tori looked at the clock on the wall and shrugged. "Pretty soon. I told Sophie to bring her back by five."
"Andre," Beck cleared his throat. "Didn't you want to show me something?" He knew Jade was reluctantly going to apologize to Tori for her actions.
Beck simply pulled Andre up and dragged him out the door, leaving an awkward Jade and Tori lingering in the middle of the room together. Tori sat and soon gestured for Jade to join her.
"Look, Vega," Jade began, twiddling her thumbs as she stared directly at the soft carpeted floor. She couldn't bring herself to look Tori in the eye for fear she'd start crying. "I'm sorry for the way I treated you these past few months."
"It's okay," Tori began softly.
"It's not," Jade cut in hotly. "It's not okay. I should have listened to you guys when I got arrested. God knows what would have happened if I did."
Tori looked at Jade sympathetically and patted her shoulder. "That's because you're stubborn, Jade West."
"Who me?" Jade mocked in her Southern Belle voice.
"I don't talk like that!" Tori and Jade yelled simultaneously. The two broke out into identical laughter, the awkwardness slowly beginning to dissipate.
Jade knew she couldn't beat around the bush anymore. "How was Cat?"
"It was hard for her at first," Tori started softly. She studied Jade's face and sighed when she saw it was crumbling. "But she's doing a lot better. She's more independent. Less clingy." When Jade just nodded, Tori didn't know what else to say. She reached for Jade's hand and squeezed it in comfort. "She'll be so excited to see you."
Tori laughed. "Jade, stop," she chastised lightly. "You're her best friend. She asked Beck every day how you were. She told the crew how proud she was that you went to get help. We had more good days than bad ones."
"I don't know what to say to her," Jade mumbled, absently picking at her black tights. She looked at Tori helplessly. "Or how to explain why I did what I did."
"Just tell her the truth," Tori said. She glanced at the clock. It was almost five. "I think she deserves to know what it's going to be like for the next few months. Don't lie to her, Jade. I think that's why she acted the way she did."
Jade nodded and continued to stare at the floor. The last thing she wanted to do was diminish all the progress Cat had seemingly made over the last month. She didn't want to traumatize the girl and tell her that sometimes, she still longed for a drink and snapped at everyone who got in her way. But she was determined to prevail. She wasn't her mother and that was something she had come to terms with while in rehab.
"You'll be okay," Tori encouraged, holding her arms out. "Come on, give Tori a squeeze!"
"Shut it, Vega," Jade smirked, shrinking in Tori's tight grasp. "You're so bony."
Tori just shrugged with an amused smile and glanced at her phone. "Sophie just texted me. They're back."
Jade felt like she was going to puke. Her hands started to tremble as she stood to her feet, desperate to settle herself before Cat came barging into the room. Tori rubbed her back and went to open the door; keeping it half shut so Jade stayed hidden.
"Tori!" Cat's shrill voice rang through the hallways. "Guess what I got?"
"Tell me later," Tori said in a soft and caring tone. "I have a surprise for you."
"Is it bibble?"
Jade laughed into her hands. She nodded when Tori looked behind to make sure it was okay she opened the door.
"Then what is it?" Cat asked impatiently. Jade knew she was probably pouting.
"Just come in," Tori laughed, reaching for Cat's hand and tugging her in. She stepped aside to reveal Jade, watching the excitement on Cat's face quickly turn into surprise and shock. "Look who came to see you."
Jade waved stupidly. Cat was still frozen in place, the large bag she was carrying now resting on the floor in a heap. Cat, unsure how to react, scooted closer to Tori and tugged nervously at her shirt. Jade blinked back the tears and remained in place.
"Go ahead," Tori encouraged softly, rubbing Cat's back.
Cat didn't need to be told twice. She took two giant steps and launched herself at Jade, keeping her promise and jumping into her arms. Jade nearly stumbled back but held on tight when Cat's legs and arms tangled around her waist and neck.
"Jade!" Cat blubbered as she burst into tears. "I missed you!"
"Those better be happy tears," Jade teased as she squeezed Cat.
"They are," Cat giggled with a sniffle. She buried her face into the nape of Jade's neck and patted her black hair lovingly. "I missed you sooo much," she repeated.
"I missed you, too, baby girl," Jade whispered, trying to keep her emotions in check. Tori excused herself with a smile and shut the door behind her.
"You look like my Jade again," Cat beamed as she slid back down to her feet. She instantly hugged Jade's waist tight. "I missed you."
Jade rubbed Cat's back and inhaled the comforting scent of her vanilla body spray. She guided Cat to the couch and wasn't surprised when the little redhead crawled into her lap. Normally, she'd push her off and grumble about personal space but they both needed it.
"Are you all better now?" Cat asked innocently once the silence became too much.
"I'm getting there," Jade answered honestly. She rested her chin atop Cat's head and squeezed her lightly. "I have good days and bad days."
Cat sunk her teeth into her bottom lip and sighed. "What are your bad days like?"
"I can be mean," Jade chuckled. "Look, Cat. I just want you to know that I'm trying my hardest, okay? So if there are days where I'm snapping and begging for a drink, don't let me."
"I can do that," Cat whispered, playing with the rings on Jade's finger. She snuggled deeper into Jade's arms and let the familiarity comfort her. "I'm going to help you, Jade. I promise."
Jade smiled and rubbed Cat's arm. "I just don't want you to be scared."
"But it's okay if you are," Jade continued after a few calming breaths. She bit back a sigh when Cat pulled away and sat up straight in her lap. "Cat-"
"No!" Cat squeaked, frantically shaking her head. "I'll be fine, Jade! You've always helped me," she pouted, crossing her arms. "Now it's my turn you help you."
All Jade could do was smile. It was still a touchy subject, even for her. "I heard you're picking out Vega's clothes for the tour. She does dress a lot better now."
Cat beamed at the compliment and clapped her hands. "It's so fun! It's like dressing a real live Barbie," she giggled. Then, she turned serious. "Melanie, she's Tori's real stylist. She's so nice, Jade! Melanie said I should go to design school!"
"Yeah," Cat continued softly. "There's a school in San Francisco…"
"You want to go to San Francisco?" Jade cut in. She felt her heart drop.
"Someday," Cat admitted meekly, suddenly feeling very small. "Tori said she would help me apply for the next spring semester. That's like…six months away."
Jade didn't know how to react. She wanted to be happy for Cat but she wasn't so sure her best friend would survive on her own in San Francisco. "Cat, that's-"
"Pretty soon you and Beck are gonna start going away again for your movies," Cat pouted. "I don't want to be alone at home. I want to do something with my life!"
"Then go for it," Jade replied, her voice barely above a whisper. She knew she had to let Cat go at some point. "I think you'll make an excellent stylist one day."
Cat's eyes got wide as she stared at Jade. "R-really?"
"Really, baby girl," Jade confirmed, hugging Cat to her chest. "Go for it."
"Do you mean it?"
"Because if you're lying!"
"Cat," Jade groaned, putting her hand over Cat's mouth so she could stop interrupting. "Go to San Francisco. Beck and I can pay for everything."
"No! I want to do everything by myself," Cat said matter-of-factly. She was grateful Jade was so supportive but this was something she wanted to accomplish on her own. "Melanie has a store she said I could start working at. You and Beck already do too much for me. I'm an adult, Jade!"
Jade could only nod. "You're a real live grownup now, Cat."
Cat threw her arms around Jade and hugged her tightly. "But when we get back to LA can we have a sleep over in your bed? Beck can sleep on the couch!"
"I'm sure he'll love that."
Cat giggled and stood up to her feet, pulling Jade up with her. "Where's Beck? I wanna see him!"
"Beck joined the circus."
"Jade!" Cat screeched in amusement. She grabbed Jade's hand and pulled her out of the room and down the hall.
"I'm serious, Cat," Jade continued dryly. "He's now a lion tamer."
Cat continued to giggle while she skipped down the hall. Once she caught sight of Beck, she dropped Jade's hand and went charging toward him. "Beck!" she cried out in delight, jumping into his arms as soon as he turned around.
"Cat!" Beck mocked, hugging the little redhead tight once he got a firm grip on her.
"Jade's back," she whispered, looking up at Beck shyly. "Our Jade is back!"
Beck looked at a smiling Jade and rubbed Cat's back, setting her down to the ground. "She is."
"Nice job, Vega," Jade commented once Tori's show ended. "You don't sound as tone deaf as you did in high school"
Tori rolled her eyes and took a large gulp of water. "Hah, hah."
"You sounded great," Beck praised, cursing under his breath when Jade elbowed him in the ribs.
"I'm starving," Andre complained while he rubbed his stomach. "How about we go get some food?"
Beck sent Jade a concerned look and pulled her close. "We'll probably just head back to the hotel and order in."
When it came to eating out, Jade was still very wary. Three days after she got out of rehab, Beck took her to Nozu where Mrs. Lee showered Jade with three different kinds of wine. Beck quickly ushered Jade out of the restaurant and they decided not to eat out for a while until Jade was one hundred percent comfortable. She didn't want to be where temptation was.
"No!" Cat whined, her little fingers wrapping around Jade's wrist.
Tori pulled Cat away and rubbed her shoulders. She clearly got the message. "We could go back to my suite and order pizza. How does that sound, Cat?"
"It sounds yummy," Cat nodded in satisfaction.
Beck motioned for Cat to follow and slung an arm around her shoulders when she skipped in between him and Jade. "I heard you want to go to San Francisco."
Cat looked up at Beck and shrugged. "Maybe."
"Yes," Jade corrected, nudging Cat with her elbow. "She wants to go in the spring."
Jade wasn't too keen on Cat leaving but there was nothing she could go. Cat was an adult and could do whatever she wanted to. "Our baby's growing up," she joked to Beck, laughing softly.
Cat just giggled and held tight to Jade's arm when they left the side door of the venue. There were tons of paparazzi and fans waiting. Beck stepped closer to Cat and Jade to make sure they were protected. He even signed a couple of autographs while Jade lingered behind with Cat, wondering if she would ever get to Beck's level of fame.
"Jade," Beck whispered, taking Cat by the arm. "Those scary looking girls over there want a picture with you."
Jade raised an eyebrow. "W-what?"
"Go on, Jadey," Cat encouraged proudly. She pushed Jade toward the crowd and smiled up at Beck.
Jade never really knew how to deal with the fans. She always tried to grin and bear it but ever since she left rehab more and more people seemed to want her autograph and a picture with her. It was always the hardest part of fame. Why would someone obsess over a stranger? It made no sense.
"Oh my god, Jade West!" a portly woman screeched inhumanely.
Jade fought the urge to roll her eyes and quickly signed a flimsy piece of paper for the woman. "Hi," she choked out awkwardly.
"You need to play Tawny Walker-Black in The Scissoring remake."
"Uh, that would be great," Jade said absently as she signed a few more autographs. "Hopefully."
"You would look perfect in that bloody wedding dress."
Maybe this wasn't so bad, Jade thought to herself with a smirk. "I know."
After all the compliments, Jade was beaming. She even posed for a few pictures until Tori just had to come out and usurp all the attention. Jade returned to Beck and Cat and patted Cat's head when she snuggled into her side. Tori signed as many autographs as she could before security whisked her away into the awaiting limo. Cat climbed in behind Andre and sat in between him and Tori. They spent the short ride back to the hotel in silence. Tori was pretty exhausted, as was Cat. She dropped her head on Andre's shoulder and closed her eyes. Pretty soon, she was fast asleep.
"Figures," Jade rolled her eyes once she noticed Cat. "Do you want us to take her?"
Andre nodded and passed Cat to Beck. "Little Red is all yours. I think it's gonna take a month to recover from being with her every day."
"Hah," Jade smirked. "Now you know how it feels."
Tori climbed out of the limo behind Jade and rubbed Cat's back. "I have all her stuff in my room if you want to get it before you guys leave tomorrow."
"You can FedEx it back," Jade said shortly. "I don't even want to think about all the useless crap she bought on the road."
"I tried to talk her out of buying a lot of it…"
"Bite me, Vega," Jade snipped jokingly. "You probably bought it for her knowing that it would annoy me."
"I did no such thing," Tori smiled innocently. She and Andre followed Beck and Jade into the elevator and glanced at Cat. "We should get breakfast tomorrow before you leave."
Jade stepped off the elevator and shook her head. "I've already spent enough time with you as it is. I don't want the media to think we're friends."
"We have an early fight tomorrow," Beck chuckled as he shifted Cat to his other hip. "Besides, Jade hates breakfast."
"Girl, you're strange," Andre couldn't help but say.
"You're just realizing this?" Beck joked, using Cat as a shield when Jade went to punch him in the arm. "Don't wake the Cat."
Once they reached Tori's room, Jade gave Andre a hug and stared at Tori blankly when the singer looked at her expectantly. "One hug," Jade warned, finding herself holding Tori tight once she got over her reluctance.
"I'm proud of you," Tori whispered just for Jade to hear. "If you ever need anything please let me know."
"Okay," Jade sighed, pulling back from Tori before she got mushy. "See you back in La."
Tori and Andre said their goodbyes to Beck (and a sleeping Cat). Jade slipped her hand into Beck's while they made their way down the dimly lighted hallway. Once inside their room, Beck carefully placed Cat down in the middle of the bed in the extra room they had in their suite.
Beck looked at Jade in concern when she lingered. "You okay?"
"Yeah," Jade said, wrapping her arms around Beck. "I just missed her."
"You're gonna make me sleep in that big bed alone tonight, aren't you?"
Jade shrugged with a smile. "Maybe."
"Okay," Beck feigned offense, kissing Jade's temple. "Can I come to your sleepover?"
"No," Jade shook her head, pushing Beck out of the room. "No boys allowed."
"Fine," Beck stuck his tongue out playfully. "I'll go play with Andre."
"That sounds so wrong."
Beck scowled when he finally understood it. "Yeah it does." He watched Jade gingerly climb into the bed with Cat and curl up next to her.
"Beck?" Jade questioned softly when Beck was about to leave the room. "Can you stay?"
"Oh, now you want me to stay," Beck joked, crawling next to Jade. He slung an arm over her waist and squeezed it lovingly. "I love you."
"Yeah," Jade breathed out while she played with Cat's hair. "I love you too."
The three laid in silence, letting the sound of New York traffic lull them to sleep. Jade, however, couldn't close her eyes. She kept looking back at a snoring Beck and then forward to a curled up Cat. Though her life had been quite the catastrophe, Beck and Cat had never given up. The past few months were tumultuous and tiring but somehow, they made it.