Chapter 19

In the two months that passed, one would think that they dragged along with heavy feet, antagonizing everyone in its wake. Yet, for people like Tori, it was over too soon. She made well on her promise of getting back to LA in a week, even though Jade had been pretty much M.I.A for the entire seven days.

Tori wasn't surprised, per se, yet she could only think how childishly immature Jade had been acting. Then again, she completely understood why she might feel the way she did.

Jade didn't know how to properly express her emotions, according to Caterina's older sister, Maya. The up and coming psychologist had given Tori an analysis of what might be going on in Jade's mind based on what Tori had told her of the pale woman's situation.

Jade's emotions came skewed in some cases, so when she cares about someone as deeply as she does Tori, Jade's only response would be to lash out. The half-Latina knew it was a bad idea to leave her girlfriend in Los Angeles with all of the stressful drama going on in her home, but Anthony was very sick and there was no way she would just not check in on him.

He was still her best friend, though now he was her ex-roommate. Tori looked at him like a brother and it was like choosing between your love and your family. It was a tough decision, but she had made it. Those two months that passed since she came back were very rocky.

It took three weeks for Jade to let go of the petty grudge she held against her for leaving, but from there she finally just let it go. Their weekends were spent at Tori's house, cuddled up on the bed and watching horror movies that Tori had slowly grown accustomed to. After school, if Jade didn't have anything to do, Tori would pick her up and they'd go somewhere for an early dinner.

The two of them avoided bringing up their argument as much as possible and eventually they had forgotten what they were even upset about. Jade had been buried in work from Hollywood Arts. Sikowitz's play had been a hit, though who was even surprised? Tori and Ms. Vega had shown up to support Jade and even though Jade's mother was ten minuets late, the pale woman was ecstatic that she had shown up at all. Not that she'd let it show. After the curtains closed and Jade was out of her costume, she walked past the back room behind the stage where the door was slightly ajar. Her steps halted immediately when she heard the familiar voice of Rachel West, the woman who had come into her life with her two children and caused nothing but stress.

"What the hell was that?" The petite woman hissed at her daughter, dark eyes narrowed to slits as she stabbed a finger inches from her daughter's face. Tamzin took a half step back in a flash of fear.

"You were off key for half of the songs, your dancing was mediocre at best, and you let these amateurs outshine you! You are my daughter and a West now. West's are not failures, get that through your thick skull and keep it there!" The angry woman had venom in her voice that Jade could only imagine she had picked up from her father.

Jade could remember that same speech when she was younger, a little while before her parents split up for good, he would criticize everything she did and give her the 'You are a West' speech. Hearing it directed at someone else, even if it was someone that she could barely tolerate, was just disturbing. Jade pushed the door open and leaned in the doorway with a furious glare in her pale blue eyes.

"Really, I hate to interrupt, but I couldn't help but overhear you being an ass. Tamzin has been working just as hard as every one else on this production and if you can't take the time to appreciate that then I suggest that you stay away from any future plays at this school." The pale woman calmly stepped into the room and stood beside Tamzin and in front of the younger girl's mother with her arms crossed and feet spread, looking as in charge as ever.

Rachel jutted her chin out in defiance but she could tell that Jade had her backed into a corner.

The ball was in her court now. She could continue making a fool of herself or she could leave with her head held high and her pride wounded. She chose the final choice and shouldered past Jade with an angry huff before storming out of the door and down the back stage. Tamzin turned to look at Jade with glistening eyes, tears threatened to spill over but the younger girl would be damned if she cried over her mother again.

"I really appreciate what you just did. I'm actually sorry that we couldn't be friends, Jade." She murmured softly and sent a sad smile in Jade's direction before turning to leave the room as well. Jade only has a few seconds to think about it, yet in the end she turned and caught the shorter girl's wrist.

"Hey, don't worry about it. We don't need to fight. With a mother like her, I doubt you need any enemies." The pale woman smirked, making light of the situation, and smiled when the corners of Tamzin's lips turned up slightly.

"You've got that right." She chuckled and turned the knob on the door.

"See you around, West."

"Work on your high notes, Tamzin." Jade called out right before she left and she could hear a giggle on the other side of the door where the other girl had left out. Jade wasn't sure how long this truce between them would last or if they would even become more than just acquaintances from then on, but she couldn't help the feeling of warmth that spread throughout her chest at sticking up for someone. Maybe she should do good things more often. Jade decided that she had no reason to still be standing around in the back room, so she turned to leave as well.

As she opened the door, she spotted her father leaning against the wall across from the thin wooden door. His eyes looked up and caught her gaze with a remorseful look. He clasped his hands in front of him and pursed his lips in thought for a moment before speaking.

"Is that how I talk to you, Jade?" He asked quietly, an odd expression on his face. The pale woman bit the corner of her lip in thought before sniffing a little and nodding once.

"Yeah, it is." She murmured, still not believing that he was standing that close by while she listened to Rachel yell at Tamzin the way she did. A look of strong remorse crossed his features and he pinched the bridge of his nose.

"I am so, so sorry." He breathed out quietly, almost as if he were afraid that his voice would crack were he to speak any louder than he was.

"I've been thinking a lot about what you told me the other day… I think you're right that it wasn't fair of me to come in and out of you and your mother's lives the way that I did. The truth is, I didn't know what I would do if you two moved on without me. I wanted to be a part of your life in some way, but I didn't know how. Then I saw how much you changed and I didn't want to accept that I made you that way with my leaving, so I got angry and I yelled at you and undermined you constantly, and god I am so sorry, Jade."

Mr. West opened up and let everything spill out right there. Jade found it almost unrealistic how her entire life just shifted as she stood among the costumes hung up on racks and the make-up artist's equipment in boxes and on the desks around them.

It was such a normal setting but all of the sudden, nothing felt real anymore. She didn't want to let herself get her hopes up so easily, though she dared believe that maybe she had her dad back. He finally understood what she had been telling him and it only took for him to see his actions reflected onto someone else for him to realize it.

The blue eyed woman stood there in shock for nearly two minuets before hesitantly stepping forward and allowing the man who helped give her life to wrap his arms around her in a bone crushing embrace. As he apologized over and over again in her ear, Jade finally relaxed around him for the first time since he left.

Over time, the West families had come to a mutual agreement after a few changes were made. Mr. West divorced Rachel as he slowly began to realize what kind of woman she was and just how much she had hid her personality from him.

What he found unnerved him to the point where he just couldn't take it anymore. She was manipulative, bitter, and deeply angry about life. There was no reason that he could come up with to keep her in his life, so they split up.

Jade still kept in contact with Tamzin to make sure that she was doing alright. Just because she didn't like how the girl dressed and talked didn't mean that she'd let her suffer. Jade and Cat had a mutual agreement to overcome whatever feelings they had for each other because Jade knew that her relationship with Tori could not be replaced by anyone, not even Cat. T

he little redhead knew that as well, but she also didn't want to lose Jade as a friend. She even found herself a new girlfriend after she broke up with her on-and-off boyfriend that she'd had for quite some time. Oddly enough, the girl was almost the complete opposite of Jade and when the Goth asked her about it, Cat could only tell her that she thought that a change of pace would be nice for once. That summer, Tori and Jade made the decision to move in together once Jade got her acceptance letter from The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York.

Katherine was behind them one hundred percent and because she still felt guilty for not being there for her daughter for such a large gap of time, she was the main contributor to helping them pick an apartment and getting supplies that Jade would need for college. When they got to the airport, Ms. Vega, Katherine, and Mr. West all hugged them for what seemed like hours. Their things would be shipped out to them since it was too far of a drive.

Tori turned and grabbed Jade's hands with a bright smile lighting up her face and emphasizing her perfect cheekbones. The movement of the airport around them seemed to cease as they made eye contact. The half-Latina leaned in and pushed her lips against Jade's, fireworks lighting up behind her closed eyelids and flashbacks of the day that she stood in that very airport and left behind the girl that she would now be spending the rest of her life with.

She was so proud of the pale beauty, who had come such a long way from when she was just a kid and trying to drive her out of the West house by pretending to choke to death on the kitchen floor. It had been such a rough beginning for Jade, but Tori was just ecstatic that she was able to be there for her now.

The fact that Jade had been through so much and still had the perseverance to push through gave Tori faith that no matter what obstacle stood in their way, they would make it through in the end with their hands interlocked the entire way. As they sat on the plane and it began moving down the runway to take off into the air, their hands found each other between their seats.

Jade looked over at the love of her life and couldn't help but grin at the thought that they were beginning their lives together. Tori smiled back with an expression that took the pale woman's breath away. Even though there was a kid kicking her seat every so often and a baby was crying five rows behind her, Jade couldn't help but be grateful to the cards that life dealt her.

A/N: That's all folks! I'm honestly so sorry that it three months for me to be able to sit down and write this chapter but school is my top priority at the moment. This story was not anywhere close to the forefront of my mind and I'm so fucking grateful for all of you that took the time to read this -my first completed multi-chap story- and even more grateful to those that gave me feedback and critiqued. I haven't written for this in a while so if I left any gaps or any questions unanswered, just let me know and I'll do my best to get back to you all. I love you guys!