A/N: In this story, Beck was the one who burned his hand at Sikowitz's house. Here's what follows. WARNING: mentions of rape and PTSD.

After Beck left his car keys in Jade's purse and was put in a cab to go to the hospital – since he insisted Sikowitz should stay home and see the end of his challenge – things began to change in the house. Tori and Jade were the only ones left in the teacher's living room; Jade in her cowgirl outfit, Tori with the raisin bran in hands, each trying to make the other crack.

It happened almost at the same time; the sleep deprivation and annoyance turned the sweet farm girl back into angry Jade, making the loud police officer squeak out a response that couldn't hide her true identity.

They were both already out the door when Sikowitz beckoned Jade back inside the house, and she shrugged at Tori.

"Walk home, officer."

Just like that, she vanished into the teacher's living room, leaving the latina to roam the streets until she could find a cab to take her back home.

It was around three in the morning when Tori Vega was awakened by the sound of her doorbell. Her parents had gone away for the night, her sister was sound asleep, traces of the red lipstick still faintly visible around her mouth. A grunt escaped her lips as she hurried down the stairs, and the sound wouldn't stop.

Tori's irritation quickly faded into worry when she opened the door to a sight that, to this day, she wishes she could erase from her mind.

The girl on the other side of the door wore nothing more than thin black panties and a red shirt to which all the buttons were somehow gone, leaving it hanging open in front of her body. The makeup around her blue eyes was smeared, and the look in them was of pure desperation.

"Jade! What happened? Come on in!" Tori practically squeaked, making room for the girl to step into the house, which she did without a word. To the latina's numerous questions, all she responded with was a blank, wide-eyed, fearful stare, which only made Tori's concern grow.

"Uhm… Here." The latina's hands were clumsy when she picked up a thin blanket from the top of the couch and draped it around the other girl's shoulders; Jade immediately clutched the ends of the blanket close to her beaten body like it was the only thing holding her together.

"Do you want me to call anyone?" And the first response she got that night was just a negative shake of the head, but she'd take it. Something extremely serious had happened. Jade was never quiet, never scared – and here was a broken girl who had driven to Tori's house in her underwear, probably crying. The amount of wrong in this sentence was overwhelming.

Very gently, a tan hand reached out for a blanket-covered shoulder, and it was the first time since they'd met that Jade didn't flinch away.

"Do you want to stay over?"

A nod. Eyes on the floor. Cheeks turning pink with embarrassment. It all made Tori's chest feel tight; she'd take the icy, rude Jade over this one any day. At least that one wasn't broken and didn't make her feel… Well, like crying at the sight.

"Come upstairs, then. I'll lend you some pajamas. Does anything hurt? I could get you some Tylenol."

Jade just shook her head and made her way upstairs, disappearing up the staircase. Tori followed soon after, a glass of water in each hand.

The water was sipped once, twice, three times in a row, then forgotten on the nightstand. The pajamas were put on almost instantly, frantic hands pulling down on fabric like they were hiding an important secret. The sheets were pulled over a trembling body, the blue eyes still glassy and wide open, hands making tight fists.

At a complete loss of words to say or offers to make that would give some comfort to the girl on her bed, Tori was about to turn the lights out and head to the living room, when something made her freeze.

A word. The first word spoken – barely audible; a weak, broken whisper – by Jade that night. And it was so soft, so undemanding; only a single word that sounded more like a plea… It didn't even occur Tori to resist.


And she stayed. A second body joined Jade's under the sheets, the dark brown eyes searching the blue ones for any clue, any minor sign of what or who had hurt that girl so badly she couldn't speak.

"I'm here." Tori murmured softly, trying her hardest to offer any reassurance she could. "I don't know what happened to you, but you're safe here, okay? Just… Close your eyes and try to sleep."


The whisper that escaped Jade's lips was a word the latina didn't know even existed in her vocabulary. Without giving it so much as a second thought, Tori laced her fingers tightly through the pale ones, a small smile curling her lips.

"I'm here. And I'll be here with you the whole night."

The next half hour was filled with soft whispers, Tori reassuring Jade that she wasn't going to be alone at any moment that night, and the raven-haired girl trying to take deep breaths and calm herself, her eyes squeezed shut. Gradually, exhaustion began to wash over the girl, her body very slowly relaxing, but her hand never leaving Tori's, even as they both drifted off into an uneasy, but still deep slumber.