Tori could barely stand. Everything around her was spinning. She didn't know where she was. She was on stage. No, they were taking off, dragging her really. Cat was there, trying to hold her up. Jade was also there. Sikowitz was saying something to her. Jade seemed upset, but Tori didn't know why. She was having trouble keeping her eyes open. She was being moved again. Tori was now sitting in a chair. She didn't know how she got there. People were undressing her. She didn't want them to, but couldn't stop them. She could feel someone pulling her pants up over her legs. Tori opened her eyes to see it was Cat. Cat smiled at her. "I just got your pants on."
"Uh thanks," said Tori. She rubbed her temples. She was having the worst headache right now. She looked around to see they were in the school dressing room.
"How are you feeling?" said Cat.
"Bad," said Tori. "Really, really bad."
"That's too bad," said Cat.
"I'm kind of thirsty," said Tori.
"Here's some juice." Cat grabbed a can of orange juice. There was always some drink left out in case the actors got thirsty. Tori took the can and put her finger under the tab, preparing to open it. However, she seemed to have trouble summoning the strength to do it. Cat stared at her. "Do you need help?"
"No," said Tori.
"Okay," said Cat. "It just seems like you're having trouble with that can."
I'm not," said Tori.
"Well you are taking a while to open it," said Cat.
"Is that a guy in a bunny suit doing summersaults?" said Tori, pointing at the other end of the room.
"Where? Where?" Cat turned to see what Tori was pointing at. When her back was turned, Tori applied all the strength she could to finally open the can. She lifted the can to her lips and took a big drink. Cat turned back to Tori. "I didn't see it."
"Must've just left," said Tori. "Anyways I'm feeling much better."
"That's good," said Cat.
Tori took another sip of juice. "Hey, do you know how's Robbie doing?"
"He went into surgery a few hours ago," said Cat. "The operation should be done by now."
Tori nodded. "Maybe we could visit him sometime and see how he's doing? We could go tomorrow."
"Will you be feeling better by then?" said Cat.
"Yeah," said Tori. "I just did too much too fast. I shouldn't have done the play after donating three pints of blood."
"Maybe you shouldn't have donated three pints of blood?" said Cat.
"I had to," said Tori. "Robbie needed the blood and the first one got misplaced and the second one splattered all over me."
"Um huh," said Cat. "Well, I guess the important thing is Robbie got your blood and you're feeling better now."
"Yeah," said Tori. "I guess now Jade's gonna have my part after all."
"Oh no," said Cat.
"Why not?" said Tori.
"Sikowitz said something about her being such a gank this past week and he didn't want to reward her behavior," said Cat.
"So who's going to take my part in the play?" said Tori.
Cat shrugged. "I left before he said who it was. I had to find you a place to sit."
Tori sighed. "Well thanks. I'll have to make it up to you sometime."
"You can play keep away with me," said Cat.
"Keep away?" said Tori.
"Not right now," said Cat. "When you're feeling better."
"Isn't that a little bit childish," said Tori. "I mean I'll play it with you, but don't you want to play something more grown up?"
"I saw Jade playing it at the hospital," said Cat.
Tori raised an eyebrow. "What was she doing at the hospital?"
"Playing keep away with a nurse," said Cat.
"Are you sure," said Tori. "That doesn't sound like Jade."
"She was," said Cat. "I saw her. She took this red balloon from one of the nurses and ran down the hallway."
"That doesn't sound like something Jade would...wait a minute," said Tori. She thought for a moment. "Are you sure it was a red balloon?"
"It looked like a balloon," said Cat. "It was kind of squishy, but I figured it was a water balloon."
"What shade of red was it?" said Tori.
Cat gave her a confused look. "Why do you want to know that?"
"I'm just curious," said Tori.
"It was a dark red," said Cat. "It kind of looked like blood, you know what I mean?"
"Where's Jade?" said Tori.
"Probably watching the play," said Cat. "Why?"
"I've got to talk to her about something," said Tori.
"Okay," said Cat. "Do you need me to help you up?"
"No," said Tori.
"Are you sure?" said Cat.
"I'm sure," said Tori. "That orange juice really worked wonders on me."
"Suit yourself," said Cat. She turned to leave the dressing room. Tori went to get up. She stood up from her chair. She was a bit shaky, but managed to hold herself up. She took one step and collapsed to the floor. Cat turned back to her. "Tori, are you okay?"
"Yeah," said Tori. "On second thought, I'm might need your help. Just to get up."
Jade stormed out of the auditorium. That bastard. After all the hard work she'd put in preparing for that role, learning those songs, making sure Tori was out of the picture, he swoops in and steals it from her. The nerve of the man. Did he just have a personal vendetta against her? He seemed intent on not letting her perform. Jade needed a drink. She went over to a vending machine and slipped her money into the machine. She pressed the button for fruit punch and a can rolled out from the machine. She started drinking it and sighed. There was always next time. She kept telling herself that, but a small part of her doubted it. Anytime she and Tori auditioned for the same role, she lost out. It didn't matter what the part was. If Jade went up against Tori, she might as well call it quits. At best she would be Tori's understudy, her best hope being that something bad happened to Tori. Of course, the one time something bad did happen to Tori, Sikowitz wouldn't let her perform. As Jade finished the can, she crushed it in her hand.
Jade tossed the can into her trashcan. She walked down the hallway towards the school parking lot. She might as well go home. However, as she did this, she heard the sound of someone clearing their throat. Jade turned around to see Tori and Cat standing behind her. Cat seemed to be holding up Tori, who was leaning on the smaller girl. "Hello Jade."
"Hello Tori," said Jade. "Are you feeling alright."
"Never better," said Tori.
"That's nice to hear," said Jade. "Because you look awful."
"No worse than you," said Tori.
"Good one," said Jade. "Take you all day to think of that one?"
"I'm sure you'll be happy to know Robbie got the blood he needed," said Tori.
"Why would I be happy?" said Jade.
"Because now he can have the surgery he needs," said Tori.
"Right," said Jade. "Well good for him."
"He was going to die if he didn't get it," said Tori.
"Really?" said Jade. "I just thought he was being a whiner."
"Let's cut the chit chat," said Tori. "I know."
"Oooh," said Jade. "What do you know?"
"I know you stole a pint of my blood," said Tori.
"What?" said Jade.
"Cat saw you," said Tori.
Cat nodded. "At the hospital."
"That's ridiculous," said Jade. "Why would I do that?"
"So I'd have to donate another pint," said Tori. "And if I did that, I'd be too weak to perform in the play and you could take my part."
"Wow, that's impressive," said Jade. "You know, you could have a career as a tv writer. You've got such a good imagination. But here's the thing, you've got no proof for this conspiracy theory of yours."
"I've got Cat," said Tori. "She saw the whole thing."
"It's Cat, she not a reliable witness." Jade turned to Cat. "No offense."
"None taken," said Cat.
"And for the record," said Jade. "I wasn't stealing that pink of blood. The nurse asked me to put it on the cart. I was just helping out."
"You're volunteering a lot of information for someone who's supposedly innocent," said Tori. "We didn't say anything about how it was stolen, just that Cat saw you steal it."
"Oh," said Jade.
"And by the way, what you just told us sounds suspiciously like Cat's story," said Tori. "I just find that interesting."
Jade glared at Tori. "Okay fine. I stole that pint of blood so that you'd have to donate another pint. There, I said it. Happy now?"
"Yes," said Tori. "I am."
"Well there's nothing you can do about it," said Jade.
"What makes you think you're going to get away with it?" said Tori.
Jade pointed and laughed at Tori. "You can barely stand."
"I can stand," said Tori. "I'm feeling much better."
"Okay," said Jade. "Prove it. Try standing without Cat holding you up."
"You know what, that's not important," said Tori. "What's important is that you need to do what I say."
"Or what?" said Jade, smiling at Tori. "What are you going to do to me."
"Well, I could always tell my Dad what you did," said Tori. "I think I told you about him. He's a cop."
"Oh right," said Jade. Her smile disappeared from her face.
"He's got access to all sorts of police resources," said Tori. "I'm sure he can get the hospital to turn over their security tapes. Maybe they could find something incriminating there. I wonder how much prison time you'll get?"
"Okay fine, you won," said Jade. "What do you want?"
Tori smiled. "Well I'm kind of tired and I want to go home. The thing is, Trina's still performing in the play and she's usually my ride."
"Do you want me to drive you home?" said Jade.
"That'd be great," said Tori. "But I've got something else in mind."
"What?" said Jade.
"Well you're right that I can barely stand," said Tori. "So, I need someone to carry me outside to your car. And let's be honest, Cat isn't strong enough to carry me."
"Hey," said Cat.
"Do you want to carry me around?" said Tori.
"No," said Cat.
"Good." Tori turned to Jade. "So, will you do it, or do I have a talk with my Dad about your actions at the hospital?"
"Fine, I'll carry you." Jade went over to Tori and put her arms around her.
"Wait," said Tori. "I don't want you to sling me over your shoulder."
"Then how do you want me to carry you?" said Jade.
"Bridal style," said Tori, a mischievous grin coming over her face.
An angry look came over Jade's face. After a while she spoke. "Fine."
"Yay." Tori clapped her hands together in mock celebration. Jade put a hand behind Tori's back and another behind her knees. She then lifted Tori up. "Weee."
"Happy now?" said Jade.
"Sure," said Tori. "Now take me to your car and drive me home."
Jade made her way out towards the parking lot. She struggled to keep Tori up, almost dropping her at one point. "Jesus Tori. You need to lay off the donuts."
"Lovely," said Tori. Jade reached a door that lead outside. She paused. Tori gave her an impatient look. "Why aren't you walking?"
"There's a door," said Jade.
"I can see that," said Tori.
"Well I can't open the door with you in my arms," said Jade.
"I'm sure you'll find a way," said Tori.
"I can open the door for you," said Cat.
"No," said Tori. "Jade has to do it on her own."
"I can't," said Jade. "It's impossible."
"I see," said Tori. "So it appears that one measly door is all it takes to trip up the great Jade West."
"You want me to get through this door with you in my arms? I can do it, but don't be surprised when you bump your head." Jade turned so that her back was facing the door and walked backwards through the doorway. This worked and soon the two were outside. Tori almost bumped her head on the doorframe, but ducked her head just in time. Jade made a bee line towards her car. When they arrived, she began to put Tori down.
"What are you doing?" said Tori.
"Putting you down," said Jade. "I have to in order to open the car. I can't unlock it with you in my arms. Please, let me put you down."
"I'll allow it," said Tori. "But you have to carry me to my seat."
"Sure," said Jade through gritted teeth. As soon as she unlocked her car door, she picked Tori up and carried her to the passenger side of the car. She opened the door for her, placed her in her seat, and buckled her in. "Are you happy."
"I'll be happy when you bring me home," said Tori.
"Okay," said Jade. "But when I bring you home, we're even. Right?"
"I'll think about it," said Tori.