Good grief, I had this chapter all ready to go, but then I read the word count...Almost 7,000 words. That just seemed a little over the top so I split it up into two chapters. It kind of messes up the Back and forth POV dynamic, but eh.
Anyway, as you can see...I'm going to continue this story since it got so many reviews haha. I've got a bunch of things planned out that will hopefully please more than just Rori shippers. Just which shippers though? Well you'll just have to read on and start guessing...
All aboard the SS Angst which will be docking at fluff island provided it doesn't sink...
"So I guess you'll be wanting a ride home?"Robbie offers harmlessly, eyes fixed on the TV as hesitation creeping into his voice. My jaw tightens at the prospect of seeing Trina again this soon after our falling out and I feel a familiar burning sensation behind my eyelids. Sighing weakly, I attempt to suppress my emotions, to be perfectly fine, just like people expect.
"That bad?" He asks turning slightly, eyes burning though the facade I attempt to put up. Lowering my gaze, I don't want to face him, he's already seen me cry enough. Feeling his gaze continue to burn into me, I shift my gaze away from my fingers, I notice there's concern shimmering somewhere behind his glasses.
"It wasn't good." I reply, forcing my lips into a weak smile. I've never felt less sincere in my life. I force the air into my lungs, deluding myself into believing it's courage filling me, maybe that will make this easier.
I had tried to avoid this, thinking Robbie's questions were just hollow attempts at appearing concern. He just won't leave it alone though, like a dog with a bone. Biting down on my lip, I prepare to share the whole ugly truth with Robbie.
Tori's POV, Friday night at Derrick Bateman's party.
We pull up at Derrick's house, I can't help but shake the feeling that I should have just stayed home. As Trina parks the car, I watch my sister, annoyed that she wouldn't take no for an answer about this party. It's going to be drunk seniors and strangers, meanwhile I have to be the designated drive for Trina, the only reason she would drag me along.
"Tori, just stay out of my way and whatever you do, don't mess up my chances with Shawn." Trina pushes past me, striding towards the centre of the party. I pull my arms close, the leering eyes of some seniors on the deck making me feel like a piece of meat.
I tear my eyes from the mass of people occupying Derrick's deck, forcing myself to ignore the stares coming from around the room. I find a seat in a quiet part of the house with some effort. Drawing my limbs close, I prepare to just wait this out until Trina either decides she's had enough or she takes things too far and Shawn gets her kicked out. Pulling out my Pear Phone, I'm dismayed to see it's flat. At least if I had remembered to charge it, I could text somebody or play a game on it. As it is, I simply stay where I am, hoping something interesting will happen to make time pass faster.
Nothing happens and time limps along, I don't know how long I've been here, sitting and waiting. I stay rooted to my seat, watching as people I don't know stumble past me like zombies. It feels like I've been here forever and I screw my eyes shut, hoping Trina comes back soon.
"Tori!" Comes an excited voice, pulling me from my thoughts. Lifting my eyelids, I see Shawn in front of me, leaning over, arms planting firmly on his knees, supporting him. He's way too close for comfort and I wonder if he's ever heard of personal space. Shawn sways unsteadily and from the smell assaulting my nose, I can tell he's been drinking.
"What're...Why're you here all alone?" He asks, confusion and sadness fluttering back and forth in his slurred voice. His eyes are unfocused and I wonder if I should prepare myself to catch him. He looks like he could fall over at any moment.
"I don't really know anybody here." I answer, my tone hushed, feeling like a coward for being too shy to talk to anyone. Ordinarily I have no problems introducing myself to people and making friends. Right now though, a house full of drunken seniors does not seem like the best place to do making friends. I've heard things from Jade, horrible as she might be, I think she was being honest when she told me never to trust seniors.
"Oh." He mumbles, straightening his back and extending to his full height. Nodding his head, he sways dangerously, looking even more like he's about to topple over. My frown deepens and I leap up, just in time to stop Shawn from falling through a table next to us.
"Whoopsy." He slurs, draping an arm around me. I cringe, a nauseous feeling coming over me. Glancing around the room, I search for a way to ditch Shawn. Then I see her.
It's Trina and she looks as though fire is about to shoot from her nostrils. This is the worst possible thing that could happen tonight. Trina is marching over, feet nearly stomping through the floor with each step. I gently try and push Shawn's arm off me, he's strong though, it's not going to happen.
"What's this?" She asks Shawn, a sickly sweet tone in her voice. I know this means nothing but bad things for me. Trina is extremely possessive of any boy that she's either dating or wants to be dating. I've never had the misfortune on crossing her with this sort of matter before, but I've seen what she's done to other girls. My throat tightens and I hope, pray that this isn't about to go how I think it is.
"I was just saying hey to Tori." Shawn states happily, unaware of the danger that he's in. He leans even more onto me, I'm pretty sure he's not supporting himself at all anymore. I wonder when exactly I went from being Tori Vega the girl to Tori Vega the leaning post. Eying Trina, I see her sweet facade falter for a second, the fire burning in her eyes tells me that I should run.
"Oh really? That's great Shawn. Tori, can I talk to you alone?" Trina asks, latching onto my arm. Looking down, I see her nails digging into my arm, that's going to bruise without a doubt. Shawn shrugs simply, his arm dropping of my shoulder as he stumbles away.
"What the fuck was that?" Trina demands, voice dangerously low, her grip tightens around my arm even further. Wincing, I look down to see her knuckles whitened and my skin on the brink of breaking. I wrench my arm from her grip, feeling tears burning behind my eyes.
"I was sitting there, minding my own business, then Shawn came over and I thought he was going to fall over. Then you came along, then you grabbed my arm and here we are." I babble, cradling my arm and trying to massage away the angry red marks left by Trina's nails. She's unmoved and I brace myself for the worst.
"You're lying. You knew I wanted him and you were trying to take him." Trina's nostrils flare and she's on the verge of hyperventilating as she jabs me in the chest. At the moment, my sister almost looks feral and I wonder if I should even bother trying to reason with her or tell her nothing was going to happen. Trina can be hard to deal with under the best circumstances, right now she's a nightmare.
"Trina, I didn't do anything!" I retort annoyance coloring my tone. Luckily I shut my mouth before a torrent of insults can follow. Meeting Trina's gaze, I know I've only stoked the fire of her rage. Bad move, really, really bad move. Trina's eyes narrow even further and before I know it, she shoves me into a nearby table. I don't even notice the picture frame that goes flying until I've followed it and hit the floor as well. Shards of glass surrounding me. It's a small mercy that none of them cut me too badly.
"I don't care what you have to say. You're nothing to me." Trina's words are like knives, each one digging in, contributing it's own specific sting of pain. I think I'd rather have the glass cutting me over Trina's words. I don't even attempt to reach my feet again and Trina hovers over me, rage distorting her features.
"You're just a piece of meat. By the time I'm a massive star, you'll be lucky to appear in Girls Gone Wild DVDs. Your voice is the nothing out of the ordinary, Tori. You. Are. Nothing." Trina's words show so sign of stopping, even after my eyes start to burn and my mascara begins to run. I'm helpless, cowering as Trina stands over me. I feel my heart shatter at my own sister saying these things to me. It's like Trina is picking apart my every insecurity one by one, all for a stupid crush she won't care about in three weeks.
"Trina I'm your sister..." The words come rattle out of my throat, punctuated by a painful sob. I can't believe my own sister is doing this. Between looking around for a way out, I notice there is a small crowd around us. Ordinarily this would be a curse, in my situation it's salvation, if there's one thing Trina values over everything else, it's people's perceptions of her.
"Consider yourself an only child." Her voice is deadly cold, the chill of it has me shudder visibly. It's one final bullet before she begins her act. Right on cue, Trina begins to cry and fabricate a story about what had happened. Screwing my eyes shut, I try to blink away the tears. They just won't stop coming though, my chest shudders painfully and I the shards of what used to be my heart shift painfully, digging into my chest, ripping me apart from the inside.
Nobody tries to comfort me, for all they know, Trina is telling the truth. They don't know me anyway, I'm just another faceless girl crying alone on the floor. I pull myself to my feet quickly, I just want to get out of here. It's then that I notice Trina has disappeared from sight, eyeing the open doorway ahead of me, I pull together what's left of my heart as race out of the door, hoping to see our parents car still sitting across the road.
"Don't." A simple word shouldn't hurt so much. I'm so raw that I think a feather could have me cry out in agony. My throat tightens and I feel the tears ready to spill out once more, Trina is standing on the porch, she's waiting for me. It's an uncharacteristically calculating move from a girl that's usually hellfire and brimstone.
"Trina I just..." I'm not even allowed to finish my sentence before I feel myself once again hurtling backwards. Painfully, I land against the support beam of porch. Trina advances on me, a dangerous glint in her eye.
"Don't come home." She spits, eyebrows angling deeply towards her nose. The shadows of the night drape her face in an unearthly glow, I feel as though I'm speaking to a vengeful spirit, not my own sister. She cocks her arm, like she's going to lash out once more, I flinch, cowering against the beam behind me.
Then she's gone. By the time I've plucked up the courage to open my eyes, Trina has disappeared across the yard. The glint of silver in the moonlight alerts me to the fact that she's fumbling for the keys to our car. I contemplate going after her, I know I should, she's my sister and she's too drunk to drive. Frankly though, I'm too afraid to go near her while she's holding those keys.
I don't move for what feels like a lifetime. I slide down the beam, collapsing into a mess, eventuallt I pull my limbs towards my body, curl myself up into a ball and try to forget what just happened. Time goes on, Eventually, a trickle, then a stream of guests stumble past me, pulling me out of my stupor. I realize I can't just stay here, I need to find somewhere to go. Reaching into my jacket, I pull out a small purse. Clutching it, I try not to fumble it. My fingers scramble through the purse, searching for any money that might be in there. My parents somewhere in the middle of the ocean and no way to contact anyone else, I'm hoping I have enough for a motel, or at least a taxi ride home. Of all the nights to let my phone go flat...
Then I see it, something that reminds me of happier times. A simple white piece of paper with some black type over it.
Shapiro Holiday coupon – Good for one night at Casa De Shapiro.
My shoulders slump and I can almost feel the pain of that night come flooding back, like every word shared with Robbie was another wound re-opened. I feel a familiar tightening in my throat and the burning behind my eyes returns. I lower my gaze, trying to hide my weakness behind my hair.
Then I feel it, two long arms slowly envelope me, cautiously, but with a lack of practiced precision. I remain upright, unsure of what to do for a few moments, his touch is like nothing i've felt before. My parents know I won't break, so they pull me into hugs with only the strength a parents love can provide. My friends hug me with the recklessness that only youth can provide. My boyfriends handled me with the rawness of teenage lust.
This embrace though, this is something far different. Robbie is holding me like I'm something precious, something do delicate that even the slightest touch will shatter it. I don't think anybody has ever been so tender with me. I feel myself melt into Robbie, the pain swirling around inside of me fading with each second of his touch. For once in my life, somebody hasn't seen me with a problem and assumed I'll be fine. For once somebody has seen me with a problem and held me close.
A jarring sound drags me back to reality. It's the tone I set for Beck on my phone. My eyebrows knit together and I begin to question how this is even possible, my phone is dead. My gaze follows the sound, across the room is my pone, it's plugged into what I assume is Robbie's charger. He must have plugged it in when I was showering earlier. Without thinking, I twist my head towards his cheek and press my lips to it. I immediately feel a muscle tense in his jaw, I even feel the sensation of his cheek heating up as I allow the kiss to linger. It's the first time I've ever done something so irrational and soon my own cheeks flush brightly, matching Robbie's.
"Uh...I'm going to get...yeah." I stammer, frantically motioning towards my phone. I feel the awkwardness wash over me and I'm pretty sure I just made a massive mistake. All because of one hug, I couldn't control myself, I had to kiss Robbie. Now he probably thinks I'm some sort of overly emotionally, touchy feely weirdo. Biting my lip, I slowly ascend to my feet, I'm a mess of limbs that don't want to co-operate, I stumble over to where my phone sits in a daze.
Sure enough, it's a text from Beck, the gang are going to the movies. He wants to know if I want to go, twisting my body and turning my head, I fix my gaze on Robbie, eyeing the curly headed boy. Getting out and doing something with the gang, even with Jade, sounds appealing, but I don't want to leave him so soon. I can't help but feel drawn to him at the moment.
"Hey Robbie, you up for the movies? Beck just said everyone is going tonight." I announce, hoping that even though he's probably got the same message, an outright invitation from myself will convince him to come. Robbie's expression changes, confusion blanketing his face.
"I haven't got a text..." He laments, having pulled his own phone out of his jeans. I feel of a pang of remorse for Robbie and anger towards Beck. Robbie and him are meant to be friends, why wouldn't he send Robbie an invite? Without a second though, I decide to remind Beck to invite Robbie. Lifting my phone once more, soon my fingers are skittering across the screen, telling Beck to invite Robbie. Not long after, I hear Robbie's own phone go off. Beck's eager to please if nothing else. Peering down at my own screen, I see Beck's words questioning why Robbie coming is so important. I choose to ignore it, striding back to where Robbie is seated. This time, my limbs decide to co-operate. I'm sure it's just because they've gotten over the shock of me kissing Robbie, not because of the intended destination...
"Guess it just took a little while longer to reach your phone?" I can't help but grin, Robbie's face lights up, like he's just received his christmas presents all at once. Not once does it strike me as strange that I feel some much pleasure from Robbie's smile, nope, it's just one friend doing something nice for another.
"Yeah..." He replies, some suspicion evident in his reply. Robbie probably suspects I told Beck to invite him. Plopping down next to Robbie, I cast a secretive smile at him. Robbie's own smile lights up his face, he's not classically handsome in the way that Beck is, but as my gaze drifts along his jawline, I realize there's something wonderful hidden behind those thick glasses, under that mop of hair. Something I want to explore. Er, as friends of course.
"So we're going?" My posture shifting to that of an eager child, I unsuccessfully attempt to hide the enthusiasm in my voice too. I was on the verge of tears only a few minutes ago, now I'm bouncing around the room? I feel like Cat has taken control of my brain. With a slight nod of Robbie's head, I know we're indeed going to the movies. Shifting my gaze to the clock on my Pear Phone, I notice it's almost three. Wow, I'd better start getting ready sson.
"It starts in around 2 hours, what are we going to do until then?" He asks, eyes not shifting even slightly, it's the sort of physical cue that has part of my brain believe Robbie would enjoy staying on the couch together. Another part of my brain seems to think curling up against him might not be the worst idea. Then it hits me, I've got no make up on, I'm going to have to go home and get some. The thought fills me with dread and my head droops, I really would rather avoid going home until Mom and Dad are back.
"I need to go home." I announce, monotone evident in my voice. Robbie's eyes immediately widen and he shuffles closer, almost playing the part of a concerned boyfriend. Yesh, you would think I've never had a friend before. He's just being nice.
"Why?" Robbie's question hangs in the air as I attempt to come up with a reasonable excuse. I'm not sure that I want him to know that the reason I'm going to drag him across town to my house is purely vanity. I blow a strand of hair out of my eyes, trying to delay my response.
"Uh...I need make up. I look horrible." I groan, shutting my eyes flopping back into the couch dramatically as I feel my cheeks flush, finally settling on the truth. Nervously, I peer over at Robbie, expecting him to be laughing or shaking his head in disapproval. He's simply watching my theatrics, lips curved into an amused grin.
"I...may have some things I can lend you." He admits, biting down on his lower lip, eyes darting around the room. My eyes narrow as I watch his fingers flutter around nervously, I don't want him raiding his Mom's make up supplies. That would be a pretty awful first impression of me for her to get.
"Robbie, I can't use up your Mom's stuff." I reply, choosing my words carefully. It's not that I'm assuming his Mom has bad taste, I just don't want her to come home and find her stuff all moved around and used up. He shifts once more, bring one arm up to scratch what I'm guessing is an imaginary itch.
"I have my own kit." He admits quietly, following a long pause. It's the kind of reply that's designed for you to miss. Unfortunately for Robbie, he's had my full and undivided attention all morning. I chuckle softly, the vibrations moving throughout my body and washing away the pain of my family situation. Robbie's so awkward in almost every situation, it used to irritate me, but lately it seems more endearing.
"What? It's totally normal for a boy in Hollywood to have make up!" Robbie protests, misinterpreting my laughter as being malicious, he's used to being laughed at. Hoping to silence him, I extend an arm, placing my palm on his shoulder. It seems to calm him for a moment, then his eyes shift to my arm his mouth gapes slightly, reminding me of a fish.
"Don't worry, I wasn't laughing at you. Just...ugh...me being such a girl. You know, needing make up." The words don't come out easily, I'm not used to exposing my flaws to others. My eyes dart around the room, hoping for another distraction. None is forthcoming though. I'm stuck here with my arms folded across my chest and Robbie taking his turn at smirking. Even though it's at my expense, it's kind of nice to see him exhibit confidence for once.
"Tori, I'm telling you this as both a friend and a male, you're beautiful just as you are." Robbie's words cut through the silence and I feel my heart swell. Searching his eyes, I can't find any hint of insincerity or ulterior motive in his words. I open and close my mouth, for a moment I have no idea what to say. Robbie and I have spoken before, but today feels different.
"As my friend, you have to say that." I state, waving my had dismissively and plastering a grin to my face. I opt for humor, trying to deflect all of the emotions swimming around my head. Robbie smirks at my attempted joke and I return his smile nervously, feeling as though I'm under a microscope. He leans over to me, close enough that I can smell the scent of our breakfast in his breath.
"I'm serious, you don't need the make up. I'll get it for you, but you don't need it." I feel butterflies in my stomach, fluttering around, making me feel uneasy. Since when has Robbie Shapiro been able to make me feel this way? He climbs out of his position, he no longer appears a cobbled assortment of limbs moving together. Robbie moves more gracefully then I think I've ever seen him. I wonder if he's truly changed or if it's just my perception that's shifted.
"Here you are." Robbie offers, finally re-appearing in the doorway. He's armed with a large box too. Peering over the couch, I see Robbie casually walking over to where I am. Gingerly, he places the box on the coffee table, I lean forward and peer into the box.
"Wow, quite the collection you have here." The words flow from my mouth easily. Conversation with Robbie had always been a tad awkward, but now, even as I pick and choose what make up I want to use from his collection, everything seems comfortable, normal almost.