A/N: So sorry for the late update! I fully intended to do this like… forever ago but I was out of the country for a while, I came back and two people I loved very much passed away… everything has been really hectic with life coming at me full force. My sincere apologies!
"Tori. Tori, honey, wake up," David Vega shook his youngest daughter's shoulders, trying to rouse her from her slumber. He felt slightly bad for doing it; after all, she'd only just gone to bed a couple of hours ago.
She slowly came to, mumbling incoherently. When she realized her dad was standing over her she sat up partially and rubbed her eyes.
"Dad, it's…" she checked her alarm clock, "Almost five a.m. Why are you waking me up? Is something wrong?"
"Did something happen to Mom or Trina?" Tori asked.
"Then what… hey, why are you in your uniform?" Tori wondered, finally seeing that her dad was fully dressed in his Los Angeles police department attire, complete with utility belt. His weapon was holstered, something that was a rare occasion while he was in the house. It was normally stored away safely while he was off-duty.
"Are you going into work?" Tori continued her questioning. She was a morning person by nature and she woke up quickly and easily.
"Yeah, I got a call from my chief about fifteen minutes ago. There was a really bad drunk driving accident at around 1:30 this morning and whoever caused it fled the scene. The victim had no alcohol in her system so we know there had to have been another party involved. Plus with the skid marks and everything… anyway my chief wants all hands on deck,"
"That's horrible! But I don't understand why you're telling me all this unless…" the gears started turning in Tori's brain. The time… the victim being a her… no alcohol… "Dad, who was the girl who got hurt in the crash?"
"That's why I came to wake you up. It was one of your friends- Jade West,"
"Oh my God," Tori deadpanned.
"I'm so sorry, honey,"
"Is she okay? Will she be okay? Is she at the hospital? Which one? Can you take me? Oh my God, Jade!" Tori rushed all her sentences together.
"I don't know much about her condition except she was in really bad shape when they brought her in. I know what hospital she's at and yes, I can take you. That's why I came in to get you,"
Tori threw off the covers and jumped out of bed. She reached for her Uggs and jammed them on her feet. "Let's go," she grabbed her phone and was out the door, her dad right on her heels.
"She's stable for the moment. We've stopped most of the bleeding and removed the glass fragments and metal shards. We're waiting for the test results and then we'll proceed with surgery," Doctor McKee informed one of the attending nurses. "I need one of you two to call her parents or guardians and inform them of what's happened." he handed Jade's purse (which held her phone) to the redhead nurse in the room. The other nurse, a blonde, was fixing Jade's IV so it would keep the painkillers and sedatives flowing into her system.
"I'm on it," Maggie took the purse from the middle-aged ER doctor and pulled out the teenager's phone from right on top. It'd been placed there by one of the cops who'd been first on scene early this morning. After the EMTs had whisked Jade off to the hospital, the officer had come by to drop off it off.
Maggie clicked on the contacts icon and immediately went to the I section in hopes of finding a contact with ICE typed before it. When a person had emergency contacts already programmed into his or her phone it made her job so much easier. Unfortunately, there weren't any in case of emergency contacts.
Okay, no biggie, Maggie thought and went back to the A section, knowing that some people put important contacts first, by adding extra A's to the front of their names.
"Darn," she muttered when she found nothing of significance there. "Hmm,"
In the search box she typed "Mom" and came up with nothing. Next she tried, "Dad", with the same result. Sighing, Maggie looked up at Tania. "Her last name is West right?"
"I can't find any ICE contacts and the usual tricks aren't working. I was going to see if maybe she's got family members on here," Maggie replied and typed "West" into the box. Nothing.
"Nothing," she reported. "Who am I supposed to call? She's a teenager, I don't exactly want to just go down the list in alphabetical order calling people,"
"Try going to the M section and looking for a Mr. or Mrs. of some kind. I know my kids have some of our neighbors in their contacts list,"
"Good idea," Maggie followed Tania's suggestion. Nothing, again. She shook her head.
"Still nothing?" Tania furrowed her eyebrows.
"Yeah. I guess I'm just going to go into the logs and see who the last person dialed was and then the… holy crap,"
"She was on the phone either right before the accident or during it,"
"Call that cop who was here earlier. He left me his number, it's back at the station," Maggie said and Tania scurried off to do so. Maggie pressed the green telephone key and listened to the dial tone four times before the person on the other end answered.
"Doctor Heather Bentley, how can I help you?" a woman on the other end mumbled sleepily.
Doctor? Maggie mouthed to herself. "Hi, this is the Hollywood Hills Medical Center. I'm an RN here, my name is Maggie Dean. Might I ask what your relationship is to Jadelynn West?"
"Med… medical center… what? What happened? Is Jade okay?" Heather forced herself to wake up, despite her exhausted body's protests. Her mind was moving at a million miles an hour and her body was barely doing a snail's pace.
"Doctor, I can't disclose any information unless I know what your relationship is to Jadelynn,"
Heather replied, "I'm her psychiatrist. What happened to Jade?"
All sorts of theories and ideas shot through Heather's mind. Had Jade hurt herself again? She didn't have a reason but that was never a problem before. The tiniest things could set off the desire. Had her dad finally gone too far? A scary thought, but not unlikely. What if Beck had done something? That was unlikely but not completely impossible. He did drink sometimes, even though Jade hated that he did.
"I'm sorry to have to tell you this but she was in a very bad car accident earlier this morning. She's going into pre-op soon."
Heather got up and began fumbling around for clothes. "Okay, okay, okay. I can be there in half an hour."
"And her parents?"
"What do you mean?"
"Shouldn't they be informed?"
Heather gave a short, bitter laugh. "Yeah, I'll get right on that. Don't worry,"
"Are you sure you're okay to be by yourself?" David Vega asked for the umpteenth time as he pulled into the hospital parking lot.
"Dad, I'll be okay. I have my phone if you or mom needs anything,"
"I'm not worried about something happening to you. I'm worried about how you're going to hold up with no sleep and being stressed and worried over your friend,"
"I'm fine. I'll be fine," Tori repeated.
"Okay," he agreed rather hesitantly then gave her a quick peck on the forehead before allowing her out of the cruiser. "Text your mother hourly, I'll see you later," he said.
Tori waved good-bye as he drove off. She stood at the curb for a minute before taking in a deep breath and turning and walking into the hospital. It was practically deserted this time of day. Shifts weren't due to rotate for another hour and anyone needing medical treatment was already getting it and visitor hours hadn't begun. Tori slowly found her way over to a nurse station where two nurses, one male and one female, were playing paper football.
"Uh, hi," Tori began.
"How can we help you sweetheart?" the man asked, turning his attention to her.
"I'm here to see Jade West?" it came out as more of a question than a statement.
"Oh God, not another one," the female groaned. Tori crinkled her eyebrows.
"Um…" Tori looked around, not really sure how to respond.
"She's in surgery right now." The man was clicking around on his computer, pulling up Jade's information. "But if you want to wait for her to get out, and see her once visiting hours start, go to floor three. There'll be a nurse station and they'll give you more information,"
"Oh, okay. Thanks," Tori replied and walked to the elevators.
She soon found herself on the third floor, sitting in a chair overlooking the Hollywood hills. The nurse on duty hadn't been able to tell her much, except that Jade should be out of surgery in the next hour or two. So Tori sat and waited. For a while she wondered if she should call Cat or Beck or someone but then decided against it when she realized it was only six am and the only thing they would be able to do was worry and wait and potentially have an anxiety attack. She would call them once Jade was awake, or at least out of surgery. Tori sighed. She hated this waiting, this not knowing.
After she'd been there for almost forty-five minutes, a woman dressed in charcoal dress pants, a lavender blouse, and mismatched pumps (one navy, one black) rounded the corner into the waiting room and plopped down in a chair (that had a blazer to match her slacks) a couple away from Tori. She rubbed her temples and then stared at her phone. "One day I will get him…" she mumbled.
Tori felt a pang in her heart for this woman. Obviously she was distressed and going through a traumatic event of her own. Tori could definitely relate. She checked the time on her pear phone and decided to go ask the nurse (shifts had rotated ten minutes ago) for an update.
"Hi, is there any update on Jade West's surgery? I was told she'd be coming out soon," Tori told the new nurse, who looked much nicer than the other one had been.
"Let me see…" she pulled up the patient information sheets on her computer. "She's in recovery, everything seems to have gone well," she gave a soft smile.
"Thank you so much," Tori replied sunnily and returned to her seat.
It took her tired brain almost the entire walk back to her chair to realize that the woman from earlier had changed seats and was now sitting in the chair right next to where Tori had been. A part of Tori's brain said oh who cares and Tori decided to let it go without saying anything. She sank back down and unlocked her phone to text her mom the update.
"So I take it you must be Tori?" the woman finally said. She'd overheard Tori asking about Jade and put the pieces together.
Tori jumped. "What? I mean yeah, but, but… how do you know my name?"
"I'm Doctor Heather Bentley," she extended her hand with a smile.
Tori shook her hand, but still was clearly confused. The name didn't ring a bell.
"Jade's psychiatrist," she clarified.
Recognition sparked in Tori's eyes. "Oh! Yeah, Jade mentioned you. Not by name obviously but she did say she had a therapist."
"Really? She must trust you then, if she told you she was going to therapy."
"I guess. I don't even know half the time with her."
"Yes, she is a bit of an enigma,"
"A what? You know what, I don't care. No offense,"
"None taken. I can tell you're pretty tired,"
"Yeah, Jade and I were out late last night talking,"
Heather made a noncommittal sound and Tori continued.
"I just can't believe this happened. Like we were just talking hours ago. It's insane,"
"I don't mean to be offending in any way, and I don't know if you consider this question to be too personal, and if you think that it is you don't have to answer by any means… but why are you here? How did you find out?"
"Umm…my dad's with LAPD and he got called in to work the case this morning. He woke me up and brought me here when he found out who was… who was hurt," Tori didn't want to say the word "victim".
"So how'd you find out?"
"The RN on duty said I was the last one Jade had called so she called me,"
"Oh. What about her parents?"
Heather immediately knew that Jade hadn't told Tori anything about her parents. The lie (which was more like the truth stretched really thin) came easily and readily to the psychiatrist's lips.
"Her parents are out of town on vacation in Hawaii for the week,"
"Oh my gosh. Jade's really lucky to have you then. I don't know what I'd do if I woke up in the hospital and my parents weren't around," Tori said.
Heather smiled tightly.
She was saved from having to try and discretely change the direction of the conversation by the nurse at the station calling to them.
"Excuse me? Doctor Bentley? Tori? Miss West is on her way to her room. It's just down the hall, 324,"
The two jumped up, gave their thanks and rushed down the hall in time to see Jade being wheeled into her room and transferred from the gurney onto the bed. She was conscious but didn't seem very alert. Her eyes wandered over to the doorway and saw Heather. Her eyes flickered in recognition and the tiniest of smiles appeared. Tori hung back as Heather walked over and carefully gave Jade a big hug.
"You've looked better, kiddo," Heather smiled.
"Felt better too," Jade croaked. Heather gave a short laugh.
"Yeah, I'd say so,"
"Well don't just stand there," Jade managed, "Come here,"
"What? Who, me?" Tori fumbled her words a bit. Jade's appearance was startling.
She was paler than usual, with a huge purple bruise emanating from her nose, which was braced. Tori couldn't see much else because Jade was under a couple of blankets which made her seem even tinier and even more frail than she clearly was. Strong, tough, mean, Jade looked absolutely helpless, and it threw Tori for a loop.
"Yes, you, silly," Jade smiled slightly.
Tori cautiously walked over to the side of Jade's bed and smiled at her. "I'm really glad you're okay. Well, not okay because obviously you're really hurt, but okay like you're not dead… that kind of okay… um… sorry. I'm sorry I shouldn't have… that all came out wrong," she blushed.
"It's okay, Tori, I know what you meant. I'm glad I'm okay too," Jade laughed softly at Tori's babbling. Heather had stepped towards the door with the nurse and doctor and was talking to them.
"Yes, I am aware," Heather spoke in a clipped tone. "I have already spoken to her parents,"
"Let's take this conversation out into the hall," Heather ushered the doctor and nurse into the hall and shut the door.
"What was that about?" Tori wondered.
"No idea," Jade replied, even though she did.
Heather must've called her parents while she was in surgery. Her mom was in NYC on business (which could be true. Or she could be screwing around with some guy) and wouldn't be coming home anytime soon. Her father was in Vegas on an 'earned' vacation with a friend and they were probably getting as drunk as they could and getting with as many girls as they could. Neither would be of any help. And even if they were home, Jade didn't know if they'd care. Of course, her dad might care, but in the wrong way. All he would see is the huge hospital bill she was no doubt racking up, and the damage to her car. He'd tell her that the injuries she had were deserved, for being so arrogant and stupid. He might even kill her.
"Oh well, I'm sure it's just doctor stuff," Tori said obliviously.
"Yeah probably," Jade agreed. Then she changed subjects, "Hey, have you called Cat or…anyone?" she'd been about to say Beck, but forced herself not to. She really would like him here, because he was such a strong and calming presence but no way would she ever say that out loud.
"Uh, no. It's really early. I didn't want to call anyone until I had something to tell them. Like that you're awake and okay. ish." Tori replied. "I didn't want to be all, 'Oh hi, Cat. It's Tori. By the way, Jade is in emergency surgery for a big awful car crash she was in… no I don't have anything else to tell you…just wanted you to worry with me…okay bye,' you know what I mean?"
"Yeah, I understand. But can you call Cat now that I'm awake? I really want to see her,"
"Sure," Tori pulled out her phone and dialed the red-head's number.
After not even one full dial tone, Cat picked up. She sounded frantic.
"Tori! Tori! Oh my God I'm so glad you called! Jade's not answering!"
"It's fine, Cat. She's fine. Well, sort of. She's in the hospital. I'm with her," Tori said
"WHAT!? Oh my God! That's terrible!" Cat cried.
"No, Cat. She's fine, she just needs to do some healing up and she'll be good as new," Tori tried to soothe her.
"Cat! It's okay, everything will be fine. Why don't you call Andre, I'm sure he'll be more than happy to give you a ride to the hospital,"
"No, Tori! It's so horrible! Because-"
"It's really not that bad Cat. You can talk to Jade right now if you want,"
"No! You're not listening to me!" Cat screeched.
"What?! What?!" Tori yelled back, exasperated.
"This is so horrible!"
"Cat! Would you just get on with it already?"
"There was… no Andre, it's Tori. Jade's in the hospital! Can you believe that!?"
"Cat? Cat!" Tori called.
"Tori?" Andre was suddenly on the other end.
"Hi Andre," Tori greeted, "What are you doing at Cat's so early?"
"Something bad has happened,"
"Well… how bad?" Tori turned away from Jade, whose interest had peaked considerably.
"What do you mean gone?"
"He's missing. No one has heard from him or seen him since school yesterday,"
"What?" Tori pitched her voice to a whisper, "Have you called the cops?"
"Yeah, they say they can't do anything. He has to be missing for over 48 hours before they consider him missing,"
"What? That's crazy!"
"I know. Look, we're at his RV now. The policeman I talked to said that if there's any evidence that he was kidnapped then they'll make a case and consider him missing. That's what me and Cat are looking for,"
"What is it Cat?"
Look! Oh my God! Look!
"What is so… holy chizz." Andre said.
"What? What is it?" Tori badgered.
"His car… it's hidden behind his RV,"
"Well that's good right?"
"Not really. The entire front is crushed in. It looks like he ran into a concrete wall. He must've been in some kind of an accident,"
Tori gasped and swiveled around to look at Jade, who was very concerned.
"Like he hit a moving car, really fast?" Tori asked shakily.
"Yeah, it looks exactly like that, now that you mention it. Hey wait, Tori, why did you say Jade was in the hospital again?"
Tori screamed and dropped the phone.
A/N: Duhn duhn duhn!
So so sorry for the ridiculously long wait on the update. I'll try and post the next chapter soon.
What do you guys think about the whole Beck/crashed car thing? Do you think he's really missing or do you think he was the one who hit Jade? If so, do you think it was on accident or on purpose? But either way, where is he!? Hmm. There are many questions that need to be answered.
Please review! Pretty pretty please? With red velvet cupcakes on top?
Love you all!