Story: i heart Shelby Marx (all chapters)

Authors: kttykiwi

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Chapter 1

Title: Revelations

Authors Notes: This was inspired by the iFight Shelby Marx and iParty with VICTORiOUS special episodes, in which Victoria Justice played the role of CFC Champion Shelby Marx from iCarly and then Tori Vega from VICTORiOUS.

This story should be read like a special length episode of VICTORiOUS, and will most likely not have a sequel. But should someone else get an idea from what is written here please feel free to go with it. I love sharing ideas!


A teenage girl with long brown hair pulled back into a tight pony-tail, and dressed in a pair of shorts and a tank top attacks a man dressed in bright red pads to the beat of her racing heart.


Jab. Jab again.


Knee to the side.

Other Knee. Again! Again! Don't let up!

"ENOUGH!" The sound of man screaming finally penetrated her deep thoughts as she let up on her personal training dummy for the first time in hours.

"Good work Shelby. You excited about the upcoming match?" Her manager, Rod, walks into her training area at the local gym with a smile on his face and a laugh in his voice.

"I guess. It's not the first time we've fought but..." She pauses, remembering the last time she had faced her next opponent, and the damage both had done to each other before the match had ended.

"You worry too much my dear. Juan has been training you non-stop for the last month just for this match, you'll beat her again no problems!" Rod who had moved closer handed the brunette a water bottle and some much needed support.

"It's not that I'm worried about beating her, its how much damage she'll manage this time before I do. I'm not the only one who's been training for this you know." Taking a sip she pierces her manager with a look showing that she was worried more about her secret than if she won or lost.

Rod, who well remembered the injuries his fighter had suffered in that match, frowned a bit as he thought about the difficulties that came with hiding broken ribs and a concussion from people who had no idea they were there. "You know, you could always just avoid getting hurt this time."

"I know, I know. But Rod, this is personal to her and there is no way I'll come home without injury. Anya is the only person to actually beat me since I took the championship title, and likewise I'm the only one to beat her since she won it." She sighed at the vicious circle they had gotten into over the last year.

Anya 'the Hammer' Chekov was originally a Russian MMA fighter who had moved to America after remaining undefeated for over two years in her division. She had come seeking a new title and had gotten it when she beat Shelby in a brutal match that had lasted an amazing 3 rounds. Since she had won the title at 15 Shelby had remained undefeated though there had been several close calls over the last two years.

Anya had been the first and only defeat she had suffered, and boy had she suffered. Three cracked ribs, a concussion, and even a fractured collar bone had been the end results of the brutal 9 minute fight. That had only been the first of their now epic fights, the second occurring 6 months after the first and only shortly after she had finished mending. Shelby had only barely won that fight and again not without serious injury, this time totaling 4 bruised ribs, a second concussion, and one hell of a set of bruises along the entire length of her spine. She had won that fight in just under 6 minutes with a pin that had almost cost her a broken arm.

Now they were heading for round 3 in less than a week.

"Look Shelby, whatever happens you will do your best and I have no doubt that win or lose you will remain a fan-favorite. But seriously, please try and keep the injuries to a minimum this time. Your Mom will kill me if you get another concussion." Rod gave a serious face that had the teen laughing as she imagined her Mother threatening the man who had gotten her this far in her chosen career.

"No seriously. Your Mom will kill me, she said so. Also it's time to get you home, you have school tomorrow."

After calming down the half-Latina fighter walked off to get changed while smirking at the much taller man, still chuckling under her breath at the thought of him being scared of his own sister. "Alright uncle Rod, I'll be ready in five. Just let me get some sweats on and I'll shower at home."

"Oh, before I forget! Your sister called and said that your friends were looking for you earlier and she told them you were running errands for your parents. She wanted to let you know in case they called you or asked about it later."

Shelby stopped in her tracks and sighed. She had forgotten about the project due at the end of the week and that she was supposed to be working on it with her friends tonight. Making a decision she continued on her way to the locker room to get changed. "Better make it 15, I need to get decent if I'm going to be hanging out tonight."

"Got ya kiddo. See ya in a few!"

Now if only I knew what errand Trina told them I was out doing...

iHeart Shelby Marx

"Hey Guys! S'up?" It was Friday and Andre had just walked up to his friends minus Tori at their usual table during the lunch period at Hollywood Arts High school.

Beck who was sitting with his arm around Jade like usual answered first in his customary laid back manner. "Eating lunch. You?"

"Trying to figure out something to do this weekend. You guys got any plans?" The young musician asked as he sat between the couple and Robbie with his own lunch in tow.

"I got me a date with some Northridge Girls, but Robbie's free." Rex answered while ragging on the boy who gave him life. If they hadn't grown so used to the strange relationship one of his friends might call the boy insane.

"Rex! You know those girls are no good for you, last time they stole my wallet!"

"Only because you let them wussy boy!"

"Moving on, how bout you guys?" Andre turned his attention to the couple on his other side only to get a sneer from Jade accompanied by a derisive 'none of your business.'

Beck who was used to his girlfriends demeanor simply talked over her as he gave his own reply. "Just homework and stuff."

"How 'bout you little Red, got any plans for this weekend?"

"Uh huh!" Cat answered in a distracted tone and then started humming as she ate her pizza. The others who were used to more elaborate answers from the little red-head waited for her to add more than that to her answer. Even Jade who was pretending not to care waited for more.

Finally Jade grew impatient enough to snap at the other girl. "Well what is it!?"

"Huh? What is what?"

"Your plans for the weekend Cat. What are they?" Beck asked nicely.

"Oh! I'm going to watch the Shelby Marx fight tomorrow. She's going against Anya Chekov again." Cat was visibly excited as she revealed this information to her friends. It was a little known fact that Cat absolutely loved watching MMA matches and those of Shelby Marx in particular.

"Ugh! Really Cat? You still have a crush on that twig?" Jade who had known the girl since she was 13 was fed up with this behavior.

"What's that supposed to mean!?" Cat shrieked before calming herself quickly only to blush a bit as she nodded. "But, yeah. I can't help it though Jade she's just so awesome!"

"Whoa now! Does our little Cat here like a girl? And a professional fighter at that?" Andre was all sorts of confused but willing to hear the story straight from the horse’s mouth. Robbie on the other hand just sort of gaped at his crush with a sinking heart as he registered the information.

"Like? More like obsessed with. Cat's been on about this chick since we were 15 and from what I know hasn't missed a single fight." Jade broke into the conversation once more before turning to her hyper friend. "And don't you have to pay to watch the fight? I thought your parents said they weren't going to pay $100 dollars just so you could watch 3 minutes of Violence anymore."

"But she's fighting Anya Chekov again! The last time they fought it was 6 minutes! That's over twice as long as her normal fights!" Cat was getting fired up now.

"Wait a minute! This chick normally wins her fights in under three minutes? That's pretty badass. Maybe I should watch it with you little Red, mind if I come over?" Andre was getting more and more interested in Cat's weekend the more he heard about it.

"Sure! Oh! Why don't you all come over! We can have Pizza and then watch movies afterwards." Now Cat was bouncing in her seat, and she would have fallen had Tori not come up from behind just as she started to tumble.

"Whoa there Cat! What's got you so excited today?" Tori asked as she settled into the space between Jade and Cat after making sure the other girl was settled safely on the bench.

"Tori! Want to come over to my house tomorrow? We're going to get Pizza and watch Shelby Marx kick butt!" The red-head was bouncing in place, though careful not to fall again, and was giving the taller brunette her full attention.

"Sorry Cat, as much as I would love to come and hang out with you I won't be in town. I have to go visit my Grandma this weekend." Tori was doing her best to act calm in the face of such cuteness and was genuinely sorry she couldn't be with her secret crush this weekend.

"Awww. Do you want to hang out after school then?"

"She can't." Trina who had been hunting for her sister said bluntly as she interrupted the conversation, only to get a look of confusion from the red-head. Turning from Cat she faced her sister with a scowl. "Did you forget Tori? You were supposed to meet me at the car five-minutes ago; we're going to be late if you don't get moving."

"I thought we weren't leaving till after school!" Tori was angry, she hated when Trina forgot to tell her about changes in their travel arrangements.

"I told you this morning that they changed our flight to an earlier one! Now get up and let's go!" Trina grabbed her sister by the shoulder and started to drag her away from her friends forcibly. "Bye Tori's friends, she'll see you on Monday!"

"Bye!" Cat called as her friend was dragged from view, ignoring the looks of confused amusement on the faces of her other friends as they heard Tori shouting her own goodbyes.

"So. What time does this fight start?"

iHeart Shelby Marx

"Damnit Trina! Did you really have to drag me away like that?" Tori was pissed at her older sister and also a little afraid since they were currently on the way to the airport and the other girl was driving with her usual grace.

"Yes Tori, I did. If you'll remember that everyone else is waiting for us at the airport and if we don't hurry you'll end up getting mobbed like last time." The older Vega sibling shuttered a bit as she remembered their last flight and the mob that had been waiting for her sister as she arrived.

"Ok, I'll give you that. But I thought we were going to give a false timetable this time?" Tori also remembered that flight, and what she had done to escape the crowd of people who had been after her.

"We did, but still." Taking her eyes off the road Trina reached into the backseat to grab something leaving Tori to quickly take the wheel and keep them from drifting into the other lane. Turning back around she handed a small shoe-box to her now pale sister. "Here."

"What is this?" Tori opened the box at her sisters urging and found what looked to be a baseball cap, sunglasses, and a hairbrush with some ties.

"Put your hair up and wear those before we get to the airport. They'll keep you from being so easily recognized by crazed fans." Paying attention to the road more the closer they got to the airport Trina felt more than saw her sister doing as she said. "Good."

"Are you going to be in the crowd this time?" They had been quiet for several minutes when Tori finally blurted out her question, nearly causing an accident as Trina instinctively jerked the wheel in surprise.

"Jesus Christ! God Tori, what were you trying to do, kill us?" Trina was furious at being scared like that while driving.

"I'm sorry! I just wanted to know!" Tori held her chest in fear as her life continued flashing before her eyes. She hadn't meant to scare Trina like that but couldn't hold the question in any longer.

"It's alright, just warn me next time you feel like shouting. But to answer your question... I don't know." They went silent again each lost in thought.

Finally Trina spoke once more. "Do you want me to be there?"

"I wish you would be, but I won't force you." Tori looked at her older sister who was concentrated on the road properly for once and wished things could be like when they were younger and secrets like this didn't exist.

"I'll think about it. Now get ready, we're here."

iHeart Shelby Marx

Finally the day had arrived, and with it her rarely known nervous tick.

"Calm down Shelby. You got this fight in the bag, so stop pacing and get warmed up." Rod was trying to comfort the nervously pacing fighter while in the locker room 20 minutes before her match was scheduled to begin.

"I'm not worried about the match Uncle Rod." Now she was biting on her fingernails as well as pacing.

"Well then, what?"

"Do you know if Trina decided to come?" She was so nervous that the older girl had decided not to come after all.

"Is that what this is about?" He grabbed the still pacing brunette by her shoulders and looked her in the eye. "Look Shelby, Tori, your sister supports you no matter what and you know it. Our whole family supports you and just because they aren't in the crowd doesn't mean they're not watching you. Besides you know Trina, she hates watching you bleed."

"Thanks." The girl gave a smile to her Uncle and then went back to pacing again despite the reassurance.

"Now what?" He was getting fed up with this behavior.

"I just realized that my crush will be watching the match!" Rod just sighed at the news and reached for his cell phone, he knew exactly how to handle this particular matter.

Dialing the familiar number he waited for the person to answer and explained the situation calmly before handing the phone to his niece. "Here."


*VICTORIA VEGA!* Squeaking in pain from the loud voice she pulled the phone from her ear just enough to not go deaf. *YOU MAN UP AND GET YOUR CHIZZ TOGETHER RIGHT THIS INSTANT! YOU HAVE A FIGHT TO WIN AND A CRUSH TO IMPRESS SO HOP TO IT! DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME?*

"Yes Nana!"

*Good! Now go out there and make us proud! ~CLICK*

As the dial tone rang through her ears Tori felt herself gain the confidence she had always had as Shelby Marx and knew that her Nana's tough love was exactly what she had needed. Tossing the phone back to her Uncle with a quiet 'thanks' she started her warm ups with a single minded determination to beat the stuffing out of her opponent and impress the girl of her dreams.

iHeart Shelby Marx

*We got quite a crowd here tonight folks! Everyone is anxious to see who will win this latest match in part 3 of the Marx vs. Chekov series!

That's right Jim! Since Shelby Marx won the Championship title at 15 she has only been beaten once! That's right Once, and by her opponent Anya Chekov at that!

Right you are Bob! Since their first fight last year these girls have been trading the title of champion back and forth! Tonight we see if 28 year old Chekov can reclaim the title she once held from the 17 year old Marx!*

"Man these announcers are annoying."

"SHHHHH!! Save all complaints, comments or questions till the match is over!" Everyone was gathered at Cat's house to watch the fight, but the girl in question refused to let anyone interrupt her viewing with such petty things as talking. Andre who had made the comment immediately shut his mouth in awe at the tone in Cat's voice. She had sounded almost Jade like and hadn't even bothered to so much as look away from the screen since they had tuned in.

Jade who had actually watched a fight with Cat before merely snickered quietly at the look on the guys faces as Cat told them to basically shut up. Whispering quietly so as not to get yelled at as well she gave them some much needed advice. "Listen up! Cat is obsessed with these fights and will banish you for distracting her from it. So just keep quiet and pay attention till it's over!"

"I am trying to watch this!" Cat nearly shrieked backing up Jades claim and making the guys follow her advice or risk the red-heads wrath.

A couple of minutes passed in relative silence, the guys absorbing the information being given by the announcers and cringing at the violence they were seeing as scenes from the last match up between the two fighters played out on screen. One thought played out through all their minds.

Chicks are vicious.

"It's starting!" Cat who had been seated on the couch with a bowl of popcorn in her lap jumped up in excitement and moved a couple feet closer to the large TV and sat herself on the floor like a little kid.

The guys, interested in the fight even more after watching the playbacks, watched attentively as each fighter was brought out to the octagon.

*And here come our fighters! Coming out first is Anya 'the Hammer' Chekov! A 28 year old Russian born fighter weighing in at 120lbs, she has made it her goal to take the championship title for good!

And coming in from the other side we have our current champion Shelby 'swift fist' Marx! This 17 year old fighter weighs in at 110lbs and has only had 3 matches lasting more than a single round in her entire professional career!

That's right Bob, and two of those fights were with Chekov herself! Tonight should be one hell of a fight!*

As both fighters entered they were given close-ups with the camera letting each of the viewers to get a good look. Anya came up first, a fairly tall and willowy blonde with close cropped hair and wearing the colors red and black. Each of the boys thought her to be fairly pretty though the crooked nose took away from her beauty. Still they were teenage boys and she was a barely clad woman with a smoking body.

Next came in Shelby, and as the camera got a good shot of her face everyone was left dumbfounded except for Cat who was cheering her favorite fighter on loudly.

"Holy Shit! Is that Vega?" Jade was the first to regain her ability to speak only to find that Cat was not appreciative of her being so loud.

"If you aren't going to cheer then shut up!" The look Cat threw at her long time friend was one that spoke of imminent torture should she not be obeyed. It was a look that Jade had seen only once before and never wanted to see again. Quickly she shut her mouth and held her hand over Andre's as he went to ask a question.

Both Beck and Robbie gave her a curious look that she returned with a shake of the head and wide scared eyes. They quickly got the message, anything Jade feared was something to avoid.

Remaining quiet they settled in to watch the fight with one burning question in their thoughts.

Is Tori really Shelby Marx?

iHeart Shelby Marx

*IT IS OVER! Shelby Marx wins with a last minute pin only seconds into round 4!*

I did it. I did it! YES!

She had done it! She had won her match against Anya only 90 seconds into their fourth round with a reverse pin she had been working on since their first match. The adrenalin was pumping hard and suddenly all the pains she had accumulated during the fight were rearing up to hit her at once. Ignoring the agony she grits her teeth and was led off to the locker room by who could only be her trainer.

"You did great kid! How ya feelin?" The voice came to her from what seemed a long distance and she only barely realized it was her Uncle as black spots began swimming in her vision.

"Mom's gonna kill you..." were the last words she said before passing out.

Vaguely she could hear screaming and wondered why.


"Oh my god! Tori!" Trina had been waiting for her sister in the locker room to congratulate her for winning and got the scare of her life as she watched the other girl waver and fall unconscious. Now that she was close enough to actually see her injuries, the sight made her cringe. Carefully she ran and cradled her sister’s head as their Uncle called for the paramedics that were always on stand-by. THIS was why she hated being in the crowd at these things, because then she couldn't be here with her sister until long after the fact.

"Don't worry Trina; she'll be good as new in a bit... you'll see." Rod who had finally come back with the paramedics gently pulled her away and directed her to follow as they wheeled her sister out to the ambulance and away from the crowds.

"She'd better!" The older Vega sister retorted, and then thought briefly on her sisters last words before passing out. "Otherwise mom will kill you."

"Just follow your sister while I delay the press will you?" He let out and took off in another direction.



"So what's the verdict doc? Is she going to be ok?" It had been several hours since Shelby Marx had collapsed after her match with Anya Chekov and now she sat surrounded by family in her hospital room.

"Yeh doc... m'fine right?" Trina sighed at her sisters slurred words and knew without confirmation that she was either heavily concussed or doped to the gills.

"Yes Miss Marx, you will be fine soon enough. However..." Here the doctor turned from his patient and back to her manager and guest. "She will be unable to fight for at least the next 6 weeks no exceptions."

"Six Weeks! What did she break this time?" Trina was furious, now she wouldn't get to spar with her sister during that time either. How else was she supposed to stay in shape?

"Well miss... Vega was it?" The Doctor gave Trina a look of irritation before consulting his clipboard. "Miss Marx here has two broken ribs along with heavy internal bruising along the left side of her ribcage and spine as well as a hairline fracture along her left arm from where she dislocated her shoulder. That is of course not even getting into the severe concussion she managed to suffer or the possible retinal damage that could occur should the hit have been hard enough."

"Retinal damage?" Trina was horrified at this and took a quick look at her sister’s face to see if the other girl had been paying attention. Luckily it seemed she had not if the doped up smile was any indication.

"Yes. While not likely it is possible to suffer this type of damage from a severe blow to the head, which has occurred. We won't be able to tell until after she has regained some lucidity and is capable of following along with the tests. We can have her tested sometime tomorrow evening once the worst of the concussion is over." Here the Doctor was sympathetic; he knew that the thought of retinal damage was something that had never occurred before.

"So are you telling me that we won't know until tomorrow if her eyes are fine?" Rod who had been patiently listening up to this point wanted a definitive answer.

"Yes. To be honest I doubt there will be any problems as it is very rare, but as it is still a possibility we must make sure." Both Trina and Rod relaxed a little at that. "In any case Miss Marx will need to be woken every fifteen minutes for the next 24 hours and it is generally better for her to have someone familiar doing so. Will either of you be staying with her, or should we expect someone else to be coming?"

"I'll stay." Trina spoke up and walked over to her sister’s bedside. Turning to her Uncle she gave a vicious smile and sat in the horrible chair that was available. "But you have to call everyone else AND bring me some donuts and coffee before you get to leave."

Rod sat and thought for a minute before speaking once more. "Wanna trade?"

"Not on your life. Now call Mom."

iHeart Shelby Marx

"So. Does anyone want to bring up the elephant in the room?"

It was after the end of the match and except for Cat who was still glued to the TV watching replay highlights, everyone else was strictly dumfounded. Even Jade who had been freaked out at the resemblance was wondering if she needed to watch herself around the other girl from now on.

"Tori is not Shelby Marx, they just look alike." Cat who had been paying attention to her friends was the first to speak up. "I thought she was the first time I saw her but then I remembered that Shelby Marx is an only child and Tori is Trina's sister. Plus Shelby Marx can fight and Tori is afraid of Jade."

"Makes sense I guess." Robbie finally spoke up for the first time that evening.

"I guess, but how can they look so much alike? Are they secretly related or something?" Andre was bugging, was Tori hiding this huge secret or was it really just a coincidence.

"I don't care WHY, I want to know HOW." Jade was freaking in her own way. With how often she pushed Vega around... well there was no way she could hold her own in a fight against a professional and it was making her wary.

"Look guys, I already told you. Tori Vega and Shelby Marx are two different people who just happen to look alike. I even asked Trina about it when Tori first started and she looked at me like I was crazy because she didn't even know who Shelby Marx was!" Cat was adamant about this, if Tori really WERE her favorite fighter the red-head would die of embarrassment.

"I have an idea. Cat why don't you call Tori and see what she's up to right now, if she doesn't answer then we can call Trina and see what they're up to." Beck wanted the speculation to end. Yes he thought they looked an awful lot alike but really, Tori was far too sweet to be a professional fighter. That would be like Cat kicking a puppy, impossible.

"Kay Kay!" Pulling out her phone the red-head dialed a familiar number and waited for someone to pick up. "Hi Tori! Beck told me to call and see what you were up to so call me back when you get this! Bye!"

Jade rolled her eyes at the other girl's antics and motioned her to call the 'beast' as she sometimes thought of the older Vega girl. "Get on with it Cat."

"Kay Kay!" Cat dialed another number she had saved just in case and again waited for an answer. "Hi Trina! Call me back when you get this Kay? Bye!"

"So neither of them answered?" Andre was getting a bit concerned; it was really unusual for either of the Vega sisters to be away from their phone.

"Hey, quick thought. Does anyone know WHERE Tori's grandma lives?" Robbie for once was thinking practically. "Didn't they take a flight there?"

"You know what, Robbie's right. Maybe they're in a different time zone?" Andre was grabbing at straws now, after all who was to say that Grandma Vega didn't live really far away.

"Whatever, we won't find out anything tonight. What movies have you got Cat, and they had better not involve singing animals."


iHeart Shelby Marx

"No Tori!"

"But Trinaaaaa I wanna go to school!"

"And you're Doctor said to rest! School is NOT resting and you know it!"

Monday morning had arrived and with it a whining Tori Vega. After all had been said and done over the weekend, things were looking up for the young fighter, if she didn't take into account the broken ribs or sling she was forced to wear to keep her shoulder still.

"Come on! If I don't show up and you do they're going to think you killed me or something!"

"They will not! Besides what are you going to say to them when they DO see you all busted up?" Trina was doing her best to not get mad at her drug addled sister and make her see sense. "Half of your body is visibly bruised INCLUDING your face and your arm is in a SLING!"

Tori was at a loss, she knew that the truth wasn't an option but what COULD she say. "Um... oh! I know! I'll say I fell down a flight of stairs at Grandmas, that's believable right?"

Trina thought for a minute, the truth was that their Nana lived on the 8th floor of an apartment building and she knew for a fact that it would only take falling down a single floors worth to cause some serious damage. Plus Tori WAS known to be accident prone at times. "Eh, it's better than anything I got, alright go for it. But you're still not going to school today."

"Trinaaaa!" Tori knew she was whining like a little girl, but she wanted so bad to see her crush and find out how she felt about the match.

"Don't make me call Mom! The doctor said you are to REST for the next week to avoid making your ribs worse so get back in bed and REST!"

"Fine!" With a huff she fell back into bed and instantly regretted the move as fire raced from her spine and through her chest stealing the breath right from her lungs. With tears forming in her eyes she let out a weak cry of pain and felt her sister soothing her face gently as she tried to breathe evenly.

"And that is why you need to rest. Tori I'm just looking out for you baby sis, I don't want you to hurt yourself worse." Trina carefully wiped the tears from Tori's face and then tucked her back into bed.


"No problem, now get some rest and I'll see you after school. Ok?" Trina left a kiss on Tori's forehead and stood to leave, only to be stopped at the door by a call of her name.

"Treen? Will you let my friends know I'm ok?"

"Sure thing sistah, I'll even see if Cat wants to come and visit you later!" And with that Trina was out of the room and on her way to school, a laugh echoing in her chest as she thought of Tori's blush at the mention of her favorite red-head.

iHeart Shelby Marx

It was lunch time once again at Hollywood Arts and like usual Andre, Robbie, Beck, Jade, and Cat were gathered around a table in the asphalt cafe. Today's topic of conversation was the absence of Tori Vega and what that could mean.

"Hey Cat did they ever get back to you about those messages?" Andre wanted to know if the hyper red-head had at least heard from the sisters Vega since they had made her call them on Saturday.

"Uh-uh. I tried calling Tori and Trina again yesterday but they still weren't answering, but then I tried calling Tori this morning while I was near her locker and heard her phone ringing inside so I think she left it here over the weekend!" Cat had been so confused about that particular incident and had in fact called several times to determine that what she was hearing WAS Tori's phone.

"Well that's one thing we know. Did you try calling Trina again?" Beck was surprised to find himself so curious about these events, and hoped that it wouldn't become a new routine for him.

"Nope!" Cat left it at that and went back to eating her lunch, or trying to anyways since the others wouldn't stop asking her questions.

"Then why don't you try now?" Even Robbie was part of this questioning, in fact the only one to have not asked a single question of her had been Jade and that was mostly because the Goth was too busy eating her own lunch to care.

Because I'm trying to eat lunch! She wanted to say it out loud so badly, but knew that if she did they would just ask her even more questions and then she'd never get fed. "Kay."

Before she could even pull out her phone the Vega in question came running up with a shout of the red-heads name, scaring the girl into throwing her lunch tray across the table and right onto Robbie. "Oh no! My Lunch!"

"There you are Cat! Geez you are hard to find." Trina crossed the last few feet to their table and sat down right next to the now extremely hungry red-head. "I've been looking for you all morning!"

"Hi Trina."

"Oh, hello Tori's other friends." Trina only vaguely heard Jades retort of 'I'm not her friend!' and turned back to the curious red-head she had managed to scare. "Anyways, sorry to scare you out of lunch, but I wanted to invite you over to see Tori this afternoon to help cheer her up."

"What's up with Tori?" Andre asked before Cat could get a word in, unknowingly irking the girl further.

"She's on bed rest for the next week, doctor’s orders." Trina answered without thinking and then cursed herself internally when she saw the panicked concern grow on Cat's face. "Oh no Cat! Don't worry she'll be fine! She just fell down a stairwell is all."

Cat was not reassured in the least at that bit of news, at first she had thought maybe Tori was just ill, but now she was terrified for her friend. "Oh God! Is she ok?!"

The others were also worried, even Jade knew that bad things happened to people who fell down stairs and while she loathed the younger Vega she didn't want her seriously hurt. "Did she break anything?" The words just flew from the Goth’s mouth and she knew it had been inappropriate but had no other way to show the concern she felt.

"Cat! Tori is fine. She is currently at home sleeping off the meds she was given and I had to bribe her to do even that because she wanted to come to school so badly." Trina simply ignored Jade's question in her effort to calm the red-head as quickly as possible.


Oh God, those eyes! How can anyone say no to those eyes? Cat had looked up to Trina with what could only be described as sad kitten eyes multiplied by the most heart breaking puppy pout known to man. That look should be illegal!

"Yes. I told her I would bring you to visit after school so she wouldn't be bored all day long. Will you come over?"

Cat nearly gave herself whiplash she agreed so fast. "Of Course!"

"Hey can we visit too?" Andre also wanted to see his friend but was disappointed to get rejected.

"No can do Andrew. She's supposed to be resting and too many people equals no rest." Trina purposely messed up Andre's name to get a rise out of her sister’s friend while laying down the law. "Maybe in a few days or something, but really I'm only letting Cat visit because she'll keep Tori in line for me."

Jade raised an eyebrow at the phrasing used but shrugged it off as Trina just being herself. Still though, why Cat and not Andre?

"Oh man, that's so unfair! Why does Cat get to visit Tori and all I got was her lunch in my face?" Rex piped up as Robbie finished cleaning food from himself and his companion.

"Alright, meet me at the entrance after school and I'll give you a ride, ok?" Trina removed herself from their table as she spoke and waited only long enough to receive an affirmative before heading off and away from them without so much as a goodbye.

Cat just watched silently, hoping that Tori would be ok and then wishing she had gotten to eat her lunch as her stomach made itself known.

"Hey Jade." Cat eyed her long time friends half eaten lunch with hunger and hoped she was in a good mood. "Are you gonna eat that?"

iHeart Shelby Marx

She was bored. B-O-R-E-D bored. Being injured sucked, but still it had been worth it. Or well, she hoped it would be worth it. Yeah she had won her fight, and yeah she was still the CFC Champ, but it would only really be worth it if Cat had been impressed by her winning. God she was bored. Hadn't she already mentioned that?

"Is it almost 3 yet?"

Tori had spent her day doing one of 3 things as she waited for school to let out. Sleep; stare at the ceiling, and her personal favorite, wonder where the hell she had left her cell phone.

She had tried watching TV in the living room at one point, but had given up when she realized that walking hurt and stairs would probably kill her. Even reading a book had gone badly since sitting up was also painful and she had no real need to feel the pain associated with dropping a book on her injured chest again. It hadn't even been a heavy book either but it had felt like an anvil was crushing her.

"I need my own TV or something..." she muttered only to perk up as she heard what sounded like the front door. Being careful to not strain herself she glanced at her alarm clock and saw that it was a little past the time for Trina to get home. "Finally! Now maybe I can get some food!"

Ah yes, the other thing she hated about being injured, trying to feed herself. Not that she couldn't eat by herself or anything, she wasn't that bad off, but the whole cooking thing was a bit beyond her at the moment. Especially since all the food was kept down stairs and as she had realized earlier, stairs were NOT her friend at the moment. At least she had been left a glass of water that she could refill in the bathroom.

"Hey Tori, you awake in here?" Trina had finally made her appearance though with none of her usual barging in uninvited. She was still loud though.

"Did you bring me food!?" Tori was starving, and also really needed to take her meds again but was afraid of taking them on an empty stomach after last time. She hadn't been in any pain, but she had also started hallucinating and thought she was going to float away and when she finally calmed down had hurt even worse from all her thrashing. Never again!

"No, but I did bring you a Cat."

"As much as I love cute little kittens, I cannot eat them and I also cannot get downstairs to feed myself. PLEASE bring me something to eat, I'm starving!" Tori totally missed the smirk her sister got at the mention of eating cats, but would look back on that statement and blush at what happened next.

"Hi Tori!" Cat Valentine appeared as if by magic, though really she had just been hidden behind Trina, and waved happily at the girl who was blushing so red she rivaled a tomato.

"Not a word Trina, just Please get me something to eat." Tori was mortified, she knew that Trina had been thinking dirty thoughts when she had made that comment, and coupled with her crush on the red-head it was the dirtiest thing she had never intended to say.

"Alright, I'm going." Trina left the room chuckling to herself, leaving Cat to look at Tori in confusion.

"Hi Cat. Come in and make yourself comfortable."

"Kay Kay!" The red-head literally bounced her way over to the half-Latina’s bedside and stopped short of tackling the other girl. "Will it hurt if I hug you?"

"Not if you are very, VERY careful. Come here." She knew she had lied and that the pain would be horrible, but Tori had no plans to ever miss out on hugging Cat.

Besides, it can't hurt much worse than when I dropped that book earlier, right?

Cat carefully and slowly leaned over and lightly hugged the taller brunette without putting any pressure on her before pulling away and taking a seat on the edge of the bed.

Ok, I was wrong. It hurt WAY worse! Hell she barely touched me! Oh God, where is Trina?

"Tori? Oh God, was I not careful enough? I'm sorry I didn't mean to hurt you!" Cat was close to tears as she saw the pain even her lightest touch had caused one of her closest friends.

"I-Its ok... m-my fault." Tori grit her teeth and ignored the fire racing through her chest in order to reassure the red-head that she hadn't been at fault. "I d-didn't take my... m-meds... shit!"

"Do you need me to get Trina?" Cat was crying now and looked to be on the verge of bolting, but Tori wanted her to stay and merely shook her head 'no'. "Do you need your medicine?"

"F-food first...I'll b-be fine." She took a deep breath ignoring the sharp pain it brought and then slowly released it to help dull the agony, not that it worked but she could push it aside enough to concentrate on the girl in front of her instead.

"So... tell me about... your weekend."

Tell me if this was worth it.

iHeart Shelby Marx

Cat was in shock, and a little angry too but not much.

Tori had gotten hurt. Then had sat there and lied to her about being put in further pain by her hug, only to turn around and say she hadn't taken her medication? Then she had the idea to ask about Cat's weekend?

What the hell? It was all she could think for a moment. How was it that this gorgeous and talented girl could act so stupid sometimes!

"What?" Most people thought that just because she acted so very hyper that she wasn't smart or didn't understand what was happening around her, but that wasn't true at all. Sure it sometimes took her longer than other people to get a joke or pick up on sarcasm but she could still understand it. This however was leaving her stumped and Cat didn't think she would understand without clarification.

"Distract me... tell me about... your weekend." Tori was still in obvious pain, but seemed to be handling it better than before and Cat realized that this was her way of dealing.

"Tell me why you didn't take your meds first." Just because she understood didn't mean she had to go with it, she was still a bit angry after all.

"Have to... eat or... hurts worse... later." And that was something she could understand, having broken her arm once when she was 12. She had taken the pain meds on an empty stomach one day and hurt herself worse without being able to feel it until later. It sucked.

"Kay. Well after you got dragged away by Trina we finished lunch and then headed to Improve. Jade told Sikowitz you were missing because you had food poisoning but he didn't believe her and called her a gank again.

Then we got assigned partners for a big project due next week and Jade got stuck with Robbie, but don't worry about the project because we can work on it together after school this week!" Cat paused for a second at Tori's look and interpreted it as one of question.

"Oh, you're my partner! We have to pick either a short scene or a duet to perform at the black box that Friday but they have to be male-female roles with everything flipped so that guys play girls and girls play the guys." Cat was excited about the project and hoped Tori would be as well.

"...both girls." The injured brunette gestured between the two of them with a raised eyebrow.

"Oh! Sikowitz said you have to play the male role because you’re taller than me! Jade told me it was because no one would ever believe I was a top, but I'm still not quite sure what she--" Cat stopped as she saw the blush work its way up Tori's face and suddenly it was clear as day what Jade had meant.

"Oh!" She could feel her own blush form and had never been happier when Trina chose that moment to interrupt them.

"I come bearing the gift of Food, so be grateful!"

Oh believe me, I am.

iHeart Shelby Marx

Trina loved her sister with all her heart, but sometimes she just wanted to smack the girl. It hadn't been a coincidence that she had come into the room when she did, she had been listening in after all, but if she had left them alone for much longer things were going to get ugly. Especially since Tori was a wuss when it came to anything even hinting at sex, and from what she could tell Cat wasn't much better.

"Alright so I've got soup in a cup for Tori, reheated Pizza for Cat and myself, and a bowl of jello for dessert. Dig in!" Tori was the first to grab her meal and practically inhaled it once she had been sat up. Cat was a close second as she stuffed a third of the pizza slice in her mouth at once.

"Geez, why don't you try tasting it?" Trina had kind of expected her sister’s reaction to the food considering she hadn't eaten all day, but Cat was just as bad. What worried her though was that Tori was rushing through the soup despite how hot it was, she was going to end up making herself sick.

"Tori slow down. You're going to make yourself sick." She pulled the mug from her sister carefully and set it aside only to watch as she started shaking. "Shit! Tori what's wrong?"

"She said she hadn't taken her meds yet." Cat sounded worried as well and Trina felt like kicking herself.

Of course she hasn't! They have to be taken with food, FUCK!

"Cat! Can you hand me that bottle near you?" Trina didn't even bother to watch the red-head follow her orders but instantly opened the medicine once it was in her hand and pulled out a large pill to shove in her sister’s mouth.

"Here you go Tori, now drink some soup and lie down." The girl was still shuddering in pain but was starting to relax a bit as she rested her abused muscles. A few minutes passed and she could hear Cat moving around behind her.

"Trina?" Cat's voice sounded strange but she resisted the urge to look until she was sure Tori was going to be ok.

"Yeah Cat?"

"Why is Tori taking medicine that belongs to Shelby Marx?" The red-heads words froze her in place and a startled Tori stared at her in horror.


iHeart Shelby Marx

After that little scare Cat bent down to pick up the pill bottle to place it back on the nightstand when something on the label caught her eye. There, written in black and white, was a name that she didn't expect.

Marx, Shelby A.

'What? But these are Tori's...' her thoughts were racing and certain events came tumbling through her mind like a train, doing their best to ram the evidence down her throat. Still, nothing was making sense except that for whatever reason, her friend had been lying to her since the day they met.

"Trina?" Cat barely recognized her own voice as she spoke.

"Yeah Cat?" The older Vega sibling was distracted when she answered and Cat knew it was because she was concentrating on Tori's well being.

She hesitated for only a second before the question oozed its way out of her throat and into the open. "Why is Tori taking medicine that belongs to Shelby Marx?"

She had been staring at the name that taunted her when she asked the question but looked up to see their reactions. Trina had frozen so completely it was like she wasn't even breathing, but what got to her the most was the look of Horror on Tori's face. It was a look of guilt and fear mixed with equal parts pain and it nearly broke her heart to see, but Cat couldn't stand being lied to and needed to know the truth.

"Tori?" She needed the brunette to look at her, to tell her the truth and fix the pain being lied to caused her.

"I-I...Cat...I'm sorry." The brunette had yet to look her way and the anger she had felt earlier rekindled itself into a fire she rarely showed the world.

"Look at me Tori! Why does your medicine say Shelby Marx on it?" Echoes of Saturday's match and her friend’s reactions flitted through her head, had they seen what she refused to?

Trina turned to look at the stricken red-head as her sister spoke up once more. "I hate lying to you Cat... and I'm sorry I ever did." Cat watched as the half-Latina tried to push herself up out of bed and nearly tripped over her own feet to keep the girl from hurting herself again in the attempt.

"Stay down! You'll hurt yourself again if you try to move." Trina had been the first to react to her sister’s stubbornness but quickly moved aside for the red-head to take her place.

Grabbing the injured girl’s hand, Cat smiled down at her gently and spoke her feelings. "I just want the truth Tori; you know I hate being lied to. I promise I won't be mad, just... tell me."

"Ok." She took a deep breath and then grimaced at the sting of pain before starting her story as best she could. "I started learning martial arts as soon as I could walk because of my dad, Trina too. When I was 12 I got into the MMA scene and found that I loved it, I wanted to be a fighter more than anything at that point so I started training with a family friend."

Trina who had watched her sister struggle to get the words out stopped her with a hand on her leg. "Let me tell it little sis, you just sit and wait for your meds to kick in. Alright Cat; I'm going to tell you a little story."

Cat, who understood that making Tori talk while in so much pain was probably a bad idea, simply turned her head to pay attention.

"Like Tori said she started MMA at 12 with a family friend as her trainer, what she didn't get to was that before she was allowed to enter ANY sort of competition she had to come up with a fake name.

As you know our dad is a cop, and he has been on the force for over 20 years. The reason we were forced to learn self-defense is the same reason Tori had to pick a stage name if she wanted to become a fighter, and that reason is revenge.

Highly decorated police officers tend to make enemies after a while, and sometimes those enemies try to hit close to home. I have personally been the subject of two kidnapping attempts that were meant to get to our father, though they didn't work."

Cat gasped as she heard this and wondered if Trina ever had nightmares about those times.

"If Tori Vega got to be a big name in the fighting circuit, then surely someone who wanted to use it against her would pick up on it. So instead she picked Shelby Marx seeing as Shelby is a family name and Marx is our mother’s maiden name.

It turned out to be a good idea in the end since she had some real talent. Soon she was top of her division and at 14 started making her way into professional fighting world with the help of our Uncle. I'm sure you know the rest from there."

Cat was stunned. Tori Vega was really Shelby Marx, the youngest CFC Champion ever.

Wait a minute; I have a crush on Shelby Marx.

Tori is Shelby Marx.

She took a moment to process the thought and finally came back with 2+2=4.

Holy Shit! I Have a crush on Tori Vega!

iHeart Shelby Marx

[End notes:

HAHAHA! Perfect place for a cliff hanger! I know, I know, I’m evil! But still I can’t believe how long this is getting, it was just supposed to be a small one-shot and it kept growing and growing until –POP! I couldn’t contain it in a single chapter any longer!

Don’t worry though, despite my history of leaving stories unfinished this one is already close to completion and should be finished with the next chapter. Don’t expect it to get rewritten or anything though; any horrible grammar or errors on my part will stay as is simply because this story was meant strictly to exercise my writing muscles in preparation for finishing some of my other works.

Still, despite this just being an exercise in writing let me know if you enjoyed it or not and why. How else am I supposed to grow if I don’t get some honest feedback?

Warning: Those who leave comments of an inappropriate nature will be fed to my pet dragon.


Chapter 2

Title: Duet

Authors Notes: I’m Back~! Here it is the next chapter in my first Cori story ever! In this chapter I will be mentioning several songs throughout including the duet Cat and Tori will be singing. You can find them all on YouTube by adding the following address to YouTube (dot) com


(Also, I just watched D.E.B.S. for the first time ever this week; it made me happy and reminded me of Jade and Tori.)

iHeart Shelby Marx

Jade west was not normally a morning person, in fact she wasn't what you would consider a before noon person either. Still it was apparently mandatory for her to go to school and get an education, and if not for the fact that she was getting a leg up on her chosen profession at Hollywood Arts she would have just said 'Fuck It!'

This was a part of her personality that was widely known, so she had to wonder just WHY she was being dragged into the janitor's closet by a hyper red-head before first period had even begun.

"Cat, please explain to me why you feel like dying today."

"I need your help!"

"So? Why me?" She couldn't admit it even to herself most of the time, but Jade knew she'd help the other girl despite all protests.

"I'm pulling the best-friend card here Jade!" The red-heads face was serious and Jade felt a little worried.

They had been best-friends since middle school and despite all attempts to get rid of her the red-head was still there for the Goth when she needed someone. So for the other girl to bring it up meant this was serious, especially since Tori Vega had come into the picture and Cat usually went to her for these types of things now.

"Alright. What's going on Cat?"

"You know how I have a crush on Shelby Marx?" The dark-haired girl felt a headache coming on; it was going to be one of 'those' situations.

"Yes Cat, I think everyone knows about your crush by now."

"Tori doesn't!"

Jade wanted to get this over with now, anything involving Vega made her want to hurl at the best of times and now was not one of them. "Get on with it! What does your crush have to do with Vega?"

"Remember the fight on Saturday and how much Tori looks like Shelby Marx?" Jade gave the red-head a look that meant 'out with it or die!' prompting her to continue. "IhaveacrushonTori!"

"I'll give you points for making that all one word, but if you don't cut to the chase and quick I'm going to be short one red-headed nuisance."

"I said... I have a crush on Tori! You gotta help me Jade! What do I do?" Cat was looking up at her with those pleading eyes she still couldn't say 'no' to, despite how often she had tried.

Damnit! I hate that look, it should be illegal! Then getting over the fact that she hated when Cat pulled that look, her brain decided to actually process the information it had received.

Wait a minute. Did she say-?

"You have a what on who?!" This was just too much for so early in the morning.

I haven't even had my second cup of coffee yet!

"You heard me! Now what do I do?" Cat was close to hysterical at this point and as fun as it was to watch her freak out sometimes, this was not one of them.

"First off, calm the hell down! Second, tell me when you realized this and how." Jade was surprised that Cat actually obeyed her and seemed to calm instantly, but the fact that she was blushing so hard made the Goth wonder.

"Um... well remember I went to her house afterschool on Monday? I figured it out then, but I can't say how!"

Now Jade was getting interested, Cat was actually horrible at keeping secrets and that she was even trying to do so was telling in itself. "Go on."

"Well I sort of freaked out and ran away once I realized it, but now I have to go back and work with Tori on our duet for class and even though Trina told me that Tori wasn't upset I ran away, I still feel really bad."

"Cat, today is Friday. Are you telling me that you ran away and haven't so much as said 'hi' to the girl in four days?"

"I panicked! Plus I tried texting her an apology but I think her phone is still in her locker." Cat slumped to the floor of the closet in despair.

"Well you said Trina talked to you right? Why don't you tell her this?"

Cat looked up at Jade with wide eyes and shook her head wildly. "NO! Trina's scary when she's being nice to Tori, and she cornered me yesterday after school to talk about what happened and..." Jade watched as the red-head mentally relived her encounter and felt sorry for the girl.

"I can't tell her I have a crush on her sister after what happened, she'll think I'm making it up! Or worse! She'll believe me and get all protective and scary again!"

"Alright, I've had enough of this crap!" The Goth had reached the end of her patience. Best friend or no, Cat was getting on her last nerve. "There is obviously something I am missing here, and you won't tell me for whatever reason! So here's my advice! Man up, apologize in person, talk this out with Tori, and then work on your duet like you're supposed to!"

She didn't even wait to see what Cat's reaction was and left the cramped closet just in time for the bell.

Screw class, I need coffee!

iHeart Shelby Marx

*Tori Vega: FYI. Advertising lies, Stairs are evil, and Bed Rest= BORING! ... Also does anyone know where I left my phone? Feeling= blah*

At last she had managed to get her status updated on theSlap, no thanks to Trina of course. It had only taken her the last three days to work up the nerve, but Tori had finally attempted to go downstairs and had even succeeded with minimal pain and a whole heck of a lot of effort.

The reason for her excursion? "I love you Mr. Laptop! You'll help keep the boredom away, won't you?"

Yep, the half-Latina had spent the last few days plotting ways to get her laptop from its resting place on the coffee table after Trina had bluntly told her 'No' when she had asked for it. Now that it was in her grasp she could spend her time doing more than staring at the ceiling, or like when she had gotten REALLY bored, counting the threads in her sheets.

Turned out they were NOT 200 thread count like advertised, they were 197 thread count. She had even gone so far as to triple-check the count to make sure.

I still can't believe I actually did that... but it DID make time pass pretty quickly.

A chime pulled her from her thoughts announcing a reply to her post. Quickly she pulled it up to check and spotted not one but two messages in response.

*Cat Valentine: Hi Tori! Sorry about Monday :( ... Also I think you left your phone here at school.*

Tori was happy that Cat was still willing to talk to her, and she also felt a little stupid since she now realized that her phone was tucked safely into her locker along with her backpack.

*Trina Vega: How did you get your laptop? You better not have gone downstairs on your own!*

"Well that doesn't bode well for later." Ignoring the implied threat from Trina she quickly composed a second set of messages in reply.

*Tori Vega: @Cat- U R Forgiven :) Also thanks for letting me know about my phone!*

*Tori Vega: @Trina- Grab my stuff from my locker before you head home to kill me please.*

"Alright, now that we have THAT taken care of..." Tori closed her laptop and stood from her place on the couch. Steeling herself she picked the computer up and turned towards the stairs with determination. It was going to be hard, and it was going to be awkward, but she WOULD conquer the abomination despite how little she really wanted to move at the moment.

Note to self: ALWAYS go to the bathroom before venturing downstairs when on bed rest.

iHeart Shelby Marx

*...Just close your eyes. You'll be alright. Come morning light, You and I'll be safe and sound...*

Cat heard the lyrics playing on the radio and prayed they would be true, even as she gripped her seat belt strap so tightly that her knuckles turned white. Then Trina honked the horn while swerving causing Cat to squeak and close her eyes tightly.

Why did I ever agree to this?

Currently the duo was traveling to the Vega household after school, but while Trina was a naturally bad driver this was something else. Cat wasn't sure but she thought it might have something to do with how upset the other girl had seemed since they had met up at the school's entrance.

"Trina, please! I would like to LIVE long enough to get to your house!"

"Oh, don't you worry Cat; we'll get there no problem!" Trina actually turned to face the red-head and gave a vicious grin that scared her even more than the reckless driving. "We'll get there and when we do, I am going to KILL Tori."


Cat worried a bit for Trina's health, along with her own of course, as the brunette’s eye started twitching at the question.

Maybe I shouldn't have asked?

Taking a deep breath Trina calmed herself before answering. "That, stupid STUPID girl..." she took another deep breath before continuing.”...look, Mom and Dad left me in charge of Tori while they are gone on business this week. That means I will get into SERIOUS trouble if she does something stupid, like WANDER THE HOUSE ALONE! What if she had fallen down the stairs?! Then what?"

Cat was in awe. Trina was being an over-protective big sister and she got to see it happening. Awww she's worried... that's so sweet! Another honk and some swearing broke her from the thoughts of sweet Trina.

No one's ever going to believe me about it though.

iHeart Shelby Marx

"... all the girls in town look you up and down, I know~ so come on and pick your kitten~ purr baby purr go ahead and say the word, let’s go~ I think I'm the one your digging..."

Tori was bored despite having her computer now and was trying to keep herself busy by singing along with the radio as well as searching for a song to do with Cat for class. SplashFace however was not being horribly cooperative in her search for an appropriate duet featuring a male and female singer. Most of the results were inappropriate for singing at a school function or were not true duets at all, though she had managed to find some new music for her favorites list.

"Alright, I give up! Maybe Cat will have an idea?" Her thoughts were interrupted by the sounds of an angry Trina making her way into the house.

And here comes trouble.

"TORI!" There was the sound of stomping and then strangely enough what the bed-ridden Latina thought sounded like someone skipping. The door to her room was thrown open and in came her sister.

"S'up Treen? Did you grab my stuff?"

"I did. But you are going to pay for being so reckless!" Tori knew her sister wasn't talking about leaving her bag at school.

"Don't worry Tori; Trina was just worried you would get hurt again." Cat skipped into the room with a smile and made her way over to Tori for a hug. "I won't hurt you this time, right?"

"Hi Cat! And I promise I took my meds this time, just don't squeeze." Despite the surprise at Cat being there, Tori was all set to get a hug from her favorite red-head.

"No hugging!" Trina interrupted with a smile on her face but made no move to stop Cat from doing so.

"Not that I'm not happy to see you Cat, but what are you doing here?"

"I came to work on our duet, it's due next week and we haven't even picked a song yet!" Releasing the gentle hug she sat on the edge of the bed and held Tori's hand in her own before speaking again. "Plus I wanted to say sorry for running out last time, especially after you told me such a big secret."

"It's ok Cat, I already forgave you."

"Ugh! What is with all the mush? Look, Cat is Sorry for freaking, Tori forgives you, and now you can get past it and to more important things! I am MAD at you Tori!" Trina was still in protective sister mode and wanted said sister to know it.

"Sorry I went downstairs when no one was home to help, but you refused to grab my laptop and I was bored! I counted the threads in my sheets! Three Times, Trina! Three!"


Cat giggled at she heard what Tori had done. It reminded her of the time she had done the same thing simply because she had been curious if her sheets were really 200 count. She gave up halfway through her third attempt because she kept getting distracted by thoughts of how bored she was. She ended up hanging with her brother after that and almost got arrested when he took her out for ice cream only to end up in a fight with the store's owner.

It was a good thing she could run so well in high heels otherwise things could have gotten bad.

"Fine! I'm ordering Pizza for dinner, are you going to stay the night Cat or do you need a ride home later?" Cat was pulled out of her thoughts by Trina's question and glanced at Tori to see if she wanted her to stay.

"Stay and we can watch movies and stuff after we pick a song."

"Kay kay. But I didn't bring any clothes or anything."

"Borrow Tori's and I'll give you a lift home in the morning." With that the elder Vega left her sisters room to order food."

Thinking on her experience in the car earlier Cat cringed at the thought of being driven anywhere by Trina ever again and let out a little squeak of terror.

"Let me guess, Trina's driving has scarred you for life hasn't it?" Cat merely nodded in agreement before feeling Tori squeezing her hands in comfort.

Oh! I forgot I was still holding her hand! She took a moment to concentrate on the sensation. Wow! They're so soft...

"What kind of moisturizer do you use?" The question was out in the open before she even knew it was forming.

"What? Why do you want to know that?"

"Your hands are really soft, but your Shelby Marx and you punch people a lot so shouldn't they be harder?" Cat blushed as her thoughts took a less than clean detour about the famous fighter’s hands and what she had just said.


Tori was caught off guard by both the question and the blush. She had been secretly enjoying every second of Cat's hands playing with her own and had been paying less attention than usual as her thoughts wandered.

"I guess I never thought about it, but I just use regular lotion when I need to."

"Oh. So have you thought about a song we can do yet?" Cat was obviously trying to change the subject, but Tori allowed it with a smile.

"I spent some time looking and made a playlist, but there's not much to it. How about you, any ideas?"

Cat took a second to think about it before speaking. "A couple, can we just go through your playlist and see what we like?"

"Sure, give me a sec." Tori reached over to grab her laptop and opened it to her SplashFace page. "Here we go, if you have anything to add go for it."

Cat leaned over for a better look at the screen and then smiled before clicking play. There were only a few songs on the playlist so it didn't take them too long to listen to the entire thing, but each song had its own potential.

"So got a favorite yet?"

"Yep! I want to do this one, it has some of the best vocals and it's one of my favorites!"

"Sounds good to me, let's do it."


"We can start practicing later but for now, how about a movie?" Tori grinned up at Cat who was bouncing in excitement and couldn't help but smile at the cuteness.

God I love this girl...

iHeart Shelby Marx

They had been watching movies for hours now, and Tori could see that Cat was starting to get tired. Readjusting herself to a more comfortable position on the couch Tori let out a yawn and realized that she was also getting kind of tired.

"Hey Cat, maybe we should get ready for bed now."

"I'm not-" The red-head was cut off by a huge yawn of her own. "Ok. Do you need help getting up the stairs?"

Tori took a moment to assess herself and checked the time to see when she next needed her meds. A few slow movements left her wincing but it wasn't nearly bad enough to keep her from being able to make it upstairs. "I can make it, but a little help never hurts."

"Kay. I'm sleeping in your room right?"

Oh man, I forgot about that... but I can't tell her 'no'.

She could feel herself blushing at the innocent question and had to force herself to speak normally. "Um... yeah. Unless you want to sleep somewhere else?"

"N-No, your room is fine." Tori heard the stutter in Cat's voice but put it to the late hour as they made their way to her room. Soon enough they were upstairs and Tori was digging through her drawers for some Pj's.

"Here you go Cat, these should fit. I'm going to go change in the bathroom real quick and take my meds for the night, feel free to make yourself comfy."

"Kay kay." Cat took the purple heart pajamas Tori handed her with a smile while the brunette wandered down the hall to change into her own rainbow star pjs. It took her a bit longer than usual to simply change her pants and do her business since she was effectively restricted to one arm, but there was absolutely no way she'd get her shirt changed by herself.

I forgot about this... usually Trina helps me in these situations, or Mom when she's home.

"Tori? Are you ok in there?" Cat had come to see what was taking her so long and Tori sighed as she realized what needed to be done.

Ok, I can do this. I'll just pretend it's like Trina or mom helping me. Deep breath Tori.

"I'm fine, but... I kind of need some help."

"Do you need me to come in?" Tori bit her lip at the question knowing that this was going to be embarrassing.

"Y-yes, please." Her voice cracked a bit but apparently Cat had still heard her clearly as the door opened only seconds later. Tori could already feel herself blushing furiously at the thought of her crush seeing her half naked, let alone helping her to change.

Maybe I should have just in this top for the night. She thought about it seriously for a moment. Except I've been wearing this shirt since yesterday night and while showers are out till my ribs are better I refuse to stink while Cat is here.

"What's up Tori?"

"I... I need help... changing my shirt." Tori whispered her request and looked away in embarrassment not wanting to see the look on her friends face. Quickly she hastened to explain before the other girl got freaked out though. "Usually my Mom or Trina help but... Trina's asleep and moms not here and I REALLY need to change!"

There was silence for nearly a minute and Tori was about to tell her friend to forget it when the red-head spoke up.



Cat had gotten worried about Tori when she had been gone for nearly ten minutes and had gone to see what the problem was. She hadn't really been expecting her to need help changing, but in retrospect it was fairly obvious the injured girl would need some form of help until at least her arm was out of its sling or her ribs were a little better.

It took her nearly a minute, but seeing how embarrassed the half-Latina was to even ask for help firmed her resolve and let her push any naughty feelings to the side. This was not the time to ogle the girl she was crushing on, despite she would get to see her half-naked.



"I said ok, I'll help you." Cat could see the surprised relief in the brunette’s eyes. "You're my friend Tori, any way I can help you I will. Now, how do we do this?"

A shy smile grew on the taller girl's lips and Cat felt her heart grow lighter. She had always felt an attraction to Tori but had left it as a strong friendship and the brunette being so visually similar to her long time crush Shelby Marx. Now though she knew what it had really been, Cat had grown attracted to Tori for her personality not her looks, though obviously they helped since the two girls were in fact one and the same.

"Um... first we have to get my sling off and then remove the old shirt. Luckily I have a LOT of button up shirts making it easier."

"Kay kay."

Cat moved closer to her crush and felt herself start to blush. No matter what she said she was still a teenage girl about to see the girl she liked half naked. Taking a deep breath she steeled herself for the task and started to gently unbutton the taller girl’s shirt.

You can do it Cat; just pretend it's an acting assignment or something! Just two friends in a bathroom, one helping the ...other... oh god!

Cat's thoughts trailed off as she caught sight of the skin Tori had hidden beneath her shirt. Nearly every inch she could see was that sick almost black color of a really bad bruise that had yet to start healing. The sight had her nearly in tears as more and more bruises were revealed the further she got.

"Oh god, Tori..."


She could see that Cat was nearly in tears as the bruises she had hidden were revealed one by one, but Tori knew that her sensitive friend had yet to see just how bad it really was. She kept herself quiet even as the red-head began to slowly and carefully remove first her sling and then her shirt. It wasn't until she heard Cat gasp at the sight of her back and felt trembling fingers tracing her spine that she said anything.

"It's not as bad as it looks, really."

"Tori your ENTIRE back is one giant bruise, how is that not bad?" She could hear tears in her friend’s voice and regretted having the shorter girl see the results of her fight with Anya.

"I've had worse, besides they're starting to heal and in another week I won't feel them anymore." That was apparently the wrong thing to say as she felt Cat turn her gently but firmly to look the red-head in the eyes.

"You've had worse? Tori I know you're Shelby Marx and all, but is being a fighter really worth this kind of pain?" The half-Latina had never seen her friend so serious before, but knew she had to answer. The only problem was she had never figured out the answer herself.

Had that fight been worth it?

"There are always risks to be had in pursuing your dreams; my Nana told me that shortly after I told my family I wanted to be a fighter. She wasn't just talking about my being a fighter though; she was talking about any kind of dream." Tori reached up with her good arm to caress the tears from her friends face.

"Being a fighter is worth a little pain sometimes because I truly love it, but I know I can't do it forever. Fights like the one I had against Chekov just remind me of that, it's why I agreed to come to Hollywood Arts in the first place, to give me another dream to follow once I can no longer fight." She was putting all of her feelings into her words and hoped that the red-head could understand.

"When you can no longer fight?" Cat looked incredulous at that. "You mean when you get a permanent injury?"

"When I no longer want to fight is more likely Cat. Even with the broken ribs I still love fighting, but I've also really started to enjoy acting and singing as well."

"So it's worth it?" The red-head gave her a lost look and Tori couldn't help herself. Despite being topless and covered in bruises she felt the urge to just kiss the sorrow from Cat's face. Instead she reached for the shorter girls hand and held it to her heart.

"Did you enjoy the match on Saturday, before you knew it was me fighting?"

The red-head looked at her in confusion for a moment before nodding yes slowly. "I did, Shelby- you have been my favorite fighter since I was 15."

"Then it was worth it."

It was more than worth it.

iHeart Shelby Marx

The weekend had passed quickly after Cat and Tori had their little talk, the time easily spent working on their duet and just hanging out together with Trina. Cat had ended up staying Saturday night as well out of fear of Trina's driving, and had gotten a ride home from Mr. Vega Sunday night after they had gotten back into town.

Now it was early Monday morning and Tori's first day back to school since she had gotten hurt. At the moment the half-Latina was waiting by her locker for Cat to show up like planned. The red-head had offered her services as a book caddy over the weekend, and while appreciative Tori really just wanted the excuse to spend more time with her.

"Hi Tori!" the sudden call of her name had the brunette jumping and she turned to find Cat standing near her with a smile and what looked like two cups of coffee.

"Hi Cat."

"I brought you some coffee!" The hyper red-head handed one of the cups to Tori before taking a sip out of her own.

"Thanks Cat." She took a sip of the caffeinated beverage and was pleasantly surprised. "Oh wow, it's just the way I like it. How'd you know?"

"I remembered from watching you make some on Saturday." Cat was blushing as she said that, a shy smile on her face that made Tori just want to hug the shorter girl out of sheer cuteness. "A-are you ready for class?"

"Yeah, just let me grab my books." Maneuvering her coffee into her off hand, Tori quickly opened her locker only to be pushed gently out of the way and handed a second cup of coffee.

"Hold this. You have Spanish first right?" Cat asked as she started grabbing books from the brunette’s locker and placing them in her own backpack. "Then math and lunch after that?"

"Uh... yeah." Tori was completely surprised that the red-head knew so much about her schedule, and to be honest with herself a bit flattered as well.

"Yay! I got it right!" Cat clapped her hands happily before she shouldered her bag and took back her coffee.

"Ugh. What has you so happy?" Both girls turned at the familiar voice and spotted Jade making her way to them, Beck in tow like usual.

"Hi Jade! Hi Beck!"

"Hi Cat. Nice to see you again Tori, feeling better?" Beck placed his arm over Jade's shoulder as he asked the question, trying to calm his irritable girlfriend before she could get going.

"Well I can finally get up and down the stairs without feeling like I'm dying, so yeah." Tori gave a bit of a smile hoping that her friends would take it as a joke. Only Cat knew exactly how true the statement really was, especially after she had finally gotten to see the full extent of Tori's injuries in a rather embarrassing incident; one involving Cat, Trina, and Tori needing help taking a bath.

"Well you look like crap." Jade was blunt with her words, but then again no one expected her to be otherwise.

"Thanks." Tori rolled her eyes, but huffed as she knew it was true. "To be honest though, if it weren't for my meds I'd feel worse than I look."

"Oh! That reminds me! Tori where are your meds? Trina told me to make sure you have them with you."

"Cat you don't have to babysit me you know." The look Tori received at those words made her snap her mouth shut and had Jade subtly moving herself from the red-heads line of sight. "T-they're in my locker!"

"Good, there will be no repeat of last Monday." The red-head turned back to close Tori's locker before grabbing her arm and leading her away. "Now it's almost time for class and I've got English first, so let’s go."

Tori could feel herself blushing, but was also embarrassed to realize that she was a little turned on by Cat being so aggressive. She chanced a glance back at Jade and Beck as she was dragged away only to see a look of amusement and curiosity respectively.

I think I should be terrified, but Cat's so hot when she gets like this.

iHeart Shelby Marx

Something most people did not understand about Jade West was how curious she could be at times; if it was interesting she wanted to know about it. The 'incident', as she had taken to calling it, from this morning had sparked her interest greatly.

She already knew that Cat was crushing on Vega, and that the brunette had been badly hurt last weekend, but there had been something else about their interactions that were bothering her. She had spent the rest of the day watching Cat and Tori carefully, trying to figure out exactly what was going on with them.

The Goth had learned a few things from watching them but was still not able to put what was bothering her into words.

Ok, the best way to figure this out is to break it down into parts and analyze them. First thing, Cat likes Vega.

She remembered the red-head pulling her into the janitor’s closet and asking for her help. She still wasn't sure why Cat had mentioned her crush on Shelby Marx or what it had to do with Vega.

Except that they look pretty much identical, so that makes sense. She probably realized that Vega looked like her crush and freaked. Item two, Vega is injured.

Since the half-Latina had shown up in school this morning Jade had noticed the difficulty she had in moving around. It was obvious the brunette was in some serious physical pain even with the medicine she was taking for it. The Goth had also caught sight of some bruises that made even her cringe in sympathy pain.

I know Cat spent the weekend at Vega's so if she saw how badly she was hurt that would explain her protective attitude. The girl always did take playing nurse a bit too seriously. That look she gave Vega probably means the twit did something stupid in front of Cat too.

Reminding herself of the red-heads look made her think of Tori's reaction to it. The half-Latina had instantly done as told and then had blushed a bright red as she was dragged away. At first Jade had just assumed it was out of embarrassment but thinking back she realized that the half-Latina had been smiling a bit.

I think Vega liked it when Cat got all bossy with her, that or she thought it was cute or something.

Something about that thought struck a chord but she still wasn't sure why.

Moving on to item three, Cat's behavior.

The red-head had spent her day helping Tori by walking her to class and carrying her books for her. Jade knew that the brunette had tried protesting at least a little, but had eventually given up since Cat was adamant about doing things for her. She also knew that Cat was actually enjoying doing those things for the other girl, it had been written all over her face.

It's sickening behavior from people who are dating, let alone just friends, but Cat does have a crush on Vega so that's excusable. But if the look on Vega's face was any indication I think she liked it too, though that could just be her usual reaction to making Cat smile.

Another chord was struck, and a niggling thought started forming in the back of her brain, one that she didn't really want to look at too closely.

Item four, Vega's behavior. I have never seen her so docile, especially when it involved her sister or my teasing her. It was freaky, but part of it was probably the pain messing with her since she seemed so out of it.

Jade hated to admit it even to herself, but she enjoyed it when Tori fought back and had been truly freaked out when even her best barbs had been ignored outright. That the brunette hadn't so much as blushed when her sister had started treating her like a little kid at lunch had been strange to watch, though pretty funny too. She hadn't stopped making fun of the girl until Cat had given her that look.

For such a nice person Cat can be really evil when she wants to. Not that anyone ever believes me when I tell them that, though I have a feeling Vega might based on her reaction this morning.

Jade took a moment to think that over and felt herself shudder in fear. While she and Tori might be 'frenemies' she honestly hoped that the brunette had no reason to ever get Cat angry enough to feel her wrath.

I still have nightmares about it... and I can't believe I have something in common with Vega. Still...

She took a few moments to roll her thoughts around trying to put everything from that day into perspective, including that she would have to eventually warn the brunette to avoid making Cat angry. Pieces were still missing and while she could make a few guesses about what was going on she knew they were just that, guesses.

Looks like I'm going to be playing spy this week.

iHeart Shelby Marx

Trina was absolutely fed up with Tori and her crush on Cat. She'd known about the crush since Tori first came home from Hollywood arts with a sappy smile on her face and stories about a red-headed angel. She had ended up laughing herself sick at that, but in the end had vowed to support her little sister. Now though, it had been nearly six months since that point and the girl hadn't made one move.

She's such a wuss when it comes to this, the girl is all over her since she got injured but not once has she tried to even flirt.

Right now was a good example of this. Tori and Cat had gotten a ride home with her so that they could practice one last time before tomorrow’s duet. They sounded excellent together and had some obvious chemistry going; it was amazing that they didn't realize how much they liked each other.

Trina was pretty tempted to say something about it in front of the red-head, but had unfortunately promised her sister not to.

Damn those promises! But...

She got an evil little smirk on her face as something occurred to her, and quickly she grabbed Tori's phone without either of them noticing. Thumbing through her contacts she hunted for the number she needed.

Wicked West? Really? Geez Tori couldn't you think of something more original?

Quickly she wrote it down and headed off for some privacy to make a call of her own. Once in her room she locked the door and dialed the number hoping the Goth would hear her out.

*Who are you and why are you calling me?*

"That's a good way to scare off important calls, including this one."

*So you'll hang up and leave me alone?*

"Despite our mutual dislike of each other, I actually have a reason to steal your number from my sister."

*Out with it Vega, I have things to do.* Trina took a second to roll her eyes at the response but knew putting up with the other girl would eventually be worth it.

"You're Cat's best friend right?"

*And your point is?*

"So you obviously know that she's crushing on my sister big time."

*And how did you find out about it? Did she tell you?*

"She didn't have to; I am here when she and Tori hang out together. I can see it."

*So you just called to tell me my best friend has a crush on your sister?*

"No I called to tell you my sister has a crush on Cat and that they are both too chicken shit to tell each other."

There was a moment of silence from the phone and Trina actually checked to make sure the call hadn't been dropped. It hadn't and after another moment Jade's voice came back on the line.

*How long?*

"Since day two at HA. She came home talking about a red-haired angel and has been crazy about her since. Meantime I've had to put up with all the bullshit behind the scenes and I'm sick of it."

*So you want to what, get them together or something?* She smiled at the Goth’s question and knew the other girl was hooked.

"Exactly! I figure we can come up with a basic plan sometime this weekend and start working to get them to confess to each other." Another moment of silence passed and Trina hoped the Goth was willing to help, because her only plan otherwise was to tell Cat outright. A plan that would end with her getting the crap beat out of her by an angry MMA fighter.

*Why don't we just tell them they like each other?*

"Do you want to make them angry? I know for a fact Tori would kill me if I told Cat, and I can only assume the same for you."

*Don't ever repeat this, but you have a point.*

"I knew Cat had to be hiding something! Let me guess, she can be really evil if she wants to, right?" Trina had thought about it for a long time once she found out about her sister's crush. No one could be all sweetness and light all the time and still have a girl like Jade as their best friend, it just wasn't possible.

*Whatever, let's just agree to meet up and make a plan. But Vega, don't think this means I like you, at all.*

"Same here, but I've had to deal with this for almost 6 months. Imagine Cat after six months Jade, I know you would hate it too."

*I'll meet you during lunch tomorrow, at the black box theatre. Bring any ideas with you.* This time the call ended with an audible click and despite being hung up on Trina was smiling.

Finally! Now I can stop watching them dance around each other all the time!

iHeart Shelby Marx

"Alright! That was Jade and Robbie in... whatever the heck that was. Up next we have two very lovely ladies performing a duet, our very own Cat Valentine and Tori Vega with Daniel Merriweather's 'Water and a Flame'!"

Friday had finally arrived and with it the end of their project. The entire class was performing their pieces one at a time in the black box theatre while other classes had been invited to watch. This of course meant that the theatre was full as students and teachers alike came to see the performances.

Tori and Cat had decided that since they couldn't do much in the way of choreography with the song that they would instead dress to impress. Cat wore her hair pulled back and up to compliment her dress and show off her neck and shoulders, while Tori wore a simpler outfit.

Since the brunette was still heavily bruised and in a sling, they had gone with a button up shirt with vest and tie over black pants and boots, all in colors complimenting Cat's dress. She was also covered in a fair amount of make-up hiding the worst of the now healing bruises on her face.

As they strode out onto the stage together and signaled for the music to start, people in the audience couldn't help but notice how nicely they complimented each other and hoped that their voices would do the same.

The music began and Tori was the first to start singing, her voice a bit deeper than usual but still beautiful.

*Seven days is gone so fast

I really thought the pain would pass

It's been nearly an hour since I thought of you

But you're not answering the phone

I'd settle for a busy tone

At least by that I'd know that you're okay

A girl like you ain't meant to go away, oh

And now you're gone, ain't nothin' else I want

And now that it's over, there's nothin' else I want

And what have I done? Looks like I was wrong

Is everythin' really meant to change?

I guess we're like water and a flame, water and a flame*

Cat started her verse with passion and a clear voice, surprising those who had never heard her sing before.

*I'm tired of this empty house

I need a drink to get me out

A couple more 'til I forget your name

I saw a boy that looked like you

I didn't know quite what to do

It took a power of will to break my stare

I realized what I wanted wasn't there

Now you're gone, there's nothin' else I want

Now that it's over, there's nothin' else I want

What have I done? Looks like I was wrong

Is everythin' really meant to change?

I guess we're like water and a flame, water and a flame*

*If you see me comin'

I look away, I look away

And if your mind is made up

I look away, I will look away

If you're worry bound

I'm okay, I'm okay, yes, I am

And all this sorrow and this pain

Is gonna go away, oh no, no, no

Now you're gone, ain't nothin' else I want

Now that it's over, there's nothin' else I want

What have I done? Looks like I was wrong

Is everythin' really meant to change

I guess we're like water and a flame, water and a flame*

The audience was up on its feet clapping and cheering at the wonderful rendition of a beautiful song, leaving the girls to beam happily in pride even as they hurried off the stage so that the next group could perform.

Andre, who had already done his skit with another girl in the class, came up to speak with them and happily patted Tori on the back. "That was awesome!"

"Andre!" Cat yelled at the musician as Tori doubled over in pain from the rough touch, and quickly bent to make sure she was alright. "Do you not recall her broken ribs?"

"Yo! Sorry Tori, I forgot! You gonna be okay?"

The half-Latina nodded yes, but not without glaring at her friend first and rose back to her full height as the pain receded. "That was not cool, but I forgive you. So what's up?"

"Just came up to say how totally awesome that was, you and Cat sound great together!" He missed the blush both girls sported at his statement and continued on. "I was also wondering if you guys wanted to hang out this weekend, maybe go to the movies or something?"

"Yay! I love movies!" Cat clapped quietly in joy as the next performance was going on behind them.

"Sounds good to me, what are we going to see?"

"Not sure yet, but it'll probably be either horror or action." Andre glanced out at the stage and cringed as the male actor tripped over his too long skirt. "And it'll definitely be better than this."

"Ok, call me with the deets when everything gets settled, for now I got to head to the girls room." Tori started walking away from her friends as the need to pee overcame her.

"Bye Andre!" Cat quickly followed the brunette wanting to make sure she would be fine, leaving the male to chuckle at their behavior.

What none of them noticed was the shadowy form of Jade hiding nearby who had seen the entire exchange. A smirk formed on her face before she headed after the girls with phone in hand, intent on bringing her plan to life.

iHeart Shelby Marx

[End notes:

Alright so it looks like this is going to end up a 3 parter! Hopefully my muse will stay with me long enough to complete it because I really want to. This story has begun to take on a life of its own and I can’t wait to see where it heads next myself. Also if you want to hear the full version of the songs I mentioned in this chapter they are all found on YouTube.

In order they are:

‘Terabrite - Safe and Sound Cover’

‘The Band Perry – Hip to my Heart’

‘Daniel Merriweather feat. Adele – Water and a Flame’

Also, don’t forget that reviews are Muse food!


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