'God she's fantastic.' Jade thinks as she watches Tori perform Make it in America. She follows everyone up to the stage so they can congratulate her she watches Tori hug everyone and when Tori reaches for her... she hugs back.
In those few seconds Jade's real. She's not lying to herself. Not about who she is. About how she feels. She's just Jade. The real Jade. The one that's stuffed into the back of a closet locked up tight away from the world. The one that isn't fake. When Tori lets go the mask goes back up, protecting her, caging her.
An hour or two later Jade's backstage watching Tori clean her face of makeup. The way Tori does it is methodical, lipstick off first then gently around her eyes. She looks into the mirror searching for any trace left behind. Her eyes catch Jades form in the mirror whirling around to see if she's really there.
"Jade! What are you doing here? Everyone else went home."
"Wanted to congratulate you." She answers leaning against a wall across from Tori. "You really were great." She bites her tongue catching herself from saying Tori looks pretty without her makeup on.
"Thanks." Her lips quirk up into a smile. "Jade..." She pauses. "Why'd you do it?" Jade bites her lip watching her carefully.
"I-" She sighs blinking fast not letting her tears fall. "I like you Tori." Tori's brow furrows.
"I'm sorry I lie." She clenches her hands nails biting into her palms.
"Then why do you?" Tori questions her tone expressionless. Jade snorts.
"It's easier that way. If people knew-"
"If people knew what?" Jade pales sucking in a breath and mustering up her courage.
"I like gir-" a crash resounds through the room a stagehand behind them cursing over knocking over the podium.
"If people knew you liked- Jade?" Tori's gets up from the chair looking around the room for her.
But Jade's gone.
Still in the cage.