A/N: Okay so I am VERY FRUSTRATED with this little one shot, not because it's not good (I actually quite like it), and not because it was hard to write (it only took me about a day), but because this is not the story I was trying to write when I started it. I've had this one particular idea in my head for months that I just cannot figure out how to construct as an actual story. I thought I had maybe finally found a way to do that with this, but then the STUPID scene and the STUPID characters had to go a totally different direction that doesn't at all fit with what I was trying to write! Now I may never be able to figure out how to write the other scene I've been thinking about. Why must this happen? Writing is hard.
Anyway, this is set in between the 3rd and 4th episodes of season 4. (That is, after the whole deal with the party and with Jamie, but before the couch jumping and all of that madness.) Please enjoy this story that I did not mean to write.
Jude checks the time on her phone as she walks across the G Major lobby. She's happy to find that it reads 10:35, only five minutes late. Tommy is already in the studio when she walks in, though, setting up the sound board. He looks up and smiles when he sees her. "Hey."
"Hi." She smiles back as he turns in the chair to face her. She reaches out to put a hand on his cheek and leans down to kiss him. When they pull apart she stands up straight again and says, "Sorry I'm late, I kept hitting snooze."
Tommy checks his watch. "Five minutes. Definitely not the latest you've been to a session," he teases. She just sighs and looks away, and he raises his eyebrows. "You okay?"
"Hmm?" She turns back to him. "Yeah, I'm fine." She gestures to the board and asks, "What song?"
"Your choice, I guess. We need some background vocals for Where Does It Hurt, but if you don't want to start the day with singing, we also have mixing to finish up on Ultraviolet. SME is in here this afternoon for Perfect, so I want to hold off on that one."
"I want to wait a little for the caffeine to kick in before I have to sing, if that's cool," she says, gesturing with her half-empty coffee cup.
"Sure thing." He turns back to the computer, and Jude sits in the chair next to him, leaning against the edge of the board, her head in her hand. When Tommy turns back to her, he frowns a little. "Seriously, are you okay?"
"Yeah." She nods. "I'm just tired. I didn't get much sleep. Did we make a decision about the drums on the bridge?"
He turns back to the computer, checking the recording before answering her question, and they work on the song for a while. After a few minutes, though, Tommy notices that Jude isn't paying attention, resting her head in her hand again, close to nodding off, and he raises his eyebrows at her. "Rough night, girl?" Jude just gives a hum and rubs her eyes, and Tommy's eyebrows shoot up a little higher. "You're not coming into my studio hungover, are you?"
"What?" Jude straightens up and looks at him incredulously. "First of all, no, I'm not, and second, we've had Saturday morning sessions where you've left your sunglasses on the whole time. You don't get to be high and mighty about what I do in our studio, co-producer."
Tommy holds up his hands in a gesture of surrender and gives a little chuckle. "Fair enough, Harrison. But you were out pretty late, I take it? What, did you have a hot date I didn't know about?" he smiles, teasing.
She rolls her eyes, looking away from him, but then she turns back suddenly and says, "You know what? Yes. Yes I did. With someone very special to me." Tommy raises his eyebrows again, but Jude continues, "My bed. I was finally going to be able to catch up on my sleep after this awful week, and I'd been looking forward to it all day, but then my sister has to go and ruin it."
"I'm confused. Sadie did something to your bed?"
"No," Jude rolls her eyes again. "She just kept me up into the ungodly hours of the morning. God! Just because they have the day off today, it does not mean I don't still have to wake up early. When I agreed to this whole three's company thing, I didn't think it was going to mess with my sleep. Sleep is very important to me, Tommy." Tommy still looks puzzled, so Jude clarifies, "Kwest moved in yesterday."
"Oh. Didn't that happen already? He mentioned it to me last week, before the party."
"Well, technically yes, but he like, actually moved in yesterday for real, like he brought over his stuff and everything. And since they both have the day off today, they went out to celebrate last night."
"And you went with them?" he asks.
"No, because I had a date with my bed. A date which was going beautifully, until 2 AM, when Kwest and Sadie brought their little 'yay we're living together' celebration back home. To Sadie's bedroom. Which shares a wall with mine."
"Ah." Tommy looks amused now.
"By the time I realized what was happening, it was already too late. I banged on the wall a few times and told them to shut up, and they didn't even freaking hear me, so I had to decide whether to go in there and risk seeing things that I definitely do not need to see, or just to try to ignore it and hope that I could bleach my brain later so I wouldn't have to remember the sounds of my sister having sex." Tommy laughs and Jude groans. "Don't laugh at me! It was awful. They woke me up and I couldn't fall back to sleep until like five in the morning."
"I'm sorry, girl," he says, but he's still laughing a little as he says it.
"If this is what Kwest living with us is going to be like, then I am going to have to move out, Kwest's breakfast-making skills aside." She puts her head in her hands and groans again. "She's so loud, Tommy."
He lets out another loud laugh. "Yeah, when you get a few drinks in her, Sadie's–" he cuts off, wincing, and Jude's head shoots up to look at him.
"You've got to be kidding me," she says, and he sighs. "Please tell me you were not about to say something about what my sister is like in bed."
"Jude…" Tommy says in a condescending tone that Jude finds instantly irritating.
"Jude what?" she snaps. "You were about to make some comment about what my sister sounds like when she–"
"Stop," he cuts her off, frowning. "It just slipped out, alright? Don't try and make this into some big thing. I am not in the mood."
"You're not in the mood?" she asks incredulously. "Well you know what, Tom? I am not in the mood to think about my boyfriend having sex with my sister!"
"It was a long time ago!" he protests.
"It hasn't even been a year and a half, Tommy!" she protests. "And besides, that doesn't change the fact that you–"
He cuts her off again. "You need to calm down."
Anger surges in her at that. "Don't you dare tell me to calm down," she hisses.
"Jude–" Tommy starts, but Jude puts her hands up and cuts him off.
"No. Whatever you're going to say, I don't want to hear it, okay?" She sighs, putting a hand to her forehead. "I can't do this right now. Can we just… take ten? Please?"
"Jude, you…" he starts to protest again, but she gives him a pleading look and he trails off.
"Please," she says softly. "I'm not mad at you, Tommy, I just… I need a minute, okay?"
He hesitates for a moment, then sighs. "Okay. Let's take ten."
She doesn't say anything else, just looks down at the ground as she stands up from her chair, taking her empty coffee cup with her as she leaves the studio.
Several minutes later, Tommy finds Jude sitting on the landing of the stairs. "Hey," he says softly, and she looks up.
"Oh. Hi, sorry, has it been more than ten minutes? I wasn't keeping track. I didn't mean to keep you waiting." She moves to get up, and he puts out a hand to stop her.
"No, sit. You're fine. I wasn't waiting, I came to apologize."
"You don't need to do that, Tommy," she sighs as he sits down next to her.
"Yeah, I do," he says gently. She meets his eyes, and he looks sad. "I'm sorry."
She shakes her head. "Really, you don't need to apologize, it isn't your fault. If anything, it's mine. I overreacted. So no, don't be sorry. I'm sorry. It's just… This past week has been really hard, with all the stuff with Jamie, and…" she trails off with another sigh, looking away, and he reaches over to grab her hand, squeezing her fingers. She squeezes back and continues, "Plus, you know how I am when I don't get enough sleep. I'm just cranky, it's not your fault."
He continues anyway. "Look, Jude, Sadie and me–"
"Don't," she cuts him off, gently. "You don't need to explain. It's not like I didn't know you and Sadie were together, Tommy. I'm not under any kind of illusion about your past. I know you've been with a lot of other women, and I know one of them was my sister. I understand that, and I know it's not your fault. I've made my peace with it, or whatever, I just… don't like to think about it, okay? It's no big deal."
Tommy doesn't drop the subject like she expected, instead continuing in a serious tone, "You and me, we've always had something. You know that. You knew how I felt about you. But you were 16, Jude, and Sadie…" he trails off with a sigh, looking away from her.
"Did you love her?" Jude asks quietly after a moment. "She loved you, she told me."
He looks back up at her, raising an eyebrow. "Come on, girl, you can't ask me that. There's no way for me to answer that question that doesn't end with you mad at me." Jude frowns and Tommy says, "I cared about her. And I really did try to make it work. But we weren't right. We were never right. If I had it to do over again…"
"You'd, what, wait for me?" she says with a smile.
His expression remains serious. "Absolutely."
She raises her eyebrows. "Come on, Tommy. You, waiting?" She laughs. "What's the longest you've ever gone without sex?"
"Well, a little over 15 years, if you want to get technical," he jokes, and she rolls her eyes, looking away.
"You're making my point. Anyway, not dating my sister does not entail waiting for me." She laughs again, shaking her head. "I never expected you to wait, Tommy."
"Honestly?" he says, sounding serious again, and she turns to look at him. "Longest was a little over a year."
"Really?" She's mildly surprised. "When was that?"
"Well, after Sadie, there was one other woman. That was the week before you turned 17. After that, no one else. Not until you."
"Seriously?" Jude is truly shocked now. "All the time you were away looking after D's daughter? All those months after you came back?" He shakes his head, and she looks at him in bewilderment. "Why?"
"I went out a few times, went on a few dates, but it just… never felt right. It took me a while to figure out why, and a while longer to admit it to myself, but I didn't want anyone else, Jude. I just wanted you."
She's rendered speechless by the admission, her mouth opening and closing a couple times before she says, "Seriously?" again, because it's the only thing she can get out.
Tommy laughs. "Jesus, Harrison, you don't have to look that shocked. Give me a little credit. I do have some self-control."
"No, it's just… You waited for me." There's real astonishment in her voice.
He reaches out to brush a lock of hair behind her ear and nods. "Yeah, I guess I did."
"Tommy…" She breathes his name, because it's all she can find to say as her heart feels like it's filled to bursting.
He smiles and leans in to kiss her. When they pull apart, he looks into her eyes and starts, softly, "I've never…" He pauses, frowns slightly, looks away as he searches for the words. "Jude, I've never been this…" he trails off again, hesitating. "This, you and me, it's…"
Jude laughs, and he looks at her. She reaches out to touch his face and says the words he can't seem to get out. "I'm happy too, Tommy."
A smile spreads across his face again, and he threads his fingers through her hair as she pulls him to her, kissing him harder this time. When they break apart again, Tommy gives her a smile that floods her chest with warmth. He strokes her cheek with his thumb and says, softly, "You were worth waiting for."
A/N: I hate to do the thing where I end the thing with the title of the thing, but I actually wrote it first without a title in mind, and then I had to go with Worth Waiting For as the title, given that it's an Instant Star song… Anyway, I hope you enjoyed. Reviews are appreciated, as always.