A/N: I had this idea on a plane and wrote this the other night in a couple of hours. Now I have to publish it in order to maintain my dominance of the Instant Star fanfiction archive first page (lol)
This takes place at the very end of the last scene of the third to last episode of the 4th season ("She Walks On Me", the one with the Japanese shampoo commercial). Sometimes I think my favorite episodes in terms of Jude/Tommy interactions are actually the episodes of the 4th season when they're not together, and that's 100% for sure definitely because I'm a sucker for the tension.
"Any post-sellout guilt?" Tommy asks, gesturing with the check in his hand.
"No," Jude says without hesitation, shaking her head. "It's just good business. But now we do something about my album." She turns to Tommy with a little smile. "So, wanna make Darius an offer he can't refuse?" A slow smile spreads across Tommy's face, and Jude ignores the little fluttering of her heart in response.
After a moment of them looking at each other, Tommy says, "I, uh, I gotta say, I think it's awesome, the way you're refusing to give up on this album. Takes guts."
She raises an eyebrow, but she's still smiling. "So you don't think I'm crazy?"
Tommy smirks. "Oh, this is definitely crazy, Harrison. But you've always been crazy."
"Okay so maybe I can be a little stubborn…"
He snorts a laugh. "Yeah, Jude Harrison a little stubborn. Understatement of the century there."
"Shut up," she laughs, shoving his shoulder.
"Seriously, girl." His voice is suddenly soft, and she meets his eyes again. "I'm proud of you. The way you've handled this stuff with the album… I know it's been hard, but you're dealing with it all like a pro."
She shrugs. "That's life. I made a lot of mistakes with this album, but I had to make myself realize that it doesn't have to be the end of the world. It's one album, it's… I have more music in me, and one way or another I just want people to hear that. But thanks. And thanks for helping me out."
He nods. "Any time." There's something in his expression, an intensity that makes her heart clench. She swallows the sudden lump in her throat and looks away, trying not to think about how close they're sitting, shoulders almost touching.
After a moment, Jude says, "I've been meaning to ask if you, uh… If you want to come over some time." She feels Tommy turn towards her, and turns her head to look at him. He raises his eyebrows slightly. "Bikes," she says quickly. "The old ones you found for us to fix up, I've, um, I've been working a little on mine again the last couple of weeks. I thought I should ask if you'd want to. They're technically yours, after all."
Tommy shakes his head. "No, they're yours. They were a gift. But yeah, yes, I would love to. Sounds fun. Besides I, uh…"
He hesitates, trailing off, and Jude raises her eyebrows. "What?"
Sadness has crept into his expression, and he takes a deep breath, letting it out in a sigh before softly saying, "I miss you, Jude."
His words send a jolt through her chest, followed by a spike of pain. She looks away. "Tommy…" she sighs, shaking her head.
His heart sinks as she turns away, leaning away from him. The flash of pain in her eyes doesn't go unnoticed, and he sighs, because he's just crossed a line he's been fighting for weeks not to cross. He's not allowed to miss her, much less to say it to her, not when all of it has been his fault. If he hadn't acted like an idiot in New Brunswick, if he hadn't run scared the second things got complicated, let his past get between them again, then maybe all of this could've been different. "I'm sorry," he says softly.
She shakes her head. "No, it's fine." She turns back to him with a smile, her voice full of false brightness.
"Jude," he says in a low voice, and her smile falters. "I mean it. I'm so sorry. Everything I said, everything I… I know what happened with the album is my fault too."
She shakes her head again, faster. "No, Tommy, you weren't behind the board, you weren't–"
"Exactly," he cuts her off. She meets his gaze again and her eyes are wide. "Jude," he breathes her name again. "I wish…"
Jude's heart is pounding in her throat and Tommy's leaning closer, looking so sad. The longing in his expression and the closeness of his face to hers make her breath catch, and everything in her aches. The moment stretches on for an impossibly long time, but she finally breaks it by turning away. She looks down at her hands in her lap and tries to breathe.
After a moment she hears Tommy clear his throat. "Well, I should go." His voice sounds a little bit tight, but when she looks over, he smiles easily enough.
"Okay," she nods, "yeah."
Tommy folds the check, sticking it in his jacket pocket as they both stand up. They pause again at the door, and Tommy turns to her and says, "Bikes."
"Yes." Jude nods vigorously. "Yeah, we should. It'll be fun. And I miss you too, hanging out." She says it nonchalantly, if a little bit too quickly, trying to make it seem like that's all she thought he meant earlier. "And, hey, thank you again, for the commercial and the remix and… yeah. Thank you."
He smiles. "Any time, girl."
"Thanks," she says again, then, "Well, uh, bye." Tommy nods, but hesitates for a moment, and Jude can't resist the impulse to reach up and put her arms around his neck. It's a simple hug, a platonic enough gesture, but her scent overwhelms him for a moment as he can't resist breathing her in. They hold each other too tightly, for a few seconds too long, and to her surprise and horror, Jude feels tears pricking her nose at how good it feels to be held by him again. She pulls back when it's too much, and hopes he doesn't notice her flushed cheeks.
He wants to reach out, to touch her face, trace his fingers over the flush that's creeping up her neck and into her cheeks. His fingers itch to touch her, but he resists, simply saying, "Goodnight, Harrison," before walking out.
As she shuts the door behind him, Jude lets out a sigh. She leans against the door, tilting her head back to touch the cold metal and shutting her eyes, trying to figure out how to breathe again. Being around Tommy has always been a roller coaster, but she wasn't at all prepared for that, the electricity between them, the intensity shooting from zero to 100 in a manner of seconds. She should want off this ride, she thinks dimly. She's been moving on, moving forward, finding herself without him. But the rest of her head is filled with the memory of the look he gave her as he said "I wish," of the feeling of his arms around her, and all she can bring herself to feel is happy she'll get to see him again soon. She's heading straight into the sun again, but she doesn't think she could change course now if she tried.