Title: Back to You
By: Miss x Massacre
Universe: Instant Star
Author's Note: This was actually started before I even finished Gone, because I could hear and feel Tommy in my head wanting me to get started. The narration will be completely in third person, though I was thinking of putting in little chapters of Jude's column. I'm not too, too sure yet, so just enjoy what I'm giving you! This is a pretty short chapter, it's just an introduction to the story. This is a sequel, so if you haven't already – go read "Gone". The next chapter is pretty long and will be posted soon. If you are reading this: review, pretty please.
Disclaimer: I do not own any characters (with the exception of Nicole Gregory) or the songs featured in this chapter:
Without You by the Dixie Chicks
The Boxer, Cover version, by Mumford and Sons
Back to You
Chapter One: Without You
Through the darkness the sound of guitar picking broke through the soft whispers and mumbles, immediately silencing the crowd. The lights stayed dim casting a silhouette of his body frame as he continued playing, his eyes closed against the melody. He put his lips to the microphone and a round of applause started.
"I am just a poor boy, though my story seldom told." Tommy opened his eyes and gave a small smile. "I squandered my resistance for a pocket full of mumbles, such are promises." It'd been two months since Jude had left, though it felt like it'd been a year already. She called frequently, not to him though, so he only heard third hand accounts of her life in London from Sadie or Spied and the column he stalked religiously.
"All lies and jest, still the man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest." In the weeks that had passed, he became sober, dumped Alice and started on his solo album. He had given Darius a copy of the CD he made for Jude and the first song wasn't even half done when D gave him the green light. It was a mix of acoustic and folk-y songs, mostly original though there were a few covers he couldn't pass up a chance to remake. "When I left my home and my family, I was no more than a boy in the company of strangers in the quiet of the railway station, running scared."
This was one of the songs he wouldn't pass up. Though Simon & Garfunkel sung of a boxer, he felt strangely connected this song. He was, after all, just a boy when he left home to join Boyz Attack. "Laying low, seeking out the poorer quarters, where the ragged people go…looking for the places only they would know."
The lights brightened the stage and the members of Spiederman Mind Explosion were standing behind him, playing backup instrumentals. The crowd became louder with their cheering, clapping hands and whistling, as they sang the very familiar hook. "Lie la lie, lie la lie la lie la lie." The crowd joined in and Tommy smiled, wishing Jude could be here to see him. "Lie la lie, lie la lie la lie la lie, la la lie la lie."
"Asking only workman's wages, I come looking for a job, but I get no offers – just a come-on from the whores on 7th Avenue." As he began tapping his foot in time with the bass, the crowd began clapping in time as well. "I do declare, there were times when I was so lonesome I took some comfort there…"
Later, after his set, he stood out back of the venue with a cigarette burning between his fingers as he scrolled through the latest blog entry from Jude. She was describing the songwriting practice she had and between the lines, he could sense that she wasn't getting along well with her newest producer. Through the grapevines, or telephone lines, he heard that she was on her third producer so far and each one of them kept getting fired for some unknown reason. If it wasn't for the fact that the two singles she'd already put out were sitting at number one and two respectively on the iTunes and billboard charts, he was pretty sure Darius would have nipped her shit in the bud, but being the star she was now – especially with everyone still riding high off the revelation that Jude Harrison, Canada's biggest Rockstar, had a completely secret life for over a year within a stone's throw of Toronto with none the wiser – he was lax on her.
He kept hoping he'd hear from her, that she'd want to talk after listening to the songs he'd so clearly written for her, but weeks had passed and not even a text message came. He gave her space, though, and focused on the promise he made to himself, and Jude though he did not tell her – getting himself better.
"Oh Jesus –" Jude quickly ran to the bathroom and bent over the toilet, heaving her stomachs contests into the porcelain bowl. She dropped from her squatting position to her knees and held onto the sides of the toilet. Nicole followed in as she did and grabbed her hair to pull it behind her head. With one hand she held her hair as the other snatched a hair tie from the sink and messily tied her hair behind her head.
"Are you alright, J?" Nicole asked as she rubbed her back and tucked a strand of hair behind her ear.
"Yeah…" Jude answered as she grabbed one of the decorative towels and wiped her mouth. "I think the Chinese food from earlier was bad."
Nicole gave her a look as they both stood so Jude could rinse her mouth. "We ate the same thing. And I am perfect."
"Nic…" Jude started, knowing where she was taking the conversation.
"Jude…" Nicole replied, crossing her arms over her chest. "Just hear me out."
"No, I've heard you out." She bent over the sink and sipped some water into her mouth, swishing quickly before spitting it back out. "There is no way in hell I'm pregnant. I was on the pill."
"Yeah, was." Nicole said, pursing her lips. "And – "
"And I'm currently PMSing." She lied, hoping to get her off her back. Honestly, she was pretty scared she was up the duff, but she kept putting it off as stress from the move, from the album recording process, from having to fire two producers within a five-week time frame. "I ate a whole bowl of chocolate ice cream – "
"– with a jar of Spanish olives on top." Jude tried to talk again but Nicole quickly shushed her. "Look, I'm not going to back down. I've seen my two sisters knocked up already. I know the quirks, I know the symptoms." She crossed her arms and gave her a look. "Besides your tits have grown two cup sizes since we've moved, and I can't fathom how you would find the time to get a boob job between G-Major and Vogue breathing down your neck."
Jude chuckled and bit her lip. "Okay," She said, finally, and threw her hands up. "This has been extremely terrifying for me. I thought it was just the stress from the move. I spotted shortly after we moved, so I thought everything was okay, but recently –" She stopped short and shrugged, knowing Nicole could finish her sentence.
"Come. Let's go to Blenheim and get this figured out." Nicole said, grabbing her own hair up and tying it into a messy bun.
"…I woke up on the edge of the harbor, broke and beat up. I'd lost my wife, my children, my job…everything. I thought I had nothing left to lose, so I was going to jump. I was going to jump into the Toronto harbor and let everything go." Tom sat, elbows on his knees and head in his hands, and listened as one of the guest speakers spoke about his rock bottom. The moment he decided that it was worth it to seek help. "It just so happened that same God forsaken day, Adam was there and saved my life." Tears welled up in the hazel eyes of the scruffy male behind the podium, evident in his voice.
"He took me to his home, cleaned me up, fed me, and we spoke of Jesus. I knew then I was at a fork. I could leave this man's home, stick to the path I'd known for the past 3 years. I could continue to fuck things up for myself and never get to know the beauty that are my two daughters…or I could do this thing called rehab and make things better for myself." The gentleman dabbed at his eyes with a balled-up napkin and cleared his throat. "So, I took the tougher route, the one less travelled by those with addiction. I've been sober for 45 days now and tomorrow, I get to see my daughters for the first time in six months. I'm pretty excited."
Tom looked up to see the man smiling, holding his NA chip in the air and the group began to clap for him. He'd been coming to meetings for three weeks now and he'd always been too scared to speak up. Just listening, though, was a huge inspiration for him. Some of the people that had told their stories had been addicts their whole life…since they were children. If they could turn their life around and stay on the path, so could he.
Later, after the speakers had finished and everyone was mulling around over a cup of coffee, Tom waited by the front door for Kwest to pick him up.
"So, Tom Quincy in NA? Thought I'd never see the day."
He turned to see Blu, former Instant Star contender, standing with a cup of coffee and her signature blue hair, though shaggier than the last time he seen her. "Blu." He said, smiling and nodding toward her. "Good to see you."
"You, too, Tommy." She said, smiling slyly and giving him a look. "I heard you're working on an album?"
"Uh, yeah…I am." He tapped the heel of his shoe against the toe of the other. "How have you been?"
Blu shrugged, sipping her coffee and walking closer to him. "Oh, you know…" She said as she came close enough to lean against the wall next to him and place her hand on his arm, giving a little squeeze. "I've been working at Centerpoint Mall and attending general study classes at Toronto U."
"Sorry things never worked out during Instant Star." He said, though not genuinely sorry. He just felt the need to say it.
"It's okay," She said watching her finger as she drew swirls on the sleeve of his leather jacket. "I was at the beginning of my rock bottom at that point. I was self-sabotaging every chance I got."
"Oh." He said, his lips forming a perfect 'O'.
"Anyway, I was thinking we could meet up some time and…I don't know, catch up? Talk about things?" She said lifting her eyes to give him a doe-eyed look. "You know I always hear it's good to have a support system in place when you finally become sober."
"I – I – I'm not sure." He said, glancing between her and out the door, where Kwest should have been pulling up. "I've been pretty busy with recording…and stuff."
"Right…" She trailed off, following his line of sight. God, he is so yummy, she thought.
"Well! I better get going." He said the minute he seen Kwest pull up, causing her to jump. "See you next time, Blu. Take care!"
He was already halfway to the car as he shouted to her, trying to cover his head as rain fell steadily outside.
"Same!" She yelled then quieted down. "to you…"
It was only a matter of time before she had him in her grasp. Not many could escape the intoxication of Blu.
"Holy fucking hell." Nicole said as she looked over Jude's shoulder at the EPT test in her hands.
"That little pink plus sign is so unholy." Jude looked at their reflection before bending over and throwing up in the sink.
"I can't believe this is happening!" Nicole hopped in place, clearly more excited than Jude was. "I am going to be a Godmother!"
"Nic…" Jude groaned, placing the test on the sink counter and cupping her hands underneath the running faucet. "Please."
"Oh, come on, Jude. You're not the least bit excited?"
Jude straightened herself up and tugged at the hem of her shirt. "No!" She cried, her eyebrows knit as she stared at Nicole's reflection. "Are you kidding me? I – I – I just got to London! I'm recording my first album in close to three years, which will mean a tour! I have an online column that I am responsible for and I'm not prepared for a baby. I'm selfish, I like to drink…not to mention the last time I wound up pregnant – I miscarried!"
Nicole stopped hopping and placed a hand on Jude's back solemnly. "J, I'm sorry…I just…I'm so used to babies meaning magic…a reason to be happy." She said, and Jude turned to face her. They both looked down at her stomach. "You have life growing inside of you, so let's think of this realistically. In nine months, your album should be on it's way to being completed, Baby Harrison will be able to go tour – that's not completely unheard of." She brushed Jude's hair out of her face and took both her cheeks in her hand. "And aunt Nicole will help in anyway that she might possibly can."
Jude's eyes welled up and she threw her arms around her. "I love you, Nicole." She said, blubbering through her tears.
"I love you, too, Jude." She replied and held Jude back to look at her. "So…can we call Sadie?"
"Actually, I think I'm gonna send for her." She dabbed at her eyes with the hem of her shirt. "Sadie's always wanted to come to London and now's a good a time as ever to get her over here. It wouldn't feel right to tell her over the phone."
"You're right, let me go grab my laptop and we can check flights for her."
Jude nodded as Nicole walked off to her bedroom to fetch her laptop. She moved to look at her reflection in the mirror, turning sideways. Her stomach was still flat, no signs of life, but Jude could feel a difference. A sort of fluttering, full feeling. She hated that whole 'self-honesty' thing she was practicing because avoiding the truth had always been a habit for her, which had been working on – that was until just recently. She knew, though, in the back of her mind that it wasn't just the move or stress of the album. She'd been moodier recently, unexplainably so, and was constantly hungry for the oddest things.
It was the same as when she was pregnant before.
Avoidance was her worst attribute.
Nicole walked past the bathroom and gestured for Jude to follow her. They sat facing one another on the couch, with their legs tucked underneath them, and just as Nicole opened her laptop to begin looking up flights, Jude's phone rang.
"Speak of the devil…" Jude said before answering. "Hello? Hey Sades…not much, just relaxing at the apartment with Nicole. Yeah, uh huh."
Nicole smiled at Jude and began typing into the search bar.
"So, Sadie. I have a question." She said, biting at her lip. "How'd you like visit London?"
~ Please review! ~