Title: Back to You
Author: Miss x Massacre
Universe: Instant Star
Authors Note: I know I said I would post one chappy a week, but I hit a wall sometime last week and no amount of music could coax the words from my fingers. On top of that, my job had me doing extra work this week. Finally, though, inspiration hit and here we are – chapter four. I'd like to thank you guys for the reviews I receive. Reviews = warm fuzzies. Guest, I do wish you would leave a name so I am able to address you better, but thank you! I appreciate you as a reader and the kind words! Kiera, thank you! I hope you enjoy this chapter. x I am dedicated to finishing this and seeing it through. Even though we're just beginning, I know where this roller coaster is going. I just hope you guys enjoy the ride! This is a filler chapter, more or less, so I could advance the story. Anyway, less rambling – more writing. Chapter five is coming along, as ideas are budding and blooming in my head. In the meantime, enjoy chapter four! xx
Disclaimer: I do not own a thing in this chapter except Nicole Gregory. Difono is a Greek music magazine, no rights to that. I also have no rights to the songs featured in this chapter:
Wake Up Call by Maroon 5
Sound of Silence, cover, by Disturbed
Hallelujah by Paramore
Back to You, a Sequel
Chapter 4: Wake Up Call
The chords of the piano resounded hauntingly through the sound booth. It was late, past midnight Kwest supposed but he wasn't sure. He and Tom had been holed up in Studio B for most of the afternoon and evening, only venturing out to grab food or use the bathroom. He looked rough when he came in, but Tom swore up and down it wasn't because of drugs or alcohol. He didn't relate, either, what was haunting him but instead just went into the studio and kept working diligently. Sometime after Kwest had dinner, he came in wanting to start recording. Kwest urged him to take a break; to eat, drink water, something, but Tom just shook him off and went about setting up the studio.
"Hello, darkness, my old friend –" His voice came through, deep and rough with the emotions that had raged him last night. "I've come to talk with you again…because a vision softly creeping left its seeds while I was sleeping and the vision that was planted in my brain – still remains... within the sound of silence."
Sleep did not come easily for him and when he finally did drift off, he was ravaged by memories that he otherwise wished to forget that woke him with a start. Normally he would have used, drugs or alcohol it didn't matter, to get himself right and sleep like he so badly wanted to. "In restless dreams, I walked alone narrow streets of cobblestone." He sung, hunching over the mic he held in his hand. "'Neath the halo of a street lamp, I turned my collar to the cold and damp, when my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light that split the night…and touched the sound of silence."
Kwest was surprised that Tom ended up going off with Blu instead of going home, he was planning to ask him if he wanted to come over and watch the ball game, but he never got the opportunity to. He wondered if she had something to do with the mood that hung over him. "And in the naked light I saw – ten thousand people, maybe more. People talking without speaking! People hearing without listening…people writing songs that voices never share!" He wanted to ask him, but this was a semblance of the old Tommy he knew, and he knew better than to push when he was pulling back. "And no one dared disturb the sound…of silence…"
The music swelled with his voice, the emotions that were drowning him spilling out. "Fools, said I, you do not know! Silence like a cancer grows…hear my words so that I might teach you! Take my arms that I might reach you!" He stood up from the stool he sat on and walked around aimlessly as he sang. "But my words like silent raindrops fell!"
"And echoed in the wells of silence…"
Darius watched from the lobby, silently, as Tom recorded. He never expressed it to him personally, but even though there was only about eight years between them, Darius looked at him like a son. When he first met him, he could tell he was a troubled kid and meeting the DuToir's was all he needed to understand why Tommy was the way he was.
Tommy always thought he was hard on him because he didn't care for him, but it was because he cared for him that he was hard and mean. He wanted Tom to succeed so bad, he knew the talent that he possessed, it just needed to be cultivated and nurtured. Unfortunately, after Tom's disastrous relationship with Portia, things kind of fell apart – for both of them. He went so far down the rabbit hole that Darius' couldn't reach him.
He knew the first time he met Jude when Shay came to record at Georgia's G-Major that she was his catalyst. That she would be the one to bring upon change to Tom Quincy's life. If only he'd let her.
"Man, if your album doesn't go triple platinum I'll be a monkey's uncle." Kwest said, laughing as Tom walked out of the studio with his shoulders slouched over. His demeanor changed upon seeing him and he straightened up in his chair as Tom sat down next to him. "T, you good, man? I was worried last night when I got your text. What happened?"
"What didn't happen last night?" He said, his voice dead weight. He shook his head as he looked past the studio walls and farther into the depths of his head, moments flashing before his eyes. "I – I – I initially went to listen to Blu sing. She was so hard pressed to come back to music, again. Told me that she sabotaged her opportunities with G-Major because she was hitting her rock bottom. It was all good until I decided to go back to her apartment with her. And, man, I swear – my intentions weren't bad. I honestly just wanted to hear her music, she sang at the diner and it was amazing. Nothing like her old shit."
He reached for his phone, remembering the recording he'd made of her at the diner. "And I had a feeling once I got there that it was a bad idea, but I went against my gut and stayed." He was quiet for a minute as he remembered Blu coming out and he kept questioning himself on how he missed her cutting up the meth she did. "Which was just fucking stupid because she snorted meth off her coffee table!"
"What?!" Kwest eyes nearly bugged out of his face.
"Yeah, meth, dude." He said his head in his hands before looking up. "And I swear, I swear to you that I didn't touch a flake of it, but it fucked me up seeing that, being around it. The urge was so strong, it took all I had to walk out of her apartment."
"Wow." Kwest said, shaking his head. "At least you got out of there, bro. You stayed strong and pushed through it. That is something to be proud of."
"Ugh, she kissed me, too."
"She kissed you?" He asked incredulously. "Disgusting."
"Yeah, to say the least. Last night was a fiasco. I fought through flashbacks the whole walk home and then once I got in to my apartment. I busted the door to one of my kitchen cabinets and I don't even remember it." He said trying to fish through the fog to remember how it happened as he flexed his cut and bruised knuckles, but it was no luck. "Then, then – guess who calls?"
"I don't know…"
"Nicole freakin' Gregory."
"Jude's best friend?"
"That's the one." Tommy said, still bent over with his elbows on his knees. That phone call had his mind spinning more than anything else.
"What did she want?"
"She told me to come over." He looked at Kwest as he said this, who spun in his chair to look ahead into the studio. Sadie had filled him in, but she threatened him with no sex if he blabbed to anyone.
"And are you?"
"Honestly, man, I don't know – what if Jude gets pissed off that I show up? She left on relatively okay terms with me." She didn't want to be with him, but at least she wasn't eternally damning him.
"I mean…" Kwest wanted to just tell him to go. That she needed him, that he needed her, but he couldn't do that without looking like a total sketch ball. "I think Nicole would know best…?"
Tom was quiet as he thought it over. Why else would Nicole call? She wasn't exactly the nicest person to him when they were all in Toronto. Maybe something had changed, maybe Jude said something. "I don't know, man…"
"What's the worse that could happen?" Kwest said with a chuckle.
Tom gave him a half smile, knowing full well what a pissed off Harrison woman was capable of. He'd had a double dose with the sisters, Kwest luckily was all about pleasing Sadie – so he never had to contend with her when she was pissed off.
"Oh, this sun feels so nice." Jude said as her eyes closed behind her sunglasses, her body fully relaxed on a chaise lounge.
"Yes, remind me to thank Darius." Nicole murmured as she lay on her stomach in a lounge chair next to Jude.
"Greece was a great choice, Jude." Sadie said, adjusting the oversized sunhat on her head. "The weather is gorgeous."
They all nodded in agreement. They'd come to Athens for a 3-day trip that involved a press conference about her upcoming album and a performance at a music festival. Darius said it was great press for her and the album. Apparently, unbeknownst to Jude and Sadie, she had a large following in the country. Little did Darius know it was the perfect stress reliever that Jude needed for the baby. Luckily, she was not showing yet, but she knew it would only be a matter of time before she did and she would have to tell Darius and face his reaction. She was attempting to prepare herself, going as far as shoving a beach ball under her dress and watching in the mirror to figure out which poses and what clothes hid the weight gain the best.
None really did the job.
Tomorrow was her performance and she was a tad nervous. This was her first one since her reintroduction into the music world back in Toronto during Christmas, but she planned on playing her older music that she knew like the back of her hand – she only wished she could have SME there to back her up.
"So, what are you gonna do about baby daddy?" Nicole asked as she reached for her daquiri beside her and taking a sip.
Jude groaned, throwing her arms above her head to hang over the headrest. "Ugh. I don't know. If I tell either of them, they'll come rushing. I don't need Luke over here being a whole dickhead. He also doesn't need any more of a reason to call me a whore than he already does."
"Jude," Sadie said, looking over at her. "You are no whore."
Jude laughed. "I have tendencies."
"What about Tommy?" Sadie asked, looking over the bridge of her glasses.
"What about him? If I tell him, he will get his hopes up that we have a chance together and that he could be a father. He will become attached. I – I just can't…deal with that. And what happens if it just so happens to be Lucas' baby? What then? That will hurt him more than anything else." Jude leaned her head back, looking up at the sky. "You guys weren't there when I told him about the baby I lost in New York…you didn't see the hurt in his eyes…"
Nicole bit her lip as she listened to Jude. She'd only just called Tommy two nights ago and told him to come over. Despite what Jude said, Nicole felt that it was his baby and not Luke's but any time she tried to tell Jude that, she brushed her off and changed the subject. He was probably already on his way over. Maybe not.
She had to call him, to tell him to stay home.
Unfortunately, she didn't think that would work.
Tom knocked on Darius' large office door, one hand in his pocket as he nervously fumbled with the change in his pocket. His mind was still in a maze over Nicole's call and instead of sleeping after recording the night before, he went home and scoured the tabloids and her blog for clues, only he could find none. Nothing stuck out more to him than it did before and finally got up to pack some things as the sun came up.
"Come in!" Darius yelled from behind the closed doors and Tom pushed it open, stepping inside the ornately decorated office. "What's up, T?"
"Hey, D, man. I'm gonna take a week or so off, I – I just need to clear my head." He said, rubbing his hand over his hair. "Some shit happened the other night and I just…I just…"
"I understand, Tom." He said, holding his hand up. "Take some time, I expect that album to be worked on though. Everything still needs to stay on track."
"I got you, D. No worries." Tom said, turning to leave the office.
"T!" Darius stood up and walked around his desk to him. Tom stopped and faced him. "I know the past year has been tough on you and I know keeping Jude's whereabouts from you didn't help, but I want to apologize…I just did what she asked, what she thought was best."
"D…" He tried to wave it off.
"No, let me finish." Darius said, rubbing a hand over his bald head. "I know we haven't always had the best relationship and I let too much shit happen while Boyz Attack was still together. Almost losing Chaz to a brain hemorrhage really woke me up, but you – you are like a son to me. I discovered you, I watched you grow in so many ways and it took me so long to realize that. I – I just wished I done more for you."
Tom nodded, shoving his hands in his pockets. "It's all good. I was damaged way before you met me…there was no curbing the things that occurred in my life. My path was already chosen." He said, shrugging. "I'm working on that now, though. I'm better. Thanks for not throwing me out on my ass last year, though. I know I fucked up a lot, but you've given me more than enough chances."
Darius nodded as Tom held out his hand, but he pulled him into a hug. Tom felt awkward as D's arms encircled him, but he shook it off and returned the hug. When they parted, he shoved his hands in his pockets and stepped back towards the door.
"Well," Tom started, but Darius cut him off.
"Enjoy the vacation, T. Take this time and relax."
"Thanks, Dar." He said before walking out and towards Studio B.
Inside the studio he found his notebook where his songs were written, slipping it into the pocket of his guitar case before packing up the instrument as well. It was when he was inside the sound booth, packing up his laptop, that Spiederman found him.
"So, London, eh Squinty?" Spied said as he flopped down on the chair and kicked his feet up on the sound board.
Tom reached for the external hard drive near Spiederman's feet and slipped it in the bag. He zipped it up and set it down near his guitar case before he even looked at him. "Who told you?" He asked, plopping down in the swivel seat beside him. His hand found his forehead, rubbing the worry lines smooth.
"A little birdy in Studio A." he said, referring to Kwest and Tom nodded. Of course.
"I'm not entirely too sure it's the right idea."
"Never know, dude." He said, shrugging. "I know she loves you despite all that you two have gone through. And I know you've heard like I have – she's not having an easy time with the producers they're bringing her and you know why."
"But what if me showing up makes things worse?"
"She loves you, Squint." Spied said, lacing his fingers behind his head. "It's possible you may piss her off, but I don't foresee that. Besides you've got something good on your side."
"And what's that?" Tom said, crossing his arms in his chest with his eyebrows raised.
"Me." Spied gave him a 'duh' look.
"You? You mean bring you to London with me?"
"Yes, me." He said, moving to put his feet on the floor. "I am Jude's best friend, I'm the perfect wingman."
"You have ulterior motives." Tom squinted an eye at him, knowing there had to be more than just wanting to see Jude.
"I do." He said, nodding. "I need Nicole…my heart aches for her and she's called me twice since they've left. I need to figure out what's going on – I thought everything was going good."
Tom looked at him, weighing his options. Spiederman had a point. He could prove to make Jude happier if his sudden presence pissed her off. They could say they came over for Tom's career, he did ask SME to back him on several tracks. "Alright," He finally relented, sighing. "Go pack your bags. You should be glad I don't like sharing rows on a plane. I have two extra tickets."
Spied smiled widely, rising from his seat and nodding. "Awesome!" He said, his mind racing with excitement. "I'll meet you Pearson International in…"
"Four hours! Flight leaves in five and a half!"
"Got ya!" He yelled as he raced out the door. "I call window seat!"
Tom chuckled and shook his head, rising from his seat to grab his things. This was going to be a fun trip.
Jude wiped her brow with a towel left by the drum set on stage and took a quick swig of water. The heat was something else in Greece. This was her final event here, the concert. It was sponsored by the Greek music magazine, Difono, who'd done an interview with her the prior day. It was midafternoon, and the sun was beating down on them. They'd set up several large fans with water mist directed at the crowd, who were packed in the admission area tightly
"Thank you, guys. You're such a great crowd." She said into the mic as she walked back to the front of the stage where fans were going wild. "I know I've done some older stuff, but this next song is one I wrote for my sister after her accident just a couple months ago. I'm pretty sure you all have heard it on the radio." She dragged the microphone stand from where she moved it earlier in the set and slid the microphone into the holder. "She's here today and well, Sades – this one is for you. It's called 'Hallelujah'."
Jude nodded her head in time with the drum as the music started up, leaning both hands on the mic, bringing it to her lips. "Somehow everything's gonna fall right into place! If we only had a way to make it all fall faster every day." She sung as the crowd cheered her on. "If only time flew like a dove. Will God make it fly faster than I'm falling in love?"
"This time we're not giving up!" She held her hands up and the crowd followed suit, singing along. "Let's make it last forever. Screaming, 'Hallelujah!' We'll make it last forever!"
Jude ripped the mic from the stand. "Holding onto patience wearing thin." She stooped down to the crowd, grabbing hands that were reaching for her. "I can't force these eyes to see the end. If only – " Just then two shots rang out in the thick of people. The music stopped abruptly as everyone on stage dropped to the floor, Jude included. In what seemed like slow motion, the crowd scattered with hands covering heads. The screams of excitement now replaced with screams of fear. Suddenly, Jude was scooped up by a large set of arms and carried off stage. She didn't see who grabbed her because her eyes connected with a solitary man standing amongst the madness with a gun in his hand. He smiled to her as he pointed his gun to his side, firing off several shots. Her eyes squeezed shut and she buried her head, trying to drown out the sound of it all.
Finally, they were backstage. The burly man who'd carried her off stage pushed the crowd of stage hands and brought her to her dressing room. She shakily found her feet as he set her down and she immediately sat on the couch. Suddenly Sadie and Nicole burst through the door and were at her side.
"Jude?" Sadie asked from one side of her, brushing her hair from the side of her face.
"Are you okay?" Nicole followed, her hand on her back. Jude stared ahead blankly, her arms wrapped around her sides. Sadie and Nicole looked at each other before looking back to Jude.
"Come on, babe. Let's go home." Sadie said softly, petting her hair back attempting to soothe her.
"Is he still out there?" Jude said, barely above a whisper.
"No, the police got him just as you got backstage. The medics are treating the wounded now."
"How many what?" Sadie looked over at Nicole, shaking her head.
"Injured." Jude said, finally lifting her eyes to Sadie's. "How many were injured?"
"Four, I believe…that's what I could see anyway. I was pulled back from the wings of the stage immediately." Jude sighed heavily, closing her eyes and leaning into Sadie who immediately wrapped her arms around her. "Come on, let's go."
"I'm worried about her, Kwest. She's not okay." Sadie said later, as she sat on the balcony of their Greek hotel, on the phone with her fiancé. "She wouldn't talk for a while, she just turned on the news and watched. Watched even though she couldn't understand a lick of what they were saying. She finally told me that she seen him, the gunman. He looked right at her and smiled."
"He did what?!"
"Yes! The sadistic bastard." Sadie shook her head as she brought the glass of wine to her lips for a drink. "She is so shook up. I'm worried, this isn't good for the baby."
"Where is she now?"
"Sleeping, finally. I laid beside her for a while until she did."
"I guess I should let you know, then."
Sadie's brows knit together as she sat straight up. "Know what?"
Kwest sighed, knowing it could go either way. "Tom's on his way to London."
"What? You're kidding me!" Sadie said, setting her wine glass down hard on the little table top beside her. "Did you tell him that she's pregnant? Cause Kwest…so help me God, I will – "
"No, no. I didn't." He cut her off, trying to calm the threat before she made one. "Nicole called him."
"That little – "
"Babe." He said, knowing she was about to go into a full-blown rant.
"No, babe." She replied, standing up from her chair. "I can't believe she'd do that behind my back! Ugh! What was she thinking?"
"That Jude needs Tom." Kwest said simply. "You can't take care of her forever, Sadie. And eventually Tom is going to find out that she's pregnant, one way or another. I think this is more amicable than the other option."
Sadie sighed heavily, her eyes closing as she envisioned Tom's reaction when he sees the headlines that were bound to come once she started showing. "You're right."
"Spied is coming with him or so I heard. He was yelling something about a window seat as he ran out of G-Major earlier."
"That might be a saving grace."
"When are you guys flying back to London?"
"First thing in the morning. Jude has an appointment with Dr. Montgomery then she's due in the studio for a couple hours, but I may try to deter her from going in. With the stress of this shit that just happened, I think she should rest. If not for her then at least for the baby."
"Good luck with that." Kwest chuckled into the phone. "You know that's probably the one place she'll want to be."
"You're right, you know that." Sadie said chuckling, too. "Alright, handsome. I'm gonna go in and curl up beside Jude and try and get some rest."
"Okay, babe. Dream of me."
"Only if you dream of me, too." They both smiled.
"I love you, Sadie."
"I love you, too. Good night."