Until We Meet Again
This is an AU fic. Nothing romantic has happened between Tommy and Jude (so no kisses) and this set at the end of her second album, she is 17 (almost 18), Tommy is 24.
Jude stepped off stage at another sold out show. She was still feeling the adrenaline pumping through her veins but she knew the tiredness would also soon set in. She had been touring for 5.5 weeks and was getting used to the hectic schedule of driving to the new location, 2 hours of amazing music, sleep then starting all over again the next day.
Having just locked in her guitar in the case and handed it to a stage hand, her cell phone rang. She looked at the caller ID and saw that it was her manager, and new boss, Darius Mills, not wanting to keep him waiting (he tended to like immediate attention) she picked it up after the second ring.
"Jude, it's Darius. Listen, I don't know how to tell you this so I'm going to just say it. Tommy is sick" he paused and he spoke again his voice became more strained "really sick. I need you to come home. I've already cancelled your last 2 shows and booked you a flight on the next flight to Toronto. It leaves in 2 hours".
Jude's legs felt wobbly and she braced herself on a nearby pillar. "Of course Darius, I'll head back to the bus to pack right this minute".
Jude's mind raced as she ran to the bus parked at the rear entrance. Stage hands had already started to upload the equipment. She ignored them and raced up the steps to gather her few possessions. A cab pulled up 20 minutes later and honked. With her duffel bag packed and her song book in her palm she met it and they drove to the airport.
The flight felt like it took for forever even though in reality it was only a 45 minute flight. Darius meet her at the airport and they drove silently into Toronto.
20 minutes later they pulled up to a high class apartment complex. Jude had never been here and she gave a questioning look to Darius.
"It's Tommy's. The hospital sent him home since there was nothing to be done. He has advanced cancer and at this point there is no treatment to help him...He's dying, Jude". A single tear ran done his face and Jude would have been amazed that the once tough as nails, Darius Mills, had emotions after all. At the moment though, the words he spoke was all she could think about. Tommy, her Tommy, producer and friend was dying. How was this possible? He was 24 for goodness sake, not even a quarter of a century, he should be in the prime of his life. She felt numb and couldn't muster a response.
Silently they rode the elevator all the way to the top floor, the penthouse. If she wasn't in so much shock she would had noticed her picture all through out the place, from her first gig at Vinyl Palace to them just chilling out after work, where the paparazzi's loved to have snap pictures of them and create fanciful stories of them for their trashy magazines.
Slowly Darius led her to the bedroom in the back and creaked the door open. Kwest was sitting by the bed, with his head in his hands. When he noticed them he walked over to her, patted her shoulder and quietly left. She barely registered it though as Jude's eyes immediately connected to the prone figure in the bed. She couldn't believe it. It couldn't be Tommy. He looked half of his former self, tired and sleepy.
Tommy's eye-lids slowly fluttered open. He seemed like it took him much effort and energy just to do that. The dull look in eyes immediately begin to brighten once he noticed who it was.
"You came" he breathed as as a slow smile stretched across his lips. He picked up his hand and patting the spot on the bed, beckoning her to come over.
Jude walked over, tears already threatening to escape her eyes and she slowly sat in the chair next to Tommy's bed. She grabbed his hand to reassure him and herself that she was really there.
"Tommy..." was all she could say. What could she say?
"Shhh" he responded, rubbing his thumb across the back of her hand, as she was the one that needed comforting.
"I need to tell you some things. I had hoped that we would have this conversation when you turned 18 next week but it wasn't in the cards, I guess" he said with a sad smile.
"I love you, Jude. I think I've always have" he paused to let her digest what he just said.
Shocked, Jude could only gap on him and the tears that had been threatening to fall, now rolled down her face freely.
Tommy slowly lifted his hand that been holding hers to her cheek to wipe some of them away.
"You came into my life unexpectedly and made me question everything I knew about love, life and music. We had a connection that I've never felt before and unfortunately the age gap always stopped me from telling you how I really felt. I was going to tell you when you were 18, so no one could protest" he paused to gather his thoughts and a single tear escaped his eye as well.
Suddenly looking down at his hand holding Jude's he noticed his moon-star tattoo on his ring finger.
"Do you remember when I got this tattoo?" He asked holding the pair's hands up slightly so she knew what he was referring to.
Jude slowly nodded. "Yes it was the day after my 16th birthday".
"That's when I finally admitted to myself that I loved you and I wasn't just attracted to you. When I came up the stairs and heard you singing "Time to Be Your Only One" and you told me you were writing it for Shay, my heart sank, because I wanted it to be for me. Then when I took you on your driving lesson and you kissed me on the cheek and told me you wouldn't change anything about me, I almost turned to kiss you. I would have if EJ hadn't called you right then. Even Kwest noticed something was different when I came inside".
"I know, I heard you and Kwest talking in the hallway. That's why I changed the lyrics to 'be your 21' afterwards" Jude confessed.
"You did?" Tommy asked amazed. "And then Shay ended breaking your heart by cheating on you. I swear I could have pummeled him for what he did you. My heart broke with yours, knowing you were pain. Where did you end going? I looked for you for hours"
"I went outside to the alley, I hide behind a dumpster. I didn't anyone to find me" she whispered back.
"Well after that I knew I loved you. I went straight to a tattoo parlor and got this little tattoo. You were not only the Instant Star, but my Star so I wanted something to symbolize that. I was the moon that would protect you and bask in your glow. I was certain someday our wedding ban would go right below it" he said wistfully.
Jude was shocked, not only did he confess he loved her and got a permanent symbol inked on himself but he saw them getting married. A new fresh set tears rolled down her face. She looked at his face then, he seemed to struggling to breathe a little more when she first came in and his energy seemed to embedding from him. His confessions seemed to have taken a lot out of him.
"I love you too...I wished I had knew" Jude whispered.
He smiled then. A sad but genuine smile. "Timing was...never... on our side" he was having a hard time getting his words out now.
"I shouldn't ask this...but..." he started.
"Anything Tommy" Jude jumped to reassured him.
"Kiss me" he whispered back.
Jude didn't hesitate. She had dreamed of kissing Tommy since that day on the pier. Of course she wished it was under different circumstances.
Putting her lips on his, she tried to convey all her love for him in those few moments, she could taste his tears mixed with hers. He responded in kind, putting all his energy into it, he held her cheek with his tattooed hand, holding her like she was a precious jewel. Moments later she heard him sigh, and his lips went limp underneath hers, the hand that had been holding her cheek fell to his side.
Jude looked up with tears streaming down her face. "Tommy? Tommy? Tommy!" She screamed with anguish, devastated that she had her dream come true and yanked away all in the same day". She pressed her face into his chest but felt no heartbeat under her.
Darius came running in, having heard her with Kwest in tow. They both screeched to a halt, when they saw the scene ahead of them. Kwest went to her and slowly detangled her from his best friend and pulled her into a deep hug.
Jude didn't know who was holding her and it didn't matter at the moment. She had just lost the love of her life. "I loved him! I loved him!" She screamed in anguish.
Kwest slowly rubbed circles on her back for comfort, not knowing what else to ease her pain. "I know. I know. He loved you too. So much" he whispered back, his own tears rolling down his cheeks.
The next few days went by in a blur for Jude. She was numb and barely registered anyone or anything around her. If wasn't for her family she never would have eaten anything or gotten out of bed.
The day of Tommy's funeral she wept more tears than she knew she possessed. Despite his fame, they had managed to keep it small and initiate with just family and friends.
She had chosen to put his quote to her on his tombstone. "Some of is go to our graves with the music still inside us".
After the service, a man Jude has never seen came to her. He was dressed in a suit. "I'm sorry for your loss, Miss Harrison. I was Tommy's lawyer and he wanted you have after his passing". He withdrew a large yellow envelope from his brief case and handed it to her. Once she had it securely in her hand he tuned to leave the church.
Jude clasped the envelope tightly. Feeling like it was one last tie with Tommy. Her name was written in front in his familiar italicized print.
Sadie chose that moment to come and put her arm around her sister. "Jude let's go home" she nudged, pulling Jude to the exit. Jude nodded, not trusting herself to speak at the moment.
Once safely in her room, she carefully opened the back of the envelope and emptied the contents on the bed. She saw a paper, 2 sets of keys, an envelope and a cd. She picked up the paper first and realized it was Tommy's will. He had left her his Viper and penthouse apartment, along with a good chunk of money. Some of the money he used to start a charity in Jude's name to help youth with music. Her heart squeezed. He always so good, even in death.
Next she opened the envelope and realized it was a letter addressed to her for from Tommy. She drank in his words, trying not to smear the ink with the tears that were dripping down her face.
If you are reading this then that means I am gone and the cancer has won. I never thought my life would end like this but I do not regret the last few years for anything. You are the love of my life, and that true if I lived to be a hundred, old and grey. You got me, you challenged and you stole my heart. My only regret is not telling you sooner, thinking we had all the time in the world. I know you will do great things with your life, because like I told you before, you're it girl, you're even better.
I hadn't told you but I had been writing songs for you to share my feelings once you turned 18. Unfortunately that never happened but listen to hear everything I can't describe in words. You and I, always connected more musically than anything and I know you will understand them. Think of me when you make your next hit album and I'll be watching over you, as the moon watches out for the stars.
Until we meet again, my love.
Tommy "Quincy" Dutois.
Jude slowly picked up the CD labeled "I love you always" and carefully put into her music player. Soon the sounds of Tommy's voice serenading Jude with love songs filled the room and mingled with the sounds of her sobs.
Soon after her 18th birthday Jude moved Tommy's apartment to feel closer to him. She left everything the way he left it and instead added her things to his. She often took drives in Tommy's viper to the cemetery to tell him about day and sing to him. She at peace when she did that.
Back in the studio she had managed to finish her 3rd album on her own, not wanting to have another producer work with her. She got help from Kwest from time to time, but the majority she did herself. She had even designed her album art, a simple picture of a red rose was the jacket cover and a dedication inside that said "For Tommy, the love of my life. Until we meet again" and the same moon-star symbol that matched her new tattoo.