Heh... I never actually thought this would be a one-shot. And, well, I was right.

Tommy abusive? I bet you never thought you'd see the day someone made him what seemed so obvious.

Story Notes:
- The Wall isn't abandoned. I need to regroup with that story. Get everything down in stone before I continue. Consider it on HIATUS.
- Verse & Point – Not exactly on hiatus, but damn near it. Then again, it's just a collective comprised of one-shots that could be considered a supplement to The Wall.
- StarryEyed68 & I plan on writing something collaboratively. Keep on the look out for that. (It'll be intense, trust me.)


002.

Jude walked on eggshells around Tommy, often times creeping near tip-toed around the halls they shared. She tried to keep as silent as possible. It was a hard feat considering she was built on her sound.

She tried not to look at him. She couldn't take seeing her painful reflection each time she caught his eye. She couldn't handle knowing that it wasn't a reflection at all but his own deep sadness that filled the reservoirs behind such a strong face.

She felt bad for him. He held such demons but she came off as insensitive. She pushed him too hard. She wanted more from him than he could deliver to her. She asked too much and wouldn't shut up until she got some part of it. He broke and she blamed herself. He was right. She was a child; a child that never knew when to shut up.

No one knew. It was yet another secret they shared. People believed her when she'd told them the story of her slipping on the stairs behind G-Major when it was raining. She'd told the story so often and to so many people, she'd almost begun to believe it herself.

"Jude?" Her posture stiffened to his beckoning. They pretended it never happened. To Jude, it never did, but it didn't help the shiver of fear that would grip onto some part of her when she heard him call for her. She chastised herself for being silly.

"I'm..." her voice cracked. "I'm in here."

She didn't see him enter the room where she'd sat all alone just moments earlier, but soon felt his arms wrap around her tightly. He'd become so affectionate afterwards. There was never a day that passed where he didn't pull her against him and hug her for no reason at all. He told her every chance he got that he loved her. There were times, when she was buried deep within one of his embraces, that it all seemed to be everything she'd wanted since she'd first begun to like him. Something would come back to her, shattering her delusions. Maybe he was hugging her too tightly or she caught a look at her face and saw how she now had a tiny scar underneath her lip from his ring or maybe it was the way he'd cling to her like he did then. Whatever it was, she was knocked back into reality and the guard went back up.

He'd promised that it would never happen again, but there were moments when it seemed like he could slip back into what he was that night. He'd slam his fist down on the control deck, not out of anger with her but out of frustration over how he couldn't get a song to work how he wanted, and she'd shrink back from his view and wait for everything to subside.

She hated herself for not being able to get over it. Tommy wasn't a bad man. He made one stupid mistake after she wouldn't let up. Why? Why did she have to be so stupid? Why did she have to always be the shrew no one could tame? It was her fault. Tommy was good. He was kind and he wanted her even though she was a total mess. He was everything she'd ever wanted, but she had to fuck it up. Why, goddamn it? WHY!

"Working on that song for next week?"

"Yeah. I think I have it down."

"Lemme hear."

She played as if it were to be the last song she'd ever sing. She stole a quick glance at his face, how serene he appeared when listening to her; the way he smiled when she dropped a killer lyric or delivered intense word play. She ate it up like candy.

She vowed to be everything he ever hoped for. She loved him more than life and she'd rather off herself then know she drove him away. Because Tommy was good. He was more than she deserved.

"Perfect, girl..." He stroked the side of her cheek tenderly. She leaned into his caress.

"Really? I mean, I know it's rusty and I'll get it to 100 by next week. I don't really think it's that good but... really? Are you sure?" There I go again.

"Shh..." He bent and kissed her softly. "It's fine the way it is."

"Thank you."

He stared at her intently, finally capturing her eyes the way he'd done so many times before. He held her chin as he studied her face, smiling down at her.

She felt his thumb brush against her scar.

"I love you so much. I don't ever want to lose you."

She couldn't breathe. She hated breathing. Sometimes, she wished she would just die. She'd never be enough for him. She'd push him again and he'd leave her for good.

"I love you too, Tommy. You won't lose me." She grabbed onto him, hugging him tightly. "Don't ever leave me... please..."

This was how it was. This is how they knew of each other, so afraid to love and lose, so afraid one would snap on the other.

Was it all just a matter of time?