Hi, all. I'm taking a quick break from The Blackout to post another fanfic, which is pretty different. This idea came to me a few weeks ago but I felt really inspired this week with the new season coming and decided to actually write it down. The idea came from one of the Season 2 teasers, where some guy with a British accent says, "We're officially releasing you from your recording contract."

This fanfic is my interpretation of one possible scenario of what would happen. It's sort of a Tommy/Jude fic, but focuses more on the strength of their relationship as opposed to them actually getting together. It is a one-shot, at least for now. The title comes from a Carole King song (think Gilmore Girls) so of course, I don't own that song or anything associated with Instant Star.

Let me know what you think and as always, ENJOY:-)

Jude walked into the diner, hearing the bell jingle as she opened the door. She scanned the room, eyeing the customers. Finally, she spotted him sitting alone in a booth all the way in the back corner. He was wearing a hat so as to not be recognized and held a cup of coffee. She smiled and headed back. As she approached, he looked up at her.

"Hey," she said, sitting down across from him.

"Hi," Tommy returned.

The waitress came over, watching Jude remove her jacket. "Can I get you something?" she asked, tapping her pen against a notepad.

"Just coffee," Jude responded, to which the waitress grabbed a mug and coffee pot from the counter. She poured Jude a cup and then turned to help another table.

Once the waitress left, Tommy asked, "So, what's the big emergency?"

"It's not really an emergency, but it is important," she replied, feeling guilty about her panicked phone call to him.

"Okay, what is it?"

"Well, it has to do with the studio."


She took a sip of the coffee before beginning. "Obviously, my first album didn't do as well as everybody had hoped. Every time I walk into the studio, Darius goes after me about improving sales and threatens to release me from my contract. It's been really upsetting, feeling like I let them all down."

"You didn't let them down. These things happen," he said, trying to make her feel better but knowing that his job was equally in jeopardy.

"I guess," she agreed, glancing down at her coffee contemplatively. She looked back up at him, resuming her story. "Anyway, a couple of weeks ago, I got a call from Shoreline Records. They were really nice and wanted to meet with me."

"Shoreline? That's a great studio," he said tentatively, afraid of where this conversation was heading.

"Yeah, it is. I didn't want to meet with them at first, but they convinced me. They said that they understood that the album didn't do well financially but they saw a lot of potential in it. And they knew that G-Major was considering letting me go, so I think they jumped at the opportunity."

"So you liked them?"

"Definitely. We talked a lot—about both albums and how they see my career progressing if I sign with them. It was really great. I felt like I could fit right in." She paused, nervous to continue. "I think they're going to buy out my contract from G-Major."

"Wow," he replied, genuinely surprised.

"Yeah, I know. I'm sorry I didn't tell you sooner but I wanted to make sure it was definite."

"I understand," he said. "So when do you—"

"Wait, there's more," she cut in.

"More what?"

"More to the story. When I met with them, we talked a lot about my process for making music and of course, you came up. They asked about how we work and how we approach the writing. So I got to thinking and decided that if I was going to do this, I wanted to do it my way."

"What do you mean?"

At this, she reached into her bag next to her and pulled out a couple of papers clipped together. She put them down on the table in front of him.

"I'm not going without you," she stated firmly.

"What?" he said, confused.

"I told them that if they wanted me, they had to take you too. They got really excited at the idea of you working there, almost more than me. Apparently, they're big Boyz Attack fans."

He sat there totally taken aback and started to flip through the papers. They all had his name on them.

As he looked through, he saw the dollar figure for his salary and his eyes practically fell out of their sockets.

"Jude, this can't be right. This is more than double what I'm making now."

"Good," she said with a smile. "I didn't know exactly what you were making, but Shoreline had a better guess. After talking all about you, I basically made a case to not only sign you but sign you with the salary you deserve. Their only condition was that you'd have to work with other artists, which wasn't surprising, since I have to share you now anyway," she said, taking a breath from rambling so fast. She was excited and had to get it all out.

He just sat there, mouth agape, staring at the contract.

She added, "And you're technically freelance at G-Major, so it shouldn't be too hard to switch over. As long as you want to."

They both sat in silence, her awaiting a response other than the shocked look he had on his face.

"Oh my god…Jude, I don't know what to say."

"How about saying you'll come with me?" she asked with a pleading smile. "I know you hate working for Darius just as much as I do, if not more. And this studio is great. They're going to let us make whatever kind of music we want."

He finally looked up at her, putting the contract down. "You did all of this?"

"Yeah," she said humbly. "I didn't want to go without you. I can't go without you. We're partners, remember?"

He just shook his head in disbelief. "Yeah, but…you really did this? For me?"

"Yes," she said convincingly, looking into his eyes. "I did it for both of us."

"This is seriously the best thing anybody's ever done for me," he said, clearly touched by her actions.

She blushed and looked down at her coffee. She then faintly looked up at him and said quietly, "So does that mean you'll do it?"

"Are you? Is this definite for you?"

She nodded. "Pretty much. My dad's reviewing the contract but once he's okay with it, then I'm in."

"Well, I'm not signing anything until you do," he said.

Her eyes lit up. "So is that a yes?"

He looked at her and smiled. "We're partners, right?"

"Really?" she said, excitement taking over.

"Yes, really. If you're in, I'm in," he said confidently.

She let out a cheer and got up to hug him. She slid into his side of the booth and threw her arms around him, knocking his hat off. The other patrons turned to look at them, hearing her shriek from exhilaration. He hugged her tightly, ignoring the onlookers and the fact that he was fully recognizable. She gave him a kiss on the cheek and pulled back, her smile radiating.

"I wasn't sure what you would say," she admitted.

"I don't know how you convinced them to take both of us, but it really means a lot to me," he said, pulling her back in for another hug.

"I can be very persuasive," she declared, smiling over his shoulder. "Besides, it's the least I could do. You're always looking out for me, so it's about time I do the same for you."

He pulled back to look at her, moved by her words.

"Are you kidding? I think this surpasses any lousy advice I've ever given you," he said.

"Stop, you know you've done more than that. I wouldn't be here without you."

He gently moved a strand of hair out of her face. "I don't know how to thank you," he said softly.

She blushed at his actions but opted to make light of the situation. "Well, I like daisies and those stuffed animals you win at amusement parks and pizza…with mushrooms and pepperoni."

He laughed lightly but then grew serious, gently bringing his hands to her face. He brought her in to kiss her forehead, then whispered, "Thank you."

"You're welcome," she said softly, as they separated.

He looked into her eyes with a grin, still feeling moved. "Okay, the thank you's are about to officially start. Want to get some pizza?" he asked.

She beamed at his suggestion. "You're reading my mind."

She slid out of the booth as he put his hat back on and threw some money on the table for the coffee. As she put her jacket on, he said, "Kwest is going to be upset."

"Oh, you're right," she agreed. "Well, maybe we can steal him too."

"Think we can make a case for him?" he asked skeptically.

"Sure," she said. "Clearly their standards aren't that high since they agreed to take you."

He pushed her jokingly. "Yeah, well, it's your album that flopped. I'm just the wingman."

"Sure. Whatever helps you sleep at night, Quincy," she said with a big smile.

He wrapped his arm around her shoulder and dragged her through the row of booths towards the door. All of the customers stared at them as they passed, their laughter spreading contagiously through the diner until the bell jingled and the door closed.