Hi—so here's my next story, but it's only a one-shot. It's a nice mix of drama and fluff (like druff or flama, lol). To come up with this story, I was inspired by a few things, but two in particular which deserve credit:
1. Shakabuku's one-shot Void, which you all need to read if you haven't already. I loved this story and it totally inspired me to write something similar, except this one has a twist on her original concept.
2. There's a specific episode of Friends with Monica and Chandler that translated really well here. It was on tv while I was writing this story, so a certain scene became part of the story. The episode may not be obvious, so if you're curious as to which one after you read it, just let me know.
I obviously don't own either of the above or Instant Star. I do own the story and the title, which cracks me up.
Thanks for reading and please let me know what you think! Enjoy!
The Naked Truth
"Oh my god."
The words echoed off the four walls within the small studio space, causing a rift to immediately saturate the room. The syllables came out slowly, each one reverberating just loud enough to be heard. She stood motionless in the doorway, holding onto the edges of the wall, her grip becoming tighter.
At first, when she had opened the door, her eyes had met the scene before her with indifference. She had rolled her eyes seeing two figures tangled up in each other on the couch. Tommy's face was barely visible behind a sea of blonde, probably his new flavor of the week who he had somehow smooth talked into seeing the studio.
She had witnessed it a few times before. Either in his office or in one of the studios, he would be pinned against some nameless girl, usually emitting incoherent noises with his hands up her shirt or if he was swift enough, up her skirt. And though she couldn't recall it happening in quite awhile, she figured he was due for the anonymous booty call.
She had crossed her arms and watched in annoyance as this current fling worked her hands through his hair and pressed her body against his, while he was trying to unbutton her shirt. Their lips had been locked in a heated kiss and they were so engrossed in each other that she literally could have danced through the room and they would never have noticed.
As she had gone to clear her throat to interrupt their semi-porno session, her gaze had fallen on the shirt that was being removed off the girl's body. It had appeared to be plain black, but as he started to pull it off, she immediately noticed the red lining and red buttons.
That wasn't just any shirt…it was her shirt. From her own closet.
Her mouth opened in confusion as her focus drifted behind them to the soft brown leather backpack in the corner of the room.
The shirt. The backpack.
Her heart had begun to race, putting the pieces of the situation together. She had looked around the room frantically, trying to find some proof to discount the thoughts that were mounting in her mind.
But instead, her eyes had met the navy jacket over the chair with the white stripes around each of the wrists.
And that's when the words were spoken. When the intensity and energy in the room came to a screeching halt and reality set in.
"Oh my god."
At the sound of her voice, the two bodies immediately broke apart, whipping around to see the source of the noise. They were breathing heavily with messy hair and strewn clothing hanging off their partially bare figures.
The four eyes rested on her two, as her worst fear and dreaded suspicion became true.
"Jude?" she croaked out, barely audible, looking between them for some kind of explanation.
Across the room on the couch, Jude's eyes widened in shock and her mouth gaped open.
"Sadie…" Jude trailed off, the only word she was able to articulate.
Jude's eyes shot back over to Tommy, who appeared equally as stunned, running a hand through his hair, his eyes showing his confusion.
Knowing he was at a loss for words, Jude turned back towards Sadie and said the first thing that came to her mind.
"This…isn't what it looks like."
Scoffing loudly at her sister's words, Sadie removed her hands from the doorframe to hold the sides of her waist.
"Oh really? So what is it then?" she asked, her astonishment quickly changing into irritation.
Jude opened her mouth to respond but couldn't find the right words to say. How could she explain? What could she possibly tell her sister that would make her understand?
Trying to recollect her thoughts, Jude looked down and saw her exposed black bra and unzipped jeans, instantly feeling self-conscious. She turned away from Sadie's intense gaze and quickly pulled her shirt back on over her bra, bringing the buttons together as fast as her fingers could work.
Tommy, who had been in a daze, shifted his eyes towards Jude, watching her put her clothing back on. He looked down and saw his own open shirt and pants, with his belt lying on the floor.
As he began pulling himself back together, Sadie cleared her throat and said, "Don't bother. I've seen it all before…for both of you actually."
For the first time since their interruption, Jude and Tommy looked up at each other, their eyes meeting. They both wore identical expressions, frazzled and worried, looking to each other for some sign of support. Tommy's gaze softened, seeing Jude's distress, and looked past her at her sister.
"Sadie, don't start."
"Don't start? Gee, Tommy, it's kind of hard not to start seeing as I only came in here to tell you that Liam needs to postpone your meeting. But apparently, you wouldn't have made it on time anyway," she stated with raised eyebrows. "So, does one of you want to explain what's going on here?"
"What does it look like?" Jude quietly mumbled, finally finishing putting her shirt back on.
"What does it look like?" Sadie repeated, her voice rising. "I'll tell you what it looks like…it looks like my ex-boyfriend was about to screw my seventeen year old sister!"
"Sadie, that's not even close to the truth," Jude argued back.
"Oh really? So, he's not my ex-boyfriend and you're not my little sister? Or you weren't about to screw?" Sadie questioned, her tone starting to reveal more anger than irritation.
"No…but I…we…" Jude stumbled.
"It's none of your business, Sadie," Tommy said firmly, trying to end any further arguments. "This is between me and Jude. End of story."
Sadie smirked, saying, "I don't think so, Tommy. You two chose to get it on during daylight hours and stupidly failed to lock the door. So now it's just as much my business as it is yours."
"Look, I'm sorry you saw what you did…we obviously didn't mean for it to happen…but what you saw," Jude attempted to explain, "it's complicated."
"How complicated can it be?" Sadie questioned, strutting further into the studio and leaning against the soundboard. "This is Tommy we're talking about here. The king of the one-night stand—Mr. Anti-Commitment. So she's just another girl and just another fling, right Tommy?"
Fully dressed, Tommy stood up, his eyes focused intensely on Sadie. "You might think you know who I am because we dated for a few months, but you don't know the first thing about me."
"Oh really," Sadie replied smugly. "So, Tommy, tell me…are you actually dating my underage sister?"
His expression immediately changed to reflect his internal battle. "We're…we're…I don't know. Maybe."
"Well, thanks so much for clearing that up," Sadie spat sarcastically. She then turned back to Jude, saying, "Please don't tell me you're actually buying this crap that he's dishing out."
Jude's eyes widened in confusion. "What are you talking about?"
"Oh please," Sadie started, rolling her eyes. "He's just trying to get in your pants, Jude. Just like every other girl in every other town, including me."
Jude's mouth gaped as her gaze shifted to Tommy, who she could tell was becoming more heated at Sadie's accusation.
"Seriously, Jude," Sadie continued, "how naïve can you possibly be?"
"Now listen," Tommy said, stepping directly in between Sadie's line of vision to Jude on the couch. "You have no right to come in here and make those comments. You don't know anything about me or what you saw."
"I know that you've never actually had a real relationship, Tommy," Sadie said strongly, not backing down. "I know that you're good at making girls believe that you care, when in reality, the only person you've ever cared about is yourself."
Jude sat quietly on the couch, feeling the tears well up listening to her sister's words. Tommy took in all of her harsh words, grinding his jaw in frustration.
"Jude," Sadie said, walking away from the soundboard and brushing past Tommy to step towards her sister, "you don't want to do this. Trust me, I know. He's just going to break your heart."
Jude looked past Sadie at Tommy, who met her gaze with intensity. "Don't listen to her, Jude. You know…"
"What does she know, Tommy? What am I missing here? Why is this somehow different than every other girl you've ever been with?" Sadie exclaimed, turning around to meet his furious gaze.
"Because she's not every other girl I've ever been with! Jude's different!"
"That's what you said to me too…" Sadie replied without hesitation.
"Yeah, well this time, it's the truth," Tommy spat angrily.
Sadie shook her head, clearly unconvinced. "She's seventeen, Tommy. Seventeen!"
"I know!" he shouted back.
"It's not right! She's my little sister! And I'm not going to let you use her and throw her away!" Sadie fired.
"That's not going to happen," he defended, his face growing redder.
"Like hell it's not!"
"Would you two please stop?" Jude shouted, standing up. "Sadie, I'm not a little kid anymore! Stop talking about me like I'm helpless…this is my decision to make, not yours. And you don't have the right to judge either of us."
"What? Why are you defending him, Jude?" Sadie questioned, spinning around to look at her sister.
"I'm not! I just don't want to do this right now!" Jude exclaimed in exasperation.
"Well I'm not letting you walk out of here until you realize that I'm right!" Sadie yelled back.
"But you're not right! You don't know anything about this!" Jude hollered.
"Jude—get real! He's just using you!"
"No…" Jude said, the tears starting to cloud her eyes.
"He is! He's just going to sleep with you and then forget about you! Just like he always does!"
"Stop!" Tommy yelled from behind her, finally reaching the breaking point. His face had become beet red and his eyes looked as though they could shoot daggers across the room. "Enough, Sadie! You want to know why this is different? Why this isn't the same game to me? It's because I…I…"
"You what?" Sadie questioned, turning around to blaze her eyes into his.
He closed his eyes and grunted in frustration, making the decision to admit the one thing he had yet to say. "Because I'm in love with her!"
Sadie's eyes instantly widened, her jaw dropping at his response. "What?"
Jude stood behind her, more in shock than her sister, thinking that she had misheard. "What?"
He hesitantly opened his eyes and looked at the stunned faces before him. He took a deep breath and said more calmly, "I'm in love with her. With you," he said sincerely, his eyes meeting Jude's.
Jude opened her mouth to respond but no words came out. Her heart was racing as the tears that had been buried in her eyes began to trickle onto her cheeks.
Sadie stared at him dumbfounded, not knowing what to say. She knew that he had never really uttered those words before, at least not when he was sober, and she could not believe that it was actually about her sister.
Tommy gazed at Jude closely, watching as the tears rolled down her cheeks. He gradually took a few steps towards her, past Sadie, who was watching their every move. He approached her and reached out, gently brushing his hand against her cheek. She looked up at him with wide eyes and a startled expression.
"Really?" she whispered hopefully.
He nodded faintly, "Really."
They both tuned out Sadie's presence, no longer worried about her harsh words or accusations. A small smile crept onto Jude's face, his words setting in. He smiled back at her, bringing both of his hands to her cheeks. Their eyes locked as he slowly leaned in and captured her lips with his own.
Watching as he kissed her sister, Sadie's heart nearly stopped. Her eyes fell to the floor as she slowly comprehended what it was that she hadn't understood. She found herself coming to terms with what exactly they had been trying to protect and why her words had been so harsh and so wrong.
But unexpectedly, part of her also felt sad. Though she would never openly admit it, she had wanted so badly to be the one he said those words to and even though she was happy in her own relationship, a small part of her still longed to have him look at her the way he was looking at her sister. To be the one in his arms, to be the one that he trusted and the one that he actually cared for.
But in the end, it was her sister, not her. And the closest she would ever be to achieving those fantasies would be in the black and red shirt that her sister had borrowed.
In a daze, Sadie backed up slowly, quietly muttering, "I'm umm…I'm going to go."
Jude and Tommy separated a bit, still holding onto each other as they both turned to look at Sadie.
"Okay…" Jude said softly, biting her lip in consideration of how to ask what needed to be asked. "Are you…will you…"
Sadie shook her head. "No. I won't say anything."
Jude gave her a faint smile in recognition. "Thanks."
Sadie nodded, stepping up to the door. "Sure."
And just as silently as she had entered, Sadie disappeared into the hallway, closing the door tightly, making sure to keep the truth safely hidden away inside.