A/N: Here's another chapter. Please comment! Oh and the title is from the song Empty Apartments by Yellowcard.

Oh and I know in the show Kwest quit G-Major, but I didn't really think about that when I wrote this, and trying to find a way to have him always around otherwise would have been too hard. So lets just say that he quit and then like 2 weeks later Sadie came to him and told him nothing was going on with her and Darius and that he should go back to what he loved doing. He goes back and Sadie and him slowly start to reconnect. Everyone okay with that?

Chapter Two: Does It Hurt When You Think About Me?

"Hey Tom." Kwest said as his friend entered the studio.

"Hey, so...What's new?" Tommy asked

"New? What do you mean?" Kwest teased

"Oh c'mon man! I know you and Sadie left here pretty chummy yesterday. So...what's new?"

"Nothing man. We ate, we talked, I walked her home. That's it."

"That's it?" Tommy said, not convinced. "Uh huh...right"

"I did kiss her goodnight, but that's not new...exactly." Kwest said, a smile playing on his lips

Tommy just kicked his chair, sending Kwest rolling toward the door, before adding, "'You think you're so funny...anyways that's great man, I'm really happy for you, you guys finally seem to be back."

"Thanks. Yeah. It' not official or anything yet, but we're getting there. You're looking pretty happy these days too. I mean after what happened with...well what happened two months ago, I never would have thought you'd be this happy, this in love. Little Tommy Q. gettin' married, who would've thought?" Kwest chuckled as he said the last part.

"Yeah..yeah." Tommy said, as he pulled his laptop out of his bag and set it up on the counter in front of him.

Kwest picked up a tabloid someone had left and began scanning the pages as Tommy clicked away on his computer.

Tommy, in an effort to avoid work, went straight to his email. But what he found wasn't exactly the distraction he was looking for.

Kwest laughed and kept his eyes on the tabloid while he chuckled, "Hey Tom, you've got to see this."

No response came

After yet another failed attempt, Kwest finally looked up from his magazine and glanced at his best friend. Tommy stood there, frozen, face contorted to show both fear and shock. Seeing his friend this way made Kwest uneasy, so he set out to put an end to it.

"Yo. Tom!" Kwest said louder, wheeling his chair from its new position by the door back to the soundboard next to Tommy.

Kwest stared at his friend, concerned and confused. He put a hand on his shoulder, hoping the physical contact would snap him out of what ever daze he was in. It wasn't a total success, but progress was made.

"Jude" Tommy finally stammered out.

Kwest's eyes went wide as he leaned over his friend's shoulder and saw Jude's email, unopened with the words "I Will Always Love You" in the subject line. After he finally came back to reality, he focused on his friend.

"Tom. You okay man?"

"Jude. It's Jude." was all he could say

"I know man. You gonna open it?" He asked generally concerned for his friends well being.

Getting past Jude's departure hadn't been easy, but Tommy had gotten through it, started dating again and found a girl he could spend his life with. And now one email threatened to ruin it all.

"I-I-I don't know if I can." Tommy said, answering Kwest's question.

"Well..." was Kwest's totally unhelpful response

"But I don't know if I can't." Tommy finally realized.

"I say open it. What's the worst that can happen? And at least this way you'll know what it says."

Tommy nodded and slowly and with great hesitation, double clicked on the email.

Kwest sat watching at Tommy read the email. Analyzing his friends face, trying to figure out what to expect.

"Engaged." Tommy's words snapped Kwest out of his thoughts.


"She said, 'Congratulations on your engagement'. How did she know?"

Kwest finally remembered what he had wanted to show Tommy. He flipped back open to that page and plopped it down in front of them. "I think this is how."

Tommy stared, his face totally blank, at the tabloid spread that dished about his 'alleged' proposal. He didn't know what to think.

Jude paced back and forth in her living room. Her computer sitting happily on the couch. She walked over to it but then made herself walk away. She wanted so badly to check her email, to see if Tommy had replied but couldn't stand the heart break she knew she'd face if he hadn't. And after checking it 12 times in the last hour and at least 30 times since she sent it two days ago, she wasn't sure how much more she could take. Finally she took a deep breath and walked back into her room. Out of sight, out of mind. Right?

She found herself thinking, and she couldn't help but think that this plan was flawed. Because now, even as walls and doors separated her from her laptop, she thought of it more than ever. Straining to hear, just in case it 'binged'-signifying a new email. "Ugh. This is torture, and pathetic and I'm done."

She stood and was just about to leave when she heard that sweet, simple and long-awaited 'bing' fill the apartment. She practically dove onto the laptop and ripped it open. Once the screen was upright, she clicked on her email and there it was- her kryptonite, her Tommy and his email.

Jude hesitated, much as Tommy had, debating whether it would hurt or help. Did he hate her? She knew she deserved it, but that doesn't mean she could bear it. The mere idea sent shivers down her spine as she once again saw Tommy's crushed face as she drove away that final time. She closed her eyes tighter than they should ever go and pulled a picture of Tommy from her memory. This was a different Tommy. A happier Tommy, the Tommy she had fallen in love with.

With his happy face behind her eyes, she took a deep breath and opened the letter.


Thanks for the email. It means a lot.


"That's it?!" Jude found herself screaming. "Seriously? What the crap!? I pour my heart out to him and I get a simple, generic one sentence back? UGH!"

She took a deep breath and tried to remember what she had put him through, telling herself to cut him a break. But no matter what she said, some part inside of her was angry, hurt and alone. And only one thing could fix it.