A/N: I don't own Instant Star. Reviews are always welcome.
Episode 1 - Everybody's Changing
Jude was finally flying home from her 6 week tour. Away from her two best friends, her sister, her producer, her parents who had called her sometime during the tour to tell her that the divorce was finalized, Shay, Eden, Darius, and Georgia. She had had a lot of time to ruminate over her hectic year. She had come to some big decisions.
As her plane touched the ground and she made her way from first class, thanks to, Darius, her new manager, she was slightly disappointed and relieved to see a sign with her name on it and a man in a suit waiting with her luggage. She let out her breath she didn't realize she had been holding up to this moment and got into her limo, another gift from Darius. Man was she getting used to this!
She got home to an empty house. Her mom had kept the house and her dad had gotten a small house with Yvette. Thinking of her and her father put her teeth on edge. Her mom had left a note saying how glad she was back, but that she had decided to take a vacation in Europe.
When she dropped her bags in her bedroom and collapsed on the bed there was also a note from Sadie. She had decided it would be best to leave for college early and had said she hoped her tour went well and never mentioned anything that had happened with Tommy while she was on tour.
She walked to her sister's room, which was now empty. A tear fell down her cheek. She was torn between hating her for coming between her and Tommy and missing her sister who had been an annoying presence, but a familiar constant presence in her life.
She hadn't spoken to Jamie since he visited her on tour and she told him that she just wanted to be friends and that when she had kissed him she was still reacting from her confrontation with Tommy. He said he was fine with it, but his eyes gave it away. He was heart broken, but knew someday she would change her mind, he hoped.
She silently made her way out the door and started to throw pebbles at his window. She threw one a little too enthusiastically and a rock crashed through his window. She was so tired; she was running on adrenaline alone at this point. "Hey, Jamie, are you awake?" I whispered loudly. With his glasses lopsided on his face he groggily moaned "Oh man your flight was today? Sorry." Then she heard a loud thump and Kat stumbled towards the window, "Hey bestest best friend! You've got to tell me everything! Let's go to a diner!" Jude felt a tumult of mixed emotions as she saw Kat in Jamie's window. She knew Kat had been in love with Jamie and had been heart broken when Jude had inadvertently gotten in the way of their relationship, short though it had been. She felt happy for them. They were her two best friends, why wouldn't she be happy for them? Probably because she was feeling sorry for herself said a little voice inside her head. No Shay, no Tommy. No she was happy for them.
They were elated and awed when Jude's limo whisked them away to a cozy diner downtown. Surrounded my ridiculously large mugs of coffee and pancakes the trio were munching happily as Jude gave details about the tour.
"E.J. was intolerable at times, but we actually became friends. And Jamie the band was great, it was like having a bunch of replacement Jamie's to hang out with" I said. All her shows had been sold out; apparently everyone was curious about the girl who had gone out with S-H-A-Y only to be dumped by him because he had hooked up with her nemesis, Eden. She blew the audience away with her singing and only some of the crowd asked her about he-and-she-who-must-not-be-named in a way forcing her to deal with what happened to a bunch of complete strangers was cathartic and helped her to get over what had happened. Pretty soon, her confidence grew with each performance and people stopped asking those questions, and soon her club tours were sold out.
Kat told Jude and Jamie all about her fashion internship in New York, while Jamie told both of them how he had been approached by some bands about managing them. Eventually their reverie was broken when Jude's cell phone rang. The first was Georgia and the second was Darius telling her to get to the studio ASAP to discuss her future.
When Jude got to G Major everything was completely different. It was like walking into one of Shay's video. And she knew what had happened in one word, Darius. Apparently Darius had taken over G Major, which meant that Darius was everyone's boss, including Georgia's. She walked through the front door to see E.J. whose first words were, "What took you so long?" followed by a withering look. "Did she forget that we against all odds and all laws of nature we became friends during my tour?" Jude thought to herself. When she reached the conference room she was startled to see Darius, Georgia, Tommy, Shay, Eden, and her newly divorced parents all sitting around the table. She tries to make eye contact with Georgia who slightly shakes her head and motions for her to take a seat.
"As you can see a few minor changes have happened while you were on your little club tour," says Darius. Apparently he was still not happy that Jude had decided to forgo the stadium tour with Shay and had opted to go on the smaller club tour. "I've gotta give props to you though. You sold out your tour and got several good reviews on your performances. I've already been contacted by several magazines who want to feature you on the cover, cosmetic companies, and clothing lines that want you to be their "face." You've done what I wanted you to do all along and have become a "franchise." Jude glances at Shay and sees a smile/grimace on Shay's face who knows this story all too well. Georgia, Tommy, and her parents all look proud, a stark contrast to Eden who is giving her an openly hostile glare. Jude had no idea what to say and opted to nervously glance at each one of them trying to figure out what was going to happen next.
Darius broke the awkward silence and started talking about what went on while she had been gone. He talked about how he had taken over G Records. Yes, Georgia was still going to be working there and that everything was going to be the same except that he was the head of G Major. Shay was here because he wanted her to do collaboration with him on his upcoming album. And Eden was there because Darius had signed her from his label to G Major. Jude was gonna have to see this man-stealing Barbie everyday now. And her parents and their lawyers were here because they had been fighting over who would control Jude's career. It was all too much for her to take in at once. She noiselessly pushed her chair from the table, got up, and left much to the shock of most of the people at the table. Georgia muttered under her breath, "Here we go…" But no one heard her in the cacophony of "Where do you think you're going!"
She waived off her limo driver and was walking aimlessly when she heard a car pull up and stop in front of her. "Jude get in, I'll take you anywhere you want no questions asked" said a voice. Recognition from that voice stirred memories from 3 months ago. "You can't ask me to choose, Jude" he said. "Well, I'm asking you!" she answered back. The memory dissolved and she looked up, her eyes wary, and got in the car. The silence was comfortable, at first, and then grew unbearable. To make up for the lack of conversation Jude started channel surfing and suddenly her song, "Temporary Insanity," was playing and then there was awkwardness, which turned to silence, again. They had somehow made it to a small house in the mountains. "Where are we?" she asked. "While you were away I bought this house and built a small studio to concentrate on music and to start on my solo album," Tommy replied. She couldn't help, but smile. He brought her down to his studio and let her listen to some tracks he had done. Soon it was like old times with the two of them pouring over the lyrics and arguing about a chord. It was nearly dark when Tommy asked carefully, "Jude are you okay?". "Tommy, don't," I said. They looked at each other and everything unspoken between them was reflected in each other's eyes. The tension in the room crackled like electricity, but was broken all too soon when Jude asked Tommy to drive her home.
After she entered the front door both her parents lying in wait for her in the living room. "Hi" she said weakly before turning tail and making her way up the stairs to the confines of her room. "And where do you think you're going?" "Damn," I said under my breath. I had been ¾ up the stairs before I was forced to make my way back down to the living room. It was odd seeing my parents as a united front after what had happened with the affair, the separation, and finally the divorce. "Where have you been?" they both ask simultaneously. "I went to clear my head," I replied evenly. "And you assumed we didn't deserve a phone call?" Stuart said. "I have been on and off the phone with Darius, Georgia, E.J., Jamie, and Kat all day," Victoria said. "I have no excuses. I went to clear my head and we lost track of time," I said. At the word "we" my parents jumped down my throat about Tommy. "I don't want you at his house, alone with him, without adult supervision. Especially with how he treated your sister after you left," Stuart said. "What happened," I asked in a small voice. "After a few weeks in Italy with Sadie, which we had no idea about by the way he dumps her and leaves and yesterday was the first time we've seen him since that happened," says Victoria. "Oh," I say. My parents go on and on, but I don't hear them. I just keep repeating what they've just told me over and over in my mind, "After a few weeks in Italy with Sadie…" At some point my parents stopped lecturing me when they realized I wasn't listening and let me go to my room. I walked by my sister's empty room feeling both betrayal and guilt that Tommy had gone to Italy with her and then left her. "It's good to be home," I muttered as I fell into bed. I was asleep before my head hit the pillow.