A.N - Okay, slightly nervous first time Instant Star writer here. Here's hoping you like it.

I shortened the age gap between Jude and Tommy - Jude being 16 and Tommy 20 - for the purpose of the story. I'm fully aware that in the show it's a good seven years between them (:

Everything else you need to know will be explained in the story. Tell me what you think?

Disclaimer: Instant Star is in no way mine. They all belong to the people behind production at The N who are kind enough to share it with us. I just play with situations in the hope of entertaining. xD


ONE

I hate everything about you
Why do I love you?
You hate everything about me
Why do you love me?
-- Three Days Grace

"Sounding good, Jude!"

She smiled at the compliment her producer, Kwest, gave her, before sliding the headphones off her ears.

"Really?" She questioned. "I'm thinking that that second chorus should maybe go a little differently, kind of like –"

"Jude." Another, all too familiar, voice interrupted her. "Has anyone ever told you that you're entirely too bossy?"

Tom Quincy. Known to the world as Tommy Q. Known to Jude Harrison as 'pain-in-my-side'.

"You're supposed to work with the producer," he stressed. "Not tell them what to do."

"And has anyone ever told you," Jude countered. "That you're a pompous, annoying, stuck-up son-of-a-"

"That's enough Jude," Kwest cut in, amused. "It's Tommy's studio time now."

Rolling her eyes, Jude stood up and grabbed her guitar as she left the studio. The only problem was that she actually had to pass Tommy Q in order to leave.

And, of course, being the arrogant jerk he was, he refused to make room for her to pass.

"Excuse me."

Her voice was strained, pushing impatience.

Tommy, however, remained indifferent, posting a mock-shocked expression on his face.

"You mean," he gasped. "That you're not going to demand I move?"

"Very funny, Quincy."

The two Instant Stars glared at each other for a long moment, before Kwest got bored and reminded Tommy that he was wasting his studio time.

He smiled and stood aside, bowing overdramatically before swatting Jude's behind as she walked past.

In spite of her fury, Jude could do nothing in retaliation for Tommy had already swaggered over to the microphone she had recently left and pulled the headphones over his ears.

He was the reason that Jude occasionally – and only for a little while – regretted entering the Instant Star competition in the first place.

Both Tommy and Jude made it into the finals where television history was made when the viewers' votes were split exactly. The votes for each were equal – it had been a tie.

The public had spoken – that first year, there were two instant stars.

Their rivalry had begun then, and was still going strong six months later.

"Jude!"

She smiled at the sound of the voice, pushed her thoughts away from the night that had changed her life and responded excitedly instead.

"Jamie!"

Jamie Andrews. Jude's best friend and manager – he was the only option for the job, really.

"Ah, I see you had another run in with Tommy Q."

He smiled sympathetically as Jude groaned.

"Whose bright idea was it for us to release our albums together?" She asked. "It's just a war waiting to happen."

Jude glanced behind her and fought the urge to swoon at the sight of Tommy – eyes shut as he poured himself into his song. No one could deny that Tommy Quincy was one of the hottest guys out there.

Jamie sighed upon catching Jude's wistful look.

"Jude …" he warned.

"I know, I know." Her gaze hardened. "No fraternising with the enemy."

"That's my girl."

Jude laughed as Jamie wrapped an arm around her shoulders and kissed her temple, before catching her in a headlock and messing up her hair.


Tommy opened his eyes as he finished recording his final song and glanced out of the transparent wall and into the lobby of G Major Records.

It irked him, having that Jamie guy hanging around all the time. It's not like he actually did anything here. He was a manager; he was supposed to be out of the building, finding new acts. Not haunt the building and refuse to leave Jude Harrison's side for one millisecond.

"Um, Tommy?" Kwest's voice echoed through the studio. "When you've finished ogling your competition, we need to run through that again."

Sighing, Tommy returned his attention to his producer.

"I wasn't ogling her." Was all he said.

"Oh, so it's Andrews that caught your eye?"

"You're a real comedian."

It was easy to lose himself in a song. The music started playing in your ears and everything else was lost as you were consumed within the music … and the lyrics you were meant to be singing.

The music cut off.

"I'm sorry," Tommy apologised, eyes falling shut as he agitatedly pinched the bridge of his nose. "I have it now."

And he did. The tape was rewound before it began again and Tommy poured everything into his song. Even when he felt a pair of eyes watching him, instead of freezing, he snapped his eyes open and caught the gaze of one Jude Harrison.

He winked in the split second before she turned and returned her attention to her best friend and Tommy chuckled inwardly as he returned his full attention to the microphone in front of him.

"Nice one, T." Kwest praised. "That's a wrap."

"Finally," he grinned. "First album over with."

"Still editing to go through yet, Tommy."

He waved it off with a smile.

"Still, the bulk of it's done. This time next week I can hold the finished product in my hand."

Kwest laughed.

"You know, that's what Jude's looking forward to the most, too."

Tommy, for once, remained silent as his thoughts once again returned to the infuriating, immature, gorgeous girl that was Jude Harrison.


Despite the instant attraction, there were many reasons why Jude and Tommy couldn't actually be together. The first, and most serious, was the age gap - Jude was a young girl of sixteen whereas Tommy was twenty. The other was due to the discretion of their record label.

Apparently, records don't sell as well if the artists are unavailable – to both male and female audiences.

Jude found the whole thing ridiculous, to be perfectly honest.

Who was the record company to say whom she could and could not date? At least, in public.

So, she was shocked to say the least when Darius Mills walked up to her, one arm already firmly locked around Tommy's shoulders as his other came to wrap around her own.

"Jude!" He exclaimed. "Just the girl we wanted to see."

He led them into his office and gestured for them to take a seat.

"We've just had some news," Darius took his place behind the desk and looked at his two winners pointedly. "You two are hot news. Everyone wants you – interviews, cover shoots, the works."

Tommy and Jude exchanged wary looks.

"It's a fight for the number one album spot," he continued. "And anyone's guess to who is going to win."

"What does all this actually mean, D?" Jude's voice was hesitant and Tommy's twisted features echoed the feeling.

"It means," he grinned. "That you two are about to get a lot more press coverage. And G Major are going to get a lot more sales."


"Can you believe him?" Jude whined after leaving Darius' office. "Now we have to battle it out for the number one spot?!"

"I think that that was actually the intention all along, princess." Tommy snidely responded.

Jude flipped her fiery hair over her shoulder and away from her face.

"Just so you know," she flippantly informed him. "My album is going to win."

Tommy scoffed. "Yeah, right."

"I'm serious." She took a step closer towards him – no one could see, they were practically the last ones left in the building. "Why, afraid of a little competition, little Tommy Q?"

His eyes narrowed minutely, glaring at her whilst taking the wide eyes, messy red hair and full, tempting lips which were just begging to be kissed.

"Hardly." He snapped his eyes away from her lips and towards her own instead. "If anything, you seem to be the one who's pushing for this spot. I think you're the one who's scared."

"Hardly." She echoed, neither one even thinking about backing down.

They were stood nose-to-nose in the middle of the G Major lobby, staring each other down.

It didn't take a genius to realise that they weren't going to be caught, should they do anything and Tommy Quincy was nothing if not perceptive.

It took less than two seconds after Jude's last words before she found her lips smashed against those belonging to her music rival.

It took another split second for her to wrap her arms around his neck, and actually enjoy it.