A/N- Alrighty, here's my next installment. I hope you like it! I know it takes me a while to get chapters out, and I apologize for that. If I ever write another fanfic, I'm definitely going to plan it out first, cause I've just been making this up as I go. This story is actually way longer than I originally planned, which was for a two-shot. Writing it has just been a lot more fun than I expected and I've gotten a really nice response, considering it's fanfic for a show that hasn't been on for over 4 years. I honestly still love Instant Star, I watch it on a regular basis, the cds are frequently in my car. So without further ado...

Ryan and I continued our conversation throughout most of the evening. The whole time I kept wondering, 'Is this what this is supposed to be like? Is this what a drama-free relationship is?' I found myself drifting in and out of paying attention to the conversation. My thoughts returned to Tommy, as they usually do. I wondered if he would forgive me, if things would ever go back to the way they were. I didn't even care anymore about feelings or whatever, I just missed my best friend.

"Jude..." Ryan said, waving his hand in front of my face. His eyes bore into mine, questioning. "You still here with me?"

"Of course, I think the wine is making me a little spacy." I said with a smile. Come on Jude, this guy is cute and nice and totally into you. Don't blow it on Quincy thoughts!

Ryan seemed to accept my explanation and I focused on our conversation, which at this point was on my next tour. I left in 3 weeks, and I was really nervous about it. I enjoyed my time with Ryan, I laughed and smiled at the appropriate intervals, but I couldn't help but feel like something was missing. That passion, that fire I felt with Tommy. I guess feeling doesn't come around too often.

We stood up to put on our coats, and Ryan helped me into mine. He leaned in to kiss me, and I returned the kiss. It was a decent kiss. What can I say? The boy knew how to kiss. His hand went to the back of my head to deepen the kiss, but I couldn't help realizing that we were in the middle of a restaurant. I wondered why he was kissing me now...couldn't he wait until we were at my door or somewhere where a restaurant full of people weren't staring at us?


click click


I jerked away from Ryan to see where the flashing was coming from. There was a small swarm of paparazzi gathered near the door of the restaurant.

"Do you mind?" I yelled, pushing past them to get outside. I heard a slight chuckle from Ryan behind me.

"Took you guys long enough..." he said to the group of camera-clickers. It took me a second to register what he said, and I looked up at him with a realization.

"You called them?" I asked, sadly.

"Of course, honey. Now my photo will be on the cover of every tabloid in the country tomorrow. Everyone will want to read my article about the real truth behind Jude Harrison and Tom Quincy. It's quite a scandal, you know."

"I told you that in confidence!" I screamed at him, hurt and betrayal in my eyes.

"Sorry, Jude. I don't think you realize how much these magazines will pay for a good story. Especially one that comes straight from the source." Ryan replied, smirking. I raised my hand to slap him across the face, but a fist beat me to it. Ryan fell backwards, crashing into a table behind him and knocking over a waiter with a tray of drinks. I looked up to see where the mysterious fist came from and there was Tommy, face red with anger, shaking his hand (like one does after they punch someone really hard)

I wondered if Tommy had actually seen the whole exchange or just saw Ryan kissing me, and decided to punch him. I wouldn't put either scenario past Tom Quincy, he was just passionate like that, and I loved him for it.

He looked at me, shrugged he shoulders giving me a half-smile and extended his hand out to me.

"Come on," he said, leaning into me, whispering, "let's get out of here."

I took his hand without a second thought, and followed Tom out of the restaurant. There were even more paparazzi outside and I cringed at what kind of stories were going to be out in the morning. You'd think after seeing Tommy punch Ryan in the face, they'd back off a little, fearing for their own safety.

"Tommy, Tommy! Why did you hit that man? Was Jude cheating on you?" one man yelled.

"Jude! Did you know that Tommy had such a violent streak? Is it true that you fear for your safety?" I actually laughed outloud at the question. I looked down at Tommy's cast-laden hand and wondered if he did any worse damage to it. He led me to the viper and opened the door for me. Then he ran around the other side and jumped in while shoving several paparazzi out of the way. He started the car and sped off without a word. Once we were about a mile away, I finally got the courage to look at him.

"Tom? Are you ok?" I asked cautiously, eying his hand again.

"Yes, I'm fine." he said quietly. He glanced at me, and then looked away when he saw I was staring at him.

"Heh, I guess you really are my knight-in-shining-armor..." I joked, trying to break the tension. He looked at me longer this time, frowning. Then he cracked a slight smile.

"Did you hear the questions they were asking us? This could get bad." I said

"For once, I really don't care what they think, Jude. That guy was a dick and when I heard what he was saying to you, I couldn't let him get away with it. So maybe he will write an article, maybe he won't. But he'll be doing it with a black eye." Tommy told me, smiling at the end. Most likely remembering what it felt like to punch the jerk who had been kissing me.

"Yeah, why were you there anyway?" I watched Tommy shift uncomfortably. I got no answer, obviously he thought he could get away with just not answering me...think again, Quincy! He pulled into my driveway, turned off the engine and sat there quietly.

"So..." I said trailing off. "This was a weird day." He looked up briefly and his eyes met mine. God he was really beautiful. I know that sounds like a girly thing to be, but not in Tommy's case. He's definitely a man, just...pretty. So good looking that saying he's "hot" or "handsome" doesn't really cover it. Honestly, I don't know how he doesn't have a bigger ego than he does. All this was running through my head and I could see Tommy watching the emotions play across my face.

"What are you thinking about so hard?" he asked.

"You really don't want to know, Quincy." I answered, and then the silence crept up on us again.

Tommy started to say something and then stopped.

He tried again and failed. His mouth opened and closed, like he was searching for words, or he had gone dumb in the last 30 seconds, forgetting how to speak. I eyed him curiously, waiting for him to spit out whatever he was trying to express. 30 seconds went by, then 1 minute. Two more minutes passed and we sat there in a weird tug-of-war, where I was waiting for him to speak and he was trying to find words. Finally, I gave up.

"Well, Tommy, thanks for the ride." I said, shrugging my shoulders, meeting his eyes one last time. I opened the door and swung my legs out.

"I think I'm in love with you."

There were a lot of things I thought he would say. That was definitely not one of them.

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