Author's Note: All done! Here is the last installment of "I Know" - and in case I didn't mention it before (I know I didn't) the songs used were Saving Ferris' "I Know," Christina Aguilera's "Loving Me For Me," and ummmm my favorite, Joey McIntyre's "I Love You Came Too Late." Welcome to the early 2000's, everyone. Expect a new chapter of "Unready, Willing, & Able" in the next week! :)
I Know. Part 3
Tommy was frustrated. He had been sitting in that damn recording studio for hours, and had nothing but terrible songs to show for it. He had tried everything. Hard rock. Acoustic. Punk. Piano ballad. Jazz. But nothing sounded right to Tommy.
He let out an angry yell and thumped his head down on the soundboard.
"You know how to write a song, Quincy," he told himself angrily.
"Write 'em? Sure. Sing 'em? Not so much," a voice piped up from behind him.
"What are you doing here, man?" Tommy said as he got up and embraced the figure in the doorway in a manly hug.
"Kwest called. Said that he knew you'd be here 'til the morning unless I offered my excellent singing expertise."
"Excellent singing expertise? Chaz, you know we were in the same band, right?"
"And while it sucked to an extent, we did make a dollar or two off our off-key voices, if I recall correctly," Chaz said with a smirk.
"So what do you suggest," Tommy shot back sarcastically. "I sing a two-bit pop song to proclaim my very serious, very not two-bit feelings?"
"Uh, it worked for us back then."
All Tommy could do was roll his eyes at Chaz.
"Seriously, though," Chaz tried not to smile as his longtime friend tried to reign in the panic in his eyes. "All I got from Kwest is that you haven't told your girl that you love her, and that it might be too late. And that you're an asshole."
"Yup, sounds like Kwest," Tommy mused.
"So, who is this chick? She hot?"
"She's beautiful. She's Jude."
"Jude?" Chaz's eyes nearly fell out of their sockets. "For how long, man? You wouldn't let me go near her when I met her!"
"For good reason, too," Tommy defended. "You wouldn't have treated her right, man."
"I'm sorry what was that? You were in love with her back then? And you're a pansy for not doing anything about it? Oh, okay."
"Shove it," Tommy said, hitting Chaz not-so-lightly in the chest. "And six months. And let's hope for many more, which means I have to actually do something to get back in her good graces, which means you either help me or you get out."
"Tommy, my man, my bro! When have I ever let you down?"
A lifted eyebrow was his response.
"Ok, well, when have I let you down when it comes to making music?"
"Fair enough," Tommy conceded. "Do you have any suggestions?"
"When all else fails, go back to what you know." Chaz said with a cocky grin.
"What I know?" Tommy asked, confused. "What do I- Oh. Oh no. No, no, no. I don't do pop songs anymore. I don't do Boyz Attack anymore."
"You could if you tried," Chaz baited him with a sing-song voice.
"That's a bad idea. A bad idea. Besides, it's not like Jude liked the original Boyz Attack songs, so I should probably avoid that."
"Oh, come on. Jude would like anything that came out of your mouth. Pop song or no pop song, but I myself thing that would be a little more courageous than singing a song with a guitar all alone in a studio."
"This is a bad idea," Tommy repeated, but Chaz could see his resolve weakening. If anything could get to Tommy, it's someone suggesting that he wasn't brave.
"Let me see your lyrics. I, unlike you, have embraced my boy band past. I have learned how to market it."
"You've learned how to turn other pre-teen wannabes into cookie cutter singers," Tommy interjected.
"That may be so. But, like you pointed out – I still got it."
He read over Tommy's lyrics and started humming something that was far too catchy for Tommy's liking.
"I'm calling the Boyz! And then we'll work this thing out."
"Wait, I thought we were just going to…you know. Pop-ify it. And then it'd be me singing. No you, no Boyz, no nobody. Juuuust me."
"Get out your bandana, Tommy Q. We're making a comeback."
Two days later and Studio C was off limits to everybody and anybody, and the windows were blacked out to all that passed by.
"D, what is going on in there?" Jude asked for the millionth time.
"It's a secret, Jude." Darius sighed for the millionth and one time.
"So who's in there?" She pressed.
"What part of 'secret' did you not understand? You'll find out when you find out. Now go get ready for the premiere."
Jude rolled her eyes at Darius and stalked off. It wasn't a 'premiere' per se, but it was her and Tommy's song being released to the major radio networks, and G Major was hosting a mini celebration. Just Jude's Toronto based fan club and the media were allowed in, and it wasn't really for anything special. The idea of performing the song live had been trampled on by Tommy before it had even had a chance to take off.
Instead, the remastered song with the full brass ensemble would be playing looped over the original video of Tommy and Jude.
Jude sighed as she pulled on a flowing summery white dress. She hadn't seen Tommy since their fight. She was terrified that he had taken her seriously, and thought about what he wanted, and realized it wasn't her. She had neither confirmation nor denial of this, because he seemed to be M.I.A. Her heart was breaking as every minute passed, and yet the lingering thought at the back of her mind persisted: At least you never told him you loved him. It would only hurt that much more to not hear him say it back.
She finished getting ready hastily and rushed downstairs, knowing that Tommy had to show up eventually – it was his premiere, too.
She did the standard meet and greet with her fan club, getting to know some of the members more personally and reveling in the fact that at least some people liked the idea of her and Tommy singing together. She couldn't help but wonder what was going on in G-Major, though. An entire wall had a curtain in front of it, and she kept hearing hushed voices behind it. She couldn't make out any in particular, but it did spike her curiosity.
She continued her mingling until the lights started to dim and go back on again, signaling the start of the premier video release.
She made her way to the front, near the curtains, and hung back, waiting for Darius to make an announcement. She didn't have to wait long.
Soon enough, Darius came to the front of the curtain, a spotlight shining brightly on him.
"Ladies and gentlemen, it is a pleasure to have you all here. As you know, Jude and her…boyfriend," Darius said the word slowly, as if he were trying it out, "have recorded a song together, entitled 'I Know.' You are all here to listen to the new, remastered version, complete with a full brass ensemble!"
Clapping echoed through G-Major, bringing a grin to both Darius and Jude's faces.
"Now, before we get into that, I have a very special treat for you. Probably more special than any of you anticipated before you got here."
Jude's heart dropped. Was she performing? Was she supposed to be doing something else? She was completely clueless as to the 'special treat,' and looked around the lobby frantically for Tommy. She didn't find him.
"Now as you know-" Darius continued but was cut off by voices coming from the curtain behind him.
"Just put it on!" An unfamiliar voice said in a stage whisper that was amplified throughout the label, as if he were holding a microphone.
"Dude," a voice that was distinctly Tommy's came through the speakers as well, "I have limits!"
Darius took two steps to the side and placed a very well positioned elbow backwards. An Oof! Was heard, but only silence remained.
Jude's eyes were wide. What was going on?
"As I was saying, you all know that Jude's...boyfriend is no other than Tommy Quincy, or Li'l Tommy Q, as you may know him."
This time it was a punch coming from behind the curtain that hit Darius in the shoulder, but D just smiled larger and took a few steps to the side.
"Now, Li'l Tommy Q," he took a few more steps, "has long since retired from Boyz Attack!, but what you are about to witness is the first of what I hope to be many-" suddenly Darius was hit with so many random limbs from behind the curtain that he stumbled a few steps forward.
"Okay, so maybe not many," he amended, "but the first brand new single to come from Boyz Attack! since their last studio album."
Jude's jaw was on the floor. What is he doing?
The curtains suddenly drew back and Jude was torn between laughing aloud or to stare completely dumbfounded.
She chose both, and a choked laugh came out of her open mouth.
In front of her sat all the members of Boyz Attack!, including Tommy, all dressed in jeans and tight white t-shirts. He winked at her and a hand involuntarily went over her mouth as she tried to conceal her slack jaw.
Then, cheesy, over-synthesized music started flowing out of the speakers, and the members stood off their stools and Jude had to let out a laugh at the sight of a white bandana still lying on Tommy's stool, untouched. Tommy did have limits.
Chaz stepped up, front and center, and spoke into his mike.
"Baby, listen to me. If I have the chance, I'd say those words. Come on, ooh…"
Jude would have normally made a comment on just how ridiculous this song was shaping up to be, and it was only 30 seconds into it, but she couldn't bring herself to. 'Those words,' Chaz had said. Those words.
Oh, God. Sadie. Jude instantly understood what was going on, and despite wanting to run far, far away, she stood planted in her spot as Chaz began to sing.
"The bluest of blue – that's what her eyes are, that's what I am today. And if I had it all to do, all over again, I wouldn't have waited so long to say…"
Tommy stepped up directly in front of Jude and looked into her eyes as he sang the saccharine sweet lyrics he knew would at least get her to smile, if nothing else.
"I can't live without you," he crooned. "I don't want nobody else. Baby, listen very closely – I love you."
The chorus started and Tommy backed up a few steps and regained his place with the band, never taking his eyes off Jude.
"I couldn't lie
She couldn't wait
'I love you' came too late
I'd give my life
'I love you' came too late."
Suddenly, Tommy slid on his knees to Jude, an over dramatic gesture as he began to sing again.
"I should have seen the signs, paid more attention, but I pushed your love away," He was trying not to smile, but it was hard when Jude was biting her lip so hard to keep the grin off of her face.
"So if you find someone to give you what you needed, somebody else not afraid to say…" Chaz sang his lines as Tommy shook his head at Jude, indicating that she didn't need to find anybody else. He hopped up to his feet and put a hand on Jude's face as he sang once more, this time putting all the typical boy band moves in it – hand over heart, pleading expressions, you name it.
"I can't live without you, I don't want nobody else. Baby, listen very closely – I love you."
The chorus started up again and Tommy fell back to the group, doing a few synchronized dance steps.
"I couldn't lie
She couldn't wait
'I love you' came too late
I'd give my life
'I love you' came too late."
Tommy then walked purposefully to Jude, who was trying to stifle her giggles but seemed to be having a very hard time doing so.
"What are you doing?" She mouthed at him.
Instead of replying, he just sent her a smirk as he picked up her hand and pulled her in front of the crowd, proceeding to sing with all the boybander passion he had in him.
"I can't live without you – don't want nobody else. My heart is in my hand, I took a good look at myself. If I had another chance, I'd shout it out to the world – I love you!"
He then spun Jude out and back in, singing the chorus with the guys all along.
Despite Jude being used to being in front of crowds, she felt her face flush as Tommy sung to her in front of everyone. She wasn't embarrassed necessarily, but…overwhelmed. Definitely overwhelmed. She was trying to grasp what Tommy was doing, but she had a million different scenarios running through her head.
She questioned whether he was serious or not – after all, he was singing with a boy band. But then he seemed so sincere, even with the shaking of his ass. But the truth of the matter was, there he went, just singing lyrics to her. 'I love you' made for good songs, and it was easy to rhyme with to boot, so she wasn't even sure if she should take the song to heart.
The song ended after a fade out of the chorus, and Tommy pulled her to him tightly when he stopped singing and kissed her soundly on the mouth, with the audience cheering them on.
Tommy rested his forehead against hers as the clapping continued.
"Have you lost your mind?" Jude asked with a grin.
"I'm in love with you," Tommy said matter-of-factly.
"Oh." Jude surprise temporarily took away her ability to speak.
"This is where you say it back. Or, even better, you could sing it. I've got some boybanders you could borrow…"
"I've got all the boybander I need," Jude said with a smile blossoming across her face. "And I'm in love with him, too."
Tommy pulled her into a passionate kiss again.
"Good," he managed to get out when he pulled away, breathing heavily. "Because if I had just done that song for nothing-"
"Shut up, Quincy," Jude grinned as she pulled him in for another kiss.
"Give it up for Boyz Attack!" Darius said as he came back onto the stage. "And give it up for Tommy and Jude, who need to stop kissing on my stage before they both get fired!" D's fake-cheery voice caused both Jude and Tommy to smile sheepishly as they pulled away.
The rest of the day passed in a blur. The premiere, the mingling, the stolen glances between Tommy and Jude, everything happened so quickly. Suddenly Tommy and Jude were alone, sitting in a corner of the couch in the lobby, silence enveloping them.
"You didn't have to do that, you know," Jude said softly.
"I know," Tommy replied, squeezing her shoulders lightly. "But I've felt those words since the day I met you, Jude. I just needed a…push in the right direction."
"Sadie's more like a very hard shove, but I know what you mean," Jude said with a laugh.
"And – if you tell anyone I said this, I will kill you, Harrison, know that – it was…kind of fun."
"What was?" Jude asked.
"You know," Tommy gave a noncommittal shrug and Jude's jaw dropped.
"Singing? With the Boyz?"
"Death, Harrison. Remember that I threatened you with death."
Jude just brushed his comment off and smiled to herself, secretly glad that maybe Tommy didn't hate singing as much as he led her to believe.
"I'm sorry." Jude's voice rung out into the silent room.
"I sort of thrust all this on you. I just…I didn't mean to."
"I know that, girl. I was just a little scared."
"Of what? Little ol' me?"
"Falling in love with you is a scaaaary thing, Jude Harrison."
"Scary like free-falling-on-a-roller-coaster scary or axe-murderer-chasing-me scary?" Jude questioned hesitantly.
"Girl, every day with you is a roller coaster."
"Good!" Jude said, satisfied.
"100-foot-high-drop roller coaster or little-kiddie-two-second-long roller coaster?"
Tommy's groan could be heard throughout the corners of G-Major.