Title: It's Not The End Of The World
Artwork: qafmaniac. OMG bb, I love you so hard for this!!! And you know, for being you!
Word Count: 22.167 - 3542 This Chapter
Pairing: Tommy/OFC, Adam/Tommy Friendship.
Warnings: Adult Situations and Language
Rating: R - NC-17
Summary: Sometimes you find love the most impossible places. Sometimes life fucks with you, but then again sometimes you win.
Disclaimers: These people are NOT mine. Julia is my character, I created her. I'm not making any profit, I'm only doing this for fun. There is no way this ever happened and so on.
I had some really incredible cheerleaders on this fic – maggy_97 who was the first to tell me that she wanted to read Adam/Tommy friendship fic! She kept telling me that she would read the fuck out of it, when I was sure no one would ever read it. So honey, this fic is for you! I hope you’ll like it! I know you’ve been waiting a long time for it.
And then there is zoodlemouse13 who in the most wonderful way demands that I write when I get too lazy or something. Because of them, and a few others, who encouraged me, this is finally ready to be posted. \o/
Please do not link/copy/share/whatever this anywhere. Thank you.
A/N: If you're looking for an Adam/Tommy fic, this is not it. This fic is about being friends and Tommy finding love in an impossible situation.
Later that day while Julia is cooking something that smells amazing and involves pumpkins, cinnamon, honey, garlic and cream amongst other things she asks Tommy to stir the pot while she gets her bag from the music shop. Tommy groans and fake-whispers. “As long as it’s not the Ma-”. That’s as far as he gets before he’s silenced with a finger on his lips. “Not a word Ratliff.” She winks and leaves him to keep an eye on the dinner.
“What was that about?” Adam asks; eyes tingling and happy.
“Scared to tell you, I saw what she did to Neil.”
“Aww,” Adam says when Julia returns. “You scared the kitty to silence. You’re a fierce bitch.”
She high fives Adam and hands him a wrapped gift and then goes to give Tommy one too.
Julia puts on one of the CD’s she bought earlier. While Tommy stares at the present, wondering why on earth he deserved something like that. A unique feminine voice floats into the room. “Who’s that?” Tommy and Adam ask at the same time, ending up with a shared gigglesnort.
“That ladies, is Tina Dickow.” She looks at Tommy. “The Danish artist I was looking for.” She lets the music wash over her and says dreamingly, “Hmm, I guess Daniel was right then.”
Tommy studies her a second, she might be cooking again but she really listens to song, takes it in. He likes that.
“You didn’t even youtube her before you bought the CD?” Adam asks.
He is carefully unwrapping his present and Julia shakes her head. “Nope, when you do that you find the song with the most clicks and as popular as those songs might be I always end up loving the’ least likely to be played on radio song’ the most. That’s why I buy the album and not just download one or two songs. But with a CD, when I have it in my hand, oh I love that. I’m so old-fashioned.”
Adam has opened his gift and he smiles widely when he sees the CD with Maroon 5. “Awww baby I love that album. How did you-”
“Because I know you, Lambert.” Adam laughs and goes to hug her.
“But I thought…” Tommy says mostly to himself. Julia laughs softly, “You should have seen your face when you saw that one. You looked like nothing made sense in the world anymore and I couldn’t help myself.”
“You’re… damn I don’t even know what you are, but you had me fooled. It didn’t make sense at all.”
“I actually have a broad taste in music, if it touches me, you know? If the lyrics move me in some way then I’ll probably like it. Like this? What we’re listening to right now? I’m already loving it and there is nothing Rock about it.”
He nods. “I’m the same.”
Smiling she agrees. “I bet you are, but Tommy?” She looks pointedly at the present in his hand, he hasn’t opened it yet. “Why aren’t you opening that?”
“Sorry.” He begins to unwrap and asks, “When did you buy this?”
“Not telling you. Open it.”
When he opens it, he looks at a little bat appendix for a necklace. It is very detailed even though it’s tiny. His face breaks in a smile. “Oh my God that’s so cool. Do you know about-”
“The badgers? Well obviously. I’m thinking I might join them. Some of your fans tweeted me links of your performances with other bands and dude!!”
Her voice is filled with excitement, and it makes Tommy blush. “Thank you.”
He runs a finger over the bat and Julia smiles tenderly. “Oh stop, it wasn’t my first born I handed over.”
“Oh that reminds me,” Adam says. “When are the two old married people intending to participate in the task of overcrowding the planet?”
“Never!” she answers promptly.
Adam raises a brow. “That’s a lie if I ever heard one.”
“Okay then, there are plans.”
“Really? That makes me so happy. You know I’m going to hold you to that promise you made me.”
Julia snickers. “Sure, I’m still convinced you’ll faint though.”
Julia directs her gaze at Tommy. “I kinda promised him the day we met John that Adam would always be a center of my world and he swore he would hold my hand through life no matter what. He claimed he would even do it when I was giving birth.”
She looks at Adam with such fondness that it touches Tommy. Adam mirrors that gaze when he continues the story. “She looked at me as if she didn’t believe one word coming out of my mouth and I made her promise me to let me do exactly that.”
“You two are nuts,” Tommy giggles.
When they eat they talk about everything and nothing. The conversation is relaxed and comfortable and he is doing a pretty good job of ignoring the attraction. Ha, take that stupid body.
They go to the gig and Julia leaves Adam and Tommy to say hi to Daniel, who looks damn happy when he sees her and she practically beams at the guy all the way over there. She jumps him, arms around his neck and legs around his waist. He steadies her with his hands on her behind, takes her weight like this is how they always says hello. Tommy is not jealous, he is not.
She drags Daniel with her to meet them, he looks a little in awe when he realizes who Adam is but he’s cool about it. The night turns out awesome, they listen to good music, and they talk about it, too. Julia doesn’t know music like he or Adam does but she has fiery passion and opinions and she can and will argue them, for hours as it seems. Tommy kinda loves that.
It doesn’t really get easier though. Every time he spends time in her company, which is kind of often, he falls for her a little bit too, because she really is a sweet person, but he learns to control it. He actually develops some kind of poker face, not the best but some kind of it. She still flirts; he does too. It kills him a little because it’ll never lead anywhere, but he deals with it. They develop a good natured semi-close friendship. It works.
He even meets John for a beer without any of the others, because it seems like a really good idea to do that. And as he thought he has a good time doing it. John is a good guy. Damn it. Weeks pass by like this.
Tommy starts thinking that maybe he’s put her up on a pedestal she doesn’t belong on, that maybe he’s too focused on seeing how great she is. That maybe he forgets she’s just a human being like any other girl. She reminds him, though, shortly after.
He once again finds himself at the counter in Adam’s kitchen, drool pooling in his mouth at the smells that come from the magic Jules creates. Julia loves cooking and Tommy swears you can taste that.
Adam was supposed to follow the shopping list she texted him for groceries meticulously. But as Jules rummages through the fridge in search of tomatoes and parsley it becomes clear that he didn’t.
“Adam?” Julia yells when she closes the fridge. “Lambert you ass, where are my tomatoes and parsley?”
There is no answer from Adam and Tommy tells her Adam popped in a second ago to say he was going to take a shower before dinner.
“Oh fuck.” She takes the sauce she’s making off the heat and turns it off. “Damnit I need those ingredients. Can you?”
Tommy shakes his head violently. Adam had picked him up earlier and there is no way in hell he is taking the Mustang to drive after groceries. “Don’t even say it Julia, not happening.”
She laughs. “Pussy. Okay I’m going then, I just need to put in gasoline if I wanna get back here though. So you wanna sit here by yourself while Adam beautifies or are you coming?” she tosses it over her shoulder as she grabs her keys. He probably should just wait but like hell is he not, he’s getting a few minutes alone with Julia. Yeah, he’s stupid like that.
Tommy goes to get the tomatoes and parsley in the convenience store while Julia fills up the tank. On the way back to the car he has to stop and stare, because Julia is laughing, a bit hysterically, and kicking a wheel on the car violently. So much for not being human. Tommy shakes his head and walks over to her. “Wanna tell me why you’re kicking the car?”
“Um, no?” she asks sheepish.
Tommy laughs because how is that a question? “Pussy.” He says and sees her eyes widen before she elbows him in the ribs.
“I dropped the keys,” she confesses. Tommy’s eyes immediately goes to the ground, searching.
A snort makes him look up. “Nope, not on the ground.” She is shaking her head and her hair dances in the wind. “That wouldn’t make me abuse my baby. Sorry baby, didn’t mean to hurt you. You didn’t do anything wrong.” She pets the car and Tommy snorts out a giggle because really?
“And now you’re talking to the car? What are you on?”
“Hormones?” She tries. “But hormones don’t really explain how or why I dropped my keys into the tank.” She hides her head in her hands and groans long and heartfelt.
Tommy isn’t too sure he heard her right. “You…dropped them?…. Into the tank?”
She nods; face still planted in her palms. “My God he is going to be so pissed.”
The force she says it with surprises him. “Who?”
“Oh…but why? It’s not like you did it on purpose.”
She sighs heavily and it sounds almost hurtful to him. “No, but…. We had a not so great morning and his day is filled with meetings he really doesn’t want to deal with today but couldn’t get out of and so on.” She looks up and meets his gaze, a giggle takes over. “I managed to lose my only car key …. By dropping it into the car! If that’s not typical me, then I don’t know what is. Ha. But thank fuck it isn’t locked, I guess we can still push it away, so it won’t be in the way?”
“Yeah.” That might have come out sounding hesitant or something, because she looks at him for a long time. Searching.
But then she blinks and she puts her hand over her mouth as if she’s trying to stop the words stumbling out of her. “Oh shit I better call John; he knows where he wants the damn thing towed to.”
She looks very uneasy and Tommy really can’t stand that. He wants to see her smile again, genuinely, the smile he somehow had been taking for granted “Jules?”
“Yeah?” she doesn’t look at him but fondles her phone.
“You could always blame me. Tell him it was my doing while you got these.” He holds up the bag with groceries.
Her eyes grow huge in a second. “Tommy Joe Ratliff! You did not just say that!”
She shakes her head, but the smile he wanted to see, the one that lights up her face in the most beautiful way, is almost back. He feels victorious.
She puts a tiny hand on his cheek, and says with laughter in her eyes, “You mess up, you fess up. Always. But you can totally call Adam for me. He is going to have too much fun over this. I see a massive amount of teasing coming my way. Gods.”
Tommy laughs; there is no doubt Adam is going to enjoy this way too much. Tommy calls Adam while Julia calls John, he doesn’t hear what she is saying but he watches her and her posture screams misery. Every protective fiber in his body wants to take the phone away from her and envelope her in a comforting hug. He kind of dislikes John for making her look that way.
When she’s done talking to John she comes back to Tommy saying, “We can’t push the car away, the steering wheel will lock and besides I can’t lock the doors. I have to stay here until the guy from the garage comes to tow it away. They’ll be here in thirty. Damn.”
“Did you get a hold of Adam?”
“Yup. He’s here in a minute but prepare, honey. He’s-”
“Oh don’t worry, I’ve known him forever, I know what’s coming, besides I can still kick his ass if he becomes too sassy.”
The three of them wait together and when the car is in safe hands Adam drives them back home. Julia cooks and takes all Adam’s bullshit with laughter. There are one or two times where Tommy tenses, mostly because he saw how she looked during the phone call, tries to stop Adam, but Julia smiles at him softly and says so quietly that Adam can’t hear, “You gotta laugh when you’re the joke. This?” She puts a hand over his and curls her fingers around his wrist as she glances at Adam. “This makes up for the rest of the day. Goodhearted teasing, good food and excellent company, those are all good things that make life so much more than doable.” Her touch messes with him, it’s nothing any other friend of his wouldn’t do, but his goddamn body is so not getting the friend message here. He does feels more relaxed on her behalf after that, though.
The protective mood is back the second John enters the living room to pick up Julia. But when John right away smiles widely at Julia while shaking his head fondly, Tommy knows that they’re fine, whatever had been wrong that morning or this afternoon has evaporated. He watches Julia cling to John in a tight embrace and even though he’s relieved, he is suddenly filled with a sadness he can’t explain, but he knows after that day that he doesn’t see her as a picture of something perfect, which just makes her even more so.
One day Julia tweets that she is going to a Metallica concert and the friend she was supposed to go with has bailed on her. Tommy tweets her to take John with her instead.
He gets one return where she says ‘NO, was planning on asking you. It would be so much fun. Just you and me!’ He stares at that tweet for a long time before closing twitter. He doesn’t answer. He wants so bad to spend time with her, alone, with no Adam and no John. But that is beyond a bad idea. He knows this, she is temptation personified.
All day passes and when he checks his feed late at night it has gone crazy. He adores his fans but there are a few batshit crazies that really flood his feed with stupid nonsense on a daily basis. Normally they’re focusing on him and Adam and are so far off the deep end that he can only laugh and cover his eyes. But today they’re closer to the truth than ever and he doesn’t want to deal. So he still doesn’t reply to Julia.
He gets a text the next day. That, he can’t avoid, everyone knows how attached he is to his phone. And it’s Metallica, right? When you’re in concert you focus on the music and he’ll have Jules, alone. And she doesn’t feel the same way, so it’s all good, right?
He says yes. He knows he’s an idiot but he can’t fucking wait for the weekend to come.
On Saturday Tommy’s phone buzzes with a tweet from Julia, yeah he’s got her on notification, so what. The tweet makes him smile and his heart race. ‘had a bad morning but then I remembered I’m seeing Metallica tonight with @tommyjoeratliff can’t wait to see you dude!’
He knows there will be some that will figure out he got her on notification if he answers right away but he doesn’t give a damn. He quickly types in ‘glad that makes the day better honey. Can’t wait either. Rock on!’ and push send. He doesn’t get the chance to put his phone away before it buzzes again. ‘dress up, I’m taking you out for dinner first, could use quality time with a sane person.’
He stares. Dinner. He’s so fucked. Then his brain zooms in on what should be the important thing here. Getting off Twitter he types a text instead ‘u okay?’
‘Not really. Dinner?’
‘Not really? Jules? U need me to come over?’
‘On my way’
When he gets there Julia has coffee ready and he accepts a mug before he sits. They both curl up on the couch, face to face.
“What’s the matter honey?” Tommy asks softly. She looks haunted and he wants so desperately to chase the lines on her forehead away with his fingers. They almost itch with the need to do so.
“Kinda a long story and I honestly don’t know how much of it John would be okay with me telling you.” She looks down into her coffee mug and sighs a little. It sounds almost painful to Tommy.
“That’s okay.” He says, “Don’t mind long stories but if you don’t-”
“I can’t hold all of this shit in anymore, I need to talk.” Her tone is a bit desperate and when she puts her mug on the table next to his her hand shakes a little.
“Then tell me, I’ll never say a word to John if that’s what you want.”
“Oh god, Tommy, how did I deserve to get a new friend like you?” She reaches out and covers his hand with hers, he doesn’t answer instead he curls his fingers around her hand and squeezes lightly urging her to start talking.
She does. While he holds her hand she spills everything to him. About John and hers fight to get pregnant, about how it creates a canyon between them, about feeling lonely and lost, about everything.
Tommy listens and listens and his heart bleeds and hurts and that’s where he realizes that he’ll be anything for her. If she needs him to be her friend, like, life altering close friends, like him and Adam, then that’s exactly what he’ll be. He stops fighting to keep her out and embraces what she offers.
He loves with his whole being and deep down he knows he’ll never love another woman like this again, but he doesn’t care. Because no matter what he’s still got Jules, a part of her is his and his alone and he cherishes it like nothing else.
Adam blinks when he sees the tweets. Then he smiles widely, this, this is what he wanted. He sends a tweet to Tommy telling him to take care of his favorite girl because she’s wild. And texts Julia, asking if she needs to talk about that morning.
He gets a text back saying she feels much better and is about to get ready to show Ratliff a good time. About the same time Tommy tweets him that he’ll do his best but makes no promises. Adam laughs out loud, poor Tommy he is nowhere near ready for what’s going to hit him. His claustrophobia will be pushed to its maximum, because Adam knows Julia will be up front and center whipping her hair to the music. She’ll be close enough for James Hetfield to spit on her.
Later Julia sends him a pic of Tommy making devils horn and bouncing to the music, pretty damn close to the scene and Adam’s heart swells. Julia would manage to move mountains if she put her mind to it.
Tommy drops by the next day; he looks tired but happier than Adam has seen him in a long time. Not that he would say Tommy hadn’t been happy lately, he just seems happier.
Weeks go by in a haze, well it’s more like months but who’s counting when you’re having fun, new music is being created and Adam is insanely busy. He makes time to see Tommy and Jules as often as he can and starts to notice that John very often passes on joining them when they meet up. He also notices that Tommy and Jules seems to be really close.
Tommy doesn’t shy away from Jules’s touch anymore and he is almost as affectionate with her as he is with Adam. There is also something very protective about the way Tommy is around Jules that makes Adam think that Tommy really isn’t over his crush on her.
When Adam thinks about it he’s pretty sure Tommy hasn’t mentioned dating for at least six months. And he’s fairly sure that when Tommy isn’t with Adam or Julia, then he is hibernating or hanging out with the Carpenters or Mia. This makes him worry about Tommy.
Adam plans to get to the bottom of this and tomorrow is going to be perfect for that.