Title: It's Not The End Of The World
Beta: aislinntlc. Thank you sweetie for all your help, it is greatly appreciated.
Artwork: qafmaniac. OMG bb, I love you so hard for this!!! And you know, for being you!
Word Count: 22.167 - 4179 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.
Adam walks through the front-door to Julia and John’s house and inhales deeply, filling his lungs with the delicious scents coming from the kitchen, and smiles. Goliath comes to greet him; waggling his entire body with joy of a visitor and Adam bends down to scratch the dog. Happiness fills him. A dinner with close friends is about as good as it gets. It seems like forever since they have been spending some good quality time together. Adam yells a hello and he frowns a little when he gets none in return. He shrugs the jacket off and hangs it in the hallway and toes off his boots. He grabs the wine he brought and heads for the kitchen together with Goliath, but stops abruptly when he sees two of his best friends wrapped in a tight embrace. Clearly this isn’t just a hello hug. He clears his throat and Tommy quickly releases Jules and steps back avoiding Adam’s searching gaze. Jules sighs and a barely noticeable shiver runs through her. She casts a glance at Tommy before greeting Adam with a warm hug and a quick peck on the lips. Tommy goes to do the same but Adam can’t help but to think that he just interrupted a very private moment and that Tommy seems to be looking a bit guilty. The feeling lingers when he looks at the table beautiful set for three persons, and he asks a little suspicious, “Where is John? I feel like he’s never around these days. Is he really working that hard?”
Jules yanks her head up and her lower lip quivers a little before she looks at Tommy, who looks back at her concerned but also oddly reassuring. There is that protective vibe again. Adam is utterly confused by that and a little pissed at Tommy but one thing is clear to him and that is that Jules is not okay. She is about to burst into tears.
“Oh girl, are you guys having a hard time or something?” the question is asked softly and Adam is already moving towards her to comfort her, but she backs off and put her hands up in a ‘don’t touch me’ gesture,
“I ..uhm.. I ….could you just…” she turns around and runs out the room, her sobs lingering in the room. Adam chokes out a “Jules!” and goes after her only to be stopped by Tommy‘s hand on his arm. Tommy scoots around Adam and looks up at him with an apologetic expression.
“Give her a minute Adam. Just stay here for a second, I’ll be right back.” Tommy releases Adam and goes after Jules but Adam stops him before he gets through the door.
“Wait… what?... Tommy?! You know something I don’t?”
Tommy frowns but answers, “Yeah…just give me a moment to see if she’s okay.”
“I can do that,” Adam insists firmly. Tommy isn’t the only one feeling protective here.
Tommy shakes his head and Adam sees honest concern in his eyes when he says, “I don’t think you should, not right now…she walked away! I’ll be right back!” and with that he is out the door and up the stairs.
Adam hauls out a chair and sits, but two seconds later he is on the floor walking around like a caged animal. He is kind of mad at Tommy, he feels like it should be him comforting Jules if there is something wrong, they’ve known each other their whole lives and Tommy has known her for what? He counts months in his head and figures it must be about seven.
When Tommy returns 20 minutes later steam is practically erupting from Adam’s ears. He’s worried because Jules is upset and he’s worried that perhaps Tommy didn’t listen when he warned him about crushing on a married woman and he doesn’t even wait for Tommy to speak before he demands answers.
“What the hell Tommy? What is going on? And when the hell did the two of you become that close? And please tell me you didn’t pursue her. That this isn’t what’s going on.”
Tommy’s eyes widen in shock but then an angry spark lights his brown eyes, “What? You’re such a dick right now!”
“Yeah? So tell me if this isn’t about you trying to get in her pants-”
Tommy turns away from Adam, his body tense and dismissive but then he spins around again and walks right up in Adam’s face and spits out, I can’t believe you!! This isn’t about sex! And it was never just about sex for me, but this is not even about me being in love with her. It is about John and Jules and about needing a friend and I was just there. I was just there. What the hell was I supposed to do? Tell her I didn’t care about her when it is pretty clear that I do? You, Adam! You were the one that told me to get over myself and stop being an ass. You! You told me to stop being a child and act more like a friend. And that is all I did! So fuck you very much.”
Adam is speechless. They stare at each other for a moment and Adam sees the exact moment when Tommy realizes what he just admitted. Adam’s anger evaporates in seconds and is replaced with the warm feeling of love and sadness. It must show on his face because Tommy sighs heartbrokenly and says, “I don’t want your pity. Somewhere along the line I accepted that I didn’t get to choose who I fell in love with, not even though the person in question is married. There is nothing I can do about it anyway and neither can you.”
They both hear the little noise that says they’re not alone. Tommy squeezes his eyes shut and Adam instantly wants to take the pain away from Tommy. He watches Tommy as he worries his lip and slowly opens his eyes again before he turns around and meets Jules’s blue eyes. Adam feels a little like a voyeur, when he realizes that they don’t really acknowledge his presence. Julia searches Tommy’s face thoroughly, and slowly she steps closer as if she’s afraid he’ll run away if she moves too quickly.
“You’re in love with me?” she asks in a soft but trembling voice, still coming closer one careful step at a time. Tommy swallows and tries to clear his voice before speaking. “Yeah…”
Another searching look and she takes the last step up so that she’s close enough to touch him. She reaches out and runs a hand from his shoulder down to grab his hand; Tommy curls his fingers around hers. Adam can’t hold back a little broken sound, his heart aches for his friends. They’re both hurting so much, for different reasons obviously and Adam desperately wants to help them both. The little noise Adam makes causes Tommy’s fingers to twitch as if he wants to pull his hand away. Adam guesses that by now Tommy is so used to trying to tone down his emotions that it’s his default mode.
“Oh Tommy, why didn’t you say anything?”
“There is nothing to say. I can’t have you. I’m okay with that.” He offers her a tiny smile that not by any chance reaches his eyes and Adam knows there is no way Julia will be fooled by it.
“But if I had I known I wouldn’t have pushed Adam for your company whenever you said you weren’t gonna join us. I feel like I forced my friendship on you, and I certainly wouldn’t have put this on your shoulders if I knew. I would never have asked you to…… God, I’m so sorry Tommy.”
He worries his lip before squeezing her hand.
“I don’t mind, I’m still your friend. It changes nothing.”
Adam takes a deep breath, the air is almost too heavy to breathe because two people he cares deeply about obviously both have things they didn’t involve him in. Even though it hurts a bit being left out when he is used to being their ‘go-to-person’, the urge to help and take over, to solve what’s been wrong makes him force the air out with the most urgent question.
“What is going on Jules?”
Julia tears her eyes from Tommy and looks at Adam instead. Adam notices that the concern and sadness that were there when she looked at Tommy is replaced with pure pain. He also notices that she doesn’t let go of Tommy’s hand and that Tommy runs his thumb soothingly over the valley and peaks of her knuckles. Jules looks pleading like she wants him to say ‘nevermind’. Her lower lip starts to quiver again as she whispers, “I don’t know how…” she looks back at Tommy begging him to say what she can’t get over her lips. Tommy smiles sadly and nods. He turns to look at Adam and Adam sees some of the pain in Jules’s eyes transferred to Tommy’s.
“They can’t get pregnant, John is sterile and he’s having a hard ….. they’re having a hard time dealing. “
Suddenly Adam understands why she is so upset, there are actually a lot of things that fall into place and he takes the one step forward that is necessary before he envelopes her in a warm hug. It is a little awkward since she is still holding on to Tommy, but none of them seem to care.
“Oh baby,” Adam whispers softly. Julia lets out a little cramped sigh but relaxes into the hug.
“I feel like I’m losing everything…… the chance to be a mother…. John.”
“You’re not losing John,” Adam says into her hair and it muffles his voice but it doesn’t matter. “He loves you so much; there isn’t anything he wouldn’t do to make you happy.”
“I know, that’s what scares me; I think he might leave me so I could have that chance at becoming a mother. There is such a gap between us these days and it only becomes larger all the time.”
Adam sneaks a peek at Tommy thinking about what those words must do to him. But Tommy just stands there with his hand in Julia’s, doing his best to comfort her through the soft caress of his thumb. Adam returns his attention to Julia.
“You’ll work through things, you always have. And there are other ways to become parents. You two need to talk Jules, about all the things that scare you. About alternatives.”
“I know, but he doesn’t wanna talk. Whenever I push he avoids me. I needed someone to listen and Tommy…” she stops talking and releases herself from Adam’s embrace to look at Tommy with nothing but love and sadness in her eyes. “I never meant to hurt you! I would never have asked you for…. Well you know …if I had known. Tommy you have to know that.”
Tommy nods and even though Adam is puzzled about what Jules has been asking Tommy for, it sounds like a whole lot more than just friendship to him, he’s in awe of the strength Tommy’s voice carries when he answers Julia.
“Don’t go there sweetheart! It is not about me.”
Julia tears up and Tommy reaches out to catch the falling drop in the corner of her eye before it runs down her cheek. And Adam figures that he has to ask if he wants to know.
“Ask him for what?”
Julia returns her gaze to Adam and is just about to speak when Tommy pleads, “Please don’t Jules!”
Without looking away from Adam but instead searching his eyes like it is the port to his soul she says quietly, “Why? Adam will understand.”
Tommy shakes his head vigorously and pulls his hand free of Julia’s. He takes two fast steps backwards and says firmly, “Well I’m not sticking around for that. I’m not getting my head chewed off twice in one day.”
“Tommy?!” Julia’s voice travels behind Tommy as he rushes through the hallway in a hunt for his boots and jacket. Julia follows him as he pulls on the boots and hauls his jacket from the hanger; he throws it over his arm, not bothering with putting it on.
Julia stops him with a hand on his arm when he opens the door; he turns and glances at Adam who is utterly confused, before he kisses Julia’s temple. “I’ll leave you two to talk. Say hi to John for me when he gets home okay?” and then he’s out the door.
Adam sighs and fights the urge to run after Tommy. To make him spill it himself, because no matter what it really can’t be that bad compared to the mess he’s already in. Instead he looks at Julia, “So baby tell me what this is all about.”
And Julia does.
A loud knocking on the door pulls Tommy out of the world of music that he’s hiding in. He pulls off the headphones and with the most care he puts his guitar on the bed just as another angry sound of rapid knocking starts.
He sighs; there is no doubt in his mind about who it is. Talking mostly to himself he says, “Hold your horses I’m coming.”
When he opens the door Adam brushes right past him and with a concerned look in his eyes he pins Tommy to the floor. “What were you thinking?”
“Hello to you too and please come in!” Tommy snaps. He really doesn’t need this; the day was hard enough as it is. And he already feels wrung out.
Adam sounds overly patient and pissed at the same time when he takes a step towards Tommy. “We need to talk Tommy.”
It strikes a nerve in Tommy and suddenly it’s enough. He didn’t choose this for himself and he’s sick and tired of feeling guilty about it on top of being miserable most of the time. “No we don’t Adam. I’ve done nothing wrong and it is MY LIFE GOD DAMN IT!”
Adam sighs and his gaze goes soft. “I know baby, we still need to talk.”
Tommy hates Adam a little for that. He already told Adam he didn’t want his pity and to be honest he feels like yelling and throwing things, like that will keep him sane for a while.
“About?!” Tommy spits out.
Adam doesn’t take the bait. “Jules obviously, and you.” He just moves closer and everything about him says patience and love and it breaks Tommy apart.
“Stay out of it Adam. Please. This is hard enough as it is.” He backs away, because really, tears will fall if Adam touches him right now.
“Yeah I’m beginning to understand that. Why didn’t you tell me you were falling in love with her?”
Tommy desperately hangs on to the little bit of anger he still feels. “Really Adam? You fucking told me you didn’t approve of my ‘crush’. Why would I tell you that it wasn’t that? Why would I tell you that I’m in love with her?”
“Because that’s what friends do. I love you Tommy, I want to be there for you. Even when it hurts me so tell me about all of this.”
Because he still isn’t ready for Adam to wrap him into one of those awesome bearhugs, Tommy goes into the living room and sits down on the couch. He pulls his legs up under him and takes a pillow and hugs it. Adam sits down next to him but he must sense Tommy’s fragility because he doesn’t reach out to him the way he usually does. Tommy is suddenly a little torn between wanting to keep his shit together and the need to feel Adam’s arms around him and let him shatter.
“There isn’t much to say is there?” Tommy starts. “I’m in love with a married woman who doesn’t return my feelings. And to make things worse I actually like her husband. It sucks in ways I can’t even describe.” Tommy keeps his eyes on the pillow and plucks at it, if he looks up at Adam he’s gonna crawl up on his lap like a needy little kitten. “It hurts so much but I can’t stay away. I tried that and if being her friend is what I can get, I’ll be that. I’ll be whatever she allows me to be.”
“Hmm. She told me, when you left she told me what she asked of you. She also told me you said yes to it, but that John didn’t think it would be fair to any of you.”
“Yeah I figured she would.”
The couch dips when Adam changes his position and puts an arm over the back of it. It feels like an invitation but Tommy stubbornly stays put. Still not ready to let his tears fall.
Adam moves a bit again and puts a finger under Tommy’s chin forcing him to look him in the eye. “Do you love her that much? That you would-”
“Give her a child? Yeah I do.” Tommy says, tense and fierce. He knows himself well enough to know it would be the right thing to do.
“But it wouldn’t be your kid Tommy, it would be theirs. Jules and John’s,” Adam says softly searching Tommy’s eyes as Tommy stares back. Completely open.
“I know. But it would make her a mother and she wants that more than anything in the world…how could I say no to her. I want her to be happy.”
Tommy sees that Adam is torn between being concerned and proud. He wants to take the concern away, he hates he’s the reason Adam feels it. He still feels like this is his mess and that Adam shouldn’t be dragged into it.
“But what if John had said yes to her idea,” Adam says. “and for some reason he couldn’t deal with you in their life afterwards? You would have a biological child you couldn’t see.”
He knows it probably doesn’t make sense if you’re not in the middle of it but he tries to make Adam understand anyway. “She would still be a mother; she would have loved that child as much as I love her.”
Adam looks at him for a long time and then he reaches out and pulls Tommy onto his lap. Tommy clings to him and buries his head in Adam’s shoulder; lets Adam take care of him and he finally lets go and breaks into a million pieces, crying his eyes out and ruining Adam’s shirt. He cries for him, for Julia and he even cries for John. The world is a fucked up place. Adam holds him and cards his fingers through Tommy’s hair soothingly the entire time.
“Oh God Tommy.” He whispers, “I’m so sorry I didn’t understand this before. I’m sorry for what you have to go through here. I’m sorry that you felt like you had to keep it to yourself.”
When Tommy is done crying he shoves a little at Adam’s shoulder and looks up through wet lashes, a tiny smile tugging at his lips. “Yeah well I blame you; you’re the one who told me I would love her just as much as you.”
“My little Tommy Joe is in love,” Adam says affectionately and presses a soft kiss to Tommy’s lips. Tommy kisses back. And when he snuggles into Adam’s arms again he sighs and says, “Highly exaggerated feeling. Not much fun.”
“I can only imagine,” Adam says and holds Tommy a bit tighter.
Tommy and Jules don’t really talk about that confession. It seems to be a mutual decision, some weird kind of taboo. Tommy doesn’t really think too much about it, nothing really changes except for Adam being overly protective of him and oh yeah, Adam seems to meet a lot of pretty and ‘ohmygod’ sweet girls he just has to introduce Tommy to. He loves Adam for it as much as it annoys him. He’s a big boy, he did okay before Adam knew and he doesn’t really want to meet those girls, but he goes anyway because it makes Adam less worried and because he knows it’s the right thing to do.
Julia still needs him, he still needs her. They make it work. Three months run by. He worries about Jules and John, they’re in a really bad place, they fight a lot and harsh words get thrown around. It breaks his heart because it breaks hers. But other than that he’s fine. Or at least that’s what he tells himself.
The call comes late on one of his insomnia nights. He almost doesn’t answer because he already knows what she is going to say and he is not sure he can deal. One thing is knowing she can’t be his because she is bound to another man. But if he’s right about the call, then that’s no longer the case and then the rejection will be for another reason. He’s kind of terrified when he answers. But he still puts on his leather jacket and drives the 30 minutes it takes to get there, because he was right and because she asked him to.
She doesn’t let him in, John does. Tommy has no idea what to say to him so he just stands there on the doorstep, feeling like an intruder. But John looks somewhat relieved at the sight of him.
“I wasn’t going to leave before you got here; she needs a best friend right now. I’ve been that person for years but-” John stops himself and looks back and up the stairwell.
“Yeah. I’m sorry man,” Tommy says, because really? What can you say?
John sighs, “You and me both. It’s not that I don’t love her; I mean how can I not? But we’re killing each other slowly. It has to end, there is too much pain between us to make it work. We haven’t even touched each other for months.”
“I know.” Gods, he knows about all of it and it’s been hurting him too.
John looks at him pleadingly. “Stay with her? At least until-”
Tommy nods. “Don’t worry. I’ll stay for as long as she needs it.”
“You’re a good man Tommy.”
The relief is clear on John’s face and Tommy feels like a cockroach. He forces a polite smile. “Thanks, I better..” Tommy motions his hand and John nods and hoists his packed suitcase. They do an awkward little dance around each other so they exchange places. John looks up the stairwell one last time. “Yeah, I’ll be gone the next week and then I’ll…. Yeah.”
“Take care,” Tommy says before closing the door silently behind John. Tommy worries his lip and contemplates on what to do. He decides to make Jules a cup of tea first and when that’s done he carries it up stairs. He stops in front of the door to their bedroom. It’s actually the only room he’s never been in before. He braces himself and pushes the door ajar.
There is the sound of a small sniff and a ruffle of sheets. “Tommy?”
“Yeah it’s me. John just left, can I come in?”
A light flickers and the room gets a warm and inviting glow. “Yeah, please do.” She sits up in the bed and pulls the duvet tight around her. Tommy enters the room and takes a good look at her. He hates what he sees. Her hair is a mess, she’s red eyed and puffy from crying. But what he hates the most is the hurt in those eyes. He puts the mug on the night stand and sits down on the bed, so close to the edge that it takes effort to stay put. She moves to make more room for him and he takes the bait.
They just look at each other, words are not really necessary. Tommy tucks a stray lock of her hair behind her ear and with a broken sound she throws her arms around him, sobbing. He holds her, whispers soft nonsense and words of comfort to her and lets her cry. At some point it gets too hard to sit like that and almost scared of moving he manages to shift his weight. She pulls back and looks at him, tears are running down her cheeks. She looks just as heartbroken as she must be but to him she is still the most beautiful enchanting creature in the world.
She scoots back in the bed and pulls the duvet aside. Tommy toes off his shoes and climbs in. Once he’s settled she snuggles close and he envelopes her in his arms. One of his hands runs soothingly over her shoulder and arm in a monotone pattern and the other one plays with her hair. They stay like this until she falls asleep. Tommy watches her sleep for a couple of hours while the sun makes her entry on the sky before he finally falls asleep.