nsync in black and white

Disclaimer: this is fiction. We made it up.

the bell

by patricia, written for krystanna

It was a Thursday when JC got the call. He had the day all planned out to practically the last minute. He preferred his days that way lately. He hadn’t had much control over his life during the whole NSYNC whirlwind. Those days he just went with the flow . He slept when they told him to, ate when someone handed him a plate and smiled on cue. Since NSYNC decided to take a hiatus, that had all changed.

Of course it had taken him quite awhile to get to the point he was at now. Years actually, but he was determined to be in control of as much as he could in his life now. But it seemed that someone didn’t get the memo. One phone call had shattered his calm state and sent him into a tailspin. Now that he’d hung up the phone, he couldn’t even remember who he had been speaking to.

He remembered the important things, Justin, Cleveland, bus accident. With those key words, everything else had flown out of his mind. He couldn’t even remember how to get to the airport from where he was. Now that he thought about it, he couldn’t even place where he was. JC had always been great with direction, always tried to keep tabs on where he was. But anything involving Justin in a serious situation always shook him up to the point that he became inherently confused. That was the situation he found himself in. He knew he was driving somewhere, but the destination had escaped him.

With the inability to think clearly, he searched around for his phone. Not finding it right away made him more stressed. He’d just been talking on the damn thing. Where in hell could the freaking phone go. Right when he felt like screaming, he decided to slow down for just a second and take a deep breath. He needed to think clearly. He remembered having the phone in his hand, he remembered it dropping once he heard the words. He reached around under his car seat until his hand finally closed around the phone.

Sighing in relief, JC punched in Tyler’s number as it was the only one he could think of at the moment. Tyler would find him, Tyler would help. After 3 rings, JC knew he was going to freak out as he didn’t know who else to call. Luckily he didn’t have to, Tyler picked up on the 5th ring.

“Dude, you told me 20 minutes ago that you had somewhere to be and you couldn’t spare 5 minutes to talk to your…how did you put it? Oh yes, lowly career challenged ass brother. I do believe that’s what it was. So why in the hell are you calling me now, oh supreme one?”

“Tyler just shut up. I need you to come get me.” JC sighed, rubbing the bridge of his nose.

“Pardon? Come get you from where? Did you not drive to wherever the hell you are? I know you have 15 freaking cars, did someone steal the one you left here in?”

“Would you shut up with the 3rd degree. Am I supposed to answer all that shit? At least tell me where I was going. I can’t think straight and I’m sitting in this freaking parking lot and I have to get to the airport.” JC was becoming increasingly unnerved the longer he sat there.

“Where do I begin with that one. The answer to your 1st question was Ralph’s. You had to have something or other. Which obviously wasn’t all that important since neither of us can remember what it was. And did you just say the airport? What the hell bro?”

“I just got a call that Justin was in a bus accident in Cleveland. I don’t know how bad it is. I have to get there and I’ve gotten so freaked out, I seem to have gotten lost. Could you just please help me and stop the shit?” JC huffed into the phone, wishing now he had called someone else.

“Justin? Ok, ok JC. What parking lot are you in? I’ll come get you and bring the overnight bag you keep packed in the closet. Just calm down alright? Tell me what’s around you.”

As JC went over everything he could see, Tyler assured him that he was on his way and was bringing his friend Clay as well, to drive JC’s car back to the house so Tyler could get him to the airport. All JC had to do was sit back and wait. A task that was becoming harder by the second as the thoughts of ‘what if’ flashed through his mind.


Several hours later the madness surrounding the bus accident had slowly become a little more under control. Johnny wasn’t sure if he was glad he had been there to help get things in order, or if he would have rather been elsewhere. But at least things were calming down around him.

The bus accident had been quite the shock. One second he was sitting at the kitchenette table going over the next day’s events and the next second, there was madness. Everyone had pretty much come out unscathed thank God. But once the circus like atmosphere in the front of the bus had diminished, he had taken a look around and realized Justin was nowhere to be seen.

Running to the back of the bus, his fears were confirmed. Justin had gone to get some sleep, now he was a bundled up mess of covers laying on the floor of the bus. Johnny had tried to wake him, to no avail. So he quickly called for help and an ambulance and made sure to keep everyone else away from Justin until help arrived.

Now he was sitting in what he believed to be the hardest chair he’d ever sat in in his life, waiting for word. He had made all the necessary phone calls. And one that he probably shouldn’t have made, but knew better than to not make. He was able to talk Lynn and Paul from coming up, that was a good thing. But he wasn’t able to tell JC to stay in L.A. In fact, he didn’t get much conversation out of JC at all once he had told him why he was calling. JC was coming and that was that. He hadn’t really expected any different though.

Johnny got up and resumed his pacing, it was better than that damn chair anyway. He wondered how long he had been there waiting for the damn doctor. It seemed like he had been in this damn room for hours. Just as he was about to go find the doctor, the doctor instead found him.

“Mr. Wright?” At Johnny’s head nod, he continued and held out his hand “ I’m Dr. Rankin. We’ve got Mr. Timberlake stabilized. He’s still unconscious, he had quite a nasty bump on the head. But he should wake up anytime now.”

“So he’s ok then?” Johnny was quick to let out a breath of relief.

“He’s going to be fine. He’s got a slight concussion, so once he wakes up, we’ll need to keep him awake for awhile. Other than that, there were a couple of scrapes and bruises, but they are not a problem. And it looks as if he’s sprained his wrist, but that will heal fine as well.”

“Oh thank you so much Dr. Rankin. I appreciate all you’ve done for him. There will be a lot of happy people at that news.” Johnny smiled and shook his hand again.

“Yes indeed, I’ve got to out and tell the throng of reporters at the door that all is well. Maybe then we can get the mania outside to die down. That’s what you get when you have a pop star in house I would imagine.” The doctor laughed good naturedly and patted him on the back. “You’ll be able to see Mr. Timberlake once he decides to wake up. I’ll send someone to get you when the time comes.”

As soon as the doctor walked out, Johnny set about alleviating everyone’s fears. He made sure to call Lynn and Paul first, then called the tour manager that had everyone else holding court at the hotel. Then he tried to reach JC. He knew he wouldn’t get an answer, he knew as soon as was humanly possible, JC would be walking in the door to the waiting room. He decided to sit back, relax and wait for him.


JC had decided that he hated airplanes. He hated them with a passion. After sitting on one for longer than he thought he should have, he’d finally found a taxi and was on his way to the hospital that Johnny had mentioned earlier. He hoped he had the right one, the last conversation he’d had with Johnny wasn’t all that clear, but he was on his way nonetheless.

Pulling up to the curb, he knew he’d found the right place when he saw the parking lot lined with reporters and fans. Jumping out, he pulled his hat down low and made a beeline for the entrance. He went straight to the information desk and was informed that there was no Mr. Timberlake in the hospital. He ran through all the fake names he could remember Justin having. Still getting a no, and now gaining an impatient receptionist, he asked to please have Mr. Johnny Wright paged.

After the call came in, the nurse who was grateful to be rid of him, ushered him off to waiting room C on the 3rd floor. He decided that the elevator was just too damn slow, so he made his way to the stairs and climbed the three flights. Bursting through the door, out of breath he saw Johnny standing in front of the elevators.

“Johnny! Johnny, where is he? Is he ok? Can I see him? Is he hurt? What’s going on? Is it bad? Can I see him? What room is he in? How long is he going to be here? Where is h--”

“JC! Calm down for a second ok? Come into the waiting room and I’ll explain what’s going on alright?” Johnny ushered JC to the room next to the elevators and sat him down. “Now take a deep breath and relax.”

“How am I supposed to relax Johnny? Is he ok?” JC asked, obeying and trying to suck in some air.

“He’s going to be fine JC. We’re still waiting on him to wake up. He has a slight concussion and a sprained wrist. But he’s going to be ok.” Johnny tried to reassure him.

“You mean he isn’t awake yet? But why not? What happened?”

“Someone apparently tried to cut in the front of the bus and the driver didn’t have enough time to avoid him. Everyone else was alright, but Justin was sleeping in the back and during the accident, must have bumped his head on the side table or something. No, he hasn’t woken up yet but the doctor assured me that he would be fine. As soon as he is awake, you’ll be able to see him ok?”

JC leaned back in the chair trying to absorb the information that Justin was alright so his heart would get back to a normal beat. He knew he had to calm down before he got to see Justin. It wouldn’t do to go in there like a raving lunatic. He’d barely had 30 minutes before the doctor came in and said it was alright to go and see him now. JC had been warned that Justin was a little groggy and was again reassured that Justin was going to be fine.

JC made his way quickly to room 305. He took a moment to gather his nerves. Not quite knowing why he was so nervous but deciding to get over it, he quietly opened the door and peeked his head in.

Justin, having seen the top of a mop of brown hair and one eyeball staring at him thru the door crack and knowing immediately who it was, decided to add some drama for theatrical purposes. So he laid back real quick, closed his and made sure to make his sprained wrist a prominent feature.

JC made his way into the room and swallowed thickly. He had seen Justin in all kinds of situations, but lying in a hospital bed looking like he was looking would never be a favorite. He looked a lot paler than JC remembered. Paler and weaker, he realized walking quietly up to the bed. He took a few minutes to look Justin over as Justin’s eyes were closed and he didn’t know he had been noticed yet.

He saw the bump on Justin’s forehead…now that looked painful. He saw the scratches and bruises on Justin’s chest and arms. And he saw the sprained wrist, but mostly he just saw Justin. Justin who he hadn’t seen in far too long to suit him. He walked closer to the bed and gently laid his hand over Justin’s hairline.

“Baby?” JC whispered, not wanting to wake Justin, but knowing that if he was asleep that he didn’t need to be. “Justin, honey?”

“C?” Justin croaked, deciding to continue with the wounded approach. “C? Is that you?”

“It’s me Justin. Are you ok baby? Do I need to call a nurse or anything?” JC moved closer and caressed Justin’s cheek.

“No, I don’t want to be any trouble. I’m glad you’re here. Could you maybe get me some water though? I’m awfully parched.” Justin turned on his best pout and fluttered his eyes at JC.

“Of course I will.” JC reached to the table next to the bed and poured him a cup. “Sit up honey so you can drink it better. Do you need me to prop you up?”

“I can do it. But can you fluff my pillows? They’re starting to sag and you know I hate it when they sag.”

After the pillows were fluffed to perfection and Justin had his fill of water, and JC had tucked the blankets around him tight enough, Justin laid his head back down and looked over pitifully.

“I bumped my head C.” Justin spoke with his lower lip stuck out for better effect.

“I know baby. I got here as soon as I could. I’ve never been so scared Justin. I’m sorry I couldn’t be with you.” JC crooned in his ear.

“But then you would be here too with a broken wrist and a bumpy head. And who would take care of me then?” Justin asked, looking up at JC under his eyelashes.

JC chuckled in spite of himself, Justin would never change. “You’re exactly right baby. There would be no one to take care of you. What was I thinking.” JC smiled, reaching over and tilting Justin’s head up, kissing him lightly on the lips. “I have missed you baby. I’m sorry it took this to get me here.”

“I’m sorry I didn’t ask you to come sooner.” Justin admitted in a moment of honesty. “I know all I ever had to do was ask.”


The doctor kept Justin overnight and JC had sworn death to anyone who tried to make him leave. But finally the moment had come where they could get out of that hospital. Justin wasn’t up to more touring at that moment, so Johnny decided to cancel a few dates and just tack them on to the end of the tour.

Justin and JC had flown back to L.A. so Justin could recuperate. JC had insisted that Justin stay at his house so he could watch over him. After about 3 days of playing nurse maid however, JC’s patience was wearing thin.

From nowhere it seemed, Justin had materialized a bell. It sat on the end table by the bed. JC just knew it came from Tyler, but he would deal with that if he ever made it through Justin’s “rest period.” The damn bell was driving him insane. He loved Justin, God bless him. But if he rang that bell one more damn time, JC wasn’t too sure he would be able to stop from killing him. But he would never let Justin know that of course, he would just plot his death in silence.

Luckily JC had managed to wrangle a quiet couple of hours to himself since Justin had fallen asleep watching General Hospital. He knew they’d better get Justin back on tour soon or they’d never tear him away from the soap operas. Most of the time JC had to promise to Tivo the shows so Justin would take a freaking nap.

More than once JC had spent 10 minutes trying to figure out why Justin was angry or what had Justin upset, only to spend another 10 minutes trying to figure out what Justin was talking about and who and the hell Sonny and Jason were. He knew enough now to know that Justin was talking about the damn soap opera.

JC decided to take advantage of the few hours of quiet time that he had and went downstairs to his studio. He had been on a writing spree before he’d gotten the call about Justin. Since then he hadn’t had time to even think about it. But as he settled back down at his console and replayed the last bit of music that he’d come up with, it all started to flow back into him.

He lost track of how long he’d been down there and realized that 4 hours had passed without a sound from Justin. Trying to stave off the little bit of panic that was creeping in, JC made his way quickly up the stairs to his bedroom. As soon as he cracked the door open, he immediately relaxed. Justin was laying in the middle of the bed, surrounded by a down comforter, 4 pillows and snoring softly under his breath. JC had seen Justin in every phase of sleep over the years and had always marveled that Justin could look so absolutely relaxed.

And here he was again, completely enveloped in pillows and snoring while his tour was being held up and he was recovering from an accident. JC continued to hope that ability never changed.

After assuring himself that Justin was fine, JC made his way to the kitchen. He was getting hungry and wanted nothing more in the world than a turkey sandwich. Taking the turkey and mayonnaise out of the fridge, he laid them on the counter and pulled out a plate. He only got so far as to spread the mayonnaise on the bread before he heard it. He tried to pretend that he didn’t but it was no use. The more he ignored it, the louder and more frequent the damn bell would ring. Grumbling he dropped the knife on the plate and moved to go back upstairs.

The bell was now at a constant ring by the time he reached the top step. Moving into the bedroom he walked briskly to the bed, ignoring Justin’s slight look of panic at how fast JC was approaching him. Reaching out he yanked the bell out of Justin’s grasp before Justin even knew what he was going for.

“Hey!” Justin yelled, reaching his hand out for the bell. “Gimme, gimme.”

“Are you kidding me right now?” JC asked, “I heard the first ring Justin. I have heard the last 45,000 rings of this damn bell and I’ve had enough!”

“Wha?” Justin stared at JC like he’d grown a second head.

“Don’t look at me like that Justin, you know I’m telling the truth. You are making me crazy with this bell. And why are you even using a bell? Why don’t you just get up and come downstairs if you need something?”

“Because…but…give it back!” Justin screamed stretching his hand back out. “I’m not giving it back. You need to get out of this bed anyway and come downstairs. Maybe we can sit on the back porch or something. Don’t you want some air?” JC sighed.

Justin sat mute on the bed, not even bothering to reply. He knew JC was right and yeah he was probably driving him crazy, but Justin was just enjoying the relaxation too much. Ok, maybe he was just enjoying JC pampering him to death, but he was beginning to thank whoever he needed to thank for the accident. He had been terrified when he woke up in the hospital, but once he figured out that there was nothing seriously wrong he began to relax. Seeing JC peek around the door had sealed it. He was going to get to rest and he was going to get to do it with JC. It had been way too long since he’d had that chance and he had wanted to take advantage of it.

But now it seemed JC’s patience was wearing thin. So he threw the covers off of himself, planted his feet on the floor and grabbed JC’s hand pulling him along behind him. Sunshine and fresh air didn’t sound like a bad idea after all. And he was getting really tired of the damn soap operas. Passing through the kitchen, he stopped at the fridge, grabbed 2 beers and headed outside with JC still attached.

Plopping down in a lounge chair, he spread his legs making room and pulled JC down to sit between them. “So, how much longer do you think I can pull this off?” he asked, placing his chin on JC’s shoulder.

“Pull what off?” JC glanced over his shoulder.

“This. Being here with you. Relaxing.”

“You’re recuperating Justin. It’ll last as long as you need it to.” JC moved away from Justin so he could look at his face more clearly. The look of doubt he saw caused him to sigh. “Well ok, not much longer I wouldn’t imagine.”

“Nah. I didn’t think so.” Justin sighed, pulling JC closer to himself again. “I have to go back to the doctor in 2 days. I think he’s going to give me the ok.. Course I’ll have to keep this damn sling on my wrist. But it’s not a big deal.”

“Well we’ve still got 2 days. So don’t worry about that right now.”

“I wanted to thank you JC. Thanks for coming to get me. I know I’ve been driving you crazy but I do appreciate it.” Justin stretched his good arm around JC’s waist and squeezed.

“You don’t have to thank me Justin. I’d do anything for you, you know that. I always will, nothing is going to change that. Even though you did just about drive me insane with the damn bell. Remind me to thank Tyler for that one.” JC laughed, placing his hand over Justin’s that was resting on his stomach.

“Well, it was kinda fun” Justin chuckled, pulling JC back against him again. “Hey, you hungry? I almost forgot I was making a sandwich when you interrupted me with that damn thing.”

“I’m starving, thanks.”

“You got it babe.” JC moved to kiss Justin on the cheek and got up to make his way to the kitchen. He didn’t much feel like talking about Justin having to leave again, even though it had been a long few days, he was going to miss having him around all the time.

After a phone call that seemed to take forever and a mishap with a dropped turkey sandwich, JC finally made his way back outside. He was greeted with a vision that made his breath catch. Justin had fallen asleep on the lounge chair with the sun rays shining on him like a halo.

Moving closer to the chair, he tried to fight the urge to lay next to Justin and soak up his sleepy warmness. He tried and failed. He knew he’d never wake Justin up, so he moved close and leaned his head up on his arm. He took his time to just look at him. He ran his finger down the column of Justin’s nose, moving it over to caress his cheek with his palm. He knew that though the time left was short, there would always be something that bring Justin back to him. God, how he loved this man, JC thought to himself setting the sandwiches aside and curling up next to Justin. He just really loved this man.


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