He groaned as he clawed his way back into the world surprised to find he was no longer on the hard wooden floor of the marques but in the soft silky comfort of a bed. He had been stripped and his eyes were covered by a cool damp cloth. Josh reached up a shaky hand to remove the compress and his hand was stopped.
“You’ve had a nasty turn JC, leave it there. The doctor said you fainted and you just needed to rest.”
“Joey is that you?” JC was surprised at how thick his voice seemed.
“Who else would carry your skinny ass all the way back up to the house?”
“Well if you feel like that about it you should have just left me there to rot.”
Joey gave a relieved laugh. “Sarcastic as ever JC. There’s nothing wrong with you, you’re just playing for sympathy.
“Is Justin alright?” JC asked softly, he was worried he had frightened both his younger self and his lover when he had keeled over.
“You can ask him yourself he will be here soon.”
“My head hurts,” JC whimpered.
“You hit it when you fell. You really scared us all Jace. Try to rest now, Justin will be here soon. He’s really worried.”
“I didn’t mean to frighten you. I can’t think straight, every thing is confused. It doesn’t feel right, my head hurts.”
Joey caressed his best friends face lovingly, letting the older man know that he was not alone and that he had people that cared about him. The bearded man looked up and smiled as the bedroom door opened.
He moved away from JC’s side vacating the room for the new visitor.
“Hey sugar, you looking for attention again?”
“Justin,” JC breathed. He reached out blindly groping for Justin's hand. The younger man took hold of his fingers and guided them to his lips, kissing them tenderly.
“When they told me you had collapsed I thought I was losing you. Remember when you made me promise never to leave you; well don’t you ever leave me. You promise me JC.”
JC choked back a sob. “I wish I could but I don’t think I can stay. My time is nearly over. I have to go back.”
“Go back where sugar?” The confusion in Justin's voice was evident.
JC reached up and pulled the compress from his eyes. “Justin!” he cried. “Oh my Justin!” In one fluid movement he filled his lover’s arms, covering his face with kisses and entwining his fingers through Justin's greying curls.
As their lips met JC’s head cleared and memories of the last thirty years flooded his mind. He remembered everything. Justin's 40th birthday, their 25th wedding anniversary and he remembered their wedding. He pulled back and stroked Justin's face, tears running down his own. “I love you,” he breathed again. “I never stopped loving you, never.”
Justin leaned in and captured his tearful lover’s lips beneath his own. Deepening the kiss slowly and slipping his tongue between JC’s teeth so he could taste the sweetness of his mouth.
“I know how much you love me Joshua.”
JC looked up at his husband through tear loaded lashes.
“I know you travelled through time to save me,” Justin confided quietly
JC shook his head, “but how? You never said a word to me, never gave me any indication that you knew.”
“How could I darling. Until this minute I couldn’t. I had to wait thirty years for the time to be right. If I said something before I could have changed how things happened.”
“I don’t remember much of what happened that day, after we found you.”
“That’s because you left. One minute you were in my arms kissing me like you hadn’t seen me in years then you had gone. Your younger self wouldn’t explain to me what had happened he just said that when the time came I would understand. That time is now.”
JC sighed. “I guess it is.”
“I owe you my life baby. Trace was so wrong about you.”
JC shuddered at the mention of the man’s name that had almost robbed him of all happiness. “What did he say about me?”
“He said that you were using me, that you saw me as a meal ticket. But I knew better that’s how things got out of hand. He attacked me when I refused to call off the wedding. I thought at first it was because he wanted me himself but later when I was tied up I realised it wasn’t me he wanted, it was you.”
“Me!” JC gasped. “He was going to kill you because he wanted me?”
Justin nodded solemnly. “Ironic isn’t it. He was willing to kill just because he was jealous.” Justin kissed JC’s lips once more. “Get some sleep sugar; I’ll wake you in an hour or so.” He started to leave then stopped and asked, “Shall I phone everyone and cancel the party?”
JC lifted himself up onto his elbows. “What party?”
Justin chuckled. “The one you have spent the past three months organising. That’s why we have an enormous tent in our back yard.”
More memories wormed their way into JC’s brain and he smiled. “Our anniversary,” he sighed happily.
“Thirty glorious years,” Justin said as he came back and sat on the bed next to JC, and taking his hand in his kissed the wedding ring that encircled JC’s ring finger.