He wandered down the hallway stopping and looking at the photos, de-ja-vu. He had done exactly the same when David had brought him home. These photos were different, more relaxed, the smiles more genuine. He recognised the man who said he was his dad and the lady who was meant to be his mom. There were photos of him with Justin and the other three men that seemed so concerned for him. Justin came up behind him not touching him but standing so close his breath breezed over the skin of JC’s neck making the tiny hairs stand on end and sending a shiver up his spine. The blond reached over his shoulder and pointed to a picture. “That was in Vienna, do you remember?”
“We look so young.”
“We were JC. And this one was our first real performance in the U.S.” Justin sighed, “You’re not convinced.”
JC shrugged, “David had photo’s as well. Our wedding, our friends. If he was lying how do I know you’re not too?”
“You don’t. Hopefully given time you will learn to trust me again.” he resisted the temptation to touch JC as he moved down the hall pausing to examine another picture. A yelp and a whoop went out and JC found himself being crushed in a bear hug. He froze his eyes wide clearly terrified.
JC’s mom ran up to her younger son pulling him away from JC who immediately cowered behind Justin. Tyler stared confused at his brother; it was something they had always done, taken the other by surprise. “What’s wrong? Josh I’m sorry I didn’t mean to startle you.”
“Honey Josh isn’t himself. He’s suffering from trauma, you just need to take it slow, re-introduce yourself to him gently.” Karen took her son gently by the shoulders and walked him into the living room. “Josh, this is your brother Tyler. He’s not going to hurt you.”
“I didn’t recognise you … sorry.”
“It’s ok Josh. We’ll catch up later I’m off on a date.” He wriggled his eyebrows “Perks of having JC Chasez as a brother.” he winked and grabbed his car keys off the occasional table. “Later bro. Justin.” He kissed his mom quickly and dashed out the house.
JC raked his fingers through his long curls. “I have a brother?”
Karen sat down on the arm of the couch and patted his knee. “You have a sister too Joshua. She will be here later.”
JC looked around him at the pile of papers in the corner and the empty glass on the table, the jacket thrown haphazardly over the easy chair. “Should I clean up?”
There was a collective gasp. “Josh you don’t have to do anything son, just get better. Justin why don’t you take Josh to his room, maybe it will jog some memories.”
The two young men got to their feet and went upstairs, JC following Justin timidly. “What did that animal do to my baby Roy?”
Roy hugged his wife kissing her cheek. “From what I got out of Justin he was physically and mentally abused. This David dominated him completely. He was forced to keep house and punished if he failed to make it spotless.”
“I feel so helpless Roy.”
“I know sweetie I do too. But Justin is here and JC seems to have bonded to him. He’ll be okay. The doctor thinks that there is no permanent damage to his brain, with the proper stimulation his memory will come back.”
Karen’s voice dropped to a whisper. “Do you think it’s a good idea to let Justin spend so much time with him. I mean its obvious that he wants more than friendship and I’m not sure if Joshua can cope with that right now after all that Scott person had him for months. He might have …” her jaws snapped shut over her next words.
“Raped him? That’s what you were going to say isn’t it?” Roy swallowed his disgust. “We should get him examined.”
“I don’t want to upset him but yes I think we should.”
Justin helped the fragile man out of his clothes and pulled back the bedclothes for JC to snuggle into. His mother had put a hot water bottle in to warm the sheets. He hugged it to his chest finding comfort in its heat. He settled his head on the baby blue cotton pillow and Justin pulled up the plush quilt to his chin. The younger man sat on the side of the bed petting the pretty curls on JC’s head. “You okay?”
The brunette nodded.
“Would you like to talk?”
“Yes.” he replied in a low voice. “I’d like that.” he hesitated “Are you my lover?”
Justin smiled softly. “No” he said with a rueful shrug.
“Oh. I just thought … hoped.”
A wry _expression crossed Justin’s face. “Hoped?” he grinned widely as JC blushed a delicate pink. “When things are clearer we’ll talk again but for now believe me when I say I love you.” he laced his fingers with JC’s “Is there anything else you want to know?”
“Everything, tell me everything.”