If I Ain’t Got You – Chapter 6

Chapter 6 — Revelations, Part 1

Dec 30, 2002 – Orlando, FL – Florida Hospital – The Intensive Care Unit – Nick’s Room “Come on honey, please talk to me,” Janet said as she held Nick’s hand. “Please baby, please say something to me.”

“I don’t think he’s going to talk Mom,” Aaron said as he walked into the room and hugged her. “It’s been a whole week and he hasn’t said one word.”

“I know, but I have hope that he’ll speak, to me at least,” Janet said as the tears slowly fell from her eyes.

“Maybe you should just go back to the hotel and rest up some Mom,” Aaron suggested as he rubbed Janet’s back. “You’ve been here for the last two days, without any rest. I think you need to go be by yourself for a while.”

“I—I’m not leaving until he speaks to me,” Janet said as she hugged Nick, whom had a glassy look in his eyes.

“Please Mom, you need to go and get some rest,” Aaron said as he motioned for Laura to come help him.

“I said I’m not leaving here. I’m not going anywhere until my baby talks to me,” Janet said as she pulled away from Aaron and Laura.

“Mom, you’re not doing yourself or Nicky any good by staying here like this,” Laura said with a frown. “Why don’t you do as Aaron suggested and go back to the hotel and get some rest? You’ve been running around like this since Christmas.”

“Is there something wrong with you two?” Janet asked as she looked at her two children. “How can you ask me to leave him here like this?”

“We’re here with him Mom. You need to go and get some rest. If his status changes, we’ll call you to come back here,” Laura told her.

“I’m not going to leave him here. He hasn’t eaten anything since we found him a week ago. He hasn’t spoken a word. He hasn’t done anything. He just sits here and stares off into space with that crazy look in his eyes,” Janet said as the tears streamed down her face as the heart monitor connected to Nick started to beep faster. “My poor baby… Damn Brian for this, damn him straight to hell!”

“Calm down Mom,” Laura said as she hugged Janet, doing her best to calm her down while she kept an eye on the heart monitor that was beeping faster.

“No! No, I won’t calm down! That bastard hurt my baby. Look what he did to my baby!” Janet screamed as a few hospital security guards rushed into the room.

“Is everything okay here?” One of the men asked, looking around the room.

“We’re okay sir. We’re just a little upset. Everything else is okay,” Laura replied with a frown.

“Everything isn’t okay! Just look at my baby lying there, it’s like he’s not even there anymore!” Janet snapped as she shook her head as she pointed at Nick.

“Please calm down Mom. You’re going to raise your blood pressure if you don’t,” Laura said as she pulled Janet out of the room with the security guards following them. “I’m going to take her back to the hotel. Aaron, call us if something changes with Nick.”

“Will do Sis,” Aaron replied as the door closed behind them.

Justin’s Hospital Room

“Good morning Mr. Tanner,” Steve Lambert said as he walked into the room and over to the bed. “I’m JT’s assistant. How are you feeling today?”

“I thought I told JT last week that I wouldn’t be needing any of the services he offered,” Justin said as he looked up at Steve.

“Well you might’ve told him, but JT’s a stubborn man and he doesn’t give up on his patients, even when they give up on themselves,” Steve said as Justin glared at him.

“I don’t want to be bothered, just go ahead and leave me alone,” Justin said as he looked away from Steve.

“Get him out of that bed Steve and get him into the tub already,” JT said as he walked on crutches into the room.

“Good morning JT,” Steve said as he looked at JT strangely.

“Good morning Steve,” JT replied as he picked up Justin’s chart and then wrote something down on the pages. “Get to work Steve; I want you two in that bathroom right now. Justin’s already behind schedule. He should be doing this kind of stuff by himself already.”

“You—you aren’t in your chair,” Justin said as he looked up at JT.

“That’s right, I’m not. Today I’m walking,” JT replied as he lay his crutches up against Justin’s bed rail. “Or somewhat walking.”

“I’m not moving from this spot, so you two can forget about whatever plans you have for me today,” Justin said as he looked away from JT.

“Oh you’ll move, even if I have to help Steve get you into that bathroom myself,” JT said as he grabbed Justin by the arm. “I’m a very resourceful man.”

“Let go of me JT,” Justin said as he tried to get his arm away from JT.

“Nope, we’re going to get you ready for today. You’re not going to sit here in this room and mope around all day, like you did all last week,” JT said as he shook his head. “Today, we’re going to have you leave this room.”

“I’m not leaving out of this room and that’s final,” Justin said, his expression showing how pissed off he was.

“I bet you a dolla that you will,” JT said as Steve lifted Justin up from the bed and then carried him into the bathroom while Justin protested, hitting Steve in the chest.

“Stop that before you hurt little Steve,” JT said as he walked into the bathroom behind the two of them.

“Don’t worry about me JT, he’s pounding on pure muscle,” Steve said with a smile as JT rolled his eyes.

“No! Put me down!” Justin screamed as he continued hitting Steve in the chest. “Put me down damn it!”

“You heard the man Steve, go ahead and put him down,” JT said as he turned on the water as Steve lowered Justin into the tub as it filled with water.

“What the hell! This water’s cold!” Justin screamed as he tried to pull himself up out of the tub. “Help me out of here! What are you trying to do, give me a damn cold or something?”

“Stop struggling Mr. Tanner,” Steve said as he tried to settle Justin into the tub. “You’re going to hurt yourself.”

“Get me out of this fucking bathtub!” Justin screamed out as Lynn, Jamie, Marshall, Joey and Chris rushed into the main part of the room.

“Justin? Justin are you okay?” Lynn called out as she knocked on the bathroom door.

“Hello Mrs. Hart, this is JT. Justin’s just fine. We’re getting him ready for his first counseling session,” JT stated as he cracked the door open a little and then stuck his head out.

“He’s lying, they’re trying to kill me,” Justin breathed out.

“What’s going on in there?” Lynn asked as she looked at JT strangely.

“He’s okay. Steve’s only giving him a bath,” JT stated as he stepped out of the bathroom and held onto the railing on the wall.

“Are you okay Mr. Poole?” Lynn asked as she watched JT closely.

“Yes, why do you ask?” JT asked as he looked over at Lynn.

“You’re clutching onto that rail like it’s a life preserver,” Lynn said, noticing how JT held onto the rail.

“That’s because my crutches are in there and I need them to stand up properly,” JT said as he pointed at the bathroom door.

“Oh, well I’ll leave you guys to what you’re doing,” Lynn said as she turned to head back to the door.

“Wait,” JT said as he reached out to Lynn. “Did you bring the clothes for Justin that I asked for?”

“Yes, I brought them in last night while he was asleep. I hung everything in the closet,” Lynn replied as she walked over to the closet and opened the door to reveal the things she had brought for Justin at JT’s request.

“Those look great. We’re going to get him out and about today. So be on the lookout for a somewhat new Justin Tanner,” JT said as he leaned against the railing of the bathroom door. “Hopefully they should be done in there by now.”

“Okay, I’ll let you get back to things,” Lynn said as she walked towards the door. “I see that everything’s going according to plan it seems.”

“So far, things seem to be moving right along. If we can get him down to his first session without a problem, then we’ll all have a good day,” JT stated as he smiled weakly.

“I’m quite sure he won’t be too much trouble now,” Lynn said as she walked out of the room with the others.

“Yeah right, Justin’s a spoiled brat and he doesn’t know how to handle this new condition of his,” JT said under his breath as he walked back into the bathroom.

An Hour Later – A Small Veranda on the First Floor

“I’m glad you could join us here today Mr. Tanner,” Danielle stated as Justin came into the room with JT and Steve following behind him. “Mr. Lambert, I require your assistance with the young man I talked with you about, Mr. Canton.”

“Sure thing Ms. Michaels,” Steve replied as he turned around and walked out of the room.

“Oh never mind. I tell him all the time to just call me Danielle,” Danielle said as she shook her head.

“Don’t worry about it Dani, he still calls me Mr. Poole at times,” JT said as he laughed. “I’m not that much older than he is and we went to the same school.”

“What are you trying to say, I’m not that much older than him either,” Danielle stated as JT laughed and then shook his head.

“Well he called me JT today, I was actually shocked and had to stop what I was doing so I could check his temp to make sure he was okay,” JT stated as he laughed again.

“Did you call the nurses in for him?” Danielle asked as she laughed. “You know that’s a first for him since he’s been working here.”

“Yeah, I know. I started to think he was actually replaced by one of those pod people or something. I just think it’s strange,” JT said as he laughed again. “Oh well, what’s going on today?”

“Well first off, we’re going to introduce Justin here to some people like him and…” Danielle stated, being interrupted by the arrival of two new people in the room as Steve walked back into the room with Nick and Aaron Canton.

“Nick? Aaron? What are you guys doing here?” Justin asked as he looked in the direction that Danielle and JT were looking in to see the new arrivals with Steve.

“Justin Tanner? What are you doing here? Why are you sitting in that wheelchair?” Aaron asked as he walked over to Justin, causing him to drop his head down with a frown on his face.

“Ah, you guys know each other?” Danielle asked as she walked over to Justin and Aaron.

“Yeah, he and Nick are on the same record label,” Aaron replied.

“I was,” Justin said as he sniffled.

“What’s wrong Justin?” Aaron asked as he walked around to face Justin, kneeling down in front of him. “Why are you sitting in this wheelchair?”

“Can’t you see, I’m a gimp man,” Justin said as he sniffled more.

“Hey! That kind of talk isn’t tolerated around here Justin,” JT said as he walked over to Justin and leaned down to look him in the face. “You’re not a gimp.”

“I am a gimp!” Justin screamed, scaring Aaron and JT, causing JT to hobble backwards and then fall down to the floor on his ass.

“Are you okay JT?” Steve asked as he knelt down to help JT up.

“I’m okay,” JT replied as he moved closer to Justin. “Do you think I’m a gimp Justin?”

“Ah… No, you’re not a gimp,” Justin stuttered out.

“Then why do you say you’re a gimp?” JT asked as he looked into Justin’s eyes.

“I’m a fucking cripple! I can’t walk! I’m sitting in this God damn chair!” Justin screamed as the tears streamed down his face.

“Pull back JT,” Danielle said as she walked over to Justin, Aaron and JT.

“No Danielle, stay out of this,” JT said as he turned to look at her. “Justin, I sit in a chair, I can’t walk. I’m a cripple too. So that must mean I’m a gimp too.”

“You’re not a cripple, you can walk. You don’t always have to sit in a chair,” Justin spoke out between his tears. “You’re not like me.”

“That’s why you’re here Justin. You’re here so you don’t have to be in the chair all the time. You have to work at it like I did to get out of it,” JT said as there were tears in his eyes too.

“Are you okay JT?” Steve asked as he looked at the interaction between JT and Justin.

“Yeah, I’m fine Steve,” JT said as he pulled up on Steve and reached for his crutches.

“I’m sorry JT, I’m really sorry,” Justin said as he wiped at his eyes.

“There’s nothing to be sorry for Justin. You’re just speaking your mind, saying what you feel. That’s what these sessions are for,” JT said as he sat down at the table.

“Am I missing something here?” Aaron asked as he looked between JT and Justin. “What happened to you Justin?”

“I—I was in a car accident,” Justin replied in a barely audible tone.

“What?” Aaron asked as he looked at Justin closely.

“I was in a car accident,” Justin said a little louder this time as he looked up at Aaron.

“Oh God, Justin I’m so sorry,” Aaron said as he leaned in and hugged Justin.

“Well you’re not the first to say that,” Justin sarcastically said.

“I was…” Aaron said as Justin cut him off.

“Just save it Aaron,” Justin said as he shook his head. “Can he leave now?”

“I’m not leaving. I’m not leaving Nick here by himself,” Aaron said as he got up and walked over to Nick and hugged him.

“What’s wrong with him? He hasn’t said anything since we’ve been in here,” Justin said as he rolled over to Nick.

“Nothing’s wrong with him,” Aaron replied as he glared at Justin. “Get back Justin, don’t touch him.”

“What happened to him Aaron? It’s not like I’m going to hurt him or anything,” Justin said as he moved closer.

“No Justin, don’t touch him!” Aaron snapped as he jumped in front of Justin and then pushed his hand away.

“What’s your damage man?” Justin asked as he looked at Aaron like he was crazy.

“Don’t touch him Justin! Don’t put your hands on him!” Aaron snapped again.

“I haven’t done anything wrong. I just wanted to ask him what was wrong,” Justin said as he moved backwards and sniffled as a few tears fell from his eyes.

“Steve, why don’t you take Aaron here down the hall for a few minutes,” Danielle suggested as she tried to get some order back in the room.

“What! I said I wasn’t leaving him!” Aaron yelled.

“Please Mr. Canton, just step out for a few minutes. We’re about to start our session,” Danielle stated as she walked over to the two men. “Are you going to stay for this part JT?”

“I—I think I’ll go back down to my office. Call me when you’re done,” JT said as he got up on his crutches and then moved towards the door.

“Don’t leave me JT,” Justin said with a frown. “Please stay, I… I’ll be good.”

“Are you sure Justin?” JT asked as he turned around at the door.

“Yeah, I’m sure. Please don’t leave, I want you to stay,” Justin said as he dropped his head down again.

“Okay, I’ll stay here I guess,” JT replied as he walked back over to the chair he was previously in.

“Alright, let’s get things rolling,” Danielle said as she pulled out two folders from her briefcase. “So you guys know each other?”

“Yeah we do,” Justin replied as he looked up. “We used to be close friends a long while ago.”

“Used to be?” Danielle asked as she looked over at Justin.

“Yeah, it’s a long story and I don’t want to get into it,” Justin replied as he rolled over to the window.

“Justin, maybe you can help Nick with his problems. You think you might be able to do that Justin?” Danielle asked as she looked over to where Justin was.

“What’s wrong with him?” Justin asked as he turned around.

“Listen to me very carefully Justin,” Danielle said as she walked over to Justin and then knelt down in front of him. “Justin, Nick was raped.”

“What?” Justin said as he looked over at Nick. “He was raped? Oh my God, by who?”

“I’m not at liberty to tell that information,” Danielle replied as she got up and then walked over to Nick. “He was brought into the hospital because he was experiencing other problems. While he was here, someone attacked him.”

“That’s so horrible,” Justin said as he rolled over to Nick. “How could someone hurt him, he’s the sweetest guy I know in our business.”

“Since his attack, he’s been in this trance-like state. He hasn’t spoken to anyone since it happened,” Danielle said as she grabbed a folder with Nick’s name on it. “So far, the doctors have tried just about everything with him and nothing seems to be working.”

“Can you hear me Nick?” Justin asked as he reached for Nick’s hand as Aaron and Steve walked back into the room.

“Stop Justin, don’t touch him,” Aaron said as he struggled to get away from Steve.

“Mr. Canton, please…” Daniel said as she walked towards Steve and Aaron. “Justin isn’t going to hurt him.”

“Hi Nick, it’s Justin, Justin Tanner,” Justin softly said as he moved closer to Nick and held his hand.

“J—Justin?” Nick softly said as the glassy effect left his eyes.

“Oh God, he… He spoke,” Aaron said as he pulled away from Steve and rushed over to where Justin and Nick were.

Outside – The Parking Garage

“Hey Josh, what in the hell are you doing here?” Christina asked as she walked over to Joshua and grabbed him by the collar of his shirt.

“I came here to check on Justin,” Joshua replied as Christina shook her head and then backed him up against his car. “Let me go Chrissy.”

“You’re not going to see Justin or do anything else that involves him,” Christina said as she punched Joshua in the stomach.

“Owww!” Joshua screamed out in pain.

“I told you last week not to brang yo’ skanky ass back here, but it seems you didn’t get the damn message! Mark my words Josh, anytime you show your face around here or get too close to Justin, I’m going to do my best to put my foot up ya skanky ass! I told you to leave him along and I meant every word I said to you damn it!” Christina screamed as she pulled Joshua into a headlock and punched him in the stomach continuously.

“Let… Me… Go… Chrissy!” Joshua screamed out as he struggled to get away from Christina.

“I’m not letting you go until you get it through your damn head that Justin doesn’t want you around. Have you learned yet?” Christina asked as she pushed Joshua to the ground and started kicking him over and over in the side.

“Stop! Chrissy! I—I love him. I’m not trying to hurt him,” Joshua said as he coughed up some blood. “You… Oh God… You know I love him… Please Chrissy, stop!”

“Save it Josh. If you loved him, you would’ve never cheated on him with all of those other men,” Christina stated as she kicked him again as she shook her head and then turned and walked towards her car. “Don’t come back here again Josh. Don’t make me warn you about this infraction ever again. You’ll hate me if I do.”

As Christina got into her car, she started it up, rolled down the window and then punched the gas, passing by Joshua, just barely missing him. Stopping the car, she leaned out the window and backed the car up, just enough to get close to him as his eyes widened.

“You better not go into the hospital. I’m going to call Jamie and Marshall and make sure that they keep you away from Justin,” Christina warned as she glared at Joshua. “Just turn your ass around and get back into your car.”

“I told you, I’m going to check on Justin,” Joshua said as he got up and then walked towards the garage’s exit.

“Are you okay mister?” A young man asked as he walked up to Joshua.

“I’m just fine kid,” Joshua replied as he opened the door and then walked out of the parking garage.

“Are you sure mister? You’re bleeding all over the place,” the young man said as he opened the hospital lobby doors for Joshua.

“I said I was fine kid,” Joshua replied as he looked as if he was annoyed.

“Why don’t you let a nurse take a look at you,” the young man said as he waved his hand around, trying to get the attention of the nurses in the area. “Hey Aunt Angie, could I borrow you for a sec?”

“Hi Kasai, or course you can borrow me. What’s up Sweetie?” Angela Sebastian, a RN in the hospital asked as she looked at the young man and the man with him.

“This guy needs some help,” the young man identified as Kasai replied as he looked up at the nurse. “As I was coming in from the garage, I saw this guy. He’s bleeding very badly Aunt Angie.”

“Hello sir, I’m Angela Sebastian, can you tell me what happened to you?” Angela asked.

“Somebody hit me, duh,” Joshua replied as he held his stomach.

“It looks more like someone gangbanged you,” Angela said as she pulled a clipboard from the counter. “Let me get you into one of the exam rooms and get a doctor in to look at you. Then we can get you patched up.”

“I… Said… owwwww! I am fine,” Joshua replied as he winced in pain and then grabbed his stomach.

“That doesn’t look like you’re fine,” Angela said as she led Joshua to an empty exam room. “Where are your dads Kai?”

“I think Daddy is up in his office and Daddy Mark is on his way in from parking the van,” Kasai answered.

“Oh? Did I miss something honey?” Angela asked as she paid attention to the clipboard as she wrote some things on it.

“We’re just here to pick Daddy up for lunch is all,” Kasai replied as he smiled.

“Oh, alright honey. Thanks for bringing this gentleman to my attention,” Angela said as she patted Kasai’s back.

“You’re welcome Aunt Angie,” Kasai replied as Mark Walden walked up behind the two of them.

“Hello Angie, how are you doing today?” Mark asked as he leaned in and hugged her and then kissed her cheek.

“I’m doing okay, about done worked my fingers to the bone around here in this place today,” Angela replied as she shook her head. “What’re you up to?”

“I’m about to go up and get J. Do you want to go to lunch with us?” Mark asked as he gave her a puppy dog pout.

“Oh, I guess I can, as soon as I get this gentleman taken care of,” Angela said as she pointed at Joshua.

“Josh, Joshua Charles, is that you?” Mark asked as he walked over to Joshua, trying to figure out what happened to the man.

“Hi Mark,” Joshua answered with a frown as he looked up at Mark.

“You know him?” Angela asked as she turned around to look at Mark.

“Yeah, he’s Joshua Charles of All*Star,” Mark replied as Angela shrugged her shoulders.

“You know, I didn’t recognize him with all the blood on his face,” Angela replied as she shrugged again.

“What happened to you man?” Mark asked, leaning closer to Joshua.

“He said someone attacked him in the parking garage Daddy Mark,” Kasai spoke up as he looked over at Mark.

“Has the police been called?” Mark asked as he looked down at Joshua and then over to Angela.

“There’s really no need to call the police. I—I didn’t get a look at the people that did this,” Joshua stated, sounding as if he were talking through his nose. “Wouldn’t do them any good if I can’t tell them who did it.”

“Well you can still call them and make a report about this. If it happens again, to someone else no less, there would be a report on file that you were attacked here,” Mark stated with a frown.

“No, I don’t want to get the police involved,” Joshua said, wincing in pain as Angela swabbed the scrapes on his face.

“You might need to have stitches for some of these cuts sir,” Angela stated as she continued swabbing more of the cuts. “You really need to call the police. Whoever it was that did this, they were meaning to hurt you.”

“They just wanted to get the money I had on me,” Joshua stated as he winced again.

“From the beating you got, I hope they got a lot of money out of you,” Angela said as she walked over to the sink. “With all the cuts and bruises on your face and arms alone, you’ll be spending some time with us here at Ye Ole Hospital.”

“That was just wrong Angie,” Mark said, giggling as she walked over to the computer in the room, typed some information on the computer and returned to swabbing the cuts on Joshua’s face as another nurse walked into the room with a syringe on a tray.

“What’s that?” Joshua asked, keeping his eyes on the nurse that walked towards Angela with the syringe.

“I’m going to give you some medication to keep those cuts from getting infected,” Angela stated as she picked up the syringe from the tray as Joshua jumped up from the exam table, screaming.

To Be Continued…