"JC?" Justin asked one day. "C'mere, please."
JC went over to Justin and looked at him expectantly. "What?" He asked shortly. He didn't have much patience for Justin.
"JC, y'all know that I gots this huge house and no one but me and Jenny in it," Justin began. "I was talkin' to Jenny about having one of the guys move in, and she suggested you, since you live in an apartment and y'all are friends and all. Whaddya think?"
JC swallowed what he wanted to say to Justin, and replied instead, "I'll hafta think about it and get back to ya, ok? Tell ya after the concert?" JC didn't know what to think. Then he did. He had to find Jenny.
"Jen?" JC cornered Jenny, who was signing autographs. JC smiled politely for the girls and pulled her away, excusing the two of them.
"What?" Jen finally looked up, revealing a slight cut under one eye, but other than that, no worse for the wear.
"Move in with you?" JC asked.
"Yeah, JC, I want you there with me," Jenny said quietly.
"To protect you? God, Jen, just leave him if you're scared enough to have me move in with you," JC said, even though he knew if Jenny left Justin, he'd never have a chance with her and never be happy. But he wanted her happy and safe much more than he wanted himself happy.
"JC..." Jen trailed off, looking away.
"You only want me to move in with you to protect you?" JC asked. If she said yes to this as her only reason, JC's heart would officially never be healed. It had broken into tinier and tinier pieces every time that Jenny got hurt or even when she hugged and held and kissed Justin the way JC wanted to be hugged and held and kissed by her.
"Not only," Jen said slowly. "I want you to be there because...Just because."
"Because why?" JC asked. "I need a reason." He was desperately trying to get some signal as to how she felt about him.
"Because," Jenny took a deep breath. "Because I need you." She said simply.
"Need me?" JC asked.
"I need you," Jenny repeated passionately. "To support me and help me and comfort me and..."
JC swallowed, waiting for the next word, a word that would change his life forever - however long that was.
"...love me," Jenny finished.
Suddenly she realized what she'd said and her eyes flew to JC's.
"Support you? Can do. Help you? Don't I always? Comfort you? There's nothing I'm better at. Love you? I'd like to," JC said softly, running a finger down her cheek.
"JC..." Jenny trailed off.
"But that won't happen, will it?" JC asked, frustrated. "Because you love Justin and Justin...Well, Justin is Justin."
"Can we talk about this later?" Jenny asked.
JC nodded. "I need to get onstage, anyway. But I do want to talk to you more."
Jenny nodded and swallowed hard as she watching him walk away, wondering if they really would talk later.
"JC?" Justin was standing in the doorway to JC's room.
"What?" JC asked, still staring straight ahead, unblinking.
"Are you gonna or am I gonna have to get someone else?" Justin asked.
"Why me?" JC turned to Justin. "Why would you pick me when it could be Joey? Or Chris? Or Lance?"
"Because you..." Justin hung his head. "You know the situation, Jenny likes you, you protect her from me when I lose it." Justin sat down on the end of the bed and kicked the door closed with his toe. "God, I don't want to hurt her. I don't know what comes over me. I love her." Justin buried his face in his hands.
I do, too, JC thought.
"I know you do," JC said, fighting back his own love for Jenny. "You just have a...different way of showing it."
"I love her, JC, I really do," Justin looked up at JC and JC only saw one thing in Justin's eyes - regret.
Immediately JC's hatred of Justin that had been building up since the first time Jenny had been hit disappeared. JC knew what Justin was going through. No, JC had never hit a girlfriend before, but he had had a bad habit where it affected him so badly he didn't even know what he was doing or why, just that he was. And he couldn't stop himself.
"I'm sorry, JC," Justin mumbled. "I just came in here to see if you were gonna, so are you?"
"Yeah," JC nodded. "I can hire some people to get my stuff moved before we get back, ok?"
"Ok," Justin nodded and stood. "I'm sorry I unloaded all that on you."
I'm part of it, how can you 'unload it' on me like I don't know anything about it? JC thought bitterly. "It's ok," He said aloud. "I understand."
Justin just smiled weakly, nodded, and left.
JC flopped back on the bed. Living with them. How was he going to handle that? He was only human, after all. How long will this go on?