Dreams are like stars…you may never touch them, but if you follow them they will lead you to your destiny.
"Brian, get up. I need a ride to school."
Brian groaned and pulled the pillow over his head. He had the most excruciating headache.
"Go away," he growled.
"Brian, it's late. You have to be at work and I was hoping you'd give me a ride to school." Justin whined; each syllable feeling like tiny shards of glass piercing through Brian's temples.
"I'm not going in today. Besides, what's wrong with your car?" Brian grumbled tersely.
He really could give a shit what was wrong with Justin's car right now; all he wanted to do was lie in bed until his head stopped aching.
"My car? Jesus Bri… what the fuck did Anita give you last night? Are you still stoned?" Justin asked.
Brian moaned and shifted in the bed. His pain-ridden brain registered something very odd in Justin's tone. He gingerly pulled the pillow from his head and peered up at him.
His eyes widened at his appearance.
"What the fuck?" He rasped out, somewhat confused.
Justin tilted his head.
"What? What's wrong with you Brian? Why are you looking at me like that?" Justin asked, worry etched deeply into his young face.
'His very young face,'the thought echoed in Brian's brain.
Brian sat up and winched.
"Justin, why are you wearing your old school uniform? I didn't even know you still had it. Believe me if I did Sunshine, we'd be getting a lot of more use out of it. I mean… fuck, you look like a kid!" Brian said.
"Fuck you Brian. I get it, ok? I know I'm too young, I should see guys my own age, blah…blahh…"
"What the fuck are you babbling about!" Brian interrupted him a little too loudly for his own ears.
He grabbed his head as the pounding started to intensify.
"Forget it. I'll walk if you're going to be an ass." Justin said then turned to leave the room.
Brian's mind suddenly came alert. There was something very wrong here.
"Justin, wait. Why are you going to the school today anyway? It's Saturday, you never hold classes on Saturdays. Besides, Maria's ballet recital is today." Brian said.
Justin turned and gave Brian an odd look.
"Jesus Christ Brian you really need to stop taking that shit Anita gives you!" He said then stalked over to him.
He placed his palm over Brian's forehead.
"First, it's Tuesday. Second, I don't 'hold' classes, I 'go' to classes, and third, who the fuck is Maria and since when are you into ballet?" Justin asked then pulled his hand away.
"Well you don't have a fever," he added.
Brian stood up and looked at Justin. 'Really'looked at him. He looked so young, just like he did when he was in high school. Not that Justin could ever look old. He always had a youthful appearance, but right this minute he looked as if several years had been wiped away from his blondes face.
He looked seventeen again.
Brian started breathing heavy as confusion and fear crept into him. He scanned the loft and noticed things were not right there either. The furniture was different and there was something else off though he couldn't place it.
Panic seized him and he started hyperventilating.
"Brian!" Justin screamed which only served to cause Brian's headache to worsen.
"I must be dreaming…that's it… I'm dreaming." Brian whispered to himself.
Justin pinched him.
"Ouch! Why the fuck did you do that?" He asked.
"Well I guess you're not dreaming. I'm telling you, Anita gave you some bad shit." Justin repeated.
"I haven't seen Anita in over ten years! And I haven't done drugs, well except for pot, since the twins were born! So stop saying that!" Brian screeched, then grabbed his head as the pain intensified.
"Twins? What the fuck? Ok, I'm calling Mikey. You're freaking me out Brian." Justin said then reached for the phone.
"Freaking you out! Justin, stop playing around now. Is this some joke?" He asked then his eyes lit up as a thought came to him.
"This is pay back isn't it? Ok, I give. I swear I'll stop teasing you about turning thirty." Brian said grasping for some explanation for Justin's odd behavior.
Justin was turning thirty this year and Brian had been riding him mercilessly about it. He just couldn't help teasing his boy. Obviously, his teasing wasn't being accepted in the good-natured spirit it was intended. Justin was trying to make a point.
Well point made. Well done blondie.
Justin snorted incredulously, breaking into Brian's thoughts.
"Thirty! Ok, that's fucked, even for you. You do realize that if I'm thirty that makes you forty-two! Seriously Brian, cut it out. I don't know what kind of mind fuck you're playing on me this time, but I really could give shit anymore. My life is fucked. My Dad hates me, everyone at school looks at me like I'm a freak since I came out, Hobbs keeps giving me shit and I know you don't want me staying here. I'm sorry I put you in this position, but I have no choice. As soon as I can, I'll get a job and move out. I promise. In the meantime, I can't think past surviving yet another fucking day at the "oh so tolerant" Saint James Academy! So if you're not going to give me a ride, then I better start walking before I'm late." Justin said then turned to leave.
Brian's jaw dropped open. He was serious! Justin was a teenager again! How the fuck was that possible?
Brian fell back onto his bed shocked at this new development. As if his life up till this point hadn't been 'interesting' enough, the fates that be felt it necessary to fuck with him yet again. What did they think he was bored?
"Fuck!" He cursed and shook his head. The pain was blinding at this point. He had to lie down and get his bearings straight. He laid his head upon the pillow and closed his eyes…..
'I shouldn't be here. I need to get back home'Brian thought uneasily as he started to drift off.
Brian stirred and groaned.
"Brian get up. Giles called. It's Jagger." Justin said.
It was just past midnight when the taxi pulled up to the main entrance of Matears Hospital. Brian jumped out of the car before it came to a full stop.
"Brian!" Justin yelled after him.
Brian ignored him and raced into the hospital.
Justin retrieved their bags and paid the driver. An orderly came out to assist him, having witnessed Brian's hasty exit from the car, and thinking there was an emergency at hand.
"Avez-vous besoin de l'assistance?" He asked Justin.
Justin's French had improved during that summer they spent in France, but his brain was on over load right now and he couldn't grasp what the young man was asking him.
"Pouvez-vous parler l'anglais?" Justin asked.
"Wee, Monsieur. I speak a little English. Do you need assistance?" He asked again, this time in English.
Justin heaved a big sigh of relief.
"Yes, please. Can you tell me where I can find Doctor Giles Vioget?" Justin asked.
The orderly nodded his head.
"Oui, he is here, with his daughter. But they have family… how do you say... cas d'urgence?"
'cas d'urgence…cas d' urgence…'
"Emergency?" Justin asked.
"Oui! le fiancé de fille is not well." The orderly said, slipping back into his native language.
"I know. The fiancé is my son. His other Dad and I flew in from America as soon as we heard. Can you please take me to Doctor Vioget?" Justin asked.
The orderly nodded and led Justin into the hospital, offering to help him with his bags. Though he really didn't need help. They had only packed two carry-ons. There simply wasn't any time.
The call from Giles came in exactly ten hours and twenty minutes ago.
Justin had just gotten up to start the coffee when Corrine's father called to inform them that Jagger was in the hospital.
Brian had been sleeping, very soundly. Justin had a hard time rousing him. When he finally did come around, Justin told him they needed to go to France, right away.
According to Giles, Jagger attacked an elderly man in a Jazz club he'd been playing at. The police were called and it took four detectives to pull Jagger off of the man. The man in question was currently in intensive care and charges were brought against Jagger. The only reason why he was in the psych ward at Matears and not in jail was because he was half out of his mind screaming things that did not make sense. When the police tried to question him, his answers were incoherent. His hysterics got to the point where he passed out so they called Corrine, whose number was listed as the last call he made on his cell, and took him to the hospital.
Giles said that by the time Corrine got to the hospital Jagger had regained consciousness but was still very agitated. He wouldn't let anyone touch him, lashing out violently at anyone who approached him. Corrine tried to reason with him but Jagger was not responding to her. The doctor on staff called in two orderlies and Jagger was wrestled to the ground and put in restraints. Corrine freaked and that's when Giles was called.
Giles told Justin that Jagger was in an uncontrollable rage by the time he arrived. He had him admitted and shot him up with enough Thorazine to keep him out for the next twenty-four hours.
Justin assured him that he and Brian would be there before then.
As soon as he hung up the phone with Giles, Justin called Rena's husband, John, and asked if he and Brian could borrow the company jet.
Remington Pharmaceuticals' private jet was ready within the hour.
Brian was silent the whole flight over. Justin knew better than to press him for conversation when he was in one of these moods. The situation was so unexpected, and frightening.
Jagger had been doing so well the last few years. He'd been living in France with Corrine, working days at the hospital as a music therapist, and playing nights and weekends at the local clubs. He had formed a new band and was excited about the songs he was writing. Though his fame hadn't faded over the past three years, he wasn't hounded as much as he was when he was touring. He truly seemed content. His phone calls were always so enthusiastic. Justin could hear the happiness in his voice. He even hinted that next year he and Corrine might be tying the knot, which meant another family trip to France.
The whole family was excited by that prospect. Aside from Justin and Brian's problems while in France, the family had a wonderful summer at Vivs' estate. They even managed a trip to Euro Disney while they were there, something the twins had been bugging them to do again.
If they had their way, they'd be spending this summer in France, but Lizzy and Jason were getting married in June. Jagger and Corrine were flying in for the wedding. They had intended to spend the summer with Brian and Justin in Pittsburgh. Now however, all plans would be put on hold.
Justin couldn't imagine what could have happened to make Jagger lose control like that. He would bet his life that Jagger wasn't using again. Justin had been there for Jagger, each step of the way through his addiction and recovery from the beginning. He'd been clean now for five years. Justin would know, he would 'feel' it if Jagger fell off the wagon. This latest incident just didn't make sense. What would make Jagger act so irrationally? If he did relapse, Justin could deal with that, but this was something else….
"Monsieur, the doctor is in the room down the hall. I must leave you now." The orderly said pointing the way before leaving Justin standing there while he went to answer a patient call.
Justin was so lost in his thoughts he hadn't realized they were already up on the third floor.
The psych ward.
Justin walked down the hall and into the waiting room the orderly pointed out to find Corrine sitting on a couch enveloped in her fathers' arms. She had her head buried in his chest.
Justin dropped his bags and walked over to them. He sat on the couch next to Corrine and gently pulled her away from her father. She turned and looked up into his face. Her eyes were swollen from her tears.
"I'm soo..sorry Justin…" she cried.
Justin 'shushed' her and pulled her in for an embrace.
"What's ever happened Corrine, don't blame yourself," he reprimanded.
Corrine pulled away from him and looked pleadingly into his eyes.
"But I don't KNOW what's happened! Everything was fine, we were fine! Why didn't I see this coming? I'm a fucking doctor for Christ sakes! I should have noticed something. Justin, he's… he's…Oh my God…." her hands flew to her face as fresh tears erupted from her eyes. She couldn't complete her sentence.
Justin wrapped his arms around her and let her cry on his shoulder. He looked over at Giles for answers.
"He's had a complete mental breakdown. The shot of Thorazine I gave him didn't keep him out as long as I hoped it would. He woke about an hour ago. He's completely delusional, and paranoid. He barely recognizes Corrine. We're hoping Brian can get through to him. When we told him his father was coming, he said he had no father, that he was the son of a whore. There's no talking to him right now. He's going to need extensive therapy, medication and psycho analysis." Giles informed him bluntly.
'Dear God no...' Justin's mind rebelled.
"Brian's with him now? Alone?" Justin asked.
"Not alone. There is an orderly in the room, just for precaution, in case he breaks his restraints." Giles said.
Justin was about to question Giles on what kind of restraints they had Jagger in when he heard Brian's voice bellow from across the hall.
"I said get those fucking things off of my son now!"
Justin and Corrine both jumped up from the couch at the same time.
"Brian!" Justin shouted out as he ran out of the room. Corrine was on his heels.
"He's in there." Corrine said pushing Justin towards the door across the hall.
Justin busted through the door to see Brian frantically trying to undo the wrist restraints that were fastened to the bed side rails holding Jagger down. Two similar restraints were clasped around Jaggers ankles. The orderly was trying to stop Brian from removing them.
Justin grabbed the orderly from behind and twisted him around so forcefully, he stumbled back and into Corrine, knocking her over.
"Qu'est-ce qui continue ici ?" The nurse on duty stormed into the room demanding to know what was going on as she helped Corrine to her feet.
"These men are the patients' fathers. They want the restraints taken off their son now." Corrine explained to the nurse in French.
Though she was a doctor, she wasn't Jaggers' doctor. Her father was.
"J'aurai besoin de la permission de Docteur Giles pour cela." The nurse answered.
Giles was standing behind the nurse. He looked over at Jagger who looked more confused than violent at the moment.
"Release him," he ordered. Giving the permission the Nurse required.
The nurse nodded and instructed the orderly to take the restraints off of Jagger.
Once Jagger was freed he sat up in the hospital bed and rubbed his wrists. Brian checked his ankles for bruises.
"Jesus Jag, what the fuck is going on?" Brian asked unable to keep the fear and concern out of his voice.
Justin moved to the other side of the bed and cautiously reached out to grab a hold of Jaggers chin. He gently turned his face towards him. His breath caught in his throat at the fear and confusion he saw in his eyes.
"It's ok Jag. We're here now. There's nothing to fear," he said, his voice soft and soothing.
"DJ?" Jagger croaked out.
Corrine cried out in relief. At least he recognized Justin. It was a good sign.
Justin smiled at him.
"Yes, it's me. Your Dad is here as well," he said then turned Jaggers face towards Brian before releasing his hold.
Brian forced a smile onto his face.
"I got here before the paparazzi," he said in a light teasing voice.
Jagger let out a strangled laugh.
"I guess it's official then. My star has faded." Jagger tried to joke with his father but Brian wasn't buying it. Jagger was scared shitless.
"If it will make you feel better, I'll get my camera. In the meantime, want to tell me what happened?" Brian said.
Jagger brought his hands up to cover his face and fell back against his pillow.
"I can't," he said.
Brian and Justin exchanged glances.
"Can't, or won't?" Brian said.
Jagger balled his hands into fists and pressed them against his temples.
"I mean I CAN'T!" He shouted.
"Ok, lets start from the beginning Jag. What is the last thing you remember?" Justin asked.
Jagger took a deep, calming breath and tried to recall the events of the evening.
"We were jamming at the club. Man we were fucking hot tonight. Lucas is back in the band now, and it's like we've been rejuvenated. I remember Booger was there. He's been coming to watch us play for some time now. He wants back in the band but that's never going to happen." Jagger said.
"Are you saying Booger had something to do with this?" Brian asked.
Jagger furrowed his brows.
"No, I don't think so. I remember seeing him talking to someone and that's when I blacked out." Jagger said.
"What do you mean blacked out?" Justin prompted.
"I mean from there on all I remember is bits and pieces. Hitting someone, being hit, cops, nurses, I think Corrine was here…"
"I'm here Jag." Corrine said coming forward for the first time.
Jaggers' eyes welled up for the first time upon seeing her.
"Oh baby I'm so sorry," he said turning to face her.
Corrine gathered him in her arms and cried.
"It's going to be alright. Everything's going to be fine," she said.
Brian brought his hand to the back of his neck and rubbed it. He wasn't as convinced as Corrine was that everything was going to be fine. Something was very wrong here.
"Jagger, you attacked a man in the club tonight. You hurt him bad, he's in intensive care." Brian informed his son.
Jagger gently pulled back from Corrine's embrace and looked at his father with confused eyes.
"But why? Who is this man?" Jagger asked.
"We were hoping you could fill us in on that particular detail. Don't you remember anything about the incident?" Brian asked.
Jagger shook his head.
Giles stepped forward to address his patient.
"How do you feel son?" He asked.
"Tired and a bit weak," he answered.
Giles squeezed in between Corrine and Brian and took his little flashlight out to look into Jaggers eyes.
"Uh huh. Any dizziness? Headache?" He asked.
"No, …but…" Jagger said.
Giles put the flashlight back in his coat pocket and took a hold of Jaggers wrist to check his heart rate.
"But what son? Tell me." Giles said.
"It's hard to explain but I feel like things are not right some how." Jagger said.
Brian snorted under his breath. 'Now there's an understatement." he thought.
"Not right how?" Giles asked releasing his wrist.
"I don't know. Like I'm not right. Like I shouldn't be here," he answered.
Jaggers words sent a chill down Brian spine as a feeling of deja vu swept over him.
"I've ordered a MRI and some other tests. It's very possible you experienced a seizure of sorts that prompted your irrational behavior. Whatever the cause, we need to find it, and treat it." Giles said.
"Doc, you know I just had a complete physical not too long ago. Everything was fine. How can I have an episode like that out of the blue without any warning?" Jagger asked.
"You could have had warning signs that you didn't recognize. Dizziness, blurry vision, headaches, lapses of memory, confusion…" Giles said.
Jagger just shook his head to each of Giles suggestions.
"Nope. I've been fit as a fiddle." Jagger said.
"Well let's not speculate at this point. Just let the doctor run the tests and see what they show." Brian suggested.
Jagger sighed impatiently.
"Can we do these tests tomorrow? I really want to go home now," he said.
"I'm sorry but that's not an option. I've admitted you for evaluation." Giles said.
"I don't need to be evaluated! I just need go home, now!" Jagger said.
He was starting to get agitated again, his mood was quickly shifting.
"Jagger, you will either spend the night here, or in jail. The cops are waiting outside. The only reason you're not in jail for assault is because Giles convinced them you needed medical attention. Now stop acting foolish and listen to your doctor." Brian said.
"NO NO NO NO NO!" You don't understand! "I shouldn't be here. I need to get back home." Jagger screamed and lurched forward taking both Brian and Justin by surprise. He snapped right before their eyes, with no warning.
"Shit!" Brian cursed and tried to stop his son from leaving the bed. Giles and Justin attempted to help him but Jagger was too strong. Abnormally so.
"Corrine, call an orderly now! And get me fifty cc's of Thorazine, STAT!" Giles barked out the order.
"Jagger please, calm down before you hurt yourself!" Justin tried to reason with him but Jagger was not responding. His eyes were wide and wild; he was in a 'flight or fight' mode, determined to get out of that bed and run. Panic was etched all over his face.
Not two minutes later an orderly ran into the room to assistant them. Between the four of them, they managed to get Jagger back into his restraints and Giles shot Jagger with the Thorazine. It took several more minutes before the drug took effect and Jagger was sleeping.
They left Corrine in the room to sit with him while Brian and Justin followed Giles out in the hall to talk about what just happened.
Justin was shaking. Brian took him into his arms to calm him. He looked over at Giles.
"What the fuck was that!" He asked.
"A psychotic episode." Giles answered.
"But what's causing them? Why is this happening?" Justin asked, his own fear threatening to choke him.
Brian held him closer and gently rubbed small soothing circles over his back and shoulders.
"I know how difficult this is for you both, and for my daughter. Unfortunately I don't have any answers right now. All we can do is wait until all the tests are done, and the results are in. I promise you as soon as we find out what's causing these episodes, we'll discuss treatments. That's my future son-in-law in there. I won't let him down. I promise you." Giles said.
Brian nodded his head accepting Giles words. The doctor had come to think of Jagger as his own son, having spent the last three years in his company. His daughter was in love with their son. They planned to marry. He had no doubt Giles had a vested emotional interest in helping Jagger.
"Now I suggest you two go get some rest. I promise you he'll be out for the night. I'm going to order a drip to keep him sedated." Giles said.
"Is that necessary?" Justin asked.
"You saw him; he needs his mind to rest for awhile. It's best if he stays asleep for the next eight hours at least." Giles explained.
Brian and Justin exchanged troubled looks. Giles saw their hesitation.
"Where are you staying?" He asked.
"We haven't made any arrangements yet. We came straight here." Brian answered.
"I'm sure Corrine and Jagger would want you to stay with them. They have two spare bedrooms…well for now. That might change in nine months." Giles said absentmindedly.
"Wait, is Corrine…." Justin asked catching on to what Giles was implying.
Giles face grew red with embarrassment. He didn't mean for that to slip out.
"You didn't hear it from me, but Corrine thinks she might be pregnant. She was suppose to come in tomorrow for a blood test to make sure. She hasn't told Jagger yet, she wanted to be certain first." Giles said.
Giles hadn't intended to tell anyone, but the cat was out of the bag now, and under the circumstances it was probably a good thing. It was a bit of good news they all could use at the moment.
"Oh my God! That's wonderful! But poor Corrine! This stress can't be good for her." Justin said.
Giles shook his head sadly.
"No, but I've given her a mild sedative. And as long as she is near Jagger, and believes he's going to get well, she'll be fine. So we must all be clear on this. No matter what, we must stay positive for Corrine's sake." Giles said.
"Of course." Brian said.
"Now you two should go. He'll be out until the morning." Giles said.
"What about Corrine? We should take her with us." Brian said.
"You could try, but she won't go. I've already ordered another bed set up in the room. She'll want to be close to him. I'll be spending the night here as well. Here..." Giles reached into his pocket and pulled out his spare key to his daughters' house and handed it to Brian.
"You know the address. Get a good night sleep, and then come relieve Corrine in the morning. There is nothing we can do now but wait." Giles said.
Brian and Justin agreed and went back into Jaggers room to say goodnight. Jagger was sound asleep, and Corrine was sitting by his bed holding his hand.
Brian leaned over and kissed her cheek.
"We'll be spending the night at your house. You're to call us immediately if there's any change in his condition, understand?" He said in a soft, yet authoritative voice.
Justin went over to her and hugged her.
"He's going to be fine Corrine. Don't worry," he whispered into her ear.
Corrine smiled through her tears and hugged him back.
"I know he is. You're here now." Corrine stated.
A lump formed in Justin's throat at the complete confidence in Corrine's voice at his ability to make everything alright with Jagger. It was a confidence he didn't feel himself. Though it was true that he had helped Jagger in the past to overcome his addictions, this was something entirely different. He would of course move heaven and earth to help him, but he didn't think he had what Jagger needed to beat this thing, whatever this thing was.
However he couldn't let Corrine know his doubts. So he just smiled reassuringly at her and kissed her cheek, promising to be back in the morning.
Later that night Brian paced the confines of the small guest bedroom in his sons' house. Justin sat up in the bed and watched him.
"Brian come to bed. We need to rest. It's going to be a long day tomorrow," he said.
"You sleep." Brian answered tersely.
"Now you know that's not going to happen if you don't come to bed." Justin stated the obvious.
Brian stopped pacing and looked at Justin.
"Did you hear what he said?" He asked.
Justin frowned. They hadn't talked about what happened since they left the hospital. They rode to the house in silence, unpacked their bags, and readied themselves for bed. Not a word was spoken about Jaggers 'episode'. Until now.
"What Jagger said? Or what came out of his mouth when he lost it?" Justin said bluntly.
Brian raised his eyebrow.
"Exactly! That wasn't Jagger! I mean it was him, and then it wasn't him. And I don't think he was delusional or hallucinating. It just wasn't him!" Brian said.
"I agree. Do you think he's suffering from some sort of psychosomatic disorder?" Justin asked.
"What the fuck do I know! If he is, it's odd that it should just pop up all of a sudden, and with such intensity. There would have been signs." Brian said.
"True, but Jagger is a product of an abusive childhood. It's the root cause of his addictions. Maybe it's also what's causing his current mental instability. Maybe something, or in this case, some one, triggered a bad memory for Jagger that he had repressed and the sudden shock of it caused his breakdown." Justin reasoned.
Brian walked over to the bed and sat on the edge. He pinched the bridge of his nose with his thumb and forefinger. Justin reached over and placed his hand on Brian's shoulder.
"Bri, what is it? What are you not telling me?" He asked knowing his partner of twelve years so well.
"What you're saying sounds logical, and you're probably right, but Jagger said something tonight that I just can't shake." Brian said.
"What?" Justin prompted.
"He said, and I quote, 'Ishouldn't be here. I need to get back home,"
Justin bit his bottom lip as he contemplated Brian's words.
"It's perfectly normal for him to want to be out of the hospital," he said.
"No. It wasn't just a matter of him wanting to leave the hospital. He was trying to tell us something. He was trying to tell us he, and I know you're going to think this is crazy, but he was trying to tell us that he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Apart from his reality, his 'home,'" Brian answered.
"What makes you think that?" Justin asked not doubting his partners' instincts for one second. They've dealt with Angels and Demons in the past, alternate realities weren't that far fetched.
Brian looked at Justin and wondered how he was going to take his next words. It was bad enough their son was on the verge of losing his fucking mind, he didn't want his blond thinking his partner was one step behind him.
"Brian tell me. Why do you think that?" Justin demanded sensing Brian's hesitation.
Brian took a deep breath and turned to face him. His eyes met, and held Justin's as he made his confession.
"Because last night I was in another reality and said those same exact words."