Disclaimer: This story is fake, false, a sham, a counterfeit, bogus, a brummagem, it's all made up, phony, and is in most liklihoods untrue. (You get the idea, right? If not...email me, I can keep going in this vein until you DO understand.) I do not know JC Chasez, Lance Bass, either of their parents or their siblings, etc., thus adding to the afore mentioned utter falseness of the story as was previously stated (see previous statement.) Now that we're all clear on that, feel free to let my story, false as it may be, suspend your disbelief and allow you to enjoy the holiday spirit of the story.

I'd like to take the time to do two things, first off, I'd like to call out a few of my favorite stories, those being, JC's Hitchhiker, Alone Together, Tail Of The Tiger, My New Life, Music Shatters Ice, Lance, JC and the Astral Fan. I literally hang on the edge of my seat for each update from these wonderfully talented authors. I totally recommend checking out their stories if you've not already done so. I also wanted to wish everyone the merriest of Christmases and happiest of New Years. - Billy Burrew

Together For Christmas
By Billy Burrew


JC's head snapped back as his mother shouted those ten words. The pain they caused him was greater than any physical pain he had ever before experienced. He felt as if he couldn't breathe, his heart was racing and every time he tried to take a breath, it seemed to catch in his throat.


JC looked at his mother once more and his eyes began to overflow with his pain at her rage and dismissal. He then turned and ran out of the house, slammed his car door and tore out of the driveway.

JC drove aimlessly, taking the exit off the beltway to the GW Parkway. He drove silently, his breath still coming in stunted gasps. A sudden clanging sound from under the hood of his car got his attention, and then an enormous plume of steam issued forth from the grill of his car. JC slowed and pulled off into the nearest parking lot, cursing his luck as he realized that he had broken down somewhere in suburban Maryland or Virginia and had left his cell phone sitting in its charging cradle at his mother's house. He pulled the release lever for the hood and got out of the car. He narrowly resisted the urge to kick the tire as he passed it and finally stood in front of the car. JC reached under the hood for the little release lever doohickey that he knew he needed to pull or yank on to open the hood. As he found the latch and yanked on it, the car gave another popping sound and again issued forth another enormous belch of steam. JC yelped as his hands were engulfed in the hot steam and he quickly pulled them back. JC hissed and shook his hands in the air, blowing cool air on them one at a time until they cooled off.

"Screw this!" JC said, "I'll go call inside and call a mechanic and get a tow."

JC walked over to the entrance of the building still shaking his hands as they both began to throb painfully from the steam burns he had just received.

JC opened the door to the building and walked in. About midway through the hall was a large semi-circular desk with a older gentleman in a guard uniform sitting behind it.

"Hello there! Happy Holidays! How can I help you?" the man said, smiling brightly.

"Hi. My car broke down on the parkway and I pulled in here." JC explained, "I tried to take a look at it and ended up burning my hands in the process. Is it possible for me to soak my hands in some cold water for a few minutes and then call a tow truck?"

The man stood up and waved him over. "Oh dear! You did do a job on your hands. Come with me. I'll get one of the nurses to take care of that for you."

JC started. "Nurses? Is this a hospital?"

The man shook his head, "No, son, it's a hospice. People come here to die."

JC nodded and followed the man silently until he came upon a nurse's station. The man explained to the one nurse about JC's hands and then nodded to JC as he left him in her capable care. The nurse looked at JC's hands, now very red and tutted. She ushered him into a room and instructed him to wash his hands with some antibacterial soap and lukewarm water. She then sprayed his hands with some lidocaine and wrapped them loosely with some gauze.

"I'll get Jeb to call you a tow truck." the nurse said, "if you want, you can wait outside or maybe visit with some of our patients."

JC looked up at her, puzzled.

"A lot of the people in this hospice don't get many visitors at all. A few have no family left...so a visit would really help their spirits, especially with the holidays being so close and all."

JC nodded. "OK. How long do you think for a tow?"

The nurse smiled, "In DC? During rush hour? You've got some time, believe me!"

He snorted and nodded, realizing that he may be here for quite some time until the tow truck showed up.

JC walked down the halls, peering into rooms and looking for someone who was awake and sitting up or watching television. As he passed a room, he heard a voice call out a name. He stopped.

"Joshua? Is that you?"

Josh backpedaled a bit and stuck his head in the doorway of the room. A very small, thin old woman was sitting up and looking directly at him from her bed.

"Joshua! It's so good to see you! Come in!"

JC looked up at the patient name on the door, Mrs. Dottie Peterson, and then Ms. Dottie in quotations beside her name. JC smiled at the very southern way of calling an older lady Ms. and then using her first name. JC wondered how that tradition came about. JC was about to speak and introduce himself, when she reached over to her bedside table and grabbed a photo.

"It IS you, Joshua. It's been so long, but you still look just like your picture."

JC walked closer to the bed and almost gasped as he saw that the man in the black and white picture could have passed as his twin.

"Oh Joshua. It's wonderful to see you back here. I was so worried that you might not ever come back again."

A nurse entered the room and gave Miss Dottie some medicine. After she gave her the set of little pills and the cup of water to take them with, the nurse beckoned to JC and he excused himself for a minute and followed her out into the hall.

"Hey. Are you....?"

JC shook his head, "I'm not related to her, I'm just waiting for a tow truck. The picture she has of her son looks so much like me that she thinks I'm her son."

"What do I do?"

The nurse shrugged. "I guess just play along. Try to keep her calm and happy. She's got a terrible wasting illness...and her doctor has said that there's nothing more than can be done for her except to keep her calm and happy."

JC nodded slowly. "Ok. I'll try to keep her calm."

JC walked back over to the side of the bed and sat down beside the elderly woman. JC listened as she talked to him about events of the past and reminisced over things that had happened over previous holidays..

Sooner than he realized, or would have liked, a nurse knocked on the door and entered into the room.

"The tow is here."

JC nodded and then looked back to the elderly lady.

"Mama. I have to get going now. My car's busted and there's someone gonna give me a ride to the service station to get it fixed."

JC got up and pulled on his coat and then walked back to the bedside.

Ms. Dottie grabbed JC's arm, gripping it tightly.

"Joshua...I'm sorry for what I said to you that night, right? I...I was just shocked...and..and I didn't mean what I said, it was wrong.....I was wrong. I know...I know it doesn't matter who you love, be it a guy or a girl, just as long as you're happy....I knew the moment that I saw your eyes that what I said to you that day was wrong.....was terrible. You pulled away from me and it was like the light in your eyes had been snuffed out. And I knew that it was all my doing, with what I'd said. Please say you forgive me...I'm so sorry."

Stunned by the uncanny parallel of Ms. Dottie's arguement with her son to the one between his mother and himself, JC sat back down on the bed and nodded. JC looked at Ms. Dottie's face and saw in her eyes all the pain and anguish she had been through since the night of the argument. He realized then what he needed to do, he forced a weak smile onto his face and patted her hand. "I know Mama. You were upset and you didn't mean it. I forgive you, Mama."

The anxious expression on the old woman's face diminished greatly at his words, and her shoulders heaved once, then lifted as if an incredible weight had been pulled from them. She took a deep breath and sighed, then laid back on the pillows. As her eyes closed, JC saw what looked like a small smile tug at the corners of her wrinkled mouth.

JC said goodbye quietly once more and then got up and headed out to the front, where the driver of the tow truck waited to take him to the service station.

An hour or so later, JC watched as the mechanic opened the hood of his car and began to work on it. He leaned over to the phone beside him and picked it up and called Lance. Lance answered on the first ring.

"Mrs. C? Is he back?"

JC cleared his throat. "Hi Lance. It's me. You OK?"

Lance's breath caught for a second before he spoke. "JC! Oh, my God! Where are you? Where have you been? Your mother has been calling me every five minutes for the last hour and a half! She's worried sick!"

JC put his finger in his ear and moved it around a bit, thinking that he was either going deaf or hallucinating.

"What did you just say?" he replied a second later.

"Baby, your mom called me in a panic. She was crying and saying that you had left in a terrible state because of what she said. She said she couldn't call you cause you left your cellphone there. I asked her what she had said to you and she told me the whole story. God, JC...why didn't you tell me you were gonna tell her about us? I'd have been there to back you up."

JC sighed. "I didn't think she'd take it as badly as she did. I didn't think..."

JC paused, then spoke again, "What did she say to you? Was she ok to you?"

Lance sniffed. "She was nervous, but then after a while, she seemed more curious than anything else. She asked a bunch of questions and then my mama came in and they talked to each other about us for a while and she seems to be allright with it now."

JC sat back, still half stunned by his mother's attitude reversal. "Wow! That's...amazing."

Lance agreed and then added. "What happened to you? Where are you?"

JC then sat back and told him the entire story of the car troubles and the hospice, and about Ms. Dottie and the amazing coincidence between his mother and her."

Lance sighed. "Oh, JC That's so nice. I'm so proud of you. I wish I were there with you."

JC smiled. "I wish you were here too. I want hold you so badly. But I understand that you wanted to spend Christmas with your mom, too."

"Thank you for understanding that." Lance replied.

"Thank your mom for me, for talking with my mom about this whole thing, OK? I've gotta go check on my car." JC said, smiling happily, and then promised Lance that he'd call his mother after he found out the condition of his car.

JC chatted with the receptionist and found out that his car would be ready in about an hour or so. He went back to the public telephone and dialed his mother's number.

"JC?!?" his mother frantic voice answered even before the end of the first ring. "JC honey, is that you?"

JC nodded and cleared his throat which had suddenly tightened up, "Yes, Mama. It's me."

JC stopped as he heard his mother begin to sob loudly on the phone.

"Mama. I'm at a service station. My car broke down after I left."

His mother took a deep breath and stifled a sob. "Oh baby. I'm sorry that I reacted like that to what you said. I didn't mean what I said to you."

JC nodded again. "I know Mama. It's kind of a shock to get news like that."

JC mother was silent as she considered his words.

"Mama?" JC said in a low voice. "I love you."

"I love you too, baby." JC's mother said quietly and then she began to cry again. JC's resolve crumbled as he heard his mother break down, and then he joined her.

True to the receptionist's word, JC looked up an hour later as the door to the mechanics bay opened and the mechanic walked out and then towards him. JC told his mother that he'd be home as soon as he settled up his bill and then set the phone back in the cradle. JC listened as the mechanic detailed what he had fixed on the car. After the man finished, JC paid the bill and then got into his car and drove home to a tear-filled evening of apologies and re-bonding with his mother.

JC awoke early on Christmas Day, and got up and dressed before everyone else. He had told everyone of his plans of visiting Ms. Dottie again, and so, after he finished off a quick breakfast, he headed back to the hospice.

JC entered the hospice and smiled at Jeb, the guard he had met the previous day, then headed over to Miss Dottie's room.

As he entered Ms. Dottie's room, he noticed that her bed was empty and that all of her personal belongings were being packed into a small box by the same nurse that he had spoken to the previous day. The nurse looked up as he approached and shook her head.

"Oh. sir. I'm so sorry...but Ms. Dottie passed away in her sleep early this morning." the nurse said sadly as she picked up a letter and the picture he had seen on her bedside table the previous day, "She left this for you, I believe."

JC took the note and the picture and sat down beside the bed and began to read.

My Dearest Joshua,

I wanted to thank you for forgiving me for all the things I said to you that night when you told me you were gay. I'd waited so long for you to come back so that I could apologize. I needed to know that you'd forgiven me before I could move on. My time here on earth should have been over long ago, but I kept going, hoping and praying that you would come back and that we could talk, just once more.

You're a good boy, and I'm proud to have you as my son.

I love you, Joshua. Goodbye.


JC's face was wet with tears as he finished reading the letter. He looked down at the picture and sighed sadly.

JC looked up as a older, bespectacled doctor came and stood in the doorway of the hospital room.

"Hello there. I am Dr. Goldstein. I was Ms Dottie's doctor. I wanted to stop in and thank you."

JC looked up, bewildered at the doctor. "What for?"

The doctor walked in and put his hand on JC's shoulder and squeezed. "Ms. Dottie had been very close to death over the last year or so. I honestly don't know what was keeping her alive, besides her own sheer stubborn will. She kept insisting that her son would come back someday and that they would talk again. She never told me what happened on the night of the fight those 25 years ago, just that she'd made a terrible mistake and kicked her son out. I found out that he'd been involved in a head-on automobile crash. He was dead before they made it to the emergency room. She'd begun to check out mentally after that...going for days and weeks at a time without speaking. I think, over the past five years here, I'd only heard her speak out once, maybe twice. Imagine my surprise when I get a call from my nurse yesterday telling me that not only is she speaking to someone who looks like her dead son, but that he's playing along with her, humoring her, and in doing so, granting her one last wish."

"Thank you for making her think her son had come back and forgiven her. She was in so much pain from her wasting sickness...she had pain that no painkiller could come close to touching. She spent the last part of her life out of her mind with grief, and physically wasting away as she kept waiting for her son to come back and forgive her...so that she could finally let go and die. Thank you for giving her a peaceful death. I've been her doctor for over ten years and I can tell you that, whatever falling out she and her son had those 25 years ago, she's paid her time in hell for it here on earth living day to day the way she was there at the end. Thank you for finally helping her to set things right, she deserved to pass on like she did, finally at peace with the world."

JC stared at the doctor, too shocked to say anything in reply. The doctor squeezed JC's shoulder, thanked him again and then left. JC sat for a few moments and then took the letter and picture and put them in his coat pocket. JC called his mother and then Lance and told them both what had happened and then got up from his seat and headed home.

As JC headed back to his house, he was overcome by a mix of emotions over the death of Ms. Dottie. Sadness that she died, but a happiness and satisfaction that her death was a peaceful, almost joyous one, and, as the doctor said, he had played a major role in helping that happen. JC was completely lost in his thoughts as he parked his car and entered his house.

JC's mom stood up as he came into the living room and walked over and hugged him. They sat for a while and talked as the rest of the family in the house woke up and began coming down for breakfast. A ring of the doorbell caused JC's mom to get up and smile.

"I think the door's for you, honey."

JC looked at his mother curiously for a minute before getting up and heading over to the front door and opening it up.

JC's heart raced as, standing on the porch in front of him was Lance, his mother and the rest of the Bass family. Lance smiled brightly and then enveloped him in a long hug that ended with short kiss.

"Merry Christmas, C." Lance said merrily.

"Lance!" JC exclaimed, "But I thought you were gonna be in Mississippi."

Lance shook his head, "I talked with my Mama and she said that as long as we were all together, it didn't matter where we spent Christmas, here or in Mississippi. So I called your mom and we put our heads together and came up with us all coming up here and spending Christmas with your family."

JC looked over at his mom who smiled a warm smile at the two of them. "Merry Christmas, boys."

JC looked at Lance through his tear-blurred eyes and then pulled him into another tight hug.

"Looks like we both got our Christmas wishes, huh C?" Lance said smiling widely

JC looked into Lance's eyes. "We did?"

Lance nodded, still smiling. "When we talked yesterday, I wished I was here, and you wished you could hold me."

JC nodded sagely and then smiled. "Yeah. I did wish for that, didn't I? Say, how many times do I get to use my wish?"

Lance laughed as JC hugged him close. "It's Christmas, baby, just as many times as you want."

-The End