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Disclaimer: No truth to it and hence it's fiction.
Summary: It takes David seven minutes and fifty-nine seconds to realize what Jason means to him.
Author's Notes: When the tour first started, this was my greatest fear.
Affiliates: Castrofics --a comprehensive Jason Castro fanfiction archive. Castrofics officially has forum, so stop by and check out the forum while you read old favorites and discovery new gems.
Jason Castro's Myspacec -not really mine, but do visit and play his music so the big wigs in the music industry can see the light and realize that Jason Castro can sell albums and tickets.
Jason Castro's Official Site --pretty boy's official website is just as pretty as its muse.
David is still high on adrenaline as the lights dim to the point of darkness. He runs backstage to join the rest of his tour mates already relaxing in the dressing room, waiting for press to begin. The first person he seeks for is the boy most consider to be the world's most beautiful boy. David still isn't sure what kind of relationship he has with Jason. He knows he loves the boy, but he isn't sure if he loves the boy as a kid brother, a best friend, or something more. Still, he gravitates toward the boy like everyone else. The boy is charismatic with inviting blue eyes that draw everyone far and near to him.
David enters the boys' dressing room and he sees Chiekezi and Archie hanging out on the couch. A quick scan around the room and he is disappointed that he doesn't see Jason anywhere. He finds Michael in the corner of the room, his cell phone pressed against his ear. He's talking to Stacey, his wife, telling her about yet another great show they had. David waits patiently for Michael to end his conversation and when he does, David springs up at him.
"Michael, do you know where Jason is?" David asks.
Just then the boy steps out of the restroom and joins the rest of his tour mates. Jason's ruby red lips are a shade paler than normal. He's flushed all over. Tiny beads of perspiration add sheen to his glowing skin. His movement is lethargic as he stumbles right into David's waiting arms.
"You okay, Jase?"
"Yeah," Jason nods his head, straightening his posture. "Just a little fatigue."
The boy hasn't been sleeping well as of lately. In fact, he hasn't slept for the last three days. For Jason in particular, sleep deprivation can be detrimental to his health. He tries to sneak in nap time here and there, but as the tour continues and press obligations increase as well as the crowd of fans waiting to meet them, Jason finds himself lucky if he can squeeze in a couple of hours of sleep in a day.
"Here, let me help you." David says, grasping the boy's wrist and leading him to the press room where most of the idols have already congregated inside. "Don't go anywhere. Just stay near, okay?"
Jason doesn't say anything. He just nods against David's broad shoulders and holds on tighter. There are two people that Jason is most comfortable with- Michael Johns is one of them and the other is David Cook. He looks up to them; admires them. He feels safe in their company and in their arms. When the tour began, Jason wasn't sure how he could handle all the crowd and press obligations. Being an introvert all of his life, he often feels overwhelmed when he sees so many people waiting for them at the bus stop or loitering around the arena after the show. His heart starts to race and he panics, afraid the crowd will devour him alive, but then he would see Michael or David in the corner of his eyes and he would literally make a bee-line toward them, attaching himself to their sides and suddenly the anxiety goes away and he feels safe, again. Tonight, Michael is a little preoccupied. Stacey was supposed to visit him on the road but due to a family emergency on her side she wasn't able to come therefore the happily married couple are racking up the phone bills instead to stay connected. That leaves David and only David to keep him safe.
One of the handlers approaches the two friends. She grabs the boy's free wrist and begins to lead him away when Jason whimpers out loud, clinging onto David. David tightens his hold on the boy's wrist and tells her politely that he wants to be paired up with Jason tonight.
"Mary, Jason stays with me tonight. Syesha and Kristy can be partners tonight." He tells the handler.
"You know that isn't how it goes, David." Mary counters.
"Jason isn't feeling well tonight."
"And you're not his doctor."
"But I am his best friend on this tour. One more time, Mary, Jason stays with me tonight or he doesn't do press tonight and you'll end up pissing off a lot of journalists who are only here just to look into those baby blues."
Mary lets out an irritated sigh and stomps away. David understands why she isn't too pleased. This season unlike the previous other seasons, the boys were the biggest draw and so it only made perfect sense that the boys were separated and paired with the girls so the girls can get some love and attention as well rather than having all the attention rested on a few of them together. David leads Jason to one of the tables and tells him he'll be right back. Jason grabs David's wrist and looks up to him with those bright blue eyes of his pleading with him to stay.
"I'll be right back," David tells him. "I'm going to get some water for us. Is that okay?"
Jason nods and releases his grip on David's wrist.
David pets Jason's hair and briskly walks to the table where all the refreshments are at. He grabs a couple of water bottles and returns to their table where Jason is patiently waiting for his return.
"Feeling better?" David asks him, handing him a water bottle.
Jason nods. "A little."
"You took your med today?"
Jason nods. Contrary to popular beliefs, Jason Castro has never taken drugs, illicit or prescription otherwise. Recently, he's been prescribed a short course of Zoloft and Valium on a as needed basis after the groping incident, which caused one too many nightmares for the boy.
"Good," David smiles and squeezes the boy's arm comfortingly. "Tonight should be a short press night."
Again, Jason nods, and lets David take the lead, answering most of the questions fielded to them by the journalists.
As David promised, press obligations end earlier than usual. However, they're not done for the night yet. After the press junket, the idols stream outside and meet with the fans anxiously waiting for their departure from the arena. Jason's eyes widen and he trembles a little when he sees the magnitude of the crowd waiting for them. David senses the boy's anxiety and holds on tighter.
"Just stay next to me, okay?"
When they reach the outside area where all the fans have been congregating, David lets Jason's hand go and urges him along. Jason follows David's lead and tries to engage with all the fans, signing autographs and posing for pictures. He stays as close to David as humanly possible, even stepping onto the rocker's boot clad foot a few times. As the night wears on and more and more fans start to show up to meet their favorite idols, Jason starts to ease up a little and becomes more interactive. He lets a giggle slip past his lips. He even sings along with the fans. Jason's starting to become more comfortable with the fans' adoration, again. David peeks over his shoulder and sees Jason a few feet behind, enjoying the fans' attention. They continue to meet the fans for another half hour before Mary comes out and tells the idols it's time to go. David Archuleta is the first to leave as his father leads the procession back to the buses. The other idols follow the lead with David and Jason trailing behind. The fans begin to chant out their names, pleading for them to stay. Some are crying. Others are yelling and screaming. And now some are pushing and shoving, knocking down the makeshift barricades that protected the idols just moments ago. David is shouting over his shoulder for Jason.
"Wait for me, David!" He hears the boy yell back.
David slows down until the boy catches up to him. He tucks his hand behind his back and feels for the boy's hand, which he takes and intertwines his fingers with. He keeps moving, moving Jason along with him, as the other idols are now within a few feet of the buses. He keeps yelling back to Jason for the boy to keep up with the pace.
"Right behind you, David!"
"David! Jason! Hurry up!" Michael yells for them.
"We're coming!" David yells back to Michael, unaware of the hoards of screaming fans rushing toward them from every direction. He picks up the pace and he hears Jason panting real hard behind him, trying to keep up. "Jason, c'mon. We're almost there."
"David, I'm trying."
The fingers that were intertwined with his just moments ago slip away and he hears more yelling and screaming drowning out Jason's frantic cries of terror.
"David! David! Please!" He hears the boy scream.
David turns his head to locate the boy, but he can't see past the sea of fans surrounding the boy.
"Jason's down!" David yells. "Jason's down!"
David's yelling as fans propel him forward and he bumps into Michael.
"Jason's still there!" David screams over the crowd's noise. "We have to get back to him!"
"We can't!" Syesha shrieks. "There's too many of them."
"Yeah, David. We need to get on the bus and get security to get Jason." Archie tries to reason with David.
David shakes his head.
"By then, Jason's probably be torn into pieces. I'm going back to get him."
"David," Michael grabs his arm. "Be logical. You can't save him. You can't even get to him. We get on the bus and we get security to come and get him."
"Michael, the boy's terrified out of his mind. You know that crowd as much as I do. They're going to tear him apart if we don't get to him now."
"David, we can't. Let's get on the bus and get some help for the boy."
"I can't." David says and dives back into the crowd.
He pummels through the crowd, shoving screaming and diaphoretic bodies out of the way to reach Jason. It seems like the closer he gets, the farther away Jason gets as the crowd carries him away from David and his friends back toward the arena.
Jason struggles to move forward in the direction of the buses, but he makes very little progress as the fans become more aggressive, pulling at anything they can get their hands on. He feels a strong tug to his dreads and he shrieks in pain. They don't stop. They just pull harder. He tries to keep his balance, keenly aware that if he loses his balance and falls, he probably won't survive the stampede of fans.
"Stop it, please!" Jason cries, grabbing onto his hair and pushing the fans away.
They keep bouncing back with greater force than before. He gets shoved from fan to fan, each fan taking the opportunity to grab him wherever they can get their hands on. Soon he loses his shirt in the crowd as an older female fan rips it off of his body in a vain attempt to keep him from running away. Shirtless, he still tries to get away. He runs straight into another fan, who boldly reaches between his legs to grope him roughly. His eyes widen in horror. He begs the man with pleading blue eyes to let him go to no avail. Jason is unable to hold the tears in any longer and he lets the tear escape past his lids. Still, the man just tightens his fist and only releases him after he slams him against the brick wall of the arena. He slumps down, cradling his injured left arm as fans swarm him like bees to honey, grabbing him everywhere, raking their fingernails across once perfect skin. He folds his body over, bringing his knees to his chest and just rocks his body, humming to the song, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow", where his troubles melt away like lemon drops.
David finally arrives at the location where Jason's fingers slip past his before getting swallowed up by the crowd. He looks over the crowd and doesn't see Jason anywhere. However, he sees the stampede of fans rushing back toward the arena. He follows the flow of the crowd, pushing and shoving fans out of his way. He almost trips over something and when he kneels down to remove the offending article, he sees Jason's torn red plaid shirt.
"Fuck." He mutters under his breath, picking up his pace as he charges after the fans.
It takes him seven minutes and fifty-nine seconds from the time Jason is stripped away from him to the time he gets to the boy and during those long excruciatingly painful seven minutes and fifty-nine seconds he sees his life without Jason by his side. At this moment, he realizes that Jason means the world to him. Jason's more than a kid brother. He's more than a best friend. He's more than a lover. He's the world to David. He crouches down before Jason and cringes upon seeing the damages inflicted on the boy. He runs his fingertips across once perfect skin, now marred with superficial scratches and painted with blotches of blacks and blues. He shakes the boy gently, but the boy is so far removed from reality that he continues to rock his body to "Somewhere Over the Rainbow".
"Jason!" David shrieks.
The boy remains unresponsive.
"Jason!" David shakes him, again, and the boy's body limps over like a rag doll. "Jason, baby, I'm right here." David gently slaps the boy's face, trying to break him out of his catatonic state. "Baby, look at me with those big blue eyes of yours. Jason, please. I can't lose you, not now. Not ever. Jason, please. I need you. Baby, please come back to me." David cries, pressing his lips to the boy's ruby red lips. "I love you." He breathes and releases the boy's lips.
A moment later, Jason blinks his eyes and a tear drop slips past his lid.
"David." He cries.
"Jason." David replies. "I'm here for you."
"I knew you'd come for me. I was waiting for you. I was waiting for so long. I'm sorry. I just couldn't wait any longer so I went away to my safe hiding spot."
"It's okay, Jason. I'm here now. So what do you say we get on that bus?"
Jason looks past David's shoulder, burying his face in his chest.
"There are so many people. I'm scared, David."
"Don't be. I'm right here for you. I won't let you go this time."
"Okay," Jason finally says, tightening his grip on David's arm.
David strips off his leather jacket and wraps the boy's naked chest with it. He focuses all his strength in his arms. His motivation is simple- get Jason safely back to the bus. He scoops up the boy and carries him in his arms past the screaming fans as they rush them. He cradles Jason's head against his chest, shielding him from further abuse. Halfway to their buses, Michael and a group of security guards finally meet them. Michael tries to lift the burden off David's shoulders and take Jason away, but David insists on keeping his boy. Michael steps away and guides his two best friends as the security guards trail behind them, squatting fans away. It takes another seven minutes and fifty-nine seconds to reach the safety of the boys' bus. Everyone rushes to Jason to check on the boy and David simply shakes his head, tightening his hold on the boy. Not too long ago, no one would come to the boy's aid and now everyone is concerned about the boy's safety. What kind of friends are they? David's utterly disgusted.
He carries the boy to the bunk area in the back of the bus. He kicks open the door and gently lowers the boy onto his bunkbed. He hesitates for a moment then he removes the boy's jeans and socks, leaving him in just his boxer-briefs. David gasps when he sees the extent of the inflammation to the boy's genitals. He feels the pain radiating from between the boy's legs. He slips the blanket full of daisies over the boy's trembling body. Jason relaxes in the comfort of his security blanket. David looks down into the boy's big blue eyes. He tucks the boy's curls behind his ear and smiles at him, rubbing his hand comfortingly. Jason returns the smile, leaning into David's touch. Jason's tears burn through his skin and David rises to his feet. David motions to leave when the boy latches onto his wrist.
"Don't leave me."
"I'm not going anywhere, Jason. I'm just going to get you a glass of water so you can take your Valium."
"I don't want..." The boy hiccups. "...don't need any medication."
"Please, don't be difficult, Jason," David chastises. He reaches under the bunk bed for the boy's suede bag. He rummages inside and retrieves the vial of the anxiolytic. He unscrews the cap and offers the boy the heartshaped pill. "Take the pill, Jase. You'll feel better. I promise."
The boy struggles to sit up. He shakes his head, closing his mouth. He grabs David's hand and closes his fist around David's hand.
"I don't need any medication," Jason shakes his head- his tears now streaming down his cheeks. "All I need is you, David." Jason tells him and kisses him on the lips.
David nods that he understands and returns the kiss.
"I'll never let you go, again." David vows.
"Promise? Pinky swear?"
"Pinky swear," David smiles at the boy and recaptures his lips, tossing the bottle of pills on the floor as he climbs onto top of the boy. "I, David Roland Cook, swear to never let you go, again. You mean the world to me, Jason. I love you, Jason Rene Castro."
"I love you, too, David Roland Cook."
Author's End Notes:
Okay, the cheese factor is uncomfortably high at the end of the story. I'm not much of fluff writer so hopefully the last scene was okay. This fic and my other fics can be found at Castrofics along with many great fics by some amazingly talented writers.