anything but ordinary -- 16

She moved around in the kitchen for as long as she could, ignoring the sound of him spitting into the cup.  This sick condition wasn't the mood that she wanted him to be in to explain this all to him.

"Wha?"  JC motioned towards the door.

"My mother and brother are here because a whole--"  she slid into the seat next to him.  "My mother and father are divorcing JC.  Or actually my mother left him."

"What?"

"They didn't have anywhere else to go," she said, "I know it's horrible and I shouldn't ask this of you, but they need a place to stay--"

"Fine."

"Honey you need to go see the doctor--"

"Don't."  He took a breath and held onto his throat.  "Change.  Subject."

"I'm sorry," she said and dipped her head.

He put his hand out and tapped his wedding band and looked at her.  He wanted to tell her that her father approved of her marrying him and that things were going to be ok, but after what she'd just said, he couldn't put that up for discussion right then.

She pulled hers out from where she was wearing on a necklace.  "I couldn't tell her Josh."  Her eyes avoided him.  "She and my father fought all this week and when she showed up at my hotel it wasn't the news that I could give her.  Her marriage, hell her life, has just fallen apart and I couldn't throw that at her."

"Zana."

"Please Josh.  Don't be mad at me.  You didn't see what happened last week."

"Not," he said.  He growled then popped an ice cube into his mouth.  "Not. Mad."

"I'll make it up to you," she said.

She watched him pop another ice cube into his mouth.

"You really should go and see the doctor.  You probably need antibiotics."

He nodded and popped another ice cube in his mouth then turned and spit it and some other spit into the other cup.  "Tea.  First."

"Do you feel ok other than your throat?" she asked.

He nodded.


[Later that night...]

For a moment she'd thought that he'd turned on the television accidentally and the strange retching noises were just a part of some horror movie that was playing in the middle of the night, but when her eyes opened she saw the light on in the bathroom.  She sat up and tried to figure out what was going on and it was then that she realized what had really woken her up.  She'd reached out in the middle of her sleep for JC and her hand had hit what had turned out to be a puddle of vomit, blood and puss.

Her hand shook at the thought of what the liquidy mess on her hand was.  She reached to turn on the light and screamed when she saw what was there.  The noise in the bathroom seemed to be settling down, but she could tell that he was in there still getting sick. "Josh!"

She wiped her hand on her shirt and jumped out of bed and ran to where she heard him throwing up.  Her pajama bottoms started to slip so as she rounded the corner her eyes were on the tie at her waist instead of looking into the room.  When she finally looked up she saw a very pale and very sick version of her husband hugging the toilet trying to keep the contents of what he was throwing up into the bowl.  It was a surreal scene, JC sitting on the floor in front of the bowl in a wife beater and sloppy boxers, his frame looking skinnier than his one hundred and ninety pounds.  It reminded her strangely and randomly of the scene from ET where Elliot and ET were in the bathroom being sick.  He had that same dazed look on his face as the two characters had and looked just as white.

"Jesus.  Josh!"

He turned his head and threw up what seemed like another stomach full of whatever.

When she came closer and looked inside the bowl all she saw was a greenish yellow mass of puss and the shocking red of blood.  Her brain kicked into overdrive and as much as she didn't want to say what was coming out, she knew that she needed to do it.  "I'm taking you to the ER."

"No," he croaked out.  He wiped his arm across his mouth and left a red streak there.  His eyes looked at the blood on his arm then he repeated his opinion, "No."

"Josh you're puking."  She moved to grab a towel from the railing next to him.  It was dampened in the spray in the sink then handed to him while she left the room, bringing back dark sweat pants and an orange sweatshirt for him.  "Over my dead body will you stay here like this.  I don't care how pissy you get with me.  I'm not letting you stay this way."

He pulled on the clothes just as BJ came into the room.  "What's going on?"

Up until then she'd forgotten that anyone else was in the house.  She knew that her brother would be the one to come out and see what was going on, while her mother probably would stay in bed, not sure where her place in all this was.

"JC is puking up puss and blood."  She held the sweatshirt out to JC.  When he didn't move to put it on, she moved around the material until she could get the material over his body despite him not wanting it on.  "I'm taking him to the ER."

JC chose that moment to emphasize the explanation with another retching motion into the toilet.

"Jesus," BJ said staring at him, "Where are the keys?"

She didn't look away from where JC was turning back again to sit on the floor.  She moved to hand him the sweat pants, but when he didn't move she started to put the legs over his feet so that he wasn't shaking  like he was.  "What?"

"Where are the keys?" BJ asked.  "I'm not letting you drive him out there.  You're gonna sit on that ER waiting room and go crazy if someone isn't there with you."

"Shit," Farzana said suddenly, "I need to call security."

"I'll get the keys and get the car started," BJ volunteered.  "You call security."

Farzana broke into action, feeling the adrenaline of the moment getting to her.  Watching him be sick wasn't what had scared her.  She knew he'd be fine eventually, but the site of blood on his pillowcase and the weak state that he was now in frightened her.  She'd said it a million times before but she really didn't have a clue what she'd do without him.  If he were taken away from her she seriously would have a hard time going on without him.

The phone was pressed to her ear as she pulled on clothes for herself.  "TC?"

"What time is it?"

"TC, It's Farzana..."  She almost said her married name, but knew that she couldn't.  "Farzana Jabbar?" She started to shake then went back to check on JC.  "TC, Josh is sick and I'm taking him to Cedar Sinai.  I need someone down there with us just in case word gets out."

"Is he ok?" TC asked sleepily.  She could already hear him moving around in his house getting dressed.

She moved out of the bathroom as JC stumbled into the bedroom.

"He's got a really sore throat and starting puking up blood."  She watched him stumble on the carpet.  "It's probably strep or something not that serious, but for the moment I think that he needs a doctor."

"Puking up blood?"

"Yeah," she said.  She moved over towards JC and pointed towards the bed.  He went and sat down and she got him a pair of shoes and some socks.

"I'll be on the road in about five minutes."  His serious tone made her feel better.  She might be JC's wife, but at that moment she wasn't sure if she could handle that responsibility on her own.  "Call me when you get there.  I should make it there before you."

She sighed.  "Thanks TC."

"No problem girly.  Stay calm.  I'm sure he'll be ok.  I'll call the guys and see about getting someone from your crew out this way."

Before she hung up the phone she forced herself to smile, "Thanks TC."


When they got to the ER it was fairly crowded.  He didn't know why so many people would be in the ER in the middle of the night, but didn't have much time to decide about it.  TC already had been in and ushered them into a smaller waiting room down the hallway where the nurse took his stats immediately then showed them to a room.  At this point JC wasn't throwing up.  He'd woken up coughing up blood and after sitting over the toilet for a good twenty minutes his stomach was now void of the mucus and puss that had settled in his stomach earlier on in the evening.

"You ok?" she asked.

He shook his head and closed his eyes.  He was freezing now, his body feeling now as if he'd been on tour for a year straight without enough sleep and not enough time to eat.  His teeth began to chatter and when he opened his eyes he saw the fear finally break through to Farzana's eyes.  He put his hand out to her from where they'd put him into a hospital bed and he sat up so that he could curl his arms around.  He hugged her and looked into her eyes hoping that she could see that he was really ok.

She got that soft look in her eyes, that sympathy that only she could have for him.  "Are you cold?"

He nodded his head and licked his lips and leaned back as a cough formed in his throat.  He was getting upset now at the fact that his throat wouldn't stop itching and that his hands wouldn't stop shaking.

"Are you gonna puke again?" she asked roughly.

He nodded and pushed passed her to move across to the small sink in the room and spit into the sink.  He put his hands against the sink to hold himself up and took a deep breath as he spit again.  It was the worst feeling in the world to be like this and even harder on him to know that she was standing there watching it happen.

He felt her hand on his back trying to smooth away the tension there, which on the one hand made him feel a million times better, but on the other hand annoyed him.  He just wanted his throat to stop swelling up and his body to relax and sleep to come to him.

The knock at the door startled him.  When he looked up the doctor looked a little more than concerned.

"Mr. Chavez."  The doctor said walking into the room. "I hear that you're having a throat problem."

"Chasez," Farzana corrected him.

"Sorry," the doctor said looking down at the papers in his hand.  "I'm sorry about that.  It's been a long night."

"It's ok," Farzana said.

"Now what seems to be the problem?" he said looking at the chart.  "You've throwing up some blood?"

Farzana folded her arms across her chest.  "He had a sore throat earlier today and then I woke up tonight to find him puking up blood."

The doctor turned towards her with a strange look on his face.  "And you are?"

"Farzana," she said.

He gave her a blank expression.  "Girlfriend?"

"Wife," she said.

JC turned his head to her and took a deep breath.  He didn't want word to get out that they were married.  Not because it was something to be ashamed about, but if his parents found out before he told them they would kill him.

"Joshua why don't we have you sit down and I'll take a look at your throat and then see if we can figure out how to get you feeling better."

JC spit one last time then took some water into his mouth and swished then shuffled back to the bed across the room and hoisted himself up onto the bed again.  When he was sitting down the doctor came over towards him to check out his throat.

It wasn't just the rough way the doctor was trying to get an angle on his mouth a moment later with a tongue depressor and the light, but it was the scratchy wood of the depressor that was causing him to gag.

"Are you sure that he's ok?" she asked.

"It looks like strep," he said, "I'll run some tests to be sure, but I have a feeling that's why his throat has become so irritated."

"What about the blood?" she asked.

"Are you a smoker Mr. Chasez?" he asked.

He looked at Farzana and could already hear a lecture coming on.

"Not a heavy one.  He probably smokes about a whole pack in like a month," she said.

"That may have caused the skin in his throat to be more sensitive."  He started to write something on the papers of JC's records.  "I'm going to have one of the nurses get a throat culture done for you and we'll be giving you an IV so that we can keep you hydrated.  I'm expecting that you haven't been eating."

"He's had water and some soup, but probably only one meal since last night."

He scribbled again on the papers.  "I'll get a rush on those tests."

"Please check him for everything that it might be.  He's a singer and--"

"Mrs. Chasez--"

JC had never heard anyone call her that outside of The Keys and he could see the shock in her eyes as the name left the man's eyes.

"I'll have everything put into a rush and I'll add antibiotics to the IV to make sure that we catch this and don't have to wait until the results are back."

"IV?" JC croaked as he watched the people in front of him making decisions for him.  He lay back on the bed as a wave of nausia came over him.  "NO."

"Josh you have to," she said.

The doctor looked at both of them with a confused look on his face.  "What's the problem?"

"He's afraid of needles," she said, "He's--"

"I'll make sure that it's quick and painless and speaking of pain--"  The doctor came over and looked down at him.  "I'll be giving you a dose of anti inflammatory and pain relief with your IV so that your throat won't bother you as much."

JC nodded that he didn't want it.  "NO."

"Josh--"  She scolded him then turned towards the doctor.  "He'll be fine."  She turned back to him.  "You're getting this IV," she said, "I'm not gonna let you lose--"  A sob caught in her throat.  "I'm not letting your voice get ruined because of some needle phobia."


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