Staring Down The Sun -- Nine


Jack started to fuss in her arms.  That day had been a long one, but the idea of Jack being this upset over having to be good wasn't something that she'd thought she'd have to deal with.  Normally he was a good little boy, but today he'd gotten it in his head that he was going to misbehave.  She looked across the set to where Justin and Tegan were standing with the director.  She hoped that they'd be able to get this scene done so that she could go out to the camper that they'd gotten for the day and put Jack down for a nap.

"Honey, be careful," she said as he wiggled more in her arms.  He'd been leaning against her and for a while she thought he'd fallen asleep, but now he was more active than he'd been all day.

"Daddy," he said and started to lean away from her body, throwing her off balance.

She was afraid that the both of them would end up on the floor if he didn't stop what he was doing, so she started to bounce a little to see if the movement would calm him down or scare him a bit about falling and make him stop moving.

She'd been holding him for a while as they watched the video crew running around.  Tegan's part was very small, but it was amazing that she hadn't remembered that even a small part was complicated in a production like this.

He was on the verge of tears.  She could hear it in his voice.  This only meant one thing.  She was going to have to leave soon and as much as she'd like to be in the camper/dressing room, she wasn't wanting to miss Tegan's performance.

Meredith almost dropped him, but caught him under the butt and held him close as he leaned away from her.  "Justin Randall Timberlake Junior," Meredith said harshly, "What is wrong with you today?"

"Wurk," he said and wiggled again.  "Wurk.  Wurk."

"What?"

"Wuu-rrkk," he whined loudly.

It caught Justin's attention and he waved Meredith over to them.

"What's up big guy?" he asked taking Jack from her arms when she got over to him.

"Wurk," he said and wiggled again.

"Hey now," Justin said, "Calm down there big guy."  He held him for a minute.  "I think it's nap time for someone."

"No."  Jack spoke forcefully.  "No. Nap.  Wurk!"

"You want to work?" the director asked.

"Wurk," Jack said shyly and leaned against his dad shoving his thumb into his mouth.

"Can Jack work daddy?" Tegan asked standing on her tiptoes to try to touch Justin's arm that was curled up under Jack's bottom.

"What's he gonna do sweetie?" Meredith asked moving her arms across her chest and stretching her back a little now that the baby wasn't in her arms.

"He can be an assistant," Tegan said.

"Who's assistant?" Justin asked.

"Mines," she said with a simple nod, "I gots stuff he can do."

"Really?"

Tegan pulled on Justin's pocket.

"Let me go check on the dancers," the producer said, "I'll be back in five."

Justin nodded.

"Can Jack play with me?" Tegan asked.

Justin looked at her.  "You have to be careful around here," Justin said, "There's a lot of stuff that you can get hurt on."

Tegan rolled her eyes at her father.  "I know."

Justin put Jack down and Tegan immediately took her brother's hand and started to pull him over to the little area where all the director's chairs and a few smaller chairs were set up next to a small catering table.

Meredith moved to follow them to make sure that they didn't get into trouble and Justin caught her arm.  "Stay here for a second.  I want to see what she's gonna do."

True to her word, Tegan was putting her brother to work.

"If you're gonna be like Uncle Trayce you gots to hold stuff for me."  She looked around a moment as if she was trying to make up something for him to hold then unzipped her jacket and pulled it off.  "Put out your arms."  She motioned to him the way she wanted to stand, looking like a zombie with her arms out in front of her trying to get him to do the same thing.  When he'd moved his arms, she then threw the jacket over his outstretched arms and nodded at him.  "Don't drop it."

"Oh my god," Meredith said watching her children interact.

"Come on," she said and started to walk towards the smaller chairs.

Jack followed along doing a horrible job of trying to balance the jacket in his tiny arms.  He stepped on one edge and almost tripped, but when he got over to the chairs Tegan took back her jacket.

"You gots to sit in the director's chair.  She looked at the bigger ones, "But Momma says they are too big so we gots to sit in the tiny chairs.  Only daddy and the dancers sit in the big chairs."

When Jack didn't move from where he was standing she put her hands on his shoulders and turned him so his back was towards the chair then pushed him backwards until he got near the chairs before she tried to lift him up and make him sit in one of them.  The chair was on concrete though and as she tried to lift him, it would hit against him and scoot back.

Marty suddenly appeared at their side and looked down at them.  Meredith figured that he didn't see her and Justin watching them and was being over protective.  "Do you need some help?"

"Jack won't go on the chair," she said.

"Why don't I lift him up there?" Marty asked moving to lift Jack before she could say her answer.

"Ok Uncle Marty," she said and stepped back so Jack could be lifted up to the chair.

The director returned to where Justin and Meredith were standing and looked over at Tegan.  "Is she gonna be able to do maybe two more run throughs?" The director asked this while looking at his watch.

"Sure," Justin said, "Then we should stop for lunch or at least have her stop for lunch."

"Sounds good," he said.

Justin walked over to where Tegan was and collected her up.

"We've gotta get back to work.  You too Marty," Justin said with a playful tone.  He looked at Jack.  "What are you up to big guy?"

"Wurkin'," he said squaring his shoulders as if Tegan's jacket was the most important job that someone on the set would have.

"Well I think you're doing a great job kiddo," Justin ruffled his hair.  "Right Marty?"

"Definitely the best job I've seen," Marty said with a smirk on his face.

"Honey, grab your jacket so we can go film again," Justin said again.

"K," she said and reached for the jacket.

Jack didn't want to let it go, so Justin grabbed up a bottled water.  "You should take a break Jack.  You've been working hard."  He gave him the water.  "Sit here and then when we're done you can hold Tegan's jacket for her again."

"Wurk," Jack said looking up at them as they exchanged the jacket for the bottled water.  He held the bottle carefully.

"That's right," Justin said, "You're wurking.  And Tegan and I have to go back to work with Marty."

"Momma?" Jack called out and Meredith walked over still in shock about the way that Tegan had been so nice with her little brother.  There were times that the two were at each other's throats, but for the most part lately they'd been really good.

Meredith took a seat next to Jack as everyone else moved back over to the set to work.  "What are you up to big guy?" she asked.

"Wurkin'."  He practically hummed with excitement as the next shot was being set up.  At this angle they had a better look at the set and with him content to play at working she found herself more relaxed than she'd been earlier in the day.


"Last set up  for the kitchen!"

A sigh escaped his lips and he moved his hand to scratch his forehead before looking around at the people behind the cameras as a lighting technician came up and checked the light once more.  He tapped the red sharpie marker in his hand against the table he was sitting at.  Justin was never more glad to hear the words "last" anything in his life.  It had been a long morning and after Tegan had been given a break for lunch he'd gotten down to business of filming some random close up shots that they needed for filler.

"You ok?" someone asked.

He squinted against the lights in his face.  "Yeah.  I hope that this shot turns out like we want it."

"Almost done," someone else said and soon the director was coming around to give him a look before they started filming that last scene.  He was sitting at a table in a fake kitchen with a newspaper in front of him as if he was looking through the wanted ads.

Worthy of had now morphed into so much more than he'd written it as.  It was going to turn into a mini movie at this rate though.  They'd been going at it since before dawn and they still had one more scene to film before he could head out for the night.

There was a popping noise and one of the lights on the right side of the stage blew out.

"Shit!"

Justin looked up as three people went scurrying towards the light and he took a breath.

"Hold tight for a second Justin," the director said with a nervous laugh.

Justin flipped the paper over and scanned the page hoping that they'd given him the sports section.  He hadn't really been looking at more than just what was in front of him.  They were supposedly going to have him circle job ads in the next set of shots.

His eyes scanned across the page, careful not to rip or bend the paper in any strange manner until his eyes hit on an article that was about him.  It was ironic to be filming him looking for a job when clearly he wasn't looking for work at the moment.

His eyes scanned the article until he came to a part that mentioned Jack and him in the parking lot the day before.  He flipped the paper back again and looked at the date.  It was that morning's paper.  He let out a swear word out from under his breath and turned back to the article.

"Sources close to Timberlake say that his marriage may be on the rocks.  He was scene shopping with his daughter and no wife with him--"

"Fucking son of a bitches!" Justin found himself shouting out loud and looked up to find fifteen people staring at him with wide eyes.  His outburst wasn't the worst thing in the world, but at the same time, everything had been running basically on schedule that day and no one had taken to swearing during the shoot.

"You ok?" the director came up to him looking down at him in a fatherly way.

Justin nodded and let his eyes scan the paper again.  "Who the hell got this paper for the shoot?"

"One of the interns," the director said.

"You might want to tell them next time to NOT have an article about the person you're working with be in the paper that is in the scene,"  He held up the article.

"Timberlake single?" the director read the bold print then looked at him with a concerned face.  "You aren't--"

"NO!" Jusitn said, "Would she be here with my--our two kids if I was?"

The director shrugged,  "Stranger things have happened."

"Can we get the hell out of here?"

"One more--"

"You know what?" he said and pushed his chair back.  "Since you need to fix that light anyway I'm going to go out and talk to my wife--"


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