I Get By With A Little Help
Notes: Okay, for those who don’t watch the show here’s a recap. The story starts out with Kitty’s birthday/William’s death. Kitty helps Robert in his campaign to become President. Sarah and Tommy both work for the family company that their father started. Sarah for Ojai Foods and Tommy for the Walker Landing Wine. Tommy has a wife that had twins, but the baby boy died and now his wife is all depressed and taking it out on Tommy by taking the baby girl and heading over to her parent’s to ‘think things over’. Tommy has an affair with his office manager and his Uncle Sal, who also works at the company, has taken notice. Kevin is a lawyer, gay, and dating Robert’s brother, Jason. Justin, the youngest Walker, is a soldier and has returned home with a knee injury. He is a recovered drug addict, so his pain meds are monitored by Nora. However, he got his hands on someone else’s pills during his therapy sessions and then got himself a dealer as he began to heal. Rebecca- William’s illegitimate daughter, whose now living in the Walker household- is suspicious.
In this particular episode, the family (minus Tommy) makes an intervention. Finally, Justin has no other option than to admit that he has a problem. Him and Nora then conclude that he can and should detox at home instead of going to a rehab center. Kitty and Kevin think that’s crazy but in the end they get convinced. Sarah , Kitty and Nora make themselves comfortable (and Justin uncomfortable) by watching him constantly, saying that they have nothing better to do and don’t mind. Meanwhile, Kevin and Saul are going through Justin’s room and bathroom to make sure that it’s safe for Justin to go back in there. Tommy finally arrives after Saul called him (he was at Lena’s, his secretary, not conducting business) and now he and Kevin are watching over Justin as Sarah, Kitty, and Nora are in the kitchen talking. Saul’s gone because Kevin got him mad.
Justin is a Mommy’s boy, which so helps Nora’s mothering habit. Which is where this basically starts. He has passed through life being babied.
I Get By With A Little Help
Justin is in the bathroom, puking his insides out as Tommy and Kevin argue in his room. He's kneeling on the floor, leaning his head on the closed lid of the toilet. Funny, after going through the whole rehab things once and seeing others around him while at the center suffer through it, he had still gone ahead and gotten drugged up.
What in the world was he thinking?!
But one thing was for sure, he preferred being on the drugs than getting off of them.
He needed to get the hell out.
Getting up, and groaning as he stood back onto his own two feet, Justin decided that it was worth a shot.
He made slow progress to the door, opening it slowly and walking out. Tommy and Kevin were both sitting on his bed, probably talking something over that he could really care less about at the moment.
"Hey! You feeling any better?" Tommy asked him as he closed the door behind him. He hoped that Justin hadn't caught onto their conversation because that was just way too many troubles for one same moment.
"No," groaned Justin, walking over a little faster towards his bed.
"Wanna lay down?" Kevin asked him, noticing how much more ragged his little brother looked.
"No, I can't."
"Why not?" asked Tommy, now sensing that something was up. Especially since Justin had spent most of the day in bed, even refusing Tommy's challenge of `basket' ball.
"I just can't!" replied Justin, breathing heavier than he had been and stopping between Kevin and the door.
"It's okay," Kevin told him, standing up beside him and reaching out a hand towards him. Tommy too stood and started to walk over to them. "Let's just chill out and-
"Look, don't touch me," Justin quickly said, shoving Kevin's hand aside and taking a step back. He placed his hands up as if needing the defense and space from his brother. "Okay? I'm not kidding."
"Okay," replied quickly, holding his hands up and away trying to look as little intimidating as possible. Not that he considered himself such, but he wasn't willing to risk hurting Justin in any way. "Calm down. Everything's fine," he added, both to Justin and himself. Last thing Kevin needed right now was for Justin to freak out because he really didn't have the strengths to control him.
"I…I can't do this," Justin told them quickly. Then, he twisted around to his right, opened the door and left.
"Jus!" Tommy called out to him, coming faster around the bed. "Where's he going? Justin!"
"Justin!" Kevin called out to him, following Tommy out of the door.
Justin ignored both of his brother's calls. He didn't need to look at them to know what they wanted. He couldn't just turn back and stop. He needed to get the hell out of there, out of the house and away from his family.
He dashed down the hall, ignoring both his knee pain and everything else only concentrating on getting away from his brothers and out of the house.
Limping down the stairs, Justin heard his brothers reach the top of the stairs as he neared the bottom.
"Justin what are you doing?" Tommy asked him, making an easier journey down the stairs than it was taking his baby brother. He managed to reach the bottom just as Justin did.
Making certain not to touch him just yet, Tommy got right in front of him, not allowing him passage to the front door.
"Look, just calm calm down. You're not going anywhere."
Kevin reached the bottom of the steps. He stood behind Justin, listening to what Tommy was trying to tell his other brother.
"Just let me out of the house," Justin tried to reason with his oldest brother. "Okay?"
"It's not going to happen," Tommy told him, standing firmly in place and looking his brother dead in the eye. His brother must be crazier than he thought if he imagined than line of thought ever working for him.
"Agh!" Justin groaned at him. What was it with his family and never understanding him?
Next best thing to the front door was the back door. So, once again turning to his right, Justin by passed his brothers' barricade and made for the other exit.
"Don't make me shot you in the back!" Kevin called out to him, hoping that his brother would just stop and he wouldn't have to chase him.
Tommy, for his part, figured that reasoning was beyond Justin at the moment. He turned away and headed for the other entrance to the kitchen.
"Justin!" called Kevin, getting more than just a bit irritated. "This is ridiculous," he groaned to Tommy, watching him turn away. "Where do you think you're gonna go? Justin!"
In the kitchen, Sarah, Nora, and Kitty hear Kevin's annoyed yell. They turn to see what the problem is.
"Justin!" screamed Kevin, seeing how Justin was trying to pick up his pace and get away from him. "Tommy!" Kevin called out, wanting, and desperately needing, reinforcements. "Tommy! Justin, stop it!"
Without Justin's limp, Tommy's able to make it that much faster over to the kitchen. Ignoring the woman, he tried to step in-between his brother and the door once again.
"I can't breath!" Justin started to rant.
Tommy, grabbing his brother around the shoulders, pushed him back and away from the door. Justin of course fights him all the way.
"Let me go, just let me go," he whimpered to Tommy, hating to be restrained but not strong enough to get out of his brother's hold.
"What's happening!" Nora asked them, worried beyond words. She looked at the sight before her, her baby boy looking so far worse for wear.
Putting down her knitting, Sarah stands besides her mother, looking her brothers over.
"I can't breath!" Justin kept repeating.
"Shh! Justin, calm down," Kevin told him, in his `Everything's going to be okay if you just work this with me' voice along with his `don't mess with me!' face. Tommy, now standing behind Justin and keeping his arms tightly around the wriggling form, made it easier for Kevin to get directly into Justin's face.
Justin closed his eyes, not wanting to have to see anyone or anything. He just wanted out, and out now.
"Just let me go, let me go!"
"Stop it!" Nora told them, looking over Kevin's shoulder to Justin's frailing form. "You're hurting him!"
"Mom! I can't breath! I can't!"
"He's fine," Kevin tossed over his shoulder, hoping his mother wouldn't cut in. knowing her, she'd lead him out the door and hand him a flashlight or something,
"I can't breath! I can't breath!"
Sarah and Kitty stand to the boy's other side, watching them and not knowing what to do. Both strong woman and equal competitors in their work, they are not used to feeling so helpless.
"What's going on?"
"Mom!" Sarah called out to her, knowing that where Nora was concerned, it was rarely a helpful asset.
"He can't breath, Tommy!" Nora told them all, not wanting to see her baby in pain and wanting to blame someone else for it.
Kevin sighed, taking a step away from Justin. He couldn't have both him and his mother telling him one thing while he was trying to get them back upstairs and way from the doors.
"He's fine!" Kevin said to his mother, knowing it wouldn't do much good anymore.
"He can't breath! There's something wrong with him!" she said instead.
"It's that his drug dealer just called, Mom," Tommy told her, not letting go of Justin even a little. "That's what's wrong."
"No! That's not it! That's not it!" said Justin trying to get away again and hating that Tommy had full advantage. "Let me go!"
Tommy finally allowed him some space, maintaining his hold on his brother's arms instead of around his whole body.
"Mom," Justin said, turning to her, knowing that she had never failed to provide him anything that he wanted. "Look Mom, I swear, I need to go outside. For a couple of minutes, I just want to go outside. I can't breath, okay?"
As his siblings watch him, they hope that their mother won't fall for it. They'd all been working so hard all day, and the last time, knowing that the worst was just around the corner. They really hoped that she wouldn't undo all the hard work that they were all doing. That Justin would have to do.
"I'll be right back in, I promise," Justin continued, hoping - unlike his brothers and sisters- that with each word his mother was coming to his aid as she always did. "I just can't breath."
Tommy rolled his eyes. His littliest brother could really put on a show and their mom always proved to be a willing audience.
"Mom," he said as sternly as he could over Justin's raspy breathing. "Don't."
Nora looked between her sons. She was stuck between knowing what to do. She knew that Justin was having troubles, but she also knew that he couldn't leave. Maybe some air wouldn't be so bad for him, but then why would all her children be against it? They all just wanted what was in Justin's best interest. But, the question was did Justin want, or even know, what was in his best interest?
"Mom, please," Justin added, hoping she'd ally with him. He gave her his most pitiful look, not that his very appearance at the moment wasn't pitiful enough. "Please."
Nora's very heart was torn. She couldn't say no, she just couldn't. But, she needed to be strong, for Justin. She needed what William had always provided her, them all, with, a clear passage and set forth determination. She needed to do right by her husband and her baby boy.
"Mom," Sarah called out, seeing the indecision on Nora's face.
Nora started to walk around Justin and Tommy towards the door, not yet certain what she was going to do.
"Mom!" Kitty called to her, watching her move closer to Justin's escape. Besides her, Sarah sighed. Kitty closed her eyes, trying to think quickly of a way to stop their mother.
"Mom," Sarah called out one more time in disbelief, not that she was at all surprised.
"Mom," Tommy said to her, sounding somewhere between pleading and irritated.
Nora walked right over to the door. The shade was half down, covering their lovely backyard. The night obscured what in all she knew by heart was out their. The porch where Paige and Cooper played, where her children had too played, where one day baby Elizabeth would play but William Jr would never get to see. The backyard where her beloved William had breathed his last breathe before plummeting to his death. William, how she needed his strength and firmness now.
She was the caregiver, the loving mother who knew you could do no wrong. He was the strong one, the one that helped the children pull through all of their troubles and had made them the confident young man and woman that they were now. But which did Justin need now?
"Mom," Kevin called out to her, hoping his calm tone would somehow seep into her.
And it did, at least unconsciously, because Nora Walker shocked herself as she firmly locked the door and turned around her back not just to the door but to the life she was letting Justin led. This could not go on.
"Stop it!" she said to Justin, just about shocking all five of her children.
Sending Justin a firm glare, she watched the look of confusion and disbelief cross his young features.
"You're not going anywhere," she said, just to be clear. He wasn't leaving, because there was nowhere for him to go to.
She was no William Walker, but she damn well wouldn't let her children taking a flying leap out of life, with her help nonetheless.
"Kitty, call the doctor, please." the Walker matriarch said, turning away from Justin to look directly at her daughter. She gathered her strength at her daughter's nod, watching as she grabbed the landline and left to make the call.
Kitty spared a glance at Sarah, both truly in disbelief but glad that their mom was finally seeing reason, taking charge where Justin was involved.
Turning back to Justin, Nora continued to dictate how it was going to go, because there was no turning back for a Walker.
"You are going back upstairs with your brothers. Tommy," she said, glancing just over Justin's shoulder where Tommy still stood, "Kevin. Take him back upstairs."
Justin was speechless. He couldn't believe that hadn't worked. That'd always worked.
"Come on," Kevin whispered as he came behind Justin and patted his shoulder.
Justin, gazed fixed for a moment on his mother, didn't move from the touch. He glanced over to Tommy, taking a step back from the door, and then back at his mom. He was waiting for her to change her mind. For her to say anything, but she just fixed him with a set look, though crushed and loving unwavering in it's decision.
Kevin and Tommy now led a much more complacent Justin out of the kitchen. Sarah offered him a soft smile as they passed her. Looking on in disbelief, however, she watched them leave and looked over to Nora, catching her misty look of concern.
Nora blinked back the tears, sighing and straightening herself up, as if still coming to terms with what she'd just done.
Sarah walked over to her mother.
"Mom?" she asked, not sure if she should ask such an obviously stupid question if she was okay.
Nora looked over to her and then just leaning into her. Sarah responded and they both hugged each other, listening as the boys' steps headed further away and then higher up the stairs.
"You did good," Sarah told her, proud of her mother for being strong and hoping that upstairs, Tommy and Kevin would know what to do.
Nora nodded, glancing over to the opening where her sons had just stood seconds ago. She knew Sarah was right and she was sticking to her guns on this, but she still felt like she'd hurt her baby somehow and it would take a little longer for her to come to terms with it.
Kitty came back, grabbing a notepad and then they were all back in business, taking notes and talking with the doctor. They took strength from each other and knew that the boys would have to do the same. In the end, as they hung up with the doctor, none of their eyes were dry and they easily went to each other for one big hug.
Together, they would have to help Justin through this. They could do it. They had to.
As Justin reached his bedroom, he was beginning to start to come out of his shock. He cant believe that his mother did that to him.
Ever since rehab everyone had been starting to treat him like an adult. It was nice not always being the `baby'. But, the one constant had been that his mother hadn't ever changed. Heck, after his second tour overseas, he could say that she was getting worse.
Where the heck did this Nora come from?
"Come on, Justin, let's get you to bed," Kevin said, opening the door and walking over to the bed.
Tommy continued to walk Justin over to the bed, glad that he wasn't resisting any longer. It would go a lot easier on everyone, especially Justin, if everything went a little more smoothly.
But, as per Walker code, nothing could ever go calmly.
"I'm fine," stammered Justin, twisting out from under Tommy's hold. "You guys can go."
Kevin looked back from where he was fixing the bed covers.
"Go! Leave!" Justin repeated, no longer wanting to be around them and wanting to be left alone.
"We're not going anywhere," Tommy old him, closing the door firmly locking themselves all in.
"I get it, okay! I can't leave. But I don't want you here anymore."
"Doesn't matter," Tommy said, going to stand besides Justin. "Get in bed, Justin. Get in bed, go to sleep, and maybe you can sleep the worse of this off."
"Worse?" uttered Kevin to himself. How could this get worse?
"You know what, Tommy, I don't need you!" Justin told him, shoving hi brother back and starting to head to the bathroom. At least there, he could be alone.
"You're not walking away from this, Justin!" Tommy told him, letting him go to the bathroom, but making certain that he knew they weren't leaving, whether he liked it or not.
"Yeah! And leave the door open!" Kevin added, thinking that having Justin locked in there wouldn't be any better than him going outside.
"Screw you, Kevin!" Justin said as he slammed the door shut.
Kevin's jaw dropped at the immaturity of his brother. Resisting the urge to yell out how much of a Jerk! he was acting like, he just turned back around, fixing the bed and plotting on suffocating the ingrate as soon as he reappeared.
" I'm going to kick his ass," Tommy said, looking at the closed door.
"Stand in line," Kevin said, punch at Justin's pillow and defluffying it some.
Tommy groaned, bringing his hands up to his head and finally walking away from guarding the bedroom door.
"I can't believe him! How can he do this all again?"
Kevin looked up and watched Tommy pace for a while. Then he walked to the foot of Justin's bed and sat down.
"I wish Dad was here," he sighed. Flopping backwards onto the bed, he covered his face with his arms, wishing for all the world that the day could be over and done with already. "He'd know what to do."
"Do what, Kevin?" Tommy asked, stopping in his pacing in front of him. "What could he possibly do? We're all here for him, isn't that enough? No! He's just got to go and make things worse. He was supposed to be getting better!"
Once again pacing, Tommy kicked at the wastebasket that just minutes before they, well he'd, been playing with. That seemed like light years and half a mind away.
"Dad would talk to him. He'd get him to see how stupid he's been," Kevin muttered, not bothering to move.
Slumping down on the armchair besides Justin's bed, Tommy actually thought his brother's words over. What would the great William Walker do?
Tommy had always looked up to his father. His older sisters were overachievers and he had always felt like he lived in their shadows. But when he had started working at the vineyard, he started to see what kind of man his father really was. To start a business and run it from the ground up was in itself a high merit. Doing all of that while raising a family was downright idol worthy.
William was a strong, determined man and a great father. But he had also spent close to two decades lying about an affair and his half-sister.
But did that change what William had always meant to him? Could he still trust in what his father had taught him through his actions?
"When's he coming out!"
Startled out of his thoughts, Tommy looked over to Kevin, glanced at the clock and noted that a good ten minutes had past. And there hadn't been any sounds from the bathroom, proving that Justin was just being a hardass.
Now was not the time to think about his father.
"God, what's he doing?! Oh, eww, I'm not going in there," Kevin said quickly, looking at Tommy and indicating that he better get Justin out.
Tommy stood, not all too surprised that Kevin wasn't volunteering. He walked purposely to the bathroom door and knocked on it.
"Justin! Come out!"
No response, but after his little display, that was no real surprise. Trying the doorknob, no surprise that it was locked.
"Justin! Unlock this door and get out here! Now!"
"I don't think he's coming out," Kevin said, standing up and walking over to Tommy. "You know, that'd be so much funnier if this was a closet."
Tommy gave Kevin a look, causing Kev to shrug.
"Justin!" Tommy yelled at the closed door, knocking harshly on it.
But there was no reply and he doubted that it would any time soon. For someone that wanted to act and be treated like an adult, he acted so childish!
"Kevin, go find the master key and bring it."
"Master key?" Kevin asked looking at the locked door. "I didn't even know we had one of those."
"Yeah, don't you remember. When the girls would lock themselves in somewhere and refused to come out? Dad made a master key to all the doors. It's probably in his drawers. You go look for it, I doubt we'll be going anywhere."
"I forgot about that! Man, that would have come in handy in the past," Kevin said, shaking his head and going to look for it.
When Kevin came back with the key, Tommy took it and quickly had the bathroom door opened. Quickly, the two brothers headed inside to find their little brother in the middle of heaving into the porcelain god.
Kevin kneeled down besides Justin, rubbing his back and holding him so that he wouldn't cave head first into the toilet bowl. He buried his own face at the base of Justin's neck, because if hearing it wasn't bad enough, seeing the process was.
Tommy got a hand towel wet and then, once Justin had finished puking again, cleaned him up and helped both Justin and Kev to stand.
"You alright, Just?" Kevin asked him, holding him in a half hug.
Justin, hugging his stomach tightly and feeling himself in the middle of the shakes, nodded. He felt kind of crummy, and not just because he'd been throwing out anything and everything that seemed to have entered his stomach in the past few days. He knew that he was being kind of an ass to his brothers and he really was thankful of their taking care of him. It was just easier to be mad at them at the moment than at himself.
"Get him back in bed," Tommy told Kevin. Then, looking pointedly at his littlest brother he added, "and you better not fight him!"
Justin cringed, but didn't say anything. He allowed Kevin to steer him to the bed and settle him into it once more.
Moments later, Tommy brought him a glass of water and he quietly drank as much as he could in small sips just like he was instructed.
A few minutes later and everything seemed like it was calming down. Until Kevin suggested that he get some sleep.
"Its not even seven yet, Kev. I'm fine."
"If this is your idea of `fine', then your screwed up further than I can help you."
"Ha ha," replied Justin sarcastically, shooting his brother an annoyed glare.
"Do as Kevin said," Tommy sternly added, looking up from the magazine he was reading.
"Oh, yes sir," Justin said, adding a mock salute at the end. Then he scoffed and looked away from them both. "I don't need a bedtime on top of fucking babysitters," he muttered.
Kevin opened his mouth to tell his brother off, but was cut off by Tommy purposely standing up.
"You know what?! I've just about had it with your damn attitude, Justin! We're here to help you, okay? You've screwed up, again, and we're trying to get you back on track. None of us have to be here!"
"Good! Then leave already!"
"It's not that easy," Kevin said, crossing his arms over his chest and giving Justin a look that clearly communicate how that particular movement was not happening.
"Yeah, it is. There's the door, you know the way."
"Just shut the hell up, Justin!" Tommy said, fisting his hands so as to not strangle his brother.
"If you don't want to hear me, then you can go!"
And that did sound great to Tommy, but that was not an option. He wasn't turning his back on his brother. Especially since he was proving how much he really did need them. In reality, he was probably just testing them. And Tommy was about one sarcastic, asshat of a comment away from taking care of that.
"Go to sleep Justin," he said through gritted teeth.
"Go to hell, Tommy," he returned.
And there it was, the statement he was waiting for.
Tommy walked over to the bed, where Justin was sitting, leaning back against the headboard. He grabbed at Justin's arm and tugged him closer to look menacingly down at him.
"This is your very last chance, Justin. Settle down, and go to sleep. I mean it."
Justin was a little startled by his brother's actions. Ever since they'd been kids, his brother had looked out for him, taken care of him. All his siblings had. As they baby, it just came natural.
The hostility, though it was sometimes voiced, was new towards him.
"Tommy get off!" he growled, tugging at his arm.
"Get in bed, Justin," was his brother's reply, clearly stating that he wasn't going to be messing around anymore.
But, apparently Justin hadn't hear it like that.
"I am in bed, you ass! Now you can leave happy!"
"Want me to leave happy?" Tommy asked, slightly releasing the arm but keeping a killer look pierced on his brother.
Justin, not sure how to reply to that, shrugged.
"That's be nice," he said.
Tommy shook his head.
"What would be nice, would be if you stopped acting like a spoiled little kid and started to man up! But, clearly you're not up for that yet."
And with that said, Tommy surprised both Justin and Kevin (and himself a little too) by sitting down and pulling Justin facedown over his lap.
"Whoa!" Kevin said, taking a step back. "Tommy?"
"Get off me! What do you think you're doing!? Justin shrieked trying to push himself up but finding that Tommy's hold around his waist wouldn't allow it.
"What needs to be done. You want to act like a brat? Fine, you'll get treated like one. And this is what happens to brats!"
"You can't seriously think of, of spanking me?! Tommy!"
"Thinking and doing, little brother."
"Did I miss something here?" Kevin asked, shocked stupid into a statute like form.
"Unless you can think of some other way to address his hardheaded, stubbornness and actually appreciate all the crap he's tossing at us, Kevin, then I've got to do this."
"NO!" screeched Justin, willing around as much as he could.
"I don't know, Tommy," Kevin said, finally able to take a step forward. He frowned at the sight before him, but he couldn't help but admit it wasn't such a bad idea.
"Kevin! Stop him!"
Tommy gave him a knowing look. He wasn't too happy at having to do this either, but he couldn't sit by and not do anything. For that, he could have just stayed home.
"Why don't you wait outside, Kev? Keep Mom and the girls away. Things are bound to get noisy here."
"Tommy! NO! Get off! Got! Off! ME!!"
Tommy tightened his hold on Justin's waist as his brother started to squirm harder. He raised his right hand and brought it back down hard to meet Justin's pajama clad cheeks before he himself even realized he was doing it.
"OWW!" yelled Justin, stilling for an instant before renewing his efforts to escape.
"Go Kevin. I got this."
Kevin slowly nodded, turning away and heading to the door, making certain to lock the door behind him. Tommy was right, the caring, babying technique hadn't seeemed to be working lately for his little brother, and this might be a crash course back in line. But, he wiydlnt be able to hold his mother and sisters back onec ther noise started.
Hopefully, the lock would hold.
As soon as Kevin closed the door behind him, Tommy address the back of Justin's head.
"I cant stand seeing you like this, Just-"
"Then let me up!" Justin interrupted continuing to wiggle and wanting to get up. That one swat had been hard but it was passing already, just down to a gentle itch.
But as soon as the harsh toned words left his mouth two more, just as hard and right on his sit spots, fell.
"As I was saying, I don't like seeing you like, hurting yourself and hurting the family. You having troubles, then you came to me, to any of us. But if it's attention you want, well baby brother, you've got it. More than you hoped for, but it's here all the same."
That said, Tommy quickly eased Justin's sweats down.
"Tommy? Wh what? Stop! I'm sorry, okay?"
"No, not okay. And too late for that," said Tommy sternly.
And just to make matters just that much worse for Justin, his boxers soon joined his sweats by his ankles.
Before Justin even realized that, however, swats rained down in rapid succession on his now bared rear end.
Tommy wasted no time in getting his brother's creamy white cheeks to an itchy hot pink.
"Ow, gah! Oww! Tommy! Jesus! Tommy, stop! Ow! Please! OW! TomMy!"
"Settle down, Justin," Tommy said, not breaking rhythm as he started a set of heavy swats direct to the back of his thighs.
"What was that?"
Kitty looked up from her book.
"What was what?"
Another sound, clearer now and louder, came from the upstairs.
"Justin?" Nora said, looking towards the doorway and then to her daughters. "Was that Justin?"
Another loud sound followed and Sarah was out of her seat.
"Well, I'm not waiting to find out."
Nora and Kitty quickly got off of their own seats and began to walk to the stairs. They had been going over what the doctor had said, changing some things up and making a plan about how would stay with Justin for the next two weeks or so.
The closer they got to the stairs the louder the sound was. Halfway up, they were certain that someone was starting to wail.
"Oh my God!" Nora said, shoving Kitty aside from her, gently of course, and pushing Sarah up a little faster. They spotted Kevin nervously pacing in front of Justin's closed door.
"What's going on!" Nora asked, sidestepping her son and walking over to the closed door.
Ow! Stop! Owww! Tommy, please! Owww! I'm Sorry! Please! TOM-MY!!
Nora tried the door but found that it was locked.
"Why the door locked? Why's the door locked, Kevin?"
"Okay, Mom, just calm down,"
"What's Tommy doing?" Kitty asked, glancing at the door and cringing with each of Justin's cries.
"Oh my God!" Sarah said, covering her mouth with her hands.
"Kevin! What's going on?!"
"Tommy's spanking him?" Sarah asked, not believing it even as she looked over at Kevin.
"No," Kitty said, looking between both of her siblings.
Nora froze, taking in Kevin's stillness and quiet as a `Yes'. Turning back to the door, she started to pound on the door.
"Thomas Walker! This is your mother! You open this door right now!"
But the sounds and the sobbing continued to come. Justin seemed to be voicing less of his pleads and more of his sorrows.
"Sarah, Kitty, go find your father's key please. The one that opens up all the doors."
Before the girls headed out, Kevin stopped them.
"It's not there."
"What's not," Kitty asked, giving her brother a hard look.
"Tommy's got it," Kevin quickly added. He was starting to cringe under the three woman's consistent gaze.
"Got what? The key? Tommy's got the key? Why? Why Kevin?" Nora asked, taking a few threatening steps towards her son.
Kevin was quick to comply, now slightly regretting locking the door. He could have made a mad dash inside of it.
"We needed it. Just locked himself in the bathroom and wouldn't come out so we grabbed it to get him out."
"And now he's beating Justin because of it!" Kitty said, pointing at the door angrily.
"He's not beating him, Kitty," defended Kevin. Even though he was hating the sounds that were coming from the room, sounds that clearly displayed his little brother's distress, he agreed that something had to be done to help Justin. Even if it was a little more `hands on' than his mother had initially anticipated.
"He's, he's spanking him," he added, hating how his voice squeaked slightly at the `s' word. Man, he hadn't had to say the word since he was twelve.
"Oh, big difference," Kitty said, shaking her head at him. "And you let him?"
"You let Tommy start beating up your brother?" Kitty accused, coming right up to Kevin's face.
"Kitty," Sarah repeated, grabbing her sister by the shoulders.
"Maybe, maybe Tommy's right."
Inside Justin's Room:
Justin was just sobbing now, no longer yelling at him to stop. He couldn't help the little kicks or the yelps each and every time that his brother's hand came down but right now he couldn't care less.
"Are you thinking clearer now?' Tommy asked, placing three swats on his left cheek before doing the same on the other and then moving onto another spot.
Justin didn't respond, just kept his head buried in his covers.
"Justin! I'm talking to you, and I expect an answer!"
"What you've been doing lately has been stupid! You know better than this! I don't want to have to come home again and hear that you've drugged up or overdosed again!"
"OWWW! TOMMY! Please! I'm SORRY!"
"You need to want to get better, Justin. You need to let us help you, okay?"
"Yes! Yes! Okay!"
Tommy stilled his hand. He glanced down at his sobbing brother.
"I don't want you to say that just because I'm making you. I want you to mean it. Do you mean it, Justin? DO you want to get better, or are you trying to foul everyone again? Because, I don't think this family could take that right now. Kitty just had a miscarriage and Sarah's going through a pretty ugly divorce with Joe that both Paige and Cooper are going to be suffering from pretty soon. Mom's lost Dad and I lost little William. Do you want ro be next? Do you want to die?"
Justin shook his head. The tears that were running down his face, not all from the spanking, were chocking him up and tightening his throat up.
Tommy swatted at his thighs once again.
"I want an answer Justin. An honest one, if you still can."
"I don't wanna die!" Justin screeched, sobbing as he tried to speak through his constricting vocals.
Two more swats landed on the center of his butt cheeks.
"I, I'm s-sorry! I'm re-reall-y soreeee!"
Tommy nodded, though Justin couldn't see him. Looking down at his `handy work' he noted that the once light pink had turned to a crimson red. He was certain that his brother would be feeling this particular `attention' for a few days to come.
"Are you going to let us help you, or are you going to keep being a brat?"
The last word was punctuated with a hard swat. Justin was once again lurched slightly forward.
"Owie!" he sobbed, gripping at the bed sheets and Tommy's thigh.
"You c-can help, you c-can all h-elp."
"Alright. That's what I wanted to hear. We're done here."
Helping his brother back to his feet, Tommy was surprised when Justin lurched at him. Instinctively, he wrapped his arms around his little brother.
"I'm sorry I had to do that, buddy," Tommy whispered softly into Justin's soft brown hair. Justin was still sobbing, so he doubted that he had heard him, but he just needed to say it.
"I'm so-sorry tooo," Justin said between sobs.
"Please, please don't make me have to do that again."
Justin cried a little harder, burying himself closer towards his brother.
Tommy held him, ignoring the continued pounding on the door. He rubbed at Justin's back, latching his one hand into the back of Justin's head. He said nonsense words and phrases and comfort, just holding the kid until he could retain his cries.
Justin pulled back slowly, still keeping within his brother's arms.
"I'm sorry, Tommy. Please don't hate me."
"Justin! I don't hate you. How could you say that?"
Tommy pulled him back closer, guiding Justin's head back onto his shoulder.
"You were right. I'm, I'm a screw up. I, I hope the babies turned out to be Kevin's, so that th-they won't fuck up like I do."
Tommy just about pulled his brother right back over his lap. Tommy and Julia's twins had been the product of sperm donations by both Kevin and Justin. Since Tommy founs out he was sterile, he felt guilty and since they still wanted to have babies, he decided that he wanted them to still somehow be a part of him, a piece of his family. Originally, Tommy had asked only Kevin since he didn't like that Justin was on drugs, but in the end he had seen that having them both there meant a lot to each of them and to him. In the end, they had all agreed that they would never check to see if the babies were Kevin's or Justin's.
"No! Don't you say that, Justin! Don't! You're not a fuck up, and I don't want to hear you talk like that. You're a kid who screwed up, not a screw up! And you're going to be okay."
"You still gonna help me?"
"You got that right. Whether you like it or not," he said, daring enough after the little episode to press a kiss on the back of Justin's neck. "So you better behave."
Justin nodded into his shoulder. A few moments later, listening to his brother's calming heartbeat and his mother's consistent threats at the door, he pushed off of his brother and stood on his own two feet.
Tommy sighed, passing a hand one last time through Justin's hair.
"I better let her in, before she claws through the door," he said walking over to the door.
"Tommy?" Justin said, watching his brother walk away and suddenly feeling a little cold.
Tommy turned around, and tried to hide a smirk.
"Nothing, just…thanks," he said, sounding so much like a child that Tommy almost wanted to package him away and never let anything happen to him again. Or, you know, take a pictures or something.
Justin looked up from the floor and locked his teary eyes with his,
"Pull your pants back on, `kay? And get in bed."
Justin blushed, finally noticing that he was naked waist down and quickly pulling them up.
"Agh," he groaned, now thinking that doing so that fast wasn't such a great idea.
"Yeah, you better be careful with that. It's going to be hurting for a few days. Bet you're wishing you'd just gotten in bed now, huh?"
"Not funny," Justin said, turning around and easing himself softly into bed just as Tommy opened the door.
"Thank God!" Nora said, appearing as if out of thin air. She shoved Tommy aside and headed straight to her youngest son. "Baby! Are you okay?" she asked, grabbing him in a hug and causing him to twist onto his sore backside.
"Agh, Mom, please. A little less love."
"Oh, god. Justin, sweetie, are you okay?" she asked again, this time looking over her shoulder to her children and paying careful care at glaring at her first son.
"Yeah, Mom. I'm good."
"Don't lie, Justin," Kitty said, glaring at her brother and making to stand between the two. "We heard what happened. Tommy, how could you!"
"You want to see lying dead in ditch somewhere? Cause of death drunk and OD'd? Because I don't!"
"I don't want that either! But this is not how to do that!"
"I'm not going to sit back and see him hurt himself, Kitty," Tommy said, sounding sincere. He Looked over to their mother, knowing how strongly she felt for all of them but Justin most of all. "Mom, I can't just let him kill himself. You understand?"
Nora was quietly crying. She felt so bad and so proud and just too many things to do more than just nod. Sitting besides her son, she held him close, wiping the tears stains from his cheeks.
"It's okay, Mom," Justin said softly to her, hugging her back slightly before trying to position himself in a more comfortable position. "I'll live."
"Honey, you sure? He didn't…"
"I'm fine, honest," Justin said, taking a second to not just look at Nora, but at the whole Walker clan. "I'm sorry I've been such a jerk. I know you're all just trying to help me. And, I'm thankful I have you all her to do that."
"Rest now, honey," Sarah said, noticing the droopy look in his eyes. "Me and Kitty can take care of him for a bit."
"Yeah," Kitty said, getting teary eyed and sending an apologetic look at Tommy. That had been the most sincere that Justin had sounded in a while and she was starting to think maybe Tommy hadn't been all that wrong. She'd apologize in the morning.
"Um, okay," Nora said, wiping her eyes and slowly standing up. "How about I get you guys some food, okay? Downstairs?"
Kevin eagerly nodded. Tommy glanced a look at Justin, just as the youngest Walker was flipping back onto his stomach. Sarah had walked around the bed and was settling in beside him, rubbing his back like he'd seen her do so often to Paige and Coop.
"Got any leftovers?" Tommy asked as Nora took his arm and then Kevin's to led them downstairs.
"Let's see," she replied, leaning her head onto Tommy's shoulder briefly. "Thank you. Sort of."
Tommy nodded. For his family, he'd do anything.
The End. J