Title: Empty Hand and Empty Heart.
Word count: 1500.
Summary: Jensen ponders the loss of Dean’s ring and bracelet, and exactly what they mean to him.
Notes: This came about after the LA Con when we heard the ring and bracelet were lost to us. I wanted to mourn their passing from a J2 point of view. This was beta’d by the awesomegarvaldmains , who I consider a co-author here as she made this little stream of consciousness into something I’m ever so slightly happy with.
Disclaimer: These gorgeous men are not mine sad to say, and this is a complete work of fiction. But it doesn’t stop us dreaming about what could be
As I stand looking in the mirror, I see Dean Winchester starring back at me. His clothes are torn, his face is make-up bruised and bloody and his body is battered. I feel just as bruised and battered as he looks but my injuries are hidden from the world. In the mirror I see the thumb of my right hand it’s - rubbing at the ring finger of that hand.
My hand and wrist are empty now no bracelet or ring, for Dean in character, my heart echoes the emptiness.
It’s the first day of filming season six and Dean has been through hell again. We're picking up right from where the screen faded to black with him being attacked by a pack of Hell Hounds and Sam screaming for his brother. Sam. Jared. I can do this; I can face Jared my little brother. I can smile and share a joke with him all the while I'm aware of my empty hand and my broken heart.
I remember how I gave up my hand and heart to Jared. I'm not gay. Really I'm not, well apart from being gay for Jared Padalecki. It had started with fooling around on set in season one, seeing what we could get away with, such as me leaping into his arms for the blooper reel. But what no one else knew was the touches carried on after the cameras stopped, and each time he touched me I fell deeper and deeper until there was nowhere else to fall.
I kept telling myself we were just friends with benefits but my hand and my heart told me otherwise. Jared brought the Skull bracelet in for Dean laughing at how he found it; it had been in a surf shop in Vancouver of all places. He said it was perfect for Dean. Copies were made, but I kept the original, on day one of filming, by accidently forgetting to take it off. Then there was the ring, Dean’s silver ring, Jared stole it during season two and had one word engraved in it...Always. Jared meant it in friendship; I know to this day I meant it in love. I never took the ring off - keeping our secret safe, feeling the warmth of what we had wrapped around me, but still with that nagging, insistent worry as I waited for that special someone to appear and spirit Jared away from me.
Then she arrived. I should've have hated her but, let’s be honest, I loved her because she made Jared happy, and still my heart was full because for a while Jared continued to be there, with his smiles his touches, the whispered "God Jensen what you do to me man I love it." The snatched moments, the tangled heated kisses, and the sex, oh god the sex. I know that for Jared it was just a way to release the tension; for me it just entangled me further, and I knew I was going to get burned. The sad truth was that I could no more pull away from him, than Dean could from his Sam.
Then it came, the realisation of all my fears, Jared's happy smiling face telling me he'd found ‘the one’ and he was getting engaged. Suddenly the ring became a weight too great to bear and I couldn't go on seeing the proof of my heart upon my hand. I went to the writers telling a tiny lie, I said that Dean's ring had started to cut me, they thought I meant my hand, I knew I meant my heart. Each time my thumb brushed against the ring, the word ‘always’ branding my finger, it cut deeper and deeper still. So I suggested it was lost with the bracelet that Dean always wore.
I went to tell Jared that the ring and bracelet would be disappearing. As we didn't know if we were being renewed, he'd innocently asked me for them as a memento of his big brother. How could I deny that smile, that request? So for the last time I had taken them off and placed them in his hand, and then closed his fingers over them with a whispered "Take care of em J." I walked away my hand... and my heart empty. That had been during episode eight of season five and to this day the emptiness on my hand is echoed in my heart.
I carried on filming getting used to the empty feeling, it only intensified at the wedding but I just smiled, all the time feeling the phantom rub of the ring on my finger.
Then there was the damn LA convention, and the question I’d been dreading: where were the ring and bracelet? I dutifully trotted out the same lie I had used with the writing team and with Jared... the fans seemed happy enough to believe. Some just said it was shame the loss wasn’t mourned, pointing out that the ring was as much a part of Dean as his jacket; hell he’d even been buried in the ring and bracelet.
I made it to the end of the day and while my co-stars partied I begged off with a headache. I sat in my room, and still I carried the ghostly weight of that ring, emptiness in my heart where there used to be Jared.
After we finished the season, I threw myself into conventions and other work during the summer, I even tried to wear other jewellery and date other people, but nothing helped.
So here I stand, start of season six looking, at Dean, channelling his despair as easily as breathing, and preparing to go back to work. There is a knock on my trailer door and Jared just steps in. He is still as gorgeous as ever, his smile could put the sun to shame, yet his smile is swift and disappears, seems apprehensive, I don’t know why.
“Hey Jen I’d say you look good, but man, they’ve made you look like crap.” Jared comments wryly. I nod in agreement, he doesn’t need to know that I haven’t slept properly the last two nights; my gut has been knotted up at the prospect of seeing him again. Of what I would say.
”Hell Hounds, what can you do.” I say in return as Jared can’t quite meet my eyes, instead looks at the floor, and then he looks up at me.
The look in his eyes nails me to the spot, it is intense and yearning and he seem to struggle for words, which is unusual for Jared. At first he is hesitant, and then the words spill out faster and faster...only fragments of what he is saying stick in my mind.
“Gen and I ...it’s like we are brother and sister ...we tried ...maybe I’m on the rebound ...I wish we could’ve made it work ...Jensen I need you, I love you.”
I heard that last part loud and clear and stare in wonder at him and he speaks again, softer this time. “We didn’t make it Jensen; it was never going to work. I need you. I want YOU. I promise if you said yes, you wouldn’t be whatever the hell a male mistress is ...Gen is going back to LA. It’s over. Please man, just please.”
Jared closes the distance between us; I see he’s afraid to touch me. Knowing him as the professional he is, he is probably worried about messing up ‘Dean’s’ look, but there is fear also. Then he touches me, and I realise we don’t need words. It’s electric. I step into his arms and he kisses me with a careful tenderness. I realized then there is something in his hand, and then I understand as a familiar weight is put on my finger.
“What the hell are we going to tell the fan girls?” I ask relishing the feel of that silver band.
“I’ve spoken to the writers,” Jared starts, as he fastens the skull bracelet to my wrist, “they’re gonna say Gabriel took the ring and bracelet in episode eight, and now in his final act he’s going to heal Dean and return what he’s stolen. I want you to wear it again. Please Jen.”
With that I find myself wrapped tight in his arms and I don’t want to fight anymore. I don’t know or care what the future will bring, not as this moment. I don’t imagine how long we will be together. It could end tomorrow, or run for a life time.
All I know is that now, at this time, with Jared holding me tight, my hand and my heart are no longer empty.