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10 February 2016 @ 11:39 pm
Within in my reach, chapter four.  
Fic Title: Within My Reach
Summary: For Jeff life as an Evolutionary Enhanced isn't easy. For a start there's the prejudice he faces daily, along with a constant struggle to find clothes that will fit over his tentacles. But these difficulties pale into insignificance when Jeff is faced with trying to woo the man of his dreams.
Disclamer: Here be fiction, folks. This isn’t real nor is it meant to reflect the relationship between the two men, whose names and faces I’m borrowing.  This is my very own little take on reality or as I like to think of it now, the wrong trouser leg of time, where our universe and this one split apart, and this universe is bathed in a rosy pink hue.
Author’s Notes: First and foremost, my thanks go to my amazing beta bigj52.  There should be statues erected and sonnets written to this amazing woman.  I can never fully express my gratitude at her endless patience in dealing with my scribbles. Once again I've been scrbbling for spn_reversebang, and I want to thank my artist beelikej for her support and her amazing art.

Chapter 4 WithinMyReach

“Who’s Chad?”  Jensen asked as he gave Doctor Sheppard a puzzled look.

The doctor pointed at the tentacle still wrapped around Jensen. “That is Chad, the reprobate of Jeff’s little family.”  He looked down at Jeff’s leg. “And what have you done to yourself this time, Jeff?”

Jeff was too busy to answer the doctor as he tried to get Chad to let go of Jensen, but the tentacle was having none of it.  Chad gave the nurse another affectionate little squeeze, and Jensen squeaked when Chad patted him on the ass. Jeff caught hold of the tentacle and pulled hard. The movement caused Jensen to stumble forward right into Jeff’s arms. “Shit, I’m sorry!” Jeff said sheepishly as he held onto Jensen. ”Ok Chad, you’ve had your fun.  Now let go, damnit!”

With one final squeeze Chad released Jensen, and Jeff was forced to let go of the nurse. Jeff sat up straighter and tried to recover his composure.  But his attempts were short lived, when Moe reached out and stole Doctor Sheppard’s stethoscope. “What the hell has gotten into you?”  Jeff snatched the stethoscope off Moe, and handed it back to the doctor. He looked over at Chad and growled. “This is all your fault. You’re a bad influence on the others.”

Jensen was amazed to see the tentacle droop and curl behind Jeff’s back. If he didn’t know better he could’ve sworn the tentacle was sulking.

Jeff looked at Doctor Sheppard. “Sorry. Did you say something?”

Mark smiled and repeated his question. Jeff squirmed under his doctor’s scrutiny. “I might’ve gone through a floor, and done a number on my leg.”

Mark shook his head and tutted. “Nurse Ackles, can you cut open Jeff’s pants for me, please?”  Then he leant on the bed. “Actually Jeff, I’ve got a big favor to ask you.”

Tentacle Jeff divider

Jeff smiled at Mark’s casual posture, and he knew what he was about to ask him.  Whenever Doctor Sheppard wanted a student to come in on a consultation, his English accent became more pronounced.  Right now Mark sounded like he was trying out for Downton Abbey.  “Ok Doc, wheel in your latest newbie, and you can impress them with your tame Changed.”

Doctor Sheppard winced when Jeff used the term Changed. He gave Jeff a pained look and sighed.  “Now Jeff, in these times of political correctness, the correct term for you and others like you is 'Evolutionary Enhanced'.  As you well know.”

Jeff smiled and shook his head. “Now, I don’t know much about Darwin, and the theory of evolution. But I’m pretty sure humans were never meant to develop, tentacles, tails, wings, gills and all the other fun things that are out there now. And if we were going to go for a ride on that evolutionary roller coaster, I’m pretty sure it should’ve taken thousands of years.”  Jeff pointed over his shoulder at his tentacles. “These guys bust out of my back in the middle of a five alarm fire, making a mess of my uniform. So you and the rest of the geniuses out there, can spout on about evolution as much as you like. But as far as I’m concerned I’m Changed, and that’s all there is to it.”

Doctor Sheppard smiled. “Feeling better after your little rant? Jeff, you know the powers that be consider Changed to be a derogatory term. If I wish to continue keeping my wife in the style, she and my American Express card have become accustomed to, then 'Evolutionary Enhanced' it is.” He reached out and patted Jeff’s arm. “Just promise me you’ll be gentle with my star pupil.” Doctor Sheppard winked and left the cubicle.

Jeff watched Mark leave. He'd known the man ever since The Change; Mark was the only doctor to treat him like a human being and not some freak to be experimented on. When Jeff had wanted to return to active duty, Mark Sheppard had supported him. He’d even gone the extra mile and assured the department Jeff was fit for duty. Part of that assurance saw Jeff being hauled off to see Mark once a month, and being poked, prodded and probed mentally and physically, just to reassure the department he wasn’t going to poison anyone with a touch from his tentacles, or go berserk and start attacking people with them. Now Jeff’s visits were down to twice a year, which was kind of a shame. Jeff rather liked the doctor with his sly sarcastic humour and great Scotch.

There was a clank of metal, and Jeff turned his attention back to what was happening in the cubicle. Jeff looked at Jensen, prepared to see disgust or pity in the other man’s green eyes. What he didn’t expect was the appraising look the nurse was giving him. It had been a long time since another man had looked at Jeff like that. Usually all they saw was the freak. It was the kind of look that gave a man hope, and too often Jeff had had his hopes dashed. For a few moments Jeff basked in Jensen’s attention and then Larry curled around his waist, reminding him it was just a dream and he looked away.

Syinge Jensen divider

When Jeff looked away from him, Jensen decided to give the firefighter a moment to compose himself. He turned and busied himself looking for the trauma shears, it took courage to cope with being Evolutionary Enhanced. As a nurse Jensen had seen too many who’d experienced The Change, become trapped in a downward spiral of depression, and hopelessness. To see someone not only come to terms with what happened to them, but who was able to make jokes about it, impressed him.

When Jensen found the trauma shears he turned back to Jeff, and the firefighter was still avoiding his eyes. As far as Jensen was concerned Jeff’s eyes were too gorgeous to be hidden, and with a mischievous smile Jensen snipped the shears together. The sound gained Jeff’s attention and he looked up. “Ready for your operation, Jeff? A pantectomy can be very serious, but I promise I’ll do my very best to save them,” Jensen said gravely, and was rewarded with a smile from Jeff.

“Promise you’ll be gentle with them; we’ve been together for a long time now.”  Jeff said brokenly.

Jensen nodded seriously, but there was a twinkle in his eye as he started to cut. The shears made short work of slicing through the thick material, exposing Jeff’s leg from ankle to thigh. He looked into Jeff’s eyes and said sadly, “I’m sorry, but I don’t think we can save them.  Is there anyone I can call for you?” Jensen rested his hand on top of Jeff’s.

Jeff looked into Jensen’s eyes. “No, I’ll be alright. I have my crew to support me in my hour of need. I just need a moment to compose myself, and then I’ll have to tell the crew my pants laid down their life in the course of duty. There’ll be a memorial for them. Would you like to join us?” Jeff said with a straight face.

Jensen looked at him solemnly. “I would be honored. I’d like to bring Gen and Danni along, to help support you and your crew at this sad time.” Jensen curled his hand round Jeff’s and squeezed gently.

Jeff divider

Jeff looked into Jensen’s eyes and said brokenly, “Thank you. I don’t think I could get through it alone.” Jeff’s shoulders started to shake as he tried not to laugh, but finally the two of them broke down laughing. Jeff enjoyed the light-hearted moment and Jensen’s sense of humor.  Before he could continue with the teasing banter the curtain moved, and Jensen let go of Jeff’s hand. The nurse stepped back with a wink, and his professional demeanor was back in place.

Doctor Sheppard reappeared with a very serious looking young man. Jeff saw the young doctor was leafing through a very familiar file, the kid was reading his patient records. Jeff glanced up at Doctor Sheppard. “Hey Mark, are you sure the kid’s old enough to be doing this?” he asked, and the young man frowned at the familiar use of the senior doctor’s name.

Mark strolled past his student. “Now be nice, Jeff. Dr Chau is one of the most promising young doctors on the staff.  He’s very interested in making ER medicine his specialty.”  Mark stood beside Jeff, and addressed his student. “Now, Doctor Chau, what are you first impressions of the patient?”

Dr Chau put the file down and adjusted his glasses, the heavy black frames almost swamping his delicate features. “Mr Morgan is an Evolutionary Enhanced in his mid-forties, and appears to be in good physical condition.” Doctor Chau pointed to Jeff’s tentacles. “As you can see Mr. Morgan is enhanced with four tentacles, and according to his patient records the tentacles share similarities with Octopods, including extraordinary flexibility, suckers along the underside and toughened dermis.” Doctor Chau finished his assessment with a smug smile.

 Mark rolled his eyes and sighed. “And what else?” he asked patiently.

Doctor Chau picked up Jeff’s file and flicked through it again. “After numerous CT scans, it was discovered the tentacles are fused to the patient’s central nervous system, and as they are positioned so closely to the spinal column it was deemed too dangerous to surgically remove them.”

Mark stepped in front of his protégé and took the file off him. “Yes, we know all that. But what exactly is the problem right now?”

Doctor Chau looked puzzled and reached for the file again. Mark took him by the elbow and guided him to the bed. He pointed at Jeff’s leg. “I don’t suppose you’ve noticed the wound on Jeff’s right leg?”  The young man flushed with embarrassment. “I appreciate your wish to study the fascinating area of Evolutionary Enhanced medicine Doctor Chau, but sometimes it’s all about the basics.”

Doctor Chau looked crestfallen, but Mark patted him on the shoulder. “Don’t worry, Osric. You don’t have to try so hard to impress me.” Mark winked at Jeff. “Now how about we stitch that leg back together? Nurse Ackles, can you prepare Jeff for me, please.” As he spoke Mark picked up a syringe.

“Please tell me that’s not going in my ass?”  Jeff eyed the needle nervously.

“Only if you want a numb ass, but I suppose it would take your mind off Osric putting stitches in your knee.”  Mark handed the syringe to Doctor Chau. “If you’d do the honours, Osric.”

Doctor Chau took the syringe and carefully injected Jeff’s leg with local anaesthetic. Jeff hissed softly at the sting and Mark smirked at him. “There’s a brave boy.”  Mark patted his pockets. “I’m sure I’ve got a lollipop somewhere.”

“And I know exactly where I’d like to stick that lollipop.”  Jeff growled, as Mark laughed at him.

 Jensen tried not to smile at the way Jeff was pouting, as he pulled up a stool and started to clean the wound, ready to be stitched.

 As Jensen worked, Jeff watched Doctor Chau staring at his tentacles in fascination.  “Do you want to take a closer look at them, Doctor Chau?”  Doctor Chau looked surprised, startled by Jeff’s question.

“Could I run a few simple tests as well?” he asked excitedly and Jeff nodded.  The young man turned to the trolley, to search for some gloves. Osric felt a tap on his shoulder; he looked up and Curly offered him a box of latex gloves. Doctor Chau stared at Curly wide eyed, and then Larry deftly pulled out a glove and handed it to him.

As Doctor Chau pulled on the gloves, Moe joined in the fun by handing him a reflex hammer. Then presented himself for examination. Jeff grinned as Osric looked from tentacle to tentacle, unsure what to do next. Osric was about to speak, when Chad dipped in the pocket of his white coat and stole a pen. “Chad, put that back right now.”  Jeff said warningly and the tentacle returned the pen to the doctor. Chad then busied himself by picking up surgical instruments on the trolley.

Doctor Chau’s eyebrows shot up in surprise as he watched the interaction. “Chad? Why did you name your tentacles?” The young doctor reached for Jeff’s records, desperate to discover if this was a new development or if it was in Jeff’s psych evaluations.

Mark deftly took the file from his protégé, encouraged him to sit on the now vacant stool, and wheeled him towards the bed. “Osric, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to ask Jeff all sorts of interesting questions. But for now you really need to stop him bleeding. Try and keep the stitches neat, no matter what Jeff tells me about guys digging scars. He really doesn’t want to end up looking like Frankenstein’s monster.”

Doctor Sheppard smiled as his student started to stitch. He knew Osric could barely contain all the questions buzzing around his head. As Osric placed each stitch his eyes flicked up to watch what the tentacles were doing.

“In answer to your question. Doctor Chau, I’m not responsible for naming these guys.  You can blame the crew of Fire Truck 67 for that. I’d like to introduce you to Larry, Curly, Moe and Chad.”

 Doctor Chau stopped what he was doing, and looked at Chad twirling the reflex hammer around. “I get  Larry, Curly and Moe, but where did Chad come from?”

Jeff grinned and pointed to Chad. “In the words of Doctor Sheppard, that guy is the reprobate of my little family. He has a tendency to get into trouble and can be very affectionate. A lot like our driver, Chad, who he’s named after. Just ask your nurses about him.”

Osric studied the tentacles. Larry, Curly and Moe were resting curled around Jeff, but Chad was exhibiting some very odd behaviour, prompting him to ask Jeff a question. “I thought you were in control of your tentacles? Is there a possibility they exhibit some form of free will?” he asked, unable to tear his eyes away from Chad, and how he was swaying in front of Jensen.

Doctor Sheppard stepped in to answer the question. “Not free will as such, but we’ve formulated the theory that Jeff’s emotional state affects their behavior. Think of them as physical manifestations of Jeff’s subconscious.” Mark smiled as Chad presented the reflex hammer to Jensen with a flourish, and went back to ‘dancing’. “Thank goodness Jeff is such an upstanding citizen, otherwise he could’ve been a criminal mastermind.”

“Like Doc Ock in Spiderman?”  Osric blurted out, and then went bright red, mortified by his outburst.

Jeff burst out laughing. “Mark, you need to keep this kid. He’s the only one of your students who’s ever had the nerve to come right out and say it.” He smiled at Osric. “Don’t worry, Doc. I’ve had worse than that said to me. Please don’t repeat that to my crew, or I’ll never hear the end of it.” Osric gave him a relieved smile and went back to work.

As Osric continued stitching, Jeff found his eyes drawn back to Jensen.  The nurse was assisting the doctor, and was adroitly managing to evade Chad's attempts at gaining his attention.  Every time Jeff found someone hot, Chad went into his mating routine. This included offering gifts and performing his mating dance.  So far, Chad had offered Jensen several surgical instruments, and Mark's fountain pen. Now he was swaying back and forth, curling sinuously around the bed rail.  Jeff sighed. He'd lost count of the guys who'd run away screaming from Chad's attempt at wooing them. Jeff looked at Jensen apologetically, wondering how to convince the nurse he wasn't about to be accosted again.

"Chad's quite the mover. I'm impressed. Is that any indication of how you dance?" Jensen asked with a smile.

Jeff’s smile widened and flashed a flirtatious look at Jensen, then he stroked at the stubble on his chin. “Sadly, I’ve got two left feet and no rhythm whatsoever. I think Chad more than makes up for it though.” He nodded as Chad swayed seductively in front of Jensen, making the nurse smile at his antics.
“Gentlemen, I hate to break up the courtship, but when Osric’s finished sewing you back to together, I’m sending you for an X-Ray.” He raised a hand to ward off Jeff’s complaints. “Purely as a precaution, Jeff, if there’s nothing broken, I’ll be happy for you to go and do light duties for a little while.  I’ll give Jim a call to make sure you behave.”  The doctor smiled as Jeff muttered mutinously at him.

Jeff divider

The rest of the stitches were done without further incident, and Jeff endured Mark’s usual lecture about taking care of himself. Now Jensen was pushing Jeff through the hospital towards the X-Ray department. When they arrived at X-Ray Jensen handed over Jeff’s notes to the nurse on duty.

 Jeff fully expected the nurse to leave right away, but instead Jensen pulled up a chair and sat down beside him. “I hope you don’t mind me waiting with you?”

“No, not at all, but shouldn’t you be getting back to the ER?”  Jeff asked.

“I think they should be able to cope without me a little longer. I thought you might like the company.”   Jensen slid down in the chair and stretched out his legs.

 Jeff stared at Jensen’s long legs, and marvelled at how hot he looked in his scrubs. He wondered what Jensen looked like when he was off duty, picturing him in a tight fitting T-shirt and jeans that clung like a second skin. Then he thought about how Jensen would look even better wearing nothing but a smile.

With his thoughts turning decidedly pornographic, Jeff tried to think of something devastatingly witty to say. He didn’t think ‘those blue scrubs really bring out the color of your eyes’ was going to cut it, when Jensen reached up and ran his fingers through his short brown hair. Then Jensen licked his lips and turned Jeff’s brain  to mush.

Jeff tried in vain not to stare at Jensen’s lips, but they were hypnotic. Especially the way he was biting at his bottom lip, making it plump and so very kissable. Jeff mirrored Jensen and moistened his own lips. He decided to make his move.  Only Chad beat him to it by curling around his body, and flopping onto Jensen’s thigh. “Damnit, Chad, not now!” He hissed furiously at the tentacle.

Syinge Jensen divider

Jensen tried not to laugh as the tentacle stayed exactly where it was, and finally Jeff went to pick Chad up and move him. As Jeff moved, Jensen spotted something on Chad, and he reached out to gently touch a patch of puckered shiny skin, which marred the otherwise smooth flesh of the tentacle.   Jeff’s breath hitched, as Jensen explored the all too familiar scarring. “How did you get shot?” he asked softly.

Jeff rubbed at the stubble on his face, a move Jensen was beginning to associate with the firefighter being nervous. Jeff shrugged. “It’s barely a graze. Nothing to get excited about.”

Jensen’s arched his eyebrow. “Just a graze. Really? Jeff, I’ve worked in the ER for the last seven years. And I know a through and through when I see one. Do you want to try that again?” The eyebrow arched even higher, and the firefighter ducked his head with an embarassed smile on his face.

“We were called to a minor incident - a burning vehicle. Purely routine or so we thought. Only problem was we walked into the middle of a gang war. The car had been shot up and then torched to get rid of evidence. While we were putting it out, a car came screeching round the corner.”

Jeff went quiet and Jensen reached out and squeezed his hand. Jeff took a deep breath and carried on. “The windows were down and a couple of guys were leaning out. Next thing we knew they’d opened fire. They thought we were their rivals, and they were intent on taking us out.  Most of the guys were behind the car and they were safe, but Jared was right in the line of fire. I just managed to push us out of the way, but Chad caught a bullet.”  Jeff nodded at the tentacle laying across Jensen’s legs, and shrugged dismissively.

Jensen looked down at Chad and then at the other tentacles. He’d seen the scars on them and he wondered what other heroics had left their mark on Jeff. “You know, Osric got it wrong about you. You’re no supervillain; you’re a superhero, Jeff.”  Jensen smiled as he squeezed Jeff’s calloused hand.

The two of them sat silently looking at one another. Finally Jensen blushed and grinned. “Damn, you’ve found my weakness; I’ve got a thing for superheroes.” He winked suggestively at Jeff. “How do you look in spandex?”

Fireman Jeff divider

Jeff burst out laughing. “So me being a firefighter isn’t enough? Damn. Usually the uniform and the big helmet is all I need.” Jeff enjoyed the way Jensen smirked, and his eyes flicked down to his pants. Jeff took advantage of the moment, leaning back in the wheelchair to display the ’goods’. To hell with being subtle, he’d been alone for way too long.  Jensen watched the move keenly, licked his lips and moved closer.

A nurse came out of X-Ray. “Jeffrey Dean Morgan?” she said and Jensen muttered, “Not friggin’ now, Alona.”

Jeff gave him an apologetic smile and put up his hand. The petite blonde nurse came over to them. “Hey there, Jensen. Is this your hero?” she asked with a smile as Jensen flushed with embarrassment.

“I see Gen’s rung you. How are things down in the ER?”

 Alona winked at Jensen. “According to Gen everything’s fine. But would you mind getting your ass back down there? She needs help stopping Danni from administering a chilli enema to some guy called Chad Michael Murray.”

Jeff pulled a face and winced. “Yeah, that sounds about right for Chad. I think you’d better go and help Gen stop Danni from doing something she won’t regret in the morning.”

Jensen stood up. “And I was about to ask about your big helmet.” He sighed regretfully as he turned to leave.

The sight of the nurse turning to leave prompted Jeff to throw caution to the wind. “Can I give you a call sometime, Jensen?” he asked hopefully.

Before Jensen could respond, Alona stepped behind the wheelchair and started to push Jeff towards X-Ray. “You two are adorable, but I need to get Jeff’s leg X-Rayed.  How about I give him your number, Jen? And then you can wait breathlessly by your phone.”

Jensen smiled shyly. “Ok. I can take a hint, Alona. Now if you’ll excuse me I’d better go and do some rescuing of my own.  You want Chad to be able to be drive back to the firehouse. Right, Jeff?”

“God, yes. The only other qualified driver in the truck is Rich. We’re still not sure if he knows what the brakes are for, so please go save Chad.”

The elevator doors opened, and when the orderly pushed Jeff into the ER, he looked round to see if he could spot Jensen or his crew. He was a little disappointed when he didn’t see the green-eyed nurse, but as they rounded a corner he saw the crew sitting in the waiting area.  They were all grinning at Chad, who was sitting there with a disgruntled look on his face. “At least you’re sitting down. I half expected to find you tied to a gurney.” Jeff said by way of greeting.

Chad looked at him, and then looked over at Danni, who was checking patient notes. “What? Are you telling me I missed out on some hot kinky medical play with Red over there?” He went to stand up.

“No. I’m saying she threatened to tie you down, and give you an experience you wouldn’t forget in a hurry.”

Chad ran his fingers through his blond hair. “All the more reason I need to get over there and try again.”

“Not really, Chad. She wanted to give you an enema with a little something extra.” Chad looked at him blankly. “I’m fairly sure chili up the ass isn’t fatal.” Jeff and the crew laughed, as Chad clenched his butt cheeks and rose a few inches off his seat.

Jared stood and walked over to Jeff. “Jensen said he was sorry, but an emergency came up and he was called to deal with it.”

A sense of relief washed over Jeff. At least Jensen wasn’t avoiding him. Now all he had to do was pluck up the courage to use the number Alona had programmed into his phone.

 Rob stood by the wheelchair. “You good to go, Lieutenant?  You mentioned something about your special chili...” Rob said hopefully, ignoring Chad’s soft whimper when he mentioned chili.

“I’m fine. Thanks for asking, Rob. And yes, I did promise to make chili,” Jeff said dryly as Rob blushed. “I’m sure you’ll be willing to help with the cooking when we get back.”   Rob nodded enthusiastically as he took hold of the wheelchair, and pushed Jeff out of the ER, his stomach rumbling as they went.

Chili pepper divider

Current Mood: nervousnervous
JJ1564jj1564 on February 10th, 2016 11:57 pm (UTC)
This looks amazing, and I may be being thick, but where are chapters 1-3?? Thanks!
sasha_dragonsasha_dragon on February 11th, 2016 12:18 am (UTC)
You're not being thick, its me! It should be posted properly tomorrow, sorry about that *G*