Title: Hell Is Other People
Word Count: 2680
Summary: Jared is a hunter, but he is about to find out that evil isn’t just the preserve of demons.
Pairing: J2 eventually
Warnings: Excessive abuse of Jensen,. Also Homophobic attitude and language.
Disclaimer: As far as I know Jared isn’t engaged in hunting monsters and last time I checked Jensen wasn’t chained up naked in the basement of a church and wasn’t in a relationship with Jared, so please don’t sue.
Notes: Here I offer thanks and unending praise to garvaldmains, who has helped, improved and encouraged me with endless patience when I gibbered at her, and she also provided the awesome banner! *Big, Big Hugs* Also I'm away on my hols, so a little chapter before I go *G*.
Beta: by the awesome bigj52
“Jensen, I need you to let go of me and we’ll clean you up. I’m so sorry but I swear I won’t let them arrest you.” Jared’s soft words roused the other man from his stupor.
When Jensen released him, Jared carefully eased him back into a sitting position. The hands still shook but now at least they were a little warmer. Jared got his handkerchief from his pocket. He took Jensen’s face in his hand and lifted it. Jared smiled warmly at Jensen as he tenderly dried his tear-stained face. His were eyes bloodshot and swollen; Jensen looked even more exhausted than before. When Jared finished, he put the handkerchief up to his nose and said “Blow.” Under normal circumstances that would’ve have elicited a smirk and a comment, but instead Jensen wearily did as he was told.
They sat in silence, Jared remaining close to Jensen. He could tell that Jensen was attempting to shore his defences back up and he would wait until the other man was steadier once more.
Just then the door knocked and Dr Shephard walked in. He was a man in his forties with short, thinning, brown hair. He barely looked at Jensen, swiftly placing his case on the dressing table, “I believe you requested an examination for Mr Ackles. Can you get undressed please, Mr Ackles? As soon as possible.”
Jared slid off the bed and stood behind the good doctor. The man turned and flinched a little when he saw Jared properly. “I’d like him to be naked for this please, Mr Padalecki.”
“I think down to his boxers will be enough, don’t you, doctor? And I hope you will be documenting my client’s injuries... for any future court action.” Again Jared’s tone was polite but firm. He stepped back to Jensen and helped him get undressed. Dr Shephard grunted and returned to his preparations. When the sheriff had called the doctor had wanted nothing to do with it. But when the sheriff had promised justice for the preacher and all Mark Shephard had to do was declare Ackles fit, he got his bag together and drove over to the Ackles household.
Dr Shephard shot a startled look at Jared, “You’ll have to excuse my client, doctor. I’m afraid sudden movements upset him.” The man nodded and moved more slowly and gently.
Jared watched as the examination changed from going through the motions, to a doctor taking care of a patient. Dr Shepphard stood back, looking up at Jared, his face troubled, “Mr Padalecki, would you mind helping me turn Mr Ackles over onto his front please?” Real concern coloured the words spoken. Between them they managed to turn Jensen over without causing too much discomfort.
The doctor froze. He straightened up, looking on in horror at the array of bruising and welts, and he quickly retrieved his camera and began cataloguing the injuries again... Jared could hear snatches of the doctor speaking to himself. “No way are these self inflicted.... dear God that’s a boot print! Since when did demons need boots.... friction burns and pressure sores... what have they done to him?”
Finally the doctor examined Jensen’s feet, crouched down to take pictures of the soles of his feet. He lowered the camera, looking at the battered flesh. He looked up “Mr Padalecki, would it be alright if I took a closer look at Mr Ackles’ feet? I’m afraid it might prove to be painful for him.” Jared looked at Jensen’s face; Jensen’s eyes were open but unaware. Jared made the decision for him.
“That would be acceptable, doctor. Can I help?”
“Please just try and keep him calm if you don’t mind, Mr Padalecki.” With that Dr Shephard gently picked up Jensen’s foot. He drew in a sharp breath as he looked at both feet; Jensen’s breathing had once again become ragged as the doctor gently probed. Jared rested his hand on Jensen’s shoulder and ran his thumb back and forth in a soothing gesture. Seemingly satisfied, the doctor released Jensen’s foot and stood up. He put away his camera and grabbed his prescription pad.
As he wrote he spoke to Jared, “This is for Mr Ackles; there are antibiotics and painkillers. I’d like him to start taking these as soon as possible. Now I’ll just redress his feet and wrists, if that is ok with you and then I need to speak to the sheriff.” He handed Jared the prescription and then gathered fresh bandages and antiseptic cream. Jared stood back as he watched the doctor take care of Jensen. Once the doctor was happy, he stood, “Mr Padalecki, I’m sure you wouldn’t mind helping your client get dressed and I’d advise bed rest for a least a couple of days. Now if you’d excuse me I have to prove a man’s innocence.” He gave a smile and left the room.
“Jensen, I want you to get some rest now. I will be back very soon. OK?” Jared brushed his fingers through Jensen’s hair, smiling in reassurance at him. Jared turned and walked out of the bedroom. When he looked back into the room Jensen was lying, staring at the ceiling. Jared was at al loss how to help Jensen. Everything that had happened to him was now hitting him hard and Jensen was overwhelmed, drowning and Jared couldn’t figure out how to offer him a life line.
“Listen, Sheriff. I’m telling you there is no way Mr Ackles could’ve have committed murder even if he wanted to.” The doctor’s tone was insistent, frustrated in the face of the sheriff’s attitude.
Jared walked down the stairs “Sheriff, surely by now you must realize there is no way Mr Ackles committed the crime. You’ve seen the Preacher and you must know the wound was self inflicted. Please, this is becoming embarrassing for both yourself and the Ackles family. The preacher’s death was a tragic act; let us not diminish his memory further with these futile accusations.”
The sheriff went red with anger. He looked at the family gathered at the foot of the stairs. He shot a look at Alan Ackles and sneered.
“If you’re referring to the demon, you saw the exorcism. That creature is gone and you know that.” Jared was trying his best to keep hold of his temper.
The sheriff was glaring at Jared “You know what I’m talkin’ about. Ackles up there bein’ queer, the demon just made it worse. He took a good man and twisted him. The preacher told us all about it, how men like that behave. That room proves it.”
The doctor stepped forward, “Damn it, man! Don’t you understand? Jensen’s been physically abused for a month! I’ve seen his feet! What did the preacher say? That holy ground would hurt him. Well, I’m pretty sure that demonic possession doesn’t leave linear bruises. The soles of his feet were beaten and that’s the least of his injuries. Believe me, some of the bruises are quite old. It appears every time he recovered they started again. Please, sheriff, this was plain sadism not pastoral care. Or is it customary to beat those unfortunate to be possessed?” His pleas fell upon deaf ears, but Jared saw how Mr and Mrs Ackles reacted. Donna was horrified, but Mr Ackles seemed strangely guilty.
There was a silence and the Mac sobbed “Oh God no! Please dad, you didn’t?”
The impassive mask had slipped and Jared stared at the man, his anger plain. Stepping forward he spoke “Sheriff, you are leaving now. You have shown me this is no legal matter but an act of petty revenge for a man who was obviously disturbed; I think the best course of action is this. Go back to the Preacher’s house, clean up the mess and seal up that god-forsaken room, and tell the town the Preacher died because he couldn’t accept the demon had defeated him. That way a good man’s reputation is mostly unsullied. “
“Now why would I want to do that, Padalecki?” The sheriff puffed up arrogantly.
The colour drained from the sheriff’s face “You wouldn’t dare, Padalecki.”
“Try me, sheriff. Oh, by the way Andy, here’s your phone and I must say those pictures were very informative and have now been downloaded onto my lap top. Just in case you feel the urge to take it, I’ve also emailed them.” The predatory smile appeared once more.
The sheriff took the phone and looked up at Jared, taking a deep breath, “You win, Padalecki, but take a piece of advice from me. Get him out of here before the good people of this town do something about the loss of their preacher.” With those final words he stalked out of the house with the deputies close behind.
“Mr Padalecki please take my card, and if there is any change in Mr Ackles condition, I want you to call me right away.” The doctor turned to follow the sheriff out of the house, he paused turning back towards Jared.
Once more he stopped, his face troubled by what he had to say next. “Sadly having said that, there may be enough people who share the sheriff’s view point, and you may have to consider moving Mr Ackles. I just hope I’m wrong.”
Jared contemplated the doctor’s words, “Doctor Shephard, if there is no other option will it be safe to move him?”
“Well, I would rather he was allowed to recover without further trauma. He’s exhausted and he needs to rest. But if it becomes a matter of his safety, then I wouldn’t hesitate recommending you take him from here. Mr Padalecki, I can never apologize enough for Mr Ackles ordeal. All I can do now, is try to alleviate the situation any way I can. Goodbye Mr Padalecki, Mr and Mrs Ackles.” The doctor followed the sheriff from the house closing the door behind him.
Jared dragged his fingers through his hair, his mind racing with possibilities. Sighing, he looked over to his mentor. “At least Jensen didn’t hear any of that, but I think we have a problem.”