Word Count: 9000
Summary: Jared meets the man of his dreams while helping out his best friend Chad. Unfortunately for him, Jensen is being haunted by his past in more ways than one. Can Jared convince the spirit of Jensen’s not so dearly departed boyfriend to move on, or will make good on his promise to make Jensen his forever.
Pairing: Jared/Jensen, Jensen/OMC
Warnings: Mentions of domestic abuse, and non-con that happens off camera.
Jensen was lying on his couch, flicking through the television channels. He wasn’t really watching anything, but he really didn’t want to go to bed. He was scared of the prospect of meeting Matt or having nightmares about him which was nearly as bad. After Kane, Misha and Aldis brought him back from the E.R. he’d almost had to throw Kane out so he could get some rest. Kane had been acting weird, well, ok, maybe a little bit weirder than normal. He left, muttering something about seeing someone to help with a vermin problem.
Jensen shifted and winced as his bruises made themselves known. He knew he’d been lucky; the fall could’ve been so much worse, and he was just relieved that Matt hadn’t been lying in wait for him. He didn’t know what to do. He wanted to ask Jared for help but he was worried about what Matt would do to Jared, and there was no way he’d let anyone get hurt for him. He’d gotten himself into this mess when he’d fallen in love with Matt and he would have to deal with him.
He heard the dogs in the surgery start to bark. He sat up quickly, his ribs protesting at the sudden move. There was urgency to the sound, and he considered maybe there was something wrong with one of the dogs. He knew he was alone, as Sandy, the nurse on duty had called up to say she was going on her break and Jensen had promised to watch over the dogs while she was missing. Sighing, he swung his sprained ankle off the pile of cushions it was resting on. He groaned as the pain flared up his leg. “Suck it up, Ackles; it’s not the first time. Come on, get your ass down there, now.” He picked up the walking stick he had been given in the E.R. to help him walk after he had refused crutches. He made slow progress down the stairs, gingerly putting weight on his injured foot.
Once downstairs, he made his way into the surgery, turning the lights on as he went. He walked to the kennels and looked around. He couldn’t understand what had caused the barking, they all seemed fine. None of them were in distress and there was no one else in the room.
As Jensen started to make his way back he heard a noise in the operating theatre. He limped cautiously towards the room. He couldn’t see anyone; he pushed open the door and stepped inside. Once inside he knew he was in trouble. The room was freezing with condensation on the stainless steel surfaces. Jensen shivered and tried to get out. The door was jammed. He turned back and slowly made his way around the room, his heart pounding with fear. He hefted his walking stick like a club. He gave a weak smile. Right, Matt was really going to be frightened of a walking stick. Why didn’t he have a crucifix or something?
Matt stood in the corner, enjoying the fear on Jensen’s face; it had been so very easy to lure him down here. All he had to do was get those flea-bitten mongrels to bark and he knew Jensen would come running, sorry, limping to their rescue. He’d just stood in front of them and the dogs had done the rest. Now he was wondering what to do with Jensen. He was getting stronger which meant he’d have a little more time so he could enjoy himself. Matt knew it was Jensen’s fear that was helping to make him stronger. Jensen’s fear had always been addictive in life and in death; it was time to get another fix.
Jensen was looking around, frantically trying to figure out where the attack would come from, his eyes darting round the room. Suddenly he felt a draft of cold air and he could hear a buzzing noise, “Hello again, my love. I hear you’ve been a naughty boy. You really shouldn’t tell lies, you only get found out.” Matt’s words didn’t carry to Jensen but that didn’t matter, there were other ways to get the message across.
Matt grabbed the walking stick with a sharp pull. He took it from Jensen’s hands who cringed away, waiting for the first blow. Matt didn’t want to disappoint. He backhanded Jensen across the face, splitting his lip and causing him to stagger. Jensen cried out as his injured ankle was jarred when he lost his balance. Before he could fall there came a familiar grip on his arms and he was thrown against the wall.
Matt looked over his shoulder at the operating table; it seemed a shame to waste such a golden opportunity. He pulled Jensen over to it and threw him onto to it. He changed the grip from round Jensen’s biceps to his wrists and forced them above his head. Jensen’s eyes were wide with terror, “Please, no, Matt. Anything but that....no!” Matt gave a vicious smile. At least Jensen remembered what that used to mean. As much as he would like to have seen if it was possible, he knew he wasn’t yet strong enough to do that. No, he needed Jensen to be under his control again and this was only the start.
Jensen struggled against the invisible weight pressing down on him. No, this couldn’t be happening; he couldn’t go through that again. Jensen felt a sense of hopelessness welling up; he was never going to be free of Matt. Finally he stopped fighting. After everything he’d been through, he finally thought he was going to get his life back and now this. He closed his eyes and turned his head to one side and waited for the inevitable.
Matt took hold of both of Jensen’s wrists in the one hand and gently stroked his cheek, enjoying the glint of tears as they ran down his face. Matt bent down to place a kiss on Jensen’s lips. He gripped his face tightly and turned it back to his. Just as he was about to kiss him Jensen started to struggle again. Matt laughed, happy to see there was still some fire there.
The doors to the operating theatre started to rattle. Both Jensen and Matt turned to the noise and Jensen felt a tiny glimmer of hope. There stood Kane, Misha, and Aldis and was that Jared? Jared pulled Misha out of the way and he began to use his weight against the door.
“Matt, you fucking bastard, you let go of him now!” Kane was yelling as he helped Jared with his onslaught against the doors Matt was holding closed.
Jared was watching Matt as he continued to attack the doors, he was smirking and then suddenly he flickered! Jared slowed, and yes, Matt flickered again. Great! He must be weakening. While they continued to pound, Jensen was fighting harder against Matt.
Matt sighed. Unfortunately, he’d have to cut their little session short but before he went he’d leave Jensen a little message. Matt leapt off him and before Jensen could get off the operating table, he hauled him to his feet and dragged him towards the stainless steel doors.
Matt reached out and placed his hand against the metal, the temperature of the metal dropped. Ice began to appear and he got ready to leave his message. The four men flung themselves against the doors even harder. They gave a little and Jared roared “Come on. One more push, we can do it.”
Matt looked over to the men and smiled at Jared; he scratched a word into the ice.......
The doors finally gave and the men burst inside. They looked at the word with horror. Matt turned to face them again, his smile broadened, “Bit of a shock there, Jared. Your sweet little victim here killed me. It was no accident; just ask him and he’ll tell you. By the way, tell him I’ll be back soon and then we’ll be together forever.”
Without thinking, Jared took a step forward. As he did Matt pushed Jensen forcibly towards him. Jared caught the smaller man and, without thinking, wrapping him in his arms, glaring at Matt. “You know, you two really do make a lovely couple. Such a shame he’s mine.” Matt vanished.
“Jensen, oh god, are you alright?” Jared winced at his own question. Yeah, of course, he was alright! He’d nearly been sexually assaulted by his dead boyfriend and he’d been accused of killing him.
Jensen was shivering, and he kept saying over and over, “I killed him, oh God, I killed him. I deserve this.” Jared stared at Kane who walked over and helped him keep Jensen upright.
“Now, you listen here, Ackles. It was an accident. You didn’t kill anybody, and you don’t deserve to have the crap beaten out of you. Come on. We need to get you cleaned up.” When he heard Kane’s voice Jensen seemed to become more focused; he nodded weakly.
Misha and Aldis took over. They got Jensen to the operating table, and as they helped him onto it, Jensen saw Matt’s accusation again. Aldis grabbed some paper towels and wiped the word away. Jensen gave him a grateful smile, “ Jensen, you be good and let me check you over. Ok?” Misha spoke softly.
Kane walked over to them, “Listen to me. If Misha says you’re going to the E.R, you go. I don’t want some damn martyr complex because of Matt, you understand me?” He looked into Jensen’s eyes as he spoke. Jensen nodded and sat still as Misha checked him over.
As Misha worked, Jared’s mind was racing. There was something off about the whole killer scenario, he needed to find out about the accident. Jared caught Kane’s eye and motioned towards the door.
Kane narrowed his eyes but there was something about Jared’s expression that said it was urgent. He rested his hand on Jensen’s shoulder and squeezed, “Excuse us a minute but I think your big hero is about to pass out at the sight of blood.” Kane led Jared outside, followed by Aldis.
“Ok, Padalecki, you got us out of there. What do you want?” Kane sounded impatient.
“It’s about the accident. It could be the reason why Matt won’t let go.” Jared began.
“If you’re suggesting that Jensen killed him, Padalecki, then you’re out of your mind.” Kane growled.
Jared shook his head, “No. Nothing like that. Sometimes spirits are confused about how they died, and it’s what keeps them here. But I don’t think that’s the whole reason for Matt being here. Aldis, I know you’re a paramedic. But, is there any way you can find out more about the accident?”
Aldis thought about it, “I think I can. I know. I’ll ask Beth, she’s a cop. She might be able to help. What do you need to know? And dude, this had better not get Jensen into trouble.” He looked at Jared warily.
“No. I don’t think it will. Look, all the papers said it was an accident. I just need to know the circumstances. There was a police investigation, right? If they thought Jensen was responsible then he would’ve been charged.” Aldis relaxed at Jared’s words.
“Besides, I’ve never seen a ghost that strong. I think there is more going on here with Matt. I’m sorry, Kane, but I’m going to have to talk to Jensen and it might be better if I’m alone when I do it. How about I stay here with him tonight?” Jared looked at Kane who rolled his eyes.
“I just can’t fuckin’ believe it; the bastard’s an overachiever, even in death. Ok, maybe it is time you talked to him, but why can’t we stay?”
“From what you’ve said, Jensen will do anything to protect his friends, and I think it’s better if you’re there in case Matt does come back. I can see Matt; you guys can’t, so I have an advantage. Look, I promise to sleep on the couch; Hell, if it comes to it I’ll damn well sleep on the floor by his bed to make sure he’s safe.”
Kane thought about it for a few seconds, “Ok, Jared, but if something goes wrong you get him out of there and come to me. Ghost or not I’ll fucking wring Matt’s neck if I have to.” Kane smiled at Jared and they went back to see how Jensen was doing.
Jensen woke up slowly and groaned. He ached all over and for a few seconds he couldn’t remember why, and then it came flooding back in glorious 3D High Definition. He felt sick at the memory; it was then he heard movement out in the apartment. For a second he thought it was Matt. He lay there frozen with terror when a figure appeared in the doorway, it was Jared.
Jared smiled at the confused man, “Good morning, I come bringing coffee. Would you like to drink it in here or would you prefer to sit out in the lounge?” Jared was still in the same clothes from the night before. They were rumpled so he must have slept on the couch.
“Dude, did you sleep on my couch? How the hell did you even fit on it?” Jensen gave him a shy smile as he carefully sat up, wincing as his various bruises began a chorus of disapproval.
“I think the kink in my neck may be permanent and I have a lot of sympathy for pretzels now. Do you need any help?” Jared remained where he was, he didn’t want to crowd Jensen. Jensen shook his head and threw back the covers. He looked down at himself and saw he was undressed; he shot a startled look at Jared.
Jared raised his hands in a calming gesture, “Hey, don’t look at me. Kane and Misha got you undressed after you crashed downstairs. I did offer to help, but Kane threatened to castrate me if I tried. As hot as you are, Jensen, I’m very attached to my boys, so with much regret I retracted my offer.”
Jensen laughed at that, “Yeah, that sounds like Kane. I should be fine. I’ll be out in a minute. Oh shit! I’m due downstairs.” Jensen gingerly climbed out of bed; he waited for the wave of pain to ebb away.
“Relax, dude. Kane called Jim last night and told him about your fall down the stairs. Jim told you to take a couple of days off until your ankle is better. Oh, and we cleaned the surgery up, so nobody will know about what happened.
Jensen looked at Jared gratefully and then he said “I suppose we need to talk, don’t we?” He gave Jared a pained smile.
Jared nodded, “I’m sorry, Jensen but we have to. Look, I’ll wait out here, alright?”
Jared returned to the lounge room? while Jensen got dressed. He was sure that it wasn’t the accident keeping Matt here but until he could figure out what it was, Jensen was in danger and he would do whatever it took to help him.
After a few minutes Jensen limped into the room leaning heavily on his stick. Jared stood up and helped him the rest of the way. Once Jensen was sat down Jared went to pour him some coffee. “I suppose I ought to get the dumb question out of the way. How are you feeling this morning?” Jared asked as he sat down, putting two cups on the table in front of them.
Jensen was pale with dark circles under his eyes; there were finger marks along his jaw where Matt had gripped his face. His lip had been split where he’d been back handed, and he looked exhausted as if the life was being drained out of him.
“I’ve been better, but you know, same shit, different day. It’s just that I used to be able to see the punches coming and try to get out of the way. Come on then, Jared. Ask your question. I bet you want to know how I killed Matt.” Jensen sounded despondent.
Jared picked up his cup and took a drink, “No, I was going to ask how you two met? And what was it about him that made you fall in love? It wasn’t all horror stories and nightmares, there had to have been some good times.” Jared’s tone was gentle; he wanted to get Jensen talking about Matt before he asked about the accident.
“You’re serious! You really want to know about that part of my life. I thought Kane and Co would’ve told you.” Jensen stared at Jared.
“Yes, they did, but I want to know your side of it, Jensen - when you were happy and I’m sorry, but when you stopped being happy. You don’t have to give me details. I just need to understand so I can help Matt move on. I take it by now you realize I can see Matt.” Jared looked sheepishly at Jensen.
Jensen remembered last night when Jared had been battering the door. He was looking right at where Matt had been and, when he’d written his message Jared never took his eyes from the space behind him.
“You really think you can help me? Listen, Jared, Matt doesn’t take too kindly to people who interfere.” Jensen sounded worried for him.
“Hey, I’m big enough and ugly enough to take care of myself. So then where did you meet Matt?” Jared pressed again.
Jensen sat back against the couch. He sighed softly and began to talk. “Actually, I didn’t meet Matt. It was more a case of him sweeping into the practice where I worked. He’d rescued a cat from a gang of kids; they were using it for an impromptu game of football. He insisted on paying for its treatment and wanted to make sure it found a good home. He kept ringing up to check on its progress and we got talking, he seemed to be everything I wanted. Handsome, sexy, kind with a great sense of humour and he seemed to like most of what I liked. It was as if the perfect man had just appeared right in front of me.
Pretty soon we were dating and he was very demonstrative. You know - showered me with gifts and grand gestures. For our first anniversary we went to Rome. It was wonderful; he was forever buying me clothes. I didn’t realize at first but that was his first step in controlling me. He’d keep asking me to wear what he’d bought. So I did and then he gradually moved on to suggesting outfits to wear, then by the end, he was putting out the clothes he wanted me to wear.
Then bit by bit he would make suggestions or constructive criticisms concerning my behaviour. I was being too loud or I should stop pestering people about my stupid books and films. Then my friends - there weren’t the right sort of people that I should be associating with. I was a professional and my friends should reflect that.” Jensen paused and looked at Jared, a sad smile played on his lips
“I bet you’re thinking what a loser. All the warning signs were there about what an asshole he was and I just ignored them, too swept up in the romance and gifts. But it’s hard to explain when it was good and Matt was fine, it was brilliant. He was kind and attentive and then things slowly changed.”
Jared remained quiet while Jensen was speaking; he knew how hard it had to be to bare his soul like this. Jared couldn’t even begin to imagine what Jensen had been through, and to make matters worse Jensen thought it was entirely his own fault. “Listen, Jensen. I don’t know if this will help but I’ve seen this kind of thing before, and believe me when I tell you you’re not weak or useless. Matt set out to gain complete control of you and I have to admit I don’t think I would’ve have survived half as well as you did.”
“Don’t look at me as if I’m some kind of hero, Jared. All I learned to do was avoid making Matt angry so he wouldn’t use me as a punch bag. I lost my friends, my family and my self-respect. What kind of man am I? To let another man do that to me. Jesus, I must have had ‘victim’ tattooed on my forehead or something. I mean, why else did Matt pick on me? He must’ve seen just how weak I am.” As he spoke tears welled up in his eyes, but he managed to stop them from falling.
“That’s it! I’m not crying over Matt anymore, all I’ve done for the last two years is exist. I stopped living when Matt cut me off from my friends. Shit! I don’t know why Kane even talks to me.” Jensen sounded lost, but Jared could see the determination in his eyes.
Without thinking Jared reached over and took Jensen’s hand, “You know to Kane you are a hero. I hope you don’t mind but he told me how Matt finally broke you two apart. Jensen, it took guts to send Kane away like that so Matt wouldn’t destroy him.”
Jensen looked at Jared and Jared’s breath caught in his throat; those green eyes were full of pain and humiliation on hearing that Jared knew the worst of his life with Matt. “Please Jensen, don’t be upset. I asked about what had happened, so I could try to understand Matt and then convince him to let go and move on.”
Jensen pulled his hand away, shaking his head furiously, “No, you don’t understand. Matt will never let me go. As far as he’s concerned I’m his and always will be. You know what the worst thing was? It wasn’t when he beat the shit out of me, or even when he knew I didn’t want sex but he just carried on. It was when he ignored me. It came to the point when Matt was the only person I saw outside of work, and if he really wanted to punish me he would just stop speaking to me. It wasn’t even that he treated me as if I was invisible; I got so lonely I even begged him to talk to me. Christ! How fucking pathetic do I sound? I spent my life begging for the man who abused me to just look at me.” Jensen wrapped his arms round himself and he shivered.
Jared moved closer and he put his arm round Jensen’s shoulders, “And you’re also the man who after everything Matt did to you that night, your first thought was to protect your oldest and closest friend. Then you found the strength to plan your escape. Do you know Matt thought he’d broken you? From what I can see he couldn’t be further from the truth. You really are a lot stronger than you think.”
Jensen turned to Jared then pain still in those eyes, but there was also a flicker of optimism that maybe Jared was telling the truth. “I have to ask how you managed to keep what you were up to away from Matt?”
Jensen gave a little smile, “That night he hurt me so badly I had to spend a week in bed. It was so bad he had to fetch a doctor friend of his to check me over. He told him it was a game that got out of hand. That I liked it rough and he was only doing what I asked.
He was the same as always after one of our little educational sessions. Full of apologies and so gentle and tender, I think it was then I realized that it was all an act. Every time it was going to be the last time, but I had to learn my lesson, he hated doing those things to me. But I needed a firm hand; it was when he threatened Kane I knew enough was enough.
Lying in bed that week gave me time to plan. I figured out how to divert money away from my account without Matt knowing what I was up to. I cancelled my health and life insurance and set up an account of my own and had the money paid there. Matt was so used to me doing as I was told he grew complacent, he stopped checking exactly where the money was going. I was safe as long as the amount he received remained the same.
I decided once I had enough money I going to head to work one day and vanish. It was going to cost me the job I loved I could never work as a vet again because Matt would find me through it. But as long as I could put enough distance between us I might have stood a chance.”
Jared was amazed at the amount of thought Jensen had given to his escape. “How long did that go on for?”
“It was nearly a year, and to use Aldis’ favourite phrase I became the perfect Stepford boyfriend, doing what Matt said, wearing what he wanted, behaving how he wanted. I even managed to reduce how often he had to correct me. The hardest part was letting him touch me; I could barely stand it. But I knew it would be worth it in the end.
The final part of the plan was to contact Kane so he would be able to get away at the same time. I was nearly ready; I had just enough to get away. I was only days away from disappearing, but it never happened.” Jensen finished and looked at Jared
“Was that because of the accident? Jensen, listen to me. I don’t think that you killed Matt. Sometimes spirits are confused.”
Jensen shook his head, “No, I know Matt, there is no way he is confused. I must’ve grabbed the wheel or something. I keep trying to remember what happened that night, but it’s like it’s behind a thick blanket of fog. It’s just there but I can’t make out the details. I have a question for you. How come he’s waited so long? It’s been nearly six months.”
Jared thought about it for a moment, “From what I’ve seen and heard about Matt, he wants total control and for that he needed you on your own. At first, you were in the hospital and then you were at Kane’s. You’ve only been here for a short time, and I think he’s been watching you, waiting for the right time to strike.”
Jensen looked terrified at the prospect and Jared couldn’t blame him. In fact, he was scared himself as he had no idea how to convince Matt to move on. Then there was the worrying fact that Matt was much stronger than a normal ghost. Jared smiled reassuringly at Jensen and then he saw Matt standing in front of them.
“Jared, you should really learn to keep your hands off other people’s property.” With that, Jared found himself being pulled off the couch and he was thrown against the bookcase. He lay there stunned; he could hear Jensen pleading with Matt to leave him alone. Jared was just crawling away when he heard Jensen yell a warning.
Matt pulled the bookcase on top of him, pinning his legs beneath it. Jared tried to move the bookcase but Matt was holding it down. Why the fuck was he so strong? Jared looked over to where Jensen was and his heart sank.