Word Count: 14690 (this was supposed to be a drabble!)
Summary: Jared can’t help but think how strange it is, that he only realized how much he loved Jensen until after he’d beat the crap out of him. A tale of getting together, but as far as Jensen was concerned he’d much rather been asked out for a coffee......oh and a special appearance by Dr Misha Collins.
Disclaimer: This is a work of pure fiction sad to say. These poor men who I’ve abused and bruised (sorry Jensen) are not in a relationship, and the cross roads demon still won’t let me have them. Even though I’m offering him the souls of the office staff I work with. (Look they’re all nearly new, none of them were using them much *G*)
Notes: Many moons ago I read this quote from Jensen, “I grew up playing sports so I do as much as they let me. But Jared is four inches taller than me and more devoted to the gym then I am, so if it ever came to a fight between us I’d let him have it.” And it started me thinking... never a good thing, what if they had a fight? What started as a ficlet ended up in this tale of angst, and getting together. As always many thanks goes to the stupendously awesome bigj52 my beta, for her bravery in the face of my ramblings. Title borrowed from the Roxette song of the same name.
Misha took a break from his gruesome work and sat back, “Nearly done, Jensen. There wasn’t as much as I thought there’d be. Now just try and relax.”
Misha’s last comment had Jensen shake his head furiously, “Misha, where did ya learn to do this? Because if you paid for the lessons I’d want my money back....Holy fuck!” As Jensen’s breathy whisper rose sharply to a shout at the end, Misha sat back in triumph; another small piece of glass was gone.
Misha knelt back; he looked at Jared with a grim expression on his face, “In answer to your question - several years backpacking when doctors were very hard to find. You tend not to be squeamish about butchering yourself when it comes down to it.”
Jensen gave a faint smile at that, “Oh good. It’s nice to know I’m not the first person you’ve worked on Dr Collins.”
“True, but you are the first I can send a bill to. Right, we’re done. As I said there wasn’t too much glass, the worst cut should’ve been stitched. But you sat with it all night; I can probably butterfly it back together. The others I will butterfly and they will be fine. Is your Tetanus up to date? What am I asking? With our show that’s a given.” Misha stood up and motioned Jared to follow him.
Jared slowly let go of Jensen and got off the bed. He went over to Misha, “Now, I’ll finish up. When I’ve gone I want you to clean up the house and Jensen, not necessarily in that order. Give him plenty of fluids and try to keep him warm, except for where you are going to have to apply ice. That will be his ribs and face. Jared, watch for any increase in his temperature; don’t let him move around too much and that cut should hold together.”
Jared was hanging onto every word Misha said, “I don’t know how to thank you, man. He will be alright?” Misha regarded Jared closely.
“Like I said before, I did this for Jensen. Had it been my call he’d have been on his way to the E.R. so fast his head would’ve spun. He’s taken care of you for so long, Jared; it’s time for you to return the favour. Let him get some rest, and then you have to talk. If you don’t want him that’s fine, but please Jared, just break his heart once and for all, and let us pick up the pieces. As for the show, I’m pretty sure he will be able to work with you. Now the ball is in your court.”
Misha went to turn away from Jared, “I don’t know what to do, Misha. How will he ever forgive me?”
Misha smiled at the plaintive tone, “Jared, for such a highly intelligent man you can be extraordinarily stupid. Jensen will forgive you anything and don’t worry about losing a friend; something tells me Jensen will always be your friend.”
“What about you, Misha. How do you feel about me?”
“Jared, I don’t think anybody could hate you for long - smack you around the head for this, but hate you, no. All we want is for both of you to be happy, either with one another or finally being able to move on.”
“What do you mean move on? Is Jensen seeing someone?” Jared’s questions held the faintest tinge of jealousy.
“What does it matter, Jared? You’re not interested, remember? Now let’s go and put him back together, shall we?” Misha walked towards Jensen, smiling to himself as he went. Misha reached the bed and checked on Jensen, his eyes were closed and he was shivering.
Misha gently laid his hand on the other man’s shoulder; Jensen flinched and opened his eyes, nervousness clear in the green depths. “It’s alright, Jensen. Now I’m just going to patch the cuts up and I’ll be on my way.” Misha busied himself by cutting strips of surgical tape he could use as butterfly stitches. When he was ready Misha knelt closer to the bed. First of all he generously applied antiseptic cream, praying that it would be enough to stave off infection. Then he carefully applied the strips of surgical tape. Finally he covered the whole area with gauze and taped it down. Misha then turned his attention to Jensen’s injured hand. After treating it with antiseptic cream, he bandaged it, satisfied there was nothing more he could do he spoke.
“Jared, can you stop hovering and help me put Jensen to bed please? Jensen, you are going to let Jared look after you, no arguments. Also you are staying in bed and resting. If you really want to keep Jared out of trouble you need to let that hip heal as much as possible. I’m sure you will come up with a cover story for any visible bruising when we’re back on set.” Misha was in full Cas mode -stern, with a touch of compassion for dealing with Dean when he was being stubborn.
Jared joined Misha and allowed himself to be put to work. Misha indicated that Jared should pick Jensen up while he pulled back the bed clothes. Jared scooped Jensen up in his arms, trying to ignore how he felt in his arms, but he was well aware of the fact Jensen was almost naked. Then he became conscious of how cold he felt, along with the tremors running through his body. He looked at Jensen’s face and he noticed how his eyes were downcast and he appeared to be blushing. The flush on his face only accented the deepening bruises.
Jared was suddenly aware of being watched. He hadn’t realized that he’d been studying Jensen with such rapt attention when he looked up, startled at Misha’s soft cough. Misha was holding the bedclothes, waiting for Jared to put Jensen to bed. It was Jared’s turn to blush as he carefully laid him on the bed, “Hold on a second, Misha, I want to fetch something to help keep Jensen warm.”
With that, Jared ran out of the room, sprinting upstairs. He knew there was an old sweatshirt of his that Jensen loved to steal whenever he got the chance. It was worn and baggy, but the material was soft, due to repeated washing. Jared kept meaning to throw it out, but he’d always liked seeing Jensen wearing it round the house. As he grabbed the shirt he considered what he was thinking and slowed a little. His mind went back to when Genevieve had mentioned Jensen wearing his clothes, and he realized something. She only mentioned it after she tried to wear the same sweatshirt and Jared had found her another one to wear.
Jared froze. Could it be true? Was he in love with Jensen? He shook his head; no, it was a crush, nothing more. Taking a deep breath Jared ran back down to Jensen. He walked into the bedroom, the sweatshirt held tightly in his hand. Jensen spotted it and started to shake his head a little.
Misha was watching this drama with amusement. An entire argument was being held without the benefit of dialogue, as Jared huffed and narrowed his eyes offering the shirt. Jensen met his eyes with a steely set to his jaw, sparks flaring in green eyes. Jared tilted his head to one side, allowing his eyes to grow big and forlorn looking. Jensen made a valiant attempt at resisting the Jared’s use of puppy power, but succumbed with a sigh. Jared grinned and bounced over, happy with his victory.
Jensen tried to put the shirt on, but his battered body set up a litany of complaints. He couldn’t raise his arms high enough, and his ribs joined by feeling as if they had splintered in his chest. The rest of his bruises joined in because they didn’t want to miss the party.
Jared quietly took the shirt off Jensen and threaded his arms through the sleeves, and then very carefully he lifted Jensen’s arms while he pulled the shirt over his head. Jared carefully eased the shirt the rest of the way down Jensen’s body, concerned at Jensen’s loss of colour. “Hey Misha, can you pass that other pillow, so I can prop Jensen up a little? “ Misha quickly responded to Jared’s request, passing the pillow over, watching as Jared gently laid Jensen back against the pillows. Jensen’s eyes had closed, his breathing had become shallow, and Jared placed his hand on his forehead to check how hot he was.
“I’m not dying here, Padalecki. I’m just tired and everything aches, although I can’t imagine why.” With that, he opened his eyes as Jared shuffled uncomfortably.
Misha laughed a little, “Well Jared, I wish you all the best with your patient, and now I will go home before my beloved wife sends out a search party. I’ll see you two in a week’s time and I mean both of you. I don’t want to have to come here and perform a ‘salt and burn’.” Misha walked out of the bedroom with Jared following behind.
At the front door Misha turned round to look at his friend, “See you next week, Jay. Now just promise me whatever happens, don’t make any rash decisions that you’ll regret.”
“I don’t know what you mean, Misha.” Jared replied feeling once again like Sam being studied by Cas.
“Oh, I suspect you do. I’ll offer just one piece of advice to you. Listen to your heart.”
“What is that...Buddhist philosophy?”
“No...Roxette’s. Bye Jared, look after him.” Misha turned and walked out of the house.
Jared closed the door behind him, resting his forehead against the door. Now what? He sighed and turned round, looking upstairs as he did. Jared’s eyes widened in shock as he noticed the blood for the first time; half-way up the stairs he saw a bloody handprint on the wall. There was also a smear about hip level; Jared realized he couldn’t remember getting to bed, how had he gotten there? He’d have to ask Jensen.
Shit! Jensen! He dragged his fingers through his hair. Now what? Well, first of all he needed to get him something to drink and ice for his ribs. Jared walked to the kitchen, taking in the scene as he went. The spots of blood bore silent testament to Jensen’s injuries at his hands. He reached the kitchen door, saw the red mark there and swallowed, feeling sicker than ever. Taking his courage in both hands, Jared pushed open the door and stepped inside. The devastation within proved to be too much, and he just reached the sink before he threw up again. He stood running the tap, rinsing his mouth and wiping his face. He felt tears sting his eyes, “God, Jensen! How am I ever gonna put this right?” He closed his eyes, gathered himself together, and got to work.
Opening the fridge, Jared retrieved a bottle of Gatorade. Then he pulled open the freezer and grabbed a couple of bags of ice. Jared closed the freezer and set to work making ice packs for the man lying in bed. He was pretty good at that; with the show both of them were often covered in bruises so the freezer was always stocked with plenty of ice. He swiftly put together a couple of ice packs and put the excess ice back in the freezer for later; Jared looked round the kitchen and considered cleaning up.
He felt it could wait, and that Jensen was much more important than wiping the kitchen clean. As Jared walked back to Jensen’s room, a little voice inside his mind whispered to him, “Oh yeah, he’s more important now. What about before? All those nights he sat and listened to you bleat on about a broken heart. Did you ever stop to see his pain? Well, you’ve got plenty of evidence now, Jared. After all, most of it is on the wall. How did you get upstairs again? Come on, you’re a smart boy. Figure it out.” Jared shook his head, and tried to quieten a nagging suspicion building in his gut.
He took a deep breath as he reached the door. He almost chickened out, but he knew it was time to face up to what he’d done; it was up to him to try and put it right. When he pushed the door open he was faced with what he’d done to Jensen; he was lying perfectly still with his eyes closed. Jared watched as Jensen seemed to be engaged in a silent battle with the pain he was in, attempting to will it away and shore up the defences that he had so brutally shattered.
“In or out, Jay, don’t hover.” Jensen’s hoarse whisper startled Jared as he was looking guiltily at Jensen. He was going to ask him what he meant by that comment, when he realized he was standing in the doorway of Jensen’s room.
Steeling himself, Jared walked into the room and approached the bed, placing the gatorade on the dressing table beside Jensen, “I’ll just get a couple of towels to wrap these in. I won’t be long.” Jared went to Jensen’s en-suite and soon emerged with the towels, and a bottle of Tylenol. Jared busied himself by wrapping ice packs in the towels. He handed one to Jensen to use on his face; Jared licked his lips unsure what to do next. In the past he would’ve just pulled the comforter down and slipped the ice pack under Jensen’s sweatshirt. Now he wasn’t sure how Jensen would react to being touched by him.
Jensen watched Jared’s internal debate; he sighed and held out his hand for the other ice pack. Jared gave him a sad little look. He was just about to hand it over when he straightened his back, “No, it’s ok. I got it if you don’t mind.” Jensen just nodded, never taking his eyes off Jared as he moved forward slowly. Jared moved with exaggerated care as if any sudden movement would cause Jensen to bolt from the bed.
Jared lowered the comforter and slowly slid the sweatshirt upwards, swallowing sickly at the sight of the bruising on Jensen’s ribs. He placed the ice over the worst of it, hearing Jensen gasp at the sudden cold; Jared pulled the sweatshirt down again and covered him back up.
“There, that wasn’t so bad, was it? I’m not gonna bite, Jared. Well, not for a while anyway. Are you ok? Do you want to talk? I’m a captive audience here.” Jensen was trying to smile, but the damage to his lip prevented him. Jensen felt apprehensive, so he went for Dean’s usual avoidance tactic of humour. Jared looked lost, his eyes darting everywhere rather than look at Jensen.
Jensen let his eyes slip closed; he was too tired to deal with this, but he knew they needed to talk...and soon. No matter what happened, they still had to work with one another. They had just been told they were doing Season Six, so it looked like it was up to him to pour oil on troubled waters. He could bury his own hurt, he was good at that, but Jensen knew that he and Jared needed to be able to be in the same room without looking as if they were going to kill one another.
Jared stood watching as Jensen closed his eyes, he looked so damn tired. He was sickened at what he’d done; he had no idea how to talk to Jensen about what had happened. What it meant for their friendship, if there even was a friendship to save after he’d been such a complete asshole. He couldn’t face the other man; he couldn’t stand the hurt and fear in his eyes, “Jensen, you get some rest, and I’ll go and clean up a little. I’ve left some Tylenol for you. I’ll be back to check on you soon.” Jared all but ran out of the room. Just as he closed the bedroom door he looked over to the bed, and he was sure he saw the glistening of tears on Jensen’s cheek.
Jared leant on the closed door, and shook himself; he needed to keep busy. The last thing he wanted was to sit and brood over what had happened. Again the traitorous voice in his head whispered, “Of course, if you sit and think about Jensen, you’re gonna have to think about how you feel about him. How the hell are you gonna work with him, if you can’t even look the guy in the eye? Besides, do you really want to remember what you did last night?”
Jared moved automatically to the kitchen, determined to at least clean up the one mess he was responsible for. He cleaned the kitchen like a man possessed, flinging open the window to get rid of the smell. He swept up the glass and mopped the floor, before attacking the bloodstains. As he cleaned, parts of the previous evening kept coming back to him. He saw Jensen’s face as he hit him, over and over, the look of shock and betrayal at Jared’s actions.
Jared gritted his teeth and cleaned more vigorously, moving onto the bloodstains in the hallway. Once he cleaned them off the floor, he returned to the kitchen and fetched a fresh bowl of hot water, detergent and some cloths then prepared to set about cleaning the bloodstains off the wall. He methodically worked his way upstairs, tracking the course of the blood; all the while he kept trying to remember how he’d gotten upstairs.
He shook himself; the memory would come when it was ready. Jared stood up and a wave of dizziness swept over him. He leant against the wall to steady himself. As he did his hand rested over the damp spot from where he’d cleaned Jensen’s bloodied handprint.
He gasped in shock as a flash of memory assaulted him; he sank back to his knees to stop himself pitching head first down the stairs. The memory was disjointed, and it consisted of a feeling of vertigo. He could see the stairs as he was being....oh god... he didn’t, did he?
Jared eased himself round so he was sitting on the stairs, and let his mind slowly fill in the blanks. It was more of the same, no coherent narrative but flashes of sensations. His body swaying as he was carried upstairs and the tilting of his room when Jensen had laid him down on his bed.
Jared stood and went back towards Jensen’s room, his hand lingering on the door handle. What could he say...? “Hi Jensen, you know after I beat the crap out of you last night, did you carry me upstairs and look after me?” His shoulders were hunched and thrummed with tension, he knew deep down that’s what had happened. He sighed and pushed himself away from the door.
Jared continued with his house cleaning, ending up in his room. He stripped his bed of the bloodstained sheets and picked up the T-shirt he’d worn yesterday. As he looked at it, another flash of memory struck when he saw the bloody mark on the shoulder of the shirt. Jensen grabbing him to try and stop him driving...Shit! He could’ve killed someone. What the fuck had he been thinking?
“Let’s see what you were thinking....ah yes! I need to get away from Jensen as quickly as possible, because he might just guess that there is something going on.” Again the voice hissed in his mind. Jared sank down on the bed. No! It wasn’t like that. He only saw Jensen as a friend; that was all. There was nothing else there.
“Could it be because guys are just there to be fucked? You don’t ever fall in love with one, do you, Jared? Come on, all those little experiments - college, L.A. and a few walks on the wild side in Vancouver. Funny how those particular guys all had freckles and green eyes, hey? I’m sure if you wait a few weeks then give good old Jen the puppy eyes, he’ll roll over and let you fuck him. The ultimate friends with benefits. After all, Jensen loves you so much he’d do anything for you. Even down to letting you treat him like a piece of meat. ”
Jared fell back onto the bed, shaking his head. He curled up into a ball, his hands over his ears, trying to block out the voice of his conscience as it continued to taunt him. His mind whirled as the night before played on a loop - seeing Jensen hurt and bleeding, desperately trying to stop him hurting someone else. Finally Jared’s mind shut down as he fell into an exhausted slumber.
Jared was startled awake by a noise from downstairs; he got up and walked towards Jensen’s room. He could hear Harley and Sadie scratching at the door. As he got closer the dogs sat down and they threw back their heads and howled. The sound chilled Jared’s blood, goose bumps rose on his skin as he battled towards the door past the two dogs. The howling continued; its sound was mournful and spoke of a terrible loss.
Jared flung the door open, and his eyes went right to Jensen lying still on the bed. His heart stuttered. Jensen was so pale; his lips were tinged with blue. Jared ran in and knelt by the bed. Feeling a warm dampness beneath his knees, he looked down. To his horror he saw he was kneeling in an ever spreading pool of blood. Jared pulled back the bed clothes and choked back a scream, Jensen was covered in blood. It was then he realized the other man was no longer breathing. He shook Jensen desperately, trying to wake him. Finally Jared pulled the limp figure to his chest. He held the cool body tightly and he screamed one word. “Jensen!”
Jared jolted into a sitting position; he looked round his room, the feeling of devastating loss making his heart pound....“Jensen....Oh Fuck, Jensen!” With that, he leapt off his bed and ran downstairs.
Jared ran to the closed door of Jensen’s room, and without a second’s hesitation he burst through the door in an attempt to dispel the terrifying image of Jensen lying dead in his arms. Jared skidded to a halt by Jensen’s bed. His empty bed. Jared crumpled to his knees, his hands fisted into the sheets. He started to cry, unable to cope with the fact that Jensen was gone. It had only been a dream, right? Jensen wasn’t dead.... he’d driven him away. What the fuck was he supposed to do now? Where had he gone? Was he alright? But at this moment he didn’t have the strength to get up off his knees and get to a phone to try and track Jensen down.
Jensen had been in the bathroom when he’d heard the sound of Hurricane Padalecki hitting his room. He’d managed to drag himself to the bathroom, and was just steeling himself for the journey back. Then he’d seen Jared fall to his knees, and start to cry. Jensen’s ‘protect Jared’ instincts came fully online and, without considering the damage to his body he moved towards the kneeling figure.
As he tried to get a grip on himself Jared heard a noise behind him. He looked over his shoulder and got the shock of his life. Staggering out of the bathroom, with a look of grim determination on his pale features, was Jensen. Before Jared could move Jensen had made it over to him, dropped to his knees beside him and looked at him with concern. “Are you alright? Jay, what’s wrong, dude? You look like you’ve seen a ghost?” Jensen was worried by Jared’s lack of response, but there was no way he could get Jared to his feet. All he could do was stay by him.
Jared stared at him in shock, “You’re not dead! And what the fuck do you think you’re playing at? Shit, Jensen! What about your hip? You could bleed to death....up...we need to get you up...and back in bed.” Jensen was still trying to process Jared’s ‘you’re not dead’, when he found himself being lifted off the floor and placed with infinite care on the bed.
Jared was staring at him, looking so frightened that if he blinked he would disappear; Jensen shuffled under the scrutiny. Jared pulled the bedclothes over him and turned away. Jensen suddenly felt angry. Not only had Jared beaten the shit out of him, made him feel like crap and now the crack about being dead was just too much.
“Ok, just what the fuck, Padalecki? I mean, do you really want me out of your life that badly you were wishing I was dead? Christ Jared, all you had to do was ask Misha to take me with him. That’s it! Enough’s efuckingnough! You know what, screw Season Six! I’ll take the fallout. There’s no way I can carry on doing this anymore.” As he was speaking, he threw back the bed clothes and got out of bed.
The pain from his hip nearly sent him to his knees, but there was no way he could keep doing this - Jared had made it plain how he felt about him. He might have masochistic tendencies where Jared was concerned, but he was no Dean Winchester. There was a limit to what he’d do for the one he loved and he’d just reached it.
Jensen took a step and his leg decided to call a halt to the escape; Jensen felt himself falling as his leg refused to take his weight. Before he hit the floor Jared had spun round and grabbed him, tightly wrapping his arms around him. Jensen’s ribs began to protest at the treatment; he was just about to try and push Jared away when he looked up at him.
Jared’s face was pale and his eyes red from crying, Jensen stopped struggling. “Jay, what’s wrong? Come on, man, tell me! At least give me a clue before you break my ribs.” Jared’s eyes widened with horror, and the pressure lessened. The two men stood silently as Jensen waited for Jared to speak to him.
Jared adjusted his hold on the other man and spoke softly, “I think we need to talk, but I’d feel better if you were lying down. Misha threatened to call Kane earlier, and if you turn up at his, bleeding all over the place, Misha will call him, then I don’t think there will be anywhere I can hide from Kane.” With that, Jared helped Jensen back to bed.
He lowered Jensen down onto the bed, and reached for his hip; Jensen rested his hand on top of his. “Oh no, you don’t, you can check it later. You said you wanted to talk, Jared. Well, talk to me.”
Jared sat on the bed and looked down at the floor, trying to collect his thoughts. But all he kept seeing was Jensen covered in blood, and how he’d felt when he thought he’d lost him forever. Jared dragged his fingers through his hair, not knowing where to start. Then he looked up at the ceiling and sighed.
“Ok, just for the record, I didn’t wish you were dead. I just had a weird dream and I might have been slightly freaking out when you found me.” He turned and looked at Jensen, giving him a weak smile.
“I kinda suspected something was wrong, when I found you on your knees sobbing hysterically like a teenage girl after she found out Robert Pattinson was dating.” Jensen relaxed when Jared laughed a little at that.
“Err right. Put it like this – if they ever do another death scene for Dean, I think I have Sam’s grief motivation down.” Jared fell silent; he didn’t know what to say next, his eyes drifted over to Jensen. He was waiting patiently to listen to what he had to say. Jared took his courage in both hands.
“Just for the record I’m bi, I just tend not to make too big a deal of it.” Jared gave a nervous laugh, looking at Jensen again. Jensen looked stunned at the news, “Jen, speak to me please? You’re going for your ‘Dean having a silent communication with Cas’ look, and you know how it freaks me out.”
Jensen felt like he’d been punched, and boy, he knew exactly how that felt, but he managed to croak out, “Bi? Fuck, really? And you decided to tell me this now because?”
“Because I owe you an explanation for beating the crap out of you, and just generally being a total asshole for the last few weeks, that’s why.” Jared fell silent not sure how to continue.
“Ok, I get that part, and it’s one hell of a way to say sorry. But I still don’t get why you’re coming out to me now? You’ll have to forgive me being a little slow; blood loss will do that to you.” Jensen felt a little guilty at Jared’s devastated expression, but after what had happened in the last twenty four-hours he felt he owed him a little payback.
“How about I go back to the beginning? I’ve always found guys attractive and when I went to college, I experimented. You know - a few fumbles in dark rooms, drunken kisses and the like, but I always dated girls. Then after I left college to try acting, well, it just got easier - all the hot guys and easy fucks. They were just so simple to leave behind the next morning. Then came Sandy, and I thought I could settle down with a girl and we were happy. But you know - acting, the months of separation, and hey presto, single again.
I tried, Jensen, I really tried. You saw me with other girls, flirting, dating, having fun. What you didn’t see were the other guys. The usual thing - a dark bar, a few drinks, a fumble, but there was something missing. I needed more, and I just wasn’t getting the thrill anymore.”
Jared paused, wondering what to say next. Then Jensen spoke, “So I get it. Us guys are just fine for a fumble or a fuck but taking someone home to mama, they need to have tits and a girl’s name, right! Well, thanks, Jared, you’re really making me feel better. Is that what Genevieve’s problem with me was? Was I gonna be your last little experiment, and she didn’t take too fucking kindly to the idea? So when she kicked your ass into touch, you vented all your frustration on me. Jesus Fucking Christ, Jay! You’re supposed to be my friend. Just get the fuck out of here now! I’ll be gone in the morning and you two can have your white picket fence, and apple pie life. Don’t worry about the show. I’ll be a good big brother, and play my part, but you just stay the hell away from me.”
As Jensen had been speaking his voice was grown louder and louder. He sat forward, glaring at Jared. All the hurt and anger that had been building burst the dam that he’d built to protect himself. Finally he sank back down on the pillows; he felt dizzy, the room whirled and slipped out of focus.
He heard a soft voice calling him back. He concentrated hard and realized Jared was kneeling by the bed, holding his one hand tightly, the other was softly trailing through his hair. Before he could start screaming at Jared, he began to listen to what he was saying. Jared was talking rapidly, the words spilling out of him as if he could no longer contain them.
“You know you’re partly right about the experiment thing, Jen. You just got the roles the wrong way round.” Jensen froze hearing that, he decided to lie still. It seemed this was going to be the only way Jared was going to be able to talk.
“It happened so slowly, I never even noticed. I’d been denying how I felt for so long. When we started Season Four and you moved in here, it just felt so right. You’re my best friend and it’s been the best time of my life. I know the fans have gone on about us being together from almost the beginning, I just thought it was funny. I mean, I don’t fall in love with guys! Like you said - a fumble or a fuck. Hell, even Genevieve passed comment on how close we were.
Then you got hurt on set. It was a stupid fight, and the stuntman mis-timed his punch. When you hit the floor I went ballistic. You had no idea. After all, he’d knocked you out. It took Lou, Misha and a grip to get me off the guy. When I calmed down it scared the shit out of me. It was more than just a friend’s reaction; I’d been ready to kill him for hurting you.
They sent you home and I carried on filming, and as bad luck would have it Genevieve was there for a costume fitting. I did the only thing I could think of to prove to myself you meant nothing to me. I went right over to her and asked her out. She was so shocked. She thought that we were an item. I convinced her there was nothing going on, and that’s where the whole thing started from.” Jared went quiet, the fingers running through Jensen’s hair stilled, but he still held his hand tightly.
When Jared started to speak again his voice was softer and filled with sadness, “You know, I did such a great job of making everyone believe that me and Geni were the real deal, I even convinced myself. I think that’s when I proposed to her. I’m not saying I didn’t love her, but she was right - I just didn’t love her enough. Shit Jensen, what the fuck am I gonna do? How the hell did I screw up so fucking badly?” Jared’s eyes dropped to the floor.
Jensen squeezed Jared’s hand and he looked up, shocked, panic in his eyes when he realized that Jensen had heard everything he’d said. “I understand it, I really do. Jesus Jared, look at me. I’m gay but I’ve been ‘dating’ Danni for years. Hollywood still has no time for gay actors; you just did the only thing you could think of at the time. You ran straight at the nearest woman who would have you. Whatever happens next, all I can say is Genevieve did the right thing. Because, trust me when I tell you it’s really fucking hard living a lie. Just more people get hurt in the long run.” Jensen fell silent, and then a sad smile slowly appeared.
“But dude, I need to ask. Was it really necessary to beat the shit out of me? Couldn’t you have just asked me out for a coffee? Or was it a case of you only pull the pig tails of the girl you like?” There was a smirk playing on his face, but his eyes were serious. Jensen waited for Jared to answer him, “Come on, Jay. Tell me what the fuck I did to you, to make you turn me into a punch bag.”
Jared drew a shuddering breath, and he turned back to Jensen, his eyes filling with tears. He dashed at his eyes, trying to calm down. He looked at the floor and began to speak softly, “It was so stupid. I mean, dude, all you’ve ever done is want what’s best for me. You’ve put up with me moping about after me and Geni split. Shit, I seem to remember you sitting and eating ice cream with me at one point. Man, talk about a pair of girls.” Jared shook his head at the memory.
“Oh yeah and putting up with your lactose intolerance afterwards. Dude, you were rank, but what triggered last night? I know you when you get drunk. I usually stand more chance of being hugged to death, because you tend to get grabby. What changed?” Jensen knew he had to get to the bottom of Jared’s freak-out, because no matter what happened next they still had to work together.
“What can I say? Look, I remember after you left for the studio I went for a shower, found out that I’d ran out of shampoo and I admit, I snuck into your room to steal yours. I’d gotten the shampoo and as I was leaving I saw the box sticking out from under the bed. I knew you’d got something planned for the bachelor party. I couldn’t help myself. I guess I thought I’d be fine. I was just curious. I got the box out, and took it out to the lounge, started to look through it then I found the DVD and I put it on. As I watched it, I don’t know, I just started to get angry. Then I found the two bottles of Tequila in the box, and I started drinking and after that things got a little hazy.”
Jared paused; he was gathering together the snippets of the previous day - watching the DVD, looking at the photographs and then starting to drink. How angry he became with each swig from the bottle. “I think it was when I looked at the pictures and the DVD I got really angry, and the more I drank, the angrier I got.”
“But Jay, what the fuck made you so angry with me? I tried to stay out of yours and Genevieve’s way. What did I do to make you hate me so much?” There was a catch in Jensen’s voice as he asked the question. Jared looked up from the floor, startled at the tone in his voice.
“Hate you? Fuck! I wish I did hate you....it’s the opposite. I love you, Jensen. While I watched that damn DVD, and looked at the pictures, I realized it wasn’t Geni I wanted to be there, it was you. You walked into my life when we started Supernatural, and now I can’t imagine it without you. I got scared, then angry and even angrier with myself for falling for the last person I damn well should’ve. I was going to run to Genevieve and beg her to give us another shot, but deep down I knew it was a bad idea. Then you came back to the house...and fuck, I’m so sorry, Jen. You never deserved any of this shit. Listen, I’ll understand if you want to move out, and I’ll talk to my agent about dismantling the show.”
Jared stopped talking. There was nothing more he could say. How could he apologise for attacking the man lying on the bed? The man he professed to love? And how had he shown that love? By denying it and twisting it then finally, physically attacking Jensen. He didn’t even deserve his friendship let alone anything else.
“Why the hell would you want to dismantle the show? Listen, I’m prepared to work with you if can work with me. Jared, there is something I really need to know if we stand any chance of being friends. What do you feel about me?” Jensen’s soft voice washed over Jared, and he clung to the hope that Jensen wanted to work with him and they could be friends.
“What do I feel about you? I just told you I love you, and I’m really fucking sorry for hulking out on you.” Jared was confused by the question.
“No Jay, you don’t get it. I want a relationship not just a fuck in some dark alley. Don’t get me wrong. I can’t see us high kicking out of the closet any time soon, but I want a real relationship not just sex. I can’t do anything less. I wish I could, but I can’t do friends with benefits. Call me selfish and tell me I’m being a girl, but I’m sorry, that’s just the way it is.” Jensen looked at Jared; he was scared of what he’d just done. He’d bared his soul to Jared, now it was up to the other man what happened next. Jensen steeled himself for the answer. Perhaps it would be for the best if Jared was to reject him once and for all, because he really didn’t think he could take too many more beatings, either emotional or physical.
Jared’s heart raced. Was Jensen saying what he thought he was saying? That there was a chance for them? After everything he’d done to Jensen, he was still prepared to even consider giving them a chance.
“Jensen, believe me when I say this. I don’t ever want to go through anything like this again. I’ve been a fucking coward for too long. To be honest I would’ve been happy just for you to be my friend. As for a relationship - dude, I have no idea how to go about it with a guy, or even that you would be willing to take that kind of chance on me.” Jared lifted his eyes hopefully towards his friend...even possible lover.
Jensen couldn’t believe what was happening. Only a few hours ago he’d been getting ready to leave Jared’s life, and now Jared was telling him he loved him, and wanted to try and have a relationship with him. Jensen licked his lips, “Listen, Jared, if you’re serious it’s gonna be difficult. No public displays of affection. Ok, climbing me like a tree is pretty normal behaviour for you, but you do understand what you are committing to? Because Jared, the first time I even think you’re getting cold feet, I’m gone. Do you hear me? “Jensen’s voice was hard; he was giving Jared the chance to back out while they both still could.
Jared smiled tentatively at Jensen, “Jen, if you want you can call Kane to come over and see you, and he can kick my ass for what I’ve done, because fine, I deserve it. But I meant what I said. I’m in love with you, and I have been for a while. I just wish I could take back everything that’s happened, and I could’ve asked you out for that coffee, instead of spending the afternoon acting as scrub nurse for Dr. Collins.” Jared rubbed the back of his neck and looked away.
“Listen to me, Padalecki. I don’t need Kane to fight my battles for me....well, ok, maybe I do at the moment. But you ever pull this kind of shit again, and I’m hitting you with the nearest heavy object or shooting you. Remember dude, I have a nerf gun and I ain’t afraid to use it. I mean it, Jared. This was a one-time event. If I even think you’re about to use me for boxing training again, I’m gone. I don’t really see myself as a battered boyfriend.” Jensen shifted slightly, wincing as his muscles and bruises began to protest at their latest mistreatment by him.
Jared suddenly sprang to his feet, “Shit Jen, I gotta look at your hip. What if it’s bleeding again? If it is then we are going straight to the E.R.” Jared moved towards the bed and carefully pulled the gauze away from Jensen’s hip. He flinched when he saw the cuts.
“I’m ok. I’m not gonna bleed out here, Jay, but is there any chance of me getting some rest anytime soon? Only because I didn’t sleep much last night and you look like shit, dude. I think you could do with some sleep as well.” Jared re-covered the cuts and rolled his eyes. Typical Jensen, lying there, beat to hell and he was worried that he looked tired because of the hangover from hell.
“I’m fine and it’s impossible that I look anything but gorgeous. Now why don’t you get some rest and I’ll finish cleaning up?” With that, Jared stood up and went to leave.
“How about you stay here and get some sleep, and then you can clean up later? I don’t really feel like being alone at the moment, if you don’t mind.” Jensen was hesitant as he made the request for Jared to stay.
He turned back and moved closer to the bed. He was just about to get the chair from the corner when Jensen patted the bed beside him. “Are you sure, Jen? What if I hurt you?”
“Jay, get your ass on this bed. I know you’re not gonna hurt me again. Knowing you you’ll figure out a way to levitate so you don’t squash me. Now sit.”
Jared sat down then Jensen pulled at his shoulder until he lay down, stiff and unsure. Jensen just sighed and moved closer to him, “What are you doing?” Jared squeaked nervously at Jensen.
“Relax, Jay. I’m cold and I’m just sneaking over to steal body heat. Your virtue is perfectly safe with me.”
“Shame that.” Jared muttered.
“Whoa there, Casanova. How about that coffee first? What did you mean about relationships with a guy? How do you usually go about dating a girl?”Jensen slowly turned towards Jared.
“Oh, that’s easy. I take her out to eat a few times, buy her flowers or chocolates - the usual romantic crap. Go to the cinema, see a chick flick or two then I move in and fuck her senseless.” Jared grinned as he spoke.
Jensen’s mouth went dry at the prospect of the last part of the Jared Padalecki romance master plan. He licked his lips as he managed to gather his thoughts. “Right then. The meals sound great, although I’m just as happy sitting in a bar watching a football game. I’m not a big fan of flowers, they give me hay fever, and as for films, I go for action films and westerns. But I can’t really fault the last part of your plan. To be honest there isn’t much difference between a relationship with a man or a woman. The thing that matters most is do you love the person you’re with? I do promise to never chew you a new one for leaving the seat up, or ask if my ass looks big in these jeans.”
Jared grinned back, “I promise your ass could never look big in anything.”
“So you have been checking me out! Why Padalecki, you sly dog......” Just then Jensen yawned and he felt every single second of his thirty-two years and then some. He was trying to get comfortable when he felt Jared’s hands on him. He stiffened for a second then relaxed when he realized that Jared was slipping his arm beneath his body. Jared pulled him closer gently so that his head was resting on Jared’s shoulder.
Jensen closed his eyes and wondered if this was all some fucked-up dream. Perhaps he’d hit his head last night during his fight with Jared and he’d wake up on the kitchen floor. He’d always dreamt of just lying in Jared’s arms and now here he was. He started to laugh softly to himself.
“What’s so funny, Jen?” Jared turned his head to see what Jensen could find so funny after what had happened.
“Oh nothing. I’m just waiting to wake up and find all this was a dream. I mean, come on! Only we could find a way of getting together after you thought I was The Monster of the Week! Remind me to be more sympathetic to the stunt guys in the future when you start swinging. I’d still prefer the more traditional approach to being asked out though. Somehow I pictured getting you in bed would be a little more romantic, but hell, it’s something to tell the grandkids.” Jensen froze and swore under his breath. Shit! Great! Now he’d definitely scared Jared off.
Jared couldn’t believe what he’d just heard - they had a future together! Jensen actually saw them having a future together! He looked into Jensen’s eyes and smiled reassuringly, “Hold on there, cowboy. Can we go through the fucking in every room and on every flat surface first, before we have kids? I’d kinda like to keep you all to myself for a little while first.” Jared gently reached forward and stroked Jensen’s cheek.
“Jen, I’m scared. What if I fuck up again? Where do we go from here?” Jared looked at him as if he held the answers to all the mysteries in the world.
Jensen moved his right hand up and rested it over Jared’s heart, “Jay, there are no guarantees that we both won’t fuck up. But whatever happens now, I’m sure we’ll figure it out together.”