Word Count: 2750
Summary: Jared wakes to an empty bedroom he goes to find Jensen working late, very late on his director’s notes for episode three of season seven. What starts as a simple rescue mission to drag Jensen to bed, becomes a discussion into Dean and how the fans will react to the episode.
Disclaimer: 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.
Warnings: Spoilers for 7.03 and then some, oh and schmoop.
Notes: As always many, many thanks go to the awesome bigj52, a beta without equal. A saint of a woman who doesn’t scream when she sees an email from me, threatening her with yet more of my scribbles. Dear flisters this little piece was born from Jensen’s latest directorial endeavors, and from the reactions to the episode. This story may never be posted elsewhere, as it deals with fandom and how we sometimes forget that behind the characters of Sam and Dean, are two very real people. Yes I am aware of the irony of that statement, but I would be grateful if some kind souls would leave a comment or two for me, thank you.
Jared woke slowly to a room filled with silence. Nothing stirred in the comfortable familiar surroundings of his and Jensen’s room. And that was the problem right there, there should have been the soft sound of Jensen breathing beside him. Jared scrubbed his hand down his face and blinked, waking fully. He lay looking up at the ceiling and listened carefully to the sounds of the house. In among the usual creaks and groans, there came a muffled tapping sound that could mean only one thing.
Jared sighed; he should’ve known. First of all Sadie and Harley weren’t in the room. That meant they were downstairs with Jensen, and if Jensen was downstairs he knew exactly what he was doing. He threw back the covers and got out of bed. It had been the same last year when Jensen had directed Weekend at Bobby’s. The late nights....no scratch that, try the crawling-into-bed-at-the-crack-of-dawn type nights. The constant pressure he placed himself under, and the work ethic with which Jensen wholeheartedly threw himself into everything, had made it even worse this time round.
This time Jensen fully understood the rigours of directing. Not only was he directing but he was appearing in a hell of a lot more of the episode than last year, and to be frank it was kicking the crap out of him. There had been weeks of research and preparation before shooting began, and more than once Jared had confiscated the lap top just so Jensen would stop working. Jensen was already looking tired and they’d barely begun Season Seven, and if he kept this up he’d be on his knees by Episode Five.
Jared decided it was time to deal with this. He stood slowly, pausing to grab some sweat pants, pulled them on and walked out of the bedroom. He slipped quietly downstairs and as he went, the sound of typing grew louder. That sound told him Jensen was still making notes on what he wanted to do. Jared was convinced his boyfriend was rewriting War and Peace, not making director’s notes.
He reached the foot of the stairs and looked into the lounge. Sat hunched over the coffee table, balancing his lap top on his knees, squinting down at a pile of shooting schedules on the table, was Jensen. Even from the doorway Jared could see the tension in his boyfriend’s body - the tightness round his eyes that usually indicated a headache of almost biblical proportions was raging behind them. Jared winced slightly as Jensen rolled stiff shoulders in an attempt to ease cramped muscles, and he knew he’d failed when Jensen gave a soft groan of discomfort.
Jared smiled gently; with the way Jensen was concentrating he knew he hadn’t heard him come downstairs. In fact he was pretty sure he could stand there naked, covered in chocolate and whipped cream, holding a cup of coffee, and all Jensen would do was grab the coffee and mutter ‘thanks’. He sighed; it was time to get his overworked, stressed, frazzled, panicking other half to bed, and to hell with the episode. It would all still be there in the morning.
Jensen never looked up when he approached the couch. Jared spotted the kids lying by his feet and then he noticed the empty mugs, three of them. Great! Over-tired and over-caffeinated. He didn’t care though, Jensen was getting some rest whether he wanted to or not. He stood in front of the coffee table and waited.
Jensen was frantically working, trying to come up with a better way of shooting the final scene between Dean and Amy, but it just wasn’t gelling. He couldn’t understand why. When he’d first blocked it all out, it had been fine but now as it got closer to filming it he doubted what he’d done. He heard movement and finally became aware that someone was in the room with him. He looked up quickly and realized that had been a mistake. His tired eyes swam out of focus, and his head, which had already been pounding, now cranked up the pain from mere agony to head splitting. “Urrgghh, shit! Sorry, Jay. Didn’t mean to wake you. What time is it?” Jensen was trying to focus on the clock on his lap top, but all he could see was a small white blob.
Jared reached over and took the lap top off Jensen. He turned it around, saved what Jensen was working on and switched it off, “It’s after two in the morning, and thank God we got a late call. You need to get some sleep.” Jared moved around the table and sat beside Jensen on the couch. He watched him with concern as Jensen pressed the heel of his hands into his eyes and rubbed at them. Jared saw the dark circles round Jensen’s eyes and watched as he twisted his neck from side to side to try easing the stiffness.
Jared slid closer to him and put his hand on Jensen’s shoulder, feeling the tense muscle beneath his fingers. He gave a gentle squeeze and Jensen groaned softly at the touch. Jared sat back against the oversized cushions of the large couch. It needed to be big, to let him stretch out on it. He was pretty sure he could get this to work; he pulled Jensen with him until they were both stretched out on the couch with Jensen resting against his chest.
Deftly Jared began to massage Jensen’s broad shoulders, working on the knots he found there. He listened to the breathy moans of pain mingled with pleasure, watching Jensen’s green eyes slowly close. He kept up the slow continuous kneading. He knew Jensen’s barriers were lowering slowly and it was time to figure out why he was so wound up about the episode.
“Ok, what’s wrong? I’ve looked at some of the dailies and they’ve been great. What’s eating you, Jen? I know there’s something wrong, Tell me, please?” Jared whispered in the other man’s ear, as Jensen’s head lolled tiredly against him.
A look of worry crossed Jensen’s face as Jared carried on massaging his shoulders, waiting for Jensen to tell him what was wrong, “It’s nothing. It’s just the last scene I’m having problems with, that’s all.” Jensen sounded distracted as he tried to sit up and pull out of Jared’s arms.
Jared moved his left hand down and pressed it against Jensen’s chest, holding him in place. He continued to work at the muscles in Jensen’s right shoulder, letting his left hand drift down so it rested on Jensen’s stomach. Jared gently stroked the flat stomach, his fingers tracing back and forth and he understood what the problem was. The final scene where Dean confronted Amy; when they’d read it they both thought it was a good twist, Dean reverting back to full hunter mode. Seeing everything in black and white. Taking out the monster before she killed again because he knew Sam couldn’t, and it was better that he was the one to do it. Once again Dean was taking on the role of protector; this time he was protecting Sam from the harsh reality of their life, by making the hard decision to kill Amy. Now Jensen was thinking about what it meant for Dean.
Jensen had always been very protective of Dean and now he was dealing with Dean lying to Sam and it looked like he was breaking down. Jared leant forward and placed a gentle kiss on Jensen’s neck. He said in his ear. “What? Are you afraid we’re gonna be besieged by angry fan girls demanding Dean’s head on a pole for killing a monster?” Jared was laughing as he spoke, but that changed when he felt Jensen stiffen in his arms. Oh shit! That’s what it was! After what had happened in Season Six, Jensen was worried they were going to estrange the brothers again. That this would drive a wedge between them once more - not only that, but Dean could become a hate figure to the fans for his actions. He had to get Jensen to talk, or he’d drive himself mad with worry.
Jared let his fingers continue to knead tired muscles and rub gently at Jensen’s stomach then he tried again, “Ok, then, tell me? Why does Dean do it? He’s told Sam he trusts him and then he turns around and does this. Isn’t he being a hypocrite?” Jared fingers pressed softly on a particularly tender place, and he felt Jensen shudder in his arms. He stopped the massage and just wrapped his arms around Jensen, holding him lightly.
Jared looked at Jensen from beneath his eyelashes, watching as Jensen attempted to articulate the thoughts whirling around his mind. Jensen lay still and opened his eyes. Jared was looking at Dean’s thousand-yard stare - the one the fan girls loved so much, “You know the dude’s just so damn tired. He’s tired of dealing with all the shit landing on his and Sam’s heads. He’s tired of being the one who rides into the rescue and never gets thanked for it, and he’s tired of being betrayed by everyone close to him. I mean, look at him and Cas? Finally Dean trusts someone other than family, and a supernatural being as well. Dean even starts to see Cas as a part of his family and what does Cas do? He goes power mad and turns around and scrambles Sam’s head, by tearing the wall down and they might never be able to fix it. Worse still, Dean can’t fix Sam, and its damn well killing him knowing that.
It’s not just Sam he’s having trouble trusting, due to his having conversations with his invisible pal, Lucifer. After what happened with Cas he doesn’t trust himself anymore. He’s slowly shutting down. He’s gone back to what he does best - hunting and killing monsters. He decides not to give Amy the chance to betray Sam’s faith in her when she reverts to her real nature.” Jensen drew a breath. Jared just continued to hold him as he spoke.
“You know when he’s talking to Amy, it’s not just her being a killer Dean’s talking about, it’s himself. All anyone has ever told Dean is that he’s a killer; he managed a year of peace with Lisa and Ben. Then it was all snatched away from him, the other shoe dropped. He’s been called ‘daddy’s little blunt instrument’. He said it about when he told Sam the things he was prepared to do for his family scared him. Veritas told him he was a killer. Hell, he was the vessel for Michael, Heaven’s ultimate weapon. Dean feels as if killing’s been encoded into his DNA.”
“When Dean kills Amy he almost sees it like a mercy killing, to stop her having a life like his, the constant killing and having to live with it. When Dean sees a monster, for him it’s like looking in a mirror. I think he’s always hated that he’s a killer, but he sees what he is doing as justified, ridding the world of evil. But after what happened to him down in Hell - the way he broke and turned around and tortured other souls, ripping them apart - part of him has always felt he shouldn’t have been saved from the pit. That he deserved it. That no matter what he does he sees himself as a monster. That when he kills other monsters, he’s killing himself over and over. It’s the highest form of self loathing. Crap, it’s no wonder the poor bastard drinks himself half stupid every chance he gets.” Jensen stopped speaking. He looked down at Jared’s hand, watching the way his fingers moved back and forth, keeping him grounded, making him feel safe.
“Dean is just so screwed up right now, he feels he’s got nowhere to turn; it’s all just piling up. He’s not coping anymore; everyone’s watching Sam, waiting for him to crack. But I think Dean’s gonna be the one that breaks. None of his coping mechanisms are working anymore. He’s drowning and no one is throwing him a life line.....shit, the fan girls are going to want to string him up.” Jensen stopped speaking, a look of grief in his eyes.
Jared just held on tighter as Jensen had been speaking, his words filled with passion. Jensen had always been Dean’s staunchest ally and defender, fighting his corner with the writers and directors. Sometimes Jared thought that if you cut Dean, it was Jensen who bled. Now he had to direct what some fans would see as cold-blooded murder, and a betrayal of Sam. No wonder he was having trouble with the final scene, “Listen. You know as well as I do this story is going to split the fan girls. Do the best you can. You understand why Dean kills Amy, where he is at the moment. And why he leaves Jacob alive. It’s not just an act of mercy, is it? It’s not just his being unable to kill a kid, telling Jacob not to kill anyone, or else he’ll be back. Dean knows he’s left a loose end behind. He wants that kid to come and hunt him down, his very own Nikki.” Jared smiled slightly as he watched Jensen digest what he’d said.
Jensen tilted his head back and smiled, “Have you been watching Kill Bill again? I like it - Dean’s very own psychopath. Just don’t expect me to wear the yellow track suit. Yeah, I think he’s kind of hoping that’s what will happen and it will all be over. I just don’t know where they’re taking Dean this year and it’s scaring the crap out of me. Are you sure you want to be anywhere near me? You know, that brute Dean Winchester who kills poor defenseless monsters and lies to his brother about doing it?” Jensen gave Jared a slight smile, but his eyes were still troubled.
Jared understood his concerns; they had the most passionate fandom out there. Both sets of girls were very protective of ‘their boys’ and he knew how heated things could become on the forum boards. A long time ago he and Jensen had agreed to stay away from the boards. It had been fun to see the adoration the girls piled on their characters, but it was equally hard to see some of the vitriol poured out as well. That kind of devotion could be a double-edged sword, and he was big enough to admit some of it hurt. He knew that Jensen carried a few scars of his own after seeing some of the comments.
Jared knew after this episode what Jensen feared the most was not only the ‘Sam girls’ turning on him but the ‘Dean girls’ as well. It was a risky move by the writers, and hopefully one that would pay off. But this would haunt Jensen, knowing Dean could be hated for his actions when he was at his lowest ebb. When he felt he was being engulfed by darkness and hopelessness.
Partially with that in mind Jared had recently opened a Twitter account. He wanted to communicate with the fans, and so far it had been fun. He was aware it could be seen as a Pandora’s Box - once open it could never be closed. But so far it had been great - the girls were a lot of fun. And once this episode was done and put together, Jared intended to ask the fans what they thought of it. He just hoped they liked it for Jensen’s sake. They’d all been working really hard on it, and he was proud of what Jensen had achieved.
Jared decided to put his concerns aside for now. It didn’t matter at this moment in time if Jensen did. He gently caressed Jensen’s face and then bent forward and kissed him. When the kiss broke they sat entwined around each other, comfortable in the silence. Jared could feel Jensen relaxing; he hoped he’d helped Jensen with what he was struggling with. He knew Jensen had been doing an amazing job. Both acting and directing, he had faith in Jensen and how he would deal with the last scene. But for now they needed to leave Sam and Dean behind and just be Jared and Jensen again. Jared smiled softly into Jensen’s eyes, “There’s no place I’d rather be.”