Word count: 7430
Summary: A Dominant Jared comes to claim his Jensen and promises to take care of him when he needs to let go.
Warnings: Dom/Sub themes. With added h/c.
Disclaimer: Not mine, never will be.
Notes: This is darker than my usual attempt at fic, this bunny bit and wouldn't let go! I must send a debt of unending gratitude to garvaldmains, for letting me send this to her and her encouraging me to post it and the wonderful art she made for it! My hero! Now with beta work by the wonderfulbigj52
Once upon a time, long, long ago, I wrote the original version of this story. I wanted to post it to another comm and me being me, started to polish it. Well this is the ‘new’ version. I refuse to say improved, it’s just a little different now. As always many thanks goes to bigj52, as she offered to beta this re-mix. Also I'd like to thank digitic for providing me with the photo that I'm now usuing, as my new banner for this.
And before I go here is the link to the originial fic
Jared took a seat as he drank from the bottle of beer he'd fetched from the kitchen. He was satisfied with his preparations; all that remained was to wait for Jensen to come home. A pleasant prickle of anticipation tickled along his skin, sometimes the wait was almost as rewarding as the act. He understood the need for patience and so he relaxed; Jensen had just rung to say they were wrapping up and he would be home soon.
He sat contemplating what the evening promised. Harley and Sadie were away spending the night at the dog sitters, allowing him to be able to give his full attention to Jensen. He'd set the house to a pleasantly warm temperature, as he had Jensen's comfort in mind. The bedroom was set up and ready, all he was waiting for was Jensen's return and what he needed from him. Jared enjoyed the cold beer, rubbing his thumb up and down the bottle's neck. He glanced at the clock. Jensen would be here soon. He looked down and appraised the picture he presented.
Jared's feet and chest were bare; all he was wearing was a pair of worn jeans. They hugged his body perfectly, and allowed him freedom of movement. He was freshly showered and smelled of the shampoo Jensen loved so much - a clean, fresh citrus smell. No cologne or hair products tonight, the evening was about so much more than what he wore or how he smelt.
He heard the car pull up, imagining Jensen bidding goodnight to Cliff. Jared had finished earlier that day giving him time to set up for tonight. They’d been filming the sixteenth episode of season four and it had been brutal, not only physically but emotionally. This was why he’d been so careful in setting the scene. The Powers That Be felt after the last few days, the boys deserved a little down time, and Jared intended to make the most of it. He heard the key turn in the door - it was time; he set his beer aside and took a couple of deep calming breaths. He was ready to slip into whatever role Jensen needed from him.
Jensen closed the door, waiting to be attacked by two demented fur balls. But there was no happy barking, so they were either outside or....maybe... Had Jared sent the kids away? Jensen took his jacket off and hung it up. Then he leaned back against the wall, and rubbed the back of his neck; his shoulders were killing him. All the tension from the last few days settled across them.
Jensen’s skin felt stretched tight as if it was two sizes too small. He lowered his hand and played restlessly with the leather bracelet on his right wrist, attempting to regain his equilibrium. It felt as if he was drowning; he needed to be grounded after what Dean had been through and learned in this episode.
“Jay, where are you?”
There was a faint glow from upstairs, and the only other illumination came from a lamp in the lounge. Jensen called out again.
He pushed away from the wall and approached the stairs. Then a slight movement caught his eye. He turned and saw Jared, sitting in the pool of light cast by the lamp. Jensen couldn't see his face, but the lack of response to his call pulled Jensen towards his unusually silent boyfriend
He walked into the room and stopped in front of Jared.
Jared remained silent as he waited for Jensen to come to a decision, watching as he started to rub at his arms as if he was cold. Then he shivered slightly, dropping his arms to his sides. Jensen held his right wrist out to Jared in supplication, pleading with his eyes. Jared made no motion toward the outstretched hand; this had to be Jensen's decision.
Jensen worried his bottom lip with his teeth, and once again he played with the bracelet. Jared sat forward slowly, catching the other man’s down-turned eyes, an unspoken question in them. Jensen broke eye contact, and rolled his shoulders to ease the tension in them. Then in one fluid movement he dropped to his knees, removed the bracelet and offered it to Jared.
Jared's eyes swept over the kneeling figure of the man he loved, seeing Jensen’s head bowed. In his outstretched left hand was the leather bracelet as he offered Jared the most precious thing he possessed - the symbolic offer of control. A faint tremor ran along the arm up over his shoulders, as they tensed and flexed, as if in anticipation of what was to follow. Jared drank in the sight of Jensen’s submission, and recalled how they came to this moment.
Jared arrived at the club’s back door, where Matt stood waiting for him. He quickly ushered Jared through the door, and they went straight to his office. He’d known Matt for a long time; he was the man who’d introduced Jared to this particular aspect of his nature. The dominant part of his personality, and the dominant was in control as he walked over to the window overlooking the club’s interior. Jared looked down at the dance floor, assessing what he saw. “There's a party tonight?” he said softly.
The club was heaving with people. Some were dancing, but the majority were moving to a different rhythm. They were dressed in leather, rubber and some were covered in chains. Muted cries of pleasure and pain carried over the thumping bass line. Matt's eyes swept over the throng; he shrugged his shoulders, contemptuous in his dismissal of the partygoers. “Amateurs mostly, just want a little taste of the real thing. They're only here for the sex and spanking. They don't get the Dom/sub bond, but they're friends of the owner. So what can you do? I'll get my club back tomorrow. Anyway, tonight is all about you, Jay... Are you here to claim him? Because what's going on down there needs to be stopped. I’ll be happy if I never see him again.” Matt poured two drinks, and offered one to Jared.
As Jared reached out to take the drink the long black leather coat he wore parted, allowing Matt a glimpse of what lay underneath - well-fitted dark-blue jeans, a black silk shirt with the collar open and a plain black leather belt. Matt approved. Tonight wasn't about props, tonight was about the man Jared loved.
Jared drained his drink in one. “Anyone fuck him?”
Matt shook his head. “Same as always, it’s just about the pain, but there’s an idiot down there who wants him as his sub; he's a bad Dom, Jay. It’s all about what he wants; he doesn't get where the real power is.” Matt hesitated. “I promise there'll be no interference from us unless you signal. The floor’s yours. I'd wish you luck, but I know you don't need it.”
Jared gave his friend a genuine smile and it was as if another man had stepped into the room. His expression was playful, and yes, puppy-like. The smile illuminated his face and then it was gone, leaving behind a stronger presence - serious, quiet and commanding. Jared walked out of the room and down the stairs into the main part of the club. As he walked people parted in front of him. Jared had drawn himself to his full height. He was at ease with his body and the power it contained. He kept a measured pace, never slowing, keeping his eyes on his goal.
That goal was a cross of St Andrew’s and the masked figure bound to it. Several Doms surrounded the man tied to the cross, all armed with floggers and paddles, each taking a turn in striking the silent figure. No matter how hard the blow there was no sound from the man.
Jared thought the scene unfolding in front of him resembled a wounded lion being attacked by a pack of hyenas. The ‘lion’ was unable to fight back, and yet not one of the hyenas was brave enough to attack their own.
Jared had thought the man was gagged, considering his silence, but when the lead Dom stepped up and pulled his head back, he was surprised to see no gag. “Come on then, slut. All we want is you to scream for us, then we'll go and play with someone else.” They were hollow words as the Dom continued with something akin to evil glee in his voice. “I hope you don't. I want to keep you all for myself. You’re just so damn beautiful when you bleed.” The Dom twisted the man’s face towards his, and licked at the full lips. Those lush lips were bleeding, scarlet dripping down onto the freckled skin. The masked man had bitten them hard enough to draw blood with his attempts to remain silent.
The cross stood on a raised dais, surrounded by racks containing all manner of toys, whips and canes. Jared waited in the shadows, surveying the scene. From the look of the man’s bruised and broken skin, many of the items had been used. The pack stopped circling, showing deference to the Dom, who had hold of the man's head. Jared casually dismissed the pack; there were only two people up there worth his attention. The head hyena.... sorry, Dom, and the masked man. Jared stayed perfectly still, the complete opposite of his usual hyperactivity, watching closely. His concentration focused on the two men, observing their interaction.
The Dom was easily as tall as Jared, and had gone for the traditional approach to fetish wear. Tight black leather trousers that clung like a second skin. His well-muscled arms were bare, except for two large black-studded wristbands; he also wore a black leather vest. Its design showed off his well-defined chest. He held a flogger in his right hand and strangely enough, that too was black. Jared sighed inwardly.... absolutely no imagination.
But it was the man tied to the cross who really held Jared's attention. He was bound at the wrists, elbows, knees and ankles. As Jared continued with his examination, he saw a butt plug had been inserted into the man’s ass. The flesh around the plug looked red and swollen, and even in the club’s strobe lighting, Jared could see tiny droplets of blood starting to ooze around the plastic.
The man’s broad shoulders shook with the effort of his arms being tied in an outstretched position. The muscles in his back flexed, accenting the damage the pack had inflicted. The once-smooth skin was covered in welts, scratches and bruises. Some of the welts were deep enough to bleed, and also covered his ass. Jared noted how the man’s thighs shook with stress and exhaustion, as his tired legs could no longer support his weight. This just increased the strain on his abused arms and shoulders.
Jared knew this kind of stress position was too extreme to be kept up for long periods of time. Even from here he could see the man was struggling with his breathing. It was time to put an end to this Just as he went to move, the Dom on the dais stepped back and swung the flogger. It was aimed right at the plug. The man jerked as if he'd been electrocuted and twisted against his bonds. His head dropped forward to rest on the cross, his breathing becoming more laboured.
Jared stepped into the light; he made no sound as he waited for the Dom to acknowledge his presence. The pack soon noticed him and motioned to the Dom. He turned and saw Jared. “Do you want to play? The more the merrier. I'm sure this little slut can take some more.” Jared made no comment; he stood his ground and waited.
Jared should have been at a disadvantage, due to the Dom’s strategic advantage looking down at him. Instead he just stared at the Dom, a picture of controlled stillness; he made no further movement towards the cross. Jared maintained eye contact, until the Dom looked down and started to walk down the stairs to him.
When he stood next to Jared he confided excitedly. “I'm trying to get him to be my sub. I've never met anyone who can take that much pain. He’s just perfect.”
Jared finally responded. “Is that it? All you want is to cause him pain? Don't you understand the gift you've been given?” The Dom looked lost, and Jared shook his head in disgust. “How about if I can make him use his safe word, he's mine and you can go find another sub?”
The Dom laughed. “Be my guest. We've all been trying for the last couple of hours. Hell, we've softened him up for you.” The Dom called out to the tormented figure on the cross. “Hey pretty, we've got another player. See if you like this one.” Jared ascended the steps at first. He made no move towards the man; instead he just traced the damage with his eyes. He heard people talking behind him, and he knew a crowd was gathering. They were here to be entertained. Well, he would give them a show they wouldn't forget in a while.
Jared walked around the cross to stand in front of the now-exhausted man. His head was resting against it; his eyes closed and he looked at peace. Jared knew how dangerous this could be; the man had slipped deep into sub space. Jared would have to bring him back out of it; he needed him to be responsive for this to work.
Jared shrugged his coat off and tossed it without looking to one of the other doms, not caring who caught it. He just continued to catalogue the injuries of the man front of him. There was more bruising and scratches on his chest, and wrapped too tightly around the man’s red and angry-looking erection was a cock ring. Jared knew the signs of cock and ball torture taken too far. He took a breath to calm himself; he’d speak to Matt about these idiots at some point in the future.
But now he needed to concentrate on the man in front of him; Jared stepped up to the cross and for the first time spoke directly to the masked man. “Would you like a drink, Jensen? You've been here a long time.”
His words had been whispered but from Jensen’s reaction, he might as well have shouted. Jensen's eyes shot open, his green eyes dazed and the pupils blown. Jared reached for a glass of water on a nearby table. He brought the glass up to Jensen’s swollen lips, cradling his head while he drank. Jensen trembled even more violently from a combination of pain, exhaustion and shame. Jared placed his hands on his waist, and spoke. “I followed you here tonight. I know why you're here, but you have tell me why you need this... then I can help you. Now I'm going to finish this.”
Jared stepped back, and Jensen followed his every move with his eyes. He undid his belt and pulled it loose of his jeans. He held the buckle in his hand as he slowly walked behind Jensen once more. He pressed himself against Jensen’s wounded back, and felt him try to squirm away from the pain. Jared slotted his thigh between Jensen’s legs, and pressed it against the plug before whispering, “I'll give you all the pain you want to take you where you need to be. But you’ll have to come to me and ask. You're mine, Jensen. It’s time for you to realize that I'll always take care of you.” He leant even closer, whispering softly, “I'm doing this to prove I can be this for you.” He took a step back and Jensen whimpered at the loss of contact. Jared stood ready to swing his belt; he looked back down at the Dom and asked, “What's his safe word?”
There was a silence; no one answered. Jared felt real anger for the first time since he arrived. “You never fucking asked for a safe word? What the fuck do you think you're playing at?” Jared was ready to call this off, and just cut Jensen loose.
“It’s ‘Clay.’” Jensen’s voice was a raw, wrecked whisper and Jared’s head snapped back to focus on him. Matt had been right about these idiots. They weren't Doms. They just got off on causing pain and with Jensen's head where it was, he was the perfect target.
Jared took a moment to steady himself, and then in one lightning-fast movement, he drew his arm back and brought the belt across Jensen's thighs. The force of the blow slammed Jensen hard into the cross, and his breathing becoming more erratic. Before he could compose himself the belt whistled through the air again and struck him on the ass. This time Jensen let out a gasp, and tears started to form in his eyes. Next he felt a line of fire crackle across his waist, before he'd even heard the belt snap.
Jared paused, watching Jensen struggle for control. If he placed the next couple of strikes right, it would all be over. The sounds of the club faded into the background; all that mattered now was Jensen. He had to get Jensen to break so he could begin the process of rebuilding him.
Jensen was the strongest person he knew, and his giving up control to him would be the greatest gift Jensen could offer him. Jared steeled himself despite the common perception that not all Doms enjoyed causing pain. This scene was hurting him as much as it was hurting Jensen; he fortified himself to finish this.
Jared knew exactly where to place the next strikes. Jensen frequently had trouble with his shoulders. He carried a lot of tension there; he’d massaged them often enough to know they were Jensen’s weak spot. Jared changed his grip on the belt. With a flick of his wrist the belt flew for its target. Its thick edge caught Jensen along his left shoulder at an angle. Jensen drew a ragged, sobbing breath as Jared aimed again. The belt struck in the same place along the right shoulder.
“Clay.” Jensen whispered the word, but it shattered the silence as if he'd screamed it. Jared threaded the belt carelessly round his waist, fighting against the urge to just run and free Jensen. Instead he glared at two of the pack. “Untie him.” It was not a request; his order was delivered in clipped icy tones. There was a shocked gasp from the pack, but Jared’s glare hurried them towards the trembling figure of Jensen. They untied his feet, legs and elbows and finally his wrists. Jensen crumpled to the floor. Jared gestured that Jensen should be helped to his feet. He didn't want Jensen kneeling here. That was to be for him alone, not for these animals to see.
Jensen was pulled to his feet; it took several attempts for him to remain standing. Once Jared was content Jensen wasn't going to collapse again, the pack was dismissed. Jensen's eyes were downcast as Jared spoke to the lead Dom. “Find his clothes and take them to Matt. We're leaving now.” He held his hand out for his coat, and a frightened pack member rushed forward to hand the coat over as if it were a holy relic.
Jared put his coat on and then stood in front of Jensen. “You will follow me; you will not speak unless I tell you to.” Jared spun on his heels and led Jensen through the club; he kept a check on how the other man was doing through the mirrors that adorned the walls. Once again a path cleared for Jared and he could hear the hushed, awed tones his display had given rise to but he didn't care. All he was concerned with now was getting home. This would be the last visit either of them would make to the club.
When they reached Matt, he had a relieved expression on his face.
“Will you two be OK?”
Jared nodded. “I know what I need to do. Thanks for everything, Matt.” He pulled his friend in for an embrace; then Matt pulled away, leaving him to deal with Jensen.
Jensen stood waiting silently. Jared moved towards him, and the first thing he did was remove the leather mask that had covered the upper half of his face. Then Jared reached down and checked to see if the cock ring was too tight. His touch was clinical and impersonal, and he was relieved when the ring didn't seem to be inflicting too much damage. “That and the plug stay until we're home.” Jared turned and handed the mask to Matt. “Burn that fucking thing for me because he won’t need it again.” he snarled in disgust. Matt gave a slight smile and nodded in acquiescence.
Jared took his coat off and moved behind the smaller man, slowly draping the heavy leather coat over him. He took extra care as he gently settled its weight on damaged shoulders. Jared walked round once more and fastened the coat. Then he stood back and couldn't help but enjoy how Jensen looked wearing his coat. It was too big for him, almost reaching his ankles and the sleeves fell over his hands. Jared felt a wave of protectiveness flow over him as Jensen stood there, swamped by his coat. It was time to go home.
Jared held out his arm for Jensen to take, to keep him steady. He led them out towards where his truck was parked. As they walked, he felt Jensen leaning more of his weight against him as he limped slowly on. Jared opened the passenger door and Jensen gritted his teeth as he managed to climb in on his own. Jensen let out a pained whimper when his ass came into contact with the seat, biting his lip to stop himself crying out. He fell back against the seat panting, his eyes screwed tightly shut.
Jared frowned worriedly as he closed the door, and walked round to the driver’s side. Matt was waiting for him, holding Jensen’s clothes. He looked inside the truck and then he turned his gaze on Jared. “Jay, remember. Don’t second guess yourself. You have amazing instincts for knowing what a sub needs. Just go home and look after him, the rest will fall into place. Take care, Jay. Call me soon and we’ll talk.” He handed Jared the bundle of clothes, and squeezed his arm in a gesture of support.
“Thanks for everything, Matt; it’s time for me to stop standing on the sidelines. Jensen nearly slipped away from me, and I’m not prepared to lose him without a fight. I better get him home and get him cleaned up. See you, Matt.” He smiled at his old friend and got into the truck beside Jensen.
Once he was in, he leaned over to Jensen, slid his arm behind his shoulders and carefully lowered him down so that he was lying with his head resting on his lap, keeping the pressure off the plug in his ass. Jared reached over and grabbed a blanket from the back seat; he covered Jensen with it and drove off.
The journey home was silent; Jensen wondered just what was going to happen when they got home. He'd been stunned by Jared's appearance at the club. How could he explain what he'd been doing there when he barely understood himself? Jared would never forgive him for this. Jensen’s breathing sped up, and before he could become even more distressed, Jared’s hand rested gently on his neck, his thumb moving back and forth in a comforting rhythm.
“We will talk about this tomorrow. Tonight I’m going to take care of you. Get some rest.” Jensen relaxed as Jared gently stroked his hair, and he was soon lulled to sleep.
He was jolted from his rest by the passenger door being opened. Then Jared reached inside and eased him into a sitting position. Jensen held onto his boyfriend as he helped him out of the truck, and, slipping his arm around his waist, supported him easily as they walked to the door.
Once inside the house Jensen noticed the dogs weren’t there; he panicked a little. He thought Jared might want them out of the way when he threw him out of the house. With a heavy heart he started to shuffle towards his old bedroom, not expecting Jared to want to be near him.
“Where do you think you’re going? I told you I’m gonna take care of you. Now get upstairs to our room. ” Jared spoke with quiet authority, and Jensen moved automatically to obey.
Jensen paused, looking up the stairs. The adrenaline that had kept him flying was gone. Every welt and bruise throbbed unmercifully; his arms felt as heavy as lead and his legs shook with the effort of remaining standing. He shied away from thinking about the pain in his ass and dick, knowing climbing the stairs was going to be excruciating.
Jared waited patiently, knowing Jensen would never be able to climb the stairs without assistance. This was just another step; he would have to ask for help, but to his surprise Jensen limped towards the stairs; he stayed close behind. He waited to see when Jensen would finally surrender to his battered body’s demands. Jensen made slow and painful progress up the stairs, and Jared had to admit he was impressed. After the beating he’d taken tonight, going up the stairs must’ve been like climbing a mountain.
They were halfway up the stairs when Jensen’s endurance finally gave out. He was still wearing Jared’s coat, and sweat trickled down his face. His freckles stood out starkly against his pallor. He leaned against the wall, gasping for breath. Jensen turned his face to Jared, his eyes pleading. Jared wanted to help, but Jensen had to ask him to.
“Jay, please! I can’t.” Jensen’s eyes slipped shut and he slumped back towards Jared.
Jared moved quickly to prevent his falling downstairs. He unfastened the coat with one hand, as he easily kept Jensen upright. He whispered encouragement. “Come on, Jen. We’re nearly there. A few more steps, then I’ll get you cleaned up ...you can do that for me, can’t you?” The silence stretched out, and Jared was ready to pick Jensen up and carry him the rest of the way.
He felt Jensen’s hand grab the front of his shirt, pulling himself upright, managing to stand unaided. Jared once again slipped his arm around his waist, carefully supporting him the rest of the way. Once they reached the top of the stairs, he deftly manoeuvred Jensen towards the bedroom.
The room had been prepared for their return; the bedclothes were turned down with a towel laid out on the bed, and medical supplies on the bedside table. Bandages, antiseptic creams and pain killers were all ready for use. Jensen took in the sight before him, and shame washed over him. Before he could speak, Jared laid a hand on his shoulder, took hold of the coat and gently eased it off his body. He dropped it on a chair, and Jensen started to shiver, although the room was warm. Jared wasn’t surprised after everything Jensen had put himself through tonight. He took his other half by the hand, and led him to the en-suite bathroom.
Once in there Jared stripped his clothes off with an economy of movement. He went to the shower and turned it on, setting the temperature not too hot or it would just cause more damage to Jensen. He paused for a second to gather himself, the next part wouldn’t be pleasant for either of them... the plug had to be removed. He reached for Jensen guiding him under the warm spray and he stood there with his teeth chattering. Jared tenderly washed him down, soothing sore muscles, cleaning the sweat from his hair and body. He cleansed Jensen of the remnants of the club, leaving only the ring and plug to be dealt with and it couldn’t be put off any longer.
Jared draped himself over Jensen’s beaten back, feeling the heat from the bruises and welts burn his chest. “Brace your arms against the wall.” Jared said softly, and Jensen did as he was ordered. His arms shook with strain.
Jared knew he would have to be quick. His fingers brushed over the base of the plug and Jensen moaned in pain. With his left hand Jared reached round and started to stroke Jensen’s erect cock, the stimulation sending painful shivers through Jensen.
Jared toyed with the catch on the ring as he took a firmer grip on the plug. If timed right Jensen would get some pleasure from this. He leaned in and as he flicked the catch open, he growled down Jensen’s ear, “Come for me.” He bit Jensen’s ear and gave a sharp tug on the plug, pulling it free. Jensen screamed in pain as the plug was pulled free although the ache was tempered by his orgasm as it tore through him, and Jared stroking his pulsing cock. Come splattered against the wall of the shower, and his legs gave way as his vision darkened. He could faintly hear Jared talking to him, but he was just so tired. He finally let go and let Jared take care of him.
When Jensen came, Jared shifted slightly, wrapping his arm around Jensen’s waist. His knees buckled suddenly, his arms fell to his sides and his head lolled back against Jared’s shoulder. All the while Jared kept talking to him. “That’s it. Let go. I’m here for you. You’re safe now. I swear no one will ever hurt you like that again. You’re mine.” Jared felt Jensen grow heavier in his arms. He turned the water off, scooped him into his arms and carried Jensen out of the bathroom to the bed.
Jared laid his precious cargo on the towel, and then picked up another and gently dried Jensen. He took care not to press too hard on the numerous injuries, gently turning him on his side and being even more careful of the marks that covered Jensen’s back. Once he was satisfied, he decided to tend to the worst of the injuries. Most were bruises that would be painful, but would heal fairly quickly once they had been treated.
Some of the welts had bled, and needed antiseptic cream, which Jared studiously applied, soothing Jensen back to sleep when he stirred fitfully. Jared then cleaned and bandaged Jensen’s abused wrists; he’d fought hard against the restraints and the delicate skin of the wrist had been abraded.
Finally Jared tended to the most intimate of the injuries, happy that Jensen wasn’t going to be awake for this. He paused and gently parted Jensen’s thighs, taking a closer look at where the plug had been. The tissue was swollen and there was a small tear; that’s what had caused the bleeding he’d seen at the club. He was relieved to see Jensen was no longer bleeding, knowing there’d be no need for medical attention. Jared liberally covered his finger with cream and delicately applied it both inside and out. As he worked he gently stroked Jensen’s arm to calm him; when he finished he wiped his hands. He picked Jensen up off the towel and placed him in bed, covering him with the quilt. He then cleared away all the medical supplies, apart from the pain killers; they were for the morning.
Jared stood at the foot of the bed, watching Jensen sleep. There were dark circles under his eyes and he moaned softly then shivered; it looked as if he was starting to have a nightmare. Jared climbed in bed behind him, settling as close as he could. He curled protectively around Jensen, whispering to him. “There is nothing to be scared of. I'm here.” As he spoke Jensen stilled, and instinctively moved closer to him.
Jensen woke next morning to the smell of coffee floating through the house. For a few blissful seconds there was nothing but a feeling of being warm and protected and then he moved. The events of the previous night came flooding back in sharp relief, as pain washed over him. He tried to sit up, but the fire in his back and ass soon put a stop to that. He rolled onto his side, and spotted his glasses sitting on top of a note.
Jensen put his glasses on and read the note. Jared had requested his presence downstairs if he could make it, and he’d put clothes out for him to wear. Jensen lay there non-plussed; no one had ever done that kind of thing for him. He looked at the bottom of the bed and smiled at what he saw. He heard a noise and looked up. Jared stood in the doorway. “Sorry, I couldn’t wait. Do you need any help?” Jensen wasn’t used to this quiet, collected version of his boyfriend and shook his head timidly.
Jared walked in and sat on the bed. “Look, we need to talk. We can do it here or downstairs...I mean you can lie on the couch. It’s up to you.” He sat in silence while Jensen made up his mind.
“Downstairs please,” Jensen croaked. Jared nodded and stood up as Jensen threw back the covers; he swung his legs out of the bed and stood up. The movement caused the world to tilt violently, and Jensen found himself being held by Jared. He wondered how the hell he’d gotten there.
Jared smiled kindly at him. “Right. Do you want to try that again without the ‘Dean Winchester’ approach to injury?”
Jensen blushed, looked down and rubbed at the back of his neck. Jared slowly let go, waiting to see if he’d remain standing. Before he could process what was happening, Jared started to help him dress.
Jared put a pair of boxers on the floor, and encouraged Jensen to step into them. Jared pulled them up his legs, and then repeated the process with a pair of sweat pants. Jensen started to feel dizzy and he swayed. Jared sprang to his feet and held him. “Alright now?” he asked.
After a few seconds Jensen nodded, and Jared picked up an old hoodie of his. He carefully threaded Jensen’s arms through the sleeves, and then eased it over his head. He kept supporting Jensen’s arms while he did it. Jared stepped back to admire his work; the hoodie’s sleeves were too long. The soft material covered his ass, hanging down over his thighs. With his hair sticking up, and the wire-rimmed glasses perched on the end of his nose, there was only one word to describe how Jensen looked. Adorable. Jared grinned as he bounced on his toes. This earned a pout from Jensen, who resembled a five year old wearing his big brother’s clothes.
Jared held out his hands to help Jensen down the stairs. They made slow progress down to the lounge, and by the time he lowered Jensen to the couch both men were sweating with the effort. Jared understood why Jensen wanted to talk here, it was neutral territory. Jensen could relax and just maybe, they could come to an understanding.
Jensen settled himself on his side, propped up by pillows. He lay watching Jared, and was trying to summon up the courage to speak when Jared pulled up a chair and sat down on it. Jared contemplated Jensen and decided to get the ball rolling.
“I'm pretty sure I gave you one hell of a surprise last night. Like I said, we're going to talk, and I'll start. There are some things you should know about me, Jensen. I've known Matt for a few years now. We met in L.A. at a club he managed; Chad took me there one night.” Jared laughed, shaking his head. “There weren't enough tits on show for Chad, and so he didn't go back. Me on the other hand, I kept going back... I was fascinated by the place. It's where I discovered what I really needed; how I could strengthen my dominant side.” Jared fell silent, challenging Jensen to comment. The longer the silence stretched the more Jensen fidgeted, and when it was required Jared had infinite amounts of patience.
“Did you and Sandy ever? I mean, was she your sub?” Jensen finally asked, blushing as he spoke. Jared just shook his head. Jensen didn't know what to say; he'd never suspected this side to Jared. He picked nervously at the sleeve of the hoodie, swallowing hard before he spoke again.
“You said you'd followed me there. Why didn't you say something to me? I felt like I was cheating on you...” Jensen was having trouble getting the words out, but still Jared didn't respond. He continued to fill the silence. “It’s just that… I needed to feel, you know? I have to understand what happened... I just can't let go of...” He faltered and a sob tore out him.
Jared dropped to his knees beside him and spoke gently. “Its Dean, isn't it? You want to feel his pain. What he endured in hell. That's why you subjected yourself to those beatings. Am I right? Is that why you went to the club?”
All Jensen could do was nod, as Jared’s soft words broke him apart. He couldn't look at Jared as he shame washed over him.
Jared ran his fingers through Jensen’s short spiky hair. “The more you felt, the more you needed. It's no longer about the pain... it’s more about control. You want to give up your control, and let someone take care of you, just for a little while.”
Jensen raised his eyes, tears welling in them. “I'm so weak,” Jensen said simply. “I mean, it was research at first. Method. Get to the heart of Dean's pain, and you get to the heart of Dean. Last night something changed. It was when you stepped in front of me I just wanted to give up. I didn't need the pain. I just wanted to...”
He couldn’t find the words, so Jared finished the sentence. “Be taken care of.” Jared looked straight into those green eyes. “Do you know why I could never be a sub, Jensen?”
Jensen grimaced. That was an easy question. “Because you're strong, stronger than me.”
Jared gave him a gentle smile. “Quite the opposite. It's because I'm too weak to give up my control.” He could see this wasn’t making sense to Jensen, and he thought of the words he needed to use to explain. “The real power between a Dom and a sub lies with the sub; they control what happens. They have the safe word and they tell us when to stop. Jensen, you have to be strong to know when you want to let go, and be looked after. I could never ask for that.”
A silence descended between the two men and Jared sat and waited. He wanted to be the one who cared for Jensen, protect him when he needed to be looked after. But Jensen had to be the one who gave permission.
Jensen looked up into Jared's eyes. It was so complicated but at the same time this was ‘his Jared’, and it was an easy decision to take that final step. “Jay, will you take care of me, please? I'll do whatever you want me to. I’ll never go back there again, I promise”
Jared's heart skipped a beat. He felt humbled that Jensen had offered him this, but there had to be rules. Jensen had to understand what he was offering.
“How does this work? Will you want me to wear a collar, and walk around the house naked?” Jensen was smiling and there was a mischievous glint in his eyes. Jared grinned in response; this was better. The Jensen he knew and loved was regaining control.
Jared tapped his finger against his chin. “Well, I like the naked part, but I was thinking more along the lines of something a little more permanent. Maybe ‘Property of Jared Padalecki’ tattooed on your ass.”
Jensen went even paler and swallowed and Jared roared with laughter. “Oh man, I’m sorry. I couldn’t resist it. The look on your face! Priceless.”
Jensen’s eyes narrowed. “When I’m better I’m so kicking your ass, Sasquatch,” he growled.
Jared replied, “I look forward to it, but I think I’m safe for today. Hell, I bet even Castiel could kick your ass.” Jensen started to laugh, shaking his head; Jared decided to move the conversation back to a more serious level.
“Jensen, I love the way we are, and I wouldn’t want to alter a thing. If you want this, it would be when you need it. We’re a partnership, equals in everything we do. I can be whatever you want me to be. I’ll protect you and when I have to, I’ll push your pain boundaries. Take you outside yourself, if that’s what you need, but I will never hurt you like this again.”
Jared waited for his answer. “You’ll be my safety net, then? When Dean gets to be too much, I can let everything go for a little while? 'Cos sometimes I just need to breathe. It feels like I’m suffocating and this helps. I just didn’t know how to ask or who to ask.”
Jared understood more than Jensen knew. He knew that’s why Jensen had gone to the club, and how easily he could’ve been a victim of some idiot who just wanted a fuck toy. It was part of the reason why Jared had never had a permanent sub - no one had ever lived up to his high standards.
He wanted someone strong-willed, intelligent and independent. Jensen was all that and more, yet there was a vulnerability to him that appealed to him. He loved Jensen’s controlled, reserved nature. If he was prepared to hand over that control to Jared, he would guard that trust and never abuse it.
Jared reached for the hand that still fiddled with the cuff of the hoodie. “The best way for this to work will be for you to come to me when you’re ready, and I’ll be what you need.” Jared paused, looked at his own wrist and was suddenly inspired. He was wearing a leather bracelet. It was black, made of three twisted strands separated by strips of silver, almost Native American in design. Jared removed it and placed it around Jensen’s right wrist.
“When things get too much, come to me and give this back, and I’ll know it’s time for me to look after you. You’ll have to tell me what you want of me, and there will always be a safe word. You understand me?”
When Jensen finally met Jared’s eyes there was a determination burning in them, a light Jared hadn’t seen for a while. For the first time since last night Jared felt like he could take a breath. He’d been scared Jensen was slipping away, losing himself in Dean but now he’d be the one to keep Jensen grounded.
“By the way, your safe word last night...” Jared’s voice trailed away.
“Oh, you mean ‘Clay’. Dude, you were hotter than hell in that film, and if I was gonna scream something, at least it was going to remind me of you.” Jensen smirked at him.
“You’re gonna be a challenge, aren’t you?” Jared laughed.
“Come on, Jay. I thought that’s what you loved about me.” Jared couldn’t fight it any more; he leaned in and kissed Jensen. It was slow, gentle and full of promise of what was to come.
That had been several months ago, and Jared had been expecting this. Ever since he’d read the script for the episode they’d just filmed, Jensen had become so wrapped up in Dean’s pain, he was becoming increasingly edgy. If needed, Jared was prepared to punish Jensen for Dean’s transgressions. There were times when he couldn’t see where Dean ended, and Jensen began. These were the moments the bracelet was made for.
With one final look at Jensen’s kneeling figure, Jared stood and took a firm hold on his outstretched wrist.
“It’s alright. I’ll take care of you now.”