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cyndrarae

Rebelling against Reality since 2003

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JA: Stubble and shades
cyndrarae

The Untold Love Story of Inanimate Objects: Part One

{Masterpost}




[Prologue]


Actor Jared Padalecki, one of the main leads on the hit CW series Supernatural that recently wrapped up its fifth and possibly last season, was rushed to Vancouver General Hospital late last night after a freak accident resulted in both his hands being crushed under the weight of a Toyota Tundra. Padalecki left the crew’s wrap party after more than a few rounds of drinks, only to find a flat rear tire on the truck belonging to fellow actor and friend, Jensen Ackles. Ackles himself is reported to have skipped the party. Eyewitnesses at the scene say despite his bodyguards’ offer to help, an inebriated Padalecki insisted on changing the tire himself. It is not entirely clear why the jack collapsed suddenly just as Padalecki had both his hands positioned under the base of the tire…


Jensen winces in disgust as he reads the one-column article on page three of The Vancouver Sun, and gives it up mid-way. Chooses instead to look out the window, at the sea of white, fluffy clouds stretched out far as he can see. Warner Brothers’ own private jet, people. Complete with a semi-circle shaped walk-up bar and everything. And God how he needs a drink right the hell now.

Jensen turns to his left then, to look at the man reclining nearly horizontally in a plush bucket seat next to him. His colleague and best friend of five years, the man who made it to all of yesterday’s newspapers and magazines and E!News bulletins for being a complete and total klutz. A drunken one at that.

Jared looks… frail, enveloped in a maroon cashmere blanket that’s large enough to cover him from neck to toe. A black woolen skullcap allows his longish brown hair to curl up at the base of his neck. And his eyes, those beautiful almond eyes, are drooping under the weight of a string of sedatives still coursing through his body.

“Jay? You okay?”

Jared blinks and nods, barely. He doesn’t take his eyes away from the view through his window. Jensen grazes the cold cheek turned his way with the back of his relatively warm hand.

“Would you like something to drink?”

At that, Jared smirks and looks up at him, nuzzling against Jensen’s hand like one of his dogs who unfortunately couldn’t accompany them on this trip. They went home instead to Jared’s folks who, by the way, aren’t happy at all that their son decided to do his recuperation on vacation, away from the family.

“I wouldn’t mind a vodka martini.”

Jensen smirks back. “Nice try, kiddo. You know what I meant.”

Jared pouts at that, but it’s forced and somewhat empty. He sighs and turns back to his window. “I know, I’m good, thanks.”

“Hey, how about Skittles?” Jensen starts to unbuckle himself out of the seat. “And I think I saw a Hershey’s Dark in the fridge…”

“Mm, nah.”

Jared doesn’t even turn. It makes Jensen halt, decides the drink could wait after all. He bends closer and can’t resist planting a chaste little kiss on the side of Jared’s forehead. “Sure you okay?”

Jared keeps his eyes trained away. “Do you remember that story you told me, last year, when we ran away to Ibiza?”

Jensen chuckles. “In the middle of the season, yeah, I remember.”

“What was it again?”

“Like you don’t know… you’ve made me tell you that same story a hundred times over.”

Jared smiles up at him then, even though it still doesn’t reach his eyes. “I like hearing it.”

Guess there’s no arguing with that. “Alright.”

Jensen pulls a lever by his seat to make it recline until he is at eye level with Jared and then settles on his side until he’s face to face with the younger man. He takes a deep breath, and begins.

“Once upon a time there was a wave, long, and elegant and beautiful, who loved a rock that stood stoic, strong and unmoving by the sea, let us say in the Bay of Capri…”





[I]


She is in the middle of a big wide yawn when the dreamboat walks into her office. She straightens up immediately, pulling her feet off the table and knocking off a pencil, a rolodex and a picture of her husband of six years in the process.

“Doctor Sedgwick?”

For a horrifying moment inside her head, all she can think of as response is Who? – until her right brain catches up with the left one, or vice versa, whatever. What does she know anyway, she’s only a psychologist, not a neurosurgeon.

“Yes, hi!” She finally squeaks through a jaw hanging all the way to the floor.

The man is really tall, in his late twenties maybe or so his attire of gray knee-length cargos, clean white t-shirt and a well-worn cotton blue shirt hanging over it with sleeves folded up to his elbows would suggest. He’s gripping an iPhone in one hand, and black Police sunglasses in the other. Clean shaven and gorgeous and… sweet God the depths of those captivating green eyes…

Wow.

She can feel all the blood rushing up to her face and one hand flies up reflexively to fix her hair. “C-can I help you?”

The man doesn’t crack a smile. Fact he looks a bit annoyed, like he’s quite used to getting a reaction like this and has seen one too many middle-aged women stutter and fumble and in general make total fools of themselves at the sight of him.

“I’m your 2 o’clock?”

Kyra frowns, struggles with the silver chain holding her glasses around her neck before she manages to perch them on her nose, and looks through her printed schedule for the day.

2.00pm: Padalecki, referral from Dr. Bristow, Vancouver CA. Possible PTSD. Extreme discretion advised.

“But I thought you called and canceled?”

“Yeah, well. Plans change.”

“And I’m glad for it,” Kyra cracks, awkwardly, gets no response. The man calmly, gracefully, takes a seat across her desk and she automatically drops into her own chair, still having a category six blonde moment that she’s never been accused of having ever before, by the way. Not to her face.

“So, uh, I’m sorry, you will have to excuse my, uh, lack of preparation here. I was under the impression we were not having these sessions so I didn’t…”

“That’s okay. Don’t worry about it.”

This gorgeous hunk of a man is yet to return any of her smiles. He has the airs of a true Hollywood star, which of course, figures. But Kyra prides herself on her judgment of people and something tells her the brooding and assholery on full display right now may not come as easily to this man as it does to the rest of them. In fact, it may just have something to do with the reason why he’s sitting in a shrink’s office.

“Your doctor back in Vancouver did give me a brief idea about the… uh… your experience. I’m very sorry.”

The man slumps in the old mahogany chair and looks around the room. Seems to take a liking to the full-length windows with the dazzling ocean view. In fact, he’s instantly obsessed with it.

“I think it’s a great idea to combine therapy with your much needed, well-deserved break here in Pebble Beach. I don’t know how you can afford it but obviously, I’m not complaining!”

And she’s still the only one laughing. Kyra’s never had to try so hard to break the ice with a client before. By this time she’s usually earned a little chuckle or at least a snort for her efforts.

“I understand you have a very good and popular show going up there?”

The man does scoff then, in a tone that is cynical and derisive. But that’s it. Kyra taps her newly manicured fingers, waits.

“You have to forgive me, I don’t really watch television so much.”

“It’s why you were chosen. The last thing I need right now is another fan of that damn show, thank you very much.”

Kyra sighs, her heart going out to the lost, faraway look on the beautiful face turned away from her, in a way that it does to all her clients really. Which, by the way, is what makes her a very sucky therapist. Allegedly. She gets too close. Every damn time. And never learns. Those rain-soaked puppy dog eyes aren’t helping either.

“Would you like to start with talking about the, uh, what happened with you, Mr. Padalecki?”

The man finally turns toward her, his expression still blank. “My name is Jensen. Jensen Ackles.”

Kyra frowns, looks down at her schedule again. “Oh I’m sorry, I think there may have been a mistake in my notes here…”

“Your notes are fine. Jared Padalecki is supposed to come to these sessions. Jared Padalecki is the one who had what you’re calling –” he puts up both his hands to make quoty fingers – “the experience.”

The doctor blinks a couple of times. “And who are you?”

“Another actor on the show. Me and Jared, we… we’re… we’re vacationing here together.”

Kyra slides a little to her right, hoping to steal a glance outside her glass door and at the lobby outside. Her assistant better be still sitting there, within earshot in case she needs to scream for help.

“Okay, Mr. Ackles. May I ask what you’re doing here?”

The man smiles at last. Smirks is more like it. “Well, since our beloved TV network is so generously shelling out the dough for such an expensive, top-class Pebble Beach resident shrink, I figured someone might as well use it. Right?”

Kyra grimaces and stands up, getting ready to page her assistant and some security in. “I don’t think that’s how this works, Mr. Ackles.”

“Why not?”

She exhales impatiently. “Well, for one, we can’t just sit around here discussing the weather for sixty minutes three times a week! What exactly do you want to accomplish through these sessions anyway?”

“Help me help him.”

Her finger that’s about to press the ‘speak’ button on her intercom pauses mid-air.

“W-What?”

Jensen looks straight into her eyes, just for a second, before looking away back at the window and gesturing at it. “Does this open?”

Without waiting for an answer, he stands up, walks over and lifts the latch to let the cool ocean breeze flood her office. Not that it’s ever stuffy or stale-aired in here. Then he pulls a pack of red Marlboros out of his pocket, and lights up.

“Mr. Ackles, I’m sorry I…”

“Jared is not gonna talk, Doctor Sedgwick. He is the most talkative kid I know, but when it comes to this, he… just… won’t. Acts like it is no big deal. Almost like it never happened.”

Ah. Kyra lets the sounds of the waves and the wind do the talking for a few seconds that follow. The man does have a point about the, ahem, hefty fees their network, WC or something, is shelling out, and she suspects most of it is just for her discretion and confidentiality. But more than that, this man, this gorgeous perfection of a man, seems to genuinely want to help his friend.

Kyra bites her lip and squints. Interesting case this, Padalecki, even if it’s a rather simple one, and pretty straightforward. Or so she thinks.

“You can’t smoke in here.”

Ackles doesn’t stop, doesn’t even turn to face her. “Sure I can.”

And that’s all he says. Kyra shakes her head and lets the man stare out into the ocean that’s as green and restless as his own eyes.

She stares at his ass instead.





[II]


He takes the long way back to their hotel, the Inn at the Spanish Bay, driving a red Porsche he rented earlier this morning. Red’s really not his color, but it is Jared’s, and Jensen hopes to be able to interest him in a long drive sometime, maybe today. If Jared feels up to it. Of course, there isn’t much Jared feels up to these days.

It’s nearly four in the afternoon but the sun’s still out. Bright, like they still have all the time in the world to laze about at the beach, or go sailing, or play golf like they’d originally planned to. Of course, all that is out of the question now.

He steps out of the lift and nods to the two bodyguards posted outside the door to their luxurious suite. Network’s never been so not stingy before and he sure could get used to it. The bodyguards happen to be brand new too, also provided by the network. Old ones got fired, including Cliff, not so long ago.

He unlocks the door and steps in.

“Jay?”

Panic sets in almost immediately when he gets no response. Jensen drops the key card on the nearest table and walks through the foyer to the dining room, then practically runs until he reaches the bedroom only to find it empty too. His heart is already starting to race when the sound of soft close-lipped grunting reaches his ears. Relief courses through his bloodstream before he shakes his head, then heads into the bathroom.

“Hey… you okay?”

Jared turns to him, slightly taken aback. And more than slightly embarrassed. But that’s the least of Jensen’s concerns right now. All he sees is a grown man with a little boy’s face, flushed and pale all at once, standing in front of the toilet bowl. His gray sleep t-shirt is bunched up and held in place by his chin that’s pressed into his chest. With his hands, stuck in the orthopedic splints as they are, he’s clearly been trying for awhile to undo the drawstrings on this sweatpants. And failing miserably.

“Oh, baby.”

“I’m fine. You don’t have to…”

It’s too late to protest. Jensen is already by his side, gently taking hold of Jared’s wrists like they were the most delicate china his grandmother ever owned, and moving them to his sides. Jared grimaces and turns his head away, letting Jensen undo his pants for him so he could go.

“I’m sorry. I thought you’d still be napping.”

Last night was nightmare night. So Jensen honestly thought, going by the pattern so far, that Jared would sleep longer today.

“Where were you?”

There is a mild accusation in Jared’s voice, and Jensen is actually glad to hear it. The way he’d been acting since the… since getting out of the hospital, it’s become such a rarity to see the old Jared surface – the one who is always complaining, griping, bitching or at the very least opinionating about one thing or another. Unlike this new Jared that rarely seems to mind anything, doesn’t complain about or want for anything even when he’d be absolutely justified to do so.

“I, uh, went out for a walk.”

“With Tom?”

“Alone.”

All this time, Jensen busies himself with sliding Jared’s sweats and boxers down until they drop to the floor around the younger man’s ankles. He keeps his head lowered, knowing he’ll only find Jared looking up at the ceiling, biting his lip, and doing everything possible to mentally remove himself from this situation.

“Come on, Jay,” he whispers. “How long have we been together again?”

Jared just breathes deeply and rapidly, avoiding eye contact, now holding his t-shirt up with his bandaged hands. That much he can manage. Jensen quietly moves behind the taller man and presses up against him. Kisses the back of his neck, nuzzles the soft curls of auburn settled there before resting his chin on Jared’s tremor-racked shoulder.

“It’s okay, sweetheart. It’s okay.”

Jensen holds Jared out so he can take a piss. And all the while, he keeps talking. Anything to help Jared distract himself.

“How’re the palms?”

“As they were this morning, and yesterday.”

“I meant –”

“And the day before that.”

Jensen sighs and lets it be. So Jared is the one to talk instead.

“Why don’t you just go tomorrow?”

“Go where?”

“Didn’t Tom book the Links for y’all for like, eight hours or something? You should go.”

“I ain’t going without you. Not unless you wanna come watch me tee off…”

“Sorry, I’ve got some heavy reading to catch up on.”

Jensen snorts. “Yeah. Right. Don’t worry, it’s not like we’re paying for anything.”

“They really want us back for season six and Tom and Rosie for ten that bad, huh?”

Jensen swallows as he stands out of his friend’s sight – yeah, that is one reason of course, but it’s not the only reason and Jared knows it. Guilt sure helps loosen purse strings like nothing else does. They’d even had their hotel bookings upgraded from Executive Suite to the Presidential Suite and everything. It’s especially perfect because it has an attached terrace that faces the magnificent ocean front, a spacious living room with an elaborate entertainment center, and a fully stocked island kitchen that would make the women in their lives very, very happy if only they could see it.

Except Danneel, maybe. She doesn’t like to cook.

When Jared is done, Jensen bends to the floor, pulls up the pants and ties them back in place, making his buddy decent again. Jared manages to glance at Jensen once, briefly, parts his lips as if to say something but doesn’t. Instead he turns away and starts to walk out of the bathroom.

“Don’t forget to wash your hands.”

Jensen smirks. “Where do you think you’re going?”

“What do you mean?”

Jensen gestures at the palatial bathtub and folds his arms, waiting for Jared to fight him on it. Almost hoping he would – anything to get Jared to explode. And for a moment it looks like he’s about to get his wish. But then Jared bites his lower lip again, and actually pouts. It’s adorable as hell.

“I know guys who don’t shower for weeks.”

“Well, you ain’t one of them.”

“What about… these?”

Jensen looks down at the outstretched hands, all that long-fingered elegance now hidden under fat ugly hospital-white splint bandages that cover Jared’s palms from the beginning of his wrists up to the second knuckles of his fingers. Jensen feels the hot sting of ugly memories prickling behind his pupils again, but pushes it away vehemently.

“I got an idea.”

Five minutes later, they are sitting by the baby grand in the living room, and Jared is laughing as he watches Jensen eagerly swathe sheets of bubble-wrap on both his hands.

“Oh yeah, that’s a stroke of genius alright.”

Jensen mock-scowls at his sarcastic but amused friend, keeps one ear to the sound of water running in the bathroom in the background.

“I wanna pop some.”

Jensen lets out a theatrically cynical snort that basically translates to a ‘yeah right’. Jared narrows his eyes.

“You can’t keep making all decisions unilaterally, you know. I might be temporarily disabled but I still got rights.”

Jensen doesn’t bother to tell his buddy to can the soap opera, he’s actually kind of glad for a reaction, any reaction, from Jared.

“Fine, you can stomp ‘em to death later. Now come on baby, water’s getting cold.”

It never ceases to amaze Jensen how Jared manages to blush from his face right down to the base of his neck even now, after four years of fucking and having seen each other naked on countless occasions. It doesn’t occur to him then, that, Jensen also watches like he was watching Jared get naked for the first time.

He watches as Jared shakes his overgrown hair loose after Jensen pulls his t-shirt over his head, undoes his pants again while Jared kicks off his flip-flops and then awkwardly folds his long, lean body into the magnificent bathtub. He keeps his hands hanging out at the sides wincing a little and making Jensen wonder if the painkillers might be wearing off already.

“Took your meds after lunch?”

“Yes, dad.”

And that’s his cue to drop it. Usually Jared doesn’t mind being taken care of at all, in fact, he thrives on the attention that Jensen (or anyone really) might choose to lavish on him. But that was the old Jared.

Jensen turns off the faucets and picks up a washcloth instead. He shrugs out of his blue summer shirt and kneels on the floor beside the tub next to Jared, quietly ruing the lack of his own nakedness. On any other day, before last week that is, this would be the moment that Jared would turn on his charms, flirt with Jensen shamelessly, coaxing the older man to come join him in the tub. And Jensen would have groaned and sighed and tried to, rather pretended to try to resist before happily giving in.

But that was also the old Jared. This Jared just sits there, staring into nothingness, not shunning Jensen’s touches but not quite encouraging them either.

“I really wish you’d go, Jensen. I don’t want you missing out on the very reason you wanted to come here in the first place.”

Jensen soaps up the washcloth and starts running it across Jared’s smooth, hairless chest. His other hand cups the back of Jared’s neck and strokes the moist skin there lovingly.

“Don’t worry about it.” Jensen wants to tell him that there’ll be other vacations, other Pebble Beaches, but he knows that would be a lie. “Besides, I wanted you to practice so you’d stop sucking so much.”

Jared snorts. “Go teach Chris. His handicap’s higher than mine. And he’s been at it for longer than I have, right?”

Ever the competitive spirit. “That’s right Jay, you’re a champ. I’m so proud of you.”

Jared cracks a lopsided smile then, and it’s almost like the old Jared. But it disappears just as quickly and Jensen feels the sting behind his eyes return. Quietly he bathes Jared, caressing every inch of wet naked skin accessible to him, cataloguing the multiple scars and wounds on the man’s beautiful body. The stitched-in gash on the right temple – the one made with an iron wrench to knock him out. The cuts and scrapes Jared suffered as his body was dragged through the ice and woodchips and rubble. The rope burns on the wrists and ankles – mostly gone now but in his head Jensen can still see them as fresh as they’d been three days ago. And of course the hands...

Jensen jerks himself back to the present, noticing how Jared is suddenly sitting up straighter in the tub as Jensen’s hands stroke the back and front of his torso together, in synchrony, slowly heading downwards until a hand is hovering just over Jared’s crotch. Jensen drops his voice to a whisper – the kind that he knows always gets to his lover.

“Something you want, Jay?”

Jared breathes heavily but wrenches his gaze away. Jensen knows he probably wants to cross his arms and hug himself right about now but he can’t get the bandages wet. Jensen leans in closer just as his hand dips into the water and casually brushes against the head of the semi-aroused erection he finds there. Jared gasps soundlessly, and finally looks up with pleading eyes at Jensen.

“I got you, Jay. It’s okay.”

Jensen settles on his haunches beside the tub, not caring that he’s getting wet with all the water he’s splashed himself. One hand finds its way into Jared’s hair again, scratching his scalp just the way Jared likes it. Jensen wraps the fingers of his other hand around Jared’s shaft, starting from the base and slowly but firmly pumping downward until he reaches the head. There he uses a thumb to tease the pre-cum leaking tip, rubbing incessant circles into it that he knows will drive Jared crazy in three, two, one…

“Ah! Jen…”

Jensen smiles, tugging at Jared’s hair until his head is thrown back and his mouth is in perfect position for Jensen to take. And so he does more than eagerly.

The kiss is long and deep and passionate, tongues dueling and swirling around each other in a dance that’s rhythmic and synchronous with the way Jensen’s hand works away at Jared’s cock. He pulls and pumps the shaft, strokes the sensitive tip a number of times before repeating it all over again. Jared squirms and shudders in his place in the tub, his legs twitching uselessly and splashing more water to the floor. One of his hands moves reflexively towards the water but Jensen catches it just in time before the bandage could get wet and pushes it back to the side. He resumes pleasuring his boyfriend and makes it last for as long as Jared can handle it. Soon enough, Jared moans into Jensen’s mouth and drags his lips away as he struggles to breathe. His cock spasms and ejaculates in Jensen’s fist and Jensen keeps working him until he’s all emptied out. Exhausted, Jared closes his eyes and collapses against the wall of the tub. Jensen earlier had placed a rolled up towel perfectly to cushion the back of Jared’s head where it lands.

He uses both hands then – one wet, the other dry, to caress the younger man’s face, brushing the stray strands of hair back and massaging the back of his ears lovingly. When he lowers himself to take Jared’s lips with his own again, he half expects to be turned away, but isn’t. Jared kisses him softly, slowly, like they have all the time in the world. He crosses his temporarily disabled hands behind Jensen’s neck, resting his forearms on Jensen’s shoulders, and holds him close, kissing for what feels like an eternity that passes way too quickly when the boys have to release each other for some much-needed air.

Jared smiles, eyes glazed over. “Dude, we gotta change the water right fucking now.”

Jensen laughs, waits for Jared to pull the stopper with one giant foot and meanwhile he goes back to kissing the plumped lips again.

Somewhere in the suite, a phone rings and seeing how the boys are busy, the machine picks it up. Tom Welling’s voice echoes through to the bathroom.

“Yo Wincesters! Stop screwing like bunnies on acid for a second and listen up. Tomorrow begins with brunch at the Lodge, ten sharp. No later than that, you hear?”

Jared raises his eyebrows. “Wincesters?”

Jensen makes his whatever-face and tries to dive back into the kiss again.

“Oh and by the way, Chris couldn’t get through to your cell phones so he called Rosie instead. He’s flying in tonight – just a little heads up ‘cause I know you’re gonna need it.”

The voice snickers softly but the boys stopped paying attention to him long ago. Jared strokes down the front of Jensen’s chest with the back of his bandaged hands and Jensen, taking the hint, pulls his t-shirt over his head and drops it to the floor.

“Get your clubs and everything and we’ll drive down to the Links together. Alright, see you then. I’m so looking forward to kicking your skinny asses tomorrow. Especially you, Jare’. It’s payback time, kiddo!”

Welling hangs up, just as Jensen feels Jared freeze up beside him. He catches the younger man glancing at his hands with a… numb and almost disregarding look. It’s like the temperature in the room drops several degrees. Jensen swallows, and even if words don’t come easy to him, he tries to do what the shrink lady said he should – talk.

“We’re gonna have to tell them, you know.”

Jared doesn’t respond.

“Hey, you’re the one who insisted we stick to the plan and come to Pebble Beach. You knew the gang would show up one week later.”

Jared exhales and looks up into Jensen’s eyes. And he shrugs. “Okay.”

Huh?

“But I don’t wanna go there. Why don’t you call them over instead? We’ll have brunch here.”

“Wait, you’re… sure you’re okay with it?”

“Sure. Why not? They’re our friends. We can’t avoid them forever.”

Jared shrugs again, like they were discussing Paris Hilton and he couldn’t possibly care any less. Jensen is starting to really hate it when he does that.

The backhanded pawing returns as if it’d never stopped, and a confused Jensen looks up from the bandaged hands to Jared nodding longingly at a bottle of American Crew nearby.

“Wash my hair?”





[iii]


“Doctor Sedgwick’s office?”

Anna, the temp receptionist, is barely listening to a word her caller says. She’s too busy making sexy come-hither eyes at Jensen.

“Stupid horny bitch,” Sedgwick mutters as she peeps through her expensive wooden Venetian blinds out at the waiting lobby. Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to keep Mr. Ackles waiting after all.

She smoothens her short skirt down her thighs and checks her lip gloss, pauses to gather herself before pulling open the door.

“Mr. Ackles, hi! Sorry to keep you waiting.”

The actor doesn’t seem to have noticed at all, bummer. He walks in and she closes the door behind him, relishing the look of envious longing on the temp’s face.

“So, how’ve you…”

“He said okay.”

Kyra is lost. “Who said what?”

He paces back and forth a short distance from the couch to the full-length window, closer and closer to the ocean with every round. He doesn’t train those stormy green eyes of his at Kyra at all, not once.

“Jared. He said, okay. I said we’re gonna have to talk about it to our friends. And he said okay.”

“Huh,” Kyra frowns. “That… actually sounds like good news?”

He continues to pace even as he turns to practically glower at her, like she’s supposed to be psychic, not a psychologist.

“Well, it’s not.”

“It’s not?”

“You’re not a very good shrink are you?”

Oh for Pete’s sake!

“Mr. Ackles, this isn’t exactly a normal counseling case. I haven’t even met who I’m supposed to be really counseling and you acting like proxy-Jared isn’t helping as much as you might think.”

“Why not? I’m telling you everything you need to know – so what’s the problem?”

Kyra sighs and sits down behind her desk. “The problem is that I don’t know whose issues we’re dealing with from one moment to the next – Jared’s or yours.”

Ackles pauses then, with his back turned to the doctor. He puts his hands in his perfectly fitted jeans pockets and stays quiet for the longest time.

“Jay… I know you don’t know him, Doc. But he talks. Everyone knows that, his fans that haven’t ever fucking met him know that. He can talk at like two hundred words a minute and make absolute sense and he’s got no censor control whatsoever.”

Kyra doesn’t know where this is going yet. “It’s the mark of an honest man, they say, being so talkative.”

Ackles turns towards her once, and smiles. “If honest is talking without stopping to think or not choosing your words carefully then yeah, that he is.”

And then he walks back towards her, instinctively making her want to hold her breath.

“The Jared I once knew never used full stops or commas and he could ramble on forever and ever! Now all his sentences are no more than five words. Something is wrong, Doctor Sedgwick. He’s slow, careful, almost… clinical.”

“Clinical how?”

“Like…” he sighs and looks back at the ocean. “He says all the right fucking things that he thinks I want to hear, or his doctors want to hear, or his family expects him to say.”

Ah. Kyra pushes her spectacles up the bridge of her nose. Familiar territory at last.

“He’s disassociating his feelings from his words. And because he’s smart, he’s using just the right words to dissuade any questions or discussions about his real issues. Those are classic signs of post traumatic stress.”

He winces, almost as if the last three words coming out of her mouth had hit him like he’d actually been, physically, uh, hit.

Kyra smiles and shakes her head. “But you already knew that. I wonder if you already know what I’m going to say next too.”

Ackles crosses his arms again and waits.

“Jared is suppressing his emotions instead of dealing with them, right. But he isn’t the only one.”

The man doesn’t react.

“If you want to help him, you’re gonna have to help yourself first, Jensen.”

She’s hoping the use of his first name would help build the doctor-client relationship she just proposed. For a moment, Ackles frowns almost angrily and looks like he wants to protest, fight the allegation that he needs a shrink about as much as his good friend, who by the way, might be more than just a friend to Jensen, or so Kyra suspects. A few seconds later, his eyebrows go up and come back down again.

“I know I feel guilty.”

“You’re not the one who hurt Jared.”

“I could’ve been there.”

“You had no way to know.”

“This is such a clichéd conversation.”

“You started it.”

Ackles pulls out a cigarette before sprawling himself across her plush tan leather couch. God, he looks so fucking fuckable laid out like this…

She clears her throat and crosses her legs.

“You know there’s no smoking in here.”

He studies her for a few seconds; then rises to come over to her side of the desk. Kyra glares at the open box of cigarettes being held out in offering.

“Oh, what the hell.”

They both light up.



{Part Two}

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