Kyra lies on her back on her bed, struggling to get into a mini-skirt she hasn’t worn in two years. Damn thing couldn’t have shrunk so soon could it? Leather goods, seriously, never can tell which one’s real and which is not.
The cell phone lying beside her rings just as she finally manages to get the zipper at the back of the waist closed. She reaches for it and flips it open but doesn’t recognize the number.
“This is Doctor Sedgwick?”
“Doc, it’s Jensen.”
The hottie. Kyra tries to remember she has a perfectly wonderful husband who by the way is waiting for her at the PortaBella. She also tries to sit up but the damn skirt won’t let her. “Hey, what’s up?”
“You sound out of breath. Were you having sex or somethin’?”
Kyra rolls her eyes. “I’m trying to.”
Kyra bites her lip and curses herself. This is why she is a sucky therapist – just can’t seem to remember not to get all chummy with the patients.
“Nothing, just… uh. What happened? Everything okay with Jared?”
The silken voice on the other end laughs, and it’s a beautiful sound simply because it’s so completely – genuinely – happy.
“Everything’s fine. Everything’s great in fact! Guess what – our plan’s working.”
Kyra tries to remember. “Our plan? What plan?”
“The plan to get Jared talking! It’s freaking simple Doc… all I have to do is get him mad! Keep riling him up until he turns red in the face and cracks!”
“Jensen that is the exact opposite of what I – hu-hello?”
There is a loud noise of something crashing on the other side, followed by some more fumbling and cursing.
“Jensen? Jensen? JENSEN!!”
“Yeah! Sorry, I dropped my binoculars.”
“Um yeah, just keeping my eye on my boy. From a safe distance.”
Sweet Jesus. “And where is your boy?”
“Downstairs, in the courtyard jacuzzi.”
He says like it’s the most obvious thing in the world, like where else would a guy named Jared Padalecki be at this time of the day? Kyra really should be used to this by now. She isn’t sure though whether to be flattered by the high expectations Jensen has of her, or insulted by how he can never remember what they have or haven’t yet talked about.
“Jensen,” she sighs. “please tell me there is a good explanation for you spying on your Jared?”
“Long story. Besides, this ain’t spyin! I’m just… you know, making sure he’s okay.”
“Doc, listen, I just wanted to say thanks for the talk today. Turns out I did end up getting Jay mad even when I wasn’t actively planning to! I think he’s jealous of you.”
Kyra finally manages to get herself off the bed, already starting to get a headache which is so not good for the hot date she’s planned for tonight.
“Jensen, look, I appreciate everything you are doing to draw him out of his shell. But I really would like to see Jared first before I’d recommend you go any further with this half-baked amateur version of cognitive behavioral therapy. I mean come on, that’s my job!”
“You’re not listening to me, Doc. PTSD my ass, this is classic Paddywhack syndrome. Something pisses him off, he doesn’t admit it right away. He just keeps bottling it up, hoping to deal with it quietly and privately but in reality he never deals with it. All he does is hope and wait for it to go away on its own. But it never does and instead it just rots and festers and grows until it bursts out of him like last night’s friggin’ burrito!”
“Never mind. He’s on his way up now, I gotta split.”
“Wo-wo-wait wait Jensen...“
“Thanks Doc. You’re a genius!”
And the line goes dead. Kyra Sedgwick stares at the handset for a second, wondering exactly what role she played in this dubious turn of events and how she could extricate herself legally if she had to. She wonders if she’s doing right by these men letting them handle this situation on their own.
Especially since Jensen isn’t the stablest of men himself.
Jensen hovers close by as their specialized hand therapist sits with Jared at the kitchen table and examines his hands.
“How much longer, Kathy?”
Kathy looks up at Jensen and back at Jared who sits with his head lowered and his sight trained at who knows what, like it isn’t his hands being discussed but someone else’s. His long body is slumped back against the chair and his legs stay bent at the knees. Stiller than Jensen’s ever seen them before.
“Well, looks like the left hand cast can come off in about three more weeks. But the right one will take a little more time. After which you would have to come in to get the metal pin taken out.”
Jensen flinches, and is only thankful he’s standing behind Jared. The younger man doesn’t react, again. Kathy notices nothing and continues to talk to Jared hoping a part of him is still listening.
“The left one is healing nicely on its own. We just need to start with minor finger motion therapy to help with the stiffness. There is going to be a slight bump that you’ll notice right about here…”
Clearly Jensen is the only one paying attention, so Kathy sighs and looks up to address him instead.
“It is basically an extra bone your hand will develop as part of the healing process. And it might never go away but don’t worry about it, okay? With regular physical therapy you’re sure to regain normal activity in your hand very soon.”
“That’s good news. Huh?” Jensen puts a hand on Jared’s shoulder and waits for a response. Why does he even bother, really?
“With the right hand though…”
Jensen holds his breath.
“We’ll have to take the pin out and re-bandage it and let it heal for a few more weeks after that. So we’ll start with that one a little later and there’s a good chance the physical therapy will take care of the rest after that.”
“What do you mean good chance?”
Kathy licks her lips. “Well, there might be some lingering stiffness in the fingers even afterwards. This case is, unfortunately, not one where we could guarantee a hundred percent recovery. But you never know, sometimes miracles do happen. ”
Yeah, right. Jensen wants to scoff and smash something to the ground but even if he’s the resident skeptic, he doesn’t want Jared to lose faith. Jared’s always been religious, even though right now, this Jared that sits before him doesn’t seem much inclined to assert it.
Jensen feels his fingers claw the flesh on Jared’s shoulder hard for a few seconds before he forces himself to relax. He sighs and opens his mouth to say something, something nice and peppy…
“It’s alright. We’ll deal with it when we get there.”
Jensen and Kathy both look toward Jared in surprise. Jared says those words so nonchalantly it’s creepy, and the odder thing is – he sounds like he means them.
Kathy smiles when she is finally allowed a brief moment of eye contact with her patient. “That’s a healthy attitude, Jared. We will need it when we start the therapy sessions once you’re back in LA. In the meantime, try not to get the splints wet again, will you?”
Jared smiles at that. Jensen exhales in relief, jotting a small reminder in his head to not let the guy in the Jacuzzi without the bubble wraps again.
Half an hour later, Jensen helps Kathy with her bags as she gets into the cab that will take her to the airport.
“Thanks for flying down, Doctor Walters.”
She beams up at him. “Hey. All expenses paid trip to Pebble Beach, who’s complaining?”
Jensen waves her goodbye and looks at his watch. It is eleven in the morning, and it’s a bright sunny day outside. Time to put his plan into action. But when he reaches their bedroom, he finds Jared kicking off his flip-flops and getting ready to go back to sleep.
“Yo, what’re you doing?”
“Going to bed.”
“Alone, or am I invited?”
Jared scowls at him, even though there’s no real heat in it. “I’m still mad at you, so no, you’re not getting any.”
Jensen pouts, pushing his lower lip out as adorably as he thinks he can, and waits for the usual Jared snickering to start, or at least a friendly jibe about ‘look who’s being the drama queen now?’ or whatever. But nothing comes. Instead Jared just shakes his head – at least he’s smiling, thank God – and lies down on the bed like an old man who’s been carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders for years.
He didn’t even have a nightmare last night.
Jensen sighs and goes over to the man’s side, puts a hand behind his neck and tugs at his hair not so gently.
“Jay, you can’t sleep in the middle of the day. Come on, baby, up and at ‘em.”
Jared winces. “What for?”
Jensen scratches his head. “Let’s go down to the Links, maybe watch Rosie and Tom tee off, make fun of them amateurs. What say?”
“You should go, I’m tired.”
“What did you do all morning that you’re tired?” Jensen exclaims. “Stop being a little bitch and get up.”
“Oh so now I’m being a bitch?”
Jared sits up in bed and this time scowls at Jensen for real. “Well excuse me for being a fucking cripple who can’t even close his hands around a straw, let alone a golf club!”
Jensen bites his tongue, the sudden urge to grab Jared’s face and press desperate kisses into his blushing red lips so strong he’s nearly suffocated by it. Jared’s good at emotionally blackmailing him – always has been. But Jensen won’t let the brat have his way this time.
After a couple seconds of silence, Jensen sighs. “It must just burn you up inside that those psycho fangirls from hell stole this from you, right, Jay?”
Jared’s face hardens.
“And you were doing so well, improving your game little by little. This was your one chance to show the guys what you could do. Doesn’t that just make you hopping mad, Jay? I’m sure it does, right?”
“Why don’t you tell me what it feels like, huh? Tell me, I wanna know…”
Jared huffs, and gets out of the bed from the other side in a flash.
“I will need my gloves. Asshole.”
Jensen chuckles as he watches the younger man stalk into the bathroom, and once there kick the door shut behind him.
At the Golf Links, Tom is extremely happy to see Jared. He doesn’t comment on the white leather golf gloves the kid is wearing and just hugs him close, tight, for a long while before letting him go. Jared keeps his eyes averted for the most part, but when Tom lets him go, he nods briefly at him, before going to stand by their rented Yamaha golf car under the shade. Because it’s Tom, Jensen knows he doesn’t need to apologize for Jared’s coldness. Because it’s Tom, the curt little nod is more than enough to make him smile.
Tom turns to Jensen once he steps up next to the Smallville star. “How’s he doing?”
Jensen shrugs and crosses his arms as they both watch Jared walk away from them. “I don’t know. Honestly, some days I swear he’s as normal as normal can be. And then there are times he just… goes off someplace in his mind and I can’t seem to reach him until he is ready to come back on his own.”
They notice Michael, his new girl, Angela something, and Jamie walking over to greet Jared.
“How did you get him to leave the suite?”
Jensen grimaces as he turns to look at Tom through both their black sunglasses. “Same way I get him to do anything these days. Threatening him with the talk.”
Tom shakes his head, watching as his wife hugs Jared carefully and offers him a drink of lemonade. “That’s not good, man.”
“Tell me about it.”
“He still doesn’t wanna see the therapist?”
“Nope.” Jensen sighs, then turns to face Tom again. “Well, you guys have a good game. I guess Jared might want to leave soon, he tends to get tired pretty quickly these days.”
“Why’s that? The blood loss?”
“Yeah, that’s one reason. It’s also the meds I guess.” And Jensen can’t help a sad little snort at that.
Tom turns to him. “What?”
Jensen takes his glasses off for a second to rub the aching bridge of his nose. “A year ago, I was seriously considering sneaking in some Ritalin into Jared’s candy. Anything to get the kid to calm the hell down. And now…” he laughs that distressed laugh again. “All I know is I never ever wanna see him doped up like this again.”
Tom keeps his hands on his hips and looks down at their shadows on the greens. “It was not your fault, Ackles. I know it’s probably hard to believe it now but it is the truth, and I hope deep down you do know that.”
A few yards away, Michael and Angela break into a sudden spate of laugher and even Jared is smiling softly. Jensen figures the joke must have come from him. Everyone seems to be treading on broken glass around him. That’s just got to change and it can only happen when Jared starts mingling with them like he used to. But Jensen doesn’t want to tax him too much yet.
"So anyway, we’re probably gonna slip out after lunch or something.”
Tom frowns. “You’re not playing at all?”
Jensen shakes his head, and hopes Tom would understand. Michael walks over with his girl to them and after a few more minutes of idle talk, Jensen makes it back to Jared’s side.
“Where’d James go?”
Jared, whose eyes are also shielded by brown Aviator glasses, subtly nods towards the clubhouse behind him. “She got a phone call.”
Okay. Jensen folds himself into the driving seat of the golf car and pretends he’s driving the thing on the surface of the moon, or in Cairo maybe. Makes all the appropriate engine revving and jerking sounds from his mouth as he does so. Anything to get Jared to smile for him, doesn’t matter if this general all-round buffoonery is, or at least used to be, more Jared’s forte than it is his. When Jared finally does crack a smile, it’s the victory Jensen was hoping for. And now Jensen is greedy and wants more of it.
“Let’s rent a car and go for a drive, all around Pebble Beach. What say?”
Jared looks at him with a little frown on his face then turns away. “I thought you wanted to golf.”
“No, I…” And that’s when it hits him – Jared is clearly miffed – missing the game he’s grown to love so much under Jensen’s tutelage. Glaring through his shades at his friends enviously for enjoying this beautiful day on the greens while he stands on the side like an idiot.
Jensen comes around to stand by Jared’s side. “Wouldn’t you mind?”
He can almost see the movement of Jared gnashing his teeth inside his mouth. “I don’t care. I told you, do what you want.”
Jensen bites back a smirk and picks out a random golf club from Tom’s bag in the back of the car. He looks up into Jared’s face and smiles. “Alright then, seeing how I have your permission, I might as well get me a score on the board.”
And he starts to stalk off. “You sure you are okay with this?”
Jared doesn’t respond.
“I mean, of course you’re okay. But I wouldn’t wanna leave you standing here all by yourself, you know. So if you don’t want me to go, now’s the time to say it…”
Jensen is now further away from the car and that much closer to the rest of the group. “Don’t be all bitchy and whiny later on. Going once, going twice…”
Jensen gives up then, swallowing down his own urge to scream his lungs out. He turns around and away from Jared, wondering again if he’s doing the right thing or not.
Oh thank God. Thank you sweet merciful God…
He turns around, softly smirking. “Yes, Jay?”
Jared stands with his ankles crossed, leaning against the cart that takes all of his body weight easily.
“Sure you want to start with a nine iron this early on in the game?”
Kyra tries not to giggle at the major Dean-flash she’s getting from a very agitated Jensen pacing (again) in her office. Yep, she’s been catching up on the seasons all week. The show is okay but the two lead actors are brilliant in their respective roles and hugely addictive. No wonder women are losing their minds over these two – they’re in almost every single scene in every single episode – it’s like classic eyeblink conditioning.
“So what were you trying to do again?”
Jensen rolls his eyes. “Try to keep up, Doc. You have no idea how much the kid has come to love golf. Almost as much as he loves Swedish Fish.”
Kyra does smile this time. The fanblog got that one wrong: it lists Twizzlers as Jared’s favorite chewy gummy candy.
“So you thought making him mad about what he’s missing might make him crack, and it didn’t.”
“Not at all, not even a little bit! Instead I ended up having to play a million games when that was the last thing I wanted to do.”
Jensen flings both his hands in the air in utter exasperation. Then narrows his eyes at her, and puts his fists on his hips. “He’s playing me.”
Kyra shakes her head and rests her chin on her left hand knuckles, elbow propped up on the desk.
“He knows I’m trying to get him to talk and because he’s still mad at me, he’s doing everything in his power to resist.”
“Did it occur to you that maybe it is still too painful for him to talk about it? Jensen, maybe you shouldn’t be forcing him.”
“Oh yeah? Then what should I be doing, Doc. You’re the expert, you tell me.”
Kyra nods. “Well first of all thank you for remembering that I am the therapist in this room. And second, maybe… maybe you should give him time, Jensen. Let him come around on his own.”
Jensen opens his mouth to argue, but doesn’t seem to come up with anything useful so stoops his shoulders and comes back to sit on the couch instead. He runs his hands through his dark blond hair and Kyra finds herself following every little gesture with enrapt attention.
“That’s just it, you know. We don’t have much time left…”
Kyra looks down at her notes, not sure what to say.
“I can’t stand it, Kyra. His silence… his numbness… it’s killing him inside. Hell, it’s killing me. He’s supposed to be the one doing his best to get on my nerves, not the other way around. He’s supposed to constantly vie for my attention – twenty four seven three sixty five days a year because that’s just how he is! Not the… the quiet man pretending to not exist or care that every last drop of blood in me is focused on nothing but him.”
Kyra allows for a few seconds of silence to let Jensen absorb the gravity of his own words, add more or renege if that’s what he needs to do. But Jensen just lights up another cigarette and turns away to the ocean. It seems to anchor him somehow.
“I’m scared, Doc.”
“Of the possibility that… that he might never forgive me. That he might be distancing himself from me as we speak, and after Pebble Beach we… we might not even be friends anymore… until one day he’ll forget I ever existed and… damn it. I don’t know what to do.”
Kyra bites her lip and chooses her next words carefully. “Jensen, with everything you’ve described, yes, I think Jared is distancing himself from you, but not because he is planning to push you away.”
Jensen turns to her and frowns. “What else can it be?”
The therapist gulps softly. “Self-preservation.”
“You heard me.”
Jensen grimaces almost as if he’s in physical pain. “Jared knows this is our last… our last vacation together. The show’s done, unless we choose to go back for season six and the network wants us to, but… we’re so tired, Doc. Both our careers have been stuck in the horror genre way too long and besides, Kripke doesn’t want to do this anymore and we don’t want to do it without Kripke and…”
“I wasn’t talking about the show, Jensen.”
“But it is about the show, damn it!” Jensen stands up in a rush and starts to pace again.
“Don’t you see, everything’s got to do with this fucking show! We, we moved from LA to Vancouver for this show… we met each other on the show, we went from colleagues to best friends to lovers during this show. Hell, we’ve been fucking wrapped up in each other for five years because of this show and – and now that it’s over, it is time to go back to our normal lives, focus on our careers and our other friends and family again. It is the sensible thing to do. He wants to do it, and so do I. We agreed on this together!”
“Okay, okay.” Kyra stands up as well, walks over to Jensen and puts a hand on his arm, trying desperately to calm him down. She can feel the man’s frame heaving under her touch.
“It is a combination of things, Jensen. There is the… trauma from the assault that he’s still struggling to come to terms with. And then there is this massive wave of change heading towards him – a life without you. Jared seems to be steeling himself against the pain that he knows is just waiting ‘round the corner.”
“I’m not immune to that pain, you know. Doesn’t he know I feel it too?”
Kyra shrugs. “He probably doesn’t. Maybe he thinks it’s not such big a deal to you and he doesn’t want to look weak or pathetic in comparison.”
There is a look of comprehension that, every time it appears in her client’s eyes, gives Doctor Sedgwick great assurance that she probably doesn’t suck so much at her job after all. The gorgeous green eyes go wide for a second before they squint again, looking deep into Kyra’s own eyes for confirmation.
“So you’re saying that… the reason he won’t talk to me about the assault, is because talking about it would mean having to let his guards down and… and he’s afraid of what else he might say if he does that?”
“Even if he agrees with your decision to part ways on a practical level, a part of him doesn’t want to let you go. The same way that a big part of you isn’t ready to let him go either. Am I wrong?”
Jensen doesn’t respond. He simply looks away, spacing out for another few minutes. Kyra lets him be.
Jared uses the tip of his right hand thumb, otherwise immobile in its cast, to click the speaker button on the phone and switch it off. When he looks up, Jensen can feel him shooting daggers all the way from across the room.
He smirks. “How’s mommy?”
Jared scowls at him with more anger than Jensen’s seen in his face all week. Progress. Well played, Ackles.
“You know I hate lying to her.”
Of course! It is precisely why he set up the call first thing this morning in the first place, hoping Jared would maybe open up to his momma, and maybe even get emotional and shed a few tears or something – anything. Instead, Jared had quickly slipped into Jared Padalecki the actor mode and played up the same cover story the network released to the press with absolute gusto.
Actor Jared Padalecki, one of the main leads on the hit CW series Supernatural, 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…
Really? That’s the best a whole fucking TV network could come up with?
“Yeah ma, I’m fine… No ma, I don’t need anything… Yes ma, Jensen’s taking care of me… good care of me… No ma, my hands don’t hurt so much anymore – come on it’s only a couple of fractures… How many? …Fifteen, really? …I thought it was twelve? ….Wow, really?.... Fine, I’ll pray… yes ma, every night ma… No ma, I’m not playing golf, it’s physically impossible actually… yeah, well this time it really is… “
“You’ve got to stop doing this, Ackles.”
Jensen stops pressing the pieces of fresh fruit into the blender. Ackles – Jared hasn’t called him that in years, definitely not when it’s just the two of them. Part of him sees it as a good thing – an indication that Jared might be reaching his melting point after all. And yet another part wants to retreat right the fuck now and not spend their last few days together trying to get on each other’s nerves.
‘Course, it doesn’t have to be their last few days together…
Jensen sighs, turns away from his feeble attempt at making exotic fruit smoothies, and comes over to sit by Jared’s side on the couch. His nostrils are flaring again. Jensen puts a hand under Jared’s chin and lifts it up until he’s gazing into those heated eyes again.
“Bet she was glad to hear your voice after a whole week, huh?”
Jared pulls his face away from Jensen in undisguised annoyance. “Did you really think I’d be stupid enough to break it to her over the phone? Did you think at all about what it might do to her?”
Shit. Okay, so maybe Jensen hasn’t been thinking straight of late at all.
“I was thinking she’s your mom and she loves you. And you need to talk to someone but it sure as hell ain’t me… damn it, you don’t even look at me these days, Jay…”
Jared still doesn’t look at him. And silence has already been established to be acquiescence, so there.
“I know you’re mad at me.”
“No, I’m not.”
“Well you’re mad at something!”
“Yeah and it’s not you so stop making it all about yourself and leave me the hell alone, okay?”
Jensen feels his heart drop to the pit of his stomach. His first, instinctive reaction is to get up and walk, run away and keep running until he can’t hear Jared’s harsh words ringing in his ears anymore. But that’d be exactly what Jared is accusing him of – selfish.
He steels his nerves and, at the risk of getting his head bitten off, tries again. “Okay, you’re right. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have set you up like that.”
Jared purses his lips and doesn’t respond.
At that, the younger man rolls his eyes.
And then he laughs. Emptily. “I’m supposed to be the cute one, not you.”
Jensen heaves a sigh of relief. “Yeah well, desperate times and shit.”
Jared’s bandages are starting to itch. He uses the back of one hand to brush back and forth against the side of the other and it’s been making Jensen nervous all morning. Tentatively he reaches out and puts his hand on Jared’s hands, stilling them under the slight pressure.
“Don’t do that, baby.”
Jared grimaces but obeys. Encouraged, Jensen gets up from the couch and sits on the coffee table in front of Jared instead, fitting one leg in between Jared’s open ones until their thighs are aligned together. Jensen’s left knee is just barely grazing against Jared’s groin, as is Jared’s knee against his.
“Prickles like a bitch,” Jared mutters.
“I might know a way to distract you, if you want?”
The words have barely left Jensen’s mouth when Jared lifts his face up to seek out Jensen’s lips. Jensen silently thanks the Lord he doesn’t quite believe in for small mercies and closes his mouth over Jared’s, letting all his senses slowly immerse themselves into the greatest pleasure he has ever known. Kissing Jared.
The extreme mood swings aren’t lost on him. Jared’s known to pendulate from one end of the emotional spectrum to another but it’s never occurred so fast and so suddenly in the past. Whatever it is, he’s just glad Jared doesn’t stay mad at him for too long. Least not on the surface.
“Stretch,” he commands, to which Jared just looks adorably confused. Jensen puts a hand on one of his shoulders and gently pushes. “Lie down, like this…”
Jared goes where he’s led, until he’s stretched out on the couch, his head supported by an armrest and his hands folded over his stomach. Jensen unbuttons the younger man and pushes his jeans and briefs down his endless legs until they’re completely off. He then seats himself on the couch between the vee of Jared’s legs, bending one at the knee and letting the other dangle to the floor. Jared shivers, and it’s a full body phenomenon.
Jensen leans over the other man, capturing the slightly open lips with his own just as his hands gently push stray strands of hair back from the perfectly chiseled face. Tongues entangle in a passionate dance, gliding and stroking against the other in a way that’s familiar and comfortable. When they part, it’s for lack of fucking oxygen but that doesn’t stop Jensen from heading down on Jared’s elegantly slender body. He kisses every inch of that intriguingly mole-speckled skin, laving the brown nubs on Jared’s chest until he is arching up clear off the couch’s surface in wanton need.
Jensen grasps the narrow hips to push Jared down as he slowly slides down the couch. Jared gasps, obviously knowing where this is headed. The sparse bush of pubic hair is usually the place Jensen starts. He curls an auburn lock of hair around one finger and tugs softly, eliciting another gasp that is sheer music to Jensen’s ears. The cock is like the rest of Jared – long and slender and scrupulously clean and absolutely beautiful. Jensen keeps one hand scratching the pubes and with the other, he strokes the shaft and massages the balls alternatively. He could do this all day, feel up his gorgeous lover inside and out, and hear him bite his desperate moans back in delicious agony. Moans that Jared can’t hold back once Jensen closes his mouth around the swelling head, sucking at it as if it were a popsicle.
Jared throws his head back and practically mewls as Jensen proceeds to suck him in, inch by inch, until Jensen’s nose is pressed into the pubes he adores so much and Jared’s cock is hitting the back of his throat. Obviously, he’s had years of practice and knows exactly what to do to drive Jared out of his freaking mind. But today, Jensen blows Jared like his life depends on it. Lips move up and down on the glistening shaft as one hand plays with the quickly tightening balls, and the other circles his anus with deathly precision. Jared twitches and jerks and whimpers, his legs spasming with the intensity of his building arousal. Jensen revels in the power that he holds over Jared, the power to grant him the release he so craves, or keep him teetering on the fucking brink of it for as long as it suits Jensen’s whims and fancies. But this isn’t the time for teasing or torturing the young man. All Jensen wants to do today is make him feel special, wanted, loved… remind him of the happier times, the “normal” they once shared.
And could maybe share again, for ever… who said it has to end?
Jared comes with a loud scream, as he usually does. At least that part hasn’t changed. Jensen swallows him down drop for drop, suckling away at the tip to make sure he didn’t miss any. Jared writhes under the ministrations and tries to pull the older man up instead. Jensen obliges, stretching out nearly on top of him, careful not to crush his hands in any way. Once there, he unzips himself and works his own arousal to blissful completion, rutting against Jared’s completely spent dick.
Jared entwines his arms around Jensen’s neck, holding him close to his body and keeping him there long after they’ve both climaxed. Jensen rests his head on Jared’s chest, listening to his heartbeat simmer down as his body recovers post-orgasm. It’s all so… nearly perfect, nearly because Jensen is painfully aware of one tiny detail.
Through it all, Jared never did stop shivering. In fact he’s still shaking, wrapped around Jensen as he is, scaring the living daylights out of him.
They have lunch on the terrace – ordering Jared’s favorite pizza from Papa John’s. The ocean view never seems to get old, for either one of them. But Jensen finds himself studying Jared’s quiet profile more than he looks at the waves today.
“So how about that drive, Jay?”
Jared seems to think about it and then shrugs. “Why not…”
Okay, so Jensen is used to a lot more enthusiasm from Jared than that, but this will just have to do.
Joseph and Trager insist on coming along, tailing the actors in a black SUV at a short distance. This is another reason why Jared hasn’t left the confines of their suite more than once in the last ten or so days they’ve been here. Even that one trip to Links was a logistical nightmare, making sure he had complete privacy. No chance encounters with any star-struck jumpers for them. Not this time. Maybe not ever.
Jensen flips open the top of the silver BMW convertible and takes the scenic route right along the Pacific shore from Spanish Bay all the way to Pecadero Point – a place he chooses for no other reason but that it’s the farthest point they can drive to before the course turns itself to head back to the Inn. Jensen keeps one eye on the road, another on Jared, rejoicing in the slow degrees of relaxation seeping into the younger man’s face and body.
He takes in the short-sleeved dark blue shirt that he’d helped Jared into, that reaches just above the brown leather belt with the massive Texas buckle clasped around his narrow waist. The belt is an absolute necessity seeing how it is holding up his pair of ill-fitting and fading baggy jeans that are also tattered on both knees. His brown shades and a pair of Kenneth Cole’s leather sandals finish the look – and it’s not the look of a Hollywood actor on vacation, hell, far from it. Instead, Jared looks like an overgrown teenager, long and lean and unintentionally gorgeous, who just happens to be wearing a pair of white golf gloves, maybe just for the heck of it.
Jared lets his head fall back on top of the seat and closes his eyes, soaking in the sun. The radio stations do the best they can, filling the silence in the car with some of their favorite tunes. Well, Jared’s mostly, considering he’s less picky about his music than Jensen is. After a few minutes, he notices a look of yearning on Jared’s face despite the shades covering his alluring eyes. It is the way he chews at his lip that’s always a dead giveaway.
“What are you thinking?”
“Come on… I’m actually trying to make small talk for a change, throw me a bone will ya?”
Jared smiles coyly. “Just wishing I could’ve driven this thing. She sure looks and sounds sweet.”
Jensen smirks a little proudly at having made this brilliant rental choice. “She’s a beauty alright. And I really wish you could, Jay, but…”
“I know, I know. Whatever. Some vacation.” Jared grumbles and sprawls back into his seat. Not enough leg space for his long frame but that doesn’t stop him from trying anyway.
Jensen curbs the sudden urge to lick at the long and exposed column of throat beside him. “Hey, there’s always a next time, huh?”
Jared lifts his head at that. “No, Jensen. There isn’t.”
The smile on Jensen’s face promptly disappears. He wants to argue, counter back with a heartfelt and over-the-top romantic confession of his deepest darkest desires, but he can’t. He never was any good with words. Or rejection.
There is silence for awhile as Jensen goes from zero at a stop sign to eighty under three seconds. After much deliberation though, he clears his throat.
“There could be, you know, if you want, that is.”
“What? Family getaways with you, your wife and your one point five kids in tow? No thanks.”
Jensen swallows. Hard. “No, I mean… us. Just you and me. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately and… it doesn’t have to end, Jay.”
“I’m not gonna be your closet bitch that you visit once every quarter, Jensen.”
Jensen winces painfully. He slows down until he comes to a stop at the side of the road and turns to look at his best friend of five years, the man who is so smart most of the time but so fucking dense when it matters the fucking most. He hears the SUV following them screech to a halt and pull up on the gravel somewhere behind.
“Why do you go assuming the very worst of me all the time? You gotta give me a little more credit than that, man.”
Jared sits up and turns to him at that, his face hardened to the point that Jensen can actually see the nerves straining in his forehead.
“Why are we even talking about this? I thought this was a done deal – make a clean break after the show ends and never look back for the sake of both our lives. And our careers. Those were your words, Jensen. Remember?”
Jensen sighs and takes his glasses off. “Yeah, I remember but… Jay, that was then. This is… things are different now.”
“How? How are they different, huh?” Jared isn’t holding back today, and a part of Jensen is really really glad for it. “Don’t make any stupid promises you’ll regret later just because you feel guilty for what happened to me, Ackles. I do credit you with more brains than that.”
“Damn it, okay, maybe part of it is guilt but it’s more than that…”
“Yeah? Like what?”
Jared looks at him, still frowning, still disbelieving and cynical and… and deeply hurting.
“What is it, Jensen?”
Jensen sighs and looks down at his hands, clenched tight over the wheel of the car.
“Maybe, it is this realization that… that life for the past five years has been… incredible and beautiful and absolutely perfect and it’s been that way because of you.”
The words are low, the voice barely a rasp. Jensen doesn’t know what Jared hears though – his fear and hesitation, or his desperation and love. Maybe neither. Maybe all.
“Maybe, I realize now that I don’t want it to end. I don’t want us to end.”
Jared stares at him for who knows how long, his chest heaving with the weight of everything he continues to hold inside, gripping to himself tight. Still not letting anything out.
“It’s called resistance to change. It’s normal, happens to everyone– “
“Let me out.”
The words are like knives stabbed through to his heart, until Jensen realizes Jared is talking about letting him out of the car. But metaphor or not, that’s just as bad.
“Let me out, Jensen!”
Jensen purses his lips and doesn’t move. Which is the wrong move because Jared immediately turns away and tries to open his door himself, folding his injured hand in the way that he absolutely shouldn’t.
“Wait!! Okay, let me get that.”
Jensen grudgingly reaches across Jared and pulls the release latch to open the car door. His arm brushes against the quivering frame beside him and all he wants to do is grab a hold of Jared and never let him go. But Jared is out of the car before he can even complete that thought, walking off towards the edge of the water stretched out beside them.
Jensen gets out as well, like he has a choice, and looks behind him to see if their bodyguards are still around. Joseph and Trager are both out of the car and following suit. From the looks of this place, Jensen figures this must be the Fanshell Overlook – the white sands beach that is apparently irresistible to harbor seals in the spring, which is… right about now. By the time he turns around, Jared is already halfway down to the shoreline and Jensen breaks into a run to catch up.
“Jay! Stop man, please listen to me…”
“No, you listen to me, Jensen!” Jared practically yells at him, spinning around towards Jensen as he comes to a sudden dead stop, forcing Jensen to do the same about ten feet away.
“I know you care about me and I know you’re still pretty rattled by what happened, but you can’t go and completely overhaul all your life’s plans because I am a dumbfuck moron who can’t be trusted to take care of his own fucking self, let alone anyone else!”
“Stop being so melodramatic!” Jensen takes a step forward, only to drive Jared two steps back. So he stops. Instead he tries to assure his best friend the only way he can think how. “I don’t think any less of you now than I did before, Jay, if that’s what you’re worried about.”
Jared starts to shake his head, taking another step backwards and away from him. “I don’t know what to trust anymore…”
The voice breaks on the last word and Jensen curses himself for ever wishing to see Jared break down. He’s never seen this man cry, not real tears, and he doesn’t want to start now. Sam Winchester’s bawling every other episode until the end of season three doesn’t count.
“I know, I know Jay, it’s hard to trust anyone after what happened. But the one person you can’t ever stop trusting is yourself, okay? Listen to your heart, Jay. Listen to it and tell me, do you really wanna say goodbye? Do you? Because I don’t. Do you really believe I’d ever lie to you about this?”
“Would you have changed your mind if all this shit had not happened?”
“How do you know I wouldn’t have, Jay? How do you know I haven’t been thinking about it for weeks now, but didn’t have the guts to admit it before? Damn it Jay, what if I told you that, that night I was already on the verge of ditching the plane and coming back home to you before Cliff gave me the call?”
“Well, we’ll never know now, will we?”
Waves slap down on the shore with displaced rage. Jensen takes one small step after another, until he finally reaches Jared but he doesn’t push his luck any further. He puts his hands in the pockets of his long black cargos, letting the open ends of his summer shirt, white this time, flutter in the strong wind blowing from the sea.
Jared looks down at his gloved hands before slowly raising his right one to his face. Hooking the frame between two finger tips he manages to pull his shades away from his face and Jensen is right there to catch them before they fall when his fingers can’t hold them anymore. It is almost as if he needs Jensen to look into his eyes the same way that he needs to look into Jensen’s when he says his next words.
“Thanks to this shit in the papers, everyone now thinks I’m a stupid drunk, Jensen.”
“But you’re not.”
“Damn right I’m not!” He screams, almost like an adamant little child. “I don’t wanna be the stupid fucking pebble that should’ve stayed a rock, Jensen.”
Jensen’s mouth falls open for a second, his eyes go wide first and then they narrow and he just can’t help but laugh. “That’s funny Jay ‘cause, see in my head, I always cast you as the wave.”
It is Jared’s turn to look taken aback, though he doesn’t react.
“Every single fucking time.”
The sound of the water seems to not be so angry anymore. Funny how these magnificent water bodies seem to adapt themselves to Jensen’s moods every time he comes to one. It’s like they read his mind, and they can always, without fail, empathize. And some days that alone is enough to bring him peace, short-lived as it may be.
All other times, which is basically most of the time, he needs Jared.
Jared swallows hard and turns around, starting to once again walk away from Jensen, who breaks into a little jog until he catches up.
“Jay, wait. Where are you going?”
“It’s too late, Jensen. It’s just too late. Please let it go because…”
But he never gets to finish. A shrill scream shatters through the breadth of what was clearly an extremely fragile moment and the men jump a little before turning towards the source of the noise. It is a woman in her thirties howling and shrieking and looking way too excited for anyone’s sanity, including her own. And of course she will come running towards the two Supernatural stars. Why wouldn’t she?
“Shit,” Jensen mutters, running his hands through his spiked blond hair in exasperation. He isn’t surprised when Joseph and Trager appear out of nowhere and intercept the woman before she can get to them. They practically carry her away, confused and more than a little pissed, while Joseph signals at Jensen to get back in the car soon as possible. Jensen shakes his head and sighs – that’s another one never watching their show again.
He sends a quick nod to Joseph and turns around, fully expecting Jared to have stalked off to the other side of the bay to try and get away from the fan. God knows Jared’s had enough of those to last him a couple of lifetimes.
Instead, Jared is standing right there, just behind Jensen, almost as if he’d reflexively sought protection. With Jensen. His face is white as a sheet and he’s locked one of Jensen’s arms within the crook of one elbow, seeing as his hands would be useless to hold anything.
Jensen finds himself smiling even as Jared glares at him and quickly un-links his arm away from him. Then on his own he turns to walk back towards the car. Clearly the clinging was just a visceral reaction, borne out of his recent traumatic experience, and Jensen knows that. And now that it is over, Jared tries to get away so quickly, he nearly trips himself up.
“You okay there, champ?”
“Go to hell.”
Jensen chuckles again and calls out after the retreating figure. “I’m not giving you up, Jay!”
The figure pauses, just for a moment, before he starts walking away again. Leaving Jensen to softly whisper words heard by no one but himself, and possibly the rocks and the waves. Words that, even as he says them, desperately wishes for them to be true.
“It’s never too late.”
Kyra waits for Jensen to pull out his box of cigarettes like he usually does, but he doesn’t. Damn.
“Where are you?”
Jensen seems to start at that, turning away from the sea-facing window and toward her, flashes her a hundred watt smile.
“I’m… I’m still in yesterday.”
Jensen lowers his eyes to an obscure spot on her carpet and bites his lip, but the smile doesn’t go away. “Let’s just say I feel like a thousand tons of weight just got lifted off my shoulders, you know?”
Kyra smiles back. Jensen does look kind of settled today. Everyone reacts to happiness and sadness in their own ways. Something tells her the ideal state of being for this man would involve a lot more silences and a lot less value for words. Possibly in sharp and complementary contrast to Jared, whose concept of contentment would be crackling with high amounts of energy and possibly be a whole lot noisier.
No wonder they’re so perfect for each other.
But there is a piece of the puzzle still missing. More than one, actually.
“How did Jared react?”
Jensen’s smile fades, just a little, but he stretches his arms out behind his head like he isn't worried. “I’m still working on that part.”
“And you think he’ll come around?”
“I hope so… man, I hope so. I mean I know so! Least I hope I know so…”
Cute. Kyra rolls her eyes.
“I’ll keep you posted.”
“You do that.”
“Of course we got ourselves the same problem we had two weeks ago.”
Kyra nods. “Still not talking?”
“Still not talking.”
Kyra remembers the mention of Jared's awesome relationship with his mother, and wasn’t Jensen planning to leverage that the last time they met?
“Yeah, that didn’t go so well either.” Jensen scratches his head, looking lost. “He’s very close to his mom and I know it’s killing him to be keeping such a huge thing from her.”
“She doesn’t know that it was not a freak accident?”
“Nope. Just thinks it’s another one of Jared’s moments,” Jensen spaces out for a bit and then chuckles. “Jay’s known to be really accident prone, you know. He’s always seeing a doctor. Like, every four months. And that’s excluding checkups. Been that way ever since he was born really.”
Kyra frowns, not sure if that is something she could be as amused about as Jensen looks. “What do you mean?”
“Well, these would be his fourteenth and fifteenth bone fractures in total – so he’s had like, one every year ever since he was ten years old. And apparently he was this… miracle kid, or something. He got really, really sick right after being born and the doctors gave him a ten percent chance of making it. To this day, every now and then, Jeff, his older brother, teases him, calls him the ten-percent baby.”
Kyra chuckles and thinks back to the pictures of a young Jared she’d seen online. He must have been such a happy child. What an absolute joy it must have been to raise him and watch him grow from a beautiful little boy to the almost perfect man that he is today.
“So, what do you want to do now?”
Jensen sighs and stands up, walks over to the window and there comes the box of smokes, out at last. Kyra tries to ignore her own craving for nicotine and stay on point.
“I’m out of ideas, Doc. If you got something, I’m all ears.”
“I wish I had all the answers, Jensen. But looks like you’re gonna have to figure this out yourself.”
Jensen sighs, and after a minute he seems to recall something. “You know there’s a good reason why, in my story, Jay’s always the wave. See I’ve got to be the rock, right – all silent and stoic and… strong…?”
Uh-uh. Kyra taps her pencil on the clipboard holding her notes and tries her best not to roll her eyes.
“And Jared’s got to be the wave ‘cause he’s always so… so fluid and energetic and bouncing off the walls, not to mention really loud and chatty.”
He smirks, flicking ash off his cigarette into the nearby ashtray absent-mindedly.
“He’s young and passionate and I’m old and cynical. He trusts so easily and I distrust anything and everything that comes with so much as a whiff of ‘faith’ attached to it.”
But the websites say he is - ? Kyra is met with a shrewd smirk on Jensen’s face, like he knows exactly what she’s thinking.
“Don’t trust everything Kristin tells you, sweetheart. I was brought up Baptist, yeah. But eventually, I guess, I just found my own way. Or lost it, if you take Jay’s word for it.”
That is not on the websites for sure. Kyra frowns. “I take it Jared is still firmly entrenched in the Catholic values he was raised with?”
“Hell yeah. Jay doesn’t go to church in Vancouver or pray every night. But he is a strong believer, yeah. Sharon, his mom, is pretty devout far as I know. Especially given his birth story and all…”
Jensen stares off into nowhere as he thinks aloud. “I want that Jared back, Doc. I don’t care how or what I have to do… I need that Jared back.” He rubs his eyes tiredly. “I miss that… that exasperation, that head-shaking, eye-rolling, I-can’t-believe-I’m-in-love-with-a-mania
Kyra tries not to chuckle at that. Hearing about Jared from Jensen three hours a week might not seem like too long a time, but already she feels like she knows this man she’s never even met. Jared is the closest thing to extroversion personified if Jensen is to believed, but thanks to some very, very sick people, he seems to have lost all faith in…
Wait a minute.
“Jensen, has he mentioned God, in any way, shape or form since the assault?”
Jensen thinks and frowns. “No, not really. In fact… not at all. Why?”
Kyra doesn’t really want to do this, but it’s her job as a therapist to poke and prod at every inch of a scab and make sure it’s really healing underneath.
“Assuming you’re really a cynic, which I don’t think you are, you just like to be seen that way…”
“Oh, come on!”
“Alright, fine, you are a grumpy old misanthropist. So if something like this happened to you, what would your first reaction be?”
Jensen bites his lip and shrugs. “I don’t know. Anger, I guess? I’d wanna know why… why those girls hated me so much? Why… why did they… how could they be so fucking sick and yet so cold and calculated at the same time? How did no one notice what was going on with them and stop it in time? Where were their fucking parents? Why did they not do their jobs right? Why… just… fuck dammit why did this happen to me?”
Kyra doesn’t need to wonder where the intense empathy comes from. Jensen is practically tearing up with the frustration and rage he still holds inside. She swallows and allows a couple of seconds for Jensen to calm down.
“Okay Jensen. That’s good. Now, put yourself in Jared’s shoes. If you were a religious person, if you’d been deeply touched and influenced by elements of the Christian religion all your life – Jesus and Mary, the cross – what would your first reaction be?”
Jensen frowns as he takes a couple seconds. “Why…. Why did God let this happen to me?”
Kyra sees it, the moment the lights come on in Jensen’s eyes. He throws his cigarette out the window and starts heading out the door.
“Jensen? Where you going?”
He remembers her then. “Sorry, I… there’s something I need to do. I’ll see you later, Kyra. Soon. And thanks.”
And then he’s gone. Once again, the paradox of the situation isn’t lost on her. Someone please tell her she didn’t just send a frigging skeptic out to restore another man’s faith?
She drops her head to the desk with a thump.
“Way to go, Doctor Sedgwick.”