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12 February 2014 @ 05:00 am
Hands of Fate: Chapter Sixteen  
Title: Caught in the Hands of Fate
Author: fadedsparks
Beta: lunadragonx
Art: trueshellz
Fandom: RPS
Pairing: Jensen/Jared
Rated: R, with NC-17 in later chapters
Genre: AU, Angst, Romance
Disclaimer: This isn't meant to offend anyone and I am making no profit from it.
Warnings: Violence and Homophobia. Also, Jensen and Jared are the same age in this story.
Summary: Jensen has had his share of ups and downs, but he pushes forward and tries not to take life for granted. Starting college in California seems like the right choice for him, and everything is going better than he imagined it would. However, fate can be a tricky thing sometimes.



-~*~-
Chapter Sixteen:
When All is Said and Done
-~*~-



Emotionally and physically exhausted, Jensen thrusts his key into the lock and a moment later has the door to his room opened. He greets Will with a weak smile but offers him no words, not in any kind of mood for conversation anyway. Will greets him in a similar fashion and then returns to putting a change of clothes into his duffel. Jensen doesn’t have to ask his roommate where he is going, he already knows. Will hardly ever sleeps in their room, opting to stay with his girlfriend most nights. Jensen doesn’t know why the other man doesn’t just move in with her, he practically lives with her as it is, but he keeps this to himself. It is none of his business, after all.

Jensen practically drags his body over to his bed and lowers himself down with a sigh, rubbing at his eyes tiredly, contacts starting to irritate them after the tears that were shed. He had thought he was done crying over Jared, didn’t think there was a tear left for the shaggy haired man, but obviously he had been mistaken. He can’t deny the feelings he still harbors for the hazel eyed cutie, knows they have never really gone away, but he had hoped he was beyond the point of still crying over him.

There have been times that he misses the other man so bad that he feels like he might break apart at the seams. He has accepted the fact that what they had is a thing of the past, and most days the heartache, which is always just beneath the surface, is manageable. But then there are his off days where he feels like he can’t breathe. He doesn’t want to miss Jared anymore though, he just wants the pain to end and that feeling like something’s missing to disappear. Most of all, he wants to be able to think about Jared without feeling like he’s dying inside.

Jared made it very clear that he still loves him, possibly misses him just as much as Jensen misses the giant puppy. Part of him wonders what Jared would have said had he stayed long enough for the guy to speak his mind, but another part is glad he left when he did. Okay, so Jared might want him back, but that doesn’t change a thing. Even if Jensen wanted to take Jared back, he can’t say with absolute certainty that he could find it in himself to trust him again. In the back of his mind he’d constantly be wondering if Jared would freak out and abandon him again. He doesn’t want to live his life like that, worried all the time that it will all fall apart.

No, if they were going to try again Jared would have to step out of that proverbial closet. Jared would need to hold his hand in public, acknowledge that they are in a relationship, and Jensen would like to meet his family one day. Jensen would need Jared to make some sacrifices because he isn’t sure he could trust the other man otherwise, but he highly doubts Jared would be willing to do that. Jared is sitting quite comfortably in that closet and it doesn’t seem likely that he will be coming out any time soon.

Besides, Jensen has Justin to consider. He recently told the older man that he wouldn’t take Jared back even if there was a chance that Jared might want him, told him that he wanted to give a relationship between them a shot, reassured him. Justin has been so good to him, so patient and understanding, and Jensen truly enjoys spending time with him. He can’t hurt him now, hates the very idea of the disappointment that would be on his face if Jensen were to break up with him.

Justin is good for me and he makes me happy; he could be the real deal one day so I can’t screw it up now, he tells himself firmly, silently afraid that his willpower to reject Jared might not be as strong as he hopes it to be.

Jensen pulls himself out of his thoughts long enough to respond when Will tells him that he will see him later, and then he pulls his cell phone out of his pocket. He is going crazy with all these thoughts running through his head and right now he needs someone to talk to. The obvious choice is Mackenzie; she has always had been gifted when it comes to listening and giving advice.

“Mackenzie,” he says the moment he hears the ringing stop, before his sister even has a chance to get a word out.

“Jen, what’s wrong?” she asks immediately, automatically hearing the distress in his voice.

“I just really needed someone to talk to and you know I always come to you first.”

There is a smile in her voice as she says, “Yeah, how did I ever get so lucky. But seriously, you don’t sound so good, is everything okay?”

“Uh, no… no, I don’t think so,” Jensen responds, sighing heavily, features scrunched up in a grimace as he recalls what happened with Jared. “I’m just really confused and upset right now, I don’t know what to do.”

“Can you be a little more specific? Tell me what happened Jen, I’ll help if I can.” Her voice washes over him, uncertainty and worry in her tone.

“I talked to Jared today…” Jensen trails off, letting his sister make of this what she will.

The sigh down the line is heavy and drawn out, laced with concern and agitation. “What did he say to you? He didn’t hurt you again, did he? I still think you should’ve let me talk to him, give him a piece of my mind, that boy seriously needs to be yelled at and you know there’s no one better at that than me.”

Jensen can’t help but smile slightly at these words, it is just so like Mackenzie to get overprotective, doesn’t matter that she’s his younger sister. “He didn’t say anything like what you’re expecting. Actually, he told me, in so many words, that he misses me, misses us.”

There is an intake of breath over the line and it sounds loud to Jensen’s ears. “Please tell me you bitched him out for that.” She finally speaks, sounding like she’s hesitant to hear his answer.

Jensen releases a sigh and closes his eyes. “Yeah, I told him he didn’t get to have that conversation now after all this time and then I left him standing there in Chris’ driveway. But that’s beside the point Mack, I’m all mixed up now because of this.”

“You still want to be with him.” She says this as a statement not a question, and Jensen realizes that she’s right. Hearing it from someone else’s mouth, he can’t deny the truth of it.

“Yeah, I do, and it’s bugging the shit outta me. He hurt me and I can’t trust him not to do it again, but God help me I still love him and I want to be with him. I don’t know what to do, Mack.” Jensen admits with tears in his eyes that bleed into his voice, desperation so strong that he can’t hide.

“I still say that he doesn’t deserve you, and I really don’t want to see you hurt again, but…” his sister trails off on a sigh.

“But,” he prods, unexpectedly eager to hear what she has to say.

“I can’t believe I’m going to say this,” she says to herself, laughing ironically. “If you still want to be with him Jen, then I say you should go for it. If he will make you happy and can get you out of this miserable place he’s put you in, then I think you should take him back. But if he hurts you again, so help me God, even you won’t be able to stop me from killing him!”

Jensen smiles into the phone as he runs a hand through his hair. He doesn’t know why he needed her approval so badly, needed to hear her tell him it’s okay to take Jared back. Maybe he just needed someone else’s opinion to help him come to a decision; he isn’t sure, but it’s good to hear nonetheless.

:0Ж0:


December 24th, 2000

Jensen steps out of the cab once it pulls up to the curb and pays the fare. He watches the vehicle drive away almost longingly and turns to peer at the house in front of him, looking like a man on death row. Every part of him is screaming at him to turn away and walk back to the dorms, to not deal with this right now. He just wants to get away, doesn’t want to go through with what he knows needs to be done.

He still hasn’t decided what he is going to do about Jared, doesn’t know if he wants to take him back or if that is one bridge he can’t cross. He’s not all that sure Jared even wants him back, but that is beside the point right now. The point is, all this confusion and indecision has made one thing perfectly clear to him and the fact of the matter is that he isn’t over Jared.

This, of course, has made him reevaluate his life and the choices he has made. Which brings him to Justin. He likes the older man, a lot, and if things were different he wouldn’t hesitate to date the guy. But the truth is, he really shouldn’t be in a relationship right now. He doesn’t know why he even decided to try to be in one, but he knows now that it was a mistake. He can’t give Justin what he deserves, which is all of himself, when he is still pining away for his ex-boyfriend. It isn’t fair to the older man and Jensen knows it.

Justin is an incredible person and under different circumstances Jensen would be all over him. The guy is unbelievably sweet and caring, a hopeless romantic, he is funny and intelligent, and his cooking is to die for. All things considered, he is exactly the type of guy Jensen has always wanted. But when he came into Jensen’s life the timing was just wrong, and while he may have all these good points going for him, Jensen can’t ignore that he isn’t ready to give all of himself to Justin.

He figures he has led Justin on long enough and he should put an end to it before deeper feelings are involved, before it’s too late to turn back. He doesn’t want to hurt Justin, so he believes it is best to end things now before things go too far. Sure, Justin may be disappointed and a little hurt, but it would be a hell of a lot worse if he were to do this in a month or so.

Still, knowing all of this doesn’t make it any easier. Jensen has never broken up with anybody before, he doesn’t like doing anything that he knows will hurt or disappoint someone, and he hates being the bad guy. He sees no way around this though, and there really is no other way he can do this. He has to break up with Justin because the guy deserves to be with someone who loves him, who is free to love him.

Even though he still hasn’t decided if he is going to take Jared back, he knows what he must do as far as Justin is concerned. Doesn’t matter if he decides to take Jared back or not, when all is said and done, breaking up with Justin is the right thing to do and he knows it. Now, if only this could be a little easier to do, he thinks to himself somberly as he walks up to the front door and knocks lightly.

A bright smile climbs onto Justin’s face the moment he sees Jensen and it just makes him feel worse than he already does. Unable to speak, Jensen smiles a bit uncertainly and enters the house when Justin ushers him in. Feeling awkward in his own skin, he stuffs his hands into his pockets and rocks back and forth on his heels.

“I wasn’t expecting to see you today; I was just getting ready to head to my parents’ house for Christmas Eve. My family gets together every year, there are always sandwiches and cakes galore, and then we open a couple presents at midnight. Awesome time!” Justin says enthusiastically as he rushes around the living room, stuffing gifts and containers filled with food into plastic bags.

Shit, Jensen mentally curses when the date is brought to his attention. He had forgotten all about what day it was and now he feels like a heel. It seems pretty damn cruel and insensitive to break up with someone on Christmas Eve, only a jackass does something like that. I can’t do this now, he tells himself as he watches Justin scramble around the living room, feeling like a complete jerk, I should wait until after the holidays.

“Sorry,” Justin laughs sheepishly. “I know I’m kinda rushing around here like a madman. I just don’t want to be late, ya know? It’s really good to see you though, it’s made my day that much better.”

“No, I completely understand, I’ve caught you at a bad time. Actually, I didn’t even realize what day it was,” Jensen lets out a laugh that sounds false to his own ears and he hopes that Justin doesn’t catch onto it. “Guess I’ve been too busy to keep up with the days lately.”

Justin just smiles fondly and drops what he is doing to lean against the back of the couch. “I would offer for you to come along, celebrate Christmas Eve with me, but I know we haven’t been dating for that long and it’d probably too early for you to meet my parents, much less my whole family in one go.” He laughs as he says this and Jensen can’t help but reciprocate it, nodding his head in agreement.

“Yeah, that might be a bit uncomfortable for me, to be honest,” Jensen laughs again, a little bit of his nerves coming out in the sound that he tries to cover up with a cough. “I hope you have a good time though.”

“What do you have planned for tonight?” Justin asks after a short moment of silence.

“Probably celebrate with a few friends.” The lie tumbles from his lips effortlessly and he hopes the guilt he is feeling isn’t showing on his face.

Jensen takes in an uneasy breath, feeling as though the walls are closing in on him. He has the sudden urge to get out of here, get some air. He is feeling like the crappiest person on the planet at the moment. He came over here with the sole intention of breaking up with Justin, only for the guy to welcome him into his home with a bright smile and the knowledge of what day it is.

The spacious living room suddenly seems a bit too small to Jensen now and the weight of things unsaid, of guilt, hangs in the air, steadily suffocating him. The need to escape is getting stronger by the minute and Jensen doesn’t know how much longer he can hold out. All he can keep thinking is that he shouldn’t be here, not right now, and he can’t seem to look Justin in the eye for very long, which he’s sure the man will catch on to sooner or later. He really doesn’t want to give him the chance because then he will have questions that Jensen doesn’t want to answer right now. He doesn’t want to ruin Justin’s holiday, doesn’t want to be the reason for putting the man in a depressed mood on Christmas Eve.

“I, uh… you’re busy right now so I’m just gonna get out of here and let you get ready,” Jensen stammers, cursing himself mentally for it.

“No, it’s alright, there’s really no need to rush off,” Justin steps forward as he says this but Jensen shakes his head and moves closer to the door. “You just got here Jensen, I want you to stay for a little bit.” Justin tries again with a different approach.

“It’s not that I don’t want to stay for a little while, it’s just that I really should be going anyway. I should get over to Chris’ now to find out if they have any plans, if they’re going anywhere, I don’t want to be left behind or anything.” Jensen lets the lie slide off his tongue, the words tasting bitter and sour.

“Alright then, if you really must be going I won’t try to keep you here any longer than I have. You should come by sometime tomorrow though, I wouldn’t protest to having you around.”

“Uh, yeah sure, I’ll see if I can swing by for a bit.” Jensen replies as he inches closer to the door, eager to get out of here as soon as possible.

Justin crosses the space between them in a few steps and leans in to kiss him. Jensen turns his head at the last moment without thinking, causing Justin’s lips to press against his cheek instead of their intended target. Jensen closes his eyes, calling himself an idiot when Justin freezes and then pulls back slightly, looking at him with imploring and searching eyes. Jensen wants to hide from that stare, and is unable to meet it no matter what he does.

You should’ve just let him kiss you, you idiot! He yells at himself mentally, calling himself every name he can think of. Justin is still watching him with that searching gaze and Jensen knows he is screwed. There is no way Justin won’t question him now, not after Jensen shied away from his kiss, and especially not while he won’t return his stare. He has royally fucked himself over with that split second, instinctual movement and he could just hit himself for being so idiotic.

Jensen hears Justin’s sharp intake of breath and closes his eyes, waiting for the inevitable. “What’s wrong Jensen?” Justin asks the dreaded question finally.

“Nothing’s wrong, I… it’s just… I don’t know why I did that,” Jensen lets out a huff of breath and finally raises his eyes to meet Justin’s stare, looking at the older man with a miserable expression on his face. “I’m sorry, really, I don’t know why I moved like that.”

Justin just looks at him intently for a moment, eyes sweeping over his features, assessing him, and then he shakes his head. “No, I don’t believe you; I think you know exactly why you moved away from me, you just don’t want to explain yourself. Why is that?”

“I seriously don’t know why I did it,” Jensen says once more, though he already knows Justin won’t believe him.

“Don’t give me that Jensen, don’t lie to me, please. Just tell me, whatever it is, I don’t care. Just tell me the truth.”

Jensen releases a sigh full of defeat and resignation. “Please don’t make me do this now, not today, not on Christmas Eve. I’ll explain myself eventually, I’ll tell you anything you want me to, but please don’t make me ruin the holiday.”

For a moment Justin just looks confused as he stares at Jensen but then his eyes widen in realization and he turns them away. “Oh my God, I can’t believe it didn’t occur to me sooner,” he speaks softly to himself before turning his eyes back to Jensen. “You came here to break up with me, didn’t you? And you couldn‘t do it when you realized what day it was.”

Jensen’s head snaps up so suddenly that he is in danger of giving himself whiplash, and he has the impression that he looks vaguely like a deer caught in headlights right now. Justin smiles ruefully and nods his head in understanding, lowering his eyes to hide any emotion shining through.

Guilt lodges in Jensen’s throat, making it difficult to swallow much less breathe. He wants to say something, apologize for coming here to break up with him, make sure he knows he never meant to hurt him, that when he said he wanted to start a relationship he had meant it at the time. But, unfortunately, he finds that he can’t open his mouth. He knows he owes Justin an explanation, as well as an apology, but he doesn’t know what he would say, even if he could get his mouth to work properly.

Problem is he isn’t even sure there is anything he could say that would make this remotely okay. No words exist that could take away the sting of being dumped and Jensen knows this firsthand. Jensen vaguely wonders if he should just say he is sorry and then make his exit, but he squashes this thought almost immediately, knowing Justin deserves better than that. The older man has treated him with nothing but kindness and understanding; he deserves an explanation and some closure. Plus, if it is even possible, Jensen hopes that they can part on good terms, even if that does seem like a stretch.

Justin raises his eyes once more, after a long and awkward moment, and Jensen forces himself to face him. Justin manages to smile a bit solemnly and Jensen can’t help but think him remarkable. Only Justin would manage to smile at the person breaking up with him without a trace of anger. Jensen can’t help thinking that he deserves that absent anger, but he also can’t help being grateful for its absence because it makes this all a little easier.

“Jared’s somehow behind the reason for your decision to break up with me, isn’t he?” he says softly, a knowing expression on his face that makes Jensen flush sheepishly. “He wants you back, doesn’t he? Are you planning on going back to him?”

“I spoke to Jared recently, and yes he may have suggested that he wants me back, but I’ve made no decisions to take him back or anything,” Jensen replies, looking straight into Justin’s eyes. “Having him approach me like that though, put a lot of things into perspective for me.”

“Like the fact that you’re still in love with him,” Justin says for him, soft eyes looking upon him with understanding and acceptance.

Jensen nods his head apologetically. “And I realized that, even if I don’t take Jared back, I’m not ready to be in another relationship right now when my heart still belongs to someone else.”

“I can’t say this doesn’t suck, ‘cause I really like you Jensen, but I can understand, and I’m glad you’re doing this now rather than later. I have a lot of respect for you for doing this, in fact. So, I guess on some level I should be thanking you for ending this now before I got in too deep.”

“I really thought I was ready for a new relationship, and I want you to know that I really do like you Justin, you’re one of the most incredible men I know. And under different circumstances I think a relationship would have worked out. You’re a great guy and a large part of me wishes… I really wish things could have worked between us, could have been different.”

Justin smiles, a small, genuine smile, this time and nods his head. “I believe you; I know you wanted this to work out as much as I did. It was nice while it lasted though, and I certainly don’t regret anything… I hope you don’t either.”

“I don’t, there’s no way I could.” Jensen responds firmly, honestly.

“Good, I’m glad to hear that… and, just for the record, Jared’s a lucky guy, he doesn’t realize how lucky he is. He has something special, something a lot of guys would kill to have, and I really hope for your sake that he wakes up and realizes just what he‘s been given.”

Jensen blushes at these words and lowers his head bashfully, whispering a barely audible ‘thanks’. He has gotten pretty used to blushing around Justin, the guy constantly giving him compliments that made his cheeks redden. “I guess I should be going now,” Jensen says quietly as he opens the door. “I’m really sorry about all this Justin, and I hope you find what you’re looking for. I’m sorry I couldn’t be that guy, but I hope you find him soon ‘cause you deserve to be happy.”

“I’m sorry it wasn’t you, too, but thanks all the same. And I hope everything works out for you as well, because you deserve to be happy too Jensen, even if you don’t believe it at times,” Justin replies with a knowing smile.

Jensen just nods his head, whispering ‘bye Justin’ and then turns around and walks out the door. He can hear Justin following him out but he doesn’t turn back. He still feels like crap for doing this on Christmas Eve, and for simply having to break up with Justin in the first place, but at the same time it feels like a weight has been lifted from his shoulders. He doesn’t quite know where he is going to go from here but he figures he will just take it one step at a time and see where he ends up.

“Hey Jensen,” Justin calls out suddenly, Jensen stopping in his tracks and turning to face the older man once more. “I’d like to take you up on your earlier offer of friendship… that is, as long as the offer’s still on the table.”

A beaming smile makes its way onto Jensen’s face as he nods his head enthusiastically, happiness clear on his face and in the depths of his eyes. “Yeah, yeah, I think I’d like that very much.”

Justin smiles then, blindingly. “Great to hear it. You’re welcome to drop by any time, remember that. And I’ll probably drop by the café from time to time just to visit, as long as it’s okay with you.”

“I’ll keep that in mind, and I look forward to seeing you at the café sometime. I’ll see you around Justin, don’t be a stranger.” Jensen replies before turning and walking away once more, feeling a lot better about the whole situation now that he knows they might stay friends.

:0Ж0:


Jensen follows Danneel into Malone’s and gives Jack a wave before taking a seat across from his friend in one of the booths. Danneel leans forward with her elbows resting on the table top, rich red hair falling over her shoulder, a few strands hanging loosely in front of her eyes. She makes no move to slide it behind her ear though, and places a dazzling smile on her face as Jack approaches their table.

Jack greets each of them with his usual cheerfulness, teasing Danneel while he is at it, and eventually getting around to taking their order. Jensen asks for a simple chocolate shake while Danneel decides she wants swirl ice cream. Jack takes their order with a smile on his face, saying he’s glad to see them and that they should come in more often, and then he walks away to retrieve their desserts.

“So, what’s going on with you, Jenny Boy?” she asks once she turns her attention back to him. She had been trying to get the information out of him all through their shift but Jensen simply refused to discuss it at work and so she came up with the idea of going to Malone’s after work so they could talk.

“Don’t call me that,” Jensen grumbles irritably but this only produces a laugh from Danneel. Typical, he mutters in his mind, glowering to himself. “I’ve just had a lot on my mind the last couple of days, is all.”

“Nuh uh, you’re not getting off that easy,” Danneel shakes her head as if to prove her point. “You’re not gonna look all dazed and mopey during work and then expect an excuse like that to get you off the hook. Nope, you’re gonna sit there with your damn shake and give me all the details, and I don’t want to hear any bitching about it.”

“Alright, jeez, calm down,” Jensen raises his hands in sign of surrender and can’t help but smile. She and Sophia are a lot alike when it comes to the ‘no bullshit’ attitude they have. It is kind of endearing, if not obnoxious sometimes. “Jared said something to me the other day, or more like he hinted at something, and I haven’t been able to get it off my mind since.”

A scowl appears on Danneel’s face as soon as she hears this. “What did that dickhead say to you?” She practically growls and it takes all of Jensen’s willpower not to laugh.

“It doesn’t really matter what he said, what matters is it made me re-think a few things in my life and helped me to make things right.” Jensen replies with complete honesty, truly believing he has made the right choices.

Danneel eyes him suspiciously but before she can attempt to say anything Jack returns to their table with their dessert. Jensen shows his gratitude by giving Jack a smile before wrapping his lips around his straw. Milk chocolate explodes on his tongue a second later and he moans his appreciation. It is in his opinion that Malone’s makes the best milkshakes he has ever had and he couldn’t mean that more. They are smooth and sweet, not too rich like at some places.

Jack grins in satisfaction before walking away, a bounce to his step. Danneel eyes Jensen critically, like she believes he is hiding something and is determined to figure out what it is. Jensen ignores her blatant stare, and happily slurps down his shake. Danneel’s eyes widen a moment later and she slaps her hands down onto the table, startling Jensen enough that he jumps at the impact, and warily looks at her as she stares back in disbelief.

“You broke up with Justin,” she says this like she just can’t wrap her head around it, like she wants to crawl inside his head just to understand what is going through his mind. “Didn’t you?”

The expression on his face must give him away because now she looks like she wants to reach out and strangle him. “I realized that I wasn’t ready to be in a relationship right now, it wasn’t fair to Justin, so I broke up with him before I could hurt him too badly.”

“I can’t believe you,” she whispers on a huff of breath, leaning back in her seat and looking at Jensen like she doesn’t even know who he is. “Justin was cute, Jensen, and he was a total sweetheart! How could you break up with him like that? He was really good for you, and you were sickeningly cute together… are you crazy?”

“Look, it’s not a big deal, okay? We had only been dating for a short time, so there were no hard feelings involved. In fact, we’re going to stay friends.” he reassures her, though he isn’t positive they will stay friends; he can only hope Justin meant it when he said he wanted to. “But it wasn’t fair to stay with him when I know for a fact that I can’t give my heart to him, when I don’t know how long it’ll be before I’m ready to give my heart to him. I don’t even know if I would have given him my heart, and that’s a problem. I was doing the right thing Danneel, you have to see that. He deserved better than what I could give him.”

Danneel lets out a sigh, looking as though she wants to be stubborn and deny the truth of his statement, but he can tell that she agrees with him. She nods her head a bit ruefully, appearing as though she is more disappointed than Jensen is that things didn’t work out with Justin. He simply smiles a bit apologetically and allows the conversation to die in the wake of what has been previously said.

Jensen lowers his head and lets out a groan when he sees Jared enter the small parlor. The last thing he wanted to do was deal with the shaggy haired man but it looks as though he doesn’t have a choice in the matter. He can easily recall how he left things between them and is sure whatever is about to happen next won’t be pleasant. The air between them is bound to be awkward and Jensen isn’t looking forward to it in the least.

In a few short strides Jared reaches their table, an unsure smile on his face and his hands stuffed into his jeans’ pockets, balled up into fists. Danneel scowls at him the moment she sees him, placing a bitchy expression on her features, but Jared, to his credit, ignores her. Instead he focuses his attention on Jensen, which Jensen finds uncomfortable and unpleasant. He doesn’t want to deal with this, isn’t sure he even has the strength for it, but he knows Jared well enough by now; he isn’t going to give up until Jensen agrees to hear him out.

“I’ve been looking all over for you, can I talk to you?” he asks, looking hopeful.

Jensen releases a heavy sigh, closing his eyes and giving his head a brief shake, before opening his eyes once more and returning Jared’s stare. “I don’t know, Jared. What’s there to talk about anyway? Everything is over and done with, why can’t you just leave things well enough alone?”

“Please Jensen, I know I don’t deserve to explain myself after all this time, but I’ll get down on my knees and beg you if that’s what it takes,” Jared says, desperation coloring his tone and looking as though he means every single word. He really will get down and beg on his knees if that is what he has to do. The sentiment is appreciated, but Jensen still doesn’t feel like having this conversation.

“He said he doesn’t want to talk to you, Jared, so why don’t you save what’s left of your dignity and let it go?” Danneel suggests in that bitchy tone of hers and Jensen almost laughs out loud.

Jared tosses her an irritated glance but returns his full attention to Jensen a second later. “Please Jen, just hear me out. Give me this one chance to explain myself, and then if we really can’t work things out between us I’ll never bring it up again, I promise. Just, please, give me ten minutes, just ten minutes.”

Even though he doesn’t want to, Jensen finally caves and draws himself to his feet. Danneel watches him with disbelief and concern in her eyes, but he just gives her a reassuring smile and then motions for Jared to follow him out of the parlor, saying they need some privacy for this conversation. Jared follows him like an eager puppy and flags down a cab to take them back to Jensen’s dorm room.

:0Ж0:


“Alright, you’ve got ten minutes, don’t waste ‘em,” Jensen says dispassionately as he unlocks the door and enters the room. It has grown dark in the time it took to get here from the parlor but he doesn’t bother with turning on any lights.

He tosses his keys down onto his desk and toes off his shoes as Jared shuts the door behind him, standing awkwardly in the doorway, like he never lived here at one point in time and he doesn’t know what to do with himself. Jensen doesn’t bother to ease his tension by telling him to make himself at home because, to be frank, Jared isn’t welcome here anymore. He simply takes a seat at the end of his bed and looks at Jared expectantly.

Jared eyes the other side of the room through the darkness for a moment, taking in the unkempt bed and posters littering the wall, before shuffling over to Jensen’s desk chair and sitting down. Placing his hands in his lap, he fiddles with them anxiously until Jensen yells at him, saying Jared is making him nervous now. He also makes sure to remind him that he’s wasting time sitting there when he could be talking. Jensen doesn’t particularly want to discuss this, but it is better than watching Jared fidget in his seat nervously.

“You got a new roommate, huh? I didn’t know that,” Jared says softly, looking at the other side of the room with something akin to longing in his eyes.

Jensen rolls his eyes in response, getting tired of this whole beating around the bush thing Jared’s got going on, and glances down at his watch in the most obvious way. “Eight minutes,” he says simply, indicating that Jared needs to start talking now or get out.

Jared finally tears his eyes away from Will’s side of the room and faces Jensen with remorse on his face. “I’m sorry, Jen. I realize how much I’ve hurt you by what I’ve done, and I know it’s very possible that I can’t make it right, but I’d like to try. I was a coward, you don’t need to tell me that, I know it more than I’d like to. It’s all I’ve been able to think about since I left that night. I’ve been tormenting myself for the past three months.”

“Why are you telling me this, Jared? You want me to feel sorry for you? Well, I’m sorry, but I just don’t have it in me to feel bad for you,” Jensen says as he lowers his head, staring down at the carpet.

“I’m not saying this so you’ll feel sorry for me, Jen. If anyone has the right to draw anyone’s sympathy it would be you, and I know that. I just needed you to know that, despite the fact that I brought this upon myself, this has affected me too,” Jared runs a hand through his hair, shaking with frustration. “Whether you choose to believe me or not, I’ve regretted my choices. I regret leaving that night, Jen, leaving you. I can’t stand this, I hate the way things are between us now. I want so badly to fix things and it frustrates me ‘cause I can’t figure out how, don’t know if there is even anything to fix anymore.”

Jensen shakes his head in refusal as he rises from the bed. “I don’t want to hear anymore, this conversation is over. I’d like for you to leave.”

Jared stands as well and takes a step toward Jensen, a step which Jensen counters by stepping around the bed out of reach. Jared stops his approach, raising his hands in a sign of reassurance, like Jensen is a frightened animal that will attack at any given moment. Which isn’t too far off because Jensen really doesn’t want to be touched right now, doesn’t think he would be able to stand the slightest of touches; he could break down if that were to happen.

“Jen, please, tell me what I have to do to make this right. I don’t want to leave things like this, don’t want things to be like this between us anymore. I hate this, God I hate this more than anything. I miss you so much, I feel like I can’t breathe sometimes,” Jared looks so desperate as he stands there, as though whether he lives or dies depends on Jensen’s response. “I love you, I tried to pretend like I don’t but I never stopped loving you and I can‘t pretend anymore. I need you Jensen, I know that now and I’m willing to do whatever it takes to get you back.”

A sigh rushes out of Jensen, taking all his defenses with it and leaving him trembling in defeat. He drops down onto the bed once more, this time up near his pillow, and he looks up at Jared, misery etched onto his face.

“Even if I wanted to take you back, Jared, I don’t know if I could. Whatever trust I had in you is broken; it’s been demolished, and I don’t know if I can ever get it back. You really hurt me, I don’t think you fully realize how much, and in the back of my mind I’ll always be wondering when you’ll chicken out again,” Jensen admits on a whisper as a single tear falls from his eye and slides down his cheek.

“I know I screwed up Jensen, and I know it’ll be a long time before you can trust me again, but I’m willing to wait however long it takes and I’m willing to do whatever I have to do in order to be with you again. You mean the world to me, Jen, and while I’m not saying I can’t live without you, I am saying that I don‘t want to.” Jared says this with complete honesty, Jensen can see the truth of these words shining in his eyes. “Please don’t make me, Jen.”

“I don’t think you’re ready or willing to do what it takes to be with me, Jay,” Jensen says ruefully, giving a little shrug of his shoulder.

“Just name it, Jen,” Jared counters, determination in his very countenance.

“Things can’t go back to the way they were, if I’m going to give us another chance I need more from you than what you gave me before.”

“Such as?” Jared asks, looking a little uneasy.

“If we’re going to have a relationship I don’t want to hide it; I can’t pretend anymore. I love you, Jared, that’s no secret, but I refuse to hide the fact that I have a boyfriend. I won’t do it… not even for you. If we’re gonna be together then you need to come out of that closet you’re hiding in. I need you to be honest with yourself and the people around us,” Jensen responds, watching Jared intently as he takes all of this in.

“My family…” Jared trails off, looking lost.

“I’m not talking about your family. Sure, I’d like for you to tell them eventually, you can’t hide me and yourself away from them forever after all, but that’s not the biggest issue here, not right now. No, what I’m talking about is holding hands in public, going on dates and not hiding the fact that it’s a date. I’m not just your friend, Jared, so I’d appreciate it if you didn’t treat me like one in public. I won’t be your dirty little secret, I’ve been that for you for too long and I won’t do it anymore.”

Jared is quiet for a long time, just standing there with an unsure and scared expression on his face. Jensen can’t help but take this as a sign. Jared obviously isn’t ready, and while Jensen already knew this, having the proof stare him in the face doesn’t make it any easier. He may never be ready, he acknowledges sadly, wiping at his eyes when another tear falls.

Jensen lowers his head and gives it a self deprecating shake, telling himself that he should have known better than to hope he and Jared could try again. Jensen is simply asking too much of the other man, asking for things Jared won’t deliver, and he figures that there really is no going back from this. He can’t help but berate himself for even considering taking Jared back because nothing would have changed, he would have just gone back to the same bad situation that he was in before, and that really isn’t what he wants.

He really does love Jared, possibly always will, but he meant what he said. He may love Jared more than he has ever loved anyone but he isn’t willing to be his dirty little secret anymore. He needs someone he can count on, deserves to be in a relationship that he doesn’t have to hide. Maybe he and Jared can find their long lost friendship after all is said and done, or maybe they can’t. Either way, one fact remains: they just can’t go back, a relationship simply isn’t in the cards for them.

Jensen looks up with a start when he feels the bed dip beside him and finds Jared looking at him with a softness in his eyes that threatens to draw Jensen in. He wants to look away, to hide from that caring expression filled with fondness and promise, but he finds that he can’t. He watches almost in a trance-like daze as Jared reaches out and takes his limp hand in his own.

“Done,” Jared speaks softly and the word comes out breathy.

Jensen has to do a double take, wondering if he heard correctly. “What?” he asks dumbly.

Jared smiles tenderly and squeezes the hand held loosely in his briefly. “I told you I was willing to do whatever it took to win you back and I meant it. If that’s what you want, if taking our relationship public is what it takes to get you back, then that’s what I’ll do,” Jared tells him with that dimpled smile on his face, eyes consumed with happiness that washes over Jensen. “I love you, Jensen, and I’m going to do things right this time.”

“Really?” Jensen asks, almost afraid to believe it and that just brings him down. Tears spill down his face faster now, though whether they are tears of happiness or sadness, he can’t be too sure. “I find that really hard to believe, Jared. I want to believe it, so badly, but I just can’t.”

“I know you can’t trust me, and I don’t blame you, but that’s okay ‘cause I’m going to prove it to you. Just wait and see... I’ll prove it to you, Jen.” Jared says firmly as he draws Jensen into his arms and lies them down, getting them comfortable on their sides, facing one another. “I know you can’t believe it right now but you’ll see... things will be different this time.”

Jensen clings onto Jared’s arms with desperation, like he will disappear if he isn’t holding on as tightly as he can. “I’ve missed you so badly, you have no idea how terrible this has been for me. God, I’m so afraid you’re gonna hurt me again but I‘ve just missed you so much and I‘m more afraid of losing you again,” Jensen admits through gasps of breath.

“I’m back, Jen; you have me and I’m not going anywhere.” Jared soothes him in hushed tones, tightening his arms around him.

Jensen buries his head in the crook of Jared’s neck and lets the tears flow until his tear ducts can produce no more. He breathes in the younger man’s scent, bringing him a sense of home and belonging. He still isn't sure about this, doesn't know if things will work out between them, but he is more open to giving it a shot compared to how he was feeling about it earlier.

Obviously he is still wary, this isn't going to be easy, but lying there in Jared's arms shows him just how much he has missed the other man and how much he hopes they can work things out. It will take some time before he can begin to trust Jared again, that is if he can ever fully regain his trust in the shaggy haired man, but he is willing to give it a chance. He figures he owes it to himself to at least see if they can work things out, because he realizes now just how badly he wants it to.

His last thought before he drifts into sleep is: I love this man so much, please let him stay this time.


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Mood: relaxedrelaxed
Music: Landon Austin