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23 February 2014 @ 11:02 pm
Hands of Fate: Chapter Twenty  
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.

A/N: This chapter contains violence, please either proceed with caution or don't read if that kind of content bothers you in any way. You've been warned.

Chapter Twenty:
A Soul is Lost Tonight

January 4th, 2001

From his spot at the kitchen table Jensen watches Jared’s mom pull package after package of meat from the fridge for the barbeque they are about to prepare. He and Jared will be returning to California tomorrow and Jared’s parents decided that an old fashioned Texan barbeque was in order. Jensen surely isn’t about to complain about the idea; it has been far too long since he’s had decent barbeque and right about now steak and ribs are sounding wonderful.

Jared bounds into the room a moment later in a burst of energy but Jensen can see underneath the façade. On the surface Jared is acting like his normal happy-go-lucky self but underneath there is a fathomable tension brought on by their conversation yesterday. Things have been strained between them ever since and they haven’t spent more than five minutes in one another’s company. Their eyes will meet once in a while but Jared always looks away first, unable to hold his stare for very long.

Jensen hates the way things are between them, knowing he is the cause of it, but he can’t say he didn’t mean what he said. He just wishes this could somehow be easier, though he knows there is no way it could be. He hates fighting with Jared, hates the tension that builds up in the air surrounding them, but he doesn’t know how to make it better besides giving in to what Jared wants and playing pretend. That isn’t something he can do though, not anymore.

“You need any help mom?” Jared asks, rolling back and forth on the balls of his feet.

Sharon shakes her head in amusement before handing him the meat in her hands. “Could you take these out to your dad to put on the grill?”

“Of course,” Jared replies with a radiant grin, and it looks false, like he’s trying too hard to act normal. Sharon freezes for a moment, watching him in concern, and Jared coughs awkwardly before rushing from the room.

Sharon and Jensen stare at the spot Jared vacated with identical expressions of concern before they turn to one another and try to smile. Sharon shuffles over to the counter and begins making a salad for the barbeque and Jensen lowers his gaze to the table top. He can’t help feeling like it is his fault for the tension in the household because Jared wouldn’t be so restless and unlike his usual bright self if Jensen had just kept his mouth shut for a bit longer.

There is nothing he can do about it now, things have been said and now they have to deal with the fallout, but that doesn’t mean he has to be happy about it. He never meant for their last days here to be like this, never wanted to ruin this visit for Jared, but he doesn’t know how to fix this thing between them either. He can’t even be sure it can be fixed. It all seems to be pretty hopeless at this point. It hurts, badly, but he thinks he should be grateful it is happening now rather than later on down the line when his guard is completely gone and he is more emotionally invested than he is right now.

A knock on the front door interrupts Jensen’s thoughts and he watches curiously as Sharon wipes her hands on a towel before leaving the kitchen. The next few minutes are silent and then a woman’s voice can be heard from the front entryway. Sharon talks to the visitor with familiarity, saying how good it is to see her again and that Jared will be delighted as well. This peaks Jensen’s curiosity and he can’t stop himself from drawing closer, leaving the kitchen to find a petite brunette standing with Jared’s mom.

Sharon sees him standing there and motions him closer with a smile. “Jensen, I’d like you to meet Sandra McCoy, she used to be our next door neighbor for many years. She and Jared used to be pretty close,” Sharon says with that smile still firmly in place before turning to Sandra. “Sandy, dear, this is Jared’s friend, Jensen, from California. They go to school together.”

“Nice to meet you,” Sandy responds politely, though she doesn’t seem too interested in getting to know him. She shakes his hand and then immediately turns to Sharon. “Is Jared around?”

“He’s outback with his dad,” Sharon replies and Sandy maneuvers her way past them, heading to the backyard. Sharon follows and Jensen moves to stand beside her at the sliding glass door.

Jensen watches as Jared turns around when Sandy places a delicate hand on his shoulder and something clenches in his chest when a brilliant, shocked smile forms on Jared’s face instantly. There is history there, a history Jensen has no clue about, and it settles uneasily with him. When Jared’s long arms envelope Sandy in a bear hug Jensen has to look away and he finds Sharon looking at him with a calculating expression on her face. His face grows hot but he tries to stand his ground and not give anything away.

“I knew he’d be pleased to see her, they used to be really close till her family moved across town. They kind of lost touch after that,” Sharon says conversationally.

“He used to have the biggest crush on that girl,” She smiles at the fond memory while all Jensen feels is slightly nauseous. “Nothing ever did come of it, and I don’t think it ever will. He doesn’t seem to be all that interested in her anymore, he looks at her now like he does Tracy. He won’t say anything but I think he already has someone in his life. You wouldn’t know anything about that, would you, Jensen?”

Jensen has to swallow hard around the lump that has suddenly developed in his throat, sweating nervously, and he tries his best to smile. “No ma’am, I wouldn’t know anything about that.”

She hums low in her throat, a soft smile on her face. “Yeah, I figured as much,” she says casually. “I’m sure you wouldn’t tell me even if you did know anything though, would you?”

Jensen can’t find any words to respond, feeling as though he has been put on the spot, like he is on trial. Sharon gives him another soft smile, an unknown emotion in her eyes, and she tells him he should join the barbeque before she turns around and heads back into the kitchen. Jensen stares after her for a long moment, even once she is out of sight, and he can’t get over the feeling that they just had a very important conversation even though not much was said. He can’t wrap his head around it, and he isn’t sure he wants to, so instead of dwelling over it he takes her advice and heads outside.

He stands just outside the doorway, unsure whether he should go sit with Megan or go talk with Jared and Sandy. He doesn’t really want to be the third wheel but he still finds himself heading in Jared’s direction nonetheless. Jared smiles a bit warily as he approaches and Jensen returns it with a small, hesitant one of his own. Sandy scowls at him like he is intruding and pushing himself somewhere he isn’t wanted and he tries not to let it bother him.

The silence that stretches between the three of them is awkward and tense but after a moment Jared breaks it with a terse laugh. “Sorry, I’m being rude. Sandy, this is…”

“We’ve met,” Sandy interrupts him prissily, eyeing Jensen with dislike and borderline hostility. “How long do you plan on being here, Jared?”

Jensen knows he should be offended by the way she turns to his boyfriend and practically pushes him to the sidelines, and part of him is, but all he can do at the moment is glower at her. Jared apologizes, telling her they have to leave tomorrow, and Sandy pouts dramatically while saying they need to get together the next time he is in town. Jensen just wants to smack that flirtatious smile right off her face but he forces himself to behave, silently watching the conversation take place.

Sandy and Jared laugh back and forth, reminiscing on the past and talking about things Jensen couldn’t possibly relate to much less understand. He isn’t really being given any chances to join the conversation, doesn’t know what he would say even if he tried, and he is a little put off by the way both of them are shutting him out and practically acting like he isn’t even there.

He almost lets out a relieved sigh when Jared’s dad calls everyone over to the picnic bench when the food is done. He takes a deep breath, trying to calm himself, when Jared and Sandy sit down next to each other. He tells himself not to let it get to him but he thinks it may be a little too late for that. There is an open seat on the other side of Jared but Jensen opts to sit with Megan instead, feeling he will be more welcome next to her anyway. He doesn’t miss the frown on Jared’s face when he sits down next to Megan and he knows it’s petty but he can’t help the feeling of satisfaction this brings him.


Jensen lets out a relieved sigh when he relaxes back on his bed, leaning back against the headboard and crossing his legs at the ankles. Today hadn’t been the best for him and he is just glad to see it over. He highly doubts tomorrow will be any better but at least it won’t have Sandy McCoy in it. The girl was hanging all over Jared while she was there, batting her eyelashes and smiling flirtatiously at him every few minutes. It was ridiculous and annoying and Jensen had to restrain himself each time he had the urge to roll his eyes, which was whenever he looked over at them.

He didn’t try to join their conversations after that first attempt, he kept his distance. Her open display of want disgusted him and the fact that Jared did nothing to deflect her flirting got on Jensen’s last nerve. Jared made it quite clear that he didn’t mind her flirting, was rather flattered by it in fact, and that irked Jensen to no end. Every now and then he would catch a concerned glance or two from Jared but he ignored it each time.

He spent most of the day with Megan, finding her to be an excellent distraction, and he had a conversation or two with Jeff as well. It was hard to keep his attention away from Jared and Sandy, ever aware of their laughter and her innuendo, but it wasn’t so hard to immerse himself in conversations with Megan either. She really is a great girl, and she reminds him so much of Mackenzie that it makes him ache, but he really enjoyed talking with her. That is probably the only thing that made his day bearable.

A soft knock on his door draws him out of his thoughts and he watches with a frown on his lips as Jared enters the room, an uncertain smile on his face. Jensen doesn’t look away but he doesn’t smile either and Jared’s shoulders slump just a little. He lowers himself to the bed, his hip just barely touching the side of Jensen’s thigh, and he rests his hands in his lap.

“Didn’t see much of you today,” Jared whispers softly, looking at Jensen through the fringe of hair hanging in his eyes.

Jensen shrugs slightly before responding, whispering also, “Didn’t think you really cared, seemed like all you really needed was Sandy for conversation.”

Jared remains silent for a moment, worrying his lower lip. “You don’t have to be jealous of Sandy; I want you, not her. I’m sorry if I was ignoring you, or making you feel unwanted… it’s just that I haven’t seen her in so long and I was caught up in seeing her again.”

“I wasn’t jealous,” Jensen growls with a roll of his eyes, though they both know he was. “Though, she was flirting something fierce, and you didn’t seem to mind at all.”

Jared blinks at him, like he is honestly baffled by Jensen’s response, and then he surges forward, catching Jensen off guard. Jared’s mouth collides with his roughly, with intensity, need and desperation fueling the action. Jensen gasps and Jared seizes the opportunity, licking into his mouth, nipping harshly at his lips and then soothing over the sting with his tongue. Jensen can’t stop himself from moaning at the carnal need of the kiss, of the passion and the need to possess that Jared is showing. He clutches at Jared’s arms, muscles straining to hold his weight, and allows Jared to devour his mouth.

His senses come rushing back to him a moment later, though he wants to curse them for it, and he knows they shouldn’t be doing this. Doesn’t matter how good it feels, they can’t ignore what has happened, and this will certainly not fix any of their issues.

“No… Jared, stop,” Jensen pushes him away and turns his head to the side when Jared tries to pull him into another kiss. “This isn’t going to make all our problems go away, and it surely isn’t going to fix anything. Believe me, I wish it could, but we both know we’d just be delaying the inevitable. We need to talk about this; at some point we’re gonna have to, but doing this isn’t going to help anything.”

A heavy sigh passes Jared’s slick lips, ghosting over Jensen’s face, and Jared moves forward to press their foreheads together. They remain just like that for an undetermined amount of time, both of them lost in their thoughts. Jensen closes his eyes, pain mixing with longing, as Jared places a soft kiss to his forehead and then reluctantly pulls away. He forces his eyes open to find Jared smiling sadly at him.

“You want to go to the bar?” Jared asks out of the blue and Jensen’s eyes widen at the randomness of the question.

He glances at the alarm clock on the nightstand and then turns his bemused gaze back to Jared. “Jay, it’s eleven o’ clock at night. You want to go to the bar now?”

Jared shrugs. “I figure we could both use a beer, especially if we’re gonna talk about all this. I don’t really feel like doing that here though, so our best bet would be the bar.”

Jensen stiffens at these words but nods his head in assent nevertheless. Maybe getting this conversation over and done with would be the smart thing to do. It still makes his chest tighten though, and he finds himself panicking a little already.

Jensen takes a deep breath to calm his nerves, licking his lips unconsciously, and then he nods in agreement. Jared rises from the bed without so much as a word and Jensen is quick to follow, placing his shoes on his feet. They stop to grab the car keys from Jared’s mom and then they head outside, neither of them speaking a word the entire time. The moment the cold air hits him Jensen inwardly curses for not thinking to take his jacket. He knows he could go back in and grab it but he decides he can do without it, they won’t be outside for long anyway.


The bar they enter isn’t crowded in the least, a small group of men and women off in the far corner of the room while two men in their twenties play pool and there is a lone guy sitting at the bar looking as though his world has fallen down on top of him. Some old country song is playing on the jukebox, the southern twang familiar to the both of them. Jensen and Jared make their way to a shadowed table a few feet away from the door and not in any close proximity of the bar’s customers.

Almost as soon as they sit down a waitress approaches their table and asks them for their IDs. Once she is secure in the knowledge of their ages she takes their order, both ordering a beer, and then she saunters away. A tense silence envelopes them the moment they are alone and neither of them seems to know how to break it, so instead Jared stares down at the table top and Jensen takes the time to sweep his eyes over the room once more.

The room is dimly lit and smoggy with the extensive amount of cigarette smoke hanging in the air, but Jensen feels oddly comfortable despite the conditions of the room and the tension between him and Jared. He doesn’t quite know what to say to make things better between them so he doesn’t even try.

It’s not that he wants things to be awkward between them, he hates this more than anything, but he doesn’t know what he could possibly say to make everything okay without completely disregarding his feelings concerning the matter at hand. He isn’t ready to admit defeat and just accept things for the way they are and he doubts he will be ready any time soon. He loves Jared, that ain’t no secret, but he can’t lie and say he is happy with the way things are between them. He doesn’t like feeling like someone’s dirty, shameful secret. He vowed that he wouldn’t be that for Jared again and he meant it.

He isn’t asking Jared to come out to his family, but it would be nice for his boyfriend to acknowledge that Jensen’s gay and stick by him. At this point he feels like Jared is ashamed of him and that isn’t a good feeling. Jared can deny it all he wants but there is obviously a part of him that is ashamed of the fact that Jensen’s so openly gay. He wouldn’t have had any problems telling his family if he wasn’t somewhat ashamed, right?

If Jared was really just worried about his parents putting two and two together, finding out that they’re more than just friends, then what does that say for their future? Will Jared always hide them away from his family? Will he never be ready to tell his family about them? All Jensen wants is for Jared to be proud of him, proud to have found someone to love, someone he can bring home on the holidays, someone to share his life with, a proud addition to his family. Jensen’s beginning to think that is never going to happen though, and he simply can’t accept that. He was willing to give Jared time, to work up the courage to tell his family. He didn’t expect Jared to take that step so soon, but he did expect him to make it eventually.

He never would have taken Jared back if he had known nothing was going to change. He needs stability in his life, someone he can count on, and someone who wants him to be part of his family. I don’t know if Jared’s that guy, he thinks to himself solemnly as he closes his eyes and releases an inaudible sigh.

The track on the old beat up jukebox switches and all is quiet in the bar for a few moments, besides the low murmurs of the customers, and then a Johnny Cash song fills the emptiness. The waitress picks that moment to return with their beers, giving Jared a salacious smile and a wink before sauntering off once more. Jared barely acknowledges anything around him, staring resolutely down at the battered table top, and Jensen busies himself with picking at the label of his beer.

The sigh that escapes Jared’s lips sounds louder than it probably is, harsher than intended, but now he is at least looking at Jensen instead of avoiding his gaze like it’s the plague. “I hate this man!” he exclaims, looking torn and defeated. “I’m not used to this with us, this strange tension between us. I just got you back and yet I feel like I’m losing you all over again. Look, I know it was wrong of me to not tell my folks about your preference, but do we really have to make such a big deal out of it?”

Jensen can tell that the moment the words leave his mouth Jared knows it was the wrong thing to say, his eyes go big and round and his mouth flounders like he doesn’t know what to say to smooth over the argument that will inevitably ensue. The last thing Jensen wants to do is argue, especially in a bar, but he can’t bring himself to let the issue go. He is trying to make a point, trying to make Jared understand, while at the same time trying to get some sort of reassurance from his boyfriend, reassurance that this is only a temporary thing.

“It’s not the fact that you hid my preference that upsets me so much. Sure, at first it upset me, but that’s not the big issue I’m having anymore. Jesus, Jared, you’re afraid of your parents figuring out that you’re gay and in a relationship with me, and you know what that leads me to wonder?” Jensen keeps his voice low but the words come out firm, almost a hiss, leaving no doubt that he is clearly upset. “It makes me wonder how serious you really are about us.”

Jared sighs, shoulders heaving with it, and gives Jensen a long suffering look. “I am serious about us. I don’t know what more you want me to say. I’ve tried proving it to you, have told you time and time again, and yet you still don’t believe me. There’s really only so much I can do Jensen, and I’m running out of ideas. I want to be with you, I thought I’d made that perfectly clear, but now…”

Jensen latches onto the words that Jared has left unsaid, disbelief and anger and hurt all fighting for dominance, making for a lethal combination. “But now what?” he asks, voice strained with barely concealed anger.

“Just forget it Jensen, it doesn’t matter,” Jared mutters, returning his eyes to the table top once more.

That is another thing bothering Jensen. Ever since their talk yesterday Jared has referred to him as Jensen, never Jen, nothing personal and just for them, and it worries him. It makes him feel as though he’s losing Jared, like the shaggy-haired man is giving up on him, like he expected everything to be easy and now that he has figured out that it isn’t he is backing away and giving up because the effort is more than he wants to make.

“No, I want you to tell me. Now you’re having doubts, now you’re not sure it’s worth the effort, now you’re not sure you want to be with me? Which is it, Jared?” Jensen demands, shaking with the emotion wracking his body, eyes hard and unyielding.

“I’m not sure how much fight I have left in me,” Jared’s voice is nothing but a mere whisper, like he doesn’t want to be saying this but can’t deny that it is how he’s feeling inside. “I want to be with you, but I’m not sure how much more of this I can take. I’m being spread thin here, and you aren’t exactly making this easy on me. I’m doing the best that I can here and you’re acting like I’m not trying enough. I just… I don’t know what you want from me, Jensen.”

“I want you to act like you give a damn. I want you to introduce me to your family one day because you’re proud to be with me, I… I want to be a part of your life, Jay. Is that too much to ask?” Jensen asks, voice wrecked and hurt, watching Jared with sad eyes. He feels like crying when Jared doesn’t say anything, doesn’t even look up, and he gets the feeling he is fighting a losing battle.

“I know you’re scared, Jay. Hell, I can understand that better than anyone. But do you honestly want to hide like this, hide who you really are? Wouldn’t it be nice to introduce someone that you love to your parents, to be able to bring someone home for the holidays like your brother does, have a normal relationship?” Jensen asks as he reaches out and places his hand over Jared’s, which is lying flat on the table.

Jared snatches his hand away like he has been burned, glancing around the room with wide, terrified eyes, searching the room to see if anyone saw. Jensen sighs as he pulls his hand back and balls it up in his lap.

“Sure, I’d love to be able to do that, but we both know it isn’t that easy. We don’t know how my parents will react, if they will even accept me after they know the truth. There’s… don’t you see, there’s just so much at stake. I stand to lose everything, Jensen, that means the most to me.” Jared responds with desperation in his tone, eyes still scanning the room like they are the center of everyone’s attention.

“I know I’ve only known them for a short while, and I’m not the best judge of their character, but I really don’t think they’ll take it as bad as you’re fearing. Your parents are really cool, Jay, and they’re the most supportive parents I have ever met. I highly doubt they’ll disown you over this. I think you should give them a little more credit,” Jensen says softly, not wanting to anger his boyfriend but feeling it needs to be said all the same.

“I… I just… I’m sorry but I can’t take that risk,” Jared says softly, sounding genuinely regretful.

Jensen feels nauseous as the truth finally hits him, like a slap to the face. “You’re never going to tell them.” He says this more like he’s acknowledging the truth rather than asking for confirmation, bitter disappointment at the back of his throat.

Jared makes a pained, sullen face before picking up his beer and draining half of it in one go. He places the bottle back on the table with a ‘clang’, roughly rubs a hand down his face, looks at Jensen with an expression that says “I’m sorry”, and Jensen’s shoulders slump as if in defeat. Jared doesn’t have to say a word, Jensen knows, he knows things have fallen apart again. He had his fears from the very beginning, was afraid this was going to happen, but he gave this another chance anyway. He could kick his own ass for that now.

“I dunno, Jensen… I just know that I can’t lose them. As much as I love you, it’d kill me to lose them. I’m sorry,” Jared whispers, troubled eyes trained on Jensen finally, like he’d wanted all night, but now he finds all he really wants is them off him. “Listen, I need to get out of here for a while, be alone. I could go for a walk, leave the keys to the car with you so you have a way back to the house and I can just call a taxi to take me back.”

Jensen shakes his head, voice stiff and foreign to his own ears as he says, “I’d feel a whole lot better knowing you have the car, knowing you’re driving around rather than walking by yourself this late at night. You take the car. I can call a taxi when I’m ready to leave.”

“Are you sure? I don’t know if I’m too comfortable with that,” Jared says hesitantly as he rises to his feet.

“Yeah, I’m sure. I’d feel weird driving your mom’s car anyway. I’m still not too confident on my driving skills since it wasn’t that long ago that I learned.”

“Well… okay,” Jared hesitates, shoving his hands into his pockets, looking as though he wants to argue but then he nods his head slowly. “You be careful though. I’ll see you back at the house.”

“Sure thing… see ya there.” Jensen forces himself to respond, fighting to keep his voice level and his emotions hidden.

Jared stands there for a moment longer, staring at Jensen with hesitance clear in his troubled hazel eyes, and then he stiffly walks out of the bar. Jensen lets out a breath once he is gone and gives up the pretence of acting like this isn’t affecting him as bad as it really is. His face falls, wounded, and he closes his eyes, feeling the sting of tears at the backs of his eyelids. He’ll be damned if he cries in the middle of a bar for the whole room to see though, so he takes a deep breath and does his best to push the hurt coursing through him into the background.

He tries telling himself that he should have expected this to happen, that he and Jared really weren’t meant to be together after all, but no matter how hard he tries to drill this into his head he still can’t bring himself to truly believe it. He knows they could have been good together, knows their relationship had the potential to be the lasting kind if Jared could have just gotten past his fear.

Guess that doesn’t really matter anymore, he thinks wryly to himself with a smile full of despair. He doesn’t see how they can possibly make it work, especially now that they have discussed things previously left unsaid and know that they want different things. They both wanted it to work out this time, more than anything, but Jensen needs more than Jared is willing to give him and they both know they are going nowhere fast.

Neither one of them came right out and said the relationship is over, couldn’t bring themselves to acknowledge it much less bring those words out into the light of day where they can’t delude themselves any longer, but the implication is there and Jensen certainly can’t deny it.

Jensen looks up when a shadow falls over the table and finds the two guys from the pool tables standing over him, gazing down at him. Jensen is instantly on guard, getting a bad vibe about them. He doesn’t know why though, they seem like a couple of ordinary guys. It may just be Chris’ warnings and distrust that has rubbed off on him, making him leery of everyone.

“Sorry if we’re bothering you, but we couldn’t help but overhear your conversation and we just wanted to make sure you’re okay. I know that’s probably strange, two guys you don’t know coming over here and butting into your business, but we know what it’s like and we just wanted to make sure you’re okay.” The shorter one speaks with a rough drawl that reminds Jensen of Chris, making the ache in his chest more tangible, making him realize how much he misses his friend and wishes he was here to tell him everything will be okay.

“Oh, um, I’m fine… thanks for the concern.” Jensen responds cautiously, still not sure what to think of these guys.

“Don’t worry man, we’re not here to cause you any trouble. In fact, I’m gay too, and I can understand what you’re going through, and… I dunno, I can relate, ya know? And I just felt like I should come over and see if you wanted to talk, let you know you’re not alone,” the taller of the two says with a shrug, sheepish smile pulling at his lips, and he motions to the Jared’s vacated chair, asking if he can sit.

Jensen gestures his assent with a wave of his hand and watches the guy sit down as his friend grabs a chair from a nearby table and takes a seat as well. Jensen doesn’t quite know why he is talking to these guys; all he really wants is to be alone to wallow in self pity, but he can’t bring himself to be rude to them either. They seem to be genuine in their explanation for coming over, and if they are nice enough to offer their company to a stranger, then the least he can do is let them sit with him.

“I’m Scott, and this is my best friend Andrew.” The tall one introduces them, brushing an errant strand of black hair away from his face with an easy smile.

“Jensen,” he mutters in response, voice low but still audible over the noise of the bar.

“You’re not from around here, are you?” Andrew asks, though from the tone of his voice it makes it sound like he already knows the answer.

“Nah, I’m from California actually. Just came here for a visit, am supposed to head back home tomorrow.” Jensen answers, though for the life of him he can’t explain why he is telling this to total strangers. He is strangely comfortable though, and able to speak freely, like he has known these guys for months rather than five minutes tops. Then again, Jensen doesn’t have too hard of a time talking to people that will listen; he may be shy but he’s not that shy.

“California, huh? That’s cool. I’ve been there a couple times myself. Wouldn’t mind moving there one day,” Scott says with that smooth yet rough drawl that Jensen finds himself responding to, putting him at ease in Scott’s presence.

Conversation drifts from there to easy topics, laughing over experiences and the latest celebrity mishaps. Jensen finds himself relaxing more and more around Scott and Andrew, finding them easy to talk to and fun company. They joke and laugh like old friends, keeping Jensen’s mind off Jared and their earlier conversation, making him feel light and like he doesn’t have a care in the world. This was what I needed, he thinks to himself as he laughs at the joke Scott just recited.

“Man, I’m tellin’ ya, high school sucked ass, but fuckin’ with the jocks sure made the time go by a lot easier,” Scott laughs at the memories, shaking his head, smile wide and bright. “They always gave me a hard time for being gay but you should’ve seen their faces every time I turned it around on them, giving them detailed descriptions of what I did with guys, telling them they were closet cases that secretly wanted me on my knees.”

Andrew smirks, chuckling softly. “Oh yeah, I never knew someone’s face could get so red. Those dudes were pissed. But what made it even better were the lone few that would suddenly go pale and have to look away. That made it all worth it.”

Jensen can’t help but laugh at the mental image this paints for him, imagining the jocks from his own high school. “I’ll bet,” he shakes his head in amusement. “I was too shy to do something like that when I was in high school, would have been satisfying to put some of those assholes in their places though.”

“You gotta stick up for yourself man, don’t let anyone push you around otherwise they’ll walk all over you,” Scott tells him after taking a swig of his beer.

“True, but I’d probably just get my ass kicked for trying. I mean, I’m pretty small and thin now as it is, but I was smaller back then.” Jensen responds with a wry smile, making the two men laugh and nod their heads in understanding.

The silence that falls over them is not uncomfortable in any way and none of them seem bothered enough to break it. Jensen is unable to stave off the yawn that creeps up on him out of nowhere and he cuts his eyes to where a clock hangs on the wall above the bar. He starts in surprise when he sees the time, realizing he was so caught up in his conversation that he managed to stay out a lot later than he intended to.

“Wow, I didn’t realize how late it is,” Jensen breathes with a huff of a laugh; he hadn’t intended on staying out until one in the morning and he knows he should really be heading back now before he worries anyone.

“Well, as much as I hate to say it, I really should be going. I have a flight back to Cali tomorrow and I really don’t need anyone sending out a search party on my account,” he says conversationally before finishing off his beer, which was almost empty, and pushes away from the table.

“We can give ya a ride if you’d like,” Andrew pipes up, quickly finishing off his own beer.

Jensen hesitates, his guard back up within an instant, eyeing the two men critically. “I dunno… I don’t want to impose or anything.”

“Dude, shut up, you wouldn’t be imposing or inconveniencing us in any way,” Scott smiles and waves a hand dismissively. “The offer’s there, we really wouldn’t mind. Plus, we wouldn’t feel right seeing you off like this, in early morning hours and all. Anything can happen, and you’ve had quite a few beers man.”

“I appreciate the offer, I really do. But I’m gonna have to pass. I’m going to call for a cab anyway, so there’s no need to worry ‘bout my safety.” Jensen forces a laugh, keeping his voice light as he pulls out his cell and calls for a taxi. He waves goodbye, telling them he had a nice time chatting with them, and then he heads outside to wait for his ride to arrive.

A cold early morning breeze hits him in the face the moment he steps outside, making a shiver run down the length of his spine, and for the second time tonight he wishes he wouldn’t have forgotten his jacket back at the house. The far too thin t-shirt he is wearing does nothing to protect him from the cold and he wraps his arms around his torso, hugging himself, hoping it doesn’t take too long for his taxi to show up.

He has worked up a decent buzz since arriving at the bar, and he finds himself swaying just a bit, but he isn’t shit-faced or anything. Luckily he won’t have to worry about a hangover in the morning, which is absolutely the last thing he would need, especially since he and Jared have to board a plane tomorrow afternoon. He is feeling pretty good right now, though a hot cup of coffee is what he finds himself desiring. That’s mainly because of the cold though.

He hopes Jared is at home in bed by now. The shaggy-haired man was pretty upset when he left the bar and Jensen doesn’t like the idea of Jared out there somewhere, still driving around by himself. He pushes that thought away however, knowing it will just worry him to death.

All Jensen can do is let out a startled yelp when an arm suddenly wraps around his torso and a hand covers his mouth, effectively trapping him back against a hard chest. His wide eyes slide to the right and find Andrew standing there, which means Scott is the one holding him tightly. Andrew’s eyes scan the street over and over nervously as Scott starts leading them down the alley to the right of the bar. Jensen struggles in earnest, squirming in vain, and he tries to stretch his arms out to grab hold of something but Scott’s arm is pinning his elbows at his sides resulting in his hands grasping at thin air.

His heart is beating erratically in his chest and his breath comes out in panicked pants, sounding harsh to his own ears. His panic only continues to mount as the two guys lead him down one vacant alley after another, all seemingly endless and all looking the same to him. The further they go the further away from humanity they seem to be and Jensen doesn’t like this one little bit. He doesn’t know what these guys plan to do with him but he has a few ideas and none of them he wants any part of.

It would seem that all of Chris’ fears and seemingly overprotective and distrustful warnings were justified though, and it is scaring the hell out of Jensen. He wishes Jared were here, wishes someone, anyone, was around to help him. Jensen isn’t a wimp in any case, he will defend himself, but he is up against two guys who just so happen to be bigger than him. Hell, Scott is at least twice his size! He isn’t sure how much damage he could really do if he were to fight back. This fact won’t stop him of course, but he really has to wonder what good it will do.

He could just kick his own ass for his stupidity. He can’t believe he is such a bad judge of character. He thought these guys were nice, ordinary people. Boy, how wrong he was. Turns out he was right to be wary of these two when they first approached his table. But he let down his guard when he shouldn’t have, his Texan hospitality wouldn’t allow him to be rude, and he gave them an opening without realizing it.

How the hell am I gonna get myself outta this one? He searches his brain desperately, too frightened to focus, and eventually comes up empty handed. He tries screaming but it comes out muffled and almost inaudible from behind Scott’s hand.

Jensen continues his struggling with all his might, making Scott grunt in exertion and yell at him angrily to stay still, to stop struggling and they won’t hurt him ‘as bad’. This obviously does nothing to calm his fears and he tries firmly grounding his feet in an attempt to trip them. This makes Scott angrier, shaking him roughly in his grasp, yelling in his ear and spouting off threats that cause panic to grow in Jensen’s chest.

He feels like whooping in satisfaction when he manages to open his mouth and he promptly bites down, hard, on Scott’s hand. Scott releases him immediately with an enraged yell, roughly pushing Jensen to the ground. Jensen’s hands fly out in front of him to break his fall and are met with dirt. He takes a moment to look around, finding they have dragged him to a construction site.

“What happened?” Jensen can hear Andrew ask in a panicked voice.

“The little fucker bit me!” Scott yells, glaring daggers at Jensen while wringing his hand like it will take the pain away.

Jensen jumps to his feet and takes off in the only direction his muddled brain can think of, which is further into the construction site. The only thought on his mind is to get away and anything beyond that is strewed by blind panic. He only gets a few feet away before something solid hits his back and he falls to the ground with a thud and a curse of pain. When he is turned over onto his back he finds both men looming over him, Andrew still looking panicked and Scott with a smirk.

“You seriously thought I was fag like you, didn’t ya?” Scott laughs cruelly as his boot digs painfully into Jensen’s stomach. “People like you make me sick, should just take the whole lot of ya out to the middle of nowhere and blow ya away. You’re just trash, you don’t deserve to live.”

Jensen tries not to pay any attention to the hurtful words spewing from Scott’s mouth. Instead, he knocks the guy’s foot off his stomach, making him lose his balance, and kicks him as hard as he can. Scott grunts in pain as he falls backward and Jensen doesn’t hesitate as he climbs to his feet, albeit unsteadily, and makes a run for it. He doesn’t get very far, however, before he finds himself on the ground once more. This time Andrew has stopped him.

“You little piece of shit.” Scott hisses with an insane glint in his eyes as he approaches, swinging a 2 by 4, the length of a baseball bat, from the construction site in his right hand. “Gonna teach ya a lesson, is what I’m gonna do.”

“Why are you doing this? I didn’t do anything to you guys.” Jensen pleads as he rises to his feet, seeing no other options.

Andrew seems to hesitate but Scott just laughs. “Filth like you do shit to us everyday. Always hitting on us, spreading your disease around… hell, you don’t deserve to breathe the same air as the rest of us.”

“Please…” Jensen pleads again but is cut off when Scott’s fist hits him in the jaw, snapping his head to the side. Jensen is left disoriented, so he doesn’t see Scott’s fist coming at him the second time around, hitting him square in the mouth, splitting his lip. This time Scott just keeps hitting him, his jaw, his nose, his temple, the blows just seem to be endless.

“Please, don’t do this.” Jensen cries out, unable to stop the tears that are sliding down his face, mixing with blood and the dirt beneath his head. Jensen continues to plead desperately but Scott simply ignores him as he rises to his feet and lifts the 2 by 4 in his hands, preparing to strike.

“No, please… I don’t wanna die.” Jensen pleads one last time, though he knows it will fall on deaf ears.

The smile on Scott’s face is cruel before he swings the makeshift bat, striking Jensen on the shoulder. Jensen cries out at the pain that explodes in his arm but isn’t given a reprieve as he is hit in the ribs, chest and legs with full force. Jensen tries to roll his body into a fetal position, protecting his head and neck the best that he can, but it does little to help. Scott is relentless, each blow seemingly more painful and forceful than the last.

“Bet you’re regretting your choices now, aren’t ya! Fuckin’ cocksucker,” Scott yells with so much anger in his voice, he doesn’t even seem like the same person Jensen spent the last couple of hours talking and laughing with.

Jensen can feel his strength steadily leaving him and the urge to pass out is strong. A thick, sticky substance has leaked into his ear, making everything sound far away and indistinct, and he knows with sickening awareness that it is his own blood. The pain is excruciating, every movement makes him want to throw up, so he tries not to move but every time he is hit with the piece of wood his body jerks from the force.

He is unable to stop the sobs wracking his body, the pain too much for him to bear, and he can’t bring himself to be ashamed of them. He is in pain, could very well die right here, and the last conversation he had with Jared was quite possibly a breakup. He figures he is entitled to cry, that it doesn’t make him any less of a man.

Jensen takes a deep breath when the blows suddenly stop and he lays there motionless, afraid to move, afraid to see if Andrew and Scott are still standing over him. When he lays there for a few good minutes and nothing happens Jensen finds the courage to lift his head, crying out at the sharp pain in his neck. His stomach rolls dangerously with the movement, and for a moment he thinks he just might throw up, but he manages to stave it off and open his eyes at half mast, blood running into his them and Jensen whimpers at the burn.

Andrew is standing off to the side with a terrified expression on his face, watching Jensen with wide eyes before turning them to his friend and then back again. Scott smirks when Jensen’s eyes land on him, cold and cruel, and he raises the piece of wood once more. Jensen watches as it swings his way, desperation curling in his belly because he knows there is nothing he can do to stop it. Despite seeing it coming, he still feels stunned when the wood makes contact with his head. The force of the hit knocks Jensen back to the ground, his head spinning. He is aware of the darkness creeping upon his consciousness and he knows he won’t be able to fight it much longer.

He can feel blood running down the side of his head, can hear Andrew and Scott arguing, but he feels so far away from it all. He hurts all over, afraid he may have more than a few broken bones, but there is a blessed numbness coming over him that he is grateful for, even though he knows this can’t be a good sign.

“Damn it Scott, you said we were just gonna rough him up a little!” Andrew’s frantic voice reaches Jensen’s hearing but at this point he is paying them little attention.

Jensen can only whimper when Scott delivers a sharp kick to his ribs but thankfully he receives no more abuse. Instead he can hear grappling somewhere off to the left of him. He is in too much pain and is far too tired to look over and see what is happening though.

“Shit, Scott, stop it man, you’re gonna kill him! Do you wanna go to jail for the rest of your damn life?” Andrew tries to reason with his friend, sounding both frightened and pissed off. “Lets get the hell out of here man, before someone comes along and calls the cops.”

All is silent for a moment, save for harsh breathing, and then Scott speaks finally, “Okay, you’re right, let’s get the fuck out of here.”

“What about him?”

“What about him? We’re leaving the fag here, no way am I gonna take him to the hospital and risk him telling the cops on us! Come on dude, where the fuck is your head at?” Scott growls and then Jensen can hear their receding footsteps. He didn’t hear the piece of wood drop to the ground so he thinks it’s safe to assume they have taken it with them.

Jensen lies there for a long moment taking shallow breaths, each and every one excruciatingly painful. The pull of darkness is tempting but Jensen keeps thinking about Jared and he knows he needs to try to get some help, or at least dig his cell out of his pocket and call his boyfriend. He can only hope his phone wasn’t shattered in the beating. Plus, Jensen knows if he gives in now he may never wake up again.

Forcing himself to take a deep breath despite the pain, he reaches into his pocket and pulls out his cell phone. He feels like crying though when he pulls it out in pieces. All hope isn’t lost, he tells himself in hopes of calming himself down, I just need to get up and find some help.

Taking another deep breath, Jensen uses the strength he has left to push himself into a sitting position. The movement causes immediate pain in his legs and chest and, well, his whole body is aching actually. He slumps over onto his side, the pain too much, as nausea overwhelms him and he vomits onto the ground. He throws up the contents of his stomach until there is nothing left but dry heaves, his stomach constricting painfully. A dizzy spell hits him almost immediately after and the darkness he has been fighting off comes back with a vengeance.

Black spots dance before his eyes, blood sliding down his face and pooling around his head, and he feels the exact moment his strength gives out on him. He is unable to fight the pull of unconsciousness any longer, his will to stay awake too weak, and his last thought is of Jared before all he knows is darkness.

Mood: excitedexcited
Music: State of Shock