Angel in Blue 1/6
It’s a night like this when Jensen knows something will go wrong. He can feel it in his blood, a tension building ever so slightly until the pressure is almost too much to take. The only thing he can do is ride it out, try to go a little slower and focus before making a move. Sometimes it’ll pass and the night will go smoothly. Other times the end result is anything but good, a drastic finale to a long night strewn with death.
Not only can he feel it tonight, he can smell it in the air as well. The rain is cold and coming down in sheets, the night sky is pitch black and if it weren’t for the city lights dotted along the bridge, there’d be no visibility at all. His cap barely keeps the drops of rain shielded from his eyes and his uniform constricts around his limbs as it dampens, but those are the least of his concerns right now.
The radio goes off at his hip, static at first and then his partner’s voice comes through from the other side of the bridge. “Possible DOA’s. We need medics out here.”
Jensen’s brain is going full speed ahead as he runs towards the scene, instantly knowing that this is not just a normal traffic accident or a minor fender-bender. It’s a head on collision: 18-wheeler versus car. 18-wheeler wins. The car is smashed beyond recognition but Jensen can make out a body in the driver seat. His squad is one of the first on arrival and paramedics are starting to pull up, sirens blaring in the distance. Jensen calls out for a medic, anyone to help him get to the man who he can now see is clearly struggling to keep conscious.
There’s wreckage from the vehicle impact scattered everywhere, effectively blocking Jensen’s path. He shoves and stumbles past what he can, kicks at the jarred door for it to open wider until he can wedge through. The wet pavement is hard as his knees hit down and Jensen has to regain his balance to reach the man, his cold fingers instantly trying to find a pulse along the stranger’s neck. Jensen’s touch causes him to stir, blood dripping down his temple, and he tries to raise his head.
Jensen gets better footing and pushes himself to lean on the bent steering wheel. The guy is alive but for how much longer, Jensen’s not sure. The pulse beneath his fingertips is weak, not far from death. It’s hard to tell where the blood is coming from because the wounds are hidden somewhere under the man’s short hair. His eyes are slowly opening and closing, a panic frenzy starting to form the more his dizzy gaze connects with Jensen’s.
He scrambles to take his jacket off and lay it across the man’s chest, trying to protect him from the cold and rain. “Hey, you with me, man?” Jensen knows there will be no response but he can’t help from asking, keeping hope. He turns his head and shouts loudly towards the ambulance. “This one’s conscious! Hurry up!”
He follows the man’s glance to the police and name badge on Jensen's shirt before squeezing his eyes shut again, almost like he’s giving up. “Hey, no, you’re gonna be fine. You hear me? You’re gonna be fine.” Jensen isn’t shocked by how strong his voice is because he’s done this before, not really knowing if he’s telling the truth. It’s his job not to show fear, to try and calm people in what is perhaps their last moment of life. He grabs the man’s hand and grips it reassuringly, leans in further so he can make eye contact. Once he does he starts talking again.
“Can you hear me? Can you feel my hand? Squeeze it for me? C’mon man, you can do it. Just stay with me.” Jensen threads their fingers together, blood smearing onto his own skin and he realizes that the chance this man has of living is very low.
There are more sirens blaring in the distance and with the rain coming down even harder now, he’s nearly screaming. He can barely hear the sound of his own voice. “Listen to me. Can you hear me? You’re gonna be fine. We’re gonna get you outta here. It’s over and I got you now. You’re safe. Just gotta hold on a little longer. Don’t let go. You hear me? Don’t let me go, man. Hang on. Just hang on. Stay with me, stay with me.”
Jensen keeps the chant up and can see his breath in the cold air every time he speaks. He prays for a medic to appear faster as he holds the man’s gaze, noticing nothing but fear in his eyes as they stay open for just a few seconds more and finally close yet again, only to stay that way until Jensen is shoved away by a paramedic.
Now, Jensen’s isn’t much of a praying man. He doesn’t go to church anymore and he doesn’t talk to the lord, especially not in his head. That’s why it’s odd he finds himself saying a silent prayer for this man, hoping by some miracle that he will survive. It’s the last thought he has about the motionless figure because he’s being called to the other side of the road for help.
There are two other bodies surrounding him now. The dread he’d been feeling earlier this evening returns full force and he knows he won’t be praying in hope for anyone else to live.
It’s not that Jensen completely forgets about that night on the bridge and it’s not like something that horrific happens to him every day. Hell, the bridge incident wouldn’t even make it on his top ten stories to tell at a bad party. He sticks to the classics, sometimes grotesque and vulgar if he’s around a bunch of guys and the ladies always like a happy ending, even if it starts out bleak. It’s all part of his work though and eventually everything gets blurred together and for that, he’s grateful. Sometimes it’s easier to move on when the intensity fades a little only for another accident to bring it back with a vengeance.
It’s a vicious cycle, but Jensen loves being a cop.
He really hates when people ask about it.
“So I bet it’s cool, right? You get to be a badass every day? Put the bad guys away?”
Devin isn’t a total douche bag or anything, but Jensen was already over this blind date five minutes after it began. Now he has to play along like he’s not irritated, trying to keep a smile that isn’t too fake and reminding himself not to scowl.
“Uh. Yeah, you know how it is...” Jensen suppresses the urge to rub at his temples. There’s a tension headache starting to pound around his skull and he grabs for his water to try and drink it away.
“I can only imagine.” Devin shrugs and takes another bite of his steak. “I mean, it’s not like I get to carry handcuffs or a gun. Not that I’d mind the handcuffs so much.” He says it with a wink and a smirk twisting at his lips.
Jensen almost rolls his eyes and manages a polite nod. “So you’re an accountant, huh? That must be interesting.”
Devin doesn’t take the bait for a topic change and keeps going. “I heard on the news that the gang population is growing. You ever have any run-ins ? How many people do you arrest in a day? Ever have to use your gun?” His eyes grow wide as the next question comes. “Ever killed anyone?”
Jensen is officially annoyed and to keep from stabbing himself with a salad fork, he snaps at his date. “You know what? As much as I like discussing death at the dinner table, I really don’t want to talk about this.”
“I’m sorry. We can drop it. Really, I was just trying to make conversation.” Devin starts to withdraw but he doesn’t look sorry at all. He looks like he just made up his mind that Jensen is an ass. “We can go back to talking about handcuffs if you want.” And obviously the guy still thinks that he’s getting lucky tonight.
Jensen forces a smile and tries to make eye contact with the waiter for the check. He inwardly groans when Devin starts asking about his family. This couldn’t be going much worse.
“I got two nieces but I hardly ever get to see ‘em. Real cute though. So do you have any siblings?”
“An older brother.” Jensen doesn’t mention how they really don’t talk or bring up his five year old nephew who Jensen completely adores, but because of issues with his brother he doesn’t get to see either of them very often.
Devin waits a beat for Jensen to continue but he doesn’t. They sit in silence until the waiter comes with their change and it’s left for a nice tip. The restaurant is busy and Jensen notices plenty of couples out for dinner as he walks through the lobby. He wishes he could have that, not the awkward dating, but the part where he can just be with someone, where it’s comfortable and not lonely, and definitely not complicated.
About six months ago Jensen decided to get out of his single rut and has had a date almost each week since then. Jensen doesn’t want the hook ups, he’s over the friends with benefit thing, and the one night stands. No one has made it to a third date though and he convinces himself that he’s not being picky, just that he has shitty luck. He’s also beginning to think that maybe he’s just meant to be alone and that not a lot of guys would put up with his winning personality. Although, winning might not be the choice word to describe him, especially lately.
“Well this was fun.” Devin’s smile is a little too wide to be real. “It was nice meeting you.”
“Yeah.” Jensen says. “You too. Have a good night.” There’s a little more sincerity in his voice just because he put a probably nice guy through some hell tonight. He hopes that it doesn’t make it back to Traci, who set the whole date up. He can’t seem to care enough to give it much thought and instead focuses on getting home and into bed, hopefully getting an hour or two of sleep before he has to be at work in the morning.
Jensen’s partner, Lucy is a real ball buster. She’s just a few inches shorter than him and goes to the gym almost every day, so it’s not like she can’t take care of herself. It seems as if her confidence doubles as soon as she puts on her police uniform and wraps the gun holster around her waist. She’s rough around the edges but a total softy on the inside and Jensen’s personal life, much to his dismay, is her first priority these days.
“So it didn’t go well, huh?” She asks, frowning as she throws her arm over the passenger seat. She turns to back the patrol car out of the department’s parking lot. “Traci’s gonna be bummed. She told me he was a cute, smart and funny guy. Just your type.”
I don’t have a type, Jensen thinks but he doesn’t want to say that. He tries his best to ignore the girls when they get together in the evidence room and talk about who they’ll set him up next. It’s not like he can’t hear what they’re saying. He just pretends he has no idea what’s going on. It’s the easiest way to handle them.
“Guess it wasn’t meant to be.” Jensen sighs and adjusts the radio for any incoming calls. He hopes they can stop and get a coffee. He didn’t get much sleep last night, as usual. Jensen glances at his reflection in the side window mirror. There’s tiredness swimming in his green eyes and dark patches underneath, which he knows will go away in a few hours. The weather’s been nicer lately so his skin isn’t as pale and a nice healthy tan is taking way due to his runs in the park. That’s something, he notes to himself. His looks could be worse.
He’s lost in his thoughts when dispatch comes through on the radio. “Let’s roll, looks like another fight broke out at the old factory again.” Lucy flips on the siren and speeds up, swerving around cars while Jensen radios in that they’re on their way.
It doesn’t take all but ten minutes until they reach the abandoned lot. There’re already three units surrounding the area, breaking up the fight that still seems to be somewhat in progress. Jensen can hear the yelling before he can even open the car door. He and Lucy split up, holding back the first kid they can each get a hold of.
Jensen’s backs off immediately, not wanting to get into trouble and joining the crowd that has formed. Of course, Lucy has to go for the biggest and largest kid there is and Jensen immediately goes to help her. This guy isn’t more than eighteen years old, but he’s tall and a wanna-be skinhead with baggy clothes and chains swinging from his neck. He’s resisting Lucy, pushing her away until she knee blocks him, throwing him face first against a fence. Jensen holds him there while she cuffs him, and now the kid gets mouthy, starts to taunt Lucy and show off in front of his friends.
“Hey, bitch! Yeah, that’s right baby, feel me up all you want! Ah yeah!”
Lucy and Jensen share a glance, but Lucy continues to pat him down for any weapons. She’s gone into professional mode; Jensen can see it in her face. He doesn’t know how she does it, how she doesn’t let anything get to her, especially the crude comments that come with the territory.
He steers the kid to the car with a hard grip around his forearm, squeezing as he starts to shout again.
“You gonna get in the backseat with me, baby. Ride this all night long? Fuck yeah, bitch.”
Jensen slams the kid down on the trunk with force. “That’s enough! Shut your mouth before I shut it for you.”
The crowd howls at that and quiets down once the gangbanger is in the car, the group scattering now that the show is over.
They check in with the other officers and the scene is secured so they can leave and book the kid in the back of their squad car. Lucy’s face is stone cold as she gets back into the driver seat, but she eventually rolls her eyes as the kid starts up again on the drive to the station.
“C’mon baby, come back here with me and let me show you a good time.”
Both ignore him as Jensen calls in to dispatch. “10-19 with one male suspect.”
“Want you so bad, baby. Wanna feel you. Need to touch you.” The kid exaggerates his moans and Jensen’s fist comes down on the seat.
“For the last time,” He growls out as he turns around, eyes narrowed. “I said shut up!”
The ride doesn’t take long, which is good because the kid’s been muttering sexual remarks under his breath the whole way. Jensen wonders if he’s over eighteen, hopes that he is so he’ll go to jail and not juvenile hall. This kid needs to fucking grow up. Now.
They stop at the counter to complete the booking paperwork with another officer and Lucy starts to fill him in on what happened, no injuries and no personal property on the suspect. The kid needs to go into the holding cell and Jensen tenses as he starts to remove the handcuffs, knowing that this kid hasn’t learned his lesson yet.
He makes a lunge to reach his hand between Lucy’s legs, but Jensen was ready for it, twists the kid’s arm backwards and brings his knee up fast to catch the kid’s face. He cries out in surprise and drops to the floor as his nose starts to trickle with blood. And while Jensen could have done a lot more harm, he knows that it hurt.
Two more officers swarm in to get the kid behind bars and Jensen leaves Lucy to deal with paperwork, pissed off that he lost it in there. Lucy darts him a stern glance before he goes.
Jensen heaves the thick doors open and breathes in fresh air. He’s overheated and angry at himself. He knows better than to let punks get to him. Lately though, it’s been all he’s dealing with. Street fights, gang fights, bar fights. Breaking them all up night after night. It never bothered him before. He never let any of them get under his skin and he definitely doesn’t know why this is changing.
“Ackles! Stay put!”
Jensen stops and cringes. The angry sound of his lieutenant’s voice is never a good thing.
“What the hell was that in there? You trying to prove something?” Lieutenant Saunders catches up to Jensen in the parking lot and stands in front of him with his arms crossed. “Explain. Right now.”
Jensen doesn’t coward down and meets his Lieutenant’s stare straight on. “I just dealt with the situation, sir. That kid was--”
“I don’t care what the hell that kid did to you. You hear me?”
Jensen looks down at that. He hopes the other incidents won’t be brought up. Minor as they were, it’s still not like him.
The lieutenant’s eyes suddenly soften around the edges just slightly. “This is isn’t the first time, Ackles. I need you to understand that. Make some changes. Figure your shit out. You hear me?”
“Yes sir.” Jensen can’t do much but nod his head in understanding and walk away. That was the first real ass ripping he’s gotten in awhile. And it sucks, even though he probably deserves more.
Lucy passes Saunders on her way out and smiles tightly at him. Jensen leans on their squad car for support and braces himself for yet another rip.
She puts her hands on her hips and lets out a slow breath. “You broke his nose.”
“He grabbed you. He crossed a line.”
“I can handle myself, Jensen. It wouldn’t have been the first time and it won’t be the last. I don’t need you to get yourself in trouble over me.” She studies Jensen and it’s eerie as hell when she does this because she’s always right. It’s what makes her a good officer. “Wanna know what I think? I think you knew he was gonna try something. You were just waitin’ for it, weren’t you? You wanted him to do something. I don’t get it. Usually you can handle shit like that and now it’s like anything can set you off. You’re a cop, Jensen. What the hell has gotten into you?”
Jensen scrubs his hands down his face. “Nothing is wrong. If you think I was that outta control then put it in the report.”
“Fuck that, Jensen! You know that’s not what I mean.” She circles the car to get in, ready now to move on with their day.
Jensen slides in as well, wondering how much more he’ll have to take. “I know, I’m sorry, okay? I don’t know why I’m so on edge lately.”
Lucy hesitates as she asks. “The family?”
Jensen just shakes his head. That topic is not up for discussion.
“Look, why don’t you come over for dinner tonight? There’s a neighborhood party going on and I know Jerry would love to see you. We can talk more, have some barbeque and relax a little.”
Jensen raises an eyebrow, not falling for it. “That’s code for I have a gay neighbor I want you to meet. Remember that one time when you dragged me to your sister’s birthday? It was a total set up. No way.”
“Look, you don’t have to keep doing this, okay?” Jensen interrupts. “The fix up thing. It’s just not working. I don’t wanna get all attached again and then the guy just up and walks out ‘cause he can’t handle the cop thing. And the guys who actually like that I’m a cop want me to rehash what happened every night for a freaky fetish fix.”
Lucy gives him a side glance and shakes her head. “You have the worst luck.”
“Try tellin’ me something I don’t know.”
Lucy pulls into Mo’s Diner and parks the car, the local hang out for on and off duty officers. “C’mon. The least I can do is buy you some breakfast.”
“And coffee.” Jensen reminds her. “A damn good amount of coffee.”
Jensen kind of loves his days off. Not that he hates his job, but at the same time he’s just human. A little recharge can go a long way, even if he’s technically always on duty.
He gets up early after only a few hours of restless sleep and in the shower, he slowly feels himself wake up enough to function. The day is full of chores so he hurries to get his run through the park finished, and stops for coffee and some groceries before it gets crazy on the streets during lunch. Then a quick stop to pick up his dry cleaning, feeling a little silly carrying his pressed uniforms on a hanger across the street to the post office.
When Jensen steps back to let a little old lady exit, he hears his name called in an excited voice.
“Jensen! Is that you, honey! Oh it’s been so long...”
“Oh hi there, Mrs. Sanchez.” Jensen fails to mention that he saw Mrs. Sanchez in her garden a few weeks ago when he drove around the old neighborhood, checking up on his parent’s house but not stopping or going in.
She smiles at Jensen, her eyes studying him, a careful mask of concern breaking through and it reminds him of his mom. “How is everything? Staying safe I hope.” She says, eyeing the uniforms in his hand.
“Of course. How is Mr. Sanchez doing?”
“He’s driving me crazy with all the projects around the house. You should really stop by sometime soon. I know your parents… well, it’d be nice to see you is all.”
Jensen gives a small nod, hates that his family drama is so obvious and plastered around for the whole world to see. It’s embarrassing.
“I guess I should be going,” She starts to bustle along and adjusts the large shopping bag in her hands. “I’ll leave you handsome devil to your day.”
“Yes ma’am.” Jensen grins shyly at that, catches his reflection in the window and isn’t too ashamed at what he sees; hair spiked up a little, simple white t-shirt fit nicely across his shoulders and down chest, jeans just a little tight but still worn in and comfortable. He doesn’t even notice the holster around his ankle anymore, the small pistol resting along his leg and hidden by his pants.
Mrs. Sanchez winks and starts down the sidewalk, then turns when she remembers something. “Wait, I guess that I'll see you at the church in a few weeks, won’t I?”
Jensen has no idea what she’s talking about. “I’m sorry?”
“I’m sure you remember where it is, Jensen. You were there every Sunday as a child. Did you know that’s where me and Mr. Sanchez renewed our vows? I think your mama said you were working that day, otherwise I’m sure you would’ve been there. I wore a green dress and we had carrot cake after. But anyway, it should be a nice ceremony. I think that’s where your mama got the idea, being there at our vows. Mr. Sanchez looked so handsome that day. He wore a green tie to match my dress.”
“Wait, mom and dad are renewing their vows?” Jensen asks, trying to follow Mrs. Sanchez’s ramble.
“Yes. The invitation was just lovely don’t you think? I almost started to cry when I read it.”
Jensen swallows thickly and doesn’t know what to say because no, he didn’t get an invitation.
“Oh dear.” Mrs. Sanchez’s face falls and begins to stammer. “I just got it a few days ago so I’m sure…”
“The mail in my building hasn’t been great, some problems n’all.” Jensen clears his throat and forces another smile.
Mrs. Sanchez does too, except sadness is creeping into her eyes and Jensen feels awful that he’s becoming transparent.
“I guess I’ll be seeing you.” Jensen says, the smile dropping into a frown as soon as he turns around, an old wound split open again and written all over his face. He can feel Mrs. Sanchez’s worried gaze on his back and hears her call out the same.
Jensen completely forgets about the stamps he needed to buy and only realizes it once he’s already home.
The next work day is thankfully uneventful. Lucy pulls a few speed demons over and lets them go with a warning. She’s in a good mood and is talking Jensen’s ear off about her husband’s latest business venture and he’s only half listening when they drive by a new development in the area. Lucy notices the big sign that reads “Ackles’ Construction” at the same time Jensen does and pulls around slowly.
“You wanna say hi? I can wait in the car.”
Jensen glances her way, a silent thank you and tells her that he’ll be right back.
The pebbles are loud under his shoes as Jensen makes his way over to the site. It looks like a restaurant in the making and he searches for a tall figure, knowing his brother will be in the center of it all with a drafting pencil behind his ear.
He spots Josh quickly, dressed in his regular gear with an orange safety vest and hard hat on his head. Josh doesn’t look too happy to see him and the feeling is mutual, but at least Jensen is trying even if his best effort is still strained.
Josh’s voice is clipped and the eye contact he does make is wary. “Hey.”
“Hey. How’s it going?”
“Doing okay.” Jensen answers. “I didn’t see the blue truck so…”
“Dad’s not here.”
Jensen nods and looks around. “It’s coming along. Looks good in here. I like the stained glass window. Dad’s signature, right?”
Josh shrugs and turns to give an answer to a carpenter who has a question about the flooring plan.
“How’s Rachel and Josh Jr.? He on the peewee team yet?”
“Really?” Jensen breaks out in a real smile. “Just like I was.”
Josh finally cracks a small grin. “Yeah. Plays just as bad as you did too.”
“Hey I got better, didn’t I? Just needed some practice.”
“I guess so.” Josh cocks his head a little, obviously done with the awkward chit chat.
Jensen takes a deep breath, runs his hand along the smooth surface of the new maple wood bar that’s been installed. “So I ran into Mrs. Sanchez the other day. She told me about the vow thing.”
Josh fiddles with the clipboard in his hand and looks away.
“Was anyone going to tell me? Am I even invited to go?”
“Do you even want to go?”
Jensen crosses his arms over his chest the best he can with his bulletproof vest under his uniform shirt. “It’s been over ten years. He’s still my family. I can at least come to the ceremony or something.” “Look, we’re working on dad. Mom wants you there. He just hasn’t said anything yet.”
“So you asked him if I could be there?”
“Mom did, yeah.”
“He still won’t let it go, will he?”
“I don’t know, Jensen. You guys were always going at it.”
“For a good reason, though. Right?” Jensen stares hard at his brother.
Josh shakes his head, but it doesn’t look like an answer. “Let’s just leave it.”
Jensen gives a pissed off laugh, can’t help it. “You’re still scared of him.”
The clipboard Josh has been holding slams down on the bar. He closes his eye before giving Jensen a hard look. “Maybe you shouldn’t be here in your uniform. People will think we’re a shady business if they see you.”
There’s nothing more to say so Jensen turns to go, pausing briefly before leaving the building, trying desperately to think of something to say that might make it right between him and his brother.
His mind is blank as he closes the door behind him.