Angel in Blue 6/6
Jensen dreads going into work.
Padalecki. He has a last name now, and he’s not sure after all this time, he really wants to know. The name has been echoing in his head ever since he heard it, over and over again and finally Jensen is in front of his computer, knowing that he has to type the name in.
He makes sure it’s after his shift so there’s not too many people around, pulls up the search program and types Jared’s full name. Memories flood Jensen’s mind like waves crashing in a hurricane. Jared was never listed under the conviction profiles because he’s not a criminal.
He’s a survivor.
It’s like Jensen is transported to that night on the bridge all over again. He can feel the rain soaking his uniform, hears the sirens blaring in his head and the lights flashing brightly every time his eyes close.
He can’t believe he forgot.
There’s a picture of the accident and the car smashed beyond repair. It’s a miracle that Jared wasn’t killed and there’s a picture of him too, bloodied in an ambulance, all of his injuries categorized and listed. His chest and neck got most of it, where the scars are today.
There’s a photo of the truck driver who hit Jared’s car. It was determined by the large swerve that the guy probably fell asleep at the wheel. He was dead on arrival.
Jensen hits the down key and nothing else comes up except for an address. He stares at it for a long time and has the numbers and street name memorized after awhile. He doesn’t know how long he sits there, but the sky has fallen dark by the time he leaves the station, only one destination in his mind.
He has to see for himself what Jared left behind. He has to see if he’s worth everything Jared has walked away from in his past life.
The house isn’t old but it’s incredibly dreary. Jensen has to use a flashlight because there’s no power, vines overgrown all over the yard and weeds in place of where bright flowers used to grow. It’s easy to break in the front door, the wood giving way after a hard push from his shoulder.
It’s shocking how Jared’s presence is all around the house and yet Jensen still can’t recognize his things because he’s still so shut off. There are some Star Wars books on a shelf that look really old, the covers torn and faded. Jensen can only guess that they belong to Jared and wishes that they had talked more about the movie, something Jared must really like. There’s also an old trumpet stand in the corner of the front room, covered in a thick layer of dust. Jensen can almost see how it was once a shiny gold, played almost every day. It’s really the only thing that screams Jared, everything else is foreign.
There are pictures too, of Jared and who Jensen can only guess was his long term partner. They probably even considered each other as husbands, especially if the photo of them in tuxedos and eating cake is anything to go by. All Jensen can think about is how handsome and happy he seemed, how much Jared must have loved that man.
Jensen doesn’t remember his name, but he does remember that, along with the truck driver, he was also DOA.
The flashlight dances over a construction belt filled with tools and a hard hat, half rolled up blue prints are sprawled across the kitchen table and Jensen guesses that Jared’s partner must’ve been an architect. When he looks closer, the prints are of a large house, a penciled in arrow pointing to a room marking it ‘Jared’s music room’ and Jensen’s heart sinks. Jared must have been saving all of his money for this dream home with his partner.
Underneath a few loose piles of papers, Jensen reads the words Adoption Agency and immediately clicks off the flashlight. He stands there in the dark until the smell of musk and dirt overwhelms him and he needs to get out before he throws up.
He’s seen enough and he knows what happened. He remembers now, remembers being with Jared as he tried to call for a paramedic, that Jensen never prays but that night, as he drove home he did pray for the stranger in the smashed up car.
At the time, Jensen was fairly sure Jared wasn’t going to make it.
He’s never been so thankful in his entire life.
Jensen goes straight to the gym after that, needing to work things out in his mind. Does Jared know who he is? Does he know Jensen was there with him? Why didn’t he say anything about the accident? Why was it kept as such a big secret?
Too many questions and Jensen has no answers. He’s scared that Jared will walk away from him if he says something, but they can’t go on like this forever. Jared has a past and he needs to be able to talk about it if they’re ever going to have a future together. He needs to be honest with Jensen and himself about what happened and be able to move on. Obviously Jared’s actions prove that he’s still wounded, still in mourning from his loss, and Jensen’s surprised as shit that Jared would even let him in.
After about an hour on the treadmill, Jensen decides that he’s going to face this head on. There’s no other way around it. He hopes Jared will be able to handle everything and isn’t really sure what to expect.
He leaves a message on Jared’s voicemail, which is odd because usually Jared always answers his phone, and tells him to meet Jensen on the corner of Westwood and Heeder the next morning.
The rest of that night Jensen is in a daze, his stomach is knotted and he wonders if he’s making a mistake. He doesn’t want to lose Jared, that’s the last thing he would ever want. At the same time he wants to be with this man, the real him and he can’t do that until Jared faces his ghosts.
Morning comes far too fast and Jensen pulls his jeep around to a wide parking space. Jared is there, smiling and has two coffee’s in his hand.
“Hey, babe! I got your message, I’m sorry I didn’t pick up.” Jared leans in for a quick kiss on the cheek as Jensen approaches. “I was practicing.” “Yeah, practicing what?” Jensen asks, taking a sip of coffee. Black, just how he likes it.
“You know…” Jared plays a little air trumpet, long fingers moving gracefully.
That would normally please Jensen, but right now he’s too nervous to comment on it. “Can we walk a little?” He points down the street and Jared nods with an odd look on his face. Jensen leads him the direction he wants to go with a gentle push to Jared’s arm.
“You going to tell me where we’re headed?”
Jensen doesn’t answer, just keeps walking. The sun is beating down on his face and he has to squint a little, his eyes sensitive to the bright light.
“Okay, that’s all right.” Jared swallows, sweat starting to bead down his temple. “You don’t have to tell me… I’d go anywhere with you, Jen. Snow fishing, shark infested waters… the mall on a Saturday. Just about any…” Jared stops when he looks across the street and down half a block. He sees the cemetery; it has a brick fence around the edges with an ivy covered iron gate. There’s also a small church to the right of the graveyard and it’s actually really pretty, with tall trees and plenty of flowers all over the grounds. Jared quickly looks away and Jensen can see the growing agitation.
“You can trust me, you know?” Jensen starts out. He grabs onto Jared’s hand, not really caring who is around right now as they move slowly down the block. “Remember how I held onto you that night? Just like I’m doing right now?”
“What do you mean?”
“The accident, Jared. I was there.”
Jared yanks his hand away. He’s shocked and pissed off, his coffee is forgotten sitting on a fence post. There are people coming out from the church now, dressed in their Sunday best. They look happy, together with their families. “I just… well, I’m wondering why you won’t talk about it. What makes it so unspeakable, Jared?”
He’s shutting down, Jensen can see it and he doesn’t know what to do, doesn’t know if Jared is hearing him.
“Is it because you were driving?” Jensen asks softly. Jared turns away and closes his eyes, still silent. “Because I read the reports. It wasn’t your fault. You know that, right? Or is it because you survived and he didn’t?” Jensen reaches out for his hand again, tries to pull him gently towards the cemetery. “Let’s just go in there. We’ll do it together. You can talk to him, say goodbye or tell him that you love him or whatever you want…”
Jared pulls his hand away again, this time more fiercely, a layer of pain in his eyes stormed over by rage. “What the fuck do you think you’re doing, Jensen? Why are you doing this?”
“To help you,” Jensen says calmly. “I remember that night, Jared. You must’ve been so scared. You were bleeding and I couldn’t stop it.” Jensen’s fingers find the ends of Jared’s soft hair, lightly tugging the long strands. “You had short hair back then. I didn’t recognize you, even after all this time.”
Jared catches Jensen’s hand to move it away from his face. “I had to grow it out to cover the scars on my scalp.” He explains sadly. “And I recognized you right away. The day at the jewelry store, I knew who you were. Like an angel, I didn’t think you were real at first. And I remembered your eyes most of all.” He presses his hand along Jensen’s cheek, his thumb moving under the delicate skin under his eyes. “They’re so beautiful. I couldn’t forget them even if I wanted to. Do you remember what you said to me?”
Jensen shakes his head, has no idea what would’ve come out of his mouth that night.
“You told me to stay with you, Jensen. And that’s all I want to do.”
“Jared.” Jensen isn’t too proud to beg. “Please, just let me help you.”
“I don’t need your help. I don’t need this. We don’t need to do this. We’re fine.” It’s a mask of desperation and Jensen can see right through it.
Jensen shakes his head, another plea for him to understand. “You and me? We’re not fine, Jay. No matter how much you want to pretend. You can’t keep shutting me out. You pretend nothing happened. You walk around all day, doing god knows what, just so you don’t have to face reality.”
Jared gets in Jensen’s face, his jaw clenching in anger. “That’s not true. I’m not pretending.”
“Then why? Why do go out of your way for people you don’t even know? Why do wander around town all day?”
Jared looks shaken again, now that the question is out there, and he doesn’t know how to answer. “I just… I didn’t want to experience anything without - ” Jared swallows thickly and it's obvious that he doesn’t want to say his dead husband’s name. “He was gone so I did the best I could just to get through the day.” He starts to stare off again, but remembers that Jensen is there; looking at him and it keeps him grounded in the moment. “It was just easier instead of moving on and helping people made me forget sometimes. And then I met you…”
Jensen waits for him to continue, but it never comes. “And then what? What changed?”
“I could, I don’t know, start to--” Jared’s eyes are filled with water, but a tear never drops. It just hovers at the edge until he brushes it away. “I started to feel again. And maybe I wasn’t ready for it, but Jensen, I’m trying.”
Jensen takes a step closer, so close that his nose grazes along Jared’s jaw line. “Why weren’t you ready, Jared? Is it because you’re still in love with him?” Jensen makes sure his voice is steady and low, without a trace of anger. “Because it’s okay if you are. I get that, I understand and I know that it hurts. He’ll always be a part of your life. But you can’t feel guilty for moving on. It’s not your fault that you got to live and your partner had to die.” Jensen points to the cemetery. “Please, let’s just walk in there together.”
Jared can’t even look in the direction.
“Walk in there and I’ll be right there with you. You walk in there and it becomes real, Jared. What happened is real.”
“Fuck you. Don’t talk about something you don’t know.”
Jensen sucks in a breath and lets it out slowly, hoping he doesn’t scare Jared away with being truthful. “What I do know is this. I want a life and a future with you, more than anything in the world. I’ve been waiting for someone like you-” Jensen lightly wraps his fingers around Jared’s neck to force his eyes down to his own. “Forever. And I’ve finally found you. And it just pains me to see that you're not complete, that you're still holding back because of this tragedy and that you can't move on. A part of you still needs to heal and not being able to deal with this, it’s holding us back. You’re allowed to move on. You would want your husband to be happy if everything was reversed, right? If he wanted to find someone to be with? Do you understand that?”
Jared starts to crumble, right there on the street. “Damn you, Jensen. Why won’t you just stop?”
“So you can have a life again.” It’s all Jensen wants, a life for them together, and he knows that there’s no moving forward until Jared faces his past. “Because it did happen, Jay. And I’m so sorry that it did…”
“Please, Jensen. Let’s just not do this. Let’s just go on how we have been. It’s all I want.” He takes Jensen’s hand now, insistent. “Please, Jen. I’m asking you to do this for me.”
Jensen shakes his head. “I’m sorry. I can’t do that.”
“Why not?” He looks grief-stricken, with his eyes watering even more now and wretched creases on his forehead.
“I want you too much. I want everything with you. I want to know everything about you. All of you and not just the part who is hiding and running away. I want to love you.”
Jared eyes go blank, dead again. “I don’t understand why you’re pushing me so hard. Why does it have to be your way? This is who I am. This is the way I choose to be.”
“Not anymore.” Jensen steps in closer, hopes he can get his point across. “It doesn’t have to be this way because you’re not alone. We’re family now. We’re together. You and me.”
“You just push and push,” Jared says, not hearing him and shaking his head. “Don’t you? You just have to push me away. Make it right for you, not what’s right for me. You like to push people, Jen. You pushed your own family away, didn’t you?”
And that stings. Jensen has to take a minute before he can continue and he shoves through quietly before his voice breaks. “I just…. want to say…”
“You’ve already said it.” Jared can’t even look at him, staring into the distance. “There’s nothing more to say.”
“That when you’re ready.” Jensen ignores him. “I’ll be there for you. I’ll be waiting for you and I do, Jay. I really do love you. I just wanted to say that.” He walks away and before he turns the corner again, he glances back to Jared who is still standing there, straight and frozen. He’s coming apart and Jensen knows that he needs him. It hurts as he has to walk away from the man he loves.
It’s all Jensen can do to get through the rest of the day, after having a sleepless night worrying about Jared and if what they have is over. He has no business being at work in the morning, but at least it’ll help take his mind off of everything.
Lucy drags Jensen out to the rib joint that night after their shift is over.
“Okay, spill.” She says, some sauce on her lips. “You were a nightmare today. What’s up?”
“Well, I guess it’s a mix of things, Luc. Life is shit, but I’m dating this great dead guy.”
Lucy presses a napkin to her mouth like a lady and then lets out a small burp. “Look, whatever Jared’s deal is? He’s not the same guy we met a couple weeks ago.”
“How do you know?”
She gives a small smile, like he’s completely clueless. “You talk about him all the time, Jensen. He’s changing and that’s because of you. Give yourself some credit. You’re helping him. And just in case you didn’t notice? You’ve been happier too. It’s like you got your spark back. Which has made my job a whole helluva lot easier.”
“Yeah well.” Jensen dismisses quickly what she says about his spark, because the truth is, he has noticed too. “Maybe he just felt close to me because of the accident. Maybe he’s paying me back for helping him.”
“You’re such an idiot.”
“Whatever.” Jensen scoffs. “He probably hates me now.”
“Why do you think that?”
And now that he has to tell someone, Jensen questions if what he did was the right thing. Maybe Jared has a point; maybe he did push too hard. “I took him to the cemetery.”
Lucy cringes. “Didn’t go so well?”
“Not at all.”
“Well, I’m sure it was hard for him. He’ll get over it eventually. He’ll talk to you again.”
Jensen shrugs. “I just wanted to bring some life back into him or something.”
“Jensen,” Lucy sighs. “The guy had a great loss, but he isn’t dead anymore. You’re bringing him back just by being with him.”
“I hope I don’t lose him over my stupidity.”
“He’ll see the love in what you did for him. He’ll come around.”
It’s been a few days and Jared hasn’t called or anything, so Jensen makes the first move and leaves another message.
“Hey, Jared. It’s me. Look, I’m sorry about… everything. You were right and I didn’t mean to… well, you know. Anyway. I gotta go to my parents vow renewal today and just… I’m thinking about you. And I miss you. And I—I guess I should go. Hopefully I’ll talk to you soon?”
Jensen changes his shirt five different times before he decides on a light blue button up and dark pants. He has no idea when he grew some ovaries but he’s so over acting like a giant girl.
The church is hot and stuffy and Jensen sits in the back, thinking it’s the best if he stays away from his brother and dad who are up in the front. He knows that they see him when his mom waves and he smiles back, staring straight at her. He planned for the ceremony to start right when he got there, no awkwardness about where to sit. There’re maybe fifty people in the front pews watching the altar where the priest and his parents are standing together.
From what he can see, his dad still looks big and strong. There’s a hearing aid connected to his ear, which Jensen’s never seen before.
The priest begins to recite the rituals, invoking blessing and saying prayers. Jensen tries to pay attention but his mind is on Jared.
After the renewal of vows is over, Jensen stands in the aisle not really knowing what to do. He fidgets nervously and nods to guests as they leave, recognizes some old faces from the neighborhood. There’s a photographer setting up who mom and dad, Josh, Rachel and Josh Jr. are all waiting on.
“We ready for the family shot?” The guy with the camera says.
Jensen takes a deep breath, braves it and asks, “Where do you want me?”
The photographer doesn’t say anything, just tilts his head.
“I’m their son. Other son.”
“Oh! Oh, well, how about right over there by your dad.”
The family shifts to make room for him and Jensen stands at the other side of his father, who hasn’t looked at him yet. The flash goes off and Jensen clears his throat. “You both look great.”
His mom smiles, nervous and says, “You too, honey.”
His dad cuts him off, voice not hard but flat. He doesn’t smile. “You coming to the party?”
He nods and turns, talking to well-wishers who look so happy for him. Jensen is left standing alone, glances to Rachel who gives him a warm grin and that makes Jensen feel better. They haven’t talked since that day he hit Josh. Jensen gives Josh Jr. a wink and he shyly grins too, the bottom two teeth missing from his smile.
The house is just down the street from the church and Jensen parks his jeep on the curb. There’s people carrying in big platters of food, all home cooked and kids are playing in the front yard. He feels out of place here, but still tries to tell people hello, even if his greeting is strained.
Mrs. Sanchez corners him at the window and starts talking about her new blue dress when Jensen gets a text. He pulls his phone out of his pocket and tries to be sneaky about it, still nodding along at whatever Mrs. Sanchez is saying.
I miss you too. I hope it goes well today.
A flood of relief makes Jensen light up. He gets giddy with happiness, and a terrible pain that’s been hard as a rock in his gut finally begins to disappear.
“Jensen, I think you might have to arrest someone.”
“What?” And now he’s trying to pay attention to the little old lady, hoping that he really won’t have to pull out his handcuffs.
She holds back the curtain from the window and is pointing across the front yard. Jared is there, leaning on Jensen’s jeep. Jensen wants to laugh, he’s so happy to see him, can’t believe that Jared would find his way to the house.
“See that young man? He’s trouble.”
Jensen can’t take his eyes off of him and Jared sees him too, a smile blooming bright on his own face. “Yes. He seems nice enough though.”
“He walks around the city, did you know that? I’ve seen him put quarters in people’s car meters and help a little girl get her cat down from a tree.”
“Really?” Jensen is very interested now, loving to hear more about what Jared does all day. “What else?”
“Well Marge said that once she saw him give a homeless guy some food down by the river, and Ruth said she saw him picking up litter by the school. He walks around the city like he’s some sort of…”
“Angel?” Jensen guesses.
“Exactly.” Mrs. Sanchez agrees and lets the curtain down.
“I still don’t know why I should arrest him.”
“Well it should be against the law to walk around looking that handsome.” She winks and Jensen cracks up. He sends a text that he’ll be right out and Jared messages him back to take his time.
Jensen wants to find his mom and tell her good bye. There’s a video crew moving towards the guests to say their warm wishes to his parents and Jensen avoids it. He sees his father, alone at the end of the long hallway and thinks maybe he’ll get the hard part out of the way first.
As soon as his dad sees him though, he makes his way to the backyard, surrounds himself with friends and they start to laugh at whatever it is he says to them. That hurts Jensen a little, humiliates him more than anything and that’s when his mom finds him, gently putting her hand on his shoulder.
“Today is not the day for this. Don’t make him talk.” “Don’t worry, ma. I’m done pushing people for awhile.” Jensen says and changes the subject when she gives him a questioning look. “It was a nice ceremony.”
“It was, yes. We’re running out of chicken, though. No one is eating the ham.” She says, worried.
Jensen chuckles. “It’s a great party. You look happy.” Her face fills with joy. “Thirty years and still in love, huh?”
“You think that’s wrong, don’t you?” Her eyes cloud a little and Jensen shakes his head.
“Of course I don’t.”
“I feel like I should apologize to you. All the time. But I love him. And then I feel like I should apologize to your father for loving you.” She sighs, sadly. “Always in the middle. Always forgiving everybody. I’m the only one who knows how to in this family.”
Jensen doesn’t know why he’s surprised that his mom is always so thoughtful, but she walks away before he can tell her that he’s leaving. He figures if it’s one less person to eat the chicken, she’ll be okay with it. He still wants to give her a hug goodbye and when he walks into the kitchen to find her, Rachel is there leaning on the counter.
“Hey, Jensen. Nice tie,” She says warmly, not a hint of apprehension which Jensen appreciates.
Jensen tells her thanks and comments on her dress. The bruises have faded around her face and Jensen tries not to make it obvious that he’s looking for fresh ones.
“Don’t worry.” Rachel puts her water glass down. “He knows I’m serious this time. I’ll call you if he tries anything again.” “You promise?”
Rachel nods and then whispers, “I think he’s a little afraid of you. But yes, I do promise. I told him that I’ll take Josh Jr. and leave.”
“You still know where I live? And I can be at your place in five minutes.”
Rachel smiles. “Yes. And it’s been okay. I saw some booklets about getting help on his desk the other day.”
“That’s great, Rach,” Jensen says, relieved. “Really good news.”
Jensen sees his father again and excuses himself, goes down the hallway towards their bedroom. His mom gets there before he has a chance to talk to him and now Jensen is frustrated.
“You said that you wouldn’t push him anymore.”
“I just need to talk to him for one second.”
“Jensen, please.” “Please, what, ma? Don’t bother my own father? That’s all I heard when I was a kid. Don’t talk to your father, don’t bother him.” He pushes his way inside the small room and starts speaking loudly. “Well guess what, I’m going to bother him for one minute. Is that okay with you, dad? Can you handle me for one second?”
“Jensen, this isn’t the right time.” “It’s never the right time, ma. This has nothing to do with you. This is between me and dad so please, just leave us be for one damn minute.” Jensen’s tone is hushed now and then he turns to his father. “What about you, Dad. Do you want me to leave?”
He shrugs, uncaring. “Up to you.”
“Dad, I need to know. Am I welcome here?”
Finally some emotion crosses his father’s face. “Jesus. You’re here, aren’t you? What more do you want?”
“I just want to know… do you want me here?” And Jensen knows the real question he’s asking doesn’t have anything to do with him being welcome in their home. The real question is does his father still love him, give a damn about him at all. Because Jensen wants to move on too, wants to live his life without having to look back at regrets every fucking day. The question is out now, exposed and open, and the silence that follows breaks Jensen’s chest in two.
“Do you need…. Maybe.” He gestures to the hearing aid. “Is it on?”
His dad nods and absently touches his ear. “I feel…” He begins, sad now.
“What, dad. Just tell me.”
“I feel like I lost my son.”
There’s the truth, hard and unforgiving. Jensen takes it like a shot to the heart; except he doesn’t have his bullet proof vest on this time. He doesn’t let it show though, but feels like the pain in his eyes gives him away. “Well you haven’t lost me, dad. It’s a shame that you feel that way. That you’ll miss out on knowing me.” He rushes to leave the room, brushes past his mom and Josh who had been standing in the hallway the whole time.
He goes to the closet to get his coat and watches the video crew tape the party that’s still happening in the living room, unaware of all the drama that just went on. He makes a decision and steps into the light, faces the camera.
They roll the tape and everyone turns to gather and watch him. He swallows the emotions down and puts on a fearless, trembling smile. “Hey, congratulations mom and dad...” Now that he’s started, he doesn’t know where he’ll go from here. “You know… being back in this house reminds me when I was little... I think we were about ten and me and Josh would play alien invasion.” Jensen looks to the kitchen and see his parents there now, and Josh.
“Remember that, Josh? Anyway, we were making a lot of noise and Dad came home from work, tired and pissed off and Josh made these stupid hats out of tin foil to keep the aliens from sucking our brains and dad yells at us, what the hell were we doing and damn, I was scared of pop back then.” Jensen doesn’t say he’s still scared of him, even now, and maybe not physically but because of the missing connection they still don’t have that hurts him.
“I tell him that we’re playing alien invasion, dad, and he says, oh yeah, I’ll show you a damn invasion. And then he picks me up and throws me on the couch, then he throws Josh on the couch and he starts making these monster noises and says, we came to earth to kick some ass!” Jensen smiles at the memory, swallows back the sob wanting to escape. “I laughed so hard I thought I was gonna pee my pants. I think Josh actually did.” The group laughs and Jensen trails off. “I’ll never forget that. It was great. So, thanks for that, Dad. I miss that.”
He steps back and watches the pleased look on his mom’s face, the quiet sad expression Josh has, and his dad has a single tear track down his cheek before he hastily brushes it away. Jensen turns to leave before they can see him rub at his eyes too.
He practically runs to his jeep, so glad that Jared is still there. He’s never needed him more than this moment. Jared opens his arms and Jensen steps on his tip toes to fall into the embrace, exhaling the breath he’d been holding and presses Jared tightly against him.
“What’re you doing here?” He mumbles into the side of Jared’s neck. “How did you find my parents house?”
Jared’s grip is incredibly firm around Jensen’s waist. “I might’ve stopped at the station and had a conversation with your partner. She told me the address. Jen, I’m sorry that I wasn’t ready. You were right. I went to the cemetery. I said my goodbyes.”
Jensen shakes his head, wants to get his apology out too. “I didn’t mean to push.”
Jared puts his hands around Jensen’s hips and pulls him closer. “I needed a push in the right direction. I just didn’t want to admit it and it was hard, I’m not gonna lie and I needed some time. But I do want to be with you, more than anything.” He kisses Jensen again and looks at the family house. He asks, “So was it really bad?”
“They don’t like me too much in there.”
“They don’t deserve you.”
They stare at each other and Jensen loves having Jared’s eyes on him. He feels safe. “That’s a nice thing to say.”
“It’s not a thing to say. It’s the truth.” Jared corrects.
Jensen looks away, afraid he’ll breakdown if Jared keeps looking at him like that.
“Why do you try so hard, huh? Not to let it out.” Jared’s hand is on his back now, soothing circles up and down.
Shaking his head, Jensen’s words are sad, still trying to stay in control. “It’s just not fair, ya know? Things got better for them because of what I did. And I still get blamed. I get shut out. It’s fucked up that I don’t have a family anymore.”
“You’re right, it’s not fair.” Jared says softly. His hand moves to trace along Jensen’s chin, his palm huge and warm down Jensen’s cheek. He moves to kiss Jensen’s forehead. “But we’re family now, Ackles. And I love you so much.”
It makes Jensen sob and laugh at the same time. He nods and Jared puts an arm around him, holding him tight as they walk around the jeep. Jensen gets behind the wheel and sits there for a moment, trying to get his shit together and stop shaking. He's just putting the key in the ignition when Jared gets out from the passenger seat and comes to Jensen’s window. He reaches for the door and opens it.
“Hey…” Jared says it so normally, that it takes a minute for it to register. “I’ll drive.”
Jensen feels his heart grow at that, amazed that Jared’s taking another leap of faith for him and moves over on the seat. “Let’s go home.”