Title: If I Could, I'd Make This Better For You
Pairig/Characters: Jensen/Jared, OCs
Word Count: 1,928
Disclaimer: Jensen and Jared own themselves and this is fiction.
Summary: Jensen gets a phone call that makes him question what he could have done to change things. Jared's left trying to help the best he can.
A/N: This has not been a happy week for me and this is what happened because of that, call it therapy. Unbeta'd because I just wanted to get it written and gone. Apologies for any and all mistakes. To everyone who I owe a response to their comments on the fic I posted on Monday, I promise to get to them at some point today, like I said it's been a bad week.
Jared quietly let himself into the twilight-darkened house, not particularly surprised to find no lights on, and let out a soft sigh.
It wasn’t supposed to be like this, they had only been back to work after the Christmas break for not even a full day when Jensen had been called into one of the production offices to take an emergency call. He had left Jared standing on set, muscles twitching to follow, with a desperate look of wanting him with him but knowing that he had to leave his boyfriend, his support, behind and had disappeared between trailers, trailing a P.A.
It had taken exactly fourteen minutes from the moment he had lost sight of Jensen to his cell being brought to him by the little blonde wisp of a girl the network had assigned as his assistant for the season, not that he had been paying attention to the time, not at all, for the day to fall apart.
With soft, broken words Jensen had explained that the emergency call had been from his mother, letting him know that one of his oldest friends had been killed the night before when a drunk driver had crossed the double yellow line on the highway between Richardson and Dallas and hit his truck head on.
He had gone on to explain that he was taking the rest of the day off and would see Jared at home once he was done with his scenes.
Jared had wanted to leave with him but forced himself to remain professional and accept that there was nothing he could do but remain behind and do his job.
Silently he padded down the hall to the living room, instinctively knowing that’s where he would find Jensen and not being disappointed.
Jensen, beer dangling loosely from his right hand, back to the room, was standing in front of the patio doors, staring out into the backyard.
Jared could just make out two lighter shadows darting back and forth out in the yard from around the bulk of his boyfriend. At least the dogs seemed immune to the heavy feeling hanging low in the house.
“Hey.” He said low as he wrapped his arms around Jensen’s waist and gently tugged him back against his chest. He kissed his temple before resting his head against the side of Jensen’s.
“How was the rest of the day?”
He had been expecting the question but still wasn’t particularly sure how to answer it. The world didn’t stop just because Jensen had received a phone call that shattered a piece of his soul. Filming had to continue and it had to be, at the very least, Kim’s idea of good, which to most would be spot on, excellent. People still laughed, lived, loved and continue on. Just because Jared had wanted it to stop long enough for him to enfold Jensen in his arms and hide him away until the pain numbed but wasn’t allowed to didn’t make up for the fact that he hadn’t.
“It went.” He admitted in a mumble and hugged Jensen a little tighter to him. Wasn’t the same without you. Wanted you there, wanted to be here. Words he knew were best not mentioned, not now.
“How are you doing?”
Jensen shifted in his arms, an aborted shrug and a watery sigh. “He was my best friend for a long time Jay.”
“I’m sorry Jen.”
He shook his head, “He called the house when we were in Richardson last month, remember? Wanted to meet up for a beer and I came up with every damn excuse in the book for us not to go. I knew it would be awkward and I just didn’t…”
“I just keep thinking that if I would have stayed in Texas. If I would have tried, maybe I could have…”
Jared let the sudden shift in the conversation go, didn’t let the abruptness of it shake him. He could see several emotions swirling through Jensen’s eyes, knew his thoughts would be flashing through his head just as quickly.
He blew out a breath before slowly starting again. “Phil and I met in kindergarten. He was my best friend and I trusted him with all my secrets. Told him before anyone else that I was gay. He was the first person I kissed,” He snorted softly, “More to the truth, he kissed me. That’s how he decided to let me know that he was gay too. Thing was, he was always my brother, at least that’s how I felt but he wanted what I couldn’t give him. But what if I had tried?” He glanced over his shoulder at Jared, “Things were never the same between us after I turned him down. By the time we graduated high school we just weren’t us anymore.” He turned to stare back out at Harley and Sadie playing in the yard, “I always regretted that.”
The whispered words hurt in a way that Jared hated because he knew Jensen wasn’t saying them to marginalize their relationship. Knew that he didn’t mean to say that he regretted being here with him instead of in a relationship with Phil. He was reaching, reacting to something that could not be changed, could not be fixed. So he forced the pain away and hugged Jensen again, silently giving his support.
“If I had stayed, maybe things would be different now. Maybe I could have fallen for him. Maybe he wouldn’t have been on that damn road.”
“Jen,” He started soft and slow, trying his hardest to pick the right words for a situation that they shouldn’t have to be in. “Things happen for a reason.”
“What reason Jared?” He pulled out of his embrace, spun on his heel and stared up at him, his eyes both demanding and pleading for an answer. “What good reason is there for a man to die before he’s thirty one?”
He shook his head, “I don’t know. But I have to believe that there is a reason for everything that happens. That shit like this isn’t just random.”
Jared carefully reached out and ran his fingers gently down Jensen’s arm before twining his with Jensen’s. “My grandma says that there are things we’re meant to learn and once we learn them it’s time to go.” He shrugged feeling only slightly apologetic because he knew that nothing he said could make this better. But Jensen was still looking at him like he needed Jared to make things right, make them better and he had to try.
“Maybe he just learnt all he needed to and it was time for him to move on to some place better.”
“Thirty one Jared.” Jensen enunciated slowly, but his voice didn’t hold the anger that Jared had been worried would be there.
“I guess he was a fast learner.” It sounded stupid, even to him, but what could he say?
Surprisingly Jensen smiled faintly, “Actually he kind of was.” He stepped back into Jared’s space, “Still doesn’t make it right.”
“No.” He agreed before he wrapped his arms back around him but left enough space so that they could look each other in the eye. “But then neither would it have been right for you to stayed with him when you didn’t feel anything more than friendship for him.”
Jensen stiffened and tried to pull back but Jared kept him trapped in the circle of his arms.
“Jensen you have to believe that he was happy. You have to believe that he found the love that you couldn’t give him.”
He shook his head, “Doesn’t matter. He wouldn’t have been on the road that night. Wouldn’t have been driving back to Richardson from Dallas, from his boyfriend’s, had I stayed.”
He gently cupped his chin, “Jen it was his time. That drunk on the highway, a slip in the shower, accidental electrocution, something. He’d still be gone. And,” He tilted his head down so that Jensen couldn’t look away from him, “I know you. Had you stayed and tried and things hadn’t worked, if you hadn’t fell in love with him but stayed out of guilt then you’d be feeling worse now that he’s gone. Because you and I both know you’d be worrying that by staying with him, you stopped him from finding someone that would care for him the way he deserved to be loved.”
Jensen’s eyes flashed with impotent anger before his sighed and the fight slipped out of him. He slumped against Jared and ducked his head to rest his forehead against his shoulder but not before Jared caught the sight of tears slowly rolling down his cheeks.
“Sometimes it pisses me off that you’re so smart. I’m older, I should be the one with the good advice.” He mumbled softly.
Jared let out a breath he hadn’t realized he’d been holding, this could have gone so wrong, if Jensen had decided to be pissed at what could have been considered Jared meddling in something that he really had not right to be meddling with. Instead Jensen had taken it for the advice that it was and had accepted it as such.
“Everyone needs help sometimes.”
Jensen blew out a heavy breath, Jared’s shirt soaking up the wet heat, mixing and becoming one with the damp slowly spreading there already.
After a moment of silence broken only by Jensen’s heavy breaths and stifled sobs, he stilled in Jared’s arms before he pressed himself closer. “Funeral’s in three days.” He muttered low, “Come with me?”
He kissed the top of his bowed head, “If you want me there then I’ll be there.”
Jared rubbed his cheek against the soft hair that had been tickling his chin, “You don’t have to thank me Jen.”
“Kinda do.” He rolled his forehead against Jared’s shoulder before he pulled far enough back to meet his eyes. “You didn’t sign up for this.”
He managed a half grin, “Didn’t sign up for your OCD about the house being clean or your obsessive need to make the bed as soon as you roll out of it even if you can’t seem to function any further until you’ve had at least one cup of coffee either and yet here I am.”
A surprised chuckle eased the tension a little farther and echoed pleasantly from Jensen to Jared through the press of their chests.
Even if there had been any bite to the word, Jared wouldn’t have cared. He had made Jensen smile, made him laugh, eased his sorrow, however briefly, and that’s all he had wanted from the start. Hell he would have streaked through the neighbourhood, painted fuchsia, if that’s what it would have taken. Anything to ease Jensen through this.
“Come on,” he nudged Jensen’s forehead with his chin. “It’s still early enough that you can watch me fill all the holes the dogs have dug in the backyard since you’ve been home and poke fun at my landscaping skills.”
Jensen squeezed his arms around Jared’s waist, “I do love you, you know.”
Warmth bloomed in his chest and radiated out at his words and the soft look in his eyes and Jared recognized the unspoken “thank you” and “I’m sorry for putting this on you” in his tone. Instead of pointing out that he didn’t need to be thanked or assure that he would always be there for whatever Jensen needed him to be, he simply tightened his arms in response and brushed a soft kiss across his lips. “Yeah me too.”