Title: You Never Said Goodbye and I Didn't Want To
Characters/Pairings: Jared/Jensen with mentions of others
Warnings: Playing fast and loose with the effects of almost being hung - I did do some quick research but don't take anything medical wise as fact!
Word Count: 7,425
Disclaimer: Jared and Jensen own themselves, I'm not even sure if I own my cats or if they own me.
Summary: After Supernatural ended, Jared said he was taking a vacation and never came back. Three years later a stunt goes wrong and after almost dying and a stuffed dog sitting on his hospital night stand prompts Jensen to go looking for the one person he once thought was his best friend.
A/N: Written for spn_j2_xmas
. I mashed one of her prompts and one of her general likes together, I hope that what I came up with is okay raina_at
. Also, Merry belated Christmas.
Jensen shifted in the driver’s seat of his rental trying, in vain, to find a more comfortable position and glanced away from the non-descript house he had been staring at for the better part of an hour. By now, he could describe the house from memory alone, from the white siding to the dark blue trim, every small detail firmly fixed in his mind.
He let his eyes wander along the street, bouncing from house to car to the pale grass of the lawn between the two down the lane until the details started to blur in the distance. The street, the whole neighborhood, appeared as non-descript, as non-assuming as the house he had been staring at for so long. It reminded Jensen of another house in another neighborhood but the houses had been a little bigger, the grass a little greener, and the distance between there and here could be measured in more than just miles.
“This is ridiculous.” He grumbled as he turned to glare back at the house and moved his hand from the steering wheel to the door handle. All he had to do was jerk his wrist and the door would open but he couldn’t make his muscles work.
It had seemed like a good idea while he had been lying in the hospital recuperating after the accident. The one and only clear thought that stuck with him from the moment a ten inch stuffed dog had appeared on his hospital night stand. Somehow he had known it had come from Jared without looking at the tag hanging from it’s neck, which had been odd considering they hadn’t seen or spoken to each other for the better part of two years, but he had just known. And that had been all it had taken, the thought of Jared knowing he had been hurt, hunting down a gift that was just so him and taking the time to send it that made up Jensen’s mind. At that point it didn’t matter that after Supernatural had ended that Jared had decided to take off for almost a year, promising to keep in touch but really didn’t. It didn’t matter that all Jensen had received after almost six months of silence had been a phone call from Jared informing him that he wouldn’t be coming back to Vancouver and that if Jensen wanted to keep the house then he was going to have to buy him out or that the paperwork had been completed through his lawyer’s office via a courier and that other than less than a handful of short phone calls, he hadn’t seen or heard from him in years. All that matter was that Jared had finally broken the silence between them by sending a stuffed dog and that Jensen needed to see him.
He supposed to that he could have looked at it like it was too little too late and maybe he would have if it had been before ending up in the hospital but damn near dying changed a man’s outlook on life. It was one thing to know that everyday was a gift and not a right but to actually have it shoved in his face was something else entirely, especially considering how it had happened.
It hadn’t been the first stunt he had ever done, far from it in fact, when Supernatural was factored in and it was nowhere near the most taxing but sometimes it was the simplest things that got a person in the end. The set up had been simple, as the guest star of Christian’s show, his character, an old friend of Elliot’s, was kidnapped and used as a pawn against Elliot in a game of revenge. The whole point of the stunt was to end up with him hanging and Elliot getting to him in the nick of time.
Which would have worked if the clasp on his chest harness hadn’t let go as he was pushed from the ledge.
Jensen could only remember the few minutes after that critical moment in flashes, there had been people screaming, his panic because he couldn’t free his wrists and get his hands from behind his back to the noose around his neck, building pressure in his lungs and head, the feeling of hands and arms and knowing he was free but still not being able to get any air, Christian’s voice muffled and distant and then a blinding pain from his throat.
Days later in the hospital and after the doctors had taken him off the drugs that had kept him in an artificial coma, it had been explained to him that the EMTs had to perform an emergency tracheotomy because his larynx had been partially crushed and that he would have to live with sounding like he had been screaming for hours because of nerve damage. But, at least, he was still alive.
He blinked away the memories, the anger he had felt then the disgust once he realised that his voice would always sound like a bastardized mix of what he once sounded like and Dean Winchester after a night of binge drinking. It wasn’t even so much that he had been upset about what it would do to his acting career, he had already decided to accept Eric’s offer of producing a T.V. show about surviving Armageddon with him so not getting acting jobs wasn’t such a big thing, and focused back on the house.
Before the accident, he would have probably continue to let things be the way they were between him and Jared, a friendship that had faded with time, but after seeing the dog he couldn’t. They had been friends, best friends, for years and maybe it had been Jared to pull away first but he shouldered a share of the blame for it falling to the wayside. Yes, he had been kind of hurt when Jared had informed him that he wasn’t coming back to Vancouver and wanted to either sell the house to Jensen or just sell it all together. And yes, it had felt like a slap to the face when he realised that Jared had no intention of even bothering to show up to sign all the paperwork to transfer ownership. But Jensen could have picked up the phone or emailed him, the intention to do so was always there but the timing was always off. Or that’s what he always told himself anyway; burying the fear that Jared wouldn’t pick up or respond in the darkest part of his mind.
But that had been before that damn stuffed dog. Jared had acknowledged that, at the very least, he cared enough to send a gift to someone he hadn’t spoken to in years and it was enough for Jensen to want to find him. Maybe hunting him down would lead to nothing more than a stifled conversation and an ache in his chest once it was finally clear that their friendship was dead but he had to try.
Which is what had led him to sitting across the street from the house that Chad had sworn was Jared’s; in a little town an hour and a half outside of San Antonio wondering if this was such a great idea after all.
Did he really want his last memory of being with Jared to be something empty, a farce of the friendship they once shared? It was that fear, that maybe they hadn’t been as close as he had believed them to be, that kept him frozen in the car. Maybe things had ended abruptly between them but at least he could look back and believe they were friends. If meeting Jared again would shatter that belief it would hurt him a lot more than he cared to admit to.
Still, he had come all that way and it would be stupid not to give their friendship a shot. Especially considering that Jared had, at some point in the last two years, cut off his cell phone and Jensen had to call Chad to find out where he was. He could have called Jared’s family, they had always welcomed him but he hadn’t been comfortable with the idea of doing so, not after not seeing or speaking with them, either, in years. He could barely justify to himself how things had gone between him and Jared; he didn’t think he could do so to Jared’s dad, or worse, his mother. And he really didn’t think he would have been able to handle them telling him that Jared didn’t want to get into contact with him, not now that it was so important to him.
“Well Ackles shit or get off the pot.” He muttered as he glanced once more up and down the street. He had already spent too much time just sitting there like an idiot, a neighbor was eventually going to get edgy and call the cops.
He tried to open the car door again only to find that his muscles still weren’t responding to his command.
Maybe he should go find a hotel in town, relax, unpack his bag and take a breath. After all, he had gone directly from the airport in San Antonio to sitting here. Maybe if he just gave himself a minute to relax this would be easier.
He worried on his bottom lip, there was very little that scared him but yet there was a very distinct possibility that if he left, he wouldn’t be coming back.
Something moved in the corner of his eye and Jensen looked back to see the front door of Jared’s house opening.
He wasn’t sure if it was the sudden movement that proved that someone was there or that a dark haired man appeared in the door that made his breathing speed up and his palms begin to sweat. But it only got worse once Jared appeared behind the guy, pajama bottoms hanging low on his hips and drops of water on his bared chest catching the bright midmorning sunlight.
Jensen catalogued the way his friend looked, Jared’s hair was a little longer, just brushing his shoulders, and a little wilder than he remembered. But over all he seemed to be in the same shape he had been in the last time he had seen him except that he was darker now, almost like he spent more time out in the sun. But his observation stuttered to a halt when the guy turned on his heel and reached up to kiss Jared.
What the hell?
It wasn’t that it came as a shock that Jared played both sides of the field, he had told Jensen as much when he caught Jensen making out with one of the temporary prop guys earlier on in the first season of Supernatural. But Jensen had never actually seen him do anything with another guy, in the beginning it had been because he had been with Sandy and then later on, he just assumed that Jared never found a guy that suited his fancy.
It was just that it had taken him by surprise and caused something cold and heavy to settle in the pit of his stomach. He wouldn’t call it jealousy because he and Jared had never been that way, ever. He was certain it had more to do with the fact that now that Jared was with a guy that there was very little chance of he and Jensen managing to rekindle their friendship. It wasn’t that he was self-centred enough to think that Jared had ever had a thing for him or that he had had one for Jared, it was just that he was a guy and he knew how guys thought. Jared’s boyfriend probably wouldn’t like Jared hanging around with a guy he used to be comfortable enough with to sit around in boxers drinking coffee or hanging off each other in public. He knew he wouldn’t.
In a way it felt like he was invading their privacy by sitting there and watching Jared slide a hand up the guy’s arm before wrapping it around the back of his neck and the guy pushing himself closer but he didn’t dare start the car. So far he knew he hadn’t been seen and there was no way in hell he was going to start the rental and draw attention to himself.
After a moment of Jensen chewing on his lower lip and feeling like a peeping tom, though he really shouldn’t have considering Jared and his boyfriend were standing on the front door step where God and everyone could see them, the guy finally pulled back.
Jensen breathed a sigh of relief and fingered the keys hanging from the ignition. As soon as Jared went back into his house and his boyfriend left, he would leave too. Maybe he’d find a hotel after all and consider what he was going to do.
Well at least he now knew why Jared had left Hollywood behind. It didn’t explain why he had left Jensen behind, not when Jensen wouldn’t care if he had decided to play for the home team but that appeared to be the reason why.
It hurt to feel like that, caused an ache in his chest that rivalled the lump filling his stomach.
He glanced back and forth between Jared and the retreating back of his boyfriend until the guy climbed into the cab of a truck parked in the driveway and pulled away. He turned to ensure that Jared had gone back into his house and froze.
Jared was still standing in the doorway, one hand clinging to the doorframe, the other half raised and he was staring directly at Jensen.
Jensen swallowed hard and tried to pull air into his suddenly tight lungs. It was almost like having that noose tight around his neck again and he could have been thrown into a panic attack over it but something about staring at Jared staring back at him kept him grounded. Or maybe it was his innate need to put an end to the fear he could practically feel vibrating across the street from his friend.
Jared didn’t need to fear anything because of him. He should know that or had they slipped so far away from each other that he couldn’t.
He needed to get out of the car and face Jared. There was no way that he could just drive off now, that would definitely send the wrong signal to his friend but he couldn’t move. It was like they were playing some sort of game, Jared had sent the dog, Jensen had hunted him down and now it was Jared’s turn again. If he gave a signal that Jensen should get out of the car he would but if he stepped back into the house and shut the door then Jensen could leave. It was idiotic and fucked up but it seemed to be the way this was going to go because he couldn’t make himself move on his own.
He watched Jared’s free hand raise jerkily higher until he finally motioned for Jensen to come to the house.
Jensen wasn’t sure if he was relieved or not but Jared had made his move and now it was his turn again.
He had to swipe his sweaty hand down his thigh before he could pull the key from the ignition.
With a deep breath, he finally managed to get the door open and stepped out of the car.
Well he wanted to see Jared and, regardless of his reservations, now he had no choice but to follow through.
It was a good thing that Jared lived on a quiet street because Jensen couldn’t take his eyes off him as he walked towards him, seeing the Jared of three years before superimposed over the Jared growing larger the closer he got. His earlier observations had been correct, there weren’t that many changes over all but his eyes were swimming with trepidation and that was something that had never occurred where Jensen was concerned before.
“Jensen.” Jared was smiling but it twitched at the corners like he wasn’t sure if he should be smiling and the hesitation before he wrapped him up in a hug was painfully obvious.
Everything in his body eased at the familiar feel of Jared curled around him and in that moment he was certain that coming had been the right thing to do. But more importantly, that not doing this sooner had been the worse decision he never consciously made.
“Hey Jay.” He answered low and briefly rested his chin on Jared’s shoulder, reviling in the scent of his friend and all the memories of good times it dragged to the surface.
Jensen couldn’t, with any amount of certainty, say if their hug lasted longer than the kiss Jared had just shared with his boyfriend but it felt like it. He tried not to feel smug over the idea but feeling like he was more important to Jared lessened the lump in his stomach and the ache in his chest.
Finally Jared pulled back but kept his hands curled around Jensen’s biceps. “You look good.”
He shrugged, he might have gotten used to the way he sounded now but it still bothered him to see the look of pity that crossed his friend’s faces when they actually heard him speak. And from the way Jared was looking at him, surprise finally smothering the worry he had seen earlier, he probably hadn’t heard Jensen’s hello or his ruined voice yet.
His fingers tightened briefly before he suddenly let go, “Jen?”
The fear was back and Jensen wanted to kick himself for putting it there. It wasn’t his fault that he would just be another person to react badly the first time he realized that Jensen hadn’t come out of the accident unscathed and Jensen really needed to get over the wounded feeling it left in him when it happened.
He swallowed, “So do you.”
Both of Jared’s eyebrows lifted but it wasn’t pity Jensen saw in his eyes, rather amusement. “Sexy growl you’ve got going there. Should have used that as Dean’s voice. Betcha there wouldn’t have been any Sam girls if you had sounded like that.”
So it wasn’t amusement but mischief.
“Asshole.” He grumbled but it wasn’t because he was upset at the teasing. Jared had just taken his broken voice in stride, poked fun like he used to and that was the end of it. There hadn’t been pity and Jensen didn’t think there would be, not from him and it became just another reason why it had been his best idea to hunt Jared down.
“Come on.” Jared stepped back into the house and waited until Jensen began to follow before he turned and started to head down the hall. “I’ve just made a pot of coffee and you look like you could use a cup.”
He grinned despite the sudden onset of nerves fluttering between his chest and stomach. Sooner or later Jared was going to ask what he was going there or he was going to have to broach the subject as to what the hell had happened to their friendship and the easygoing air was going to get sucked right out of the room. But for now he’d let it be, if only for a brief moment where he could pretend that it hadn’t been years since they’d last seen each other.
And he wasn’t going to think about why Jared would have a fresh pot of coffee on so late in the morning or why he was only in pajama pants and most importantly, why it appeared that he had just gotten out of the shower.
As they reached the kitchen, Jared crossed the room and busied himself with pulling a couple mugs out of the cupboard, filling them from the full pot of coffee and adding cream and sugar, leaving Jensen to stare at his tense broad back.
He understood the tension, it didn’t matter that he was glad that he was there or that it appeared that Jared was glad that he was there it had been two years since they had spoken, almost three since the last time they had been in the same room. Even after the enthusiastic greeting on both their ends, this was hard, harder than he had thought it would be but yet, easier than he had worried it might be. “So how have you been?”
Jared shrugged one shoulder before turning and handing him a cup. “Okay. I’ve got a job training dogs to get ready for adoption at the local shelter which keeps me busy and I enjoy it.” His voice tapered off and he busied himself with taking a sip of his coffee.
The mention of dogs reminded Jensen that he hadn’t seen Harley and Sadie and he glanced around looking for any signs of them. “Where are the babies?”
He grinned, “Believe it or not, Harley and Sadie are training dogs now. They help us, the trainers, train other dogs how to behave. One of the girls came and picked them up this morning to help her work with a skittish dog.”
Jensen thought back to the way Harley and Sadie acted like they owned the house. Could clearly remember having to share his bed with at least one of them regularly and constantly tripping over them as he would come into the house. It was hard to believe that they would be considered being used as training dogs to help teach other dogs how to act but he supposed stranger things had happened. Like standing in Jared’s kitchen and feeling like a stranger, that was pretty strange.
“Huh.” He leaned back against the island in the middle of the room, “So you like training them?”
Jared crossed his arms across his bare chest, careful to ensure that he held his mug out from his body. “Yeah, it’s challenging and frustrating but when a dog that I’ve worked with has been adopted it’s worth it.”
A part of his questions were just to find something to talk about, which made him sad because they used to be able to just sit in silence and feel comfortable around each other and that was gone now. But the other reason was because he was interested in what Jared had been up to and if he was happy with were his life was now.
“And you got into this how? Did you have to take a course?”
He shook his head, “Nah. I mean I worked with one of the other trainers, learning the tricks but I didn’t take an actual class or something. As for how,” he took a sip of coffee and shifted his feet like he was suddenly he didn’t want to talk about it anymore. “I met a friend of mine from high school while I was in London a few months after Supernatural ended. She told me about how her and her husband ran a no kill shelter for animals just outside of town here. She actually asked if I would consider coming down and just be a presence for an adoption drive they were planning,” his cheeks darkened as he blushed. “You know, be Jared Padalecki from Supernatural, sign autographs, push adoptions.”
Jensen didn’t know why he was embarrassed, when Supernatural ended, Jared was a well known personality and using that to raise money for a charity, especially a charity he cared about, made sense. But he understood it because he was the same way.
“Anyway, I hung around after the drive was over and started helping out and kind of fell into the job.”
“I’m glad it worked out for you.”
It was the truth, he was happy that Jared was happy but there was that little selfish part of him that wished he would have eventually found his way back into acting. It didn’t necessarily mean that they would have run into each other, Hollywood was a big place and shoots were done all over, but at least there would have been a chance, slim, almost non-existent, as it was, that they would see each other every so often.
“What about you? What are you...? I mean with what’s happened...” he trailed off and made a small motion towards Jensen’s neck and the scar from the tracheotomy that he knew was just visible over the neck of his t-shirt.
Jensen blinked, not particularly surprised at the questions since almost everyone he knew had already asked him but surprised that Jared seemed to be having problems actually asking. It used to be that Jared would say whatever came into his head without a problem and Jensen had grown used to it. To have him stumbling over his sentences now was disconcerting but was a harsh reminder that they weren’t the friends they used to be.
“Just before the accident Eric contacted me about co-producing a new T.V. series with him. He remembered that I was interested in the behind the scenes part and wanted to know if I was still thinking about that part of the business. I’m going to take him up on it.” He smiled self depreciatingly, “Not a lot of work in front of the camera for a guy who sounds like he just chased a twenty-four once of whiskey with a pack of cigarettes.”
“Jen I’m sure there are parts...”
He shook his head, “It’s okay Jared. It doesn’t bother me as much as you might think.”
Jared glanced down at his mug before lifting it to his lips. “Okay.” He muttered before taking a drink.
Now what? He should have known that after the pleasantries were over with that they would be left like that, standing in the middle of a room trying to look interested in their drinks while trying to think of something to say.
Again it hit home just how far apart they had drifted. He guessed that he could have asked about the guy he had seen kissing Jared but something held the words lodged in his throat. For some reason he just didn’t want to know about Jared being happy which was pathetic and childish considering he was only feeling like that because he didn’t want to be the only one alone.
He glanced up at the hesitation in Jared’s voice and raised an eyebrow refusing to speak in fear that the worry he was suddenly feeling would be heard in his own voice.
“Why are you here?” Jared set his cup down and re-crossed his arms over his chest. “We haven’t spoken in years so why now?”
This moment was inevitable, he had known it even before he had boarded the plane in L.A. but he had hoped that it would have played out differently. That it wouldn’t be “what are you doing here” and more “I’m glad you looked me up”. More welcoming and less just being put up with.
He thought about the brown stuff dog packed in his bag in the back of the rental. The dog was what had started this and he supposed if it was going to end here then using the dog would be poetic. “I wanted to thank you for sending the dog.”
His brows furrowed, “The dog? Are you talking about that stuffed dog I sent you when I heard you were in the hospital?”
He forced down the urge to fidget, “Yeah.”
“O...okay. Well you’re welcome but you didn’t have to fly out here to tell me that.”
“I kind of did.” He muttered, “The dog meant something to me Jared because you sent it. I just...” he shrugged, “I just wanted to see you.”
Jared sighed and shook his head, “But why Jensen? It’s been years and...”
“Yeah I know Jared.” He growled back, “Maybe I feel bad because it has been years. Maybe I wanted to know what happened to one of the best friendships I ever had. Maybe I wanted to know what it is that I did or didn’t do that made you cut me from your life.”
Jensen hadn’t been planning on saying any of that, was kind of surprised to hear the words coming out of his mouth. But now that they were out there he was glad that they were. He may never have consciously thought that but it felt right, felt true and he did want to know what had happened.
He scrubbed his hands over his face and into his hair, “It wasn’t you Jensen, it was me.”
“What?” He exploded, “I’m pretty sure that’s something you say to someone you’re breaking up with.”
He wasn’t prepared for Jared to lunge at him, grab his face with both hands and smash their lips together. His mind stumbled to a halt and he couldn’t think past the way it felt to have Jared’s slightly chapped lips pressed against his own. By the time that he could start to think straight, Jared had pulled away and was pacing back and forth in front of him.
“That’s why Jensen.” He growled, “I thought it would be better that our friendship ended on a decent note then with you hating me because I had fallen for you. And let’s face it, did you really want to know that your so-called best friend had a thing for you while you’re planning your wedding to Danneel? I had to get away from you for me and for you.”
Of all the half conceived reasons he had considered as to why Jared had cut all ties with him, this wasn’t one of them. He couldn’t voice his surprise or even think straight as he watched him continue to pace back and forth in front of him.
“I thought that if I left that I would get over you but I haven’t. You’re like a phantom ache that I can’t shake but at least I wasn’t living with the fear that you would figure it out because of something I said or did. But then you had to show up and drag it all back to the surface.” Jared stilled in front of the fridge and leaned his forehead against it, “I’m sorry.” The words were so low that Jensen barely heard them.
He wanted to say that it was okay; he wanted to be the reassuring friend he had been before but he couldn’t make the words come. Jared liked him, liked him more than a friend, had for some time and he never knew, never even suspected. He didn’t know how to deal with the information and had no clue how he felt about it.
“I gotta go.”
If he had been expecting Jared to say something then he was disappointed.
“I just...” he pushed off the island and carefully set the cup down, surprised that he had managed to keep a hold of it considering how badly his hands were shaking. “I don’t know what to say.”
And that was the problem; he really didn’t know what to say. He didn’t think he was mad or upset that Jared liked him but it had caught him way off guard and he didn’t know what to do with the information either. Or for that matter if there was anything he could do with it.
Jensen walked to the doorway, “I just gotta go.”
He glanced back to see that the only movement Jared had made was to curl his hands around the sides of the fridge before he turned and fled.
Jensen ended up in a park a couple blocks over from Jared’s house, a large green space with a kid’s play park at one end and picnic benches scattered throughout. It hadn’t been a conscious decision, but he had had no clear plan as to where he was going when he had left, just that he had to leave.
But he was glad that he had been worried about trying to steer the car with his body shaking so badly that he had to pull over. The park was pretty much empty since it was a weekday and the silence helped to sooth his nerves as he had walked.
As he made his way over to a picnic table beneath the shade of a tree he felt a little better. Not that he was any less confused but at least he no longer felt like he had to run from everything.
So Jared liked him more than just a friend. So what? It didn’t mean that they couldn’t be friends.
He sat down on the bench and leaned his back against the table. Maybe there was a way they could work around that because he really didn’t want to lose Jared again.
If he was going to be honest with himself, Jared wasn’t the only one who had suffered from a phantom ache, it was just that he hadn’t allowed himself to admit it. But it had hurt like hell when Jared first cut him out of his life and nothing could ever fill the hole that had been left behind. But it wasn’t until Jared had hugged him that he realised just how much he had missed him.
Just how much he had missed seeing him and talking to him and just being around him. He missed how they could just sit in silence in a room and be completely at ease. He missed watching late night movies with him and too early in the morning coffee. He missed taking the dogs for a walk together. He missed random phone calls and messages to pick up bread on the way home.
He just missed him in a way he never missed anyone else, including anyone he had ever been in a relationship with. Even Danneel and for a while there, they had been planning on getting married.
His mind flashed back to that morning and watching Jared and his boyfriend kissing and the feeling in the pit of his stomach. It hadn’t been because he was uncomfortable because he had caught Jared in a private moment at all. And if he was honest with himself it wasn’t the only time he had felt that way where Jared was concerned. Any time Jared paid more attention to someone other than him, the random hook-ups after he and Sandy split up and then the brief fling he had had with Gen, Jensen had always got that same ache in his stomach.
He had been jealous, was jealous.
How could he have not known? It was one thing not to realise that Jared felt something for him but why hadn’t he realised that he had felt something more for Jared? Wasn’t he supposed to know himself? Was he that far in denial?
Apparently the answer was yes.
“God damnit!” He groaned and dropped his head into his hands.
“You’re an asshole!”
The plan hadn’t been to slam Jared up against the wall the minute he opened the door for him but somehow that had happened. There had been a half baked plan to come back to Jared’s house and sit down and talk to him like a pair of adults and see where they went from there, if Jared opened the door for him.
But one look at Jared’s hang dog face and his body wound tight like he expected Jensen to hit him and he snapped.
Maybe he was an idiot but Jared was an asshole because he was the one that was supposed to be the more open of the two. He was the one that could have said something sooner, that could have saved them all the drama that they were now stuck in.
He watched Jared’s throat work as he swallowed hard, “Jensen...”
“Shut up.” He pressed himself up against him and tightened his hold on the ratty t-shirt that Jared had thrown on. “But I’m an idiot.”
“Why didn’t you say something?”
He blinked, obviously expecting something else. “I told you that I didn’t want to ruin our friendship.”
Jensen shook his head before gently pressing his lips against Jared’s.
He didn’t think that Jared realised when he curled his hands around his hips and pulled him tighter against his body.
“Three years Jared.” He muttered as he pulled back, “Three wasted years and now you’re seeing some guy.”
He could clearly make out Jared trying to catch up with what was going on and wanted to make it easier for him but wasn’t sure how considering that he was pretty sure he had just proven that finding out that Jared liked him didn’t upset him. In fact it caused the exact opposite effect.
“I’m not seeing anyone.” He finally muttered.
He knew what he had seen, what the neighbors on either side or across the street would have seen if any of them had been looking. “But that guy this morning.”
“Mark? It’s a casual thing.”
It felt like a weight was lifted from his shoulders, the guy or Mark, was the one stumbling block he couldn’t figure out a way to get over while he was driving back. There was no way that he would expect Jared to split up with him just for Jensen but on the other hand he wasn’t sure how they could possibly remain friends now that he knew how they both felt. But now that he knew the truth he was pretty sure that they would be okay.
“Good ‘cause it would have sucked ass to finally figure out that I feel the same way about you that you do me only to have to let you go.”
Jared’s mouth dropped open, “Jensen?”
“Jared you are not slow. I would think that kissing you would make it pretty obvious or do I have to proclaim my love on one knee for you to get it?”
His eyes brightened before suddenly dulling and he dropped his hands from his hips, “I can’t let you do this.”
His breath froze in his throat and his heart turned over, there was no way that Jared was going to deny him this, not when he finally realised that it was what he had been missing. Who he had been missing, “What?”
“Jensen I left because I didn’t want you to accidentally find out but also because you were getting married. I’m not going to be your little side thing and I’m not willing to share you with Danneel.”
Jensen’s heart thudded painfully in his chest as it stuttered back to life and a slightly hysterical laugh bubbled up. “Jared we didn’t get married. We talked about it being the logical step but we never followed through. We’re better friends than anything else and it wasn’t a good enough reason to get married.”
He felt fingers curl around his hips again, “I didn’t know that.”
He pressed himself bodily against him until there was no space between them. “Yeah, well I didn’t know a couple things myself.”
Jared smiled slyly, “Yeah, got that. Though looking back I’m not sure how you missed it. I hung off you Jensen. I would constantly chose spending time with you over even my own family or did you miss the fact that we spent New Years together every year and spent a majority of hiatus together every year and...?”
“Yeah, I get it. But you know, I could say the same about you.”
He shivered as Jared pulled his t-shirt out of his jeans and worked his fingers beneath the material to rub against the sensitive skin at his sides.
“In my defence I was busy trying to make sure I wasn’t too obvious.”
He let his own hands slide down Jared’s chest and around his waist until he could hook his thumbs into the waistband of his pajama bottoms at the small of his back. “Yeah well in my defence I just thought we were really good friends.”
“What friends spend so much time together that they are like a married couple?”
Jared chuckled, “You are an idiot.”
He shrugged, “Already admitted that.”
“So when did you figure it out?”
He didn’t have to watch Jared worry on his bottom lip to know what he was probably asking; he could feel him tensing up against him. “You mean how I felt about you?”
He nodded tightly.
“Jay I’m not saying it because of some misplaced guilt or because I miss you as a friend if that’s what you’re thinking.”
His eyes flickered away and Jensen had his confirmation. Apparently, being apart for three years hadn’t lessened his ability to read him.
“It was when I realised just how much I had missed you and it occurred to me that the feeling I got watching you kiss that guy this morning was the same feeling I got anytime you hooked up with someone in Vancouver.” He shrugged, “I was jealous and it wasn’t because someone else had your attention but because you were giving someone else your attention.”
“I’m not sure I’m following.”
“I wanted what they had Jared,” he admitted quietly. “I wanted you.”
He still didn’t look completely convinced, “Are you sure? I mean being gay in Hollywood kind of kills a career.”
“Jay, I already told you that there are very few, if any, roles for somebody who sounds like me. I mean come on, I know that sometimes it’s hard to make out what I’m saying and that isn’t a selling feature.”
“Jensen I’m sure...”
“Jared I don’t want to act anymore. I want to produce, it’s why I agreed to work with Kripke.” He tried to look as honest as possible. “I want to be with you.”
Whatever he was about to say looked like it was costing him something dear and his hands tightened to almost painful on his sides. “I’m not moving back to L.A.”
Jensen didn’t care. He didn’t care where they were so long as they were together. “I don’t know where Eric has planned to shoot the show but I doubt it’s in L.A. But I do remember enough to know that Eric wasn’t in Vancouver a lot with us so I doubt I’ll be gone for extremely long periods of time. If you want to stay in Texas then we’ll stay in Texas.”
“You can’t uproot your life...”
He brushed his lips against Jared’s to quiet him. “Look I get that it took me an insane amount of time to figure things out but I have and I’m not loosing you to logistics. It’s not like I’ve lived a sedimentary life Jay, if you want me here, if you want me, I won’t be losing anything by moving here.” He swallowed down the worry that this was going to blow up in his face, “I’d just be gaining.”
Jared relaxed against the wall, “I want.”
Jensen’s own body relaxed at the words, “I want too.”
“You’re the only person who didn’t drive me crazy that I’ve lived with.” He grinned, “If I’m going live with somebody I guess it should be somebody I don’t want to kill within a week.”
“Gee that makes me feel so much better.” He grumbled but the words held no heat as he stepped back. “But now that we have that settled, be a good boyfriend and come cuddle with me on the couch. It was a long and early flight and I need a nap.”
Jared laughed as he pressed himself up against his back and crab walked them down the hall. “Jensen Ackles likes to cuddle, I love it.”
“I also like sex but I figure we can get to that later.”
He groaned, “Don’t say shit like that and not follow through.”
Jensen waggled his eyebrows at him as he pulled him down to lay on the couch with him. He didn’t know exactly how this was going to work. Nor had he had a chance to tell Jared that he still owned the house in Vancouver, was renting it out and that Cliff was taking care of it for him. And that eventually he would like to move back there. But he figured that they could get to all the small details later, after a nap and sex and maybe another nap and a round or two more of sex.
After all, they did have a minimum of three years to make up for.