Title: Break Me Apart to Fix the Shattered Pieces of Your Soul part 6
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While the fingers of one hand were idly stroking the cool skin of Jared’s hand, Jensen stared out into the dark night framed by the window.
“Do you have any idea what you did to my son by needing a fucking cup of coffee?”
He knew the guard would come grovelling at the first opportunity and he had intended to keep his cool but one look at the man’s hand dog expression and Jensen had lost it. The fact that he only had him by the shirt and had him shoved up against the wall instead of smashing his fist into his face, repeatedly, like he really wanted to do, Jensen figured had to be counted for a win.
At least he had had the smarts to wait for Aden to leave before he had come begging for forgiveness, begging that Jensen didn’t go to the administration and demand that the guard lose his job.
“I’m sorry Mr. Ackles.” His Adam’s apple bobbed as he swallowed heavily. “If I had even expected that something like this would have happened…”
Jensen sneered, “You fucked up.” He pulled him away from the wall and slammed him back into it to punctuate his sentence.
“I know, I know.” He muttered and his hands twitched at his sides but he didn’t lift them to try to push Jensen away, just stood there with his eyes large and pleading. “I’m sorry, so, so sorry.”
He might not have been quite as tall as Jensen but he was built like a little brick shit house and could have done more than just pushed Jensen away. He could have thrown him across the room without breaking a sweat and kept him on the floor with one hand but he just stood there taking it.
It was what broke through Jensen’s haze of anger.
Jensen probably could have hit him a couple times and he probably would have just stood there and took it as his punishment but as much as Jensen wanted to do it, he couldn’t. It wouldn’t solve anything, Aden would still have gotten into the room, still had seen Jared laying there practically lifeless and nothing Jensen could do to the man would change that.
Taking a deep breath, he stepped back from the guard, “I don’t care what bullshit you have to tell your boss but I want you gone.” He hissed, “Tell them you have stomach flu and can’t be too far from the can. Make up some bullshit story about me, I don’t give a flying fuck so long as you’re gone.”
“Mr. Ackles,” He raised a hand beseechingly, “You need a guard at the door. The hospital administration wants…”
It wasn’t something he thought about, just one minute he was glaring at the guard and the next he had him by one arm and was fumbling with opening the door with the other. “Find someone else.” He snarled as he finally managed to rip open the door, “Or I will be the one contacting the administration. Got me?”
The guard was nodding while he back-pedalled out of the room, “Yes sir. Thank you sir. I…”
Jensen didn’t care to know what else he could possibly say, slamming the door on his stammering face and leaning against it.
He had almost changed his mind while leaning against the door, body shaking with adrenaline and breath coming in harsh pants. He had really wanted to beat the man senseless but thinking of Jared laying in the bed behind him had held him back. If he had, no matter how deserving the asshole had been, the hospital probably would have kicked him out and he couldn’t abandon Jared like that. Plus, there was Aden to think about, Aden knew how bad it was now, had seen and Jensen couldn’t risk being thrown into jail for assault and leaving Aden without both his fathers, he just couldn’t.
Finally when he was certain his legs could hold him long enough, he had crossed the room and taken up his usual position on the chair beside Jared. He hadn’t had the energy to speak, didn’t want to speak, he only wanted to feel Jared beside him and try to take solace in the fact that he was still alive. Take solace in the fact that, at least, Aden knew that.
But tonight had almost been as hard as the night the hospital had called and torn apart his life. It may not have been a perfect life and he hadn’t been able to truly see what he had but it had been his life.
Now, it looked like maybe he was going to be able to mend some of the damage he had done to Aden in his blind anger at Jared and he was happy for that. But he just couldn’t find it in himself to forgive his mother in law for going behind his back and bringing Aden to the hospital in the first place even if it was the catalyst that helped him to start to heal his relationship with his son.
Not even when Jeff had come in to take Aden home and had given Aden over to Mike to watch so that he could try to explain why she had done it could Jensen accept it.
Not that he didn’t understand, he got that Sherri’s father had suffered a massive stroke when she had been close to Aden’s age and no one had given her the opportunity to say goodbye and it still hurt her. He could even grudgingly understand that she had only done what she thought was right by giving Aden that opportunity but it wasn’t her place to make that decision. She had no right to take away Jensen’s rights as Aden’s father and replace his will with her own.
He damn well knew she wouldn’t have accepted it if he had done it to her so how could she have even thought that he would just let it go for her? Because she was Jared’s mom? Because up until that point they had gotten along so well? Well he was sorry but that just wasn’t going to cut it and right then, he didn’t know if he could ever forgive her for doing this.
Not that he had any intention of cutting her off from the family. She was still Jared’s mother and Aden’s grandmother but things between the two of them would never be the same again. It hurt to come to that realization but he could do nothing to change what was.
“Jay,” he started low and turned to stare at Jared’s pale face. “Your mom brought Aden today but you know that right? You heard the commotion I’m sure.”
He didn’t know that, not really, but he had to believe that Jared could hear him, that Jared was still in there to be able to. “I’m sorry I couldn’t stop him from seeing you like this. I tried to, I swear.”
His eyes were drawn to the window again, he worked his fingers between Jared’s and squeezed. “Jay? I, uh, I need to apologize for something else too.” He turned back and smiled weakly, “I wanted to wait for you to wake up but I guess your impatience has worn off on me ‘cause I don’t think I can anymore.”
Jensen chewed on his lip before sighing, “I was wrong Jay and I was selfish. I should have been more understanding when you said that you needed to stick around the lot and help out. It’s just who you are and it’s one of the things I love about you, that you want to help people. I should have also been a little more understanding about you accepting the parts you did even if they took you away from us. Logically I knew that it was because it was what was out there at the time and I know you weren’t doing it just to get away from us. I’m sorry I ever said or felt otherwise.”
Glancing back down he squeezed Jared’s fingers between his, “I can’t promise that I won’t bitch about it now and then but I do promise to try and be better and you are welcome to smack the back of my head when I get to be too much.” He tried to smile but it was shaky and it actually hurt to try to maintain it. “But you gotta come back to me to be able to do that. So if you could…” his voice choked off and he had to clear his throat before he could continue. “It’s time to wake up Jay. Please.”
There was no reaction from Jared, no suddenly sitting up and demanding to know what had happened, where he was or where Aden was. And although, Jensen hadn’t really been expecting anything different, apparently somewhere deep down, a part of him had been desperately hoping for it because when he didn’t get a reaction, another piece of him broke.
It hadn’t been very long since Jensen had cried himself asleep with his forehead pressed against Jared’s forearm and Jared had cried uselessly along with him. But it had to have been at least an hour since Jensen’s soft sobs had tapered off into congested snores, leaving Jared with nothing else to do but watch over him.
What Jensen had said had meant a lot to him but it didn’t lessen any of his own guilt. It would be laughable if it wasn’t so pathetic that they had come to this. Once upon a time they could talk about anything, fears, dreams, plans and they were basically on the same page. Then suddenly that stopped. But that wasn’t entirely the truth; it wasn’t that they weren’t on the same page but that they had stopped listening to the other. They were too focused on their own hurts to even try to understand what the other was feeling.
And now it might be too late to fix that.
Sure Jared felt bad and he had his own laundry list to apologize for and Jensen seemed to realize that he wasn’t just the innocent victim in the mess their lives had turned into but there was nothing he could do like this. He could talk, he could hear, he could feel and he could see Jensen but it was like banging on a one-way mirror in a soundproof room.
“Please God,” he prayed softly as his hand hovered a hair’s breath from the back of Jensen’s neck. “I don’t know if this is happening because I kept feeling like Jensen wasn’t hearing me and I was supposed to learn what it was like to really not be heard. Or if this was some sort of punishment for us because we didn’t see how lucky we really were but I’d like, no I need to fix this. I need to tell him I’m sorry too and if,” he paused and shut his eyes, trying to will the strength to finish the thought. “If this is it. If I’m going to die then just give me the time to say that to him.”
His eyes flickered open and he snatched his hand back, the temptation to try to touch almost too strong to bear. “Please.”
“Me and the family immigrated from Poland in 1926.”
Jared’s head whipped around and he felt embarrassment flash through him for a second before reality crashed back in and the fact that no one could hear him or see him reasserted itself. The old man who had somehow managed to sneak into his room wasn’t any wiser to him then anyone else so he had on fear that he had been overheard begging God for even just a second more of life.
But it did little to ease him because there was a hunched over old man in his room and Jensen was asleep and vulnerable. And clearly the old guy was suffering from Alzheimer’s or got confused easy or something because he was in Jared’s room for no good reason, talking to Jensen like they were old friends and didn’t seem to realize that Jensen was asleep and there wasn’t a goddamned thing Jared could do about it.
“Jen,” he glanced back to his sleeping husband before turning a leery eye on the old man shuffling closer. “Jensen wake up.”
He didn’t care if the guy wanted to poke at him, hell he could pull a knife and stab him for all he cared but he needed to stay away from Jensen.
“Life was good here in America for awhile. We started small with a little chunk of dust bowl land and a couple scrawny trees. We bought an equally scrawny cow and a couple of sheep and it took a couple of years but things got good for us.”
Jared turned bodily to put himself between the old man and Jensen and clenched his hands into fists at his sides. If the guy made a move towards Jensen then Jared would grit his teeth and force himself to let him pass through him. He didn’t want to, he really did not want to let that happen but the guy said something about immigrating in 1926 so he had to be old, really old, so maybe having to go through Jared would short circuit his heart. It was a terrible thing to think and Jared was basing it on all the crazy mythology that Kripke and co had dug up during their Supernatural days. But maybe, just maybe, if Jared focused his will, even if he couldn’t stop the guy from moving through him, he could at least fuck with his nervous system enough to make him drop.
“Then came the thirties.”
The old man seemed to content to stop at the foot of the bed and stare down at Jared’s body. It didn’t stop the tension coursing through Jared but it did ease enough that he didn’t feel like he was about to have a heart attack of his own.
“You kids call it the dirty thirties.” He paused and a thin smile twisted his lips, “You don’t know how dirty it got. We lost almost everything back then and I had to leave the missus to fend for herself and the children while I went in search of work.”
His gnarled fingers twisted around the railing at the foot of the bed and the man hung his head, his white hair catching and gleaming in the low light from the lamp over Jared’s bed. “The missus said she understood but I knew she wasn’t happy. When I managed to pick up work for more than a couple weeks, I would write and she’d write back.”
Where in the hell was the guard that was supposed to be at his door? Had the original never gotten a replacement for himself? Or had maybe the head security guard had decided it wasn’t worth the effort to send a new one up because of whatever the guy had told him as he reason for Jensen not wanting him. Jared snorted in self-depreciation, only a day before he had thought needing a guard at his door was a complete waste of time and money but now he wanted almost nothing more. Christ.
He chanced a glance at the closed door, if not the guard, where were the nurses or this man’s family? Surely someone had to have noticed he was missing by now.
Jared felt his breath catch in his throat, the clothes hanging off the old man’s frame were well worn and dark in patches from dirt and probably sweat and were definitely not hospital issued. His heart froze in his chest; this man had wandered in off the street and had somehow managed to make his way up five floors without being stopped. No one knew he was there because he shouldn’t be there.
“Jensen you really need to wake up.” Jared yelled but didn’t dare turn and take his eyes off the man at the foot of the bed. He wanted to kick, to scream, to punch but all he could do was stand there like a statue and hope that the night nurse would be in soon.
“Every letter I could tell that she was getting more and more fed up with me being gone and her stuck trying to keep that original little piece of dust bowl and our five children going all on her own.”
Jared caught the twisting of his lips again as the man shook his head before he huffed out a breath. “I tried to explain that we needed the income and I would be home as soon as I could but I was angry too. Thought maybe she didn’t understand how I didn’t want to be away from my family. How I didn’t want to be working odd jobs so far away from home just to try an’ keep food on the table for ‘em. I thought she was being selfish, I thought she didn’t care ‘bout my feelings.”
His fingers tightened on the rail until the bone shone white through the thin skin. “I kept telling myself that we’d work it out once things got better and I could come home to stay. Some government people say that the depression ended in ‘36 but not really, not for my family and so many others. But by the time WW2 started in ’39 I figured it was time to go home for good, things were starting to get better back home and my two oldest boys had signed up to go off to war if it ever came to the States. I arrived back at our little dust bowl in May of ’39 to find out that Fela had gotten sick that February and passed.”
Jared felt something cold slither down his back. The stories were far from the same but there were striking similarities that scared the shit out of him. “Just a coincidence.” He murmured, “Just a coincidence.”
That’s all it could be. Just some weird ass coincidence that this crazy old man had managed to wander into his room with a story that Jared could have drawn connections from. Kripke would have loved it, he probably would have had spasms of joy over the idea and would have written a season cliffhanger out of it, drawing on Winchester family mythology and a curse of some kind. But that wasn’t real and it wasn’t now. Definitely not now.
“I never forgave myself for not getting back to her. For not trying to explain better why we had to live the way we were. For not saying I was sorry for not trying to at least soothe her fears and worries.”
Jared’s stomach rolled over and he briefly wondered if he could get sick in his spirit form or soul form or whatever the hell he was, because he was pretty sure he was going to. If the man decided to go for Jensen now, Jared wasn’t sure he would be able to pull his energy together enough to even manage to make a cold spot to slow the guy, his thoughts were so scattered as his brain kept trying to shy away from his words. From the similarities and the sinking sensation trying to pull him down.
“Just a coincidence. Just a coincidence.”
The old man turned and Jared would have sworn he was looking right at him but it was hard to tell because suddenly he had to squint against the bright white light framing the man. His first thought was that it was headlights, but that wasn’t possible, there were five floors between his window and the ground. Maybe it was a spotlight from a helicopter? Now that he was thinking about it, he could hear a motor and the sound was gradually getting louder, maybe it was one of the police helicopters chasing someone in the parking lot?
“You can’t live like that wnuk. You’ve got to keep the air clean lest you go to your grave regretting.”
Jared was sure that he had meant to yell it but it had come out like a strangled whisper that he could barely hear over the noise of the helicopter. Because it had to be a helicopter and yet, it wasn’t the whirring of helicopter blades he could hear, but a motor, a car or maybe a truck motor. What the hell?
And then suddenly the sound of a car horn was added to the mix and it was too close to be real. But Jared couldn’t deny that the sound was making his ears ring and he couldn’t make his mind come up with a rational explanation as to why it sounded like it was just outside of his room and getting closer.
The old man lifted his hand, his reach not long enough to touch Jared but he patted the air between them as if trying to soothe him. Jared got one last look at his face, his eyes stern but understanding before he was engulfed in the light coming from the window and slowly encompassing the whole room. Only it wasn’t coming from the window because Jared caught one last look of night dark sky before the window, the wall, everything around him evaporated in the light.
“You and him, you figured out your mistakes in time, now make it better wnuk.”
Jared took a step and then another towards where he was sure the foot of the bed should be, trying to find the old man in the light. “Wait! You can see me! Please, you can see me right? Am I? Am I dead?”
The piercing noise of the horn sliced through his head, leaving an almost unbearable ache behind it and the ringing in his ears blocked out even the sound of his pounding heart. The light was too bright for him to keep his eyes open and he reached out one hand to slice through the air trying to touch the old man.
“Clear the air wnuk, Jared.”
Jared tried to open his eyes and keep reaching for the man but he stumbled forward and landed on his knees, his hands clutching the sides of his head, the pain too intense to do anything but gasp for breath.
Vaguely he registered the noise of tires screeching and brakes squealing. It sounded like an accident happening right there in the room with them but that couldn’t be, it wasn’t possible.
But before he could try to figure it out, or even lift his head and force his eyes open, the sound of metal smashing into metal echoed through the room and blackness swept him away.
This couldn’t be happening; he was having an extremely vivid nightmare because this just could not be happening.
Jensen could remember leaning over the side of Jared’s bed with his forehead pressed against Jared’s bare arm, sobbing like a baby. At some point he must have fallen asleep because the next thing he knew, one of the machines attached to Jared was screeching out an alarm, the noise tearing through his own body making his heart race and his body seize with fear.
Then there were nurses, so many nurses and a guy, an orderly, Jensen guessed, bigger and burlier than the security guard that Jensen had considered beating, swarming the room. And while the nurses yelled back and forth between each other, the orderly had physically dragged him from the chair and pushed him out of the room, to the chorus of “flat lined” and “code blue”.
He had fought to get back into the room, fought to get to Jared because Jensen may not know much about what had been going on with Jared or his coma or his prognosis but he knew what those words meant and he couldn’t just be a good little boy and wait for someone to come and tear his world apart. But trying to get past the damn orderly was impossible, he just kept grabbing Jensen and pushing him back and out of the way as nurses rushed in and out of the room and someone yelled “out of the way, crash cart.” and a man in a white lab cart ran in with, for lack of a better word, a metal cart with another machine on it that had paddles and Jensen damn well knew what that one was for.
“Please.” He begged, breath coming in short pants that cut as they went in. “I need to be there. Jared can’t…he’ll stay if he knows I want him there. Please.”
“You need to stay out of the way.” The orderly shook his head, “Need to stay out of the room.”
Jensen had shifted to lung at the man, he would be in Jared’s room and damned if this guy, or anyone else would stop him, when someone touched his arm lightly. Just a brush of fingers that was there and then gone but it ground him to the spot better than the orderly’s hands on his arms had.
He turned his head to see another nurse staring back at him, her brown eyes understanding but not pitying.
“Mr. Ackles, come with me.”
He had shaken his head so violently that he had to shot out an arm and use a hand against the wall to steady himself. “No. I need to be here…”
“No.” She touched his arm again but this time her small fingers curled into the muscle. “You need to come with me and try to settle down a little before someone gets it into their head that you need to be sedated for your own safety.”
That was how he had found himself in the little family waiting room with her sitting beside him, silently watching him, waiting to see what he would do.
He couldn’t blame her, when he had first stumbled into the room, he had yelled and cursed and threatened both her, those working in Jared’s room and the hospital. She had taken it all in stride, as if that kind of behaviour was nothing new to her and simply led him to a chair and forced him to sit. Talking to him calmly, telling him to concentrate on his breathing before he passed out and he didn’t want that did he? He wanted to be aware for when the doctor came to let him back into Jared’s room.
Jensen had taken that little bit of hope that things would be okay and clung to it. But after what felt like hours sitting there with the lumpy padding of the chair pressing uncomfortably into his back, the hope was starting to wane.
It couldn’t be a good sign that it had been so long. But this wasn’t right; it wasn’t fair. Jared had survived the accident, survived emergency surgery, survived his injuries and brain swelling only to die now. How could that be? How was that right? What could possibly have gone wrong? The doctor had said that Jared could be in a coma for years, maybe but he said nothing about Jared dying. Why didn’t he warn Jensen? Didn’t he think that Jensen needed to know this? Didn’t he think that Jensen could handle it?
The electrical hum of the clock on the wall behind his head and the solid presence of the nurse beside him conspired against Jensen’s fervent wish that this was only a nightmare. This really was happening and Jared was dying or was already dead and Jensen would never see him again. Wouldn’t see him smile or walk or talk or be pissed off at Jensen. Wouldn’t hear him laugh or yell or growl or…anything. Jared had left, left Jensen behind to pick up the pieces and try to muddle through without him. Try to keep things together for himself and Aden.
Christ what was he going to tell Aden? What could he tell him?
Jensen’s heart was racing painfully in his chest and he was having problems getting enough air in again. He was having a heart attack, he knew he was having a heart attack and the only thing he could think of was that he couldn’t remember who Jared and him had agreed to raise Aden if something happen to them.
Oh God, oh God, oh God!
Forcing his head up, Jensen blinked past the haze blurring his vision to stare at the guy who had pushed the crash cart past him into Jared’s room. A realization clicked into place, the guy was a doctor, apparently the one on duty, whose job it was to answer the page when an emergency popped up. It was also going to be his duty to shatter Jensen’s life.
He felt the nurse stand and she crossed his vision as she left the room but he couldn’t focus on her, his attention riveted on the young doctor slowly moving forward.
He didn’t look very old, probably only a few years since he had become a doctor and briefly Jensen felt bad for him. This wasn’t why he had gone to medical school, Jensen was sure. But then police officers didn’t become cops to have to tell families when something bad happened to someone they loved either and yet it was a part of the job.
“Mr. Padalecki’s heart stopped.”
Jensen knew that, there was no other reason for what had been happening but to have it put so bluntly froze his insides.
Jared was gone and, this time, there was no chance he was coming back.
There was pressure building in the back of his head and the urge to scream ripped through him. But when he opened his mouth only a whisper came out, “No.”
The doctor’s eyes widened when it seemed to occur to him that he wasn’t saying things correctly. “The good news is that we got it going again. He’s alive Mr. Ackles. And…” He smiled, “he’s awake and aware.”
Everything in Jensen stopped. Jared was alive. Jared was alive and awake and he was aware. And Jensen? Jensen was sitting in the waiting room like an idiot just staring at the doctor.
He pushed up from the chair and sprinted from the room, registering the doctor calling from behind him.
“He won’t settle until he gets to see you but we need to run tests so you have to convince him to let us do that.”
Jensen didn’t care what the doctor did or didn’t want him to do; all he cared about was getting to Jared.
The only thing he noticed as he pushed into the room was that someone had raised the head of Jared’s bed and he was leaning against the back of it, half reclined and staring right back at Jensen, smiling.
“Jay.” He breathed and crossed the room in three quick strides, only vaguely registering when a nurse moved out of his way.
“Jensen.” Jared’s voice was whisper soft and he grimaced.
“Water.” Jensen looked towards the nightstand by the bed and not seeing a pitcher or even a glass he turned to one of the two nurses still in the room. “Can I get some water for Jared please.”
The one nurse standing at Jared’s other side, gently set his arm back on the bed and released his wrist. “Ice chips.” She nodded and turned away, “I’ll get him ice chips.”
“Don’t need it.” Jared whispered and closed his hand around Jensen’s wrist tugging until Jensen had no choice but to lean forward and press their lips together. “Just you.”
Jensen didn’t know what to do. He wanted to laugh and cry and kiss Jared until neither of them could breathe. But he also wanted to punch him or yell and give Jared shit for scaring the hell out of him. In the end he settled for just pulling back far enough so that they could see each other clearly and stared.
“I’m okay.” Jared smiled and lifted their entwined fingers to Jensen’s face so that he could gently rub against the dark circle under Jensen’s left eye. “But you look like shit.”
The laugh that tore from Jensen’s throat was almost a sob, “You won’t be winning any heartthrob awards for awhile either.”
He grinned, his dimples flashing before he grew serious. “They said I was in an accident and a coma for three days. I don’t remember the accident.”
“Doesn’t matter.” Jensen rushed to assure him. “You’re awake and you’re going to be okay. That’s what matters.”
Jared shook his head a couple times before settling back against the pillow, “I’m sorry for scaring you.” His eyes widened, “Aden…”
He squeezed his fingers tighter around Jared’s, “It’ll be okay. You’re parents and Jeff are here. He’s with them.”
There was so much he could tell Jared, so much he was going to have to tell Jared. But for now his mother going against Jensen’s wishes and bringing Aden to the hospital, their friend’s sick with worry, their families, Jensen’s need to apologize, none of that mattered. Like he had already told Jared, all that mattered was that he was awake and everything else could wait.
Something dark flashed in Jared’s eyes but before Jensen could even process it, it was gone. “Jensen…” It started out like he was going to sigh but it ended in a yawn. “How can I be tired?”
“Been a long couple of days, even for you.” Jensen used his free hand to brush a lock out Jared’s overlong bangs out of his face. Using the moment to reassure himself that Jared was really there and responsive to him. If Jared needed to sleep then Jensen would let him even if the thought left the sour taste of fear in the back of his throat. It was just to sleep, Jared wasn’t going to suddenly slip back into his coma, Jensen just had to keep telling himself that.
“Don’t want to sleep.” He muttered through another yawn, “Gotta talk to you. Tell you I’m sorry, make you understand.”
Jensen shook his head, not quite sure what Jared thought he needed to apologize for and not really caring to go into it now. He wasn’t doing this, whatever it was with witnesses and he knew there was still a nurse hovering behind him.
“Later.” He pressed his lips against Jared’s and his heart skipped a beat to feel Jared’s lips press back. “We’ve got time.”
Jared was scowling lightly when Jensen pulled back, “No. It’s important…”
“Mr. Padalecki,” The doctor was back, standing near the door. “I’m sorry but I told you that we have tests that need to be run and it really shouldn’t be put off any longer.”
“Just a minute.” He growled and looked back at Jensen. “I need to tell you…”
Jensen squeezed their fingers together again and smiled as reassuringly as he could. Hell he didn’t want to let go of Jared, what he really wanted to do was curl up on the bed beside him, lay his head on his chest and listen to his heartbeat and the echo of his words while Jared talked but he knew he had pushed his luck where the hospital staff was concerned already.
“Let them do this.” He coxed and forced his smile a little bigger on his face. “I need to go call Aden.”
Jared studied his face for a second before he squeezed back. “I’d rather stay here with you but, you’re right Aden needs to be told.”
He nodded and if it was a little hesitant, well nobody needed to know but him. “And you need to let the doctors poke at you a little more.”
It took all his will to lean down, press a kiss to Jared’s lips before pulling away and untangling their fingers. “I love you.” He made himself smile again and back away from the bed forcing his body to follow his head instead of his heart.
“I love you too.” Jared swore and tracked him as Jensen stilled at the door.
“I’ll be back before you know it.”
Jared laid his left hand across his heart, “And I’ll be here, wide awake and waiting for you.”Epilogue