Title: I Don't Know, It's Kinda Crazy These Days pt.5
For complete list of Characters, Warnings, Spoilers, Disclaimer, Summary and Author's Notes please see Master Post
“Where the fuck are you?”
“Hello to you too Steve” Jensen grumbled as he made his way through the kitchen and out the back door. He walked into the, blessedly, empty yard and turned back to the house. He felt bad for feeling like he had to watch to make sure he would have his privacy but there it was.
“Listen asshole I flew up here to fucking Vancouver because you haven’t responded to one of my text messages. You haven’t called me back, even though I’ve left you at least seven messages. I’m standing out front of the studio here and they’re telling me you’re off due to a family emergency so where the fuck are you?”
He shut his eyes and rubbed a weary hand over his face. He hadn’t meant to ignore Steve but every time he remembered that he had to get into contact with him, something was going on and he promised himself that he would do it later. Obviously later never came.
“I’m in Texas.” He said softly.
“Texas. Texas?” Steve groaned, “Christ Jensen don’t tell me you’re with Jared.”
“How..?” He blinked, “How did you know about Jared?”
“It’s all over the net, idiot.” Steve sighed, “Sometimes it really is a good thing you’re so pretty.”
“Hey fuck you very much!” He grumbled indignantly.
He rolled his eyes, “Look I’m sorry you’re out there and I promise to make it up to you…”
“Just tell me you haven’t fucked him.”
“Pardon me?” He knew his voice was too high, that it was betraying him.
“Jensen.” He groaned, “God damnit. Jared does not need that shit right now.”
He walked farther into the yard, “For your information he initiated it.”
“Of course he did. He’s hurting and he needed to feel something other than pain. What’s your excuse?”
“I don’t need a goddamn excuse.” He growled, “I’m a fucking adult.”
“Are you?” Steve shot back, “Because you haven’t been acting like one recently.”
Jensen clenched his free hand and decided it was a good thing that Steve wasn’t in front of him because he would have ended doing something he would later regret.
“No I’ve kept my mouth shut long enough. You’re going to listen to me if I have to fly down there and tie you to a chair if that’s what it takes.”
He gritted his teeth and shook his head. The thing was he knew Steve would do it too and he really did not need that on top of everything else right now.
“Fine spit it out.” He growled, “But make it quick, Jared’s momma’s about to serve an early dinner and someone will come looking for me.”
Steve took a deep breath, “For starters you have gone about this all wrong…”
He could be talking about being there with Jared, sleeping with Jared or the way their relationship ended. With Steve you could never be too sure, he tended to jump topics like that when he was pissed enough.
“Gone about what all wrong?”
He snorted, “Everything. But let’s start with how you ended things with Jared.”
“He… cheated…on….me!” He snarled, no matter what was happening between him and Jared now, the truth was that it still hurt, it hurt bad enough that sometimes he wondered how he was still breathing in spite of the pain.
“Yeah I know.” Steve shot back. “But you could have at least let him tell you his side.”
“What side? He cheated…”
“On you, yes I know.” He cut him off, “But that doesn’t mean that he didn’t have a right to try to explain. Don’t you want to know what happened?”
Jensen’s first response was “no” but that was a lie. Of course he wanted to know. Call it being a glutton for punishment but he wanted to know what he had done so wrong that Jared had felt the need to go back to his ex for comfort.
“Jensen?” He prompted.
“Yes!” He hissed, “Yes I want to know but I’ll be damned if I’ll ask.”
“You never had to ask. He would have told you if you would have given him the opportunity.”
“How the fuck do you know?”
“Because I ran into Jared in Hawaii last week and he and I had a long talk.”
It felt like someone had punched him in the stomach. It wasn’t that he expected his friends to treat Jared like dirt but it would have been nice if they weren’t going out of their way to talk with him.
“What did he say?”
“Oh no” Steve muttered, “Not a chance. You want to know, let him tell you. All I’m saying is that I believe him.”
Jensen wanted to kick something, Steve was an excellent judge of character, at least most of the time and if he believed Jared then maybe, just maybe, there was something there that Jensen, in his hurt, had refused to acknowledge.
“And two don’t you think you’ve put that boy through enough already? What do you think he’s going to think about what’s going on between the two of you?”
He hadn’t really thought about it, if he was going to be truthful. It had felt good, touching Jared, hearing him beg, moan Jensen’s name, being buried in him. He had forced away all sexual thoughts after he cut all ties, about how they had always seemed to fit together, how he felt whole inside Jared, tried to forget but after the night before it had all come crashing back in. Steve was worried about how Jared was going to react but he wasn’t sure yet how he was going to react.
Steve sighed, “Look,” he said softly, “You’ve been miserable since your break up.”
“Really?” He grumbled sarcastically.
“But there’s something you’ve overlooked.” He continued, ignoring him. “Everyone deserves a second chance when they’ve truly fucked up by complete accident. You were the one that told me that.”
Jensen was pretty sure he heard a tooth crack as he ground them together. He should have known that Steve would bring that up, had probably been waiting for years to use that against him. “This is a totally different situation.”
“How?” He spluttered, “You’ve got to be kidding me!”
“Did you or did you not sleep with Chris after he and I got together?”
“I told you I didn’t know that…”
“And did you or did you not use that as your reason?”
He blew out a breath in frustration. “This is a totally different situation. You can’t tell me that Jared didn’t know he had asked me to marry him.”
“No you’re right,” he agreed but continued before Jensen could stop him. “But the point remains that you said that everyone deserves a second chance. And although I’m not sure I totally agree with that, I do agree that Jared deserves one.”
“Ask him his version of the events.” Steve pushed cryptically.
“Steve.” He growled.
“Jensen, some mistakes should be forgiven.” He pressed quietly, “Especially since I know you’ve been miserable since you walked away.”
“How in the hell am I supposed to trust him again?”
Steve chuckled, “The same way I learned to trust you and Chris again, with time.”
Jensen walked over to the fence and leaned against it. “Steve…”
“Do you love him?”
He rolled his eyes, “You know the answer to that.”
“Yes.” He grumbled, admitting something he had tried to pretend didn’t exist for months.
“Then just give him the chance to explain.” He advised low, “And think past your anger for once. It’s what I did.”
Jensen shut his eyes and bit back a sigh. “I’ll take it under advisement.”
He could hear the smile in his friend’s voice, “You do that.”
Yup, he was so screwed.
“Hey. Are you doing okay?”
Jared didn’t bother to turn at the sound of Jensen’s voice, just kept staring out the window of his old bedroom. He had known that he would come looking for him eventually and he appreciated the fact that he had given him the time he had to pull himself back together.
He had known that the funeral was going to be hell but he hadn’t expected to sit through it having to fight back the urge to jump up and scream “No! That’s not my sister. She’s not in that casket. Stop. God please stop!” But staring at the casket sitting in front of the altar the words just kept blaring in his mind and he knew if it hadn’t been for Jensen’s steadying hand on his thigh he would have. God help him he would have done it, made a scene of himself. But everything had seemed so surreal, sitting there, staring at the mahogany casket that held his baby sister while the priest and then friends and family had taken turns talking about her like she wasn’t even there.
But she wasn’t there, not anymore.
Being at the graveside had been easier. There had only been a handful of asinine words before he had to force a smile and act gracious as people expressed their sorrow, like they could even begin to understand. But at least his parents hadn’t expected him to stand there and watch them lower her into the ground. He wasn’t sure if Jensen had prearranged it with his folks or if he could just read Jared that well but with a gentle touch on the arm, he had led him back to the limo as the mourners started to disperse, to wait out that final act to seal this tragedy.
He pushed the thoughts away as his eyes started to burn yet again. He wasn’t going to start crying now, not when he had come up here to pull himself together in the first place.
“When Megan was seven I was pushing her on the tire swing.” He touched the glass as he stared down at the swing in question, moving slowly in the light breeze. “But I was being an ass, twisting it and not pushing it straight. Meg fell out and smacked her head very hard on the ground.” He felt Jensen lay his palm on the small of his back. “Mom damn near killed me for that.”
Jensen’s hand slid around until it was resting on his stomach and he tugged him back against him.
“It shouldn’t be like this Jen.” He whispered softly.
His fingers slid down the windowpane until they fell away, “It’s not fair.”
He grabbed his hand and twined their fingers together, “No. It’s not.”
Jared leaned into Jensen and let his quiet strength and the silence calm him. He knew he was too close to breaking down again and had no desire to do so when the main floor of the house was beginning to fill up with friends and family. He didn’t want anyone to look at him with more pity in their eyes then they already were.
At least they would be flying back to Vancouver in the morning. He wouldn’t have to feel uncomfortable or guilty when he, basically, lied to his parents and well meaning family members when they asked how he was doing and he told them he was okay. But his parents didn’t need to deal with his grief when they had their own and as much as he liked his relatives he wasn’t comfortable getting into an in-depth discussion with them about this.
Funny thing was, the only person he felt like he could let it all out in front of was Jensen and he would be losing that in a scant handful of hours. The thought left a bitter taste in his mouth and dulled the idea of his escape from well meaning family members but there was no way to change what was going to happen. Still before they fell back into a routine of ignore and evade, there was one last thing he needed to do and if that meant that Jensen started to distance himself now, instead of on the flight back, it was probably for the best.
“Thanks for this Jen.”
He felt Jensen stiffen behind him and sigh. “Jay…”
“I know you had every reason not to and I just wanted you to know that I appreciated that you did it anyway.”
Jensen pulled away and he instantly felt cold seep in to replace the warmth at his back. He shut his eyes, swallowed hard, and forced himself to continue. “I…I just wanted to be able to tell you that before things go back to how they were before.”
“Jared,” He said softly before he sighed. “Just…”
Jared was surprised to hear him sit on the bed but refused to turn around to ask him why he wasn’t leaving. Instead he opened his eyes and stared down at the tire swing once more.
“I didn’t want to do this now.” Jensen said “I would have preferred a better time to do this but…” He huffed out a breath, “There won’t ever be a good time for a discussion like this.”
He heard him shift on the bed and could imagine him leaning forward and felt the prickle of his stare on his back.
“Just tell me why.”
Jared didn’t need any clarification as to what Jensen was asking. And as much as he wanted to be ecstatic that he was finally, finally, getting a chance to explain, suddenly all his thoughts seemed to have abandoned him.
He shrugged before he hunched in on himself, “I could say it’s because I was drunk but that’s not a reason.” He laughed bitterly, “It’s not even a decent excuse.”
“Jared, look at me please. I can’t do this if you won’t even face me.”
Jensen was right, he deserved to be looked in the eye but it didn’t mean it was going to be easy. Clenching his jaw, he slowly turned and leaned back against the window.
“There are things I should have told you from the beginning.” He forced a half hearted, apologetic smile. “By the time Sandy and I called it quits things were shit between us.” He shook his head, “Actually they were worse than that. I…uh…I walked in on her in bed with a mutual friend of ours. That was the end.”
He couldn’t help but feel embarrassed at his own stupidity at the time and crossed and uncrossed his arms over his chest before settling with his hands clenched at his sides.
“People had been dropping hints for awhile, trying to tell me that she had been screwing around. And I’ve always known that she was after someone successful, someone who could take care of her. I was, well maybe not at the beginning but later, her fall back plan. If she couldn’t find someone better there was always me.”
“Jared no one has a right to treat you like that.”
He nodded, “Knowing and doing something about it are two different things. And I loved her and my family loved her and I kept hoping that eventually she’d remember that she used to love me too.”
Slowly he pushed off the window and moved to settle on the bed a short distance away from Jensen.
“Anyway there’s a lot shit that went down between us and I was feeling pretty insecure about myself when you and I started dating.”
“That doesn’t explain why you…why what happened happened.”
He sighed and could feel his face begin to heat but pushed past the embarrassment. “One of Sandy’s favourite insults to throw at me when I would confront her about the rumours and her attitude was that I should be happy that anyone would want anything to do with me. That I was just some big dumb guy that didn’t even know how to treat a person right.”
“You’re gorgeous Jen. You’re smart and funny and caring. And I knew you deserved better than me but you seemed genuinely interested in me, so I pushed away all my fears and accepted that things would happen as they should. And to do that I had to keep my mouth shut about you spending time with Chris.”
Out of the corner of his eye he saw the exasperation on Jensen’s face before he shook his head. “No, what you should have done was tell me all this.”
He twisted his fingers in his lap, “I didn’t want to seem like an insecure or insanely jealous prick.”
He sighed in obvious frustration but Jared continued on before he could say anything. “Yes it was bothering me that you were spending the weekend with Chris and Steve, even though I knew that nothing would happen. And I never should have went out with Chad after you called that night to tell me that things were to the point that the only way they would speak to each other was through you because it just set me on edge. Combine obscene amounts of alcohol with my pathetic insecurities and mix in whatever Sandy said to me that night that pushed my buttons and here we are.”
Jared forced himself to turn and meet Jensen’s gaze, “But I really don’t remember what was said or leaving the bar and I swear to Christ I do not remember bringing her home that night.”
Jensen nodded slowly, “Okay.” He was looked away towards the far wall. “Okay.”
He wasn’t sure what that meant only that it wouldn’t change anything, not really but he still had to try.
“Jen, I know…I mean…” He blew out a breath surprised that this was the hardest part. “Look I just hope that maybe when we get back we could try being friends again. I mean, I know that you’ve got Justin and that it’ll take a long time but I’d like it if occasionally we could hang out again.”
He went completely still before he turned his head, “What?”
“I miss you Jen.” He wanted to reach out and touch him but he didn’t dare. Jensen might still be sitting there and not yelling at him, like everyone else had done but that didn’t mean he wasn’t walking on extremely thin ice. “You were my best friend.”
He shook his head, “No, not that. I meant about Justin.”
Jared frowned, “I saw you guys in L.A. and Tom said you used to be together. And I’ve heard that you’ve been spending time with him.” He shrugged and forced the words past the lump in his throat, “It’s…well you really don’t need my permission anyway but…it’s okay that you’ve found him…again.”
It wasn’t, it really, really, wasn’t but this was the one time that it didn’t bother him that he was lying to Jensen. If he couldn’t have him back then he would take what he could get and if that meant watching him together with Justin then he would find a way to deal with it, even if he slowly bled to death because of it.
“Jared I’m not…I mean Justin and I once but not now.” Jensen sighed, “Tom’s got a big mouth and a fantastic imagination.”
“So you two are not…?”
“No. I’ve hung out with him a couple times but I’m not involved with him.”
Suddenly Jensen stood and made a slow circuit of the room. “Jay I can’t say that I really trust you right now but I believe you. And…” He stilled in front of him and caught his gaze. “Beyond the fact that I no longer see Justin as anything other than a friend, I wouldn’t because…because I’m still in love with you.”
Jared’s heart turned over painfully in his chest before it started to pound. “But all this time it’s been like you didn’t even care.”
He ran a hand through his hair, “I’ve handled this wrong.” He flashed a weak smile, “Been a real bastard actually.”
All that time, Jensen had simply been hiding behind his walls. Jared should have known that. He knew that he had walls, had run head first into them when they first started working together. Hell, the morning everything had gone to hell he had known then that Jensen would be building them back up, to protect himself, to hide behind. All this time he let himself be fooled into believing that he really never cared, when in fact he still loved him. He wasn’t sure if that made him feel better or worse.
Carefully he sat back down beside him, their hips and thighs touching but kept looking straight ahead. “I miss you too Jay.” He snorted softly, “I miss the dogs under my feet when we get home. I miss their obnoxious dog breath in my face when I’m trying to grab five extra minutes sleep. I miss the cup of coffee sitting on the bathroom vanity when I get out of the shower. I miss the quiet times and the busy times, the laughter…” He slowly tapered off.
“Come home Jen.” His eyes widened, he hadn’t actually been thinking about saying that, at least not consciously, but in for a penny, in for a pound. “Please. You love me and I know I’m in love with you. Please. Just…please.”
Jensen took a deep breath and let it out slowly, “This isn’t fixed. Not by a long shot.”
He forced himself to remain seated and still, ignored the pounding in his heart, the hope fluttering in his stomach. “I know. But if you give me a chance, we can fix it. I know we can.”
He turned to look at him, his gaze hooded, “I don’t know if it can be fixed Jared.”
“We won’t know if we don’t try.”
He chewed on his bottom lip, “If anything remotely like this happens again there won’t be another chance.”
“I wouldn’t expect one.”
Gingerly he reached out and twisted their fingers together, “Please come home.” He whispered.
He tugged him closer by their entwined fingers, his lips moving against Jared’s, “Okay.”