Title: That Complication Relation Sensation pt. 5
Please see Master Post
for fic details.
“What the hell Jensen!” Steve hissed low as he pulled him by the arm towards the stairwell at the far end of the hall, away from the low hum of students still standing around in confusion.
“Did you know?” He growled back.
He wanted to yell it, he wanted to scream at the top of his lungs but he knew he had gotten off lightly and if he was really lucky there wouldn’t be any questioning phone calls to his parents. If his father got wind of his blow up there would be no living with him and that was one of the only things he would be allowed to do, home and school. There would be no way in hell he would be allowed to do anything to jeopardize his chances at college.
“Know what?” He demanded as he dragged him down the stairs and down another corridor towards a quieter comer of the school that housed the art, photography and graphics classes. They weren’t mandatory classes and therefore fewer students hung around that area.
“About Jared breaking up with me” He barely got the words out past the lump in his throat and he clenched his jaw to stop the sob that wanted to escape. He had wanted Jared to deny that he had walked away from him, left him without bothering to make mention of it, tell him that he was the one being paranoid and insecure. Not just stand there and agree with what Kerr had told him, not just let him go.
Steve skidded to a stop and faced him, “What? When the hell did this happen?”
He shook his head, “From what I understand, some time earlier this week.”
“What do you mean from what you understand?”
Jensen shook off Steve’s hand and crossed the hall to lean against the wall. In truth he wanted to slide down it and curl up into a tight ball until the pain in his chest faded and his stomach stopped turning but he figured if he did, he wouldn’t be moving for a very long time. Instead, he crossed his arms over his chest, trying to hold himself together.
Damn Jared for doing this to him and damn himself for admitting, a couple years ago, that he loved him. If he would have just kept his mouth shut, if Jared had never said it first maybe everything wouldn’t hurt so bad right now. Sometimes denial wasn’t such a bad thing.
He sighed and tucked his chin against his chest, “I took a break from working on the stats piece with Kerr last night and we went to Krip’s to grab a bite to eat. Jared ended up coming in to meet his date, Justin Hartley.”
Steve’s feet appeared in his field of vision for a moment before disappearing and he felt his shoulder knock against his own. He expected him to say something, anything but he remained silent and for once, his patience grated on Jensen’s nerves. If he had been more like Chris, he would have blown up by now and Jensen would have to be trying to calm him down enough not to worry about him running off to do something stupid. Then he wouldn’t have to explain any of this right now. Then he would be allowed breaks in between having to deal with this. But Steve wasn’t like that, he never would be.
“Long story short, Kerr told me that he had heard that we had broken up. And Jared had been avoiding me this week.” He had thought it was because Jared had been feeling bad about the way he had treated Jensen when they had been together the Sunday before, now he knew the truth. The spineless bastard just couldn’t face him and tell him they were over.
“Jen you know better than to listen to gossip.” Steve started, his voice sounding disappointed.
“I was in the library in the reference section last class and a couple girls didn’t know I was there, they were on the other side of a set of shelves. They were talking about Jared splitting up with me because I was fucking around with Kerr.” He continued, ignoring Steve. He was only going over this once and if Steve missed something then that was his problem and it was going to be a problem because he was the one that was going to have to explain it to Chris. “And that pretty much brings you up to speed. I confronted Jared and yeah, we’re over.”
Steve shifted and slid down the wall to sit on the floor at his feet, dropping his books beside him.
Jensen’s legs couldn’t hold his weight any longer but it didn’t matter so much to his ego anymore. Steve had sat first so it didn’t make him look weak; in fact it made him seem like a considerate friend, lowering himself so that Steve didn’t have to strain his neck to look up at him. He ignored the fact that pulling his legs up to his chest and hugging his arms around them kind of made his state of mind clear, all the same.
“Chris is going to be out for blood when he finds out.”
He let his forehead fall against his bent knees and shut his eyes.
He’d worry about that when the time came but for now it was quiet and it was Steve beside him so if a sob or two slipped out, he wouldn’t catch flack for it.
Jared absently listened to Chad walk down the basement stairs but didn’t bother to turn around. Chad had been acting strange, even for him, since he and Sandy had walked him out of that hallway in the school that morning, fidgeting and not managing to keep eye contact for any amount of time. Add to that the fact that he said they needed to talk and Jared was pretty sure he wanted to be anywhere else but there.
“I’ve got refreshments.” Chad announced as he set a full twenty-four ounce bottle of Jack Daniels on the coffee table in front of Jared.
The appearance of the booze did nothing to settle Jared’s nerves. “Won’t your old man miss that?”
He dropped down on the couch beside Jared and shook his head. “Nah, it looks like every one of his work buddies bought him a bottle of the stuff last Christmas. He still has another four to go.”
“Huh.” It wasn’t that he was worried about what Chad’s dad might or might not say, especially since his parents were out of town for the weekend, leaving his friend to his own devices. It was the fact that it was booze and he had been damn careful not to touch the stuff for the last couple of weeks, since things had really started getting bad between him and Jensen; certain that he’d do something stupid, like drunk dial him. But Chad was grinning like a loon at him while he twisted the cap off and poured him a tumbler’s worth and he really didn’t want his friend ridding his ass for not accepting it. He was already dealing with all his friends at him about what had happened between him and Jensen; he didn’t need any more grief.
He grudgingly accepted the glass from Chad and raised an eyebrow, better to get the “talk”, he was pretty sure had everything to do with Jensen, out of the way now. That way if he did get angry enough to want to leave, he wouldn’t be falling over his own feet to do it. Or tripping over his own tongue trying to talk to Jensen while he was shit faced. “So what was so important that we needed privacy and booze?”
Chad glanced at him then quickly back to watching the amber liquid slosh into his own glass. “Ummm I may have done something stupid.”
Jared rolled his eyes and gave into the temptation of taking a sip out of his glass. Chad do something stupid, was it even possible? The liquor burned all the way down and probably would have been better mixed with Coke but he wasn’t going to complain, at least it made him feel something other than the way his heart hurt every time it beat. “So how’s that different from any other day?”
He didn’t get the usual response; there was no outrage or denials from his friend. Instead Chad down his glass in a quick series of gulps and then pushed off from the couch, coughing.
“Idiot” Jared chuckled but his nerves were too tightly strung for it to sound in any way happy.
Chad was staring at the wall away from Jared and he took a deep breath before he spun. “I overheard something and probably took it wrong and then I tried to fix it anyway.”
Jared blinked, he had heard the words but they weren’t making much sense. “I’m going to need more than that man.”
He took another deep breath, “I heard Kerr tell Jensen they should go to dinner and I thought that if I set it up to make Jensen jealous that he would remember that you matter more than the fucking school paper, so I called Justin and I fucked up.”
His mouth had dropped open in shear awe that he could spew that all out in one breath and make it one sentence but once the words started sinking in, he snapped it closed. A part of him wanted to be impressed that Chad had done this for him but the bigger part just wanted to kill him.
“Jesus Christ, Chad!” He snarled and shot to his feet. “Are you telling me that you lied to me when you wanted me to meet Justin because you thought he seemed like a good guy? Are you saying that you knew Jensen was going to be there and you what? Wanted him to make a scene? Declare is undying love for me?”
Chad was backing around the table, making sure to keep it between the two of them. “Yeah”
“You fucking moron!”
He tossed back the Jack in his glass, figuring it was better to drink it then throw it and the glass at Chad’s head. Last night had been a set up and both he and Jensen had taken it so fucking wrong. He and Jensen would still be together if it wasn’t for Chad and his fucking meddling. They would have been fine; they would have worked it out.
He paused in mid-step, not even realising he had been stalking Chad around the coffee table.
Or would they have been?
Jensen had seen him; he had made eye contact with him and had caught him looking at him and Justin. Jared had purposely let Justin fawn over him because, as loath as he was to admit it, he had been trying to accomplish the same thing as Chad and it had backfired, spectacularly. But he couldn’t blame Chad for that. The only person he could blame was Jensen.
Jensen hadn’t seemed all that upset about it. In fact, if he remembered correctly, and he knew that he did, Jensen had been too busy holding hands with Kerr to give a shit.
So Jared must have been right, Jensen had been cheating on him with Kerr and had decided that hiding it didn’t matter anymore. He didn’t know if it was because they had been in a public place or if it was because of what he had been letting Justin do but either way the end result was the same. Jensen walked out with Kerr’s hand on his back, loudly proclaiming exactly whom he was choosing.
Jared slowly set his glass down before snagging the bottle by the neck.
Well fuck him then. He took a long pull from the bottle, he didn’t need Jensen’s shit and Jensen’s lying. If Jensen wanted to be with Kerr then more power to him. At least Jared knew the truth now. He just wished all the more fervently now that he had punched Jensen that morning when he had had the chance.
Jared tipped the bottle back and ignored the way his eyes were welling up, it was just the burn of the Jack doing it. He was certain after a few more swallows that it would ease.
He was positive of it.
The next day after his raging headache was over, Jared wasn’t so positive. Jared felt like he was completely and utterly screwed with only very little hope available to him. Jared couldn’t stop thinking about Jensen even though he felt so strongly about letting Jensen walk away and hurting him the way he did. Getting drunk made him angry at Jensen and gave him about a billion excuses why he was scum. But really he had no proof or reason. Jensen looked completely heartbroken, especially when he accused Jensen of cheating the whole time and never loving him at all. That hadn’t been fair at all because Jensen wouldn’t have defended himself so fiercely if he didn’t care at all.
Jared was holed up in his room looking at stacks of notes and framed pictures, everything and anything that reminded him of Jensen. All of it was evidence that Jensen had been interested from Jared from the beginning. Jared just stared down at a big brown box he brought from the garage, which was where all his Jensen stuff was going to get thrown into. Problem was Jared just couldn’t do it. Jared was just insecure about everything when one Jensen Ross Ackles was involved. Jared may have shattered the windows to their relationship but there was still a foundation left and all he had to do was build it from the ground up again.
That’s when it hit him. Today, he realized, was Valentine’s Day. The only day where it was alright for guys to be mushy or sentimental, but Jared never really needed an excuse for that.
There was always something magical about Valentine’s Day, or Jared was hoping the day brought magical healing to all relationships. If anything Jared felt entitled to special healing or hell erasing every problem including Kerr Smith. One way or another Jared was depending on the holiday of love to help him out. It was utterly pathetic and desperate but at this point Jared didn’t particularly care at all. Jared was determined to remind Jensen that they belonged to one another; because they always told each other there could be no one else. Sure Jared fucked up epically, he admitted that to himself. And when was it ever wrong to make small mistakes? Jared was jealous and angry and accused Jensen of something very unlikely, which once again was not one of Jared’s better ideas. But love tends to drive people insane and twist their stomach in tons of knots just because it can. Jared is just one of many love stricken victims who had one of the many common symptoms, jealousy.
He planned to make it all better though. All it would take is some charm and suave but Jared was sure it would work out as planned.
Jared sat on his bed, ignoring the stacks of pictures and mementos that took up most of the space on it, and reached for his cell that fell to the floor when he was piling everything on his bed. Jared paused for a moment, one brief small moment; to think about what he should say to a guy he hurt so badly? Sorry didn’t do any justice at all and sorry certainly wouldn’t fix the mess they were in. So Jared decided to settle for, ‘I know I don’t have any right to ask but hear me out anyways.’ That wasn’t the most original line, but it was tasteful and something Jensen would respond to.
So when Jared finally has a whole speech in his mind, that he hopes doesn’t get caught in his throat, he punches number one for Jensen’s phone number. The phone rang with a long stinging chirp for about forty seconds before someone finally decided to answer.
“Hello?” The voice of a little girl rang through the other end. She sounded a little frustrated like someone interrupted her favourite TV show.
“Hey Mack, its Jared, is Jensen around?”
Jared sounded a little weak hoping that Mackenzie hadn’t heard about the big break-up that went on between him and Jensen.
She seemed oblivious to the whole thing because she answered in a pretty cheery voice.
“Oh! He’s not here. Um I think he went out to Krip’s for a bite to eat, with some friends. I don’t know he didn’t look all that great. I’m not sure he even wanted to eat. Did you not want to spend Valentine’s with him?”
Jared’s heart practically leaped with hope because that had to be the happiest news he’s had all day. Today he woke up with a raging headache and felt as if he was missing a limb that he desperately needed. Now, he could probably fix most of the damage he caused.
“Why do you think I’m calling?” Jared asked, even though they hadn’t really planned anything out and their break-up made sure to erase any future plans.
“Well hop to it, because if he doesn’t see you he has a bitch fit every five minutes,” she informed.
“Don’t worry; I’m on my way now, bye.”
Jensen stared down at the paper napkin he was methodically tearing apart, one small chunk at a time, and tried to ignore the feeling of wrongness screaming through his body. He shouldn’t be a Krip’s, not on Valentine’s day, at least, not waiting for Kerr to show up for their second date.
Violently he tore another piece from the napkin; there never should have been a first date, if it could even be classified as such. Involuntarily, his eyes drifted to the corner both and he could almost see Jared and Justin there, leaning together too close, too intimate, and his stomach rolled with the memory.
It was like being tossed back four days, feeling sick and broken while he watched the guy he loved make the moves on someone else while Kerr apologized and told him they were on a date. He was pretty sure that if he closed his eyes and counted to ten that when he opened them again time would have moved backwards and he would be one table over to the right. He would be thinking about how Jared would be laughing at his idea of them going on a date on “date night” and how clichéd it was while he waited for Kerr to get his ass out of the bathroom.
He should have done something other than letting Kerr lead him out of the restaurant. He should have confronted Jared then and there. He should have staked his claim. He should have done...something. Maybe then he wouldn’t be stuck waiting for Kerr on this farce of a date. Maybe he would be somewhere else with Jared and maybe, just maybe they would be happy together in a way they hadn’t been in a while.
Or maybe they would have simply torn each other apart several hours earlier than they had.
The burning at the back of his eyes surprised him; he had thought he had cried himself dry over the last couple days. I can’t do this. I can’t be here and pretend that there’s nowhere else I’d rather be.
Regardless of all the shit, of the accusations, he wanted Jared and if he couldn’t have him then he just wanted to be back in his room, alone.
His eyes flickered back to the corner booth, Where are you? He wondered silently and an image of Jared smiling and carefree flashed through his mind, only that look wasn’t meant for him anymore. Jared would be smiling at someone else now, probably Justin, and they were probably doing something goofy for Valentine’s Day. Something Jared would think was just awesome, playing with the dogs in one of the parks even though it was February and cold, while he called them their babies.
Jensen balled the remnants of the napkin into his fist and shifted in his chair, almost standing up and fleeing but just as quickly settled. If Jared could move on then so could he. Maybe things with Kerr wouldn’t progress much past this date but he was a nice guy and since Jensen had been accused of seeing him on the sly anyway, he might was well give it a go. It wasn’t like it was going to ruin his reputation at school, Jared had seen to that already. And it wasn’t like he would be hurting anyone except maybe himself.
A long stemmed red rose settled on top of the bits and pieces of his napkin still sitting on the table. He wasn’t sure how he felt about that, he wasn’t a girl, he didn’t need flowers but the gesture was appreciated, somewhat.
“Thanks.” He looked from the rose to Kerr standing at his side.
Kerr shrugged and flushed slightly before leaning down.
Shit! He’s going to kiss me. His panicked mind helpfully informed him but didn’t bother to fill him in on what to do to stop it. At the last moment he shifted so that Kerr’s lips brushed against the corner of his and he swallowed hard. It wasn’t that he meant to turn away, except for how he had. It was just the thought of someone else kissing him still seemed like a betrayal of Jared’s trust.
Get over it Ackles. He berated himself silently, Jared’s gone. Move on.
Kerr didn’t seem all that put out by his actions as he pulled away, simply smiling softly before moving to sit across the table from him.
“Happy Valentine’s day”
Yeah, okay rang sarcastically through his head as he pushed a smile on his face, “Back at you.”
This was going to be a long date.
Jared paused outside of Krip's and rubbed his sweaty palms against his jeans. This had seemed like a good idea when Mack had finally told him that her brother had told their parents that he was going to meet friends at their usual hangout, but thinking on it now, he wasn't so sure. If Jensen said he was meeting friends that generally meant Chris and Steve and Jared knew that Chris was out for his head.
Still if he wanted to get Jensen back, he needed to do this and walking in there while Chris was around just waiting for his chance to pounce had to mean something. It would have to show Jensen that he was willing to do anything to make this right between them. Briefly he questioned showing up with nothing, not even a rose to give Jensen but brushed the thought aside, Jensen wouldn't appreciate a flower and nothing would mean anything other than Jared's heartfelt apology.
Taking a deep breath, he grabbed the door handle and pulled it open, and he wished more than anything he could just turn away from the inevitable train wreck that was waiting for him inside.
It was like one of those crappy soap operas that had a different life altering event every week and featured the most archaic clichés ever known. Jared witnessing his ex-boyfriend with the recently accused male was one of those typically over done clichés, but it still set fire to his heart with no passion but plenty of pain.
It dawned on Jared that either he had been right all along or Jensen had turned to Kerr for comfort, except usually when comfort was involved lustful eyes and passionate kisses weren’t involved in the ‘just friends’ formula. So, Jared figured that there had to be something going on, which didn’t make the burn hurt any less.
He was ready to walk in and defend himself just to get Jensen back because Jensen meant everything to him. Now Jensen was just responsible for Jared’s pain and suffering and it wasn’t even fair. The first thing Jared wanted to do was go home and burn all the memories before he lay in his bed and thought about all the memories he torched.
The whole spectacle Jensen made of it didn’t seem so sincere now that he thought about it. Jensen was one to be honest and prove he was right, but when he screamed and hit Jared in the hall he didn’t prove anything. He didn’t try. Jensen just rolled over and gave up. It was an unexpected blow he should have saw coming, but he was blinded by a feeling he was sure was love.
Screw what the romantics thought, love wasn’t bliss or didn’t make any sane man walk on clouds. The notion was silly and improbable, and Jensen proved that to be true and not his love for Jared.
Jensen stretched his legs out in front of him and pushed his back into the overstuffed cushions on Chris’ couch. After the last two disastrous weeks, he was ecstatic to be able to hide himself away at his friend’s house for a couple of hours and not have to worry about anyone studying him, judging him, wondering what had happened between him and Jared and if the rumors about him were true.
Chris and Steve knew the truth, knew what had happened between him and Jared, or at least as much as he did and he didn’t have to worry what they might be thinking when they looked at him. He could be himself around them and not have to second guess everything he said or did.
Chris groaned beside him and pushed away the English paper he had been staring at for the better part of an hour. “Lot of good it does me having a geek for a best friend when said best friend is not helping me with this fucking paper.”
Jensen rolled his head to the side as Chris threw himself back against the cushions and thoughtlessly dropped his stocking feet on his homework. “I’m not writing your essay for you Chris. I said I would help and I did.”
“All you did was give me an outline.” He grumbled and rubbed his hands over his face, “You could have at least started me off by giving be the first few paragraphs.”
He chuckled as he shook his head, “Chris this is not difficult.”
“It’s Shakespeare!” He shot back, “Of course it’s difficult. If it wasn’t then it wouldn’t be required. Because God knows, the school board never gives students a break.”
Jensen leaned forward and pulled a copy of Cliff’s Notes out from under Chris’ leg and tossed it on his lap. “This practically spoon feeds you. Everything you need to know is in here.” He shrugged, “Just apply this to the outline I wrote you and you’ll be fine.”
“I’d be more than fine if you’d just tell me what I should write.”
He rolled his eyes before sliding off the couch and opening his Advanced Math text sitting on the coffee table in front of him, hoping to end the discussion there. He loved Chris, he really did, but sometimes he took the “stupid stoner” persona a little too far, especially considering that Chris wasn’t stupid nor did he do drugs.
“Fine,” Chris huffed before he landed on his ass beside him and picked his pen back up. “When I fail and can’t get into college, it’ll be on your head.”
He didn’t bother to reply, knowing a last ditch effort at continuing the discussion when he heard on. Instead, he stared down at the formulas before him and pretended they weren’t swimming in front of his eyes. It wasn’t because he couldn’t make sense of them, he just wasn’t all that interested in doing his homework and breaking the spell of relaxation he had had going. Starting on his homework would only lead him to accept just how much he had to get done before Monday because he had been pushing back doing his long term assignments because of the paper which would lead him to think of Kerr, which in turn, would start him thinking about the mess his life had become. And, as far as he was concerned, he had already beaten himself up enough this week for that particular mess.
“So it’s been a couple of weeks,” Chris started low, his eyes focused solely on the paper before him. “And you have yet to force Kerr on me.”
Jensen shut his eyes and sighed softly, Chris and Steve might not judge him, or at least no more than any friend would, but because they were his best friends they also had the right to breech subjects that most people wouldn’t dare. He kind of hated that.
If it had been anyone else he would have told them to fuck off but that wouldn’t work with Chris, especially since he had made him swear that he wouldn’t hunt Jared down and beat him. Chris would consider this quick pro quo for that.
“All you ever did was bitch when I dragged Jared over all the time.” He was proud of how his voice didn’t waver. He chanced a glance at Chris through the corner of his eye and knew his answer was going to suffice by the pinched look on his friend’s face.
“Yeah,” Chris snorted, “Because it was like you two were attached at the hip constantly. Didn’t mean I didn’t want to meet the guy.”
That was because Jensen had wanted Chris and Steve to meet and like Jared because Jensen liked Jared. Not that that meant that he didn’t like Kerr, he did, he just wasn’t sure if he liked him enough to have him mixing with his friends. At least not yet, especially considering the real reason why he started dating Kerr in the first place but he didn’t want to think about that, had been trying to ignore the souring of his stomach every time he let himself dwell on the truth that the only reason he had started dating Kerr had been as a way to hurt Jared, no matter how much he tried to deny it.
He really was a bastard.
“We’ve just been kind of busy lately,” He tried, “With the paper and school and everything...”
He swallowed nervously at the disbelief in Chris’ voice.
“Anyway he had this thing with some friends and I had already said I’d help you, so here we are.”
He wanted to bang his head against the table, that had to have been the weakest line he had ever come up with, even if it was kind of the truth. But what he hadn’t mentioned was that Kerr had invited him to come out with his friends before he had promised to help Chris and until Chris had asked, he had been stalling. He hadn’t really wanted to go through the motion of meeting Kerr’s friends when he still wasn’t sure if the fact that Kerr was a nice guy and they generally had a good time together was enough to erase the terrible reason as to why he started dating him in the first place. And if it didn’t and he was going to man up and admit his mistake and split up with Kerr, he didn’t want to have to go through the motions of trying to make nice with people he may not have to associate with for long.
The silence lasted too long and he had the choice of either facing Chris or starting to fidget and that would be an even bigger red flag then his weak excuse had been. But if he met his friend’s eyes and managed not to flinch, Chris might let it go. Maybe.
One eyebrow was raised in disbelief and Chris was studying him like he had just grown an extra head.
“What?” He snapped, guilt and the fear that he was about to be called on the mess he had made of his life making him short.
He opened his mouth before snapping it closed and shaking his head. He twirled his pen between two fingers for a moment before turning back to his essay. “Well try to make room in your busy schedule to introduce your knew beau to your friends.” His shoulders twitched and bunched for a quick second before he relaxed. “You wouldn’t wanted me or Steve to start to worry that everything isn’t on the up and up with you and Kerr after all, now would you.”
It wasn’t a question.
It was a blatant point.
There was this immense pain that stung sharp in his heart like an arrow pierced his chest the moment the double doors opened to the worst sight. Jared practically lost his footing when his eyes were greeted with a clincher of an insult. Jensen and Kerr walked in hand in hand down the hall with Jensen sporting a pretty nice graduation ring that was definitely not his.
Jared just slammed his locker door and ran off pissed at everybody that was fawning over the new power couple. All of Jared’s precise planning of apologizing on Valentine’s Day had been for nothing. Instead, Jensen was dating the guy Jared accused him of cheating on him with when Jared was going to ask for forgiveness. It was just a big joke that Jensen was back on the saddle while Jared was thrown off of it and alone.
Jared was just sick of Kerr’s bullshit because he was just rubbing everything in his face. First he swooped in with his stupid smile that somehow attracted Jensen to his dumbass presence. It made Jared grow angrier every time they pranced around James Madison arm and arm with their public displays of affection and their big love sick smiles. It burned Jared to the core that Jensen could have a big smile with his astonishingly gorgeous green eyes twinkling because of KERR SMITH. The guy was nothing but trouble to begin with.
Now when Kerr said that Jensen had never really had someone be so romantic with him? THAT was what pissed Jared off.
Me-Ae was right at his side when she saw the dark growl on his face which was a signal that her best friend was bound to do something stupid. It wasn’t that Kerr didn’t deserve it, because if anything Me-Ae felt that he did, but Jensen however didn’t. She sympathized for her other best friend because Jensen was falsely accused of cheating on Jared. It took a while for Jensen to get a grip and move on from a guy he shared so much history with.
“Jared,” Me-Ae warned with a tense grip on his elbow. “Don’t lay on the stupid macho jealousy shtick, ok?”
Jared just stared at her but didn’t even bother to react to her words. There was no exclaim of “I’m not jealous!” or loud obscenities about Kerr, which would have calmed her down. Instead there was a darkened stare from a guy she hardly recognized but it was from a dumb scared boy who was resenting his biggest mistake.
“Hey Kerr” Jared yelled in the hall making sure the slightly shorter man would slow his walk and turn.
Jared casually walked up to Kerr as if he actually wanted to talk.
“Jared don’t.” Me-Ae whispered to herself.
All of a sudden the smash of a fist to flesh was heard and logic didn’t seem to win out in this situation.
“Jared!” Me-Ae ran to the crowd beginning to form around Kerr and Jared.
No one else knew what the hell was going on, but Jared didn’t really give a shit if everybody else was clued in or not. As long as Jared’s fists kept pounding into Kerr Smith’s face Jared was at momentary bliss. Even though every pound of his fist in Kerr’s face began to soothe his anger it did nothing to soothe the ache in his heart. Jensen and Kerr were still together but Jared could make the most of beating Kerr bloody before facing the harsh truth of everything else.
“So Mr. Padalecki, care to explain why three teachers had to pull you off of Kerr Smith not fifteen minutes ago?”
Jared glanced up from his bruised knuckles and into the disappointed face of Principal Morgan. “I don’t have an explanation sir.”
He was pretty sure he was going to be expelled and weren’t his parents just going to be thrilled about that. After the debacle of Chad’s and his practical joke in freshman year, he had managed to straighten up, for the most part. Maybe that had had something to do with trying to get back into the good graces of Jensen’s father in the beginning but somewhere along the way he had taken pride in his achievements. It wasn’t that he had ever had a problem with learning or getting good grades but he had been lazy. It wasn’t until then that he really started to apply himself and damn it but he had gotten grades to rival Jensen’s.
But in one brief, stupid moment, he was going to lose even that because he hadn’t bothered considering the consequences of his actions. All that mattered was that someone else hurt as badly as he did, even if it was only physical and who better than the guy that had taken pretty much everything from him in the first place.
Principal Morgan sighed as he flipped through a file on his desk. “Look Jared, you’ve come so far in the last four years.”
He managed not to snort, “I know sir.”
Something close to sympathy flickered across the principal’s face, “Because you have shown vast improvement in your attitude and your grades I think we can get past this one little setback.”
Jared’s ears perked, if there was one chance to at least salvage this part of his life, he was willing to do anything. Everything else might have gone to hell but he needed to be able to count down the days until he could get the hell out. It was the only thing he really had to distract him from thinking about Jensen.
“In school detention, starting tomorrow morning” Principal Morgan flipped the file shut. “Be here at seven thirty a.m. in the office. You can help the secretaries for forty-five minutes in the morning, during lunch and for an hour after school for the next two weeks.”
He didn’t pump his fist in the air but it was a close thing. He’d gotten to beat on Kerr Smith, wasn’t getting kicked out of school and now had somewhere to hide for the next two weeks so that there were less opportunities of seeing the golden couple. Nothing in this punishment seemed bad, at all.
Principal Morgan raised an eyebrow and a smirk twisted his lips briefly, almost like he could read Jared’s mind. But instead of sharing what he was thinking, he simply waved a hand at his closed door, “Get to class.”
It wasn’t that Jared was a creature of habit, exactly, but there were certain things that he always did. He liked to get up at five a.m. whether he had only gotten to bed three hours before or if he had gotten twelve hours of sleep. He walked the family dogs each day, rain or shine and called them his babies. He insisted on a glass of pulp free orange juice and then a second trip to the bathroom to brush his teeth a second time before he’d even consider a cup of coffee. And he always showed up early for school because he needed to be able to park at the far end of the student parking lot so that he could always be one of the first to leave.
It was why Jensen was leaning against the side of the school, out of sight at the ungodly hour of seven fifteen a.m. and had parked his own truck a block from school so that Jared wouldn’t know that he was there yet. He knew that Jared would drive up any minute, park in his usual spot and head in to pester the cafeteria ladies for his first cup of coffee until they had it ready for him.
He didn’t need to be watching to know the minute his ex pulled into the lot, Jared’s parents had given him his older brother’s used truck when he turned eighteen and Jensen had had nine months to memorize the distinctive sound of the engine before everything had gone to hell. Still, he couldn’t stop himself from peering around the corner of the building, feeling a lot stupid and only a little proud of his stealth, as he watched him climb out of the cab, pull his backpack over his shoulder and start to walk towards the main school doors only feet from Jensen’s hiding spot.
It still hurt, like it always did and he expected it always would to look at Jared, especially when he didn’t know he was being watched and wasn’t trying to keep himself in check. Jared had a wistful smile on his face when his mouth was moving though no sound found Jensen's ears and he knew that he was singing to himself, probably the last song he had heard on the radio before he had shut his truck off. It was something that Jared only did when he didn’t think anyone could see him, embarrassed and certain that he’d be called an idiot for doing it or worse asked to sing out loud. It wasn’t that he had a bad voice and he could carry a tune but it just wasn’t his thing. If he was going to be called out to be the centre of attention, he’d rather it was because he could act like a goof and make people laugh.
Jensen never could understand why but he had always chalked it up to one of Jared’s insecurities and horded the rare times he could catch him doing it.
But he missed seeing him like that, hell he just missed him. Jared hadn’t just been his boyfriend, he had been his best friend and the hole left when he walked away was something that Jensen didn’t think would ever be filled by anyone.
He shook off the thoughts, good times were not something he needed to be revisiting, especially since he had come here to pin Jared down and get the truth from him as to what had caused the fight between him and Kerr. Kerr just kept telling him that he really had no idea as to why Jared had jumped him, and maybe he didn’t but Jensen no longer trusted anyone at their word so he needed to hear the other side, even if that meant trying to talk civically with his ex.
It had nothing to do with wanting to make sure that Jared was okay and this was a convenient excuse to get close enough to him to see for himself. Not a damn thing.
He waited until Jared was practically at the door, heart pounding and palms sweating before he stepped out into view.
Jared stilled in mid-stride, his right foot inches from the ground, frozen like some force had turned him to stone. After a long minute, he slowly lowered his leg and turned his head to look at him.
“What the hell do you want?” He demanded but he sounded less harsh more just worn out.
Now that he was closer to him, he could see that even though Kerr was sporting a black eye, a split lip and bruised ribs, Jared hadn’t fared much better. There was a bruise high on his right cheek, a small gash along his chin and he seemed to be favoring his left side.
Jensen wanted to reach out and smooth his fingers along his cheek and swallowed heavily at the thought. Jared was the enemy now and he couldn’t allow himself to show any concern for him knowing any compassion would be hurled back at him, twisted and ugly.
“What the fuck happened yesterday?” His voice was harsh at his own emotions betraying him.
He snorted, “I would think that would be obvious.” He still sounded tired but there was a flicker of anger there too. “I kicked the shit out of your boyfriend.”
It should have been second nature to defend Kerr even if it was the truth but the urge to never came. He would worry about it later when he wasn’t so busy being angry with himself for wanting to pull Jared to him and kiss the last two months away. Jared had walked out on him, left him to hear about it through the gossip mill and then added fuel to the fire by claiming he had been cheating from the very beginning. Jensen may not agree with or pay much mind to the rumors and whispers but since that day that they had gone at each other and then his ultimate fuck up in choosing to date Kerr, he’d featured daily and it didn’t seem to matter where he turned in the school there was always somebody looking at him, judging him now. He should be livid, he should be out for his own blood but instead all he wanted was to graduate and get the hell out of James Madison with as much of his self worth as intact as possible.
He bit his tongue until some of his frustration faded, “Tell me why.” He was impressed with himself, he didn’t sound like he was pleading but he didn’t sound demanding either. And with Jared, it was better that way, just a simple question asked between two people instead of showing something that could be used against him.
Jared raised an eyebrow, “Ask Kerr.”
“Don’t you think I did?” He snarled and threw his arms up in the air in frustration, so much for his calm facade. “He wouldn’t...” he took a deep breath, he wasn’t going to tell Jared that all Kerr would say to him was that he didn’t know and Jensen didn’t know if he believed him. The crux of it was he would believe whatever Jared told him and what the hell did that say about him? “I want to hear your side. I want to know why you went after him.”
He shifted his backpack higher on his shoulder and sneered at him. “Nah, I don’t think I’ll bother, Jensen.” He took the last few steps to the double doors and pulled one open. “I don’t have to explain myself to you anymore remember?”
Turning he slid into the opening and disappeared inside, not bothering to glance back once.
Jensen clenched his hands into fists at his sides, the pain radiating from his fingers barely noticeable compared to the ache in his heart.
Well if nothing else, his little exchange with Jared just reinforced that there was no chance of any kind of reconciliation for them, not even as friends.
“It doesn’t matter.” He whispered low, “Grad’s in seven weeks. I just gotta survive seven more weeks.”
He ignored the single tear as it rolled down his cheek.
Chad walked in to lunch with shoulders hunched as he broke through the crowd to get to his usual table. The only problem with that was Me-Ae, Danneel, and Sandy were there but Jensen and Jared were not. Chad knew that there was some serious issues going on with them lately but it was still weird that not even one showed up to eat.
“Jared is not eating? I think we’re having an apocalypse!” Chad exclaimed as he dropped his mesh backpack to the ground beside the table. “So,” he snatches some fries from Me-Ae’s plate before she can smack him. “What’s up with the J’s? They’ve been avoiding us for a while now.”
Me-Ae scowled at Chad, finding it hard to believe he was so clueless. “I don’t know Chad, maybe it’s because they broke up. The last thing they want is to cause a drama and make us pick sides.”
“I’m getting kind of worried about the two of them. I mean since this whole Jensen and Jared break-up spectacular with a guest appearance by Kerr started, Jared skips lunch all together and Jensen, Steve and Chris stay as far away from our table as possible just so that they can avoid each other. And Jared keeps actting like such a-” Danneel stopped herself unable to find the right words she was looking for.
“Green-eyed jerk” Me-Ae and Sandy supplied.
“I think it’s grown beyond than that.” Danneel said.
“I tried to see what was going on with Jared last time, but he acted like Jensen didn’t even exist. What’s weird is that he decided to beat the crap out of Kerr for no reason what’s so ever.” Me-Ae replied as she took a healthy gulp of her soda.
“No,” Chad disagreed. “Jared definitely had a reason, not a good one, mind you, but something strong enough to fuel anger.”
Somehow it dawned on the rest of the group what Chad meant exactly. It was rare that Chad sparked the answer to a burning question, very rare.
“He actually thinks Jensen is in love with Kerr.” Sandy announced, still in awe with the revelation. “What an idiot!”
“Wrong again.” Chad said. “He’s just hurting all over. I mean he technically never broke up with Jen and when Jen confronted him about breaking up, Jared didn’t want to stay together.”
“Because he thought he was cheating.” Danneel filled in.
Me-Ae promptly slapped Chad in the head with her tiny hand. “That was your fault douche bag!”
Chad growled at the tiny little devil that hit him. “I already apologized for that!”
“Well you need to stop apologizing and help fix it!” Danneel shouted at him. Chad just sighed as all three girls just glared at him as if laser beams were sure to come out of them.
Chad puts his face in his hand. “I need more guy friends.”
Sandy took some sympathy as she looked down on him. She put her hand on his shoulder and spoke with a tender voice. “No we need Jensen and Jared back.”
Everyone else seemed to nod in agreement.