Banner by smut_slut
Title: Doctor Patient Confidentiality Ch.12
Please seeMaster Post for fic details.
It’s been three weeks since he made love to Jensen. Three weeks since Jensen gave him that whole “I love you but...”speech, two weeks since he figured out that it was just a pretty worded blow off and Jared is tail spinning. His grades have fallen drastically, he skips classes, he drinks, and gets high. When he isn’t doing that he spends his time shut up in the spare room Chad’s parents have let him move into.
“Dude,” Chad says and he is completely serious and it’s kinda weird to see him like that.
“What?” Jared responds petulantly as he busily pinches weed into the paper to roll a fresh joint.
Chad closes the door and crosses his arms over his chest as he looks at his friend. “This…you.” He motions to Jared and looks around the room. “You’re worryin’ me man.”
Jared lifts bloodshot eyes to Chad. “Why? You do this all the time.” Jared lifts the paper to his lips and licks it.
“No, dude, I don’t. Not like you’re doin'. This ain’t you, man. You think when schools done and Ackles sees you he’s gonna want you?”
For the first time in his, admittedly hazy at the moment, memory Jared wishes he hadn’t shared something with Chad. He doesn’t want Chad to throw back his stupidity at him and act like he still believes that Jensen wasn’t just giving him the kiss off as gently as possible. “He doesn’t want me now!” Jared shouts pain ripping through his chest.
“Yes, he does! You know he does! He’s just tryin’ to do the right thing, the grown up thing, the noble thing.”
“He’s fuckin’ scared!”
“Maybe he is! But you’re being self-destructive! Jesus, Jared! The shit you’ve done since you got kicked out…I…you’re scaring me, man! And I do not scare easy. Sandy doesn’t know what to think.”
Chad tilted his face up towards the ceiling, eyes falling closed and he huffed out a low sigh. “Jared,” he started quietly as he moved to sit on the foot of the bed, “You need to stop trying to not feel…which is exactly what you’re doin’. You’re hurtin’…I get it, but you need to feel it. Feel it and deal with it.”
“Did it ever occur to you that I do feel it and that’s the problem?” He growled back as he chucked the joint onto the old, battered nightstand that Chad’s parents had dug up from somewhere along with the chipped and scratched up dresser that adorned his bedroom. “I don’t want to feel anymore. I don’t want to think about how it hurts that my parents have cut me out of their lives. I don’t want to know that I was a pity fuck for the man that I lo…” The word got stuck in his throat and he shook his head as if to dislodge it before finally giving it up as a bad deal and reached out for the joint again. “I’m done feelin’ man. Just done.”
“Jared.” Chad whispered, his voice filled with pain and that was just another thing Jared had to feel guilty over. “Please, you gotta listen…”
Knowing that reaching for the lighter on his nightstand was only going to make that little crack that was suddenly between them only wider; Jared stuck the joint in his mouth and flicked the lighter to life. It doesn’t matter. Echoed through his mind at the look of pain that flashed in Chad’s eyes before he managed to school his expression back into annoyance.
He was doing Chad an important service, teaching his best friend that life really wasn’t any better than this, no worries about trying to live up to someone else’s expectations or worrying about whether the people you loved even gave a rat’s ass about you.
Shaking his head, Chad got up from the bed and slowly moved back towards the door. “Goin’ out with Sandy to “Heat” tonight. Wanna come?”
It didn’t miss Jared’s notice that he didn’t turn around and look at him, only stared out at the dull grey light filtering in from the window at the end of the hallway but he pushed it aside. Chad was a smart kid; he’d get the lesson sooner or later, just hopefully before everyone let him down the way that the people in his life had done to Jared.
Blowing sweet smoke out in rings, Jared shook his head even though Chad wasn’t looking at him. “Nah, I’m good.”
It was so unusual for Danneel to knock on his door that he actually jumped a little, a black slash of ink cutting across the note he had just made in his last patient’s file following to where his pen came to rest against the edge of the manila folder. During work hours she always used the intercom to inform him that his next patient was waiting, claiming it was more professional that way, and never bothered to knock before and after hours, just popping her head in to either say good morning or goodbye. It was such a deviation from the norm that he couldn’t decide if he should be worried or amused.
Opening the door only enough so that she could slip in and then shut it quickly behind her, Danneel leaned against the wood and opened and closed her mouth a couple times silently. She was silent long enough, distress obvious in every line of her body that dread had started to skate down Jensen’s spine.
There’s no coffee. No Misha, no Tom. It can’t be that bad, can it?
If something had happened to his family or his friends then there would be coffee right. Right.
But there was his new patient, a twelve year old boy who was having serious problems coping with his seventeen year old older brother’s death. Couldn’t fathom how a simple mistake, running against the lights to catch his bus because his parents had taken his car from him for too many speeding tickets, could actually kill him. Just one of those tragic, random accidents that he couldn’t accept or even begin to understand.
He had tried to kill himself, twice, before his parents had sent him to Jensen. He had only seen the boy once and knew it would be an uphill battle since the child just sat in the chair, sullen and closed up tight but Jensen had hoped, God he had hoped, that just letting him know that Jensen was there if he wanted to talk or yell or anything had garnered him enough time to try to help. What if it hadn’t it?
He had always known that eventually he was going to encounter a child that he couldn’t save but did it have to be such a little boy? Did it have to be now?
“There’s a Chad Michael Murray and a Sandra McCoy out front that say that they have to see you. Said it’s about,” her eyes flickered away for a second before coming back to settle on him, “Jared Padalecki.”
He wasn’t sure how to feel. In the back of his head was the realization of who Chad was, Jared’s best friend, and a part of him was overjoyed to know that he was there, with information about Jared that he felt was important enough for Jensen to know that he was there. But Chad was there, in his outer office to talk to Jensen about Jared and it felt wrong, whether it was because there was actually something wrong or because it didn’t feel right talking about Jared behind his back, he wasn’t sure. But, at least now he understood why Danneel was acting so out of sorts. She still believed that Jared was the one that he hadn’t been able to help, entirely his fault because of how he had been acting after their last time together there in the office, and was probably worrying about how he would react.
Nodding, he took a deep breath and blew it out slowly trying to cover his nerves with the gesture. Good or bad, he was going to hear about Jared and now that it was within his reach, he wanted nothing more. “Send them in.”
Danneel didn’t look happy but she nodded back once before opening the door wide and Jensen could hear the fake smile in her voice. “Dr. Ackles will see you now.”
The kid dancing with Jared in Heat.
It shouldn’t have been as surprising as it was to realize that Jared had dragged his best friend into his ploy to garner Jensen’s attention that night but, still, it was. What was even more surprising was the sudden surge of jealousy that curled in his gut. This was Jared’s best friend, the best friend that he was currently living with, the same best friend that he had been practically fucking in Heat that night and Jensen was supposed to be okay with that when he wasn’t even speaking with Jared at the moment. This exact moment when the young man was trying to work through being kicked out his house by his own parents and all the feelings and upheaval that followed something like that.
Forcing his own fake smile onto his lips, he stood and walked over to the mate to the chair in front of his desk, sitting against the wall beside his bookcase and lifted it to settle beside its mate. “Sit.” He gestured to the chairs before practically falling back into his own.
“Yeah, no.” Chad muttered but walked far enough forward so that he could curl his fingers around the back of one of the chairs in an eerily similar manner to the way Jared had only a couple months before.
“Chad.” The girl, Sandy, hissed and slapped his arm before settling in the other chair.
There was something about her that Jensen instantly liked. Probably the fact that he could see the nerves practically vibrating under her skin and yet she still refused to let Chad act in any way that she thought was inappropriate. She’d make a great mother someday.
“What?” He snapped back but not with that much force, “We’re here for a reason Sands, not to play nice with the good Doc.”
Rolling her eyes, Sandy smiled tightly at Jensen, “Sorry it’s just been a long couple weeks.”
Nothing about that sentence sat well with Jensen, not one damn thing. “What do you mean long?” Forgoing the easy going, “Hey I’m your buddy not some shirk your parents are forcing you to see” persona, he glared at each of them in turn, nerves too taunt to try for anything civil. If something had happened to Jared then they should just come out and say it because Jensen had a god damn right to know, right the hell now. “Is Jared okay? Has something happened? Something with his parents?”
He had hoped that eventually Jared’s hurt and anger would cool down enough that he would at least call them. But what if it had all gone sideways? What if he had tried and instead of him and his parents opening a dialogue, things had only gotten worse between them? He should have been there for Jared in case that happened because he knew how badly hurt the young man was over getting kicked out by his parents.
“Do you love Jay?”
The question was so far out from left field that everything in Jensen just stopped for a minute while his mind tried to make sense of it. What did that have to do with whatever had happened to Jared and really, shouldn’t he say those three little words to Jared first before he admitted it to his friends?
“I’m sorry?” He finally managed to choke out. “What has that got to do with…?
Chad sliced a hand through the air, “It has to do with everything. Now answer the fuckin’ question.”
Eyes flicking to Sandy, sitting straight in the chair with her hands twisting in her lap, then back to Chad, he felt anger start to turn in his gut. It didn’t matter that these were Jared’s best friends, what mattered was that it wasn’t any of their damn business and wasn’t giving him the answers he needed.
“No.” He growled back, a part of him whispering fervently that he needed to just shut up. This was his only chance to get any kind of information about Jared and if he lost his temper he would be losing that chance. But he wasn’t going to sit here and be interrogated, if he felt the need to have that done, he would call Tom, “That’s between Jared and I. So how about if you tell me why you are here?”
Chad snarled but it was cut off quickly as Sandy leaned over and placed a small hand on his arm. “Enough, Chad.” Turning back to Jensen, she tried to smile but it only lasted a second before flickering and dying. “You’re right, Chad never should have asked that. But,” she huffed out a breath, “this is important Dr. Ackles and I need, we need, to know the truth. Just, please what you said to Jay the morning you dropped him off at the school, you were telling the truth right?”
And suddenly it all made sense with a clarity that actually hurt. For all Jared’s blustering, he was more like Jensen then Jensen had ever considered, too caught up in Jared’s aggressive perusal of him and his own fears to remember that Jared had feelings and fears under all that anger and self-assurance. It never occurred to him that Jared would decide that Jensen was giving him the brush off that morning in his apartment and he felt like the world’s biggest ass for it. Of course once Jared had time to think about it that would be what he thought and why wouldn’t he? It wasn’t like Jensen hadn’t done it to him before?
Fuck Jensen was such a moron.
Curling his hands around the armrests of his chair to force himself to stay seated instead of jumping up and demanding that they take him to where Jared was right that minute, he nodded. “Yeah I did. I do. He thinks…” snorting in self-depreciation, this is all my fault, Jensen shook his head. “He thinks I blew him off, doesn’t he?”
“Well not in the beginning…”
Both teenagers snapped their mouths closed and looked at one another. Any other time and Jensen probably would have found it funny but not now, not when it was Jared and it was Jensen’s fault. In all his fear of ending up like Christian and fighting as best he could not to become like his ex, he inadvertently had by undercutting Jared’s belief in what other’s told him.
Chad raised an eyebrow and opened his mouth but Sandy held up a hand, “Not at first Chad. That first week he was fine.” She turned to Jensen and shrugged, “Then I don’t know. Just suddenly he wasn’t our Jared anymore. He started skipping school and drinking…”
“A lot.” Chad interrupted.
“And,” Sandy raised her voice, “well, he’s doing…” She stumbled to a halt and narrowed her eyes, almost like she was assessing Jensen, trying to decide if he was someone she could share this kind of information with. He had to clench his jaw tight against the urge to yell at her to get on with it; he needed to know, no matter what it was. What did she think he was going to do? Go to the cops with it?
Something in Jensen froze and fell into the pit of his stomach. That was a pretty loaded question; there were a lot of reasons for someone to go to the cops. The best Jensen could hope for was that whatever it was that was making her look sick to admit to wasn’t something that bad because if it was something dangerous Jared was messed up in, Jensen would do what he had to to protect Jared, even if it killed him.
“A shit load of Pot.” Chad muttered with a roll of his eyes at Sandy, “Weed, dope, marijuana, smoking up. Jesus Sandy, it’s not like the good doc is gonna nark about it.” Lips pinching into a thin line, he glared at Jensen, “Are ya doc?”
Feeling giddy with relief, he had to bite the inside of his cheek to keep the laugh inside. Pot? That was what Jared was doing? Granted, if he was doing a lot of it, that wasn’t good but it wasn’t like he was mugging little old ladies for their grocery money. Not that the relief eased the guilt or worry he was feeling. Jared skipping school, drinking and smoking up all the time was so far removed from what he thought the young man would do that it made his head spin. Jared was tail spinning and it was Jensen’s fault.
“Where is he?”
“This time of the morning? Same place he always is,” Chad sounded defeated, “his room at my place.”
Glancing at his watch, Jensen did a quick calculation as he pulled open the first drawer of his desk and reached for his cell and keys. His first appointment of the day wasn’t until ten thirty so he had almost an hour and a half to get to Jared, convince him that Jensen really had been being honest when he told him that he wanted Jared to take the two months but that Jensen would be there waiting for him at the end of it and get back in time to see his patient. And if he was a little late, well this was important, this was Jared.
“Take me to him.”
“This is you as an adult?”
Jared blinked his eyes open and stared across the dim room, eyes tracking a flickering sunbeam as the blind on his bedroom window slowly moved in the light breeze slipping into the room. He had been dreaming about Jensen again, that was nothing new, sometimes his subconscious revisited the night they had spent together to torment him with what he could never have and sometimes he dreamt about how Jensen would react if he saw him now. Either dream left him hurt and angry in turns and craving a way to escape.
“You can ignore me if you want but I know you’re awake.”
For a moment his body froze in shock and his eyes widened in realization that Jensen was there, really, really there before he flipped onto his back and looked toward the door.
If Jared hadn’t been so damn interested in Jensen from the first time he laid eyes on him, he would have thought that Jensen was completely relaxed leaning against the bedroom doorframe, his dark green dress shirt and grey dress slacks slowly wrinkling. But he had been studying Jensen from day one and even with only the dim ambient light filtering through the blind he could make out the stiff line of Jensen’s shoulders, how the clench of his fingers on his biceps were bleeding them white.
For a brief second he wanted to spring up, pull Jensen into his arms and just breathe him in but he pushed the urge down. No way in hell was he going to show just how much Jensen being there was affecting him when he knew that any reaction that was returned would be bullshit.
“What are you doing here?” His voice was gruff but he was pretty sure that that could be played off as just waking up. It had nothing to do with how much it hurt to look at Jensen so close and yet farther away now then he had ever been. “How’d you get in?”
Meddling motherfucker. What exactly did Chad think he was going to achieve with this little stunt? Jared was going to kill him the first chance he got.
“Chad!” He bellowed and threw back his covers.
“Don’t bother,” Jensen shifted so that he was filling the doorway, “he left us here.”
Jared settled on the edge of the bed, head spinning with a combination of his anger and the effects of too many beers the night before and body shaking with adrenaline. The effects leaving him torn between wanting to crawl back under the covers and hide until he could convince himself that this was just another dream and turning all the self-loathing he had been feeling for weeks towards Jensen. After all, how dare Jensen suddenly show up out of the blue and look at him like he was disappointed in Jared? He was the one that had screwed Jared around, making him care, making him fall in love, making it seem like Jared could have a chance with him and then ripping it all way. And not even having the decency to be honest about it.
Running a hand through his hair, he tried to school his features into some version of polite disinterest, “What’re doing here?”
“It’s been brought to my attention that you seem to be living under an assumption, a wrong assumption.” Jensen straightened and dropped his arms to the sides, pain washing over his features. “And that’s my fault.”
Hope started to flutter in Jared’s chest and he felt like a fool for it. It felt like years since the night that Jensen had accused Jared of being a naïve kid but right at that very moment, he did feel like one. If his stupid heart was willing to buy into Jensen’s broken look and soft words again then he really was a child. But there was no way that Jared was going to let Jensen know that he wanted the game to be real this time. Everything about him might break Jared but that didn’t mean he was going to give Jensen the benefit of seeing the mess he made of Jared.
Settling his elbows on his knees, Jared loosely clasped his hands together and stared up at him through his bangs, “And what assumption is that?”
“That I don’t want you.” Was the instant response, “That when I said that I wanted to spend the next two months apart that, in truth, I was blowing you off.”
It kind of threw him for a minute because it was the first time that Jensen admitted to whatever it was between them without Jared having to push him or Jensen pausing, like he had to force the words out. It only made that flicker of hope in him burn brighter and he hated both of them for it.
Not knowing what to say and worried that his stupid heart would speak for him, Jared kept his mouth shut and just stared at him.
“I know that that’s all on me.” Jensen took a hesitant step into the room and then another when Jared didn’t object, until he was standing right before him. Squatting down, he made an abortive move to touch Jared’s hands, and damn it but Jared’s heart sped up at that little move, before bracing his own hands on his thighs. “It was too much like that night outside of Heat wasn’t it? The promises I made that I took back the very next time we saw each other.”
Most of Jared wanted to not just listen but hear what Jensen had to say, hear it and believe it but he had believed before, believed that Jensen only wanted him to experience life and if it had been the first time he would have but it wasn’t the first time. But he sounded so sincere and looked so upset that it was hard for Jared not to believe him but he didn’t think he could take being run around by Jensen for a third time. Besides what would that make him if he fell for it?
Jensen sighed hard and he rocked back on his heels before standing. “Unless,” he muttered and his eyes took on a hard edge, “unless this is the adult you want to be. Is this who you want to be Jared? An alcoholic? A druggie? Someone with no job and no future, just sitting around the house all day feeling sorry for himself and thinking the world owes you something?”
“I…” It hadn’t been a conscious decision to talk, just a knee jerk reaction to defend himself, hone after months of having do to so once he came out to his parents. The problem was that there really were no words there. How did he defend himself against the truth? He hadn’t been going to school. He had been smoking up and drinking pretty much non-stop from the moment he woke up till the moment he passed out. Maybe he didn’t think that the world owed him something but that was probably only because he didn’t want anything to do with the world. He just wanted to be left alone with his misery and let the world go fuck itself without him.
But that wasn’t who he was. Or it wasn’t who he used to be before his parents had kicked him out and he had pushed Jensen too hard. He used to have plans; there had been goals in mind. Granted it wasn’t much of a goal when all he had been working for was to graduate and move out with Chad but it had been more than this, he had been more than this.
He was better than this.
“No.” He held up a hand and started to back away, “I’m not going to tell you what to do or how to live. If this,” he motioned around the dim room with his hand, “is what you want then that’s your choice. But you need to know that I can’t be a part of this. I won’t tell you who to be but I can’t be with this Jared either.”
It was almost funny how the panic didn’t come at the words but then again Jared couldn’t blame him for saying them. He wouldn’t want to be with someone like he was being now either. “I’m not…I just lost…I…”
Smooth Padalecki, real smooth. Every little thing he had ever dreamt up over the last two weeks to say to Jensen if he ever got the chance seemed to be getting caught and twisted up in his throat to the point where he couldn’t get any of it out. He wanted to say something, do something but it was like every nightmare he had ever had, body and voice frozen and only able to watch as the scene played out without him.
“Just,” he was at the door, “just figure out what you want from life for you Jared. If I hear from you in five weeks then I hear from you. Just know…” He shut his eyes and took a deep breath before meeting his gaze once more. “I…I’ll be waiting for your call.”
And then Jensen was gone.
Jared shook his head as he finally managed to get his body to follow the signals from his brain just as he heard the quiet sound of the front door closing beneath him.
“Damn it.” He growled as he sprinted from the room and took the stairs two at a time. He had to catch Jensen; he just had to and tell him that this person wasn’t who he wanted to be. He did want to be the Jared that Jensen wanted, the Jared he was before he let everything pile up on him instead of dealing with it like he should have.
Throwing the front door open, he scanned the driveway and then the empty street in front of the house.
Stepping back inside, he managed to close the door without slamming it and dropped his forehead against the morning sun warmed wood. He had been so sure that he had lost Jensen once because he had pushed too hard against the walls that the man had built around himself. Then he had convinced himself that he had never been more than a pity fuck to Jensen because he was already feeling sorry for himself because of all the shit that went down with his parents and it was this, this self-doubt that he hadn’t even realized was there that would take Jensen from him.
“No.” He growled softly, Jensen wanted him, had come all the way across town, on a work day, possibly cancelled an appointment or two just to see Jared and he wasn’t going to make that effort a waste. So he had fucked up, so he had let his fears and his hurt over losing his family pull him down for a while but that was over. Sure he had missed a couple weeks of school and yes it was going to be an uphill battle to catch up but he knew he could do it.
He would prove to his parents, to his friends and to Jensen that he was better than a few days, weeks, of wallowing in self-pity. But he wouldn’t be doing it for them but for himself because he wouldn’t ignore the fact that he didn’t like who he saw staring back at him in the mirror anymore, this stranger who looked like him but had none of his confidence or smarts or personality.
He had told everyone that he was an adult and should be allowed to make his own decisions. Well the time had come to either man up or shut up.
Fingers clenched tight on the steering wheel, eyes locked on the road before him, Jensen guided his car away from the curb and back towards his office. He refused to glance in his rear view mirror to check if Jared had followed him out of the house, unsure if it was because he was hoping Jared would be there or worried that he wouldn’t be.
No matter how much he had wanted to tell Jared what to do, it wasn’t his place to do so and he knew it. Maybe Jared would have straightened up if Jensen had told him to but he wouldn’t be doing it for the right reasons and Jensen couldn’t tell him what to do. It wasn’t just the whole behaving like Christian thing either, Jared had to want to fight his way back from the edge he had put himself on for it to stick or this would just become a constant cycle. As long as everything was fine in his life, chances were that so would Jared but the minute that things got hard he would fall back into the booze and the drugs to hide until there would be no reason left to come back out. And even if in the end, there wasn’t a Jared and Jensen, so long as Jared was himself again, that was what mattered.
And Jensen didn’t believe for one minute that the Jared he saw up in that room was the real Jared. Even if there hadn’t been a whole section in his parent’s questionnaire pertaining to drugs and alcohol abuse, Jensen still wouldn’t believe that the way Jared was acting now was the norm. Not out of some misguided hope that he had actually gone a fallen for someone worse than Christian but because Jared’s friends were worried about him. His best friends, if Jared and they were to be believed and even if a teenager could hide certain aspects of themselves from their parents, it was damn near impossible to hide those same aspects from your friends, especially when the only safe places Jared would be able to drink or do drugs would be with them.
Losing his parents had been too much for Jared to handle, Jensen had suspected that it hadn’t quite sunk in the last time he had seen Jared and he should have been anticipating this kind of reaction instead of letting Jared lead him to believe that he was tough enough to handle it. Maybe he could have, with the help of his friends if he had never met Jensen and got messed up in Jensen’s fucked up little life but he had and when he had turned to Jensen, unconsciously or not, Jensen had let him down, too fucking scared and too fucking sure that whatever it was that was between them wouldn’t last.
It was a mistake he would regret for the rest of his life, regardless what happened between him and Jared in the future.
There was one thing that Jensen knew for certain though; if Jared decided to fight his way back out of the dark place he had slipped into then Jensen would damn well keep his promise and stop running if Jared still wanted him. But for now, all he could do was hope that Jared hadn’t lost all his faith in the world because Jensen hadn’t been lying, no matter how much he loved Jared, he wasn’t going to be that person who waited around lying to themselves that eventually something would change as their loved went slipped deeper and deeper into their addiction.
It was going to be a long five weeks.
It wasn’t that Jared didn’t know that what he had been doing, the drinking and the weed, had been him hiding from his problems, even while he was tipping the next bottle back or rolling his next joint, it was just that, at the time, he didn’t care. Being forced to face his problems, first by Chad and then the following Monday by Jensen, he couldn’t help but stop and think about what he was doing with his life.
It was a lot harder to not care about yourself when you knew that you were hurting others that did.
Not that deciding to come back from the edge instantly meant that everything was okay again. Turned out it was a lot easier to let himself fall than it was to pick himself back up. Thing was, it the booze or the weed that was the hardest part but getting his school life back into order.
He had once told Jensen that he didn’t know what he wanted to do with his life after high school and he had meant it but that didn’t mean that he hadn’t applied for college. Maybe a part of it had been a bid for his parent’s approval in some aspect of his life but facing losing that opportunity, clean and sober, had scared the hell out of him. Luckily, his college application had been due a couple weeks before everything had gone to hell and he was pretty sure that so long as he aced his finals at the end of term that he would be okay. Paying for college, well that was a whole different story but he had applied for a scholarship since he had had plans of not living with his parents so maybe…
At least he had always been lucky enough to be one of the few that so long as he either showed up for class and paid attention or read the material on his own, he understood it. And thanks to Chad and Sandy going to his teachers and telling them that he had been kicked out of his house when he just stopped going to school, and at the urging of the school councilor when he wanted back in, he was allowed to continue in all his classes. There was the caveat that from that day forward until graduation, he had to be in each and every one of his classes or he would be kicked out of school but it was a small price to pay.
Actually school hadn’t been the hardest; it was facing his friends that almost made him cave, almost.
Chad hadn’t come back to the house until well past when Jared had gone to bed, after a day of self-solitary confinement to think, really think, about what he wanted so Jared hadn’t gotten a chance to thank him for the proverbial kick in the ass that he was needing. He also had made himself scare by the time Jared had dragged himself out of the shower the next morning, worried but resolute in his plan to go to the school and beg not to be kicked out.
It wasn’t until after school that Tuesday that he had managed to catch both Chad and Sandy as they had headed out at the end of the day. And he was pretty sure that the only reason he caught them at all was because he had been waiting for the last hour of the day, sitting, precariously, never knew when Chad’s lemon would collapse, on the hood of Chad’s car.
He had to give them credit, even from a distance and a mob of students escaping for the day, he could see them both pause, Chad and then Sandy once she realized that he had stopped walking and was staring at something, Jared, before they both seemed to square their shoulders and approach, ready for whatever Jared was going to say to them.
It was almost a repeat of the day before with Jensen in his bedroom, only he couldn’t allow himself to just sit there and stare back at them. Jensen hadn’t deserved his silence, even if it was only because Jared couldn’t seem to get his throat to choke out the words but they deserved it even less. They had always stuck by him, put up with his moods and his bitching about his family and his stupid ideas and never once abandoned him, even when he gave them more than reason too and they deserved more than just his apology but it was all he had.
After stumbling through most of, what he had thought had been a well thought out apology, Chad had finally rolled his eyes, smacked him on the back of the head and told him to stop before he embarrassed himself. Sandy on the other hand had threatened to kick his ass if he ever worried her like that again, and size difference or not, he completely believed her.
And that was that as far as they were concerned. Jared had fucked up, he was trying to fix it and there was no place they would rather be than standing beside him and helping in any way they could.
Jared knew that he had to fix this for himself or he would fail but it sure as hell didn’t hurt to see the quiet pride in his friends’ eyes.
Jensen leaned back against the bar and stared out across the crowded dance floor. Only a handful of weeks before and he would have been out there with them, trolling for a hard, warm body to spend a couple hours with and now he could barely stand to be in the room watching it happen. He wondered if Misha, Tom and their respective others felt like this?
Flicking his eyes over to the table he caught Mike throwing his head back and laughing, Tom shaking his with a huge grin on his face and Misha’s and Vicky’s shoulders shaking and decided that no, they weren’t bothered by the primitive mating dance going on around them. But then why should they? They had their significant others and their point for going out was to reconnect with friends and spend an evening out. As far as Jensen knew, they could be laughing at a truly horrendous attempt by someone near their table to pick up someone else.
Jensen wanted that.
He wanted to be able to be sitting at that table with them, with Jared, laughing and talking and completely at ease but that wasn’t how it was. It wasn’t even the fact that Jared was too young to be in the club side of “Cues” because if he was actually together, together with Jared his friends would understand why he was choosing to just sit with them instead of trolling for a “date” for the evening. But they didn’t because Jensen hadn’t told them about Jared because he still wasn’t sure if there even was a them.
Not that long ago it was because he was worried that what Jared felt for him wasn’t real and that Jensen would end up in a worse place then where he was now once Jared figured out that he didn’t want to spend his life with a guy so fucked up in the head. But now that seemed almost laughable. Now he had to worry that once Jared got his shit back together it would occur to him that Jensen had let him down when he needed him the most and who would want to spend any kind of time with someone who did that? At least he knew that Jared was getting his life back on track, he had gotten Chad’s word that he would call Jensen at the end of the week and let him know if there had been any kind of change in Jared’s attitude and according to Chad, Jared was working on it.
What exactly that meant, Jensen wasn’t sure because he hadn’t gotten the opportunity to ask for more. In fact, if it hadn’t been for the fact that Chad’s number was on his call log, he would be questioning whether the call had taken place at all or if it had been wishful thinking on his part in between patients that day. But, at least, he had something to hold on to when he thought about Jared, something that eased a little of his guilt for not being there to try to help Jared get through this. He couldn’t be there, Jared needed to do this for himself and Jensen knew his own mind, knew that without meaning to he would make Jared feel like he had to get his life back on track to make Jensen happy and that wouldn’t end well.
In the end, all he could hope for was that Jared realized that this was the one thing Jensen couldn’t help him with, not because he didn’t want too but because Jensen was too invested in the end results to be anything but a hindrance.
Jensen glanced over to the side and out of manners his mother had installed in his as a child, managed a smile for the guy standing beside him.
Whoever he was, he was a pretty good looking guy with shoulder length dark brown hair and bright blue eyes, Jensen could even ignore the fact that he was a couple inches short than himself. He would have been the kind of guy that Jensen would have gone after not that long ago but now he just wasn’t interested. Still he couldn’t just ignore the guy, he wasn’t an asshole.
He shrugged as he turned back to the bar and waved at Justin, Mike’s head bartender. “It usually is on the weekends.”
“Makes it kind of hard to meet people though, don’t ya think?” The guy leaned in closer until their shoulders were brushing, “I’m Steve by the way.”
“Jensen.” He glanced at him briefly before turning back to watch Justin pull a tray out from under the bar and set it beside a full jug of draft. “And I’m with someone.”
Out of the corner of his eye, he watched Steve exaggerate leaning back so he could look around Jensen before once again settling his hip against the bar. “Huh.”
It was stupid but the move, one he had done on occasion, set his teeth on edge. Just because Jared wasn’t standing beside him didn’t mean that Jensen was making it up and this Steve guy needed to back the fuck off.
“Just so we’re clear, I’m not looking for forever here.” Steve leaned in closer and Jensen tried to shift over a step, ending knocking his shoulder against whoever was on his other side. “I figured we could just talk for a bit.”
Yeah, Jensen knew that line, way too well actually. “Look buddy, I’m just not interested so go find someone else.”
Steve made a show of looking him over before shaking his head and pushing away from the bar, “Come find me when you’re ready, Jensen.”
Jensen narrowed his eyes as he watched the over confident, aggressive asshole melt back into the crowd. God he was so tired of this kind of bullshit.
“Kind of surprised you let that one go.”
Head snapping back to the bar, Jensen raised an eyebrow at Justin, “Meaning?”
“It’s just…” Justin waved his free hand around as he pushed the tray with five fresh glasses and the pitcher of draft across the bar, “well he’s your type isn’t he? Kind of pushy and self-confident and…”
Something close to fear flashed in Justin’s eyes and he snapped his mouth shut, obviously figuring he had over stepped his bounds. It wasn’t that everyone wasn’t friendly with him but he wasn’t a part of their group of friends but Mike’s employee and a good employee or not, it probably wasn’t a good idea of piss off a close friend of his boss.
The thing was he was right. Steve was exactly the kind of guy he would go for if he was in the mood to let someone pick him up. Usually he would be panting over someone like that, his not so secret leanings towards guys that went after what they wanted driving him to rollover for them. But there had been none of that reaction this time, there was no low level want running through his system only a more prominent annoyance that the guy didn’t back off as soon as he realized that Jensen wasn’t interested.
Something like that hadn’t happened to him since Christian. Well holy shit.
“Yeah, well, when you’re not interested, you’re just not interested.” Shrugging he hefted the tray in his hands and started back towards his table, surprised and slightly disturbed in turns. He had known that he was already invested in Jared but he hadn’t realized to what point. No matter what he had convinced himself that had led to his ill-fated plan to push Jared to test the limits of his freedom for the last couple months of school, it was already too late for him and he wasn’t sure if he should be content or completely freaked out by it.
Chapter 11 / Chapter 13