Blue Memories

Until Late

Jared/Jensen, R 

 

Jensen never thinks about what happens after Supernatural ends, and because he doesn't think about it, the end comes much sooner than he is prepared for.

Jared says, "Oh, and I've got a couple that might be interested in buying the house," a lazy sentence uttered as he's stuffing pancakes into his mouth, and Jensen gapes, stopping in the process of sitting down. His plate tips precariously. "Dude, your sauce is dripping on the table." Jared's eyebrow is raised, and he talks with his mouth full so that Jensen can see the exact state of chewed pancakes.

"Don't wanna see that," Jensen snaps back, an every-day exchange. Jared smiles, opens his mouth further to make Jensen scrunch his face in disgust, and laughs; and everything is back to normal.

Except where it's not.

***


The last days of shooting go by in a haze. Jensen feels ridiculous. His skin is too tight, itches with every movement, and his view is fogged, every color crazily bright while he is unable to focus. But he nails his lines, as in-tune with Jared as ever. After five years of practice under his belt sometimes Dean's reactions come to Jensen more easily than his own, when he summons up this familiar personality to hide his own discomfort.

Jared is more exuberant than usual. He is a ball of energy, hardly sleeps at all and does the one last hurrah thing with everyone he knows. "You okay with having a goodbye party for our friends on Thursday? Shooting wraps on Tuesday, and the wrap party is on Saturday, so that'd give us time to sober up a little somewhere in there," Jared says, smirking.

Jensen nods, dizzily. He feels like he should go to sleep.

He wakes up when he's back in L.A., disoriented and lost.

***


Jared is going to film a movie in Australia while Jensen plans to take some time off. They speak daily – Jared calls him while Jensen sits in his empty, unlived-in house, thinking, not-thinking, responding on auto-pilot – until he takes off.

A week later, Jensen still sits at home, waiting for what, he doesn't know. It's four months until Jared is due back home.

Jensen wonders, idly, if it's too soon to start counting the days.

***


"You still not working?" Chris asks by way of greeting. His voice sounds distantly worried through the speaker of Jensen's cell.

"Hey asshole," Jensen replies. He feels a brilliant smile break out on his face, aimed at the late-afternoon traffic of L.A.'s streets.

"Man, you gotta get your mopin' ass out of your flat. Bet your manager's givin' you hell."

"Thanks, mom."

"Anytime. We all know you need a good talkin' to every now and then."

Jensen perks up at that as he turns into his driveway. He stops the car and gets out. "You at Steve's?"

"Yup. We'll have some people over tonight. You gonna join us? Wanna get trashed?"

"Yeah, sure."

They chat a little more while Jensen fumbles his keys and unlocks the door. After he ends the call, his house doesn't seem quite as empty as it did before.

***

Chris makes good on his promise and gets Jensen drunk on a mixture of tequila, vodka and beer.

"Man, you've become a lightweight," Chris says as he stumbles across a crowd of bodies draped over the floor to where Jensen leans against the couch. "How long since you last partied properly, huh?"

Jensen tries to think, cocks his eyebrow at Chris. It's too difficult though, so he shrugs. Probably not the best sign, not to remember when you were last at a party, considering they seem to around the clock in this part of the world. He tries not to think about if Jared's having a good time down under. Doesn't wonder if Jared misses him.

"That bad?"

Jensen tilts his head. "You lost me." He almost remembers to be embarrassed at the way he half-slurs the words and has to concentrate on wrapping his tongue around them so they won't be lost to his intoxication.

Chris waves his hand in some kind of pattern, which Jensen finds vaguely fascinating. As fascinating as anything can be if you see the world in a blur that tilts sideways as soon as you try to focus on anything in particular anyway.

"You're so fucking obvious, Jenny-girl. Gotta get over yourself. See that girl over there? She's been eyeing you all night, man. Go get yourself fucked properly. Maybe that'll shake you out of your misery."

The girl is small, with long brown hair, which reminds Jensen a little of Danneel, but as he talks to her he realizes she's nothing like his ex-girlfriend. She laughs loudly, talks a mile a minute, flailing all over the place with no concern for appearances. Jensen finds this comforting, and when she suggests finding themselves a corner less out in the open, he goes along with it.

After she's blown him and he's brought her off by hand, he takes her number with no intention of calling her. She's nice; she can find someone else.

"You feeling better?" Chris asks when Jensen wanders back into the living-room. Jensen smiles and nods and thinks the hollow pit in his stomach has grown more, if that's even possible.

***


The problem with moving back to L.A. is this: not having Jared around 24/7 is like missing a limb. Jensen feels unbalanced, like he needs to relearn everything he knows to accommodate his loss. But there's a phantom ache that no prosthesis can chase away, acute and unforgettable, and Jensen can't just move on as if everything is going to be all right.

He never felt his connection to Jared was something life-altering, but now that Jared is gone, the reality of the situation sinks in. Somewhere along the way, Jensen has forgotten how to live by himself.

***


Time drags on, second by second by second. Four months feel like eternity.

Jensen's cell rings in the middle of the night. He wakes, startled, from deep sleep getting brutally pushed into reality, and begins to fumble for his phone on the nightstand. His alarm clock glares at him greenly – it's 3:53 in the morning! What are you doing awake? Go to sleep, you moron! - and Jensen curses. The fuck.

Eventually, on the fourth unforgiving repeat of the God-forsaken ring tone Jared implanted so long ago (a lifetime ago), Jensen manages to get hold of his phone and take the call.

"Morning, Jen!"

Jared. Of course.

"Jesus," Jensen says, because it seems appropriate. He lies back and burrows back down into his pillow.

"Bad time?" Jared sounds unholy awake even through the crackles disturbing the connection, but then again that's Jared for you. He has more energy than your average over-excited five-year-old, which is to say something. Jensen hates him for it.

"It's fuckin' four in the mornin', Jay," Jensen mumbles, guessing his voice must be half-drowned by the pillow he's speaking into, another quarter maybe lost to the long distance.

"Oh God. I'm sorry, Jen, I totally forgot about the time difference -"

Jared really does sound sorry. Jensen can't ever stay angry at him anyway, so he rolls onto his back and blinks sleep away, trying to control his heart rate. Why is his heart racing? "'s okay. What's up?"

"I just wanted to hear how you're doing over there, but I'll just let you go to sleep. Call me later, yeah?"

"No, no. Talk to me. 's fine. I can sleep later."

So Jared talks, easy as pie, as if they last spoke yesterday when it's actually been two weeks, and two weeks before that. With some people, time just doesn't pass. Jensen just listens, half-drowsed by Jared's voice and mumbles appropriate responses when they seem needed. Jared talks about how awesome everyone on set is (as usual; Jared just has this charm no-one can resist), but how there's this new girl, Natalie, who he just doesn't seem to get along with, whatever he does.

"And it's really just me, you know. She's friendly to everyone else, but she looks at me as if I'm the hugest dork in the history of ever -"

"You are."

"Thanks a lot. Anyway, it just bugs me, y'know? You should see her. She's gorgeous, exactly your type. I bet you'd hit it off with her."

"Yeah, not interested, Jay."

"Yeah, yeah." Jensen imagines Jared's wave, unconcerned as he rolls his eyes at Jensen. "Bad break-up with Danneel, blah blah. It's been half a year, Jen."

"So?"

"So, you should get out more."

Jensen grunts into the phone. Chris has been telling him that enough over the last few months, but look how Jensen's listening to that.

There's silence then, weird and strained as Jared waits for Jensen to say God knows what. Jensen shifts under the covers; his throat works, but no sound wants to come out.

"I'll see you in three weeks, then?" Jared says eventually, slowly, quietly, with an odd emphasis.

"Yes," Jensen says; clears his throat. Yes. Not yeah, miss you, get your ass back here. Just yes.

***


Jensen almost calls Danneel after that. Almost. But he isn't hung up on her – wishes he were, a little, to have her ease him along as she always did.

"You should get some new friends, really," Steve tells him when he calls to check in on him. Jensen smiles, shakes his head.

The thing is, he doesn't want new friends. He wants Jared back, plain and easy, and it's not long now until he'll be there.

***


"Hey man!" Jared shouts across the entire goddamn arrivals area. His face is gleeful, and Jensen has to watch the way he moves. He drinks in the sight he hasn't ever before appreciated this much: the way Jared's legs eat up the distance in no time at all, moving in a restless gallop to get where they want as quickly as possible. Jared sways a little under the weight of his luggage, three full-packed bags piled onto his back and hanging from his shoulders, but it doesn't break the enthusiasm radiating off him in waves. His hair is wind-tousled and flustered, standing every which way instead of confidently curling around Jared's head.

Then Jared stands in front of Jensen, life-sized and grinning. "You came!"

Jensen furrows his brow in mock-annoyance. "'course I did. Did you think I'd abandon you?"

"Never," Jared says, as sure of himself as ever, and then he jumps forward and crashes into Jensen, just about managing to hold them both upright as Jared's bags hit Jensen from both sides.

Jensen just laughs easily and holds onto Jared.

Which is when he sees the girl standing behind Jared, watching them with a very interested expression. As she catches his eye, she smiles at him. She clears her throat, says "Hey" tightly, and Jared instantly jumps away from Jensen and whirls around.

"Oh yeah, God, sorry," Jared begins to ramble, "um, Jen? This is Natalie."

Jensen looks on for the blink of an eye, dumbfounded. Then he remembers his manners and, shaking himself mentally, extends his hand to her.

***


Natalie goes home, and Jared gets in the car with Jensen. The world rights itself.

"So, uh. I kinda need a place to stay."

Jensen doesn't answer, just smiles, small and private. He starts the car and directs it on the way home.

The dogs arrive two days later.

***


If having Jared removed from his life was like missing a limb, having him back is like reattaching it. The feeling is exhilarating, a new appreciation awakened for the little things, more forgiveness born for the annoying habits. The stitches itch, however, and their relationship has altered, if not on a significant level, then in the slower, more careful, more aware way they treat each other.

Jensen finds he doesn't mind so much as Jared's hand grazes his thigh when he reaches for the remote, causing a slight shiver on Jensen's skin where it's hidden underneath the rough fabric of his jeans. He feels his eyes linger on Jared's form stretched out on his couch, and he marvels at the fact that Jared is here, in Jensen's house, for all intents and purposes to stay.

But, for the most part ignored by him, there is the issue of Natalie, who Jared sometimes goes out to meet. He never specifies the nature of their relationship, which Jensen doesn't mind. He's fine not knowing so he can continue to ignore her. He feels better now, more energetic, and even takes a call from his manager, who shouts at him for a good half-hour for having gone MIA before offering him an audition for a lead role in an L.A.-based show. Jensen, ever-dutiful, notes the particulars and gets the part three days later.

Life goes on.

***


"Uh, Jen?"

"Yeah?" Jensen doesn't pause to look up from doing the dishes; otherwise he wouldn't have missed the nervousness apparent in Jared's tense stance. He might have been prepared.

"Would you – would you mind if I brought Natalie home?"

Jensen freezes minutely. "Of course not," he says, that one telling moment too late for those who know what to look for. He doesn't look back at Jared.

That night, he listens to them fuck in the bedroom next to his. Faintly he curses the fact that his house has the two biggest bedrooms next to each other, but he's too busy straining his ears to hear what's going on. When he closes his eyes he is assaulted by the image of Jared manhandling Natalie back to the bed, half-dressed and urgency in his eyes. The sounds are too telling and Jensen knows too much about Jared's preferences. He can almost hear the sound of wet kisses, hungry and demanding, and the slide of skin on skin. He does hear the bed creak under their combined weight. He shivers when what might have been a moan reaches his ears, deep and ragged, and Jensen sees Jared throw back his head to bare his throat as he enters her, pliant under his fingers. He thinks of how he used to fuck Danneel sometimes, after months spent apart. They'd been the same then; animalistic need to get reacquainted and reassure each other they were still where they used to be taking over. He thinks of her smooth skin under his hands, of sucking at her nipples until she groaned, started to beg him to fucking get on with it. He thinks this is what Jared might be doing, minus the emotions separation causes. Heat settles in his gut; his hand wanders south of its own accord.

Jensen drags it out as much as he can; only allowing himself to come minutes after the telling sounds from the adjoining room have quieted.

***


Their silence in the kitchen is strained instead of comfortable. While he cooks, Jensen wonders if Jared wonders why that is. That old wound still feels sore, making Jensen wonder – fear – if he's going to lose what he got back after all.

He forgets that Jared knows him more intimately than anyone else in this world.

A touch to his shoulder makes Jensen jump forward in surprise, causing him to yelp in pain as his knee connects with wood. He turns to Jared with his eyes wide, only partly due to the pain. Jared looks thoughtful and Jensen feels stupid. He schools his features, raises an eyebrow, shifts to the side. There's not enough distance between them.

"You're wearing Dean," Jared says. He lets his arm fall, allowing Jensen to breathe again. "That's okay – just, you can tell me whenever, all right?" Jensen knows how much it must cost Jared not to inch closer to him, knows how much Jared dislikes distance, but he feels like he needs it or he's going to lose his balance again. He doesn't want to go back there. He just needs time to readjust, re-learn how to be Jared and Jensen again instead of – whatever the fuck they are right now, stitched together.

Jensen knows Jared watches him, concerned, and that he occasionally talks to Chris about him. This. Which is just wonderful. Chris is suspicious enough; Jensen doesn't need more of his meddling, thank you very much. He'll do his best to keep Jared right where he is, and Chris can go to hell, if he wants. So Jensen keeps up appearance until it becomes normal to smile and talk to Natalie; until he can pretend everything is just peachy and get the fuck on.

***


They play Guitar Hero, and Jared keeps besting Jensen. Bottles of beer steadily disappear. Jensen watches as Jared's smile becomes gradually broader, his eyes hooded, and he feels his dick twitch in his pants as Jared flails about in the living-room area. If he gets too ridiculous, Harley will jump up and bark at him, at which point Jared will crouch down and tell him how sorry he is for having woken him. Jensen laughs a little to himself, amused at the continuous crap streaming out of Jared's mouth.

"You're such a woman, Jay."

"Shuddup, uptight ass. You just can't appreciate me an' my big heart."

"Yeah, that's it." Jensen rolls his eyes and settles against the couch's big cushion. It feels warm and squishy. He'll close his eyes only for a second, no longer -

He wakes in the morning with creases streaking his cheek, a blanket thrown over him. His throat feels dry like a desert, and his head pounds faintly; nothing that enough water and a couple of hours more sleep won't cure. It's a sad state of affairs that a few beers will do this to him, but, he supposes, that's what he gets for being so abstinent for way too long. He'll have to build up his resistance again.

He finds a bottle of water on the small table, next to a slip of paper.

Be home later. Don't wait up, Kisses, J

Jensen smiles, drains half the bottle, and goes back to sleep.

***


"Hey," Jared calls from the hallway, "I'm home!"

Home. The sound of the word from Jared's lips sends a shiver up Jensen's spine, and he walks to the living-room door with a smile threatening to split his face. The dogs are quicker than him, of course, bounding up to Jared and pressing against his calves, their tails wagging excitedly. Jared greets each of them with a quick, thorough rub, then he turns to Jensen.

"I'm not gonna ask you how your day was," Jensen tells him, mock-serious as he raises his chin defiantly. "I just got a call. We start filming on Monday."

"I broke up with Natalie."

Jensen blinks at the non sequitur. Sadie comes bounding over to him, demanding attention from him too, with her wet nose against his hand, and he folds his palm around her ear unconsciously. "You -"

"I think I figured out why you've been hiding behind Dean, y'know? Getting so distant. That's not you, man."

That is me, Jensen would like to say, but with Jared it's not true; with Jared he just is, and he can't belie it.

"Jay -"

But Jared surges forward, his eyes glittering, and stops Jensen by crowding him back against the doorframe.

"You are kind of obvious, in case you missed it," Jared says, voice pitched low. It makes Jensen want to draw back further.

"You can't -"

"I can. Been meanin' to for way too long, and I thought you'd never come 'round -" Jared holds on to him, hard, his eyes desperate, and then he kisses him. He leans forward, and he kisses Jensen, surely and deeply, as if this were the easiest thing in the world. Jensen tries to fight it, but he is helpless against this onset. His hands come up to tangle in Jared's hair, but instead of pushing him off and away, they pull him closer of their own accord. Jensen whimpers into the kiss. Jared's tongue slides against his; his body aligns with Jensen's until they touch from thigh to hips to mouth, perfect fit.

"That's what I thought," Jared murmurs as he breaks away, panting, but to Jensen's infinite surprise he doesn't step away. He leans in again, and his kisses keep lingering, intimate.

Jensen shivers. He feels like he's falling, but it's good now, it's okay; at the end of it, there is Jared to catch him.


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