Title: The Weight of my Pain
Word Count: 6k
Summary: The third night at Jensen's reveals to Jared a lot more about his patient/lover/maybe-futur-boyfriend. Of course, Jared can't get enough of making love to him, any way they can, but as Jensen opens up to him, he can finally see the complexity of the man and the issues that might be in store for them. As for Jensen, he's showing to Jared his most vulnerable side, but when the pain hits, psychological or physical, it's not like he has the choice.
Ratings: NC-17 for explicit sexual situation and language.
Kinks: Rimming, dirty talk, coming untouched
Beta reading: The awesome candygramme
Disclaimer: None of this is true. I make no profits. This story is my intellectual property.
The Weight of My Pain on Ao3 (link should work in a couple of hours)
Tonight the atmosphere is different. There is a distance between them, despite the physical proximity. In his bath, Jensen lets Jared wash him without speaking too much, just casual words here and there about needing to buy soap, and could Jared help him sit straighter? He even lets Jared wash his crotch, penis and balls, when he’s perfectly capable of doing it himself. Jared’s touch doesn’t do much other than stir half an erection from Jensen, and a deep sigh.
Jared would be worried that Jensen’s attitude is about what they discussed the night before if he hadn’t witnessed the phone call Jensen received just after his arrival tonight. From smiling nervously and chatting with a voice higher than usual, Jensen had become too calm. The call hadn’t lasted long. From what Jared had heard, it was Jensen’s roommate at the other end of the line.
“Ready to get out?” He asks finally, when he’s almost certain Jensen isn’t up for sex in the bath.
“No,” Jensen protests, seeming surprised to find himself with another man in his bath. “Sorry, I’m not entirely there.”
“I’ve noticed. I just wanted to let you know that if you want to do huh… anything else, well, now would be the time before our skin start to wrinkle and we look like raisins.”
“It was Tim on the phone,” Jensen goes on like Jared hasn’t said anything. “He’s not having a good time. At all. He hates those small appearances in TV shows he has to make sometimes. Keep saying he’s a theater man through and through. But the money is too good to say no.”
Okay. What Jensen is offering is an open door, a chance for Jared to get to know him a little better. At least, that’s how Jared sees it.
“That guy, Tim, did you met him when you first arrived in New York?”
“No, it was later.”
Jensen grabs the washcloth and wipes it over his face, like he needs time to gather his thoughts.
“The guy from the acting agency brought me here, and the agency thought I had a better chance at modelling rather than acting, so they gave me an agent –Misha, he still is, in theory- and I started working almost immediately. I’m not a big shot, you know, but money was good, and no one had asked me to take off my pants or sleep with him. I still wanted to act, that was the reason I came to New York in the first place, so huh… two years ago, maybe a little more? Misha built me a new resume, and I started doing auditions for plays. If I really wanted to become an actor, I should have moved to L.A., but I’ve always preferred theater so New York is the place. I had no background, no studies, so it took time before I got a role –a small part in A Few Good Men. That’s where I met Tim. He was playing huh… Well, Jack Nicholson’s role in the movie.”
Jared has no idea what that play is about, but he still lets out a “huh-huh” to keep Jensen going.
“Tim is bisexual. Kind of. He’s not really interested in having any kind of relationship, says he’s always preferred being alone, that he’s enough for himself to deal with. We slept together once, but then we became friends. It clicked. Tim thought I had talent, and he offered to be my mentor.”
“Did you get bigger roles?”
Jensen shakes his head slowly. “A couple of small parts. I was still making good money as a model, and I thought that once I’d hit my thirties and would be a little old for it, it would still be time to have an acting career. Tim agreed with Misha, said I would have a chance in Hollywood, with my huh… “American golden boy” looks, whatever that means. I thought maybe I would try it, but not before I turned thirty. I used to love it here, and I had friends, I had enough work to have a lifestyle I'd never imagined I would be able to. I was in no hurry. You can make lots of cash when you’re modelling. The work… It never inspired me, but I didn’t hate it either. So. I was happy when I landed a small role in an obscure play and I knew that eventually I would want to work hard to become a true theater actor. Tim has a good career here. He’s not that well known outside of the theater world, but he prefers it to movies or TV. I get it. It’s… exhilarating playing in front of an audience, each night, and the adrenaline rush is addictive… compared to, say, spending ten hours smiling, dressed as a cowboy, until the photographer is satisfied. On stage, there are no second chances, you get on there, and that’s it, you act, you can’t ask for a break, or if you could do it again, because you’re not satisfied with your performance. It’s like taking a leap in the dark and hoping everything will be okay.”
Jensen clears his throat and sighs. He’s been playing with his washcloth while talking, folding and unfolding it in a nervous manner.
“You must miss all this,” Jared says, knowing that he’s stating the obvious. Of course Jensen misses having a life.
“I do,” Jensen murmurs. “Anyway, weren’t we talking about Tim? We were pretty close, but I had other friends, some of them closer. Except… It’s when you get into a freak accident and those friends realize how serious it is, or when they get that there is little they can do to make it better, well, gradually, they disappear on you. I don’t blame them. People in general have trouble dealing with those kind of things. And maybe I didn’t want them around. Maybe I was a total bitch. Anyway, long story short, Tim is one of the few that stuck around.”
“Have you ever asked yourself why him? What made him stay when the others left?”
“Oh, I know what made him stay, but… “
Jensen twists his head to the side and up, looking at Jared. His eyes are lit up by small fires that weren’t there a few minutes before.
“But we can get to that later, right? For now, let’s get to the fun part of the bath.”
“We don’t have to, you know?”
Jensen is still looking at Jared. The warmness in his eyes shifts to anxiety immediately. Jared kisses the top of his head and holds him tight. “Hey. It just seemed to me you weren’t in the right mood. I’m all in for bath sex, you know that.”
“I wish you could fuck me,” Jensen murmurs, making waves in the water with his hands.
Jared sighs. He wishes it too, but seeing how sensitive Jensen’s legs are, he don’t see how they can manage that. And he’s given it thoughts. Lots of thoughts.
“I have an idea,” Jensen goes on. “Maybe. Tomorrow, you could open me up before we get into the bath and then I could sit on your cock.”
“Oh, Jesus, don’t-“
Jared tries to adjust himself. Jensen’s giggles make him feel better about the whole evening. He can’t help but think it through, though. It would be possible. He would have to open Jensen in his bed, where he could be comfortable, then… Yeah, with the water helping to relieve the weight of his legs, he could probably be penetrated without feeling too much pain.
“But it is doable, right?” Jensen seems to be following the same chain of thoughts.
“I think it is…”
Jensen turns his head once more to look at him. His smile is genuine. “It’s our last night tomorrow. I think it’s a great way to end your caretaking.”
“It’s a fabulous way, but it’s not the end, right?” Jared feels a cold hand wrapping around his heart, because what if Jensen did look distant because of him, because he wanted to let him know that it wouldn’t be that good of an idea to try getting to know each other better, what if-
“Hey, no, stop it, I can hear you thinking. It’s not the end of… whatever there is between us, I’m not the kind of guy to give out false hope.”
“You’re not like anyone I’ve ever met.”
“I hope that's a compliment.” Jensen blushes. It triggers a fit of laughter bubbling from Jared’s throat. “What?” Jensen asks, blushing darker.
“It’s just… Whenever you talk about sex, you have the dirtiest mouth I know,” Jared explains, clearing a strand of wet hair stuck on Jensen’s forehead. “But when we speak about our feelings, you get all shy and red in the face.”
Jensen grunts and turns his head back. “Yeah well, the dirty mouth is a new thing. Sometimes I wonder if it’s the concussion that messed things up in my brain.”
“It was a serious concussion, though,” Jared says more seriously, trying to remember what’s written in the file. “Enough to have you in a light coma afterward.”
Jensen nods. “It’s hard to evaluate, since they got me into surgery a couple of hours after the accident. That’s what the neurologist says. People react differently to anesthesia so I just might have been really sensitive to it, although he doesn’t think so. I had all the symptoms of a serious concussion, and afterwards, there were the headaches, trouble concentrating, problems of memory –short term, I think. So…”
Jensen shrugs, then he’s shaken by a whole body shiver. The water is getting too cold. When Jared suggest they get out, Jensen agrees. “We can take things to bed,” he adds, winking at Jared.
Jared is all for taking things to bed… or anywhere Jensen might want to, really.
Jared’s theory about whether it’s possible or not to open up Jensen in bed gets its answer half an hour later. He has Jensen whimpering loudly, hitting the pillow with his head and cursing while Jared takes his time to suck and lick at his hole.
Jensen’s legs are parted, not too much, with a pillow under each thigh to relieve the pressure. There is another one used to lift up his hips. Jensen told Jared he wasn’t feeling any straining so Jared went to work, almost religiously, parting Jensen’s white skin to access his tiny pink hole, still a little wet from the bath. It’s not that easy: if Jared would want to do a thorough job he should have Jensen’s legs wider apart, but who cares? He can’t help but press his own aching cock against the mattress where he’s lying on his side, one leg bent, the other trailing onto the floor. If Jensen keeps making those noises, Jared is going to come like that.
He stops for a second, needing to breathe freely. He lifts his head to look at Jensen who’s staring back at him, his face tensed and red. “Don’t stop, please,” he pants, licking his lips.
Jensen’s cock is bobbing on his stomach, hard and red, the head glistening with fluids. Jared lifts himself up, can’t help it, and licks the shaft from root to top, tasting the warm, sticky precome.
Jensen downright screams and grabs Jared’s hair, pulling on it without any restraint. Jared smiles at him and goes back to taking care of his asshole, now puffy and red, so warm.
“More,” Jensen whispers in a scratchy, trembling voice.
Jared doesn’t know what he actually means, but he can give more. He can give everything he has, going from quick, kitten licks to stabs into the hole, trying to breach it and get part of his tongue swallowed in it. And when Jensen says he needs to get himself off, it’s too good, Jared stops only long enough to tell him to go for it, not to hold anything back. He can feel his lover tensing, while he hears the noise of his hand jacking his cock, with a little suction when he gets to the head –probably- and then, the spasm of his anus when Jensen finally comes with a hoarse cry and a series of “fucks” is so god damn arousing, the way it contracts quickly, the way it gets hotter –well, Jared is only human. He thought he would be able to last and rub one off over Jensen’s belly to come all over him –the idea of marking him with his come is hot, although Jared can’t explain to himself exactly why. It’s at least hotter than coming in his boxers like a teenager just because Jensen is coming. The only thing Jared can do at this point is to press his hips as hard as he can against the mattress, drunk on the smell of Jensen’s semen and sweat.
“Shit, he pants a few seconds later, when he retrieve some control on his body and his breathing. “I came.”
Jensen lifts himself on his elbows. “Seriously?”
He's still panting and red in the face, his lips swollen, the trace of his teeth visible in them. Jared feels like he’s been punched in the gut, realizing once more how beautiful Jensen is.
“Yeah, seriously,” he says in a grumbling voice, like he cares at all. “You… the things you do to me, man.”
Jensen smiles, lowering his eyes. The shadow created from the nightstand light makes his already long eyelashes stand out even more against the delicate skin under his eyes. Maybe it’s just the way the light is projected, but Jared sees a pattern in the freckles that cover the bridge of his nose. A heart. It’s cheesy as hell, so Jared keeps this small discovery for himself, like a sweet, precious secret.
“Pass me the Kleenex box,” Jensen asks, eyes still closed, which is a good thing given that he would otherwise be staring straight back into Jared’s adoring eyes.
“It’s not even nine,” Jensen adds, cleaning his stomach meticulously. “I don’t feel like going to sleep. What to share a coffee with me… Unless you’re in a hurry tonight.”
“Naw, technically, I have to stay here until nine thirty, but I don’t have anything early tomorrow morning. I’ve got all the time in the world.”
Sharing a coffee might be Jensen’s way of pursuing that step forward so Jared would have accepted anyway, even if it means wearing sticky boxers for the rest of the evening.
“I’ m gonna try to clean up a little first,” he declares, wincing.
Jensen laughs. It makes his eyes crinkle but at the same time it rejuvenates him, taking at least five years off.
Jensen makes good coffee, and when Jared compliments him on it, he doesn’t play false modesty, just grins, rolling his chair to the kitchen table where the pot is waiting for them.
“Another thing Timothy showed me,” he explains. “Before he moved in with me, I was drinking instant coffee. He took that as a character flaw he had to fix immediately.”
Jared is quick to grab a chair. “So this was your apartment, not his?”
“Well, not for long. My parents took care of finding a bigger apartment, closer to the rehabilitation center, something it would be easy to adapt for me. My huh… my ex, Nathan, was part of the whole process, but then we broke up just as I was transferred from the hospital to St-Jude’s Rehabilitation Center.”
“That’s a shitty thing to do,” Jared can’t help but say. Seriously, how can you leave someone you’re supposed to love when he needs you the most.
“Oh, trust me, I did everything to push him away,” Jensen murmurs, staring into his coffee cup. “I was a bitch. Seriously, Jared. We were together for a year and I didn’t even know if I really loved him, you know? And after the accident, the poor guy… he couldn’t take everything that was dumped on his shoulders. The hospital, the pain, the surgeries, the uncertainty about whether or not my legs would heal. It was too much for him, I could see it in his eyes. Plus, I was tired of having him hovering over me, so out of place, and scared, and uneasy. I think I did both of us a favor. He was young –barely twenty- and he didn’t deserve to have his whole life fucked up. If I hadn’t pushed him, he wouldn’t have left –he would have stayed, if only out of pity.”
“And then, Tim proposed to become your roommate?”
Jensen grimace. “Behind my back. He knew that it would take much longer for me to leave the rehabilitation center if I was alone at home, and that even then, I would need to have nurses coming every day to help me –or worse, go back home, to Texas. So he told my parents to go ahead and make an offer on the apartment, and that he had every intention of moving in with me.”
“Wouldn’t you have preferred that? Going back home, being surrounded by your family?”
Jared’s question is genuine. He himself has been lucky: after his parent’s divorce, they both remarried, and he had the opportunity of feeling at home in both households –John, his mother’s new husband, already had a son one year younger than Jared, Chad, and, despite their differences, it hadn’t take long before Jared had started to consider Chad his brother. Since his father was still in Texas, Jared would mostly see him during the summer, but boy, did he loved those Texan summer. Hid dad had taken longer to remarry, but it was worth it. Amber is a nice, warm woman, who’s always treated Jared like her son, even though Gerald Padalecki and Amber now had three children of their own. Amelia, Sabrina and Lucy are now respectively eight, seven and five. They are crazy about Jared. Each of his visits turns into a huge event, and it’s a fight between the girls to have their big brother’s attention. Wow, Jared hadn’t realized how much he misses Texas. It’s been too long since his last visit. He promises himself to do some Face Time with the girls during the weekend, and to make some plans with his dad to visit during spring break.
Lost in his thoughts, he had almost forgotten he was asking Jensen a question, and it’s only then he realizes Jensen isn’t answering. He’s still staring at his coffee cup with what Jared can only describe as the saddest smile in the world. Jared won’t be responsible for Jensen’s sadness.
“It’s not my business, you know. I’m sorry if I overstepped,” he says, contrite.
“No… No, it’s okay, Jared,” Jensen let out a long sigh and lift his head, staring straight at Jared with his mind-blowing green eyes. “It’s just that you’re right. I used to love New York. When I stepped off the bus and found myself on Time Square, I fell in love with it. I had a friend back in Texas who came here for a visit and who warned me, how scary it was, how dirty. But fuck, I wasn’t scared. It felt like coming home.”
“Wow. I gotta say, I was more like your friend. Still am, as a matter of fact. I’m here because CUNY offered a full ride, but I’m not planning on spending my life here.”
Jared has grown used to New York, he can even say now that he likes the small apartment he shares with two roomates, the coffeeshop down the street, and walking through central park in the fall, but he misses Maine and Texas equally. He needs blue skies at night, and stars, the smell of the ocean around him, or the heat of Texas with the smell of barbecue in the evening. He’ll never be a New Yorker.
“Well, used to love is the important part,” Jensen replies, filling his cup again. “Now, it feels like a prison. Going out is always so damn complicated, and this apartment, it’s my fucking jail. I mean, what am I doing here if I can’t do my job? I think my modeling days are over, but I could still give acting a try, although I don't know when? My legs are far from being healed, and the pain… It’s always there, you know? In the back of my mind, even when the meds are dulling it. People don’t understand how tiring it is, just dealing with pain every fucking hour of every fucking day, so even if I… if I can walk again, it won’t mean anything if the pain doesn’t go away, I won’t be able to work, or function normally for that matter, and it’s so fucking scary.”
“You do know that nerve damage can take a long time to heal, right?” Jared winces as he speaks, because he knows Jensen must have heard this before.
“I know,” Jensen replies softly, one of his hands disappearing under the table to massage his left thigh. “I know. But in the meantime, I… I hate it here. I miss Texas so fucking much.”
Jensen’s lower lip starts shaking. Jared sits straighter on his chair, unable to decide if he should stand up and physically comfort him, or if he should wait. Maybe Jensen isn’t done talking.
“But I can’t go back,” Jensen finally whispers, blinking quickly as if to chase tears away from his eyes.
“Why?” Jared’s voice is a murmur. He doesn’t want to shock Jensen and break the spell.
“Because I would need to move back with my parents. And my father doesn’t want me there,” Jensen explains, all the emotions he was fighting absent from his voice. “Look around you, Jared, look at all my father spent to be sure I wouldn’t even ask.”
“Why? Again with the why, like Jared is back to a four years old who needs to know how the world works.
“Because I like boys,” Jensen drops, smiling, his eyes filled with unshed tears. “Because I am his only son, and he’s a wise man, Jared. He probably knew I was gay before I did. He started treating me different when I began high school, and fuck, I didn’t understand. I was part of the baseball and the drama teams, I had stellar grades, but the older I got, the more distant he was. Came out to them when I was seventeen. My mom took it well enough, and my sister Mack really didn’t care at all. Her generation is so open-minded, gives us some hope for the future, right?”
Jensen isn’t really asking a question there, so Jared waits for him to go on, in silence.
“My father said, like my mother, that it didn’t matter that I was gay, that the important thing was that I felt good about myself, but his eyes, Jared… They were saying another thing entirely. There wasn’t a lick of love left in his them. He had known, and probably hoped he was wrong, but the way he looked at me was probably the worst thing that ever happen to me –well, I hadn’t been rolled over by a car, yet. Anyway, afterward, he basically acted like I didn’t exist. We never talked. I knew what he was thinking. I think my mom tried to help me -I could hear my mother and him fight sometimes when they thought I was asleep. I would spend as much time outside the house as I could, basically crashing at my friend’s places one after the other. And when… when I told him I had been offered a modeling contract here in New York, I could see it in his eyes, the relief, that I would finally get out of his life.”
Jensen sniffs and wipes his eyes on his sleeve. “Awww, shit, there I go again with my damn feelings. I could have just said that it was easier for the medical care to stay here in New York, I mean, that would have been an easy lie, right? But no, I thought… I thought: hey, since the guy wants to get to know me, better start with the ugly parts, right? Shit.”
Jensen closes his hands in fists and presses them against his eyes, hard. His chin is still wobbling. Jared doesn’t hesitate that time, he stands up and walks over to him, kneeling in front of the wheelchair.
“Hey, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have…-“
“What, start asking questions? Nah, man, you got nothing to be sorry for.”
Jensen takes a hiccupping breath and finally takes his fists off his face. Seeing how close Jared is, he lowers his red-rimmed eyes before slowly looking back at him.
“I need my pills.”
“Yeah, and I bet you’re ready to go to bed now.”
“What are you, a mind reader?” Jensen jokes lamely.
He rolls his chair back, takes another deep breath, like he needs to settle himself. “I’m going to the bathroom, joining you in a few minutes, okay?”
Keep breathing. Not too fast. That’s it. The pills are going to start working in a few minutes, you just have to tough it out.
Jensen tries not to wince while Jared helps him change into his pajamas, but the pain is quickly becoming unbearable, fierce, a fire burning, devouring his legs. He feels it, in its left leg, the muscle twitching by itself, and he’s scared, because the cramps are his worst nightmare. When his left thigh muscle cramps, he can’t do anything but scream until someone massages it. The cramp is so acute it’s visible through his skin. It would happen to him almost every day after the second surgery, the one that was supposed to fix that damn muscle, and the first time, the cramp hadn’t let go for half an hour, during which he might have asked the nurse that was injecting him with a muscle relaxant to kill him. He doesn’t really remember. Agony will do that to you.
Jensen wonders if all those memories he brought to the surface are somehow, making the pain worse. Maybe his body has reacted, tensing itself, trying to brace Jensen against another kind of pain.
“Jared,” he murmurs, his voice muffled by the t-shirt Jared is pulling down on him.
There is no way to escape now. Jensen feels the sweat beading on his forehead, and the tiny electric shock in his left thigh shift into something else. The muscle. Tensing and releasing, the rhythm accelerating. Jensen tries to calm himself down. He knows there is a muscle relaxant in his evening pill cocktails. Still, just the thought of feeling his muscle cramping is scaring him shitless. He knows he’s hyperventilating, tries to fight it, because a panic attack won’t do him any good –if nothing, it will worsen the cramp.
It’s starting, he can feel it.
He babbles to Jared about the emergency med in his nightstand, in the form of a strange lollipop. Oxycodone he has to rub on the inside of his cheeks for immediate relief. His heart is beating so fast it makes his vision blurry, get blurrier with each beat. Jared is kneeling in front of him, asking what’s going on, telling him to slow down his breathing, but then, the muscle of Jensen’s thigh tenses and doesn’t relax. It gets harder, like it wants to curl on itself.
“My… leg,” he gasps between two breathes.
Jared has opened the oxycodone lollipop and is shoving it inside Jensen’s mouth, visibly familiar with its usage. Jensen bends forward, almost chokes on it, and now he’s… not exactly screaming, no. It’s more like crying. He’s crying like a baby, and he doesn’t care, god it hurts, hurt so bad he wants to die. He can’t take it, not that, not anymore.
Jared makes sure that the lollipop is still jammed into Jensen’s mouth, which isn’t difficult, by the way he clenches his teeth. He tries to ignore the tears falling from his eyes, the moans, the panic that makes his face and hair drenched in sweat.
“What is going on?” He asks in a hurry. “Jensen, you gotta tell me if you want me to help you!”
“M… make it stop, please,” is all Jensen seems to be capable of saying. Both of his hand are pressed against his left thigh.
“Okay that’s it, hang on.”
Without finesse, Jared grabs Jensen in his arms and lifts him from his chair. Jensen screams, the lollipop slips from his mouth, but there is only the stick left so Jared let it fall on the floor. He lies Jensen on his bed and sees how his left leg doesn’t stretch but stays bent at the knee. He grabs the rim of Jensen’s sleeping pants and lowers them, discovering the problem immediately. The muscle of his left leg is cramped, enough for the knot it’s forming to be visible through the skin, making a grotesque bump.
Cramps are a pain in the ass, and it’s common for people who, like Jensen, have had part of a muscle damaged or surgically removed.
“Fuuuuuuuck,” Jensen cries. “Make it stop, please, please Jared, hurts so bad, please…”
Jared knows he needs to massage the knot. He also knows the first few second of massaging will worsen the pain. It breaks his heart, but he still starts working immediately. The oxycodone should kick in any minute now. At least, he hope it does, he’s practically praying to the god of opiates when he presses both palms on the knot under the skin, one knee on the bed, his other leg on the floor to put as much strength as he caninto it. He focuses on working the knot, compartmentalizing as much as he can, Jensen’s yell then series of harsh sobs remaining stuck in one part of his brain, while he uses his therapist knowledge to relieve him.
It doesn’t take long, maybe a few seconds, before Jared feels the muscle relaxing under his hands. Time is relative, though, and Jared has the feeling he’s been hearing Jensen’s whimpers and cries forever. He feels drenched, emotionally.
“That’s it, it’s gone,” he whispers, scared irrationally that just the sound of his voice could bring the cramp back. “How do you feel?” He adds, lifting his head to have a look at Jensen. He’s silent now, staring at the ceiling, his whole body shaking from exhaustion. Jared makes his way toward the head of the bed and kneels next to him. He can’t help but put a hand on his head in a reassuring gesture. Jensen looks back at him. He has the familiar look of someone high on opiates: pupils reduced to pinpoint, and giving the impression they’re covered with a liquid mist. It’s worsened his tears, the whole area around his eyes is red and swollen.
“Thanks,” Jensen murmurs. “Thank you. Hadn’t happened to me in weeks.”
“How is the pain?”
Jensen drags trembling hands over his face. “I don’t know. I would say it’s a seven, but given that it was way over ten a few minutes ago, it’s manageable.”
“Okay,” Jared nods with the same calm, low voice. “Okay, it’s over. I want you to try to slow down your breathing.”
“I’m sorry,” Jensen pants. “It scares the hell out of me every time I feel one of those coming. That’s why I have those lollipops. By the way, can you give me another one?”
“Are you sure? You seem kind of high right now.”
Jensen nods. “I can have another one after fifteen minutes if the pain is still… what’s the word? Debilitating? Whatever, I won’t be able to sleep on a seven.”
Jared is quick to unwrap another small oxycodone pop and give it to Jensen. The other man can barely use it properly because of the tremors still running through his body. Jared grabs his arm to stabilize his hand while Jensen rubs the lollipop on the inside of his cheeks.
“I got you. I’ll take care of you,” Jared adds. He can’t help it. It’s a sentiment so strong inside him right now that is has to get out.
Jensen is only ever that high on his meds –well, if he doesn’t count the first two weeks at the hospital after his accident- when the cramp from hell makes an appearance. He’s in this state between artificial sleep and a soft, time-distorted consciousness. He goes from lying flat on his back, with his pants down his knees, to well-settled in dry clothes, the head of his bed raised just as he likes, with his blood pressure cuffs in place, and his comforter lifted up to his chin. And god, does he feel good, like his whole world is wrapped in cotton. There is light, but it’s soft, just enough for him to see Jared’s silhouette, sitting in his wheelchair, staring back at him.
Jensen suddenly feels like saying a lot of things. He wants to apologize for crying and yelling, for spreading his misery over a coffee cup, but he also wants to tell Jared how important he’s become for him, in such a short period of time, that what he feels for him scares him as much as dealing with pain for the rest of his life. He wants to tell him he needs his touch, and that it’s not about sex, in the end, not about sex at all, but that Jensen might find an interest in living again with Jared by his side. He wants to tell him he’s beautiful like the sun and strong like the wind. Which, Jensen is glad he’s too far gone to utter that cheap poetry and those awful doubts and fragile hopes.
“Jared,” he drawls, and maybe it’s enough.
“You shouldn’t fight, Jensen, just go to sleep.”
No, not because Jensen really does want to stay awake, but because he wants Jared to stay. Childish, maybe, but Jensen doesn’t care.
“Hey, I’m not going anywhere,” Jared replies.
Ooops. Jensen must have said some of that out loud. He clears his throat. “Come. In bed with me.”
“No, I’ll hurt you. You need to rest.”
And since Jensen is high as kite and has lost anything resembling a filter, whether for his words, his emotions or his desires, he pleads. “Please, Jare, I won’t be able to rest without your giant body cuddling me.”
Jared sighs, but Jensen knows he’s won. Luckily, the therapeutic bed he owns is almost as large as a double bed, so even if he doesn’t turn on his side, like the other night, Jared fits himself perfectly, turned toward him, stretching an arm to wrap around Jensen’s waist.
“Am I hurting you?”
It’s Jensen’s turn to sigh. He doesn’t remember when was the last time he felt so good, enough to let his defenses down, the ones he use to keep the consciousness of his pain as far away as possible. He doesn’t need them now, and it’s such a relief he could cry.
“Hey, what’s wrong?”
Jared lift himself on his elbows, leaning his head in his opened hand. He looks concerned.
Jensen is confused, until he feels it, the tears, sliding down each side of his face to make their way into his ears. Fuck. He only thought about crying and there he is. There is no end to it, it seems. He’s cried more in Jared’s company than in the last six months.
“I’m just… It’s not bad. I just feel good, and it…”
It’s hard to find the words in his cotton-filled head. “It feels good to huh… feel good.”
Not that clear or elaborated, right? Still, Jared seems to get it because he smiles softly while wiping Jensen’s tears off with a Kleenex that seems to have materialized magically in his hand.
“You’re so high, Jensen Ackles. And by the way, I like what you called me.”
“What did I call you?”
Jensen hopes it’s not a pet name like love or sweetheart. He still has some pride… maybe… somewhere. Anyway.
“Jare. My friends call me Jay. I prefer Jare.”
“My friends call me Jay too, it might be a problem,” Jensen wonders if it’s a serious matter, if he should find another nickname for himself.
He’s completely absorbed when Jared startles him by planting a kiss on his forehead. It makes Jensen giggle.
“I’m such a fucking mess,” he declares.
He feels like a teenager, like that time when he was fourteen and got drunk on crème de menthe in Christian Kane’s basement.
“You’re anxious,” Jared declares, settling more closely and gosh, the additional heat feels like heaven. “That doesn’t help. You know that cramp? It could’ve been triggered just because of our conversation. You spoke about difficult stuff, your whole body tensed up, because you were anxious. I’m working on a thesis regarding pain triggers, other than physical. It really does make a difference, you know. People who deal with acute pain, like you, get scared of it. It’s understandable. The fear makes you anxious, and the anxiety triggers physical symptoms, and the physical symptoms worsen the pain. It’s a vicious circle.”
Jensen is trying very hard to keep up. “I was… was always prone to anxiety, but after the accident it got worse. I… I… my… psychologist. Huh. Never realized how hard it was to pronounce that word.”
Jensen tries it again. Psy-cho-lo-gist. His tongue rolls in his mouth and tickles his palate. He giggles. Good. Helps him stay awake. What was he saying?
“What were you saying?” Jared adds his voice to his thoughts.
“He says it’s ptsd. Bullshit. I… I never… went to war or...”
That time, it’s too much. Jensen finishes the sentence in his head. The cottony in-between he’s holding on to is quickly disappearing, the call of sleep too urgent, too powerful to escape. Jensen turns his head. He wants Jared’s face to be the last thing to see before he fall asleep.
Jared is there, smiling still, only a small one, a private one, and Jensen, succumbing to sleep, likes the idea that maybe, just maybe, he’s the only one that gets to see that particular smile. Maybe it’s Jared’s Jensen smile.
It’s a nice thought.
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