The Long and Winding Road (amypond45) wrote,
The Long and Winding Road

Last Chance [J2, R] - Part Four

By the end of that first week back in L.A., Jared's starting to feel better. He's beginning to see why Jensen made him do this. He hangs out with Chad and Danneel and his old pals from Gilmore Girls and Disney. He goes to the beach and parties with his friends and it's better than he imagined, given the huge hollow place in the middle of his chest where Jensen should be. He's surviving without Jensen, without his life in Vancouver, and that's an accomplishment, right?

Danneel finds him hiding out in a guest bedroom at her house in Malibu during a party one weekend, binge-watching Supernatural just so he can watch Jensen, just so he can see him move and talk and look at Jared, even if only on the screen. She punches him, turns off the TV, cleans him up and sends him home to Texas for the weekend, which stretches into two weeks because his mother can tell he's heartsick. Sherry Padalecki decides he needs to hang out with his old friends in San Antonio for a while so she can fatten him up on her home cooking and so he can celebrate his birthday with family, just like he did when he was a kid.

On July 19, Jared's phone vibrates as he's watching the game with his brother. He excuses himself and answers it in his old bedroom, the one with its walls still covered with banners from his old high school, awards from speech tournaments, and posters of Pearl Jam.


"Happy birthday, kid," Jensen's deep voice breathes into his ear, and the world falls away. Jared chokes up and can't speak, wants Jensen so badly he can taste it. "Jared? You okay, buddy?"

"Yeah," Jared manages as he slides to the floor, phone pressed to his ear, eyes squeezed shut against his tears, surrounding himself with the illusion of Jensen all around him. "Yeah, I'm fine. You?"

Jensen chuckles, low and soft, and it makes Jared's whole body quiver, makes his dick fill and throb painfully.

"You're a terrible liar, Jay," Jensen says quietly, and Jared nods, even though he knows Jensen can't see him.

"I know," he says, wiping his leaking eyes on his sleeve. "What's up?"

'Well, I got some news yesterday, but I wanted to wait till today to call you," Jensen says, and the teasing tone in his voice makes Jared sit up right away.

"What? What is it?"

"It's official," Jensen says, and Jared can tell he's grinning like a five-year-old. "We got the green light on season two. Filming starts next month."

"Oh my God, you fucker!" Jared gasps. "You should have called me right away!" The word had been hopeful but not definite as of last week, and Jared had been on tinder-hooks waiting.

"Nah, I wanted to give you a birthday present," Jensen laughs. "Plus, I really needed to call you today, and I couldn't call two days in a row. That would be weird."

"Why? You could've just called yesterday and wished me a happy birthday then," Jared's too overjoyed to care, really, but something about Jensen's words seems a little off.

"Wanted you to turn twenty-four first," Jensen says, like that makes any sense.

"Why? What's so important about being twenty-four?" Now Jared's really curious. And confused.

"It means you're not twenty-three anymore," Jensen says. "You made it."

"Yeah," Jared agrees. He feels a chill go up his spine and he pulls his hoodie around him tighter, wishing it was Jensen. "Yeah, I made it."

"Happy birthday, Jared," Jensen murmurs again.


Jensen meets Jared at the airport in Vancouver and it takes Jared's breath away for a moment. He has to literally double over with his hands on his knees and find his breath again while Jensen rubs his back.

"Good to see you too, kid," Jensen murmurs soothingly.

"I'm not a kid," Jared protests as he gasps for breath. "You really have to stop calling me that."

When the world stops spinning for a moment Jared straightens up and grabs Jensen into a crushing hug, closing his eyes so he can shut out everything but Jensen's warm, solid body pressed against him as tight as he can hold him.

"I dreamed you were dead," Jared gasps against the side of Jensen's head. "Dreamed you died and turned into an angel."

Jensen stiffens fractionally in Jared's arms, then relaxes again almost immediately.

"It's that damn script," he mutters. "'In My Time of Dying.' It got to me, too."

In the car on the way to their apartment, Jared steals glances at Jensen because it almost hurts too much to look at him. Then when he can stand it he just gives up and full-on stares. Fucker's grown more gorgeous, if that's possible, and Jared's more in love than ever. It's as if that "absence makes the heart grow fonder" thing is some kind of curse.

"So your little test didn't really work out," Jared announces, and Jensen throws him a look that's almost an eye-roll, so Jared knows he understands. "I still want to spend the rest of my life with you, come hell or high water."

"Who said anything about spending the rest of our lives together?" Jensen demands, and Jared grins because he's sure that's what Jensen wants, too.

But they don't talk about it directly. It's as if Jensen's still too afraid he might jinx it somehow. But Jared's sure now. Their forced separation has clarified things for him, and there's no doubt in his mind that Jensen's it for him. It's not just the heady rush of constant exposure or the steady menu of incredible sex or the intensity and isolation of their jobs.

It's Jensen.


The second year of filming goes better than the first, if only because everyone's more confident about what they're doing. Their characters are better fleshed out and dependable, and the scripts are fantastic, as far as Jared's concerned. He's perfectly happy playing the little brother, in life as in fiction, and he lets Jensen guide their private lives in a way that feels natural. Comfortable. They've fallen into a rhythm of give-and-take with each other that gives richness to their characters, and they know it. They're proud of it.

Jared's family visits the set one weekend and Sherry Padalecki takes one look at her son with Jensen and figures it out.

"Now I understand why you were moping around last summer," she says triumphantly. "You were missing him."

Jared blushes and pulls her into a hug so she doesn't notice. "He's kinda hard not to miss," Jared agrees good-naturedly.

"Hard to miss, you mean," Jensen corrects him with a grin as he shakes Jared's dad's hand. "Good to see you, sir."

"Gerry," Jared's dad corrects. "Please call me Gerry."

It's the second time the Padaleckis have visited the set, the first time being early in season one, before the boys had consummated their relationship, and they'd barely met Jensen that time. This time Jared and Jensen pick the restaurant and make the arrangements for the evening meal together, then play hosts for the weekend, giving a tour of their favorite places in Vancouver with obvious pleasure in each other's company. Although they're careful and practiced at reining in public displays of affection, they don't shy away from casual touching, and they're so accustomed to being in each other's personal space they move together naturally without even noticing, finish each other's sentences with barely any hesitation.

"You guys are so cute it's almost gross," Jared's sister comments after observing them for a few minutes at dinner that first night.

"Anything you want to tell us?" his mother asks as Jared's helping her on with her coat later.

"What? No!" Jared blushes again. He glances over where Jensen is talking to the maître d', taking care of the bill like a good host. "We're good friends, Mom. I mean, I guess it's more than that; he's the best friend I've ever had."

Sherry Padalecki looks up at her son speculatively for a moment, then smiles and nods. "I'm sure you'll tell us when you're ready, honey," she says confidently. "Just don't think you're fooling anyone who really knows you."

Jared bites the inside of his lip, glances over at Jensen and exchanges a look with him that fills Jared with warmth. "He's the most amazing person I've ever known," Jared admits softly. "I feel like I could spend every day for the rest of my life with him and never get bored, you know? He really gets me."

Sherry nods again and pats his arm gently. "I think he does," she agrees. "And just so you know, I approve."


"My mom really likes you," Jared reveals later when he and Jensen are alone in their apartment.

As usual, they barely made it through the door before grabbing each other, tearing away each other's clothing, desperate to taste and feel each other after the long day of pent-up emotion and desire. They end up on the couch, Jensen completely nude except for his tie, Jared mostly still clothed except for his shirts and shoes. He already removed his tie in the car.

In the after-glow of their nearly-mutual orgasms, Jared lies sprawled half on top of Jensen, half on the floor. He's got his ear pressed to Jensen's chest, listening to Jensen's heart-beat as he trails his fingers up the soft skin of Jensen's side. Jensen plays with his hair, then tips his face down to bury it in the top of Jared's head, kissing him there.

"I like her, too," Jensen says quietly. "And your dad. And your sister. Haven't met your brother, but I'm sure I'd like him, too."

Jared turns his face into Jensen's chest, kisses the warm skin, still flushed with pleasure.

"She figured it out," Jared murmurs. "She knows about us."

Jared can feel Jensen take a deep breath, let it out slow. His fingers slide through Jared's hair, soothing.

"Jen?" Jared raises his head. "Why don't we tell them? Why don't we just come out to them? What would be so terrible about that?"

Jensen breathes deep and closes his eyes.

"We could tell your family, too," Jared adds, almost as an afterthought.

Jensen never talks about his family, never visits them, and Jared knows there's something wrong there, something off. He's heard Jensen on the phone with his mother a couple of times, or at least Jared assumes it's Jensen's mother since he calls her "mom." They're quiet, hushed conversations that Jared's only dimly aware of because they only happen when Jensen thinks Jared's sleeping, which is why Jared never asks. He doesn't want to pry, figures it's a sore topic for Jensen and if he just leaves it alone, maybe one of these days Jensen will tell him.

"Tell them what?" Jensen huffs. "That we're shacked up together? Big surprise there."

"What? No!" Jared shakes his head. "Tell them that we're a couple. That we love each other. That it's probably pretty permanent so they better get used to it."

"Probably?" Jensen snorts.

"Definitely," Jared corrects. "We're definitely permanent. Jensen, what's wrong? Why do you keep pushing me away when we talk about this? What are you so afraid of?"

Jared can see he's crossed the line by the way Jensen's impossible lips curl into a snarl, by the way his jaw tightens and his whole body shifts and stiffens under Jared, and not in a sexy way.

Well, not exactly in a sexy way. Jensen's naked with his legs spread and one of them up on the back of the couch and Jared's got him pinned down with his body, so it's not like Jared's turned off or anything. He's pretty much ready to go again if Jensen's willing. Nevertheless, Jensen stops stroking his hair and pushes on his shoulders instead, and Jared gets the message.

"Get off me," Jensen demands, and Jared does, awkwardly, crawling backwards off the couch onto the floor, getting tangled in his pants because they're undone so they fall off his hips when he tries to stand up.

Jensen doesn't even try to help him. He rolls over and gets smoothly to his feet, grabbing his shirt so he can wipe his belly off as he heads to the bathroom, and suddenly Jared's getting another eyeful of that perfect ass and those muscled bow legs walking away from him.

"Jensen," he calls after his co-star, his best friend, his lover. "We need to talk about this. We never talk about our relationship, and that really has to stop, don't you think? I mean, who are we, Sam and Dean?"

Jensen pauses at the door of the bathroom, turning just enough to throw a smirk over his shoulder.

"No, Sam and Dean talk," he argues. "They may not communicate perfectly, but they don't have to. They know how important they are to each other. They don't need words for that."

"Fuck that, man," Jared throws his arms up in frustration as Jensen turns away from him into the bathroom and closes the door.


"Jared, you know this show may get canceled," Jensen says later when he's in bed with his laptop and Jared won't let it go, won't stop pacing the floor. "You know we're not always gonna have this. It'll all end one day, and then you'll move back to L.A. and your life there. You know that. We shouldn't have to talk about it. There is no 'permanent' in this business."

"You keep saying that like you're so sure I'd want to break up with you when the show ends," Jared says. "I don't get how you can assume that."

"Show romances are common, Jay, you know that," Jensen says. "The intimacy and trust of working together makes them almost inevitable. But they always end when the show does. And right now it doesn't look good for this show going on much past this year. I'm just being practical here."

"Do you want to drive me away, is that it?" Jared asks, angrier than he means to be, but it's late and he's tired. Having his family here has made him emotional. "Last summer wasn't enough for you to see that I want this? I really want to be with you, Jensen, no matter what. Even if we end up on different shows after this, I'll still want us to be together. I want this, permanently. Why can't you believe that? What do I have to do to convince you I'm committed here?"

Jensen shakes his head. "You're still young, Jared," he says. "You don't know."

"You keep saying that," Jared snaps. "You're agist, you know that? I'm old enough! Old enough to know what I want, and how I want it, and you don't have the right to decide for me. So unless you've been hiding something or you've got somebody else you're not telling me about, something that prevents us from being together for the long term...?"

"There's nobody else, Jared," Jensen sighs. "There'll never be anyone else for me, that's the problem."

Jared's mouth drops open with an angry comeback, then snaps shut because Jensen looks so small and vulnerable all of a sudden that all Jared wants to do is cuddle him.

How does he do that?

"That doesn't sound like a problem, Jen," Jared says, dropping to his knees on the floor next to Jensen. "It sounds like a promise."

Jensen shakes his head. "It's more like a curse," he mumbles, and Jared waits patiently until Jensen looks up, his beautiful eyes shining with moisture. "I don't want to hold you back, Jay. You can do great things with your life, be a really great star. Don't let me keep you down."

"Oh my God, is that what you're afraid of?" Jared breathes incredulously. "You think you might stifle me? Jensen, that's the craziest thing I've ever heard. You're the one with star potential, man. You're the one who'll go on to greatness one day. You're the most underrated genre actor I've ever met! This show doesn't deserve you. Hell, I don't deserve you. You need to be a movie star, man. Captain America or the next Batman. Yeah, that's it. They should make you the next Batman."

Jensen lays his open palm against Jared's cheek and leaves it there, just looking at him with a slight smile on his soft lips and the gentlest of looks in his eyes. Jared's never felt so adored.

"I've already got everything I ever wanted," Jensen says quietly. "I'm done."

"Oh yeah, done at twenty-eight," Jared scoffs, shaking Jensen's hand off as he climbs to his feet, feeling fiercely defensive on Jensen's behalf all of a sudden. "How can you say that? You're not even thirty. When this show ends you'll go on to greatness, mark my words. And I want to see it. I want to be there to watch you eat your words, Ackles. Done, my ass."

"Come to bed, Jared," Jensen sighs, closing his laptop and leaning down to slide it under the bed beneath him. "We've got the mid-season finale to film on Monday, and I for one need my rest before we go into that."

Jared can't argue with that, nor with the fact that they're both tired and in need of a break.

He's just glad that this time, they'll be together. At least he's managed to get Jensen to agree to come with him to Texas and California this time, and they've even planned a family ski trip in Colorado over New Year's, so Jensen will get to meet Jared's brother.

It occurs to Jared that Jensen never once mentioned visiting his own family, although Jared knows they live in Texas, too, so it ought to be easy for Jensen to see them over Christmas. It ought to be convenient for Jensen to introduce his family to Jared, even if he doesn't want to reveal the exact nature of their relationship. Jared gets the impression Jensen's family isn't exactly tolerant of his homosexuality, although Jensen's never said so.

Jared makes a mental note to bring it up later, when they're both feeling more rested.


As it turns out, Jensen spends all his time over the winter hiatus with Jared and Jared's family and friends. After New Year's they hang out with mutual friends in Los Angeles for a few days, then fly back to Vancouver together. When Jared brings up Jensen's family, Jensen shrugs and says, "They're in Europe," and leaves it at that.

Oh. Okay, Jared thinks. But now they've been together almost a year and a half and Jared has never met Jensen's folks, so Jared figures it's time to talk about it.

"There's nothing to tell," Jensen insists over beers at their favorite local bar back in Vancouver. "I'm an only child, conceived after my mother was told she couldn't have kids, so I was kind of a miracle baby. I was doted on and spoiled growing up. Dad's an actor, Mom's a volunteer coordinator who helps raise money for various charities in the Dallas area. They're well off and retired now, so they travel a lot."

"None of which explains why you never see them," Jared nods. "You rarely even talk to them."

Jensen shrugs. "We're not close. They never expected to be parents. Raising me wasn't exactly the way they wanted to spend eighteen years of their lives, but they did it. Once I graduated high school and headed off to Hollywood, they were done. End of story."

Except that wasn't quite the whole story, as Jared learns one night when Jensen wakes him up because he's crying in his sleep. It starts out as little whimpers and moans, and by the time Jared comes to full consciousness Jensen's sobbing, tossing fitfully in his sleep, arms flailing.

"Jensen! Hey! Wake up!" Jared complains as Jensen's left arm smacks him in the chest.

"Jared! No! No! Oh God, no, Jay, come back! Don't go!" Jensen's sobs become words, maybe because he hears Jared in his sleep, and Jared sits up, groggy but worried. He leans over Jensen, whose eyes are still closed, and shakes him gently.

"Jensen? Hey, buddy, wake up! I'm right here, man. Not going anywhere. Hey, babe, wake up!"

Jensen goes still but his mouth keeps moving, muttering something in a language Jared's never heard before but which sounds a little like Latin, a little like Arabic.

'Jensen!" Jared calls louder, shakes harder, and suddenly Jensen's eyes snap open. He stares at Jared blankly for a moment, then a tiny frown crosses his forehead.


"Yeah," Jared smiles, reassuring. "Yeah, buddy. It's me. You okay? You were having some pretty intense dreams there."

Instead of answering, Jensen glances around, his forehead furrowing deeper.

"Where are we?" he asks as he sits up, glancing down at himself, at the tee-shirt and shorts he pulled on after they had sex and showered earlier. Jensen lays a splayed hand on his chest and blinks up at Jared in obvious confusion.

"In our apartment," Jared answers after hesitating a moment, concern tickling at the back of his skull. "In Vancouver. Jensen, are you okay? You're not still asleep, are you?"

"What?" Jensen's rubbing the back of his neck, still looking around, still frowning. "No. I'm awake. I just – What year is it?"

"Okay, you're starting to freak me out here," Jared puts a hand on Jensen's shoulder to get him to focus, to make him look at Jared. "Did you take something? Wait, no. You had the same thing I did for dinner. Nothing hallucinogenic, not even that much booze..."

"Jared, answer the question!"

"Two-thousand-seven," Jared says automatically, because it's Jensen, and Jared is programmed to respond to Jensen, to do what he asks, no matter how strange it might seem.

Which yeah, might be a little weird, but it is what it is and Jared's just grateful that Jensen seems to be okay again. Because whatever just happened was freaky and Jared hopes Jensen isn't sick or having a brain aneurism or maybe an epileptic fit ––

"Jared, listen to me," Jensen grabs Jared's biceps and hell yeah, Jared is on board with another round of what happened earlier if this will take their minds off whatever weird thing just happened. "I don't have much time. I need you to listen carefully to what I'm about to tell you, and please don't interrupt, you got me?"

Jared nods, definitely freaked out now.

"You and me, we've met before," Jensen says, voice low and soft. "In another reality. I know it sounds crazy, but it's the truth. I was a guardian angel and you were the human I was sent to help, and I fucked up. I fucked up, Jared. So I made a deal and I reset everything. I went back to the beginning to be reborn as a human, and guess what? I fucked up again. Big surprise. So now I'm trying to fix it. Again. And if I can't get it right this time... Fuck, Jared, you have no idea how fuckin' messed up this is! So listen to me. You have to listen, okay? I need you to do exactly what I say."

Jared swallows, opens his mouth to say something that won't come out because Jensen's staring at him, pleading with him for real about something important and Jared can't think straight. Those beautiful green eyes are gazing at him with such open, honest love and devotion that Jared does the only rational thing he can do.

He leans forward, grabs Jensen's face between his hands, and kisses him.

Jensen melts into him, kisses back with naked desire, and for a moment Jared loses himself, just goes with it because Jensen's unguarded and so in love it's like a miracle. Jensen's glorious right now, defenseless and open, and it takes Jared's breath away. It makes him want to bottle this moment and keep it forever.

It makes Jared completely ignore what Jensen just said because his lips are so soft and responsive Jared never wants to stop kissing them.

When he finally comes up for air, Jensen's flushed and blissed-out, his lips kiss-swollen and damp, his long, dark eyelashes fanning across his soft, pale cheeks. He looks unusually beautiful and fragile in the dim light through the curtains. He seems ethereal, unearthly, like he's not completely human, like part of him belongs somewhere else.

He's also sound asleep.

Probably for the best, Jared decides. That was some of the craziest shit he's ever heard, although Jared's almost one-hundred-percent certain Jensen was having some flukey waking-dream. Not like the first time one of them has internalized a script. They've just been filming "What Is and What Should Never Be," they're both memorizing the script for the two-part season finale now, and it's no surprise that alternate realities and weird resurrections got mixed up in Jensen's subconscious.

Then things get weirder.

"He's out," says a familiar voice from the corner of the room. Jared jumps backwards off the bed, heart-pounding. His instincts take over and he's ready to defend Jensen with his bare fists if he has to.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan stands in the corner, wearing a long black coat over jeans and a tee-shirt. He's got his hands in the pockets of the coat, and he's standing so still it's like he's not even there, like he's a kind of dark apparition silhouetted against the pale curtains behind him.

"What the hell?" Jared exclaims. "How did you get in here? What are you doing here?"

"You really want to hear this with your pants off?" Morgan asks dryly.

Jared glares at him, then bends to grab his sweatpants off the floor. He glances at the bed as he pulls them on, but Jensen sleeps on, oblivious.

"Don't worry, he can't hear us," Jeff says. "I've made sure he's in a deep sleep. It's you I need to talk to."

"What? Why? What the hell's this about that can't wait till morning, Morgan?" Jared demands, sticking with indignation so he doesn't have to face the niggling sense of something not right, something really off about this.

"I'm not him, you know," Jeff says with a slight smile. "It's just convenient to appear to you this way. Jensen sees this too, when he looks at me. To him I'm a kind of father figure. To you, I'm the competition. Just a tad threatening. Did I get it right?"

"I don't know what you're talking about," Jared shakes his head. "What are you doing here?"

"He loves you more than you can possibly understand," Morgan says, like he's not even listening to Jared. His eyes drop to the form on the bed as he speaks, and his look is fond. Then he looks up at Jared and his gaze turns hard and sharp again. "You can't even imagine what he gave up for you. He abandoned his home, his family, his immortality, for God's sake. Just gave it all up so he could live his life out here, on Earth, with you."

"Look, if this is some weird improv thing you're doing..." Jared hesitates, looks around wildly as an idea hits him. "You're not filming this, are you? Wait, how did you even get in here?"

"He's an angel, dumb-ass," Morgan goes on as if Jared hadn't even spoken. "You know that. You know there's something off about him. You could sense it, right from the start. And you've been having dreams, feelings of déjà vu, ever since you met him."

Jared stares. Memories flood his mind as if Morgan has magically put them there, moments when he felt so sure he'd met Jensen before, moments when he almost remembered being with Jensen in the distant past, before they first met. Jared suddenly remembers having dreams starting just after he met Jensen, dreams in which he'd been living another life, a life filled with tragedy and unhappiness.

"How do you – How do you even know about that?" Jared almost whispers.

"He thinks he fucked up," Morgan goes on, like Jared isn't even there. "He thinks he destroyed your life in that other reality, and now he's afraid he's doing it again. But here's the thing. He didn't. Not then, and not now. He's not doomed to mess things up for you, he just thinks he is. He's just fucked up in the head because his mother didn't love him and his father was disappointed in him and he can't believe anybody would ever love him if they knew what a fuck-up he is, blah blah blah."

"Jesus, dude, you seriously need to get a life," Jared huffs out a breath. "Even if what you're telling me is true, you are way too close to this thing. You need to step way the hell back."

"He's my charge!" Morgan bellows, and his eyes almost seem to glow for a minute, sending shivers up Jared's spine. He takes his hands out of his pockets and clenches his fists. "He was my responsibility, and I fucked up! I didn't realize you and he were fuckin' soul-twins. Nobody told me!"

Jared glances at the bed, but Jensen's still out cold. Jared's having chills now, and it's not just because he's half naked.

"Soul-twins?" he repeats, and his voice sounds choked.

"Yeah, you know. Soulmates. Heloise and Abelard, Bonnie and Clyde, Thelma and Louise."

"Thelma and Louise are fictional characters," Jared points out.

"Maybe in this reality," Morgan scoffs. "I didn't even know it was possible between an angel and a human. Normally, we don't have souls. But of course Jensen's unique. And now he's stuck in this life where he thinks you'd be better off without him."

Jared shakes his head. "That's just not true. There's no way he thinks that."

But even as he says it, Jared knows it's true. It explains Jensen's hesitation to commit to their relationship for the long-term, his insistence on Jared having a life and a career after the show ends, his apparent conviction that Jared won't want to stay with him after it's over, no matter how Jared insists on the opposite.

"I can't stand the way Heaven operates sometimes," Morgan growls. "Their management style is all top-down. Too much information is doled out on a fuckin' need-to-know basis. If I had known this about you two to begin with..."

"What – what difference would that make? Assuming – you know. Assuming what you're saying makes any sense at all. Which it doesn't, of course, but..."

"What part of 'You and Jensen are soul-mates' are you not hearing, Jared?" Morgan shakes his head in obvious exasperation. "You were created from the same spec of cosmic dust, back at the beginning of time. You're two halves of the same whole. Neither of you even really exists without the other. Call it a curse, call it fate, call it a fuckin' catastrophe if you want. The fact is, you're pre-programmed to find each other, in every reality. You're always going to be drawn together. Time could restart a billion times – and yeah, I guess some of those times you might not find each other, you might live out your lives alone and miserable and never know why. But the fact is, you're meant to be together. Destined. Pre-ordained by God or whatever created the universe in the first place. And if I had just known this tiny piece of crucial information – if Heaven had just kept me in the loop on that one tiny detail! – none of this would have happened."

Everything Morgan's saying feels right, no matter how ridiculous it sounds. Jared can feel in his bones that it's right. He's felt something beyond his control about his attraction to Jensen from the moment they first met, so having it explained to him isn't the surprise it probably should have been. He's just amazed he hasn't figured it out for himself before now, although the irony of having an actual honest-to-God angel spell it out for him isn't lost on Jared.

"Okay, so you're saying there's something 'supernatural' about our attraction to each other," Jared says. "And Jensen is a former angel from a different time-line. I'm gonna go with that for a minute because it just sounds crazy enough to be true. So what's the problem here?"

"The problem is Jensen's planning to leave you," Morgan growls, "which, remember the part about misery and loneliness? Not a good outcome."

"How can you know he's planning to leave?" Jared demands, although he feels the sinking kick in the gut that tells him Morgan's right. Jensen's told him as much.

Morgan takes a deep breath, lets out a long-suffering sigh. "I have access to future time-lines," he explains. "Being head of a department has its perks. Right after the show ends, Jensen leaves, and there doesn't seem to be anything you can say to him that will make him change his mind. He's convinced you're better off without him. End of story."

Chills run up Jared's spine, and he's learning to trust them, learning to recognize the truth when he hears it.

"When?" he asks, but Morgan shakes his head.

"Better for you not to know too much about the future," he says darkly, and all Jared can think is he's got another year, maybe two. The show hasn't wrapped for the current season yet, but they still don't have the go-ahead for season three. It's all tenuous and uncertain, as it usually is in show business, but for the first time Jared feels nothing but dread at the thought of the show ending. His usual hopeful outlook and sense of adventure have flown right out the window on the wings of Morgan's devastating prediction.

Jared can't imagine a future without Jensen in it. He definitely doesn't want to go there.

"So what do I have to do to make sure that doesn't happen?" he asks finally. He sinks onto the bed next to Jensen, lays a hand gently on one blanket-covered leg. Jensen shifts slightly under his hand but doesn't wake, and Jared feels tears sting the backs of his eyes.

"Yeah, that part's a little iffy," Morgan screws his face up, like he's chewing on something sour. "I've got an idea, and I think it will work, but it's no guarantee. I can see the future that's likely right now, but if you follow my plan, things will change. I can't see how that future will work out from here."

"What do I have to do?" Jared repeats, gritting his teeth.

"You have to kill yourself," Morgan says, and Jared's head snaps up so fast he almost gets whiplash.


"Yeah, well, it's more like you have to convince Jensen that you would kill yourself," Morgan says. "You have to show him you're willing to sacrifice everything, even your life, to keep him with you."

"That's – that's just stupid!" Jared exclaims, jumping to his feet because he can't sit anymore. "Are you serious? That's the most manipulative bullshit I could possibly pull on somebody, let alone the person I love most in the world! No way would I do that to him. Are you insane?"

"You don't actually have to go through with it," Morgan says. "You just have to make Jensen believe that your sacrifice equals his."

"I don't have to try to make him believe anything," Jared insists. "I would give everything for him."

"Then show him," Morgan says. "Make him believe that."

"By trying to kill myself?" Jared throws his arms up and shakes his head.

"No, no, no," Morgan soothes.

Jared realizes he's gone from distrust and jealousy to actually buying what the man – make that angel – is selling. And how did his life suddenly start to imitate his art again? Not that there are angels on Supernatural, thank God. That would be really over-the-top.

"Jensen needs to shake loose from his guilt over what he thinks he did to you, and this is the way to do that. You have to make him see that leaving you is worse than what he did to you in that other timeline. So you show him what it means. You make him see what it would feel like if you left him. I know it seems a little extreme..."

"A little!" Jared's pacing the floor now, utterly overwhelmed. "Morgan, I am not guilting Jensen into staying with me, and that's the end of it."

Morgan shakes his head, smiling for the first time since he appeared in the room, and Jared notices his dimples, notices the physical similarity between them that might have factored into the casting decision that gave this doppelgänger's human counterpart the role of John Winchester.

Jared can almost see what Jensen sees when he looks at Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Dude's attractive as sin, for God's sake. He's just Jensen's type.

"I don't think it will come to that," the angel says quietly. "I think all you need to do is give him a little reminder. He doesn't remember most of his other life. At least, not consciously. When he was a toddler, he started speaking in tongues, claimed he could hear angels, and his parents tried to fix him. They filled him full of drugs, therapy, every cure money could buy. Jensen was a freak, despised by his classmates, feared by their parents. Therapy taught him to forget who he was, to ignore the voices in his head. But he remembered you."

"Me?" Jared's horrified by what he's hearing; Jensen never let on about any of this, and it sounds truly sickening. Jensen's childhood was deeply traumatic, and this is the first Jared's heard about it, or at least about the details.

"He has actual memories of that other timeline," Morgan confirms. "He's just buried them under years of therapy and feelings of inadequacy. How do you think he plays Dean so convincingly? He's had a similarly traumatic childhood, built a similar sense of himself as not good enough. Underneath his calm, steady demeanor, Jensen feels like a fuckin' failure."

"Jesus," Jared breathes. "What the hell happened in that other time-line?"

Morgan shakes his head. "Like I said, it's better for you not to know. But if you do exactly as I say, you'll have a chance to fix it."

"By killing myself," Jared clarifies.

"It won't come to that, I promise," Morgan assures him. "Now I need you to listen very carefully to what I'm about to tell you. I can't stay much longer, and I won't be back, so this is your only chance to get this right."

Jared shakes his head. "Why are you even doing this?" he asks. "What's in it for you?"

"I love him," Morgan shrugs. "I want him to be happy. Plus, I was his boss and I fucked up because I didn't know his soul and yours were already mated. It's my fault he left you in the first place. If I'd known what I know now, I would have challenged Heaven itself to keep you together. As it was, I let him think he'd messed up by falling in love with you. I let him think he'd screwed up and wrecked your life. That's on me, so now I'm trying to fix it. And that's the last time you'll hear me apologize."

"Sounds like Heaven's got more to answer for than you have," Jared comments. "Seems to me your bosses are the ones who fucked up."

Morgan takes a deep breath, lets it out slow. "Yeah, I wish it was the first time," he says. "I think I need to look for a new job."

After Morgan gives his instructions, Jared grows unexpectedly tired, as if the weight of Morgan's words were being imbedded into his bones. At Morgan's command, he climbs into bed with Jensen and pulls the blankets over them both.

"He doesn't remember you, does he?" Jared asks as he fights the overwhelming weariness, the urge to close his eyes.

"No," Morgan agrees. "It's easier that way. And you probably shouldn't tell him about our little conversation, at least for now." Morgan crosses to the bed and lays gentle fingertips on Jared's forehead. "Sleep now, Jared. Don't forget what I told you."

Jared's asleep before he has another coherent thought.


He wakes up to Jensen practically on top of him, stubbled chin digging into his shoulder as he presses his face into Jared's neck, nibbling and kissing and breathing him in as he ruts against Jared's morning wood.

"Jesus, Jensen," Jared breathes, reaching down to grab Jensen's ass and pull him in tighter against Jared's erection as he thrusts up.

Jensen growls into Jared's neck, nibbling on his earlobe as he pushes Jared's head to the side, giving himself better access to Jared's throat. "God, you smell so good, Jay. You taste like heaven."

Jared freezes, eyes flying wide as memories of last night flood his mind.

"Oh fuck," he breathes as Jensen runs his tongue along the shell of Jared's ear, then sucks Jared's earlobe into his warm, wet mouth and moans wantonly.

Jared gathers Jensen against him, one arm across his back, the other grasping his thigh. Then he surges up and rolls them over, so that Jensen lies under him, blinking up at Jared with a lazy grin. Jensen's lips are swollen and damp, his cheeks are flushed; he's a glorious, sleepy mess with his hair sticking up and his eyelashes crusted with tears and sleep.

"Jared? You okay?" Jensen thrusts up at just the right angle and Jared gasps, gets with the program again. He scoots down the bed, rucking up Jensen's tee-shirt as he goes so he can place long, hot kisses across Jensen's chest and belly. In one swift movement he frees Jensen's swollen dick from his boxers and takes it into his mouth, relishing Jensen's gasp and the little tug on his hair as Jensen grabs on almost reflexively.

"Fuck, Jared, your mouth. Oh God, you're such a fuckin' wet-dream! Woke up so hard for you," Jensen gasps as he thrusts up into Jared's mouth.

Jared concentrates on giving the best blow-job he's ever given, and when Jensen comes it's with a long, low, growling moan that makes Jared's dick leak. Jared swallows every drop, then kneels up between Jensen's spread legs and jacks himself furiously to the sight of Jensen all blissed out and debauched. Jensen's tee-shirt is shoved up under his armpits and his chest is as flushed as his cheeks, nipples hard and peaked, his thick muscled arms lying loose on the bed. Jared can see the tender underside of Jensen's elbow and he imagines putting his tongue there and that's all it takes. He's coming all over Jensen's chest and belly, and when a drop hits Jensen's chin Jared leans down and licks it up. Jensen turns his head a little and Jared kisses him, filthy and deep and thorough, morning-breath and come be damned.

"You know I'll never leave you, right?" Jared breathes when he comes up for air.

Jensen blinks, groggy and still blissed-out. "Yeah, I know," he mutters, running his tongue along his lip like he's tasting Jared, and himself, which he probably is. "What?"

Jared's shaking his head, backing off the bed. He comes back with a wet washcloth and cleans Jensen up, then crawls back into bed beside him.

"You had a pretty crazy dream last night," Jared murmurs as he trails his fingers up Jensen's arm, rubs his thumb over the tender underside of Jensen's elbow. Jensen turns his arm so Jared has better access. He knows what Jared likes.


"Yeah, you were flailing around, hit me a couple of times," Jared says. "You were crying, calling my name, so I woke you up. But you weren't really awake. You were totally disoriented. Asked me what year it was."

Jensen's eyes are still closed, but Jared can see the little crease between them as he frowns.

"You were speaking some ancient language," Jared continues. "Before I woke you up. Nothing I've ever heard before, although it sounded a little like Latin."

"It's Enochian," Jensen swallows, then turns his head and opens his eyes, and it almost takes Jared's breath away.

They say the eyes are the windows to the soul, but Jensen's soul isn't completely human, and now that Jared knows that it's almost more than he can bear. There's an alien intelligence in those clear green orbs, ageless understanding and wisdom accumulated from lifetimes of experience, and it almost scares Jared because he's been looking into Jensen's eyes for almost two years now and it still shatters him. Still takes him apart and makes him feel alive and loved and important in ways he never knew he needed.

Only now he knows it's not all normal and natural. It's not ordinary at all.

He's always known that, in his heart. He's always known Jensen was special.

"Enochian, huh?" Jared frowns at the unfamiliar word.

"It's what angels speak," Jensen explains. "Or at least that's what I was told when I was a kid. It was my first language. My parents found a linguist who figured out what it was. I wouldn't speak anything else for the first four years of my life, although I understood English just fine."

"Wow," Jared sucks in a breath. "That must have been hard for you."

"I thought I was an angel, sent to Earth to fix things," Jensen says, and his voice has a bitter edge to it now. "My parents were pretty freaked."

"I'll bet," Jared murmurs sympathetically. "Any idea what you were sent to fix?"

Jensen frowns, shutting down so fast it makes Jared's head spin. He rolls over, almost tumbles off the bed in his effort to get away from Jared suddenly, or so it seems. "It was a kind of childhood psychosis, Jared," he growls, pulling his tee-shirt down and his shorts up as he gets off the bed. "I was a kid. None of it was real."

Jared's mouth drops open, prepared with an apology. It's obviously a sore topic for Jensen, and Jared feels like a klutz for pushing him on it.

"Never mind," Jensen seems to realize he's being harsh. He turns at the bathroom door to offer Jared a rueful smile. "We're going to be late for work if we don't hustle. I call first shower."

"Go for it," Jared lies back on the bed as Jensen disappears into the bathroom. He needs to get his head on straight about this, about all the things Morgan told him last night.

He'd been half-hoping it was all a dream, that Morgan hadn't really been here at all and none of what he told Jared was true.

Now he knows that's not right. Now Jensen's confessed his fucked-up childhood and Jared knows what he has to do.


The next week is spent filming the two-part season finale, and by the end of it Jensen and Jared are both exhausted. Jensen withdrew to his trailer more than once, overcome by emotion as Dean holds Sam's lifeless body in his arms. It seems to trigger some deep fear in Jensen that makes him almost hysterical with grief.

Jared does his best to try to lighten the moment, to help Jensen regain the control he needs to finish the scene, but it's nearly impossible. They're actors, and intellectually they both know they're just acting, but it obviously feels more real to Jensen than he's willing to admit. At one point Jared suggests they extend the scene, just let it continue beyond the point where Bob calls "Cut!"

It helps. Jensen holds Jared's body and cries, wrenching, full-bodied sobs that go on and on while Jared stays still and lifeless, a literal dead weight in Jensen's arms for as long as he needs. Eventually Jim Beaver comes back, and together they pick Jared up, carry him across the soundstage to the interior set where they lay him on a bed. Then they all take a break before they come back to film Dean's emotional testimonial to his own failure.

It's almost more than Jared can take, knowing what he knows now about Jensen's past. But he's a professional, they both are, and they get through it.

After the wrap party, Jared suggests they take a road-trip.

"Just the two of us," he coaxes. "Down to L.A. by car this time."

Jared knows he's catching Jensen at a vulnerable time, knows he's being just a tiny bit manipulative. They're getting ready for bed after the party, and they're both so tired they can hardly stand up.

Jensen's already in his soft flannel pajama bottoms and nothing else, and he looks so fragile, despite his bulk and muscle, that it makes Jared's heart hurt.

Nevertheless, Jared expects him to protest, to start arguing that they need time away from each other like he did last summer. So Jared's taken completely aback when Jensen lifts his big tide-water eyes and says, "Okay."


The drive down scenic coastal Highway 101 is really gorgeous. They ramble, taking their time, stopping at diners and roadside cafés as the mood strikes them, pulling off the highway to enjoy the view of the Pacific Ocean whenever they need to. Jared finds them little cottages and out-of-the-way motels to spend the night, and they take their time getting up and going again in the morning. They explore tide pools and prehistoric-looking public beaches during the day, watch the sunset together perched on a pile of driftwood, make out to the sound of the waves hitting the shore and with the smell of the sea in their hair.

In this way it takes them four days to reach the Oregon-California border. From there it's another two-day drive with plenty of stops to San Luis Obispo, where Morgan's directions take them off the highway and into Los Padres National Forest. The drive along Cuesta Ridge is treacherous and winding, and by the time they reach the steel truss bridge over the deep ravine Jared's heart's pounding and his hands are clammy with sweat from holding the wheel steady against the powerful wind that could clearly sweep them off the edge of the canyon.

Jensen thinks he knows where they're going; they filmed the pilot not far from here, on a different steel truss bridge over a different creek.

"This one was closed last year for repairs," Jared explains when he corrects Jensen's assumption. "The view is really spectacular. I think you'll like it."

When they reach the bridge, the "Danger: Bridge Closed" sign is still there, but it's been pushed to the side of the road. Jared stops the car anyway, pulling over onto the shoulder just before the bridge.

"We're going to walk?" Jensen raises one eyebrow skeptically. It's not cold, but it's windy here, and it's getting dark. Not the best time to walk across an old bridge.

"It's worth it," Jared assures him, and Jensen gives a small shrug.

It's now or never, Jared thinks, his heart pounding into his throat as he walks quickly toward the bridge, not waiting to be sure Jensen's following.

"Jared? Hey, wait up!"

Jared walks purposefully to the center of the bridge, then climbs over the guardrail to stand at the edge of the pedestrian walkway, right against the railing, looking down. It's a sheer drop to a dark, rocky bottom, just as Morgan had promised. There'd be very little chance of surviving such a fall. All he can do now is hope Morgan was right about this.

"Jared?" Jensen's voice is concerned, but there's no recognition yet. He doesn't seem to know this place.

Show time.

Carefully but very deliberately, Jared climbs up and over the railing, holding tight in the strong wind till he's on the other side, balancing precariously on the ledge. He can't turn around yet; his heart's beating too hard and he doesn't trust his clammy hands enough to break the hold he has on the railing.

He's definitely got Jensen's attention now.

"Jay, what the hell are you doing?"

'Don't come any closer!" Jared demands sharply. "I need you to remember, Jensen. Please. You've been here before."

Jensen stops dead in his tracks, mouth agape, perfect lips forming a perfect "oh". But still not an "oh" of recognition or understanding. Just confusion, concern, the glimmerings of fear.

"Okay, this isn't funny," Jensen says. "Come down from there, Jay. Come down and tell me what's going on."

"You're worried, aren't you?" Jared taunts, pushing himself to challenge Jensen, to force him to face what's happening. "There's a little doubt in your mind right now about what I might do. You know me, but you're worried. Admit it!"

Jensen huffs out a breath, shakes his head like he's sure this is a joke. He tries to smile, like he's determined to laugh this off, but it falls flat. He's too invested. Jared can see it. Jensen might be a good actor, but this is Jared. Jensen is programmed to respond to Jared, and he can tell when Jared's making a joke.

This is not one of those times.

"I don't understand," Jensen says. "Why are you doing this?"

"You sacrificed everything for me, once," Jared yells against the rising wind. His hair flies around his face, gets in his eyes. "I need you to see that I would do the same for you. There's nothing I wouldn't do for you, Jensen, You hear me? Nothing I wouldn't give up."

Jensen takes another step, keeping his eyes locked on Jared. He's struggling to control the freak-out that's bubbling up under his usual calm. It's in the way he moves; Jared can tell.

"Okay, I don't know what you think you're doing, but come down from there so we can talk about it, okay?" Jensen's taking this seriously now, at least. Jared can see his mind working, can almost hear him thinking Jared's lost it, thinking maybe the stress of the job has been too much.

"Please remember, Jensen," Jared calls. His hands are trembling. "I can't hold on much longer."

Jensen takes another step, puts his hand up like he's planning to leap forward and grab Jared if he has to. He's only a couple of feet away now, and Jared can see disbelief and panic in his eyes. There's real fear there, and Jared feels a pang of guilt for putting Jensen through this, a moment of doubt that maybe it won't work and Jared's just being an asshole.

Then Jensen glances past Jared, at the deep drop behind him, and Jared can see the moment Jensen remembers. Jensen's eyes widen and his lips part almost comically; his eyes dart back and forth as memories flood to the fore. Then he raises his eyes to Jared again and there's a film of tears over them, the light of recognition Jared had hoped for.

"Jared," Jensen breathes, and Jared nods frantically.

"Yeah, that's right," he gasps. "It's me. It's really me. You saved me, remember? I want to do the same for you."

It's a wild guess, but he can see he's hit the nail on the head. The lines are familiar to them from the last episode, the season finale in which Sam promises to find a way to save Dean from going to Hell.

'What are you – what are you talking about?" Jensen hesitates, overwhelmed with memories that don't make sense to him, and Jared can see he's really struggling. Jensen takes a step forward, looking wildly around him, like he's seeing the bridge for the first time, like he's remembering vividly the last time he was here and it terrifies him.

"You were an angel, Jensen," Jared goes for broke. "You were a real honest-to-God angel in that other life. You gave up everything to become human. You gave it all up for me."

"What? That can't be right," Jensen stares at him.

"I know it sounds crazy," Jared nods. "It sounded nuts when I first heard it, too. But it's true, Jen. You know it in your bones, same as me. Something happened here, in that other life. That's why I brought you here. So you would remember."

Jensen shakes his head, blinking away tears. "That wasn't real," he insists, but it's like he's trying to convince himself now, not like he really believes that. "They made me take medicine to make me stop dreaming. I had years of therapy. I became an actor because I needed to prove to myself I could separate fantasy from reality. None of that was real!"

Jensen takes another step and stumbles, and Jared doesn't hesitate, just leaps over the rail and grabs onto Jensen before he falls, before he collapses on the bridge as his legs give way beneath him.

"Hey, hey," Jared soothes as Jensen sinks to his knees, and Jared goes with him, supporting Jensen's weight against his body. "It's okay. It's okay. You're okay. I got you."

He babbles as Jensen trembles, clutching Jared's body like a lifeline, holding him tight as they kneel on the cold concrete, wind whipping and howling around them, water rushing over the rocks below.

"It can't be true," Jensen gasps as Jared rubs his back. "How can all of that be real? How is it even possible?"

"Shhh, shhhh," Jared soothes, mumbling and babbling into Jensen's ear, waiting patiently for Jensen to process the revelation, to make sense of a lifetime of memories and dreams he's worked all his life to suppress. "It just is, Jen. It just is."

"No," Jensen pulls back suddenly. His eyes are wild and red-rimmed, his face streaked with tears. "No, Jared. I fucked up. I was supposed to take care of you. That was my job! You were my charge, and I was supposed to make sure nothing bad happened to you, and I fucked up!"

He surges to his feet so fast Jared sprawls backwards, stares up at Jensen in shock.

"What? No, you didn't," Jared protests, scrambling to his feet and taking a step toward Jensen, who immediately takes a step back, shaking his head.

"No, no, I'm poison, Jared," he chokes out. "I cursed you. I never should have been in your life in the first place, and now I'm fucking it up again..."

"No! No, you're not! Listen to me, Jensen, that's wrong! The fact is, we're soul-mates or some shit. We're supposed to be together! When you left, when you and I weren't together anymore, that's when the bad stuff happened. You leaving me is what fucks things up! Our souls are joined, so if you try to separate us, everything goes to hell. See? It's not being together that's bad. It's being apart!"

Jensen shakes his head. "No," he protests. "No, Jay, that can't be right. I don't have a soul. I mean, angels don't have them. So that can't be right..."

"You're special, Jen," Jared takes another step, carefully, and Jensen doesn't back away this time, lets him almost enter his personal space. "You have a soul, even as an angel, because you and I are bound. We're equal. We're meant to be. The universe is lined up to bring us together, over and over, until we get it right. You know, like destiny."

Jensen frowns, but Jared can see he's gotten through to him. He can see Jensen's taking in what Jared's saying. It seems to Jared that Jensen wants to believe what Jared is telling him is true. It's as if a part of Jensen is tuned to a truth-channel, and he recognizes it when he hears it, and he's just heard it but he's not quite ready to believe it.

Jensen lifts a hand, effectively ensuring Jared doesn't close the gap between them, as Jared is sorely tempted to do. "How – how the hell do you know all this, Jay? How did you know to bring me here?" The question is simple, but it's the one Jared is most reluctant to answer. Nevertheless, it has to be said.

"An angel told me," he says quietly.

"An angel," Jensen repeats, but he can't really muster the look of skepticism that he was obviously going for.

"Yeah," Jared takes a deep breath. "He looked just like Jeff Morgan and he said he was your boss, in that other time-line. He also said you probably wouldn't remember him. I think it's something to do with the fact that he wasn't supposed to be here. He was breaking some kind of rule. He said you would understand."

Jensen frowns, like he's wracking his brain for a memory of his former boss, but it's just not there. "So he was the one who told you about us being twin souls," Jensen suggests, and Jared nods.

"He felt responsible for what happened in that other time-line," Jared says. "He said it was his job to fix it." He said he was doing it because he loves you, Jared can't quite bring himself to add. He still feels twinges of jealousy when he thinks about Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and even if his angel doppelgänger doesn't even exist in this reality, it doesn't make Jared feel any less threatened.

Jensen nods, like this information fills some kind of blank in his understanding, like it all makes perfect sense now.

"So this angel – he knew your heart," Jensen suggests, his voice soft and rumbling.

"I guess," Jared shifts uncomfortably. "He knew this was the only way to make you believe me. I had to show you I was willing to give it all up."

"Why would you do that, Jared?"

"You gave up Heaven for me, Jensen. It's only fair that I should make a similar sacrifice for you."

"You would do that?" Jensen gazes at him with open wonder, his eyes filming over with tears again. "You would give it up? All this? Your success? All the fame, the money, the famous friends with their fancy houses, the expensive vacations..."

"You gave up Heaven for me," Jared repeats.

"Your watch collection," Jensen goes on. "All the fine wine we drink...The fans who think you're like God or something...The trailer gym that follows you around so you can work out wherever you are..."

Jared steps in, puts one hand on Jensen's shoulder, and presses two fingers of his other hand against Jensen's lips.

"None of it matters," Jared assures him. "I'd give it up in a heartbeat, if I could just have you."

"You've already got me," Jensen mumbles against Jared's fingers.

Jared slides the fingers under Jensen's chin, tips it up and angles in for a kiss, just a soft press of lips.

"Then I'm keeping you," Jared murmurs between kisses. "You're mine. No more do-overs."

When he glances up over Jensen's shoulder, Jared thinks he sees the shadow of a man standing at the other end of the bridge, the collar of his long black coat pulled up around his neck like the tips of two perfectly-shaped wings.


Before filming is half-way done for season 3, Jared and Jensen learn about the major change upcoming in the season 4 opener.

"Figures," Jensen mutters under his breath as they leave the studio office, and Jared takes a deep breath, lets it out slow as he slips his hand into Jensen's and laces their fingers together.

They're professionals. This is their job, and they both know they're damn lucky to have it. Demons, angels, probably God down the line, although Kripke has promised he'll never go that far. Whatever this show throws at them, however weirdly it parallels their real lives, it can't ever eclipse the central and most important part of their story.

It's about two guys, one a former angel, and the love they have for each other that somehow transcends time and space and everything in between. All the rest is just window-dressing.

Damn fine window-dressing, though. Jared's gotta admit, this life doesn't suck.

At all.


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