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08 July 2007 @ 04:27 pm
Wonder Of My World (4/?)  
Title: Wonder Of My World (4/?)
Authors: ilovemybaby & fallonblackdays
Characters/Pairing: Jared/Jensen, Steve Carlson, Christian Kane
Word Count: 4.108
Disclaimers: We don’t own these people, they own themselves. None of this ever happened and, alas, the couple is not real. None of this was meant as an offence to anyone. We’re just pretending, folks.
Notes: (1) Story and chapters titles and quotes all coming from various Steve Carlson’s songs. (2) Huge thanks to wake_up_older29 for the amazing beta.
Summary: Something’s wrong with Jensen, and he makes a point not to tell Jared what is it. But when Jared finds out anyway, his reaction surprises even Jared himself.

Chapter 1 – Tell You A Tale | Chapter 2 – On The Road | Chapter 3 – Kinda Crazy These Days




banner made by the lovely titheniel


Wonder Of My World

Chapter 4 – I Could Never Say…

“I tried before a thousand times, but I could never say… ‘Hello’”
(“I’ve Learned To Love” – Steve Carlson)

---

An iced shower, a quick walk and two hours later, Jared’s back in his hotel room. He’s got a guitar on his bed and absolutely no idea of what to tell Jensen when giving it to him.

“Should I write down a few words to study and remember like an Oscar acceptance speech?” he wonders aloud, safe in the knowledge that it’s only him and said guitar in the room and he can therefore rant as much as his crazy mind pleases. “Stop being an asshole, Jared, it’s just Jensen. You either say something or you don’t. Just give him the damn thing and be done with it,” he reprimands himself, all the while trying to come up with a less outstanding place to put his gift for the time being.

“I should totally think of something to say. Jensen deserves some words, too,” he thinks. “Yeah, well, you should first of all figure out what the hell is going on with you,” he then adds aloud, and he’s uncomfortably aware of just how nuts he’s sounding, arguing with himself like this. Should he start giving these two parts of himself different names? Gollum and Smeagol sound pretty appropriate. “Then you can worry about what you’ll say to him. You don’t even know what to say to yourself about this whole mess.” “Yes, you do. You do know what to say to yourself,” his mind kindly proceeds on reminding him, repeating the words over and over.

He decides to ignore it. Trouble is, his mind’s voice is an insistent little fucker, and can get on a bitchy, nasal annoying tone when he pretends not to hear it.

He’s saved by this crazy train of thought by someone knocking at the door.

“Fuck, the guitar!” His heart jumps up to his throat, because really, the only person that can be at his door right now can be either Chris or Jensen. “Or someone who works at the hotel, you dumb moron,” the aforementioned bitchy voice tells him.

Jared’s always been a firm sustainer of the ‘better safe than sorry’ theory though, so he grabs the guitar and looks frantically around for a good hiding place, the knocking repeating itself and going more insistent doing nothing to ease his anxiety.

“Jared? Jay, it’s me.”

Jensen’s voice coming from behind the door doesn’t, either. Actually, it increases his almost panicky state.

“Well, fuck, I just knew it’s not my day,” he thinks. “I’ll be right there!” he calls out.

“I’m sorry, but you’ll have to wait here,” he quietly says to the instrument, placing it safely into the first hiding place that’s finally come into his mind, which happens to be the bathroom.

He closes the door, tries to get some of his composure back and finally goes to let Jensen in.

“Hi Jen,” he says. “Sorry about making you wait…”

“No problem,” Jensen says, eyeing him over. “I just… uh… I thought I’d check on you, ‘cause you seemed… you know, weird earlier and…” he clears his throat. “Yeah,” he finishes lamely.

“He looks cute when he’s uncomfortable,” Jared thinks.
He punches himself immediately after. “Cute”?! Where the hell had that come from? And why is the little voice repeating him how he knows exactly where that had come from?
“Dammit.”

Completely unaware of the war raging into Jared’s head, Jensen keeps on staring at him, the intense scrutiny finally pulling Jared out of his inner conflict.

“Nah, it’s okay, man,” he says, stepping aside to let Jensen into the room. “I would tell you what’s going on, if I only knew the answer myself.”

Jensen frowns a little.
“What do you mean?”

“I don’t really know,” Jared admits, closing the door and turning around to find Jensen sitting on his bed. “Looks exactly like the place where he should belong,” his mind says somewhat dreamingly. His brain catches up a few beats later with the thought. “Seriously, what the fuck?!”
“There’s some stuff going on in my head,” he continues, holding back a chuckle at the irony of the words. “And… Fuck, I’m just not sure how to deal with it,” he finishes, looking miserably at Jensen, unconsciously seeking for answers into the older man.

Jensen looks at him for a moment.
“Come here,” he says quietly, motioning for Jared to come closer and sit beside him.

Jared complies, the quiet tone in Jensen’s voice as he’s uttered that invitation whispering repeatedly in his ear.

“What is it?” Jensen asks, staring hard into Jared’s troubled features. “You can tell me, Jay. Whatever it is, we’ll figure out a way to deal with it. Together, okay?”

“Goddammit, Jared, fucking hold yourself together!” Jared mentally yells at himself, trying desperately to hold it all back so that Jensen doesn’t have to know anything, anything about this violent confusion that’s suddenly taken him over and that’s scaring the hell out of him. “Why does he have to be so… amazing, anyway?” he wonders weakly. Because he has the feeling that if only Jensen wasn’t so fucking great, it would all be easier. “Dude, it’s like I said,” he finally speaks again. “I can’t tell you if I don’t know what the hell’s going on myself. I’m just confused and…” he stops and sighs. “I just don’t know, man,” he adds quietly.

“Sandy?” Jensen ventures just as quietly.

Jared blinks.
“Sandy? Who… Oh. Sandy. Fuck, I totally forgot about her.” He looks deeply into his friend’s eyes, sees the green irises staring at him with the promise of help and reassurance and he just feels… safe. “Don’t lie to him,” he silently warns himself. “If you can’t say the whole truth, find a way for it not to be a total lie. He doesn’t deserve it.”
“No,” he finally says. “I mean, eventually she’ll be part of it, but she isn’t the main trouble right now…” he adds, voice going weaker and weaker as the words leave his mouth.
“Maybe I should have lied,” he reflects miserably. “Fuck. Now I only made things worse.”
He looks at Jensen and gives him a small smile.
“I told you I don’t know what’s going on exactly,” he says, laughing a bit. “But no. Sandy’s not the main trouble,” he says again.

“Then you do know what the trouble is,” Jensen presses. His phone rings at that exact moment, and not for the first time in his life, he curses technology. “Shit. Sorry.” He fishes the thing out of his pocket and flips it open. “Hello? Hey, Chris. What? Yeah, okay, we’ll be right there.” He hangs up and looks apologetically at Jared. “Steve’d like for us to get there a little early. You know, taking up the front row or something.”

This turns out to be the first time in which Jared, unlike Jensen, blesses a cell phone for ringing at an inappropriate time. He looks at Jensen as he talks, realizing, not for the first time, how incredibly beautiful his friend is.

“And here we go again…” he thinks in exasperation, barely resisting the urge to roll his eyes at himself.

The words “get there a little early” and “front row” manage to somehow register into his hazy mind, and he nods automatically.

“Alright. Let’s go then.”

“Right.” Jensen stands up. “Mind if I use your bathroom first?”

“Sure!” Jared answers without thinking. Then… “Oh my god! The guitar’s there!” … And suddenly he’s between Jensen and the bathroom door, effectively blocking the other man’s way in.

Jensen stops abruptly and looks up at him in confusion.
“Uh… dude? Me, bathroom, you in the way?” he says, gesturing with his hands.

“Er…” “Think of something. THINK!” “You probably don’t wanna go in there,” Jared says, looking like a lost puppy who doesn’t really know where to go or what to do.

Jensen stares at him.
“Tell that to my bladder, man!”

Jared is about to actually comply.
“Anything but him getting in there!”
He looks at his friend, his usually pretty clever mind frozen in apprehension and unable to come up with a decent excuse.
“Please, man. Don’t go in there. Just… I’ll go back to your room with you, so you can use that bathroom, and then we go, uh? What do you say?”

Jensen looks at him as if he’s just lost his mind and arches an eyebrow.
“Uh… Alright, awkward. You wait here, I go back to my room, take a much-needed pee, and come back to get you. Don’t need you to take me to any bathroom.”
He gives the younger man another weird look before turning and starting to walk away.

And something snaps in Jared.
“No, wait,” he says. “Wait, man. I’m sorry. Of course you can use this bathroom, just… just wait a moment,” he adds before disappearing into the tiny bathroom.

Jensen’s so confused that by now his head is spinning, but he stands there and waits for Jared whatever his latest weirdness is to allow him to answer nature’s more and more insistent call.

Jared takes the guitar in his hands (why are they shaking, anyway?), draws a deep breath, and goes back into the room. He looks at Jensen and simply holds out his arms.

Jensen almost recoils, stunned beyond belief, and it’s only his sudden inability to move that stops him from actually wince backwards. He looks down at the guitar, up at Jared, and then down and up again, eyes wide, heart pounding and throat dry. For a moment he almost thinks he’s seeing things, and when he finally does find his voice again, it comes out in a croaked, disbelieving, stuttered, “What…?”.

Jared smiles.
“Happy Birthday, Jen,” he says softly. “I was having a hard time trying to figure out what to get you, but when I saw you staring at it today I thought this might be the right gift,” he adds quietly, wondering why is his own heart beating this fast.

“Jay…”
It’s a soft, hoarse whisper, as Jensen reaches out to take the guitar in slightly trembling hands, running his fingers over its body almost reverently. He swallows convulsively a few times, willing the tears to just stay back, hating that they’ve come up to fill his eyes. Because the truth is, pushing Jared away now… He doesn’t think he can do it.

“And I know your birthday was a couple of days ago,” Jared continues, “Especially since that’s how the whole mess started anyway… A phone call to wish happy birthday to a good friend and suddenly I’m fighting with my girlfriend and I’m so confused I can’t even think straight,” he mentally adds. Aloud, he says, “But I thought I should give you something, even if it’s coming in late.” He gives a small sigh before quietly adding, “You deserve so much more than a guitar, though…”

“No…” It sounds so rough Jensen has a hard time to actually believe it’s his voice, and he immediately sets to clear his throat. “No, Jay, this is… I just… this is the best thing anyone ever got me.” He puts the guitar aside with extreme care and pulls Jared into a tight hug, wishing he could kiss him instead. “Thank you,” he whispers in his ear.

“God, I want this man in my arms forever,” Jared thinks longingly, hugging Jensen back tightly, and this time he doesn’t stop to wonder where the thought has come from. He just lets himself feel. “You’re very welcome, Jen,” he murmurs.

They stay like that for long minutes. Jensen doesn’t feel like letting go. Ever. He doesn’t want to let go. But he does, eventually, clearing his throat once again to make sure his voice doesn’t come out broken. He smiles at Jared, bright and wide and true, because he knows it’s maybe the last time he can allow himself such luxury.

“You ready to go now?”

Jared feels another pang of disappointment as this other embrace ends, but the sight of Jensen’s smile has him smiling back instantly, completely unaware of what’s truly going on inside his friend’s head.

“Ready,” he nods. “Right after you use the bathroom,” he adds with a laugh and a wink.

Jensen rolls his eyes.
“I almost forgot. God, the things you do to me.”
He mentally kicks himself as soon as the words are out of his mind, and as he quickly disappears into the bathroom, he hopes Jared will think he’s talking about the guitar.

Jared casts a sad glance at the black beauty now laying once more on his bed.
“God, I wish he wasn’t talking just about a damn guitar.”

+++

The place’s already packed, the thrill of music sneaking through the crowd.

Jensen has a hard time spotting Chris (who’s strongly built but not really gigantic) standing near a table not far from the stage, and the first thing he does when they finally mange to reach him is clasp his shoulder excitedly as he all but shouts into his ear to be heard over the noise.

“You wouldn’t believe what Jared had in his bathroom!”

“A shower?” Chris screams back. “Or maybe a sink? No wait, I know! A toilet!” he laughs.

“Haha. Smartass. Here’s a hint for you: it’s black, it’s got six chords, and there’s a little writing that reads ‘Fender’ somewhere on it,” Jensen says, wide grin plastered firmly on his face.

Chris looks at his friend suspiciously, trying to decide whether he should believe what he’s just heard. When he realizes that Jensen truly isn’t playing with him, his eyes go round as saucers.

“No way, man!” he yells. “The guitar?!”
Jensen’s smile only widens in response, and he instinctively reaches out to lay an arm across Jared’s shoulders.

Jared flashes Chris a grin of his own.
“Yeah, man. The guitar you two were drooling over,” he says, quietly enjoying the feel of Jensen’s arm around him. “Tonight is party night, and I’m not gonna brood over whatever the hell is going on with me. I’m just going to have fun,” he had said to himself before locking the door to his hotel room, Jensen waiting patiently by his side. “And that’s exactly what I’ll do,” he reinforces his decision now.

“Because Jay just loves me this much,” Jensen laughs, kissing his co-star playfully on the cheek. The action is immediately followed by a pang in his chest. “What are you doing, Ackles? Is this what you call ‘distance’?!”

Everything stops. At least, that’s what it feels like to Jared.
“Alright, so maybe the whole ‘just enjoy the night’ idea won’t work. Because that would mean me giving Jen a proper kiss right about now,” he thinks, trying to calm his suddenly racing heart.
Not knowing what to do, he just looks at Chris and then back at Jensen, and says as carelessly as he can,
“Yeah, I do.”

There’s something in the way that Jared says those words that for some reason sends a shiver down Jensen’s spine, and he’s never been this glad to see Steve and his band appear on stage, giving him the chance to let himself drift away with the music and just not think.

+++

Stunningly enough, he manages to pretty much forget about the whole ‘you’re-about-to-lose-your-best-friend-because-you’re-a-freaking-coward’ thing for a good hour and a half.

Steve rocks, as usual, and he will never be grateful enough to his friend for never failing to take him to another place entirely every single his fingers pluck at the chords and his voice sings.

Jensen relishes into the old songs, letting the memories of afternoons spent playing and singing with both Chris and Steve unfold in his mind, and he’s in awe of the new ones, because Steve just keeps getting better and better and he just knows this new album is going to be a huge hit.

He throws a glance at Jared and finds him totally take up by the rhythm, as well, fingers drumming on the table, and Jensen’s grateful for this, too, because Steve’s managing to take Jared’s own problems away, if only for a few hours.

Chris seems to be dividing his attention between the stage and him and Jared, sharp blue eyes watching their features intently, looking for something that Jensen doesn’t know if he should hide or let him find, because he doesn’t know what that something actually is.

He decides to pretend he’s not noticing.

So, all in all, he’s feeling remarkably well. Better, in fact, that what he’s felt for weeks.

Until a new song begins, and the words sink in, cutting deep, and the chords close around him like fangs of some beasts he’s sure not even the Winchesters have ever encountered.

“Everything you know, let it go. Go and throw it out the window. And stop making sense…”

Jensen freezes. He momentarily wonders if maybe Steve’s trying to give him some advice.

“’Cause you keep running for cover, to the arms of a lover who doesn’t even know you…”

He swallows, trying both to keep listening and close his ears to the sound at the same time.

“… you’re the wonder of my world…”

His stomach clenches, and that’s when Jensen realizes that he can’t do it. He stands up, excuses himself with a quick, curt nod, and is out of the place like a shot.

Jared blinks in surprise when Jensen all but runs out of there, and he turns to Chris to see if maybe he knows what the hell has just happened, but the older man just shrugs in response.

“What the hell, man?” he thinks in confusion, this helpless feeling of not knowing an annoying reminder of Jensen’s odd behavior those days on set. “I’ll go see what’s going on,” he says to Chris, but the man puts a hand on his chest, effectively stopping him from moving any further.

“No man,” Chris replies, voice loud so that he can be heard. “I think it’s best if I do the talking this time, okay? You just stay here and enjoy the show. I’ll be right back with our fugitive,” he adds with a wink.

Jared watches him go, trying to understand just what the hell is going on, the show he’s supposed to be enjoying now completely forgotten.

+++

Jensen can still hear music drifting out into the street, and he takes a few breaths, trying to get his slipping composure back. It doesn’t work, and he slams his fist against the wall in frustration.

“Dammit!”

“Fuck!” Chris thinks, freezing for a split second at the sight that greets him when he finally manages to push through the crowd (and he should be glad for Steve, but hell, too many freakin’ people in there) and exit the place himself.

Snapping out of his momentary stupor, he hurries up to his friend and grabs Jensen’s hands to stop him from punching anything else, including his face.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?”

“Back off!” Jensen cries, struggling out of his grasp and giving him a small but forceful shove to push him away. “I’m not in the mood, Chris. Just leave me alone right now,” he snaps.

“I don’t fucking care if you’re in the mood or not!” Chris all but screams back. He takes a few deep breaths, because he’s supposed to calm the guy, not fight with him, and says, “Fuck, man, you’re scaring me here.”

This seems to finally break through Jensen, and he relents, swallowing before heaving a deep sigh.
“Sorry,” he says quietly. “I’m sorry, Chris. I don’t mean to… scare you. Look, don’t worry, okay? I just need a little time, that’s all,” he dismisses with what he hopes resembles a reassuring smile.

It doesn’t, and Chris lets out a sigh of his own.
“Jen…” he begins carefully. “I know you need some time. I know things are hard. I know all this. But still… Man, you can’t expect me not to worry. You practically ran out of there, and I come out to find you punching the wall,” he says pointedly. “Can you please tell me what the hell happened? Everything seemed fine.”

Jensen looks down, totally ashamed of this emo bitch he’s turning into.
“He gave me a guitar…” he murmurs. “You know how personal a guitar is, right? I mean…” He swallows. “Chris, I can’t let him go,” he moans, because that’s exactly what Steve’s songs has made him realizes he can’t do. It felt like a stone dropping into his stomach, and he hasn’t managed to get rid of it, yet.

+++

Jared doesn’t even know what song it is that Steve is playing (not because he’s never heard it before but because he’s simply not listening) when he decides he’s had enough.

“I don’t know what the fuck has just happened, but I’m not going to stay here and just wait,” he thinks resolutely, getting up and making his way to the exit. His remarkable size allows it to be a lot easier for him than what it’s been for Chris.

The sight that welcomes him when he steps outside is that of Jensen talking with Chris, a miserable look on his face. Jared steps a little closer, careful not to be seen so that he doesn’t interrupt anything. Jensen needs to open up properly about whatever it is that’s hurting him this much, and if it’s got to be with Chris rather than Jared himself, so be it, as long as he lets it out.

Jared doesn’t quite know why the next thing that happens makes him want to rush up to them or punch something. Or maybe both.

“Hey man, c’mere,” Chris says softly, taking a step forward and pulling Jensen to him.

Jensen’s trembling before he knows what the hell’s happening to him, and the tears spring back to his eyes.

“I can’t do it, Chris,” he says brokenly, burying his face into his friend’s shoulder. “I just can’t. But I have to.”

Chris holds Jensen tighter when he feels the tears starting to soak his t-shirt.

“Why the hell do you have this constant, fucked up idea that you just ‘have to’ let him go? And without even trying, Jen?” he asks softly, his hand traveling up and down Jensen’s back, trying to soothe him in the only way that comes to his mind. “Look what it’s doing to you, just trying to let him go. Maybe you should just say ‘Fuck it all’ and give it a go?”

Jensen pulls away sharply.
“No!” he says fiercely. He takes a few more breaths, calms down a little. “No, I can’t do that to him. He’s got Sandy, he loves her. I’m not getting in the way.”

Jared has listens to the exchange, trying to figure out who exactly was “he” so that he could go and punch “him” hard, possibly breaking his nose, for making Jensen hurt like that.

Then the words “Sandy” and “loves her” come and he’s suddenly stuck there, completely unable to move.

“He… he’s talking about me? I am the one who’s hurting him?” his stunned mind thinks, guilt creeping subtly up to him.

“You’re too good for your own good, Jen,” Chris is saying now. “Some people get awful selfish when loving, but no, you gotta be one of the other folks, those who seem to just love getting’ themselves hurt, yeah?” He gives a small grin to his friend.

Jensen’s in no mood for humor though, and he glares openly.
“You think I’m fucking enjoying this?” he growls. “Look, the guy’s been with his girl for almost three years now, okay? I won’t come between that. I just won’t. They’re already starting to fight over the amount of time we spend together. If we keep this up, they’ll end up having serious problems with each other. I won’t have that. I’ll just…” his voice drops on its own accord, “…keep my distance. Let him go.”

Chris sighs and he’s about to speak again, only to clamp his mouth shut when he finally spots Jared as the younger man walks up to them.

“Chris, let me talk to him,” Jared says, although his eyes remain fixed on Jensen. “Please.”

Jensen freezes on the spot, his stomach rolling slowly around.
“Shit. Jared can’t have heard. He just can’t. How worse are things meant to get?”

He tries to clear his throat, but he doesn’t actually manage, a lump having grown in there, preventing him to make any sound. He just stares at Jared, unmoving, hoping his eyes aren’t as wide as the fear gripping his gut would require.



TBC...
 
 
feeling: sleepysleepy
 
 
 
shelgrainger2shelgrainger2 on July 30th, 2007 12:40 pm (UTC)
"Wonder of my World" is my fave Steve song and now it has helped get the guys to talk I love it even more!! This is a great chapter. I love the friendship Chris has with Jensen and how he keeps trying to convince Jen to give it a go. The bit with the bathroom was so funny. Poor Jensen, Chris is right he is too good. let's hope Jared is gonna make him take what he wants
Evenstar: J² with my nameevenstar_1203 on December 22nd, 2007 01:17 pm (UTC)
OMG! *runs off to read the next chapter*
fanofsuperfanofsuper on January 16th, 2008 09:51 pm (UTC)
So the song was Steve's plan & it seems to have worked. At least now Jared has an idea what's going on. On to chapter 5 to see how things develop
slash_freak_ozslash_freak_oz on June 18th, 2008 07:30 am (UTC)
*eyes widen* EEEEKKK! *bites fingernails*

Ohhh man Jared prolly thinks Jensen wants to back away coz of him and Sandy having problems, not that Jensen's in love with him