Jared groaned as he was pulled from his sleep by the sound of his cell phone vibrating against his night stand. Rolling onto his side, Jared groped for his alarm clock, noticing that it was well after three in the morning. Again, Jared groaned as he picked up the phone and answered the call. “H'llo?” he slurred, pressing his thumb and index finger on his free hand against his eyes in an attempt to wake himself up. “Another case?” he asked, rolling his eyes. They'd just gotten off a case less than three hours ago. If Jared didn't get some sleep, he wasn't going to be able to function properly.
But that was the life, he supposed. He'd known when he signed up for the job that sleep wasn't exactly high on the list of priorities. “Yeah, just let me get dressed and I can be there in about thirty minutes.” Sighing, Jared hung up the phone. He knew that if he didn't get out of bed right away, he'd lay down and fall back asleep. The last thing he wanted right now was for Jeffrey Dean Morgan to be on his ass.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan – JD, as they all called him – was a good boss. He was understanding and loyal to his crew. But he was also a hard boss. He wasn't one to let things slide. And he expected a lot from his team. And Jared looked at him like a father. Growing up, Jared hadn't really had a father. His father had been on the force as well, and he'd been gunned down in a robbery when Jared was just a young child. Honestly, Jared didn't really remember much about him.
So, when Jared had been accepted into the force, JD had taken him under his wing. He'd shown Jared a sense of family, and Jared would forever be grateful for it. And the last thing Jared ever wanted to do was disappoint JD.
That was probably the only reason he was out of bed right now and getting dressed to go back into the office. He was determined not to be the last person to show up this time. Usually, the last person to show up was the person who was put on the tedious jobs. The last time Jared had shown up late, he had been put on babysitting duty. It wasn't like Jared didn't like kids, it was just that he wasn't good with them. Usually, he said the wrong things, or he just bored them to death until they were free to leave. He'd hated that day.
True to his word, Jared showed up at the station about thirty minutes after he'd hung up the call with Alona. JD and Alona weren't in the briefing room yet, but almost the whole team otherwise was there. Tom and Michael were talking amongst themselves, and Samantha and Genevieve were also gossiping amongst themselves. Taking his seat, Jared smiled at his co-workers. They were like his little family – it was amazing that he'd been here for just over a year and everyone was so close.
When the door swung open to reveal Jeffrey, he looked upset. He was followed by a scared looking Alona in tote. Already, Jared could tell this case was going to be a doozy. Sighing, he settled into his seat, ready to hear what Jeffrey had to say during the briefing.
“Everyone please direct your attention to the screen so we can get started,” Jeffrey muttered, taking his seat at the head of the table as he flipped open his folder. “Alona, let's get started.”
A small frown came to Alona's lips when she was told to get started. She always hated to be the one to go over everything in front of the group. It made her feel...icky. “Okay, last night, this man, Danneel Harris, was found murdered in her two story home. So far, the police don't have much information on the case. But, they do have one thing working for them.” Flipping through to the next screen, Alona continued, “This is Jensen Ross Ackles. He's 22, grew up in Texas before he moved to Los Angeles when he turned 18 to pursue his modeling career. He was inside the house when Danneel was murdered, but according to the police, he is having a mental block caused by trauma. They were hoping someone from our unit could work with him and see what they could bring back.”
Now that Alona was done giving the background, it was time for Jeffrey to speak up once more. “This one hits close to home, guys. Danneel Harris was a police officer herself, and her team is looking to catch the killer as quickly as possible and see to it that she is given the justice she deserves. We'll all head to the station in 30 minutes and start our work. As for Jensen Ackles, he is to be in witness protection, so to speak, until he remembers something useful.”
Scoffing, Tom piped up, “How is he going to remember something useful while he's in witness protection? They don't know how to handle people who have locked away memories due to traumatic events. All they're going to do is hide him away where no one can get to him, and we'll never know what he saw.”
Although Jeffrey knew that Tom had a tendency to be brash and sometimes annoying, he was right in this instance. And Jeffrey had thought about that as well. So, he'd voiced his concerns to the board, and he'd been given access to the witness. “Welling, while you're going about it the wrong way, I do have to agree with you,” he assured his teammate. “That's why I took it to the board, and they agreed to let one of our guys work with him. He'll need 24 hour protection and to be worked with as much as possible to get the information we need.”
Without hesitation, Genevieve raised her hand. “I'll do it,” she offered. “I'm the youngest female on this team, and I think I can get through to him. Plus, I have no problem spending every waking minute with a witness.”
It came as no surprise to Jeffrey that Genevieve wanted this job. He knew that she was good at what she did, but sometimes she let her feelings get in the way. And he wasn't blaming her – they really had no time for a personal life with this job, so she kind of had to create one where she could. “Thank you for the offer, Genevieve,” Jeffrey smiled. “But we've already allowed Jensen to take a look at everyone's files and decide who he thought would be a good match for him. And...he picked you, Padalecki.”
Shocked, Jared couldn't help but gasp when his name was called out. “Me?” he asked, index and middle fingers pressing against his chest. “Why me?” Honestly, Jared wasn't good with babysitting jobs. He would rather be out there in the field, getting things done. He was socially awkward, and he didn't understand why anyone would want to spend any length of time with him.
A deep frown came to Jeffrey's lips when Jared spoke. “Well, I didn't think to ask him why he picked you,” Jeffrey spat out sarcastically. “All I know is that he wants you to work with him. No exceptions, Padalecki. We need this win. Danneel Harris was one of our own – he deserves to have his killer caught and thrown behind bars. And we're all counting on you to get the job done, Padalecki.”
No pressure. Jared couldn't help but feel like he'd upset Jeffrey with his question. “Yes, sir,” he answered with a nod. He was determined to do this. After all, it wasn't like Jensen was a child – he was a grown man. Surely there had to be something he and Jared had in common that they could pass the time with.
With that, Jeffrey excused the team, reminding them once more that they were leaving in 30 minutes. Jared made sure to grab Jensen's file from Alona on his way out the door. He needed to get a feel for who this man was. After all, they were going to be spending a lot of time together over the next few days. Jared needed all of the help with him that he could get.
On the drive over, Jared had to have read over Jensen's file three or four times, and he was still nervous as all hell. Jensen was into music, and modeling, and cars. Jared wasn't interested in any of that. He was more interested in serial killer documentaries, and sci-fi magazines. And he didn't know the first thing about a car. This was definitely going to be interesting.
As soon as they arrived at the station, Jared was ushered into a separate room from his team, making him feel alone and exposed. Once there, he was given the run down of the operation before he was introduced to Jensen. He had to admit that meeting Jensen was a little terrifying. The man was gorgeous – any idiot could see that. And Jared felt very uncomfortable around people he was attracted to. Unfortunately, there was no denying that he was attracted to his new project, for lack of a better term. “Uh...hi,” Jared mumbled, biting into his bottom lip as he extended his right hand. “I'm Jared.”
The first thing Jared realized when he met Jensen was that he didn't look like someone who'd witnessed a murder and was traumatized. He was cool, smooth – almost calm. “I know who you are,” Jensen assured Jared, a wide smile on his lips. “You're even better looking in person. The photo doesn't do you justice.”
At Jensen's compliment, Jared jerked his hand out of Jensen's grasp. “Th-Thanks,” he stuttered, not really sure how else he was supposed to answer. “Um...so did they tell you anything about what's going to happen over the next few days while we search for Danneel's killer?” When Jensen shook his head, Jared nodded. “So, you and I are going to be staying in a remote location where no one can find us. You're not going to have any contact with the outside world just in case people are looking for you. I'll have a satellite phone so my team can keep in contact with me, but other than that, we're going to be cut off. And I'm going to be working with you to try and bring back your memories. Do you understand what you're getting into, Jensen?”
With another sly smirk on his lips, Jensen leaned in and explained, “My friends all call me Jen.” His eyes raked over Jared's prone form, unable to wonder what the other man looked like under those annoying clothes. “And yes, I understand what I'm getting into. You and I are going to take a little trip to some secluded area and we're going to be BFFs for the next few days until your team catches the asshole who did this. And while we're on holiday, you're going to try to help me dig deep into my head to figure out who killed my friend. I got it, Jared. We can go. I wanna get started as soon as possible.”
Jensen had enthusiasm to get the task done, at least. Jared assumed that was a good sign. But still, he couldn't help but think there was something off about Jensen. Maybe it was a self preservation technique? Maybe Jensen thought that if he acted all tough, this whole situation couldn't hurt him? But Jared needed him to feel this – he needed him to feel the hurt and the pain of losing his friend. If he suppressed his feelings, those memories were never going to come out. And that meant they may never catch the person responsible for Danneel's death.
But Jared couldn't think like that. He needed to be positive. After all, positivity was the key to success – or whatever bullshit line Alona was always trying to spew their way before a case. “Okay,” Jared nodded. “Let's get going then. I'll drive.” With that, he and Jensen were off to their remote location, Jared eager to get this process going.
They didn't really speak on the way to the cabin, both men just enjoying the scenery. Honestly, Jared couldn't get a good feel for Jensen. It scared him a little bit. Usually, he was really good at reading people. But with Jensen, there was just something he couldn't put his finger on. Maybe once they were settled in, he and Jensen could have a chance to talk. Then, hopefully, Jared could get a good feel for him.
After about two hours, they finally pulled into the large driveway leading to the cabin. Without hesitation, Jensen climbed out of the car and headed to the door. He wasted no time using the key he'd been given to open the door and head inside. Honestly, he was eager to see the new digs he'd be staying in for the duration of this case. And he wanted to check out the layout – he liked to be prepared for anything.
Jensen hadn't bothered to grab his belongings out of the trunk, so Jared went ahead and did it for him, kicking the door closed behind himself once he'd entered the cabin. He had to admit that he was impressed with how roomy it was. From what he was told, there was a fully stocked kitchen, and the bathrooms were also equipped with everything he and Jensen would need while they were here. Jared also had a contact number for the guy who was responsible for filling supplies if it came down to that. After all, it wasn't like he and Jensen could leave this place if their stock started running low. Basically, they were trapped here with each other. And Jared wasn't quite sure how he felt about that.
“I call the room on the second floor,” Jensen stated, taking a seat next to Jared and pulling the other man out of his own thoughts. He could tell that Jared was uncomfortable around him, but he didn't know why. But he was definitely going to explore that topic.
Scooting further away from Jensen, Jared frowned slightly. “Uh, okay, that's fine,” he answered, not bothering to argue. He didn't care where he slept as long as he had a bed to sleep in. “What do you want for dinner? I mean, you've gotta be starving after that drive.”
There was definitely one thing Jensen could think of that he wouldn't mind eating right now. But he wasn't going to bring that up just yet. He figured that it would be beneficial to make Jared feel comfortable before he made his first move. “I don't care,” he answered with a shrug. “I'm assuming we can't order a pizza being in our current situation, so dinner is on you. I can't cook worth shit.”
Honestly, Jared wasn't that great in the kitchen either. But he could hold his own, he supposed. “Alright, well how about you go get washed up, and I'll figure out what we're having for dinner?” Jared suggested. “I'm sure you want to grab a shower after being stuck at the station, and then in the car for so long.”
Again, Jensen couldn't stop his mind from going to how Jared might look out of those clothes. But again, he refrained from making a comment. “Yeah, that sounds like a good idea, actually,” he assured Jared with a nod. He hoped the water pressure here was decent – there was nothing more disappointing than terrible water pressure.
Once he was in the shower, Jensen made sure to relieve himself so he didn't keep sporting a stiffy around Jared. Not only was it embarrassing, but he was sure that it would make Jared very uncomfortable if he happened to notice. He bit into his bottom lip to stifle the groan that fell from his lips as his spunk shot out of him, coating the shower wall that he and Jared had to share. Jensen didn't bother to clean it up too well, though – he wanted Jared to know what he'd done in here.
When he was finished, Jensen dressed in soft sweatpants and a baggy gray T-shirt before he headed back into the kitchen. “Smells good,” he complimented, not missing the way Jared jumped when he spoke. The kid seemed to spook easily – he'd have to get over that.
Jared hadn't been paying attention to his surroundings, so when Jensen came out of the bathroom, he'd jumped. And he hated himself for it. Jared was an agent – a trained agent – he shouldn't be scared like he was. “Thanks,” Jared smiled softly, pulling the crescent rolls he'd made out of the oven. “I hope you like chicken. I mean, I didn't know what you'd want. And I wasn't really feeling something easy like pizza. I figured I'd save that for another night when I wasn't in the mood to cook. Even you can put a pizza in the oven, I'm sure.”
Smirking, Jensen looked for the plates so they could eat. He'd have to familiarize himself with the layout of this place a little better tomorrow. “Don't be so sure,” he teased, finally finding the dishes he was looking for. “I don't think those fancy executives who are holing us up in here would approve if I burned the place down trying to make dinner.”
At Jensen's remark, Jared couldn't help but chuckle. It left him hopeful that as time went on and he was with Jensen, they'd be able to grow closer and be friends. Because if this whole time they were together, Jared felt as awkward as he did now, there was going to be a problem. He may even have to transfer and get someone else in here. Genevieve had been pretty eager to spend time Jensen. Jared really hoped it didn't come to that, though. He didn't want to disappoint JD.
Another wide smile came to Jensen's lips when Jared laughed. His cheeks dented with dimples when he smiled, which Jensen hadn't realized from the photo he'd seen. And this was the first time Jared had smiled with him, so this was news – good news. Jensen was slowly starting to learn new things about Jared, which was nice. He could only imagine what other things he could learn as their time spent together increased. Jensen was really excited for it.
After dinner, Jensen helped Jared with the dishwasher before they retired to the living room to kill some time before bed. Jared had decided that after today's stressful events, it probably wasn't a good idea for him to try to unlock Jensen's memories. Stress could really lessen the chances of getting into someone's head, and Jared could only imagine how stressful this was for Jensen. Hell, it was stressful for him, and he'd done this before.
So they settled on watching some old movie until they were both too tired to stay awake any longer. Jensen bid Jared goodnight before he headed up to his room, leaving Jared alone to work for a little while in his own room. He didn't get much done since he was so tired, but he managed to at least get a game plan ready for the following day. After checking in with his team, Jared turned his lamp off and got into bed. He needed to sleep if he was going to get anywhere with Jensen tomorrow. After all, a sleep deprived agent was a terrible agent.