“The feelings that hurt most, the emotions that sting most, are those that are absurd - The longing for impossible things, precisely because they are impossible; nostalgia for what never was; the desire for what could have been; regret over not being someone else; dissatisfaction with the world’s existence. All these half-tones of the soul’s consciousness create in us a painful landscape, an eternal sunset of what we are.”
“A tour Jared? Really?”
Jared looks guiltily at Jensen and shrugs. “Yeah, Jen. The publisher wants me to do it, the book has been such a hit and it would be good that I go to some other cities for some autograph sessions. It’s even better promotion, Jen. Plus, you know I like talking to the people who read the book, hearing their thoughts about it.”
Jensen makes a bitch face and Jared just knows this is far from being over. “Oh and I assume Alex is going with you right? Because Alex is so great and I have to sit here and watch you two going on a trip together, huh? That’s rich, Jared!”
Jared groans. “Jensen, would you quit it already with this silly jealousy of Alex? I’ve told you a million times there’s absolutely nothing going on between us, he’s just my agent! And come on, if after everything we have been through and all these years you still don’t know how I feel about you and that I would never even look at anyone else, I don’t know what to tell you.”
Jensen sighs and rubs a hand over his face, looking frustrated. “I’m sorry Jay, okay? But you know how I get sometimes. I get insecure because of my past, I’m always gonna be an ex homeless junkie, and I know, I know you love me more than anything but a part of my stupid brain keeps betraying me. I’m sorry I’m like this.”
Jared purses his lips and looks intently at his husband. He is getting kind of tired of standing up so he slowly walks to the couch, leaning heavily on his crutch, and makes a motion with his head to Jensen. “Come here, Jen.”
Jared carefully sits down and Jensen joins him, sitting close. Jared studies him for a few moments. “I wish you didn’t feel like this, Jen. I think for the past ten years I’ve shown you many times how you’re the only one for me. Well, scratch that. I’ve shown you that ever since I was eleven years old. Or have you forgotten everything we went through? Because if you did, you are welcome to read my book again!”
Jensen chuckles and looks down, feeling clearly embarrassed. “I know. I’m really sorry, Jay. It’s just that it’s gonna suck to have you gone for such long periods as you go on your book tour. I don’t want you to think I don’t support you, I do. I’m just gonna miss you so much. Wish I could go with you.”
Jared takes Jensen’s hand and squeezes it. “I wish it too, baby. But hey, you’re a successful business owner with a small chain of auto repair shops to run, and they need you.”
Jensen gives him a small smile, and Jared knows how proud he is of his business. Jensen graduated from community college years ago and started working at an auto repair shop. After many years of hard work Jensen managed to open his own place, and it was so successful he opened a handful of additional locations. Jared is so extremely proud of his husband and everything he achieved. Both of them came a long way.
Jensen sighs, “Yeah, I know. But there’s also those letters, Jay. You know I worry about that too. Especially with you being gone and all.”
Jared shivers thinking about the letters he’s been getting since he released his book. He has a stalker who sends him scary obsessive letters sometimes. They took the letters to the authorities, but some still come on occasion. Jared hopes this doesn’t go beyond the letters. He leans over and kisses Jensen tenderly.
“I know you worry, Jen. I do too. But we can’t put our lives on hold just because of some lunatic is obsessed with me for some reason. But I promise I’ll defend myself if they come at me. I may not be able to run but I can surely hit them over the head with my crutch.” Jared chuckles and Jensen follows him. “It’s gonna be fine, Jen. Trust me. Even if I’m gone periodically, I’m always going to come back to you. Always. It’s a promise.”
Jensen smiles more genuinely this time. “Okay. Just need some time to get used to this idea. You know how protective I can get of my J.T.”
Jared smiles fondly at the nickname, feeling a warmth inside of him. He frames Jensen’s face with a hand, caressing his cheek.
“I know you do, Jack.”
It’s not usual for them to use those names for each other, but on special occasions they do, because those names are special. A lifetime ago they met for the first time at a magical place, and changed each other’s lives forever. Sometimes Jared can’t believe everything they went through together, it really feels something came out of a movie or a book. He has heard that sentence many times over the years from people close to them who know their story, so eventually he started writing it down. He has his journal, the one he wrote about Jensen since the first time they met, and based on it Jared wrote about them. Their whole story from day one at Camp Water Mill, everything they went through, and all the feelings involved in it. Jared spent a lot of time lost in the words and memories, and when he was finally done, Jensen was the first one he allowed to read it. Jensen couldn’t put it down until he was finished, and spent a long time crying once he did. Jared understood how emotional it could be to have their whole story laid out like this. Jensen had hugged him for a long time, and then told Jared he needed to publish it.
Jared himself wasn’t sure about it. Sure, their story was interesting for them but he didn’t know if it would be to others. Jensen convinced Jared to let their friends and family read the book, and without a single exception, everyone told Jared how magnificent it was, how emotional they felt at finally reading their story like this, and that it should be published. Megan, Jared’s sister, was in touch with a few publishers since she had a children’s book published herself, and handed copies of Jared’s book to them.
Surprisingly, one publisher took interest in it, and decided to invest in it. Jared couldn’t believe it, and Jensen was very proud. Jared repeatedly made sure Jensen was okay with opening up his life like this, having his addiction exposed and everything he went through since Jensen is a private man. But Jensen assured Jared that it was okay, that he also wanted for their beautiful story to be shared with the world.
So Jared had a few meetings with the publisher to decide the details of the book, and he chose a title that holds a lot of meaning to him and he thought it would be perfect: The Boy With Blue Hair.
Surprisingly, the book was a hit. Everyone was interested in reading about the boy with blue hair, and people just loved it. Jared was really surprised by it, he truly had written the book for himself and Jensen, he never thought people who didn’t know them would be interested in hearing about their story. Jared had to start doing some book signings, and he began listening to people telling him how touched they felt reading the book, what an amazing story they have together. Jared began to feel very proud of his book. He even had to spend less time in the clinic he owns alongside Chris to be able to attend to all the book events. The publisher assigned him an agent, Alex, and they became good friends. Jensen of course was jealous of him from the first day they met, but Jared always tries to assure his husband there’s absolutely nothing there. Jared only has eyes for Jensen, it has been like this for almost his whole life, literally.
Alex approached Jared with the tour thing. The publisher wants him to do it since the book is doing so well, it would be a great way to promote it. Jared really doesn’t want to leave Jensen but it won’t be for too long, just a few days at a time. Jared has requested that they don’t do it the whole tour at once. First, he doesn’t want to be far from Jensen that long and second, he really doesn’t have the energy to spend so many weeks away from home at once, he has a mild disability after all and gets tired easily. So the best option for him is to do a couple of weeks at once then returning home to get some rest, spend time with Jensen and also take care of his business, then go again. Jared hopes it works, he really wants to do it and get to talk to his readers.
Jared has been gone for over a week and Jensen is going crazy without him. Yeah, he knows it’s ridiculous, but he can’t help it. Ever since they found each other again, they haven’t spent so long apart. The day Jared left, Jensen could see how torn he was, he could see his husband didn’t want to leave him, and Jensen showed him his support, told Jared to go because it was his job and he would be back in two weeks, that it would go by in the blink of an eye.
Now it feels like two years have passed without Jared. Jensen is happy for him, he really is. He was the first person to encourage Jared to publish the book, because the world should hear about their incredible love story. And when the book turned out to be an actual success, Jensen was so proud of Jared it felt like his chest was going to explode with it. He is proud of Jared, so much. Having people saying how much they loved their story, how great of an author Jared is, always brings a huge joy to Jensen’s heart. Jared deserves the world, he’s the most amazing person there is, and especially after everything he went through, he deserves nothing but happiness.
It doesn’t mean Jensen is happy to see Jared going away for two fucking weeks. Well, he is happy that the book is such a hit that Jared has to travel for autograph sessions, but it doesn’t mean he needs to be happy to be away from Jared all this time. He misses Jared all the goddamn time, he isn’t used to sleeping by himself anymore, and he worries about him. Jensen knows he doesn’t have to, Jared is completely independent and deals incredibly well with his disability so technically Jensen knows he shouldn’t be concerned for him. But a small fucked up part of him can’t help it, a small part of him could never let go of the guilt of what happened to Jared. It was Jensen’s cousin who caused it, if Jensen wasn’t a part of Jared’s life he would be fine. Jared of course had told Jensen a bazillion times that it wasn’t his fault and he’d rather live with a minor disability than not having Jensen in his life. The bigger part of Jensen does understand that, but that small part just can’t. So Jensen has this unconscious (or not) need to protect Jared, to always make sure he’s okay. And right now Jared is away and anything that happens is out of Jensen’s reach.
Plus, there’s Alex and the fact that they’re traveling together. Jensen does know that Jared loves him more than anything but he can’t help feeling jealous. A part of Jensen (probably that same one) will always see himself as a homeless drug addict, unworthy of Jared’s love, waiting for him to find someone better. It’s ridiculous, Jensen knows it, Jared and him are soulmates and perfect for each other and all of that, but again his stupid brain likes to fuck him up. Jensen can only hope things go smoothly and the days go by fast and that Jared is back soon.
A day later, everything goes to shit. It’s Saturday and Jensen is home, he has been feeling strangely on edge for some reason, Jared’s absence, his stupid brain running the worst scenarios over and over, and it all boils up and makes Jensen call Jared three times in a day to make sure everything is okay, to see how he’s doing.
It’s not even 3 pm when Jensen calls for the fourth time just because he’s out of control, and Jared snaps.
“Goddamnit Jensen! I told you already I’m fine! I’m not screwing Alex if that’s what you’re so worried about, okay? I’m just doing my job, can’t you understand that?”
Jensen tries to say something, his heart beating a mile a minute, and he stutters. “I--sorry Jay, I just… well I…”
Jared cuts him off. “Look, I have to go, an autograph session is starting soon and I’m busy. I promise, I WILL talk to you later. Bye.”
Jared hangs up and Jensen stays frozen in place, holding his phone in his hand and staring at the black screen. Why did he have to do that? Of course Jared isn’t doing anything wrong and he’s alright, so why did Jensen have to bother him like this, causing him to be angry right before something important? Jared is right, he’s doing his job and Jensen is just getting in the way because that’s how he is. Like Jensen got in the way when he was a nobody years ago and Jared was already an intern in a nice rehab clinic. Jensen couldn’t even be completely happy that Jared was going on a tour for his book, that he’s successful like that. Jensen is always holding Jared down and that’s not fair. It’s not enough that Jared is disabled because of Jensen, now this. Why is Jared doing with Jensen anyway? It doesn’t make any sense. Jared deserves someone who isn’t fucked up, someone who doesn’t fuck up Jared’s life.
Jensen drags himself to their bedroom, lying down on Jared’s side of the bed. The scent of him isn’t even on the pillow anymore he has been gone for so long. Jensen remembers the jersey Jared “stole” from him at the camp, the one he said it had Jensen’s scent. Things were so much easier at the camp, they were young and carefree. J.T. was so special, with those bright eyes. If Jensen knew how much he would screw up with him, he would have stayed away. Jensen holds Jared’s pillow and sends him a text.
Jay, I’m sorry. I fucked up bad.
The message goes undelivered but perhaps Jared turned off his phone for the autograph session. Jensen can wait. Those things last about two hours, so he can wait. It’s fine.
It’s three hours later and things are not fine. The message still wasn’t delivered, and Jensen had decided to call Jared, risking hearing another earful just to make sure he is really okay, and his phone is turned off. Jensen is trying not to freak out, but it’s hard. He waits another hour and calls again, still nothing. Obviously the session has ended by now, and no sign of Jared. Jensen scrolls down his contacts to find Alex’s number and calls him. Also voicemail.
Jensen calls Jared again. And again. And after 10 minutes, and after 20. After 30. And nothing. Jensen isn’t going to freak out, he isn’t. He can’t. Sure, Jared is fine. Maybe he ran out of battery, that can happen. Right? Jared is fine. Jensen decides to try and watch some TV to calm his nerves a bit. Just as he turns the TV on, a Pizza Hut ad starts.
And that’s what breaks Jensen.
It’s eleven years ago and Jensen has just moved in with Jared, everything is amazing and Jensen couldn’t be happier but then one day Jared doesn’t come back home from work. He should have stopped by Pizza Hut to get them dinner but Jared doesn’t arrive and Jensen is worried, he goes to Pizza Hut and Jared isn’t there and he hasn’t been there at all.
Where the fuck is Jared?
Jared is gone and he has disappeared and he won’t answer his phone and Jensen doesn’t know what happened to him. Hours, days, weeks, years go by and Jensen doesn’t know where Jared is. He’s tortured, he’s abused, and returned to Jensen broken, with his life hanging by a thread.
Jared won’t answer his phone.
Jared has a stalker, he has a stalker that sends him letters because he’s obsessed with Jared and what if the stalker got to Jared? Jared wouldn’t even be able to run because he was beaten up and thrown from a moving car and that left him broken because of Jensen, because Jensen couldn’t take care of him, because Jensen wasn’t enough.
It gets harder to breathe, air won’t reach Jensen’s lungs and he cannot breathe and he’s drowning, he’s underwater and the light is shining on the surface but he can’t reach it, he’s not strong enough. He can’t breathe and the fucking Pizza Hut ad is on TV and Jared didn’t go there and he hasn’t come home.
Where is Jared?
There was that CD they sent and Jared was being abused, he was bruised and hurt and crying and sweating, they were forcing him to fuck that woman and Stephen had a gun pointed to his head. What if Stephen got him again, what if he’s sending those letters?
His brain tries to tell him Stephen is dead, but what if he’s not? What if he’s out there waiting for the perfect opportunity to get his revenge, what if now he’s gonna end Jared once and for all and it’s all Jensen’s fault and Jared won’t answer his goddamn phone.
Jensen calls one more time and another and once more and there’s the voicemail and all Jensen wants, needs is to hear his voice, even if Jared is so mad at him he tells Jensen he hates him, he only fucked up his life over and over and he wants nothing to do with him again, he just needs to know if Jared is okay.
But his voice never comes and the phone is smashed against the opposite wall.
Jensen is having trouble seeing straight, there’s a buzz in his ears and his body is craving something it hasn’t in a long time. A small part of Jensen tells him he can’t do this, he needs to be strong for Jared, but his desperation wins. Jensen doesn’t even know what he’s doing anymore, he grabs some bills from his wallet and is out of the door in seconds, nearly running to a place he knows he can find what he needs.
He finds a guy, shows him the money, begs for it. Why is his face wet? The guy grabs the money and gives him what he so desperately needs.
Jensen runs back home, barely paying attention to where he’s going and it’s a miracle he even makes it. He sits on his couch and inspects the small package he bought, opening it.
A small part of his brain is screaming for him not to do it, and it sounds a lot like Jared. Jensen tries to focus on Jared’s face, but it’s too blurry. He can’t fight it anymore, Jared is somewhere being tortured, abused, injured, and it’s all Jensen’s fault. Jared shouldn’t have to deal with him anymore, he deserves someone much better. It’s for the best anyway.
Jensen snorts it, and again. And one more time. And maybe another, he doesn’t know. His body feels weird, his chest hurts, his heart is beating in his ear and it’s getting harder and harder to breathe. It’s hard to stay conscious, he’s falling on the couch and Jared’s face is behind his eyelids and he’s so beautiful, so so beautiful.
I’m sorry Jay. I love you more than anything.
Jared is worried. He shouldn’t have snapped at Jensen like that, what’s wrong with him? Jensen surely exaggerated but it’s understandable. Jared has been gone for more than a week, they have never stayed away from each other that long, and also Jared knows Jensen worries about him. He doesn’t need to, Jared can take care of himself just fine, but Jared knows it’s stronger than him. Jensen sounded odd on the phone, and Jared regretted snapping the second he hung up the phone. They were arriving at the bookstore, and before the session started Jared meant to text Jensen, but realized he was out of signal. His message went undelivered, and he cursed internally. He would have to wait until the session was over to talk to his husband, and he was anxious. It ran later than predicted, and then the book owners offered them a dinner at a restaurant located in the same mall as the bookstore. Jared had wanted to decline, eager to go somewhere with a signal so he could reach Jensen, but they insisted and Jared didn’t want to be rude. Plus, if he waited another couple of hours to talk to Jensen it wouldn’t be the end of the world right? He would just apologize to his husband, knowing he hurt him, and would make up to him fully when he got home. It would be fine.
But now it’s not fine anymore. At all. The second Jared got signal again, he received a message from Jensen, saying he was sorry, that he fucked up bad, and it broke Jared’s heart. He knows how insecure Jensen is about some subjects, and he regrets snapping even more. Jared had called Jensen immediately but it had gone straight to voicemail. He tried countless times during the ride and after arriving at the hotel, and nothing. Alex had seen how worried Jared was and was starting to get worried himself, so he followed Jared to his hotel room, to see if he could get ahold of Jensen.
Eventually Jared decided to call Chris, asking him to go check on Jensen, see if he was alright and telling briefly what had happened. His friend and business partner agreed right away, and Jared had to wait even longer, never stopping calling Jensen. He’s worried sick, what if something happened to Jensen? Jared can’t even imagine what he would do if that was the case.
The phone finally rings after what seems like two lifetimes, and it’s Chris. Jared doesn’t even say hello.
“Chris? What happened? Did you find Jensen?”
Jared hears a throat being cleared and his friend’s voice sounds very weird. “Jared…”
Jared’s heart is hammering inside his chest, and he grabs his phone with both hands as he sits up straighter on the edge of the bed.
“What is it Chris? Where is Jensen?”
It takes a few heartbeats for Chris to answer and Jared has to fight very hard not to scream.
“Jared, Jensen had an overdose.”
Jared hears the words but he can’t comprehend them. Because they can’t mean what Jared thinks they mean. It’s not possible.
“He--he what?” His voice is so strange in his ears, his eyes instantly fill with tears.
“Jared, I found Jensen unconscious on the couch in your apartment. I called an ambulance and I’m riding with him to the hospital. There was…” Chris makes a pause and Jared wants to punch something. “Jared, there was methamphetamine on the coffee table.”
Jared can’t say anything anymore, it feels like someone is dumping ice on him. This can’t be happening, it can’t, it can’t. He drops the phone on the floor and Alex is in his face asking what happened, his eyes looking huge.
Something snaps in Jared and he must go to Jensen, Jensen OD’ed and he needs him, Jared is far away and Jensen needs him right now. His tongue feels like sandpaper as he tries to talk to Alex.
“Jensen had an overdose and I need to go, he needs me right now!”
Without thinking, since his brain apparently lost this function the minute Chris told him about Jensen, Jared gets up from the bed with the intention to run away, to get to Jensen somehow, but his legs of course don’t support him and Jared can’t take two steps before he’s falling to the floor. He uses his arms not to faceplant, and all fight leaves him finally. Jared breaks down on the floor, without any strength to get up, and he sobs. He hides his face on his hands and cries hard, and then harder, in fear of losing Jensen. He’s not strong enough, he can’t lose Jensen. After everything they went through, after his whole life loving Jensen, after getting him back, after surviving a horrible ordeal and building a life with Jensen, he can’t lose him. He’d rather die with him.
There are hands grabbing his shoulders, someone is talking but Jared just can’t listen. He’s still crying and his ears are ringing and tears blur his vision. The person talks again and Jared tries to listen.
“Jared, for the love of God, we need to get you up. Let me help you okay?”Jared doesn’t have the strength to do it, but the next thing the person - Alex? - says, gets him out of his stupor. “The sooner we get you up, the sooner I can find us a way to go back home so you can see Jensen.”
Hearing his husband’s name gives Jared the strength he needs to focus. So he nods, and with Alex’s help he gets up and sits on the bed again. Jared slumps forward, completely drained and weak, as Alex makes some calls that Jared can’t listen to. There’s only one thing going in a loop in his mind.
Jensen Jensen Jensen Jensen Jensen Jensen
Eventually Alex crouches down in front of him. “Jared, listen to me. I managed to get us a flight back to Dallas that leaves in two hours. I’m gonna get everything packed so we can go, okay?”
Jared nods, and Alex runs to his own room to get his stuff. Jared knows he should be helping, packing his own stuff to make this quicker, but he just can’t. His whole body feels numb, like he is in shock or something. As long as he doesn’t see Jensen and know for sure he’s fine, Jared can’t fight.
Alex comes back and quickly packs Jared’s stuff. Then he approaches him, a hand on his shoulder.
“Jared, we are ready to go. Do you need your wheelchair?”
Jared swallows hard and nods. It’s not often that he uses his wheelchair, only when he’s too tired to walk around, but he always travels with it just in case. Alex positions the chair next to Jared and helps him into it. Jared attempts to push himself but his arms feel heavy. Alex lets him know he called someone to help with the luggage, and pushes Jared out of the room. In the back of his mind, Jared thinks he hates being pushed like this but he can’t bring himself to care right now.
It barely registers to Jared how they get downstairs and into the car, or the drive to the airport. During the ride his phone rings and Alex answers, talking to Chris. Then he lets Jared know Jensen made it to the hospital and Chris is there waiting on news, but it may take a while. Alex tells Jared he let Chris know they’re on the way.
Alex pushes Jared through the terminal and Jared doesn’t even have the strength to get up and go through security, so they have to do a manual check on him, patting him down.Then they wait for a little while but finally board the plane. They go first, of course, and as they wait for everyone else to board, Jared looks out of the window, thinking about his husband and praying over and over again that he’s alright. It has been a goddamn long time since Jared asked for anything, he kept the promise he made years ago, but now he begs.
God, do anything you want but please don’t take Jensen away from me. Take me instead.
It’s a little less than two hours to get to Dallas, and Jared is on edge the whole time, wondering what’s happening to Jensen, how exactly is he. It’s excruciating not to have any news during the whole flight, and Jared keps wondering what the fuck happened to make Jensen do drugs again. He had been clean for over eleven years, Jared knows for a fact Jensen never used again since he was taken to the clinic all those years ago. It wasn’t always easy, Jensen is an ex-addict who did drugs for a long time and sometimes has his hard moments, it wasn’t very often but they managed to get through when things got bad. And now Jensen used meth again for some reason and Jared doesn’t know what happened. Is it only because Jared travelled for a few weeks and was kinda harsh to him on the phone? It’s hard to believe that’s the only reason, Jared knows Jensen is stronger than this. Not even when Jared was kidnapped and Jensen didn’t know what happened to him, did he use. He managed to stay strong, and now he had his first relapse in over a decade. What if things were already hard for Jensen and Jared failed to notice? What if he had been so focused on his book that he didn’t realize something was happening to Jensen? What a shitty husband is he?
Jared rubs a hand over his face for the thousandth time, wishing for the plane to go faster so he can get to his husband. He just needs to make sure Jensen is okay, they are gonna deal with the rest later.
Finally, finally they land in DFW, and Jared is eager to just deplane and go to the hospital. He feels recovered enough to wheel himself this time - he would walk with his crutch but they have to carry the wheelchair anyway since they didn’t check it and it’s easier to just use it - and when they get to the baggage claim area, they spot Chad. Jared didn’t even know his friend was coming to pick them up but he’s glad he is here. Chad approaches him and leans down for a quick hug.
“Hey Chad, any news on Jensen?”
Chad shakes his head. “Not yet, I’m taking you to the hospital so we can see if they tell us something.”
Jared nods and once they have their luggage, they all rush to Chad’s car. Thankfully the ride doesn’t take too long since miraculously there isn’t too much traffic. Soon Chad pulls up at the hospital and Jared nearly jumps out of the car, picking up the crutch he had retrieved from his luggage before entering the car. Chad tells him it’s on the fifth floor before driving away to find a parking spot, and Jared walks as fast as he can to get there. Exiting the elevator he locates the waiting room and finds Chris sitting there.
“Hey man! Thank God you made it!” Chris gets up and closes the distance between them, pulling Jared in for a hug. Jared lets Chris hug him close, he realizes he really needs a hug right now. Once they pull apart, he asks the question.
“How is Jen?”
Chris purses his lips. “They haven’t told me anything since I’m not his family. I was waiting for you to arrive so they can give us news. I considered calling his mother but decided it was better to wait for you first. I’ll tell the nurse you’re here so they can get the doctor.”
Jared nods and sits down in one of the plastic chairs as he watches Chris go to the nurses’ station. After a short while he returns, saying the doctor will be here soon. Jared fidgets, feeling impatient, until finally after some long moments a doctor arrives.
“Are you here for Mr. Ackles?”
Jared gets up and nods, shaking the doctor’s hand. “Yes, I’m Jensen’s husband, Jared. Please doctor, how is he?”
“Hello, Jared. I’m Doctor Carter and I’ve been caring for your husband. Before anything, I’ll let you know he is stable.” Jared lets out a deep breath and his eyes fill with tears, knowing Jensen is alive. He’s alive. The doctor waits and Jared finally nods, signalizing he can continue. “Well, as you may be aware, your husband suffered an overdose from inhaling a large amount of methamphetamine. Does he use drugs regularly, Jared?”
Jared shakes his head, trying to find his voice. “No. Jensen used to have an addiction to meth when he was younger but he has been clean for over eleven years. I have been traveling for a few days, I don’t know what caused this.”
The doctor nods his understanding. “Very well. Okay, so we treated your husband, we are using activated charcoal to decontaminate his body, ran some exams and he’s been giving fluids to prevent side effects. Luckily he was able to receive medical care quickly so he has a high chance of making a full recovery. The drug is still running through his system since it can take hours for his body to get rid of it. He has been monitored closely but so far things have been going well. We are keeping Mr. Ackles sedated for the moment so his body can recover, and he’s staying in the ICU for now as an extra precaution. But I’m sure Mr. Ackles will make a full recovery.”
It feels like a thousand pounds have been lifted from Jared’s shoulders, knowing that Jensen is going to be okay. They will deal with the rest later, as long as Jensen is okay. Jared feels as if his knees are about to give out so he sits down, looking up at the doctor.
“Can I see my husband? Please?”
The doctor nods. “Yes, you can see him for a few minutes. A nurse will come and get you soon.”
Jared thanks the doctor and he leaves. Chris squeezes his shoulder, and Jared looks at him, noticing that Chad and Alex are there too, probably arrived while Jared was talking to the doctor.
“He’s going to be fine.” Jared’s voice is a mere whisper, he feels too drained, but it’s full of emotion as tears run freely down his face.
Chris’ eyes are wet as well. “Yes he is.”
Jared wants to thank Chris for helping Jensen but the nurse comes to get him so he follows her, eager to see Jensen. After washing up, he’s led through a door and finally locates his husband on the bed. More tears fall down his face as he approaches Jensen. He’s too pale, hooked up to machines and there’s the steady beeping, letting Jared know that Jensen’s heart is beating as it should. Jared sits down next to the bed and takes Jensen’s hand, bringing it to his lips and planting a long kiss on it. Then he touches his own cheek with the back of Jensen’s hand and smiles at him through his tears.
“Hey, baby. You scared the crap out of me, you know that? I’m gonna want to hear why you did this, but right now all it matters is that you’re going to be okay, Jen. The past few hours were the longest in my life, not knowing if you’d make it or not. We are gonna get through it, just get better soon, okay?” Jared plants another kiss to Jensen’s hand. “I love you so much, Jen. More than you can ever know.”
He stays with Jensen for a few more minutes, in silence, just taking in his warmth and caressing his hair. Soon the nurse tells Jared that he needs to go. He gets up and plants a kiss to Jensen’s forehead, promising to come back soon.
Jared goes back to the waiting room and collapses on a chair, telling the others how Jensen is doing.
“Well, now we know for sure he’s gonna be okay,” Chris says. “Why don’t you let Chad take you home, Jared? It’s late and the nurse said Jensen won’t be out of the ICU until at least tomorrow so you won’t be allowed to see him.”
Jared shakes his head. “No, I want to stay here until I know he’s completely okay.”
Chad crouches down in front of him. “Jare, Chris is right. You’re exhausted, it’s really late, and you need to go home for at last a shower and some rest. I’ll come with you, and then we can come back first thing in the morning. We will leave your number with the nurses so they can call if anything happens.”
Jared wants to argue, he wants to stay here with Jensen, but he is truly exhausted. He knows he needs a hot shower and to rest his body for a bit after this horrible day, but he feels bad leaving Jensen like this. He doesn’t answer but apparently Chad reads his mind.
“Jensen would want for you to rest, Jare. Plus, you need to be recovered so you can come back tomorrow and spend the day with him especially if he’s transferred to a regular room.”
Jared finally nods, and Chad helps him up. He turns to Chris. “Thank you. For everything. I can’t even…” His throat closes up but Chris gets it, and smiles.
“No need to thank me. I’m just glad I got to him in time. Also, would you like me to call Donna and let her know what’s going on?”
Jared nods, feeling grateful. “Yeah, that would be awesome, thank you Chris. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.”
Jared stays silent the whole ride home, thinking about everything. He can’t wait for Jensen to wake up so he can see his eyes again. Jensen has the most beautiful eyes Jared has ever seen.
Chad follows him into the house as promised, and as Jared takes a much needed shower, Chad orders them some food. Jared doesn’t feel like eating much but Chad makes him. Jared is dreading going to the living room since that’s where Jensen OD’ed. He takes a quick look around and thank god there’s no trace of the drug he used. But when he looks at the other side of the room, he notices Jensen’s phone on the floor. Jared carefully picks it up and notices it’s smashed. As if Jensen threw the phone at the wall from his spot on the couch. Goddammit.
“Why did he do this, Chad?” Jared asks without taking his eyes off the destroyed phone, fresh tears filling his eyes. “Did I do something wrong? What made him go over the edge like this? Did I miss something? Didn’t I pay enough attention to him?”
Chad is by his side in a second, squeezing his bicep. “Stop that, Jaybird. This isn’t your fault, you didn’t do anything wrong. Soon you’ll be able to talk to Jensen and learn why he did this, I’m sure there was a strong reason. But please don't beat yourself up over it. Right now you need to rest. Come with me.”
Chad wraps an arm around Jared’s shoulders and guides him to his room, helps him lie down on the bed. Jared instantly feels wrong.
“It’s too empty without Jensen here,” He says miserably.
Chad pulls the covers over Jared. “He will be here soon, Jare. Now try and get some rest, you’ll need your full energy tomorrow. I’ll be in the guest room if you need me.”
Sleep doesn’t come easy for Jared, he tosses and turns, wondering how Jensen is doing, wishing he could see him soon. When he does fall asleep, it’s out of pure exhaustion, and after a couple of hours he’s waking up again. After a quick breakfast, Chad drives him to the hospital. Donna calls Jared since Chris warned her of what happened. She is crying, wanting to go to the hospital as well, but Jared suggests she waits until Jensen is transferred to a regular room. He promises he will keep her posted.
Once they arrive at the hospital, the doctor comes to talk to Jared. He tells him Jensen spent the night well and the drug has left his system. He’s being transferred to a regular room in a short while and will be weaned off the sedation. The doctor lets Jared know he will be able to see Jensen after he’s transferred and Jared is excited. He just cannot wait to see Jensen and to talk to him.
Chad has to leave for work, and apologizes profusely but Jared reassures him. Chad has done more than enough for him. He waits for a while, contacting Chris and Donna to let both know Jensen is doing well and will be out of the ICU soon. Both of them promise to come as soon as possible.
Eventually a nurse calls Jared to let him know Jensen has been transferred to the third floor and gives him a room number, saying he can go see Jensen. Jared is on his way in a second, going as fast as he can to meet his husband.
Arriving at the right door, Jared takes a deep breath to prepare himself, and knocks lightly on the door, opening it and entering the room. He locates the bed and finds Jensen looking away from him, facing the window. Jared slowly approaches the bed, standing a couple of feet away from it.
Jared can see Jensen tensing immediately. Without looking away from the window, Jensen speaks with a broken voice.
“Go away, Jared.”
Jared’s heart stops, and a chill runs down his spine. Why doesn’t Jensen want to see him?
“Why? Don’t you want to see me, Jen?”
Jared can’t stop his own voice from breaking as well, and finally Jensen turns his face to look at Jared. His eyes are red-rimmed, and there are some tears falling down his face. He looks anguished as he faces Jared.
“It’s not that. I don’t want you to see me like this, Jay.”
Jared feels his heart breaking for Jensen, he looks like a young boy, lost and confused. So Jared finally approaches the bed and sits down on the armchair next to it. He gives his husband a sad smile.
“That’s not happening, Jen. You’re stuck with me and I’m not leaving you ever, and especially now.”
More tears fall down Jensen’s face. “I failed you, Jay. I did the worst possible thing I could do, I wasn’t strong enough. I made you return earlier from your trip. I feel so ashamed, I feel like I don’t deserve you.”
Jared reaches out and takes Jensen’s hand, repeating the gesture from last night and planting a lingering kiss on the back of his hand.
“Jensen, listen to me. When I heard what happened to you last night, it was one of the hardest moments in my life. I broke down, I lost all my strength, I became almost a zombie. I didn’t know how you were doing, and I was so scared. The hours between then and knowing you would be fine were the longest in my life. All I cared about was you being okay. The rest didn’t matter. I never once judged you for what you did, all I wondered was why you did that.” Jared’s own eyes fill with tears as he squeezes Jensen’s hand. “Was it something I did? I’m sorry if I did something wrong, if I wasn’t good enough of a husband, I promise I can try to…”
Jared starts rambling and Jensen cuts him off.
“Jay stop, please.” Jensen uses the hand Jared is holding to caress his face. “This is not your fault, you hear me? At all. This is on me.” Then Jensen proceeds to tell Jared everything that happened ever since the phone call, in details. “I think I had a strong episode of PTSD. It felt like reliving that awful night all over again, my brain got all screwed up. I just wish I had been strong enough not to give in to the drug, I wish I hadn’t disappointed you like this. I had been doing so well all these years but I guess I’ll always be a drug addict after all.”
After hearing all of what happened, Jared is crying openly. It feels as if a hand is squeezing his heart, knowing Jensen gave in to the desperation of thinking something had happened to Jared again. So he gets up, leaning on his crutch and leans down, planting a long kiss to Jensen’s mouth while caressing his hair. They stay like this, in silence, for a long time, just feeling each other close. Eventually Jared sits down and takes Jensen’s hand again.
“Jen, I’m so sorry this happened. You can’t even imagine how much. I’m so incredibly sorry I snapped at you like that. I was tired and grumpy, I wanted to go home and I took it out on you. And I’m sorry I couldn’t answer the phone, I was out of signal for a few hours, I didn’t even get your message. It didn’t cross my mind you could assume something had happened to me again. You don’t need to be ashamed, Jen. I don’t think less of you because of this, you were desperate and out of your mind. Like you said, you were having a PTSD episode. And you are right, you have been doing so well all this time. This was just a small set back, but we are going to start over. I’m gonna be by your side every step of the way, don’t ever doubt that. I don’t think less of you because of that, Jen. Have you forgotten I fell in love with you twice? Have you forgotten I fell in love with you when you were a drug addict in recovery? I loved you once when I thought you were the most perfect guy ever to exist, and then I loved you even more when you were far from perfect. Please don’t ever doubt I’ll always be by your side and help you through it all. We are a team Jen, together in sickness and in health. We can deal with anything together. The only thing I can’t deal with, is losing you. If you died, Jen, I…”
Jared looks up, unable to keep talking, his throat closing up. Jensen reaches out and places a strand of hair behind Jared’s ear.
“I know, Jay. Me too. And thank you, for everything. You’re my fortress and I know I can get through this with you. I’ll do anything to get better again.”
Jensen is discharged the next morning. He honestly can’t wait to go home with Jared. After waking up and learning what he had done, Jensen felt so ashamed, he couldn’t even face Jared. He was sure his husband would be mad since he screwed up and Jared even had to return from his trip earlier because Jensen was stupid enough to have a panic attack and use meth again. But of course Jared was amazing and supportive as always, Jensen should have figured. Jared is the best person in the whole planet, hands down, and Jensen is so relieved to know he is really okay, that it was just a case of no phone signal and if Jensen was in his right mind he probably would have thought of that. Sadly he had a relapse and will have to start over.
The doctor discharged him with recommendations to go to Narcotics Anonymous meetings again and to see a counselor. Jared had encouraged Jensen to do the latter a few times, since Jared himself owns a clinic, but Jensen always postponed it. Now it’s finally time to do it, Jared won’t be able to be Jensen’s counselor of course, nor Chris since he’s Jensen’s close friend, but they have others that can help Jensen. He thinks it will do him good, he doesn’t want to go through that ever again.
Jensen’s mom, sister and close friends like Chris, Steve and Chad paid him visits yesterday after he was transferred to the regular room, all supporting him, but it was hard to see the scared look on Donna’s face. She never had to deal with Jensen actually doing drugs, when he left home he wasn’t an addict yet, and when they reunited he was already clean. Jensen knows it’s hard for her since her actions, combined with Jensen’s father’s, led him to a life out on the street and contact with meth. It was a long road until Jensen was able to have a good relationship with his mother once she reappeared in his life, and now she is faced with the reality of having a drug addict for a son. Jensen tried to reassure her he’s gonna be okay, just needs to get some help. She had wanted to be in the hospital when Jensen got discharged but Jensen told her not to. He wants to go home with his husband and just be with him for a while. Jared spent the night with him in the hospital on the uncomfortable armchair despite Jensen’s protests. Jensen knows Jared’s body was probably hurting after all the stress he went through, but Jared was having none of it.
And now Jared is driving Jensen home, holding his hand during the ride and filling Jensen with warmth. Jensen is still disappointed with himself for falling off the wagon like this after eleven years, but with Jared by his side, he knows he will be okay. It’s always gonna be okay as long as they are together.
Once they arrive home, Jared takes Jensen’s hand and together they walk inside. Jared kisses Jensen’s hand and smiles kindly at him before going inside. It feels great to be home again, Jensen doesn’t think that it was in here that it all happened, instead he sees this place as their haven. The place Jared and him live through their happy ending and will keep doing it until they are old and wrinkly.
“Your mom was here earlier, Jen. She cooked lunch for us, you’re probably starving.”
Jensen smiles at Jared, his husband really knows him. After taking a long, needed shower, Jensen sits down to have a nice lunch with Jared. As they eat, Jared clears his throat and looks pointedly at Jensen, who just waits.
“Jen, I was thinking. I probably shouldn’t do the other tour dates for the book. It’s for the best.”
Jensen shakes his head vehemently. There’s no way he’s gonna let Jared give up on that because of him. “No, Jay. Absolutely not. You worked hard for this and those tours are a recognition of your talent. I won’t let you give up on that because your stupid husband had a PTSD episode. I promise I’m gonna be fine, I’ll get help and if things get really bad, which they won’t, I will call someone immediately. And who knows, maybe I can take some time off to go meet you wherever you are, even if it’s only for a couple of days. If you’ll have me of course.”
Jared gives him an adorable smile and pulls him for a sweet kiss. “Of course I’ll have you. It will make those endless trips way more bearable. You know I do them only because I want to meet the readers, but I miss you like crazy every minute. It kills me to be away from you.”
Jensen caresses Jared’s hair and returns the smile. “It kills me too, as you could see.” Jensen jokes to lighten the mood, he’d rather start joking about the situation than to keep hating himself for it. They eat in silence for a little time when something strikes Jensen.
“Jay, our 10th wedding anniversary is in a little more than two months. Do you think we should do something to celebrate?”
Jared lights up at that. “Oh my God, yes! I was actually planning on talking to you about it once I got home, but then all of this happened. I thought we could renew our vows, and I know a perfect place for us to do it.”
Jensen smiles knowingly at Jared and caresses his hand. “I think I know exactly what you’re talking about.”
Two weeks later
“What happened to it?” Jared asks with a frown on his face as he exits the car and takes a look at what used to be Camp Water Mill. Ever since Jared realized they would celebrate 10 years of marriage, he knew they had to do something at the camp that means the world to them. Jensen was completely on board, but when they started researching the place on the internet, they couldn’t find any information. It was obviously not a camp anymore and Jared was very sad to realize that. They had decided to drive to the place to see with their own eyes what had happened to it.
It looks abandoned. The sign with the camp’s name is no longer there, the grass has grown a lot, everything looks dull and sad. Jared takes a look at the place where something magical happened so many years ago, the place they got married at, and a tear escapes his eye. “It doesn’t look magical anymore. It looks like… an abandoned ruin.”
Jensen wraps an arm around his shoulder and holds him close. “It’s not the place that was magical, Jay. It was us. All of us that were here at that moment, we created that magic, those moments. Without us here, it’s just another place like so many others. We carry that magic with us to this day. But I know what you feel, and it makes me sad too. We should try and locate the owners, see if there’s something we can do at least so we can do our vows renewal here.”
Jared nods and they get back inside the car. Jensen drives for a little while until they locate a house, and go try to talk to the owner to see if they have any information on the couple who used to run the place. Luck is on their side, since the resident, Mr. Brown, has lived here for many years and knows the couple who own the camp. And thankfully they don’t live too far, so with the address in hand, Jensen drives to the place.
The old couple welcomes them, surprisingly they remember Jared and Jensen from years ago, when they rented the place for their wedding. The lady offers them coffee and tells that they closed the camp about five years ago when they got too old to run it, and their children weren’t interested in it. They still own the land and don’t have any plans for the near future. Jared tells them their intention of celebrating their wedding anniversary there, and the couple offers it for free, it just needs some repairs since they haven’t been taking care of it for a while. Jared and Jensen agree to take care of it, happy to be able to have their celebration at their special place.
April 19th, 2018
It’s the perfect day for a wedding anniversary celebration at the place that once was Camp Water Mill. The weather is perfect and the sun is shining. Jared and Jensen hired some workers to make the place beautiful again, to mow the lawn, do some painting, cleaning, and other minor repairs. It looks much better now. They set up a small reception at the field where they got married, also the place where they got sorted into the same team so many years ago, when everything changed for Jared. They invited their families and friends, all eager to celebrate with them.
They don’t make a huge affair, it’s simply a moment to celebrate their love in a place that means so much to them. Once everyone is settled, Jared and Jensen walk up to them, holding hands, wearing matching navy blue suits. Once they are facing all of their friends, Jensen speaks first, never letting go of Jared’s hand.
“We want to thank you all for being here with us today, celebrating ten years of the day we got married in this exact spot. We have been through a lot during these years, and our love, which was already so huge, only grew with time. We are here today to remember how much we mean to each other, not that we could ever forget.”
Jensen and Jared turn to face each other, and Jensen nods for Jared to go first. Jared clears his throat and squeezes Jensen’s hand, getting lost in his beautiful green eyes. Then, Chad walks up to Jared and hands him an old notebook. Jared holds it carefully as he takes a deep breath and begins.
“For twelve years, ever since I was eleven years old up until I was twenty-three, I used to dream about the same person, every night. It was a boy I saw for the first time getting off the bus, right there.” Jared points to a place behind one of the cabins, where the bus bringing Jack arrived. “I was in that cabin, on the top bunk, and I saw the boy through the window. I opened this notebook, and I wrote about him for the first time.” Jared opens his old journal, the one that holds so much meaning to both him and Jensen, and reads what he wrote twenty-four years ago. “‘A boy with blue hair just arrived at the camp’. Little did I know at that moment how much that boy would change my entire life. I was so young, I was eleven, I had no idea what love even meant. It was a boy named Jack, with blue hair, black eyes and some weird clothes, that taught me. I remember one day when we could write little notes to any person we would like, and the counselors would read it during dinner. I got myself a piece of paper, wanted to write you something, but what would I say? I tried to write something on my journal too, but what would I say, when I didn’t know myself what I was feeling? To me, you only saw me as a friend, a kid from your team, that’s all. You would never see me as anything else so why bother?”
Jared makes a pause and sighs, just looking at Jensen for a few moments before turning the page. “I was double confused because you were a boy, and so was I. That was wrong right? I was supposed to only like girls, that’s what we were always told. So I wrote, ‘Why do I keep thinking about Jack instead of the girls like everyone else? What’s wrong with me?’. It took me a long time to realize there was nothing wrong with me, nothing at all. And you were the one who showed me that. You showed me it’s okay to be who we are, to love whom we love, even if some people may not comprehend that.” Jared’s eyes fill with tears, and Jensen brings his hand to his lips, planting a kiss on it before Jared goes on. “Jensen, I missed you so much. I had no idea where you were, I couldn’t stop thinking about you and I couldn’t talk about you to anyone because nobody could know my secret. I came back to this camp and you weren’t here. It was unbearable, seeing all these places and not having you here with me. Like you said a little while ago, it’s not the place. We make it magical, and you weren’t here. On one afternoon, I sat alone by the lake, looked up to the sky and prayed for the first time. I wrote ‘Please, don’t make me go through this life without seeing him again’. Every night after that, I prayed for God to put you in my life again. I never failed. Your absence became a part of me, rooted in my heart. I dreamed, I prayed. I could never love anyone else, it was always you, Jen. On one night, I wrote ‘if I never see you again, I will always carry you inside, outside, on my fingertips and at brain edges and in centers, centers of what I am, of what remains.’
“You were thrown back in my life in a way I could never predict. My eyes didn’t recognize you, but my heart always knew you were Jack. And it made me fall in love with you for the second time. That’s why I am absolutely sure it was always you. From the very first moment we met, it was always you. Knowing you were Jack, my Jack, was the biggest joy in my life. On that night, I wrote ‘You have another name, your hair isn’t blue anymore and your eyes are green, not black. 12 years later, I found you. “I saw that you were perfect and so I loved you. Then I saw that you were not perfect and I loved you even more.”’
Jared closes the journal and looks at Jensen. “In my last entry I wrote that my heart is forever yours. And that is a promise I will keep for as long as I live. The past ten years have been like a fairytale, Jensen. There’s not a day I don’t wake up feeling grateful for having you. It may not always be perfect and I don’t even want to be. To me, what we have is just perfect and I don’t need anything else. As promised, I’ve never asked for anything else ever since. You are my dream come true and always will be, I will never take you for granted, not even for a moment. All I want is for us to be standing here ten years from now, celebrating twenty years of marriage. And then thirty, forty, as many decades as we live. Jen, I have loved you for a thousand years and I will love you for a thousand more.”
Jared finishes it without taking his eyes off Jensen, a thousand emotions passing through them. They spend a long moment just staring at each other in silence, tears streaming down both their faces. Eventually Jensen breaks eye contact just to look behind him where Chris is handing him his guitar. Jared’s heart starts beating even faster, Jensen is gonna sing and he’s gonna break Jared.
Jensen lets go of Jared’s hand and places the guitar strap around his neck, testing the strings.
“Jay, I knew I would never be able to top whatever you would say to me,” Jensen says in a husky voice, filled with emotion. “So I chose to sing to you since I know how much you love that. Nothing I ever say will be enough to show you what you mean to me, so here you go.”
Jensen starts playing, his eyes never leaving Jared’s, whose heart fill with the purest love when Jensen’s voice sings a beautiful song.
How does a moment last forever?
How can a story never die?
It is love we must hold onto
Never easy, but we try
Sometimes our happiness is captured
Somehow, our time and place stand still
Love lives on inside our hearts and always will
Minutes turn to hours, days to years then gone
But when all else has been forgotten
Still our song lives on
Maybe some moments weren't so perfect
Maybe some memories not so sweet
But we have to know some bad times
Or our lives are incomplete
Then when the shadows overtake us
Just when we feel all hope is gone
We'll hear our song and know once more
Our love lives on
How does a moment last forever?
How does our happiness endure?
Through the darkest of our troubles
Love is beauty, love is pure
Love pays no mind to desolation
It flows like a river through the soul
Protects, proceeds, and perseveres
And makes us whole
Minutes turn to hours, days to years then gone
But when all else has been forgotten
Still our song lives on
How does a moment last forever
When our song lives on
When the song ends, Jensen gives the guitar back to Chris as everyone applauds, and pulls Jared to a tight hug. Jared clings to Jensen, holding him as close as he possibly can. Jared treasures Jensen’s hugs more than anything. And again, no words are needed.
Once they break apart and get themselves back together, their niece Kimberly, Megan’s daughter, brings their rings. They are exchanging the same rings they already had since they hold so much meaning. Jensen takes Jared’s ring but before placing it on his finger, he looks at Jared.
“I added a new detail to our rings, Jay. See here?” Jensen brings the ring to Jared’s face so he can inspect it. There’s an infinite symbol engraved inside it, bringing new tears to Jared’s eyes. “This is our symbol, what represents us perfectly. It was on the bracelet, which made us find each other again. Our love is infinite Jay, it was always there and always will be. I will love you for all eternity and a bit further than that.”
Jensen places the ring on Jared’s finger and plants a kiss to it, and Jared repeats the gesture. Then they share a long, loving kiss as everyone stands to cheer and clap. Jared feels so happy at this moment he could burst. Once everyone is seated, both of them take their seats too so they can watch a slideshow with countless moments of their lives together. They hold hands the whole time, sharing looks and smiles, enjoying the moments they have been through so far.
The party is filled with happiness and love. Jensen sings with the Rising Kane, they are still together and play at numerous places around Dallas. Jared always loves to watch Jensen playing with the band, his husband is very sexy while he’s on stage - well, even more sexy.
Later, once the party is over, Jared and Jensen walk hand in hand to the spot behind the court, which is their spot to watch the stars. Jensen spreads a blanket on the floor, helps Jared to sit down and joins him on it. They lie side by side watching the stars, holding hands, not saying a word for a long time. Many things can change through the years, but one thing will always remain the same. The boy with blue hair is the love of Jared’s life, his treasure, his miracle. He could spend ten years telling Jensen how much he means to him, and still it wouldn’t be enough.
Eventually Jared turns to look at Jensen, and he sees the stars reflected on his green eyes. “It’s beautiful, isn’t it?”
Jensen smiles as he stares at Jared. “The most beautiful place of all.” He brings Jared’s hand to his lips to plant a kiss on it. “Is it a good moment to tell you I bought this place?”
It takes a couple of heartbeats for Jared to comprehend what Jensen just said. He sits up and stares down at Jensen. “What did you say??”
Jensen sits up too and looks at Jared, giving him a shrug. “I negotiated with the owners, they didn’t have any interest in this place anymore and didn’t want to pass on to their children. I made an offer and they accepted it. This place is ours, Jay.”
Jared feels his eyes welling up, his heart beating fast. This is their place, where everything started, where they met so many years ago, the place that holds so much meaning to them. “Oh my God Jen… I don’t have words for this. It’s our place.”
Jensen smiles and places a strand of hair behind Jared’s ear. “It is, Jay.”
“What are we going to do with it?”
Another bus pulls up and Jensen goes greet the new arrivals.
“Hey guys! Welcome to the Enchanted Valley Camp! We hope you have lots of fun here!”
The first day is very busy, welcoming all the campers, making all the arrangements, sorting everyone into their cabins. They have a big welcome dinner that night, where both Jared and Jensen speak to everyone, welcoming all campers and giving an overview and explanations about the camp.
Once all the activities are over for the day, Jared and Jensen go to their private cabin, lying on their bed, feeling exhausted.
“We did okay, right?” Jared asks as he turns his head to face Jensen.
“We did amazing, Jay. It’s gonna be perfect.”
After doing some talking, both Jared and Jensen had decided to turn the place into a camp again. And after a lot more talking, they finally decided what kind of camp they wanted to create. It was gonna be a place to include all kinds of children and teenagers, where everyone would feel welcome and accepted. So they created a camp for kids with disabilities, LGBTQ kids, and also “regular” kids. A place for everyone to learn how to accept others as they are, even if they are different. They spent a good amount of time making renovations at the camp, especially to welcome the kids with disabilities so they would have access to every corner of the camp. They also hired the best counselors, trained to deal with the children they were welcoming. After some debate they also decided to change the name of the camp to Enchanted Valley, since this is their magical place, and to mark a new beginning.
And finally, after a little more than a year since buying the place, they are finally opening it for their first season, and both Jared and Jensen couldn’t be more excited. They are gonna spend the summer at the camp after making arrangements at their jobs, since both want to be close to make sure everything is going okay. This is their dream project and they want to be absolutely perfect. Maybe they can grow old here after retiring.
Jensen feels much better now that the nightmare is over. He is getting professional help and hasn’t had any more relapses. Jared was able to finish his book tour with success, and true to his word Jensen visited him a few times. The stalker left them alone finally, Jared never got any more letters so maybe they just gave up. Everything is just perfect and Jensen prays that it always stays that way.
On the next day, things are going smoothly at the camp so Jared and Jensen slowly walk up the hill to the spot where they can watch the sunset. Both sit down and Jensen bumps Jared’s shoulder.
“Is this spot taken?”
Jared gives Jensen a significant smile. “It’s yours now.”
Jensen scoots a little closer and wraps an arm around Jared’s shoulder, bringing him even closer. They don’t say anything, just stare at the horizon as they watch the sun slowly descending behind a few clouds. Jared closes his eyes for a moment, he feels peaceful and just enjoys the quietness and Jensen’s warmth. He was too young back then, but now he understands things much better. He feels so serene, so close to God. He feels so thankful for everything he has. So blessed. Now Jared knows for sure that if he had an opportunity to change anything in his life, anything at all, he would pass. Everything he went through brought him here, brought them here, to this perfect moment, and he wouldn’t change a thing.
Once the sun has set behind the mountains, Jensen retracts his arm from around Jared’s shoulders and takes something out of his pocket. Jensen does something with his hands and suddenly there’s a soft light glowing. Jared’s jaw drops.
“You brought a candle?”
Jensen smiles. “You know it’s tradition.” Jensen looks deeply at Jared while holding the candle between them.
“My secret is that I have loved J.T. ever since the first day I laid eyes on him. What is not so much of a secret is that I will love Jared until my last breath.”
Jared smiles through tears, and takes the candle Jensen offers him.
“My secret is that my favorite color is not just blue anymore but green too.” Jared frames Jensen’s face with a hand, caressing his cheek. “The green in your eyes. My not so secret is that you, Jack, are my shining star, my sunlight. My highest mountain, my deepest ocean. You are the most beautiful love poem. And that I will always carry your heart with me. I will forever carry you in my heart.”
As he keeps his hold on Jensen, Jared blows out the candle and closes his eyes. Once again, he makes a prayer.
”Some people, and some moments, are written in our soul with permanent ink.”