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Sleeping Beauty

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He startles awake from a dreamless sleep.

The bedroom is dark and silent. Nothing seems out of place. Nothing, that is, but the figure looming beside his bed. It’s silhouetted by the moonlight streaming in from the vast window front. The face is hidden by the night.

There is no way to tell how long he’s been watched. Not a single sound comes from the intruder whose hand is steady on the gun. It’s trained at his chest, right where his heart is evenly pumping blood through his body. He idly wonders why it is still allowed to do so.

The sound of rushed breathing that is not his own tips him off. It’s too fast and shallow to fit the man’s calm posture. He’s tempted to roll his eyes.

“You’re scared.” It’s not a question. His enemies know better than to send a rookie for a job like this. The wound to his pride would hurt more than a bullet if they did. Many have tried over the years and he never lost more than his clothes, stained with his opponent’s blood. People are boring.

A slight shift of the shoulder. A subtle widening of the stance. That’s all the answer he gets. It’s enough to tell him he’s right.

As if he heard his thoughts his murderer-to-be says “There’s every reason to be. I know who you are Jensen. What you’ve done. Only a fool would not be afraid of you.”

Despite his words there’s no tremor to the deep and pleasant voice. It still sounds young. The guy seems younger than most of the wannabe assassins he usually deals with. He factors this into his assessment.

“And yet you’re here to kill me. So do tell. Why am I still breathing?”

Jensen thinks of the Tai Pan dagger underneath his pillow. It’s like breathing for him, to go through all the ways he could disarm and kill the guy, with or without the dagger. He lays there and waits for his answer. He’s got all the time in the world.

“Counterquestion. Why haven't you used that precious knife of yours yet? I know it’s under your pillow. Barely seen you without the thing.” There’s no inflection to his voice. It’s not easy to get a read on the guy; he has to give him that. A few years ago he would have sparked Jensen’s interest. There’s definitely more to this whole nightly ambush so he decides to test the guy a bit, see how he’s going to react. Let’s see who is the cat and who is the mouse.  

“Maybe I figured there’s enough blood on my hands without adding yours?” Jensen says in a monotonous voice. It’s no big deal to him. Death has lost its meaning over the years. His and other’s both.  

The gun wavers for the fraction of a second. “Don’t tell me you grew a conscience?” 

Jensen laughs at that, a hollow, ugly sound. “This is not a daytime soap, pal. I have my reasons. What is it to you, anyway? You want to die, tough guy?”

One step takes the guy out of the shadows into the strip of moonlight slanting across the room from the window. “It’s Jared. Not pal, not tough guy. And no, I wouldn’t particularly like it if you killed me.”

Fox-like eyes look down at him and even if Jensen can’t make out their color in the dim light he knows they’re a curious shade of blue-green with a hazel ring. He knows the mole next to his nose and the jutting bow of his bottom lip. The body may have changed, has grown in the years since their parting, but the essence of Jared Padalecki has remained the same.

“Jared.” Breathless, his voice thin and clumsy on that single word. A rush of memories hits him all at once. Only mistake he ever made in twenty years and now it’s back to haunt him.

The gun is still aimed at his heart and the muzzle touches his chest. “You remember. I’m flattered.” Jared doesn’t sound like it. His voice is flat, emotionless. But not his eyes. Now that Jensen can see them in the full moon’s light he sees their manic gleam. They shine with perfidious joy and the slight curl of his lips tells Jensen that Jared is enjoying himself. “You remember all your jobs or only the ones you didn’t see through?” Jensen expects it to sound mocking but instead he detects a hint of genuine curiosity.

The boy in front of him is no older than thirteen, limbs coltish and eyes too big for his face. His gaze does not waver from the bodies on the kitchen floor. His eyes are dry but Jensen can see the slight tremble in his bottom lip. It’s not his first job with JD, but there has never been a kid involved. When JD points his gun at the boy Jensen can tell that he doesn’t like it, he’s still gonna do it though. Jensen steps in front of the gun, effectively stopping JD. “Let him be. The note said to kill Gerald and Sharon Padalecki. We don’t have to take him out. Just a waste of time and ammo.” Jensen knows their witness policy as does JD so he turns around and approaches the kid. His name is Jared; he got that too from the memo. “You will never breathe a word of what happened today. If you do, I’ll find you and finish the job myself. Do you understand me?” The boy looks him straight in the eyes and nods. They leave him without another word.

The one time he made the mistake of ‘doing the right thing’ will be what kills him in the end. Jensen smiles. A real smile. One that makes the skin around his eyes crinkle slightly. He likes the irony of it. It seems like a fitting end for a life like his. “You’re here for payback. Good.” He slowly lifts his hand towards the one that still holds the weapon to his chest. His gaze never leaves Jared’s as his fingers circle the wrist. “I’m glad it’s you.”

Jensen closes his eyes and waits for the inevitable. His body is loose, his breathing steady and the corners of his mouth are still curled in a faint smile. He waits for his survival instinct to kick in, for his heartbeat to pick up speed but it never happens. There’s just nothing.

That’s when he feels the pressure on his chest, right above his heart. It’s too warm, too big to be the muzzle of a gun. Now his heart kicks up to a beat that would be considered almost normal for most. For him, it’s galloping.

“Don’t be silly. Where would be the fun in that?” The gun has wandered downwards, taking the sheets and Jensen’s hand with it and is now resting above his stomach. “Besides, a shot to the heart, assuming you have one, would make you suffer for what? Ten, fifteen seconds?” The thumb on his chest strokes his skin through the threadbare cotton of his shirt in a mock parody of affection. “You think that’s all the pain you deserve, Jensen?” The muzzle lifts his shirt and dips into his navel. “Maybe I should shoot you here? Stomach wounds. Ugh. Heard they hurt like a bitch. Pretty messy, too.”

Jensen stays silent, assessing. He wills his chest to fall and rise in a calm rhythm and lets his body betray nothing of what’s going on inside of him. Jared’s stance leaves him wide open, would allow lethal blows to his inner organs and throat. Jensen might take a bullet in the process, but probably wouldn’t die. Not before Jared at least. He waits patiently for what will happen next.

The gun wanders further. It moves slow, teasing. Jensen feels every inch of skin it touches through his shirt as it drags down the sheets and bares Jensen to the night air. Goosebumps rise on his skin and he can’t help the shudder that runs through his body. Jared reaches the waistband of his boxer briefs and follows the line from one hip to the other. “What do you think would happen if I shatter your hips? Huh?” He makes sure to press the muzzle against the jut of his hipbones. “I guess the splinters of your bones would pierce your intestine, your liver and kidneys. Death of toxic shock, most probably.” The barrel inches closer to his groin. “Personally, I think it a real pity to mar this fine piece of ass.” Cold metal traces the outline of his cock through his boxers. It twitches at the touch, already filling with blood. Jared presses the muzzle right against the tip. The cotton sticks to the damp flesh when he moves the gun away to let it travel down to Jensen’s heavy balls.

Jared tsks at the sight. “I pegged you for a sick fuck. What is it that turns you on so much? The danger? The idea of pain? Is it the thought of death that gets you all hot and bothered, Jensen?”

The man seems in total control but for the way his pupils dilate when they rest on Jensen’s obvious arousal. Small chinks begin to show in his armor. The gun lifts his balls and balances them on the barrel’s broadest side - like Jared is weighing them. “Tell me, when was the last time you emptied those? They seem awfully full. Ready to burst.” He lets them fall and presses the muzzle against the right one. “Maybe I could help you with that.” He’s smiling at Jensen, like he’s just offering to help him out here, but the smile is razor sharp and reminds him of a shark. The kind that likes to play with its food. Jared’s voice is real friendly, too, all charming and smooth. He’s one happy psychopath apparently.

The hand on Jensen’s chest starts to move at those words, descending to join the fun. The nail of Jared’s middle finger scrapes over his erect nipple, hard, and Jensen hisses through his teeth. Jared is in no hurry as he explores the planes and valleys of Jensen’s body. His touch is warm and sensual, his fingers sure in their path down his chest and stomach. The hand holding the gun hasn’t stopped pressing the metal painfully hard against Jensen’s testicles. Jensen realizes that those fingers follow the same path the gun has travelled earlier when Jared’s pointer finger dips into his navel where it is still exposed. The sensation of warm, soft skin is vastly different to the cold, hard metal and yet. His body reacts the same, strains to lean into the touch, goosebumps everywhere and full body shudder. When the hand reaches the waistband of his boxer briefs it doesn’t trace it like the weapon did. Jared rather curls his fingers into the band and pulls them down. He does it like everything else before, with sure and measured movements. Slow and teasing. His only tell is the neglect of Jensen’s hipbones this time.

As soon as his cock springs free the barrel is on it. The metal feels like ice on his hot flesh and his body shifts involuntarily. He catches the end of a smirk on Jared’s face as the man starts to stroke the barrel along his length. His other hand is busy disposing Jensen of his underwear. He can feel Jared’s gaze crawling over his exposed skin like ants. It doesn’t stop his cock from twitching, a steady stream of clear liquid dripping out the slit. “Look at you, all hot and bothered. Like I said, you’re one sick puppy, Jensen.”

It’s only when the muzzle travels further down and passes his balls to touch the fluttering muscle of his hole that Jensen speaks up. “I’m not the one who fondles people with guns. I’d say pot meet kettle. What about you? Are you hard Jared? Did you think about this? Got off on the thought of shoving that gun up my ass to open me up? What then? Shoot me? Fuck me? Both?” Jensen presses his ass against the weapon between his legs, a bit harder with every question. He feels the metal catch against his skin and the burn only fuels his arousal. His body is alight with it.

The hand Jared used to undress comes back to his chest but not before pulling Jensen’s shirt up to his armpits. His stomach muscles clench at the sensation of cold air and hot skin on his chest. Jared’s bound to feel the rapid beating of Jensen’s heart under the sweat-slick skin.

Jensen feels feverish and he tries to remember the last time he felt like this. Draws a blank. “You’d like that, wouldn’t you? I know what you’re thinking about right now. Me pushing it in, dry, ‘til it bleeds. Fucking you with it, only blood slicking the way. You’d want me to pull it out and shove my dick in.” He twists the weapon clockwise, screws it in an inch or two. “Can you see it? You, at my mercy, bouncing on my cock. I could kill you when you come. Or when I come.” Another twist, this time counterclockwise. It hurts. He presses against it, clenches his muscles. “Ever fucked a corpse, Jensen?” The last words are whispered in Jensen’s ear. Jared’s so close that Jensen can smell him, sandalwood and something earthy. Musky and feral. The guy who casually talks about fucking him raw with a gun leans his forehead against Jensen’s temple in an almost tender gesture. The pointy tip of his nose rests above his jaw and the moist breath tickles his neck. It’s harder to deal with than with the threat of violence.

“What do you want, Jared?”

“You. Begging for it. Desperately. And you will.”

“Will I now?” He doesn’t even try to keep the amusement out of his voice. Yeah, he enjoys their game of cat and mouse but not enough to beg for it. He hates begging, shoots those who do even faster.

The hand resting on his chest becomes a fist, its grip tight around the fabric of Jensen’s shirt. Jensen holds his breath and doesn’t know why but the gun stays silent. Their faces are only inches apart now so he can feel the warm puffs of air as Jared talks, can see the expression in those exotic eyes clearly for the first time since he woke up. He’s taken aback by the rage he finds.

“You will. I won’t kill you either way because that’s exactly what you want. You’re going through the motions Jensen but inside you’re already dead.”

“Oh and how would you know?” his voice cracks at those words and he curses himself inwardly.

“Because I know you. Probably better than anyone else in this world since Morgan died,” Jared answers, very matter-of-fact. “I’ve been dreaming about this, Jensen, ever since the day you turned your back on me. Watched you for years, studied you, learned what makes you tick. Oh, and what I learned, Jensen.” The look on his face is belittling, like he’s letting Jensen in on a secret, one he should already know. “So I’m not gonna kill you. Instead, I’ll let you live this life that makes no sense to you anymore. Let you rot because you’re too much of a coward to end it yourself.”

With that he turns around and walks towards the open window. Jensen’s flushed skin feels bereft of Jared’s heat.

“Jared. Wait.”