Characters: Jared, Jensen, Chris and a few others I am probably gonna throw into the mix.
Rating: pg.13 ; au
Summary: An actor looking to hide, a quaint cabin by a beautiful lake and an old ghost story.....
Beta: chrysrocks I love you Christy!
Authors note: I do apologise for the long long delay with this chapter, I know I need my ass kicking, but writers block is a bitch! The good news is I am already halfway through the next chapter and there is at the most two chaptes left which will be posted as soon as possible I promise!
“I still don’t see why we have to wait.”
Chris sat on the couch; arms crossed over his chest and the look on his face that of a temperamental teenager who thinks the world hates him. It made Jensen smile. He didn’t blame Chris for being anxious to be rid of Jared, and the fact that just the thought of not having Jared around felt like a knife twisting in his stomach, he kept to himself. Despite his own pain and mixed emotions over Jared’s imminent departure, it was easy to see Chris’ side, because ever since Jared had discovered how easy it was to annoy Chris, the ghost had taken great delight in tormenting him. Jensen was sure that if Jared wasn’t already a ghost that Chris would welcome the chance to make him one.
It started the morning after Chris had arrived. Jared showed up early; Jensen woke to find him standing quietly beside the bed a tender smile on his face. Jensen’s heart broke a little with the strength of his longing to have Jared with him forever, to know that Jared would always be there to smile at him just like that, and the knowledge that his days with Jared were numbered just made it worse.
“What were you pouting about yesterday?” Jensen demanded rising up to lean on his arms as he took Jared to task for his absence the day before “You should know that you are welcome no matter who is here. Now, do you think you could leave off pestering Chris? He’s got a short fuse and I really don’t feel like dealing with him.” Jensen knew he’d made a mistake mentioning Chris’s short fuse when he saw Jared’s ghostly hazel eyes light with a spark of devilment. Jared disappeared before Jensen could protest. Jensen frowned at the empty air that moments before had been in the shape of Jared. He didn’t have to wonder long what had happened to the ghost. A moment later Chris’s outraged “SON OF A BITCH!” had come through loud and clear from the living room. Jensen fell back against the pillows with a sigh when Chris’s angry face had appeared at his door.
“The fucker took my pillow!”
Jensen had turned his head and lifted a brow as he stared at Chris.
“Jensen I’m telling you, the little shit just pulled it right out from under me! What the fuck is this guy anyway? Casper the annoying ghost? Imma kick his ass Jensen I swear to Christ I will! I’m gonna find a way to kick his ass!” Chris raged, he had no idea how to kick a ghost’s ass but he was sure that there had to be one and he was just the guy for the job. Jensen closed his eyes with a groan of impatience. His childlike ghost and his childish best friend were not going to make things easy.
War had been declared.
Things went downhill from there, and Jensen was at a loss over whether to yell at Jared or laugh in Chris’s face. Chris’s constant outrage at Jared’s antics, and his helpless fury that he couldn’t physically get his hands on him and throttle him was hilarious. Chris was a physical guy, and his inability to take the ghost down in a full body tackle and choke the hell out of him for all the silly little things he was doing was driving Chris crazy. It was obvious even though he was doing his best to hide it.
Jared did it for the hell of it, little things just kept happening. Chris lost his shoe, and found it in the toilet. When he brushed his teeth in the morning, half asleep he wound up with a mouthful of Jensen’s favourite cheese spread.
Little things like that went on throughout the day; Chris became more agitated, looking around cautiously before going into a room afraid he was going to get another face full of ice cold water. That one had made Jensen laugh outright, and then try to cover the fact with a fake cough that fooled no one but allowed Chris to keep something shreds of his wounded pride. The biggest one was the meal Chris tried to cook.
Jensen knew Chris could cook, that in fact, Chris was a great cook. He was capable of whipping up something up out of anything and Jensen had often watched him in the kitchen with awe. That wasn’t happened in the cabin’s kitchen, Jared had made it clear he still felt that it was his kitchen, and in his kitchen he was boss. The only way someone intruded on his domain and remained unscathed was because he deemed it so. Chris? Chris was not someone Jared had decided to tolerate and long after it was over Jensen’s shoulders still shook with the effort not to explode with laughter.
Jared had made Chris’s time in the kitchen the worst two hours of his life. From utensils disappearing into thin air, to mixed up ingredients, to actually turning up the heat on the stove and burning their dinner to a crisp; everything that could go wrong, did. Jensen cringed when Chris’s enraged scream of his name filled the tiny cabin and Jared’s laughter rang in his ears. Jensen sighed as he trudged wearily to the kitchen to see what Jared had done this time. After so much torment, Jensen really couldn’t fault Chris for his anxiousness to be rid of the thorn in his side.
He sighed and patiently repeated again why they had to wait.
“Because we can’t do this without Nan, I’m not strong enough or experienced enough to do this alone. Jared wants to show us what happened that night,” Jensen said, “He should get to do it in one sitting and not have to drag it out by retelling the story 10 different times. He could tell me, but we need Nan to help me channel what it is he is showing us.” Jensen was dreading the moment with all his heart. He didn’t want to hear what had happened that night, and his anguish over the thought of losing Jared was growing. If there was a way to avoid what was coming, Jensen wished someone would tell him what it was.
Chris huffed impatiently and stared moodily in to the distance making Jensen sigh again. Jensen understood that what they were doing was going to help Jared; he wanted to be excited that it would put an end to his friend’s grief and pain. Instead all he felt was a growing sense of dread and loss, the idea of Jared moving on created a pain that was like a tide rising inside him. He was at a loss to explain, even to himself the depth of grief he was experiencing over the very thought of Jared’s departure.
Jensen ignored Chris’ continued pout and went to the kitchen to put on some fresh coffee and check that the kettle had fresh water for Nan’s tea. He was so engrossed in his thoughts and trying to understand why his feelings of despair were so much worse than they had been before, that he didn’t notice Jared’s presence until he spoke quietly close to his ear.
Jensen whirled around in fright, clutching his chest,
“Jesus Jared! You have got to stop doing that!” he exclaimed when the realization sank in that it was just the brush of Jared’s words in his ear that he’d felt. Jared frowned.
“I’m sorry...I just...I know you are wondering why you feel the way you are, and I just wanted to tell you....it seems like you and I are connected, so much deeper than I realized and I’m afraid you are feeling everything I am. I know you may have already guessed what happened, but I need to tell you…to show you…but I’m scared. I don’t like remembering it. Everything thing that happened was so awful and I think that I’m sending all that to you somehow through our connection.” Jensen looked at Jared, his heart sinking at the sight of the pain in his eyes and the pinched set to his mouth.
“It’s ok Jared, I know facing this is going to be tough, but it will help. It will help you and it will help us to figure out a way to help you move on. It will all be ok I promise.” Jensen tried to give a reassuring smile but was afraid that it came out rather sickly. Still maybe it helped because Jared nodded and he smiled a small smile in return. Jensen was suddenly overcome by his longing to feel Jared, to touch, to just know one time, just one time, how it felt to place his lips against Jared’s.
“Jared....” he whispered reaching out.
“Jensen! You’re visitors are here!” Chris yelled from the front room, he had never been one to stand on formalities. The spell between Jared and Jensen was broken; the moment gone. Jensen blinked and Jared was gone. Feeling empty Jensen moved toward the front room to greet an excited Chad and his majestic Nan.
“Jensen my dear, how are you!” Nan exclaimed at the sight of him. Jensen stepped forward to place a kiss on both ruby cheeks and led the elderly lady to a chair chatting all the while and smiling at her eagle eyed perusal of his face. Once she was seated she sent Chad to the kitchen to make her tea, and reaching up she placed a withered hand against Jensen’s cheek, her eyes gentle as she spoke quietly.
“Oh Jensen, I’m sorry honey. This is going to hurt you most of all, but I promise, good things will come to you. Just believe that, you hang onto that. I’m never wrong my dear.” Nan tried to reassure him. She patted his cheek then and sat back “Now why don’t you run along to the kitchen and make sure Chad hasn’t made a nuisance of himself. This young man and I need to get acquainted.” She gave a firm nod in Chris’ direction.
Jensen nodded and rose; busy trying to process Nan’s words he missed the slightly panicked look Chris sent his way as he was summoned to her side. When Jensen joined Chad in the Kitchen he heard Nan say, “Now Christian, come sit by my side, I want to get a good look at the young man Jared has been delighting in teasing so relentlessly...”
A half an hour later they were all seated, Chad bouncing excitedly hardly daring to believe that he was about to see, and maybe meet in the flesh, the ghost that had haunted his dreams for years. He had no idea what lay ahead but he was ready for whatever happened. Chris was silent, and Jensen was beginning to think the poor guy was going to need serious therapy before they were done. He was seated between Jensen and Nan, every so often shooting her a glance torn between awe and total disbelief. The lights were down but not off, because Nan told them she liked it that way. They cast a soft glow over the four people gathered in a circle as they awaited Nan’s next move. Clearing her throat she spoke,
“Jensen,” Jensen looked up surprised “Honey this isn’t mine, he doesn’t trust me like he does you, it’s you he is really showing this for, and I’m just here to help pass it along. You’ve got to talk to him now, not me.” Nan told him, her voice gentle. Jensen was shocked; he hadn’t expected to have to do anything. He stared wide eyed at her for a moment nerves jangling against the rising feeling of panic and distress he was suffering. She nodded encouragement and Jensen swallowed. His show, he had to be the one to help Jared. It seemed inevitable and perhaps he’d known it all along. He closed his eyes to heighten his concentration.
“Jared?” He whispered, nothing but the steady breathing of the others gathered close, “Jared? Come on dude, I know you’re scared, I know what you’re feeling, I feel it too remember?” Slowly a fifth presence made himself known and Jensen didn’t have to open his eyes to know that Jared stood off to the side of the little gathering, but he hadn’t made himself known to anyone else yet.
“That’s it man, come closer. It’s ok. I want Chris to see why I laughed every time he called you a little shit? Come on, I know you can show yourself to anyone you want to, come on out and say hello. Please Jared, I know you’re nervous but we want to help. You don’t have to worry; I’ve got your back. You know that.”
At the sound of Chris’ quietly muttered “Holy shit...” Jensen opened his eyes and followed Chris’s wide eyed gaze to the tall man standing close to the edge of their little circle. Jensen smiled encouragingly, “Hey Jared.”
Jared didn’t speak, but continued to watch the group, his eyes filled with fear and grief. Jensen felt a lump catch in his throat as an overwhelming urge to let tears flow nearly knocked him sideways. Nan sensed Jensen’s distress, and the emotional connection between Jensen and Jared that was crippling Jensen at that moment. She turned her attention to Jared.
“Jared, nice to see you again dear, Come on now, come tell us your story, show us what happened to you dear, these old bones are tired and I need my sleep.” She encouraged him with a loving smile. A split second later just as the world greyed out around him, Jensen felt Chris’ hand tighten in fear on his own. That was the last thing he remembered before Jared began to tell his story the only way he could. The scenes flashed before them like a movie playing on an invisible screen.
Jared lost all sense of time, days, hours, minutes, they didn’t matter anymore. He felt nothing but pain; saw nothing but his own tears blinding him. He sat for what felt like days, ignoring the banging on the door, shouting at those who were stupid enough to enter, he just sat there....drinking whatever whiskey he could find, even though before that he had never touched alcohol.
One wild rainy night, a few nights after they buried Bill without Jared ever getting to see him again, without him ever getting to touch him again, tell him how much he loved him...Jared ran out of whiskey and the pain that had been numbed by the burning liquid blindsided him.
Jared had no idea what he was doing as he moved throughout their cabin, crying and raging, pulling shelves from the wall, shattering empty bottles and ripping up clothes and blankets. He fell to his knees sobbing, a want and a need for his Bill consuming him and he crawled across the floor, mindless of the glass that tore at his pants and hands, leaving a trail of blood in his wake. He tried getting up but he staggered and fell, hitting his head sharply against the stone of the fire place and he didn’t even feel the pain, he didn’t notice the blood that poured from a horrible wound at the side of his head, a wound that was going to kill him. He crawled across the floor, body and mind now completely lost in a grief and pain no man could ever survive.
He was gone. He was dead.
He was dead and it was his fault.
I’m sorry, I’m so sorry.
I love you so much.
Oh god Bill.
Please come back, please come back, I don’t want to be here alone.
I need you here, please Bill, come and take me too. I can’t be here, I can’t live without you Bill, please, please come and take me with you...I don’t want to be here without you Bill. I’m sorry...
He had no idea how he got to the water’s edge, no memory of dragging himself to his feet at the door, staggering down to the edge of the lake, sobbing aloud and muttering to himself, crying for Bill. All he knew was that suddenly he was staring into that lake, mesmerised by how the water looked as the rain continued to fall heavily onto it. Sinking to his knees, tears streaking his face and silent sobs hitching his breath he swore he could see his Bill right there. He tilted his head as Bill’s smiling face looked back at him, calling him on and he crawled into the water, not feeling the cold and wet, his eyes fixed firmly on Bill who continued to smile.
One last tear travelled down his cheek and hit the water that was rapidly rising around his oblivious mind and body, and the last thing he saw as his lungs filled and a smile etched his heartbroken face, was his Bill.
“Here, drink this.”
A mug was shoved into Jensen’s hands and he clasped it, desperately trying to still the tremors that shook him. He took a deep whiff of the contents and smelled the whiskey that was mixed with the coffee and took a long grateful drink. He shuddered as the whiskey hit his system and helped settle his nerves, the trembling eased. Dried tear tracks marked his face as he continued to sip in silence for a few minutes until the contents of the mug were gone and he raised his head finally taking note of his surroundings.
He was sitting in the spot between Jared’s trees. It was dark, almost midnight he guessed and he looked around and up to see who had handed him the mug.
“You’re still here.” He said his voice rough from crying. Nan’s brows rose.
“Of course I’m still here you foolish boy! You were in quite a state; I had to make sure you were ok.” She scolded him, she took the empty mug from his hands then and handed it off into the darkness saying, “Take this inside dear, I’m going to stay out here for a few minutes and talk with Jensen.”
Jensen didn’t look up to see who had disappeared inside with the mug; his mind was on the flashback and the aftermath. He didn’t realize he was crying again until a sob had torn from his throat as remembered watching Jared go down and never resurface. The need to escape, to get away from the vision had been urgent and he had stumbled blindly outside. He hadn’t stopped until he’d fallen to his knees between the trees and sobbed like his heart was breaking. Which made sense, he supposed, since that was exactly what was happening. It had all been so clear, what had happened, how Jared had died, how miserable and alone he had been. Jensen’s heart was broken for the ghost who had come to mean so much to him, but now he knew why Jared was still there, why he hadn’t moved on.
“He is still in that lake isn’t he?” he asked bluntly. Nan dropped to the grass with surprising agility for someone her age and Jensen would have grinned if he weren’t so broken inside.
“Yes, yes he is.” She said, taking his hand, she patted it with the other but didn’t say anything else. Jensen was silent for a few minutes before he spoke again.
“They didn’t pray for him.” He said, “They just left him there.” She squeezed his hand, letting him find his way. Jensen pondered what that meant before he lifted his eyes to meet hers. “But they didn’t really know what happened to him. The rain that night would have washed away all traces of tracks leading to the water, the blood, everything.”
Nan nodded continuing to pat his hand as he thought.
“The sheriff and the doctor, they knew, they were sure they knew anyway....what he had done...but the priest wouldn’t say any prayers, forbid them both from doing it, said there was more evidence showing he trashed the place and left or was taken going by the blood than what there was that he was walked into the lake and drowned.”
He clasped Nan’s hand and tears fell afresh, “The priest....he never liked Jared, or Bill. So he used that excuse not to put Jared to rest with prayers. He knew as well as everyone else did what Jared had done and he didn’t want to pray for someone like that....someone who was gay and took his own life...Nan...”
“Prayer. He needs a service doesn’t he? Just a few prayers down by the lake and he can go, he can go to Bill.” Jensen was looking earnestly at Nan now, tears shining on his face. He didn’t know how he knew all of this all of a sudden but he knew it was true, all of it. He stopped and regarded Nan again.
“You knew this didn’t you? You knew all along....you could have put him to rest a long time ago but you didn’t. Why?” He demanded his anger over all Jared’s suffering rising to the surface; so much could have been avoided if she had just acted sooner. Nan had the grace to lower her head briefly before she raised it again defiantly and she squeezed his hand.
“I waited for you, because you needed to be here Jensen. You needed to see Jared, to know him, to feel his soul touch yours.” She said. Jensen frowned in confusion.
“I don’t follow.” He said, “What do you mean?”
“I told you before, you and Jared, you are soul mates. Jared needed you here, he needed his soul mate.” She smiled waiting for his reaction, she wasn’t disappointed.
“He needed Bill. Are you saying I’m Bill?” there was protest of that in every line of his body. Nan smiled and shook her head,
“No, no Jensen, you’re not Bill.” She placed a hand on his chest over his heart, “In here, your heart, your very soul, you and Jared, you will always find each other, and his soul is connected to yours and yours to his. You need him to be complete. You aren’t Bill, but you have an old soul and that soul lost Jared all those years ago when Bill lost his life in that bull ring. That soul never found Jared again because Jared lost his mind with grief and never allowed himself to move on.” She softly patted his cheek then and Jensen leaned into the touch for a moment,
“What am I going to do? When he goes...what am I going to do...without him? If we are soul mates and he is going to be gone...how can I be in love with him? How do I survive? What am I going to do Nan? I don’t know what to do.” He was near panic, unable to hide the fear and suffering the thought of Jared’s absence made him feel. She sighed and leaned over to kiss his forehead as if he were a frightened child.
“I’m so sorry Jensen; I wish...I just wish you didn’t have to feel this.” She paused, “but there is nothing I can do. Such pain is a part of life. What you will do is move forward. You say goodbye to Jared and you go on with your life, and your plans. Continue with your plan to buy this place and take each day as it comes. You’ll have some peace here where Jared and Bill loved so well, and where you had him for a little while. I have a friend, he is a priest and he will be here at lunchtime tomorrow and we can finally help Jared move on.” she said. Jensen nodded, already dreading the following day and the knowledge that he would never see Jared again. Then a thought struck him.
“Wait...how psychic are you? How did you know I was thinking about buying this place? Can you read minds?” He demanded staring at her wide eyed. Nan chuckled and held out her hand, indicating she was ready to get up; Jensen rose stiffly to his feet and helped her to hers. She linked her arm into his as they headed slowly toward the house.