Pairing: mainly Jensen/Jared
Summary: Many years ago, Jensen's way of life cost him everything he cared about. He's never forgotten. Past lives and reincarnations abound.
Beta/Editor: imogen-lily. Thank you so much for your insight, honey! ;)
Disclaimer: If they were mine they would have totally married each other.
Author's notes: This is in response to a prompt by imogen-lily. This is her idea, I'm just playing with it.
In high school I really had a substitute teacher named Mrs. Drinkwater xD
Previous chapters: One, Two
There was something about being in a library. Surrounded by so many books that contained unimaginable stories of fantasy as well as tales of truth.
Jared often found himself enraptured with both fiction and non, enjoying a trip back in time or to a world that never really existed in the first place. His love for books had come at an early age, even before he could read the words himself.
Before bedtime every night Megan would come to his room and the two of them would sit on his bed on either side of their mother, listening with rapt attention as she read them stories about talking animals and the gentle ways of the world.
After their mother died Megan had refused books. She said they reminded her too much of those peaceful nights and although Jared couldn’t blame his sister, her way of thinking made him incredibly sad. When he picked up a book it reminded him of his mother, yes, but it reminded him more of how much she had enjoyed reading more than the memory of her death.
Jared hung out at the library more than anywhere else. He had little interest in the local hangouts that his friends from school were interested in. Such as the diners, the mall, and music stores. His friends always called him weird for his obsession but Jared didn’t let it bother him. Books would always mean everything to him.
It was through them that he also learned to cope with the fact that his father was rarely even around most days. Jeffrey Dean would rather be at his office any day of the week than exist in his own house, never even giving a shit about how it affected his children.
Jared saw more of the house staff than he did his own father and even at the age of eighteen he still felt like there was a hole inside of him. It was as if he’d lost two parents instead of just one.
Jared had hoped that his birthday party would be a chance for his family to spend time together. He’d been incredibly disappointed to discover that Lauren had set up a huge party with people that Jared didn’t know, had no intention of ever knowing, and who didn’t want to even know him.
But the party wasn’t a total loss, because Jared had met Jensen. The older man was handsome, anyone could see that, and the way he held himself even while just standing made him appear almost regal. Plus he seemed nice enough.
Jared shook his head and turned back to the book in front of him. It was no wonder his thoughts had turned to Jensen Ackles when he was currently caught up in a history book that was centered about a man by that very first name.
Ackles… Ayres… even their last names were similar. Those were the only similarities though. Where Ackles seemed like a nice guy, from what Jared read in the history book Ayres was most certainly not.
“What a monster,” Jared muttered to himself, eyes soaking in each word with morbid fascination. “To kill your own husband.”
“Who killed their own husband?”
“Fuck!” Jared jumped as a hand landed on his shoulder, his shock nearly sending him tumbling from the tiny plastic chair under his ass.
“Shh!!” the librarian hissed, glaring at Jared through large, wire-rimmed glasses as she passed by. The glasses were so magnified that her eyes looked enormous. Coupled with the fact her short gray hair stuck up a little on top she looked like an owl.
Jared sent her a sheepish smile which did nothing to lesson the disapproving look, then scowled at the man standing beside him. “For Christ’s sake, Misha,” he growled softly, “don’t do that!”
Blue eyes shined with mirth as Misha grinned at him. He patted Jared’s shoulder then folded himself into the chair beside him. “How can I resist? You always squeal like a little girl when I scare you.”
“Which is why you do it at every opportunity, you stupid jerk,” Jared grumbled back. “I thought you were taking Megan to her piano lesson?”
“She quit. Didn’t she tell you?”
“No.” Jared frowned. His sister was telling him less and less lately, which hurt because they used to share so much.
Misha smiled and reached up to ruffle Jared’s soft hair. “Stop pouting. It’s so unbecoming, even on a face as cute as yours. Besides, without having to drag Meg to piano I’m all yours.”
“I can’t believe Dad hired you to ‘bodyguard’ us,” Jared scoffed, using his fingers to make air quotes. “Clearly he’s lost his fucking mind.”
“Hey it’s not that bad. Plus you know it’s more like me hanging out with you than actually guarding you. Your gargantuan ass can handle anyone that tries to mess with either you or Megan,” Castiel smiled, ruffling Jared’s hair again with more vigor. He laughed as his hand was smacked away with an irritated look.
“What does he think I’m going to do?” Jared whined. “Run off and get a piercing? Dad’s just afraid I’ll embarrass him on a global scale.”
“Anyway,” Misha waved Jared’s protests away. “Moving on.” He wasn’t willing to argue over his job because he enjoyed doing it.
Misha’s family was limited. He had no siblings, and his parents were so involved in their bitter divorce that the only time they even talked to Misha was to get him to pass a message to each other. So he clung to Jared and Megan as hard as he could, eager to spend time in their addicting presences.
Even when Jared complained about it, he knew the younger boy missed him when he wasn’t around.
Misha had met Jeffery Dean two years prior while working as a bouncer in the local strip club. Jeffery Dean had been there for a business deal with a high profile oil tycoon who only talked business while watching attractive women dance against poles and take their clothes off.
A drunken brawl had broken out amidst the patrons, which was a typical night really, and Misha had immediately broken it up and tossed both men out on the street by himself. Impressed, Jeffrey Dean had offered Misha a job watching over his children.
Misha had expected little kids the way the man had talked about them, and had been very surprised to find a sixteen and a twelve year old. The three had taken to each other immediately and Misha had never regretted his choice.
“So who was it you were talking about before? The one who killed their husband?”
Jared’s cat-like eyes lit up and he immediately launched into the sad, twisted tale that he had been reading when Misha found him.
A real-life story about a king who brutally took the life of the man he had proclaimed to love. After adamantly blaming a band of thugs despite the lack of evidence - no one else dying and nothing being taken - he abandoned his throne and was never seen again.
The older man listened with more attention than he usually did when Jared went on and on about his favorite subject. Certain facts and details struck a cord of familiarity inside of him and he didn’t know why. Maybe he’d heard it before?
“Sounds like quite the tragedy,” he said when Jared was finished. “A lot of people went mental back then, the only reason this time was documented is most likely because it happened to a king.”
“He must have been horrified when he realized what he’d done,” Jared shook his head sadly. He had mixed feelings about the whole thing it seemed, one minute feeling disgust then overcome by despondence. “Maybe that’s why he disappeared. Probably took his own life or something.”
“Or maybe he just ran away like a coward. Unable to face up to his crimes and delusions and all that.”
Jared looked surprised, eyes widening slightly at Misha’s sudden hostility. He had never seen his friend less than calm and collected at most times, having to be that way so that he would be able to keep a level head. It was a bodyguard thing or whatever.
“Maybe…” Jared ventured. “I don’t want to believe that though.”
Misha chuckled and rustled the brunet’s hair for the third time, even more amused when his hand was smacked away again. “You’re such a closet romantic. It’s really cute.”
“Shut up and help me put these books away. I’m starving.”
“When aren’t you starving, you human vacuum cleaner?”
Jared ignored him and started to clean off the table he’d been using for the last several hours. Growing up the way he did with maids following him and Megan around, sometimes people were surprised when they found out what a neat freak he was but Jared had never been comfortable with other people cleaning up the messes that he made.
Well, ever since he became a teenager anyway. When he was a child he used to make mud pies in the yard, then thought it was just hilarious to leave dirty footprints all over the house.
Sometimes he could still remember his mother’s voice scolding him for his carelessness, and when Jared had argued that they had maids for that reason, his mother had given him a sad look and said that being privileged with money didn’t mean he had to be cruel.
That had stuck with him he supposed, especially after his mother’s death. Jared tried to remember every bit of advice she had given over the years, hoping that by doing that she would never truly leave him.
“Come on, Sasquatch.” Misha wrapped an arm around Jared’s neck once they’d put every last book back in it’s place. Being shorter than the younger boy, Misha’s action caused Jared to have to hunch over. “Let’s get you something to fill that bottomless pit of a stomach you’ve got.”
He ignored Jared’s protests about his uncomfortable position, determined to get his friend away from that library and those history books as fast as possible.
There were just some things from the past that should just stay in the past, buried beneath layers of dust.
Edna Drinkwater, it was her husband’s last name and she’d gotten a lot of good-natured ribbing over it thank you, glanced at the man sitting on the leather sofa across the room from her desk.
Over the years the elderly lady had seen many people come and go in their quest to talk to her employer, Mr. Morgan, but none of them were like Jensen Ackles.
He sat up straight with his hands in his lap like the others, but rather than it being a conscious action, an attempt to look confident and important, it seemed to be something that came as natural to him as breathing.
There was no discomfort on Ackles’ face, or any visible tension in his body. It seemed to Edna that it was something that had been instilled in Jensen at birth.
He had a sort of… noble air about him that just snagged one’s attention and held it. Ackles reminded Edna of a king on his throne, born to be looked at, listened to and admired. She blushed when she realized she was daydreaming like a schoolgirl about a man only old enough to be her grandson.
Jensen glanced at the elderly woman and smiled, the wink that followed making her blush even further.
Not even Joshua, Edna’s beloved husband of forty-five years had ever made her this flushed and giddy.
She was pulled from her reverie as her intercom buzzed. Jumping slightly, she pushed the button and gave Jensen a friendly smile. “Mr. Morgan will see you now.”
Jensen stood up, movements graceful and fluid and Edna was even more sure that he must be some kind of royalty. He thanked her with another smile before heading through the double doors into her boss’s office.
“Keep that up and you’re going to need a pacemaker,” Edna muttered to herself, tapping at her chest with her fingertips.
Jensen walked though Jeffrey Dean’s spacious office, his eyes on the other man who was standing at the window looking out at the city.
“Have a seat, Jensen.”
The lack of formality startled Jensen a little. He had come to what he assumed was a business discussion, but if Jeffrey Dean was actually calling him by his first name that meant that this was more personal.
As Jensen sat down at the desk, he noticed a familiar green stone sitting upon the oak service.
“I gave that to Jared,” he said, dragging his eyes up from the emerald to look at Jeffrey Dean.
The dark-haired man turned to face him, expression unreadable as he walked over and settled into his large, leather chair. “Yes, I know. I’m giving it back.”
“It was a gift.”
Jeffrey Dean leaned forward, resting his arms on his desk and entwining his fingers. His posture and expression reminded Jensen briefly of his own father so long ago, when he was about to lecture him about something. So Jensen prepared himself, squaring his shoulders and glaring lightly.
He hated to be disciplined. Especially by someone so much younger and more naive than he was.
“I’m fully aware of what you think that thing is,” Jeffrey Dean said, waving a hand at the emerald before folding his hands together again. “But nothing this extravagant comes without a price in this world, and given your reputation I’m definitely sure that I don’t want my son mixed up in anything you have to offer.”
Jensen jumped to his feet. “I would never..!” He paused, reconsidered his hostile behavior, and forced himself to sit back down. “You of all people, Mr. Morgan, should know that ones reputation isn’t always correct. People tell all sorts of lies in order to knock us down and if we don’t even attempt to look around those… well, we’re no better than them. Are we?”
Jeffrey Dean nodded, though his stoic expression didn’t change. “You’re right, Jensen. I do know that. But at the same time I have to question the fact that so many people are saying the same things about you. You must admit that it’s hard to ignore you and your partner’s success at such young ages. That sort of thing doesn’t come without many years of work or at least some family history. Both of which seem to be lacking.”
Jensen clenched his teeth so hard his jaw ached. It was difficult to live in a world that had no idea of who he really was and of his true importance. How would they treat him, he wondered, if they knew he had once been the most powerful king Denmark had ever known?
“Besides,” Jeffrey Dean continued, “even if that weren’t the case I still would not allow my son to keep something like that. This is not a gift for someone you don’t even know. And if it’s an attempt to get you in my favor for my company’s sake, well, I won’t be bought in such a way.”
“That gift had nothing to do with you, or the company,” Jensen replied coldly. “I just wanted to do something for Jared. Just like all businessmen seem to be, you’re so caught up in what’s good for your money that you don’t even give a shit about your family.”
The other man’s expression darkened. “You dare to accuse me of putting my wealth before my family? You have no idea of how much I love my children. Nor will you ever get the opportunity. Now take your rock and get out of my sight. If I ever see or hear of you around my son or my daughter, I’ll make sure the ashes of your company crumble to the ground faster than a burning house.”
Jensen grabbed the emerald and dragged it towards him as he stood, satisfied when the oak desk scratched beneath it in the process. He stalked out of the office with it in his fist, fingers so tight around it that his knuckles turned white.
Jared dragged his feet as he walked along the sidewalk, listening to the scuffing sound his sneakers were making. His father hated when he walked like that, telling him it made him look like a petulant child.
At that moment Jared didn’t even care. He wanted to look that way. After his talk with Misha, Jared had attempted to speak to Megan about the fact that she had quit piano without telling him.
Megan had gone off on him, screaming that she wasn’t a baby and she could do whatever the hell she wanted without his approval.
Jared sighed and shook his head. Megan had hit the teenage years and hit them hard. She was at the rebellious stage that meant she wanted to do whatever the hell she wanted to do and if you got in her way, prepare to feel her wrath.
Not that Jared could blame her, or really take it personally. It was just Megan’s way of rebelling against their father. Jared knew that because he had done the exact same thing at her age.
Sure, he was rather laid back now but there was a time when he was sneaking out his bedroom window and staying out until all hours of the night.
His father had never even noticed.
Jared had left Misha to talk to Megan since she seemed to listen to him better, and left the house to get some air. Jared suspected that his sister had something of a crush on Misha which amused him to no end, but he didn’t say it aloud for fear of Megan bursting him into flames with her glare alone.
Caught up in this thoughts and aimless walking, Jared didn’t realize when a car pulled up beside him until the horn honked. He started in surprise and turned his head to look just in time to walk smack into a street sign.
Jensen laughed as he got out of the car, going to Jared’s side. The younger man was rubbing his head while glaring at the offending sign.
“Hey, don’t blame it. The sign was just minding it’s own business when you decided to introduce it to your head,” Jensen grinned amusedly.
Jared turned his glare on him. “I’ll blame you, then. I think you made me rattle my brain.”
Jensen reached up and brushed Jared’s bangs from his forehead, the hair as soft against his fingers as it looked. Just like Tristano’s had always been. “There’s not even a bump, Jared. You’re fine.”
Jared blinked as though he just realized who was talking to him. “Jensen, how come you’re here?”
“It’s a public street,” Jensen replied, reluctantly dropping his hand. “I’m allowed to be around.”
“No. I mean how come you’re here with me? Did you… oh.” Jared’s expression turned apologetic. “My dad gave you back the emerald, right? I’m sorry. He didn’t give me a choice.” He chewed on his bottom lip for a second. “You have to admit though… it was sort of an odd present.”
“I’m beginning to realize it was. I didn’t mean anything by it. You know that, don’t you, Jared? I just wanted to give you something.”
Desperate to be rid of the uncertain look in Jared’s eyes, Jensen changed the subject.
“Why are you out here alone, anyway? You look like someone kicked your puppy.”
Jared sighed and rubbed the back of his neck. “It’s my sister… She’s being difficult. If I don’t leave she and I just start yelling at each other and everyone within a five mile radius gets a headache.”
“Oh, I see.”
“Do you have any siblings?”
Jensen shook his head. “Afraid not. I understand though. Chris and I aren’t related by blood but we’re similar to brothers, and our arguments can get pretty loud and nasty.”
“You’re lucky to be an only child,” Jared said, then looked guilty. “Don’t.. don’t get me wrong. I love Megan and I don’t know what I’d do without her. But sometimes it’s hard living in the same house even as big as it is. Seeing someone every day, especially when they’re in their teenage mood, it just gets so frustrating.”
“I can imagine.” Jensen shoved his hands into his jean pockets, fighting the urge to pull Jared into his arms. He didn’t want to scare him away so soon. “Hey, you like ice cream?”
Jared’s expression brightened. “Hell yeah. It’s my favorite dessert.”
“There’s this new shop near my house and I hear it’s great. It’s called Ice Cream Dreams. You ever heard of it?“
“Yeah. Some guys from school have been there.”
“Supposedly they have over one hundred different flavors.”
“I didn’t even know there was that many,” Jared replied excitedly, looking like a kid on Christmas morning. His expression quickly sobered. “I don’t know if I should go with you, though… My dad made it clear that he doesn’t want you and I to be friends.”
Jensen waved that off. “What your dad doesn’t know won’t hurt him. He doesn’t seem like the type to notice much that doesn’t have dollar signs attached to it.”
By Jared’s crestfallen look, Jensen figured he guessed right.
“Come on, Jared, it’ll be okay. Just one bowl of ice cream and then I’ll take you home. If you’re not comfortable with me, I’ll cut the day short and you can go before that. No harm done. Deal?”
Jared regarded Jensen silently for a moment. He knew what his father had said, or rather demanded, but Jared considered himself a pretty damn good judge of character. There was nothing about Jensen that screamed ‘dangerous criminal’, and if he was honest with himself Jared knew that he liked being in the older man’s company.
Plus there was the promise of ice cream. If that wasn’t motivation enough, Jared didn’t even know what was.
“Okay, let’s go.”