Title: Coping with tragedy
Pairing: Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki
Summary: AU - trauma survivor!jared, PT!Jensen.
Rating: NC-17 (eventually)
Disclaimer: This story never happened.
A/N: Hope you enjoy this chapter.
chapter 1 / chapter 2 / chapter 3 / chapter 4 / chapter 5 / chapter 6 / chapter 7 / chapter 8 / chapter 9
“Something’s wrong.” Chris stated as he came out of the kitchen, into the living room, closing his cell as he spoke. “Jensen won’t answer his phone.”
Danneel looked at him with sad eyes. “Honey, he was pretty pissed at you the other day; it’s not surprising that he’s screening his calls.”
“Yeah his cell I get, but he’s not answering his house phone either, and that doesn’t have caller ID.”
Danneel frowned, sharing a look with Mike. “Let me try him. It could just be that he’s not answering the house phone because he assumes you’re calling after trying his cell, which you are.” She raised the cell to her ear, listening as it rang out then clicked over to Jensen’s voicemail. She frowned, ending the call before trying his house phone. Same thing. She shared another look with Chris. “How long have you been trying to call for?”
Chris sighed. “2 days.”
Danneel got up, grabbing her handbag and car keys. “Well, it wouldn’t hurt to check on him would it.” She made her way to the door, Mike and Chris on her heels.
The apartment block was silent when they got there, the elevator ride to Jensen’s floor the same. Each friend thinking about why Jensen wouldn’t answer anyone’s calls, and trying not to think the worst. Jensen’s car was in his parking spot, so he had to be in the apartment. Danneel pulled a copied key out of her handbag before putting the key in the lock and turning it. The friends collectively let out a sigh of relief that Jensen hadn’t changed the locks as the key turned and the door opened. The apartment was eerily quiet. No music, no TV in the background, no noise to indicate that someone was in the house, not even the running of the shower.
“Come on,” Chris pushed past Danneel and into the apartment. “See if we can find anything.” He turned and made his way to Jensen’s bedroom while Danneel searched the living room and Mike searched the kitchen.
Chris cursed under his breath as he went through his best friends stuff for any clue of his whereabouts. He sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. All this worry was making his head ache. It wasn’t like Jensen to just cut contact with everyone. Even after... Chris swallowed thickly. Even after Sam, Jensen still wanted to be around people. He sat on the edge of Jensen’s bed, his brain working overtime to try and figure out where Jensen might be. He could hear the others moving around the apartment, could hear their soft tones as they talked. They probably thought he was crazy to be so worried, but Chris had this churning in his gut that told him something was wrong. Chris could understand Jensen cutting contact with him, almost expected it if he was honest with himself, but Jensen didn’t shut out other people. He sighed again, knocking a notebook off the bedside table when he stood and moved a pillow on the bed. As he bent down to retrieve it, he caught a faint light coming from the under the bathroom door. His heart in his throat, Chris left the book where it had fallen and raced for the bathroom, cursing loudly when he realised the door was locked.
“Jensen? Jensen open this fucking door right this god damned fucking minute!” He saw Danneel and Mike come towards him out of the corner of his eye but his entire focus was on the fact that he couldn’t hear anything coming from the bathroom. “Jensen don’t make me knock this door down.” He waited a few seconds. “Jensen, that’s it. I’m coming in!” He lifted up his booted foot, and with all his weight and strength behind it, slammed his foot into the door, hearing it splinter a little. It took two more powerful kicks before the door swing away to reveal Jensen. In the bathtub. With a bottle of red wine beside it. And a bottle of sleeping pills next to the bottle. And Jensen had his eyes closed. He wasn’t breathing.
Mike took the in the scene in less than a second. He noticed Jensen appeared to be sleeping in the bathtub. Good, he needs the sleep. Then he noticed the red wine. Maybe he needed a drink to wind down. Then the sleeping pills. He wouldn’t. Then the fact that Jensen appeared to have stopped breathing. In a little over a second after the door swung open, Mike stalked to the bath and put his hand on Jensen’s throat, feeling for a pulse. He allowed himself a small sigh of relief when he felt the man’s weak pulse under his fingertips, but that sigh was cut short when his fears were confirmed. Jensen had stopped breathing. Mike grabbed Jensen under the arms and hauled him from the tub, laying him on the cold tiled floor before tilting his head back and starting to breathe for him.
“Come on asshole. Don’t do this to me. Don’t to this to us.” Mike muttered between breaths. He noticed Danni take her cell out; he assumed she was calling 911 before stepping fully into the room, grabbing a towel and covering Jensen, protecting him a little from the chill.
Chris was still standing in the doorway, taking in the scene before him with unseeing eyes. He didn’t notice Danni moving to help Mike, didn’t notice when Jensen took a breath, barely noticed the paramedics shoving him out of the way as they ran into the small bathroom, Mike giving them a quick rundown on what he thought happened. He barely even noticed when Jensen was wheeled out of the room, and Danni and Mike shoving him towards the car. All he could see was his best friend lying dead in the bathtub.
Jared could have killed his mother. Oh he loved her, but right now, hobbling along on a set of crutches behind her, as she rounded yet another corner and got them lost, yet again, he was ready to do something drastic. You would have thought that, after all the months that Jared had been in the hospital, and all the time his mother had spent with him there, she’d have figured her way around by now.
She’d left the car in one of the hospital’s parking lots but now couldn’t remember how to get back there. She couldn’t even really remember which parking lot she’d parked in. While Jared was being discharged, Sherri ran down to the pharmacy to get his prescriptions filled and managed to find her way back to her son’s room just as he was being given the last of his care instructions. She watched from the door as he rose, shakily, onto the crutches, and took a deep breath before starting, slowly, on his way to her at the door.
“Let’s get out of here.” Jared breathed a sigh of relief as she just nodded her head and turned around, making her way out into the hallway.
That was almost 45 minutes ago and Jared couldn’t help the moan of frustration that slipped from his tightly closed lips as the rounded another corner and walked into the ER waiting room.
“Oh.” Sherri said. “I must have taken a wrong turn.”
Jared sat heavily in one of the chairs and hung his head in his hands. “Mom, do you even know where you’re trying to go?”
“Yes, of course I do. I just can’t remember... Oh my.” Her hand flew to her mouth as paramedics rushed in with a guy on a gurney. They were barking orders to the doctors as they rushed towards the unconscious man.
Jared raised his head, his face losing its colour as he saw Mike, Christian and Danni run in behind the paramedics. That only left one person who could be on the gurney. “Jensen.”
One of the doctors was standing in front of Chris but Chris was staring at Jensen’s unconscious form with unseeing eyes. “Chris? Chris, what happened? CHRISTIAN!” That seemed to wake Chris from his daze. “What happened Chris? What did he take?” The doctor’s voice was once again calm.
“I ah... I’m not sure. We found him in the bath; there was a bottle of pills, and a bottle of wine next to it. I’m not sure how much of what he took.”
“Here,” Mike shoved a plastic bag at the doctor. “This is what we found.”
The doctor took a quick look in the bag, thanking Mike before moving to the gurney to begin assessing Jensen. “Get him into a room now. I don’t want to do this on the floor.” He said before the gurney started to move and Jensen was wheeled past Jared and into a room.
Jared gingerly pushed himself to his feet, well, crutches, and hobbled his way over to Chris, Mike and Danni. Danni was talking quietly to Chris, and Mike was on the phone. They were all talking in hushed voices, almost like they didn’t want to tempt fate by talking too loudly.
“What’s going on?” Jared asked, his mother hovering behind his shoulder. He wasn’t really too surprised when Chris shoved at his shoulders, trying to push him backwards.
“What did I tell you, huh? What did I GODDAMN TELL YOU?” Chris yelled. Thankfully the waiting room was practically deserted.
“That I needed to find out why I was falling for him!” Jared yelled back. “It was YOU who told me to think about things, to be honest with him. AND I WAS!”
“I swear to God, if your momma wasn’t standing right there, I’d tear you so far apart that even she wouldn’t be able to find you.”
“Now just you wait a minute...” Sherri started, but she snapped her mouth shut at the fury in Chris’ eyes when he glared at her.
“Mike, please. Just tell me what’s going on. Just tell me if I caused this.” Jared turned his puppy dog eyes on Mike and Mike sighed.
Chris glared at him. “The kid has a right to know Chris.”
Chris just continued to glare at him until Danneel pushed between them and forced Chris to sit in one of the uncomfortable chairs. “This isn’t the answer Chris. You know this.” She crouched down in front of the long haired man and he pulled her into a hug, burying his face in her neck. Jared could see his shoulders shaking as he sobbed quietly into her hair.
“Come on Jared. There’s an empty room over here. We can talk.” Mike said as he pointed towards a room on the opposite side of the hallway. Jared’s mother looked sceptically between Jared and Mike, only relaxing slightly as Jared nodded. Mike turned towards Sherri. “He’s safe with me Ma’am. I didn’t fix him to harm him again.” She nodded and went to sit down, casting careful glances at Chris and Danneel.
At that moment Tom barged into the room from the elevator. “What happened? Where’s Jen? What did he do? Is he ok?” Tom stopped as he looked from Jared to Mike, then to Chris and Danni. “Oh God. He didn’t. Did he?”
Mike put a hand on Tom’s shoulder to steady him. “We don’t really know Tom. We’re not sure of anything right now. Talk to Chris and Danni, they can fill you in. I’m just gonna talk to Jared for a minute.” Jared noticed that the door to the room Jensen was in wasn’t closed fully and he could see the doctors working on Jensen. He could see as they pushed a tube down Jensen’s throat to help him breathe, and as they hooked him up to IV’s and monitors.
As Jared and Mike started for the room they heard the sound of the heart monitor flat line. It was coming from Jensen’s room. Tom, glad for his size and strength, had to hold Chris back from running into the room to help his friend. Danneel crumpled to the ground, her hair hiding her face, and she cradled her head in her hands. Mike and Jared just stood slack jawed as they saw Jensen’s body lifted from the gurney as the doctor shocked him again and again, trying to get his heart to start again. “Come on Jared,” Mike said quietly, averting his eyes from the scene in front of him. “We can’t do anything for him now. The least I can do is fill you in on some things.”
Jared nodded and followed Mike. Even as it felt like he was leaving his heart lying on the bed.
Jared sat down in a chair opposite Mike. Mike was looking at his hands, tightly clasped together to try and stop them shaking. It wasn’t working. Jared could see tremors in them. Finally Mike looked up. “Tom did a great job getting you back on your feet.”
“He did.” Jared admitted. “But that’s not what we’re supposed to be talking about.”
Mike sighed. “He’s going to kill me, but you need to know. Today is Sam's birthday. It’s been 12 years since Jensen lost Sam, and he’s never really gotten over it. All he’s done is push it down and repress it. He avoids it. He avoids talking about Sam, avoids photos and home movies of him. Hell, he even avoids his parents if he can. And on days like today, and the anniversary of the accident, sometimes even his own birthday, he avoids everyone. He’ll call in sick to work; he’ll lock himself in the apartment and get absolutely shit-faced. What he actually does, none of us actually know. We just get to deal with the aftermath.”
Jared nodded. “Ok, but really, what does that have to do with today. I already know he hasn’t dealt with it. You, Danneel and Tom have all told me that. Hell, Jensen gave me his journal thingy and that clearly sets out that he hasn’t dealt with it.”
“On the 5 year anniversary, Jensen tried to kill himself.” Mike ran his hands over his bald head before rubbing away the moisture in his eyes. Jared felt his jaw drop but he couldn’t do anything to stop it. “He’d tried to slit his wrists, but he was so drunk he couldn’t hold the knife, let alone actually cut anything. Chris found him. He was holding a letter that Sam’s parents had found, addressed to Jensen, in a box in their basement. It was essentially a letter to give to him if he was killed in combat. The silver ring Jensen wears on his right hand, it came with the letter.”
“Jesus,” Jared breathed, running a hand over his mouth. “So what happened?”
“Chris just held him while he cried, made him give over the knife, put the ring on his dresser, and put Jensen to bed. We all dealt with the hangover for a week, and I don’t think Jensen even remembers what happened.”
“God, so... so he’s never tried anything like that again?”
“No. I don’t think he meant it then, and I don’t think he meant it now. I think it’s just his way of screaming for help. When Sam died, everyone was so wrapped up in their grief that they just sorta left Jensen to his own devices, and by the time they realised that he’d actually lost a partner, not just a friend, he’d buried it so deep and for so long that everyone believed him when he said he was fine.”
“So, what now?” Jared asked, hands clasped between his thighs. He felt horrible. Jensen had been through so much and never had someone to help him through it. No one thought to help him, to ask if he needed anything, if he was ok. He gave everything to Jared and Jared threw it back in his face.
Mike stood, noticing the doctor at the doorway. “He’s going to be ok.”
Jared turned at the voice. “Oh, thank god.”
“We’re going to keep him on suicide watch for 72 hours, and then he’s going to have to talk to a psychologist.”
Mike shook the man’s hand. “Thank you so much Jeff. I mean, if you hadn’t...”
Jeff cut him off, raising his hand. “It’s ok Mike. Jensen’s well... Jensen. He’s well liked, and well respected. He’s one of us. We’ll all do anything we need to help him.” Jeff bid them all farewell and turned out of the room.
Mike turned to Jared. “Now, you go home. Rest up. Do your therapy. Sort out what’s going on in your head. I know you said that Chris put the idea there, but he only said what you wouldn’t acknowledge. It was always in the back of your mind. So sort yourself out.”
“But what about Jensen?” Jared asked, standing and making his way to Mike.
“Right now, you’re about the last person he needs to see. He needs his family and his friends. He needs help. He needs to get his head straight and he can’t do that with you here. I’ll call you and let you know how he’s doing, and, in a few months, if you two have got your act together, maybe you can meet up. See where this goes. But for right now...”
“I need to leave.” Jared finished for him on a sigh. He held out his hand to Mike. “Thanks for everything Mike. For fixing me up, for helping me. For talking to me now. You’ve done so much for me and I don’t know how to repay you.”
Mike shook the offered hand. “Just get better and let us fix Jensen. That’s all you can do.”
Jared nodded his head and made his way out of the room and towards his mother. He looked into Jensen’s room as he passed, caught Danneel’s eye and nodded. She nodded back to him. “Come on mom, let’s get out of here.”
Sherri stood up. “Do you know that man in there?” she asked as they made their way out to the parking lot. Jared was going to have to let his mother find the car and come get him from the Emergency parking lot. No way was he hopping all around the god damn parking lot to find the car.
“He was my physical therapist for a while.”
“Well, I hope he gets better soon then.” Sherri pulled out her car keys, hitting the unlock button, hoping the car would be within range. She smiled as the SUV beeped at them from 3 rows over.
“Yeah. Me too.” Jared took one last look at the ER doors before he made his way over to the car and prepared for the drive home.
- Where I Am:home
- How I Feel: tired
- What I'm Listening To:none