Rubbing his hands together, he says, “I’m ready. Lay that wish on me.”
Jared wastes no time in reaching into the backseat for his messenger bag with the lamp inside. It’s a permanent accessory now wherever he goes for just this type of situation. He takes the lamp in his hands almost reverently, and rubbing it, says, “I wish to give talent and inspiration to members of the cast and crew of the Dr. Sexy M.D. television show so that it stays on the air for at least a couple more years.”
“Your wish is my command.” Overlaid on top of the normal meaning to these words is something new. Jensen permeates his voice with the force of his conviction. I am yours to command. I love you.
Magic swirls and coalesces inside him. Jensen allows the energy to build and build until it feels like a mighty vortex, buffeting against the edges of his control. The power is exhilarating. When he can hold no more, he siphons off just the right amount and, using Jared’s desire as a guide, instills the magic with intent. There are eight main writers for the show. Sparks fly from his hands as the wish bursts forth in eight different directions.
The fates of eight lives are altered, improved. Enriched.
Jensen turns his attention to the show runners and directors next, twelve in all, including Jared. He figures Jared is pretty near perfect already, devoted as he is to the show and every person with whom he interacts. Still, it doesn’t hurt to bolster what’s already there. Again, the magic is channeled and sculpted, infused with Jared’s specific objective, and released with an explosion of scintillating light. Twelve trails like the tails of a dozen comets shoot forth.
While eleven of the glittering filaments immediately disperse, the twelfth makes a beeline for Jared, showering him in a fine mist that evaporates on contact. Jared draws in a surprised breath and seems to hold it. His eyes widen. Then, an awe-filled smile creeps slowly across his face as he lets the breath out on a wondrous exhale.
The magical expenditure thus far is beginning to take its toll. Jensen feels the flow begin to dwindle. There are way too many actors and the cast turns over far too frequently to enhance the acting abilities of them all. Jensen estimates there to be enough magic left for ten at the most. He selects the actor who portrays the lead character, Dr. Sexy, and seven of the other actors whose characters have the most compelling and hopefully longer lasting story lines. Then, he adds Stephen as well because to do otherwise would feel petty and vindictive. He shapes the magic into the desired effect and sets it free. Nine bolts take off on nine distinct trajectories, leaving glimmering contrails behind them.
As the magic disperses, Jensen gets a little lightheaded. It’s not an unusual occurrence for such a large expenditure of magic all at the same time and it passes quickly. He’d been careful and some of Jared’s magic remains. Not a lot, but enough.
“It’s done.” Jensen rolls his shoulders and mimes cracking his knuckles, pleased with a job well done.
Silence from the driver’s side of the car draws his attention. Jared is staring at him, teeth dug firmly into his bottom lip, one hand clutched over his heart in a fist.
He reaches across the intervening distance and places a hand on Jensen’s cheek. “I just had the most horrible feeling I was going to lose you. Like maybe I’d accidentally used all my magic and you were going to disappear forever. I don’t...Jensen, I don’t think I could stand that.”
Jensen puts his hand over Jared’s and leans into the combined touch. The time has come to tell Jared why they feel such a profound connection to one another. “Jared, I have something to tell you. It’s...well, it’s important.”
Jared’s smile is a bit tremulous. “Why is it that all our important conversations tend to happen in this car? I love this car and all, but it seems like there might be better places to have a heart-to-heart. How about we go home where at least it’s air conditioned. We can talk there as long as you want.” He wipes a bead of sweat from his temple.
“Yeah, okay.” He’s waited this long. What difference will another half hour or so make?
Jared starts up the car and soon they’re merging onto the expressway. Traffic this late at night, while not as bad as their normal rush hour commute, is still heavy. It is L.A., after all. A yellow sports car behind them starts honking its horn indignantly. It then swings into the lane to the left of them and zooms past, the four twenty-somethings inside laughing and jeering, windows rolled down and music blaring. No sooner has the car cleared their bumper than it swerves back into their lane with inches to spare.
“Fiddlesticks!” Jared exclaims, slowing down. “Idiots! They’re going to get themselves killed.”
A semi merges into traffic ahead of them. The yellow sports car speeds up to cut the eighteen-wheeler off, causing it to brake hard, tires squealing. The smell of burnt rubber fills the air as the semi looses control.
Jared slams on his brakes and steers to the left, trying to avoid the jack-knifing big rig in front of them, but there’s nowhere for him to go. Cars all around them are veering across lanes, trying to avoid the inevitable collision.
This is bad. Very, very bad. He needs to get Jared out of here.
Before he can fully form the thought that will teleport them back home - to hell with the car and what law enforcement will think when they discover an unmanned vehicle involved in a twenty-car pileup - Jensen’s physical body gets thrown forward. His forehead connects with the dashboard.
An SUV collides into Jared’s side of the car, flipping it into the air. The sounds of crunching metal and shattering glass rend the air just as Jensen grabs ahold of Jared’s arm and blinks them out of the mangled car.
They fall in a heap on the floor of Jared’s living room. His magic is decidedly unhappy with him, roiling turbulently like the vortex created by a collapsing star. It isn’t meant to be used to alter the fate of a human, only the human’s own magic can do that. But he’d been desperate and his magic had responded. Thank the heavens.
He’s lying with his back against the floor, Jared a heavy, limp weight on top on him. Blood drips onto his face from somewhere above him. Groaning, Jensen shifts out from under his consort as gently as possible, supporting his head and laying him flat on the ground just in case there’s neck or spinal damage. “Jared?”
No answer comes from the unnaturally still body. There’s a large gash on Jared’s face. Blood coats his temple and cheek, but no fresh blood wells from the wound, which...means something that Jensen refuses to consider. No, Jared will be okay. Maybe he needs a hospital. Probably should have thought of that before now, taken him directly there. In the heat of the moment, his only thought had been to get away, get Jared someplace safe. And safe meant home.
“Jared?” he calls again, fear tinting his voice. He palms Jared’s cooling neck, puts a hand on his chest, waits for the thump of a pulse beneath his fingertips, the rise and fall of breath. Any sign of life.
There’s a reason why his magic allowed him to transport Jared here. It’s not because he was desperate and the need was great. No. It’s because he wasn’t changing Jared’s fate. He was too late. He wasn’t rescuing Jared. He was merely transporting his body, his shell. Jared died back at that car crash.
Jared is gone.
“No! Nonononono! JAARREEDD!” he screams, as though the force of his denial will be enough to bring Jared back. He gathers Jared’s limp body into his arms, arranging the lolling head so that it’s nestled in the crook of his neck, long arms and legs akimbo. Then, Jensen tips his head back and howls, an anguished sound, inhuman and unearthly, the likes of which has never before been uttered by man or beast.
His grief is fierce, but short lived. Denial rises up in him again. It can’t end like this. He won’t let it. He is a being of magic and he won’t abide Jared’s death without using every magical means in his vast arsenal. Closing his eyes, he draws on his magical reserves, beguiling and beseeching the magic to do his bidding.
Like a living thing, it resists. It writhes out of his grasp, receding into the furthest reaches of his mind.
Jensen grits his teeth together and pulls like he’s playing a game of tug-of-war, only his magic is the rope and his opponent is the magic’s source, which has an origin steeped in mystery and even more ancient than the cosmos itself.
Jensen has determination on his side though, determination and perseverance, not to mention good old-fashioned terror. He fights as though his very life is at stake because it is. Life without Jared is pointless, a meaningless facade.
The struggle rages for an indeterminable time.
Jensen, shaking with strain and fatigue, finally gives an almighty heave and yanks the required magic forth. He shapes it into a wish he makes purely for himself, the wish for Jared to live, and releases it.
There’s a snapping sensation, like a rubber band that has been stretched until it reaches it’s breaking point, and a loud pop. A black hole forms inside him. His magic gets sucked into the vacuum, swirling away faster and faster. He makes a grab for it and can feel himself getting sucked into the whirlpool as well, atom by atom, until there’s nothing left.
Nothing but an all-consuming darkness.
“Jensen? Gee whiz, what have you done?”
It’s dark. He can’t see. Why can’t he see? His whole world is darkness and pain.
His magic is gone. Where it used to glow inside him, ever-present, an integral part of him, defining him, there’s only emptiness. Huge pieces of himself are missing. He feels husked out. This must be what dying feels like.
Jared’s dead and it’s all his fault. He wasn’t quick enough to save him and now he’s all alone in the dark. He’s powerless, vulnerable. Scared.
“Jensen? Did you say something? Hey, are you waking up?”
Something warm rubs at his cheek. His head is lifted, supported. Cool smoothness presses against his lips.
“Try to drink a little more. I know you’re not used to it, but you’re going to get dehydrated if we don’t get a little more water in you soon.”
Liquid splashes his tongue, rolls down his throat.
“There you go. That’s it. You got this. Now just swallow-”
The foreign sensation triggers a gag reflex. Choking and spluttering, he wretches weakly as whatever was in his mouth dribbles down his chin. The movement ignites jagged shards of pain that course along the nerve endings in his arms and legs.
“No, no, come on, Jensen. Don’t keep doing this. I don’t know what I’m doing here. If you don’t wake up soon I’m going to have to take you to the hospital and I...”
Agony chases him back into nothingness.
Someone picks up his hand, chafes it gently.
“Please wake up. I’m begging you. It’s been over a day now and you’re really starting to worry me. I know you did something to save me. I don’t know what, but I’m pretty sure I was dead and now I’m not, and you’re...you’re...” The hoarse voice trails off.
Jensen takes a breath, lungs drawing in air without his conscious effort, which is really, really strange. His physical body doesn’t require oxygen. He expels the air and then does nothing. His lungs begin to burn.
Something that feels like a large hand, rubs his chest, getting firmer the longer he goes without drawing in air. “Jensen? Jensen! Breathe Jensen!” the voice demands.
Breathe? He doesn’t need to breathe...except for how he absolutely does. His heart begins to pound. Wait, heart? Lungs spasming, he gasps. Air rushes in through his mouth and, immediately, his body’s panic fades.
“Oh thank goodness. You have to breathe, Jensen. It’s all part and parcel of the whole human gig.” The words strike him as familiar in a vague way. It’s too much trouble to pinpoint how. So, he lets it go.
The hand on his chest keeps rubbing. It’s nice. Soothing. It reminds him that he’s not alone.
He’s so cold.
Every part of his body, from the inside out, aches. He feels like he’s been taken apart and put back together again by a toddler who doesn’t know how the pieces are supposed to fit. He’s pretty sure some of the pieces are missing while others that don’t belong at all have been roughly jammed inside him in a haphazard jumble.
“Okay, last chance, man. We’re going on day two here and you have to drink or your body is going to start shutting down. It’s either this or the hospital. I’m not joking, Jensen.” The voice sounds...angry. But there’s another emotion there too. Fear. Apparently, the owner of that voice has reached his limit.
His upper body is lifted, tipped forward. The hands moving him are just as gentle as before, but now the movements are confident, without any hesitation, as if he’s just an overgrown rag doll and they’ve become accustomed to arranging him where and when needed.
Being manhandled rips a pathetic-sounding groan from his parched throat.
“I know. I’m sorry. We’re going to try something a little different this time. Hold on. It’ll get better in a second.”
The surface he’s sitting on dips, and he’s maneuvered so that his back is being supported against someone’s chest. Long arms wrap around his torso, holding him firmly in a semi-upright position, his head pillowed on a shoulder.
The voice was right; this is better. Warmer. The ever-present chill and pain recede a notch.
“Okay, here we go. You gotta swallow the water, Jensen. You can do it.”
This time, when the cold glass nudges his lips and water trickles onto his tongue, he swallows.
“Yes, that’s it. A little more. Good. You’re doing great,” the voice coaches in a whisper, anger and fear bleeding away into a voice Jensen recognizes. Jared. The glass is removed, replaced by a towel that dabs some spilled water off his chin.
He musters the strength to speak, moving the air around in his mouth to form one word. The only word that matters. “J-ared?” It comes out so softly he’s not sure it will be heard, but his backrest shifts and the arms around him loosen, a hand coming up to touch his cheek.
“Yeah, it’s me. Are you awake?” The voice - Jared’s voice - sounds hopeful, yet disbelieving, as though he’s gone through this drill more than once and been disappointed each and every time.
He’s not sure how to answer the question. There’s only one thing he knows for certain.
“What hurts, Jensen? What can I do to help?”
“Jus’ keep doin’ this.” His tongue doesn’t seem to want to form the consonants properly, feeling sandpaper dry in his mouth.
Jared gets it though, wrapping him up tighter in strong arms, cocooning him in warmth, rubbing sore muscles and stretched-too-tight skin.
It’s a struggle to stay conscious and it doesn’t take long before he’s pulled back under, lulled by Jared’s presence and ministrations.
He still feels like he’s been pummeled by asteroids, but...Jared’s alive.
The darkness is all-encompassing. Shadows upon shadows with not a speck of light to be found.
“Are you ready to open your eyes yet? It’s been way too long since I last saw those beautiful green eyes of yours.”
His eyes are closed? When did that happen? He tries to open them. His eyelids feel like they’ve been glued shut.
“I see those long eyelashes fluttering. Come on, almost there.”
Eyes so gritty they must have moon dust caked in them, he finally succeeds. At first, everything is blurry. Colors watery, shapes fuzzy around the edges, depth perception non-existent.
Jared takes his hand, pulling it into his lap as though taking permanent possession. “Hey, welcome back.”
The world slowly begins to come into focus. He’s in Jared’s bedroom, nestled under a thick blanket in a king-sized bed. Navy blue curtains are drawn across the windows, making it impossible for him to tell whether it’s day or night. A small lamp on the bedside table casts a mellow glow over the room.
“How long’ve I been gone?” he asks, carefully forming the words to make them intelligible with a tongue that still feels like it doesn’t quite fit properly in his mouth.
“The accident happened Saturday night and today is Tuesday. You’ve been in and out of it, mostly out, ever since I woke up on the floor in the living room and found you next to me, screaming. I’m not sure how we got there or what happened to you, although I have some theories based on the news reports I’ve seen and, well...the way you’ve changed.”
Turning his head, he takes a long look at the man who has apparently been coaxing him back from the brink for the past three days. Jared looks worse than weary, he looks positively rough. What probably amounts to a three day’s growth of scruffy beard covers his cheeks and chin. Red-rimmed eyes peer out at him from behind a fall of lank hair.
Frowning, he tries to put all the pieces together. “I don’t...I don’t remember screaming.”
Jared shakes his head. “No, I don’t suppose you would. I tried asking you what was wrong. You didn’t seem to know I was even there. It’s probably a good thing you don’t remember because you were in agony, and there was nothing I could do to help.” Jared’s eyes fill with tears. “No wonder you didn’t want to become human. The transformation was terrible. I didn’t think you were going to live through it. When it was done, I carried you back here. I’ve been watching over you ever since, hoping you would be okay.” Swallowing thickly, he blinks and one tear escapes to roll down his cheek. “I was terrified you wouldn’t be.”
“Transformation? What transformation? Jared, what are you taking about?”
Jared stares at him, opens his mouth and closes it again.
Okay, that reaction isn’t worrisome at all. He knows he’s missing something, something major from the way Jared is gaping at him. Being flat on his back isn’t helping him gain perspective on the situation, and besides, he feels awfully vulnerable laying there flat on his back. He tries to sit up. Shards of ice slice through his middle, leeching away his already meager strength. With a pained moan, he gives up on moving ever again.
“Easy, easy,” Jared chants, letting go of Jensen’s hand to pull back the covers and rub his stomach under the pajamas he’s wearing, pajamas he’s certain he didn’t put on himself. Some of the ice lodged under the skin seems to melt at Jared’s touch. “From what I can tell, the process of becoming human wrecked havoc on your internal organs. Heart, lungs, digestive system, you didn’t have any of those before, right?”
It’s Jensen’s turn to gape. The puzzle is beginning to take shape; the breathing, the need for water, the way his insides feel like they’ve been pulverized. It all makes sense in a horrifyingly prophetic way.
He reaches for his magic. Panic trips through him. It’s not there. Not a spark, not a flicker. His magic is just...gone.
“I’m human,” he gasps, hands flying to his wrists. Where his bronze cuffs have always adorned his arms, welded shut and impossible to remove, there is only flannel pajama cloth.
“They fell off. I put them in a drawer. They’re safe, in case you want them back.” Jared sounds mournful. “I’m so sorry, Jensen. I know you didn’t want this.”
It’s hard to think straight. He’s suddenly all too aware of the beating of his heart, the flow of blood through his veins, the rise and fall of his chest with every inhale of life-sustaining oxygen. The human condition is so fragile, so delicate.
Jared’s hand rests on his abdomen and, slight as the pressure is, it creates an odd urgency, an imperative need. He has to get up and do something. But what? And then it hits him. Ugh.
“Jared, I gotta get up. I need...” He makes a swishing motion with his hand that has no meaning other than to indicate haste, and points at the bathroom.
Jared’s brow wrinkles in confusion, then smooths as understanding sinks in. “Oh. Yeah, right. Just, hold on, let me help you.”
Between the two of the them, they get him up and into the bathroom by taking slow, painstaking steps that still leave him panting and trembling. Thankfully, Jared takes his leave once he’s sure Jensen isn’t going to take a header into the toilet. Yeah, that wouldn’t be embarrassing.
“I’ll be right out here if you need me.” The nervous shuffle of feet and the hovering make it clear Jared isn’t happy about Jensen being out of sight which speaks to just how worried he’s been.
Jensen empties his bladder, all the while thinking - by the light of all the stars in heaven, being human is messy.
As tired as his jaunt to the bathroom has made him and as much as he wants nothing more than to get back in bed and sleep for another three days, a stop at the sink to wash his hands is next on his human to-do list. The mirror above the sink doesn’t hold much interest for him. He glances at his reflection in passing, more concerned with finding where Jared keeps the soap than anything else. Then he does a double take. His reflection stares back at him.
Ethereal beings, as a general rule, aren’t overly concerned with the way they look, and Jensen isn’t an exception to that rule. He has seen himself in mirrors before, however, and the face he sees now is not the same. He recognizes himself, sure. But he’s lost the ageless, commanding presence he’s had for as long as he can remember. His human self is younger, fresher, more innocent...dewier.
The pajamas he’s wearing are way too big for his frame. Sleeves that extend all the way to his fingertips make it obvious the apparel wasn’t purchased with his stature in mind. Not that he’s short, or anything. Still, the baggy shirt only serves to emphasize his youth.
A tentative knock on the door precedes Jared’s quiet, “Everything all right in there?”
“You can come in.” Jensen says, both hands braced against the sink, still busy cataloging all the changes in his human face.
Jared comes up behind him, stands there looking at their double images silently for a moment before saying, “I was wondering if you would notice.”
Jensen snorts. “It’s kinda hard to miss.”
“Yeah. It happened at the same time as the rest of your transformation. I figure you’re in your twenties.”
Jensen nods. He’s younger than Jared now, physically if not in any other way. He wonders if that’s going to make a difference in how Jared feels about him. The trembling in his arms gets worse, fatigue setting in even though he just woke up.
Jared must notice because he puts an arm around his waist and starts guiding him back towards the bedroom. “Come on. Let’s get you back to bed.”
Jensen goes willingly.
His eyes begin to droop as soon as Jared pulls the heavy blanket back over him. Such a thick blanket during the summer seems out of place, but a bone-numbing chill continues to dog him. Whether it’s from the transformation or his human body having trouble self-regulating, he’s not sure. Fingering the fleecy material, he slants Jared a glance. “This helps, thanks.”
Jared’s face gets a pinched look around the eyes. “You, um, you didn’t say much...while you were out, but every once in a while you would mutter about how cold you were. You always sounded so forlorn. Broke my heart a little bit.”
Sadness and weariness cloud Jared’s features. Poor guy looks like he hasn’t slept in three days. By the way he’s hovering over the bed, it’s apparent he’s not planning on leaving now either, still on self-appointed guard duty.
Jensen scoots over in the large bed and pats the mattress. “Com’ere. I think you need the rest more than I do.”
Jared smiles and lays next to him, groaning as he sinks down. The arm Jared slings over him is invitation enough, and Jensen snuggles in close. A little more ice in his gut melts away.
Comfortable and warm, he’s already dozing off when Jared starts talking. “You know, the first time I saw you, I couldn’t believe my eyes. And not only because you appeared from out of nowhere and started levitating objects. I’d never seen anyone like you before. You were gorgeous. Otherworldly.” There’s a pause so long that Jensen thinks he won’t say anything more. He’s mostly asleep as Jared whispers, “You still are.”
A soft clatter and muttered, “Dag nabbit,” wake him. It’s easier to fight through the layers of sleep this time. The dreamscape of a thousand constellations dissolves as be blinks Jared’s bedroom into focus. Jared stands next to the bed, a tray held in front of him and a sheepish grin on his face. Soup dribbles down the sides of an overly-full bowl on the tray.
“Hey, you ready to try some food? I thought we should start you off with some soup and saltines. Go easy on you until you get used to eating since we don’t know how your stomach is going to react to solids yet.”
Jensen sits up, pleased at being able to accomplish the feat without any help. The aches and pains of his human transformation are less sharp than the last time he was awake.
Eating, putting a foreign substance into his body for the purpose of breaking it down and absorbing some particles, eliminating others, does not appeal to him. His stomach has other ideas on the matter, however. It gives a hollow-sounding rumble.
Jared’s lips twitch upwards. “I’ll take that as a yes.” He places the tray on Jensen’s lap and slides onto the bed next to him, careful not to jounce the mattress.
Jensen eyes the tray’s contents warily. Steam rises from the soup, carrying the aroma of boiled chicken. Wide noodles float in the broth along with peas, chunks of chicken and carrots. Amber liquid fills the glass. Probably apple juice, but maybe white grape. He won’t know until he tries it. Uncertainty, another definition for the human condition along with the ones he has already come up with. So far he has fragile, messy and uncertain. Approximately four days ago, a life-time ago, he would have known what the liquid was, djinn senses able to discern such things and much, much more effortlessly. A sleeve of crackers completes what is about to be his first meal.
He spoons some soup into his mouth, registering the heat and the savory flavors straight away. The noodles and vegetables don’t require much chewing before they form a shapeless mush. He swallows. Not bad. A little bland. Honestly, it doesn’t live up to all the hype, but he’s not about to tell Jared that, Jared who is looking at him, all eager and hopeful, like a puppy bring his owner a ball or a favorite toy.
The warmth does feel good in his belly, filling in the empty space a little. Spoonful after spoonful, he finishes the entire bowl. The crackers are next. Crispy and salty, if not a taste sensation. The juice, apple, is sweet and tangy. Of everything on the tray, he likes it the best, draining the glass in one go.
Belly now full, he turns a genuinely grateful smile on Jared. “That was great. Thanks.”
“You did well. I wasn’t sure how much you’d be able to eat first time around. As long as nothing disagrees with you, we can try something more adventurous for dinner. Mac and cheese maybe.” Jared takes the tray and sets it on top of his dresser. “How are you feeling?”
Jensen gives the question some consideration. He’s actually amazed at how much better he feels. Stronger, less light-headed. Yes, he definitely feels better. But he doesn’t feel whole. He doesn’t feel like himself. While his stomach is full, there’s still a huge hole where his magic used to be.
In a way, he’s in shock. It hasn’t sunk in yet, not really. His humanity can’t be permanent. It’s hard for him to believe this is his life now. Part of him expects the void inside him to fill, for his magic to be restored. One day, he’ll wake up and he’ll be cured, a djinn once again. The denial is so deep, he can’t even find the bottom of it.
“That good, huh?” The bed dips as it takes Jared’s weight. “I’m sorry.”
Jensen shakes his head. “No, it’s...I’m good. It’ll be okay.” The hitch in his voice belies his words.
“Yeah, it will be.” Jared pulls him into a loose hug. Goosebumps pebble his skin. Even if nothing else feels right, this does. This is where he’s meant to be, with his consort, no matter what form he takes, djinn or human.
He takes a shuddering breath, relaxing into the embrace, hands moving up to fist the back of Jared’s shirt, anchoring himself.
Jared sniffles. “Tell me what happened, Jensen. After the crash. You becoming human. Please. Is this my fault?”
“Your fault? No, how can you think that? It’s not your fault. If it’s anyone’s fault it’s mine.” Jensen pulls back so he can see Jared’s face. “Before I tell you what happened, there’s a conversation we should have had long ago.”
“Okay, I’m ready. Tell me.” Jared puts a hand on his knee.
The contact enables him to order his thoughts. “There’s an ancient legend among the djinn, a prophesy of sorts, that predicts the death of any djinn who finds their consort.”
Jared’s brow wrinkles. “Consort?”
“Yes, but not in the way you’re probably thinking. In djinn legends, consorts are companions destined to be together, soulmates in a manner of speaking, although djinn don’t have souls.”
Jared nods, and Jensen continues. “I realized early on we were consorts, you and I. What that meant though, I had no idea. Djinn legends are often cryptic. Hidden meanings and unforeseen consequences plague those who attempt to use the prophesies as guides. So, I resigned myself to an unforeseeable fate and decided not to tell you about the prophesy. For that, I’m sorry.” He bows his head, nervously awaiting his consort‘s censure.
“Hey, look at me.” Jared squeezes his knee, and Jensen looks up into eyes full of a warm understanding. “I don’t blame you for not telling me. Heck, if the legends are as unreliable as you say, there was no reason for you to tell me what you didn’t know for certain yourself. Besides, I knew something was up anyway. The connection I felt with you was so strong I didn’t need a prophesy to tell me where my future lay. But what does that prophesy have to do with the car crash?”
A lump lodges in Jensen’s throat. He clears it self-consciously. The car crash and what came after are difficult for him to think about. “Jared, you died in that car crash. I tried...djinn aren’t allowed to use their magic to alter human destiny. There are rules that govern magic, extremely powerful and immutable laws.” He blinks back the wetness in his eyes. “I ignored the rules. You were dead, and I couldn’t...I just couldn’t.” A tear breaks free, rolling unchecked down his cheek. Then another. “My life was forfeit either way so, I used my magic to bring you back. There was a price to pay and I paid it. Whatever I decided to do, the prophesy was fulfilled. Your death would have been my death. I couldn’t have lived with it. But in saving you, I lost my immortality. My life as a djinn ended that day.”
Jared clenches his eyes tightly closed and covers his mouth with a hand, breathing loudly through his nose. “It is my fault then. It’s because of me, you’re human.”
Jared’s anguish shatters something inside Jensen. His resistance to being human, his fear of the unknown, the death grip he’s been trying to maintain on his past life as a djinn, it all breaks apart and falls away. What he couldn’t do for himself, he can do for Jared. He can be strong.
He pulls Jared to him in the reversal of the position they were in earlier, arms encircling each other, Jared’s face tucked into the crook of his neck. Jared shakes against him. Stress and grief built up over the past four days finally find an outlet in heart-rending sobs. “I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry.”
“Shhh, it’s okay,” Jensen soothes. “Don’t be sorry. You don’t ever have to be sorry for being alive. It was worth it. You think, I’m sorry?” He waits for a response but all he gets is a watery sniffle. “Well, I’m not. I’d do it again in a heartbeat. I didn’t have to think about it the first time and I certainly wouldn’t have to think about it a second time. You’re worth it. In case you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m in love with you, you big lug.”
Jared lifts his head and swipes his sleeve over his eyes and nose. “You don’t regret it?”
Jensen smiles at his clueless consort. “How could I regret it. I’ve got you.”
Shaking his head, Jared grimaces. “Yeah but, Jensen...your magic. I’m not worth all the good you could have continued to do.”
Okay, enough is enough. Jensen’s jaw clenches in frustration because Jared isn’t getting it. He doesn’t understand just how special he is. “Listen, Jared. Believe me, you are worth it.” He frames Jared’s face between his hands, thumbing away stray tears as they fall. “It used to be that with each new master, I got the privilege of enriching the life of one person, maybe two if I was lucky. With you, that privilege was multiplied many, many times over. Your sister and everyone who loves her, all the people who work on your show, all the fans of your show or any other show the members of your cast lend their magically-enhanced talents to in the future. You did that. You made all that possible. And magic or no magic, there’s no telling what good we can accomplish together.”
Jared sucks in a deep breath. Then, he leans in, and their mouths meet. The kiss is wet and sloppy and maybe there’s a little too much tongue. Jensen doesn’t want it to ever stop. He digs his fingers into his consort’s back, holding him tighter, pulling him closer.
“You’re amazing, you know that, right?” The words are breathed into his mouth, neither one of them ready to break apart just yet. Jared lays a series of kisses along his jawline. “By the way, I love you too.”
Jensen smiles. “Are humans always this sappy? I feel like we must have slipped up somewhere along the way and fallen headlong into a rom-com.”
That earns him a sharp nip on the chin. “Way to spoil the moment. You have a lot to learn about being human.”
Jared is right, he does have a lot to learn. Living without his magic will be challenging. Somehow, the prospect doesn’t seem so scary anymore. “But you’ll teach me right?”
Eyes shining brighter than starlight, Jared kisses him again. “Your wish is my command.”
Jensen likes the sound of that.
A/N: Timestamps and lots of them. Jensen has a lot to learn about being human - the good and the bad. His first time going out to a bar with friends and getting drunk, his first time eating pie, his first time having sex, his first time getting the flu, and more. What would you like to see?
A/N2: Comments are treasured!