Title:A Strange Journey Begins With A Single Step (To The Right)
Pairing:Jared/Jensen; (Brief)Jensen/Justin Hartley; Jared/Tom Welling
warnings/Enticements:cross-dressing of the Drag variety
Summary:In which Jensen's life is turned upside down in only 24 hours after an encounter with Jared.
Author's Notes: Inspired by the Rocky Horror Picture Show, but by no means a strict retelling.

**Special thank yous have to go out to [livejournal.com profile] candygramme for her beta skills. And to [livejournal.com profile] kinkajou for her spectacular art. Thank you, ladies. You are stars!**

When Jensen woke up bright sunshine was streaming in the window, and Jared was still asleep beside him. He looked younger in his sleep, peaceful. A lock of his hair had fallen across his eyes. Unable to resist he reached out and brushed it away. The other man stirred, eyelids fluttering, before his eyes opened and found Jensen. They looked almost turquoise in the light, ringed in gold, and startling in their beauty.

“Mornin’” his voice was rough with sleep, eyes cloudy but becoming clearer as he blinked the last remnants of sleep from them.

“Afternoon more like,” Jensen said.

“Semantics.” After a beat he asked, “no regrets?”

“None,” Jensen answered without hesitation. “Last night was incredible and got me thinking about a lot of things.”

Jared gazed at him with interest. “Like?”

It threw him for a moment, having someone ask after him like that. He took a breath and started talking. “Like…I hate my life. It’s not mine, not really.” He poured out every thought he’d had last night: his regrets about living his life for a guy who treated him no better than a roommate or friend, about how their sexual relationship had dwindled down to near nothing over the last year or so, about wanting more out of his life, more from his partner, and the crushing realization that he was never going to find what he was seeking with Justin, and how scared he was about everything. Tears stung his eyes, and his voice wavered, but he didn’t cry.

Jared listened, eyes sympathetic, and a soothing hand on his shoulder. When Jensen was done, Jared was there to offer reassurance.

“It’s okay to be scared. Natural even. You’re contemplating making some serious life changes.”

“I don’t know what I’m going to do now. I’ll have to find a place to live, move my stuff out of Justin’s place, I…I…” He was working himself into a bit a panic. What would his folks say? He was ruining his life. His stomach twisted and he began to hyperventilate. “I can’t move back in with my parents. I can’t.” Not because they had a problem with his sexuality, but because they hadn’t liked Justin. He didn’t want to give them the satisfaction of having been right about him.

“Shhh,” Jared hugged him. “Breathe. Calm down.” Jared’s voice was gentle and wrapped around him like a blanket. “You don’t have to go back to your folks. I have a few real estate holdings—rentals—you can have one, a house or an apartment. I’ll give you a break on the rent and won’t even charge you security deposit or run a credit check.” He gave a soft smile.

His generosity stunned Jensen. “I can’t ask that of you.”

Jared’s embrace tightened for an instant. “You’re not asking, I’m offering. You need a helping hand; I’ve got my hand out. Don’t leave me hangin’, dude.”

Jensen smiled, feeling more optimistic. “You’d do that for me?”

“Of course. I’ll help you any way I can.”

“Why though? You don’t even know me.”

“No, but I’d like to, if you’d give me the chance. Either as your friend or maybe something more, but no obligations, and no expectations. You have a lot to figure out, and I’ll be there to cheer you on. What you need to remember is you don’t have to make big changes all at once, but make little changes that have big impact, like ending your relationship with Joseph.”

Jensen didn’t bother to correct him. “I suppose I should get up and find him.” Jensen rolled his eyes. “If he’s even still here.”

“Sounds like a good start.”

Jared gave him a kiss on the cheek before they climbed out of bed. Jared went off to his own room to shower, and dress. Jensen dressed in the slacks and button down from yesterday and headed downstairs. The house was quiet, either everyone had gone home or had retreated to fill the many bedrooms. Jensen found his way to the kitchen and the ever important coffee maker. He rooted around in the cabinets, finding most empty, but located a can of Folgers, not exactly his brand, but he’d take what he could get, and brewed up a pot.

He had just poured a cup and was heading back upstairs to begin randomly knocking on doors when Justin entered the kitchen, followed by Tom, and then Jared. He was dressed in black jeans and a short-sleeved Henley, jaw dark with stubble; he was a stunning looking man, in or out of drag, Jensen reflected. Jared took Tom by the arm and tried to lead him away, presumably to give Jensen his privacy.

“He can stay,” Justin said, catching Jensen off guard.

Tom gave Jared a withering look, which baffled Jensen, and went to stand beside Justin. Jared shrugged and came to stand beside Jensen, giving him a smile and placing a hand in the middle of his back. Gears began to turn in Jensen’s mind. The looks Justin and Tom had exchanged the previous night, Justin going off on his own, and the two of them coming down together to find Jensen. Jensen supposed it was a mark of how over things were between them that he felt nothing, no anger or sense of betrayal—he’d be a hypocrite if he did. Just a finality that needed only to be spoken and cemented, before they both could walk away.

“I have something I need to say to you, Jensen,” his eyes drifted briefly to Jared before coming to rest on Jensen again. “Something…unexpected happened last night. Tom and I…. Well, I did some thinking, and I think it’s best if we go our separate ways. We aren’t right for each other. Deep down you know it too. I’m sorry, but it’s over.”

Jensen exhaled, absorbing what Justin said. There it was. That was it. Six years of his life coming to an end with a few indifferent words. He nodded. “Yeah, I think you’re right. I can’t be who you want, and I can’t find out who I really am if I’m trying to be. It isn’t fair to either of us.” Jared’s hand moved in soothing circles between his shoulder blades.

“I’ve got service on my cell again, and I’ve called for a tow. Tom’s coming with me as far as Dallas. Are you coming back with me to Austin?”

He wondered if Tom was going to stay in Dallas or maybe just go the whole way to Austin. He didn’t really care one way of the other, and it was no longer his business. “No. I’ll be in touch to figure out about moving my stuff out. I won’t take too long.”

“Okay then. Take care.” Haltingly he approached Jensen and hugged him. It was like embracing a statue but he hugged him back.

Jensen and Jared saw Justin and Tom to the door and followed them out, standing on the porch. The sun was high in a cloudless blue sky, limitless as Jensen’s options. “Is it bad I’m not going to miss him?”

“I think you can feel however you want.”

Jensen was quiet, watching as Justin and Tom were lost from view. “I feel good.” And he did, lighter, ending his relationship with Justin had left a wound, and it would be tender for a time, but it would heal, and he knew he’d be better for it.

“Good. Dollars to doughnuts next time we see them they will be married…to women.”

Jensen considered that and found that it wasn’t out of the realm of possibility. Justin was never the most out and proud. It wouldn’t surprise him if Justin sank into deep denial and hid in the suffocating safety of the closet for the rest of his life. Not Jensen, though. He wanted color and life, laughter and sex.

“Where do I go from here?” He hoped he didn’t sound as lost and pathetic as he felt.

Jared put an arm around his waist, pulled him close, and pressed a kiss to his temple. “Wherever you want, Jensen.”

Wherever I want. His fear was still there, but determination was eclipsing it. New and exciting avenues were opening up before him, and Jensen couldn’t wait to see where they would lead.

At : Abilene TX
I'm : accomplished
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