Beta: amberdreams, jj1564
Pairing(s): Gen (this part)
Word Count: 7,500
Warnings: hurt!Jensen, violence, mention of rape and murder, non-consentual use of drugs, kidnapping
Disclaimer: If I would own anything or anyone depicted in this work of fiction, believe me, I'd do other stuff.
Summary: Jensen meets Jared in unluckiest circumstances - as a kidnap victim. But who is the kidnapper?
Author's note: Written for wipbigbang. This was my first fanfic EVER. I wrote it in 2012 in German; it's three parts, totally fleshed out and half of them written (in German). A Long Quiet River is the first part and can be read as a stand-alone. I always wanted to re-write it in English, but never got the guts to do it. Then, this challenge came along :)
Before you ask: I plan on writing the other parts, too, of course. Only - it will take a while; please be patient :)
A whole bunch of love for my brillaint artist, amberdreams who made me different versions of her art, and I still don't know which one I like best. Maybe all of them. ❤ Go here and leave admiration. And since she's all around brilliant, she also betaed this fic. Also love to my other beta, jj1564, my trusted friend, who always sorts out my verbal mess so very gracefully. ❤
When Jensen wakes up, there is a smell like earth and fish. No, not fish – sea. Like salt and flowers; like the soap his mother used to use.
A smell like earth, salt and lavender.
He thinks about opening his eyes.
His head hurts, and he's nauseous deep down in his guts. He'll have to throw up if he opens his eyes, so he keeps his eyes closed and tries remembering instead.
He knows he went to the electronics store and bought a new phone. He knows that he stood in the parking lot to take a closer look at the new features on the phone. He knows that he stood in front of his car and texted with his phone for the first time and that he'd intended to get into his car and go to his brother's for dinner.
But did he actually get in? Did he go to his brother's? He can't remember that.
Maybe he already had dinner with Bennett and got sick? Food poisoning? An accident on route, and now he is in the hospital? No, it is not a hospital; it is too cool, and it smells of earth, salt and lavender, not of hospital.
Eventually, he opens his eyes.
Jensen can't make out much in the more than semi-darkness; the only light comes through a narrow window high beneath the ceiling. He fights the nausea trying to rise with every movement, and when he's victorious, he feels the headache all the more.
He is in a basement-like room on a dirty mattress on the floor.
Sitting up gingerly, he notices that he is wearing only jeans and a t-shirt – no shoes, no coat.
There is a metallic clank when he unsuccessfully tries to stand.
An iron chain, connecting his left ankle with the wall behind him.
An iron chain, keeping him very effectively in the room.
A fucking iron chain.
He can't believe it. How did he end up here? Where did he end up?
Rustling draws his attention to the darkness on the other side of the room. Someone is hidden – is hiding in there. Jensen looks intently; indeed, there is a person sitting in a chair, watching in silence.
Connecting the dots makes his mouth go dry.
Headache, basement, shackles. A watcher. Fuck, that's not good at all.
The person in the dark stands and approaches him. Stopping just shy of Jensen, they look down on him – a gigantic shadow, barely discernible. They're just standing there, looking down on Jensen silently.
Jensen squirms under the scrutiny. He doesn't know where he is, what happened, what will happen.“Who are you? What do you want with me?“ he asks, and his voice is hollow and scared.
The stranger squats down and touches Jensen's cheek softly with cold fingers.
Jensen flinches. “What do you want with me?“ he asks again. His voice gains sharpness.
“You,“ the stranger replies, “I want you.“
The voice reminds Jensen of cold steel, and he has the faint impression that the other guy may be drugged, though it sounds different when someone's high.
Jensen's thoughts are racing away with him.
Who is this stranger, what could he want with Jensen? Is he a serial killer or a crazy guy hopped up on drugs hoping to get money for his addiction?
The chain clanks when Jensen tries to scramble away, but he doesn't get far. It is quite short, and the shackle cuts into his ankle.
“If you're after ransom, I don't have any. I'm not wealthy, neither are my family. You've the wrong guy.“
Again, the stranger is reaching out with his hand, though stopping his fingers an inch before Jensen's skin. Coldness is emanating from them – a coldness that makes Jensen's flesh crawl, hearing, “I want you. You're so gorgeous.“
Jensen breathes heavily. Is this a nightmare?
“But... but...“ he says, and then the stranger is on him, holding his head with both hands and pressing his lips on Jensen's.
For a few seconds, Jensen's whole body stiffens; all thoughts drop out of his head, and he holds his breath. Then he shoves for all he is worth against the other guy's chest.
Their lips part, and the stranger punches him so violently in the face that his head hits the wall behind him.
The darkness surrounding Jensen grows blacker; the scent of lavender and salt blankets him, and he knows nothing more.
It is again the scent that he notices first: the earthy scent, then the coldness around him.
Jensen moans; the headache hammers, his mouth feels like it is filled with sand, and his jaw hurts where the stranger's fist hit him. He sits up gingerly, not opening his eyes until he is vaguely vertical.
He still is in the basement-like room, on the same dirty mattress. There is a little bit more light coming through the small window, but still, most of the room is in darkness.
Jensen concentrates on breathing evenly and not throwing up. Though he wants to avoid them, thoughts are surfacing.
Fuck, how did he get into this? Who is this guy?
He didn't dream the man; the iron chain and the pain in his head are proof enough that he didn't dream. What kind of nutcase does this? Kidnapping people, chaining them to the wall and... Oh God. I want you. Oh God. Holy Fuck.
Jensen remembers the guy from the papers, who had been missing for a week. He saw the picture, but thought nothing of it. He doesn't have friends yet, doesn't know anyone in this town yet, except for his brother Bennett and his lovely wife Lisa, and his future boss, who happens to be an old friend.
He jumps to unpleasant conclusions. Is it possible that the missing guy was in this basement, too? Raped, murdered, disappeared? Will the same happen to him?
I want you. Holy shit.
Jensen feels panic rising in his guts, but before he gets overwhelmed, he hears someone moaning.
In the darkest corner of the room, behind the chair the stranger was sitting on, there is someone on the floor. The rustling and scratching on the wall sounds like the other person is sitting up.
That must be another captive, someone Jensen can ally himself with. He wants to go to him, but the chain reminds him clangingly that he can't.
“Is anybody there?“ a brittle voice says from the other corner of the room.
“Yes,“ Jensen croaks. He can't manage more; just this word worsens the pounding in his head. Closing his eyes, he concentrates on breathing through the pain.
When he re-opens them, there is someone sitting in front of him.
A lean outline with longish dark hair is all Jensen can make out in the darkness. The guy's skin is luminously pale, making his eyes look almost black in contrast. He supports himself on the floor, looking like he may crumble down any moment.
“So he caught another one,“ the man mutters. It just seems to be a thought spoken aloud.
“Who?“ Jensen asks.
“The big guy keeping me here. Sometimes he comes, brings water and food. What day is it?“
Jensen thinks. “Probably Thursday already. What's your name?“
“Thursday... fuck, a whole week.“
The man slides down to the floor, as if his arms were not strong enough to keep him up. He is lying on the floor and utters a sound like a stifled sob.
“My name's Jensen. What's yours?“ Jensen asks.
“Jared. I'm Jared,“ the other one replies, his voice laced with desperation.
A whole week. Jensen knows who this guy is, remembers the kind eyes he saw in the newspaper's picture.
How will he feel in a week from now, where will he be? No, he can't think like that. Jensen's brother will find him; Bennett is the best at his job. He won't give up, he'll find him, find them both.
“A whole week,“ Jared repeats tearfully. “Since last Wednesday. I've been here for a whole week. Why did he do this? What's he up to? Why's no one looking for me? Are there no traces? Are they still looking for me at all?“
Crawling as far as his fetters let him, Jensen tugs and pulls until Jared's upper body rests in his lap. Jared is sobbing uncontrollably.
“It's okay,“ Jensen says gently, “they're looking for you. I saw your picture in the newspaper. They're looking for you. You'll see, my brother'll find us. He's a cop, he's the best cop of the whole city. He'll find us.“
Jensen is cradling the desperate man, petting his hair to calm him and thinking of when he last held someone like this.
Jared is warm, though he is ought to be chilled due to the long time in the basement. His hair is smooth, and he smells like earth and sweat. Surely, he should smell a lot worse after a week of captivity.
I want you.
Jensen opens his mouth and speaks without thinking.
“Does he let you shower?“
The sobbing stops. After some hesitation, Jared replies, “No. Why're you asking?“
How shall Jensen tell him? Then he just blurts it. “Your hair's just washed.“
The reply is silence.
“You just said that he brings food and water?“
The silence is getting louder.
“Maybe... well, maybe he drugs you? With some drugs in the water? Or maybe...“
Jared breathes in sharply. One of his hands is creeping up slowly to cover his mouth.
“Oh god. But I have to sleep. I wake up not knowing what happened. I wouldn't notice... I wouldn't notice if...“
Suddenly, he turns away from Jensen, gagging. Kneeling on the floor, he tries to throw up his fear and loathing, but he is only dry heaving.
Jensen wants to put his hand on Jared's back to calm him, but he's too far away. He only reaches Jared's side, so he pets him there as best he can, talking soothing nonsense.
Eventually, Jared turns to Jensen, holding fast onto him; his head leaning against Jensen's chest, arms embracing Jensen's body as closely as if he wanted to break him in two.
Jared 's crying is unrestrained.
Jensen holds him in his arms, trying to not break down himself and keeps on talking until both of them fall asleep, clinging together like drowning men.
This time it is Jensen's stomach that wakes him up, rumbling loud and protesting.
The headache has eased some; a weak threat compared to the forceful attack from before. Now though, his left leg hurts, cramped into an uncomfortable angle while he slept; his back is complaining about the hard mattress, and his bladder is in danger of bursting. Jared's head is still resting on Jensen's chest; his hair smells like shampoo.
Jensen feels pity for his fellow captive. He appears younger than Jensen, and who knows what he went through in the last week?
Drugged, maltreated, probably misused – at the very thought Jensen feels cold fury. If he gets ahold of the asshole who did this to both of them; he is not a violent person, but the thought of killing their abuser in the heat of the moment doesn't worry him much, oddly enough.
Jared is breathing evenly, and Jensen keeps on holding him; he doesn't want to wake him – when sleep is the only thing keeping them safe from their thoughts and the cold.
It's a long time since he last had this much physical contact with anyone, man or woman. It took him months to get over his last, nasty break-up, and since he is not the outgoing type, there weren't many possibilities to meet another partner.
In different circumstances, Jensen possibly would have made a pass. He likes tall men, and Jared is very tall.
But here, in this basement, in the dark, the only thing he can think about is how to get rid of the chain around his ankle and get both of them out of here. It is up to him now since Jared seems to be mentally and emotionally unfit to escape.
On one end, the iron chain is attached to the wall; the other end is fastened to the tight shackle; in between are shining, cold links that give him maybe six feet of room to move.
The light is a shade brighter; maybe it's noon outside but who can tell in the constant twilight? Whatever the time of day, the part of the room opposite to Jensen is always dark, the lonely chair and a door in the wall vaguely perceptible.
There's nothing else in the basement except for darkness and two desperate men.
Jared is stirring, slowly opening his eyes and looking at Jensen. Then he flinches and cowers down just outside of Jensen's reach, staring at him, a hand covering his mouth with shock.
“Oh God,“ he stammers, “I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to... I've never...“
Jensen moves his legs – now relieved of a heavy burden – into a more comfortable position. He massages his left leg that is still hurting.
“It's okay,“ he says, “no harm done.“
He gives Jared a small, crooked smile.
Jared's eyes grow wide. He drops his hands to the ground and clenches his fists.
“You're chained.“ His voice is seething with rage. “Why did he chain you? That asshole.“
Jensen almost says, You're not, but it is only a fleeting thought since he needs to ask something more important. And besides, who can comprehend a madman's thoughts?
“Uhm, at the moment there's an urgent necessity I'd need to take care of.“ Jensen's blushing just a bit. “What do you do when you have to, well, pee?“
Without a word, Jared stands and walks into the darkness behind the chair, bringing back a bucket that he puts down next to Jensen. He turns away discreetly when Jensen relieves himself, and then Jensen gives Jared the same courtesy. After peeing in the bucket, Jared returns it back to the farthest corner.
Jared sits cross-legged on the floor in front of Jensen who is leaning against the wall. Neither man looks at the other – Jared is paying attention to his knees, Jensen to his hands resting in his lap.
When the silence turns awkward, Jared starts speaking
“Why are you so sure that your brother will find us?“
“He's the damned best cop of the city. And all my life, he looked out for me; he'll keep on and on until he finds me.“
“Let's hope he's in time,“ Jared says, his face gloomy.
“Hey,“ Jensen replies, resting a hand on Jared's arm. “Hey, look at me. The bastard has something in mind for us, otherwise we'd already be dead. But my brother will find us in time. I know it. Bennett'll find us.“
Jared is looking at him for a moment, his eyes tearing up. He sniffles, then says, “Okay.“
Jensen smiles at him encouragingly, glad to have offered Jared some hope, even though it might be unfounded. He doesn't want to tell Jared the truth, how he fears their situation is worse than he is letting on.
“So, how do you earn your money?“ Jared asks.
They sit side by side on the dirty mattress, leaning against the wall. Jared plays with the seam of his shirt; Jensen notices he is wearing jeans and socks, but no shoes.
“Next week, I start a new job – a graphic designer at an advertising company. That's why I just moved here. Bennett living here is great because I don't know anybody yet – apart from Chad – he's my future employer. We took classes together at college. He’s had no time to keep up our friendship, he’s got so much work on. That's why he hired me - his business is thriving.“
“Chad Murray? He designed the business cards and stationery for my shop. No wonder that he needs more employees, the man is really good at what he does.”
“What kind of shop is it?“
“I own the book store opposite the city hall.“
Jensen's mouth goes dry. He went to that store two weeks ago, buying a guidebook for fathers-to-be because Bennett and Lisa were expecting a baby in a few months – Jensen's first nephew or niece. He is looking forward to the arrival of the little one, but he can't help teasing his brother about sleepless nights and baby poop.
Suddenly, he remembers the tall guy arranging children's books. That was Jared – but a completely different Jared, always smiling, always available to answer any question, dallying with the female customers and patting the male ones on their backs; such a different picture to this nervous Jared who is unable to keep his hands still or look him in the eyes.
And he remembers how attracted he felt, but of course he didn't dare act on it.
“You're a bookseller? That's great, I like books. I like to read.“
Jared glances at him. “Really? What's your favorite book?“
Jensen hesitates for a moment. “If you won't get the word out... the Harry Potter books.“
Jared smiles, the first genuine smile Jensen had seen from him since he'd woken up here, and a sudden warmth expands in Jensen's chest. Here is a brief glimpse of Jared when not imprisoned in a bare basement – a happy and easygoing person.
He likes this other Jared so much better.
“I like Harry Potter too,“ Jared admits.
“Cool,“ Jensen replies.
“Yes,“ Jared says.
They fall silent, but this time it is neither awkward nor crushing, just thoughtful. Then Jared sighs.
“I hope the girls in the shop are okay. Usually, I can count on Felicia and Ruth, but this isn't a usual situation... they won't know what happened and will be worried... This is such a pile of shit.“
Sighing, Jared hides his face behind his hands.
Jensen rubs Jared's shoulder. “Hey, it will be okay. You'll see.“
Jared puts his hands down and looks at him for a long moment. “You're an incurable optimist,“ he says, more a statement than a question.
“Well,“ Jensen shrugs, “if I didn't trust we'll get out of here, I'd go crazy.“
Jared drops his gaze to his knees, rolling the shirt's seam between his long fingers. “I don't know how I came through this last week. I just... I've just been desperate and wanted it to be over. If the guy had come in and killed me – I'd've been okay with it.“
“You can't think that,“ Jensen says urgently. “You can't let the guy win. We'll come up with something to get out of here. And we will get out of here!“
It's not a lie exactly. Jensen is not so sure about the outcome of this little 'adventure', but he has to stay strong – for both of their sakes.
They give each other tentative smiles, then Jared stares at his knees and Jensen at his hands.
Jensen's stomach rumbles. He hunches a bit to soothe it, which doesn't work, of course. Though he'd much rather he was able to walk and move freely than have food right now. The damn chain is too short to do more than a couple of steps – far too little to satisfy his urge to move.
Jared reacts to Jensen's hungry sounds. “He'll certainly bring some food soon.“
All of a sudden, Jared grows pale, and Jensen remembers what food could possibly entail: drugged food, spiked water.
“We need to get out of here,“ he decides. Taking the chain tethering him in both hands, he pulls as hard as he can.
Jensen doesn't give in until he is breathless and his hands and arms hurt.
“It's so cold in here.“ Jared's remark takes Jensen by surprise. Turning to him, he sees that Jared is standing only an arm's length away, looking down on him.
Jared's arms are dangling casually. His eyes are dilated and almost black, like bottomless lakes. Bending over, he reaches out a hand that stops right before Jensen. His face is very close now, exuding cold and the scent of salt and lavender.
His voice sounds like cold steel when he starts speaking.
“You're so gorgeous.“
Jensen gapes at Jared open-mouthed, forgets to breathe. The fingers touch his neck, stroke a freezing path over his skin to his ear and stop at his cheek.
When Jared raises the other hand too, the spell holding Jensen in place is broken.
“Don't touch me!“ Jensen screams, drawing back as far as he can; his heart is in his mouth.
“I want to love you.“
Jared takes a step towards him. Jensen shrinks back even more, as if he wanted to dissolve into the wall behind him. He'd love nothing better than to do it.
Is Jared insane? Is he a psychopath or a killer, playing malicious games with his victims? Does he have a split personality?
What's going on here?
“What's going on here?“ Jensen screams, and again he forgets to breathe, panicking.
Jared is blinking confused. He is still stretching out his hand, hasn't moved. He doesn't seem to comprehend that Jensen doesn't want to be touched – why he is yelling at him. Both men are facing each other, shaking with cold, surrounded by a miasma of salt and lavender; then whatever battle Jared was fighting, he loses.
A couple of steps more brings Jared so close that Jensen can feel the cold that is shrouding him like a shell.
“You're mine, and I want to love you.“
As before, Jared's voice is inflexible steel, not revealing any emotion, unlike his black eyes, which are full of intense rage.
Defensively Jensen raises his hands, but Jared simply knocks them aside. Jensen stopped thinking; he is acting instinctively, and his instinct plainly says fight.
Jared wraps Jensen in his long arms and pushes his nose in Jensen's nape to inhale his scent.
Jensen hits him with both fists in his sides; unfortunately, Jared reacts by slumping and tightening his hold. The movement and a violent jerk twist Jensen's chained leg and his hip painfully. He yelps.
Jared is pinning him down on the ground with his legs, paying no attention to the fists that are striking him, and breathes from the back of Jensen's neck towards his chin.
He supports himself pushing down on Jensen's shoulders, restricting his movements even more, and says, “You smell so fucking good.“
Jared's nose is bleeding sluggishly.
“Get off of me! Don't touch me! Get off!” Jensen yells.
Since all of Jared's weight is on Jensen's shoulders, he can't lash out anymore; so he tries to throw the big man off by squirming and bucking – without success.
Jared's eyes are glistening black. The pupils are dilated to the point that there is no color visible. He gives Jensen a level look – no sign of excitement nor rage; a lifesize steel statue, smelling of lavender.
Then he cocks his head in order to kiss Jensen.
Horrified, Jensen sees Jared's lips draw closer. Facing away, he braces himself and pushes. He shoves and struggles until finally, he gets enough leverage to throw the other man off and aside.
He stands, staggering; his left hip is hurting and he can't put weight onto that leg, so he can't plant his feet firmly on the ground to kick. He has to rely on his hands and doesn't know if it is enough – doesn't know what he can rely on any more.
Jared, who seemed to be so nice, so desperate and so normal, is a lunatic who wants to get into his pants.
Jensen strikes when Jared is rising from the ground and hits him right in the face.
Jared falls on his back and stays down, his head bowed. Jensen can't see his facial expression because of Jared's long hair and the dim light, but somehow he knows that there's nothing human there, just black, unfathomable eyes.
When Jared finally gets up, Jensen is on guard, trying to surmise his intention.
He doesn't even see the blow, it is so sudden, hitting the right side of his jaw.
He is thrown against the wall and then slumps to the ground; as a consequence, his already hurt leg gets distorted even more. The violent pain makes him cry out and brings tears to his eyes. He is breathing laboriously.
Jared looms over him for what seems an eternity, looking down on Jensen where he is lying on the ground, clenching his teeth in pain. He stifles his groans, waiting for the next blow to fall.
It doesn't happen. After a few moments, Jared draws back a couple of steps.
It is the clenching of Jared's fists that makes Jensen look up. Through his unshed tears he sees Jared tremble in every limb, his eyes grow wide, then roll back – and Jared sinks to the floor silently.