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Just a copy of last years unfinished mininano fic. here for my reference



It takes less than forty-eight hours for Jared’s boss to go from “Padalecki I don’t know why the fuck we keep you around," to “You fucking genius, how the fuck did you manage to get those photos?” grinning like a maniac and pushing a glass with two fingers of scotch (the good celebratory scotch that probably cost more than Jared’s last five pay cheques, not the cheap one he uses when he’s trying to drown out his woes at the general incompetence of the human race, specifically the incompetence of the human beings working for him) into Jared’s hand, slapping him on the back.

Jared wants to point out that it’s barely ten in the morning, and hey, alcoholic editors are kind of a cliché, but he decides to just be happy he’s still going to make this month’s rent and that being a cocky little smartarse probably isn’t going to get him anywhere today. He wonders if he could get away with just sipping at his glass politely. Henry gets weird when people don’t accept drinks from him.

There’s a copy of the morning’s paper sitting on Henry’s desk, Jared’s exclusive page one story declaring “Senator’s sex crib scandal” in bold unforgiving. Under the caption there’s a half page picture of Senator Harris entangled with three prostitutes, their faces blurred out so the readers can really concentrate the kind of demented expression on the senator’s face. The picture isn’t the raunchiest he managed to get, but the ones with the underage girls went to the police.

They’re awesome pictures and totally worth the three hours Jared spent curled into a human pretzel to get the pictures—even if he does say so himself—thought Jared doubts that Henry actually took the time to admire anything beyond the deranged look of joy on the senator’s face and the obviously naked women wrapped around him, let alone ponder the genius that went into setting up the shots.

Still, Henry’s probably going to be taking that page with him everywhere and maybe jerking off to it because it’s not every day [name of fictional paper] gets the chance to one up the other big papers. [name-of-fictional-paper] is just barely the third most read newspaper in [name-of-fictionalcity?], Henry has aspirations to make it the city’s most read paper. Apparently he thinks sensationalised scandals are just the way to get there.

Jared grins, cocky and self assured like he knows Henry hates. “I’m just awesome like that.” He raises his glass in salute, and tosses the drink back. And yes, he was right, it is the good stuff. Hopefully Henry can get over this little celebratory sharing of space and alcohol so that Jared can go hide at his desk until the alcohol’s made it out of his system. The last things Jared needs is to sober up in time to find himself in a men’s room somewhere about to be gangbanged by three seriously built guys. Again.

He has a delicate system and no tolerance at all for alcohol. It’s a condition. Their deep family shame; some people kept their crazy relatives in the attic and never spoke about them in front of company; Jared’s family had to deal with the shame of having a son who couldn’t drink anything stronger than cool-aid. It’s like a thing in Texas.

“Don’t get ahead of yourself, Padalecki,” Henry warns. He drains his own glass quickly, sets it down with a thud right over the senator’s face. “One good story doesn’t mean I’m not going to chuck the next thing you give me to make room for ads. The Male Impotency Clinic is buying half a page.

“Man, you love me,” Jared drawls. Henry frowns.

“Get back to work; I want drugs and prostitutes and very important, powerful men rolling around with.” Henry snaps, waving Jared at the door. “And watch it kid, your Texas is starting to show.”


Sometimes, Jared’s sources turn out to be on the twitchy side. This is alright because Jared likes to think he’s a calm soothing sort of person. Usually, all he has to do is say hello and smile and people start relaxing around him.

This guy, on the other hand, is still hugging himself and watching the ice-cubes in his drink suspiciously. Jared’s tempted to check his arms for track marks, because he likes reliable sources, but he’s sort of scraping the bottom of the barrel here and can’t really be too picky.

Something big is happening, a shipment, a deal, Jared isn’t sure. He knows just enough to be sure it’s going to be huge and involve some pretty powerful people—just the type Jared likes to pull down and ruin—but not enough to put all the details like where and when and who together. Suspiciously enough all of Jared’s usual sources are either missing or hiding from him, so he’s had to slum it down to meeting with scrawny little kids

“Do you want another drink?” He asks. He kid gives him an incredulous look.

“Are you trying to get me drunk?”

“Not really no. I’m trying to get you into an agreeable mood so you’ll tell me what I want to know.”

The kid looks up at him through his lashes. “That’s awfully honest,” he concedes. Jared hopes he isn’t being flirted with. “I’m gonna be in big trouble if this get back to me. I’m only talking to you ‘cause that arsehole detective is making me.”

“I could buy you lunch?” Jared offers.

“Yeah, okay.”

Two burgers and a lot of fries later the kid—Ian—finally starts being useful.

“There’s this big shipment coming in next week. Ship’s supposed to dock middle of the night. They’ve been planning it for months, setting up the work rosters so only their guys are working and even the police are turning a blind eye cause half of them are getting paid off and the other half are too shit scared to say anything or too dumb to notice.”

“Who’s the shipment for”

Ian shrugged. “Don’t know. Just that they’re going to be there to make the exchange. Cash or whatever for the shipment. Don’t know the rest.”

It’s a lot of information. A lot of good information and Jared’s pretty sure he wouldn’t have spent his first few years out of school deciding between concert tickets and groceries ‘cause leads for good stories were this easy to come by. He’s suspicious, of course, but he also happens to trust detective ABC. The man hasn’t been anything but kind to Jared since he started in [name-of-fictional-city] five years ago.

He pats Ian on the back and leaves him at the bar, even gives him a little speech about going home and getting clean and staying away from dangerous people. The kid’s too young to be of any use to the type of people he’s involved with, but he’s pretty enough that Jared doesn’t have to think too hard about what it is they might keep him around for.

-----

We’re playing at the bar on Wilson.
You better be here by 11.

Jared’s halfway through replying with a curt fuck you, I need sleep when suddenly there are big hands grabbing him and pulling him into a decidedly dark creepy alley and slamming him up again the wall.

“What the fuck,” Jared hissed. His head was probably bleeding.

“Jared Padalecki,” someone says low raspy voice that sets Jared’s nerves on fire and just enough hint of a familiar accent to make heat pool in his belly. Jared actually stops fighting for a moment and that’s a mistake because it lets the thugs turn him around and slam him back against the bricks hard enough to rattle him. Jared tries to pull free again—he’s big guy—but these guys are just as big; big shoulders under expensive suits, with thick necks and grips hard enough that they’re going to be leaving bruises.

“You’ve got horrible manners,” Jared says dryly.

There’s a chuckle and a figure steps out of the shadows, cigarette dangling casually in one hand, lips twisted up in amusement.

Jared’s first thought is a distracted pretty.

“I need to ask you a few questions,” Pretty says pleasantly.

Jared blinks a little stupidly. “Huh?” And yeah, it might sound a little dumb but Jared’s pretty sure he didn’t deserve the knee to the gut it got him.

“None of that now,” Pretty scolds and one of the thug’s grunts. Pretty smiles and holds up a copy of the morning paper with Jared’s article on it. “You’ve been getting into my clubs and upsetting a few important people. I need to know how you’re doing it, and then I need you to stop,” he purrs, standing so close Jared can see his freckles and smell his cologne. “Who’s your source, Jared?”

Jared hopes he doesn’t say anything stupid like Wow, you’re really pretty. Are you sure you’re a bad guy? Cause I’d really like to take you home and lick your freckles, because he’s straight—despite the indiscretions he gets up to when he’s drunk—and a reporter who specialises in taking down big bad men. He’s just gotta keep that in mind.

Jared sighs dramatically though the pain and smiles. “I really can’t tell you,” he says and this time he’s ready for the knee and doubles over in pain.

“Jared,” Pretty sighs and Jared hates the way his name rolls off the guys tongue with such ease—such intimacy. “I really don’t want to hurt you,” But I’m going to if you make me.

Jared looks up, grinning, “You say the sweetest things, Pretty,” and there’s just a moment for him to enjoy the shock on Pretty’s face before he’s kicking in one thug’s knee and twisting out from under the other one and running away in the confusion.

Jared wakes up to a splash of cold water.

There are a few moments of groggy disorientation before his eyes can focus and he can pull himself together enough to try and move—but he can’t.

He’s tied down. Arms tight behind his back, legs bent so his ankles are bound to his thighs. There are ropes biting into his shoulders and holding him up, not letting him quiet sit on the wooden desk, and more ropes pulling his knees wide apart.

He looks down at himself, spread wide and naked and feels a momentary flash modesty that leaves his cheeks burning hot. “You have got to be kidding,” Jared mutters, tugging futilely at the ropes in the hope that they’ll betray some sort of weakness. For some reason the way his legs are bent and spread—exposed, he thinks—doesn’t bother him as much as his inability to use his arms.

A few feet away, Ackles is watching him.

He’s leaning on a desk, arms crossed over his chest looking oddly casual with no jacket or tie and his top few shirt buttons open and his sleeves rolled up to show a smooth tanned skin stretched over strong forearms and collarbones. Behind him, the rest of the room is hidden in shadows.

Jared flinches back, almost wrecks his shoulders out of joint trying to get free then. “What the fuck is this?” He hisses, struggling against the ropes.

“You’ll hurt yourself,” Ackles said dryly and moved closer. “You’ve been asking about me. I thought you might appreciate this little meeting.”

Jared tries to grin, but all he can manage is a shaky imitation of cocksure-and-belligerent. “If you wanted to get me naked,” he says, voice shaking derisorily, “All you had to do was ask.”

“Hmm,” Ackles pressed his thumb against Jared’s knee, let it slide down towards the crease of his thigh and groin, trace over the lines rope and neat knots. Jared hated the way his breath hitched at the touch and the burn of confused excitement that fizzed down his spine and burned deep in his belly, sudden and terrible. “I thought a little effort might be in order.”

“I’m actually a pretty cheap—” Jared began, but Ackles didn’t give him the chance to get any further, just put his hands on Jared’s knees and pushed until Jared’s knees were touching wood, his thigh muscles burning with the sudden stretch, and Ackles fitted himself in the opened space, cool white cotton flush against Jared’s too hot skin.

“You talk too much,” Ackles said and licked across the centre of Jared’s chest. Jared made a noise, suspiciously close to a whimper, and then cursed when Ackles looked up at him through thick lashes; all sultry eyes and pink wet lips too damn close to Jared’s skin making his head spin, and then rubbed himself against Jared, sinuous as a cat. “Way too much.”

“What—” Jared choked, terrified and turned on, “What’re you doing?” And then “Jesus, what the fuck is that?” he squealed when he caught sight of a leather harness lying on the floor, heavy silver buckles on black leather and ridiculously intimidating for a jumbled mess. Jared tries to convince himself that the slowly building panic is baseless and unreasonable.

“That was for you,” Ackles says then dips his tongue into Jared’s belly button. Jared takes a shuddering breath and forces his eyes away from the wide expanse of Ackles’ wide shoulders and back where he’s bent down. He wants more than anything to wrap his fingers in Ackles’ hair and push that smug, pretty mouth right over his cock, force it between Ackle’s lips and watch him take it. It’s a pretty fantasy considering that Jared is the one tied and exposed, but just the thought is enough to have Jared pushing into Ackles’ mouth.

“What happened? Changed you mind?”

“No,” Jensen smiled and stood up. He let go of Jared’s legs to run his fingers over the line of rope crossing his chest, right under his nipples. Jared’s released thighs come to rest either side of Ackles’ hips with the sort of ease that speaks of inevitability. “You were too big for it.” Ackles whispers, dark and quiet, a knife wrapped in silk, gun calloused fingers tracing nonsensical patterns into Jared’s skin when they could be cutting him open and letting him bleed. “But, I think I prefer you this way.”

---------

Jared let’s his head fall back, a moan tearing out of his throat despite his best try—gritting his teeth until he thought they must be cracking under the pressure—to choke the sound. At home, he has a draw full of the dirtiest, most degrading pornography that he hates himself for keeping some days—unless he happens to be in bed and lonely and needing in which case he’s extremely glad he didn’t throw them out during his last bout of guilt fuelled house cleaning—women pulled and twisted into impossible positions with teary eyes and bruised mouths begging through wet lashes or sinking down onto impossibly large phalluses, and barely legal twinks with their tight arses up in the air and thighs spread impossibly wide, used stretched holes leaking come down their thighs, and none of that could possibly compare, could make him feel as filthy, wicked, depraved and turned on as what Ackles is doing to his body.

The cockring had been the first thing to go on: a too tight hold that’s both unbearable and delicious, making him whimper and sob with frustration every time Jensen’s clever hands or tongue tease him right to the brink and then disappear.

Jared’s shaking, out of his mind, begging and whimpering, covered in sweat that Jensen licks from the grooves and crevices of his body; the ticklish fold of his thigh and groin, over the curve of his shoulder and the tense line of his spine.

“You’ve caused a lot of trouble,” Jensen whispers into his ear. At some point, somewhere between the cockring and the lube sleek fingers pushing into him, Jensen has unbuttoned his shirt so that there’s a press of deliciously warm skin against Jared’s back when Jensen lowers him just enough so that he can rest comfortably against the desk, his feet slipping on the mess of greasy lube every time he tries for some sort of purchase. “I had to cut all ties with Senator Harris. Those were lucrative ties for me, Jared.”

“Oh God,” Jared moaned, delirious. Jensen was pressed tight against his back whispering in his ear and all Jared could do was to turn into him and breathe him in, because Jensen smelled delicious.

Jensen begins to speak again, the dry raspy voice too intimate, too kind in Jared’s ear, but his hands don’t stop moving, tracing, pinching, short nails dragging over trembling muscles leaving behind white lines that disappear too quickly, “I’ve had to ensure other customers that I’ve handled the situation,” cruels fingers wrapping around his cock, tugging once, twice and disappearing immediately when Jared’s hips buck into the touch invulnerably. Desperately. “They want action. They want assurances. I promised them I would handle it personally.”

“Let me guess,” Jared managed, “You’re gonna make an awful pun now. Spare me—ngh.”

Jensen tapped a finger against the base of the ridiculously pink, ribbed vibrator buried inside Jared, making him gasp. “You’ve got a clever mouth,” he said adjusting the dial on the vibrator and moving it, trying different angles, experimenting, smiling against Jared’s jaw. “You have no idea what you look like, so strung out and drying to come, so desperate you can’t even stop yourself from into my fist or down on my fingers like a little slut. But you’re still a mouthy little brat, glaring at me like you’d like nothing more than to see me—,”

“Flayed alive,” Jared said, “Front page news, fuck, with all the fucking dirty perverts—” and Jensen pressed the tip of the vibrator right against his prostate and held it there until Jared was a heartbeat away from coming before pulling it out of him and throwing it, still buzzing, carelessly aside.

“You need to remember Jared,” Jensen warned, all the teasing and warmth draining out of his voice until there was nothing left but the sharp ugly promise of real pain and danger that made Jared’s blood run cold, “You need to remember that you’ve fucked up and pissed off some very important people, the kind who won’t hesitate to take matters into their own hands and crush you. I own you now, Jared. Do you understand?”

Jared cursed, struggling to get away, to get free and smash Jensen’s face against the desk, or hold him down and fuck his throat raw and sore, teach him humiliation and humility, beat him until he’s bleeding and begging.

“You don’t own shit,” Jared spat, throwing his head back in a desperate hope that it would catch Jensen and make him hurt. But Jensen was quicker, and moving around the table already, leaving Jared cold and groaning with the lack of contact.

“Do you need to come yet?” Jensen teased, flicking a finger over the leaking head of Jared’s cock, rubbing against the sensitive head. “You ready to beg me for it?”

Jared groaned. “You’re a sick fuck.” But that didn’t stop him from pushing into Jensen’s hand, as needy and slutty as Jensen had accused him of being.

“I’ll give you a choice,” Jensen’s voice was deceptively soothing, just like the warm hand rubbing circles over Jared’s taunt belly. “You can tell me to stop and I’ll cut you down and let you go, or, you can beg me to make you come.”

Jared wanted to laugh at Jensen and spit in his face, tell him to stop and to let him go. But instead he found himself chewing his lips and still shaking, desperate for Jensen’s hands back on him.

When he choked out “Please” it felt like being ripped apart, like hot coal on his skin.

It felt like dying.

-------


There’s nothing like waking up with a splash of cold water and realising you’re tied to a chair—a really uncomfortable one at that, nothing like the nice cushy ergonomic chairs that the paper had invested in for all of it’s employees after a dozen or so people threatened to sue for damage to their posture (and in one memorable case, permanently damaging their chances of winning a beauty pageant)—to make you appreciate all your worst habits.

The sort of habits that have you ignoring all your friends for days if you’re working a job or not showing up to the office ‘cause you’re tailing someone. The sort of habits that mean no one is going to come looking for you for a few days yet while you sit in a cold room with nothing but bright lights on you and shadows swallowing up everything else around, trying not to work yourself up to a panic attack.

He tugs at the ties around his arms, testing them casually; there’s no give and his legs are spread and tied to the chair’s front legs. After a moment of careful but futile consideration Jared comes to the conclusion that his only option might be to fall over and roll around until the chair broke around him.

He’s not quite desperate enough to try that.

“Don’t bother.”

Jared doesn’t flinch, but it’s a close thing. The voice is familiar enough that Jared doesn’t have to wonder who it belongs to.

Ackles steps into the circles of light, shadows playing over the sharp angles of his face and the thick muscles of his arms where they’re crossed over his chest. It makes it impossible to ignore the guns at his hip and elbow.

He’s lost the jacket and he’s looking a rumple with his sleeves rolled up, top few buttons open, neck and collarbone exposed and vulnerable, and his hair rumpled like someone pulled him into bed and messed him up good and well.

Jared wants to find that someone, take him out back and beat him up. It’s all terribly irrational, but much better than the sudden surge of possessiveness Jared feels, wanting to put his mouth over the bared curve of Ackles’ neck and bite down.

“The knots won’t give,” Ackles assures him with a razor sharp smile. “You’ll only hurt yourself.”

“Thanks for the advice. But I’ll take my chances,” Jared grinned, rolled his shoulders casually and looked up at Ackles from under his fringe. “Is this your idea of a date, because you seriously didn’t have to go to all this trouble.”

“I was afraid you’d stand me up,” Ackles said, moving to stand behind Jared, hands warm and dry on Jared’s shoulder. He leaned down and said “This way, I’m guaranteed a captive audience.”

Jared shivered, Ackles’ breath tickling his ear and his thumbs brushing gently against Jared’s neck. The touch was gentle and uncomfortably intimate.

“That was kind of lame,” he said, trying to jerk away. “You need better material.”

“You’re almost as funny as you think you are.” Ackles’ fingers dig in suddenly, not enough to hurt, just to warn and Jared’s body tenses in response. He can’t see Ackles and it makes him nervous in a way that waking up tied to a chair in some dark room doesn’t. Ackles is dangerous, all feline grace and a pretty face that’s distracting. It doesn’t help that Jared’s beginning to put together three months of research and hiding outside shady clubs taking pictures of thick necked drug dealers, arms dealers and skinny prostitutes, and coming with Ackles in the background arranging everything, taking cuts and probably running a few deals of his own.

“I’d spend all night playing with you, but I really don’t have the time.”

“Really?” Jared drawls, “What a shame.”

A dry thumb swipes casually over Jared’s lower lip. “It really is,” Ackles says moving to face Jared again, “I’d have enjoyed taking my time with you. But there are things I need to ask you, Jared,” and Jared shivers again, just hearing Ackles say his name like that, all low and raspy and so close Jared can smell cologne and whiskey, “And I need honest answers.”

“I promise I’ll be a good, honest boy,” Jared says dryly. It might have something to do with the grin on his face or the sarcasm in his tone, but Jared doesn’t think Ackles believes him.
------


The first syringe Ackles injects him with makes the lights flare up and the room spin. Jared shouts and spits and curses, pulls at his arms trying to break away, but Ackles touches him carefully, rubs soothingly circles over Jared’s chest with the meat of his palm and murmurs nonsense until the panic fades.

“You’re a fucking arsehole, Ackles,” Jared hissed, because Ackles’ eyes are just as pretty when there’s three pairs of them, and that’s just not fair.

“My name’s Jensen,” Ackles says and Jared’s too busy trying not to throw up to tell him to fuck off because he doesn’t care.

The second syringe makes the nausea fade until everything is smooth and gliding from one moment to the next. Sweat pools between Jared’s shoulder blades and trickles down his back, but everything feels so good, and Jensen’s there smelling delicious and touching him.

Jared let’s his head loll back, “Jensen’s a pretty name,” he whispers.

The third syringe goes in syrupy sweet and sits under his skin with a soft glow and steady buzz. Jared knows he’s too fucked up to do much, but that’s okay, he can’t remember why he was so angry before anyway. Jared’s dick’s hard and Jensen’s there, goddamn hottest thing Jared’s ever seen whispering in his ear and touching his face.

“The rest of the photos, Jared. Where are they?”

Jared tries to think, to remember, but he’s got lots of photos and he’s not sure which ones Jensen wants. And then Jensen licks his lips like he’s feeling too hot too, and Jared says “Blow me,” ‘cause it feels like the right thing to do.

Jensen laughs, and it’s a nice sound. Jared likes the way it makes him feel warm like he’s lying in the sun. “Maybe later,” Jensen says, “When you can actually appreciate it.”

“Could appreciate it now,” Jared whines, but all he gets is another soft laugh and more questions.

Later, Jensen unties the ropes around his arms and legs and helps him stand.

“Fuck, you’re heavy,” Jensen says, and Jared’s pretty sure they’re swaying a little.

“I’mma big boy,” He says and tries to help, but his feets aren’t cooperating.

Jensen snorts, “Yeah, I know,” and for some reason Jared feels kind of angry about that. Angry enough to push against Jensen until the both of them stumble around and bump into a wall. Nice, solid, Jared thinks and keeps Jensen pinned there.

He says “I wanna kiss you,” and leans in, misses Jensen’s mouth and ends up sucking at his neck instead.

“Jared,” Jensen says, choked, like he’s in pain and breathing hard. Jared wants to stop and see what the problem is, but there’s a spider web of wantneednow humming just under his skin. He’s dizzy with Jensen’s scent. He wants to rut against Jensen’s belly until he comes, wants to suck and kiss and bruise Jensen’s neck like some sort of primitive marking ritual.

A Jerk of his hips and a scrape of his teeth and Jensen moans. After that, Jared can’t stop himself, hips pushing and rubbing against hard belly, Jared wraps one hand around Jensen’s shoulder, the other in his hair tilting his head to the side so that Jared can get to his neck and do as much damage as he wants, and rides it out.

When he comes, he let’s his teeth sink into Jensen’s shoulder, happy and giddy, and weak kneed.

Things get a little fuzzy after that.

Jared wakes up in his own bed, naked under crisp clean sheets that he didn’t remember making the bed with, head pounding and his stomach covered in dried come.

------


As desperately as he wants to crawl back under the covers and hide until the sun isn’t so bright or his head stops trying to crawl off his shoulders, Jared forces himself out of bed and staggers towards the bathroom.

There are marks on him; rings of red around his wrists and elbows, three needle marks inside his arm, one deeper and angrier than the others. Jared remembers fighting that first needle and feeling it sink under his skin with angry helplessness even while he tried to twist away.

Worse than that he remembers Ackles, remembers lust and wanting, not caring and taking, Ackles up against the wall, eyes wide with shock and cheeks flushed with heat (with want, Jared knows, but he’s not ready to deal with that just yet). The surge of yes, fuck yes and victory when he came, spilling all over—

On his knees, clutching the toilet, Jared can’t stop himself from being sick.

---------

Ackles or his army of trained monkeys in designer suits have searched through Jared’s belongings, probably looking for memory chips and photos. And it’s not the ruined remained of Jared’s apartment that gives them away; rather, it’s that someone has cleaned the place and organised everything (including the spices in the spice rack Jared’s sister gave him as a gag gift when he moved into the apartment, alphabetically), stacked away all the games and DVDs that used to litter the space in front of the television.

They even washed the dirty dishes Jared had left in the sink and left them to dry.

Jared feels dizzyingly detached from reality, confused and—

There’s a note on the fridge, tapped under a magnet proudly declaring I’m not slutty, I believe in providing love to the masses in gaudy bright pink.

Jared, the note reads, you should learn to take better care of yourself.

It’s signed J , simple and terrifying with the implication that they’re intimate enough to be on a first name bases—hell first initial basis like high school kids passing notes with hearts and smiley faces and dumb messages like do you like me? and two boxed labelled yes and no.

“Fucker,” Jared mutters, and already, there’s anger burning, making him think and plan and plot. He knows enough about Ackles to fuck him up, files at the office that wouldn’t take long to put together. Hell, now that he knows for sure that Ackles is linked into all the illegal shit that go on in his clubs all he needs is a little proof, of the photographic kind, and he will have Ackles burning and running from the mobs in twelve inches or less.

Harris could probably use a new cover story to jerk off too, and Jared’s entirely too vivid memory of rubbing off against Ackles like a horny teenager (or really eager dog) has him embarrassed and horrified in equal enough parts that nothing but the bloodiest, messiest sort of revenge is going to satisfy.

When he opens the fridge door to grab a beer, a salute to his own genius and imminent triumph over all men evil and pretty and green-eyed, and—

—stops, daydreams fading abruptly.

The half dozen boxes and leftover takeaway foods are gone, with the beer and cheesy fingers and the jar of mystery goop that Jared had been nurturing for months, all fuzzy grey-green mold that he had grown terribly attached to. In their stead there were vegetables, and fruits; pretty pink apples sitting next to carrots and capsicums and bottles of sparkling water and 100% Natural fruit juices.

The memory chip he’d hidden under the expired milk carton was also conspicuously absent.

------------

------------


“I don’t like this,” Harris said, “I really don’t.”

Jared wasn’t surprised, the man looked like he hadn’t slept, or you know, left the office all weekend. His hair was a mess there were coffee stains on his shirt and half a dozen shaving cuts all over his face and neck. Sooner or later someone was going to have him pose for the cover of a self-help book aimed at middle-aged men heading head first into a midlife crisis.

Jared would have felt sorry for him, maybe tuned his article into a tearjerker with sobbing witnesses and stunned police officers (instead of a drunk witness and police officers too jaded with reality to really be stunned by anything any more) and not spent an hour researching various forms of mold for his next article, except that there was that whole thing where he’d been kidnapped and drugged and had drunk one-sided sex with his kidnapper. Not to mention the fact that Ackles’ idea of cleaning included reorganising Jared’s sock draw.

And, you know, the stolen memory chip, but Jared had gotten over that after two hours spent trashing his apartment and ruining all of Ackles’ handiwork. Jared wanted revenge. Wanted to sink his teeth into someone and pull the information he wanted out of them.

“Well,” Jared began dryly, “Child murder is hardly a likable topic.”

Harris glared up at him over the computer screen. “You’re not funny Padalecki.”

Jared forced a grin. He’d been there when they’d taken away the little girls body, so small under the bulk of the black body bag. No matter how many sodas he drank of pieces of gum he chewed, he could still taste bile. “I thought it was at least a little witty.”

“I expected better after your disappearing act over the weekend. I thought you were chasing something worth printing. Not this crap. The Times is probably going to have better coverage with sobbing witnesses and police statements.”

“There weren’t any sobbing witnesses. No one saw what happened. The mother isn’t talking, the father is in California with his mistress and the police statements won’t be hard to get a hold of; they haven’t actually stopped congratulating themselves for catching the guy.”

Harris grunts, but for the most part, seemed mollified for the moment. “Nothing with prostitutes?” he asked, a little maudlin.

Jared caught himself before he could roll his eyes. Harris’ obsession was beginning to boarder on the unhealthy. Jared wasn’t sure if there was a very expensive little retreat where editors with sick twisted needs could disappear to for rehab. He figured a few weeks without bad coffee and decent sleep might actually do the guy some good.

“If it makes you feel any better, I’m certain that somewhere in this city someone important is doing something very wrong and very dirty—” dirty, like pushing Ackles up against the wall and humping his hip, coming in his pants with Ackles cooing encouragements in his ear. He felt dizzy and too warm with the rush of heat accompanying the memory. “and, um. We’ll catch them. Eventually.”

Harris didn’t even bother to look at him. “Whatever. Get the fuck out and get me something better than a sob story. ”

--------------

The thing is, Jared would love to get on with it and find a good story. The problem is that he’s been busy thinking about Ackles all morning, bouncing between furious and horney so fast he’s caught is a state of constant confusion where he’s not sure which emotion is causing the current rush of heat through his body.

More than anything, he wants the chance to get his hands around Ackles’ neck and choke the life out of him. Slowly. He wants that as badly as he wants to figure out how the fuck Ackles knew he’d be at the docks on Friday night and the sort of heavy weight he must have influenced to move the meeting that was supposed to take place to a different time or place. Jared feels cheated and wronged—and not just because of the drugging the well, other stuff—because somewhere along the line someone’s sold him out.

He spends an hour researching a story on killer mold in an attempt to calm himself down (and not because he might be missing the mold he had growing in the mystery jar).

“Jesus kid,” Detective ABC swears when Jared’s finally clear minded enough to call him. “Where the fuck’ve you been?”

“You wouldn’t believe me,” Jared said.

“Why the hell didn’t you call to say you were alright? I’ve spent the last two days waiting for you bloody body to show up somewhere.”

“It was a bust.” Jared says, absently knitting a couple of stray paper clips into a colourful chain, “There was no meeting. No one showed up. Your information was wrong.”

There’s a moment of silence and then ABC says “Well. The snitch got a free dinner out of it at least.”

“Yeah. Well. Look, I need a favour. I’ll owe you.”

“Kid, you owe me for so many favours you’ll be handing over your fifth born as well.”

Jared grinned. ABC had three kids already. Three very loud, very curious little boys who liked to hide to avoid bedtime and used their food as arsenal during nightly food wars that were probably re-enactments of some great battle or other. Even the littlest who’d been in and out of hospital for years could run circles around Jared and leave him crying frustrated tears and crying himself to sleep. Jared figured his offspring were safe; ABC had enough on his plate as it was.

“I need you to get me some stuff on Jensen Ackles.”

“God dammed Jared,” ABC hissed unhappily, “I told you not to fuck with that guy. He’s bad news. The last person who went after Ackles ended up with all her homemade porn on the internet. Just drop it.”

“Please?” Jared begged, trying to keep the whine out of his voice. “I’m not going to go after guy,” Not directly anyway. He’d be quiet and sneak and maybe catch Ackles buried balls deep in something underage or furry and four legged, sniffing line after line of white powder. It would be the expose of the year. It would be awesome. “I’m just curious.”

“Jared,” ABC warned, all too familiar with Jared’s promises and how he tended not to keep them.

“Look, you might as well give me what I want so I can put my curiosity to ease, ‘cause the alternative is for me to go snooping around again,” which might have resulted in further drug induced interrogation that Jared only had the vaguest, foggiest memories of, but was certain he did not want to repeat.

“You’re a manipulative little bastard,” ABC growled and hung up.

Smiling, Jared went back to writing about killer mold. If he really stretched it out, he’d probably be able to make a good eight inches out of it.

Heh, maybe he could even send some off to Ackles.

-----------------

Jared’s killer mold story goes over surprisingly well, which means Harris only threw an empty cup at him while screaming prostitutes and drugs like some sort of raving zombie with wide eyes and foamy drool running down its chin crying for brains. It doesn’t stop Harris from printing the story, but Jared’s pretty sure his days are going to be numbered if he doesn’t get something good and juicy soon.

The e-mail from ABC on Ackles is disappointingly short and very uninspiring when Jared finally gets around to reading it: trust fund baby, Harvard MBA (because it figures that Ackles would be the sort of bastard with brains, who’s written papers on the three most efficient ways to make your opposition crumble and beg you for mercy), took over a few clubs and other businesses when his great uncle passed away.

On paper he’s clean, except for a few driving related offences when he was seventeen, all in the four months following his parents’ deaths in a freak sailing accident, so the little smudges don’t actually make Jared feel any better.

Other than that Jensen Ackles is a model citizen who owns a few successful businesses, pays his taxes, donates to charities and even helped setup a sports and nutrition program for under privileged children and youths.

Even google isn’t much help, offering a few society articles and pictures of Ackles with very pretty women hanging on his arm, smiling for the cameras. Jared stops reading after the fifth article about Ackles’ virtues because he needs a coffee and a doughnut. The fact that google isn’t giving him what he wants is terribly disturbing and skewering his world views.

There’s a lot of excitement once he makes it back to the office, an ambulance and EMTs taking someone away on a stretcher. Someone in legal probably decided they just couldn’t take it anymore. It happened a lot more often than anyone was comfortable admitting too.

Jared’s barely made it out of the elevator when Harris is on him. “You’re covering the Business Charity Ball tonight.”

Jared blinked, “What about Morgan? She hasn’t eaten in like three days to get into her dress. She’ll kill me.” His stomach growling and twisting with something very close to foreboding.

Harris snorted. “I’ll kill her first. She just passed out. Had to get her to the hospital. I swear by tomorrow The Times is going to be writing articles about our abused, underfed staff. And find a decent suit Padalecki.”


------------


“I don’t like this,” Harris said, “I really don’t.”

Jared wasn’t surprised, the man looked like he hadn’t slept, or you know, left the office all weekend. His hair was a mess there were coffee stains on his shirt and half a dozen shaving cuts all over his face and neck. Sooner or later someone was going to have him pose for the cover of a self-help book aimed at middle-aged men heading head first into a midlife crisis.

Jared would have felt sorry for him, maybe tuned his article into a tearjerker with sobbing witnesses and stunned police officers (instead of a drunk witness and police officers too jaded with reality to really be stunned by anything any more) and not spent an hour researching various forms of mold for his next article, except that there was that whole thing where he’d been kidnapped and drugged and had drunk one-sided sex with his kidnapper. Not to mention the fact that Ackles’ idea of cleaning included reorganising Jared’s sock draw.

And, you know, the stolen memory chip, but Jared had gotten over that after two hours spent trashing his apartment and ruining all of Ackles’ handiwork. Jared wanted revenge. Wanted to sink his teeth into someone and pull the information he wanted out of them.

“Well,” Jared began dryly, “Child murder is hardly a likable topic.”

Harris glared up at him over the computer screen. “You’re not funny Padalecki.”

Jared forced a grin. He’d been there when they’d taken away the little girls body, so small under the bulk of the black body bag. No matter how many sodas he drank of pieces of gum he chewed, he could still taste bile. “I thought it was at least a little witty.”

“I expected better after your disappearing act over the weekend. I thought you were chasing something worth printing. Not this crap. The Times is probably going to have better coverage with sobbing witnesses and police statements.”

“There weren’t any sobbing witnesses. No one saw what happened. The mother isn’t talking, the father is in California with his mistress and the police statements won’t be hard to get a hold of; they haven’t actually stopped congratulating themselves for catching the guy.”

Harris grunts, but for the most part, seemed mollified for the moment. “Nothing with prostitutes?” he asked, a little maudlin.

Jared caught himself before he could roll his eyes. Harris’ obsession was beginning to boarder on the unhealthy. Jared wasn’t sure if there was a very expensive little retreat where editors with sick twisted needs could disappear to for rehab. He figured a few weeks without bad coffee and decent sleep might actually do the guy some good.

“If it makes you feel any better, I’m certain that somewhere in this city someone important is doing something very wrong and very dirty—” dirty, like pushing Ackles up against the wall and humping his hip, coming in his pants with Ackles cooing encouragements in his ear. He felt dizzy and too warm with the rush of heat accompanying the memory. “and, um. We’ll catch them. Eventually.”

Harris didn’t even bother to look at him. “Whatever. Get the fuck out and get me something better than a sob story. ”

--------------

The thing is, Jared would love to get on with it and find a good story. The problem is that he’s been busy thinking about Ackles all morning, bouncing between furious and horney so fast he’s caught is a state of constant confusion where he’s not sure which emotion is causing the current rush of heat through his body.

More than anything, he wants the chance to get his hands around Ackles’ neck and choke the life out of him. Slowly. He wants that as badly as he wants to figure out how the fuck Ackles knew he’d be at the docks on Friday night and the sort of heavy weight he must have influenced to move the meeting that was supposed to take place to a different time or place. Jared feels cheated and wronged—and not just because of the drugging the well, other stuff—because somewhere along the line someone’s sold him out.

He spends an hour researching a story on killer mold in an attempt to calm himself down (and not because he might be missing the mold he had growing in the mystery jar).

“Jesus kid,” Detective ABC swears when Jared’s finally clear minded enough to call him. “Where the fuck’ve you been?”

“You wouldn’t believe me,” Jared said.

“Why the hell didn’t you call to say you were alright? I’ve spent the last two days waiting for you bloody body to show up somewhere.”

“It was a bust.” Jared says, absently knitting a couple of stray paper clips into a colourful chain, “There was no meeting. No one showed up. Your information was wrong.”

There’s a moment of silence and then ABC says “Well. The snitch got a free dinner out of it at least.”

“Yeah. Well. Look, I need a favour. I’ll owe you.”

“Kid, you owe me for so many favours you’ll be handing over your fifth born as well.”

Jared grinned. ABC had three kids already. Three very loud, very curious little boys who liked to hide to avoid bedtime and used their food as arsenal during nightly food wars that were probably re-enactments of some great battle or other. Even the littlest who’d been in and out of hospital for years could run circles around Jared and leave him crying frustrated tears and crying himself to sleep. Jared figured his offspring were safe; ABC had enough on his plate as it was.

“I need you to get me some stuff on Jensen Ackles.”

“God dammed Jared,” ABC hissed unhappily, “I told you not to fuck with that guy. He’s bad news. The last person who went after Ackles ended up with all her homemade porn on the internet. Just drop it.”

“Please?” Jared begged, trying to keep the whine out of his voice. “I’m not going to go after guy,” Not directly anyway. He’d be quiet and sneak and maybe catch Ackles buried balls deep in something underage or furry and four legged, sniffing line after line of white powder. It would be the expose of the year. It would be awesome. “I’m just curious.”

“Jared,” ABC warned, all too familiar with Jared’s promises and how he tended not to keep them.

“Look, you might as well give me what I want so I can put my curiosity to ease, ‘cause the alternative is for me to go snooping around again,” which might have resulted in further drug induced interrogation that Jared only had the vaguest, foggiest memories of, but was certain he did not want to repeat.

“You’re a manipulative little bastard,” ABC growled and hung up.

Smiling, Jared went back to writing about killer mold. If he really stretched it out, he’d probably be able to make a good eight inches out of it.

Heh, maybe he could even send some off to Ackles.

-----------------

Jared’s killer mold story goes over surprisingly well, which means Harris only threw an empty cup at him while screaming prostitutes and drugs like some sort of raving zombie with wide eyes and foamy drool running down its chin crying for brains. It doesn’t stop Harris from printing the story, but Jared’s pretty sure his days are going to be numbered if he doesn’t get something good and juicy soon.

The e-mail from ABC on Ackles is disappointingly short and very uninspiring when Jared finally gets around to reading it: trust fund baby, Harvard MBA (because it figures that Ackles would be the sort of bastard with brains, who’s written papers on the three most efficient ways to make your opposition crumble and beg you for mercy), took over a few clubs and other businesses when his great uncle passed away.

On paper he’s clean, except for a few driving related offences when he was seventeen, all in the four months following his parents’ deaths in a freak sailing accident, so the little smudges don’t actually make Jared feel any better.

Other than that Jensen Ackles is a model citizen who owns a few successful businesses, pays his taxes, donates to charities and even helped setup a sports and nutrition program for under privileged children and youths.

Even google isn’t much help, offering a few society articles and pictures of Ackles with very pretty women hanging on his arm, smiling for the cameras. Jared stops reading after the fifth article about Ackles’ virtues because he needs a coffee and a doughnut. The fact that google isn’t giving him what he wants is terribly disturbing and skewering his world views.

There’s a lot of excitement once he makes it back to the office, an ambulance and EMTs taking someone away on a stretcher. Someone in legal probably decided they just couldn’t take it anymore. It happened a lot more often than anyone was comfortable admitting too.

Jared’s barely made it out of the elevator when Harris is on him. “You’re covering the Business Charity Ball tonight.”

Jared blinked, “What about Morgan? She hasn’t eaten in like three days to get into her dress. She’ll kill me.” His stomach growling and twisting with something very close to foreboding.

Harris snorted. “I’ll kill her first. She just passed out. Had to get her to the hospital. I swear by tomorrow The Times is going to be writing articles about our abused, underfed staff. And find a decent suit Padalecki.”

--

Contrary to Harris’ implications, Jared does own a decent suit. The problem is that in a room full of designer or custom-made-in-Italy suits, he can’t help but look a little, well cheap and shabby.

On the other hand, the pants do wonderful things for his arse and works as a great diversionary tactic. He even manages to get his little camera in with him, which is great because he’s already got pictures to three members of the Chamber of Commerce groping people who are not their spouses.

Also, there’s free alcohol; Jared plans on gathering all the information he needs before the self-congratulating speeches begin so that he can numb himself with alcohol. There are some things that man was not meant to bear. Rich people applauding each other made it pretty high up on that list.

But under it all, Jared’s a good reporter, and despite the fact that he's not too thrilled about covering what should essentially be a society column, he’s not going to let Harris down by writing a bogus story that’ll get them mocked. So he speaks to a few people, makes nice, let’s drunk older woman pat his bottom and takes notes.

“I didn’t expect to see you here.”

Jared tenses. Ackles.

It’s not just the quiet husky voice that he recognises. There’s Ackles’ scent that Jared doesn’t want to be able to recognise, the warmth of a body too close—and not many people would have cause or the audacity to stand so close, too close, especially considering, well, everything.

“What are you doing here?” he snaps when Ackles appears beside him, one hand in his pocket, the other nursing the glass of something definitely stronger than the champaign Jared’s been forced to nurse and sip at politely and enthierly too relaxed for Jared’s liking.

Ackles actually looks better than Jared remembers, suit fitted around broad shoulders and narrow hips—Jared suspects the man was sewn into it by the tailor he probably keeps at hand—green tie matching his eyes a little too well to be a coincidence and just the hint of a purple smudge against his throat, peeking up shyly from under the pristine white of his collar.

Jared feels a wave of shame and want wash over him at the sight. He can almost remember sucking the bruise there, warm skin tasting like salt under his mouth.

He wants to put his mouth on the little mark and suck and bite until it’s bigger, the article and consequences be dammed.

“I’ve paid five thousand dollars for a really back chicken dinner and the privilege of listening to some very interesting speeches and later, if I’ve consumed just the right amount of alcohol to dull my better senses, I’ll bid on an ugly two hundred year-old vase.” Jensen smiled, smirked, the smug fucker, looking Jared uo=p and down. “You on the other hand, you being here is a surprise and a pleasant one at that.”

“You fucking bastard,” Jared hissed and put his glass down before he snapped it the way he wanted to snap Ackles’ neck. “I should fucking report you.”

“Now now,” Ackles purred, leaning closer, “I thought you had a rather good time.”

Jared hates the way heat flushes to his face. “Fuck. You. I would take you out back and beat the shit out of you. You drugged me. You were in my home, you sick bastard. You had no right!”

Ackles laughed at that. “Come on Jared. No need to be violent. We both got what we wanted—” Jared didn’t let him finish, just grabbed Ackles’ wrist, tight enough that he could feel muscles and trapped bones under his hand. He squeezed harder, watched with a sick sort of satisfaction as Ackles’ eyes widened, the rest of him perfectly still and unaffected—or feigning pretty damn well.

“Jared,” Ackles licked his lips, “Jared I have bodyguards who’re going to make it over here is thirty seconds if you don’t let go.”

“Guess you’re not as badass as you think,” Jared growled, but let Ackles’ wrist drop.

“You have no idea what you’re talking about Jared.” Ackles said darkly, eyes narrowed. He was rubbing his wrist discreetly, body half turned towards Jared to hide him from the rest of the room. Jared wondered if there were going to be finger shaped bruises under Ackles cuffs the next morning. Something dark and possessive inside him wanted to see them, even while a part of him recoils and wants to run away in the face of Ackles’ cold fury. “I should have ended you.” I should have ruined you, killed you Jared hears, and it chills him, because he knows that Ackles isn’t joking.

“I’m going to catch you one day. I’ll destroy you and leave you to rot in jail.”

Ackles smiled. It was almost warm. “You’re so naïve.”

“Don’t patronise me.” Jared hissed.

“I’m not. But you’re too blind to even see what’s happening around you. You think a few lucky shots of people who were never very good with discretion to begin with means you can go against anyone? They were small fish Jared.” Ackles insists, “There are people who will use you and destroy you before you even know what’s going on.” With that, he turned, heading back into the crowd

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Jared asked, wanting to reaching out and grab Ackles again.

“It means look after your self, Jared,” Ackles threw over his shoulder, before disappearing into the mass of expensively dressed bodies, leaving Jared to try and make sense of the sudden sense of loss he felt.

----------------

There are very few upsides to covering a charity ball. One of them was that one would inevitably bump into a fellow reporter who was equally bored with the function and there to keep you on your feet and out of trouble when you’d had too much to drink.

It didn’t hurt if the Daily Sun reporter currently keeping you on your feet was also one of your close friends.

“I can’t believe someone actually paid for that,” Chad said, which was really an indication that money did not equal good taste. Chad had no taste and even he seemed to be appalled by some of the things people were buying.

“I dunno,” Jared slurs a little, scanning the crowd for Ackles’ head. “That bust was kinda cool.”

“The guy was dead Jared. Why would you want a dead guy’s head sitting in your hallway?”

“Huh, didn’t think about that. Here, hold this,” he said pushing his near empty glass at Chad. “I need to go piss.”

“I didn’t need to know that.” Chad grumbled. Jared shrugged. He’d heard Chad say worse.

Jared has a small problem with fancy bathrooms when he’s drunk—he thinks people are watching and judging him and the guy who stands there giving out towels flat out freaks him out, so Jared makes his way through the servers entrance and looks for a staff bathroom that’s bound to be severely utilitarian; all bright white walls and buzzing halogen lights.

He’s just stumbling down a corridor that a very pretty server had pointed him towards when he notices one man on the floor, another two bent over him and—

“Hey,” Jared yelled, walking faster and grabbing his camera, “Hey, get off of him.”

The two men looked up, alarmed by the camera flash, then took off, running down and disappearing behind a wall.

The man they’d left on the floor was bleeding, his shirt almost soaked through and his face bruised. He knelt down beside the man while he pulled out his phone to call for help. “C’mon buddy,” he urged, tapping the man’s face, “You’ve gotta stay with me.”

He wasn’t expecting the man to grab his arm and push something into his hand. “You have to. Help,” he man said urgently.

Jared looked at the two gig flashdrive the man had pushed at him. It was slippery with blood. “Sure buddy. But how about you hang on to that until you’re better,” Jared said, trying to push it back into the man’s hand, but he just shook his head. “Get that to Jensen Ackles. Please,” and fell unconscious.

Jared cursed, likely pissing off the little voice in his ear asking him what the emergency was.

His life couldn’t possibly get any more screwed up than this.
--


He should destroy the flash drive. This is what Jared’s instincts tell him to do all morning while he sits in the office finishing off his article for the Wednesday entertainment special, the drive waiting like hot coal in his pocket.

It wouldn’t take much. An accident with a brick. A little lighter fluid and careless disposal of a matchstick. If it’s important to Ackles Jared should have no trouble at all getting rid of it, if only for a little payback.

But then he feels kind of like a douche ‘cause the guy was hurt and bleeding and really fucking desperate when he pushed the damn thing at Jared.

So instead, Jared settles for duplicating the files and wiping the drive. Let Ackles sweat a little before he can get to whatever was so important that some poor guy got the life beaten out of him for it.

He considers marching into Ackles’ office at Sion and dropping the drive off, but he probably wouldn’t get past Ackles’ security. Besides, that wouldn’t prove anything beyond the fact that Jared’s an idiot who happens to know which office Ackles prefers to spend his time in.

Dropping it off at Ackles’ apartment on the other hand, while slightly stalkerish and creepy, is an idea that has merit. Ackles seems to be terribly possessive of his private information and Jared has to do some slightly illegal things—like abuse ABC’s user name and password (that he knows by accidentally looking while ABC was typing it in) to check a few data bases. Ackles knows where Jared lives. He’s been inside Jared’s apartment and touched Jared’s things. It’s only fair if Jared gets to return a little bit of the favour.

-----------

“Package for Mr.Ackles?”

Ackles’ apartment is a lot less than Jared had expects. It’s downtown in a new shiny building with a pool and gym and heart stopping price tag, but disappointingly, there are no armed guards or retina scans necessary to get through the front door. Just an old man at the front desk, maybe with some sort of silent alarm button in case of emergencies.

Still, Jared gives the man his most charming smile. They guy might turn out to be retired special services or something and decide to break Jared’s arm just for the sake of it.

“You can leave it with me. I’ll put it with his mail.”

Jared hands the envelope over, feeling oddly dissatisfied. He didn’t even get to manipulate anyone. Ackles is never going to think he’s awesome.

------------

He’s barely stepped out of Ackles building when his phone rings.

“Jared,” ABC doesn’t even wait for him to answer, “I sweat to God if you’ve done what I think you’ve done—”

“Hold, what is it you think I’ve done? ‘Cause between having breakfast and this very moment in time, I’ve done several things.”

“You used my password you little shit. I’ve a mind to put you over my knee and teach you a lesson. What the hell were you thinking?”

“I just needed some information.” Jared said.

“On Ackles?” ABC snapped, disbelieving. “Does this have anything to do with that guy at the charity thing last night?”

“You heard about that?”

“Jared, your name shows up on a witness statement, people let me know. Now, what the fuck were you doing snooping around?”

Jared sighed. ABC was so short sighted. “The guy gave me flash drive. Said it was for Ackles. I was just looking for an address.”

“Jared,” ABC cursed, “Tell me you haven’t given the damn thing to Ackles.”

Well, technically, he hadn’t. The drive he’d dropped off was wiped and all the data was still on Jared’s computer. “No.”

“Good. Just. Just stay out of this Jared.”

Twenty minutes later a black limousine pulls up next to Jared, and he’s encouraged, not so subtly by three men with guns to get in.

------------


Jared spits blood out of his mouth. “Fuck you,” he says, mouth bruised and sore, but stubbornly defiant.

The guy in front of him smiles; it’s ugly, yellow with tobacco stains and almost split by the scar running over the man’s mouth, cheek to chin across his face. Just looking at him makes Jared sick.

They’ve been at this for what feels like hours. Questions, questions, physical violence, demands, promises and more physical violence. There’s a certain lack of creativity at work here and that makes them predictable. Jared likes predictable people. It’s easy to taunt them and get under their skin. Jared’s got a talent for that sort of thing.

Not that his talent is doing him much good just now.

Ugly makes a show of pulling on a set of brass knuckles, all gleaming metal and symbols carved into it like some sort of prison or gang tattoo. A part of Jared is actually curious enough to want a closer look, to see if he can decipher who he’s dealing with here, even while the saner part of him with the functional survival instinct flinches at the promise of pain.

“Could make this real easy for you,” Ugly says, gets right in close until he can lick at Jared’s throat. Jared pulls away and tries to kick out but the way he’s tied with his hands high over his head and his feet barely touching the ground, it’s tough. He doesn’t even try to hide his disgust, much to Ugly’s amusement. “I just wanna know where you’ve hidden the drive that little snitch gave ya. No reason for me to mess a up pretty thing like you, we could have ourselves a grand old time.”

Jared’s feelings on the matter where best surmised in the bloody spit he aimed at Ugly’s face. Ugly didn’t disappoint, the punch to the gut left Jared winded and sobbing for air, little metallic teeth digging into helpless flesh and bruising deep. At least Ugly wasn’t going for the kidneys.

“Shame,” Ugly spat, wiping at his face and punching Jared again just for goo measure. “We could have had some sweet fun.”

Jared snorted. “I really don’t think so,” he wheezed.

“Guess after you’ve had a piece of arse like Ackles, nothing else can compare, eh?” Ugly leered, sticking his tongue out of his mouth and shaking his head like a mad dog to the amusement and laughter of the other men in the room.

Jared catches himself before he starts to growl or tries to take off Ugly’s head in some sort of misled possessive rage. Ackles means nothing to him—should mean nothing to him—but Jared can’t help but feel. Well. Possessive. And it makes him a little queasy to hear Ugly talk about him that way, like Ackles is a whore in a village bar (when all Jared sees is Jensen with the pretty eyes and freckles and his soft kissable mouth).

Ugly laughs “Bet he moans real sweet when he gives up that tight arse of his.”

The scrap of his teeth against smooth pale skin, pink lips caught in the shape of an O, a surprised moan and Jensen’s eyes fluttering for just a moment, Jared blinks the memory away, “You’ll never know, will you?” he says wearing his best shit eating smile, daring Ugly to do his worse and feeling unreasonably gleeful about the fact that Ugly will certainly never get the chance to know what Ackles sounds like.

Ugly puts one meaty paw on his shoulder to keep him still and drives his fist into Jared’s belly again. “Don’t get smart with me boy.”

“Then stop being delusional, arsehole,” Jared mutters, “It’s unhealthy. Next thing you know voices are telling you to set yourself on fire. Huh. You hearing anything like that?”

It earns him a backhand, and a split lip, sharp pain and more blood in his mouth but the look on Ugly’s face is sort of worth it. Jared spits again, more blood on the marble floor.

“One of these days,” Ugly growls with the vindictive anger of every high school kid who never got asked to the dance and plotted to takeover the world with robots, “He won’t be so high and mighty. Then, he’ll just be a play thing--”

He thinks of the cold calculation beneath Ackles’ smile the first time they met, the calm indifference when his men went a little too far with the roughing up, the drugs, the interrogation, the soft touch with the potential for cruelty just underneath.

“You have to forgive Edward.” A smooth voice filled the room, followed by the steady tap of feet. “He has a few problems keeping focused and on task.”

Ugly—Edward—hung his head, chastised. “My apologies, Mr. Welling. I was just—”

“Having a little fun,” Welling finished for him as he stepped up next to Edward, sharp black suit, brown hair swept back with too much gel and hard determined eyes that promised pain until he had what he wanted. What Jared found most disconcerting though was the whip he had coiled around his forearm. “Yes, I can see the appeal,” he said, pressing the whip’s handle under Jared’s chin and forcing his face from side to side.

“He says he’s destroyed the drive,” Edward spat, grin wide and feral. “I’m not willing to believe him.”

Welling tsked, taping Jared’s face once, before stepping back and handing the whip to Edward, who, if possible, smiled wider, nastier. “I hope for your sake Jared that you weren’t actually stupid enough to destroy that very important piece of data, and that you’re only suffering through all this,” he waved her hand around, probably to indicate his bound hands and raised arms rather than the ostentatiously decorated room, “because of some misplaced sense of loyalty.”

“I told you,” Jared insisted, “I destroyed it. It’s gone.”

“Dear boy,” Welling said, “I do hope you’re lying. Edward, if you would please.”

“What are you,” Jared begins, but then the first crack of the whip against his back makes him scream.

When it’s over, the pain faded back to something more manageable and his breathing almost back under control, Jared curses, swears he’s going to make Ackles pay for this, the son of a bitch.

“You know this whip was actually used to carry out punishments in the Kingdome of Saudi. Archaic laws, true, but they do know how to cause damage.”

“You’re sick sick little puppy,” Jared hissed, unimpressed.

“Edward,” Welling said, and this time, the whip cam down twice.

Jared hung limp, breathing hard, aborted screams still curled in his throat and shaking with the effort it took to breathe.

“I see we have to work on your manners.” Welling said amicably, “This might be the perfect opportunity for you to learn to bite your tongue.”

Jared grinned, “I can’t help it, I have something of a caustic tongue.”

Welling stepped around him, his hand sliding over Jared’s hips where his shirt had ridden up. “So you’re he’s new toy. I can see why he’s so taken with you.”

“You have no idea what you’re talking about,” Jared said. He was sick of all the bullshit. The last few days had been rough, and this was not helping. Jared felt so tired and used up he could barely find the energy to hold his head up. “I’m not his anything.”

“You know, I just can’t make up my mind what to do to you.” Welling purred, her nails digging in, “I’m thinking I could cut you up and send you back to Ackles in pieces. See how he feels about that.”

“Wow,” Jared deadpanned, law clenched tight in pain, “You really are insane.”

“Maybe,” Welling said, smiling. “Edward.”

This time the blows from the whip didn’t stop until Jared was unconscious.

----------------

Jared loathes to admit to being wrong, but when he wakes up and find himself naked and chained—no, seriously, chained like he’s in some sort of tacky medieval themed porn—to the ground, cold and uncomfortable on the cold concrete floor, Jared has to admit that maybe he should review his decision making process because this, is beginning to become a disturbing sort of habit.

He tries to move and ends up hissing in pain. His back hurts with the sort of pain that speaks of deep terrible damage that Jared really doesn’t want to think about.

He pulls at the chains around his wrists, again and again, hoping that eventually something will give. Not that freeing himself will be much help. He’s caged in, like some sort of animal, thick metal bars that he has no hope of squeezing past and a lock that he can’t pick. Further away, Jared could here the sound of footsteps walking up and down, standing guard.

There’s a moment of wretched helplessness, something beyond pain and frustration, and Jared slams his fists into the ground, feels the skin on his knuckles split and tear as warm tears fall down his cheeks. There’s a terrible noise trying to get free but he swallows it back until it’s a tiny whimper that doesn’t leave the stale damp air of his cell.

Everything’s hopeless, there’s a crazy man out there who wants something that Jared no longer has in his possession and there’s no way for anyone to know he’s been kidnapped (again) and come to his rescue.

He needs to get up, get out, needs not to die in here.

His back throbs in pain, mocking him.

-----------

The next time Jared wakes up through the foggy exhaustion that had followed the tears there’s shouting and gun fire.

Jared curls in around himself, knees pulled up to his chest, and lets his eyes fall shut again. He feels oddly safe in the knowledge that there is no feasible way for his current situation to deteriorate beyond being kidnapped, tortured and held prisoner, locked away in some dark, dank cell.

“Hey, wake up.”

Jared keeps him eyes closed, indifferent. Until he hears the metallic grind of a key and lock—then he’s up and scrambling away, eyes wide.

He expected Welling and his too pretty face, or Edward’s terrible smile. Instead there’s Ackles, gun in hand and splatter of blood across his shirt, which Jared decides is infinitely worse.

Ackles pulls the door open, tucking his gun back into its holster. “Come on then,” he says “What are you waiting for?”

Jared opens his mouth, an appropriately stinging retort on his tongue, but all that comes out is “You, what are you—” and a noise despairingly similar to a sob. Jared screws his eyes shut trying to gather his wits and when he opens them Ackles is kneeling in front of him.

“Give me your hands,” he says gently and Jared offers his bound wrists without hesitation. He suspects that he might be staring at Ackles with something close to adoration because Ackles’ own eyes are soft when they glance up to Jared’s. Jared makes a mental note so be unbearably insufferable and obnoxious as soon as he can put together a proper sentence.

When the chains are off Ackles helps him up, says “We don’t have much time, we need to go, now.”

“But,” Jared starts and Jensen doesn’t give him the chance to argue, just grabs his hand and drags him along. Jared stumbles and follows, averting his eyes fro the lifeless bodies littering the halls they move through, his heart pounding the whole time.

When they step outside he’s actually shocked by the rush of cold clean air cutting through the smell and of old sweat and fear.

----------------
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October 2013

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