grianchloch: (Jensen A)
grianchloch ([personal profile] grianchloch) wrote2012-11-01 06:29 am

Part Two

Part Two

Back to Part One


Show me your garden and I shall tell you what you are. - Alfred Austin

Jensen dusted, he mopped, he washed dishes. He cleaned out the hen coop, which was gross, and collected eggs, which were still warm. That made him smile until he realized that was because the hens had been sitting on them and he got grossed out again. He watered the vegetables nearest the house muttering “zone one my ass” under his breath, and fed the dogs, who followed him everywhere until he shooed them outside and wondered why he hadn’t trained them to be more obedient and do as they were told. He felt that would have been something he should have done a long time ago, even if he didn’t remember what kind of person he was.

He dried the dishes, and thankfully found a pair of gloves to wear before he tackled the bathroom. The he threw himself into sorting out the bedroom, folding up the clean clothes and sorting them into piles, and tossing the ones that clearly needed to be washed into another pile. He checked his list, and carried the dirty clothes out to the laundry, throwing them all in together and liberally sprinkling powder into the tub. He couldn’t remember ever doing laundry before, so it didn’t come as a huge surprise when the machine started oozing soap suds all over the floor. He sighed and left it alone to finish off, deciding he’d deal with the mess later.

The piles of clean clothes he’d left in the bedroom fitted surprisingly well into the closets, and as he was putting them away, he had a flash of a memory. Jared standing in front of a closet looking annoyed.

“Huh.” Jensen tried to force more of the memory to come back to him, but there was nothing else there.

His list of chores specifically said that he had to hang the clothes outside to dry, even though there was a perfectly suitable dryer next to the washing machine, so Jensen did as instructed, and hauled the laundry outside. He’d only gotten two of Jared’s shirts pinned onto the line when Caruso loped into the yard, followed by the rest of the pack, who knocked the laundry basket over and trailed the clothes through the dirt.

“Fuck!!” Jensen yelled, and chased them around trying to get the clothes back. The dogs thought it was a great game, and dodged out of his way until he skidded to a halt and screamed “Enough!”

The pack stopped running about and looked at him.

“Down.” He said sternly, surprised when Mitch lay down on his belly and looked up at him. “Good dog.” Jensen praised him, and bent down to scratch behind his ear.

Sadie sat down with a thump, her tail wagging hopefully. Jensen went over and squatted down in front of her and patted the ground she lay down too, and was rewarded for her obedience.

He spent another hour working with the dogs, feeling very accomplished when he got them all to stay in one spot on command. He gathered up the clothes, leaving them in the basket in the laundry to do again the next day, and finished off cleaning the kitchen.

Exhausted, Jensen sat down at the dining table. The last chore on the list was one he had no idea how to do, and even if he could, he could hardly move, he was so tired.


Chris drove Jared home, together with the bag of clothes he’d picked up from the thrift store on the way.

“Remember, you have to give him back,” Chris scolded.

Jared nodded wearily and dragged his feet as he walked towards the house. He opened the door and stopped dead, looking around at how clean and tidy the place was.

“Dean, I’m home.”

He didn’t get an answer and wondered if Jensen was outside. He wandered towards the kitchen and found him, sitting at the dining table, head resting on his folded arms, fast asleep.

Jared couldn’t help smiling at the sight, and reached out to gently shake his shoulder.

“Hey, sleeping beauty.”

Jensen jerked awake. He stared at Jared as if he’d expected to see someone else, then his face crumpled into a sad frown.

“I can’t cook.” He brandished the list in Jared’s face. “I can’t remember how to cook!”

“Hey, it’s okay.” Jared took the list from his hand, thinking that Jensen had probably never cooked a meal in his life. “I’ll put potatoes in the oven, get cleaned up and throw some steaks on the grill.”

“You sure? You’ve been at work all day.”

“Course I’m sure. I … we do this all the time. Grab a nap until it’s ready.”

“’kay.” Jensen yawned and threw himself down on the couch. “We haven’t got a TV.” He observed sleepily.

“No I don’t,” Jared mumbled on his way to the bathroom.

They ate at the table, Jensen wolfing his food down, almost groaning around every mouthful.

Jared smiled, and was surprised when Jensen asked how his day at work had gone. There wasn’t much to tell, the factory was dirty and the work was heavy, but it paid well. Jensen nodded, and told Jared how the dogs had stolen the laundry and how he’d gotten it back. Jensen’s eyes lit up as he talked and he laughed too, his eyes crinkling at the corners. Jared smiled, but afterwards, the unreality of the situation was hard to bear. Jensen seemed genuinely happy, but it wasn’t real, couldn’t be real. And yet one thing was certain. No-one had come for him. He’d had Chris check news sites on his phone, and there was nothing about Jensen being missing.

Jensen fell asleep on the couch again after dinner until Jared woke him and helped him upstairs to bed. He pulled the covers back, and a half asleep Jensen wriggled out of his jeans and pulled off his t shirt. Jared looked away, feeling like an intruder but when he turned to go, Jensen grabbed his wrist and pulled him back.

“Stay, please.”

“I can’t, not until you get your memories back.”

“Then sleep on top of the covers, to protect my virtue,” Jensen said, amusement in his voice.

Jared hesitated, reluctant to get too close to him.

“It’s hard, not being able to remember. It’s like everything’s been taken away from me. Family, friends, my life, and I don’t know how to get it back. It’s lonely without memories, even when you’re around.” Jensen’s voice was little more than a whisper when he finished and Jared couldn’t leave him alone, not now.

He stripped down to his boxers and t shirt and lay down on the bed, pulling a spare blanket over himself. Jensen rolled over and wormed his way under Jared’s arm, tucking himself against Jared’s side. When he settled, Jared couldn’t help himself. He placed a kiss on the top of Jensen’s head and lay awake half the night his mind racing.


The next day after Jared left for work, Jensen tried on the clothes that Jared had brought back from Chris’s place. T seemed that his wardrobe consisted almost entirely of ill fitting jeans and Hawaiian shirts in particularly garish colors. Jensen found a t shirt with a slogan on it that read “I hug tree huggers”, which was the only one that really fit him. He turned it inside out and put on the least objectionable pair of jeans from the bag.

His next task wasn’t on Jared’s list either. He scoured the house looking for something, anything, to connect him to the life he supposedly had there. He didn’t find what he was looking for, but he found something else. Letters informing Jared that the land he worked was up for sale. The figure seemed high, and Jensen realized why Jared was working so hard. He was back at the factory, then had some odd jobs in town to do before he would be home. He’d shown Jensen what needed to be done outside, and Jensen spent most of the day watering and tending plants. He found he didn’t mind getting his hands dirty after all, and had felt a sense of accomplishment when he’d finished and had to scrub the earth from beneath his finger nails.

It had helped ground him. He was out of place and out of time, and the only other thing that had made him feel like he had a real connection with anything was being curled up to Jared the night before.

Jensen proudly served up steak and potatoes when Jared got home. It was simple, and easy, and hopefully, Jared wouldn’t mind eating it again. Jared didn’t and Jensen got a warm glow when Jared smiled gratefully at him, but he’d been left alone when Jared went out to his workshop. With nothing to amuse himself with, Jensen decided to join him.

He paused outside the workshop door. Now Jensen knew why his partner worked as hard as he did, he had a new respect for the man he was still getting to know. He wondered if his memories would ever come back. Jared wasn’t exactly sore on the eyes, and Jensen wished he could remember something, anything, of their lives together. Of being together. Jensen colored up at the thought of them lying in Jared’s big bed together, then struggled to get himself under control before he opened the door and took Jared the cold beer and snacks he’d found in the cupboard.

“Hey. What are you working on?”

“Hey …. Dean. I found this on the track in the woods this morning and wanted to make a start on it tonight.” There was a large twisty tree branch sitting on the work bench. Jared was stripping the bark and moss from it, carefully revealing the bare wood beneath.

“It looks naked.” Jensen observed, wandering around the rest of the workshop, admiring all the other pieces that were stacked on shelves, or hanging from the ceiling, pieces of all sizes.

“I guess it does.” Jared agreed. He took a long drink from the bottle and went back to work. “Taking these fallen branches, stripping away the bark and the moss, it strips away their finery, leaves them bare and exposed, shows the true form of the tree they came from to the world.”

“It’s soul.” Jensen murmured as he touched a larger piece.

“Yeah, it’s soul.” Jared watched him now, an unreadable expression on his face.

“What do you do with them?”

“Do? I work on them until I’m done.”

“Then you sell them?”

“Sell them? Who’d want to buy them?” Jared went back to peeling away at the bark.

Jensen stared at him. “You don’t think other people would pay to have the soul of a tree in their house? Jared, these are amazing.”

“I, er, I just do it for me.” He shrugged, looking embarrassed.

That night Jared slept curled around Jensen’s back, his arm around Jensen’s waist.

There was no work for Jared at the factory the next day, so he and Jensen worked in the garden together.

Under Jared’s guidance, Jensen helped him repair the rain fed irrigation system, and it felt good to see it working.

“Tell me who you are, where you came from.” Jensen asked as they took the tools back to the shed and swapped them for gardening tools.

Jared considered the question, then nodded.

“Growing up, it was just my grandparents and me. My Mom was a free spirit, and left me with them. They taught me how important it was to live in harmony with the earth.”

Jared glanced around the garden, and Jensen could feel a sense of peace flow from him. Then Jared smiled and ducked his head, and Jensen could hardly breathe. He loved Jared. He couldn’t remember their time together prior to coming home from hospital, but he couldn’t imagine a time when he didn’t love Jared.

Oblivious to Jensen’s epiphany, Jared continued. “Course, being the grandson of a pair of old hippies led to some interesting times at school. A lot of my clothes were handmade, or from thrift stores, so I’d get teased by kids who thought wearing designer labels meant they were cool. I could usually take care of myself, but one time, I was surrounded by a group of jocks who really didn’t like my tie dyed t shirt. Chris came barrelling over and knocked them out of the way, and we’ve been friends ever since. He helps keeps me in check, makes sure I don’t forget there’s a world outside. Not that it’ll matter soon.”

“Why do you say that?” It was the nearest Jared had come to telling Jensen what was wrong, and Jensen wanted that, wanted Jared to tell him about Sid trying to sell the land from under him.

“Nothing.” Jared forced himself to say, cheerily. “Life is full of changes, right? Who knows where I might be next year. C’mon, I’ll show you where to dig.”

Jensen trailed after Jared. The man was full of contradictions. He tended the land with every breath he took. The love he had for the place spilled from every pore. He belonged there, almost as if he’d grown up from the ground, yet he talked about changes and leaving almost as if it were inevitable.

Jensen was also unsettled by the way Jared talked as if he were the only one in this. Jensen was Jared’s partner, yet Jared spoke as if he was alone in whatever was going on. Jensen decided that one way or another, he would get him to come clean and he would help in any way he could.

They worked until the sun rose higher in the sky. Jared called a halt, and sat them under the trees with a picnic he’d thrown together. They washed their sandwiches down with fresh lemonade kept cold in a large flask, and the sweet treats that Jared had picked up from the bakery in town the day before.

After lunch, it seemed like the most natural thing in the world to lay his head on Jared’s thigh and doze in the shade. There was a moment’s hesitation, then Jared laid his hand on Jensen’s head, moving his fingers over his scalp. Jensen sighed with happiness. This was his life, living here with Jared. He wished he could remember the rest of it, but for now, he was satisfied with living in the moment, feeling content and loved.


Gardening is about enjoying the smell of things growing in the soil, getting dirty without feeling guilty, and generally taking the time to soak up a little peace and serenity. - Lindley Karstens

As Jensen dozed, Jared looked down at him. He’d expected Jensen to be prickly, to be the prima donna he’d met on the yacht, but there was no trace of the rude, thoughtless man in the person who was lying under a tree with him after getting his hands dirty as they worked.

Jared didn’t know what to do. What had started out as a way to make Jensen pay Jared what he owed, had rapidly developed into something even more complicated. Jared was falling for Jensen, the man he’d abducted, to use one of the words that Chris had yelled at him, the man who was living in his house with no memories of who he really was.

So now, on top of facing up to losing the home he loved, Jared knew he had to come clean and tell Jensen the truth and then face the consequences. Jared sighed. He was in over his head, he wanted someone he couldn’t have and yet the one thing that held him back from being honest was that, a week after Jensen had been found, no-one had come looking for him. Jared wished with all his heart that things could be different and that this, relaxing in his garden with Jensen by his side, could be his life.

And that night, he knew he should have been stronger and slept on the couch, but Jensen had given him little option. And as Jared lay down, Jensen moved closer. He took Jared’s hand and put it on his face, nuzzling against it until Jared pulled it away.

"Please Jared, I haven't got any memories of us, us together. Help me make new ones, please? You haven’t touched me since I got home from the hospital."

Jared held Jensen closer, and kissed the top of his head. He wanted so much to do exactly that, to kiss every inch of Jensen's pale freckled skin, to worship his cock until he cried out Jared's name. But as much as he wanted him, the man in his bed who thought his name was Dean didn't really exist. It was Jensen who was curled against his chest. Jensen with no memory of who he was, and who wouldn't have given Jared a second glance if he did have his memories.

"You look so sad, sometimes." Jensen looked at him with such concern that Jared had to look away, and he almost whimpered when Jensen touched his face. Soft yet demanding lips met his and Jared couldn't pull away.

He kissed Jensen back, never deepening the kiss, keeping it almost chaste and whimpering against Jensen’s mouth. When Jensen demanded more, he finally pulled away, gathering up his clothes and getting off the bed. He paused in the doorway.

“I’m sorry.” He didn’t know if he was apologizing for leaving or for the whole situation. He closed the door behind him, and slept on the couch.


Jensen reached for Jared as soon as he woke up, but the bed was empty, and memories of the night before came back to him.

“Stubborn son of a bitch,” Jensen muttered and threw himself out of bed, determined to shake some sense into Jared.

Jensen’s feet tangled in the bedcovers and he twisted round as he fell, landing on his back and cracking his head against the wooden floor. He lay still, a little winded and very disorientated. Gingerly, he propped himself up on one elbow, and slowly looked around, seeing the small room with new eyes.

Jensen’s eyes.

His heart beat crazily in his chest. Jared, the carpenter Jeff had hired to build a closet, had kidnapped him!! He had to get out of there. Wildly, he looked around, nose wrinkling in distaste at sight of the clothes he’d been wearing. But then he stopped. He picked up the worn denim shirt and held it close. It had been Jared’s, must have been as it was too big for him.

He thought back over the days he’d been living with Jared. The oversized goof had never hurt him, had never touched him unless it was necessary, like the time he’d helped Jensen to bed after he’d cleaned the house from top to bottom, or when Jensen had insisted he slept in the same bed. Then last night, leaving when Jensen had tried to take things further than an innocent kiss.

He also remembered how he’d refused to pay Jared for the work he’d done.

Then something else struck him.

Jeff hadn’t come for him. If Jared hadn’t picked him up from the hospital, no-one would have come for him. Jensen clutched the shirt tighter.

There was a soft knock on the door, and Jared poked his head around it, the grin falling from his face when he saw Jensen.

“Dean? Are you okay? I heard a noise ... oh, you look like shit!”

Jared was straight by his side, hand gently placed on his brow.

“Maybe you should go back to bed. Do you want me to call the doc?”

Jensen shook his head. “I’m fine.” He stood up and wandered listlessly downstairs towards the kitchen. Coffee would at least get his brain functioning properly.

“Dean? There’s something I need to tell you.”

Jensen turned around. Jared stood in the doorway, not meeting his gaze.


“Look, it started out as a way to get payback, and I never meant it to go on for so long, but I like having you around. Course, you wouldn’t be here unless …”

“Get to the point.” Jensen waved his hand in the air.

“We’re not together and you don’t belong here.”

Jensen stared at him. It hit him hard. He did belong. In a rundown house with a pack of unruly dogs and a shaggy carpenter.


“This isn’t your home, I’m not your partner, and those aren’t your dogs.” Jared gestured at the pile of mutts who were nervously pacing and whining, upset by the tension in the air. “There, I’ve said it.”

“They aren’t my dogs?”

“No.” Jared shook his head and snapped his fingers. “Here, guys, you know who’s boss.”

The dogs looked at him, but Sadie hesitated and looked back at Jensen.

“Heel.” Jensen said.

One softly spoken word and the dogs padded towards Jensen, nails clicking on the wooden floor.

“Sit.” They obediently sat at Jensen’s feet, looking up at him with adoration in their eyes.

“I don’t know what’s got in to you this morning Jay, but we can work through whatever’s bothering you. This is my home too, and I’m not going anywhere.”

He led the dogs outside, and wandered into the woods, just far enough so he could lean against a tree while he got the shaking under control. Jared had given him a perfect way out, but he didn’t want to take it. He needed to think.

“Dean!” Jared ran into the trees, looking for him. Jensen took a breath and walked towards him.

“I’m … sorry, I er …” Jared was clearly at a loss as to what to say.

The sound of Chris pulling up and honking the horn to get Jared’s attention worked and before he could say anything else, Jensen took a step closer, and put his hand on Jared’s face before kissing him softly on the cheek.

“Go to work, we’ll talk when you get back.”

“Talk, yeah, sure, good.” Jared nodded, and walked off to the truck, glancing back at Jensen.

Jensen waved, waiting until Jared had driven off before heading back to the house. He had a lot to do before Jared got back.

Jensen got dressed, and saw to the dogs before he took Jared’s truck and drove down to the coast. He didn’t stop in the town he’d been taken to when he’d been fished out of the water. He kept going until he hit the next one and once there, he spent most of the small amount of money Jared had left in the house on a cell phone and called a number he knew by heart.

With an hour to kill, Jensen went looking for a coffee shop, and grinned when he found a Starbucks. He savoured the mocha and muffin he bought with the last of Jared’s money. Then he felt irrationally guilty spending it in a place that He didn’t think Jared would approve of, but he didn’t have time to go looking for an independent place. He read a newspaper while he waited, catching up with events happening outside of the bubble he’d been living in. As soon as he got the call he was waiting for, he drove out to a nearby hotel, the closest place around with a helipad. A sleek black helicopter was sitting on the pad when he got there and he climbed in.

“What the hell, Jensen, you decide to go native all of a sudden?”

“Good to see you too, Eric. Where exactly did you think I was?”

“I knew where you were. Tank’s had eyes on you all week.”


“I got a call from Tank the morning after you disappeared off the yacht. He didn’t think Jeff was telling the truth when he said you’d decided to go home and told him to take off without you. Tank jumped ship the next time they hit land, made a few enquiries, and checked out this Padalecki kid you’ve been shacked up with. We didn’t know the situation, so unless you were in danger, Tank wasn’t about to bust in and get you out. In his report, he says that you’ve been working. Getting your hands dirty.” Eric smirked.

“Go screw yourself.” Jensen growled, freaked out that Tank had been watching him. For now at least, he didn’t see the point in explaining about the amnesia or about what Jared had done. “Did you bring what I asked for?”

“Laptop, iPad, iPhone,” Eric reeled off and handed over a backpack. Then he reached into his jacket and pulled out a wallet. “Your gold cards and $500 cash.”

Jensen tucked the wallet into his back pocket and took the back pack.

“So you’re really not coming home?”

“Not yet. I’ve got some things to sort out, and I need you to look into something for me. Got a pen?”

Eric handed him a pen and a pad of paper and Jensen scribbled some notes down.

“I don’t care what it takes, I want it done.”

“Sure thing.” Eric glanced at what Jensen had written. “He seems good for you.”


“This Jared. You seem different.”

“I feel like I’ve woken up after years of being asleep,” Jensen confessed. “Oh yeah, I nearly forgot. Where is Jeff?”

“Now you’re connected to the world again,” Eric nodded at the back pack. “I’m going to let you find that out for yourself.”

“Great,” Jensen sighed. “Add that to the list. I want out. Nothing dramatic, and he can keep the yacht.”

“You’re serious?”

“As a heart attack. Say hi to Mom for me?”

“Will do, and I’ll be in touch.”

Jensen had intended to stop and buy clothes on the way back to Jared’s but he didn’t want to shatter the illusion, not just yet.

He got back with a few hours to spare, and the first thing he did was Google Jeff. He clenched his teeth and swore when he saw pictures taken not 24 hours earlier of Jeff attending some glitzy event with a twink hanging off his arm. It was captioned “When the mouse is AWOL, the cat will play!”. The article read “With Jensen Ackles-Morgan apparently spending time in an exclusive spa, his husband Jeff isn’t sitting at home alone pining for company.”

“Jesus.” Jensen swore and stood up, leaving the laptop on the table. He walked over to the window and gazed out over the garden.

He’d had a lot of time to think on the drive back, and Jared had been at the fore front of those thoughts. What Jared had done was wrong, making Jensen think he was someone else. But getting his memories back that morning and remembering what an ass he’d been, not just to Jared, but to his family, the people who worked for him, hell, even Jeff, he’d been embarrassed. He’d lived a simpler life in the week he’d lived with Jared, shared Jared’s way of life, which was one he approved of. The spoiled brat he’d become to rebel against his father would never have approved, but the kid who’d left college with high hopes and strong ideals approved wholeheartedly.

He was certain of one thing. He didn’t want to leave. Now he knew who he was, he needed time before he make decisions as to where to go from there. He was attracted to Jared, there was no denying that. Jensen decided that he would look on it as a sabbatical, time to re-evaluate his life. And he could get a little gentle payback at the same time.

By the time Jared got home that night, Jensen had packed away the laptop and was in the kitchen, wearing only shorts, a sleeveless t shirt and an apron while he worked.

“It’s so hot in here!” he exclaimed as he walked past Jared to get to the kitchen door, brushing against him.

Later, he insisted that Jared sleep in the bed again, but he didn’t kiss him. He couldn’t bring himself to be quite that cruel. Instead, he asked Jared to talk to him.

“What would you do if you had the power to do anything you wanted to?”

“I’d buy the land from Sid, make it mine, and I’d make into a place other people could come to learn about living in harmony with the land. My grandpa taught me a lot, and I’d like to pass it on.”

“Spread the word?”

“Yeah, spread the word.” Jared smiled.

“That’s a good dream, Jay.”


Chris was on his way to Mac’s when he saw Jensen walking down Main Street. His first impulse was to turn tail and run in the opposite direction. He wanted to steer clear of any possible accessory to a kidnapping charges. But As Jensen got closer, Chris realised that he was too caught up in a conversation on a cell phone to notice him. Chris pulled his hat further down over his eyes, and stood back as Jensen passed him.

"... just do it, Eric. I'm not interested in anything else."

Chris turned and followed Jensen, hanging back.

"And if my Mom starts to fuss, tell her I'm fine. Yes, thanks. I'll speak to you next week." Jensen ended the call, then stopped dead in his tracks.

Chris almost walked into him, veering away with a mumbled "Shit!", but he wasn't stealthy enough to fool Jensen.

"Are you following me?"

"Are you playing Jared?"

"He's been playing me, so don't you think I've got the right? But I'm not, okay?"

"You’re not?" Chris was confused.

"It's a long story." Jensen sighed.

"Good job I've got all afternoon, then. Pico's is the worst bar in town, so why don't I buy you a beer or two?"

"Worst? So why there?"

"Because it's somewhere Jay would never go."

"So, spill. How long have you known that you aren't Jared’s partner?"

"A couple of days."

"So why are you still here and not back on your fancy yacht?"

Jensen looked down at his beer, and asked the bar tender for a couple of shots. He passed one to Chris and downed one himself.

“It’s not where I belong, not anymore. I've wasted two years of my life and it took a country boy called Jared to make me see it."

"So you and Jeff?"

"It was a business arrangement. Just so happened we were good together in the sack."

"And what about Jared?"

"Honestly? I don't know."

"Are you gonna press charges?"

"What? No! If anything, he should be suing me for refusing to pay him. Look, I need some time to figure things out."

"Well, start figuring. And promise me one thing? Don't break his heart. I've seen the way he's started looking at you."

Jensen chewed on his lip. “I like him too. So like I said, I need to figure things out.”


Jared got back late from the factory. He’d been given the chance of a couple of extra hours and he’d jumped at it.

The house was quiet when he walked into the kitchen. The mutts wandered through to greet him, but quickly went back to lying in a pile on their newly designated dog bed. Jared smiled tiredly as he looked around, wondering where Jensen was. The house was tidy, homely even, and Jared didn’t know what he would do when Jensen went back to his real life. He guessed it was time to try and convince him again that he didn’t belong there.

“Dean?” He called, pulling two cold beers from the fridge and wandering through the house looking for Jensen.

“In here.”

Jared followed the sound of Jensen’s voice to the small room at the end of the hall he had been using as a junk room. His eyes widened as he stepped inside through the open door.


Jared looked around the room. Where before, there’d been disorganized chaos, now there was order, and new shelves lined one wall, full of Jared’s books which until now had been stacked in unruly piles around the place. The old table that had been in the corner of his workshop, buried under all the bits and pieces he couldn’t bear to throw away, now sat in front of the window, cleaned up and polished. It was also covered with what looked like sketches of Jared’s garden and the house, and a couple of notebooks that had seen some heavy use. He recognized the names and phone numbers of some of his neighbors scribbled down on one of the pads.

“What are you doing?”

In reply, Jensen pushed a chair in his direction and motioned for him to sit down. Jensen took the cold bottle from Jared’s hand and gulped down a couple of mouthfuls.

“What you were talking about the other night got me thinking. You’re always so passionate about the work you do, but you’re thinking too big too fast.”

“I am?” Jared’s tired brain was being slow on the uptake.

“Yes. You’d like to make this place a centre of excellence, where people can come to learn what it means to live in harmony with the environment. But you haven’t got the resources to start that big. You do have everything you need to start small, though.”

Jared looked at him as if he were speaking a foreign language. Jensen rolled his eyes and went on.

“A country fair. You host it here, charge a modest entry fee, and give all your neighbors a chance to put up stalls. Nate can sell his cheeses, Ada can sell her bread, the Pattersons cal sell the jewelry they make. If we stick a small stage in the pasture, I’m sure Chris can get some of his musician buddies together to keep people entertained, and the garden becomes the star of the show. You take people on guided tours, charging a little extra for that, and sell your own produce as a way of showing how practical your methods are. And you can have a stall selling soul trees.”

Jared was now staring at Jensen, poised on the verge of saying something, but Jensen kept talking.

“Ideally, before we put flyers up, and advertise it, we need to get you set up with a website. I’m thinking that you can answer questions on environmental gardening, and do articles on… the best kind of radishes to grow in what soil. Or something like that. There’s always the revenue you’d get from sponsorship if it takes off too.”

“Website? I don’t even own a computer.”

“Yeah, well, it’s time you came out of the dark ages. Look, you’re beat, so why don’t you think about it and we can talk more tomorrow? But just so you know,” Jensen had the good grace to look sheepish. “I’ve already talked to a handful of people who would love to get involved.”

“Yeah, okay.” Jared agreed, and followed Jensen back to the kitchen where he ate the stew Jensen served up for him, and then crashed out, exhausted from his long day.


When Jensen padded through to the kitchen the next morning, he found Jared pouring over the sketches and notes Jensen had made, on the kitchen table.

“Morning.” Jensen headed towards the pot of coffee keeping warm on the stove. He poured himself a cup and added brown sugar and a good slug of cream. He sighed happily as he sipped it, closing his eyes. It had been a long time since he’d allowed himself such a simple treat every morning. His usual coffee laden with half fat this and low cal that was no comparison to what he was drinking now. He opened his eyes to find Jared looking at him with an eyebrow quirked.

“What?” Jensen asked as he busied himself around the kitchen, making them breakfast.

“There’s something we should talk about.”

Jensen didn’t have to turn round to know that if he did, he’d see Jared with his worried face on, stressing over telling Jensen who he really was. Jensen didn’t have time for that. After the fair was organized, then he’d come clean, but he wanted to hold on to the simple life a little longer.

“Yes, there is.” Jensen brusquely set plates down, and cut thick slices of bread for them to much on while he cooked up a pan of sausages, onions, mushrooms and tomatoes. “You need to say yes to the fair. Everything else can wait, but I need to know if you agree to this. There’s a lot to organize if you do.”

“Yes, I think it’s a great idea, but …”

“No buts, I need you to go through the list I made and tell me if there’s anyone else you think I should add.”

“Uh, yeah, sure.” Jared did as he was told, flicking through the pad and adding another six names to the list.


A week had gone by, in a flurry of activity as Jensen pulled together the summer fair at short notice while Jared worked. He talked to Jared’s neighbors and rallied them around to the idea, and drove round the area putting up flyers. Jared was impressed with the way Jensen worked, and wondered again where the man he’d met on the yacht had gone, to the point where he was beginning to think that Jensen must have had a twin.

The morning before the fair, Jared dragged Jensen out of bed just as it was getting light outside.

“What’s up?” Jensen rubbed his eyes.

“I want to show you something.”


“Yeah, now,” Jared grinned.

Jensen pulled on jeans and a shirt, and pulled the hoodie Jared threw at him over the top. He dug his sneakers out from under the bed, and followed Jared downstairs. The dogs joined them as they headed towards the track that ran up to the clearing. As they walked, Jared took hold of Jensen’s hand.

“Before I started working at the factory, I’d run this track every morning at dawn,” Jared explained. “I miss it, and I wanted to show it to you before … before the fair. I’ve never brought anyone up here before.”

“Not even me?”

“Not even you.” Jared was through with lying.

The fair was tomorrow, and after that was done, he’d insist Jensen listen to him. He knew that coming clean would probably mean losing Jensen, but the real Jensen had never been Jared’s. So before he lost him altogether, he wanted to show this Jensen the place that meant so much to him.

They walked in companionable silence, Sadie trotting along beside them, glad that they were moving at her pace for a change and not charging through the woods. The other dogs ran ahead then circled back, making sure their pack was together.

They reached the tunnel in the trees, and as they emerged into the clearing, Jensen gasped at the view in front of him. Jared gave him moment to take it in while he watered the dogs, then joined him, tugging him towards the fallen log.

“It’s breathtaking.” Jensen sat down, not taking his eyes off the sun slowly creeping up over the mountains.

They sat together, close enough for Jensen to press himself against Jared’s side. Jared poured them both coffees from his flask into a small plastic cups.

“Do you ever sleep out here?” Jensen asked.

“Yeah. Every weekend when I was a kid. Less now, but I still like to come up here a couple of times a month and either sleep out here or in the cabin, depending on the weather.”

“I’d like to do that sometime.”

Jared just nodded, then took a hold of Jensen’s hand again.

“I need to say this. Until you tell me that you’ve got your memories back, I can’t touch you, not the way you want me to.”

“Okay. Deal.” Jensen agreed. “Now tell me about this place.”

Jared told Jensen tales of how the cabin was built, and told him the names of all the mountains he could see and all the while Jensen watched him with a contented smile on his face.


The morning of the fair dawned bright and warm. Jared was hyper with nervousness, and Jensen smiled as he bounced into the bedroom, and dragged Jensen out of bed. There wasn't time to walk to the ridge for breakfast, there was too much to do, and before they'd finished, the first vendors began to arrive, keen to get an early start. As the stalls were set out, and produce was arranged, the atmosphere became infectious, everyone wanting the day to be a success.

Jensen watched Jared as he went from stall to stall, helping where needed, giving compliments on the displays of food and crafts. They hadn't officially opened the event when the first people arrived, two families with kids in tow, their eyes wide as they wandered around.

Jared opened the garden gate, and the kids tumbled through into his garden. He showed them around, explaining the principles of permaculture to the adults and letting the kids poke around, then took them into the area he had set up so they could get their hands dirty and either plant seeds in small terracotta pots, or pot up seedlings. The charge was a small one, and the parents gladly paid for the plants. Jensen made sure that everyone who came got one of the leaflets they'd had printed, and the aroma of food tempted most people to stay longer.

As the day went on, Jensen saw Jared relax and begin to really enjoy himself. As more and more people arrived, the vendors were all kept busy as folk stopped by their stalls to buy handcrafted jewellery, clothing and artwork. The food stalls began to run out of produce half way through the afternoon, but the party atmosphere encouraged everyone to stick around. As the afternoon sun faded into dusk, and Chris and the boys took to the stage again, and people wandered through into the pasture to finish enjoying the day. The band played until the sun dipped below the mountains. Jensen took hold of Jared’s hand, pulling him away and leaving the band jamming with the last of the stragglers. Both of them were tipsy on homemade wine and high on the success of their venture, and as soon as they were alone, they couldn’t keep their hands off each other.

Jensen's fingers opened Jared’s jeans and closed around his cock, making Jared moan needily, but before he could go any further, Jared took a hold of his wrist and held him firm.

"No, Dean, we can't."

"Jared, listen …"

"No, I can't. I want to," Jared kissed Jensen again, lapped at his tongue, tasted him, then pulled back and rested his forehead against Jensen's. "I'm sorry, but no."

Jensen squirmed around until he could dig both hands into Jared's hair. He kissed the side of his face, and whispered in his ear. "I know, Jared, I know who I am, so please, touch me, fuck me. I'm going crazy here, man."

"You ... you know? That you're ..." Jared went perfectly still and stared at the man in his arms with wide eyes.

"Jensen. And I swear to God that if you don't do something right now, I'll tie you down to that bed and make you fuck me." Jensen took a hold of Jared's dick again and ran his short nails lightly over the head.

"But ..." Jared objected, which was no mean feat under the circumstances.

"No buts." Jensen growled.

"How long?"

"Long enough. Talk later."

Jared hesitated for a moment more before grabbing Jensen and kissing him hard, then pushing him back towards the bed. Jensen began to unbutton his shirt, but Jared batted his hands away and pulled it off over his head, taking his t shirt with it. With a low groan, Jared drew his mouth over Jensen’s exposed skin, licking and nipping at his nipples as he undid Jensen’s jeans and tugged them off over his hips. He made short work of his own clothes, and fumbled in the night stand, kissing Jensen again as he put lube and a condom down on the bed beside them.

Now Jared could take what he wanted, he devoured Jensen, exploring his mouth, kissing and teasing until Jensen shuddered in his arms and begged for more. Jared’s hand moved down his side, skimming his hips and slipping round to squeeze his ass. Jared’s fingertips brushed over Jensen’s pucker making him moan.

“Want you now, Jay,” Jensen pleaded.

Jared growled, and Jensen gasped as he was turned over to lie on his stomach. Jared’s mouth scraping over the skin between his shoulder blades sent shivers down his spine, and he arched his back. Jared’s leaking cock pressed against Jensen’s cheeks, and Jensen squirmed around until it was sliding between them with every thrust he made against the bed. Jared groaned and kissed Jensen’s neck as he rocked against him, until Jensen canted his hips and the swollen dick slid over his entrance. He would have let Jared fuck him bare, wanted him to even, but with a shudder, Jared pulled away and sat back on his haunches between Jensen’s spread legs, and rolled on a condom as Jensen watched over his shoulder.

Hot didn’t come close to describing the sight, and Jared looked up at Jensen as he stroked his dick, and smirked.

“Cock tease.” Jensen pouted at him keeping eye contact as Jared squirted lube onto his fingers and slipped one inside Jensen all the way to the knuckle. Jensen bit his lip and the welcome intrusion, relaxing his muscles as Jared worked him open, first with one finger, then two.

“Please, Jared.” Jensen begged, pushing back and fucking himself on Jared’s long fingers.

The fingers were pulled out, and Jared pressed Jensen to the bed as he entered him, every short thrust taking him deeper until he was buried in Jensen to the hilt. Long smooth strokes had Jensen panting and tipping his head back to capture Jared’s mouth in an uncoordinated kiss that sent him higher as Jared gasped into his mouth. Jared stilled, and maneuvered them onto their sides, fucking into Jensen as he took a hold of his cock and stripped it fast and ruthless.

One more thrust and Jensen was coming, his body shuddering in Jared’s arms, slick wetness coating his stomach as Jared pulled the last of it out of him and followed, biting down on Jensen’s shoulder as his arms tightened around him. Finally sated, he rested his head against Jensen’s back and held him, stroking a finger down his arm while he caught his breath.

Jared cleaned them up, and, exhausted, curled around Jensen's back, holding him close.

"How long?" he asked again, despite being on the edge of sleep.

"We'll talk in the morning." Jensen twined their fingers together and smiled as Jared snuffled against his shoulder and fell asleep.

Jensen was first awake in the morning. A soft breeze ruffled the simple cotton curtains at the window. Jared's arm tightened around him as he stretched and Jensen sighed contentedly. Not long ago, he'd sneered at Jared, looked down at him for no better reason than he didn't have the money Jensen did, and Jensen felt ashamed at that. Jared had deceived him, sure, but in all the time Jensen had spent with him, he'd never been mean or abusive. Jensen had refused to pay Jared for building the closest without a second thought. Without understanding that Jared had worked hard and done a damned good job and had counted on getting paid.

Now he was lying here in Jared's bed between sheets that had come from Walmart, in a house that he'd helped make into a home, and he felt truly content for the first time in a long time. For the first time since the deal that had left him with nothing to do but become a pampered, spoilt brat.

He carefully extracted himself from Jared's arms and pulled on the shorts and t-shirt he'd discarded the night before. As soon as he opened the bedroom door, the dogs were on their feet, tails wagging and tongues lolling, but they didn't try and force their way past him into the bedroom any more. They milled around him, nuzzling him and looking up at him with hopeful eyes.

"C'mon, guys, let your daddy sleep for a while." His pack followed Jensen into the kitchen where he fed them and opened the door so they could get out into the yard.

Jensen set the coffee maker away and busied himself getting the ingredients ready to make breakfast in bed for Jared. They had a lot of talking to do, and some decisions to make and the once sharp businessman in Jensen melded with the guy that was head over heels in love with Jared. There was no way he was letting Jared go. Jensen hummed happily to himself as he worked. Eggs, tomatoes from the garden, sausages he’d bought at the fair the day before. Almost perfect but a handful of wild garlic mustard leaves would finish it off. Jensen slipped his feet into the flip flops by the front door and let himself out into the warm bright morning. He was bending down to pick the leaves when the dogs started to bark.

Jensen looked up and his heart sank at the sight of a Hummer pulling up in front of the house. It looked out of place beside Jared's beaten up old truck. The door opened and Jeff got out, designer sunglasses perched on his nose, his suit a contrast to the relaxed morning. He looked around and spotted Jensen and a grin split his face.

Jensen walked slowly towards his husband, his feet dusty from the earth, newly picked greens in his hand.

"What are you doing here, Jeff?"

"I've come to take you home, Jenny. Aren't you glad to see me?"

"Don't call me that," Jensen bristled. "Why should I be pleased to see you? You left me here. There's no way you didn't know where I was and you took off. Did you even try to look for me?"

The betrayal still stung, despite how being left behind had worked out for him.

"Jenny, come on, I'm here now, baby."

"No, Jeff, you took MY yacht and left me in the middle of hicksville. Do you know what I went through?"

Jeff's smile fell. "Did he hurt you?"

"No, you're missing the p ..."

Behind him, he heard the screen door bang open, and Jared stood there, barefoot in a pair of old, faded jeans, blinking against the sunlight. The dogs streamed past him, surrounding Jensen, tails wagging. The three men stood looking at each other for a moment. Then the storm broke.

"What the fuck did you do to him?" Jeff yelled.

"What?!?" Jared bristled.

"He didn't do anything I didn't want him to."

Jeff rounded on Jensen. "You let him fuck you?"

"None of your goddamned business," Jared growled and took a step towards Jensen.

"Get any closer, dude, and I'll have you arrested for kidnapping and rape."

Jared stopped and looked at Jensen.

"Jeff, don't be an asshole."

Jeff turned to him, eyes flinty.

"Get in the car, Jenny, or I'm calling the cops." He flipped open his cell.

"Jen ..." Jared took another step.

“I’m not pressing charges, so you’d be wasting their time,” Jensen glowered at Jeff, who scowled and pulled his cell from his pocket, flipping the camera on and pointing it a Jared.

"How about the press turning up on the doorstep of your new love nest? I know you've been talking to your lawyer, why do you think I'm here? Do you want him dragged through a messy divorce trial? Do you want the world to know that your new boy toy kidnapped you?" He glanced at Jared.

Jensen considered his options. One thing he didn't want was Jared forced into the spotlight in such an ugly way. He wasn't giving Jared up, not for anything, but he had to pick his battles.

"Okay, okay, I'm coming." He dropped the greens at his feet and ruffled the dog's heads as he walked away from them.

"Jensen, no!" Jared pleaded, taking a step closer.

"If you say one more word, his picture will be plastered on newsstands all over the country. Think of how it will look. The heir to the Ackles empire with a bad case of Stockholm syndrome." Jeff whispered as Jensen got closer.

Jensen sent one regretful look towards Jared, and got into the car. Jeff got in the other side and Jensen turned away from him, looking out the window at Jared as the hummer pulled away.

They drove in silence. Jensen had a lot to say, but he only intended to have the conversation once. When the Hummer pulled up at the marina, Jensen was out of the door before Jeff turned the engine off, and heading towards the yacht. Tank was standing at the top of the gangplank waiting for him.

“Good to see you again, Mr Ackles.”

“I hear you’ve been keeping an eye on me.”

“That’s my job, sir.”

“Well, I have a new job for you. The man I’ve been staying with …”

“Jared Padalecki,” Tank stated.

“That’s him, yes. I’m going back to New York for a few days, and when I leave, I need you to keep an eye on him for me. Can you arrange for transport for me? Oh, and Tank? How do you like it here?”

“Better than the city.”

“Good,” Jensen grinned.

Jeff rushed up behind Jensen.

“We need to talk, honey,” Jeff pleaded.

“Yes we do, but don’t call me that. Tank? Inform the staff that they all have the rest of the day off, and make sure they enjoy it.”

“Yes sir.” Tank walked away, and started giving orders while Jensen stalked into the stateroom and rounded on Jeff.

"You left me sitting in a hospital and took my yacht off for a cruise with a pile of twinks!" Jensen yelled.

"I'm sorry, baby, so sorry." Jeff had the good grace to look apologetic.

"Don't "baby" me, Jeff, and sorry doesn't cut it. You’re right, I want a divorce."

"I know you’re mad now, but you know you don't really want that." Jeff pleaded.

"Come on, Jeff, you don't love me. You were fucking that cabin boy while I was sleeping twenty feet away! You can keep the yacht. Take it to Cannes next year and impress the hell out of the wanna be Brad Pitts."

"But …"

Jensen rolled his eyes. “No buts. It’s over. We both got what we needed and we both want other things now. Your career has taken off, and I’ve found someone I can be truly happy with.

"You're going back to him? To Jared? He abducted you from a hospital."

“A hospital you left me in. Yes, I’m going back to him, if he’ll have me. Don’t threaten him again Jeff, and don’t try to embarrass either of us. You’ll get a decent settlement from the divorce, but if you try and mess things up, that’s off the table.”

Jeff nodded and slumped down onto a sofa.

“Have we got a deal?” Jensen stuck his hand out.

“Yeah,” Jeff agreed, reaching out to shake Jensen’s hand. “We’ve got a deal.”


Jensen drove down the road to Jared's place, feeling tension seeping from his bones as he got closer. He pulled up outside the house and opened the door, letting two small dogs tumble out as Jared’s pack of mutts bounded over. Jensen bent down and petted Oscar and Icarus who both looked alarmed at the much bigger dogs until Sadie nudged them with her nose and pushed them in the direction of the grass. Pretty soon, they were running around with the others, yapping and playing.

"Hey." Jared opened the door and wandered out onto the porch, eying Jensen, but he stayed where he was as the dogs continued their welcome back to their missing pack member.

"Could we start again?" Jensen asked.

Jared still didn't say a thing, he just watched as Jensen approached. Jensen stuck his hand out towards Jared.

"Hi, I'm Jensen."

Jared slowly reached out and took his hand.

"I’m Jared." He said and took a step closer. “And I’m sorry.”

“I know, me too. Can I come in?”

“Course, yeah, I’ll get us some beers.”

Jared grabbed a couple of bottles from the fridge, opened them and handed one to Jensen, who was watching the dogs milling about outside.

“They fit right in,” Jared observed, watching Jensen’s dogs rolling around in the dirt like they’d never done it before.

“They do. They didn’t get out much before. They were a little spoilt and didn’t get their paws dirty very often,” Jensen said. “Sort of like their owner.” He moved closer to Jared, close enough to bump his hip, and Jared ducked his head and smiled, but it slipped too easily from his face.

“Sid sold the land. Now I’m waiting to see if the new owners want me out of here. Some company called PA Holdings own it now.”

“Yeah?” Jensen was suddenly nervous. He could have called Jared, let him know what was going on, but he’d wanted to tell him face to face.

“Yeah. It’s like waiting for the axe to fall. Sometimes I think I should just pack up and go, it would be easier, and I wouldn’t have to fight to keep the place any more. Then I remember how much I love it here.”

“I’m sorry, Jay.” Jensen bit his lip. “Some things are worth fighting for, no matter how hopeless it seems.”

Jared nodded, but didn’t meet his eyes. He stared out over the garden, letting the beer bottle dangle from his fingers. Jensen watched him, and gathered his courage. He had no idea how Jared would react.

“I need to tell you something that you might not like, and I’m not sure how you’ll take it.”

“You’ve got a lot of leeway, Jensen. I’ve got no right to get mad after what I did to you. You should still be pissed at me, for making you believe that you were someone you weren’t.”

“See, that’s where you’re wrong. It might have been an unorthodox way of doing it, but you gave me the chance to be who I really was again. The spoiled brat you met on the yacht wasn’t who I ever intended to become. When I graduated, I was just as passionate as you about making the world a better place, but I started too big. I put together a proposal that would have changed the way my family did business, and made the company a leader in environmentally friendly processes, but it was rejected, and my dad stuck me in a corner office out of the way. So I rebelled. I married Jeff to spite my father, and took a nosedive into a shallow life. Maybe if I’d started small, proposed some baby steps first, I would have been more successful … but then I would never have met you, so I’m thinking it was worth it in the long run. I hope you do to.”

“I do.” Jared brushed his hand over the small of Jensen’s back. “You should have started with a summer fair. I’m already planning the next one.”

“Yeah, I can see that going down really well in the corporate world,” Jensen grinned. “So when I remembered who I was, after freaking out for a while, I looked at you, how you lived your life, fighting for what you loved and believed in, even though you knew you were fighting a losing battle, and I felt ashamed. I had the resources to do so much, and was squandering them away, while you had so little, yet you lived here, in perfect harmony with your surroundings, and refused to give up.”

Jared was looking at him now, so he went for it.

“PA Holdings. Padalecki Ackles Holdings. Tomorrow, my lawyer is arriving, and for the price of one dollar, you’ll become the owner.”

“Of what?”

“The mountain. Well, most of it. I bought all the land Sid was selling.”

Jared sprang away, staring at Jensen.

“You can’t do that!”

“What? Sell you something? No law against selling land, Jay.”

“But …”

“I want to go into business with you. Put your practical knowledge and enthusiasm together with my business head and funds. This is what I want to do with my life, and I’d like to do it with you. Um, so to speak,” Jensen blushed. “But the land? That’s yours, it’s not part of any business deal. You can use it as a showcase, as a training centre, or as a personal project, that’s up to you, but you’ll own it outright.”

“Honestly? I thought you’d be pressing charges, not giving me a mountain.”

“It’s not a gift, it’ll be a sale.”

“What about you? Are you gonna sit in your office in some city and direct things from there?” Jared couldn’t bring himself to ask what he really wanted to ask. What about us?

“That’s up to you.” Jensen said quietly. “Being here felt like home, being with you felt like home.” Jensen laid his heart on the line. “We were good together, but if you don’t want me around, I’ll have to live with that.”

“You want to come back? Come home? After everything that I did?”

“I did worse to you. I forced a good man into doing something I know he regretted from almost the moment he did it. I can forgive you, can you forgive me?”

Jared nodded, still dazed from the revelations. “You’re giving me a mountain.”

“Selling you a mountain,” Jensen repeated with a grin. “And yeah, I want to come home.”

When Jared reached for him, Jensen went willingly, letting himself be gathered up in strong arms.

“I missed you,” He murmured against Jared’s neck.

“Missed you too.”

Jared’s arms tightened, and Jensen sighed happily. Now, he was home.


Jensen sat in bed, his laptop open on his knee, waiting for Jared to return with coffee. He skimmed a couple of news sites, and clicked onto a celebrity gossip site just as Jared appeared, two steaming mugs in his hands.

“You’re famous.” Jensen read the article out as Jared put the coffee down on the night stand. “Newly divorced Jensen Ackles showed there were no hard feelings between himself and ex Jeff Dean Morgan by attending the premier of his latest movie with new beau, environmentalist, Jared Padalecki.”

“I’m an environmentalist? I like the sound of that.”

“You are. Among other things.”

“How would you describe me?”

Jensen looked up and grinned. His boyfriend was lounging across the bed, thumb pulling down on a belt loop to expose the sharp jut of his hip.

“I’d say you’re a hot piece of ass that should be naked and fucking me.”

“That can be arranged.”

Jared smirked and pushed the lid of the laptop down as he slid towards Jensen.

Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve. -- Max Planck

NOTES Many thanks to [ profile] eviltwin for the lovely artwork, and to the mods for running the challenge.

The gardening part of this fic was inspired by seeing a permaculture garden at work and being impressed with the principles behind it.

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