Title: Someone Else I’ve Got To Be
Author: The Artful Dodger / dodger_sister
Fandom: CW RPS
Category: Angst, AU, Fluff/Schmoop, Friendship
Characters/Pairing: Jared/Jensen, Christian, Steve & Chad.
Warnings: Issues of coming-out. Christian Kane’s mouth.
Summary: Jensen was doing just fine keeping his secret until Jared Padalecki moved to town. Now he wants to tell his friends the truth, but he’s terrified of their reaction, terrified that they’ll walk away.
Word Count: 1,488 words.
Date Written: 11/19/2012
Disclaimer: Real people are not property. This is entirely fiction. I wrote it for fun, not profit.
Feedback: Bring it. dodger_sister / TheArtofDodger@comcast.net
Author's Notes: This was written for denig37’s Gives Me Hope Comment Fic Meme, which greatly inspired me and possibly made me cry. For the prompt: “I live in a fairly homophobic town. I came out to my best friends, expecting them to stop talking to me. Instead they came around the lunch table hugged me and said 'Dude, we love ya.' I was so relieved I cried a little bit. My Bro's GMH.”
Dedication: For denig37 for putting together this awesome comment fic meme and for introducing me to the tear-fueling site of love that is the Gives Me Hope site.
“You stay away from that man,” his daddy had said adamantly. “Those types can’t be trusted. Deviants, that’s what they are.”
Jensen had been six at the time and didn’t get why his dad was so upset about the new neighbor. The only thing he could figure was his dad liked dogs and the new neighbor had a cat, but Jensen still didn’t think that was anything to get so upset over.
He was ten the first time he saw his neighbor in the driveway holding hands with another man, but by then he already knew what his dad thought of gay people. He knew what pretty much the whole town thought of gay people, to be honest, and it wasn’t anything good.
Jensen was thirteen the first time he thought there might be something wrong with him. Christian - who was pretty much the best friend Jensen had ever had in his life - brought over a catalogue he had stolen from his mom so they could look at the women in the bras and panties section. Christian got worked up pretty fast, but Jensen didn’t feel a damn thing until he flipped over to the section with the men in their briefs.
That worked for him real well.
Except, of course, for how it didn’t work at all. Jensen could not be gay. Not here, not in this town.
He managed pretty well to push it down and it wasn’t like there were a lot of gay teenagers in his town anyway - none, as far as Jensen knew - so he mostly just let his friends talk about girls and nodded along and tried not to think about how hot his history teacher, Mr. Morgan, was.
This plan worked really well for Jensen.
Until Jared Padalecki moved to town, that is.
Jared was tall and lean and had the broadest shoulders Jensen had ever seen. He was sixteen, which meant he was in the grade behind Jensen, so Jensen didn’t know that much about him except that Jared hung out with Chad Michael Murray, who according to Jensen’s mom was the biggest trouble-case the school had ever seen. But Jensen couldn’t judge Jared for that when Jensen’s own two best friends were Christian Kane and Steve Carlson, who notoriously never went to class and chain-smoked like it was oxygen.
Jared had shaggy brown hair and big huge dimples and a dog. Jensen knew this because sometimes when Jared’s mom picked him up from school, the dog would be in the backseat. Watching the giant mutt slobber all over Jared’s face while Jared laughed and kicked his feet around only made Jensen like him more.
In short, Jensen was screwed.
“So then I said, ‘you should see what else I can do with my hands, sweetheart.’ And she slapped me. Fricking slapped me.”
Jensen’s brain registered that Christian had stopped talking and Jensen knew he was probably suppose to respond, but he couldn’t focus on anything right now, simply because Jared was at the table across from them in the coffee shop and he was laughing in that way where he throws his whole head back and reveals his throat and Jensen just really, really wanted to lick Jared’s clavicle. Like, a lot.
“Dude!” Steve said and slapped Jensen’s arm. “Five star story here about Christian getting turned down by a chick.”
“Yeah,” Jensen said, quickly looking away from Jared’s stupid smiling face. “I know, I am just still registering my shock. Maybe she thinks she could do better with her own fingers.”
“First of all,” Christian said with disgust, “she could not do better with her own fingers, okay? And second of all, stop staring at the lumberjack. He’s not even that cute.”
“What?” Jensen sputtered and felt his whole face burn with shame. “I’m not…that’s not…”
Sometimes Jensen really hated his friends.
“Uh-huh,” Steve said with a smirk.
The truth was, Jensen had never once heard either of his friends say anything negative about homosexuals. But he also didn’t think they knew anybody who was gay and out and anyways, he’d spent enough time listening to his father and Chris’ father shooting the shit to know that keeping his mouth shut was the only sure way to stay safe.
Because it wasn’t safe to tell. It couldn’t be safe to tell. Jensen’s neighbor had moved away years ago, one too many times of finding garbage and feces and hateful words spray-painted on his door, driving him away. Jensen knew what happened to people who came out in this town.
Except, of course, just because this town in general wasn’t safe, didn’t mean Christian and Steve weren’t. His two best friends had always been there for him. Always.
“Hello?” Steve said and waved a hand in front of Jensen’s face.
Jensen was shaking.
“Jensen?” Christian asked and leaned forward in his seat, worry etched along his brow. “Are you alright, man? You look like you just shit your pants.”
He’d spent four years of his life wanting to say it, wanting to tell someone, wanting to tell his friends most of all.
“I’m…I’m…” and the words were stuck but Jensen pushed, needed to break through it, even if they never spoke to him again. He hoped they didn’t just walk away. He hoped they remembered everything else that made him who he was. He hoped he wasn’t alone after this.
“I’m…I’m gay,” he said at last, and even though he still felt like he might throw up, Jensen also felt lighter, freer somehow.
“Yeah?” Christian said with one raised eyebrow. “Point?”
“Dude,” Steve said and slapped Christian’s arm. “I think that’s the first time he’s said it out loud.”
“Aw, shit, son,” Christian said and then they were both up and out of their seats.
Christian and Steve came around the table and circled Jensen in their arms.
“Dude, we love ya’,” Steve said.
“Yeah, man, ain’t nothing gonna change that.”
“Now who’s being gay,” Jensen said but gripped them hard and pulled them closer. He blinked, his vision clouded by tears and was grateful when neither of them said a word about the wetness he left on their shirts.
“Alright, enough,” Christian said after a minute. “You’re gay, not a woman. Get off me.”
Jensen was still shaking but he let go of them and Chris and Steve went back to their seats. And then stared at Jensen. It was kind of weird. He wondered if they were rethinking their position on the subject matter.
“What?” he asked and shifted uncomfortably in his seat.
“We were just wondering…” Steve started.
“Now that you finally stopped acting like we don’t know…” Christian went on.
“If you plan on asking Padalecki out anytime soon?” Steve finished.
“What?” Jensen cried. “No! I mean…I’m not…he’s not…he’s not, okay?”
Christian made a snorting noise through his nose and then picked up a napkin and rolled it into a ball. He threw it across to the other table and hit Jared’s friend, Chad, in the head. The blond whipped around and glared at Christian.
“Douchehole,” Christian said, “get over here.”
“I hate your face,” Chad answered him, but came over to their table anyway.
“Stop it, Chris,” Jensen hissed under his breath.
“Chad, would you please tell my friend here that Jared is the gayest gay of gaydom.”
“You’re an asshole,” Chad said and then looked at Jensen. “Yeah, he is. So what? You wanna make something of it? Cuz I will lay your ass out, Ackles.”
“What?” Jensen said again. He really felt like this whole thing was getting away from him. “No. I don’t…that’s fine.”
Chad just raised an eyebrow at him.
“Is he…is he..” Jensen stuttered out. This was so not going the way he thought coming-out would. “Is he...”
“What our dissyllabic friend here would like to know,” Steve said, “is whether or not Jared is seeing anyone.”
Chad grinned. “Is that so?”
“Is he?” Jensen squeaked.
“No. Cuz he has this hang up about this dude in the grade above us and his pretty green eyes and stupid freckles and I swear to Christ if I have to hear about this guy one more damn time…” Chad sort of trailed off then and Jensen just stared at him for a whole thirty seconds before his eyes widened.
“Wait,” Jensen said then, “what?”
“Jesus Christ, get up,” Chad said and hauled Jensen out of his chair by his arm, before plopping down in said chair. “Go sit in my seat.”
Jensen wasn’t going to, but Christian kind of shoved him towards Jared and the next thing he knew, Jensen was sitting in the chair across from his crush and Jared was asking him if he wanted a coffee.
Jensen wanted so much more than a coffee, but he figured they could start with that.
And, yeah, okay, sometimes Jensen really loved his friends.