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Clif and building security were waiting behind the stage when they finished, and Jensen leaned in, letting Clif know he wanted to go directly to his room. No interest in standing around chatting, Jensen was in a hurry and on a mission. He needed to breathe, he fucking hated being up there on display during the best of times, but right now was about as far from that as imaginable, and he felt like he was going to panic if he wasn’t alone within the next few minutes. Clif recognized this Jensen and had them moving in that direction immediately.

Jared was directly behind Jensen, desperately wanting and needing to reach out and touch him, reassure himself that Jensen was here, within reach and unable to escape. The panel had worked in the way that the Misha moments had been a good distraction for the crowd. He was his normal crazy self and the fans loved the added interaction. But, he knew that it was all wrong, it had been such a bad time for something like that, with Jensen questioning him already about sleeping with other people. Fuck. What a mess. How had things gotten so twisted in such a short time? Last night they had gone out to drink and try to shed the weight of the con for a while, and nothing had seemed amiss, but then Jensen had come up behind Jared and started twisting things around, making something out of nothing, and then disappearing like that, leaving Jared with a night full of fear and unanswered queries.

Clif was certainly one of the few people who had to know something was occurring between them. He was with them too often not to suspect, but he was also a good friend and confidant, and he never voiced his suspicions nor spoke of them to anyone else. But he also knew his role and position, and played it perfectly. He dropped Jensen at his door and watched as Jared practically sprinted down the hall to his own.

By the time Jared was in his room, Jensen had the adjoining door closed and locked. He knew because he tried it immediately. Fuck. “Jensen. Open the door. You said we would talk, man. We need to talk. I am so fucking confused right now. Open the door.”

Jensen cringed, heart constricting as he listened to that voice through the door. That voice that had told him of love and want and need. That voice that he had heard more over the last few years than any other. That voice that called to his heart, dug itself inside. It was the voice he associated with happiness and everything he wanted. Everything he was giving up. Had to. Now before he was left a shell of a man from being pushed away, being told he wasn’t enough anymore.

“Jensen. Open the fucking door.” Jared sounded scared and angry and uncertain.

Jensen continued packing, trying to ignore that fucking voice. He had to get away, before he lost his mind, before he screamed and pulled his hair out. He would be fine, he just needed to get away. Jared would be upset, worried, but he would be relieved as well. He would see that Jensen was fun, for a while, but that he wasn’t what anyone wanted long term. Then they would just be friends again. And Jensen would be able to breathe again, without the fear. The awful inescapable fear of being left.

By the time Jensen finished packing, he realized Jared had stopped knocking. He couldn’t sense his presence at all, which was perfect. He had given up pretty quickly, really. Not surprising but still painful if Jensen let himself think about it, which he didn’t. Jensen texted Clif, letting him know he was leaving early, change of plans. In less than 5 minutes Jensen was out of the back door of the hotel and in the car on the way to the airport, informing Clif that under no circumstances was he to answer Jared’s questions about his plans. Clif’s face contorted slightly. He had just gotten a text from Jared, and decided he had best just not look at it. He couldn’t tell Jared anything Jensen didn’t want him to know. He worked for them both, but privacy was second only to security and safety in his line of work. Damn but he knew the puppy dog eyes he had in store for him when he got back to the hotel.

“I can’t go with you, Jensen. You know that you changing your plans doesn’t change my job plans. You sure this is a good idea?” Clif was worried and Jensen tried to smile.

“I’ll be fine, Clif. I need to get out of here, and I don’t want anyone with me. You go back and take care of Jared. He’s the one in the hotel with a million fangirls. I’ll be fine.”

“Where are you going?”

“No, Clif. I’ll be fine and if I tell you you know Jared will try to get it out of you. That will put you in the middle. No one needs to know where I am. I’m a big boy and will make it to the con in Spain in six weeks. Til then, you take care of Jared, k?”

Jensen glanced down, his cell phone vibrating yet again with a message. He tried to ignore it but wasn’t able to resist opening it to see Jared’s message.

>>What is goin on jen? Ur scarin me man. I love you.

Feeling like his heart was going to push its way out of his chest, Jensen squeezed his eyes shut and concentrated on breathing. Clif started to get out, but Jensen laid a hand on his huge arm. “I got it. You head back. Thank you for bringing me.”

Clif watched Jensen grab his bags and pull his baseball cap down lower as he sprinted into the airport, worry on his face. Somehow he knew this was about Jared, those boys were so tangled up in each other it was unreal. He looked down at his phone as it vibrated yet again with an incoming message. Saw that there was also a missed call from Jared and sighed. This was not going to be a fun few weeks.

Jared threw his phone across the room, seeing at least two pieces bounce from the wall. “Fucking fuck fuck.” He yelled at no one in particular before rushing over to put the phone back together. He knew Clif had to be with Jensen, and Jensen had to have asked him not to answer any questions, because Clif never ignored calls or texts from either of them. He breathed a sigh of relief when his phone turned on successfully after he found the back and the battery. The phone rang almost the second he turned it back on and he jumped, the song blaring since he had turned the ringer to the highest setting, as if he were likely to miss a call right now.

“Clif!” He practically yelled into the phone. “What is going on? Where are you?”

Clif sighed silently, was it possible to get puppy dog eyes through the phone? “I’m in the car. I will be back in just a few minutes, Jared. Sorry to leave you like that, but I’m assuming you got my message?” He had sent a message letting Jared know he had to run an errand and would be back as quickly as possible and he had alerted con security so there was no lapse.

“Yeah, I got it. Where did you go? I know you are with Jensen.”

“No, Jared, I’m not.” Clif knew that wouldn’t throw Jared for long, but it was worth a try.

“But you took him somewhere. Where is he, Clif?” Jared knew that he was confirming for once and always that there was more than friendship between himself and Jensen with his concerned voice and questions, but he no longer cared. Something was really wrong and his stomach was hurting in addition to his heart.

“I can’t tell you that, Jared. You know that. Look, I will be back in a few minutes. But it doesn’t matter, you know that I have to respect Jensen’s privacy.”

Jared, known for his sweetness and abiding concern for everyone and their feelings, swore heartily and slammed the phone shut. He immediately tried Jensen’s phone again, to no avail, directly to voice mail this time. He had turned it off again. Fuck.

Clif found Jensen’s cell phone on the seat in the back of the car when he got back to the hotel.

Clif stared down at the cell phone in his hand, sighing yet again. Somehow he was certain it had been abandoned on purpose. It was turned off, and he dropped it into his jacket pocket, unsure what he should do with it and uncertain what he should tell Jared. Surely telling him the phone had been left so he didn’t continue to call it wouldn’t be an issue. But he would need to get rid of the phone, he couldn’t just hand it over to Jared, either.

“Look, man, I’m sorry about how I spoke to you earlier.” Jared’s face was flushed and his hair was wild. Clif shrugged the apology off, knowing Jared wouldn’t hurt anyone on purpose. “Did he go to the airport? Come on, Clif, just tell me that much.”

“I’m sorry, Jared. You know I would tell you if I could. I know you’re upset and worried or whatever. But I just can’t. I will tell you that you can quit trying to call and text. He forgot his phone in the car. That’s all I can say, man.”

Jared knew Jensen hadn’t left his phone by accident. He was avoiding Jared. It was like a punch to an already painful stomach wound. What the fuck was going on? What had happened? He felt panicked and out of control. How could Jensen do this anyway? Just decide whatever in his mind and then turn and walk away as if nothing they had together mattered at all. He wondered again if there was someone else. He knew the answer might be on the phone. It was also the only thing he could hold onto right now to feel like he was connected to Jensen.

“Can I have the phone, Clif?” Jared’s tone turned pleading and he looked at Clif appealingly.

“You know the answer, man. Again, it’s not that I don’t understand, and I knew you would look at me like that, and it might make me weak, so I gave it to his PA.” Clif knew she wouldn’t cave. For all that she was a meek looking little girl, she would protect Jensen and his privacy to the bitter end.


chap 17





master post/all chaps here
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