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Chasing Blue Sky - Part II. the Next Day

Previous Night

Jensen woke to the sound of someone moving around in his living quarters. This someone walked quietly, but not deliberately so. Jensen figured whoever wanted to hurt him wouldn't be tooling around in his kitchen, apparently messing with his coffee machine, but he got his gun from the night stand anyway and walked cautiously to the door.

Jared was digging, really digging into his fridge, ass up in the air and head buried deep inside. Jensen relaxed his gun hand, thought about going back to bed. But Jared had heard him, no matter Jensen was barefooted and making minimum sound. He said without pulling his head out of the fridge 'Man, you know it's weird to have vodka in your fridge, and....pretty much nothing else, right?' He gave the vodka a better look, and laughed a little, 'Girl vodka at that. Man!'
Jensen was hit with a such a strong sense of déjà vu that he was at lost for words for a second, then he grumbled, 'There are stuff in there too!' He tossed his gun on his bed, walked up to the fridge and pushed Jared out of the way and found his milk carton.

Jared looked suspiciously at it and asked dubiously 'That's not yogurt yet?' Jensen flipped him off while took a swig from it. Definitely not yogurt yet, well on its way, though. He made a face, and threw the thing into the garbage can. Jared laughed. He was in a V-neck T-shirt that revealed too much of his chest, artfully faded jeans with designer holes and a pair of old sneakers. He looked like a kid a couple years out of college, Jensen marvelled again, rather than a crime boss.

'You woke me up this early to make me breakfast?' He asked, grumpy.

Jared's grin was way too bright this early, he said 'Well, sorry that I had to disrupt your beauty sleep. But, it started.'

'What started?' Jensen hadn't quite woken up yet.

'Hmm, the war...' this time Jared made an air quote, 'with Morgan.'

'What?!' Jensen was awake in less than a split second. 'Come again? We just had that meeting last night!'

Jared shrugged like it was nothing, said 'It's a long time coming.' then he got serious, said to Jensen 'Stan was shot last night. We are going mattress.'

Jensen rolled his eyes, mumbled 'Going mattress? Going mattress? Who even says that?! You seriously do study the Godfather for being a mobster?'

Jared laughed again, carefree, continued 'Are you coming with? to the safe house? Hide out?'

Jensen shook his head no, explained 'Morgan wants your ass dead. He wants my ass working for him or something. Misha stopped by last night, told me Morgan bought off my debt off Paulie.'

Jared nodded, pointing to his cheek, asked 'That from Misha?'

Right then, his coffee machine beeped. Jensen evaded answering and got himself a mug. That scratch on his cheek was from Carla, when she slapped him with her heavily ringed hand. But Jared didn't need to know that, he went on as if Jared did not ask the question, 'So, I think I am safe, from Morgan anyways.' He took a sip of the coffee and sighed with contentment, a sense of rightness of the world.

Jared was quite the genius when it comes to morning foods, coffee, pancakes, scrambled eggs and what not. For the longest time, everybody, Jared included, had believed that he was taking over their family diner, the one his father started and finally paid off. Then the old old boss decided to run his father out of business because he wanted the diner prime location. Old man Padalecki was a stubborn man, and the old old boss employed some rather harsh way of persuasion. Old man Padalecki died of heart failure after he was viciously attacked. Young Jared played predator until the old old boss died of his own heart failure, caused by a puncture wound through the heart. The punk kid became the new force. Jensen was a witness and conspirator to it all. He knew of the violence and power that lied just under the surface. It fascinated him.

Jared said 'You know, you should have let me settle the debt with Paulie.'

Jensen returned rather curtly 'I settle my own debts.'

Jared raised his hands in a gesture of surrender, said 'Fine, fine.' He sighed like an old woman about his friend's stubbornness, then as if something hit, said 'It's good that you'll hang around here. You can keep an eye on Carla.'

Jensen stared at Jared blankly. Jared laughed, went on to explain, 'I put Stan on protection detail, you know, he was not much good for anything else.' Jensen nodded. Stan used to be on the police force, made detective for half a year when Morgan decided the police force needed a lesson as to who really was the boss. Stan was just important enough but not too important to be the lesson. After the whole thing fall through, Jared took him in like the two stray dogs he had, and Stan had been more loyal than those dogs.

'OK, so Carla needs protection, why?'

There was a faint blush creeping up Jared's cheek, he turned to look out of the window, then turned back, resolutely pulled a small velvet looking box out of the back pocket of his jeans, handed it over to Jensen, asking 'Uhm, you know more about this stuff, you think this is good for an engagement ring?' It was so cute to see Jared acting all shy and not sure of himself.

Jensen opened the box, where a sparkling diamond ring snuggled tightly in the holder. It was a beautiful thing. Expensive too. He whistled.

Jared looked at him hopefully, asked, 'This is good, right? She'd say yes, right?'

Jensen sighed, pushed the box back into Jared's hand, said 'Jared, if the girl is going to say yes, she'd say yes if you put a pebble on a soda can ring.' Then something clicked, Jensen cursed himself for not putting two and two together faster, he said, incredulously, 'You are shitting me! You are going to propose to Carla?! That why Gabe is our scum now?'

Jared was calm, too calm, when he asked, 'Uhm, yeah, and why shouldn't I?' Jensen knew this calm, it was the calm of the eye of the storm, he knew he should stop insulting Carla, now Jared's fiancee, but he was burning with a rage out of nowhere, a rage he didn't understand.

'She is a whore! for starters!' Jensen yelled at him, then snarled 'You should know, she works in your whore house!'

'Hey, I own the whore house, you works there, sometime. Hi, kettle, meet pot?' Jared answered rather mildly, apparently puzzled by Jensen's sudden outburst of true anger, 'and what is it to you? I know you two fuck, but it's not like you like her, is it?' He looked at Jensen curiously, studying him.

Jensen deflated just like that, suddenly he felt his old frustration, the one that kept him driving all those years ago, seeping back. He rubbed his face a few times to clear his head a little, then tried to reason again, 'She is playing an angle, Jared, she is.'

'Everybody is playing an angle.' Jared said matter-of-factly, like he never expected anything more from anybody. Jensen wanted to weep all a sudden. Then Jared huffed a little laugh, gave him a mischievous grin, added 'Well, everybody except maybe you. What's your angle? You know, I am starting to think you hang around because you like me...' Jared said with a leer, ran his tongue over his lips, and tried on his seductive act, 'you know, I can...'

'Finish that sentence and I will cut off your dick, your little prick!' Jensen had heard his share of pretty boy jokes, from Jared nonetheless.

'Oh, but there is nothing little about my prick.' Jared nodded at him, hiding a smile, winked at him and gave him the eyes.

Jensen sighed, surrendering, remembering all to well how Jared got his way every single fucking time, including this one, he said, 'OK, OK, OK, I will look after your whore house...' seeing Jared's pointed look, he added, 'and Carla.'

'Especially Carla.' Jared stretched while yawning, 'I am going to ask her after this whole thing goes down, if I don't die.'

'You are serious about getting married? What for? You can, you know, fuck her whenever you want, if you wanna be her exclusive, that's easy too.' Although Jensen was a few years older than Jared, the idea of marriage seemed to him so far away on the horizon, it confused him that someone younger than he was wanted to get married.

Jared considered him, answered seriously, 'Ah well, I am turning 29, time to be a responsible adult, get married, got a wife, birth kids, yada yada yada, picket fences and all that shit.' He did not sound too excited about the prospect.

Jensen shook his head in wonder, asked incredulously 'What? Let me get this straight, so you are going to marry Carla, a prostitute in your own whore house, just because it's time?!'

Jared laughed, said 'Well, it does sound silly if you put it this way. But, my dad, when he was 28, my brother was, like 3, already. So, I really should, you know, start...' Jared waved a hand, continued, 'I do care about Carla, and I don't want my babies ever get called bastard, ya know, so yeah, I am going to make it legal.'

Jensen rubbed his eyes again, this was getting familiar. He tried again, feebly, 'But do you have to marry a whore?'

'Do you have to use that word?' Jared looked at him, annoyed.

'Hey, I call a spade a spade.' this comeback was easy, 'Jared, man, you know half of the girls in this town will jump at the chance of being Mrs. Padalecki.'

'Yeah, I know.' Jared got that pinched look, he let out a heavy sigh, not looking at Jensen, explained 'But, I need someone who knows the deal, right? It's not like I'mma gonna just fuck one person from now on out, and I need someone who won't turn on me 'cause I have killed and might kill more people and calls me evil, like she hasn't been living off on all that blood money I brought home.'

Jensen muttered, only half to himself, 'God, seriously, your people in this town, you have a mobster reading group on the Godfather? Man!'

Jared laughed easy and happy at that.


Jensen made his way to the gentlemen's club shortly before dark. By then the gun shots rang throughout the town the whole day had died down a little. The civilian part of the town people took the war in remembered practice: streets were deserted, kids were herded inside and all the curtains and shades and shutters were closed.

Carla opened the door for him even before he knocked. He walked in, the girls were all hushed, wide-eyed and white-faced. He gave them a reassuring smile, said, 'Don't worry, nobody will do anything to your girls. We all like you way too much.'

Carla answered coolly for them all: 'Thank you, that makes everything so much better.' Then she dragged him into an empty room, closed the door, her eyes huge and pleading, looking at him. She was worried for different reasons. He sighed, asked 'You want me to find Gabe?' Carla nodded, 'Can you? Please. You have to, I don't have anybody else. Gabe called, and he he.... he is in so much trouble.'

Jensen asked idly, 'What do you mean you don't have anybody else? You can always ask Jared.'

'No, I can't.' Carla sounded so desperate, almost despair.

'Why not? You know Jared got in this war over Gabe, 'cause he is his scum now. And Gabe is Jared's scum 'cause of you.' He pointed his finger at her nose playfully.

'That's exactly why I can't ask him. Don't you get it? Whatever it is, Gabe is scheming with Morgan, before it went bad anyways. I might be a whore, but, I won't use Jared like that, I can't.' Carla said .

Jensen looked at her, really looked, asked her: 'You know Jared is going to ask you to marry him.'

'Yeah, So?' She didn't sound surprised, she didn't sound excited, she sounded tired and sad.

'So you don't need Gabe.'

'You are a cold bastard, aren't you.' Carla cursed without much heat, 'He is my brother, we grew up together, in this whole wild world, only us shared the same last name.'

'You won't be, not for long. You are gonna be a Padalecki.'

'What does that matter? He is still my brother, we are blood. Even you don't need me to explain blood to you, do you?'

It was more the resignation in her voice that made Jensen said to her, 'I am not going to go around the town looking for him. Works better if you tell him to find me. I am sure you have his cell or something,'

He turned and left.

The day after