Word Count: 3000
Summary: Jensen never expected her to be the one to offer him a lifeline. He never expected to tell her his secrets. He never expected her to be the on to point his heart back home.
A/N: I always wondered why there wasn’t more Michelle Williams/Jensen friendship fic.
“Have you ever fallen in love with someone who you shouldn’t have been in love with?”
“What is the thing you don’t want any one to know?”
Jensen looked up suddenly. As always Michelle Williams’ face was sweet as a pixie. His eyes went immediately to the two little girls in the other room. Matilda Leger was helping his one-year-old daughter, Katy, build a tower with blocks.
With a flick Katy knocked over the tower and laughed. Jensen looked at her smile, it was familiar enough, it was his smile and smaller versions of his eyes filled with joy. He couldn’t see it, but her pale skin was covered in the customary Ackles freckles. She was a mini version of him, except for her dark hair, almost black, that was her mother’s.
Jensen’s eyes went down to his ring finger, which had been empty for a little over a year, practically exactly three months plus Katy’s age.
Then Jensen looked up at Michelle again.
Of all of his on screen girlfriends she wasn’t the one that he had figured would offer him a lifeline.
His marriage to Danneel was mostly over when he had a one-night stand with a girl he would eventually know was named Sarah. It wasn’t something he was proud of. When she had been outed by the press six months pregnant, the divorce happened so quickly Jensen’s head could barely catch up to it.
He was fodder of late night television. The only thing that had saved his career was the movie that had come out about six months after Katy had been born. He had finished filming the movie before everything erupted, he had seen it as his arrival as a leading man. It was a 40’s crime drama and he had held his own with Leonardo DiCaprio. After the scandal he saw it as the only way that he was going to ever be anything but a joke.
It had brought up the scandal again, but enough time had happened that he knew what to do. He had been properly humble about his past, said enough, but not too much and never a bad word about Danneel.
It had saved his career.
He looked for a new part, it was hard going, he wanted the right role after the accolades of the last one. He had to do it right or he was sunk.
Then Michelle, from his days on ‘Dawson’s Creek’ called. She had a part in an independent film, she told him she wanted to do it with him, and only him.
“You’re rockabilly LA and I’m small venue Brooklyn, but we have this shared past, this brief moment in time,” she had told him on the phone. “We have this thing in common and we could do great thing in this film.”
Jensen hadn’t been sure but a week later when he read the script, mouth watered. He wanted it so badly it made him ache.
She asked him to come and see her and he didn’t have anything else in his life besides Katy.
He packed up his daughter and went to see Michelle, to talk about it. She had always been funny, but professional. They had never been overly close, but she was the kind of girl who would ask the most piercing of questions.
He sat in her living room, talking about life and the script.
They were trying to see if they could have that thing, the thing in the script where they had something that nobody else did.
Her blue eyes and sweet face stared straight at him.
“I have never loved him,” Michelle said softly. “Not for real. There is an entire cult devoted to my daughter’s father and I love my daughter, and I was in awe of her father, but if it weren’t for a broken condom I wouldn’t have stayed with him, he was a great actor, but he was a difficult person. My name will always be linked to his and the one thing I can’t ever tell anybody is that I never loved him.”
Jensen looked at her, face betraying nothing, but he was a little flabbergasted. They weren’t close enough for this honesty.
“Now you know my deep dark secret,” she whispered leaning in, her eyes luminous.
That was the intimacy that they needed for the role. That was what would make them great. He just had to give her a little more.
Jensen felt his heart pounding. He had never told anyone, never let out a moment where he could be vulnerable, where this could be something he was held responsible for.
But he had been broken long ago; he was so tired of hiding it.
Here, in Brooklyn years after his show, it was so different he could at least admit that once upon a time he had been able to be the kind of person who could believe in real love.
“I have only been in love with one person in my life,” Jensen admitted in a hoarse whisper.
Michelle quirked her head to the side, reading him as easily as the ABCs. “It wasn’t the ex was it, or Ally’s mother.”
Jensen looked down again, because Michelle wasn’t the kind of girl who would be okay with half-truths. She seemed to see his soul anyway.
“Jared,” Jensen said simply.
Her face remained neutral. She didn’t seem shocked.
“Now you know my secret,” he said softly. “You’re the only person in the world with confirmation.
She nodded, her eyes taking on a reflection of the pain he knew that he felt.
“And you know mine,” Michelle whispered.
“So we’re doing a movie?” Jensen asked, needing something to shake off the heavy feeling in the room.
She gave him a small smile and nodded. “We’re going to do a movie.”
It was two weeks and many telephone calls later, calls that lasted hours, talking about their kids, about the role, about the industry in general he realized something.
“Are we friends now?” he asked her one night.
She paused. “Oh my, I think we are.”
They both were quiet. Once secret and two weeks had done something they had never done when they used to spend all day naked in bed, in front of cameras.
“Let’s rent a house together when we are filming,” Michelle said. “Matilda really likes Katy.”
”Sometimes I feel like I’m not part of the world, as if I’m walking around with this thing inside of me that nobody can understand, then you come, and god you know,” he said burying his head in his hands, blocking out the perfection of the tropics in front of him. “You’re the only one who knows me, good or bad and not from lack of any one trying, but only you know this thing inside me.”
She looked at him.
He lifted his head and looked at her, when he spoke it was in a whisper. “This thing is killing me and you are the only one who knows.”
Jensen was lying in the sun on the beaches of Hawaii, watching Katy throw handfuls of sand. It was one of his first days off of day shooting. He had been here two weeks and they had another two to go. He was really enjoying it.
This was the first time he had a kid and was on set. It was an adjustment to get used to the nanny and the schedule and making time, but it was really great to not be alone. It was hard being a single father, but Michelle was giving him some great advice.
His cell phone rang. He lifted his sunglasses and looked down at the display.
It was Jared.
Jensen just stared for a brief second.
Over the last few years, sometime around Jared’s second boy, before Katy, they had stopped talking as much. It was the slow roll of the post-Supernatural ending.
After the show they were focused on making their marriages work while juggling kids and careers. Jared had resumed every other day phone calls when everything hit the fan with Danneel, but things had gotten sparse again.
Jensen had had gotten the feeling that Jared’s relationship was going badly.
But they didn’t talk about it, just like they hadn’t talked about Jensen’s fading relationship until it was over.
They hadn’t actually seen each other in years. They were busy.
That is what he told himself to sleep at night.
Jensen just couldn’t take the heartbreak that every smile from Jared Padalecki would bring.
That was the truth.
He had tried so hard with Danneel. It had been easier when he had been on Supernatural. When he had Jared for everything. As he moved away from the ease of Jared it had become harder with Danneel.
He tried to pretend he didn’t understand it, but he knew all too well why that was.
He picked up the phone because he always had and always would for Jared.
“Hey man,” Jensen said, it felt like it always did, like no time had passed.
“Hey,” Jared said and immediately Jensen sat up, something was wrong. Jensen would always know when something was wrong with Jared and it only ever took one syllable.
“What’s wrong?” Jensen asked.
There was a pause. Jensen reached for Katy and put her on his lap. She squirmed, but he held her still. Jensen figured he needed a little comforting at this moment.
Finally Jared spoke.
“I’m leaving Gen,” Jared said tiredly. “It’s just not going well or right and I can’t do it any more.”
“Oh Jared,” Jensen said, his own heart breaking a little bit. He knew how Jared loved, so enthusiastic. One of the many reasons that Jensen had never asked for Jared’s heart was because he wasn’t sure that he’d ever be able to take care of it.
He had watched Jared’s heartbreak over Sandy and Jensen never wanted that to happen again. Especially over him.
“I…I can’t get into it,” Jared said. “I just was calling, feel free to say no, but I want to be close to the boys, I know that you are filming…”
“I’ll call my housekeeper to let you in my house,” Jensen interrupted. “You can stay for as long as you want.”
“Thank you,” Jared said.
The note in his voice was so happy and grateful. Jensen died a little.
“How is filming?” Jared asked.
For a little while they talked, about filming, about their kids. It was natural. Jensen talked, tried to ease some of the tension he felt in Jared over the phone lines.
The end of a marriage was tough, Jensen would know, he had royally fucked that beyond the telling of it.
“I’ve gotta go,” Jensen said clearing his throat. “I’ve got to get to set, but I’m going to call you tomorrow, make sure you are okay.”
Jensen remembered what it was like when Jared broke up, that is why they had lived together. He knew Jared’s heart.
And that really was the problem.
”It happened when we were too young to know better,” she whispered, having snuck into his room, something they hadn’t done since they were children.
”We can’t be held responsible,” he agreed, only about to in the darkness.
”I spend so many days trying to find my way back to that,” she told him. “To find something I could only have when I was young and stupid.”
They were silent.
“Do you ever wish you could unlearn it all,” she finally asked. “Be like that again. To truly believe without doubts.”
“Every single day,” he whispered.
That evening he and Michelle couldn’t seem to hit the right stride. Their scene was on the beach, millions of miles of ocean in front of them. They were supposed to be emotional, to show their understanding. In the movies they were the survivors of something that they could never share with anyone else.
“I can’t fucking reach you, Jensen,” she finally yelled at him.
Jensen looked at her miserable; he grabbed her by the arm and whispered in her ear. “Jared is getting a divorce.”
Five minutes later they were in the scene, they were in their characters, and they torn themselves apart for their roles.
They nailed the scene over and over again. They broke every heart of the crew that night.
They only had one more scene to shoot and the studio was already talking about nominating them for awards.
“I won’t live like this,” she screamed at him.
“Nobody is asking you to,” he growled back.
“But nobody is letting me tell the truth,” she said, face red with anger.
“Tell it, tell it to the goddamned fucking world,” he said throwing his arms out wide towards the ocean, towards everything that spread out at their feet.
She looked at him, shaking so hard, but staying silent.
“You can’t say the words,” he said with a said laugh. “You’re a coward.”
Her lips were shaking. “You are too.”
“Honey, I never claimed to be otherwise,” he said, turning and walking away.
“He’s at your house?” Michelle asked, sitting on his porch. The girls were in bed. They were supposed to be sleeping, but neither one of them could.
Her slight frame made the wineglass she was drinking look gigantic.
“Yep,” Jensen said. After not talking about it for so many years it was hard to keep talking about it.
“You’re going to be at your house soon,” she pointed out needlessly.
“Yep,” Jensen agreed, drinking his whiskey.
“What will you do when you are in the same time and space?” she asked sweetly.
Jensen looked up at the ceiling. “He is getting a divorce.”
“What if he’s been waiting for you,” she said softly. “What if she was because…”
“I don’t believe in things like that,” he interrupted staring straight at her.
“Hollywood has made your heart hard,” she told him, her voice a wise whisper.
He looked away again.
“I can’t,” he told her. “How do you?”
“Keep an open heart?” Michelle asked.
He nodded almost imperceptively.
“Well I could tell you about me,” she said, her eyes wise beyond her years. “But that wouldn’t work for you.”
“It wouldn’t work for you because you’ve closed your heart to stay away,” she told him wisely.
His head lolled back to look at her.
“Better mine than his,” Jensen said with no doubt.
“How do you know that his isn’t breaking at your silence,” she asked light and airy, and it hit Jensen like a punch to the balls.
“How do you know that is even true?” he asked, wanting her to have psychic powers.
She shrugged. “A life without dares is one not worth living.”
“I can’t be daring any more,” he told her honestly. “I don’t have any left.”
“We’ll see,” she said, and for a moment he wondered if she did in fact have super powers.
The waves crashed on the sand. She stood in the surf looking out.
“Where will you go?” he asked.
She didn’t turn. “Where ever will have me, all of me.”
“If you find that place, let me know,” he said.
When she turned around he was gone.
Jensen kissed her good bye on the cheek after they had cleared security.
She just looked up at him.
“Hit me with it,” he said tiredly.
“You’ve already had the worst,” Michelle said softly. “You’ve had the scandal and the hurt career. You have a film that is going to top the already awesome work you’ve already done.”
He waited for the punch line.
“What is the worst that can happen if you do this, hasn’t the worst already happened?” Michelle said.
Jensen nodded, feeling a prickle behind his eye. “I’m sorry you will never get a chance to change your secret.”
“Will you try for the both of us?” Michelle said softly.
Jensen said nothing.
She never called. She never wrote. She never returned.
He would say that he never looked for her.
But he was as much a liar as he a coward.
Jensen picked Katy out of the car; the driver had taken out the few bags. Everything had been shipped from Hawaii and would arrive tomorrow.
He tipped the driver and turned to his house.
The front door was flung open and there stood the ridiculously sized Jared.
“Welcome home,” his voice boomed through the yard, and Jensen was pretty sure the state.
Jensen was riveted to the spot.
He felt the heart that he had thought dead start beating so loudly he couldn’t hear Jared coming forward talking a million miles an hour.
Jared picked up some of the bags, still talking.
Jensen managed to hear one thing. “It will be just like old times.”
And that is all it took for Jensen to feel it again.
At this moment he was stupid enough.
He grabbed Jared with his free hand, Katy balanced on the other, standing up on tiptoes Jensen leaned up and placed his lips on Jared’s.
It was brief and just a second.
Jared looked at him, his eyes a little crazy.
Jensen just waited for whatever was going to come, because at this moment a tiny part of him had hope and in that minute it was enough to make him stay.
“I never was sure,” Jared, said finally, a grin coming out. “Didn’t want to say something if I wasn’t sure.”
“Always,” Jensen said, still stupid enough to be very honest.
“This is going to be complicated,” Jared said, blinding white smile and dimple belaying his words.
“With us?” Jensen said, raising an eyebrow.
And just like that they were stupid enough to try. They knew each other, they knew their likes and dislikes.
That was enough to begin the thing that they had been fighting for years.
And in the moment that it started they could only stare at each other and grin.