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08 November 2011 @ 04:47 pm
Sacrosanct - SPN RPS, Jared/Jensen, PG  
Title: Sacrosanct
Fandom: Supernatural RPS
Pairing: Jared/Jensen
Rating: PG
Word Count: ~7500
Warnings: Very AU. RPS. Some non-graphic reference to violence.
Author Note: For spn_reversebang. Thanks to morgana_hallow for the beta!
Summary: It's easy for Jared to follow the law of God on Earth, even if he's not an angel any more. He wears his Fallen Angel tattoos proudly and never questions the law set down for him. Until Jensen, a human in need of his help, falls into his path.

Art by the wonderful trueshellz - click the banner to go and see the fabulous creations!

The building used to be a monastery. The old gray stones are drenched in history and holiness; it's a fitting place for the angels to live, Fallen or otherwise. Human devotion has made it sacred and the angels keep it so. Twenty-four of the Fallen live and work from the monastery, sharing the vast old rooms and sleeping in the cold chambers as the solemn monks once did. Jared feels more at home here than he ever did in Heaven and he knows he's not the only one.

Some angels are destined to fall.

As the monks once did, the Fallen take seriously their devotion to saving souls and descend upon the unwitting human world. They leave the great iron gates shut and leave through the back, silent shadows slipping between the heavy apple trees whether there's snow or grass or fallen fruits beneath their boots. They are dedicated to their work and to their secrecy.

Today, Jared has no assignment. Perhaps he should stay in the great hall and find some time for prayer, or maybe to merely relax with Alona, Jared's good friend and the only other Fallen not working today. Only she's lately been distracted and has become impatient with his idle talk, though usually they can chat for hours without pause when they're lucky enough to have time off together. Prayer doesn't come easily today either, so Jared dresses in old, comfortable jeans that ride low on his hips and a white tank top that shows off most of his tattoos. His stars; three to show his rank in Heaven. The details are difficult to grasp now that his mind is too small and human to understand them but he knows he had been high up in the holy hierarchy. There are the wings across his upper arm, branded on him the moment he fell to Earth. Hidden beneath his clothes is another set of wings, wider and more intricate. The mark of an angel. He doesn't show that one as readily.

It's warm outside, the summer months dragging on into fall, and soon the apple trees will be ready. He picks a ripe green specimen from a low-hanging branch and crunches into it. It's sweet, juicy and lifts Jared's spirits as he walks out into the street.

Though it isn't against the rules for a Fallen to leave the monastery on a free day, it's usually met with little suspicion. After all, what could a Fallen want out in the open world except to help their assigned people?

Charity wasn't the only reason Jared had fallen. One ice-cream, that's all he needs. Then he'll go back and be the devoted soldier of good once again.

Banana with chocolate chips and sprinkles. Perfection. Well, almost; Jared completes its splendour with the sugary sweet syrup that makes Alona pull a face whenever she tries it. The ice-cream isn't whole without it though and Jared loads it up, sticking the long-handled spoon with sheer glee. Now this was why he came here. Taste and sight and smell and food. Helping abandoned souls is just one of the perks. This is definitely another.

It's never easy to let go of the job for long since Jared hardly ever comes out here into the wide world of California without a good reason (and no, ice-cream doesn't count). So if his eyes wander to the shabbily-dressed man slouched in the corner booth with an empty coffee cup and nothing else, Jared can't help it. He looks down at his ice-cream but the sweetness is soured by the lost soul nearby. Jared sighs. There are strict rules on not interfering without clearance from Up There but Jared's already breaking one rule today. What's one more?

The man looks up suspiciously when Jared scoots into the opposite seat of the booth. Even Jared's big friendly grin doesn't do much to stop that narrow-eyed stare and Jared's shoulders slump a bit. Not an easy case then. That's fine; Jared's good at making people even a little bit happier. "Hey. You want another coffee? Something to eat?"

"I don't need your charity. Thanks." The man's eyes flicker to the door as an elderly couple walk in and Jared looks back over his shoulder too. When he turns back the bedraggled man is slumped a little more. There are dark circles beneath his eyes and his jaw is set tightly. "Can you go away now?"

"Waiting for someone?" Jared asks as sweetly as he can. He pushes the ice-cream across to the man who just shakes his head and Jared tries a new tactic. "What's your name?"

"Jensen. And that's all you're getting out of me."

"I'm Jared," he replies, unfazed. "Help yourself to some ice-cream. I'm done with it anyway. Look, if you need to talk or somewhere to stay or something, just go to the monastery on Fifth Street."

"You're a monk?" Jensen asks, raising his eyebrow.

He's got really gorgeous eyes, Jared thinks. Startlingly gorgeous. Green, sharp and intelligent, even black-rimmed and red with fatigue. He'd be stunning after a good meal, a sleep and a change out of the ratty leather jacket he's wearing. "Kinda. As for your next predictable question no, we're not a cult. We just like to help people. So if you want somewhere to stay tonight you're more than welcome."

Jensen doesn't say another word and Jared stands up, giving him a brief smile and leaving him with the ice-cream. On the way out, he sends the waitress over to Jensen for a coffee refill and as he walks past the window Jensen glances up with a mouthful of banana ice-cream with chocolate chips and sprinkles.

It looks like Jensen enjoys the syrup a lot more than Alona did.

Jared doesn't mention Jensen to Alona even if he thinks he should. Interfering in other humans' lives is dubious practice at best but inviting one to stay at the monastery? Jared would be branded as insane, so it's a good thing he's sure Jensen won't turn up. And he doesn't. The night drags on and no stray humans wander in, and Jared can regain a little of his sanity.

The next day he's busy organising things from far behind the scenes so a virtuous family don't lose their home and it's a job well done. The dodgy paperwork goes missing, the dubious landlord grows some ounce of a heart and the parents both find new well-paid jobs. All in one day. Jared goes home feeling lighter than air, like he could stretch out the wings he once had and fly with the warm currents of the autumn breeze.

Alona is waiting for him in the doorway, arms crossed and eyebrow raised. She's wearing a loose grey shirt that shows off her two star tattoo, marking her as the level above Jared back in Heaven. That hierarchy means less down here but it's still important in the monastery. "So. Making friends, Jared?"

Jared stares blankly. "What?"

"A guy turned up about an hour ago. Human. Kind of cute. You're bringing strays home now? He said, and I quote, ‘a really freakily tall man who wouldn't stop smiling' invited him to stay."

Ah. Jared clears his throat and rubs at his neck, putting on his best innocent face which usually softens that irritated look Alona gets so often around him. "Uh. Yeah. Look, Alona, he was really miserable."

"And hot."

"And he didn't look like he had anywhere to go, and – wait, what?"

Alona shrugged. "He's hot. That's why you invited him back, right? Don't worry. We all go through it. There is a lot of temptation out there." She's grinning now, nudging his arm as they walk into the quiet shelter of their home. "We've just gotta learn to climb over it, not on it."

"Oh, man. No. This is not about... about sex," Jared protests but he can tell Alona doesn't believe him. He's not sure he believes himself. Alona isn't angry either, which surprises Jared. He's used to defending his stupid decisions for a lot longer than this. Years, back in the time when their lives were infinite. They walk along the corridor lined with impressive portraits of nearly forgotten men, all decked out with the smug certainty of one's path to Heaven. Some of them, Jared knows, were wrong to be so sure. Just like no Fallen could be sure the Gates would open for them once their time came. Righteousness involves more than deeming yourself a servant of God. "We're supposed to help people."

"We're supposed to follow orders," Alona corrects. "That's the point of this place."

"Then why did we fall if we're still living an angel's life?" Jared asks but no answer comes. He didn't expect one. It's dangerous to talk about this where one of the others could hear, however much Jared trusts Alona. Doubt is no more celebrated down here. "Okay. Never mind. Changing the subject. So, you thought Jensen was hot?" Jared asks with a salacious and not entirely serious wiggle of his eyebrows.

Alona nods. "Sure. Apart from the bleeding." Jared feels a cold wave pass over him and he stops in his tracks. Alona frowns and stops too, turning to him. "What?"

"You didn't say he was hurt," Jared says.

"I didn't know it was important. Misha says he's fine, a bit shaken up but fine."

"It is important. Where is he?"

Alona's eyes are wide as she points back in the direction of the great hall. A place Jared would prefer to avoid when his mind is full of doubt but he isn't thinking sensibly at all right now. He wants to get to Jensen, check if he's okay and no amount of logical thinking can stop him. He crashes through the door, expecting the worst, and Misha looks around calmly. "Hello, Jared."

"Where is he?" Jared demands. Misha's one of the oldest Fallen and Jared remembers him from Heaven. Someone might be tempted to think Misha's eccentric attitude to live came from plummeting through Earth's atmosphere so fast his wings burnt to dust but in honesty, he'd never been the most regimented angel. Which means that maybe he'll let Jared see the human before kicking him out. "Where's Jensen?"

"I'm here." Jensen's voice comes from one of the wooden benches at the far side of the room. He sits up and Jared's relieved to see he's okay. Conscious, anyway, with all limbs where they should be. Jared still glances at Misha and waits for a wave of his one-starred arm before he crosses the distance and hovers near Jensen until Jensen snorts. "Jeez, sit down already. You're making me dizzy."

"Sorry," Jared says awkwardly and sits down on the wooden seat, keeping enough distance between them that he doesn't freak Jensen out too much. Jensen has a cut just below his hairline, a few inches long and the beginnings of a black eye. There's a smudge of blood in the corner of his mouth and he flinches when he moves. Jared frowns. "Were you in a fight?"

Jensen laughs but it's short and brittle and he holds his chest through it. "Yeah. You should see the other guy." Jensen sits stiff and for a moment Jared wishes desperately that he could still reach out with the angel's grace to heal him. Instead Jared has to watch him suffer and have no way to help. He must be staring because Jensen snorts and looks away. "I didn't come here for pity. I needed to be somewhere safe for the night. I wouldn't have come in but Misha found me lingering near the gates bleeding on your rose bushes and dragged me in."

"You'll be safe here," Jared promises. He hopes he's telling the truth. No one here would hurt a human but there's no saying whether they'll let him stay. "Come on. I'll find you a room and you can rest until we have dinner later."

After picking up his leather jacket from the seat beside him, Jensen follows Jared without a word. His eyes trace the old arches, the lines of the stone walls, the frames of those old ghostly paintings. They're nearly at the sleeping area with no run-ins with the other Fallens by the time Jensen finds his tongue. "This place is weird. Are you sure you're not a cult?"

"I'm pretty sure," Jared replies with a smile. It's dark down this corridor no matter what time of day it is but the smooth grey slabs beneath their feet are worn down from more than a century of pious feet so he walks with more certainty. He doesn't realise that his are the only footsteps for a few minutes and when he does, he looks back to the corner where the last dredges of sunlight slink through. "Jensen, are you okay?"

"Yeah. Look. Can you turn a light on or something?"

Jared frowns. "No, there isn't any electricity in this part of the building."

"What is this, the dark ages? I'm going back to the hall," Jensen says and turns on his heel. Jared doesn't want to follow along like a little stalker but he knows he'll be shot for letting a normal human walk the halls unattended. Jensen frowns. "I know the way."

"I know," Jared replies but still walks at Jensen's side. "Why did you change your mind about rest?"

"I can rest just as good in the hall," Jensen replies. He stops beneath a painting of Gregory Charles, one of the monks that Jared knows for a fact isn't lounging on the holy clouds of Heaven right now. At Jared's frown, Jensen laughs. It's not a pleasant sound. "How about you leave me alone? You're following me around like a kicked puppy. Or possibly some kind of bodyguard and I'm not even sure which is more disturbing."

"Fine but I can't let you wander alone. I'll take you to the hall and then... then I'll just stay out of your way, okay?"

Jensen's shoulders sagged and he waved an arm in resignation. "Okay. Okay, fine."

The rest of the walk is silent except for their footsteps and Jared keeps his eyes straight ahead, not on Jensen. This protective urge he's beginning to feel is entirely inappropriate for a man he hardly even knows and who doesn't want to be around him but Jared can't stop. He doesn't know how when his whole human life has been spent looking after other people. What kind of sick joke is fate playing that he'd end up fixated on someone outside his power?

So by the time Jared leaves Jensen in Misha's capable hands, he's in a foul mood and goes straight back to his room. He misses the meal and ignores Alona when she knocks at his door but he takes solace in the otherwise silent surroundings. It's a simple room, only adorned with a single bed and a desk with a wooden chair beside it. There's no electricity here so as the sun fades, Jared lights a candle in the corner of the room and relaxes in its flickering light.

Prayer was different when he had wings. Jared could get on his knees and ask for direction and he would find it. Now, all meaningful ties to Heaven lost, Jared is stranded and alone, so he must find his own path. One that involves following the law set down by the guardians of the Fallen instead of the fleeting impulses of his emotions. Jared knows this.

It doesn't make it any easier.

Next morning, as they step outside the gates into the bright sunshine, Alona tells Jared that Jensen is still there. He won't leave, she says. They've hinted but he's taken roots and no one has the heart to chuck him out. Misha has become his full-time guard, keeping him out of the way of the others who might slip up their purpose here. Some of them are young and brass. The youngest Fallen they have here is housed in a human body that is only sixteen years old, and she has the attitude to match.

Alona's job today is all the way across the city and Jared's is right on the doorstep. A young woman in trouble, who needs to walk a new path. Jared manages to dig her one in under two hours. She's so lonely that she's half a step from suicide when Jared meets her but he sits with her at the side of the river and talks about nothing for an hour. He takes her to a woman's charity shelter where she can find a bed and some company and she's so dazed she doesn't even kick up a fuss like some of them do. Jared even gets a thank-you which is rare enough to surprise a smile out of him.

That gives Jared the rest of the day to seek out some information. He's not particularly sneaky about it; he's never been known for his subtlety, even in his work. A direct approach has always worked much better for him, so Jared goes to the police station and questions the Fallen stationed there about any recent assaults.

None reported. Jensen didn't report it. Jared doesn't find himself too surprised so he asks around his other contacts, even though this will get back to the monastery. Maybe if he knows why Jensen is hiding he can figure out how to help. Non-obtrusively, of course. Jensen doesn't want him near and that's fine. Jared just can't let it rest, especially when no one else is particularly curious about Jensen's reason for his injuries or the dark fear behind his eyes.

There's word of a fight in one of the seedier districts in the city but Jared couldn't get any names. The timing is right but he doesn't have time to hunt down any more information. He knows he needs to get back before people get suspicious.

It's easy enough to stop off for ice-cream with syrup on the way back. It's not for Jared, no matter how much he wants it. He leaves it with Misha, not looking past him to where he can see a flicker of movement at one of the tables. Jensen.

"Oh Jared, you shouldn't have!" Misha exclaims but his grin is sly.

"It's not for you," Jared says and wonders why now is a good time to blush. Really? He's just giving a run-down man a little lift, no need for any of the caught-out embarrassment he feels. "Give it to Jensen, will you?"

"He's been asking about you," Misha says flatly and then turns away. Jared's eye meets Jensen's for a split second and his stomach drops.

Jared still feels that strange hollow something when he sits down with Alona to eat. "What's the matter with you?" Alona asks. "You're as white as a cherubim's ass."

"Nothing. It's nothing," Jared says. He picks at his food but even the smell of it is unappetising tonight. He'd usually be halfway finishing by now. He sighs. "Don't you... don't you just think it's weird that Jensen won't say why he's here?"

"Jensen? The civilian you dragged in? He's been hurt by something out there and wants to avoid it right now. What else do we need to know?" Alona asks. She nudges at his arm, looking up at him with a smile. She's attractive, Jared thinks, in an academic kind of way. She got lucky with her human form. "I do know that you're getting off way too light for breaching our privacy here. Word is you'd be out on the street if it weren't for a certain one-star."


"Who else?" Alona says. "That's what people are saying, anyway. Whatever, you're on thin ice. Watch your step. And stop poking your nose in!"

"I just want to know –"

"I don't care," Alona interrupts. "It's not important. Look, Jared, I'm only trying to look after you."

Jared smiles and presses his hand between Alona's shoulder blades, resting over the tattoo he knows is there. Where her wings used to be, bright gold and stunning against the backdrop of the sun. There's nothing more he can do about Jensen. He gets the message loud and clear. "Do you miss it?" Jared asks instead once long silent seconds have ticked by.

Alona doesn't need to ask what he's talking about. She lowers her head and nods but that bright smile is back in place in an instant. "It was great but we were just watchers. We didn't get to experience."

"And has that actually changed?" Jared asks tightly.

"Dangerous question," Alona says. There's something in her eye that Jared can't read and she looks away before he can answer it. "Drop it, Jared, unless you're sure you want to go down that path. You're starting to sound like Jeff."

Jeff was the last person to be thrown out of the monastery. Jared had still been learning his Earth feet at the time as a newly Fallen angel and he didn't know the man, but Jared's muddled memories summons up an image of a bearded man with fire in his eyes. "Why? What did he say?"

"Drop it."

Jared pokes unenthusiastically at the meal in front of him. Maybe Jeff would give Jared the answers he needed to hear.

There are no explicit rules saying that contact with an expelled angel is forbidden but Jared knows he'd be in trouble if someone found him knocking at the pale wooden door of Jeffrey Dean Morgan. He had been easy enough to hunt down since he is apparently uninterested in hiding; instead, he lives in a beautiful white house on one of the more pleasant edges of the city with a vast front yard and an expensive-looking car in the driveway.

It would be easy to hesitate but Jared doesn't. He's determined. He knocks on the door and listens hard through the wood as footsteps approach, rapid like his heartbeat that has picked up. Not in fear but in anticipation.

It's not Jeff that opens the door and glances at Jared's arm. It's a middle-aged woman with a stern but interested gaze and a warm voice. "Come in. He's in the kitchen."

Jared looks at her arm but there's no hint of stars or wings. Not an angel, then, but she knows them when she sees them. That isn't surprising considering she's wearing a wedding band around her finger. She leads him through a finely decorated hall with photos of their wedding day and Jared thinks vaguely that he's never seen a Fallen looking as happy as Jeff does in those pictures.

"My name's Samantha," the woman says with a kind smile. "Don't piss him off, okay? The last time one of you strays came home he was a pain in the ass for days."

"I won't, ma'am," Jared says quickly though he's not sure he could promise that. What did the other person say to piss him off? What does Jared even intend to say? He'd be asking for some clarification if Samantha hadn't ushered him into the kitchen before he could.

Jeff sits with his back to them at a wide table, hunched over something. He doesn't look over his shoulder until Samantha calls his name and there's a look of surprise on his face as he stands up. He doesn't look nearly as intimidating as Jared remembers and he is friendly enough as he shakes Jared's hand and sits him down at the table. Samantha disappears again and Jared sits opposite Jeff, stealing furtive glances at the sketchbook in front of Jeff covered in dark lines.

"Hey. Jared, right? I remember you," Jeff says. "I thought you might have the look about you back then."

"The look of what?" Jared asks with a frown and an uneasy feeling in his gut.

Jeff pauses for a moment and then shrugs. "Just a look. Why did you fall?"

"What?" Jared snaps, taken aback. That's not a question angels ask each other much. It's a deeply personal thing and Jared isn't sure he even remembers anymore. "I don't..."

"Forget it. Let's start with the basics. How did you find me? Let me guess. That pretty blonde friend of yours, right?"


"That's the one. She's promising."

"I don't know what you're talking about," Jared says. He makes a move to stand up. "And right now I really don't even know why I'm here, so I'm just going to go. Sorry for wasting your time."

"Jared, wait," Jeff says and Jared sits back down when Jeff waves a hand. "You don't know why you're here, right? I can help you figure that out. It's usually a human but sometimes a couple of Fallen will grow a little too close. Am I close to the mark?"

"There is a human," Jared says. "Not in a... we're not even friends. Actually I'm pretty sure he doesn't like me."

"But you like him."

"I guess," Jared replies. "Mostly I just want to help him."

"Yeah. And you've been wondering why the Fallen live such segregated lives and why you can't help people when you feel like it instead of when you're told," Jeff adds.

Jared is crestfallen. "Am I that obvious?"

"Doubt isn't a bad thing," Jeff replies. "You guys are all living on the rules of Heaven but you fell from there. Isn't that a little weird to you?"

"No. I guess. I don't know!" Jared says, exasperated. "That's why I'm here. I don't know."

"And angels always know," Jeff says. He stares flatly at Jared for a moment then stands up, casually strolling to pick up a couple of beers, one of which he sets in front of Jared. "Don't bother with the ‘I don't drink' thing, just try it." Jared does. He's tried beer before but this isn't the same; it's more bitter, richer, more satisfying. He tilts the label to look at it and Jeff laughs. "It's the good stuff. Don't drink it too fast. What do you think?"

"It's good," Jared says, though he's not sure it is until he has a little more. "I don't see how this will help."

"It's proving a point," Jeff says. "And I've seen you at the ice-cream place so I know you understand. The rules don't make any sense. You fall to experience life as a human and then you're banned from doing it. What harm does getting drunk do? Why can't you sneak out for ice-cream? And why not get closer to that human you've got your eye on, right?"

"I guess I am that obvious," Jared says.

Jeff smiles wryly. "Jensen Ackles, right?"

Jared feels a drenching cold set over him. "How did you know...?"

"I have my ways."

Jared isn't feeling much clearer as he walks into the monastery that evening but that might have something to do with the three beers warming his blood. He stumbles a bit over the step and giggles into the echoing hall as he attempts to remember which way he should go to find his bed. "What do angels have against electricity anyway?" Jared asks one of the portraits. It scowls back at him and Jared laughs.

He doesn't realise he's taken the wrong turn until he ends up half-falling through the wide doors of the great hall. Monks used to pray here but now it's quiet and empty. Even Misha isn't here and Jared huffs as he scans the dimly lit room.

Though he intends to walk back to his room, he decides instead to take a seat on one of the wooden chairs, staring up at the cross that towers over them. A symbol of the great man, the messiah, God on Earth. If God could walk among the people and experience their lives, why are angels restricted? Jeff has taken Jared's wavering certainty and transformed it into fully-fledged doubt.

It's not as terrifying as Jared thought it would be.

A door opens behind him but Jared doesn't turn. It's probably Misha and if Jared moves, he's pretty sure he'll fall off the seat. The world is spinning and he can feel it just as he had when he was an angel, watching this great globe whirl beneath his wings.

"Are you drunk?"

Jared jerks his head around and manages to only just keep himself upright. It's Jensen. Swathed in rich candlelight he's even more beautiful than ever, his skin smooth and bright and dusted with freckles, his eyes deeper than ever. Jared swallows hard. "No."

"Lying too. Wow, some angel." Jensen sits down casually beside him and Jared's filled with an overwhelming urge to touch that's not made easier by the way their thighs are pressed together through their jeans.

"I'm not an angel," Jared says, then the words sink in. Jared frowns. "Wait. How did you know?"

"Misha. I stuck my nose in and he warned me to stay out of it and... Well, he's not so great at keeping his mouth shut," Jensen replies with a smile. "But I know you're not supposed to drink, right? So what are you doing?"

"I went to see a friend," Jared replies defensively. "He had beer."

"Some friend if he's dragging you to the dark side," Jensen says. He snorts and looks down at his hands, folded in his lap. Jared looks too and averts his eyes when his mind blurs even more than before at the sight of those long fingers. "Look. Misha said angels are supposed to help people."

"We're not angels anymore. But... Yeah. That's what we do," Jared says. He narrows his eyes in what he intends to be a curious tilt but comes out rather more like a squint. "What else did he tell you?"

Jensen shrugs. "A lot. Seriously, once he stops that guy is impossible to shut up again. I've had a few hours to get over the shock of it but I think some of it's still sinking in. Most important thing is I know you are angels, or ex-angels, or reformed angels or whatever and I know you help people."

"Do you need help?" Jared asks.

"I tried to get to L.A.," Jensen says. "I know that sounds... it's so fucking cliché but I want to be an actor. I already am, I guess, I just stupidly thought it would be easier there. And this guy, he used to be my agent, right? When I left he followed me. He's a powerful guy. Some assholes he sent after me caught me at night and it would have been a lot worse if some cops hadn't nearly stumbled on us. They ran but..."

"But they'll come back." When Jensen nods, Jared wishes he weren't well-marinated in expensive beer. This would be a lot easier to handle – or maybe not, since his doubt might cripple his decision-making skills. Because it's clear what Jared has to do for this man with gorgeous green eyes who won't look at him. "I can help you. I will help you."

Jensen sits up a little straighter and meets Jared's gaze, a smile caught on the corner of his lips. "Great. I thought I could handle him but there's too many and there's a lot of you guys. They won't stand a chance."

Jared purses his lips and doesn't say anything for a moment. The others won't help when Jared will be risking his place here. He won't ask them. He won't take away Jensen's grateful smile either though, so he smiles back. "You're right. They won't."

"I know I look like a total idiot for getting into this in the first place," Jensen says, "but you don't expect your agent to be some kind of mob boss. Seriously. I am not known for being a good judge of character."

"So why ask me? I could be a total lunatic too."

Jensen pauses then presses his hand, warm and firm, against Jared's arm. It takes Jared a moment to realise he's covering the tattoos and smoothing his fingers over the lines of it. "Misha proved what you are. He showed me. And if you can't trust an angel, who can you trust?"

A heat blooms in Jared's gut, same one that he'd felt before, but never this strongly. He never felt his body flush to another's touch and he never wished to return the sensation. There is something strange in Jensen's eyes, too much like awe and Jared can't face it. Not when he's taking such a huge risk in placing his life in Jared's hands. It's a stupid impulse that Jared can't resist when he closes the dark distance between them and kisses him, catching Jensen's sharp gasp.

"I'm not an angel," Jared says with his voice pitched low. "I'm just a man. But I'll help you and you can trust me."

Jared doesn't know why he's friends with Alona sometimes. Sure she's a cheerful, friendly person who keeps him in line (or tries to) and she's been there with him for a couple of millennia but, at the same time, she's way too chirpy in the morning. Especially about three minutes after dawn when Jared's blanket mountain is exactly the right temperature and he tries his best not to wake up even as she shakes his arm. "Jared. Jared. Wake the fuck up or I'm dumping this water over your head."

That's as good an incentive as any so Jared quickly throws back the covers, squinting up at her. She laughs. He doesn't want to think about how awful he must look if it's anything like how he feels. "What do you want? It's your day off. Go enjoy it somewhere else."

"Misha spoke to me this morning when I got up for some water," Alona says. "He said you came home drunk. And you kissed the human."

"Why do you call him that?" Jared complains. "We're human too."

"It's not the same thing," Alona says quietly. It sounds flat; an automatic response. She sits at the side of Jared's bed and folds her hands in her lap. "Anyway. It doesn't matter. What happened?"

"Nothing," Jared says. He wonders how safe it is to tell her what happened but he can't imagine any danger. It's just Alona. Alona has never once let him down in all these long centuries so Jared scoots up until his back is against the headboard, staring across at her. "No. I mean it. Nothing. He didn't even kiss me back. He just stood up and left."

"Why did you do it? You know that could get you kicked out."

"I'm going to be kicked out anyway." The look Alona gives him isn't full of the surprise he expected, so Jared frowns and looks away. He really is that obvious. "I promised I would help him and I don't care if he hates me for kissing him, I'm still going to do it."

Alona sighs and taps her fingers against her own knee, blonde hair falling forward. It takes her a long time to look back at him and Jared isn't sure what to make of the look she gives him. "I'll help you."

"You're not getting kicked out too."

A shrug. "Jared, it doesn't matter. If he's in trouble and you care about him then I'm going to help you. That's kind of what friends do. Jeff told you to embrace being human, right? Well, he told me the same thing. I don't think I understood it until now."

Jared nods and feels a weight lifting from his heart. Friendship is difficult in this place, when there are rules on every aspect of behaviour. Just like in Heaven. But some bonds hold and Alona has been there for him since the start. It shouldn't be surprising that she went to see Jeff too. Maybe Jared even suspected it a little. Jared breathes deep and nods again, terrified and slightly hung-over but ready to face this. "Okay. Thank you."

"No problem. You're going to owe me the biggest ice-cream in the world for this though. Oh, and I've always wanted to try a mojito," Alona says. "You'd better sort that out for me."

"I think I can manage that," Jared says with a grin. He manoeuvres out from beneath his blankets and wraps himself around Alona in a smothering hug, relief that he doesn't have to face this alone setting him lighter than air. Angels aren't good at alone, fallen or otherwise. "Thank you."

"No problem," Alona replies, laughing. She indulges him in the hug for a moment and then pries herself free, smoothing back her hair. "Okay. Now go find Jensen and speak with him because a Fallen doesn't leave the monastery for no good reason. You like him. So go. Though uh, you might wanna get dressed first."

Jared's grin went nowhere as Alona shut the door behind her on her way out. He pulled on his jeans and his standard white vest and did his best to smooth down his wild hair. A hand rubbed over his face showed an unfortunate amount of stubble but it would have to wait.

Alona was right; Jared wouldn't be doing this for just anyone.

Misha and Jensen are sharing a meal but the moment Jared walks in, Misha stands up and makes his escape. Jared watches him go and can't help a little smile at Jensen's baffled stare that only fades when Jared walks into his line of sight, sitting where Misha was a moment before. The seat is still warm and since Jared is missing breakfast for this, he doesn't feel bad about picking at Misha's leftovers. "Hey, Jensen. I wanted to see if you were okay. Um. I didn't mean to freak you out last night, I was just..."

"Making a point. Yeah. I get it," Jensen says. He looks down at the table although he's already finished his own food, wrapping his hands around a coffee mug with a sigh. "Don't worry about it. It's forgotten."

"Is it?" Jared asks quietly and he leans forward despite himself. It's important to get all of this out of the way before he risks everything for this guy. Even if he doesn't intend to back out whatever Jensen says. "What I'm doing, helping you... it's risky. Not for you but for me because I'm probably going to get kicked out of here. Which is okay, this isn't me backing out or anything but I want to tell you exactly what's going on. Misha delivers our instructions and we go save people but we're not supposed to interfere outside of those orders. You're definitely outside of mine. Alona, my friend, she's going to help too but we won't be able to stay here afterwards."

"Why are you doing this?" Jensen asks.

Jared smiles a little and supposes he may as well get all of the truth out there. "Because you asked. And because I can't get you out of my head."

Jensen nods and looks away, across the cold open space of the room. No wonder he's still wearing his leather jacket. "Look, Jared, it's great that you're helping me and I think about you all the time too but I don't want anything serious, okay? I don't need the responsibility of dragging your ass out of here, that's too much."

"Okay. How about a date instead?" Jared suggests. "Ice-cream. That's all. No obligations. Me and Alona can look after ourselves."

It takes a moment but Jensen smiles. "Yeah. Yeah, a date sounds good."

"In Los Angeles. I'm buying you a ticket and don't bother to say no, I've already done it," Jared says, though it's a lie. He hasn't but he will. "Seems like a fitting place for a couple of Fallen Angels, doesn't it? Me and Alona will be okay there."

"You're crazy," Jensen says with a shake of his head.

"Yeah, it's been said. But just focus on that ice-cream date."

Jensen laughs. "Okay. Okay, I'll look forward to it."

Jared's not easily intimidated. He's fought hoards of demons and faced down angels twice his size but he doesn't have the power he had when he was an angel anymore. He's one person. Then there are two of them when Alona joins him, linking her arm through his and giving him an encouraging smile.

Jensen called up his ex-agent last night after a day of talking. It isn't supposed to be Jared's day off but Misha never comes for him and Jared is too wrapped up in Jensen to do much else. They talk about everything, settling into their conversation like old friends and it feels good. Jared wouldn't care if nothing but friendship grew between them, though he's sure the spark isn't only in his mind.

So it's natural to stand at Jensen's side when they wait for the chaos to descend upon them. Jared's plan is vague at best, fuelled by some notion to protect Jensen. Yet Jensen doesn't seem worried about the lack of firepower and he smiles at Alona like they're familiar with each other. It's not the first time that Jared's felt like he's missing something.

Then Misha casually strolls up to them, patting Jared on his back between his tattooed wings. Jared asks why he's here but Misha just gives him a smile and Jared stares, perplexed, until he realises that questioning any further would be pigheaded foolishness. Any extra help will be great right now. Human bodies are weak and easily broken. Their strength comes in numbers.

Our strength, Jared corrects himself.

There are three of them side by side. Then there's five, then ten. Jared's head spins and he loses count but he thinks he might be surrounded by the stubborn-set shoulders of every Fallen in the monastery, from the five-star Seraphim to the one-star Archangels. Not one of them speaks. Jared couldn't find the words if he wanted to and soon Jensen walks out too, all confidence and cocky smiles and nothing like the frightened man Jared had seen at the ice-cream bar.

It warms Jared as sure as the sun when Jensen stands at Jared's side. A different kind of heat comes when they hold hands and Jared feels invincible.

"You know," Misha says out of the blue as a black sports car begins to crawl up the street, "there's something I've been waiting for you to pick up on, Jared. Since we're kind of running out of time, here it is. There are no rules here. None. Not really, anyway. You've fallen; it can be difficult to adjust so we give you a halfway house to easy you into it."

Alona nods along. "Yeah. Getting kicked out? Kind of a good thing. I've been planning it a while but I didn't want to leave you and seriously, Jared, I've never met anyone as determined to be good and behave in my life."

"It's kind of cute," Jensen adds, eyes straight ahead. The car is nearly here.

"You knew about this to?" Jared asks and he's sure it'll be funnier when he's a little less embarrassed at being so blind.

"Yeah. That night when Misha spilled that you're angels?" Jensen says. "That's not all he told me. I had to ask him to stop before my head exploded."

Jared groans. "Man, is there anything I do actually know or have I been walking around like a zombie?"

"Definitely a zombie," Alona nods.

"Oh, yeah. Zombie central," Jensen adds.

The car stops right in front of them. Jared imagines the window rolling down, a gun appearing. He imagines blood down Jensen's shirt and stands in front of him, heart beating hard.

As one, the Fallen cross their arms. A pause. Jared doesn't breathe.

The dark window starts to roll down and Misha's eyes flash white. Wings rise above them, gossamer thin but infinitely strong. Energy crackles in the air around them and Jared clenches his hand around Jensen's. It's a memory of heaven and a threat of its retribution that even these imbeciles can't ignore.

There's a sluggish pause before the window winds up and the car skids away.

The wings disappear and Jared relaxes. His heart doesn't slow though; not with the way Jensen is staring at him like he's the one that just sprouted wings and how come no one told him Misha never fell? Jared feels like the most idiotic man in the history of ever but then Jensen's kissing him like it's the start of everything. It kind of is so Jared's annoyance slips away.

"Okay! Now for the admin," Misha says, clapping his hands. He turns to Jared. "You're officially evicted. Get the hell out of here with your lover boy. You too, Alona," he adds, but pauses and his look softens. "If you're ready."

Alona grins and there's an excited flush to her cheeks Jared hasn't seen for a long time. "I'm ready."

With Alona walking at their side they file out of the monastery, leaving through the creaky front gate. They'll go back for their stuff later or maybe have it sent to them.

"So," says Jensen as the world opens up in front of them, limitless and exciting. "About that ice-cream."
Shellz: eyetrueshellz on November 8th, 2011 05:47 pm (UTC)
*runs in circles*
Polo Moloslartibartfast on November 8th, 2011 09:04 pm (UTC)
EXCITE! :D *runs with you*
whitetedwhiteted on November 8th, 2011 06:59 pm (UTC)
This was fab
Polo Moloslartibartfast on November 8th, 2011 09:05 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
katbcollkatbcoll on November 8th, 2011 07:16 pm (UTC)
This. Wow! I kinda have no words. Wow!
Polo Moloslartibartfast on November 8th, 2011 09:05 pm (UTC)
:D I shall take that as a compliment, I think...!
katbcollkatbcoll on November 8th, 2011 09:22 pm (UTC)
Yes, I meant it as a compliment.
deanshot: The Epic Lovedeanshot on November 8th, 2011 09:16 pm (UTC)
Just WOW.
Such vivid imagery, loved the concept and how you wrote it.
Thanks for sharing.
Polo Moloslartibartfast on November 8th, 2011 09:17 pm (UTC)
I'm really glad you enjoyed it! Thank you! *hugs back* I love your icon.
katsheswimskatsheswims on November 8th, 2011 09:43 pm (UTC)
Awesome! I really like it! And I'm glad it wasn't more cult-like and they were just helping fallen angels adjust.
Polo Moloslartibartfast on November 9th, 2011 01:34 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I'm glad you like it. :)
Stephanielemanya on November 9th, 2011 11:55 am (UTC)
This prompt was my second choice, but I am oh so glad it wasn't my first choice because I never would have done anything as amazing as this! I absolutely adored it. It was charming, and clever and so beautiful in its imagery.
Polo Moloslartibartfast on November 9th, 2011 01:35 pm (UTC)
Awww, thank you so much! ♥
spn_j2fan: Lights-Jensen/Jared with chainsspn_j2fan on November 10th, 2011 11:22 pm (UTC)
I really enjoyed this!. I loved the art, and I loved what you did with the story. What a great ending. A fallen angel halfway house--that is just so perfect. Your characters were great, I loved them all. :)
Polo Moloslartibartfast on November 13th, 2011 10:27 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for such a great comment. :)
not quite tametwelve_pastels on November 11th, 2011 04:09 am (UTC)
Oh, very good! Nothing like what I expected, and entirely excellent!
Polo Moloslartibartfast on November 13th, 2011 10:27 pm (UTC)
Excellent! I aim to surprise. Thank you!
Drusemiadrusemia on November 13th, 2011 10:51 am (UTC)
I just loved everything about this. From the concept to the characters to the thought behind the details, it was awesome.
But this and how come no one told him Misha never fell? just made me happy.
Polo Moloslartibartfast on November 13th, 2011 10:27 pm (UTC)
Awww, thank you. ♥ I'm glad to bring a little happiness to someone!
buttercup22buttercup22 on November 16th, 2011 07:31 pm (UTC)
this was great...I kinda want more though *puppy eyes*
Polo Moloslartibartfast on December 4th, 2011 12:28 am (UTC)
Thank you! I don't think I'll write more but you never know :)
aggie_12: Beach Starsaggie_12 on November 30th, 2011 06:51 am (UTC)
Wow... This was really great! Awesome job =]
Polo Moloslartibartfast on December 4th, 2011 12:28 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! :)