Master Post // Announcements
Title: What’s Left of Us
Primary Pairing: Jensen/Jared - J2
Secondary Pairings: Jensen/Danneel, Danneel/OMC, Milo/Gen (romantic)
Chapter Five: Worthless
“An’ he looked at me and he said to m’face, he said Milo, you’re actin’ like someone actin’ like you.”
The bar was small and cramped, the air thick with cigarette smoke. The Alpha he was talking to was boring; probably twice his age but good-looking enough, with soft dark hair and patient eyes. The liquor was cheap quality and overpriced.
On the plus side, the Alpha was buying and Milo was feeling a lot better than he had when he had left the house nearly—he squinted at the clock over the pitiful “top shelf” bottles—nearly fifteen hours ago. Well. Time really flies.
The Alpha—Jim? Joe? Jack? John? Milo thought it was John—looked confused by the story. “What does that mean?”
“He means that I’ve changed. And of course I’ve changed. We’ve all changed. All except him, still gaggin’ after the same old knot.” Milo shook his head solemnly. “But not me. Nah. That pack shit ain’t for me. I’m a lone wolf, y’know.” He slammed back the rest of his drink. “Never needed an Alpha before now. Don’ need one now. No matter what that asshole thinks.” Milo looked at the Alpha; laughed. “He thinks he can boss me around.”
“You have an Alpha?”
“I’ve got a jackass who knocked up m’best friend and then left’m to rot. And then he got us librat—libertated—he got the camps shut down so now he thinks he owns us’n Jared just sides with’m cause he’s been in love with’m forever but he won’ just admit it.”
“Wait.” A sort of clarity settled over the Alpha’s face. “Is your Alpha Jensen Ackles?”
“Oh, y’know’m too?” Milo scoffed. “Complete jerk-off, right?”
The Alpha shook his head. “Alright kid, I’m taking you home.”
“Aren’ y’supposed t’ask nicely first?” Milo smirked. “I mean I may be easy, but’m not easy.” He thought about what he said and then nodded as though satisfied with the statement. He laughed as the Alpha sighed and hoisted him up onto his shoulder, Milo’s upper body hanging over his back. “Whoa! Easy there, caveman.”
Jeff shook his head. What the hell was going on in Jensen’s pack?
Jensen had barely managed to fall asleep when suddenly he was hurtling headfirst into consciousness again, jerking awake and whipping his head around in alarm. A dark figure stumbled back from where it had been standing by the bed and Jensen peered through the darkness for a moment before he realized that it was Jared.
The Alpha fell back, breathing hard as he tried to calm down. “Christ, Jared, make a damned noise. Don’t just stare at me like that.”
“I didn’t want to wake you if you were asleep.”
Jensen groaned and craned his neck to look at the clock. “Jared, it’s two in the morning.”
“The room smells too…empty. Without the nest.” Jared frowned. “I can’t sleep.”
“You should try again. Two in the morning.” Jensen said that, his voice firm, but he moved over anyway and patted the bed to signal that Jared could stay if he wanted.
The bed shifted as Jared laid down, curling up with his knees close to his chest. “Milo still hasn’t come back.”
“Two in the morning, Jared.” There was the hint of a whimper in Jensen’s voice. “I can’t do anything about Milo. He’s not registered as pack yet, and he’s unclaimed. If I could find him I could try to convince him to come back, but even then he could legally refuse and I wouldn’t even know where to start looking for him because it’s two in the morning.” He opened his eyes to find Jared staring at him, the omega’s own eyes big and pleading. “No, I’m serious, Jared. There’s nothing I can do right now.”
“He could be in danger.”
“I’m sure he’s fine. He made it for two months on his own before he wound up here. The kid’s a pain in the ass, but he’s either smart or incredibly lucky; either one will get him through the night.” Jensen reached out and wrapped an arm around the omega, pulling him closer, closer to his scent. He could feel Jared’s ribs under his hand, still not enough muscle and fat despite the considerable progress in his physical recovery. The omega still had a long way to go. More weight to gain, still didn’t feel safe, still didn’t trust the world around him. No slick, no heat.
But he wanted Jensen. And with all of the worries that he had had, that Danneel had had, Jensen had never even touched on the question of whether Jared would want him or not. He had pictured Jared’s first heat as this thing that would need to be dealt with, that he would need to brace himself for and try to decide how to handle as an Alpha in the same house as a traumatized omega. Would it be best for Jared if he claimed him or not? Would it be best for Jared for Jensen to get him through his heat, or to ride it out himself? Did the risks of breeding him in his physical and mental state outweigh the delay to his recovery if he wasn’t claimed? Those were the questions that Jensen had been asking himself.
He had never asked himself whether Jared would actually want it or not, outside of his heat. Because it was a ridiculous question. Because why, after everything, would Jared still want him?
Did Jensen want Jared? He had been looking it at through the lens of what was best for the omega. Between Danneel and the pups and Gen and his career picking back up and the constant threats from outside the pack as the country settled from the sudden upheaval, he hadn’t thought about what he wanted, just what needed to be done.
And even if he could delve far enough into his own mind and emotions to pull that answer out, to turn it over and examine it, it didn’t negate the other questions—what would be best for Jared?
Jared looked up at him. “What’s wrong?”
Jensen realized that he hadn’t been keeping his scent in check while he had been deep in thought. Confusion and frustration manifested in scent like distress, and the omega must have picked up on it. Jensen thought about how to answer him—if he should answer him. In the end all he said was, “What you said earlier. I’m having some trouble working it out.”
Jared went very still, confirming that he knew what Jensen was talking about. “What do you mean?”
Jensen didn’t want to lay out everything that was going through his mind. It was too much, too complicated. Especially for two in the morning. Especially when he didn’t know how he felt himself; didn’t know how to stack whatever answer Jared may give him against what was going on in his own mind.
He tried to pare it down, to simplify it, to condense into one single question what he needed to know. But before he could come up with it, the doorbell rang.
“Grand Central Station at two in the morning,” he muttered, starting to get out of bed. He was both relieved and irritated by the interruption.
Jared looked alarmed. “Maybe you shouldn’t answer it.”
“No one who’s here to hurt any of us is going to calmly ring the doorbell. Hell, Milo doesn’t have a key; maybe it’s him.” He hoped he was right as he saw the flare of hope on Jared’s face, but he personally was not looking forward to dealing with the obnoxious omega again. A small part of him had hoped that he wasn’t coming back, that he’d opt out of the pack and just remain friends with Jared from a distance or something.
Jared started to follow him, but Jensen shook his head. Although he thought it was highly unlikely that whoever was at the door was there to hurt them, he couldn’t risk it. “Wait here.”
The doorbell rang again as Jensen reached the stairs, and he hurried to it. All he needed was Gen and the pups awake to make this a real party.
He opened the door, confused to find Jeff standing there. The two men hadn’t seen each other in a few years. They had met up a few times after Supernatural had ended, but ultimately their careers and personal lives had pulled them in separate directions, their friendship reduced to holiday cards and the occasionally overlap in business-related events.
“I think this belongs to you?” Jeff asked, stepping aside to allow Jensen to see Milo behind him.
The omega looked half-amused, half-pissed, and it had a weird effect on his expression. He scoffed. “Nah. Not for long, anyway.” His words were slightly slurred. “They’ll get sick of me soon. And then they’ll drop me somewhere, just like the old pack. ‘Specially after this.” He leaned toward Jeff, his voice dropping to a stage-whisper. “He doesn’t like other Alphas touching his things.” He straightened back up. “So yeah. They’ll find somewhere to drop me and you know, I don’t think I have anything left to cut out.” He looked down at his abdomen and frowned. “Ah well. I’m sure they’ll find something. They’re creative, I’ll give ‘em that.”
Jeff furrowed his brow, trying to work out what Milo was talking about. He looked at Jensen. “What the hell is going on here, man?”
Jensen shook his head, sighing. “I don’t even know where to begin with this one. What happened?”
“Thought he was just an omega. Didn’t even mention you until later. He’s been down at the Den for the better part of the night, though.” Jeff shook his head. “I don’t think he’s too drunk. I’ve been pacing him a bit but… He’s been talking about some crazy shit on the way here.”
“Thanks for bringing him back.” Jensen clapped a hand on Jeff’s shoulder. “I’ll take it from here.” He turned his attention to the omega, who was looking at him smugly. “Alright, you lush. Get in the house; Jared’s been worried sick about you.”
Milo rolled his eyes but stepped past Jensen into the house. Jensen said a final thanks to Jeff and then shut the door, turning to look at Milo as he tried to figure out what to even do about this situation. An Alpha had brought one of his pack home. Because Jensen couldn’t handle him, couldn’t keep his own pack in line. It looked bad, but more than that it was bad. It betrayed every crack in their structure, every shortcoming of his as Alpha.
“What the hell were you doing?” Jensen’s voice was low, his eyes narrowed.
Milo shrugged. “I think after the camp I’m entitled to a little fun, don’t you?”
“A little—” Jensen shook his head. “Milo, what if that hadn’t been Jeff? What if it had been an Alpha who didn’t give a shit if you were part of my pack or not? What if he had hurt you?”
“I thought his name was John…” The omega looked confused.
“John was his name on the show, not his—that’s not the point, Milo! Why would you put yourself in such a dangerous position?” Jensen really wanted to understand. He couldn’t even begin to try to help Milo if he didn’t know what the hell was wrong with him, but he was about at the end of his rope.
“Why are you so convinced that I’d be in danger? Ever think that I’d want that? God, you Alphas have such damned purity complexes it’s ridiculous! Am I supposed to wait around for some Alpha to decide he’s gonna claim me, because I gotta tell you man, that shit ain’t happening. It didn’t happen the first time, and it hasn’t happened since. You don’t have one claimed omega in this house. Not one! How many virgins do you think you’ve got? Just because I enjoy sex, doesn’t mean I’m in danger. We don’t all need a big bad Alpha to complete us and some of us aren’t willing to sit around and wait for an Alpha to get his shit together like Jared!”
“Jared has nothing to do with this.”
“Doesn’t he? You didn’t claim him and he suffered for it, so now you’re trying to make up for that by trying to fix us all. Problem is, there’s nothing wrong with me; it just boggles your mind that I’m not broken and crying for my first Alpha. I gotta tell you, man, you Alphas have some pretty big virginity fetishes. We’re only good for our first knot, right?” Milo cocked his head at Jensen. “That’s why you still want him, isn’t it? That’s why you’re throwing away everything. Cause you were there first. And let me tell you man, he wanted you to claim him. Wanted it bad. Stabbed him right through the heart for months when you didn't. And then you didn’t even pick up the damned phone.”
Jensen opened his mouth, unsure of what he was going to say, but then he heard Jared’s footsteps on the stairs. He looked up as the omega appeared, concern radiating off of him. “Dammit, Jared, get back upstairs!”
The omega looked surprised but as Jensen held his gaze he turned around. After a moment Jensen heard the bedroom door shut.
Milo looked thoughtful, staring at the place where Jared had been standing. “How many knots do you think he took in the camps? Cause I can promise you it happened; only way a pup reaches Andrew’s age is if their omega is givin’ it away to a guard or two. Now in AZ-24, we didn’t have to worry about that too much. They drowned our pups. Yeah. You can’t imagine the screaming. But it’s good that Jared had the option, I guess. So how many guards you think he went ass up for? Or were you thinking that wasn’t how it worked?”
Jensen’s scent spiked hot as he remembered Jared in his bunk, being used by the guard. “You really are just a bunch of sluts, aren’t you? Weren’t even wet and you still got right on your hands and knees for him, didn’t you?” Guilt boiled deep in his gut.
“Oh…” The sound of realization was a slow drawl as Milo caught the look that flashed through Jensen’s eyes. “You saw it, didn’t you? Must be on the director’s cut of that documentary ‘cause I missed that scene. That why you’re so determined to control him? Saw another Alpha knot-deep in what was yours? Bet it eats away at you but well…you did it. You should’ve claimed him if you didn’t want someone else playing with your toy. Too late now. That bitch has been ridden hard and put up wet, and no matter how hard you try to pretend he’s shiny and new, he’s ultimately worthless—”
Milo’s words were cut off as Jensen slammed him against the wall, a low snarl ripping from his throat. “Shut up. Just shut the fuck up for once in your life. You have no fucking idea what you’re talking about.” His fingers were closed around Milo’s throat, every instinct in him screaming at him to push down, to squeeze, to silence the man once and for all. “How the hell can you talk about him like that? You’re supposed to be his friend!”
“And you were supposed to be his Alpha.” Milo’s words were spit harshly around the pressure on his throat. “You were supposed to protect him! It’s too late for that now. You destroyed him.”
Jensen couldn’t believe the omega was still talking. The potency required for him to start to respond to the Alpha’s scent was mind-boggling. “I don’t know what the hell is wrong with you, but I can’t have this shit in my pack. You’re gonna trigger some shit in Jared or Gen that may just finally wreck them.” He put everything he had into putting Milo into a fog, waiting until his body went pliant, his expression blank before easing up. Maintaining that level of control was draining, and he let out a low groan as he hoisted the omega over his shoulder.
He carried him out the SUV and dropped Milo in the passenger’s seat before engaging the child lock and shutting the door. Cut off from Jensen’s scent, the omega quickly began to recover. Jensen sighed; that meant he had just barely managed to put him under. He had never encountered an omega who was so resistant to scent. Sure, Gen and Jared were slightly less sensitive to it than most omegas who had maintained freedom throughout the duration of camp operations, but nothing like this.
He circled around and got in the driver’s seat. Milo glared at him as he started the car and threw it into reverse, backing out of the driveway and then pulling off down the street.
“What is this, Old Yeller? Gonna take me somewhere and put me down?”
Jensen gritted his teeth. “I’m taking you to the omega shelter. Maybe they can help you.”
“Yeah, ‘cause that’s what you want; for me to get help.” Milo rolled his eyes. “No Alpha’s interested in helping an omega. You just pass the problem on the first chance you get.”
“Dammit, Milo, I want to help you! I can’t even begin to figure out how much you must be hurting for your mind to override instinct the way it does, but I figure it’s gotta be bad. But I can’t help you if you won’t tell me what’s wrong, and I can’t risk you hurting Jared. He’s too goddamned fragile right now.”
“Whatever. I didn’t say anything about him that wasn’t true. He’d be better off dead. An omega’s useless if he’s been bred and not claimed.”
Jensen slammed on the brakes as everything snapped together in his mind with the last sentence. Milo wasn’t talking about Jared.
They drowned our pups.
That bitch has been ridden hard and put up wet.
You were supposed to protect him.
You should’ve claimed him.
You didn’t claim him and he suffered for it.
Wanted it bad.
Stabbed him right through the heart for months when you didn't.
You destroyed him.
He’d be better off dead.
Milo was talking about himself. And suddenly Jensen knew what was going on. Knew what was wrong with the omega. Knew what he was doing. But he knew Milo would never admit it. As long as Jensen kept letting him spin it, he would.
He turned to Milo. Took in the angry glare and tense posture, the bared teeth. Milo was mad enough to spit. He talked more when he was angry; lost control and let things slip. Jensen needed to keep him angry, keep him impulsive and not give him a chance to brush it away or dismiss it.
“Man, that first Alpha… He fucked you up big time, didn’t he?” Jensen shook his head as Milo’s eyes narrowed. “Probably promised you forever; promised he’d keep you safe. And you believed him. But then he didn’t claim you. And why would he? Every Alpha knows you can’t breed a bitch. His pack line would’ve stopped there. He’d’ve been stupid to tie himself to you forever. But you thought he would, so you let him knot you. And when he didn’t it made you worthless. Because the only thing an Alpha wants less than a bitch he can’t breed is a bitch who’s already taken another Alpha’s knot. You were never going to be claimed. No one was ever going to love you.” Jensen leaned close to the omega, his voice nearly a snarl. “Stop me if I’m wrong.”
“Shut up.” Milo’s voice was low and wavering. The faintest hint of distress was starting to manifest in his normally-absent scent.
Jensen pressed on. “So you started taking any knot you could find. Cause as long as you were fucked full, you could pretend you weren’t completely and totally worthless. And none of them ever claimed you; you didn’t deserve it. You were just a bitch to be used—rode hard and put up wet, right? But at least you could have that. At least you could pretend.”
He was getting further into the realm of speculation, but it all followed, and with each sentence and every flash in the omega’s eyes, he knew he was hitting the nail on the head.
“But then you got dropped in the camp. And they cut you open and they took the only hope that you had that maybe, one day… And now you can’t even take a knot, can you? Your body doesn’t work right anymore. Your scent repels Alphas. You thought you were worthless before, used up, but now… Now you know it. No one will ever love you and you’ll never be bred and at the end of the day it all comes back to that first Alpha, doesn’t it? Because he could’ve saved you. He could’ve kept you safe. You could’ve been everything to someone. Instead you’re nothing and you hate yourself so much that it’s killing you. And if you trust me to keep you safe then when I abandon you you’ll have no one to blame but yourself for believing another Alpha. Cause you know better. So you lash out on everyone else. You want them to give up on you. ‘Cause once the last person who cared about you gives up, sees how worthless you are, then you can give up, too.”
There was silence as the two stared at each other. Finally Milo’s eyes broke the tense contact as he slumped in his seat. Jensen put the car back into drive and checked his blind spot before pulling a sharp u-turn and heading back to the house.
“Well I’m not giving up, Milo. You’re not worthless. You can keep fighting me every step of the way, or you can let me help you, but you’re not going down without a fight.”
(Link will become active when chapter is available.)