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05 August 2011 @ 10:22 pm
fic: little victories [sunset 'verse] (j2, pg-13)  
Title: little victories
Author: _mournthewicked
Pairing: Josh (Jared/Jensen)
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: ~ 2,800
Warnings: References to homophobia.

Summary: Josh has a lot of atoning to do when it comes to his little brother, and he intends to start as soon as possible. (A timestamp for as this sunset turns to morning. Josh POV.)

Notes: This is for the wonderful and amazing Emilie, who requested this in my charity exchange far too long ago. This Josh was very resistant to me poking around in his head, but I finally wore him down. I hope you like it! Thanks to kamikaze_redux for the speedy beta. ♥



Josh Ackles is well aware that he’s not about to win any Brother of the Year awards, but he had no idea just how bad it had gotten, how horribly he had failed his siblings.

No matter how much time passes, and how much he works to make up for it, Josh’s biggest regret will always be not being there for Jensen when he needed someone the most.

Josh is on the phone with his mother, a monthly Sunday afternoon tradition that he looks forward to about as much as getting his teeth cleaned, when he gets the news. He’s not even really paying attention, making vaguely agreeable noises during the silent intervals. His mother sounds tense and disappointed, but she’s always angry at someone or another, so Josh doesn’t think too much of it.

She tells him about Mackenzie’s spelling bee trophy and Josh hums appreciatively, flipping the page of the Sports section quietly as he takes a sip from his coffee mug. “And how’s Jensen doing?”

And then his mother does something completely unexpected. She cries. His mother does not cry, doesn’t show any weakness, or hell, compassion. Josh’s mind starts whirling, worst case scenarios flashing through his thoughts, and he sits up. She’s sniffling on the other end of the line, obviously trying to get herself under control, and Josh straightens so abruptly that he nearly spills his coffee all over the table.

“What is it?”

Oh Josh. I don’t know how to tell you this.” Josh’s eyes sting and his chest hurts, heart clenching with fear and regret. He thinks of Jensen, of the sadness in his eyes, of his own selfishness, and doesn’t know what he’ll do if something bad has happened to him. “Jensen told us that he was a – a homosexual.”

Josh nearly laughs, he’s so relieved. “Is that it? Jesus, mother, I thought you were going to –“ A sudden thought occurs to him and his blood runs ice cold. “Mother, what did you do?”

Don’t take the Lord’s name in vein, Joshua. Your father threw him out. I have no idea where he’s staying. Most likely with that – that boy.” She spits out the last word like she’s disgusted, and Josh slumps forward. “He’s no longer a part of this family, Joshua. Don’t worry about him.”

“Don’t – don’t worry about him?” Josh jumps to his feet, clenching his fingers into a fist at his side. He’s shaking with rage, with fear and disappointment. “Jesus, mother. I knew you two were shitty parents, but this really takes the cake.”

What? Joshua! Don’t you -

“I hope you’re real goddamned proud of yourselves,” he spits out harshly, emphasizing the swear just because he knows the effect it will have on his Bible thumping mother. He’s not disappointed; he goes so far as to take a sick sort of pleasure in her shocked gasp. “You might have taken his parents away, but he still has a brother, and I’m going to make sure he knows it. If you wanna disown me too, go right on ahead.”

Josh ends the call and tosses his cell on the sofa, both hands going into his hair as he tries to think. Jensen’s gay. It makes a lot of sense, when Josh starts to think about it. It doesn’t matter one little bit to him, aside from the pain it causes him to know how he must have warred with himself. He had no one to turn to, and that’s on Josh’s shoulders.

He needs to find Jensen, but he knows next to nothing about his little brother. He thinks back to their awkward last encounter a few weeks earlier, how he wanted to bond with him, how he wanted to make some headway in repairing the rift between them that was no fault but Josh’s own, but he had no idea where to start. God, he was such an asshole.

Lisa comes rushing into the room when Josh swears loudly and kicks the coffee table, the pain of his stubbed toe not nearly the punishment he knows he deserves.

“Babe, what’s wrong?” She asks, head tilted curiously. Josh looks at her, thinks about how lucky he is to have her, someone to love and tell all his secrets to, and lets out a dry, choking sob.

“I’m a horrible brother.”

---


Jensen’s cell phone has been disconnected, of course, because his parents had been paying for it. Josh has absolutely nothing to go on except the town he’s probably in and the high school he most likely goes to, and he’s ready to just drive out there and wait it out in the parking lot when his cell phone rings.

The number is unfamiliar, and he has a surge of hope when he answers. It’s not Jensen, but he’s almost as glad to hear from Mackenzie, his sweet baby sister.

“Mackie,” he breathes out. “Is everything okay? Why didn’t you tell me?”

I – I didn’t know how you’d react,” she admits, and Josh sighs. “I didn’t know what to do.”

“Jesus, am I that shitty of a person? Wait, don’t answer that. I know I am.” Josh pinches the bridge of his nose and lets out a breath. “Look, Mackie. I don’t care. Of course I don’t care. He’s our brother. Please tell me that you know where he is.”

Yeah, Josh. I do.” She still sounds slightly unsure of how much she should say, and Josh bites his lip to keep from yelling at her. He just needs to know that Jensen is alright. “He’s, um, staying with his boyfriend and his mom.”

“Jensen has a boyfriend?” It’s not like the information should shock Josh, his mother did mention a boy, after all. But she had mentioned it like she would mention shit on the bottom of her shoe, so Josh had dismissed it. But still, it’s nice to know that Jensen isn’t completely alone.

Yeah, he does. He’s super awesome.” She sounds a little more excited now, and Josh feels a bit better knowing that whoever it is has Mackie’s seal of approval. “His name’s Jared. I haven’t actually met him yet, but I’ve talked to him on the phone. Him and Jensen were washing the dogs, ‘cause he has these two giant dogs, and Jen sounded happy. I mean, sad too, but also really happy, if that makes sense. He belongs there, Joshie.”

Josh’s heart swells and he swallows the lump in his throat, immediately grateful for this Jared and what he’s done for his brother. “That’s great, Mackie, really. Can you give me the address? I want to go see him, and make sure that he knows that he still has me too.”

Sure, Joshie. I think that’d be a good place to start.”

---


Josh drives out to the suburbs as soon as he gathers himself together, mind racing with all the possible things he could say to his little brother. I’m sorry is right at the top of his list. He has a lot of atoning to do, a whole hell of a lot, and he intends to start as soon as possible.

He parks in front of Jared’s house once he finds it, squinting up at the front door and taking a breath. He finally gathers up the courage to get out of the car and walk up the front path, and he jumps a little when he knocks on the front door and instantly hears the rather loud barking of more than one dog. But no one answers, and Josh hangs his head.

Nobody’s home. Gonna wait it out.

He shoots the text off to Lisa and lowers himself onto the top step of the porch, resting his elbows on his knees as he squints against the sun. The dogs are still whining, scratching at the door, and Josh thinks back to how Jensen had always wanted a dog when he was a kid.

Lisa texts him back, wishes him luck, and Josh settles in to play Angry Birds on his phone until his brother shows up. It actually isn’t too long before an SUV pulls haphazardly up to the curb, and Josh gets to his feet, heart racing as the back door opens.

Jensen hops out first, and he’s laughing. He has color on his cheeks and he’s standing up straight and tall, at least until a giant of a boy jumps out of the car and onto his back. Josh watches as his brother grins, wide and genuine, head tipping forward when the boy kisses his neck.

Ten seconds, and Josh can already see that Jensen is happier than he’s ever been.

Jared notices him first, probably wondering who the psycho standing on his porch is, and then Jensen spots him. The grin slips from his face instantly, replaced by uncertainty and fear, and it breaks Josh’s heart to know he can invoke that reaction in Jensen so quickly.

“It’s my brother,” Jensen says quietly, and Jared’s reaction confirms pretty much what Josh expected in terms of Jared’s thoughts on him being there. Josh takes a step forward and smiles gently.

“Hey Jensen. I, uh – I wanted to talk to you privately.”

Jared scoffs and Jensen finally looks up at him. Josh tries his best to look encouraging, and Jensen finally nods and tells Jared to wait inside. He gives Jensen a kiss on the cheek and then walks past Josh, leveling him with a vaguely threatening glare on his way by.

One of the dogs runs up to Jensen, butt wiggling happily as he pets it, and then he looks up cautiously at Josh. After a few awkward exchanges, Josh just starts talking. He apologizes, says what he came to say, what he feels, and hopes that it’s enough for Jensen to forgive him.

He wants them to be brothers again, and he wants Jensen to know that he has family that cares for him, no matter what. Jensen looks receptive to everything he’s saying, shoulders relaxing gradually, and then he asks the big question.

“So you don’t care that I’m gay?” Jensen sounds so scared when he says it, and Josh has to swallow back the urge to go over to his parents’ house and punch his father right in his bigoted face. Instead, he reaches out to touch Jensen’s shoulder, squeezing and looking squarely into his brother’s eyes.

“I honestly don’t, Jensen.” And he means that. He’s never agreed with his parents’ views on most things, but of course Jensen would have no way of knowing that.

Josh needs Jensen to know that he wants him to be a part of his life, so he tells him that Lisa’s pregnant, that he’s going to be an uncle. It’s not something that he’s told his parents or even most of his friends yet because it’s still all so new and unbelievable, but he wants Jensen to know. It feels like a step in the right direction, and Jensen’s reaction amps up Josh’s excitement level even more.

Jensen’s happy here at Jared’s, happier than Josh has ever seen him, and Josh says so. Jensen’s cheeks go pink and he smiles like he just can’t help it, and his eyes are bright, crinkled at the corners. Josh smiles, tosses out the big, scary L word, but Jensen doesn’t even blink.

And then comes time to meet Jared properly, to hopefully show the most important person in his little brother’s life that he’s one of the good guys. Jared’s waiting just inside the door when Jensen opens it, grinning sheepishly, and Jensen laughs at him.

He and Jared size each other up for a moment. He’s a big guy, tall and lean, shaggy hair curling around his ears. He’s attractive, strong and trustworthy-looking, and Josh immediately takes a liking to him. The pure fondness in Jensen’s voice as he introduces them might have something to do with that, though.

Josh is struck by the ridiculous urge to hug Jared, to cling to him and thank him for taking care of Jensen, for making him so goddamn happy after a lifetime of being anything but. He wants to thank Jared for succeeding where he’s failed so thoroughly, wants to promise to be better.

Somehow, he thinks Jared sees that. He watches the fiercely protective man he first laid eyes on soften into a goofy, funny boy that’s so obviously in love with Jensen that Josh can practically feel it like a tangible thing in the air around them.

They sit on the porch and get to know each other, and when Jensen looks at him tentatively when Jared sits behind him, long legs sprawled out on either side of his hips, Josh just smiles indulgently at them. Jensen looks relieved, and then pleased as he settles back against Jared.

In the time they spend together, just hanging out and shooting the shit, Josh learns a lot. He learns that his brother is funny in the most unexpected ways, that Jared has a heart big enough to eclipse the goddamn sun, and that this might be easy, having a relationship with Jensen.

And then Jared’s mom comes home, and Josh spends a brief moment being insanely jealous of him. Sherri is everything Donna isn’t. She’s funny, outgoing, and beautiful in a way that comes naturally. She isn’t judgmental or fake, and she’s nice to Josh even when she must know he doesn’t really deserve it. Josh takes to her instantly, just as quick as he took to Jared, and he sends a silent prayer of thanks upward, so grateful that these amazing people found his brother.

She insists that he stay for dinner, so Josh sends a quick text off to Lisa to tell her that he won’t be home, and that everything is going so much better than expected. They order Chinese takeout and Josh watches fondly as the three of them bicker over the menu, Jensen going so far as to tell Jared to ‘fuck off, we’re not having kung pao chicken again’. Jared pouts but acquiesces to Jensen’s demands of shrimp fried rice, even leaning in for a kiss as Sherri calls in the order.

They eat informally, scooping out their helpings onto plates and sitting on the couch, Josh in a recliner off to the side, and talk while horrible reality television plays in the background. It sort of feels like the first true family dinner Josh has ever had with Jensen, and that’s when he realizes that these people, Jared and Sherri, are Jensen’s family now.

But maybe it’s not too late for Josh to be a part of it.

---


“I love your brother’s friends!”

This comes from Lisa as she greets Josh breathlessly in the kitchen. A chorus of squeals and laughter sounds from the living room, and Lisa looks over her shoulder. She’s dressed in her pajamas – loose flannel pants and one of Josh’s thin tanks. The bump of her belly is becoming more pronounced, and Josh smiles fondly at her.

“Lisa! Josh!” That’s Jensen’s voice, loud and happy, and he breaks off into a fit of laughter before he continues. “The movie’s about to start!”

“Patience, ass!” Josh calls back, eyeing the timer on the microwave. The sound of kernels popping and the scent of butter fill the kitchen, and he loops an arm around Lisa’s waist.

Jensen and Jared had finally taken them up on their offer of a weekend in the city, and Josh insisted they bring their friends. Josh had gotten to spend the entire day with his brother and his merry band of misfit friends, all of whom crack Josh up and make him grateful for their presence in Jensen’s life.

They’re all in pajamas out in the living room now, blankets spread everywhere and a DVD all queued up and ready to go. Josh and Lisa were ready to get out of their way, but they’d insisted that they stay and hang out, but only if they changed into their pajamas.

“We like to have slumber parties,” Sandy had said cheerfully, to which Misha replied that they’d refrain from their usual orgy out of respect for their home. Josh is fairly certain that he was kidding, but he’s come to learn that it’s always a bit hard to tell where Misha’s concerned.

“Josh! The previews are starting!” Jensen calls out, and Josh looks over Lisa’s shoulder in the direction of the living room.

“Are you popping each kernel individually, Josh? Damn!” That’s Jared, and Lisa giggles against Josh’s shoulder.

“Seriously. I love them,” she repeats, and Josh smiles against the top of her head. The microwave beeps and a loud cheer erupts from the pile of teenagers sprawled across his living room.

“Yeah,” Josh says, and Jensen turns around on the sofa to grin at him. Josh meets his eyes and smiles back. “They’re pretty great.”


[end]
 
 
 
enable l♥ve: [spn] dean rubs at eyes like a lil' boyenablelove on August 6th, 2011 05:43 am (UTC)
jdaskfpokgxldmg
enable l♥ve: [j²] heterosexual life partnersenablelove on August 6th, 2011 05:44 am (UTC)
Okay, had to get that out.

I LOVE this 'verse. I love all your fics, but this holds a place close to my heart because it felt so REAL you know? God. ANYWAY, this was amazing. I love outsider POV fics and I adore the fact that you made Jared and Jensen's relationship through Josh's eyes a beautiful thing.

<3
(no subject) - _mournthewicked on September 19th, 2011 07:52 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Hannah: History Illuminationherberta2006 on August 6th, 2011 05:50 am (UTC)
This is just more evidence that sleep is for the weak, and fic is far superior to homework. In case that wasn't obvious already <3
miss california.: [boys] ackles - dance cook and clean._mournthewicked on September 19th, 2011 07:52 pm (UTC)
LIFE CHOICES: YOU'RE MAKING THE RIGHT ONES.

Nessa--The Smite Faerie: J2 Tuxes and Heartspeppervl on August 6th, 2011 06:14 am (UTC)
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Um. Yes. That pretty much says it all.
miss california.: [boys] ackles - frackles is a queer._mournthewicked on September 19th, 2011 07:52 pm (UTC)
Thank you!

(Deleted comment)
miss california.: [boys] ackles - fuck me (yes please)._mournthewicked on September 19th, 2011 07:53 pm (UTC)
Aw wow, that's so sweet. Thanks so much!

(Deleted comment)
miss california.: [boys] ackles - plain perfection._mournthewicked on September 19th, 2011 07:53 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much for reading!

Annie: J2 - young loveaythia on August 6th, 2011 06:51 am (UTC)
I really don't have words for how much I loved this, not more than sitting and smiling happily and wiping happy tears from my eyes. Maybe that's all that needs to be said though :)
miss california.: [boys] ackles - the learning curve._mournthewicked on September 19th, 2011 07:53 pm (UTC)
That's so sweet. :')

Thank you!

z3s_keep_going: spn :: jaredz3s_keep_going on August 6th, 2011 07:22 am (UTC)
i loooove this! i love this verse, and i love this fic! so awesome
miss california.: [boys] ackles - you crack me up._mournthewicked on September 19th, 2011 07:54 pm (UTC)
Thanks for commenting!

evil cliffhanger girlalienat on August 6th, 2011 08:00 am (UTC)
Aww, awesome. I loved to see this part from Josh's POV.
miss california.: [boys] collins - a wink and a prayer._mournthewicked on September 19th, 2011 07:55 pm (UTC)
I'm glad I got to write it. Thnaks for reading!

spooky2_alex: Moneyspooky2_alex on August 6th, 2011 08:17 am (UTC)
Awwwwww, that was sooooooooo sweet.... Thanks for this new installment. I love this verse very much!
miss california.: [boys] padackles - climb you like a tree_mournthewicked on September 19th, 2011 07:55 pm (UTC)
Thanks for commenting!

kubis: SPN people - Jaredkubis on August 6th, 2011 08:26 am (UTC)
That was awesome. :) A great way to start the day. :)
miss california.: [boys] padackles - do me in the morning._mournthewicked on September 19th, 2011 07:56 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad you liked it!

peepingdrupeepingdru on August 6th, 2011 08:31 am (UTC)
i just love that Jensen is soooooooooooooo surrounded by love now!!!! thank u:)
Photobucket
miss california.: [boys] padackles - drawing pink hearts._mournthewicked on September 19th, 2011 07:56 pm (UTC)
Heee! Thanks so much!

sometimeredheadsometimeredhead on August 6th, 2011 09:02 am (UTC)
i absolutely love this verse, i think it might be my favourite fic. This was a lovely edition to the world you have created.

I'm always so happy when reading the fic when Josh turns up to support Jensen so it's lovely to see things from his pov and to actually finally meet Lisa!

thank you xxx
miss california.: [boys] padackles - no denying it._mournthewicked on September 19th, 2011 07:56 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for the lovely feedback!

Annie: J2 Sleepingktrisha on August 6th, 2011 10:44 am (UTC)
Agnsty and funny timestamp. I loved the slumber party at the end.
miss california.: [boys] padackles - smushy face._mournthewicked on September 19th, 2011 07:57 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much! It just isn't a sunset fic without a slumber party. ;)

Dustin Scott (戦士)bloodstaindnght on August 6th, 2011 11:27 am (UTC)
Aww, I love it!

I was so glad that Josh came to see Jensen, so it was awesome to see the moment fleshed out from his POV. I'm happy that he was so easily able to see that Jensen does still have family, one that loves him completely and totally. And he's also a brave man for inviting all of the J's friends to his place. A brave, brave man. :)
miss california.: [boys] padackles - twizzler love._mournthewicked on September 19th, 2011 07:58 pm (UTC)
Aww, thanks so much for the lovely comment. He's a brave man indeed! ;D

violetknightsvioletknights on August 6th, 2011 11:54 am (UTC)
Aw thta made me smile! I love the original fic and this timestamp is so sweet and beautiful. I love that it is from Josh's POV and Misha's comment at the end just made me chuckle :D xxx
miss california.: [boys] padalecki - blue steel v3.0_mournthewicked on September 19th, 2011 07:59 pm (UTC)
Hee! Thank you so much!