shaking snow out of his hair, jensen walked into his apartment, shutting the door behind him and ducking under one of the hanging lines of photos. he set his camera on the table, pulling off his fingerless gloves and scarf soon after. he’d been out all afternoon shooting pictures during the snowfall, and he’d stopped feeling his fingertips over an hour ago.

sniffing as his nose warmed back up, jensen walked into his room and shrugged out of his coat. when he tossed his coat onto his armchair in the corner, he noticed his phone, blinking madly on his night stand. groaning, he realized he’d left it there all day and snatched it up. he brought up the screen as he walked back into his open kitchen, furrowing his eyebrows at the seven missed calls from his mother. that was odd. sure, his mother called him fairly regularly, but never during the day, never seven times, and never without leaving a voicemail.

pressing her name, he waited for her to pick up. she answered on the first ring.

"jen?"

he felt his heart start pounding at the sound of her voice. she sounded like she’d been crying. "ma? what’s wrong? he stopped in his tracks, his eyes losing focus as they landed at a spot on his floor.

"it’s your father.. he.."

"what did he do? ma, what happened? i swear, if he did something…" jensen let that hang in the air, waiting for his mother to answer. "i need you to come home, jensen elias."

"what is it?" jensen’s eyebrows came closer together as he started pacing back and forth. nothing about this conversation felt right to him, from the sound of his mother’s voice to the fact that she wasn’t coming right out to tell him what happened to the seven missed calls.

"your father… he’s gone."

"what do you mean, ‘he’s gone’?" jensen asked, accusation growing in his tone.

"he’s… he had a heart attack. he’s… he’s gone, honey."

jensen, he couldn’t… he couldn’t think. that couldn’t be right. his father couldn’t be dead. his father was too stubborn to just die. he blinked rapidly, pinching the bridge of his nose. "w-w-what?" he stuttered, picking up his pace. "he can’t j-j-just be dead. are you— are you s-sure?"

"i’m so sorry i had to tell you this way, baby. just, you need to come home. tomorrow."

"i…" jensen open and shut his mouth, walking into his room and turning to sit on his bed. "okay, ma. i’ll-i’ll see you tomorrow. i’ll let you know when i leave."

after his mom hung up, jensen tapped off his phone and tossed it lightly up to his pillow. he couldn’t believe what his mother had told him. his father was gone. dead. sure, he’d never had the best relationship with his father… but now he never had a chance to have one in the future. all that time, wasted. he could have tried to get along with his father more than he had, they might have gotten along better, but now he didn’t even have that opportunity.

jensen opened his mouth, his nose suddenly not doing a good enough job at getting air into his lungs. he looked over to his phone where it sat on his pillow, considering it for a few moments. finally, he reached over and grabbed it, bringing back up the screen and his list of contacts. before he’d even thought of one of his friends to call (what would he call them about, anyway? ‘hey guys, that guy i always described as an ass is dead and i’m actually upset about it. watch my apartment for me?’) his finger rested over top a familiar name. for a minute, he considered tapping it, but that didn’t seem like a good idea either. instead, he scrolled down one name to louis, tapped the screen and then put the phone up to his ear.

he couldn’t talk to her. not tonight. even though, years earlier, she would have been the only one he wanted to talk to.

it wasn’t the first time jensen had been out with his friends, but it was definitely the first time his new friends had taken him to a place like this.

"wardo, where are we?” jensen shouted over the music.

"relax, jefferson. you’ll have fun."

wardo set his hand on jensen’s shoulder, patting it lightly. he fancied himself a history buff, and when he met jensen, couldn’t resist the opportunity to rename his new southern friend after the secessionist president with the same last name.

"i am relaxed," jensen retorted, somewhat stiffly. he was used to low key, he liked low key, and this… this thing they were about to enter was definitely not low key. "and quit calling me that."

"the girls here are cray-zee."

jensen’s eyes darted to marc who was leaning casually against the wall while they waited to get inside. seeing that he was absolutely serious, jensen shoved his hands in his pockets and nodded stiffly. "of course. fantastic."

an hour later, jensen managed to find himself standing alone, drink (that he knew he couldn’t be caught holding, but figured it wouldn’t be an issue in a place like this) in one hand, looking for wardo and marc among the sea of people. he’d just taken another drink when he felt a hand slip into his own as it hung at his side.

nearly choking on his drink, jensen stumbled after the dark hair as it pulled him toward the back of the place. he didn’t have any idea what was going, especially when she pushed open the door to the ladies’ room, pulled him in, and then pushed him up against a stall wall, seeming to lock the door behind her simultaneously. he was still in shock when she started speaking.

"you haven’t done one thing since you got here, you know that?"

jensen’s eyebrows furrowed as he looked at her, surprised by what she’d said, but not sure why because he hadn’t been sure what he thought she was going to say anyway. "i.. i don’t real— wait what?"

a smirk pulled at the corner of her mouth.

"so you do speak. and you’re definitely not from around here."

and then she was pressing her lips against his, shocking him even further. she moved from his lips and traveled along his jaw line, making him jump as he felt her hands at his waistline. "i-i don’t know if… what are you-?" she placed her index finger against his lips, silencing him as her other hand went to his belt. he grimaced slightly as he tried to scoot away from her, but failed when he only managed to bump into the stall wall.

"honey, i’m doing you a favor. if you stop talking you’ll thank me for it later."

he continued grimaced again as he felt her slide the end of his belt out of a belt loop. she’d moved her kisses down onto the exposed skin of his chest, and his eyes shot open as he felt her other hand grab the front of his pants. finally coming to the realization that talking wasn’t going to get him out of it, jensen brought his hands to hers, taking them firmly in his own. "look, i-i can’t… i’m sure you’re a nice girl and-"

"are you gay or something?"

jensen’s eyebrows nearly crashed together. "what? no!"

"you can pretend i’m a guy if that’s your thing, i don’t really care."

jensen pushed her hands away from him, finally sidestepping her. "i’m not gay, i just-" he didn’t know why he was trying to explain himself to her, so he stopped. "look, i’m sure you’re a really nice girl and all," he said, holding one of his hands palm out in front of her, like it would keep her away as he unlocked the stall door. "and i’m sure you’re great at" -he waved his hand vagely- "just… sorry."

as soon as the door swung open, jensen bolted out of that club faster than he’d ever thought possible. at this point, he didn’t really care whether or not marc and wardo were still inside; they’d find their way back home somehow. he wasn’t sure whatever happened to his drink, but he hardly cared as he reached back to his wallet, flipping it open and pulling out his worn black and white picture of lorna. he looked at it and sighed, turning down another street and heading for home.