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FIC: "Invisible Glaciers"

  • May. 16th, 2009 at 7:19 PM
simarillion: ('nuff said)
Invisible Glaciers
By Simarillion

Fandom: Supernatural RPS
Universe: Alternative Universe
Rating: PG-13 (this instalment)
Beta: Sulfuric Fusion
Pairing: Jensen Ackles/Jared Padalecki (one-sided), Jared Padalecki/Sandra McCoy, others
Warnings: slash, M/M
Word Count: 9,584
Summary: Jensen’s not a mutant, but he still is invisible, in every way that counts.
Disclaimer: None of the herein presented happenings and events are true. Everything is 100% fiction and that includes the sexuality of the characters. I don’t claim to be in the know about their relations and private affairs, and I don’t make any money with the creation of this story.

Author’s Note: I changed the age of the Jensen and Jared, they are the same age now. The plot wouldn’t really work otherwise.


Jensen was different than other children, always has been, and always will be. From his birth and onwards, he has been invisible to other people. Not in the X-Men, ‘I’m-wearing-spandex-and-still-kicking-your-ass’ kind of way, more in the ‘Nobody-realizes-I-exist’ type of way, which is hard for a grown up, but even worse for a child.

The first time this circumstance became obvious was only hours after Jensen’s birth. He was an early delivery, and when his mother came to the room where newborns were gathered to get a look on her son, she couldn’t find him. Out of a row of baby cradles, his mother couldn’t even make out which one was hers.

But it didn’t stop at that. There’s actually more where that came from. Not only did Jensen’s mother occasionally forget her son in the baby seat in the car when she came home from a shopping trip, but all of the other family members were the same. At his first birthday party, the gathered family members completely forgot to congratulate the baby boy, whose party they were at, and only when everyone had left did Jensen’s parents remember to give him his present.

One would think that a child who was used to being left out and forgotten as many times as Jensen would usually do his best to get everyone’s attention – children are like that, they need the company and the social security of family – but not Jensen. His mother often pointed out, when she actually bothered to think about it, that Jensen was the best-behaved baby that she knew.

She knew what she was talking about, since her three years older son, Josh, was the complete opposite of Jensen. He cried all night long, wanted to get everyone’s attention, and never stopped. People used to say that he’s a handful, but everyone, even his parents, agreed that Josh was the light that relieved any stress that befell his family.

So, Jensen was a well-liked child, but the same people who said Josh was a ‘little bit on the wild side’ said that Jensen was a beautiful but very quiet child. He’s so inconspicuous that he was completely ignored most of times, which was the biggest difference.

This trend continued later on in Jensen’s kindergarten days. Children never asked him to play with them, and there wasn’t a single child in the group who befriended him on their own. It’s not so much that they don’t like Jensen, but rather the fact that nobody ever noticed him in the room.

More than once, the nursery teacher forgot to assign Jensen for a group, when the class got paired up for some painting or handcrafts project. It wasn’t like he minded doing the work alone, but sometimes Jensen watched the other children with envy, and imagined what it would be like to enjoy working with a partner, or share sweets with someone.

An even bigger problem that developed was that Jensen was rather shy. He isn’t really scared of other people, but he feels weird when talking or working with someone. He doesn’t know how, mostly because of the fact that he has never had to work or talk to strangers.

For the greater part of his kindergarten years and pre-school education, Jensen remained an outsider, always looking in on others. There were times when he felt lonely, and when he wished to be included in the groups of friends forming all around him, but most of the time he’s alright with the way things are. They’d always been like that, so Jensen didn’t really mind.

The first and only time Jensen cries about being invisible, is when he’s in his second year of elementary school. Since no one ever saw him, he’d never invited to any birthday parties, but in second grade, when his mother asked him what he wanted for his birthday, he said he wanted to have a real birthday party, like the one Dave Mitchell had, where Jensen wasn’t invited, but he had been able to see from his window.

He invited all of his classmates, and a couple of kids from the neighboring class, but in the end he sat all alone at a large table covered in children’s party food, and his mother sends the clown that had been hired for the party home.

After that one incident, Jensen never asked for a birthday party again, and he ignored the invitations being passed out to everyone but him. It doesn’t matter – or at least, that’s what he told himself.

The rest of elementary school wasn’t any different from the first years, and by the time he started Junior High School, Jensen had found his own way of living the life of an invisible person. It’s actually not that difficult, and it beat being the weird kid or the picked upon outsider. One thing that’s really an advantage of not being noticed by anyone was that the bullies, be they children or adult, were never picking on him; he was always beneath their notice.

His father got promoted, and so the whole Ackles family moved to San Antonio. Moving had never been a problem for Jensen (unlike Josh, who always had to leave many friends behind); he’s just as invisible at the new place they move to as he was where they stayed before.

It came as a surprise to him when, on his third day at the new Junior High, a boy walked up to him, completely cocky with mischief reflected in his eyes, and started talking rapidly to Jensen. The strange kid, Chris, spoke a mile a minute, and at the end of his monologue he just grinned at Jensen, as if it was normal to talk to an invisible person.

Chris turned out to be a boy whose grandparents owned a large ranch, at which he stayed every summer for at least three weeks. In his recaptures of his adventures during the holidays, the stories always revolved around some girl, which Jensen thought to be rather offsetting because girls were boring and stupid – who’d want to spend time with them voluntarily? Another topic of Chris’s summer adventures was the country music he listened to with his grandfather.

After three weeks of listening to the other boy talk about music, girls, classes, and some TV shows Chris watched, Jensen finally got used to the attention. It felt nice to have someone to spend time with. Of course, it was mostly Chris doing the talking, and making the decisions about what they did, what they liked, and what they thought about whom, but the company was nice, nonetheless.

Jensen was surprised by how complex and confusing being friends with someone was. There’s always something or someone to complain about, something someone else did wrong, and how important it was to have an opinion on everything and everyone.

At first Jensen tried to understand Chris’s arguments about why something was the way Chris says it was, but after the other boy changed his mind for the third time about what they thought about Alice Masters – because apparently their opinion of the girl was closely connected to her behavior towards Chris – Jensen just decided to go with the flow, and agree with his friend.

There’s only one time that they got into a fight, and they don’t stay angry with the other for longer than half an hour, because Jensen realized that now that he’d gotten a friend, he didn’t want to be alone again.

Chris stayed Jensen’s only friend throughout Junior High, and when they start high school, nothing changed. Of course, Chris had other friends as well, but Jensen’s only friend was Chris, though it wasn’t like he didn’t spend time with others kids his age, because he more than once joined Chris and his other friends when they rode their bikes to the mall, but the others just never noticed Jensen.

During high school things changed, though. For one, Jensen realized, to his great dismay, that although he didn’t feel the same way about the girls in their school like his friend did, he does feel different about some of the boys. At first he doesn’t know what it was that had changed, but soon enough Jensen notices the similarities about the way he’s reacting to some boys, and the way Chris and his other friends react to girls.

Jensen’s sure that his discovery isn’t something to be shared with his friend. He doesn’t talk to anybody about it, and after some time he’s even able to convince himself that he was wrong, and that he likes girls like everyone else.

Well, he’s not asking girls out for a date, or looking up pictures of naked women online, but he doesn’t stare at other boys anymore, or at least, not as much.

Everything changes though, when Jared Padalecki gets transferred to their high school in Jensen’s third year. Suddenly he can’t pretend that boys aren’t what interest him, because Jared’s everything that Jensen can dream of, and most of all he’s everything that Jensen isn’t.

Jared Padalecki is the school’s star quarterback and he’s the most popular guy at school. There’s nobody who doesn’t want to be his friend, and all of the female population of the high school talk about nothing else but how much they want to go on a date with him.

Unfortunately for the girls, talking will be the only thing that they’ll ever be able to do since Jared dates no-one else but CW High’s very own Alexis Bledel. Alexis is the most popular girl, and she’s not only the most beautiful one, but the most intelligent as well. Her father studied in Harvard, and rumor has it that a place there’s already reserved for her once she’s finished High School.

So, the arrival of Jared Padalecki at High School has Jensen convinced that maybe he really is gay. For a brief second he panics, but then he remembers that no one notices him anyway. There are some really awesome perks to being invisible when you are different from others; you never have to fear being teased about it, or fight narrow-minded people.

The only thing that might become a problem is Chris finding out about Jensen’s preferences. His only friend might decide that he prefers his other friends to Jensen, and so there’s nothing Jensen can do but watch his behavior around Chris, and restrict his Jared-ogling to times when Chris isn’t around. Which are becoming more and more frequent.

At the beginning of his crush on Jared, Jensen only watched the other boy because he feels all flushed and excited when seeing Jared out on the field, or strolling the hallways at CW High, but the longer his obsession lasts, Jensen realizes that his crush is changing, evolving. It’s transforming into something else completely.

It gets harder and harder to ignore Alexis hanging from Jared’s arm, and Jensen starts to avoid Jared and his group all together. There really is no need to torture himself with the happiness and cuteness that is Jared Padalecki and Alexis Bledel.

By the time Jensen leaves the room as soon as the other boy enters the room, Chris spends almost no time with Jensen anymore. It looks like he’ll have to go back to being alone again. The thought of having nobody to talk to at school and share stories about teachers and other kids with is something that gets to Jensen more than he wants to admit.

Getting someone’s attention is rather difficult if you’re invisible, though, and so Jensen invests a lot of his energy in re-establishing his friendship with Chris. He can’t completely undo what has changed, but slowly Jensen is becoming a regular once again in his friend’s life.

What helps with the deepening of their friendship is their mutual love for singing and country music. Chris is determined to become a famous country singer, and Jensen is a welcome addition to his jam sessions, since he’s the only boy of Chris friend’s who can carry a tune, and has a decent singing voice.

Jensen loves singing and making music, and even though he’s not interested too much in pursuing a musical career, he readily tapes songs with his friend, being the backup and even the occasional lead singer. For a person who’s never in the center of attention, he takes to the whole being-on-stage thing with remarkably little nervousness, but then again – believe it or not – even standing on stage, singing in front of people, they don’t notice him any more than they did before. Jensen’s just strange like that.

The singing thing keeps Jensen busy, what with learning the lyrics and learning how to play the guitar, and so a lot of time that he used to use spend obsessing over Jared, is being taken up. It doesn’t help to get the other boy completely out of his system – Jensen’s by now sure that nothing will ever be able to purge Jared Padalecki from his head – and let him forget the whole gay business, but it’s a welcome distraction, nonetheless.

To his frustration, Jensen has to realize that the news of Jared and Alexis breaking up has him more excited than would like to admit, and when the two are getting back together three days later, he’s crushed. It’s not like Jared Padalecki being unattached would be anything that’s got an impact on Jensen’s life – with the exception of Chris shutting up about the injustice of Alexis Bledel not being available – but the thing is that making up stories of what-ifs are more fun and exciting when there isn’t a drop dead gorgeous girl in the equation.

So he continues to ignore every development of the Padalecki-Bledel relationship (or tries to), and if he knows exactly who made out with whom, and what Alexis got as a birthday present from her boyfriend, it’s totally not Jensen’s fault, because everyone at school knows that, right?

When he realizes that he’s one of the few people with an opinion on Alexis’s birthday present for Jared, Jensen has to admit to himself that he’s not as much over his infatuation with Jared Padalecki as he had hoped he was. And so Jensen once more returns to watching Jared. He’s careful to keep up with Chris and the singing, but whenever he finds the time to do so, Jensen spends his time in the gym or on the track, watching the other boy.

The many hours he spends lounging around in the sports areas gets him interested in doing sports as well, and he signs up for the track team. At first running for such a long time is really hard, and Jensen gets side burns and cramps more often than not, but one day he runs and runs, and he doesn’t hurt from the exertion this time. It’s quite cathartic, and from this time on Jensen runs every day.

Jensen is keeps himself busy with singing, running and Jared-watching. So, at the time Jensen watches the documentary about Iceland and Greenland, he’s pretty relaxed, and he totally gets entranced with the pictures of snow, ice, geysers and volcanoes. The images don’t leave him alone, and for the first time since the appearance of Jared Padalecki, something’s able to capture his whole attention. After reading up on the two countries, and reading even more about the Arctic Circle, Jensen’s found out what he wants to do in the future. He wants to go there; he wants to see all these places himself.

His faint fascination with the whole topic became so huge that he actually asks his geography teacher about further study in geography. Never before had Jensen expected to consider learning about rocks and rivers and other boring stuff, but the thing is that he really wants to learn about ice and snow, and there’s not much he can do but learn the boring stuff as well.

Once Jensen’s decided that he’ll climb mountains to see glaciers, and dive into underwater caverns, he starts bothering his parents to take diving classes, and how to learn rock climbing – he doesn’t tell them about the ice climbing yet.

During summer, when Chris spends his time at his grandparents’ ranch – he says he needs the atmosphere of the place to write some new songs – Jensen signs up for a survival camp, and spends some serious time practicing rock climbing, and doing rafting and canoeing. He’s never had more fun than while learning everything he can about crawling and trekking through the wilderness. His diving classes are shorter than the standard classes during school, but in the week before his last year at CW High starts, Jensen takes his diving exam, which he passes easily.

To his dismay, he discovers that his infatuation with Jared Padalecki has not vanished over the summer break, and even though he keeps himself busy with all his courses and extra activities during the day, his nighttime hours are spent thinking, and, with increasing frequency, dreaming about the other boy.

After his umpteenth time waking up from a dream about Jared’s hands touching him, Jensen decides that it’s high time to find out what this gay-sex thing is all about, and so, very much like with the ice and snow thing, he starts researching, reading online and in books about the topic. It’s about the time when he finds himself masturbating to some home-made gay porn video on youporn that Jensen realizes that even though he has this Mount Everest sized crush on Jared Padalecki, other guys do turn him on as well.

Fearing his older brother snooping around on his laptop, Jensen from then on keeps off pages like youporn, but he downloads as many shirtless pictures of his favorite actors as he feels comfortable with – before he thinks of himself as a pervert and starts to feel guilt well up.

The unfortunate side-effect of his newly acquired knowledge about gay sex is that he’s thinking of the most inappropriate things at the worst times, and he definitely thinks and dreams about doing some of those things with, and to, Jared. It really is rather disturbing to watch the other boy playing out on the field, watch him sweat and tackle his team mates, and then get hard from the image of himself being tackled like that by Jared.

Jensen, for the first time in his life, fears being noticed, which he isn’t, of course, but he wishes each day that his invisibility won’t stop, because then his behavior might be a little bit too much to hide from his school mates.

The songs Chris wrote over summer are all kinds of awesome, and soon Jensen and Chris are back to their usual routine from last year. Jensen is happy that his friend hasn’t forgotten about him over the summer holidays, because it would be rather lonesome at school without Chris.

Mr. Singer encourages him to pursue studies in geology, ecology and biology. He even promises Jensen that he’ll recommend him to a friend of his, who teaches at the University of Alberta. Dr. Eric Kripke is the Dean of the Alpine and Arctic Research department, and he’s the best in his field of studies. Jensen’s sure that should he accepted at the college, he’ll be able to study as much as he wants to about snow and ice, and he’ll be able to do expeditions and field studies.

So, Jensen works every second he’s got on the application letter for the University of Alberta. It takes some talking to his parents to make them see that it’s really important that he studies in Canada. There are possibilities in the United States to study in that field as well, but Kripke is in Alberta, and there the curriculum shows that there’ll be an exchange semester in Great Britain, which means, that he’ll be able to study at the Scott Polar Research Institute.

To be on the safe side, Jensen applies in Colorado and Washington as well. He hopes to get into the University of Alberta, though. His constant talking about his future career, and the awesomeness that is Dr. Kripke, grates on Chris nerves, and soon Jensen has to stop talking about the topic all together in the presence of his friend.

A large blow is dealt to him, when one day during their practice Chris tells him that, Steve is going to replace Jensen with the singing. Steve is one of Chris friends. He’s nice enough, and Jensen thinks that he’s actually the only friend of Chris who doesn’t forget Jensen’s name all the time, but it still hurts, that Chris is replacing him like that, without any prior warning or an apology.

When Jensen asks for a reason why he gets kicked out of their two-man band, Chris just says to him that Jensen’s got no presence, and that it’s not good if the audience doesn’t take to him, worse even, doesn’t remember him. Steve isn’t invisible like Jensen, he’s got a decent voice, and he’s got presence, so, of course he’s much better for the job than Jensen’ll ever be.

The sudden loss of the singing in his life upsets Jensen a lot. He doesn’t cry in front of his friend, ‘cause he’s a boy, and it’s expected of him to not take things too hard, to be tough, but once he’s home and in his room, Jensen cries real hard, because the truth is, Jensen’s not all that tough. He liked singing a lot, and now with this part of his life gone, he’s not sure how to fill the void.

In the end Jensen starts working at a dog school. He’s read in many reports about expeditions, where the sleds are towed by sled dogs, and Jensen wants to be able to drive a dog sled himself. Since it’s rather impossible to learn how to drive a sled in Texas (not only is there no snow 98% of the year, but the terrain isn’t even similar), he’ll start out with handling dogs. It’s a big enough challenge.

Kim Manners, who’s a dog trainer at the dog school and Jensen’s teacher in all things canine, has a black and white Great Dane. It amuses Jensen to see the huge dog next to its owner. There are many times when Jensen half expects the dog to run off and drag Kim behind it.

Of course nothing like this happens, because Winchester, that’s the Great Dane’s name, is the most kind-mannered dog that has to exist in the whole wild world, and by the way the huge canine looks at his keeper, it’s more than clear that the dog loves Kim to bits.

So, Jensen trains with dogs, continues to climb and dive, and studies like crazy, because he’s got a goal now, something that keeps him motivated to keep on going. The weeks go by and when the envelope from the University of Alberta arrives, Jensen’s already stopped thinking about the way Chris stabbed him in the back, and he’s too busy getting prepared for his studies to watch Jared Padalecki all too much.

Jensen’s hand shake like crazy when he tears the envelope, and when the letter flutters out, Jensen only stares at the folded piece of paper before he opens it and starts reading. After reading the first two sentences, he jumps up from the couch and crows with joy. He’s made it, he got accepted at the university of his choice, and he’ll study with Dr. Kripke. Never before have Jensen’s dreams seemed so close in his reach.

The rest of the day he’s in a daze, and his parents take him out for dinner in celebration of his admittance. They are sad that their youngest boy will move so far away, but they’re the greatest parents there are, because they know how much this means to Jensen, and so they don’t make him feel bad about studying in a foreign country.

After much contemplating, Jensen doesn’t tell Chris about his moving away to Canada, and his acceptance at the University of Alberta, because he’s sure that the other boy’s not really interested in it anyway. Chris doesn’t care about anything but singing these days, and Jensen’s been pushed out of this part of Chris’ life. He does tell Mr. Singer about going to Canada, though. His teacher congratulates him, and asks Jensen about what subjects he’s chosen for his studies.

This question has him studying the curriculum offered meticulously, until he’s found out the right combination of classes. Once his choice is made and the class sign-up sheet sent off, Jensen feels calm enough to face the last of his final exams at high school.

With the motivation of starting at college soon – the proverbial carrot dangling in front of Jensen’s eyes – everything seems ten times better, and more bearable. He even forgets about Chris’ betrayal with the singing, and his infatuation with Jared is easier to control, knowing that he’ll get to make a brand-new start in autumn.

As the last days of high school pass by, Jensen starts packing his stuff, and spends a lot of time sorting through his belongings to decide on what to take with him, up to Edmonton, Alberta. Mostly, it’s clothes and books he decides to take with him, with the odd DVD or CD added for recreational purposes. Half of the stuff gets packed in boxes to be sent by post, and the rest of Jensen’s things are stuffed into two large duffle bags and a suitcase, never to forget his trusty backpack.

Even though he has a couple of weeks until he’ll start studying Earth & Atmospheric Sciences, he’s brimming with excitement. It‘s the first time that he has been able to choose what to do with his future, and somehow Jensen can’t help but believe that things are about to improve, a little bit at least.

During summer break he takes another survival course, but this time he’s in the advanced group, and so he learns more about living outdoors, and what to do when running into trouble. Since he’s already skilled in various activities, like rock-climbing or diving, he gets asked to help with the Beginners course, and so Jensen’s able to earn some money, which will be of great use for his student life.

For the rest of the summer holidays Jensen helps out at the dog school, and does some more indoor climbing at the sport gym. Then it’s time to say goodbye, until Thanksgiving at least, and board the plane to Edmonton and student life.

He hasn’t talked to Chris for weeks, maybe even months, by the time he’s leaving for Canada. Jensen’s heard that his friend’s planning a tour with Steve through Texas, and that their band’s called Kane. He’s surprised that he no longer feels betrayed by Chris’ actions. If Jensen had continued singing, a lot of time he had spent studying and preparing for college would not have been available.

And so, Jensen leaves without saying goodbye to his friend, already looking forward to eventual new friends, not that he’s very confident of befriending someone anytime soon. It’s kind of hard, being invisible and all.

The flight is unspectacular, and when he gets off the plane and takes his first breath of Canadian air, Jensen notices that, firstly, Canada is a lot colder than Texas, and, secondly, the skies are cloudy, and the drizzle is freaking cold.

During the drive to the college campus, Jensen’s damp clothes are somewhere between dry and damp, and so, when he gets out once more into the drizzle, his jeans are ice-cold and stick to his legs. He takes his bags and the suitcase, dragging them over to the red three-winged building that makes up the First Year Residence.

Once he has everything inside the front door, Jensen drops the baggage and takes a good look around. The entrance hall is nice enough, and he feels at home, which is something he didn’t expect to happen very quickly, or at all.

The next two days he spends familiarizing himself with the campus, which is huge, and there’s lots of green space for recreation and exercising, and the evening of his arrival he meets his next-door and across-the-corridor neighbors, who are just the right kind of crazy to make good friends for someone like him.

Chad, who lives next to Jensen, is a student of Mechatronic, and he looks like he stepped right out of some eighties rock video. The weirdest thing about him is his haircut, a mullet, which actually perfectly describes him very well.

Gabe lives across the corridor, and he is as easy-going as Chad. His hair is not styled for attention, but on his door he has a huge poster which shows a barbarian queen riding on a polar bear. Chad loves the poster, and Gabe promises to get a similar one for Chad’s door.

When Jensen’s offered a poster of his own, he kindly denies, but he agrees with his two dorm mates that posters are cool. He doesn’t get the appeal of the half-naked woman and her leather bra, but he has to admit he likes the general look of the picture.

On Monday his life as a student officially starts, and Jensen sits in his first lecture, happy and content with how things are going so far.

Besides Chad and Gabe, the first friend Jensen makes is Mike. Mike wants to study Renewable Resources, and they have the Introduction to Ecology course together. Only a week after they met, Jensen knows more about Mike than he ever knew about Chris, and got a stash of his new friend’s home-grown pot, and he has learned how to grow weed in his dorm room.

It doesn’t really come as a great surprise that Chad and Andy are friends with Mike, and so the four of them are soon a tight-knit group. In the beginning it is rather strange for Jensen to have more than one friend, but it doesn’t take him too long to be at ease in the midst of his newfound friends.

The lectures as well as the lecturers are great, and even though there are some things that interest him not as much as others, his studies are, overall, what Jensen pictured them to be. Had somebody told him in the past that he would enjoy studying sciences, he wouldn’t have believed it, but now he finds that he enjoys learning about weather, geomorphology, and maritime biology.

Many sports activities are on offer on the campus, and whatever activity isn’t available, can be done close by. This is why Jensen soon after his start at UA has joined the track team, takes climbing classes and works for a breeder of sledge dogs.

From time to time he misses his family in Texas, and there are some days where he wonders what Jared Padalecki is doing, maybe if he got a sport’s scholarship for college, but most days he’s far too busy settling into his independent student life to think too much about his former school mates.

Life at the University of Alberta isn’t only educative where Jensen’s future job is concerned, but for the first time he gets the chance to explore his sexuality. It starts very slow, and it’s of great help that Mike is bisexual.

Two months after the semester start Jensen’s friend spends a whole afternoon in Jensen’s dorm room, lamenting about the sadness that is his life, and the injustice of meeting the man of his dreams but not being able to do anything about it. It takes some questioning from Jensen, but he finds out that his friend’s got a huge crush on one of his course mates. Tom Welling.

Jensen admits, that Tom Welling is a looker, and that the possibility of the good-looking guy being interested in Mike is rather slim. So it is decided by Chad, Gabe and Jensen that they are entitled to, as the good friends they are, help their infatuated friend.

First of all they agree that they need to find out, how Mike’s crush thinks about homosexuality, and how receptive he would be about another guy’s advances. This task fell to Jensen. It was agreed upon, that as a gay dude himself, Jensen’s gaydar was much better than Gabe’s or Chad’s.

So, while Jensen spent his days following Tom Welling around, watching his interactions with other students and taking notes about how he reacts to which situation, the other two friends were planning the perfect situation for the fated meeting/date of one Mike Rosenbaum and one Tom Welling.

With that much planning and research, it comes as no surprised that their plan did not work. Jensen was eager to tell everyone who is inclined to listen, that it was not his idea to lock Tom and Mike in the gym’s locker room. Apparently, Chad and Gabe thought that being gay means that the vicinity of a shower is the perfect setting for a date.

In the end, the two of them stole Mike and Tom’s clothes while the two were taking a shower, after a tennis match Jensen set them up with, and locked the doors of the locker room.

When Mike returned that night to the dorm, he almost killed his friends. Only the fact that him and Tom found out, while breaking out of the gym, sans clothes, that they had been harboring crushes for each other for quite a while now, stopped him from committing several acts of homicide.

From that fateful evening on, their foursome turns into a quintet, and soon Tom’s fiends, Sophia and Kirsten became part of the group as well. When Jensen returns for a visit home at Thanksgiving, he can’t believe that he’s actually a part of a group of friends.

Upon his stay in San Antonio with his family, Jensen notices some changes. People who had never taken notice of him before, suddenly greet him. At first they don’t know who he is, but once he’s introduced himself, they actually talk to him and even remember his name. It seems like Jensen’s become visible.

This fact confuses him, and when he talks with his mother about it, she tells him that he’s changed during his stay at College, that he’s more there, whatever that means. So, Jensen decides that his newly discovered visibility explains why he’s got so many friends now, and he also decides that going to Alberta was the best thing that’s happened to him in his whole life.

After his short trip to Texas, he’s back at College, and his daily routine of studying and hanging out with his friends continues. It’s the week before Christmas when Dr. Kripke calls him to his office, and asks him if he would be interested in participating in a small project. Jensen’s beside himself with joy, and shortly signs of for project “Wendigo”, which will take place during spring break. A group of fifteen people will go to the Northwest Territories, the Northern parts of it, and they’ll spend one week collecting samples of snow and ice for later diagnosis.

During his Christmas holidays, Jensen spends most of his time with his family, but he goes to a concert of Chris and Steve, when they’re performing at a club in San Antonio. His old schoolmate has changed some since Jensen saw him last. He seems more grown up, and Jensen finds that he’s actually glad that he meets Chris and Steve again.

The two musicians perform on stage for more than two hours, before they join the other people in the club, and another band takes the stage. Jensen walks over to his old friend, and when Chris sees him, he hugs him tightly, and just like that, all past issues and any resentment on Jensen’s side are gone. The rest of the night the three of them talk about what they’ve done the last couple of months, touring the State on Chris’ and Steven’s side, studying on Jensen’s side, and they promise to keep in touch from now on.

The second highlight of the Christmas break is the car he gets from his parents. It is a new GMC truck, and his parents explain to him, that the car is an off-roader, which will enable Jensen to go wherever he wants to with it. When he sees the truck, he almost starts to cry. The present shows just how much his parents support him in his choice of career.

He cuts his stay one day short, and drives all the way, taking a break in Casper, Wyoming, to stay overnight at a B&B, and arrives late at night on the second (or more like early morning of the third day). Jensen proudly shows his brand new truck to his friends, and after a lot of ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’, they decide to drive to some after-New Year’s party that takes place twenty miles outside of Edmonton.

In the following time until the end of the semester, Jensen studies hard, and works even harder. The dog breeder he works with gives one of the puppies to Jensen when he sees how much dog and human are in love with each other. The scruffy looking little whelp is the cockiest of the litter, and he likes to tease the largest of his siblings, which is almost twice his size.

Jensen calls them Sam and Dean. Dean will be his dog, and Sam will stay with the breeder. The two ruffians spend most of their time chasing each other, or biting into Jensen’s shoes and jeans.

With every day Jensen spends in Alberta, he feels more at home. There are some things that he might miss temporarily, like Tex-Mex food, or good country music, but mostly, he can’t help but compare Texas and Alberta, and comes to the conclusion that Alberta is much more to his liking.

After the semester finals, Jensen stays at College, and his parents come to visit for a couple of days. Most of his time is spent working for Dr. Kripke though. They’re already making first preparations for the expedition in March, and Jensen gets to help a little bit with other projects as well. He likes working for Kripke, because the professor is very enthusiastic about his subject, and he treats Jensen like someone worthy of his time.

The second semester continues like the one before, and when spring break comes up, Jensen has his bags packed, and they fly up north to the Territories. For the first time in his life he sees that much snow and ice for real. He spends every second he gets trudging around, and exploring the wilderness. Of course, he collects samples for Dr. Kripke’s research project as well, but most of the time he feels like a little kid in a toy store.

After their return from the North, Jensen helps with the testing and the cataloguing, and with the analyzing of the ice and snow samples they brought with them. Olaf, who is somewhat the general in Dr. Kripke’s lab, is from Norway. He tells Jensen many stories of expeditions he went on in the past and he tells him that the natives of Greenland know about 100 synonyms for the word snow, depending on the texture, the density, the moisture and many other factors.

When the summer semester ends, Jensen promises to return two weeks early to help prepare two projects, that’ll be worked on by the students during the winter semester. And so he drives once more for two days in his truck, this time from Edmonton to Texas.

His family is happy to see him since he didn’t come home during spring break, and even his brother admits that he’s glad to see Jensen. Most of all, the changes his little sister went through during the last couple of months take him by surprise. Mac reminds him of his days at high school. He spends a lot of time with her, and only when one of his sister’s friends develops a huge crush on him does Jensen cut down on the time he hangs out with Mac.

Three weeks before the new semester starts, Mike, Gabe and Chad arrive at the Ackles’ household, and the four of them tour the sights and hang-outs of good old San Antonio. On their last night before they have to leave, Steve and Chris give a performance at a pub, and Jensen can finally introduce all his friends to each other.

The evening is quite exhausting, and so when they prepare to leave the next morning, Jensen has to promise his mum, that he’ll call on their way, and that he’ll take breaks during the drive. The first half day Jensen drives, but around two o’clock in the afternoon, the lack of sleep catches up with him. They decide on a rotation system after that, and so Mike’s the next one to drive, followed by Chad and then by Gabe.

The change in drives enables them to drive in one go, without an over-night stay. They arrive sometime around nine in the evening, and the only thing they do once they’ve parked the truck in front of the dorms, is get the keys for their rooms and get to bed.

Arriving early at College to work for a professor has one great benefit: they got to pick their rooms, and so Gabe and Chad are sharing a room now, while Mike and Tom, who’ll arrive sometime the following week, are roommates as well. Jensen shares his room Kerr Smith, who he had two courses with.

The project during the semester, titled ‘Project Metamorphosis’ by the students, is exhausting, but also a lot of fun. Jensen can’t believe how much practice he’s already getting during his education at college, and with every day he spends learning and studying ice and snow, he knows that glaciology is what he was always supposed to do.

Jensen returns home for Thanksgiving and for Christmas, but he once more spends Spring Break in Canada, and the same team that went to the Northwest Territories the last year heads out once more, to collect samples for further research.

Dean is one year old now, and Jim, the dog breeder, helps Jensen to train the husky to work as a sledge dog. Every time he leaves for Texas he feels sad and a little bit guilty for leaving his dog behind, but the drive would be too long, the issues at the border too tedious, and his mother’s allergic to dogs anyway. Once he’s got his own apartment or house, Dean will come to live with him, but not just yet.

During the summer semester, Dr. Kripke asked Jensen if he would be interested in attending a summer academy at the Scott Polar Institute in Great Britain. And so he finds himself on a plane to London, after two weeks at home with his family.

The summer academy is the greatest thing that Jensen’s ever done, and when they fly up to Greenland, and he gets to see for the first time all the things Olaf told him about. Jensen is beside himself with joy. He takes more pictures than he count, most of them only of ice and snow.

On his third day at the summer academy, he meets a really great guy called David. The other is actually a doctor, a young one, but he’s all about saving the environment, and so he’s starting a group together with some friends. Jensen likes their ideas, and so he joins their group, promising to promote their project in Canada. David, who is actually David de Rothschild, promises to come to Alberta, and together with Jensen, he starts to plan an expedition to Antarctica, which is to take place in a couple of years.

After three weeks of summer academy, Jensen returns to Texas for another three weeks of family and friends. He promised his parents to fly to San Antonio in autumn and in winter, to be able to stay longer during the next visits, and then he’s off again to Canada, where the third year starts.

Jensen is studying harder than ever, and his experience enables him to work as a tutor with the first years. With all the time he spends on curricular and extra-curricular work, it is a wonder he finds the time to hang out with his friends, but all of them are studying like crazy. Kerr, who once again shares the room with Jensen, hooked up with some girl over the summer, and spends most of the time at her apartment. This leaves the whole room to Jensen, who enjoys the space he usually has to himself.

David visits in November, and Dr. Kripke is fascinated by their project and their group. They have a name now, Adventure Ecology. Jensen laughs about the t-shirts he gets from David with the name on it, but he wears them a lot, advertising their group, and recruiting volunteers to help with planning projects and preparing expeditions.

This time during Spring Break when they head up to the Northwest Territories, he takes Dean with him. The dog is beside himself with happiness, and so Jensen has to spend most of his time keeping a watch on the husky, who’s taken it upon himself to explore the wilderness.

This year during the Christmas break, he goes to L.A. for two days, where he meets up with other members of ‘Adventure Ecology’ expeditions. David arrives from his newest project, his organic farm in New Zealand. The two of them decide to start the expedition after Jensen’s final year at UA, and it’s Jensen’s job to pick the other expedition members.

The rest of his third year at the University of Alberta, Jensen spends working on his master thesis, and preparing the Antarctica project of Adventure Ecology. He spends less time doing sports now, but he continues working with Kim and the dogs, because he wants to spend as much time as possible with Dean.

Since he wants to take his dog with him to Texas this summer, Jensen has to get papers for Dean, and when the last day of the summer semester is over, and everything is packed into his truck, Jensen ushers the husky into the car, and the long drive down to Texas began.

Surprisingly, Dean is very calm during the travel, though they have some disagreement on the music at the beginning, but once Jensen’s noticed that classic rock calms the dog down, so they keep on listening to his meager collection of Black Sabbath, Lynyrd Skynyrd, AC/DC, Blue Oyster Cult, Jefferson Airplane, and Credence Clearwater Revival.

It is the first time in two years that Jensen stays for the whole two months with his family. Most of the time he spends working on his thesis, or taking care of Dean, but he finds some time to meet up with Chris, who’s in L.A. most of the time now, and only comes up to San Antonio to meet Jensen.

The two of them have become close friends again, and sometimes when Jensen’s at a concert of Chris and Steve, he’ll sing background vocals for them. Nothing fancy, since he hasn’t been singing for a long time, but he still enjoys the music greatly.

At the end of the summer holidays Jensen packs up, and loads himself, his luggage and his dog back into his trusty truck, which goes under the name of ‘Metallicar’ ever since he’s started to listen only the classic rock radio stations.

Back at UA, he discusses with Dr. Kripke the work he’s done so far on his master thesis, and takes on a TA position with his thesis coach. Although he goes home for Thanksgiving, at Christmas he stays in Canada, to join an expedition that is valuable for his thesis paper.

During both expeditions, the one during Christmas and the one during Spring Break, Jensen takes Dean with him, who now lives with him in the apartment, Jensen, Mike, and Tom have rented. Gabe and Chad had preferred to stay at the dorm. The dog is a great sled dog and Jensen’s proud of how well-taught his dog is.

When the finals and the handing-in of the master thesis nears, Jensen starts to stay inside working and studying except to go to classes, teach some courses, and walk his dog. He spends every available second on his thesis paper, and only after he’s handed it in, does he take a day off to sleep and recharge his batteries.

On the day of his graduation, his parents and his siblings, as well as Chris and Steve, are all there to see him get his College diploma, and they celebrate with him.

The farewell from UA is hard, but Jensen’s part of two projects of Dr. Kripke’s in spring, after his expedition with Adventure Ecology. The next two weeks he spends in Texas, preparing everything that’s still left to do for his departure to Antarctica, and then he and Dean take the plane to William’s Field where he meets up with David, Sarah and Mike.

When they arrive at the McMurdo, the gravity of the situation finally catches up with him, and Jensen feels almost as if he’s high. All those years he’s been working towards this moment, and now he finally gets to be at the one place that he’s always been dreaming about…

Dean is almost as excited as his owner, and he keeps close to his human friends. For a few moments it looks almost like the dogs won’t get along, but thankfully they settle down without too much of a fuss, once the pecking order of their newfound pack is established. From this time on Dean spends a lot of time with his canine expedition members. Jensen knows that the dog missed the bonds he shared with his pack in Canada.

The expedition is exhausting and draining, and it’s exactly what everyone expected it to be. Once they have to stop their march early, a couple of miles before their intended goal for the day, because the weather changed so fast, that they almost weren’t able to raise their tents before the blizzard crashed over them. They stayed for a day and a half inside the confined space, before they dug themselves out from underneath a foot deep blanket of snow.

Most of the time everything goes according to plan and a couple of good days makes it possible that they arrive at their final destination right on time. They look like hobos, with their beards, reddened eyes, and their sunburnt cheeks and noses; the ice frosting their hair, beards, and in the fur-lining of their hoods; all from the sun and snow. And Jensen thinks that never before did he feel better than he does right there and then.

Their journey home is filled with shared experiences, excited talk about sights seen, things done. The footage of pictures and movie clips they collected is carefully reviewed and first decisions are made about what will go on the website.

It’s three weeks later, that Jensen stays for a three day weekend in New York. He’s been in Texas already and left Dean with his family, and now he has a couple of meetings and appointments about a new Adventure Ecology project – this one will take place in Ecuador though – and he’s applying about a research project in Alaska.

When he looks up and stares into the larger than life face of a smiling Jared Padalecki, Jensen actually feels like he’s run into a brick wall. It has been years since he thought about his teenage crush, and he has to realize, as his heart beats madly in his chest, that the attraction is still there. Only this time he can’t blame raging hormones for these feelings that wash through him.

He finds out on the internet that Jared is a big ass movie star, and only people who spend all their time in the snow and ice covered fields of the Polar Regions don’t know about the most popular guy of Hollywood. According to online gossip pages he’s engaged to a Sandra McCoy, who is also a big name in the world of silver screens.

By chance, he catches an interview with Jared on TV. They talk about his upcoming movie, his relationship with ‘Sandy’, and future plans. It is surreal to watch a former school colleague refer to Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie and George Clooney as if they were people from next-door. With Jared living in Hollywood, they probably are.

Once Jensen gets his okay for the Northeast Passage expedition he’s doing with the Scott’s Polar Institute, his thoughts return once more to snow and ice, and the topic of attractive and unattainable movie stars is completely forgotten.

The expedition takes almost a year, and after that he heads straight for Anchorage where the members of the research team of his next project meet. It is an international project and will last for almost four years. They’re supposed to collect samples of everything, chart changes, measure and record areas, install infrastructure, supply other projects and expeditions, and secure a post up in the north.

All in all there are twenty people, and it’s the largest project Jensen has ever been a part of. He’s excited when two friends of his – one of them a colleague from the Scott Polar Institute, another a former colleague at UA – are part of the team. Dean has been with him ever since he headed for the Northeast Passage a year ago, and the husky is happy as a dog can be.

Five months into his stay at the camp he receives a forwarded e-mail message. The sender is Chris, and Jensen stares at the subject line for a minute before he clicks on it. The times that he received electronic messages from his friend he can count on one hand. The mail is short and to the point. In summer there’ll be a class reunion of their year.

He doesn’t reply or comment on the information. It’s not like there will be anyone he wants to see, except Chris, but he can visit his friend any other time. So when he gets another e-mail about the reunion about a month later, this time with the request to inform the organizers about the number of tickets he needs, he orders one for himself and that’s it.

During the following months until summer he rarely thinks about the upcoming event. They are snowed in for half a week around Christmas time, and only around mid June does the snow get less. When Jensen leaves for Texas, he packs up the necessities of a two week trip, and loads himself and Dean into the snow mobile that takes them to the plane. The whole journey south he sleeps like a log, and only wakes up once when he changes planes, and the second time when they touch down in Dallas.

It’s his dad who picks him up, and at home his mum is busy baking pie, cooking Jensen’s favorite dish and cleaning up around the house. It’s almost as if she expects the president of the United States himself to drop in on a visit. There are tears in her eyes when she hugs him close.

The next dau, which is the day before the reunion, Chris calls him, and informs Jensen in no uncertain terms, that he’s to show up nine PM at his and Steve’s gig. There’s the sound of a sound check in the back ground, and he can make out Steve calling for someone to move the drums. The concert is great, and at the end he gets coaxed into singing two songs with his friends. He drinks more than he has in a long time, and in the end he gets dropped into a cab by his friends, and ends up paying 60 bucks for a fare, because he’s unable to give the driver straight directions.

All through the next day, he nurses his hang over. His head feels like it’s going to implode, and his stomach wants to digest itself. In the end his dad laughingly mixes a foul drink which disintegrates the hangover almost immediately.

Dressed up, Jensen arrives at the reunion only to run straight into Chris who looks just like Jensen before his dad’s magic cocktail. Inside they are greeted by strangers who used to be their school colleagues, and some pretty tasteless decorations, all themed Hollywood, to honor the star of CW High.

Most of the evening passes rather uneventfully. The only real excitement is the entrance of Jared Padalecki and his entourage. Jensen watches the whole spectacle from a safe distance, surprised that the Hollywood star actually showed at the reunion.

Seeing the man in the flesh has his heart ache, and his pulse speed up. It is somewhat ironic that a person, who has so far never even noticed Jensen’s existence, has such an impact on him. The fiancée is petite and beautiful, and Padalecki is once again the star and the hero of everyone. From the moment he arrives to the moment he leaves, Jensen has eyes for no-one else. It’s more difficult now to stare at someone without being noticed, now that he’s no longer invisible. But, Chris is the only one who notices and comments on it.

Afterwards, when Jensen is back on his way to the research station, he thinks about Jared’s smile, and about the way he seems to light up a room, and he has to admit to himself that he’s still in love with Jared Padalecki. No matter how many years have gone by.

continue: Iceberg Anatomy


(Anonymous) wrote:
Feb. 8th, 2012 03:13 pm (UTC)
Wow! I've only just come across your fic and your first chapter has really blown me away. The way you've introduced the characters and given details of their past and present lives makes me feel like they're "real".
Amazing start and I'm off to read the rest now!
: )


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