Title: Will the Wolf Survive?
Word Count: ~6000
Disclaimer: Apart from all the mistakes I own nothing :) The title of the song is Los Lobos Will the Wolf Survive.
Beta:nocturniquette1, fanofsuper and="">insane_songbird
Thank you very much you guys are the best! For all the cheer leading and pretty much for putting up with me :)
(I played with it after they beta read so there might be a few mistakes)
Notes: Very very loosely based on the film "Air Bud" Written forj2_everafter
Will the Wolf Survive?
Jared stared at Sullivan Lake, enjoying the calm environment and soft cool breeze. He stretched his legs and leaned onto one of the trees. He and Jeff, his big brother, had come over to the lake while driving around. They had just arrived in Colville yesterday. Everyone was far too tired to go investigating or sightseeing.
Jared closed his eyes and took a deep breath. A new town, a new neighborhood, and a new school- meant new friends once his vacation was over. Jared sighed. His parents were wildlife rangers, which had made his family move around, across the country. Jared wasn’t much of a fan when it came to moving so often, but all the same he did understand his parents love for their job. He may not have enjoyed the travel aspect, but he certainly appreciated working with animals and taking care of them. At least there was something for him to look forward to wherever he went. School was a problem though. He didn’t use to have problems with making friends before- but now after the incident... No. It wasn't easy. Not anymore. Jared ran a shaky hand through his hair and turned his head to find Jeff.
Jeff was looking around the lake using his binoculars. Jeff shared the same passion as his parents for being a wildlife ranger. He had ever since he was a kid. Jared wasn’t surprised. It seemed to him that everyone was picking up the passion from their parents. Jared smiled softly and closed his eyes again, waiting until Jeff was done with his sightseeing so they could go for a hike with their dad.
Sullivan Lake was breathtaking and Jeff was glad that they had decided to drop by here before the hike. Jeff took a deep breath and sighed happily. He and Jared had looked forward to coming to Colville. Jared perhaps more since what had happened back in Nebraska. Jeff glanced back at his little brother, smiling fondly. Jared was sitting down next to a tree, dozing off. Jeff was glad that they had moved away from Nebraska. Things had not gone well back there and Jared still held the scars, both physically and emotionally. Jared may have looked like he had bounced back to his happy hyper self to the outside world, but Jeff knew better. Nightmares still haunted the younger boy at night. Jeff stared back at the lake, familiar guilt washing over him again. If he had given a lift to his little brother that day, then Jared would have been safe…
The vibration of his phone broke into his thoughts. Jeff fished the phone out of his jeans pocket and flipped it open. It was a text message from their father. Better head back here guys! Jeff rolled his eyes. It’s not like they were going to be staying forever at the lake! He slipped the phone back and headed towards Jared. He bent down and brushed the hair out of his little brother’s face. Jared opened his eyes, startled, and Jeff was greeted with wide, panicked eyes. Jeff kicked himself for startling the younger boy.
“Hey…” Jeff waited until Jared had calmed down.
The kid blinked at him.
“Hey.” Jared whispered back.
“I‘m sorry I startled you…you ok?” Jeff asked giving him his hand and hauling him up.
“Yeah...yeah…I’m just tired. That’s all.”
Jeff narrowed his eyes concerned. “You up to the hike?” he asked opening his rucksack and putting the binoculars inside.
“Yeah…” Jared shook his head as if that would clear his mind. “I’m so damned looking forward to that.” Jared gave a small grin which Jeff returned.
“Well then, hop-along…dad’s already texting us to remind us to come back!”
Jared snorted. “Like he needed to remind us…!” Jared brushed the dirt from the back of his jeans and grabbed his bag. The brothers hurried down the road to get to their jeep, moving amongst the crowd that had come out to visit the lake.
“You know…it’s nicer at the lake before the visitors come.” Jared said absentmindedly, looking warily at the other people around them.
“And your point is?” Jeff asked half amusedly, checking the passersby with Jared.
“That we should find a lake that’s not so crowded?”
Jeff snorted at Jared’s reply.
“Well you just have to find a place less popular then, because where we were today is going to be mobbed whether you like it or not” Jeff said as they reached the jeep. They hopped inside.
“Sometimes I wish I didn’t feel like that.” Jared commented blankly.
“Feel like how?” Jeff asked worriedly.
“Uncomfortable around people…like they are suffocating me. And what if they see who I am?” Jared said in hoarse voice, looking down.
‘Oh little brother’ Jeff reached to Jared and gently squeezed his neck and ran his fingers through the younger boy's brown hair.
“Who do you think you are?” He gently asked of Jared, who still had his face downcast.
Jared looked at him, hazel eyes filled with tears and pain.
“I don’t know any more” he whispered. Jeff’s heart sank. He gently tugged Jared to him and hugged the younger boy.
“You are my little brother…who is smart, kind and the best. Ok? Just because some jerks …” Jeff bit his lips. He took a deep breath. “Some heartless jerks thought being gay makes someone different…it doesn’t mean a thing ok? You like guys and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s your sexual preference and that doesn’t define anything about you. And don’t let it ok?” Jeff closed his eyes hoping that what he said would at least help a little. He felt Jared nod against him and, with the one last squeeze, he released Jared.
Jared gave him a watery smile and rubbed his eyes.
“You ok?” Jeff asked nodding at him.
“Yeah…I’ll be all right” Jared said softly. “Thanks for you know…” Jared gave another small smile.
Jeff nodded and patted his little brother on the knee. Jeff started the jeep and he looked over at Jared. “So, ready for the hike?” It earned him a genuine all-dimpled-grin from the kid.
Gerry Padalecki was not pleased about the idea at first but he agreed on letting his sons take their own hike. It had been a good effort on the part of the brothers. Coupled up with Jeff’s reasoning that he was old enough to take care of both himself and his little brother, there was Jared’s soulful puppy-dog looks. Gerry recited to them a list of advisements and instructions which the boys parroted back. Gerry rolled his eyes and ruffled Jared’s hair. After the final words of asking them to be careful Gerry let them go.
Jared loved hiking. He would have loved it more if he was allowed to go alone…but that would have to wait until he was at least nineteen in his father’s opinion. Jared rolled his eyes at the thought. But then again it’s not a lifetime. It’s just two more years. Forests had always fascinated Jared. The solitude, mysteries and the darkness they held. He felt more at ease inside the forest. Now it seemed to be the case more than ever. Jared sighed. It was true that he was not a very social person, but after the run in with Michael and his buddies on the basketball team, Jared felt pretty uncomfortable around people. He was glad that his family was on vacation or else he would have had to face school right away. Jared knew that he had to eventually go back to school, but doing it just then would not have been a comfort to him.
“Jay….” He heard Jeff’s hiss. Brushing his thoughts away, he looked at Jeff. His big brother looked concerned. “You seemed to be far away."
Jared rolled his eyes. He’s kind of starting to think that the confession at Sullivan Lake was not a good idea at all. He only seemed to worry Jeff more. Jared shrugged. “It’s nothing much. I was just thinking”
“That's not actually a good idea little brother, at least not when you are walking in the woods.” Jeff said firmly.
Jared rolled his eyes. “Yeah…yeah, I know we have to keep our eyes open so we don’t step into a trap…or-” Jared was interrupted by a whining and a low growl. Jared stopped and looked worriedly at his big brother. Jeff stopped abruptly too, craning his head trying to listen more. The whining was continuing throughout the forest, giving Jared an eerie feeling. He had heard whining and growls of animals, whether they were in pain or angry, but it still made him uneasy. Jeff hefted up his tranquillizer gun. “Get your gun.” Jeff hissed at him, pointing the gun in the general direction of the whimpering. Jared fumbled a bit, but within minutes he was holding his gun and was following Jeff’s lead.
The boys froze for a minute seeing where the noises were coming from. There were two wolves, one was caught in a trap and the other one, a wolf cub, was lying near the captured wolf whining.
“Damn” Jeff mumbled as he was the one who reacted first. Jared blinked and lowered his gun. “Don’t…The pack could be near…” Jeff warned him and taking aim, he shot the wolf and the cub. Jared shuddered as he watched the dart hit home.
Jeff dropped his pack, and knelt next to the wolves. “Help me to get her out.” Assessing the damage that was done from the trap, the brothers worked carefully. Together they opened the trap and, with difficulty, released the wolf’s injured leg out from the steel teeth binding her. Jared lifted the wolf cub away, and looked thoroughly over the small animal's body for any sort of damage. Thankfully, the cub seemed to be safe.
“Call dad, and keep alert. We don’t want to be attacked by the pack if they are around.” Jeff told him as he busily wrapped up the wounded wolf's leg.
Jared cradled the wolf cub close, whispering to it. “You’ll be all right”